Success Story

The Financial Wizard

One of our early clients was Jeff (not his real name), the part owner of a financial services company co-founded with his brother. Jeff invested a large sum of money in developing bespoke software and a business model to manage the financial affairs of high-net-worth individuals, people with a complex mix of business and personal finances.

After a few years of development, the software finally worked, but Jeff couldn’t attract and convert enough new clients. There was a serious risk the investment would be a complete financial loss. And Jeff’s inability to find new clients was causing strain in his relationship with his brother. His brother was CEO and had always been considered the ‘salesperson’ of the team. But the new service and software was Jeff’s baby. Jeff had to sell it but selling was way out of his comfort zone as one trained as an accountant.

Jeff came to us in 2014 and asked us to review his business development approach. We assessed his methodology and I gave him a sales conversation screening test. To say Jeff’s approach was lacking is a huge understatement. He was 100 percent analytical, relying on long-winded technical emails to approach new clients. On the rare occasion he secured a meeting he spent 95 percent of the time talking. The concepts of building rapport and consulting with questions seemed to be unknown to Jeff.

My first inclination was to propose he hire a salesperson. I didn’t think Jeff could succeed at sales. He was open to that idea but insisted we first train him to sell. He was determined to prove to himself he could do it.

The development plan created for Jeff included individual coaching on telephone calling and consultative meetings. We taught questioning, listening and story skills. Jeff is the best student I’ve had in twenty years of helping salespeople. He followed the plan to the letter. He devoured everything we gave him, practised relentlessly and slowly started to win business. He was motivated. As he gained customers we helped him obtain testimonials and success stories, and his clients became raving fans.

Then, calamity. There was an acrimonious falling out with his brother. For several months they fought, eventually agreeing to go their separate ways. Jeff would take over the business, the staff and the new software code and manage on his own.

But Jeff was a changed man. Gone was the lack of confidence and fear of failure. Now he knows how to sell and how to deliver value to his clients. He’s doing well on his own, master of his own destiny.

From Seven Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell

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For Story Students: (Success Story Framework)

The Setting: 1988, 2015 Australia

The Client: Jeff a co-owner of a financial services company

The Problem: Cannot sell new software service

Meets a guide: Meets Mike's company

Provides a Plan: Had a sales evaluation and put on an extended sales training program

Avoids Failure: Breakup with CEO brother

Achieves Success: Business going great now

The Point of the Story: You can achieve success with our services

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Martin Place Lindt Cafe Siege - Access to Data

On 15th December 2014 a lone gunman held hostage ten customers and eight employees of a the Lindt cafe in Sydney's Martin Place.

The police urgently needed to understand the building layout in order to resolve an extremely dangerous hostage situation. The Police saw the First5Minutes evacuation sign in the building side entrance and called the property owner to get the building plans - but the property owner didn't know how to access the plans

The police noticed that the evacuation signs were created by First5Minutes. They called First5Minutes and were able to get copies of the building floor plans(with the building owner's consent) in a matter of minutes from First5minute's online system. The property owners were not able to supply floor plans in this time frame. Provision of floor plans was vital to the police handling of the siege.

When the hostage-taker opened fire on the hostages, the police used their knowledge of the building layout to storm the cafe and release the remaining hostages.

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Company: First5Minutes

Source: As researched by Mike Adams

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Sydney_hostage_crisis

Story Type: Success

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For Story Students

The Setting: On 15th December 2014 a lone gunman held hostage ten customers and eight employees of a the Lindt cafe in Sydney's Martin Place

The Complications: The police urgently needed to understand the building layout in order to resolve an extremely dangerous hostage situation. The Police saw the F5M evacuation sign in the building side entrance and called the property owner to get the building plans - but the property owner didn't know how to access the plans

Meeting the guide:   The Police called First5Minutes

The Plan: Provide instant access to the data they needed to solve a critical public safety issue

Avoid Failure: Police tried to wait out the hostage-taker but he started shooting

Achieve (partial) Success: The police used the First5minutes plans to storm the cafe and free the remaining hostages.

The Point of the Story: The Police had instant access to the data they needed to solve a critical public safety issue

How to use this story: When talking about the importance of proper document management and access to important documents.

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