Double Standards Double Standards when it comes to learning. I have been into training for a long time. It is something that I love doing and I do it with all my being as I just enjoy the process of teaching and training others. In and thru the years I have trained many individuals and many corporates as well. I believe in delivering value and ensure that people who attend the training programs really go away with some learning. Whether they practice what they learnt is of course outside my control. They will benefit if they do and I am always available for them if they wish to clarify something later on. In recent times I have been doing many live Webinars (the recordings of which are all available too) and even here, my office offers life time of support. The programs are not cheap but they are not expensive either (as per me, of course!). I believe in charging a fair sum for my efforts which also ensures that the attendee derives value for his/her money.
So, it is always a matter of considerable surprise, not to speak of irritation, when prospective learners start quibbling and haggling over the prices of the training program. I find this to be a regular feature particularly with corporates more than individuals. I can even condone individuals trying to reduce their costs, as they are paying it from their pocket and many times cannot even take a write off in taxes. But for a corporate it is quite a different situation. It is definitely a service they are hiring and it is done for adding value to their employees (which they are going to benefit from) and the whole thing is tax deductible. But most of them behave as though my marketing team slapped them in the face, when asked for the price! Is it their belief that just because they are an organization- be it big or small- they are entitled to a different pricing. Of course, they want the maximum benefits too out of this.
Recently I was approached by a large organization who wanted to organize a training program in an outstation location. The program would take me away for several days. I quoted a reasonable sounding fee but the quibbling started immediately. We are a non-profit organization, said the Manager. We are not charging the attendees commercial rates, he added. So? That is supposed to be my problem? I am supposed to deliver whatever is needed and do it well but then not receive my dues because you want to be what you are? Hell, maybe those guys who want to attend are willing to pay, did you bother to ask them? You may be non profit but people who are coming to learn are certainly coming to profit for themselves, aren’t they? They are not learning technical analysis in detail to be of service to mankind! If they want a program done well, then they need to pick up the tab, I said. But their stance was, like, we are a big institution and you need to accommodate us. Of course, it ended with us not agreeing.
Another such corporate was a biggie MNC who wanted to do advanced TA programs and also wanted it covered for different asset classes. A suitable program was structured and since this was a highly customized program, the fees were naturally higher. When mentioned, they balked. They were looking at, like, 50% of that price, they said. Why? No answer. Just because. It was almost, like, aren’t we giving you a chance to be servicing us? And where do you get off charging high fees? I find this to be a big double standard behavior when it comes to learning and paying for that learning.
Contrast this with the same organization arranging a concert by one of the currently popular singer (nothing too hot, except that he is young and handsome and has a few hits). His fees for a night’s performance? 55 lacs!! Plus everything else- costs of his troupe, their travel, stay in 5 star hotel, the stage, etc. Etc. That should have set them back by a big chunk, I am sure. The event went thru smoothly. People came, had, presumably, a good time for the night, went away and promptly forgot about it by the next day. Value of the money spent? Next to nil. But spend a few lacs for learning something of importance, taught by someone who believes in doing it sincerely, delivering value, ensuring lasting value, offering follow up and instilling in the attendees knowledge that will in turn produce profits for the organization? Hell no! That has to be haggled, perhaps not even done. Perhaps find someone who will do it ‘cheap’.
The same person, in his personal capacity, would think nothing of forking out a big donation for his kid to get an admission into a non-descript college. There, he thinks, he is getting value for money! All his kid gets is a worthless certificate from a two-bit academy!
So, what is it with stock market education? Do people not feel the value for it? Inspite of losing for years and years, traders wont try to educate themselves. Despite tonnes of money going down the drain, companies wont get their employees get trained from quality trainers. They would much rather do it with some do-it-quick-n-cheap Johnny. Are HR depts, looking only to get check marks on their assessment sheets? Doesn’t learning count? Doesn’t anyone look at the long term benefits of knowledge? Don’t they know that knowledge is the one thing that cannot be shaken by anything in the world?
I continue to be amazed at the ignorance that market people display when it comes to the need for learning. They approach it as if it is some item to be bought on sale- and not pay full price, ever. Perhaps the easy “download” facility of courses is creating this feeling? But the only one who gets off loaded with poor quality with these downloads is the buyer! If you ever think education in the market is expensive, try ignorance. You cant even believe how much that has already cost you and how much more it is going to continue to cost you!