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Archive: Sep 2018

  1. How can you help your team to set performance goals and review these with them?

    Performance reviews are a necessary, and essential, part of any workplace. Although they do sometimes have a bad reputation, it’s these reviews that give everyone the opportunity to better understand their role, to set key goals and to monitor progress. Whether you’re new to management, or looking to improve your team management skills, a strong approach to performance reviews is essential.

    Take the process seriously

    A quick, unstructured chat over a coffee might feel more enjoyable than something more formal but it could also fail to deliver the right results. So, make sure you have a structured process in place, a set timeline for everyone to adhere to and one that makes sense in terms of when your business conducts performance reviews or hands out bonuses.

    Key steps involved in goal setting and review

    On the basis of a 12-month cycle, there are five key stages to consider when it comes to performance goals and review.

    Month 1 – setting goals

    Start the yearly cycle by sharing goals and objectives with the entire team. Meet with each employee to ensure they’ve absorbed the company’s goals and to define their own personal goals for the year. Use a clear framework for individual goal setting – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented, Time-bound (SMART) will ensure that the objectives you set are within reach.

    Month 3 (and every quarter after that)

    Rather than attempting to summarise an entire year in a single performance review at the end of 12 months, it’s often preferable to check in throughout the year. The idea of each check in will be to sit down with the SMART goals defined at the start of the year, look at expectations and see what the employee has achieved in terms of results. Take notes from each one so that you have more to work from at the end of the year too.

    Month 10 – Employee preparation

    Now is a good time to give employees notice that they should begin preparing for the review and to agree a date for the end of year review. Ask employees to begin compiling their own results, as well as completing any forms that company requires.

    Month 10 – 11 – Manager preparation

    It’s not just employees who need to prepare for performance reviews. As a manager you’ll also need to compile notes, results and data, as well as gathering feedback. Identify the structure that you want to use for your performance reviews and then stick to this so that you’re using the same approach for every employee. It’s important to ensure that every review identifies areas for improvement but also provides encouragement.

    Month 12 – Carry out the performance reviews

    Remember that different people respond differently to reviews so it’s worth tailoring your approach to personality types while retaining that key consistent structure. It will also be important to encourage employees to feedback on the review process itself to make sure that it works.

    Our Performance Review Skills course is ideal for managers looking to get more from employees via effective reviews.

  2. How salespeople can get a strong work-life balance by prioritising more effectively

    To be effective in sales you need to be confident, energetic and carefully avoid burnout and stress. Achieving a positive work-life balance is crucial for anyone looking to do great things in sales – and the key to ensuring that you have the time and space for a work-life balance is being able to prioritise. Learning how to plan and prioritise will help you to create freedom in your schedule to enjoy a work-life balance that fuels you to be a more productive salesperson.

    Planning and prioritising tips

    It’s important to be realistic

    Being effective doesn’t mean ticking absolutely everything off your list in a superhumanly short space of time. It is far better to set realistic and achievable goals for your day that you can complete in a way that leaves you the time to do them properly and to finish your workload within a realistic timeframe. If you’re just loading yourself up with too much and not being realistic about what you can actually get done then you will struggle to achieve any work-life balance at all.

    Start with the tasks that you really don’t want to do

    If there are less interesting or appealing jobs then the likelihood is that these will end up being postponed and delayed because you don’t really want to do them. So, tackle these first so that you don’t waste any time putting them off.

    Reorganise the way that you handle contacts and emails

    Instead of constantly being available by email, checking and responding as emails come in, allocate time to batch process all your communications. It’s often far more efficient to sit down and plough through all your emails within a specified time frame than to constantly interrupt what you’re doing. Apply the 2 minute time limit to each one – give yourself two minutes to action the email and then move on. If it can’t be done in that time then add it to a task list and start the next message.

    Turn off your tech

    If you want to achieve that work-life balance then you’ve got to prioritise your task list over the distractions that technology like smart phones can provide. Give yourself the opportunity to work undisturbed by turning off all your technology and prioritising getting tasks done. You’ll find that you get through jobs much more quickly and that you will be left with more space in your schedule to achieve a better work-life balance as a result.

    Use technology to your advantage

    Apps and smart phones can be a distraction but they can also be immensely useful when it comes to helping you to prioritise more effectively. Use calendars and reminders to ensure that you remain organised and focused on completing the essential tasks that will free up time for other things.

    Our Planning & Prioritisation course is designed to provide a busy salesperson with tools to better manage daily challenges to help create more work-life balance. The result is not only more productive outcomes but also greater fulfilment on a daily basis too. Book your place today.

  3. How to compose yourself with emotional intelligence in the workplace?

    The way that we handle ourselves in a work environment – and how we relate to others – is more relevant now than it has ever been. While skills, experience and aptitude are still key, the qualities of emotional intelligence, such as motivation and how well we manage our own feelings, are just as likely to be assessed. The World Economic Forum ranked Emotional Intelligence (EQ) as sixth among the Top 10 skills employees need to thrive in the future workplace. But how do you nurture EQ to compose yourself at work and how might it impact on your career?

    Defining Emotional Intelligence

    EQ is the ability to recognise, manage and understand feelings and emotions. It could take a range of different forms, including being able to control impulses and moods, to recognise emotions and to feel the empathy required to understand why others do what they do. Multiple surveys have shown that EQ is increasingly something that hiring managers look for. It also has a big part to play in whether employees are promoted or not. Plus, EQ has been linked to performance – 90% of top performers also demonstrate high EQ.

    EQ in the workplace

    The impact on motivation

    A high EQ means that someone has the ability to self-regulate, to understand their own emotions, as well as those of others, such as competitors. This can have a significant impact on motivation, helping to reduce time wasting and making it easier to set clearer, more achievable goals that you actually accomplish.

    Team EQ

    Just like an individual, a team can also develop its own EQ. Nurturing EQ at a team level means building up a high degree of trust, group identity and team efficiency. It relies on establishing benchmarks of EQ at every level of interaction within the team. Those teams that demonstrate the most achievement and efficiency are often those where EQ levels are high.

    Positive Mental Attitude

    No matter what the circumstances, it seems that those with higher EQ are better able to handle life and to develop a positive mental outlook that makes them more composed at work.

    Communication and understanding others

    High EQ brings empathy and the ability to understand others in the workplace, their wants, needs and motivation. It enables you to identify another person’s point of view and to get more insight into how they behave. People with high EQ also find it much easier to communicate, which is a key foundation for being a positive, proactive and composed member of the workplace.

    Handling stress

    EQ may also have an influence when it comes to the impact of work stress. Stress can affect many areas of our lives, from sleeping to the choices we make when it comes to exercise and food. Even in a high pressured situation, strong EQ makes it simpler to choose options that will contribute towards more effective handling of stress.

    Our Working With Emotional Intelligence course is designed to help you understand and nurture EQ in the workplace so that you can integrate it into your everyday experience.

  4. How can you close deals faster and more effectively?

    The balance between professionalism and assertiveness is a tough one to strike. However, it’s essential to ensure that an approach has enough measure of both when it comes to closing deals. Faster and more effective closing can help to drive impressive growth so there are many benefits to improving this as a skill set. So, how do you achieve more impressive closing without crossing the line of professionalism?

    Always be authentic

    It’s fine to prepare for your sales pitch and to have a clear idea of how you want it to go. However, for the interaction to feel real you need to avoid a situation where it doesn’t progress like a real conversation. Customers will always get a sense of how genuine you are and whether you really care about their business or you’re just trying to close the sale. So, it’s important to ensure that you convey authenticity and interest, as well as keeping the closing in mind.

    Make sure you’re speaking to the right person

    You need to ensure that the conversation you’re having is with the real decision maker. Many people in senior positions will send in a junior or an information gatherer first, neither of whom you can close. So, it’s important to try to establish that your meeting is with the person who is driving the decision-making.

    Anticipate your obstacles in advance

    Problems and objections are the biggest barriers to closing a deal effectively and at speed. So, it’s often worth identifying these well in advance so you’re prepared to deal with them if they do arise. Sit down with the rest of your team and try to come up with a comprehensive list of what the potential objections could be. Allow your team to be creative and think outside the box and then create potential solutions or responses for each one. If you’re presented with an objection that you hadn’t thought of when you’re making the closing, take a little time to think and avoid a solution that sounds forced or false.

    Use deadlines

    Creating a sense of urgency can be incredibly useful when it comes to closing. Deadlines do this very effectively, whether they relate to a discount that is about to expire or an offer that has a limited time to run. This isn’t about pushing the customer or forcing them to rush into anything but creating an urgency that shows that yours is the right product or service for right now.

    Who are your competitors?

    Acquiring some knowledge of what competitors are offering, and how they are offering it, is essential. Make sure you have a good understanding of competitor businesses so that you know you’re offering something that they are not.

    Don’t get distracted

    Focus on the facts that you have and your areas of expertise. Avoid getting drawn into speculation or arguments that will distract from your closing goal.

    Our Winning Ways to Close a Deal course is ideal for those looking to learn how to achieve both professional and assertive closing habits.

  5. How to compose yourself with emotional intelligence in the workplace?

    The way that we handle ourselves in a work environment – and how we relate to others – is more relevant now than it has ever been. While skills, experience and aptitude are still key, the qualities of emotional intelligence, such as motivation and how well we manage our own feelings, are just as likely to be assessed. The World Economic Forum ranked Emotional Intelligence (EQ) as sixth among the Top 10 skills employees need to thrive in the future workplace. But how do you nurture EQ to compose yourself at work and how might it impact on your career?

    Defining Emotional Intelligence

    EQ is the ability to recognise, manage and understand feelings and emotions. It could take a range of different forms, including being able to control impulses and moods, to recognise emotions and to feel the empathy required to understand why others do what they do. Multiple surveys have shown that EQ is increasingly something that hiring managers look for. It also has a big part to play in whether employees are promoted or not. Plus, EQ has been linked to performance – 90% of top performers also demonstrate high EQ.

    EQ in the workplace

    The impact on motivation

    A high EQ means that someone has the ability to self-regulate, to understand their own emotions, as well as those of others, such as competitors. This can have a significant impact on motivation, helping to reduce time wasting and making it easier to set clearer, more achievable goals that you actually accomplish.

    Team EQ

    Just like an individual, a team can also develop its own EQ. Nurturing EQ at a team level means building up a high degree of trust, group identity and team efficiency. It relies on establishing benchmarks of EQ at every level of interaction within the team. Those teams that demonstrate the most achievement and efficiency are often those where EQ levels are high.

    Positive Mental Attitude

    No matter what the circumstances, it seems that those with higher EQ are better able to handle life and to develop a positive mental outlook that makes them more composed at work.

    Communication and understanding others

    High EQ brings empathy and the ability to understand others in the workplace, their wants, needs and motivation. It enables you to identify another person’s point of view and to get more insight into how they behave. People with high EQ also find it much easier to communicate, which is a key foundation for being a positive, proactive and composed member of the workplace.

    Handling stress

    EQ may also have an influence when it comes to the impact of work stress. Stress can affect many areas of our lives, from sleeping to the choices we make when it comes to exercise and food. Even in a high pressured situation, strong EQ makes it simpler to choose options that will contribute towards more effective handling of stress.

    Our Working With Emotional Intelligence course is designed to help you understand and nurture EQ in the workplace so that you can integrate it into your everyday experience.

  6. How can you close deals faster and more effectively?

    The balance between professionalism and assertiveness is a tough one to strike. However, it’s essential to ensure that an approach has enough measure of both when it comes to closing deals. Faster and more effective closing can help to drive impressive growth so there are many benefits to improving this as a skill set. So, how do you achieve more impressive closing without crossing the line of professionalism?

    Always be authentic

    It’s fine to prepare for your sales pitch and to have a clear idea of how you want it to go. However, for the interaction to feel real you need to avoid a situation where it doesn’t progress like a real conversation. Customers will always get a sense of how genuine you are and whether you really care about their business or you’re just trying to close the sale. So, it’s important to ensure that you convey authenticity and interest, as well as keeping the closing in mind.

    Make sure you’re speaking to the right person

    You need to ensure that the conversation you’re having is with the real decision maker. Many people in senior positions will send in a junior or an information gatherer first, neither of whom you can close. So, it’s important to try to establish that your meeting is with the person who is driving the decision-making.

    Anticipate your obstacles in advance

    Problems and objections are the biggest barriers to closing a deal effectively and at speed. So, it’s often worth identifying these well in advance so you’re prepared to deal with them if they do arise. Sit down with the rest of your team and try to come up with a comprehensive list of what the potential objections could be. Allow your team to be creative and think outside the box and then create potential solutions or responses for each one. If you’re presented with an objection that you hadn’t thought of when you’re making the closing, take a little time to think and avoid a solution that sounds forced or false.

    Use deadlines

    Creating a sense of urgency can be incredibly useful when it comes to closing. Deadlines do this very effectively, whether they relate to a discount that is about to expire or an offer that has a limited time to run. This isn’t about pushing the customer or forcing them to rush into anything but creating an urgency that shows that yours is the right product or service for right now.

    Who are your competitors?

    Acquiring some knowledge of what competitors are offering, and how they are offering it, is essential. Make sure you have a good understanding of competitor businesses so that you know you’re offering something that they are not.

    Don’t get distracted

    Focus on the facts that you have and your areas of expertise. Avoid getting drawn into speculation or arguments that will distract from your closing goal.

    Our Winning Ways to Close a Deal course is ideal for those looking to learn how to achieve both professional and assertive closing habits.

In-House Training with PTP

PTP stands for Practical Training for Professionals and our aim is to make our training as practical as possible so delegates can return to the workplace with skills they can implement immediately. PTP now delivers training to over 40% of the FTSE 100.

What you get for your money

What is 1-to-1 training?

1-to-1 training can be based on any of the 100 plus courses that PTP provides, it includes an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site one to one training session at your premises with one of PTP's expert trainers and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

You have the option of a line manager being involved in both telephone conferences, the second telephone conference which can be for feedback and action planning is generally scheduled during the on-site visit.

Who does 1-to-1 training suit?

Individuals taking on a new challenge or responsibilities. Professionals who want a trusted "sounding board" and thinking partner. Executives or managers who want to enhance their leadership effectiveness to achieve organizational and career success. Executives and professionals wanting to compete successfully but still retain balance in their life. Individuals who want to understand their blind spots so that they don't stand in their own way on their path to success. Executives and Professionals who want to improve their interpersonal skills so as to be more effective with bosses, peers, subordinates, or people in general. How much does 1-to-1 training cost?

A 1-to-1 training session costs from as little as £400 + VAT and will include an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site training at your premises and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

What is U-Choose?

Choose from any of the 150 plus courses that PTP provides, and choose from 1 of our 50 plus UK wide training venues. You must book for 2 or more delegates and at least 4 weeks in advance, but that’s it, the course you want where you want it. The reason we ask for a minimum of 4 weeks notice is to enable us to market the course you have scheduled to other companies and organisations. However, if we fail to sell any additional places we guarantee to run the course just for you.

How much does U-Choose Training cost?

U-choose costs the same as our normal open courses i.e. the normal delegate rate. This includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day, framed certification and comprehensive training notes. A U-Choose booking can only be confirmed once we receive payment which can be made via credit/debit card, BACS or cheque. Payment is due at least 4 weeks before the date you request. Please note to be eligible for U-Choose you must book a minimum of 2 delegates on the same course & date.