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improve training sales

Five Tips to Improve Training Sales

Knowledge is power and education is the key. Training providers play an important role in shaping future leaders. So how can training providers reach their ideal target market?

In this article we present five tips you can use to improve Training sales in your training business.

1. Referrals

Many businesses attribute up to 80 percent of their training sales to referrals or word of mouth. Before people buy training, they generally seek the opinion of someone who has completed a similar course to find out if the content was valuable and if the provider was knowledgeable. They may ask a colleague, friend, or family member; use social media; or research providers online.

Why not ask your current customers for referrals: “Is there anyone else in your company that may benefit from this course?”

Take every opportunity in communications with your customers to ask for referrals, whether it be a standard one-liner at the end of your emails, as part of your course evaluation, on an invoice, or on your website. As a training provider, satisfied customers are one of your biggest assets.

2. Seminars or Webinars

Offering a free or minimal cost seminar or webinar is a great way to generate leads. However, it’s vital that the material is of value and will benefit those attending. Sales-focused seminars or webinars are a turn-off and can have a negative effect on your business.

Webinars or seminars offer a platform for you to demonstrate your training skills and knowledge.

The contacts generated from the webinar or seminar can then be used for future marketing campaigns to sell future training courses.

A webinar is more cost effective than a seminar as you can reach a larger audience for a fraction of the cost. However, seminars are also of value, as people enjoy networking and the ability to ask questions of the presenter.

3. E-newsletters

You have a database of contacts, but are you communicating with them? E-newsletters are a cost-effective way to regularly communicate with your contacts.

For training providers, e-newsletters are a great platform to share your knowledge, demonstrate authority, advertise upcoming classes, publish testimonials, run a promotion, or share industry news.

It’s important to ensure that your newsletter is distributed regularly. You can create a schedule for delivery to simplify the process.

E-newsletters are a great tool to generate leads. Why not have a “Subscribe to Our e-Newsletter” button on your website, social media pages, and email signature?

4. Case Studies or Testimonials

Similar to referrals, case studies or testimonials provide training businesses with great examples of success stories. These are useful for future marketing as it adds a “real person” element to the course.

Future clients will look for testimonials to see what people thought of a course before registering.

A case study is able to demonstrate how your training has helped a client to solve a problem, with details including what the issues were before the training was delivered, and how the training has improved processes or solved problems.

It also gives the client the opportunity to comment on all aspects of the training provider, including looking for a training provider, booking the training, the knowledge of the trainer, and post-course feedback.

You can offer clients the opportunity to provide a testimonial or feedback either on your website, through social media or by speaking directly to them.

If they have had a good experience and found the course valuable, they are likely to provide you with a testimonial. Make it easy for them, perhaps by conducting a five-minute phone interview or 10-question survey that you can then write up as a testimonial.

5. Early Bird Discounts

Early bird discounts can be an effective way to fill your training courses. An early bird offer ensures commitment. People are often interested in attending a course, but leave registering until the last minute or forget to register at all. There are three golden rules for successfully running an early bird offer:

  • Make your discount enticing. An early bird offer that is 20-40 percent off the recommended price will prompt action now. Offering just $5 isn’t likely to have the same effect.
  • Limit your offer to either a number of people (e.g., the first 10 people) or a certain date (e.g., only if you book four weeks prior to the course). Be firm about the deadline and don’t keep extending it. This will ensure that people book early next time so they don’t miss out.
  • Market your early bird offer. If you want your offer to work, put your marketing efforts behind it, so that you get maximum return and ensure your clients are aware of it.

Early bird offers benefit both the client and the training provider. The clients are happy as they receive a discounted fee for simply booking early. The training provider will have a better idea of numbers earlier, reducing the stress of whether a course will run. Having an idea of the numbers in advance also helps with cash flow, which is important for smaller providers who often have to pay in advance for venues and printing costs.

There are many ways to sell training course. We hope that you find these tips useful to improving your training businesses.

I'm Michelle Tolhurst the owner, director of Creative Desk Pty Ltd. I'm your virtual marketing assistant working with small businesses around Australia in their creative communications, email campaigns, websites, social media and desktop publishing.

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