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Make the economic downturn work for you


The economic crisis has not been kind to South African business. Many companies are reviewing budgets and often training is the first item to fall by the wayside. But is that really the best way to cut costs when business is down? There is huge opportunity to increase your bottom line by investing in training and skills development.

The Peer Group, a Johannesburg-based training company that specialises in sales and frontline training, shares this view. The Peer Group is not a newcomer to the training industry. It has been in business for the past 21 years, but the country’s struggling economy has also brought about change in the training industry.

The Peer Group believes that if companies want to retain clients and attract new business, they need professional frontline staff and skilled sales representatives who are achieving targets. Their courses are designed specifically with this aim in mind. They recognise that companies want results and value for money. Companies can choose from two types of courses in sales or frontline training, open courses and customised in-house courses and you will certainly see a return on investment quickly with delegates walking away with skills they can use the very next day.

Companies such as Standard Bank, ABSA, First National Bank, Nestlé Liberty Life, Capital Equipment Group, Nedbank, Alexander Forbes and Royal Canin have all made use of The Peer Group’s training.

The Peer Group is perfectly positioned to help businesses weather the proverbial storm. Sales and business is not only about selling, but also about synergy in the entire business. Frontline employees such as receptionists are often the first contact a client has with a company and can either attract or chase away business. All the work of sales representatives is lost without the support of frontline staff. The Peer Group moulds their courses to achieve synergy in a business.

First Impressions Count

Creating a positive first impression of your organisation is an important part in how you sell and how much profit you make. What many forget is that each and every member of staff has a role in promoting a company’s brand image and securing the sale. The Peer Group offers two courses that provide your staff with these tools: Professional Frontline Skills and Professional Sales Skills. The Peer Group believes receptionists are the brand representatives of a company and they should be superbly trained, kept informed, motivated and incentivised to provide great customer service. Any business that is serious about its bottom line will have top-notch customer care and well-trained frontline staff. Your company may sell a great product or service, but does your business excel at making a good first impression?

Successful Selling Habits Count

80% of successful sales calls depend on astute questioning skills. It is amazing how easily and quickly salespeople slip into the Tell Mode – telling prospects all about their marvellous products – the Tell Tell Tell Syndrome – in the hope of getting a deal. Most of the time this achieves the direct opposite.

Prospects want you to listen to their story not be forced to listen to your story. This is where The Peer Group steps in and reveals how crucial it is to throw away your sales pitch and focus on sharpening your questioning skills.

Top Class Trainers Count

The facilitators give The Peer Group a competitive edge as they are versatile and have in-depth knowledge and corporate experience in customer care and sales. “There are about 1,000 training companies in the market, but The Peer Group is confident enough to say their trainers are of an incredible international calibre. They are not just course facilitators, but have worked in the field in these areas and match international standards in all they do. The Peer Group uses more than a “text book only” approach, with trainers using real business examples, instead of hypothetical or theoretical case studies.

Sustainability Counts

The Peer Group’s largest differentiator is how the training is sustained. They implement a system called PMS (Peer Mentoring System) in companies, which allows ongoing learning to take place around specific topics every month for 2 hours. This system drives the ongoing sustainability of the initial training. The Critical Actions that emanate from these short meetings are just that – Urgent and Important calls to action. This results in the bottom line growing and isn’t that what’s it all about?

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