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Got a minute? If you're a busy manager, that's about all you have. That's why Carla Cross, management coach, speaker, and author, has created this blog just for you, with ready-to-use tips to master management through people.

Archive for sales meetings

training signTrainers: Is your training really a ‘hot mess’?

This month, we’re focusing on training. Why? Because you can recruit your heart out, but, if you’re not developing each agent to his/her potential, you’re not retaining! (and you have a revolving door……)

Doing Everything Wrong? Or Right?

“Oh, no. I’ve been doing EVERYTHING wrong!” That’s what one of my attendees groaned after I explained the training calendar evaluation tool I created to help trainers assess their training programs. Too often, I see training programs thrown together from various cobbled (and ripped off….) sources. Sure. You can do that and call it your training program. But, it makes for a disjointed, shattered ‘picture’ of your company and culture. And, it doesn’t work to get what you want—more production and profits.

Here, I want to share an analysis tool I created that will help you see the good and challenging parts of your training program and tune it up to really make a difference in your company.

Do You Really Have a Training Program?

When asked this question in a National Association of Realtors’ survey, the majority of the brokers said they did have a training program. But, what does that mean? What does it encompass? How would I know you had a real program? Here are the three questions to ask yourself to see if you really have any type of cohesive, coherent training program focused on the results you want:

1. Is your training program a part of your business plan?
2. Have you created a training calendar so you know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it?
3. Could I look at your calendar and see exactly why you had scheduled those events—and that they had cohesiveness to your ‘big picture’?

Evaluate your Training Program Now

The training calendar evaluation tool I mentioned above is invaluable to see how effective your training program really is—and to target the changes you want to make so you’re training with purpose.

At the end of this blog, I’ll share it with you. First, let’s walk through it.

What Kind of Training Are You Offering?

Look at your training calendar. If you don’t have one, simply take a 3-month calendar and write in the training you’re providing.
What’s the ratio of business-producing vs. business supporting training modules? When I see some training calendars, I can see why their training is not increasing productivity. All their modules are concerned with business supporting subjects (technical knowledge): home inspections, the law of agency, websites, social media, etc. That’s all nice, but what does it directly do with creating productivity? Here’s the path to a sale:

Lead generation

Interviews/qualifying buyers and sellers

Listing homes/showing homes

Selling a home/listing sells        $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

If you want to increase productivity and profits, your training calendar needs to reflect your training in these business-producing areas.

What are you training to that will make a real difference in your productivity and profits next year? Put that in your business plan.

What Does Your Profit and Loss Statement Tell You to Train To?

Take a look at your P and L. What’s your ratio of listings sold to sales? Do you like that ratio? Would you like it to be different? Do you want more sold listings? If so, start training to that. When I took over a failing office, I saw the ratio of listings taken to listings sold was a miserable 30%! So, I started action-focused training on the whole listing process. I had them role-playing their hearts out. I did a listing presentation play-offs  In short, I trained them specifically to change that ratio for the better. By the end of three years, our ‘conversion’ ratios were 85%–the highest in the area.
What is your training accomplishing? What do you need it to accomplish? Want can you measure?

Who Are You Training?

We segment our markets when we design our marketing plans. We need to segment our ‘market’ for our training plan, too. In this case, our ‘market’ is our agents. When I ask seasoned agents about whether there is a training program in their company, they say ‘yes’. It’s for the new agent. What? Are those seasoned agents in the office chopped liver?

Click here to grab the training calendar evaluator.

Tell me: How would you rate your training, on a scale of 1-10, 10 being fantastic? What can you do to improve it?

Tip: See my resources on training and writing courses at www.carlacross.com. 

trainerTrainers: how to make your course ‘teachable’.

Here are some tips on how to gain focus on that great course you want to create–that course that’s been bouncing around in your head for years! In my next few blogs, I’m going to give you some specific tips to make your course truly ‘teachable’. Why? From teaching for over 2 decades, I’ve found many courses are not actually very ‘teachable’. In fact, they are either

1) Streams of consciousness

or

2) Information dump

If you’ve picked up someone else’s  ‘course’, and tried to teach it, I’ll bet you know what I mean. Unfortunately, too many times, courses are written from an ‘information organization’ perspective, not a teaching perspective. In fact, because so many instructors have expressed frustration, I’ve just finished a resource on how to write a course.

Gaining Focus for your Course

Let’s look at the 6 W’s that you should answer before starting to create your course: The What, Why, Who, When, Where, What’s Next of your course, so you can clarify what you want to accomplish and gain focus. As I give you these, take time to answer each of these questions.

 What course do you want to create?

Take a moment and write exactly what is in my mind (and heart) about this course. Ask yourself, “Is this actually a course”? Or, is it your desire to persuade people to your point of view? That’s certainly okay in a course, but not as a whole course. Instead, you have a ‘persuasive presentation’. Sometimes we want to impart our beliefs to people or make them ‘be’ in some way, but that’s not a course. (Be responsible, be customer-service oriented, etc.) Now, it’s true that can be one of the objectives of a course, but, just getting in front of people and telling them how they should be won’t make it as a course!

Do you see this course as an overview?     An introduction?  Comprehensive?    A series?

Why?  What are your compelling reason(s) to create this course? Be sure it’s not just all about you….

Who is this course for?  What segment of the population do you want to address? One of the mistakes we make is not narrowing our focus to the level of expertise of our desired target audience.

What is their level of learning in your topic right now?

Who would not benefit from your course?

Do you need to narrow your scope for this course?

Where (type of delivery)

Is this course ‘live’? Is it distance learning? Will it be given as a webinar? Your decisions will direct you to the delivery methods (how you will teach).

Armed with the answers to the 6 W’s, you can gain a laser focus for your course, and go to the next step of course creation.

Expert Guidance to Write that Great Course!

SSS_coverIf you’re serious about writing that great course, this is the resource for you. Step by step, Carla Cross, who has written courses for Re/Max, Better Homes and Gardens, Keller Williams Realty, GMAC, Royal LePage, and CRB, shows you exactly how to create your course and your outline. And, for those Washington state instructors, she shares tips on how to get your course approved for clock hours.

This resource is digital. You will get access immediately.

Introductory bonus: Keys to a Killer Introduction

Includes:

2 instructional videos
Templates to use as guides for course creation
Examples of courses
2 ‘cheat sheets’ to write your course modules
Guidance in how to get your course approved in Washington state.

With 95 pages, this resource, along with the 2 instructional videos, shows you exactly how to create a course that has substance, sizzle, and ‘sell’!

Thank you for a wonderful class on writing a course. This practice and hands on class has given me the confidence and tools I need to move forward with my course curriculum. I feel I have been given a business race car and I can move forward towards my dream of training agents across the country.  Mary Lee, former head of training for Windermere Real Estate, Spokane, Wa.

Just  $129.50   Click here for more information and to order. You’ll get immediate access to the 95-page resource guide and 2 instructional videos. Plus–a bonus: Keys to a Killer Introduction. 

 

 

shaking hands over computer

Presenters: Is there a webinar in your future?

This month, I featuring training.

Is a webinar in your future? Everybody and their brother are doing webinars. I am doing a ‘live’ Instructor Development Workshop, and there is interest in webinars each time I do this course. So, I thought I’d write a blog

about them. Here goes. Enjoy!

Should you become a webinar ‘maven’? If you’re a

  • Trainer
  • Coach
  • Manager
  • Team leader
  • Salesperson

you may want to consider the ‘delivery method’ of a webinar. What can a webinar do for you? It can

  • Inform
  • Introduce
  • Sell
  • Increase your image

What can’t a webinar do? It can’t

Change people’s behavior (it’s not training. It’s education). Webinars are not the magic training bullet we’ve wished for. There are limited objectives you can accomplish by doing a webinar. (We’ll investigate this more later).

Of course, the upside of a webinar is that

  • People don’t have to travel to get to the ‘event’
  • It’s very cost-effective
  • It puts you in front of new audiences
  • You can make it ‘evergreen’ (record it and share it)

Some Basic Choices to Make Before You Start

  1. Your vehicle

Which company will you use to deliver your webinar? There are over 100 companies today offering some type of ‘screen sharing’. They range from free to $100+ a month. The free versions companies tout are for a limited number of viewers (usually 5-10). After that, figure on paying for the services. Among the most popular services are GoTo Meeting, WebEx, and BrightTalk. Whatever you choose, pick a service that will be easy for you! Getting caught in the technicalities while you are trying to be a sparkling presenter is death by webinar.

  1. What’s your message?

Decide on your topic. Is it something that would lend itself to a webinar? To find out, study webinars you’ve attended. Do some seem too wishy-washy to have been worth your time? Are some so full of facts and figures you snooze off?

Now, decide on your objectives. In other words, start with the end in mind. To write your objectives, start with this sentence,

As a result of this webinar, attendees will____________________________. Examples of objectives for a business planning webinar could be:

  • Understand the ‘flow’ of the strategic business planning process
  • Be able to differentiate between a vision and a mission statement
  • Be able to pinpoint 3 areas of concern about their business from the previous year

After I’ve written my objectives, I know the basic structure of my webinar. I can prioritize those objectives and start arranging my webinar in the right presentation order.

Your Topic: Overview or Detailed?

Is your topic an overview, or is it more detailed? Decide on the scope of your topic, and your objectives, before going further.

Common webinar mistake: Either being so ‘global’ there is little information, or being so detailed you lose the audience in facts and figures.

After deciding on your desired delivery company, and drafting your topic and objectives, you’re ready for the next step. In the next blog, we’ll discuss best presentation methods–and common presentation mistakes.

A Resource for You

To get more information on creating courses with objectives, see The Ultimate Real Estate Trainer’s Guide. Not only for real estate presenters, this guide provides a step-by-step process for putting together a presentation (not just webinars), and dozens of presentation tips.

audience sleeping

When you’re presenting: Are they awake AND interested?

I’m featuring training this month.

If you’re presenting in front of 2 or hundreds, you must wonder at times whether your delivery is interesting. Too often, we drone through the subject, stop to tell a joke or two, and just trudge through the trenches of information until the clock tells us to stop!

Are your students nodding off as the day goes on? Do you frantically wonder how to keep their attention—all day? The answer is not what you think it is. Last week, I taught my Instructor Development course to real estate professionals and affiliates. I’ve taught this course for about fifteen years. Here’s the biggest mis-conception students come in with:

If I’m just learn how to be a more captivating speaker, I can keep the students’ attention for hours on end.

NOT! In today’s frantic world, the person in front of everyone cannot hope to hold students’ attention for more than 10 minutes at a time! If you think I’m wrong, just count the number of commercials in a TV break. These commercials are down to about 15 seconds apiece. The images go by so fast you can scarcely count them. In fact, we’ve become a society of easily distracted, multi-tasking, not very focused beings (watch pedestrians—or drivers—in action with a cell phone…..).

The Focus Doesn’t Have to Be On You at All Times

So, what are you going to do to ‘hold’ students’ attention? You are going to implement some teaching methods called

alternative delivery methods

Alternative delivery methods: all those methods used to teach that are NOT lecture. Examples: Town hall, task force, case study, role play, action plan.

Give your Students some Credit

People who lecture their way through a day (or days!) either

  1. Just don’t have any repertoire of alternative teaching methods

or

2. Just don’t think the students can be involved with theirs and others’ learning

How to Teach through Student Involvement

Instead of talking through each point you have on your PowerPoint slide or in our outline (boy, is that riveting!), use town hall, task force, case study, and role play to teach. To do that, you’ll need to take an Instructor Development course to learn those methods, and practice using them in class.

Note: My next ‘live’ Instructor Development Workshop will be in Bellevue, Washington, Oct. 5-6, 2017. Click here for more information and registration. This course satisfies the requirement to teach clock hour courses in Washington State, and carries 15 clock hours.

You’ll find your students know much more than you think they do about what you’re teaching. You’ll be able to clarify points of concern, use the talents in your class, and actually provide a stimulating, active learning environment. The result: your students will be energized all day.

References: Here are two training tools for those who want to present and train more effectively: Knock Their Socks Off: Tips to Make your Presentation the Best Ever, and The Ultimate Real Estate Trainer’s Guide. Find them at www.carlacross.com.

trainingreAre you keeping them on the edge of their seats when you
 teach?
This month, I’m featuring training.
Presentation skills–or the lack of them–makes or breaks any classroom experience.
Go ahead. Admit it. The last real estate presentation you attended had you bored to tears,
not eager, in the first two minutes! And, it got worse from there……..and it really got worse
when the presenter said, “We have a lot of material to cover”–and you wished the presenter
would just end it all by throwing a snuggly blanket over all of you…..

Don’t let that presenter be YOU! Here is most important skill you’ll have to master to be one of those exciting salespeople/presenters, not one of the boring ones:

Do something to get your audience (can be one seller or buyer–that’s an

audience) engaged in the first two minutes of your presentation.

  • Ask a question
  • Get the audience up and moving
  • Do an unexpected warm-up (not that tedious ‘tell us your name….’)
Who needs presentation skills?
 
You may think that presentation tips are only for those famous keynoters. No….they are for any salesperson
who wants to convert a ‘lead’ to a ‘sale’, any manager who wants to train effectively (and have your agents
eager to attend training, and anyone who needs to persuade someone in 3 minutes–you title and mortgage
reps, for instance).

Want to Grab all those Skills to Keep Their Interest and Assure They Learn?

 
Join me Oct. 5 and 6 in Bellevue, Washington, for my Instructor Development Workshop. You’ll gain the
skills to present with authority and confidence. You’ll learn why most instructors are ineffective–and how you
can stand out from the crowd. You’ll get dozens of methods to teach effectively. You’ll see others actually demonstrating good teaching methods (and you’ll be able to try yours out, too). This course qualifies
instructors to teach clock hour courses in Washington state, and is accredited for 15 continuing education
clock hours in Washington.
 
IDW_coverClick here for more information.
 
For you out of Washington state: Why not invite me to teach your association or company leadership the
kind of presentation/facilitation skills that engage and entertain audiences–while they learn.
 

 

audience sleepingIs your audience’s mind ‘wandering’? Here are 42 ways to keep their attention.

This month, I’m focusing on training. Why? Because you’re hiring good potential, but you need a plan to develop that potential. And, that development comes through training and coaching.

Trainers: Do they snooze when you’re in front of them? Do their eyes slowly close—and then blink open when they’re startled by something you do in the classroom? Do you feel frustrated when you can’t keep their attention?

The solution is simple: Gain more teaching skills.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But, the most difficult thing for us adults to do is to gain new skills. Instead, we tend to try to purchase competency (invest in software, programs, and ‘things’ that supposedly do the work for us). But, in this case, all the PowerPoints in the world can’t overcome a boring presenter!

You Can Expand Your Teaching Repertoire

Did you work to put yourself through college? I did. I found out it was much easier to put my talent to work and get paid, than to pick beans! So, when I was nineteen, I got a job playing piano in a bar. (Boy, did I learn about human nature).

When I was tickling the ivories, playing my way through college and graduate school, I noticed that, the more tunes—and styles–I mastered, (that’s the repertoire), the more tips I made. I could please more of the people more of the time. It’s the same way with teaching, or doing keynotes, or presentations, or facilitation. The more skills you hone, the easier it is to be effective in front of people.

Most Presenters Know Just One Tune and Style

Most of us who present start by getting in front of people, and naturally doing some things right. We get acceptance. We get acclaim. We find we’re good talkers in front of people. In fact, most people think that refining presentation skills are merely a function of

talking better.

So, we try to talk better. But, then, we hit our ‘ceiling of achievement’. We can’t seem to get any better. Then, we get frustrated. We try harder. That doesn’t help. Sometimes we look for someone who can help us ‘talk better’. We take a class thinking that someone will make us titillating on the stage. The interesting thing is that—it’s not the answer for most of us.

Gaining Other Presentation Skills

Sure, there are a myriad of presentation skills that help us in front of audiences. We can speak slower, speak more clearly, pause more effectively, use our bodies more effectively.  But, in addition, there are teaching methods that increase the effectiveness of our presentations. These include

Crafting of the presentation

Audience participation

Use of visuals and props

How good are you at these teaching methods? Do you tend to rely on the good old stand-by, lecture?  If so, you’re boring your audiences to death!

A Great ‘How to Teach’ Course Will Help You

I teach Instructor Development Workshop in the state of Washington. This fulfills a requirement for instructors to teach clock-hour approved courses in the state. So many times, people come into the class wanting me to ‘fix them’ so they will be fascinating in front of people. What I have to do is to teach them all those other methods to teach effectively—skills they can learn and master. It’s interesting to watch their paradigms switch from “make me another Johnny Carson or Don Rickles” to “I’m grasping great teaching methods that work for me.”

To see my upcoming courses, click here.

Those 42 Teaching Methods

One of the things I do in Instructor Development is to demonstrate to students many teaching methods. Then, we ‘take it apart’ and talk about how they would apply these methods to their own situations. I’ve developed a list of 42 Teaching Methods to summarize the course. Click here to get it.

Bring Skills to Your Company or Association

Want me to come to  your company or association and teach these methods? I’ll customize the subject matter to match what you need. I believe training is major answer to our industry’s offering value for services, and I can help you create great trainers and effective training. Click here to contact me, and we’ll talk about your needs.

audience sleepingIf you’re presenting in front of 2 or hundreds, you must wonder at times whether your delivery is interesting. Too often, we drone through the subject, stop to tell a joke or two, and just trudge through the trenches of information until the clock tells us to stop!

Are your students nodding off as the day goes on? Do you frantically wonder how to keep their attention—all day? The answer is not what you think it is. Recently, I taught my Instructor Development course to real estate professionals and affiliates. I’ve taught this course for about fifteen years. Here’s the biggest misconception students come in with:

If I just learn how to be a more captivating speaker, I can keep the students’ attention for hours on end.

NOT! In today’s frantic world, the person in front of everyone cannot hope to hold students’ attention for more than 10 minutes at a time! If you think I’m wrong, just count the number of commercials in a TV break. These commercials are down to about 15 seconds apiece. The images go by so fast you can scarcely count them. In fact, we’ve become a society of easily distracted, multi-tasking, not very focused beings (watch pedestrians—or drivers—in action with a cell phone…..).

The Focus Doesn’t Have to Be On You at All Times

So, what are you going to do to ‘hold’ students’ attention? You are going to implement some teaching methods called

alternative delivery methods

Alternative delivery methods: all those methods used to teach that are NOT lecture. Examples: Town hall, task force, case study, role play, action plan.

Don’t know how to use these? Here are two resources

slide one1. My new video series) Check out my complimentary 5-part video series (short videos) on how to use these methods (and how to put together a great workshop). See them all on my UTube channel

Give your Students some Credit

People who lecture their way through a day (or days!) either

Just don’t have any repertoire of alternative teaching methods

or

Just don’t think the students can be involved with theirs and others’ learning

How to Teach through Student Involvement–the Second Resource

Instead of talking through each point you have on your PowerPoint slide or in our outline (boy, is that riveting!), use town hall, task force, case study, and role play to teach. If you’re not comfortable switching out of ‘lecture’ style, take an Instructor Development Workshop* or see my resource, The Ultimate Real Estate Trainer’s Guide to learn those methods, and practice using them in class.

You’ll find your students know much more than you think they do about what you’re teaching. You’ll be able to clarify points of concern, use the talents in your class, and actually provide a stimulating, active learning environment. The result: your students will be energized all day (and you will be, too!).

IDW_coverInstructor Development Workshop Coming to Bellevue Oct 23-24, 2014

Get new training techniques, watch Carla in action–and get coaching as you develop your own creative presentation techniques. Only 2 this year in this area, so sign up now and get ready for an entirely different classroom experience! 15 clock hours, and it qualifies you as a clock-hour approved instructor in Washington state.  Click here for more information.

Can’t make it to the ‘live’ version? Check out Train the Trainer, a completely online course with the same material and clock hours–also qualifies you as a clock-hour approved instructor in Washington state. Learn more here.

blue ribbonsHow many of these 10 high pay-off tips do you have in your training now?

I’ve designated June my ‘Trainer Appreciation Month’, so all my blogs spotlight training. Thanks, trainers!

Too many times we provide training because it helps us attract people to our company. That’s getting only a partial benefit! If you apply the 10 tips for training below, you will see your training pay off in increased productivity, lessened expenses, and much higher customer satisfaction and retention levels. 

1. Clarify what you want the student to do—during class, and after class. (These are your training objectives. They help you create focus and stay on track–and not to go over your desired time frames! See more in The Ultimate Real Estate Trainer’s Guide).

2. How well do you expect the student to do that activity? Establish competency levels. (Do you want them to be able to limp through a listing presentation, or do a masterful job?)

3. Make training a process, not an event. It takes 6-8 times of hearing something to begin to retain it! (Do you ‘dump the whole load’ because it’s faster and easier, or are you concerned with real learning?)

4. Space your training for “spaced repetition”. Skills can’t be learned in one marathon session. If your objective is to develop skills, you must create layered, spaced, repetitious workshops.

5. There must be rest and reflection between practices. Scientists have proven that skills are not retained unless there is at least 4 hours between skill-developing sessions. (Do you provide time for this within your training sessions?)

6. If it’s skills training, three quarters of the time in class should be practice—not teacher lecture.

7. Culturize as you train. The training should be from your point of view, your method of action, and your opportunity to create a strong culture within your training modules. (Is your culture built in, or have you copied trainings from other ‘training gurus’?)

8. Get feedback from the skills training in your meetings. It reinforces the skills and encourages others to take part. Take your skills to a higher level with additional masterminding.

9. Use a facilitation approach, not a lecture approach. Instead of delivering the information via lecture during class, have the students read articles, interview beforehand, listen to audios, etc. (Are you using other ‘delivery methods’ instead of just old boring lecture?”

10. Build in accountability. The student should be highly accountable for practicing the skills and for competency learning. (Do you have accountability as part of your training sessions?”

How many of these 10 high pay-off training tips are you already using? What do you need to change or incorporate to make your training pay off in real, measurable results?

slide one

 A Free Resource to Help You

I’ve just finished a 5-part series on using other teaching methods instead of that old, boring lecture too many of us have relied upon.  Take a look at my uTube channel and watch your training results soar!

 

presentation powerpointJune is my designated ‘Trainer Appreciation Month’. So, I’m featuring blogs about training to help you sharpen your skills and enjoy the classroom and your sales meetings much more.

Are your sales meetings knocking their socks off–or boring them to tears? You want to keep their interest! Help is here. Organize your presentation with the three steps here, and watch your agent count go way up for your sales meetings and training presentations.

Who Is a Presenter?

We’re all presenters: Any time we’re in front of two or two thousand, our goal is to persuade the audience to our point of view. We’re presenters as agents when we do listing and buyer presentations. We’re presenters when we’re title insurance or mortgage reps, getting in front of people in sales meetings to persuade them to use our services.

Unfortunately, most of the time, we just get in front of people and say whatever we think of first. That lack of attention to presentation organization leads to some big presentation mistakes, and costs us ‘sales’. Instead of stumbling through a presentation, why not organize it to grab their attention, persuade them to your way of thinking, and motivate them to action?

Grab Their Attention in the Opening

Have you thought about your opening?  Are you hiding in your office because you dread doing that sales meeting? Are you going to a listing presentation, and have no idea how to proceed? When we haven’t organized our presentation, we come up with some really boring, off-putting openings, like:

I won’t take much of your time, but

We have a lot to cover today

We won’t get through the outline

I know you don’t want to listen, but

I’m not really prepared

You just open your presentation book, point to the pretty pages, and say, “here’s a keybox”  (I’m not kidding. I’ve seen it….)

Great openings, yes? Yet, we’ve heard them dozens of times. You don’t have to settle for whatever comes ‘naturally’. Instead, make your openings

Provocative

Interesting

Different

Engaging

A Middle that Educates your ‘Audience’ to your Point of View

In the middle of your presentation, add those stories, statistics, and visuals that support your point of view.  By the way, as you create that presentation, jot down your point of view.  What do you want to persuade your agents to do?

Why use Visuals?

There are two reasons to use visuals in your presentation:

We believe what we see

We retain the information much longer

As you organize your presentation, ask yourself:

What are the main, and frequently, unspoken objections my ‘audience’ will have? How do I educate them to show them the reasoning behind my point of view?

The Ending: Back to the Beginning

Have you thought about your wrap-up? Or, like many presenters, does your ending sound like this?

Well, that’s all. What do you think?

We’re out of time. Thank you. I hope you’ll list with me

I don’t have time to close.

I couldn’t get to much of the material, but you can read it

In fact, even the most professional presenters frequently have trouble with their endings. One of the main reasons is that they run out of time. Another is that they haven’t thought the ending through.

How to Do a Stunning Ending

Crafting an effecting ending is the second most important part of your presentation. (The first is the opening). To craft a great ending,

Go back to your beginning opening theme

Summarize the benefits of going ahead with you/take action

Motivate your ‘audience’ to take action

A Great Presentation is Crafted like a Pop Song

As a musician, I know that all pop tunes are constructed with this format:

theme—variation—theme

This is known in the music business as the ABA format. Think of your favorite pop tune: Hum the beginning. Think of the end. They’re alike, right? It’s the middle—known as the ‘bridge’—that is the humdinger. It wanders all around. Your persuasive presentation should be crafted like that pop tune:

A         A compelling start (think Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, etc.)

B         An interesting, developed middle, with stories, statistics

A         Back to that theme, with a motivating ending

Now, you’re all set to craft a great listing or buyer presentation, great recruiting meeting or sales meeting, or awesome product/service presentation to any audience.

P. S. Practice!

Knock_Their_Socks_Off_Product_DisplayMany more tips on presentations and presentation skills are in my new resource, Knock Their Socks Off: Tips to Make your Best Presentation Ever.

And, since this is my Trainer Appreciation Month, I’m offering special pricing on my trainer resources. Check it out!

Mar
11

A Case Study: Training Gone Wrong

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teacher at boardHave you ever seen training go wrong? As I’m teaching Instructor Development Workshop, I include a case study for attendees to work on. This case study is the ‘story’ of a real estate manager who had the best of intentions when she created her training program. However, she made a mess of it because she followed some of the poor role models she’d had as an agent–or from watching other managers.  Why use a case study? To check the learning of the attendees. Their answers and insights help me see what I did right–and what I need to keep working on with the attendees.

Here’s the case study:

Sally, in charge of training for her real estate office, decided she had to have a full training calendar. Her listing conversion rates in her real estate were very low (less than ½ of her listings were selling in normal market time). Her agents had very low numbers of listings per agent and transactions per agent. She had 50 agents in her office, but was not making a profit. So, she asked her agents which classes they wanted. They told her they wanted classes in 1031 exchanges, risk reduction, and commercial real estate (they’ve always been interested in various topics and love knowledge for its own sake; after all, they said, you never know when you’ll need to know……….).

Sally wanted to deliver what her agents said they wanted. Because, after all, a person in Sally’s position wants to keep the agents happy. So, Sally made a training schedule with lots of lecture on various topics that the agents knew little about. Every Friday, she had a guest lecturer come in and talk about these topics. She required no outlines, no credentials, and no teaching outlines, because she thought that if someone recommended the instructor, he/she must know her subject. And, she had to fill that calendar fast!

In addition, Sally did do some ‘training’ herself on sales. Once a week, she chose a topic she thought the agents would like. These trainings were targeted at non-or low producers, because Sally thought that if she created ‘training’ for them, they would sell more real estate.

Sally’s procedure was this: She invited everyone to the classes. She used a student outline that she liked from various courses she had attended, and talked through it. (Sally didn’t know how to use alternative delivery methods). She didn’t teach to objectives, because she didn’t know what they were. Her approach was this: She got an outline, made copies of it, and told the agents that, today, they were going to talk about _________. Or, sometimes, she said, “We have a lot of material to cover.” She was trying to create lots of value by providing lots of information.

She required nothing of the agents to get into the class. She didn’t do a series, because she wanted to ‘cover a lot of material’. She did a wide array of topics, because, she figured, a wide array is better.  Sally didn’t bother to arrange the topics in any logical sequence (such as the decision-making process or the 4 steps of the sales process) because she wanted to cover many different topics. She thought the students would hear something that would help them……She didn’t require the students to do anything with the information after the class, believing that they would hear it and immediately put it to work without practice, coaching, or action plans.

After Sally got really busy, she asked some of her agents to ‘teach’ certain topics. She gave them the topics and thought they could tell the agents how they did it. Sally didn’t understand the difference between ‘how something does it’ and how to do it).

After a few months of doing this, Sally didn’t see any results in increased production.

The Exercise

Pick out at least 10 mistakes Sally made in her approach to ‘training’, and give recommendations on how Sally needs to proceed to use training to change the production and profit picture in her real estate office.

What did you pick? Have you ever made some of these errors? Unfortunately, most of the time ‘training’ is created by filling out a calendar.

In my next blog, I’ll tackle how to make your training calendar actually work to reach the goals of your office.

What training mistakes do you see?

Note: If you want to dramatically improve your real estate training, see The Ultimate Real Estate Trainer’s Guide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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