Leading your sales team like a human – why authenticity really matters

I can honestly say that making the conscious decision to lead my team as a human and aiming to be the most authentic version of myself, has had a huge impact on shaping our culture as we’ve grown. Shortly after founding the business, I decided that in an otherwise complex world, one thing could be straightforward, my role. Yes, I am a boss, a leader, a manager and a salesperson, but first and foremost, I’m me.

The idea of being confined and limited by the narrow parameters associated with a title, a bulleted list of things I should be, seems counterintuitive to connecting with people and aiming to inspire them. Simon Sinek said, ‘a boss has the title, a leader has the people’ and that to me, epitomises the mindset that makes the most sense.

Humans are highly complex and capable. We work best when we’re given the freedom to be creative and innovate. The average UK worker spends 1,676 hours at work every single year – that figure is perhaps even higher in the sales industry. The idea that your input, in all that time, can be reduced to a 500 word job description seems absurd; it doesn’t reflect the role we each play.

When you try to neatly box the notion of what sales leadership should be, you close yourself off to possibilities and true connection. Every day you can choose to be human in your approach, when sales leaders neglect to make a conscious decision about it, they leave their leadership style down to luck and forget to be mindful. When you let your team see the real you, you’re showing them someone who cares about them and you lay the foundations for trust to grow. If they can see you have their best interests at heart, they will appreciate and accept your honesty when delivering tough messages and taking difficult decisions.

Self-awareness is critical for any good leader. Leaders who claim to be infallible are not relatable and sometimes unlikeable. Nobody is perfect and those who can show vulnerability, and strength and resiliency in the face of challenges, without hiding their emotions and compartmentalising their feelings, will be far more inspiring to the team around them than somebody who chooses to hide behind a façade.

It’s important to put your team’s development first, even before your own. Investing in people goes far beyond caring about their success and professional development. True leaders care for their team’s mental wellbeing too, and know they will only truly thrive in a trusting and honest environment where people are comfortable with expectations and feel supported to speak their minds.

Whilst you can and actively should show emotions as a leader, you can’t let them dictate how you behave and the decisions that you make. The ability to step away and create space is critical. Be somebody who explains their motivations and thinking because context really does matter. Give your team transparency around data and decisions and explain the thought processes that led you there.

Don’t be a control freak. Let people exceed all of your expectations, with your full support. True leaders give people ownership and encourage their team to fail fast and learn from the experience. Most importantly, try to create that culture where you talk openly about failure. If you can have honest and normal conversations about it, everyone can learn and move on, it’s all you need to motivate and educate your team.

Our new platform, Wellity, is designed specifically for the sales industry and focuses on the mental health and wellbeing of professionals within it. We recently interviewed a gentleman called Chris Brindley MBE, who was formerly on the board at Metrobank and is now the Chair of the Rugby League World Cup 2021. He talked about two principles that always resonate with me. One is mirrors and windows. Imagine a scenario where a CEO pulls you, the sales leader, into his office at the end of the quarter and chastises you for a poor quarterly performance. He asks you, ‘what’s happening?’. A great leader will reflect that back on themselves, like a mirror and assume accountability. Equally, when a quarter goes well, that same leader will open the ‘window’ motion towards their sales team and congratulate them for the success. The second principle I really admire is that all great leaders are like umbrellas, because they protect their team from the storm.

I’ll leave you with one final point relating to that word, authenticity. Being authentic means coming from a real place inside ourselves; it’s when our actions and our words are congruent with our beliefs and our values. It’s about being fully ourselves, not an imitation of ourselves or what we think we should be.

For me, great leadership doesn’t exist without ‘extreme normality’. All you need to do as a sales leader is bring the best version of your normal self and the results will follow.

For more insight, check out my talk on the same subject at SaaSGrowth 2020.

Opinion piece by Owen Richards
CEO, Air Marketing Group

Writing a new playbook, my lessons from lockdown

The start of lockdown seems like a lifetime ago now, but when I cast my mind back over the past few months it’s clear that it not only represented a turning point in all of our lives but marked a big change in the way we do business. As a sales professional, I’m no stranger to the challenges of a fast-changing and unpredictable environment. As many people in the sales community will attest, it’s all part of the deal. But this was very different. As soon as lockdown was announced, there was an immediate shift in mindset. It felt like the market froze overnight, paralysed by the uncertainty of well… everything. Before the lockdown, we had a warm pipeline of opportunities almost coming to fruition that seemed to drop immediately. People’s faith was understandably crumbling in new and uncertain territory, and sales was not immune.

When you have no idea what the future holds, decision making is harder than ever and that was reflected in the numbers. Slowly but surely, we started to see a gradual change in mindset and attitude as lockdown measures were eased and the market recognised that this may be the ‘new normal’.

From an outbound perspective, prospecting was a challenge in the early weeks of lockdown. We experienced a dip in contact rates and getting hold of decision makers became more difficult. We noticed that the quality of the opportunities coming through our inbound channels improved, with people being ready to buy rather than making a general enquiry about services. Another silver lining was this also meant an increase in conversion rates.

In hesitant times, the purse strings tighten. We saw the average sales cycles increase, most likely due to revised budgets. The decision-making process was taking far longer, with more levels of sign-off from decisions makers before making the final commitment, due to sensitivity around spending.

Reaching a turning point

In the past 8 weeks I’ve noticed a significant change in attitude to outsourcing sales and marketing, and the decision-making process has streamlined and accelerated. In my opinion, this can be attributed to decision makers accepting and adapting to the ‘new normal’ and making that leap of faith to reinvigorate their sales and marketing plans.

With internal teams being furloughed, the flexibility and scalability of the outsourced sales and marketing model has an additional appeal to businesses right now and we have seen a growth in our enquiries from prospects looking to outsource.

Ultimately, there was no playbook for surviving sales in a global pandemic and companies have had to keep selling and building the pipeline for a life beyond lockdown. I feel like my perspective has certainly shifted. As a sales team we’ve adapted our approach and it’s been a good thing that we’ve been able to have empathetic conversations with our customers and prospects, as all good partnerships are based on honesty. Now more than ever, it’s important to be human and employ empathy and reassurance in our business and personal lives.

Opinion piece by Marco Alfano-Rogers
Sales Director, Air Marketing

Lingual and cultural diversity in telemarketing

In the words of Paulo Coelho: Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they have a deeper understanding of one another, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers. But first they have to understand that their neighbour is, in the end, just like them, with the same problems and the same questions.

The days of selling our items to each other village to village (think the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker), face to face, are long past us. In my opinion, today we are selling our “technoproducts” and services via the digital superhighways to people all around the world. In this more tech focused world we work with “turbomachinerie” with “flashcapacities”.

Despite the fast changes that have happened and continue to happen in our selling culture, the culture of individual human beings who are ultimately the end users being sold to, are slower to change.

Culture within individuals heavily influence their choices – how to cook, speak, act, dress etc. These cultures are as diverse now as they were centuries ago, but they are changing and need to be kept up with. For example, the English culture of 1782 would not be the same as the one we experience in 2020. This is the same for all cultures French, German, Dutch etc. Culture is a living and changing thing.

So why is this relevant?

As a company we embrace this cultural diversity (including languages) as it enriches not only our teams and our methodology to solve problems and challenges, but it also benefits our clients and prospects. We find that a diverse team will find many solutions to a problem – whether that is within our business or within a client’s business.

At Air Marketing, we celebrate the German Karneval, we celebrate the Oranjekoorts during Koningsdag, we welcome the tartiflette and merguez on our lunch or BBQ and embrace the culture and language of our clients and prospects. By speaking their mother tongue we understand certain cultural differences (for example the directness of the Dutch Dutch-speaking market in comparison with the gentle tone of the Belgian Dutch-speaking market). All this out of respect of our clients and prospects and of course to do business together.

Wouter Vanaelst Background

Wouter was born and raised in Belgium, right on the linguistic border. His mother tongue is Flemish/Dutch and from a very early age he also learnt French and German. After studying in Brussels and gaining 2 academic degrees in Educational Sciences and Art & Cultural Andragogy, he then went on to work for 7 years as an Educational and Client Services Officer for the Centrale Culturelle Bruxelloise. In this role his focus was monitoring and researching the social and economic climate alongside organising and delivering marketing and recruitment campaigns

Wouter also spent 2 years in Africa conducting research on the educational & socio-economic challenges, whilst learning to overcome many logistical and cultural obstacles. Wouter moved to the UK in 2015, his first role in the UK was teaching French and German classes as an associate lecturer. Alongside this he worked with international companies analysing business to customer (B2C) communication in Dutch, French and German.

Wouter is now heading up the Multilingual offering for Air Marketing Group, helping businesses open up opportunities within strong economic countries such as Germany, France and Holland.  

Wouter is fascinated by cultural and linguistic differences, how people choose to act, speak and work differently and in understanding this looking at how to make bridges in between cultures and languages. Wouter does not believe in uniformity, he believes every language, culture and client have different needs that require a bespoke approach. This includes adapting to cultural manners, working with native speakers who have native accents and cultural knowledge.

“Every language you speak is another market that opens up to you.”

Interested in talking to me about our multilingual offering? Contact me directly on 01392 575282 or complete our contact form here.  

Wouter Vanaelst
Senior Business Development Executive Multilingual, Air Marketing Group

It all starts with a Hello

I’ve recently seen the launch of a new Netflix show called; Love is Blind. The concept is a dating show based purely on building an emotional connection; you cannot see the person you’re dating meaning that verbal communication is at the forefront. This got me thinking about the importance of communication and the part it plays in our lives. 

The question that I’ve been thinking about is; as the world becomes more digitally driven, do we lose the ability to effectively communicate?  

As children, human interactive and communication was key to us – we learnt, explored and discovered, utilising these key skills. But as you develop through your childhood (especially in today’s world) you become more digitally aware and communication becomes stagnant, if not regressive. Lives are busy – we take to texting, Facebook messages, WhatsApp groups and sending voice notes via media platforms rather than simply picking up the phone or speaking to someone in person.  

The digital evolution has enabled many things – it has allowed us to reach a larger audience, it’s broken down borders as distance makes no difference and it allows us to target more people. But it always comes at a price. What we lose is the ability to learn about individuals in depth and really get to know each other as you would when communicating face to face or over the phone. 

Have we become numb to this digital communication? How many emails do you delete without even taking any notice of them? How many adverts do you quickly scroll past on social media? How many times have you paused someone midway through a conversation and ignored them? My point is that communication needs engaged interaction from two people – it can’t be a one-way street. Strong communication builds trust and relationships which is imperative to business success.  

The simplest and most effective form of communication continues to be through two-way conversation. I find in a business environment when you can’t always meet people, a phone call will create a connection. There is always a place for this to be supported with digital communication, when time is short or quick messages are required instantly and digital applications allow us to work smart. But I haven’t come across another method of relationship building that can even closely compete with a conversation.  

What my time at Air has taught me is whether you are talking to a client, customer or colleague, conversation is always the best way to discover the information you need. In a people centric world lets focus on those basic human interactions, pick up the phone speak to your customers and if you don’t have the capacity to do that then you may just be looking in the right place for someone to do it for you.  

It all starts with a hello so why not take the time to talk to us today. 

Alex Burgess
Account Manager, Air Marketing Group

Build a team so strong, you don’t know who the leader is

We’re all in this together. We are all colleagues, regardless of job title. We all work together to achieve the same goal, to make a difference for our clients, make the company a profit and ultimately get paid. When people start feeling undervalued for doing the role they do, we have a problem. Have you ever heard a colleague say, ‘what does it matter what I think’ or ‘my opinion doesn’t count’? Your opinion does count and yes, I would like to hear what you think.

We want to know how our colleagues feel and what they believe would work better. Having this feedback means we can make a difference and help.

Loyalty and commitment come from feeling valued. Feeling valued comes from respect and inclusion. Yes, roles within an organisation vary and so does workload, but every single person is here for one common goal. We win together and sometimes we lose together, but we are a team.

Some of the best results I have seen have come from people who have felt empowered to make a change. Some of the best ideas have come from people who have felt their opinion counts. When we feel we are able to have an input and suggest improvements, we work with a different vigour and we push ourselves. Not doing this is a sure-fire way to lose your best talent.

Encourage feedback. What’s working and what isn’t? What will make the process better? From my perspective things might look right – but that’s just my perspective. Tell me how it looks from yours. None of us are perfect and we can all make mistakes or miss things, but as a team we can get it right.

In my opinion Air has got this balance right. We have regular catch-up sessions with all of our team members to review performance and processes. Not just as individuals, but as a team. Everyone has the chance to input and everyone has the chance to challenge. Feedback is essential to ensuring we get things right. It’s not a dictatorship, it’s a company which nurtures and nourishes its staff to ensure we all give our best and strive to achieve. Every role is valued and every person within each role understands the impact they have. With this comes an immense sense of comradery – a team so strong that you wouldn’t know who the leader is.

Opinion piece by Account Manager, Michael Hepburn.

My 5 Tips to Personal Development

I started my journey with Air Marketing back in 2018 as a Business Development Executive. I really enjoyed the role, the culture and the opportunities that were clearly available from this position. But I was hungry for growth and I knew I wanted to develop my career, within the first year I quickly excelled and was rewarded with the management of my first account. I was thrilled by this opportunity to really show what I was made of and also to give the client the best experience of working with Air.

Fast forward to today, just over a year later and I’m stepping into one of just three Account Manager roles, with my sole focus to deliver ROI for our ever-growing client base.

I wanted to share with you how I got here, so these are my 5 focus areas:

Training

I’m a huge believer in achieving anything, if you’re willing to learn and open to change. Within my time at Air I’ve had the opportunity to learn from various senior team members and taken part in some fantastic training sessions. These have been vital to my progression as it doesn’t feel like I have ever stopped learning. My favourite training was a Time Management session run by our in-house Learning and Development Co-ordinator. It taught me how to balance my workload and keep stress levels under control, which is vital in a fast pace, high performance environment like Air.

Feedback

I may be a Gen Z; however I don’t agree with snowflake culture that the generation has been tarred with. I value and really take on board feedback from those more knowledgeable both inside and outside of work to aid my professional development. Sometimes the feedback has been negative, but I always feel you can take learnings and constructive criticism from these moments. Being in sales I have a tough skin anyway!

Honesty

Yes, honesty. I’ve always taken the approach of transparency with my colleagues and clients. It’s something that fits well in our culture and something we pride ourselves on at Air. You can’t lie when it comes to statistics and data. If you’re honest with clients this will create a strong and respectful relationship for the future.

Creative thinking

A large proportion of my role is process driven, with this we see consistency of delivery and of results. However, you need to be one step ahead in account management. This means you need to be thinking of new ideas all the time to keep things fresh. Nine times out of ten your original strategy is going to change, and you will need to adapt to this to keep on the front foot.

Passion

I believe that passion is the biggest thing you need to get to the next step. I love what I do, and I am lucky to work in a culture that nurtures that passion and ignites it even further. Being dedicated to reach your goal is important and it is this drive and dedication that will see you become successful.

I’m looking forward to everything 2020 has in store in my new role, working with more fantastic clients and achieving great results for them. If you’re interested in joining Team Air, visit our careers page or call 0345 241 3038.

Opinion piece by Gracie-May Bryan, Account Manager at Air Marketing Group

How to motivate a sales team in an outsourced sales environment?

This opinion piece has been written by Keryn Seal, one of our Account Directors, who has a passion for team motivation owing to his impressive sporting background – find out more about Keryn, here.

As an Account Director at Air my role is split between managing a team of sales people (between 15 and 20) and managing the performance of 8 key client accounts – ensuring optimal performance across the board. But perhaps the most important aspect of my role, and my favourite part, is to motivate, retain, and reward all of the people within my team.

The atmosphere and performance on my section of the sales floor is a direct reflection of how well motivated those in my team feel – and I strive to make it as positive a place as possible. My job is to be tuned into the individuals in that space and how they are feeling on any given hour, day, or week. At Air, we know that no one wakes up wanting to be a telemarketer. It’s not a ‘sexy’ job and it often comes with a high-pressure environment, so I want my team to feel as motivated and engaged as they can be. It’s important that we show how grateful we are for the work that they put in for 8 hours a day.

As somebody with 15 years of experience in elite level sport, I know all too well that motivation levels can be different on any given day for a number of different reasons. In my opinion, the very best managers I ever had were those who took the time to learn what motivated and inspired me, and my wider team, to perform. Sales people are no different to athletes. We are all human beings with different drivers, pressures and commitments.

I base my leadership style on what I would want in a leader. I try to understand each one of my team members on an individual level; what motivates them, what challenges them, and where do they want to get to? From there I can then map out a progression plan with them, giving them motivation and a pathway to success. This doesn’t always have to be work related, it may be affording the car they want or achieving their next promotion.

Within sales environments companywide incentives are run to generate healthy competition and inspire high performance – we are no different at Air. But whilst an insurance company or a PPI centre are selling one thing to their prospects, at Air we can be working on up to 30 campaigns for 30 different clients at one time. It is therefore important that we create and devise fair incentives for our team, and I try to make these a little different each time to keep the whole team engaged.

Last month the cricket world cup inspired me to run a company wide Telemarketing World Cup incentive, where 32 agents battled it out over 2 weeks to be crowned the overall champion. I did this by creating a point system for each lead and campaign, based on the difficulty of that campaign. The team then played off against each other each day and the person with the most points that day went through to the next round. The winner of the prize could either receive a cash prize in their wages or a paid day off.

Motivation isn’t all about cash prizes, vouchers, or days off paid for by the company. It is about having fun and enjoying what you do and who you work with. I strongly believe in having fun, active, or inspiring daily buzz meetings that get the team switched on and ready for the day. The ideas for these come from my experience working as a youth mentor, after my sporting career ended. Again, sales people are no different to athletes or the young people in the groups I mentored. Motivating them always comes down to understanding what makes them tick, how they feel on that day, and what I need to do to get them to where they need to be in terms of being ready to perform. At the end of the day, I just want the team to succeed and be proud of what they achieve day in, day out.

Opinion piece by Keryn Seal, Account Director at Air Marketing Group

The importance of training when developing high performance teams

This opinion piece was written by Nicolette Karides. After finding her passion for Learning and Development, she champions the importance of team and individual training within a business – find out more about Nicolette, here.

When it comes to training, I have often found that the main objection I’m met with is cost and the potential loss of investment – “what happens if we train our staff and they leave?” My response… what happens if we don’t and they stay?”

Yes, training can be expensive and in businesses, people come and go. However, if the training is right, the relevant benefits far outweigh the cost. Training is vital in the workplace as it aids both personal and company growth. Training also makes employees feel valued and invested in, resulting in a happy environment and increased productivity.

Training can benefit company growth in numerous ways:

  • Best practice: Training expands the knowledge base of all employees within a company. By sharing best practice within the company, all employees understanding of procedures and processes and how to deliver a high standard of quality, can then be replicated daily and maintained throughout the entire team.
  • Consistency: Best practice goes hand-in-hand with consistency. With constant and relevant training from day one, all employees should receive a solid foundation of knowledge, which can then be built upon. With this foundation, all employees will possess the tools and knowledge to carry out and deliver work of the same outstanding standard and quality. 
  • Motivation: It is important to keep employees motivated as it has a direct effect on productivity. An increase in motivation will directly increase the productivity of employees and their overall performance as well as that of a team. In turn, this will generate more return on investment (ROI) for the client and the company, representing the importance of investing time and resources into training.
  • Employee satisfaction: Morale is high when productivity and performance throughout the company are strong. This coupled with personal achievements brings employee satisfaction, whereby employees are happy and feel valued, in turn they perform well. It’s a full circle that all stems from and starts with training.
  • Weak areas: Identifying and addressing weaknesses in a company presents the opportunity to carry out refresher training or upskill sessions to educate and share knowledge. This ensures that everyone is comfortable in what is required from them and the level of performance is once again maintained.
  • Collaboration: We all know that ‘two heads are better than one’. It makes sense then to share knowledge and experience, both within specific teams as well as between them. Coming together to help one another, as well as bringing different perspectives and opinions can sometimes be beneficial for everyone involved and helps to present various aspects of the company in various ways. This can be a training lead collaboration, whereby everyone can learn and benefit while also feeling like they have a voice.
  • Reduced employee turnover: When employees receive the relevant and correct amount of training, they should feel more comfortable and confident in the workplace being able to carry out all aspects of their role with ease. Thus, reducing anxiety, unhappiness and a desire to leave the company.

Training doesn’t always need to be delivered in-house. At times it is necessary to seek out external guidance and assistance. External training really helps with:

  • Access to expertise: When specific training is required, it is always best to go directly to the source and get the experts in, as they will know all the relevant information and the current tips and techniques being utilised and will be able to share best practice.
  • Fresh look: External trainers may be able to provide valuable insight into inefficiencies within the company and help us to see opportunities for improvement that we could implement smoothly and efficiently. By bringing in an outside view, they can suggest changes that we may have otherwise not been aware of or thought of.
  • Stretching our comfort zone: External trainers who are new to the business get employees stepping outside of their comfort zones immediately, as someone new is around.

When our comfort zones are stretched, we find it fosters creativity making us more flexible and adaptable to unexpected change. It also motivates us and increases our overall productivity and performance.

So, if you’re considering implementing a training programme for your team, give it a go, you’ll only know once you try – ‘the proof is in the pudding’ so to speak.

Opinion Piece by Nicolette Karides, Learning and Development Coordinator at Air Marketing Group

Leading the way: how Air is kickstarting my leadership career

After moving back to my home town, I started my career at Air fresh out of university. I had completed a 6-month internship in business development at a PR and marketing agency, however it was fair to say that my experience in business development was still at novice level. Understandably, upon securing a job at Air, I was nervous. Although the team had been very welcoming and transparent, I couldn’t fully understand what my role as Business Development Executive would demand of me.

But I quickly found that I didn’t need to worry. During my first few weeks at Air, the team were so encouraging and open to helping with all aspects of my training. Their encouragement gave me confidence and I found that my capabilities in sales and business development were actually a lot stronger than I thought, even if I was a ‘beginner’. With the team continuously giving me constructive feedback and boosting my confidence, I couldn’t wait to get on the phone and start dialling. There was no pressure to be at a certain level – I simply needed to be professional, polite and enthusiastic. The in-depth training would take care of the rest.

I scored highly in my first few days of dialling and Air never treated me, or any other new employee, as if I couldn’t do something yet. They threw me in at the deep end and surrounded me with support, allowing me to dial on 3-4 campaigns within a matter of weeks. I quickly grew my knowledge and began speaking with decision makers in an array of industries, from fintech to HR and performance management.

When I joined, Air was only 2 years old with a team of around 30. They had grown quickly, and I realised that there was an opportunity here if I wanted it – and I did. Although I had joined the business development world, I didn’t want to just generate leads; I also wanted to share my growing knowledge and ideas for campaign improvement, eventually running one of my own.

My manager, Account Director Keryn Seal, recognised this ambition and after passing my 3-month probation, I was promoted to Senior Business Development Executive. The thing about Air is that no one is out for themselves, everyone is here to help you and drive the business forwards. Under Keryn’s guidance I was exposed to the basic operations of a campaign and our system, shown how to interact with clients and oversee a team of diallers. All I needed was an opportunity to put this into practise.

I got my opportunity when we moved to the new office in October 2019 and Air reworked its internal structure. Promoted to Account Executive, my new role sees me supporting my Account Director, Keryn, in the day-to-day operational tasks of a campaign, including set-up, strategy, reporting and being the link for feedback between diallers and the AD/client. This promotion has only encouraged me further and my aspirations are now to become an Account Director and Air are helping me to get there.

Since January, Air have supported me in my decision to pursue the leadership side of sales and business development. The step up is not one to be taken lightly and so they have enrolled me on a specialist training course, given me continuing support and exposed me to the commercial, client and growth aspects of the business. I’ve also been given my own accounts, recently working on a project that not only allows me to manage my own campaign but also a whole team of agents.

I can’t put into words how much I continue to develop and grow at Air. It’s been a fantastic opportunity in just over a year and I can only see further progression in the future.

Some parting advice for anyone unsure on which direction to go in next… Whether you are a graduate, unhappy in your current job, or looking for something new, give it a go. You’ll know when you find the right company to help you develop and flourish, just as I’ve done with Air.

Opinion Piece written by Yasmin McNeill, Account Executive at Air Marketing Group

Culture – Only seeing is believing

One thing that has made a huge difference recently here at the Air Marketing Group, is the concerted effort for clients to actually ‘see’ our culture. To incentivise clients to come down to sunny Devon as early as we can in the sales process and experience our ‘difference’ for themselves.

You see, we are very proud of what we have created at Air Marketing Group, but there is only so much that you can say over the phone when trying to explain a culture and an ethos – seeing is believing. Adjectives like hyper-professional, driven, ambitious and cultured are all over-used, when sales people are promoting their services to prospective clients.

This, for example, was my first impression of Air Marketing Group when I started working here a few months ago:

“Think telesales, then destroy that mental image and re-engage, re-ignite and reconsider your sales team with Air Marketing Group – the most technologically advanced outsourced sales and Demand Generation partner in the UK.”

And it’s true, Team Air team have won many awards and are nominated as national finalists in both the ISM’s BESMA awards and the Amazon Growing Business Awards. My point though, is that anyone could say it, but not everyone is speaking the truth.

So, if anyone can make the same grand claims about their business, then how can you get differentiation if you consider your offering is actually ‘better?’ Well, we decided to go one step further and not only invite prospective clients to come and have a tour of our offices but give the client the chance to be left alone and have the run of the floor with our sales teams to quiz them, engage with them and get to know everyone in the office.

What we find is that clients have so many questions on how a campaign is run that, if left with those running and working on the campaigns, they relax and work out how our sales process can best be incorporated with their product or service. They are not being sold to at all, rather just being a fly on the wall and working out how it all works. They are often really surprised that we are confident enough in our team to leave an open invitation for them to talk to anyone and ask them anything they want. But why wouldn’t we be? We are proud of the culture that we have developed here and of the results that this culture gets for our clients in return. We treat our staff well and we look after everyone’s wellbeing – we have a great time, and we have nothing to hide.

You see, we are not ‘salesy’ to new clients, which is a bizarre thing to say about a company who averaged an ROI of £18 for every £1 spent by clients in 2018. But we know that clients aren’t actually aware of the technology that we leverage to get such results so, our initial meetings are more consultative and mature than a simple sales pitch. We actually just want to explain how calls are made, how we get our data and how we will look after their brand.

We want to invite as many clients to meet our team as possible – we are called Air after all and we pride ourselves on our complete transparency. Like any industry, people have preconceptions based on past experiences and telesales still gets tarred with a broad brush. We are however proud to be one of the nicest and most productive. I know anyone could say that, but we are. If you don’t believe us come and see us, have the walk of the floor and experience the award-winning Air culture for yourself.

“I was absolutely blown away with how different the team were at Air Marketing Group compared to my own preconceptions of telesales. I am so glad that I went to see them, they are amazing!” CEO of an International Events PLC.

Opinion Piece – Simon Scott-Nelson, Sales Director