• Why Training Doesn’t Work

    Many business owners and leaders believe that “training doesn’t work.”  They’re right: a one off, ‘quick fix’ 2 day or two week training session doesn’t work.

    Take tennis, for example.  I played in my teens, but nothing since.  Recently, I found a tennis coach and I’ve committed to two visits a week to the tennis court.

    I’ve made some advances. My coach showed me how to hold a racket so that I can hit the ball with the right timing. She developed my forehand swing so I am able to find the right position for maximum strength in the wrist.

    After six weeks of hard work, a light goes on. The various elements of the game begin to come together.  I don’t have to think about every little thing.

    I ask my coach, “Will I be ready to join the county team soon?”

    Her reply: “Well for someone who starts tennis as an adult, practicing for an hour twice a week, it will take about three years.”

    I was stunned but I realised that she was right.  To reach a semi-pro level was going to take work.  I wish I could fix my game by just attending a two day tennis boot camp, but I can’t.

    Today, we are influenced by the ‘quick fix’ society.  Neuroscience research confirms that our brain needs repetition over time to learn. Brain imaging studies show we do more unconscious practicing of what we are learning when it is spaced out and reinforced over time.

    This is true for whatever new skill we want develop, whether it’s to become a doctor, lawyer, and engineer or upgrade sales or leadership skills.

    It takes time to develop game changing skills.  A coach will put you on the right path and your determination and commitment will take your skills to a professional level.

    Neil Liddell

    Neil Liddell

    Neil enjoys premium recognition with leading decision-makers, he embraces the lifeblood of the Sandler™ methodology. As Managing Director of Sandler Training Central-England, he brings drive, passion and decades of goal-breaking experience to what he and Sandler™ do best; create world-class sales professionals and help CEOs drive lasting growth through training, counsel and ongoing support. Tel: 0845 0573563 Mobile: 07547 227442

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  • Is your message getting through or lost in your words?

    So you have done your research on your big prospect, you have used LinkedIn and all other avenues to gain access to the account and, ultimately, the person you want to speak to. You have the appointment; perhaps you have even prepped your meeting.

    You could just be about to fail.

    While a fair few sales people fail because they can’t get appointments many more fail when they do have appointments.

    You see when they go in they are full of hope, full of their research, full of their company information, full of their assumptions and perhaps full of xxx.

    In my experience most salespeople fail because they don’t have a sales process and they don’t communicate well enough.

    You see communication is the response you get.

    The response you get will be influenced by several factors and this applies to both the salesperson and the prospect.

    Those factors are the filters they use (distortion, deletion, generalisation) and their beliefs and values.

    Our brain has so much information coming from our senses and our recollections and feelings that the brain has to shortcut the information to make sense of it all. Another way of looking at that is that it filters, looking for things that are important or useful or dangerous.

    The distortion filter is one we use to convert any information to suit our pre-existing views. All politicians are liars, there are no good estate agents, IT never works etc are examples of that. As is cold calling never works.

    The deletion filter is similar, we chose to delete information. When someone says they are happy with their existing supplier. What are they really saying? What is it we hear? Are they saying they are absolutely delighted with absolutely everything their current supplier does? – Unlikely. Does the sales person hear something like “no thanks we don’t want to buy from you?”

    Generalisations are used to short cut or pigeon hole. “No one ever got sacked buying from IBM”. “Your company never gives great service”. “Big IT companies overcharge”.

    So if the seller isn’t aware of his or her own filters and how they work against him or her and, is not aware of the prospect’s filters, then how can they communicate effectively?

    The seller’s job should be to spot these filters and ask great questions to get behind any statements or to test any generalisations they hear.

    Great salespeople are great communicators, but that is very different from the stereotype who could “Talk the hind leg of a donkey”.

    Great communicators get great responses by asking great insightful questions. Ones that the prospect may never have even thought to ask themselves.

    After all communication is the response you get. Great questions get great responses… ask them and you will win.

    Alan Mackie

    Alan Mackie

    Alan has been in various sales roles for 25 years and works with businesses struggling to grow revenue and profitability to the levels they wish. Often their sales people are using excuses to hide lack of prospecting or perhaps saying everything is down to price when really it’s their ability. Often the business doesn't have a successful sales culture.

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  • The Hidden Costs of Untrained Management

    Getting the best out of your people is what all managers are really hired for. What they deliver is too often the opposite.

    I’m not blaming managers since most were good at what they did (e.g. sales) and they were recognised and promoted. Their training involved being given a new desk, perhaps an office, their car was upgraded and they saw a couple of thousand on top of their base salary. Chucked in at the deep end they revert back to what they learned first; they routinely behave like their early managers.

    If they had a manager who rescued, and by that I mean, they helped without boundaries or permission, or they had a boss who allowed and worse encouraged upward delegation, or they had a boss who was “all about the numbers” and tried to manage them, they will try to adopt these behaviours.

    Managers who micromanage, who do the heavy lifting for their people, who tie them up in reporting and tracking metrics over which they have no direct control, hobble their talent and give their non-performers a place to hide. Managers who are not clear about what they expect from the member of staff, throughout the hiring and selection process to the exit interview, sow the seeds of their own failure as a manager.

    Untrained managers will typically hire in their own image, only weaker, so the problems catalysed by untrained managers is compound over time. Eventually what happens? The best people leave because they grow tired of missing out on bonuses because other people didn’t hit target, they grow tired of raising a sinking ship and they go to your competition. Your once allies become your competition and they know all about your weaknesses, your prize accounts, where they are vulnerable to predation. Meanwhile you are left with the middle layer of mush and the deadwood.

    You fall further behind and your conditioned response is probably to work harder and look for ways to “motivate” your team. Your efforts at bribery fail because you don’t understand that money is often number 5 or 6 in order of priority when people are seeking a new job and since you never knew you actually had to find out what makes each individual tick, you never asked. When that doesn’t work, you take to beating them with a stick as you see the p45/pink slip looking in your near future. Perhaps you start to take a closer interest in what each person is doing. You start micromanaging forgetting that by doing so you tell them you don’t trust them to do their job. You start muscling in on accounts when you see little or no progress. You play the role of knight in shining armour and without realising, you have created a culture of learned helplessness.

    I lay the responsibility for these circumstances squarely at the feet of the big cheese right at the top of the organisation. Lack of clarity at the top creates confusion, politics, departmental conflict, turf wars, silo and NIH (not invented here) thinking. If your people are spending more time competing internally than they are ripping business out of the competition and you are the boss, then look in the mirror. Take a long, hard look.

    Is it possible that YOU ARE THE PROBLEM?

    Owners who build successful small businesses frequently don’t yet have the skills to grow a bigger business. Of course they can be learned but because they have always been at the heart of things, and are always so busy, they don’t step back and invest enough time in thinking, planning or improving their own skills as a manager, leader or strategist. Small businesses stay small because their owners keep them that way!

    Few managers realise strengths are development areas; weaknesses are not. Working on a weakness (something you dread doing, take forever to do, do badly, time drags, you make many mistakes and when it’s over you look forward only to never having to do that again) is not a wise use of time or your resource.. Smart managers find people whose strengths make their own and their team’s weakness irrelevant. They structure roles around individual’s strengths. They hire to fill those gaps. They are always looking out for a better hire than their last one. And they are constantly interviewing and banking good people so when they need them they can cut months off their recruitment cycle. They have a planned, 90-120 day on boarding process to make sure they set up new hires to succeed and they implement regular, simple, consistent reporting and expectations.

    They introduce them to people they need to know and work with and make it clear that they are to be afforded the help they need. They set clear expectations from the moment the 1st phone interview is conducted. Once hired, they track a small number of leading indicators and manage behaviour. They help, encourage and give clear direction but the how of it, they leave to the individual. If individuals need more support they organise interim review meetings to make sure progress is happening and they aren’t throwing their hands up at the last minute complaining that the person has failed.

    How do you know you need help?

    If you died under a bus, would your business die with you?

    If you lost your biggest client would that hurt badly?

    If you weren’t there, would your biggest client leave your company?

    Do you sometimes hire senior, experienced people who fail within 12 months for salespeople, 18 months for managers and 24 months for Executive hires?

    Do you ever hang on to people who don’t perform because recruitment is a chore?

    Do you tolerate non-performance because you don’t want to upset anyone or don’t like conflict?

    Have you ever felt it was easier to do the work yourself rather than rely on someone you are paying to do it?

    Do you get frustrated trying to manage?

    Do you manage the numbers?

    Do you ever learn there’s a problem but it’s too late to do anything about?

    Does management involve telling people what to do, checking their work or doing their work?

    Is sales forecasting about as accurate as using the entrails of a goose?

    Do your sales fluctuate between feast and famine?

    Do you lose good people when you eventually manage to hire them?

    When you lost one top performer, did others leave soon after?

    Do you work stupid, unsociable hours and feel tired all the time?

    Do your children scream “Mummy who is that strange man?” when you walk through your front door?

    If you answered yes to any of these you have a serious and costly problem. If you said yes to many, you are probably sitting on a goldmine. If you answered yes to the last question, get your priorities straight!

    Call a Sandler Trainer if you want to make all the problems discussed in this blog disappear forever. Before you pick up the phone know that it is not easy, comfortable or cheap. You will be asked many uncomfortable questions and we don’t take everyone as a client. We are very selective because this takes a lot of hard work and there’s no point starting to learn unless you are fully committed to consigning the problems you’ve created to history and seeing this through to the end.

  • How to differentiate your business

    As businesses continue through uncertain times, I thought I would look at how differentiation could be the key to your success.

    Has the word “differentiation” started to sound a little tired? If so, this is because it is both misused and over used.

    We need to pause and think about what differentiation actually means to businesses. In business, when we talk about differentiation we are talking about separating ourselves from our competitors. Ideally, we want to achieve two things by doing this. Firstly, to attract customers to buy from us, and secondly, to have them buy at our price. Working with businesses from a number of sectors, I find that they don’t always realise that a key purpose for striving for differentiation is to maintain their price point; as a result they often end up selling themselves short. This doesn’t look like real success to me.

    Differentiation should therefore not be seen as an end in itself but a means to an end, namely to sell on terms that make sense. Additionally we need to adapt our attempt to differentiate our businesses to today’s tough and increasingly cluttered marketplace.

    In a series of 2 blogs I have looked at the 5 things you need to consider when striving for that all important differentiation.

    1. Know your competitors

    Understanding your competitors is at the crux of differentiation – it’s only by doing this, that you can carve out your own market segment. However, this again requires a new way of thinking.

    Your competitor isn’t necessarily the shop next door. You need to think wider than this.  There are obvious competitors here such as similar products/services, geographies or employee pools. There are also the less obvious ones such as people who provide a very different solution but one that fixes the same problem, meets the same need as yours.  There is also the frequently overlooked ‘competitor’ which is the option to do nothing or to do it in-house.

    It is therefore important to think carefully about your competitors, know what they offer and know what you have to do differently to deliver a more attractive proposition for your customers.

    1. Authentic differentiation

    We hear a great deal about developing our unique selling proposition.  However, your USP, like differentiation, is a concept that can come across as trite and pedestrian in customer engagement as we all work so hard to prove how different we are from competitors and as a business. As brand-savvy consumers, expectation of differentiation had grown.

    There are a couple of things to consider when it comes to crystallising your USP or point of differentiation. I quote Steve Jobs here when I say, quite simply, “Brands are themselves”. You need to know – beyond making a profit – what the purpose of your business is and what you believe in it. There has to be that authentic core at the centre of what you do, rather than merely focusing on “What will sell more?” Customers today are sophisticated and discerning – they will see through the empty promise. Working with CEOs and business owners, I constantly encourage them to go back to the seed of their business.  To identify your business essence, get back in touch with yourself and your business to create that consistent and genuine proposition.

    Lisette Howlett

    For twenty years Lisette Howlett lived and worked in Europe, Asia and the USA where she held senior positions running global programmes in some of the world’s leading companies. Since leaving corporate life Lisette has been successfully running her own consultancy for 8 years. Typically her sales training clients include entrepreneurs, CEOs, start-ups, Sales Directors, MDs, Senior Partners and business owners – often these are people who don’t consider themselves as traditional sales people but are committed to growing their businesses and thus recognise the need to sell more effectively and more authentically. Visit her Huffington Post Blog Tel: 020 7484 5556

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  • Are you sabotaging your own business?

    Here’s Why You Might Be Sabotaging Your Own Business

    Running your own company can cause you problems. But are you unknowingly creating some of them? 

    Let me explain.

    Many recent surveys have shown that only one third of UK workers are engaged with their organisation. But should this matter to your business?

    It depends. Are you frustrated that your staff are often sick or fail to understand your customer’s needs or lack creativity or sometimes your top people unexpectedly leave? Do you feel that maybe they aren’t adding the value they should be to your business?

    Your business probably doesn’t have any of these issues but take a look at the below table which sums up recent research from various groups.

    Neil Liddell table







    It is clear from this research that there is a definite link between employee engagement and high organisational productivity and performance. But it goes much further than this.

    The conclusion from all the employment engagement research conducted by the major players is that employee engagement impacts positively on:

    • Moral
    • Absenteeism
    • Stress
    • Innovation
    • Retention
    • Motivation
    • Involvement
    • Advocacy

    Some business owners view some of these points as “nice to have”. But a Gallup study demonstrated that those with the highest employee engagement averaged 18% higher productivity than those with lower levels. 18% higher productivity, for any business, would have a significant impact on their bottom line not including the other benefits.

    The question is, if the benefits of employee engagement are so significant then why are so few doing so?  A major report just released in July this year from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Management Commission puts it down to:

    1. Short term gains brought about by cutting budgets, making redundancies and, in some cases, reducing quality and customer service levels. This has lowered morale in many companies with the result being; employee disengagement.
    1. Old–fashioned pyramid structures stop employees from engaging fully with their company.
    1. Many businesses are still reluctant to invest in management training. This leads to reducing leadership and management skills which has a negative impact on employee engagement.

    So why is so little being done to improve matters?

    The recent recession is one possible reason why there has been a focus on short term gain and leadership and management training has been put on the back burner.

    So what can MD’s do now to improve their employee engagement and ultimately their bottom line? They can:

    1. Focus on the longer term goals of the business.
    2. Adopt a flatter management structure as this give far more employee engagement.
    3. Invest in leadership and management training.

    As business strategy adapts to the new growing economy it can either skill up or carry on regardless. However the research suggests that those who fail to cultivate an employment engagement culture by taking the suggested measures are likely to be the losers along with their company’s bottom line.

    Neil Liddell

    Neil Liddell

    Neil enjoys premium recognition with leading decision-makers, he embraces the lifeblood of the Sandler™ methodology. As Managing Director of Sandler Training Central-England, he brings drive, passion and decades of goal-breaking experience to what he and Sandler™ do best; create world-class sales professionals and help CEOs drive lasting growth through training, counsel and ongoing support. Tel: 0845 0573563 Mobile: 07547 227442

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  • Ever thought of how “Change” effects selling?


    This blog looks at change from the context of buying – and selling.

    Buying and selling can defined be in its broadest terms – selling a product or service or an idea. So it applies to a non-sales selling situation such as being persuaded to do something, support something and persuading someone to do something, support something etc.  It can also be applied to more traditionally defined sales situation – exchanging a product or service for money.

    Looking at buying.  Any purchase of any kind – thing, service or idea – requires a change.  Looking at some examples:

    • Buying new clothes or new shoes – they will feel different (and make you feel different) and thus are a change
    • Commissioning a new website – this requires a change in the look and feel of your online brand, new processes (if it includes different functionality), new opportunities
    • Investing in sales training – this requires you to let go of some of the things you do, change what you do and take some risks
    • Agreeing to do something different at work, or adopt a new work practice – this changes your actions or your beliefs

    It follows therefore that when we are selling we are actually facilitating a change.

    Looking at our change equation, change is a function of:

    • dissatisfaction with the present
    • a vision of the future
    • some first practical steps

    And to be personally motivated to make the change the sum of these needs to be equal to or greater to the cost or pain or effort of making the change

    Therefore before we can sell something to someone they need:

    • to be dissatisfied with what they have at the moment
    • a clear vision of the future – of where they could be, what could be happening
    • an idea of how to get there and confidence that it is possible – and then in turn, the actual route map
    • for the above to be equal to or great to the cost or pain or effort of making the change.

    If any of these elements are missing you will not make a sale.

    Taking an example of investing in sales training.  If I am happy enough with my client acquisition processes, even if I know at one level that I ‘should’ be bringing on more clients, unless something more compelling drives me (and creates dissatisfaction) I am not going to make a change.  Equally if I cannot imagine a future where I have more clients and enjoy some real benefits from this, I will not make the investment (in time, money and personal upheaval).  And finally if I do not think that you are the person to take me there I will not buy from you (i.e. I need to see my ‘first practical steps’).  And even if those things are in place, if I am not convinced that the cost – in terms of my time, my money or the demands placed on me – will be met or exceeded through the investment in training I will not buy.

    To sell effectively we need to facilitate our buyer in exploring the change equation for themselves and making a decision to change or not to change.

    Lisette Howlett

    For twenty years Lisette Howlett lived and worked in Europe, Asia and the USA where she held senior positions running global programmes in some of the world’s leading companies. Since leaving corporate life Lisette has been successfully running her own consultancy for 8 years. Typically her sales training clients include entrepreneurs, CEOs, start-ups, Sales Directors, MDs, Senior Partners and business owners – often these are people who don’t consider themselves as traditional sales people but are committed to growing their businesses and thus recognise the need to sell more effectively and more authentically. Visit her Huffington Post Blog Tel: 020 7484 5556

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  • Dreadful presentations… I’ve started … so I’ll finish

    16860028_sWe’ve all been there, listening to another overrunning self-indulgent pitch. Blah blah blah. 5mins over time and the seat gets a little firm, you start to fidget. 10mins and you dream of an electrical failure to hide your escape. 15mins and you cogitate whether a harpoon or rubber handled mallet is the most appropriate tool to end their misery. Content? Well that’s long forgotten.

    But there’s a genetic flaw affecting many salespeople and entrepreneurs alike. Seemingly despite having experienced ‘time warp hell’ where a slow agonizing death becomes attractive as at least that would be interesting, as soon as we get an opportunity to speak in front of an audience, we are compelled to create a miracle. The miracle of “Delivering 2 Hours of material in 20mins”

    • “It went really well! I was only supposed to talk for 20mins but I was still there after an hour!”
    • “Sorry I’m going quickly, it’s a 3 hour PowerPoint & I’m trying to get it all in…”

    Just think how much it costs to present your products or service. All that time, emails, networking, brochures, referrals and family time lost in preparing. So why go to all that trouble to get a couple of dozen people to hate you? Wouldn’t it be better if they loved you, perhaps want to know more? Energised? Motivated?

    Rather than have people bring in an exorcist to have you removed, consider this : –

    If you’ve 20 minutes to speak, create enough material for 20 earth minutes – not salesperson’s minutes which as we know are in multiples of ‘5’

    • Remember the title of your talk? – GOOD! that’s what the audience expects to hear so make this your point.
    • Engage with your audience, look everyone in the eye and talk to them. No need to reenact the Nuremburg Rally of the ‘30’s, they didn’t end well.
    • Be radical! They will know your name so don’t repeat it. They know where you are from so don’t repeat that either…..or the words on your slides.
    • Call a doctor and have PowerPoint surgically removed or if you have to use it, show a picture rather than a 1000 words. Flipchart? Whiteboard? Props?
    • Have mercy, remember, you were a member of the audience once so speak clearly, be measured, smile. Its easy if you’ve rehearsed. REHEARSE!
    • Take questions at the end, not during, so that you can be sure you cover all your points. After all, it’s your opportunity to sell!

    All anecdotes appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead from Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire & Hertfordshire networking circuits is purely coincidental.

    Chris Davies

    Chris Davies

    Chris Davies has spent over 35 years in both sales and leadership environments with companies such as Sony, Toshiba, IBM and others. Observing first-hand the declining effects of traditional, much copied selling methodologies. Typically, Chris works with business leaders, partners and top producers who are ready to work smarter and commit their time, money and energy to attract new clients, sell more products or services and generate more profits with integrity. Tel: 01525 280777 Mobile: 07891 055925

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  • We don’t need a Sales System. We already have one, thank you!

    I slapped my forehead in pure exasperation. “I don’t believe it! All these years, decades, when I thought I had a sales system! Turns out I didn’t” This was the painful moment as a Sales Director that I first saw the Sandler “submarine.”

    I am sure your company has a sales system. After all, you have a system for Accounts. You would hardly expect your accountant to say, “Well, some months we allocate these expenses this way, other months like that, and usually we just guess…” Nor would you expect Production to say “you see, normally we do it this way, but, if the client has asked for it, we re-build the whole assembly so it comes out twisted.”

    And yet, when we ask Sales for their system, we get an answer just like that. “Well, basically, once we have uncovered some interest, we do whatever the prospect wants and, if we remember to, we ask for the business.”

    Exaggerating? Try the experiment. Ask them for their system. Don’t forget to check consistency. “So, what happened with Prospect Z, then?” “Ah, well, that was different, let me explain…”

    So Sales is the one area that there is often no system. Not in the sense you expect from the rest of the business; Logistics, HR, Legal, Accounts, Production. And yet we treat Sales as having a predictable system. We need correct forecasting to plan our business. So we are forced to look at historical data for “conversion rates”. So many leads go in at the top, these few fall out the bottom. You would not accept such a haphazard forecasting strategy for any other part of your business.

    So it is all the Salespeople’s fault! Not really. They are following what they firmly believe is a system. Moreover, if your production machinery started to be a bit creaky, you would not say “No, we will not invest in maintenance and upgrades, the warranty promised years of trouble-free operation”. When it comes to Sales, the money-making bit, we often hear “No, we will not invest in upgrading our Sales and we will not regularly maintain it with expensive support. After all, in the interview they promised they were seasoned Sales Professionals.”

    So when you checked your sales system, what did you find? Now you have been shocked, what do you intend to do about it?

    Paul Glynn

    Paul Glynn

    Paul’s experience spans over twenty years of selling, sales management and training. He has worked in the financial services sector including accountancy and has been responsible for the commercial success of sales departments at director level in advertising. His clients report up to 300% increase in turnover by working with him. He is dedicated to helping businesses grow through assessments, training, coaching and mentoring. Tel: 01784 390623 Mobile: 07866 518848

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  • What can Salespeople learn from Elite Athletes?

    Belief wheelI have played and following competitive sports from a very young age. Growing up in South Africa – a sports mad country- I followed most sports like Rugby and Cricket and Football, but my favourites were tennis and golf. I was always fascinated by what made some top sportspeople better than others – they all seemed to have great physical talent, but what was it that made some truly the best and others the also-rans.

    I recently came across the work by Steve Peters – he is a sports psychology guru and has helped many elite athletes (the British cyclist team, the Liverpool footballer Stephen Gerrard to mention just a few) hit the sporting heights. In his words, he describes himself as “working with the mechanics of the mind” i.e. he works with Mindset.

    The theory is that we all have thoughts running around in our mind all the time and these thoughts then affect how we feel which tend to define our Mindset. This then influences what we will do or often more importantly what we won’t do. When we do Mindset work, we “listen” to our thoughts and start the ongoing process of distinguishing between our dis-empowering thoughts and our empowering thoughts. Dis-empowering thoughts can then be re-framed to create new positive affirmations. Using daily journaling (described later) we can then consistently and effectively work to create a more empowering Mindset which is essential for success in area of our lives.

    Sarah Stevenson is the UK number one in Taekwondo and came fourth at the Sydney 2000 Olympics and Steve Peters help her recognise that the mental aspect of sport is as important as the physical. Before she started working with Steve, she would be worried about things like “am I good enough”, “the competition might beat me” and this would stress her out and drain her energy. Doing Mindset work (including a five step mental warm-up) with Steve Peters, she was able to deal with these demons and achieve incredible international sporting success.

    So how can Salespeople use the Mindset work that Elite Athletes use to become more effective at selling? Well most salespeople (and everbody really!) tend to have negative or limiting beliefs that if not dealt with lead to feeling negative , fearful which in turns leads to inaction or not doing what needs to be done .

    When it comes to selling there are three areas that impact sales success.

    • What we believe about ourselves
    • What we believe about our company and what we sell
    • What we believe about the marketplace

    If salespeople believe that they are not good enough, or don’t deserve success, then that is precisely the outcome that they will attract. Likewise if salespeople have limiting beliefs about their company (e.g. the company is too small, the product is not perfect, etc) then that is what they will experience and focus upon. And lastly, if they feel that there are not enough potential-customers out there or that is difficult market to sell to, then that is exactly what they will find.

    The thing about beliefs is that whether they are negative or positive – neither can be proved. They are just thoughts in ones head – “what one think tends to become ones reality – A ”self-fulfilling prophecy” .

    So in fact we can choose what beliefs you want and if we choose new empowering beliefs over dis-empowering limiting beliefs, then these dis-empowering beliefs will in time become our new our reality i.e. our Self Fulfilling Prophecy

    When salespeople go on sales training courses, they mainly undergo Technique training. At Sandler Training, we understand the holistic nature of what makes sales success. So we not only work with Technique (Tactics and Strategies), but also Behaviour (Goals and clear defined actions) and Attitude (Mindset). One of the Sandler Training Attitude principles is doing a Daily Attitude Journal – Mondays to Fridays. This journal takes no more than ten minutes to complete and the rule of the thumb is that is takes 90 days to change a limiting belief into a new empowering belief that will drive a new Attitude (Mindset). Of course in order to achieve successful sales one needs to take action (can’t just do Mindset work alone!) , however Mindset work will in turn help you take the appropriate actions to achieve the sales results you are looking for.


    Luke Davies

    Luke Davies

    Luke Davies runs Sandler in London. For 9 years he has helped many business growth through improving their approach to selling and management. He also has a solid track record of start-up businesses; building up businesses from 0 to multi-million pound revenues and then taken them through to exit – and now a variety helps industry leaders and business owners to do the same thing.

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  • What can Muhammad Ali teach us about selling?

    Sport and selling have a lot in common. They are both naturally competitive, both take skill and mental toughness, and no one wins all the time. Importantly you can’t control what your opponent does, you can only control you – how you prepare and how you react.

    Muhammad Ali is generally considered among the greatest heavyweight boxers in the sport’s history. An often controversial and polarising figure during his career, Ali is today widely regarded for not only the skills he displayed in the ring but also the values he exemplified outside of it:  freedom, justice and the triumph of principle over expedience.

    Ali was never afraid to speak out, and many of his sayings were pithy and insightful. I’ve picked out 3 below and highlighted the parallel selling lessons that we can learn :-

    The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.

    Selling is a busy life. There’s never nothing to do. As a result a lot of folk who find themselves with a target to hit are in a rush to get on with the job. A lot of ‘winging it’ happens.

    I have not yet met a salesperson who said ‘ I was too well prepared for that meeting’ or ‘ I had too much skill to deal with what was thrown at me’, and yet so few take a little time to get in better shape. What happens in a meeting with a prospect or customer will depend on how much preparation you have done – the questions you must ask, the responses to anticipated difficult moves or how you assert yourself for next steps that are in your interest. But also what happens will depend on how much practice you have put in. You should practice to skills of questioning, listening, dealing with pressure or staying in control, so that instinctively you will remain composed, professional and business-like, ‘long before you dance under those lights’

    It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.

    Selling often presents tough challenges. It’s not easy to meet your goals or win substantial opportunities. Good sales people will work to a plan but sometimes the biggest hurdles are the small things that are under our control but also those that can be easily ignored.  What is the pebble in your shoe? Is it managing your time to get priorities done, is it being better prepared, is it that you talk too much too soon, is it that you lack the courage to ask the tough questions, or to say No?  Remove the pebble in your own shoe and the climb becomes so much easier.

    A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.

    A lot of sales people tell me that they’ve been selling for 5, 10 or even 20 or more years. However, in terms of self-development it’s often 20 times 1. Whatever stage of your selling career you are at there’s always room to grow, to improve and to mature. One of the most beneficial but also the most difficult self-disciplines in selling is being able to take a few minutes to debrief what has happened to you – on a call, in a meeting or for the whole week.  Start a self-development journal – in the front page write the questions ‘ What worked well today and what didn’t? What lessons have I learned?  What would I do differently next time?

    It doesn’t take long but those few minutes will enable you to focus on where to change and develop, and will stop you wasting your life making the same mistakes, or even excuses, next time.

    Blog Editor

    Blog Editor

    Lisette Howlett edits the Sandler UK blog. If you have any questions or would like to submit a blog please contact her. Tel: 020 7484 5556 Email: Lisette.howlett@sandler.com

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