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3 Ways Virtual Training Can Help Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

3 Ways Virtual Training Can Help Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Historically we have delivered 80% of our courses face to face but, like many businesses, we’ve had to adapt to new ways of working since the pandemic began.  Virtual training has not only been the only way to continue to deliver our courses, we’ve also discovered another positive outcome – a huge reduction in our (and our client’s) carbon footprint!

No Travel

This month we were due to be delivering a large-scale training program to a Canadian organisation, to take place in offices in Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver. We were preparing for a two-week trip of intensive face to face training, but lockdown came and like many businesses, we had to adapt how we could deliver our training. So after much hard work (both by us and our wonderful client – WSP), we’ve been able to re-design our offering and are now able to provide a full training package for those same (in fact more) Canadian delegates, but all delivered virtually.

A by-product of this also meant we have been cutting back on ways we have impacted the environment. By simply moving our training online and negating the need for a number of flights, (both ourselves flying across the pond, plus client delegates flying internally), we have massively reduced our carbon footprint by 15.6 Tonnes! Then consider the many combined car and taxi journeys to get us all to our destinations, and the total carbon emissions is likely to be in excess of 20 tonnes (You can check your businesses own carbon footprint by looking at the free website https://www.carbonfootprint.com).

Save on Paper

We love a flip chart. Its traditional, creative, visual and replaceable. But as we developed our Virtual Training, we realised we could still use highly engaging ways to train delegates, using digital whiteboards, animated slides, breakout rooms, and a number of other ways we can keep virtual training entertaining and effective. Instead of paper handouts, we can email PDFs, surveys and emails to keep in contact with delegates post training.

This move to virtual training helping us to go paper-less is important. Printing takes up an enormous amount of energy and carbon usage. For example, did you know that 500 printed sheets of the paper produce approx. 2.08kgs of CO2According to Lexmarks survey findings in Europe, someone who works in an office uses an average of 10,000 printed pages per year, of which nearly 2,000 are not actually needed. The CO2 created from these unnecessary pages weighs almost 7.2kgs. When you also take into account things like training folders, handouts and printed PDFs etc, you can see that by comparison, Virtual Training mitigates all of this.

Reduced Food Wastage

Our virtual delegates will still need to eat and drink during a training session, but the amount of wasted resources is significantly less than attending a fully catered event. A study found that the UK wastes £13billion worth of food every year. When your learners only eat what they need his results in far less wastage.

Our training is bespoke to each client  – see our approach and how we can help your business grow.

#WorldEnvironmentDay

It just so happens that when we came to posting this blog we saw it was World Environment Day. As individuals, as well as in business, we believe we are all responsible for understanding how our actions impact on the environment and look to find ways to change, to do better.
This pandemic has shown that technology does works to bring people together with a far smaller carbon-footprint than planes, cars or trains can ever have. We must embrace this.

How To Manage & Maintain Client Relationships in a Virtual World

How To Manage & Maintain Client Relationships in a Virtual World

Are you tasked with managing important client relationships whilst working remotely?

We ran a live webinar on 24th April attended by over 70 people, which aimed at help professionals who have the new challenge of nurturing client relationships during lockdown and beyond.

Here are the key points that came out of the session, and that you should remember when managing those all important relationships in a world where we are now having to adapt to working virtually.

What is your Clients’ Experience?

“In times of crisis, a customers interaction with a company can trigger an immediate and lingering effect on his or her sense of trust and loyalty” McKinsey

What we know is that how you react to the current crisis is crucial to your success. The Client experience (CX) in a crisis is vital part of this. McKinsey’s research tells that in the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 – 2011 those companies who invested in CX:

  • Lost less
  • Came out quicker
  • Grew quicker in the upturn

Make it Personal

Make your communications with clients more personal. You should aim to focus on the person you are liaising with:

  • Keep in touch
  • Make it easy to communicate
  • Take time to understand their world and what has changed

“Ive learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou:

Think about rapport building questions in advance of the call (e.g. How are you doing? How is the lockdown going for you and your family? What are you enjoying about working from home?

Then use transition questions to move the conversation into business talk (e.g. How is your organisation facing up to the new reality? Where are you focusing your attention? What are your short/medium term objectives?)

Then really listen to their answers.

Focus on Understanding their Objectives and Challenges

Understanding what clients are looking for and their own objectives is vital. Take time to really listen! Watch out for words or phrases that you need to ‘funnel’ to further your understanding. Remember, showing genuine interest in your client is one of the pillars of a Trusted Adviser (Maister/Green). You can then use that information to be able to seek ways to help your client and their business, and the new challenges that they may be currently facing.

In summary, you need to ensure that you:

  • Empathise
  • Listen
  • Learn
  • Understand their objectives
  • Seek ways to help

Reap the Rewards

If you focus on your clients needs in these ways, with an acknowledgement of how we are all facing unique challenges, your reward will be that your clients:

  • Will want to stay with you and your organisation
  • Will be motivated to use you for other services in the future
  • Will become advocates to other organisations in your market

Interested in you or your team attending our next free Webinar? Drop us a line or follow us on social to see when to register.

Webinar: Managing and maintaining client relationships in a virtual world

Webinar: Managing and maintaining client relationships in a virtual world

FREE Live Webinar

Managing and maintaining client relationships in a virtual world

Friday 24th April 2020 – 12:00 until13:00

Who is it for?

A practical and engaging free live webinar aimed at professionals that work in the natural and built environment.

This is for YOU if you are tasked with maintaining client relationships during the lockdown period and beyond.

Registration required, register here.

What will we cover?

1> Everything has changed… or has it?

  • The principles or client management
  • Being a Trusted Advisor
  • Understanding your clients ‘new normal’
  • How can you add value

2 > Sharing views from clients, consultants and each other.

3 > How to strengthen relationships at this time – practical advice on how to use empathy and structure the conversation.

Register here for live webinar on managing client relationships

 

Cross Selling: how to achieve growth by cross selling in professional services

Cross Selling: how to achieve growth by cross selling in professional services

Cross Selling: how to achieve growth by cross selling in professional services

‘Cross-Selling’ is the key to smart business growth but why is it so difficult? Questas CEO & Founder, Gary Williams reveals how to overcome the barriers and generate significant opportunities from existing clients.

What is cross selling?

Cross-selling is best described as ‘collaborating with other specialists within your company, working in partnership on behalf of the client’s best interest.’ It is a proactive, ongoing process designed to provide your existing customers with a range of your company’s services that will help them achieve their objectives.

Having worked with many professional services firms operating in the built and natural environment, we see many companies who are not optimising their cross-selling opportunities, missing obvious areas of growth in their organisation. Many of them have key client management programmes, with one of the measures of success being the number of services their clients buy from them. On average, supplier firms provide only 20% of their services to clients. There’s nothing worse than a client who tells you, “I didn’t know you provided that service, if I had I wouldn’t have given the project to your biggest competitor…”

On average supplier firms provide just 20% of their services to clients.

A client who buys multiple services is harder to lose to a competitor.

Cross selling from the supplier’s perspective

Existing customers are easier to sell to, by a long shot. You’re 60-70% likely to sell to an existing customer, compared to the 5-20% likelihood of selling to a new prospect (according to book of Marketing Metrics). So concentrating efforts on cross-selling makes sense. A client who buys multiple services is harder to lose to a competitor than a single service client.

A professional services company can also forge better relationships, moving up the ‘Trusted Advisor’ curve and ultimately being seen as a partner organisation who helps the client achieve their long-term objectives as opposed to a provider of commodity services who can be substituted at very short notice.

Cross selling from the client’s perspective

Managing the supply chain can be an onerous task. Keeping on top of providers, ensuring deliverables are met, not to mention procurement and tendering, this can be extremely time consuming and costly.

Our clients are human beings (in the main!) and one thing I know to be universal is that we live in ever more complicated, busy and often challenging worlds. We all strive for an easy life and if a client can trust a supplier to deliver more than one service, confident that “they know how we work and what our expectations are…” that is one less thing to worry about.

There are potential economic benefits as well. Clients can achieve their objectives in the most economic way. They can potentially reduce the cost of managing multiple suppliers and, hopefully, they can speed up projects by having fewer ‘players’ in the supply chain.

Clients can achieve their objectives in the most economic way.

Introducing our contacts to our colleagues creates strong, collaborative networks.

Cross selling from the individual’s perspective

Today’s consultant has to be the ‘rounded professional’, seen to be creating opportunities for other areas of the firm beyond their own. Our personal brand and value grows when we are able to refer a client to a colleague who’s expertise would benefit them. So being generous with our time and sharing our contacts should be something we feel compelled and motivated to do.

So if Cross-Selling is seen as one of the Keys to Growth, why is it so hard for professional services firms to be successful at it?

These are the most common reasons

  • A lack of understanding of everything the firm can offer
  • Inability to explore the client’s world broadly enough to uncover opportunities outside of technical disciplines
  • Poor internal communication
  • An unwillingness to introduce colleagues to our clients or share valuable relationships
  • Poor leadership
  • Measuring things that disincentivize cross-selling and drive the wrong behaviours

Even the most ‘non-sales’ people are able to learn how to explore clients’ worlds.

Five ways to encourage a cross selling culture

The good news is that there is plenty that can be done to counter these barriers. Here are some steps that we have found to be valuable to businesses.

 

1
Encourage internal marketing programmes and things like:

 

  • Lunch and learn sessions delivered by different departments
  • Attend different service line client and BD meetings
  • Use your Key Client Management programme to bring representatives of all relevant parties to the table (including those who are not currently working with the client).

 

2
Even the most ‘non-sales’ minded people are able to learn how to explore clients worlds.
They can:

 

Train all client-facing people in the art of exploring cross selling opportunities.

  • Increase the number of ‘non-project’ client meetings.
  • Encourage people to understand how to look for opportunities for ‘adjacent’ services.

 

3
Many firms suffer poor internal communication

 

  • The first thing to understand is that the mindset of people is the key to better internal comms – one that is open and sharing for the benefit of the client.
  • Systems and software – too many firms are still relying on spreadsheets. Investing in CRM (client relationship management) systems is a critical success factor. There is a health warning here… if the first step above is not in place, CRM systems become nothing more than an expensive address book!
  • Internal education, on a continuous basis, that shows not just what services a firm has to offer but how to spot opportunities for them, including what questions to ask to uncover those opportunities.

 

4
Building internal relationships is equally as important as it is with external clients and co-professionals

 

  • Encourage internal networking and social events.
  • Mix internal BD meetings with different disciplines coming together. This often works well in a sector strategy.
  • Use the concept of ‘roadshows’ to take the message out to the business.

 

5
Many firms expect people to focus on clients and cross-selling without offering any incentive

 

  • This is a leadership issue. Work on motivation, a sense of ‘doing it for the team’, rewarding through recognition and praise.
  • Hold an annual awards event – reward the behaviours and activities as much as the outputs.
  • Lead from the front. Set an example to your team.

Start our online cross selling course free today

For a short time only we are offering our online Professional Services Cross Selling Training free, so now you can being honing your cross selling capabilities in just 30 minutes.

Questas Cross Selling

Our interactive e-learning is CPD certified and is designed to help you uncover new opportunities with existing clients.

Start here

How To Manage & Maintain Client Relationships in a Virtual World

Are you tasked with managing important client relationships whilst working remotely? We ran a live webinar on 24th April attended by over 70 people, which aimed at help professionals who have the new challenge of nurturing client relationships during lockdown and...

Webinar: Managing and maintaining client relationships in a virtual world

Managing and maintaining client relationships in a virtual world. A practical and engaging free live webinar aimed at professionals that work in the natural and built environment. This is for YOU if you are tasked with maintaining client relationships during the lockdown period and beyond.

Cross Selling: how to achieve growth by cross selling in professional services

‘Cross-Selling’ is the key to smart business growth but why is it so difficult? Questas CEO & Founder, Gary Williams reveals how to overcome the barriers and generate significant opportunities from existing clients.What is cross selling? Cross-selling is best...

Four ways to get out of your comfort zone and be the catalyst to growth

Questas' Gary Williams writes in the RICS Recruit Blog about how to develop confidence in technical staff who are required to "sell". Gary is an expert Business Development Consultant and Executive Coach and works with leading professional firms in the built and...

Six ways to use EQ – or Emotional Intelligence – to win more work

In this RICS article, Gary Williams of Questas, discusses EQ, or Emotional Intelligence, and how it can help you get the edge over your competitors. Embrace the human side of business relationships and you will be more confident with clients, more effective with sales...

First Impressions Count: Creating a positive impact at a first client meeting.

First impressions Whether your industry is engineering, law, property or the public sector, here are some ways you can prepare and optimise the opportunity at your first business development meeting with new clients. The Dos and Don'ts if you will, of creating the...

Be Brilliant! How to prepare for that effective first meeting

Initial meetings with potential clients or with new people at existing clients are critical opportunities. This applies to every industry whether it be engineering, law, property or commercial. A first meeting can be the difference between years of work and no work at...

Quash imposter syndrome and optimise the business opportunity

Attending a ‘World Leading’ Event can be very daunting. Don’t let being a little fish in a big pond overwhelm you –  Gary Williams shares how he addressed his concerns and went prepared to optimise the opportunity. I recently attended #MIPIM2018. It was my first time...

Make your business development planning more successful

Having worked with different professional services clients over the years, I’ve seen many try to transform their approach to sales (or business development, if you prefer), says Annabel Miller. Some of these organisations have put together a formal transformation...

Sales secrets of high growth companies

Gary Williams looks at the impact of investing in sales ability Winning more than your fair share of the ‘pie’ A recent McKinsey article focused on the ‘Sales secrets of high-growth companies’. It wasn’t focused on any particular sector, but when thinking...

Summary

  • So it’s obvious that not developing a cross-selling program in your organisation really is wasting a serious opportunity for growth.
  • Remember, it’s critically important that everyone in the organisation buys into the philosophy in order to collaboratively support the efforts of all. That includes leaders and senior managers too!
  • Companies that fail to implement an effective cross-selling programme do a disservice to their customers and leave the backdoor open to their competitors. Not being proactive about encouraging a culture of cross-selling is a missed opportunity for smart business growth. Check out our Cross-Selling Skills Training here, or individuals can:

 

Start here with our online training

Four ways to get out of your comfort zone and be the catalyst to growth

Four ways to get out of your comfort zone and be the catalyst to growth

Four ways to get out of your comfort zone and be the catalyst to growth

Questas’ Gary Williams writes in the RICS Recruit Blog about how to develop confidence in technical staff who are required to “sell”.

Gary is an expert Business Development Consultant and Executive Coach and works with leading professional firms in the built and natural environment, helping them build client relationships and win more work.

Do sales meetings or networking petrify you?

If the idea of sales meetings, networking events and large-scale presentations terrify you, you are certainly not alone. For many technical experts in the surveying industry these activities are daunting, but nowadays, they are very much a requirement for a successful surveying career. So, it’s time to get prepared.

Move out of your comfort zone to grow

Imagine the good things that happen when technical experts overcome their fears and release their inner sales and networking abilities. It’s possible for anyone to do this, you just need to know how, and do it!

In this article we examine the benefits of leaving your comfort zone and take a look at how ‘unnatural salespeople’ can nurture their skills and develop confidence. Push past those self-imposed boundaries and you become better placed to contribute to the growth of the organisation you work for and increase your value – and employability – in the market…

Click to the RICS article to read more, and discover proven methods and easy to implement actions to help you with:

 

  1. Presentations/Public speaking
  2. Networking
  3. Sales meetings
  4. Cross-selling

Need real-life practice?

Learn techniques to feel confident in a room where you don’t know anyone

A half-day practical course

Inform, investigate and inpsire… yourself!

The 3i Model - inform, investigate and inspireWe have a model called the 3is – Inform, Investigate, Inspire; which is useful when preparing for a sales meeting. But you can use it equally when it comes to moving out of your own comfort zone. It’s time to take that disciplined approach to yourself. Start by identifying your own strengths and weaknesses first.

Online tools such as www.strengthsprofile.com enable you to build a profile that identifies your realised and unrealised strengths, learned behaviours and weaknesses. Once you have uncovered the areas you need to improve on, you can take a focused approach to training, coaching or mentoring, or just look for the right self-help books or online videos.

Start escaping from your comfort zone today with our e-learning course on Cross-Selling, which is free to access here. Good luck! 

Two experts engineers in protective helmets and fluorescent vests showing the construction site and building activities after the successful project phase.

Cross-Selling e-learning

Our free e-Learning module for Cross-Selling (no selling required) is an interactive introduction to best practice.

This informative and well-presented 30-minute course is certified for Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

Start now

Six ways to use EQ – or Emotional Intelligence – to win more work

Six ways to use EQ – or Emotional Intelligence – to win more work

Six ways to use EQ – or Emotional Intelligence – to win more work

In this RICS article, Gary Williams of Questas, discusses EQ, or Emotional Intelligence, and how it can help you get the edge over your competitors.

Embrace the human side of business relationships and you will be more confident with clients, more effective with sales and – quite probably – more content in yourself.

Now, more than ever, EQ is an essential ‘tool’ to have in the bag, espeically if you see yourself as an introverted, analytical and detailed person, like many surveyors and engineers.

Optimise your selling Opportunity

Creating a possitive impact at that first client meeting.
Effective Business Development Meetings - free training guide from Questas Consulting

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