BMF Training Zone: July/ August 2020

BMF Training Zone: July/ August 2020

Whilst increasing numbers have turned to Zoom and Teams as a way of conducting meetings over the past few months, is it possible to develop the same rapport with customers when communications take place online rather than face to face? The BMF says that its latest Virtual Classroom workshop ‘Selling Virtually — a new reality’ showed its members how.

The sessions were led by John Allison, a learning and development professional with over 30 years’ experience in sales methodology as well as an in-depth knowledge of the construction industry.

John explained: “Virtual selling is a totally different experience and way of approaching and holding a sales meeting. From how you prepare and position the meeting, to how you facilitate potentially multiple stakeholders on the call whilst maintaining their interest and then gaining commitment, it all has to be carefully thought out.”

This practical course from the BMF helped delegates understand the challenges of selling virtually, how to plan a virtual sales conversation, build rapport and keep the customer engaged right through to closing the meeting and gaining that all important commitment.

John continued: “Virtual classroom training courses are a world apart from attending a webinar where you log in and listen to someone informing you about a topic. BMF online courses give you a very similar learning experience to face to face, classroom-style training with plenty of participation using break-out sessions, white board activities and group discussions to ensure all learners interact and are fully engaged.”

The day-long course was divided into three two-hour elements. The morning session introduced ideas for the group to work on, with discussions as to how these ideas can be practically applied in their day job. This was then followed by a two-hour break for learners to take a closer look at their workbook and consider how they can apply the new ideas in relation to their own role.

By the end of the afternoon session, each participant had developed a personal action plan to apply in the following days and weeks

A final coaching session followed 10 days later, once delegates had an opportunity to put their learning into action, to discuss what has worked well and any challenges that may have arisen.

To find out more about the BMF’s one day Virtual Classroom courses and half-day Webinars, check out the Training section of the BMF website at or email

BMF training ranges from formal Apprenticeships, a sector-specific Diploma in Management and a Foundation Degree in Merchant Management, to online product knowledge and other specialist skills training.

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