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Syndication

How To Generate More Initial Appointments By Utilizing A Co-Content Building Strategy

Salespeople are always looking for new ways to generate more initial appointments. How do you do that? There are many strategies. In this episode, Donald and Carman Pirie talk about utilizing strategies that include co-creating and content-building

Carman Pirie is the co-owner of Kula Partners. It’s a manufacturing marketing agency that helps manufacturers transform their marketing and sales apparatus by making it more digital in nature. He is also a co-host of the podcast called The Kula Ring, a podcast that focuses on manufacturing marketers and telling their stories. 

The challenge in sales prospecting 

Prospecting is a huge part of the sales process. Carman personally does prospecting every single day and he coaches many salespeople on how to do it right. It can be difficult to pick up the phone and start a conversation with people. Many sales leaders and managers have not explored other options outside of traditional practices. They have limited their sales teams by thinking and training the old methodologies. While picking up the phone as a way to prospect isn’t bad, the answer to prospecting isn’t just activity management. 

There are many tools available for sales reps to use in order to prospect. We don’t want to just bombard people with calls and emails or rely heavily on LinkedIn invites. This is where the challenge lies. 

 Breaking the challenge

In working with B2B manufacturing organizations, Carman’s company almost always interfaces primarily with the marketing function. These marketers have an overwhelming thirst for people in sales to actually care. 

Carman suggests three approaches that Kula Partners recommends for co-creating and content-building.

The first is through a podcast. The Kula Ring podcast is their primary vehicle to generate prospects. They put out episodes weekly. They expand their reach by simply talking to more

manufacturing marketers and getting them on as guests for the show. 

Through the podcast, these guests become more familiar with what Kula is offering and some have eventually become their clients.  Sending out emails with a subject line that sounds like a request, or extending a LinkedIn invitation, doesn’t typically yield a positive outcome. Inviting somebody to be a guest on a podcast, asking about their industry and showing an interest in what they offer is a much better opportunity to build rapport. The interview gives you a better insight into their problems and challenges. This information then allows a salesperson to come up with specific solutions to offer.

As a salesperson, you can use an intent data platform and bring in guests that are likely in a buying cycle. However, it’s best to approach them with the pure motive of getting to know them. After a relationship is built, a discussion about business can happen organically. This introductory conversation can even happen by the end of recording a podcast.

Traditional outreach, like a phone call, can typically have a response rate of 10%.  In Carman’s experience, they’ve seen that the targeted podcast outreach campaigns have a response rate closer to 50%. 

When you can’t afford to train with someone, invite them to a podcast.  You get to learn while they get their products promoted! #Podcasting

Making it work

Every business is different so it’s up to the salesperson to experiment with a variety of formats to see what works best for their particular industry. If scaling can work, then go for it. If it’s written content or other similar strategies that work, pick one of those. What works for others may not work for your client’s specific needs so take the time to find the right niche. Look for the right angle or a topic that’s of interest to your client. Create your podcast based on that information.

Peer round tables 

Another suggestion from Carman for co-creating and content-building is to host a peer round table discussion. For example, invite 12 - 20 target prospects in an information-sharing environment and serve as a host to the dialogue. They did this at Kula and they called these meetings marketing leadership exchanges. They brought in marketers who shared common characteristics and fostered an information-sharing conversation. 

You can easily make an agenda out of five to six topics or questions and turn them into a 90-minute round table for information-sharing. For marketers who are widely distributed geographically, a virtual round table is more plausible.  When you can, however, the preference is to have everyone in person.

 Despite the limitations in a virtual setting, the dialogue can still be rich. The exchange of information is still helpful for prospecting and building rapport. The guests are telling you the challenges they are facing in their business and asking their peers for advice. All you do is to play host to the dialogue. How to activate the conversation and transition it into a sales opportunity is up to you. After that dialogue, you now have permission to email them and build a working relationship with them. This is a much better choice as opposed to a cold call. 

There’s a difference between the podcast and the peer round table. There is an ongoing continuous recruitment process in the podcast guesting. However, marketing leadership requires more effort as it needs time to get a specific number of people to gather for a particular time. It can be difficult to organize a date where everyone can come together and talk. 

When traditional tools aren’t working, these co-creating strategies can be highly effective in moving someone from a prospect to a client. 

Building content with potential customers

You can start planning your co-creating and content-building by looking at some content pieces related to your niche. If you’re a salesperson in a technical space and you’re selling mostly to engineers, you can look at the challenges common to your prospects and your client base. You can partner with one or two clients or prospects in creating a solution to address challenges specific to that industry. 

One of the great results in using the peer round table strategy is that guests naturally follow up with each other and continue to exchange and share information with one another. It’s important to trust the process and let these relationships happen organically.

Marketing organizations are often hungry for sales reps who can offer insight into the sales process and customer needs, as well as someone who is active in the social media channels. Salespeople can be involved in the marketing function and develop relationships with their prospects before the prospect ever even has a need for their services or products.

One of Carman’s guests was on their podcast and this guest had a manufacturing talk radio podcast himself. He used the podcast to give his business exposure and ended up becoming a source to develop his business. As a result, his steel company turned into a broadcasting company. It was unconventional but worked for them. If you want to use a podcast to sell, understand it won’t become daily bread for the next quarter, at least. It takes time for momentum to build. 

Podcasts are a natural megaphone for great ideas but it’s really about building relationships and co-creating. 

“How To Generate More Initial Appointments By Utilizing A Co-Content Building Strategy” episode resources

Salespeople can start creating content with your prospects without other motives but to build a relationship with them and not just because you want to sell to them. Find Carman Pirie on Kula Ring in all major podcast. You can also check their site KulaPartners.com. 

You can also catch up with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

We have a new semester beginning in January and we would love to have you and your team join us. Follow this link to apply to the program. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill.

Direct download: TSE_1231.mp3
Category:Sales Prospecting -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How To Ensure Your Sales Teams Actually Have Time To Sell

 

All organizations, no matter what size, need to know how to ensure your sales teams actually have time to sell

Resa Gooding is a partner in an Hubspot certified agency and they mostly help companies, especially startups, in Israel. As one of the top three agencies in Israel, they primarily work with startups and other traditional companies such as agriculture and manufacturing. They are helping them understand the value of CRM and how to effectively apply it to their companies. 

Challenges salespeople face

The most common problem in the sales force is the lack of training given to the sales team. This lack of experience causes inefficiency as the companies throw their sales reps in deep waters  and expect them to swim. 

Many companies are so focused on the technology or the product they’re producing,  they don’t spend adequate time sharing the value and benefits of their product with the sales force.  An untrained team ends up spending more time on the administrative tasks instead of selling. They need to be given the information and the tools to effectively sit down with a new prospect. 

If management fails to offer the sales team a way to stay accountable to the work day activities, management can mistakenly think their team isn’t working. There has to be a system in place so the sales team can report their activities and successes.  Having this in place also gives management a tangible way of seeing the work their team is doing. For example, how many calls they’ve made in the workday. 

Resa set up marketing campaigns for her clients but began to see that if  sales people didn’t know how to work with the prospects that came from the marketing, the efforts were in vain. She saw that to make marketing effective, the sales people needed to be able to  summarize conversations properly and sales reps needed to reduce their time spent on administrative efforts. They needed to be equipped to spend their time selling. Resa aims to give salespeople the time to study their product, set up appointments, and communicate with prospects effectively, instead of spending their time doing administrative tasks. 

Ensure that your sales teams are having the time to sell

Sales reps need training in order to be successful and reach their goals. Sales processes they can follow have to be set up so their efforts can be checked by management.  This promotes accountability. 

There are three tools that can be used to ensure that sales teams are getting more time to sell their company’s product.

Connect your email inbox to your CRM software

You can use HubSpot, SaleForce, or other similar CRM software. At the end of the day, what matters is that your sales team is more efficient in their work. The first thing you can do is connect your email inbox to the CRM software you’re using. 

This is efficiency at its best.  Using this software allows your manager to see the emails exchanged between you and prospects or customers.  Enabling the manager to view this communication directly eliminates the need to summarize conversations at a later time.  Leave that to your CRM. 

Both marketing and sales today can be measured through this software. Managers and the sales team no longer have to meet each time reports need to be made. All aspects of the sales process can be viewed as needed and everything is measurable. 

Earlier salespeople, like the ones who sold door-to-door, had to write down all their data or write a report about their sales day. Today, the salesperson just needs to connect to their email inbox on the CRM platform and reports are immediate.

Using CRM increase the sales reps’ available time up to 21% compared to doing the reports manually. 

For example, when you attend a conference, typically you have to wait until you get home to  input information manually. You can potentially delay communicating with the contacts you made at the conference up to a whole week.   This is valuable time wasted in a world where transactions can happen so quickly. 

When you are using CRM software, you are able to reach out  immediately by asking for their email and starting a conversation while still at the conference. This is a huge advantage to setting up CRM software and free up so much time in the sales process. 

Connect your Calendly to your email communications 

The second way to ensure your sales teams are getting the time to sell is to connect your Calendly to your email communications. This is an efficient way of setting up a meeting with prospects and clients. Hubspot has an amazing tool that can help salespeople connect with speed. It’s suggested that you also embed three specific times a client can meet with you.  It’s more efficient when they don’t have to work as hard to figure out a time or date you’re available. It cuts down on the emails that have to be exchanged to firm a meeting which also saves valuable time. 

Use templates effectively 

Templates are ways to streamline the time it takes to write and send an email while it makes communication customizable.  This can be set up in HubSpot once your inbox is created and by simply clicking a button, it will copy all the text and bring it straight to your HubSpot. You can then change the information and content to make it more personalized and unique to your prospect or client.  

Resa has observed that this feature is especially helpful for salespeople who may not be  strong in written communication. This is where marketing team can be especially helpful. Marketing can set-up the templates for salespeople to use. 

After emails are sent, the software can then track when it’s opened by the recipient.  Having this information helps salespeople become more efficient about timing and targeting the call back or follow up.  It’s much easier to build a rapport with someone who has already shown initial interest. The recipient won’t get any notifications that you’ve seen them open the email.  It’s just a helpful tool for you to time the response. 

These three tools help make your sales team more efficient as it reduces their time on administrative tasks.  Using Hubspot also allows access to reports summarizing all the activity as well.

HubSpot is free so businesses can check it out and test it in their own sales systems. This is a good platform for startups that don’t have the budget to invest in programs and software. 

Many startup companies that Resa has helped have seen positive results when they use her three suggestions for saving time. 

“How To Ensure Your Sales Teams Actually Have Time To Sell” episode resources 

You can message Resa via her LinkedIn account. You can also check out her website: www.cacaomedia.co

For more sales information and questions, you can also catch up with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1230.mp3
Category:Sales Training -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Best Sellers In History Series 1 - "Jesus Christ"

 

Disclaimer: This episode isn’t a podcast to convince listeners to become Christians. This episode simply highlights how Jesus Christ persuaded people, an important trait in sales. 

There are so many individuals who have been great persuaders throughout history. This new series, The Best Sellers in History, will be a game-changer for salespeople of today. 

The best persuaders in history were people who could prompt others to take action and move toward a better way of life. Great salespeople who know they are guides for prospects and clients make great B2B sales reps. With the exception of social media, the way communication works in sales today is historically similar.

This eight-episode series will begin with Jesus Christ, whose existence has been proven by history. 

In the sales spotlight - Jesus Christ 

It’s the perfect time of year to put Jesus Christ in the spotlight. Today is Christmas, a day where people celebrate Jesus’ birth. In his time, he was referred to as Jesus of Nazareth, the common way people were referred to. Men were known by their name and the place they were from. Donald would have been known as Donald of West Palm Beach. 

Jesus was a preacher, a rabbi or teacher, and a leader. Today, to Christians around the world, he is the Son of God and the Savior of all mankind. 

Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and after his baptism, he began his ministry. Most of his preaching and teaching weren’t done in Synagogues but in the countryside where most people lived. 

Jesus was teaching people they could repent, turn their lives around and return to God. His teachings were based on love. Jesus opened the path for many to know eternal life. People were astounded by his teachings and followed him. He was changing the minds of common people and undermining the wayward teachings of the Pharisees. Because of this, Jesus faced opposition from the leaders of the day.

This conflict, and the outcry of many Jewish people, eventually led to his death by the hands of  Roman soldiers. 

While he died long ago, his teachings did not die with him. His words became so influential, to this day, one-third of the world’s population is associated with Christianity. By far, it is the largest religious group. There are seven reasons why Jesus was so persuasive and Donald is going to expand on each to show how they can be applied in B2B selling, even today. 

  • He Showed Sympathy and Built Rapport 
  • He Was a Skilled Storyteller
  • He Shared a Vision
  • He Challenged the Status Quo
  • He Listened Effectively
  • He Asked Powerful Questions
  • He Invited People to Change

He Showed Sympathy and Built Rapport 

The first reason for Jesus’ persuasiveness was his ability to empathize and build rapport with the people he talked to. 

Jesus made the time to sit down with common people, who made up the largest portion of the population, as they do today. He talked to people who were marginalized by society and could relate to them. During his time, Romans had the power and ruled over many territories. They hired people to collect taxes from the citizens, including Jewish people, and this money funded the Roman empire. Because the work is done by tax collectors they were not approved of by the communities they lived in.  At public gatherings, they were not welcomed to be among everyone else. As a result, they became marginalized citizens. 

The status put upon tax collectors didn’t keep Jesus from them.  Jesus sat down with them and had dinner with them. 

One of these tax collectors even became one of Jesus’ disciples.  His name was Matthew. Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector from Jericho.  He was a wealthy man but hated by many. When Jesus went to Jericho, people flooded the town and swarmed him. Being a short man, Zacchaeus climbed a tree to see Jesus. Jesus noticed and asked the man to come down so he could be a guest at Zacchaeus’ house, unheard of during this time.

Jesus also showed sympathy toward Levi, another tax collector and the son of Alphaeus. Jesus saw him at his booth, invited Levi to follow him, and he did.  

People didn’t understand these actions but Jesus shared that a physician comes to heal the sick, not the healthy. In the same way, Jesus was spending time with people who needed his help the most.  He went out of his way to help the poor and heal the sick. 

Jesus wanted to make an impact by modeling how he wanted people to treat one another.

As a B2B sales rep, how do you show your clients and prospects you empathize with their needs? Set yourself apart from others by taking the time to understand where they are coming from. Identify their pain points and tailor your message to their specific issues.

An example of how a salesperson can distinguish himself or herself can be illustrated by two sales reps who want a nursing home to be a new client. Sales rep A sens a generic email to the chief administrator that says he can help them save more money. This same message, however, has been sent by many salespeople and it gets lost among the others. Sales rep b, on the other hand, has spent time reading trade magazines and learning about the industry. This sales rep sends a personalized message that talks about the losses the administrator may face when the new Medicare starts cutting back and what it is going to cost them. Sales rep B also talks about how their company has crafted a new service that could benefit the nursing home despite the cutback. In this case, sales rep B will surely get the deal because they have discovered a problem and are providing a solution. While it takes more time and effort to learn about your prospect or client by listening to their needs and hearing about their challenges, it will help you craft a more personalized message.

In the sales training program, we call this a deliverance message. Share with your prospects the challenges they didn’t know they could face. These are called blindside challenges. Distinguish yourself among other salespeople by studying, being prepared, listening, and offering a solution. 

Another way you can show empathy and create value is by writing a blog post or creating content that’s related to the challenges your prospects are facing. When a potential client feels understood, sees you’ve done the work, and you’re building rapport through your efforts, you’ll find prospects are going to pick up the phone to talk to you. 

He Was a Skilled Storyteller

The second reason for Jesus’ persuasiveness was his storytelling ability. In one instance there was a lawyer in the crowd where Jesus was preaching and the lawyer wanted to trap Jesus. He asked Jesus how to receive eternal life, one of Jesus’ core messages. In response, Jesus replied with a question about what was written in the law. In reply, the lawyer replied that the law states that one should love the Lord with all his heart, his soul, and strength. One also has to love his neighbor as he loves himself.  He then asked Jesus who he should consider his neighbor and Jesus shared the story of the Good Samaritan. This story talks about a man robbed and attacked on a countryside road. There were several people who walked past him and didn’t help him, including a priest, a Levite, and the good Samaritan. The first two men just passed by. The priest crossed to the other side of the road as did the Levite. It was the good Samaritan who took the injured man and tended to his wounds, brought him to an inn and told the innkeeper to take care of the man, paying for all the expenses. All the people who ignored the man were his people but it was the Samaritan who showed compassion and saved him.  By sharing this story, Jesus was able to illustrate the actions of a neighbor. The story that Jesus told was relatable and the people listening understood the point he was trying to make. 

Selling to highly educated professionals, like doctors, can be unnerving. They can ask a question that may be out of your scope of expertise. You can navigate their questions by sharing a story. Understand the purpose of the question and solve their problem through a story that promotes rapport. If you need more information, ask a clarifying question and share a story that’s similar to your clients’ situation or problem and share how that problem was solved. Stories are a great persuasive tool. 

He Shared a Vision

Jesus was skilled in promoting hope for the future. The people already knew the prophecy of the Messiah who would come and save mankind. The Messiah would deliver them from their enemies and the tyrannical rule of the Roman empire.

People believed in Jesus because he fulfilled the prophecies laid out in scripture. When Jesus came and preached to people listened to hear his message of hope.

As a sales rep, it’s your responsibility to understand a prospect’s pain, their struggles, and their challenges.  As you get to know them and learn more about their needs, you have the opportunity and then to offer hope and solutions through the products and services you have to offer. 

For example, if you are selling digital marketing services, you may discover that a prospect’s website is not functioning effectively.  It’s your job to convey to this potential client how you can help make their website work faster and appear on the first page of a Google search. Approach the client with the knowledge of their struggle and offer a vision of a better future by working with you.

He Challenged the Status Quo

Jesus treated women with care in a time when women didn’t have much value in society. Women were separated from men in public and religious life. They were not allowed to participate in public prayers but they were encouraged to pray privately. In contrast, Jesus showed immense respect for women. 

An example of Jesus’ compassion toward women was illustrated in the story of the Canaanite woman who yelled after Jesus to help her daughter. Jesus showed compassion to the woman, a gentile, and helped her after hearing her great faith. This was unheard of during Jesus’ time.

There are many examples in the Bible where Jesus pushed the boundaries of the status quo to create change.

In sales, we can experience the status quo and many industries can get stuck in these familiar patterns. In many instances, the most daunting competitor isn’t another sales rep but your client’s comfort with the existing routine inside their organization.  

As salespeople, we have to face the status quo head-on. It would be easy to ignore the need for change.  Very few people are willing to break the norm and face being rejected by society. Sometimes, even when we know that our prospect is doing something wrong and their system doesn’t work in their best interest, it can be tempting to stay silent in order to avoid conflict.

For example, Donald joined a sales training program with David Sandler about how to challenge the status quo. In that training, Donald learned that you can overcome the status quo by using off-the-record conversation. When things are dying down and everyone’s starting to relax, hit up your prospect with your suggestions. Tell your prospects about the problems that you have found in their system and back it up with proof. Creating this margin allows prospects space to really see what you’re trying to point out. The conversation may be bold but sometimes it takes boldness to get people to change. Push against the status quo and don’t be afraid. 

He Listened Effectively

Jesus knew how to listen to people and it became another tool in building rapport. Let’s go back to the story of the woman who was bothering Jesus and asking for help. The lady was persistent despite the disciples’ efforts to turn her away. Jesus listened to her and heard her troubles. Throughout his ministry, Jesus listened to the people and showed up to teach. He tuned in to their stories and showed mercy and compassion. 

As a salesperson, you can imitate Jesus by listening intently to your prospects. The act of listening comes in many forms. For example, you can listen through a phone conversation, or by reading LinkedIn posts and seeing what’s going on under someone’s profile. You can also listen by going through reports, annual filing, and quarterly earnings. 

When you’re listening, don’t let your mind roam. Focus on what they’re saying instead of thinking of what you can say next. Listen for opportunities to ask a clarifying question that leads to a value-rich conversation.

If a prospect is trying to decline your offer because it’s not a good time, instead of just giving up or trying to force your own solution,  try listening to what’s between the lines and figure out what the prospect is really saying. Ask why it isn’t a good time for them and get closer to finding out what the core of the objection really is. 

He Asked Powerful Questions

Jesus was skilled in asking for effective and clarifying questions.  When the lawyer wanted to trap Jesus, instead of answering his question, Jesus asked a question in return. In sales, sometimes you don’t have to give your prospects the answers right away.  Alternatively, additional questions may be needed.  

When you hear “I’m not interested” you don’t have to take that at face value and end the conversation there. Ask them questions and let them talk. Your ability to ask questions can help you become successful in sales. In every objection you face, there is potential to learn more and get closer to helping your client find a solution.

He Invited People to Change

The last reason why Jesus was persuasive was his ability to ask people to do hard things. Jesus began gathering his disciples early on in his ministry. Some of his first were Peter, James, and John, who were all fishermen. Jesus told them to leave their livelihood and invited them to become fishers of men.  His invitation was a much bigger vision than they had ever seen for themselves.

Peter, James, and John recognized that Jesus was the Messiah and they gladly left their lives behind to follow Jesus. More would soon follow.

When salespeople ask clients to use their products or services, you are inviting change to take place. You can successfully do this when you ask the right question, are a good storyteller, and when you show empathy. 

Never assume a potential client is going to come to the conclusion to work with you on their You are their guide to finding solutions through your products and services.  Always be proactive, ask for the change, and be prepared to show them the action steps. 

Jesus showed us how to be persuasive in order to offer a better way of life. Do the same for your clients.

The act of selling is persuading someone to do something that is in their best interest.  

#SalesTips

Best Sellers In History Series 1 - "Jesus Christ" episode resources

Selling is not complicated but you have to have a strong foundation. Learning fundamental practices and implementing them will offer potential clients hope for positive change based on what you have to offer. 

Watch out for the next episode in this series. 

You can also catch up with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

We have a new semester beginning in January and we would love to have you and your team join us. Follow this link to apply to the program. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1229.mp3
Category:Best Sellers In History Series 1 -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Why Your Contracts Are Not Working and How To Fix Them! 

 

Ever ask yourself why your contracts are not working and wondered how to fix them? Jason Kren is the man with the answer to that frequently asked question. 

Sales people want nothing more than to see their contracts and deals turn into a close. Unfortunately, there are times when the inefficiency of getting contracts signed can delay income or prevent a closing all together.  How can you make this process more streamlined so this doesn’t occur? Jason Kren’s company PactSafe could be the solution you’re looking for.

PactSafe is a company that was built from the ground up. They manage clickwrap contract acceptance at scale. This means they have the ability to manage millions of clickwrap contracts at a super high velocity. 

An example of this type of contract is illustrated by Disney+.  The company recently launched its video streaming service and opened with 10 million subscribers in the first 24 hours of launch. At the end of the sign-up process is a contract that states the terms and conditions of the service that users are getting. These contracts are often the highest valued contracts that a company’s legal department manages on an annual basis. 

Jason’s company takes this type of contract and utilizes the PactSafe platform. It’s a quick wrap embedded contract and once it’s accepted, the platform will track the version that’s accepted. Using the platform, they can track the time when the contract was accepted and who accepted it. PactSafe can also reproduce what the contract looks like on an individual screen and know whether the contract is downloaded on a mobile device, computer, or  tablet. 

In terms of sales contracts, this platform makes things run smoothly. With just one click, users have signed a legally binding agreement.

In the sales application, this same type of contract and platform can be used to speed up the process for sales. 

Making contracts easier to understand

Sales people and legal departments can partner together to make a contract more user friendly and understandable to the customer so closing is easier. The first step is for sales leaders to talk to the legal department about contract design.  This includes the language used in the contract, down to the words and phrases, so the contract is easier to accept and lessens the points of negotiation. Ultimately, this removes friction from every step. Moving toward a standardized contract in the contract design includes multiple components that should have the end result in mind. Efficiency and speed of acceptance by the customer is the goal.

These contracts are often in order forms for upsells and cross-sells within the organization. 




Adopt a standardized language 

A key area to review when moving toward a standardized system for contracts is reviewing the areas that don’t need to be negotiated each time. These areas can already be written and in place each time. Contracts such as these are better for the customers and for the salesperson. While the legal team handles the design of the contract, it’s the sales team’s job to change the language used in presenting the contract to the customer.  Most salespeople today are still using archaic language when talking about contracts. An example is “I’m going to send you the contract and once you’re done reviewing it and signing it, we can start.” You want to streamline the process. Sending the contract over for a potential client to dictate the turnaround time can lead to a delay in closing and waste time.

With a new design the approach changes to “The contract is ready to go. I’m going to send you its link so you can click on it and we’ll get started.” 

It eliminates having to talk about the contract and you’re sending the terms they just have to accept. That little shift in your language can increase velocity and reduce the friction of the contract process. 

 

Moving away from PDFs

Another key change that salespeople can make is to move away from cumbersome PDFs.  When you try to close a deal using this archaic method of sending over the contract via signature platform it is costing you money. If your prospect is traveling and they’re on the road with only their phone available, they won’t be able to move through the contract because they still have to go through a PDF process to sign off on certain points. This delays the closing by 48 hours or more. 

The better alternative is to standardize and minimize your contracts by moving to a clickwrap, one-button acceptance system. By doing that, you increase your customer experience and your deals.

When running a particularly high-velocity business, you should know the components that make up your sales velocity equation. If you can tweak these areas then the results can reflect a massive increase in your business and customer satisfaction.

 

Reducing the friction 

When you can speed up your contract process by one or even two days, that will  increase your overall sales velocity. Embedding an email with a link to the contract and sending them as a ClickWap eliminates the unnecessary process of opening a PDF format and having it digitally signed. The clickwrap is more efficient for the salesperson and the client. Removing these delays will greatly improve your overall revenue. 

It’s true some businesses can’t  let go of the signature contracts altogether because there are some transactions that still require negotiation, such as large enterprise deals. However, smaller deals such as non-negotiable customer agreements, can use standardized contracts to reduce friction in the sales process. 



In the sales spotlight - DoorDash and BMC

DoorDash is one of the companies using PactSafe’s services. DoorDash has three primary groups who enter into contractual relationships with dashers, the people who deliver food.  One group includes the restaurants who provide the food. DoorDash has a massive sales division to call the managers of restaurants so they can be enrolled as dash merchants. These restaurants can then have their food delivered by DoorDash and expands what can be offered to the consumer. These end users are the people who download the app. 

Restaurant managers don’t have time to review a contract in the traditional PDF format.  They’re often on their feet and checking that everything in the restaurant is in order. There is no time to check their computers and respond to an email containing a PDF they have to read through in order to sign off.  Jason’s company worked with DoorDash and their sales team is now sending contracts through a clickwrap which is so simple and efficient. It eliminated the whole e-signature workflow. 

 

The massive enterprise software company, BMC, didn’t have centralized control of the contract acceptance process across dozens of their product lines. They needed a third-party to control and enhance their contracting process. Enter PactSafe.  They eliminated more than 10,000 different forms for BMS’s 14 products. This gave BMC’s legal department the ability to regain control over any changes to agreements that didn’t require code changes and it provided them the visualization and analytics they needed.

 

When you think about efficiency for your own business, you’re not only transforming your legal team but you’re also transforming your sales team.  This creates a frictionless digital transformation across the organization. 

 

Creating the pilot program

Changing how an organization works requires effort. Jason suggests that before making any permanent changes, create a pilot program. It’s important to test a new launch with a subset of your sales team so they can help refine the process by making sure it works before you roll it out to the whole organization.

In sales, you only have one shot to launch well so  make sure the new system is ready to go. Having a smaller section of the sales team try the new system can offer valuable feedback and once it’s ready to launch, they can be your greatest cheerleaders in moving the entire team forward.

 

Updating the process of closing a contract can lead to massive increases in efficiency, revenue and turnaround. For any companies who have high volume contracts, one-clicks are the way to go.

#SalesContract

 

“Why Your Contracts Are Not Working and How To Fix Them!” episode resources

Catch Jason Kren via his LinkedIn. He is also on Twitter with the username @jasonkren. Visit their website PactSafe as well 

You can also catch up with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

We have a new semester beginning in January and we would love to have you and your team join us. Follow this link to apply to the program. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1228.mp3
Category:Sales Contracts -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Things To Look For When Hiring Successful Sellers

Hiring is part of the sales process but businesses know there are things to look for when hiring successful sellers. Getting the right people to join your sales team is one of the most effective ways to boost your sales revenue. 

Billy Keels is a businessman living the life of a busy entrepreneur. In addition to being a happy husband and father, he is also working for a very large enterprise software company. There, he takes on different sales and leadership roles from regional to global levels. He’s done businesses in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Recently, he’s been doing enterprise sales in Barcelona, Spain by day as well as building his own investing business in the U.S. 

Things to look for when hiring successful sellers 

Sales leaders are always looking to hire successful sellers to help increase their revenue. The model in which a business is working is an important consideration when hiring new people. 

Business models vary.  While some are constantly looking for new businesses, others adopt a farming role where they want to sell more within their existing customer base. Another consideration is the size of the business, whether it is a multinational brand or targeting a smaller niche. 

Hire the right behavior 

Of the three things to look for when hiring successful sellers, the first and the most difficult is the right behavior.  If a business is hiring someone to work inside sales or remote selling, for example, and you’re looking to hire a salesperson who's going to have to make fifty to a hundred calls a day. The ideal candidate will need to be someone who can be proactive. They should be able to work without someone having to tell them to pick up the phone and make calls. This is a challenge because no matter how skilled the salesperson is, if he doesn’t have the impetus to pick up the phone, smile while talking with the customers, or keep the calls energetic, then he won’t have the behavior be successful in that position. 

Most successful salespeople didn’t have this proactive spirit when they started selling. It had to be developed over the years of working in sales. Being proactive is a core strength for sellers. It opens more doors, creates more connections, and can eventually point their customers toward the right decisions. 

At the end of the day, when you consider the sales process, regardless of the products and services you sell, it all comes down to being proactive and having the ability to go out and do what’s needed. 

Whether it’s selling knives door-to-door or selling in an enterprise, a salesperson should be able to design and execute an effective sales process by talking about the value they lend to the consumer through their products. 

As a hiring manager,  a good interview question for potential candidates will give them the opportunity to talk about an experience when they got to be proactive. New sales reps tend to go through trial and error as they gain more experience, so ask about their experiences and what they have done, not what they would do. As they answer, listen carefully as they explain the way they dealt with needing to be proactive. Their answer will help you understand how they will do things in the future.

Look for self-awareness 

There is so much opportunity that comes from being self-aware. The benefits are tied to existing behaviors as well as understanding the candidate’s skills, ambition, and attitude. 

Looking back at the successful people Billy hired in the past, he saw their high sense of self-awareness. Self-awareness is also integral to the type of model the seller is in. 

If you are hiring a salesperson for inside selling, then you might forego knowledge and go for a person who has a higher potential in selling products and services over the phone. As a sales leader, you compensate for that gap and understand that their self-awareness may not come with as much knowledge but they can be supported by the strength of available training programs that are offered to sales reps.  

To see if a candidate is self-aware, you can also ask about the issues they had with quotas and what they did to improve those results. Listen to what they tell you and tune in to the things that they did to address their challenges. When they say that they haven’t had any challenges in the past, then that can set off a big red flag. 

It’s a hard truth in sales that we don’t win all the time. Being able to overcome their issues and how they came through can shows you how self-aware they are. 

People who are self-aware typically know where they need help, they recognize where they are in a specific model, and most importantly, they know if they’re ahead or behind the curve. They’ll come to a sales manager with the areas they need support based on the models that they’re in. It helps support the seller and it helps the sales leader be more focused on the areas where they need the most help.  Having a methodology, skill, and understanding of the product is key to success. 

Considering the scale of their roles 

When hiring a salesperson consider the scale of their role. If the person is on the enterprise level and they have a knowledge gap, that’s probably going to be an issue. However, if you hire that person knowing they are going to be part of a sales academy program, there is less worry that you’re hiring someone who doesn’t have the full skill set.  You know that it’s coming after the proper training.  

What skills the salesperson needs to have at the point of hire, depends on the role that your candidate will be playing in the company. 

There is a process that you need to follow in sales. You also have to have certain behaviors to convey that you understand what you’re selling. 

It is also equally important to have realistic expectations as a sales leader because if you set your expectations too high, the new sales reps will never be able to reach those goals no matter how much they produce. This isn’t setting them up for success. 

Hire people who can manage themselves 

These people are able to take a specific situation, diagnose and execute planning. No one may be getting the results they’re going for but they can assess, see the need and come up with a solution. Look for candidates who have sales goals who approach you with a plan. They are the ones who don’t need to be told what to do. They can work independently and just do what’s best for their career and their business. 

In the event that they didn’t reach their sales goals, they are able to self-correct and start a new plan. They don’t feel the need to go to their boss every time they have to make sales decisions. They can manage not only themselves but also their situation or their virtual account team. 

The key is understanding that no one is perfect. People are going to step up to the plate, swing, miss, strike out, and learn what to do the next time they go to bat. 

There are different types of successful sellers out there and even when we work on a sales team, treat your team at an individual level because every salesperson has their own environment where they succeed. As a sales leader, you need to know what environment you need to create for your sales team to thrive. When your sales team is clicking on all cylinders, it makes every quarterly business review a pleasure to sit in. 

“Things To Look For When Hiring Successful Sellers” episode resources

Connect with Billy Keels via his LinkedIn. You can also check out his site, Billykeels.com. 

You can also catch up with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1227.mp3
Category:Hiring, Successful hiring -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The Accidental Seller Recap  - "Three Things I Learned"

 

For the past 8 weeks, we have been interviewing several successful “accidental sellers” and sharing their stories.  We have come to know how they started in sales when it wasn’t their intention to ever be in sales, and what they did to become successful. 

The last episode aired last week when Donald interviewed a very special person in his life, his own mother, who Donald credits in shaping him to be the man he is today.  As he wraps up the series, Donald wanted to share his three main takeaways. 

The Accidental Seller Series Recap

This series has been well-received by listeners because they’re hearing their own stories in these interviews.  Each story has been relatable and speaks to the struggles and successes that many experiences in the sales industry.  The guests were very open about their challenges and feeling like a failure as being part of their journey. These are stories everyone relates to.  From these struggles, a success story was born, and it’s these stories that offer a fascinating insight into what it takes to make sales a career. Through this series, Donald has learned three main points: 

  • The view of sales
  • How they have a guide
  • Sales was easier than they thought 

The View of Sales
When you ask someone to share their perception of a salesperson, it’s common for someone to bring up the stereotypical used car salesperson. Many of the guests on the Accidental Seller series thought the same thing. This is the stigma around sales and it’s been embedded in the minds of many. Society has painted salespeople in such a bad light that naturally, salespeople are seen as people who are only looking out for their own best interest.

While this doesn’t apply to everyone, unfortunately, it has been proven to be true for some businesses and industries. For example, when a big bank has been caught in unethical dealings. As a result, integrity has to be proven as everyone in sales comes under scrutiny.

When there are opportunities to gain large sums of money, people can end up making the wrong decisions. It may not be true for all salespeople, but people who are caught in shady dealings make it harder for honest salespeople to connect with potential clients. 

Several of the more high profile crimes get turned into movies. Consumers aren’t going to line up to hear about a great salesperson in the same way they want to know more about a salesperson’s dishonesty. There’s no drama in that. 

These movies helped shaped the perception of many and have influenced people into thinking that sales is a career they would never touch. However, that’s not the sole reason people steer clear from sales. 

De Juan, the second guest in The Accidental Seller series, shared his own definition and feelings about salespeople. His father was a good sales rep selling insurance. Growing up, De Juan saw how the business worked. His dad did hours upon hours of door-to-door selling. Watching his dad work, De Juan grew up thinking sales was an extremely hard job. It was a lucrative job but also very difficult. Salespeople were undesirable and homeowners would pretend to be out of the house so they wouldn’t have to spend their time talking to salespeople. 

De Juan, believed joining a sales force was a waste of talent. He believed that if someone had the ability to connect to people and have meaningful conversations but used it in a sales position, it was a waste of skills. However, that view changed when De Juan finally got a good feel of what selling really is. 

The job wasn’t a waste of talent or undesirable. In fact, it was something he could be proud of. In addition to that, he realized that you didn’t have to sell door-to-door to build good relationships. He discovered you could help businesses solve their problems and be greatly rewarded for it. 

It’s the responsibility of the seller to break free from the stereotypes. Kids can be taught early on that sales is a lucrative career and should be considered as an option. 

As a salesperson, you can help others recognize the value of professional selling. 

John Barrels and his daughter finished a book recently to help enrich the views about selling, especially for future generations. It’s a great idea to give kids the proper education about selling, even at a young age.  We can share the value of professional selling even in elementary school.

Everyone Needs a Guide 

For anyone who has goals and dreams, it’s helpful to have a guide who is going to help us down the path and lead us in the right direction. 

Ashley Reusch’s story is a great example. She wanted to take a break from college and her dad suggested that she try to get into sales. Like her dad, she became a car salesperson and sold new and used cars. Despite it being a male-dominated industry with a high turnover rate, Ashley thrived because she had her father to guide her along the way.

Wendell Jordan was helped by his sales manager. Although his sales manager wasn’t always there at the beginning, he was able to coach him later on. He offered Wendell insight and guidance that helped Wendell perform well. 

Stephen had a guide too and Debbie also had her dad to help her have more involvement in the business. 

Basically, all salespeople, regardless of what you are selling and regardless of the length of time you’ve been in the industry - all need help, we all need a guide. 

Nobody knows everything there is to know about sales no matter how long they've been in the industry. Donald has been in sales for quite some time but he still takes courses and reads books. Learning is a continuous process and doing podcasts has helped Donald learn more and more about the sales industry. It also helped him gain accountability and guidance to be able to help others as well. 

Even if you don’t join a paid mastermind, you still need someone who can act as a guide. It can be your manager, your spouse, or your friend. It is important to have someone close to keep you accountable and help you with your goals. 

Sales Isn’t as Hard as They Initially Thought

The other thing that successful salespeople use is a formula or sales process they follow religiously. 

Ashley’s father helped her become a better salesperson but in addition to that, she also used her own creativity to develop a training regimen. When she wasn’t working with her own customer, she would sit by the cubicle of the salesperson doing his pitch and would tune into the conversation. With a notepad and pen in hand, she’d take notes and try to learn from their experience. She knew she had to get familiar with the common objections and situations of her business.  She prepared herself by learning from other salespeople she worked with. Ashley didn’t just wait for help to come around, she took action and created opportunities for herself. She looked for ways to make her success possible.

All the guests on the Accidental Seller series fell into sales by accident but they all created it as a path, they made sales a workable solution. Sales became a profession that helped them to support their families and enrich the lives of other people. 

For all accidental sellers out there, your stories have a home here on The Sales Evangelist. The series is coming back next year and listeners cannot wait to hear how you have thrived and succeeded in this industry as well. 

What’s Next? 

The Accidental Seller Series has given us some important lessons: 

  • There is still a stigma about sales and people have different views on what sales are about. 
  • All the successful people in this series didn’t attain success overnight, they had guides. They had people to help them achieve their goals. 
  • In the beginning, they thought that sales was a very difficult path but when they learned to pave their own path and followed their processes, they realized that their initial thoughts weren’t at all true.  

The Sales Evangelist wraps up this series and will be diving into another series that no other podcast has ever done before. The upcoming series will be about historical figures and very persuasive individuals who were great sellers in their time. Their experience will be broken down to discover what made them so successful.  The first key figure will be Jesus Christ and this episode will be uploaded during Christmas. This series is expected to help you improve on your sales and skills. 

“The Accidental Seller Recap  - "Three Things I Learned" episode resources

Do you have an interesting story to tell? You can tell Donald about it via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook or you can reach out with any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1226.mp3
Category:Accidental Seller Series -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Stop Hiring From Your "Gut" - Putting a Formal Hiring Process In Place That Works

 

The hiring process can be a challenge for many. There’s the temptation of hiring people from the gut when in fact, there needs to be a formal hiring process in place that works for every company regardless of its size. 

Kristie Jones works with early-stage startups and helps these companies do three things - process, strategies, and people. She has been in the staff leadership industry for 20 years and as part of her consulting services, she offers companies the strategies for hiring the right people. Kristie now manages her own company, the Sales Acceleration Group, and has helped funded and non-funded startups in the Midwest for the last four years. Her services are focused on the strategies that companies can use to hire the right people. 

Hiring from the gut

Hiring from the gut is basically hiring based on first impressions. In the sales world, it’s very much like sending a contract to your prospect without doing a discovery call. Salespeople follow the sales process in vetting and finding prospects. In the same manner, there is also a process that sales leaders should follow in vetting and finding the right candidates to join their companies. 

 

  • The ideal candidate

 

The process begins by deciding on your ideal candidate profile, which includes their competencies and skills. As a salesperson, you take the time to figure out who your ideal customers are by spending time with them.  The same goes for hiring new salespeople. You want to invest the time in figuring out what competencies are most important to the success of your company, and build interview questions around those competencies. It’s also  imperative to build your ideal candidate profile with business culture, core education, and relevant experience in mind. 

 

  • Candidate discovery 

 

In this stage, you identify their experience. The resume is only a piece of paper that details a person’s information. In the hiring process, you need to be asking the candidates open-ended behavioral-based questions. 

 

  • Make them an educated consumer 

 

This stage of the hiring process entails flipping the table on your candidate and allowing them to interview you.  This isn’t done by everyone but it’s a strategy to start a great working relationship, even at the interview stage.. This point in the interview allows the candidate to see whether or not they will be happy working in your organization by getting to ask questions that are important to them. 

 

When hiring the right people to join your sales team, you can’t just hire from the gut and have the expectation of longevity. You need a formal hiring process in place that works.  This process includes understanding your ideal candidate profile, preparing your discovery questions, and lastly, giving the candidates an opportunity to become the interviewer.

Knowing your ideal candidate 

Experience is important in hiring the ideal candidate. Look for people who have a good track record of success. It’s your job as a sales leader to discover the candidates’ competencies, characteristics, and traits that have helped them become successful. There are many ways for a business to find the right people to hire. 

Kristie has used recruiters to line up job candidates for her clients but she’s also helped her clients build and post a strong job description through a paid LinkedIn ad. Through these efforts, they’ve been getting between 50-70 resumes within the first two weeks of posting a job on LinkedIn. 

It’s not necessary to utilize recruiters when you are looking for lower-level sales reps but they are a good resource if a company is looking for specialized sales leaders. 

When posting a job on LinkedIn, the most attractive posts will include the following information:

  • Job Title - Many companies use the titles Account Manager and Account Executive interchangeably. When you are looking for a new salesperson for your company, it’s a good idea to specify the job titles that are specifically related to your industry or niche. 

 

  • Length of time you’ve been in the business
  • The markets you use
  • How successful your company has been
  • A short description of the job
  • Transparencies and accountabilities - you need to state what their job will look like and be upfront about the things they will be doing. 
  • Compensation range

 

 

A great job post will be gender neutral and have a wow factor. Impress the best candidates with your company’s values and share the perks and bonuses that will come if they choose to work for you.  If your company offers free lunches, happy hours, personal development training, or quarterly healthy bonuses, make sure you say so! 

Candidate discovery 

When Kristie first works with her clients they go through a list of competencies and pick several  that are most important to work for that specific company. They then create their behavioral-based interview questions from the competencies they’ve chosen. The questions will vary for each company and will be influenced by the type of company it is and its core values. Questions about accountability can be very telling about a potential candidate. For example, “Why did your  previous quarterly goals?” Kristie wants to know if a candidate will take accountability for their actions.  

 

When hiring for a startup, Kristie is looking for a willow, not an oak, a person who bends but doesn’t break. Questions or prompts that uncover this trait might include, “Tell me about  a time when you made a personal sacrifice for an employer.” Another question might be, “How you stay on track when you have competing priorities?” Look for the candidates’ perseverance and  objective judgment. 

Flip the table

The last phase of the formal hiring process is flipping the table. This simply means letting the candidate become the interviewer. Give them the opportunity to go through the discovery process by seeing what questions they have about the company. Allow them to spend time with your current employees in a variety of departments. When you flip the table, you get to stop asking questions and allow the candidate to discover if they really want to work for the company.

 After posting the job on LinkedIn and collecting all the responses, you’ll typically pick 10 candidates to conduct a phone interview.  This is a critical stage where you can ask them questions to gauge which candidates will be chosen to come in for a face-to-face, behavioral-based interview. Kristie runs a sales profile test before flipping the table on a candidate by using  a test she says is a combination ACT/ Myers-Briggs personality test. The first section is a verbal and math test. This is to test their verbal and reasoning ability as well as numeric reasoning. In addition, Kristie has also developed the ideal candidate profile for SDRs and it can be used to hire anyone from sales reps to sales leaders. Once the results come in, there’s an opportunity to go over the results with the candidate to discuss the fit. 

During a typical hiring process, Kristie invests about four hours conducting a face-to-face interview. She goes through an hour in reviewing the test results and another 30 - 45 minutes interviewing. Afterwards, the candidate is given the chance to work with a sales rep or one of the team members. At the end of the day, Kristie asks the group what they’ve learned.

The process is long but following this formal hiring process, you’ll get fewer mis-hires in your company. 

A sales manager looking for a sales rep must know what the company is looking for. When people don’t have a formal hiring process in place, they can mistakenly hire solely based on a gut feeling. Having a formal process can save you from any legal troubles and provide a better quality employee. The process helps you hire the best fit because you already know the right answers to the questions. Implement this process in your organization and let everyone understand they all have a role to play.  The first impression starts with the first person the candidate meets. 

“Stop Hiring From Your "Gut" - Putting a Formal Hiring Process In Place That Works” episode resources

Catch up with Kristie Jones via her email address kjones@salesaccelerationgroup.com. You can check out the list of competencies and some starter behavior-based interview questions that you can use in your own hiring process. Check it out on salesaccelerationgroup.com/TSE. 

You can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1225.mp3
Category:Sales Hiring -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How To Craft A Rock Solid Sales Pitch To Potential Investors 

 

A sales pitch is part of the selling process but not all salespeople know how to craft a rock-solid sales pitch to potential investors.  First, everyone is a salesperson. Regardless of what you do, everyone sells to someone.

Brian Harrington started in the infomercial business. He worked for his father who was one of the principal pioneers of the infomercial industry. His experience taught him the craft of selling products on TV. 

In those early years, Brian saw how easy it was to sell through television advertising but he eventually saw how investments could be lost as fast as money was made.  They made some changes and instead of sticking exclusively with Infomercials, they followed customers to where they were making their purchases. That decision led them to the digital world and social media. 

Brian and his team started to sell products through Google and other online opportunities such as Facebook. Since then, they’ve branched out to several other platforms. They sell directly to consumers with a diverse selection of products including health and fitness, beauty, home products, and more but continue to also sell through traditional brick and mortar retail stores. 

Brian’s company sells products with a focus on three core worlds: 

  • Product
  • Education, providing ongoing training to entrepreneurs and sales professionals
  • Investing/ Advising/Consulting where they help startup businesses grow and provide value. 

Mistakes you’re making when pitching to investors

It’s easy to make mistakes when pitching. especially if you have no idea how to craft a rock-solid sales pitch to potential investors. The first mistake people make is not being prepared.  If you show up to a meeting and don’t know enough about their business, competition, industry, to answer a potential investor’s basic questions, you can tank a meeting in the first few minutes. It can make you look incompetent in an area you claim a level of expertise. Investors do not want to get involved with people who seem to lack core knowledge. 

Simple changes can make the pitch so much better.  Brian says it can be broken down into 3 easy steps: The Tease, The Please, and The Seize. 

The Tease, The Please, and The Seize 

The Tease:  Get the investor’s attention right away. The first impression matters and you have a small window to capture a potential investor’s interest. Cater the pitch to the person you’re pitching to and keep the company’s culture in mind.  BE PREPARED. Your goal is to capture their attention and interest in the first 10 seconds.  

You also want to be mindful of how your actions and words may be received by your audience.  If you’re working with international investors, do the research about how to conduct yourself during the meeting in order not to make a faux pas. 

The Please: On the one hand, you want to be sure you’re prepared to answer any questions your potential investor might ask. On the other hand, you also want to withhold enough information so they continue to ask questions and dialogue continues.  Take a breath when you’re talking and allow those questions to happen. These unanswered questions will keep them excited and interested in hearing more. There’s a balance between the information you want to offer and the information you want to hold onto until the pitch closes.

 The Seize: Once you’ve had a great launch to your pitch and generated excitement, your job is to keep up the energy. You do this by making sure every pitch has a call to action.  You want to think of ways to make your pitch intriguing enough for the investor to enjoy your presentation, see the value in your product, and have the desire to work with you in a new venture.  You want them to have confidence in you and the products or services you represent.

It’s important to take the time to do the research in potential investors.  Make sure you know they’re looking to invest in your industry or type of product before you ever get in front of them.  Find out what kinds of pitches they’re drawn to. For Brian, the best pitches are the ones that come from people who command attention and hold the attention of the room throughout the presentation. 

Have the right amount of confidence 

Confidence is key for any salesperson. That confidence, however, has to balance with the facts that are being offered.  A good investor is going to research the data you are using to support your claims so stick with the truth. Don’t makeup stories to make yourself look good.  It can compromise your integrity and an investor needs to be able to trust you. 

You also want to be careful about being annoying.  Again, you don’t have a lot of time to make a great first impression.  You don’t want to come off as too cocky or flashy. The best course of action is to substantiate your claims and have a real plan you can confidently and competently execute. 

The truth is, not all pitches will be successful. There are risks in every opportunity but oftentimes, the rewards are bigger than the risks. You can lower the risks by offering realistic projections that show you’ve systematically mapped out how you’re going to make a profit. 

Crafting a Great Sales Pitch

As a salesperson, it’s your job to craft a rock-solid sales pitch to potential investors. The right pitch doesn’t sound too  “salesy.” During a pitch, be careful of talking too much. It could seem like you’re trying too hard and can be perceived as a lack of confidence in your presentation. 

Turn that around by keeping these key elements in mind when crafting a great sales pitch:

  • Come prepared
  • Be confident
  • Know your business
  • Show a level of traction and validation 
  • When presenting, take a deep breath and refrain from repeating the same things over and over again. 

“How To Craft A Rock Solid Sales Pitch To Potential Investors” episode resources

Connect with Brian Harrington by emailing him at brian@kevingharrington.tv. For more sales information and questions, you can also catch up with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1224.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The Accidental Seller Series 8  - "Norma Bell"

This is the last episode for the Accidental Seller Series. Because it’s the last, it needed a very special guest, Norma Davis Bell, Donald, The Sales Evangelist’s mom. 

Norma Bell wanted to become a policewoman growing up because of the idea of protecting and helping people. As she grew older, however, her path took her in another direction.

After Norma decided she wasn’t going to train to be a policewoman, she discovered she had the skill to make dresses.  Norma’s older sister, Ivy, wanted to support her and connected her with a friend with the idea that Norma could be her apprentice.  As it turned out, however, the friend wanted an assistant more than she wanted to teach so the opportunity was short-lived. Ivy, who owned a small store and bar at the time, new Norma was great with people and invited her to work with her. Ivy had a great head for business, was able to network well, could make things happen and managed the administrative details of their work.  What she was lacking, however, was the customer service skills. Her little sister, Norma, had a natural gift when it came to working with customers, entertaining people with jokes, and bringing joy to their places of business. This was especially evident when Norma worked in the store. As a cashier, even if she had the longest line, people would stand in line longer, just to wait for her. She knew the names of each of her customers and Norma made each of them feel special.  With the sisters working together, the businesses thrived.   

Working as a salesperson in the shop

Norma felt good while working in the shop because it gave her the opportunity to earn money. She felt happy knowing she brought in more customers to the store and to the bar. She talked and laughed with them and she became their reason for coming back. People gravitated towards the shop and the bar because of Norma’s outgoing personality. 

Seeing all the success, Norma’s husband eventually convinced her to quit working with Ivy to start her own business. She hadn’t wanted to leave but did so with her husband’s encouragement. 

Running and managing the store on her own was a challenge because all the pressure was on Norma. She no longer had Ivy handling the administrative aspects of the job and the money was leaving as quickly as it was coming in. 

Norma decided to close it down when the money ran out. She went to live back with Ivy.

After some time, the family moved to the United States and Norma went into customer service. She struggled for almost 4 years before things began to smooth out for her family. Despite the hardships, Norma decided to take on the challenges and opportunities the United States had to offer in order to give her kids a better life. Today, Norma enjoys the fruits of her labor through the success of her grown children, like Donald.  Even when he was young, she had dreams of Donald becoming a radio announcer. Today, she gets to be interviewed by her son! It’s a joy for Norma to listen to Donald, The Sales Evangelist, as he makes a global impact through his podcast.

Norma’s best advice:  Keep on going. Keep on praying.

“The Accidental Seller Series 8  - "Norma Bell" episode resources 

You can connect with Norma and her life story on Facebook. 

You can also catch up with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1223.mp3
Category:The Accidental Seller Series -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How Can My Personal Brand Set Me Apart From My Competition 2020? 

 

The year is almost over. As a salesperson, how can you set your personal brand apart from your competition in 2020? 

Veronica Romney is solely focused on educating and facilitating individuals in their marketing and branding efforts. Veronica and her team are helping clients to stand out from their competition. They make it their goal to ensure you position yourself correctly so you can jump into the narrative and story that your prospective customer has as opposed to trying to force the customer into yours. 

You Don’t have to Be the Best of the Best 

Many businesses and sales reps are under the assumption that in order to distinguish their personal brand, they have to be the best of the best. The prevailing thought is that the only way to be seen as special is to look bigger and be better than everyone else in the same industry. This mindset can be exhausting for both business owners and sales professionals and can lead to burnout as they fight for consumer attention. Customers are bombarded with attention-seeking ads, streaming services, and other campaigns.  Companies and salespeople do a disservice to them by adding additional distractions that just focus on how great they are.

Veronica teaches her clients to focus on something more critical:  You don’t have to be your customer’s hero. It’s more important to be their guide in helping them get to where they want to go. 

Tony Robbins, for example, is a huge brand. He is a big name and a big individual with a big personality. Everything about Tony Robbins is larger-than-life and at the end of his documentary,Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru,  he was asked what he hoped people would better understand about him through the documentary. His answer is critical to his branding and should be a great takeaway for people who work with consumers. He said that it’s not really about people caring about the person, Tony Robbins. The Tony Robbins brand lets customers know that it's the means to an end and it’s a company that will get them to where they want to go. Tony is aware that he isn’t the show and he isn’t the product.  It’s more about how they are transformed through him and what he teaches. People respond to the things that cause change, keeps them hungry, make them feel fulfilled and feel alive.  

His organization does that.

The Positioning Technique

This is a method being used by CarMax in selling cars. This industry is overly saturated and the competition is stiff. There’s no point in fighting against the current. Instead, CarMax guides their customers where they want to go.  Whether the customer is purchasing a car, trading in or selling a car, CarMax has made it a simple three-step process. They have removed the barriers of haggling and negotiation from the interaction with their salespeople and by doing so, have made it easier for the customer to do business.

This positioning technique relieves salespeople from having to be the product or prove they’re the best. Instead, they can concentrate on being a guide, mentor or coach for their customers.  Because of this, burnout is greatly decreased.

People need a guide when purchasing decisions need to be made. For example, someone buying a weight loss program or supplement isn’t just buying a product but the transformation that product offers. As a salesperson responsible for packaging products and services to the consumer, the goal isn’t to make the product the hero of the sales pitch. The goal is to offer transformation by helping customers understand how the product can get them to their destination.

Position Yourself as a Guide, Not the Hero. 

We live in a world that is driven by consumers who are focused on their self-interests. Consumers want their problems solved quickly and as salespeople, guiding them through their ambitions is key.

Develop your voice

It’s tempting to want to be a chameleon who can be everything to everyone but it’s also impossible. Yes, it’s important to mirror the person you are talking to in order to help build a connection but your voice must be unique to you and your brand. 

Let’s take Warren Buffet as an example. He is a billionaire, investor, and businessman. Warren Buffet is famous for writing an annual letter to his shareholders  to talk about his market forecasts and investments for the upcoming year. 

These letters are so famous they have been turned into books, with the information also being consumed by MSNBC and Forbes. He has been able to deliver consistently, over decades, to successfully build a personal brand that people can trust and feel confident about. 

Warren did this by writing letters to just a single person, Doris. Writing to just one person makes the letters have a unique and intimate tone.

Speaking to one person creates consistency in your voice and people relate to that when you connect with them. 

Find Your Own Doris

Doris is Warren’s sister. He has an emotional connection to her and that’s the kind of affection and connection that you need to have with the people you choose to connect with. Finding your voice can be difficult, especially if you are new to sales, so find a favorite customer, someone that can really benefit from what you have to offer, and pretend you are speaking to that person every single time, no matter who your customer is. Eventually, you will be able to develop your natural tone consistently. 

It’s the same thing in politics. People are drawn to politicians who are consistent and speak the same way, regardless of audience or circumstance.

There can be a disconnect when businesses have one person writing for their blogs, another person their press release, and yet another working their ads. Each person is going to have a different voice in their writing instead of having a company voice.  It’s important that there is consistency of a company voice throughout. 

Consider Asking Your Customers these Four Critical Questions

Veronica suggests four critical questions you can use to help find your voice as a salesperson and help you understand your customer more intimately. They help to develop the relationship when you have an opportunity to survey a new client. The answers to these questions are a great vehicle to learn how to be the best guide you can be:

 

  • What are you trying to accomplish this year?

 

It’s important to set a time parameter on the things your customer wants to achieve. For example, you can ask about a quarter goal or a yearly goal. Setting a time frame gives you an endgame and will serve as a guide to where the customer hopes to go.

 

  • What do you think it would take to double your business results or your happiness this year?

 

Your goal is to enter their story and not to force them into yours. They have already been thinking about what they need to accomplish their goals but these questions allow you to go into the story they have already created in their own mind. What if their solutions are wrong for them? You have to know what they’re thinking to guide them to the right answer. 

 

  • What frustrates you the most about your business and life right now?

 

Whatever the answer is, your product and services has to offer the solution. You are in the business of taking away the pain and obstacles that prevent your customer from getting to where they want to go. Every client will have different pain points so you can’t make assumptions about what frustrates them about their business or life.

 

  • What have you tried to do to improve the situation you’re in?

 

Your customer’s answers will give you insight into what they’re open to trying. Knowing that you’re offering something they’ve never tried before may feel revolutionary to them. You need to understand what people are comfortable in doing. 

The answers to these questions will allow you to see your client’s aspirations and what they think the need to double their business. Their answers will give you an idea of what frustrates them the most and what their pain points are. In addition to that, they tell you the mechanism and the behavior they’re already accustomed to. It’s why these 4 questions are critical in distinguishing yourself from the competition. 

Stay focused on your client and maintain the goal of making them the hero of their own story. You’re there to offer the transformation. People will buy from you, they will say yes to you, when they feel understood by you, not when they understand you. #SalesTruth

“How Can My Personal Brand Set Me Apart From My Competition 2020” episode resources

Catch up with Veronica via her personal website, veronicaromney.com. She is also in various social media such as Twitter

You can also catch up with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1222.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How To Create A LinkedIn Profile That Consistently Brings New Business To Your Pipeline

 

Many salespeople create a LinkedIn profile to bring in new business but are they creating a profile that is attractive to a potential buyer?

Felipe Lodi is a returning guest and he’s back to teach salespeople how they can create a LinkedIn profile to bring in new business. Felipe is based in Ireland and he is helping other expatriates like himself to establish themselves in Europe. By teaching them the social skills needed and building their LinkedIn accounts, he’s helping them market their abilities and attract opportunities. He launched his book, Advanced LinkedIn, last year based on hundreds of workshops he’s done within the public and private sectors throughout Ireland. 

Common Mistakes Salespeople Make on LinkedIn 

There are many common mistakes made on LinkedIn. Once you know what they are, they can be avoided. The most common mistake is the failure to use headlines creatively.  The headline is 120 characters long and can be found underneath your profile picture. Most people just list their titles with a brief job description. Doing this is a waste of characters. The tagline stays visible and can be used to make a value proposition. As an alternative to your job title, create a sentence that shares your why, how you do what you do, or what you sell. 

Another common mistake is that people don’t utilize their Summary or About Me sections effectively.  These areas give you a whopping 5,000 characters to really make a statement.

Typical content: 

  • Creating bullet points
  • Providing your contact number and email address

A better alternative: 

  • Reasons why you’re doing what you’re doing 
  • Tell people why you are the right person for them 

Your profile is where you talk about yourself. When you go outside your profile and start engaging with people and creating content for others, talk about your prospects and how you’re going to solve their problems. 

 

Creating your LinkedIn profile

It’s not necessary to spend money on LinkedIn to make money. Use LinkedIn because of its organic reach instead. 

There are three ways to enhance your account: 

 

  1. Optimize Your Profile

To better ensure people will get to the information about you you want them to see, make sure your LinkedIn profile is visually appealing.

Many people mistakenly view LinkedIn as a community board where someone can look for a job and get hired.  Instead, approach this platform as an opportunity for you to engage potential employers, collaborators, and colleagues in a way that opportunities can present themselves through these relationships.  Don’t open a LinkedIn account to just looking for employment, but seek ways for you to find opportunities.#LinkedInSales

If you are in sales, start believing that LinkedIn is your sales platform. It’s the best place to reach out to C level executives because you have direct access. There are no gatekeepers on LinkedIn and salespeople can use this accessibility to their advantage.

 

It’s important to make your profile visually appealing. People will judge images before they read any information. Have an avatar and profile picture that looks professional. When Felipe changed his profile picture to an image of him holding a mic, the invitations for speaking engagements began to grow. People believed he had the ability to speak because of the image of him already doing the job. Use your photo to tell people what you do without them ever having to go to your profile. 

The people who invited Felipe to speak were the people who already had him on their radar because they already had a relationship through previous engagements on LinkedIn. Every little detail counts - the picture, the tagline, and the summary need to support the story you want to tell and what you want potential clients to know. 

 

  1. Start Creating Content

Unlike Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn’s algorithm doesn’t downgrade content that looks like an advertisement. You can take advantage of the organic reach by posting ads for free.  In doing so, you reach people with whom you’re connected without paying any additional fees. LinkedIn’s ad platform is still fairly young compared to Facebook. For example, LinkedIn doesn’t have a feature to target a specific demographic but it can still be used to publish compelling content to attract business. 

The second part of Felipe’s methodology is to create a LinkedIn profile to bring in new business by including compelling content.  Your content is your vehicle to attract more people to your profile.  If offers an opportunity to include information about your products and services in a way that’s appealing. For example, create educational content and allow people to have access at no charge. Include some components that talk about the items or services you offer. 

How to build your content:

  • In the first paragraph, talk about what you do. 
  • In the second paragraph, tell them a story about how you’ve helped someone in the past.

Content on LinkedIn needs to be there at all times. Utilize automation to repurpose your content for different time zones. Automating your content gives you more time to execute the third part of Felipe’s formula, engagement. 

  1. Consider the Cost of Engagement

The cost of engagement includes the time you invest in the activity on your profile, especially with the people who want to connect with you.  The more you engage, the more attractive your profile becomes. The relationships you nurture in the present can turn into future selling opportunities. You can show potential buyers how committed you are in your profile presentation and content creation. Don’t let two weeks go by without checking in. You want to let people know you’re accessible and you’re ready to answer their questions. Position yourself as an authority within your niche. 

You may not see a lot of results, such as “likes” on your posts, but that’s fine. The number of “likes” isn’t a reflection of whether or not your engagement is working. To LinkedIn, it’s the number of views that matter. Your post might have zero likes but gets 230 views. That means 230 people have stopped for at least three seconds to check your content. 

Even when people don’t like or share your post, they have been exposed to your profile, your  tagline, and the type of content you want them to see. 

LinkedIn also ties the number of views on your post to the companies that were represented by the people who viewed that entry.. 

As a salesperson,  you can follow up with the people who have seen your post to start a conversation. They may have not “liked” but they keep seeing your posts and make the association with your content. There is something there that you can explore. 

Don’t just focus on content creation. Make it a priority to create opportunities for engagement and place importance on how you can repurpose your content. 

 

“How To Create A LinkedIn Profiles That Consistent(ly) Bring New Business In Your Pipeline” episode resources

Catch up with Felipe Lodi via his LinkedIn account. You can also check on his book, Advanced LinkedIn

You can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1221.mp3
Category:LinkedIn sales -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The Accidental Seller Series 7  - "Debby Montgomery Johnson"

 

Here’s another episode from the Accidental Seller Series where we interview successful salespeople who didn’t start their careers with the intention of going into sales. 

Debby Montgomery Johnson is the president of Benfotiamine.net. Most of Debby’s family members are in the medical field and growing up, she wanted to be an anesthesiologist. It was during middle school when she worked at a hospital, she thought being an anesthesiologist was cool. When she got into high school, she discovered medicine wasn’t for her. Her interest was in languages so she studied French, Spanish, and a little bit of German. Once in college, she majored in Political Science and got her bachelor’s degree. 

Debby had planned to go on to law school but after she got out of college, she enrolled in paralegal school and worked for a firm specializing in corporate and family law after graduation.  Unfortunately, she was let go from that job. 

Getting into sales

Being released from her paralegal job became the catalyst for her going into the Air Force where she served for eight years, even in Germany.

Debby was working with the Pentagon as an imagery analyst and during that time, their work entailed analyzing photos from the Cold War. Till then, Debby had never really looked at the sales industry as a career. When Debby thought of sales,  thoughts of a car salesman or vacuum cleaner salesman came to mind. She didn’t really want to be a salesperson. 

Debby left the Air Force when she had her third baby and started working as a bank manager. There were sales involved in her job but what she really wanted to do was assist people and help them with their finances. Debby left the job when her husband died so she could take over their company. Debby had no experience in running a company that was based on internet sales. 

As she became more involved, she realized the company made more money in a month than she made in a whole year. This convinced her to jump into the business full-time. 

Fears about sales 

The biggest fear was the fact that the company wasn’t familiar with the details. It was built to help people suffering from diabetes with neuropathy. Her late husband, Lou, had the same disease.  The company offered products that worked for him and he shared a personal testimony about how each product worked for him. It was hard for Debby to really embrace the company as hers and to believe in herself when she didn’t know how the products helped their clients. She didn’t have the confidence in herself that she could actually sell. 

Debby was able to get past that fear by bringing her father into the company. 

Her father answers the phone and talks to clients. Being a retired dentist, he has a medical background that helps build rapport. Debby’s father also understands the chemistry side as well as the medical side of their company. 

Debby’s first sale made her ecstatic. It was fun and it released her from the fear of talking to clients. She was getting to interact with them as a person, not just a client. She made it her goal to build relationships, not just transactions. 

Selling is helping

Debby has a great mindset as a salesperson. She talks to clients and only sells products that will help their specific needs. She keeps a positive outlook throughout but understands people are different and every product may not work for every person. With this understanding,  she tries to create opportunities for clients to try a product so they can see if it works for them. Instead of just trying to complete a transaction, Debby is making interactions more personal. She thinks of her clients like family and she’s willing to go through great lengths for her family. 

Even with all their success, there are trying times throughout Debby’s sales experience as well. An example is when she’s calling potential clients and there is an apprehension the client will say no. Cold calls are dreadful for Debby. 

One challenging client was a doctor.  Debby’s company had stopped selling the product the doctor wanted so Debby called her and left a message. When she finished the message, she started complaining about the client to her son. It was right after that she heard on her phone, “If you are satisfied with the message, please hit send.”

Needless to say, she got a phone call from the client telling her how unprofessional she had been. 

Should I quit?

It would be easier to quit than run a business but Debby has become very close to her clients and sees them as part of her family. She feels responsible for the products they take and she just can’t turn her back on that. With the mindset that clients come first at all times, she keeps on pushing on with sales. 

Her husband’s death has been life-changing for her but it’s the reason why she went into sales. She has since expanded her career path and is now an advocate for relationship survivors. Debby has also started a nonprofit organization called The Woman Behind the Smile. 

It’s easy to make a sale when you believe in what you are doing. #SalesPurpose

For Debby, it’s important to just jump into it when she finds something she likes. She knows if you fail, it only means you’re one step closer to your goal. 

“The Accidental Seller Series” episode resources

Catch up with Debby Montgomery Johnson by going to benfocomplete.com or through her email addresses, me@thewomanbehindthesmile.com or debby@thewomanbehindthesmile.com

You can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1220.mp3
Category:Sales Mindset -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

5 Counterintuitive Mistakes Preventing You From Closing Revenue 

 

There are times salespeople don’t make the best decisions that lead to closing deals. These mistakes can cause a loss in revenue. Let’s take a look at the 5 counter intuitive mistakes preventing you from closing revenue

Devin Reed is a content strategy manager at Gong. He handles all the content marketing strategy courses and is responsible for presentations. He also goes to roadshows, such as Sales Live Miami. 

At this roadshow, Devin talked about  5 Counterintuitive Mistakes Preventing You From Closing Revenue. It’s about the five things salespeople think are good practices, and are trained to believe are good habits when in fact, they’re the opposite. These five mistakes hurt their deals and sales conversations. What Devin is sharing is backed up by data. 

Devin works for a company that has millions of sales conversations. They’ve analyzed these conversations to see patterns that help them get an idea of the things salespeople talk about the most. Here are the 5 counterintuitive mistakes preventing you from closing revenue. 

  • Using the ROI to seal the deal
  • Focusing on quantity when it comes to discovery questions
  • Answering objections quickly and thoroughly
  • Using  large enterprise clients
  • Using cold call opening line

Don’t use ROI to seal the deal

People make the mistake of using the ROI to close. Finding a way to bring ROI into the conversation is one of the basic strategies taught to beginning sales reps.  This strategy is proving to be counterintuitive. 

ROI isn’t bad in itself, but it becomes an ineffective tool when it is used for persuasion. Presenting your ROI to the client doesn’t work because the information doesn’t go to the right part of their brain. 

The human brain has two parts - the emotional and rational. More often than not, the right part processes information later than the emotional part. If you want to get the attention of your prospects, you need to tap into the emotional side of their brains first. You do this by giving them a before and after story.

“Hey, I was in a podcast and not to brag or anything but that podcast did so well. They were doing this and that. I came on and I did this thing and two weeks later, they saw an X increase in their ROI.” This is an example of having a “before and after”, then diving into the ROI. 

When you are able to provide the identifiers with the before and after stories, the emotional pull comes in. Make it a goal to tap into their curiosity instead of just desperately presenting the numbers. A good salesperson always starts with emotion and understands people need to feel before they will give you their ear and show interest. After you’ve piqued their interest, then you can get to the boss to present the ROI. You show them what you can do for them is not only a great idea but also makes fiscal sense. 

Another reason why presenting the ROI often doesn’t work is because it’s naively done. Junior sales reps usually speak to CFOs who have years of experience. Their newness in the industry and lack of confidence make their calculations look phony. CFOs don’t find the numbers trustworthy. 

Focusing on quantity when it comes to discovery questions

Most salespeople have a discovery playbook with 15 to 30 questions. New sales reps believe it’s necessary to ask them all because they have the mindset the more questions mean more information and eventually, the more chances of closing the deal. While asking questions isn’t a bad thing per se,  it can give buyers discovery fatigue. It feels more like an interrogation than a valuable business conversation. 

Based on the data, 11 - 14 targeted questions is the sweet spot for the number of questions a salesperson should ask. The article by Chris Orlob entitled Why You Can’t Sell to C-suite Executives shares how salespeople only have four questions to ask C-suite executives. 

Tips when asking targeted questions: 

  • Use open-ended questions Using open-ended questions allows you to get more information. Ask one question that prompts a stream of answers. 
  • Get someone to think instead of reciting information  Ask questions that will make them think about their answer. For example, “How is that tech stack preventing you from closing revenue?” This question causes them to take a moment before giving an answer. 
  • Ask connected questions  Don’t just throw out random questions. Ask them in a way that paints a bigger picture. 

Answering objections quickly and thoroughly 

Answering quickly shows how ready salespeople are to handle objections but the downside to that is the risk of actually answering the wrong objections. Instead , pause and wait. The benefits go both ways. For the salesperson, pausing creates room to time to think and for the prospect, the pause makes them feel heard. 

By the middle of the discussion, the prospect has already decided if they want to actually meet with the salesperson.  It’s the salesperson’s responsibility to make sure the conversation is good throughout the meeting so prospects see the value and have a good time. The prospect enjoying the conversation is the most important goal. 

Using the enterprise logo when selling

Data shows that salespeople using social proof has actually a lesser success rate. Salespeople may think dropping big company names they’ve worked with is compelling information but prospects don’t share the same perspective. Instead of building trust with the prospect, what it does is alienate them.

The right approach is to use tribal identifiers. This means building a tribe based on shared characteristics. The best salespeople will have three to six tribal identifiers to make the connection more appealing and compelling. For small startup businesses with fewer clients, salespeople can create a hyper-specific profile. This would mean not focusing on the same geography, for example, but instead , targeting companies with the same struggles and goals. 

Salespeople need to show their clients they are more than just someone on LinkedIn. They need to invest time upfront if they want to be heard. #SalesFacts

Cold call opening line

Many believe if you want to catch your prospect's attention, give them an opportunity to first say no. The assumption is that using an opening line that allows them an opportunity to say no gives the prospect the power they want to feel in the conversation. Philosophically, you want them to feel comfortable in letting their guard down. 

This strategy doesn’t work. Data says there’s a 6.6X increase when, instead of trying to get them to say no, you ask instead, “How have you been doing?”

The potential client answers in the same vein and it causes a pattern interrupt. Your opening line isn’t something that the receiver is expecting. 

An opening question like, “Hey, this is Devin. Did I catch you at a good time?” is a telltale sign that it’s a cold call and immediately, guards go up. From that point on, it’s an uphill battle.  

Always remember the before and after story because that’s how trust is built. People may not remember you but they will remember your story. You don’t have to be a great salesperson to share a story, you just have to share stories of value. 

“5 Counterintuitive Mistakes Preventing You From Closing Revenue” episode resources

Catch Devin’s podcast, Reveal the Revenue Intelligence, where they interview industry leaders who understand how they use their revenue intelligence to win the market. They have a pretty impressive line-up of key interviews. Connect with Devin Reed in his LinkedIn profile

You can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1219.mp3
Category:Closing revenue -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How To Write A Cold Email Your Prospect Will Open And Reply To

 

The cold email has been part of the sales process for a very long time but how do you actually write a cold email that your prospect will open and reply to?

Anton van Rhyn is the CEO and founder of the company Wavo,  a cold email platform that helps salespeople automate email outreach and follow-up. He also built Huron, a company for outbound prospecting and service. Anton has used  both his software development experience and sales development experience to fine-tune the email automation platform. 

A cold email automation platform 

Anton built a cold email automation platform in order to assist sales representatives to relieve them of these more mundane tasks. The platform creates a sequence for the machine to follow. It can reach out to prospects and follow up in a way that looks  like human effort. The tool is very efficient in that it focuses on making initial contacts while it frees up sales reps to focus on their demos and talking to people. 

Anton’s company has been utilizing email for three and a half years. They’re previous experience came from being a prospecting service where they used emails to contact different verticals and industries. regardless of company size. 

Email makes it easy to prospect because most people today already use email. It is reminiscent of the cold calls used in the past. Cold calling was effective because most people were already sitting at their desks and  ready to pick up a phone call. Today, very few people own office phones. Businesses have resorted to using emails to reach their clients. It’s become one of the most powerful channels to engage with prospects. 

Emails that don’t work 

Using a template in making cold emails is one of the reasons why this strategy often fails. In the U.S. alone, the phrase cold email template is searched for around 200,000 times a month in Google. Mail servers create a hashing algorithm to identify email content, and using these  algorithms, servers can quickly identify these emails as spam. 

The other reason why cold emails are failing is that some people in the email list aren’t interested and just flag your email as spam. 

When you’re using the cold email templates, it’s very easy for emails to go straight to spam. 

Over time, Anton’s company developed a framework in using cold email, calling it the 1-2 punch. It’s a series of emails to address a topic. After some time, another mail is sent to revisit the topic sent two emails ago. It’s important to give the recipient a break. 

Use a good subject

It’s important to use a good subject when creating a cold email  so it seems you are really writing to someone. A subject line that looks like a headline from an ad stands out to people. Even when the email isn’t  flagged as spam, or ends up in the Promotions Tab, the receiver will still likely not open it because nobody likes being sold to. An ad is off-putting.

Google and Gmail Suite are also getting smarter by the day. They check your inbox and look at how people engage with your emails. A sender who gets replies gets a higher score than sanders whose emails don’t get opened and responded to. 

As a salesperson who is using emails to reach their clients, find smart ways to get them to reply. One trick Anton suggests is to include a way for people to unsubscribe. For example,“Hey, if you don’t want to hear from me again, please reply to this email with your request to unsubscribe,” or some other variation..  

Anton’s clients have seen how using this trick improved their engagement rate. While there are some who reply unsubscribe, they also  see positive responses coming back as well.

At the end of the day, your goal is to make your cold emails sound more human to get the other person to respond. 

The three word-subject line works well. You can email your list with no more than a three-word subject line and talk about the value proposition. 

Salespeople have to be creative in their emails without sounding like they are selling  products and services. #SalesTalk

Talk about the quarter’s results or a related subject clients may find interesting. 

A quick question subject line is the most overused subject there is but it has 40-60% open rates. This shows just how effective a short subject line is.

The body of the email

You can write a cold email that your prospect will open by building a series of two emails. The first email shouldn’t be longer than three sentences. Salespeople often make the mistake of putting everything in their mail. They try to explain every value proposition and all the information about what they’re selling. 

Explain the most important things in three lines: 

  • Who you are
  • Why you’re reaching out
  • The relevance of your product/services to your prospect 

Anton observed that trying to get the conversation started is what matters. It’s equally important to give the prospect breathing room regardless if they respond or not. After two days, send them another email as a reminder. You can also add some social proof in your second email to tell them who you’ve worked with and how the partnership produced good results. Build on that sequence and wait another week to create an additional one-two punch email. 

If there is noreply then give it another week or two to give the prospect breathing room and time to forget. You can then start the process again. 

You can continue this sequence as long as you deem effective. 

Scheduling effectively 

Google has implemented many ways in detecting cold email these days as the use of cold email starts to proliferate. In the early days, using cold email was very effective when sent by batch before and after office hours. It let people do their jobs in the middle of the day and then emails were sent before they got into the office after they left. 

In the last months, this strategy hasn’t been performing very well. This is due to the spike of activities during the 6:00AM - 9:00AM and 5:00AM-9:00PM window. People tend to get busy in those times and end up not doing much during the day. 

Anton’s team is changing their approach and adapting to peoples’ activities. It’s counterintuitive to what they’ve done in the past but it’s proving to be effective today. Sending the emails by batch in the times when people aren’t too busy has become their automating signature. They rewrote the scheduler in a way that emails are sent consistently throughout the hours between 9:00 AM-5:00 PM, rather than sending all the emails as quickly as possible in just one time. 

This has proven a preferable schedule for delivery. 

When sending cold emails, remember these few things:

  • Introduce yourself, your reason for mailing, and state why this is relevant to them 
  • Keep the email short
  • Have a very quick call to action
  • Your goal is to start a conversation

Scheduling tools such as Calendly are also helpful especially if you get a reply showing interest. This is the perfect time to send your Calendly link. 

“How To Write A Cold Email (that) Your Prospect Will Open And Reply To” episode resources

Contact Anton Van Rhyn via his mail anton@wavo.co. They are also giving out PDFS of their frameworks at wavo.co/tse. 

You can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1218.mp3
Category:Cold Emails -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

This entry is the sixth episode of the Accidental Seller series. A lot of people didn’t grow up with dreams of getting into professional selling. In the United States alone, there are about 4.14 million people who are in sales. Joseph Storer is one of them. 

Growing up, Joseph Storer wasn’t sure of what his career would look like. He was a lazy student in high school but he had a passion for playing baseball. Joseph thought he’d end up working with cars as an electrician, just like his father. 

In his freshman year in college, he discovered his interest in business and working with people. His first experience in business was right after he went on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 

Going into the mission field was a difficult decision because he had a student permit that was valid for six years. He was sent to Brazil, learned a foreign language, and lived in a big city. Joseph discovered a whole other world filled with great people and exciting experiences. The mission taught him to have structure and order in his life. 

Coming home, Joseph went back to college for accounting and finance. During the summer, he was able to get a union card and went to work building two dams in Idaho. The pay was very good so he decided to put a halt to his college and continued to work on the dam. 

He was then given another assignment as an aid to an engineer for a new project. While working in Rexburg, Idaho, he met a lady who became his wife. Joseph got married and didn’t go back to school. They moved to Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia where Joseph started his waterbed business. Sadly, the business went down six months after launch and that became the catalyst for starting his professional sales career. 

His friend saw his potential in the world of B2B selling. This, along with having a neighbor who was in manufacturing sales, made him interested in selling for manufacturers. 

Challenges in being a true sales professional 

The biggest challenge when he started was the wage. He was working in construction and was earning well. He then transitioned to sales where he was earning $1,200 a month, as well as a commission-based income. He wondered if he could make ends meet but at that time, there was no choice. 

Maria, his wife, was very supportive and she believed that sales was something that Joseph could do. His boss trained him and taught him basic selling skills. Joseph was given a list of all the hospitals and clinics in the area and was told to set a goal to make at least three face-to-face calls every day. 

He took the lessons to heart and ended up making more than three face-to-face calls a day. Even when he was done for the day, he tried to do one more. At the end of his first year in sales, he was in the top 10% of salespeople in the company. He started his sales career being “consciously unconscious” but through time, he learned to sell and became very efficient in sharing the product line and distinguishing his company from the competition. 

Effectiveness in sales

A lot of his success was due to putting in the face time with people and being available to meet their needs. Joseph took great care with this aspect of sales.

For example, he worked with a hospital in Washington that needed a suction system. The people there said they had very poor suction. Joseph assured them with his products, their suction would get better. They purchased the device but then, Joseph went arrived with a bucket of peroxide, rubber gloves, and did the installation. The next morning, everyone in the operating room was amazed by the volume of blood the suction was able to get. The results weren’t just due to the product but also because of Joseph’s extra steps to make the product work better. 

At 67 years old, he is now in the latter years of his sales career but still, Joseph feels like he is just starting again. He is in a new company and there is technology he doesn’t understand. Joseph is learning and back to the same reliable process, he used in 1977 - getting on the phone, making calls every day, talking to people, getting in front of them, and learning the ropes. 

In Sales, the more you learn the process, the more effective you become. 

The very principles that started his career back then are the same that are driving him today. 

Joseph loves the medical industry because he knows that he is helping to save lives. He's making a difference. This is especially evident when he visits third-world countries. It’s not just about6 the money. At the end of the day, he is helping people and for Joseph, that’s what matters. 

Joseph loved learning and learned many languages. This helped him talk to more people and advance his career. 

His boss once saw him speaking Portuguese. It opened up the opportunity for him to lead a Latin American division of his company called Spacelabs based in Dallas, Texas. Joseph did well. He was also called to go to Macau to take care of a $7 million deal. He arrived with his translator but during the presentations, he realized most of the people in the room were Portuguese. The translator sat down and Joseph did all the talking. It didn’t take long until he closed the $7 million deal. 

Joseph is always ready and when an opportunity presents itself, he adjusts accordingly.

When you’re prepared, you can always turn an accident into a success. #SalesTips 

As a salesperson, it is important to love what you do so you won’t have to work a day in your life. 

“The Accidental Seller” episode resources

Joseph Storer has a training class called The 1,2,3s of Selling. It’s based on the principle of doing three things and then doing it over again. 

He also has a program called the Power of One which talks about how much success you can have when you make one more call. 

You can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1217.mp3
Category:Sales, Effective Sales -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How Can I Use AI To Increase Sales?

Have you ever thought to use AI to increase sales? In today’s society, the application of AI is apparent throughout many industries, including sales. 27% of global consumers say that AI can deliver better service than humans, 38% believe AI will soon improve customer service, and 73% of global consumers  are willing to utilize AI if it makes their lives easier. 

Chad Burmeister is a cofounder of  Sales Ex Inc. Their company is rooted in the idea that AI can increase revenue, eliminate repetition, and make selling more efficient and effective. 

Growing up, Chad had always been at the cutting edge of technology and was always looking for ways to make people’s lives more efficient. 

Chad is officially releasing his book, AI for Sales, this Thanksgiving, November 28th along with Stu Heinecke’s Get the Meeting. If you buy both books on Amazon and send them a screenshot, you’ll get a dozen VIP conference codes for next year to attend events such as Sales 3.0 and AISP. With the codes, you’ll get a20% - 85% discount.. Chad is encouraging everyone to read the books and meet the authors at the conferences. 

Use AI to increase sales 

Chad has seven virtual sellers who are commissioned salespeople. The team has set up a daily data poll for these virtual sellers with a company called Lead 411. The data is fed into their CRM and the CRM goes through their email bot, a virtual assistant named Marissa Brown. They create preconfigured emails that filter through these virtual assistants so multiple batches of  emails can be sent every day. The AIs are preprogrammed to have a “conversation” akin to what you see on a chat feature. When a person responds, the AIs can communicate with the prospects.

The chatbots can also set up meetings and appointments.The AIs chatbots are configured to know when to schedule an appointment. It knows when you’re out of the office or if you have time for a meeting. 

One simple questions has about a thousand variations, such as the cost of a service or a product. The AI knows what to listen for and offers a very simple answer. It then replies with the cost, along with a link to your calendar so the prospect can set up a meeting. 

As the business owner, you need to teach the AI to respond in a way that gets the highest level of conversion. If you are a BDR (Business Developer Representative)assigned to pulling data from a CRM and pushing the send button, then your job might be in jeopardy. However, most BDRS are doing more than just pulling data. They are also pulling relevant lists, and doing research. Additional tasks include figuring out which people to send emails to, writing a good email, and leaving a voicemail as needed.BDRs are responsible for a complex system of outreach. 

Setting appointments via AI 

Chad’s tools called BDR.AI executes 50 to 100 connection requests per day through LinkedIn and  gets over 100 emails a day on the same platform. 

By using this software, they get five to fifteen meetings a month.  As a result, the organization can work more efficiently. The AI allows  the BDR more time to do other tasks. This would include getting on the phone to connect with people personally. This enables them to understand their customer’s needs and show a more personal interest to the prospects. The tools let the bots and humans do what they do best. 

In Sales, AIs can let you do more with less. #SalesTechnology

Tokyo, for example, pushed a 4-day work week and the results have shown about  40% increase in productivity. That increase can be attributed to the use of AI in their respective industries. 

Salespeople can do more with their day than just sitting in their offices,  making appointments and making calls. They can now spend time with their families or take the Friday off to just improve their quality of life. 

The downside of AIs

In the virtual world, somebody always gets to play God. Let’s consider the trolley car example and put yourself in the conductor’s shoes. As you’re going down the tracks, there are five people on the right side and one person on the left. You can’t stop the train so you have to pick a side to do an emergency stop.. Many people would say to choose the left to minimize the damage. However, let’s say the  five people are wearing an orange jumpsuit and the one on the left is your child. In this scenario there are many solutions and a million points of data to consider.. Mathematician Chris Beal says it would take a very long time before we could put all that information in the system. He further added that the AI can only get to a certain point and then it’s up to us to make the final decision. 

We tend to let the bots make the decision for us but think of the trolley dilemma. In hiring, the bot would go to the more qualified candidate. But who really determines the qualification?

In small companies, a decision like this is easy. It’s much more efficient to get a bot who can do a better job at a lesser cost. The same isn’t true for bigger companies where more political decisions are involved. 

Chad believes that there will be a need for people to help   companies make decisions about the ethical use and deployment of AIs. 

AIs assist sellers

AIs are helpful but you need to assess where they can be of help.. It’s imperative to know your top three pains to be able to find the right solutions. A lot of companies get their lists wrong the first time because they fail to consider their ideal customer profile. 

Always go for your target list to get the right people and give these list to your reps. This keeps them from wasting their time looking for unqualified prospects. 

Joe, the head of product from Inside View, says they can go into companies,  and take a look at theirCRM to analyze all the closed deals Their best customer profiles are revealed after analyzing the transactions that have already happened. 

These customers renew, they purchase when upselling is offered, and they pay on time. On the other side of the coin are the clients who don’t pay and don’t renew. Your goal as a sales company is to go after the best customers.

This is the area of AI that helps companies grow. It’s the ability to look at data and change the trajectory of the organization by leading sales reps to the right customers. 

Salesdirector.AI is doing a great job of utilizing AI to improve its sales force. Their bots send messages by text and ask a series of questions pertaining to your sales schedules and appointments. 

AIs are programmed to be efficient. It can go through huge amounts of data using a  fraction of the time. By using AI, you can give your salespeople the tasks that they can focus on such as building trust and rapport as well as building human to human connections. 

“How Can I Use AI To Increase Sales?” episode resources

Reach out to Chad at SCALEX.AI. Artificial intelligence can truly be utilized in the sales industry to always stay ahead of the game. 

You can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1216.mp3
Category:Increasing Sales, Technology -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Three Ways To Make You More Successful Selling Over The Phone

 

Have you ever tried selling  sale without being in front of someone? Three tactics  to successfully sell over the phone include building relationships, choosing the right words, and knowing the right speed.

Joe Ingram is a sales genius who uses an intellectual approach to sales. Looking at the training cycle and  sales industry , Joe realized that phone conversations play an integral part in the process and many people are missing this key point. 

The average individual in the U.S. touches their cellphones 2,500 times a day. It’s very observable when you walk into Starbucks. Nobody would even notice you walked in because they’re  looking at their phones. We are continuously on the phone. 

While using email is a good way to communicate, the product is only perceived as great  up to a certain price. Sending out a well-written email is a good marketing strategy but there’s a big difference in sending emails and talking to somebody over the phone to get the call to action to take place. If the price goes over a hundred dollars, then you need to  make a phone call. The way you present yourself and your company, during the phone conversation will determine if the potential client is going to purchase the product. 

Communicating over the phone

Communication is divided into the following elements. As a speaker, you need to be able to perform all of them to accurately get your message across. 

55% of communication comes from body language. The person you’re talking to is watching the way you move during the conversation. For example, when we were  at school, we observed how our teachers moved, paid attention to the things they pointed out, and more. All these signals conveyed to us what they felt, what they meant, and what they were trying to teach us. 

38% of communication comes from tone and inflection. You can say the same thing but use different tones to convey a whole different meaning. Tone and inflection tells your client what to pay attention to. 

7% of communication is based on the actual words we use in a face-to-face conversation. In a phone conversation, you lose 55% of your ability to communicate because your client can’t see your body language. Because there are many disconnects over the phone, salespeople tend to veer away from calls as a channel to making a sale. Without body language in phone conversations, you’re left with 80% tone and inflection and 20% words. Based on that percentage, it would be easy for a phone conversation to go badly if the right tone and choice of words aren’t being expressed well. 

As a salesperson, you can’t sound like a customer service provider. 

Many cell phone providers don’t sound excited over the phone because they’re not trying to make a sale. They are talking to you because you need something from them, and regardless of their performance, they know you will not drop the conversation. 

You will tolerate a mediocre to poor performance to accomplish your goals. There’s no selling involved. However, it’s different when you tell them you’re cancelling your subscription. You immediately get transferred  to someone on their sales team and suddenly, the conversation takes a turn. Their goal is to make you feel better and they want you to feel good enough to stay.

Joe sees this in a lot of companies. They teach their sales department to treat everyone like customers, even though people who are still prospects need to be approached differently.

Building relationships through your phone

Building a working sales relationship takes time. The easiest way to start is by phone as it allows you to hear and understand each other. Joe has worked with companies who are able to make sales using phone calls. 

When Joe was working as a manager in Chrysler Dodge Jeep, he had an employee named Jay. He spoke four languages and it was difficult to understand what he was saying. Jay was able to sell 20-25 cars each month while maintaining great customer satisfaction and profitability, all because of his body language. He made sure that potential clients felt safe during the sale. His clients watched his mouth when he spoke because it helped them to understand him better. Joe knew his customers needed this visual cue so he didn’t  talk over the phone but preferred to conduct a sales transaction in person. because then the customers won’t be able to look and see what he’s trying to say.

Joe teaches people how to use better words when talking to prospects. 

Choosing the right words

Our subconscious mind cannot process the negative part of what we’re saying. When we’re told, “Don’t think of a kitten,” our mind zeroes in on the kitten, the opposite of what we’re told. The same thing is true when we tell our clients, “No problem.” Their subconscious mind picks up on “problem” and you want to avoid that. 

A simple strategy is to replace  “No problem” with more positive language. For example,  “my pleasure,” “certainly,” and others. Create a positive mental picture in their heads. Couple your words with great tone and inflection to deliver a good message. 

Introducing a challenge or problem during a  sale will naturally give you resistance. #SalesPositivity

When a company calls and inquires about your business, don’t think of it as someone trying to buy a product. Instead, think of it as someone who is calling with list of companies in mind and they’re trying to see if yours is the best..  If they talk to you and you aren't using the right words or tone - don’t expect your company to be considered. 

If i can't get your prospects to have a face-to-face conversation, your next best option is a phone conversation that allows you to build rapport

Texts and emails are the segues to get you to an actual phone conversation. If you can sell and close a deal over the phone, then great. If you can’t, your goal is to set a face-to-face appointment. 

Choosing the right speed

You need to consider your speed when talking over the phone as well. Speak based on  how the person on the other line is speaking. Be slow in speaking when you’re talking to somebody who speaks slowly. Adapt to the person you’re talking so you can deliver your message in a way they can understand. Listen to their words and use them when you respond. If they are looking for significant discounts, then use the exact terms when it’s your time to talk. 

This is how you show empathy in your conversation. You abandon the phrases or words you’d like to say for those the other person wants to hear. As a salesperson, the way to successfully sell over the phone is to be who your client needs you to be. 

You’ll find many of the same skills you use in a closing face-to-face can be used on the phone.

“Three Ways To Make You More Successful Selling Over The Phone” episode resources

Reach out to Joe Ingram via his phone number (+562 548 526). You can also check his website, ingraminteractive.com. 

You can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1215.mp3
Category:Phone Sales -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The Accidental Seller - Stephen Snyder

Welcome to the fifth episode of The Accidental Series. 

Some people are into sales because it’s their passion, while others were led to the industry because of their circumstances. We call them the accidental sellers. 

Stephen Snyder is a district sales coordinator for Aflac. Growing up, Stephen loved playing sports and he aspired to become a professional athlete. In his college days, he was fortunate enough to play baseball. He was good at it and his life revolved around playing the game. Despite that, he didn’t become a professional baseball player. Apparently, life had other plans for Stephen. 

Stephen realized that sports wasn’t for him after doing an internship during his senior year in college. He saw how tough it was to work in the field of sports marketing. You didn’t become the head of scouting just because you knew the game.  His job as an intern required physical labor from 7 AM until the end of the game. A sports manager had to be at the field long after the game was over to help with any tasks needed, including covering the field with tarp.Stephen thought that he could do more.

Becoming an accidental seller 

By the time Stephen finished his education, the economy was taking a downturn. Although he graduated with a degree in sports marketing and kept  looking for work in his field, most available jobs were all about sales. It seemed everyone was either selling a yellow book or insurance. Salespeople were often associated with the “usedcar salesman” stereotype so because of this, it took a long time for Stephen to consider sales as a long-term career. 

Stephen eventually reached out to his friend who had been working with Aflac. He decided to try sales until he could find himself a “real” job. Years later, Stephen is still with Aflac excelling as a salesperson. He realized the old stereotypes don't have to apply.  For Stephen, it was about meeting people and talking to them about the services provided by Aflac. 

The difficult part of selling

When he started with the company, Stephen was provided with a script. When a sale didn’t go through, he was made to think that it was because he didn’t stick to the script. Stephen is anl introvert and although he is comfortable with talking to people, he’d always kept a protective shell around him where he could remain comfortable. The challenge he was facing in sales was how to prospect in his own way. Like any other salesperson, Stephen was also afraid of rejection. 

There were many days  he thought of quitting sales but when he actually got to thinking about it, he found that sales could be fun too. As a former athlete, he found the competition he loved could be applied to sales too.  There was a scoreboard all the salespeople tracked their sales this brought out the competitive spirit in him. 

Seeing success in sales

Competitiveness and a good team atmosphere are great ways for an accidental seller to stay motivated. Salespeople thrive when they know that a mistake is made, they won’t be criticized, but instead, coaching is offered instead.. As a salesperson improves and starts setting appointments, he sees his actions cause a snowball effect . This results in good sales.  

Stephen’s first deal started with an elevator ride. He began talking to a man who turned out to be a business owner and the decision-maker in his company. They had a good-natured discussion and Stephen was able to land an appointment. 

That business owner decided to pay 100% of the voluntary insurance product for his employees. It was one of the best deals Stephen’s company had seen.. 

After 11 years, Stephen continues to work for Aflac.. Working for the company has given him so many opportunities and a certain level of success. 

A salesperson needs to consistently find ways to improve. A scoreboard is one  strategy to track success and stay competitive.

Even when you’ve found sales by accident, keep going because you will find success. Just put in the work, have a routine, and you’ll start seeing results. #SalesTalk

“The Accidental Seller - Stephen Snyder”

Contact Stephen Snyder via his email, stephensnyder2017@gmail.com or connect with him on LinkedIn. 

You can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1214.mp3
Category:Sales Success -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How to Build A Six Figure Income Even If You're Not Great At Closing! 

Ever wonder how you can build a six-figure income even if you’re not great at closing? Closing is one of the most important parts of sales. It is crucial and every word you utter during closing matters. 

Terry Hansen hails from Idaho Falls, Idaho. His plan is simple but he still has impressive sales success stories. He’s worked with many organizations and sales reps around the country and helped them boost their sales. Throughout his sales journey, Terry has observed three bottleneck scenarios in which entrepreneurs and sales professionals can get stuck.

The first is that many struggle to increase their sales and income because they are not getting in front of the right kinds of companies and individuals. They are going at it like opening a phone book and just calling from the top of the list, hoping that someone will buy from them. Once on the phone, they don’t spend time introducing themselves, starting a conversation and making appointments.

The second scenario a bottleneck can occur  is the lack of framework to qualify customers and salespeople end up closing  with people they shouldn’t. This comes from a scarcity mindset. There will always be goals and  sales quotas, that have to be hit. Because of this, many people in sales end up trying to sell to without taking the time to  determine whether they’re selling to their target customer.. Sometimes, salespeople can close a client and later have regrets because they didn’t share their work values. 

The third bottleneck in failing to close well comes from not having the right skills. 

It is each of these three scenarios that can become the speed bumps that keep entrepreneurs from growing their sales. 

The value of prospecting 

Many sales books stress the importance of having closing techniques. You have to be a champion in overcoming objections and resolving concerns to become successful in growing your sales. Another secret to success is becoming an account manager. You need to have stellar customer service, be able to ask for referrals, take good care of your base, and keep your competitors from your clients.

Terry read a variety of books and did everything they suggested but he still wasn’t hitting his quotas and achieving the level of success he wanted. He then had lunch with a great mentor and  was venting about his frustrations. Terry let him know that despite doing the right things, he was still living paycheck to paycheck. His mentor shared an illustration about two salespeople, one  great at appointment setting but lousy with closing and the other, great at closing but bad with appointment setting. The first salesperson could schedule 40 appointments per month but only closed 10% of those appointments, which resulted in only four sales per month. The second salesperson lands four appointments per month. He is an amazing closer and  but can only close deals 50% of the time, making two sales per month. 

Terry understood that he would make  more money by being good at setting appointments and increasing opportunities. Closing is equally important but the analogy taught him he needed to redouble his efforts in making appointments and meeting with people. 

The challenges in prospecting 

Prospecting is uncomfortable, scary, and awkward.  Stereotypes of salespeople being manipulative, talking a lot, listening too little, and using high pressure tactics have to be overcome. Most salespeople don’t want to be perceived as manipulative and try to make relationships a priority. However, there  can be a period of adjustment as they work to avoid reflecting the negative stereotype. 

Salespeople are having a difficult time getting past the gatekeeper and making contact with the decision-maker. Too often they leave multiple voicemails and emails with the hopes of getting a reply but typically, that doesn’t happen. The challenge is to be compelling in those initial interactions. 

Terry tries to be generic in his voicemails to avoid  stereotypes. The first three seconds you’re identified as a salesperson are the most challenging.  The person who is being contacted can lose interest regardless of what is being sold. It’s best to veer away from bad introductions and barking up the wrong tree. Salespeople shouldn’t just go through the phonebook without a clear idea of who they want to contact.   . There’s no need to spend too much time trying to facilitate an introduction with people who don’t fit the ultimate goals. Doing so will delay getting in front of the clients who actually need the service or product being offered.. 

Building your client 

Salespeople should look at their top  10 best clients, profile them and get an overall sense of  the companies they represent. From this information, they can build a dream list of similar companies. Use these strategies and tactics to make contact with the decision-makers: create a profile, build and stay focused on a  specific list of desired traits, and use the right kinds of tactics. 

Many salespeople hate prospecting because they find it awkward. There’s already a resistance when they call companies and there’s a feeling of  relief,not the disappointment, when they get a voicemail to leave a message. The voicemail is now an escape. With the gatekeepers, like receptionists, salespeople have to get assertive to get to the decision makers. The goal is to get past the voicemail and get to a person. This is an opportunity to be persistent

Instead of just saying, “Yes, please,” to leaving a message, salespeople should be a little more curious and assertive. Probing questions such as, “Is he in the office or out of the office?”, “Is he at a meeting?”, or “If you slip a note to him to let him know I’m on the line, would that be appropriate?” can move a salesperson closer to their target client.

It’s also a good idea to ask  the secretary if it would be okay to wait on the phone until the meeting is done, especially if they’re already wrapping up. 

If the decision maker is out of the office or on vacation, press further and ask if it’s possible to get their personal number.If it’s given, follow up is imperative.. 50% of the time, secretaries will say no t but the other 50% will give the number or transfer the call directly. 

.   

Think positively and don’t assume the other person is unwilling to talk. If your persistence doesn’t work, however, then ask for someone else in the organization. The director of marketing, the human resource officer, the CEO, anyone with  buying power in a decision committee can be great alternatives. These days, CEOs and presidents no longer make a decision by themselves. Today, the purchasing decision is decided by a vote or by committee. Find two or three of these people in the organization and talk to them. These tactics are not difficult but they do require you to be more assertive and persistent, not aggressive and arrogant. 

At the end of the day, the way to build a six-figure income even if you’re not great at closing is to improve your skills in appointment setting. 

The secret to prospecting and having conversations with decision-makers is to be more persistent, assertive, polite, and  professional.

“How to Build A Six Figure Income Even If You're Not Great At Closing!” episode resources

Terry Hansen and his team are hosting a special online sales training workshop on November 14, 2019, where they’ll be teaching the three secrets that salespeople can use to boost their sales revenue. They’ll be talking about how to build a six-figure income even if you’re not great at closing. You can go to salespitchmastery.com/register to attend for free by using the special link or you can attend it for $49. 

For other sales concerns, you can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let him know how they work for you. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1213.mp3
Category:Closing deals -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Networking Effectively and Creating a Sphere of Influence

The idea of networking effectively and creating a sphere of influence is nothing new in sales. It’s a facet of sales that everybody understands and executes. Networking is one sure way of meeting new people, building relationships, and it eventually opens doors for opportunities. 

Likky Lavji has been meeting people and building relationships for 30 years. He built and grew his IT company based on his referral network. By the time he sold his company, he had ample knowledge about how to do the business. Now, he’s sharing his knowledge with others.

The old methods of doing business 

Face-to-face meetings and getting to know people before starting the business are old methods of doing business. Today, people depend on social media to grow their business. We are bombarded with social diversions making us adept in communicating using social media platforms. The downside to that is it’s becoming more difficult for many to have conversations face-to-face. 

As salespeople, we need to combine old and  new methods to make it work. It’s great to go back to the basics. Look at your existing base of connections and get to know them. Identify your best clients from your database, the ones who not only bring in revenue but referrals as well. Once you’ve identified your clients, you can start building your sphere of influence. 

Creating your sphere of influence is easy to do. You need to know your people and  reach out to the people they know as well. In a networking event, look for the person who has people around them. Find an opportunity to start a conversation and be authentic. Don’t force anything. It has to be organic. 

Likky once stuttered and it held him back. With the help of Bob Burg, the author of The Go-Giver Way, he was able to move past his stuttering. 

Building relationships 

It’s normal to have some level of fear when talking to strangers in a networking event, or anywhere else. However, that fear can be overcome. You need to veer away from the misconceptions of others. Put those aside and just be who you are. People fear networking because of the notion they have to sell. Change that mindset and think of networking as meeting people and making friends. 

Build connections allows people to get to know you and like you.  As these relationships are built, they will get to trust you and your business, which can lead to referrals. #SalesSkills

Don’t go into sales mode right away. 

Likky uses the acronym F.O.R.M. to start conversations: 

F - Family. Everybody wants to talk about their family. Some people even have their family photos in their wallets. You can talk about their dogs too. 

O - Occupation. You can ask about their occupation. For example, ask them how they got into their business. 

R - Recreation. Find your common ground and talk about their hobbies and interests. 

M - Message. These are the things you stand for. 

Listen to what they say

Build meaningful conversation and listen to their response. Ask more questions about their interests. It doesn’t matter if they don’t ask you questions because this isn’t about you. Make sure they do all the talking. Bob uses 10 field questions when meeting new people such as, “What do you enjoy most about your profession?” and “Describe the strangest thing you’ve experienced in your business.” 

People get excited when talking about these things. It’s your job to hear and understand what they’re saying. Show empathy and put yourself in their shoes. Understand what they’re going through. Listen well, take notes and follow-up. 

In Bob’s book, he suggested listening with the back of your neck. This means listening to what they’re saying and putting everything aside. All the words would go through your mouth, your face, through your ears, and to the back of your neck. There’s nothing else present except for those words coming into you. 

Giving out business cards isn’t the best way to execute networking effectively and creating a sphere of influence. Whenever Likky sees he may need to give away his business card,he tries to avoid it. 

Connect them to others 

In networking effectively and creating a sphere of influence, another way to do this is by giving referrals to someone else When you meet people in a networking event, ask them who their ideal customers are and you will see  there are others in the room who have the same audience that they have. Refer them to those people and help them make a connection. They will learn to trust you because you helped grow their business. Don’t worry if the referral sources aren’t 100% successful.  All you need to do is make the introduction and let them have the conversation. 

If they want to do something for you in return, then talk to them about the kind of customers you are looking for. Consider having a meeting with them first so they know who you are and what you want. You'll also get to know who they are, their centers of influence.. 

If you meet somebody and you promise them something, always make sure to follow through within 24 hours, either by email or follow-up, because they may forget you beyond that time frame. 

A handwritten letter or card is also a great idea in networking effectively and creating a sphere of influence. 

Start building relationships and connections before you start selling. The more relationships you build, the more people know what you do, and the easier it will be to get referrals and make business happen. 

When it comes to building your sales income and boosting your sales, developing the skills of appointment setting. It pays more than the skill of closing sales. The secret to mastering the art of appointment setting is persistence, being assertive, and being polite and professional. 

“Networking Effectively and Creating a Sphere of Influence” episode resources

Connect with Likky Lavji and visit his site. He has a free workshop coming up and you can check it on www.salespitchmastery.com/register. For other sales concerns, you can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let him know how they work for you. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. We hope to see you there! You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1212.mp3
Category:Networking -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The Accidental Seller Series - Wendell Jordan

This is the 4th episode of the Accidental Seller series. 

Wendell Jordan is the owner of Jordan Consults and a local SEO specialist. His company works with small businesses to increase their digital footprint. 

Growing up, Jordan and his friends wanted to become professional basketball players. However, playing for the NBA became an afterthought when he reached high school. His first few years in college were spent actively pursuing the business side of music. By then, he was in and out of recording studios in New York City.

Perceptions of sales

Wendell thought of salespeople as sleazy individuals. He first came across sales when he was young.  A vacuum salesman was doing door-to-door sales and he wouldn’t leave until his mother threatened to call the police. The salesman was trying to force his mother to buy a product they didn’t need. That experience had a negative impact on Wendel and affected how he viewed sales. 

Wendell’s mother worked for the city of New York and his father was a postal worker. His parents’ jobs, along with how he viewed salespeople made him think that sales was not for him. 

He accidentally came into sales when he was checking out Craigslist ads. The ad was looking for someone to work in customer service and didn’t mention sales. When he went in for the position, it was commission-only, door-to-door selling. Wendell’s wife played a huge part in his decision to take the position. She had faith that he could do it and encouraged him to try. He’s been in sales ever since.

Overcoming the fear

Like any new salesperson, Wendell had feared. He worried he’d become the sleazy salesperson who had to be removed from someone’s home, just like the man from his childhood. In his first days on the job, he shadowed a sales rep and was told just to take notes. For two days, he tried to learn what he could from shadowing. On the third day, he was thrown into the fire and had to have his first door-to-door experience on his own. 

Making a sale on the first day can be difficult but Wendell was able to do it. His first deal felt magical and it inspired and motivated him to keep going. He thought, if he could do it the first day,  he can also do it the second day so he kept going. 

However, the lack of sales training affected his morale and the number of sales made. Shadowing others for a day or two wasn’t enough for him to sell door-to-door effectively. He just didn’t have the skillset to close and the result was a lot of deals weren’t pushed through. 

Quitting sales

Wendell’s sales journey wasn’t easy. He experienced being removed from payroll and spent a good part of the year in limbo, not knowing if he’d be able to make a sale again. The instability of the job almost made him quit. An old business partner convinced him to try again, but this time, he’d be selling websites. Considering that his previous sales experience wasn’t stellar, Wendell felt trepidation. Still, he tried again and started cold-calling businesses. 

Wendell went from a door-to-door sales process to talking to potential clients and educating them about their services. 

Sales has been one of the greatest opportunities Wendell has ever had in his life and he would choose it again. It allows him to work from home and learn about different cultures. The door-to-door sales experience exposed him to different lifestyles and it trained him in different ways to socialize with others. 

If you’re new in sales, keep at it. Don’t get caught up in what people perceive sales to be. #SalesMotivation

Shift your focus.

See yourself three years down the road. You’ll think about the number of Nos you got but you’ll remember the Yeses were far greater. Focus on the bright side. 

“The Accidental Seller Series - Wendell Jordan” episode resources

Reach out to Wendell Jordan vis his phone number, 314-325-829. You can also visit his website and check out the contact form there. 

For other sales concerns, you can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let him know how they work for you. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. We hope to see you there! You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1211.mp3
Category:Accidental Series -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How to Seize Attention and Build Trust in a Busy World 

 

As salespeople, we look for ways to seize attention and build trust. While prospecting and building trust among clients is critical, it’s also one of the most difficult tasks in sales. 

Ron Tite is the founder and keynote speaker of the Toronto-based agency, Church+State as well as the author of Think Do Say: How to Seize Attention and Build Trust in a Busy, Busy World.  Being an executive creative director at a large multinational ad agency, Ron has extensive knowledge about traditional agency marketing, advertising, and design. In addition to that, he’s also an experienced comedian, using that in his own entrepreneurial journey. Ron is also  an investor who appreciates the need for sales to do business. 

The desperate need for attention 

Salespeople are looking at the ecosystem correctly but are using the wrong tactics to make a breakthrough. They’ve been chasing metrics that don’t deliver to build long term businesses. 

There are so many thought leaders, evangelists, and LinkedIn lead generators who are going about it in the wrong way. Seeing this drove Ron to eventually build his own agency.

With a growing number of salespeople, the sheer number of sales reps and  clients are overwhelmed by pitches.. 

Time Square is a great metaphor. Everybody is in Time Square. Big corporations and companies use traditional means, such as using billboards, to get attention. Meanwhile, there are smaller sellers on the streets that are doing things differently. They are more aggressive, targeted, and their pitch can be customized. These are the people who sell practically everything in Times Square, from ripped off t-shirts to street meat. Every one of them trying to get attention. 

However,the challenge doesn’t stop there, it continues. Now  you’ve got their attention, how do you earn their trust?

Salespeople  thrive in a busy environment by  bringing respectability and credibility.  They have to be aggressive and nimble in their sales approach. #SalesManagement

Other salespeople are still using the automated messages they used in the 60s when talking to potential clients. They could have customized their message and tailored it but they didn’t. 

They need to revamp their style with three phrases in mind: based on what you think, based on what you do, and based on what you say. 

Set yourself apart

As a salesperson, the ‘based on what you think’ approach considers the things you firmly believe regardless of what you’re selling. This is important because you aren’t selling a unique product. There are others selling the same product so what you think is what makes you unique. Ask yourself: 

  • Do you believe that relationships are the key to success?
  • Do you believe that you should deliver the most value?
  • Do you believe that your role as a salesperson is to connect people with the right opportunities?

 ‘Based on what you do’ are the things  you do to reinforce your beliefs. The last part, ‘based on what you say.’ 

Salespeople can be hesitant about sharing their products/services with others because they don’t want to come off as “pitch slapping.”
It’s important to  deliver the right message  through their actions and behaviors by talking about what they do in an authentic way and transparent way. 

Don’t create smoke and mirrors and say nice things just to make a sale. People are sensitive to that approach and they can see it  a mile away. Use the following questions as a guide to start your conversation. 

  • Who do you do it for?
  • What do they want you to do?
  • Who do you do it with?

For so long, salespeople have used many strategies to seize attention and build trust but still find it difficult to have a breakthrough. They need to customize their sales pitch and talk to clients according to their needs. They don’t need to cheat the system. They just have to speak to potential clients in the right way.

Invest in being good 

Comedians come and go and they try a variety of tactics to make people laugh. However, nobody has sustained a career in comedy by doing anything other than being really funny. It is the same thing in sales. You can try other platforms in the course of your sales career but it won’t work unless you show your humanity and have the best interest of your clients and prospects at heart. Jumping from one platform to another may give you some benefit and short-term metrics but it won’t sustain your business in the long run. 

Ron’s first project when he launched his agency was with a client he already knew. The marketing director discovered Ron was running his own agency and she gave him his first project. The trust didn’t come from Ron chasing tactics. It was due to Ron’s honesty in the business.. 

Red Bull is a great company that bases its marketing on the three things mentioned earlier. The company firmly believes that life with an adrenaline rush is a better way to live. They reinforce that belief by encouraging activities where their audience can have an adventure. Their advertising reinforces this message by showing people grow wings after drinking their product. 

Red Bull reached out to one of Ron’s friends Matt, a chef, to star in their videos. The company said they shared Matt’s values and attitude and they wanted him on board. Despite Matt’s respect for the brand, he couldn’t push it through because he didn’t drink Red Bull. The company respected his response because they align with people based on values. They know that many respond and convert because of that approach. The number of converts exceeds those who don’t respond favorably so that’s what they focus on. Still they just don’t walk away from people who don’t buy their products. 

Looking for ways to seize attention and build trust may be difficult but resist the desire to scheme in order to turn the system in your favor. Do the hard work, roll up your sleeves, and find out as much as you can about the prospects you have. Above all, be a real human being using real conversations. It doesn’t matter if they don’t convert because that’s not your goal. You are there to add value and help solve their problems. When you focus on that, enough of your prospects will convert in time. 

Hiring the right people

A section  Impossible, a book by Mark Roberto, highlights coachability as the number one value  managers need to look for when hiring. Salespeople need a desire to learn and have the ability to change and adapt. It’s also important to delegate clear responsibilities among the sales team. Each sales rep can specialize in the activity in which they excel. Don’t rush the hiring process or skip steps. Hire who can do the prospecting, not just close. Don't hire somebody and expect them to save the business or figure things out on their own. 

“How to Seize Attention and Build Trust in a Busy World” episode resources

Get in touch with Ron Tite via Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. For other sales concerns, you can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let him know how they work for you. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. We hope to see you there! You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1210.mp3
Category:Building Trust -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How to Negotiate a Mutual Win 

Salespeople are always looking for a win and when closing with clients, landing a great deal while being able to negotiate a mutual win  is the idea goal.  

Adam Ayers studied mechanical engineering and built a software technology startup after graduating. He is now the Chief Technology Officer and founder of company, Number5, which specializes as an outsource CTO for celebrities, eCommerce companies, and internet brands. Fifty percent  of their operations involve running technology, and acquiring customers, for commerce businesses and executing the data science.  The other fifty percent is on custom technology where they build platforms, APIs, and high-performance software on the internet. 

Negotiate a mutual win

When Adam was a child he asked his father what inventors do and the response resonated with him.. He was told  the best inventors don’t just invent things, they are capable of selling what they’ve invented. That thought motivated him to make things himself,build a team, and sell the things he created himself. As an engineer, Adam has learned to think in frameworks and processes, finding that telling stories are effective ways to negotiate a mutual win and make a sale. 

The biggest problem most salespeople face is the tendency to talk more and listen less. Generally, people  want to be listened to. We want to be asked questions and understood. This is a factor that other sales reps forget. No matter what you are selling, you must put the clients’ interests first. Listen  to them, ask questions, and understand where they’re coming from. You learn to see their problem and present customers with a solution when you sincerely tune-in to what they are saying. This is how they make the buying decision, to trust the solution  you present to them. 

The ideal ratio is 80-20, where 80% is spent listening to the clients’ story and asking them questions while 20% is spent sharing  a story about how you’re going to help solve their problems. 

The book entitled, You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar emphasizes the Sandler sales submarine, with the initial point being we need to bond and build rapport with our customers.  Showing compassion and kindness and asking people who they are and what they need is the first step to negotiate a mutual win

The importance of self-awareness

Self-awareness is knowing who you are, what you’re good at, or not,  and being honest about it. #SalesTruth

It’s a trait that many salespeople need to master to negotiate a mutual win. Being who you are is important because that’s how you connect with  people. While compromising is a good thing,you also want to be authentic. Your flaws as a salesperson will make you more human and more relatable to others. A corporate approach in sales is uncomfortable because ultimately everyone is just looking for a smart friend with whom they can make a connection  when they’re being sold to. 

Adam sells software development, customer acquisition, and data science and these are products the average person doesn’t understand but they know they need it to grow their business. He understands he needs to nurture confidence in his potential clients, that they want to feel good about hiring him.  Adam highlights his previous experience, his background, who he’s already worked with, their integrity and what he’s already delivered.

Adam’s team doesn’t  sell. Instead, they connect with people - they talk, dine, and get drinks.  

While the sales process and negotiations are pretty straightforward, the reality is that it works for his team. When Adam knows that  his services aren’t going to fit what the client needs, he is upfront and honest about it. Adam knows his customers need someone who can execute the tasks and if needed, communicate to the stockholders and investors what’s going on. 

Unconventional approach works 

This approach of combining tech expertise with a personal touch is the core of , Number5, a company name inspired by the1986 movie, Short Circuit. Because not everyone understands the technology behind the work, they’re hired based on relationships.Their process on how to negotiate a mutual win is shaped around helping clients understand their needs and what their role is to make meet the company’s goals. Adam shows them how his team uses technology to deliver the solution efficiently and effectively. 

One company Adam was an engineer for, had the Five Four Club, a men’s clothing line subscription, that quickly rose to popularity. The company needed the technology to keep up with its growth.. Adam not only offered the tech to support the growth but as a leader, helped offer resources to build up the existing team.  Adam didn’t have to explain how the tech worked but still offered suggestions on how employees could support it within their roles.

Clients say that Adam’s approach is abrasive and shocking until they get to know him. Once they see his process and his ability working for them, they’re on board. 

Many salespeople aren’t just selling, they’re also doers. Sales grow with a better job of doing and executing. 

Moving forward

Adam is always looking for different tools that will help  from a market broad perspective and a sales perspective. For example, CrystalKnows, is a plugin that helps you analyze the personality type of anyone’s LinkedIn profile. The results will give you an idea of how to communicate with that person. This is an amazing way technology can start connecting people more effectively and efficiently. 

Technology is also helpful for companies that are looking to expand and hire people. The Sales Acceleration Formula, by Mark Roberge, points out that it’s not just the experience that’s important, it’s the coachability of the salesperson and their ability to adapt. 

“How to Negotiate a Mutual Win” episode resources

Connect with Adam Ayers directly by scheduling a meeting with him through email or look him up on LinkedIn

For other sales concerns, you can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let him know how they work for you. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. We hope to see you there! You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1209.mp3
Category:Negotiation -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The Accidental Seller- "Ashlee Reusch"

This is the third episode for the Accidental Seller series brought to you by The Sales Evangelist. 

Ashlee Reusch is a business development representative at Cognos HR. Ashlee was always on the lookout for change growing up and thus wasn’t chasing a specific career. She graduated high school a year early and proceeded to go to college. She was aiming to get her radiology technical certification at the local community college. She majored in Science and went into the medical field. 

Ashlee had a change of heart and realized that science wasn’t her passion. The classes didn’t excite her and being a creative person at heart, she felt like the course didn’t foster that part of her. She didn’t want to sign up for endless classes to get certifications to advance her career in the medical field in the future. She was at a loss for what to do next and that’s how she fell into sales. 

Falling into sales 

She was finishing her associate’s degree at a community college and was deciding whether to proceed to her bachelor’s degree at a university. She lost her passion in science and she also didn’t want to invest in her education being unsure of what she really loved. She had lots of friends who studied at universities and paid tens of thousands of dollars but in the end, went back to square one because they were no longer interested in the career path they chose. She didn’t want to be in the same boat. 

Ashlee talked to her dad about her predicament. He has been with the local Chevy dealer selling cars. He then suggested that she get a job and try out sales for a full year. She thought of it as an intersection where she wanted to experience the world and figure out what she wanted at the same time. That’s when she became an accidental seller

The first few days were nerve-wracking, especially being there were only 2 women in the sales department. Everyone else was men with the average age of late thirties. Ashlee was 19 years old then. The experience was both exciting and nerve-wracking, especially since there was no sales training available. She shadowed other salesmen for a week and then she was put on the floor after that to sell some cars. 

Since her dad had been in sales his whole life and both her parents were entrepreneurs owning a small art business in the late 90s and early 2000s, sales and business was nothing new for Ashlee. She also saw how her parents worked long hours. There was a lot of instability in sales and that made her think that sales was not her cup of tea. She wanted something stable with normal work hours. Sales was never part of her plan even until her college years.

Selling for the first time 

Ashlee was an introvert growing up and she likes to hang out in the background a little bit. This part of her made sales a scary avenue. It was difficult for her to talk to strangers face to face and sell them cars. Her limited training lasted only a week. She was the typical salesman but she made it her goal to be honest with her clients. 

Whenever she doesn’t know anything, she tells them that she doesn’t have the answer at the moment but she’ll find it out for them. She found out that people respect honesty and humility. 

She was working on a hundred percent dealership commission roll, so not selling a car means not getting a paycheck. It was a motivating factor to learn the ropes quickly. She spent almost four months before she felt like had things under control. 

She moved from one salesperson’s cubicle to another to learn how to strike a deal in her downtime. She’d listen and take notes on how to handle common objections. She followed her dad’s suggestion. 

A salesperson absorbs the things around him, takes what works for his style, and turns it into his own thing. #SalesPerson 

A moment of doubt

Being an accidental seller means that sales isn’t your first choice and when faced with difficulties, an accident seller would tend to fold. Ashlee has her moments of doubt and thinks about quitting. When it does cross her mind, she convinces herself otherwise by thinking of all the skills and opportunities of the people she met in the sales industry so far. 

It’s easy to get caught up in the negativity but it’s important to not get swayed by all of it. 

Her dad told her the way to get out of a rut is to sell. Whenever she feels down, she tries again. 

Her first sale wasn’t that exciting. She sold to a newly married couple who were buying their first car together. It was special for them and they used a true car certificate. All she had to do was a test drive with them and make sure that they liked the car. The experience wasn’t overwhelming but the income that came with it was fun and exciting. 

Moving forward, she went from selling cars to membership training for a large gym chain and made her way into the Chicago tech world. She is now working for a small outsource HR company where she helps businesses accomplish their goals every day. There’s a lot of networking and meeting other people involved. She learns about clients’ businesses and their growth goals and she helps them reach their goals. 

Ashlee would do sales in a heartbeat even if she had other choices and sees no possibilities of changing anything in her sales journey. Sales gave her tons of independence and confidence. It bought her a house and gave her a great career.

Sales is difficult and it’s a roller coaster ride but when you’re in it for the long haul, you’ll be surprised with the many things you learn, the people you meet, and the opportunities you meet along the way.  

“The Accidental Seller" episode resources

Get in touch with Ashlee Reush via LinkedIn and her personal email

With any sales concerns and questions about sales, you can reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let me know how it works for you. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. Our next semester starts on November 8 and we would love to have you. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Come and join us. You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

We want you to join us for our next episodes so tune in to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1208.mp3
Category:Accidental Seller -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How to 10X Your Income With Repeat and Referred Business

Repeat and referred business is a sure tactic to grow your business 10x. Despite that, not many are looking into it.  A reliable tactic to increase income is to use repeat and referred business.

Gia Le, a successful real estate agent in Australia, whose heritage is Chinese-Vietnamese,    uses this strategy with great success. However, before she got into real estate, her career started in finance and insurance sales through the automotive industry. 

Gia wasn’t always the top salesperson she is today.  Working for Australia’s largest automotive holding company, she was almost fired in her first three months as an insurance and finance consultant.  

Selling using out-dated methods 

Early in her career, Gia attended several training programs offered by her company. She learned a variety of  selling techniques and rehearsed the scripts but they proved to be ineffective.. These original methods sounded rote to the more sophisticated customers and the techniques were perceived as out-dated and insincere.    The dealership was a very fast-paced environment, sometimes having to close sales within two or three hours, and she was struggling and fighting. 

In Australia, a dealership makes more money on the finance and insurance than on the vehicle itself and accounts for nearly 60- 70% of the dealership’s profits.. Gia knew if she didn’t start performing her time at the company was going to come to a close.  It was then the right mentor appeared.ia recalls, “He pulled me aside and said, ‘Hey, Gia stop trying to focus on the sale. Why don't you just start focusing on the people and realize that we're selling more than just finance and insurance.’” It was in that moment that she understood she was there to solve problems and provide a service.  

“I truly sold nothing.The only thing I truly sold was a promise, an opportunity and above all, a relationship. The moment I started connecting and focusing on my client's pain, empathizing with them and gaining their trust through the art of storytelling, I was basically closing nearly 70% of all the clients who walked through my door.”

Sales is about selling an opportunity, and above all else, relationship. #SalesSuccess

 Working at such a fast pace, she also understood the need to act quickly. “Nobody was in a dealership to waste their time because time is the most precious commodity anybody ever has.” 

She knew if her client walked away they didn’t want to work with her.  It was in these moments she decided not to give away her business card. 

“I would never give out a business card because any seasoned consultant should really understand that, yeah, (them taking your business card) is a consolation prize. It’s their way of saying, I'll take something off you and I'm going to go away. I'm going to leave you living in hope but hope doesn’t pay the bills.”  Knowing she needed to make a connection in those fleeting moments in order to close a sale, she became proficient in understanding the client’s needs, addressing their concerns and offering a solution. 

Gia worked for the dealership for seven and a half years and at the age of thirty, decided she no longer wanted to work seventy hours a week and wanted more flexibility.  She wondered what else she could do with the sales skills she had. 

By then, Gia was working with a life coach and with real estate’s flexibility and use of her sales experience, they thought it was the perfect answer. 

Gia was a real estate agent for about a year when she noticed that using the emerging digital platform to market properties was being underutilized in Australia. 

“The use of social media four years ago was only just starting to blossom.  I started a digital agency after I saw that opportunity. I made $500 in my first month after making big dollars in finance.  Now, my digital agency is growing across Australia. We're now in Asia.” 

Growing the business through repeat and referred business 

Gia credits the growth of her business to her sales background.  As her company continues to grow she is still selling and understands that referrals don’t happen by luck. 

From the beginning, repeat and repeat business was her focus and she set the tone for her employees. “I kept telling everybody across the company I wasn't the best consultant or the best sales woman, but I was certainly the most disciplined and process-driven. I always played the long game with every single client. It's all about having a strategy and being disciplined. It’s making sure that system is bigger than yourself.”

Gia took advantage of the downtime when It was during these early days Facebook and Google were increasing in popularity as a sales tool. While other salespeople were busy Facebooking and Googling for new clients during their downtime, Gia  was busy prospecting. 

“I was busy following up with all my old clients because I understood that 90% of my sales were going to happen before they even walked in the door to see me again. The moment they walked in, I knew they were there for a reason. I’d made a conscious decision to make sure they remembered who I am, what I do, where I am, and I was truly memorable.” These clients had walked through her door, not just for the product, but for her. 

One gentleman was  really happy with her service and it seemed to be a normal transaction.  However, the next day, he came back to her office with his son and asked if she could offer him the same deal. . His son then referred her  services to his circle of friends and each one asked her to duplicate the original sale. It was then that Gia understood the power of repeat referral business.  She had made business easy for her clients and they never had to reach decision fatigue.

Because of Gia’s diligent preparation, her clients didn’t have to waste time doing the research for other customer relations managers. She provided the hope, opportunity, trust and relationship they were looking for. They received her promise of excellence.

So how can you create a process to increase your business referrals?

“You've got to have a service based ethos. If you're not customer-focused, no matter what process you put in place for repeat business, it’s going to fail you because nobody is going to refer you. Get that foundation right first. The next step  to creating that repeat business was I made sure that relationship started after we finalized the first transaction.”  

When she was still at the dealership, other salespeople didn’t speak to their clients once a deal was made but Gia sets herself apart by providing touch points throughout the year.  Her clients received a gift so they knew she was sincere about winning their business. A thank you card was sent within thirty days. On their birthday, their card was hand-written and they received personal  phone calls on their anniversary. These systems were automated so the dates automatically appeared in her calendar.

Discipline matters

Not many salespeople would want to be in touch with their clients that thoroughly. It takes a lot of discipline to make a series of follow-up. It’s easy to be sidetracked with everything that’s going on, so it’s important to stay true to what you need to do and just do all of them. 

Gia saw herself as a business within a business. She kept a strong KPI and place incentives to motivate others to reach their KPIs as well. 

Not everyone has the tenacity to stay in sales. Some others would come and go. But you can make yourself as the rock and be that consistent face that every client would see in your industry, then you will have the most respect. People would come at you asking for deals and your idea because it’s you who stayed the longest and you know the ropes. 

Staying connected is also the key. Their sale only begins when clients have signed the contract. Gia would assist them when they want to make a claim due to an accident, thus enabling her to influence and make an impact on the clients over what they would choose to replace the vehicle with. At the same time, she is also able to refine the contract and make more money from the dealership. It’s all because she stayed connected and earned their trust. 

Along with her team, they put much effort into romancing their clients, being committed to transacting with them, and starting a relationship with them in the end. They go beyond what they offer. They also try to help clients who have poor credit ratings. 

There are millions of ideas every single day but discipline and consistency do the tricks in growing your business using repeat and referred business. If you decide to make 10 phone calls a day to old clients, then, by all means, do it. 

“How to 10X Your Income With Repeat and Referred Business” episode resources

Give Gia Le’s digital agency website a visit to see her sales strategies, tips, and tricks that have been helpful in her career. She also has her own company site that you can check out. 

For other sales concerns, you can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let me know how it works for you. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Come and join us. You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

We want you to join us for our next episodes so tune in to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1207.mp3
Category:Repeat Business -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The Main Things Generating The Most Leads Right Now! 

 

As salespeople, we often ask ourselves about the main things generating the most leads right now because we always want to be in on everything that works. Consumers’ purchasing decisions are affected by their experiences and we want to know what affects them in order to appeal to those emotions and convince them to buy our products or services. Sales professionals that we are, we love leads and we like getting new prospects. 

Vlad Calus is the founder at Planable, a content collaboration plan for freelancers and marketing teams. It is the most visual platform that helps you preview your social media content before publishing it. Planable helps you check and review your content before publishing it. It makes collaboration and asking for feedback from your teammates easier as well as  asking for clients’ feedback before finalizing the content and scheduling the posts through social media. 

Generating the most leads right now

 There are three things that helped Vlad to get leads. The first one was writing a book. He wrote a book called Marketing Themes of the Future which gained them over 2,000 leads in just a couple of weeks. They also published the Content Academy and it generated them more than 500 people in just a couple of hours. 

Publishing is one way to generate leads and that’s what Vlad and his team did. They also did a content calibration report where they reported on the state of content marketing and how content marketing teams are working. For them, their team wasn’t able to generate many people by just a sudden initiative. They did the planning on how to create their content and spent a lot of time in it. They called their content marketing as special initiatives. They worked on it for about 12 months and all of the people involved were on the same page. They then had press releases for client launches and they constantly repurposed their content. 

Content calibration 

Vlad’s team looked for the problem in their industry and wanted to address it. Based on their research, they found out that there have been no content calibration reports done for the last nine years. They wanted to understand the state of the market but there are only old data available. In marketing, data are key players to a business’s success. They then understood the need to generate a lot of data and started the project with their customers, connections on the net, and the people they met. They generated leads by using the data of the report they collated. 

One of the data they have is on how to repurpose content for their followers. There’s also the part where you need multiple stakeholders as part of your content strategy. They also discovered in their research that broken collaboration is wasted time and communicating with your stakeholders vie spreadsheets and emails is one of the most broken workflows there is. They use all these data and share their marketing reports to their clients and potential clients to motivate them to jump on a call with them and start using their Planable. 

This can be applied to other industries as well regardless of the size of the company. You can make reports using the data from the audience that you are working on. You may start by sending  your audience Facebook polls or sending them a simple type form they can fill out. You can collate the data and use it for your marketing strategies. 

Publishing a book to get more leads works especially if you promote it yourself. Put your email signature in the book and see the number of people who click on it every single day. 

From readers to lead generators 

People who have read Vlad’s book started recommending it to other people they know. The book presented the benefits of collaborating on the content and using many different platforms to create a more collaborative market. The ebook also presented solutions that you can use for your content marketing collaboration as a marketing team. 

Every email we get, we put them into an email marketing flow and we ask them to jump on a call with us for them to find out more about Planable. We send people case studies on how Planable has been helping companies. 

The other thing that helped them in generating the most leads right now is their Content Academy. They interviewed over 30 experts in content marketing from different industries. These people are the front line in creating content, from the ideation, editing, writing, publishing, and generating leads. The Content Academy includes seven-step videos with topics like ideation strategy, content editing, content publishing, promoting, and so on. 

Vlad’s team presents it to potential clients and we give them sneak peeks of the things they can learn in the Content Academy. 

He makes snippets and minute-long videos showing how it would help businesses and publishes the videos on his LinkedIn and other social media. 

In content marketing, don’t be afraid to try creating content and putting yourself on camera. Get yourself out there and just start creating content. Listen to the feedback of the community and write again until you are able to make quality content. 

Success doesn’t come from just sitting around. It comes when you truly start to give creating and writing a try. #ContentMarketing 

“The Main Things Generating The Most Leads Right Now! " episode resources

Reach out to Vlad Calus via his LinkedIn

Go ahead and hit me up for concerns and questions about sales. You can also reach out to me via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let me know how it works for you. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. Our next semester starts on November 8 and we would love to have you. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Come and join us. You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

We want you to join us for our next episodes so tune in to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1206.mp3
Category:leads -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The Accidental Seller Series 2 - "DeJuan Brown"

This is the second episode of the series The Accidental Seller. There are more accidental sellers in the sales industry than we know of. In fact, there are about 4.14 million sales professionals in the United States who fell into this career. 

DeJuan Brown wanted to be a chemist when he was a kid. He also wanted to be a system analyst because he wanted to follow his uncle’s footsteps who worked as a system analyst for Guardian Life for a long time. But in college, he studied Psychology and Philosophy. The mathematics included in studying both Chemistry and System Analysis dissuaded him to push through with his childhood careers. 

His view of sales and of the salespeople came about when his father started selling Insurance when he was two years old. Selling insurance then was very different compared to how it’s done today. People are able to sign up online or pay for their premium online but before, selling insurance was a door-to-door sport. His dad would spend hours going door to door collecting premiums from people. Seeing his dad selling made him think that sales was super lucrative on the back end but also super hard at the same time. DeJuan initially thought that salespeople were undesirable. 

The sale stigma 

The perception of salespeople then didn’t change much until today. There’s still a bad stigma and DeJuan didn’t want to be associated with it. Salespeople are seen as sleazy and manipulative and even though his Dad is not like that, he came to adapt that view as well. It’s apparent with a car salesman and the salespeople you see in infomercials and TV. 

People kept telling DeJuan that he’d be good in sales but for him, it was a choice between using his skills for the worse which is doing sales or using it for the best which is helping people through law and other things. 

The accidental seller

DeJuan was doing a variety of things and was moving from one job to another. He ended up waiting tables and bartending. He was good at it and made a tremendous amount of money in it. His friends kept telling him to go into sales because he’s good at selling entrees but still the stigma of salespeople stuck in his mind. The stigma prevented him from considering the possibility until his buddy got a job at Intuit. 

His buddy convinced him to get into sales and he applied. He got a schedule for an interview and got a part-time job of 16 hours a week doing transactional sales. That’s when he got into sales. 

He fell in love with the reward of sales and it was the first time that he felt good about serving people. 

Fears in sales 

He had fears and trepidation when he started sales and most of the fear revolved on the thinking that he had to push people. DeJuan wanted to help people. If they want something, he wants to help them get it and if they do not want to get the product and services, then he doesn’t want to push them and he just wants to leave them alone. 

The fear went away relatively early in the process when he realized that he was helping people. He understood people and all that they have at their disposal. He gave them all their options and made sure that they made decisions based on what they have. Helping people changed his paradigm on sales audits. 

DeJuan thought about quitting during his tough times but his experience helped him get through the rough times. When he isn’t at the top of the leaderboard, he thinks of quitting and starting out on another career. 

Sales is a rollercoaster ride: here’s no such thing as always up and always positive. #SalesMotivation

That fact kept him on and motivated him. 

There’s no such thing as every time you dial, someone picks up the phone or responds to every email. Understanding that helped him control the inputs and outputs. The mindset shift helped him shift his attitude towards selling. 

His first sale was unforgettable for him. He was consistent with his deals and he was able to enhance someone’s product or their order. For his first sale, he was able to sell a logo and on the same sale, he was able to add color and shadow. He also offered the self-sealing envelopes on the same order. DeJuan is now in the enterprise industry and connected with Seismic. 

DeJuan was an accidental seller but if asked if he was going to choose another path, he’d say that being an accidental seller is one of the best things that happened for his career. 

“The Accidental Seller Series 2" episode resources

Reach out to DeJuan via his LinkedIn and he will also be in the Sales Success Summit. He is also on Twitter

Go ahead and hit me up for concerns and questions about sales. You can also reach out to me via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let me know how it works for you. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. Our next semester starts on November 8 and we would love to have you. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Come and join us. You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

We want you to join us for our next episodes so tune in to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1205.mp3
Category:Accidental Sellers -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Impossible to Inevitable

How can salespeople turn the impossible to inevitable

Aaron Ross is the author of the book Predictable Revenue and a proud father to nine children. The book Predictable Revenue is called the sales bible of Silicon Valley. It changed how the fastest-growing sales teams are designed. The book talked about outbound prospecting which can be a very predictable way to drive appointments and if you have predictable appointments, you can create predictable revenue. It also talks about sales specialization instead of letting the sales reps do the prospecting. Managers must break the sales team into specialized groups to assess where they excel. 

Impossible to inevitable 

His new book called From the Impossible to Inevitable is the growth bible. It’s more for C-levels:the managers, executives, and the leaders who understand the few key reasons why a company gets stuck and won’t grow. The book answers three questions:

  • Why aren’t you growing as fast as you can?
  • How can you grow faster?
  • How do you keep it up?

This book touches on sales models and expands to lead generation. From Impossible to Inevitable will teach you the ways of the fastest-growing companies in the world such as SalesForce and Twilio. The first section of the book is called Nail a Niche as it addresses the hard truth that most companies are not ready to grow and that’s the reason why they don’t grow as much as they want. 

You can’t paddle downstream if you’re not even in the stream. 

Nailing the niche

When beginning a business, there’s the tendency of selling everything to everyone. But that doesn’t work. What it does to you is that you either have no customer or you have a bunch of customers who are a little bit of this and a little bit of that. An entrepreneur may sit back and ask which of the customers are easiest to close, or who is the audience that really needs me? It is important to define who needs you. 

Aaron was part of Salesforce, where he built an internal sales program. He left the team in 2006 and did what he wanted to do. He went into adventures and went to do other things. He worked in a venture firm, then on a thing called Unique Genius, then on CEO Flow. He was exploring and then he got married. He realized that he had to start making money. 

He needed to focus on a niche and figure out where his expertise lies so that he could  deliver the most value for his customers. He then thought of outbound prospecting. I wasn’t the general sales consulting.

For us salespeople, this can take a lot of testing, talking, and experimentation with companies to get the right package and the right pricing programs before you nail your niche and start to grow faster. Sometimes it can take a long time because we have all these unrealistic expectations on how fast it should happen. 

Do it like Twilio does it

Twilio is a platform company that provides a bunch of technologies. Twilio is used by many companies that build software or iPhone apps to power their message alerts and phone calls. For example, Uber uses Twilio to make an Uber phone call and text because it’s difficult and time-consuming to build it themselves. 

Simply put, Twilio is a platform that companies can use to do many things. The challenge when you are marketing something like Twilio is that it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact help it can offer to a company or a client. 

A salesperson must paint a specific picture for people to get it. Twilio researched to get into the minds of their customers, to understand and build empathy with their customers. 

The common corporate value which is to walk in the shoes of your customer is something that Twilio really lives by. The company put much effort into walking in their customers’ shoes to know what they want and what they are looking for. 

Salespeople need to remember this value at all times, whether you’re writing an email or making a call. You need to know what they need to get your message across. Another secret of Twilio’s success is to let all their employees have a taste of what it’s like being the customer. 

Specific targeting

Turning the impossible to inevitable is also a result of specific targeting. You need to be more specific in choosing your audience. It’s important to talk to fewer people that are relevant to your products or services. 

Having fewer people to talk to doesn’t decrease your number of opportunities. Your goal is to become the big fish in the small pond and specific targeting is the perfect way to do that. It’s harder to change your products and services but you can do the easier part: you change your targeting instead. 

Types of leads

Lead generation is the main driver for your growing business. There are three kinds of lead generation: seeds, nets, and spears. The seeds are relationship-driven leads, these include referrals, word of mouth, and friends/families. Since these are relationship-based leads, they are faster to close and with a higher rate. The downside is that it’s more difficult to generate. Word of mouth is hard to grow. 

The second type is the nets. These are the marketing. You are casting a wide net which means you’re broadcasting one too many. These leads include a podcast, billboards, or online marketing. You get more leads in terms of quantity than in quality. 

The last type is spears which are prospecting. It’s when you have typically a targeted list. It’s smaller in number but you get better opportunities out of it. 

Businesses almost always start with the word of mouth but as you start to grow, you will want to venture into content marketing and prospecting. As a company, you need to know the kind of leads that bring in clients. Figure where you excel and put more effort into that first before you move on into other types of leads. 

Pick the one that’s right for you at first and do more of it. Do not do all the three leads at once unless you’re a huge company with millions of funding. It might take years for you to figure out what works best, it might take years for your sales design team to come up with a plan that works, but it’s all worth it in the end. 

One section in the book Impossible to Inevitable is a lesson from Mark Roberge, the CRO of HubSpot. He has hired hundreds of people and the number one thing they look for when hiring is coachability. It’s an individual’s ability and desire to learn and their ability to connect, change, and adapt. 

Companies who are expanding and hiring people should look at the coachability of a person. Aside from that, as a company, you also need to know the kind of roles you need. 

Small steps

If you are a startup business, start with the basics. The CEO starts selling, then he hires a junior person to do prospecting and appointment setting. After a few months, you can promote that person to closing or you hire a closer. You look at your company and you see that there are now two people selling, the CEO and the newly hired close. You also have the junior person to do the lead generation. 

Think of smaller steps instead of going too quickly and hiring the wrong individuals in the process. 

The social media is always surrounded by stories of fast success but the reality in sales and in business is that it takes years before you get to the top. 

Everyone is struggling especially entrepreneurs because it’s your job to struggle and solve problems. So the next time you are discouraged, just remember that many others are in the same boat. #Entrepreneur

“Impossible to Inevitable” episode resources

Connect with Aaron Ross on LinkedIn and check out his website Predictable Revenue. 

You can also reach out to Donald for your sales concerns and interesting stories via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. Our next semester starts on November 8 and we would love to have you. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Come and join us. You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

We want you to join us for our next episodes so tune in to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1204.mp3
Category:Growth -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

One Major Closing Question You're Neglecting To Ask 

 

There are times when the sale is almost a done deal but at the end of the day, it’s not pushing through because there’s that one major closing question you neglected to ask. This can happen to everyone, not just for the new sales reps. 

That one closing question you neglected to ask

Let’s take Dave as an example. Dave is a seller who is wrapping up things with Bob in a phone call. Dave gave an amazing demonstration but Bob is being wishy-washy in his response and told Dave that he is still going to analyze internally first before moving on with Dave’s deal. Now, Dave is upset, furious, and blurted out some things. 

Dave could have done things differently by asking follow-up questions. Seeing it from Dave’s perspective, his outburst was understandable. He’s been working the deal for three months and he thought that he already got everything right. He already told his manager about it and he’s pretty excited for it to officially close. He needed this sale to achieve his quota. 

The result could have been different had he remembered to ask the closing question that many neglect to ask. 

“Would I make  this purchase based on the same information I know if I were the buyer?” 

Based on the things you’ve shared with the buyer, would you have made the decision to make the investment? Many take this for granted because oftentimes, salespeople are shortsighted. 

Focusing on your pipeline 

Having focus is a great characteristic, however, focusing on the wrong thing isn’t. As salespeople, we need to shift the focus from ourselves and our pipeline, rather, we need to focus on our clients and our prospective clients. 

Going back on Dave, he was too focused on himself and the need for impressing his manager. He is a rising star in the company and the deal would be 25% of his quota. Everything was about Dave. Sometimes, a similar thing happens to us. 

We tend to focus on ourselves and fail to show empathy toward the clients. Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People states that the fifth habit of becoming effective is to seek first to understand then to be understood. 

The outcome would have been different if Dave asked himself the closing question mentioned above. Dave was in a difficult situation. He just got promoted and he’s now in the big boy’s league, this means that he’s afraid. The thing is that all these situations that Dave is facing don’t help his potential client solve his problems. Bob has nothing in him to consider shifting to Dave’s offer. If you were Dave, you would have gone a different path. Instead of looking at your fears, you instead looked at what Bob’s company needs. 

Perhaps you’d look at some studies and do some homework about Bob’s industry in relation to the software that you’re selling. 

A great salesperson focuses not on himself but on what the buyer is going through and the challenges that they’re facing. #SalesTruth

Reality in sales 

Not every deal is going to close, that’s a universal fact in sales. But when you try to ask the closing question mentioned earlier, you won’t get in an awkward situation. Take for example the close rates, it’s the sales rep’s number of prospects to the number of deals converted. A 25% close rate means closing 10 deals out of your 40 prospects. The average close rate is between 15%-23%. Some people have higher close rates and others have a lower close rate. 

The close rate would increase if we work a little more in asking the tough questions. Salespeople must analyze  the situation from the buyer’s standpoint. You can start the conversion process after every call, ask the buyer the same closing question, “Based on what you know, do you feel comfortable moving forward with us to a demonstration?” “Based on what you know, do you feel comfortable moving forward with us toa proposal?” Do this in every step of the process. 

The closing question you neglect to ask should be given priority now. Ask yourself and the buyer that question. Find more of your ideal customers and have more meaningful conversations with them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

“One Major Closing Question You're Neglecting To Ask” episode resources

Go ahead and hit me up for concerns and questions about sales. You can also reach out to me via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these  practical sales tips and let me know how it works for you. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new  and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Come and join us. You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

We want you to join us for our next episodes so tune in to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1203.mp3
Category:Closing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The Accidental Seller Series 1 - "Ludovic Vuillier" 

 

Hubspot’s stats showed that 46% of salespeople did not intend to go into sales. That means a massive 4.14 million individuals are now accidental sellers. Perhaps they were working different jobs and suddenly they decided to go into sales or the circumstances prompted them to go into sales. This series will be about the people who have become accidental sellers by hook or by choice. 

Ludovic Vuillier is an entrepreneur who runs the Good Life Manifesto. It is a tool to help you live a good life. It is a guide that’s related to health, business, finance, and relationship. 

Ludovic started his career in sales 20 years ago. He sold for myriads of companies and consulting organizations. He also helped these organizations to find success in their sales. 

But before he went into sales, he wanted to become a doctor because of his interest in the human body. The downside to that is one has to spend over 12 years in school before becoming a doctor, which is something he cannot do. That made him ditch the college path. 

The deciding path 

His father died when he was young and he inherited some money but didn’t have a clue what to do with it. The amount wasn’t big but it was enough to offer comfort. He spent a year and a half traveling. He saw places and learned about many cultures. The experience taught him to be comfortable outside his comfort zone. After that, he fell into sales. 

He started selling mobile phones door to door. His lack of social skills became an advantage because he was able to absorb and pick up the things that work and that don’t. Ludovic also ventured into telemarketing and sold cosmetics over the phone. 

It takes many things to become a salesperson. One has to have a strong will and desire, persistence, and a greater purpose. 

Ludovic started to take on different types of sales jobs including doing sales over the phone, face-to-face sales, one-on-one, one-to-many, and others. He learned how he can influence peoples’ thoughts, emotions, and actions to be effective in the sales industry. 

The challenge that was the sale 

It wasn’t just the money and the people that prompted him to go into sales, it was the challenge in sales. He was hooked with the idea that people have patterns and salespeople can study what makes them tick and influence that. Unlike other new sales reps who are afraid of rejection, Ludovic was just fearless and kept pushing head-on. 

One of the challenges in the sale is the need of doing it repeatedly, like a cycle. He gets bored easily and the thought of doing the same thing over and over again for a long period of time was a huge challenge. 

He was able to fight against the boredom by just keeping on. He made the decision of not quitting. 

He was one of the sales reps who didn’t make sales consistently but his perseverance reaped good results as he started to make a sale after another. 

Closing a deal

Closing a deal is exciting, elating, and motivating. He closed his first deal and kept closing deals. His career began to expand and his sales experience continued to grow. Ludovic started to use his talent to help call center companies. 

This, again, came by accident. 

His friend opened up a sales office and he tapped him for help to train his friend’s salespeople. The gig wasn’t going to last for more than a few months and Ludovic knew that. He went there and helped. Within three months, he was able to help the team grow their average revenue to five times more, totaling to $500,000 a month. After leaving his friend’s company, with his friend’s encouragement, he decided to make it a business. 

He then cold-called a few telemarketing companies and set up appointments. He observed sales offices and based his price on the noise he hears in the company. A telemarketing company that makes a lot of noise earns well while a company that doesn’t make a lot of noise means something bad is going on. When it’s quiet, it means he is needed. 

Looking back 

In Tim Ferris’ podcast, he always has this question to ask his guest: “If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?” Ludovic said that he would do nothing. Where he is right now was because of the decisions he made along the way. Being the accidental seller that he was, he was able to use all the things he’s learned and picked up while being a seller. 

Learn as much as you can. Life doesn’t happen based on what things are supposed to be. 

As salespeople, we are to learn from the people before us. If you do this long enough, success will happen. #SalesMotivation

“The Accidental Seller Series 1 - "Ludovic Vuillier" episode resources

Find Ludovic Vuillier in any social media. He’s also got two websites, one is a personal travel blog and the other one is the goodlifemanifesto.com

Take some of the principles shared here and remember to not give up. Instead, make things happen. Reach out to Donald for any sales concerns on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We want you to join us for our next episodes so tune in to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. The Sales Evangelist wants every salesperson to be able to build stronger value and close more deals. Our TSE Certified Sales Training Program will help you be that. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1202___revised.mp3
Category:Accidental Seller -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

What Is Social Dynamic Selling & Why Does This Work So Well?

Many sellers appreciate how social dynamic selling works well. It’s effective and has connected more than 2 million consumers to their clients. 

Rylee Meek grew up in a small town in South Dakota but is now residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He lived in a town with very few opportunities but at the age of 15, he already had that drive to start earning money. He got a job at a pizza joint and made a minimum wage of $5.15 an hour. He dove into the entrepreneurial world at that young age. His family made a significant amount of money from network marketing and that impacted his path. He met many like-minded people who directed him to the right books to read. It was his initial step of taking that entrepreneurship role. 

He then started working with a network marketing company instead of proceeding to college. At 19 years of age, he was able to get his   BMW but then he realized that his income came solely from the effort and from working up to 17 hours a day. So he started to do things differently. He worked for Prudential but then he wanted to work and sell to more people and not just family members and friends. He proceeded to take another job selling home remodeling. Rylee clearly remembered what the manager told him on that interview, that the job is 85% negative but he needs to focus on the 15% that’s positive to make it through. Until now, Rylee still believes in focusing on the 15% because that’s what matters. Getting 85 Nos to get 15 Yeses was all it took. 

Network marketing journey 

Rylee invested in several network marketing ventures and met many challenges along the way. At one time he became homeless after putting much of his money into a business in Mexico. Their company was shut down by the government and he needed to come back to the states. He spent some time thinking of the things he could do next. He was invited to a pitch presentation and that helped his wheels spinning. His first presentation was done a few months after and he made $2.1 million in sales. They then started recruiting, hiring, and training. When everything worked out well, Rylee stepped back from presenting and started doing coaching, training, and teaching their sales reps. 

Reaching the masses

Rylee was earning well and could take his products to the masses but he didn’t have any passion for his products. While there are many businesses who have so much passion for their products but do not have the vehicle to take their products to the masses. 

He thought hard and brainstormed on all of the things that they’ve been doing right with their company from the coaching to selling their products and services. Rylee wrote everything down and that gave birth to what is now the social dynamic selling system.

Social dynamic selling works well

The core of social dynamic selling is dinner seminars. Invite people and give them a nice steak dinner. You then establish the presenter as the authoritative figure in that industry to gain the trust of the guests. After giving the pitch, you can ask them for an appointment and meet with them the following day to close the deal. 

It is important to create a message. It is an atmosphere where you’re sending an invitation directly to your potential clients to come over to listen to your presentation and craft that into multiple different verticals. 

It takes a little bit of money to make this happen and your product has to have a decent enough margin for this to work. 

Rylee’s team uses direct mail. Many may say that this method is archaic but they had a higher return on investment using direct mail. It beat all the other kinds of marketing including Facebook, Google, and SEO. The response they get from direct mail is crucial in any campaign. Regardless of the method that you’re using, you need to know and track your numbers to be able to see if you’re allocating your funds properly. 

Direct mails

The competition in using direct mail has dwindled today because of the massive amount of junk mail that people get. Companies tend to forget that they are many ways for you to not make your mails appear like junk such as addressing people by their first and last name. 

Social dynamic selling works well if sales reps learn their numbers and not just the art of selling. As a salesperson, you need to know how effective you are and you will see this with your appointment rate, closing rate, and stick rate. 

There are so many components involved in any successful campaign and the first step is knowing your ideal clients. Use the tools available today to figure out your true customers. After that, you can demographically and geographically identify the best area to target those people. Choose the venue according to the result of that targeting. The next step is to craft the message and to create an invitation that’s compelling enough for the potential clients to take action. Everything must be consistent from the crafting of the message down to the day of the event and the actual sale. 

The whole process has a flow and you can’t rush it. 

Always think of your target audience and create the event with their convenience in mind. Do an early dinner for potential clients aging 50 years old. For retirees, you can do breakfast. The rule of thumb is to offer something up the moment they come to the venue because that’s when the law of reciprocity kicks in. 

The goal in every event is not just to sell but to get to know the potential clients and earn their trust. You can do that by creating a fun and laid back environment. People want to buy but you need to create that environment that allows them to make the buying decisions instead of pressuring them just to make a sale. 

Nobody wants to feel like they’re sold to so ensure that you’re giving the clients the freedom to make the purchasing decision. Do not pressure them. #SalesSuccess

Social dynamic selling works well, there is no question about that but you need to follow the process. 

Remember, the first step is knowing who your clients are and it all goes from there. 

“What Is Social Dynamic Selling & Why Does This Work So Well?” episode resources

Reach out to Rylee by visiting his website, socialdynamicselling.com. You can also visit his other site, workwithrylee.com. You can schedule a strategy call with him or with one of his team members. 

If you any sales concerns, you can also shoot Donald a message on his LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a training program designed to help sales reps improve their skills in making sales and closing deals. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce high-quality podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1201.mp3
Category:Social Dynamic Selling -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How To Elevate Your Sales Game 

As a salesperson, you might have asked yourself the ways to elevate your sales game. 

Dug McGuirk is a national trainer with Tony Robbins. He is a peak performance strategist to help people get a clearer picture of where they are right now in their sales organization including the results they’re experiencing as an individual salesperson or as a team leader. 

He and Tony help individuals see their role in the organization. 

Salespeople can’t change the market, the economy, the way the organization works, and the standard of practice. Tony and Dug want salespeople to see the clear picture and help them realize their true potential. 

Elevate your sales game 

Salespeople are always looking for ways to elevate their sales. The first step to do that is to analyze the things that might be holding back the sales. Sales reps must look at the pattern when they’re stuck. Do not have the tendency of beating yourself up and taking the fall when things go wrong or when you’re stuck. 

Assess the activities that have been holding you back as a salesperson and be aware of them. Look at the pattern of thought, the pattern of activity, and the pattern of focus. These may be small things that you’ve stopped doing like making your bed in the morning, praying, meditating, exercising, and whatnot. 

Most of us are running away from the pain but in order to succeed, we need to go through the pain.  

The best time to get a sale is right after you just made a sale. Listen to the power of momentum. You sell one and own it. Do not doubt your ability to sell, just get on with the selling and be carried by the momentum. 

Believe in yourself

That belief in yourself is so vital in sales. It doesn’t matter that you’re shut down several times or that your presentation is put to a stop. You just have to keep going. 

Sell yourself first and have that confidence before you go off selling to other people. Salespeople have a moral obligation to help others even when they’ve said no for the first few times. You need to get over that objection in order to deliver the message. 

A great salesperson needs to get into that state of gratitude before going into the next steps in sales. You need to be truly present and get clear visualizations of your goals. You also need to believe in your product and the services you sell. 

In sales, your network is your net worth. 

Nothing replaces a full-on immersion and meeting people. The prospects are everywhere so you need to be always selling and offering. Look for strategic partners and find the opportunities and the people who are willing to invest their finances and their energy. Salespeople have skills and it's up to having the right training to be able to unleash those skills. 

Challenges in sales 

We live in a fast-paced society and everyone wants to speed up the process. Many are caught up in technique hopping when things go wrong. There are three pillars of extraordinary results to address this issue. The first is the strategies and the second is the action plan such as making phone calls, using technology and digging into LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social platforms. All these strategies are not going to work if they’re not implemented and acted upon. 

What most people do is they take action but they do it half-heartedly. This compromises the third pillar which is the mindset. They spend thousands on a strategy and then they move on to the next strategy. They move from one strategy to another and then if it still doesn’t work, they blame the system. 

Don’t do it with the belief that the strategy isn’t going to work in the first place. 

When you do your pitch, don’t do it half-heartedly. When you mail prospects, don’t send a blanketed e-mail because they’ll know that you didn’t put any effort into it. Make a personal email that shows them you care. 

Be willing to get vulnerable 

Salespeople who are crushing it on their sales are the ones who are willing to be vulnerable. They are the ones who are willing to be authentic and putting themselves at risk on a personal level. This is how they connect with potential clients. 

As a salesperson, you need to understand the value that you offer and come from a place of service rather than expecting. 

People will only do business with you and trust you when they see that you’re being authentic and honest. #SalesHacks

You learn things as a sales rep when you push through the pain. Look at challenges in new perspectives and work your way around them. Master your ability to perceive what’s going on and change your relationship with the situation at hand. Push yourself ahead with every No you get.

When you’re facing a slump and you’re wondering how to elevate your sales game, you need to evaluate your mindset and be present. Realize how valuable you are and use that to connect with clients on a deeper level. 

There will be more on this at the “Unleash the Power Within” event that’s going to happen at the American Airlines Arena on November 7-10. 

  • Day 1: Turn fear into power.

What stops people from referrals? FEAR. 

What stops people from prospecting? FEAR. 

What stops people from door-knocking? FEAR. 

Turn fear into power and work the muscle of state management. Day 1 is about building your confidence as a salesperson. 

  • Day 2: The power of influence 
  • Day 3: The conversation

“How To Elevate Your Sales Game” episode resources

If you’re interested in going, reach out to Dug via his email dug.mcguirk@tonyrobbbins.com or call him on his phone number (646)523-8230. You can also send the word D-U-G to 64600, and you’ll get a link to all his contact information. 

For other sales concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a program designed to help sales reps get from where you are now to where you can be in the future. This course is an aid for salespeople to become better in asking the right questions, presenting solutions, and closing deals. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce high-quality podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1200.mp3
Category:Objections -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Sales From the Street: “I Almost Quit”

We all face challenges and sometimes, the sense of defeat is so strong that the phrase, “I almost quit,” is so relatable. 

Luigi Prestinenzi struggled in his sales journey as well. His mom was great in sales and worked for Mary Kay, a global cosmetics empire. His mother won awards and was an icon within the company. 

All the success, however, came to halt when she suffered complete burnout. Luigi was seven then and he didn’t understand what was truly happening except that he saw his mom hustling and reaching her goals. 

Fast forward to 23 years later, Luigi also fell on the same path. Everything was working well for him but all of a sudden, deals fell apart and they just kept falling through. It was the first time that he found himself in a challenging situation. 

His manager talked to him one Christmas and he couldn’t focus on anything, not the festivities, his family, or the food. He questioned his life and his decisions and he started drafting his resume and looking for jobs. Despite that, he still went back to sales because it was his only option. 

Like other salespeople who got disappointed and might have said the words, “I almost quit,” Luigi also quit - almost. 

Changing the actions and mindset 

Luigi made a decision to triple his sales activity to make up for the last quarter. He realized that the best way to work through it is to change his actions and his mindset. 

He listened to Paul J. Meyer, the founder of the Success Motivation Institute. It was a 50-minute combination of different talks and he listened to it every day in his car. All the talks he listened to prompted him to start his pipes running again. Six months later, he closed the biggest deal in his company’s history. He also won the global sales leader award across 60 countries for that organization. 

Keep Going 

Luigi’s father was a migrant and he’d always tell him, ‘first in, last out.’ People would argue about that saying that it doesn’t foster a smart working mentality. He did not question his work ethic, but he questioned his mindset on things. He needed to change it because he’d still face the same problems at some point. 

There are a lot of salespeople these days who jump from one job to another every 12-18 months. They’re good in the interview process but the moment they hit a bump, they go to the next role. He didn’t want to be that person so he kept going.   

The imposter syndrome kicks in at your lowest points but that feeling shouldn’t let you down. Even when you close a deal, you somehow still feel like you just got lucky. 

No matter how successful you get in the sales industry, no matter how well you execute the sales process and help the buyer through the buying process, you can never control the buyers’ decision. #SalesTalk

You can only control your mindset and the way you approach the situation. 

Break it down to image and pipeline.

  • Image: How are you showing up? How are you getting up? How are you preparing yourself? What is your mindset to achieve success? 
  • Pipeline: Do the activity and get the hard work done. Don’t cut corners in what you do. 

Get these two done and the magic will happen. Do not focus too much on the scoreboard without getting the right mindset. If you’re not getting the target and you’re struggling, just go back to the foundation of success. 

I almost quit,” is fine but never say, “I quit.” 

Sales From the Street: “I Almost Quit” episode resources

Reach out to Luigi Prestinenzi on his LinkedIn account and check out his podcast, Sales IQ. He also talks about sales and does interviews with sales leaders. 

Do you have sales concerns and questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a program designed to help sales reps get from where you are now to where you can be in the future. This course is an aid for salespeople to become better in asking the right questions, presenting solutions, and closing deals. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce high-quality podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1199.mp3
Category:Mindset -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Many of us are hesitant to use video because of our own fears but it’s absolutely possible to use videos to increase sales

Brenton Crane isn’t from the advertising and marketing background. He is from data analytics and started his career in Washington D.C. as a statistician at the Census Bureau and analyst in the National Intelligence Agency. He then partnered with the brothers Neil, Jeff, and Daniel for a campaign. The combination of their creative skillset and his analytical skills created a system that makes advertising campaigns effective. 

The power of videos in the business

The most powerful form of communication happens in face to face conversations between two individuals. These face to face interactions are how you make out the nuances of a conversation. This will allow you to listen to the tone, see the gestures and body language all happening at a subconscious level. 

Video is the medium that’s closer to that face-to-face action. When you talk to someone on the phone, you miss the body language and all the subconscious communication that’s happening. But with video, you’re able to capture a large portion of what happens in face-to-face interaction. 

Aside from that, videos are scalable. The people you can’t meet through phone calls can be met via videos. You can take your most effective salesperson and sales pitch and scale that up to reach millions of people using videos. 

Effective pitch through videos 

People have thought that the world of sales and marketing are two separate camps. In the advertising space, it’s often about infomercials or traditional branding styles like what you see in Nike and Apple. But it doesn’t work that way. You can blend those two worlds together. 

For so long, there’s been a competition between the two camps. The salespeople would trash the marketers and the other way around when in fact, they can incorporate together to create a great pitch. 

Incorporate a story in your sales pitch and put in brand humor, voice, and character to make it more memorable. #SalesTips

At the end of the day, no matter how effective the sales pitch, it’s not going to build the long-term brand. Squatty Potty, for example, has the humor and the character and that what makes it memorable. If you break down that video for a sales structure, you’ll see that it follows the perfect sales structure. 

The sales structure

The Squatty Potty has the elements are as follows: 

  • It has the hook
  • It captures attention
  • It shows empathy
  • It understands the problem
  • It presents a solution, 
  • It has a call to action for viewers to buy the product. 

When it still doesn’t work, then build that credibility. Make that call to action as soon as possible. There will always be a percentage in the audience who are ready and there’s also a percentage who are not quite ready. So, address their concerns and build that credibility. Give them another call to action after you’ve done that. 

Anyone can create videos. Creating videos takes hard work but everyone can learn how to do it. The principles that Benton’s team use in making a $5,000 video are still true in making a $500,000 video. It’s not much on the scope and budget, it’s more of doing the right thing at the right time. 

The Squatty Potty story 

Benton’s team just did a successful video for Poo-Pourri and when the CEO of Squatty Potty saw that video, he just knew that they needed to have theirs created as well. They came to Benton’s team and his team was initially cold since they just did one for the same product. But then they thought of ways on how to make it less disgusting to talk about and make it more proper and put together. 

They landed on the unicorn idea and it all happened from there. They made it safe, colorful, and less awkward to talk about. They had to reach a broader audience so they needed to do something a little more unexpected. 

Squatty Potty worked with Shark Tank and Bed Bath and Beyond prior to working with them. They were making $4 million a year and jumped to $25 million after they worked with Benton’s team. It was around that ballpark. 

Bobby Edwards, CEO of Squatty Potty, had the guts to put a pooping unicorn as the face of its brand. But the risk was worth it and took them to where they are today. 

If what you’re selling provides a real solution to the problem, then the video can work. It can be a sales tool and it can also be just a part of the sales process. Either way, it’s a powerful tool to use.  

Investing in video can go both ways, losing your production investment or gaining millions of dollars in return. Take advantage of the face-to-face component and use videos to increase sales

“How To Use Videos To Increase Sales” episode resources

Connect with Benton Crane on his LinkedIn or via his site, harmonbrothers.com. For more sales concerns, connect  with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a program designed to help sales reps get from where you are now to where you can be in the future. This course is an aid for salespeople to become better in asking the right questions, presenting solutions, and closing deals. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce high-quality podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1198.mp3
Category:Video -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How To Effectively Sell New Products To Current Customers

Salespeople often ask how to effectively sell new products to current customers. Some clients are satisfied with the current service they’re getting and they’re not keen on investing in another one. There is a way through this sales ordeal. 

Thomas Steenburgh teaches business marketing and sales at the Darden School of Business. He’s also an administrator and has stayed with the school for seven years. His team did a five-year research project on how to effectively sell new products to customers and what’s so hard about it. 

Looking at the problem

Thomas’ team looked at various factors:

  • The different ways people sell
  • The types of people who excel in the process
  • The organization’s structure
  • The culture that the companies/organization create

The combination of these processes which is finding the right process, finding the right people, finding the right organization, and finding the right culture is the key to making this happen. 

The challenge 

If given a choice, most sales reps would love to sell new products because it gives them an advantage at the clients’ accounts. The question, however, is if they’d continue to put the same amount of effort from beginning to end. 

Selling new products takes a lot of energy and more time. Thomas and his team found out that selling a new product takes about 30-40% more time as opposed to selling an extension of a line. On top of that, sales reps need to meet with a lot more people in the buying process and develop a different network site to be able to sell. 

It is very resource-intensive. 

On the customers’ side, when you’re selling a new product, everybody wants to talk to you because people naturally want to know what’s going on in the marketplace. 

Sales reps become hyped due to the attention but not for long. 

When the reality sinks in, they’ll realize that there’s a change in the buying organization. It’s actually late in the sales cycle. This is problematic from the seller's perspective. What felt like traction would suddenly feel like getting stuck in the mud. Sales reps aren’t making any progress beyond the hype, they become discouraged, and eventually stop devoting effort in selling the product. 

When you face resistance, your numbers don’t go down quarter to quarter. What happens is that it becomes harder to figure out how to make that sale  and investment. But if you persist, the effort will pay off in the long run. t can be difficult to make that commitment to selling new products when you have numbers to think of but in time, you will get there. 

New products take a while to sell

Thomas’ research on several companies that did well shows that new products take a while to figure out how to sell. There are  a couple of different types of mindsets for reps. One is the performance mindset sales reps who think of the quarterly numbers and the one who gets the joy out of learning and solve problems. 

Research shows that the trajectory of sales from these two mindsets is very different. Performance reps don’t invest in learning the product right after launch. The sales go down initially because they failed to learn how to sell the product. For  learning-based reps, there’s a big drop early on because they spend that time learning the product instead of selling and marketing the product. 

In the long run, the sales of the performance reps recover but they go up only so much. For the learning-based reps, their sales go up at a rapid pace but it’s very late after the launch. 

Learn how to effectively sell new products to current customers by finding the balance. 

Finding the balance 

What this reminds us is the need to find a balance between these two sales reps. Find sales reps who go out and learn how to sell the product at the same time. Sales leaders need to give their sales reps ample time to learn the product, figure out how to work their clients and their pain points, and know the objections that may occur later in the sales cycle. After that, bring them back to the firm and redesign the sales process to sell the new product. 

Most marketing teams throw the product over the wall then disappear. Sales reps are left to figure things out themselves. Somewhere in the sales organization, sales reps are bound to dedicate some time to learn how to sell and anticipate objections later on. Not all sales reps are willing to devote their time to learning, so sales leaders should find the right person who is willing to learn and put in the time. 

Most sales training for new product launch often focuses on features and benefits, not on the marketing trends. The training doesn’t include changes in the buying process. 

Clients’ perception matters

One example is a company moving from old-line media to digital media. Their sales force was  asked to sell new digital ads in this new space. They had the knowledge they needed but they were worried about how to interact with the clients because they hadn’t interacted with them before. 

The manager saw this problem and he approached the team differently. He had a two-pronged approach. He invested time in learning and figuring the market trends and where the marketing was going. He tried to look for ways these trends could  help his sales reps sell the new product to their clients. Aside from that, he coached his team to figure out exactly what their job was. He asked each of them to write down their roles in the business. 

This taught Thomas how much emotional component there is in sales. Even when sales reps are thick-skinned, they’re still worried about how clients see them. 

They want to look good and they want to be an expert in front of their clients. 

Going back to the example, the sales reps of the company weren’t confident with just the knowledge of the product. They were only able to go out when they had the right type of market knowledge. 

What matters: 

  • Figuring out what’s different about the sales process
  • Knowing what your roles are in the sales process
  • Knowing how to make a difference in your clients’ business
  • Encouraging people that they have all the resources they need

When sales leaders and sales reps consider the factors above is when things can start to take off. 

It’s not always the one on top

Another research result shared by Thomas is that it’s not always the best overall performing rep that becomes the leader in selling the new product. Sometimes it’s someone else from the team. If somebody figures out how to sell the product fast, you need to share the knowledge and the best practices at some point to the rest of the sales team. 

Sales culture is important to be able to effectively sell new products to current customers. Companies need to take a long-term perspective on the sale. Give your sales rep some space to figure out how to sell the new product and let them invest in learning. 

The best performing reps focus deep on the sales process and ask questions about  how the new product is beneficial to the clients. 

Best performing reps focus deep on the sales process while average reps focus on the immediate thing. #SalesFacts

Focus on learning first then move on to performance. 

“How To Effectively Sell New Products To Current Customers” episode resources

Stay in touch with Thomas Steenburgh. You can find all of his information on his academic page. Do you have sales concerns and questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a program designed to help sales reps get from where you are now to where you can be in the future. This course is an aid for salespeople to become better in asking the right questions, presenting solutions, and closing deals. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce high-quality podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1197.mp3
Category:New Products -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Sales From The Street - "Are You Firing Me?"

 

One of the scariest questions to ask in this field is, “are you firing me?” You might have asked this yourself, out loud or in silence, but regardless of how, it’s nerve-wracking just the same. 

Andy Racic has been in professional sales for nine years and most of those years were spent serving HR professionals. These days, Andy is with a software company called Tango Health. They offer B2B software and outsourcing solutions to help professionals across the country. 

The beginning

While Andy was living in Houston, he was working for an agency recruitment firm called Michael Page. The agency recruitment space is 100% sales: that is 90% sales and 10% consulting. They were in the business of the oil and gas market and despite the difficult times in the business, their agency was able to establish a good relationship with their clients. Out of the blue, one of their clients asked him to help find a recruiter. 

That was an alarming thing to hear because to him it sounded very much like looking for their replacement. It was a source of concern because the market was going downhill so their company was looking for ways to keep their clients and continue serving them. 

Andy ran that client inquiry to his manager and they dug into it. They discovered that the company was having a big project that would involve a lot of hiring for them. The company was looking at 30-50% growth and they were looking for more people. Andy and his manager went back to the drawing board and built an entire recruitment process outsourcing model for that company. 

They then made the call and presented the model for them and convinced them to trust them a little bit more instead of hiring another recruitment agency that they hadn’t worked with before. 

Putting the best foot forward

There were doubts about whether what they did would work. The market was changing and the client could have gone in a different direction instead of working with them. Still, Andy and his team did what they could. 

Andy’s team did a thorough briefing on the situation with their client’s internal stakeholders and presented a team that would help in the recruitment process. He gave them the background of each individual along with their track record and the reasons why they’re a good fit. 

They won their trust and worked with the company, so to speak. Andy’s agency found a lot of people for them and delivered good results for them. 

When a problem arises, salespeople can always go back to the traditional process of evaluating the problem and going deeper to understand that challenge. 

When you know and understand what you are facing, you can create a solution. #SalesTips

A good salesperson needs an open mind whenever he hears information because the snippets of information may make or break your business or the deal. Be on the lookout for what’s going on and dig in until the third level questions to ensure that there are no assumptions on your side. Make sure that you make the best out of any situation. 

When you’re talking to a client, listen intently to pick up something especially when things go south. Stay present when the client is speaking rather than making them repeat what they said because that’s how you win a deal. 

"Are You Firing Me?" episode resources

Get in touch with Andy Racic via his LinkedIn profile. Make sure to customize your messages for a more positive response from Andy. You can also connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a program designed to help sales reps get from where you are now to where you can be in the future. This course is an aid for salespeople to become better in asking the right questions, presenting solutions, and closing deals. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce high-quality podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1196.mp3
Category:Firing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Creating Great Customer Experiences To Close More Deals

 

Creating great customer experiences to close more deals is often a neglected sales strategy by many. That shouldn’t be the case. 

Dan Cockerell grew up in the hospitality industry. He went to Boston University and worked at Disney World for a summer. He officially joined the Walt Disney Company as a parking attendant in 1991 after finishing college. After 26 years and 19 jobs at Walt Disney, he decided to leave to start  his own consulting company. 

Most of the employees in Disney who are working as executives in the operation started in the frontline roles to understand the customer experiences at the ground level. 

The beginning of Disneyland

Walt Disney was ahead of his time. He was an animator and he wanted to create a 3D world where people could escape reality and step into movies. He wanted to create happiness together as a family. This was his original thought for building Disneyland in 1955. He kept the business clean, he was nice to people, and he valued them. People kept coming back because of the Midwestern values set by the company. 

Dan understood then that people are looking for experiences. Even millennials these days are looking for experiences rather than buying objects that lose their value over time. Experience, on the other hand, gains value over time. Disney had a great business model: to make emotional connections with people and have a great product and service to offer them simultaneously. 

The immense popularity of Disney parks stems from its ability to create experiences. 

Creating great customer experiences to close more deals

Disney did a lot of research and measurements to help the company improve. They have round table discussions, group discussions, and surveys. They pulled out a group one year and made a survey on what makes them different and why people keep coming back to Disney World. The Disney team had their expected answers, including the fireworks, the hotels, the attractions, the food, the characters, and others. 

There are four things, however, that Disney and salespeople have in common. 

Disney makes people feel special

They translated that to the cast members and they had a common purpose which is to create happiness for guests. Their team always looks for ways to make their guests feel special every day. It’s challenging when you have 50 million guests coming to the park every year. 

The same is true in sales: salespeople need to make their potential clients and existing clients feel special. Often times, it’s the simple things like sending them notes on their birthdays or when there’s something big to celebrate in their company. You have to invest in time with them. 

Disney treats people as individuals

Connect with people individually and make exceptions depending on one’s situation. As salespeople, you also need to treat people as individuals. Don’t quote them because the policy won’t work for some of them. Figure out a way to make exceptions according to their needs to make them feel like individuals. 

Creating great customer experiences to close more deals doesn’t have to be expensive. It takes attention to detail in order to connect with people. You just have to hire people who are keen on taking interest in people.

 A team needs a good leader or role model. Show your people that you are approachable and you want to help them with their sales problems as much as possible. Talk to them and be with them. Seeing their role model in action motivates them to do better in creating great customer experience to close more deals. 

Get down with the best practices you can as an organization no matter how small these gestures are to make your potential and existing clients feel special. Think of the ways you can give your clients great experiences. 

Disney respects everyone 

Respect is basic. People who come to Walt Disney are treated equally regardless of where they are staying. Guests who pay $99 a night and guests who pay $1,200 a night are given the same amount of respect. Disney isn’t looking at the color of the skin, the language people speak, and where they came from. Everyone must feel welcome without prejudice. 

Salespeople must show respect to all clients regardless of color, language, or policy they are going to get. Even when, as a leader, you aren’t particularly fond of the organization you are in, you still have to take personal pride in your profession. 

When you treat your team professionally, they’ll also respond professionally. 

When the clients’ experience fails, it isn’t the fault of the sales rep but that of the leader. You might have hired them in an environment they shouldn’t be in, you might not have  trained them, you might have failed to give them feedback, and/or acknowledged them enough. 

Leaders create the environment for their people then their people go and operate in that environment. #SalesQuote

Be knowledgeable 

Salespeople need to know the product inside out and really believe in it. It’s a lot easier to sell to clients when they hear the excitement in your voice. A good salesperson also needs to bring the product to the next level by implementing it to the needs of the clients’ company. Explain how your product or services would cater to the needs of their company. 

We don’t know the answer to every question so when the client asks you something that you have zero idea what the answer is, be honest. Dial-up a person who has the answer or read more. Don’t just give them bad information to save face. 

Close more deals

Four things are laid out in creating great customer experiences to close more deals. 

  • Make people feel special
  • Treat people as individuals
  • Respect everyone
  • Be knowledgeable

Pick one from these four ways and start doing it to change your sales game. Do this one bite at a time. 

“Creating Great Customer Experiences To Close More Deals” episode resources

Connect with Dan by visiting his website, DanCockerell.com. He has his email there and his phone number. 

If you have sales questions, concerns, and great stories to share, don’t hesitate to connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a program designed to help sales rep get from where you are now to where you can be in the future. Every seller should be making six- figures and this can be achieved with our rigorous training schedule and group coaching. Join us for a new semester beginning each quarter. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce high-quality podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1195.mp3
Category:Customer Experience -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Use Contact Marketing to Breakthrough to Anyone

 

Prospecting is always a challenge for sellers, but it’s possible to contact marketing to break through to anyone. 

Stu Heinecke is a Wall Street Journal cartoonist, a marketer, and an author. Stu has been nominated for the marketing hall of fame twice and has authored the popular book, How to Get a Meeting with Anyone. There are many ways salespeople can contact their clients and make a breakthrough, Stu’s book helps you navigate the whole process of reaching out to various clients. Stu is now writing his second book about how business cards can help salespeople reach out to prospective clients and what makes these business cards so special. 

In the business industry, he helps his clients’ sales teams break through their top prospects.

Contact marketing to breakthrough to anyone 

Stu is a fan of great business cards. Unfortunately in this digital day, clients aren’t keen on business cards anymore. The tables have shifted and they’re no longer given much emphasis as compared to then. This is saddening when in the sales world, a business card is the first conquest point to form a meeting. People just type out names and numbers directly to their phone and check them out later on. The thing about this is that most of the time, clients won’t even remember the name of the sales rep they talked to. Thus, we go back to the basics, only this time, we upgrade it into something more. 

From cards to devices 

Say goodbye to business cards and hello to engagement devices. The regular business cards aren’t impressing people anymore, especially those with long titles. So, instead of giving them a card, you give them an engagement device. 

An example of this is Kevin Mitnick’s card. It’s a piece of thin metal that has been cut out. When you try to pull out the little pieces, it gives you a lock picking set. You can see the details etched into the metal. The card isn’t just a card, it’s also a metaphor of what he does for companies. He makes virtual locks and offers it to companies to keep hackers away from breaking into their system. 

There are no logos, words, and descriptions in the card. The card speaks for what the company does. 

The goal is to make business cards serve as visual metaphors of what you do best. It still fits in their pocket but they use it differently and not only for when they give you a call. 

How does contact marketing work?

These new business cards all tie up to the contact marketing model. Businesses should be able to set a baseline for a response. The goal is to have a 100% breakthrough to everybody that we make a bargain. 

You do that by giving them an impressive card that points to your landing page. Seeing how wisely done your card is, they’ll be more curious about what your landing page has in store. This might be the start of conversion. 

Stu’s book has a great compilation of stories about how they can begin their campaigns using contact marketing. His books are filled with ideas that you can borrow and apply to your own journey towards contact marketing to breakthrough to anyone. 

Reach people using relevant, timely, and high-value campaigns. #SalesHacks

Do not be intimidated by the positions of the people you want to reach. You need to believe that you belong in that space because of the value that you bring. 

Contact marketing is sales and marketing working together. It’s a micro-focused campaign where you can spend some money, but the expenditure will be nowhere near the marketing costs. 

“Use Contact Marketing to Break Through to Anyone” episode resources

Connect with Stu Heinecke on his LinkedIn account. You can also check out his books on Amazon. 

If you have sales questions, concerns, and great stories to share, don’t hesitate to connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a program designed to help sales rep get from where you are now to where you can be in the future. Every seller should be making six- figures and this can be achieved with our rigorous training schedule and group coaching. Join us for a new semester beginning each quarter. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce high-quality podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1194.mp3
Category:Contact Marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

What Are The 6 Critical Steps To Developing a Successful Sales Strategy?

Sales strategies aren’t born from thin air; rather, there are six critical steps to developing a successful sales strategy

Lance Tyson is an author and speaker who runs his own training company. Tyson group has been ranked by Selling Powers as one of the Top 20 sales organizations in the world. It has been operating for 15 years and invested in Dale Carnegie Training in 2010. They work in the sports entertainment industry and one of their biggest customers is the football team, the Raiders. They coordinate with the sales team to sell premium tickets, sponsorships, suites, and others. They also work with Michael Jordan’s company and several tech companies where they coach, train, and consult with their sales teams. 

Lance isn’t just teaching; he is also out there grinding and doing all the sales work that his salespeople are doing. 

Six steps to developing a successful sales strategy 

Attitude, perseverance, and grit aren’t part of the steps. These things must always be present but let’s think of outcome first. In some cultures, the word relations isn’t great and it’s often overused. We prefer the term rapport. This is one of the three outcomes you need to go after. Partner rapport with credibility. While rapport gives you influence, credibility gives you people' trust. The third is one is showing a level of understanding. These three are the beginning of the steps to developing a successful sales strategy which is the following: 

  • Connect
  • Evaluate
  • Diagnose
  • Prescribe
  • Dialogue
  • Close

Connect

We talk about connecting with others all the time but the conversation of connecting is different today. You may be trying to deal with a level of preoccupation by the buyer. You have to connect with people via text, email, or voicemail. You then talk to people and build rapport. The fragmented conversations can be broken down and taken to connect step to overcome preoccupation. This will lead to building rapport, credibility, and a  level of understanding. 

Evaluate

When you go to your doctor’s appointment, one of the first things they do is to evaluate you. The same is true in sales. We evaluate our prospects to determine whether they’re interested or not. Other businesses call this assessment while some refer to it as an opportunity. Whatever you call it, it’s the step where salespeople deal with the inherent objection of disinterest.  

Diagnose and Prescribe

This is where salespeople make an educated guess. Ask yourself what they need most and do not forget about creating a level of comfort. A lot of salespeople walk in the door and make assumptions based on their grand experience, they then ask a few questions. You need to talk to the clients through their feelings and their thoughts. You need to look at their past, their present, and the future to make a good diagnosis. After the evaluation and diagnosis, you make a prescription. 

Dialogue and Close 

After getting your prescription, your next step would probably be talking with your doctor and asking questions so as to get a clear understanding of your health problem. In the same manner, after giving your prescription as a salesperson, your next step is to have a dialogue to overcome any form of objection. Ultimately, having every question answered, your next step is to close. 

Researcher or salesperson

The biggest challenge right now is the confusion that most salespeople are stuck in which happens in the connect step. Inside sales reps are responsible for prospecting. You can’t trust everything that’s written on LinkedIn and you can’t just get somebody without fact-checking what their bio says. This creates a problem for sales reps because they often feel like they don’t have enough information to move forward. Thus, the confusion of whether to spend more time on researching about the prospects or looking for prospects to pitch. 

It gets harder because it takes at least six touches to get in contact with a target and another six to get an appointment. Salespeople are now trying to cheat the process and just connect because they’re exhausted. 

Many sales reps these days just sell their whole service in one move. They’d say it’s free and without obligation. This is a mistake that many salespeople make. Instead of getting on the phone and pouring it out in one go, sales reps must be patient and sell one piece at a time. 

In sales, don’t expect to get one yes; rather, aim to get a series of yeses. #SalesGoal 

If you can’t sell time, you can’t sell your products or services and that’s what people in sales lack: time.  

Getting better in evaluation 

We do a lot of sales assessment and we do predictive index studies on people to see where they’re weak and to know where to start on their training. We’ve seen that salespeople are often not good facilitators. What most salespeople do is spray and pray. They start asking questions right away without getting into the introduction stage of presenting what’s going to happen in this meeting. 

Salespeople can evaluate better if they learn how to facilitate and set things up better. Sales isn’t just about asking questions, it’s also about facilitating the meeting well and making good set-up. Evaluation is a back-and-forth process. You ask questions and they answer, all the while maintaining a good grip on where the conversation is going. 

On prescribing

There has to be a level of dramatization in prescribing. Salespeople need to make prospects understand that reason why they want what they want. Dramatize your pitch the way they want it. 

You are trying to overcome doubt in the prescribed step. So, describe your products and your services in a way that answers a few questions. Don’t just state facts. Learn to become a storyteller because that’s how you make them listen. 

Remember the six critical steps to developing a successful sales: you connect, then evaluate, then diagnose. After these, you make the prescription, have the dialogue, and close. Take your sales per process and see where you are and where you’re potential customers are. Make sure that both of you are on the same spot, if not, take a stop and go back or move forward.

“Steps To Developing a Successful Sales Strategy” episode resources 

Connect with Lance Tyson on Twitter, LinkedIn, and his website, Tyson Group

Don’t hesitate to  connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

Wanting to learn and hear more about sales? This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a program designed to help sales reps get from where they  are now to where they can be in the future. Every seller should be making six figures and this can be achieved with our rigorous training schedule and group coaching. Join us for a new semester beginning each quarter. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561)570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. One of the great books right now is the StoryBrand by Donald Miller, do give that a go. 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1193.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Changes to The Sales Evangelist Podcast

The time has come to bring some changes to The Sales Evangelist podcast. The TSE podcast has been around for six years and over time, we’ve been mentioned in a number of magazines including Yahoo Finance, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, Forbes, HubSpot, and others. 

This all goes back to you for sharing the content with your friends and for helping us grow over the years. The podcast continues to evolve to adapt to the needs of the industry. Starting this October, there will be a couple of changes to The Sales Evangelist Podcast. 

Humble beginnings

The podcast has been around for a long time and it’s because of your support. We kept on going and pushing forward because we have the passion and drive for it. We started with two episodes a week: one 10-minute tip and one with a sales expert who’d give us advice. We then jumped to doing podcasts three days a week and later on, to five days a week. The team grew and the quality of content improved. 

We started without getting paid but in time, opportunities and sponsorships came along. 

The six years presented great chances to learn from the best in the podcast industry and I’ve had the privilege of emceeing the Podcast Movement, the world’s largest podcast gathering. I met many podcast leaders who are very successful in the podcast space. The interaction taught me to keep improving the quality of the content to differentiate from the stiff competition in the industry. 

Changes to The Sales Evangelist Podcast 

The stats and community have spoken. The majority of listeners listen to two or three episodes a week, saying that they don’t have time and there are too many to keep up with all the episodes produced. 

We have decided our episodes from five a week to three a week. Of the three episodes, two of them will be 30 minutes long and will include guests. The Wednesday episodes will be 10 minutes long and will be a little different. 

Send in your questions, concerns, and challenges, and we will address them on the podcast. #SalesQuestions

It is also a miniseries with a combo of interview, journalism, and storytelling. This will start in October and the first series is about the Accidental Seller and why 41%-43% of salespeople fell into sales. The next series will be about some of the most successful bestsellers in history and what made them so compelling. 

The episodes will go live on Monday and Friday mornings at 2:30 AM EST.  

Our friends from Australia can listen to the podcast after they get off of work. Our listeners in Europe can get access to it a little bit earlier. As for our great listeners from California, you can have your early morning grind while listening to our podcast. 

The podcast will also have a new look starting this October. 

We’re putting more focus on the storytelling aspect and research for our podcast. You can listen to the episodes on Pandora, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, and iHeart. 

The websites will also have some changes. It will be easier to receive a notification whenever a new episode loads. You can also opt-in to get emails and recaps of your favorite episodes. 

In time, we’ll also dive into YouTube. We are planning on repurposing our content to put it on YouTube. 

“Changes to The Sales Evangelist Podcast” episode resources

You’ll start seeing these changes starting this week. You’ve all helped us grow and we want to know your thoughts. Don’t hesitate to connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

Wanting to learn and hear more about sales? This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a program designed to help sales rep get from where you are now to where you can be in the future. Every seller should be making six- figures and this can be achieved with our rigorous training schedule and group coaching. Join us for a new semester beginning each quarter. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. One of the great books right now is Sales Management Simplified by Mike Wineberg, do give that a go. 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1192.mp3
Category:Podcast changes -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Even if you consider yourself a fiercely independent seller, you’ll sometimes need help from others because you can’t do it all on your own.

Adam Carswell works for Concordia Realty Corporation, a private equity firm that invests in shopping centers. His company works with smaller mom-and-pop investors who can’t make million-dollar contributions and pools their capital with other investors. 

No siloes 

Adam worked as a residential realtor in 2017 when he decided he wanted to break free. He didn’t want to join a team and work within a system. He wanted to pursue his own course. 

He achieved significant success in his first year and expected the second year would be the same. Unfortunately, it was the opposite. 

Numerous deals fell through and he wasn’t sure what to do next. He was in a serious relationship so he hid his financial struggles, but that decision eventually blew up in his face.

He looks back now and realizes that if he had swallowed his pride and accepted support from the people around him, he would have been in a better position. Though he doesn’t always get it exactly right now, he tries to apply the lessons to everything he does now. 

Lost earnings

The fact that Adam had enjoyed great success prior to that point drove him to avoid accepting help from other people. He learned to routinely evaluate whether he was being prideful on any given day. 

Adam estimates that he earned about 50 percent less money the second year than he did the first year. Given that he hadn’t changed his spending habits over that time, it felt like a huge shortfall. 

Roadmap to success

Every industry has a roadmap to success unless, of course, you’re paving a new path. Adam points to the fact that he came up with some creative, successful prospecting ideas, and he closed a few deals as a result. 

He dropped off Oreos once a month to one prospect. He hosted open houses on Sundays. He took advice and applied some of it, but he didn’t enjoy the resources of a larger team. His sister works as a realtor now for a company that has a big database, CRM, drip email campaigns, and other tools that he didn’t know how to set up. As a result, she has enjoyed early success. 

Find and develop experience using a sales process that works. Then you can tweak it to fit your individual style. #SalesProcess

Blinded by optimism

Adam points to his optimistic outlook as a reason he didn’t recognize the problems as quickly. He was blindsided by the shortfall because he operated with a continued belief that things would work out. 

Now, in addition to his experience, he points to his faith as a support mechanism. He leans on his belief in God to help him know what to do. 

He recognizes now that even when he was young his parents taught him that he’s never really doing things on his own. 

Someone you trust

Adam advises sellers to get in with someone you trust and a system that works. Learn the system, even if it’s only for a brief period. Until you get comfortable making a jump or putting your own spin on it, stick to the script. 

Adam’s brother works in sales for a company with outstanding sales training, and he got lots of pushback when he tried to tweak the script during training. He learned that, at least at the beginning, you have to stick to the script, because they use it for a reason. It’s structured a certain way because that’s the process that works. The company has data and stats to prove its effectiveness.

There’s no need for you to reinvent a process for a company that has already enjoyed success. Begin by understanding why they do it the way they do. 

Add value first. When you’re new, be willing to listen and do what you’re asked to do. Once you earn your stripes and understand the process, then you can do your thing more successfully.

Outsource

If you can find someone who can do a task 80 percent as well as you can, and you have the capability to outsource it, do it. You’ll free up time for yourself and give yourself room to grow. You’ll also make room for the other person to grow. 

Adam, for example, has a drip campaign that his virtual assistant operates, and she arguably does it better than he does. It allows him to maximize himself. 

Even at TSE, once I relinquished certain tasks to other people who were arguably better at those tasks, it freed me up to do the tasks that I’m really good at. I earned more money by spending a little money to outsource. 

A rising tide raises all ships, so it benefitted others as well. 

If there’s a new task you want to explore or a new project you want to do, reverse-engineer it. Figure out ways to accomplish the task with help from other people. You’ll elevate the people around you and increase your own value.

You must have a team. You can’t do it all on your own.

“You Can’t Do It All On Your Own” episode resources

You can connect with Adam at www.carswell.io and then click on Adam Carswell. He’s on a variety of other platforms as well. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using - Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1191.mp3
Category:Teamwork -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

A good salesperson knows how to nurture “No” into “Yes”. Hearing No in the sales world is common regardless of what you sell or to whom you’re selling to. When you hear a no, you can’t just back down and give up. You need to get back on track and fix it. 

Craig Klein is based in Houston and he works in the energy business. He used to make deals with large oil companies and the deals would take a year or more to close. With that period of time and the level of complexity of every sale, he sought help from others. 

He began Sales Nexus to address that inefficiency. Today, his company helps other businesses to grow and aims to help everyone in the community give their fair share of making their community a better place to live. 

No is difficult to hear 

Craig was trained by Dave Blanchard for awhile. Dave does executive training and he talks a lot about our need to be right. Humans as we are, once the idea is planted in our head and we start dreaming about it, the idea becomes real. If that idea is taken away, we end up getting hurt. 

It is the same with sales. We meet our clients with big plans for closing the deal but when we turn up, we are told no and that hurts. There’s a lot of burnout in the sales position because sales reps tend to make many phone calls and end up getting No. The thing about it is that when we hear No, we tend to take a step back and sometimes, we don’t ever make a step forward again. 

Nurture “No” into “Yes”

Salespeople need to learn to be a bit aware of themselves and to focus on the customers' needs, not on what they need. It’s also important to realize that sometimes, the prospects say “No” not because they don’t want to do business with you. They may be tied to a contract to your competitor or now may not be a good time. 

The primary way to nurture “No” into “Yes” is to have a sales strategy that makes you stay engaged with the prospects and build relationships over time. #Relationships

It’s not efficient to just focus on who you can close this month, it’s also about focusing on the people you can close deals with in due time. 

Stay in touch 

For every No you get, you make sure to take their name, their email address, their phone number, and keep it somewhere safe. You always have to write down everything you have learned from this customer including their budget cycle and their needs. Then, you create a system that allows you to keep connecting with time and getting them engaged. Check them out every once in a while and ask them how they’re doing. Let them know that you’re there. 

Meanwhile, you can find somebody else who is ready right now. Just keep nurturing and keep moving forward. 

Change your mindset that you will close every deal you have because that won’t happen. Instead, think of every appointment as a way of establishing a relationship based on trust. Resonate to them that you came not just to close but to understand what their needs are. 

Salespeople are like doctors. Physicians don’t sell their service in a way that’s too in your face. They diagnose their patients and examine what is something wrong with them. They then show you the patients how they can help with the problem. 

The same is true for salespeople. We examine their problem and we show them how we can help. You don’t sell the product the moment you meet them. You warm them up and figure out what they need first before presenting your options. 

The automated email drip campaign 

Craig’s Sales Nexus Platform uses an automated email drip campaign in order to stay in touch with their potential customers. They take every lead and put it into their system and into an automated email drip campaign. The potential clients don’t just get generic emails, they get personalized email depending on what they need. 

When the time is right for them, they’d click on the link to their site and they’ll be notified by it. This is their time to give them a call and ask them if anything has changed. 

One of Craig’s clients used the auto-drip campaign and things have been better for them now. They used to have sales reps call chiropractors all day long but these professionals are busy and they don’t look at their phones most times of the day. Then they started putting the chiropractors’ name on the system, they searched for their needs, and on the things they focus on. They are then placed on their appropriate auto-drip where they get emails that are relevant to their needs. When they interact with the emails, the company is being notified and they get to start pitching again. The auto-drip system allows them to build relationships with prospects without compromising their sales rep’s manpower. 

There other ways to do it. Some are using the typical marketing system and sends out weekly or monthly emails to their list. Others also hire someone whose job is to focus on making mails and sending them out. 

“How to Nurture "No" Into "Yes"  episode resources 

Reach out to Craig Klein by visiting his website. Check out the site to get downloadable PDFs on how you can organize your customer list to send the right emails to the right people. 

Wanting to learn and hear more about sales? Don’t hesitate and connect with Donal via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a 12-module program for salespeople like you to improve your pitches and presentations. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1190.mp3
Category:Nurturing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Pulling Profits Out of a Hat

Pulling profits out of a hat is something that salespeople are raving about. But how do you go about it? 

Brad Sugar has been in the teaching business for 26 years and now has coaching offices in over 80 countries. He’s also a published author with 17 books in his name. He appreciates being able to help others grow their business and keeps expanding his business to be able to help more people improve their sales. 

One of his recent books is Pulling Profits Out of a Hat: Adding Zeros to Your Company Isn't Magic 1st Edition. This book teaches companies how  to get multiple growths instead of percentage growth. As salespeople, challenge yourself to multiply your growth. If your company grew by 15% last year, make it an aim to grow it 15 times more this year. 

The starting point is to believe that your business can multiply and have the right attitude in getting it there. 

Pulling profits out of a hat

Every business person is a business owner. Whatever your role is, whether it be a salesperson or a sales leader, you have your own section of the business.  

Set your goals and be specific about them. What are the goals you want to achieve two times, five times, and so on? There are five core disciples mentioned in the book - strategy, business development, people, execution, and mission. You need to start with the strategy. 

Strategy

Strategy can be broken down into four main points: 

  • Leverage
  • Scalability
  • Opportunity
  • Marketability

We define leverage as doing the work once and getting paid for a long-term basis. Bill Gates, for example, understood leverage. He made software once and he sold it forever. These days, Microsoft doesn’t sell software anymore. They make you pay for it every single month. Steve Jobs understood leverage after he got fired from Apple. He bought Pixar and found ways to sell a movie repeatedly in various formats. They sell their products and they set their businesses up in a way that customers buy it over and over again all the while making a lesser effort in selling it.

Salespeople find this challenging because they’re not wired to do this. They are trained to do sales one at a time as opposed to the marketers who do multiple sales at a time. The selling one at a time mentality kills the business. A salesperson should remember all his strategies, from the short-term to the medium-term, and the long-term. Don’t go directly to the long-term strategy where you build your reputation with social media and create content. Start from the short term goal of picking up the phone and making a call.  

Scalability 

Brad defines scalability as the next sale should cost less and is easier to sell. Salespeople need to keep building, to look at what the product or services they’re selling, and how they’re selling it. Work the scales into your program and go backward. Think of ways of how you can continually make money month after month. 

Set goals that are based on the market and the opportunity size and not based on your own needs, desires, and previous results. #SalesSuccess

Marketability 

Look for products and services that are easier to sell and check their marketability. Zappos has a good market. It sells shoes and many people want shoes. They want shoes now, they want shoes next month, and they want new shoes just to look good. The market is rich and they have a product that’s easy to sell. 

Sales, marketing, and customer service all have to go hand-in-hand. This is easy if you don’t want to grow your business but if you want to grow your business exponentially, you need to have a great sales system, a great marketing system, and a great customer service system. 

Break down the marketing to the most granular loads and work backward from there because that’s how you get good results. You don’t leave the basic steps of doing the call even when you’ve already made it to the building connection phase. 

Continue getting at least 20 connects a day or whatever number you’re supposed to reach as a sales rep. There is no limit on how many you must do but there is a limit on how little you must do. 

Testimonials and rankings are two of the most important things in marketing today. Find ways to make people give you testimonials and ask them to rank you.

Value 

Another thing that would help you be better in pulling profits out of a hat is to add value. Keep learning because you can only ever own as much as you’ve learned to make. It’s also important to make sure that your sale is made before you turn up. 

In real estate for example, when somebody calls asking for an appraisal, do not just send them an e-mail. Make it more personal and let them know why you’re the company for the job. Send them a box filled with the magazine where testimonials of your customers are found. Deliver it to them as fast as you can. When the prospect gets the box, they’ll think you’re a genius and they’ll want to work with you because you aren’t just an email. You are as visible as the testimonials in the magazines show. This is how you make the sale before even showing up. 

“Pulling Profits Out of a Hat” episode resources

Always continue learning and never wish life were easier. instead, wish that you were better. If you get better at sales, then life gets easier. If you get better at marketing, and marketing gets easier. 

Connect with Brad in his social media accounts. He is in LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. You can also visit his website Brad Sugars and ActionCoach.

You can also ask Donald any of your sales concerns via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 Imodules  and you can get the first two modules for free! 

If you like this episode, don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1189.mp3
Category:Profits -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

For organizations looking to expand their footprint and extend their reach, these 3 tips to improve closing will help them achieve those goals.

Johnny Lee operates a sales and marketing firm called C Level Partners that helps organizations expand their footprint, gain new clients, and move in the direction of their goals. He believes that sales is everything. His experience from the management side, from the individual side, and from the sales rep side gives him a unique multi-level vantage point.

  1. Listen to understand

The biggest challenge Johnny Lee consistently sees is that sellers listen to reply rather than listening to understand. He recently carried out a DILO, or a “day in the life of” exercise with a lean, mature team that all suffered from the same problem. They all listened while waiting for the opportunity to explain why their company was so great. 

Sellers master the art of articulating their value, but before we win in the marketplace we have to master the art of listening. We’ve all heard it before, perhaps in the saying, “Telling is not selling.”

But if we truly applied this truth to our everyday behaviors both in and out of business, we would know exactly how to articulate our value proposition to become the solution that the prospect needs. 

  1. Exhibit empathy

In many cases, the discovery call that precedes the demo doesn’t actually help the seller understand the challenges the seller is facing. In order to understand the problems they are trying to solve, you must listen and develop empathy for the pain they are feeling. 

Empathy helps us understand why people do certain things and how they end up where they are. When you care about helping people, you’ll be able to support them while they tackle the challenges they face. 

When we ask questions that lead them down the path of discovery, our prospects will outline exactly what they need and how you can help. 

Empathy acknowledges how the existing challenges affect the company’s bottom line and understands how important it is to consider shareholder value in the face of problems. 

Empathy cannot be rushed. 

When you communicate that you’re with them in the challenge, you’ll become a trusted advisor. 

You cannot begin the work of solving a problem until you understand several things. 

  1. You must understand the challenge and how the prospect got where he is today.
  2. You must understand whether he seems himself getting out of the situation.
  3. You must understand how impactful it is for the business if he doesn’t get out of the situation.

Once you build empathy and understand those three things, you can begin the next step of prescribing. 

  1. Prescribe with confidence

There’s a fine line between arrogance and confidence, and you must prescribe solutions with confidence. 

An arrogant person might immediately say, for example, “I have exactly what you’re looking for.” Arrogant people don’t listen. 

When you do step 2 right and you have empathy and understanding, you’ll find yourself in the position of a therapist of sorts. Like a therapist, you have to be welcoming, calm, and professional. 

Therapists don’t say, “Wow, you’re messed up.” They also don’t say things like, “I’m exactly what you need to solve your problem.” Instead, they operate with confidence, saying things like, “I’m so glad you took the first step. I’ve dealt with similar challenges before and I know we can get where you want to be.”

Therapists become trusted advisors. They communicate that they are looking out for the patient’s best interests.

Confident sellers must do the same. 

Pay attention to tonality

Tonality is critical to communicating the right level of confidence. Be enthusiastic. Be happy and excited that you’re speaking with a credible person. 

Recognize the two different kinds of buyers: technical and economic. Technical buyers are people who can use your service but can’t make the decision to buy your service or product. Economic buyers make the ultimate decision. 

There are two different ways of closing those two kinds of buyers. Because you can only engage a technical buyer for a certain period of time, you’ll eventually have to divert to the economic buyer. 

Know how to ask questions like this: “I know you’ve been looking to address this challenge for quite some time. Is it common in your organization to bring the CFO in at this point to make the final decision?”

You must sniff technical buyers out early in the sales process. 

Never ever give a proposal to someone who can’t buy. 

Using phrases like “this is what we have been doing,” and “working with companies like yours,” communicates confidence. Eliminate phrases that include “I think,” or “it should.” #Tonality

Confidence

Passion is extremely contagious. You have to know when to elevate a pitch or speak faster or slower. Johnny Lee is a firm believer that tonality creates the environment. Because prospects who are on the phone can’t see you, they are still picturing something. They are picturing whether you’re tall or short, aggressive or not. They can picture you, and it’s your job to make sure they picture you as a trusted advisor. 

Confidence comes from studying your value proposition. You have to understand your value proposition. You also have to readily know what your value proposition has done in the workplace. That means knowing the stories and the case studies. 

People are sold auditorily, visually, and kinesthetically. Tell your stories with passion, with conviction, and with numbers because people love numbers and percentages. 

Don’t share numbers if they haven’t shared their stories and their challenges with you first. 

Acquire

Don’t admire what other organizations and colleagues and sales leaders are doing. Acquire what they’ve been doing, and exceed the expectations you’ve set for yourself. 

Instead of comparing your personal and professional life to the people around you, humble yourself and ask questions of those who achieved those levels of success. That will help you build a roadmap to success in all areas of your life. 

Episode resources

If you’d like to connect with Johnny Lee, email him jlr@reinosoglobal.com.

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using - Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1188.mp3
Category:Closing -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

How Do I Deal With Unresponsive Inbound Leads?

There are tricks on how to deal with unresponsive inbound leads. Dealing with people who come to your website and who give their phone numbers and emails but don’t want to talk to you doesn’t have to be difficult. It is true that many who visit your site want the freebies and they ghost you for reasons you can’t comprehend. 

The sales reps are frustrated because the appointment is not getting through, nor are the emails, or the calls. 

This happens because we’ve conditioned the buyers this way. We’ve taught them the concept of opt-in. They give us their emails for emailed permission-based marketing and we call them or mail them to get an appointment. Other companies are doing this as well and buyers know the pattern and are now looking for ways around it. They often give a bogus email address or an old one that they no longer check making it next to impossible to get in touch with them in the first place. 

Deal with unresponsive inbound leads 

There are two ways to deal with unresponsive inbound sales. The first one is connected to marketing. Examine what you’re offering to the prospects and extend your offer beyond your freebies. They may not be ready to purchase yet and they just want to review your offer so give them something else they can munch. Include another link to something else within your gift. Try to put an invite to your webinar. They can click inside the opt-in to see what the webinar is all about. Engage them further and nurture them into actual leads. 

Give them something a little bigger, perhaps a one-on-one free consultation session or your phone number. Turn the opt-in into a strategy session to be able to talk to your prospects. 

For qualified leads, engage them further by giving them more information. They will qualify themselves and they will give you their phone number and have a conversation with you. Once they go to your webinar, they become converted leads which allows you to give them a pitch or offer your product for 15% off. 

Give the prospects what they want in order to get what you want. #SalesTips

Give them the piece of content and education on the webinar to get the conversion going. As a salesperson, deal with unresponsive inbound leads by giving them what they want first.

You can also use a thank you page as a dual opt-in or a webinar sign-up page to further turn your unresponsive inbound prospects to interested prospects who want to learn more about the business. 

Stop the old school strategy 

Deal with unresponsive inbound leads by letting go of your old school strategies. Stop sending a generic email which contains the usual information about the company, the features and benefits of the product, or the invite for a phone call or appointment schedule.  

Emails such as these are long and asking them for a phone call at the end of it is a huge jump. 

Shorten your email and change your subject line. Go for simpler yet impactful opening such as, “Did you get the download for this or that?” The recipient will see your name, your signature, and all the other necessary information and he is bound to answer a resounding Yes. They need to recognize you as an individual. 

This is when you ask! 

Ask your question when they’ve already responded to your previous mail. If they reply with a Yes, ask them for a phone call to answer any questions they might have. If the prospect shows interest and gives his phone number then quickly respond by giving a phone call. The key is to follow up right away. 

Have a 2-step strategy for prospects who are not ready to buy right away. Make it your goal to make them reply to you before you ask them to have the sales talk with you. Remember that buyers these days are cognizant of opt-ins so warm up to them by using this 2-step strategy. 

If you’re doing insight sales and you’re responsible for all inbound sales, you might want to ask them what prompted them to download the content. Do what you can to engage them in a conversation. 

“How Do I Deal With Unresponsive Inbound Leads?” episode resources

Build stronger value and have more meaningful conversations with your prospects. Close more deals and challenge yourself to go out and do big things every single day. 

For sales concerns, you can connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 modules  and you can get the first two modules for free! 

If you like this episode, don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

If you’re a reader who loves reading and listening to books, you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1187.mp3
Category:Inbound Leads -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Write Your Company’s Obituary: Identify or Rediscover Your Company’s Purpose

Having to write your company’s obituary sounds a bit morbid but there’s a good reason why doing this is important. One result is that doing so will help you identify and rediscover your company’s purpose. 

Josh Levine is a culture company strategist and works with technology, social enterprise organizations, and firms to help them improve their work. His goal is to make the employees love what they’re doing by building strong relationships, higher trust, and deeper engagement. 

Josh published a book called Great Mondays: How to 

Design a Company Culture That Employees Love. It talks about all his learnings for the past 10 years in advancing the idea of company culture as a strategic advantage. It defined what culture is and gives people the tools that they need to improve the culture. 

Write your company’s obituary 

This was a tool that Josh’s mentor used and many clients would react negatively upon hearing it. There is more to sales than just putting the product out there and selling it. It’s more than just the numbers. Doing business isn’t only about the money; it’s also about understanding what you are trying to do with your company and with your life. 

This is also about knowing your own purpose and helping the organization discover its  ‘why?’ 

Imagine that your business closes its doors after 30 years. Don’t think of the reason why it shut down. Your goal is to write down two or three short paragraphs about why your company will be remembered and will be most missed. This will give you the opportunity to see what you achieved that made the difference. 

Josh’s team works with a board executive team and leadership peers together. They make teams write because what matters isn’t just the end result. They also consider the kind of language, the words, and the phrases used together. 

Obituary exercise

Don’t stop short of the fantastic. When you start writing your company obituary, you need to go beyond how far you think you can make it. 

Be bold about the things that you think your company can achieve. #Salessuccess

The point of the exercise is to come up with your achievements and look for the possible ways that you’re going to achieve those. 

Josh had a client who said that they would  solve poverty. It’s a far-fetched goal and impossible to do but it didn’t keep them from aiming to do  so. When the discussion happened, the team thought of how to make it work and figured out that their technology connects communities together. The community that works together  will solve poverty. With that, their previously written achievement of solving poverty now sounds plausible. 

 

Define your purpose

Next, you have to define your purpose. The company’s values are the hows and the company’s purposes are the whys. Businesses and companies need to figure out the why behind what they’re doing. You won’t be able to find your purpose if you’re thinking about this quarter’s return or this quarter’s sales numbers. 

As a sales leader, you can help define the purpose by shaping the culture of your company according to the company’s vision. You can help strengthen the team and find the values and purpose of the company over time. 

Components of a company's culture 

There are six components mentioned in the book Great Mondays. The first three are as follows: 

  • Purpose
  • Values
  • Behaviors

The first two define the company’s purpose and values. The third component is behaviors. Behavior is the center point of culture and is what you are trying to adjust to help  people make better business decisions. 

The next three are the following: 

  • Recognition
  • Rituals
  • Cues

Recognition and rewards have been used in businesses. These are effective strategies in aligning behaviors to build and strengthen the synapses of culture. Your goal is to spread your culture and share the behaviors. 

Keep reminding your peers why they’re in the business and getting the people back to the top of the pyramid. Love what you and find something that you believe in to make everything worthwhile. 

“Write Your Company’s Obituary” episode resources

Great Mondays: How to Design a Company Culture That Employees Love is available on Amazon. The purpose of the Write your company’s obituary exercise is laid out in the book. 

You can download the supporting materials for free at free@greatmondays.com. You can also sign up for newsletters, one minute Monday, and case studies.  We will e-mail you all the necessary information for building cultures that matter. 

Connect  with Josh Levine via Twitter and LinkedIn. 

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses and you can get the first two modules for free! 

If you like this episode, don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

If you’re a reader who loves reading and listening to books, you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

For sales concerns, you can shoot us your question anytime. Connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1186.mp3
Category:Company Culture -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

When I asked The Sales Evangelist community what they wanted to know about sales, one of the questions that emerged was, “Why do salespeople talk so much?”

It annoys a lot of people, primarily because if you talk too much, you’re probably listening too little. 

Persuading people

Somewhere in the growth of the sales industry, sellers convinced themselves that talking would persuade buyers to make purchases. We believed that if we talked more, they’d hear us more and they’d more likely believe us. As a result, they’d say “yes” more. 

Unfortunately, that just isn’t true. 

The greatest salespeople listen more than they talk. #ListenMore

You’ve likely heard the adage that you have two ears and one mouth, so you should listen twice as much as you talk. 

If you pay attention, you’ll likely discover that the best salespeople are those who use their speaking opportunities to ask questions. They seek to understand their buyer’s perspective and to stimulate conversation that helps them gather important information. 

Stimulate the buyer

Let’s go back to the scenario we discussed earlier in the week. If someone owns a car that costs them a lot of money every month for repairs, you could ask that person questions to help him realize that he has a problem. If you walk him through the math and help him understand how much that amounts to every year, he may find that he could be driving a much newer car for the same price.

Good sales reps will ask questions that will help him realize the problem on his own. 

  • Why are you spending that much money on your car?
  • If I could show you how to spend one-fourth of that amount and get a reliable vehicle and still have money to save, would you be open to learning more?

He’ll likely be willing to at least learn more. 

Features and benefits

Without even discussing features and benefits, you’ve inspired him to consider his situation. You said nothing about the radio, or the seats, or the transmission, or the exterior of the car. You helped him persuade himself to explore the possibilities.

Many sellers dislike the awkward moments in meetings when things get quiet. Each side wonders what the other is thinking and, as humans, it just feels wrong for us to sit in silence. We assume the buyer is thinking something negative. 

A Harvard study found that when people talk about themselves, it triggers the same pleasure sensations as food or money. The study also found that volunteers who were offered a chance to earn money by answering questions about other people passed up potential earnings in exchange for a chance to talk about themselves. 

We’re more comfortable talking about ourselves because we’re confident about it. The conclusion is that sellers who want to fill an awkward silence will likely talk about themselves. 

Meeting prep 

Sellers who prepare for meetings would more likely understand the situation and the buyer and his company. As a result, they'll be more confident in their understanding of the customer’s challenge. They’ll ask appropriate questions that help the buyers travel down the path to making a decision. 

Write some thought-provoking questions prior to the meeting. Challenge your prospects’ way of thinking. If you feel awkward about a specific question, you should probably ask it anyway. 

If your prospect seems to be avoiding a topic, see if you can find a way to bring it up anyway. The conversation will either progress toward conversion or your prospect will decide he isn’t ready for change. 

Study the customer and his company. Learn about the potential problems they are facing and figure out a way to solve them. 

“Why Do Salespeople Talk So Much?” episode resources

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using - Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1185.mp3
Category:Listening -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Sales From The Street: "The Heart Flow Sales Process"

Sales is a process and every salesperson has to master the heart flow sales process before expecting results. 

Janet Clark’s company, The Freedom Shift, is a sales matchmaker. Janet matches high-ticket salespeople with coaches and consultants who want to expand their  sales team. She is also helping the coaches with their lead generation and figuring out their qualified leads because this part of marketing can be difficult. 

Before she built her company, Janet started in corporate sales selling B2B. She built sales organizations for big telecommunications and internet-based companies. It was only five years ago that she started selling high-ticket transformation programs for top-level coaches and consultants. 

B2B selling and transformational selling

In B2B selling, a salesperson is selling somebody in a corporation and spending somebody else’s money. Their decision is still laced with emotion but it’s more of making the right decisions so as not to lose their jobs. 

In transformational selling, a coach or consultant is selling to a company owner who makes a decision to invest in himself to reach a new level of personal growth. A coach or consultant talks to a person who spends his own money. There are  a lot of emotions involved in making the decisions of doing high-ticket investments yourself . 

The key to connect with people is to reach them from the heart, hence the heart flow sales process. Every letter in the word Heart Flow stands for one of the steps in the sales process. 

Factors to consider 

Two things need to happen before someone invests in a high-ticket program. Number one, the prospect has to know that the program works. They need to feel a level of trust in the person delivering the program. The second factor is for the prospect to consider whether  the program will work for him.  

Marketing and the qualifying piece answer that question. Talking to the prospect about the program and how good it is alone wouldn’t result in a closed deal unless the conversation goes deeper and they figure out where their fear is coming from.

The Heart flow process is not hardcore selling and it’s not manipulative. 

Most people need a push and not manipulation. Sometimes, they need to borrow the confidence of the salesperson in order to make big decisions. There is a fine line between being confident and pushing somebody a little beyond their comfort zone and doing something manipulative. 

People who make investments need to see results and they won’t get the results they want when you bring them in the program in a coercive way. 

Heart 

Heart Flow is divided into three sections and as mentioned earlier, every letter stands for a step in the process. 

  • Hello
  • Explain
  • Ask
  • Recap
  • Teach

Hello is the greeting. It’s when you sit with your clients and figure out who they are. This is where you build rapport. Next, is to explain how the call is going to go. Set the stage right away and do an agenda before the call. It is important to take the prospects through the process in order to steer them in the right direction. 

Ask, because fact-finding and interviewing are two important parts of the sales process. Learn to ask the right questions and the typical objections in the program you are selling. When you realize that the person is not a qualified prospect, you go to the next section. 

Recap the things that they’ve said to ensure that they know you’re listening and absorbing the information they gave you. 

Teach is the transition point where  you start giving them some information. It’s important to teach them something that they’re not aware of and give them that eureka moment. Teaching them little things that they don’t know or might have known in a way that is an Aha! Moment. 

Flow

The next section is Flow. 

  • Feeling
  • Layout the offer
  • Own the silence
  • Wrap it up

Feeling is asking them how they feel about what you’ve said. This step makes them reflect on the things you’ve said and respond accordingly. This brings you to the next section, layout the offer. 

This is where you explain to them that what you just taught them (in the Teach step) is  incorporated in this program. Layout to them the elements and the components that make the program work. It’s more of the benefits and results of the program rather than the times of the day you’re going to do the coaching calls. 

Own the silence and don’t make the mistake of owning the talk after you’ve laid the offer. It’s important to mute yourself and let them come up with what they’re thinking. 

The last step is to wrap it up. Answer their questions and move forward into getting them into the program. 

There is science to the sales process and a way that it needs to flow. 

There’s also an art to sales so that every person brings their own artistic way of doing the process. 

The heart flow sales process allows you to be creative but still keep the process flowing so that you can stay on track. 

Refrain from reading a sales script and do it in a natural format but in a guided way. 

Sales should be a normal conversation with people where you’re helping them through the process of making a decision. #SalesHacks

“Sales From The Street: The Heart Flow Sales Process" episode resources

As a salesperson, make sure that you’re doing this for the right reason and not just to make a commission. 

Connect with Janet Clark. You can find her on Facebook, High Ticket Sales Collaborative or visit her site, The Freedom Shift. You can also shoot her an e-mail if that’s more convenient for you. 

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses and you can get the first two modules for free! 

If you like this episode, don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

If you’re a reader who loves reading and listening to books, you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

For sales concerns, you can shoot us your question anytime. Connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1184.mp3
Category:Transformational Selling -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Modernizing the software demonstration can help prospects better understand your product value and keep your digital buyers connected to your product throughout the buying process.

Greg Dickinson is the CEO and founder of Omedym, which is “my demo” spelled backward. He’s trying to help businesses utilize today’s latest and greatest technologies to augment and improve the digital demo process. 

Product experience

Most sellers can point to a personal experience in which a bad product experience eliminated a vendor from consideration in the buying process. 

You won’t necessarily win the deal on the first demo, but you can unequivocally lose it. #SalesDemo

People tend to have different processes and sometimes the more junior players are the ones that are giving the top-of-the-funnel demos. If you ask your team members to each give a demo, you might find yourself wondering if each person is selling the same product. The demos can be that different. 

Digital buyers

Buyers are more digital than they were five years ago, which is the biggest challenge in the software demo industry. The average software buyer spends 5 percent of the buying process with the sales team. So if you think about the “request a demo” button on your website, it’s your first interaction with a potential buyer. For most companies, that button generates a pop-up form, and the bounce rate in the industry is 85 percent. 

People at the top of the funnel want to learn a little more about your product. Maybe they read some content about your product and they want to see a video. When a form pops up, your digital buyer leaves your website. 

Sellers, ask yourself as a buyer whether you tend to fill out forms in this situation. If the answer is no, why do you expect your own buyers to do so? Instead, websites tend to hold demos hostage by scheduling them or exchanging them for an email. 

Your prospects want to engage and understand your product. Modernizing the software demonstration can help your prospects get the information they need to make a decision. 

Inside sales

The going research suggests that buyers want to see the product you’re offering within the first two minutes of an interaction. Your solution sounds great, and it solves a problem they are struggling with, so they want to see the product. Typically, the inside salesperson will insist on asking a bunch of questions and booking a discovery call and then a demo. By the end of that 3-week period, you’ve lost the buyers’ attention. 

In response, some companies have allowed the inside sales rep to give the demo, but that usually doesn’t work. The inside sales rep wasn’t trained to do demos, and she may not have the skillset to do them. 

Demos are more than a “show up and throw up” proposition. They are hard. 

Your customer wants to feel like he’s in control of the sales process. He wants to see what he’s buying. 

Video demos

Greg said that even the companies who are posting one- or two-minute videos to demonstrate their products aren’t getting a good response because they are effectively spraying-and-praying. They generate four or five snippets that they hope will address their buyers’ questions. 

Greg’s technology allows you to create your best demonstrations, and then interact with the software to get a personalized demonstration. 

If you want to know whether the software can do parallel workflow, the software will bring you to the right asset and the right section to find that answer. Instead of searching through 10 or 15 separate posts, the user can find the content he needs. 

The average watch time for a business tech buyer is just over two-and-a-half minutes, so allow them to ask a question and see a relevant demo. 

Build a picture

Think of your typical buyer’s team. It isn’t just one person. It’s usually multiple people with different points of view and different ideas of what’s important in the software. 

If you can allow your customers to ask questions and then have the streaming of the video and the demo to that person at that moment, it’s much more impactful. Perhaps more importantly, Greg’s software records all the activity so that the marketing and sales teams know the buyer’s intent. 

  • What was Donald’s interest?
  • What did he watch? 
  • How long did he watch? 
  • What questions and follow-up questions did he ask? 

Once you gather this information, you begin to build a picture of Donald. The self-guided demo allows the seller to understand what Donald’s interests are so he knows what to talk to Donald about. 

New world

Your customer wants to talk specifically about how you can help ease his pain. Whether you call it the consumerization of the business buyer or the Amazon effect, people are used to buying things a certain way. That attitude doesn’t change when we’re at work. 

Buyers want a certain part of the sales cycle to be self-guided. Then, when they are ready to engage with sales, they want to begin with the topic that interests them rather than starting all over again. 

Digital footprint

Buyers can get their data in a million different places just like sellers can use the Internet to learn about buyers. We’re losing the ability to influence buyers because we’re spending less time with them. 

If you don’t provide a digital means for the disconnected independent buyer to stay engaged with you in the digital world, when it comes time to make the purchase, he may not remember all the aspects of your software. 

If you’re selling software, keep it in front of your prospect. Give him the opportunity to constantly validate your value as he’s making the decision criteria. 

These tools don’t replace sellers, but they augment them by creating a digital footprint that helps the buyer stay connected with you. He can get the information he needs based upon where he is in the buyer’s journey. 

Uber, for example, provides the same service as a taxi cab, but it created a better buying experience. Uber made it easier and removed the friction, so it won the market. 

The challenge for digital buyers is the same: your sales process hasn’t changed so we’re making the buying process harder. It’s why our win-rates aren’t as high. The buyer doesn’t have the information he needs to make a decision. 

Buying team

In many cases, you’ll never meet with the entire buying team. It might be true that you only met with about half of them, so they are anonymous to you. 

Now, those buyers are in a Friday meeting and someone is presenting all the information about your product. Wouldn’t it be great if that buyer had seen portions of the demo on his own? You can’t always be last. 

Instead of figuring out whether to be the first impression or the last impression, strive to be the impression. Give that buyer a chance to consume your demo content. Record that demo, make it available to the buying team, and use a technology that allows them to find topics within the demo. 

The team isn’t going to spend 90 minutes watching, so help them find the topics that are pertinent so they can spend 10 minutes learning about your product. You’ve had a chance to touch a buyer you never would have touched. 

Buyer’s perspective

Greg’s tool works for anyone who sells a product, and Omedym believes that the product experience, the demo, and the product engagement are part of the buyer’s journey. It’s one of the most important aspects of the buying process. 

Starting with the top-of-the-funnel demo to the sales demo and the scripted demo, video is playing a very pertinent role. Omedym focuses on software because you truly can’t be everything to everyone. 

Take a different perspective and figure out how modernizing the software demonstration can help your buyers buy. 

“Modernizing the Software Demonstration” episode resources

You can connect with Greg at Omedym.com, or on his LinkedIn. He welcomes feedback and conversations because he learns from the information.

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using - Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1183.mp3
Category:Product Demo -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

How to Not Ruin Relationships When Selling to Friends 

Have you ever wondered how to not ruin relationships when selling to friends? This can be difficult because you would still want to keep the relationship even when they’ve said no. 

This isn’t a unique struggle, it’s common to most salespeople. Perhaps the products could be beneficial to your friend or family so you want them to try it. You have a moral obligation to at least explain some ways to fix their problem without turning it into something bigger. 

Solve the true problem 

Assess whether what you have is truly a solution to their problem. You can’t sell a car to your friends when they already have one that is running in perfect condition. Even when you’ve told them about the new features of the car you’re selling, they’re not going to get one because they have a good car that runs just fine. What you presented to them isn’t a solution because there wasn’t a problem in the first place. 

It is important for you to seek out whether there is a problem and figure out what it is before you present your product. 

Be genuine 

Do not present a solution that would benefit you; rather, give them a solution that would benefit them. 

Perhaps their car needs fixing and they are spending way too much for the repair. This is a great time for you to share the features of the car you’re selling. If they don’t have the income to purchase it, then help them get the income by looking for a credit union. 

That genuine heart helps build trust and your friends will potentially lead you to other people with similar problems. The people you’ve helped will come back to you and buy from you again later on.  

Do not pitch something to your family or friends because your sales manager told you to do so. Don’t approach them with the mindset that they’ll buy your product because they feel guilty. 

Consider your approach 

Always set the rules before you play the game. Consider your approach and be straightforward. Because they are the people you are close with, you have the benefit of honesty from them. Before you make your pitch, remind them that if they are not interested, there’s no need to beat around the bush and that the relationship stays the same regardless of their choice.

Once they understand that, then you can move on with your pitch. Put emphasis on the fact that you are willing to help with their problems. If their car isn’t working well and they are spending too much for repair every week, tell them that they can go to another car salesperson. You are merely giving them options on how they can address their problems. 

Don’t approach them like you would any other clients. Instead, approach them in a loving way. People recognize trust and love and if you use that approach to your friends and families then you’ve unlocked one great strategy on how to not ruin relationships when selling to friends

No isn’t always a No

Many salespeople keep selling even when the person has said no. This happens a lot because in sales, it is about the numbers and others take it to another level. As a salesperson, you need to have a threshold. Most sales reps, however, see a list of names to reach out without knowing who these people are or their concerns. They see names and they see numbers automatically. They don’t look at the names as individuals who might be facing some personal issues at the moment. 

Studies have shown that 92% of salespeople give up after getting a NO without realizing that 60% of consumers say no four times before saying yes. Some say no because they are busy or they aren’t a fit for what the salesperson is offering. 

If someone is in the right market and they fall under the criteria of your ideal customer profile, then they do have a problem that you can solve. You have a moral obligation to at least explain it to them, and not just once. 

Change your approach from someone who just wants to set an appointment and talk about the product to someone who wants to help them and educate them to overcome a challenge they are facing. 

Build relationships

Build relationships by being everywhere and being constant. #Socialselling

The Sales Evangelist, for example, is virtually everywhere and we’ve been sharing a stream of content on a regular basis. We are found in every platform where our ideal customers may be. We are on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. People may have not expressed their interest now but they are individuals that we can follow up and put into other sequences for us to reach out. 

If they aren’t ready to buy this month, then connect with them and ask them if they are willing to receive educational information. If no, then let them go and if yes, then look for ways that you can continue educating them. 

Don’t pitch them the product when they’re not yet ready to get it but maintain a relationship and to do a follow-up after enough time. Remember to stay in touch. 

Nurture that relationship until such time that it picks up. 

A portion of that 60% who said no to you will eventually make a yes if you stick around and pitch in the perfect timing. So, build a relationship with those individuals in a loving way and be present in whatever means or platform they like to digest your content. 

“How to Not Ruin Relationships When Selling to Friends” episode resources

The Sales Evangelist records podcasts regularly. Some of our contents are answers to questions sent to us by salespeople. If you have concerns, you can shoot us your question anytime. Connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

If you like this episode, don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses and you can get the first two modules for free! If you want to take your sales to the next level, then I recommend that you join us with our group coaching. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

If you’re a reader who loves reading and listening to books, you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1182.mp3
Category:Selling to Friends -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

3 Things Leaders Do To Hurt Sales Rep Relationships

Sometimes, there are 3 things leaders do to hurt sales rep relationships and most times, they do it unintentionally. This is especially hard because sales leaders and sales reps spend a lot of time together. A bad leader can negatively affect how a sales rep makes his sell. While a good leader helps how sales reps can improve their sales. 

Marc Levine founded his ImprovMySales business four years ago. The company is dedicated to creating wonderful and profitable places to work. Before this business venture, Marc was part of a sales team as a national account executive and technology and professional services. For the last 16 years, he has been developing leaders and teams, teaching people communication skills, selling services to certain companies including Citibank, Prudential, and Best Buy.  

3 Things leaders do to hurt sales relationships

There are probably more, but let’s focus on just the three things for now. 

  • A leader does not create a psychologically safe environment
  • The leader forgets about humanity 
  • The leader is emotionally unintelligent

August has been a leadership month and people have been talking about the important things to become a good sales leader. This involves setting a vision and becoming a good coach. It’s about creating a culture where sales reps can thrive and succeed. 

When a leader fails to create that safe environment, the sales relationship takes a hit. 

By definition, psychological safety was a term coined by the social psychologist, Amy Edmonson. Google did a two-year study and analyzed the qualities of its most effective teams. The results of the study have shown that teams promoting psychological safety produced better revenues and their team members stayed in the work longer than others. Psychological safety is a team norm that says it’s safe to take risks, to be vulnerable, to ask for help, and to disagree with the rest of the team. 

When you do, you won’t be ostracized for disagreeing but instead, you’ll be honored and validated. 

An environment where sales leaders can thrive

As a parent, when your kid doesn’t understand something, you want your kid to feel safe to come to you and ask for help without getting embarrassed. The same is true in sales. As a leader, you need to develop a team where your members can be honest and can come forward when they don’t understand something. 

You want your team members to come to you about their problems early on in the sales cycle rather than at the end of it where the deal is falling apart. This is the essence of psychological safety. 

It’s an environment where people can ask for help, be vulnerable, take risks, and be supported 

Create a psychologically safe environment 

This doesn’t happen overnight. It happens when your sales reps come to you asking for help and instead of reacting, you validate and support them. Do it a couple of times for the team members to realize that you want to help them. 

Sales leaders also need to stop blaming the team members. Blame and accountability are two different things. 

Blaming makes the blamed feel bad and threatened. It’s when sales leaders bombard the reps with questions like: 

  • Why didn’t you hit the quota last month?
  • Why did you lose that sale?
  • Why aren’t you doing this?

These questions foster negativity. Accountability helps you raise the team’s standard without making the reps feel bad. It’s more like saying, “Hey you didn’t hit your quota last month and I know you're disappointed. Let’s talk about what happened that may have contributed to this and let’s figure out the solutions.” Build an environment where your members can be comfortable in having a dialogue. 

As a sales leader, you also need to admit your own mistakes. Research shows that when you admit your mistakes, the people around you will come close and will open up about theirs as well. 

There’s power in vulnerability and when you use that power, you will see your sales team come closer and open up to you. 

Leaders forget about humanity 

The next in the list of the 3 things leaders do to hurt sales relationships is forgetting about humanity. 

Salespeople are like stand-up comedians. We go out there showing confidence knowing that we’re going to be rejected. We are a fragile group. When sales leaders remember the humanity of the people on their team, the members tend to go above and beyond. The members put in incremental efforts. 

Sales leaders also need to stop making the team members like little versions of themselves. Every member is unique with their own set of skills and strengths. Forcing things that you do well onto them will make them feel resentful. Instead, honor their strength. Validate the things that they do well to make them feel excited and engaged. Make them feel heard and understood. 

Remember that you are working with human beings who have hopes and fears. and get scared. Honor that part of them. 

Build strong relationships with your sales team

Sales leaders need to build strong relationships with their team and practice emotional intelligence. Daniel Goleman wrote in his book Working with Emotional Intelligence that people with emotional intelligence are more successful in their careers than those who are just relying on pure intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and regulate your own feelings to understand and empathize with the feelings of others. As a sales leader, you need to be aware of your emotional triggers to be able to manage them. If you fail to develop that, you can easily be overtaken  by your emotional triggers and start to judge your team. 

Sales is an emotional game and there are many opportunities where sales reps and leaders get triggered. #SalesFacts

These triggers tend to show up again and again and these are no surprises. 

Some examples are:

  • When someone didn’t hit the quota
  • When someone’s not adapting to the new technology
  • When someone’s not putting something into the CRM

So, list your triggers and think of all the situations and the people that trigger the fight, flight, or freeze responses.  

The sales team and all its members are the backbones of an organization. We want them to feel empowered and we can’t make that happen if we don’t provide them an environment where they can thrive and if we keep blaming them. Have conversations with them and make them feel good so that they'd want to produce for you. 

“3 Things Leaders Do To Hurt Sales Relationships” episode resources

Connect with Marc at improvmysales.com or reach him at (718) 637-7890. 

If you like this episode, don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses and you can get the first two modules for free! If you want to take your sales to the next level, then I recommend that you join us with our group coaching. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

If you’re a reader who loves reading and listening to books, you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1181.mp3
Category:Sales Leaders -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

With all the focus on social selling, it can be difficult to determine whether you can consider referrals and connections that result in LinkedIn leads as inbound leads.

If a prospect connects with your content which leads to a conversation and then an appointment, can that be considered an inbound lead?

LinkedIn connections

You’re likely among those sellers who understand that your LinkedIn profile is your personal profile. You cherish it and treat it with respect. You post thoughtful content and share impactful videos and write articles and long-form blogs. You’re creating content that your audience can engage with. 

If those prospects end up in your direct message as a result and that leads to a conversation, that’s an inbound lead. Though it might not qualify as inbound in the traditional sense, you’re engaging in the same activities. No matter who creates the content, it’s an inbound lead. You could even give it a unique KPI name like “social media lead” or SML.

Converting leads

If I connect with 15 or 20 business owners today and 10 of them reconnect with me, the result is 10 new social media leads. I can nurture them by creating videos, posts, or articles and tying the content to my new prospects. 

Ideally, those people will engage in a conversation.

I recently connected with a woman on LinkedIn who later posted a good piece of content. She mentioned me and others she had recently connected with using a “shout out.” Turns out all the people she mentioned continued to engage with her on LinkedIn

I’ll watch her content now since I had a positive interaction, and I might eventually decide to engage with her company. She’s nurturing us as prospects.

Engaging content

Having a LinkedIn profile isn’t enough anymore. You must share engaging content. #LinkedIn

Then, once you do, be intentional about connecting with those who interact with your content. Work to connect with your second- and third-degree connections. 

Try this simple paragraph:

Thanks so much for commenting on my post today, James. Permission to connect here on LinkedIn?

Usually, when you connect immediately, they’ll appreciate your outreach. You can start a conversation that may lead to further interactions.  Now you’re getting more contacts off your ideal customer or prospect. 

Blur the lines

Imagine you have a targeted list of prospects that you’re trying to reach. You’re making phone calls to named accounts and you’re connecting on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. 

If you separate your prospects into different categories, you can optimize them. 

I recently connected with someone on LinkedIn who became a social media contact and then a social media lead. When the prospect asked about sales training for a team, it led to an initial appointment. 

That connection would haven’t happened without engaging content on social media and our interactions there.  

“LinkedIn Leads As Inbound Leads” episode resources

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using - Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1180.mp3
Category:Inbound -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Business Proposal Trends in 2019

What are some of the business proposal trends in 2019 that you’ve used and that have worked for your industry? Trends change so often that we have to keep track of all the changes to be in the loop because what’s new today, may be old news tomorrow. 

Adam Hempenstall has been in the web design business for almost 20 years. He started doing basic websites and brochure sites before the company transitioned into a custom software company. They started building CRMs for different companies and have now invested full time into improving their proposal tool known as Better Proposals.  

Business proposal trends The most important thing is that you're not just seeing a transition from the old school PDF method but the clients’ reluctance to change. There is, however, a massive shift towards people opening proposals using their phones.

Proposals need to be web-based these days. It has to do with what everything else is doing. They’re not just documents anymore, they’re experiences. Clients should be able to read the proposals by the time that you’ve sent them. 

Aside from that, proposals should be sent quickly. Based on the observed data, there’s a higher rate of conversion for proposals that are sent within 24 hours compared to proposals sent in 3-4 days. The other important thing is trying to understand your client most. 

From the data and stats Adam’s company is running, they’ve observed the following business proposal trends in 2019 that work:

  • Convenience over quality
  • Being quick in sending proposals 
  • Caring about your client

Convenience over quality 

People favor convenience over quality. This is apparent in the number of people watching videos on YouTube instead of going to the shows. Live shows mean better quality but people would opt to watch it on YouTube because it means that they can watch it immediately. 

People want things the way they want them. For example, you’ve sent a proposal and the client is reading it in his train ride because that’s the time that he allocated for it. The client is not going to sit there and zoom in through the 15-page PDF proposal you’ve sent. That is not convenient for him. He’s probably going to skim, get bored, and close it down. He’ll make the decision over the price and all that effort of making the proposal is going down the drain because you’ve sent it in a format that isn't convenient for him. 

To beat your competitors, you want to stand out when you’re sending proposals. You don’t want to send the same ones that others are sending. This is especially true if you’re selling software, marketing, or anything with digital elements. You want to show your prospects that you are at the forefront of technology. 

If you tell your prospective clients that you can make their website better and more responsive, you won’t send them a proposal in PDF form. Instead, you send them a web-based proposal and put a tracker in it. 

This will allow you to see the activities that your prospective client is doing. You’d see that your client has opened the proposal and that he'd spent a good amount of time reading it. 

You can give him a call half an hour later to just check in on how it was. You’re in a good place to speak about it because it’s still fresh on his mind. 

You can’t do that with PDFs but you can do it if you use web-based proposals. 

Adam and his team made a high-end proposal for a furniture company. The proposal was great but they didn’t have another meeting with them. After six months, the company randomly opened the proposal and Adam got a notification that they checked the proposal. Adam shoots them a quick message just asking how things are going and if they were able to find a solution to the problem that they were trying to solve last year. The company replied saying that they weren’t able to appreciate the value of the proposal then but are now willing to talk about it. 

This is what tracking can do; this is what a notification can do. 

It’s equally important to repeatedly follow up after a proposal, but not up to the point that you’re putting it on them. 

Just being there and being consistent is enough. 

Sending proposals quickly

We’ve all had a time where we’ve completed a proposal quickly and had a good overturn deal. There have also been times that we’ve procrastinated and done other stuff instead of doing the proposal and when you’ve finally done it, your client has already gone with the other guy. 

Adam’s company looked at the actual data of real proposals that people send through their software platform a few years back. Using the raw numbers, they tried to figure out different factors that affect proposal conversion. You can see the study on betterproposal.io/reports in both 2018 and 2019. They found out that sending the proposal within 24 hours after the initial meeting converts 25% more than if you send it in 2-3 days. 

Remembering details

In Adam’s company, they meet their clients on a neutral ground. They have their meetings in top-end hotel lobbies because it’s comfortable and you can talk to the prospective client freely. When he leaves, you get to stay, order yourself another drink and write the proposal right then and there. It gets difficult when you give it a few more days because by then you remember very little of the meeting. 

All those little things that you forget from the meeting were important to the client and if you wait more days before you write the proposal will lose you the deal eventually. 

These include the following:

  • The actual words they used
  • The phrases they used
  • The expressions they made
  • The body language they gave off

All those things that you remember within a couple of hours will be forgotten within a day. 

Write your proposal immediately after your sales meeting to increase the chances you’ll win the deal. #SalesProposal

Care for your clients 

This part doesn’t have anything to do with the proposals. It is more of what happens before the proposal, and it’s doing good discovery. 

You can’t write a good business proposal for a person or a company if you don't do good discovery. You can have the experience but that will only help you so far. You need to ask questions and you need to dig in and get them to reveal as much as they can. 

You need to understand what they are trying to achieve.

Scratch beneath their surface-level problems to figure out their fears and help them find the solutions. You’re changing the proposal into a personal level and by then, it’s not only the surface-level solutions of the problems you’re proposing. 

You are sending them a proposal that truly addresses their deeper concerns. 

Care about them, care about the situation, and do what you can to get the truth of their situation. 

So, ask the right questions and don’t be afraid to get a little bit uncomfortable. 

Trying out the three suggestions mentioned above will make your proposals better. Instead of sending PDFs, send a web-based proposal and save yourself lots of time. It’s also convenient and it’s a conversion booster. Aside from that, web-based proposals are cheap. 

“Business Proposal Trends in 2019” episode resource

Sign up to Better Proposals website and see hundreds of templates. They also have contracts and other things you can check. 

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses and you can get the first two modules for free! 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

If you’re a reader who loves reading and listening to books, you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1179.mp3
Category:Business Proposals -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

B2B sales optimization requires a longterm commitment to create quality content that will grow your audience and increase your success.

Bill Bice, CEO of  boomtime, said he was born to be an entrepreneur, launching his first business when he was 14. He loves to talk about sales and marketing because it makes the biggest difference in business. 

 

Data and marketing

As business owners, we all know that we have to spend money on marketing, but it’s tough to do if you’re not seeing the ROI. For Bill, marketing is about data, which allows you to understand what’s working. The difficulty occurs when you have too much data because it can be difficult to gather valuable insights that help you improve marketing.

Smaller companies often have more freedom to bring their sales and marketing together. In larger companies, the two disciplines are separate, and they are often at odds. Marketing isn’t doing the support work the sales team needs and each blames the other for lack of performance. 

In smaller companies, the CEO or entrepreneur can decide to tie the two together. 

Bill calls himself a big fan of the challenger sales approach, which resulted from research done in Fortune 500 companies. The concept of using key insights to drive a sales approach creates sales optimization in smaller companies. It’s a perfect example of tying together marketing and sales so that marketing generates insights that truly help sellers. It creates better opportunities which result in better success. 

Optimize sales

To begin with, businesses must be better at 

  1. capturing leads 
  2. following up on those leads
  3. staying top-of-mind with that larger audience that we’re building 

In any complex, high-value sale, a content-driven approach to marketing is the perfect way to optimize the sales process. 

Then, if you’ve done the hard work of taking care of your customers, they’ll tell others about your business which creates referrals. Now the goal is to amplify that effect. 

How do we make word-of-mouth work even better? 

Capturing leads

Micro-commitments are the most effective part of capturing leads. Your website was once a replacement for the Yellow Pages, and a way to get people to pick up the phone. Now, the most important piece of information for a prospective client is an email address. 

If you ask for the prospect’s name, you’ll reduce conversion by 20%. If you ask for the phone number, you’ll reduce conversion by 60%. Every additional field you add reduces conversion by another 8%.

Ask for the one thing you really want from the prospect, which is an email address. You have to be willing to do something that is really hard in order to get those referrals and capture those leads. 

You have to give your best stuff away for free. Give away your deepest and best expertise in exchange for the really valuable thing, which is the email address. #CaptureProspects

The traditional battle between sales and marketing centers around what makes a qualified lead. All we really want is to get people to follow us on LinkedIn and to get the prospects’ email addresses. If we grow our audience in those two places and we’re constantly sending people back to our website with high-value insight, that creates success. 

What’s actually hard to do is the day-to-day work in the trenches, because it’s the consistency that makes this work. 

Marketing mistakes

Many marketers commit the number one mistake of talking about themselves. Nobody cares. 

Are you talking about the problems your target audience struggles with, and are you helping them solve those problems?

Of the content you provide to your prospects, 90% should be entirely focused on the problems your audience is having and the insights you bring that they can’t get from anywhere else. 

The good news is that if you have a niche in the marketing your company serves, then hundreds of those companies will share the same problems. 

CEOs struggle to find those insights because they are running their own businesses. Your marketing department must take advantage of that. You must train your sales team to use a key-insight driven approach. 

Secondly, you must commit to this kind of approach in your sales and marketing. You should plan for at least a year. It won’t be a miracle fix. 

Test and iterate

All forms of content work. Whether you use video, white papers, or checklists, you must test each idea to determine what’s best for that particular segment of the target audience. Even with the explosion of LinkedIn, most B2B sales organizations aren’t leveraging it the way they could. 

The whole point is to grow a new audience and LinkedIn is the easiest way to get your word out to a larger audience of exactly the right prospects. 

Avoid being salesy. Be there to help your network. Use your key insights to drive interest in what you’re doing. Share insights with consistent posting. 

Get the executive team involved in building the audience. Then, turn those connections into opportunities for the sales team. 

Bill’s team sends 40-50 connection requests a day, and they follow up on each one of those accepted connection requests with a recently-written article by that executive that tackles a problem and shows your audience how to solve it. 

Following up on leads

Everybody wants more leads, but most companies generate all the leads they need. The easiest thing to do is to follow up on the leads you already have. 

Most sales teams aren’t very good at using the CRM so they aren’t capturing leads. No follow-up exists. 

Bill’s team created a process that requires going through email boxes of everyone who is client-facing and capturing those email addresses. Add those people to your CRM and then apply a nurturing campaign that follows up on every single lead. 

Sellers tend to focus on things that will create a commission in the next 60 to 90 days. When you get a prospect that may take 6 to 12 months to close, you may see a tendency to drop those. Put a system in place to capture those leads and follow up with them. Use that data to understand when they are interested so you can assign a salesperson to them when they start paying attention. 

Lead follow-up represents the lowest-hanging fruit in most B2B organizations. Think of the number of people you meet at trade shows, and then figure the number of leads that actually get added to your CRM. They are all valuable prospects, but some may not be immediately valuable.

CRM

Bill dislikes the fact that CRM systems are designed for sales managers, but his team uses Pipedrive. He does appreciate the fact that modern CRMs integrate email systems so that you can see all the email interaction that’s happening within the company.

The more your company automates around CRM, the more likely the sellers will actually use it. Make it a tool that actually makes their lives better rather than just a tool that tracks what they are doing. 

In an ideal world, sales managers will work to uncover objections and help the sellers be more effective. 

Top-of-mind

Once you put some real effort into building a larger audience, it will begin to grow organically because you’re giving them social currency. Word-of-mouth works best, and we want to amplify that. The best way to do that is to give the audience that already knows you — current clients, past clients, and prospective clients — the tools to create referrals for you. 

If you’re giving them insightful and helpful content, the next time the issue comes up while they are having lunch with a peer, they’ll have the perfect thing to talk about. As your audience shares your content, you’ll get organic growth. 

Getting started

Everyone is terrified at this piece because actually doing it is the hardest part. Other than in early-stage startups, companies will struggle to accomplish this unless they tag a dedicated resource. Hire a large enough team to make it happen. 

In Bill’s case, they don’t do the writing themselves. They hire people who are already in that market, who understand it well, and who don’t have to be trained. That kind of approach works consistently to develop a steady flow of high-quality content. 

It’s a combination of well-written content with good insights that match the company’s tone. 

Coming up with ideas is the easy part. 

Send an email with a single link and a catchy headline. Drive your audience back to the website. Link all those articles together so that you create a trail of crumbs and you can see what really interests them. Your reader should never reach the bottom of the blog article and not have a next place to go. 

About us

The second most visited page on almost every B2B site is the About Us page, but 99% of the time, that page includes a boring list of executives and bios. It doesn’t sell you on the company. It doesn’t take you to the next natural place that you should go to. 

You’re trusting your prospects to figure out where to go but you really want to control that customer journey and tell the whole story. Managing that journey improves the capture rate of leads. 

Many customers choose companies who have a face on the business. They will choose you because there’s a real person behind the business who cares about them as a client. 

No quick fix

The number-one battle we face in marketing is that there’s no quick fix. This approach works, but it’s a long-term commitment. If you apply it all through your sales team, you’ll create a dramatic trajectory for your company. 

The challenger sale reports that 53 percent of why customers buy from your company traces to the sales experience rather than the product, the price, the service, or the delivery. The key is how they are sold. 

Episode resources

Bill loves to talk with business owners and marketing directors about sales and marketing. You can connect with him at boomtime.com, or on LinkedIn

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using - Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1178.mp3
Category:Marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Our Inbound Leads Are Causing More Work Than Good Sales

Often, you hear salespeople say, “Our inbound leads are causing more work than good sales.” It’s always on the question of who should follow up on inbound leads and how to go about it effectively.

Many small organizations are having a hard time utilizing their inbound strategies effectively. We don’t have all the variables and all the situations within an organization. Still, we can assume that there are three people on a sales team. 

The sales team

Assume that a sales team is composed of three people: the marketing person who does almost everything, the junior assistant who helps with content creation, and the outsourced person who does the marketing strategies. Among the three, who should follow-up the lead? 

Not all leads are created equal. This means that before deciding who will follow up the lead, the lead should be evaluated first.

You don’t want your salesperson pitching to a lead that in the end would go to another competitor. 

Do a pre-qualification 

Do a pre-qualification in your organization to know if the people you are going to have the conversation with are ready to consider the deal. Set a benchmark and rules for what you consider a marketing quantifiable lead. Consider the following questions: 

  • What is considered a sales qualified lead?
  • What is the KPI of your organization? 
  • How many new inbound leads do you want to get per quarter/per month?
  • How much money do you want to generate from those leads?

The answers to those questions will lead you to your ideal customer. It would also help you identify the triggers that qualify them to be a marketing quantifiable lead and a sales qualified lead. 

The work is far more efficient because when a lead comes in, your salespeople can vet them and follow the pre-qualification factors you’ve set to see if the lead can generate new business for the organization. This is also helpful in maintaining your current customers. There’s no time wasted in sifting through leads and trying to figure out which one works and which one doesn’t. 

Create a system

Create a system to efficiently manage the workload. The marketing team can do the pre-qualification to increase the odds of the lead being converted into something real. Whenever a lead comes in, let marketing take a look at it and check the website and the title of the person. 

Then let the intern or junior marketing rep take over the other tasks like looking into LinkedIn, HubSpot, Marketo, or other platforms you have to find the data that you can transfer into your CRM. 

You can then sign that into the sales team for it to become a sales qualified lead. The system prevents wasting time on people who aren’t real prospects. 

Marketing can help fix the problem of having to go back to the beginning of the funnel and pre-qualify the leads again because they’re not yet ready then. 

  • Fix your content
  • Develop a good strategy
  • Make a drip campaign for people who are not yet ready 
  • Separate the marketing qualified lead and your sales qualified lead

Website leads matter

The sales team sometimes takes for granted the leads that they didn’t hunt for. A good example is leads coming in from the websites. Salespeople have this notion that they can get more of those so they ignore them. It’s the mentality that since they didn’t work for it, it doesn’t mean much. 

You must recognize that the organization spent thousands of dollars to get that lead. The organization paid for the marketing and the sales rep to produce content on your site. You have writers and you have graphics on your site. You have all the different infrastructure to make sure that your website functions. 

It is disheartening when a sales rep doesn’t take that into consideration when a lead comes in via the website. 

Whenever an inbound lead comes in, it is best to use your flow process to follow-up particular prospects. It should be written and put in your company’s playbook so that everyone can read it and use it with every inbound lead that comes in. 

Follow-up right away 

A stat from insidesales.com said that a lead that’s contacted within five minutes is 100 times more likely to convert than leads that are followed-up 90 minutes later.

When a lead comes in, follow up right away. You're more likely to convert than if you wait. #SalesHacks

Strike while the iron is hot. 

Do a quick research and evaluate whether the person is real, see if it’s a true marketing qualified lead, and toss it over as a sales qualified lead if it ticks all the boxes. 

The sales team can take a quick visit to the person’s website, check their LinkedIn profile, and the pages they’ve visited on your site. 

Tools like HubSpot and Active Campaign allow you to see where they’ve signed up and the number of times they’ve looked at the pages. You can then use these data to have a meaningful conversation with the prospect leads. 

Focus on the people that matter

Include in your flow process the phone call and email for the first time then do the same things a day later. Connect with them on LinkedIn and share some of their content for seven full business days. 

Do the same things that you would do with a cold person. Nurture the lead and try to grab his attention. Even if they’re not ready now, then at least you can toss it back into the marketing pool and revisit it another time. 

With the right system and by focusing on the people that matter, your work is going to be minimized but the return is going to be much higher. Filter your inbound leads and let the marketing do the review. Recognize the good ones and toss them over to the sales reps to reach out and convert. 

“Inbound Leads Are Causing More Work” episode resources

Email Donald for more questions or connect with him via LinkedIn.

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses and you can get the first two modules for free! If you want to take your sales to the next level, then I recommend that you join us with our group coaching. Our next semester begins mid-September. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

If you’re a reader who loves reading and listening to books, you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If this episode answered your concerns about why your inbound leads are causing more work than good sales then don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1177.mp3
Category:Inbound Leads -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

From account selection to sales plays, Jamie Shanks helps sales professionals understand and adopt best practices for the modern, social sellers.

Jamie is the CEO of Sales For Life, which is the de-facto standard in modernizing account-based sales motion. The company specializes in social or digital selling. It evaluates how you sell today and infuses modern digital sales activities into your process. 

Account-based selling

Account-based selling refers to focusing on a set number of accounts, whether it’s organized by territory or strategic value. Instead of relying on inbound leads or channel leads, you must go outbound.

Jamie named his book Spear Selling based on a sales analogy of fishing: inbound efforts are a little like fishing with a net because you can’t choose the fish that land in your net. When you fish with a spear, you swim in the deep water and choose the whales you’re going to hunt. 

Typically, companies focus on account-based motion because they need to increase their average annual contract value (ACV) or lifetime value (LTV). 

Adopting an account-based approach

Companies often get the very first step wrong, which is account selection. Many companies use what Jamie calls wallet-share based thinking. When he was working with a company in the health and wellness space, an account exec pointed to Peloton as a company he was focused on connecting with. When questioned, the AE mentioned that one of the company leaders was a bike enthusiast who thought it might be a good fit. 

The truth is that the health company has no more strategic connection to Peloton than its competitors do. In fact, if they went through the data of relationships, they might discover that the competitors have greater social proximity to the account. That means you may devote 8 months trying to win this account to find that there’s a hurdle you didn’t account for. 

Getting the account selection process right is half the equation.

Companies that ask their sales professionals to build a list of accounts will likely find that they stack ranked companies based on revenue, number of employees, and market share potential. They didn’t think about the fact that people buy from people and relationships matter. 

Sales is a game of relationships. If you could reverse-engineer your existing advocates and customers and identify which accounts have the highest social proximity, you’ll have an advantage that your competitors can’t take from you. 

Account-based models

A centralized model looks at the equation and asks how certain sales resources like inside sales, BDRs, SDRs, and LDRs can mine the total addressable market. It maps green-flag accounts based on relationships, opportunities, and strengths. They could be referrals, partners to your existing customers, or others you’re connected to. Red-flag accounts are those where your competitors have relationships, strengths, and opportunities. 

The decentralized model seeks to identify those accounts that a company already has connections to. The idea is that the company can activate those accounts faster than the competitors can. 

Companies might go with the centralized model because it uses the $20-an-hour inside sellers to do the work instead of the more-expensive AEs. They might choose the decentralized model because they want everyone in the field to be able to unearth the total addressable market of their area. Each person is the CEO of his own territory.

Account selection is a skill that everyone needs to master.

Modern digital sellers

The modern digital seller selects accounts based on relationships or social proximity and then plans those accounts using four pillars. 

  • Triggers
  • Referrals
  • Insights
  • Competitive Intelligence

These sellers build a war room or a simple one-page document that outlines the compelling stories that they can share with their audiences. When they target the accounts, they’ll use digital technology like video or LinkedIn to share insights and monitor buying engagement.

Use account segmentation to think about how much time you’ll spend on every account. Apply Pareto’s Law realizing that you’ll spend 80 percent of your time on 20 percent of your accounts which will yield 80 percent of your return. You won’t spend the same amount of time on every account.

These sales concepts have existed forever, but you’ll accelerate your momentum because digital technology allows you to identify who cares, who you should focus on, and how you can move the deal through the cycle more quickly. 

Digital sales

Social selling includes elements like LinkedIn and Twitter and Facebook, but those aren’t the only elements. Modern digital sellers use any available technology to aid in the sales process. 

Companies that engage in digital account-based selling might go through the following steps:

  1. Map the total addressable market.
  2. Map the accounts that exist within each vertical.
  3. Which accounts do we not have but have open opportunities?
  4. Which accounts have we never spoken to?
  5. Of those companies we’ve never spoken to, where do we have a competitive advantage like a trigger or a referral?

If they use tools like LinkedIn to map the social networks of their customer base, they can determine whether anyone knows someone at those companies. Together with marketing, the account executives can storyboard to create a series of sales plays, which might include social media or digital tools.

They can use LinkedIn to communicate with key executives and invite them to an event because they know that conversion is twice as high with physical meetings as with virtual ones. They are using digital tools to bring customers into the analog world. 

Sales play

Sales plays are no different than football plays. The play seeks to achieve a certain result. The seller needs a first-down. Digital sellers might use video, emails, phone calls and other tools to tell the story of them versus their competitors. 

Your goal at an account is to activate the account. The activation cycle is the number of plays that you’ll run against that account. In that time, you’ll either qualify them or replace them. You cannot call into this account forever.

The best account-based teams have a defined activation cycle. Let’s assume it’s 90 days. If you don’t activate within 90 days, you’ll replace it with an account that has a great relationship opportunity. 

Sales plays exist inside that cycle. You might have three to eight different stories you tell along that 90-day journey. Those sales plays or touchpoints are organized as cadences and sequences. 

If you want to win the biggest and best accounts in the world, most companies aren’t coming inbound. You have to tell compelling stories to push them off their status quo. 

Build a series

Once you’ve identified your targets, you must build a series of plays and stories that make the person actually care. 

  • What are three to eight different things they want to know about? 
  • Do they want to know about market trends?
  • Do they want to see a real-life video of a customer experience?
  • Will they want to know where they stand compared to their competitors?

What does the future hold for your customer? Think about the customer and develop a series of stories before you start hammering away at the phone. #StorySelling

Get started using all of the available tools. Jamie calls LinkedIn Sales Navigator one of his favorite. There are 500 million people on that platform. He calls it the world's largest party.

“TSE 1176: Specific Account-Based Sales Development Best Practices For The Modern, Social Sellers” episode resources

Grab a copy of Jamie’s book, Spear Selling.

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using - Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1176.mp3
Category:Social Selling -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Whether you’re learning it for your own work as a BDR or you’re preparing to help another seller, there are five important keys to help you succeed as a BDR.

If you’re looking to move to the next level as a seller, The Sales Evangelist Certified Sales Training Program group coaching program allows you to train at your own pace, either alone or as part of a group. The next semester begins this month. 

Drink your own Kool-Aid

Make sure you understand the product or service you’re selling. In fact, I recommend that you actually use it yourself. If it’s an enterprise software SAP or something large like that, you won’t likely buy it for yourself, but you should understand how the system truly operates. Know how it will help the customers you’re pursuing. 

If you’re a BDR, you’re probably not chasing every single customer. You’ll probably have a territory or a certain kind of client. Look at industry reports to understand your customers and how your solution will help. Ask previous clients why they like your solution so much.

It will also help you speak their language and be more confident in your conversations. Know the problem that you’re able to solve for your buyer.

Be intentional

BDRs must make sure to follow their company’s process, and then they have to go a step further. They must know their ratios. 

  • How many conversations does it take to get to a demonstration?
  • How many demonstrations do you typically do before you land a sale?

Keep track of these numbers. Email me and I’ll share my own prospect tracker with you. 

When you have these numbers, sales becomes more of a science. Each day, you can specify how many new opportunities you want so you can get to a demonstration. 

You won’t be as successful if you aren’t intentional. 

Listen

Become an expert at listening. Listen to the things your prospects say as well as the things they don’t say. 

Read case studies, find out what some of your current customers are doing, and understand their problems. If you listen closely, you’ll begin to notice when they aren’t telling you the real issues. Be a silent expert.

Ask tough questions

Sellers sometimes want to appear knowledgeable, so they talk a lot. Instead, focus on the caliber of questions that you’re asking. 

Make a list of these questions you can ask your prospect. Also, prepare a list of follow-up questions. If, for example, your prospect says that he already has a solution in place, you must be prepared to respond to that. Maybe something like this: “I’m not here to break up great relationships. I do, however, know that contracts end and that people typically will look for new vendors. Would you be open to see if we could benefit your organization?” 

Lead with the intro, “Out of curiosity” to soften the edge on a question like, “Why are you waiting until next year to change?”

Make sure you find great opportunities for your team.

Personalize your approach

Take advantage of video to personalize your approach. Depending on the type of business you’re in, use a tool like BombBomb to make a simple video to the prospect and include this in your flow process. 

If you’re sending emails and reaching out on LinkedIn, your personalized videos will help you stand out among the other BDRs. Personalized videos will help you connect with the right clients and produce better results. 

Outwork yourself

Arrive at the office every day determined to outperform the day before. #SalesGoals

Compete against yourself. If you did 15 appointments last week, set a goal for 17 this week. Push yourself. Don’t compete against your teammate’s goals. Constantly seek to improve.

Success will naturally come if you constantly out-hustle your previous performance.

“How To Succeed As A BDR” episode resources

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using - Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1175.mp3
Category:BDR -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Sellers get knocked down plenty of times, but sometimes failure is the greatest sales lesson.

Brad McDonald works with Sandler Systems which has 250 franchises around the world that help businesses grow by improving their sales processes. 

Failure

Brad’s 28-year career in the U.S. Navy taught him that failure could mean the difference between life and death. When he transitioned from the Navy to the sales world, he realized that many of his attempts were going to end in failure. He had to change the paradigm. 

The things he perceived were failures — having people hang up on him or cancel an appointment — weren’t really failures. 

Along the way, he learned to embrace failure. 

Gumballs

You must make a lot of sales calls in order to get to yes. On the other hand, if we see the sales calls that ended in “no” as a failure, that will feel bad. 

Brad uses a gumball analogy to explain it. If you want a green gumball from a gumball machine, and there are multiple colors inside, there’s a good chance you won’t get a green one. When you put the quarter inside, there’s a good chance you’ll get a different color. 

Imagine you’re making prospecting phone calls, or cold calls; the most dreaded form of prospecting. If you make 10, 20, or 30 calls, you’ll eventually get someone who wants to talk, just like you’ll eventually get a green gumball. 

You’ll also likely get an orange gumball which might represent a buyer who wants to talk more to see if there’s interest. If you view every orange gumball as a failure, you won’t be very likely to keep going while you wait for the green ones. If, on the other hand, you understand that you have to get the orange gumball out of the way in order to get to the green one, you can embrace it.    

Process of failure

Brad came from a culture where sailors did what he told them to do and they didn’t say no. He was surprised to find in the sales world that prospects aren’t always honest and they don’t always respect his time. And they certainly don’t feel compelled to follow his orders. Initially, all those things felt like failures. 

Failure mimics the stages of grief which are disbelief, fear, despair, anger, and acceptance. 

Brad refers to the “ok, not ok principle.” He came to believe that he needed to be ok being not ok. 

He needed to not seek to meet his emotional needs in a sales call. Many sellers get emotionally involved in their sales calls and that’s one of the five big conceptual roadblocks in sales. Head trash gets in the way. We get excited when we’re about to make a sale and we stop doing the things we need to do. 

Sales activities

Brad learned along the way that his focus on outcomes and results was wrong. He was excited when he made sales and dejected when he wasn’t. He discovered over time that focusing on things he could control, like activities, made more sense. He started doing the things he knew would make him more successful and he tracked those things. 

Brad focused on his tonality, his demeanor, his body language and other things that were well within his control. 

Conceptual issues

Brad believes that all sales problems come in one or two categories. 

  • Tactical. What do I say, When do I say it? How do I say it?
  • Conceptual. Relating to the beliefs we have between our ears.

Most tactical problems have a conceptual basis. In Brad’s case, he came out of the Navy where he didn’t fear much of anything into a setting where he was afraid to make a cold call. The fear was a result of the beliefs he held about sales.

The conceptual issues are these:

  1. The need for approval. The problem occurs when you want to be liked more than you want to make sales.
  2. The BUY cycle. How do you buy things? How do I treat salespeople when someone is trying to sell something to me? We tend to sell the same way we buy. If you tend to comparison shop, you’ll be more forgiving of buyers who do the same.
  3. Negative scripts. Many of these originate in childhood. Examples are the idea that you shouldn’t openly talk about money. Also, very few of us were raised by parents who hoped we would grow up to be successful sellers. 
  4. Emotional involvement in the sales process. It’s ok to have a love for your prospects, but you must also have the mindset that you don’t need anyone. Instead, find something that’s mutually beneficial.
  5. Money concept. Your very first memory of money seems to have a relationship to how you feel about money now. When Brad made his first big commission check, he felt guilty for earning so much money. He had a money concept issue. 

Changing beliefs

Changing your own beliefs will take time. It’s a process. 

In order to improve in sales, you’ll have to work on yourself and your own feelings about sales as much as you work on your sales tactics and other tools. #SalesPsychology

For his own therapy, he sat down each Sunday and wrote about his sales experiences. Those articles helped him process the emotional aspects and taught him to have honest conversations with his prospects. 

Salespeople can benefit from journaling about their own experiences, about the perceived failures, and about the head trash. 

“Failure is the Greatest Sales Lesson” episode resources

Grab a copy of Brad’s book, The Art and Skill of Sales Psychology, or email him at mcdonald@sandler.com

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using - Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1174.mp3
Category:Failure -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

There are three great closing questions that salespeople often ask because everyone in the sales arena wants to make sure that we’re closing effectively. The answers to the three great closing questions will help salespeople close like a pro. 

Albert Alexander has been a partner in a construction equipment sales company that makes parts for excavators and bulldozers for 11 years now. Albert does all the marketing, inside sales, and digital marketing for the company. 

Closing questions

Often, sales reps are good at finding prospects and having a talk with them. Things change, however, when they’re turning them into leads. There are challenges in closing. 

Sales reps have this predisposed idea about how they purchase that gets in the way when they try to close a deal. Albert’s company grows 70% every year and that’s because they stick people to a process

For other sales reps, they stop in the middle of the process and it stops the action of the process moving forward. It could be because of the fear of rejection or any other reason, but the end result is the same. It halts the closing process. 

Imposing your buying style 

There are many decision types and processes that they take. For this reason, sales reps should know their customers through their pains and needs and be completely open to the different decision styles they have. Sales reps should remove their own fears and worries of rejection from the sales process and focus on their customers instead. If they do that, they can be empathetic to the needs of the clients. 

Say, for example, the client’s million-dollar equipment is not working and it needs a $50,000 part that the company sells. For the sales rep, the amount is huge and so he’d say, “I understand you need to think about it,” but that’s not the case for the client. The client is willing to spend $50,000 for his million-dollar equipment to work, but because the sales rep put his purchasing decision in the process, the entire closing will take a hit. 

Sales reps need to change their perspective or their purchasing styles and decisions when closing a deal. Sales reps need to learn to think like the clients they’re talking to instead of imposing their fears, views, concerns, or buying styles to their clients. 

Make a good logical decision for and with somebody, even when they’re concerned. Remind them of the things that are logical and that matter. 

The first step to close a deal is to put yourself in that person’s shoes better and eliminate the fears and worries. 

Closing styles 

We all have closing styles and the first one is the assumptive close. It's extremely easy and it’s when sales reps choose and assume the next information that you have to collect and continue down the process. It’s almost like assuming that everything’s good and done after they’ve spoken with the client. 

This works for Albert’s company. They’ve implemented the assumptive process and it improved their closing deals to 25%.

So, their sales reps ask the following questions: 

  • Hey, where did you want me to deliver that?
  • When did you want that delivered? 
  • How did you want to pay for that? 
  • Is it going to be a Mastercard or wire transfer?

Most sales reps think that closing is an event and it shouldn’t be. They think that they have to ask questions and shake hands. That’s not how it works. 

If they investigate, build rapport, and lay out the solution that’s logical and emotionally fulfilling, sales reps can assume the next information and assume. Closing is not an event, it should be a natural thing. Sales reps should do all the work upfront and the closing is part of that.

Dig into the objection 

In the case of objections during a close, it’s often not the truth and just a reaction. Sales reps should dig deeper to overcome the objection. 

In Albert’s industry, there are five reasons that clients use to decline. 

  • Time 
  • Money
  • Price
  • Value
  • Quality 

Our sales reps dig deeper by feeding either of the top reasons why clients object to a deal. They wait for their response and try not to be pushy. They just make a conversation and wait because people have different buying styles. Some people like to think about it before saying yes, and some others just agree immediately. 

After the assumption, sales reps should dig deeper into their objection to see the real issue and not just the surface-level problem. In that way, you can give a solution to the real objection. 

A good sales rep is the one who can talk well and has the tenacity to understand and get down to the reasons to investigate. 

Being able to compensate with somebody doesn’t lead to a sale, you need to have a purpose and process. 

Utilize technology 

Sales reps can connect with a customer in a building effect of value. While sales reps are closing, they can talk to their clients in the process. In Albert’s company, their sales reps would send their clients’ invoices while talking to them on the phone. They also email and text pictures of what they’re going to get. They do these things while they’re closing the clients. People love how attentive the sales reps are in the whole process. 

When their sales reps close, they strive to make the clients feel like family. It’s different when clients get all the information they need while they are talking to the sales reps. 

So, utilize technology and use text and video messaging while closing because these things make them less guarded. 

Closing 

Don’t think that closing is an event. 

Sales reps should start by building rapport and knowing the game they’re playing. #SalesTips

It has to be a process that sales reps are moving forward through. As a sales rep, you need to cover all the bases because everyone is the same and the sale is the same. There are different variables but you can sum them up to a few things that you can master. 

Don’t complicate it and know that you’re closing from the very start. 

Three Great Closing Questions” episode resources

Connect with Albert in his site, ConEquip.com. You can also listen to their podcast at Sellingforlife.com where they share ideas of the entrepreneurial journey. Their company has gone from zero sales to 30 million a year. They’ve become experts in Google marketing and ad words. 

You can also connect with him on his email at al@conequip.com

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It is a 12-course program to help sales reps and sales teams to improve their skills in finding the right customers, to know the activities and strategies that work, and how to ask the right questions to build a strong value and close business deals. Simply go to thesalesvengelist.com/freecourse to get the first two modules for free. 

This episode is brought to you in part by Audible. Enjoy the free 30-day trial and explore the thousands of books they have today. 

I hope this episode has been fun and helpful to you. Please review and leave us a five-star rating on Apple Podcast. You can also hit subscribe and share our show with your friends and colleagues. 

If you can, please provide your review and rating on Google Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, and other platforms where you consume this podcast. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1173.mp3
Category:Closing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Should I Start Off With Inside Sales or Outside Sales?

Are you new to sales and asking yourself the universal sales question, “Should I start off with inside sales or outside sales?” Many share the same thought and I have five things to help you figure out a better way to go.  

Inside sales vs outside sales 

Every company is different, however, inside roles typically have the SDR (sales development rep) or the BDR (business development rep). Depending on the company, these may be different roles done by different individuals. 

The business development reps may be the ones finding new prospects for the business. For some companies, the sales development reps are focused on the inbounds. When the sales come in through marketing or via the website, the sales development reps will get more information making them the first line of contact with the SDRs.They talk to potential clients, qualify them, and set them up for appointments. 

An inside sales rep who’s also doing outbound tasks has a lot of work. The upside to outbound sales is getting a bigger commission than the person who’s doing solely inbound tasks. 

The business development reps need to qualify people, follow up, and make sure that they know their company’s products and services to have meaningful conversations with potential customers. 

For other companies, this doesn’t matter. 

If you’re on inbound sales then your job is to generate opportunity whether it’d be through cold calling or setting up appointments for outside sales reps. If you’re on outbound sales then your job includes taking the first appointment, having a deeper discussion with the prospect, and building value with the prospects. You need to dive in and understand their needs to be able to go to the most important parts of the sales process which are the pitch, presentation, and closing the deal. 

Inside sales first 

If you’re new to sales, the best path you can go is inbound sales. Here are the reasons you need to consider why. 

The decision of whether to go to inbound or outbound sales depends on the complexity of the product or service you’re selling. Consider a B2B sales scenario in which you’re selling a product with a certain level of complexity (computer software or something from the medical industry). Coming right out of college, you may not be used to such a level of complexity. Doing outside sales and having to develop the ability to sell the product and talk about it convincingly is not the easiest route. 

This scenario will be different if you’re selling a simple product. You can easily up your game, learn everything about the product, and sell it in no time. 

So, the first thing you should do is to evaluate the complexity of the sale that you’re doing. If the product is something that you’re not familiar with, learn as much as you can about the product first before you consider doing outside sales. 

Industry

The second thing to consider is that each industry has different ways of doing things. 

Take for example a government-based industry. The deal size for government-based industries can go from $30-$150,000 and the sales cycle can run from 6-18 months. If you’re not knowledgeable about how that works, then you’re not going to last. You need to know what the industry is and make sure that you understand how it works. 

Going to the inside gives you the opportunity to learn things and understand the lingo and the processes of the industry. 

One thing I’ve learned from doing inside sales for the government is that every city government typically has a buying cycle anywhere around the October timeframe or sometime during the summer. Typically, a sales rep’s job from January to June is doing demonstrations. You can’t expect to close deals on those months. The government-industry has long sales cycles and new sales reps need to understand that before jumping into the game. 

Sales cycle 

Outside sales are good if you can close your product within 30 days but if it takes longer than that, then you need to rethink your decision. 

Sales are like hunting or going on an adventure into a new world.

It’s better to have a guide to be able to make the right decisions. In the same sense, inside sales provides a team that will guide you along the way. You’ll know the proper ways of doing things and get more help from the mothership. This is something you won’t have if you do outside sales working as a lone ranger in a remote territory without a support system. 

Doing inside sales for a long sales cycle is best to get all the proper help before going off on your own. 

Business acumen 

Being new to sales or coming straight out of college means not having a strong understanding of the business. You’ll end up being one of those traditional sales reps that everyone’s making fun of, not the sales reps who is making value. You become the order taker and you’ll have a difficult time closing deals. 

You won’t be authoritative because you won’t feel confident. 

When you’re in inside sales, your job isn’t to close deals. Your job is to understand the challenges, to understand and create opportunities, and to know how to find the right people. #InsideSales

The knowledge you get from inside sales will help you ease into the outside sales. If you do some ride-alongs, you can jump on some demonstrations with your account executive. Being an inside sales rep gives you the chance to hear what your account executive is doing and why she is doing that. 

You have the chance to learn from their demonstrations and apply those learnings to your demonstrations when you start on your own. This will help you build your business acumen. 

You’ll be able to hear your seniors when you’re on inside sales the way I did before with Heather Barkley. 

She was one of the seniors in the bullpen when I was starting out and she gave me so much knowledge. Sometimes, she’d pull me out and explain the way things work. Her teachings helped me to frame my message as I was reaching out to prospects. 

Mess up and learn 

Being new in sales, you are bound to make mistakes. When you’re on inside sales, your quota may not be as large as the ones on outside sales. 

There are a lot of expectations for someone in outside sales but in inside sales, you have some room to mess up. 

If you are on outside sales and you’re getting all these qualified opportunities but you don’t know how to close these individuals, you’re not assertive enough, and you didn’t go through the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. You’ll eventually lose the opportunities. 

When that happens, you have a higher chance of getting kicked off the team because you’re not qualified. 

Diverse learning 

Another great reason why you need to start in inside sales is the chance to meet every department and learn from different individuals. Being in inside sales allows you to understand and learn many things. You understand marketing messaging and how they communicate with sales. You also know where the accounting department is coming from. You learn about the challenges that departments face. 

You learn in customer service that the best types of customers are the ones who don’t complain, who use the system, and more. 

All these things will make you a better outside salesperson in the future. 

Go inside first, at least for six months for you to learn the ropes. If you’re on the outside when you’re not prepared, you’ll end up frustrated. 

Before you answer the question, “Should I start off with inside sales or outside sales?,” consider these things first: 

  1. Complexity of the product
  2. Type of industry
  3. Sales cycle
  4. Your business acumen
  5. Your room for error

“Should I Start Off With Inside Sales or Outside Sales?” episode resources

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It is designed to help sales reps and sales teams to improve their skills in finding the right customers, to know the activities and strategies that work, and how to ask the right questions to build a strong value and close business deals. 

To see how helpful it can be, simply go to thesalesvengelist.com/freecourse to get the first two modules for free. Take a bite and have a feel of the course. 

You’d want to be a savvy salesperson and Audible can help you do that. Enjoy the free 30-day trial and explore the thousands of books they have today. 

I hope this episode has been fun and helpful to you. Please review and leave us a five-star rating on Apple Podcast. You can also hit subscribe and share our show with your friends and colleagues. 

If you can, please provide your review and rating on Google Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, and other platforms where you consume this podcast. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1172.mp3
Category:Inside sales -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Helping Your Sales Team Perform Their Best 

I sat down with Fred Diamond at Podcast Movement 2019 to discuss the keys to helping your sales team perform their best. Fred is the host of Sales Game Changers Podcast and today he turned the microphone on me and allowed me to share the things I've learned during my career in sales. 

The Sales Evangelist

This podcast resulted from my own struggle as a B2B seller. Because of my own struggles, I wanted to help new and struggling sellers improve their sales game. I wanted to educate people who were in the same shoes and help elevate their performance. 

As The Sales Evangelist podcast grew, people in our community of sellers reached out to me for sales coaching. I started with one-on-one coaching for reps, and then those reps took their training back to their companies, and I started hearing from entrepreneurs and other business owners who needed to replicate themselves so they could scale their companies. 

I launched into the consulting side and helped businesses set up their sales teams. Eventually, that led to speaking opportunities and other things, so in 2015 I left my full-time job to do The Sales Evangelist full time. 

The podcast didn’t make money on its own, but it did generate leads and coaching opportunities and speaking and consulting gigs. Now, though, it generates its own income. 

Sales career

I got into sales before college, partly because my entire family was involved in sales. As a Jamaican boy, I grew up in a setting where everyone sold something. I didn’t see it as sales, necessarily. I simply saw it as the family business. 

I’m naturally outgoing, so people told me I’d be perfect in a sales career. That continued through college where I struggled to find a sales program. 

Eventually, I got a couple of sales jobs in timeshares and door-to-door that involved B2C selling. I made about $20,000 in three months selling door-to-door over the summer during my first year. 

When I transitioned to the professional world of selling, though, I struggled. 

Lessons learned

One of the things I learned selling door-to-door was the value of working smart. I saw people who worked hard but who weren’t effective, so they got burned out because they continued doing things that were ineffective. Those who hustled, on the other hand, worked efficiently and they practiced their messaging and they stopped doing things that didn’t work. 

I learned that I had to be willing to move on when a sale didn’t work out. 

Eventually, I moved into a BDR role in a B2B company, and I brought that need to work efficiently and plan my activities because it was a full-commission job. 

Time is money, and I needed to pay rent. 

During my time at the IT training company, Steve Hatch took me under his wing. He was the CEO of the company, and he taught me both the sales and the business sides of his company. In several cases, he did that by throwing me into the deep end. 

We were trying to work a deal with a local NPR station and he helped me learn to lead the deal and negotiate the deal. He helped me see who I could eventually become. 

Sales challenges

Current sales reps face a number of challenges that are unique to the kind of setting they operate in. Most of the ones I meet with struggle with prospecting, and with prospecting effectively. 

Many learn that cold calling is dead, for example, but they work for companies that were built by cold calling. Their leaders want them to engage in cold-calling but others tell them it’s ineffective, so they feel pulled in different directions. 

At the same time, many sellers struggle with the idea of social selling in which they engage with people on social media. They often don’t have the confidence to do it effectively, so they wait for inbound leads to come, and though they do often come, it simply isn’t enough. 

I constantly give training on how to use LinkedIn and how to take advantage of cadences and flow processes for outreach. 

Prospecting

Multichannel outreach, sometimes called omnichannel, matters the most in prospecting. When I work with sales reps, I encourage them to begin their interactions on social media. Make a genuine connection with people as a starting point. 

Understand that genuine connection doesn’t mean you simply “like” something that they posted or shared. Instead, engage with that person. If someone comments on something you share, take that conversation to the inbox next and tell him how much you appreciate his comment. Then, once you’ve built that connection, you can move the conversation to a phone call. 

Now you’ve created a warm, engaging connection. 

Then, for enterprise sales, you can even take advantage of snail mail to send them something to grab their attention. We created a Willy Wonka style ticket and invited them to join us for our demo. We sent sodas and snacks and a Starbucks gift card. We spent about $12 for each of three boxes and landed about $100,000 worth of deals. 

Sales tips

I read a lot of books in an effort to improve my game, and one of my recent favorites is Mike Weinberg’s Sales Management. Simplified. because he focuses on fundamentals. For me, mastering those fundamentals is the key to moving to the next level. Aside from prospecting, asking appropriate questions makes a big difference as well. 

Sellers who know nothing about their buyers our pipelines won’t matter at all. We’re skipping the discovery process and we’re missing a chance to ask meaningful questions and demonstrate our expertise. 

Related to that topic, time management presents a big struggle for sellers right now. I attribute my continued success to planning. In fact, I’ve created a selling planner because I couldn’t find one that I liked. 

I read a book by Kevin Kruse called the 15 Secrets Successful People Know  and another called The 12 Week Year related to time management. A lot of sales reps throw as many things as they can on a calendar in hopes that they can maximize their time. 

Instead, I break my day down based on categories to measure my effectiveness. I separate sales activities, marketing activities, and operations. I tracked those activities for a week to see where the commonalities are and which tasks I’m repeatedly doing. Then, I eliminated tasks that my team could do for me so I could focus on sales-related tasks. 

Preparation

Do a three-minute prep prior to each sales call. If you have a focused list of clients, consider hiring someone to do research on each of those clients. Find out the following:

  • How does this company make money?
  • What challenges do they have that they aren’t even necessarily aware of?
  • What common challenges are they facing?
  • How does this person I’m going to call help the company make money?

If you can help your customer achieve his goals, you’ll be so much further down the path. The process isn’t about you.

Discover what your customers are trying to accomplish for their customers. #Sales

Someone is going to solve your customer’s problem. Why don’t you figure it out first and be the first to provide the solution?

“Helping Your Sales Team Perform” episode resources

Connect with Donald on LinkedIn. Also, check out the Sales Game Changers Podcast.

 If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using - Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1171.mp3
Category:Sales Success -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Sales from the Street: Teach Them How To Educate 

Derek Badala frequently travels with sales reps to teach them how to educate the customer in an effort to solve problems. As the director of sales at Synthax, he is always on the road traveling with sales reps and training them to become another version of himself — a skilled sales leader, influencer, and consultant. 

Technology and education

Being in the audiovisual industry, it could be said that technology and education are their biggest challenges. Making a sale is difficult, especially with new products. You must understand everything about the product and its application. Everybody is trying to get a sale and trying to close deals fast without asking all the necessary questions. With the competition in the market, there’s not enough time to learn about the new product and how it can be applied to the prospects’ problems.

Derek focuses on educating the sales reps and covering all the ways that the products can be used, and less on the features and benefits. He’s working to find ways that his products can make clients' lives easier. 

Sales reps must not skip this educating stage and must learn the product and its application to the lives of the client. Too much excitement over a deal that hasn’t happened yet may cause the deal to fall apart. 

Skipping steps

Derek had a client who was excited about getting a product from Digigram that would provide background music to stores. Neither the client nor the sales reps understood all the things about the product and its services. They got ahead of themselves and weren’t able to prepare the details that the client needed. Instead, the company should have better studied the client’s needs to know exactly how the products fit. 

When reps skip steps, it can cause deals to fall apart, which can negatively affect your pipeline. Their company also sells widgets that clients can buy in retail stores. It’s difficult to educate salespeople in retail stores about the product because they have their personal favorites and they immediately suggest those products. It’s a challenge to tell them about your product and make them answer the customers’ questions. When customers aren’t given enough information about a product, they often buy something that they’re not happy with. They are boxed into thinking about this particular product that salespeople in the retail store like. This is always a challenge. 

Trade shows 

Derek’s company does a lot of trade shows where he teaches classes on audio networking, and how to do audio over IP net. He also teaches classes on how to choose the right audio interface for musicians so that they won’t be sold products they don’t need.

The company’s goal is to educate the market and the customers through webcasts, webinars, and a whole lot more. 

Lunch and Learn 

The company also does a lot of lunch and learn while traveling. While the internet is an efficient tool in disseminating information, there’s still nothing more effective than getting in front of people and teaching them. Buying them lunch and then educating them about your products in a graceful way is very effective. 

Derek travels with many sales reps and while traveling, he continues to teach them how to educate others as well. They attend sessions and they learn from him by example. Instead of telling them a litany of features and benefits of certain products, Derek tells them a story. 

Don’t tell stories about what the product can do. Tell the story of how effective the product has been. #SolveProblems

It is important to have success stories to tell about the products. Share little nuggets about the product to catch the clients’ attention. 

Competition 

The industry is growing and with it, competition grows as well. With every product line added, there’s new revenue being added into the business. Even when a company experiences growth, it’s still hard to miss that others are growing as well. 

There are competitors out there who are as good as, if not better than you. Regardless of the competition, we’re now seeing more resellers who are interested in knowing more about the products they sell. 

Derek’s company has grown since he joined in 2017 and he has seen a lot of improvements. They’re now seeing great improvements in the Ferrofish brand as it’s now being used for Broadway shows, the Superbowl, and for broadcast.

It’s always a battle to be on the top line funnel. You always plant sales and cultivate the leads to turn them into closed deals. 

Be the best listener 

In sales, it is important to be the best listener. One of the biggest mistakes in sales is owning the talk. You want to know more about the customers to be able to present solutions to their problems. You need to listen to them and see how you can help. 

After listening, you need to ask questions and listen to their responses. These steps are more important than presenting your clients with the features and benefits of the product. 

“Teach Them How To Educate” episode resources

Stay connected with Derek via his LinkedIn account. You can also visit their company website, RME-USA.com.

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Training Sales Program. It is a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to become better in doing their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses to help you find the right customers, ask the right questions, and close great deals. You can get the first two modules for free! 

Or you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Thank you for tuning in and if you liked this episode, do give a rating and review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1170.mp3
Category:Problem Solving -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Sales From The Street - "Think Like A Large Company CEO"

Vicki Antonio is a business consultant and a life coach who helps small business owners think like a large company CEO. This is a result of her journey of knowing what her purpose in life is. She started working when she was 13 years old and she found herself having a pattern of working with startups. Her experience made her realize that startups have a pattern of growing pains. 

She used that when she got into real estate because she wanted to be that mom who goes to PTA meetings and football games for her kids. The knowledge gave her a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen as a whole. 

With the fallout of the market, she learned some hard lessons. She then went into upper management in real estate and after that, she became a business developer for a global real estate franchise. She oversaw about 30 of their shops and her role was to get them developed, get them brand-compliant, and partner with brokers and owners to keep the business profitable. She was a coach for the company’s business needs, whatever those needs might be, on a day-to-day basis. 

Blind spots

Most business owners scale their businesses to a certain place and then they’d have a business blindspot. Very few people see the blindspot and see the capacity that they can get to at the beginning. 

It’s similar to taking a vacation where you know where you’re going but you can’t see it from the place that you start. The closer you get to it, however, the clearer it gets. If you’re not familiar with the geographical location of the area, then you might have some detours that cause apprehensions. It may cause you to stop and get lost a little bit. 

This is where Vicky comes in. She is the guide and she helps the companies see their direction in a clearer perspective. 

Top problems 

Fear is the first problem that small businesses face. Sometimes, they become fearful and they build only up to where they know, and then they get stagnant. The fear comes in because they’ve got to relinquish what they know. 

It’s very much like taking your child to daycare for the first time. There’s apprehension and doubt about whether they can take care of your kid. The same is true for your business because you have an emotional attachment to it. You develop apprehension about handing it over. But it is important to allow someone else to come in, and then to trust that they will do their job. Trust and fear come hand-in-hand. 

The fear of somebody else taking the business to the next level or the fear of engaging with another system are reasons why small businesses fail to progress. 

Clarity is also difficult for business owners, especially the entrepreneurs who are self-employed salespeople. These people do a lot to get to a certain place. There’s a lot of things that go into play to get them to the end. Often, they don’t have clarity about what those things are because they either don’t have enough components to see the end or they have too many components that they no longer see the end. When you’re in that slump, you need an analysis of the things you do to see the cause of the stagnation. 

Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan had coaches to give them the bird’s eye view, the area where they themselves could not see. The coaches help them and critique them. They also help them analyze what they are doing and how they can change it to make their play better. The same is true in sales. 

Salespeople are good at what they do but there are still things that they just can’t see. Sometimes, salespeople get in their own way and do things because it felt right for years. Like Woods, even when his form is okay, his coach can be there with him and tell him things like, ‘

If you just turn the club a little bit then you’d see a better performance.’

As salespeople, you need a coach to analyze your system and your tools to make sure that you’re using them correctly. It is equally important that you trust their input and that the information you’re getting is helpful. 

It is important for salespeople and business owners to trust the process. 

Fear 

Fear is false evidence appearing real. A lot of times, we think too much because we don’t have clarity about the direction that we take. We are also concerned about whether we’re doing things the proper way. This makes us fear the unknown, so we stay where we are instead of moving.  

It’s not saying that you’re doing something wrong. It’s more like you’ve known how difficult the climb has been and you want to take things to the next level, or to the next pinnacle. Overcoming fear differs from one person to another because everybody’s risk factor is different. For the risk-takers, there’s a great reward but there’s a big gap there. It’s different for people who are not risk-takers because they calculate their risk to the point of comfortability and the rest is pain. 

Trust 

Your business is like your baby and you’ve put all your effort into it and invested much into it. You have the responsibility of making sure that it’s sustainable, it’s growing, it’s healthy, and it’s cared for. 

Then somebody comes in and says to do the same things you’ve promised but it’s difficult to trust that person. 

This fear can be overcome using a trust list. It’s helpful to create a list of people who have the same core values that you have and people who have track records of having done it already. There’s a good possibility that you can rest for a bit when you work with these people, do business with them, party with them, or engage with them. 

The pattern of sales is changing now where relationships are being developed in the sales process. In the past, it has been a case of meeting a stranger, doing the transaction, and then never seeing them again. This time it’s different. 

As a salesperson, you build a relationship with them and vet them to know who they are and you also see their track records. 

Proof of credibility 

When you think like a large company CEO, establishing proof of credibility is also important. When you’re mentioned in the local newspaper or on a TV interview or magazine, third-party validation builds credibility. Donald Miller’s book, Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen talked extensively about this. 

Client testimonials and LinkedIn also build credibility. You can use the platform to give recommendations and also get recommendations from clients. People who will check in on your page will see you and the things you’ve done getting that quick validation. 

You have to do your homework and leave your footprints, especially now that everybody is using platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for marketing. They have great graphic artists and do amazing things. Sometimes, high profile companies do not excel in that area but they’re doing great in testimonials. 

Social media is usually the first place that people go and not having great track records in that platform will rob you of opportunities. Social media, LinkedIn, and testimonial platforms are things that you can improve on. 

Addressing clarity 

Clarity is two-fold. Be clear about who you’re working with and what they’ve attained. Second, know who you are as a business. The second aspect is about knowing your niche, your market, your strong suits, and the things you can highlight about yourself. 

Once you know yourself, then you’ll know how to work with others and how to bring somebody to engage to work with you. 

It’s like the trip mentioned earlier, If you hop in a car without mapping out your destination, you won’t know the streets to take and you’ll end up lost. Startups are like that, too. Many startups think that they can be all things to all people but in truth, that’s not possible. 

Vicki started out in real estate with a global and luxurious company. The properties can be worth millions. She has seen salespeople who wanted to get into that price point but because of the lack of experience, they hesitated. They had to first learn that in order to get to the high price point, they first need to stop taking the lower sales. 

It’s important to let go of the old mindset and get into a new mindset by being clear about where you want to be and then knitting yourself to that thing.

Jack of all trades

Becoming a jack of all trades is good because salespeople and see opportunities but sometimes doing that means turning down an opportunity to do something. For example, if somebody wants their house painted and you’re a salesperson in real estate, if you decide to paint the house, you’re wasting an opportunity of making calls doing things that will potentially help you land your next $25,000 client. 

You are impeding your progress because you can only spend money and time once.

Your time has more value than the actual money you’re making. 

All money is not good money. When you’re saying yes to something, you’re saying no to something else. #salespriorities. 

The scripture says that you can do all those with Christ and that’s true but you can’t do it all at the same time. 

You’re going to go through seasons, through phases, and through stages. If you learn the season and the stage that you’re in, then you understand the capacity for that time frame. 

You need to understand the season that you’re in, the same way that you’re not going to sport a bathing suit when you’re headed to someplace cold. You’re not going to wear an overcoat when you’re headed to the beach. 

This is the thing about clarity. It’s when you understand that you’re headed to the beach and you’re not going to feel offended or feel like you’re missing out on something when somebody steps in your elevator wearing an overcoat. You know that you are going in a different direction and it’s okay. 

If at some point you want to change your direction or change course, then it’s okay. The most important thing is that you understand very clearly where you’re going when you’re making the change so that you don’t impede good opportunities in the season that you’re in. 

Trust the process

It is important to trust the process. Trust is huge because this is the area where you have to have some faith. There will be blindspots in the trust factor but if you’ve made your part then it will be easier. It’s best to prepare, carve out of clarity, train, and sharpen your tools and learn how to use them. 

You’ve got to trust that when you take the leap, you’re gonna land in the right place. 

Remember this: trust that when you take the leap, you’re gonna land in the right place. 

"Think Like A Large Company CEO" episode resources

Stay in touch with Vicki to learn more about her services by calling her at 561-774-1333. You can also visit her website at victoriousu.com and victorious’s lifestyle strategies. She’s also on Facebook, so check her out there, too. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode is brought to you in part by Audible. Check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Training Sales Program, a course to guide sales reps and sales leaders to become better at pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses to help you find the right customers, ask the right questions, and close great deals. You can get the first two modules for free! 

I hope you liked this episode. If you’ve learned a thing or two then do give a rating and review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1169.mp3
Category:Success -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Every sales transaction differs from the others, but when you're selling in Europe vs. selling in the USA, it's important to understand the differences in culture. 

Christine Schlonski works with entrepreneurs who have a negative view of sales. She helps them redefine their view of it so they can sell with ease, grace, and confidence and also ask their price. In short, she helps them makes sales, which is simply an interaction between people, fun. 

Fear of selling

Christine points to the depiction of sales in movies, coupled with bad sales experiences that we’ve all had. Subconsciously, we don’t want to be like these people. Women especially struggle to ask for what they truly want because it feels salesy or pushy. They often assume because they’re good people that buyers will line up to buy. 

It’s possible to ask for the sale in a natural way but movies never depict sellers in a positive light. It’s likely that a movie about a seller who sells from the heart and brings value would be boring. But sales truly could be like that. 

Set the expectation and then make the offer. Then consider what’s a go and what’s a no-go. How can we work together? 

Sales differences

Sales in the U.S. move quickly, while people in Europe like time. Realize, too, that Europe isn’t a single country, and sales differ across those countries. In France, for example, sales involves numerous decision-makers, and French people love meetings. Where Americans look to make things happen, you cannot simply show up with an offer and a take-it-or-leave-it attitude. 

Germans exist between those two extremes because they want to be a bit more efficient. Still, though, they cannot be pushed or pressured into decisions. 

Relationships are still the key to all sales. The decision-maker needs to feel comfortable in the relationship and feel as though he is making a good decision. 

Typically, larger companies have more complicated decision making processes. They often have male leaders and sometimes one of them will block the process because of politics or a need to be right. 

Selling in Europe will never be a one-call close. 

Unique preferences

Christine had experiences in the past where her work with a global company selling high-ticket events over the phone was negatively affected by her American colleagues who were perceived as being pushy. The prospects assumed that her sales process would operate the same way, so they weren’t interested. 

For companies who operate in different countries, training sellers to understand the cultural differences can present a challenge. Begin with the simple understanding that no two people are alike. Even without the cultural differences, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution because we’re all human with unique preferences. 

Consider yourself as an example. How would you want to be treated during a call? What’s important to you?

Then, be open to cultural differences and be aware of misunderstandings, but understand that it isn’t a case of the prospect not liking you.

In Christine’s case, she learned to operate as though any “no” in the process was always her fault because she hadn’t managed some part of the process correctly.  

She understands, too, that if she calls into the U.S. she needs to operate with the correct urgency, because it’s what they expect. 

Small talk

Sellers in the U.S. are pretty good with small talk, but in the U.K., for example, talk about the weather can be important. Some people perceive that as a waste of time, but you must adjust to the person you’re speaking to. 

Adjusting the conversation to your audience doesn’t demand that you be fake. Pick something that’s meaningful to you that will bring the other person into the conversation as well. 

Suspend your own thinking toward the customers’ needs. Accommodate them.

In the U.S., for example, people don’t give a true answer to the question, “How are you?” Instead, they’ll say, “I’m fine.” In other countries, they’ll be more likely to answer honestly. 

Approach with the desire to serve their needs. 

Expectations

In my own negotiations with a prospect for TSE Certified Sales Training Course, I discovered during the negotiation process that many buyers from eastern Europe want to ensure that they are getting the best deal. A  friend who is also from eastern Europe told me that they’ll often expect to be able to negotiate down a bit. So even if you have a fair price, they may expect you to adjust it. 

In this case, I made the adjustment because it was a win-win opportunity. 

Depending on the products you sell, the price level, and who your negotiating partners are, maybe you set something in place that you can add to the program rather than adjusting your price down. Add value without dropping the price. It gives them a feeling of a win. 

Businesses are always trying to get the best deal, regardless of culture. 

Authenticity

Be true to yourself and be authentic. If you have a great product, begin with a connection. Small talk can feel superficial, so you must communicate that you’re not only interested in a sale. 

Establish relationships with prospects so they don’t feel as though they are simply being sold to. Instead, offer them an invitation to buy. #RelationshipSelling

“Selling In Europe” episode resources

You can connect with Christine at her podcast, Heart Sells, where she interviews successful entrepreneurs who have overcome sales challenges and who operate from the heart. She seeks to showcase that sales can be fun and that anyone can learn sales. You can also find her at christineschlonski.com

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using - Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1168.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

My Sales Reps Say They Are Too Busy...I Think This Is Crap! 

Sales reps and sales leaders face a lot of challenges, and some sales reps say they are too busy. Sometimes the problems are nothing major, but on some other times, the problem causes a ripple in the revenue. One situation that causes such negative impact in sales is when salespeople claim that their pipeline is down due to busyness. This is when sales reps spend much of their time helping current customers find opportunities and they no longer have the time to bring new business or clients. 

This is a common situation among sales leaders and sales reps. It is a legitimate question because sometimes, sales reps come up with excuses and they don’t recognize that. Sales reps often have too much on their plate and they get so busy which then prevents them from getting out and doing sales activity. 

Size of your organization 

What is the size of your organization? This is an important question because if you’re working in an organization with sales in a small company, the sales rep is doing the prospecting and finding leads. After that, the sales rep tries to convert the leads into appointments that lead up to initial conversations. They build value, negotiate, and maintain the account. The sales reps are there in the entire process, but doing all that can cause problems. 

If you’re in an enterprise organization, the sales reps’ main responsibility is closing deals. If you have different departments and individuals doing BDR work, researching, getting leads, doing client success, and managing accounts then there shouldn’t be any problem. 

For small organizations, the sales reps are doing everything and the sales reps legitimately may be too busy. 

Empathy 

As sales manager, your first course of action is to show empathy. We can’t expect our sales reps to go out and show empathy to the prospects without giving them our empathy first. We need to truly understand where they’re coming from.

For example, if a prospect says that the software isn’t working, you don’t argue with him. We can’t exactly tell the prospects to go figure the software out. The same is true for our sales reps. We can’t tell them to figure things out and make it happen. Give them the benefit of the doubt, hear them out first, and figure out why they feel overwhelmed. 

Sales managers are busy people and you might feel that you don’t have enough time to manage everything, but you have to do it. You have to go to the second step after empathizing. 

Diagnose 

The next step is diagnosing. Start this by creating a time audit sheet. It can be on a word document or whatever means possible. Have your sales reps list all the tasks they do in a day,  including answering questions, answering prospects, reaching out on LinkedIn, and many others. They have to write everything down and the length of time they spent doing each task. 

Finally, they need to label whether it’s a sales task or an admin task. If it’s something that directly connects to bringing new business in the organization, then label it as a sales task. 

Reaching out for a client in LinkedIn is a sales activity but going through contracts in the database isn’t. In that case, have somebody else in the organization go through the contracts. Free up sales reps from doing admin tasks and let them do activities that directly tie to getting new prospects. #Revenue

Another example is cleaning up the CRM. This isn’t a sales activity, especially if it’s not in the prime time. Maybe you can do this at home or delegate it to somebody else instead of letting the sales reps do it. 

On a scale of 1-3 

After putting labels to the tasks, categorize them on a scale of 1 - 3. 

  • 1 - it’s directly tied to bringing new business 
  • 2 - average
  • 3 - it’s not so directly tied to bringing new business 

Doing this will make you see that the majority of the sales reps’ time is spent on admin related activities. In smaller organizations, sales reps must do all kinds of tasks but you can avoid this. 

Getting a sales resource individual to help the sales rep find prospects is a great idea. 

The sales research rep connects with the operations department and makes sure that jobs are fulfilled. If the sales rep was to find a prospect and need a particular product or service to seal the deal, the sales research rep would do that task instead. The sales rep would have enough time to go and look for other prospects and clients. 

Sales research reps are very much like project managers. They see to it that everything gets done and that the proper products and samples needed by the sales reps are provided and presented to the client. 

This saves a lot of time and promotes efficiency in the organization. 

The sales research reps are assistant to the sales reps and do the admin tasks for the sales reps. This way, the sales reps become more productive with their time. 

You can do this to your company, too. Find some individuals who can help you alleviate the struggles of the sellers and let the sellers focus on what they do best: making sales. 

“My Sales Reps Say They Are Too Busy...I Think This Is Crap!” episode resources

Companies differ and what works for others may not work for you. Whatever the case may be, let us know of the results. You can connect with me via our Facebook page or LinkedIn. Drop me a message and let me know if this works well for your organization. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Training Sales Program. A course to guide sales reps and sales leaders to become better in doing their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses to help you find the right customers, ask the right questions, and close great deals. You can get the first two modules for free! 

Or you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Thank you for tuning in and if you liked this episode, do give a rating and review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1167.mp3
Category:Activities -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Many sellers overlook fundamental selling principles, but salespeople must learn the importance of a strategic network for business and career success in order to become proficient in our jobs. 

Judy Robinett is an advisor to Springboard, an incubator that helps women founders, with great statistics of 19 IPOs and 165 strategic sells. Judy loves educating people and meeting entrepreneurs and helping them with connections. 

She wrote the book, How to Be a Power Connector, a bestseller in 2014, and she recently published another book called Crack the Funding Code: How Investors Think and What They Need to Hear to Fund Your Startup. It’s a book that tells us how investors think and what they need to hear to fund your startup. 

The beginning

Judy worked as a social worker but she didn’t stop there. She explored her options and opportunities after making some bad decisions like starting her own franchise restaurant. In time, her business failed and she had to sell it. 

She worked with a then-unknown company called Skullcandy® when they were broke and had a quarter of a million dollars in revenue. She helped the company build its credibility and bring its revenue up again. That fueled her interest in startups and she became an investor herself. Fast forward to now, she’s a managing director at Golden Seeds

Crack the funding code

Many great entrepreneurs in the U.S. don’t understand the facts. For one, there’s no lack of money. In fact, there’s $318 trillion of private global wealth. These entrepreneurs don’t understand the players: there’s private equity that are all investing into startups as well as the sovereign wealth funds that manage 10% of the global GDP. 

The book Crack the Funding Code is an easy-to-follow roadmap on how to find and pitch investors. The book’s appendix has term sheets, actual pitch decks, and other relevant research information. It is a book that will educate entrepreneurs because these people can change the world. 

Lessons in mistakes

Entrepreneurs take calculated risks. Along the way, missteps create lessons waiting to be learned. Judy’s bankruptcy lawyer said of her failed franchise restaurant, “They can break you but they can’t eat you.” 

Judy learned to kick fear to the curb and understand that there’s no lack of resources in the world because resources are connected to human beings. It is true that sales are critical in finding and catching investors. It’s also important in catching the customers. Entrepreneurs must learn to navigate in their mistakes. 

They need to figure out how to get investors to figure out how to find customers. 

If you can’t figure out how to find a venture capitalist, you can’t figure out how to find a customer. #investors

Funding mindset 

Howard Stevenson, known as the Lion of Entrepreneurism at Harvard, wrote a book on how to be an angel investor. His book talked about how you can set yourself apart from everybody else. In order to be perceived as a high-potential startup:

  • Be clear on your exit strategy and the comparables because investors want to get their money back. 
  • Mitigate risks as viewed by the investors. 

It is good for startups to put high-powered people in their advisory board to help build their credibility, especially if the CEO hasn’t done a startup before. In the VC investing world, people talk about adult supervision. This is critical because you want to have reliable people in your team with deep industry expertise who can open doors to money, media, and other resources that you might need. 

Getting investors is more than just being good and being able to produce something. 

One of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs do in their pitches is the way they focus on technology and explain the details at length. Investors, however, care less about that. Harvard researchers found that the average amount of time people spend looking at a particular slide is 11 seconds. Financial slides, however, get 23 seconds worth of attention.

Investors look for a team that can execute to a big enough market, the total addressable market (TAM). 

Three C’s

Arthur Rock was the first venture capitalist who started the industry in Silicon Valley. He said that if somebody comes to him with a B product but with an A team or an A product but with a B team, he’d always go for the A-team. This means that investors invest in the team that can execute. 

So, the first C is you need to be coachable. We all have that blindspot of not knowing what we don’t know. It’s important to come across as coachable rather than arrogant. If somebody asks you about something that you don’t know, then be upfront and tell that person that you’ll get back to him. Then ask for help to show that you are coachable. 

The second one is having a level of confidence. You are selling your concept, your company, and how you’re going to grow it to the investors so a level of confidence is important. 

The third one is character. Howard Stevenson said in his book that when he hears an exaggeration or half-truth, he runs away instead of walking so that he won’t lose money. Investors have a way of looking at your character in a substantial way. 

Be coachable 

The moment we say that we don’t need more information is the moment that we stop growing. When we stop learning and stop being coached, we also stop progressing and growing. 

A sales rep who has been selling for 10 years and who stops reading books about sales is stuck in the same way that an entrepreneur who stops needing advice is stuck. 

Businesses fall short because entrepreneurs stop growing and because they don’t have a board of advisers to tell them the truth or advise them what to do.  

CB Insights did a post mortem of 101 startups and one of the problems they found was the inability to learn and pivot. Clayton Christiansen, an expert on innovation at Harvard, said that 75% of startups pivot. Viagra didn’t start out being used the way it’s used today, but the nurses noticed a side-effect.

Everybody must be in an exploration of finding out what you don’t know because that’s where growth happens. 

The obstacle is a gift. Run to your obstacle much like David running toward Goliath. Understand that every time you have a vision, Goliath shows up so you must master how to learn and pivot. 

There are two words that mean fear: the first refers to being terrified, and the second is the sense of awe and wonder. This happens when you step out of your comfort zone. 

You need to reframe your fear and deal with it. 

Network your way to the right investors 

It is critical to be in the right room. Judy met a founder who was trying to get investors in Salt Lake City for her company but she was in the wrong room because she wasn’t Mormon and she was a woman. Judy took her to Boston and San Francisco where she closed deals and then sold her company for millions

There are specific groups of investors. First, you start with your family, then your friends, then your credit cards, and you move up to the angel investor, the seed round. There are 400 angel groups in the U.S. and $317 trillion in private global wealth. There is no lack of money here. There’s also the governmental fund, the sovereign wealth fund. It is important that you know which group to go to. 

You can find them via searching in Google, by going to pitch events, or by asking top lawyers and bankers who work with startups. 

Do not forget to ask them the two golden questions: 

  • What other ideas do you have for me?
  • Who else do you know that I should talk to?

On average, people know between 600 and 1,000 people. You don’t have to know tons of people; you need the right people to get in the right room. 

Another good way to build your network is to find your way to private curated events and talk to people.  Let them know what you do. You can also ask them their opinion and who they know that you ought to be talking to as well. You’d be surprised at the number of people who are happy to help but you need to learn to ask. 

This is particularly difficult if you are from the lower to middle class where you’re taught to keep your head down, get a degree, work hard, and don’t ask for help because people would notice. In truth, people do not notice. 

According to research in Denmark, 5% of people in any corporation or organization are the true influencers and power brokers. Those are the people that you need to get to know. Delivering a compelling pitch

You need a concise, compelling narrative. Dick Wilson, a VC who has had $1billion exit every year for the past five years, was asked how to create a compelling pitch. He said that it’s important to be concise, be compelling, and have passion. 

You want to get to the second date so don’t spill all the details or all the financials because your job is to get those people to be interested in you and start doing due diligence. John Livesay, also known as Pitch Deck Guru, is a great man who can help you out with your compelling stories.

Research often suggests that the majority of startups fail but that data is inaccurate. Hard research shows that about 50 percent fail because the owners aren’t willing to learn. 

Reasons startups fail

Phil Graham, one of the Y Combinator founders, said that there are two reasons why startups fail:

  • lack of customers 
  • lack of sales 

One of the Dropbox founders said that before he started Dropbox, he didn’t know anything about sales engineering and product development. He bought the top three books in each of those areas, and he got an advisory board. Simply put, you don’t have to be brilliant and smarter than everybody else. 

Don’t fail your startup. Use the two golden questions and start reaching out to strangers. Open your mouth and ask. Investors are everywhere and they need startups, too. They need to put their money into entrepreneurs’ startups so a little leg work and some networking is helpful. Go to the National Venture Capital Association and the National Angel Association to find lists of everybody. 

Do your homework and do your due diligence on the investors. 

“The importance of a strategic network for business and career success” episode resource 

Stay in touch with Judy via email, judy@judyrobinett.com, and her LinkedIn account. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Training Sales Program. A course to guide sales reps and sales leaders to become better in doing their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses to help you find the right customers, ask the right questions, and close great deals. You can get the first two modules for free! 

Or you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Thank you for tuning in and if you liked this episode, do give a rating and review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1166.mp3
Category:entrepreneurs -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Some people aren’t into the idea of rejection but actually, there are positive reasons why getting a no is not such a bad thing. 

Francisco Terreros is a co-founder of Felkrem, a full-service sports marketing agency focused on two core services. First, they represent professional footballers/soccer players in their careers both on and off the field, and secondly, they sell brands and reach the players’ demographics through sports and marketing. They are FIFA agents and marketers who do sales every day. The sell to parents and kids they want to sign to their firm as well as to teams and sponsors. 

They are selling their experience as sports marketers to brands who want to capitalize on their understanding of how to navigate and reach their target demographics. 

Their company is surviving, thriving, and growing rapidly despite the competition in the industry. Felkrem is dealing with the athletes' professions and their dreams. 

Getting no as a sales rep

Sales reps have been in this situation once or twice in their careers as salespeople. It’s difficult to hear the rejection, and much more difficult to accept it. But why do we get a no and why is getting a no not such a bad thing

A seller’s job depends on his ability to  get a yes, so naturally, a no for an answer is a hard pill to swallow. 

Lions are the kings of the jungle. It’s their natural instinct to turn their chase into actual food. They have their hunting strategies matrixed down that when the prey gets away, they don’t just give up. They walk and find another kill. They also don't necessarily go for the biggest and the fastest one. They change their game occasionally  and go for something else. 

As sellers, we need to think like lions. It is our instinct to turn the potential sales opportunities into yeses. Our game must also be matrixed so that when we hear no, we don’t walk away dejected. Instead, we walk away with a new plan in our head. We should learn to walk away and get the next one. We need to understand that no is part of the process and it’s going to help us figure out what we must tweak to get the yes. 

Overcoming this is a hard job because our lives depend on the yes. ‘

The sales process is a numbers game and our closing rate of yes comes before several nos. Your sales career will change once you realize that and calculate how many nos you need to get a yes. Simply put, a no means one step closer to the yes. 

Back to the beginning 

We must all begin learning the basics before we become successful in our craft. Cisco got an internship with the sponsorship department in a major league soccer team in his area. He was assigned to support the sponsorship team. He took pictures of activations, set up banners in the stadium, and met with clients at the game to let them into the gate. He was a secretary but he needed to be more. He started coming in two hours before his shift and observed. With his notepad in hand, he listened to the sponsorship guide sell and he took notes to understand the process. Weeks later, he asked for more and he was given a list of people. He started calling and calling and got zero yeses. 

Years later he realized that all those nos taught him something since they got him closer to the job. The nos helped him understand himself and his techniques and what he needed to do to change the no into a yes. 

Cisco wouldn’t have been able to understand that it’s all a system and a process if he didn’t start with the basics. 

The hungry lion 

The analogy of the lion is perfect for this subject matter. After missing their prey for a couple of times, a hungry lion is more zealous than ever to catch another one. A hungry lion is persistent and patient in an intelligent way, not in a desperate way. 

We need to help our team understand that. Teach your team to think like hunters and that the no is a way for them to become hungrier. Not desperate; just hungry. Desperation can be felt a mile away, so don’t be that desperate seller who tries to oversell. Be hungry and be patient. 

A seller’s desperation is a puff of wind that clients don’t want to inhale. It’s also good to take a mental note that clients can hear your desperate sound even in a phone conversation. When your voice drops and your tone shifts, your client will start to zone out. Pay constant attention to how you sound and how you deliver your pitch. 

Turn that no to a yes

Cisco had a seller call him in the past for a pitch and his voice and tone were giveaways to his desperation. Cisco helped him understand the process of no and he asked the seller to count the nos he got before he had a yes. A week later, the seller talked to Cisco again but now with a triumphant voice. He said that he got 33 nos before he had a yes. Those 33 nos are no longer awful experiences because those are the setbacks that got him to a yes. 

Knowing the nos is the beginning. Doing something to lower the no-to-yes ratio is the next step. You do that by identifying where the gaps are in your pitch or in the presentation and you fill those gaps. 

‘Check me’ partner  

Accepting no is a difficult thing but this process is a continuous one. Even if you get better at getting yes, you’ll still face some nos along the way. It’s better to have someone who’ll be on the journey with you. Find someone who can check you and get you back to reality when you’re facing a slump. It can be your co-worker or your business partner. It can be another team member or your boss. It can be anybody who can get you back to your feet. Teach them to remind of you three things:

  • What did you learn?
  • What can I do better next time? 
  • The no means you’re one step closer to the yes.

Be reminded of those three things to overcome the depression and dejection that come with the no. So, go and find yourself a Check Me partner. 

This can be applied to basically every aspect of our lives because our society fosters a culture of positivity and negativity. People have high emotions of happiness and low emotions of sadness. This contrast is good because you won’t be able to feel the satisfaction and elation that comes with happiness if you haven’t experienced something bad. 

At the end of the day, rejection is a necessary evil to achieve heavenly success. Your no is one step closer to your heavenly staircase of success. 

Remember that every no in sales means you’re one step closer to the yes. #Positivity 

We don’t have to become an expert in overcoming rejection but we do have to understand the tools to help us overcome the rejection. 

Learn to turn your awful nos to beautiful yeses. 

Why Getting a no is not Such a Bad Thing and How to Accept it!” episode resources 

Connect with Cisco in his social media to be inspired. Follow him on Instagram or shoot him a mail. 

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a tool for sales reps and sales leaders to become better in doing their pitches and presentations. The program has 12 courses to help you find the right customers, ask the right questions, and close great deals. You can get the first two modules for free! 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

If you’re a reader and loves reading and listening to books, you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1165.mp3
Category:Rejection -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

I saw a question on Reddit recently from a seller who wondered whether or not to create content on LinkedIn. The seller worried that writing about topics like quota, rejection, or prospecting might sound too salesy and might hurt his pipeline. 

The truth is that many sellers have fear around the concept of creating content because we worry about how the audience will accept our ideas. 

Middle school prom

Not only should we post our own content on LinkedIn; we should also engage with other people’s content. 

Unfortunately, many of us treat LinkedIn like a middle school prom. We stand around the edge of the room watching each other, too afraid to dance. We might speak to a friend or two, but we’re afraid to look stupid, so we don’t dance. Instead, we let everybody else enjoy themselves. 

We don’t want to look stupid on the dance floor, so perhaps we look stupid on the sidelines instead. We’re afraid of the critics who might make fun of our efforts

Many sellers treat LinkedIn like a middle school dance. We don’t participate because we’re afraid of looking silly. #SalesContent

True engagement

Engagement doesn’t involve moving around the room and saying hi to people at the dance. On LinkedIn, clicking “like” for a few posts doesn’t qualify as engagement. It won’t sustain relationships. It’s basically an indication of approval. 

Engagement requires you to bring other people into the conversation. If, for example, you’re in the water industry, and you see an article about the danger of water purification tablets, you can tag another colleague who wrote about the same topic. 

The author of the piece will take note of your efforts to bring someone else to his page, and your colleague will take note as well. 

Talk to people and work to create lasting relationships.

‘Salesy’ content

The question on Reddit came from a seller who worried that his prospects might tire of always seeing sales-related content. But consider your own news feed. Are you annoyed by the fact that you frequently see the same faces over and over again? Or do you simply choose to read things that are relevant and skip over the ones that are not? 

On the other hand, when one of those people shares something that helps you or connects you with someone else, that brand sticks in your mind. When you need help with something, you’ll remember the guys who showed up in your feed. 

When you post content and engage with other content, you stay top-of-mind with your audience. 

Audience

Make sure that you’re posting the right kind of content for your audience. Gear it toward your prospect. If you’re targeting salespeople, it’s ok to post sales content. But if you’re targeting decision-makers at Fortune 500 companies, don’t post about yourself. Post what the leaders in that industry want to know or read. 

Gear your content toward the people you want to attract. 

Don’t be paralyzed by the fear that your content won’t sound perfect. Understand who you’re targeting and who you want to attract. 

LinkedIn impressions

To understand how value-rich LinkedIn is, listen to TSE 1085 on our podcast. In it, my friend Steven Hart shared some LinkedIn stats with us based on the 48 Eyeopening LinkedIn Statistics for 2019.

LinkedIn provides 36 billion impressions per month. That’s 468 billion impressions per year, or 9 billion impressions per week. Users see content 9 billion times per week. 

Now factor in that there are 500 million people on LinkedIn, and only a fraction of them are active there. Of those, only 3 million people share content weekly. So those 3 million people who share content weekly are getting 9 billion impressions. 

The rest of us are afraid to share content, so we’re sitting on the sidelines.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Grab attention

Grab your reader’s attention, but be intentional about the stuff that you share. Post things that your prospect wants to read. You can certainly share industry-related content from magazines, but your content doesn’t always have to tie back. 

Consider these options for content:

  • Answer frequently-asked-questions about your industry
  • Share content that your industry would want to know about.
  • Share videos you create from your smartphone in which you answer questions.
  • Post complementary content that is indirectly related to your industry.
  • Repurpose your company’s own blog content.

Seek to be helpful. 

Challenge

Also, consider asking your own audience questions about what they are doing and what they’d like to see. If you tag people in a post and ask them about the CRM they use, you’ll initiate engagement. As more people comment, it will gain more visibility. If someone from outside your own connections engages with it, reach out to that person and request a connection.

Your challenge for the upcoming week is to share one piece of content every day. 

  • Monday: share an industry-related piece that includes something interesting.
  • Tuesday: answer a frequently-asked-question.
  • Wednesday: answer a common question using video.
  • Thursday: post complementary information.
  • Friday: share something your company has created. 

At the end of the week, if you don’t have any impressions, keep posting. You’re going to connect with new people. Ask your teammates for ideas if you can’t think of anything to post.

“Create Content on LinkedIn” episode resources

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using - Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1164.mp3
Category:LinkedIn -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How Leaders Sabotage the Sale Process

Sales leaders sometimes make mistakes that compromise deals, so understanding how leaders sabotage the sale process can help us avoid the same mistake. 

Erin Pheil is the founder of Mind Fix Group, a company that specializes in helping entrepreneurs, high-achievers, and high-performers eliminate their biggest mental roadblocks that hold them back and keep them from achieving what they're capable of. 

Head trash

Some sales leaders have very specific definitions of what a sales leader is. For Erin, anybody who is in charge of guiding the people in making the right decisions and who is doing sales for a company is considered a sales leader

Many sellers read books and work with experts to improve their skills in sales. They keep learning, and then they show up on calls. They often show up to these calls prepared, but also with head trash. They’re showing bits and pieces of their old mental programming and outdated beliefs that aren’t helpful in closing deals. They go to the calls and they try to combine new knowledge and strategies that their coaches have taught them with their old beliefs. 

When things go wrong, they don’t blame themselves. They blame the technique and the process, or even the people they hired. They don’t look at their head trash and suspect that they might be the ones sabotaging the process. 

Blaming the process, techniques, and tactics instead of examining how they’re screwing things up sabotages the sales process. 

Accepting blame

It takes courage to accept blame because it’s human nature to blame somebody else. It takes courage to stop, pause, and hold a mirror to yourself and ask how you’re contributing to the challenges that you’re experiencing. It’s much easier to project outward and place the blame.  

Head trash commonly appears as the need for approval or the need to be liked. Sellers will show up to a sales call and, instead of focusing on guiding the prospect towards the right decision, they operate from an underlying need to be liked. This goes beyond having a bond and rapport. It's more of wanting to be approved. A person with that need often sabotages calls just to be liked. 

They get nervous, they make concessions, and they apologize, which shifts the whole frame of conversation. Being liked becomes the more important outcome. 

Self-doubt 

Self-doubt can undermine your authenticity and sabotage your sales process because it causes you to question your own effectiveness. Trust your skills and abilities. #SalesSabotage

Money block and old programming from a salesperson's childhood also have a negative impact on sales calls. 

For example, a client raised to believe that she isn’t supposed to talk about money in the household where degree and certificates are the next big things had a huge block in her sales process. Since this particular client had no degree, she ended up questioning her ability and wouldn’t bring up the pricing until the last minute, or until the prospect asked for the price. This client had old head trash on the concept of pricing and money so that often the price in her head was different from the price that came out of her mouth. 

Even with constant reminders here and there, she just couldn’t do it. It just wouldn't come out of her mouth the right way. 

This is what head trash is. You show up with a plan and all the right information, but your old pieces of programming, beliefs, and thoughts sabotage and compromise your ability to make a productive call. 

Figure your patterns 

The first thing to do is to figure your patterns. Knowing your patterns brings awareness to your calls. You must pinpoint where in the process you’re having your patterns of resistance and frustrations. 

Create a list of the areas where you keep repeating some patterns that you know do not serve you. It might be telling the same jokes, doing what you’re not supposed to do, or not talking about the money even though you have to. 

The buyer might think that you’re hiding something or you have some trick up your sleeves. Before you know it, you have already sabotaged your opportunity. The same is true if you keep talking to your client without giving him the time to speak. It scares the prospect off as well. 

Consider a salesperson who can’t even have an intro opportunity because she can’t stop talking. Her problem clearly exists at the beginning of the process. 

This is a perfect example of a pattern of people who can’t stop talking. They don’t listen because it has been ingrained in their minds that they should keep talking so that someone will buy from them. They feel the need to show off and prove their expertise in order to be respected. 

Changing patterns

After listing the patterns that you observe, ask yourself, “What would I have to believe to be true in order to keep acting this way?”

What we believe determines how we act. 

If you believe that talking about money is wrong, then you’ll probably act in ways in accordance with that belief. A lot of these beliefs are in the back of our heads and most of us might not believe them to be true. But even if a tiny part of us holds true to that belief, then we’ll act according to those beliefs. 

What you get from asking that question for each pattern is a list of old pieces of head trash,  programming, and beliefs that you’re still carrying around that are sabotaging your sales process. 

Set aside time to implement the two things mentioned here. First, identify the patterns and second, come up with a list of what you’d have to believe to be true. This will open your mind and make you see things that you didn’t realize are impacting your close rate and your success as a sales leader. 

“How Leaders Sabotage the Sale Process” episode resource

Learn more from Erin and visit her website mindfixgroup.com. Check the hour-long training video that explains how your head trash is impacting your actions and behaviors and causing you to sabotage things. There are also case studies and stories of real people who have overcome their challenges. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a tool for salespeople and sales leaders to help them improve their skills and abilities in finding the right customers, creating strategies that work, and asking the right questions to close powerful deals. You can go to The Sales Evangelist and see the first two modules for free. 

This episode is brought to you in part by Audible, the awesome library with thousands of books. Try it now to get a 30-day free trial and a free book. Go to audibletrial.com/tse

If you find this episode helpful, give us a ravishing review and rating on Apple podcast. We are also on Google Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1163.mp3
Category:Sales Process -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Sales leaders must help their teams perform at peak levels, so they must start by understanding how to effectively coach struggling sellers

 

I’ve seen this kind of coaching done badly in the past, and I’ve walked my own team members through these struggles. I’ve developed tips of my own and I’ve learned from Mike Weinberg’s book Sales Management Simplified

Questions to ask

All sales reps and sales leaders endure dark moments where nothing seems to work out. Despite the fact that we’ve been selling for years, we endure periods where we simply can’t close. Very often, when that happens, there are several key things we must address.

These situations don’t develop overnight, and they usually result from slippage in certain areas. Begin by answering the following questions as honestly as you can. You’ll never find improvement if you’re dishonest about your situation. 

  • Does the struggling seller have a desire to succeed and thrive in sales? If he doesn’t have the drive to succeed, no amount of training or coaching will help.
  • Why is this particular seller on my sales team? Did you inherit this seller? Did you hire him?
  • How did the seller get into this situation? What signs did you see along the way? 
  • What has been done to fix the problem? What steps has the seller taken? What steps have you taken?

One-on-one meetings

If you aren’t already holding them, schedule one-on-one meetings with your sellers. I’m a big believer in this method because these leadership meetings offer opportunities to connect with our team members. 

One-on-one meetings with sellers provide time to fine-tune and fix micro-problems before they become huge cracks that jeopardize the stability of our organizations. These can be monthly, or weekly, but quarterly isn’t frequent enough.  

As you work with a struggling rep, you can determine the things that stopped happening. Did he stop planning his prospecting? Is he failing to manage his time? Does he fail to establish a plan for his activities?

If you aren’t engaging in one-on-one coaching, you won’t know what’s happening with your team. When you recognize the problems, you can implement solutions and guide your team members to the right solutions. 

These meetings should be knee-to-knee, eye-to-eye if possible. 

Conducting one-on-one meetings communicates to your reps that you care about their success. When you take time out of your schedule to share suggestions and guidance with your team members, it’s meaningful to your team. 

If something is important to your sales reps, it must be important to you. One-on-one meetings help you determine what’s important to your team members. 

If the rep is really struggling, you can increase the frequency of your coaching sessions. 

Changing mindset

When I was a sales rep selling software, I changed my mindset so that I considered myself the entrepreneur over my territory. Mike Weinberg suggests that you do the same by establishing a business plan for your territory or area.

Whether you’re a BDR or an inside sales rep, begin by determining a goal for yourself. For struggling sales reps, help them to create their own goals and then to establish a plan to follow. Including them in the plan gives them accountability. 

Begin with small goals over the next three months of the quarter. Consider what your financial goal will be. Then determine exactly how they’ll accomplish that. Identify the existing customers that you’ll engage.

Establish a time frame in which your rep will accomplish that goal. Remember to include consequences. Ask your reps what a fair turnaround would be. Then ask your reps what should happen if they don’t meet their stated goals.  

Very often your reps will establish tougher consequences for themselves than you might have set. 

Desire to improve

When you have a sales rep with an obvious desire to improve, bend over backward for that person. Move mountains for her. If she is taking advantage of coaching and she establishes an awesome business plan, reward her efforts. Find other resources that will help her succeed.

Get her books or send her links to relevant podcasts. Meet with her when you can, and email her when you can’t meet. Check in through the day and throughout the week. 

When your sales reps thrive, your business will improve and your company will grow. 

It’s far cheaper to help your sales reps improve than to begin the hiring process over again because you need successful sellers. #SalesTraining

On the other hand, if your sellers don’t have a strong desire to succeed, and they won’t dedicate the effort to improve, then it may be time to remove them from your team. 

In my own case, I had sales leaders who believed in me and who recognized my drive to improve. They coached me through my struggles and helped me get where I am today. 

Re-evaluate

Once you’ve worked through the plan over the course of 30-90 days, if your rep still isn’t improving, you must identify why. If you’ve done the one-on-one coaching and you’ve helped her create a sales plan, you may have to put her on probation. It can be an informal program, but you must establish a marker that she will hit within that probation period. 

Usually by this point, if the rep truly wants to succeed, she’ll show signs of improvement. Eventually, she’ll have to work on her own and prove that she can hit milestones without other people’s assistance. Without that ability, she’ll eventually have to move on. 

The Sales Evangelist Certified Sales Training Program helps sellers improve by identifying problems and developing solutions to address them. Many individual sellers choose our program for themselves because it’s worth the cost of the training to increase their success rate. 

“Effectively Coach Struggling Sellers” episode resources

Grab a copy of Mike Weinberg’s book Sales Management Simplified

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using - Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1162.mp3
Category:Sales Coaching -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Meetings serve an important purpose in business so we must learn how to run better meetings to avoid the feeling that we are wasting our time. 

Reshan Richards is a career educator who launched an app — targeted for use in schools — that ultimately became a software business. He has seen a significant intersection between things that are effective in both business practices and the classroom. Together with Steve Valentine, also a career educator, he is collaborating to articulate and pinpoint the specific moves that can be borrowed from the teaching profession and implemented in business. Steve has studied leadership and its application in order to work with young people and help them understand basic leadership. 

Meeting mistakes

The problems that plague corporate meetings often mirror those of ineffective classrooms. Primarily, the transmission of information isn’t right for the audience who is meant to understand it. People often go back to their defaults or their own experiences to measure what is right.

If, for example, you get called into a meeting where one person is doing all the talking or all the work, it isn’t a good use of anyone’s time. It wasn’t likely called for the service of the people who are meant to share the information. In education, a difference exists between the transmission of information and the building of knowledge. 

Reshan and Steve believe that the best kinds of meetings are those that leave people feeling like they couldn’t possibly have had the same great experience without the meeting. In other words, there’s no substitute for the meeting, and people are glad they went. 

Unfortunately, that’s a rare occurrence in both business and education.

If you think about the amount of time and effort it takes to secure a face-to-face meeting with a customer or client, it’s important to be respectful of that person’s time, energy and attention. Never leave him doubting why he was called into that room. #BetterMeetings

Bad meetings

Reshan’s company, Explain Everything, worked with a Fortune 100 company to help them run better training for new-to-title employees. As he evaluated their structure, he realized that 90 percent of the time during a week-long seminar was spent sitting watching PowerPoint presentations. The other 10 percent of the time was application of what they learned. The following week, those employees were sent into the field. 

The meetings were efficient and easy to plan, but retention was low, so he worked with them to rethink their time together. He encouraged the company to think about how it might best utilize the experts in the meetings as well as how the information should be delivered. 

They also found that they were teaching concepts on Monday that the employees wouldn’t get to apply until Thursday. The distance between the lesson and the application meant that the employees had to learn the information twice. 

For Steve, the very best meetings are those that are allowed to be messy and those that permit people to drop their status. He measures the quality of a meeting by the extent to which people are treated as learners and the extent to which they actually learn something they didn’t know when they walked in. 

That information doesn’t have to appear as a revelation. Rather it can simply be the chance to build knowledge together in the temporal context they share. 

Internal meetings

Planning a great meeting looks exactly the same as planning a great lesson or learning experience. Reshan and Steve think in terms of three motions, or phases. 

  1. Before the meeting
  2. During the meeting
  3. After the meeting

These stages parallel the stages of sales, where sellers engage in pre-call, during, and then follow-up

As the meeting facilitator, you should have a really good awareness of the prior knowledge participants have prior to the meeting. 

Meeting prep

Often times meetings get scheduled by those who have the authority to do so, but the attendees don’t know the agenda until they arrive. Those that get the agenda ahead of time either get it too far in advance or too close to the meeting time. 

Meeting prep also varies greatly among the attendees at meetings. Some people dutifully prepare for the meeting while others never even look at the agenda. The facilitator often has to go to the lowest common denominator because a percentage of people didn’t prepare. In the end, that holds the entire organization back because it means that instead of starting at level 7 in the dialog, you’re starting at zero because there is no ritual around basic procedures.

Ask yourself whether it’s necessary to actually have everyone in the same room at the same time in order to achieve your outcome. 

Brain breaks

If you’re interested in making sure that learning happens in your meetings, build in brain breaks where you provide time for people to synthesize the information you provide. Things often move quickly in meetings, and if you build simple pauses like questions or discussions into the meeting itself, you’ll support learning. 

If you don’t give the human brain time to do what it does best, you’ll leave a lot on the table in the meeting. 

Consider the intention of the meeting as you’re determining how much information you include. There’s no right or wrong number of agenda items, but you must provide off-ramps so that you can read the room and respond to the audience. Be willing to push some of the information into off-line discussions without disrupting the meeting momentum.

Just because it was delivered doesn’t mean it was understood. 

Productive chaos

Your organization might successfully navigate a meeting with 14 agenda items, but ask yourself what the impact of the meeting was. In schools, this shows up as racing through the content without making sure students understand. The art exists in adjusting your presentation and being able to reshuffle things if necessary. 

Steve once had to plan a two-day retreat for a group of leaders, and his approach at that time was to build massive slide decks in an attempt to control every moment. Reshan suggested cutting the number of slides down a bit, and then he cut it from about 100 slides to seven.

Steve remembers being terrified because he wasn’t sure what he was going to do or say, but Reshan reminded him that their purpose was to facilitate. They intended to bring ideas out of the leaders so they would have a transformative experience. In short, the leaders were to do more of the work. 

Teach themselves

The pair structured the meeting loosely, but it wasn’t without structure. As a result, the participants accomplished much more than any of them expected. They still hear from the people who attended that event. 

Steve notes, too, that they weren’t being lazy. They were actually being rather rigorous in their preparation because they were removing rather than adding. The result was productive chaos. 

In short, they helped the meeting attendees teach themselves because they built so much of the meeting themselves.

As a general rule, the content kind varies inversely to the time: the longer the engagement, the less content there should be. You’ll build in more generative time from participants.

Think about how you can design your meeting so that the people in the room are doing more of the work and the thinking. That’s what leads them to be able to use the knowledge. 

  • Be clear on the goals and purpose of your meeting, and don’t hold one simply because you believe you should. 
  • Be reasonable based upon people’s schedules. 
  • Set crystal clear goals and prevent diversions and tangents.  

Many people work without the need to go to the office every day. If you’re taking someone’s time, hold your meetings to a higher standard. Remember that they are never getting that time back. 

“How To Run Better Meetings” episode resources

Reshan and Steve launched a book called Make Yourself Clear, and you can connect with them at the website, MakeYourselfClear.xyz

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using - Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1161.mp3
Category:Sales Meetings -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Sales is a year-round activity with no off-season and no breaks, so it’s important for sellers to understand how to deal with stress, fatigue, burnout, and a lack of creativity. 

Dana Cavalea is the former Director of Strength & Conditioning and Performance for the New York Yankees. Coach Dana, who helps companies optimize performance and productivity, wrote a book called Habits of a Champion: Nobody Becomes a Champion By Accident.  

He became a coach after realizing the tremendous difference that coaches made in his own athletic career, and how they helped him overcome bumps in the road. 

Opportunity knocks

Dana, who originally hails from New York, chose to attend school in Tampa because he knew it was near where the Yankees conducted their spring training. When he got the opportunity to join the team as the guy who handed out towels and cleaned the weight room, he jumped on it. 

Within a few years, he earned a paying job as the director of strength and conditioning and performance, and the team won a championship during that time. 

He discovered, through that experience, that many executives, CEOs, and sales teams wanted to know how athletes prepare to compete at the highest levels. How do they deal with injuries and fatigue and the obstacles they face during a season? How do they keep showing up every day in the face of fatigue and burnout?

Individual protocol

People assume that high-level musicians and athletes feel good every time they perform, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. They’re tired a lot, but they don’t tell themselves that. They understand that fatigue is part of life and that you’re going to have days where you don’t feel great. The goal, Dana said, is to have fewer of those days and more of the days where you do feel great. 

To do that, Dana coaches people to focus on a couple of simple things that affect performance.

  • Hydration
  • Sleep

These factors can inhibit the way you function overall. To address them, you must have an individual routine specific to your needs that helps you perform at your best every single day. 

Some players like music that pumps them up, and other players like music that calms them down. Each person must have a routine and protocol that is based around their needs. 

But how do you get there?

You get there by testing things. If you sleep for six hours but wake feeling tired, that may mean that you need more sleep, or that you need to understand your 90-minute sleep cycles better. We must perform each day and test different things like the food we eat to determine what makes us feel better. 

How do I feel?

Begin by asking yourself the question, “How do I feel?” Phrased that way, the question takes you out of yourself and gives you a moment in the midst of all that you have going on to consider how you feel. People listen to a million different podcasts and listen to two or three books at a time, and we’re so busy that we don’t take time to think about how we’re feeling. 

We’re working to create a self-awareness that is super important to determining the strategies that will help you overcome your struggles. 

Sometimes we underestimate the impact of stress on our bodies. Sports are very competitive, as is business. Sales is extremely competitive. You must prepare and train to compete. 

Energy wins. You might be a more talented salesperson than I am, but if I have more energy, I’ll continue to show up every day while you take a day off. #SalesSuccess

The key is to keep your energy up by hydrating, sleeping, fueling, and training. Then, fill your mind with good stuff to crowd out the doubt and fear. 

Sports have a defined starting and ending point, but sales continues all year, quarter after quarter. There’s no break because each year leads into another. 

Expectations

If we do well this year, what will the people around us expect from us moving forward? They’ll expect us to do better. So now we’re constantly trying to push our threshold. Although what we did last year was good, it’s not good enough for this year. Expectations shift.

Some people, though, get comfortable playing things safe, and doing “just enough.” They don’t want to do more than they’re already doing because they know it will simply shift the expectation higher. 

People fear success almost as much as they fear failure. Sometimes, they sabotage themselves in order to avoid the pressure of accomplishment. 

Leaders can help their sales teams overcome these struggles by being honest. If a salesperson has hit his numbers for the month and he has a pending deal that he could close this month but he’s holding it for the next month, his leader must remove the need for the seller to impress him.

Creating clarity

Dana heard an interview with Mariano Rivera in which Rivera said his career changed when Yankees manager Joe Torre called him into the office and explained that Mo would always be his guy. As long as Torre was with the Yankees, he wanted Mo by his side. That freed Mo to relax and do what he was best at. He was freed from the need to prove himself. 

If you can reduce the need to prove yourself because you’ve validated yourself, you’re in a great position. When a manager does that for his team, it’s like glue for the team. 

Dana puts his clients on a morning walk routine that includes a 30-minute walk with no technology. It forces them to be by themselves without the defense of jumping into the phone. Without distractions, they can think about the things they actually want. They get the clarity of evaluating their current situation and their own performance. They have time to ask themselves questions about how things are going. 

Taking ownership

You may find that you have a leader or manager who isn’t leading in the way you need her to. In that case, it’s up to you to tell her what you’re struggling with, where you need help, and how she can support you. You can also ask for clarity around the work you’re doing. 

When you have the conviction to seek clarity without fearing the conversation, you’ll invite more clarity. 

Dana often encounters people who exude confidence. He calls it their birthright because it’s so natural to them. They know exactly what must be done in order to succeed. In most cases, though, your team will include really intelligent people who simply haven’t experienced enough success in order to feel confident. Coaches can navigate their sellers to achieve small, frequent wins that stack up and build confidence. 

Sellers can acquire confidence even if they don’t naturally have it.

On the other hand, Dana sometimes encounters finance people who allow the market shifts and trends to impact how they feel about themselves. He reminds them that the market will do what it will do, so these people must avoid being reactive to the external environment. 

Striking out doesn’t make you a loser, and losing doesn’t make you a loser. 

Dana got this advice some time back: People can either love it or shove it. Not everyone is meant to work with you and you’re not meant to work with everyone. That’s just the way it is. 

Starting point

Nobody leaves the gym feeling worse than when they got there. They leave feeling glad that they went. Training is your starting point. 

Not all sales are equal. Don’t compromise yourself in the process of making a sale. Some sales aren’t the right ones and they’ll be a death sentence for your company. 

Sales is a hustle and a grind, so you must approach every day with a vision of what you’re trying to create. We’re quick to judge ourselves against other people. 

Sales is a relationship game. If people know, like, and trust you, they’ll open up to you. If they don’t, they’ll be closed to you. Relationships take time and they aren’t one-sided. 

Burnout and stress are perspective-based. Stress is the result of pressures you put on yourself, and stress over time leads to burnout. 

If you try to be perfect, you’ll ultimately fail. Hit singles. Don’t try to hit home runs. If you hit a single every day, you’ll get a run on the board and another man on base. 

Create a healthy process for yourself and then execute every day. 

“How to Deal With Stress, Fatigue, Burnout” episode resources

Connect with Coach Dana at danacavalea.com or access his YouTube channel for more content. Grab a copy of his book, Habits of a Champion: Nobody Becomes a Champion By Accident.

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using - Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1160.mp3
Category:Sales Coaching -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Sales from the Street - The Unicorn Seller 

 

Jen is the unicorn seller and everyone is enchanted by her rainbow-colored sales skills. She has lots of techniques and strategies which help her close deals. You want Jen, but she’s from the competing company and just in time, you heard that Jen wants to jump ship. This is your dream come true! 

You think of Jen and you automatically think of all the clients she’s bringing along. It’s a whole list of clients and deals closed left and right. Your company will be making money and you’re going to hire more people due to expansion. Jen is the answer! 

As a top-performing sales rep, I was once Jen, too. I’ve had my fair share of being lured by other companies. I know how it feels to be offered something and to be on the receiving end of the decision whether to hire the top-performing sales rep or not. 

Before making that decision, here are some things that you need to consider.  

Why are they leaving?

We make decisions out of desperation sometimes, especially if money is included in the picture. When your sales aren’t doing too well and you need the pipeline, you want people who can bring the money in. Even if you’re snagging them from the competitor. 

You present them with a good 401k plan, you say all the nice things to convince them to jump to your company, and you tell them how fantastic your company’s culture is. 

You need to assess the situation seriously before making a hiring decision. These are some of the questions that you can ask yourself: 

  • Why are they leaving the company?
  • Are they a problem in disguise? Are you willing to take that risk?
  • Why would they come to your company when they’re already making tons of money in their current company?

The answers to these questions will help you understand their reasons and see if they’re a fit for your company’s values. 

What did they do for the competitor?

In Mark Weinberg’s book, The Sales Management Simplified, he pointed out the need for sales leaders to consider what the salesperson did for the previous company. You need to consider whether they sold at their last company. 

It is important to know the system of how their previous company worked. Find out whether they were tasked to find their opportunities or the opportunities were given to them. You need to be specific about the things they do well. 

When hiring a top seller to your organization, be clear about whether his skills are a match to the skills that your company is looking for. You might end up bringing a burden to your company instead of an asset. #TopSeller

What if the person you hire hates prospecting? After three months of work, you see no progress because that salesperson never had to prospect before and now she is having a difficult time. This situation is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle that doesn’t fit. It will never work.

Be upfront 

Many sales leaders and managers are lured into this kind of situation because they focus on the number of opportunities they will generate or the business they can get from their competitors once they’ve hired the top-earning sales rep. 

But this isn’t always the case. You must remember that contracts are of two kinds: the long-term and short-term contracts. Jen, the unicorn seller, might be able to sweet-talk some of her clients into coming with her to the new company, but clients with long-term contracts will be staying in the previous company until their contract ends. When it does, you’ll need to coax them into coming to sign with your company. It’s a long process and it takes patience. 

If that’s the case, you need to be upfront and figure out how much business Jen can bring over. Ask her how much business she is bringing along. 

Talk about the numbers and figure out how you can convince the clients to jump from their current company to yours. Think of the agreement structure and find the solution. Figure out if there’s a non-compete.

All of these things must be considered before you bring Jen along. 

Take Tom, for example. I worked with Tom before and wherever he went, his clients tagged along with him. But that isn’t always the case for some clients who are in long-term agreements. People love Tom and he would often bring a couple of businesses with him to the current company. He is a great salesperson, but even at his best, he still can’t bring all of his clients along with him. 

Culture 

The fourth thing to consider is the culture of the company. Will the salesperson fit with the culture of your company? Will your sales team like the new person you’re bringing along? Is there bad blood between them in the past, perhaps like client stealing? It is challenging to fit in and adjust to the ways your company works right away. 

The new salesperson you’re hiring must be willing to follow the culture.

Have the adult talk and orient the salesperson to the ways of your company and how things work. Give her some time to adjust and if it still doesn’t work, then be ready to cut losses and move on. 

Do not toss money on something that doesn’t work. 

Contingency plan

Have a contingency plan laid out in the event that Jen, or whoever you are hiring, doesn’t work out. You can think of some other way of increasing your sales by bringing somebody else. Maybe instead of the top seller, you hire the most experienced one. 

A person with experience may not bring tons of businesses along but they come with an understanding of how to operate the business successfully. Perhaps you can hire someone who may not be Jen but who fits right in the culture of your company with proper coaching. 

Interview properly 

The last tip is to interview the prospects before hiring them. Grill them to make sure that they can do a great job. Do not cut corners and skip over the interview process. You must listen to the team and to the other executives before making the big decision. 

Going back to Jen, even if you really want to hire her, try to disqualify her just as much as you want her. If you see her desire to work for you, that’s when you know that she’s a perfect fit. That’s when you know that you found your unicorn. 

In my experience, the unicorn rarely exists. If it does, consider the tips I mentioned above. 

“The Unicorn Seller” episode resources

This episode is brought to you in part by Sales Success Summit. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

The episode is also brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a helpful tool for sales leaders and sales reps to find the right customers, ask the right questions, and close powerful deals. The program has twelve courses with two courses for free! 

Visit Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

August is my birth month and it would be amazing if you share this podcast to your friends as a birthday gift! Drop us your comments and reviews on Apple podcast. We are also on Google Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1159.mp3
Category:Hiring -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

While proper mindset is important, the actions high-growth coaches use to motivate their teams allow those teams to succeed in sales.

Sarah Wirth works for EcSell Institute and studies sales leadership. Along with her team, they look at the coaches in the organizations they work with knowing that great coaches help teams to achieve better results. 

Sarah travels the globe studying different teams and applying the best practices they can teach to sales leaders. Their research-based teachings on best practices are grounded in fact rather than opinion. 

Misconceptions about coaching 

One of the common misconceptions about coaching relates to the timing of team meetings or sales coaching. Most sales leaders do team meetings weekly thinking that getting everyone together via phone makes the team effective. Based on the study, however, the best sales leaders have their meetings once a month rather than once a week. The monthly meeting is much more interactive and educational than the weekly kind of communication. 

Sales reps want an interactive educational team meeting where they can hear what the other departments are doing. They also want to hear and learn the best practices used by others in the company. They don’t want to sit and hear all the updates of what’s going on, because those things can be sent and read via mail. 

Instead, sales reps want a certain level of engagement and content to share during meetings. This content is difficult to achieve when you meet every single week. A longer time frame gives birth to more stories and more experiences to share, which results in meaningful and substantive conversations where everyone on the team learns things. 

Learning from experience 

Sellers like to learn the best practices, so they listen to podcasts. They want to learn from people from different fields who bring radical and neat insights that they’re not aware of. 

The interviews and surveys of salespeople reveal that they don’t want to hear the biggest deals. Instead, they want to hear how to get big deals. They want answers to the objections they encounter and tips to make presentations that help them win deals. They want to hear and learn the stories of how others became successful. 

It’s more of knowing what they did and how they did it. 

Salespeople want to be the best version of themselves. They aren’t into sales because of charity. They are in sales because they want to help their families and their clients. 

Most sales leaders are promoted to their position because they were good salespeople. They go from the bottom to the top without getting any formal training, education, and information on how to become good sales leaders. They learn from experience, and that’s why they become successful. Unfortunately, they don’t know how to transfer all these learnings to their peers so their team can be successful and achieve better sales. 

Motivate the team

There are three actions high-growth sales coaches use to motivate their team

  • Team meetings done in the right frequency and format
  • One-on-one meetings with each of the team members
  • Feedback on what they’re doing well and what they can improve

These three are effective ways to help salespeople grow and improve their skills. 

One-on-one meetings 

One-on-one weekly meetings with each team member are as effective as doing one-on-one meetings every other week. Aside from the frequency, it is also important to follow a consistent structure. 

The best sales leaders start their meetings with personal updates in the life of the salesperson they are talking to. They talk about how their family is doing, and if they’re working from home, sales leaders ask for updates on their projects. Sales leaders spend a few minutes connecting with their team members as people. They show that they care not only as a sales producer but also as a person. 

The coaching and mentoring from one-on-one meetings change a salesperson’s motivation and attitude towards his work. It ignites a fire in him that helps the team meet its sales goals. Even books can’t do this because no matter how good the contents of the books are, the pages can’t hear their ideas or challenge them with questions. There is no substitute for talking through what’s going on in their sales territory or getting their input on the strategies that they’re pursuing. 

Asking imploring questions during one-on-one meetings breeds in-depth conversations that are helpful for both parties to grow. 

Do one-on-one meetings with your salespeople either weekly or bi-weekly depending on what works best for your team. 

Give feedback 

Give your team members feedback on their selling skills regularly. After successfully closing an important deal with your salespeople, debrief them, and discuss what you saw in their selling skills. Talk about what aspect they did well in the presentation and point out the things they can improve. 

There is no better time to improve your team’s skills than seeing its members in action. When you see them do what they do best, you can talk conceptually around them. You can coach them on how to answer objections and even do roleplays to address different situations. 

When you travel with your salespeople and see them in selling situations, you also learn how they interact with their customers, build rapport, present information, answer questions, direct conversations, and figure out the needs of the customers. You have the first-hand experience and you’ll know how to assess them on the things they’re doing well and how they can improve. 

This is also a great opportunity for the salespeople to receive coaching from their leaders. They can see the things they need to work on from your perspective. This is beneficial for them and for the business. 

Your team members may have the tendency of reporting only the good things that went down on a deal, excluding the challenges and how they addressed them. They may tweak the information they give you. When you are with them, you get to see them and give them the corrections and guidance they need. Sales leaders can also point out the effective things their salespeople did during the sales call. They can then repeat what they did in their future deals. 

Career discussion 

Career discussion is critical to a salesperson’s motivation as well as his career longevity on the team. Many sales leaders shy away from doing this because they don’t have specific paths for their salespeople. 

There often isn’t a specific role that salespeople can be promoted to. Sometimes, salespeople don’t have goals other than being individual performers. They like to be in sales and not in other roles such as managers. 

Based on research, a salesperson tends to make progress toward his career development goals and stay with the organization longer if the manager helps him make progress. Aside from that, salespeople tend to be motivated when they receive help from their superiors. 

Management often doesn’t talk about things like this to its employees, causing them to feel stuck in whatever position they are in. It kills their motivation to achieve more in their careers. 

Ask your salespeople how they feel about their careers or what they potentially want to do. You can’t assume that they’re doing okay; instead, draw the answers from them. Sarah Wirth and Bill Ekstrom’s book The Coaching Effect was the result of a career development discussion that Sarah did with him. He asked Sarah about her longterm big picture goals and she said that she’d like to write a book. It wasn’t anything serious for her at that moment. It was merely an idea. Fast forward to when they started really doing it and it happened. 

Go outside your comfort zone 

Another effective action that sales leaders can do is to get their team members outside their comfort zones. 

Help your sellers be comfortable with discomfort. If you can get them outside of their comfort zones, they’re more likely to learn, grow, and develop. #SalesTeam

Most of us want to be on the safe side and gravitate toward what we know but this is not helpful if we want to grow. The same is true for your team members. New roles or situations force your team members to learn, grow, and get better in order to handle the new challenges. Get your team members outside their comfort zones on a regular basis, especially if you see them starting to stagnate and get comfortable in their roles. 

The Actions High-Growth Coaches Use To Motivate Their Teams” episode resources

Learn more about connecting with your salespeople today. Visit Ecsell Institute's website to learn more.  

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also read more books to become a savvy salesperson and sales leader in Audible, your online library that houses over a thousand books. Register now to get a free book and a free 30-day trial by typing in audibletrial.com/tse

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program, designed to help sales reps and sales teams improve their skills in finding the right customers, identifying the activities and strategies that work, and asking the right questions to build strong value and close business deals. Get the first two courses for free at thesalesvengelist.com/freecourse

Which of the three actions have you tried in your team? Tell us about it in the comment section in Apple podcast. Your rating is equally appreciated, too. Share this with your colleagues who are using other podcast platforms as well including Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

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Direct download: TSE_1158.mp3
Category:Sales Leaders -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The Pipeline Hoax

The American dream or the pipeline hoax? The American dream is about owning a home or a piece of property that belongs to you. But homes are expensive and not everyone can afford the American dream. In the year 2000, people who shouldn’t have qualified for home-ownership started owning homes and this occurrence caused a worldwide crisis. 

The housing crisis connects to sales in two ways: greed and improper qualification. Bankers wanted to get more mortgages so they could sell these mortgages to the secondary market. The problem with this is that people who were getting houses were not qualified for the mortgages they got. The bankers did whatever it took to get people through the door. When prices went up, these homeowners fell short and eventually lost their homes. 

Sales pressure

As sales leaders, you face this situation often. You need to bring in the dollars, and you’re judged based on how much money you can help the company make. Sales reps are expected to have as many deals as possible in the pipeline. This is where the hoax comes in. 

Salespeople sometimes mask leads in later stages of the pipeline as opportunities. These deals don’t close because the people were never truly qualified. They don’t have the money or the time frame. 

Sellers are marking leads who are investigating, doing research, and window shopping as though they are opportunities. The sales reps may have 50 of these deals but only 10 truly qualified people. The sales reps keep adding these people to the pipeline because they’re told to add opportunities. The quality decreases because they’re adding leads instead of real opportunities. 

Similar to the housing crisis, the sales reps report these numbers to you. As the sales leader, you present it to the VPs and they make decisions based on the potential revenue sources. When the time comes for the revenue to start coming in, you look bad, the VPs look bad, and the company looks bad. As a result, someone is getting fired. 

This situation causes a crisis within the organization. Sales leaders take the fall because they’ve been deceived by the sales reps who try to sell leads as opportunities. 

Consistent education 

As sales leaders, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the pipeline hoax doesn’t happen again. Yelling at your sales reps won’t solve the problem. What you need is consistent education. 

One-on-one coaching time 

One-on-one coaching time with your sales reps is critical. Make sure to establish a distinct definition of a lead versus an opportunity. Don’t assume that sales reps know this because it’s in the sales handbook or in the orientation. Play it safe by reiterating it to the sales reps so that the quality of your leads won’t deteriorate. 

Watch the internal culture. Numbers are good but they must be the right numbers. Teach them that a proper lead is someone who shows interest, has the budget, and has a specific timeframe. Sales reps must be able to gauge this information in their business conversations. 

Give the sales reps a rundown of the important steps in the process. Print them and put them on their desks to keep the culture focused on quality. 

Sales leaders can talk about all these things with their sales reps in one-on-one meetings. Discuss these subjects with them, see how they take on deals, and don’t be afraid to identify and fix the problems. 

Role-playing 

Role-playing is another excellent method for educating your sales reps. 

  • Have your sales reps do a role-play of how they talk to their clients
  • Have your senior sellers who excel in their jobs demonstrate how they qualify their leads properly
  • Point out how and what should happen or how they go about getting the proper information. 

Doing all these things protects you from falling into the hoax. 

Re-education is the answer to an organization’s problem. When the sales reps aren’t asking the right questions and when they don’t understand what leads and opportunities are, they’ll bring in numbers that look crazy at the end of the quarter. 

Stop assuming that your team knows everything. Re-educate your sales team to the basics of the selling process. #BacktoBasic

Foster the proper culture in the organization so your sales reps will bring in the right numbers and close more deals. 

“The Pipeline Hoax” episode resources 

Take care of your sales team and help them improve. Learn more about that with The Sales Evangelist Certifies Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful tool for salespeople and sales leaders to help them improve their skills and abilities in finding the right customers, asking the right questions, and closing a great deal. There are 12 modules in all but you can get the first two modules for free.

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

Check out Audible as well and its thousands of books. Try it now to get a 30-day free trial and a free book. Go to audibletrial.com/tse

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Direct download: TSE_1157.mp3
Category:Pipeline -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Some people believe that quitting is bad, but Dr. Stanley Robertson believes that the winners-never-quit fallacy is preventing your success.

Dr. Stan — CFO for a non-profit in Chicago — takes issue with the idea that quitting is always bad and he wants to share ideas about how to become a successful quitter.

Quitting 

Quitting is simply giving up on something. You can quit going to the gym or quit a bad relationship or quit eating certain foods. You can quit just about anything.

It’s easy to see from these examples that quitting isn’t always bad, but he takes it a step further. He believes that the winners-never-quit fallacy prevents people, and sellers, from finding success. 

Sometimes we have to quit things, and sometimes it’s even desirable to quit things. In fact, we should be quitting things all the time. 

Dr. Stan got the idea from his son, who is a Marine Corps officer. As he approached the end of his tour of duty, he called his dad one day to say he was considering quitting. He wasn’t sure he wanted to continue being a Marine Corps officer. 

Dr. Stan’s advice at the time was to keep going. He pointed to the benefits, the prestige, and the opportunities it would provide. His son, who was 23 at the time, would be able to retire at 43. These were the things he thought were good. Eventually, he rethought his response, and he told his son that he should quit if that’s what he really wanted. 

Quit shaming

Based upon that experience, he came up with the concept of “quit shaming,” or embarrassing people because they quit things. We tend to look down on people who divorce from a bad marriage, or who quit a job that isn’t working out, or who quit an investment. We sometimes even hide the fact that we quit because we fear the pushback. 

When Dr. Stan was young, a guy offered to sell him a VHS — which was new technology at the time — for $200, where it typically sold for $600. Stan bought the VHS only to find that the box was full of bricks rather than a VHS. He was devastated to lose all his money. 

In order to replace the income, Stan stole things. He eventually went into the Marine Corps himself, where his petit theft ended in a court-martial, with Stan losing his stripes. He knew he had to quit making those same choices. In the end, he gave up stealing and earned his law degree. 

Every human being goes through a growth process that demands that they give up things along the way. In fact, seasons of life sometimes lead us to quit things. Take, for example, Arnold Swarzenegger, who gave up body-building for acting, and then gave up acting for politics. 

Our life cycle often causes us to give up things, but some people can’t disengage from the things they are doing because they are emotionally tied to them. 

Course correction

The point isn’t to quit altogether because something isn’t working out. Instead, make a course correction. Do the next right thing. 

In order to be successful in life, you have to create new things and new goals to replace the things you gave up. 

The biggest challenge for people who need to disengage from things is emotional trauma. If you’re going to quit, acknowledge the negative emotions. Recognize that some people will try to embarrass you, so you must develop a plan forward. The negativity will be less impactful if you have a new plan in place. 

We have a problem disengaging from things. Researchers conducted a study called the Jigsaw Puzzle Study in which they studied two groups who were tasked with completing a jigsaw puzzle. One group completed the puzzle, while the group was intentionally interrupted. Researchers discovered that the group who completed the puzzle was happy, while the other group spent twice as much time thinking about the puzzle. 

The human brain is hard-wired for completion. When we give up something, our brains are hard-wired to complete that circle. 

Times you shouldn’t quit

  1. Don’t quit because things are hard. If you struggle to sell your product, don’t quit. Continue working, and push through those struggles to become a better seller. 
  2. Don’t quit because you haven’t succeeded yet. The get-rich-quick concept isn’t realistic, and your success could happen next month. 
  3. Don’t quit because you covet your neighbor’s success. Never compare yourself to someone else’s performance. It’s ok to gain inspiration from your neighbor, but don’t quit because of it. 

How to quit

Interestingly, most people don’t struggle to continue on a given path because that concept has been drilled into our psyche. Ninety-nine out of 100 people will advise you to keep going. Dr. Stan’s work focuses on those people who want or need to give up something but they struggle to disengage. He teaches them how to make that break. 

One of his clients struggled with her weight and her husband belittled her for it. She didn’t want to give up the relationship, partly because they had a business together. She feared that people would question her decision to quit, but eventually, she got a divorce. Once she gave up the business and the marriage, she lost all the weight and her confidence soared. 

Abandon a deal

For sellers, this could appear as a deal that you’ve invested so much time in that you’re hesitant to walk away. Even when your gut tells you that it will never close, you continue investing your time and resources into it because you’re emotionally tied to it. 

The truth is that failure to let go of the wrong deal can cause you to miss a better opportunity that can succeed. Sometimes buyers aren’t going to buy, and it’s ok to walk away from those deals. #WrongDeal

The sunk-cost fallacy refers to the tendency to make decisions based upon what happened in the past rather than making decisions based upon the outcoming you’re hoping for. The fact that a deal didn’t work out in the past has no bearing on what might happen in the future. We often make decisions because we’ve spent so much money on something. 

Ringling Brothers had been in business for 146 years making all kinds of money, but last year they went out of business. They had been sued by animal rights activists and the company wouldn’t give up the use of animals. The company was emotionally invested in the use of animals, despite the fact that other groups like Cirque Du Soleil hold wildly successful circuses with no animals. 

Blockbuster should have quit using VHS and moved to DVD or streaming. The company should have engaged in new technology, but they had invested so much in their inventory that they couldn’t disengage. 

You should not be prevented from giving up things for fear of other people’s opinions. Don’t let anyone else stop you from changing course. Always make the decision for yourself. Do not fail to disengage because of what others might say about you. 

“Winners never quit fallacy” episode resources

Check out Dr. Stan’s book, Quit: The Last Principle of Success at www.thequitdoctor.com

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using - Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1156.mp3
Category:Course correction -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Your company continues to grow and you need leaders to guide your team, so you’re considering the question, “When should I promote someone?

 

Because of your company’s growth, you need leaders and you need managers. So who should you promote? What do you look for in the people who will lead your teams? What characteristics or habits should they possess? 

Developing leaders

Even if your business isn’t growing at breakneck speed, you may need to focus on developing people who can lead when the time comes. The last thing you want to do is keep people in the same position for long periods of time without any opportunity for growth. They’ll get tired and burn out, and then they’ll look elsewhere for growth opportunities. Make sure you’re always looking for ways to create and develop leaders internally. 

The qualities necessary for leaders in your industry may differ from those of other segments, but for sellers in general, the following guidelines offer a good start for identifying potential leaders. 

Seller doesn’t equal leader

Your employee might be a spectacular seller, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to leadership. Furthermore, if you have a particularly gifted seller on your team, you may not want to remove him from that sales role. 

It’s tempting to believe that your best closer can become a sales leader and train all your other sellers to close as effectively as he does. And it might be true that he can. But it might also be true that he loves selling and he doesn’t want to spend his time conducting one-on-ones or creating reports. 

If your team members aren’t interested in leading, don’t force them. Let your sellers do what they do best for your company.

Look for these traits as you ponder when to promote someone.

  1. Sellers who want to lead

When you begin your search, look for sellers who actually want to lead. If one of your team members talks frequently about leading or climbing the corporate ladder, consider giving him the opportunity to do it. If he is ambitious and goal-oriented, he might be just the leader you’re looking for. 

I recently met with a BDR that a client of mine hired, and the guy was passionate about his work. He strives to go above and beyond the call of duty, and he wants to work his way into a leadership role. He wants to contribute to the organization, but he isn’t power-hungry. He understands that great leaders don’t threaten the people above them because they aren’t competing to take their jobs. 

Prepare your replacements as you consider other opportunities you’ll compete for. 

In every leadership role, consider who could replace you in your position, and then ask yourself how you can develop that person. #SalesLeaders

  1. Sellers with a proven track record

Desire isn’t enough to be a successful seller. You must also have good results behind your name. 

You’ll note that I said above that you should not necessarily remove your top seller to turn him into a sales leader. The exception is when that seller is the best candidate for the job and when she wants to do the job. 

Recognize, too, that a top performer won’t necessarily be the only team member with amazing results. Consider the top five sellers on your team and then decide whether any of them possess leadership potential. 

Consider whether they have any desire to train other sellers, and take note of a “lone wolf” mentality that suggests they don’t want to share with others. Make it your goal to develop a nurturing leadership approach in which team members help one another. 

  1. Sellers who don’t volunteer to lead

Keep in mind that some sellers may not volunteer to lead, but that shouldn’t necessarily exclude them from consideration. If they have the framework, the talents, and the characteristics of a great leader, challenge them to step out of their comfort zone. 

In the book Sales Management. Simplified, Mike Weinberg recalls a CEO who believed it was his responsibility to stretch people like a rubber band: to the edge of their capabilities without breaking them. 

They may not recognize their own capabilities, but your job is to help them see what they are capable of. 

  1. Sellers who are problem-solvers

Too often, sellers fall into the trap of complaining about their work situations. Instead of looking for ways to improve things, they look for mistakes. That negative outlook shows in their results.

Look for sellers who are problem-solvers as you seek people t