What Will You Do With Your Extra Day?

Tomorrow you have an extra day, the leap year has arrived to give you more time. How could you productively use these 24 hours?

  1. Clear every back log, log jam, to do list, outstanding issues, not quite got round to it tasks. You could come in on Monday completely up to date and it didn’t eat into your weekend at all.
  2. Sleep. Catch up on all the hours you’ve stolen from sleeping since Christmas.
  3. Do good works for the day. Give your most valuable commodity, time, to people who would benefit.
  4. Go and see a relative, friend, neighbour that you’ve perhaps neglected. Take them a small gift. You will make their day, perhaps their week.
  5. Go and look at some art. Its good for the soul.
  6. Walk a long way, great for stress busting, pick somewhere with a good pub at the end.
  7. Clean the house from top to bottom. This is a boring task, you’ll feel good at the end and it will free up the whole weekend.
  8. Go green. Do nothing that leaves a carbon footprint.
  9. Waste the day, veg out, watch day time TV, ignore the guilt.
  10. Go to work; treat it like a normal day.

Most people will do number 10. Depressed unhappy people will do number 9 feeling guilty, which is a shame because it’s a whole extra day.

Sales Teams Who Rely On The Manager Getting It Right, All The Time

The tyranny that many sales directors face is one they struggle to articulate until you point it out, and then they have a lightbulb moment and say “absolutely!”. They go further and say if I could solve this problem I would transform the potential of this team.

What is this debilitating disease that can sap the energy of even the best sales leaders? Simply put, it’s a team that is only interested in what their manager is interested in. They might be the most responsive, competitive team but their issues are your issues, their agenda is your agenda.

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A common manifestation of this problem would go as follows. A concern starts to form in the back of your mind about a part of the business that currently looks OK. You do nothing for a while, mulling it over but it won’t go away so do decide to do some proper analysis. This reveals a potentially serious issue unless addressed quickly. You bring it to the attention of your team, but respond with real concern and get on with solving it ASAP.

A first look this looks a good resolution except on reflection you realise that without your prescience this problem would probably spiralled in to a major crisis causing real damage to the business. That takes you to an even bigger worry. What other problems are over the horizon waiting to blind the company as you move forward? And that’s just problems, what about the nascent opportunities?

A sales leader in this position ends up doing the thinking for their team and the team ends up being dependent on their leader.

Think of how it could be. You are managing the business and one of your team brings something to you. They have had a worry for some time, done some thinking about, done the analysis, worked out the best solution and actioned a recovery plan. They are telling you on an FYI basis only. This is a team that thinks pro-actively for its self. In this environment the responsibility for change and development is shared rather than being a top down process.

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How do you create this kind of team dynamic? Firstly by getting everybody to recognise there is a problem. Some people get into a position where they believe that senior (to them) people do the thinking for change, it’s their job to simply carry it out. So if there are no changes or issues coming down the pipe, there’s nothing additional to worry about. Part of anybody’s job is about being pro-active in their role, don’t let them off the hook by doing this critical part of their job for them.

The Business Imperative For Being A Demanding, Performance Orientated Organisation (One more time!)

  • It stimulates a success orientated culture that constantly reinforces itself

= higher standards and a self-motivating desire for ‘stretch’ performance

  • It aligns the individual’s performance to organisational goals

= greater energy around objectives and targets

  • It gives purpose to the on-going  building of individuals’ strengths and potential

= increases peoples self-esteem

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  • The clarity around the interdependency of personal and organisational success/failure, stimulates deeper engagement between the individual and the organisation

= improves morale and ‘emotional stakeholding’ in the business

  • It creates awareness of the progress that everyone is making (or not) towards objectives

= performance ‘counts’ because there are positive and negative consequences, for everybody

  • It aligns and reinforces the individuals expectations with the organisations expectations

= higher ownership stimulates thinking around personal ‘stretch’ performance

  • It identifies performance (positive and negative) issues early, so allowing for the generation of possible solutions to optimise performance

= because when performance really matters, people get passionate about their own (and others) performance

  • It can provide effective data for feeding into other people related issues, such as; resource planning, new role design, training, management development and succession planning

= significantly improves organisational capabilities, and shows the organisation is serious about supporting peoples’ career development

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Seven Steps To Building Peer Group Pressure

Peer Group Pressure is the glue that binds high performing team together, creating a self sustaining level achievement within a supportive framework.

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The Benefits

  • Management can spend less time checking and policing, more time developing building and coaching people
  • A greater sense of belonging is achieved, the inclusiveness informing coherent and aligned behaviours
  • The team supports people when needed
  • New recruits are more effectively and quickly  inducted and their morals stays higher for longer

What Is Required To Engender Peer Group Pressure?

  • Common purpose, including Vision, Values & Goals
  • Interdependency, people need to need each other
  • Mutual respect
  • Clear performance metrics linked to success failure criteria
  • An effective consequences framework for dealing with over and under performance (see previous point)
  • As much focus on behaviours as results. How people behave must be as important as what they achieve.
  • A vigorous  feedback model, with open communication

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We still find it surprising how often organisations hope that peer group pressure or esprit de corps is assumed to occur, with little active input into making it happen. We have yet to find any manager who has it is as one of their objectives – a glaring indictment of the organisation’s misunderstanding  of what value adding activities their managers should be engaged in.

Using Past Behaviour As An Indicator Of Future Performance

The best way to measure whether a candidate measures up to job requirements is through a planned interview that will reveal as much as possible of the job applicant’s past behaviour.

In revealing the applicant’s past behaviour you can assess on the basis of how various situations were dealt with historically – and thereby predict future performance.

You can appraise a person on this basis because future behaviour tends to mirror past behaviour.  For example, if you want a leader, look for a person who has demonstrated leadership ability in the past.  Because it is very difficult to change behaviour habits, hire a person who doesn’t need changing.

This doesn’t mean that people do not change in some ways as they go through life.  We all change with new experiences and new knowledge and through exposure to different people.  Although our skills, knowledge and experience are constantly changing, our basic personality, temperament and character remain fairly stable.

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The truth of this can be determined by examining the lives of your family and life long friends.  Those who were stubborn and determined in their early days are stubborn and determined today and will continue to be so in the future.  Similarly, those who were more flexible and easy going in their early days have carried traits into their later life.  The same applies to the aggressive, the sociable, the restless.

People who always seek out competitive activities tend to show competitive traits through life, those who choose co-operative hobbies are most likely to want to co-operate at work.  People who always want to be the leader of their group and captain of their team may struggle with being just one amongst equals, or in a team with an already strong and established leader.

There are extreme cases, of course, in which people have undergone drastic personality changes, but these are unusual.  Most people go through life with the temperament, personality and character they inherited and developed in their early years.  The key to assessing a candidate then, lies in being able to analyse past performance.  Your job, as an interviewer, is to ask questions that will elicit responses that describe past behaviour.

 

 

Telephone Selling

The telephone remains an essential part of selling. The telephone provides great opportunities, and it presents particular challenges – which explains why many sales people are successful face-to-face but not on the telephone.

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Overview
Telephone selling is a highly specialised form of selling. It is more than just selling by use of the telephone. The absence of body language means we must rely on our voice only. Many salespeople who are good face-to-face, are poor on the telephone.

Time is compressed on the telephone. Seconds seem like minutes. Minutes seem like hours. This means we need skills to compensate for the lack of time.

This intensive and practical course provides the key skills needed.

Who Should Attend
All new telephone salespeople or those who wish to improve/refresh their ability to sell using the telephone.

Duration
1 Day

Selling Skills (Telephone Selling) – Course Objectives

Participants will learn:

    • the key challenges and benefits of telephone selling
    • how to prepare for a call and take advantage of the telephone environment
    • how to open the call and ‘set the scene’ for an effective call
    • to ask effective questions to uncover and develop needs
    • to match customer needs by aspects of the product/service, in a manner that moves towards agreement
    • how to get agreement in a conversational manner and handle any objections/questions that arise
    • the key post-call activities.

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Selling Skills (Telephone Selling) – Course Outline

Introduction
The role of the telephone
The advantages and disadvantages of selling on the telephone

Preparation
Taking advantage of the telephone
Call objectives and materials

Opening The Call
The Call Structure
Building rapport

Finding And Developing Needs
Question Structure
Designing questions

Matching Needs And Presenting Solutions
The Benefit Sequence
Developing a personal Style
‘Trial Close’

Getting Agreement
Reaching agreement in a professional manner
Handling objections/reservations

Post Call Activities
Records
Follow-up

Sales Questioning

The difference between ‘telling’ and ‘selling’ is ‘asking.’ As buyers become increasingly resistant to ‘aggressive’ selling, questioning skills have become a key difference between average performers and the top performers.

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Overview
Today’s competitive environment requires more than good interpersonal skills. Good salespeople are made, not born. They may have the inherent interpersonal skills and the ‘will-to-win’ but that must be matched by effective structures, processes and techniques. Sales Questioning has probably increased in importance more than most aspects of selling skills.

Salespeople are human. They develop good habits and bad habits. The good habits need reinforcement. The bad habits need to be realised and dealt with.

The sales force is arguably the most ‘expensive’ part of the workforce and yet is predominantly unsupervised at the point that matter most – with the customers. Skills need to be constantly refreshed and developed. As the future of the organisation often lies in the sales, new salespeople must become effective quickly. Investing in the skills of the sales force has greater return than investment in other areas of skills.

This intensive and practical course is the first in a course giving the key selling skills required. By using a course, skills are continually built.

Who Should Attend
All new and experienced salespeople.

Duration
1 Day

Selling Skills (Sales Questioning) – Course Objectives

Participants will learn:

  • to recognise the importance of questioning in advanced selling
  • receive a refresher on questioning skills. These skills will be taken to a more advanced level
  • to design questions for important situations and their current accounts
  • a powerful sequence to change priorities and cause action
  • to develop sequences to suit their personal style and current situations
  • valuable questioning techniques to improve their control of a meeting

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Selling Skills (Sales Questioning) – Course Outline

The Role Of Questioning
Reducing reservations and objections
Demonstrating interest
Finding latent needs
Tailoring the presentation

Questioning Structure
Types of question and their use
Designing questions to uncover needs and improving the quality of responses
Avoiding the pitfalls
Delicate questions
Protecting other persons ego

The G.E.T. Sequence™
How to ‘introduce needs’
Questions that convert ‘needs’ into ‘actions’
How to change ‘need’ priorities

Question Control Skills
The ‘Triple A’ sequence of handling questions
How to control digressions and the conversation flow

Managing Sales Inquiries

Overview
Today’s competitive environment requires more than good interpersonal skills. Good salespeople are made, not born. They may have the inherent interpersonal skills and the ‘will-to-win’ but that must be matched by effective structures, processes and techniques.

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Salespeople are human. They develop good habits and bad habits. The good habits need reinforcement. The bad habits need to be realised and dealt with.

The salesforce is arguably the most ‘expensive’ part of the workforce and yet is predominantly unsupervised at the point that matter most – with the customers. Skills need to be constantly refreshed and developed. As the future of the organisation often lies in the sales, new salespeople must become effective quickly. Investing in the skills of the salesforce has greater return than investment in other areas of skills.

This intensive and practical course is the first in a course giving the key skills required. By using a course, skills are continually built.

Who Should Attend
All new and experienced salespeople.

Duration
1.5 Days

Selling Skills (Sales Call and Enquiry) – Course Objectives

Participants will learn:

    • the key success factors in selling
    • a proven approach to a sales call
    • to ‘tune in’ to customers/prospects to increase their success
    • the key elements of preparation and the dramatic effect preparation can have on success
    • the key elements in opening the meeting to ensure success
    • to recognise the importance of questioning in advanced selling
    • a refresher on questioning skills – these skills will be taken to a more advanced level
    • to design questions for important situations and their current accounts
    • a powerful sequence to change priorities and cause action
    • to develop sequences to suit their personal style and current situations
    • valuable questioning techniques to improve their control of a meeting

 

Selling Skills (Sales Call and Enquiry) – Course Outline

The Professional Salesperson
Success characteristics
The difference between selling and manipulation
Changes in selling – the new ‘Triangles of Effort’
Sales Call Structure

Profiling For Greater Success
Profiling the organisation
Profiling the individuals concerned

Preparing For The Sales Call
Pre-call checklist
Setting the call objective
Handling nerves
Making the most of the reception area

Opening The Meeting
Relaxing the other person
Establishing credentials
Arousing curiosity/interest
Selling the agenda

The Role Of Questioning
Reducing reservations and objections
Demonstrating interest
Finding latent needs
Tailoring the presentation

Questioning Structure
Types of question and their use
Designing questions to uncover needs and improving the quality of responses
Avoiding the pitfalls
Delicate questions
Protecting other persons ego

The G.E.T. Sequence™
How to ‘introduce needs’
Questions that convert ‘needs’ into ‘actions’
How to change ‘need’ priorities

Question Control Skills
The ‘Triple A’ sequence of handling questions
How to control digressions and the conversation flow

The Sales Meeting

Professional Selling is not manipulation or bullying. Special skills are required. This module introduces the skills, situations and key points in a competitive sales process.

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Overview
Today’s competitive environment requires more than good interpersonal skills. Good salespeople are made, not born. They may have the inherent interpersonal skills and the ‘will-to-win’ but that must be matched by effective structures, processes and techniques.

Salespeople are human. They develop good habits and bad habits. The good habits need reinforcement. The bad habits need to be realised and dealt with.

The salesforce is arguably the most ‘expensive’ part of the workforce and yet is predominantly unsupervised at the point that matter most – with the customers. Skills need to be constantly refreshed and developed. As the future of the organisation often lies in the sales, new salespeople must become effective quickly. Investing in the skills of the salesforce has greater return than investment in other areas of skills.

Who Should Attend
All new and experienced salespeople.

Duration
1/2 Day

Selling Skills (Sales Call) – Course Objectives

Participants will learn:

    • the key success factors in selling
    • a proven approach to a sales call
    • to ‘tune in’ to customers/prospects to increase their success
    • the key elements of preparation and the dramatic effect preparation can have on success
    • the key elements in opening the meeting to ensure success

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Selling Skills (Sales Call) – Course Outline

The Professional Salesperson
Success characteristics
The difference between selling and manipulation
Changes in selling – the new ‘Triangles of Effort’
Sales Call Structure

Profiling For Greater Success
Profiling the organisation
Profiling the individuals concerned

Preparing For The Sales Call
Pre-call checklist
Setting the call objective
Handling nerves
Making the most of the reception area

Opening The Meeting
Relaxing the other person
Establishing credentials
Arousing curiosity/interest
Selling the agenda

Developing Sales Proposals

The sales proposal is often the result of extensive effort. Poor proposals waste the investment and effort involved.  Get it right to improve your sales efficiency.

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Overview
Written communication is an essential skill for all salespeople. As organisations become more complex, the need and circulation of proposals increases. Common errors include lack of clarity, irrelevance and being difficult/boring to read. The spontaneity of e-mail aggravates the number of type of errors experienced. A short e-mail may contain a crucial proposal.

Documents are often read by people who have not met the author. The document must often achieve our objectives by itself. Proposals are often the result of extensive effort. If the document fails – the previous work invested is wasted.

At school we were taught the written communication styles of literature and ‘fine’ writing. In business, many of these rules do not apply. Your business correspondence will not usually be read for pleasure. The amount of documents has dramatically increased. Our documents must compete with others.

This course is intensive, practical and interactive. It provides the key skills and techniques required by successful salespeople

Who Should Attend
All salespeople. Even trained and experienced salespeople will find this helps them to improve.

Duration
2 Days

Selling Skills (Sales Proposal) – Course Objectives

Participants will learn:

    • the considerations and constraints of a sales proposal
    • when to use a proposal and when not to
    • the key issues involved and how to handle them
    • the approach and considerations required in preparing a proposal
    • how to create a proposal that makes the prospect want to read it
    • the key elements to ensure the document is interesting
    • how to ensure their documents are understood
    • how to make their documents look appealing and easy to read
    • the key rules and pitfalls in presenting a document personally. They will also learn how to handle questions

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Selling Skills (Sales Proposal) – Course Outline

The Role Of The Proposal In The Sales Process
As a visual aid
In ‘letters’
The proposal as a closing tool
When not to send a proposal
the difference between a proposal and a report

Preparation
Setting the objective
Profiling primary/secondary readers
Preparation, information gathering

Proposal Structure
The different sections and their purposes
Creating a logical flow
Meeting different reader’s needs
Using the ‘need-feature-advantage-benefit-proof’ sequence

Ensuring Your Document Is Interesting
Key factors in creating an interesting document

Ensuring The Document Is Understood
‘rules’ guaranteed to reduce/remove potential misunderstandings
Common errors

Ensuring Readability Of The Proposal
A proposal is neither a novel nor an essay
The use of word processing readability indexes
The ‘fog index’
The structure of paragraphs
How to improve readability
Common errors that ‘turn off’ readers

Appearance Of The Proposal
Psychological factors
‘White space’
Binders

Presenting The Proposal Personally
Preparing for the personal presentation
The document as a visual aid
Consideration in the design of documents to be personally presented
Common pitfalls
Developing an effective personal style
Handling objections and reservations