The Course Itself
The location was Bolton, so that was convenient as it's only 20 minutes from our studio. It consisted of 2 days, food and drink provided. There were 12 people on this course and the majority were business owners, a few were sales people or account managers.
I entered the room and was instantly made to feel at home by the trainer, Ali. I introduced myself to the others and felt comfortable. It didn't feel like a sales training course (or at least what I expected it to look and feel like).
Day One was a mixture of theory and activities between the group. The room was full of different businesses from different industries from; Web Design to Freight Forwarding, IT, Contract Cleaning, Engineering, Commercial Dealership, to Recruitment. Ali (the trainer) explained processes and theories behind human behaviour and how people buy from people. The more she talked, the more I thought - actually, what I'm doing here at Shape is right. I build relationships with clients, give them a great service, listen to them and actually care about them and their business. We discussed winning contracts, how to manage them, and how to keep the business if something goes wrong. Because at the end of the day, sometimes things can go wrong - whether it be human error, a mistake or misunderstanding - but it's how you react to it that matters. Useful tips on how to close a sale were very useful for me, especially listening too other people around the room and how they do it differently to me.
Day Two was much of the same in terms of process. We were given tasks to work on in groups so it got us talking, thinking about our own businesses but also listening to other Directors’ problems and solutions to see if that can relate to our own companies.
From my point of view, Ali's whole thought process made sense. She explained that sales has always been, and always will be about people. There's a certain degree of formality in occasions, but if you're going to go and buy a new phone - more than likely, you won't buy that phone if you don't like that sales person. Even if the price is right, you'll be turned off - and you know that you can just go into another shop down the road. Whereas if that sales person was nice, friendly, offered honest advice, gave a great solution to your problem but was a little bit more expensive than Bob down the road, you'd at least consider handing over your money.
My whole ethos for Shape is to do a great job for a client, and they will give you more work. That's all well and good providing a nice website that performs well, but if they don't like dealing with me or my team - it would be the beginning of the end of that client relation. Maybe this is a good time to throw in a link to our testimonials page.... yeh I think so, here you go - watch this pretty client testimonial video from Inside Out Contracts.