Transcript: The New Rules of Selling – Gavin Ingham (Max#34)


Kevin: Welcome to Maximise Potential the podcast to educate and motivate through a range of original interviews designed to help you maximise your potential. Brought to you in association with the award winning recruitment group Jenrick.

Welcome back to Episode 34 of the Maximise Potential podcast. No matter if you are responsible for a business, or focussing on developing your career the current environment is arguably the most competitive, uncertain and challenging that anyone has ever known. As a result we felt it was essential to invite an expert onto the podcast who can enable us to understand how we can operate and succeed within such restrictive parameters.

Gavin Ingham is widely regarded as one of the UK’s leading sales trainers, adding value to individuals and companies from all industries and sectors. In today’s interview Gavin discusses a topic which is critical if we are to survive in today’s environment – ‘Sales’. This interview will be incredibly helpful for everyone to understand what sales really is, and how you apply simple techniques to add substantial value to your products, your services and even to you as an individual. Here is Gavin to help us all understand and embrace the new rules of selling.


Gavin welcome to the Maximise Potential Podcast.

Gavin: Hi.

Kevin: We’re going to be dealing with well something that is relevant in everybody’s world right now. We are in a very uncertain business time and it is going to be uncertain for the foreseeable future and you are a specialist at helping people improve sales. And that is very much in your opinion as well and not just your opinion but in what you communicate to other people sales has to be fundamentally the core driver of any business and yet it surprises you and continues to surprise you how many businesses that you end up speaking with where it doesn’t tend to be the underlying or the core strategy that they embrace.

Gavin: Yeah it is interesting when the recession started some years ago people looked at it and you had two choices really. One was to sell more, and the other one was to cut costs and everybody did the cut costs thing but one of the areas a lot of people cut costs around was training, development, recruitment and support of sales staff. So I saw sales teams who weren’t allowed to go on meetings, weren’t allowed to go to conferences, weren’t allowed to hold stands at conferences that they had previously always done. And then people were surprised when they didn’t bring in as many sales or people didn’t invest in the training of sales staff and were surprised when they didn’t bring in as many sales. And I think people sometimes tend to see things as either or and I get this in quite a lot of areas of what I do where there is something different happening and people make a decision that they think something but then because they are thinking something you can’t think something else. And it is almost like people are either cutting costs or increasing sales but you can’t do both at the same time and I don’t see why you can’t build sales and reduce costs even if those costs don’t have anything to do with sales.

So I think in the current economy at the current time the important thing is to be getting out there and building more sales. The important thing is to be getting out there and reaching new customers and the important thing is to be getting out there, getting your brand out there and getting people aware of yourself and that is selling.

And I think there is another element to this as well because I think in the current market everybody needs to be able to sell because they need to be able to sell their organisation to the people within the organisation because I think in the current market a lot of people just don’t believe in the organisations. They don’t believe they have got security in their jobs so you have got to be able to sell on a whole variety of levels to run a successful company in today’s marketplace.

Kevin: Well let me ask you a bit about that. There will be a good chunk of the audience who receive this podcast who I would say are directly within a sales environment but we also have a big audience who are probably internal or consider themselves internal within a company and only have internal relationships within the company and you just touched on that there to say well actually it is everybody’s responsibility and it sounds like a very much a mindset issue of changing a mindset and getting into that mode of actually you can all sell in your own environments.

Gavin: I think that’s right. I mean the first thing is that very few people are truly internal so the only way I would accept that anybody is truly internal and doesn’t need to be aware of sales is if they never answer the phone. Anybody who ever picks up the phone, anybody who ever talks to the organisation needs to have a sales mentality. But even if somebody is truly internal, truly internal they still need to have a sales mentality because they need to be able to sell internally to sponsors within the business. They need to be able to sell their ideas to other people within their teams and at the very least they need to be able to support the sales teams so they need to be able to support the sales efforts.

Kevin: I am going to ask you in a second what a sales mentality is.

Gavin: Yes.

Kevin: But before we even do that tell me what is sales?

Gavin: That is a good question and I certain think it is one that is badly misunderstood. It is something that a lot of people would give you a lot of different answers to so this is my take on what selling is in the current environment to be successful right now. But before I do that I will tell you what it is not because I think what a lot of people think selling is, is getting a product, getting a service deciding why it is good for people, going out there knocking down doors and persuading, convincing, coercing people to buy it. I don’t see it that way at all I see it as adding value for people. I see it as understanding what people want or what they need whether that is an impulse purchase based on something they want, or whether in particularly business to business sales, it is something where they are solving an issue or a challenge that they want. Finding out whether they really need t solve it and then adding something which adds value for them that they can make a decision and go yeah I want to do that. And it is facilitating that process to help people make the right decisions.

And I think it is a great question because one of the challenges you know when we went into the recession was everybody said well that is it capitalism has failed. It is not capitalism that has failed because capitalism like sales for me is about adding value and being paid commensurably with that value. What failed was greed. And I think greed is dead. I think when you look at a lot of sales people, a lot of sales people were greedy it was about themselves, it was about can I make a sale at the expensive of other people. And as we are going too probably talk about later on selling is about adding value and if you are not adding value then you need to go and find other customers or you need to change your product. You don’t want to just convince people that they have buy it irrespective. And I think there is a very few sales people for a variety of reasons who have that mentality but when you get that mentality right then there is some real value in what you do and you have got the ability to be able to actually kick start an economy, kick start a country and actually get people doing the right thing and people valuing that. I think if people aren’t valuing what you do then you are not a real sales person in my mind.

Kevin: And I guess that comes back to where you said about the starting point for this which is it has to start off at the core of the business because I would assume that there is a huge chunk of companies and the ones that you have come across that are probably experiencing the largest amounts of problems, they probably don’t understand the value that they actually deliver. They probably don’t understand who they are as a business and what they stand for as a business.

Gavin: I think few companies understand the value that they truly deliver. Some perhaps because they don’t deliver a value or because they just picked a price. Others because they haven’t asked the right questions, they haven’t understood at the real level the real value that they deliver to businesses, to individuals and when you look at sales people a lot of sales people don’t truly understand that either. They understand their product, they understand their customers, they understand what their product does and they probably understand some generic advantages or some generic benefits but they don’t truly understand individual companies, how individual companies loose out and what that means to them on the deepest level. How does it impact not only sales figures but how does it impact the efficiency of the company, the moral of the company. And when you start getting in to it most sales people sell at the wrong level therefore they don’t truly understand that value. And unless you can understand the value then you can’t deliver value and I think that is the critical thing.

To take a step back from it for a moment as well because most selling is something we do, it is something we tell sales people to do. It is something we feel we have to do and it is almost like we are going out to do it to people. So it is go out knock on doors and sell something. We don’t say go out understand clients look for areas you can add value and then provide that value for them. And if you can’t provide that value then you know what go and find somebody you can, tell that client you can’t add value and walk away because it is the only way to have integrity and to be honest and to really deliver true benefits in today’s marketplace.

Kevin: And I think you touched on a key thing there and you said it there asking the right questions. And I think we have all been at the receiving end and if we switch seats here for a second and just you know put ourselves on the receiving end of all those sales calls that we all receive so few of them ask questions do they.

Gavin: No they don’t and I think it is one of the ironies that sales speakers and sales trainers who have been teaching questions since the year dot and yet despite all of that people don’t do it. And the interesting thing here is that is because I don’t believe that is a skills issue. Now what I am not saying is then don’t teach how to question because I do think there is a process behind questioning and I think you need to understand that process. I also think you need to understand some basic skills of questioning. And I think it actually links back to mindset because if all you want to do is persuade somebody to buy something then you either don’t ask any questions at all, or every question you ask is purely to try and back somebody into a corner so that they say what you wanted them to say in the first place so that you can say ah now we have got something that will solve that issue for you. Whereas I would say the true mindset, the true best sales mindset is one of genuinely caring. Genuinely wanting to understand somebody’s business, genuinely wanting to understand what is going on for them and whether you truly can add value or not. And the only way you can do that is by showing genuine interest and I think most sales people mindsets, the level of interest is just enough to cursorily ask a few questions but it is not enough to be genuinely interested in somebody’s business.

And of course the interesting thing here is a lot of people talk about the barrier to the sale, the lack of honesty coming from clients well yeah of course they will be dishonest if they think all you are going to try and do is take whatever they say and manipulate it to try and sell them something. But when people start to get gosh you know what this person is actually genuinely interested in me, genuinely interested in my business and is actually asking really inelegant questions then all of a sudden they start to open up and they start to talk to you.

Kevin: And I think there, I think what you are doing there is putting it in perspective and saying that it is not just asking the questions but it is actually conducting the research initially and it is coming up with a proposition for going back on quote on quote but where you can actually add value to their business operation.

Gavin: For sure. The days of the bodge it, blag it and wing it natural charismatic sales person in all but smalls sales are probably gone because I think one of the big changes of the last five years, the last ten years of course is the internet and the amount of information that is available on the internet. And I think once upon a time you were able to go along to a company and present them with something and they would go wow we had never heard of that or wow we didn’t know you could do that. And whilst I am not saying that is impossible even if you do have that window of opportunity now it would be very, very small and it would be shut very, very quickly. So people know so much more about you. They know so much more about the products, they know so much more about the solutions and they expect you to as well. There is no excuse to ask some of the ridiculous questions. I mean I had a guy rang me up the other day he pitched me for some advertising for about ten minutes and I tend to take these calls and I tend to listen because I like to hear what people are doing and he pitched for about ten minutes and then I thought well enough is enough and I threw him a rejection. And when I threw him the rejection he backed out of out which was probably the right thing to do and he asked a question which was probably also the right thing to do. But it was the sheer stupidity of the question, and the question he asked was ‘so I am real interested tell me what exactly do you do anyway Gavin?’

Well he is not interested is he because if he had put Gavin Ingham into Google he would have thousands of entries that would have all said Sales Speaker, Sales Trainer, Sales Expert whatever and it would have been clearly obvious what I did. So he had clearly not even done the most basic of five second research. And I think what that research shows is not only does it allow you to ask those intelligent questions but it also it demonstrates integrity, it demonstrates credibility, it demonstrates that you care about your clients, it demonstrates that you are a serious business player. And it is sad to say but so many sales people just don’t do that. And I think that is this top down thing because clearly people above them are not stressing the importance of that, they are not training that, they are not making sure that those people actually care enough about their clients, that they care enough about their prospects to actually do that research to ask those questions.

Kevin: And I think as well what you have summed up there and I know you spend an awful lot of time on courses dealing with cold calling and techniques for cold calling confidence, and one of the biggest issues you come up against when people are making calls is actually having the confidence to make those calls. But going back on what you were just saying or leading on from it should I say is if you do the preparation, you understand your value, you understand where you can actually add value to the organisation you are calling then surely that is when you suddenly see the confidence appearing because people actually feel as if they have got a genuine reason to call.

Gavin: Sure, totally. There are many elements that lead to confidence of course but the preparation element is one. And I think the knowing that you are adding value and that you are an expert in what you do is another. If you are just ringing people and you are making 50 calls in a morning or you are going to an event or you are knocking on a door or whatever it is and you have done no research then actually your confidence really is misplaced. I mean you are a bit like one of those people who can’t sing but all your mates told you you could going on to the X Factor. I don’t want you to go onto the X Factor and say because people sometimes misconstrue this about me when they say oh well but you are all about the motivation and I am not all about the motivation, I am not all about the confidence in that I think people should have it where it is not justified. I think it should be justified so I want you to be a great singer and then go on to X Factor. I want you to be a great sales person and then make the call. And part of being a great sales person is in doing that research, is in knowing that there is a good chance that you can add value. I mean taking cold calling as an example there is a lot of people saying that cold calling doesn’t work anymore. They are thoroughly wrong. What doesn’t work anymore is spam cold calling. And I think it is the difference between spam cold calling and legitimate cold calling. And what is legitimate? Legitimate is I have done the research; legitimate is I genuinely believe there is a reason for this call. Legitimate is if everything is as everything appears to be I think I can add value and I think if this person is to engage with me they are going to be glad that they engaged with me. That is legitimate, that is legitimate and that is okay. But it comes back down to that research and of course that gives you the confidence if you know well yeah I am interrupting them but my goodness me are they going to be pleased they took this call.

Kevin: Is this what we are getting into when you said genuine sales mentality?

Gavin: Yes I think the importance of the sales mentality, there is various elements of sales mentality but I think the first one is that you need to have this attitude of curiosity. You need to have this attitude of caring. You need to genuinely care about your clients and I think that needs to extend through a whole company. And I think you need to look at every process that you have going on within an organisation and go is that about us or is that about our customers. Do we actually care about our customers? Because I think in today’s market there are a lot of big companies in particular who if you look at what they do you could hardly come to the conclusion that they care about the customers. Now the fact that they then say on the TV or they then say on the radio advertising ‘we care about our customers’ you know if they don’t answer their phones, if they bounce you through 15 people, if they make you put all sorts of numbers in to prove who you are and then you get through and they say who are you calling. That is not who are you that is not caring about your customers, that is about them and everybody knows it is. Now the fact that some of those companies, because I think sometimes we will look at those companies and go well we can do that to. No you can’t because the thing is there are few huge industries where there is five or six players, they can get away with that because there is nowhere else to go. Whether they will be able to do it sustainably forever I don’t know but if you are a smaller size company or a medium size company and you want to take more market share or you want to increase your market share or protect your market share and you want to build loyal fans then you need to look at every transaction, every conversation and go is that about us or is that about our customers. You need to genuinely care. And it’s that genuinely caring that gets people to connect with you, gets people to open up with you.

The second one, and I am not going to go through all of them, but the second one is this value thing. You need to add huge value. So I think there is two elements to that. You need to add value first and I think that is a big difference between some of the old style selling, some of the old style marketing. People have definitely seen in a lot of industries that advertising, marketing, it’s become a lot less effective. It has become more expensive, less effective. People would argue that that is because people have been bombarded. And I think to an extent that’s true but I also think that there is an expectation from people that they want to see you add some value first. So you need to be looking at how does our company add value before or during that initial transaction.

The second thing is you need to be adding more value than you charge when you actually get to the point of charging. And I think this is a really important point because a lot of companies at the moment are having price issues. They are having customers coming back to them and saying we’re getting it cheaper elsewhere. And then the companies say to me but we are better and I say well clearly the customer doesn’t think that, clearly the customer isn’t getting the value because if the customer was getting the value they wouldn’t be giving you the grief and they wouldn’t be leaving. So the fact that you think your service is better is not relevant you have got to genuinely understand your customers, understand what they want that is going to add value, that is going to be better, you can’t just charge more because you have been in the marketplace five years longer. The customer has to see some value in that and if they don’t see value in it then guess what you can’t charge that money. And that’s what people are finding. I think they are finding that they are having their values questioned, they are finding that they are having the very core of their services questioned because a lot of companies people go oh this is my product and this is my service and this is what I do lets add a bell or a whistle here, people will like that. But they are not actually thinking about the customers because I think this is the important point value is always determined by the customer, always, not you the customer.

Kevin: And even if, and even in the current market where we are faced with people dropping prices left, right and centre.

Gavin: Yeah.

Kevin: How do you approach that with your clients when you actually say you can hold your margins?

Gavin: It’s a really difficult question to answer that one because clearly it is very, very case specific. I think there are some clients with some companies where for whatever reasons the charge rate or the investment does not really reflect the real value that they are adding. Now maybe that was because the companies had a lot of money at the time they signed off and they weren’t that bothered so they didn’t negotiate that hard, maybe market rates have changed, perhaps the value was up front but as the contract is renewed they should have been discounted but they never were. So I think there certainly are some that sit into there and I think that is very, very difficult but what do you do in that scenario?

Then I think there are some that look like they are in that situation but they are not really. Because what’s happened is the company has relied on the fact that they have got a certain amount of business with somebody, it comes up for renewal and actually the sales person has been remiss, they have been lazy, they have not been in contact, they have not been asking questions, they have not been understanding what has been going on in the business, they have not been understanding the changes, so the value that they once had is no longer there. The relationship that they once had is no longer there because they have lost that contact. It is amazing how many companies do a deal with somebody and then really only start talking to them properly again when it is coming up to renewal and if you think customers don’t get that of course they do. And as soon as they have a choice then they are going to maybe take that choice.

I think that maybe then there is the third type of company, and the third type of companies are the ones that you do add value for. And I also think there is an overall challenge that we can’t all be in the top tier of the marketplace. There is an interesting question I ask of people on one of my negotiation courses and I say well look if you looked at your product, your industry, your service and you measured it from like the cheapest in the market to like the most expensive and you split it into quartiles so like the top 25% most expensive, the 25% just above half, the 25% that were below average and the 25% who are really cheap where would you see your company and your product being? Now the interesting here is out of thousands of people I have asked this question nobody, I think I had one guy who put himself in the cheapest. Very few people put themselves in the second one and the vast majority of people put themselves in the top two tiers. Now mathematically that cannot be correct can it. Everybody cannot be the most expensive. So I think there is a misconception here to start with and I think you have to draw the line between negotiation practices from clients and reality. But assuming that we have done that we also have to accept that different clients want different things so there are some clients who do want to buy the cheapest they don’t care about the extra value for whatever reasons and as a sales person, as an organisation you need to decide do we work with those people at all or do we need to go out and find new business. Because I think every sales person will have had the experience of a nightmare client who is a nightmare through the whole process, a nightmare when they did the deal, they give them a great big discount and then they are a nightmare after that never coming off the phone constantly wanting support and they wished they had never taken them on. On the other hand they have had clients that they spoke to, they immediately added value and everything has been great. And you ask which is more profitable and it is the second one. You ask which they prefer and it is the second one. So you need to ask the question why are you doing business with the first one. And if it is that you need to do business with the first one and the second one then you need to kind of red circle them as separate products or separate services. I think a lot of time this coming back and negotiating business is about a lack of understanding of the business, a lack of understanding of the clients and a lack of understanding of where you add value and where you don’t add value.

Kevin: So this comes back to the very original point which you said which is go out and find more relevant clients that are right for your business.

Gavin: Yeah that is the crux of it isn’t it. The crux of it is who are you targeting, who are your clients, what are the challenges and issues that they have got, why do they need to solve them, how much do they need to solve them, how compelling are those issues right now, how much value can you add in solving those. And that boils down to what they are prepared to pay and what that investment is likely to be and how much they are going to actually respect that investment. And the less it is the less they are going to pay, so the more transactional it is the more likely you are to get into a transactional issue with someone else. But it is recognising is this transactional, is it value based and even if it is kind of sitting between both have we asked the questions, have we shown the interest, have we done the stuff to find the real value.

Kevin: And is this predominantly the difference between the companies that continue to do well regardless of market conditions and the ones that then when the market conditions get a bit tougher they are the ones that begin to fall by the wayside?

Gavin: Yes.

Kevin: It is that simple isn’t it.

Gavin: I think we need to be adding value. And I think if you look at anybody or anything or any business or any sales person who is successful long term they understand that there is a direct link between the value they add and the amount that you get paid. I mean as a general rule even the whole of the UK economy how do we need to export more stuff. I guess we need to be competitively priced but we need to add more value that is the bottom line. We don’t have to be the cheapest in the world, we don’t have to compete with the cheapest people but we have to add value that people are prepared to pay for. It is not good enough going ‘British made’. You know that is not good enough, it might get you an extra little bit but people actually have to see a value in that. People have to understand the value and that’s about you understanding your clients. It is about you understanding who is buying and it is about adding real value. And another big one is more value than that which you are being paid. Provided you are in that bucket, the more you are in that bucket the better it is.

Kevin: So where do we start with that, how do we? I mean I know you have touched on various things but how do we start by getting more firms to look inwardly at themselves and start getting people really looking both from a personal perspective at the value they are adding but also then from the value that they can really add to their client base?

Gavin: Wow well I suppose you are quite right. Let’s extend the podcast to three weeks shall we, we can discuss it in detail. I think it starts with individuals and I think we need to help individuals to realise the link between helping others, the link between caring about others and their own success in life because there is an intrinsic link and I think that link to a large extent has been lost by a lot of people. And I think the way all these things need to start is from the top down. So you need CEO’s, you need Sales Directors; you need Managing Directors who actually care about the people in the organisation. People who actually go I know that if I add value for my staff then my staff will feel loyalty towards me and surely you should be continuing to believe in your staff and invest in your staff. So I think you need to look at your staff, you need to value your staff and to do that you have got to ask yourself what do my staff value? And that is really, really important. So I think it starts there.

I think the second thing is to look at creating a sales culture. And by a sales culture I mean a culture that cares about clients. Now yes they need to understand sales processes but sales process can only happen after you care about clients and we have got to find a way of getting every member of staff to feel that way, genuinely that way. And for me it is the difference between doing something and actually being something.

Kevin: Go on explain that a bit more.

Gavin: Well I think a lot of people do questions or they do a process but they don’t, they don’t actually necessarily believe it. They don’t necessarily believe so they ask a few cursory questions but they are not really interested. They say something they don’t really mean it they are just saying it because somebody told them that that’s how you sell. And people see that these days, people understand that. Whether they get it at a mental level or whether they get it, they just feel it, people get it. So here is the thing I often say in courses don’t care about the deal. I think a lot of people get very confused by that initially.

Kevin: I was going to say I am looking at your face now.

Gavin: You are a little bit confused. Because I think typically however we manage sales people and I am not saying don’t manage them like this, this is the dichotomy, we have gone this month you have got to do this number of deals, this week you have to do so many deals. But you know what I can’t actually control a deal, I can’t make you buy. I can only control the process. Why do deals happen? Deals happen because I care about you. Deals happen because I show an interest in you. Deals happen because I do my research and I approach you with something that is of interest. Deals happen because I ask you the right questions to find out whether it adds value or not. Deals happen because I ask you the right questions and I explore your business with you enough to understand it adds enough value that you are going to buy it. Deals happen because I then use a process that helps you to effectively get to a place where you feel that you can buy it and I hold your hand through that buying process. That’s why deals happen and I care about all of that. Whether the actual deal happens at the end yes of course there is a little bit of me that always wants the deal to go in but if you worry about that too much you end up putting all your energy into that and you miss steps earlier on. And if you miss steps earlier on then it is going to feel pressurised at best but a lot of the time it is just going to fall out. And I think one of the issues there as well of course is that a lot of sales people whether they like it or not are quite transactional even in some of the solution based sectors and that is again because they are not interested enough. And I think as you get more interested you start looking at how you add value on a deeper level than just that particular sale. You start looking at how I add value to the business as a whole. How do I look at adding value to where the business is going. How do I look at adding value for the key decision makers and the key people within the business and at that point you start to get into much bigger solutions. You start to get into partnership relationships and you start to be able to become much more of an advisor to the business rather than somebody who just supplied a certain box or a certain truck or a certain service on a certain occasion.

Kevin: And that is all because you have stopped focussing on the deal.

Gavin: And started caring about the client.

Kevin: Yeah incredible and I imagine that the pressure just lifts from people. You can physically see that pressure. They probably just go ‘oh thank God for that’ they used to get wound up considerably thinking that all the pressure is on them being good at closing rather than actually realising that if they load the front end the early part of the conversation, the getting to know you stage, loads of questions, understanding the business.

Gavin: Yeah you are right. I used to be involved with recruitment companies and recruitment is a great example. And one of the things they would often ask me for upfront was can you help us, exactly as you say, can you help us close more deals. Because the assumption is we are not on target and therefore we are not closing enough therefore we need closing skills. It kind of makes sense doesn’t it. But what you don’t think about is well maybe it is the process that is not right. What you don’t think about is well maybe we didn’t add enough value therefore closing was never going to happen anyway. So people train closing skills. So what people try and do of course then is they try and close harder which actually just alienates clients and pushes them away further.

Anyway recruitment the interesting thing is one of the areas that it turns up of course is after you have got the CV and after you have given the CV to the client and the client has looked at the CV or even maybe after the client has interviewed the person and the client comes back and says ‘yeah I don’t think they are right’. And recruitment used to typically train rebuttals to that. Now I am not saying there is never a time when you could ask some questions and rebut it and put them in but I would suggest it is very rare because by the time the client has actually seen somebody and actually had a conversation across the table with them they have kind of made their mind up because they are missing the point the sale happened miles before that. The sale has happened at the point the client said ‘I would like you to work with me on this piece of recruitment’. It is at that moment, that’s the moment when you get to be consultative, that is the moment when you get to care about their business. Rather than just going ‘oh okay thanks very much I will go and look for that person for you’ that’s the moment when you get to look at well how does this person fit into the business and why are they important to the business and ask all those questions, that is the moment because it is at that moment that you have the opportunity to present a solution. Alright you have then got to go away and fulfil it with the right person but that is the real moment where the real sale happens. That is where you really add value, that’s where you get to be consultative over everybody who is not. That is where you get to prove look this isn’t just transactional for me this is about caring about this business. And people just miss it. As you say it is upfront but people have missed it and by the time they realise they have missed it the only thing they can do is try and shut doors. I think you have got to get this because if you don’t get this you are going to be struggling and more importantly you are going to be chasing business that is declining and you are going to be fighting with everybody else on price. And one of the issues of course with a lot of business’s, it’s not all businesses but with a lot of businesses with remote working, with the internet, with the ability to work from home there are a lot of industries, there are a lot of companies where some people have struggled and maybe have gone to work from cheaper premises, they have reduced the number of staff that are working from the garage particularly for the small to midsized companies. You cannot compete with these people on prices it is suicide, you have to add more value.

Kevin: Gavin on a final note if there was one thing that we want to leave everybody with today that either it is something that you constantly apply and have probably found most beneficial within building your own business and your own career or for people within their businesses and their careers. What would that one nugget be that we just want to leave them with as the closing point for this interview?

Gavin: I think for me it is looking at the activities that you do and asking yourself is this helping me to get to where I want to go. Because I think with everything else that is going on today and all of the interruptions that we have you can have incredibly busy days and you can work incredibly long hours and yet not do anything or do very little that takes you in the direction that you want to go and you end up frazzled, you end up fire fighting, you end up incredibly busy but you are still running around in circles. And if people are wanting to increase sales within their business they have got to sit down and they have got to work out what are the activities within the business, what are the behaviours within the business, what are the items within the business that are going to move us forward and help us get more sales. And they need to find a way of making those happen because in the current market and indeed prior to the current market a lot of companies were not doing enough of those activities. I work with sales teams, huge sales teams sometimes and very, very few people on a day are spending very much time on truly proactively the activities that are moving the business forward and it’s that sort of stuff.

You asked me to equate it for myself. For myself there are various things that go on in a day but there is other things which drive the business forward, there are other things that take me where I want to go and it is very easy to get distracted from those and you need to make sure that you make the time for them. I think that for me is by far the most important.

Kevin: Gavin thank you very much for coming on the Maximise Potential Podcast today.

Gavin: It has been a pleasure thank you.


Kevin: Thank you Gavin for joining us on the Maximise Potential Podcast today and for sharing so much of your experience with our audience. Gavin’s messages were incredibly clear in terms of the responsibility that everyone plays within the selling process no matter how internal your role may be. And also the necessity regarding orientating your entire approach around adding value and creating solutions. Gavin has a superb newsletter and LinkedIn group which I would thoroughly recommend subscribing to. You can find links to both of these via his website at and also I have posted links to these on the show notes.

So a couple of bits of news to finish off with today. Kay White has just recorded another podcast with us to follow up her highly popular interview regarding making your communication more powerful and influential. We will be releasing it very soon however in the interim Kay is running a completely free training course where she shares some really simple, subtle and influential communication secrets. The call is taking place on November 17 however don’t worry if you miss it as you can register to receive a recorded version of the call. Just go to the weblink at which I have also included in our show notes page.

Thanks again for tuning in and please remember to visit our website at for more articles and resources to help you maximise your potential. I would also like to extend a big thanks as always to the Jenrick Recruitment Group who sponsor this podcast and specialise in developing careers in the engineering, commercial and IT sectors.

Thanks very much for tuning in and here’s a great track from Xerxes to finish on today which is called ‘when the dust settles’.


About the Author

Hi, I'm Tom Burkinshaw, I co-produce the Maximise Your Potential Podcast and Website and my goal is to help as many people as possible be successful in life, careers and business, by offering free coaching and mentoring through a series of unique interviews from inspiring people who all display exceptional self-belief, mental toughness and desire to achieve. Thank you for taking the time to visit Maximise Your Potential!