Coburn to speak at Red Dot Conference

Ian Coburn, president at GPA Training, Inc., will speak at the upcoming Red Dot Conference, scheduled for Jan. 15-16, 2018, in Tucson, Ariz.

Coburn was invited to speak specifically on sales soft skills and eLearning. Coburn has been a favorite of International dealers, speaking to them throughout 2017 at Navistar events.

“Now that I’m no longer exclusive to Navistar, it’s exciting to be able to spread the GPA message to a wider audience,” says Coburn.“It was an honor to be invited.”

GPA stands for Greet, Probe and Address, the acronym for selling through tradition-shattering customer service techniques. Coburn says his presentation at the Red Dot Conference will demonstrate how those factors can be taught in eLearning and even be used during the interview process to help hire the best candidates.

Coburn is a soft skills expert with a strong background in Learning and Development, an industry which he says has neglected the truck industry. “In a nutshell, Learning and Development focuses on understanding how the adult brain works, then exploits that information to maximize learning results,” Coburn says.

Because Learning and Development has overlooked trucking, most training for dealers and distributors is “passive learning,” he says, where suppliers and managers demonstrate product and lecture to employees.

“Unfortunately, the adult brain retains very little content when delivered in either manner, if any,” he says. However, active learning, in which participants read stories, engage in customer simulations, quizzes and other activities, sees much better results. Coburn will display an active learning course at the conference.

“GPA Training is excited to bring Learning and Development to truck and Red Dot’s customers,” Coburn says. In addition to his presentation, Coburn says each attendee will be given a copy of Coburn’s book, The Customer is Never Right: Sell More Trucks, Cars, Buses, Parts . . . Anything in One Month, courtesy of Red Dot Corporation.

“Having the book enables conference participants to walk away with staff and customer service development programs in hand, should they wish to use them,” says Coburn. The book shares numerous successful techniques for reps to increase sales and grow their books of business, he adds.

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