Course content

Identifying Participants’ Needs

1. Understand who your participants are. 

Your training is designed specifically to meet the needs of every person in the workshop, right? 

The answer is yes, of course it is, but there are others who require consideration before you deliver your course. These people include:

⦁ The supervisor or manager who has identified a need for training. Find out what their expectations are for the training, and be sure to incorporate those items into your session. 

⦁ Who is paying for the training? This might be the trainee, the supervisor, or a manager in a different department altogether. What are their expectations of training, and what outcomes will they insist on? 

If you can meet the needs of your participants (all three of them), you are much more likely to achieve success in your training, and to be asked to return for more training! 

You’ll also have to determine whether all of the concerns outlined by the participants, supervisors, and payers are real needs. This should come to light in your needs assessment. 

Conducting a needs assessment is the best way to determine what your training needs to include. 

For example, a manager may come to you and say that staff in the contact center are consistently talking too long on the phone and yet not making enough sales. They need training on closing and time management. When you speak to the customer service representatives, they may tell you that they keep their calls as short as possible; however, they cannot seem to shorten the call and still make a sale. They also feel that they need training in closing and time management. Since both groups have identified the same problem in their interviews, you may think that you need to provide training in closing the sale and time management. However, if you also spend a day observing the high performing and low performing CSR’s, you may find that they both spend their time in exactly the same way, but the difference is just in the closing. 

As a result, you determine that training is needed on closing sales, not time management. Since the CSR’s and their supervisors perceive that time management is also an issue, you will want to devote some energy to that topic, but your main focus is going to be on closing sales.

2. Learn what they know. 

There is a saying from somewhere that says “Never underestimate the intelligence of your listeners, and never overestimate their need for information.” We might take for granted that most people involved in sales understand that trust is the basis of a sales relationship, but they may not actually understand the range of ways that trust can be built, or damaged. 
You should also identify the level of knowledge that your participants have on a scale from awareness, familiarity, competence to mastery. 
3.Learn their motivation. 

Are your participants interested in the training that you offer? 

Anyone who is motivated in what they know about the training before it is delivered can help to motivate their colleagues; people who lack interest, however, will be a little more difficult to engage. Are your participants:

⦁ Prisoners? (They were sent against their will)

⦁ Vacationers? (Deemed the training a good way to stay away from their desks and routine tasks)

⦁ Socializers? (here primarily to network not to learn)

⦁ Learners? (Interested in learning and happy to actively participate)

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