Category Archives: Sales

Why sales and service training doesn’t always stick!

I bet you (or your people) have been on many training courses in the past that, whilst good on the day, failed to make a lasting impression or change. Many of us still have the handouts and workbooks stashed away in our drawers from long forgotten training sessions that have never seen the light of day since. So why didn’t the training stick? Why didn’t you or your people come bursting back into work making tangible changes and improvements? It’s because you need the following essential elements in order to make training really stick. Continue reading

Are you scaring off potential buyers?

Picture the scene, you are on a train platform and a fellow passenger smiles at you. They look friendly and professional enough, so you smile back. Then they quickly walk over to you and tell you how great they are at their job, how much of a catch they are and that they are sure they can make you happy. Then they ask you to marry them! How would you feel? Would you be shocked that a smile had developed so quickly into a proposal? Would you wonder why they hadn’t spoken to you first and got to know you a bit more? Whatever your initial thoughts, it’s highly likely that you would at best refuse and at worst run off!

This is exactly what happens when you connect with someone (either on LinkedIn or by another method) then immediately ask your connection to buy something from you or meet you for a sales appointment. This approach feels rushed and not centred around them and their needs.

Think of a sale like a romantic relationship. If you were on a first date and your date spent the whole evening talking about themselves and what they wanted out of life, you probably wouldn’t want to see them again. Everybody’s favourite subject is….themselves! So we respond well to questions about what we do, how we do it and why we do it. Find out a bit more about your connection in a genuine and authentic way. That way you can discover whether you have connected with a prospective buyer, a new friend or just a great connection to learn from. Continue reading

Stop Buying Customer Service Training

Over the years I have run various customer services courses and as there was a demand for it, I supplied it. I rarely ran them as open courses because I wanted to ‘vet’ the companies to make sure they were ready for the training. The truth is that customer service ‘training’ is the last step for your organisation to take if you truly want to be customer centred (and then in the end you may not actually need it!).

Many call this process I’m talking about ‘Creating a Customer Culture’ and that in essence is what it is. I prefer to call it making customer care part of your DNA – where it drives your people instinctively, rather than you having to inspire it in them with initiative after initiative!

I’m including your sales and marketing functions in this too as from the customer’s prospective it is all service to them. And I’m also including internal customers because in business everyone who isn’t you is a customer. So that’s pretty much your whole organisation! Continue reading

Have you got double standards when it comes to buying and selling?

When salespeople tell me they are still cold calling I ask them ‘When did you last buy from a cold call?’ Almost all say never!

If they want training on how to get passed gatekeepers I ask them ‘How would you feel if someone tricked their way passed your gatekeeper? Would you want to build rapport and buy from them?’ Guess how they answer that one!

We have a wealth of knowledge about how people buy because we all buy stuff all the time. If a fancy sales trick doesn’t work on you then it probably won’t work on anyone like you. Continue reading

Why sales and service training doesn’t work

No, I haven’t gone mad; I just want to show you that it’s a mindset and culture thing!

Most training courses consist of the sharing of tools and techniques to use and implement in your organisation. These tools rely on the desire, commitment and will of the learner to use them.

The trouble is it’s not that simple. If it was just down to learning the tools then we would have no problem selling, serving, losing weight, managing time, finding love or any of the other goals we want to achieve in life.

It takes more than that. It takes a real desire to want to do something differently or better and the right culture to do it in.

There is little point in JUST giving your people tools for how to give a great sales and service experience. They know what ‘great’ does and doesn’t look like, they see it every day as customers themselves. It has to go deeper than that. They need to understand WHY they WANT to do it. Continue reading

Winning back lost or lapsed business

The key to winning back business is in service recovery and rebuilding trust and faith.

It’s rare that you can just pick up the phone and resell to a customer that no longer uses you.  There will be reasons they no longer buy and they may not welcome a sales call from you.

Taking decisive service recovery steps are a must and even if your efforts don’t result in winning a lost customer back, they may help recover your reputation.

If they left you they were probably unhappy with something you did (or didn’t do) and unhappy people tell others. At one time I think the stats were that happy customers told 3 in 10 people and unhappy told 7 in 10. With social media you can add several zeros to that figure!

Try my 5 step service and reputation recovery method!  Continue reading

Beating the competition (with a big stick!)

With the Olympics around the corner it’s a good time to think about the others in the race for the buyer’s custom: Our competitors. A competitor is not just someone providing the same service as you – it could be something else that the buyer could spend their money on.

Buyers can be loyal to their suppliers and find it a wrench to switch.  They won’t swap to you for the same deal.  Buyers will need some added value and incentive – think of it as compensation. Continue reading

Who has all the Power?

Today’s buyer is far more discerning and asks more sophisticated questions than ever.  The market is tougher and more competitive than ever … and that’s great! If you have a great product or service, can master getting your message out there and can overcome the buyer’s fear,  you will sell.

Quality, integrity and honesty are key to success in sales.  The proof of the pudding as they say (not sure who they are but they seem wise!) is in the eating so: Continue reading

Where is the fear in your sale?

Whether you are buying something as romantic as an engagement ring or as exciting as a holiday there is an element of fear in every sale for the buyer.

Have I got the best deal? Is this exactly what I need and want? Will it last? Is the quality assured? Can I get something cheaper/better somewhere else? Have I paid more than others have? These are just some of the little niggling doubts buyers have that can stop buyers buying if they aren’t overcome. Continue reading