Who is Pathfinder?

My story is one of 3 decades finding ways to successfully win sales and 20+ years helping sales teams win business and exceed quotas.

All underpinned with hundreds of hours learning and transferring sales skills and techniques (best practices)

In that time I have learnt, first hand, that coaching or coached instruction is more effective than Classroom or on-line training in over 75% of cases….that’s if we want skills to really stick.

Those new to sales will gladly sit in courses to learn new skills – eager to learn how to be successful.  As time progresses, however, best practise sales skills increasingly fail to stick because most training falls into 1 or more of 5 traps

  1. Over-complicated content or simply trying to pack in too much
  2. Trainers with little or no experience of selling or over-selling themselves.  They lack credibility with their audience who therefore switch off and find alternative things to do
  3. Training that simply takes too long and loses the attention of sales people keen to find, win and close deals
  4. Sales people being put onto long-session training on topics for which they actually need only a refresher or reminder – an hour or so rather than a whole day or days.
  5. Too much theory that hasn’t been tailored to the business and the reality of selling

“James is one of the best strategic thinkers I have ever had the pleasure to work with. He approaches any challenge with clear thinking and with a firm focus on the objectives. He is unfettered by organisational blockers and silos. He is keen and quick to adopt and build on new ideas from others and is free and creative in his own thinking. He is extremely supportive and balances this with timely challenges. As a result of working closely with James over the last 10 years I have undoubtedly grown and been significantly more effective as an individual and a manager. If I had to choose anyone to assist me with a new business opportunity then James would be my first choice”

Sue White – Senior Management & Leadership Development Tutor – DDA Consulting International Ltd

What is Pathfinder?

Pathfinder is a simple approach designed to provide the antedote to Sales Training that gets ignored – for when skills that don’t stick.

It’s not a flash new Acronym and it’s not pretending to invent a hyped ‘way of selling’.  It literally helps you find the path that resolves sales execution issues.  It’s down to earth and therefore extremely effective.

And it’s based on 2 simple foundations:

1. A sales person’s DNA of selling is made up of 4 components.  Mindset, Skillset, Knowledge and Values – where skillset applies a simple rule:

“Without method, skills are nothing more than random acts”

2. A 5 step approach that avoids the 5 pitfalls

And where your business doesn’t already have best practices for specific required skills, it comes the benefit of best practices that have been successfully used, honed, adapted and refined in the field.

We must always Keep It Simple when Selling (KISS).  Just so, we must remember to Keep It Simple for Sales.  Getting Skills, Mindset, Knowledge and Values to stick is not rocket science.  It’s a matter of following the simple 5 steps.


“I’ve known James for 9 years. James, in my opinion, created and sustained over that time, the best sales team I have encountered from my work in both the US and Europe. He is that rare combination of sales managers that can demonstrate year on year achievement, superb loyalty from the folk that report to him, excellent long term strategic vision and the ability to execute on it. I highly recommend him!”

Stewart Monk – Head of Northern Europe Applications – Oracle

Why Pathfinder?

Because in the headlong rush to deliver bookings and revenues to Shareholders and Stakeholders, the past 5-10 years has actually shown

  • More and more training on product / solution and process (this is all knowledge not skill) at the expense of mastering the skills that will really make the difference
  • Selling skills assumptions made during hiring where sales people subsequently turn out to lack many basic skills
  • An increasing reliance on technology which, whilst great for supporting process, method and some knowledge, do not address the fundamentals of how human adults learn.  Technology based learning therefore fails to embed the face to face skills that will actually find, win and close deals.
  • Over-selling of great sounding Sales Training with great sounding IP that increasingly deliver training where the skills don’t stick
  • A lack of forensic attention to specific skills required to address specific execution issues.