I live in a world where I am required to continually raise the performance of my sales team worldwide.

Any time I come across an idea that I find successful in my own business I like to write it up as a blog post to share it others who are also focused continually on raising sales performance.

Here’s a selection of those articles…

Business Proposal Presentations

Business Proposal Presentations

Great business proposal presentations are critical. Having completed the whole proposal development and production cycle, producing a proposal which offers the client the best of all possible solutions, many proposal writers will put their masterpiece into an envelope and dispatch it by post or courier. But formal proposal presentations can often be the difference between success and failure – and where possible you should always look to make a formal business proposal presentation. What if I’m Not Allowed a Business Proposal Presentation? In some situations you will not be given the opportunity to make a proposal presentation – if that’s your current situation then I’d suggest you skip past this module and go directly to Module 11 ‘Write a Great Proposal Cover Letter’ . My book, Winning Business Proposals, becomes available in e-book form in Q1 2010. There is an entire section of the book devoted to a step-by-step approach to developing and delivering unbeatable proposal presentations. If you’d like to be alerted when the book becomes available please send me your contact details using the form at the foot of this page. Meantime, this is a very much shorter overview of how to create business proposal presentations. Building Your Business Proposal Presentations A successful business proposal presentation contain all of the eight elements illustrated in this figure . Each step is discussed in detail below. Part 1: Presentation Opening As with all interpersonal communications, the first few minutes of business proposal presentations often make or break the presentation – they set the tone for the whole presentation. Introduction. Your initial words in opening your business proposal presentations should... read more


When a big dog comes on the canine scene all of the others sit up and take notice. If there’s going to be a scrap then they all know that the big dog is likely to win. But sometimes you see a fierce mini-pooch get into a dog fight and wipe out all of the competition – that’s because they know the Big Dog Code, and follow it. Whether your company is a poodle or a Rottweiler, when you follow the Big Dog Code you’ll find that you expect to win too. Here are the bones of the Big Dog Code: 1. Big Dogs bay the moon A full moon is the best promotional opportunity in the Big Dog calendar, and no pooch worth his bones misses the opportunity to let loose and let everyone know they’re around. Big Dogs bark first, bark loudest, and keep right on barking long after all of the lesser mutts have abandoned their street corners. Seek out as many platforms as you can to howl out the many reasons that your potential customers should sit up and take notice. There are lots of them and, like the moon, many can to you for free. Seek out speaking engagements at key industry events, and host or sponsor useful seminars for the industry associations involved in your marketplace. Look, also, for opportunities to contribute articles on your areas of expertise to industry journals or, even better, write a blog.  Become a Social Media hound. 2. Big Dogs don’t chase cars Big dogs don’t waste their time chasing cars, they leave that to the mutts. They... read more


Apologies to my readers for my apparent disappearance off the face of the earth (and many thanks for your messages enquiring as to where I had disappeared to). Pressure of work and travel is preventing me posting at present – normal service will be restored shortly! However, I had to break briefly to acknowledge the contribution made by Steve Jobs to our world – and, indeed, to our book ‘Leadership Charisma’. I think one of the greatest tributes one can pay the man is to take some of the oh so positive messages that he delivered in his now famous commencement speech at Stanford.  Perhaps his greatest messages is, to paraphrase, that we all end up meeting death – and therefore we need to focus upon squeezing from life all of the joy and success we can.  I’ll let him speak for himself. ... read more


Are you guilty of ‘celebrating’ your failures more than your successes? Too many of us are – and it holds us back from achieving what we are truly capable of. With most people successes are all too frequently taken for granted – discarded almost as soon as they are achieved.  “Sure, I did win that, but what about…”.  Failures, on the other hand, tend to get much more focused attention, post mortem analysis and attention.  Don’t get me wrong – it is important to look at failures to see what went wrong, what lessons can be learned from them, and what we can do to avoid the same failures in the future. The problem is that all too often we dwell morbidly upon the detail of our failures, working them through our minds over and over again, beating ourselves up for allowing them to happen – instead of looking at what we can learn from them to avoid a recurrence. Earl Nightingale said that “you become what you think about most”.  By continually priming your mind with details of your failures you program your ‘Reticular Activating System’ (RAS) to seek out opportunities for more of the same – more opportunties to fall on your face.  Too much time focused upon your failures rather than your successes has the opposite effect to that you desire– programming your brain to seek out more opportunity for failure. Just about every day you achieve something positive, however small.  The trick is to identify that success and celebrate it.  It’s not enough to take these small steps forward, you must congratulate yourself on your progress and... read more
Proposal Writing – Analyzing the Client Requirement

Proposal Writing – Analyzing the Client Requirement

Successful proposal writing hinges on an accurate analysis of your client’s requirements – if you get the requirement wrong, you’ll get the solution wrong. “Pain Analysis”© is a powerful three-step requirement analysis process that will help you to do a much more accurate analysis of the business requirement – before you go about designing a solution and start the proposal writing process. Step One – List those pains you know Begin with a deck of Post It © notes – I find the 76mm x 76mm (3inch x 3inch) size perfect for this exercise. Assemble everything you know about the business problems the client has highlighted to you – and start capturing all of the individual elements of the requirements on these notes – one requirement per Post It. Keep these descriptions to a maximum of three to six words summarising each element of the overall requirement. At this stage, don’t try to order the Post Its in any particular order or with any particular logic; merely capture the elemental requirements on the notes – sticking them to a whiteboard or a work area on your wall as you go. Invite anyone else involved in the proposal writing exercise and anyone else who might have any knowledge of the prospect or their industry to work with you and review your major pains list to see if there is anything you are obviously missing. When finished you’ll have something that looks like Figure 1 below. Figure 1: Unsorted pains   Step Two- Look for any pains you or the client may have missed First, review the list of pains on your board and ask yourself:... read more


Want to be a leader others want to follow?   Then become THE recognized expert in your field and watch your star rise.  Here’s a simple two-step program for becoming an expert in any topic you choose: 1st Step: Develop Your Expertise Continually In the 2nd step we’ll look at how to get recognition as an expert but first you must choose a topic you want to have recognized as your area of expertise. Then you have to build some expertise that’s worth recognizing. How do you do that? Read! It’s that simple – if you wish to build expert power you need to read much more than anyone else on your chosen topic. Focus upon the newest books that specifically address the latest developments in your field and create a greater expertise gap distance between you and your peers. Most people learn about new developments third or fourth hand. To become an expert learn first hand. And learn first. Step 1: make it a goal to read just of these books per week and your expertise will grow exponentially. This first step is just a matter of dedication and persistence. But you become a recognized expert by following the second step in this program. 2nd Step: Build Your Expert Reputation – Share Your Knowledge It’s not enough to be an expert – you must also let people know that you have this expertise. This is no time to be modest. Write at least one article on the best application of whatever you learn from your reading each month – save others from having to read those four or five... read more

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