Excellence in Client Encounters

A specialised training for Technical Sales Support, structured with ICON9


Excellence in Client Encounters (aka Excellence in Customer Communication) is an intense, 2.5-day classroom training that equips you with tools for efficient and productive customer communication. It supports relationships that are both authentic and satisfying.

We equip you with simple tools that capture best practices from the fields of Applications Engineering, Sales, Coaching and Psychology. Integrated in the ICON9 system, they help you to:

  • Reduce the risks of any misunderstanding or other problems with customers
  • Have client encounters …
    • Which are increasingly productive
    • From which you harvest more and better information
    • Where you have more influence on the customer
    • And where agreement is obtained more easily

The reference book, Client Encounters of the Technical Kind, the ICON9 web site and online resources support you before, during and after any course that you may take.

Our approach is based on an important communication principle: that a message must be adapted to the person receiving it. In this case, we are addressing Customer-Facing Engineers (CFEs): technical experts with important client contact responsibilities. Furthermore, to minimise the theory-practice gap, activities and exercises are customised on a course-by-course basis to match the work of participants.

Training Objectives

  • Broaden and reinforce your understanding of client encounter challenges
  • Increase the benefits and satisfaction that you obtain from meeting customers
  • Bring added structure to your work, enhancing your ability to analyse and report customer situations and to setup productive collaborations
  • Learn and explore a set of tools for:
    • The discovery of valuable information from a wide range of subject areas
    • The synthesis and presentation of complex technical-commercial information
    • Influencing decision makers, directly and indirectly
    • Negotiation of a wide range of outcomes, both technical and commercial.

Who should take this training?

The course has been designed for anyone doing work of a technical nature in a B2B context who spends significant time interfacing with customers. For example, Applications EngineersTechnical Sales RepresentativesR&D engineers who are exposed to customers and Marketing personnel.

Participants should have some experience in one of these roles (or in something similar), though the amount of experience is of little importance – it can range from a few months to several decades!

The training has a distinctly international flavour, and participants must be at ease with the English language, especially when reading (though course activities can be conducted in any language and lecture modules are given either in English or French, or through an interpreter).

The Training Program

You start learning from the moment you are subscribed, thanks to …

  • A first interaction with your trainer concerning your work challenges, your expectations of the course and your image of your profession
  • An introductory video
  • Optionally, a pre-course exercise in collaboration with other trainees

You experiment and learn with your class …

Getting a deeper contextual understanding
  • The contribution of the Customer-Facing Engineer in the B2B value chain
  • The Encounter Process as a basis for analysing and managing client encounters
Encounter Fundamentals
  • Efficient encounter preparation, avoiding the various obstacles and difficulties of the modern world 
  • Taking control of meetings – whether officially responsible or not, how to be response-able at all times
  • Discovering valuable and varied information through the use of a solid mental model of the client situation
  • Special situations: unhappy customers and delivering unwelcome news
  • Practice: cross-presentations and role-plays for various commercial situations
Influencing the client … and perhaps their “frame of reference” also
  • Tame the Hurry Monster and resist the temptation to look for solutions too early during customer interactions
  • Learn a process for guiding the discovery process (inspired by Non-Violent Communication)
  • Challenge customers in order to redirect conversations onto more productive territory
  • Practice: exercises on the different parts of the Guiding Discovery process, in twos and threes; Challenger Reframe activity
Presentation Design and Reuse
  • The “My Thoughts First” approach
  • Building a powerful pitch with the MAP and TWO-MINUTE MESSAGE tools
  • Practice: group work to create and present pitches for address challenging scenarios (either (1) given or (2) inspired from participants’ actual work)
Negotiation in a technical context / Taking control
  • Clarification of the “Taking Control” concept and the link with the Challenger approach
  • Typical negotiation situations for the Customer-Facing Engineer
  • Essentials of the “Win-Win or No Deal” approach
  • How to capture a negotiation strategy
  • Practice: group work to prepare a negotiation followed by a constructive comparison of the chosen strategy with that of an ‘opposing’ group
Encounter Excellence
  • A final activity that brings together what has been learnt so far, integrating it into your work context
  • Summary and closing discussion
  • Level 1 and 2 feedback, using the Kirkpatrick evaluation system

You are supported as you integrate learning into your professional practice …

  • Through a detailed follow-up on the Kirkpatrick data, with reference answers and pointers to additional information
  • One or more post-training conference calls to review and discuss progress
  • Optionally:
    • Extended access to online resources at http://my.icon9.net (video, audio, scripts, downloads, …)
    • Flash training sessions to reinforce certain learning points, tackle advanced subjects and work on the integration of theory into practice
    • An individual CheckPoint project, culminating in a mini-coaching, based on a case study from your work.

The ICONDA Advantage

Proven and referenced

  • ICONDA has delivered training courses, in English and French, all over the world for the past 10 years. We regularly stage events in multiple European countries, in the USA, in Japan and in AsiaPac.
  • ICONDA Solutions has passed the rigorous DataDock acceptance checks, is registered with DataDock, and has been working with OPCA’s in France for many years

Facilitation by the CEO, Andy Betts

  • A confirmed trainer and qualified coach (Institut Maieutis, level 2, code NSF 315, European level CEC: 6), certified in Process Communication by Kahler Communication France
  • Over 25 year’s experience in high-tech industry, in Semiconductor, Electronic Design Automation (EDA) and associated software
  • In-depth experience in both design roles and in the field (Sales, Marketing and Applications).

Bring the benefits of a coaching approach to training

  • Training is about supporting and enabling participants to practice, much less about informing and explaining new ideas
  • Long experience with coaching and training teams allows a flexible approach, adapted to each group and its mood on the day
  • The facilitator’s deep background knowledge, together with ICONDA’s considerable training database, allow clarifying material to be injected into training sessions as and when appropriate.
Excellence in Customer Communication A specialised training for Technical Sales Support, structured with ICON9

To contact us …

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