Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Should our family values or personal values differ from business values? #TheNewDay

Should our family values or personal values differ from business values?

‘Do as I say, not as I do’ has been a mantra on morals and ethics for years from the older generation ( parents) to the younger. It may be realistic , even practical, but is essentially hypocritical and in some cases most unjust.

People often describe their behaviour changes in life as wearing different hats. E.g. wearing my ‘parent’s hat,  my ‘work hat’, my ‘manager’s hat’. In the early days of social media salespeople would wear a business hat and use Linked in and the personal hat on Facebook.

Millennials tended to conflate the personal and commercial from the start. Indeed being suited or booted for work is less so today. Even uniformed male baristas in the coffee chains may disport the corporate T shirt still wear their work jeans below the hips to model their favoured branded underpants.

A survey of modern manners revealed in the New Day newspaper the results of a survey commissioned by Beko – the Turkish owned white goods manufacturers. 2,000 British families were studied.

76% said having good table manners.  66% not talking with your mouth full ? 58% Washing your hands before eating. 46% No gadgets on the table  Does that still hold true in lunch meetings ?

73% being honest and truthful What would be the % in the business environment  I wonder?

69% respecting your elders? In our business era of the Internet age does such deference still exist ?

i-weekend number 1658 and
new kid on the block issue 15 of The New Day
43% being a team player. How important is it in business to be a team player. A salesperson is expected to collaborate with sales support and co workers yet is set in competition against others through individual targets set by management.

40 % Looking someone in the eye.  In Sales the importance of trust between buyer and seller

38% Thank you emails (for presents)  How good are our thanks you in the office, at meetings with clients.

Saturday's edition of the i weekend had a quote of Oscar Wilde that seems pertinent

"I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world"

Why is Donizetti's Dr Dulcamara so successful at selling ? Buffo but not a buffoon Opera's master of human motivation

One of the better known salesmen from the world of Opera will be once again doing the rounds this year in opera houses across the world.
 From a quick search on Google, we can track down Donizetti’s Dr Dulcamara in 'L'eslir d'amore  in Philadelphia USA, at the Vienna Staatoper , in London and rural Leicestershire in the UK and even down-under in Western Australia.

 ( No doubt other productions are also available during 2016)

Gaetano Donizetti’s comic Opera’s stereotypical ‘snake oil’ salesman is actually selling ordinary wine. 

Yet this Buffo role requires the singer to be a believable seller to the characters on stage even if we , in the audience can see through his ‘pitch’ .

He is the larger than life itinerant salesman character.

Yet he has much to teach us - even if at first we laugh at his sales spiel at work on the stage from the comfort of our seats.

Dulcamara's character itself was based on an earlier opera character Doctor Fontanarose a charlatán, vendedor ambulante de medicinas  from Eugène Scribe's libretto of  French composer Daniel Auber’s Opera "Le philtre "(the potion)  which opened a year before Donizetti's opera. Donizetti wrote his masterpiece in six weeks

Watching the opera we are made to feel safe and superior onlookers to Dulcamara's skills in sales and marketing. 

As onlookers from the auditorium we look down on those foolish villagers in the Basque village as they are drawn in to Dulcamara's sales pitch . 

Our self satisfied superiority is re-enforced by the leading soprano character Adina a wealthy landowner who does not realise or admit that she loves her hapless and besotted lover Nemorino ( tenor solo). She also has little time for Dr Dulcamara and like us not so gullible.

Yet why is this travelling medicine salesman so persuasive? 

 OK we find out the elixir is just cheap Bordeaux but why is everyone taken in ?

Well both he or more truthfully Donizetti, I believe, have much to teach us about human nature and the craft of selling. We maybe be laughing at the credulous villagers but I feel Donizetti is laughing at us through Dr Dulcamara.

 We can all be taken in. We are humans and we are gullible. We are often more emotionally driven than rationally driven.

To opera lovers the character of Dr Dulcamara can be conventionally  pigeon holed as a lovable rogue, a cad and a swindler.  

Dulcarama is prepared with a host of great tunes and the "gift of the gab", which make him irresistible to us.

On the surface we might just think that his arrival is simply to roll up and make a fast back

Dulcamara's arrival is heralded by a trumpet fanfare. (Perhaps we can hear resonances of Donald Trump's rolling show to be the Republicans' candidate for the next president. )

There are lots of 10 minute You tube clips you can download but before you watch  and enjoy it sung , why not take a look at the English translation and see how the  presentation skills of sales and marketing are deftly conveyed albeit from a comedic perspective.

His aria is a patter song but within  let's examine the text and take a closer  look . I have added in brackets some of his skills which we may still recognise today.

NB I don't for one minute suggest we copy Dr Dulcamara's  lack of ethics and lawbreaking but just take a look at his communication  technique.

" Listen, listen, o villagers    
Don’t breathe a word of this to anyone.                            

Asking folk to keep a secret- special knowledge
 especially for you. Ahead of the market 

I already suppose and imagine   
Heralding your arrival has always been part
 of Marketing profession Such as these Circus Posters

 (The importance of an attention getter -The trumpet heralding his arrival has done its work presaging the main act )

That  you know as well as I
That I am that grand,
 ( But just in case, this who I am ! Repeating your name to your clients is helpful)
Encyclopaedic doctor
Called Dulcamara,

Whose illustrious virtue                                                       
And infinite wonders
Are known in all the world...and in other places.            
  ( Assure them as a trusted adviser, a partner . Telling is not selling. Develop a relationship)

Benefactor of mankind,                                                      
(This is what I do - an elevator pitch benefit shared)
Curer of ills,
In a little while I will have cleared out                             
  (These are the problems I solve)
And swept away the hospitals,                                          

  (There's one hell of a claim to catch their attention.  Would this get Health secretary Jeremy Hunt's attention today I wonder  ! :) )

Selling health
And travelling the world over.
Buy it, buy it,                                                                       

( "Roll up, Roll up" Gather round)

I’ll give it to you for a small price.                                  

  ( The Value. The Cost  .A bargain)
( How about this for a list of  sales benefits!)

It’s this toothache medicine                                                 
Marvellous liquor,                                                              

(Colgate Palmolive must be quaking in their                                                                                              boots  !)

The mighty destroyer                                                            

(  A Vermin eradicator the Pest Control Industry must be worried !)
Of mice and bugs,

Whose certificates,                                                                
authentic and labelled,       
(Verbal proof, testimonies , third part  reference  all to COSH standards ISO etc -probably not )
(Deft use of samples and sales aids/literature)

I will allow each of you         
To touch, see and read.
This is my speciality,
A lovely wonder.

('White paper' case study - proof of claim)

A man, in his seventies                                                        
And sickly,
Yet became
The grandfather of ten babes.
Well, ten to twenty babes
he had,
Because of this touch and health
In a brief week
It did more than cease
His crying affliction.

O all of you, stiff matrons,                               
( The Power of Questions to attract attention
Pushing the hot button of your prospects)
Do you yearn to be rejuvenated?

(It's an anti wrinkle cream as well)

Your inconvenient wrinkles                                               
Will be erased with this.

Do you want, damsels,                                                       
 (it's a moisturiser and skin care treatment  'because you are worth it' - Oreal)
To have smooth skin?

You, young gallant men,                                                    
( It's an aphrodisiac , sex sells etc.)
To always have lovers?
Buy my speciality,
I’ll give it to you for a small price                                  

  ( Although a speciality product - a good price)

   (Whatever it is the global  Pharma companies                                                                  must be very worried.  Just take a look all these  clinical  solutions :) )
It moves the paralytics,                                                     
despatches apoplectics,
It cures tympanitis
And tuberculosis and rickets,
And even liver trouble,
Which used to be fashionable.                                          

(Talk about "a one stop shop "! )
Buy my speciality,
I’ll give it to you for a small price.
I brought it by post
From a thousand miles away
You ask me: How much is it?
How much is that bottle worth?
100 scudi?... 30?... 20?

No...nobody shall be dismayed.
To prove to you my gladness
That I am accepted as a friend,   
(Relationship management writ large and  laid on thick ! )
I want from you, O good people,
To give 1 scudo.                                                              

  (A BARGAIN    )           
Here it is: stupendous,
Truly balsamic elixir
All of Europe knows that I sell                                       
 ( Internationally accepted , track record)
Nothing under 10 lire:            
( Tracker Benchmark positioning and  pricing)
But since it is also clear
That I was born in this country,     
(Loyalty , sentiment and nationality sells )
I’ll give it to you for 3 lire,
I ask only 3 lire:
It is as clear as the sun,                                                  
(Persuasive word picture)
That to everyone who wants it,
1 scudo, nice and neat
I’ll put in my pocket.
Ah! The sweet affection of home
Can do great miracles.

For all our cynicism we are swept up both by the fabulous music, the skill of the Baritone Singer spitting out the words like a machine gun.

As in Chaucer’s Cook’s tale  from the Monk’s story   "Ful ofte in game a sooth I have herd saye!". (Many a true word is said in jest)  Similarly there is truth to be found in Dr Dulcamara's  famous aria in what ever language it is sung.

Related Links

Dr Dulcamara can be found singing (and selling) around the world this 2016

Nevill Holt Opera 2016 summer season on June 25 at St Jude's Hampstead , London

Wiener Staatsoper 10.06.2016 - 13.06.2016

Opera Philadelpia  April 29 May1, 4, 6 and 8  at Academy of Music Broad and Locust Streets, Philadelphia, PA

Western Australia Opera  His Majesty's Theatre 14, 16, 19, 21, 23 July

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

7 ways of Using Your Mobile Smartphone in Selling

In meetings, in the car, at business lunches, answering someone else’s mobile, in public places, taking photographs and company policy (yours and theirs).

Many salespeople find themselves ‘on message’ 24-7 with their business mobile phones nowadays.

The dilemma is that whilst mobile phones have proved a blessing to busy salespeople on the move, if used inappropriately, they can be highly annoying and disruptive. So it’s important to practice good etiquette in terms of what you should and shouldn't’t do when considering using your mobile phone when with a client or colleagues out ‘in the field’.

In fact, rude or improper use of a mobile phone can cost you considerably when it comes to business and many a deal has been called off because of things like meetings constantly being interrupted by a person making or taking a mobile call.

Here are 7 situations to reflect upon when considering using your mobile in business.

1. In Sales Meetings – update your voicemail message

If you are in a meeting, ensure that your mobile is switched off or its ring tone put on silent during the meeting. Don’t be tempted to put it on vibrate and leave it in your pocket. If it vibrates, that could be heard by other participants in the meeting which is just as likely to be as annoying, if not more so, than listening to a ring tone.

Don’t answer or make calls or text or respond to texts during a meeting. In fact, a good habit to get into before you go into a meeting is to ask yourself,

“Do I really need to take my mobile phone into this meeting with me?”

If you can’t answer that positively, then you should probably switch it off.
Even if your mobile is on silent, don’t leave it out on the table during a meeting. Meetings are part and parcel of business with colleagues and clients. You’re not going to lose business just because you can’t make or receive a call for an hour or so.

Better still, I notice some of my colleagues update their voicemail message stating that that are currently in a meeting and therefore, they can’t take calls but that they’ll return any calls as soon as the meeting is over. It is something I am going to start doing.

I f you have absolutely no choice but to take a particular call during a meeting, have the courtesy to explain and forewarn your buyer(s) before you start, then when you receive a call discreetly excuse yourself from the room.

As a courtesy to those whose meeting you have left tell your caller that you are with people so you will have to keep their call brief.

When answering a call always state your name so that your caller knows they’ve reached the right person. “Hello this is Hugh” or “Hugh speaking” will be sufficient.

If someone has caught you at an inconvenient time, politely tell them so, and that you will call them back later don’t put them before what you are presently involved with doing unless it’s absolutely necessary.

2. When receiving a call hands free in the car – look no hands!

If you are driving along with other colleagues or clients and have your phone on hands free * (note point 7 on company policy below), make sure that you tell the caller that you are with other people in the car as they may prefer to call you when it is more private.

Hands free speaker phone modes often have slight delays in conversation which can make the conversation sound mannered or distorted which might be disconcerting as well as causing you or the caller to miss hearing some important information.

3. Business Lunches – if you are ‘doing lunch’ – Do Lunch!

You should treat a business lunch as if it were a meeting. Often it is the case where business is being conducted albeit in an informal out of office setting. So don’t take calls in the middle of a business lunch.

(Even Debretts “Etiquette and Modern Manners” apparently suggests you leave your mobile at the reception desk of the restaurant where the ‘Maitre d’ can call you away if it is urgent. Not sure I would be happy to leave my phone at reception in some of the places I have to eat or even have a Maitre d !)

4. Answering someone else’s mobile – who am I speaking to?

I f you have been asked to answer a colleague’s phone make sure you answer it something on the line “ Hi Jo’s phone . This is Hugh”. Unlike an office or switchboard number the caller expects the number (s)he is calling is going to be the owner of the mobile.

5. In public places – careless talk costs business

Nowadays I do a lot of travel on trains and planes. I am always amazed how indiscreet salespeople are when speaking on their mobile phone in such public arenas. In the past few weeks I have heard details of itemised ‘day’s takings’ for a nationwide change of retail outlets, details of personal finance of a named client, details of names of candidates for recruitment of sales positions, and even strategies for a presentation mentioning tactics about competitive bidders for a big ticket pitch.

Not only could you be breaking company and client confidentiality but you could also end up annoying and distracting others.

Lately I have witnessed some quite aggressive behaviour in nominated Quiet Coaches on Virgin Trains where people using phones have been subjected to vocal reprimands for using their phone in the carriage rather taking their calls in the interconnecting carriage vestibules.

6. Taking a photograph – A picture paints a thousand words but...

Most phones have cameras these days, sometimes it can be very useful for salespeople to take shots of sites, equipment, contacts etc. Clearly it is polite to ask permission of the person you intend to photograph first.

7. Check your company’s policy on mobiles and your clients’.

It is always worth checking with reception and security on clients’ premises whether mobiles can be taken onto the premises. This is not just sensible for Defence Site, Government Buildings but I have found that certain call centres ban their staff from using mobiles on site.

Also you may need to check whether your company car insurers permit you to take and make call using hand free equipment whilst driving.

Has anyone else got any other suggestions for better etiquette for mobile usage by salespeople ? Please add your comments.

7 key sales metrics you need to know and measure work in progress

We are now in an age where sales managers have a mass of data measurement and analytics options available to them. Through sales analytics software, visual data discovery or Business Intelligence software, sales managers can gain insight into their sales team’s pipeline and have a team that works more effectively and efficiently.

But are they measuring the right things?

The above analytics options have revolutionised sales measurement. They enable sales managers to pinpoint where their teams can generate more leads as well as cross-sell and upsell to existing customers and much more. The potential exists for sales managers to enjoy great benefits. Whether they get to enjoy such benefits depends on how they use the tools.

So, are you measuring the necessary metrics to ensure your sales team are working at optimum level? We outline the seven metrics every sales manager should measure.

1. Your Sales Pipeline

This is a great way to gauge your company’s health. Sometimes presented in a graphical format, it shows the sales opportunities your company currently has and an estimation of the amount of revenue your sales team is going to generate in the coming months. If the opportunities within the pipeline are managed well, your sales team will stay organised and feel more in control of their sales figures, giving you more confidence in the targets that can be achieved.

What metrics should be measured in a sales team’s pipeline?

• Number of potential deals in your pipeline

• Average size of a deal (in £) in your pipeline

•Average percentage of deals that are converted from leads to customers

•Average time deals are in the pipeline (measured in days)

2. Sales Revenue

Measuring the revenue a sales team brings in, instead of only their profit margin, gives a sales manager more insight into the business' performance. If a company experiences steady “top-line growth”, it could be viewed that the performance in that period was positive even if the earnings growth or “bottom-line growth” didn’t change.

Measuring revenue allows you to to identify the profitability of the business. By calculating the profit ratio (divide net income by sales revenue) businesses can reveal how much of every dollar brought in by sales actually makes it to the bottom line.

3. Forecast Accuracy

Forecasts will never be exact, but there are tools available that will assist a business in creating the most accurate forecast as possible. The accuracy of a sales team’s forecasts needs to be measured on an ongoing basis to ensure that they are continually reaching their predicted targets or at least getting closer to them as time goes on. Producing accurate forecasts enables a company to reveal issues threatening the business as well as opportunities available.

4. Sales Funnel Leakage

No sales team wants a leaky funnel but sometimes with limited technology and man-power this can happen. It’s imperative to know where the holes in your funnel are, how they occurred and how you can essentially ‘plug’ them. Things to review include:

•Lead response time: a business that responds quickly to a sales qualified lead is more likely to win the sale

•Rate of follow up contact: persistence is key, a sales teams should be continually following up with a lead via phone calls and emails until they are deemed no longer qualified

By constantly monitoring this data and putting means in place to avoid opportunity leakage, the overall sales numbers will improve.

5. Win vs Loss Rate

It’s important to understand the reasons why leads buy or don’t buy a company’s product / service. This information is crucial as it can assist in improving a sales team’s close rate thus gaining more market share for the business.

6. Cross-sell and Upsell Opportunities

Cross-selling and up-selling can be complex and risky. However, with the challenges around new customer acquisition, businesses must find ways to improve sales from existing customers. With the right analytics tool, businesses can identify cross-selling and upselling opportunities in the organisation and ultimately, generate more sales for the business.

7. Closure Rate aka “Win Rate”

It’s important to be aware of how many leads or opportunities are being converted into customers. This metric focuses on the final stage of a sales team’s pipeline. By this point a sales team would have invested a lot of time and resources into the lead so this rate should be as high as possible.

A low or constantly changing closure rate signifies lack of competitiveness in the market, it means the value proposition being offered to the leads is not good enough. It may also mean that the sales team requires additional training.

Measuring a sales team’s performance has evolved from the simple spreadsheets used back in the 20th century. There are now advanced business intelligence software options that provide dynamic reporting capabilities with dashboards to help automatically track key metrics. This gives a sales manager the ability to become more proactive as well as make more insightful and strategic decisions that will benefit the company.

Sales Success Formula lessons from F1 Words, Formulae and Success

Following Nico Rosberg and Mercedes victory in the first race of the new season at the Australian Grand Prix on March what will happen next on April 3 in Bahrain ? 

The word Formula of Formula 1 or the letter F  in F1 is the classification of a racing car especially by its engine size. 

Winning's matter of luck - ask any loser !

They say that you make your luck since luck is where preparation meets opportunity.

I guess there is a huge amount of preparation for a Grand Prix race.

Rather than chancing our selling arm to luck  perhaps we should use the disciplined approach of PROCESS akin to the workings of a Formula I racing team. 

"What people tend to forget is the journey that I had getting to Formula One. There were plenty of years where I had to learn about losing and having bad races."               Lewis Hamilton

 Formula is also a word used by Chemists/Scientists as an expression of symbols to represent or describe substance’s composition and processes.  

So we here is One Formula  for Selling Success.

Sales Success =
Concern X Power X Vision X ValueControl

 Concern      Has your Client admitted to you their critical business issues? Have you diagnosed their needs, wants, opinions, attitude, concerns, problems e.g Sluggish  sales,
Good questioning  helps to unearth those buyer concerns..

Next in the formula comes Power  

Does your client have influence and authority to make a buying decision ?

Through your understanding of the Client Relationships and Personality you can identify the Driver, Amiable, Expressive and Analytical  patterns of buyers. 

You learn how to adjust your behaviour  in order to convey your Vision in a persuasive, motivational and flexible way so that your buyer shares your view of a business  solution

At the core of all success in  your selling sits the key constituent of Value.   

Is  your distinctive value proposition compelling ?
Do they see value in your proposed solution?
Does your Buyer agree with this?  
Do they “buy in” into this value?

The final constituent of our formula is Control

Are you able to exert elements of control over the buying process? 

There are two key control elements of the six stage selling model. 

The steering wheel  and brakes of objection handling skills to weave around those hairpin bends of Price Objections or the chicanes of delivery, bad past experience, resistance to change etc.

The other controls we hone our skills on today are the accelerator ( gas pedal ) and the throttle of closing skills to get you through the finishing line.

So there you have it.

 An effective and simple formula for you to qualify, measure and exploit your sales opportunities during 2016 and beyond so that you earn the rewards of the chequered flags and top position on the podium in your Grand Prix races for the coming season.

In 1976 ,The Formula 1 championship  season was won by an Englishman called James Hunt.

I was at School with him for a term. He was five years older.  His last race in formula  one was at this Monaco circuit in 1979. 

cover11.jpg (2000×1334)
Photo captured from Supercompressor site1978 
James Hunt wearing his Old School Colours
Orange, Blue and Yellow on a black background

On his racing helmet he had the School Colours ( OWs). The school motto is a good one for salespeople and winners of all sorts.

“Fortune favours the brave!”

It is unwise to rely on luck in selling but a little good fortune helps of course.

Go Lewis Go!

Related Link

Smarter Sales Objectives for 2016 Selling to fix in twenty one six

As we embark of the beginning of Spring 2016 it's a good time to review our sales focus. 

Where are you heading in the next four months to your Selling Winter Wonderland?

Alice and the Cheshire Cat

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.   "I don’t much care where--" said Alice.    "Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat. "--so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation.      "Oh, you’re sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough." 

Alice and the Cheshire Cat - Chapter 6 of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland:

Selling by Objectives is a simple planning discipline that helps you to meet and exceed your annual targets.  It works at two levels:

 1.   Overall performance targets and  2.  Individual call objectives

The principle behind them both is the same - if you have a clear objective in mind you will work more efficiently than if you have no objective.

Be  SMARTER : Here are some guidelines for setting your targets / goals.

     specific and supported, stated in the positive
M    measurable (tangible) and monitored
A     achievable, actionable by you
    realistic in current context
    testing and  time framed, have a deadline!

E     evaluated + “ecologically” sound i.e. does it fit in with your values?
R     reviewed and recorded

You should have clear annual objectives (preferably agreed with your manager, but if not set them for yourself), which are expressed in terms such as:

·         Total sales
·         Sales within product groups
·         Sales to certain categories of client
·         Total profit from your client/customer base
·         New accounts opened
·         Average order value
or any combination of them.

Break these down into quarterly and/or monthly targets allowing for seasonal fluctuations, holiday periods, the number of selling days available allowing for Bank Holidays, etc.

You can then establish weekly targets such as:

·         Quotations/proposals submitted
·         Calls made
·         Number of telephone contacts

as well as pure "sales" targets.

Make sure that you know exactly what you want to achieve from every sales conversation.

The ultimate objective will be a decision:

·         to OBTAIN AN ORDER, or


So focus on

·         Decision based and Results orientated objectives
(e.g. to obtain a signed order; to get agreement for a trial or demonstration)

There are also

·         Information seeking objectives
(e.g. who has decision-making authority; which competitors are being used)

Both are valid objectives but unless you are doing a pre-approach call, do not be content with an information-seeking objective alone.

 Make these your secondary objectives

Identify a decision-based objective to go with information seeking objectives prior to making your calls.


To gain agreement to:

·         Another call at an agreed time
·         An appointment for self/sales/specialist
·         A further appointment to discuss …..
·         An appointment with another person
·         Specify product/service in future
·         Place initial order/trial order
·         Place repeat order
·         Try new line, product or service
·         Evaluate product/service by test/trial
·         Criteria for a successful trial
·         Pre commit if trial is successful
·         Date and / or time for decision
·         Recommend purchase to someone else
·         Arrange a demonstration in house & agree attendees
·         Raise requisition and send to someone else
·         Factory/showroom visit by customer/prospect
·         Arrange another customer/prospect to visit them
·         Decision maker to attend demonstration
·         Arrange in store promotion
·         Move/improve current display
·         Conduct survey/audit
·         Present survey report or audit recommendation
·         Open an account
·         Arrange/install new account procedures
·         Delivery schedules
·         Place regular order
·         Forward/bulk order
·         Have quotation submitted
·         Amend and resubmit quotation
·         Place on tender list
·         Visit exhibition/promotion
·         Continue to order following problem
·         Continue to order at different prices
·         Give a reference
·         Change specification
·         Switch to new product/service
·         Add new service/product to existing line
·         Train users/operators
·         Supply samples and arrange call back
·         Joint promotion/advertising


To establish or find out details on:

·         Needs/Potential needs
·         How need is currently being satisfied
·         Which competitors are being used/considered
·         Perceived advantages/disadvantages of     competitors
·         Budget levels or constraints
·         Budget timings and financial years
·         Credit-worthiness/ability to pay
·         Results of tests (on sample)
·         Individual reactions to test results
·         Why business has been lost
·         Who handles administration
·         Who has been given the business and why
·         Prices quoted by competitors
·         What other opportunities in same company/group
·         Key contacts
·         Secondary contacts in their absence
·         Other people who could be contacted
·         Changes since last call
·         Why orders at current levels
·         Why quotation has been rejected
·         Future volume requirements
·         Who is involved in decision-making
·         Who is involved in the decision influencing
·         What staff changes have taken place
·         What staff changes are likely and when
·         Terms/conditions on which orders are placed
·         Order placing procedures
·         Account settlement procedures
·         What is the organisation's present overall priority
·         What growth plans, future projects
·         Performance of past products/services supplied
·         Satisfaction after delivery of installation / delivery
·         Satisfaction levels in different parts of company