Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Peter Freeth Interviewed on BBC Radio

Peter Freeth, author of Genius at Work and other books, was interviewed by BBC Radio recently on the subject of how to train sales people.

"It seems that the public are becoming more resistant to 'pushy' sales techniques, and that could be one reason why many people are choosing to shop online", he says. "Of course, declining footfall in stores means that if any sales assistant has pushy tendencies, they'll become more pushy out of desperation. When people have their backs to the wall, that's when you see their true nature."

But is sales training helping or hindering?

"All too often, sales training focuses on the mechanics of the interaction and how to get someone to buy. It's nonsensical actually. You're standing in a shop because you know that it's a place to spend money! You don't need to be persuaded to buy, that's why you're there - if the product and price are right. The problem with the majority of sales training, especially retail sales, is that the focus is on the sale as the objective, and that shouldn't be the case. Whenever I use the modelling process described in Genius at Work, I almost always discover that the really high performers in any field have an aim that is counter-intuitive, and seems contrary to the results that they achieve."

"The Genius at Work process is effective because it looks not only at the person's innate qualities and behaviours, but also the cultural context that they're working within. The highest performers innately know that a customer walks into the shop in order to buy something, and their job is to make that as easy as possible. Therefore, their primary focus isn't on the sale but on the service. What constitutes good service differs from one shop to another, of course, but the underlying common trait is an understanding that they're in a sales environment, and when a customer walks through the door, they implicitly accept that. The people who don't aren't going to walk through the door anyway."

In true 'quick fix' fashion, Peter was asked for his top three tips for retail sales people:

1. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. How would you want to be approached? Would you want to be hounded? Would you want recommendations? Would you want advice? What works for you will work for your customers too, otherwise you’re not being true to yourself and your customers are unlikely to believe what you say anyway.

2. Don’t pretend that you’re not selling. After all, that’s why the customer came into the store or accepted the meeting! They know it’s a sales transaction, so there’s no need to be heavy handed and no need to ‘convince’ them to buy. They’re already there to buy, but the product and price have to be right.

3. Be honest. If, in your heart, you know that your product isn’t right for the customer, say so instead of seeing ‘Pound signs’ and going for the short term sale. You will win far more respect from the customer, and you’ll see them – and their friends – again.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Random Penguins

One of the oldest British publishers is to be lost to the Americans, as Penguin, on our shelves since 1935, merges with Random House to become 'Penguin Random House'.

This is just another sign of the top-heavy nature of traditional publishing houses, blamed on e-books but actually it's caused by ageing businesses too tied into their old commercial models and unwilling to turn their sails into the winds of change.

We're sorry to say that the traditional publishers have had their heads in the sand for too long. How many wake-up-calls do they need?

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Two New Books From Peter Freeth

Business author Peter Freeth has released two new books which are due in print by the end of October 2012.

But why two books at the same time?

"About four years ago, I started writing a book on the process of modelling excellence, that's where you uncover the hidden, innate talents of your highest performers and create a template that will allow you to reproduce that excellence across your business, in everything from the way that you recruit high performers to the way that you coach and train them. You would use it in building competency frameworks and talent management programs, and the most important feature is that it preserves the best aspects of your organisation's culture."

"But as I did more and more research for the book and incorporated more examples from my own work, I found it harder to keep the book focused on a coherent theme. One audience for the book is anyone who has trained in NLP and wants to really get to grips with the modelling process which underpins it, because that's something sadly lacking from almost all NLP Master Practitioner training. The second audience is anyone working in corporate Human Resources or Learning & Development. So the problem I had was how to address both of these audiences in the same book."

"Then, as the book neared completion I realised that it really wasn't that difficult to split the book into two, so now there are two books, Genius at Work and The NLP Master Practitioner Manual. So the end result is two books based on the same basic process for modelling excellence but aimed at the needs of two very different readers."

You can hear Peter being interviewed on BBC's Annie Othen show about the changing nature of selling in the UK.

How Good a Presenter Are You?

The Pitch Doctor's annual survey is online, find out how good you are at presenting and pitching, and when the results are published, compare yourself to other professionals across the world.

Visit to complete the survey.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Michael Heath Launches his New Blog

Michael Heath has launched his new blog, in which he'll be sharing his expertise and experience in mentoring, assessment centres, interviewing and subjects connected with developing your people.

You can also see one of Michael's excellent videos at YouTube, where he talks about some of the key concepts covered in his book, The Fit Mentor.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Pitch with Perfection - Elite Business Magazine

Elite Business Magazine has published a feature article by Paul Boross, author of The Pitching Bible and The Pocket Pitching Bible.

You can read the magazine online, and Paul's article is on pages 48/49.

One of the most daunting things that any professional has to do is deliver a pitch. Not only does it involve speaking in front of people, which is nerve-wracking enough, it also puts you under personal and professional scrutiny. And of course, if it doesn't work out then you've lost business to a competitor. So it's no wonder that so many people worry about pitching, yet it can just as easily be an engaging, collaborative and fun way to win business and build that all important network of professional contacts.

Monday, 1 October 2012

New Website for Dreams Do Come True

Trudie and Lloyd Thomson have launched their new website to raise awareness and of course money for St Mary's hospital so that other families can benefit from the important IVF treatments that so many couples struggle to access.

Why not visit and show your support?

How's Your Pitch?

Are you pitch perfect?

Or do you sometimes struggle to hit the right note in your presentations?

OK, enough cliches... The Pitch Doctor, Paul Boross, has launched an annual survey into the business impact of pitch and presentation performance.

Take a few minutes to complete the survey here...

...and if you leave your email address, or visit Paul's website once the results are in, you can see how your experiences compare to others'

Corporate Godfathers - Visit and Vote!

Corporate Godfathers is still in the running for the Chartered Management Institute's Book of the Year, in the 'Commuter's Read' category.

Why not visit the page and Tweet, Like, Plus or otherwise show your support for it?