THE Bolton-based insurance broker, Primecover, achieved a 37per cent increase in profits over a two-month period after attending a ‘Leadership Skills’ course
with MLP Training.
Established nine years ago by Managing Director, Sharon Bailey, Primecover specialises in property insurance for
both residential and commercial sectors, including niche services for unoccupied buildings.
The company has expanded year-on year over the past decade, reporting a 26.6 per cent growth during the past 12 months.
Now, following strategic changes made as a result of the MLP training course,
Sharon Bailey, Managing Director of Primecover, sees the positive changes resulting from quality staff training.
Primecover has supercharged its growth plans, substantially increasing its sales success.
Sharon commented: “I attended the MLP ‘Leadership Skills’ course with our Operations Manager, Michelle Neary, and
the first task of the day was to identify our business goals and then look at ways in which we could achieve them through strategic planning.
“I have now taken a step back from the day-to-day business as a result of the training, and moved to a muchmore business development and key management role, with my team stepping up to manage the day-to-day activities.
“The change has been massive for me after spending the past nine years building business and the past thirty years
working with clients, but it has paid off in terms of both growth and profitability.”
The ‘Leadership Skills’ course is not the first MLP training programme that Sharon and her team have attended, and the
company also credits MLP with developing its sales team and business development skills.
Sharon continues: “I have always believed in the importance of investing in training in order to develop the company
and it’s been an important part of Primecover’s success.
“The training that MLP provides is based on tangible business improvement tools that we can continue to work on when we get back to the office and we now have an ongoing relationship where we can call them for advice on an ad-hoc basis too.”
Mike Le Put, owner and founder of MLP added: “Making a big change can be a scary prospect for SMEs like Primecover,
but implementing change aligned to a goal oriented growth strategy is an essential part of long-term planning.
“We’re delighted to hear that change has been so positive for Primecover and
wish them every continued success as they celebrate 10 years in business this year.
TW Languages translates training into export growth
Runcorn-based translation services specialist, TW Languages, is preparing to help companies in the North West realise their export
potential with a programme of presentations demonstrating the importance of a multi-lingual approach.
Managing Director, Janet Perkins, completed a ‘Presentation Skills’ course with Bury-based MLP Training to prepare for the programme, which is being developed in association with UKTI and The Association of Translation Companies (ATC).
Explains Janet: “Export offers fantastic opportunities for growth but companies need to be prepared for a move into new
markets. Ensuring that they have marketing materials and literature that has been accurately translated is an important step in
that process. It’s essential that companies understand best practice and the high standards of translation methodology
before they invest in translation services so that they can maximise the positive outcomes for their business.”
Established in 1999, TW Languages has specialised in scientific and technical translation services since 2006, offering
170 language combinations. The company follows a four-stage translation, proofreading and quality-assurance process,
ensuring that clients can be confident of a translation that is technically accurate and culturally appropriate.
Janet continues: “Cutting corners on translations can have a detrimental effect on a company’s export potential and we are
keen to get that message across as clearly as possible.
“That’s why I was keen to do some training as a refresher to ensure that my presentations are as impactful as possible
when talking to potential exporters.” Janet attended a one day course at MLP’s training centre at the Stables Country
Club in the grounds of The Bolholt Hotel, Bury, which included both presentation tips
and practical participation.Mike Le Put, founder of MLP Training said: “Janet is an experienced presenter but a refresher course is a great way to gain confidence and a confident presenter is a more effective communicator.
“As a company that works internationally, MLP understands the importance of preparing your business to meet the needs of new markets and, with this training, Janet has prepared TW Languages to help other companies prepare effectively too.”
Lee Shore, Managing Director of Merrehill see further company growth after investment in training..3
Email marketing specialist, Merrehill, has achieved its best ever sales month following an investment in training from
business training provider, MLP.
The Manchester company was established eleven years ago and specialises in full service email marketing campaigns including design, dissemination and data segmentation. Having come into contact with MLP as a supplier, Merrehill decided to use its services for its own business and has never looked back.
Merrehill’s Managing Director, Lee Shore explained: “Training is an important element of our business development strategy
because we can only continue to build on our success if the company has the skills we need to win and handle new business.”
“MLP’s training courses are tailored to meet the needs of SMEs like us and after the success of the training our sales team
completed, I decided to take one of MLP’s courses myself.”
Lee used MLP for training two of his sales people and the resulting growth in business caused him to take a
The course was designed to enable him to take a step back from the day-to-day operations of the business and delegate
effectively to help him manage further growth and take a more high-level role in managing the business.
Mike Le Put, managing director of MLP Training said: “Lots of owner-managed businesses like Merrehill find it difficult to
manage the transition as they grow and training for directors like Lee helps them to let go of the detail, trust the team and focus
strategically on business development. “Merrehill’s record sales month has clearly demonstrated the successful outcome of the company’s investment in training and we look forward to working with Lee and his team again as the business
continues to grow.”
As a result of its continuing success, Merrehill has appointed its first two apprentices and is looking forward to
further expansion during this year. “Every member of the team - from the school leavers joining us to myself as
MD - can benefit from training and we will continue to make it part of our plans for growth.”
Macclesfield-based software company, AVA CAD/CAM, has been so successful in
developing its sales team that the company has created five new sales roles to feed further expansion.
The move follows an investment in sales training from MLP over the past six years, which has created an average sales growth
of 20 percent year-on-year since 2009. With growing markets in China, Turkey and South America as well as the UK and Europe, AVA
CAD/CAM has added to its sales team to push this success still further.
Explains AVA CAD/CAM commercial director, Duncan Ross: “We specialise in development sales and maintenance of
specialist software for the textiles and decorative printing sectors and, until the recession hit, we had been growing steadily
for 25 years - largely through inbound sales and referrals. When the financial climate changed, we realised that our approach
needed to change, too, and training our sales team has enabled us to sell proactively on product and service benefits
rather than price, growing our business and protecting our margins despite some tough years in our sector.”
The change came when Duncan attended a business networking event at which MLP’s Mike Le Put was speaking. “Everything he said resonated with the new approach to business we wanted to take,” Duncan continues.
Lancashire-based printing specialist, Pioneer Print Solutions, is celebrating two anniversaries and the birth of a new era. The company marked its 30th anniversary by establishing a new division, Duplex Thermal Printers.com, and is also celebrating a 10 year relationship with MLP Training - a company that has been both a customer and a supplier.
“We exchange our proven training courses for Pioneer Print Solutions’ expertise in an old fashioned bartering
agreement and it’s worked really well for both companies.”
The arrangement has worked so well that Pioneer Print Solutions has established two additional companies since working
with MLP - PaperUK, which specialises in the design & supply of despatch/return notes to multi-channel retailers, and Duplex
Thermal Printers.com, which provides the printers software, labels and maintenance for double-sided thermal
Julian adds: “Our success day-to-day is based on the specialist expertise within our business but MLP has
been instrumental in driving business growth and we’re delighted to be sharing an
anniversary with them.”
Sales Director of Pioneer Print Solutions, Julian Pickford, said: “My father established the business over 30 years
ago and we have now grown into three companies with six buildings - all based in Darwen, Lancashire, where the company
first began in 1985. “Part of that success is down to the sales, presentation and negotiation skills we have gained from working with MLP Training in the past decade. During that time, the company’s Managing Director, Mike Le Put has become like an additional member of our own team, having been training and inspiring professionals since 1999. So 2015 was a momentous
year all round and 2016 is also going to be a big one for us!”
Mike Le Put, founder and owner of MLP Training added: “We have used Pioneer Print Solutions to produce all our booklets and flyers for the past ten years because the company offers an excellent total print solution, which also includes design and fulfilment too.
A great leader attracts great people and knows how develop their skills and potential to strengthen the business team. Effective skills of leadership need to be learned in the same way as any other core competency of successful business practice. Leadership skills are vital if you have influence over business success, strategic direction and culture within your organisation.
What kind of leader are you? Do you recognise the differences between Leadership and Management? Your leadership character is something that is explored on the Leadership Skills course offered by MLP Training. Identifying your style and learning the essential skills of leadership is part of this one day programme designed to focus on you, your tasks, team and individual needs.
Knowing and developing your style of leadership will strengthen your role within your organisation. This Leadership Skillscourse with MLP Trainingwill allow you to explore what you and the people you lead are truly capable of and help you develop practical strategies to build upon your leadership character. Learn how you can best respond to your organisation’s purpose and goals. Become the leader you are destined to be and discover your true leadership potential.
Join MLP Training at the Bolholt Country Park Hotel, Bury for the next Leadership Skills course To book your place on this effective course call us today on 01204 888 826 or check details and book online at www.mlptraining.co.uk
The Motivational Power of Recognition
By Mike Le Put of MLP Training. One of the most asked questions on our Sales Managers Masterclass programme is “How do I motivate Sales People.” If you want to motivate your Sales People then it’s simple. Catch your people doing something right and praise the procedures you want repeated. Recognition is a massive motivator. It costs nothing to say thank you but the rewards from recognition are priceless. I can remember doing a motivational survey for one of our customers to see if we could find the biggest motivators and the best manager. We got about 48 delegates in a room seated at round tables with 6 people per table. Each delegate had to complete a number of sentences such as. The biggest Motivator is…… The biggest de-motivator is…… If you want to motivate us you should ……… If I was in charge of motivation I would…….. We had about 20 questions in all. At the end of the exercise each team had to compare notes and reach agreement prior to giving feedback to the entire group. While the delegates worked on their task the mangers listed what they believed to be the biggest motivating factors. The managers list looked something like this. Money Car Office Bupa. These factors are important to attract Salespeople to the business but they soon become an entitlement. “I’m entitled to a BMW, it’s part of the package.” So what was the biggest Motivator and who was the best Manager? The biggest Motivator was recognition and the best Manager Mark Johnson. Why was he the best manager? He is interested in me. He is the only one that takes the time to talk to me and more importantly listens to me when he does not want anything. When you see the other managers coming you think here comes extra work or I must be in trouble. Mark always has something good to say about my work. He always finds time to thank me for the small things that make a big difference. How do you measure Motivation? You can measure the level of motivation by what your people do after they do what you paid them to do. They go the extra mile for managers that say thank you. So.. Catch your people doing something right and praise the procedures you want repeated.
Coaching & Mentoring. Key Skills for Managers in every business
Coaching & Mentoring.
How can you help every member of your team become an even greater asset to your business? Coaching and mentoring are development techniques designed to enhance the skills, knowledge and work performance of every member of your business team.They are techniques that apply to employees in all departments and at all levels. Your people are your greatest assets and by supporting them through an established process of coaching and mentoring you will instill confidence and create a positivity that will lead to even greater business success.
Manchester based company MLP Training run a superb coaching and mentoring programme. It teaches the skills required for both coaching and mentoring and shows the relationship between the two skills - how they complement each other, as well as the distinction between where and when you should coach or mentor.
Where coaching generally focuses on a particular task an individual needs to learn, mentoring focuses on the whole person. Mentoring is about the guidance and support you can give to an individual that gives their career direction and purpose.
Coaching is a master skill of great Managers, Supervisors and Team Leaders. Having invested in recruiting the best people, the best Managers invest in coaching to develop, motivate and retain great people.
Join expert trainers from MLP Training and become the powerful coach and mentor that will strengthen your team and propel your business to greater success.
Join MLP Training for their next Coaching and Mentoring master class at the Bolholt Country Park Hotel, Bury by calling 01204 888 826 or booking online at CLICK Achieve success by becoming a powerful Coach and Mentor - call today.
The Journey of Sales Success for Crown Paints
By Mark Bannister, Learning, Development & Merchandising Manager at Crown Paints.
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.
We have found that 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 business 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 and mentoring?
That’s what we believe at Crown Paints, as we are already seeing positive results from moulding our own and upskilling staff within the business. During the Sales and Customer Service Excellence training, we’ve learnt that successful sales is a journey, and the engine behind your sales vehicle is investing in some form of training within the business, as this acts as an effective catalyst to boosting confidence to sell.
Even members of a sales team can lack confidence to pick up the phone and sell – this could be a product, or to simply book an appointment. Even the most experienced sales people can be hindered by lack of motivational training.
During our training voyage, we have developed the ‘Crown Way’ of successfully adopting a professional sales service for people at all levels. Whilst this is still in its infancy, we have seen this has already had a positive welcome within the business, engaging the team as they’re all following one consistent method.
Our goal within the next year is to ensure 500 key sales personnel across our decorator centres undertake targeted training and this will be measured against sales success, ensuring immediate return on investment for the company.
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.
You may come across some resistance by team members who may believe they are too busy to take time out for training. But 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.
This stage of our training journey has just begun, but my advice for any company looking to spend on training would be this - 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. A consistent sales ethos is a good start along a road which is often less travelled – investing in training.
Training Helps Build 1500-strong Business Network
Belfast-based business membership organisation, Business First Network, has signed up its 1500th member, thanks to sales techniques learned by its managing director Michael Osborne at a training course 10 years ago.
Michael attended various training with Bury-based provider, MLP Training, with his previous employer and has used the tools and techniques he picked up ever since.
When he established Business First Network in June 2014, using his sales training to make appointments over the phone and sign up new members was critical to the venture’s success, and has helped him reach the 1500 members mark in just 18 months.
Michael commented: “I worked for a business membership organisation before but I knew I could provide something better for SMEs and that’s what drove me to set up Business First Network.
“The company provides big business services and resources for small businesses, covering everything from HR advice to access to funding. It’s a way for smaller businesses to access expert advice and support, and the more members we have the more we can offer - so growing exponentially is critical to our business model.
“The sales techniques I learned from MLP have been key to my success in growing our membership and I have been able to pass those tools on to our development partners as we’ve grown.”
Amongst the training programmes that Michael has attended at MLP are ‘Getting Appointments over the Phone’ and ‘Telephone Selling’, which have been vital for the team at Business First Network.
Michael continues: “We have 12 development partners across the UK covering the entire country so many of our new members have been recruited over the phone. Building a rapport on the telephone is a very specific skill and our growth would not have been so rapid without the skills I learned from MLP.”
Mike Le Put, owner and founder of MLP Training added: “Michael’s story demonstrates the long-term value of investing in high-quality training. The techniques we teach can be applied in so many environments and give people the confidence to maximise opportunities, something that Michael has done so impressively since starting Business First Network.”
Training Provides More Than a Spring Clean for Restoration Firm
Professional cleaning company, Art of Clean, is gearing up to drive growth in its tenth year in business as it has seen conversion rates of up to 70% following sales training with Bury-based provider, MLP Training
The Cambridge-based firm, which is celebrating its tenth year, was founded by husband and wife business duo Pierre and Laurence De Wet and. Together they manage a team which offers flooring and furnishing care for both domestic and commercial clients, including wood floor sanding and restoration, rug and upholstery care, and external surface cleaning including stone walls and driveways.
Following training with MLP, the company has seen an increase in quotes turning into orders.
Managing director, Pierre De Wet, explains: “I decided about six months ago to restructure the business strategy and to invest in some training, and so the team and I have been on several courses with MLP including Successful Selling Skills, Sales Negotiator and Sales Managers Masterclass.
“Running your own business can lead to give in to the temptation to do everything yourself, but you have to delegate and play to your strengths - I wasn’t as good at everything as I thought I was! So I reviewed the roles of the team to ensure the right people were working in areas they excelled in, and upskilled where needed – including myself.
“The return on investment of the training was almost immediate, as you could see the improvement in our confidence and awareness of negotiation skills with customers. I particularly learnt not to underestimate the power of communication and how simply one wrong or right word could either lose or win the business.”
Art of Clean services clients predominately in the Cambridgeshire area, but also branches out across the UK, having worked on some prestigious projects including Norwich Cathedral, St Edmundsbury Cathedral and high-end properties in Kensington, London.
Pierre explains how his new business strategy also includes a more integrated offering for clients.
“We are offering a complete floor care and restoration service which includes extra services such as floor sanding and carpet cleaning. We’re a premium service provider and we like to give clients a bespoke and personal experience, as we really do believe that cleaning and restoration really is an art.
“Training with MLP has helped up broaden our view on how to speak to customers and give them what they want, not what we think they need, and this has really helped to increase our conversion rates.
“Training with MLP will also help us to identify areas in the team which need up-skilling, so our sales force is motivated and driven, ultimately being able to close deals.”
Pierre is looking to further expand the business, and increase conversion rates by another two per cent this coming year.
He concluded: “Even if we can increase conversion rates by just a few percent that will definitely be a great return on our investment in training and stand us in good stead for future growth of the business.”
Customer Service Begins at Home
by Mike Prince, managing director at Advanced Handling Ltd.
Richard Branson famously said: “…if you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers.” - and it’s very sound advice.
Often, business leaders are so busy thinking about how to sell more to their customers that they forget the most important stakeholder group of all - their own staff!
It’s a business fundamental that one of MLP’s clients, Advanced Handling, understands and implements in a way that has both supported its own commercial success and inspired the team here at MLP.
The company designs, manufactures and installs material handling and lifting solutions for customers across the UK and around the world. Quality is important to them because their customers rely on their solutions for both safety and efficiency. Building that quality into everything they do from custom product design through to after sales support begins with treating internal stakeholders like valued customers.
Developing a culture where every interaction and the contribution made by every member of staff is valued ensures that there is a focus on teamwork and shared ownership for the company’s success.
Advanced Handling champions the concept of internal and external customers, where all customer relationships are important and service levels are set between departments. In that way, progress and quality are monitored throughout the delivery cycle of every project, which enhances service to external customers and ensures that internal customers access the support and resources they need to get the job done to the highest standards.
The company has achieved this by following another of Richard Branson’s famous mantras: “Train people well enough that they can leave, treat them well enough that they don’t want to.”
From Customer Service Excellence programmes through to Goal Setting & Time Management training, MLP has provided the team at Advanced Handling with the tools it needs to implement its people-focused business culture at every level. We even got involved in helping the company’s management team to formulate its ‘20-20 Vision’, a goal-oriented manifesto for how the company sees itself developing by the year 2020.
The bottom line is that a company is more successful when its entire team is united with common goals, a shared responsibility for quality and a genuine recognition for the contribution of every individual. Training can help deliver that consistency and inspired thinking as part of a progressive business culture.
For more information about the next Goal Setting & Time Management course, click here
WANT TO BE A BUSINESS KING? YOU’LL NEED A CROWN!
Ask any sports team and they’ll tell you - success not only requires talent and hard work; it requires a winning formula too.
At MLP, we specialise in harnessing the talent and hard work of our clients and giving them the formulas they need to translate that raw material into sustainable success.
And when it comes to being the king of commerce, our C.R.O.W.N formula has helped lots of ambitious business owners to maximise their potential.
So, what’s the secret?
CROWN stands for: C Create a demand R Realise the full potential O Open to new ideas W Work with everything N Never underestimate
Creating demand involves marketing your products and services effectively, taking a planned approach to developing customer awareness so that customers are ready to buy even before you start to sell.
You need to take the same sustained approach to point two: ‘realise the full potential’, which means both maximising your own potential through continuous personal development and helping your customers to leverage their own potential by taking any opportunities to contribute to their growth.
Potential can take many different forms so be proactive and embed a willingness to improve into everything you do, which brings us on to the third element of the formula: ‘open to ideas’. Again, be vigilant and remember that all ideas are worth considering – even ideas that don’t work might teach you something! It’s also important to remember that ideas can come from a variety of sources; your customers, your colleagues, your competitors, other industries - use your instincts and think creatively.
Indeed, ideas are one of your greatest resources and it’s essential to ‘work with everything’ you have at your disposal, as we point out in step four of our CROWN formula. Don’t waste assets or people but make sure they are helping you work towards enhancing your business success.
Which brings us to the final – and arguably the most important – element of the formula: ‘never underestimate’ your own potential, the value of customer relationships, the threat posed by competitors and market conditions or any other challenges and opportunities that may affect your business.
If you have the talent and drive to be successful, you will always achieve your goals, but with the right business formula, you can CROWN that success.