Diary Of A Sales Leader – Key Account Mapping Best Practice
May 19, 2015
Diary Of A Sales Leader – 7 Behaviours That Alienate Your Team
May 7, 2015
Diary Of A Sales Leader – Focus One
May 5, 2015
Diary Of A Sales Leader – Do You Need Big Goals?
April 30, 2015
Diary Of A Sales Leader – Know Your Lifetime Value
April 28, 2015
Diary Of A Sales Leader – Become A Blockhead
April 25, 2015
I’m a Blockhead and I’m proud……
When I was 23 years old I moved to London and from the comfort of an FMCG sales role, where my clients were already in place, and my journey plan was done for me.
To a role that had few customers, a lot of potential and no structure.
I was Mr Reactive. I had a notepad and a head full of ideas, thoughts and problems.
I had no system. No process for dealing with all of the stuff I needed to do daily.
Inevitably for me the consequence was that I found myself focusing on the easy low value tasks.. They were quick to deal with and I felt a sense of accomplishment ……. for about 10 minutes.
But I failed to do the High Priority tasks… Like
I had great intentions, but lousy habits.
So how did I overcome this? I became a Blockhead…
I developed the daily and weekly habit of making appointments with myself.
For example I knew that prospecting was important…..in fact the most important task… but it never got done…..
I blocked out times on Wednesdays and Thursdays to do just that – prospect
I simply started with one 90 minute block of time for those two days.
And it had an immediate impact.
Yes it did lead to more sales for me but the impact that mattered most to me was
– I felt a sense of purpose again
– I felt a greater level of control over my own destiny. I was determining my success as a salesman and I wasn’t getting hassled to do it!!
– I felt like I was claiming back my week
Oh and I can’t actually forget just how much time it actually saved me
– Travel time
– Preparation time
– Panic time..
Making appointments with myself weekly became my non-negotiable.
And it can become yours too.
This is about you as the Sales Leader taking charge of your business, and your time.
Become A Blockhead;
Block book time weekly for your 3 to 4 Priorities. Put it in your diary as time for YOU. And stick to YOUR schedule.
Let everyone in your team know this is your strategic time.
Your Entrepreneurial time. Your sales development time
And stick to your appointments with yourself.
This will be challenging.Because if you are generally not selfish enough with your time you will give away freely.
That’s good for others and bad for you.
So now you need to change that habit.
Yes selfish and be proud that you have become a little bit more selfish over the one thing in life you cannot store…. time.
Start small initially. One appointment with yourself the first couple of weeks is enough. Then gradually add other appointments.. Y
ou’ll get better results because you will develop the new habit slowly. And effectively.
How long did it take to develop this discipline?
Honestly I am still working on this every week. And expect to be doing so for the rest of my working life.
But when I hit a roadblock I always get on track, by focusing on the huge benefits being a blockhead can deliver…
Take your NO.1 sales priority (I’d guess for most it is prospecting) and schedule in an appointment with yourself to do it next week.
Ask someone you trust to hold you accountable to that appointment. Treat it at the same level of importance you would a Management Meeting or a New Client Meeting.
Because in short it is as important as these…
Simple but not easy….
Diary Of A Sales Leader -10 things Sales Leaders do before they start their day
April 23, 2015
Here are some simple and really things you can do before you go to the office, or make your first sales call…
Now I know you are like everyone else and that there never seems to be enough time to get everything done.. It is the single greatest challenge sales leaders face too.
Well you know what, you’ll never get everything done and that’s ok… nobody ever does.. And that’s a key point. Yes be focused and yes use some of the tactics below to help you do that…
But NO, don’t stress about what you haven’t been doing.. it’s wasted energy and if you are like me and everyone I work with that energy can be put to much better uses …… like getting more sales in..
Now Research has shown that the most effective leaders are simply better prepared. Preparation saves valuable time.
You know this but life tends to get in the way and we spend less time preparing and more time doing… But that needs to change and here are some simple things to make your new daily non-negotiables
So before you rush headlong in to the office, and the interruptions and endless emails. Why not take some time out over a coffee before you go to the office or your first call and do some of these simple things
1) Write down your quarterly priorities and goals
Yes write your Top 3 priorities and goals out briefly. Or if I’m honest I no longer write them, I simply review them daily. This is a simple and effective way to reinforce what truly matters. What must be done first and always.
2) Review your tasks for today, and prioritise
Often the simple things are the most effective.
Write or review your tasks (if you really want to save time you’ll leverage a time management tool like Things) Quickly isolate the most important tasks and give them priority. You’ll start your day with these.
3) Schedule time in your day for the top 3 tasks
It is pretty pointless deciding what the your priorities and then not taking out your diary and scheduling the time to actually do this.
This really is the most effective strategy I’ve ever learned. Plan time there and then for completing your Top 3. Simply open your calendar and schedule an appointment with yourself.
4) Send agendas for all meetings the next day
Most busy sales leaders complain about the number of non-sales related meetings that they have to attend. Not only are they unproductive, they can be extremely boring and repetitive. And often there is no time between meetings to sort out your thoughts.
In order to tackle this, write out your own agendas and send them in advance. Signal the priorities you want to focus on. And put strict timelines on meeting start and finish times.
Now I know you are going to say yeah but Ronan these meetings never stick to the time allocated, stuff happens, people start talking and inevitably they overrun. I just don’t buy this anymore. You can’t afford to stay neutral on this subject. You have to voice your opinions and you have to be prepared to challenge this mindset that ” the meeting finishes when it finishes”..
Meetings are about decision making and they overrun mostly because people come under prepared. As a sales leader you can directly influence this but it requires a lot of discipline.
For example even in sales meetings before you get in to the meat and bones of your discussions you can simply say
“Louise it’s 2pm now, shall we try to wrap this meeting up at around 2.50pm? we can spend 10 minutes agreeing any actions we need to focus on and be finished by 3pm. Does that work for you? ”
5) Cancel all non essential meetings that day
If you are scheduled to attend a meeting, that has no fixed purpose. No stated agenda, and no set times. Ask yourself do you really need to attend it? Be focused, and think Top 3 priorities.
Will you generate a better result for your and your business, by cancelling the meeting and focusing on value creating activities, like spending time with your team or your customers and prospects?
6) Make a list of the most important calls you need to make that day
I find this to be a very useful action. Now if you are a highly effective sales leader you’ll be using a CRM tool, and your calls will be mapped out for you. But remember your day isn’t also about business. Schedule time to make calls to your spouse, your partner etc. They can often be the most important ones to make..
7) Plan your breaks for the day
Research proves that working in 90 minute blocks and taking a break, boosts productivity by up to 70%. Your brain simply needs the break. So take two minutes and schedule in some well needed breaks. Yes get out your diary and put in the times you intend to take 10 minutes out for a walk or a break..
8) Sort out all of your paperwork
If you are attending meetings then chances are you’ll need documents. If you are like us at insthinktive, you probably travel paperless. However even PDF’s need to be sorted and collated in advance of your meetings.
Take the time to sort everything so you can focus on the sales meeting, and not trying to locate an important document your client or prospect needs to see.
9) Respond to all emails that require less than a minute of your time
You’ve already made great strides, and you haven’t even got to your office or first sales meeting yet.
Well become super effective. Scan your emails for 15 minutes. Sort the important from the not so important. Deal with those emails that take less than a minute in quick succession.
Those that require more thought simply leave them aside for more consideration later in your day..
This is a great tactic because you don’t want to use up all of your energy getting bogged down in administration. Leaving that until later in the day allows you more time to focus on what’s really important.
10) Resolve to focus on solutions throughout your day
Finally, relax and enjoy your coffee, knowing that you are way ahead of the field. This is a great opportunity to get your mindset right
Simply take a few minutes and focus on having a great day. Focus on the solutions, not the problems that lie ahead. Focus on ensuring you maintain your positive energy throughout the day. It’s your day, you decide whether it will be a good one or not…
Take one or two ideas from these 10 (not all 10…!!! take it slowly) , and make them your new daily non-negotiables. ( And Remember to track your progress. What impact are these small changes having on your effectiveness that day. Do more of these, and start eliminating a couple of habits that are getting in the way of your day. (
Creating Your Sales Plan
October 31, 2014
10 Key Questions To Improve Your Goal Setting
September 29, 2014
Rapport Building using PRESENT
August 13, 2014
Here’s a short 3 minute video on building Rapport in the sales presentation.
Testimonial – Uniphar
I engaged Ronan to undertake a complete review of my sales team, develop a training programme to fill in those gaps identified during the review. He then delivered individualised personal development plans for the team. His insight and drive delivered over a six month, period truly remarkable results. It made my job easier…… I would have no hesitation in recommending Ronan to anybody. He is a true professional
Robert Saunders – Sales Director Uniphar Wholesale
Testimonial – ESRI Ireland
I’ve had the opportunity to work with Ronan Kilroy as Executive Coach for the last two years. The coaching is very extensive and far reaching covering modules such as Increasing your Effectiveness, Growing your Business, Zero Based Thinking and Leadership as well as extensive work on DISC Profiling.
Joanne McLaughlin – ESRI Ireland
Testimonial – ESRI Ireland
Ronan has incredible insight and natural abilities around how human beings can get the best out of themselves by focussing on a number of key psychological habits and traits. I can safely say that Ronan’s work with me has been life changing, never mind career changing, and I am now delivering the results that I want to deliver for myself
Michael Byrne – ESRI Ireland
Testimonial – CPL
I would thoroughly recommend working with Ronan. He offers powerful insights and his coaching style is very engaging and beneficial. His approach would suit all professionals who are interested in deepening their business skills
Judith Moffatt – Director CPL
Testimonial – Global Tax Reclaim
Ronan has been a huge influence to me in recent months. He has given me the guidance and focus to take our sales process in a new and more successful direction. His knowledge and techniques are second to none
Darren Byrne – Global Tax Reclaim
Testimonial – Celuplast
The workshop was excellent. It was interactive, and relevant..
Brian Lynch – Celuplast
Testimonial – Entropic
The workshop really helps to get the owners ideas to the rest of the team. It creates a vocabulary to allow us to communicate better as a team.
Michael Geraghty – Entropic Limite
Testimonial Cavan Box
The workshop was excellent. I particularly liked how the “theory” was always related back to realities for our industry
Peter Cassidy – Cavan Box
Testimonial Abcon Industrial Products
The workshop was excellent. What I particularly found valuable were the measurable tools and interactive nature of the workshop.
Raymond Maguire – Abcon Industrial Products
I’m not in to buying problems
July 31, 2014
Here’s a link to my latest linkedIn post..
Needing a different lens
July 17, 2014
Maybe it is an overused metaphor, but as a keen amateur photographer I understand the value of changing lenses to gain a different perspective. I also see the value in altering the “aperture” to narrow my focus (and allowing me to blur the background out) , or indeed broaden my focus and let more of the scene come in to focus.
So ok you have all the lenses but the question is how often to you change them, to gain a different perspective?
Joe was a classic example of this. Joe is a successful entrepreneur, and such he recognised the necessity to maintain his energy levels. He was overweight and out of shape. He lacked energy and he simply hated the way he felt and looked. So he took action and hired a fitness coach.
Joe is a man of action and so he committed and he did see results. He felt more energetic, but even after a year of continuous training every time he looked at himself in the mirror, he could never see the progress. He remained deeply entrenched in a negative view of how he looked. And despite continuing with the training, he was getting more and more frustrated by his perceived lack of progress.
You see Joe only focused on what wasn’t quite perfect yet. He simply couldn’t see the progress he was making. That is until one day whilst in a training session he was standing in front of a mirror doing some bicep curls.
What was unusual this day was that he was much closer to the mirror, which had the effect of “cutting off his head” from view. In other words he could only see his body from the neck down.
And something was different, dramatically different. When he couldn’t see his own face, he saw a physique he didn’t recognise. One that was toned up. One that looked fit, one that looked exactly like the one he had worked so hard for. Joe had a very powerful moment of personal insight. And it changed his perspective on himself forever. He was simply using the wrong lens. The wrong viewpoint.
In my experience this is often what we do in our daily roles as leaders and sales leaders. We get so caught up in what doesn’t work, what doesn’t look right, what is going wrong, that we lose the ability to simply “change the lens” and hence our viewpoint.
Rarely is a problem viewed with a different lens as big as we viewed it originally. When we remove our “personal maps” and views of the world. When we challenge our own filters that block our ability to see things as they really are, like Joe did accidentally, we gain insights. We see something that changes our perspective. And that can be the nudge we need to move forward again.
Getting stuck is normal, and often a simple nudge is all we need.
If you don’t feel you have a different lens, no problem. Talk to someone. But you are not looking for advice, you are looking for perspective. That can come from the most unlikely of sources. My 6 year old and 8 year old sons have lenses on life that just fill me with wonder. I can’t buy these, but I can learn from them..
Simple but not easy….
Call me on +353(86) 7732201
My Blog http://www.insthinktive.com/blog/
You Need Your Script, but You Aren’t A Parrot
July 3, 2014
Networking On The Phone
June 25, 2014
Need ( We just don’t need it !!)
June 19, 2014
Price – The old reliable (Firewall to sales)
June 17, 2014
Learn To Love Firewalls
June 12, 2014
Creating Sales Momentum
June 10, 2014
Focus on the WHY.
June 6, 2014
You need to Add Value to the Sale
June 3, 2014
Handling Pricing in a Tough Environment
May 29, 2014
Always Ask For Referrals
May 27, 2014
How to Maximise a Testimonial’s Value
May 22, 2014
Systemise Your Testimonial Process
May 20, 2014
Building Your Testimonial Base
May 14, 2014
Positioning And Sales
May 9, 2014
You need to communicate simply
May 1, 2014
Your Sales Presentation is Key
April 29, 2014
Your Prospect’s buying process
April 18, 2014
Progressing Your Prospects Through Your Pipeline
April 15, 2014
You need to understand how prospects’ buy
April 10, 2014
Build Rapport with your prospects ﬁrst
April 8, 2014
Do You Know What Your Prospects Want? Really?
April 3, 2014
Set clear sales goals for your business..
April 1, 2014
Learn to handle price Firewalls with ease
March 27, 2014
Achieving Sales Leadership Clarity
March 25, 2014
Achieving Sales Leadership Clarity
Clarity in business and sales is a non-negotiable. Great leadership is built on clarity of thought. Great thinking, insthinktive thinking, is the basis of superior performance.
So how do you achieve clarity as a sales leaders?
Clarity On A Page..
Ask us about our Clarity On A Page template. It’s a step by step process to help you achieve complete clarity. It’s simple, it’s clear and it’s intuitive.
Here’s what you need to do..
Clarify your values..
What motivates you as a Sales Leader? What motivates you as a Manager? A sales person. A parent, a mentor? What makes you do what you do? What do you value most in people? How do you view the world?
What prompts you to be happy or sad? What makes you different? Why are some more successful that others? How do they differ?
As a Leader how can you ensure you hire the right people? How do you motivate them and guide them. How do you engage with your stakeholders and encourage all to achieve more. The common factor in answering all of these questions is identifying your Core Values
Values drive your behaviours. Values are responsible for your motivation and your actions. Values are often subconscious and hidden but they surface in the way we act. The principles and standards that we set and expect of others. Values are strongly held beliefs and they have enormous impact on individual and organisational behaviour.
You have a world view that is unique and individual. It frames your thoughts and it influences your behaviour. Values really underpin your Why. Why do you do what you do? Why do you assess and measure the way you do? Why do you think the way you do?
With clearly defined Values you can build a team that share the same values. You can motivate a team more easily with shared values. And you can build a relationship with your stakeholders and customers by living your values.
So what are your values?
Why are they your values?
How can you measure your values?
How do you live your values?
Define your Purpose….
What is your Purpose, your Why?. What excites you and motivates you? What gives you momentum. What inspires you?
Great leaders have a clear sense of Purpose. A clear Why. They understand their reasons for doing what they do. It is beyond pure financial gain. It is about leaving a true mark on their world. And, so too for your organisation. Businesses with a clear sense of Purpose, a clear Why invariably have a more successful culture and climate. And have a clear sense of Why they exist.
Having a clear sense of how you will improve the world in which you operate, provides real clarity and motivation to those who are a part of creating it.
Steve Jobs’ said, “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.”
Albert Einstein said, “Nothing truly valuable arises from ambition or from a mere sense of duty; it stems rather from love and devotion towards men and towards objective things.”
These are two men who clearly demonstrated a powerful sense of Purpose.
What’s your Purpose?
Create a Vision
As a leader, you need to consider the following,
1) Purpose is your Why? The reason you exist.
2) Values represent what you stand for.
3) Vision is where will be in the future.
Your leadership Vision is a guiding picture of where you and your business will be in the future. It is a picture of the end point. It outlines with clarity where you will end up. And how your business will look like, feel like and operate in the future.
It is first step in your goal setting and priority setting process.
Where do you see your business in the future?
What will this future look like?
What clients will you be working with?
What sort of team will you be working with?
What products or services will you be selling/ delivering?
What will the finances look like?
We suggest that you take your time with this really vital phase in your leadership clarity. Involve your stakeholders and team. Craft a vision you can be proud of. One, that acts as a beacon that guides you. One, that motivates you and your team.
Set IMPACT Goals
Setting goals with IMPACT should mean for you, that you are feeling a sense of forward momentum, a sense of progress. And not feeling overwhelmed or defeated by the sheer impossibility of what you’ve set yourself.
Far too many people and Leaders are left unhappy and demotivated by the very goals they have been encouraged to create. Far too many “Guru’s” encourage the “Big”, the “Wow”, the “Transformational” or the “Big Hairy Audacious” approach. This simply won’t work for some of you. And this is fine.
Impact Goals encourage you to find the approach that yes will be a stretch, but will also build your belief that you can achieve them.
So what is IMPACT…
What are your business and sales goals?
Select your priorities,
You’ve written your goals. Now decide the priorities this quarter that if focused on will bring you closest to achieving your goals.
We advise selecting a small number (ideally three) priorities, and making these the quarterly focus. Why? Because execution matters. Getting important things done is what matters most. Quality of execution always wins over quantity. Keep it simple and clear, and by doing so you retain a sharp sense of focus.
What are this Quarters’ key priorities?
Decide your non-negotiables
At insthinktive sales leadership we are passionate about self discipline. We believe this is such a central success principle that we’ve named these disciplined habits. We call them non-negotiables.
You’ve been through the process of
creating IMPACT goals
Now you need to decide your personal non-negotiables. The new habits and/or behaviours you simply MUST complete daily, weekly and monthly.
In order to do this we suggest you focus very clearly on the biggest impact behaviours you’ll need to integrate in to your week.
For example we believe that a great sales leadership non-negotiable is to spend 30 minutes daily in pure thinking and planning mode. And we advocate that this is done daily first thing.
Simple but not easy.
What are your non-negotiables?
What training do you need?
You are at the final stage of achieving great sales leadership clarity. Now you must look to yourself and ask yourself honestly these questions?
– What one skill should I develop to transform my leadership?
– What skills do our team need to develop to transform our sales performance?
Clarity On A Page; Key Takeaways
By taking the time to crystallise your
– Training and development
On to a simple one page document like Clarity On A Page, your transform your sales leadership clarity.
Simple but not easy….
Call me on +353(86) 7732201
My Blog http://www.insthinktive.com/blog/
Overcoming firewalls in sales part one;
March 24, 2014
Welcome to Overcoming Firewalls in Sales
A sales programme, designed for you.
Every week you’ll receive one to two articles, all designed to help you
– grow your sales
– convert more sales
– create more leads
– become more effective
It’s simple and clear
It’s easy for you to put in practice
All of the information and tips are proven.
In short it works. Take 10 minutes to read the article and allocate some time later to analyse how it could help you improve your marketing and sales.
Finally take some action…
Overcoming the Firewalls That Prevent Sales
Do you struggle to close more sales? Have you have hit the inevitable ﬁrewalls of “we just can afford it now”. “We’re not in a position to do that now”. “We are happy with our current supplier”.
These are just some of the “old regulars” (we call these firewalls to sales) and essentially this is what this programme is about. Eliminating firewalls to sales.We will show you just how to improve all aspects of your sales effectiveness.
We’ll show you how to overcome the firewalls that prevent sales. And improve your conversion rates. If you take these proven strategies you will get better results. Is it the panacea to all your sales ﬁrewalls? No because the ultimate determinant of your ability to succeed is down to you, and the actions you take.
If you take these actions you will create a sales momentum you had never dreamed possible. So let’s get started.
What are the common Firewalls and how do you overcome them?
In our inthinktive PRESENT model we outline the four main firewalls or objections to sales. And you all know them well
You need to focus on some key areas in order to overcome these expected Firewalls.
You need to create Interest. And in order to create interest you need to know your prospects problems. We always preach this mantra. “You Earn The Right To Sell” and it’s earned through better knowledge of the problems you can address.
This is an inescapable element of sales. How can you create interest if you don’t know what your prospects are interested in? In other words if you don’t know what problems they’d like to have solved?
Get your Timing right
Timing is critical and you need to be aware of when and how your prospects buy. For example a client we worked with, we were in effect an “emergency solution” for large contractors building power stations across Europe.
Basically prospects didn’t need or indeed want our client, unless they had an emergency. If their project was behind schedule, or there was a major part of the project that they hadn’t planned for properly which needed emergency intervention, they had a need.
Timing was everything. However they couldn’t just rely on ad hoc contact to get the opportunity to make sales.
They needed to keep in touch with the key decision makers regularly. Let them know who we were and what problem they could solve for them. They needed to create a situation where they became top of mind, the prospect’s first choice, when they did have an emergency.
Likewise for you and your prospects. The follow up is a key element to your sales strategy. Building a relationship over time through regular engagement. Work on your relationships. Strong relationships build strong future partnerships.
Prospects won’t buy from unknown, untried and untested companies. And your job is to work on building your credibility and your relationships with them to build conﬁdence in you and your product or service.
Position your business or yourself as experts in your field and work hard to reinforce your positioning. Send articles. Write blogs. Write case studies. Get lots of testimonials. Speak at events. Create You Tube videos. Ultimately the more you can position yourself in the
prospects minds as experts who can solve their problem. The more likely they are to approach you when they need you.
Next we’ll look at the common Firewalls to sales..
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any help.
Simple, but not easy…..
Call Ronan on +353(86) 7732201
|More sales, more consistently, in less time|
Testimonial Jordan Business Services
February 17, 2014
I have no hesitation in recommending you to any business owners in need of increased sales.. We have found your systematic approach to this vital area to be professional and effective, and all the more powerful as a result of the wide berth of experience that you bring to the delivery of your service. You keep us focused on the end game at all times!
Brenda Jordan – Jordan Business Services
Testimonial Wealthtrack Software
Ronan is a really excellent business coach. He is a great listener but also very experienced in sales management. He has been of huge value to our business. We look forward to our weekly sessions with Ronan. I’d personally have no hesitation in recommending Ronan’s services. He focuses on achieving results. You will not be disappointed.
Richard Fitzgerald CEO Wealthtrack Software Ltd.
Testimonial – Conefrey’s Pharmacy
I really enjoy working with Ronan and he has helped me to unlock my own creativity and apply it to my business. Ronan is very results-focused and is helping me to look at what I do in a new light. As a result of this I am more focused and am enjoying my job a lot more. I am also seeing the benefits bear fruit in my business. I look forward to our weekly meetings and leave with three quality ideas that I can implement immediately
Tomas Conefrey Owner Conefrey’s Pharmacy
Testimonial – DCES
Ronan has been a huge help to CES since launching our new website. We have tried to re-focus why, when and how we do things. He has helped us to achieve these goals. His ability to see the wood from the trees has helped me clarify what I am trying to do and how I can get there quicker!
Jonathon Quinn Marketing Director Centre of English Studies