Blog

Some notes from Keith and guest contributors about client relationships, business growth, and building trust.

Does your boss trust you?

More importantly, have you given them good reason to?

One of the many barriers to building a great career can be your relationship with your boss, or perhaps those even higher up. Perhaps you never really get to mingle with your boss’s boss. If your boss says it’s better if they take care of this relationship, then there’s the first clue, they most likely don’t see you as a trusted partner. Because if they did they would share all their relationships with you.

So there are two important questions here: How do you know if your boss actually trusts you? What can you do to start building a trusted relationship if they don’t?

Tasks not conversations?

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 [...]

How to Shape a Great Sales Conversation

What is the main skill that helps people build great rapport within minutes in any given situation, and particularly in a new business meeting? What is it that the best business leaders, salespeople or even rainmakers do that enables them to get what seems like instant engagement? It goes beyond their mere physical appearance or a sharp dress sense. While clothes may give you confidence they do not “maketh the man or woman”. What they all do is have a natural curiosity, and an ability with their questions so they don’t just learn and understand more about the other person, they actually start to develop and build trust.

Think about an occasion when you have first met someone and it’s gone really well, and you’ve genuinely wanted to see them again. In short you have clicked. The chances are they asked you questions which showed they were interested in you, your thoughts, and what you do. So are these people blessed with an intrinsic magic gift of great questioning sk [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

What’s Your Galactic Growth Strategy?

By Ben Paul.

Now that January is fully upon us, it is that time of year again when many businesses and departments within businesses start to look at their plans and strategies for the year ahead. But what does this actually entail? Will you simply review and tweak last year’s plan or follow the same format or structure that you’ve carried out every year? If you do you won’t be expecting radically different results.

I was thinking about this after I’d come out of the movie theatre having thoroughly enjoyed Disney’s latest instalment of the Star Wars Universe, Rogue One. Clearly the investment in Star Wars from Disney was around tapping into our childhood memories and producing as many films as close to the originals as possible to help the dollars come pouring in. Clearly Star Wars is one cash cow that can be almost endlessly milked, as sequels and side stories all have box-office and merchandise spin-off success.

However, how can you find a way to gr [...]

For sales success, don’t put yourself in a box

By Ben Paul

The main aim of many salespeople and those tasked with bringing work into their organisations, is to make contact and then get meetings with the senior decision makers. This, for many, is one of the biggest challenges they face, and even if they get that meeting, they soon find that they have been passed down the prospective client organisation to someone less senior.

So what is it that means the Senior decision maker – often at the C-Suite (CEO, CFO etc) level, doesn’t want to give up their time to you? It could just be the box that you have put yourself in. Do you genuinely think:

box-with-words

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 [...]