Selling Skills Matter – Globally!



IAPA logo

In May 2008 we were delighted to be invited to London to speak at the European Conference of IAPA. The Independent Association of Practicing Accountants is a global association of independent accounting firms and groups.  It was even better then to be invited back to speak at the 2009 event – this time in Malta – and pleasing to discover just how much the delegates and speakers had remembered from the previous year!

The New Tricks key-note presentations this year were: ‘Selling – Black Art or Vital Skill’ and ‘How to Remember People’s Names and other Networking Skills’.  The IAPA delegates are always a very responsive and appreciative audience and after the sessions it was fascinating to be approached by professionals from all over the world who told us that, not only had they enjoyed and benefited from the sessions, but that they also now realise that a lack of sales training was potentially holding back their businesses.

They were especially relieved to realise that professional selling is not about pushing unwanted goods or services on clients –  rather it is about ensuring that clients are fully provided with the services that they need.

On the networking side of life, it is also interesting to find that an inability to remember names is a global issue and having to remember the names of  co many delegates was certainly a challenge that kept us on our mettle! Our top tips for remembering names? Firstly, make sure you hear it (this may mean switching off your internal voice.) Secondly, “Use it, or lose it” – some people dislike this (“because,” they say,  “… it sounds cheesy”) BUT it works and generally people are impressed if you remember their name. Thirdly, make an association… do you know anyone else with the same name?  What does their name rhyme with? For a more fulsome Top Tips sheet download a factsheet from our website.

It is a always daunting prospect – presenting to an audience many of whom do not speak English as their first language but then equally humbling to realise not only how well they speak English but also the range of languages that they have at their disposal.

The Hilton Hotel Malta - a great conference venue

The Hilton Hotel Malta - a great conference venue

Malta is a fascinating and beautiful island and the Hilton Hotel, part of the Portmaso Complex, is a stunning conference venue.  Apart from the hotel with its pools and beach centre, there are apartments, a marina, shops, restaurants and a business centre which is housed in a tower. The host firm this year was Charles Scerri and Associates who organised the whole event superbly for both the business delegates and for their guests who enjoyed some enviable days out.

Thanks IAPA for inviting us. Their next global conference is in Madrid in September – can’t wait!


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