July 2017 - The Sales Evangelist

Archive Monthly Archives: July 2017

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, r/sales subreddit

TSE 627: No Strings Attached!

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, r/sales subredditYou’ve probably met somebody in one way or another where they do something for you but you just know there are strings attached to that. They expect something from you in return. Sure, they talk about reciprocity but what does it really mean?

Reciprocity happens when you do it without any intention of getting something back in return. You do it from the kindness of your heart and because you care about the person. You do it because you want to help them. You do it because they’re a friend. You do it simply because you want to help the person.

Reciprocity as a Byproduct

When I did this podcast, there wasn’t money coming from it but I did it because I wanted to help. I saw things that worked and I was passionate about, which I still am until today. Then reciprocity just came in naturally. People started reaching out to me. I got coaching, speaking, and training opportunities.

So you see, it wasn’t something I did and that if I don’t see any return by a month, I am going to move on to something else. It wasn’t like that. I kept going at it because it’s something I care about and it’s something I love to do.

Stop the “Strings Attached” Mentality!

Do something for them without strings attached. Stop the “strings attached” mentality. Give referrals not because you expect them to also do business with you.

Today’s Major Takeaway:

Do things from the kindness of your heart. Opportunities will come. Reciprocity comes as a byproduct. Even if you don’t get immediate return, who cares? Just do it. Do it because you care and you want to help people.

Episode Resources:

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.


Barbara Giamanco, Donald Kelly, Sales Message

TSE 626: Your Sales Message Matters. What Does Yours Say About You?

Barbara Giamanco, Donald Kelly, Sales MessageMessage is something often overlooked by salespeople especially those just winging it. They are too focused on finding leads but once they get to speak with someone on the phone, the freeze out. Sometimes too, we’re sending the message to the wrong people reason why our deals are not progressing.

Today’s guest is Barbara Giamanco, CEO and Founder of Social Centered Selling. She previously worked for Microsoft and since then, she has done consultative training and coaching in sales organizations and helping them understand how to integrate the use of social media and social networking channels into the selling process. Barbara is author of the book, The Handshake:Sales Meets Social Media.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Barbara:

Lessons from Barbara’s coolest sales experience when she was the customer at a car dealership:

  • Align the sale to the what the customer needs or wants.
  • Invest in training to teach your team how to be consultative sellers.
  • Don’t make things personal if they don’t buy from you.

How to bring the Experience Factor in Sales Through Your Messaging:

  1. The first interaction could either make or break you.

Your very first interaction with a buyer is either going to get you a go or earn your place in the delete pile. There are not too many opportunities to make a good first impression if you blow it the first time around.

  1. Branding

It’s also about your brand too. You’re communicating either a positive or not positive message.

  1. The right place and time

Don’t just get our pitch out there that you forget there’s a time and place for everything. Don’t try to get a close right after a hello.

  1. Email cadence

Why waste time asking somebody if they got you message. You have about three seconds to get someone’s attention and asking the client if they got your last email is not going to get you a better sales result.

  1. Tailor your message.

Slow it down a bit. Do some basic homework, Figure out the most important things for your customer and tailor the whole message about why your product or service is good for them.

  1. Sell to the right buyer.

Don’t spend your energy going after people who are not the right buyer profile for you. Don’t go emailing and calling the wrong people.

  1. Some things the buyer is going to expect from you:
  • Knowledge of your industry
  • Knowledge of current and future trends in the business
  • Understanding the competitive landscape
  • Understanding the pain they are feeling (Demonstrate how you work with other customers who had similar problems you helped solve.)
  1. Personalize your message.

Get out of the lazy selling. Buyers are not looking for people to sell them stuff but for people who can help them solve their business problems. Gather basic intelligence. Then put 2-3 sentences in the body of the email that you can use as a template for anybody you’re going after in that particular space but be sure to personalize it.

  1. Validate, not interrogate.

Do initial research and try to learn about the major challenges an industry is facing and ask your prospect if they’re seeing or feeling some of that. This is going to get people involved thinking you did the homework because you tried to find out a little something about them.

  1. Bring fresh insights and ditch your pitch.

Talk about how awesome your product is and how great your company is, the buyer doesn’t care. Make sure you’re able to bring value to the table. For example, find a couple of interesting articles about things that may impact their business and how they may want to start preparing and planning for that.

  1. Ditch the cheesy subject lines.

Put together a subject line that gets their attention, something related to a challenge they’re facing for example.

  1. Resist the urge of talking about how great your product is.

Present something that’s going to be of value to them such as a white paper. It may not guarantee you a response but that’s definitely going to at least perk up a buyer’s interest a little bit.

  1. Don’t just show up and throw up.

Think about what it feels like to be in the buyer’s shoes. Always think about what the buyer needs and how you can align to that and support that and solve their problems.

  1. Understand the industry you’re targeting then do your best to map out your sales strategies.

Barbara’s Major Takeaway:

Slow down. Focus your message on what the buyer cares about, not what you want to sell. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Focus on them because that’s how your product or service gets sold.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Barbara on Twitter @barbaragiamanco or on LinkedIn

Visit her blog at www.barbaragiamanco.com

Listen to Barbara’s podcast, The Razors Edge

Social Centered Selling

The Handshake:Sales Meets Social Media by Barbara Giamanco

Selling to Zebras by Jeff Koser

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.

TSE Hustler's League, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 625: TSE Hustler’s League-“The Golden Message”

TSE Hustler's League, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistSo you think your message is good, huh? But is that what your customers want? Do you speak to their challenges? Are you able to solve their problems? Well, it better be more of a solution-provider rather than a product pitch.

Today, I’m sharing with you yet another snippet of one of our past training focused on creating the message your buyers will understand and believe in.

But first, there are precursors to your message that you need to take note of because they’re going to judge you on all of this before you even start chatting and get down to the nitty-gritty.

  1. Mirror the behavior and terms

Mimic the behavior of the prospect you’re talking to. For example, if their legs are crossed, eventually cross your legs as well. Mirroring the behavior of your clients has a psychological effect on them and this is supported by studies. The same goes for using the same words they use again. People like people who sound like them, look like them, and talk like them.

  1. Physical appearance

The way you look is important. Sometimes, you need to look two steps ahead of your customer. If they’re wearing a shirt, wear something nice and decent like a suit. Look like them in order for them to trust you.

  1. Tonality and Tempo

Mirror the customer’s tone and their pace of talking. If they talk quickly, mimic and talk quickly. But don’t mimic their accents otherwise you could get into trouble with that. Sometimes people speak louder and sometimes they speak softly. Speak to the volume they’re speaking so they see you as like them.

How you lead them to opening up:

Sometimes you can get people to do things by leading them. For example, if they have their legs crossed or arms crossed, also keep your arms crossed and then after a few minutes, start opening up and eventually, your clients will start opening up too.

Ask meaningful questions and the attention goes back to the customer. The questions you ask can allow your customer to talk more.

The Unconsidered Need

Is there something else they still don’t recognize they need? Are you familiar with the correlation of their retention rate and revenue growth?

Crafting the Golden Message

  • Name two characteristics that show your expertise.
  • Use pain words to help emphasize the challenge or issue at hand?
  • Teach them the problem you’re able to solve specifically for them.
  • Don’t just tell them you’re a sales individual, tell them you help people and small companies with xyz.

Episode Resources:

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

Help us spread the word out by leaving us a rating or review on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play or whatever platform you’re using.


Aaron Wittersheim, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE BLOG 013: The Critical Importance Of Lead Validation In Internet Marketing

Aaron Wittersheim, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistYour lead generation website may be optimized with all of the best tricks and techniques to lure visitors. However, if you’re not including lead validation among those techniques, you may be missing a vital component. Although Google analytics can tell you how many conversions your site is generating, that’s not the whole story. In fact, nearly half of all website conversions are things such as customer service inquiries, incomplete form submissions, and job applications. These are interactions that will not lead to increased sales for your company, but if you count them among your sales leads you could be in danger of making some bad decisions.

Lead validation combs through all of the conversions generated by your website, on the Internet, and over the phone. It not only lets you know which conversions are actual sales leads, but also the exact sources that generated them. Armed with this information, you can optimize your website to generate even more conversions and sales leads. Even though this process can be laborious and time-consuming, the results can be highly beneficial for your site. The following presentation goes into more detail about lead validation and explains why it needs to be a crucial part of your campaigns.

Author Bio:

Aaron Wittersheim is Chief Operating Officer at Straight North, an Internet marketing firm in Chicago. His focus is on Internet marketing and website services, and technology.

Jeff Lee II, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 624: Sales From The Street-“I Didn’t Like Following Up”

Jeff Lee II, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistToo scared to follow up? In today’s episode on Sales from the Street, fellow Floridian Jeff Lee II shares with us how he overcame his biggest challenge of following up.

Jeff and I initially connected on LinkedIn. He is currently the Teams Sales Director at a startup called Cybrary, an open-source cyber security and IT training platform. With four-year experience in sales now, Jeff previously worked for companies including Dell, Oracle, and Latista.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Jeff:

Jeff’s major challenges:

  • Picking up the phone and calling strangers all day long
  • The follow up process which involves continual rapport-building

Strategies Jeff did to overcome the problem:

  1. Build rapport after the call

Continue to make follow-up schedules. Let the prospect know when you’re going to call back for followup. Even if they reschedule, keep sending something in their face to have their attention.

  1. Create a follow-up schedule.

The idea here is to be highly visible to your clients. Jeff calls this as “increasing the deal velocity” where the speed to close will increase as long as you’re able to keep them in the loop of what’s going on.

  1. Set reminders for yourself to follow-up.

Create tasks in whatever CRM you’re using. Just stick to the schedule and tell yourself to stay on top of that.

Results Jeff saw after implementing these strategies:

  • More businesses closed and people coming back
  • Jeff is talking not to prospects anymore but friends now and people who enjoy his company and how he sells himself as a person.

Jeff gives away this bonus strategy when you’re making a demo:

Make sure you’re telling a story. Storytelling is very important for them to understand why you’re here, where you come from, what you provide, and why it will make them better today after they purchase.

Jeff’s Major Takeaway:

Fundamentals are key. Make sure you’re on point and your messaging is clear.

Episode Resources:

Check out their website at www.cybrary.it and reach out to Jeff through email at jeff@cybrary.it or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.


Jeffrey Shaw, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 623: Discovering What Makes You Different Which Makes You Marketable

We all hear about making yourself different to stand out from your competitors, but how do you really differentiate yourself without having to color your hair purple?

Our guest today is Jeffrey Shaw and he’s going to talk about how you can make yourself more marketable by discovering what makes you different.

A former photographer, Jeff is now a professional speaker, an author, a business coach, and a podcast host. This is Jeff’s second time on the show where previously, he talked about Selling the Intangible.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Jeffrey:

Redefine Your Niche

Jeff believes in the diversified model. Instead, redefine your niche. It’s not the one thing that you do. It’s not the one thing you stand for. It’s not the one audience you serve. The new niche is the space you own. What are you the category king of?

How to find your new niche:

Figure out what makes you different. What makes you different makes you marketable. Every day we’re competing to rise above the noise. Really dig deep and figure out what really makes you different.

How to make yourself different:

  • What is your unique perspective? Perspective is as unique as your DNA.
  • The biggest mistake people make about storytelling is they allude to the story that they don’t tell their story.
  • Fully own who you are. When you let go of whatever it is you’re holding back or keeping and let that show up, that’s what makes you different.
  • What’s different about you makes you brandable. Brand that hard so that the world interprets it to just the right perspective that makes you rise above the rest.

Great insights into BRANDING:

  • Branding has been given a bad rap because of its so many different definitions.
  • The Pareto principle states that 80% of your income comes from 20% of your clients. It can also be said for productivity where 80% of your productivity comes from 20% of your efforts. However, it’s predicted that by 2030, 60% of the American economy will be driven by freelancers. And these folks can’t afford only 2 out of 10 clients to pay off. Therefore, you have to have the right clients.
  • The right way to get to your clients is through your branding. Your branding communicates to your customers when you’re not there. Your branding does the talking.
  • Branding is done well magnetizes and attracts the people you want and the people you don’t want don’t even know what you’re talking about. If your branding is so spot on, it should be unappealing to people you don’t want to work with.

Understanding your customer’s LINGO

  • Your branding has to be aligned to your right clients. Jeff’s upcoming book is called Lingo. Lingo is the evolution of buyer personas and avatars.
  • You need to understand how different audiences speak in their minds. If you want to reach them, you have to know what their perspective is.
  • It’s all about the experience. Be value-conscious, not money-conscious.

How to get ahead:

Embrace the idea that your business should not follow the 80/20 rule. Make 80% to 90% of your clients your ideal customer. This makes your business predictable because you know exactly the lingo of every person walking in your door. You know how to communicate with them. You get the best results with the least amount of effort.

The 3 I’s

  • Impressions
  • Involvement
  • Interactions

Look at these three I’s to give you a one-of-a-kind perspective about what you do.

Jeff’s Major Takeaway:

Get out of the mindset of selling and into the mindset of moving people. Sales is moving people from one place to another. It’s about moving them from indecision to decision. It’s about moving them emotionally. It’s about knowing and caring so deeply what’s best for people that you want to slowly bring them to where they could best be served. And you do because you’re committed to service and moving people.

Episode Resources:

Get The 12 Must-Have Mindsets for Uncommon Entrepreneurs on www.musthavemindsets.com

Listen to Jeff’s podcast, Creative Warriors

TSE 623: Interview with Jeffrey Shaw – Selling the Intangible

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.

Prospecting, Sales Tip, Role Play, Donald Kelly

TSE 622: Number One Sales Tip To Performing Your Best On Every Sales Call

Prospecting, Sales Tip, Role Play, Donald KellyAs a salesperson or an entrepreneur, you have to be consistent if you want to see significant results.

Today, I’m sharing with you some insights into how you can become more consistent in your efforts to finally achieve your goals, make sure each call counts, and get the close that you want.


Practice is key.

Write out your sales message.

Make sure you message is consistent. To make it ingrained in you, do role plays. Say, your message is towards an executive or the end user, your product may benefit all of them, but the way each of them utilizes your product or the reason each of them is going to purchase your product is going to be totally different.

Tweak your messages accordingly.

While the end user may use the product, the decision-maker may only see the benefit behind it without necessarily touching the product. The same holds true for the influencer who may not necessarily use your product. Therefore, write your message out and tailor them according to your specific prospect and practice it.

Record yourself.

Take 20 minutes a day to practice it by yourself or practice it with a co-worker. Use your phone or download an app for free so you can record yourself. Or leave yourself a voicemail to check how you sound. Practicing that part alone is something that can help you tremendously. Or leave a voicemail to a friend or coworker or boss and see what they think about how you sound on the phone. Then figure out what element you can add to that.

Figure out the unconsidered need.

This is something that a buyer doesn’t necessarily know is a problem but you’ve recognized it as a problem. Perhaps you’ve worked with other companies and you’ve seen the same trends, issues, and difficulties then you can bring in that information and share it. Probably share a statistics to make your message more compelling.


In your role play, find out how you can add value to them. Find out how you can progress the sale from the presentation and transition it into fully converting them on board. Practice not just in the field but at home and with your co-worker. Again, spend 20 minutes a day. Wherever you have the biggest challenge in your sales practice, keep practicing it. The more you do it, the easier it gets for you.

Maximize your time.

Try to free yourself from distractions and utilize your time in  a way that’s going to be more effective towards your performance.

Today’s Major Takeaway:

The best way to see predictability is by being consistent. Master your messaging. Master some of the objections and challenges. Master your question-asking. Master the way you convert. Master how you utilize your time. The more you can practice, the more you can become perfect in your role plays, the better you can perform in the field.

Episode Resources:

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.


Women Sales Pro, Female Seller, Women-Centric Selling, Cynthia Barns

TSE BLOG 012: Transforming Sales Training: The Case for Women-Centric Sales Training

Women Sales Pro, Female Seller, Women-Centric Selling, Cynthia BarnsAccording to recent data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up 48.4 percent of retail salespersons. Yet, despite this nearly equal representation, there is a distinct lack of women-centric sales training available (statistics up-to-date as of July 18, 2017).

You might assume that most sales training is gender-neutral, but that’s not true traditional sales training was written for men, by men, at a time when men completely dominated sales roles. Most sales training has hardly changed in the last 40 years, failing to take into account the significant shift in demographics.

Not only do these training programs neglect to consider the unique characteristics, nuances, and strengths of saleswomen, but they also fall short in addressing areas where women are more likely to struggle than men.

With almost half of salespersons being female, it is not unfair to say that most current sales training is unfit for purpose. The great thing about sales is that it is a skill that makes the difference, not gender – but that doesn’t mean men and women have the same requirements for training. Businesses that don’t recognize this fact risk failing half their workforce and missing out on valuable income.

The Consumer Economy Is Female

There is a strong financial case for women-centric sales training. Statistically, women are more powerful than men in deciding where money is spent and what purchases are made. The BMO Wealth Institute reports that women control 51 percent of the wealth, and their influence over spending outstrips this women report having control or influence over 71 percent of household spending, and some experts put this number closer to 80 percent.

This huge influence means that it is essential for businesses to hire, train and retain female sales staff who naturally better understand how women like to shop, and how to approach them and build relationships.

Building Upon Natural Strengths

If you’ve ever been to sales training, you’ve probably come across a teaching and thought “isn’t that obvious?” Typical sales training delivers a basic grounding in many areas for which women already have natural talents. These areas of strength, such as intuition, patience, and relationship building, are skills that may not come naturally to many men.

Spending time training salespeople in skills they have already grasped is not only a waste of time, but it is also a lost opportunity. Women-centric sales training gives businesses the opportunity to offer more advanced training in areas at which women already excel, building upon their existing strengths to take them to the next level.

Women Are Natural Networkers and Relationship Builders

For many customers of both genders, sales is an ongoing relationship rather than a one-off transaction. Women have strong emotional intelligence and excellent listening skills, both of which make them natural networkers and fantastic at building strong relationships with potential clients.

In particular, women shine when the sales cycle is slow enough to build up a strong relationship with the client. Women-centric sales training can help your saleswomen build upon their natural relational talents and apply them more effectively to the sales environment.

Traditional Training Can Play Down Valuable Strengths

One of the biggest problems with male-dominated sales training is that there is a focus on one particular sales strategy. Instead of trying to make every salesperson the same, businesses must take into account that salespeople of different genders (as well as cultural backgrounds, ages, and other characteristics) have different strengths and that’s a good thing.

In many male-dominated industries, a woman salesperson has a distinct advantage. Not only does she stand out, but she brings a fresh approach that customers love. This advantage is lost when businesses try to train every employee to act like a traditional “alpha male” salesperson. There’s still room for that style of salesmanship, but many customers prefer a quieter, less intrusive approach, and your women salespeople can provide that.


TSE Hustler's League, Donald Kelly


Working on Weaknesses

Training designed for males does not address areas where women are (on average) weaker than men. Unless the women in your organization are catered to effectively, it is unlikely they’ll be able to reach their potential, and your business will miss out on the opportunity to profit from a top salesperson.

Building Confidence

Women are less likely to put themselves forward for a promotion, pay increase or new opportunity. This has nothing to do with ability men are simply more willing to pursue advancement, even when they might not be ready for it. In the case of a promotion, for example, a woman is more apt to wait until she is confident that she completely meets the criteria before speaking to the manager. Men, on the other hand, will often put themselves forward when they meet just 60 percent of the criteria.

Women-centric sales training can address this, helping women to see that by waiting to speak up, they are hurting both the business and their own careers. Businesses need confident, authentic women who will add their voice to the discussion.

This is also important when closing a sale; building relationships are important, but if you can’t give the customer a decision to make, your sales performance will be poor.

Dialing Down Perfectionism

Many women are perfectionists, and as a result, they often play it safe. No-one likes to be embarrassed or make a mistake, but playing it safe doesn’t make sales. Men are naturally more aggressive and more likely to take risks. In many cases, this alone will clinch them the sale.

With appropriate training, women can learn to take risks by first starting to do so in a safe environment. The results can be spectacular your saleswomen will build strong relationships and simultaneously seek the sale.


About the Author:

Cynthia Barnes is the CEO of Barnes Sales Institute and founder of Women Who Sell. You can connect with her on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.





Marc Levine, Donald Kelly,Improv Selling

TSE 621: How to Empower Customers to Make Faster Decisions Through Improv Comedy

Marc Levine, Donald Kelly,Improv Selling

Looking for an exciting, highly effective tool you can use for your next sales conversation? Then you surely need to listen to this episode.

Marc Levine is the Founder of Improv My Sales, a training and coaching company focused on salespeople where he works with individuals and companies to help them utilize the power of improv to become more successful.

Today, Marc shares some insights into empowering customers to make faster decisions through improv comedy. Marc started taking improv classes in New York and he learned that  people who make it come alive on stage work with a set of guiding principles.


Here are the highlights of my conversation with Marc:

Why do improv in sales?

Sales is one of the least trusted professions so Marc seeks to help sales professional do this really well so sales profession is looked at in a respective way.

As humans, our real desires are hidden and with the improv approach, you become really good at uncovering your prospect’s concerns and needs and be able to think of them as if they’re your own so you can be the most trusted person to help clients move towards commitments.

The Power of Listening

A lot of times we miss the value because we’re not listening. We’re telling the story and there are conversations we’ve already set up that we’re missing the goal.

Who’s Agenda Is it?

Often in our sales process, our agenda is focused on gathering information we could use for selling which is around their needs, goals, and pain, but it’s actually really focused on you. It’s focused on your agenda, not theirs. Then they begin to become disengaged.

Client-Centered versus Sales-Centered

Change how you sound and really think about whether what you’re doing is client-centered or sales-centered. When people feel like you care, they feel like you’re on their side and they would trust you.

How improv comedy helps in building trust:

  1. No script

It’s just you and what you’re offering and the customer being the expert in their world and together building a solution.

  1. Listen

The best improvisors listen at a level 10 or 11. They say yes to the suggestions their fellow actors offer even if different than their own.

  1. It must be fun!

Improv is fun and if you’re able to bring that into your sales training, sales reps will be able to retain information they’ve learned much better.

  1. “Yes, and…”

Stop making your clients wrong, you need to make them right. So if the client says something, regardless of what it is, you say “yes” as a sign that you’re agreeing with them then add something else after the “and” part. Doing this helps justify their concern otherwise you’re not going to be in agreement.

This tool also helps you to ask the appropriate questions that would allow the prospect to express themselves. “Yes, and…” makes them feel you understand them and this makes them feel good.

Marc’s Major Takeaway:

Stop making your customers wrong and stop thinking their world is wrong because it’s getting in the way of you closing a sale. The only reason we think somebody’s world is wrong is because we think it gets in the way of closing a sale. When you start to say yes to their world and you can justify their world is making sense and add some questions on top of that, you’re going to build trust. You’re the person they can open up to and then you can help  them move towards commitment better than most other sales reps around you.

Can’t get enough of this episode?

Reach out to Marc through email at marc@improvmysales.com and he will send you a PDF that talks more about “Yes, and…” and some nuances to it. If you’re a sales manager, Marc will send you reasons why sales training doesn’t work and how you can fix that. Plus! Write to Marc and tell him what you like about today’s podcast and he will enter you into a contest to win one of three one-hour sales coaching that will rock your world!

Episode Resources:

Improv My Sales

The Five Languages of Love by Gary Chapman

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

Help us spread the word out by leaving us a rating or review on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play or whatever platform you’re using.


Buyer Persona, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, TSE Hustler's League

TSE 620: TSE Hustler’s League: “Creating A Proper Buyer Persona”

Buyer Persona, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, TSE Hustler's League

As what others would say, me included, “The riches are in the niches!”

Today’s snippet from one of our sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League is about how you can create a proper buyer persona, things you should look for, questions you should be asking yourself, and things you need to keep track of to help you improve the way you sell.



  1. Name your avatar.

My avatar’s name is Jeffrey, 25 years old, graduated from college recently, and working for a tech company, making about $35,000 a year plus commission. The problem was Jeff wasn’t making any commission so he was broke. He’s married and his wife’s name is Rachel and they have a beautiful daughter named Crystal, two years old. Because of the student loan debt Jeff and Rachel have, they realized they still needed to make some money. Rachel is also working too and they’re living in Denver at Rachel’s parents’ basement. Their goal was to save up some money to get their own place and to get their daughter out of daycare. Issue is student loan debt is too much so Jeff started taking a second job delivering pizza. He wanted to improve his day job so he looked for podcast and found The Sales Evangelist podcast.

This is the buyer persona I looked at when I was thinking about the podcast. This is just one example but it’s a collection of multiple individuals that reached out to me. Jeffrey comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, majority of them males and a lot were younger and just started off. Interestingly, they were getting second jobs so I started to tailor my content and the things I offer to Jeffrey.

  1. Focus on one ideal customer.

Don’t get all of them. Just focus on one ideal customer that would be the best bang for your buck.

  1. Have empathy.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Sales is not necessarily seen as something we do as Hollywood would normally portray it to be in movies like The Wolf of Wall Street or whatever. In the real world, we need to understand and share the feelings of others. The more you can do this, the better off you’re going to be.

Understanding them allows you to give them exactly what they want and when they want it as opposed to when you feel it’s best to give them. Think in the sense of what you can provide as a customer and think from the customer’s side instead of your side.

  1. Define your product or service from a customer’s point of view.

If somebody wants to buy a house, they don’t necessarily want the house but they want protection or status or a garage. Don’t define your product in a way you want to say it but define it based on your customers.

  1. Understand your why and understand your customers.

Start by asking why change, why now. Define an unconsidered need or motive as to why your customers should change or the entire sales process will not work otherwise.

  1.  Focus on the niche.

Really focus on your niche as much as possible because the riches are in the niches.

Episode Resources:

Maximum Influence by Kurt Mortensen

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.


Pricing, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 619: Sales From The Street-“Should I Share My Price?”

Pricing, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistScared of putting your price on your website? Some entrepreneurs I know are afraid of putting their coaching prices on their website. I had a fair share of that fear too because I thought I was going to push people away or they won’t want to talk to me anymore.

Your time is valuable.

As an entrepreneur, you’re basically doing everything in the whole organization so you can’t waste your time on people who are not going to be a fit for your business. The good thing about setting a price on your website is that people who wanted it and are a good fit for it would be the ones to reach out to you.

What went wrong?

People told me not to put a price on the website and so I did but it essentially dried up my sales leads for coaching. People stopped asking or having deeper conversations. So I had to find my leads through other resources.

What I had to do to overcome this challenge:

But guess what happened when I finally put my price back on the website? It was like turning the faucet back on and people started to inquire more about coaching. People started to set appointments with me and have conversations. Then out of those who inquired after researching and reading the information on the coaching page and have been able to get on a call with me, about 99% of them became clients.

The Power of Empowerment and Giving Value

They saw the price. They knew what it was and knew the value in it and saw the services, they got all the information. I empowered them beforehand. The funny thing about many people is that they get you on a consultative call or a discovery call and a chat with you. Then they would try to sell you on the call to get their product or service. Instead, bring value to the table. In my case, I give value through this podcast or through my online workshops, or through the TSE Hustler’s League, and some of the other free content we give out. That said, people were able to experience the kind of value I bring. Then they would decide to go into the funnel and find their options and choose whatever is in their price range.

Another thing people don’t want to put price on their website is because they’re afraid of losing opportunities but you can’t lose something you’ve never had. You never had the business to begin with in the first place. And who said that individual would have bought from you? You can’t predict it actually. Just present the information so when the time comes for meaningful conversation, then only meaningful conversation happens.

Today’s Major Takeaway:

If you have a set product price, don’t be afraid of advertising that price on your website.

Episode Resources:

Maximum Influence by Kurt Mortensen

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

Help us spread the word out by leaving us a rating or review on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play or whatever platform you’re using.


melissa-krivachek, Donald Kelly, Making Money online

TSE 618: Making Millions In Your Living Room

It wasn’t a smooth path for Melissa Krivachek. Seven years back, she was broke and homeless. And she knew something had to change. Fast-forward to now, she has been nominated for Forbes 30 Under 30, on the cover of Evolution Magazine as a Top 40 Player Under 40, and she was awarded the 1% of American Executives by the National Council of American Executives.

Not only that, Melissa has authored eight books, five of which have been on the international bestseller. Melissa also hosts the show Millionaires Hot Seat where she has already interviewed about 160 millionaires to date and which is now being turned into a television show.

Today, she’s going to share with us insights into what she did to build her company online as well as ways you can make money from your living room. Yep! You can do it too!

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Melissa:

Some steps Melissa did to pivot her way to success:

  1. Figure out who’s who and go to social media.

Melissa figured out the who’s who and went to social media and connected with him there. She simply opened herself up to that avenue.

  1. Be relentless in your approach.

You can’t just know prospects and sit down and hope they come to you. Well, they’re not going to come to you.

  1. Go for a platform where they have the least amount of followers.

This way, they will pay attention to you. If they’ve got millions of Instagram followers, they’re not going to pay attention to you but if they only have 400 friends on Facebook, they’re bound to pay attention to you.

How to get started with making millions in your home:

  1. Only read books relevant to what you’re trying to accomplish today.

Choose one area of your life that you want to succeed at. If it’s sales, read only sales books and only sales books that are really adamant about doing the work and showing you the path to doing the work.

Instead of taking the time it would take to read the other 55 books you’ve invested, do the strategies the first 5 books have. Be cautious about the books you read. Melissa’s favorite books are those of Og Mandino.

  1. Melissa recommends this powerful exercise.
  • Take a piece of paper and every 15 minutes in your day for 7 days, write down everything that you do from watching the television to going to the bathroom to sending text messages, etc.
  • Melissa can tell you what you value based on what you wrote down and her guess is it’s not sales. The goal for this exercise is to help you switch up your routine to fit more sales calls and prospecting into the loop.
  • Create a chart by taking two circles and overlap them in the middle. On the right circle, write Executive Assistant. This person is the one who’s going to run errands for you like getting you coffee, do your grocery, drop your mail off, etc.
  • On the other side, you have your Virtual Assistant. They’re going to do things like email campaigns, social media updates, paying online bills, making sure under scheduled aligns to what you committed to doing.
  • This frees up all the extra time so you can stay in your zone of genius, whether it’s sales or not. But what you want is to spend as much time in your zone of genius as possible.

After doing this exercise for seven years with her clients, she realized people are wasting too much time doing things not conducive to making money yet their biggest complain is they don’t have time and they don’t have money and they wonder why. This is exactly why.

Interesting fact: Melissa did this exercise with an executive and they found 1600 hours in a year wasted. And he’s been doing this for 10 years!

  1. Hire that person to help you.

Find the most important task that you don’t need to do, don’t want to do, or somebody could do better. Melissa finds stay-at-home moms as the best assistants or salespeople because they do things on their own time. Pay attention to what’s important to your employees or even your contractors. Make them happy and they will forever be by you.

  1. Simplify your life.

Go to the things that you have lying around and start selling them. You don’t need a million options in your closet. Just get a couple options. Sell those things.

  1. Don’t expect to be a success overnight.

Finding the prospects and getting on the phone and all of that can be done over a period of time, but not overnight. So really decide what you’re going to sell and what they system is going to be but make it as simple as you possibly can. The more complex things are, the harder it’s going to be to make millions.

Melissa’s Major Takeaway:

Anybody has the capability to make a sale. You just have to learn the skill set to actually make it happen.

Episode Resources:

Learn more about what Melissa is doing on www.millionairesandmoney.com.

Millionaires & Money: Sex, Sales, and Seduction by Melissa Krivachek

Og Mandino Sales Books

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.


Donald Kelly, Message, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 617: There’re Too MANY of Us Here!

Donald Kelly, Message, The Sales Evangelist PodcastWhether you’re selling life insurance or a car or plumbing service, you’re in an area where there’s a lot of competition and you’re trying to standout. But how can you best stand out within the industry you’re in?

Creativity is key.

In one of the early episodes of How I Built This Podcast by NPR, which has now become one of my favorite shows. Barbara Corcoran (the lady on Shark Tank), a successful real estate tycoon, talked about effective marketing. And one thing she did was being creative and was able to take something common and twist it in a way that she’s able to bring value to the buyer.

So she was getting one of her first properties and trying to rent it. She told the guy putting it up for a rent to put up a wall and partition the room, which was supposed to be just a studio room. They guy rented it quickly and Barbara was able to out beat the other ones who was just renting a one-bedroom apartment. She added a bit more to it.

Strategies to help you stand out:

  1. Look for the area where competitors are not focusing their efforts on.

Any industry will train you to do what you need to do into buying this particular product. Everyone does that. Don’t just do what everyone else is doing. Try to do an area that you will be a master in.

  1. Do podcasts.

Instead of having coffee with a bunch of people, try going on other podcasts. Or do virtual workshops and use Google Hangout. You don’t have to talk about the product you’re selling per se but try to talk about, say, the successes and challenges people have as they’re preparing for the next phase of their life. Get as many information from them as you can and then from that, create a little eBook.

  1. Get the local experts engaged.

Find local experts in your industry and have them write on your blog or interview them.

  1. Find that one thing that’s going to help you get some activities.

For me, personally, podcasting is the thing that works for me. I’m able to share things that have worked for me. But maybe you’re a video person so you want to videos. Or maybe you want to write instead or be a speaker. Find local speaking opportunities where you can talk to your audience and your potential customers.

  1. It’s okay if it doesn’t work.

Don’t be afraid, just do it. What’s the worst thing that can happen anyway? If one thing doesn’t work then pivot. Stop doing the same old things that are giving you the same old, no results.

Episode Resources:

How I Built This Podcast by NPR

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.


Kathy William Chiang, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 616: Understanding the Voice of the Customer In Your Data

Sometimes we think we know what our customers think, feel, or want that sometimes when things don’t go down our way, we end up forcing ourselves on them. Remember, people love to buy, not to be sold.

Today’s guest is Kathy Chiang and she shares with us some insights into understanding the voice of customers in your data and how you can take that data and help you make better decisions when it comes to selling.

Kathy works at Wunderman Data Management where she does marketing, real-time marketing analytics, and digital marketing for customers across the globe.



Here are the highlights of my conversation with Kathy:

Strategies for understanding the voice of your customer:

  1. Data capture and collection.
  • Depending on the size of your business and your industry, be able to capture each transaction through the customer information and the record of the series of transactions they’ve done.
  • Deliver the true help of one-to-one marketing that came up in the 80’s and the 90’s but the technology wasn’t there to support it.
  • Be focused and targeted at your segment and your tools.
  • Utilize social media to expand your market reach.
  • Having an idea of your buyer personal and their characteristics allows you to use these platforms to target the same persona in a different market.
  1. Data visualization

Process your data and put it into data visualization which has now become more automated and easier to use. Get that data into a database and structure it so you can connect it to other systems across the organization. There are data visualization programs available such as Domo, Beckon, or Looker and pass them onto your database that can spot trends and even merging trends so you can try to get ahead of that.

How sellers can use data to sell better:

  • Spot emerging trends sooner and see the growth trajectory of their products
  • Try to not get swamped in all the data and be able to distinguish a signal from the noise.
  • Learn how to put the qualitative, intuitive side of the business in the market.
  • Risk is still there but it shortens the time of getting insights in terms of new trends and market opportunities.
  • Just know where your customer is on. Segment your market in a way that you’re micro-targeting groups of people and deliver a message that speaks to them.

Kathy’s Major Takeaway:

Give your customers a seat in the business. Make them a part of your business. You think you know your customers want and then you end up forcing them. Close that loop by tapping into data and bringing that back into the process. Then give your customers voice in your business and you’ll get rewarded for it.

Episode Resources:

Check out Kathy’s book here,  Monetizing Your Data

Wunderman Data Management




Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.


Sell the way prospects buy, buyer-centric, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 615: TSE Hustler’s League -“Sell The Way Your Prospects Buy”

Sell the way prospects buy, buyer-centric, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

The way most businesses are set up is that the company or seller pushes something on the buyer. And that’s not cool. Totally not cool! By doing this, your prospects will feel they’re being tricked into something. You don’t want people to feel like that. You have to build trust with your prospects.

Today’s snippet taken from one of our past sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League is about selling the way your buyers would like to buy.

When you focus on the buyers and give them the things  they want, you will stand out from the crowd and have a greater chance of winning the opportunity.

The Platinum Rule

Treat others the way that they would like to be treated. And the way people like to be treated is they like to be individualized.

Why do you feel your clients buy from you?

  1. People love doing business with other individuals.

It’s very difficult whenever they feel like you’re just one of “them” where you’re just like an entity and not an individual. Be honest with your prospects. They just want to feel special.

  1. It’s the human connection.

It when people feel a connection with you that they buy from you. Even if you’re selling to a big corporation, it’s an individual who’s making that decision so figure out to make that human connection.

How to Sell the Way Your Buyers Buy:

  1. Outreach or problem recognition

The bottom half is your process and the top part is your customer. Figure out what the buying process of your customer is. Then write this out. The prospect does not know about the problem yet so they don’t realize it. Some of us have warm leads where someone calls in and they may have recognized a problem they think they have.

  1. Try to qualify them to see if they’re going to fit into what you’re capable of doing.
  1. Evaluation or deeper discussion

This is the part where you have a deeper conversation with them or the members in their team.

  1. Demonstrate your product or your service.

Demonstrate your solution to the prospect then talk about the budget and you close. They purchase.

The Incremental Closes

The actual closing really starts at the very beginning. Your job as a seller is to have commitments the buyers make throughout that process. There are different things based on the industry that you can offer that makes that buyer commit to each of the phases.

The 6 Why’s the Prospects Must Answer

  1. Why do I need to change?
  2. Why now?
  3. Why your industry solution?
  4. Why you and your company?
  5. Why your product or solution?
  6. Why spend the money?

*They have to answer each of these questions and these could be the incremental commitments that you offer.

Why change and why now?

Help them recognize the problem. Dig dip and help your customers truly understand that.

Do not skip a step!

The biggest issue why deals don’t close is because many sales reps skip the step and they quickly start to move on to the next phase. They try to share the features and benefits and sell on the price. But the consumers are still in the research phase.

The Unconsidered Need

If it’s a warm lead, what do they not know that they think they may know? If it’s a cold lead, they may not even recognize they need it. How can you share something that they truly don’t understand yet.

The 5 Why’s

Why do people buy your product or service? Dig deeper into each answer trying to ask why every after each answer until you get to the core issue or problem of your customer. Why do people buy your product or service? What are the symptoms they have? How is this affecting their business?

Learn more about the TSE Hustler’s League. Join our 12-week program. This semester is focused on how to become more buyer-centric and increase your win rates.

Episode Resources:

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.


Sales forecast, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Salesforce

TSE BLOG 011: Say Good Bye To Inaccurate Sales Forecasting!

Sales forecast, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, SalesforceWhen’s the last time you made a miscalculation on your sales forecasting? Sometimes the mistakes are positive—say, forecasting too slow of a growth period. But sometimes the mistakes can be costly, especially when you forecast too much growth, amp up production or staffing, and find yourself with too many people and too many goods.

There has to be a better way—right?

Turns out, there is. What too many business leaders do is take an isolated approach to sales forecasting. They also may not know how much of a positive impact accurate sales forecasting can have on a bottom line. But the best sales forecasts are done with a group-think mindset: involving different departments and different information so that each piece of the business puzzle has a vested interest in making sure that the forecasts are as realistic and achievable as possible.

How can you do that? This graphic can help.

Click For More Information

How to Forecast Sales Accurately Every Time: An SME's Guide

Via Salesforce

Decision Maker, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 614: Sales From The Street -“Reaching VITO”

Decision Maker, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistAs an entrepreneur and seller, prospecting is one of the fundamental things you need to master. Today, I’m sharing some effective ways I’ve seen to get to that decision maker. This is something you’re going to have to do as a seller. These are strategies I’ve seen that work and that you can tweak and utilize in your business.




Who are the decision-makers?

These are the people in the organization that have the ability to say yes to you. These are people who can decide on buying your product or service.

They’re not necessarily CEO’s. They can be the Chief Marketing Officer. Again, these are the people who have access to the funds or budget.

Decision makers are not necessarily going to be the one you can get access to right away. They’re busy and have process where you have to go through multiple individuals first before you get access to them.

The key contact or decision maker is the VITO (Very Important Top Officer).

  1. Utilize referrals.

Go through your current customers and understand who your ideal customers are. Understand your buyer persona and see who else they know they can introduce you to.

Your chances of getting to the VITO through the receptionist is slim to none.

  1. Send a snail mail and follow up.

The whole point is to get a key target list of accounts and send them something in the mail that will grab their attention. Then call and do an introduction. By doing this, the secretary will be more willing to pass you through because you caught her attention.

  1. Take advantage of social media.

Sometimes decisions makers are utilizing social media. Use a platform that does not have a lot of traction. When you go on social media., don’t pitch right away. Bring value first. Find a way to share information or something they like that you can connect with and comment on. If there’s positive news about them in the media, share your insights too. Also, fill out the contact information on their website.

  1. Call the sales department of that organization.

Salespeople are often more compassionate and willing to get you the key information or email address or phone number to the right individual. Don’t be afraid since they’re doing the same you are. Also look for a way that you can bring value to them.

Episode Resources:

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.


Joe Carlen, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 613: Five Mistakes Entrepreneurs Have Made Since the Beginning of Time

TSE 613: Five Mistakes Entrepreneurs Have Made Since the Beginning of TimeToday’s guest is Joe Carlen, Co-Founder of Value Guards, LLC and practitioner of business valuations, patent valuations, and marketing assessments. He is consulting for hundreds of entrepreneurs and companies over the past 15 years including Westinghouse and Unicom Technology. Joe is also the author of the book A Brief History of Entrepreneurship and today he shares with us the five mistakes entrepreneurs have made since the beginning of time along with some concrete examples.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Joe:

5 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Made Since the Beginning of Time

  1. Imagination over execution

People have very innovative ideas and they fall in love with their product or service but giving less attention to the market and they may not be great at executing their wonderful concept because they’re either not selling it aggressively or they don’t have a market for it.


Phoenicians built the first intercontinental empire. They were very aggressive distributors and salespeople. They can create knock of art and even inferior quality to other civilizations but they would sell more because they have distribution centers and they sell very aggressively.

An industrial revolution in Britain with a whole series of inventor-entrepreneurs who have set the mold for the Steve Job’s of today. They basically invented things that transformed industries. Samuel Crompton had tremendous product innovations but he never panned it properly and he never promoted his invention properly. Whereas there were those who didn’t invent anything but were aggressive salespeople and became extraordinarily wealthy.

  1. Arrogance

In Ancient Rome, Patricians were the noble people and they looked down on hard work as well as entrepreneurship. The slaves then became the entrepreneurial class in Rome and eventually many of them became very wealthy and made their way to nobility. Another example is the early stages of rock and roll.

  1. Insufficient nerve or confidence

These are the people who don’t have the nerve to make certain leaps. An example that illustrates this is MercadoLibre, the eBay of Latin America. It was started by an Argentinian who studied business school in Stanford and one time he offered a venture capitalist lecturer a ride to the airport and actually pitched his product. Four days after, he got the seed capital for his business. That guy is now a billionaire.

Salesmanship and entrepreneurship tie in very strongly in this situation because learning how to handle rejection and embarrassment can make a huge difference on the entrepreneurial side.

  1. Insufficient financing

The reason English and Dutch merchant companies were more successful than the French merchant companies is because of financing. They would pool resources and get investors to commit different sums of money and they have a strong pool of investors.

Many entrepreneurs tend to overestimate the early stage sales potential of what they’re doing and tend to underestimate the potential expenses. So you have to be conservative when it comes to financing and make sure you have the requisite resources to make something working.

  1. Blurring the line between entrepreneur and manager

People who are gifted at innovation are not always gifted as selling, much less managing. Some people with innovator-type personalities just don’t feel comfortable with sales.

Very often, the entrepreneur is the visionary and sometimes let people take it off from there and others are good at coming up with an idea and building the business to a certain point but they’re not consolidators so an administrative takes over.

There are few Steve Jobs in the world who are people that are both great innovators and successful managers. So figure out your strengths and weaknesses and bring on the right complementary people.

Joe’s Major Takeaway:

Make sure your vision has realistic a plan behind it as much as possible. Be able to translate it into something that is practical and has the right financial and human resources behind it.

Episode Resources:

Check out Joe on www.value-guards.com.

A Brief History of Entrepreneurship by Joe Carlen

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

Help us spread the word out by leaving us a rating or review on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play or whatever platform you’re using.

Sales Coaching, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 612: Four Fundamental Areas You Should Start Coaching Reps In

Sales Coaching, The Sales Evangelist PodcastCoaching problems? Basically, it all comes down to the situation the seller is in at a particular time. They may be having a tough time with cold calling or closing the deal. In each of those situations, tailor your sales coaching towards the benefit of the individual.

Account Executives versus SDR’s

First, it’s important to differentiate account executives and sales development reps. Account executives are people who call in to get the lead and close the deal. Sales development reps (SDR’s) are those who prospect and guild opportunities that your account executive is going to close.

If you’re a small organization, I recommend you split these roles up where the SDR can focus on SDR work while your account executive focuses on closing and then the client success team focuses on advancing and upselling as well as in managing the account.

Here are four key areas sales leaders can focus on particularly when coaching sales reps.

  1. Opportunity management and opportunity development

This comes down to prospecting and most people tell me who are working in small businesses say they’re getting 5-10% of their leads through inbound. This means a lot of the businesses are not coming through your inbound process or you may not have an effective inbound marketing strategy right now. You, therefore, have to get business by actively going out and developing opportunities.

Make sure your sellers know where to find people whether through cold calls or social media or networking events. Find the ones most beneficial for your team. Coach your reps on how they can improve on this.

  1. Actual phone conversation

If a large portion of your business comes down to talking on the phone, make sure your reps understand what they say. Utilize proper wording, messaging, scripts, and giving feedback. The script works well especially for newbies but these should only work as a guide in terms of what to say. They can memorize it but they still need to make it their own. During your coaching sessions, do some practice run or role plays. Get them to talk on the phone and record the conversation. Practice is key.

  1. Value creation

This is focused on the question-asking skills and the capability of having meaningful conversations. However, this is an often overlooked area. Write down the top 15-20 questions you could ask your prospect in your sales process. Sit down with your team and write down meaningful questions and practice those. Utilize your personality, emotions, and facial expressions (even when you’re on the phone).

  1. Actual account management

This involves having a plan of how you’re going to help the account to advance and grow. Have a plan or process to help the person give you referrals or figure a way you can generate more business opportunities for them. Find a way to upsell them on one of your higher-end product and coach them on how they can do that.

Episode Resources:

Check out The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.

Tibor Shanto, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 611: What Is The “GAP” & How Can I Find It In My Prospects Business?

Tibor Shanto, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist PodcastMind the gap! I’m not talking about London tubes here but today’s guest, Tibor Shanto, is going to teach us this concept of how you can help your buyers understand where they are and where they want to go as well as how you can fill that gap with your product or service.

Tibor Shanto does professional development for professional salespeople, specifically working with B2B sales forces of all sizes as they focus on business acquisition and transitioning into business sales.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Tibor:

What is the GAP?

Sellers may have this tendency that you’re focusing on one segment of the market at the expense of ignoring an entirely larger segment of the market

Then there are buyers that you know they’re going to have to make a purchase decision but they feel they don’t have to make the decision for some time down the road. Basically, they still have an x amount of time left before they have to make that decision.

Status quo market- These are the complacent buyers making up 70% of the market where they’re not really interacting with the market.

Buyers or companies have objectives and there are gaps between where the buyers want to be and where they are now.

How to identify the buyer’s challenges:

  1. Assume the medal of a subject matter expert. Understand why you win and why you lose.
  • Understand why a lot of the stuff that goes on top of the funnel just doesn’t come out at the other end.
  • Explore what happens within your pipeline and you’ll begin to see which certain objectives are common and which objectives people are willing to invest money in.
  • You will begin to understand how they define those objectives and how you can influence how they look at it.
  • You will understand which questions you should be asking during the discovery phase – What can you learn from them and what they can learn from you
  1. Lead with outcomes.
  • Explore the relationship between the objectives they’re trying to reach and the impact they have on their business.
  • Then frame your discussion around those impacts and then you can work backward to the gap.

Example: Let them talk about all the things they see as where they want to be 18 months from now.

  1. Discover the gap.
  • Get down to the actual discovery element of the discussion until they give you the gap for you to work on. So you’ve actually mined the gap.
  • By asking the right questions, it makes them share more information and what they really think is behind it.

Example: Help me understand why we’re not there now.

  1. Get them to emotionally re-invest in their objectives.

When people don’t achieve success towards their objectives, they begin to give up on the objectives and scale them back. So you have to get them to emotionally re-invest in where they want to be. You need them to articulate out loud what would be the upside if they achieve their objectives.

  1. Go deeper with the customer.

Don’t just stay at the surface level when working with your customers. Go a bit deeper and they will tell you what’s in it for them.

  1. Follow up with the risk of inaction.

Follow up the discussion with what’s the risk of inaction. People’s propensity if they’re in the status quo is to not act because the alternative will always seem less safe than where they are even if it’s not perfect. Again, get them to articulate this. If it comes from their mouth then they would have to own it.

  1. Let them understand your monetary worth.

Ask them what’s the worth of your product from a monetary point of view. Get them to articulate the value of what you bring to the table and extrapolate on that with your benefits.

Tibor’s Major Takeaway:

You want to be a subject matter expert but don’t be worried if you can’t. Think about two or three areas you might want to explore. Make an honest effort and you’ll get further than trying to be that perfect, smooth-talking person.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Tibor by giving him a call at 855-25SALES or for international call +1-416-822-7781. Or send him an email at tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca.

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Pre Call Planning, Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's League

TSE 610: TSE Hustler’s League-“Pre-Call Planning”

Pre Call Planning, Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's LeagueOftentimes, many sellers overlook the importance of pre-call planning and you can’t just wing this part of the process.

Today, we’re pulling another snippet from one of our sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League. Last week, we spoke about issues causing bad close rates. Today, we dig into the fundamental topic of pre-call planning.

This semester of the TSE Hustler’s League, we’re focusing on how sellers can become more buyer-focused and how they can increase their win rate by guiding the buyer through their journey.

Things You Can Include in Pre-Call Planning Outline:

  1. What did I notice about their company?
  • Sit down and look at your CRM and look at the information. Don’t go overboard and try to find everything about their kids. Don’t go into their personal life and get all of the details.
  • Utilize Twitter, LinkedIn (especially when you’re selling B2B), and Facebook to find information about the business.
  • BBB (Better Business Bureau) is also a great place to look into as well as Glassdoor to see what people within the organization are saying…
  • Your research should help you figure out how you can connect with the individual. Recognize something they’re doing right now. What can you do to build that rapport with them?
  1. Understand the purpose of the call.
  • You need to understand the purpose of the call before you jump on the call. They look to you as a guide so if they don’t have that information, the call is not going to progress well.
  • Find out if it’s a call to clarify, close, or move the deal forward to the next step, or whatever your process is.
  1. Find out their role.
  • What are their influence capabilities? Are they the decision-maker? Are they the influencer? Or are they the end-user?
  • There are two reasons people make a buying decision. They’re either trying to fix something or gain something.
  • You need to understand the person’s buying motive. What does he have to gain or what does he have to lose?
  • How is success defined for their role? Know what’s important to them and it becomes the most important thing to you now. Figure out how you can help them to do so. Do all you can to tailor your presentation around them.
  • Later on, find out who else do you need to bring into the team.
  1. How do they make money?

Figure out how your prospects make money each time. Also, find out how they lose money. If selling to consumers, show them ways they’re losing money and figure out how you can make them understand three simple ways they might lose money.

  1. How can your product or service specifically help this client?
  • Goals
  • Plans
  • Challenges
  • Time
  • Budget
  • Consequence
  1. Recap the next step

Recap the appointment and the next step. Talk about setting the next appointment and reconnect from the beginning to the end.

Episode Resources:

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SDR, Warm Leads, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 609: Sales From The Street-“Cold Warm Leads”

SDR, Warm Leads, The Sales EvangelistWhat if your warm leads are not warm enough? Just because your leads are smiling back at you doesn’t mean you had them at first glance. You’ve got to make sure you’re able to nurture your leads in every step of the buying process.

This is where I bring on a sales professional or an entrepreneur (or myself sometimes) so we can share our challenges to everyone and strategies we’ve implemented to overcome them so you can hopefully learn from them and apply them to your own process.

Strategies for Nurturing Warm Leads:

  1. Make sure it’s the right individual.

Focus your approach based on these individuals in the organization. Sometimes you have the end-users. You also have the influencers. Then you have the decision-makers. Sometimes all three are involved in the buying process, other times some of them have more pull than others.

  1. Sell the outcome, not necessarily the product.

Find the reasons your influencers like or dislike the product. Then utilize the top three reasons into your discussion with this new influencer. Your goal is to spark an interest.

  1. Don’t throw the lead away.

Whether they’re looking to purchase now or in the future, make each prospect feel that you care for them.

  1. Find out the outcome they’re trying to get.

Just because your prospect smile means you got the deal. You have to figure out the outcome they’re trying to get.

  1. Educate your leads.

There must be something they need that they haven’t recognized before and your goal is to educate them.

Episode Resources:

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Success, Mindset, The Sales Evangelist, Nick Ruiz

TSE 608: Declaring Freedom From Mediocrity & Forging A Successful Mindset

As we’re celebrating Independence Day, it’s just right to discuss how you can gain financial freedom by solving the blocks that shift our thinking from entry-level job status to understanding opportunities that breed financial success. A ton of great stuff today and you definitely don’t want to miss this!

Today’s guest is Nick Ruiz. He is a contributing author for Entrepreneur Magazine and a twice self-made millionaire. After the collapse in 2008, he lost a lot of money that led to bankruptcy. Then he rebuilt his million-dollar net worth and achieved major mindset change. He wrote a book, Success from Scratch, which is focused on helping people understand greater financial freedom.

If you’re trying to start your own business and perhaps you have something you’re doing on the side but afraid to do it, declare independence. Make a plan and do it today. I forged my own path and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s time for you to forge your own path today!

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Nick:

“Rough Draft Moves”

  • Most people analyze things and put everything on a spreadsheet but all they’re analyzing are imaginary thoughts.
  • Take the bare minimum. Go out there and make the rough draft move, which means just go there and do something while accepting the facts that:
  • You don’t know everything. You’re probably going to mess lots of things up. Start jumping into unchartered territory on a regular basis.
  • Get into something you don’t know 100% how it works.

The beauty of a rough draft move

  • You get into the post-action analysis, where you may now analyze something that is in the real world of existence.
  • You did something physically so now you have all that real-world data, and not just the imagination data in your brain.
  • Now you can say 99% probably didn’t work but you have 1% seed to build on.
  • Then make another rough draft move that you can slightly fine tune and build off it.

Learning from the mistakes of others:

  • Gain the knowledge and combine that with massive action
  • Acquiring tools is great but you still have to use the tools and do the work to build the house.

On achieving instant success:

  • The timeline for success is drastically becoming reduced due to the advent of technology.
  • The biggest disconnect is this mindset of they see the “top guy” and they immediately jump to how to get that. This is a different psychological plane. Looking at the “top guy” is poisonous to new people because your path will look different than that person.
  • The tons of no’s, rejections, and failures are information on what to tweak and what more rough draft moves you can make.

On Nick’s book, Success from Scratch:

  • Nick dove deep into his journey and dissected and documented it through this book
  • People are so much conditioned into rules which are just things some people made up based on what’s happening at that point in time.
  • Understand that you are your own person and start listening to yourself.
  • People are shaped based on their external circumstances, people, and events in their life. And they are continuing to be shaped and molded without their conscious knowledge. Part of this book wakes you up to this.

The Success and Food Analogy

People respond differently to certain foods. Some people experience an anaphylactic shock with peanut butter while for others peanut butter is the best source of protein for them.

The approach to success is no different. There is no blanket approach to success. You have to understand your internal personal evolution to success.

Copying People You Look Up To

  • Your journey is going to look different than the other guy.
  • Don’t skip opportunities just because the “top guy” you look up to didn’t go that way. Copying every move of people you look up to is a terrible mistake.
  • You have to combine action with learning.
  • See what works for you.

The Onion of Fear

Peel back the layers of fear. If customers want to buy but there is some fear holding them back, ask them outright about what’s truly stopping them and holding them back. Peel back those layers of fear until there is none left and they finally decide to buy.

Nick’s Major Takeaway:

Understand how rough draft moves change everything. So many people are in the planning phase or in the pre-action analysis phase. The problem with that is you don’t have any actual data to assess. All you’re doing is imagining scenarios. Do the thing. Get embarrassed. Screw things up. Mess up most things. But then just pull out a couple solid things that did work and build off of that then make a move again with a more refined approach.

The amount of things you’re going to accomplish by making rough draft moves are substantial because you’re assessing what’s actually in existence. That’s the post-action analysis you want to engage in. Success has nothing to do with who you are or where you came from. It has to do with going out and making the moves. You’re always going to extract something positive from those rejections and failures and you’re going to build off of those slivers of positivity.

Episode Resources:

Success from Scratch by Nick Ruiz

Visit www.alphahomeflipping.com if you want to create real estate success from nothing or connect with Nick on Facebook and watch his reality show on YouTube.

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New Company, New Hire, Donald Kelly, Hiring Manager, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 607: How Humble Should I Be At My New Sales Job?

New Company, New Hire, Donald Kelly, Hiring Manager, The Sales EvangelistNot having any luck with your hiring process? Today, I’m sharing my thoughts and insights into some hiring strategies that may help your business big time as well as what you can do as a sales rep to successfully get through the hiring process.

To Hire or Not to Hire

Many entrepreneurs tend to scale really quick to get money into the back, to get the cash flow positive, and to have an opportunity to develop the company. However, one challenge they usually find is who should they go after – a brand new salesperson they can train and develop from the ground up or somebody who is more seasoned, has more experience, and more knowledge.

I’ve talked with an entrepreneur who was left with this same challenge and what he did was he found someone who claimed to have a lot of experience in a similar field. This individual did amazing during the interview who was talking about numbers although he also noticed some red flags.

Quality Over Quantity

You may be in sales for 20 years but with only one year of sales experience. This can be detrimental to your company since although the principles of selling are still the same, the way you execute sales evolves. Hence, you need to be able to learn and adapt to the changes.

Some Red Flags

The individual being interviewed however did not show any learning mentality but showed some cockiness and feeling that he knows it all since he put all the numbers before. So this entrepreneur got him on board. As a result, this guy actually gave the business owner a heart attack and potential law suit because of what he said to the customer in the store. This basically raised another red flag but the entrepreneur was willing to put up with it as long as he can put some accounts down even just for the short term. Eight days later, they could no longer take the attitude of this individual and he got fired.

This number two guy who applied to the company was much younger and more willing to learn. The problem was that the company wanted to get the quick win so they chose the number one over the number two. Upon firing number one guy, they reached out to number two and got him on board.

Insights for the Hiring Manager:

  • Don’t sacrifice the integrity of your business for some short-term gain.
  • The philosophy is you can train them and they can leave or you can not train them and they can stay.
  • If somebody is not willing to be trained and to be taught in your process, you’re going to find some issues.
  • Personally, I would go with the person who is less experienced but is humble and willing to learn.
  • Look towards not just the quick win but at somebody who’s going to last on your team.
  • But if you can get an experienced seller who is humble, willing to learn, and is a good team player, then by all means, hire that person. But don’t just drop an inexperienced person. Help develop them.

Insights for the Sales Reps:

  • When you go to an organization, be willing to be humble and understand the business first before spewing out everything you know.
  • Be willing to understand their sales process and sales cycle and why they do certain things in a certain way.
  • If you can develop a better way, have that shown through your results.
  • Be humble and take in everything. Don’t be cocky and condescending. Learn what people are doing and why they do it that way. Practice it.
  • Try your way and if your way can produce more, bring your insights to the organization.

Episode Resources:

Want to improve your selling? Join the TSE Hustler’s League. This semester is focused on how you can help sellers to become more buyer-centric and increase their win rate of opportunities.

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Felena Hanson, Hera Hub, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 606: How To Shift Your Mindset From Playing It Safe To Taking The Leap

Felena Hanson, Hera Hub, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistStill playing it safe? Afraid to take that leap? Our guest today is Felena Hanson and she shares with us how she got inspired to start her business and she teaches us how you can essentially shift that mindset from playing it safe to taking the leap.

Felena Hanson is an entrepreneur, a marketing maven, and an author. She is the CEO of Hera Hub, a spa-inspired shared workspace and business accelerator designed for female entrepreneurs. With headquarters in San Diego, Hera Hub is spread across the globe and they’re continuing to expand. Her book, Flight Club: Rebel, Reinvent, and Thrive: How to Launch Your Dream Business.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Felena:

What Hera Hub provides:

  • Spa-inspired workspace that’s also very professional and productive
  • Significant education
  • Mentoring
  • Support resources

Reasons for playing it safe:

  • This is what we’ve been taught growing up. We’ve been conditioned to play it safe. But times have changed now. You have to control your own destiny.
  • People are afraid and they feel like you have to go right off to the sunset by yourself.

The Entrepreneur Mindset

People say in the next three years, half the knowledge-based workforce will be independent. So you need to think and act like an entrepreneur.

Finding a Community

Surround yourself with the right people. Find that support. Reach out to like-minded folks who are at the same stage as you and become a student. Ask questions. This is why joining a coworking space or a business accelerator is so critical.

Is a Coworking Space Expensive?

Felena explains launching a business and failing is much more expensive than investing a couple hundred dollars in a workspace. Finding support and resources is so critical. Don’t shortchange yourself in so many ways by not stepping into that.

How Hera Hub can help their members:

  • Steps to Startup – a platform that walks the entrepreneur through the 17 foundational steps to launch their business through multiple live workshops and more.
  • Strategic planning
  • Group workshops
  • Financial projections and revenue funnels

Things to focus on when building a startup:

  1. Execution

You may have a good idea but are people willing to hand you money for that idea. Talk to people. Go out and do a lot of primary research. Talk to your target customer. Obviously, people love the idea of coming up with ideas but the actual execution of things is another story. Execution is what matters.

  1. Financials

This is around the operation side of the business such as bookkeeping, record-keeping, insurance, and quarterly taxes. What you find on the internet can be overwhelming and there is a sequence to those. Felena’s platform is built to simplify the process so you can take care of these things.

  1. Mindset of imperfection

It’s never going to be perfect. Your website is never going to be perfect or your business plan is never going to be perfect. But just get it out there and be okay with that. Many have fallen in love with this idea of launching a business but they actually never really launch so you have to be okay to get it out there. You will never have it all figured out. Be okay with figuring out as you go and being scrappy.

  1. Follow through

A lot of people have this shiny object syndrome and if you don’t follow through with at least one or two ideas, you’re never really going to make it.

How Felena got inspired to build a coworking space:

Felena has been running her marketing strategy company out of her house for nearly eight years and had built a community and been involved in launching and growing a couple of professional women’s organizations. But she was struggling with lack of creativity in her business and the isolation of running the day-to-day of her business while running all the other events and workshops helping other people launch their business.

She hosted an event in San Diego in 2010, which was the only coworking space at that time with hip and cool design, concrete floors and beer kegs and ping-pong tables but shortly realized it wasn’t really her tribe.

Seeing a lot of these coworking spaces were geared towards the tech demographics, she wanted a softer environment to work in and to create a space where women could come and truly support one another and change the tone of business from a competitive model to a collaborative model. As a result, Felena built her first space in 2011 and two additional locations in the next two years.

Felena’s vision is 20,000 women by 2020

Felena is looking at this trajectory of impacting other industries and grow other locations around the world. Hera Hub is spreading across the U.S. including Phoenix and Washington, D.C.

Type of people Hera Hub is looking for:

Folks with a variety of experience as they seek to build a full-circle support system including:

  • Professional service providers
  • Solopreneurs
  • Attorneys
  • Sales consultants, PR, Marketing strategists
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Social impact entrepreneurs
  • People on the consulting side

Episode Resources:

Hera Hub

Steps to Startup

Flight Club: Rebel, Reinvent, and Thrive: How to Launch Your Dream Business by Felena Hanson

Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson

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Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 605: TSE Hustler’s League-“Three Reasons Why Your Deals Are Not Closing”

Closing, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistToday’s episode, we’ll give you a sweet taste of the first session of the TSE Hustler’s League this semester. If you still want to join, go ahead and apply. This is a group coaching experience where we also bring on some expert guests and members share insights and bounce ideas off each other.

Top 3 Reasons for Poor Close Rates

  1. Poor qualifications
  2. Lack of comprehension (on the buyer side) and misalignment (between the buyer and the seller)
  3. Lack of trust

Creating a checklist.

Have a checklist of your criteria when qualifying your prospects. Make sure it’s easily visible while you’re making calls while prospecting. Having a visual representation whether on your screen or in your office prevents you from deviating from your criteria.

A common tendency is that once you know the prospect is interested just because they asked for the price, you get so excited that you deviate from the process and just jump right in. Then you don’t hear back from them. Well, you didn’t qualify them in the first place.

Key things in the decision-making process:

  1. Make sure they have money.
  2. Make sure they have a challenge or issue they have that you can solve.
  3. Make sure they have a meaningful time frame.
  4. Make sure they have the ability to say yes.

According to a study, 57% of the weight towards a buying decision is when they first make contact with a salesperson.

The Unconsidered Need

This is when you’re able to teach something to a prospect they didn’t know they need. Regardless of what you’re saying, figure out something your buyers don’t know that you can educate them on in the decision-making process, in the discovery process, in the qualification process.This will separate you from other sellers.

Episode Resources:

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