9 types of business training audience members: Part 1

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9 types of business training audience members: Part 1

Many years of teaching have taught me that besides the main motive of learning anything – enhancing the efficiency – people come to training for something else. So, we present the list (perhaps not a complete one) of the types of different audience members at business training.

Freeloaders

These people exist in every area of life and they are virtually the same everywhere: they want to get as much as possible for free. They only go to free activities with enthusiasm (which includes participating in all sorts of draws). They are interested in all the free things – information handouts (they are happy to take a few copies), brownies with coffee breaks, pens, balloons, everything. If the freeloader was lucky to get a job in a wealthy company, he or she is ready to visit all events if the company pays – from Chinese language courses to classes in dancing with a tambourine. Usually, they will refuse to pay even 50% of the fees, these people do not accept in principle. Only freebies!

Such people are usually very easy to recognize. They are always first to raise their hands if something is handed out for free, without hesitation they fix themselves two plates of snacks during coffee breaks, and they shovel all available promotional brochure, just in case.

And do not think that they are poor people who have nothing to eat. These people can be more than economically secured, but for some reason, they feel that the hunt for freebies is the best to live their lives.

Vacuum cleaners

Unlike the freeloader, these people are ready to pay for themselves. The level of their budgets, of course, depends on the income and the period of life, but the main thing for them is to constantly visit and discover new things. They try to have it all; they hunt information. They are prepared to skip the coffee break in favor of the possibility to ask the speaker a few (dozen) questions. They constantly learn and read, read, and watch webinars, listen to podcasts, and learn.

Such people often have no answer to the question “What for do you do all that?” More precisely, they have ten standard responses to it (It is useful; it is for the future; I plan in five years…), none of which specify how they will apply the obtained information.

Often these people deep down carry grand plans for their own business, speaker career, creative work, but they always think that they are not savvy enough, know too little, and did not read/study everything on the subject. From this point of view, they can be “procrastinators” (see type below); but also they might just love to absorb information (they have fun, so to speak, from the process and not from the result).

Thieves

These people do not chase freebies or get new information only for the sake of new knowledge. They choose the market trendsetters in their field and go to their events with one purpose – to spy, eavesdrop, record, copy 

as much as possible. That is, simply put, stealing ideas, formats, themes, exercises, etc. Sometimes they try to steal even from other participants, openly and very actively offering “similar” services, but usually without much success.

Because thieves imagine the benefits of attending the event in advance, they are ready to pay for it (but only once, not more). However, if happen to get a discount or a freebie they will grab this opportunity. If the event did not take place, was postponed for a long time, or did not match the expectations of the thief, he or she will put their best efforts to get a refund or a seat at another useful event for free as compensation. After all, training for them is an investment in themselves.

At the event these people are the most grateful listeners: they take notes, ask a lot of questions, and help to calm down people who interrupt. They acquire the whole set of additional materials and always first ones in line to copy useful stuff to a flash drive.

Impulsive buyers

These people make decisions about buying a course or training in 3-5 minutes, regardless of its content. Like children in the checkout area of a supermarket, they react to all the bright wrappers. Such participants may be drawn by the name of the speaker or his or her appearance, beautifully worded theme, eye-catching marketing materials, or the recommendation of someone they trust or a stranger. In general, their selection criteria are always different. Only one thing stays constant – the spontaneous decision to participate in the training. If the impulsive buyer decided to take part in something, he or she will stop at nothing. And not even a hackneyed theme, sky-high cost of participation or unsuitable list of participants will be an obstacle.

At the event, the impulsive buyers can continue experiencing the emotional uplift and keep buying books, e-courses, etc. Or they quickly get discouraged and sit there bored. Not for long, though, during the first break, they “suddenly” remember that they urgently need to be elsewhere.

Most often, regardless of the result of learning, impulsive buyers (unlike, for example, thieves) do not regret buying. They come up with different rational justifications: from “I heard everything I wanted” to “well I paid to make sure that it’s not my thing.” However, often such participants may not even reach the prepaid event because at the time of the purchase they really-really wanted to go and at the time of the actual event they don’t really want to or want to go somewhere else (especially if there was a long time gap after the purchase).

Fans

These people, in contrast to the “frivolous” impulsive buyers, become adherents of a master or a school for the long haul. As fans of football teams or pop stars, they are ready to follow their idol all over the country and even the world, and, of course, they will never miss the event in their hometown. The cost of participation is irrelevant for these people, as well as the topic/theme, or its novelty. The main attraction for them is the speaker (or a group of speakers,  

which happens less often). The fans can re-listen to what other people would call “virtually identical” training courses (or attend the same training under different or even the same name). Each time they will describe to themselves and to others how much new and useful information they received. After all, this time the speaker was wearing a new shirt!

In addition to “touring” with the idol, such participants actively support him or her remotely: join groups on social networks, write reviews on the website, and furiously defend their “hero” if someone dares to criticize. In general, they become good “brand advocates”.

Sometimes fans lose the passion for their guru. Or they switch to other stars of psychology, business, personal growth, etc., continuing to do the same thing, only with a new person/people.

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