Boost Online Sales Training with this Neat Piano Lesson Trick
My friend Jonathan is a piano teacher. He teaches youngsters and school students, teens and adults.
Over the years, Jonathan learned to identify patterns in his students’ interest in lessons: it turns out –probably not very surprisingly– that when students are enthusiastic about a certain piece or genre they practice intensively and are very eager and attentive at lessons.
However, when they are required to practice scales, boredom, restlessness and mediocrity immediately take over (more so for the youngsters than the adults, for obvious reasons).
But what can you do? Scales are an integral part of developing musical listening and solidifying habits and skills.
We can’t all have Bobby McFerrin’s knack for making scales fun
So Jonathan developed a neat trick: he made sure that every student, no matter how new, gets to practice a piece they love, arranged to their abilities of course. They do this alongside the scales, and it seems to sweeten the pill a bit. Even students who have only just had their first lesson go home feeling they can play music. Which is why they decided to take up lessons in the first place, right?
This “neat trick” made Jonathan into one of the more adored and popular piano teachers in his town. And it really is just that: a neat trick. Jonathan hacked the deepest desire of every beginning piano student – not to have to step out of their comfort zone *too* much.
Don’t Force Users Out of their Comfort Zone
This is true for piano students, as it is for every beginner everywhere, who is picking up a new skill. We don’t like to be put back in that position of such visible disadvantage, where we don’t know things and must humbly pay attention while our betters bestow knowledge upon us. We’d rather be the fully accomplished adults that we are. We’d rather know things.
Jonathan’s neat trick can be easily translated into online sales training, as it can for any online training and onboarding program: offer your trainees value from the very beginning. Show users how easy it is by telling them they already know things, and the rest of it is just a matter of working their way toward improvement.
The reason this lesson is even more valuable for online sales training is because sales managers and associates who need training are often not there voluntarily, but to improve their technical proficiency or software skills. Getting them on board is ten times more challenging than someone who has chosen a certain learning program on their own.
People, and that includes users, are more receptive when they get a say in the matter
Offer Value in Online Sales Training
Jonathan’s hack worked so well because he allowed his students to select some of the piano pieces they could learn. This gave back student a sense of control over their learning experience and allowed them to feel like participants rather than recipients.
Start by allowing participants in online training sales to choose where they would want to start the training. Most sales professionals would probably want to start by creating a lead or opportunity, which is the natural starting point for most sales software platform. But the point is – it provides the trainees with the ability to choose and control their progress to some extent.
Allowing users to manage their own progress (Onboarding Widget)
Another option is to poll your users and ask which are the most important topics they feel they need to learn. This may backfire, because as is the norm with poll-based activities, the users whose answers were not addressed end up being more bitter than they would have been, if not asked at all.
A particular favorite of ours at Iridize is the Training Task List (see screenshot above). The Onboarding Widget can be configured to display a list of the courses/lessons, allowing users to cross out courses they have completed. This serves a dual purpose: 1) the satisfaction of striking out a task, alongside monitoring one’s own training progress live 2) providing the training team with a clear, quantifiable picture of users’ training progress, down to which trainees have completed which courses.