The Henley Standard was kind enough to publish the above article about how Limelight Learning came about. Here's the text:
A MAN from Kidmore End who survived cancer which left him with a speech impediment has launched a new business.
Michael Manners had neck surgery at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in January 2013 to treat throat cancer.
He has set up a distance learning business to guide people into types of sales using psychometric testing to make the most of their skills.
Mr Manners's operation involved removing part of his tongue, lymph nodes, part of his voice box and cranial nerve.
This left him with a speech impediment and unable to train salespeople as he had done as part of his job before his diagnosis in December 2012.
After surgery he had 30 radiotherapy sessions at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in May 2013.
Mr Manners said: "That really knocked me flat and was the worst part but at no moment did I suffer pain.
"Part of my neck is still numb as well as part of my arm but that is quite common with this surgery I am told.
"I will never eat solid food again and for 17 months I was being fed through a direct line into my stomach.
"I am still not able to swallow whole foods and have to go for a check-up every three months. It is a new type of normal that I am going to have to adjust to." After his treatment was complete Mr Manners started to think about what he could do.
Discussions in a support group at the Royal Berkshire Hospital during recovery spawned the idea for what would be a new business, Limelight Learning UK.
Mr Manners was inspired to start the project to prove that suffering from cancer should not stop people achieving things in their life.
He said: "I thought there is still life after cancer and what can I do about it? What can I come up with?
"I came up with distance learning. In my previous life I was not able to do that because I taught seminars face to face but I couldn't do that with my speech impediment.
"I had been a managing director of a business in Somerset that employed about 200 people and I came into that after doing sales and marketing work for businesses like Lloyds Bank and Yale and Valor. Most recently, prior to being diagnosed, I had been a director at a company in Marlow that did psychometric testing."
Combining his skills in sales and marketing with his knowledge of psychometric testing, Mr Manners set about writing his course, which is aimed at both people trying to get into sales and groups seeking to improve.
Study is online and is based on Mr Manners's experience.
The sales executive, who has lived in Kidmore End for 41 years, said: "The course I am running will help people be more professional and better at sales. If it does not do that then I have failed at my job.
"The course offers 10 modules of training in sales and the type of sales people should be doing.
"I also give full personal support throughout the course to talk about the modules and offer guidance.
"I can help to suggest people the type of selling they would be good at. They might be good at technical sales, or door to door sales or repetitive sales.
"The modules go through thinking on their feet, which suits door to door, or more repetitive tasks, which is another type of sales."
Students learn to recognise customer types, personal presentation and closing sales.
Mr Manners added: "To do sales you have to have the mind-set others don't.
"I never had a plan to give in doing things with my life once I was diagnosed, you just have to get on with what you want to do."
Link to The Henley Standard article
Author: Michael Manners
Michael Manners is the founder and principal of Limelight Learning UK who rose to the highest levels of general management through the sales and marketing route in a number of companies.
His first major success in the field of selling was as a sales manager, leading a national team at the age of 26. He consistently ranked in the top 5 of some 50 sales staff, and frequently succeeding in achieving the top position for most sales. He can also justly claim to have taken a business from sales of £350,000 per annum to in excess of £5m.
Michael is also a qualified practitioner in specialised psychometric assessments. He is keen to share his extensive and proven knowledge of sales training and sales techniques.
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