Recently found a fantastic mnemonic for sales:-
S – solve problems
A – ask lots of questions
L – listen more than you talk
E – empathise
S – share knowledge
Sadly a poor selling technique is to go straight to sharing the knowledge, particularly when talking about a service. Telling your client what it says on their website is the classic “Value snoozer”, why do I want to know something I know already.
The stage that is above the mnemonic and the most important is the rapport building. How do you make somebody feel really comfortable that they want to buy from you, as they have made you feel valued.
You initially find out the service or requirement they are looking for which is the problem and then when you reach the asking lots of questions, split them into two categories.
There are hard facts that anyone and everyone can give you but the soft facts go into identifying the personal requirement.
Working with property managers you can see the divide easily:-
- Where do you live currently?
- Where have you viewed already?
- What attracted you to the area you are currently living in?
- What did you dislike about the properties you have viewed already?
If you only collated the hard facts you would be providing them with the same properties they have already seen or rejected.
The balance of questions and listening should always be on the buyers side, remember the 80:20 principle. Ask an open question and listen empathetically for the detailed response.
Empathy is always understanding that person’s position at that moment in time, please don’t sympathise with them or make it about you.
Finally when you have collated enough data you can give a knowledgeable response about what service or product you have available.
Please do contact nuggets to explore behaviours around service email@example.com
Greggs went undercover to launch their new summer range.
To break the assumptions around their name they rebranded themselves to disassociate themselves from the “sausage roll” image. They chose an upmarket foodie festival where the audience would be connoisseurs of food.
We can learn from Greggs, how sometimes we need to break assumptions. In order to do something different we need to repackage it. They did this with the name change to Gregory and Gregory. It might be as simple as changing a bit of your look or being brave and presenting without slides. Being original and slightly different to the view people have of you might start them thinking about you differently.
Greggs conducted the exercise as they wanted people who did not shop with them, to start visiting them. Who would you like to see that you have never seen before or who would you like to view you differently.
Once people start thinking about you differently their perceptions change.
As an exercise write down all the assumptions you believe people have about you already and then challenge all of them. You might realise that some do not need breaking and others could be altered by one small action or others by radical steps.
Learn from Greggs about making assumptions…
The old saying was “People leave People not jobs” therefore we must treat are star employees like people.
Invest in a relationship with them, understand their values, what do they get out of bed for in the morning. Some people say work is work, however there is always something behind their motives. Work is a need to fulfil all other areas of life.
Therefore when we are in work how can you ensure they stay on the journey with you:-
1. Get to know your employees.
Meet with them for 1:1 meetings once a fortnight. Take time within those meeting to go beyond current workload.
2. Make it fun
Look for opportunities to build enjoyment into their role. The brain absorbs more when it is relaxed and having fun. Laughter releases endorphins, all the ingredients of creating the right atmosphere for work.
3. Meaningful interactions
Employees who understand the big picture and feel connected to the purpose of the business, foster more loyalty. Get your team members to connect with clients make them feel a part of the whole thing.
4. Harness strengths
Identify the strengths of your employees and make sure they are exaggerated. Leveraging what some-one is good at, could be a better investment than developing an area of weakness. The opportunities within their strengths can lead to new areas of expertise.
Invest your time and money in your employees. Pay for them to be developed and give them your time to understand the future they see for themselves.
Please do contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a workshop on Career Development
Organisations often change their strategic direction, sometimes due to external factors or to their own internal changes.
External could be a price reduction due to competitor or the overall economic landscape. Internally you might have lost several key skilled workers which means reallocation of tasks.
Communicating to your team strategic changes is vital and you should have in place regular team briefings or meetings.
Preparation is key to delivering announcements to your team.
You must be able to deliver the key points in a consistent and professional manner and be able to handle general questions and answers effectively and confidently.
When you have briefed your team you need to clarify their understanding of the message and the next steps.
As a checklist see below:-
- Effectively covered opening statement points. Got to the point quickly but sensitively. Positioned the local picture in the wider context.
- Showed respect and empathy whilst maintaining focus and formality.
- Responded to questions effectively and listened actively.
- Show understanding & handle any emotional reactions effectively.
- Check for understanding and give helpful and factual explanations.
- Give a personal commitment to support the team.
- Make sure you write up action points and that you circulate.
To summarise the things to include:-
- Introductory statement & purpose
- Content and context of announcement
- Q & A
- Review & close
Please do contact email@example.com for a workshop on conducting team briefings.
The “C” word being Christmas.
The countdown to Christmas begins this Friday and it is like any other project it needs to be managed and the focus of what it means to you, must not be lost.
Stephen Covey’s time management exercise “What matters most” is a great way of looking at Christmas. Covey invites delegates to squeeze big rocks into gravel. The big rocks represent “what matters most in life” and the gravel is just “stuff” e.g. work.
The only way the exercise works is to put the big rocks in place first and then pour the gravel on top. Delegates have been known to sweat profusely trying to squeeze rocks into gravel. This feels uncomfortable and to be honest is how life feels when you lose focus on the things that matter most.
Focus on Christmas and work back, ensure you are spending it with the people who matter most and get all the “stuff” into perspective.
We have all done the Christmas Eve shop and regretted it afterwards when the person you care about most is surprised and disappointed.
The biggest rock at the moment is Christmas, so therefore make it your priority.
Please do get in touch for workshop on Time Management firstname.lastname@example.org
The media is awash since the Harvey Weinstein of abuse cases and how do you determine the line that people cross.
My own experiences has measured my thoughts around appropriate and inappropriate.
In my early 20’s I went for an interview to work with a very well successful businessman. With hindsight this first introduction to him should have been a warning of what was to come, the level of control. I was asked to wipe off my lipstick (my trademark bright pink). This felt very odd, and I had lots of time to reflect on this instruction as I was left in a room for a very long period to wait for the “big man”. Looking back I think I was being watched and the whole situation was a test.
I got the job without the lipstick which I was still advised to hold back on.
The prestige of working for the company and the man himself let me initially enjoy the situation. It became apparent that it was not business as normal. Five secretaries to one PA, could easily tell you that we were just ever slightly over manned.
We would be rewarded with money for carrying a brief case, however in the process the wandering hands went too far. Sex toys would be placed on our desks to see our reaction, and I was particularly naive.
I left after 6 months and the first thing I did was make sure my lipstick was brighter than ever. The resilient pink continues and I know where the line is for me.
I ask myself would I want my daughter to be humiliated and lose confidence due to an individual who believed fame and money would protect him.
Arriving at meeting last week there was lots of banter about whether we could greet each other with hug. I laughed with the group, however I was delighted that there is now thinking around personal space. My own example is somewhat extreme, however there are levels within everything and there is always a line to cross or not to cross.
We can create a better place and be resilient with or without pink lipstick.
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit and wisdom is knowing that it does not go in a fruit salad.
Knowledge is your IQ (intelligence quotient), your data and facts that you have acquired. Wisdom is your EQ (emotional quotient), the application and , how well you do something and it is appropriate.
Therefore going into leadership we need more wisdom than knowledge and we must not be intimidated by millennials with bags of current knowledge. Wisdom is maturity of the mind, knowing what works and what does not work. As parents we can steer our children’s behaviour by dipping into our wisdom far more than knowledge.
- Knowledge is knowing how to manage your money by budgeting, spending and saving
- Wisdom is understanding how money impacts the quality of your life and your future
If you were to use knowledge vs wisdom as an equation to everything you do as the example above demonstrates, you can evaluate the knowledge accumulation. Where will knowledge take you and how will you apply it. We sometimes do tasks for the sake of doing them, recording expenditure is a good example. If you never apply any wisdom to the sums recorded you will not have used knowledge and wisdom as a formula.
Knowledge is a tool, and wisdom is the craft in which the tool is used
Leadership is leaning far more towards wisdom, applying and just knowing whether something is right or wrong. Past life experiences will determine whether an individual is taking the best path.
Knowledge is knowing what to say and Wisdom is knowing when to say it.
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