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How To Improve Sales of Your Training Programmes


You may be a solopreneur. You may be part of a larger organization. And what you have are some amazing training programmes. Not only do they have the latest and greatest conceptual frameworks and curricular content. You have incorporated cutting edge interactive technology, even some VR, and the feedback from your testing of a few of the modules has been excellent.

The problem is this: it’s a crowded training world out there, and you are just not making the sales you should be. Developing a superior product is not the same as marketing it, as you well know. Perhaps it’s time to review your marketing strategies and see how you can “up your sales game.” Here are some tips and strategies that may boost your sales.

Thinking Like a Marketer is the First Step

Most training programme developers think like trainers. They are focused on providing the best training possible to their audiences. In order to sell those programmes, however, they have to develop a marketing “mindset.” Here is how you can develop that same mindset.

First of all, your training programme is a product, just like a car or a box of cereal. And if you are going to market a car or a cereal, you have some basic questions to answer:

  • What exactly is your product? What are you trying to market? You will need to identify the main focus of your training, because that is what you will be promoting. Is it for a specific industry niche (e.g. manufacturing, IT, etc.) or is it a cross-categorical product (project management, HR, leadership, etc.,) that is suitable for any sector?
  • Who is your market? You need to narrow this down, because just throwing advertising out there and hoping it “sticks” somewhere is not a marketing strategy. Until you define your audience, you don’t know where and how to market your programme. If, for example, your training has been developed for customer service agents, then you know your audience is not those agents per se – it is supervisors and managers of customer service departments. Define your market as narrowly as possible. It will allow you to focus your marketing on those who can actually make a decision to buy it.
  • Who are your competitors? You probably already have a pretty good idea of who else is out there with training programmes that address the same topics. And you already know who is being pretty successful. How are they marketing their product(s)? And to whom? And, of course, where are they marketing.

Here’s the thing about beating the competition. You have to find their audiences and where those audiences are; you have to study how they are promoting their programmes and what value they are offering. How can you add value to what they are offering? And wherever they are online, you need to be there too.

Packaging Your Product

Before you openly solicit potential customers, you need to understand the value of packaging your product. Think of moving through the cereal aisle of a grocery. There may be two similar cereals – one a known name brand with all of the colorful packaging that you recognize; the other is a generic brand – same ingredients, same taste – but packaging is just not that engaging. Most consumers will pay more and go for the name brand with the better packaging.

So, how do you package a training programme? You do it with an amazing website, amazing social media presences, and a focus on the pain points of your potential customers and how you can relieve them. You do it by developing yourself and your programmes as a brand – one that is known and trusted.

Your Website

Have a look at the Training byte size website. This organization offers APMP courses. It is clean, concise, and promotes the value of the training programs offered – and note the focus is on the value to participants, not the greatness of the organization.

You need a blog – it’s not an option. This is how you reach out to potential clients and become an expert in your training niche. This is how you can promote discussion, answer questions, and address pain points that potential clients have.

Driving your Audience to your Website

Here is where the real meat of the work comes in. No one knows you are “there” until you bring them there. This will take some research and some work, but it you want sales, you have no choice.

  • Where is your target audience online? You should already know this, if only from studying your competition. Get onto these same platforms with creative headlines and content. Platforms may include major social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter; they may include niche-related channels and forums; and they most probably will mean a strong LinkedIn presence with the additional participation in discussion groups. And now that this platform allows blog posts, submit articles as an expert with links back to your website.
  • Fliers and promotional emails are critical if they are done well, and they are just as much a part of packaging as your website and social media platforms. Think again about the cereal boxes. Your product needs to stand out on the “shelf” and it needs to reflect your brand – a great logo, stunning colors, concise and compelling statements of value – and pricing that reflects that value.
  • Consider video clips as a part of your promotional emails and your social media presence. Can you demonstrate, through a module, or part of a module, how engaging and compelling your programme is?
  • Can you offer one module for free as a promotional tactic? Announce this in an email or on social media with a link back to your site where a potential client can contact you for a direct conversation.

Using Influencers and Brand Ambassadors

Marketers understand that, in a highly competitive and dis-trustful environment, consumers of anything are not particularly impressed with what a company/owner says about his product or service. They are far more influenced by other consumers and by known experts in the industry. There are two strategies to use here:

Who are the known experts in the topic areas of your training programme?

How can you nurture a relationship with them? You can do this by following them on social media, by commenting on their posts and articles, by accessing their blogs and participating in discussions. This takes time, of course, but there are long-term benefits. Ultimately, you can ask to re-post some of their content on your website blog; you can ask to guest post on their blogs; you can send you’re your promotional video and ask for feedback. Ultimately, you are looking for a review/recommendation from them which you can also publish on your website.

What do your satisfied clients say about you?

You can use their satisfaction and their words to promote your programme. This is more than just posting on your site the name of their company or organization. It is asking for reviews; it is asking that they be willing to be used as a reference to potential clients. What can you offer these brand ambassadors to do this for you? A discount on the next session perhaps?

You are not just a developer of amazing training programmes. You must also be a marketer, or people within your organization must be. The old adage, “If you build it, they will come,” just does not fly in the training industry. You can build a great product, but you will need to market it just as if it were cereal. Use these three critical strategies, take the time to implement them well, and you will have clients not just for this product but for any future products you will develop.

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