Euston – do we have lift off….. for a brilliant idea?

In the moon landing era of the 1960s it was of course Houston not Euston.  Today, it was reported in the press Euston Train station came up with the brilliant idea of opening and welcoming the homeless for Christmas Day as no trains run.


Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?


The term ‘homeless’ doesn’t represent reality.  Some homeless people don’t live on the streets.  They may live in temporary accommodation or sleep on friend’s settees etc.  Some street  sleepers  don’t want to leave the streets but would welcome the company of others and shelter on Christmas Day.


Crisis has been running a successful few day service each Christmas providing beds, food, clothes, showers, hairdressers, doctors, dentists etc for a umber of years.  They are expert at this much needed pop-up service.  Imagine what could be achieved if all train stations opened their doors for Christmas Day and partnered Crisis to deliver a fantastic offering.


The real meaning of Christmas maybe?

The problem with 1st impressions……….

…….. is you don’t get a 2nd chance to get it right!


There are many criteria involved in ensuring the customer has a brilliant experience.  The key value of this is you get remembered positively and the brand of the company you represent is enhanced.


My pet hate is when someone gets my name wrong in responding to my email – more importantly my gender!  I emailed an enquiry and got ‘Dear James….’ back.  A quick double check of my sign-off was all that was necessary.


Now my view of the individual’s professionalism is a little dimmer, more so his employer who clearly haven’t trained in the basics of great customer service – i.e. getting someone’s name correct!


What are your ‘pet hates’ in customer service?



Shocking staff treatment…….

It amazes me – a major name in business promotes it’s key charity – which runs through a supplier – helping homeless people whilst having a commercial yet loss making arm and immediately I thought – that’s great, making a difference to people and not worried about profits – refreshing.


Having spoke to someone who worked there until recently, I’m astounded at their treatment and the apparent blindness of the business in the working practices of their supplier.  There is a complete risk to brand reputation and clearly no due diligence nor operational monitoring.


This individual had raised several times to management the stress and pressure the team were experiencing due to the heavy workload.  The management ignored all concerns.  They raised further concerns on a lack of training again they were ignored.  They then raised the fact that despite working 1.5 hours extra every morning and 6 hours extra every Friday, the workload could not be completed.  The additional hours worked were unpaid and time off in lieu not allowed.


The individual was then told to leave the premises.  They would be given two weeks money and that will be it but they weren’t being sacked.  Nothing in writing.  No due process.


Exploitation, whistleblowing – just two unsavoury thoughts that sprang to my mind and will do every time I see the brands of the supplier and their business client.


It’s taught me to take everything at face value.  Great works in the community aren’t always as great as they may seem.



Solution to all problems……

How often do you hear ‘you’ll feel better after a strong cup of tea’? or ‘cup of tea with plenty of sugar – it’s good for the shock’……


Whatever situation we are going through, a cup of tea is thought to ease the way.


So, a pretty sobering piece in The Metro this morning!  ……… which published findings ‘office teabags have 17 times more germs than a loo seat’


When you consider that statement remember office teabags are usually stored in an open jar which everyone can help themselves to.  How many times have you been in the toilets at work and seen people come out of a cubicle and leave the area without washing their hands…………. then they make a cup of team – ouch!


I can see how the findings could be right – what do you think?


Maybe think twice before accepting that cuppa!  Better still, bring your own cup and T-Bags in!

Sales – can you do it?

My answer to this is generally ‘no’.  I have always felt I’m not a natural ‘sales person’.  However, a feature by Ismail Khan, a marketing specialist in UAE made me think again.


Ismail believes there are four key skills a great salesperson needs:


  1.     Effective information gathering
  2.     How that information is used
  3.     Delivering information effectively
  4.     Closing – seal the deal


Ismail believes when you follow this format, you ‘nail sales’.  Below is the conversation he outlined using these four components:


‘Sell me this pen’. The mistake here is to go straight into its benefits.  Instead, Ismail asked a question..

‘When did you last use a pen’

‘This morning’

‘Do you remember what kind of pen you used’


‘Why were you using a pen?’

‘To sign contracts’

‘Would you agree signing those contracts is an important event for the business?  It’s a memorable event, which demands a memorable pen.  We grew up our entire lives using any pen to get the job done – shopping lists etc.  We didn’t give it much thought because they weren’t memorable events.  This pen is a memorable pen.  It’s a pen to get deals done.  It’s a symbol for taking this company to the next level.  When you use the right tool, you’re in the right mindset and become more productive.  Actually, last week I shipped 10 boxes of these pens to Elon Musk’s office.  This is my last pen today.  So I suggest you get this one.  Try it out.  If you are not happy with it, I will personally come back next week to pick it up.  It won’t cost you anything.  What do you say?’


The framework which can be used in any sales:


Find out how they used a pen (gathering information)

Emphasise the importance of the activity a pen was last used for (respond to information)

Sell something bigger than a pen, like a state of mind to grow the company (deliver information)

Ask for the buy (close the deal)


Sounds simple doesn’t?



Unique – 100% success rate on Growing Talent!

Growing Talent is a unique mentoring into work programme by having a provisional job offer at the start which is the participant’s on successful completion.


For the first time in its almost 4 year history, we have 100% success rate.


Amy is the last of the cohort to secure her role – again early!



What a fabulous year 2018 will be for Growing Talent 15!


Enjoy guys