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  1. Top 5 sales tips for small business owners

    If you have a small business then effective selling is going to be an essential skill to acquire. This not only applies to actual sales but also being able to pitch your business to those who might be able to support it, from investors through to media. If selling is always something that you’ve struggled with there are plenty of ways that you can improve your ability in this area – starting with these top 5 sales tips for small business owners.


    1. Get to know your sales cycle

    Breaking down the sales cycle into a series of manageable steps can be incredibly helpful when it comes to improve sales performance. Understanding the sales cycle will give you the tools to begin better controlling it, and shortening it where possible. With in-depth understanding of the stages of the sales cycle it’s much simpler to start reducing the time it takes to get to the end of it.

    2. Define your USP

    “Unique Selling Point” is essentially what sets your business apart from the competition. This may be something that you’re already familiar with as a result of going through the process of setting the enterprise up but it’s helpful to define this in a single statement. The USP can feed into many different areas, from strategy to marketing and will be crucial for informing sales pitches and targeting sales strategy.

    3. Craft an elevator pitch

    An elevator pitch has a myriad of different uses – it’s essentially a short statement of what the business is and what it does. It comes from the idea that you should be able to pitch your business in the time it takes to ride the elevator. That means condensing down your statement of intent into somewhere around 30 seconds long. Once you become practiced at an elevator pitch you can use it for many different purposes when communicating about the business – crucially, it can be the foundation for opening a cold call or a sales pitch.

    4. Become a smart negotiator

    The best negotiators are not those who wipe the floor with the opposition but individuals who are able to make everyone feel like they have won when they walk away from the table. Good negotiation requires resilience and the ability to think quickly, to ask questions and understand what it is that is required to help close a sale. Smart negotiators are always well informed, about the products or services as well as the client or customer. They also understand the value of patience and compromise.

    5. Learn how to deal with objections

    Sales are not always easy to achieve and there may be a number of objections to overcome first. Identifying these in advance offers the opportunity to prepare responses to these objections so that they don’t derail the sale.

    There are a number of different elements involved in improving sales performance for small business owners. Our Introduction to Sales course provides the ideal foundation for those who are looking to expand and develop this particular skill set.


  2. What role does body language play in business?

    Whether you’re interacting with clients, or having a catch up with your team, your body language will say a lot about your thoughts and intentions. Many of us assume that the most powerful communication tool is the voice. However, repeated studies have shown that, in any kind of interaction, between 50% and 90% of the communication is actually non-verbal. So, while you might be saying all the right things, if your body language doesn’t support that you could be missing a valuable opportunity to communicate better.

    Body language can help to establish credibility

    Eye contact, for example, is one way that we often judge whether someone is honest and credible. Being able to hold eye contact is taken to indicate genuineness and trustworthiness whereas constantly looking away will create doubts in the mind of the other person about your intentions. The most effective eye contact is gentle – held, rather than staring – as this is viewed as a non-aggressive, genuine desire to connect.

    Mirroring can put others at ease

    We often mirror others’ postures or gestures when we like, or have connected with, them. And when someone does this to us it creates an instant sense of ease and openness. For example, sitting at the same level as someone you are about to have a difficult discussion with when you need their cooperation can create instant rapport.

    First impressions count

    The first time body language comes into play is when you’re face to face with someone at an initial meeting. Standing tall with shoulders back demonstrates confidence and ease whereas slumped posture could deliver the message that you’re uncomfortable or insecure. The handshake too is often a crucial piece of body language that can be used to make a great first impression. A firm handshake communicates sincerity but also the intention to step up and stand strong.

    Filling a space

    The way you position your body in a business meeting or interview could communicate a lot to the other people in the room. We are often encouraged to “take up space” but this should be cautiously done. If your body language indicates shrinking – for example, shoulders hunched, neck bent and arms tucked in – then you will certainly come across as lacking in confidence. However, resist the urge to get up and walk around or stretch out and take up room that could impede on others’ personal space. This rarely works as a negotiating tactic (it’s not the 1980s anymore) – it just conveys a lack of awareness and often-unwelcome aggressiveness.

    A hostile approach?

    Crossing arms or legs is often interpreted as a sign of hostility or defensiveness – or perhaps a lack of interest. This kind of body language can be a useful tool to indicate initial indifference – and later interest in – a topic if you change from crossed arms and legs to more open – but only if this is done consciously. If you just enjoy sitting with crossed legs but you don’t want to convey a negative message overall then you can balance the posture with openness in chest and arms.

    Excellent communicators know how to use non-verbal cues to their advantage in business. Our Body Language – The Hidden Secret of Communicating Successfully training course will enable you to learn how to improve the way you communicate without saying a word.

  3. Train the Trainer Unlocks Potential at Key Travel

    Train the TrainerTrain the Trainer a 1-day course has recently been delivered in-house to Key Travel.

    They are Europe’s leading travel management company dedicated to serving the travel requirements of the not-for-profit, academic and faith sectors. Their mission is to help organisations maximise the value of their travel budget and manage staff welfare through effective travel solutions.

    This Train the Trainer course has been designed to empower managers to assist and guide their team to their stated targets and beyond. Training, coaching and mentoring are all vital components in the make-up of a good manager and this course defines a structure and delivery style to a training programme which is going to be effective.

    Feedback from this Train the Trainer course from Key Travel attendees:

    I came away very positive and enthusiastic as came in feeling very under-experienced so feel I have come a long way in a day. – Ellie Lockwood, Key Travel
    This Train the Trainer course was really helpful and well delivered course. – Michaela Braddock, Key Travel
    Excellent. Enthusiastic trainer – constantly kept my attention which is a task! – Helen Shaw, Key Travel

    Train the Trainer Course Benefits:

    • Understand how successful training meets its objectives
    • Understand how learners gain from the training process
    • Enable the delegates to develop and prepare for training delivery
    • Increase the knowledge and skills of delegates
    • Practice the delivery of a programme
    • Widen their scope of knowledge of training opportunities

    More priase for PTP’s Train the Trainer course:

    Very well delivered by a very knowledgeable trainer. – Jacqueline O’Callaghan, Shell UK Cards
    Excellent training! – Hollie Lawson, ITV
    Learnt a lot of new ideas for improving my training presentations. – K Sapwell, Burberry
    Very helpful & useful. I’ve taken lots of techniques & tips away. Thank-you! – Karen Cusack, AWD Chase de Vere
    This Train the Trainer course was very useful and will improve my training abilities. – Michelle Peers, The Childrens Trust
    Really enjoyed the day – very informative & useful. – Paul Mackenzie, Sharp Interpack Ltd
    Very enjoyable. Thank-you. – Emma Coles, Space Engineering
    An excellent trainer, really enthusiastic and engaging. Perfect for this type of course. – Gemma Rice, National Friendly
    Very useful for future development of staff and my training techniques – Glyn Andrew, Arends International Ltd
    Excellent course. – Lindsay Wilson, Northern Light House Board
    Good practical examples. – Matthew Bradshaw, Catlin Underwriting
    Brilliant delivery, really enjoyed the training.– Susan Robson, Cummins Engine Company

  4. Sales Training Offer in Birmingham

    We are delighted to announce our very popular 1-day Successful Sales Presentation course running in Birmingham on 26th November has a 25% discount. Click here to view full course details.

  5. Project Management Training Offers in London from PTP

    PTP have the following project management training courses on special offer:

    Practical Project Management 2 days in London on 28th & 29th November 2013 now with 25% discount click here for more details

    Managing People on Projects in London on 28th January 2014 now with 20%  discount click here for more details

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.