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What do learning and development buyers look for in a leadership development partner?


When engaging a leadership development partner, what are the key attributes/issues you want to satisfy?  How do you evaluate value as opposed to simple cost?  How do you promote your decision to engage internally (to the main budget holders)?

2 Responses

  1. What do Training managers want?


    Hi, good question and the answer, for me, is simple and applies to suppliers of any potential learning solution and it is this:
    LISTEN to what you are being told and respond appropriately……… 
    On this basis I have ongoing discussions with many excellent suppliers and also have many calls which last about as long as it takes for the caller to ignore the first useful thing I tell them, which is usually less than a minute.
    A good example:
    Potential supplier, first statement and question- " I represent XYZ and we specialise in manager training, do you have any requriements for this type of service" 
    If the answer is no a good response from the supplier is: "thanks for that, would it be useful for you if I kept in contact in case your needs change in the future?”  My answer is yes unless I see no chance of anything happening at all. 
    One company landed some work at the end of last year having been talking with me every three months or so for the last  two years.  
    A poor example:
    Potential supplier – " I represent XYZ (this is followed by five minutes or more of who they are, how long they have been in existence, the clients they have been successful with and a full detailed description of their products). They might then ask me something.
    If they ask me a question and I say something like "we have no immediate needs for this type of training" I might expect something like, “well can I (or a colleague if the call is from an appointment arranger) come to see you?” – My answer will be NO. Then I might hear “Can we send you some information/a brochure/invite you to a free web conference” – Again my answer will be NO, followed by the end of the call and of any positive perceptions of this company.
    You might expect that people would get the basics right but having trained many sales people from many industries it never cases to amaze me how often they get this most essential process (that of active listening) wrong.  
    All the best.
  2. Assuming you’re a buyer

    You’ve answered your question within your question!


    You asked:

    How do you evaluate value as opposed to simple cost?

    How do you promote your decision to engage internally (to the main budget holders)?


    Ask your potential providers the same questions:

    • How would you evaluate value?
    • Give examples of value you’ve provided in the past. 
    • What benefits would your interventions bring?
    • Explain why the cost justifies the results.
    • What cost ratio do you work to?
    • Describe what result comes at what cost.
    • If you had to justify the cost to the organisation’s main budget holders, how would you promote the decision?


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