Looking to enhance your on-the-job skills but afraid your boss will say no when you ask to attend a conference or professional training course? Here are super-successful ways to handle the objections your manager is most likely to raise.
Objection: We’re really busy right now; I can’t spare you.
Response: I’ll have my laptop and smartphone with me and check in during breaks. If an emergency arises, I’ll address it from the conference. I’m happy to work at night if necessary. I won’t let you down!
Objection: It’s too expensive; besides, there’s no money in the budget.
Response: There’s an early-bird discount we can take advantage of. Alternatively: If possible, you can offer to pay part or even the entire cost. This shows how valuable you believe the training to be.
Objection: We have consultants who handle that function.
Response: I’ll be learning at least some of what our consultants do. With my new skills and knowledge, we may be able to reduce their hours. What’s more, I’ll ask the trainer for feedback about our most urgent issues surrounding that function.
Objection: We’re about to start a really big project.
Response: If I get trained before the project begins, I’ll be able to minimize mistakes and save us money.
Objection: How can I justify sending you when I can’t send the rest of the team?
Response: I’ll share my new knowledge with the team. I’ll create handouts, and even conduct lunchtime or evening presentations. That way, they’ll pick up the points I’ve learned that are most relevant to them.
Objection: I don’t believe that skill is important enough to justify sending you.
Response: In that case, what are the skills you feel I could most benefit from learning? What if I took a class in those specific skills?
Make sure to give the boss all information related to your training choices—what the training will cost (plus associated travel costs); how long you’ll be away; and all the ways you expect the training to benefit you, your department and your organization.
If your request is still nixed, ask your boss if he or she will reevaluate in three months or at your next appraisal.
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