Sales Lessons

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Success, Failure Road SignI hope you are doing well and have closed some more deals since the last time you were here?

Here at MTD we have just started on another sales trainer recruitment drive and the whole process has been an enlightening experience I can tell you!

You’d think that sales trainers would know how to pitch themselves wouldn’t you?!

Errrrrrrrr No!

Well, only the bad ones don’t!

Let me tell you about my experience with this over the past couple of weeks and then tell you the lessons learned so when you respond to leads and pitch for business, you don’t make the same mistakes.

Frankly, the responses I have had have been embarrassing and that got me thinking about how we as salespeople approach our clients.

Here’s where it all began..

I approached our normal recruitment agency with the brief and they sent the brief to targeted trainers on their books.

So all of the potential applicants had the same information.

What did I get back from them?

This varied a lot!

Firstly there were some who asked for application packs.

Some asked for job descriptions and everything else under the sun.

Others said that they would “consider” the position subject to terms and conditions!
I mean, come on, I had never even spoken to them yet!

Others sent in stereo typed application forms with trainer profile, cv, courses delivered, “My interests include knitting and meeting people”, yawn yawn yawn!

This is okay but I had around 21 of the same!

Four sent me emails with my name as Shawn, Shaun and even Mr McFeet!


One even put down “Dear NTD Sales Training” That was filed under “B” for Bin!

Then there were a couple that really stuck in my mind.

One trainer sent me a recording of him in action which I thought was awesome.
He accompanied this with his CV but said to me in a personal note “Sean, please hear me in action to see if I am the right style of trainer that you are after?”

I thought this was really good as he was catering to my needs.

Another said “Sean, I can talk a good game as well as all of the other candidates but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I am conducting a sales seminar at the Warwick Hilton next Saturday and would like to invite you over as my guest to see me in action”

I thought that was awesome too!

So what does all of this have to do with responding to leads and pitching for business?

Well, everything to be honest.

A lot of companies out there respond in the “expected way”
to tenders and to leads.

But very few will go the extra mile and do something different as well to stand out and be noticed, to reduce the risk of doing business with them and to give the client the feeling that they really do value their business.

Despite the numerous checklists that your clients will have to select their preferred vendor, I still believe that people buy people and people like to be surprised!

Make it easy for the client to buy from you rather than have you sell to them.

Out of 92 applicants, I only saw 4 of them and took 1 on.

Does that mean that the other 88 were poor trainers?

Absolutely not.

I bet that I missed out on some very good trainers but how could they help your staff to sell better if they couldn’t sell to me in the first place?!

Only 4 of them stood out and that will be the same when you pitch for business too.

What can you do to go that extra mile with your leads?

What could you do to make them say “Wow, I wasn’t expecting that”

Stand out from the crowd of mediocrity and increase your sales!

Happy selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 11 October, 2007

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