Podcast


How to Uniquely Connect with Clients

How to Uniquely Connect with Clients

WORK WINNING WAYS with Gary Williams.

The Questas Podcast: Episode Seven

The Questas podcast with Gary Williams is for engineering and professional services organisations. It has the aim of providing strategies and tactics to unlock your people’s hidden ‘selling’ potential. The podcast focuses on professional selling and client relationship management skills, helping you to win more of the right work from the right clients.

In this episode of Work Winning Ways, Gary is joined by Claire Gott MBE, Head of Industry and Corporate Social Responsibility at WSP in the UK. Join the discussion on how to encourage your technical staff to engage better with clients and how to win and keep business. Also hear about how Claire helped found the engineering charity, Cameroon Catalyst.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

When working with very technically adept staff it can be a challenge to get them to connect with clients in the way you need. Strong relationship building skills aren’t often found in highly skilled workers. So how do you encourage them to connect with clients. Claire is an advocator of nudge theory. Encouraging and developing very small tweaks that will make your staff more confident when talking with clients.

Another way Claire tackles this is to pair up tech experts with a more sales focused team member. Then in each meeting between you and your clients you have a tag team ready to deal with any issue that comes up. Having a diversity of skills looks after both the client needs and tech solutions.

The importance of repeat business is often overlooked in favour of chasing clients and new leads. If you’re getting more business from your existing client base who you have already worked with and built a relationship with, then there is no need to spend time on bids that may not come off.

BEST MOMENTS

‘We strive to be a trusted advisor to our clients’

‘The client often knows what you can do technically, but in order for you to differentiate, they need to know that you know them’

‘Take the time to follow up on opportunities’

‘Diversity of thought when working in a team can lead to new ideas’

ABOUT THE HOST

Gary Williams has been in sales and marketing his entire career. The past 10 years have been dedicated to helping technically minded non-salespeople become skilled and confident in selling themselves and their services.

ABOUT THE GUEST

As UK Head of Industry, Claire leads a 100 strong team. They work across the pharmaceuticals, life sciences, biotech, gas networks, hydrogen and CCUS, chemicals, food and beverage sectors.

In previous roles she specialised in managing multi-disciplinary design teams on major infrastructure projects. Claire has worked on a number of high-profile projects including the High Speed 2 stations at Birmingham Curzon Street and Euston. She also worked on the £790m London Bridge Station redevelopment project and the Paddington Cube. Claire feels strongly about building diversity in the engineering and construction industries. She represents the next generation as a board member of the Major Projects Association. She is also passionate about making positive sustainable change through her role as UK Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at WSP.

In 2009 Claire played a founding role in independent charity Cameroon Catalyst – which aims to facilitate sustainable development in rural Cameroon. In 2015, she was awarded an MBE in recognition for her “Services to civil engineering and international charity work”.

Not everyone is a natural salesperson or have trouble connecting with clients? Find out more on how to improve your skills HERE: https://www.thequestasacademy.com/ 

Being Honest & Being Human In Business

Being Honest & Being Human In Business

WORK WINNING WAYS with Gary Williams.

The Questas Podcast: Episode Six

The new Questas podcast with Gary Williams and guests, is for engineering and professional services organisations, with the aim of providing strategies and tactics to unlock your people’s hidden ‘selling’ potential. It focuses on professional selling and client relationship management skills, helping you to win more of the right work from the right clients.

In this episode Gary is joined by professional services expert Sarah Butters to discuss how to drive business by driving people. Sarah tells us how encouraging people’s passions and helping them grow as individuals is beneficial for your business. Gary also poses Sarah the question, how do you differentiate yourself from similar services in the same field?

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • To really understand your clients and build a strong working relationship you need to help them address their needs in a language they understand. Find out where are they now, where do they want to get to and how can you help them there.
  • Word of mouth is extremely valuable in client services. It may sound old fashioned but people put a lot of stock in what other professionals recommend. Take the time to foster authentic personal relationships and those interactions will stay with people.
  • Keep up to date with what your clients are putting out on social media. You can use it to understand your clients without having to ask. Bring that information with you to your next meeting and you will have a head start on seeing how they market to their audience.

BEST MOMENTS

“It’s not about expecting everyone to be in the same mould, it’s about picking up on individual strengths”

“Let people see how passionate you are”

“It’s not about charisma, it’s not about the gift of the gab. It’s just about being honest and being human”

ABOUT THE HOST

Gary Williams has been in sales and marketing his entire career. The past 10 years have been dedicated to helping technically minded non-salespeople become skilled and confident in selling themselves and their services.

ABOUT THE GUEST

Sarah Butters is a Commercially minded Marketing & Business Development expert working in Strategy Formulation & Execution and Client Development.

In the rapidly changing world that we find ourselves in Sarah ensures people are aware of new ways of marketing and business development and helps them understand how they can integrate these into their busy working life.

You can contact Sarah via Linkedin below.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-butters-a3a0b5b/

Want to listen to more episodes of Work Winning Ways? Subscribe to our regular podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. 

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Crossing-selling: How the Professional Services Sector Manages Sales & Client Management

Crossing-selling: How the Professional Services Sector Manages Sales & Client Management

WORK WINNING WAYS WITH GARY WILLIAMS.

THE QUESTAS PODCAST: EPISODE FIVE

 

In conversation with Nigel Clark, Professional Services Marketing Leader and Author.

ABOUT THE GUEST

In this episode, Gary speaks with Nigel Clark. Nigel leads Marketing globally for SLR Consulting – an international leader of environmental and advisory solutions. They help clients of all shapes and size achieve their sustainability goals. He is an experienced strategy, marketing, communications and client development leader.

Nigel has a wealth of experience and holds nothing back in this episode. He shares thoughts and ideas relevant to anyone in the professional services sector.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • In Nigel’s world of consulting, it is common practice for most time and effort to be spent ahead of a bid for a job. It can be an extremely competitive process, even if you have a pre-existing relationship with the client.
  • SLR Consulting have a formal client programme. They think about specific clients they want to develop a relationship with and try to make this a two-way process. They then have set people in the team who are designated to client relationship management. This ensures they are confident and comfortable in what they are doing.
  • It can be useful in larger companies or bigger projects to have dedicated salespeople. These would still be people with a technical background as they need to have context and an understanding of the clients’ needs. This would mean other individuals would then focus on specialising on delivering different aspects of the project.

BEST MOMENTS

  • “The vast majority of our time and effort is ahead of bid not after the bid”
  • “You can’t expect somebody to sell and deliver that type of project”
  • “I’m very confident at saying I’m not the person you need to speak to and develop this. But I have a colleague that can”

VALUABLE RESOURCES

https://questas.co.uk/cross-selling-how-to-achieve-growth-by-cross-selling-in-professional-services/

https://questas.co.uk/e-learning/

You can listen to the full episode of Gary and Nigel’s conversation here:

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What it Really Takes to be a Good Salesperson and Why You Have to Differentiate Yourself

What it Really Takes to be a Good Salesperson and Why You Have to Differentiate Yourself

WORK WINNING WAYS WITH GARY WILLIAMS.

THE QUESTAS PODCAST: EPISODE FOUR

In conversation with Amanda Geyman – Director of Strategic Growth for WSP UK – what it takes to make a good salesperson.

ABOUT THE GUEST

In this episode, Gary is joined by Amanda Geyman – Director of Strategic Growth for WSP UK. She has 20 years’ experience in business development, marketing and customer experience. Their conversation covers a lot of ground from lockdown challenges to Amanda’s take on best practice business development in the Engineering Consultancy industry.

An insightful episode that explores client management and the positive and negative impact of the pandemic. It covers how differentiating yourself and your business will creating lasting success and asks what it really takes to be a good salesperson and why you have to differentiate yourself.

KEY TAKEAWAYS 

  • When you are under pressure it is important that you are focused. Target your energy on things of particular importance to the business. This was no more prevalent than in Amanda’s workplace during the pandemic.
  • Empathy and understanding of clients is of key importance. Being able to check in and show some extra support and care through this time.
  • The pandemic drove technology and virtual capabilities forward. This meant that Amanda and her team focused heavily on building and supporting their virtual coaching platforms.
  • Businesses are working in a completely different way to how they were operating pre-pandemic. With the UK Covid restrictions being lifted, many companies are still being cautious.
  • Amanda believes that human connection is vital in business. That connection is extremely important to the human experience so it’s imperative we remember that.
  • Sometimes virtual meetings and calls can become very task focused. You can lose the time and mind space to be spontaneous and creative.
  • There are myths and misconceptions around what it takes to be a good sales person. Amanda believes you need to take an interest in your client. Truly listen, because asking the right questions and delivering on your promises is what actually makes you a good salesperson.

BEST MOMENTS

“You have to dial up your ability and your flexibility”

“It fast-tracked a lot of things for a lot of people in order to be able to do business”

“Spending time with people in person develops trust”

“There’s this misperception of what selling is. That it’s something done by extroverted people who loves going to networking events and talking to strangers”

“Most clients don’t want to be sold to, that want to talk to people who get what their situation is”

VALUABLE RESOURCES

Want more information on what it really takes to be a good salesperson and why you have to differentiate yourself? Try these valuable resources below:

https://questas.co.uk/unnatural-salespeople-are-secret-weapon-winning-work/

https://questas.co.uk/four-ways-to-get-out-of-your-c

omfort-zone-and-be-the-catalyst-to-growth/

https://questas.co.uk/business-development-meetings-training/

Nothing wins like success: Making meaningful client relationships.

Nothing wins like success: Making meaningful client relationships.

Work Winning Ways with Gary Williams.

The Questas Podcast: Episode Two

In conversation with Ed McCann. Nothing wins like success, making more meaningful client relationships and surviving the pandemic.

 

ABOUT THE GUEST

In this episode, Gary speaks to Ed McCann, a Director at Expedition Engineering and the current President (Elect) of the Institute of Civil Engineers.

Ed initially joined Expedition Engineering in 2002 where he has been the Project Director for many projects including the multi award winning Infinity Bridge and the Olympic 2012 Velodrome. Ed was instrumental in the growth and development of Expedition from a “back bedroom start-up” to Building Magazine’s Engineering Consultant of the Year in 2012.

In 2009, Ed co-founded the Useful Simple Trust and gifted his shareholding in Expedition to the Trust for the benefit of the employees. In this episode, Gary and Ed discuss Ed’s take on client management, the impact of lockdowns (not all negative!) and his view of the industry.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The pandemic has created many challenges for many people and businesses alike. Ed and his company thankfully found it quite simple and easy to switch everything on the client management side online. In a lot of instances, it was easier to arrange ongoing client relationships. They could touch bases more frequently and more meaningfully.
  • Technology means that having a physical office for a business is optional. This has been the case for a few years but one the big impacts of the pandemic is that it has sped this process up a lot; many people are happy and comfortable working remotely now. Ed and his teams have been able to problem solve many of challenges with working remotely and are in no rush to get back to the office. There are certainly a lot of positives to working in this way!
  • Ed and his company focus on staying small. This is because they value the level of service they can give to clients as a small operation. They don’t want to lose any of this speciality by growing too big.
  • The industries that Ed is in can sometimes have a bit of a regressive view in terms of client management, especially in regards to how business is conducted outside of the office. This can have an impact on gender diversity for those working in the industries. However, Ed has found that the clients he works with couldn’t be further from this, they aren’t interested in ‘boozy nights’ etc and it’s this that allows a lot more gender diversity in his team; the women he works with feel respected and valued.

BEST MOMENTS

“90+% of your activities are about maintaining client relationships not about new relationships”

“The office is an option”

“Nothing wins like success”

“Sometimes it’s about chemistry not capability”

VALUABLE RESOURCES

3 Essential business development tips for professional & engineering firms post-pandemic

Questas Guide to Client Account Planning

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