Firstly, a quick hi to all those who we met at HRD. It was lovely to catch up with some old friends and just as good to meet lots of new people.
Visitors often think exhibitors are just there to sell stuff, and of course we are, but the whole experience is so much more than that. The number of contacts you make; the conversations you have, some long, some snatched; all help to inform business, make us more customer focused and in the end give you a better service should you choose to business with us.
Relationship building is one of the most important parts of any business and being at exhibitions like HRD is great place to start that process. I’ve talked to so many interesting people over the last two days, I’ve learned lots about the joys and woes of being a trainer or coach, and heard some really good success stories and about some fabulous services and products that people are providing to their clients.
You might ask why am I interested in that if I’m there to sell my stuff, the answer, because business is not about selling, it’s about people, getting to know each other and building trust because without that we never get to the ‘selling’ bit. If I’m going to do business with you I want to know about you, your style, your client groups, where you like to work. This way we can start to form mutually beneficial links and if we do get to do business together I can provide you with support, products and services that match your needs not mine.
One of the main things I heard from trainers and coaches I talked to was around the increasing need to have tangible outcomes, preferably with a monetary value, when talking to their potential clients. It was also the one thing many felt they were not good at. Most of us can demonstrate learning outcomes for our training, or what you might expect from a coaching relationship, but are less at ease with translating that into corporate outcomes.
So as a result of these conversations here’s a tip from the Appraisal360 Practitioner Network. This is where using something like 360° feedback can help, because done properly, it can provide real motivation and personal growth, which has an impact on sickness, retention rates etc (see CIPD evidence) which can be monetised in terms of potential cost reduction. Add to this the organisational learning you get enabling you to evidence training and coaching needs, (and your future work). All of a sudden, your client has a much greater value proposition.
And while we’re talking about the Appraisal360 Practitioner Network, I’d like to say a really big thank you to our members who helped at HRD; they were fab, Kate Wootton, Carole Elam, Nicola Meeres and Julie Talbot-Dunn.
So with still aching feet, a wealth of new knowledge and lots of new contacts I’d say the exhibitors experience of HRD was a pretty rich one and if you’d like to learn more about how 360° feedback and our practitioner network please get in touch