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Archive: May 2019

  1. Top tips for phone sales

    Being able to successfully win business over the phone is an incredibly useful skill to have. Not only does it open the door to many opportunities but it’s a unique ability, as many people find it difficult to do. However, once you’ve got the hang of making phone sales you’ll never look back. Here are some tips on how to develop this essential skill for yourself.

    Create the right mindset

    No one is saying cold calling is easy but it’s possible to be successful if you’re in the right state of mind. Prepare yourself to make sales calls, create a script, pick a moment when you’re feeling good about it and start to get into a routine so that every call begins to feel easier.

    Focus on one thing at a time

    It’s a lot easier to be successful at phone sales if you’re just focused on one goal. That could be to make a sale, upsell a product or gather information.

    Practice by listening to yourself

    If you record yourself on early calls you’ll be able to assess for yourself where improvements might be made.

    Get the right tone

    Although professionalism is key, sometimes this manifests as an overly formal approach that is difficult to engage with. If you can find a tone that is effective but friendly then you’ll see your results improve significantly.

    Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

    It’s likely that not every call will be easy – many customers and clients don’t like cold calls. So, it’s often better to approach the calls expecting obstacles and resistance. That way, if you don’t experience either, it will be a pleasant surprise but if you do you’ll be well prepared.

    Keep it conversational

    The fastest way to lose the attention of the person you’re talking to is to sound like you’re talking to them from a pre-prepared script. Some people even find this insulting and may be especially unimpressed at such a perceived lack of effort. So, as much as you can, ensure your call sounds like a conversation not a sales pitch.

    Keep your attention on what you’re doing

    If you start multitasking at the same time, whether that’s tidying your workspace or working on other documents, it’s likely a prospect will be able to hear either what you’re doing or pick up on your lack of interest and they will soon switch off.

    Ask lots of questions

    The biggest mistake many people make with phone sales is to only talk at the person on the other end of the phone. Make sure you ask questions – to uncover any hesitation or obstacles to purchase and to find out more about the customer.

    Don’t push too hard

    Most customers won’t be convinced by this they will simply hang up.

    Be concise

    Work out how to deliver your information in the shortest time possible so that you’re not unnecessarily taking up people’s day.

    Don’t give up

    Rejection and refusal are all part of the process – you’ve only failed if you stop trying.

    Learning to master the art of phone sales is a great skill to have. Our Winning More Business on the Telephone course is perfectly designed for those who want to improve at phone selling.

  2. Top 6 sales negotiation tips you need to know

    Great sales negotiation requires a combination of skill and confidence. You don’t need to have years of experience to excel at negotiating and you don’t have to be an expert to do well. Instead, it’s all about understanding the person you’re negotiating with, as well as the process itself. These key tips can help anyone start to get a feel for how to negotiate sales successfully.

    1. Be clear about what it is that is being negotiated

    As a salesperson, the first step towards succeeding in negotiation is to ensure that you have a sound understanding of exactly what is on the table. Often, this means starting with the selling process itself, as this will allow you to identify exactly what it is the other person is looking for – and what they are not interested in. If you have clarity on what is being negotiated then you won’t waste time or energy pursuing the wrong things.

    2. Find out first where the other person stands

    Again, this is where starting with the selling process and then moving on to the negotiation stage can come in very useful. If you are able to find out what the other person’s opening position is in terms of what is being negotiated then you can tailor your negotiations accordingly. This means identifying expectations with respect to cost or conditions, as well as what the other person is going to be willing to accept.

    3. Establish trust

    You don’t have to trust each other completely but a base level of credibility and trust will usually result in a much more fruitful negotiation process. The main reason for this is that it removes the need for tactics. If there is a degree of trust and both parties understand that a mutually beneficial conclusion can be achieved then negotiation tactics don’t have to complicate the issue.

    4. Read the signs

    Human beings give away a lot with our bodies in a negotiation situation so it’s worth being observant. For example, if someone is making demands but unable to look you in the eye while doing so it’s likely that they don’t feel confident in the demands they are making and aren’t going to insist on them. Body language can be a useful tool during a sales negotiation, especially what people do with their eyes and whether they are able to meet your gaze.

    5. Don’t expect to achieve your goal with just one negotiation

    Even if it takes multiple attempts to get to the desired result you will still have ended up there. Most negotiations are part of a process of multiple stages so it’s a good idea to view one negotiation as a prelude to the next one. Use each one to build on what was achieved last time and don’t be downhearted if you don’t get results first time.

    6. Only put something in writing when the negotiation comes to an end

    If there is any chance that you may want to change what you’re agreeing at a later date then steer clear of writing it down.

    Sales negotiation is no secret – it’s just a simple combination of skills and confidence. Our Sales Negotiation Skills course provides the opportunity to start building that confidence and acquiring those essential tools that will make the process easier and more productive.

  3. Our guide to creating a powerful sales presentation

    What makes a successful sales presentation? The answer is going to be different every time but essentially it’s anything that motivates a prospect to buy from you. Each pitch will need to be uniquely tailored to the needs of whoever you are presenting to but there are some common factors that work for all presentations that can help to ensure that you succeed.

    Make what you’re selling relevant

    If it’s a product, bring a sample or a prototype and allow a prospect to handle it and start to understand how, and why, they need it. If you’re selling a service then focus on the benefits for the prospect, as opposed to the generic features of what you’re offering. It’s important to ensure that you clearly communicate what the benefits of using your product are, as compared to that of a competitor.

    Tailor your presentation to the prospect

    One of the biggest mistakes most people make when it comes to sales presentations is opting for the same generic formula every time. This approach will not only undermine the credibility of your business but is also likely to bore your prospect. Make sure that the way you present your product or service, the benefits you highlight – even what you wear to the presentation – is tailored to the needs, goals, culture and values of the prospect you’re looking to win over. Research the business beforehand, add their logo to your slides and make sure what you’re saying relates to their specific situation if you want to make a powerful impact.

    Be concise and informative

    If your sales presentation is too long, or too full of waffle, there is a danger that anyone listening will simply switch off. All you really need to do during the sales presentation is outline the product or service and then specifically identify how it will meet the needs of the prospect. Ask for feedback and questions – or potential reservations – so that you can address these on the spot. Don’t argue and avoid allowing the discussion to get off topic.

    Be creative and engaging

    There is nothing wrong with bringing an element of shock or performance into your sales presentation as long as it fits with what you’re saying and selling. Practice the pitch and listen to the way you speak when you’re presenting – are you animated and enthusiastic or do you sound bored and uninterested? Use plenty of demonstration to engage your audience, whether that is bringing a whiteboard for facts and figures or adding visuals or video into the mix.

    Believe yourself

    If you believe in the product or service then you will be much more convincing during a sales presentation. Think about how you can display this to the prospect – for example, using your body language and your voice. Enthusiasm can be infectious and that tends to be very effective in a sales context.

    These are just a few of the ways in which you can create a powerful sales presentation. Our Successful Sales Presentations course is designed to help you hone your skills to be more effective at sales presentations and start generating the results that you want.


  4. Our top tips for non-sales professionals

    The need to sell isn’t always limited to those who work purely in sales. Professionals from many different sectors and roles often find that this is a necessary part of the job. If you don’t have a lot of sales experience, entering the selling arena can be intimidating. However, the reality is that non-sales professionals often make the best sales people – all you need is a few tips on how to get started.

    Set realistic targets

    A little goes a long way where sales are concerned. Rather than setting yourself unrealistic targets that will cause stress and be difficult to meet, start small. Dedicating just 15 minutes a day to achieving one sale can add up to considerable numbers at the end of a week/month/year. Plus, you’ll be able to achieve more as your confidence builds.

    Avoid a broad-brush approach

    The reality is that 50% of the prospective leads that you have just won’t be a good fit. The key is to ask questions early on that identify those that aren’t ever going to be interested in doing business with you and then disqualify them from the process. This allows for a more targeted approach, focusing your resources on those who have the most potential.

    Selling isn’t a dirty word

    Every business sells – whether that’s directly selling a product to consumers or creating clever marketing to attract new clients. “Selling” has something of a bad reputation but it’s important to get past this idea if you want to be successful at it. Sales are integral to business success and the right approach will ensure that you’re always looking for opportunities that could help drive your enterprise to greater growth.

    Avoid out of date sales tactics

    The perception of a salesperson is often someone who just talks at people, who pitches, persuades but doesn’t really ask questions or listen. Most people are keen to buy and are always looking for new opportunities but don’t enjoy being sold to. So, if you want to be more effective where sales are concerned, steer clear of these out of date sales tactics. Instead, focus on building a relationship that is mutually beneficial for everyone involved.

    Be personable but professional

    It’s important to establish some kind of a rapport when you’re in the process of selling. However, this alone won’t pave the way for success. It’s not just about getting on with someone but also understanding their needs and challenges, and working towards ensuring that prospective clients or customers know these are understood.

    Switch from a hard sell to stories

    Case studies, illustrations and storytelling will go a long way to illustrating for a client how what you are offering could help them overcome issues or obstacles and lead the way to positive change. Storytelling is engaging and inspiring – as compared to a hard sell, which can feel generic and often has the impact of simply making people switch off.

    Non-sales professionals often make the best sales people – if you want to start making the journey into better selling our Selling for Non-Sales Professionals course is a great place to start.

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.