September 21, 2016

In spite of what a vendor’s salespeople have been trained to believe, you are the one that should always drive the “selling/buying” process!

Training vendors that ignore your dominant position should be shown the door.  Their sales representatives, who exclusively pitch “only what they’ve got,” are not potential partners for you and your organization.

You make the buying decision!  You are the “party in power” during any sales discussion!

From personal experience, a couple of decades ago, as a long time educator I believed that analog Interactive Laser Videodisc (IVD) was the best learning technology that then existed.  Because of its designed branching capability, as a learning tool I “knew” that it was superior to the then-emerging CD-ROM digital technology.

However, my reasoning made no difference.  The customers wanted CD-ROM training because it eliminated the costly and unwieldy hardware necessary for IVD and the technology world was abandoning analog in favor of digital.  And, the customers were right!

Customers should always determine the outcome of any training-purchase decision —- and, rightly so.

What should you, the customer, be looking for from a training vendor’s representative?  Two major traits.

First in importance is recognizing the individual who seems to care about your challenges.  Does that person listen?  Or, does she talk incessantly about her own company and its products?  Does he know your industry?  Does he understand the process that your company uses to achieve its success?

In other words, is the focus of the conversation on you and your challenges or is it on him and his interest in “closing” you?

Equal in importance is your ability to recognize a vendor’s representative who understands the specific benefits of her product or service that targets your particular training challenge.  If she doesn’t tailor her “pitch” to your specific needs, she either isn’t listening or she doesn’t understand.

Be wary of the salesperson who recites every one of the features and benefits of his product as that will be a real tip-off that his knowledge level is only skin deep.  He really can’t help you and his lack of true understanding of your specific needs will probably be reflected in insufficient support after the sale.

You’re looking for a win-win relationship so once you find a sales representative you can trust and respect, do your best to partner with him.  The more you support his efforts, the more service you will get -– and, the better it will be for both of you.

More on Monday –  –  –

       — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning  (Mondays & Wednesdays)

 (This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)