love-735567_640The saga of my kitchen remodel continues. After my brother installed the cabinets, the IKEA subcontractors came out to install the granite countertops I had chosen.

Let me say, I love the new counter tops! They are a big improvement over the cheesy tile counters I had before. What I don’t love is where the installation crew positioned the sink.

I’ve since learned that when you say to some people, “Do what you think is best,” they hear, “Do whatever is best for you.” I thought I could rely on the expertise they had gained through doing hundreds of counter top installations. Big mistake!

I’m sure that you’ve experienced the same frustration with some training vendors. When you rely on their expertise, you end up with poorly designed training. How does this happen? In my opinion, either the vendor doesn’t know what they are doing, or they are doing whatever is best for them–not for you.

Four Characteristics

How can you find a training vendor who has your best interest at heart? Look for these four essential characteristics.

  • The training vendor tells you when training isn’t the right solution. You may still need to develop the training for political reasons. But, at least you know the training will not be the magic bullet you are looking for to address the underlying business challenge.
  • The training vendor tells you when a less-expensive delivery method could meet your needs. For example, we just recommended e-books as a cost-effective alternative to e-learning for one of our clients.
  • The training vendor tells you when you are inadvertently running up your bill. For example, if you invite their staff to meetings that they don’t need to attend in order to make progress on your project, the training vendor lets you know about the unnecessary cost.
  • The training vendor tells you when they think you are wrong or when they believe there is a better way. I’ve met training vendors whose excuse for poor work was that the client approved it. In other words, they knew the work was poor, yet they didn’t say anything to the client.

A training vendor who has your best interest at heart may earn a smaller paycheck in the short term. But, I believe they make up the difference through follow-on work and referrals. So, in the long run, the interests of clients and training vendors really are aligned. It’s just too bad more people don’t see it that way.