Choose your training vendor — carefully!

There are just too many choices out there today. No single person can keep up with it all. Reading the trade periodicals and newsletters helps. Attending the expo at the leading tradeshows exposes you to the plethora of solutions available. But, the best way — by far — is to work with a vendor’s sales representative whom you have grown to trust.

We all know that technology solutions for training are multiplying almost monthly. New vendors are appearing almost as fast — along with countless new products, technologies and services.

So what should you be looking for in a vendor’s sales representative? Two principle traits!

First in importance is recognizing the individual who genuinely demonstrates a particular understanding of the challenges you face.

Does that person really listen to what you are saying? Or, does she talk incessantly about her own company and its products?

Does that salesperson really know your industry? Does he understand the process that your company uses to achieve success? Has he done his homework about your company, its products, and its challenges.

In other words, is the focus of the conversation on you, your company and your challenges — or, is his focus primarily on him, his products and his services? Do you get the sense that he is only interested in “closing” you?

Close behind in importance is the vendor representative who understands the particular benefits of her product or service that specifically helps you meet your training challenge. If she doesn’t tailor her “pitch” to your needs, she either isn’t listening or she just doesn’t understand.

Be wary of the salesperson who recites all the features and benefits of his product because that will be a real tipoff that his knowledge level is only skin deep. He really can’t help you and his lack of true understanding will probably be reflected in insufficient support after the sale.

When you do find a sales representative whom you can trust and respect, do your best to be a partner with him. The ultimate benefit is a two way street that will benefit both of you. The more you support his efforts, the more service you will get – and, the more success you will both achieve. And, that will make everybody a winner! It’s your best bet for making your present and future choices in today’s ever-expanding world of training solutions.

More on Tuesday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning (Tuesdays & Thursdays)