Feedback exercise with our new collegague Hans Swaeb

Feedback exercise with our new collegague Hans Swaeb

02 September 2021
Gerrit Sarens
Gerrit Sarens
  • 🔖 Sales is not about selling 🔖

    Thatโ€™s the key message we got from our new colleague Hans.

    🎓 After three weeks at Ambits, Hans explained yesterday how he approaches clients and prospects and how he explains to them what Ambits is doing. The goal was not to teach us his way of working but rather the opposite; he wanted our feedback.

    🎓 So, we did a role-play in which we took the role of a potential client and challenged Hans.

    🎓 We admire Hans for being willing to put himself in a vulnerable position by explicitly asking for our feedback.

    The takeaways from this exciting exercise are straightforward:

    📋 People buy from people.
    First, build the human connection. Only then talk about the product or service.

    📋 People prefer stories over sales pitches.
    Start with your personal story, lessons learned in life, and why you believe in the product or service you sell.

    📋 I know your challenges.
    Empathy is key. The prospect or client should feel that you understand their challenges, issues, or problems.

    📋 Make them dream about the ideal future.
    Fast forward to the future. If we would collaborate, when would you be satisfied?

    📋 Become the trusted advisor.
    It should be the ultimate goal, but it takes time. If the client spontaneously comes to you with their problems, you have reached the trusted advisor status. A trusted advisor doesnโ€™t need to sell anymore.

Struggles of a manager

Managers are

  • not or inadequately trained in this role


    • lack self-confidence
    • donโ€™t know how to go from being a colleague to being a boss
    • need to loosen up on the command & control leadership style
    • must let go of the (technical) expert status
    • cannot give or accept constructive feedback
    • feel pressure to perform as manager
    • have difficulty building relationships
    • want to be liked by everyone or want to be the โ€˜bad bossโ€™
    • play the hero
    • โ€ฆ
  • are struggling


    • stay too involved in operations
    • have trouble prioritizing
    • cannot delegate
    • fear conflict situations
    • disconnect from the team
    • deal with flawed strategic thinking
    • do not relate to higher management
    • lack clear communication skills
    • remain not self-aware
    • avoid difficult conversations
    • miss political antennas
    • ...
  • capable of more


    • need mental preparation as successor
    • need to be able to lead big changes ahead
    • need to learn to be emotionally resilient and in control
    • need to learn to make big decisions fast without all the information
    • must become persuasive presenters
    • need to learn how to cultivate their own personal brand
    • need to learn how to lead by example
    • manage by trust, not by fear
    • need to overly develop empathy
    • ...
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