Internationally acclaimed speaker, best-selling author, execution, leadership, sales, motivation, change and entrepreneurial success expert
Kevin Kelly: Biography highlights
Kevin Kelly is an internationally acclaimed speaker, best-selling author, Execution, Leadership, Sales, Motivation, Change and Entrepreneurial Success expert. He consults with such companies as Microsoft, most recently developing a unique video series for their Worldwide Partner Community; and speaks about his expertise in his keynotes, masterclasses and training modules at conferences throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.
Born into a business family, Kevin began his sales apprenticeship in the family shop in the West of Ireland at the tender age of six. Very soon he became aware of the power of attention – different types of attention!
Barely able to see over the counter, he entertained customers a multiple of his age that were happy to tell their life story or – at least that’s how it felt. Then there were others who just couldn’t get served quick enough so they could get on with their daily chores. He quickly understood what type of customer wanted swift execution and which one wanted a counseling service!
This upbringing and associated learnings were the catalyst for his subsequent career in sales and marketing. On graduating with a Marketing degree, Kevin consistently broke sales records in each of companies he worked for, culminating in him being continuously head hunted. Finally, in 1990, Kevin honoured his entrepreneurial DNA and set up his own company, Advanced Marketing.
The company dedicated itself initially to increasing the sales of small and medium businesses, in addition to exhaustively researching the area of personal and business potential. In 1996, Kevin committed to writing a Best Selling book on motivation, the first of its kind on the Irish market. “How? When You Don’t Know How” became a mega best seller.
Kevin learned a very valuable lesson in terms of selling and execution: knowledge may give you enough reasons not to act but Do! it anyway, and be prepared to end up in a place you recognise and accept as better than your starting point. This book became the foundation on which he built his international speaking career. Since then he has written four more books.
Staying true to his Irish roots, Kevin is a master storyteller who has worked around the world with Fortune 500 companies and prestigious associations like the Million Dollar Round Table. Kevin’s keynotes consistently deliver an interactive conversation that engages, informs, inspires and empowers attendees with a toolbox of invaluable takeaways.
Kevin lives on the Wild Atlantic way with his wife, Deirdre and young son Conor. He is a passionate Liverpool FC supporter. At the weekend you will find him on the football pitch where he trains under age soccer and football teams. Nothing, apart from watching Conor play soccer, gives Kevin more satisfaction than delivering results for his clients.
— Author of five books and three CDs including his most recent, “Do! the pursuit of Xceptional Execution” described by Tom Peters as the book he would love to have written.
— Has broken sales records across industries and cultures. From working with the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Community on Xceptional selling to manufacturers of construction equipment; Kevin has sold them all!
— Has addressed audiences across the globe in 35 plus countries from Korea to Columbia, Kenya to Hong Kong.
— Has fundraised over €1m euros for several projects and helped build two schools in Africa, a local Youth building and many sporting facilities.
— Scored a volley from the halfway line in a competitive soccer match. (Sorry Adrian!)
Watch Kevin in action
CEO , Deeper Media Inc., NYT best selling author of Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends
“Kevin Kelly understands how vital attention is to sales performance. From the attention, your team gives to the most important prospect and client details to the attention that they earn from the efforts. Kevin’s keynote is sure to give your sales team-high Return On Attention!”
“He managed to increase the energy level in the room after a long day of information. Personally, I like the fast change between storytelling and engaging the audience. I was impressed with his ability to ‘sense’ the mood in the room.”
New Era Life Insurance Companies, USA
“Kevin was the perfect speaker for our audience of insurance agents at our Sales Conference in Sorrento, Italy. He energized the crowd, captured our attention and motivated us with humor and anecdotes. He articulated a strategy for each individual.”
“Thank you for an entertaining and content rich workshop. In addition to engaging our people……you delivered some valuable messages that resonated cross culturally in our marketplace.”
“Working with Kevin was a pleasure. He delivered 3 excellent sessions at a recent Microsoft event to an audience of approx. 250 people which all scored extremely highly and compared to 5 other speakers delivering, was regarded by the audience as the best speaker. He captivated the delegates throughout the sessions with interactivity, energy and humour. I would welcome the opportunity to work with Kevin again.”
L and D, Lane Crawford, Hong Kong
“Kevin was engaging, entertaining and importantly gave some real takeaways that could be used immediately. Understanding customer’s DNA resonated particularly well”
The Academy for Chief Executives, UK
“Kevin Kelly spoke at our Thought Leaders Conference, an event hosted by Investec Bank. He is a motivation speaker par excellence and brings very practical value to our audience of CEO’s. ‘Basics before Buzz’ which was his subject, did exactly what was on the tin and I would recommend Kevin to any organisation that wishes to exceptionalise their service and retain their customers.”
“Energetic, dynamic and curiously captivating. 75 minutes disappeared in a heartbeat with Kevin engaging a multi-cultural group of sales and business distributors from across EMEA, challenging and inspiring them to think differently. His messages were absolutely on point and perfectly in sync with our own priorities, I could not have hoped for a better or more aligned finish to a great meeting!”
“Working with Kevin on our Xceptional Execution Video series was a fantastic experience. He is passionate, committed, creative and cooperative. The feedback was excellent. Meanwhile his 92.5% speaker satisfaction rating at the World Partner Conference in July 2015 speaks for itself.”
“As Closing Speaker, Kevin gave the audience an abundance of energy, enthusiasm and practical take-away messaging that our members can immediately apply to their lives.”
“Kevin has unbelievable energy and enthusiasm. His positive thinking is infectious and entertaining. Kevin take on sales motivation is different”.
Fuji Photo Film (Ireland)
“Kevin commanded a high level of audience participation and adapted his motivational keynote to fit perfectly into the overall theme of our trade launch.”
Hang Seng Bank China
“It was great to go through the review process driven by you in the talk. We oftentimes forget what we should be doing due to being immersed in our daily routine. I am very much inspired by your high energy, people sensitivity and drive to be Xceptionalized!”
Million Dollar Round Table, USA
“We asked Kevin to handle the coveted spot closing out our MDRT Experience meeting in Seoul, Korea this year. Kevin gave the audience an abundance of energy, enthusiasm and practical take-away messaging that our members can immediately apply to their lives. I would definitely urge any organization to consider utilizing Kevin Kelly on their program.”
“At WOM-Latam, we seek to give our audiences the opportunity of sharing real world experiences and ideas, and provide support to companies seeking to transcend their challenges and reach their goals. In this sense, I have to tell you that your session has been clear, dynamic, engaging and highly inspirational for all the attendees, both conceptually and in terms of practical solutions. Your excellent material contained information very relevant to our customers, with excellent examples and has been oriented at the right level for the audience. It has been a great pleasure working with you and I hope we can do it again in the near future.”
Johnson Brothers Limited
“My expectations for Kevin’s presentation were extremely high and even at that, he exceeded every hope I had when I invited him to speak to our retail sales team. I have never witnessed a room full of people hanging on one person’s words for such a length of time. Kevin has a true & rare talent and the feedback so far has been extremely positive and the team is most energetic. I am confident that even the most cynical and unmotivated person could not have helped but be inspired in some shape or form. Most enjoyable & beneficial, Go raibh mile maith agat.”
Kevin's speaking topics
According to Gallup Daily tracking, 32% of employees in the U.S. are engaged while worldwide, 87% are switched off! A 2017 study by Aon Hewitt mirrors the findings showing that less than one quarter of employees are highly engaged. Meanwhile trust in CEO’s recorded its biggest drop –down 12% according to Edelman. A new strategy is required.
In this keynote, Kevin highlights how to mirror the mindset, attitudes and success strategies of the outstanding Xceptionalists interviewed for his book “Do: the Pursuit of Xceptional Execution.”
From these exclusive interviews and over two decades experience working with companies, Kevin distils the attributes of the modern manager/director/leader. From the Co- Founder of the Talking Tom app who went from eight cofounders with no clear business idea to being sold for one billion dollars in 2016 to an asthma sufferer who is currently teaching the world how to breathe, Kevin reveals their leadership secrets.
- Leadership Challenge
- The Deluded Employee? The ultra informed customer. The Disconnected Leader.
- AA+ five keys to enhancing engagement levels.
- Authentic Attention the drug to engage internal and external customer?
- How to lead with a story and make your message stick?
- Self awareness described by Stanford Business Advisory Committee as the attribute a leader should develop. How YOU are the key to building a high trust culture. The ability to learn…..from everyone from the cleaner to the Guru.
- VV+ – the importance of doing/executing a co-created vision underpinned by values
Attention is everything in Sales: Leverage your sales with the power of attention
The sales environment has changed. More often than not several people have an influence on the buying decision eg purchasing, IT, department head, digital etc. The sales role has also evolved from a transactional focus to consultative. Buyers want trusted advisors, not product reps. Meanwhile with attention spans shortening and
competition increasing, making your message stick is a massive challenge.
But amidst all the changes, one thing remains the same –any successful sales campaign has to be based on one key building block – delivering quality attention to customers and co-workers. Attention is the most powerful sales drug in the world with no side effects.
So no need to tear up the book and rewrite the rules, the basics are and will always be the same – authentic attention guarantees engagement which guarantees sales. Kevin Kelly understands the challenges more than most as over the past two decades he has sold cross cultures and across industries. He intimately understands the power of Attention to engage customers and convert them into advocates.
Adopting Kevin’s ideas around how a business gives and gets attention will empower attendees to develop a winning story, connect and close more sales and have the inspiration and perseverance to drive the business forward.
What the market is demanding – how to benchmark off World Class Sales Organisations?
The three keys to a successful Sales Campaign:
1. Engagement – how paying attention pays off more than reading a script. The one secret to breaking sales records across industries.
2. Colloboration – why Sales is now a team sport and everyone has a role. How to develop a compelling narrative with your team using the HERO framework.
3. Execution – how top companies broke through in the face of overwhelming negative market information.
In the noughties a research study by Colombia University showed that 88% of breakthrough companies were the result of xceptional execution of an ordinary idea – 12% were the result of a new invention.
Fascinated by this research, Kevin undertook research with some of the top start-ups on the planet and distilled from this the four pillars underpinning xceptional sales performance. In this interactive experience he will share with you the secrets behind these successful firms plus the a-z of how he consistently broke sales records in his career ….starting at the age of eleven right up to consulting with brands such as Microsoft on Xceptional selling techniques.
- Attention – the ability to get your message across and stick in an Attention Deficit Society.
- Just how distracted are we – Attention Deficit Society breakdown.
- The power of story to make your message stick #whatsyourstory.
- Awareness – the ability to persuade beyond words.
- The Xceptionalists had an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, fears and dreams. Have you this clarity?
- The five most powerful words in Selling and in Life. What you are not taught in the top 100 Business Schools.
- The importance of selling people back their product.
- The need to DO! How dreaming is good but Doing even better!
- Time to dream – how to set and achieve big goals for 2018?
- Q and A
Attention is everything in Sales (For Sales Managers)
The sales environment has changed. A leader must collaborate across departments to make that sale. Sales is truly a team sport. In line with the emergence of the uberinformed customer, the sales role has evolved – as a leader you need to develop trusted advisors, not order takers.
Meanwhile with attention spans shortening and competition increasing, making your message stick is a massive challenge. You must upskill your team with the tools necessary to persuade.
Finally, in this changing and tougher sales environment, leaders have to work harder to recruit and retain top sales personnel.
But amidst all the changes, one thing remains the same –any successful sales campaign has to be based on one key building block – delivering quality attention to customers and your sales team. Attention guarantees customer and employee engagement.
Kevin Kelly has sold across cultures, and across industries – he understands the power of Attention to engage customers and collaborate within a team, and ultimately sell more.
Adopting Kevin’s ideas will empower attendees to develop an inclusive winning story and have the inspiration and perseverance to drive the team to sales success.
Why Sales is now a team sport and why you should recruit on attitude, not aptitude.
Why leaders must “mind the gap” – the integrity gap to truly motivate their team.
How to benchmark off best practice in World Class Sales Organisation.
How to truly pay attention and how a sales person’s script should be dictated by what they see not by what you have prepared.
Learn the one secret to breaking sales records across industries.
How can sales people convert customers into advocates.
How to develop a compelling narrative with your team using our HERO framework.
How one leader used creating a compelling inclusive vision to drive internal customer engagement and create a $1 billion business.
#Storytelling – how to engage an attention deficit audience?
The latest research shows that the average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds, a human being – 8 seconds. In the past you had to deal with a single decision maker – now there tends to be multiple influencers in the process. All told, engaging your target audience and building brand loyalty has become an extreme challenge.
Drawing on over three decades of developing business strategies that succeed, Kevin highlights the power of the story. The good news is you don’t need to be a gifted Seanchai (Irish storyteller) or a Hollywood scriptwriter to develop a message that sticks.
- Just how distracted are we – Attention Deficit Society breakdown.
- The science behind successful storytelling.
- HERO – the key elements of a compelling story?
- Flow….and let it flow.
- Everyone and every organisation has a story. #whatsyourstory.
- Story Success Stories – how to tell your story in a hashtag?
By attending Kevin’s interactive session, participants will leave empowered, inspired with a blueprint to craft a compelling story.