Sales Coaching Series, Part 14: You have to be aware of things that influence buyers!

You buy every day. What influences you to buy from a particular person or store?

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I’m sure you are aware by now that you are being influenced all the time to purchase. Apart from retail where it is "in your face"  morning, noon and night, other purchases might take some time to buy. In other words, it is not on impulse.

Let’s take professional services as an example of something that promises "gain" yet it is, somewhat, intangible. If you buy a car, a home, clothing, food, a holiday…you can touch, feel, see it; it’s tactile! Whereas if you are trying to paint a picture in someone's head that, by coming on board, taking e.g. my “professional advice”, you as my client will really, really benefit.

Hmmm...a different story. It’s “trust me”-time, track record-stuff  and definitely not impulsive.

Everything you do as a seller, has an impact. In other words, everything you do counts; it either adds or takes away from your process. Think about this for a moment. Everything you do has an impact, positive or negative. That means that there is nothing neutral going on here. Buyers are making up their minds all of the time. If you do something that ticks the box, that's a plus. If you say something that put doubt or is even neutral in the mind of the prospect, that's a negative.

This is not easy. Prospecting is not easy. It never was, is or will be. If prospecting was easy and winning deals was a piece of cake, everybody would be doing it.

So, you want to put yourself into the top percentile of prospectors? Is that correct? There are lots of things you need to consider and those who are in the top of their profession in this area, radiate certain qualities and influencers.

Positivity:

How do you think being positive and confident and having a 'can-do' attitude ranks in the list of influencers? Yrs, of course you're right, it is critical. If you go into any meeting or engagement with a potential prospect and you do not come across as enthusiastic, energetic, confident and someone who exudes self belief, and in particular, belief in the product or service that you are representing, then you have little chance of success.

Look at yourself in the mirror… Go on! Take a good, hard look and ask yourself if you come across as positive, passionate, committed and client centric? If you do not have the clients in the middle of your life you are doomed to failure. Many sales people have money in the middle of their lives, or results, or their commissions, or hitting targets and performance… and it is very, very easy to lose sight of the cause of your success, namely your clients.

If you treat your customers with anything other than 100% of your commitment, care, attention and, dare I say, friendship, then you risk losing sight of THE most important factor  in your career.

They say that positivity is contagious. I mentioned in an earlier blog that selling is a mere "transfer of enthusiasm". I have rarely bought anything from a sales person, that I don't see as demonstrating the characteristics I described above.

So, positivity is critical, yes? Agreed...good!

What else? Frankly, I like dealing with people who dress well! I know that fashion has changed and having "dress-down Fridays" is commonplace. No difficulty with that whatsoever! There is a "but"!

The word "BUT":

Oh yes, as an aside, try to eliminate the word "but" from your vocabulary. Simply replace it with the word "and"... You will be amazed what it actually does to your attitude. The word "but" is a downer...you know exactly what I mean? "You're doing a great job John, but..." Ouch!! For John, there is something coming down the line here and he is not going to be happy about it.

 How about replacing it with: "you're doing great John...AND... I'd also like you to...blah, blah, blah...". Much better, what ?

So getting back to my point about clothing, when I meet somebody for the first time, 90% of what I see is their clothing. Why don't you make a resolution, take a look at the clothing you are wearing and ask yourself what kind of messages that these are sending out to your prospects and clients? Don't ask your best friend, unless they are totally frank with you. Ask somebody who knows about this kind of stuff, what works, what does not, what is appropriate etc.

Is it said you should "dress for success". I cannot disagree. Someone once told me that you should always dress one or two levels above where you think you are in the pecking order of seniority. Trust me on this... "trust me on the sunscreen"...  do it!! It works!

Next week we will look at some other influencers, so until then...!!

influencers

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Sales Coaching Series, Part 13: Establishing if your prospect desires, needs, can use and afford your offering

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Think of a time when you purchased something and the experience you went through where all of the boxes are ticked in your mind and you were confident that this was the right decision. We all purchase things everyday from a coffee in the morning through to a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. Psychologically, the person selling this to you will have painted pictures in your head, even if it is just that coffee was handed over to you with a smile and have a nice day! In other words, you must get "the feeling", warm and fuzzy, perhaps, that this was a good decision.

Let me give you a couple of personal war stories that happened to me recently to illustrate.

Purchase No. 1: My daughter moved into her new apartment and asked if I would help to mount her expensive TV onto brackets on a big, white wall. This meant me going out to buy an electric drill and to describe the task at hand to the guy behind the counter. I'm okay at DIY, but this was going a step further and I was full of trepidation.

In fairness to the guy he spotted my fear and said that if I followed his instructions that I would have four of the best drilled holes with plastic plugs inserted, that would be so strong and sturdy, it would hold up both the TV and myself if I wished!

What I realised I was buying was not a drill, but four holes that would make me look like super dad! To cut a long story short, the TV looks great and many weeks later I haven't received any emergency phone calls from my daughter!

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So, in this case, I wanted the four holes, and therefore needed a drill that I could use with confidence and frankly, whatever the cost of the drill was, I was going to afford and pay for it. Purchase done and dusted ... and a win for the hardware store and a win for me!

Purchase No.2: I recall asking my other daughter to help me pick out some clothing, new shirt, trousers, shoes that sort of thing for my birthday party that some of my friends were going to attend. Obviously, the guys at home wanted me to look my best, even though what I had in the wardrobe was, to my mind, fine. How wrong I was!

I must admit I don't enjoy retail that much, so I was definitely out of my comfort zone, going into this expensive men's department. It was then I saw HIM coming towards me! I had a voucher for about €300 that I thought it would be more than adequate to kit me out for the night, and hopefully, for many nights in the future. My daughter handed me over to HIM and chaperoned me around the store for the next hour. Shirt and trousers swallowed up the voucher in double quick time! In fairness to HIM, the clothes did look great and I felt good in them!

You know what is coming next!

There was something missing from the ensemble and, of course, my daughter agreed. Yes, I needed a jacket to finish it off and when he draped this particular jacket on me, I must admit, had an OMG moment.

It was perfect! I wanted it. I needed it. I certainly was going to use it and as for being able to afford it, what the hell!

To cap it all, he was brilliant, went for the jugular and strongly recommended that I add a leather belt (blood-red was the "in" colour... can't believe I am actually saying that) that added another €80 to the bill. Again, I have to say...it was perfect. So now, had I not only used up my €300 voucher, I was well on the way to more than doubling the budget. 

The purpose of these two examples is to illustrate that all buying is emotional. I really wasn't buying a drill and some clothing. I was buying confidence that four holes in the wall would hold up my daughter's TV forever, and, as regards the clothing, I was buying self image, confidence in myself and dare I say it, a little bit of ego enhancement.

Now ask yourself every time you are qualifying your prospects in future:

·        do they desire/want your offering?

·        do they need it?

·        can they use it? and finally,

·        can they afford it (or afford not to)?

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Sales Coaching Series, Part 12: Do I have the right prospect for me and my business?

I look back to my early days of prospecting for business and see many of the mistakes I made in trying to get to the closing of the deal. Far too fast!

In my case, my personality type was a combo of extroversion and emotion/heart, therefore building relationships came easy to me. So did transferring the enthusiasm for my service to the prospect…or so I am told!

While these attributes are useful and admirable, they often led me to making assumptions and rash proposals. In other words, I could not hold myself back from trying to consummate the relationship. In fact, I sometimes fall into that trap today as you know what they say about a leopard never changing his spots! People don't change that much.

So what have I done in order to "curb my enthusiasm"? (By the way, have you seen Larry David in that American comedy show of a similar name? Brilliant!). I have learned to behave in the exact opposite way to my style, even to the point of psychologically training my brain and mind to engage before my mouth is put to use.

Let the prospect speak. Allow him or her to tell you their story first. You must identify or diagnose their needs before you go into any reasons why they might even consider buying your product or service.

Many people in the early stages of their sales career fall into this trap. Don't you let yourself be one of them. Refer back to my earlier blogs where I emphasise the need for you to build relationships that are founded on trust, empathy and, dare I say, friendship with your prospect. If your prospect sees you as being a problem solver and solution provider to their pains and aches, business-wise, then you are a great distance down the road in being able to entice them to take you on.

So, let me repeat, not for the first time, diagnosis before prescription!

You are going to come across many different types of prospects in your career. Just remember that when you do win a new customer, that there will be people snapping at your heels, in an attempt to either get them back or to take over as a new client. Therefore, continuing with the business relationship is going to be a critical success factor in your career.

As I have said many times in seminars, many average or even below average sales people can probably win customers that they often don't deserve to secure. That's life. The more important question is whether they can get the second and third and fourth sales. In other words, can they make them lifetime customers? The purpose of your business is to attract in and retain customers, so we will talk in future blogs about retention activities and strategies. For now, let's focus on the prospects that you are trying to secure and get over the line for the first time.

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As I referred to above, there are many different types of prospects. The ideal one for you and easiest of course, is where they are really dissatisfied with their existing offering. In other words, you may be pushing an open door and once you start diagnosing where their pain is, you can later match these pains, with pain relievers, i.e. your product or service.

You may have prospects who are so content and happy with their existing supplier, that you may feel you are wasting your time. These are clearly the more difficult nuts to crack. Yet, I believe that these are also worth pursuing, if only to hone your diagnostic and communication skills. If there genuinely is no need, then there is no sale. However, you can still ask these prospects for an opportunity to tell you about their business, no strings attached. Perhaps some of the issues that the current offering/supplier may not be addressing is an opportunity. You may offer them some complimentary advice or opinion on a question that they may not ask their current supplier.

So, if you are interested in building long-term relationships with prospects and clients, you have to invest time in this. Again, I will repeat, get out amongst the prospects, attend networking meetings, bring plenty of business cards, identify people of interest, approach them, introduce yourself, but always ask first, if they haven't got in ahead of you, what do they do.

In a way, this is more about you having the self belief, self image and courage to put yourself out there. I can almost guarantee that the more you see yourself as being this successful prospector, the more success you will attract into your life. Picture yourself as this professional, competent and knowledgeable salesperson. In fact, see yourself similar to this medical practitioner we have spoken about.

Imagine going into a doctors surgery and everyone in there from the receptionist right through to the most senior practitioner, comes across as being unsure, lacking in self-belief and giving off an air of incompetence. Offer on the wall: half-price brain surgery, this week only!!

It doesn't bear thinking about, does it?

Think of the messages that you are currently sending out with your approach to prospects. Okay, so what do you need to fix right now before approaching a new prospect?

Go attend to it right now, fix it and let me know what gaps you have identified.

Until next week then…

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Sales Coaching Series, Part 11: Is all buying "emotional"?

A trusted mentor once said to me in the early stages of my career, that if I did not understand and get the message that all buying is psychological/emotional, then I would never be good at selling. It took me a while for the penny to drop and, I can assure you, once I got it, I saw it everywhere. In the last blog, we spoke about how important listening is. We listen actively and incisively to watch what the person is saying because we want to establish if the prospect is feeling any way dissatisfied with their current offering.

So what are these psychological and emotional triggers that will get your prospect to say "yes"? It is said that the reason anybody buys or rents anything, is:

1.      desire for gain or benefit...and/or

2.      fear of loss/losing out

Think about that for the moment.

In particular, think about some of your recent purchases. Suppose it was some clothing where you wanted to look your best or impress someone or just feel good about yourself.  What psychological and emotional thoughts went through your head? I guarantee at some point when you found that beautiful piece of clothing that looked really good on you, you thought that this ticked box number one above, in other words, this satisfies my desire for gain and benefit.

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Then a counter argument may have came into the decision-making. Ouch!... perhaps when you saw the price. Then the voice in your head says "if you don't buy this, you are going to lose out". Bingo! Box 2 above, is being ticked. Will I, won't I? You know how it goes. In the end you buy it because the desire for gain and the fear of losing out are overwhelming.

Now put yourself in the shoes of your prospects and the product/service with which you are trying to impress them. Have you painted pictures in their heads with your questions? We all think in pictures, don't we? If so, your job is to paint pictures in your prospects heads by emphasising the improvement that they are going to possess when they take your product/service on board.

Let's face it, everybody is only thinking about themselves. You could say that they are actually preoccupied with their favourite subject...themselves! Once you understand that, everything else falls into place in the sales process. People love talking about themselves; so, if they do, get on board with them.

These are the people that are going to feed you and your family and anybody that does that for me, I'm going to listen, listen and listen more, until such time I know exactly what these prospects want, they need, they can use and afford.

This is actually detective work! I used to love Colombo, remembered him...Peter Falk , the actor, played this detective. Look it up. It's a gas! You know, that moment and part when the murderer eventually reveals him or herself? It's exciting, yes! Selling is really no different.

You may ask a question and it can be the trigger or button, where the prospect truly reveals the desire for gain. In other words, what do they feel and think they are going to benefit by, when they take your product/service on board. Nobody has ever sold anything of worth unless they have been able to reveal this in a consultative selling process.

So how good are you at this aspect of the sales journey? If you can gather the facts about why others may have bought this particular product/service, then you have a far better chance of directing the conversation to those, what we might call, triggers or hot buttons. It is all about the needs of the customer, it is grounded in their desires, in their fears, in their hopes, dreams and aspirations.

Therefore, it is up to you and only you, to be brilliant at this particular aspect of the process. Why would your customers be better off dealing with you? After all, the world of sales is changing so rapidly with competition, technology and information, that nothing is certain, any more. It is up to you, therefore, to know your product cold!

What I mean by cold, is that if somebody woke you up in the middle of the night from a deep sleep, and asked you about the benefits of your product/service, you would be able to rattle them off instantaneously. Could you do that now? Could you actually write down immediately, the top five reasons or ways that your customer would benefit, and therefore be better off by purchasing your product/service?

Here, I'll make it easy for you. Complete this now!

  1. ______________________________________________
  2. ______________________________________________
  3. ______________________________________________
  4. ______________________________________________
  5. _____________________________________________

Once done, get out amongst your prospects and start testing this approach. You won't regret it!

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Sales Coaching Series, Part 10: The power of asking “killer” questions and LISTENING

Firstly, a BIG thank you to a few people who contacted me during the week to say that, as a result of my recent blogs and applying some of the concepts, they have WON new clients. My heart is so uplifted by that. GREAT!

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Listening. What is it? In order for people to speak and for you to listen (your job as a diagnostician), you have to firstly ask questions. We all know that there are different types of questions. For example, open questions are best if you want information. Use words like:

  • “How is that?”
  • “Tell me more”
  • “Why do you think that happened?”
  • “Explain that again to me, please”…and so on. How, why, what-type questions.

For completeness, closed questions ask you for “yes/no”-type answers. Do you want fries with that? Do you prefer the red one or blue one?  

There are times in sales when you use both. In the early stages of relationship-building, open questions are best. Put the prospect at the centre of your life. Get them speaking. Get them to tell you where is their pain, what do they dream about, what are they not happy about with their current supplier.

Have you got specific “killer” questions to unearth the prospects pain? If not, spend time after this blog writing them down. Some may be “thinking”-type questions…focusing on facts, metrics, results, statistics i.e. more head than heart. “Feeling”-type questions ask exactly about that…e.g. ”so, how do people around here feel about that?”. It’s emotion more than factual, more heart than head, ok?

Good!

I can honestly say that learning killer questions, being able to ask them in an open, honest and empathetic way, has literally enabled me to feed my family over the past 20 years in consultancy. Ok, so it’s only the starting point of the process…however, once you diagnose, you must be able to prescribe, present your solution and then close the deal. Identifying needs and finding out if this prospect is for you and you for them, requires effort, input and patience.

Personal case study: I recall being almost “coffee’d-out” having met a prospect once and then going back again and again over a period of 15 months and nothing happened, nada, zilch, zero! On the point of almost giving up, I went back for one more time and…hey presto, NOTHING again! However, one week later, a call. “Can you come see me ?…I think you may be able to do something for us”. Turned out to be a very lucrative client for me over a long period and I put it down to persistence, not being a “pain”, being empathetic and, mostly, being non-judgemental and an ability to listen. In other words, when you ask a question, ZIP IT! Ask for permission to take notes…ALWAYS do this as not to do so, will send out the wrong signals and the person may clam up thinking…”what the hell is he/she writing about me?”. Be careful about this so courtesy is essential before writing down your thoughts.

Ok, now for a bit of homework. Try this consultative diagnostic process on a “friend”, ask your killer questions, did you unearth the causes of the pain, did you spend 80% of your time listening and 20% speaking?

Ask for feedback, do the exercise again and again until you are fully comfortable with it. Only then, try it out on a prospect.

Best of luck…and tell me how you have done! 

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Sales Coaching Series, Part 9: How do you build strong business relationships?

Over the course of these initial blogs, the importance of relationships has been emphasised again and again.

So, how do you go about building this foundation that is so essential for sales success?

We mentioned previously that people like buying from people whom they like. So, what is your likeability factor? Do you come across as someone that is friendly, honest, caring and who shows respect for the other person? Do you respect their time? For example, showing up for meetings on time, prepared and ready for action, is a form of respect.

People who are late for meetings are essentially saying to the other person that, something was more important than you. If you are late for a meeting, do you actually apologise, ask for forgiveness and promise that it will never happen again? That's true  respect!

If the purpose of your business is to attract in and retain customers, then every moment of impression that you make on them, must be a positive one. Treating people with respect, like turning up on time and keeping to your promises are fundamentals and many people, unfortunately miss this critical success factor.

How much do you actually care about your customer? I mean really care about them and how you can become a trusted supplier. It is almost like becoming their "friend". I don't mean that you need to meet them at weekends and go on holidays with them... it's when you are with them, do you treat them with care and respect?

Anybody that pays my bills, in other words, my customers, I am going to love them! This does not mean that you get into false flattery, manipulation or activities that lack integrity. No, what I mean is that you treat others like you would like to be treated.

For example, when you greet them and meet, do you smile, are you courteous, do you shake their hand, look into their eyes, and demonstrates that you are really happy to be with them.

I am fully aware that in business, there are challenges with clients and customers, and that not everything goes smoothly and in straight lines. It is rarely La-La Land!

However, you are there to make sure that those kinks and boulders in the road of your relationship and on the journey are ironed out as much as possible. This means compromise, this means ensuring that the clients self-esteem is protected, this means that your communication skills need to be well honed.

Remember that when you meet a prospect or client, you have to be where they are right now, not where you wish them to be. You have no idea what may have happened to that individual before leaving for work that morning, what happened earlier in the day in their business and what they may be facing and is preoccupying their minds.

So, being non-judgemental and accepting what you find is a rather important success factor in the sales business. Judge not, lest you be judged!

It is easy to find something nice to say. Pass a favourable comment on how well the person looks or, (if not looking that well), find something else to praise. It costs you nothing. Be courteous and thank them for their time. In other words, they are taking time out of their busy schedule and day, to give you the opportunity to tell them whatever you have to tell them. In that case, a couple of "thank you" interjections will not go amiss. Thank you for seeing me, thank you for giving me your time, thank you for the information you gave me… thank you, thank you, thank you!

A poignant story comes to mind about being judgemental.

A young man with three children were on the underground in London and, it looked as if the three kids were out of control, running, jumping off seats, screaming, fighting and the dad behaved and looked oblivious to the mini mayhem that was going on in the carriage. There were lots of "tut-tuts" and sidelong glances by some of the passengers. After about 20 minutes, in exasperation, a passenger went to the father and asked him whether he would mind controlling his "brats", to reprimand them, control them and behave like a responsible adult. The dad seemed to be aware for the first time about what was going on around him and herded the kids together. Once they were calm, he went and apologised to the passenger and explained that he had just left the hospital where his young wife had just died and he was bringing kids to his mum's home to be minded.

One doesn't have to say much more about being judgemental and centred on oneself to get the oint across.

Think about how you can apply this lesson the next time that you are meeting a client or prospect. How different will you behave?

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Sales Coaching Series, Part 8: Why do I have to waste all this time on relationship-building?

This question was asked of me at a seminar recently. In fact, the full question was, "why do I have to waste all of this time on relationship building, when I could be out there picking the low hanging fruit and selling... and making easy money?".

What do you think the answer to that is?

Look, if you want to go after low hanging fruit business, don't let me stop you and knock yourself out!

However, you got to ask yourself if this is a sustainable way of building up long-term, profitable and loyal customers? I don't think so.

I know it is a cliché, however, it is said that "people buy people". In fact I would go so far as to say that prospects will buy you first, then your company followed by your product or service. This means that you must spend a great deal of time on yourself. Get to know and be aware of what others see when you are approaching them. What is your style, your behaviour, your temperament…the way that you sell. If you were a customer of yourself, ask yourself would like to be treated the way that I treat my prospects?

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Why is all this, pre-sales attitude, self awareness and temperament "stuff" so important nowadays?

Just like the world of work has changed, there is been a paradigm shift in the world of sales also. Think of the customers today, as opposed to 5, 10, 15 years ago. They are far more aware and informed about the products and services that they are going to buy.

Everybody Googles in advance today! So if you are dealing with a far more educated pool of prospects, you had better be as knowledgeable and informed about the choices that they have before you approach them.

Competition is everywhere. Many retailers complain, and rightly so, about the fact that their shops are becoming fitting rooms for "tyre-kickers" only for people to go back home and order the same product, online. Face-to-face selling therefore has to be far more relationship based than in the past, not just in retail, but everywhere.

In part seven, I mentioned the fact that you need to think of yourself as someone akin to a consultant, a doctor or trusted adviser. You would never walk into a medical practitioner's office and the doctor tell you immediately what is exactly wrong with you, write a prescription and turn you out the door to pay your bill at reception!

This would lack all sorts of integrity, honesty and I'm sure your confidence to go back in the future would be destroyed.

We therefore cannot manipulate people into buying our product or service. They have to see that we understand them, we know where their pain is and we know what they would wish to gain from dealing with us.

We will talk in the future about how you emphasise benefits rather than features when you are presenting your offering. Focusing on the benefits puts the customer or the prospect at the centre of the conversation. If you start talking about the features, you are very often showing off about how much you know about the technical side or "what's under the bonnet" in relation to your offering. If you find peoples' eyes glazing over, you may be falling into this trap. Avoid at all costs unless somebody is really, really, really (did I say really?) interested in how the thing works.

You cannot make assumptions about the prospect. The only way you will know how the prospect is thinking and feeling, and may act in the future, is by building a relationship with them and asking them questions.

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Have you got your questions ready? Take a minute and write down the typical questions that will enable you to diagnose where the customer's pain is right now, what they are thinking about, and maybe dreaming about, in terms of the type of product or service that you are offering so that when you come to the presenting, you can customise it to each prospect situation.

In next week's blog, we will talk more about how you build that trusting relationship, so that the prospect will open up to you.

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Sales Coaching Series, Part 7: Knowing how and where to spend your time and energy in sales

I recall attending one of Brian Tracy's great talks on sales, a number of years ago. If you don't know who Brian is, you should visit his website and take up one of his online courses or read one of his excellent books.

What I vividly remember from that seminar was the lesson on the proportion of time and effort that I should put into the various aspects of the selling process. In summary what I came away with was a ratio, namely 4:3:2:1. In other words, roughly 4/10, 3/10, 2/10 and 1/10 of my time should be invested in key activities.

In last week's blog, I touched on six areas where I asked you to score yourself in terms of your abilities and to identify what you needed to work on. Let's apply a more simple formula now using the 4:3:2:1 Brian Tracy proportion as this will form the basis for my future blogs.

So what is this 4:3:2:1? Allow me to summarise:

1.      4/10ths of your time in the sales process, should be spent in meeting prospective clients, getting out among them, building trust and relationships with them.

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2.      3/10ths of your time involves identifying needs and the only way, quite honestly, you can do this is by listening to what the prospects are saying and asking incisive questions about where they pains are and what they would ideally love. In other words you spend time, like every good medical practitioner, diagnosing before you think about prescriptions.

3.      2/10ths of your time should involve presenting your solution, transferring the enthusiasm for your product or service to the prospect and matching what that prospect needs, wants, can use and can afford.

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4.      1/10th of your time should be invested in trying to close the deal. In other words, if you follow steps one, two and three above and use your time in that proportion, the amount of effort and energy that you need to invest in bringing the deal over the line is far reduced.

I'm sure you have witnessed yourself, people trying to sell to you. They immediately jump into what they are selling, and invariably, you are switched off because neither have they got to know you and diagnosed your needs and your wants, nor paid much attention to the benefits. They will inevitably start focusing on the features of what they are selling...a disaster from start to finish!

Have you fallen into the trap of taking this approach? If you have, stop it, right now! It sound counterintuitive and you may have developed bad habits in the way that you approach new prospects. If you have, accept it, change and let's move on.

TIP: I was once told that as I have two eyes, two ears, one nose and one mouth, that I should use them in that proportion when selling anything. I guarantee you that this has stood to me in very good stead and I try to apply it all the time.

Very often the prospect may derail you and get you straight into telling them about you and your company/product/service. Avoid it at all costs!

In fact I would go as far as to say to the prospect that you would much rather hear about their business, first, as to do it the other way round, will only waste time and energy. This takes courage… so, stick to your guns and follow the process of 4:3:2:1 by spending a great proportion of your time at the start getting to know the prospect.

As I referred to above, prospects must:

  1. want
  2. need
  3. use
  4. and afford... whatever service or product you are attempting to convince them to buy.

In fact, you should set out a series of diagnostic questions for use in the future when you are approaching prospects. I like to call them my "killer questions", as they often stop people in their tracks and get them really thinking about the gap in their existing suppliers that you hope to fill.

You are a doctor, a consultant! How can you find out where the pain is unless you prod and poke and see the reaction?

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As an exercise for next week, why don't you pull together 5 to 7 questions that will really unearth and reveal if you're prospect wants, needs, can use and afford your product or service.

Finally, if you have not seen this already, let me introduce you to Stratgeyser's Business Model Canvas. It is simply excellent! Once you go through this, you really need to download their accompanying Value Proposition video. Google images for their "value proposition" and you will be amazed at the creative juices that this will generate in your head about your product and service.

This is a great starting point if you want to be serious about matching your clients want that you can deliver.

So, best of luck with this and look forward to next week's blog!

 

Contact us to discuss your corporate and executive coaching requirements:

Sales Coaching Series, Part 6: 24 things of which you need to be self-aware when selling

In the first five modules coaching blogs, we have concluded on the following key points:

1. Top percentile of sales people are consistently better by only a few percentage points in
critical success factors. You need to know what your critical success factors are. See here.

2. You must take a benevolent view of the world, in other words, believing that the world of
sales is conspiring to do you good. See here.

3. Understand the Pareto Principle. It works in every aspect of your life, not the least in sales. See here.

4. Fill your mind with images of yourself being successful in sales, never again expressing
negativities about yourself, only expressing positive words that your subconscious mind will
pick up as "gospel". See here.

5. Be aware of your personality style and how you come across. Your observable behaviour and
temperament are key ingredients in your sales success. See here.

In the next parts of our sales coaching series, we will examine the following list of skills and
competencies in more detail.


For the moment, why not score yourself out of 10, 1 being very poor, 5 average and 10 being
excellent.


Then, circle the ones that you need to work on and simply work on them! No procrastination, no self-doubt, no excuses… Just Do It!

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A. Pre-sales questions:

1. How good are you at researching your prospects? Your Score:

2. How good are you at building trust with prospects? Your Score:

3. How competent are you at setting clear objectives with each sales call? Your Score:

4. How good are you at seeking and securing appointments with new prospects? Your Score:

 

B. Questions on your ability to identify clients needs?

1. How well do you listen? Your Score:

2. How good are you at questioning? Your Score:

3. How encouraging are you with prospects, do you "sell the sizzle"? Your Score:

4. How well do you spot opportunities when discussing with prospects/clients? Your Score:

 

C. Coming up with proposals:

1. How relevant and focused are your proposal? Your Score:

2. Do you come across as enthusiastic about your product/service? Your Score:

3. Do you show an understanding of the client/prospect needs? Your Score:

4. How organised are you with your proposals and presentations? Your Score:

 

D. Overcoming objections and resistance:

1. How direct are you with objections? Your Score:

2. Where are you on the scale of persuasiveness? Your Score:

3. How well do you clarify details and specifics when objected to? Your Score:

4. Are you able to directly meet concerns of the prospects/client? Your Score:

 

E. Closing the deal:

1. Overall how well do you think you close deals? Your Score: 

2. How flexible are you when it comes to bringing prospects over the line? Your Score:

3. How well do you minimise risks for clients or prospects? Your Score:

4. How good are you at really meeting clients needs? Your Score:

 

F. After sales service:

1. How well are you maintaining contact with clients? Your Score:

2. Do you have a plan to keep in touch with them? Your Score:

3. How well do you maintain the relationship? Your Score:

4. Do you go back and regularly visits clients to develop the account? Your Score:

 

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So, have fun with this, be honest and keep in touch with our blog.

To earn more, you must learn more!

 

 

Contact us to discuss your corporate and executive coaching requirements:

Sales Coaching Series, Part 5: People like being sold to by people they like!

Okay, this is a tough one! Another way of looking at the heading is to say that people like buying from people they like. So what is this magic "likeability" factor? It is certainly something you cannot pick up from school or a book, and generally it comes from both nature and nurture.

"How" you do things is more nature. It is your observable behaviour. It is your style, temperament, the way you do things. It is how you communicate, how you relate to others, how you manage others, and in general how people see you behave.

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"Why" you do things is more what's been nurtured in you. What is your attitude to money, what motivates you, your success, fame, achievement and your motivation to become what you can become in your life? Some are motivated by beauty, others by tradition, others by altruism and so on. We are all different.

Quick case study on nurture: I once came across a guy who was a pretty good salesman; however, because his motivator was not profit, money and sales figures, he was forever giving away margin in order to get the sale. In other words, he wanted to be known as Mr Nice Guy, and you know what he did in order to achieve that goal? Yes, he continually gave discounts to clients to please them. This was much to the frustration of the sales manager and financial controller as his behaviour caused all sorts of negative ripples across the sales team. They had to let him go, and it was the best decision for the team. Sure, clients objected and other colleagues on the team tried to make the case for him. However, in the long run it was the best decision for the company…short-term pain, long-term gain!

So, nature and nurture are key factors in this likeability factor. In addition to this, one's experiences, learning, skills and competences are also factors. Therefore, every one of us is a heady and unique mixture of these three elements, namely, behaviours (how), attitudes (why) and knowledge/skills (what) we do every day.

So, awareness is the key.

Are you aware of how you come across, personality wise? In other words, do you know what temperament and observable behaviour you demonstrate when you are communicating with others? If you don't, I respectfully suggest that you find out as you will invariably continue to behave in the future in the way that you have always behaved in the past.

People don't change that much! Yes, you may adapt and you may become more confident or less confident, more assertive or less assertive, however, what is in your nature does not change that much, as you grow older. Check it out; if you are still fortunate enough to have parents alive, (and are still on speaking terms with them!), why not ask them? Invariably, they will say that you always behaved like this way or that way...and you have not changed that much!

For more on this subject, why not Google psychometric profiling. It is a fascinating subject. Insights Discovery, is our tool and solution to psychometric profiling and by visiting our website, you can discover more about this topic and the value that it can bring to yourself, personally, or to your wider team.

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In the next blog, I will go further into personality profiling and if you are currently or going to be involved in the sales process more in the future, how important it is to be aware of your style, temperament and observable behaviour.

Remember that self awareness gives you control; that of which you are unaware, controls you!

Contact us to discuss your corporate and executive coaching requirements:

Sales Coaching Series, Part 4: You become what you think about most of the time!

I once heard it vividly described to me that my subconscious mind behaves like a fool! I was taken aback until I was told that so was everyone else’s!

In other words, no matter what you tell your subconscious, like a fool, it believes it, unquestioning and in full acceptance. This subconscious mind in every one of us has been filled with experiences, good and bad, relationship matters, things that have been said to you whether they were true or not, and often by people whom you have looked up to and believed what they said. Parents, teachers, work colleagues, bosses, sports coaches…the list is endless and if we allow thoughts to enter our subconscious minds that we hold dear to be true, then these are major influencers in how we feel and ultimately act.

There have been numerous research studies and case history on the power of our subconscious. If I keep telling myself, for example, that I am useless at picking up the phone to make appointments with prospective clients, then the next time that I contemplate picking up that telephone, I will find an excuse not to do it and find something else to do instead.

We do this all the time, in one form or another. Why? We have told our subconscious mind that we are not good at a certain activity, despite knowing that this is probably one of the most important things that we need to do in our selling process, yet we sabotage ourselves by not even trying to do that activity.

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Here's how it works: you have a thought that comes into your conscious mind like investing time on the telephone to make appointments and connect with future customers. You attempt the first call and your subconscious mind is continually telling you "remember, you are not good at this, John!". It is more than likely that the outcome will be a half-hearted call, poor execution and your subconscious mind giving you the thumbs-up saying "I told you so!".

In other words, you will sow what you reap and get what you expect. Your expectations and beliefs will deliver exactly what was ordered. Even if it does turn out to be positive, you may even dismiss it as being a fluke and the exception to the rule. Your conscious mind might even acknowledge the success and your subconscious in the background whispering "huh, wait till the next time!".

So, everything happens for a reason. As mentioned, it is like sowing and reaping and if you spend your time sowing in the wrong places, chasing after business that probably is not there, wasting time on unimportant activities and filling your day with time wasters, you will reap what you deserve.

Your selling mind is programmed just like your mobile phone, PC, tablet or android. If you have a bug in your IT system, you know, the challenges that it can bring. The solution is to fix it and to bring it to your software solution person, who hopefully will have the answer. However, as humans, when we have a bug in our programme, we often just work harder and do the same thing, in the hope that it will remedy itself; insanity as Einstein once said.

This I've learned about the power of your subconscious in the selling process; if your subconscious mind is filled with negative images, thoughts and perceptions of yourself then there is almost 100% certainty that you will fail in this profession. So, rule number one is to cease expressing negativities about yourself and things that you do not want to be true. Only express positive words about yourself and what you want to be true. Whatever those words you express, your subconscious mind will take them as 100% true, whether they are false or not.

Finally, quick exercise; in the privacy of your own space, list out the things in the selling process that you want to be true about yourself in the future. Repeat them again and again until your subconscious mind gives you the thumbs-up that these are now your beliefs and expectations.

Now start making those calls, get out among the prospects, start dishing out those business cards and see the difference!!

Contact us to discuss your corporate and executive coaching requirements:

Sales Coaching Series, Part 3: Pareto is alive and well...and lives in selling!

Richard Koch in his 80/20 (a.k.a. Pareto) Principle book describes how people who apply this rule to their lives and how they then live them, are far more productive and successful than others. 

In other words, it is a time management and thinking tool first and foremost so if one focuses one's efforts on the small number of the most important tasks, customers, activities and so on, one is far more likely to succeed than if you go after the 1000s of less important ones.

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Another way of looking at this is via inputs and outputs. 20% of your inputs will account for 80% of your outputs. OK, so when we say 80/20, we don't actually mean EXACTLY 80/20. In fact, it could be anywhere in the 90/10 to 70/30 territory; however, it hovers around the 80/20 mark.

So, what does this mean for you in terms of selling and selling process. You will find that the top percentile of selling professionals, win multiples of sales and earn multiple commissions more than the average selling person in the bottom 80%.

Have you ever carried out the following exercise on your company's selling history and put them into an Excel spreadsheet? This works best when you have a mature company, and therefore a broad range of mature many clients/customers. It goes like this: 

List out all of your "sales by client" over the past 12 months; in other words, customer #1 to customer #500 and using Excel, rank them in order of size, so that the largest client is at the top and the smallest client is at the bottom. In the next column run "cumulative sales" by adding sales of customer #1 to sales of customer #2 and so on, until you reach the bottom when the last customer's sales, when added to the second last customers sales, will equal your total sales.

  • Next run a percentage of each of these customers' sales as a percentage of total sales. Then run a similar cumulative of these percentages and you will find that you can draw a line at some point when around the top 10%/20%/30% of your customers will account for 90%/80%/70% of your sales. 
  • I have seen this being a revelation for companies who, as a result, have completely changed around the way that they are working with these larger clients. I often find that they are neglecting some of these larger and more ideal clients to satisfy some of the smaller ones that can often be the most problematic; in fact, you might say that 20% of the clients cause you 80% of your challenges, so your job is to identify them and ditch them!!

The Pareto Principle is an excellent thinking tool, and this I've learned  in the context of the selling process…apply it, not just to your selling activities, but to every other part of your business and personal life that you can in order to be more productive. 

It will move you to a point where you are generating a far greater return on your investment of time, effort and resources. What you will succeed in doing is moving from managing time to managing results! 

Contact us to discuss your corporate and executive coaching requirements:

Sales Coaching Series, Part 2: Being and Staying Positive

Selling has always been and will continue to be a tough and often ruthless business. It is one of the few professions where one will probably hear the word "no", more often than “yes”. "No!" is a self-esteem lowering word and can be readily interpreted as rejection by those who hear it often enough. It brings about self-doubt and can dredge up past experiences at home, as a child, in school and during adolescence leading to the proverbial downward spiral if things are not going well for you in sales.  

We hear so much today about positivity and the need to take a benevolent view of the world. This is never as true when one is involved in selling. One must get up every morning, face the day and believe that it is going to be a fantastic one, not just in selling, but in every aspect of life!

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You see everybody has a choice when one gets up in the morning. Benevolent people believe that the world is conspiring to do them good, that there is opportunity around every corner, that world is full of bounty, that there is enough for everybody to go around and responsibility lies within the person to make it.

Benevolent people never blame, they never complain, they don't groan or moan and simply get on with it! They are usually wonderful to be around, they see the good in everything, and if they fail, they accept it, dust themselves down and start all over again.

Let's talk about their unfortunate malevolent counterparts. How do they behave? Because they believe the world is out to 'get them', is conspiring to do them wrong, possessing feelings that around every corner lurks failure, disaster and disappointment, sadly, they are never disappointed. They get exactly what they expect, just like benevolent people except the opposite.

A multiplicity of books, articles, videos and training materials are available out there to get you to think, feel and act positively, and a whole industry has been created around positivity and creating that mental attitude that will put you in the top percentile of your profession, including selling, of course.

Do these tools work? Essentially, they give you much of the same message and if you take a commonsense approach to the material, the concepts, the ideas and methodologies and if they work for you, excellent! People are unique and different and are a heady cocktail of varying personalities and temperaments, different motivators, both obvious and hidden, and of course, hugely contrasting life experiences.

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What will work for one person may not for the next, and it's a matter of trial and error identifying trainers, mentors, authors and material that resonate with your unique combination of personality, motivators and learning, i.e. your "how, why and what".

So, is positivity and taking a benevolent view of the world, a key ingredient in the selling process? This I am certain and have learned about selling; if one is positive, enthusiastic, competent, and committed to what one is selling, there is little to stop you from being an amazing success. Let's face it, taking the alternative approach doesn't bear thinking about now, does it?

 Contact us to discuss your corporate and executive coaching requirements:

Sales Coaching Series, Part 1: The Deep Psychology Behind Selling

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I often ask an audience "how many people here sell things?". Some immediately put their hands up, others wait a little while longer, others longer again and one or two may never put their hand in the air.

However, I wait, and wait, and wait, repeating the question… until everyone in the room has their hand raised.

You see everybody is in the business of selling at some level, whether you have an internal customer whom you serve within the business, for example, payroll making sure that staff are paid in a timely and accurate fashion and that their boss, the financial controller/director, is made to look good and that he won't get lynched in the car park!

Obviously, you have your regular external customers, and selling to them and making them feel happy to return again and again, will help guarantee that yours and your colleagues wages and salaries will be paid.

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Today, we know an enormous amount about how the brain works, and this I've learned about the process of sales and selling; we are in a "thinking-game", first and foremost. In other words, there is a deep psychology behind getting people to part with their money and to buy or rent, your product or service. The better you are at understanding this psychology, the more likely you are to be successful at it. 

I have come across many sales people in my life; some are excellent, some average and quite a number are poor. Those who are excellent, and in the top percentile of earners, are not massively better than the below average counterparts.

What I have found is that the top performers are consistently better by only a few percentage points in the mix of critical success ingredients that they bake into their selling "pie".

We will look at these ingredients in more detail in the next article.

 

 Contact us to discuss your corporate and executive coaching requirements:

Insider Tips on How to Find the Perfect Coach

executive and business coaching

Gone are the days when coaching was associated with struggling businesses and startups. When you are looking to take your business or leadership skills to a whole new and exciting level, it is crucial that you garner the services of a renowned coach.

The good news is that there is a whole range of coaches out there - from businesses coaches to leadership coaches and corporate coaches. With all these options, however, it can be a little difficult to zero in on the right one for your situation.

If you are looking to find the best coaching services to enhance your business or leadership strategies, then you are in good company. In this blog post, I will walk you through a series of tips that are poised to help you land good coaches.

Do a little research before deciding on Business Coaching Company

You need to do a little homework to make sure that you get a bang for your cash. The internet, for one, can prove very resourceful. So wear your investigative glasses and do some sleuthing on the web. Even if you have been referred to a local company, it still worthwhile to check out their reputation from user reviews. Pick a coaching company that has positive reviews by former or current clients. And that isn’t all; you can also ask among your key networks. Your business partners/contacts can also recommend one that has a track record of delivering excellent results.

Go for a coach who will focus on your areas of weakness

Let’s be honest; everyone has a weak point, no matter how trivial it is. The good news is that these shortcomings can be harnessed to provide “room” for the success of your endeavors. Which brings us to our first go-to quality of a good coach: his or her ability to put more importance and emphasis on areas which you don’t find important or don’t excel at.

To know if, indeed, your candidate will turn your weaknesses into strengths, you’ve to ask one simple question: “what is your secret to success?” Getting the answer to this question is certainly the first step in the right direction.

Do You Resonate With the Consultant or the Coaching Expert?

Not all coaches are created equal; some people find that an otherwise perfect coach does not fully get your perspective or is hard to work with. That in itself isn’t surprising at all because not all personalities always click. Of course, your coach ought to earn your confidence and trust - not someone who’ll command you into following their advice.

Has the coach delivered results for others - references

 A perfect coach needs to walk the talk, someone who comes with longstanding experience and expertise in the industry. The first place to look at is their portfolio. Has the coach delivered quality? Is he or she worth the expenses? Make sure that your candidate comes well-armed to offer you actionable support and advice

 

Is the Coach Someone You Can Emulate?

It might seem a little obvious, but it is important that the coach is someone can become a role model for your company, through their professional, hard work ethics and resilience.

Is Their Coaching Results-based?

When considering to hire a coach, it’s important to note that there are two types of coaching: hour-based and results-based. Hour-based coaching, for one, ends when the clock ticks, regardless of the achievement. Results-based coaches, on the other side, make sure that you achieve your goals before they can close shop; by the time they come back for their next review you will have achievedor moved forward.

Find Someone Who Knows Your Industry

When all's said and done, a coach that knows and keeps a tab on what is going on in your business niche will cut it. This is especially important for startups because you need someone with insider knowledge, not someone who’ll struggle when things get a little rough.

 

 Contact us to discuss your corporate and executive coaching requirements:

Key Aspects of an Excellent Corporate Coaching Services

Why corporate coaching

corporate and executive coaching in Ireland

It is no secret that today’s corporate world is more demanding, more competitive, and busier than ever before. That said, it comes as no big surprise that those in the corporate sector often experience bouts of stress, burnouts, and other everyday doldrums, which is why it’s paramount to have a corporate coach on your sidelines.

A corporate coach will not only help you keep stress and burnout at bay, but also give you tools to help you give your best effort. Of course, great effort leads to best performance and higher productivity. So, if you are working with a corporate coach or you’re looking for a specialist who will help you take your corporate career a notch higher, see to it that these ten aspects are always apparent in your coaching relationship.

Who is a corporate coach - definition

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A corporate coach is professional who’s trained and equipped to coach towards achieving organizational goals. They usually coach an organization, concentrating mainly on the corporate/executive team and the organization’s mission, vision, strategy and values.

 

 

 

How to find the right executive and corporate coach

 

#1 The Coach Must Be Prepared and Well Organized

Garnering coaching services is a huge investment for an organization and its corporate team. For the team to get the best out of the corporate coaching experience, the coach must employ a systemized, ordered, planned, holistic, and well-structured approach. This way, the coach can easily communicate her or his investment in the entire process.

#2 The Coach Must be Able to Bring Out the Best in You

Although it is your responsibility to bring out your best effort, you want a coach who will definitively help you achieve. In fact, it's the coach's duty to offer the best, to inspire you to reach your level best.

#3 Exhibit Consistency

The coaching approach should never be arbitrary to the employee or team. It should be consistent. The coaching strategy and methodology should be straightforward and process oriented, encompassing four key elements: monitoring, standards, analysis and feedback. A great coach should be able to continuously analyse what you are doing and offer feedback intended to change, modify or alter your actions positively. In short, there isn’t a  haphazard approach to corporate coaching; it has to be trustworthy, reliable and consistent.

#4 Must Offer Holistic Coaching

A holistic coaching coaches the whole person, instilling your inner passion and allowing you to reach incredible levels of best effort. It's only this way that you can channel all your four energies of leadership towards achieving organization goals.

# 5 The Coach must Tap Into Both Your Strengths and Weaknesses

A great coach cares about harnessing the "whole" person, not just your strengths. Much like an athletics coach, your coach must tap into individual strengths to help you churn out the best possible productivity from the organization, both as an individual and as a team.

# 6 Abundance of Skills, Experience, and Knowledge

As you might already know, excellent coaches are skilled and knowledgeable. They know your industry, including your individual niches. But of more importance, they understand the process and techniques that deliver success. Perhaps it's known, but it's skills coupled with the knowledge that produces success your coaching approach should encompass the two elements.

#7 Balanced and Fair Feedback System

A raft of research initiatives has shown that people tend to give negative feed 5 times more than positive. Your coach should know this and try to nip it in the bud. He or she should be able to offer candid feedback. But more significantly, an excellent coach can dilute positive with valuable feedback. There should be no mix of message, avoiding any confusion in the process.

#8 Exhibit Tolerance and Patience

It's perhaps understood, but most individuals tend to resist change, even if it's for good. Altering and developing habits take some time. And a good coach knows this. Sometimes mistakes are made. A great coach, however, must be tolerant and patient of these errors but focused to achieve the change.

#9 The Coach Must be Realistic

Coaching is all about results, but being realistic is also as important. A great coach knows when the coaching approach isn't working. He or she should also know when to quit and when to stay put.

#10 Should Be More Than Coaching

The coach shouldn't stop offering help when the clock stops. He or she should send follow up materials to facilitate the process. Also, the coach should be able to connect you with valuable contacts and offer assistance with other resources such as legal, accounting, and much more.

Do you need an executive or corporate coaching services?

Contact us to discuss your requirements and how we can help.

Could You Company Stand to Benefit from the Allure of Corporate Coaching?

corporate coaching makes organization a better workplace

Over the past decade or so, the concept of corporate coaching has been making headlines. Corporate coaching has graduated from a buzzword making rounds in the business world to becoming an essential ingredient which forward-thinking companies cannot do without.

Accordingly, increasing numbers of global businesses seek help from corporate coaches to increase the performance of their organization, improve their in-house technology, enhance their strategic planning, and increase employee engagement. That in itself isn’t news at all. Corporate coaches are professionals who are highly trained, experienced and well-equipped to coach towards organizational goals. They expertly examine a company’s productivity and disposition to help both employees and team leaders achieve individual goals.

 A 2001 study across the Fortune 500 companies spectrum, indicate corporate coaching delivers out a significant 530% ROI (Return On Investment). Which begs the question: can your organization benefit from corporate coaching?

The following post looks to provide insight into how corporate coaches can help streamline or enhance several facets of an organization, from SMEs to global blue chip companies

 

Enjoy Better Communication in your organization

better corporate communication thanks to coaching

For most organizations, especially large corporations, poor communication is a serious issue that hampers productivity. For global companies, for instance, in effective communication can break what could otherwise be a great campaign, strategy More often than not, communication is a crucial element of corporate coaching. This way, the coaches can assess/assist participants to develop key communications & effective team building skills within the company

And.. the clever businesses also use business  communications coaching business to assist marketing teams to use more robust techniques of communication with clients, both online and on-site to increase customer engagement strategies.

 

Enhance Productivity thanks to coaching for performance programs

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Much like any other aspect of today's business, productivity can significantly improve with direction and strategy. Highly knowledgeable and skilled corporate coaches can expertly undertake the analysis of an organization's productivity.  In turn, their analysis can be used to provide tremendous improvements on the way employees work, both individually and in tandem.

 

Help with Cost Reduction

Cost reduction, much akin to productivity, can influence the organization's profitability significantly. Coaches as outside catalysts can help to open conversations and seek improvements which can lead to significant savings over the long term, releasing funds to drive the company's long term strategic plan.  

 

Effective Strategic Action Planning

No company can prosper growth or move from stagnation without a substantial commitment to long-term and strategic planning. That's where a corporate coach can be of significant benefit in helping the companies drive strategic planning and direction. As an outside facilitator, a coach can assist companies to cut through internal operational matters and take the “helicopter” view of what is required for the longer term strategic plan to be developed and infrastructure put in place to achieve the plan. 

 

Help with Contingency Planning

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Strategic planning is no longer the only challenge for those in the corporate world; they also have to deal with disaster planning/contingency planning. The coaches can help an organization come up with a streamlined process of designing and implement such an important plan or any other business plan for that matter.

On its side, a business that isn't afraid to face issues at the structural level usually showcases a sense of forward-thinking that is essential to progress in today’s increasingly competitive corporate environment.

 

Better Employee Relations

Improving the in-house dynamics of employee relations and team-building is one of the most important aspects of corporate coaching. Do your employees work efficiently in tandem? Are they happy with their roles in the organization? Coaches can facilitate your business to raise these questions and actively engage employees in developing tactics to influence company's productivity, efficiency, strategy and employee engagement

 

Contact us to find out how our corporate coaches can help your organization:

Team Effectiveness - 6 Ways to Improved Leadership and Manage a Team Effectively

Effective management of a team

effective management of a team

Effective management of a team - or business, for that matter - isn’t always a walk in the park.

Well, managing an effective team shouldn’t be an arduous task. While it is not easy, it isn’t rocket science either. But does need Today, I have rounded up a comprehensive list of tried-and-true ways to achieve high team effectiveness, congruence and performance.

But First ... what Is Team Effectiveness

Remember the cliche saying that “two heads are better than one?” Well, the old-age adage still holds to this date. Also called group effectiveness, team effectiveness is an organizational terminology that denotes the capacity a team has to achieve set organizational objectives and goals. In essence, a team is a group of employees/people who typically share responsibility for the results and regard themselves as an operational unit.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Hire the Right Person

The effectiveness of a team depends largely, if not wholly, on the constituent members. That is why hiring the right talent is the single most important factor that contributes to an organization’s success. Not only will the right team member, with positive attitudes bring particular knowledge base or skill set to the table, but will also be an invaluable addition to steering forward the company’s values, vision, and mission. For one, it’s tremendously important to infuse the values and vision of the company in the hiring process.

Even better, it’s paramount to let potential teammates be part of the interview. This way, the members can assess the candidate’s compatibility. It has also been established that talents who click with other team member are easy to retain and offer better innovation.

Focus on Commitment

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When forging great team-work, it pays to use organization’s values and vision to build employee commitment. Although a clear and competitive business strategy and plan are crucial, encouraging a company culture that rewards dedication and innovation will make process effortlessly easy. Acknowledge members who actually go the extra mile to create and implement novice ideas. Clarity in communication is the key here. Make the members feel valued and cared for; it goes a long way towards building dedication and commitment.

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

Again, making team members feel valued and care for is essential in building a tight and capable team. So, let the team get involved in managing resources; it allows you to instill a spirit of belonging and collaboration. Besides, individual members are well-equipped and knowledgeable in their field. Don’t give a cold ear to the members. If they want to change a few company’s priorities and they have concrete reasons to back up their rationale, well and good. Listen to your team out.

Encourage Innovation

It’s no secret that innovative organizations always stay ahead of the curve and enjoy higher productivity. Indeed, the most successful companies always remain innovative and flexible, building on current key successes without overbearing on their teams. The work environment should encourage employees to be creative, instilling their innermost and basest feelings. Encourage working smarter, not harder. In fact, team leaders should give freedom to members to work when they are most productive.

Lead the Way

Innovation and creativity are typically products of sheer inspiration and honest leadership. That’s why effective teams need to be steered by people who go beyond balancing books and creating schedules. Leaders need to be able to harness individual's’ strengths to builder stronger and more robust teamwork.

Team leaders must have clear vision, strategies, and goals. And the team members should not have any ambiguity about them. The said plans should be well-organized, systematized, and planned.

Team Leaders Must Be Patient

Once presented with goals and objectives, not all teams rev up at 100% efficiency overnight. It takes a little time and investment on your side. Support and coaching is critical to motivate and encourage delivery of results.

 

Contact us to find out how we can help you build and manage your perfect team