Business Development Training -Rainmaking: Cross-Selling? Are you having a laugh?

Cross-Selling in Services Companies? You must be joking?

You have done the expensive bit…

All the research tells you …. Gaining a new customer is 5 to 7 times more expensive than selling to existing clients.

You did all the proposals, you attended all the meetings. All the planning.

You landed the big fish… Now it’s time to expand your foothold.

You start to work through your major account planning processes

All goes really well. Account plans are drawn up.

Then you review progress. The needles of business growth are moving but not much…

There is growth but only in one area of service or product… The one you started with…

Hmmmm what’s the problem?

A case of the Cross-Sell Killer?

What’s that?

In our experience, it comes down to … Your people don’t trust each other.

(Our Business Development Training Workshops can explore this topic as well as others)

OK. That may be over stating it.
However you have a BIG problem. Why?
Because if don’t expand in existing clients you are condemning your company to the high cost of selling.
If you keep LANDING but not EXPANDING your costs will stay high.
You need that “cheaper to get” business from existing clients to improve your profits

Try this test…

Surprise your account leaders

Ask them to try to sell to you another one of your product or services lines..
Expect lots of avoidance and excuses. What you may well find is that they can’t do it…
They …

  1. Don’t know enough about the people in other areas of your business
  2. Don’t understand how the other teams in your company operate
  3. Don’t know what benefits the other services team can bring to clients.
  4. Have no stories of of their thrilled clients to tell.
  5. May have been burned in the past by bringing other people into “their” accounts
  6. Don’t know what problems the other teams solve
  7. Certainly don’t know the good questions to ask to see if your client has these isssues

Those are the reasons, consciously or not, they avoid broadening the conversation.

They may even doubt one another’s competence.

Regardless of why, you have internal issues that you need to deal with.
You can have lots of account planning meetings but the other services won’t grow.

This is not a skill issue. Rarely is it a value delivery or capability issue.
Most companies say that they trust each other to collaborate.

Make no mistake this lack of cross-selling is a silent, chronic wet blanket dampening strategic account management success.

What do you do about it?

There’s no one answer. You have to know what’s going on and why before you can solve it.

Try asking yourself and your team these questions:

  1. Is there a lack of trust here at our company?
  2. What are the reasons we are not cross-selling?
    1. Lack of knowledge of all of our capabilities?
    2. Lack of knowledge about how other divisions make a difference?
    3. People don’t know each other well enough to trust each other?
    4. Actual quality issues that, as a company, you need to solve?
    5. You’ve solved previous quality issues but people don’t know that yet?

Once you have some answers, you can start solving the problems.
It just may be the key to unlocking major revenue growth in your accounts.

If you need our help with Cross-selling issues contact us on 0333 444 1955 or

Manager as Coach Training: Seven Principles to Manage Brilliant Women ( and Men too:)

A Guest blog from Kate Burton

I coach so many amazing women. Talented, focused and hardworking.
(And plenty of men too!) People like you…and the people you manage, lead and coach too.

Here’s the challenge.

They usually don’t notice how good they really are. (I meet more humble women than men.)
They highlight what they can’t do perfectly rather than what they do so well.
So how do you get them to step up? And stop waiting in the shadows helping others to shine when inside they are secretly wondering why nobody is giving them the space they deserve?

Here are seven ways to help your people take ownership of their shiny talents and use them to make a difference in the world.

As you put your ‘manager as coach’ hat on, encourage them with the following guiding principles …

  1. Pay attention to your own passion and energy.
    Only you can take ownership of your career (and life), so don’t wait for others to set your direction and tell you what to do
    Start by noticing what fires you up and gives you energy.
    Spend more time in this space and you’ll be unstoppable as you inspire other people with your enthusiasm.
  2. Appreciate yourself.
    Set your intent to validate and appreciate yourself and what you stand for, in all your works
    When others see how you value yourself, they’ll value you more and have the courage to be more like you.
  3. Develop a protective skin.
    Skin is the biggest organ in the body and has amazing properties to protect and heal.
    Imagine that you can put an extra super-coating on your body as you step up and face the world. One that others can’t easily tear or damage, and which will repair itself if knocked.
    Can you think of anyone brilliant who never gets criticised?
    No, then decide you don’t have to please everyone, all of the time.
  4. Develop your sponsors.
    Everyone benefits from others who look out for them and filter opportunities their way.
    (I’ve noticed that while women are good at getting mentors, men are particularly better at getting sponsors.)
    Make sure you cultivate relationships with those people who want the best for you, will extol your virtues rather than delight in your faults or make you feel scared. Leave behind those who love to control or criticise and look for those who’ll stretch and support you to raise your game.
  5.  Quiet the voice on your shoulder that says:
    ‘Who are you to put your head above the parapet?’
    It’s normal to have some noisy ‘chatter’ that gets in the way.
    Stop and listen to the infamous words of Marianne Williamson as you ask yourself:
    “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? . . . as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.’
  6. Replace humble with daring.
    So many women, in particular, play safe. They fear their own vulnerability.
    In order to harness your courage, you need to be-friend your vulnerability.
    Once you do, you’ll find your own natural and greater leadership.
    Dare to dream the impossible.
    If you reach for the stars, then you can always set your sights closer to earth.
  7. Let others be brilliant too.
    Be generous in your support of others. They’ll appreciate it and reciprocate.
    The world is big enough for everyone to be their best, so never try and keep others down through your own insecurities and comparisons. The best leaders let others fly.
    Encourage your people to: Be bold. Have fun. Get on with it!

And if you need help on the way, we offer loads of resources, books, coaching and workshops to support you including the popular Manager as Coach programme.

And you could always take a look at Kate’s book

And remember to share the principles with other brilliant women, and men too…

Interviewer Skills Training: Do you hire people for their values-fit? Then develop their competencies and skills?

A guest Blog from Kevin Howes

We all know, that unfortunately, poor hiring decisions at any level in a business can

  1. Cost us a great deal of cash
  2. Create unnecessary hassle for our Line Managers
  3. Cause undue distress for team members
  4. Result in dissatisfaction among customers
  5. Waste lots of time for everyone involved.

Great companies and managers start by hiring positive, change-resilient, and committed people whose values fit the those of their business or organisation.

(Our Interviewer Skills Training Workshop can help here)

Then keeping them requires them to create a healthy work environment where they can use all their knowledge, creativity, and skills to contribute to growing  the business as well as developing themselves.

The ability to select, motivate, develop, and retain top people is critical to any  organisation’s success.
If we want to build a business where people come to work with a spring in their step on a cold and dank Monday morning; we need to know how to hire and keep great people.

So why is it some people enjoy a job and stay with it for years, while others seem unhappy and eventually leave?
Or they stay on but complain, come to work late and call in sick more than others?

Even when the pay and rations are good compared to other local businesses, even when the scheduling is flexible and the coworkers are congenial, some people just won’t be happy in their new job. It’s not because there is something wrong with the person or the job.
Sometimes there just isn’t the right fit.

We at Rainmaker call this values or motivational fit, and we describe this as how well candidates’ values’ or what they expect or wants from a job, and what the job can actually offer match those of the organisation, the job and its values.

Lack of motivational fit may not result in poor performance of the work itself but is likely to result in things like tardiness, absenteeism, use of sick days, and may result in them not staying or succeeding in their new job or organisation.

We have found that if you want to be more accurate at selecting the right person for the job and then keeping them make sure you hire hire people with the right motivational fit for the job and organisation.

There are some real benefits interviewing for motivational fit

  • Focuses attention on job- and organization-specific motivational factors.
  • Prevents interviewers from projecting their own motivations on candidates
  • Helps ensure hired candidates like their work and stay longer
  • More accurate selection
  • A behavioural assessment of important and sometimes elusive attributes.

We suggest that by adding three simple steps to your existing process can have us all sharing in the enjoyment of your success.

Step1:, Firstly start with a role analysis;
Identify the key success factors and role-specific competencies.
Best done by interviewing existing top performers in that role.

Step 2: Create an Effective job profile
Because we want to hire great people, we need to describe what exceptional performance looks like. Effective role profiles and job descriptions define what needs to be achieved and describe the skills and experience the candidate must bring.

Step 3 : Insert specific questions into your recruitment interviewing process
Questions that test for the candidates ability to accomplish desired goals
Research shows us that the ability to accomplish desired goals is a better predictor of future performance than the candidate’s level of skills and experience. Comparable past performance is also an effective predictor of future achievement. Then, create behaviourally anchored questions that help assess the extent of values fit with the job, organisation and its culture.

At Rainmaker we have workshops filled to the brim with practical tools and approaches.
These can measurably reduce your losses through poor hiring decisions…….

If we can help you or you’d like to learn more about other clients who have adopted this approach call 0333 444 1955  or 0845 652 1955 or email us on