New England Coaching

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Decision Makers for Professional Development

Professional development is not an easy sell. In fact in many organizations, training is seen as a discretionary cost and, if budgets are tight, it is often one of the first things to be cut. This maybe perceived as understandable as often associated benefits are less tangible and impact is not typically immediate. Of course most progressive organizations recognize that their only way to get better is to invest in their people. After all that is what will keep them ahead of the competition. 

Consequently for organizations selling their training services, one needs to be mindful of the agenda of those to whom they are selling to. As much as 101 sales training will stress the need to speak to the ultimate decision maker, this is not always the possible, particularly in large organizations. Quite often it starts with speaking with a Human Resources representative who is charged with the responsibility of identifying a suitable program and vendor. They in turn will typically present and justify their recommendation to the manager of the people identified for training. So really there are at least two buying groups both of whom look at this proposition quite differently. So here are a few key considerations (and associated questions) to think about depending on whom you are dealing with.

What’s Important to Human Resources

1. Curriculum

What does the program involve in terms of training manual and assessments used? How long does it last and what experiential components are there?

2. Trainer Qualification

Who are the trainers, what’s their style and backgrounds?

3. Testimonials

Who else has done this training? What has been their experience? Can we speak with somebody?

4. Cost (if coming from OD budget)

How much will it cost and how many per class?

What’s Important to the Business Leader

5. Business Benefits

How will my group be better as a result? What are the deliverables? What has been your experience with a similar discipline in another organization?

6. Program Duration

How do you propose to do this training? How much time will participants be away from their work? What else do they have to do?

7. Participation

Who are the best people to put in the first group or should I put those who need it most?

8. Cost (if coming from business unit budget)

How much will it cost and what’s the return on investment

Final Tip: Consider coaching the Human Resource representative on how best to subsequently sell to the Business Leader by sharing all 8 tips.

About Bill Sex

Bill Sex is President of New England Coaching and specializes in supporting personal, professional and organizational advancement with specific emphasis on coaching skills, emotional intelligence and employee engagement / motivation.

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