There are four things you need to do to sell your training.
First publish a description of your training by stating the benefits, not what the participants will learn. Course descriptions without benefits sound like prison sentences. (Bad choice of words—sorry.) Participants will be much more agreeable to attend the training if they know the benefits rather than what the course is about.
Second, speak to the managers of the participants destined for the training. They will give a positive or negative first impression of the training that they will communicate to their employees who are sure to pick it up. Show them how the training will benefit their department or command. This will foster a positive outlook toward the training rather than a dread of attending it.
Third, work with the managers to ensure that the learning is transferred to the workplace. Managers can be the biggest inhibitors of learning. “I don’t care what you learned; this is the way I want it done.” Again, sell the benefits to them. They will be the biggest influence to training success. They can also ensure that participants will not relapse into old, more comfortable, less productive work habits.
Fourth, reward results. Work with the participants’ managers after the training. Participants shouldn’t be rewarded just for finishing the training, but even more so for applying the learning back on the job. Give them a special award for the positive results related to the training e.g. better safety record, fewer improper uses of force, reduced absenteeism, etc.
Fifth, get testimonials. Ask participants what they thought of the training and publish their comments on your website. Face-to-face marketing reaches the smallest number of people but it is the most effective, and with the Internet, this “face-to-face” marketing reaches an even larger audience.
Sell the benefits, not the training.
International Association of Correctional Training Personnel