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And so the CHAS 6 Peaks Challenge begins…

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So… sent out an email a couple of weeks ago looking for volunteers for the next installment of Michael McIntyre’s stonking ideas story book – and silly me… thought I’d perhaps start with asking the hardy souls that formed Team Scotland on the Five Peaks last time. In no particular order… here’s the response I got.

Alison McDonald: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No.

Lynn Proudfoot: Eehhhhh, I’m sure I’m washing my hair that day.

Karen Hodgson: James (Husband) says I can’t go so I’m not allowed to (*yes Karen, I’m only joking*)

Gerry Burke: Hmm, no. It’s really not my cup of tea.

Then we had James Stephens’ response which I recorded for posterity (PLEASE CLICK ON THE PICTURE OF JAMES FOR THE VIDEO):

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Seems as though I was the only one actually up for doing the challenge… I don’t think there’s any coincidence in the fact that I’m getting married in a little under six months though and will do anything to get away from organisation!

So that then led me on to my next trick.

Get everyone bladdered on Tequila at the recent RAJAR night and put a highlighter/crayon in their hand and then masquerade it as a signed testimony on Sunday Morning. This appears to have worked on both Stuart ‘MasterChef’ Stott and Shiona ‘Roving Reporter’ McCallum. Both of which have tried to pull out kicking and screaming at a couple of opportunities – however are both now resigned to the fact that it’s the only way I’ll ever leave them alone (EVER AGAIN).

Team Scotland is now made up of: Myself, James Stephens (in Miami, returns day before challenge), Stuart Stott, Shiona McCallum and the rest are representatives of our charity.

So…

… given the fact that I’m probably the only freak in the entire business that’s actually looking forward to doing this (us White Walkers North of the Wall love the cold) – I guess it now falls upon me to yet again become official Team Scotland blabberer… sorry, blogger-er for the Real and Smooth Six Peaks Challenge.

Up here in Scotland we are raising money for a charity called CHAS: CHAS is a charity that provides the only hospice services in Scotland for children and young people who have life-shortening conditions for which there is no known cure. CHAS runs two children’s hospices, Rachel House in Kinross and Robin House in Balloch, and a home care service called CHAS at Home. – See more at: http://www.chas.org.uk – I’m sure you’ll all agree, a great cause. We are fortunate enough to be getting joined by 5 others from CHAS and sister organisations who intend to help us out on the way.

But I don’t want to do any of the serious stuff today… I want to do the fun parts. A big shout out to my favourite peakers and bloggers from last time out who I hope will joining us (either physically or in spirit):

Helen ‘Mother Hen’ Walledge: I’m sure Jamie, Callum and I will make huge use out of your cooking skills. Cold sausages ahoy! I’ll provide the Hot Chocolate

Alison McDonald: Wuss. ‘Nuff said 😉

Steve Dunbobbin: You will finish this. You will not moan. You will savour that beer at the end!

Charley Schmarley Dwyer: Shame you can’t go… hope your colleagues chat is half as amusing as your own!

Gemma Mainprize: Dara da da da da… I’m lovin’ it!

Mark Lee: Bet you’re looking forward to not having to share a car with the man that can’t shut up for 4.5hrs!

Caroline Parker: Looking forward to seeing you ther…oh wait, you’re on the wrong side of the fence now! ;o)

Michael McIntyre / Army Man Dan: No excuses about your ‘Knees giving way’ this time ;o)

And many more I haven’t mentioned yet (but I will, don’t worry!)

Above all – let’s just make sure we all push ourselves and each other to get over the line… make some stonking money for our respective charities and then have a few beers to celebrate at the end of the day. You are collectively the best bunch of people I’ve ever worked with and I’m really looking forward to having another opportunity to have a get together pre whatever may happen in the near future.

Also, big thanks to Andy and Mark for agreeing to cover the costs of the charity participants in this endeavour – a very warm and welcome gesture and one which I’m sure we’ll all pass on our gratitude for.

Finally – Team Scotland now has it’s own Just Giving page for everyone taking part – please visit our page

http://www.justgiving.com/RealRadio-Scotland

or text REAL66 £x to 70070 if you’d prefer.

solution selling is dead - 2013 is the year of insight selling

Many B2B sales managers and executives assume that things like customer relationship building and a solution sales-based strategy are the key to B2B sales success. Unfortunately, those people are mostly wrong.

The reason? According to CEB executive director Matt Dixon, author of the The Challenger Sale, relationships and solution-based pitches are far less relevant in the information age. Today, rather than relying on B2B sellers to perform a needs diagnosis and problem assessment for them, B2B buyers are doing much of that research themselves. And while relationships still matter, the currency of what constitutes a valued relationship has changed dramatically.

As a result, Dixon explains, B2B sales has devolved into little more than a price war. And if your sales team isn’t comprised of salespeople who are willing to challenge buyers’ perceptions and deliver fresh insight that they haven’t yet considered, it’s a war that your company may very well lose.

In this roundtable interview, Dixon joins fellow B2B sales expert Steve Richard, co-founder of sales consultancy Vorsight, to define “challenger sales,” talk about why insight selling – not solution selling – reigns supreme in B2B sales, and share tips for converting customer-centric salespeople into thought-provoking challengers.

OpenView: Can you give us a quick overview of what “challenger sales” is all about?

Matt-DixonMatt Dixon: I think it’s important to start with what prompted the transition from solution selling to insight sellingin the first place. There are a lot of ancillary causes, but the obvious culprit is the sheer volume of information that buyers have access to today.

By the time the average B2B customer reaches out to a company or is contacted by a sales rep, that customer’s purchase decision is almost over. They’ve started to benchmark price and develop a list of detailed capabilities. Essentially, those customers have done the work that salespeople have long been trained to do for them.

Ultimately, that’s made B2B selling more of a fulfillment process than anything else.

Steve Richard of VorsightSteve Richard: Unless, of course, those salespeople fit the challenger sales persona. Those types of salespeople have figured out that B2B sales is now all about not just engaging customers where they’re buying, but where they’re learning, as well.

MD: That’s exactly right. One thing that we found in the challenger research for CEB’s membership is that the best salespeople are engaging customers where and how they learn – social media, social groups, web forums, online communities, blogs, etc. Doing that allows salespeople to position themselves as sources of unique insight, and gives them the opportunity to assertively challenge what customers think they know.

 

What are the general characteristics of challenger salespeople, and how can non-challenger salespeople get better at it?

Matt-DixonMD: When we designed the challenger sales study, we tried to examine things that were more about nurture than nature. There have been numerous studies done on personality typesand how they relate to B2B sales. We wanted to look at specific skills and competencies that can be taught or coached to help people get better over time.

We’ve studied almost 20,000 salespeople now, and what we’ve found is that salespeople generally fit into a few different profiles. Traditional wisdom would have you believe that relationship builders would be the highest quota attainers, but we’ve found that’s not true. The highest performers – at least according to our research – were the challenger salespeople. Those people are marked by their ability to politely and professionally challenge their prospects’ status quo and bring fresh insight to their businesses.

As for how I’d define the challenger sale, I think because of the word “challenger” a lot of people assume that we’re talking about the old-school idea of the unnecessarily pushy or provocative used car salesmen. But that’s not it. The challenger sale is really about finding a happy medium between being passive and assertive, and pushing prospects to think more critically or analytically about their needs or options.

Steve Richard of VorsightSR: What I found really interesting about Matt and (The Challenger Sale co-author) Brent Adamson’s research, was that challenger salespeople do not rely solely on the traditional solution sales question-and-answer routine. They might ask questions to identify a problem and match their solution to it, but that process is de-emphasized.

Instead, challenger salespeople prefer an insight selling strategy. They understand that B2B buyers today don’t want to be interviewed, and those buyers certainly don’t want to waste their time educating you on their business so you can sell to them.

MD: Steve hit the nail on the head. Buyers expect you to be prepared, especially as you get to the more senior level. Yes, buyers have access to more information than ever before, but so do sellers. And the onus is on those sellers to research basic information about a company before they call.

So by the time a challenger salesperson calls a prospect, he or she is prepared to intelligently and assertively deliver a point-of-view that the prospect may not have considered. For instance, they might call the CEO and say, “This is what I know about your company, these are the hypotheses I’ve formed, these are some trends that I’m seeing in your market, and this is how I think I can help.”

SR: Exactly. You earn the business value that you bring to the table. The challenger salesperson is still a relationship person, but they also have the ability to do “insight selling,” which is the hot new sales term. It used to be solution selling or customer-centric selling, but those sales philosophies are quickly losing their power.

In order to engage in insight selling, salespeople need to ask themselves some key questions:

  • Are you bringing fresh insight to your customers and prospects that they didn’t have before?
  • Are you teaching them something new about their business, industry, or competitors?
  • Are you causing fear, uncertainty, and doubt, to the point that prospects are worried that if they don’t do something, they might fail?

MD: That’s really what the challenger sales idea is all about. Does it mean that relationship selling is dead? Absolutely not. It just means that the currency of the relationship has changed. Whereas it was once defined by the salesperson’s willingness and ability to acquiesce to customer needs, it’s now defined by the unique insights that the salesperson can bring to the table.

Can sales managers take their existing salespeople and convert them into challenger salespeople, or do they need to proactively recruit salespeople who already have challenger sales qualities?

Matt-DixonMD: That’s a really interesting question and I don’t think there’s a simple answer. What we’ve found in our research is that the vast majority of salespeople have at least trace amounts of the challenger sales persona in them. It’s like an unused muscle that’s atrophied over time.

The truth is that salespeople who fail to convert to challenger sales or insight sales typically do so because they don’t want to change. It’s more of a will issue than a skill issue. Some salespeople simply dislike tension-laden conversations, and are unwilling to present potentially controversial hypotheses or viewpoints.

Steve Richard of VorsightSR: I agree with Matt. You can convert salespeople to challenger salespeople, but it’s definitely difficult. You needpeople who are willing and able to change. They have to possess a certain genetic code and be open to change, and the reality is a lot of salespeople are too set in their ways to change.

For people who already have the core challenger skills, the transition can be relatively painless. You just need to be willing to work closely with them and coach them in a way that fine-tunes their talents and tendencies. Building a team of rock star sales hunters requires a lot of effort, but it’s not impossible to do.

Ultimately, if a business is going to make a commitment to being an insight sales organization, it requires a big commitment from the CEO and executive team. They have to support and promote insight selling with their sales process, and the tools, content, collateral, and coaching they give their teams.

MD: Our data shows that roughly 70 percent of salespeople can learn and get better at challenger sales, so there’s no question that it’s possible to convert people from traditional solution selling to insight selling. For the salespeople who opt into the journey, we’ve seen marked improvement in their performance.

As Steve mentioned, it’s not an overnight transition and the conversion to challenger or insight selling must be supported by continuous teaching and coaching. If your sales managers or executives aren’t good coaches or teachers, then it won’t really matter how open those salespeople are to change. And in that scenario, it might make more sense to actively recruit salespeople with challenger competencies than to try to convert non-challenger salespeople.

It also requires active support of the organization — specifically, marketing — to generate the insights salespeople need to effectively challenge customer thinking.  So, it’s definitely a journey and a significant commitment from the company to get it right.

 

Nothing to do with either Advertising, social media or hiking!
I’m currently sat in the Horseshoe Pub in Glasgow City Centre enjoying a Peroni.

Normally I’d be stuck in the office with a large dose of Monday blues at this point but no, praise be to the big man for Bank Holidays!!

I’ve been dragged around the shops kicking and screaming my my good lady whilst she’s been looking at dresses and all kinds of assorted nonsense for her beautiful bridesmaids. Unfortunately I’m a stand in bridesmaid it seems… Fiona is in New Zealand, Angela is in London and my own sister is getting married in less than six weeks… Frick!

Ever get the feeling you’re going to get asked to try on a dress?

Someone come rescue me – quick smart!

Stardate 08.05.2013 – see what I did there? (The big boss called me a lanky, geeky so and so* this morning… can’t think why!)

I’m awfully excited about the upcoming release of Star Trek: Into Darkness. So much so that I have arranged a “man date” with my buddies on Friday night. This consists of train into the city centre after work – beers, food, more beers, then a 21.30 showing of 2D (none of your 3D nonsense) Trek at the Grosvenor in the West End. For those of you that don’t know – the Grosvenor is an independently run cinema in the heart of Glasgow University territory – you can hire couches and have drinks delivered to your seat! Ideal! Oh, did I mention we might have a few more beers after it? Hmm.

Think that officially means my last weekend of training before the 5 peaks challenge is out of the window… d’oh. I don’t think I’d be exercising much this week anyway. Got a pretty yucky eye injury at my first Cobra’s game of the season on Saturday resulting in my eye ball getting a cut on it and me being unable to wear my contact lenses f or at least a week – sigh. The girls must really love the Harry Potter meets the Walking Dead impression I’m sporting this week!

Anyway, I digress. I’m here to give you an update on Team Scotland. First and foremost we are currently at 73% of target and have raised a nice sum of £775 – with plenty more to go on there. We are having our Team Scotland lunch tomorrow so hope to raise an extra £100 or so quid from that. And a few of us have still to get donations in from family and friends. We’re not worried :o) Again though – the team has been working really hard on this (in particular Rob and LP, gracias) and deserve our thanks and praise at not only their fun(d)-raising efforts but also their determination to do this challenge.

That leads me onto LP. On this blog I’m singling her out in particular for a bit of praise. Not only has she been working her backside off tirelessly for fundraising efforts, she also managed to climb Ben Lomond on Bank Holiday Monday with the minimum of fuss (on the way back down!) after some pretty strong initial resistance. I think my Mr. Motivator-esque techniques have managed to convince her she’s more than capable of doing this challenge. (Actually, I promised her I’d don a multi-coloured leotard and chase her up the damn mountain if she didn’t get her backside in gear!) Anyone who’s a friend of mine on Facebook will know that I’m not shy with these things (see Mankini) and it’s not a pretty sight. Here’s LP & James quite early on in the walk…

…this is definitely worth a caption competition (zoom!). Answers on a postcard to @_keithcrane on Twitter or via email.

Pic 4

Well done LP – you managed to scale a peak that is a mere 2 metres shorter than England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike.

Bank Holiday Monday. What can I say. Ben Lomond must have been the only place in the UK that had completely rotten weather this bank holiday. Whilst you were all basking in the Sun and the beer gardens – we were soaked through and climbing through mud, snow and other assorted nonsense. See a few of the attached images.

We also met an axe murderer on the hill. He gave James and LP a row for straying off the path and a lecture on the delicateness of the wilderness and so on. What we didn’t know at the time was that right behind the ranger was a spade, a bucket, some tarpaulin and what can only be described as a burial ground for unsuspecting walkers who questioned his judgement. (A human sized mound covered in freshly layed turf). No. I’m not kidding. You’re laughing, right?

I wasn’t. Well, maybe manically.

So there you have it. We climbed 3,196ft and we’re all officially confident about the challenge now.

Even Alison got out and climbed Tinto yesterday. You can see details of her jaunt on her own blog, here: http://aldoinwonderland.com/2013/05/07/5-peaks-training-log-3/

She was doing it on her own so I gave her some advice and my contact number in case she got into difficulties. Here’s a selection of what she said:

“I’m not gonna lie, it seems apt that your number ends in 911..”

“It’s so lovely and peaceful! Although I AM going to die doing this five times over…”

“Removing walking boots at the bottom is almost as satisfying as removing heels after a night out:) ”

I asked whether or not her feet were sorer after the climb or a night out… she told me:

“Hmm, tough to say… head is definitely less sore though!”

There you have it. All 7 members of Team Scotland five peaks are raring to go and are already in the final planning phase for next week. Do we take beer or cider, wine or spirits? Hmmm.

One final thing a massive WELL DONE to the midlands team, in particular Mummy Dunbobbin for having a happy trigger finger and being so generous with the donation. Oi, Mrs Crane, you reading this?? Steve and the team’s blog can be found at http://stevedunbobbin.blogspot.com 

Charley Dwyer’s amusing anecdotes for Tîm Cymru can also be found here: http://awelcomeinthehillside.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-mountain-adventures-of-charley-and.html?m=1 

And, this week we have a newcomer to blogging from the North East! Welcome Pete Casci and David Cellini: http://ne5peaks.wordpress.com/ 

As always, comments appreciated and Retweets enjoyed @_keithcrane

Please donate now if you haven’t done so already. https://www.justgiving.com/5peakschallengesc/

Or text RSSC50 plus your donation amount to 70070 (i.e. RSSC50 £10)

*so and so used under creative licence

It’s been almost a week since my last blog post – something which I hope will (in vain) entice you to read this with more interest. I made a conscious decision not to bore you all with text about the colour of my boot laces, what I’m eating for lunch or how much I am bricking it about the upcoming challenge…

 

Now… Team Scotland – AKA Team Mountain Goat… how can they be scared I hear you cry? There’s a very good reason. More of which will be revealed below. But, before that I’ll have a quick recap on the performance of everyone else in Team Scotland and what we have planned for the week ahead.

First:  Me. Got to be honest, not been doing much this week. Played footy a couple of times, eaten my own body weight in Nando’s, Viva Brazil and Chinese Buffet and generally had well over my RDA of alcohol each day. One of those weeks. But I’m back on it this weekend – the start of the BAFA Season which I’m playing for my local team, the Cobras (British American Football Association). Again, don’t ask. I’m lanky, I can catch and I’m quite fast – so they seem to think I’m decent at it, go figure.

Karen: Now on day 21 of her 30 day squat challenge – this means she is now doing 150 squats a day and is beginning to feel the benefits of it. She has also been given an exercise regime by a client of hers who represented Wales at boxing.

LP: has been frantically buzzing away with practice and fundraising, helping me out no end with ideas

James: Has been keeping up the regular exercise

Ali: Has walked round her garden three times, and then fallen over from fatigue. I understand she is planning on scaling the biggest peak at Real Radio Scotland HQ (the stairs to the first floor).

Rob: Running to and from work as always – except this week he’s been doing it with weights on his back. And generally ranting so much the sweat is causing him to lose weight.

We have a Team Scotland outing on Bank Holiday Monday climbing Ben Lomond. This is 974m (3195ft) tall and is the 184th tallest of 282 Munros. Ben Lomond is an almost identical height to Scaffell Pike, England’s tallest mountain. The forecast ain’t great, but we’ll get there 🙂

Some pictures attached of what we’re doing:

Ben 1 Ben 2 Ben 3 Ben 4

 

Beautiful huh? And barely 30 mins drive from Glasgow City Centre 🙂

Now getting back to the point in hand… why Team Scotland are a tad nervous about the upcoming 5 Peaks challenge. Please have a look at the pics below… and remember this is from a magazine that is written by experienced hikers, for experienced hikers:

Climb 2 Climb 3 Climb1

 

This is a guide and walk information for the FIRST TWO of the five peaks. Yes, FIRST TWO. ULTIMATE LEG BURNER – 5 out of 5 strenuousness and 4 out of 5 technicality? Hmmmmmmm.
Every single person that completes this challenge deserves a damn medal!

FINALLY – CHARITY UPDATE:

TEAM SCOTLAND 5 PEAKS CHALLENGE TEAM IS NOW OVER 50% TO FUNDRAISING TARGET –

SITTING ON A WHOPPING £532.00. GET IN GUYS AND GALS, GREAT JOB!

 

See you next week for another exciting installment of Team Scotland blog! Happy Bank Holiday weekend folks – and stay safe on the hills.

 

Imagine waking up to this every morning:

Imagine waking up to this every morning

Imagine waking up to this every morning

Now – I’ve only had the privilege of working at Real and Smooth Ltd. for just under a year – but in that time I’ve seen a large number of initiatives but I just don’t think anything quite compares to the hype and excitement that the 5 peaks challenge is generating. I have a feeling it’s somewhat down to the way in which it was delivered and presented – thanks in no small part to Ed Stafford and Michael McIntyre at the RSL Conference.

Not only does it have people excited – it also has people keen to get out there and experience the beautiful countryside the UK has to offer and above all, feel fitter and healthier. And, on a personal note I’m getting to blog… a step in the right direction of a lifelong dream to become a journalist maybe? Anyone?!

No? Oh well, back to the topic in hand then.

A little update on Team Scotland:

LP is currently still sunning herself in the Canaries and, last I heard: “I’m drinking wine, eating tasty food and partying till the early hours… I may die!”

Alison reckons that her stony silence on the matter is purely down to a case of what us Scots call “canny-be-arsed-itis” in replying to emails rather than the confidence of actually doing the challenge. Although I was somewhat reassured this morning as I understand she has now purchased walking boots. Pink they may be, but walking boots nonetheless. Now she is going to spend 2 weeks wearing them as slippers around the living room to wear them in.

Karen is currently on a “30 day squat challenge” which has resulted in her making some really odd movements around the office – prompting all kinds of hilarity. I’ll say no more.

Rob has been busy sorting out the office for the impending loss of Phil “The Crack” Reed – but he’s a fitness buff anyway – can’t see him having huge issues. Incidentally – a big shout out to Rob Crumlish is required here as he has already raised and broken the initial £150 per head fundraising target – well done mate!

Gerry is using his influential skills on the programming side of things to get us a mention or two on Smooth Glasgow and Real XS Glasgow – so hopefully, when the time is right, we’ll generate a bit of publicity on that one.

James – Our resident mountain goat was out climbing in a blizzard this weekend – he’s the one you want to be respecting – check out a couple of images from his walk of Tarmachan Ridge on Sunday… can’t believe he’s still smiling!

James 1 James 2

And as for me… well I’ve been racking my brains as to where I should go on Saturday. It really is a tough choice to make when you live where we do. I’m thinking about going walking around Applecross this weekend and driving the Bealach Na’Ba – it’s a 6hr drive north of here but boy is it worth it

This video was taken the last time I drove up there with Michelle!

So, those photo’s serve to highlight all the beauty that our country has to offer – including Snowdonia and Wasdale Head.

For those of you that fancy an extra challenge… fàilte gu Alba, as we say up here!

For further information and blogs, please visit:

Alison McDonald: http://aldoinwonderland.com/2013/04/24/who-the-am-i/

Steve Dunbobbin: http://stevedunbobbin.blogspot.co.uk

Charley Dwyer: http://allwelcomeinthehillside.blogspot.co.uk

Finally, I’d also like to wish good luck to Gemma Mainprize and the rest of the team at Real Radio Yorkshire who are taking part in the most hardcore of training this weekend – a marathon! Best of luck!

Well hello!

I’d completely forgotten I had a blog – so thought I’d make use of it for training stories for our 5 peaks challenge.

Firstly, if you are reading this blog expecting to be entertained or wowed by the prowess of my literary skills… I suggest you leave and go visit http://stevedunbobbin.blogspot.co.uk – he’s the man with the creativity!

Anyway, Team Scotland for the Real and Smooth 5 peaks challenge consists of:

Myself – Local Market Analyst
James Stephens – Agency Account Manager
Karen Hodgson – Smooth Glasgow Account Manager
Lynn Proudfoot – Local Enterprise Manager
Gerry Burke – Head of Presentation, Smooth Glasgow and 96.3 Real XS Glasgow
Robert Crumlish – IT Engineer
Alison McDonald – Broadcast Journalist

As far as I know we all have a fairly decent level of fitness / love of the countryside. James and I both share a passion for hiking/climbing/the great outdoors – although I think I’m on my own with the fell running.

Karen and LP both like getting out and about as far as I know and are both pretty fit – Gerry enjoys Roamin’ in the Gloamin’ and Robert is a bit of an ironman.
Alison on the other hand… I genuinely have no idea about – but she’s not showing any signs of fear which leads me to suggest she’s more than capable!

Here’s some images from the walk I did at the weekend – Ben Vorlich and Stuc A’Chroin – near Lochearnhead in Perthshire… we can’t not train properly here… did you know that 40 out of the top 50 tallest peaks in the UK (including the entire top ten) are in Scotland? The walk I did at the weekend climbed the 165th and and 182nd highest peaks in Scotland… quite a frightening statistic given that one is taller and the other is the almost identical altitude as Scafell Pike, the tallest of the five in our challenge.

As you can see I was only taking it half seriously… but given there were 70mph gusts and ice/snow on the peak, it would be feckless of me to say I wasn’t prepared. I should advise every single person in this group that if you are planning on doing these training walks on your own, make sure you are prepared:

1. Make sure you tell a friend/family member where you are going, how long you expect to be and when you expect to return.
a good thing to do as well is leave a note on your dashboard of the car with a contact number and ETA of return in case anything goes wrong.

2. EMERGENCY RATIONS – Energy Bars, Chocolate, Pepperami’s – Water and Lucozade Sport are all great to have to hand in case you get lost/stuck

3. A mobile phone – sounds stupid? Lots of people leave it in the car

4. A compass / GPS unit – you can download GPX Lite or similar for your iPhone/Smartphone.

5. A torch in case you take a lot longer than needed.

6. Layers, and lots of – cover your face, neck and body in the event you get stuck on the top. Especially on the higher peaks – the weather can change at a moments notice (as you can see from the photo’s).

7. If you are doing anything over 7-800m at this time of year – I’d suggest you also take crampons and a pick as I required both at the weekend.

Sorry that’s the serious bit over… I personally witnessed a hiker lose their balance and tumble over 100ft down a snow covered hill to a ledge on Saturday – it’s more common than you think.
TAKE CARE PEOPLE – I don’t want to hear of people being reckless!

Anyway, back to the fun… I thought I’d take a video and make an inspirational speech – only, as you can hear… it was quite windy. The best script for this film mailed to me by Friday close of play will win a prize of my choosing

No sleeping, this is important!

What is the Green Deal?

The ins and outs are a bit complicated, but hopefully below puts it into an easy to understand way. If you want further information on this, just let me know and I can at least relay what I know.

The Green Deal is the Government’s flagship initiative to increase the energy efficiency of domestic and non-domestic properties throughout the UK. It is set to commence and be in place between October 2012 and January 2013.

The aim of the Green Deal is to improve the energy efficiency of more than 14 million homes by 2020 which is estimated to create more than 250,000 new jobs.

The Green Deal will allow energy firms to provide domestic and non-domestic customers with a range of property improvements which will increase energy efficiency and reduce heating costs. Green Deal Providers who include the likes of: B&Q, E.ON, and British Gas, will provide robust, quality work to people’s homes and businesses, at no upfront capital cost.

The costs incurred by making these improvements, will be recouped through instalments on a property owner’s energy bill over a number of years. The Green Deal is not an advance payment or personal loan and therefore no obligation moves with the property owner should they move. The “golden rule” of the Green Deal will ensure that the predicted savings from making the energy improvements must equal or exceed the cost of the installation. An assessment will be carried out on a homeowner’s property, with options of a range of relevant measures presented. Once all the details are confirmed, the installation will then take place and the customer will pay for the measure through their energy bills.

If any of your current or prospective clients sell or install the following… 

you need to think about speaking to them now!

How it works

As usual, any comments please leave them here or on twitter @Real_SmoothScot