Sales confidence


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

Sales confidence

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

Cross-selling

Cross-selling

Cross Selling

There has to be added value for the client to buy additional services from you. If they already buy that second service from an alternative provider, you must clearly ’sell’ the benefit of them buying both services from you.

Course overview

By recognising your own company’s wider business capabilities this course allows you to explore more opportunity to offer these services into your clients.

There are many reasons why cross selling is harder than we think it should be. Our research has shown the same barriers exist in many organisations. We shine the light on each of these and offer solutions as to how to overcome them.

Who’s it for?

Anyone responsible for retaining and building upon existing client relationships, whether to uncover new opportunities or deliver existing projects. This course aligns well with ‘Client Relationship Skills’.

Course format

A one day workshop for up to 12 people.

Outcomes

Participants will be able to adopt a more strategic approach to addressing clients’ requirements. Delegates will be equipped to look for ways to help their clients grow while offering opportunities to win work for their own business.

Need this course?

Email hello@questas.co.uk or click the button below to get in touch.

Questas is based in London, and travels internationally to deliver training.

If desired we can help you design and/or organise your own training courses tailored to your team.

 

Register Your Interest

CPD Certified by the CPD Certification Service Cross-Selling e-Learning

Our free e-Learning module is an interactive introduction to best practice.
Questas Cross Selling

Start now

 

Content Outline

  • Identifying the opportunity
  • Understanding the barriers to Cross Selling and overcoming them
  • Understanding your wider business capabilities
  • Building trust
  • Managing internal communication
  • Developing your selling skills

From our blog

Harness the power of collaboration to achieve successful account management

Chris Founds and Gary Williams explain why collaborative organisations are highly successful and how to create a culture of collaboration.

Read more

Be your clients’ trusted advisor

Doing an excellent job is a first step to winning more work, but it’s not enough. We need to be proactive in building relationships, understanding our clients and their objectives, and positioning ourselves as trusted advisers. Our Client Relationship Skills course provides tools and skills that will strenthen and broaden client relationships.

Do you dread negotiations?

Negotations are often seen in terms of winners and losers, but this approach is likely put us on the back foot. Actually the first step to successful negoation is always communication to help both parties feel like winners. Our Negotiation Skills course provides the tools and tips to help you find a position of mutual acceptance with your clients (and colleagues).

Free consultation

Have questions for us? Get your team started today and gain a new competitive advantage.

CONTACT US

Presentation and Pitching Skills

Presentation and Pitching Skills

Presentation and Pitching Skills

Presenting, especially a pitch, can be a very pressured situation and it is normal to feel anxious. Learning visualisation skills to cope with ‘what if’ scenarios leaves headspace to generate a successful outcome.

Course overview

The focus of this professional development is learning practical skills to deliver excellent presentations and pitches.We look at preparation, both in terms of structure and approach to a pitch, and the practice and visualisation activities to mentally prepare for it.

In this course we challenge our participants at times to operate outside of their comfort zones. This allows us to provide the strategies and tools to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety that so many of us come up against when we are asked to speak publicly.

Who’s it for?

This course is for anyone with a remit to present internally and/or externally. Clients are encouraged to bring along real life scenarios to work through.

Course format

This is a highly practical one-day workshop. Participants will present to a group at least twice in the day and be filmed.

Outcomes

  • Present with greater confidence and professionalism.
  • Learn to plan and structure presentations.
  • Be clear when pitching, ensuring emphasis on key messages.
  • Keep an audience engaged.

Content Outline

  • Who is your audience, what are their expectations?
  • How to engage your audience
  • Making it memorable – key messages, unique elements, clear calls to action
  • Presentation format and structure
  • Speaking with confidence, controlling your nerves
  • Body language, gestures, vocal tone and pitch
Questas Quote Marks Circle

“It was great to see everyone engaged all the way through and I noted the calibration to our needs during the day.”

Director, RPS

Questas Quote Marks Circle

“Great day! Really fun and innovative way to beat the fear of presenting to an audience.”

Tim Howlings, Brasier Freeth

Need this course?

Email hello@questas.co.uk or click the button below to get in touch.

Questas is based in London, and travels internationally to deliver training.

If desired we can help you design and/or organise your own training courses tailored to your team.

 

Register Your Interest

From our blog

Four easy ways to manage nerves before a presentation

Trainer, Annabel Miller, looks into why we get nervous and how we can manage nerves so that it doesn’t hinder our performance.

Read more

Excel at sales meetings

Questas Effective Business Development Meetings booklet cover

Download our guide

Make every sales meeting a long-term success with new and existing clients

Get it now

Free consultation

Have questions for us? Get your team started today and gain a new competitive advantage.

CONTACT US

Sales Conversations For Non-Sales People

Sales Conversations For Non-Sales People

Sales Conversation Skills

We help technical people feel comfortable with the idea of selling – demonstrating that it is not some sort of ‘dark art’ – which can make a radical change to the dialogue they have with existing and potential clients.

Course overview

Our sales training has been developed over years into an approach designed for both natural and ‘unnatural’ salespeople. We have a tried and tested structure which will help participants become more effective at professional sales conversations. Participants practice different tasks to build their skill sets, from listening techniques and questioning skills to building trust and gaining the client’s commitment.

Who’s it for?

This professional development is designed for anyone responsible for building client relationships, uncovering new opportunities and converting them into fee paying work.

Ideally suited for: Consulting Engineers, Planners, Lawyers, Architects, Environmental Consultants, Cost Consultants and all those who encounter sales conversations in this sector in 2019.

Course format

A full day workshop aimed at groups of 9 – 15 participants and involves a mixture of theory and exercises designed to develop consultative selling skills. There is an emphasis on skills practice, and we often use actors to play clients in sales meeting simulations.

Outcomes

The course is designed to resonate with technically minded individuals and ‘unnatural’ salespeople to develop skills and build confidence.

Having completed the session, our participants tell us they have more face-to-face business development discussions and those conversations are more effective, leading to a greater number of opportunities and improved win-rates.

Questas Quote Marks Circle

“I found the day to be really useful. In particular, the realisation that active listening is a true art.”

Senior Associate, Expedition Engineering

Content Outline

  • Planning and preparing for client meetings
  • Understanding the client
  • Exploring the client’s world – developing a differentiator
  • Planning, structuring and managing business development meetings
  • Practicing sales meetings and building relationships
  • Delivering a compelling proposition
Questas Quote Marks Circle

“I found the day to be really useful, informative and well delivered. In particular, a realisation that there’s a little of ‘Tigger’ in all of us and that listening really is a true art.”

Senior Associate, Expedition Engineering

Questas Quote Marks Circle

“The sales meeting structure model is excellent.”

Director, Building Services Co.

Interested in this course?

Email hello@questas.co.uk or click the button below to get in touch.

Questas is based in London, and travels internationally to deliver training.

If desired we can help you design and/or organise your own training courses tailored to your team.

Register Your Interest

Excel at sales meetings

Questas Effective Business Development Meetings booklet cover

Download our guide

Make every sales meeting a long-term success with new and existing clients

Get it now

Does Business Development slip to the bottom of your to-do list?

Our clients often tell us that they struggle to find the time and resources for strategic and planned Business Development activity. Our Business Development Planning course can help you apply tried and tested strategies and tactics to help you unlock more opportunities and win more – and better – work.

Become confident when presenting or pitching

Our Presentation and Pitching training course is the natural next step for engineering and technically minded professionals who are engaged in internal or external pitching to sell a service or opportunity. In this training learners will use real-life simulations to practise presenting and overcome common pitching anxiety.

Free consultation

Have questions for us? Get your team started today and gain a new competitive advantage.

CONTACT US

Sales secrets of high growth companies

Sales secrets of high growth companies

Sales confidence

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 about professional services, there are some interesting ideas about how to drive organic growth through the development of people. Having worked with thousands of professionals over many years, we have recognized that you can’t turn an engineer/lawyer/surveyor into a sales-person (or extremely rarely), but you can equip them with the tools, techniques and confidence to make an impact in their markets.

McKinsey surveyed more than a 1000 wide-­ranging companies and found that a rigorous focus on sales training is a clear differentiator between the fast and slow-growing companies. “Just under half the fast growers spend significant time and money on sales training, compared to 29 percent of slow growers.” What was really interesting though is that among the high-growers there was a feeling that they still needed to do more in areas such as ‘Understanding customers specific needs’, ‘Pipeline Management’ and ‘Account Planning’.

One of the surveyed organisations tried a new approach to improving sales performance after years of fruitless initiatives: “Instead of focusing solely on what sellers had to do, the program also devoted significant attention to building the talents and capabilities to enable them to do it, making a substantial investment in teaching skills and enforcing their use with specific goals.” The result? A 25% improvement in productivity across all regions within 18 months. More impressive still, the gains stuck, and two years later performance was still improving.

Selling skills training for senior people

Help your team achieve a better win-rate, higher fees, greater margins and improved cross-selling

A practical workshop for up to 15 people

So what can professional services firms take from this insight?

A significant weapon in a firm’s arsenal when fighting competition is the ability of its people. Not just their technical ability (which is important), but their selling ability as well. It used to be that one or two very well connected, very able ‘Rainmakers’ would create work for their juniors simply by working their network and being in the right place at the right time. Today’s world is different; yes, you still need to be well connected, but no longer can a firm really drive growth by relying on a few people to bring in the work. The successful modern professional is an all-rounder with the following attributes:

  • Good technical ability, keeping up with advances and changes.
  • Has a business and personal development plan encompassing objectives for both business targets and personal brand.
  • Has a strong and growing reputation (either for quality, niche player etc.) both online and offline.
  • Is a relentless networker who eats and drinks where her clients gather, writes articles for publications her target market reads, speaks at events where her chosen audience attends.
  • Understands the sales process and invests (or demands their firm invest) in learning skills and techniques for continuous improvement.

Questas Quote Marks Circle“Ultimately, those firms that invest continuously in developing sales and client management skills are those that will win more of the ‘pie’ than their competitors!”

Optimise your selling opportunity

Creating a positive impact at that first client meeting.

Effective Business Development Meetings - free training guide from Questas Consulting


Effective Business Development Meetings

Download this guide to maximise your time and effort to win more sales.

Get it now

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...

Cross-selling

Cross Selling There has to be added value for the client to buy additional services from you. If they already buy that second service from an alternative provider, you must clearly ’sell’ the benefit of them buying both services from you. Course overview By...

Negotiation Skills

Negotiation Skills Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another matter, but the first step is always communication. Course overview This course is designed to take you through the theory and practice of ‘Principled Negotiation’. It...

Presentation and Pitching Skills

Presentation and Pitching Skills Presenting, especially a pitch, can be a very pressured situation and it is normal to feel anxious. Learning visualisation skills to cope with ‘what if’ scenarios leaves headspace to generate a successful outcome. Course overview The...

Sales Conversations For Non-Sales People

Sales Conversation Skills We help technical people feel comfortable with the idea of selling – demonstrating that it is not some sort of ‘dark art’ – which can make a radical change to the dialogue they have with existing and potential clients. Course overview Our...

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...
Our top ten tips for non-confident networkers

Our top ten tips for non-confident networkers

Sales confidence

Do you dread the thought of attending an event with the purpose of networking? Annabel Miller shares her top ten networking nuggets.

It is fairly daunting: attempting to ingratiate yourself with strangers, make meaningful conversation and hopefully leave with useful leads – all while balancing a warm glass of wine, a chicken satay kebab and a stack of business cards!

Follow these tips to help you navigate the room, spend time with the right people, and make a graceful exit having agreed a number of follow-up conversations.

1. Do your homework

Find out who will be there, what they do and who they do business with. Make a short list of people that you would ideally like to meet, and bone up on what is going on in their industry or organisation so that you can impress by talking knowledgably about their world.

2. Travel light

Check your big bags and coats in. Don’t load up a plate with nibbles on the way in. If you need a bag make sure it’s got a shoulder strap. You will need a (preferably ketchup-free) hand to give dry, firm handshakes. Keep your business cards handy – but don’t throw them out unless you’ve built up enough rapport for it to be appropriate.

3. Position yourself near the drinks area

If you don’t fancy striding into the middle of the room and breaking into groups, then standing near the bar or coffee area is a great place to start up a more low-key conversation even if it starts with: “Can I pour you a glass of water?” or “Have you tried the crabcakes?”

4. Remember your host

If you have been invited to the event make sure you find them to say hello and thank them for asking you. If you are keen to meet someone that they can introduce you to then don’t be afraid to ask – this is a networking event after all! Follow up with a thanks to them afterwards as well. Always good to be remembered positively.

Need real-life practice?

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

A half-day practical course

5. Introduce yourself with impact

On the way to the event think about how you will introduce yourself and what you do in a short snappy soundbite. Don’t use jargon and acronyms – chances are people won’t have a clue what you do. Make sure you remember other people’s names by using them quickly, which will seal them in your brain.

6. Be interested, don’t try to be interesting

Most people enjoy talking about themselves and respond well to anyone who finds them fascinating. Ask them questions they are unlikely to be asked: Why did they choose their job? What is the best thing that happened to them at work today? Who do they credit with having helped them most in their career? This gives you the opportunity to move your conversation from being merely transactional to being relational. It also allows busy people to tell a story they like telling to someone who is really interested. They will remember you and feel a connection.

7. Listen well

There is nothing worse than talking to someone in a noisy crowded room while they alternate between looking over your shoulder at the door and scanning around the room at other groups. Your time talking to one person may only be short, so make it matter and make them feel important.

8. Breaking in and moving on

Ideally, you should aim to start talking to people on their own or people in groups of three or more. Couples in conversation are hard to interrupt, and they may be old friends or colleagues and not want to cut short their discussion. Make sure you don’t spend all your evening talking to the same group. It’s not rude to say: “It’s been great to meet you, have a lovely night and hope to see you again.” A smooth way of moving on is to offer to introduce the person you’ve finished talking with to someone else. That way they aren’t left on their own and you come off as socially adept and well-connected.

9. Mind your manners

Put your phone away. Don’t drink too much. Don’t be the last to leave. Thank your host and any staff that have helped you.

10. Follow up

When you are at the event and have made a connection with someone, be specific about how you will follow up. Ask, “Can I give you a call next week and we’ll make a date for coffee?” so that when you do ring, they are expecting it. Just connecting with someone on LinkedIn following an event will not guarantee any development of your business relationship.

Optimise your selling opportunity

Creating a positive impact at that first client meeting.

Effective Business Development Meetings - free training guide from Questas Consulting


Effective Business Development Meetings

Download this guide to maximise your time and effort to win more sales.

Get it now

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...

Difficult Client Conversations

Difficult Client Conversations Productive communication is built upon rapport, not necessarily upon agreement.  By looking at the psychology behind difficult client conversations, we take a practical approach to helping you manage ‘disagreement without being...

Cross-selling

Cross Selling There has to be added value for the client to buy additional services from you. If they already buy that second service from an alternative provider, you must clearly ’sell’ the benefit of them buying both services from you. Course overview By...

Client Relationship Skills

Client Relationship Skills Delivering projects well is the first step in developing further opportunities, but it’s not enough. We need to be proactive in building relationships, understanding our clients and their objectives, and positioning ourselves as trusted...

Negotiation Skills

Negotiation Skills Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another matter, but the first step is always communication. Course overview This course is designed to take you through the theory and practice of ‘Principled Negotiation’. It...

Presentation and Pitching Skills

Presentation and Pitching Skills Presenting, especially a pitch, can be a very pressured situation and it is normal to feel anxious. Learning visualisation skills to cope with ‘what if’ scenarios leaves headspace to generate a successful outcome. Course overview The...

Sales Conversations For Non-Sales People

Sales Conversation Skills We help technical people feel comfortable with the idea of selling – demonstrating that it is not some sort of ‘dark art’ – which can make a radical change to the dialogue they have with existing and potential clients. Course overview Our...

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...

Get in touch