Top Tips


Give your products the ‘velvet cushion’ treatment.

When you’re selling, present each product with the enthusiasm and passion it deserves. Years ago, when I was on my first sales training course I was working for a well-known food manufacturing company that sold, among other products, baked beans. During one role-play exercise (selling baked beans to a supermarket buyer) I was required to present the product, a can of beans, to the buyer. To make it special and get the buyer’s attention I was required to put the can on a purple velvet cushion. This was a way of saying ‘This product is unique and of top quality. It deserves your attention and my respect’.

Did I ever try it in real life? I did. When your job is to sell a premium priced product in a highly competitive market place in difficult economic times, you really need to make it grab your customer’s attention. To say that the buyer was surprised by my presentation would be an understatement but it certainly got his attention and I got my order!

You may not use a velvet cushion, but do give your products the attention, enthusiasm and presentation they deserve.



Starting the coaching session

Sometimes, getting the coaching session started can be difficult. The person being coached may not be able to fix on a specific topics or issue and may be there’s nothing obvious for the coach to work with. Faced with this situation I’ll say to my client ‘That’s fine. Just start thinking out loud; verbalise the thoughts that are running through your mind and I’ll pick up on something as we go along’. Bring into play some proactive listening and in a very short time a coaching topic will emerge.



Tell a story

Training is all about engaging with people and there are few things more engaging than a good story. Stories capture interest, give depth and context to situations and allow people to interpret things and find their own meanings. So, to assist the learning process, you can give real meaning to information, facts, figures, statistics, ideas or whatever it is your training by telling a (relevant) story.


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