The Electronic Discussion on
How To Connect With Brokers Of Facilitators/Trainers/Consultants
From the Electronic Discussion on Group Facilitation
Copyright 1995 by Mary Margaret Palmer
If you want to strike out on your own but are not comfortable marketing your services, listing with a broker may be just the thing for you. I believe deep in the heart of most facilitators is an independent consultant trying to get out (if he/she hasn't already escaped the confines of the corporate structure). Brokers connect their clients (corporations and organizations) with the experts/consultants/ trainers that can fulfill their clients' needs. If a broker adds you to their list of virtual resources and refers a client to you, you are a representing that broker's firm. Obviously then, brokers want to be sure that those they select to serve their clients are professional, competent, experienced, knowledgeable, and trustworthy. That is why brokers screen each potential representative VERY CAREFULLY. Just sending a resume off to a broker and expecting them to market your talents is unrealistic. They are not in business to market your services, they are in business to satisfy their clients. In a sense, brokers can be thought of as your clients or customers.
According to Paula Ancona, author of "SuccessAbilities! 1003 Practical Ways to Keep Up,Stand Out and Move Ahead at Work," in her Scripps-Howard News Service column "Working Smarter," businesses considering contracting the services of a facilitator/trainer should ascertain answers to the following questions.
- Where have they presented programs and with what results? How do they measure the long-term success of their programs? How have they customized programs? Will their experience, knowledge, and credibility blend with the organization's culture?
- What can they not do?
- How do they set their fees?
[NOTE: If you are just starting out or have mostly general experience, your fees should be a few hundred dollars a day. If you have the experience, background, and qualifications, you can charge as much as $1,000-$5,000 a day.]
- Do they belong to trade organizations or professional associations? How they learn about developments in their field?
- How do they help participants feel comfortable, deal with conflict, and handle emotions constructively during a training?
The article also advises brokers to hire locally in order to avoid travel or lodging expenses. [NOTE: Many brokers tend to focus most of their efforts in their geographical areas.]
Strategic Resources (a broker listed in this article) uses objective and subjective criteria to evaluate prospective consultants. Their selection criteria is based on what their clients have cited as being important to them. Their most important considerations are:
- Competitive fees based on services provided. (You should be very clear about what you plan to charge before you ever call a broker.)
- Required time frames
- Value of consultant's capabilities as compared with clients specifications
- Experience in handling similar projects in the past
- Timeliness in meeting past project deadlines
- Organizational fit with the client's style, values, and corporate culture
- Flexibility on the consultant's part to act in the interest of the company's long-term goals
- Creativity in approaching projects with a fresh eye
- Confidentiality in safeguarding the client's privacy
Going independent requires careful preparation. Your marketing package should include letters of recommendation on company letterhead, if possible, a video of you at work, descriptions and outlines of any courses you teach, lists of references, your fee structure, copies of any articles you may have had published, and finally your resume starting with a background paragraph on your experience, training, and expertise. Some brokers also require proof of Commercial General Liability Insurance coverage.
Brokers can provide an invaluable service to those new to consulting. What you pay them (anywhere from 10 to 25 percent of your fee) is worth the experience and connections you will gain. And, as you grow, so will the fees you can charge for your services. If all this sounds like something you want to pursue, read on. The brokers I was able to find out about are listed below. If you know of a broker not listed, E-mail me at email@example.com and I'll add them to this document.
The descriptions below are condensed from information sent by brokers. I have retained their wording as much as possible . For more information (promotional materials) on a particular firm, contact the broker directly.
President: Amy Kahn
Address: 14227 N. 45th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85032
Voice: 602.788.4367 FAX: 602.788.4365
Culture Link is a network of experts in international acclimation, cultural awareness, and diversity that provide on-site workshops and consultation to meet a broad spectrum of business needs including
- Awareness and sensitivity
- Business etiquette and ethics
- Communication and language training
- Country specifics, culture shock, and overseas adjustment
- Diversity in the workforce
- Team Building
The expertise of their consultants includes
- Cultural relations
- International finance
- Marketing abroad
- Motivational training
- Strategic planning
- Global transitions
Managing Partner: Doyle W. Young
Address: 3478 Buskirk, Suite 1031, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Voice: 510.746.7165 FAX: 510.746.7166
On-Site Plus is a nationwide management consulting and training firm that provides both strategic planning and organizational consultation for midsize to large Fortune 500 companies. Currently, On-Site represents over 400 faculty nationwide with expertise in
- Executive management and supervisory development
- Professional skills
- Basic skills
- Technical skills
- Career skills
- Sales and marketing
and practices focused on process engineering, marketing, information technology, and financial services.
Mr. Young is also co-founder and partner of the CLIO Group, a management consulting firm specializing in establishing and maintaining continuous learning and improving organizations.
President: Cheryl Mirabella
Address: 17 East Taylor Run Pkway, Alexandria, VA 22314
Voice: 703.519.8258 FAX: 703.519.8413
Mirabella matches qualified, independent management and human resource consultants and trainers to the unique cultures and corporate visions of client companies. Mirabella professionals include
- Course developers
- Management consultants
- Motivational and keynote speakers
These professionals work in many areas including
- Organizational development
- Management development
- Interpersonal skill development
- Change management process
- Customer service/sales training and motivation
President: Michelle Rochwarger Vered
Address: 5319 University Drive, Suite 403, Irvine, CA 92715
Strategic Resources also maintains an office in San Francisco
Irvine Voice: 714.856.0910 Irvine FAX: 714.856.0918
San Francisco Voice: 415.454.8801
Strategic Resources is a consulting network with access to an extensive database of carefully screened professional consultants. They employ a systematic approach to match client needs with qualified consulting services focusing on the organization's strategic objectives.
Strategic Resources provides consulting services for
- Strategic planning and financial analysis consulting
- Marketing and public relations consulting
- Computer training and consulting services
- Training programs and human resource including
Customer service/selling skills
Negotiations and professional relations
Problem solving skills
Quality and productivity
President: Thomas G. Hawkett
Head Office Address: 20 Southport, Suite 418, Toronto,
Ontario M6S 4Y8, Canada
US Address: 23995 Freeway Park Drive, Farmington Hills, MI 48335
Toronto Voice: 416.402.3941 Toronto FAX: 416.769.6540
Detroit Voice: 810.471.3030
For basic information their fax on demand number is:
905-472-5067 extension 319.
The Training Broker connects consultants and trainers with companies and organizations seeking training and consulting services, tools, and technology. Their network includes over 400 professional training/consulting firms throughout North America. Currently the firm has five account managers in Canada and two in the U.S. with more planned.
Major areas of services available from The Training Broker are
- Management (ISO9000, team empowerment, leadership, problem solving, project management, customer service)
- Computing (programming, internet, databases)
- Sales and Marketing (motivational, networking,
negotiating, presentation skills)
- Communications (public speaking, cultural diversity, speed reading, telemarketing)
- Operations (process reengineering, labor relations, safety, quality, supervisory)
They also offer train the trainer services.
Contact: Margie Sweeny
Address: 719 Lakemont Place, Suite 2, San Ramon, CA 94583
Voice: 510-735-8275 FAX: 510-735-3705 E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Internet WWW Home Page: http://www.tasl.com/tasl/home.html
TASL has two goals: 1) to help people in business and industry quickly and easily find choices of excellent training and development resources, when, where, in the form, and by the providers that they choose, and 2) to provide a high visibility and economical place where training, development and education related resource providers and their offerings can easily be found. To this end, TASL has established an Internet database that people in business and industry can search at no cost to find, sign-up for, purchase, or request more information on training, development, and education related resources.
Qualified resource providers can list with TASL on-line for free with no percent payment, or they can pay TASL a nominal fee to enter their listings for them ($25 for one listing for 12 months, with unlimited delivery dates and locations for each public offering) or include in their listing other options which are completely optional (such as their logo in color for $25 per 12 month listing). Trainers who list will get customer requests directly via the medium that the trainer has selected, i.e. e-mail (free), fax ($2 per transmission) or U.S. mail ($3 per transmission).
The kinds of resources that may be included in the TASL database includes:
1) scheduled offerings: public seminars, certificate programs, satellite presentations, industry conferences, briefings, expositions
2) unscheduled offerings: seminars, and training, development and education related consulting and contract services offered for delivery in response to customer requests
3) products: computer and video-based training programs, training development software, training management systems, performance support systems, text-based training products, simulations and games, audio/visual equipment, kiosks
4) facilities: training, meeting, and conference facilities, and satellite downlink sites.
Information that appears in a listing includes:
- the title of the resource
- a brief descripton of it, its target audience and any limitations on who may attend
- price and pricing policy
- where and when it is available,including specific dates and locations for scheduled
- resources, contact information about the resource provider
- a statement of what qualifies and differentiates the resource provider
- a statement of the resource provider's customer
TASL offers a number of extras or options designed to assist you in marketing your resources through their database including setting up your own WWW homepage. For more information contact Margie Sweeny at email@example.com and http to their homepage at the address: http://www.tasl.com/tasl/home.html.
President: Linda Price
Address: 60 West 68th Street, New York, NY 10023
Voice: 212.874.3645 FAX: 212.769.0576
Ronin is a consulting company that can serve in either an advisory or a brokerage capacity or a combination of the two. In their role as broker, they maintain a proprietary database containing profiles on 1,800 of the world's top consultants, academics, renaissance thinkers, and technical experts.
Some applications of their services includes
- Business reengineering
- Employee climate surveys
- Communication strategies
- Compensation systems
- Culture change
- Executive training and development
- Innovation aids and groupware
- Leadership programs
- Learning organizations
- Performance management
- Training design and development
- 360 degree feedback
Founders: Maureen Clarry and Kelly Groves Gilmore
Address: 5602 South Nevada Street, Littleton, Colorado 80120-1116
Voice: 303.730.7171 FAX: 303.797.8369
Connect integrates technical and business expertise from a network of knowledgeable professionals to help organizations achieve objectives. Connect assembles "just-in-time" teams of experts to solve business problems and implement projects. Connect provides assistance in
- Knowledge screening
- Knowledge coordination
- Knowledge acquisition
- Project planning/coordination
- Vendor coordination
Connect's network includes expertise in
- Business planning
- Aligning IS strategies to business goals
- Organization development
- Business process engineering
- Project management
- Data warehouse development
- Open systems strategies
- Technical architectures
- Risk management
- Development methodologies
- Information management
President: Paul Kidder
Address: PO Box 6062, Brattleboro, VT 05302
Voice: 888.551.3210 or 802.254.0146 FAX: 802.254.3852
E-mail Facilitemp@aol.com http://www.facilitemps.com
Facilitemps is a full service, nationwide, temporary staffing company focusing on supplying quality temporary trainers, facilitators, and Organizational Development (OD) specialists covering a wide variety experience levels and skills to industry, government, and other organizations. They do not consider themselves to be training brokers believing that temporary trainers offer value added benefits that cannot be met through a broker client relationship. Some of these benefits include low cost, flexibilty, control as well as a money back guarantee.
Director, Lynne B. Hellmer
Office of Human Resources Development
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Voice: 217.333.8342 FAX: 217.333.2643
University Clearinghouse is a trainer-speaker-consultant bureau that deals exclusively with colleges and universities. They do not actively market their services or trainers. They maintain active files on about 40 speakers/trainers of which they place about three per month in university or association settings. Through her department at the University of Illinois, Ms. Hellmer also hires trainers to present programs throughout the year.
Chief Executive Officer: A.L. Zimmerman, Ph.D.
4524 South Michigan, P.O. Box 6610, South Bend, IN 46615-6610
Phone: 219-299-0660 Fax: 219-299-0683
Interax Corporation utilizes its officers as well as external subcontractors to consult, train and facilitate for national and international clients. Interax addresses various industries, including Higher Education, Government, National and International Not-for-Profits, and Manufacturing. The firm has a strong preference for custom programs designed in conjunction with clients. Areas of specialty include all aspects of Participative Management such as Empowerment, Teams, Self-Directed Work Groups, and Organizational Culture. Other areas covered include Strategic Planning, TQM programs, Change Management, Human-Technology Interfacing, Adapting Groupware, Individual Executive Coaching, Crisis Resolution, Personality Profiles for executives or job candidates, and Learning Organizations. They also do extensive training in Human Resource and Development topics.
In addition to the brokers, many speakers bureaus provide this service to speaker/facilitators, speaker/trainers, or speaker/ consultants (notice the emphasis on speaker). A good way to start is to contact your local bureaus. To obtain a list of speakers bureaus in your area (as well as in the world) I suggest you obtain a copy of the International Directory of Speakers Bureaus & Agents. When you order a copy you will also receive a two-year subscription to "Sharing Ideas," a fantastic magazine for paid speakers, consultants, seminar leaders, and meeting planners containing leads, tips, interviews, articles, and ideas. The only source for the directory and magazine is Royal Publishing, Walters Speaker Services, PO Box 1120, Glendora, CA 91740 (Voice: 818.335.8069 or FAX: 818.335.6127). The cost of the directory and subscription (plus your choice of a gift book or tape set) is $95.00.