Trainers – put your money where your mouth is!

There’s an old saying that goes something like this:

If you can’t do it – become a trainer!

Having started my training career by accident many years ago whilst working at Virgin, becoming a self employed trainer and then the boss of a training company I really feel that I should defend my fellow training professionals…

Unfortunately, I can’t because it’s so often true.

I started the recruitment process for a new trainer last week. We always use the Internet to advertise and, therefore, we tend to get a ton of potential applicants. We try not to go through the CVs we get sent through because, as we all know, CVs are slightly more fictional than a Barbara Cartland novel.

On this occasion we had to because of the sheer numbers involved – it was impossible to meet everyone.

Okay, keep in mind that this particular training post was for a sales trainer. You also need to keep in mind that sales people are not easy to fool – you have to know your stuff otherwise you get found out in the classroom very quickly.

Generally, this means that you need to have done the job and been pretty successful at it, too.

That’s why I was surprised reading a selection of the CVs from the people who applied for the position. For example, here’s one that was by no means atypical. For the position of Sales Trainer I was surprised to see a lorry driver had applied.

Intrigued, I called him because I was sure I must have missed something. I started by asking him why he wanted to be sales trainer.

Because I’m fed up with the travelling and want a fixed base.

Fair enough… good answer. So, why do you think you’d be good at the job, if you got it?

Because all my mates tell me I’ve got the gift of the gab!

Ever been in sales role?

Nah, never.

Good bye.

The problem is training is littered with people like this guy. It seems to me that there’s an impression that training is easy… that you just need to be able to talk.

Well, let me tell you, it isn’t. You need to know what you’re talking about, inside out. Sure, you can work from a script, but, unless you have the peripheral knowledge of the subject in question you won’t be able to add value to the training session – or even answer questions that will inevitably fired at you.

In summary, I have a top tip for all you business owners out there in EB when selecting a training provider. Make sure the trainers allocated to you have real and valid experience in the subject matter.

If it’s sales training – make sure they have been a sales person. If it’s management training, make sure they have managed. Only then will they be able to deliver the added value you deserve.

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