Tag Archive for: sales

Just Ask

After completing my university studies, I encountered Meta-Morphose, a specialist graduate sales recruitment and training company based in southwest England.
I endured a gruelling selection process and qualified for their programme.
Ultimately, with their assistance, I received a few work opportunities and subsequently embarked upon my sales career.
Although I was never the very top salesman, I did enjoy consistent success and over time managed several sales teams.
I also received a few accolades and for many years I was a judge in the UK National Sales Awards.
Sales eventually brought me into leadership, coaching, training and facilitation.
Early on in my career, I learned a very powerful lesson, that I want to share today.
In sales, most people spend the majority of their time and resources prospecting for new business, hunting down and finding new opportunities.
In my early days, there was a lot of cold calling, door knocking, direct mail, advertising etc.
Today, a lot of that now happens online.
However, I discovered that there is an easier and much more productive way.
It’s simple really, you just really have to remember to ask!

Would you like to know how?

The answer is asking for a referral.
Commonly known as a referral dialogue.
It’s not what you know, it’s what you do with what you know that counts.
Most of us just aren’t sure what words to use.
You don’t want to come across as high-pressured or pushy.
Or you don’t want to put a strain on a relationship.
With the right words, in a conversation, all of these obstacles can be removed.
The key is to reframe a conversation into something you can easily repeat over and over again.
There are many ways to ask, but you simply need to remember and ask!
𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐀𝐒𝐊𝐈𝐍𝐆!!!
Practice with a peer who wants to generate more referrals too and you’ll come up with some great examples to use.
I know that success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, routines, practiced every day, over and over again.
Go on – give it a go today, you’ll be surprised how effective it is!
Just remember to ask!!


Every now and again, you get a pleasant little surprise. Yesterday was one of those days!
I walked into my local branch of Holland & Barrett to purchase some Omega 3 tablets. I found the Omega 3 fish oil, but had to call upon the shop assistant to point out the Omega 3 algae version. She was very helpful and I made my selection.
After scanning my tablets at the checkout, she said that’ll be £5.99. “Is that all?” I responded, “I’m very happy to pay that! The price on the shelf said £19.99!”
“You’re too honest” I hear you all say!!
Why didn’t I just keep my mouth shut?!
Anyway, the checkout assistant walked over again to check the price on the shelf and sure enough, it was £19.99.
…..Then the wonderful surprise.
She returned and said, well “There’s a mistake somewhere, but the price here at the checkout is £5.99, so £5.99 it is!”
Delighted, I cheerfully made my payment and walked out a very happy customer. 😀
Thank you Holland & Barrett, you made my day!
Have you had any pleasant surprises like this recently?

Authenticity – the courage to be yourself

“That’s just not right…let me explain further…” I said to my fellow judges.

Sales Awards

Many years ago, on a number of occasions, after being a shortlisted awards finalist and runner-up myself, I was invited to be a judge on the National Sales Awards in the UK. The key part of the role was to attend an annual judging day, at a swanky hotel in London. There, all the shortlisted candidates would attend to be judged. Individuals and teams would be interviewed and considered one by one, by a small judging panel of sales industry experts in order to be considered for an award. Yes – I was classified as an expert – please don’t laugh!!


I recall, one year when a sales team gave a very impressive presentation, it was outstanding. My fellow judges remarked on how fresh and striking it was. I quizzed the team intensely on their efforts, their preparations and quite unique ideas, seeking clarification on how they came up with the concept and how they’d developed it into a presentation for the day.

They shared their story.


Yet, unbeknownst to the sales team, I had been a judge 2 years previously in the corresponding category, where a sales team from the same company, had given the exact, identical presentation. Something my fellow judges had thought was fresh and unique, was in fact a rehash of some ideas shared previously.  Yes the presentation was outstanding, but the responses given by the sales team to my questions left me with a rather sour taste. Something wasn’t quite right, I felt we were in a sense being deceived, being played even.  That’s when I then explained to my fellow judges, why I’d questioned the team so directly,  seeking clarification, the way I had.

After all that was said and done, the judging panel determined that the team wouldn’t make the special awards evening a few months later.  Why?… Simply because they lacked genuine authenticity.

It was a powerful lesson learned for all, about the nature of truth and how it sets you free.

Never dissemble.

Authenticity is everything!  It is the power to be yourself.