They Don’t Need Training??!!
“They don’t need training.”
Words of wisdom from the same genius who told me he didn’t have any competition.
That’s what the owner told me regarding his staff, after he’d seen me conducting a meeting with some project managers.
I kept waiting for the punchline...but there was none. He was serious.
After realizing he was not kidding, I explained that because I was new to the company, I’d wanted to introduce myself by sharing some of my business development experience with the project managers. It made sense to me, because they were the first ones to regularly interact with clients on both an offensive and defensive basis. This way, I could not only introduce myself, but could share some insights.
Insightsthat had helped me to generate millions of dollars in new and recurring business over the years. Many millions of dollars.
I went on to tell him that it was a short meeting and provided tips that focused on topics such as: creating and delivering presentations with impact, developing benefit-related proposals, building client rapport, and language nuances in selling. I then told him that it had gone well and everyone seemed genuinely appreciative.
He repeated: “They don’t need training.”
I thought that was an interesting philosophy. Especially as I’d been through a fair amount of training over the years, and have always found it to be beneficial (see above-mentioned “millions of dollars”).
So using my best judgment...
I decided to ignore his advice and continued sharing my business development insights in a clandestine manner, on a one-to-one basis with the project managers as situations arose. And they continued to be appreciative. Just secretly.
What Was I thinking?
But, I must confess, I did learn a lot that day and eventually understood what he meant. Mainly, that by not training staff, you will:
1. Reduce accounts receivable. This will occur because you will have fewer clients and won’t have to worry as much about processing invoices and collecting monies.
2. Improve productivity. With fewer clients, staff will not need to spend as much time supporting existing business. (This, in turn, will free them up so they can focus on their job searches.)
3. Streamline customer relationship management (CRM) programs. Again, with fewer clients, ongoing CRM programs can be minimized. Perhaps even eliminated, thus saving money on software and related IT expenses.
4. Reduce out-of-pocket costs. Not investing in training or certification courses of any type means staff will be free to continue producing poorly performing presentations and ineffective proposals, and rely on inwardly facing sales skills designed to subtly alienate clients. All of which will continue to ensure lost business. (See #1 through #3 above.)
5. Decrease payroll and associated burden costs. Fewer clients translates to staff reduction, thereby resulting in lower payroll, lower payroll taxes, and other related overhead costs. (See #1 through #4.)
So be sure to take the above considerations into account before you head off on some crazy company-wide-training program.
Excerpt from ebook “Soft Skills. Hard Returns” by Bob Musial.
Bob Musial is a principal at StreetSmart Business Development, a business development coach and author, with a 40-year background in sales, marketing, advertising, and customer experience. During his career, he has generated more than $160 million in new and recurring revenues for a wide spectrum of categories. His ebook, “Soft Skills. Hard Returns,” contains humor-laced stories with practical applications of soft skills in situations most people encounter daily no matter what their position, business or tenure. The ebook is available on Amazon and Apple.