Monday, 24 December 2012

Bribery Act VS Christmas good will?

Some companies have no hard and fast rules regarding this and leave it to the discretion of the employee. Last year the Royal Mail advised staff that gifts under £30 were acceptable but not to accept cash or gifts to a value above £30. What is acceptable and are companies overreacting when it comes to protecting themselves from risk of prosecution for breach of the Bribery Act this Christmas?
 
This year, like all previous years at Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, we have just compiled our Xmas donations list for our client’s staff raffles. With the bribery and corruption act at the very forefront of our minds we have been wondering whether it is a tradition we should carry on.
 
The Bribery Act 2010 came into force on 1 July 2011. The intention behind it was to amend and reform the UK’s criminal law and provide a modern legal framework to combat bribery in the UK and Internationally. There is a guideline to follow but are company’s up-to-date with the law.
 
Tins of sweets and a bottle of champagne have always been the theme for us but when you do cross the line and it becomes an illegal gesture?
 
How do you feel about it and has it put your company off giving Xmas donations?

Thursday, 20 December 2012

SALES Engineer or Sales ENGINEER?


What’s in a title you may ask, a great deal when it comes to the ability of a successful Sales Engineer.

We have frequent discussions with Managing Directors, Operations Managers and Product Managers all regarding the same issue ‘are they a sales person, a technical consultant or possibly both?’

If we consider a company selling a technically complex piece of capital machinery to a specific industry where the sales process could possibly take up to 12 months do we need an ‘off-the shelf’ sales person?

Enquiry:

An initial consultation request from a ‘warm lead’ comes in involving a technical presentation, benefits and ROI for the equipment. The SALES Engineer is primed and dragging out a System Engineer they head to the meeting to make sure the customer is brought on. During the meeting the note book fills with questions needed to be chased up at a later date but will this lose the sale?

By taking two members out on the visit we invest heavily in the meeting but has this secured the sale and given the potential customer the reassurance in the service?

A Game of Two Halves:

When looking at the ability of a Sales ENGINEER we may not need to send out the System Engineer as all angles could be covered but would they have the commercial sense to secure the sale?

So the outcome is that we need a combination of SALES ENGINEER!

To find a ‘great’ technical sales person we should consider the following:

Review the academic experience and the complexities of any study taken in the past

Previous projects dealt with and the length of time they were responsible for this

Recent ‘wins’ and who was involved (a clear indicator on sales ability)

If dealing with a Product Manager did they have a clear understanding of possibilities and limitations?

The support they have had in the past from technical teams

Another common comment is that ‘over promise and under deliver’ can occur when under pressure to secure the sale. Transparency is essential when committing to the pitch, simple comments like ‘if we need it to do this’ or ‘can it be installed by’ should happily and confidently be answered with specific solutions.

With so many factors to consider from an employer perspective it is essential that any relevant background should contain a clear and accountable report of ability. Previous employers will play a part where relevance to product or service is considered but looking for ability is essential to gaining the right vessel for future development.

Written by Stephen Minney
Lead Consultant within Automation and Process Control at Aaron Wallis
After spending 8 years in the Army he joined the technical division of Aaron Wallis

Life's Little Instructions


It's that time of year when we're updating some of our website content and we decided to add to our 'about me' pages some motivational quotes, mantras, poems and the like which means something to each of us as individuals. 
I'm adding this list of 'Life's Little Instructions' which by all accounts was written by a 95 year old man, William Snell, to a young friend.  I first encountered this on a poster that my sister had in her guest bathroom and I've always tried to follow these (apart from having a dog!) There’s some really good ones her, for instance, I don't particularly like cake so I was known to often refuse it - now I've learned to just take the calorie hit, accept with thanks and life is so, so much easier....

I hope that you like them as much as I do…

Life's Little Instructions

  • Sing in the shower.
  • Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
  • Watch a sunrise at least once a year.
  • Never refuse homemade brownies or birthday cake
  • Strive for excellence, not perfection.
  • Plant a tree on your birthday.
  • Learn three clean jokes.
  • Returned borrowed vehicles with the petrol tank full.
  • Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
  • Leave everything a little better than you found it.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Think big thoughts, but relish small pleasures.
  • Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
  • Be forgiving on yourself and others.
  • Say "thank you" a lot.
  • Say "please" a lot.
  • Avoid negative people.
  • Wear polished shoes.
  • Remember other people's birthdays.
  • Commit yourself to constant improvement.
  • Have a firm handshake.
  • Send lots of valentines cards, sign them.
  • Look people in the eye.
  • Be the first to say "hello".
  • Return all things you borrow.
  • Make new friends but cherish the old ones.
  • Keep secrets.
  • Plant flowers every spring.
  • Have a dog.
  • Always accept an outstretched hand.
  • Stop blaming others.
  • Take responsibility for every area of your life.
  • Wave at kids in school buses.
  • Be there when people need you.
  • Don't expect life to be fair.
  • Never underestimate the power of love.
  • Drink champagne for no reason at all.
  • Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation.
  • Don't be afraid to say, "I made a mistake".
  • Don't be afraid to say, "I don't know".
  • Compliment even small improvements.
  • Keep your promises no matter what.
  • Marry only for love.
  • Rekindle old friendships.
  • Count your blessings.
  • Call your mother.
  • And your father too, if they happen to be alive.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

2013 New Year’s Resolutions vs. Goal Setting for 2013

 
We all know that New Year’s resolutions, with some excellent willpower, will normally last until around the 12th of January. The three main reasons for this are quite simple:

  1.  The resolution is something that others want them to achieve, be that friends, family or society, such as giving up smoking, drinking less or losing weight. In my experience unless the individual themselves personally has an all encompassing desire to change then they simply won’t.
  2. The resolution is what they feel they should be doing rather than what they truly want, i.e. learning fresh skills, enrolling on that course, a new job to earn more money (even though they’re quite happy where with their current employer, they’re comfortable with a decent work-life balance, and they’re treated well), etc. Also in this category are pure materialistic goals – if that’s what you really want, then fine but what’s the point of wealth without health and monies without funnies!
  3.  But mainly it is because the resolution is set with reasonably good intention on New Years’ Day each year but at no time from that point is it reviewed or planned out. There’s no deadline, no written evidence, there’s no stick for failure, or for that matter, carrot for reward, and they’re not communicated either regularly enough to the ‘resolution maker’ or to others. The well intended New Year resolutions simply become nothing more than a shopping list of ‘nice to haves’.
 
So let’s start by saying that resolutions do not work unless they’re written down, they’re regularly reviewed (daily), they’re worked upon (a plan is followed), and they’re embedded into the subconscious (the conscious mind, or your ego, prefers the instant gratification of that ‘cream and jam smothered doughnut’ to your long term objective of feeling fitter, healthier and happier that’s twelve months away!). Resolutions that are written down, planned and reviewed are then transformed into goals. And, goal setting, when methodically followed, does work. It does, of course, take a bit of though and effort though.
 
There’s a link here to a worksheet that I wrote five years ago now - http://www.aaronwallis.co.uk/Goals%20Setting%20Workbook%20and%20Template.pdf  It’s a bit esoteric for many, but I hope that you may find some, or maybe all of them, interesting exercises to undertake. Back in 2007, 2008 and 2009 I used to set myself around fifty goals per annum (I’m not joking – pages of them!), and the majority were never realised twelve months later. However, the majority of them that were set over three years ago have now been met, so it’s not a bad thing to set a load of goals, twenty or more, for the longer term. However, focusing back to 2013, run through the exercises that you’re comfortable with and choose three goals that you truly, truly have an overwhelming desire to achieve. Make them a real 9.9 out of 10 ‘want to have’ of a goal for you and you only!
 
Now write them down in the present tense, without negative connotations, and with a benefit statement as if it is 31st December 2013. For example,
    
“It is 31st December 2013, and I am fitting back into my 34” jeans. I am continuously complimented on how great I look, and I feel happier and healthier for losing two stone” or “For the last year I have been healthier for breathing in nothing but fresh air. My skin looks great; my clothes smell great, and I’m always complimented on how much fitter I am." As you can tell, this is so much more powerful than the traditional New Year’s Resolution of “I’m going to lose weight” or “stop smoking” and there is no hint of negativity in the statements.
  
And don’t feel that they have to be massive changes. Two of my great loves are, of course my children, but also live music. I’m conscious that I’ve wasted a number of weekends in 2012 by not having things planned as much as I’d have liked, as a consequence so many have become, well pretty unmemorable. Furthermore, with a busy life and four kids I’ve not been to as many gigs in recent years as I’d like as I LOVE live music. So, two of mine for 2013 are as follows:
    
“Looking back across 2013 I’ve seen at least one live band every month, and I feel much more musically aware again” and “It is 31st December 2013, and I’m looking at my photo books of the year and cannot believe how many fantastic days out that we’ve had as a family." See, no huge life changes in the ‘grand scheme of things’ but I know that in achieving both, I will make a positive difference to both my kids and my own happiness.
 
So, now that they’re written we need to send the subconscious into action. This is done in two ways: 
  1. Reading and visualising them regularly, (i.e. daily) and,
  2. Planning and reviewing.
1) Reading and Visualising: So here are some basic ideas to read and visualise them daily: 
  • Cut out a piece of card that fits the space for a photo in your wallet or purse.
  • Write them on a post-it note and stick it on your bathroom mirror.
  • Put them on the kitchen corkboard with your planner
  • In MS Word, or similar, type them out onto a 10x15cm page layout and ‘save as’ a 6 x 4 PDF. Get this printed professionally and put into a frame for your desk, mantelpiece or bedroom shelf.
  • In PowerPoint, or similar, create slides for each of your goals and save as individual .jpgs. Then use them as a revolving slideshow as your desktop or screensaver
  • For less than twenty quid you can buy a digital photo fridge magnet. Save your goals, and the steps to achieving them, as converted PowerPoint slides. Then add motivational photos and quotes and set up as the content to the frame and attach to your fridge.
I think it also helps to make yourself accountable to others for that extra motivation. So communicate your three 2013 goals to friends and family, add to your blog, add it to the comment's page below, add to your Facebook wall (so they’ll show in your timeline), tell your colleagues (they might even give you an additional day’s leave for planning!), even write yourself a letter and post it to yourself!
 
2) Planning and Reviewing.  Now, here are some basic ideas for planning and reviewing:
 
Dedicate a day between now and New Year’s Eve to planning your three main goals for 2013. For instance, if it is to lose weight – what diet plan will you follow, will you join a dieting club (research which one), will you hire a personal trainer (research), will you join a gym (research), what specifically will you change in your diet to lose weight and how will you work this in with the rest of your family and so on. Then, during this planning session mark down the small steps along the path of 2013 that enable you to achieve your main goals. If it is to lose two stones, then that’s half a stone a quarter or just over two pounds of weight loss per month. By setting these small targets and achieving you will be spurred on to meet the next one.
    
Now you’ve planned the small steps you must plot in the review dates to ensure you’re on track. It sounds excessive but plot in an entire day four times across the year to review your goals and if needed to make the changes required to get 'back on track'. Set these days as follows, the first at the end of January and then the remainder at the end of March, June and September. Put them into your diary, outlook calendar or whatever and take out the entire day to focus on yourself. During these sessions, you can take the time to change tack, make adjustments, research different methods and spend time looking further ahead to new goals. If you’ve gone off track, don’t panic, don’t give up and use this day to refocus and get yourself back on track. Make them a ‘me day’ – no meetings, no distractions, no putting off. If it is imperative to postpone, then ensure that you reschedule the planning day within seven days maximum.
    
7 Steps to Achieving Your Goals in 2013
 
So to recap:   
  1. Choose your three main goals that YOU truly want to achieve in 2013.
  2. Write them down in the present tense as if it is 31st December 2013.
  3. Between now and New Year’s Eve 2012 spend a day planning how you are going to achieve your goals with steps and milestones along the path. Get the resources together to help you achieve your goals.
  4. Set dates in your Outlook calendar, or similar, for review days
  5. Communicate your goals to friends, family and colleagues
  6. Set up a method where you will see your goals on a daily basis.
  7. Add them to your Facebook Wall, blog, our blogger page, whatever!
And most of all Good Luck. Have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013
 
Rob Scott is the Managing Director of Aaron Wallis, a UK based sales recruitment agency.
 

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Ten Reasons Why Santa Makes a Great Sales Professional

Here are ten reasons why here at Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment we feel that Santa makes the ultimate sales professional

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment Xmas Logo1. Planning and Preparation - Some might say 12 months planning and preparation is a little excessive however to my knowledge Santa has never failed to deliver and boasts a very impressive client portfolio.
2. Effective Territory Management - Great sales people would agree that effective territory management is essential.  Managing a global territory requires methodical organisational skills and Santa always ensures an annual service call to each of his billions of clients each year.

3. Exceptional Customer Service - According to a recent survey Santa achieved 100% customer feedback by delivering on time,  well packaged and meeting customer requirements
4. Delivers to Customer Needs - Feedback from the North Pole Logistics Centre report that there have been no returns since S. Claus Plc.  began operations back in 1820.

5. Excellent Communication Skills (Especially written) - I’m sure we’d all agree that communication is the essential skill of any effective sales professional.  Although most sales people would boast excellent verbal communication skills many would agree that paperwork is not their strong point!!  This however cannot be said for Santa, in a recent interview Santa admitted to receiving many millions of customer letters and is confident he personally replied to them all.
6. People/Elf Management skills - Not all sales people require people/elf management skills, however when you’re up against strict deadlines and orders that need to be delivered effectively then people/elf management skills can prove to be vital.
7. Prepared to Go the Extra Mile - At 11.57PM on 24th December 2011 and still with several customer orders requiring delivery, weather conditions are NOT good.  However, without fail, once again Santa pulls it out of the bag to ensure maximum client satisfaction.

8. Looks Good in a Suit - First impressions last and I’m sure that most of Santa clients would agree that he has left a lasting impression
9. Drives a Low Emission Vehicle - Many sales people would agree that a comfortable, clean and reliable company vehicle is an essential requirement, especially when covering a large territory.  Thankfully more and more sales people would also consider low emissions to be essential when choosing their vehicle.  Santa is proud to confirm that he was the first sales person to insist on such a vehicle some 192 years ago and his vehicle emissions ensure that his brussel sprouts are grown to perfection.

10. Excellent Questioning and Listening Skills - Santa believes that two ears, one mouth and a beard is the best advice he would give to any sales person looking for top tips for sales growth in 2013!
This is a busy time for Santa and he’s officially ‘out of the office’ until 26th December.  However he’s tasked us with looking after sales people over the festive period so if you’re looking for help securing a new sales role please visit www.aaronwallis.co.uk.  Whilst it’s unlikely we’ll find you someone quite as strong an ‘all rounder’ as Santa  if you’re looking for sales staff that meet some of his  attributes please contact Aaron Wallis on 01908 764280.

Darren Dewrance is one of the founding directors  at Aaron Wallis and is renowned by those that have worked with him for being a bit too obsessed with Christmas from about mid-September onwards.
Twitter - http://twitter.com/aaronwallissr
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/116956655489400305604
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/AaronWallisSR
LinkedIn - uk.linkedin.com/pub/darren-dewrance/1a/675/770

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Top Tips for your Christmas Job Search

Job searchers believe that Christmas is a bad time to search for jobs, but they could not be more wrong! The holiday season brings with it an increase in available jobs as employers are looking for seasonal help, most employers will also be looking to take people on at the beginning of the New Year meaning December is a crucial time to get online and search. Competition for jobs decreases giving you that extra advantage as job seekers take on seasonal jobs instead of long-term employment. Hiring managers use the end of the year to meet their budget and prepare staffing for the New Year. The timing to find a job is perfect.

Christmas parties and Networking- You should regard Christmas parties as an opportunity. Your next boss could be present without you knowing about it, never whine about your current job, listen carefully to the conversation to pick up on leads from your fellow guests. This could open the door to your next job.

Parties and social gatherings can be used as a chance to network if it is done correctly. Holiday parties bring with it a wider range of people that wouldn’t be at your usual gathering. Dress smart, people will be looking at you and wondering who you are and the first impression they get could be your appearance from a distance. Be aware not to consume too much alcohol, stay casual and relaxed. While this could be a great opportunity try not to be aggressive seeking a new role as it will be a turnoff to potential employers.
Your seasonal role could be your next permanent employment - Your seasonal job should be viewed in the same light as a temporary job, if you do well the company may consider keeping you on in a permanent position. Many people enjoy holiday work and find the permanent job they love comes from this. Employers don’t always know that you interested in remaining unless they are told, so speak up and let them know of your interest. If you give the company notice well before the season is over it gives the company time to consider who they will be keeping and to fill out all necessary paperwork. All this will be helped if you are performing to a high standard each day. If the company are unable to keep you on always remember to be courteous and send a thank you note. A role could always come available within a few months if it isn’t there immediately.

Five Reasons The Holidays Are Great For Job Searching:

1.      A lot of companies must spend the money they have left in their hiring budget. If they don't they lose that amount as part of next year's funds.

2.      People tend to like to start out the New Year with everything settled and no loose ends. This may mean hiring extra people in anticipation of staffing problems or taking care of any vacant positions now instead of waiting until January.

3.      Many people quit this time of year, anticipating that they can spend the holidays with their family by doing so and then getting a fresh start in January with a new job.

4.      Recruiters are trying hard to up their end of years sales figures and are doing everything to place people in jobs and make their year's performance figures spike.

5.      Holidays bring parties and special events, but hiring events still go forward, and there are still business requirements that must be met. Many people think that the holidays temporarily suspend hiring when in fact they do not.

Remember - Job Hunting Takes No Holiday, don’t fall into the trap of believing the holiday season is the worst time to be looking for a new job. Keep busy and be pro-active, get your CV out to recruiters that best suit what you are looking for, if its Sales roles get your CV to www.aaronwallis.co.uk, network at Christmas parties and if you enjoy your seasonal job remember to let the company know with plenty of time.
Written by Liam Oakes

Liam is the Candidate Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 2 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.

www.aaronwallis.co.uk

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/AaronWallisSR
LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/liam-oakes/4b/536/403

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Lessons Learned from Successful Selling 2012

It was another great day at the ISMM Successful Selling show – a ‘must’ for everyone in sales for new ideas, motivation and a day out of the office to refocus, recharge and realign your goals. 
 
My key lessons learned from the speakers today include:

Toby Perkins MP - @tobyperkinsmp
MP for Chesterfield, and Shadow Minister for SME's
  • There are 2.2M in sales in the UK. That’s 9% of all workers
  • “Sales is the key to economic prosperity”
  • In a current A-level syllabus ‘production’ is mentioned 36 times, ‘Accounts’ 32 times and Sales Once! Bearing in mind that ‘until a sale is made, nothing happens’ that is an absolute travesty
  • “The pace of technological change will never be as slow as it is today”
  • “Sales: The ultimate meritocracy”
Andy Bounds.
Britain’s Sales Trainer of the Year 2010. Free weekly Tuesday Tips: http://www.andybounds.com/tips
  • “What you think is relevant is not necessarily what your customers think”
  • “When your customer says ‘yes’ – shut up!”
  • Research why people say ‘yes’ to you – “facts tell, stories sell”
  • Give clients options at the end of the meeting – “how would you like us to help you next x, y, or z?”
  • Call clients and ask “what are you priorities between now and the end of the year and how can we help you?”
Allan Pease - @AllanPease
Known internationally as 'Mr. Body Language' and multi-million seller of the ‘bible’ of ‘body language’.
  • “92% of all sales professionals in Japan are female”
  • Gesture of chin stroking means “weighing up pros and cons” i.e will I or won’t I
  • “Woman are better than men at Body Language as they ‘hard-wired’ to realise when a crying new-born baby is is lonely, ill, hurt, hungry, etc”
  • “wiping your nose in front of a Japanese client is like bringing a loo roll into a meeting and wiping your butt!”
Grant Leboff - @grantleboff
Sales and Marketing Strategist, Speaker, Writer. http://www.stickymarketing.com
  • “HBS study: 60% of customers know their problem and the solution. If you don’t add value you’ll be beaten on £”
  • “In meeting with target clients always think of an ‘insight’ “what haven’t they thought about?”
  • When tendering have a unique angle and “create the buying criteria”
  • “The Biggest enemy in sales is your client being happy with the status quo”
  • “We live in a world of Social Proof”
  • “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”
  • “When selling, what’s your narrative; what’s your story”
Larry Winget - @larrywinget
The self proclaimed ‘Irritational Speaker’ rather than ‘Motivational Speaker’. Five Time Bestselling Author, Speaker & TV personality. The ‘Pitbull of Personal Development’
  • The Secret of Customer Service – “BE NICE!”
  • The Secret of Selling – “ASK!”
  • The Secret of Leadership “GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO FOLLOW!”
  • “Success comes from sacrifice” – “what am I going to give up to be where I want to be?”
  • “Are you ready, willing and able to be successful? Everyone is ready, everyone is able but are you willing?”
Phil Jones - @philmjonesuk
Award Winning Business Educator and author of ‘Magic Words’
  • “Who are your target customers. Define them. Develop Laser like focus to seek them out”
  • “Referrals: If you don’t ask, you don’t get!”
  • “Magic Words: “You couldn’t do me a little favour could you? You wouldn’t happen to know someone just like you that could benefit from....”
PY Gerbeau - @pygerbeau
Turned around the fortunes of Euro Disney and the Millennium Dome. Now Chief Executive of X-Leisure
  • “Reality of Today: A Happy Customer tells 3 people; an unhappy one tells millions”
  • “Great leaders don’t work – they’re on a mission”
  • “The role of Hens and Pigs in Ham and Eggs: Hens are involved but pigs are committed!”

As always a great day! Thanks to all of the guys at ISMM for putting on a terrific show.