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Sales and selling

What’s your emotional baggage?


You’re in professional services and you want to sell more of your products That’s a space many people find themselves in, but actually one of the words in the title tends to really throw people – the word “sell”. Lots of individuals involved in professional services, so Accountants, Solicitors, Consultants – they get very nervous…

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Should salespeople come with a sell by date?

do sales people have sell by dates?

I was thinking of this the other day. How on earth do you understand if your salespeople are, fresh, in date and wholesome? You need to think about this and you need to review regularly where your salespeople are. In lots of other professional organisations and professional careers, people have to regularly update their personal development –…

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Down in the mouth…or Took my breath away

fear of selling

            I had a root canal filling a couple of weeks ago. The reaction from anyone I told was a combined wince and sharp intake of breath. “Did it hurt?” “It took an hour? I wouldn’t fancy that.” “I hate the thought of going to the dentist: needles and drills!” Naturally,…

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The route(r) to better performance

Route to success

                      I was asked to do a short presentation to explain what New Results does. So naturally I took along one of our old D-Link routers… Imagine the excitement on the day that this (then) new router arrived: full of the promise of increased performance….

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Common sales myths and their truths

sales myths

It’s hard to find a picture for a myth, so I got the nearest thing. Over the 30 years or so that I’ve been in sales/sales management/sales training, there’s been the occasional myth that continues to do the rounds.  Here are three that still get trained out or cited as being true. Myth #1: 55%…

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Selling to decision-makers & influencers. Lessons from a kid’s party.

birthday cake

It’s great when a business owner recognises who the decision-makers and influencers are. Here’s a short story about a kid’s party. If you have children under the age of 10, chances are they’re at birthday parties on a frighteningly regular basis. Really, just how many friends can a five year old child have?  I’ve got…

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Where do you go for your “Super school days”?

personal development

It’s important to invest in personal and professional development and for me this comes in many different forms. I was fortunate enough to attend the bi-annual conference of the Professional Speaking Association (PSA)  in Reading last October. This PSA convention is part of my development and one that I find useful, rewarding and engaging. So,…

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Time-management? Forget it.

time management

Time-management.  You can’t do it;  it’s a misnomer. Time’s the great leveller: no matter how wealthy or poor we are, we all get 168 hours in a week.  Which means that unless you’ve found a fully functioning TARDIS or Doc Brown’s DeLorean, you’re as powerless to manage time as the other 7 billion or so…

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Why consumer behaviour is important

Consumer beahviour

Consumer behaviour is important and here’s a short story about why. A long weekend in the magnificent village of London – what could be nicer? Nevil was already there, having been visiting clients the day before, so I decided to take the early train so we could fill our day.  All started well: a sunny…

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How is closing like a marriage proposal?

closing and marriage

A lot is said about “closing the deal” or “closing techniques”, and some of the traditional methods are still very useful and at the same time, some new closing techniques are worth exploring. Firstly let’s define what stages there are in winning more business, increasing your sales and getting customers to yes. Getting a contract…

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Value based selling

value based selling

As Warren Buffett is credited as saying, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” If I had a penny for every time a salesperson told me that their customers only ever buy on price, well I’d have a pile of pennies. And yet, the evidence points elsewhere. Here’s just a few examples…

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We train people in sales not marketing

sales not marketing

Yes, it’s true I can’t support you with marketing your products and services, I don’t know the difference between a brand and a logo, colours baffle me, as do buying personas and typologies. This is all marketing stuff and do you know what? I leave these to marketing experts (check out my work history and…

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What business people like and dislike about others

Knowledge, skills and behaviours

What  behaviours do you chose to adopt? Here’s the output from ten business people, across a wide range of industries, on what they like and dislike about others that they’ve dealt with that day.   Dislike Greedy – wanting us to spend money before seeing what they had to sell Dishonest – told us something that…

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How is our training different?

sales skills course

When I was 25 years old, you couldn’t tell me or train me in anything, as a salesperson I knew it all, I was hitting my targets, achieving my bonus and living the life of riley. It is only now a few (ahem!) years on that I realise how little I really knew and understood…

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Are you ready to be sold to? Politics and selling

Are politicians sales people

It’s official we are now in the full throws of a general election campaign. So, what do the politicians need to achieve? Well, they need to win our votes, so they need to start selling themselves and explaining why we should vote for them. In the last general election, of those eligible to vote only…

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Customer referrals

Try This This Week

In previous 3TW videos we have talked about customer referrals and how important they are to increasing sales. In this week’s  video Mike shares a few simple ideas on making it as easy as possible for your customer to refer you.

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Price versus value

Try This This Week

Price and value two words that often get interchanged and we don’t really give too much thought to it. However they are very different and as we all know selling on value is a better option than selling on price. In the video below Mike shares 3 simple tips to help you sell on value…

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Is your soft selling a crime?

Image from freedigitalphotos.net

Broken windows and soft selling. How do these fit together? Let me explain. I have been rereading Malcolm Gladwells “The Tipping Point”; part of the book talks about the well-publicised broken windows theory that was first introduced by social scientists James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, in 1982. This is an excerpt:“Consider a building…

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Pin the customer on the journey

The customer journey

I was in my native county – Lancashire – earlier this month, delivering my keynote on the Psychology of Consumer Behaviour.  Hey, wake up at the back!  This is a bit different, though I admit that there’s a couple of pictures of a brain. Anyway, part of my keynote examines where customers form their first…

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But we ALWAYS lose deals on price

Selling on price or value?

Do you position your price effectively with customers? Position the value of what you offer and how much value you can bring to your customers. Customers are far more interested in value than you might think. I say this because so many people we meet when we deliver seminars and training tell us; “Well, in…

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Shop, Horror!

My tweet to Steph

As sure as a cheap pack of Christmas cards on Boxing Day, the festive retail sales figures got the usual media coverage.  And the winners are?  Next, Aldi, John Lewis Waitrose and House of Fraser to name a few. I pinged Steph McGovern a tweet with my thoughts (reply still pending Steph!)  Now, without the…

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Why traditional sales training won’t work for Scottish Power

Knowledge, skills & behaviours

We have seen the news today that Scottish Power is being forced to pay customers £8.5M after a probe by OFGEM http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24620304   OFGEM said customers were misled during sales approaches due to Scottish Power’s failure to “adequately train and monitor” staff. We are seeing an increasing number of issues like this in sales teams….

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Recipe for the perfect sales person


In celebration of it being National Cake Week we thought we would share our wisdom about the perfect recipe for being a great sales person. Oh and not forgetting that we love cakes too! Ingredients 2 x ears 1 x mouth Handful of listening skills 4 table spoons of great questioning techniques 4 teaspoons of self belief…

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The perfect consumers? – Romeo & Juliet

Our consumers; Romeo & Juliet

A fanciful story on what might have been if a certain wedding planner had really understood their customer and their behaviours on the day they visited. Romeo and Juliet.  A good read even though it had a sad twist at the end.  They deserved better. Just think, if Bill had been in a different mood,…

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Is it right to treat customers the same?

Treating customers fairly

One of our directors used to work in banking, but we try not to hold it against him. What’s interesting about the banking sector – in fact, all firms that were regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) – is that they had to adhere to a set of principles called “Treating Customers Fairly”, or TCF…

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Slaying your sales demons

st george

Competition It’s useful to have competition – they are an indicator of a market with demand and can keep you on your toes.  But we don’t always see them that way, do we? Short of taking the Victor Kiam* approach (he was so impressed, he bought the company!), you need to know how to take…

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Time to act more professionally

“I will see you there at 10.00. ” Is this becoming the new “the cheque is in the post”? Is it not time to act more professionally as salespeople? What possesses people to book meetings for set times and then not bother turning up for them. I sit writing this blog while waiting for a…

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Is your sales pitch helping or hurting?

When in front of potential customers what sort of things do we need to think about before making any sort of sales pitch? Well it needs to be right and appropriate to the audience you are addressing. One of the biggest things potential customers don’t like is a disconnect between them and the person trying…

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