The Achiever Blog


Did you watch and learn from the BBC TV Claridges programme?

Malcolm Gallagher - Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Did you watch the start of the new BBC series about London super-hotel, Claridges? writes Malcolm Gallagher

If you did, then you may have gasped at the per night costs of £5500 or more that guests were willing to pay. But did you look for what you could learn for your business from the programme?

Don’t instantly dismiss me by saying your business and Claridges are not the same – there are similarities and things to learn.
For example, it’s likely that excellence in customer service is at the heart of your mission, vision and values – or it better be! And you probably think about customer service a lot if you are a good leader. The key here is to appreciate that everything is relative. See what you can learn and adapt it to your business 

Now Claridges is all about attention to the minutest detail – and the lesson here is to never be satisfied because good is never good enough. There’s always a competitor willing to try harder than you.

A few years ago, I was presenting a big event for The British Food Trust at The Dorchester in London and a BBC TV crew was filming elements there for my BBC-produced video. We asked The Dorchester head of Guest Services about the hotel’s approach to customer service. The reply was that all staff, irrespective of nationality or education are taught that “if a guest has to ask then we’ve failed”. They are taught to anticipate guest or customer needs.

Is that a lesson you can easily translate into your business?What else can you learn from Claridges? How about don’t be afraid to charge your price if you are delivering exceptional value?

If you would like to know how to blend these and other thinking into “making 2013 great” for your business, then check out 2013 Executive Masterclass Collection or Making 2013 Great at the website

Fire up your 2013 sales

Malcolm Gallagher - Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It’s quite alarming how, given the state of the economy - jobs in peril, banks squeezing, customers slow to buy- that so many businesses just drift into the New Year. It is almost like the festive period is a time to switch off or any acceptance that for 2 weeks either side nothing will happen in business to business.

That’s fine if you are working for someone happy to let that happen – just be certain the business is on a firm footing! But if you are owner of a business, the CEO, the Managing Director, the General Manager – then you are right to give your people thanks and recognition before Christmas. But I suggest you could be losing both opportunity and momentum if you let them drift back to selling sometime during January!

Use the spirit around New Year’s Resolutions to fire up your team to come back to work at the beginning of January ready to achieve and break those sales targets.

The proven way to do it is to hold a Sales Kick Off event, sometimes abbreviated to a SKO. I’ve presented SKO’s all around the world, including in the “sales homeland” of the USA!

For a long time SKO has been the domain of big companies with big-sized budgets. But now you can gain the momentum and value of a sales Kick Off. Here are two options.

  1. Request my FREE checklist  “ make it great in 2013”. It will come to you in PDF format and gives you prompts following the RADAR format of planning for a great 2013 sales success

Click here to request Kim to personally send you this FREE Checklist

  1. Come to one of my open session Sales Kick Off events and be with a small number of like minded business owners. The half-day sessions will give you the inspiration and momentum you need. They take place in 5 UK locations  and are affordable to all at just £69 + VAT
Click here to go to Kick-Off 2013 where you can download details.

The UK's way out?

Malcolm Gallagher - Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On the 16th May I’m proud to be giving a short talk at the celebrations of the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s 100th Anniversary event in Newcastle.  I’ll be looking forward and not tback as I believe that the UK recovery can come from a Sales & Marketing Driven Economy.    We’ve been too much focused on financial management – and look where the banks have got us – and, in doing so, let other countries come steaming past us.

But we need to sell us and the UK better and sharper. And some of that starts with being proud to be a sales person. Tell the bean counters they’ll have no beans to count if the business doesn’t generate sales!

Okay, as always that’s my feelings and not necessarily yours!    But I hear one alarming comment the other day.  

A company finance director told its export sales manager that “our domestic sales are not reaching our budget targets so we are closing the export department!"   And that’s a true story told to me by top UK export sales director, Keith Lambourne!!

Find your customer tentpoles

Malcolm Gallagher - Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Do you know how to find your “tent poles” customers?

Malcolm Gallagher’s “Sell More” UK summertime masterclass tour has the answers

If you like business jargon, here’s a circus-related one. “Find your tent poles!” What it means is to find those new customers that will cover your business and hold it up. They are the new, good and profitable ones.

But do you know how to find and win your “tent poles”? With to-day’s impaired economy you need an extra sales edge not just to prospect but to convert them into customers.It’s tough to-day and you can’t be average in your prospecting or average in your sales skills.

My “Sell More!” sales masterclass starts its early summertime UK tour in June and it’s your ideal opportunity to enjoy an inspiring and stimulating day learning how you can smash your sales goals

You’ll know where to find your tent poles, how to get into to see them and make a persuasive presentation. Importantly you’ll know how to get them to say yes at your price.

The early tour starts in June and  includes venues in Kent, London East, Yorkshire, as well as the North West and North East of England. And there’s a great early bird offer of the full day for just £115 if you book before the Royal Wedding!

Get the details and how to book plus see some video samples by me of the day’s content at

It’s a master-class which means a limited number of places and lots of focus on your needs - so how soon are you going to book?

Click here

Sell to the top by knowing CEO top concerns

Malcolm Gallagher - Tuesday, October 05, 2010

If you want to get into a company then get as close to the top as possible. To do that you need to be aware of the CEO’s top concerns. Here’s some research from leading consultancy McKinsey & Co who identified 5 of those concerns.


1) They struggle with loneliness -  The higher you get, the harder it is to find the right sources to trust. Selling to the top? Make sure you are working hard to gain their trust and that they see you as a confidante. Consultative selling never looked so good.


2) Lack of time - CEOs continue to balance an overflowing plate and prioritizing becomes key. If you can help them manage their time or SAVE them time, you are poised for growth.


3) Appetite for cross-sector knowledge - CEOs and companies across the globe are looking at what they can learn from industries other than their own. What can marketers learn from HR? What can IT learn from sales? If you want to break into a new industry, look at what your past experiences allow you to bring to the table.


4) Understanding transitions - Leaders transition in and out of positions, jobs, and companies. They are consistently looking for help with these transitions. How can you help them? 


5) The battle for talent -The biggest competitive advantage of any company in the future is going to be people. Often CEOs don't know the scope of talent available to them within their own company. This is a source of frustration for many. 


Any others you have encountered?


Strategy is vital

Malcolm Gallagher - Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I know it turns people off as possibly being "fluffy" but knowing your business strategy is vital if you want to win contracts. Quite simply to-day's buyer wants to know that his or hgers suppliers (vendors) and themselves are travelling in the same direction. Be prepared in a contract interview to answer the question of "what's the strategy of your business?"

Start your strategy seeking off with a SWOT analysis. OK you may have done this but have you asked deep, probing questions. Here's 3 for your Strengths and Weaknesses:

1. What do we do outstandingly well or badly?
2. What are our special abilities or disabilities?
3. What are our advantages and disadvantages compared with direct competitors?

More to come in future posts or pick up a free SWOT pack at my site

Keep your momentum

Malcolm Gallagher - Thursday, September 09, 2010

Keep your  public sector contract momentum
says Malcolm Gallagher

Whilst filming the success story of a Third Sector organisation this week (we'd helped them win a £250,000+ contract) we chatted between takes about the impact of the public sector cutbacks. The CEO told me that the local authority were seeking a whopping 40% saving on her contract whilst asking for the same quality and quantity of service. Come on!! Someone is trying to take advantage of the so-called "austerity" time. That local authority KNOWS the service cannot be delivered for such a lower cost otherwise it was in error when it first comissioned the contract!!

The truth is that local authorities, even in times of cut-backs, have a legal obligation to deliver their services and to a high standard. That means there are contracts around and opportunities for all with public procurement. Don't be misled by the doom and gloom and the apparent current inertia. Keep your own momentum with prospecting for opportunities at places like  and

Also keep sharpening your ability to win public sector contracts and your skills in bid writing. Download some free help at where I've posted some videos or join our Suppliers Academy. You can get a deal if you hurry by joining our 100 Group which gives you £1500 Total Support package for winning contracts and growing your business for just £97 - if we have any places left by the time you read this. Details at

Above all, no matter what you do, don't just sit and wait for gloom to become darker - keep the momentum to win the contracts

When they ask for a discount

Malcolm Gallagher - Tuesday, September 07, 2010

When someone asks you for a discount, what do you do?

Do you just give them it?

If you do, then your prospect is going to think one of several things:

•   You seem desperate for the sale.   
•   I wonder how far you will lower your price and maybe I should have asked for an even bigger discount.   
•   The price you originally offered was not the real price. Are you trying to trick me? Can I really trust you?   
•   You don't set a very high value on your own services and products if you are prepared to discount so quickly.   
•   You agree your price is too high. This is a problem.   
•   Next time I come to buy anything from you, I'll ask for a discount again - an even bigger one.

Giving in quickly to a discount sends the complete wrong message and has a significant impact on whether your prospect trusts you or not. And it can cost you the sale or get you a sale you regret later.

So what must you do instead of just giving a discount?

Instead of just giving a discount when asked for one, turn the whole conversation around and go for a higher priced sale. I know this is counter intuitive but it is not that hard to do and it works.

Next time you're asked for a discount, what if you could increase your sale by 10%? What if you could in fact double the price of your sale? What would be the revenue value to you?
It's easier to do than you think; if you know how.   That’s what our upcoming POWER Negotiation Pack is about.   For now sample some POWER – click here

Get More Referrals

Malcolm Gallagher - Thursday, September 02, 2010

Get More Referrals

If you are like most firms then the majority of your business will come from word of mouth referrals. Well not really. There’s a fundamental difference between word of mouth and referral. Word of mouth is not intentional, it’s almost accidental referral. Yes you want it as its usually good news about you and you’ll get it by doing a good job and have a great product or service. But lets’ focus on true referrals. It’s here that you need a formal and systematic approach to get those referrals. Here’s a few ideas.

1.   Referral Links
Get your web site listed on other sites – it’s called referral linking and Google loves them!  It makes your site more important in its eyes and that puts you further up its ratings. You can find out which sites link to yours by going to Google and putting the following in the search field:
Site: (your domain e.g.

2.   Referral price
In this tactic you have a standard price say £140 but you offer a referral price of £97 if your new customer will give you 3 warmed up leads. If you have the margins then this is  a good strategy.

3.   Get Linked In
Linked In is a vastly under used yet great networking tool. Don’t just sign up but join a few group and be active in commenting within those groups. You’ll soon get referrals. Link in with me at

4.   Give out referral cards
This one is an oldie but goody! Get some specially printed referral cards that your customer can give out. Always include an offer preferably for both the giver and the receiver.

More referral ideas in another issue

3A's to manage Austerity

Malcolm Gallagher - Tuesday, August 03, 2010

There's no doubt this new era of Austerity is starting to bite into many businesses - especially those of us who are in businbess to business. Here are my 3 A's to Manage Austerity.

They are Awareness, Agility and Ability. There's a lot in each A but here's a starter for you.

AWARENESS - What are you doing about knowing what is goiung on in the business world and especially in the sectors in which your clients operate. What are their challanges and where's your opportunity. Subscribe to online news feeds to keep up to date. And at the same time start a Comp Set of your top 5 competitos and monitor them!

AGILITY - You may have, like us, to change or tweak your business model or think differently. Carillion, the big construction company, realises that road building funding is halting so they are biudding to Maintain rather than Build roads. Where do you need to be more nimble?

ABILITY - Is it time to sharpen your skills to have the ability to win business. Perhaps improve upon your presentation or negotiation skills. And don't forget to look at how you are seen or perceived by your customers. Are you giving them confidence in you?

Does this help as a starter?

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