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Episode Info: Jonathan Ratcliff shares his sales strategy insights on The Next 100 Days Podcast. Jonathan Ratcliff, an expert in sales strategy, left corporate over 12 years ago, to set up JMR Sales & Consultancy Ltd. He helps a variety of clients with short to mid-term contracts by solving a wide range of their business challenges. His primary skill is Sales Management. His sales perspective has been enhanced through roles as a Purchasing Director, Marketing Manager, Commercial Director and Sales Director. Jonathan usually focuses on strategy development with his clients.  He has worked with Retail, Hospitality, Primary Care, Caterers, Automotive, Pharmacy, Financial sector and Drinks. His early career gave him real understanding of handling national accounts. This has helped him develop highly tailored sales training and coaching answers for sales problems in his target £5 to £50m target companies. Working for Carlsberg, he “probably” figured out how to run a p*ss up in a brewery! He loved working there and was promoted through the ranks, including helping them develop an innovative non-beer sales strategy. After Carlsberg, he started to get asked to do purchasing for companies. For a hotel group and Little Chef! They gave Jonathan an insight to selling from a buyer’s perspective. What has Jonathan observed? The relationship between buyer and seller is of paramount importance. The buyer needs to understand the business. The buyer’s need to understand requirements, how much and what things do they need? So, when sales people asked him as a buyer, he knew. That enabled him to be prepared. So, sales people are advised to investigate what the branches and parts of the group at an operational level need. What would they like head office to buy for you? What are your current suppliers not doing what they should be doing? Knowledge is power.His experience as a buyer showed him that skills between national account managers were great. Some were good and others woeful. The good ones did their homework. Planning and preparation – who were you going to see, objectives, objections, etc. The worst NAMs didn’t have an agenda, didn’t have a plan, which allowed Jonathan win advantages that he wouldn’t have expected. Listening and understanding. Good sales people are great listeners first. Active listening incorporates non-verbal cues too. How is the buyer being measured? In 3 ways, day to day, regional or site objectives and long term company strategic objectives. Knowledge of these layers – strategic, regional and specific. The more you understand of these issues, the greater the opportunity to sell more successfully. A sales call can be very expensive, so companies need to understand the financial metrics as they relate to sales visits. How does Jonathan advise MDs of businesses where sales are disappointing? Jonathan investigates the business strategy, including the margins being earned to pull together a cost benefit analysis. I...
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