BMF Training Zone: The Famous Five

BMF Training Zone: The Famous Five

As featured in the ‘Training Zone’ column of PBM’s March edition, the Builders Merchants Federation outlines a quintet of its most popular and effective training courses for merchants across all levels of the sector.

Recruiting talented people with the skills and ability to help a company grow can be time consuming, costly and potentially risky. No matter how well someone performs at an interview, it is difficult to know for sure if they will prove a good fit with the ethos of your business.

It is therefore easy to see why merchants are increasingly looking to promote from within, and the first course in our top five will help them develop proven talent in their business.

The BMF Diploma in Merchant Management, designed for aspiring managers and supervisors as well as existing managers, comprises nine learning modules, each one supported by distance-learning materials and practical tutor-led workshops. It typically takes 18 months to successfully complete the Diploma and gain a valuable understanding of modern management principles.

From the outset however, participants can put their learning into action ensuring both they and their business reap the benefits from each module.

The BMF’s short courses also offer excellent value. Two of the most popular focus on fundamental sales skills for the internal sales team, and the closely related subject of maximising margin. Other popular options are designed to support those recently promoted to Yard Foreman as well as newcomers looking for a comprehensive introduction to the materials used to build a house.

“From the outset, participants can put their learning into action ensuring both they and their business reap the benefits from each module.”

Essential Sales Skills, for example, recognises that internal sales team members are ‘not just order takers’ but salespeople in their own right. It takes an interactive approach, with group exercises to help delegates deal with different customer types and increase their confidence when negotiating or handling tricky situations.

As one recent delegate said: “The tutor made it fun and kept us all engaged. It got you thinking differently about how to approach customers. I learned so much that I hope to use in my work.”

The Margin Development Programme, meanwhile, reflects the fact that many merchants are under continuous pressure to maintain and improve margins. This eye-opening programme is best delivered to all customer-facing staff to fully embed a sales and negotiating culture within the business. Follow-up work ensures margin gains are maintained permanently.

There is an emphasis on hands-on exercises and practical examples throughout the two-day Yard Foreman’s Toolkit course which centres on three main challenges: effective management of the yard area, managing and motivating people, and providing good customer service.

Recent participants have particularly valued the session on interactions with different types of people. As one said: “The whole course was good but identifying personality traits stuck out the most.”

Finally, How a House is Built is a great introduction for those new to merchanting that will help them understand the build process for both a residential new build and an improvement project. Described by recent delegates as “full of detail” and “really interesting and useful for my job,” it will help anyone in a customer-facing role understand each construction phase and product options customers might consider, including “add-on” sales opportunities.

To find out more about BMF Training email or contact your BMF Regional Manager.

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