November 8, 2019
January 23, 2020



As many of you probably know, I have been speaking on one single theme for the past 25 years and that is; Change, Innovation, & Creativity. If something is not working the simplest solution is to change something. Change behaviour, change attitude, change suppliers, differentiate yourself, your offering or your service. That’s it!

If you have a product or service and results are not exploding, tweak or develop something that you’re doing in an innovative way, and you will be amazed at the result. No need to change or get rid of something that IS working, perhaps a slight ad on, or “move to the left” may give you the outstanding results you’re after. But perhaps something totally different is required – so be creative. Create, import, develop, or invent something that is completely new. I promise you, that is all it takes.



I’ve been around the block a few times and it never ceases to amaze me, how many people try to dazzle and bamboozle others into buying their overpriced, pseudo-intellectual, jargon-filled, optimal “solutions”. In short, they try to justify their expensive training and/or products by using big words and whatever the current corporate buzzwords are. Yes, I know you can’t end a sentence with “are”, and that “are” is a present plural form of the verb “be”;  but just get over yourself and keep reading Mr. Distinction in English, from Jeppe High, 1993.

One of the many examples I have of this, was with a company that was experiencing let’s just say, “not the optimal amount of sales” that they required. I was called in to a meeting and asked whether I believed if NLP Sales and Negotiation, or Sales Cybernetics, would be the best program to solve their problems and increase sales. Really?



Answer the phone! I am being really deadly serious here. I cannot tell you how many times I have called a company to give them money and they don’t answer the phone. Someone once said that if your company has a call centre it’s too big. How many times have you called one only to be left on hold, and spoken to as if you are interrupting their Facebook time, and then they don’t get back to you?

Make it simple for me to contact you! Hours of searching on Google produce no direct phone numbers, only contact centres with email addresses that no one responds to; and when they finally do, it’s three weeks later, and you actually needed that blow-up doll quite urgently. The moment has now passed. Okay, just checking to see who actually reads past the first paragraph.  If I take the time to find your company, it’s probably because I want something from you NOW. I want to speak to somebody NOW. I want to place an order NOW. I want to interact with somebody and spend money NOW. Not in 2 days’ time, not in a week, but NOW.

Pitch up! I know, it sounds simple. As if I am being trite or not intellectual enough? Well, we recently moved into a new house and without a word of a lie – I can tell you of at least 12 suppliers that we have called and made appointments with. They have not bothered to return the call or pitch for the appointment that they made.

Do what you said! 80% of the people who actually came to the appointment then said that they would forward a quote for the work to be done, yet never actually did. These are the same spark plugs who are complaining that business is bad, that the government is failing, and that the economy is dying. These are the same people that are constantly looking for some intellectual senior management, tactical, introspection, coaching, neuroscience, BBEEE, high level, executive, change management intervention.

Hey, here are a few changes you can make;

  • have the phone answered by an actual person who can actually speak and understand English
  • maybe have the person answering the phone being the one who understands and knows the products of the company
  • you may then want to have a company get-together and explain to each department who’s who in the zoo and what they do

Want to increase sales? Get your salespeople to understand the difference between selling products or selling benefits. In no fewer than five roadshows that I did this year – hardly any of the hundreds of salespeople I spoke to including sales managers and sales directors could give me three simple benefits of doing business with the company. Read that again. This last year 2019, I asked hundreds of sales people to share with me their top 3 closing techniques. Each time I was met with the thousand-yard stare. You know that blank look they get on their face? The same look a government minister gets when asked where the billions have disappeared to out of the fiscal. The average salespersons’ standard closing technique is, “well, you have the quote, and you have my number – so let us know!” This is normally spoken in a fearful voice while walking backwards towards the door.

If you are reading this right now, and you are in any way involved in sales, and the above statement has just made you uncomfortable, you need to change. If you are reading this and you have never heard of an elevator pitch, an alternative of choice close, the three-year-old close, or the assumed order close; we need to talk. Changes need to be made. If you are a sales manager in charge of sales people and results, and you don’t make some serious changes; changes will be made.

Your relationship not working ? Old thinking and belief system – “I’m not getting what I want out of this relationship, he is not playing ball, she isn’t giving me what I want!”

Changed mind-set. You cannot take out of a relationship that which you haven’t first put in yourself. You can only take out that which you have put in.

Changed behaviour. Be kind, do kind stuff, say kind things, give stuff, do to the other person everything that you wish that they would do for you. Read that again!

Will this rule always work? Hell, no. It works most of the time. It works when you are in a relationship with someone who actually gives a crap about you. Someone, who loves you and cares for you and doesn’t have his or her head stuck up their …..

Old thinking and belief system. If I do everything correctly, if I provide and give they will reciprocate.

Changed mind-set. Those who want to – will, those who don’t – won’t.

Changed behaviour. Be authentically you, give, love, help, support, understand and dedicate yourself to making a relationship work. Be you. But if things are not reciprocated after doing all of this, it’s time for a change conversation.

Need to lose weight and get into shape? Old thinking and belief system – “I am big boned, it’s hereditary, I have tried everything”.

Changed mind-set – I eat too much, I don’t exercise enough, whatever I did try I only did for a short period. Losing weight means changing my eating habits – forever. Getting into shape means exercising, regularly and effectively – for the rest of my life.

Changed behaviour – Listen to your body, no weight loss program or eating plan works for everyone. Find what works for you by trial and error. When you find the exercise and the food that both energises you, and allows you to discover your goal weight – change, and do that – for ever. Easy hey!

 I promise you the solutions to most of life’s problems are extremely simple. All you need to do is to CHANGE your behaviour, your thinking, and act differently. That’s it!

If the sales team is not performing, what changes can you implement and enforce? If your relationship is not working what conversations do you need to have and what changes need to take place?

You will find that they are all simple, little things. If your health and weight is not what it should be-you know the changes that you have to make. Make them.

“All of man’s problems arise from his inability to sit alone in a room”. Some really clever Zen dude said something like this many years ago. We create most of the problems in our lives, so, all we have to do is keep changing our actions and our thinking towards that which is not working, and we can solve almost any situation. Otherwise, pack it all in, and go and sit quietly on your own in your room.

It’s time to take stock. It’s time to look at what is not working for you, for your team, for your family and to start making changes. Change isn’t easy for those that don’t want to change. Change isn’t easy when you are a creature of bad habits. Change isn’t easy when the benefit that you have received or are receiving from the incorrect or poor behaviour, outweighs the perceived benefit of the new behaviour. That’s why most people only change when there is a crisis, health scare, divorce, tragedy or calamity. So, don’t wait until the sheriff turns up on his horse to repossess your kids, car and kettle. Don’t wait until the results meeting; the end of the month; the lawyer’s letter or the heart-attack.

Change it now!

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  1. Amelia Sequeira says:

    Thank you for always shooting straight.

  2. Mark Liddy says:


  3. Ariami says:

    A good read.. . A great reminder. Thks Gavin

  4. Jorge Pereira says:

    Thanks Gavin. It was a great read and reminded me of a few changes for me,

  5. Gaynor says:

    Oh I do love your outlook. I avoid Call Centres like the plague! Much prefer talking to a real live person – not a scripted reply! We are moving home and have experienced what you did about suppliers not bothering to even return a call! So your article resonated with me. Thank you Gavin. Hope you and the family have a wonderful Christmas break. Be blessed!

  6. Brandon Firmin says:

    Good Morning Gavin

    Truly inspirational. It makes perfect business sense.

    Thank you

  7. Romey says:

    Thanks Gavin. Its always about going back to the basics. Great reminder of how important the benefits are.

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