The Dallas Marathon was scheduled for December of last year. I had not run a full marathon in awhile so I decided to enter the event. I began training in August. Yes, August, during the middle of the Texas heat. Over 16 weeks of speed work, hill training and long runs.
Morning after morning I dragged my legs out of bed and laced up my shoes. Whether I was on the road or at home, I ran. Think, “Run, Forrest, Run.”
So what happened the weekend of the big event? The worst ice storm in decades hit the Dallas-Fort Worth region. No marathon. No redo, no rescheduling, no refunds. No marathon.
I was dejected, depressed and despondent. Had I just wasted those 20-mile long runs, the hill workout repeats and the laps around the track? The reality is I had a choice: I could wallow in self-pity (which I did for a week) or I could register for another marathon in the coming months (which I did as well).
In other words, I could waste my training or readjust my training.
Just like marathon training and racing, sometimes the employee training in your financial institution doesn’t go like you imagined. Like a disappointing race, sometimes your employees deliver disappointing results.
At that point, you have a choice: waste the training or readjust the training.
Here are some issues to consider when it comes to wasting or readjusting your training:
- Don't start all over again—If you are not getting your desired results with sales training, it doesn’t mean you have to go back to the beginning. When I changed races, I didn’t start my training regimen from the beginning (I backed up the dates). Move past the basics and into the more advanced material your employees with which your employees are struggling. For example, they probably have “smile, handshake and make eye contact” down while they are struggling with “asking for the sale.”
- Adjust your goals—Notice I said “adjust” not “lower.” Not meeting the desired numbers doesn’t mean you lower the threshold. I didn’t change my goal from running a full marathon to running a half marathon. But I did adjust when I was going to hit that goal. You might have to do the same with your employees and their sales totals.
- Get support—As I mentioned above, I was crushed when the race was cancelled. But I talked to many other runners who were in the same situation. If you are giving your employees great training and they are not delivering your desired results, you are not alone. Talk to fellow colleagues, trainers, speakers and H.R. professionals. Find out what they are doing with their employees who have the tools but aren’t delivering.
- Hold your employees accountable—Accountability is an underused word in training. We need to hold our sales trainers and sales training programs accountable for results. Or if you invested in leadership training at your bank or credit union, then your managers should become better leaders.
Training is an investment—and it should lead to results. But if you are not getting your desired outcomes, don’t waste your training. Just readjust it.