MaltaToday meets Carlo Pignataro from the international training firm SSE

We get a glimpse inside the mind of entrepreneur and training specialist, best known as ‘The Luxury Coach’

Carlo Pignataro
Carlo Pignataro

A long-time manager and consultant for global players and a trainer and speaker at conferences about sales, client experience and perceived value enhancement, we want to know - what inspired you to enter this line of work?

Three things basically: the first is a passion for everything related to learning and personal growth. The second was the realization that my multiple-year experience in the luxury sector and my research in the fields of luxury service and perceived value enhancement can be useful to many more industries, because, whether we like it or not, we have entered a new era, which the best-selling author Joseph Pine calls “The Experience Economy”.

Clients today, or, consumers, if you will, are experience-driven, regardless of the product or service they’re buying and when it comes to winning clients through the experience, none have done a better job over the last 100 years and more, than the luxury industry.

Finally, it was the belief that better sales and service skills can not only make organisations strive, but, more importantly to me, people happier.

Oftentimes, people underestimate the amount of knowledge, work and commitment it requires to develop great sales and service skills, and how those skills may actually help individuals unleash their full potential.

Don’t forget – without sales, there is no business.

 

Can you tell us a little bit what is involved in the sales and customer service training sessions?

My training programs are built upon three pillars: style, competence and effectiveness.

First, it is my duty to provide my audience with strategic and tactical tools, to enhance their (as well as their company’s) perceived value, finding their own unique voice, their unique positioning and ultimately, their own unique style. In this regard, I’ve also written a book called “Sell with Style”, which is available on Amazon worldwide.

When it comes to competence, I’ve developed a very articulated, yet actionable, methodology that helps individuals and organizsations navigate in a world where clients are more sophisticated than ever before and businesses are being disrupted on a daily basis.
A static competence doesn’t suffice any more and to be on top of any game, every (sales) person has to have a concrete plan to gather information on a consistent and continuous basis.

Lastly, we must understand that the whole sales game boils down to one thing: Conversion.

If you talk to one thousand prospects but don’t sell to one, your business is not going to survive.

Someone said that doing something unimportant well doesn’t make it important, and that efficiency doesn’t necessarily mean (or lead to) efficiency.

During my Advanced Sales Courses, participants learn to develop a selective thinking style, where they cut out the noise, and focus on the activities that translate (often through extraordinary service) into sales.

 

Who would you say learning methodologies are beneficial to and why?

First and foremost, to anyone who understands that sales and service are two sides of the same coin.

Also, my training programs are addressed to companies and individuals operating (or aspiring to) in the mid-high end of their market.

If low prices are your only strategy, my approach to sales and training probably won’t suit you.

 

In your opinion, what is the most important lesson companies interested in enhancing their positioning should learn from you?

That beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that the branding exercise is a long term one that requires consistency and a continuous assessment of your perceived value.

 

Most importantly, where can we order your book, ‘Sell With Style’ from?

The book, which obviously has a focus on sales, and that will be followed by the (almost ready) Serve With Style later this year, is available as mentioned previously, on Amazon.

I was extremely fortunate to have two industry giants such as the CEOs of Bulgari and Gucci writing a foreword, and whoever decides to attend the Advanced Sales Course I will run in Malta on March 23rd and 24th, will receive a complimentary copy.

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