I was interviewed this week about being a motivational speaker by Simply Sales Jobs who are running a series of interviews to help sales professionals and people thinking of commencing a career in sales to better understand the benefits, challenges and rewards of a career in selling…
You own and run ‘Gavin Ingham Ltd’ – tell me more about your role, company and what motivated you to establish the business.
My time is split between running open sales training seminars, speaking at sales conferences and working on new books, audios & DVDs. I also spend a very limited amount of time doing training and consultancy. As a company, Gavin Ingham is focused on helping salespeople, business owners, entrepreneurs & sales leaders to create the sales, businesses and lives that they desire.
Throughout my career I was really into personal development and sales training and found them to be an incredibly powerful resource for me. As I progressed I found that my biggest buzz came not just from selling but also from helping others to sell more and achieve their goals.
What is your background and where did the idea come from to start Gavin Ingham Ltd?
Salesperson, sales manager, sales director, head of sales and marketing… the further I progressed the more of a kick I got from helping others to achieve their ambitions too. Having employed several training companies to train my teams and having studied many sales and personal development gurus I believed that it was an area in which I could add massive value. It’s sounds like I swallowed the manual but I really do see it as calling!
What are the top 5 skills and characteristics you believe makes a consistent over-achiever in Sales?
Gosh, that’s a hard one – there are so many. So in no particular order…
Top salespeople are motivated. Motivation is critical for sales success. No-one wants to buy off an unmotivated salesperson. Ultimately, everyone is motivated… some are motivated not to cold call, motivated to sell to easy clients, motivated to discount… so when I say motivation I mean motivation to do the right things and at the right time.
Top salespeople have proven sales skills such as questioning, listening, sales process, presenting, rapport building and so on. Top salespeople know that sales skills are simple to understand and more difficult to execute. Top salespeople do the simple things really, really well. Most salespeople know how to sell but they don’t do it consistently enough. This is because they haven’t practised their skills until they are second nature.
Top salespeople have belief. They believe in themselves, they believe in their products, services and solutions, they believe in the value that they add for their clients and they believe in the profession of selling itself. If you believe, you really can achieve!
Top salespeople have the right mindset. They are persistent, consistent and tenacious. They are genuinely interested in their clients and they aim to work in partnership with them.
Finally, and by no means last, top salespeople understand the psychology of selling. They know why people buy and how their behaviour affects both the sale and the other parties in the sale. They know how what they say and how they act affects others. What’s more, they are tuned in to this when they speak with clients and prospects on the phone and face to face and can flex their approach to get results in any situation.
What do you love about your industry?
Being able to help people to create the lives and businesses that they deserve, the diversity of my role and the fact that one day I may be speaking to thousands of people and the next I may be working one on one with an MD of a small business or sitting quietly in my place in Spain writing the next chapter of one of my books.
Any recommendations for job-seekers looking at a career in Sales, especially in the current climate?
Know that a good salesperson will do well in any market. Top salespeople will always excel whatever the market. Take responsibility for your own development and your own career and create your own sales success study programme. Stay motivated and learn from the best.
What would you do, as a career, if you weren’t working in Sales industry?
Professional fly fisherman (I wish!) in the summer, stage hypnotist in the winter!
Within my LinkedIn network of contacts you are the person with the most recommendations! Here is just one of them “Gavin is one of the most focused, energetic and lateral thinking Managers that I have worked with. He is credible, good fun and inspirational!” How does that make you feel?
I didn’t know I had that many testimonials on LinkedIn… I’ve never asked for any! I love what I do and I am passionate about it and I think that shows. I guess it’s always nice to know that people appreciate what you do!
What keeps you awake at night?
When I’m in London, usually traffic as you can only hear owls from my bedroom window at home! At home, not much, although I do find it difficult to stop working when I am on a roll even if it’s 3am in the morning! Once I go to bed though it is rare that I struggle to sleep.
As a busy business owner, what are you never without?
A sense of humour!
5 of the most exciting things currently on your desk...
The proofs for my next two books, Real World Sales Skills and Real World Sales Attitude; the framework for my new distance learning sales programmes on cold calling, lead generation and selling; my Eee PC – I still cannot get over how small and portable it is; a bid on a rare first edition book on Ebay; my diary – I don’t think that I will ever lose the excitement of a diary full of sales potential!
Outside of work, do you have any unfulfilled ambitions?
As a child, I wanted to be in The Professionals, the real ones not the show, but I’d hate the hours and being shot at all of the time. I also wanted to be a vet like James Herriott but there’s no way I would stick my hand up a cow’s arse so that wasn’t really a starter either.
One of the first things I did when I got involved with personal development was to get on and take action towards my true ambitions. I do have things that I am going to do however and next is to buy myself a Blokart – check them out, they’re wicked!