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Sales mentoring helps business land major new clients

LR Nicola Hinds Andrew Hinds and Deborah Hinds

A Lancashire fire safety specialist has created two new jobs and won major new contracts after receiving sales mentoring through Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub.

Leyland-based KDN Fire Protection, supplies, installs and maintains fire and security products and has enjoyed a number of successes since its launch in 2012.

KDN has been supported through Boost’s Growth Mentoring programme to help it reach its growth potential.

The company, founded by Deborah Hinds, received one-to-one mentoring support, after it was identified the team needed assistance with sale processes, closing a sale and branding.

Growth Mentoring is a fully funded programme delivered by Community and Business Partners and Orvia. The overall aim is to accelerate the growth of SMEs to stimulate new investment and job creation by identifying and removing the barriers to their growth.

KDN was introduced to the programme by Orvia, who matched with mentor Stephen Leishman to support Deborah in developing a sales strategy. Through the mentoring Deborah developed further knowledge and understanding about all aspects of sales including asking the ‘right questions’, dealing with common objections, what ‘buying signals’ to look out for and crucially how to close a deal.

Since receiving the mentoring support this summer KDN has taken on two more full time members of staff to help deal with the increased workload after winning two new clients, increasing work from one client and being invited to pitch for further business from another client.

Deborah explained: “When I initially met with Stephen I didn’t really know what to expect. But he instantly put me at ease and set about trying to understand where I was at and what I needed for my company to grow.

“He identified that I had a really good grasp of how to sell to people but I regularly failed at the closing stages, so we set about working on solutions to that, he is so friendly and understanding, he gives examples that are real life and that was important to me. He’s not some office-based guy, he does this and has done for many years.

“I found his mentoring really refreshing and it excited me to get out there and try it on a few of my clients, one of which has just invited us to tender for a £180,000 contract over three years, all because of the tried and tested questions that Stephen got me to practice.”

Deborah added: “We have increased our workload with two new clients and one wishing us to take on double what we already do for them, I have employed two more people and we are looking forward to a great future.

“If anyone is in need of sales mentoring support I would whole heartedly point them in the direction of the Boost mentoring programme with Stephen Leishman, a true master at his art.”

Stephen added: “It’s not always easy as a business owner, but just by identifying that KDN needed sales techniques and sales strategy the company was able to create high growth quicker than Deborah anticipated.

“One small change has had a massive impact on her business, it’s not always the big things you do, sometimes it’s the little changes which can have a huge impact. Having someone to assess and guide you through the process of selling really can transform your company.”

Ann Holcroft, operations manager at Orvia, added: “Growth Mentoring is all about identifying what might be stopping a business from growing and then helping them to remove the obstacles and reach their potential. This is exactly what has happened here, with the right mentoring and advice from an expert in the sales arena Deborah has been able to overcome the barrier preventing her growth and she’s already reaping the rewards. It has been a pleasure to be able to support the business and we look forward to supporting Deborah moving forward for KDN’s next phase of growth.”

Boost Business Lancashire has received £3.8m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.  For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding  


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