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Stuart Banbery

Interactive Software


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Do more with less: train smarter not harder (Part 3)


Welcome to the third and final instalment in the series, “Do more with less: train harder not smarter”. Over the course of this blog series. I’ve tried to show you some of the original and innovative ways that Owners, MD’s and Marketing Managers at training companies like yours are using to grow and change their business.

In Part 1 we looked at how important detailed Marketing planning and the development of strong USP’s are in creating a sustainable platform for growth.

Part 2 focused on Sales, and how your current customers could be an untapped mine of up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. We also explored why your website is your shop window to the world and how training management software can deliver insightful data on enquiry and Sales conversion rates.

In this final part we’re going to look at how our old friend the email can still be used effectively to drive engagement and ultimately more business. Also, how you can generate powerful, free advertising by following a few simple steps, and how social media (it’s not just for the kids) and commercial partnerships can help take your organisation to the next level, so let’s make a start….

7.Spammer horror

With billions of emails pinging around the World on a daily basis, you don’t want to give your prospects or customers a reason to hit the unsubscribe button. Start by researching the pains, needs, wants and interests of your target market. Produce an editorial schedule for your website blog articles and how you are going to promote this to your targets using email.

Drive traffic to your blog and convert it to prospects using gated content such as eBooks, whitepapers and infographics on topics they care about. The more you plan the more the emails will complement each other and the less likely they are of you aggravating your customers.

Also, do a newsletter, this is a natural for a training company. Promote your upcoming course schedule with links to where prospects can book on your website. Showcase your success stories. Remember that for your prospects, the timing of the course is almost as important as the course itself. 

8.Customer recommendation…the holy grail of advertising!

Mark Zuckerberg once said; “People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a peer. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message.” Let’s just assume Mark knows a thing or two about social interactions!

Document your success stories and get customer testimonials whenever you can. Use classroom evaluation questionnaires, post-course surveys and spotlight stories on clients that have seen a significant, and hopefully measurable ROI. Make the documents warm and interesting, consider delivering the information in a story format that brings out the human element – your prospects will associate with this.

Like I mentioned earlier, almost no one buys training before they learn about how good the training is from a colleague. Grow your business by putting testimonials and positive quotes on your website, brochures and social media platforms. There’s a direct correlation between the number of testimonials a prospect reads and their likelihood to buy your training.

9.Believe in your #selfie

To be honest, there is a lot of noise and hype around social media – most of it not very true or helpful. It’s certainly not the be all and end all of marketing, but it can be a useful addition to your armoury. Like it or loathe it, we all spend a lot of time on social platforms; Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest – and that’s not even counting the endless blogs. Therefore it follows that being present in the same social spaces that your customers occupy will at the very least give you a valuable insight into what they’re talking about, or at best it could become a channel for new business.

Start conversations in these social spaces and build relationships with prospects. Build your followers and promote your original, informative and NON-CORPORATE SALES content…remember, social media is about people!

Position yourself as a thought-leader and trusted source of information. Use this position to drive people back to your website and blog posts, converting them into newsletter subscribers and then nurturing them with further content based on the data you are building up in your CRM / Training Management Software. Move them through the sales funnel until they get in touch, or are ready for you to contact them. Ultimately, there is business-benefit in social media…just don’t get side-tracked and lose half a day reading the latest trending topic.

10.Share and share alike

Remember, there’s a lot of training companies who are in the same boat that you are. Like you they provide great training, are a similar size and shape, and have similar resources. Call these people, get to know them, and share what you’ve learned. Nine times out of ten, if they’re not direct competition, they’ll share what they have learned too. One great idea that you can immediately apply to your business can be the difference between profit and loss. This is knowledge that you will rarely find in books.

Well, there you have it, 10 ideas spread over 3 blog posts that show how leading training providers are using simple marketing, sound business practice and modern training management software to grow and evolve their business – and you can too.

Yes client budgets are being squeezed, yes L&D market saturation is high and yes the training landscape is changing, but despite these challenges those learning providers embracing new technologies and business change are thriving.

So keep questioning if there are new opportunities hidden in your CRM data, if there are more organised, logical or automated processes that you can implement, and if there are new Marketing practices that you can use to get the edge on your competition.

Developed in collaboration with leading L&D partners and fully-accredited by the Learning and Performance Institute (LPI), ATMS (Achiever Training Management Software) is a robust, powerful and scalable solution for the training provision sector. ATMS utilises the latest technology to enable training providers to drive profits through communications and conversion, reduce costs through automation and visibility, and manage courses and customer experience across multiple touch-points.

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Stuart Banbery


Read more from Stuart Banbery

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