One Major Reason Corporations get such LOW Quality Training

Many, many people have suggested to me over the years that I should "go after" this company, or that corporation etc... "They need what you do, man! They pay SO much money for training that's SO far lower in quality compared to what you do." Seriously. Those comments are like an MP3 file playing on repeat.

The reason corporations pay so much for so little, or such low quality, is that corporations play an unbelievable array of games around selection of training providers, that the best ones -- the ones that left Corporate jobs years earlier precisely because of the BS they encounter at the hands of corporate game players -- won't put up with those games anymore.

Games like...

  • Asking you to "come in for discussions" for a while... after which, they invite you back for more discussions.... (unpaid, of course, while they're trying to pry you for your best secrets and training ideas as they go).
  • Asking you to provide extensive proposals... which take unpaid time to produce... which they then send along to your competitors for their paid evaluations, OR for them to come up with a better or more competitive proposal.
  • Spending ages getting you to commit to a certain scope of training effort, and then working their tail off to get you to go beyond the scope of what you promised, of course unpaid...
  • & More...

These games don't happen at the absolute highest level; after all, if a top executive -- THE decision maker -- knows you and knows what you can do, then the decision is made in seconds and the paperwork is left for administrators or lawyers to draw up.

These games happen in middle-management, where the name of the game is "Cover Your Ass." The C-level or VP-level Executive tasks a Director or Assistant Director or Manager with acquiring training, and finding an appropriate training provider. The Director or Manager knows that if they find & hire the wrong person, they could easily lose their job. Which means, they need to find someone who is professional, safe, can provide some benefits, has a documented history, but isn't a maverick who knows how to get things done even if the boat needs a little rocking.

So of course, they take months to find the right person. And they play their games. They go through the time-tested vetting process that is designed, first and foremost, to cover their ass (or if it's a team, their collective asses). And the real problem, of course... is that what most people cannot admit, won't dare to let their superiors know... barely admit to themselves in the dark as they're falling asleep... is that their vetting process causes the absolute stars... the people that would really deliver the best possible value... to walk away, very, very early in that process.

Personally, I know I won't put up with much of the above. One call, maybe two, maybe a couple of short email proposals. But if I'm not talking about scheduling specific training days after the above, I'd sooner refer them on to someone with far poorer training skills, and a lot more tolerance for those kinds of games.

And here's the fatal error in their thinking: They think that if a prospective consultant would walk away because they're not willing to put up with those corporate games during the "interview process," that such training providers wouldn't be right for their company. After all, THEY themselves, and THEIR team members, have to put up with those games -- shouldn't everyone else? Well, there are people who will. And they are NOT the most gifted trainers; they never will be. They are the people who will happily line up with the other cookie-cutter consultants praying for a few crumbs of favor.

So in effect, the people they should WANT to hire... should bend over backwards to hire... are the very trainers and consultants who would walk away at the drop of a hat at any inkling of "cover your ass" behavior.

I had a 1st contact request for training a few months ago where the company asked me to fly 5 hours, spend a hotel night, and then spend a day getting to know their team (like an extended interview). They're wanting one day of training every other month. Just 6 days of training, per year (plus flights in each direction and 6 nights in a hotel), per year. Well, if they were looking for at least 10 days of training a month, MAYBE I'd invest two days of my time unpaid in getting to know them. But for 1 day every 2 months? The fact that anyone would ask or expect that of a highly skilled and reputable trainer, shocks me.

My reply to the above was much like I've given to other similar inquiries over the years:

"I'm grateful you're interested in my training skills and reputation as a highly competent transferrer of knowledge and skill. And I do look forward to potentially being of great and measurable value to your organization. Based on what you sent me so far, I'm certain I can be a powerful resource for you in achieving the stated outcomes."

"That said, if I understand you correctly, what you're initially asking for is for me to treat this as a job interview, or for me to essentially compete for a consulting training project. Please note what you're asking for is, relatively speaking, a very small piece of business for me. All things are relative. I invest my absolute best in every client -- and yet, what I don't ever do is spend a lot of unpaid time relative to the paid piece of business, competing for that business. I simply don't have to.

"So, if you feel you would need it, then I'm more than willing to invest unpaid time in a distance conference call with your decision makers, followed by sending you a single proposal. If you then want to hire me, then you can count on 100% total commitment to deliver the same level of training all my other clients enjoy.

"If by contrast you're looking for someone who will engage in ongoing discussions and repetitious interviews, followed by rate negotiation, I'm certain I can refer your request on to multiple students I've had over the years. While their skills are not at my level, I'm sure they can still add value to your company. If you're looking for cheap, hungry and just competent, they're certainly out there. You can certainly ask them to bend to your hiring rules. However, if you're ready and looking for more, then it's important to understand that higher-end providers of these services have their own rules for how/when they'll take on new clients."

Feel free to discuss -- either the topic -- or my very layered, very influential reply.