Richard Maun – selling

better business blog

Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation


Sales Skills #1 …Take The Telephone Challenge

14 November 2010

Put it away dear!

Put it away dear!

Ok, hands up if you have a smartphone? Keep your hand up if you tend to put it on the table during business meetings…I know I do.

I used to have a mark one Blackberry that slept in my briefcase and was only checked at the end of the day for emails. I kept it as a spare telephone and email catcher and that was it. My flip-phone just flipped and phoned and that was it too, so I would switch that off and park it in a pocket.

Now though I have a special NASA edition of the Blackberry which streams emails, sms, Facebook, Twitter, altitude readings and magnetic north compass bearings and is both simultaneously weightless and so tactile that if you don’t push a button once every five minutes, it sulks.

So of course I have to put it on the table during business meetings. It would be cruel to hide it in a dark corner.

However, last week I learned a lesson.

One of my co-Directors in our Centred Development training business commented that he sometimes works with a top Consultant who is ex-McKinsey. This chap is a successful globe trotting advice dispenser and on the subject of mobile phones he is unshakable. He says:

‘Switch it off. Put it away. Only check it at the end of the day. Nothing should come between you and your client.’

It’s a way of making sure you’re focused on the client and it tells them they are the most important thing at that time.

I’ve tried this on a couple of occasions and it did make a difference. So, if you’re trying to sell to people, take the telephone challenge:

Put your smartphone away and give the client 100% of your attention!

It could mean that you win the order!

…And if you’re in a meeting and fed up with your colleagues keeping one eye on you and one on their baby phones then set up a phone-creche. Fold a soft fluffy towel into a flat-bottomed basket and put all the phones in there, so they can all sleep together whilst you do some work. Ahhh…bless!

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We will continue with some sales skill tips…if you run your own business this series is here to help!

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One Way To Make It Happen

3 November 2009

Job hunting with dogs has been banned

Job hunting with dogs has been banned

I have written two books. You’ve probably seen them winking at you over on the right hand side. I’m proud of them. They’re funny, spiky, thought provoking and useful. And now I have another one to write, although I think I’m out of B@$T@*D ideas. So, instead I’m going to write Job Hunting 3.0 about, er, job hunting.

Winning a new contract is something of an achievement, as publishers tend not to hand them out with the rations. Getting it meant writing a four page submission, researching the market, honing the idea with Marshall Cavendish in London and then promising faithfully to deliver 50,000 words on 1st February 2010. Oh and I wrote half a book as well. About something entirely different.

In order to secure a meeting with the Publisher I decided to tempt him with half a book about how much fun you can have using Transactional Analysis as a Dad. So I rattled out and edited a quick 15,000 words in July, emailed them to him and booked a meeting for September.

During this meeting it became clear that my pitch needed refining in order to make it past his Board. So I offered to re-write it and submit it with a second pitch about job hunting, which I had invented on the spur of the moment…after looking at the pile of titles which are currently selling well.

The Board wasn’t interested in TA and parenting skills and so I still have a half written book to find a publisher for. (Nothing is ever wasted, so this work will come in handy in the future).

However, they did like ‘Game, Set & Job’ although they didn’t care for the title.  So, one way to make it happen is to do something BIG to grab attention. Half a book took me to a meeting, which created another book, which eventually produced a contract. If I worked hard to make it happen, then you can too, whatever the ‘it’ is for you. Sometimes life really can be that simple.

And now I have a big pile of words to type up. Yummy.

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Click cover to view details on Amazon


Riding the Rocket

How to manage your Modern Career

Published 2013 Marshall Cavendish



Bouncing Back

How to get going again after a career setback

Published 2012 Marshall Cavendish



How to Keep Your Job

Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in

Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish



Job Hunting 3.0

Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age

Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish



Leave the Bastards Behind

An insider's guide to working for yourself

Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish



My Boss is a Bastard

Surviving turmoil at work

Published 2006 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish


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