Interview key stakeholders. Ask open-ended questions to get to the bottom of your specific needs. Remember, training is not always the solution.
Check to make sure that the vendor's content will stand the test of time and is not based on current fads. Does it go beyond motivation and build relevant skills? Be sure it is relevant, researched material that you are paying for.
Ask to see materials presented in the workshop. Are they of good quality or valuable enough to keep for reference? Look at the extra value they provide in addition to the training.
The vendor is about more than just the course. Do the facilitators relate to you and your organization? The trainers can make or break the workshop. Ensure you are getting a great trainer.
Obtain three related references to check the customer satisfaction and success stories of past clients who were served by the vendor.
Rate their follow-through. Are they accessible? Do they follow-up promptly? Are they serving you? It comes down to one question. Do they practice what they preach?
Speaking with a trainer and leafing through their materials will give you a good idea of the training vendor's values and their level of professionalism. Do they match yours? Are they good corporate citizens - giving back to the community and society as a whole?
Find out how long they have been in business. Ask for a brief history of the company and the experience they have in training around your specific needs.
Determine what method they use to track success. Is it scientific, valid and reliable? Does it fit with your current measurement systems?
Ask if they will allow representatives from your organization to audit the class before making a decision. This will give you an idea of what kind of investment you are making and what type of participant experience to expect.
How flexible are they in meeting your needs - will they come to you? Ask for venue recommendations. Do they have a location for the training if needed?
Examine their approach. Are they learning about your organization? Look at their communication. Are they listening and asking you questions or are they doing all the talking? Are they willing to customize their training to your organization's specific needs instead of selling you an "off-the-shelf" product?
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