Your business is only as good as your ability to connect your value with the people who need that value. Yes - we’re talking about selling.
This week on the podcast I’m joined by sales trainer to the stars , Victoria Fleming. Victoria walks us through a few things we can all do to instantly raise our sales game.
Victoria is an energetic speaker, maverick sales consultant and Fellow of the Institute of Sales Managers. Drawing on years of experience delivering against multi million pound targets from the top of high turnover organisations, she now offers innovative sales approaches that deliver tangible results to Sales Leaders and Entrepreneurs. As an expert trainer she has trained sales teams for world-renowned global corporations, including retail giants, membership organisations, and major technology companies - both internationally and here in the UK.
With a specialist interest in supporting entrepreneurs she loves to burst open the secrets she has learned, but more importantly, helps people to love to sell and to take pride in their selling. No double-glazing-double-talk, no Apprentice-style bluster.
She also enjoys wearing fabulous shoes, drinking coffee and pirate jokes!
Links and mentions
Victoria's Website : http://bit.ly/ProductsandPackaging
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Automatic Show Transcript
Your business is only as good as your ability to connect your value with the people who need that value. Yes, we're talking about selling. This week I'm joined by sales trainer to the stars Victoria Fleming, and she's gonna walk us through a few things we can all do to instantly raise our sales game. Hi there and welcome back to amplify the digital marketing entrepreneur podcast. I'm Bob Gentle, and every week I'm joined by amazing people who share what makes their business work. If you're new to the show than welcome along, just take a second right now to subscribe in your player so you don't miss new episodes and you can grab some older ones after this one. Don't forget to join our Facebook community. Just visit the shortcut URL, amplify me.fm forward slash insiders and you'll be taken right there. So welcome along and let's meet Victoria.
So this week, I'm joined by Victoria Fleming from posthaste.
Victoria, you want to tell us a little bit about who you are, where you are and the kind of work you do? Yeah, so um, my name is Victoria. And it's a good start, isn't it? And I work with businesses essentially helping them to sell more. I think that's probably the headline. And I'm one of those people who I love to sell. I see it is my mission in life, to help other people love to sell whoever they are in whatever it is that it is they do. So yeah, that's, that's really what I do one way or the other.
And I had a little stock through your LinkedIn profile, and it talks about is quite unashamedly. you aim to help deliver stratospheric sales results. There's no modesty. I really like that. You know, the thing is, is that in sales, there's not really anywhere to hide. You know, the bottom line is, it's about the numbers and numbers don't lie really. So you know, the challenge that you have
Working in, in this spaces, is it people will see the results on the numbers. I think that you've got to be all in on that. And, you know, I expect the people I'm working with be a large corporate and or, you know, the small, small businesses I work with, you know, I expect to see a result on their bottom line on those figures that are coming through their business. So yeah, to me, it's really important that
you know, you can transfer your formula results remarkably quickly, actually, in the sales front. But equally, you know, I'm very, you know, I'm very well aware that I'm always held to account on the numbers. So yeah, I am quite bold about that. But it's because that that is what I deliver, I change people's results, and which is exciting. So what does a typical client engagement look like for you? I mean, there's a couple of questions to unpack their a What does a typical client look like and be what are you What? What does it your eyes
Doing on the ground with him? Yeah, so I'm normally the, the general kind of client that I work with. And I've maybe got anything from three or four sales people to, you know, 500 sales people. It's a kind of business that has people in the business who are selling. I do do some work with entrepreneurs, but my my primary area is those areas where people are selling, they're acknowledging that they're selling, and they want to change their results. And normally, the very first thing that I'll do is I'll actually go in and spend some time in the business. And the reason for that is because I think that sales is really about three things. It's about your people conversations. So if I don't know the conversations that people are having with, you know, that businesses, you know, between the business and their clients, then I don't know that I can help. The second thing is about the process. And quite often that's not just in the hands of the sales people or the director. And you know, sometimes there isn't any process.
But you know, it's about understanding all the processes in place in the business to actually support the sales cycle and sales approaches that's going on there. And I think the third thing, you know, it's about, it's about that passion. And actually, to be honest with you, you know, this is where I get really excited because, you know, if you are in whatever business you're in, I love work with people who are passionate about their success. And that really is what will drive your sales results, just harnessing that into those conversations that you have, and the process that you work within. So yeah, so normally I'll go in, I'll do it spend a bit of time and you know, finding out and unpacking what's actually going on. And then I normally come back with a series of recommendations, and I've got to be really honest with you, Baba. those recommendations will involve support for myself, but often they'll involve things actually just within the business themselves that people can do themselves without any additional support.
Because sometimes as I mean, you know what it's like you get a fresh pair of eyes. And actually there's three or four quick wins there straightaway.
Yeah, yeah. And I think, you know, when you can do that you're you're immediately providing value. And people want to work with you because they see that you're an expert in your field. And, and then what I do next we depend on what those requirements are, that might be training, it might be putting together a strategy, it could be all sorts, that's why I enjoy about about what I do, you know, it could be so many different things. I think one of the things I often see in sales teams, because obviously, my personal space is marketing and I but I engage with sales teams quite a lot. And I often describe it that marketing is a little bit like the cultivation of the ground and sales is very much the harvest.
If you don't cultivate the ground, you won't have a harvest, but if you cultivate the ground and don't harvest, then it just all dies on the vine.
And a lot of the time I go into businesses where there is a sales
team, but the sales team is possibly what being crude, you might call a little dysfunctional. sales teams tend to be a little bit like families where the sales directors, Daddy and he's got his nice team. And he likes these team. They're his friends, because they're his friends. They're not really optimal. There's no process or accountability there. I mean, there is at a certain level, but not at the kind of level that will really drive performance.
How do you break through that kind of fragile relationship to really get down to what's going to make a difference? It's really interesting. You say that, I think a dysfunctional family as well, with regards to marketing. I think it's always really interesting growing businesses and if the sales aren't being team aren't being successful, they'll always say, Oh, that's because the leads we're getting from market and they're rubbish. And then the marketing team will say, Well, that's because your sales team are doing such a bad job with the leads that we produce.
So I don't know if you come across that before, but I always think it's a little bit of friction there, isn't there? Yeah, absolutely.
And yeah, I absolutely understand what you're saying there. So I think that the challenge that anybody walking into a business and I work with lots of different types of businesses, lots different sizes, lots of different types of people. I think the challenge that anybody has is actually not just getting in there and seeing what's going on. But actually identifying what the key drivers are to, you know, drive the change that you want to see in effect. And I think we sales teams, especially, quite often people in that area will have, you know, already have an approach to selling, they will quite often already perceive themselves as successful. They will quite often maybe feel there's nothing new out there for them that you know, they don't they're already doing a great job, they want to do something different. And actually, I think that's one of the things that
I really thrive on because I love people are
Absolutely love people. And actually sort of what I need to do is to sell to the people in those sales teams, the benefit of trying out some of the new ideas or approaches that I'm bringing into them. So it's more, you know, when I'm actually going into a business quite often, and having to sell ideas and approaches to the very people involved here.
Because I think that's part of thing, especially when you're going to go and train people or give them a new skill set. If people aren't on board with that, then you know, they're just going to have a nice day out drink the coffee and nuts it really, you know, you need people to buy in, you need people to say, Wow, this is great. I can see how this will make a difference. And I think my entire approach is about the my, my role is or this is my one of my favorite words. My role is to bring a smorgasbord of ideas, of new approaches of things you can try. Your job is to
Pick the three or four things that you can do. And really give them a go and implement them in real life. Because I think that different people will do things in different ways. And that's great. You want to use that as a strength, rather than trying to put everyone into a box and say, you've got to do it this way. So yeah, it's is a bit of a challenge. The great thing is though, if you get a sales team on board, wow, you can you can really make a difference. You can really move if you quit at one point in the same direction. I don't know if you ever seen that sort of change in the in the businesses that you work in. Sometimes, I think one of the things that I see very often is businesses that are successful despite themselves.
The I work a lot in the oil and gas sector. And sometimes there's very few suppliers of a particular thing in the market. So they have they've each got a reasonable market share and they're doing generally well, but not realizing that if they were simply to
Go as it was some energy, rather than simply wait for the orders to come in, they could really do probably double their numbers without that much challenge. Yeah, it's, it's difficult as well, I think, you know, competitive challenge is, you know, a fantastic thing in the marketplace because it pushes you it pushes you it pushes your team, it pushes your business. And sometimes if you haven't got you know that that competitor chomping at your heels, then you know, maybe you are missing some of those those easier wins.
Completely. And I've another example that springs to mind of a company that is doing extremely well, in a very competitive market. But again, there's no real sales process there. And if there were you just knew that they would be unleashed. So yeah, I may be having some conversations with him. It's been Yeah, it's it's an interesting one as well because I think, you know, the the other thing is, is I work
Quite a lot in tech set the tech sector, you know, like sort of em technology, software, all that kind of thing. And, and one of the reasons for that is because it moves really fast. And you know, I quite like that really busy, fast paced. You know, what, what's coming up, what's new, wow, we've just changed again, there's new stuff out, you know, exciting, exciting, exciting. And what's quite interesting is, I think, especially when you look at some of those fast growth businesses, quite often in the space of just a couple of years, they might have gone from one or two people to maybe 30 4050. And what that means is that moves so fast, that even just trying to keep up with the selling or the marketing or any of these things.
Is is more than enough to keep everyone busy all day every day. And I think it's really difficult because I think, you know, at that point, you get to a certain point, and you kind of run out of rope on that and you do need a proper
Processing Do you need a proper proper approach because otherwise it all starts to fall apart. Because the teams get too big to manage, verbally. You know, the person at the top who wants it done a specific way no longer has that direct access, because it's more layers of management.
And that is absolutely something that I see businesses that are being successful. And they're being successful, that doing great, but actually, that lack of structure and the commitment to a solid sales approach is is actually holding them back more than they can see themselves. So yeah, I absolutely identify with that.
So one of the things I'm wondering, because you go into lots and lots of different sales teams, you must be you must see trends. And I'm curious to know, do you have like a list of three or four things that you can pretty much guarantee or holding a sales team back if they haven't had any kind of structured sales training of your friends
ever before. Yeah, and completely, it was like a hit list, isn't it? And I mean is it is a general rule. I think that one of the things that I see increasingly at the moment is people are hating sales people are hiding and hiding behind email and social media, email and social media is a great enabler and it can be fantastic start to warm leads up. But then what happens is people start to hide behind it. Because I'm a firm believer in conversations. conversations are what move things move things forward. And, and as soon as your sales people are sending 47 emails a day and not picking up the phone,
then actually you're missing a real opportunity there. Because really, if you've got some, you know, a warm opportunity, why not pick up the phone and have a conversation because you never know where that's going to take you?
So yeah, I think one trend is massively sort of hiding behind that, that emails and social media because actually, I would I think we will
through a period where people weren't, like calling out as much in businesses, because the, you know, other businesses and consumers were really exhausted by that approach. But actually, increasingly, that's no longer the case. And it's no longer the case. Because I mean, if even if you just think yourself, you know, how many emails Did you have new inbox yesterday, versus how many phone calls you had, you know, a phone call can give you instant access. And quite often you might be one of only three or four phone calls during the day, rather than one or 200 emails sometimes. So I think done properly. You know, those sales conversations can sometimes be a really, really good way to fast tracks and yourself approaches. So that's definitely one thing I would say is going on out there. I think the second thing is,
and again, I see this all of the time. People don't get commitment to what's going to happen next. So you know, if you're having a conversation
At the end of that conversation, what are we going to agree is going to happen next. And too often sales people don't get that nailed down. So that's when you end up chasing people, either by email or by phone, you know, for another face to face meeting or whatever it might be. But again, that's a real real thing that I seen, actually, to my mind, if you haven't got that next step, agreed and needs to be agreed, because there's no point me saying, let's do this and you going, No, I don't want to do that. You know, that's, that's not an agreed next step. It's got to be mutually agreed. If you haven't got that, then really, you know, you're no longer in a sales process. You know, just having a chart, which is great. But, you know, you can't pay your mortgage with hope. You can't get yourself to begin with Oh, you need some certainty. So I would definitely say those couple of things like massive and I think the third thing is that I see is that sales people quite often slide into this trap of one size fits all
They forget to personalize because they're dealing with lots of people,
you know, or they've been in, or because they've been an industry or an area for an awful long time. They make lots of assumptions.
And they, you know, make lots of assumptions. They don't ask great questions, and they use this one size fits all. And in this day and age, you know, to my mind that that's not good enough. People want more than that, these days, you've got to get personal, you've got to be meaningful, and you've got to offer value. So yeah, that that my top three trends. I didn't even know I had a top three trends, Bob turns out I did. You can have those.
So my next question, I'd like to turn it around to the very small business, the micro business, the solopreneur. Yeah. Because many of my listeners are very small entrepreneurs, small micro agency owners, creatives, people like that. And they have a different challenge when it comes to selling and that's generally going to be
They have no sales training, they just know that they need to hustle for some money. Absolutely. What kind of barriers Do you see to in the average sort of smaller business?
Yeah, it's, you know what this is, this is really close to my heart. And it's, it really stems from when I first stepped up, like sort of set up as a business. And I went out and met people, you know, he'd also just set up a business like in my local area, and
people find selling so hard, so hard. And, you know, it used to break my heart because people will be like the best web designer in the world, or like the greatest market here. But they were really struggling and they were really struggling because they didn't know how to sell and I think it is one of those things when you know, yourself in business for themselves that like selling themselves and sales isn't necessarily the first thing I think about, but actually without it, you're a bit dead in the water. So
I tend to find the biggest challenge there is that
people get in the way of themselves. I think people quite often feel difficult about, you know, saying I'm great, you should give me some money to work with me. To be quite honest. I think that that one statement is, is actually really hard for people. And for that reason, I think people again, they hide, they do lots of marketing. They do lots of stuff on social, but actually, they are sometimes really hard to buy from. And there's some amazing people out there who are kind of like hiding the light under a bushel because it's almost like the fear thing. I mean, I don't know what you come across, but that's pretty much so like, how are you know, sort of how I've sort of experienced it if you if you experienced the same sort of thing. I think I see imposter syndrome. Everywhere I go, and even places you don't think you would find it. It's there. I speak to people at every level of their game and they hear the same thing again, in
Again, imposter syndrome really gets in the way. I really like what you said about being hard to buy from. Yeah, that's absolutely, that's such an important point. If you don't have a sales journey for people to take, they're not going to take it. Yeah, and I think that some of this as well, and me, I think, especially service businesses, I think, you know, it's a little bit different if you're selling a product, but if you're a service business, I think that if you are struggling to sell like today, right, this is the stuff that you need to do. The first thing you need to do is you need to turn your services into products and you know, productize
really complicated word, but essentially, the the challenge that you've got when you're selling a services that you can do anything for anybody, and that's just too fluffy. So to me, the first thing you really need to do is come up with two or three product offerings. And that might be you know, if you're a website designer, you know, offer offer a might be I will
Create a one page website, which has an you know, up to 1000 words a copy on it up to, you know, 12 photos in one downloadable lead magnet or whatever. And that is for an all in price of X amount of money. You know, sit think about how you can put things in a box and how you can sell them like that because it makes it easier for you to sell. Because all of a sudden, you're not selling yourself, you're selling a product. So that takes some of that psychological stuff off it. But the other thing is actually you're easier to buy from because when people say what do you do? You say I design websites, and they go great. Tell me more about that. You say well really we do that in three different ways. One is we do a one page website two is we do a five page website. You know three years we do a fully bespoke and custom website. It doesn't mean that that's all that you've got to sell. But straight away you're going to find that level of clarity makes it easier for people to buy your few nothing.
That's like a really big top tech to actually make that step. And just pack those things that you're selling with loads of value.
Because all of a sudden, you've got something to talk about. It also means you can fast track through the sales process instead of saying, Oh, well, I'll go away and have a think about it. And I'll come back and do something custom. And by that point in time, it's all gone cold, it means I can go straight into it, right? There's three ways you can work with me like this, like this like that. Which one do you prefer? You can be a little bit more
assertive around that. I think the second thing is that people get really tied up about their pricing. And the thing about that is that people don't practice. I'm a massive believer that you need to, you know, if it's 1000 pounds, you need to say, package a is 1000 pound and you need to practice it until it's so easy for you to say that.
Whereas instead what happens is because we haven't practiced it, we go and package a is
It's 1000 pounds. And we kind of do that,
oh, know what they're gonna say they're gonna hate me for it, they're never gonna buy it. So we need to just get really comfortable with I actually talking about the numbers in the context of what we sell. Because your tone and how you say that will impact the result that you get off the person you're talking to.
And I think the third thing is, for me, if the you know, you're looking to change, and that's sort of where you are, and you feel really uncomfortable about selling, you really need to think that actually, you're not really a salesperson, you're just actually a problem solver.
Because really, all that we're doing is sales, people are saying I can solve your problem. This is how I solve it. And this is the amount of money involved. And actually can you imagine, I if someone's got a problem, they want it solved.
And so I think that even just thinking yourself actually which problems
Do I solve, I solve these problems? These are this is how I solve it. And this is how much money it costs almost by not doing that you're doing a disservice to people.
And I think that you can change the way you think about that, that again, is going to change your approach entirely. I think identify a lot with that. I think the productizing Absolutely. I think when I've done that in my business, it suddenly makes everything much more easy to talk about getting used to seeing your price, I think this is something that you need to come back to again and again, because I was used to say my price. But now I do something different. I found right back at when it actually comes to say the number doesn't just quite come the way you would like it to and that hesitation, sort of the seed of doubt in the clients mind.
And I think Yeah, coming back to that again and again is really important. Which kind of brings me to my
Next question, which is,
most business owners, they get used to selling the same thing to the same people. And there comes a point where your expertise, you would think, potentially could open the door to leveling up, if you see what I mean.
But that leveling up often never happens because you're stuck in this routine of selling this to that guy. And it needs a whole different sales approach a lot of the time because you might need a different set of proposals you might need to be pitching in a different way. What experience do you have of helping businesses sort of through that leveling up journey if you see what I mean? Yeah, it's it's a really interesting on that as well because again, that comes back to a little bit like was saying before, you know, if you're a business it you know, fast moving business, you know, let's say your normal customer base is spending, I don't know, thousand pounds with you, and they look like you know, Fred, I want to start with Bob and
An average sale value of 5000 pound that can feel like a very big jump in actually feel very scared about it. I think people get really scared about it. They think, well, we couldn't take on one of those bigger clients, because how would we manage? Would they really value us? And again, if you start on that whole self doubt thing,
the way that I really encourage people to approach is if you want to start to sell, you know, bigger packages, you know, more money to bigger businesses, then I think the number one thing you can do is actually go out to existing clients. And say that and you know, pick a couple of your, you know, great friends who you do work with, because we all have like business buddies that we do work with. And I would say, look, you know, what I'm really looking to do now is I'm looking to work with some different types of businesses. I would really like to work with some businesses that look like this. Huge you know, that you could introduce me to
I think that that's a really nice way of doing it. Because from your point of view, you get a very warm introduction. And that's really helpful because it means that straightaway, you're getting a warm introduction, you're getting a recommendation alongside that, by virtue of it being an introduction.
And I think that it gives you the opportunity to start to have some new conversations. I think one of the challenges is sometimes that when we're going to do that, we think that the problems of these new people are the same as the problems that we're already solving. And sometimes those problems are actually different because of the scale of the business or because the size of the business. And actually just getting an introduction and having starting a conversation can be a great way to do with just one or two businesses to start a feel out. Look, is it the same problem or is it a different problem that I'm solving here?
The other thing I think to think about is about flexing your offering. because quite often as you move up in
Two larger businesses, some of the little tiny value adds that you've previously done at no charge, or maybe your smaller clients, all of a sudden become things that you can actually prioritize and sell in their own right. Because within a bigger business, they're having a bigger impact and therefore have a bigger value.
So I think it's also an opportunity to revise and review exactly what you're currently offering. And think about, you know, what if I'm delivering that outcome, with this little value add, and really, how do I start to capitalize upon it?
I do you think, though, it's not as hard as people think. It's just about opening some conversations. Because once you're talking again, as soon as you've got a two way conversation going, even if it's 15 minutes, that 15 minutes will be Goldust. Because not only will it start to give you a real understanding of what that new audience looks like, but also exactly where you can add even more value than you already are. Is that something that you've done with any
Your business before Bob? Yes, yes, it absolutely is. I mean, my business used to be predominantly a digital marketing agency. That was what we mostly did lots of lots of websites, lots of everything else you can imagine. And when you go through this process of leveling up, everything's alien. And the competitors a much, much bigger, a much more experienced. And it's it's hard to get orientation in there. And you're absolutely right. The thing that allowed the orientation was good, honest, open conversations with companies that were just willing to have a chat about exploring what they need with you. It doesn't have to be a direct sales conversation. Absolutely. It can just be a supportive conversation about well, this is what we do. This is how it works. So that when you do find yourself in a situation you you have the orientation, sometimes that's all it needs. I think the other thing is as well as it when you're right when you're moving into that sort of marketplace as well. It can feel like with loads of competitors, they're all bigger than you. They all know more than you there will be
Giving it longer than you, I think there's also a key benefit that people have stepping into that space. And that is that they're bringing a fresh pair of eyes, they're probably going to be, you know, generally more agile because they've been having to work with more, you know, more clients with more varied situations. So, you know, there's sometimes a real, you know, fresh set of eyes fresh set of insight there. And actually also, I think, a new approach. And, you know, quite often people are excited about that, and I know some of the really big businesses that I work for. And, you know, I work for some, you know, very big corporates, and there's only me, there is only me, you know, I don't have a team of trainers rain like that. It's only me. The benefit that I really bring to them is that fresh approach, the fact that I'm actually not a big business in my own right, the fact that I haven't got a one size fits all approach. And actually, you can leverage that you can really laugh at your own USP. So I think the other thing is some of the things that most people
sees a disadvantage can actually be a real advantage when you start thinking about them the other way around the fact that you don't look like the other competitors. You know, that's actually really exciting for people. Isn't it exciting someone new, someone different, you know, that is going to do things in a new different way and deliver a different set of results. So I think some of it is as well about thinking about the things that you're concerned about, and really think about. Okay, so how do I leverage that to be to my benefit?
Because I would have said, when I first started my business, I wouldn't have expected to be able to work with some of the businesses that I currently do. Because that's just may live in like a little virtual team. But actually, it's entirely possible. It's just about playing that point of difference really, in like working really, really hard.
So this kind of brings me on to my next question, which is, what does your own sales process look like?
You want all my secrets?
A general, a general walkthrough of what what does that landscape look like for you? Okay, so you've probably noticed if you've been anywhere near stalking me that my marketing isn't fabulous. So my marketing is
not brilliant. One of the reasons that I've managed to get away with that is because I'm very strong in the sales area. So for me, it's all about relationships. And I have
I have a very wide network, and I work very hard to keep in touch with it. But when I say to keep in touch with it, what I mean by that is it's about personal outreach and communication. So quite often, that'll be you know, personal messages on LinkedIn, it'll be emails.
It'll be phone conversations. So if you like about if you look at like the top of my funnel, that is all outreach, but it's all personal outreach.
Which I find is
really beneficial, because once you have those relationships in place, not only does that start to bring people further into the funnel, and you know, sort of like, bring them through your sales process, but the other thing is actually, you can be seeding if you like business for the future that you don't even know you are. So let me give you an example. And one of the pieces of work that
I have actually been out talking to you today, I know we've had a conversation, I was at the prospect meeting today. It was actually on the back of somebody who
I had got involved with fire a client, I kept in touch with them, kept in touch that business kept in touch that business, I just there was no opportunity for me there, but I just kept in touch with this guy. And what then happened within that business was they were talking about wanting to change the mess sales results. And this guy said you need to speak to Victoria. You need to have a conversation with them. They can go mahou Shane, they've got Econ, let me send you a detailed question.
So what that meant was that somebody who I hadn't actually done any business with, but I had built a relationship with, actually then made a very warm introduction for me. And that now is, you know, some a little way down the line here. We're just talking now about the dates that we're going to deliver on a little bit later this year. And that was actually conversations that started about two years ago. So I think that for me, you know, sales is all about relationships. It's about those people conversations.
And I think that this is the bit where you can be seeding business left, right and center just with the relationships you built. And by being very clear about what you do, do you think that I'm not afraid to do both? I'll be really honest, I'm not afraid to pick up the phone. So if I get to a point where I have some gaps in my diary, and I think, okay, I could do with you know, sort of some training work, or you know, there might be some other people who would like to join my entrepreneurs program or whatever it might be, and I will absolutely pick up the phone now.
enlightening people get
how I would expect nothing less.
And then feel like I hit the heck is this woman I go, I'll tell you what, don't worry about who I am just meet me for coffee.
But I think there's some of this is about, you know how I said it earlier on, it's about working out what works for you. And what works for me is and, you know, I'm quite bright and quite cheerful. And and you know, I use that to my advantage to say all Come on, we'll have a quick coffee, it'll be great because I know that if I can get sat down with people, then I can really start to have the conversations that are going to let me
you know, identify what problem they need me to solve.
I think that's really, really interesting. And one question I regularly asked guests is, what proportion of their work is sort of inbound through content marketing outbound through proactive sales activity, and what proportion is referral based? If you see what I mean? Yeah.
Because it's generally a mix of those three. And you have answered that question. But what's quite interesting is
just about everybody, even the sort of hardcore internet marketers will generally always have a bias towards referral or outbound, especially those who are really a clearly on a growth path. And that sort of steers the question not for everybody, but for some people becoming proactive about your sales is is one of the three pillars. And absolutely, there will come a time and this is five speak from personal experience. My I grew an agency to the point where I was spending all my time doing sales and I
had plenty other things that I plenty other places I could be bringing my personal value, and it wasn't really as a salesman.
How do you advise small businesses, micro businesses to bridge that gap between being
The sales guy
and maybe bringing somebody else in to do it. would you advise actually hiring somebody hiring somebody part time full time? Or outsourcing? It's it probably isn't a one size fits all. Yeah, I think it would be an interesting conversation. Yeah, it and you're right there isn't one size fits all. What I found really interesting is depend on the size of business, people are desperate to outsource, you know, they want to outsource their sales, they just want to sit and just do the work into you know, grow the business and do the stuff that they really set up a business to do and I completely get that. What I will say is, is that sometimes that eagerness and enthusiastic enthusiasm to outsource isn't doesn't always deliver the results that you're really looking for, for your business. And I think that, you know, the real benefit that you've got if it's your business is that nobody, nobody I dispute anybody to sell, promote and love your business as much as you do.
Because you love that you're passionate about what you care about it. So whether you know it or not, that's giving you a great secret weapon. It also means that you can answer any question that's throwing out you, which realistically, if you leverage it properly should mean you can fast track any sales process. You entirely right there with people getting stuck in this sales mode. And I think that really for me, this is about and, you know, you're asking about my sales process, I have like a bit of a sales recipe, and I think everyone should have their own sales recipe, whether you're a giant organization or a small organization, or, you know, if it's just you like, you know, like me, you're just you're just one person with a little bit of a virtual team. And in fact, the small you are even more important it is for you to have your own sales recipe. In this is an understanding of what activity you are doing is resulting in the sales. So for example, and I've just said to you, you know, I know that if I have a certain number of conversations every week
By default, that will generate me a certain amount of business over the month or quarter in the year, because I track those numbers. So what that means is, and I can build a sales recipe that says, For me to continue to be successful for the rest of this year, for example, I need to be having five proactive new conversations every week.
So that's part of my sales recipe.
Another part of my sales recipe is around face to face events, I quite often go to events, not just around developing more my own business, but I go to industry events, around sales, because I know Sales Director, sales managers, so on and so forth are going to be there which is going to help going to help me make some new relationships and out of interest, like the best thing to do just to go and stand in the coffee queue. like totally, you know, you go any event, I mean, this is honestly this is my biggest like thing if you're going to go to an event. I know you go for self development, but if you're actually there to
prospect, you know, it can be a bit intrusive and rude sometimes you've got to be careful how you pitch it. So how I do it is I find the biggest coffee queue in the venue. And I stand at the back of it. And I wait in the queue and then I turn up the person behind me and I go good. It's just a really long queue listener. And by the time I've got the cue, guess what, I've made a new friend, I've made a new relationship. And I've now got a cup of cup of coffee. At that point in time, I'll then tag along with that person, hopefully, meet a few of the people that they're with. And when I finished that, guess what I'm going to do next, I go back to the coffee key.
And I do the same again, you've got a nap, you've got a really good like, you know, easy opening. It's really busy, isn't it? Have you been running this seminars? Which Did you enjoy? Which speaker do you think was the best? Tell me all about it. It's a really natural way and easy way to open a new relationship. So I really like go to events. So again, over a year, there was a number of events that I will go
too, I've got like a target number of events to go to, in order to, again, build my network, meet those new people open those new conversations.
It might also be, and again, I don't do so much of this, but you know, if you if you do marketing, you know, how many emails Do you need to send to which people, you know, to generate an inbound response? How many people in LinkedIn Do you need to connect with and start new conversations with it could be any of these things, you know, how many networking events do you have to get to? The trick is to actually look at all of your activity, and identify in order to get one sale out of this activity, I need to do 20 phone calls or I need to do 50 networking events or whatever it might be. And I think once you've got that you can then work out where your time is best spent. because quite often when I'm speaking to people who say like oh, you know, I'm so busy, I haven't got time for the sales but that's one thing they say all they say I haven't got time to do the work. I'm still busy on the sales but
I think really, if you analyze which activity is generating your sales, then you can distill it down into almost a recipe that you can just rinse and repeat every single day. So, you know, if I said to you today, okay, well, I've, you know, we've analyzed everything you do. In order for you to be successful at the level that you want to be. You need to make one sales phone call every day, attend one event every two months, and you need to send
to lots of marketing emails every month, then actually, that's pretty achievable, isn't it?
Yeah, absolutely. But you see, what I think happens is people don't know that they don't track this. So instead, it's like spotlight good approach. They try and do all the things all of the time, which just box up your time, it doesn't actually give you the results. So I think massively, it's about finding a sales recipe. And the other thing is a sales recipe is then repeatable. And then you can start to look at handing it off to somebody else.
You're just doing a spot, they're going to approach and you pass it on to somebody else guess what they're going to do, they're going to do a split, they're going to approach without all of your expertise and passion, they're not going to do as good a job as your even managing so and you know, once you get your recipe that can maybe something that you can start to think about passing on, but you have to know what's driving yourself success before you can can pass it on.
That's really, really good advice. It sounds really obvious as well when you say it, but it it's it's one of those really obvious things when you think about it. I think people just don't think about it really. They avoid it because it cycles.
Yeah, I think people get very emotional and uptight about sales. It's, and it's quite understandable. Because at the end of the day, no sales no money, no mortgage. Yeah, absolutely. And it is such a big thing. But equally it's the thing that if you if you actually put a little bit of work into that you can change your results. And you know, wouldn't it be great to know your mortgage is paid every month? Wouldn't it be great to know you can go on holiday this year. It all it takes
A little bit of focus, I think the great thing is in some ways, for so many people, people are starting from such a low starting point with sales, even just doing a little bit will have a really big impact on that, on that end result, you know, on the money that's coming through.
Victoria, we're probably coming towards the end of our time. Now. This has been really, really good. As I mentioned to you earlier, I'm trying to remember to ask every guest my signature question and I forgotten a couple of times, anybody who's listening waiting for it, I'm really sorry about that. But what's one thing you do now that you wish you'd started five years ago?
I think anybody listening I didn't give it.
Okay, so I actually think this there's possibly two things here, but I'll be brief. The first thing is and getting a VA or getting someone to help you like you can't do it all yourself, and I massively wish I'd done that earlier. I've got a great VA. And I wish I'd done that so much sooner because it would have made my life so much easier. And I think that the second
thing is getting very, very clear about exactly who it is that you actually want to speak to and who it is you want to work with. And I think when we all first start were a little bit foggy around that. And the answer to that is anyone who payers, but I think increasingly, and it becomes much easier to identify the people that you know, you actually should be working with. And I wish that was something that I'd listened to my gut about almost in done a lot sooner, rather than still trying to please all the people all the time.
Again, that's brilliant advice. Victoria, if people want to connect with you, how would you like them to do that? I would love people to come and find me on LinkedIn, it is my home of choice. I am on Twitter, but I find Twitter very confusing. So come and find me on LinkedIn and come and have a conversation with me. I promise not to tell you anything. But as I've already said, you know, life is all about people in conversation. So get in touch with me on LinkedIn, I think my LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn forward slash Victoria Fleming, so I'm easy
Um, and I would love to talk to some new people get some new friends, why not?
Well, I'll put a link to that in the show notes. If you're listening, just go and find it there and click on it and connect with Victoria. Victoria, you have been a fantastic guest, thank you so much for your time. Oh, it's been great speaking to you. So thanks a lot into Yeah, look forward to seeing you next time when we have an event.
It doesn't matter where you sell. It might be social media, or it might be up close and personal, but you need to sell. Getting a little more systematic on the one hand and courageous on the other might be all it takes for you to really move the dial. For a go. Just a quick reminder to subscribe. And if you haven't already to join our Facebook community. You can find a link in the show notes or just head over to amplify me to FM forward slash insiders. I'd love for you to connect with me on social media. Follow me wherever you hang out. You'll find me there at Bob Gentle
And if you do and message me and I'll follow you back. If you enjoyed the show that I would love for you to review on iTunes, it would mean a lot to me and is the very best way to help me reach more subscribers. My name is Bob Gentle. Thanks again to Victoria Fleming for giving us her time this week, and to you for listening. See you next week.