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sales training London Archives - Tadpole Training

Modern-Day Buyers can be tricky!

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It used to be the case that you could just make a phone call to a buyer, tell them about your new ‘thing’ and get an appointment. OK, I make that sound like it would work every time – it didn’t – but it worked enough times to make it worth doing.

Well not now! Everything is much tougher!

Whether you deal with a procurement professionals or the general public, they have one big thing in common – they will have done their research already and are probably quite well informed!

Think about your life – if your washing machine fails or you need a new phone, pretty much the first thing you will do is to start Googling the options. We all do it!

This has implications for the way buyers will engage with you.

If they have done their research already, they are more likely to approach potential providers themselves. The huge message here is that you simply MUST be discoverable – otherwise, well, how will they discover you? So you (or your marketing department) had better be ensuring that your main channels of promotion are working hard to tell the world about you.

But this new way of buying also has an implication when you are with customers or are talking with them.

THEY know they have done their research.

YOU know they have done their research.

THEY know you know they have done their research.

So don’t let it be the Elephant in the Room! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Be honest and up front – ask your prospects what research they have done and if there is anything they would like you to clarify. This demonstrates that you are not afraid of their having done research already, rather you acknowledge it and want to be an additional and valuable resource.

Remember, you know what they are thinking because you do it yourself! So take advantage of that to help them make a buying decision.

Janet Efere looking frustrated

What first impression are your team giving your customers?

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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:

๐ŸŸฃ 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

๐ŸŸฃ 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.

๐ŸŸฃ Body language matters – rolling eyes will never a happy customer make!

๐ŸŸฃ Don’t argue with customers! End of!

๐ŸŸฃ A little bit of training would have gone a long way here. This was such a simple little exchange.

๐ŸŸฃ 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 ……!

Happy selling!

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

Janet Efere, sales trainer

What makes a great salesperson?

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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:

๐Ÿ† Skills

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

๐Ÿ† 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.

๐Ÿ† Practice

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….!

โ“ If you want to find out how to transform your sales team into great salespeople, let’s chat.

โญ We can start them off properly then develop them into sales superstars.

Let’s chat: https://calendly.com/jefere/half-an-hour-with-janet

#salestraining
#salescoach
#salesskills
#salestrainer
#TLEP

Janet Efere, Sales trainer saying 'shhhh'

Take some sales advice – you can win more sales by being quiet!

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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 โ€“ nearly twice as long as in Americansโ€™ or anglohones’ meetings.

In the US, there is a saying that โ€˜the squeaky wheel gets the greaseโ€™ while in Japan itโ€™s reckoned that โ€˜a silent man is the best one to listen toโ€™.

In Japan, the power of silence is recognised in the concept of haragei (belly talk), which suggests that the best communication is when you donโ€™t speak at all. โ€œAs soon as you need words thereโ€™s already a failure to understand each other so youโ€™re repairing that failure by using words,โ€ says Dr Deborah Tannen, a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University in the US.

WOW!

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?

#salestraining
#salestrainer
#salescoach
#listening

Janet Efere looking frustrated

What sales mistakes have you committed?

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What terrible mistakes have you committed in sales? As a sales trainer and sales coach I see loads of sales mistakes, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t committed a few in my time!

One of my worst was at Xerox. As a senior member of the team, I often had the newbies shadowing me.

We had this one call. The trainee hadn’t started yet, but had been on the training. So he was out with me for the day.

I had a meeting. It was with an ideal client. I’d done my research. I knew our solution would work for them.

I conducted the meeting.

It went perfectly (you know when everything works, you ask the right questions, you get the right answers?). It was one of them.

The client gave agreement to go ahead – I needed to submit the quote for it, to be rubber-stamped, but basically all-systems-go!

The trainee was ridiculously excited about how well it had gone – along the lines of ‘that was brilliant – I see how everything fits together, thank you so much Janet for showing me how it should be done”

So far so good.

Then I made my mistake. I can’t even pretend it was something I did …. it was something I didn’t do.

Can you guess what?

Well full marks to you if you got it …..

I never followed up.

I didn’t do the quote.

Then I felt bad because I didn’t do the quote straight away, so then it became this ‘thing’. I couldn’t even ring to apologise I was so embarrassed. Just all that effort down the drain.

Big lesson there.

Just do what you should do in the right order. No bells, no whistles. Just common sense.

Silly Janet (I’m smarter now I hope!)

So what are your howlers – if you’re brave enough to share?

Janet Efere typing on her laptop

Do you Prep for Meetings?

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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?

Most people don’t understand sales

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Most people don’t understand sales.

So if you think these qualities will help you sell, they won’t

โŒ having the ‘gift of the gab’


โŒ never giving up on a deal


โŒ having an answer for everything


โŒ great sales people are born not made


โŒ you have to be confident in sales

Whereas actually …..

โœ… what you really need is the ability to ask great questions, shut up and actually listen to the answers


โœ… Sometimes it makes sense to give up, so you can focus on the deals you can get over the line. Simple common sense not to bang your head against a brick wall


โœ… In sales, as in life, none of us know everything. It’s fine to admit you don’t know something (if you pretend and then get it wrong, you will be in much worse trouble!)


โœ… Sales is a skill – like learning to drive a car or ride a bike. It takes practice, so while some people may have an aptitude for it, it also means that anyone can learn it


โœ… Confidence is an interesting one. Too confident and it seems like arrogance, not enough and you don’t seem trustworthy. You want to aim for the sort of quiet confidence true masters have.

So if you had some preconceived ideas about sales and selling, I hope this helped you.

Happy selling!

take a break from selling

5 things a child knows about the Summer sales dip that you don’t

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5 Things a child knows about the Summer sales dip that you don’t.

Work, work, work. That’s what so many of us do isn’t it? We work really hard, putting in the effort and the hours and then, despite our best efforts, during August a lot of our businesses just slow down. Everyone is either on holiday or talking about their holiday. There are fewer paying clients around and, unless your business offers something seasonal, the chances are that this is a quiet time of year and your sales drop. Read More

happy staff using CRM

What is the single most effective tool that will transform my business?

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What is the single biggest tool that will transform my business?

All around us, ‘gurus’ (of varying degrees of credibility) are pushing this system, or that product, or some package or another which will miraculously ‘transform’ your business. Some are excellent, but some are not and there is, of course, a price point for every pocket.

However, I am a great believer in simple things. I have lost count of the number of wonderful sounding tools or gizmos which I have invested in, but which were too complicated to learn or I just never used.

So, as a sales trainer and small business owner, what is my favourite transformational tool? It’s a CRM.

OK – Iย  bet you thought it was going to be something a lot more exciting didn’t you? Or perhaps that I was going to prefix it with words like “Secret” or “they don’t want me to tell you about this”.

Well I am just as fed up as you are of hearing about the NEW BIG THING only to find out it’s a recycled version of an existing thing.ย 

So let me explain. I don’t really care what sort of system you have, but you MUST have some way of tracking your leads and your customers. For some people it’s a pile of business cards (don’t really recommend that, but it does work for some people). Others use notebooks, scraps of paper (ouch!), their phone or products like Microsoft Access.ย 

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sales is like a marriage. Sales trainer

Don’t ask me to marry you on our first date

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Don’t ask me to marry you on our first date!

The trouble is, many people in sales do exactly that. They charge in, take everything too quickly and then try to close the deal before the other person is ready.

So what should they do instead? Well really, it’s common sense. As a sales trainer, I encourage my clients to think of selling like building a relationship and that means there are certain stages to go through. I call it GENTLE selling and the stages are:

Greet – you know – say ‘hello’, shake hands, kiss on the cheek or whatever works for you. You make small talk about the weather or the traffic and perhaps compliment each other on how jolly fine you both look.

Expectations – what are you both hoping to achieve, both short term and long term – is it a quick fix, a short-term dalliance or something where you are going to be close for a long time? Perhaps you don’t want to give too much away – after all a little mystery can be advantageous – but if one party wants something substantially different from the other, then you will probably not be a good match.

Needs – Find out what is important to the other person – the things they need and want are what motivates them to make a decision, take action or invest their time and money.

Together – It’s not just about you! If one of you does all the talking and the other one is wishing they were somewhere else, then this is a mismatch. Together you need to work out what happens next – that way the customer (date) feels in control of things.ย 

Lead – as in lead them to a solution. It’s very hard to force anyone into a long term relationship (business or romantic) so lead, suggest, encourage and state the benefits of the solution. Make sure they are happy at every stage, because then you can pop the question (close)

Evaluate – What can you learn from the experience and do differently next time? Of course if it doesn’t work out, then you will know what you are doing next time round! And there are, as they say, plenty more fish in the sea!

Happy selling!

If you would like more information about how we can help you transform your sales team, please contact Janet on 07748 994 334 or email jefere@tadpoletraining.com

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