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Group mentoring supports growing Lancashire businesses


Mentoring delivered through Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, gives business owners the opportunity to receive a fresh perspective on their thinking, what they’re doing right (or wrong) and how to get better. Mentoring can be delivered one-to-one or to a group and here we shine a light on a group mentoring session for business owners delivered by Hayley Caine with a specific focus on sales, under the banner ‘Selling Made Easier’. The sessions are tailored to the attendees’ issues and topics covered include planning, pricing and profit, lead generation, managing sales people, closing the deal, reporting and motivation.

“I can personally say that the impact of what I have learnt has changed the way I operate my businesses for the better and as a result I can now clearly see how to achieve better business growth.” Those are the words of Yvonne Statham of Changing Directions – a business which supports care organisations in being CQC inspection ready. Yvonne attended a session with six other business owners and said that while Hayley delivered the session to the entire group, she also has the skill to ensure each group member felt the learning was ‘personalised to their own needs’.

Meanwhile Anne-Marie Mann, of Listening Tree bereavement support, attended the session to learn more about the psychology of sales and identify the company’s strengths and how those could appeal to potential clients. She said: “The best part of the course was the enthusiasm and energy that Hayley brought to the sessions which really boosted our confidence and self-belief. She pushed us through exploring our strengths and difficulties and pricing and sales strategies which we have put into place and been of great use since. “I think that the biggest difference has been with our self-confidence especially with pricing contracts and selling ourselves.

We have just secured a contract with Lancashire County Council and when putting together the proposal we found ourselves going back to and using the work that we had completed with Hayley.” Progrex IT Solutions owner, Edward Xuereb, attended as he needed help to grow the business and learn sales and marketing skills. As a result, he has seen an increase in sales and has become more confident in his sales ability.

He explained: “I learnt some great sales techniques and ways of measuring the sales process and approaching it in a more tactical way. It was also great to hear about real life experiences and be able to ask practical questions.” Amanda Jackson of Preston-based Tigerfish PR had never had sales training before but decided to look for support after identifying that sales was a weakness – following the group session she was put in contact with somebody who has since joined her team in a part time role. She said: “I liked the fact that the session was in a small group and in a classroom situation.

It was not as intensive as a one to one and was comfortable in informal surroundings. “The group mentoring has made a few differences already. As well has finding and taking on a part time administrator, I have also gained some new tools learnt from Hayley which I will be able to apply in my business. I have also been able to pass on some new knowledge learnt to my own clients and mentees.” Meanwhile, Dean Williams of Blackburn-based health and safety consultants Unicorn Solutions said the session allowed him to look at new methods of pricing services and products and how to deliver a professional sales strategy.

Hayley concluded: “The secret to the success of this group mentoring approach is four key steps; first and foremost is to think like a sales person; then planning sales activity using a tried and tested system. This is supported with motivation and sales ideas. The final step is tracking and reporting sales results and being accountable. “Groups of six is the perfect number and allows each person to discuss in confidence their sales issues and challenges in an informal setting. They have time away from their business to focus and plan. They network and understand other’s businesses when they leave, and stay in touch and refer enquiries to each other.

“The sessions are for business owners who sell in their business and for key people who sell in the business or who have to manage sales staff. “By developing an effective sales plan, process, activity levels and reporting method they can manage sales people and get results from them. “The group mentoring classes have been so successful and attendees have valued the support that they have continued once the course has been completed to keep their sales results on track.”

About Hayley Caine Hayley is a business advisor and sales trainer with 30 years of Sales and Marketing experience. She developed the Selling Made Easier programme to ensure people hit their sales target in the quickest and simplest way possible.


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Levelling Up
Department for Trade and Business
Northern Powerhouse
Lancashire County Council