Sales and Trust

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.

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

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 [...]

7 signs you’re a sales control freak

To be truly great at sales, you have to be able to hand over control to the buyer.

Whether it’s control of the topic of conversation, control of what and when they want to hear certain stories or information from you, or control of the next steps. Unfortunately, giving up this control can feel counterintuitive to many sales people. The irony is that the more you give away control, the more the client wants to work with you and often the bigger and sooner the sale comes in. But it’s not easy – if it was,everyone would be doing it.

I was recently chatting to a client of mine who told me about a meeting she’d had with a prospective client that she thought went really well. At some point during the meeting, she got wind that there was a project in the offering – so when she thought the meeting was drawing to a close, she pounced.

“Can I send you a proposal for that project?” she said.

She beamed when she told me this story – “I’ve got [...]

‘Flogging engineering services has long gone’ says Australia’s most client-focused Engineer

According to Brent Thomas, it’s trust based relationships that matter most in business. And he should know – having just beaten an impressive field of candidates to win the national Client Choice Awards Most-Client Focused Engineer of the Year award for 2016.

“After every meeting, the client needs to leave with a feeling that you are easy to deal with, that you truly have their interests at heart, and you’re providing value out of the interaction,” Brent says. Unfortunately, he sees a lot of people in engineering, and business, that still h [...]