6 Essential Skills Needed in a Post Lockdown Workplace

mans hand holding a black suitcase and disposable mask in the new world of business skills

As most of Australia emerges from lockdown, we are left to work out what a COVID workforce will be moving forward. There is a lot that is unknown, however, one thing is certain, things will never go back to being exactly the way they were BC, you know, before COVID. The way in which we work is one of the many changes resulting from a pandemic world. And as such we now find that our core business skillsets need to also be adapted. There are 6 Business Skills Needed in a Post Lockdown Workplace that your team will need to adopt to succeed in the aftermath of a pandemic.  
business skills women doing yoga on her desk The world was already evolving rapidly BC, and the pandemic just accelerated it. Whatever the catalyst is for change, change has occurred, and we need to accept and adapt to it being the norm. The need for meetings has not changed, but what has changed is the acceptance and flexibility we are affording one another when it comes to how we conduct them. To succeed in this new world we are in, we will need to be able to adapt to an ever-evolving workplace. Additionally, we will need to have the ability to continuously update and refresh our communication skills.  
How to Make Your Business More Tech Savvy One of the best ways to prepare yourself and your team for change is to acquire skills that keep you ahead of the game. The pandemic fast-tracked digital transformations in companies to a level and a speed that was never before seen. The reality is advancements in technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet of Things, virtual and augmented reality, and robotics will make businesses more resilient to future disruptions. And any team or business that can adapt to new technologies will be in a great position.



Creativity At Work: 6 Ways To Encourage Innovative Ideas - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

We have already seen the importance of creativity and innovation during the pandemic. Businesses that have been able to come up with ways to deliver services virtually or quickly shift to new products have been able to better weather the storm. In this brave new world we are in, we need human ingenuity to invent and dream up new products to be prepared for the “next thing”. Human creativity is going to be essential, particularly in managing our key accounts. That is, we need to step outside the square and look at how we continue to offer value solutions through creative thinking. click here to contact the KONA Group red button or call 1300 611 288

To Book Your Team’s Tailored Business Skills in the New World Workshop

Read A MORE Personalised Leadership Style? Online To succeed in today’s new world, Leaders need to be empathetic and adopt a personalised approach to managing individuals within a team. A Personalised Leadership Development plan is what helps turn a manager into a Leader. A Personlised Leadership Framework begins by developing a strategic growth plan. That is, one that outlines both short and long-term plans. By developing this style of Leadership Framework, an individual is able to increase skills, knowledge, and experience through layered learnings. And additionally, Leaders will be able to build positive mental reinforcements as well as create a firm foundation of leadership ability.



Intricately linked to Leadership is another skill that is even more important in uncertain and challenging times. That is, Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Fundamentally, the ability to be aware of, express, and control our emotions and be aware of others’ emotions is what emotional intelligence is all about. At times when people might feel uncertain about their job and the future of their business, it is key to connect with people. That is, on an emotional level.

Individuals with strong EQ will be coveted by organisations of all sizes and in all industries.

Throughout the Work From Home stages, we have been measuring Leaders’ EQ and coaching them on how they best navigate through these times. As we move post-COVID life, it is this type of measurement and forward thinking by leaders that will become mainstream.  
According to the World Economic Forum, in just five years, 35 percent of the skills deemed essential today will change. There’s only one way to remain relevant in an ever changing world: commit to a lifetime of learning. When faced with a tight job market, professionals with advanced and expert job skills will still be in demand. Additionally, they will likely struggle less to find employment. With so many learning options available these days, people are often tempted to simply go to Google, type in some general search terms, and start one of the first courses that pops up. That’s a waste of time. Job requirements are quickly evolving. To ensure relevance, you need to focus on learning the latest emerging skills. The good news is that improving your skills has never been easier with KONA’s Business Skills in the New World Workshop. It can be virtual or face to face, we customise all the learnings to your team’s needs and challenges.Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets.'' Leonardo Da Vinci - 1076x1023: QuotesPorn click here to contact the KONA Group red button or call 1300 611 288

To Book Your Team’s Tailored Business Skills in the New World Workshop

Call us at KONA on 1300 611 288 for a conversation, or email i[email protected] anytime.


6 Ways to Improve Your Sales Outreach Strategy to Win More Leads

Sales Outreach Strategy Model for the KONA Group

We all get them, the “annoying” telephone calls from someone trying to sell you something you absolutely don’t need. That is not what you want as your strategy right? Thankfully, there are other ways.

Sales Outreach has come a long way and has evolved to something quite different from pure cold calling. And as the field continues developing, you need to keep up with it. With the help of research and new techniques, you can improve your Sales Outreach Strategy and make it more effective in today’s current climate.

Consequently, a rise in engagement, conversion rates, and profits is likely to follow. So don’t hesitate, because as we teach in our workshops, Activity Drives Results, and therefore, with a better Sales Outreach you will get better results.

activity drives results equation



Sales Outreach is the process of engaging with prospects who meet your customer profile. That is, with the goal of bringing them into the Sales pipeline and converting them into paying customers.

Moreover, the rise of inbound marketing has greatly increased the number of channels for the modern marketer. But it has also increased the noise that we need to learn to cut through if we are to reach the modern B2B buyer.

Consequently, and partly as a response to the noise, outbound marketing has been modernised. Prospecting has become a key part of the marketing mix. Crucially, it allows highly targeted Sales Outreach to deliver personalised messages to key decision-makers.

17 Most Important Pieces Of Information To Gather On Prospects



Cold Sales Outreach is a vital part of starting conversations with potential customers. The merits of this, and which methods of Outreach are most effective, are revealed in some surprising statistics.

  • The average Salesperson only spends a third of their day actually selling
  • 40% of Salespeople say prospecting is the hardest part of their job (HubSpot)
  • 60% of B2B buyers say no four times before saying yes
  • 48% of Salespeople never even make a single follow up attempt (Invespcro)
  • It takes between eight and 18 calls to actually connect with a buyer (Brevet & TopoHQ)
  • Salespeople spend the equivalent of an entire day each week writing emails (HubSpot)
  • 70% of unanswered Sales emails aren’t followed up (Yesware)
  • Follow up emails generate 77% of prospecting campaign responses (Sopro)
  • 80% of prospects prefer Sales discussion over email compared to any other medium (HubSpot)
  • Email marketing is almost 40 times more effective than social media marketing for new customer acquisition (Brevet)
  • 89% of marketers say that email is their primary channel for lead generation (Copper)


If you notice that you’re not reaching your Sales goals, it might be time to work on your Sales Outreach approach. Does your team have an effective Sales Outreach Strategy in place?  Below are 6 Ways to Improve Your Sales Outreach Strategy to get you started.


Remember? We will say it again and never stop drilling it in. Activity Drives Results!

As a business with something to sell, you are the one that should make the first move. This is particularly obvious with outbound Sales Outreach. That is, where the entire concept is that you contact potential clients to close the deal. But even if you’re focusing on inbound Sales Outreach, there are things you can do to improve your chances of conversion.

outbound versus inbound sales

For example, collecting data about your leads, prospects, and existing clients will give you a better idea of who they are and what they respond to. This is addressed in a 90 Minute Virtual Workshop, called The Importance of Information Gathering and Your Sales Outreach Strategy.

Once you have gathered the correct and valuable data from your prospect, you can use the knowledge to improve your approach. That means, from your marketing and branding all the way to your customer services. This process will significantly increase your opportunities of being contacted by interested customers.


Having a comprehensive understanding of your customers is key to achieving core business goals.

Whether you’re trying to build the customer experience, create more engaging content, or increase Sales. Knowing your customers better than they do is key. That means developing ideal customer profiles and mapping your audience. This is addressed in a 90 Minute Virtual Workshop, called Customer DNA and Your Sales Outreach Strategy.

importance of customer research statistics image



Who you approach is also going to affect how you approach them.

You want to meet potential clients where they are, that is – using the communication channels they prefer. Virtually everyone uses e-mail these days, so that’s a safe bet for Sales Outreach. Phones have been successfully used in Sales for decades, so they will probably work for you too.

What’s new in recent years is social media. If you can harness the power of different social media platforms, you can significantly improve your strategy. Just remember to choose the right social media.

90% of top-performing Salespeople now use social media as part of their sales strategy. (LinkedIn)

Social Selling Tips: Using Social Media to Connect with Prospects

To Book Your Team on their Sales Outreach Strategy Building Workshop | Virtual Training

Have a think about which channels will work best for your target audience. Cold calling will be the way to go for some.

An approach on social media can work really well for others. Of course, LinkedIn is the go-to network for most B2B buyers. However, if your audience is, say, wedding photographers, then Instagram might be a place they are more active.

64% of sales reps who invest in social media hit their team quota – compared to only 49% of reps that don’t use social media. (LinkedIn)

Cold email outreach is a proven tactic that delivers the highest lead rates and marketing ROI. And as the above figures show, four out of five B2B buyers prefer to be contacted by email over any other medium.


Personalisation is where it is at these days. It is in fact, one of the most effective tactics for both marketing and client retention that you can possibly invest in. It makes your efforts more relevant for the individual client. But also, it makes them feel important and special rather than just another number.

Every person you contact should believe that you typed out an email just for them. Cold email copywriting is an art form in itself, but it’s the personalisation that really takes a message to the next level.

By personalising 20% of email content, open rates increased over 40% on average and reply rates increased 112%. This is compared to emails with no personalisation at all. (SalesLoft)

Build loyalty and increase sales through personalisation - Raconteur
But how do you personalise a Sales Outreach approach?

The first step is collecting as much information as you can. Remember, The Importance of Information Gathering and Your Sales Outreach Strategy?

Equally as important, invest in a good CRM system! This is crucial. A solid CRM will help you collect, organise, and measure data about ALL your team’s leads. Then, when your Salespeople contact those leads, they can use information about them to adjust and tailor their Sales pitch to each one. They should use the customer’s interests and previous experiences with the business as a starting point to rebuild that all-important rapport. Crucially, they will refer back to emails and conversations and know how to connect with a particular customer and pick up from where they last left off. Finally, your Salespeople can use the data to guide your marketing strategies too. This will consequently increase the number of inbound contacts you get and have a significant growth effect on their pipeline.

Businesses that leverage CRM software sees sales increase by 29%, sales productivity increase by 34%, and sales forecast accuracy increase by 42%. (Salesforce)


You have to get into the right state of mind.

You can no longer focus on selling your product, service, or solution. You must focus on communicating as a trusted advisor and industry thought leader. That means focusing on the value and ROI your solution delivers versus the simple features and benefits of the actual product or service.

Learn How to Change Your Mindset for Amazing Results | Sales 3.0 Conference
But how do you change your mindset?

Keep yourself open to new ideas by continuing to learn. Crucially, invest in your team’s education with continuous learning and training.

Tailored training involves the use of Sales-based activities designed to spark creativity and help your Salespeople reframe their thinking to value-based selling, rather than basic brand flogger.

The mindset of every Salesperson has the power to drive or destroy their sales. It is up to you as their Leader, to shape a positive, results-orientated mindset.


Most of the time, a single contact is not going to be enough for conversion. And when your customers are other businesses as well, you need to remember they too are busy people whose first priority is probably not your business.

So don’t let them forget about you! Contact them again after a while. If you can, work on building actual relationships. A more personal approach will help you make the Sale. However, know when to hold back as well. Aim for a balanced approach where you follow up without being too pushy.

How do you know when your team needs to improve its Sales Outreach Strategy?

There’s never a bad time to improve your Sales Outreach strategy. After all, a better approach leads to better results.

As Leaders, if you’re working on your quarterly plans or reorganising things in your business, reconsidering how you do your Sales Outreach techniques should be on the list every time.

But it becomes critical when you notice too many deals are lost and leads are not moving through the Sales pipeline. This will affect your ROI and overall profits, so trying a new approach as soon as possible is a must.

CFO: What happens if we train them and they leave? CEO: What happens if we don’t and they stay?

Call us to organise your team of professionals to be part of your bespoke training and build a customised Sales Outreach Strategy. Each focus learning area will be tailored to your team’s needs and challenges.

They can be part of 4 x 90 minutes Sales Outreach Strategy Essentials Virtual Workshops. Cherry-pick one or all of the topics below and customise your Team’s Learning.

Sales Outreach Strategy Essentials

  • 5 Steps of a Sales Conversation
  • Front of Mind Awareness
  • Follow Up and the Sales Process
  • Maximising Prospecting
  • Prospector’s Dozen
  • Cost = Time + Money
  • Customer DNA
  • Upsell and Cross-Sell Strategies
  • Missed Opportunities
  • Objection Handling
  • Closing the Sales Process
  • Client Meeting Map

To Book Your Team on their Sales Outreach Strategy Building Workshop | Virtual Training

To book Your Team’s tailored Sales Outreach Strategy Building Virtual Workshops, contact KONA on 1300 611 288 for a confidential conversation, or email [email protected] anytime.


The Secret to Happiness | 7 Easy to Apply Tips

back view of four casually dressed adults jumping in the sunlight atop a grass field


What is the Secret to Happiness and How Does a Happy Mindset Improve Sales?

Coping with the emotional toll of missed opportunities and train-wreck sales meetings can be tiring as well as demoralising. But despite the trials, you must fight against what can at times seem like an onslaught of negativity. That is, if you want to get to the rewards. And the best way to do that is by cultivating and also nourishing a positive attitude.

However, the trick is not just being positive when everything is A-Okay, but rather staying positive even when things don’t go so well. Remember the time old philosophy – that you can’t always control the outcomes of things, but what you can control is how you respond to those outcomes. But is this the true secret to happiness? Well, read on.

While many of us can handle the pressure, some of us crumble under it. And if we don’t take care of our own happiness, our sales success can take a real blow.  “How do you know if you have a piece of quartz or a diamond on your team, in your relationships, family, and even within yourself? The only way to really know – is to apply pressure”, reflects HBB Group CEO Garret Norris. So when it comes to handling pressure, do you have diamonds or quartzes on your team?

Diamond and quartz shiny images on black background for secret to happiness
Are You a Diamond or a Quartz Under Pressure

That’s why we want to show you that there is a real relationship between happiness and sales success. But it is up to you to decide, how does your personal happiness play a part in your sales process? And ultimately, what record long study has revealed the true secret to happiness?

What is the Secret to Happiness?

Robert Waldinger is a Harvard professor. He has been studying lifelong happiness for near on his entire life. It has been the longest study on happiness ever. And remarkably, it is still going on today.

The study started with boys from a variety of backgrounds. That is some poor, some rich, some in college and some on the streets. Researchers tried to predict the lives of the boys. All of them had different dreams of becoming rich and famous. However, a true prediction turned out to be impossible. As their health, personal relationships, jobs and social status did not match the researchers’ predictions.

Psychiatrist Robert Waldinger is the director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one of the longest and most complete studies of adult life ever conducted. The study followed two cohorts of men for 75 years, starting in 1938: 268 Harvard sophomores as part of the “Grant Study” led by Harvard psychiatrist George Vaillant 456 of 12- to 16-year-old boys who grew up in inner-city Boston as part of the Glueck Study, led by Harvard Law School professor Sheldon Glueck

Waldinger surprisingly could only come up with one major conclusion. Just one crucial result, from 75 years of studying happiness in 724 different men. The finding: good lives come from good relationships.

In other words, when these men didn’t have strong personal relationships and couldn’t count on others for support, their health declined. And consequently, they were less motivated to continue pursuing a successful career. And most importantly, good relationships were all based on effective communication!

click here to contact the KONA Group red button or call 1300 611 288

To Book Your Team on a Positive Sales Process Workshop


So, How Do We Cultivate and Nourish Happy Relationships?

Well, based on Waldinger’s research, below are 7 Tips on How to Be A Happy (Sales) Person. Or indeed a happy person in general. Fundamentally, these tips all have two key aspects in common. Effective Communication and Activity. Happiness is not a goal, it is a process. It is all about cultivating good relationships through communication. As for being active – activity drives results! Every time.

clipart salespeople smiling fist pumps for secret to happiness in sales process
Secret to Happiness in a Sales Process

These tips are not just for Salespeople, everyone can benefit from these simple practices, so share them amongst your colleagues, peers and family. Isn’t the greatest gift of all is when we see someone happy? Well, why not give others the tools to make themselves happy, daily.

7 Tips on How to Be A Happy (Sales) Person

1. Talk to Another Adult Daily

Have an actual small conversation with them. Even if it is a neighbour or someone at the shops. It’s a break for your mind. And it gives you fuel for self-worth. By connecting with others, you become bigger than yourself. Conversations are the mixing bowls that great ideas emerge from. By discussing an idea with someone, even a stranger, they can help flesh it out.

man with white hair back to screen, with his hands on his backyard fence talking to his neighbour, a lred hair smiling lady with a raised right arm waving at him for the secret to happiness

Additionally, when someone takes the time to listen to you, they demonstrating appreciation for you. They may not agree with you in everything, but value your perspective. That in turn formulates self-worth and personal value. Our looks or digital image are no match for a conversation in showcasing our personality. Talking to someone is you in 3D, HD, and live all in one.

And best of all, conversations can make you laugh, can be fascinating, and can cheer you up.

2. Do Not Let Others Control Your Emotions

This one is easier said than done, but when done, it is highly successful emotionally. Added to that, it is also the absolute best feeling! Do not waste your personal social interactions on people who are emotionally draining. It was Eleanor Roosevelt who eloquently stated, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

salesperson in a business suit with strings pulling his arms by a puppet master's hand

As much as we hate to admit it, we are where we are in life because of the decisions we’ve made, either consciously or unconsciously. Most people don’t want to accept that they are the cause of their own outcomes. Especially when they’ve been so directly and closely exposed to vile human beings. They become programmed to a certain response, but the response is still nevertheless a choice. There’s always another response to choose.

When we take ownership of how we respond, we are taking full responsibility for ourselves. Look at the word responsibility: response + ability. That means our ability to respond to situations, events, or people in the way we choose. We can choose to respond in anger, or we can choose to respond with calm.

Here are some ways to better control your emotions and choose a better response:

  1. Start each day with a Positive Mindset. When you start with a positive outlook at the beginning of they day, it sets a calm tone for the day. It heightens your focus and self-awareness. It makes you better equipped to handle adversity.
  2. Accept Response-Ability. Accept that your feelings are entirely in your hands. When you do this, you take back control. You get to decide how you want to react.
  3. Reflection. Think back at a time when you got angry at someone. How did it go down? What did you say or do? How did you handle it? Now, think about the feeling when it first arrived. How could you have made a conscious decision to respond differently?
  4. Shut the Ego Up. Someone did something, and you suddenly became angry. Your ego said: “Go ahead. Get angry! Your feelings are totally justified. They *made* you feel this way. They totally deserve your wrath!” So, you ran with it. Sure, there’s always that sense of instant gratification that you get by letting loose on someone who’s done or said something that caused a negative feeling to stir in you. But that is only temporary. And sometimes, most of the time, you feel like a complete donkey’s rear afterwards because you didn’t have more self-control. Then the guilt and shame settles in. And so starts the viscous cycle.
Calm and angry man characters 1266900 Vector Art at Vecteezy

What if you decided to ignore the ego when the feelings first started coming on and you said: “Nope. I am not going to feel this way. This feeling doesn’t serve me or my well-being. I am going to calmly let it go.” Try it next time you hear that wicked voice in your head pushing you to react in a fruitless attempt to punish the offending party.

By taking responsibility for your reactions, you eventually gain control over your emotions. You begin to develop new emotional habits and a better response system. Your perception of what once would have made you really angry will change, and you will see it in a different light. You are in control of how you feel and how you respond.

click here to contact the KONA Group red button or call 1300 611 288

To Book Your Team on a Positive Sales Process Workshop


3. Learn to Be Comfortable Alone But Also Try and Connect with New People

We often feel like we have to do things as a group in order for them to be fun. Not true. In reality, that’s not always the case. A lot of the time, many of us feel like we just need timeout with ourselves. And that is so important.

5 Signs My Body and Brain Are Begging for Alone Time

Alone time resets the brain and spirit. It dilutes the fog and clears the emotions from concern of what others are thinking. Having timeout with yourself allows you to crucially workout what you like and don’t like clearly. It gives you power to choose what you want in that moment, as well as in the future. 

Try it out: it will do wonders for your confidence, and you will more than likely meet other people who have the same interests as you. And that there is equally important. Connecting with like-minded folk, adds to our self-worth and allows us to always be learning to better our emotional growth. And we know we only stop learning when we stop living!

4. Communicate Effectively with Your Partner, Family, Friends, and Colleagues

Open communication is the best way of maintaining strong relationships. Ask them quality questions about themselves using open questions. This will yield you answers which reflect their true feelings.

Additionally, listen to them. Actively. That is actually, listen! Very different to hearing them! Communication is not the same as broadcasting, or simply sending out of information. Effective Communication is a two-way process, in other words, it involves both the sending and receiving of information.

It therefore requires both speaking and listening. But most importantly, it requires developing a shared understanding of the information being transmitted and received.

  • If you are the Information ‘Sender’ you need to communicate clearly to start with. Then ask quality questions to check your listeners’ understanding. You must also then in turn listen to their replies. And crucially, if necessary clarify further.
  • If you are the Information ‘Recipient’ you need to listen carefully to the information. Then check you have understood by reflecting back, or asking questions. This is to ensure that both of you have the same understanding of the situation.
Communication Pie Chart with four Quadrants representing Sender, Receiver, Message and Feedback

Effective Communication is therefore an active process, there is nothing passive about strong communication, in either direction.

click here to contact the KONA Group red button or call 1300 611 288

To Book Your Team on a Positive Sales Process Workshop


5. Volunteer, Give Back, Random Acts of Kindness

The action of a good deed is amazing for nourishing our well-being. Why? Because it’s a win-win situation. You are giving back AND you feel good about yourself. Additionally, you are also opening the door to opportunities to forge relationships with people who think like you!

Doing a good deed helps you focus your thoughts outward toward others. It helps you take a step outside your own world for a little while. Performing good deeds can have positive effects on your health, like reducing stress.

No good deed is too small - Small Fish Business Coaching - Carl Dierschow

Two large studies found that older adults who volunteered reaped benefits in their health and well-being. Those who volunteered were living longer than non-volunteers. Another large study found a 44% reduction in early death among those who volunteered a lot (webmd.com).


When we engage in good deeds, we reduce our own stress. This includes the physiological changes that occur when we’re stressed. During this stress response, hormones like cortisol are released, and our heart and breathing rates increase. That is, the “fight or flight” response.


If a stress response remains “turned on” for an extended period, the immune and cardiovascular systems are adversely affected. That means the body’s defences are weakened, making it more susceptible to abnormal cellular changes. Studies of telomeres, that is the “end-caps of our genes”, have revealed long-term stress shortens those end-caps. And shortened end-caps is linked with early death.

Pros and Cons of Anticipating EPPP Exam Stress - TSM Blog

In a nutshell, the process of cultivating a positive emotional state through pro-social behaviours, that is by being generous, may lengthen our life.

6. Always be Active but One Step at a Time

We know that activity drives results. And what’s more, it is awesome for our health. That is, activity promotes increased muscular endurance. That means, your muscles will be able to work longer and harder before they lose strength or feel exhausted (‘fatigued’). This effect can also see you feeling more able to cope with everyday physical tasks. Lowering blood pressure. Increasing good cholesterol levels. All round great benefits.

But remember, you don’t need to tackle every task. Rather tackle things one step at a time. This allows us to keep making progress even if we aren’t making as much progress as we had planned for before we started. Consequently, we can work through challenges instead of quitting every time we hit a tough spot.


If you are setting goals and finding that you can’t seem to stick with it, then shift your mindset to start to focus on each step. This allows you to concentrate on the current step and getting past it. There you go, an accomplishment already!


You will be amazed at how much this can help. It can allow you to continue just long enough for the work to become a routine and then habit. It can become an automatic act without much thought. When it does, you will start to be able to build on it. Today, just focus on working through today’s challenges. Remember the old adage – how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

7. Acknowledge Difficulties and Be Happy in the Present

This point in particular is what is known as giving your brain a “happiness advantage”. We must not bottle-up our feelings or brush sadness and conflict under the carpet. Rather, we must learn to always acknowledge our situation. Work on it. And continue to move forward. By learning how to be happy in the present you automatically cleanse your mind.

“The person who can freely acknowledge that life is full of difficulties can be free, because they are acknowledging the nature of life – that it can’t be much else.” - Shunryu Suzuki quote

Try your best to be accepting of the moment and practice gratitude as much as you can. And for those of us that find the art of gratitude difficult to navigate on a continual basis, try these helpers:

  • Write down 3 new things per day that made you feel happy or grateful
  • Keep a list of positive experiences and add to it when you can
  • Exercise!! Even if it is a 40-minute walk. Every day!
  • Spend a minimum of two minutes a day slow breathing (or even better, meditating). In your own way.
  • Spread the Happiness. That means, bring positivity into the world around you! Compliment a colleague. Reach out to a person feeling blue. Spend some time volunteering. Surprise someone with a gift or kind message for no reason, or to simply say thinking of you or thank you.

If you follow these tips, you will notice that you are happier, healthier, and more successful.

Keep in mind that happiness is not a goal, it is a way of life!

click here to contact the KONA Group red button or call 1300 611 288

To Book Your Team on a Positive Sales Process Workshop


Great, now that you understand the core happiness process, you can apply these techniques to your sales process. Firstly, it is important to strengthen your relationships. Sales is a people-oriented job, so maintaining good customer relationships increases your personal happiness.

Are you in a love-hate relationship with your job?

That is, do you hate it when you are at work and love it when you’re not?

Happy salespeople convert more leads and are generally more successful because their customers actually want to talk to them. They are more engaging and talk about the value of a product more than an unhappy salesperson does. If you’re unhappy in your sales job, try the tips above and apply the learnings below. Together this formula will see you your sales performance skyrocket as well as your KPIs and ROI.

Learn how to apply the two key happiness factors – effective communication and activity – in your Sales Process, by studying these Two Focus Learning Areas.


  • Understand Why You Are Here, What is Your Value Proposition?
  • Learn How to Communicate with Customers in Unsettling Times
  • Ask Quality Questions and Actively Listen to Strengthen Customer Relationships
  • Change Your Sales Mindset
  • Grasp the Power of Words
  • Get Jabbed with Infectious Positivity
  • Learn How to Reframe Speech for Positive Communication
  • Understand Human Behaviour to form Positive Relationships
  • Strengthen your Emotional Intelligence


  • 5 Steps of a Sales Conversation
  • Front of Mind Awareness
  • Follow Up and the Sales Process
  • Maximising Prospecting
  • Prospector’s Dozen
  • Cost = Time + Money
  • Customer DNA
  • Upsell and Cross Sell Strategies
  • Missed Opportunities
  • Objection Handling
  • Closing the Sales Process
  • Client Meeting Map

Call us to organise your team of professionals to be part of your bespoke training and build a Positive Sales Process in your business. Each focus learning area will be tailored to your team’s needs and challenges.

4 x 90 minutes Effective Communication and Positive Sales Process Virtual Workshops. Cherry pick one or all of the topics mentioned above. Customise your Team’s Learning.

To Book Your Team on their tailored  Effective Communication and Positive Sales Process Virtual Workshops Contact KONA on 1300 611 288 for a confidential conversation, or email [email protected] anytime.


Does Your Sales Team Need an Update? Top 8 Sales Competencies.


Had an update lately? Apple updates its operating systems on a regular basis. As does Samsung, Office 365 and so on and so on. Why? Basically, to fix something that is dated, to add new information, or to simply make for a superior product. Most of these updates occur automatically and without fanfare. But, when an update advances to the next level – from 14.0 to 15.0 – it is a big deal. Moreover, it also means significant advances in features, stability, security, and usability. This leaves you – the customer – excited, satisfied, and wanting more!

Excited, satisfied and wanting more? And all it took was an update?!

Well then, does it not stand to reason, if we updated our Sales Competencies our customers too will be excited, satisfied, and wanting more?

Excellent Salespeople will have a specific set of core Sales Competencies. And it is their Leader’s job to ensure these Sales Competencies are refined and renewed. How? By regularly updating their skills, performance methods and top of the list Sales Competencies. These competencies are both inherent traits to their behaviours as well as skills that can be trained, practiced, and once again, updated. Understanding what these select proficiencies are, how they contribute to a Salesperson’s success, and how to recognise them in your team will make a significant difference. Namely, pumping up their pipeline and boosting overall ROI.
Whether they are converting inbound sales calls, fighting it out in the field or managing from behind the front-lines, Sales professionals need a particular set of foundational skills. Below is a list of the Top 8 Sales Competencies your Sales Team should be receiving regular updates in.


click here to contact the KONA Group red button or call 1300 611 288



Top 8 Sales Competencies

1. Prospecting
Finding a customer’s pain points and needs in the marketplace keeps the pipeline full of potential customers for new business. It’s essential to update your Prospecting Style. This can be from how you research your customers, how to uncover their desires, as well as new was to define the ideal customer profile.

customer pain points clipart mosaic

2. Upselling
Strong Salespeople are able to identify opportunities for expansion revenue. For Sales Managers, this means observing their Sales team under a microscope. That is, updating their account management processes, active listening skills, quality questioning techniques and customer rapport strategies. trolley with bar graph and arrow going up in it for sales competencies  
3. Time Management
Self-management is a significant factor influencing success in Sales. This has never been more so than in this current work from home environment. Do your Salespeople know how to maintain their mojo and time management skills while working from home? It is crucial for both the Salesperson and their Manager to have a Sales Process in place, keep to task and stay on a schedule. Equally as important, is ensuring these attributes are regularly measured and – updated!

man with head in his hands at computer with two post it notes with eye sketch drawings overing his eyes

4. Proper Planning
An update for planning skills is essential. This is because it shows how your Sales team intends to accomplish their goals. Effective Planners know the end goal and plan around achieving those goals. But even plans need updating. Does your Sales team know how to:
  • Breakdown their time?
  • Reverse Plan?
  • Record progress and results?
  • Calculate Time Spent on Quality Conversations?

click here to contact the KONA Group red button or call 1300 611 288


5. Accountability
When it comes to Sales Competency, the tools to use to measure your Salespeople’s actions and results is a huge predictor of success. Salespeople who make it second nature to “own it”, that is take responsibility for their actions, grow both their skills as well as the organisation’s value and productivity. honesty is an expensive gift don't expect it from cheap people warren buffet quote  
6. Build the Emotional Contract
Updating how your Salespeople and Managers emotionally engage with their customers is vital. Do your Salespeople know how to:
  • Help their customers through the buying process?
  • Understand how to ease their customer into a comfortable conversation?
  • Communicate effectively, and efficiently?
  • Establish trust and gain a commitment?
  • Know when to speak and when to stay quiet?
clipart customer service man with headset at desk and laptop with a heart shape in his hand  
7. Drive Decisions
Sales is about getting people to buy, so knowing how to encourage people to make a purchase is crucial. But first, your Salespeople need to know why people buy. And this “why” changes overtime. How will your Sales team know why their customers buy, without regular updates into their customer’s needs? Does your Sales Team need to update its Why Statement? kona group why statement model  
8. Emotional Intelligence
A vital Sales Competency of successful Salespeople is possessing a high Emotional Intelligence. That is, knowing how to manage their feelings as well as the feelings of other people. Controlling emotions requires clear self-awareness as well as self-confidence. But it also requires the skill of knowing how to “read” their customer’s behaviour. Updating your Salespeople’s understanding of others teaches them how to look for crucial cues. Ultimately, it provides them with a tool kit to “read” the behaviour of their customer throughout the entire sales relationship. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE A CORE SALES COMPTENTECIES   To UPDATE YOUR TEAM’S SALES COMPETENCIES Call KONA on 1300 611 288 for a conversation, or email [email protected] anytime.   hope is not a business strategy hbb group kona sales training

What Is Your Selling Style?

what is your selling style?

Your Selling Style has a massive impact on your Sales outcomes. A Selling Style is how you connect with the customer. Basically, how your actions impact and influence the customer’s decision making.

It is important to know the type of Salesperson you are. The primary reason for this is, once you step outside your comfort zone you are no longer in control. In other words, when you divert away from your natural operating style you become uncomfortable and therefore less efficient in your sales.

Bearing in mind we all have our own Selling Style, the question is, should Salespeople use the same approach with all their customers?

No! In our experience, the best Salespeople vary their “Selling Style” depending on the other person and the situation. Yes, questioning and listening, asking for the order, and product knowledge are all important. But equally, is knowing when to use each of these skills and techniques. That is what is known as Selling Style Flexibility.

Which of the 4 Selling Styles are You?

1. Repair Person

The Repairperson is technical by nature. These people won’t sell but they will talk “technical”.

The repairperson loves to help people and may end up making a sale, but with one caveat. The people they are dealing with have to be technical in nature, just like them. This is because they tend to be at their best when talking with someone in their same discipline. That is customers who are often engineers, accountants, computer analysts, or other technical professionals. Speaking with someone like-minded gives them a chance to demonstrate their excellent technical abilities and “repair” the other person’s problem.

The Repairperson Sales Style is technical by nature. These people won’t sell but they will talk “technical”.

Do you know how to manage the different selling styles of your salespeople?

Find out your Salespeople’s Selling Style with a KONA Group Team Assessment!

2. Hunter

Hunters thrive on seeking out new opportunities, opening new doors, and looking for the next opportunity. Their eyes and minds are always on the horizon looking for the neat kill. They are the best type to have around when your sales funnel is empty because of their “go and get ‘em” mentality.

When times are tight and Sales opportunities are at a low, the Hunter will forge into new Sales territories and find new opportunities. In good times, Hunters need to learn how to harness their drive and energy, so they farm their accounts and opportunities rather than always seeking out new prey. Hunters are decisive, bold, and blunt in their efforts to close a Sale.

person with binoculars clipart for selling styles hunter


Find out your Salespeople’s Selling Style with a KONA Group Team Assessment. Contact Us Today.

3. Shopkeeper

The Shopkeeper has a pleasant personality and delights in helping people. These people like to be of service and helping others is their strong suit. The can often be found in retail, catalogue sales, or inbound tele-marketing. Shopkeepers feel they must be liked and respected by their prospects and may come across as being overly friendly. Shopkeepers are best suited for inside sales and putting them on the road is usually a mistake.

When it comes to sales techniques, the Shopkeeper does not like to be perceived as being pushy or aggressive and would prefer to make friends with customers than jeopardise the relationship by assertively moving the sale along to a conclusion. Shopkeepers don’t make a Sale – they wait for the customer to buy. Because of this, closing doesn’t come easy for the Shopkeeper.



Find out your Salespeople’s Selling Style with a KONA Group Team Assessment.

4. Farmer

Farmers thrive on nurturing and maintaining accounts or opportunities. Once given a Sales lead, these people spring into action, make contacts, burrow their way into the account, and work it.

Farmers often go out of their way to help customers because they believe in the value of maintaining an ongoing relationship with the customer.

Unlike the Hunter, Farmers are not galvanised into action by a sales slump. Once someone opens the door and the Sale, the Farmer will take it over and run with it. Smart Farmers realise this and will seek out assistance when their sales fields go barren.

male and female farmers


Find out your Salespeople’s Selling Style today with a KONA Group Team Assessment.

Call 1300 611 288 for a confidential conversation.

Alternatively, you can email [email protected] anytime!

kona sales training laureatte heritage TRANSPARENT

5 Hidden Problems in Your Sales Team

back of salesman with fingers crossed and speech bubble saying "who am I trying to convince?"

The Importance of Sales Team Independent Reports

The challenge faced by many Sales Leaders and Managers today is how do you measure your Salespeople’s capabilities? Moreover, how do you get objective feedback about your Sales team’s performance? And ultimately, how do you create a learning program based upon this information? A successful Sales team must be able to be independently measured. That is, facts that help provide information on your team’s strengths and weaknesses. This objective feedback is achieved through Sales Team Independent Reports. Ultimately, detailed data from Independent Reports allows us to get direct feedback right away. That is, without collecting information from customers or having to conduct questionnaires. thumbs up thumbs down icons for blog on Sales Team Independent Reports
Sales Team Independent Reports
Sales Team Independent Reports extract valuable information and insights from your Sales team. As well, it defines how they operate. Most importantly, the findings result in increased:
  • Productivity and ROI
  • KPIs and Hitting Target
  • Customer Loyalty and Retention
  • Business Value
  • Performance and Profit
Sales Team Independent Reports can uncover challenges within your team. Consequently, if these challenges are not addressed, they can result in decreased performance and profit. Listed below are 5 Hidden Problems in Your Sales Teams. Subsequently, these are just a few core issues we have discovered in recent Sales Team Independent Reports.


click here to contact the KONA Group red button or call 1300 611 288




Many salespeople excel at highlighting product features and benefits. But many also often fail to communicate the value, which is equally, if not more, important. Salespeople need to be taught how to put themselves in the position of their prospect. Here is a start: can your Sales team answer these three crucial questions when interacting with their prospects:
  1. Why should this product or service matter?
  2. How will it help prospects do their jobs better?
  3. What Is In It For Them (the prospect)?

what's in it for them image with WIIFT and KONA Group logo

  If your salespeople can not unpack complex and competitive product and solution information, into concise and articulate value propositions, they will not be effective.  


Effective Sales means having the ability to make minor changes in your conversational patterns. This can truly go a long way in creating happy customers. Language is a crucial part of persuasion. And people (especially customers) create perceptions about you and your company based on the language that we use. Negative and Positive Language to use table when selling for Sales Team Independent Reports  


Body language provides incredible information on what people are thinking. Ultimately, it accounts for more than 60% of our communication. Subsequently, your body is saying a lot about you during a Sale. Consequently, cues arise from seemingly minor things like. That is, even down to the micro facial expressions you make.

two clipart men talking with crossed arm with shadow with devil horns

Therefore, body language influences how customers feel about your interaction with them. Crucially, your posture and eye contact play an important role in your Sales success. Ultimately, it affects whether your customers’ have a positive or negative impression of the business. But body language can be used to your advantage. Simply, this can be achieved by applying key techniques consciously to your interaction with customers. Some of these include:
  • Strong Eye Contact
  • Learn to Use your Voice Effectively
  • Do Not Cross Your Arms
  • Keep and Open Stance
  • Fidget.
  • SMILE (even on the phone!)


click here to contact the KONA Group red button or call 1300 611 288




Sales is is based on listening to people and helping them with what they need. However, instead of listening, hearing has becoming increasingly prevalent. Indeed, you might be wondering what difference there is between the two. Undoubtedly, we need to understand this to also realise the crucial importance of listening. Importantly, listening is an active skill which involves the words spoken, but also the nuances beneath them. Furthermore, it is associated with emotions and tone. Basically, these traits are what a good listener observes, compared to just hearing the words.

quote saying do not listen with intent to reply but with the intent to understand



Brand knowledge is one of the core skills for Sales teams. It is the understanding of your company’s offerings that guarantees the success of the Sales. The more you know, the better you get at delivering Sales excellence. A lack of brand knowledge not only reflects on the employee’s ability, but also on the company overall. That means, the customer will assume that sufficient training hasn’t been provided. salesperson in a suit with a question mark covering his face Consequently, being able to spot the signs of when employees need to improve their brand knowledge is essential. Indicators include:
I) Poor Application of Knowledge
An obvious indicator is your Sales team not being able to apply their knowledge in real life situations. That is, there will be times when different types of customers are looking to buy the same product.  So, if a Salesperson is reeling off general features that the customer can’t relate to, they are unlikely to retain that customer.
II) Lack of Passion and Belief
Brand knowledge allows your Salespeople to become more confident and efficient. Additionally, it vastly improves communication skills. That is, customers are more likely to interact with Salespeople who are passionate about the brand. And as a result, customer approval will create a more trustworthy image of the company.
III) Lacking Confidence
Poor brand knowledge within your team could also lead to an increased number of customers seeking out “the competition”. If your Salespeople are not fully equipped with information about the brand, their customer will not feel confident in the purchase process. This lack of brand knowledge creates a bigger flow-on effect. The customer will “shop around” for better quality information and as a result this will not only see the customer leave your company, but also affect brand loyalty through the power of word-of-mouth. Basically, all of this could have been simply avoided with thorough brand knowledge and information.  


click here to contact the KONA Group red button or call 1300 611 288



“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” – Albert Einstein


Book in your Sales Team Independent Reports Appointment today with KONA Group.

Call 1300 611 288. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] for a confidential conversation.


6 Good and Bad Assumptions Salespeople Make

Assume or not assume with arrows.

Too often people make the assumption that in Sales, assumptions are bad. That is a bad assumption. A poor Sales assumption at that.

Assumptions are great. We need to make assumptions. Assumptions assist us in setting a direction, they give us something to aim for or a place to go. But indeed, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That is, we must remember, there are two types of assumptions in Sales. Positive and False.

Identifying tracking and validating assumptions in sales.

An assumption is something we take for granted, and when this turns out to be false, we call it a false assumption. There are numerous false assumptions people in sales might make. For example, a salesperson might falsely assume that a client’s problems are easy to fix. Not to the client they are not!

So, with both positive and false Sales assumptions in mind, here we have gathered for you a list of 6 GOOD AND BAD ASSUMPTIONS SALESPEOPLE MAKE, and how to turn those assumptions into result driven activity with serious ROI!

What are you waiting for click here to get started leaders fear arrow.
Make sales happen workshop image KONA group training activity equals results.

Positive Assumptions in Sales


 When a client asks the question, “Is that your best price?” why do we reply, “Let me see if I can do better”? In KONA’s The Art of Correct Negotiation Training Workshops, we do an exercise where 80 percent of the participants caved when asked that question. You need to go to the negotiating table with the assumption that you are presenting your lowest price. But then again, why are you selling on price? Why aren’t you selling solutions? Make things happen!

Toy Story characters meme about best price and do it yourself kit for assumptions blog.


Eternal optimists are indeed wonderful to be around.

Everyday has something good in it! Why would you get out of bed if you did not believe this assumption?

“If I sell hard this month, it will grow my sales three months from now”. True. There is very little you can do to affect your sales this month. It is what it is. But what about the next few months?

You should be working on your sales three to six months in advance. String together three months’ worth of hard prospecting and combine it with the above “This is going to be a great day” assumption and you will have something to look forward to. That is, Sales! Make things happen!

THE PESSIMIST SAYS ½ Empty THE OPTIMIST SAYS ½ Full THE SALESPERSON SAYS “Let’s talk about the benefits of ice”


The sooner you acknowledge that, the smarter you already are. You can always, always, learn something new and improve your sales efficiency. No matter how well you are handling your time management, there is always time to grow your knowledge. There is always fat on that bone. However, this assumption is a curse every bit as much as it is a blessing.

"I am always doing that which I cannot do in order that I may learn how to do it. Pablo Picasso #Learn #Quote.

Just because you could work harder does not mean you should. As much as it is important to “not just sit there, do something!” it is also important to “not just do something, sit there!”. Everyone gets the same number of hours in a week. If you are being outsold by a competitor or even by someone in your office, a part of the reason why comes from the fact that the other salesperson is more efficient with their Sales time or is trying something new that they learnt. Go and make new things happen!

False Assumptions in Sales


Wrong. If they were not, they would have already changed. Your job is to help them see why it is worth doing things differently. Focus only on what is relevant, actionable, and valuable to your prospect.

Help them envision how your solution will get them to their goals with greater ease. Leverage what you already know about your customers to ask better questions, deepen conversations, and establish credibility. Build that Effective Communication!

Through Effective Communication, that is Quality Questioning and Active Listening, you can demonstrate familiarity with your prospects’ business, processes, industry, issues and challenges to set yourself apart from the competition. Experiment with creative ways to get your customers saying, “Hmmm, that’s interesting. I’d like to learn more.” Make things happen!

What are you waiting for click here to get started leaders fear arrow.
Make sales happen workshop image KONA group training activity equals results.


Here is an eye opener – voice mails actually hold a lot of value. For many, voice mail is considered a black hole of selling and a waste of time. But you in fact can gain a lot by leaving a professional message. Instead of thinking that your words are falling into the abyss, why not make the assumption that you are auditioning for the job? Every word, every inflection, every nuance is being scrutinised. Now, instead of leaving a bland voice mail message or worse, just hanging up, you see voice mail as a chance to demonstrate your selling skills as well as your persistency. Better preparation yields not only a better sales call, it also results in a better voice mail. Make things happen!

Voicemails lead to call back statistics.


HOPE IS NOT A SALES STRATEGY! Nor is it a business strategy. Or a success story strategy. It is not a strategy for anything that requires a result. There is only one strategy for Sales, business, success, results – and that is ACTIVITY. Activity drives results. That is it. It is that simple.

The cost of follow up calls graph.

The more active you are the bigger and stronger your pipeline. The FOUR specific activities you need to look at immediately for your pipeline growth:

  1. A clearly defined Sales Process
  2. Spending at least three hours per month on Pipeline Management
  3. Training Sales Managers on Pipeline Management
  4. Implementing Power Hourmake sales happen workshop image kona group training activity equals results

So, pick your correct assumption and make it work. The old adage says when you assume, you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.” – that is crap. That only happens if you do not validate the assumption before you act on it. If you validate it, there are no asses, rather there is just two people (you and your customer) on the same page ready to make things happen.

Now go make things happen – start by getting your team ahead of the competition and put them on KONA’s MAKE SALES HAPPEN Workshop. Onsite or Online. Contact KONA today on 1300 611 288 for a confidential conversation or email [email protected].



Is your team due for a Sales Health Check in preparation for a productive 2021?

A Sales Health Check is an objective review of your Sales team. It highlights potential weaknesses in your team and strategy, but also builds on your areas of strength and growth.

With the challenges faced by the pandemic , how healthy is your team’s Sales capability?  Let’s think of COVID as a pot of boiling water. Now think of the egg and potato analogy. The same boiling water that softens the potato, also hardens the egg. Who in your team has come out of the pandemic soft and who has come out hard? Surely having resilient employees would be of great benefit and value to any organisation?

Hard Egg Soft Potato Image for Resilience Training


  A Sales Health Check, like all health checks, is crucial for your business’ optimal growth. Strong Leaders conduct Sales Health Checks often and that is the difference between exponential growth and remaining stagnant. Consider these 5 Sales Health Check Factors:



  • Do you have a Sales strategy that outlines, applies and measures daily activities for your team?
  • Is your team’s current activity mapped to SMART goals with Effective Communication?
  • Does your Sales team make use of multiple channels to generate leads?
  • Do they have absolute clarity around the profile of their customer? Do they understand their Customer’s DNA Profile?
  • Have you clearly articulated to your team the company’s point of difference when compared to your competitors?
  • What is your company’s Value Proposition?

click here to contact the KONA Group red button or call 1300 611 288



  • Do your Salespeople follow an Effective Pipeline Management procedure? That is, do they know the number of visits, contacts, leads, prospects and customers they need each month, every month, to hit KPI?
  • What online presence do you have? How effective and up to date is it?
  • Do you have a current corporate page for LinkedIn?
  • Do you share posts on your LinkedIn page weekly?
  • What message is your team’s individual LinkedIn Profiles saying about the brand?
  • Do you publish a blog regularly and directly on your site? (a minimum of once per week)
  • Is every blog optimised for keywords and features a compelling call to action? If not, then get your company to POP out online and contact the KONA Group 1300 833 574 | [email protected] to get your Powerful Online Presence Training ASAP.

laptop with words Powerful Online Presence with KONA logo and man dialling mobile number 1300 833 574



  • Do your Salespeople know how to map the journey their prospects will take through the buying process?
  • Do they know how to have engaging conversations on the phone, as well as face to face?
  • Are they mastering the art of Effective Questioning to reach their customer’s pain points?
  • What are their listening skills like? Huh? Are they listening to their customers, or just hearing them?

llama clipart black and white image with sunglasses on saying I hear you I'm just not listening




Think, are your Salespeople:

  • Struggling to meet KPIs?
  • Sticking to existing clients only and “scared” of finding new customers?
  • Unable to generate leads?
  • Not wanting to “annoy” current leads?
  • Unaware of the core processes of prospecting?
  • Lack skills to keep their Pipeline active?
  • Unclear of distinguishing features from benefits?
  • Awkward and uneasy talking to decision makers and leaders?
  • Failing to revisit old leads regularly?
  • Stuck in the mindset that ‘sales is evil’?
  • Have a poor sales conversion rate?
  • Do not know the techniques to gain repeat business and upsell?
  • Blame shift – excuses dominate poor performance and missing targets?

click here to contact the KONA Group red button or call 1300 611 288



Measure the effectiveness of your Sales team and create productive, supported and balanced Salespeople.

  • Can you easily track conversion rates at each stage of the pipeline?
  • Can you easily work out the ROI for each customer targeted?
  • What system and processes do you have in place?
  • Do you know how satisfied your customers really are?

To get a Sales Health Check ASAP, contact the KONA Group 1300 833 574 or email [email protected] for a crucial conversation.