Monday, 23 November 2009

What is Social Style?

What is Social Style?
We all have a preferred Social Style, for more information refer to this blog article that talks about the 4 Social Styles

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Self Limiting Beliefs

So we understand the value of our product or service and how it stacks up with the competition. Sometimes we have to admit it is not always favourable and we may have a long way to go, to be a market leader. One of my biggest frustrations is with salespeople who are convinced their poor sales performance is down to their competitors products or services, in most cases this is a lame excuse. Lets face facts, if you did not need sales people to sell a product and our services walked out of the door on their own, we probably would not hire them, or pay them as much.

The truth is, we are sometimes selling our services against superior competitors products, or certainly ones that have a well established brand (perceived or reality) and we have to market ourselves accordingly.
  • Sell our product or services by focusing on our strengths
  • Know our competitors weaknesses and exaggerate our strengths in these areas
  • Do not give up
  • Listen to our customers - existing or potential
  • Build relationships with potential customers
  • Do what we say we will do
  • Be the first to respond
  • Do not let self limiting beliefs to rule us

There are some cases where things are difficult to sell and you only need to watch the Dragons Den to see the range of daft ideas that people feel are worth bringing to market. I have only ever sold one product that had such a poor offering against the competitors (Ours cost money and the competitors was free) and the market was so niche (Only 150 potential customers) that we had to review the whole offering.

Suffice to say, we need to sell our services, they do not sell themselves and to do that, we need to believe in what we do for others to believe us.

Graham Price

Monday, 9 February 2009

What is it you are selling - The sizzle or the sausage?

When you know who your target accounts are, the next stage is work out what you are going to sell them. To do that we need to know what they will buy and target our marketing collateral correctly. Creating an aligned proposition between our online and offline marketing material is not easy and is based on the questions, who are my customers and what will they buy? If we now know who we are going to potentially sell to we need to align our product or service to their needs and to do this we need to consider the following factors.
  1. We need to ask ourself what value will our product or service bring?
  2. Who are our competitors?
  3. What do our competitors offer?
  4. What do our competitors do better than us?
  5. What do our competitors not do as well as us

Once we have this information, it is time to put our value proposition together. When we sell our sales training our value is based on the fact we improve sales performance. This can be done in a myriad of ways from strategy formulation through to sales training, but the end result is always the same.

We do not sell sales training (the sausage) we sell increased sales performance (the sizzle)!

Graham Price

Friday, 6 February 2009

Study your existing clients

It is far harder to find a new customer than sell to an existing one, yet many organisations spend time and effort doing just that. It is also easier to sell to new customers who are like your existing clients. On the management training side of my own business it is a very broad client base, yet on the sales training side it is more niche, so we can look at this.

Typically I deliver sales training to companies in publishing media IT and Telecoms, though this expands to manufacturing and engineering work when I work as an associate trainer. I have never carried out sales training workshops for chemical companies, automotive, retail or banking so I never go actively looking for this type of work, unless it looks for me!

So I focus on the sectors that I know and sell additional sales workshops (Up selling) or management training workshops (Cross-selling) in areas such as coaching skills, recruitment skills or emotional intelligence.

If I am actively to go looking for sales training work (Although fortunately most of my work on the sales training side comes from referrals) I need to do the following
  • Firstly target by sector and target organisations in sectors that I know and have worked in.
  • Secondly target by size and look at organisations at the right company size, too small and there are not enough sales people.
  • Thirdly target by geography and decide how far you will travel
  • Fourthly target by profitability, probably not worth going after companies like Woolworth's!

Once you have this plan analyse how many potential customers you will have and then the next stage is to create the strategy to get them on board.

Graham Price

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Analyse your target Market

Ask yourself who will you be selling to and design your marketing approach accordingly. As a management trainer I work in a large range of organisations some large and some much smaller. To this end I have different websites and design them in different ways for different audiences.

If you go to I have designed the site to have a freelance trainer look and feel, however if you go to my management training site at I am aiming at a more corporate audience. I have gained more work from the web from other training companies with the first site, however larger corporate clients have been attracted to the other one.

I have tested this with Google AdWords and directed people to either site randomly. So tell me why I get more work from than the other when I have spent more hours building and optimising my corporate site! Maybe the same reason people are downgrading their shopping experience and when other shops are not doing so well, Sainsbury's and Morrison's are cleaning up.

Graham Price

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Marketing your Personal Brand

Many people running their own business are unaware of the power of their personal brand and are not aware of the amount of people who will search for them by name on search engines. I remember years ago when you would just thumb through a hard copy Yellow Pages or the BT Phone Book. I also remember going into offices where the entire catalogue of 75 yellow pages and 186 phone books would adorn the shelves, these days are now long gone.

Potential customers will now google individuals by name if they need their contact details or are recommended to them, so businesses need to make sure they can be found. There are various ways to do this and over the next few posts I will work through the various options, but the first most obvious one is to buy your actual domain name. I own to make sure people find me, however i share this name with a number of people such as the famous Welsh Rugby player, so it is not always simple to get to the top of the search engines by domain name alone. I do recommend that parents call their children something original, the whole process would have been easier if I was named Cedric or Horace

Graham Price

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Bored of E Learning

Probably worth looking at this site on training suppliers and e learning stuff if you are really bored

Monday, 12 January 2009

Profiling Tools and Psychometrics

Most of the tools we use in management and leadership development have specific applications. The information on the last post was a little vague., so if you need more detailed information on the tools, we use there are some better links here;
Belbin - Team Roles
MBTI - Myers Briggs Type Indicator
SDI - Strength Deployment Inventory

Sales Profiling

I am increasingly using Sales Profiling Tools with accounts whether it is for profiling buyers or for recruiting or developing sales teams. I have detailed some of them here and will be updating the list on a regular basis. If you need further information please contact me 0845 643 4508