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Consultative Selling, Negotiation, Cold CallingPowerful Presentations, and Referrals: The Workshop

ALL COURSES are offered as "public/open" and "private/closed." Anyone may register for public classes. Closed classes consist of participants from only one company or organization. To register for either type of class or for more information, contact Phil Krone at 847-446-0008 Ext. 1 or pkrone@productivestrategies.com.

Locations: All open classes are at our offices in Northfield, Illinois, at 570 Frontage Road, 2 Northfield Plaza, Suite 365, Northfield, IL 60093. They are just north of the intersection of the Edens Expressway and Willow Road and west of the expressway. Clients select closed-course locations.


Referrals: The Workshop. November 7 TENTATIVE.  One-half day.

FOCIS® Consultative Selling. In-class time for the course consists of four half-day sessions conducted over three months. See scheduled dates and detailed course description below.


CONSULTATIVE SELLING: FOCIS® Discovery, Focused Presentation

Develop consultative selling skills and a sales process customized to individual industries, companies, and business developers.

Contact: Phil Krone at 847-446-0008 Extension 1 or pkrone@productivestrategies.com

Sections Scheduled for 2018

The FOCIS® course includes four separate in-class sessions over three months plus reinforcement, custom-sales process development, and coaching on current business opportunities between classes. Remaining scheduled class dates are listed here. Other classes are scheduled depending on demand. Class size is limited.

  • May 21 and 22, June 18, and July 16
  • June 25 and 26, July 23, and August 27
  • July 9 and 10, August 6, and September 12
  • August 13 and 14, September 10, and October 8
  • September Section: Dates to be Determined
  • October 9 and 10, November 5, and December 3

How do rainmakers stay on top? In any company or firm, 20 percent of the business developers bring in 80 percent of the business. They out-produce other sales reps and business developers at a rate of as much as 15 to 1.

What will you learn?

You'll learn to . . .

  • Improve your consultative selling skills
  • Convey your expertise and build trust faster
  • Increase your success rate on RFPs
  • Provide real value during the sales process
  • Develop the skills needed to close "cold" leads
  • Penetrate both current and new accounts more effectively
  • Increase referrals from clients and other contacts
  • Become more comfortable and efficient as a business developer
  • Avoid giving away intellectual property during the sales process
  • Improve communication within sales teams
  • Access decision-makers more efficiently
  • Develop superior persuasive skills
  • Understand why some "sure sales" don't work out
  • Avoid "feel good" meetings that waste time
  • Qualify prospects quickly and accurately

FOCIS® Selling Training, is a package of training and sales-process consultation delivered over a two to three-month period.

  • The workshop portion consists of 16 hours (four 4-hour sessions) of training in persuasive selling for complex services. In these interactive sessions we teach the main skills used by top producers who account for 70-80% of all new business development.
  • Between sessions, telephone consultation and process development reinforce the concepts and skills of individual participants and codify the firm's overall sales process.
  • During the term of the course we offer to help create strategy for major opportunities participants are working on. This includes pre-call planning and post mortems.

The course includes telephone advice sessions on strategy and the weekly review, analysis, and editing of documents that participants prepare for the sales process and as permanent intellectual property.

Our 148-page FOCIS® Selling Workbook is designed to clarify and support the concepts and takeaways of the course for participants. Each participant purchases a personal copy. The FOCIS training can be provided at your office, our office, or anywhere in the US that is convenient for your sales force to meet.

Our clients report that training helps increase the confidence of their business developers; it increases job satisfaction, and increases loyalty to the company.


NEGOTIATING SKILLS FOR TODAY: FOCIS® Discovery, Focused Negotiations

This interactive workshop provides two days of learning, skill-building, and role-playing that tackle the new negotiating challenges of today's business world. This course covers negotiation and persuasive communication.

Contact: Phil Krone at 847-446-0008, Extension 1 or pkrone@productivestrategies.com

2018 Public/Open Session: Dates to be determined. The course is two all-day sessions.

Is a win-win approach to negotiation always the best way to go? When do you "play hardball" to get what you need? What are the keys to preparing for a negotiation?

These questions and many others are answered in  FOCIS® Discovery, Focused Negotiations, a two-day, interactive course that builds contemporary negotiating skills.

FOCIS® Negotiating is based on the discovery principles of consultative selling applied to another skill essential for success in business and is a course in both negotiation and communication. The course is modular with a variety of examples, exercises, and role plays that build on each other from one session to the next. Each participant receives a practical, 147-page workbook that reinforces course content.

What will you learn?

You'll . . .

  • Develop your personal negotiation skills
  • Create a negotiating process you can customize for each negotiation
  • Learn why the most recent research reinforces negotiating in a consultative way
  • Understand clearly which consultative selling principles apply, when to use them, and when not to use them
  • Practice your skills using case studies and role playing
  • Build a new confidence in your negotiating skills.

The course covers the most recent insights based on the ever-growing body of research on real-world negotiation experiences. Participants learn major negotiating principles plus down-to-earth "tactical activities to use hour by hour, minute by minute."

Key Building Blocks of the Course

  • What is negotiation and the ability to influence…..and what is it not?
  • When does the negotiation process start?
  • What preparation has to be in place before negotiations begin?
  • What is consultative selling and how do communication skills reduce the need to negotiate?
  • How do you improve listening skills to gather critical content and create empathy?
  • How can communication skills improve your leverage?
  • What are proven negotiation strategies: What works and what doesn't?
  • What is wrong with traditional win-win?
  • Why can consultative win-win be much more productive?
  • Is it better to start with YES or NO? Why?
  • How do you identify previously unrecognized solutions during negotiations?
  • How do you find and communicate creative solutions?
  • Why does focusing on process work and how do you do it?
  • Why is time management so important?
  • What are the best ways to develop trust?
  • How much preparation is needed before negotiation begins, when, and what kind?
  • What's the right balance between negotiating soft and hard costs?
  • What role does emotion play?
  • How can you deal with difficult people who commoditize your offering?
  • How can visualization make you a better negotiator?

FOCIS® Negotiating helps participants build the discovery, thinking, and analytical skills that enable good negotiators to understand what matters to those on the other side of the table. That knowledge can be used to minimize or even avoid negotiating and to gain leverage when negotiating must take place.

Instructor: A marketing professional since 1972, Philip Krone is the creator of FOCIS® Discovery, Focused Negotiations and an experienced negotiator in several industries. He is the founder and president of Productive Strategies, Inc., a management and marketing consulting firm. As a manufacturing executive, he pursued and achieved business opportunities in the global arena, with government, and in private industry. He has negotiated multi-million dollar sales, labor contracts, sales representation contracts, and successfully coached on thousands of sales opportunities, including a billion-dollar sale.


WARM UP TO COLD CALLING: Phone Skills for Business Development

Few business developers like to make cold calls on the telephone. But they can make those calls much more productive by learning the skills, techniques, and customized processes that lead to success.

Contact: Scott Pemberton at 847-446-0008 Extension 3 or spemberton@productivestrategies.com

This practical, half-day course helps participants build the skills needed for successful, business-to-business cold calling on the phone, practice those skills through role-playing, and develop calling guides customized for their industry, market, and personal strengths and preferences. Turn cold calling into a welcome challenge, not a dreaded burden, by learning how the most effective professional business developers make cold calls work for them.

This course covers the principles and hands-on techniques to:

  • Improve your ability to set appointments with prospects
  • Identify the decision-makers at prospect companies
  • Increase comfort level when speaking with C-suite executives
  • Leave voice mails that result in call-backs
  • Reach decision-makers over the phone
  • Get past the gatekeepers
  • Identify who in a company is the right person to talk to
  • Build the performance of individuals and teams
  • Reduce the frustration of rejection
  • Use cold-calling skills in other business situations, such as networking
  • Increase the quality and length of phone conversations if desired
  • Learn to prepare for making calls
  • Understand "the arc of the call"
  • Differentiate your company from others
  • Learn simple, self-starting techniques that build the "right attitude" for making cold calls
  • Have more productive conversations that build relationships
  • Be more effective in business and social networking situations

Reduce "call reluctance" and build "call confidence" by developing skills and calling guides customized to industry, company, and individual.



Do you sometimes feel unsure about how successful you are when presenting in front of groups, guiding meetings with colleagues, or persuading family and friends?

This popular two-day interactive course focuses on individual opportunities for improving delivery and making the most of already developed presentation and communications strengths.

Contact: Phil Krone at 847-446-0008 Extension 1 or pkrone@productivestrategies.com

Designed to take your presentation and communication skills to the "next level"-your next level-the course not only increases your confidence but also your effectiveness. The facilitator's goals are to identify opportunities for improvement while enhancing each participant's natural presentation strengths.

Highly interactive and energizing, this workshop is dedicated to creating a safe, collaborative, and productive learning environment.

What does that mean? You'll learn, practice, and adapt proven delivery methods to better connect with audiences of all sizes. Additionally, you'll experience the value of professional and peer critiques as well as a private, guided self-assessment of your presentations videotaped in class.

The objectives of this program are designed to help you:

  • Create your ideal personal style
  • Project a positive presence and a convincing message
  • Organize content from the audience's point-of-view for greater impact
  • Develop better listening skills
  • Use visual tools effectively
  • Give, and receive, constructive feedback
  • Answer questions more effectively
  • Practice skills during one-on-one communications
  • Write and execute a practical action plan.

Whether you're making a sale, raising funds for your favorite charity, or changing the minds of colleagues, friends, and family, this course helps you learn how to get your message across consistently, comfortably, and confidently. You'll learn how to structure content for the greatest impact and to articulate and achieve the goals of your presentation.

Course Size: Limited to 12 participants.



This one-half day course helps you develop the skills and behaviors you need to boost the number of useable referrals you receive while laying the groundwork for continuing referrals over the course of your career.

Contact: Phil Krone at 847-446-0008 Extension 1 or pkrone@productivestrategies.com

2018 Referrals: The Workshop Public/Open Session: November 7 TENTATIVE.

Our referrals course consists of one, four-hour session.

Open classes are conducted at the Productive Strategies offices in Northfield, Illinois, just north of the intersection of the Edens Expressway and Willow Road and west of the expressway.

Are you getting enough referrals?  Are the referrals you get paying off in business?

This course teaches the skills and behaviors to be the best you can be.

You'll learn to . . .

  • Improve your referral-getting-and giving-skills
  • Convey your expertise and build trust faster
  • Understand the driving forces behind acquiring referrals
  • Identify tactics and behaviors that work for you
  • Provide real value through referrals
  • Build the right attitude for referral success
  • Develop simple metrics to track your success
  • Use referrals to penetrate both current and new accounts more effectively
  • Increase referrals from clients and other contacts
  • Become more comfortable and efficient as a business developer
  • Access decision-makers more efficiently
  • Understand why you're not getting the referrals you think you should be
  • Appreciate why acquiring referrals is a process
  • How the "ask" in the referral process really works

Referrals: The Workshop offers four hours of professional skills development training, customization for your market and industry, and practical exercises and role plays. Corporate groups learn how to begin building a "referrals" culture.

The 43-page workbook for the course is designed to clarify and support the concepts and takeaways of the course for participants. Each participant purchases a personal copy. Referrals training can be provided at your office, our office, or anywhere in the US that is convenient for you or your group.

Our clients report that training helps increase the confidence of their business developers, job satisfaction, and loyalty.


Productive Insights

  • “Productive Insights” is a complimentary monthly e-mail column that provides fresh perspectives, knowledgeable viewpoints, and practical information about what salespeople and their companies are doing to be successful today.
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