The latest from the team at MLP Training

What is the difference between sales and business development?


Find out what is the difference between sales and business development here?

Selling is identifying or creating a need for your product or service and building a desire in the prospect to want use or own that product or service by focusing on benefits.

The function of Selling is to Sell.


Function of Business Development is to improve an organization’s market position and achieve financial growth by identifying the opportunities to sell.

This requires long-term organizational strategic goals. To find new markets and to Grow existing Accounts.
That is why Our Account Development Strategies course is not suitable for new Sales People.
The course is not about Selling Skills i.e. Questioning, Listening, Presenting, Objection Handling, Closing these things are a given at this level.
Account Development is about long-term organizational strategic goals. It is about Business Development. It is about looking at a major account as a Market and increasing Market share of that Market and strengthening customer relationships by in-depth understanding of the customers’ business.

How to handle the “ Too Expensive Objection”


42 Negotiation and Objection Handling Tips and Questions

First of all remember the golden rule “ Don’t Negotiate until sold” Do a worth analysis to find out what it is worth before you tell the customer how much it cost and don’t talk about cost only talk about saving.

Simple example would be: you know your product is £20.000

You ask the customer questions to establish the fact that the problem is costing them £25,000. You then say we may have a solution and if it is acceptable to you it could save you £5000.

Would you like to see the solution?

You only talk in terms of solutions and saving. Never cost and Price.

Focus on what it’s worth not what it costs. Remember so long as it is worth more than it costs then it cost them nothing to do it.

The worth analysis is THE BEST WAY to handle the price objection.

Selling against competition

Sell the difference. If you are £10 and the competition is £9 you don’t have to justify £10 all you need to do is sell the difference and that is just £1

Below are so Questions and responses you may find useful.

Best regards

Mike Le Put

Too expensive

  1. As compared to?
  2. H ow do you mean?
  3. In relation to?
  4. Tell me why do you say that?


I have had a better offer

  1. Tell me about it
  2. How do you feel about that offer?
  3. What exactly have you been offered?
  4. What is included in that offer?
  5. What model is that?
  6. What are the performance figures?
  7. What are the running costs?
  8. Out of interest ,why didn’t you accept that offer?
  9. What concerns you about that offer?
  10. Given that you know we can’t get down to that price, what are you looking for in terms of quality, service and reliability?
  11. If we were both the same price what would be the advantage to you in going with us.

27 Useful Questions

  1. Tell me what’s more important to your business, the price of the machine or its ability to do the job for the next ten years?

  2. Why don’t you take it?
  3. If you cut back on the quality of this raw material then you cut back on the quality of the service you give to your customers. And that’s where the real profit is in your business isn’t it?

  4. Why don’t you take it?
  5. You know Mr Smith you’re only going to replace this once in the next five years. You want it to be the most reliable component you can get don’t you? Why don’t you take it
  6. What we’re talking about here is an investment in your business. And your business deserves the best doesn't it? Why don’t you take it?

  7. But you wouldn’t let that stop you having the most reliable components on the market would you? Why don’t you take it?

  8. You have worked hard to but this project together and you want to support it with the very best, up to date electronics you can get don’t you? Why don’t you take it?

  9. You know that Quality is remembered long after price has been forgotten. And quality and reliability is going to be vital in this operation. Why don’t you take it?

  10. You can always buy cheaper, but you can’t buy better. And you do want the best you can get don’t you? Why don’t you take it?

  11. I understand you want value for money Mr Smith. Let’s look at where the value and the savings are for Smith & Co.

  12. It’s an investment in the quality of your business and the quality of service you give your customers. And that’s Priceless isn’t it? Why don’t you take it?

  13. If you cut back on the quality of your components you cut back on the quality of service you give your customers and that’s where the real profit is in your business Why don’t you take it?

  14. You know Mr Smith, looking at your building, your offices your car. You’re not a man that buys on price. You want Quality and reliability. And this is the best there is. Why don’t you take it?

  15. I understand the design engineers preferred us because we support them from conception to completion, and see us as unpaid members of their team.

  16. I understand the Manufacturing Managers prefer us because of continuity of supply don’t they?

  17. I understand that because of or availability you have been able to reduce your stock holding, and free up cash for other projects haven’t you?

  18. I understand your failures in production, reworks and warranty claims have been reduced £XXX because of the quality of our components. That saves you both Time and Money doesn’t it?.

  19. I understand you have some issues getting your products on time from China. Don’t you?

  20. I understand you have had some quality issues with Chinese components recently.

  21. I understand our technical people were a great help to your design team on the xxxx project. I guess that’s why they want to stay with us.

  22. I understand you have to place minimum order quantities AND pay up front from China don’t you.

  23. What’s more important to you saving 1p on the component or not having to carry stock?

  24. What’s worth more to you 1p on the component or reducing failed in process?

  25. What’s worth more to you 1p on the component or its ability to work at that temperature for the life of the product?

  26. What’s worth more to you 1p on the component or not having to place minimum order quantities.

  27. What’s worth more to you 1p on the component or not having to pay up front from China?

CLICK For list of Great Sales Training and Negotiating courses

Are Your Best People Too Good for Your Training Budget?


Whether your company recruits school leavers, graduates, or only those with relevant workplace experience, the chances are that most of your training budget is focused on ensuring those on the lower rungs of the career ladder have the skills they need to climb it.

A clear development path has become an important part of attracting and retaining the best candidates, which makes it an important part of any company’s HR strategy. But what about the talented people that have already proved their value to your organisation? Shouldn’t you be investing in ensuring that you maximise their value with courses that focus on leadership, time management and mentoring?

Many companies have a policy of promoting from within, which can have significant commercial advantages. However, promotion from a ‘doing’ role to a managerial role is often awarded without any investment in management training – which means that the individual may not have the skills they need to adjust to their new responsibilities and the company may not benefit from their full potential.

Even the most talented and experienced people in an organisation sometimes need to take a step back and examine how they can do things better. Just one behaviour change as a result of training can have a significant impact on productivity and the ability to add value.

There may be barriers to this, not least in a reluctance from busy senior people to take time out of their schedule to spend on training. However, by selecting an outcomes-based training model with clear goals and a defined follow up process, any objections can be overcome and any time invested will be more than recouped in greater efficiency and productivity day-to-day.

Many of MLP’s training courses have been designed with these goals in mind, including our Leadership Skills, Effective Meeting and Coaching & Mentoring one-day programmes.

A culture of continuous improvement can only thrive in any organisation if there is a commitment to developing the skills of those who run it. If UK companies are serious about building on their success in post-recession Britain, training needs to be high on the agenda at the highest levels of the career ladder.

Setting Customer Service Standards


Who sets your Customer Service Standards?


You do

Your Customers Do

And Your Competitors Do


You cannot set your Customer service standards in isolation.

The good news is that people will pay for great service. Why? Because given the choice between low price and low risk most people would choose low risk. High service = low risk.


Look at inner and outer circle issues


Inner circle are the basics. Right price, quality, availability etc.

Outer circle are the unexpected.


At one time if you took your car in for a service they would not clean it. The cleaning would be unexpected and therefore an outer circle issue.

The interesting thing is that the cleaning is now expected and has become an inner circle issue.


To be notified that your online purchase had been dispatched was an outer circle issue that has become expected and moved to the inner circle.


Look at what has moved from outer to inner in your market and make sure your moving with the market.


Then ask how can we get ahead of the market by finding new outer circle issues that our competitors have not thought of.


Customer-focused versus Company focused procedures


Let’s look at an example of Company focus procedures.


I went to the Hotel receptionist to ask if she could change my room.

No sorry I can’t do that she said.

Can I speak to your Manager?

No she is in a meeting.

Can you interrupt the meeting?

No sorry.

What would your manager do if she was here?

She would change your room.

How do you know?

She always does. Nobody wants to stay in that room.

Why don’t you change it.

I can’t change it without talking to my Manager.


The strange thing about this is that I am getting bad service from a good employee. She sticking to the procedure. But the procedure is wrong.

Look at your procedures and make them Customer focused.


What about empowerment

The receptionist should have been empowered to change my room. Customers like to talk to one person that can make a decision. How can you empower your people to give great service?


Let’s go back to standards

Why not empower your people to set standards.

Here are some standards set by employees.


Service Engineer. First time fix on all call outs.

Hotel Staff. Uniforms will be uncompromising immaculate at all times.

Production Workers. Zero defects leaving our production line.


You may be surprised at the high standards you people WANT TO work to.


Set the standards

Remember what gets monitored gets done.

Praise the procedures you want repeated.

Catch your people doing something right.


Tell people it’s OK to tell us if you don’t hit the standards. That way we can give you the support you need to deliver the service our customers want.

Remember to celebrate Success.


Everyone knows that repeat business is great business. Happy customers return again and again bringing increased profits and lower cost per sale.


Invest in Great Customer Service and your customers will grow your business for you.


At MLP Training we have spent over 25 years developing  powerful Customer Service Excellence workshops.
Click for more details.
Setting Customer Service Standards By Mike Le Put

Key Skills for Top Sales People


Top 15 key skills for top sales people

Sales people need a wide range of skills to be effective and successful in their role. Identifying your strengths enables you to develop yourself in areas of weakness. Proactively doing this will build confidence, enable you to achieve greater results.
From our years of experience working in the Sales Industry here are our top 15 key skills for top sales people to focus on.
  1. Prospecting

  2. Appointment Making

  3. Rapport Building

  4. Questioning

  5. Listening

  6. Confirming The Need

  7. Understanding Product/Service Benefits

  8. Building a Desire

  9. Presenting the Solution

  10. Objection Handling

  11. Packaging the Price

  12. Defending Price

  13. Negotiating

  14. Closing Closing Closing

  15. Follow up
Our powerful MLP Training Programmes are the result of over twenty 25 years of working with outstanding Professionals across a wide range of industries, covering every conceivable product and service.
Now you can tap into this wealth of experience and make these powerful programmes work for you.
Our mission is, quite simply, to help you achieve your goals and become the best that you can be.
By Mike Le Put

Best Problem Solving Techniques


Problem or Solution?

One of the most powerful techniques for problem solving is to focus on the Problem not the solution.

Let me explain.....

The best way to get a good solution is to have lots of solutions to choose from. Unfortunately, many people bring you a single solution disguised as the problem.

They may say “My problem is I need a kettle.” Only one solution provide a kettle.

If they had said “My problem is that I need to boil water” we could have provided many solutions .

A Manager may say “ My problem is I need More People” Only one solution get more people.

If the Manager had said “ My problem is the people I have cannot do the work with the Skills, Resources and Procedures we have in place” We now have more options available to solve this problem.

I remember running a problem solving course for a successful company in Hull. The Distribution Director ‘s opening statement was this  “My problem is I need a new warehouse “ You can see this is not his problem, it’s what he believes to be his single solution.

We solved the problem by re-designing his warehouse, installing high lift, narrow-isle trucks and introducing stock rotation systems.

The result was a 42% increase in storage space, a 20% increase in efficiency and a saving of £2 million on the original solution of a new warehouse.

There are many steps to problem solving  but the most important is to Clearly Identify the problem.

Next time a person comes to you with a problem, ask yourself has this person given me the problem or have they given me what they believe to be the solution.

Click for more information on Problem Solving

By Mike Le Put

Questions from Mike Le Put


Having worked for over twenty five years with outstanding Sales Professionals across a wide range of industries, selling every conceivable product and service I would like to ask you…..

Would you like to:



· Increase your sales and profits


· Become an outstanding Sales Professional


· Open more doors


· Close more Sales


· Grow your Customer Base


· Increase your Earnings


Here are my 5 top tips to help YOU develop your sales skills


1. Really sell yourself - people buy from people


2. Develop your listening skills – listen more and speak less


3. Understand the psychology of selling


4. Tighten up your objection handling


5. Make sure you are following up your leads - this is so important


NOW if you want to, Find new business! Close more deals! Make higher value sales!



Take action…. Be proactive….
Find out about today about a 2 Day Successful Selling Skills Course in Bury Manchester


Don't just take my word for it, these are quotes from previous delegates who have attended the 2-day Sales Training Course in Bury Manchester.



“Very insightful and great for all levels of Sales Experience. By far the best training session I've attended, Nicola Hatton Midland HR



"Very Interesting and informative as always. Learnt a lot & many things I will put into practice which, I am sure will make a huge difference to my success in the future. Andy Widdowson. Mosca Direct



"Thank you for looking after the new staff last week. They thoroughly enjoyed the training with you. I've already seen a big difference in their attitude towards sales and tough challenges. They've come back with new ideas, energy and new confidence. You're a genius!" Duncan Ross, AVA



" Extremely useful knowledge. I have so many take-aways that will stick with me for years to come. Nicole Brisebois. LDM Global.


How to be a High Achiever in Three Easy Steps


Let's start with a question: how often do you get to the end of the day and wonder where the time went or wish you could find a few extra hours from somewhere?

Sometimes? Often? Everyday?

The desire to recoup the ‘missing' hours that have somehow melted away in the frenetic activity of a busy day is not an uncommon sentiment. The reality is that everyone gets the same allocation of hours each day, however if you feel like you never have enough as you scramble to achieve as much as possible, it's because you're not managing your time effectively.

Effective time management is one of the aspects of professional behaviour that sets apart high achievers and makes them more productive in the workplace. And to manage your time, the first thing you have to do is set goals and stick to them.

High achievers focus their time on high priority areas, which means they step away from the firefighting, distracting activities and the urge to respond immediately to every request they receive in order to remain focused on a task and use their time wisely to complete it.

Step One: As any management coach will tell you, 80 per cent of your results are generated from 20 per cent of your activities, so your first step towards becoming a high achiever is to identify which activities drive your 80 per cent.

Step Two: Once you have identified those priority activities, the next step is to set goals to help you remain focused on high value tasks: goal setting is the master skill of time management and time management is the master skill of all high achievers.

Step Three: With clearly defined goals in place, you then need to develop a critical path to goal delivery which will help you align the available time to the tasks you need to complete, ensuring you remain focused and don't fall into the distraction trap.

The average household spends 1,460 hours a year in front of the TV box – four hours a day. And sometimes we watch it without even realising. A TV Licensing Authority survey found people underestimate their TV viewing by up to 20 hours a week.

Now I am not against TV but I know in my heart there are people saying ‘I'd like to play the piano but I don't have the time'. They have the time they just choose to spend that time watching TV.

Here is a great question for you to ask yourself. "Is what I am doing or about to do taking me towards or away from my goal?"

High achievers have clearly defined goals and they know what they need to do to achieve those goals and they have a plan.

High achievers know you can't make or control time. You can't have a short hour for the bad things and long hours for the good things.

As much as you might like to, you can't control time, but you can control how you spend the time available to you. It's up to you to manage your environment, your systems, your work habits and how you deal with interruptions, maximising the value of your time by ensuring you don't fritter it away.

What to do next

Consider do you need support? Support can come in various ways so get in touch simply message or visit my website

Problem Solving & Business Development


Want to be a great Business Problem Solver?

Discovering how you can become a great problem solver will definitely enhance your business and management skills and increase your career opportunities. 

Here are 3 key areas you should be able to recognise, action and implement

1.       overcome obstacles

2.       remove success barriers

3.       develop new systems and processes

Become the innovator and turn Problems into Opportunities for your team and business!

Be it customer problems, design, manufacturing, distribution, people, sales, finance or whatever.

Every day in business you need to have a way of clearly identifying the real problems getting to the root cause and providing long term solutions.

6 Steps for you to plan and be a great business problem solver…...

1)       Gather the right Information

2)       Define the real Cause - Problems are like icebergs - we often only see what’s on the surface.

3)       Create options and solutions

4)       Develop selection criteria - test your ideas against clear decision criteria.

5)       Make the Decision - what to do, how to do it, when to do it, who will do it and when it will be completed

6)       Monitor progress

So make sure you defined the barriers, explored solutions and developed an action plan for continuous improvement and remember “What gets monitored gets done."

Next Steps

Join my network here – I share updates and post articles regularly here on topics around sales, customer service, coaching, leadership and other business areas.

Attend a Problem-Solving Course and walk away with clearly defined the barriers to success in your organisation, explored solutions and developed an action plan for continuous improvement.

How can you use Appraisals to grow your business


Helping people develop their day-to-day performance is the role of every great Manager.


Giving positive feedback and guidance is a Key Skill in the development of your people.


The appraisal process is the key to continuous improvement, company growth and staff retention.


The role of management in the annual appraisal is crucial, as what you decide affects the year ahead. Handled well and with joint responsibility, quality appraisals can really develop your staff and aid your people management tasks throughout the year.


Making sure that you have a robust appraisal process will ensure a consistent approach across your company.


So, let’s start here and ask yourself the following 8 questions… write down your answers

1.       What is the purpose of appraisals?

2.       Know and understand clearly what is your role is in the process and how to give an appraisal interview?

3.       Do you prepare for appraisals? – the appraiser and the appraisees

4.       Does your company recognise and offer staff development?

5.       Are you setting SMART Goals?

6.       Do you know how to address performance through appraisals?

7.       Do you set Action plans for further development and monitor activity?

What is the purpose of appraisals?

The purpose of appraisal is to introduce a set a time to communicate with your staff so that you can achieve better work performance from your employees.  

Appraisals should include the following:

·         Job objectives that are SMART and are linked to company’s goals.

·         Clearly highlight the expectations of an employee’s performance

·         The employee’s performance is reviewed against the objectives which were set and they are given relevant feedback, agreed support if required.

·         Discuss options for development activities to make better use of his skills or to enhance them to improve performance.

·         Positive reinforcement for successful performance should be given.

·         Give employees the opportunity to discuss their job role and career prospects

What is your role in the process?

Understanding your role in the appraisal process is crucial to success.  Make sure that you know the company’s system and process so that you are confident in delivering appraisals.

Ask for support and training!

Do you prepare for appraisals? – the appraiser and the appraisees

You may or may not know that to not prepare and plan for an appraisal is the route to disaster.  Follow your companies processes and procedures if they do not have them then may be it is time to  attend some Appraisals & Performance Training

 Does your company recognise and offer staff development?

Understanding and recognising strengths and weaknesses of your staff will enable you to identify areas that need development, coaching, training or buddy support from another team member.

Are you setting SMART Goals?

SMART is a well-established tool that you can use to plan and achieve your goals it means

  • Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
  • Measurable – quantify - how you are going to measure.
  • Assign – specify who is responsible.
  • Realistic – state results can realistically be achieved when given available resources.
  • Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

Setting SMART goals with your staff will enable you to achieve the overall company goals by dissecting them into smaller elements and assigning them to individuals – this gives countability and responsibility and that if all the individuals complete the tasks set then the main objective will be reached.

Do you set Action plans for further development and monitor activity?

Setting action plans for further development and other areas that have come from the appraisal discussion enables both the appraiser and the appraises a point of reference that can then be used throughout the year to monitor success and or poor performance.

What next

If you need support to get your appraisals right click here

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