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Sales and Marketing Articles

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Although marketing and sales differ greatly, they have the same goal; for participants to identify the needs and requirements of consumers and then persuade them that their products or services provide the benefits that they are looking for.

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10 Top Tips for Successful Networking

Article Overview:
In this article, Sandra Beale provides her top tips for effective networking.

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Article Overview:
In this article, Sandra Beale provides her top tips for effective networking.

Opening Words:
1. Recognise the importance of networking.
Ask any successful business person and they will tell you that above all else networking skills are absolutely vital to growing your business. Networking can increase your market share, help you gain new ideas, provide work and give new perspectives on life and business. Speaking to one person can potentially give you access to over 200 clients and suppliers.

Useful Reading For:
Anyone who wants to get the most from their networking opportunities.

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17 Ideas You can Use to Increase Your Sales Almost Immediately

About this Article:
This article, from Bill Fryer, provides really practical advice and information that will benefit anyone who works in a sales environment.

About

About this Article:
This article, from Bill Fryer, provides really practical advice and information that will benefit anyone who works in a sales environment.

Opening Words:
1. Don't be greedy. If you always try to profit from the first sale, you ignore the real value of the customer. This is a mistake. If you don't invest as much as you could to get customers - you won't get as many profitable customers as you might. Also, your competitor, who does know the value of a customer, can outspend or underprice you - or both.

2. Concentrate on customers more than prospects. Research by McGraw-Hill into why retailers lost customers showed that 68% went elsewhere because of indifference or the attitude of their salesforce. Only 14% went because they were dissatisfied with the product or service and only 9% went to the competition. Your customers will remain loyal if you pay them attention.

Useful Reading For:
Anyone involved in sales or responsible for the development of sales skills in others.

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28 Design Tips to Improve the Effectiveness of your Advertising and Direct Mail

About this Article:
In this article, Bill Fryer provides some great ideas for improving advertising material, covering design, content and language.

About

About this Article:
In this article, Bill Fryer provides some great ideas for improving advertising material, covering design, content and language.

Opening Words:
1. Give it a human feel. Make sure it doesn’t look too mass produced. Instead it should look as if there has been human involvement.

2. Simple design changes revitalise a dying control pack. First try changing the outer envelope, then if this does not work try giving other parts of the pack a new look. People remember what they have seen better than what they have read, so it is not so important to change the copy.

Useful Reading For:
Anyone involved in the design or content of advertising materials.

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Active Listening

About this Article:
In this article Tony Atherton explains why good listening is such hard work and discusses the characteristics and techniques used in Active Listening.

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About this Article:
In this article Tony Atherton explains why good listening is such hard work and discusses the characteristics and techniques used in Active Listening.

Opening Words:
Good listening is hard work! Very often when we listen to someone we only half pay attention; talking is much more fun than listening so we start thinking about what we will say when it’s our turn. What we want is a conversation where we put in at least half of what is said, if not more. We are not looking for hard work.

The phrase active listening has crept into management jargon. It is a good phrase though because good listening is not the passive action it is sometimes thought to be. Good listening requires active participation by the listener.

Useful Reading For:
Anyone who needs to listen. Especially useful for those in a coaching or sales role.

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Buying Motivation

About this Article:
In this article, Buffy Sparks considers the fact that people, in general, love to buy, but hate to be sold to. She explains simply the two types of buying motivation, and the importance of turning needs into wants.

About

About this Article:
In this article, Buffy Sparks considers the fact that people, in general, love to buy, but hate to be sold to. She explains simply the two types of buying motivation, and the importance of turning needs into wants.

Opening Words:
To understand buying motivation we must first look at the reasons why we buy products and items ourselves.

There is nothing magical in why people buy certain things; in fact the answer is quite simple.

People LOVE to BUY, but HATE to be SOLD to.

It is the combination of these four words that causes a great deal of trouble; any combination of the four words other than the sequence displayed above and there is no sale.

Suitable Reading For:
Anyone involved in sales and sales techniques.

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Drawing Sensation

Article Overview:
In this article, Martin explains how drawings can engage more than just the eyes, and how they can be used to enhance training programmes in ways you may not have previously considered.

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Article Overview:
In this article, Martin explains how drawings can engage more than just the eyes, and how they can be used to enhance training programmes in ways you may not have previously considered.

Opening Words:
Most people who come along to our 'think like a cartoonist' workshops already recognise the value of cartooning as a tool for engaging visual learners. Some of them are keen to develop their drawing and visual thinking skills because they're aware of the predominance of vision over all the other senses. After all, vision is definitely king of the sensory castle, with around half the brain devoted to processing visual information. It’s an astonishing thought that, of the 11 million pieces of information we take in each second through our five senses, 90% of them enter our brains directly through our eyes.

But people attending our workshops are often surprised to discover that cartoons appeal to more than just the visual sense – they can make you feel things, hear things, smell things, even taste things too. In fact, drawing can be a truly multi-sensory tool for teachers, trainers and communicators of all kinds. A bold claim, you might think, so let me back it up with some science.

Useful Reading For:
All trainers.

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Negotiating - The Salami Tactic

Article Overview:
In this Article, Tony Atherton discusses the Salami Tactic, often used during negotiations, and how to counter it.

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Article Overview:
In this Article, Tony Atherton discusses the Salami Tactic, often used during negotiations, and how to counter it.

Opening Words:
Some negotiators just love to play tactical games. In this article we will look at one of the most widely known negotiating tactics and think about how to rebuff it. In our negotiating skills courses we discuss this and other tactics in some detail and practice using them and rebuffing them.

Salami sausages are big things (often spicy) that are eaten a slice at a time, they would be indigestible if taken in a single large piece. This aspect has led negotiators to use the name for a negotiating technique that tries to do just that: to win concessions in small doses (slices) when the other party would probably reject them if they were put on the table all at once. It is often used on a party that is mainly concerned with damage limitation.

Useful Reading For:
Anyone involved in negotiations.

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Negotiation Skills - Making Concessions

Article Overview:
In this article Tony discusses why the art of making concessions is a crucial skill in negotiations.

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Article Overview:
In this article Tony discusses why the art of making concessions is a crucial skill in negotiations.

Opening Words:
You often hear that someone in a negotiation gave away a concession. It's an interesting phrase 'gave away' because good negotiators, whether professional or amateur, rarely give away concessions. Some, as a point of principle, never 'give away' a concession. Someone with good negotiating skills 'trades' concessions.

By its very nature a concession – however easy it is for you to make or however trivial it might seem to you – is worth something to the other party. Therefore good negotiators put a value on that concession and will exchange it, or trade it, for something they want in return. Whenever you think about making a concession always ask yourself the question – What am I getting in return?

Useful Reading For:
Anyone involved in negotiations and sales people in particular.

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Neutralising Manipulative Negotiation Tactics

Article Overview:
This superb article from Calum Coburn is essential reading for anyone involved in negotiation or sales. It explains some of the common tactics used in negotiation by those focused on short term benefit, and gives clear advice for neutralising these without resorting to the same manipulative approaches.

About

Article Overview:
This superb article from Calum Coburn is essential reading for anyone involved in negotiation or sales. It explains some of the common tactics used in negotiation by those focused on short term benefit, and gives clear advice for neutralising these without resorting to the same manipulative approaches.

Opening Words:
Prior to the 1980’s, many companies focused their negotiation training on tactics. Although the following tactics will yield a short term result, we don’t advocate their use in a business context. The reason we don’t advocate their use is due to both the long term damage they will deliver to your business relationships, and the questionable ethics of using manipulative tactics. Once you have mastered the Principled Negotiation Model, the need for manoeuvring to gain a small short term advantage will be made redundant. These tactics are designed to extract value out of the other side without making any value contribution or creation. They are thus Win-Lose by nature.

Useful Reading For:
Anyone involved in negotiations or sales.

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Purposeful Presentations

Article Overview:
In this article, Martin Shovel looks at the importance of purpose when designing a presentation.

About

Article Overview:
In this article, Martin Shovel looks at the importance of purpose when designing a presentation.

Opening Words:
The road to lacklustre presentations is paved with good intentions. It often begins with a positive desire to stop navel-gazing and get stuck into the business of getting the job done, or it may simply be a response to the pressure of time.

But unfortunately, the impulse to dive straight into your material and start writing masks a serious confusion between purpose and content that inevitably results in presentations that lack focus, clarity and impact, and leave an audience gasping for air.

Useful Reading For:
Trainers and anyone interested in developing their presentation skills.

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Supplying the Third Sector

Article Overview:
In this article Nicki Davey shares her experience of training in the third sector from both sides of the fence.

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Article Overview:
In this article Nicki Davey shares her experience of training in the third sector from both sides of the fence.

Opening Words:
In response to recent Training Zone discussions about supplying training to the third sector (i.e. charities and not-for-profit organisations such as housing associations, social enterprises and community interest companies), here are some observations based on my own experience as a training provider and my previous experience as Head of Learning and Development for a large national charity.

Useful Reading For:
Anyone interested in providing training to the Third Sector.

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Ten Top Tips for Winning New Sales

Article Overview:
Jeremy Thorn, Non-Executive Director and coach to several fast-growing companies, offers some tips on making more effective sales.

About

Article Overview:
Jeremy Thorn, Non-Executive Director and coach to several fast-growing companies, offers some tips on making more effective sales.

Opening Words:
1. Find out all you can about your prospective customers, all their past contacts and transactions with your company and their probable needs, before you ever meet them. You can’t possibly know all that you will need to know about them in advance, but the prospects you meet will not be much impressed if you know nothing about them at all!
2. Practise a powerful introduction. If you don’t believe passionately in your company, its products, and what you can offer, why should anyone else? But don’t present yourself ‘off the cuff’ each time...

Useful Reading For:
Anyone involved in sales or responsible for the development of sales skills in others. 

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Video Killed the Radio Star - Or Did It?

Article Overview:
In this article, Jackie Jarvis considers the impact of the internet on the traditional sales role. She argues that just as video didn't replace the radio star, there is still very much a need for personal contact in the sales process. But she does explain why sales people need to adapt to ensure their survival in a changing world.

About

Article Overview:
In this article, Jackie Jarvis considers the impact of the internet on the traditional sales role. She argues that just as video didn't replace the radio star, there is still very much a need for personal contact in the sales process. But she does explain why sales people need to adapt to ensure their survival in a changing world.

Opening Words:
In the 1980's we believed that the radio would fall by the way-side as emerging video technology opened our eyes to new forms of entertainment. In the 1990's the debate concerned the redundancy of paper when the Internet allowed documents to be viewed online and transported from one side of the world to the other with one click. Now, in the new Millennium, the latest debate is nearing its final stages: e-business versus people-business.

But video did not kill the radio star. Instead, radio producers had to adapt what they offered; and find out what it was that they did best. Radio didn't die; it transformed.

Useful Reading For:
Anyone involved in sales.

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