GEOFF BALDWIN: Identifying real needs is key to gaining value from training

Identifying real needs is key to gaining value from training

Blogger: Geoff Baldwin, director, RE/MAX WA

An incredible amount of money is invested by Australian real estate agents, salespeople and property managers each year. However, if we were able to measure the returns on this collectively massive spend, the results would be scarily negligible.

The challenge is that although agents approach training and education with all the right intentions and we may be motivated by what we hear, within a short time a greater majority of attendees tend to fall back into old habits and take little benefit for their significant dollar investment or in the time they spend listening to trainers and coaches.

Of course, attending a quality training session will rarely harm an agent’s performance, but when we repeatedly attend events without enjoying a measurable increase in our results, our income or our workflow management, it tends to also damage our confidence and self-esteem and our non-success becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I recently had a conversation with a salesperson who had attended several expensive multi-speaker events, a few more individual presentations, plus he has been paying for coaching from three different trainers - all at great financial cost. His frustration and disappointment at not being able to absorb let alone implement even a fraction of what he had been exposed to was palpable.

My advice to him was to sit down and identify all the things he was good at and that were not standing in the way of his success with potential and existing clients. I also advised him to list the areas where he was ok but could perhaps do with some refinement and lastly, I asked him to isolate the skill areas in which he felt he was really deficient. Most importantly, we also addressed the strength of his beliefs. I asked him if he genuinely and passionately believed that he had what it takes and was he totally committed to succeeding as a top 10 per cent salesperson. 

The results were interesting in that we agreed that he was proficient in most of the critical skill areas apart from three or four where he did need to change his approach, so he was a long way from being incompetent. What did become obvious, however, was that because he had gone through so much training but had not converted it into consistently successful outcomes, his confidence and self-esteem had begun to suffer, resulting in a negative mindset and expectation.

The critical lesson for many agents trying to improve their performance is to first identify where their strengths are and put those aside so that they can focus on what is usually a much smaller list of deficiencies. 

Rather than to just attend hours and hours of non-specific training or off-the-shelf coaching, target your weaknesses and continually measure the results to ensure any changes or adjustments are working effectively.

Even more critical is to invest in a session or two with a recognised mindset coach, as it is often the case that non-performance isn’t only to do with skills but to do with our deep-seated beliefs. It’s our beliefs that drive our attitudes and ultimately our behaviours.

Often, it is easier to plan an appropriate training and/or coaching regime by sitting down with someone who knows you and your approach well and who you can trust to help you identify what you should be concentrating on but to ensure you maximise returns from your training investment. Take some time to identify your most significant needs and deficiencies then commit to addressing those areas first and foremost.

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Geoff Baldwin

Geoff Baldwin

Since kicking off his real estate career in 1987, Geoff Baldwin has achieved success at the highest level in sales, management, multi-office ownership and as a group CEO. He is a licensed agent, auctioneer, respected trainer and a widely published and quoted industry spokesperson. Geoff is the regional owner and managing director of RE/MAX in Western Australia, which he purchased in 2009 and currently ranks as WA’s fastest growing group. 

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