So, why will knowing about me help you?
First things first, you owe me nothing. I’m grateful you’re spending the time to read this and visit my site. Like me, I know you’re busy and short on time, and you’re investing part of that time on reading this, so thank you.
In return, I will help you grow your business through the various blogs you will read on this site and the tips in my book, if you decide to buy it.
We’ve already established that time is short, then why should you spend your precious time reading about me, when everything on this site is geared towards helping you?
Well, you don’t. In fact, you can happily skip right past this section. But I believe that if you know more about me and what has brought me to this point in my life and career then you will have a better insight into how I can help you more moving forward.
Most “About Me” sections on web-sites read like a history lesson or at best a mini-CV.
Although I struggle to believe you would be in any way interested in what I was doing for a living in 1986 (although I will tell you one day) it will help you get a picture of what shaped my views on all things to do with sales.
1991 is a different story from ’86, though. What I was doing for a living in 1991 definitely had the most significant impact on how I helped people approach sales.
That was the year I learnt once and for all that I hated hard selling! That’s right (you’ll hear me talking about this all over my site) I HATE HARD SELLING!
Before you say it, I know… how can I sit here and talk about helping you increase your sales, if I have just said I hate hard selling?
Well, I can and I will. Because knowing why I hated hard selling set me on a journey. I discovered not only why I hated it, but realised how you can sell without it feeling like you are selling – which is where the concept of the zero sell sale started.
1991 was the year I first got a job in direct sales. Up until then, I had worked in the engineering industry (yes, we still had one back in the 80s!) and my only involvement in direct sales was when I used to help man the stand at trade exhibitions. Before that, when I was at school, I used to spend weekends working on a market stall, though I never counted that as selling, as customers wanted to buy what was on my stall, so I thought that could never be classed as selling (even then I knew there was more to sales than just selling).
So, 1991 was the start of my journey to where I am today. In ’91 I got a job hard-selling policies for an insurance company door-to-door – and I hated it! Every single morning I would wake up feeling a dread for the day ahead. I applied for other jobs, but at the beginning of the Nineties the UK was in the middle of a recession meaning opportunities were thin.
So, I stuck it out, one day at a time. Why did I hate it so much? I hated knocking on people’s doors and trying to sell them insurance policies. I felt like I was forcing something upon them that they didn’t want (even though I appreciated insurance is something we all need)
Was I any good at it? Good enough to get promoted, but I never enjoyed what I was doing. To me, I always thought I was trying to force round pegs into square holes, because I wasn’t taking the time to build relationships with these people and find out what they really wanted to achieve. I was just selling insurance policies, which was not what I wanted to do. I wanted to help, not sell. That’s why I knew I hated that kind of selling, because I much preferred helping people achieve their goals.
I still much prefer helping today, which this site is all about.
After promotion, my role became less to do with direct sales and more to do with developing the sales skills of others. I found I was far better at doing this, because the sales results of the people around me began to surge.
I ended up being Sales Manager and then moved over into a management coaching role in Learning and Development. I held various training positions until, in 2007, I left the company. I felt it was time to expand my horizons and, more importantly, discover new experiences away from the financial services world.
This is when I met Andy Bounds. Andy is the author of the best-selling business book The Jelly Effect, and is widely regarded as an authority on effective business communication.
I became Head of Training for Andy’s training company, and enjoyed helping a wide range of multi-national businesses in disparate industries and sectors, increase their sales and improve their business communication.
Andy has been a huge influence on my career, and for that I can’t thank him enough.
Alongside working for Andy, I also started to build up a different client-base. These were the small-business community that are the absolute bed-rock of the economy. Sole-traders, business start-ups, companies looking to grow from their bed-room to their first office, companies looking to move to the next level by exploring new markets with new products.
I found I particularly enjoyed helping these businesses grow, through increasing their sales. Businesses including web-designers to graphic-designers, yoga teachers to music teachers, printers to physiotherapists, and all manner in-between.
I also found that the majority of business-owners had one common denominator – they loved what they did for a living but mostly hated selling!
That was when I knew I had to write a book to help these businesses. The book and the web-site exist to do just that.
I hope you find them useful!