Do you love Greggs?
I love Greggs.
Usually Greggs are fabulous, but here is a tale of how just one person getting it wrong can undo a whole load of good stuff.
I was at Liverpool Street Station, London, on my way to deliver some training at Aldgate. I went to Greggs for a bit of brekkie!
To give you context, it was 8.30am and heaving, very noisy and the food counter is not visible to customers queuing on the right hand side, where I was.
I asked the assistant “do you have meat and vegetarian pasties?”
He said “yes”
Janet “OK I’ll have a vegetarian one and a coffee.”
Assistant ….. silence …. went off to get the food. He came back, gave me the little Greggs bag with my food in it and I paid.
Something was wrong. The bag was too heavy. He had given me both a vegetarian and a meat pasty.
Janet “Excuse me, there are two pasties in here”
Assistant “you asked for both”.
Janet “no, I only wanted the vegetarian one”
Assistant “no you didn’t – you asked me for the meat one as well”. Petulant stare from assistant.
Janet “I only want the vegetarian one”
Assistant “you asked for meat. I heard you”[I literally felt my brain shift gear]
Janet “I clearly stated that I wanted vegetarian. Please take it back and refund me” (I think I may have used my ‘trainer’ voice here – I wasn’t in the mood for a debate)
Assistant visibly rolled eyes and huffed. Mumbled “you asked for meat”. Went to get manager.
Manager was polite and helpful and it was no trouble at all to refund me. I did make it known to him that I appreciated his help. I also relayed the conversation I had just had and suggested the staff member could do with some training.
So there are loads of levels to this, of course but here are a few:
🟣 However good your company or product is, the customer-facing staff you employ must fundamentally like dealing with people. Not once did I get a smile or even a suggestion of friendliness
🟣 Even if I was wrong (we do all make mistakes) the assistant should have cheerfully changed my order. A good assistant might even have apologised for the misunderstanding. Note that is different from saying ‘I’m sorry’ which implies they got it wrong. Apologising for the ‘misunderstanding’ is neutral and it does not suggest blame on either party.
🟣 Body language matters – rolling eyes will never a happy customer make!
🟣 Don’t argue with customers! End of!
🟣 A little bit of training would have gone a long way here. This was such a simple little exchange.
🟣 How many customers would one assistant see in a day? Hundreds probably. How would it affect your brand if, every day, one person was upsetting customer after customer?
Getting it right matters massively.
For a conversation about how I can help your customer facing team delight your customers instead of wind them up, send me a direct message.
And if you know anyone at Greggs ……!
Does your customer facing team need a bit of a boost? For information on how we can create some bespoke training for you, let’s have a chat. Here is the link to my diary https://calendly.com/jefere/half-an-hour-with-janet
If you are in a bit of a post-Christmas sales slump, here are some tips to get your oomph back!
1. Acknowledge the feeling you are experiencing.
So not ‘I am so lazy’. Rather ‘I am feeling lazy at the moment’ There is a difference.
2. Write down when you feel like this.
Is it after you’ve just consumed your 10th cheese sandwich, binge watched yet another TV drama, or played on your phone for two solid hours? Try and spot the patterns then you can avoid your energy suckers.
3. Is there so much to do that you can’t see the wood for the trees?
A useful tool is a SWOT Analysis. SWOT stands for:
(Drop me a message if you would like more info on how to do a SWOT – it’s a brilliantly simple tool)
Work out what your sales priorities are and focus on them.
4. Once you’ve got a bit of clarity, just start.
Don’t overthink it. Just start.
You might decide (in Eat that Frog fashion) to tackle the biggest, nastiest task first.
You might decide to ease in gently with something straightforward
You might simply do the first thing on your list.
It doesn’t matter.
Is there anything that you can give to someone else to do? Here’s a thought, maybe they would do it better than you!!! Now wouldn’t that be nice!
So don’t get all overwhelmed.
One foot in front of the other. A journey of a million steps …. and so on …
I’m not here to teach you to suck eggs!
But having a ton of stuff to do and not feeling like it is far worse than having a ton of stuff to do and be actually making progress!
Drop me a line if you are struggling. There is always something we can do.
I post daily on LinkedIn – so for lots more hints and tips, connect with me here:
I am sure you will agree with me that sales lies are abundant
💥 “YOU NEED THIS SECRET THING!”
💥 “THIS IS THE LAST GIZMO YOU’LL EVER NEED!”
💥 “HOW THIS SIMPLE TRICK EARNED ME A GAZILLION POUNDS IN 24 HOURS!”
We see it all the time don’t we?
Exaggeration, hyperbole, dare I say it, lies.
To be good at sales (that could read ‘business’ too)
What you need is:
1. An understanding of why you are doing what you are doing
2. A process
3. Exposure to proven tools and techniques which you adopt and use
4. Chuck in some diary management and a readiness to consistently put in the hours and guess what?
Success will come.
🥴 It might not be in 5 minutes
😵 It might not be easy
🤩 It might be the best thing you’ve ever done.
So do you want your team to learn to sell properly?
Are you fed up with chucking good money after bad on the next ‘new thing’?
Let’s chat. No fluff, just results.
Email me if you would like to find out how you and your team can learn to sell without the hype email@example.com
Or book a slot in my diary so we can chew things over https://calendly.com/jefere/half-an-hour-with-janet
I managed to – here’s how to muck up the perfect sale …
I was approached by a fabulous company who had been checking me out on LinkedIn. We spoke, we met, we tweaked the spec. I loved them, they loved me (it was such a good fit).
All the stages – discovery, uncovering specific needs, tailoring a solution, pricing, proposal, follow up …. done.
You can never be 100% confident, but I put in a ton of effort and I would say I was about 95% – and only one other provider in the running.
Then I got the phone call ….
Janet, we loved you BUT ….. (ever had that heart-sinking moment?)
It turns out my competitor had offered them something I hadn’t.
Couldn’t believe it. I said nice things. I felt awful.
Went away and thought about it.
Gut reaction “I haven’t got that extra ‘thing’ – blast that competitor who did, it’s not fair, how come they have it? It’s not even that important. Grrrrrr”
Then sensible reaction
1. It wasn’t because I didn’t have that thing (a way of delivering elearning by the way)
2. It was because I had failed to uncover that they had a need (or rather a desire) to support their long term strategic vision for how the company would develop. That way of delivering elearning totally suppported their vision.
3. It was totally within my power to have provided it also
4. I had simply failed to uncover this need/desire myself
So actually, the fault was within me.
This is why it’s always good to reflect when you lose a deal.
It can stop you complaining about the customer, the competitors, the economy, the weather, what side you got out of bed.
All of that is irrelevent – as sales people it is up to us to do the best job we can. Ultimately I failed to support that client as well as I should. I’m sure they will be happy with their new provider. I hope so. But what if they would have been happier with me? Then I have done them a disservice by failing to sell properly.
So you know what? I wish them well and I will do the most sensible thing I can – and that is to not make the same mistake again.
Does this resonate with you?
It happens to us all, but at least I knew what had happened.
Here are my contact details if you want to chew over your sales issues:
As a sales trainer I am often asked, what makes a great salesperson.
People often say it is a skill that can be taught like any other, for example, riding a bike or learning to drive, but actually it is a bit more nuanced than just taking lots of lessons.
Actually there are 3 areas where a salesperson needs to shine in order to be great:
In order to possess sales skills, some sort of training, learning or mentoring has to happen. Skills have to be taught – things like a structure, questioning and listening skills, presentation skills.
None of us burst into the world with these things in place.
Then, as knowledge increases the salesperson has a toolkit of skills they can use at the right time in the right place
🏆 Natural Aptitude
Some people will always be better suited to sales than others, in the same way that some people have a natural talent for running, or football or art.
However, without training to bring out these natural talents they might never be discovered!
So qualities such as quick thinking, empathy, perseverence, determination, ability to pick yourself up from rejection and carry on are more prevalent in some people than others. Sure they can be developed with training, but it’s a lot easier if they are there already. The person who bursts into tears every time they get rejected will most likely struggle in a sales role.
Sales is not a one time only exercise. Neither is it a theoretical pursuit.
You have to get stuck in and try. This involves repeating a lot of actions, speaking to lots of people, getting stuff wrong, learning, doing things better, learning again and keeping at it.
Malcolm Gladwell famously said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery. So in sales, you simply have to keep at it day in, day out and you will get better.
So what makes a great salesperson? Well, there is really no magic to it, just common sense.
But you know what they say about common sense….!
❓ If you want to find out how to transform your sales team into great salespeople, let’s chat.
⭐ We can start them off properly then develop them into sales superstars.
Let’s chat: https://calendly.com/jefere/half-an-hour-with-janet
If I was to describe which aspect of sales I’m best at, I’d probably say ‘closing’.
But you hear lots of rubbish spouted about closing, such as ‘use this technique, or that trick’. It’s as though closing is treated like a separate discipline instead of as part of a holistic whole
‘Experts’ tell you that you can close anyone by using their secrets. Well, if you do the rest of the selling properly, you’ll find that closing becomes super easy and you don’t have to try and fool anyone!
Think of it a bit like getting married. If you haven’t done the preparation, then it’s going to be hard to get anyone to marry you! It’s the same with selling – you are going to find it near impossible to sell something if you haven’t done some other things first.
For example to get married you have to do a lot! (the sales equivalent is in brackets):
👉🏽 There is the initial outreach (prospecting)
📚 Research – are they single, are they looking (researching the customer)
📱 Getting a phone number (finding out the contact details)
📅 Closing for a first date (getting an appointment)
👔 Creating a good first impression by dressing to impress, or going somewhere nice (be smart, be punctual)
🥂 Having that first date (meeting)
❓Asking lots of questions (the same)
👀 Establishing what are they looking for (uncovering needs & wants)
🤩 Seeing if you want the same thing (talk about possible solutions)
📅 Getting subsquent dates (closing for the next stage)
👩🏾🤝🧑🏽 Build the romantic relationship (build the business relationship)
💍 Propose marriage (close for the deal)
If you have done all the steps properly, then you have a much higher chance of getting engaged (winning the deal)
In sales, it really is about relationships and doing the right thing at the right time.
And remember don’t promise things you can’t deliver, otherwise you could be heading for a divorce (your customer leaves you!)
Let’s talk and see if we can avoid that happening to you!
07748 994 334
Whilst delivering sales training in London, Essex and the wider UK, I am often asked abour why customers buy. Do you know that you can sell more if you understand this imporant area?
If you think you will sell more because of your excellent service or your friendly demeanour, then you could be right, but it goes a lot deeper.
This diagram is adapted from the excellent book “Ebook Secrets Exposed”by Jim Edwards and David Garfinkel.
Look at the diagram – what is at the top?
That’s right, PAIN closely followed by PLEASURE
Under this are all the other main reasons people buy.
Now, it is unlikely that all of the list will apply to your business, but if you sit down and think about it, then you will probably start to see patterns.
So for example, in many businesses, the top 4 will be the primary motivators for people to work with you.
If you are in the health and wellness sectors, then it will probably be the last 6.
(in my business it is PAIN – clients aren’t selling enough)
So why not have a little bit of fun (with a serious goal) and work out why your customers buy from you. It could be transformational!
As a sales trainer, I often try and get people to shut up more, to win more sales.
So do you know when to shut up?
It matters a lot.
Even among sign language speakers, studies show that typically we leave just a fraction of a second between taking turns to talk. BUT, our perception of silence differs dramatically across cultures – for example –
Research conducted at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands in Dutch and also in English found that when a silence in conversation stretched to four seconds, people started to feel unsettled.
But, here is where it starts to get really interesting – a separate study of business meetings found that Japanese people were happy with silences of 8.2 seconds – nearly twice as long as in Americans’ or anglohones’ meetings.
In the US, there is a saying that ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’ while in Japan it’s reckoned that ‘a silent man is the best one to listen to’.
In Japan, the power of silence is recognised in the concept of haragei (belly talk), which suggests that the best communication is when you don’t speak at all. “As soon as you need words there’s already a failure to understand each other so you’re repairing that failure by using words,” says Dr Deborah Tannen, a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University in the US.
So, why does this matter in sales?
3-5 seconds is powerful.
I have won deals because I just shut up and let the customer work things out.
Do you think you should be speaking less?
So you got the meeting….. now what?
Do you turn up and hope for the best, or do you prep?
Yesterday I was invited to a meeting with a potential new client regarding sales training and, as usual, I did some research first.
There is a lot out there if you look:
? Companies House (I checked their financials and their directors)
? LinkedIn (of course …. we’ll come to that in a minute)
? Their website
? From that I could see they were recruiting, so I checked out the sales roles they advertised
? Twitter – lots of company posts
? Now, back to LinkedIn – I discovered hundreds of employees, searched by job role and then had a look at some of their profiles to see how they presented themselves and how active they were on LinkedIn
? I also had a look at the people who were going to be in the meeting
I found out a ton of stuff.
Some wasn’t that relevant, but loads was – it helped me understand about the size of the company, the culture, I could quickly see some of their issues as well as what they were good at.
It made the meeting more focussed, more relevant and personalised.
They liked that I took the trouble.
I wouldn’t do it any other way.
You see, I think it’s about respect, but it is also about positioning yourself as being better than the competition (I haven’t got the faintest idea who I am up against, but I can only be the best version of me).
And that’s how I like to work.
So, back to my question, do you prep before a meeting?