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Paul Sandford

Effective leadership is not something that you achieve, but rather something you develop and change throughout your life. There’s no substitute for experience, but thankfully you can borrow from others’ knowledge to improve your own. That’s where reading comes in handy. These best-selling books offer useful resources for maintaining your edge as not just a manager, but as a respected business leader.

Did you ever have a conversation with a prospect who suddenly, and for no apparent reason, became unreceptive to perfectly good advice?

Have you ever made a prospecting phone call whose central message sounded something like this? We’ve helped our clients (X, Y, and Z) to deliver (so-and-so benefit) with our (Such-and-Such brand product/service), which has (so-and-so feature). I’d love to meet with you for just a few minutes next week to show you exactly what we’ve done for those clients. How’s Tuesday at 11:00 a.m.? Are you free then?

All salespeople with a small amount of experience have a 30-second commercial (a.k.a elevator pitch, popcorn introduction, etc.) down pat. And that’s the problem.

Have you ever been in the middle of delivering a presentation to a prospect … when you noticed that he or she seemed to have completely tuned out of whatever it was you were saying?

Has this ever happened to you? You’ve had a series of great discussions with a prospect, taken lots of great notes, and you’ve developed the proverbial “killer presentation.

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in discussion with a prospect about the possibility of working together. The meeting is going well. You’re working your way all through the questions you know you’re supposed to ask at this stage. You’re paying close attention; you’re taking notes. One of the questions you ask strikes a nerve with the person to whom you’re talking. Suddenly the floodgates open, and you find yourself listening to a detailed, fully expressed, fully engaged answer -- one where the prospect really opens up to you.

One of the biggest mistakes made by hardworking salespeople is the failure to prepare effectively for a sales call – not by packing a sample case, but by recognising the true goal of their efforts. Don’t just pack a sample case; think of a goal for each call.

Corporate culture is a system of attitudes and beliefs that shape behaviour. Your corporation or organisation has its own cultural beliefs about change, how people view and respond to it. People may not even be aware that they have these beliefs but you can observe them clearly in behaviour and patterns of interaction. Is change an enemy, to fend off or invite into only the tiniest parts of the organisation?

Sales Training will incorporate the latest technological improvements in Multimedia and Internet/Intranet-based training methodology. Salespeople are as computer literate as ever and have access to computers fast enough to benefit from training software programs.