Pickup professionals….

Had a great couple of days working with sales executives for a leading pickup manufacturer, helping them to deliver professional customer experiences.

We start by understanding what professional means before identifying areas we need to develop to become even more professional.

We spend time focussing on product, what makes it unique and class leading.

We also focus on the ways that companies purchasing the vehicle may be set up and the tax implications of this, so we can give sound unbiased buying advice.

finally we look the the legal requirements regarding, tachographs and operator licensing, so we can give good information to customers to help them navigate the maze of legislation they face.

This is then put into practice for a final round of presentations.

I hope when you need a pickup you deal with a professional!


Negotiation with style…

Working with sales and after sales people from a well know automotive manufacturer looking at ways to negotiate win-win solutions…

We start by looking at different styles and negotiation positions, before trying out some quick individual negotiations, then we spent time looking at a five step process and applying it to a group exercise.

The key learnings are then linked into how and what we trade to gain agreement.

Finally we identified our key variables and watched video’s of people using them so we can spot the process and gambits when we are back at work.

All delegates created 3 key actions which will be discussed with their managers and followed up within 2 weeks.

Great job!


Identifying the leaders of tomorrow…

Still in Dubai working with a global FMCG company running an assessment centre to identify candidates for a year long leadership programme.

All candidates arrived bright and early, with a presentation to deliver, before being questioned on the information it contained. We were looking out for key competences that the business uses to measure its people.

Next there was a group exercise, against the clock, a strategy had to be produced and delivered to the assessors.

Finally a data pack is provided and candidates are given time to digest the information pulling out the key points before delivering a presentation of their findings, recommendations and areas of concern, before talking them through in greater depth.

That’s it, for the delegates, now it’s over to the assessors to compare notes, select the successful candidates and provide feedback to help develop the ones that are not ready yet…

Very rewarding work and a successful programme ahead of the next 12 months.


Espresso sessions…

Working in Dubai with a global leader in Consultancy, delivering short sharp effective, sessions that give delegates who are time poor, key business skills to further increase their effectiveness both internally and externally.

The first session looked at delivering presentations that generate lasting change and make it easier for customers to understand the challenges they face and make the difficult decisions to move forward.

This involved looking at ways to provide not just information, but also to look at ways to really engage the client on an emotional level, this enables them to take the action required even when it is difficult.

The second session looked at ways to develop flex in leadership styles. We began by identifying differences between management and leadership, and then moved on to identify the 6 leadership styles before identifying which ones we use the most. Then using the Kouzes and Posner model we look at how we flex our style using the Exemplary Leadership Practices. Finally we developed action plans that would challenge us to flex our styles more effectively.

The last session focused on ways to develop strategic thinking in a highly pressurised environment. We began by understanding what strategy was and what stops us developing them effectively.

We moved on to look at ways to ensure we cover every area of the challenges we face using De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats to speed up the process, whilst ensuring real clarity, before we moved to to using a simple model to help us apply the 6 Hats to everyday strategy quickly and effectively.

Finally the tools were applied to real issues and new strategies were devised.

Each of these sessions took just 90 minutes.

It’s amazing what you can do when you have an espresso buzz…


Final day…

Day two of the negotiation skills course finds us exploring active listening techniques to ensure no clues are missed during the investigation phase of the negotiation process.

This is followed by a closer look at Cialdini’s 6 key influencers and how to use them effectively during negotiations, before we look at common gambits used during negotiations and ways to circumvent them.

After putting all of these tools into practice during a gruelling and complicated negotiation exercise, we look at the final piece that is required to be an effective negotiator “emotional intelligence”

Using a tool to measure our EQ we begin to make plans to ensure that we remain calm and avoid being “triggered” during negotiations so we remain calm and keep our emotions in check.

Delegates left with many new ideas to improve their negotiations going forward.

I hope their customers are well prepared!


Finding the middle way in the Middle East…

Am spending the next two days with a team from an large FMCG brand that has a global reach, looking at ways to negotiate in a more structured way…

The climate here makes it hard for people to accept a loss of face so it is paramount that the whole process is tempered towards identifying mutual agendas and goals.

We have spent the first day looking at what negotiation is and more importantly what is is not!

We then began to look at a structure that helps us to prepare well, ask the right questions to identify mutual goals, make realistic proposals before we begin the sport of “negotiation” that will lead to agreement that sticks.

So far we have focused on preparation, realising that the bigger the preparation the better the negotiation and the bigger the negotiation the better our preparation needs to be!

All of the delegates having identified their prefered styles are beginning to flex them and are finding ways to prepare SMARTER instead of HARDER.

Can’t wait for day two…


New team development…

Working with a newly formed team for a professional organisation that provides certification and accreditation in the Accountancy proffession…

The task is to help them become a high performing team as fast as possible and to increase their profile within the organisation so they become more pro active in driving the digital media agenda forward.

We are using Insights Discovery Profiles as a tool to help the team work more closely together. The profiles have proved once again to be incredibly accurate and insightful.

They have helped to open dialogue up amongst the team around strengths and weakness’s and ways to work better by using people with the strongest skills in each area to increase effectiveness.

We then began to look at ways to spot the preferences of others, before identifying simple ways to flex our preferred style as required to create more impact when we interact with them. This was focused around the key stakeholders in the business.

Finally we finished by creating a communications document outlined what each team member brings to the team and the most effective ways to communicate with them.

A deeply rewarding day…


Sales assessment day…

Working with sales professionals from a commercial vehicle manufacturer to identify and assess their knowledge, skills, and behaviours.

A tough day for the delegates and some tough decisions for myself and the team.

We start with a customer meet and greet, where requirements are identified.

This is followed by a product demonstration and finally a test drive.

Overall a great job done by all and some meaningful feedback provided to ensure any areas for development are handled going forward.

I good days work by all….


Keeping the customer…

Once again with a Japanese manufacturer of cars, looking at ways to stay in touch with customers after they have taken delivery of their cars…

Starting off identifying ways to start well by creating a great handover experience for the customer, before moving on to look at why it is so important to keep customers loyalty, both in terms of their value and the new customers they can generate for the dealership.

Finishing up by looking at ways to increase loyalty by developing a robust contact strategy using all kinds of media to create advocacy and increase CSI.

Their customers will be feeling the love…


Back in the saddle…

After a couple of weeks off, I am back in the saddle again…

Working with a group of new sales people for an upmarket automotive brand, we are exploring ways to close more sales!

Close may not be the right word, gaining commitment is a better explanation.

We start by looking at how we and our customers are looking for different things at each step in the sales journey. Then we move on to look at why customers object and how we can handle them whilst continuing to build rapport.

Finally we finish up by looking at the best ways to handle the final negotiations to generate a win – win.

All delegates went away with a deeper understanding and action plans to put in place back at work.