Monday, 16 January 2012

Festival Masterclass in Body Language + 6 key aspects of Body Langauge in Selling - London Festival of Mime

The importance of non verbal communication in professional selling has been known for many years. It is important as much for us to ensure our body language is consistent with the message we are putting across to our buyer as trying to interpret their body language.

The  business books and courses advise us to  take into account Congruence by aligning both verbal messages and non verbal signals, Context of the situation and environment and Cluster of gestures. ( Scroll down for the six key behaviours)

Good Body language helps us build solid business relationships and trust with our buyer.

In addition to reading and attending workshops to keep up to date and refresh my technique in body language, I treat myself to a particular form of masterclass in body language by expert practitioners.

Each January in London we are particularly fortunate have a two week festival of the art body language with consummate artists performing at the London Festival of Mime ( now in its 45th year) as well as this year Cirque du Soleil, London with 'Totem' at the Royal Albert Hall.

These artists from all over the world show how humans can perfectly well communicate without words at all. Apart from the wonderful entertainment value they emphasise through the skills of mime and circus craft the power of body language.

On Sunday Jan 14th in the  afternoon I attended a matinee show by the  Baccala Clowns (Camilla Pessi + Simone Fassari) from Switzerland.
To some a ticket to a show ,
to others a certificate of attendance to a masterclass in Body language skills

 Their performance "PSS PSS" involves mime, juggling,  diabolo, acrobatics, trapeze, music and audience participation - all with no words sustained for over an hour.

In one sense the performance was like the stages of the journey of a ' sale'.

It was fully planned , researched with clear objectives - you can't do the acrobatics these two artists do without rehearsal.

Their purpose was  to entertain clearly through gesture. They knew how to keep our attention with interest peaks throughout the performance. So with a sale that must be paced with variety of stimuli to hold a buyer's attention throughout.

They questioned us through gestures and listened for and to our reactions just as we must do with clients.

 They came off the stage into the audience and involved the audience in both One on one encounters and in groups. Similarly in sales we must involve and engage our customer not simply talk at them.

Baccala Clowns showed us how conflict , co-operation, moderation and enthusiasm all need balance in both a physical and emotional sense.

Below are 6 behaviours relevant to selling that the Baccala clowns demonstrated with mastery.

They also knew how to close their show and leave us wanting more.

The London Festival of Mime runs from 11-29th January 2012 at various venues across London.

Go, watch, enjoy and Learn

Six key Sales Bootcamp bullets on Salespeople's  Body Language -  what to avoid  and what to portray to clients.

1. Lack of Interest

§Wandering eyes
§Rapid nodding
§Scratching, leaning on chin on hand, fiddling with pen, papers etc.
§Slouching, frequently changing position
2. Thoughtfulness and Interest
§Eye contact, 75% of time listening
§Tilting head
§Touching cheek, stroking chin, pinching nose, sucking specs
§Leaning forward to speak, leaning backward to listen, keeping still

3. Defensiveness

§Avoiding gaze, looking away

§Not smiling

§Clenched hands, folding arms, rubbing hands

§Leaning away, crossing legs, feet pointing away
4. Friendliness + Co-operation

§Looking at face

§Smiling, nodding

§Open hands, uncrossed arms, touching face occasionally

§Leaning forward, uncrossed legs, moving closer

5. Anxiety

§Rapidly blinking

§Licking lips, clearing throat

§Frequent opening and closing of hands, hand over mouth, ear tugging

§Fidgeting, leg jiggling, feet shuffling

6. Confidence

§No blinking, lots of eye contact

§Chin forward

§Hands behind back never touching face, steeplingingers

§Keeping still, sitting with legs stretched, sitting or standing straight

Wise Words

“A man’s gestures and postures provide a considerable demonstration of his dispositions and habits which sometimes as manifested in the most trivial actions…From outside appearances, from his gestures, words, movements, and the least externals, one can get to know the most important internal matters. That is where the saying comes from- to know someone from his face.”Aristotle, Ancient Greek Philosopher
From a old programme note in English National Opera’s Figaro’s wedding ( Marriage of Figaro)
Related links


Book review 'Body Language in Business'

Suggested Booklist
                        Title                 Author                                    Publisher       ISBN Number

                                                                                    and date

The definitive book of       Allan +  Barbara        Orion              0-75285-878-5

Body language                   Pease                         2004

People Watching                Desmond Morris       Vintage          0-099-42978-0

The Desmond Morris                                               1997,2002

Guide to Body Language

Gestures                               Roger E Axtell          Wiley              0-471-53672-5

The Do’s and TABOOS                                          1991

Of Body Language

around the world

Body Language Courses
Click for link for UK Bodytalk

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Planning for Success 2012 - Manchester UK -TACK International

Venue for TACK's North West January event "Planning for success 2012"

Friday 13th was a brave choice of date to invite today's busy executives to a taster event yet the response was great. Over thirty delegates from the North and North West travelled to the morning event in Manchester hosted by Sally Moore - TACK International's North West Supremo.

On arrival delegates got stuck into the Danish Pastries, Bacon Butties, teas and coffees to set themselves up for a packed morning's programme.
Sally Moore opening the North West Tack 'Aperitif' event to a packed room Radisson blu hotel Manchester Airport

Sally introduced the event with a welcome and brief introduction of the team from TACK -Carole Hudson Sales Director, Mike Davis, Jonathan ( Coxy) Cox, Dawn Lacey, Annushka ( Nushi) Stach, Steve Braid, Lindsey Byrne and Hugh Alford.

The delegates came from a wide range of industries and services both large and small in sectors as diverse as  Water Industry, Coatings manufacture, Software, Insurance . Some had travelled some distance from the east coast  venturing across the Pennines!

The first discussion topic centred around the challenges of retaining high potential and experienced selling talent which the conference set about with gusto.

Then the conference split off to sessions on Negotiating Skills  with Lindsey Byrne or a workshop on Giving Constructive feedback with Steve Braid.

Lindsey ran a great negotiating refresher illustrated with video clips, 'Mike Reid crackerjack run arounds' and even a negotiation case study role play masterfully packed into a 40 minutes time slot.
"Negotiation training maestro" Lindsey Byrne with Hugh Alford

After Coffee Break the delegates either attended a session delivered by Steve Braid and Nushi Stach entitled 'Play your  performance management cards right' or an open forum meeting on Sales leadership challenges.
Sir Brucie -aka Steve Braid and Nushi Stach - Playing your Performance Management cards right

The session also got to show TACK diverse approach to training. Steve and Nushi ran a session in a highly interactive way playfully adapting Bruce Forsyth "Play your Card rights TV Game" with serious learning embedded into the activity.

Hugh Alford - Open Forum Session on Sales Leadership in 2012

In the main room we ran a live poll using the pebble technology which enabled the room to benchmark themselves anonymously  with the results of  a recent TACK research Study,in  the manner of  a 'Who wants to be a millionaire' TV studio audience through a voting pebble system 

Hugh Alford facilitated  a wide ranging Open Forum session covering areas such as the relevance of Sales  Coaching today, Field Accompaniment, Recruitment, Communication with Sales teams, Sales Meetings.

The Classroom polling software was calmly controlled by 'cool as a cucumber' Dawn Lacey whose 'live' and deft mouse skills on the screen in front the audience made it look all deceptively easy.

We had wondered how much time delegates would need to make their selections on the pebbles which have response options for Yes or No, True or False, selections ABCD and numeric choice so we had a bell to advise delegates 'time up' but they were very quick to respond.

Following on from the Open Form Hugh Alford led a session on '20 +  ways to generate new business'.

The communication options in selling have changed due to the rise of Social Media with the likes of Linked In and Twitter.

 The group were mature enough to acknowledge that they would would recognise most of the ideas discussed but the real point was to search their souls and ask themselves that most difficult  of challenges to Sales managers and Sales people alike - Is it relevent? Do I do it? Should I do it more? Should I try it once again?
Delegates at TACKs  'Planning for Succes 2012' in deep discussion- sharing and exchanging ideas for new business generation
The views from the engaged audience were both passionate and considered about Sales leadership. There was a lot of wisdom and experience in the room plus an generosity of spirit to share and exchange ideas for new business generation.

All agreed to focus on their top five and monitor their progress in the future months of 2012.

TACK International North West - Sally Moore

Sally rounded off the morning with a session on the pros and cons of Networking  plus  a best practise brain storm finishing with a fun 'let's practise it exercise - introduce yourself to three people you have not had a chance to meet in the audience."
All departed with a 'goodies bag' plus the TACK  methodology of ideas learnt today to be used tomorrow

Let's practise our networking skills - delegates at TACK North West  event 'Planning for Success 2012"

Special Event

If you are looking for fresh ideas for your sales plans for 2012 why not apply to the Managing Sales Workshop hosted by Croydon Chamber of Commerce

Thursday 16 February 2012, 9.15am - 11.30am
Jurys Inn, Wellesley Road, Croydon, CR0 9XY
Cost: Complimentary to Premier Plus & Local members / £20.00 to non-members

 Related links

Sally Moore - TACK -North West

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Rebalancing 2012 UK economy through Great Selling- UK Car Sales show us the way!

 The UK Prime Minister said  * "I don't want to pull the wool over people's eyes - It is a difficult year, it is a testing year," 
* from an interview conducted on BBC Radio 4 Today Programme on Friday 6th David Cameron talked about re balancing the economy. 

The  BBC interviewer Evan Davis was a little over eager to get his views across in contradicting  and challenging the Prime Minister and tended to talk over the Prime Minister rather .

 Luckily with the help of BBC I player you repeat parts of the interview where Davis talked over the PM to get hold of what the Prime Minister said.

David Cameron Interview on 6th January BBC Radio 4 Today Programme (3.24 min into interview)

Mr. Cameron defended the use of his use of veto at the EU summit and described the problems across the Euro zone of many of the UK's customers whom the UK has to sell to- had the semblance of a "cold chill".

When asked by Evan Davis on what 'Good News' there was for British business in 2012, the Prime Minister mentioned that

"..because the UK has got a plan to combat our excessive deficits and debts and because that plan has confidence in it ,our interest rates are low, lower than many other countries in Europe and that frankly is the best stimulus we can give to our economy. "

"The fact that households , businesses and Governments can borrow cheaply is vitally important."
He stated that the Government was re balancing the economy  away from Government spending , borrowing from financial services, consumption and towards export, business investment manufacturing and making things again right across the country.

He conceded that this re balancing is not going as far and as fast as the Government wanted it to do.
 David Cameron then illustrated a number  of  Government’s initiative to help the economy including:-
  • The Greater Manchester Enterprise Zone
  • The drive for more apprenticeships worked based learning
  • The cut in corporation tax
  • UK  export success to India and China.
In the retail arena he mentioned  both Waitrose's expansion plans and the new  factory of brand leader Burberry at Pontefract, Yorkshire.
 He also referred to many instances of supply chain returning to onshore.
The most significant success has been the recovery of the UK automotive industry
I confess if you had challenged me to answer who was the

UK’s biggest car exporter ? I would not have said Nissan but

they are. Nissan's Sunderland factory is expected to be a

major supplier of cars as the company continues to ramp up

its European  dealer network, adding some 1,000 new

dealerships between 2006 and 2014 in an effort to overtake


Business secretary, Vince cable said last year during a  dinner hosted by SMMT that " Eleven of the global volume manufacturers have bases here, backed by 19 of the world's top 20 suppliers.
In 2011 alone:

Industry car production in the UK moved up to an estimated 1.35 million cars, representing strong growth over the last two years, through the overall figure remains well below the peak.

Bentley sales bounced back to levels last achieved before the credit crunch.

Rolls Royce sales hit best ever in its 107 years of business.

Many congratulations to all at Rolls Royce but especially those involved in selling from fruitsofsuccesswithugh.blogspot

In 2011, Rolls sold 3,538 cars. Sales at the BMW luxury brand rose by 31%.

The market for Rolls -Royce models grew particularly fast in Germany and Russia, where sales more than doubled last year.

Sales in the Asia pacific area grew by 47% while in the Middle East rose by 23%.

Jaguar Land Rover announced their plans to build a £700.000 super car with Williams F1 and to invest hundreds of millions of pounds in a new manufacturing facilities, creating hundreds of jobs.

Opel/Vauxhall stated it would produce its next Vivaro in Luton.

Formula 1 company McLaren started anew road car division complete with a new factory.

    Aston Martin announced it would produce its Toyota iQ based city cygnet.

    MG announced plans to design, engineer and construct its new MG6 in the UK.
    BMW announced an additional £500 m investment in its Mini and engine plants.

Toyota announced plans to build its new Auris in the UK

CPP Global holdings sad it would build the Jensen Interceptor in the West Midlands.

The Government expects the motor industry to help with the re balancing of the UK economy.

2011 saw the UK attract an impressive level of investment, with global vehicle manufacturers committing in excess of £4bn to plants and facilities which it is thought will secure future model production and employment. 

Despite the uncertainty within the euro-zone, there is a real confidence  in the future of the UK automotive manufacturing.

It is considered that it will make an increasing contribution to exports, economic growth and employment  in future years.

Related Links

 ecovelocity low carbon cars exhibition

UK Government No 10 website

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders

Monday, 9 January 2012

3 ways to retain your high potential and talented Salespeople

Your most valuable resource in Sales is your sales people.

 At the beginning of 2012 with its uncertain challenges it is worth considering how best to retain and develop your best potential and talent within your team. Here are three areas worth considering
  1. Actively Manage your talent
  2. Recruiting mature salespeople and those returning to work after maternity
  3. Outsourcing your sales recruitment or Do it yourself ( DIY) 
1.    Actively Manage your talent

Sales organisations are more complex today.

There is a greater amount of segmentation and specialisation.

Today’s organisations feature global, strategic, major, territory and industry specific account development roles.

Successful attributes in one role will not necessarily equate to success in another.

Careful consideration and investment in selection tools is a trend among many top performing sales organisations. Consider the engagement matrix below:-

‘Work to their strengths.’ is an old management adage but worth working on.
 It’s easier to get your team cruisers , performers, joggers and  stars doing 100 % or 120 % above target to improve their performance than getting someone from 40 %t to100 %.
Your stars are more focused and tend not get involved in office politics or distractions.

 Star Salespeople who can reach 120%  of the plan can get to 140% or 150 % more easily.

“There’s a tendency to leave those achieving 120 % alone. Best practise  suggests don’t. Instead coach them. You'll get more out of them.”
So with good negotiators whose strengths are in negotiating get more out of them by investing in negotiating  training.

At Planning for Success 2012 Negotiation skills specialist

 Lyndsey Byrne’s session will cover
    -          Avoiding the key mistakes made in negotiations
    -          Practise using the top tips of negotiation
    -          Receiving feedback on your negotiation style
“Low turnover in your sales force is not necessarily a measure of success.”
 Some sales managers need to release more people out and introduce more new people in while others should focus on keeping their top performers improving deal after deal.
In retaining sales talent, sales managers need to know
·         who their top performers are and

·          specific areas where they can help them develop their abilities.

One way of evaluating performance is through an organisational assessment and coaching. At Planning for Success 2012Coaching specialist  ( see left) Steve Braid’s session on Seven Steps to Constructive Feedback will cover

-          Observing negative, destructive, positive and constructive feedback through an interactive exercise

-          Learning how to use the seven step constructive feedback model
-          Thinking about situations on where to apply the seven step constructive feedback model back in the workplace (planning, preparation and delivery)

Such skills create a constructive dialogue between salespeople and their managers, alignment on corporate strategy and objectives, and identifies developmental priorities. The results help clearly identify any disconnection between the salesperson and the sales manager, and even the sales manager and sales leadership.

One of the key issues that sales teams face is the number of sales managers who were formerly excellent salespeople. While some of the attributes to be successful as a salesperson transfer well, it doesn’t always mean their becoming a successful manager.

Investing to make sure that their sales managers understand how to coach vs. sell; how to manage a sales pipeline  from an organisational vs. individual point of view; and how to lead their teams effectively through both internal and external challenges of 2012.

At Planning for Success Sales training Maven, Hugh Alford 20+ Ways to Generate New Business for your 2012 Plans will cover
-          Where are the opportunities and how best to exploit them in 2012?

-          How to protect  and expand your existing client business

-          An A-Z of prospecting in a recession 20 +Prospecting and new business generating Ideas for your plans for 2012

2.    Recruiting mature salespeople and those returning to work after maternity.

In the past many sales managers have been resistant to hiring older workers.

 Former salespeople returning to the workforce after maternity, second career people – and they can be valuable to a sales force.

Go back a decade and  Sales managers were overpopulating their sales forces with young people

But today there is a severe shortage of young people demanding a sales careers.

The average age is early to mid 30s. And there’s a shortage of talent. Therefore it’s crucial for organisations to look at and consider the more experienced people – people in their second careers, for example. There is a tremendous source of talent  among experienced workers. You might remember that rther provocative survey from last year...

Some sales managers claim “A good salesperson can sell anything” There are exceptions such as highly technical products and services.

Recruiting experienced salespeople from outside one’s industry makes good business sense and it’s a practise that’s growing. Plus, there may be less training costs involved.

3.    Outsourcing  your sales recruitment or Do it yourself ( DIY)

HR departments have embraced the concept of outsourcing these services and have found a reduction in overhead costs and a competitive edge in the talent market.

More organisations are beginning to accept recruitment outsourcing because there is a measurable return on investment.

Recruitment costs an employer from between 25 % to 30 % of a candidate’s first year salary to the recruiter.

More sales managers have been using Linked In as a recruiting source. So specialist recruiters need to offer differentiated advantages to sales managers using social media like Linked In.
At Planning for success 2012 Management Training  high energy professional Nushi Stach’s session  Play Your Performance Management Cards Right will cover

-          The five key stages of the performance review process with advanced questioning and listening techniques

-          Managing different people types in the performance review
-          Coaching and different coaching techniques

 Sally Moore, Tack’s North West Regional Director with TACK researcher Hugh Alford will hold an open forum session on the challenges of Sales leadership supported with data from the latest TACK research study. TACK will also be running live polls at the event.