Igniting Workplace Enthusiasm

A Q&A with Stockton, Calif., Dale Carnegie Training owner Victor Delgado


Dale Carnegie Training is rooted in the dedication and commitment of our franchise owners and top-of-the-line instructors. Simply put, we couldn’t do it without them.


When Dale Carnegie founded the program in 1912, he believed that the power of personal development could reshape the global workplace, and he was right. A century later, Dale Carnegie Training still operates with that sense of purpose, and no one believes in it more than our franchisees. The company has relied on these enthusiastic men and women to drive the Dale Carnegie mission forward.


As part of an ongoing series in which we introduce and highlight some of our wonderful franchisees, we take this opportunity to learn about Victor Delgado of Stockton, Calif., to see how Dale Carnegie has impacted him, and to see the impact he’s had on the professionals in his area.


When did you join Dale Carnegie Training?

I started my first Dale Carnegie Training franchise in Stockton, Calif., in 1989. After several years of development and marketing, I was able to expand my business in 2003 all the way to Modesto, covering a significant territory in Southern California.


In addition to that, I have recently launched a new location in Albuquerque, N.M., which is why I’ve decided to sell my established Stockton location.


What kind of training do you offer?

We work with a variety of clients that range from private individuals and business professionals, to corporate offices and entire packaging facilities. My job as a Dale Carnegie trainer and franchise owner is to make sure my clients have the tools they need to develop into strong, sophisticated leaders and business professionals, and to take charge of their futures.


Who is your typical customer?

Stockton is a completely different market than many others in the Dale Carnegie Training network. It’s mostly driven by the agriculture industry and all facets of that industry. We work with members of the processing facilities and the packing and distribution systems, helping them to establish strong leadership skills and effective executive teams. Our focus is not so much the farming itself, but the people and the processes. When we work with all different individuals in the process, we’re able to align the business partners together.


What kinds of challenges do you encounter?

More often than not, people who come to my office are looking for the traditional Dale Carnegie program, but tailored to their specific needs and the needs of their market.


The ones who are looking for individual programs are typically in two camps — they have recruited recent college graduates with few technical skills, or they have developed leaders within their organization who they new recognize lack needed communication skills.


What Dale Carnegie Training does for those organizations is help balance out the disparities on both sides. Both are equally important, especially at the management level, and both need to be developed properly.

How many clients do you work with at any one time?

It really depends on how the course is delivered at that particular time. We deliver our courses in two different ways, in-house training and public classes.


With our in-house training programs we work within an organization, addressing its particular needs. That’s when we work with smaller groups, anywhere from 10 to 15 individuals or fewer. During our public classes, we present topics that are a little more universal and can relate to everyone, so we usually see larger groups of 25 to 50 people.


Either way it really depends on the demand for our offerings. What I’ve found in Stockton, since much of the market is based around agriculture, certain organizations and individuals are busy during certain times of the year. Farmers are busy in the summer, then free up in October; production facilities pick up in October, then are free other times of the year. So, if you set up the market like I did, you can have a consistent season.


What is the competition like in your area?

There are two answers to that. If you want my true answer, we don’t have any competition. There are people in the area who think they’re competition, but they really don’t stand up. Dale Carnegie has been around for such a long time, and it’s so big that no one can really compete with us. Plus, being local to Stockton, we can offer our training at a convenience while boasting our globally recognized name.


It’s also the quality that sets us apart. The standards to become a certified Dale Carnegie trainer are very high, so there’s a big difference between us and others in this particular market.


What have you learned as a Dale Carnegie franchisee?

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from being a Dale Carnegie Trainer is to listen to people and don’t judge anything. By listening, you can learn an incredible amount about a person before making any assumptions, and it allows you to be open to anything.


What advice would you give to someone new to the franchise?

It doesn’t matter where you start your company; it’s all about knowing your market and adjusting accordingly. I was very lucky to develop my business in Stockton, because it was a market I was familiar with and fit into really well. In college, I studied marketing, and one thing I was taught more than anything is you’ve got to know your market. If you’re creative and flexible you can find out exactly how the puzzle pieces fit and position yourself right in the middle of it.


What is the business market like in your area?

The market is changing, expanding and improving fairly rapidly, and most of it is related to the agriculture industry. The San Joaquin Valley, where Stockton is located, is the most productive growing region in the entire world. About 250 different crops are produced in this region.


But it’s not just agriculture that’s driving Stockton’s growth. In the last two years Amazon has built two huge distribution centers, which is going to be a big deal for this area. It’s going to bring so much more potential to a Dale Carnegie Training professional. The agriculture business is always going to be here, but what’s coming up is a lot more to capitalize on. I would say the future of the Valley is very bright.



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