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Instructor Led Companies CAN Succeed at Online Learning (Pt. 2): Take Your Best Shot.

You wouldn't line up a match-deciding putt with a pogo stick. Or bring up a little leaguer to start a World Series game. But that's the kind of long shot behavior many traditional training companies exhibit when they try their hand at online learning.

  • "Nobody attended our recent public seminar on 'Cobol for the New Millenium.' Perhaps we'll have better luck if we offer it online."

  • "I wonder what the market opportunity is among unemployed career changers. Let's direct our new online learning initiative at them and see."

  • "Our salespeople have enough on their plate. So let's try selling our new online offerings using banner advertising on e-commerce sites."

Why do seasoned training company executives compound the difficulty of launching online learning initiatives by cranking in unlikely titles, untested markets and unproven selling channels?

In a word, because they're unconsciously trying to fail!

They're afraid that if they aggressively market online learning versions of their most popular courses to their very best customers using their mainstream selling channel, then success will come at the expense of their established business.

Meanwhile, some greenhorn start up, without any such misgivings goes at them head on -- and makes off with the installed base they were trying to protect.

Do new delivery technologies cannibalize traditional classroom learning? In my experience, no -- in most cases they compliment it. What's more, if you don't compete with yourself, somebody else will! So watch out for the silent mutinies and self-sabotage that handicap many online learning ventures.

Choose your most popular content. Target your best customers. Utilize your tried and true selling channel. Take your best shot -- not a long shot -- unless someone is offering you mighty long odds!

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