The Importance of Reinforcement
I'm asked all the time about follow up techniques and how to best maximize results when it comes to training dollars invested. These dollars can be invested in house in the form of training meetings, our own Instant Meeting Maker On Demand Technician Training, or other resources utilized to drive results. These dollars as also sometimes invested off site in the form of seminars, workshops, or schools. In fact we've got our newly redesigned Service Sales Success School coming up in Chicago in a couple weeks and will be using the following techniques to help our clients maximize their return on investment.
Whether the training dollars are invested inside or outside is irrelevant. The point is that training dollars should not only be recovered, they should actually make you more money. One of the reasons a lot of training doesn't pay is the lack of follow up and follow through once the formal training has come to an end.
We strongly encourage that a manager or trainer come to our service and sales training schools along with the front line team members. This accomplishes a few things. First, it demonstrates to your team the importance and seriousness of the training you're investing in. It also gives the manager/trainer/coach a full scale understanding of the content delivered as well as training tips they can learn from whoever is facilitating the live training. Additionally it gives the team some time outside of the office to fully engage in behavior and results changing activities without the distractions and interruptions of the normal daily business back at the shop.
The biggest mistake we see when it comes to maximizing training is that there is no formal or informal follow up and reinforcement once many teams get back to the day to day operations. I can certainly understand and empathize with the challenges at this can present, but reinforcement is paramount to long lasting improved results. We've all been to a seminar or training where the content was great and we took a lot of notes, but then didn't study our notes after the fact and implement any new changes.
All behavior changes must be reinforced and cultivated in a positive way. Any time we do something new we’ll face challenges and it’s always easiest to go back to the way “we’ve always done it”. However, the way we’ve always done it is NOT the answer for a successful future. It takes intent, focus, a plan, and practice to create mastery at anything. Sales and service skills are no different.
I shot this week’s video from a local winery that makes some award winning wines. I can remember when they first started many years ago in a young wine industry for our local market. The grapes weren’t quite ready; the winemaker still had to find their way. They needed practice and reinforcement of what was working well in the growing and wine making process as well as identifying where they needed to improve.
Our training with our front line team is no different! Make a choice to invest the dollars and the time to get the great results you and your team deserve. Then keep it alive with weekly follow up training and reinforcement as well as informal coaching sessions as needed.
Training must make dollars and sense. This is how you can maximize your results.