This week, Steve and I attended a “Motivation & Sales Masterclass” that took place at Manchester Metropolitan University. The three-hour seminar took place in a crowded room with a really memorable speaker, Nick Bramley.
Both of us learned a lot and I thought I’d share the top 5 five useful insights we picked up with you:
1. There are four different character types and each of us fits into one of them. It comes down to this:
1. The Director (think Lady Thatcher, Lord Sugar, Deborah Meaden)
“Get to the point Trevor”. Decisions are led from the brain (see (2), below for decisions from the heart). You are direct and have no issue expressing yourself in clear terms (to the question “How are you?”, you’d reply “Busy”). You’re not interested in the minute-by-minute detail, you love lists, hate wafflers and have no time for water cooler talk. If people want to meet with you, they have exactly 10 minutes.
2. The Creative (Richard Branson, Peter Jones)
Keen to hear ideas (Richard Branson apparently gives residents of his Necker Island resort the opportunity to present a 1 minute elevator pitch to him). You’re a calculated risk taker. Led by the heart after weighing the options up and if it goes wrong, there’s always other ideas to implement instead. You’re friendly and sociable and generally have time to spare, provided it’s well spent. Ultimately, you take the decision and it’s often led by gut instinct.
3. The Analyst (the late great Anita Roddick)
The polar opposite of The Director, this person loves to chat and thrives on lots of employee interaction. There’s always an open door policy and you’re happy to be interrupted. Ask as many questions as you can and you’re happy to hear all angles, outcomes and risks involved with a decision. You’re a real team player and not fussed about interruptions or meetings which might go over time.
4. The People’s Person (perhaps Nev from BBC 3’s The Call Centre)
You’re technically minded and analytical, the least risk taking personality type of the four categories. You love to share information to every level of detail with the team. You see your employee colleagues as an extended family and you’re reliant on them to a large extent to help you make the right decision. Whilst you are ultimately very concise in how you come to the decision, you might question with others once you’ve made the decision if it was the right one to have taken.
The critical thing is that whichever category you fit into, read your staff’s and customer’s characteristics and adapt your style to whichever category they generally fit into. Reflect your behaviour to that of your employees or customers. Otherwise, you’ll alienate them.
2. The three most important points when it comes to customers are Communication, Communication and … you’ve guessed it. To take an example, how can you know if your client is happy with what you’ve done for them? Talk to them about the last job you did for them, as well as find out their aspirations for their business and how you can help the next time even better. Set up a formal review meeting with your key client a couple of times a year. Don’t ask them for one (or they’ll say, er, sorry no thanks). Tell them it’s what you do! Then it becomes part of the service wrap you provide.
3. Having performance targets is one thing. Having personal development goals is another. Put differently, make your employees part of the bigger company picture. Share company goals with your employees and make them become part of them rather than using the KPI/goals oriented “carrot” approach exclusively.
4. Whether you’re a sole trader or a corporation, you need 5 hard sells. Why should a customer chose you?
To illustrate the point, Nick asked his audience what the top 5 animals would be which you would like to see on a safari. That’s a hugely important part of how safari tours sell to customers worldwide. Relate that to your business. Think of 5 big selling points. Not the “we have the greatest customer service”, or “a really great product” sales spiel which everyone hears, but something which really makes you different.
For our business, ours would be 1) We’re the only composer agency in the North West to offer a one-stop shop for composer requirements. 2) Given how quick all our composers deliver, we save producers time. 3) We thereby make producers’ lives easier because they can rely on us to deliver a score quickly and without hassle. 4) We like to think we’re the benchmark for the highest quality scores, especially in the children’s and factual entertainment arena, given the credits of our composers. 5) We’re located in the heart of the Northwest’s production hub which producers based here like because there’s nothing like easy access to a face-to-face meet.
5. Finally, and this applies again whether you’re working on your own or in a company, establish an aim, a vision and a mission. Embed them into your daily work ethic.
I’d definitely recommend attending a class like this for any budding entrepreneurs!