Tuesday, 29 August 2017

The Helicopter Crash and Insight Stories

I've spent a large part of my career working in the oil and gas and mining industries where safety is always a primary concern. A significant issue in safety leadership is getting people to appreciate the importance of preparing for rare but extremely dangerous events. The following anecdote is a perfect example of the importance of preparation and training and is applicable to many situations.

As a young field engineer in March 1988, I was transferred at short notice from China to Australia. I had been expecting to take a helicopter from Tanggu base to my oil rig in Bohai Bay, Northern China but in a rapid turn of events, found myself heading for a rig in the Timor Sea off Darwin as a result of a shortage of Australian engineers.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Sell your People with Story

If you work in a company of more than one person, your work colleagues are a critically important to your sales success.

Potential customers don't buy your products and services they buy the expertise of your company to ensure an outcome.

By expertise, I mean the skills of specific individuals in your company, not amorphous 'corporate expertise'.

When I was selling for Siemens, we sold a pre-paid charging system to a telecommunications company for well over $10 million dollars - a deal which took several months to negotiate and close. I was the sales person but we sold it, as you will see.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Desert Storm - Mohamed's Story

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you

----- From ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling  ------

In 2011, Mohamed, one of our Story workshop participants, was asked to travel from Egypt to Iraq to represent his company in a dispute meeting with a major Iraqi telecommunications company. 

The Iraqi Telco was experiencing serious network failures and the main suppliers, including Mohamed's company, were all pointing the finger at each other.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Rejection Antidotes

Pushback (n):  a negative or unfavourable reaction or response.

Mismatch (n):  a failure to correspond or match

In 2009, while working for a major international supplier of telecommunications equipment, I arranged to meet the CTO of one of Malaysia’s largest mobile network providers. I was accompanied in the meeting by one of our technical sales specialists.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

How to Re-Purpose a Story

Do you know what it feels like to really help someone but they don't realise you helped?

In our business story workshops, we ask participants to tell a story about when you helped, this is a preparatory exercise to help them construct business success stories (not to be confused with marketing case studies).

Most people tell business stories in this exercise but occasionally there is a memorable personal story:

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Disrupting Telecoms - Norwood Company Story

Invention and entrepreneurship are in the blood for Paul Ostergaard. Paul’s start-up company, Norwood Systems, is named after his grandfather, Arthur Norwood, who invented processes for extracting gold and silver from ore bodies in the 1940s.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Schlumberger in Russia

I think the first time I noticed the power of stories in sales was when I was managing a sales team in Russia for Schlumberger in 2000.