How to unlock the potential of your people

How to unlock the potential of your people

Member profile: Martin John Training

Would you like to increase your business profits without hiring additional staff? Could you optimise performance by developing the capabilities of your current team?

The truth is that trying to train staff while managing your day-to-day business feels more like a juggling act than a business strategy. Once you understand that training is an investment, it can be a cornerstone of a cost-effective plan to increase growth and revenue. But where do you begin?

With 25 years’ experience in senior procurement, relationship management and supply chain roles, Martin John now helps people to develop the “soft skills” they need to succeed.

Using insight from global organisations, leading industry experts and his own research Martin can create tailored and practical training across a range of topics. These include cost management, assertiveness, negotiating, procurement and time management.

With personal experience in a range of industries, including FMCG, packaging, automotive and food, Martin’s training is based upon first-hand knowledge.

We put him to the test, by getting him to answer three common questions…

Could a lack of assertiveness in your team slow down growth?

“Assertiveness leads to improved communication and honest relationships, as people know where they stand with no hidden agendas. However, a lack of assertiveness means that people’s needs, feelings and opinions aren’t shared.

“Increasing assertiveness across a business allows issues to get raised and fixed sooner, making people feel more comfortable in highlighting improvement opportunities. For example, nurturing a culture of communication could help eliminate losses from your processes.

“On a personal level, being more assertive can result in reduced stress, fewer absences, increased retention and higher productivity.”

Having trouble converting prospects into customers?

“More than 95% of our decisions are based on instinct, rather than logic. The truth is that we do not have enough bandwidth to weigh up all the evidence in a logical fashion for every decision we make.

“We live in complicated times and we take shortcuts. Because we know we take shortcuts, we can persuade people by employing principles of influence. This is one of the core features of my Persuasion and Influence course, where people can learn these skills and how to use them.

“One of the most popular parts of the course is how to identify and influence the four personality styles. This enables you to choose the right tool for the type of person you want to influence. This has all kinds of practical applications, such as dealing with a customer you might consider ‘difficult’. Learn how to make them more receptive to you, which can be hugely powerful. I also teach a simple technique that can overcome almost any objection.”

Could better negotiation skills lead to more profitability for manufacturers?

You HAVE to negotiate. Even if you only get a result 20% of the time, it’s better than not trying.

“Quite simply, you could get a higher price when selling and a lower price when buying. When margins are tight, negotiation skills could make the difference between profit or loss. The trouble is, many people don’t know how to negotiate, or aren’t comfortable in negotiations.

“Firstly, negotiations aren’t always about money – the customer might value time, quality, people or something else. Whatever you do, don’t overstate your weaknesses or underplay your strengths.

“Secondly, you HAVE to negotiate. Even if you only get a result 20% of the time, it’s better than not trying. The supplier can only say “No”, and if a negotiation is managed in a respectful way, there’ll be no harm to the ongoing relationship. “Negotiation is especially important with today’s rising inflation. Once inflation subsides, manufacturers need to ensure their prices quickly reflect the lower supplier input costs.”


Martin John Training Limited

Tel:                +44 7720 149753




Barry Hunt is an award-winning journalist and editor with more than 25 years' experience in the media and PR industry.