Have you ever left a training session feeling like it was just wasted time?  How about that one where you felt like you had just been through a BEAT DOWN session!? I remember walking away from meetings and not having anything but negative thoughts go through my mind for at least the next couple of calls. (I’m sure the clients could smell the stink in my attitude).  RELATED – How to get the most out of your conference after it is over.

[callout]Today’s post is written by Terry Barrett. He is a service manager for AirNow in Alabama, and The Director of Tech Training for Service Excellence Training.[/callout]

I also recall walking out of meetings wondering, “What in the world did we just spend our time discussing or doing?” You know the meetings that you leave thinking, “Why in the world was I not out running calls and at least making money?” 

If you can relate, then let me give you some tips to make sure this is never one of your meetings/trainings that you hold:

6 keys that will transform your training sessions

#1 – Do not start the meeting late

I repeat do not start late. If it is important enough to have a meeting on, then start on time.

#2 Have a clearly defined agenda

Make sure that your hvac techs and plumbers know you have prepared for the meeting. Being prepared shows your techs that the training is important. This increases the value that they put into your technician training sessions.

Early in the training session describe the agenda. 

A printed handout is great, but not always necessary.  A simple explanation on the white board will work.  Cover the details in simple bullet points.  This way there is no surprises for your techs.  You will be amazed at how much they will appreciate just knowing what to expect.

#3 – Be creative

Playing is a critical component of learning.  A training session with no fun is boring, and it is also a big, BIG mistake! 

Here are some fun ways to encourage on-time arrivals to the training sessions.

Give out tickets to everyone that is there by the scheduled start time.

Enter all of these into a drawing. The winner could get the following:

  • You could double the plumber’s revenue on his first call. 
  • Double the revenue on his last call.
  • Double the revenue on his best call.
  • You could also do a gift card to where they like to eat.
  • Take the average income per call for that day, and add that to the plumber’s check.  (That could be a big one.  Maybe a monthly prize.)

You can do anything that would be easy, and interesting to your hvac techs and plumbers.  The idea is to get them to participate in the training sessions.

#4 – Less is more!

Your pastor can’t preach Genesis to Revelation in one service.  If he tries, then may God bless you! 

When you are training your guys, don’t try to do it all in one session.  Pick one key topic, and really teach it.  There will always be time for other topics later.  This will keep you focused on the most important point of the training session. 

We’ve all heard the saying, “Jack of all trades and master of none.”

It is amazing how this is the same concept when it comes to training sessions or meetings.  You can’t cover everything in one meeting. Make sure that it is something that will benefit the techs, and stick to that.

#5 – Use ALL the learning styles: hearing, seeing, and doing

Do you want them to use what you are teaching?  Then give the techs ample time to practice.  Interaction makes training fun!  It also conditions your plumbers for success. 

The only rule is this, Don’t set them up to fail! (This helps nobody.) In other words, your techs need to win in your practice sessions. 

Objection training is good.  However, never do objection training without allowing your techs to win!

RELATED – Technician Sales Training

#6 – Make sure to end on time

Don’t leave your techs wandering “When is this going to be over?”  End the training session on time.

It is disrespectful to not finish on time.  It also sets a standard that being late is “Okay.”

Also, it is fine to end the meeting a few minutes early.   No one will ever be upset if an hour long training session ends 5 minutes early.

Question: What key will you use in your next training session? Share your answer on , or .