7 Strategies to Create Exponential Revenue Growth

Software Knowledge Turnover Growth

Software Knowledge Turnover Growth

This graph shows the growth in turnover of a company I owned and ran in the 90s. It was an IT services business and in a decade we took it from zero to £40m – about £60m in today’s money.

There were hundreds of firms like ours and most never got anywhere near this growth so what did we do differently? In this blog I aim to answer this question.

I believe there were many reasons but I reckon it comes down to 7 things we did that others didn’t do as well as us or at all, in fact. So here they are.

1 Make your Offering Turn Heads

In other words make your product or service different from your competitors. This may sound harder that it actually is if you concentrate on the wrong things. We focused on 4 things and perhaps you could do the same: -

  1. The way you deliver your offering, especially when interfacing with your clients.
  2. What else you can add to your offering to make it broader.
  3. Take more responsibility off your clients and do it as part of your offering.
  4. Be more creative and take more risks with your pricing structure.

This is the first strategy because it’s the most powerful one by a country mile.

2 Put your clients in charge of your Quality Control and R&D Functions

Everybody has these functions in their business: if you’re a one-man band it’s you and if you’re a large corporate you have teams of people to do it for you. Somebody has to make things better and improve your offering.

Many firms run quality control surveys and engage in client dialogue around their performance but they normally ask the wrong questions and in the wrong way. Look at the title of this strategy again and rethink what you do.

Get this strategy right and I promise everything will change for you.

3 Be a Sales Hunter and not a Marketing Trapper

This is my favourite, but then that’s probably because I’m a salesman. The point here is, in the B2B world you can identify exactly the person you need to establish a relationship with to get some business. So why bother marketing to them if you can sell to them instead? In those days we were very definitely hunters; I still am.

Our marketing budget for the company that achieved that growth was zero; not a penny. We spent our money on relationship based 121 sales activities. Much more productive.

4 Treat Your Clients 95% the way you would your Friends

We did this unconsciously because all the main players in my organisation liked people, so it was easy for them to socialise and make friends with their clients. But there’s much, much more to this strategy that a few beers after work.

Just think about every thought and action you devote to your friends and loved ones and then translate them into your business relationships and you won’t be too far adrift. Oh, and I know what you’re thinking; that’s why it’s only 95% the same!

5 Communicate like your Business depends upon it.

Back in the day we had face-to-face meetings and telephone calls and that was it. Now we have a plethora of communication channels at our disposal (although, ignore the two I just mentioned at your peril).

If you pay no attention to people or worse still, communicate with them only when you have time, it’s not possible to create, and maintain, the kind of relationship that weathers storms and sees off competitor’s lower prices. Interactions are the sunshine and water that grow strong and fruitful relationships.

6 Be a Pilot not a Passenger; stay in control

You wouldn’t run a business without management reports plus, meetings to discuss them and agree any required actions, would you? So why would you run your business development capability any differently.

It’s hard to increase your revenue today but, easy to do things now that will increase it in a years’ time. Being forewarned and taking action now is what business growth is all about.

It’s vital to make sure you have the right metrics in place (avoid proxy measurements) and a robust management framework to interpret and act upon the information you’re given.

7 Have the right sales power tools and know how to use them.

Imagine being a modern-day carpenter and not having power tools. Sure, you could make do with more traditional tools but jobs would take longer and would be no better quality (perhaps even worse) than having used the old Black & Deckers.

In the modern age we have a number of sales power tools available to help us achieve much more for much less. Remember though, owning them isn’t enough; you also have to learn how to use them properly to reap all the benefits that they can provide.

Where to from here then?

Having worked out what created our exponential revenue growth I wondered what next?

I’ve shared them with others and have had a lot of interest so I decided to build a talk around them. What started off as an informal breakfast meeting has turned into a half day structured seminar which explores the “what”; the “why” and “how” for each strategy.

We’ll be running one in London and another in Birmingham so if you fancy coming along just follow the link and book your space – it would be great to see you there.

Midlands on 17th of September – Sold out 

London on the 25th of September click here to find out more and register. 

Midlands on 7th October – click here to find out more and register

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Posted in Blog, Sales & Events, Sales Effectiveness, Sales Leadership

Book Review – Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers By Malcolm Gladwell

Title:  Outliers

Author:  Malcolm Gladwell

Who is it for:  People who genuinely seek success for themselves and for those with children who want to see them do well in life.

What’s the book about:  Why do some people achieve so much more than others?  Can they be so extraordinary?

In this provocative and inspiring book, Malcolm Gladwell looks at everyone from rock stars to professional athletes, software billionaires to scientific geniuses, to show that the story of success is far more surprising and far more fascinating than we could ever have imagined.

He reveals that it’s as much about where we’re from and what we do, as who we are – and that no-one, not even a genius, ever makes it alone.

Review:  Success is one thing that most of us crave; partly because of the material things it can give us and partly because it stokes our ego. We see others around us who are very successful (dubbed Outliers), some of whom were old school friends or work colleagues, and wonder “why them?”

Well Outliers goes a long way to answering that question which in turn can help change your future and the future of your children.

Essentially Malcolm Gladwell states that success is less about people’s innate talents and abilities and more about when they were born and how many hours they spent doing something as well as their family, culture, education and upbringing.

 Here are just some of Gladwell’s ingredients for success: -

  • When you were born: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison were all born with a few months of each other which means they were just the right age when the computer boom first began and were well placed to be part of it. You can’t help when you’re born but it can help you.
  • 10,000 hours: Gladwell states this is the magic number. Even if you have no talent for something if you do it for 10,000 hours he says you will become an expert. Gates had access to a computer from the age of 13 and got his 10,000 programming hours by the time he was 21. The Beatles managed to get their 10,000 hours by playing in Hamburg dive bars between 1960 and 1964. Put the effort in and the rewards will come.
  • Environment: IQ is less important than environment. He cites the difference between Chris Langham with an IQ of 195 who should have had an outstanding career but instead was in and out of prison all his life because of his poor family life. Compare that with Robert Oppenheimer, the inventor of the A-Bomb, who was no smarter but came from an upper class family and succeeded despite trying to poison his college tutor.
  • Education: this may seem obvious but the more time kids spend in school and an educationally rich environment the better they do. He mentions the KIPP project in the US that is having outstanding results simply by getting kids to be in school more.
  • Luck: sometimes you just need a break as one of Gladwell’s own ancestors got when as a slave in Jamaica she married the plantation owner which removed her from a desperate alternative life. He attributes his own success to this one single twist of fate far back in time.

I have read this book a couple of times now and find it both informative and inspiring. I thoroughly recommend it for people who genuinely seek success for themselves and for those with children who want to see them get on in life.

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Posted in Blog, Book reviews

LinkedIn Tip: make your headline work for you

My LinkedIn Headline

My LinkedIn Headline

You have 120 characters in your LinkedIn Headline so why not use them?

Many people just use their job title but I suggest you include a little more: -

  • Job Title
  • Who you work with
  • The outcome of using you

As you can see from mine when your name appears in a LinkedIn or Google search it’s your headline that stands out most and many people will decide whether to look at your profile (or not) based upon what it says.

To change it just click on Edit Profile (displayed when you move your cursor over Profile on the LinkedIn menu bar) and then click on the pen next to your headline as shown below.

How to change your Headline

How to change your Headline

For the sake of a few minutes why not present yourself to the world in a more positive and informed way. You know it makes sense!

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Posted in Blog, Differentiation In the Sales Process, LinkedIn, Personal Brand

7 Handy tips for making your meetings more effective

There’s more unproductive time spent in meetings than any other form of business activity. A recent survey by Management Today suggests that at least a quarter of the time you spend in meetings is a waste.

Here’s a few ideas to make your meeting’s more effective.


Not the best time to start a meeting.

Not the best time to start a meeting.

1. Start them at quarter past the hour.

Ever heard somebody say “I’ve got back-to-back meetings all day”. Very commendable but when will they prepare for the next meeting or make sense of the last one or actually get any work done?

Start meetings at quarter past the hour but still finish on the hour. You’ll get exactly the same amount achieved in the meeting but you’ll have an extra 15 minutes to do the things that matter.

If you’re feeling particularly brave you can even start at 25 minutes past the hour!

2. Never assign an action to “all”.

Dead simple tip this, but a very effective one.

When writing up the minutes to a meeting NEVER put “all” next to any of the actions.

The vast majority of people will read “all” and translate it  in their heads into “somebody else”.

If lots of people have to do an action make one person in the meeting responsible for making sure they all do it and put their name next to the action.


Your time is up: ding ding ding!

Your time is up: ding ding ding!

3. Start with some good news.

If you have regular monthly meetings try starting them with each attendee saying one positive thing that has happened since the last meeting. Best if it relates to work but if they can’t think of anything then it’s OK to recount a personal “win”.

I’m not one of your happy-clappy types but this really does lift the energy in the room and get the meeting off to a great start.

Warning: some people will bang on a bit here so it has to be timed. I suggest 30 seconds each with a bell to signify times-up.

4. Separate actions from minutes.

Most repeat-meetings start with a look at the minutes from the last meeting. This is a bad idea because minutes tend to record actions, notes and agreed decisions. There is a tendency for people to re-discuss notes and decisions, given the chance, which is largely a waste of time.

Instead separate out the actions into an action log (what, who and when for) and only discuss the actions due by the date of the meeting.

5. Record the minutes electronically

This can slow down a meeting a little bit, unless you invite an assistant to take down the minutes, but typing them into a Word document or Excel spreadsheet during the meeting has one massive benefit.

You can have the minutes in the inbox of the attendees within the hour. Research tells us that the sooner people receive confirmation of actions they’ve agreed to do, the more likely they are to do them.

6. Always distribute all meeting papers 3 days in advance.

A meeting has been arranged to discuss an important proposal. The night before the meeting the proposal appears in the inboxes of the attendees or worse still is handed out at the beginning of the meeting.

So people have to either read, digest and evaluate the contents of the document almost instantly or a decision is made without people really understanding what’s at stake. Professional? I think not.

All meeting papers including the agenda, previous actions and discussion papers should be in the inbox of each attendee 3 working days before the meeting.

7. Try and do without a meeting in the first place.

A meeting eh? Or you could just do your job and figure it out yourself!

A meeting eh? Or you could just do your job and figure it out yourself!


Thought I’d save the best one until last.

Many people call a meeting because they just can’t be arsed to figure out the problem or don’t want to take responsibility for a decision. This is unacceptable; so the next time somebody suggests a meeting on something you feel they should be able to tackle themselves try something like this: -

“Can we have a meeting to discuss how we’re going to handle that so-and-so issue?”

“OK but what’s your suggestion on how we should deal with it?”

“I think we should do this that and the other” – “great – sounds like a plan. Off you go then” or

“I’m not sure” – “well have a think about it and get back to me with your suggestions”

Always challenge a meeting you don’t think is relevant because if you don’t, its a dead cert, nobody else will!

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Posted in Efficiency & Effectiveness

10 things you really need to know about the new flexible working law


Blair Adams

Blair Adams

This is a guest post written by Blair Adams of DMH Stallard and specifically aimed at my SME readers although anybody who employs staff should give it a read. To read more pieces written for SMEs by Blair click here.

Here are 10 tips for dealing with flexible working requests.

  1. Remember that employees have the right to request a different working pattern, not a right to have it.  It’s probably best to remind employees of that at the beginning of the process.
  2. There are eight statutory reasons for refusing a request and they are broad enough to encompass most situations.
  3. Employers now have three months in which to respond to a request and can use that time to assess what the impact of flexible working might be.
  4. Receiving a flexible working request can present an opportunity for negotiation with an employee.  For example, you might give a preliminary indication that their original request is unlikely to be granted, but that a different request might be accepted.
  5. The immediate penalty for not dealing reasonably with a flexible working request is relatively small: an employee can claim up to eight weeks pay at a tribunal.  But worse lies in store: constructive dismissal and (indirect) discrimination claims are commonly linked to the poor handling or unreasonable refusal of flexible working requests.
  6. Having a blanket refusal policy is likely to be indirectly discriminatory against women because it is probably still the case that women in the workforce generally bear a greater share of childcare responsibilities and need flexible working arrangements to help them deal with childcare.
  7. If you receive multiple requests, picking names out of a hat isn’t a good idea.  Although ACAS suggest that it might be an appropriate tie-breaker if you receive two very similar requests. I suggest that it’s always better to try to find some real differentiating factor between them.
  8. “First come, first served” doesn’t apply.  If A and B work in the same team and you agree to A’s flexible working request, you cannot reject B’s request simply because A got in first.  You need to be able to justify the rejection by reference to the eight statutory reasons.
  9. If A is a single male who wanted the flexibility so that he could fit work around training for Ironman triathlons and B is a working mother, there is the potential for B to bring an indirect sex discrimination claim even if you reject her request for a statutory reason.  It would be something of a test case, but few employers want to have a test case.  Better to try to work out a compromise solution involving both of them.
  10. Try to manage future expectations.  New working patterns agreed as a result of a flexible working request have contractual force and employees whose requests are accepted tend to perceive that the arrangement is absolute and permanent.  Manage their expectations by making it clear in your policy, and when you agree to a request, that you might have to review things in the future if other employees in the business make flexible working requests or if the circumstances in the business change.

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Posted in Guest Posts

2 Approaches To Lifting Client Satisfaction Levels



This formula shows how people calculate their satisfaction with what you’ve done for them.

Satisfaction = Reality – Expectation

Obvious, I know, but all too often forgotten. So here are two ways to lift your clients satisfaction levels .

  1. Make whatever you deliver for them much better.
  2. Promise them less.

Option 1 is by far the best but if you’re a bit short of time I’d probably go for option 2. Hope this helps.

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Posted in Blog, Sales Customer Service, Sales Relationships

Make Your Whole Organisation Part Of Your Sales Team

That Way You Fools!

That Way You Fools!

Just supposing you wanted to get everybody in your organisation behind the growth of your business.

You know the sort of thing: everybody promoting the same message; looking for suitable new clients and engaging anybody who has shown even a modicum of interest in what you do.

Well you could hire a consultant to help you or maybe even attend a course or two but supposing you didn’t have the time or the money to do this. Well there’s a very cheap (free) and simple alternative that’ll do you proud and all you need to do is answer 5 questionsHere they are: -

  1. Who do you want as clients?
  2. What challenges do they have that you can overcome? Read more ›

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Posted in Blog, Differentiation In the Sales Process, Sales Coaching For Your Team, Sales Effectiveness

Stand Out From Your Co-workers – buy a red cap (and use it)

Do we need a national red cap day?

Do we need a national red cap day?

A while back I was sitting on a flight from London to Singapore when I struck up a conversation with the chap sitting next to me.

He was a freelance accountant working for an Indonesian company but based in England. After the usual small talk the conversation drifted around to business travel (in his job he had to do rather a lot of it).

He said that years ago any travel whether by car, rail or plane was his thinking time or, if he was with a colleague, the time they talked strategy not tactics. He went on to say that with mobile devices and 4G his only refuge now was long-haul flights.

We both agreed that the accepted belief that “you must be available 24/”‘ held by most businesses these days just results in everybody living in a tactical world with little time left over for innovative or creative thinking.

He then told me of an accounts department he’d worked for once who were big on open-plan and so low on the opportunity for strategic thought. The deal was if you didn’t want to be interrupted you wore a red baseball cap. Nobody, not even the MD apparently, would talk to somebody who was sporting their chapeau rouge.

They recognised that everybody, especially leaders, needs some uninterrupted time when they can focus their thoughts.

Think about that for a moment. A busy office environment; a real need to focus and concentrate and a sign that says “leave me alone”. How cool would that be! So perhaps we all need a physical version of a red hat (or maybe even just a red hat) to enable us to fence off some personal thinking time that everybody respects, even the boss.

Or perhaps we could all just take more long-haul flights.


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Posted in Blog

Half A Million Deal On The Strength Of Personality

By Christmas 1997 I was the MD of a multi-million pound IT services business and bored to tears. My partner and I had our usual festive lunch and based upon this fact and our firm belief that “if you lose passion for your business sooner or later you’ll lose your business” we decided the time had come to sell up.

The last remnant of the once mighty Software Knowledge - a coaster

The last remnant of the once mighty Software Knowledge – a coaster

We had connections with two of the big four consultancies: one through a “fastest growing private company” thing we used to feature in and one through a mutual friend and so we approached both.

After the initial meeting they both asked for very similar information with which to do their research and produce their pitch. So far so good and all very exciting. Then the day came for them to present to us – we arranged for both presentations to be on the same day.

The first team did a great job of presenting their approach and what they felt they could get for us and if I’d needed to make a decision there and then I would have gone with them. What you’d expect from one of the “Big 4″ I guess.

After lunch we sat in the second presentation which was remarkably similar to the first. In fact if you hadn’t known it was impossible you could’ve been forgiven for assuming that both teams had written their presentations together in the same room they were so identical. But we had to make a decision.

In the end we went with Mark Asplin and his team at KPMG, for 3 reasons: -

  1. He seemed to really understand us as people: our fears, what we wanted and the enormity of what we were about to do.
  2. He insisted I call up at least one person he had recently sold a business for and take a personal reference. That impressed me a lot!
  3. We just got on with him more than the other guy.

The reason I’ve written this blog is simple. In today’s corporate world of tenders, supplier lists and purchasing departments its sometimes easy to forget that given the choice people will always buy from those that they like, trust and feel valued by

Mark’s fee was £500k; he earned every penny and he won the deal because he demonstrated his abilities (Big 4 – never in question really), his understanding of us as people and we liked him and his team.

Never underestimate the power of personality.

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Posted in Blog, Differentiation In the Sales Process, Sales New Business, Sales Relationships

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Making LinkedIn Work For You

If you are looking to generate conversations, create awareness of your business and brand then you should focus your attention on LinkedIn.

We have a range of resources for you to work through which will guide you through setting up a credible profile, making connections, to promoting your services, as well as some top tips on what not to do.

Duration (In Minutes)
How To Create Your LinkedIn Profile24:33Open
How To Manage Your LinkedIn Settings10:04Open
How To Get To Grips With The LinkedIn Basics9:13Open
How To Use LinkedIn Groups6:31Open
How To Utilise The Search Function On LinkedIn3:14Open
12 Things NOT To Do On LinkedIn2:15Open

How To Write Your Twitter Bio
LinkedIn Testimonials
Mike is one of the best business coaches I have met. I thoroughly recommend him and his blog, the Bracer 500. The current (12 Nov 2010) edition has some great advice on the use of LinkedIn. See http://uk.linkedin.com/in/mspames.
I first met Mike 18 years ago when we were direct competitors; immediately we established mutual trust and rapport, which is rare in the often cut-throat world of recruitment. We collaborated on a number of ventures, where the process was as rewarding as the results. I have great respect for Mike; he is honest, ethical, utterly grounded and great fun to work with. I also admire his thirst for knowledge and his passion for continuous self development. I always read his Flair Bracer coaching blog with great interest for insights, book recommendations and most of all to find out how much weight he has lost.
Mike is a sales and marketing guru and I have been lucky enough to work with him and see him in action. There is no substitute for knowing your subject and Mike is Mr Sales Effectiveness. I also participated in a Flair programme run by Mike and was stunned by the positive impact it had on my personal effectiveness and time management. I hold Mike in high regard and have learned a huge amount by working with him.
Mike is a truly remarkable character. He is a self confessed entrepreneur with drive, energy, creativity, wisdom and passion for life by the bucket-load. Mike has a depth of understanding and knowledge of business that makes him a real asset to have around, whether you need help with recruitment or indeed with a more general topic. Mike is truly unique and I'd say he has not only been a great supplier, but I'd also like to consider him a trusted advisor and friend.
It is an interesting fact that Mike does most of his work by recommendation, which is how we was commissioned by Jumar this year. Mike has a vast amount of experience and knowledge around his specialist areas and offers practical advice in a way that is engaging and highly useful. It is true to say that some workshops that I have attended in the past have been packed with content and can leave you overwhelmed. Mike's workshops leave you thinking and applying new concepts and techniques right the way through until you spend time with him again. I would have no hesitation in recommending Mike to any professional organisation if they are serious about implementing change in order to achieve stustainable and realistic growth.
I have had the privilege of attending Mike's Flair programme. I got something out of each module that has helped me change the way I work and think. Most importantly, it has helped give me clarity in the direction I want to develop and how I can achieve it. I would not hesitate to recommend Mike.
Mike has definitely had a huge influence on me both at work and in my personal life. I have just been part of a group on the 6 month Flair programme. The 4 days were spaced out with assignments in between. This gave us the opportunity to put into practice the skills and techniques we had learnt rather than being bombarded with information. Mike is attentive, inspiring and encouraging. He is a mentor as well as a coach. My team have noticed a huge difference in me in subtle ways and I am hoping to hire Mike back to run a similar course for my team. I would not hesitate to recommend Mike.
I have been a big fan of Mike's for some time. Having attended a number of Mike's seminars and courses I feel he has assisted me significantly in improving my business development skills. I have been very pleased to invite Mike to talk to various organisations I am involved with including Birmingham Future, Coventry & Warwickshire First and the National Association of Women in Construction. It is clear that others have also felt that they have benefitted from Mike's expertise as I have consistently received very positive feedback from those who attended the events. Mike's fantastic practical approach to business development cuts through all the jargon and equips you with techniques that are easy to employ, time effective and really do work. I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Mike as a Business Development Coach to any of my contacts.
I have no hesitation in recommending Mike as a canny and inspirational business coach. In the late 1990's I helped Mike to sell his business which he had built up from nothing over a comparatively short period of time. His tenacity and success in building the business and the team, in particular sourcing customers, clients and a sound revenue stream from modest beginnings is a matter of record. Anyone in business who needs to do the same should listen to Mike - it is the experience of a successful entrepreneur talking. All this in a very down to earth, honest and likeable chap. Give Mike a hearing - you won't regret it!
I attended the Flair behavioural change programme over a six month period in 2009. The programme was designed to encourage behavioural change and entrepreneurial ethos. Mike Ames is a great motivator and both the one day sessions with him and the various assignments set over the course of the programme were thought provoking and challenging. I came away from the programme with a new and highly effective approach to time management and business development. Mike's advice and guidance was particularly useful to me personally in transforming my use of IT systems so that they have become a valuable time management and business development tool, rather than a drain on my time. This has made a significant difference to my own productivity and has directly resulted in new client work and links with work referrers.
Wow what an inspirational person Mike Ames really is. I really was at "rock bottom" in my career and personal life when we first met. He has completely turned me upside down, sideways, rattled me and then propelled me upwards. All the Flair principles are truly embedded in me. He really makes you think and question everything you do and I find myself just getting on and doing things now. I really don't recognise myself anymore and I am no longer MRS AVERAGE. Thanks Mike - thank you so very very much. Jean
Mike is an inspirational trainer with good insights on the sales and marketing aspects of professional life. He sees things from both sides of the fence, gets his points across and does so with humour and focus. It was a great pleasure as well as a benefit to be trained by him.
Mike is a great guy who is very easy to work with and provides the right level of encouragement depending on the individual. He packages together old and new techniques into a creative "blend" that keeps your interest and stretches you without knowing it! I really enjoyed working with Mike and would recommend you give him a try.
Mike is a focused indvidual who directs his energies into ensuring that every individual he coaches benefits to the maximium from the Flair course
Mike is brilliant at helping you find solutions to problems/challenges you encounter and if he does not he usually knows a man or woman who can!
Mike's approach to business coaching was very refreshing, I attended Mike's Flair coaching course during 2007, which lead to a number of changes in both my personal and business life. I took alot from the coaching and have put into practice most of his ideas. "Thanks for the inspiration !"
It is a real pleasure and honour to write a recommendation for Mike. I have known him for many years – he is clever, innovative and very charming! But what I really admire about Mike is his humility, his integrity, his thirst for learning, and his passion for personal development (both his and others) – how often can you say these things about a highly successful owner of a recruitment business?!
I have had the absolute pleasure of working with Mike over a period of 8 years. My relationship has extended through several companies and has involved scores of recruitments into many and varied roles. No matter how demanding and short notice our request, the team got straight on to it and Mike never failed to deliver. There were always connections to someone that was a close to fit any role we requested. Mike's integrity and commitment to getting the results for the client is second to none. He has also built a team around him instilled with the same values. I would highly recommend Mike as a source for finding work or finding people for work at any level in an organisation.
Mike Ames does what he says on his tin. Very direct . Very personable. Takes no prisoners. I recommend when you engage him you buy into his advice . It delivers.
I had the pleasure and benefit of working alongside Mike on his inspiring Flair programme and can confidently state the course was thought provoking, inspirational and relevant to the ever changing business world. As a Learning & Development consultant, I would strongly recommend any individual seeking improvement to their business & personal skill sets to attend - it developed me hugely and I still refer back to my notes and goals from the course (3 years ago.)
I attended Mike's Flair coaching course during 2007, after which I started to make many small changes in my personal and business life. There was a lot covered during the Flair course and having put into practice some of his ideas has made large improvements especially regarding self confidence and my outlook on life. "A very worthwhile and inspiring course - Thanks Mike!"
The modern world of legal services is all about developing and retaining business. Mike has helped me focus my BD activities to generate a pipeline of target clients and has shown me how to convert them into business. Highly recommended.
Mike enables Flair candidates to step outside their comfort zones, critically examine their life goals, then offers them a toolbox to holistically balance their approach to all their business and personal activities. His enthusiasm is constant; the outcomes can be a revelation - try it!
Mike took everyone on the course to a new level as business developers, with ideas and techniques to make us more professional, effective and focused on winning more business.
I would recommend Mike on the following basis: 1. Total Client Focus 2. Respect for the Individual 3 Integrity
As a coach, Mike is inspirational. I come away from conversations with him armed with new ideas and a boost of energy with which to implement them. I value the wisdom of Mike's insights and counsel, which are invariably rich in new forward thinking and lateral but practical solutions - things that work. Important to me also is that Mike's views and the coaching he delivers are balanced - looking at business yes but recognsing that a career is or should be part of a life that has other aspects - home, interests learning etc. I am also very grateful for Mike's willingness to say what he thinks and his obvious complete integrity. Simply Mike is excellent at all he does and a pleasure to work with.
Mike has armed me with the confidence and skills to win new business...and that has come my way as a result. Many thanks, Mike. All the best John
Mike has the ultimate credibility in having successfully been involved in BD for many years. However, the key thing for me is that he has simplified what he does into easy to understand chunks and he can communicate these in simple but effective ways. In other words, we understand him and can apply what he tells us. I cannot recommend him highly enough if you need to change things to get better results.
Mike was the most inspiring and motivational manager I ever had the pleasure of working with. He instilled a culture that I have not even been able to replicate in my own business. For those that have worked with him he has given back as much time in coaching, mentoring and training as they have given to him. All of the skills he has gained over the span of his career convey themselves through his business coaching company - Flair. I have used Mike to coach a number of the business development executives within my company and he can be credited with giving every one of them the inspiration and change needed to be even more successful. If you need to engender change, motivate and increase your sales capacity in your organisation with common sense and a fair bit of humour you should be engaging with Mike. Thank you Mike for still being my mentor after twenty years - continued [...]
I have attended many personal development courses over the years and consider the Flair programme to be the best. Mike's approach maintains a high level of interest, is action oriented and delivers excellent results. Anyone looking to improve their sales skills, networking abilities and time management in a practical, proven manner would benefit immensely from Mike's course.
Mike's Flair programme has provided real focus and structure to my business development activities as well as teaching me techniques which enable me to be more effective on a daily basis.
I commissioned Mike for a day's training in Business Development skills for the partners in the Corporate Division of our legtal practice. It was an excellent day. In 25+ years of practice it was the most stimulating day's training I have ever had.
I attended Mike’s Business Development Workshop yesterday, and was impressed with the level of enthusiasm, knowledge and useful techniques provided during the day. The Workshop has provided me with a platform, structure and a very real focus to Business Development to take forward into the future. Thanks Mike.
I participated in Mike's Flair course which has helped me develop some really useful skills for developing the business I work in. Unlike other courses, I am actually using the techniques Mike teaches.
Mike is certainly a one-off. He tackles issues from the other side. While most of us are busy with the more obvious, Mike is helping you to develop a fuller understanding that will benefit you for the future. He makes you realise that most constraints, whether in your career or your personal life are self imposed. By freeing yourself of these you can develop to your full potential. He observes behaviours and traits that make people successful, enabling you to build your own virtual bookcase, helping you to gather and file experience and knowledge. He then combines this with his training in specific skills and techniques to create a programme designed to benefit you as an individual, which then in turn makes you more effective in your work life. This cleverly addresses the question that most of us ask when faced with yet another ‘training course’ – what’s in it for me? There you are [...]
Mike is someone who can help you get more out of life - and what you achieve depends totally on what you are prepared to put in yourself. There is no "rocket science" - Mike takes you through a holistic, enduring approach which is straightforward, fun and rewarding. Mike himself is highly personable and great to work with.
Mike delivered a really practical half-day workshop to my group of entrepreneurs within the Academy for Chief Executives. Based upon his creative “Latch-Key” concept, we learned how to generate very practical tools to boost and support our business’ sales success. The members really enjoyed the session and went away with loads of ideas to implement in their businesses. I have taken a major action-plan away myself! This is my second group to participate in Michael's session and Michael has made sure that it is getting better and better. I will do this session with my other groups, and I am keen to try Michael's other session on using Social Media to SELL (rather than for marketing, leads-generation or networking). Recommended
Mike has had a huge impact on my performance and the value I add in my role. This is evidenced by the huge amount of positve feedback I have received since Mike started coaching me. If you want to change and Mike can coach you, do it!
Mike has been a fanatastic mentor for me, and would be to anyone looking at progressing their Business Development activities. Having been a salesman and coach for the last 7 years, I could never have imagined how much more I could learn to develop my skills. I highly recommend, guaranteed to deliver results for you and your business!
Mike Ames will make you think differently about sales, marketing and business development. With an easy to understand approach, Mike shrewdly does away with excuses and focuses on achievement.
Mike made a real impact on our organisation. He gave clarity of thought and presentation to the sales process and made us think in ways we had never thought before. He did this in a way that made sense and was supportive. I would thoroughly recommend Mike
I have worked with Mike and his various companies since 1993. Mike has always instilled an ethos of integrity, hard work and just as importantly fun into all of the people he has had working for him and has maintained those values in his own personal business interactions. He has always been prepared to go the extra distance and provide the benefit of his advise and most importantly practical experience in helping to deal with issues / problems when I ask for his advice
Mike worked with a group of us over a period of nine months as a business coach. He was very well prepared, knew our firm at the outset, and got to know us individually very quickly. His vision of what he wanted us to achieve and how was well defined - both in concept terms and in the way he explained it and delivered his part of the overall exercise. Mike has a very practical, down to earth approach to the business of business coupled with a ravenously enquiring mind and an ability to set theory with practical considerations and an ability to deliver the message, and embed it. Mike will expect you to do your share of the work too - but after all you would not (or should not) be getting this sort of coaching if you don't already feel the need for it. The effort is well worthwhile and I would commend Mike's services - and outlook. If you want to work on your business and [...]
I attended the Flair behavioural change programme during 2008. The programme is designed by Mike to encourage behavioural change and entrepreneurial ethos. The course itself is very motivating and encourages great positivity and a feeling of personal well-being. Some of the course material, some found challenging on a personal level, and at times quite thought provoking. Mikes personal attention to these students was in itself very inspiring. Students will gain from this course a new and highly effectual approach to time management and business development. They will feel empowered, discovering that their own productivity will increase with little effort and thought. The constant throughout the programme is Mike Ames. This mild mannered, Midlands answer to Paul Mckenna, is one of those coaches one comes across in a lifetime who really does change your view on life for the [...]
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