Alison Edgar is known to most as The Entrepreneur’s Godmother; offering her extensive knowledge on sales and business to both small and large companies, all whilst running a successful business of her own ‘Sales Coaching Solutions Ltd’.
I am a Year 10 student at Horndean Technology College and to me, she is known as Auntie Alison and is also my ACTUAL godmother. I have had the pleasure of carrying out some of my work experience with her and I would love to share with you some of the experiences that I have had over the past week. But firstly, some quick disclaimers – before working with Alison, I had no idea what career path I would like to take; and had no idea what to expect when working with her. I knew that Alison ran a successful business and gave advice to other enterprises, but didn’t have an understanding of the amount of time, effort and passion that she puts in to everything she does regarding both her business and her personal mindset. I would also like to mention my doubt about working with Alison as her office is located in her kitchen; however, over the past week I have learnt to appreciate this, as it creates a very relaxed work environment and greatly improves work ethic.
Okay, so now that the disclaimers are out of the way, let’s move on to the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of how Alison runs her business and the various tasks that I have performed over the week prior. My first day consisted of online networking using LinkedIn, which we used to connect with guests prior to the ‘Cashflow is KING’ event which Alison would be speaking in on the next day. We connected with them prior to the event so that if we communicated online before the event, then talking to them in person would be easier; possibly even giving us a topic of conversation that we can bring up the next day. This allowed us to create relationships with the guests and may influence whether or not they become future clients for Alison in her company.
Another task I completed was to create a post for ‘Sales Coaching Solutions Ltd’ using a project management platform called ‘Trello’ which I used to copy a link of a sales quiz (lead magnet) that Alison had created previously. I used a scheduling platform called ‘Buffer’ (which allows you to schedule the release of a post at a certain time) to publish the post. So, I created a title that would entice businesses to click the link – “How well do you sell? Complete our FREE quiz to find out now!”. The fact that the quiz is free allows the user to see this post as an advantage and encourages them to click on the link. To complete the quiz, all they need to do is attach their email and that is the advantage that we get. It means we can contact them, possibly forming professional relationships and, again, may influence whether or not they become a client of Alison’s in the future.
My second day was very much more formal and informative. We went to the ‘Cashflow is KING’ event where Alison was a guest speaker. Throughout the day I learnt many things about the importance of sales in business, but the thing that I learnt and admire most about the event was how Alison uses DISC to analyse people and splits their characteristics into 4 different colours: BLUE, RED, GREEN and YELLOW. Depending on a person’s colour, you can adapt your behaviour and speak to them in a way that is very effective and when this practise is put into place regarding sales and business, can significantly affect the success of a business deal/project. This influenced and inspired me to be more confident and I will forever be thankful to Alison for explaining this to me. How she explained it to me was something along the lines of “…you do not have to be the most knowledgeable on a subject or scenario as long as you have confidence…”. She said that as long as you are aware of the colours that you are and the colours of the people you are talking to, then you can adapt your actions and vocabulary to effect the perception that the other person has for you.
This lesson/technique is extremely effective in both business and life, and I will be sure to take this practise into consideration throughout the rest of mine. I also learnt how mindset is another influential factor regarding both starting up and managing a business. During the event, Alison explained how there are two types of mind sets. A fixed mindset, which is a negative way of thinking that involves usually giving up first try and a growth mindset, which is a positive way of thinking that involves much more perseverance and resilience. I learnt that in order for your business to be successful, you need a growth mindset; always looking to improve. This is another of many lessons that Alison has taught me over the past week.
The third day was similar to the first day, in that it consisted creating posts for social media, however the difference was that I used a design/editing platform called ‘Canva’. One of the posts that I created required me to use ‘Trello’ to go to the Sales Coaching Solutions webpage where there is one of Alison’s blogs mentioning some of her ‘Top Tips for a Best Seller’ referring to her book that achieved Amazon’s No.1 Best Seller ‘Secret to Successful Sales’. I copied the link to the webpage and pasted it in the ‘Buffer’ post. I pasted a picture of Alison and set the transparency to 20 (low). This meant that I could insert text on top of the picture. I then went to Alison’s web page and picked out a quote that she had mentioned “…it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish…” and pasted it on top of the picture. I then added a title and scheduled the post.
The fourth day was similar to the second day, in that Alison was a VIP speaker in an event, in Southsea. However, there were more people attending this one than the last. Alison showed and encouraged me to use the skills that I had learnt in the second day to talk to some of the guests attending the event and develop my conversational skills. I used the colour method to determine my response and this proved to have influenced the outcome of the conversations in a positive way.
Overall, I would just like to say what an eye-opening experience this past week was and how the admiration, inspiration and respect I have for Alison, will be taken into my attitude and actions throughout the rest of my life. The passion that Alison has for her business and the topic of sales has largely influenced how I see business as a whole and I now understand the importance of not just sales, but people skills. With the knowledge that Alison has on sales, it is no wonder why she’s one of the UK’s top ten business advisors and I would just like to thank Alison for this opportunity and the hospitality she has provided along the way.I would also like to mention how helpful Rebecca was throughout my work experience week as she showed me how to use all the different platforms all whilst running the business with Alison. The past week has not only been informative, but has also been immensely fun.
Thank you, Alison!