How To Sell Online Training to a Skeptic

Here’s how to prepare yourself to convince stakeholders online training is the way to go.

Skeptics of online learning can have good reasons for being skeptical. They are concerned about the health of your organization. They’re wonder how much a new training initiative will cost. They need to be assured that staff will continue to learn when they’re looking at a computer as opposed to sitting in a meeting room.

On the other hand, skeptics can also have some pretty invalid reasons for throwing up roadblocks. Perhaps they hate computers. Maybe they fear change. Maybe, for whatever reason, they distrust your enthusiasm.

Whatever motivations your critics have, you’ll do a better job of making your case for a computer-based training program to your organization if you follow the tips below. You’ll find that doing some prep work will make the job much easier.

Recognize their concerns.

First, admit that moving to an online training program might really pose some concerns. It might be more expensive. It could mean hiring new educators. It will require change and learning for the whole organization.

Whenever you’re negotiating, it helps to understand where the other person is coming from. Think about what concerns your critics will have before you present a training solution so that you can address each one. Let their concerns help guide your research.

Research carefully.

Start by doing your own homework so you can back up your position with information that’s relevant. This might include case studies of similar organizations who have built successful e-learning programs. You can also ask other organizations to let you see how they created their program and answer specific questions for your group.

You can also back up that research with industry trends (how many other organizations in your industry are using e-learning?) and projections (what kind of growth is likely for online training?).

Estimate the costs.

Create a spreadsheet that details the base costs of online learning. This should include the cost of converting your existing materials to a digital format, hiring staff members and a technology set-up. This article will help you estimate the cost of educating people both online and in person.

Give a live demonstration.

Computer-based training can be pretty hard to imagine for people with no experience. Make it easier to conceptualize what online learning looks like by actually demonstrating it. Don’t worry about getting all the logistics down, because you can work with a vendor to prepare a simulated training for your group. (Contact Talance about setting up a free demo for your team.)

Let skeptics try it for themselves.

Part two of a live demonstration is to let skeptics try it out for themselves. At Talance, we create personalized accounts for all stakeholders and let potential clients work in the learning management system on their own. Often seeing how easy an online training is will help quell fears.

Free Guide: E-Learning Strategy Essentials

Learn what steps to take when as you begin planning your online training program, including need assessment and more.

Download the free guide now!