Category Archives: Classroom

3 More Ways Salespeople Can Improve Active Listening

Let’s face it. Most salespeople are extrovert, outgoing and talkative. In fact, recruiters consciously seek these traits in a salesperson right at the time of hiring them. While it’s true that the job of a salesperson is to convince or persuade others, but talk without substance is cheap.

As a business owner or sales manager, you must teach your salespeople how to listen actively. Talking without listening can turn off your prospects. In fact, you should rent training room or rent classroom to train your salespeople on active listening. Here are 3 more ways your salespeople can improve their active listening.

1. Feel the emotion

When the customer is talking, do not just listen. Try to feel the emotion behind the talk. Minutely watch for the use of words. For instance, if a customer says words like high budget, expensive, low cost, etc., you can safely assume that the person is concerned about cost. On the other hand, if someone says words like brand, quality, impression, reputation, top-class, etc.; you can assume that they care more about quality. To understand the emotion and pitch accordingly. These are certain things you can teach your salespeople.

2. Focus on personalization

Maybe the customer called you before visiting the store. Maybe they told you something about their kids. Or perhaps, they happened to tell you the name of their pet. You must remember these things and use them later in your conversation with that customer. This will help give the conversation a personal touch. Personalization works wonders in sales.

3. Give feedback

Another way your salespeople can improve active listening is by giving feedback to the customer. When the customer is talking, the salesperson should look for opportunities to react or give a quick feedback. This not only improves their active listening skills but show your customer that the salesperson is on the same page with them. For instance, if someone is talking about a recent achievement, your salesperson can say, “What a great achievement!” This simple gesture can go a long way to establish trust and bonding.

A successful Training seminar event

How to Help Salespeople Improve Active Listening

In this age of readily available information, your salespeople need to change the way they used to interact with their prospects. Studies say most customers read online reviews and comparisons before coming to a physical store. That’s exactly why they don’t need a salesperson to know the product features and pricing. Instead, they might require customized help. But providing customized assistance to customers is not easy. It requires active listening. If your salespeople don’t listen to your customers actively, they won’t be able to offer tailed help. Here are some ways you can help your salespeople improve their active listening skills.

Focus on listening

One common problem with salespeople is that they listen but don’t hear. They wait for their turn to speak so that they push their agenda on the customer. This technique has to change. So tell your salespeople to concentrate on what the customer is saying. If required, they can ask questions to understand the customer’s thoughts, needs or concerns. Active listening is a skill and it can be improved with training. You can consider booking training room rentals or classroom rentals to organize training events for your sales team.

Hold the urge to interrupt

Salespeople are often tempted to interrupt the customer in the middle of their talking. This shows that they don’t value the other person’s opinion. If you don’t take the time to listen to your customer’s pain points, you are not sincere about solving their problem. So ask your salespersons to stop interrupting the customer. Instead, they should allow them to speak more.

Validate your understanding

Even when you listen carefully, you may miss certain points or have gaps in your understanding. In that case, it is important to ask follow-up questions to the customer. One good idea is to paraphrase the points in your own words so that the customer can validate your understanding instantly.

How to Help Your Employees Build Soft Skills

Recent researches and studies have reiterated that development of soft skills in employees goes a long way in enhancing the company performance at large. It is not the skill sets but cultural alignment in employees that spell success. So, if you are planning to rent training room for a session on the importance of improving soft skills, you are surely on the right track. Here are some ways to help your employees build soft skills.

Attempt a holistic assessment

Most business leaders commit the mistake of assessing employees only on the basis of their performance at work. What they don’t understand is that performance of employees does not depend only on hard skills but also on soft skills. For instance, an employee with leadership mentality is more likely to take ownership at work. Hence, employers should do a holistic assessment of their employees, and provide them training for both personal and professional development.

Plan periodic improvement programs

When you rent classroom and spend your time, money and resources for the overall development of your employees, it makes them feel important. But, to get the real results, you need to organize your soft skill training sessions at frequent intervals. Ideally, you should prepare a proper plan on how many sessions you want to organize per year and what topics will be covered in your respective sessions.

Lead by example

The best way to help employees in improving their soft skills is to lead by example. You will need to establish a work culture and environment that can act as encouragement for your employees. Leading by example is extremely important for a manager. If you wish to foster a spirit of collaboration and flexibility in your organization, you will need to show them how to do it by fine-tuning your own approach.

Soft skills go a long way in fostering success. It is important to chalk out a comprehensive growth and development plan for ensuring continued improvements.

3 Employee Training Tips for Small Business Owners

Ask any small business owner, and most of them will tell you they know the importance of training their employees, but don’t have the budget to organize training sessions on a regular basis. This is a common problem. When SMBs have to cut their budget, the first thing they target is the training budget. However, with a little planning, it may be possible for you to not only save money on training room rentals but also make your training programs a success. Here are some tips.

1. Choose in-house specialists

If you are running a small business, the number of employees would be limited. As the owner, you are likely to be well versed with the strengths and weaknesses of each employee. Therefore, instead of hiring experts from outside, it will always be a good idea to choose someone from your staff to conduct the training sessions. For instance, if you have an employee with excellent computer skills you can ask him to conduct a session on the same. This will enhance engagement and will be cost effective too.

2. Incorporate employee interests in your training programs

There is indeed no point in organizing training sessions and paying for classroom rentals unless your employees are motivated to learn. You can plan programs but cannot force them to pay attention! This is why incorporating employee interests in training programs is important. Consider circulating a questionnaire enquiring about the same. Incorporate them for best results.

3. Keep in mind the generation gap

This becomes a challenge while planning training sessions for small businesses because the employee strength is less. Owners often have the tendency to club together different age groups in one session! This is a gross mistake! The older generation might not be privy to fresh ideas or technologies as the modern generation!

Training sessions conducted for small or medium-sized businesses need to possess a personal touch. After all, small businesses often function like a large family unit and it is this sense of togetherness that keeps them going.

How to Measure the Impact of Your Employee Training Program

Companies today, spend a lot for employee training programs. They need to rent training rooms, invite professional trainers, set up the required infrastructure and so on. Besides, they also need to adjust the loss of man-hours towards training attendance! Naturally, there would be a keen interest towards measuring the effect of these training programs on employees just to show how successful the program was.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Training Programs

The most common means of evaluating the impact of training programs is through the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model, which adopts a 4 step approach.

Step 1: Checking on reactions – This is done by enquiring about the relevance and level of difficulty of the course content, asking questions about takeaways and learning. You can discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the program and try to understand if the training accommodated the learners pace and style.

Step 2: Measure learning – Learning can be measured with the help of test scores, evaluating the projects for applied learning, influencing formal KPIs, certifications post course completion and through the supervisor feedback and report.

Step 3: Assess the impact on work – Assessors need to ask questions like how the learning has been implemented at work and understand how confident the learners are in sharing new knowledge and skills. Common tools include self-assessment questionnaires, informal feedback from seniors and peer groups, focus groups, checking KPIs, comments, complaints, customer surveys and so on.

Step 4: Measure the outcomes – Tangible results of the training program should be measured by reduced costs, prompter project completion, enhanced quality, enhanced productivity, improved employee retention rates, more marketing leads, elevated morale and so on.

An assessment of the entire training program can be made with the help of these steps and required changes can be brought it when planning the next program. So, right from the time you are planning to rent classroom or a space for conducting a training program, make sure you also chalk out a complete evaluation program.

How to Turn Your Employees into Leaders

Employee development is one of the key responsibilities of employers these days. Developing employees into good managers and more importantly, great leaders, is a smart way to keep them motivated and retain them within the system. Of course, one of the best ways to help your employees acquire fresh skills is through training. You can plan your training room rentals in advance for optimizing the cost. In addition, there are more ways to transform productive employees into great leaders. Here are some ideas.

Help your employees to learn networking

As a senior colleague, it is important to help your juniors to pick up networking skills. Encourage them to attend networking events. Leaders need to be confident communicators. They should be able to initiate conversations with strangers, appear comfortable in seeking favors, getting a job done, and landing a mutually beneficial deal. Conversations play an extremely important role in branching out and collaborating within the industry.

Give them the required space for learning

As a boss or a mentor, your normal tendency towards your employee would be to help and guide, as and when he or she requires. However, it is always important to allow space for self-learning and a bit of struggle. When you are grooming employees for leadership roles, you should allow them to figure out things on their own. For instance, if he is struggling with a balance sheet, the best thing to do is to introduce him to the finance person who is in-charge. Allow him to take it from there.

Foster ownership

The primary responsibility of leaders is to make timely decisions. If you are coaching your employees to be great decision makers it would also be important for you to trust them unflinchingly and allow them to make some decisions on their own.

In addition, you should organize training programs for skill development. Make sure you have your classroom rentals for training purposes finalized well in advance.

Pros and Cons of BYOD in Classroom

With mobile devices invading the market each day, a fair number of schools and colleges are embracing the trend of allowing students to bring their own devices in the classroom. Some institutions are making tablets customary. Special training applications are being developed for helping students. So, when you rent a training room for your session, you may perhaps want to check on the number of charging points in your room and the lighting set up for comfortable usage of technical devices. But is BYOD a good concept after all? We look at the pros and cons.

Pros

BYOD has several advantages. It allows students to use the devices they are already using and this actually helps improve their productivity. The educational institute also saves on cost of stationary, circulating books, providing laptops and tablets to students and so on. The same amount can be used to rent classroom that has better overall infrastructure for trainees.

A mobility program also means paperless access to notes, presentation material, lectures and so on. Students can even submit papers electronically. Especially, if a trainee has missed the training session for some reason after paying for it, recorded lectures and presentations can help them catch up.

Cons

The usage of too many mobile devices can clutter the wireless network. With so many variants and versions of Smartphone and tablets available in the market, technology can actually cause a class divide among rich and not so rich students. Parents may also not be open to paying for a mobile device to be used in school. Students might get easily distracted while using mobile devices because there are so many other things you can do on them.

Before you rent classroom for a training event, decide whether the session will be a BYOD one or a regular one. In case you choose the former, you may need to make special arrangements.

How to Gather Instant Feedback from Event Attendees

Planning an event is no less than an adventure. It requires serious multitasking. Often times, the preparations like finalizing training room rentals, preparing content, printing invites etc seem so overwhelming that organizers forget about the post-program feedback collection process from attendees. Most event organizers are keen to know how well their program has been received. Here are some guidelines for a speedy feedback collection from your guests.

Create a survey with relevant questions

Questions should be simple and to the point. The aim must be to highlight the positives and negatives of the program. Ask them how their overall experience was, how relevant the agenda of the program, how they would rate the speakers, what according to them the improvement areas of the program are, how the check-in experience was and so on. Do not forget to ask them what their favorite part of the day was.

Don’t wait for later

Feedback should be collected as soon as the program gets over. This is when everything about the program would be fresh on their minds. You can hand over forms at the exit, send them links on email or have the survey uploaded in iPads at the venue. The best thing to do is to opt for a survey that’s mobile-friendly.

Use graphics and pictures

Make recollecting easy by using graphic representations and pictures of speakers who presented at the event. Remember, you are likely to get an accurate feedback only if your guests can remember what they have witnessed at the program. Make the survey as simple and as interesting as possible for the guests.

Just like you need to finalize your classroom rentals and other arrangements in advance, it is equally important to spare a thought for post-program feedback collection methods. These are the inputs that will help you improve in future.

4 Tips for Conducting a Performance Review Meeting

Approaches and methods for reviewing the performance of employees differ from one organization to another. However, there can be a general set of guidelines for sharing the outcomes in the most impactful manner. So, if you are planning to rent training room for conducting a performance review meeting, here are some useful tips.

1. Establish a specific purpose for the meeting

The moment you rent classroom or training room for a performance review meeting, also establish a specific purpose for the interaction. What is it that you would like to achieve from the interaction? Would you focus on improvement areas or are you keener to discuss growth opportunities for the employee? Having a definite purpose will ensure a successful interaction.

2. Share your agenda during the preparation phase

It is also absolutely necessary to share your agenda with your employees at least seven days prior to the meeting. This helps both sides to prepare well for the interaction. As a manager, you need to have all the information that you require for reviewing your employees. Make sure you collect them and study them well before you get into the meeting.

3. Keep it formal

Do not waste too much time in exchanging pleasantries and indulging in small talk. Keep the interaction highly professional, formal and duly focused. Get to the point right away without wasting much time. Considering that performance review interactions are planned one after another, proper time management is very important.

It is important to allow your employees to express their viewpoint. Never override their statements, cut them short or appear impatient before them. It is important to be objective in approach and keep emotions in control. Remember, it is a discussion and not an address. Both sides have to be given the scope of communication.

A performance review meeting gone wrong could result in loss of precious productivity. Ensure a great preparation before you schedule a date and rent a training room.

4 Reasons Leadership Development Programs Fail

The cost of running a leadership training program could be huge. You need to book training room rental or classroom rental, reimburse your employees for travel expenses, plus incur the loss of productive hours.

Many companies spend thousands of dollars on leadership training programs only to find how futile they are. This has sparked an industry-wide debate about whether leadership development programs are really worth the time and money. Despite criticism over the ineffectiveness of leadership programs, most industry leaders blame it on the way this leadership development tool is used rather than on the tool itself. Here are some common reasons why leadership development programs fail.

1. Not focusing on the context

There is no one-size-fits-all rule of leadership. Great leaders change their leadership strategies based on the situation or context. Unfortunately, most training programs fail to stress on the importance of adopting different leadership styles in different situations.

2. Focusing too much on theory

Great leaders learn through trial and errors in practical setting. While it may be helpful to know about the different leadership styles, the main focus should be on hands-on training. To that end, every potential leader should be given opportunities to play critical business roles.

3. Not letting them make mistakes

Many employers are afraid to let go off control to new leaders. They do not allow new leaders to make important business decisions. But, what’s the point of giving leadership training to your employees if you do not engage them in the decision making process? Let them make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. There’s no better way to develop leadership skills than by leading from the front.

4. Not measuring results

Many companies run a leadership training program but don’t have a system in place for measuring the results of the program. Companies should organize 360 degree feedback sessions before, during and after the leadership program. It is also important to monitor the growth of your employees in terms of leadership style and decision making capability.