Paul Glynn is the Managing Director of Sandler Training UK (Southern Counties). Award winning Sandler Training is one of the leading sales training and leadership development companies in the world, assisting large multi-national companies, as well as small- to mid-sized businesses, with their vision of growth through increased sales and profitability. Next week Paul will be sharing his expertise at The Thames Valley Expo Reading as one of the Keynote Speakers but before that he speaks to SME Today about his work experience, challenges and inspirations.
You are an established and successful entrepreneur – please tell us about your background and your first entrepreneurial experience.
My first entrepreneurial experience was a partnership offering Spanish lessons in busy lunchtime offices. We worked with employees of some big companies, and the nice thing was, it was a fun and inexpensive way for employees to learn something new and useful. My proper entrepreneurial experience started with helping set up an international media agency as Research Director.
What do you think makes an entrepreneur?
I think entrepreneurs just can’t help themselves; we are fuelled by that adrenaline that we can only get by running a successful business. Even the quiet business owners are filled with passion for what they do and why they do it. Working for somebody else just isn’t an option.
What originally made you decide to launch your own business?
I’ve always been a salesperson but I’m also constantly drawn to training. I want to help, and I’m arrogant enough to think that people will want that help. When it came to making a decision to marry those two aspects of my life together, Sandler was so far ahead of anything I had ever seen or could make up myself that I just had to set up my business in the global Sandler network.
How did you get into your industry?
I got into sales training by seeing a presentation of the Sandler selling process. I was dumbstruck. At that seminar I realised that pretty much everything I thought I knew about selling was going to have to be challenged and re-assessed.
What makes your business different from your competitors?
I think four things make us a bit different from other trainers
- The Sandler Sales System is unlike any other that I have come across.
- We don’t believe training is a one-off event but an on-going process.
- We are part of a network that has over 250 centres across the world, giving us unprecedented reach and shared experience.
- As business owners every day we use what we teach.
What are you most proud of since setting up your company?
I am most proud of the fact that we have helped a whole range of organisations, from one-man consultancies to international players. The differences we have made range from 20% year on year increase in revenue for a big national sales organisation to more than doubling revenue for a local PR company.
How has COVID-19 effected your business?
I had not done any virtual training before Covid-19. Now most of my training is done that way. We have one client that has face to face training for all their managers, but otherwise I have some clients these days that I have never physically met!
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
Even for me, getting the balance between virtual and face to face is hard. Networking is in a state of change right now. It’s hard to know whether to continue with online events or just throw caution to the wind and attend all the relevant networking there is. Being a Keynote Speaker at the Reading Expo is part of that switch back to in-person marketing.
What do you love most about your job?
I have to keep learning. I teach, coach and mentor and through those I keep being reminded, taught and honed.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
When my clients tell me “That approach you suggested; I did it like you said and the outcome was so different to what I had experienced before.” When I know I have made a positive difference, that is so rewarding!
If you had to sum up your business in five words what would you say?
I can’t do it in five, but in ten words: We help you get more business, more quickly, more profitably.
What skills do you think someone needs when starting their own business?
The number one skill when starting a business is being able to get customers to buy from you. It’s no good having the best product or service if nobody will buy it from you. You will go out of business very fast if you don’t have enough cash coming in.
What has been the most significant challenge that you have overcome?
When I first started my business I had a partner who wasn’t committed to its success and didn’t see the value in it. It was a painful and costly journey to change that situation.
What is the constant in your life that keeps you motivated?
Does it sound too sappy to say that would be my wife, Louise? Thanks to her I stay focused, fit and happy.
What do you value most, price or service?
We have a Sandler rule that says “It’s never about the money”. It’s always about perceived value. If we can’t make many multiples of difference as a return on investment, then we are very expensive. If we make a huge difference, then we are worth the price.
What book(s) changed your life or perspective the most?
Two books: “You can’t teach a kid to ride a bicycle at a seminar” by David Sandler and “The Go-Giver” by Bob Burg. The first is the best book on sales, and the other prompts an amazing mind-set change.
What would you say is the single biggest way you impact the world?
My biggest impact is getting senior directors and business owners view to realise that nobody likes being sold to, and nobody cares about what you offer; your contacts only care about how you might be able to solve their problems.
What is your next BIG thing, your next BIG goal?
A few years ago I was given the accolade of being Sandler UK Franchisee of the Year. Nobody has won it twice. A big goal indeed!
We wish Paul all the best in his endeavour to claim a second UK Franchisee of the Year award!
If you’d like to hear more from Paul and get tips and inspiration on how to move your business forward, then attend his keynote speech at Thames Valley Expo Reading on 2nd November. Visit Great British Expos website to reserve your free tickets. Don’t leave it too long as numbers are limited.