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Andy Bounds delivers a masterclass in selling

On today’s episode of the Engaging Marketeer, I am speaking a man who was awarded the title of Britain’s Sales Trainer of the Year, one of the biggest selling geniuses around, Andy Bounds. Among his many accomplishments, Andy has written three extremely successful books on selling. Andy’s tips on selling have even transformed our proposal process here at Engage Web. I’m talking to Andy about techniques of selling, building rapport and closing sales. If you’re trying to improve the methods and results of your sales team, this is the podcast for you. Make sure to check out the episode on YouTube, which includes these highlights:

Andy on ways to help get sales before the proposal stage…

Darren: What sort of great tips can you remember along the same lines of what you helped us with at Engage Web?

Andy: There’s various things that you can do. There’s two most important things, really. Number one make sure you try and set up a call with someone who you actually want to speak to. The second thing you can you do beforehand to maximize the chance of them actually picking the phone up, is you drop them a little line, through email or LinkedIn or however you like to do these things, and say tell them you’ve done a bit of research with some of your most successful customers and give them a couple of pieces of advice you think they’ll find helpful ahead of the call. In effect, you’re forewarning them you’ve got something of use to them, showing that you’re putting some effort in already, making it very hard for people to decline. So basically, first off referrals, secondly, tantalise them.

…Andy on the impact of BNI…

Darren: How did BNI work for you and how did you get involved with that?

Andy: BNI was probably the best thing I’ve ever done for my business, really. I was advised by a friend that I could meet new business friends at BNI – I hadn’t even heard of BNI and I might not have ever had that conversation if I hadn’t got divorced about six months before. When I first walked through the door at BNI, it was like I’d just gone into a religious building and found peace. I just loved it, I threw myself into it, I got passionate for meeting lots of people, but the more I got into it, the more I realised that BNI’s strengths are also its weaknesses. So its strength is it gets you lots of referrals. What it doesn’t do is show you how to turn referrals into sales. BNI was brilliant for me because it gave me lots of referrals, but it also it opened my eyes to a thing that a lot of business people were missing.

…Andy on getting the proposal stage right…

Darren: What key things do you think need to be in proposals for them to work?

Andy: Firstly, three words: confirmation, not exploration. Your proposal should put in writing what you’ve already confirmed verbally, they shouldn’t be exploring anything new. Rule number two I’ve alluded to there is afters first. Don’t start your proposal by talking about yourself, instead, flip it. Say ‘here’s how you’ll make a hundred million pounds’ not ‘I’ve been in business for 38 years yeah yeah’.

…Andy on building rapport with potential clients…

Darren: Have you got any other tips you could give on how to build rapport, whether that’s before the call or during the call?

Andy: Yeah my mum told me a lot about this. I was talking to my mum and I said ‘I’m feeling a bit intimidated, because all this stuff I do even writing books on it, you’re still better at networking than I am and it gets on my nerves. How come you’re so good at networking?’ She said ‘it’s quite simple really, I just find out what the other person’s interested in and I talk about that’. There you go, brilliant, find out what the other person’s interested in and talk about that. It’s that simple. So when you’re having a conversation with someone, if you want to build rapport you, find what they’re interested in and you talk about that.

..Andy on closing sales…

Darren: The big thing then, is the actual closing…

Andy: Closing – two words beginning with ‘d’ you want at the end of any conversation: ‘do’ and ‘date’. Closing is all about ‘what are we gonna do next’ and ‘when are we next speaking again. The way to close anything is by establishing who’s doing what, and when are we next speaking. If you always have the ‘do’ that means you’ve got momentum, and if you always have the ‘date’ it means you never get ghosted.

…Andy on why he’s been so successful…

Darren: Is there anything that you believe in or you do that is contrary to what other industry people believe about selling?

Andy: I look at things differently than a lot of people do. I mentioned my networking ninja mum – she’s blind, so when I was learning how to speak, the person who taught me how to speak can’t see, so I became naturally good at explaining stuff to a blind person. Well, my customers are blind to why they should choose me and their customers are blind as to why they should use them, so I spend a long time thinking about how to communicate with blind people.

…Andy’s tips for aspiring public speakers…

Darren: What tips could you have for somebody like myself who’s done some keynote speaking, who’s done some presenting, but wants to do more?

Andy: The easiest thing to do is referrals. So go to everyone who’s hired you in the past, check up with them, and then you can go into the finding other contacts organise events like this who might find my stuff useful. Essentially, you’ve got to be valuable to your audience, be clear how they will benefit.

Andy says the easiest way to get in contact with him is through LinkedIn, where he’s free to help people out with any business questions they may have. Andy continues to help people from all over through his work as a motivational speaker, award-winning consultant and best-selling author.

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