How Training Often Works Unconsciously

Sub conscious first impression

Among several online programmes I’m delivering at the moment is a weekly session to international property specialists based across Europe (each 1-hour session is recorded for others around the world in different time zones). A piece of feedback at last week’s session reminded me of one of the most important elements of any training programme: new ideas come to you when you’re engaged in a focused process that asks: “How can we be better?” and those ideas are not always directly related to the training content delivered.

As an example, the session last week focused on making a good first impression on a client. I’m not a believer that a bad first impression means the end of a new relationship but life is a lot easier when you start well. There were various ideas explored and, I hope, some of them implemented since then. The bit of feedback that stuck with me came from an agent based in Spain.

“We introduced two new ideas to help a great first impression when people arrive at our office: First, for booked appointments, their names appear on one of the screens in the window, welcoming them to the office. And second, we worked hard to make our office smell amazing: really fresh and fragrant even at the end of the day.” Neither idea came from our training session but they were both triggered by it.

Sales training is a process that asks, “How can we be better?”, and gives a framework to make change. The content should be relevant, it should be interesting and it should give practical steps to improve. But it should also be a trigger for a whole range of other ideas, all starting from the same point but ending up in very different places. It’s the unconscious process of improvement that is often overlooked but frequently delivers the best changes.