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3 Jul 2014

From Temporary Employee to High Value Consultant

As a trainer with over 18 years of training experience (including part time 4 years), I find that many clients like to ask trainers to teach them things that they themselves can do.  Like in sales training, they like the trainer to teach them how to present their product's features and sell like them. Some even asked us to teach them the exact script on how to respond to a customer's enquiry.  There are some that like the trainer to be like one of them, fully absorbed into their company's culture and way of doing things.  One of them told me, "You have to do things like what we do here".

Make no mistake: your external trainer is not your employee, nor is he your company's mouth piece. Most importantly, the reason for getting an external trainer is to get new perspective, different ways to look at things.  If you get an external trainer to do what you yourself can do, why waste the time and money and why not just do it yourself?

To me, the only value an external trainer adds is the professional or the 'best practise' way of doing things. Because if you try to solve a problem by seeing things from the same way, you are justifying the problem, not solving it.  

So the next time you hire an external trainer, make sure he does the following 5 things:
  1. Share with you experience from other companies and other industries, especially how they overcome difficulties and emerge stronger
  2. Give you new and innovative ideas of doing things, like how to answer a customer's objection with an objection, not an answer
  3. Inspire you to do more with less and achieve things that people consider impossible, i.e. uplift you to greater heights
  4. Gives you an outsider's assessment on your company's problems, and not an insider's view
  5. Gives you prompt and honest feedback, for this is the true value that you can only get if you hire a consultant
Remember, never get your trainer to repeat what you do, justify what you do and most importantly, never make the trainer become your temporary employee.  For if you do so, you're not only not making good use of the trainer, but have relegated him to just your employee.  You have enough employees, what you need is a high value consultant to help you with an objective eye.  Also, make sure that the trainer covers 7 important elements (stated at here). 

By Andy Ng, External Trainer with Asia Trainers, details of How to be an Effective Manager course (22 October 2014 Wednesday) is at here.  Related articles:

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