Sales confidence


Sales Confidence

Sales Confidence

Sales confidence

The challenge

Too few people involved in business development

 

Our approach

Many companies have a tiny percentage of staff working on business development.

Many of our clients adopt the ‘seller-doer’ model but work winning often relies on the same few people. Many people say, “I can’t do business development, I’m a technical expert, I don’t do sales.” Don’t worry, we’re not going to turn you into a sales person. We’re going to equip you with some skills and build your confidence so that you can interact with clients and use your technical expertise to solve their problems.

Anyone can do this. And the business will get better results if everybody plays a part.

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questas steaming coffee cupStructuring online BD Conversations

Structuring Online BD Conversations - Questas Espresso Shot Webinars
As a technical person taking on the BD or sales role may feel unnatural. This will help you structure conversations to make them more comfortable and effective.

Try our Espresso Shot Learning – Our 30 min live webinar to give your team the key points and latest thinking in Business Development and Client Relationship Management.

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Questas Quote Marks Circle

Questas’s Paul Brady says:

“There’s a fear of being seen as a sales person. That’s where our training, particularly in the role playing that we do – it’s really important to practice in a simulation of a real life situation – is so important to demonstrate that you don’t have to be a sales person. Just be you, but be the trained you.”

 

The challenge

Turning conversations into instructions

 

Our approach

Does this quote sound familiar: “We talk to plenty of people, but we struggle to move the conversation into a business development discussion.” If so, you’re not alone. It might happen at a networking event or even with an existing client, but it’s common to feel there is a barrier between having a chat and making a sale.

We remove the barrier altogether and we encourage fluid conversations going from the personal through to work. The problem a lot of our clients face is that they think they have to switch into selling mode. But through training, roleplay and feedback we show them that it is a natural flow and that the business questions are quite acceptable and quite normal.

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Questas Quote Marks Circle

Questas’s Annabel Miller says:

“The types of questions you ask, the way in which you ask those questions and the listening you do in those situations are all going to uncover work opportunities.”

Four easy ways to manage nerves before a presentation

Four easy ways to manage nerves before a presentation

Four easy ways to manage nerves before a presentation

What happens to our bodies when we are asked to present in front of a group of people, why do we get nervous and how can we manage nerves so that it doesn’t hinder our performance?

When we work with clients on their presentation skills, it’s important to push our attendees out of their comfort zones at times so that they can properly experience standing up and talking to people in a formal environment. It is always a good experiment in terms of ticking off the symptoms of anxiety that so many of us come up against when we are asked to speak publicly.

annabel on how to manage nerves when presentingFight or Flight?

The Fight or Flight response, which our bodies go through when we encounter what we consider a threat or danger, is a number of physiological changes as we get ready to physically tackle the threat or run away from it. This response goes back to the days when we lived in close proximity to very real predators and would be dealing with the prospect of killing or being killed every day. As my attendees got ready to present they reported they could feel the adrenaline rush which is the first stage resulting in shortness of breathing and a faster heart rate. Blood is pumped into the muscles of the arms and legs in readiness for attack or escape. We also sweat in times of stress, this is firstly to cool ourselves down but also so that we are slippery and difficult to catch. We had several dashes to the loo as my attendees’ bodies tried to ‘lighten their load’ as the threat advanced.

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Tips to combat nerves

So – how best to deal with this? It’s not great to be a sweaty shaking mess when you stand up in front of an audience. Here are four easy ways to combat that awful nervous feeling:

  • Prepare. It’s so simple but you will always feel less worried if you know your stuff. Make sure you’ve practised your presentation OUT LOUD at least once to avoid embarrassing unrehearsed detours from your key points.
  • Breathe. Before you get up in front of the crowd spend a few minutes breathing properly and mindfully. Make sure you breathe from your diaphragm rather than your upper chest, and try breathing in on a five count and then out for another five. Deep breathing tricks our body into thinking that the danger has passed and as a result our heart rate comes back down.
  • Visualise the talk being a success. If all goes well, what will your audience say on the way out? There is a growing body of evidence that “As a man thinks, so he is”, for example, musicians who rehearse only in their minds, find their improvement is as great as those who practice physically. Professional sports-people also will use visualisation techniques to beat nerves and improve performance, Johanna Konta, the tennis player, notably had a mind coach who taught a visualisation technique, which she practices ahead of every point she plays.
  • Smile at the audience. Smiling releases endorphins, seratonin and natural pain killers which together make us feel good. It will also encourage your audience to smile back at you which shows they are human and not sabre-toothed tigers about to kill you.

Your audience wants to be pleased

Lastly, we often think that we have to win over our audience at the start of a presentation, but on the whole, our audience is predisposed to like us. This is a great comfort if you think about it. You already have them on your side when you begin, they want you to interest and please them, and if you have prepared well, you will most likely do so. Smile, engage your audience and go for it!

Questas Quote Marks CircleAnnabel provided an instructive and useful day’s training on Presentation Skills. The course was informative, well organized and enjoyable and used a good mix of exercises to provide skills that will be immediately useful in the workplace.”

Tom Graham, Principal Design Engineer at Momentum Transport Planning

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