Specialists in sales, management and customer service training throughout Ireland.


Customer-Service 2More and more companies are offering their employees customer service training. In recent times there has been a surge in this area as companies are trying to ensure they keep as many customers as they can.

A number of years ago when the global economy was in a different state than it is today, customer care training was not high on the agenda for a number of companies. Why this was I don’t really know, I can guess that to many companies losing a customer did not have the same emphasis as there always seemed to be another customer waiting with money in their pocket to buy. In the competitive market of today where we are all trying to get market share and the loss of a customer is extremely hard to replace customer service training is a vital part of a companies armory.

With the best will in the world every company will at times lose customers, this can be from anything from people moving out of an area, people no longer having a need for the product you sell or even people dying, we all lose customers.

It is important to realise when we lose customers some of these losses will be out of our control, but many of them will be within our control. I remember reading a survey that was carried out by a company in the U.K and they found the greatest reason why customers jumped ship and went to competitors was they had felt an indifferent attitude from a staff member.

I think the interesting part of this is ‘they had felt’ you see customer perception is vital. It is not the old question of ‘is the customer always right’ it is more to do with the feeling perceived by the customer whether they are right or wrong.

Customer service training can definitely help to make staff aware of some very basic wants, needs and desires of customers. These wants needs and desires are the same for all of us, after all we are all customers. If we feel we are not greeted or wanted in a premises due to the grumpiness or indeed the lack of acknowledgement by the staff we wont use the company if there are other competitors available.

If we do are not listened to, advised or helped in a genuine friendly manner we are not happy and will move our custom. Customer service training is not rocket science we all know what we expect when we are involved in a business transaction with a supplier, but unfortunately we do not always receive it.

It is often said customer service training and serving the customer is all common sense, maybe it is but we all know common sense is not always common.

Train the TrainerWe understand that teaching adults is not the easiest thing in the world, many are set in their ways and do not believe their techniques require improvement. On our training courses we provide delegates with techniques in how to combat this issue. We provide below 5 tips that will provide solutions to your coaching methods;

1). Make the training course formal

By formal we don’t mean boring; rather, it means you want to present the training as an important event. Send invitations (either paper or electronic) specifying when and where the training will take place, what topics will be covered, the benefits of the training, and what (if anything) the trainee needs to bring. You don’t necessarily need to refer to it as formal training with the trainees, but you should specify that it is mandatory rather than optional. The problem with an optional training course is that it is usually the people who need it most that decide to opt out!

2). Control the environment

You will want the trainees to show you respect and courtesy during the training sessions. To help them, request that they leave mobile phones on meeting mode. These distractions will help the efficiency of the training session. Prior to the course, provide the delegates with a timeline that identifies designated breaks. This way the delegates can plan bathroom, phone, and lunch breaks and avoid the distraction of people constantly walking in and out of the training course.

3). Make the training course relevant

Delegates are primarily interested in training that affects their role and responsibilities. You may be tempted to cover as many different topics as possible during the training course, but it is better to prioritise topics and focus on the relevant few. If they are presented with too much information, they will not be able to digest it all. This means, that you could have    several different training courses covering different topics. Provide training materials with exercises that the delegates can practice on their own.

4). Provide real-world application

Delegates need the skills that match exactly with the types of issues and problems they face during their workday. No one wants to listen to a trainer lecture for hours, so training based on concept alone will not be successful.

5). Make the training course interactive

As you probably know, adult students can get bored easily, so encourage them to participate through action learning. This not only keeps their interest, but it can help them get to know the other trainees. Practice exercises, role plays, group discussions and games are all excellent interactive opportunities. The real tip for success in training courses is the less you do the more they will learn.

For more training techniques see www.premiertraining.ie

On a recent sales training course we discussed why so many of us salespeople do not cross sell or up sell. How can we learn to develop sales techniques that will improve our prospects of increasing sales?

We believe that the main difficulty faced by so many sales people is that they sell the product as opposed to selling to the needs and wants of the client. We find from speaking to many sales agents on various Selling Skills Courses that most salespeople who product sell have made up their mind before even speaking to the prospect about what they are going to sell- thereby having no regard to the customers actual requirement…

The problem with this approach is that we end up trying to sell products to customers who may not have a need for the product and we often don’t even discuss other products that may be required by the customer. We need to improve this process and produce products to customers based on their actual need.

Product selling reminds me of fishing with a fishing rod, you may be lucky and you may catch one fish on the end of the rod, however, if you fish with a net you may catch numerous different types of fish.

An effective technique we use on our training courses as we believe it simply delivers results is when selling remember to use the acronym ALLA which means:

Ask relevant questions

Listen to the answer

Learn from the answer

Act accordingly

When I first started in sales many years ago I was in the Life Assurance Industry and my goal was always that when I was in front of the prospect I would establish what they needed and then sell the relevant products. As well as this I would try and ensure that on an ongoing basis I would try and establish what other products could be needed.

When selling Life Assurance there would always be other products such as Pensions, Illness Protection, Business Insurance, Education Planning, etc- as with all businesses there is potential to digress from one product to cross sell and upsell.

True, effective salespeople have learnt that it is important to try and establish the needs for the full product range as opposed to leaving products on the table for your competitor to pick up. They provide solutions to their clients.

Nowadays with the internet people are so used to buying add on products, if you go to Amazon.com they will always have a pop up box that says ‘people who bought this also bought this’.

Probably the first masters of add on products in my lifetime was the burger bars, years ago Burgerland and other burger bars did not sell meals as such. People used to just go in and get a cheeseburger and chips, but automatically the member would say ‘what drink would you like with that ?’ even though the drink was an add on cost, most people automatically responded by saying Coke. It becomes second nature…if you know how.

By keeping up to date with sales techniques your sales process will improve along with your add on sales!

So, to summise- when you are out selling, sell the full range of products you offer- if you do not you are leaving easy sales on the table for the next salesperson to pick up.

Recruitment Interviewing

Recruitment Interviewing

There is one common trait that many businesses share and that is a high turnover rate. This ongoing challenge makes it difficult for leaders to build a high performing department.

But, with the right Recruitment Interviewing Skills training and the right people in place, the business can thrive towards success!

Depending on your companies hiring practices, you may or may not be directly involved with the interviewing process and interview skills training. However, it is in your best interest to be fully aware of the process, as well as the employment patterns of your staff or the staff you are recruiting by having the appropriate interview skills.

For the purpose of clarity and understanding we are relating this article to the Recruitment and Interviewing of CSR (Customer Service Representatives) for a Call Centre environment.

 3 Reasons for High Turnover Rates

If your call centre has a high turnover rate, you may be struggling with the reason why. Here are three of the most common reasons:

1. CSRs view their job as a temporary job

The reality is some CSRs are actually still looking for other jobs while they are employed as a CSR.

2.  There is a lack of adequate training for the new CSR

Starting a new job is intimidating enough, but when there is little or no training regarding customer care and telephone skills training, the CSR could feel as if he/she will never really learn the ropes. As a result, the CSR gets frustrated and will either stay with the job unmotivated, or will look for another job.

 3. The CSR wasn’t right for the job in the first place

If the Interviewer was not proficient in interviewing or lacked formal Recruitment Interviewing Training, it is likely that he/she could have recruited a square peg for a round hole in the Recruitment Interview Process.

As a business leader, it doesn’t matter how desperate you are to fill a CSR position, you should not hire a person who you do not believe has the potential to do a great job. In the long run, it is better to have an empty chair and search for the ideal CSR, than to try to fill that chair with a less-than-adequate CSR.

Don’t worry, if you are patient and have the correct Interviewing Skills Training, you will discover how to Interview effectively, and you will find the ideal CSR!

There are excellent CSRs with good communication and problem solving skills just waiting to be recruited but you must have the Recruitment Interviewing Skills to be able to establish the core competencies you need for the role you are trying to fill and if the candidate does not match your competencies –forget it. Always remember Recruitment Interviewing is more than a gut feeling!

For Recruitment Interviewing techniques see www.premiertraining.ie

i-doThis may sound strange and slightly over the top BUT we believe that throughout a sales discussion you should treat your customer/client as if you were about to make a marriage proposal….we know it sounds a little ridiculous but in Sales Training we go through each individual step of a sale and truth be told the steps are similar to a proposal of marriage, let us show you;

Let’s assume that you have now decided that you are going to consciously employ this thought process throughout the sale, the following will more than likely happen;

1). You break the ice with small talk

Small talk with clients about the news, the weather, their interests etc is sometimes more effective than big discussions about products, prices or objections. It is so important to create a human likeability factorbefore you launch into your sales pitch.

2). You will sell yourself

You must believe in yourself. If you portray your inner belief to your client they will respond with trust. Crystalise in your mind the fact that you are successful, that your client needs to deal with you and buy from you as you know what you are talking about. You are passionate about your product/service and you show their advantages in their true light. You can rely on your own strengths!

3). You ensure that the setting is just right

In order to set up a sales meeting it is crucial that you are prepared. You need to know what venue, day, time etc will best be used to your advantage. If you are required to make a presentation ensure that you have all of your props ready to go. Execute your sales meeting like it is a theatre performance!

4). You will play on your emotions

You must believe in your product/service. Portray the fact that you or your product is the best in the business. Show your client that you know what else is out there in the marketplace but give your client the reasons why they should do business with you! Your enthusiasm and conviction will transfer to the client and you will begin to create trust.

5). You make your best offer

You are convinced that you are making your client the best offer, you have discussed their needs and expectations and you are certain that you understand your product/service more than any other competitor in the marketplace. Your service comes with after care so the customer can rest assured that their needs/queries will always be in your best interest- even after the sale!

I’m sure you will agree that this was a “sale made in heaven”. In our Sales Training courses we provide numerous easy to understand methods of closing sales.

For further techniques and tips on sales training see www.premiertraining.ie

Reciept that reads Thank You Please Come AgainIn order to gain competitive advantage over your competition it is vital that your Customer Service exceeds all expectations and you provide your customers with not only what they expect but also the added bonus of what they do not expect.

In Customer Service training we demonstrate how to give the customer more than they expect through various initiatives, one of which is provided below- The After-Sales Service.

In order to gain competitive advantage over your competition it is important to invest time and effort into ensuring that your employees in the After-Sales Service department have human qualities and specialist competence. Customer Service Training is crucial in achieving this effectively.

According to a recent study, buyers have high expectations of a companies After-Sales Service, but anticipate lower performance.

The 2 most important qualities from a buyers point of view are competence and reliability. Make sure that your staff members are properly trained in their specialist areas so they can stand out and above your competitors.

If a customer has a good experience with After -Service they are likely to return for future purchases as they know that their custom is valued.

For further information on Customer Service Excellence see www.premiertraining.ie

Time Management PanicIn todays competitive environment we constantly hear people complaining about being “busy fools”. Generally people are running from one meeting to the next and although they are motivated by the meeting find it difficult at the end of the day to focus on what was discussed and action it.

So…In Time Management training we encourage delegates to use that momentum. Having just returned from a meeting with a list of new ideas use your motivation as soon as possible.

We provide 3 easy tips below to maximise your meeting;

1). Organise your notes and Prioritise

Decide which order you want to put your actions and ideas into practice- set deadlines for these actions.

2). Checklist

Compile a checklist for each of these actions and tick each action off when complete. There is a real “feel good factor” in doing this and it will help you to keep your momentum!

3). Other Tasks

When the minutes of your meeting are prioritized and you have a plan of action- now you can look at the correspondence and emails you missed while you were in the meeting. It is important to keep focused and not get too bogged down by what you have to do.

Although the above may sound simple and self explanatory it is amazing that so many people do not practice these techniques. In Time Management Training we teach various useful techniques that assist you in your everyday role. Far too many professionals stress about everything they have to do and waste time panicking about when to do it as opposed to being proactive and putting a list together that will help you reduce stress, save time in the long run and achieve more.

For more tips and techniques for Time Management see www.premiertraining.ie



Recruitment Interviewing

You’re Hired!

7 Reasons to use your Recruitment Interviewing Skills -

Good Recruitment Interviewing Skills training make recruiting the right person easy.

When you invest in new staff, you want to make the wisest decisions possible. It is in your best interest to make sure that the decision you make is made on an informed basis which has been brought about by the training you have received for Recruitment Interviewing skills.

It is time well spent reviewing resumes and conducting informative interviews to make sure you hire the best people for the job. When you hire the right people to begin with, you will save yourself a substantial amount of time hiring and training replacement staff down the road. The more skillful you become at Recruitment Interviewing the easier the recruitment and management process will be.

By hiring the right people, you will also be saving your company recruiting and training costs. As a leader, your company trusts you to interview and hire staff that will benefit the company.

7 Reasons to Hire the Right People the First Time:

1.) You will save yourself time interviewing, training and hiring down the road.

It takes a lot of time (and money) to advertise open positions, review resumes, screen applicants, set up interviews, conduct the interviews, extend offers, and then start training the new staff. The less time you have to spend doing this work, the more time you can spend leading, motivating, developing and training your team.

2). You will save the company recruiting and training costs.

Just think of all the people that a new staff member spends time training with:

  • A Human Resource manager to go over paper work and company policies
  • Yourself or a trainer to go over on the job coaching and training
  • Fellow staff members for job shadowing
  • A corporate trainer for soft skills training
  • A trainer for technical training

That is a lot of time and as they say time is money. If your Recruitment Interview skills produce a staff member who is willing to contribute to the company’s success, then the time is well spent. If the new staff member is not excited about his job, or worse hates his job, then it is time (and again money) wasted.

3). You will increase productivity

When through correct Recruitment Interview Skills you hire the right person the first time, your business will experience an increase in productivity. The new staff member will be motivated to jump in and learn! Once all your staff members are in place, you won’t see your time being wasted from constantly having an empty chair to fill.

4). You will increase customer satisfaction

New staff members who have been recruited correctly through the Best Practices of Recruitment Interviewing Skills techniques will be easily trained in your ways of doing things, they will be open to learning and training. It will be easy for you to train them in how to handle a wide range of customer service situations.

Eventually they will require little assistance from you. Customers will appreciate their courtesy, professionalism, and efficiency. If you are constantly recruiting and interviewing new staff, you will have more customer complaints about unknowledgeable, unhelpful, and inefficient staff.

5). You will increase morale and see less distraction

There is no doubt about it; a high turnover causes quite a bit of distraction among other staff members. There are questions floating around about why the staff member left, if the staff member was terminated, if there is going to be layoffs, etc. If it is the case where you had to terminate the staff member, (even if the staff member had to be replaced because you got it wrong through poor Recruitment Interviewing Skills) other staff members will wonder who’s next? This distraction decreases morale and can negatively impact the entire department. When the right people are in place, morale is high and there is much less distraction.

6). You will build team spirit

Staff members that know each other, enjoy working together, and are motivated by a leader (you!) -build a strong bond, powerful and dynamic team spirit. It is more difficult to build this team spirit when the members of the team are constantly changing and you are spending all your time on Recruitment Interviewing.

7). You will give your company a good reputation.

Applicants often ask about a companies staff turnover rate. When you have a low turnover rate, your company will gain the reputation as an employer with a first-class reputation for looking after their people.

Many companies are now finding it is money well spent training their leaders and managers in Recruitment Interviewing skills and saving money on recruitment costs. For further information on Recruitment Interviewing Skills training see www.premiertraining.ie

successSales Managers all over the country are trying day in and day out to manage and control the sales of their sales teams. At weekly and monthly sales training meetings managers are asking their sales agents to predict how many sales they will achieve etc. However on sales training courses new sales people are being told that you cannot control sales.

The truth is that noone can control sales, you see a sale is not really a sale until it is done, which means a sale is past tense, yet managers still insist on talking about the commitment to a sales target for the forthcoming week or month.

What sales training courses cover is the importance of activity. In other words the number of new prospects the sales person will contact with a view to selling. If managers focused on managing the number of prospects a salesperson was going to speak with this week, they would have a far clearer indication to the level of sales the sales person will probably achieve.

Contrary to popular belief sales is a numbers game at least in part. Don’t get us wrong we accept there is a lot more to sales than only understanding and working the numbers but it is a good start for any new salesperson to understand their key ratios when it comes to selling.

The key ratios will change for each salesperson and also for each specific industry, but in simple terms the numbers salespeople need to understand are things such as:

  • How many calls have I made?
  • How many appointments did that generate?
  • How many sales did I achieve from those appointments?

Let’s assume for a moment that a salesperson made 10 calls which led to 3 appointments and then from the three appointments generated 1 sale. The best chance the salesperson has of achieving 3 sales is to make sure they make 30 calls. In sales training courses salespeople are taught the key ratios they need to be aware of, so as they know the activity needed to achieve the sales result they require.

The sales managers need to start managing the activity as opposed to keep trying to manage sales. You can control activity but you cannot control sales.

Understanding numbers and key ratios of calls to sales are easily taught through a good sales training course.

For more tips and techniques see www.premiertraining.ie

We Love CustomersOn a recent customer service training course we spoke about the importance of each transaction you have with a customer. Some people call these transactions ‘A moment of truth’.

It is that moment when the customer either subconsciously or consciously makes a decision whether the transaction has been good, bad or indifferent. In fact it is said that every transaction you have with a customer can help or hinder the customers perception of you.

Yesterday myself and 2 colleagues went for lunch. None of us had been to this restaurant before but thought from the outside that it looked nice.

When we went into the restaurant we found a spot and sat down. There were numerous staff members yet none of them came over to greet us or give us a menu. Ten minutes later after requesting the menu twice we eventually received it. I would just like to point out that the restaurant was not busy- the staff members were huddled around the till chatting.

Myself and my colleagues actually felt that we were interrupting the staff by ordering our food. We all commented on the poor service and each of us grew frustrated. Once again I would like to highlight the fact that there were plenty of staff to serve us it was just that they could not be bothered. The staff were completely indifferent to their roles.

The truth of the matter is that in customer service, each customer transaction is vital and we must remember that each moment of truth will help or hinder the perception we have on the individual or the business.

I have to say that when we did eventually receive our food it was lovely but our whole experience was tarnished and first impressions count for everything. If I was asked tomorrow ‘where will go for lunch’? I know I would not recommend this particular restaurant and neither would my colleagues.

In a recent survey a question was asked ‘why do customers jump ship? In other words why do customers leave and go elsewhere for their goods and services. Obviously there are numerous reasons and every business will lose customers, some die, some move location, some cease trading etc. The point that interested me in this survey though, was that it stated the majority of customers jump ship because of an indifferent attitude of a member of staff.

The interesting part of this are the words indifferent attitude, it does not state rude it states indifferent, it also does not mention the skill levels of the staff it mentions the word attitude. Although customer service training is useful and beneficial to all people who work with the public, the difficulty is that on a customer service training course you can teach new skills and you can also increase knowledge, but attitude is harder to get right, as it has to start from within.

So if you are looking at ways to lose business without trying just remember, it is simple, all you have to do is show an indifferent attitude to customers and the business fall off will look after itself.

For tips and techniques on how to achieve customer service excellence see www.premiertraining.ie