4 Australian Strikes – The benefits of Management Training in Managing workplace conflicts

Throughout history we have seen workplace conflicts that have shaped the evolution of business practices and management strategies. Here are some notable examples where effective management training could have made a significant difference:

Qantas engineers strike

The 2009 Qantas Engineers Strike

In 2009, Qantas engineers went on strike over pay disputes and job security concerns. The strike resulted in flight delays and cancellations, impacting the airline’s operations and reputation.

How Management Training Could Have Helped:

Conflict Resolution: Training in conflict resolution techniques could have equipped Qantas management to address engineers’ concerns proactively, facilitating earlier and more effective dialogue.

Communication Skills: Enhanced communication training might have ensured more transparent and timely information sharing, reducing misunderstandings and building trust.

Empathy in Leadership: Empathy training could have helped managers understand and validate engineers’ concerns, leading to more compassionate and effective responses.

Coal Miners' strike

The 2012 BHP Billiton Coal Miners’ Strike

Coal miners employed by BHP Billiton in Queensland went on strike in 2012 over a new workplace agreement, which they felt compromised their job security and working conditions.

How Management Training Could Have Helped:

Labour Relations: Training on labour relations could have improved the relationship between BHP management and the miners, promoting a more collaborative approach to workplace agreements.

Negotiation and Mediation: Skills in negotiation and mediation might have enabled management to find a middle ground with the miners, addressing their key concerns without resorting to strikes.

Workplace Fairness: Training focused on fairness and equity in the workplace could have ensured that the new agreement was seen as fair and reasonable by the miners, reducing conflict.

Workers on strike

The 2017 Public Sector Strikes in Victoria

Public sector workers in Victoria went on strike in 2017 over pay rises and working conditions. The strike included teachers, nurses, and other public service employees, significantly affecting public services.

How Management Training Could Have Helped:

Problem-Solving: Management Training focused on collaborative problem-solving could have facilitated a more cooperative approach to addressing the workers’ demands, finding solutions that met both management and employee needs.

Strategic Communication: Strategic communication training might have helped in framing the negotiations positively, keeping employees informed and engaged throughout the process.

Leadership Development: Developing leadership skills to build mutual respect and understanding could have reduced adversarial attitudes, leading to more productive negotiations.

Sydney Train strike

The 2019 Sydney Trains Strike

Sydney Trains workers went on strike in 2019 over pay disputes and safety concerns, causing significant disruptions to the city’s transportation network.

How Management Training Could Have Helped:

Health and Safety Management: Training in health and safety management could have ensured that workers’ safety concerns were addressed proactively, reducing one of the main causes of the strike.

Employee Involvement: Training on involving employees in decision-making processes could have led to more inclusive and satisfactory outcomes, reducing feelings of exclusion among workers.

Conflict Prevention: Preventative conflict management training might have helped identify and address issues before they escalated into strikes, creating a more balanced workplace environment.

In each of these cases, proactive and well-rounded management training could have addressed underlying issues, improved communication, and created a more connected and respectful workplace environment, potentially preventing conflicts altogether, or at the very least, reducing their impact.

7 Ways Management Training Can help in Workplace Conflict Resolution

Management training plays an important part in managing workplace conflicts. Here are seven ways it can help:

1. Improved Communication Skills

Management training helps leaders develop the ability to:

  • Actively listen
  • Articulate thoughts clearly
  • Encourage open dialogue

This ensures that everyone feels heard and understood, reducing misunderstandings that often lead to conflicts.

2. Increased Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) involves recognising and managing your emotions and understanding the emotions of others. Management Training that involves training in EI enables managers to handle interpersonal relationships with caution and empathy. This can help in de-escalating tensions and addressing the emotional aspects of conflicts.

3. Conflict Resolution Techniques

Managers trained in conflict resolution techniques are better equipped to handle disputes. The best Management Training Programs can be tailored to include various strategies such as:

  • Negotiation
  • Problem-solving approaches that help in resolving conflicts constructively.

This ensures that conflicts are addressed promptly and effectively, preventing them from escalating.

4. Building Trust and Rapport

Management training emphasises the importance of building trust and rapport with team members. When employees trust their managers, they are more likely to express concerns and grievances openly. This transparency helps in identifying and addressing issues early, reducing the likelihood of conflicts.

Building trust and rapport with employees

5. Building a Positive Work Culture

Management Training programs often include components on promoting a positive and inclusive work culture. Managers learn to create an environment where respect, collaboration, and mutual support are prioritised. A positive culture reduces the chances of conflicts arising from misunderstandings.

6. Stress Management

Workplace conflicts can be a significant source of stress for both managers and employees. Management training includes stress management techniques that help leaders maintain their composure during disputes. By managing their own stress effectively, managers can approach conflicts calmly and rationally, leading to better outcomes.

7. Strengthening Leadership Skills

Management Training programs enhance leadership skills such as decision-making, assertiveness, and accountability. Skilled leaders can guide their teams through conflicts, setting a positive example and ensuring that disputes are resolved in a fair and balanced manner.

Management training provides managers with the tools and skills needed to handle workplace conflicts effectively. By improving communication, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution techniques, and leadership skills, training helps create a balanced work environment where conflicts are managed proactively and constructively. This not only resolves existing issues but also prevents future conflicts. 

At KONA, we know that an organisation’s performance is only as good as the team leaders and managers who steer the ship. All of our trainers have run sales and customer service-focused businesses and led teams, so they understand you as only those who have walked in your shoes can.

Contact KONA today to discuss our tailored Leadership and Management Training programs.
Call 1300 611 288 or email
[email protected]


What are some techniques to create win-win outcomes in negotiations?

Win-win outcomes in a negotiation

Scenario: A small business owner, Sarah, wants to purchase a new point-of-sale (POS) system for her boutique. She is negotiating with a sales representative, John, from a tech company that sells POS systems. Sarah’s primary concerns are getting a high-quality system within her budget and receiving good customer support. John’s goal is to make a sale while ensuring customer satisfaction and potentially securing a long-term relationship for future business.

Understanding Needs:

Sarah: Needs a reliable and user-friendly POS system, strong after-sales support, and training for her staff, all within a $5,000 budget.

John: Wants to sell the POS system for a fair profit and provide excellent customer service to build a long-term relationship.

Discussion and Exploration:

John listens to Sarah’s concerns about budget constraints and the importance of after-sales support.

Sarah is open to hearing about the various packages and support plans available.

Finding Common Ground:

John offers Sarah a slightly discounted rate on the POS system, reducing the price from $5,500 to $5,000 to meet her budget.

He also includes an extended one-year customer support package and staff training at no additional cost, which usually costs $500.

Creative Solutions:

To add more value, John suggests a payment plan where Sarah can pay in three instalments over six months, easing her cash flow concerns.

Agreement:

Sarah agrees to purchase the POS system for $5,000 with the added benefits of the extended support and training.

John secures the sale and sets up the payment plan, ensuring Sarah can manage her finances comfortably.

Outcome:

Sarah (Buyer): Gets a high-quality POS system within her budget, along with essential support and training, which increases her satisfaction and confidence in the product.

John (Seller): Makes the sale, meets his revenue goals, and establishes a positive relationship with Sarah, increasing the likelihood of future business and referrals.

Creating win-win outcomes in negotiations

Negotiation is a critical skill in both personal and professional settings. Achieving win-win outcomes—where both parties feel satisfied with the agreement—is the gold standard. Here are some techniques to help you create win-win outcomes in negotiations.

1. Prepare Thoroughly

Preparation is the foundation of a successful negotiation. Understanding your needs, priorities, and the best alternatives to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) is crucial. Equally important is researching the other party’s interests, needs, and constraints. This comprehensive preparation allows you to find common ground and areas for mutual benefit.

2. Build Rapport

Establishing a positive relationship with the other party sets a collaborative tone. Start with small talk to find common interests and build trust. People are more likely to reach a mutually beneficial agreement with someone they like and respect. This rapport can help navigate through challenging moments in the negotiation process.

3. Focus on Interests, Not Positions

Positions are the specific outcomes one party demands, while interests are the underlying reasons behind those demands. By focusing on interests, you can:

  • Uncover shared goals
  • Create solutions that satisfy both parties

For instance, in a job negotiation, the position might be a higher salary, but the interest could be financial security or professional growth. Understanding this can lead to alternative solutions, such as performance bonuses or professional development opportunities.

4. Invent Options for Mutual Gain

Brainstorming multiple options before deciding on a solution encourages creativity and flexibility. In this phase, aim to “expand the pie before dividing it”. This might involve combining elements from both parties’ proposals or introducing new variables that address the interests of both sides. For example, in a supplier-client negotiation, extending the contract length in exchange for better pricing can benefit both parties.

5. Use Objective Criteria

Basing the negotiation on objective criteria can help avoid conflicts and ensure fairness. This includes:

  • Market value
  • Legal standards
  • Expert opinions
  • Industry benchmarks

Using objective standards ensures that the agreement is based on mutual interests and not personal biases or power imbalances.

6. Actively Listen

Active listening involves not just hearing the other party but understanding and acknowledging their perspective. It means asking open-ended questions, summarising what you’ve heard, and validating their feelings. This shows respect and empathy, making the other party more likely to reciprocate and collaborate on finding a win-win solution.

7. Be Willing to Compromise

Flexibility is essential in negotiations. While you should know your limits, being open to compromise helps in finding a middle ground where both parties can agree. Sometimes, giving up a lower-priority demand can lead to gaining something of higher value in return.

8. Aim for Long-term Relationships

Negotiations should not be viewed as one-time events but as opportunities to build lasting relationships. A win-win outcome is more sustainable and beneficial in the long run. Just as we saw in the Bakery and Café scenario, approaching negotiations with the mindset of creating a long-term partnership encourages trust and goodwill, which can lead to more successful negotiations in the future.

9. Maintain a Positive Attitude

A positive and solution-oriented attitude can significantly impact the negotiation process. Confidence, optimism, and a focus on solutions rather than problems help create an environment conducive to finding win-win outcomes. Positivity also helps in overcoming obstacles and setbacks during the negotiation.

Negotiation meme

Creating win-win outcomes in negotiations requires a blend of preparation, empathy, creativity, and strategic thinking. By focusing on shared interests, using open communication, and building trust, you can achieve agreements that are satisfying and beneficial for all parties involved. These techniques not only help in reaching a successful deal but also pave the way for stronger, more cooperative relationships in the future.

Contact the team at KONA today to discuss our tailored Negotiation Training Programs and how they can help your sales team create win-win outcomes in their negotiations.

Call 1300 611 288 or email [email protected]


Strategies to keep your top salespeople motivated

The KONA Awards is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and exceptional contributions that your sales staff have made to foster a positive and inclusive workplace, as well as achieving or exceeding budgets. The Award demonstrates that their commitment to excellence in sales has not gone unnoticed, and acknowledges their efforts holistically.

Nominate Your Sales Team Member for the KONA Awards

Both you and they have the opportunity to further celebrate the achievements of your team member by nominating one of them for this esteemed award.

We encourage you to highlight the outstanding individual who has played a key role in creating a workplace culture that values and invests in its people.

KONA Award winners receiving their awards.

This is a strategy that we at KONA encourage, but there are many more strategies you can use.

When it comes to Sales, top performers are the driving force behind the success of a business. Top performers will no doubt have the charisma and skill to consistently exceed targets. But even the most accomplished sales professionals can experience periods of burnout.

The ebbs and flows of the sales cycle, rejections, and setbacks can take their toll.

As a sales leader, putting the right strategies in place can keep your team’s motivation tank full and help them continue to achieve their sales goals. Here are some effective strategies to accomplish just that.

Recognition and Rewards

One of the most powerful motivators for top performers is recognition for their achievements.

Publicly acknowledging their accomplishments in team meetings, company newsletters, or through internal communication channels goes a long way in boosting their motivation.  

Implement a Rewards Program

Consider implementing a rewards program that offers incentives for reaching and surpassing sales targets such as:

  • Bonuses
  • Trips
  • Personalised gifts
The KONA Awards Certificates

Learning and Development

The Sales field is always evolving, and top performers thrive on staying ahead of the curve.

Stay Ahead of the Curve with Ongoing Training and Development

Investing in ongoing training and development opportunities will keep their skills sharp and their knowledge current. Whether through internal workshops, online courses, or motivational speakers, prioritising continuous learning will enhance their professional growth.

Find out more about tailored learning and development opportunities for your sales team.

Career Development Opportunities

Top sales performers are typically ambitious individuals who thrive on personal and professional growth.

Providing avenues for career advancement, whether through promotions, specialised training programs, or mentorship opportunities demonstrates that the company values the long-term success of their staff.

Encourage them to pursue certifications or attend industry conferences to broaden their skill set and stay on top of market trends.

Autonomy and Flexibility

It’s important for Sales Leaders to empower their top performers by granting them autonomy in how they approach their work. Trusting them to make decisions and giving them the flexibility to manage their schedules can build a sense of ownership and accountability. This autonomy allows them to leverage their strengths and creativity, ultimately leading to increased job satisfaction and productivity.

Set Challenging, Yet Attainable Goals

Top performers thrive on challenges, but unrealistic targets can lead to frustration and demotivation. Working collaboratively with them to set ambitious yet achievable goals will help to push their limits while still maintaining a sense of feasibility. It’s also helpful to regularly review progress and provide constructive feedback to keep them on track and motivated.

Create a Positive Work Environment

A supportive and positive work culture can significantly impact employee motivation and retention. For top performers to feel valued and respected, create a culture of:

  • Teamwork
  • Camaraderie
  • Open communication

Encourage peer-to-peer recognition and celebrate team successes to reinforce a sense of unity and belonging.

Offer Meaningful Incentives

In addition to traditional rewards, consider offering incentives that align with your top performers’ values and interests. For example, some may value opportunities to give back to the community through volunteer work or participate in wellness programs that promote work-life balance. Tailoring incentives to individual preferences will maximise their effectiveness.

Regular Check-ins and Feedback

As a Sales Leader, you should be scheduling regular one-on-one meetings with your top sales performers to provide feedback, offer support, and address any concerns they may have. Actively listen to their input and incorporate their ideas into decision-making processes whenever possible. This demonstrates that their opinions are valued and contributes to building a sense of mutual respect and trust.

By utilising these effective strategies, Sales Leaders can create an environment within their teams where top sales performers feel motivated, valued, and empowered to achieve their full potential. Keeping your sales stars engaged isn’t just about hitting targets; it’s about nurturing their talents in an environment where they can thrive.

Cycle of motivation

Contact KONA today to discuss tailored Sales Training for your Sales Team.

Call 1300 611 288 or email [email protected]


How do I handle difficult customers or challenging situations in sales?

Encountering difficult customers

Encountering challenging situations and difficult customers in sales is part of the course. Whether it’s a client with unrealistic expectations, a customer with a laundry list of complaints, or a prospect who seems impossible to please, navigating these choppy waters undoubtably requires patience, and a strategic approach. Here are some valuable tips to help you handle difficult customers and challenging situations effectively.

Stay Calm and Composed

When faced with a challenging customer, keep your cool.

  • Take a deep breath
  • Maintain a professional demeanour
  • Avoid responding impulsively

Remember, your reaction sets the tone for the interaction.

Listen to the Customer

It’s important to practice active listening in order to understand the customer’s concerns fully. Allow them to express themselves without interruption, and demonstrate empathy by acknowledging their feelings. Sometimes, customers simply want to feel heard and understood. Recognise their emotions and use positive body language to help you build trust with the customer.

Empathise and Validate

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes to understand their perspective better. Even if you disagree with their stance, it’s essential to validate their feelings and show empathy. A simple acknowledgment of their frustration can go a long way in defusing tension and de-escalating a situation.

Focus on Solutions, Not Blame

Instead of getting defensive or placing blame, shift the focus to finding solutions.

  • Collaborate with the customer to identify their needs and work towards resolving the issue together.
  • Maintain a problem-solving mindset, emphasising how you can help rather than dwelling on past mistakes.

Set Expectations

Clearly communicate what you can and cannot offer to manage the customer’s expectations effectively. Ensure you are transparent about timelines, deliverables, and any limitations upfront to help avoid misunderstandings later on.

Seek to Understand

Seek to understand by digging deeper to uncover the underlying reasons behind the customer’s dissatisfaction. Is there a miscommunication, a product flaw, or a service issue at play?

Understanding the root cause of their problem or concern allows you to address the issue more effectively.

Quote- seek first to understand, then to be understood

Offer Alternatives and Options

Present the customer with viable alternatives or options to resolve the issue. Whether it’s a replacement product, a refund, or an alternative solution, provide choices that demonstrate your commitment to finding a resolution.

Follow Up

After you have resolved the immediate issue, follow up with the customer to ensure their satisfaction.

Stay true to your word and follow through on any promises made during the interaction.

Building trust through consistent follow-up is key to maintaining positive relationships with customers. Customers will always appreciate follow up as it shows you have genuine concern for their well-being and for their problem being rectified.

Learn and Improve

Every challenging situation is an opportunity for growth and learning. Take the time to reflect on what went wrong and identify areas for improvement. Use feedback from difficult interactions to refine your sales approach and enhance customer satisfaction in the future.

Maintain Professionalism

Regardless of how challenging the situation may be, always maintain a professional demeanor. Avoid engaging in arguments or letting emotions cloud your judgment. Keep in mind that your goal is to find a resolution while preserving the integrity of your relationship with the customer.

Per my last email meme

Can you avoid difficult customers in Sales all together?

Encountering difficult customers and challenging situations is inevitable in Sales. However, by adopting a patient, empathetic, and solution-oriented approach, you can navigate these obstacles and turn them into opportunities for professional growth and relationship-building with clients. Remember, the way you handle adversity speaks volumes about your professionalism and commitment to customer satisfaction.

Contact KONA today to discuss our tailored Sales & Customer Service Training Programs and the benefits they can bring to your Sales Team.

Call 1300 611 288 or email
[email protected]


How to Motivate and Inspire your Business Leaders

Motivation and inspiration are the sparks that lead to innovation, professional growth, and success. Behind every successful company are passionate and driven leaders who inspire their teams to achieve greatness.

As a business owner or manager, developing a motivational and inspiring culture among your leaders is paramount. Here are some effective strategies to ignite the spark of motivation and inspiration in your business leaders:

Leaders motivate and inspire others to succeed.

Lead by Example

One of the most powerful forms of motivation is leading by example. Demonstrate the qualities you wish to instil in your leaders, such as resilience, determination, and a positive attitude. Your actions will serve as a guiding light for your team, inspiring them to emulate your behaviour and strive for excellence.

Set Clear Goals and Expectations

Clearly defined goals provide a roadmap for success and give your leaders a sense of purpose. Ensure that your business objectives are S.M.A.R.T:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

By aligning individual and team goals with the principal vision of the company, you can empower your business leaders to focus their efforts and make meaningful contributions.

Offer Ongoing Learning and Development Opportunities

Encourage your business leaders to pursue professional development opportunities and expand their skill sets. Whether it’s attending workshops, enrolling in courses, or seeking mentorship, investing in ongoing learning fosters personal growth and keeps leaders motivated and engaged. Additionally, create a supportive environment where learning from failures is celebrated as a stepping stone to success.

Words to describe a KONA tailored training workshop
Some words from delegates describing one of KONA’s tailored training workshops.

Provide Recognition and Feedback

Acknowledge the achievements and contributions of your business leaders regularly. Whether it’s a simple word of appreciation or a formal recognition program, validation of their efforts reinforces positive behaviour and cultivates a sense of pride and fulfilment. Similarly, constructive feedback offers valuable insights for improvement and demonstrates your commitment to their professional development.

Encourage Teamwork

Emphasize the importance of collaboration and teamwork within your organization. Foster an inclusive culture where diverse perspectives are valued, and ideas are freely exchanged. By promoting a sense of camaraderie and collective ownership, you empower your business leaders to leverage the strengths of their teams and achieve shared goals collaboratively.

Cultivate a Visionary Mindset

Inspire your business leaders to think beyond the status quo and embrace innovation and creativity. Encourage them to challenge conventional thinking, explore new possibilities, and envision bold strategies for growth and transformation. By fostering a visionary mindset, you unleash the potential for groundbreaking ideas and pave the way for future success.

Provide Rewards and Incentives

Offer rewards and incentives that align with the values and aspirations of your business leaders. Whether it’s monetary bonuses, career advancement opportunities, or non-monetary perks like flexible work arrangements or recognition programs, incentivise high performance and motivate them to strive for excellence.

Motivating and inspiring your business leaders is key to driving success in business. By implementing these strategies into your business, you can empower your leaders to unleash their full potential and propel your business to new heights of achievement.

Providing employees with rewards and incentives to strive for success.

Contact KONA today to discuss our tailored Management and Leadership Training Programs.

Call 1300 611 288 or email [email protected]


Stress Management techniques for the Workplace

With its deadlines, pressures, and expectations, the workplace often serves as a breeding ground for stress. Mastering stress-management is not only crucial for maintaining personal well-being but also for increasing productivity and creating a positive workplace. Fortunately, there are many effective techniques that people can use to manage stress in the workplace.

We’ll explore some of these techniques and how they can be integrated into you daily work routine for greater resilience and mental well-being.

Stress in the workplace

Mindfulness and Meditation


An extremely powerful tool for managing workplace stress is mindfulness. By practicing mindfulness and meditation regularly, teams can cultivate a greater sense of awareness and presence in the moment, allowing them to respond to stressors with more skill.
Simple mindfulness exercises, such as deep breathing or body scans, can be practiced at the desk or during short breaks, providing much-needed moments of calm amidst a busy day.

Time Management


Effective time management is essential when it comes to reducing stress in the workplace. Try things like:
• Prioritising tasks
• Setting realistic goals
• Breaking larger projects into smaller, manageable chunks


By doing so, you can create a sense of control over your workload. Further to this, tools such as to-do lists, calendars, and project management software can be invaluable for organising tasks and deadlines, helping to prevent last-minute rushes and alleviate stress.

Seek Professional Support & Training


Sometimes, managing a high-stress workplace can require professional assistance.
Employers should consider offering regular Training Programs through external training providers to assist staff with new knowledge and techniques that can help to reduce stress in high-stress environments.
Professional Training Providers can implement tailored training programs for your teams that targets their specific areas of concern, and they can provide support and refine processes to reduce day-to-day stress.

Meme about being stressed at work

Healthy Work-Life Balance


Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is key to preventing burnout and managing stress. Employers can support their employees in achieving this balance by:
• Promoting flexible work arrangements
• Encouraging regular breaks
• Discouraging excessive overtime
Likewise, staff can prioritise activities outside of work that bring them joy and relaxation, whether it’s spending time with loved ones, pursuing hobbies, or engaging in physical exercise.

Communication and Boundary Setting


Effective communication is one of the most important aspects of managing workplace stress.
By expressing concerns or seeking support from colleagues and supervisors, individuals can prevent feelings of isolation and overwhelm.
Setting clear boundaries around workload, availability, and expectations can also help to prevent stress from escalating.
Learning to say no to additional tasks when already overwhelmed is an important skill that can protect against burnout.

Staff Physical Wellness


Taking care of your physical health is integral to managing stress in the workplace. Simple practices such as staying hydrated, eating nutritious meals, and getting regular exercise can boost energy levels, improve mood, and enhance resilience to stress. Employers can support physical wellness initiatives by offering wellness programs, ergonomic workspaces, and access to healthy snacks.

Mastering stress in the workplace requires a multi-layered approach that includes a combination of time management, effective communication and professional support. By integrating stress-reduction techniques into daily routines and creating a culture of well-being within the workplace, staff and employers can create healthier, more resilient work environments where stress is managed effectively, and productivity flourishes.

Reduce stress in the workplace

Contact the team at KONA today to discuss how our tailored training programs can benefit your team!

Call 1300 611 288 or email [email protected]


Importance of Social Media and Online Platforms in Sales

Social media and online platforms may have their negative aspects, but when it comes to modern-day sales, Social Media can play an important role in generating business. From opening the door for allowing business to engage with their customers in real-time, to attracting new customers, influencer advertising and the endless possibilities available through user-friendly mobile apps, the impact Social Media and online platforms have had on sales is undeniable.

Some companies may still be a little wary of following the crowd and diving into social media, but as the old adage goes, “If you can’t beat them, join them”. These days, if you’re not on social media, you almost “don’t exist”.

So, let’s explore the importance of social media and online platforms in sales:

Social media platforms

Reach and Visibility

Social media platforms provide businesses with a vast audience reach.

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn have millions, if not billions, of active users. This extensive reach allows businesses to connect with potential customers globally.

Targeted Advertising

Social media platforms offer sophisticated targeting options based on, but not limited to:

  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Behaviours

This enables businesses to tailor their advertisements to specific segments of their target audience, increasing the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

Social Media meme

Engagement and Interaction

Social media facilitates direct engagement and interaction with customers. Businesses can:

  • Respond to inquiries
  • Address concerns
  • Build relationships with their audience in real-time

This level of interaction creates trust and loyalty, ultimately leading to increased sales.

Social Proof and Recommendations

One of the great things about social media platforms is that they allow users to share their experiences and opinions about products and services. Positive reviews and recommendations from satisfied customers serve as social proof, ultimately influencing others to make purchases.

To find out more about how KONA’s tailored training programs

have helped other businesses, click here.

Data Analytics

Social media and online platforms provide businesses with valuable insights into customer behaviour, preferences, and trends.

By analysing metrics such as engagement rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, businesses can refine their sales strategies and optimise their marketing efforts, leading to reaching a more targeted audience.

Brand Awareness

Consistent presence on social media helps businesses increase brand awareness and promote brand loyalty.

A staggering 90% of people shop from brands they follow on social media. Further to this, studies have shown that up to 71% of buyers who have had a positive social media experience with a brand will recommend it to their family and friends.

By regularly sharing updates, promotions, and behind-the-scenes content, businesses can keep their audience engaged and top-of-mind, leading to repeat purchases and referrals.

Social media and online platforms play a huge role in modern sales strategies by providing targeted advertising, social proof, data analytics, and so much more.

Companies that effectively leverage these platforms can significantly enhance their sales performance and drive the growth of their business.

Social media for brand awareness

Don’t get left behind in the age of Social Seling.

Contact KONA to discuss how our tailored training programs can help you grow your business.

Call 1300 611 288 or email
[email protected]


Missed Sales Targets – A blessing and a curse  

Missing sales targets can indeed have both positive and negative aspects, like a double-edged sword.  

How a company handles a salesperson missing their targets can significantly impact morale, performance, and the overall success of the sales team. It’s important to strike a balance between holding salespeople accountable for their results and providing them with the support and resources they need to succeed.  

Here is one example of a situation and what we did to fix the issue QUICKLY! 

Meme about missing targets

CASE STUDY – Technology Product Focused Partner Solutions Team  

Initial situation  

  • Sales teams consistently missing target. 
  • Team of ‘product floggers’ rather than ‘business builders’ or solution sales people.  
  • Successful historically, yet needed to demonstrate to partners and suppliers the value that their proposition brought to their businesses.   

What we did …  

  • Refocused sales team on key activities and work preferences (Hunters or Farmers) 
  • Coached all sales team, in the field and in workshops, in ‘Hearts and Minds’ solution selling  
  • skills.  
  • Implemented LSMFT Value Proposition.   
  • Introduced Partner Business Development Programme to drive “sell through”, not just  
  • “sell to”.  
  • Coached the whole leadership team.   

Outcomes …  

  • 12% increase in sales revenues.   
  • Relationship with major distributor became a true ‘strategic partnership’.  
  • Sales team worked closer with their Distribution Partners.  
  • Wider range of products and solutions sold.        

The above is, in our opinion, the best and quickest way to solve the problem. However, if you have time, some other common ways businesses can address missed sales targets can include:  

Regular performance reviews 

The salesperson’s performance can be reviewed to understand why the targets were not met. This may involve examining sales tactics, customer interactions, market conditions, and other relevant factors.  

As a Sales Manager, it’s a good idea to schedule a time each month to meet with each member of your sales team individually to go over their performance, any roadblocks they may be experiencing and any goals they have set. 

Training, coaching and support 

Sales managers may consider engaging with a Sales Trainer to offer additional coaching and support to help the salesperson improve their skills and strategies. This could involve:  

  • providing a tailored training program  
  • guidance on prospecting techniques  
  • assistance in overcoming specific challenges  

Goal adjustment 

In some cases, if the sales targets were unrealistic or circumstances beyond the salesperson’s control impacted their ability to meet them, the targets may be adjusted to be more attainable.  

Accountability 

While support and coaching are important, there is also a level of accountability for the salesperson to take ownership of their performance and actively work towards improvement. This may involve setting clear action plans and timelines for improvement.  

Learning and improvement  

Missing sales targets presents an opportunity for learning and improvement. A good Sales Trainer will encourage Salespeople to analyse what went wrong, identify areas for growth, and adjust their approach to increase their chances of success in the future.  

Hitting sales targets

Positives of missed targets  

On one hand, it can be seen as a blessing because it presents an opportunity for learning and growth. When targets are missed, it prompts a reassessment of strategies and processes, encouraging businesses to identify weaknesses and areas for improvement. This can lead to valuable insights that help refine future sales approaches and ultimately contribute to long-term success. 

Negatives of missed targets  

On the other hand, missing sales targets can be viewed as a curse due to the immediate negative consequences it may bring, such as:  

  • financial losses  
  • damaged morale among sales teams  
  • loss of confidence from stakeholders  

Additionally, it may also signal broader issues within the organisation, such as ineffective marketing strategies, inadequate product offerings, or a lack of alignment between sales and other departments.  

Ultimately, how a company responds to missed sales targets determines whether it becomes a blessing or a curse.  

By adopting a proactive approach, acknowledging shortcomings, and implementing necessary changes, businesses can turn missed targets into opportunities for improvement and future success.  

Missing and succeeding targets

Contact KONA to discuss how we can strengthen and motivate your sales team. 

Call 1300 611 288 or email [email protected]  


When to walk away from a sale

When should a Salesperson walk away from a sale?

I have walked away from many deals in the past and I will continue to do so if it is not the right fit, or it feels wrong. While writing this I’m taken back to the very first time I walked away from a sale, actually, I actively discouraged the person to buy.

I moved back to Ireland from Guernsey in the Channel Islands in the 1990’s and it was the height of a recession. The only thing I was qualified to do was in hospitality and I could not find any employment. So, I took a job in sales, something I thought I would never do. However, this was not any sale job, this was selling life insurance, door to door, commission only. I thought, “welcome to sales”!!!

Back then we went into the office on a Monday, took out the yellow pages and hit the phones to make appointments, 100+ calls a day to get three, maybe four appointments. On one of these appointments my BIG boss came out with me.

So, we met at Michael Mc—– house (a modest terrace home south of Dublin) and the first thing I noticed was that the outside was very unkempt. When Michael greeted us, he was so lovely, and we were given tea and biscuits. On the icebreaking part of the meeting, it transpired that he knew my father and that was the reason he agreed to meet.

The sales pitch began, and we were on fire… I presented the pack brilliantly and it was going so well, and he was “putting pen to paper”, when his son came down the stairs and asked for (I think new school shoes, I can’t remember) and the response from Michael was something along the lines of “make do as we can’t afford to buy new shoes at the moment”.

At this point I took the contract from him and said something along the lines of “Michael, on second thoughts I am not sure that this is the right policy, based on what you told us I will need to go back and do a little more research.” and we left.

I knew that he was over committing and because of the relationship he once had with my father he felt obliged to continue.

When we were outside my boss “ripped into me” with nearly every expletive you can imagine. He said, “You will never make it in sales as you clearly don’t have what it takes, the killer instinct, you have just ripped up £2,000.” At this I told him to shove it and I went back to London.

When to walk away from a sale

As a salesperson, do you know when it’s time to walk away from a sale?

Walking away can be a tough decision, particularly when you’ve invested your time and energy into building a relationship with a prospect. Having said that, there are some situations where it can be the right choice.

Here are 6 common reasons to walk away from a sale as a salesperson:

1. Ethical Concerns

Ethics in sales refers to behaviours that ensure that every customer is treated with respect, fairness, honesty and integrity.

Some common examples of ethical issues in sales include:

  • Selling a product rather than a solution
  • Telling only part of the truth  
  • Lacking accountability

If the product or service you’re selling doesn’t meet the needs of the customer or if it’s not the right fit for them, it’s best to walk away rather than push them to purchase something they don’t need.

2. Unrealistic Demands

If the customer is making demands that your company can’t fulfil or that would compromise your integrity, it’s better to walk away than to promise something you can’t deliver.

Some of the things salespeople should avoid when a customer has unrealistic expectations include: Arguing with the customer, losing your patience, not actively listening, not looking for other options for the customer.

3. Lack of Respect

Occasionally as a salesperson you may encounter a customer who is disrespectful, demanding or who comes across as rude. The old saying “The customer is always right” is not always the case.

If a customer or prospect is disrespectful or abusive toward you, it’s not worth sacrificing your dignity or well-being for a sale, and it’s time to walk away.

Remaining professional when dealing with difficult customers

4. Price Objections

If the customer is solely focused on price and unwilling to see the value in your product or service, it may not be worth your time to continue the sale.

Objections in sales are inevitable, and a tailored Sales Training Program can assist sales teams with effective objection handling techniques that they can utilise when customers raise objections. However, if your customer is only objecting on price, and you have done your best to overcome their objections, it could be in your best interest to walk away from the sale.

5. Unreasonable Expectations

As a salesperson, on occasion you may encounter customers who have unrealistic expectations. For example, they might push for an unrealistic timeline that would require you to cut corners or compromise quality. When this happens, it’s better to walk away than to risk damaging your reputation.

If there’s a significant gap between what the customer expects and what you can realistically deliver, it’s best to be upfront about it and potentially walk away rather than disappoint them later.

6. The Customer cannot see the Value of your Product or Service

It’s the salesperson’s responsibility to show their prospect the value that their product or service will have. If a prospect can’t clearly see value, they will not buy.

When you have made attempts to show your prospect the features, benefits and value of your product or service, and they still aren’t convinced, it could be time to walk away.

A good tip to ensure you are demonstrating value is to reflect on the conversations you have with prospects. This way you can learn from them and improve your value proposition.

Walking away from any sale is never a good feeling. But remember, walking away doesn’t necessarily mean entirely giving up on your customer. It could simply mean postponing the sale until a better fit or solution is found, or referring them to a colleague or competitor who may be better able to meet their needs.

Sometimes as a salesperson it's best to walk away from the sale

Contact KONA today to find out how we can help to strengthen your sales team with a tailored Sales Training Program.

Call 1300 611 288 or email
[email protected]


Pipeline or Perish

The mantra “Pipeline or Perish” takes centre stage in the realm of Sales and Business.

For companies navigating the competitive sales industry, your Sales Pipeline isn’t just a tool; it’s a lifeline, determining the fate of your business in a world where adaptability and efficiency reign supreme.

So, if you want to thrive in Sales, why is it important to leverage your Sales Pipeline? The first step is to understand the Pipeline.

Sales Pipeline Funnel

Understanding the Sales Pipeline

A sales pipeline is an organised and visual way of keeping track of potential buyers as they progress through the purchasing process.

The sales pipeline is a strategic roadmap that guides your team from prospecting to closing deals. It’s a dynamic system that demands attention, proactive management, and a keen understanding of your customer’s journey.

The stages of a Sales Pipeline

1. Prospecting and Lead Generation

The sales journey begins with identifying potential customers.

An effective sales pipeline starts with a robust lead generation strategy, ensuring a steady influx of prospects.

Without a consistent flow of leads, your pipeline may run dry.

2. Qualification and Engagement

Once leads are in the pipeline, they need to be qualified. This involves:

  • Understanding their needs
  • Uncovering their challenges
  • Assessing their fit with your products or services

Engaging prospects at this stage is crucial for building relationships and moving them through the pipeline.

5 reasons why you should qualify your customers.

3. Proposal and Closing

The proposal stage is where you present tailored solutions to your prospects.

A well-nurtured pipeline positions your team to confidently make proposals that resonate with the prospect’s needs. Closing the deal is the culmination of a successful journey through the pipeline.

4. Post-Sale Relationship Building

The sales pipeline doesn’t end at closing. Post-sale relationship building ensures customer satisfaction, encourages repeat business, and sets the stage for referrals.

Neglecting this aspect can lead to churn and missed opportunities for growth.

Pipeline or Perish

Why use your Sales Pipeline?

Predictability

Your sales pipeline provides a clear view of potential revenue and allows for accurate forecasting. Without utilising this tool, businesses operate “in the dark”, unable to predict or plan for future success.

Resource Allocation

A well-managed pipeline enables efficient allocation of resources. It helps you identify areas of strength and weakness in your sales process, allowing for targeted improvements and optimisation of resources.

Customer-Centricity

By understanding where each prospect stands in the pipeline, you can tailor your interactions to meet their specific needs, ensuring a positive and personalised customer experience.

Meme about providing an excellent customer experience.

Competitive Edge

Typically in sales, speed and efficiency are paramount. Using your sales pipeline allows you to respond quickly to opportunities and challenges, giving you a competitive edge over those who neglect this crucial aspect.

In the relentless pursuit of success, businesses must recognise that “Pipeline or Perish” is more than a cautionary phrase—it’s a call to action.

Your sales pipeline is the key to navigating the complexities of the modern marketplace, ensuring not only survival but sustained growth and prosperity. Embrace the power of your sales pipeline, and let it be the driving force that propels your business forward in the face of challenges and uncertainties.

Contact KONA today to discuss tailored Sales Pipeline Training for your Sales Team!

Call 1300 611 288 or email
[email protected]