An Interview with…… Toby Blatchford-Tagg

Written by Tracey Duke Photography by Pip Andersen   At just 32 years old, Exeter based Toby Blatchford-Tagg has co-founded five businesses, employs over 45 staff and, by his own admission, has got there with a pure, hell bent determination. I caught up with the man behind the Lead Lab and the award nominated Lukas Barbers to talk culture, influencers and next steps.   A natural born entrepreneur, it’s clear that Toby has a gift for spotting a gap and going for it.  He has the art of telemarketing science down to a tee and has successfully placed the Lead […]

Why The Eskimos Don’t Want Your Ice – Owen Richards

Part 1. Real life sales stories from the MD of Exeter’s leading Business Development agency Each month, I’ll share some of my experiences, opinions and ideas on what bad sales people do so you can be sure to avoid these mistakes. This month we’re starting with the dreaded phrase: “How are you today?” “Hi. It’s Sam calling from ABC, how are you today?” are words that have never inspired me to engage in a conversation with sales person. This phrase reeks of insincerity and I’m bored of being asked this when, to be frank, the answer doesn’t really matter at all. […]


Joanne Manville Virtual Assistance has been announced as the winner of the South West Virtual Assistant of the Year 2017 at the UK VA Awards, just as the business approaches its second birthday. Joanne Manville Virtual Assistance was launched in October 2015. Joanne has supported the owners of local, national and international companies in order to give their time-challenged owners the space to grow their businesses. Joanne has worked with many local companies, such as Isherwood Consulting, Winning Tenders and Exeter Management Consulting as well as companies across the UK and internationally. Joanne said:  “My second year in business has […]

11 TIPS to Be a Better Salesperson

So you want to know how to be a better salesperson? I’m going to share some tips to help you not just to be a better salesperson, but to be a salesperson that your customers will love. It’s commonly debated whether the skills for being a super-duper salesperson can be learned, or are they just part of your very being.  What do you think?  Do you often wonder what it will take for you to be a better salesperson?  On a day when you can’t seem to close a single deal, it feels like you’re pushing treacle uphill and nothing is […]

SALES TIPS: 10 ways to make absolutely sure your customers come back

Building customer loyalty is essential for success in business.  Acquiring new customers is essential, but if that’s all we ever focussed on, it’d be tough on your sales team as well as your marketing budget. Acquisition vs Retention? Econsultancy did a customer loyalty study which showed businesses are only 5-25% likely to sell to a brand new customer, but are 65% likely to sell to an existing customer.  So it follows that we need to look after the customers we acquire extremely well.  In fact, we need to make sure they fall in love with our products, service, systems and processes.  We need […]

The most effective way to close your sales pitch (works every time)

Many professions are categorised as ‘skilled’ but often sales is missed off that list.  Why?  I honestly have no idea, other than those who come up with these lists have never sold anything.  Sales is tough isn’t it – I’d definitely describe sales as a skilled profession. There’s so many things to get right before you can even attempt to close the sale.  Have you connected with the customer and built enough rapport?  Do you understand enough about their pain points and challenges?  Does your product solve their challenges? If you’ve ever been on a sales training course (and I’m sure most […]

Sales People………………STOP TALKING!

There used to be one single method for determining a good sales person. One single ability that would be seen as the key to success in sales. “Oh that person is a good sales person because they can……” “Talk the talk” People who were confident speaking, who had charisma and charm instantly found success in sales. They were able to convince anyone to buy anything using words to manipulate their prospects into buying. Times have changed….significantly! We now live in a time where our prospects and customers have more information than ever before. They now know your products, they know […]