EE011 – Jackie Handy – Journey of Fulfilment

Jackie recently appeared on Ted-X stage and we hear more about that.

Some of the topics discussed in this episode:

  • Her background is as a recruiter, from which she learnt many lessons
  • How to offer value in a service not known for that
  • How she delivered a better service to both the candidates and the employer
  • Training people and companies
  • Playing the long game often led to increased dividends in the long run
  • How can you win a prospects business without telling them all that you do so you are able to over deliver?

Here is a link to her recent Ted-X Talk

Ted-X Talk

Jackie Handy has supported hundreds of individuals in numerous organisations around the world in accelerating performance. Formerly a top performing Recruitment Consultant and Manager for 2 decades, she now works with others to give back the recipe for sales and leadership success. Through her corporate speaking, training and consultancy work, as well as her own personal development journey, Jackie has developed a deeper understanding of human behaviour and why we do what we do. She has invested extensively in her own development, which has included psychometric profiling tools (MBTI), Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and even LEGO ® SERIOUS PLAY®.

She believes in doing what you do wholeheartedly or not at all and also that laughter and fun are fundamental to the journey of fulfilment.

Do check out the podcast named Hot Butter Business at
Hot Butter Business podcast

PS. Apologies for some of the background noise heard in this weeks episode which were due to some technical issues.



Tony: Exceeding expectations. Episode 11. Welcome to exceeding expectations, the show where we talk with people who love what they do and really trying to over deliver to their customers. To give them an amazing experience and really give them far more value than they are expecting, which enables them to charge higher prices because people generally don’t have a problem paying a much higher price if they believe they’re receiving good value.

Today’s episode we speak with a lady called Jackie Handy and Jackie is a former top recruitment consultant and manager for a couple of decades and she now works with others to give back the recipe for sales and leadership success. she’s recently been on a TEDx stage and we’ll hear about that during this week’s show. There’s also the Exceeding Expectations Facebook group. So please do search for that on Facebook and you can have conversations about any of the topics you’ve heard in this week’s show or in shows from other weeks. Jackie is in the group. So if there’s something you hear in this week’s show, please do go in and ask a question. I’m sure Jackie will come in and answer whatever questions you may have.

Something we’re starting this week is promos for other shows and there’s a great business show you might want to listen to called Hot Butter Business and to find out more about what that show is about. Here are the guys from Hot Butter Business.

Speaker 1: Entrepreneurship is a fun word, but a tough journey. If you are on the entrepreneurial path and need some help along the way, tune in to Hot Butter Business podcast where 4 business entrepreneurs who mentor a program called Co-starters decided after the program to start a podcast. They each use their unique skills, talents and businesses to unite in this podcast in order to give the audience a look into the mind of an entrepreneur. So subscribe to Hot Butter Business podcast and walk with these four aspiring entrepreneurs on their journey.

Tony: Today’s edition of exceeding expectations. We have a lady, could we Jackie Handy. How are you doing Jackie?

Jackie: Hi Tony. I’m really good. Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Tony: No, it’s a pleasure and I’m, I’m really glad you accepted the invitation to come onto the show. So the listeners a little bit about who is Jackie Handy.

Jackie: Yes, no problem. So essentially, I’m a professional speaker, a trainer, training consultant and I’m a published author as well. If you’d like a bit of background I can kind of tell you a bit about my journey.

Tony: Yes. That’d be great. Yes.

Jackie: Yes. So I’m now the managing director of my own business, which is Runway Global Limited. through that, I deliver speaking engagements to organizations at conferences and events. I also provide bespoke training solutions, and learning interventions for organizations on a variety of topics spanning recruitment and attraction of a workforce. Also engagement of that workforce. I talk about leadership development as well as also the general corporate development around strategy and diversifying your business.

More recently I’ve started talking about a subject quite close to my heart, which is around diversity and inclusion and how the promotion of a diverse and inclusive workforce, will absolutely support organizations engaging, motivating, their workforce. But also it will impact the bottom line because there are proven statistics showing that a diverse and inclusive workforce will be more productive, more motivated, and therefore more results orientated, which has got to be a win-win.

My background, I was in the recruitment industry myself. I was one of those people that most companies love to hate. I was a recruitment consultant for many years, so I’ve always really been focused in the service industry in some way, shape or form. I think recruitment is one of those industries where I think because people love to hate us, but nevertheless know that they need recruiters in many places, there’s a good opportunity to often think outside of the box about how you provide service and really offer value for money. I never did in my corporate world and never do now profess to be the cheapest, but I do profess to give value and I think as the great quote says, price is only an issue in the absence of value. So that’s something I really pride myself on. I pride myself on repeat business also.

Tony: What you’ve just said there about, that you’re not the cheapest, well that’s the whole ethos of this show, it’s all about value.

Jackie: Absolutely.

Tony: Exactly.

Jackie: Absolutely. You know, it’s a subject close to my heart and I think it, I suppose without sounding too dictatorial about it, I think it should be a subject, quite close to everybody’s heart that’s in business and wants to succeed. Successfully hopefully in business. So, yes.

Tony: Hallelujah. Yes. I agree with you completely though. I know also something that we need to mention here is you’ve recently done a TED talk, haven’t you?

Jackie: Do you know? I have, thank you for mentioning it Tony. Yes, I recorded it, well the event happened, on the 29th of September at the time of recording, that means that it was about three weeks ago, and it went really, really well. I’ve been desperately hoping to get the video released and published asap. If anybody listening or yourself, Tony, have ever come across the TEDX events, the small locally produced had events. There are a lot of hoops that see organizers have to jump through, unfortunately.

But I suppose fortunately and unfortunately…unfortunately, it just takes a bit longer because the video producers have to make sure that any kind of sponsorship slides and so on conform with the Ted rules, otherwise they just simply won’t promote them and they will probably revoke the license for the organizer for future events. So, that’s a good thing because it does means that everybody conforms. It’s a bad thing from the perspective that I’m desperate to get this out there and I can’t publish or promote it at the moment.

So it’s coming, it’s coming and I’m very excited and I’d love people to take a look. It’s called the Exclusive Nature of Inclusion and it really highlights not only a very candid personal journey that I’ve gone through in my life, but also my beliefs about how we can all take responsibility for just taking small steps towards inclusion and how that can really change the way we do business, but also society as a whole.

Tony: Fantastic. Okay. So let’s talk about exceeding expectations and over delivering. I meant it before when we were speaking and you told me some great stories. So how has the whole kind of over delivery and what you’ve done and what does that mean to you, over delivering to your customers?

Jackie: Well, to be honest with you, Tony, I think that over delivery is a part of how I do business. It’s something that I pride myself on. Whether that’s in relation to innovative ways, that I would look to attract candidates, get through the door for a client. When I was in my old corporate life, you know, when I was a recruiter for instance, I would often offer clients, two clients that I would actually go down and sit in the interviews with them. Which they found really unusual because not everybody does that, and give them some guidance in relation to, you know, what they could and couldn’t ask legally, but also some really great questions to get the best from those candidates coming through the door.

I think, you know, I mean I’m talking about the old days in my life if you like, but this is to give you a first example. You know, I think what we have to, we have to appreciate as recruiters is that although it may have been our day job, for clients that were looking to recruit a candidate they may not have recruited and interviewed for many years in some cases.

So by being able to just give them that additional support without saying, look, we don’t think you can do it because it wasn’t about that. It was just about maximizing the experience for both the client and their potential candidates that really went down as an extra bit of value that was offered as part of the overall service, which, you know, again, differentiated me from some of my competitors. It really cost very little, you know, just some of my time, a bit of petrol to get to their site really. That’s the main thing. So I think that sort of thing is definitely worth it.

Tony: did any of the candidates actually comment on, wow, I’ve never had this kind of experience before?

Jackie: Oh, 100%. 100%. I mean, the experience kind of went both ways because the candidates were in a position to have a bit of comfort I suppose in some regard because they’d already met me as their recruitment consultant before the interview with the client. So to see a, I suppose a familiar face, again as they walk in the door because it’s a nerve-wracking experience for candidates going for an interview, certainly calm their nerves a little. of course then they’re being asked questions from a client who also has, I mean this in the best possible way, but being coached a little on how to interview to get the best. So really it became a win-win from everybody’s perspective, myself included as the recruiter. Not just from the higher percentage of success that we had with that, but also I think from the perceived value that was given from just that small service.

Tony: how was the response from the potential employer, did they, were they okay with you sitting in on…?

Jackie: Oh, a lot of the time they welcomed it. They absolutely welcomed it. I think, if anybody’s listening that’s thinking about using your recruitment agency to employ somebody, then you know, if you’re a bit nervous yourself, don’t be too proud about asking this kind of thing of your recruiter because all recruiters can do it, but not many people offer it. That’s the thing about the value and going over and above.

Of course, if everybody starts offering it, it becomes worthless in terms of value because it becomes expected. What I would do is actually just sit in and I would be the note taker for the client. So that the client could maintain eye contact if you like, and the rapport with the candidate. But they would also, they could be assured that they’d got detailed notes from the interview responses, the question responses so that they could really make a balanced and well informed decision on who was best for their business.

Tony: do you remember why was it that you started doing that? Was it one particular candidate that was having some real problems or…?

Jackie: Well it was, it ended up coming more from the client side of things actually. So it was always something that I would do in terms of briefing the candidates about, I don’t know, just simple things. In some cases, you know, the sorts of things to wear for an interview, the sorts of questions that they might get asked, the sorts of questions that they might want to ask of a potential employer and to think about those in advance. But actually, the idea came on the back of engaging with a client who was desperate to get somebody in. They’d been trying for a while, but they just couldn’t seem to find a good match and they struggled. They basically admitted to me in conversation, it’s been quite some time since I’ve interviewed. so I thought, well, actually I interview people every day as potential candidates to promote to clients. So why wouldn’t I offer that? I again, you know, just thinking a little bit outside of the normal box if you like. It sounds a bit cliche, but that’s, to me, that’s the key to offering value.

Tony: So you say you’re no longer involved in recruiting, so what is it that you’re doing now where you’re over-delivering? Is it to the people that you’re speaking for? That’s the people who book you or…?

Jackie: Yes, I mean I’m fairly new to the professional speaking world, but it’s certainly something that I’ve brought in as an add on to my corporate training provision. So generally speaking, what I’ve looked to do is, well, like I say, it’s a natural part of the way I do business is looking to offer additional value if you like. So when I engage with clients, the first thing that I will do is I will ensure that they know that I don’t give them simple off the shelf training.

So, I appreciate that I’m not the only training consultant that would do that. But still I think clients like to hear that you’re not just kind of bunging something their way, but instead, you know, I use that consultative approach that I learned from my recruiting days to find out, well, what are the skill gaps that you’re looking to bridge? What is the knowledge that you’re looking to impart on your people and what’s the outcome that you’re looking to get from this intervention? From there I can then tailor something that will be not only fit for purpose but will really give them an engaging, entertaining session that I bring fun into the mix.

You know, we play games in some cases and that kind of thing. That will help certainly offered value in the first place because they can see a client can see a direct link to that return on investment that they’re making. In addition, so very often, I will record a short video which I’ll send to the client in advance of the session so that he or she can show that to the potential delegates. Many people, especially in the corporate world, they sort of feel like they’re getting sent on training courses that they don’t really want to go on. I do think that especially as an external training provider, it’s really useful to just say hi to them before the training event. then they, they’re already bought in to the concept of meeting me. Also I’m having a day of learning if you like…

Tony: Do you enjoy what you’re doing?

Jackie: Oh, I love what I do. I don’t think I could give this additional value quite so passionately if I didn’t. you know, there are lots of clichés about being authentic and if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life and all that kind of stuff. We all know that from a realistic perspective, we’ve got to earn a living. Right? But I do think, and as a former recruiter, I’m very aware that there are many different ways to earn a living.

Tony: Yes.

Jackie: So, my choice, and in fact why I went into learning and development in the first place from my recruitment world was because I wanted to give back. You don’t know this but when the recession hit at the back end of 2007, 2008, my role, I was a manager then a have a team of recruiters. My role really had to change overnight because people were withdrawing job vacancies. They weren’t recruiting anymore. So our revenue as a team diminished almost overnight. Not to nothing, but quite substantially.

How do you motivate a team of people who had been successfully selling for quite a period of time? Well, I needed to change the way I managed, if you like, and become much more selfless because I was also targeted and could also make a commission at that time. But I needed to change my focus a bit and become more of a coach, become more of a motivator, keep them engaged, to kind of ride that storm if you like together. I found that actually I really got a lot from doing that and that was what inspired me to move eventually a couple of years later into the training arena full time.

So it came from a place of, not a place where I was looking at monetary gain, but from a place of where I really wanted to, dare I say it, follow my purpose. It felt like a calling. It felt like a vocation and it still does to this day. Five years on. In fact, longer than that. Yes. That’s about seven or eight years on now. Time flies.

Tony: It does when you’re having fun.

Jackie: Indeed. Yes.

Tony: so would you say, from what you’ve been talking about so far, you very much like to give your clients more than they were expecting. So is that a deliberate strategy or is it just something that’s come about over the years?

Jackie: Well, I think maybe a bit of both. I’ve always believed, I think from a background in consultative selling, I’ve always believed that the need to differentiate in business is so important. You know, watch what makes the difference between one speaker and another one trainer and another one sales person and another. Well, it’s them really. When I train groups and work with groups of salespeople and we talk about unique selling points, really when it boils down to it, in the vast majority of cases, the only real unique selling point for a client is you, yourself and what you can bring to the table.

So, I kind of recognize that from, the very basic perspectives, being able to differentiate in a good way for whomever your client is, is absolutely imperative in this world. Because, as I mentioned earlier, otherwise you’ve only got price and price wars to get into. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather keep my price as is thank you. But be able to offer something over and above that in some way perhaps justifies that extra cost. But also, yes, there is I suppose a partial strategy to it because that’s a genuine belief system that I have. I think now I’m constantly looking at ways that I can vary the offering.

Again, just like I bespoke my service, I also would look to bespoke the value offering that goes over and above and whether that’s for example, I had a client very recently who they gave me some work in the summer. They’ve got potential work, quite a lot of potential work for me into next year. I said to them, look, you know, let me come down. This was 200 miles one way.

So I said, look, let me come down. I’ll come down, I’ll give your team a complimentary follow-up day from the session that we had in the summer because I’d heard some really great feedback from them in that they enjoyed the session, but more importantly, they’d gone away and they put stuff into practice from that session and started to see results. So that, that made me even more kind of keen to go and do some more work with them.

The client was struggling on the budget for that particular, you know, financial period. So I said, well, look, you know, let’s not let that stop us. I was well aware that there’s a long, I play the long game. That’s the thing. So I went down and gave them a complimentary day. That will come back around to me and benefit me hugely in the long run. I just think, sometimes making small sacrifices in business to give your clients something that they least expected, can really pay dividends in the long run.

Tony: Absolutely. it’s that long term vision that makes such a difference.

Jackie: Right. Right. I think, again, especially in today’s economic climate, it’s a strange economic climate. I don’t want to say the B word, but you know, Brexit is all over the place and what’s going to happen on the back of it and are people gonna withdraw business and so on. But I do think ultimately we shouldn’t be put off by the fact that this is happening and whatever’s going to happen will happen because businesses are still there and regardless of what happens politically and generally in relation to the economy, there will always be people that need to do business and want to do business with us.

So I think we just as business people, entrepreneurs or whatever it might we might be, is just to constantly be thinking about what else could I do, what else could I do? Because I really think that’s the way to cement the relationships that we have now. I do think that will help carve us a way forward for the future, however precarious that landscape might look.

Tony: in the things that you’re doing to give your customers a better experience, I dare say, you know, we all take ideas from other people doing something similar to what we do, but have you ever heard some ideas from someone doing something completely different but you thought, oh, actually I could adapt that to what I do?

Jackie: Well, I have heard of people that, maybe do, give added extras. So, I suppose, a speaker who would go and deliver a talk around a theme and potentially then would offer small bite-sized chunks of either, perhaps setting up a Facebook group for the people that have seen the talk to engage and discuss ideas around that. Which has made me think, actually something like a small Facebook group or a WhatsApp group. I mean, it’s all different social media platforms to choose from could be quite useful for either a group that I speak to or train with to share ideas, check in with me about, ‘Oh, I’ve tried this and I’ve struggled with this or I’ve had success with that so that you can really just keep the momentum going.“ So yes, I think, it’s always about, not plagiarizing, but really cherry picking the things that you hear and making them fit for purpose for your client base. Definitely.

Tony: A problem that many people have, because I think most people would like to over-deliver in some capacity but a struggle some people have is they say to me…oh yes but when I meet potential client I have to tell them everything I do or I’m never going to get the business in the first place. So there’s that balance of, do you hold something back and don’t tell them I’m going to do something so that you have a surprise for them? What are your thoughts on that?

Jackie: I think, first of all, my first comment to that would be why do people feel that they need to tell the client everything. Because the client’s not buying everything. The client is buying what they need. So without getting into, my default a salesperson mode, I would always advise anyone to keep their cards close to their chest that they can bring about these kinds of value add surprises. So if I go to meet with a client, although I’m talking quite a lot now, I talk very little then. I literally just open up and say, right, what is it that you’re looking for that will make a difference? What do you need? Then I let the client tell me.

Now assuming that I can give the client all of those things that he or she is asking for, then I will go back and say, okay, so I can give you this, this, and this and it will make this difference. It’s only gonna cost you x amount. Then once they sort of say, oh yes, I like that idea, that’s the point at which I’d say, and I tell you what, if you proceed quickly, so this becomes a negotiation. If you proceed quickly, I’ll also give you this and this and this at no extra cost. I always, I already know that that works for me in my kind of packaging of my price and service. But the client feels that they are getting something extra.

Tony: Well, time has absolutely flown. But before we finish, are there any sort of general things that you want to say about the whole concept of, trying to exceed a customer’s expectations and that the outcome?

Jackie: Yes. I think I’ve probably said it all already that I think that especially, especially in today’s economic climate where there are businesses still setting up left, right and centre. I mean, we know the statistics about the number of businesses that start up and fail in the first few years. The way to move your business forward and keep it consistent is to go over and above in whatever small ways. It doesn’t always have to be extravagant gestures, but small gestures that are uniquely fit for purpose for that given client. The vast majority of my business, Tony, I have to say, not all of it, but the vast majority comes on referrals and it comes back to me time and time again as repeat business and, I would say that there’s a couple of things at play there.

The first is building a solid and consistent network, however you do that. The second is, of course, be good at what you do. You know, there was no point saying go will give you all of these extra things, but actually what you do is substandard. So you do need to do a good job in the core offering that you give. then thereafter, think about what you can give as an extra and whether there is a trade that you want for that or whether it’s just an add on that you would give. I think it’s crucial and I think those three things really collectively are the keys to success for any small business.

Tony: Well Jacqui it’s been a real pleasure speaking to you.

Jackie: Thank you.

Tony: I’m very much looking forward to seeing your TedX talk, and as I mentioned it’ll be out by the time this podcast is released so I’ll put the link to that in the show notes so anyone listening can go and watch Jacqui’s Ted talk.

Jackie: Great. Well thank you again so much for having me, Tony. It’s been a pleasure talking to you.

Tony: to you.

Jackie: Thank you.

Tony: In next week’s edition, we hear from Nicholas Webb the author of a book called What Customers Crave, amongst many other books. I recently finished a book and he’s absolutely superb. Nicholas gives some really good stories and examples of how you can give great experiences to your customers. So do tune in next week. Please leave a review. Subscribe. That would be fantastic.

Have you heard of a podcast named Hot Butter Business? Here’s more information on that show.

Speaker 1: Entrepreneurship is a fun word, but a tough journey. If you are on the entrepreneurial path and need some help along the way, tune in to Hot Butter Business podcast where 4 business entrepreneurs who mentor a program called Co-starters decided after the program to start a podcast. They each use their unique skills, talents and businesses to unite in this podcast in order to give the audience a look into the mind of an entrepreneur. So subscribe to Hot Butter Business podcast and walk with these four aspiring entrepreneurs on their journey.

Tony: Once again, thank you for listening and please do join our Facebook group. Just search for Exceeding Expectations in Facebook. Start a conversation about some points you’ve heard on this episode or other episodes. Maybe tell a story about a time when you received an amazing experience you didn’t expect from someone. You can nominate someone you’d like to hear interviewed on the show, and maybe do a book review on a book you’ve read about customer services customer experience over the liver in etcetera. Please, maybe suggest some ways that people can over deliver to their customers and start a conversation around that. So thank you for listening and I look forward to speaking to you.

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