I love this time of year. Football season is just around the corner, the hard work put into vegetable gardening is paying off, and the end to the heat of summer is in site.
I also love this time of year because it typically coincides with the start of the school year. In addition to my work with the EcSell Institute, I occasionally teach online courses for an out-of-state university. I am currently preparing to teach this coming semester by perusing textbooks and finalizing syllabi. I truly value the opportunity I have to keep one foot in the academic world. I find it extremely rewarding.
I have been fortunate enough to teach both online and traditional brick-and-mortar courses. The glaring difference between the two types is that you have face-to-face interaction with one and, often, absolutely none with the other. Each educational mode has its positives and negatives. For me, the most appealing aspect of online courses is the ability to access learning at virtually any time or place (with internet access). You aren’t bound to a physical location or specific day or time. You can engage in the learning material at any level of intensity or duration you wish. At the same time, this learning sometimes feels like it’s done in a vacuum.
Traditional courses offer somewhat the opposite experience. There is little flexibility in when you can engage the material and your physical presence is needed. The big positive, however, is the human element. In traditional courses, you can absorb the energy of others. You can gain a more complex and vibrant understanding of the material because of the dynamic ways humans can interact. In my mind, I sometimes see online courses as 2D movies and traditional courses as 3D. Both are great, but one reaches out to you.
I think sales professionals face similar issues when learning. Online materials are readily available to help provide valuable information about how to motivate teams, create more effective team meetings, or just be a better sales coach. These resources are great. You can access them when you have a few minutes in the office, when you’re relaxing on your couch at home, or even when traveling to the next sales event. There is much flexibility. Using these resources to increase your knowledge and become a better sales professional is always a good choice.
But, sales managers also have access to and can benefit from face-to-face options to learn about sales coaching. The EcSell Institute offers two opportunities throughout the year in the form of our Sales Coaching Summit. Summits offer what I love about the traditional classroom setting: human dynamics. You can ask questions, hear the experiences of others, share your experiences, and gather knowledge in an alive way. I purposefully use the word alive here. The opportunity to learn is alive. Sometimes we need to step away from the computer or the book and learn from each other and have those human moments we can’t achieve through the written or recorded word. People are social at their core and, for me; learning is enhanced in a social environment. Allowing ourselves to focus on the learning by physically placing ourselves in the classroom is also helpful.
Ultimately, I am all for any vehicle for increasing knowledge. Both onsite and offsite learning tools have a place in making us better. Utilizing both options, though, can help strengthen the learning that takes place with the other.
For sales coaching tips from industry experts in a face-to-face environment, consider attending our Sales Coaching Summit October 7th in Dallas Texas at the Rosewood Crescent Hotel. Registration is now open.