Selling Skills Training


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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Sales secrets of high growth companies

Sales secrets of high growth companies

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 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!”

Start our online cross selling course 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

The most effective attributes of a Key Client Manager

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10 Steps To A Successful Virtual Business Development Meeting

Virtual business development meetings have become a way of life for many of us.  Ensuring they are successful requires a well thought out plan of action. If you are a business developer, client relationship manager, or a technical expert who is required to win...

Espresso Shot Learning Webinars

Espresso Shot Learning Our Espresso Shot Learning sessions are punchy and effective 30 minute webinars, specifically designed to deliver your team the key points and latest thinking in Business Development and Client Relationship Management. These bite sized learning...

Training online, moving from the classroom and maintaining effective learning

One thing we already knew – you can’t just take a classroom course and deliver it online. With over 20 years experience in corporate training we took the principles and tested on ourselves and friendly clients how best to adapt to get it right online. And those rehearsals were the best investment we could have made! Here’s what we learnt delivering Virtual Classroom Training.

3 Ways Virtual Training Can Help Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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!

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...
Transforming your sales programme

Transforming your sales programme

Transforming your sales programme

This article originally appeared in the October 2017 edition of Pi magazine, published by Howden Insurance Brokers

Is it time your team changed its approach to sales? Read on to discover some practical advice about transforming your sales programme and making it a resounding success.

Having worked with many professional services clients over the years, several of them have tried to transform their approach to sales (or business development if you prefer). Some of these organisations have put together a formal transformation programme whilst others have simply sought to make a positive shift in their sales efforts.

Whether you are considering wholesale change or a few tweaks to your approach, the following is worth considering.

“This article borrows from research (McKinsey, Hinge Marketing) as well as my own experiences”, says Gillian Sutherland.

First – answer the question “Why are we doing this?”

1. Articulate reason for change.

There must be a compelling reason for change with a clearly articulated “what will happen if we do not make these changes” and why the current status is unacceptable.

2. Design your programme.

Have a clear vision about what the transformed organisation will look like. “In 3 years time we will be working in these sectors, we will have these key clients, we will be known for….” The vision needs to be supported by 12 month objectives; For example, our objectives over the next 12 months are:

  • To have made our first sale in the Oil & Gas sector
  • To have doubled the number of business development meetings we are having as a business
  • To have developed a Key Client programme for our top 10 accounts

Clear KPI’s for all involved.

3. Put together a team to drive the programme

Your team make up will be somewhat dependent on the size of the programme but to make it work you will need senior sponsorship. One of the firms I worked with had the CEO, CFO, Head of BD/Marketing, Head of HR and the four business unit leaders on the team.

4. Develop skills, process and behaviours

You will need to include training into your programme. Don’t make the mistake that many make and think that a one-off training course will develop sustained behavioural change – it doesn’t! Training works if:

  • People know why they are doing it
  • How it will help them do their job better
  • They are given support following the event
  • There are follow ups and refreshers

5. Give your best and potential performers access to coaching

This demonstrates a real commitment to improving people through strong, challenging and empathetic coaching. It complements training and allows the recipients to really embed new habits. Coaching should be given to both individuals and teams. High-performing teams whether they are leadership, key client, market/sector teams can take the business to new places and turbo-boost business development.

6. Measure and monitor progress

Track the KPI’s, celebrate success, involve don’t dictate.

7. Behaviour

Lastly, be very clear about the behaviour you expect and do not tolerate poor behaviour regardless of seniority or past performance!

Start our online cross selling course 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

The most effective attributes of a Key Client Manager

The argument as to whether Key Client Management is something most professional services firms should or should not do came to the conclusion of a resounding YES many years ago. The success of those programmes has varied with many organisations reporting huge...

6 Things to do in 2021 to win a bigger slice of a smaller pie

After an extraordinary 2020, most economic forecasts are predicting a tough year in 2021 for most sectors. Many suggesting we will not reach pre-pandemic levels again until the end of 2022. It’s a gloomy thought and one where the Ostrich strategy of sticking your head...

Pitch Perfect – How to use story telling to structure the perfect business pitch

Storytelling connects people and builds trust in business, which means the best way to make your pitch memorable is to turn it into a story.  This isn’t a new method - the blueprint for successful storytelling has been around for a long time. You only have to look at...

10 Steps To A Successful Virtual Business Development Meeting

Virtual business development meetings have become a way of life for many of us.  Ensuring they are successful requires a well thought out plan of action. If you are a business developer, client relationship manager, or a technical expert who is required to win...

Espresso Shot Learning Webinars

Espresso Shot Learning Our Espresso Shot Learning sessions are punchy and effective 30 minute webinars, specifically designed to deliver your team the key points and latest thinking in Business Development and Client Relationship Management. These bite sized learning...

Training online, moving from the classroom and maintaining effective learning

One thing we already knew – you can’t just take a classroom course and deliver it online. With over 20 years experience in corporate training we took the principles and tested on ourselves and friendly clients how best to adapt to get it right online. And those rehearsals were the best investment we could have made! Here’s what we learnt delivering Virtual Classroom Training.

3 Ways Virtual Training Can Help Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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!

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...
Selling skills for Consulting Engineers

Selling skills for Consulting Engineers

CONVERT / Selling Skills for Technical People

‘Sales’ can be a dirty word for some of our clients in the professional and engineering sectors, but without the ability to sell we will struggle to be successful.

Consultative Selling Skills for Technical People

Our sales training has been developed over years into an approach designed for both natural and ‘unnatural’ salespeople. Importantly, we help technical people feel comfortable with the idea of selling, which can make a radical change to the dialogue they have with existing and potential clients.

The Consultative Selling Skills for Technical People course will help participants become more effective in professional sales scenarios. Students will practice different tasks to build their skill sets: from listening techniques and questioning skills to handling objections and closing deals.

Who’s it 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

Questas works nationally and internationally with a number of small and large engineering consultancies, property firms and other professional service companies working in the built and natural environment. Thus our courses tend to address common experiences from this sector and the sales process often encountered in 2018.

Content overview

  • Planning business development activity among you and your team
  • Understanding the client and how they choose who to work with
  • Exploring the client’s world – developing a differentiator
  • Getting through the door / Securing the first meeting
  • Planning, structuring and managing business development meetings
  • Practicing sales meetings and building relationships – role play (often with actors as clients)
  • Delivering a compelling pitch

Course format

This is a practical workshop ideally aimed at groups of between 9 – 15 participants. It is usually a full day involving a mixture of theory and exercises designed to develop consultative selling skills and grow confidence. We run this course both in-house and as a public course (see details below for our next London training event). There is an emphasis on skills practice and we will often use actors to play clients in business development meeting simulations.

Outcomes

The course is designed to resonate with technically minded, natural and ‘unnatural’ salespeople and will develop skills and build sales confidence. Having completed the session, our feedback tells us that participants 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. This course imparts tools and resources that results in greater productivity and better sales performance.

Contact us

For more information about our sales training courses please email hello@questas.co.uk or click the button below to learn more.

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

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

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Questas Quote Marks CircleI 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 CircleThe sales meeting structure model is excellent.” Director, Building Services Co.

From our blog

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Presentation skills

Who’s it for?

The Presentation Skills course is fo anyone with a remit to present internally and/or externally. Our courses are designed for firms who operate in the professional and engineering sectors and so may use examples or common practices from these industries.

Content overview

  • Who are your audience, what are their expectations
  • How to engage your audience
  • Making it memorable – key messages, unique elements
  • Presentation format and structure
  • Speaking with confidence, controlling your nerves
  • Body language, gestures, vocal tone and pitch

Course format

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

Outcomes

Following this training, participants will present with greater confidence and professionalism. They will learn to plan and structure presentations and emphasise key messages while keeping an audience engaged positively.

Register Your Interest

Questas Quote Marks CircleIt 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

Free consultation

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

CONTACT US

Business development training

Business development training

Business Development Planning Live virtual classroom Questas face to face classroom training icon Webinar

According to research, your reputation – and that of your organisation – is the most important factor for clients when choosing who to consider for projects.

Course overview

Most of our clients are time poor and often struggle to find the time to dedicate to growing their business. Exploring the fundamentals of Business Development Planning aims to give technical professionals the understanding and skills to scope out, plan and execute their strategic sales activity much more effectively.

This course focuses on creating successful business development plans and you will learn how to get to the table of target clients and take control of your business development activity.

Who’s it for?

This professional development is highly valuable to anyone who has face-to-face time with clients and those who have a remit to explore opportunities and find work from both new and existing clients.

It would also be a useful reminder for those with more experience who may not have had any formal training – or at least not for a long time!

Course format

Live virtual classroomLive Virtual Classroom: 90 minute facilitated session taking delegates through the steps of putting action-driven BD plans together. Can be general or tailored to a group with specific objectives.

Questas face to face classroom training iconFace to face: In-house half-day workshop. Often working with groups who are focused on specific markets, regions or client types. Results are tailor-made plans designed to help delegates get in front of target clients and maintain a proactive approach to business development.

WebinarWebinar: Live or recorded, this is a 60 minute session aimed at exploring the fundamentals of planning business development activities.

Outcomes

  • Learn how to maximise the time and the resources you have to dedicate to business development
  • Understand the principles clients use to select chosen providers and develop a set of tools to help explore the client’s world
  • Ultimately you will develop increased confidence and will learn to apply tried and tested strategies and tactics to help you unlock more opportunities and win more – and better – work.
Questas Quote Marks Circle

“This course really simplifies the whole approach to business development, I am now very clear what I need to do.”

Engineer, WSP

Content Outline

  • Planning business development activity – The Questas Growth Model ©
  • Learning how clients buy
  • Developing a deep understanding of client needs
  • Preparing for and structuring business development discussions
  • Differentiating your offer – elevate your business’s reputation
  • Introduction to client management

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.

Drop us a line

Optimise your selling Opportunity

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

Get it now

Increase your bid-win rate

One of the most important business skills you can acquire is learning how to write a winning bid. The layout, language and style you use may make the difference between a successful bid and one that comes close. Bid less and win more work with our Bids and Tender Training here.

Become a natural sales person

Our Sales Conversations For Non-Sales People training course is the natural next step for engineering and technically minded professionals who are engaged in consultative selling and closing deals. In this training learners will hone their sales skills to boost their closing ratios and improve existing performance.

Free consultation

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

CONTACT US

Networking skills

Networking skills

Networking Skills Questas face to face classroom training icon

Our clients often tell us that they’re ‘non-sales people’ and that business networking fills them with dread. Using both theory and practical exercises, this course will help participants to hone their communication skills – and gain more confidence

This tried and tested training is designed for anyone required to attend events for the purpose of networking.

Who’s it for?

This tried and tested training is designed for anyone required to attend events for the purpose of networking. This is run as an ‘on your feet’ course full of practical hints and tips that will increase confidence and provide participants with tactics and skills to make networking an enjoyable and fruitful experience.

Course format

Questas face to face classroom training iconFace to face: A highly interactive 3 hour session which can accommodate up to 40 people (minimum 12). Delegates are involved and participating from the first minute as they learn to work a room, break into conversations, extricate themselves from other conversations and ultimately learn to enjoy what can be onerous for many!

Outcomes

  • Become clear about your objectives in attending a networking event.
  • Feel confident in a room where you don’t know anyone.
  • Learn techniques to politely navigate the room.
  • Make meaningful contact with the people you really want to meet so that you can begin fruitful relationships.
Questas Quote Marks Circle
“By far the best networking course I have ever attended.”

Nick South, Buro Happold

Questas Quote Marks Circle
“We all very much enjoyed the session and I have already put it into use!”

Principal, Momentum Transport Planning

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.

Drop us a line

Content Outline

  • Preparation for an event – explore your network, use your colleagues
  • Setting yourself objectives
  • Working the room – appearing confident and interesting
  • Making introductions, having valuable conversations
  • Questioning, listening, and breaking into groups
  • After the event – following up, maintaining contact

From our blog

Seven lessons from the best networker I’ve ever met

If you dread networking events, learn from the best. Here’s Gary Williams’ insider tips on how to excel at networking…

Read more

Free consultation

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

CONTACT US

Get in touch