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Developing People

Coaching An Effective Selling System

An effective selling system is a requisite for success in the world of sales. Follow those who are true leaders in selling, and you will find each has a system that allows them to excel. In order to have a productive sales team, one must consistently teach and coach an Effective Sales System (ESS). If your team does not have an ESS, and you rely on sales people to operate within their own system, you will have a difficult, if not impossible, time affecting individual skills and behaviors. An effective coach must clearly demonstrate what is expected of a sales person. At a minimum, one must be able to communicate how to employ concepts and tactics via stories, analogies and metaphors. Think of the athletic coach--while the coach may not physically demonstrate everything that is expected of an athlete, heshe must be able to communicate what is expected. To effectively coach sales people, you must do the same. You must truly know and understand the selling process and the Effecti...

The Coachs Role On Joint Sales Calls

Normally, when a manager attends a joint sales call, it is at the time of the capabilities presentation or closing presentation. Though attending these meetings can be helpful, they do little to help sales people close more business that late in the process. That is like coaching a baseball team by showing up in the final inning instead of watching the entire game. As sales manager, you may know the outcome based on the data, but you will not know how the game developed. Knowing how the sale develops is essential to effective coaching. This is why observing sales people in action is so important. Here are 4 steps to help you and your sales people have more effective joint calls. A Quality Phone Call- Remember, the quality of the phone call will determine the quality of the appointment. Your sales person must follow the 8-Step Phone Process to make sure that the joint call is taking place with a qualified prospect versus a practice call. 2. Conduct a Pre-Call Session. In...

Creating A Coaching Culture

Coaching is NOT managing. This is often the biggest misconception we have with clients. They assume weekly staff meetings or one on one appointments with employees can be classified as coaching. Staff meetings involve managing, and managing and coaching are two very different ideas. A true coach drives performance for individual employees as well as employee teams, while a manager is often content with sustaining the status quo. Coaching can be further described as the ability of the leader to inspire and motivate employees to improve knowledge, increase skill levels, and alter behavior to be more positive. In order to create a coaching culture it must be understood that coaching is about driving performance and should not be mistaken with traditional management techniques. There is certainly some gray area between management and coaching, and when each type of leadership is needed. Here is a rough example, if an employee is continuously late for work, reprimanding them is proba...

Building A High Performance Sales Team

A great salesperson does not equal a great sales manager. It seems natural for the best performing salespeople to become promoted to positions of sales managers. However, many sales managers struggle in that role because they lack the knowledge, skills, andor abilities to fully support their sales teams as they should. What made my former sales manager such a good one was that he knew how to MANAGE me. Focusing less on sales techniques and more on accountability, goal-setting, and time-management techniques. Those fundamentals are just as relevant today, in my work with Directors and sales managers within SMEs and MNCs. Heres a step-bystep process for building a high performance sales team by implementing the following five strategies: Becoming a sales coach Your sales team is looking to you for guidance, direction, and yes, coaching. There is one thing you absolutely must do to become a great sales coach for your team. Become a visionary. What is your vision for the depar...

Selling And The Dark Side Of Goal Setting

What drives you ahead or holds you back is in your subconscious mind. Make sure goals are high enough and set guidelines for your subconscious mind to accept your goals. Be sure goals are realistic and raise them as you find success. However overstretched goals often compromise efforts. If your subconscious mind figures out you cannot accomplish something, its likely to move on to new ideas. To get motivated is one thing but to stay motivated long-term is a different issue. Lofty goals can take additional time, extra effort, and strong persistence than simple accomplishments. Effective goal setting is mind-mapping success. Goals shouldnt trap you into unfilled commitments and potential failure. The Dark Side Of Goal Setting We set our goals for personal reasons. Companies set goals for their reasons. Setting sales goals has collective reasons. However, when sales goals are arbitrarily set without regard to realistic objectives, salespeople who fall short of goals ma...

Sales Development

Avoiding Office Politics

Over the 20 years that Ive been advising leaders and their teams on how to enhance customer service, Ive found that with proper training, customer contact workers can quickly learn to enjoy dealing with external customers - even those who are stressed. The main people who make their jobs stressful are their internal customers; their co-workers, subordinates, and supervisors. Turns out, the problem isnt usually the job itself - its office politics. If youre not into playing politics, if you dont want to suck-up to supervisors, if you dont want to step on others to climb the ladder, here are a few questions and answers they wont tell you in the company manual. How do I handle a colleague who is bad-mouthing me to the boss without looking like a whiner? You dont. Or you will indeed look like a whiner. If your boss has a problem with you, he or she will bring it to your attention sooner or later. Focus on doing your job well and ignore the other person. If they writ...

Stop Being So Nice!

Customer service tips when people are stressed Lets admit it - when it comes to dealing with customers who are stressed, some jobs are easier than others. A masseuse working in a resort spa will have more pleasant customers than a lost luggage agent at a busy airport. If your customers are sitting in a chair at your hair salon, theyre likely to be more relaxed than if they were sitting in an examination chair in a dental office. Thats why so many customer service training programs fall short of desired results. Over the last decade, frontline training programs have focused on enhancing customer experience. The premise is that we are now in the experience economy. Supposedly, our goal as service providers is to be friendly and upbeat. That way, well apparently make it more than just selling a cup of coffee; now its an experience. Unfortunately, for many organizations this strategy backfires. What if your customers are doing business with you more out of necessi...

Are You A Good Customer?

There are great books on the market about customer service: Raving Fans, Contagious Customer Service and Exceeding Customer Expectations. All good books, however, none address a core issue required for receiving great customer service from vendors and suppliers: be a good customer. This may sound like role reversal, however, companies that practice relationships and partnerships have been practicing these basic principles for years. And as a result, receive stellar service from their vendors. Here are seven ways you can improve your score as a customer. Write a thank you note. Yes, Im talking to you Mr. Customer. Salespeople write thank you notes to customers as a way of building relationships. (And honor the good manners learned from their mothers.) How about you, the customer, thanking the exceptional salesperson for their positive attitude, willingness to go the extra mile and consistency in performance? Appreciation is one of the oldest and best m...

How Would Your Customers Rate Your Service?

Rendering exceptional customer service is both a responsibility and a smart business decision. Unfortunately, far too many salespeople view customer service as an administrative burden that takes them away from making a sale. The truth is, providing quality customer service presents tremendous opportunities for cross-selling, up selling and generating additional referrals. Dick Cavett once said, "Its a rare person who wants to hear what he doesnt want to hear." If your clients were given a customer satisfaction survey, how would they rate the level of service they are receiving from you? Customer feedback consistently points to the fact that the little things make a big difference. Quality customer service is typically defined in terms of attention to detail and responsiveness. Not surprisingly, the top two customer complaints with regards to customer expectations are unreturned phone calls and a failure to keep promises and commitments. Successful salespeople place great value o...

Pick Up The Phone And Connect

In an age when the Internet seems to be taking over, how do we combat our urge to connect with customers via the web? E-mail and Twitter and Facebook are great ways to stay connected to our clients, but so is picking up the phone. While online tools are great at getting us access to potential customers and leads, once we land them we shouldnt only use those tools as a way to communicate. Consumers want to know that we are here for them and that we will listen to them. Stellar interpersonal skills are part of what makes a great salesperson. Since we are so reliant on technology, it is up to the sales teams managers to break people out of their shells. Hold group meetings and encourage people to share how they stay connected to their clients without using the computer. Use these meetings to practice phone conversations and personal interactions. The web is a great way to find customers, but its not the way to keep them. The only way to establish a relation...


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