What do you think I responded?
NO. Well, I was a little more diplomatic than that :-).
Here’s what I said:
“While I appreciate your request, I do not deliver a course ‘off-the-shelf’. Even though I have worked with your team before on Project Management, Facilitation skills are very different so there is a level of needs assessment that has to be done. The customization is a big part of why people continue to hire me and why the training is so valuable – because it’s applicable to your environment. I’m happy to hop on the phone to talk about the level of customization that will work for a win/win.”
The client found the additional budget for customization and we are moving forward.
Clients will keep hiring you for more work because you “get” their business, their team dynamics, their challenges and goals. You cannot gather that information without speaking to a representative set of staff in advance.
I have never delivered a course “off-the-shelf” even if I’ve simply adjusted some key business terminology for that client.
Customization is what differentiates you, but only if you are doing it right.
Here are 10 questions I ask in my 1-on-1 Interviews to customize my courses. In the last 18 years I’ve been delivering Corporate Training, they have proven very successful. I hope you find them useful as you customize your own trainings.
10 Questions to Customize Your Training:
- How long have you been with <Client> and what is your role and overall responsibilities?
- What words best describe the culture at <Client> and within your <Team/Division/Group>?
- On a scale of 1-10 (1 being lowest), how would you rate your <Training Topic> skills? What previous experience do you have in <Training Topic>? What are your greatest strengths in <Training Topic>
- When do you most utilize <Training Topic> at <Client>?
- What tools and/or processes do you currently have in place to <Training Topic>? What would you like to have in place?
- What are the top 3 challenges you face when <Training Topic> and how have you overcome them?
- What is the biggest barrier that gets in the way of you utilizing <Training Topic>? What areas would you most like to improve in?
- What is the one thing, if it were present would help you be better at <Training Topic>
- What would you like to get out of attending the <Training Topic> Course? What would make it successful?
- What’s the one piece of advice you would give me before coming in to deliver the training?
These are sent out in advance of our call so they can think about them.
The answers will provide you everything you need to customize your training so you not only deliver high value, but you stand out above the rest.
Customize your courses and become that trusted strategic partner and go-to resource for delivering training in the future.