Richards Review

On my mind 157 - 2015 Are you ready?


On My Mind 157 - 2015 - Are you ready?

2015Your market is changing!  How do I know that?  I know that because every market in the world is changing. If you were successful last year you will be tempted to do the same things this year and expect the same results. You will be disappointed! 2015 will not be like 2014 and the following year will be different again. That's just the way it is, so get used to it. 

Twenty years ago when I started in this business, things were very different. No cellphones, no email, no internet, and only one in ten executives had a computer on their desk. Things are very different now but what strikes me is how difficult it was in those days to get people to realise that things are changing. When I asked any audience who has an email address only 5 in a hundred would put their hands up. The rest were sceptical. Today when I talk to audiences about digital marketing, creating business relationships with social media or using Youtube of Pintrest to promote your business I get the same scepticism.

We can't fight it and now is the time to accept that you and I have a huge range of new skills to acquire if you are going to get ahead in 2015.


On My Mind - 156 Context by Peter Carruthers


On My Mind 156 - Context by Peter Carruthers

I get Peter Carruthers communications on a regular basis and usually put them aside to read when I get the chance. Today, however, I read the article as it arrived on my desk and I thought it was so appropriate that I should send it to my avid readers and post it on my site, so here it is. In principle the article is simple enough but it does raise some interesting questions about us here in South Africa that will be worth exploring in future articles. Let me know what you think.


On My Mind - 155 - The Future of the Sales Rep part 3


On My Mind 155 - The Future of the Sales Rep - Part 3

The New Sales Representative part 2

This article is part of a series of articles published on my blog. I recommend you start with part 1 on

There are still two things that the Sales Manager has to focus on during those first few days of the new sales reps career: Customer Relationships and Company Systems.sales

Customer Relationships

In the past a new sales rep would have been given the list of existing customers in his or her area and told to “get out there and sell”. This approach has never been adequate and in todays market is doomed to failure. When a company is forced to change their representation in the marketplace due to sales person's replacement, the risk of loosing the customer to a competitor is high. If the relationship with the last representative was good, that relationship is now lost and we have to start all over again. If, on the other hand, the relationship was bad, The customer will use this opportunity to get competitor quotes. Either way there is a risk involved.


On My Mind - 154 - The Future of the Sales Rep part 2


·On My Mind 154 - The Future of the Sales Rep - Part 2

The New Sales Representative

07:30 The Corporate Car Park. The New sales representative is sitting in his car waiting patiently for the minute hand to reach the upright position.salesteam5

This is his first day on the job and while he decided to be early to miss the traffic he doesn't want to be sitting in an empty reception for 30 minutes saying good morning to a variety of strangers a with cup of strong coffee and an empty smile. Poring over the company website on his iPad he re-reads about of the senior people in the company trying to memorise their names and achievements, cross-referencing them with their LinkedIn accounts and seeing if they and he have any mutual friends.

07:45 The Corporate Car Park. The new sales representative looks back at the final interview he had with the Sales Manager. Two hours over a light lunch talking about his experiences, his family and achievements. The new sales rep is experienced in sales and in the new products he will be asked to sell but he is still nervous. The Sales Manager tells him that he will not be called a Sales Representative, rather he will have the title of Customer Consultant to let the customers know that he is on their side, looking after their interests.


On My Mind - 153 - The future of the Sales Rep


·On My Mind 153 - The Future of the Sales Representative

I am sitting in a Restaurant in Reibeek West having a toasted sandwich and a fruit juice as I type this article. The reason I share that with you will become obvious a little later but it is not unusual for me to be doing something similar.Sale

I am never late! In my trade as a speaker I cannot afford to be late. Having an audience waiting while I rush in to a hall and try to set up while there is an undercurrent of disapproval is not the best way to start a presentation and is likely to result in very poor evaluation forms at the end. The only way I know to be on time every time is to arrive ridiculously early and then wait for my turn to speak. I usually like to listen to the other speakers so that I can refer to their presentation in a humorous way when my turn comes along but on this occasion it wasn't possible so here I am in a local restaurant with my toasted sandwich.


On My Mind - 152 - Masterminding


·On My Mind 152 - Masterminding

In his book “Think and Grow Rich” Napoleon Hill wrote about the importance of getting together in a group of like minded people on a regular basis to share ideas and to encourage personal growth. The idea of putting together a Mastermind Group is not unique to Napoleon Hill and many successful people in the world will tell stories of the group that supported them towards their success.Mastermind

I have been involved in two mastermind groups over the last ten years, one local to my home when I was living in Durban and one international which met regularly on Skype. I have found both groups to be hugely valuable to my business and my personal growth and I heartily recommend you should find yourself a similar group or set up a new one if no such group exists in your area. I have recently moved to Cape Town and I am in the process of setting up a new Mastermind Group here so I thought it may be a good idea to outline the process to get my mind in gear and to give you an idea how Mastermind Groups can be set up.


On My Mind 151 - The Time Trap


·On My Mind 151 - The Time Trap

timetrapI heard it again last night. You will have heard the same thing a few times already this year. You may have even said it yourself. 

"I can't believe it is May already. This year is going so much quicker than last"

No It Isn't! This year is going at precisely the same speed as last year, to the second, and those people who are complaining about the speed of the year are the same people who complained last year and the year before.

The person I had this conversation with yesterday also said that she knew "all that" but "I am so busy the year is just flying by".

Sad to say many of us feel the same way. We are so busy being busy that we forget to enjoy the experience of just being.


On My Mind 150 - Speaking for a Living



·On My Mind 150 - Speaking for a Living

Can you Speak? 

Influence bookI know, most of us speak very well. You speak with your friends at a party or with your children around the dining table. But can you speak when faced with an audience? Most of us would answer that question with a very definite… No!

For some of us, that is really good news. Some of us welcome an audience as an opportunity to make a difference and because most people hate it, your talent to speak in front of an audience makes you unusual. According to an American Study published on, 74% of people have Glossophobia (speech anxiety).


On My Mind - 149 - Zero Sum Game


·On My Mind - 149 - Zero Sum GameRichard_at_Abu_Dhabi

This week I am in Abu Dhabi working with a group to help them with High Level Sales Negotiations. It is fun to be out and about again and although I hate the travel, the destination is always interesting.

Abu Dhabi is the place to go if you want to shop. All the famous european chain stores are represented here and there seems to be no end to the places you can buy electronics, jewellery, clothing, souvenirs and, of course, carpets. When reading about the way the locals pass their time, shopping always comes at the top of the list.


On My Mind - 148 Just Say Thank you


·On My Mind - 148 - Just Say Thank you 

Two things happened to me over the last three days that seemed, on the surface, to be quite different but turned out to be very similar. 

ThankyouOn Saturday my partner and I went to the movies. Not such an unusual thing. We try and get out together on a regular basis and being in Cape Town now (thank you), the evenings are so light that the days seem to go on for ever. There is plenty of time for business and personal activities and, by the way, plenty of personal activities to do. 

Anyway….. The movie we went to see is taken from a favourite book, converted into a musical and then to a movie. The challenge with this progression is often that the conversion looses something at each stage leaving you with a parody of the original. In this case, however, I think the movie is far better than the original book and that is really saying something, but it is not the point of the is article to be a movie critic.

The movie is "Les Misérables" (pronounced with a French accent please) with Russell Crow, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway (and many others) singing their way through a wonderful script. The first few minutes of the movie were a bit of a disappointment. I decided that Russell Crow should stick to acting and leave the singing to others more talented in this area of expertise, but getting beyond that I settled into the story I knew very well and became mesmerised by the spectacle of it all.


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