Resources

Using The Right Voices To Sell Well

How to use the right voices to sell well

There’s more to selling than selling.

That will sound cryptic, if not nonsensical, so let me hasten to explain. Effective salespeople do more than simply push their products, propositions or services. So what else do they do? How do you sell well? What does that sound like? What voices are involved?

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How to handle difficult conversations

One thing that is not in short supply in our working lives are potentially difficult conversations:

Giving or receiving feedback, selling ideas or proposals, being interviewed, performance appraisals, negotiations, contributing to meetings large and small, especially when the personalities of the participants can be so very different from one another. The list could go on. The point is that we are all faced with a multitude of occasions when we need to make our voices work in a particular way and where it can be difficult to ensure the outcome we would wish.

‘You look a bit stressed.’

‘Sure am. Got a difficult session coming up today.’

It’s an everyday occurrence.

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How To Facilitate Blue Sky Thinking

What does ‘blue sky thinking’ sound like? What voices do you need to put it into practice?  What indeed does this particular piece of ‘management-speak’ actually mean?  Let’s look at how to facilitate blue sky thinking.

‘Blue sky thinking’ is one of those easy-sounding turns of phrase which come up in organisational life, but which are not always clarified sufficiently for people to understand what is expected, when they are asked to do it.

What is the ‘blue sky’ metaphor meant to convey? Lucid? Bright? Fresh? Unencumbered? All of the above? Or is it a peculiarly British expression reflecting the notorious British weather? Is it simply an exhortation to get away from patterns of thought that have become familiar, grey, dull and downcast?

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The Investigative Interviewer

With terrorism a matter of acute public concern, the latest in our Voices at Work series focuses on one of the roles in the front line of keeping us safe.

Voices at Work – The Investigative Interviewer

Neil Brewster is an investigative interviewer. If you wanted to be more sensational about it, you’d call him a professional interrogator. He is a former military intelligence operator who now runs a consultancy service for clients who place a premium on the honesty and integrity of the information provided by people. Neil carries out investigative interviews for his clients and also provides them with training and coaching in how to do it themselves. He is an expert in his field, having conducted investigative interviews in a wide range of contexts from counter-terrorism to human resource management, from the high stakes to the everyday, from interviewing terrorist suspects and incident debriefing to security vetting and assessing candidates for job selection.

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Give Better Feedback In 3 Steps

What does good feedback sound like? What voices, or ways of expressing yourself, do you need to enable feedback to be both critical and constructive? How can you give better feedback that’s likely to make a difference?

Let’s start with an example of how not to to do it.

I used to work with a manager called Jimmy and one day, glancing out of the window while we were in a meeting together, he suddenly said, ‘There’s MacTaggart arriving late again. I must have a word with him.’ That was on the Monday and the first thing that Jimmy got wrong was not giving his feedback promptly. I know that, because I was with him again on the Thursday, when he finally did. We were walking through the factory together to another meeting, when he suddenly peeled away and went over to the bench where the unsuspecting target of his feedback was working. ‘MacTaggart,’ said Jimmy sternly, ‘You’re getting a reputation.’ He accompanied his words with a slow, hard look. ‘Sort your act out.’

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How to Conduct Better Interviews

To conduct better interviews you need to know what good interviews sound like.   Better interviewers know how to structure the conversation pre interview, during the interview and afterwards.

What does good interviewing sound like?

What voice or voices do you need to do it well?

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