Category Archives: travel

Developing a value proposition

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It all starts with your value proposition

Whatever you’re selling, and whoever you’re selling it to, it is vital that you have a value proposition to discuss.  So, what is a value proposition, and why is it so flipping important when it comes to sales?

According to the definition on Wikipedia (the hub of all knowledge, apparently)

A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered and acknowledged and a belief from the customer that value will be appealed and experienced. A value proposition can apply to an entire organization, or parts thereof, or customer accounts, or products or services.

In essence, this comes back to that old salesy question “what’s in it for me” – ie what can you offer to that prospect that will, in some way improve their existence.   Understanding what your product/service does, what benefits it can bring is vital in not only encouraging the prospect to want to continue the conversation with you but also in terms of helping to build your belief in that product/service.   After all, if you don’t believe in it, how is the prospect supposed to?

By understanding the benefits your product/service can bring, you’ll not only be in possession of a stronger introduction but also will be more easily able to handle any questions that arise and effectively deal with any objections, without searching around the recesses of your brain for answers.

A value proposition can often boil down to one of two things

  1. Reducing costs
  2. Improving service/efficiency

So, dig deep, ask yourself lots of questions about the product/service you’re selling – boil it down to one simple sentence (often referred to as your “elevator pitch” – practice it until it sounds natural, using your own terminology and references particular to that industry.   And believe in it!

Prospects don’t like change – hence the amount of “we’re happy with our current supplier” objections that we all undoubtedly experience.   Value can help to drive change.   The greater the value you can bring, the lower the resistance to change.

Ask yourself, what value can I bring and how can I most effectively communicate that.  Keep it simple! And keep it valuable!

And, if you feel this advice would be useful to anyone you know, please share and subscribe – we’d love you to keep in touch!

Happy calling

Dan

Dan Smith 
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
Maypole Fields
Cradley
Halesowen
B63 2QB
T:01384 566 078
W: www.inspired-bd.com

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Using audio books to train yourself in the car

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Let me start by saying I have nothing against radio 2 or indeed against any other radio stations.  Personally I’ve not yet graduated to radio 4 (I’m 40 next year so maybe that’ll happen overnight) but, radio is a wonderful medium and still the only form of broadcast media that you can ingest whilst doing something else.

Essentially, over my working life I’ve spent an awful lot of time sitting in my car.     I spent several years out on the road in Field Sales and would often spend 6 or 7 hours a day tootling around the UK’s vast and often congested road network.    Even now, although I work in an office monday to friday I’m still frequently out on the road, driving to work, taking my son to and from school or meeting with clients and, traditionally, throughout all of this “dead” time I’ve listened to the radio or to music through my ipod.

But, a few months ago I came to realise that I could be using that time in a far better manner, not just to transport myself from point A to point B whilst listening to the Frozen soundtrack (yes, I admit it – and I often sing along).

Initially I started downloading podcasts – there’s thousands out there that cover every subject imaginable, most of which are free.   My personal favourites are The Tim Ferris show , Brendan Burchard’s The Charged Life and Dr Drew Stephens Sales Gravy:Sales Fitness .

And, as of this week, I’ve set up a one months trial of Audible – a subscription based Audio book service run by Amazon – so now I can listen to entire books during my journeys.

It’s worth noting that I have no financial incentives to promote any of these services, I’ve just found them very interesting and extremely useful so thought I’d share my recommendations.

So, the bottom line is that now, rather than driving around listening to disney soundtracks or the sound of middle Britain complaining to Jeremy Vine, I can arrive at my destination more knowledgeable, more motivated and with a vastly improved state of mind – all key ingredients to being a brilliant leader and a highly effective salesperson.

So, don’t waste that time – until they’ve effectively invented teleportation we’ll all be driving or sitting on public transport for a long while just yet – get downloading, get listening and get more brilliant (I realise the phrase more brilliant doesn’t quite work but, so what!)

Happy listening!

Dan

Dan Smith 
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
Maypole Fields
Cradley
Halesowen
B63 2QB
T:01384 566 078
W: www.inspired-bd.com

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Getting over the holiday blues

blues

For the benefit of my US readers, when I say “holiday” I mean “vacation” although this could apply to “holiday” meaning “christmas” as much as it could to “vacation” meaning “holiday”.   Confused?  Yes, me too.

Anyway I’ve recently returned from a very enjoyable 2 week holiday in Turkey and whilst there are elements of my batteries that feel fully recharged I have to say that the first couple of days back have been nothing short of a struggle.  In fact I feel like I need a holiday to get over it.

For me, the biggest issue I have is taking it easy when I return.  My mind is racing with a million and one things that need doing, both in the business and in my personal/home life and, combined with the inevitable reflection that occurs when I’m just sitting around a pool reading for 2 weeks I tend to return with big plans and a head bursting with ideas and urgency.

Couple that with tiredness and the awkward readjustment into working life and I often find that unless I take a step back I could quite easily burn myself out before I’ve even got back into the swing of things.

So, to both help myself and the rest of you out there that might be suffering with the post holiday blues, here are 5 tips to help you cope

1 – Prioritise your tasks.    Write a list of all the things that need doing – split them up into work and home/personal and mark them in order of importance.  Rome wasn’t built in a day – in fact I don’t know how long it took to build but there was still scaffolding around some of the buildings when I visited a couple of years ago so I’m guessing it was more than a week.   Tackle them in a sensible order over a sensible timescale.  If some of those tasks involve big life changes, break them down further, do a little bit at a time and don’t try to do too much.

2 – Get back into your normal sleep pattern.  Even if you’ve only travelled a short distance on your holidays, chances are you’ll have been keeping different hours on holiday than you normally would – late nights drinking aren’t compatible with an effective working life so, look after yourself and rest

3 – Remember that work is your choice – You can’t go on holiday without the money to pay for it and you can’t have the money to pay for it without working so, remind yourself that it’s your choice to work – nobody’s holding a gun to your head, you work to earn the money to pay for the things you enjoy so, if you’re feeling depressed about being back at work, remind yourself why you’re doing it.    If your holiday has given you the opportunity to reflect on your current work situation and led you to believe that you’re really not happy there, take positive steps to find alternative employment.

4 – Allow yourself time to recover.   Going back to work the day after you return from holiday is a recipe for disaster.  If you have sufficient holiday allowance, give yourself another couple of days off, that way you can not only get all of your home based tasks out of the way, you’ll be returning to work far more rested and positive than if you hauled yourself back in several hours after you’ve stepped off the plane.

5 – Make positive changes.   There will be many things from your holiday way of life that you don’t necessarily do whilst back at home.   For me, I’ve really enjoyed reading more, have not missed television one bit (particularly the news) and have only checked my social media profiles (particularly facebook) once a day at most.   Those small changes have really helped me to improve my mindset now I’m back home and, whilst I can’t make a change as drastic as “sit around a swimming pool sipping gin and tonic more often”  I have found that these 3 small changes have really improved my post holiday life.   A holiday has given me the opportunity to really notice the negative impact that not reading enough and spending too much time watching TV and checking facebook has had on my life and I’m glad to say I’m still maintaining those habits several weeks after returning to my normal life.

And, if all else fails, book another holiday then at least you’ve got that to look forward to!

Happy (post) holidays!

Dan

Dan Smith 
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
Maypole Fields
Cradley
Halesowen
B63 2QB
T:01384 566 078
W: www.inspired-bd.com

 

 

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