We all know how useful the internet can be in helping people to find training. Enter your requirements in the Google, Yahoo or Bing search boxes and in seconds you can have details of hundreds of courses displayed on your screen. You can then browse these results and, with a bit of luck, identify the most promising option.
But how can you be sure it’s the right choice for you? A great web page, doesn’t necessarily mean a great course.
Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could invent a technology that could take your search for the right training that one step further. A technology that could help you identify whether the course you’ve found on the web really is right for you?
Well, it turns out such a technology already exists and it’s been around for more than 130 years.
Technology to help you find training
It’s called a telephone and when it comes to helping you choose the right course, you’d be hard pressed to beat it.
Training company websites are fine for gathering general information about their services, but when you are trying to evaluate a specific course, such websites can often raise more questions than answers.
If you want to be sure a course will be relevant to you, and that it’s a worthwhile investment, you have to speak directly to the trainer. And the only practical way to do that is by phone.
Ask some searching questions
Most good training agencies understand this and will be happy to pass you on to the person who runs the course so you can put your concerns directly to them.
Before you speak to them I suggest you draw up a list of your key requirements. To help you do this, ask yourself some searching questions such as:
- which of my skill areas need to be strengthened
- what problems do I encounter in my everyday work that I need help with
- if this were to be the ideal course for me, what would I realistically want to come away with?
Assess the value of the course
The more issues like these you can identify, the more helpful your conversation with the trainer can be. Remember, your aim is to assess the value of the course, and see how many of your requirements the trainer is able to address during the training.
Obviously, it’s unreasonable to take up too much of the trainer’s time, but I can see no reason why he or she cannot give you five minutes on the phone.
As a trainer myself, I certainly have no problem with this. Nothing pleases me more than to hear from someone who takes their training so seriously that they want to speak to me beforehand. It means that if they choose to attend my course, I’m assured of an attentive student.
Alternatively, if it emerges during our conversation that my course is unsuitable for them, we can go our separate ways with no harm done. They won’t have wasted their time attending an inappropriate course, and I will have avoided having an unhappy customer in my training room.
So don’t be shy. If you find training that interests you, give the company marketing the course a call. If they are reluctant for you to speak to their trainer, and try to direct you back to their website, I suggest you look elsewhere.
In many ways the web can be a great tool, but when you have to make critical buying decisions, you often need something extra.
As a colleague recently put it to me: why limit yourself to 21st century technology, when you can achieve so much more using technology from the 19th century.
by Ben J Morgan
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