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Top 5 – How to Make Outbound Calling a Success

SalesLove them or hate them outbound calling is a very important process in the sales and service arm of any organisation.  When done poorly it can be a terrible experience for the caller and the person receiving the call but when done well it can a true win for both.

An outbound call is a call initiated from a company or business to a prospective buyer, or existing customer with an aim to achieve a goal.  That might be to raise more revenue by having the buyer purchase an item or it might be to upsell products and services to existing customers or to provide them with information.

When outbound calling is done effectively it improves the chance of success significantly, if you or your team are outbound calling to generate sales the top 5 tips listed below is set to put you at the top of the sales ladder. On your way up the ladder Happening People offer you our Top 5 – How to Make Outbound Calling a Success.

1.  Extract the Value and Your Goal
Before you dial a number really know what it is that you are selling. Ask yourself ‘What is the VALUE to your prospective client?” Link the features to the benefits and really understand what the product or service is designed to do. To successfully sell that product or upgrade you really need to convey the value of the product or the service to your customer and remember what your end goal is. This will help you maintain motivation.

2. Know your Target Clients
In a recent online article by www.smarta.com titled ‘ The Art of Cold Calling’ they discussed the merit of cold calling and decided it was not dead in the water as suggested by some.  In fact a strong case was made for its validity especially in the era of social media.  Sales expert Andy Preston said “You need to have done your homework beforehand,” he says. “You cannot make a professional cold call without knowing – at least – the name of the person you are trying to reach. Otherwise you create problems with the gatekeepers. People are far too savvy to pass on calls that begin, “Can you put me through to your head of marketing, please?” It’s pure laziness not to find out the names. It always has been. These days, tools like LinkedIn and Twitter can help you find out those names. And if you don’t do that, you’re daft.”

3. Develop a Structure
Once upon a time outbound scripts where a must.  However in todays more sophisticated markets outbound call scripts can be deadly! It is recommended that you structure the call but keep it natural for research shows no one likes being talked at.  A good structure will help you or your team keep the goal of the call in focus but ensure you do not get your customer or prospective customer offside.  A good structure includes a series of prompts to help you guide yourself as well as a list of questions to keep you on track.  This way you are more able to concentrate on what is being said and you can better tailor the call to the customer.

4. Knowledge and Handling Objections
A great outbound representative has usually developed a thick skin overtime.  There are many areas that are unknown, the level of interest from your customer, their preconceptions of you, your business, your product or service. Their previous experience with your organisation may also be a mystery.  Your ability to navigate these areas and gain knowledge of all these is important to the success of the call.  So too is your ability to handle objections from your customers.  Have a list of objections and possible responses and if you receive any new ones along the way, add these to the list and successful responses you or your team used.

5.  Success and Improvements and measurement
As strange as it can be to hear yourself played back and to receive feedback on calls it is an essential step to improvement and success. Also too make clear notes on all your calls you may be able to rework your list at a later date and turn previous rejections into successful sales and calls.  Measure your success rate

Effective outbound calling is a skill that can be easily acquired.  Happening People have worked with many organisations through our Sales Academy and help their Sales Teams and dedicated Outbound Sales Teams move to the top of their game.  Visit us at www.HappeningPeople.com or call us on 1800 68 67 69.

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Filed under Corporate Training, People Management, Professional Development, Selling

TOP 5_Benefits to Coaching and How to Achieve it

CoachCoaching is goal focused to develop skills in organisations to achieve better results.  Yet in a recent survey conducted by Happening People a huge 45% of respondents were not being coached by their manager.  This is a staggering figure when you consider that coaching provides an enormous amount of benefit to not only the coachee but also the manager and the organisation.

In 1999 Eric Parsloe wrote in his famous book ‘The Manager as Coach and Mentor” that coaching is “a process that enables learning and development to occur and thus performance to improve. To be a successful a Coach requires a knowledge and understanding of process as well as the variety of styles, skills and techniques that are appropriate to the context in which the coaching takes place”.

This week we go beyond just looking at the benefits of coaching we also detail HOW you can go about achieving these benefits with your team and in your workplace.

If you are yet to ‘like’ us on Facebook, take the opportunity now and during the coming week you will receive our bonus benefit to coaching and how to achieve it, this is a tip not to be missed as it looks at the effect coaching has on your reputation.

So it’s time to jump straight in to Happening People’s TOP 5_Benefits to Coaching and How to Achieve it

1. Talent Retention
BENEFIT: Coaching retains talent because employees feel valued and invested in.
Statistically employees are less likely to jump ship when they are provided with training and professional development opportunities as well as being supported by their management team.
HOW: Let each member of your team know you will be formalising coaching sessions with them and why.  Be mindful if you do not sit down with team members routinely they may feel they are being micro managed so take the time to carefully explain what coaching is and the benefits of coaching for them .

2. Morale Booster
BENEFIT: Coaching boosts employee morale.  Employees develop a high level of self-esteem and job satisfaction as positive recognition and feedback is known to increase staff motivation and initiative.
HOW: Openly praise team members not just in coaching sessions, this is more easily done when your team is being invested in, and they form a ‘winning’ culture and success breeds success. There are a number of ideas you can introduce to encourage morale; consider an employee appreciation night or provide movie tickets to the star performer of the week. You could have a ‘knock off early Friday’ for consistently great performance or best improved.

3. Skills Lift
BENEFIT: Coaching upskills your people and strengthens and develops the skills of the overall team
HOW: Develop a skills matrix that details the current skills of your team members, identify with them areas they need to work on to improve.  Meet with them and work together to formulate a plan to achieve these skill uplifts.

4. Productivity Improver
BENEFIT: Coaching Improves productivity as goals are achieved
HOW: Research suggests that individuals can achieve an improvement in work performance by as much as 20-25% simply by goal setting. During the coaching sessions discuss the goals the coachee needs to achieve, break them down into tasks and work through a plan with your coachee to achieve the plan.

5.  Performance Management Tool
BENEFIT: Regular Coaching avoids surprises and defensiveness at performance appraisal time.
HOW: Link the coaching to the KPI’s(key performance indicators) and the overall performance management program. That way your employees will be actively working towards achieving their KPI’s throughout the year.  When they are asked to gauge their own performance they will have already had many discussions with you and the ‘truth’ of their performance will be clear to you both.

As you can see there are so many tangible benefits to Coaching, if you are new to coaching or would like to be more effective as a coach, Happening People can help, click here or call Happening People on 1800 68 67 69 or go to www.happeningpeople.com

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Filed under Coaching, People Management, Professional Development, Uncategorized

Top 5 – How to Let Go and Enjoy the Festivities While You Work

CrowdAre you careening  head long into the end of the year at warp speeds or are you spinning on the spot in a dizzying spin of deadlines?  Maybe you are heading gracefully to a gentle close or galloping to the post with style?

However you bring the year to a close the conflicting demands of deadlines and festivities are upon us and it can be difficult to navigate a balanced course through the final weeks of the year.  Do not fear Happening People come to your aid with our Top 5 – How to Let Go and Enjoy the Festivities While You Work

1. Tidy Up Loose Ends
As you launch into all the fun and festivities the years end brings it can be easy to get so caught up in the goings on that staying focused on what needs to be achieved can prove to be more difficult.  Use the final weeks of the year to work towards tidying up loose ends.   Ask your team to take a last look at their KPI’s, their Project Plans and Strategy Documents and formulate a plan that sees them achieving as much as possible.  Whilst it can be hard to focus members of your team at this point come the New Year you will be glad you did!

2. Think Resolutions and Goals
Now is the time to not only tidy up loose ends but to set goals for the New Year.  In December and January the word on everyone’s lips is resolutions and while it is important to consider what you would like to work on or improve on in the New Year, resolutions have a tendency to be one-week-wonder.  Goal setting is easy when you apply the frame work
SMARTAS: Specific, Measurable, Attractive, Realistic, Time Bound, Agreed and Stretching.  For more information on Goal setting click here Top 5 – To Mastering Goal Setting

3. Thank you’s
Thank you’s are so important, don’t let the year slip away without taking time to thank everyone who has helped and supported you through the year.  The list can be long and it’s not a list you want to leave anyone off who doesn’t deserve your heart felt gratitude, think about your family, your team, your boss, your assistant, clients, suppliers, other departments, the cleaning staff, the maintenance staff, the people who deliver your lunch, the coffee shop owners where you get your much needed morning coffee. Showing gratitude goes a long way to building powerful relationships.

4. Take Some Time Out
With the pressure of the new year’s tasks looming and under the weight of this year’s pressures its vital that you honour your, mental, physical and emotional states and take some time out to recharge the batteries.  It can be easy to quash the need for a break in favour of achieving more.  To easy feelings of tension of taking time away from the office, put plans into place that allow you time off without worrying that the organisation will crumble to its foundations without you (it probably won’t!!).  Having the time to rest and refuel your energy levels, expand your mind and let go of work pressures you can begin the new year refreshed and revitalised.

5. Think of Others
If you are able to leave the office for a well-deserved break consider those still working over the holiday period.  If you have a team try and put in place some treats and surprises which will make their working weeks a little more festive.   Think about allowing them to wear casual clothing or arrange a basket of special snacks, put a TV in the lunch room or leave some petty cash so they can order in lunch.  Whatever you can do to make this time special will be well received.

Happening People are focused all year long on organisations Health and Well Being, not just during the party season.  Our Happening Health Programs aim to give you and your team a balanced and holistic approach to bettering performance.  Call us on 1800 68 67 69 or visit our website www.HappeningPeople.com for more detailed information on our Happening Health Programs.

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Filed under Corporate Health, Corporate Training, People Management, Professional Development, Team Building

Top 5 – How to be an Awesome Leader

Do you manage your people or do you lead them?  Maybe it is a bit of both? So when do you manage and when do you lead?

There is a real difference between Managers and Leaders, put simply Managers have subordinates and possess a transactional style, their tasks include planning, organising, controlling and reviewing. A Leader has followers and possesses a transformational style (see tip 3) their day is filled with aligning their people and activities to the vision; they are pioneering the way whilst carving out a legacy to be remembered.  Leaders will also have subordinates as they are often managers appointed to roles in an organisational structure however they see their main goal as leading their followers so their style of leadership will be less of a manager and more of a leader.

Other attributes of a leader as opposed to a manager including being a change agents, looking  long term , setting the direction, appealing to hearts and our passions, looking for and encourage others to achieve, sometimes breaking free from rules to achieve and pioneering the way as they seek to do right rather than be right.  Finally they seek the truth and they give credit to their followers.

We offer you our Top 5 on How to Be an Awesome Leader.  If you haven’t done so already, ‘like’ our Facebook Page www.facebook.com/HappeningPeople and be sure to look out for our extra Top Tip- Number 6, which looks at Power and Leadership.

1. Lead from the Front

Leading from the front is described by General Douglas MacArthur who said

“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.”

The term leading from the front has been bandied about boardrooms for decades, at its most effective it means “I am willing to do, whatever I have asked you to do.’ Leading from the front doesn’t mean huge acts of heroism it means showing your followers you care about the company and their success when they see that you will never ask them to do something, that you are not willing to do yourself.  Leaders who lead from the front are great role models.

2. Show Vision
Great leaders, show leadership by showing the vision.  They do this at every appropriate occasion whether it is in a group or one on one.  By doing this they focus attention on what matters which focuses the team.   When you are able to articulate the vision, meaningful goals can be created. When goals are firmly aligned with the vision the purpose of your team is clear and achievement of the goals is more likely.

3. Possess a Transformational  Style
A good leader is focused on moving its followers towards the vision, they do this by inspiring them to follow not telling them what to do.  Your role is to appeal to their hearts rather than their heads, raise their passions and follow you.  At times you will lead them in directions they haven’t gone before which can be overwhelming for followers.   They will follow you if you show the way and are able to show them the benefits so that your followers will receive more than extrinsic rewards but will become better people along the way.

4. Be People Focused
A good leader does not have to be a loud and overly gregarious one to be effective, in fact many leaders aren’t, rather, they are good with people and are focused on the people rather than the task.  Through their actions and interactions they boost the confidence of those around them to achieve the goals before them and they want to see their followers succeed and take the credit.   Though these methods they inspire loyalty and motivation.

5. Your Legacy
Most people think about their legacy at the end of their careers, awesome leaders think about it throughout their careers.  Pericles famously said ‘What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.’  Leaders look to leave a legacy through changing the lives of their followers.  Robert Galford and Regina Maruca, authors of “Your Leadership Legacy,” suggest that “thinking about your legacy now makes you a better leader today no matter how far you are from retirement.” This view is based on interviews with people at all organisational levels.  Galford and Maruca advocate we all should be engaged in legacy thinking.

Leaders aren’t just born, good managers become great leaders through being shown the way.  Happening People are award winning  corporate  training specialists and are the Leaders in Leadership Training.  Give us a call on 1800 68 67 69 or visit our website www.happeningpeople.com for more information on how we can help you and your organisation develop awesome leaders.

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Filed under Corporate Training, Human Resources, People Management, Positive Psychology, Professional Development