Accelerating Business Growth

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

"How Good is YOUR Opening?"

We were running one of The Pti Training Academy boot camps last week and a key element of the 3 day workshop is all about having a powerful opening.

Part of the pre work the delegates have to do before the workshop is to write down the opening they currently use when opening the training workshops they run. For many this is a cathartic experience and the feedback normally goes something like this:

“I’ve never really thought about it before”

“I’ve never written it down”

“I don’t really have one; it’s just what comes out when I start”

“I kind of have a framework, but it depends on what happens on the day and how it comes out”

Interesting responses!

So, on the programme all the delegates deliver their openings – then we run through the WHY – the benefits of having a POWER Opening.

Now when I’m talking about a power opening I’m talking about a structured, grooved, well rehearsed opening which instantly builds creditability, captivates the audience and positions you as the professional you want to be.

Start Off Well And Momentum Builds…

Whenever I talk about the power opening I liken it to the athlete coming out of the blocks for the hundred metre sprint. You start off well and momentum builds. You start off slowly and boy is it difficult to catch up.

What other analogies apply?

How do you feel if you’ve ever overslept or lay in? Isn’t it amazing how you spend the rest of the day playing catch up! Or…

Monday morning comes around and you didn’t make time on Sunday to do the 2 hours of work you promised yourself you’d do. How does Monday go? Yes – always playing catch up!

Back to the Power Opening…

Now I’m not just talking here about the opening you use to open a training event – it can apply to so many other areas: Your monthly board meeting, a critical meeting with a Client, the opening for a sales meeting, a telesales call. There’s so many practical application.

I wish I had a pound for every time I’ve put a sales person on the spot on one of their sales programmes and asked them to say the opening they use when attending the most important sales appointment of the year.

Pti has a Client is Leicester – they’re in the labels business. We’d implemented a new sales process with them – a key element being the power opening.

The opening which they now use goes like this:

“Well Royston, thanks very much for agreeing to see me today. As I understand the purpose of the meeting today is to discuss three key things. Firstly to understand more about you and the business, secondly to understand more about your current and future label requirements and thirdly to ‘demonstrate’ why Label Apeel should be you partner of choice.

I’ve been thinking about our meeting and I’ve prepared an agenda, is there anything you’d like to add?”

What impression do you think this created in the mind of the potential Client?

Professional? Prepared? Different from the competition? – You bet!

And the sales person – how did they feel? Powerful? Confident? In control? Absolutely!


So there you have it, my brief insights, key benefits and importance of having power openings for those critical meetings or presentations.

If you have a sales team what’s the opening there currently using? A telesales teams what are the first few words they utter and even the front of house or receptionist. How good is their opening on the telephone or for Clients walking into your offices?

I love this expression:

“In a world where the BIG things make little difference it’s the little things that make a BIG difference!”

Your power opening is a little thing which can make a BIG difference!

Friday, November 17, 2006

"Making the First Sale…an Easy Sale!"

At Pti we have a simple philosophy when it comes to business development and it’s this:

Life is a boomerang and the first thing we’ve got to do is add value. Whenever we’re holding our internal marketing and sales meetings the focus of the discussions is always how far are we throwing the boomerang? – how many people are we touching? – how much value are we adding?

You see, I think there are two bowls in life – there’s the rewards bowl and there’s the contribution or service bowl. I know from my personal experience that too many times, people are staring into their rewards bowl wondering why its not full to the top – rationalising and coming up with explanations – when one of the key reasons is sat right along side.

They’re focused on the wrong bowl!

Add phenomenal value first – plant the seeds – nurture and develop the relationships – EARN the trust of your clients and you’ll never need to worry about the rewards bowl.

However – you can only do this by focusing on the service and contribution bowl – being relentless and consistent in the value you add.

Or in the analogy of throwing your boomerang often enough with the right messages and over the right area and all the rewards of your efforts will come back.

Part of this philosophy is centred on:

"Making the First Sale…an Easy Sale!"

And the easiest sale for me is something that’s FREE.

So, let me run this exercise with you as if I was sat in your office, face to face and we’re brainstorming some strategies of how to bring this idea to life.

I’d start with a:

Focused Question….

How can we make the first sale an easy sale?

Let me give you a couple of examples of how we do it at Pti:

Example 1: The Pti ezine….

Every two weeks 18,553 people receive the Pti ezine. It takes just over 20 minutes to send out from our server. I’m sure you’d agree the content is focused, value adding and there are ideas which you can instantly apply in your business and life. On average, every time the ezine goes out we have 50 plus new sign ups just from the current subscribers forwarding their copy onto friends and business contacts.

So not only are we adding value to our existing Clients, we’re also driving our brand awareness and attracting quality prospects into our potential sales funnel – all through one simple strategy – our Pti ezine.

Example 2: Special Reports and Booklets….

This is another great strategy for making the first sale an easy sale. I have a business contact that created a series of guides for their business. They are in the interior fit out business – high end – large value contracts. A very competitive market.

The titles were really sparky:

+ 23 Workplace Strategies to Boost Your Bottom Line Without Firing Anyone
+ The Ultimate Guide to Office Fit-Out
+ 51 Steps to a Successful Office Relocation
+ The Office Occupier’s Guide to Selecting A Fit Out Specialist

Not only did this strategy allow the business to throw their boomerang far and wide – adding real value, it also ramped up sales dramatically (Over £1 million in extra profit in just 2 years – now that’s business growth!)

We use Special Reports at Pti - you’ve probably seen the latest one I’ve created all about Training ReDefined

How to create a Five Dimensional (5-D) Learning Experience through sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.

We also have one centred on Client retention (details at the end of this ezine)

Some more examples…

Here’s just a couple more examples of ideas we’ve used with our Clients and for ourselves:

+ Low cost or free seminars
+ Teleconferences
+ Speaking at conferences, networking events, breakfast meetings
+ Blind bonuses
+ Case studies of similar businesses
+ A free business consultation – one of our Clients offers a Free 27 Minute Print Consultation for potential new Clients. This is a real WIN/WIN/WIN as it opens doors for them – they add real tangible value, earn the trust and on the back of it develop the relationship and secure quality business
+ And so many more – however I’m sure that’s enough to stimulate your thought processes


So there you have it. My suggestion is that you block out some quiet time for yourself or with your team and spend some time personalising and answering that focused question for your business:

How can we make the first sale an easy sale?

Written by Royston Guest - Pti International Ltd.

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