The Speed of Trust

If you missed the live interview with Stephen M. R, Covey, author of “The Speed of Trust” last week, here are some of the highlights

Stephen observed that probably most of the people on the call had a higher than average level of trust as those who value it are often the ones who want to get better at it.

The value of trust

One of the key points he made was that trust is not a soft, fuzzy concept but a hard edged economic driver. From his research he has found that high trust companies innovate quicker, achieve results quicker, have higher employee engagement, sales go up and costs go down because doing business is so much easier and referrals are so much easier to get.

On the other hand low trust companies have higher costs and are slower to implement new ideas.

For example, high trust in a company won’t necessarily rescue a lousy strategy, but it will be addressed openly and probably improved. But low trust in a company will definitely derail even the best thought out strategy.

From his research high trust companies outperformed low trust companies by 286%.

Something to think about!  Does that apply to any projects or changes you have tried to roll out in the past without engaging trust first?

Trust in today’s economy

When asked if trust was even more important in today’s economy, Stephen Covey said yes, trust has always been important but in today’s economy when so much business is being done over the internet and a more collaborative way of doing business, trust is even more important. He cited a recent conference for companies where they discussed the biggest challenge to business today. The no.2 challenge they agreed was the Global National Crisis.  But they all agreed that more importantly the no. 1 challenge was lack of trust and confidence.

How can you measure trust?

Through anonymous surveys but also you will know it when you feel it – a culture and atmosphere of confidence, reliability, sharing, openness, lack of blame

Click here to register for Roger Hamilton’s webinar where he launches a new Trust Assessment Application.

How can you build greater trust in your business?

It’s not an easy thing to do although the steps for doing it are simple.

  1. Make a business case for trust – make it a priority and quantify it.
  2. Declare your intent to make increased trust an explicit goal – align it with your strategic objectives.
  3. On a personal level, improve your competences and your hugh trsut behaviours, e.g. transparency, honest, by keeping promises and by being consistent

Can you regain trust?

The best way to get trust is to give it.  If trust is gone, it’s not gone forever. To regain trust,  you have to BEHAVE your way back, you can’t talk your way back. As we know, actions speak louder than words and no more so than when people need proof of your intentions. Demonstrating that you prioritise people over profits, for example, will win back trust when your company has demonstrated the opposite.


Some wise words and just a taster of what Stephen M. R. Covey will cover in his key note speech at the Trust Conference on 10th September. Book your place at this event here.

Live interview with Stephen M. Covey today


How do you follow the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People?  Well, Stephen Covey’s son, Stephen M. Covey has followed it with “The SPEED of Trust”.

The lack of this one thing, trust,  could damage your company, your personal reputation, and your relationships.  But can we learn to improve it? restore it when it’s lost?

In his book ‘The SPEED of Trust’ Covey outlines the 5 waves of trust

  1. Self trust – how to improve your credibility with the 4 cores of credibility (integrity, intent, capabilities and results) and how you need all four to be credible.
  2. Relationship trust  – how you can build trust through consistent behaviour (included in the 13 behaviours that are common to high-trust leaders are demonstrate respect, show loyalty, clarify expectations and listen first)
  3. Organisational trust – how leaders can build trust into their structures, systems and symbols of trust
  4. Market Trust – your reputation in the market will determine whether people will buy from you or not
  5. Societal trust based on your contribution to others – to give back rather than take, to create value rather than destroy it.

His book has changed the landscape of how we look at the way we do business, and TODAY, Monday 24th June at 5PM BST Talent Dynamics co-founder Michelle Clarke will be conducting an exclusive interview with Stephen all about how trust drives employee engagement, enables success in the midst of change, and is the greatest leverage for executing your top priorities.

For your chance to put your questions to Stephen and listen in to this live interview, register your place on the call here. Please not there will NOT be a recording of this interview.


How to get results on Day 1

How to get results on Day 1

You’ve just been promoted to Head of Sales and you want to make a good impression and get results fast. How?

As part of the Superhero Sales Manager programme, one of my clients has recently got the promotion he was looking for and now has a sales team to manage for the first time. He asked me what he should do first to make the best impression.  I told him to focus on the 3 most important groups of people.

 1.Your managers

Your Senior manager(s) are going to be judging how well you are doing at the end of the day and the value that you bring to the organisation. So it is worth spending time right at the beginning clarifying expectations and goals.

Not having clarity in your new role can hold back your progress. For example, I’ve had sales managers focused so much on delivering VOLUME of sales that they’ve discounted, given special offers to their customers  so the actual VALUE of the sales and therefore the profit actually dropped rather than increased. Make sure you are focusing on the right measurables and Key Indicators.

Insist on a clear job description, transparent goals, incentives and sales targets. So the company’s expectations of you are clear. Check your understanding of them by asking questions. There is nothing worse than putting your efforts into achieving a goal only to find you have misunderstood it and wasted your time and resources at the end of the quarter or even at the end of the year!

2. Your team

You are not going to deliver any results without your team

Find out what motivates each member of their team (it might not just be money; they may love travelling, working alone or a particular job title).

Speak to each member of the team individually . Find out what suggestions they have for improving sales, customer relations, marketing, etc. Find out what they love most and least about their jobs. This team meets the clients more often than anyone else in the company so getting feedback from the Sales Team is nearly as important as getting it from the clients themselves. At this stage your job is to listen. They will feel good about being listened to and even better if you agree and can do something about it.  It sets the stage for them coming to you with ideas and suggestions in the future.

By really listening you may find that something as simple as having  a kettle and tea/coffee making facilities within the department could boost morale, save time out of the office and improve productivity . You are not going to please everyone all the time but some decisions may be a no-brainer, perhaps no-one has actually listened and actioned it before.

3. Your clients

Use the Pareto Principle (which states that 80% of results come from 20% of effort) – learn where to put your effort. It’s crucial that you look at your most important clients. They are probably bringing in 80% of the sales. Make sure you are aware of who they are and what more can be done for them. Create a plan aimed at improving results from your key clients (encourage your Sales Team to help you in this).

Use the news of your new appointment to connect with your client base as a whole – send an introduction letter stating which products and services you are delighted to be working on, invite them to contact you with any ideas or issues they have about your products or service.  Really make the most of the “new broom sweeping through” idea so you can draw a line under any problems in the past.

This is what I said.  What would you advise?  Is there anything there you could implement now, even if you have been in the job for a while?

If you have any questions about Sales Management, send me an email or post your question on my new Facebook page Superhero Sales Manager and they will be answered every Thursday.


To make the most of your first 7 days as a Sales Manager – download the free Induction Kit “Superhero Sales Manager in 7 days” – fill in the box on the home page.

Are you putting your client first?

Are you putting your client first, or your sale?

How big a part of your job is giving sales presentations to a GROUP of potential clients? It’s probably more often than the 1:1sales meeting now, isn’t it?
Clients don’t want to take risks so often have more than one buyer in a decision…
What you are selling has to be compliant with more than one department…
For whatever reason you will probably find yourself standing up in front of an audience with the aim of convincing them all to buy your product rather than sitting over a coffee discussing it with one person.

I was recently running an in-company presentation course and a Sales Manager on the course was very much focused on the sale, as you would expect.
But how does that make his audience feel?
If he starts his presentation with,
“By the end of this presentation I will demonstrate why you should be working with us”
how would you feel as part of that audience?!

If I was in the audience I’d be thinking, I’m in for a hard sell presentation and I’d put my barriers up, be very cynical about everything that was said and believe that the presenter was more focused on getting a sale than understanding my needs.

If however he’d opened with some questions to ascertain my most burning problems and then started the presentation with “In the next 30 minutes I’ll demonstrate to you how we can save you time, save money and help you expand your business without increasing your headcount”, I would have sat up, listened and taken notes on how my problems were going to be solved.

Show yourself to be a Superhero for your clients by focusing on the value you deliver that answers their problems.
Also if the presenter had delivered on that promise, tailoring his offering to their specific needs and wants, the value of whatever he was selling would be clear to the audience as it gives them a solution to their burning problems. That way price negotiations would be a lot easier at the end.

So putting your audience’s needs first and foremost in your sales presentations is more likely to get you the sales than focusing on the sale alone. If you aren’t already doing that, try it and see. Let me know how it works for you.

For a free preparation and checklist for planning your sales presentation that is confident, compelling and converts send an email to with “Sales Presentation Checklist” in the subject title.

For more information about Superhero Sales Managers Presentation Skills Training and the Confident, Compelling Presentation that Converts Programme see the services page.

How to give your exhibition stand presence

How to give your exhibition stand presence.

You’ve seen those exhibitions where smartly suited people are sitting behind their stand talking amongst themselves on their phone so not engaging with anyone.  They will go home thinking the exhibition was a waste of time and money!

Or the stands where the exhibitors have wide smiles and  outstretched arms asking “Can I help you?”  Your obvious answer is “No, thanks” and scuttle on as you don’t know what they do or what to ask for.   They will wonder what they did wrong!

Your average Sales or Marketing Manager will make sure you are present – the stand is booked in a good position, staff are on the rota to cover the opening times, the stand and marketing materials are all present and correct.

The Superhero Sales Manager will make sure your exhibition stand has presence – everyone talking about it, the stand everyone wants to visit, gets press coverage and brings back new leads, new business, new investors and lots of new interest.

So how do Superhero Sales Managers do that:

Here are 3 of the many ways to give your exhibition stand presence: 

1.      Don’t try and sell anything.

2.      Give something valuable in return for a visitor’s business card

3.      Make your stand an interactive experience


1.      Don’t try and sell anything.

Don’t expect or try to sell anything immediately. You are there to build a relationship first and foremost so spend time engaging with your visitors, finding out more about them. Have some form of short survey to gain valuable market information, have something free to give them that tells them more about you, your services and your products.    Make sure any freebies relate to your products or services. Too many people have something to give away that is just a waste of money as it is not relevant to your business nor is it memorable.

However, make it easy for your visitors to buy should they choose to by having special offers for the exhibition only as some people buy on impulse if you have explained your products and serivces well.  (There is a different mind-set  between selling something and enabling a visitor to buy something and that difference could cost you the sale!)

  • What questions could you use to engage and draw visitors in?
  • If you choose to have a free gift, what does it say about you? And what benefits does it give your visitor?
  • Plan special offers to give on the day.


2.      Give something valuable in return for a visitor’s business card

Adding new names to your database is a key objective of being at an exhibition but visitors are more reluctant to give away their details these days for fear of being bombarded with irrelevant emails. So you have to make the give-away prize or prize draw something really special.

I have given away Break-through VIP coaching days in a Spa in the past or an experience of being Superman in a wind tunnel, part of my Superhero Sales Manager Challenge programme, anyway.  They are each worth £1000 and my target market are busy Sales managers that either are in need of relaxation or craving new adrenalin rushes!  Relevant prospects are prepared to exchange their business cards for the chance to win either of these.

  • How will you encourage and reward visitors for giving you their contact details?


3.      Make your stand an interactive experience

In order to engage with your visitors, you want them to spend time with you on your stand, so give them something to do while they are there.

Have some kind of game or competition that engages people and gives them a reason to visit your stand, tell others about it, and return for another go later.

I recently helped a fashion retailer plan her stand at a big exhibition.  One of her key selling points was fashionable clothes at a low cost. So the obvious thing to do was to dress a mannequin in a full outfit and have the visitors guess the price of the outfit by writing it on their business card and putting it into a draw.

Not only did they collect more business cards, they raised awareness and surprise at how affordable their clothes were.  They also had people returning to the stand to find out the answer, the winner and what the next outfit would be like.

  • What is your key selling point?
  • How can visitors have an experience or an insight of what you do in a few minutes on your stand?

I have all sorts of activities planned for my stand SD220 at Sales Management & Performance, happening at ExCeL, London on June 6/7Book it in your diary and come and find out what they are!


Personal vision of a Sales Manager: Be Proactive!

Personal vision of a Sales Manager: Be Proactive!

When I first became a sales manager, the book that gave me the support, tools and inspiration I needed was Stephen Covey’s “The 7 habits of highly effective people”.  The 7 great principles he taught enabled me to have confidence, manage my time, and achieve a lot which led to me gaining promotion or a new job every year of my career.

Sadly Stephen Covey passed away this week but his books and ideas will live on for generations to come. His ideas influenced a lot of my book “Superhero Sales Manager” with multiple responsibilities, tasks and goals to answer to.

As a personal tribute to Stephen Covey I will apply his 7 habits to today’s Sales Manager, starting with his first one: Be proactive.  To Covey being proactive means more than just taking initiative, although that is a strength in itself. To him it means that we take responsibility for our own lives. We no longer blame our circumstances or other people but we choose our response (response-ability) consciously based on our own values above our feelings.   It’s being a grown up.

Reactive people are affected by the weather, by someone else’s moods, by the reaction of one phone call.  Proactive people carry their own weather. They are value driven so if their value is to produce good quality work, it’s not relevant whether the weather is conducive or not, they’ll do it anyway.

It is a source of personal power that others can’t take away, to choose your response to any given situation and make it a positive proactive one.  As a Sales Manager years ago, this gave me a lot of confidence to take decisions. I didn’t worry what others would think or wait and see what decisions others would make. I would look at a situation, whether it was poorly performing staff member, recruiting a new team member or distribution partner, decision whether to exhibit or not and base that decision on what was right for the business with the information I had.  This meant I could make quick decisions. And as they were based on values, not emotions they were decisions I couldlive with and make work no matter what the consequences.

Today’s business is full of the fear of taking risks, of doing the wrong thing because the focus is often on revenue and profit rather than Values and taking responsibility for making proactive decisions based on those values.

When I work with my clients at all Executive levels one of our first sessions together is exploring, clarifying and highlighting their values as they are sometimes buried beneath years of following orders, being seen to do the right thing.

What are your personal values in the work you do?  What can you do today to make sure that the decisions you take are based on those values?

Next week: 2. Begin with the end in mind


Quick wins for new managers: 5 lessons from Roberto Di Matteo

QUICK WINS FOR NEW MANAGERS: 5 lessons from Roberto Di Matteo

Picture this: You have been promoted as a caretaker manager to a highly paid, highly skilled team of individuals who are currently underperforming and you have just a couple of months to change that culture, and turn that group into a highly performing winning team.  Where do you start?

Lessons all managers, particularly Sales Managers can learn from the recent success of Roberto Di Matteo at Chelsea F.C.


  1. Communicate – talk to your team members
  2. Listen to what they say and take action
  3. Focus on getting quick wins to turn  the culture around
  4. Have an unwavering positive belief that you can achieve great things
  5. Keep calm.

Communicate : talk to your key team members. Di Matteo has been praised for the huge turnaround  in attitude by his players, his team members and a lot has been said about the “magic” he has performed. Yet when the players are interviewed and asked what his secret is they all agree it was basic good management skills of talking to them, finding out why they were demotivated and not enjoying their jobs.  When a manager joins any new team, the first priority must be getting to know their team, what motivates them and only then does the new Manager know how to turn it around.

Listen: All staff want to be listened to and understood. They will reward that simple action with loyalty and an improvement in their performance. Especially if they see that the manager is taking action. There may be some element of their job they don’t currently feel confident in, through lack of skills (or fitness) so training, coaching, mentoring can quickly and easily be provided if it is holding the team back.

Quick wins. When a team gets in the habit of losing, just the fact of having a new manager in can sometimes break that pattern so a new Manager needs to capitalise on that fact. He or she has to  make sure everyone is focused on the next win, the next contract, the next prize, the next match. The manager can have a strategy for the long term future but the team must be focused on anything quick and relatively easy.  That way the habit of success can grow and build up to the even bigger prizes.

Positive mental attitude.  An underperforming team will start to have a negative, lazy attitude and stop caring about their performance. A new manager has to bring with them a positive vision of the future, a belief in the team that they won’t have yet for themselves and the strength of character to stick with that belief even when there are setbacks.  Coupled with the quick wins, the team members will start to believe in that positive vision themselves, their confidence will return and with it the best performance they are capable of.  As part of that, a good manager will always give credit to their team members when they perform well and take all or some of the blame when they do not.

Keep calm. With massive success or massive failure a confident and secure Manager will keep calm throughout, knowing that the strategy and path they are following will turn out to be the right one in the end.  That way the whole team stay focused on the next step, the next deal, the next match and not let the euphoria or the despondency of the previous event overshadow their thinking and performance for the next step. This is probably one of the most difficult things to do.   I don’t know if Roberto Di Matteo has a personal coach or mentor but I would imagine he has good advice from friends in the business that help him to formulate his strategy, stick to it and so stay calm.  When everyone else around the manager is losing their head and blaming others, staying calm and quietly positive will have results and show that the Manager is capable of even bigger things in the future….


3 key principles of Superhero Sales Management

3 key principles of Superhero Sales Management

You’ve finally found the right Sales Manager for the role. Relief! Or is it?   How are you going to get them up to speed quickly so you get on with doing what you do best?

  • Send them on a training programme?
  • Carve out time from your already crammed diary to mentor them?
  • Show them their desk, give them their work and let them get on with it, after all you recruited them for their knowledge and expertise, right?

Would you do things differently if you knew that 40% to 50% of senior appointments fail to achieve the desired results due to lack of training, support, coaching or mentoring.

Too often we assume that the job change is a natural one but what often happens next is your Salesperson finds it a lot harder than they had expected, they keep quiet and hide their failures as they are used to being successful and feel the pressure of those expectations. The sales team around them aren’t fooled and become de-motivated and sometimes leave. So you have not only lost your best Salesperson (who no longer has the time to pull in the sales they did before) but you have a demotivated Sales team, spiralling recruitment costs and poor sales.

The 3 principles I see working best to ensure your Sales Manager is giving value to the company i.e. a Superhero Sales Manager, are:

  1. The Superhero Sales Manager Identity– a fast track coaching and mentoring solution which tackles those issues of a new mental attitude including:
    1. As a manager, not a salesperson,
    2. working on behalf of a team, not solo
    3. being pro-active and showing initiative
    4. seeing themselves as a leader

Often it takes a good Salesperson 6 to 18 months (sometimes more) to reach their potential as a Sales Manager because they have not made that mental transition. Without support at the early stages it could take a long time for them to get into their stride and identify their management style.

  1. The Superhero Sales Manager Powers and Skills.  This is the area covered by more traditional Sales Management courses and is an essential part of any transition from Salesperson to Sales Manager. These include communication and presentation skills, motivating staff, controlling and commanding the sales, marketing and customer service process.
  2. The Superhero Success Story.  Getting quick wins makes your new Sales Manager feel great about themselves and their new role.   Often that doesn’t happen for months so any training that focuses on early success, planning and prioritising critical success factors and building them into a timetable of intensive training and coaching pays dividends. Not just for building up the confidence of your new Sales Manger quickly but that of their Sales team around them, confidence in them from Senior Management and sales results your whole organisation can benefit from.

What do you think?  If you are a Director concerned about your company’s performance and don’t have the time to deliver this yourself, give this some thought (and give us a ring!)