Virtual communication: Connecting quickly with your virtual audience

Virtual communication: Connecting quickly with your virtual audience

Creating Connection, Learning Sprints, Selling, Virtual Meetings
Virtual communication: Connecting quickly with your virtual audience In our COVID 19 world virtual communications have never been more important than right now. This could be informally with friends and family, or increasingly, in our business context. What is certain, when we return to ‘normal’, it will not be the ‘normal’ that we were used to. The seismic shock that we are experiencing will shape the future. It will never be the same again. On that sobering thought, we all need to learn to use the virtual context in a way that helps, not hinders our communication In this series of articles, I look at some of the ‘quick wins’ - simple things that you can do, to significantly improve the way you come across when communicating through the ‘little…
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Creating your elite sales team

Creating your elite sales team

Commercial Collaboration, Customer Relationships, Learning Sprints, Programmes, Selling
Creating your elite sales team “You will be remembered by how you behaved during this time” Sat here at home like a large proportion of the global workforce, every day, I still have a sense of ‘shock and awe’ at the sheer speed that the COVID-19 crisis has impacted every element of almost everyone’s life. Being part of a business that earns its money helping others enjoy performing at their best, by running workshops and events that challenge beliefs and equip people to be ‘the best they can be’  - we, like many, have felt this acutely. Very early on in this crisis (what seems like a long time ago but in reality is a matter of a few weeks), someone said to me “You will be remembered by how…
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Time to prepare

Time to prepare

Coaching, Commercial Collaboration, Creating Connection, Crisis Management, Customer Planning, Customer Relationships, Leadership, Selling, Winning Habits
Time to Prepare Prepare for getting back on the pitch… Like everyone else, the coaches of professional sports teams are facing an unprecedented situation – no matches, no team training…well, no nothing really. Their equivalent of the office is shut.  What they have been doing is giving their players diet plans, personal training schedules & focus areas. To support and encourage, regular virtual check-ins & coaching sessions. Getting them ready for being back on the pitch. Businesses are facing a similar dilemma and many of the usual excuses for not preparing have disappeared almost overnight. What are you doing to prepare to get back on the pitch? Getting it done before the wasters turn up…. Great preparation is a prerequisite for good performance. With that in mind, when running a…
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Process? What process?

Process? What process?

Commercial Collaboration, Selling
Why good sales needs a good process... But it’ll stop me….. What do you think when you hear the word ‘process’? Putting that question to salespeople tends to elicit two extreme responses. Firstly, it’s often “love it, gives me structure, that’ll help” or, very frequently, an internal scream – “it’ll restrict me, I can’t be myself, I don’t want to be a robot”. Which camp do you fall into? In a previous article, I spoke about how most people have a negative attitude towards sales and how only around 5% of buying experiences are truly a positive, value adding experience for the customer. How do you get into the 5% club? You need a process and you need to practice it. Why a process helps you handle pressure Sales can…
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The Sales Pitch: What NOT to do…

The Sales Pitch: What NOT to do…

Creating Connection, Customer Relationships, Selling
It’s been a heck of a ride, running a business for the past 19 years. So many mistakes, so many lessons, but what a joy it is to see it take shape, evolve, respond to today’s needs…but also to remind ourselves that the one constant is people. They are humans too, and when you need to win a piece of business, inevitably you will need to pitch to win that business, and if you are to win that business, you need to win the hearts and minds of those humans... I thought it would be interesting to look through the other end of the telescope for once and share with you what I have learnt about how NOT to win business. All you need to do is the opposite, to…
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Business storytelling – a story about telling stories

Business storytelling – a story about telling stories

Business Storytelling, Customer Relationships, Inspiring People, Presentation Skills, Selling, Virtual Meetings
Make an impact and stand out from the crowd to deliver your message I have been involved in helping others be the best they can be in front of groups of people for the past 25 years, and in my view, this core business skill is underrated, usually poorly executed, and probably one of the most significant ways you can make an impact on your colleagues, customers and stakeholders. It’s a question of; “what kind of impact do you want to have?” Is it lunchtime yet? Think of all the presentations that you have been in the audience for. Now, think of all the ‘virtual’ presentations that you have witnessed. Then, think of all the conference calls you have been part of. Be honest - how many of them stood…
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Only 5% of sales professionals are respected by their customers

Only 5% of sales professionals are respected by their customers

Selling
Be part of this exclusive ‘5% club’ by learning and applying what the very best do, no matter what you are selling.  Why is it that the reputation of the sales profession is so poor? When you ask others to describe sales people, the words they use are almost universally negative – pushy, self-interested, not listening, manipulative, and so on. Being amongst the small proportion of sales people who ‘get it right’ (our research shows that at best this is a mere 5%) will enable you to stand out as a professional in your field.  A truly consultative sales person listens to their customer, shows deep curiosity, empathy and understanding, and then tells the ‘sales story’, connecting it to their customers’ needs, clearly demonstrating how they can add value and support what the customer is trying…
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Becoming a salesman

Becoming a salesman

Customer Relationships, Great Questions, Inspiring People, Selling, Winning Habits
A story of a headmaster, the engineer and disappointment Imagine the scene; a budding mining and explosives engineer in his mid-twenties. The phone call to his proud father, a respected head teacher of a well-known school. “Dad, you know that career track I have sunk the past 8 years of my life into? The one where I get to run my ‘very own’ coal mine? Well…I’ve quit. I am going to be a salesman…..” The silence was deafening, the disappointment palpable…..I remember it like it was yesterday and that moment was 30 years ago. Sales people get a bad rap…deservedly so. So….what is really interesting about this tale is WHY? What is it about the ‘sales profession’ that so many people dislike? (I think I can actually hear you responding…
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Customer Relationships – If you don’t ask, you don’t care.

Customer Relationships – If you don’t ask, you don’t care.

Customer Relationships, Selling
What’s real vs your perception? I was flying home to Dublin recently after a business trip & staying with my mother overnight. Taking off early Friday morning from London Southend (yes - London Southend, really!), we rapidly climbed above the Essex countryside. Despite a stag party, it was pretty quiet at that time in the morning. One of the ‘stags’ colleagues peered out the window and, seeing all the farmland, exclaimed “Wow, it’s not until you get up here that you realise just how big agriculture is. It’s huge & employs millions of people.” After that brief interlude he then returned to the true purpose of the day…..”2 cans of Stella, please”. Way too early for me….. It's all in the numbers... That got me thinking about something I’d read…
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The customer is always right…… wrong!

The customer is always right…… wrong!

Commercial Collaboration, Creating Connection, Customer Planning, Great Questions, Selling
Why putting your customer on a ‘pedestal’ serves no-one “I couldn’t say that to them”. “I know he was talking nonsense but I can’t challenge him”. How many times have I heard this type of language from delegates talking about their customer or boss; an internal customer? It constantly surprises me how often even experienced salespeople dis-empower themselves when it comes to their key customers. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, false statements or blatant contradictions, they just get left hanging there; dangling with the powerful potential to unravel deals that are in the interests of both parties. It’s just Fake News.... We see powerful figures getting away with ‘misspeaking’ (2019 for lying) constantly, so are we being trained not to challenge untruths? A few years back, during the…
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