Secrets of Successful Sales with Alison Edgar
Secrets of successful sales are so important for any business or entrepreneur. Today I’m interviewing Alison Edgar, she’s known as the Entrepreneurs Godmother and Managing Director of Sales Coaching Solutions. She’s an author and entrepreneur, a speaker, and a thought leader. From growing up in a high rise flat in Scotland, and struggling with undiagnosed dyslexia, to working internationally in hospitality management, and ultimately owning and scaling a successful sales training business.
Nathaniel Schooler 0:50
Alison has a fantastic story to tell her debut book Secrets of Successful Sales has reached the top of the Amazon best selling chart and is also known in the top 10 in W.H. Smiths business chart. Alison regularly appears on and contributes to the BBC and LBC Radio and she has been named one of the UK’s top 10 business advisers and the UK is number 1 sales and marketing adviser by Enterprise Nation.
Nathaniel Schooler 1:24
Really pleased to have you on the show Alison.
Nathaniel Schooler 1:34
I know you had a life changing opportunity come along quite recently, the Duke of York runs some kind of organisation and you’re involved with that. And it sounds really quite interesting. I look forward to hearing more about you and that actually! So I’m gonna let you let you tell me a bit about it.
Alison Edgar 1:56
Yeah, so what had happened is one of my clients, I’ve worked with a lot of young entrepreneurs, some of them ex Dragons Den winners or Apprentice winners. I like working with young people, the the bring out the best in me; they inspire me, and I think it’s it’s mutual. And Ben Towers who is a young entrepreneur did a multi million pound merger of this company. He works closely with working closely with the Duke of York idea awards.
Alison Edgar 2:25
It sounded really funky and really cool. And I thought, that’s something I could really get behind. So most people have heard of the Duke of Edinburgh, so with Duke of Edinburgh scheme, you go and you do the running up the hills and you know, you do the the sports activities.
Alison Edgar 2:44
But now with digital being so prevalent not only to younger people, but return to workers after maternity leave, or the unemployed, or others, it’s a really good way to get education for free. So you get the badges. So you get your bronze award, or you will get your silver award. And then the lead up to that so you get your little badges. So it’s in different things, you’ve got like the walker one, the entrepreneurial one, it helps you do coding etc…
Alison Edgar 3:14
So again, if you look at that as a bit of a gap in the market is if you do because as an example, I continued to work while my children were small, but I worked part time. But a lot of people give that time fully to the children. And then they have to go back and they potentially come from corporate world and because the skills have like gone or evaporated. Because techs move so quickly that I just thought that sounded really brilliant thing to help people that are going back to work, help their CV, give them new skills. And ultimately, I think give them confidence because especially with the badges everybody likes to think the one I had, you know up a level or so. I just felt it was something I could get behind.
Alison Edgar 4:00
Also, I’ve got a young team, sort of like Rebecca and my team, she’s achieved her silver award, and she is not a graduate, I take on quite a lot of graduates from intern programs. But Rebecca hasn’t really get any full formal A levels or anything. And for her, it just gave her a whole new lease of life.
Alison Edgar 4:20
So I can see what it does for our team. I was honoured to be made an ambassador for them. So I go add skills in the local area. And I talked about idea and how, again, young people can help with their CV a little bit more, the personal statement a little bit more to really, again, get some confidence and bloom.
Nathaniel Schooler 4:40
Yeah, it’s super important. I remember talking to my Dad about it, because he used to do a lot of interviewing for people from the UK that wanted to go to MIT. So MIT would say to my Dad, well, we’ve got these students, they want to go to MIT, can you interview them, and give us your recommendations. And some of the time, he would actually turn around to the student and say:
“Look, you haven’t got a hope in hell of getting into MIT right now, you need to go away. And you need to you need to go and do a hobby, you need to go out of the country and learn a language or you need more complexity to yourself, because, frankly, you’re a bit thin off off the ground.” And, and this one chap took his advice. And he went away, came back and actually got in, you know, but it’s a really interesting time right now, because the amount of jobs that aren’t even created yet, it’s quite a worrying time for a lot of people, because they’re scared of, of changing, and they’re scared of having to learn everything all over again.
Nathaniel Schooler 5:47
But it’s like, there needs to be this, this sort of ongoing learning, which is almost like when people finish university that I look at me:- “I’ve got an MBA!” it’s like, well, nobody cares. Like, it doesn’t, it doesn’t do anything, because you don’t even know what you’re doing.
Alison Edgar 6:07
So I do quite a lot of keynote, speaking at the University, University of the West of Scotland. I’ve done some work with Plymouth Uni, and the Uni of Bristol, and if I’m speaking about what I do, and again, I try and make everything I talked about as relatable to as many people as I can.
Alison Edgar 6:23
Because I’m a non academic, I find sometimes when people start to talk in academia, I find it quite confusing. They don’t keep it simple enough. It’s not straightforward. So when I’m speaking to the students, what I’ll see, I’ll see it has anybody ever played musical chairs, and they all kind of look around and you’ve got the hand of all play musical chairs.
Alison Edgar 6:43
Okay, so what’s the, you know, the point of musical chairs? Well, you want to be the last one on the chair and you’re the winner. And and if that if I could maybe 25,000 to 30,000 pounds on that chair. How quickly, how much would you want to win the musical chair?
Alison Edgar 7:04
Because that’s what getting the job is like, you know, competing for the same cheer and this 30 grand or 25 grand on it, you would be quicker and slicker than your competition.
Alison Edgar 7:14
So again, the really then start to see the importance of the extracurricular activities that, you know, the hobbies, the languages, the travel, the personal statement, because, again, you can have two students who have got the same results, A level results, but it could come down to the personal statement. And, and it’s the same when we go to work, you know, I help people with that especially since people you know, and it’s not just the, you know, the track record, it’s all the other layers that make them more interesting. So I completely agree with what you just said.
Nathaniel Schooler 7:47
Thank you. I know, you know a lot about sales and you’ve, you’ve done all sorts of all sorts of things. I mean, you’ve got you didn’t you write a book on sales? Have you written more than one?
Alison Edgar 7:57
Wow, Yes, I did. So the book is “Secrets of Successful Sales.” And I think it’s an interesting thing. Because I’m dyslexic. I really struggled with reading and writing.
And people say, Well, how did you overcome that to write a book?
And why did you write a book?
And I think for me, it’s been really strange because I never even really ever wanted to start a start a company, a lot of things just happened, because I just felt that had to do it. So I know that what I teach works, I’ve never had any negative feedback. And when I work with people and we work together one to one or work with a company that I work with a team, they learn to sell.
Alison Edgar 8:40
But how do you help the start-up entrepreneurs who don’t really have much money?
Alison Edgar 8:45
The young entrepreneurs, again, the ones that need you most are the ones who have got the least money, which is just sad, fine. But if you write a book, they can pay 10 pounds, or 15 pounds, whatever it is on Amazon at the time, and they can get that knowledge, at a price.
Alison Edgar 9:02
Then means they have to take action, you know, there’s no do they holding their hand, but the book literally has just gone mad. So it came out on the sixth of March 2018. And I think imposter syndrome is something I talk about a lot, because I still probably suffer with a bit of imposter syndrome around the book. Because I’m not an author, you know, and it’s, I can’t actually people introduce me as an often
Alison Edgar 9:30
because I’ve written a big and what happened with it was, I love LinkedIn. You know, that’s how we obviously me and I spent a lot of taking, you know, what a post some educational pieces and things of what I’m doing, and I get quite excited. So when the book arrived, we did our 22 second video of me open in the box, and literally is 20 seconds.
Alison Edgar 9:51
And we go, we’ve got a book, we’ve got a book…it had something like 70,000 views of this little video. And so on the launch day on Amazon, it’s all day. And people were having to wait two weeks to get a copy of the book because we couldn’t get them published quickly enough.
Alison Edgar 10:11
So now we’re 11 months on from launch. It has, hit number one, so really quickly, but in the last 10 months, it’s never really been out of the top 10 in it’s categories, which is really unusual, because a lot of people that have a big like rocket launch, and then it disappears to like a million in one.
Alison Edgar 10:31
But it it’s just gone mad. And not just in sales, but reviews. So again, this is another thing that I didn’t expect. It’s hard to do as we speak. There’s 93 five star reviews of my book from people that I don’t know. And it’s you know, again, they’re not planted reviews every other day I get a message from somebody I’ve never met in my life from all around the world who say how the book, you know, has transformed it.
Alison Edgar 10:59
So my debut big Secrets of Successful Sales, I’ll get that pitch in there again. But I’ve also co-authored another book, which is called Sales Genius. I’ve written a chapter for Sales Genius.
Alison Edgar 11:11
And I’m now working on book number two. And I’ve just done my first TEDx. So I’ve done a TEDx and the title of that is “The Art of Getting What you Want.” So book number two is “The Art of Getting What You Want. But it’s again, it’s an interesting one, the word sales it’s a love hate it’s a Marmite word isn’t it?Some people who love “sales, other people like ugh sales, dirty sleazy, that’s not me.”
Alison Edgar 11:42
So again, if you’re not in sales secrets of successful sales wouldn’t be something you would pick off the shelf, but the art of getting what you want will, but actually, everything you do as a sale.
Alison Edgar 11:53
So it’s evidence based from the first boot. So I’ve got 9000 words down, I’m off to Dubai, and a couple of weeks time just to try and refocus and get some more writing done. So I can’t believe it. And the other thing I did was again, I really struggled to read because of the dyslexia I’m good at talking as you can here, I enjoy speaking.
Alison Edgar 12:13
But if you gave me a piece of paper to read out you would think it was a five year old that was reading because I really struggle, but I managed to narrate my own audio book. So that was a bit like running a marathon, try to read even though I’d written it myself in the book. So that’s something I’m really proud of. And I think I try to inspire other people to do things and push themselves a little bit farther. But that was my definitely that was my marathon.
Nathaniel Schooler 12:38
That’s really great. It’s lovely to lovely to understand a bit more about you and your your book titles are fantastic, I must say absolutely spot on. It’s so exciting to actually write something and create something and actually create something that can change people’s lives.
Nathaniel Schooler 12:58
I mean, that’s, in essence, what we’re talking about. Because with sales if you’re not making any and you’re becoming worried, and you’re becoming stressed, and you’re becoming depressed. Because it’s depressing, then you in essence, you are going backwards and that will slow you down. If you don’t find a way to find the information to take action and make something happen it will it will stop you in your tracks and you’ll you know you won’t get up in the morning you drink some booze you may take drugs; you make you know sleep late, because don’t want to get up because life’s just too depressing and it’s very very difficult because there is a stigma around sales there’s no doubt about it.
Nathaniel Schooler 13:43
One of my one of my old a late trainer of mine unfortunately passed away; he wrote a book it’s got to be 20 years ago now called “The Accidental Salesman” and that was because he hated pushy selling and unfortunately it’s prevalent in marketing and sales because they’re both the same, they’re both just different sides of the same coin.
Nathaniel Schooler 14:03
You and I know this in fact he trained me in telephone sales so I that was the first thing I learned how to do was telephone sales It was really quite hard it was really really tough and it’s difficult to get over that rejection when you feel it in your it’s almost like you feel it in your chest it’s almost like a personal rejection and it’s and it’s just like just pick up the phone just just get on with it with telephone sales.
Nathaniel Schooler 14:31
Where would you start now with all the social media and research you can actually do?
Nathaniel Schooler 14:37
I mean I that’s what I love because I’m a bit a bit of a geek so I will research using a tool that I have and then I’ll then I won’t cold call people because I just it doesn’t work for me any-more. I could but I think the pain would outweigh the gain personally.
Alison Edgar 14:56
Yeah. I mean I completely agree. So I’m my background started off in telesales as well so I come from a telesales background from you know from the start and I was actually achieved by BT so we used to do business to business outbound telephone sales and all you will love this because I’m trying to like not giving you my age on this. But we used to sell pagers because there weren’t any mobile phones
Nathaniel Schooler 15:25
I had a pager! 😉
Alison Edgar 15:25
Everyone needed a pager and then mobile phones came in which was great and we would do telephone systems and when back so at the time BT had lost some market share to one of its competitors and we were to convince people to come back to BT again so I really positive nor the the training they give you is absolutely amazing and the core training I had really helped me to be good at sales. And again, find my own niche.
Alison Edgar 15:52
It’s really interesting that there’s a lot of talk on LinkedIn is cold calling is it dead or alive? And for me, I don’t think we have to cold call any-more It’s not 1984 you know, in the book I talk about sales process and step one and step two is being organised and doing your research because if you’re just phoning up.
Alison Edgar 16:13
“Can I speak to the person that deals with your photocopiers or whatever.”
Alison Edgar 16:18
It is they would be like “Can you send it to NeverGoingToHappen.com and we’ll come back to you!”
Alison Edgar 16:25
Because so many people have got a new name policy. If you’ve got a target customer and if it’s ABC manufacturing you know all you do is going to LinkedIn ABC Manufacturing head of procurement, managing director, CEO, head of HR and then you connect and not I mean this does my head and on LinkedIn and people just try and flog their products.
Alison Edgar 16:51
Hello I’m selling you a photocopier! Would you like to buy one?
Alison Edgar 16:56
You wouldn’t do that in real life, would you? You wouldn’t have done that in cold calling days why would you do it now?
Alison Edgar 17:03
Oh hi. Like to connect with you. I’m based in your area I see that you you do manufacturing, how are things going in the manufacturing industry?
Alison Edgar 17:12
We’re reading photocopiers things are going really well at the moment. You know, be great to talk to somebody who would be the person that we deal with that?
Alison Edgar 17:20
So you don’t have to pick up and get blocked by the gatekeeper. In the no name policy. You just side swipe everything. And you know the name of the person if you are going to pick up the phone.
Alison Edgar 17:31
“Can I speak to John Smith and the procurement department?”
Alison Edgar 17:33
“Can ask who’s calling?”
Alison Edgar 17:35
“Yep it’s Allison Edgar”
Alison Edgar 17:36
“What’s it’s regarding?
Alison Edgar 17:37
“Conversation we’ve had on LinkedIn thanks bye.”
Alison Edgar 17:39
So again, you’re more likely to get through than the NeverGoingToHappen.com it’s about being smart and I think that’s where looking at telesales it does work but not if your phone and and getting blocked by the gatekeeper.
Alison Edgar 17:55
Spending five minutes longer doing your research and having a productive call is better. Even if that person is not the right person to give you the gateway, or you know, you don’t the reader or that’s good.
Alison Edgar 18:06
“So you’ve got the photocopier on a five year lease, just out of interest when does the lease end?
Alison Edgar 18:10
“It’s in 2019, July.”
Alison Edgar 18:14
“Fantastic. How would you feel if it does come up, we could create a competitive quote against your current supplier?
Alison Edgar 18:21
Who’s not going to say yes to that. So again, it’s just really I sound quite good at this, maybe I should actually do this for a job?
Nathaniel Schooler 18:31
Nodding away here going. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense!
Alison Edgar 18:35
It’s like I am a sales trainer!
Nathaniel Schooler 18:42
Back to the telesales, right. I used to have a very targeted approach to everything. When I worked in the wine industry, we used to sell into garden centres, and farm shops and tourist attractions. We used to sell to like the Royal Palaces and really posh venues as well.
Nathaniel Schooler 19:06
I remember when we had a roller deck, seriously, I kid you not. And we had this really posh lady in the office called Jane and before she worked there. She used to actually sell double glazing on the phone. She was a double glazing sales lead generator.
Nathaniel Schooler 19:25
I just never forget, she would just say:- “Oh, you must call this company this week. they’ve they’ve got a new change of change of buyer, you must phone them.”
Nathaniel Schooler 19:37
I would pick up the card and I’d be like:- “Oh, wow, I’ve been trying to get in here for five years.”
Nathaniel Schooler 19:44
And then I would pick the phone up, chat them up and say:-
Nathaniel Schooler 19:46
“Oh, hi. I’ve noticed you’ve just started here. And isn’t that exciting?”
Nathaniel Schooler 19:51
“You’re in your new role… “
Nathaniel Schooler 19:52
You need a personality right? I think the most important thing is actually having, where I’m sitting if I’m if I’m trying to do business, for example, in an influencer marketing company that I’m working with, I’ve actually worked to create a script; which is just a guideline, yeah, I don’t use it, like, “Oh, I must repeat every word of this.”
Nathaniel Schooler 20:21
Because if you do that, right, you’re not human Are you you’re just parrot!
Alison Edgar 20:26
I completely agree. So I’m completely anti script. Because I don’t believe sales comes from a piece of paper. It comes from your heart and your passion, I believe more in a formula. So when we teach the thing called the “Wind Production.”
Alison Edgar 20:41
Because ultimately, the buyer when you really cares about what’s in it for them, they really don’t care about you at all. It’s just what’s in it for them. So we use the formula again, I work with lots of industries, because I’m not industry specific. But one day, I’m working with people who do telecoms the next time doing manufacturing. And, you know, so I can mortgages I was doing mortgages, I think so it’s just literally looking for that formula, which is the same no matter what.
Alison Edgar 21:07
It is quite interesting because you touched on it, the especially the telesales that you’re not seeing people face to face. So the tone the pitch and the confidence are really, really important. If you go or really sorry to bother you wanted to speak to the person who deals with it screams a sales call. And that’s where the NeverGoingToHappen.com comes from. Actually, if you elevate your tone, your pitch and your confidence, people will be more confident in you. And it does help to be honest, a lot of the call centres will always open in Scotland because we’ve got a bit of a singing so you’ve always good so we can all be Scottish. But if you have a monitor and you really need to work on the up and down the Annunciation, right people will engage with your voice
Nathaniel Schooler 21:59
But also I mean I’m I was learning the other day I can’t remember what I was reading or listening I listened to something that was quite interesting and it was so after you’ve done your research you know about the company, you know about your product and you know about the person that you’re talking with you get you pick up the phone and you call them up and you get them on the end of the phone and the major problem is that you give them too much information and they can’t think.
Nathaniel Schooler 22:27
So you go “Oh, hi there it’s john from such and such and we do this right bla bla bla….”
Nathaniel Schooler 22:34
The problem is that you just you’re completely drowning their brain they can’t even think.
Nathaniel Schooler 22:43
So what would you say if you were calling me? and I was your ideal client. How would you call me?
Alison Edgar 22:54
I think it would be purpose; I think this is the thing that everybody should have in the back of their mind is the purpose so again it always makes it warmer if that expecting the call which is fine you would do something via LinkedIn because then they’ll know.
Alison Edgar 23:07
But I think the other thing is you only need to try and get some sort of pause in there and get permission to actually get the person to have that conversation.
Alison Edgar 23:21
So we are a bit naughty because if people for inbound to us to telesales to cold call us. I start the timer and literally I will start the timer on my phone. The girls all know, oh no there it is it’s a cold call! “She started her timer!”
Alison Edgar 23:35
People can rabbit on for like two minutes. They haven’t asked me if it’s a convenient time to talk they haven’t asked you know, they just haven’t got any buy in and they just go on for three minutes and in the book there’s a section about a lady that dead cold callers there’s how not to cold call. And what she did was literally she just she went on and on and on.
Alison Edgar 23:59
And she’s talking to sell me websites. So it’s a website and I think marketing type things and and this is another thing not to do. So again because I think I train in sales I’m probably a bit more tolerant of people who don’t know how to do it because I think well if they’ve never been trained or they’ve never been taught it’s not a bad thing.
Alison Edgar 24:22
So what I did was I let her waffle on on and do it alone. And I did the usual rate send me an email to never going to happen. Don’t call anyway I passed it them back to the team. So if you look at and this is another thing I think :- people talk to the wrong people in an organisation.
Alison Edgar 24:37
So she kind of had me: I am the decision maker but I managed to pass it back down to one of the team so I think that again that gives you an idea that somebody is not that interested you have not really caught that bond of why they should listen or why they should buy and then she sent the information and get her to do she got back up to me again.
Alison Edgar 24:56
So she was quite tenacious a thing that’s another thing too activity but she did the most awful thing. So I’ve got three websites I’ve got alisonedgar.com which is my speaking website and author website I’ve got entrepreneurs godmother, which is again from start-ups and micro businesses.
Alison Edgar 25:13
And I’ve got sales coaching solutions, which works with teams. Now we have just recently redone sales coaching solutions. But it hadn’t been touched for a couple of years and the entrepreneurs godmother we work hard on that website; we put our blogs and it gets a lot of traffic and got a chat. And then again, it’s marketed well. I literally led her down a path. And this is another top tip, don’t let the client lead you down the path of no return. So she said something about websites. I gave it enough enough rope to hang herself, shall we say, and I said.
“Okay. So what is it you think is wrong with my website?”
Alison Edgar 25:51
“Well, it’s very dated.” And you know that and she started you know, about how bad my website was?
Okay I gave her the benefit of the doubt job, and one of the websites was dated, but one of them’s new and I said:- “Which one was it?
And she then said, it was the one that was I’ve just spent all the time and money and effort on that one!
Alison Edgar 26:11
Again, comes back to exactly what you’re saying she hadn’t done her research. Because if she had looked at the bottom of the website, she would have seen it was 2018 dated.
Alison Edgar 26:20
So again, if you are selling websites, and you’re cold calling, for example, if you’ve not done your research, if it’s a website is not mobile friendly, it’s been kicking around from 2011.
Nathaniel Schooler 26:34
I’ve tried to sell websites in the past, yeah. And what you find with those people, is that they don’t even see the value of a website in the first place. So trying to convince them that they need one, you may as well not bother because they actually don’t care. They don’t actually care at all. So there’s no buying motivation
Alison Edgar 26:58
And again, that’s what the situation was. But coming back to your initial your question, what would you do, if you were cold calling. If I was looking at your website and you haven’t updated your website since 2011. And again, it wasn’t mobile friendly, it wasn’t ranked highly on Google, you know, you can start going and bla bla bla what you’d have to say:-
Alison Edgar 27:17
“Oh hi the purpose of this call is I’ve had like a look at your website, I see that, it’s not been updated for a little while just to find out how much value you know you put towards it, and what your plans are to update it over the next six to 12 months. Again, what’s your plans to update it?”
Alison Edgar 27:33
And if they see nothing, it’s a brochure say, I’m not interested again, you’re not going to sell to them anyway.
Alison Edgar 27:40
But the more people you would have that conversation with, actually, you will hit somebody who says, You know what, actually, I was thinking about getting my website updated. And again, that’s a buying signal for you to then be able to carry on.
So again, it comes back to the what’s in it for them. Because we know that mobile friendly is getting, you know, pushed back. We, you know, we need all the things if you were selling websites, that is of course, why it’s really important bit for you to tell them they need a new website. It’s just going to get the backup as it did with the lady who called called me.
Nathaniel Schooler 28:10
Yeah, because it’s it’s basically just saying, what are your plans? Here you go. You need to do this…
Alison Edgar 28:18
“Now I see, you’ve not done it for a while, just to find out that, you know, what, why, why you haven’t touched it, how important it is, and what are your plans for the next 6 to 12 months?”
Alison Edgar 28:28
“How are you to talk about that just now?”
Nathaniel Schooler 28:32
I’m ready. I’m ready. What when? When do you start?
Alison Edgar 28:39
When we spoke offline, that for me, it’s really important that I practice what I teach.
Alison Edgar 28:43
So again, there’s a lot of people who move in to becoming sales trainers and they weren’t particularly great at sales, you know, maybe they got voluntary redundancy or whatever needs to get a wee bit of cash.
Alison Edgar 28:55
I think I’ll setup a sales training company or consultancy company, I was really hot, at sales. Everything that I did and put into the book was what I did, and the other top performers did.
So it’s not based on theory. It’s based on reality. And, you know, I have been in the call centres, I have had to do cold calling and I’ve had to do it. And I did it really well, because I won the prizes and the cheques and they’re taking my knowledge and put it in the book, not regurgitated other people’s stuff.
Nathaniel Schooler 29:26
So you’re a bit like that guy in the Glengarry Glen Ross movie? Who slams the watch down on top of the briefcase! Have you seen it?
Alison Edgar 29:33
No, I haven’t. People tell me about it all the time I’ll have to watch it.
Nathaniel Schooler 29:37
Oh, you want to watch that film is absolutely stonking, because he basically just comes in and he says he says. “I think he walks in and he says he says something like gives them the good news yeah and then he gets in the bad news, the good news is you’re fired!” You have got to watch it!
Alison Edgar 29:59
I have watched the The Wolf of Wall Street and it’s quite interesting because Jordan Belfort’s book and my book were like head to head for the number one slot at the time because I think his book came out a similar time.
Alison Edgar 30:11
He was number one and number two and and I’m like me trying to get past him and he’s got a bit of an advantage. He’s actually got Leonardo DiCaprio was paid them in a film.
Alison Edgar 30:24
I can’t play Jordan Belfort. So, it’s an interesting concept. But, you know, you look at one of the things from the Wolf of Wall Street, the guy was an absolute genius, if it wasn’t using it for the wrong means, you know, the boiler room scams and you know, the Ponzi schemes and things if you just did clean stuff, you know, even though I think he’s lost a lot of respect, because I wouldn’t want to take advice from a criminal but you know, some people do…
Nathaniel Schooler 30:54
Yeah, but I think, you know, that model though, is actually being replicated in the Bitcoin arena, like, I’m getting calls every day, I’ve had to block 20 numbers. Because I was interested in just learning. I didn’t want to buy anything. I want to learn about what solution they had, because it sounded really good. Then I research the company after I had stupidly, put my phone number into this website, and literally just getting calls every day.
Nathaniel Schooler 31:24
And they were so aggressive. I just said, look, I said, I’m busy. I’m in a meeting absorbed in what I’m doing. Send me an email. And then I get a call the next day, same rude woman on the end of the phone, no idea how to have a conversation with someone that doesn’t want to buy.
Nathaniel Schooler 31:46
If you don’t have a budget to buy anything, or you don’t want to buy anything, you’re not. I mean, I learnt this. Jay Abraham said, there are three reasons people don’t buy from you. This is what he said. I don’t know if you agree with this. I hope so.
Nathaniel Schooler 32:05
So he said, the first one is the timing isn’t right.
Alison Edgar 32:08
Yeah. Completely. Yeah.
Nathaniel Schooler 32:10
Second one is, the product isn’t right. Or the service.
Nathaniel Schooler 32:15
And then third one is, the pricing isn’t right. Yeah. Then that’s, that’s it simple.
Alison Edgar 32:21
I mean, now I would lead in an additional part. And there is ultimately people by people and people by people who normally like them, that’s again, the stuff I teach around behaviours.
So I think it’s a combination of all but definitely timing and, you look at the website lady, you know, I had just done one in 2018, am I going to buy another one no.
Alison Edgar 32:41
So, again, does come back to doing the research and really having a plan and a purpose. Like everything I do, what is the purpose people pick up the phone, and they just don’t have the purpose and the waffle because they don’t really know what the purpose of the call.
Nathaniel Schooler 32:56
So at the beginning of the call. Let’s it just do a fake one. You call me?
Nathaniel Schooler 33:03
Yeah. Okay. And I’ve picked up a ring ring. “Hello Nat here, How can I help you?”
Alison Edgar 33:10
“Hi. Nat it’s Alison Edgar the Entrepreneurs GodMother, I see that you’re actually LinkedIn and that you do a Podcast. So the purpose of the call really was just to discuss maybe looking to do something regarding your podcast. I can see here on your mobile ready to talk for a couple of minutes.”
Nathaniel Schooler 33:27
No, I can’t really do today. You sound like a great person, though. And I’m really, really interested. Yeah, if you’ve got a time slot that we could maybe arrange for tomorrow?
Alison Edgar 33:38
Yeah, perfectly what I’m going to do, what’s your email address? and I’ll send you a calendar invite.
Nathaniel Schooler 33:43
Oh great it’s firstname.lastname@example.org
Alison Edgar 33:47
Perfect two o’clock in the diary. And what I’ll do is I’ll send an agenda and a purpose of what we’re going to talk about. And it says the asking for the permission to talk and interest in one go because a lot of sales trainers will not teach you to do that.
The teacher just to ball through. But one of the things when I work with telesales companies, I make them close their eyes. So we do listen backs.
Alison Edgar 34:11
We record the calls from the outset with a person when I’m coaching and I see right, close your eyes, and they will say:- “Okay.”
Alison Edgar 34:17
So they close their eyes and their closing their eyes, what they do is they actually hear the background noise. So again, like you’ve not got any background noise. So it’s usually quite a good time. And people again, if your hooks strong enough, people will actually want to know why you’re calling. Does that make sense?
Alison Edgar 34:37
So people who they might not have much time they’re usually quite nosy, and they want to know what you actually want. Because they have, you know, with your podcast, you don’t know whether I’m trying to sponsor your podcast or whether I want to be on your podcast, or when I’ve listened to it or you don’t really know.
So I would talk about your Podcast, so naturally, you will start to think I wonder what she wants.
Nathaniel Schooler 35:00
You’re basically talking about their their business.
Nathaniel Schooler 35:05
“Well, I’d like to learn more about Build Business Acumen. Can you tell me a little bit more about your business? Because I’m really interested in finding out as I think that’s something we could work on together.”
Alison Edgar 35:16
Yeah. And I think you have to be careful with it. Because you can’t make it look like you’re going to buy something from them. Again, a lot of people falsely try and hook you in because when you do get an inbound call, as especially a small business, because you don’t know what they want, when they might be trying to buy something from you. So you can’t be rude to say, No, I don’t want to talk to you.
Alison Edgar 35:37
But again, if you get the purpose and quickly, but I do think, you know, I definitely know it’s probably against what a lot of people teach, because the you get the pause and then you just speak over, I really want buy in because if you’re going to buy in and see ya got a couple of minutes, or actually, I’m really in the middle of something can we speak to tomorrow. They are more likely to have a conversation and listen to you.
Alison Edgar 36:00
There’s no point in trying to flog things when people are busy. And that’s a fault that I think a lot of people do. You don’t ask that question. And they don’t know what’s going on in the background. You know, you could be right in the middle of you know, if somebody for me now, obviously, my phones on silent, but I couldn’t talk to them. It’s not that I don’t want to talk to them. I just can. So again, I think it’s really shaping that relationship is about having a relationship with your potential client. And you can’t do that if you just start talking at them.
Nathaniel Schooler 36:30
So you’re, you’re basically starting off the process of getting as many yes’s as you can, right. I mean, that’s in essence. So, you know, in in all selling and marketing business to business sales, right? We want them say yes, don’t we.
Nathaniel Schooler 36:48
Because the sooner they say, yes, they give you permission to talk to them. Right? Yeah. Okay. So, in business to business sales, if you are discussing with them something ideally, you wouldn’t say yes, as many times as possible, because then when you come to closing, right, it doesn’t feel like closing and it doesn’t feel like I’m closing any way to them. Because they’ve already closed themselves. Right.
Alison Edgar 37:16
Yeah, it’s really interesting, because a fast start doing a course, I see it’s a sales team. And at the start of the course, I go down and get them to put on the post it note what their objective for the courses, what do they want to get, you know, what’s the goal for them, and I absolutely love it when they say closing, like, I do a little mini first bump to myself, because the reason we can’t causes have never opened for trying to sell too soon.
Alison Edgar 37:42
So again, for me, I teach people to so if it’s a face to face meeting, or a telephone meeting, or whatever it is, I call it setting the table. So again, if I called you back then at two o’clock in the afternoon, okay, thank you so much for taking the call.
Alison Edgar 37:56
But I want to do is I want to discuss a couple of things, what you’re currently doing for your your, your sales training, how many are in your team?
Alison Edgar 38:05
Looking at how you drive things forward over the next 12 months?
How does that sound to you?
“Yeah, that’s good. Alison.”
So again, they’re saying Yes.
“So then what I would expect to do this will take us about 30 minutes. I’m also going to ask questions regarding your turnover and your growth potential plans, which will probably touch on finance your key to talk about the finance and the growth plans?”
Alison Edgar 38:28
Yeah, that’s fine. You know, usually they’ll see yes.
If you don’t set the table at the start, and you then start to talk about budget and finance and money, they’ll go:-“What do you want to know that for nosy parker?”
Alison Edgar 38:42
Because you’ve not set the table farther back. Whereas if you said that you’re going to be doing that, then you can, and then again, by asking them.
Alison Edgar 38:50
So what are the challenges you’ve got with your sales team?
Alison Edgar 38:53
You know, how many are in the sales team?
Alison Edgar 38:55
How many of them are are hitting target?
Alison Edgar 38:58
What percentage miss?
Alison Edgar 39:00
What do you think the main reasons that they’re not hitting target?
Alison Edgar 39:03
What have you done already to, you know, to try and turn those performances around?
Alison Edgar 39:09
How successful has that been?
Alison Edgar 39:11
What would be your ideal way to do that?
Alison Edgar 39:13
So again, I’m firing it loads of open questions. Obviously, you don’t do that, because that sounds like scripted, but you would listen to what the answers were.
But ultimately, you have things that you wanted them to see. And by asking the right question, so ideally, you want them to say :-”I’ve got a sales team of 30, 20 of them are bringing an 80% of the revenue, what I’d like is more tips for them to enhance their sales. And what I’d like is the middle ground people, I’d like them to be able to hit target. So what I need is a structure for them.”
Alison Edgar 39:42
So again, that’s the answers you want to your pre-loaded in the questions back in to try and get them not get them to see because they make that may not be the challenge and you’re not going to sell to everyone. If you’re asking these questions, then what you do at the end is you would draw a line in the sand.
Alison Edgar 39:59
So okay, that just to confirm what you’ve said, Is this this this, is that correct?
Alison Edgar 40:04
Yes. Allison? That’s correct.
Alison Edgar 40:05
So again, it’s that yes, at the time, where do you draw the line in the sand, and that’s the bit where they do all the talking. And then it becomes all you’re doing is selling the benefits of what you sell and matching them in. So it’s, again, very formulaic, but lots and lots of small businesses, and lots of businesses have never followed that formula.
Nathaniel Schooler 40:29
So at the end there, you’re literally just confirming back to them what they said to you. And then you just say, so is it, okay if I let you know, on a on an offer that I can I can make for you, which is going to help you with your business to fix all these all these little problems that you just told me about?
Alison Edgar 40:47
Go even further back than that. So they’ve just said yes, and I’d say that, okay, the benefit of me and some the UK Top 10 business adviser have worked with people in different industries they’ve had as a result of working with me they have had an upturn in sales of 25%.
Alison Edgar 41:01
It’s also meant that they have retained, so they’ve not had to spend money on recruitment. And the benefit is I’ll come to your premises and do it so that you don’t have to, you know, send them out. Also, I can do it on a half day basis, and repeating the same content. So your operation still goes in. So, let me just have a look at my diary. Actually, I’ve got a couple of dates available, the 14th February or 26th February. Which one would be best for you, for us to start, you know, working with the team?
Nathaniel Schooler 41:33
So you don’t even talk about anything, except for you just go straight into that?
Alison Edgar 41:37
If they’re saying yes, the whole way through, right to close, and then they would say what’s the price?
Nathaniel Schooler 41:45
And then, so then they go, what’s the price even after you’ve put them into the diary?
Alison Edgar 41:51
Sometimes that might come up a wee bit earlier, but again, if you’ve asked the money question, so for example, if the average value or order or the sales persons target is a thousand pounds a day. All you need to do again, is justify the cost back to the margin. And then you know, you’ve pretty much paid for yourself, because you’re going to increase sales.
Nathaniel Schooler 42:13
Yeah. Right. So you would basically say to them, so. So say they’ve got 30 sales people?
Nathaniel Schooler 42:22
You you would you would say, so how many sales people do you have this?
Nathaniel Schooler 42:27
They say 30.
Nathaniel Schooler 42:27
Then you would say:- “How many sales in revenue terms do they need to make to pay for their salary and give you 1000 pounds a day profit?” And you then ask them that question, once they come back with, they need to sell 10 K’s worth of product per day to give me x x x.
Nathaniel Schooler 42:49
Then you say, Well, I’ll tell you what, that’s fine. I can do this. And that’s what it is. So you’ve you’ve justified you’re going to spend because because you’re you’re not guaranteeing it. But you’re you’re you’re basically saying that they’re going to increase sales by working with you.
Alison Edgar 43:11
I’ve never had any negative feedback on anything I’ve done. And I’ve never had any company that I’ve worked with, you have an increased sales as a result of the work so and again, I think they need reassurance.
Alison Edgar 43:28
So some people won’t make a decision. And then some well, but like I always say, I’ve got I don’t know how many hundreds of testimonials on LinkedIn. Literally, you just pick up the phone to anyone on their ask them what it’s like to work with Alison Edgar. And they’ll all tell you exactly the same thing that I’ve increased the sales.
Alison Edgar 43:48
So again, it’s that reassurance that I don’t want to break my duck working with a company that doesn’t happen. So I wouldn’t put my you know, I put out personally put my money where my mouth is. And I think that’s where having confidence in your product; you need to and you won’t be able to sell it. So it feeds back to me practising what I teach you.
Nathaniel Schooler 44:11
Right, it’s it’s knowing your product, isn’t it? And knowing the pricing of it. Like that’s the most difficult thing in the entrepreneurial journey is a sort of, you know, you come up with an idea and you’re like, well, I want to sell this and then you’re like, and it’s like, but that actually doesn’t go back to your purpose.
Alison Edgar 44:32
Purpose is really important.
Nathaniel Schooler 44:33
Yeah, the purpose of like, why you’re doing what you’re doing because if you don’t have a strong purpose, everything you do is going to fail, because you just did it for the money and people feel that and when you look at them in the eyes they go I know that she’s just in it for the money or he’s just in it for the money not to actually help people. To help society as a whole but just in it for the money right? And no one likes that.
Alison Edgar 44:59
No, definitely not and as I said before, about the book the messages that I get and let’s leave unprompted. I get unprompted messages. And like, even people that I have trained years and years ago, still use what I’ve taught them and then maybe going into different jobs and become more successful leaders. Well, and I think it’s, that’s what makes me tick.
Alison Edgar 45:22
And sometimes my husband thinks I run a charity, because I spend my time doing give back again, with things like the schools or pupils, and students and universities, I work with the business hubs accelerator programs, and I gave them my time for free. I work with women’s organisations like everyone, give my time for free.
Alison Edgar 45:44
So sometimes my husband is like, and “Do you run a charity?”
Alison Edgar 45:48
Fortunately, again, I feel a bit like Robin Hood, because the larger organisations who have got budget will pay me and it means that smaller people who need me most I can give 10 back for free.
Nathaniel Schooler 45:59
It’s important, you know, I dedicate a certain amount of my time every month to help people if they come to me, but the problem is that you can, you can show the horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. And in many cases, you’ll find that actually, what sits behind them as an individual is what’s holding them back. And actually, it’s not, not the guidance that they need, it’s actually probably a psychiatrist or some sort of counsellor, because actually, they think that starting a business or making sales is going to help them. But really, there’s an underlying problem.
Alison Edgar 46:34
And I think it’s quite interesting because for me, you know what people say, Oh, yeah, start your own business, get freedom, get financial freedom. And actually starting your own business is probably one of the hardest things, I compare it to when I had my kids, it’s like, yeah, it keeps you awake at night.
Alison Edgar 46:50
You do have to think, especially as you grow your team, you’ve got people in there, it’s not just your salary, it’s everybody.
Alison Edgar 46:56
So you have to be on your performance every single day. I think, you know, for me, I practice what I teach, literally, what you see with me, is what you get. And you know, sometimes these when you don’t, you know, things happen out of your control.
And it’s just horrific it is like sales, you know, you think, oh, that’s brilliant. That’s going to happen, this is going to happen, and it doesn’t happen. And it affects the knock on and everything, but it’s how you can overcome your mindset. And know we did touch on the mental health aspect, and I think seems people do struggle from mental health, because the are so used to being good at what they do, and when things don’t go to really take it, that they’re probably their own worst critic.
Alison Edgar 47:36
You know, you do go back to old school style. And, you know, the high pressure sales, there was a lot of work hard, play hard, there was a lot of heavy drinking. And again, that feeds into the mental health and especially for men in sales, because the might tend to be the provider so if they’re not providing and they’re relying on that commission.
Alison Edgar 47:56
I’ve seen people do desperate things really desperate things signing their own orders. Not from the training company. This is when I worked in sales for companies saying their own orders and I think that doesn’t come from them being bad people. I think it comes from desperation and I think you’re on the line in the mindset and thing right you know what I’m going to change my mindset I’m going to really grow this so I’m going to be positive and I think the more positive you are it helps your sales.
Nathaniel Schooler 48:21
I agree completely. I think mindset is everything really and so in terms of sort of customer service, what’s your what’s your what’s your take on customer service like what’s your process on that
Alison Edgar 48:35
So I’m going to tell you a wee secret, don’t tell everyone so the mission statement of the company is I genuinely believe when it’s delivered correctly that sales and customer service is exactly the same thing. So I do customer service training as well for organisations like the council’s or I’ve done hotels and hospitality.
Alison Edgar 48:59
Actually don’t tell anyone but the slide pack is exactly the same as the slide pack that I use for sales training, bar two slides.
Alison Edgar 49:12
That’s how closely linked it is, because if we look at hospitality for example, if you’ve got suites available or you’ve got an A La Carte taster menu.
Alison Edgar 49:28
This is again the customer service people kind of tend to judge their budget as a hospitality professional or as a customer service person, so they don’t pitch bigger.
Alison Edgar 49:38
So for an example again say it was a hotel that was running at low occupancy and they had suites no they’re not going to upgrade somebody for the same price into a suite but they could actually say:- “I’ve got a bit of an uplift here you can have a sweet and we can throw in dinner has been extra hundred pounds. How does that sound to you?”
Alison Edgar 49:57
Some people will just say yes, it’s the Disneyland phenomenal people will just buy Fast Track passes but by not actually offering them to me you’re giving them a disservice. But what it does is it gives you like an extra hundred hundred quid on the top line, you know, 50 quid on the bottom line.
Alison Edgar 50:12
So to me that’s the same thing that and again, it comes down to question and techniques. Retail drives me mad because when you go into a retailer the retailer says :-“Can I help you?”
Alison Edgar 50:24
Really did you actually say that out loud?
Alison Edgar 50:27
What do you think I’m going to say? You’re tuned to more or less see no thank you whereas if you say:- “Oh thanks for popping into our store today what brought you in?”
Alison Edgar 50:37
Because they are in for something that may be and to get out of the rain but they are in! You may know why they came in!
Alison Edgar 50:42
Because if you ask them what brought you in today? or “Looking for a present for Granny?”
Alison Edgar 50:47
“What kind of things does Granny like?”
Alison Edgar 50:49
“How old is Granny? What kind of things have you bought in the past?”
Alison Edgar 50:53
You’ve just brought Granny a new kettle I don’t know what you bought Granny, but if you asked that person if you could help you. They would have gone walking around the the shop looking for something for Granny couldn’t get in their head around it and they would have walked out.
Alison Edgar 51:05
Again it is good customer service to get a present for Granny, then they’ll tell the friends:- “I’ve got something in that shop, they were really really helpful but this for granny well maybe we’ll go back and get something for Aunty Jane!” So again to me it’s just intrinsically linked to be the same thing.
Nathaniel Schooler 51:22
Makes sense, I mean you can you just you go to a supermarket now I mean let’s let’s have that as an example. It’s you’re being employed by the supermarket to do your own shopping. Customer service in general, Waitrose is an exception I don’t shop in Waitrose, my Dad does.
Nathaniel Schooler 51:43
But it’s because everything’s going online. You know, I order on Sainsbury’s online. It’s unbelievable the service is amazing, gets delivered within an hour slot. I have a selection of products that are the size of your arm.
Nathaniel Schooler 52:00
Why would I want to go into a store and spend an hour and a half and looking for stuff that I want when I can go 20 minutes online? It cost me three quid for delivery.
Nathaniel Schooler 52:11
In terms of customer service in retail. We’ve got. We’ve got Waitrose in the UK. Which is an amazing supermarket for customer service. When you when you walk in there if you’re lost. The training that they have in Waitrose is exceptionally good because, you know:- “They will say you all right? can I help you?”
Nathaniel Schooler 52:36
They will take you straight to what you need. If they can’t find it, they will find someone else who can. But you go to Tesco they go “It’s just down there mate, turn right, the second night on the left.”
Nathaniel Schooler 52:49
And then you just like you just sort of look at them. And you just think you’ve got no pride in your job. You know, and you should be grateful that you’ve even got a job in this day and age. And and that just goes back to the ethos of the company and the attitude of the company. But a lot of these people are going to be replaced anyway, with robots, because robots are becoming more available in retail now.
Alison Edgar 53:14
I think that’s really it’s really important that I think a lot of people still like face to face contact. So this is really do think that independent sector. So I work I’m an ambassador for Small Business Saturday, so I really help to support small businesses. So I think that’s really can have a USP that some people still do like that really good quality service.
Alison Edgar 53:36
But I do think, you know, you look at Amazon and eBay and things like that, to me, that’s not sales, that’s purely marketing. And they do incredibly well. Or you put that in the basket, oh, look, we’ve got an offer on this one. So it’s an upsell. And again, to me, that’s good customer service, because they’ve seen you bought that and there is an offer on that one, you’re more likely to buy whatever the product is.
Alison Edgar 53:57
Because they know you bought it before. So again, I think that we can do customer service from a marketing perspective as well that but I do think because the independent sector really hold that’s the USP that if they do that, well, then they can still continue to hold sales revenue.
Nathaniel Schooler 54:16
Yeah, I think so. I mean, I think the high street is a very difficult one. Problem. I was talking to a friend of mine who’s a who’s a retail expert, I interviewed him a couple of weeks ago. And the problem is, is a lot of lot of companies invested in property, you know, like VC funds invested in property so so then because we were in a boom time they were like well we’re gonna make money our property and then all the leases that were negotiated, were like, far too long and too expensive. So then you’ve got people who are just going out of business because they don’t don’t want to spend money on the lease any more And it’s like, it’s a whole thing in general of like, you know, you want to buy online and you want the price, but yet, you want a nice high street if you want to go out and hang out of your friends. So we’ve got a whole issue there.
Alison Edgar 55:02
Yeah, but I think, again, the high street as a really interesting one, and I think it is about steam quirky and different, because, I mean, I worked for Yellow Pages, Yellow Book in the states for 15 years. And, you know, during that time when the paper product was in decline, they were dragging their heels going on No, no, it was declined. No, no, people will still use that they didn’t see that the internet was going to steal the business and they didn’t keep in my opinion, they didn’t track and train with what was happening in that market.
Alison Edgar 55:37
I think the high streets the same that you know, you can have the the quirky side of things, but if you’ve also got a good he e-shop a good cart, then you can get revenue from that. And if you look again, even, you know.
Alison Edgar 55:51
It’s really imperative for every business they control costs because it’s not just about sales, it’s controlling costs. So for us we intentionally do not have an office because we don’t need an office because if I’m if I’m not here, we can all work from home we’ve got flexible we right we’ve got flexible desktop.
Alison Edgar 56:09
So why on earth would I have a standard operating cost, that includes rental, have an office? I think that’s where again, the same in the high street, you know, we knew that that rental of the office.
Alison Edgar 56:19
If you’re selling handmade cushions at a fiver a go, how many handmade cushions do you have to sell to cover the rent?
Alison Edgar 56:28
That’s where again a lot of people go into business just with hopes and dreams and think it’s going to be fantastic and they don’t know enough about the numbers and how to make money and that’s why a lot of things close is because of the rental and the business rates and they can’t.
Alison Edgar 56:48
It does fluctuate you can determine how many people are going to hit the high street that day, but if you’re marketing creating the database; doing offers to try and get them in store or having launches or having you know different things you can try and forecast but if you rent is actually 150 quid a day and you sell to cushions at a tenner you are at a loss that day. That’s not even including your wage cost, and that’s where businesses have to be savvier and have the combination of the e commerce and the store.
Nathaniel Schooler 57:19
Yeah, but that it’s it’s also about about communicating those offers. To the people on the ground? Because that’s the biggest issue with customer service.
Nathaniel Schooler 57:32
For example, you go to the airport. Yeah. And you and you, you go to be a desk and you and you put yourself in, right. And and they say:- “Well, why don’t you use the BA app.?”
Nathaniel Schooler 57:44
And you just look at them. And you’re like:- “Well, I don’t want the BA app. I’ve got too many apps on my phone.”
Nathaniel Schooler 57:49
But they don’t give you a reason why, it might have changed since the last time I flew with BA. They don’t give you a reason of of actually:- “Well, the reason you want the BA app on your phone is because you’re going to get much better customer service. And you’re going to have better offers and you’re going to have an easier, smoother process with us.” They don’t tell you this. So the problem is, in fact down to the age old problem, marketing and sales think that they work for different companies.
Nathaniel Schooler 58:22
It’s been like that for ages sales people don’t like marketing people, marketing people, I don’t think really are fussed you know, I’m I’m both I’m sales and marketing myself underneath it all.
Nathaniel Schooler 58:35
So, you know, I understand both quite well. But I think there’s always that that disagreement, you know, and they do the same job in essence aren’t they.
Alison Edgar 58:44
Yeah, I’m nothing again. But that I believe that comes down to selling the benefits. So you just say I’ll use the app that’s about making it looks like it’s going to be easier for BA because they don’t have to put as much time and effort in and whereas actually if they spent a little bit more time selling the benefits of the app, you would go on what I can get just kind of like:- “Oh, actually, I get fast track through there. Oh, actually, I can do that.” Because you understand the benefits to you. Because ultimately, people only care about themselves. So again, it comes back to that same thing. And that’s the same as sales and customer service.
Nathaniel Schooler 59:18
Yeah, it’s just just helping people to buy what they want. And making them happy, right? I mean, that’s with a positive attitude. I mean, that’s, in essence, what what we’re, what we’re talking about is just giving the people what they want, with a smile on your face, and helping them, to do it easily. Right. I mean, there’s, there’s no more there’s nothing more to it than that.
Alison Edgar 59:42
Now, I suppose that is what I would say again, it’s just making people happy! It’s interesting because from the perspective of giving them what they want, sometimes people don’t know what they want, it is trying to find out what they need, which again, is the other sales thing.
Alison Edgar 59:56
Because look at cars, you might want to, you know, drive a Porsche, but you’ve got two kids under the age of five, and you’ve got a large Labrador dog, you ain’t gonna fit them in that Porsche, really you need a Land-rover Discovery or something, do you know, I mean?
Alison Edgar 1:00:10
So again, it’s really helping people to get what they need. And that’s the sales and the customer service person’s job.
Nathaniel Schooler 1:00:18
You know, remember Henry Ford?
Nathaniel Schooler 1:00:20
He said, “If he’d have given the people what they wanted, they would have, they would have had faster horses”
Alison Edgar 1:00:25
Yeah, so it’s the same thing, isn’t it? And especially now with ever evolving, you know, Tech AI, you know, all those things. There’s new things coming on board at the moment that you can do not invented yet. But then we can life a lot easier. But you will know. And again, coming back to the digital paper advertising type things, you have to go with the change, you have to move forward to be successful. And every angle, I think you have to really don’t fight it go with the tide. Just go with it.
Nathaniel Schooler 1:00:55
Yeah, and just educate the customers as well as to what to expect, because you might find that they’re not even the right customer for your business.
Alison Edgar 1:01:03
No, no, I think again, that’s important, as know, really finding the right customers because, you know, if it’s somebody that wants I’m trying to think of an example.
Alison Edgar 1:01:13
Sushi, let’s get Sushi, we talked about sushi in the book. So if it’s somebody who’s got a fish allergy, or whatever it is, and, you know, fish Sushi restaurant, you’re not going to sell to them anyway; you’re never going to be able to come up with a solution for them. Unless you you know, this is where the good customer service, you could come up with something to take away all the fish and we could just be a rice dish or rather than saying:- “No, we can do that.”
Alison Edgar 1:01:36
So for me, I come from a work from Radison. My background is hospitality. And in their motto is “Yes, I can.” So you’re ready. Yes, I can manage and you’re not allowed to say. “No.”
Alison Edgar 1:01:47
So for example, if somebody says, Hello, Alison. “Could you deliver a five legged elephant with two trunks to my bedroom in half an hour?” But you can’t say. No, you’ve got to say:- ” Yes, I can. But I can only get a four legged elephant with one trunk. And it’s going to take me about 48 hours to get back to your room. Sir. How does that sound?”
Alison Edgar 1:02:09
You know, so again, hammering it up a little bit there. But there’s always a solution to everything. But nobody likes to get told no, you can’t have that because that’s a negative connotation. And that’s bad customer service. So the Radison ethos has always been something that’s sat with me as far as customer service goes and, you know, nobody likes a no, but you can work that no, into a yes. And that may not be exactly what they want, but as an alternative, that they potentially would be happier.
Nathaniel Schooler 1:02:36
That’s great. You’ve got that background. I think that’s I think that’s very interesting. Actually, I’m fascinated by the hotel inspector program that we have in the UK and yeah, I think she wasn’t she wasn’t she the Trusthouse Forte Hotels.
Alison Edgar 1:02:55
Yeah, Alex Polizzi
Nathaniel Schooler 1:02:58
That’s just a fascinating thing to watch a video on YouTube, they should check that out. It’s, it’s, it’s really, really interesting. There’s so much to it. But in essence, I love the fact that you’ve said that customer service and sales are in essence, the same thing.
Alison Edgar 1:03:13
I believe that 100% it is on everything that we publish. So on our website, it’s on every written piece of documentation is even in the book. So it’s everywhere.
Nathaniel Schooler 1:03:25
Great. So how would people get hold of you if they would like to speak with you.
Buy Secrets of Successful Sales by Alison Edgar here or find her :-
So on LinkedIn is a great place to get Alison, she is very active on LinkedIn as and on Instagram Alison Edgar and Twitter The Alison Edgar on Facebook it’s entrepreneurs can clan we’ve got our Facebook group and it’s almost 2000 members in there or via my website.
Alison Edgar which deals with my speaking and author activities.
Entrepreneurs God Mother for start-ups and micro businesses.
Sales Coaching Solutions which deals with sales team training as well as a new topic which is intrapreneurship. So that’s our topic for another podcast for another day.
Nathaniel Schooler 1:04:20
Yes, intrapreneurship is a good one. Well, thank you. It’s been it’s been really enjoyable.
Alison Edgar 1:04:25
Lovely, thank you so much for having me.
Alison Edgar 1:04:30
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