Friday, 3 February 2012

Selling around the world - Spotlight on Selling in Ireland after An Tíogar Ceilteach

In this series of posts ( FOSWH)  interviews sales trainers and businesspeople across the world. Their ‘on-the-spot’ experience and insight into selling  in the countries they work in , is interesting and authoritative.

This post focuses on the state of Selling in Ireland.

Peter Byrne ( PB) is a  TACK colleague and experienced trainer. (Scroll down for contact details)

FOSWH:           Ireland has a worldwide reputation for business but how is Professional Selling regarded in Ireland right now?

PB:                   “The approach to Professional Selling in Ireland is very much driven by the sector one operates in and the product or service provided.

 For example in professional services the approach to selling is focused on relationship selling. The ability to network effectively is essential, if you are out of sight you are out of mind.
The same applies to Financial Services, however this is changing and only in the past week I received two cold calls from Bank Managers canvassing my business!

In essence each sector operates differently, some will use relationship based selling, some solution selling and others more traditional product / service based selling (to name but a few).”

FOSWH:           What do you see as the top three challenges for salespeople in  Ireland throughout the rest of 2012?

PB:                   The business landscape has changed significantly since the global economic downturn. Ireland has been particularly challenged, however there is still business to be done and sales to be made.

Firstly todays salesperson needs to be very disciplined with their planning and targeting.

Secondly they must leverage all their skills to focus on customer/ client requirements and clearly demonstrate how they can deliver value.

Thirdly they must continue hunting for new business opportunities.

FOSWH :          Peter,  To what extant have LinkedIn, You tube, Twitter and Blogs ( Social media) been taken up by the B2B market in Peter?

PB:                    From a business perspective LinkedIn seems to have taken hold in the market. This is used as a networking tool and also for very targeted advertising. Potential customers and suppliers are also using it to research member background information. Twitter is more a social tool and the moment.

FOSWH:           What if any are the current effects of the Euro to Sales within Ireland?

PB:       As a member of the Euro there has obviously been great uncertainty regarding the currency’s' future. However as a country we are still receiving record Foreign Direct Investment and experiencing continued export growth.

FOSWH:           As a Sales Trainer within Ireland what training methods go down particularly well in Ireland?

PB:                   People always like to deal with the challenges they face in their roles. Therefore TACK Ireland always works with clients to ensure the most relevant examples and case studies are used in conjunction with our training content. Making training relevant to them, their business and their sector is always well received and dare I say it highly effective.

FOSWH:           In your view over the last ten years what has  been happening with  regard to field coaching by Sales Managers in Ireland? 

PB                      From what I have seen and experienced with clients the Celtic Tiger * resulted in the development some very bad habits in sales people and management. Due to the levels of growth and business many sales people became order takers and customer problem solvers.

Focus on coaching from the sales manager has been minimal.
"Today sales people have changed their behaviour and are back "selling". However I do not think that sales coaching has moved with this."

  Whilst coaching in general has grown in Irish business coaching by Sales Managers has not developed to the extent that it needs to.

(* Celtic Tiger is a term used to describe the economy of Ireland during the period of rapid economic growth between 1995 and 2007. The expansion underwent a severe reversal from 2008 with GDP contracting by 14%  and unemployment levels rising to 14% by 2010.
Moody's proceeded to downgrade Ireland's government bond ratings to junk in mid-2011.)

FOSWH:           Over the last 10 years what changes in business dress and appearance have you noticed in Ireland?

PB:                  I don't think we are different to any country in the sense that general business dress has changed and is varied depending on sector. However in sales it is still quite formal and at the very least smart casual.

FOSWH:           What is your favourite sales tip you like to share with delegates in Ireland?

PB:                    From my perspective the most important tips are the simplest:

 effective sales people always
  •  plan and prepare;
  • want to understand their customers business
  •  and they  use their ears and mouth in the same proportions that God gave them ! 

 Peter Byrne can be contacted on TACK International Training Ireland

Related Link

Selling around the world Spotlight on Germany


  1. Thanks, Hugh and Peter!
    Little differences between Ireland and Germany make the cross cultural co-operation interesting and successful for the clients - and for us, too. :-)

    1. Udo's interview about selling in Germany will be published next week -- Watch this space!