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DT’s Tower: Handwriting, Star Wars and How to Play Nice

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I found this video during my travels across the internet and it got me thinking (always dangerous).  Graphology is currently considered a ‘pseudoscience’, that is something that purports to be scientific but actually has little proven scientific research behind it.

And yet the idea of graphology has made its way into popular culture with everything from Sherlock to CSI: Crime Scene Investigation at one time or another using graphology to get an insight into the personality of a suspect.  The idea that ‘who we are’ can be analysed is a powerful one.

But Why?

One of the things that everyone struggles with at some point is knowing who they are. There is no objective standard to use.  As individuals our point of view is heavily biased, sometimes towards the positive or sometimes to the negative.  We ask those who know us well their opinion but again, there is the danger of a hidden agenda.  Either people will focus on positives to spare our feelings, or sometimes might focus on negatives to score points.

There is little point asking people who don’t know us… as they don’t know us :D

So we turn to analysis of the effects of our personality.  The individuals that we are leave impressions on the environment around us, the people we interact with, the choices we make… perhaps even our handwriting?  Our impressions on a page.

If we can understand ourselves, we can accurately assess our strengths and compensate for those things that challenge us so we can improve and develop.

‘Know Thyself’

Very noble.  However, our own brains get in the way of making full use of this knowledge. We instinctually need to classify and categorise. This is why in psychology there is an important difference between personality types and personality traits.

Types categorise.  People are either/or.  So someone is either introverted or extroverted.  Traits acknowledge a sliding scale.  People can be place on a line between ‘fully introverted’ to ‘fully extroverted’.  Because of problems with consistency and how people answer psychometric tests, personality type theories have fallen out of favour in psychology (just for your information, MBTI is a ‘type’ instrument).

There is another issue with this objective analysis.  Ironically, we can struggle to come to terms with the idea that something other than ourselves can tell us who we are.  We resist the categorisation of any instrument even if it is a ‘trait’ instrument ESPECIALLY if it goes against our own self image.

For example, on the Buzzfeed personality tests of Facebook I keep getting R2 D2 when I am CLEARLY Han Solo!

The other thing to bear in mind (and I fall into this trap myself) is we look for how the objective test can be wrong, even in the most minute detail… like when I come out as something else other than Han Solo ;)

On a Sliding Scale

Although the Talent Dynamics test has 8 personality profiles, it isn’t a ‘type instrument’. These are simply handy, easy to remember reference points.  Behind the types is a mix of 4 energies (traits) that scales from 0 – 100%.  It is the mix of these traits which can be used to objectively ask questions of yourself and allow focused development with an understanding of strengths and challenges.

But none of us are an island and the final issue with psychometric testing is the isolation that many tests engender.  It is focused on you.  One of the most valuable things you can take from a psychometric test is how you relate to others.  Even Carl Jung, pioneer of “Psychological Types”, came up with the concept in an attempt to reconcile his own perspective with those of Freud and Adler, whose relationship had grown… ‘tense’ due to differing perspectives.  In effect, the start of psychometric testing was to learn how everyone could ‘play nice’ (dazzling use of technical jargon there, DT) despite the tensions of extroversion, introversion, intuition or sensation.

“In attempting to answer this question, I came across the problem of types; for it is one’s psychological type which from the outset determines and limits a person’s judgement.” ~ Carl Jung

Ultimately, all the self-knowledge in the world will be largely useless if we don’t understand how we can use that knowledge of ourselves to improve our personal and professional relationships.


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A Profiling Workshop – Sysmex Middle East’s Story

platelets

Saad Kayali, the Managing Director of Sysmex Middle East, a subsidiary of Sysmex Europe GmbH, had his Talent Dynamics profile done and liked the results so much he asked Susan Castle, Performance Coach & Flow Consultant, to do the same for the entire top level of his company!

There were six managers at this level:

  1. the Managing Director,
  2. the Marketing Director,
  3. the Logistics Director,
  4. the HR Director,
  5. the Sales Director
  6. the Operations Director.

As global leaders in vitro diagnostics and automation services, the managers seemed to have no immediate issues. All communicated well with each other and as a team were seamless.

Uncovering Issues

The issue was they tended to focus on areas they knew they were brilliant at – for example the conception of ideas, but they had blind spots in other areas, i.e. putting things into action.

On completion of their individual Talent Dynamics profiles the explanation became obvious.

Out of the six people on the team, four were Mechanics including Saad, one was a Lord and the other was a Creator profile.

This lack of Blaze and Tempo energy explained why they were good at brainstorming, but not so strong at following through. They were very tunnel focussed and tended not to go for bigger targets those with a more Blaze energy would instinctively do.

Talent Dynamics Workshop

Saad then asked Susan to run a leadership development training session to decide what changes, if any, needed to be made to their management set-up.

“I wanted the Heads of Departments to understand their own profiles, master their own talents as well as ensure that these talents are put into good use for the team and the company. Having a team that is well-honed and performing at their best can only be good for business.”

During the workshop they looked at what was stopping them from setting bolder financial targets. Was it a Dynamo, Tempo, Blaze or Steel problem? The managers ended up with about 30 or 40 different things blocking them.

After narrowing down these blocks further, the underlying core issue became apparent:

the truth was there was no one in that room with the specific kind of business power or ability to deal with Blaze or Tempo challenges.

What Kind of Energy Are You Missing From Your Team?

Each of the directors left the workshop motivated and full of clarity. They had a deeper understanding of what was stopping them from achieving higher targets and more importantly, who to go to in order to solve any issues and help achieve these new goals.

Susan says, “Sysmex found, through the test, that the management roles fitted them quite well but the workshop helped them to leverage these strengths by highlighting them and showing them how they could be leveraged to improve team communication and performance while reducing stress.”

Saad is now planning another workshop for the next level of management in the Sysmex team and we’ll keep you posted on how much of a difference this one also makes!

 “I think Talent Dynamics is a great opportunity to maximize the harmony within the team, to get the needed group mindset and perspectives of “what else we can do”; and thus develop a healthy change culture, opting always to challenge our own achievements and parameters to yield further milestones in the journey of success.”  - – Saad Kayali, Managing Director of Sysmex Middle East


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DT’s Tower: Applying Trust

Trust Conf

Well, it came and it went.  The Trust Conference.  As it did last year.  And although it is now disappearing on the horizon of a new month something, once again, stuck with me.

Actually 2 things stuck with me.  I’m going to be using myself as an example of how I myself have applied trust.

1. Trust starts with yourself

One theme that ran through each of the speakers presentations was that trust needs to start with you.  As a person.  How can others trust you if you are a bit shaky on what you trust yourself with?

So how do you work out where you are most trusted? As I see it, it comes in two strands.  Self-reflection and opening yourself up to others.  The first part, self-reflection can be a little tricky as we can all rationalise away problems and build ourselves up.  This is where a profile test can come in.  It can objectively assess where your personality provides strengths and challenges.

I am a Lord profile.  The strengths of my personality are in details and certainty (and personally in a general pleasure in spreadsheets and flowcharts).  I am challenged when I have to deal with people and variety (not a natural multi-tasker by any means).  This means that on paper I can be trusted with spotting errors and asking awkward questions that bring things into focus.  I can lose trust quickly if I am always in front of people and dealing with too many things at once.

The second part is even trickier as our defences go up when we ask the opinion of others.  The phrase “Yes, but…” can sometimes be heard.  I find concentrating on understanding the points and applying them to yourself before jumping to your own defence works well.  Especially if you are asking people you trust!

Asking others confirms my profile with a few surprises.  Although I have a tendency to focus (some might say obsess) on the detail I have a reputation of getting things done.  You could say I am trusted to finish.  Despite my challenges with people, people consider me to be quite diplomatic.  I can be trusted to take on multiple points of view and deal with things fairly.  I also have a tendency of phrasing things in just the right way (all in the detail) to not put people’s noses out of joint.

2. Trust builds when you offer it

The second point is that if you don’t offer trust, you cannot build trust.  Very often we can get stuck in a cycle of not trusting.

“I don’t trust them, so I won’t let them do something just in case they fail”

This leads to team members not being given the opportunity to do something they might excel at.  Stephen MR Covey’s point here is that you shouldn’t blindly trust everyone but that you should be smart about the trust you give.  Start with the small things (or the detail :) ) and let trust build.  If the small things are delivered and the trust is developing, go a little bigger or wider.  Get other people’s opinions as yours might be biased in some way.

We’ve recently restructured in our business and I’ve had to offer trust to others.  I have a tendency to be controlling so this has been hard for me.

I didn’t blindly just toss people a load of work with a half-arsed ‘I trust you’.

What I did was consider the benefits of the trust I was offering:

  1. Allowing me to focus more on the things that needed to be done.
  2. Providing others with opportunities to develop.
  3. Attempting to align what needed to be done with what has been done in the past or my view point on which responsibilities people might thrive with.
  4. Getting the view point of others.
  5. Understanding that with trust comes a responsibility to support.

My understanding of my own area of trust (my profile and the opinion of others) and the understanding of where I already trust people has been a great help.

I can easily provide a structure to allow people space to use their own initiative but also provide them boundaries which they can understand and help them to focus.  I can help people with problems or issues that they are struggling with by providing an objective viewpoint that weighs the pros and cons (possibly on a flowchart!).

This is how I am starting to apply trust after this year’s Trust Conference.  The interesting thing to note is that the above two points were already under way before the Conference but by examining actions and outcomes through the lens of trust I am able to not only further justify the things that are working, as the trust builds, but I am also able to examine why certain things are not working and use trust to explore ways of improving results.

What did you takeaway from this year’s Trust Conference?  How are you applying them?


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DT’s Tower: Lessons of Trust from my Childhood (kind of)

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Heading as we are towards the Trust Conference, I’ve been thinking a lot about trust.  My trust antennae is becoming finely honed and I’m picking up more and more examples of how trust accelerates performance.

My not jealous face

I’ve also been watching TV.

One of the shows I really get a kick out of is Toy Hunter.  If you haven’t seen it (you should) it follows Jordan Hembrough, toy dealer, as he visits toy collections to find great toys that he can sell (and probably keep).

This guy makes his living from looking, talking and playing with toys!

I’m not jealous.

Aside from the gob smacking amount that some toys that I used to play with now sell for, it is a real trip down nostalgia lane as you see familiar toys in great condition and a little history of early commercial toys.

Trust, Given

Coming back on topic… As I was watching Jordan begin to negotiate with a collector on some toys (boxed DC superheroes from the 1960s :D ) the conversation turned financial:

Jordan: So how much would you be comfortable parting with these?

Collector: (thinks) how about $100 each?

Jordan: (laughs) I’ll tell you what I’ll do, I’ll give you $200 each.  They are worth WAY more than $100

The collector was very pleased.  What I found compelling though was the fact that Jordan didn’t even need to think.  The way he does business is give a fair price and… he is one of these people.  He loves and collects toys.  If he cheated the collector then he’d be cheating himself (kind of).

Trust, Shared

What do you think happened?  The collector understood that Jordan wasn’t going to rip him off and trusted him to give him the right price.  He asked his opinion.  He didn’t haggle.

The tour (these guys generally have rooms for toys.  Hell, they have built extra rooms for the toys they collect). went quickly and it was clear both Jordan and the collector could relax and do what they love to do best, talk and revel in the shared joy of toys they had.

A great way to do business.

You can still get tickets for the Trust Conference here but hurry September is coming up quickly!


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Work Ready Program Does It Again! TDYP

Work Ready Program 3

By Teejay Dowe - Talent Dynamics for Young People

Thanks to the wonderful generosity and sponsorship from two Swindon-based companies, The Brunel Shopping Centre and Thirdline IT, we ran our second Work Ready Program in July in Swindon. The Brunel donated their board room for the event which meant that once again, our young people had to show up to a place of work. The deal for them was:

a. Show up looking like you are coming to work

b. Show up at 8.45am to start at 9am

c. Present youself politely at reception

d. Play full out for 2 days

e. Have fun :D

What Happened

10 young people showed up before time to start on time and looking smart (yayy!! – first outcome achieved!)

To break the ice a little we had fun in teams with rope and as you can see is IS possible to tie a bow with everyone working together and NOT taking their hands off the rope at any time during the process :D

Then to introductions…which…predictably were short and sweet as they struggled to find anything good to say about themselves.

Next….the MAGIC begins…….we get out all of the blocks to employment that they think they face and using the profiles we explore who they really are:

a. As an individual

b. As a leader

c. As a team member

d. The things that they are naturally great at

e. The things that will challenge them

f. What they bring to an employer

g. How AMAZING they are :D

Seeing these 10 young people transform before your eyes is truly breath taking, inspiring and mind-blowing! From nothing to say about their strengths on day 1 to each doing a 5 mini presentation about themselves on day 2 – they’re like different people!

Results

A young man with a speech impediment who has been bullied because of it and hardly says a word stands up and tells the world who he is with such clarity and confidence that even he is amazed and immediately asks if he can do it again! Incredible!

Next the opportunity to put to put insight in to action as they take part in a business challenge and work together to provide a solution and present back to the group.

Finally the blocks disappear as they realise that what they thought were obstacles are no longer going to stop them and as the barriers go down the possibilities go up and mentors are chosen to continue them on their journey.

Work Ready

Work Ready also launched in Australia in July and as soon as I have the pics and the news I’ll be sharing that event with you. In August Work Ready will be run in Milton Keynes with Cassie Footman, in September in Swindon with Rachel O’Kennedy and also in September in Blackpool with myself .

If you want to know more about running programs where you are then please get in touch with me teejay@backontrackteens.com and let’s connect to see how we help make that real :D

Teejay Dowe will be leading one of the Break- Out sessions at the Trust Conference on September 11th.


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DT’s Tower: The Importance of Scale

measure

See that picture of a tape measure?  It will be important.

I’ve been thinking and writing a great deal about getting things done lately.  The reason being is that I’ve been laying the groundwork for growing the business.  I thought it might be useful to share some of my thoughts with this.

Growth means growing in size.  Seems obvious?  On the surface maybe, but me being a Lord I get my kicks out of the detail.

Growing Pains

So what exactly is ‘growing’?  Well turnover and profit would be a really nice answer.

But that’s not the answer I’m afraid.  That is the measure.  You can only tell that you are growing if turnover is increasing.

“Ah ha DT, I hear you cry.  You left out profit”

Well yes because profit is a result of how well you are doing what you do.  If you are an example of efficiency your profit will be higher but you are not necessarily growing.

True growth means that you are doing more of what you promise to do, what you are good at.  Where you deliver value.

So you have the same amount of time.  But you are doing more (hence why I’ve been thinking about getting things done).  I’m not a fan of working 24/7.  I need recharge time.  My iPhone gets better treatment than me sometimes! :D

So I think true growth means ‘making time’.  Feel free to argue.

Making Time

“Hang on DT, I’ve been with you so far but making time?  Its a universal constant! You can’t make it”

Well, no.  Grant me a little hyperbole.  When I say ‘making time’ what I’m looking at are the two sides of the Talent Dynamics square.

Systems allow you to save time and improve efficiency.  In essence you make time by doing what you do more effectively.

People allow you to add time and improve how much can be done.  In essence you make time by employing people to do ‘stuff’ (dazzling use of technical terms).

Trouble is… you can’t grow effectively by focusing on only one side.

The downside of systems (unfortunately there are some) is that they simply exist.  Something needs to go in one side… data, projects, money, ideas etc, to be turned into something else… graphs, completed projects, more money, results etc.

If you don’t have enough to go in to the system, the system is not going to be as effective as it can be.  Many systems sit in our businesses not being used effectively.

The downside of people (and as an introvert I can talk at length) is that they increase costs.  Unlike a system which only has a set up time, people take recurring time and money to get the best out of them.  Yet they think for themselves!  They don’t just exist.  If something is going wrong, they’ll spot it.  If something needs to be done, they’ll do it (as long as they are fully engaged with what they are doing).

The Importance of Scale

Remember the tape measure?  That is one way to demonstrate size.   But it doesn’t really show what need to be done to get there.  Hence the old style weighing scales.

For true growth, the importance of scale is balance in ‘making time’. Systems to ensure that the minimum effort is expended for the maximum result (and quality) and people to ensure that more can be done whilst keeping variety, initiative and values in the business.

If you are on one side of the Talent Dynamics square you’ll be better at one side than the other, systems or people.  That doesn’t mean that you can ignore the balance!  Far from it!  You actually need to put some thought into the opposite of what you are good at.

A systems heavy company won’t need many people but the people they do have need to be tip top to manage the systems and add a bit of diversity into the production line.

A people heavy company will need lots of simple systems to ensure that everyone is pointing and moving in the right direction.

What do you think?  Is the secret of growth in getting the balance right?


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A Labouring Lord – Rauri’s Story

jujitsu

by Dianne Caldwell

When I first spoke to Rauri, he was 18 years old, working part-time with his Ju Jitsu trainer teaching students and supplementing his income by working in a laboring job he didn’t particularly enjoy.

So I asked him what he would truly love to do…

Rauri’s voice shone with excitement.

“What I’d really love to do is move away from the job I don’t enjoy so I can teach Ju Jitsu full-time to teenagers….”

It turned out Rauri had been practising Ju Jitsu since he was 12 and was now highly trained. He credited both the physical and mental benefits of the sport as completely transforming his life.  Ju Jitsu was far more than just a sport to him.

“Ju Jitsu is not just a martial art, it’s a way to change your life, and I want other children to experience the same amazing life and health benefits which Ju Jitsu brings.”

There was just one problem: he didn’t know how to turn this passion into a successful full time career.

Lord Profile

 

Rauri’s profile was a LORD: 40% Steel. 24% Dynamo. 24% Tempo. 12% Blaze.

There were 2 obstacles stopping him from seeing his full potential and turning his passion for martial arts into a reality. These were his age, just 18, and the peer and societal pressure to “get a regular job”.

Together, we sat down and looked at his desired outcomes, then we established a series of key action steps for him to take to move toward his dream. These small, detailed tasks aligned with Rauri’s Lord profile perfectly.  Once he could take the dazzling dream and break it down into bite-sized chunks, the whole process was a lot less daunting.

First Rauri would contact his Ju Jitsu trainer and ask for support and at the same time, he would also put together his plan.

Getting Fast Results

Here’s the funny thing when you move toward your goals. Everything conspires to help you! In this case, Rauri’s trainer just so happened to know a teacher who was really keen on having martial arts training at her school. The next step was easy.

Rauri submitted his proposal to the teacher on the board at the school & after just 2 – 3 short weeks after shyly vocalizing this idea to me, his semester program is now in the process of being approved!

When Rauri reported back to me he was bursting with joy.

“I’ve done it!” he said.  “I’ve achieved my dream!”

Rauri’s big dream was there all the time, but for him it seemed as insurmountable as climbing Everest. All he needed was some reassurance that this dream was 100% achievable, and then some specific guidance on how to break the dream down into less daunting tasks.  Once Rauri was clear on the way forward he achieved clarity, and that was down to the help of Dianne Caldwell, the ‘Flow Consultant’ and the Talent Dynamics profiling tool.

Rauri’s story is a perfect example of how the Talent Dynamics Profile Test & Debrief has empowered a young person to know & understand their strengths to a point where they take the appropriate action they know will get them into flow.

The plan is in progress and we will update you again on the ongoing success of Rauri’s actions!

We’ll leave the final words to Rauri…

Firstly thank you so much, you have, and will continue to have, my gratitude for all the help you’ve given me. It’s been absolutely wonderful and I’m so glad you have taken the time to provide me with all your advice. I started with an idea but no knowledge or ability to bring it to life. Talent Dynamics gave me the direction in which to head and the impetus to do so, by providing clear action steps and manageable goals as well as excellent and highly personalized coaching along every step of the process. Can’t recommend it enough to anyone with a desire to realize their ideas and dreams.”


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DT’s Tower: Who You Gonna Call?

ghostbusters

Unfortunately the answer isn’t always “Ghostbusters” which turned 30 this month.

Shameless use of popular culture segue over, the point of this blog is to pick up where I left off last time with my Delegation Game.  I thought it might be useful to show how I am attempting to solve a problem that would take me out of flow very quickly if I’m not careful.

I might have mentioned :) but I’m a Lord.  As a raging introvert (extroverts can be raging, why not intorverts?) the ‘people’ side of the Talent Dynamics square is not my strong point.

In fact according to my profile report I have 0% in Blaze energy.  I’m reposting the square as proof.

Impressive I know.  This really makes it hard for me to delegate but even more so… it makes it hard for me to know who to call.  My first instinct is to do the task myself.  My second response is to think about training or learning how to do it if I can’t do it at the moment.  My third inclination is to park it until I have time to think about it…

… which never happens.

My Solution

Despite being introverted I am known to speak.  Sometimes at length.  Building on the flowchart that I shared last time I am identifying all the things that need to be done which I can’t do or don’t have time to do.

I’m using a spreadsheet so I’m definitely in my flow here.  I’m then matching people who I can talk to who are either already part of my team, have some expertise in the area or show no signs of struggling with this particular item.  Then I work down the list (making it a task which comes easily for me) and:

  1. See if someone in the team is interested in helping
  2. Investigating solutions with those with expertise
  3. Asking how others who don’t seem to struggle solved the problem

Now there are still gaps.  But whereas before it was a mountain of ‘stuff’ now I have specific things I need help with.  During networking or casual business conversations I can talk about these issues and in all likelihood I will either get suggestions OR (best scenario) I will happen across someone who can solve it.

The point of all this is that I now ‘know’ who to call AND have a process to follow to stop delegation tripping me up in future (in theory).

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GHOSTBUSTERS!


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DT’s Tower: The Delegation Game

desktop

You might have noticed over the last few months I have been interested in getting ‘stuff’ (technical term) done more efficiently and effectively.

Very Lordly! I have looked at both qualitative and quantitative data, identified the areas that need improvement (and got a blog post out of each one) and put it into practice.

Despite all this (and an improvement in productivity) I still have a lot to do…

…which means I’m going to have to (deep breath) delegate.

Its not that I hate delegating.  I can understand that tasks can be performed best by people who are good at them and if they enjoy them so much the better as this will get them into flow.

I’m just not very good at it :(

(cue violin music)

Can’t Delegate, Won’t Delegate

Its not that I’m a ‘micro manager’, a label that gets applied to Lords quite a bit with their desire to control, natural caution, organisation and focus on the detail.  I’m more than happy for people to use their initiative and focus on the result.

Where I get unstuck is that I struggle with the people side of the delegation game.  I recently retook my profile test and I want to share the graph with you.  You might see what I mean…

Do not adjust your screen… I really DO have 0% in Blaze energy, the people and communication side of the Talent Dynamics square.  I’ll try and break down what goes on in my head (you have been warned).

  1. Delegation is not something that naturally pops onto my radar.  Unlike a Supporter I never consider “who would enjoy this and get a great result”.  The task or tasks are what sticks with me as objective things that need to be done.
  2. With my Lordly ways I break down the task automatically into many different aspects that inform what needs to be done.  This trips me up whenever I need to communicate the task as I overcomplicate it.
  3. Objectivity is useful but not when delegating.  I have the knack sometimes of sucking all the fun or excitement out of a task.  People aren’t often excited by the task I share which obviously affects motivation.
  4. Being introverted, rather than delegate first, I delegate last as it really drains me of energy.  What this means is that I lose a valuable portion of time when ‘stuff’ (technical term remember) could be done but it isn’t happening as I haven’t shared it.
  5. When time is pressing the Lord in me takes control, I have all the information, I know what needs to be done, I am in the best place to get the task complete.  This can very quickly turn into a vicious circle of “won’t delegate = can’t delegate”

What can a Lord do?

I welcome your suggestions to help with the Delegation Game.  The obvious answer and the best is to get a Supporter to do it.  They live for this.  However, that isn’t an option right now.

The approach I am taking is looking at delegation as a process (moving me into Flow).  I am an avid fan of flowcharts and when looking into delegation I found this.

So I am clearly at step 1.  I am doing and I realise that I need to delegate.

From my point of view however, there is an element of complexity.  In order to hand over the task I need to identify what tasks need to be delegated, what goes into the task and who is best suited.  I can handle the objective skills but I’m going to need to have to move out of flow a little in order to see if people are interested in doing the work (rather than just sending an email with instructions).

Its going to be … interesting.  Until the end of the process I will be working out of flow BUT once the process is complete I should have more time to focus on those areas which require my Lord strengths.  In addition I will be helping move other members of my team into flow by playing to their strengths

I am going to have to work really hard to put the delegation front and centre, doing it first before ANYTHING else :)

 


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Nicci’s Call: Leveraging the Value of Your Sales Meetings

Conference room

By Nicola Bonfanti - Talent Dynamics for Sales

Lots of sales people make the mistake of talking too much in the first meeting with a new prospect, anxious to tell them everything about their company, products or services. The big opportunity of a first meeting is to discover the real scope of the prospect’s problems, by talking at them they will miss opportunities.

So use the first prospect meeting as a fact finding mission rather than a chance to roll out your usual presentation.

You are there to identify opportunities and find a mutual fit to see if and how you can actually help them. They should be doing most of the talking for 4 reasons

  1. So you can get a proper understanding of their issues so your proposal back to them can be tailored to those
  2. So you can lead and guide the meeting in the direction you want it to go
  3. So you don’t give away any of your expertise content now but just explain to them what they need to do, not how. That comes once you are working together
  4. If you don’t already know what their Talent Dynamics profile is, you will be able to get an idea from their conversation.

If you do know their Talent Dynamics profile, plan your questioning to accelerate the rapport building.

Dynamo Prospects

Start by focusing on them

  • Ask them to give you an overview of where the company is at and their role in it
  • Do they see big changes on the horizon?
  • What are the key issues that matter to them?

When talking about a product or service you have to help them,

  • Use a few key points to give an overview
  • Let them know the significance of the product or service to them personally as well as to the organisation
  • Point out new or innovative features and why that will benefit them
  • Speak in an animated manner and at a fairly rapid pace

At the end of the meeting ask them:

“How do you see us working together?”

Blaze Prospects

Start by focusing on them

  • Ask them to tell you how things are at the organisation, pick up on specific events or people you’ve heard about or that they’ve mentioned and ask about them
  • Ask them what they have heard about you and your organisation

When talking about a product or service you have to help them,

  • Give specific examples and case studies of other customers’ good experiences
  • Be personable and smile a lot as they will see that as a sign of acceptance
  • Speak in a casual, frank and friendly manner
  • Stay on task and don’t get too distracted by stories

At the end of the meeting ask them:

“Have you heard enough to make a decision about moving forward together?”

Tempo Prospects

Start by focusing on them

  • Ask them what they thought about the information you have sent them so far
  • Involve them in the process by asking what they thing about things in the organisation today
  • Ask them what would they change if they could

When talking about a product or service you have to help them,

  • Take time to go over a full list of advantages and benefits
  • Explain any side benefits or peripherals that are pertinent
  • Provide testimonials that highlight facts
  • Move at a steady, even pace

At the end of the meeting ask them:

“How would you like to take the next step forward?”

Steel Prospects

Start by focusing on them,

  • Ask them how business is doing
  • Ask them what improvements they are looking to make this year or this quarter
  • Ask them what they know about you so far

When talking about a product or service you have to help them,

  • Know your stuff, winging it will not cut it with them
  • Be able to show a bottom line on prices, features and benefits to them
  • Highlight any productivity benefits to them
  • Show them all the specifications
  • Take your time

At the end of the meeting ask them:

Do you need any further information to take a decision to move forward together?

Then make plans for the next meeting together.

Who will you try this approach with first?

More information about how you can leverage the value of your sales meetings at www.TrustedSalesDynamics.com

Nicci Bonfanti will be leading one of the Break- Out sessions at the Trust Conference on September 11th.


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