March 2015 - The Sales Evangelist
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Overcoming Fear, Rejections, Confidence, Sales Training

TSE 125: Overcome Your Fear Through Persistence and Confidence

Overcoming Fear, Rejections, Confidence, Sales Training “That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed but that our power to do has increased.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Heber J. Grant was also a big proponent of this quote for persistence and tenacity.

  • We anticipate things before they happen and since we tend to envision the worst, that translates into poor performances. We are too busy focusing on things that are not REAL that we forgot to focus on the now! Many times these  fears of failure will stop us from performing well in anything else that we do.
One example was when I played flag football in college. I was too focused on getting hit  (the fear of it) or missing the ball, that I would not catch the ball. Worst of all, many times the things that I was most fearful of never actually happened.
So it is with sales. We worry about “what ifs” and 9 times out of 10 those “what ifs” NEVER happened. What if the prices is too high, what if they say no, what if I forget what to say or what if he thinks I’m not telling the truth? No one else is thinking about those “what ifs”, but  you. The truth is, those “what ifs” are lies that translate into fear and poor performance.
If we however, focus on the positive, we tend to see a better outcome. 
  • Focus on what you need to do right now
  • Practice what you are going to say…say it over and over and over again
  • Practice your body language in front of a mirror so that your body gestures exhibit that of a confident individual
The more confident you sound, the more likely someone else will be confident in the value you claim you have. Overall, take that new found confidence, go out and do BIG THINGS! 


The Sales Evangelist; Ken Thoreson, Sales Management

TSE 124: Sales Management & Developing High Performing Sellers

The Sales Evangelist; Ken Thoreson, Sales Management Do you absolutely, truly, definitely want to slam your way to sales success? Our guest today will show you how. Ken Thoreson is a speaker, author, and consultant with extensive expertise in strategic sales management.

Ken Thoreson, Acumen Management Group, Ltd. president, is a sales leadership professional who “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes to pull sales results out of the doldrums into the fresh zone of predictable revenue. As a sales management thought leader Ken is recognized as an expert in sales execution, channel management, revenue generation, sales analysis, compensation, forecasting, recruitment, and training within the sales function.

Over the past 14 years his consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for companies throughout North America—from emerging, transitional to high-growth. Prior to founding Acumen, he led development-stage, entrepreneurial, and a $250-million national vertical software sales organization as vice president of sales. As a speaker, Ken energizes audiences and recharges their personal commitment to professional excellence to help drive personal and organizational change and growth.

In addition to the four released books based on his Sales Management Guru series, and Success Simplified, co-authored with Stephen Covey, Ken’s many articles and nationally recognized blog are excellent resources for executives who want to revitalize their organizations. He has been published in Selling Power, VARBusiness, Reseller Management, Business Products Professional and SmartReseller. He is currently a columnist for Redmond Channel Partner Magazine, a publication for Microsoft channel partners. Ken’s blog has been rated in the top 10 sales blogs in the United States and ranked a top sales industry social media user by Top View.

Ken is an author of four comprehensive, information-rich books about sales management. The latest of which, SLAMMED! For the First Time Sales Manager, is a fun book made for people jumping into sales management. Kens books are guide books with great tips, ideas, and tools for sales managers.

In this episode, Ken talks about how recruiting is a critical component of sales leadership and how it’s really about hiring the best candidate and not the best available candidate.

Ken is a leader at the Acumen Management Group that focuses around programs in place, alignment of compensation plan, marketing messaging issues and other issues that are preventing growth.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Ken:

Ken’s coolest sales experience when he was the customer

Ken’s books on Sales Management:

Your Sales Management Guru’s Guide to:

Leading High Performance Sales Teams

Creating High Performance Sales Compensation Plans

Recruiting High Performance Sales Teams

SLAMMED! For the First Time Sales Manager

Why break it down to 4 books instead of condensing it into one:

  • Sales leaders are busy
  • Designed as quick books with a lot of pertinent, textual information
  • Designed for sales managers to grasp the idea, see the examples, utilize the tools, and execute!

What separates high performance salespeople from the rest:

  • Creativity
  • Empathy
  • Ability to adapt
  • Take selling as a profession
  • Constantly refining their skills and investing themselves
  • High levels of energy
  • Intelligence
  • Passion and Commitment

How his book on Recruiting High Performance Sales Teams is different from others:

  • Focused on sales managers’ creation of interviewing process
  • Taking the emotion out of hiring
  • Creating a scorecard defining 5 specific work experiences and 5 personality traits you want the person to have
  • Interviewing questions that you ask salespeople
  • Sample of a new-hire salesperson on-boarding plan

The top 3 most important points on recruiting:

  1. You are always recruiting: 20% of the sales manager’s time is to recruit
  2. Taking the time in the interview process to get it right: Interview at least 5 and at least 3 people in your company interviewing the candidate
  3. Social Interview/Case Study

The biggest mistakes people make when they’re hiring:

  1. Taking too long to make the decision
  2. Improper on-boarding
  3. Getting emotionally involved with the candidate

Success in companies vs. stagnant growth in others:

  • Leadership: Creating an environment of high performance
  • Having the right culture
  • High expectations
  • High accountability
  • Having fun!
  • One element commonly missed: VISION

Building your personal business vision:

  • Identifying your business plan and understanding your goals
  • Defining your personal training goals for products/service and personal self
  • Making sure the manager understands the salesperson’s vision and goals

The importance of VISION for business growth:

  • Motivation
  • Having a mantra for your life

On creativity: It can be learned.

How a manager can be effective as a coach or mentor:

  • Establish a formal one-on-one and face-to-face conversation at least once a month
  • Coach around performance, not the person
  • Creating an environment and then the tool set and the mindset that coaching is a critical element
  • Using the word “feel” in asking questions

Current projects Ken is working on:

  • Working with individuals, organizations, and major corporations selling independent distribution and helping them build programs to drive more products (Ex. Cisco, Microsoft)
  • Sales Manager’s Tool Kit
  • Doing keynote presentations and sales performance workshops at conferences

Visit their website for free information, videos, programs, and downloadable white papers. Also, find free information from his blog Your Sales Management Guru.

Or send him an email at

Ken’s Major Takeaways:

Think about what the definition of a professional is and make a commitment to increase your level of professionalism every quarter.

As a sales manager, focus not on the numbers; focus on the relationship and creating an environment that’s fun and with high expectations with accountability.


Sales Process, Selling, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 123: Sellers with a Formal Sales Process Generate More Revenue

Sales Process, Selling, The Sales EvangelistHaving an effective process is crucial in sales. Today, Greta Schulz talks about sales processes, why you need to have them, and how are you going to be able to stick with them.

Greta Schulz is an entrepreneur, consultant, and a motivational sales speaker.  She is the founder and president of Schulz Business, a sales consulting firm that provides sales training programs to small businesses. Having an extensive experience in sales, marketing, training, and sales management, Greta primarily helps people to stop selling.

For several people sales somehow ends up being a negative experience for them. Greta seeks to be able to shift that mindset in people, teaching entrepreneurs and salespeople the beauty of giving customers the option of saying ‘no’ as a doorway to better opportunities.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Greta:

Greta’s coolest experience when she was the customer comes from the purchase of her first BMW.

  • Getting people to come to the conclusion of buying without force
  • Changing sales interaction through asking good questions

Sales process, defined:

  • It is not memorizing scripts
  • An outline of what you’re doing and where you’re going while injecting your own style and personality

Why people don’t use a process

Poor communication as a huge problem:

  • Listening for an opportunity to close

Key principles of a sales process:

  • Setting ground rules to make people comfortable and give them an option to say no
  • Ask neutral, engaging questions until you get down further

Bringing up price in the process:

  • Less with cost, more with emotion
  • Price is subjective
  • Get their issues on the table first and find out how these affect them
  • Paying for nice vs. necessary
  • Bringing up money either too early or too late

The right place to talk about money: after issues, before proposal

Giving them a range of prices:

  • To give them an idea of where you are
  • To get their reaction

Staying disciplined to the process:

  • A process always allows you to know where you are.
  • Having motivators to stick with it
  • Knowing that you achieve success at the end of the process
  • Having confidence in each step of the process

The importance of being in control of the process

  • You are in control since you’re asking the questions.

Current projects Greta is working on:

Sales Success Kit – everything Greta teaches in a box (CDs, DVDs, workbooks, cheat sheet pad, online training, etc.)

To find out more about Greta, visit

Greta’s Major Takeaway:

Set those ground rules at the beginning and make sure that you let people know that NO is okay.



know Like and Trust; Selling; Podcast; Sales Training

TSE 122: Three Effective Ways To Be Known Liked & Trusted

know Like and Trust; Selling; Podcast; Sales TrainingWe have all heard it before that people buy from those they know, like and trust! Yes, I totally agree with this statement as well, but there is one problem HOW? How does one build relationship with a perfect stranger to the point where they know, like and trust you? Well, this is why I’m doing this episode.

After really thinking about this topic, analyzing my past business/personal relationships, I came up with three ways we can easily build relationship with others to get known, liked and trusted. Now, obviously strong relationships takes time and effort but doing these three things will help you see incredible results.

  1. Smile more with your prospects
  2. Mirroring
  3. Being relatable

Smile more with your prospects: 

There is something contagious about having a smile on you face. Studies show that when you smile, others will naturally return with a smile. A smile also makes you look more excited and confident in what you are doing. This translate to the prospect that you are passionate about your offering, thus generating a sense of curiosity in the prospect to learn more. Now, I’m not telling you to go out and smile like a circus clown. But a nice warm smile will go a long way to help prospects take down their defensive guards.


According to the great Wikipedia“Mirroring is the behavior in which one person subconsciously imitates the gesture, speech pattern, or attitude of another”.  So how can mirroring help you get known, liked and trusted from your prospects? Well, people tend to like others who they feel a connection with, someone who is like them. When you mirror, it reflects that you are in sync with others and are like them in some way.

This subconsciously allow the prospect to open up a bit more. However, don’t get the idea that you should copy every thing the other person does, but pay attention to the mood of their body language and reflect that in your posture. If their legs are crossed, you should cross your legs as well. Maybe a hand gesture on their face or the tone of their speaking. There are many different ways you can do this. Try it with family members and friends and see how much fun it is.

Be relatable:

This is also a very simple thing you can do and it relates very closely to the idea of mirroring. Essentially it shows that you are human and can sympathize with them. So many times well meaning sellers go into a meeting so cocky that it becomes a turn off. They put themselves above their prospects and makes the prospects feel inferior. Many times this happens when the sales person start using buzz words and terminology that the prospect does not understand. And once that happens, the meeting with be over and the sales persons will be dismissed with a statement live “leave some literature and I will get back to you”.

Don’t be that type of seller! Speak the prospects language. Explaining your product or service in away that relates to their business. Give examples that tie to their industry, success stories of companies like them. Before you meet with them, do some research via LinkedIn (social media) and see if you have anything in common. This is a great way to take down the barriers that prospects have up initially.

Overall, the more people feel you are relatable (like them), the more they begin to trust and open up to you. Doing these simple activities of smiling more, mirroring your prospects and being relatable, you will increase you chances significantly to being known, liked and trusted. Try it and let me know how it works for you. Drop me am email at You can also join in on some of our other sales conversation in our private Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizers. Either way, I can’t wait to hear from you. In the mean time, remember to DO BIG THINGS!



Selling, Sales Competition, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 121: Know Your Competition Make More Sales

Selling, Sales Competition, The Sales Evangelist Are you ready to rumble?

This is no Mayweather v.s. Pacquiao match, but I will show you the right jabs and punches to help achieve your sale goals. In this episode, we’re going to focus on COMPETITION, which is a key aspect in sales. Don’t fight ’em or hate ’em. It’s a matter of understanding them.

WHY you need to UNDERSTAND your competition:

  • Competition drives innovation
  • You have to understand WHAT makes you different

HOW to make the RIGHT punches:

  1. Say something nice about your competition
  2. Talk about what is your key differentiator
  3. Translate it to their business
  • Know where you are different and where you can help
  • Understand the competitor’s business model and how you differentiate from them
  • What more can you offer that your competitor can’t?

HOW to understand your competitors:

  • Go to their website
  • Look at case studies and understand what they’re doing
  • Write down some questions you can ask every time you come across one of their customers. (Ex. Ask why they selected “xyz” vendor.)
  • Look at their pricing model (do they have annual cost or one time contracts etc)
  • Find out their key differentiators
  • Learn about the owner of the company
  • Learn about their social media activity
  • Study their financial report (if public)
Barry Doctor, Product Camp, Marketing

TSE 120: Key Practices Salespeople Can Learn From Marketers To Increase Sales

Barry Doctor, Product Camp, Marketing

Sales and marketing are two different aspects, but they need to go hand-in-hand if you want to achieve explosive sales success. However, there seems to be a disconnect between the two and that’s where many new salespeople are having difficulty. They have failed to bridge the gap between marketing and sales. Sometimes, we get too caught up in focusing on just one customer when sometimes we need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

In this episode, we invited Barry Doctor over to discuss how you can bridge that gap between sales and marketing, how to think like a marketer to achieve sales success, and some strategies you can apply to pin down your market segment.

Here are the highlights of our conversation with Barry:

Barry’s coolest sales experience as a customer with Comcast 🙂

Marketing vs. Sales

  • Sales people are focused on individual customers; marketers look more at a bigger picture
  • Marketers focus on the buyer and the buyer’s journey

Applying the “n = many” mentality in your sales effort

  • Create the buyer’s persona
  • Find a market segment that sticks

How to find your market segment:

  • “Measure twice, cut once”
  • Do your research
  • Understand your market
  • Select a narrow target as your market segment
  • Build more market segments in the future, but focus on the niche first
  • Understand your buyer and what your buyer wants

How sellers can more prepare and think like marketers:

  • Look at the big picture
  • What market segment are you targeting?
  • What does the buyer persona look like?
  • Find the right buyers to be more efficient
  • Take objection not as a roadblock but an interesting point
  • Ask the buyer what they really need
  • See if there is a broader market demand; otherwise, sell at a premium, higher price

Losing a business to gain more business:

  • Follow the voice of the customer in the market
  • Stop shooting in the dark
  • Make use of analytics and research to have better understanding and positioning
  • Talk to the deals that you’ve lost and those you’ve won

Strategies to better understand your segment:

  • Get someone or a neutral third party to call (preferably a professional that can have an executive level conversation)
  • Look at how many deals you do a month. For example, call 30 out of 100 deals you’ve won and 30-50 out of deals you’ve lost
  • Gaining rich-source data: testimonial snippets, understanding the trends

Tactics of great sellers that reflect their understanding of marketing:

  • Getting the customer’s attention
  • Doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing

Current projects Barry is working on:

ProductCamp, an “unconference” because it’s self-organized by volunteers for volunteers, who are local practitioners working with products to help learn from and teach each other. It is an event for product managers and marketers.

Event details:

What: ProductCamp South Florida

Who can join: Product managers and marketers

When: March 14, 2015

Where: Boca Raton, South Florida

Connect with Barry through LinkedIn.

Barry’s Major Takeaway:

Take the time to understand the journey that the buyer is going on. Then you can lead them to your salesperson by putting marketing out there on the internet to be found, making information freely available to help them make the right decision to buy your product.


TSE 119: Every Seller Needs to Become Their Own Google

TSE119-Maria Brown Feature“I don’t think people realize – we are a brand. We need to communicate that brand…and it’s all about how you deliver the message through your brand, making it authentic and making it relevant.” – Maria Brown

Today’s guest is Maria Brown. She is a sales trainer/evangelist. With 20 years experience in training and management, she is the source of information in the furniture retail industry. She motivates sales professionals to become evangelists, to help them get excited and fall in love with what they do as sales professionals, and to help decorate people’s homes and people’s lives.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Maria:

Maria’s coolest sales experience as the customer: buying from Terry Shapiro at Rooms To Go – delivering above & beyond what was promised.

The importance of becoming your own “Google:”

  • You should be THE source of information
  • Do NOT direct traffic away, but be the destination
  • Engage with the customer
  • Help them make a well-informed buying decision

The importance of understanding the client’s emotions when relaying information:

  • It means YOU care
  • To be always in the pursuit of knowledge
  • In sales, everything has to be PERSONAL
  • Translate and tie in the information into the prospect’s emotion
  • Be prepared
  • Be professional
  • Be present
  • Listen to everything the customer says

How to improve your “Google” ability:

  • Stay thirsty!
  • Be in the constant pursuit of knowledge
  • Know your website, be your website, know your culture
  • Know your competitor’s website
  • Get training and get in touch with the marketing people
  • Be in the know, be in the now and what is to come

Turning “Im-possible” to “I’m-possible”

Simon Sinek’s TEDTalk: Start With Why

Top qualities of successful individuals:

  • Being not only the source but the force
  • Being able to authentically communicate the “why”
  • Knows everything he needs to know about the industry
  • “Your brand is what they buy into, not so much the organization.”
  • Be your own authentic brand.

Make sure your message is:

  • Meaningful
  • Applicable
  • Relevant

Current projects Maria is working on:

  • Training
  • Creating more evangelists

Get in touch with Maria via Twitter @mspirenow or send her an email through

Maria’s Major Takeaway:

Be the source of information. Have your information be meaningful, applicable, and relevant to the customer and their operation. Be present. Be engaged. Listen and anticipate what their questions are going to be. They love when you anticipate. Become the source, but more importantly, the FORCE.

“Salespeople are a force of nature…we are enthusiastic, passionate people. Don’t lose the enthusiasm. Don’t lose the passion. Be real and be authentic. Promote and take care of your brand. You are the destination of information.



How do unethical salespeople sleep at night? Dr. Mallin, Dr. Munoz

TSE 118: How Do Unethical Salespeople Sleep at Night?

How Do Unethical Sales People Sleep at Night?Which line separates ethical and unethical sales behavior? How do you know when you’ve already crossed the line?

Yes! Sales is important and you need to do what needs to be done to get that sale. But at the end of the day, you need to make sure that you feel good about what you’ve done and you feel good with yourself.

In this episode, Dr. Michael Mallin from the University of Toledo shares with us why some salespeople engage in unethical behaviors. After about 16 years of sales industry experience, Michael has decided to join the academia. His research paper, How Do Unethical Salespeople Sleep at Night? also co-written by Dr. Laura Serviere Munoz, delves into the effects of the different types of neutralizations on the ethical intention of salespeople.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Michael:

How Do Unethical Sales People Sleep at Night?

Nature of the Study:

  • Under what circumstances salespeople try to mentally justify their unethical sales behavior
  • Not understanding the difference between ethical and unethical sales behaviors

3 Criterias to Determine Unethical Sales Behavior:

  1. If it’s illegal or violates any law
  2. If someone is severely disadvantaged by your action (is your action fair and balanced?)
  3. If you do not want your friends and family to know about this action that you’re engaging in

The 5 Types of Neutralizations that Occur When Salespeople Justify their Sales Practices:

  1. Denial of injury
  2. Appeal to higher royalty – conceding to the demands of a social group they belong
  3. Denial of responsibility
  4. Condemning the condemners
  5. Denial of victim

Reasons for the prevalence of neutralization in sales:

  • When no one is really hurt (denial of injury)
  • They need to do it in order to satisfy their boss, family or themselves (appeal to higher loyalty)

Where sales neutralization applies:

  1. Hunting – When ‘you’re promoting sales
  2. Farming – When you’re building customer relationships
  3. When you make somebody’s justifications

On the negative stigma of selling:

More common in direct to consumer selling

How to analyze whether you’re doing ethical or unethical sales practice

  1. Always follow the law
  2. Is what you’re doing or the decision you’re making fair and balanced?
  3. Would you want your family and friends to know about what you’ve done?

“Falling on your sword” concept:

  • Boils down to trust
  • Admit your mistake and rectify it

Current projects Michael is working on:

  • Research on the dynamics of the relationship between the sales manager and salesperson (balancing trust, performance-based sales control, and outcome-based sales control)
  • How do sales managers use their power?

Check out the National Conference for Sales Management happening on April 15-18, 2015 in Houston, Texas where university professors and educators come together to discuss research and teaching of sales, share best teaching practices, research in sales, and have fun.

Get connected with Michael by sending him an email through

Or contact Dr. Laura Serviere Munoz through email at

Michael’s Major Takeaways:

  • Understand that we as human beings have natural defense mechanisms.
  • Be aware that if you’re not sure whether something is ethical or unethical, you may have the tendency to use neutralizations to mute the impact of an unethical behavior.
  • The BEST thing to do when you’re not sure what to do: ASK people (boss, trusted friends, mentors) to help you validate your decision.



Mormon Missionary, Door to Door, Prospecting

TSE 117: One Simple Activity I Learned as a Mormon Missionary Which Has Revolutionize My Sales Prospecting

LDS Missionary, Sales Training, Donald Kelly This, my friends, is not an episode about preaching or religion but this is about helping you learn to OPEN YOUR MOUTH.

What many of you probably don’t know is that I went to Brigham Young University-Idaho and I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.When you’re 18 years old, as a member of the LDS church, you have an opportunity to do a two year proselytizing missionary trip anywhere in the world. Mormon missionaries can be easily distinguished by their white shirts and ties, riding on bicycles.  I was called to serve in the Detroit, Michigan area. I lived in the city of Detroit and the surrounding suburbs during the two year period.

Here are some of the great things I’ve learned from that mission trip which has helped catapult the way I do sales:

  1. Open your mouth to everyone.
  2. Be ready to sell every moment of the day and share your message (even when you’re not in your sales mode).
  3. Talk to everyone that you come in contact with.

There are so many people around you everyday and all you have to do is just talk you them. You’ll be amazed how many opportunities you’ll comes across. Not all are ideal customers, but one thing I know for sure – they may know an ideal customer for YOU.

So… Be prepared!

Have your business card.

Have a message or know how to clearly state your purpose/what you do and why others need what you have to offer.

Just open your mouth!


Questions, Business Development, Prospecting

TSE 116: Getting Out of Tough Sales Situations

Questions, Business Development, ProspectingMany salespeople run away when they feel they’re being attacked by a question or an objection. That’s not how it’s supposed to be done in sales.

Warning: This is not for the faint of heart!

In this episode, I’m going to talk about returning a question with a question. It’s a powerful skill I learned while doing door-to-door security sales in college.

When does this “counter-question” strategy apply:

  • When you get caught up in the corner
  • When the client gives you wishy-washy words
  • When there’s something that’s stopping the client / the deal is stalling out

Reasons for the question or objection:

  • The customer doesn’t understand… OR
  • They’re pleading for MORE information!

Before anything else, remember that TONALITY is a key part when using this method of conversation.

3 Examples of Handling Objections:

  1. Question: The customer raises the question, “Why is the price so high?”

Usually, that it isn’t the true objection. Rather, there is something they don’t understand or somehow don’t  see value in what you are selling. This then allows you to re-position, find out the real objection of the buyer, and offer value/solution to their concern.

  1. Statement/Objection: The customer asks you to “just send me some literature”.

Watch you’re tonality and tell your client that there are 3 possible reasons why they’re saying this:

  • They’re just not interested right now
  • They want to learn more but they’re probably just busy
  • I didn’t EXPLAIN it well enough

Suppose they chose #2, counter it with this question: “When would be a better time for us to connect?”

Instead of just sending information or “literature” and it getting lost in the email shuffle, ask that question.

It will make you:

  • Stand out
  • Know what’s really going on!
  1. Dealing with wishy-washy people.

These kind of people love to put things off and they might ask you to get back to them in 6 months to a year or so. What you need to do is to find out what they’re really saying.

What to ask to help you find out the real reason:

“What will change between now and then for you to be able to do something?”

Don’t be afraid to try this out. Have the backbone to go for people who are ready to purchase and who are serious. As always, let me know how this goes by sending me an email at or via Twitter @donaldckelly or via LinkedIn at Donald C Kelly.

Remember, DO BIG THINGS!