How to be good at sales – and ‘be nice’ at the same time

Chris Dawson, founder of Merseyside sales training business 6th Door, talks about his career and how you can learn to be a champion cold caller and turbo-charge your business. Tony McDonough reports.

Selling over the phone is a difficult skill, says Chris Dawson – and a very valuable one

Whether you produce widgets or websites, sales is fundamental to every business on the planet – and some do it a lot better than others.

“No one dislikes a sales person or being cold-called – what they dislike is a bad sales person and a bad cold call.” – so says Chris Dawson, founder of Merseyside sales training business 6th Door.

Chris, who started his Southport-based firm in 2011, insists the right training and development can boost the sales of any organisation.

He has established a strong track record as a speaker, trainer, writer and coach on sales skills and cold calling.

Chamber course

In March he will host a one-day course at Liverpool & Sefton Chamber of Commerce in Liverpool city centre entitled ‘How to Cold Call Like a Boss’.

Chris explained: “It is very simply a day that will allow you to go straight back to work, pick up the phone and make money.

“It will remove your fear of picking up the phone and will give you up-to-date usable skills and it will actually make you enjoy it.

“There are no acronyms, no corporate crap – it is straight talking and it is good fun.”

Sales expert

Chris has been in sales his whole working life and jokes: “It’s like I’ve been selling things since I was about nine year’s old.

“I have sold anything and everything.”

In later years he worked his way up the ladder of a business that was eventually acquired by telecoms giant BT and he became its head of sales training.

He believes organisations needs to take an holistic approach to selling – a strategy that goes beyond just the actual sales people.

“Everybody in the supply chain can affect the sales of a company,” said Chris.

“If I walk into a business for the first time how the receptionist deals with me will start to affect and shape my view of that business.

“That even goes for the guy in the stock room. If he doesn’t get the order out in time then he is creating a bad impression – and once a customer has that bad impression it is very difficult to turn around.


“What we offer is not just sales training – it is about all-round communications skills and giving people the belief and confidence to help the business they run or work for to grow.”

Chris acknowledges the old cliche of the smarmy used car salesman and says the secret is always “never try to sell”.

He explained: “People hate being sold to but they do like to buy things. So have a chat, relax, listen, learn about someone and see how you can help them. Above all, be nice.

“30 years ago when I was starting out if you said you wanted to be any of those things – you would get fired. Now they are essential skills.

Chris Dawson, founder of Merseyside sales training business 6th Door

“But cold calling is still as important as ever. People sometimes say ‘it is all about social media now’ but I will take an hour of cold calling on the phone over an hour of Twitter any time. Cold calling is not dead.”

Member benefits

Chris adds that being a member of the chamber has proved invaluable for 6th Door.

He said: “There are so many benefits to being a member. I find the chamber is very much ‘you get out what you put in’.

“I feel like with the other members we are all together – like being the crew of a ship. I am not a huge business and I don’t have 500 staff so I am a big fan of ‘you get further if you go together’.

“So I always have someone to talk to, I always have advice and support. Just someone to listen to. I have another 50 people out there telling people how good my business is.

“It is like having a much bigger business without having a much bigger business.”

Learn How to Cold Call Like a Boss takes place on Thursday, March 9. To book or for more information click here.

You might also like More from author

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Username field is empty.