Hitting the refresh button on your sales skills

For many businesses the start of a New Year is the time to communicate their strategic objectives and set sales targets for next 12 months. But, how many of us at this time year also take the time to reflect of our sales performance during the previous 12 months? Reviewing, what went well? What challenges did you face? What could you do differently to improve your performance?

Sometimes, we can lose sight of the simple things that when working with customers / clients make all the difference. Have a look through the list of core skills and behaviours below and see if you are doing these during every single sale or customer interaction. If  not, maybe now is a good time to hit the refresh button and put some energy and focus back into your sales approach.

  • Research your customers – find out their strengths, weaknesses, ambitions, competitors and challenges.
  • Know your sales success criteria – have a clear process for your call / meeting. Think through the different questions the customer may ask and rehearse how you can react seamlessly.
  • Prepare all your questions – A major part in being confident when selling comes down to being extremely well prepared.
  • Tailor your approach – being able to adapt the way you communicate will allow you to build rapport quickly with different personality types. Listening carefully and picking up on use of language and responding accordingly will help you engage effectively with customers
  • Balance confidence and enthusiasm – have complete faith in what you are selling  but overconfidence can be a negative trait and turn the customer off.
  • Sell ethically & with integrity – never overpromise, build open and honest relationships with your customers.
  • Handling objections – remain positive and see objections as an opportunity to re-position the value / benefits that your products / services can provide. Isolate objection and don’t move on until you have confirmed the customers is happy with your response.

Futureproof have a real passion for keeping it sales simple and getting the little things right!

If you want to know more please get in touch 01623 409824 or email info@futureproof-training.co.uk.

What is a high-performance team?

Wikipedia define a high-performance team as a group of people with specific roles and complementary talents and skills, aligned with and committed to a common purpose, who consistently show high levels of collaboration and innovation, produce superior results, and extinguish radical or extreme opinions that could be damaging. The high-performance team is regarded as tight-knit, focused on their goal and have supportive processes that will enable any team member to surmount any barriers in achieving the team’s goals.

This is a very simple but strong definition about team culture that many businesses are striving to instil in their workplace. Sometimes in the learning and development world we can over complicate or have a tendency to be constantly looking for new techniques and new ways of working when some of the simple things done well can provide the most powerful results.     

I’m not saying we shouldn’t use tools and models to help us on this journey for example, Tuckman’s stages of group development, the application of Belbin and the use of MBTI or Insights profiling tools will provide invaluable knowledge and insight about self and others.

Different characteristics are used to describe high-performance teams, however if you can truly commit to the some or all of the key characteristics below it will naturally lead to success.   

  • Participative leadership – using a democratic leadership style that involves and engages team members
  • Effective decision-making – using a blend of rational and intuitive decision making methods, depending on that nature of the decision task
  • Open and clear communication – ensuring that the team mutually constructs shared meaning, using effective communication methods and channels
  • Valued diversity – valuing a diversity of experience and background in team, contributing to a diversity of viewpoints, leading to better decision making and solutions
  • Mutual trust – trusting in other team members and trusting in the team as an entity
  • Managing conflict – dealing with conflict openly and transparently and not allowing grudges to build up and destroy team morale
  • Clear goals – goals that are developed using SMART criteria; also each goal must have personal meaning and resonance for each team member, building commitment and engagement
  • Defined roles and responsibilities – each team member understands what they must do (and what they must not do) to demonstrate their commitment to the team and to support team success
  • Coordinative relationship – the bonds between the team members allow them to seamlessly coordinate their work to achieve both efficiency and effectiveness
  • Positive atmosphere – an overall team culture that is open, transparent, positive, future-focused and able to deliver success

Futureproof specialise in team and people development that is focused on creating an inclusive, effective and enjoyable working environment.

If you want to know more please get in touch 01623 409824 or email info@futureproof-training.co.uk.

Valuing & Understanding Difference

Maximising your interaction with others!

How many of us truly understand and value the different skills, behaviours and mindset of the colleagues that we work with on a daily basis?

Using personality profiling tools, we can provide insight into different, behaviours, beginning with your own. How you think and react, what motivates you and what frustrates you, which other behaviours you naturally display which ones feel less comfortable for you.

Using this knowledge, individuals can build better relationships, lead people effectively and work more harmoniously and productively in teams.  Valuing the different behaviours a colleague may offer helps create a work environment where innovation, creativity and productivity can thrive.

Profiling tools also offer insight into your own working or management style and you can start to understand better why you may hesitate when faced with major decisions, or to give direction in certain situations.

They can be used to understand and improve the dynamic of an entire team. That leads to better collaboration and higher levels of efficiency. An open, honest and supportive team culture is one where each person is valued for their unique contribution.

Futureproof Training deliver a range of different ‘Valuing Difference’ workshops that can be tailored to meet a range of requirements. We are able to facilitate the use of DISC / MBTI and Insights personality profile questionnaires and reports depending on the client’s preference.

If you want to know more please get in touch for further information 01623 409824 or email info@futureproof-training.co.uk.

Menopause Matters!

Did you know……that only 10% of organisation in the UK have a Menopause policy in place. This is absolutely staggering when you consider the following:

  • 71.4% of women are in the UK labour market – the highest it has been since 1971
  • The Office of National Statistics have shown that women aged 50 to 64 are the fastest growing economically active group
  • Menopause symptoms are costing the UK economy 14 million lost working days a year
  • 370,000 working women in the UK have stated that they have either left or considered leaving their career, as dealing with the their symptoms in the workplace was too difficult
  • The average cost to replace an employee in the UK is between £30,000 to £50,000

What is the menopause?

The menopause occurs after your periods cease. When your ovaries stop producing eggs, your oestrogen levels fall. However, the symptoms can present up to five years beforehand, as the oestrogen gradually declines. This is known as peri-menopause. 

Among its many functions, oestrogen is thought to aid cognition and memory. It also affects collagen in the skin, maintains bone density and keeps blood vessels clear of the sticky deposits that cause damage and can lead to cardiovascular disease. It maintains the pH balance in the vagina, reducing the likelihood of infections, prevents the vaginal wall from thinning and keeps the area moist. In short, a decline in oestrogen can wreak mental and physical havoc, with symptoms often worsening over time.

Women need to understand the menopausal process, what diet and lifestyle factors they can change to reduce symptoms and improve later health and what treatment options are available.

Education is needed for healthcare professionals so that women are given accurate and consistent advice. The British Menopause Society (BMS) has many educational events and resources available and are working hard to implement its vision for menopause care in the UK.

If you want to build your own knowledge on the subject, work towards putting a policy in place and understand the adjustments you could put in place to create a support and comfortable working environment please get in touch for further information 01623 409824 or email info@futureproof-training.co.uk.

Secrets of closing the sale

Ask questions and listen

Make sure you “peel the onion” and ask as many relevant questions as is appropriate.

The more you know about your potential customer and how they will use your products / service, the better chance you have of presenting value.

The types of questions matter

When you talk to your potential customer, try the approach of asking questions as if they have already bought your product or service. Don’t ask them if they’d like to buy but how they will be paying. Ask how they will use your product or service.

Show customer your full offering & the results achieve

When you share results information with your potential customer it allows them to see how they can grow and scale their operation or satisfy their personal need; it makes it easier for them to buy what you’re selling because they’re seeing results. Customer testimonials can come in handy at this time.

Assumptive close

One of the best secrets of closing the sale is to assume the person on the other side has already made the decision to purchase your product or service. There are a few reasons behind this:

Depending on your industry, there’s a good chance your prospect has already done their research on your company or product, and, to a certain extent, already decided they are going to buy. The confidence you show by assuming the sale will make it easier to build a relationship with your client. By the time you’re done, they don’t even realise they’ve been sold.

Tell your story visually

Visuals can help your message become actionable. Video, whiteboards, images or other pictures will show how your prospect’s problem will be solved with what you’re selling. By using images you create contrast, which can create the feeling of urgency, which will help you close the sale.

Please get in touch if we can help develop your sales teams. Futureproof Sales Courses 01623 409 824 or info@futureproof-training.co.uk