Keith Dugdale

Keith Dugdale

Insights on business, sales and trust from Ian Rourke of FB Rice – Australia and NZ’s most client-focused IP specialist for 2017

One of the most common themes I come across when I interview the various winners of the Australian Financial Review Client Choice Awards each year is the winner’s genuine inability to articulate why they think they personally were rated the number one client service provider in their industry.

Without exception, they usually point to external factors – such as working with a great team, the win being the result of a fantastic team effort, or simply being lucky enough to have clients that are easy to work with.

When I interview Ian Rourke from FB Rice, winner of the Most Client Focused IP Specialist for 2017, he is no different. For him, it’s a combination of all three, but is definitely the result of having ‘eas [...]

Why it’s easier to create organisational culture change in China than in Australia or the UK

By Keith Dugdale

I have lived and worked in seven countries and travelled on business to maybe 25 others. One of the things that I love about the places I have lived and worked in is seeing and experiencing new cultures, mindsets and people.

The similarities encourage me, and the differences intrigue me.

What is the impact of culture on ability to change?

Often when I am helping an organisation embed a sales culture change program I’m asked about the impact of different cultures on sales approaches, and the ability of an organisation to embed change. There are clearly differences in the way people think and behave, however my view is that very few people do not want to be helped. The key is that you adapt the way you interact with them according to who they are and what they are trying to achieve.

I have, however, found over the years that I find more difference in the types of people at an individual level between different ind [...]

Use a carrot or a stick? 6 steps to getting the best results from your sellers.

By Keith Dugdale

“It’s like banging my head against a brick wall.”

This is what one of my clients said to me recently, expressing her frustration at getting a group of engineers in the business to adapt their sales behaviours in order to improve their sales results. She is by nature more of a ‘stick’ person than a ‘carrot’ person, but no amount of pleading, cajoling or threats of being blacklisted to the CEO seemed to be working for this particular group.

This to me, and I am sure to many of you, was not a surprise. Rarely in my experience do I see sales behaviours change as the result of being whipped into action with a stick.

Why the stick approach rarely works

Never a better case of a stick approach not only not working, but being entirely inappropriate, are the recent claims that READ MORE

Why our education system stops us being great at sales

By Keith Dugdale

What’s 9 + 3?

If you have a traditional, school-based education like me, you’ve probably known the answer to this question since you were about 5, give or take a year or two depending on how ‘advanced’ you were. And as the years of your education progressed, you were expected to know the answers to lots of other questions as well – like being able to repeat your twelve times tables, understand fractions and derivatives, or know who is the fifth wife of Henry the Eighth (Catherine Howard who ended up being separated from her head, in case you were wondering).

In school we are taught that all that matters is knowing the answer. Knowing the correct answer gets us good grades, it gets us in the spotlight up on stage receiving academic awards, it gets us special treats from our parents and kind words and shiny stickers from our teachers, it gives us entrance to the University course of our choice. Then when we go to University, this cycle r [...]

The 20th PwC CEO report: CEOs are more concerned about trust than ever before.

By Keith Dugdale and Ben Paul

All images are sourced from the 20th PwC CEO Survey.

If you’re still on the fence about whether trust is important in business or not, the latest results from the PwC 20th CEO Survey should help to clear a few things up.

20 years ago, when the survey first started, PwC didn’t even measure CEO’s sentiments about trust in business. Trust first appeared in the 2002 survey, when a mere 12% of CEOs reported that trust in business was declining.

Fast track to 2013, after the business world has been tossed around by the Global Financial Crisis, and that number more than tripled. In 2013, 37% of CEOs stated that they were concerned about a lack of trust in business. But what is really interesting to us, is how much that number has grown in the past three years.

Why you should never ask a CEO what their challenges are

By Keith Dugdale

People love asking about challenges in sales meetings.

In my many years of observing sales people, ‘What are your biggest challenges?’ would only be surpassed in popularity by an equally doomsday style question ‘What keeps you up at night?’.

Don’t get me wrong – asking about their challenges can be a very good question, and is certainly a better question than ‘what keeps you up at night?’ which has become as frequently used in sales meetings as Big Macs are seen in McDonalds. If you’ve built a level of trust with the other person before you ask it, it can definitely unearth a whole host of interesting information, and hopefully gives you an opportunity to give the other person lots of ideas about how they can tackle these challenges (and not just with your own product or service, of course).

But this doesn’t mean it’s a good question to ask everyone….and particularly to ask CEO’s.

If it can be suc [...]

How to write subject lines that make buyers want to open your emails

Last Friday I received 56 unsolicited emails.

56 in one day. And that’s just the one’s that managed to get through my spam filters (note that when I say unsolicited, for many of them I probably did sign up or get added to their mailing lists at some point in time).

Of those 56 I clicked on 11 and deleted the rest without opening them. I counted this because last week I had a question from someone on my video training series about writing compelling sales emails asking me about what to write in a subject line to make someone want to open it.

It’s a great question – you can write the best sales email you have ever written in your whole life, but if the subject line sucks, it will get deleted before it has a chance to get read. Of the 11 that I chose to read based on their subject line, 7 of them turned out to be spam (or what I consider to be spam – content that has no real relevance to me and what [...]

This is the single most important part of a great sales email

Every day around the world billions of emails are being sent – quite literally. In 2015, research by The Racadati Group found that around 2015 Billion emails are being sent globally each and every day.

Amongst all of these emails that are shooting all around the place are millions and millions of sales emails. And as I said in my last post, I bet the majority of them are pretty bad – which means that the chances of a decision maker not only reading your email, but then taking the time to reply to it and agree to a meeting is slim.

Unless what’s in your email is pretty darn compelling.

What to include in a great sales email

The way you structure a sales email and the content you include in it is critical. But before you even start thinking about that, there’s an element that is even more critic [...]

Three ways to be seen as more trustworthy – a podcast with AmCham

Without trusted relationships in business, what do you have?

Suspicion. Wondering whether the other person has your best interests or their own really at heart. Worry about what another person’s motives really are.

Obviously none of these are overly conducive to building trusted relationships that drive collaboration, winning work and people simply enjoying working with other people. Most people I speak to know that trust is important, but don’t really understand what it actually means to build trust – they see it as something intangible, something that takes a long time, and something that feels potentially hard to do.

Recently I was fortunate to have a chat with Duff Watkins for the AmCham Podcast. We talked a lot about what it takes for people and organisations to build trust and be seen as more trustworthy, and I wanted t [...]

Why most sales emails don’t work

Have you ever sent off a sales email to someone you really wanted to get a meeting with but got no response? Or if you got a response it was along the lines of ‘no thanks’ or ‘I’m too busy’ or ‘I’ve already got a provider that I’m happy with’?

If you’re anything like most of my clients, then the answer is yes.

Most of the time they’re a bit puzzled by this. They’ll say ‘but our product/service is great, and totally what they need!’. But when they share with me exactly what it was that they sent off, I can tell them straight away why it didn’t work.

Why most sales emails don’t work

The reason why most sales emails (or sales calls) don’t get the response that the sender was hoping for is because they are far too self-oriented. They tell the buyer:

  • Who I am, who I work for, what my position is.
  • What great product/servic [...]