November 2017 - The Sales Evangelist
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Disc Profile, Personality Type, Hiring, New Sales People

TSE BLOG 016: Understanding Your DISC Profile Can Improve Relationships and Boost Sales

Disc Profile, Personality Type, Hiring, New Sales PeopleOur industry thrives on relationships.

By definition, our job in sales is to influence other people’s opinions and behaviors: the people we work with, the people we’re selling to, and the people who work for us.

The problem is that we’re all hard-wired differently. We all have different strengths and tendencies, and those differences can make it difficult to understand one another.

Jim Jacobus, a veteran consultant, speaker and sales trainer, describes it this way: Imagine your world consists of four categories of people, and each of those groups speaks its own language. Now imagine that you’re tasked with communicating with each group, but you only speak one of the languages.

How will you communicate with the 75 percent of people who don’t speak the same language you do?

DISC Improves Communication

DISC profiling enables us to understand the four different languages people speak and to communicate with each group in its native language.

DISC profiling measures a person’s tendencies or behaviors using a series of questions to determine things like:

  • how the participant responds to conflict
  • how the participant solves problems
  • what causes the participant stress
  • what motivates the participant

The DISC profile distinguishes four different categories of behavior.

D= Dominance (how you handle problems)

I = Influence (how you influence people)

S= Steadiness (the pace at which you do things)

C=Conscientiousness (attention to detail or willingness to follow rules)

“DISC is a great tool for understanding communication styles, and for understanding how people go about doing things, how to manage them, and how to motivate them,” Jacobus said. “But if I’m going to understand your communication style I have to fully embrace and understand my own style. Once you understand what that looks like, then we can help you identify the style of the client.”

The value of DISC in serving the client has to do with understanding where the client is coming from, Jacobus said. It’s learning how to deliver the part of the product or service the client is most interested in. If for example, a client is a high D and you’re talking to him about how a product was made, you’re going to lose his interest because he’s more concerned with the bottom line and big picture.

“Once you’ve identified your client’s preferences, you can shift gears and present the product more effectively and communicate more effectively,” Jacobus said. “If I’m focused on selling what I think is cool all the time, 75 percent of the world couldn’t care less.”

The reality is that, with behavioral selling, there are all kinds of built-in conflict, because each profile approaches the world, and the sales industry, differently. There really is no right or wrong way to do it, Jacobus said. Rather it’s about identifying your strengths and learning to leverage them. Additionally, though, it’s about understanding the challenges of your style as well. If you’re a “my way or the highway” kind of person and the client is a consensus builder, the result can be conflict.

Highly technical personalities, for example, tend to be less relational. Talkative, outgoing personalities may not be great listeners. Each profile has its own challenges, but people can be trained to overcome their natural tendencies.

“I just love how understanding the different styles helps me better connect with my clients,” Jacobus said, “but not in a way that’s chameleon-like. I’m not seeking to manipulate them. I want to serve them better than the competitors do.”

He points out, too, that though people bristle at the idea of manipulating others, the entire sales industry is built on the premise of influencing other people’s opinions and behaviors.

Jacobus said he isn’t concerned with whether people think his behavioral approach is manipulative because he’s comfortable with his own motivation: to better serve clients and to better manage sales reps.

“If I care about you more than I care about my back pocket, them my back pocket will take care of itself,” he said.

DISC Improves Sales Effectiveness

The burning question, then, is how will DISC profiling help you make money?

From the management side, Jacobus said, your job is to sell your employees on doing what’s in their best interest and what’s in the company’s best interest. Understanding how to communicate effectively with the people you manage is a huge step in the right direction.

From a sales standpoint, Jacobus referred back to the four languages metaphor: If sales reps can learn to speak all four languages, it makes them four times more effective and creates a multiplier of four in terms of the ability to connect with and sell to the client.

“People want to buy from folks they can relate to,” he said.

So what if you’re cold-calling and you have no idea what category the client falls into? Popular opinion says that you should always default to the D personality type, but Jacobus prefers a more even approach.

“If you get an email from me or a letter from me and I don’t know your style, it will include one statement that hits all four personality styles,” he said. “It’s going to say ‘Jim Jacobus’ programs are step-by-step processes used by many of America’s top organizations to get results while attendees have a blast.’ ‘Step-by-step’ is technical, ‘used by many of America’s top organizations’ is a third-party endorsement for the high S, ‘gets results’ is for the high D, and ‘have a blast’ is for the high I.”

He explained that it’s possible to write a similar general statement for any business, but he pointed out that if he knows your specific profile, he’ll tailor his communication to your preferences. In the case of a client whose profile you aren’t sure of, Jacobus suggests shifting your focus.

“I am going to make sure right off the bat that you understand that I am here to bring you value,” he said. “I want to make sure we can exceed your expectations and that you can bring good value to our organization. I think communicating the fact that you intend to bring value to that organization is even more important than hitting the right style.”

Despite Jacobus’ enthusiasm for DISC assessments and their benefit for people in sales, he does not believe the tests should be used to determine whether a candidate would be successful in sales. He said that despite using similar tests in the past to assess candidates, he still found himself hiring candidates that looked good on paper but that were unsuccessful in sales.

“DISC does not, cannot, will not predict performance,” Jacobus said.

DISC and Practical Applications

He recalled being in a meeting with a high-D personality who halted Jacobus’ presentation to ask about the bottom line and the company’s ultimate return on investment. Jacobus recognized that the guy was a high D, and responded with the same kind of direct, decisive response that his personality type responds well to.

“I knew sooner or later he was going to do something like that and I knew I was immediately going to snap right back at him and go straight to the numbers and give him a good example of how I knew we were going to be able to do it.”

Every personality type has a different need that has to be met. Jacobus explains that when he does training for CPAs, for example, their technical backgrounds and IT experience require a different kind of training.

“If you and I go out and have dinner together, I’m going to be trying to figure out your style so I can more effectively relate to you while we’re at dinner.”

Jacobus said he finds the most reward when someone does a DISC assessment for the first time and begins to understand who they truly are.

“If you think about it, whatever quadrant we’re in, 75 percent of the world is telling us we’re doing life wrong,” he said. “All of the technical people say we should be more organized and be more detail-oriented. The high S people want us to be more laid-back. Maybe for the first time ever you look at that and see, ‘That’s who I am.’”

Jacobus said that he loves the personal transformation that happens to people even more than the sales improvements that often result from DISC assessments.

He said that DISC training transcends the work world and that he has effectively used it in marriage retreats and other settings.

“I love it when people accept how they were created; with strengths and with challenges,” he said. “I love it when they embrace how they were created and start trying to figure out how to get the most out of that.”

Jacobus said he has tremendous respect for professional salespeople who do their jobs well.

“I’ve bought stuff in the past I didn’t need because sales reps did such a great job.”

Jacobus recalls the time he took his wife and son to the boat store to buy a boat for the family. At the first two stores, the sales reps did the same thing: they talked about the selling points of the boat and all the reasons why the boat would make a great purchase.

The third salesman, Mike, was different.

“‘Jim, I’m going to get to you in just a moment,’ he told me. And then he turned to my wife and asked her what she was looking for in a boat, and proceeded to answer her questions for about 30 minutes. Then he did the same thing with my son. And I said to myself, ‘That’s my boat.’ That guy was a real pro.”

DISC Explained

The DISC model originated with Dr. William Marston in 1915. After discovering a correlation between blood pressure and honesty, Marston built a device that would measure a subject’s blood pressure while the person was being questioned. This early polygraph gained the attention of the federal government, the courts, and the public at large.

It was Marston’s work in personality and human behavior, and specifically his study of consciousness, colors, and emotions, that led to the DISC model. Although Marston did not develop an assessment based on his findings, others did, because Marston failed to protect the work he had done as intellectual property. The DISC model is based on the 1928 book Emotions of Normal People.

The DISC questionnaire presents users with a series of phrases or statements to which they will register their agreement, disagreement, or indifference. Rather than measuring aptitude or values, it seeks to measure human behavior in specific situations.

The test identifies a total of four styles, which are the pattern of typical responses expected from a person. Each person is a combination of the four styles, and your DISC profile can change as you age and gain new experiences in life.

D profiles emphasize results and tend to be direct or blunt. They accept challenges, focus primarily on the “big picture,” and exude confidence.

I profiles emphasize influencing or persuading people. They are enthusiastic, optimistic, and they thrive on collaboration.

S profiles emphasize cooperation and dependability. They tend to be sincere, calm, supportive, and steady.

C profiles emphasize quality and accuracy. They are detail-oriented, independent, and they value expertise.

Each person is a combination of the four categories: higher in some and lower in others, Jacobus explained. Within each behavior profile is a midpoint. If your results fall above the midpoint, it reveals something different about you than if your results fall below the midpoint.

D above the midpoint handles problems head-on and tends toward a “my way or the highway” approach.

D below the midpoint favors building consensus and tends to be more cautious or reserved.

I above the midpoint prefers to use their own outgoing personality to influence people

I below the midpoint relies on facts, figures, data, and logic to influence people.

S above the midpoint moves more cautiously through tasks.

S below the midpoint moves quickly through tasks.

C above the midpoint values compliance with rules and attention to detail.

C below the midpoint believes in “close enough for government work,” and places less value on attention to detail and rule-following.

Ideal DISC Profile for Sales

No single DISC profile represents the ideal salesperson, partly because there are numerous factors that determine success or failure in sales: types of sales interactions, experience, type of industry involved and other variables.

In fact, it’s more accurate to say that every DISC profile has advantages that lend itself to success in sales, and challenges that make success a struggle. A salesperson who needs to generate buzz about a new product will rely on the I-style. In order to demonstrate sincerity, he will rely on S-style. To make a compelling argument, C-style will suit him best. It is suggested then, that salespeople exhibit multiple DISC styles during the course of a sales cycle.

Furthermore, individual clients will respond differently to varying DISC styles. Some clients don’t like the sense that they are being “sold to,” and others resent the hard sell. Those individual client issues will necessarily determine what style the salesperson uses throughout the course of the sales cycle.

It is important to note, too, that because DISC profiles can change over the course of a career, a salesperson’s experience and background will also impact his effectiveness.

What’s most important, then, is to match the salesperson’s selling style with the buyer’s buying style.

For a Toyota salesman in the 1980s, that meant doing things differently than everyone else.

Instead of high-pressure tactics, he refused to pressure his clients. If his customers had a specific need or want, he worked to get it no matter how difficult or time-consuming the process. Meanwhile, his co-workers laughed at him.

Within months, those same clients began dropping by the dealership just to check in. New clients dropped in having been referred by previous clients, and he was named Best Salesperson numerous times. Eventually, he became the sales manager and was eventually promoted to corporate headquarters to teach others in the company about effective sales.

By viewing his relationship with his clients as a long-term collaboration instead of a one-time event, he built partnerships. He matched his selling style to the clients’ buying style and he created a win-win situation.  

DISC Stereotypes

There’s an anecdote about DISC profiles that goes like this:

Imagine you’re in a room with four people, and an open window is allowing a cold draft to blow in. Each of the four people represents one of the four DISC profiles.

The D profile will simply close the window. The I profile will convince someone else to close the window. The S profile will put on a coat to avoid changing the status-quo and the C profile will try to determine the rule that regulates closing windows.

While the generalization helps to explain the tendencies of each profile, it fails to consider that each of us is made up of all four of the profiles, with a high tendency toward two or three of them.

We may assume, for example, that managers are usually D or I profiles who are dominant and influential. The reality, though, is that many equally successful managers are steady and compliant. It is possible, too, that many managers who demonstrate tendencies toward the D or I profile have learned to operate well outside their natural tendencies, so they may not fit neatly into our preconceived notions of manager profiles.

Identifying the Least Comfortable Style

Very often, too, we find that it is easy to identify which style is most comfortable for a person just by interacting with him. We quickly identify him as a D or an S based on his obvious behaviors.

The truth about our DISC profile is that each of us is a combination of the four styles. Most of us are higher in two or three of the styles and lower in at least one. That means that at least one of the DISC profiles is well outside of our comfort zones.

In the case of people with blended styles, it may be more difficult to identify their primary profile, but that doesn’t have to be troublesome. Instead, we can try focusing on the style that seems to be least comfortable to that person.

In other words, though we may not be able to readily identify which of the styles she is most comfortable with, we can identify the one she is least comfortable with and avoids the interactions that appeal to that profile. If for example, she seems least comfortable with the D style, we can improve our communication with her by avoiding that style.  

In short, we can avoid the behaviors that drain the most energy from those around us and engage in the behaviors that best meet their personal preferences.

DISC Profile and Generational Change

In previous years, the largest segment of the American workforce was made up of Baby Boomers, who were more likely to be S profile types on the DISC assessment. They tended to be steady, reliable, and loyal: the kind of employees that stayed in one job for 30 years or more.

After them, Generation X, born between 1965 and 1983, is largely the C profile type. Marked by a self-reliant and practical approach to life and work, this generation is more educated than the Baby Boomers and it tends to dislike micromanagement and structure. Gen X reflects a shift from a manufacturing economy to a service economy, and it is the first generation to grow up with computers.

The Millennial generation, defined as those born roughly between 1983 and the early 2000s, make up the largest group in the American workforce, about 34 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Millennials tend to be I profile types, which account for more than 40 percent of the group. (In comparison, 27 percent of Baby Boomers tend to be I profile types.)

Millennials are tech-savvy and energetic and they love to collaborate. They have embraced the idea of using technology to work from anywhere, and they tend to exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit. Millennials get bored easily and value fun in the workplace.

So what is the result of three generations and four DISC profiles in the workplace?

Author Hillary Pearl calls it style-flexing, and she says that recognizing the personality traits of each generation and respecting the DISC style of others around you is the key to bringing generations of workers together. Especially in cases where Millennials find themselves in managerial positions, it is important for everyone involved to learn to adapt and adjust to others around them. It’s also important to note that while the younger generation has much to learn from its predecessors, it also has a lot to offer them as well.  

DISC and Team Building

Very often, in the context of the workplace, we assume that any group of people can function as a team. Faced with the need for a team, we often round up those with buy-in or anyone who might have something to contribute to the issue at hand.

Unfortunately, when we fail to address personality differences within the team, we unwittingly diminish the likelihood that the team will be successful. On the other hand, creating a team with the four DISC styles in mind greatly increases the odds of success because doing so acknowledges the natural allies and adversaries in any group. It’s also worth noting that different DISC styles function better in different parts of the team’s life cycle.

Choose the right leader for the team. Choose a leader whose DISC profile will complement the people you envision serving on the team. Choose someone the team will trust and follow willingly.

Determine the team’s size. Be intentional in your choice of team members, realizing that larger teams may function better because of more diverse skill sets, but they may also struggle in the face of different DISC profiles.

Create a Collaborative Environment. When team members appreciate and understand each other’s differences, they will be more willing to listen to other viewpoints. Everyone’s opinion should be valued and heard.

DISC and Worldwide Marketing

Bill J. Bonnstetter, Dave Bonnstetter, and Ron Bonnstetter, Ph.D., put DISC to work to analyze similarities and differences among ten countries: USA, Russia, China, Germany, Brazil, United Kingdom, Australia, Netherlands, France, and Italy.  

Their study’s aim was to foster awareness of our cultural diversity and to encourage collaboration through a better understanding of our differences. Their findings were that different countries had different profile breakdowns among DISC results.

The results demonstrate that the notion that each segment makes up about one-quarter of the population was false in every case.

  • Russia had the largest percentage of D at 23 percent, while China had the smallest at 11.
  • The UK had the highest percentage of I respondents at 40. Russia and the Netherlands tied for the smallest percentage with 33 percent.
  • The Netherlands had the highest percentage of S response at 35. Russia had the smallest at 24 percent.
  • Russia had the largest percentage of C respondents at 20, while Australia and the Netherlands tied for the smallest at 12 percent.

They discovered in their study that even among the DISC descriptive words, different countries preferred different descriptors. The U.S. participants, for example, preferred “aggressive” and “challenger” as descriptors of the D personality while Russian respondents preferred “self-reliant” and “independent.”

The takeaway, then, was that comparing a U.S. workforce to a similarly-positioned workforce in another country is inaccurate, as the workforces are notably different across the world. Furthermore, understanding the responses of a target audience in the context of the country’s own norms is much more powerful than simply knowing the individual respondent’s preferences, because it allows for better message differentiation in product marketing.  

Why It All Matters

Sales isn’t an individual effort. In fact, a 2015 study found that collaboration significantly improved success for sales groups. More specifically, the study found that teams with one-time collaboration saw 55 percent of their members make their quota, while teams with an information collaboration saw 59 percent meet their quotas. Among teams with formalized, ongoing collaboration, 76 percent met their quota — a 21 percent increase over the ad hoc crew.

It stands to reason, then, that avoiding collaboration likely means leaving some measure of quota attainment on the table.

Even better, research shows that buyers will close the deal 82 percent of the time when the seller’s personality type matches their own. In contrast, only 18 percent will buy when the salesperson’s personality type doesn’t match their own, making it well worth your while to modify your own approach to align with the buyer’s needs. As an example, 74 percent of buyers indicate they would be more likely to buy if the salesperson would stop talking and simply listen.  

Acknowledging personality differences, then, can lead to better sales, more successful collaboration, and potentially long-term relationships with coworkers and clients.

Famous DISC Profiles

Even if you have never, ever wondered which famous people occupy the same DISC profile you do, it’s interesting to think of others who share your personal style.

Famous Ds:

  • Michael Jordan
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Donald Trump

Famous I’s:

  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Robin Williams
  • Bill Clinton

Famous S’s:

  • Laura Bush
  • Michelle Obama
  • Mother Teresa

Famous C’s:

  • Bill Gates
  • Clint Eastwood
  • George Washington

An (Overly?) Simplified Way To Understand DISC

At least one online author suggested that perhaps an easy way to understand DISC profiles is by way of something we all understand: cars.

A D profile would likely choose a car that makes a statement about power. Most CEOs fit this profile, and a stereotypical sportscar would typically be the car of choice.

An I profile would typically choose a car that meshes with his social nature and his concern about what people think of him. Think Mini Cooper S.

An S profile would stick to the tried-and-true cars, and would typically avoid change. A perfect example is a classic car from the 1950s.

A C profile would likely choose a car that satisfies his analytical and practical preferences; something like a Volvo, which is safe and functional.

DISC and Commercials

Another writer suggested that understanding the different DISC profiles can help you identify the marketing techniques advertisers use to reach their target audience.

National Car Rental’s commercial titled “Mix Business With Business” leads with the line “You are a business pro.” The ad features images of businessmen on the golf course, scenes at a business conference, and portrays a businessman who edges his way into a coveted golf game.

The driver in the commercial can “choose any car and go,” and can even choose a large car while only paying for a medium one.

Chinet’s commercial titled “Rediscover the Lost Art of Getting Together” features a woman at a Lost Art Exhibit, walking wistfully through a display of family and neighborhood get-togethers safely protected behind a glass shield. A voice recalls a time when doorbells rang more often than cell phones, and “neighbors were more neighborly.”

She absent-mindedly runs her hand along the glass and eventually finds an opening in the glass that allows her to step into the scene where she’s handed a plate of food by a friendly woman.

Ancestry.com’s commercial titled “Box: Gemma Woolard” opens with a wooden box in a cozy looking living room. The box opens to a visual of a growing vine, budding with evidence of a family’s historical documents. The narrator recalls that her ancestry tree helped her find her way when she was lost.

The ad is full of historical images and retro-looking family photos with an audible reminder about coming home.

Apple’s ad introducing Siri features multi-tasking joggers, a driver seeking information about traffic, a woman checking the forecast prior to a trip, a woman seeking measurement conversions for a recipe, and a blind woman texting a friend.

All of them are using Siri to keep information at their fingertips.

Obviously these commercials are listed in order of the DISC profiles, but hopefully, the target audience for each ad helps you understand how marketers craft their message to the four DISC styles.

Allow DISC to Change How You Do Business

If you’ve never thought of conducting business this way, using DISC to change the way you interact with people may require a fundamental shift in your thinking. Instead of conducting a transactional business that focuses on a single sale, you’ll shift your thinking to helping clients solve problems. You’ll become a consultant and a problem solver who understands your clients’ needs.

The payoff is increased awareness of your own strengths and challenges, and possibly a dramatic improvement in your sales productivity.

Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's League, Emails,

TSE 715: TSE Hustler’s League – Send Powerful Emails

Today’s snippet from one of our sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League is about the principles behind emailing fundamentals.

Reasons for sending emails:

  • Letting them know you exist
  • Gathering information
  • Setting appointment
  • Closing the deal

Strategies for grabbing your prospect’s interest:

  • Send an awareness email. Also, saying “Hi, name!” can come off as too salesy.
  • Make it short. Don’t make it look like a spam email.

5 Areas to Look in an Email:

1. Subject line – It has to be compelling.

2. Opening line – This should tie into your subject line. Try to share an unconsidered need here.

3. Body

4. Closing – This should be an invitation to do something for the next step.

5. Email Signature

Sending a congratulation email:

You’re not selling anything since you’re only trying to make your prospect aware.

Reasons people send a followup email:

  • Instead of sending a follow up email and saying just following up, give them what they want.
  • You want to gather more information from the prospect.
  • You’re trying to catch up. This could be a past customer so you want to try to re-engage and capture their attention again.
  • You want to thank them for something.

Strategies for sending followup emails:

1. Never say you’re “just following up.”

Of course, they already know you’re following up. Do something different. Do something different. Check out UberEATS and you can have food delivered to your client and pay for it from afar.

2. Share their content on Twitter or other social media platforms.

People feel good when you try to share their content.

3. Don’t send crappy emails.

Make your subject line catchy as well as all areas of your email.

4. Offer something else to catch their attention.

5. In every stage of your sales process, create a piece of content.

You can use this as a followup. But when you do this, make sure you’ve tied this into your past conversation.

6. Your goal here to just start the conversation again.

Tools that let you know your email has been opened:

Boomerang

Hubspot

SalesHandy

Strategies for follow up emails:

1. Offer an invitation.

Figure out something you can invite your prospects to do. For ex. get your prospects to talk about themselves and invite them to write for your blog.

2. Engage them in your conversation.

For ex. tell them if you can give a referral to them.

3. Don’t be scared to network.

Spend at least an hour a day on LinkedIn just to network. Then send an email to reconnect. Instead of doing it one platform, you get on a second platform like email, voicemail, etc. If you saw on LinkedIn it’s their birthday, send them something from UberEATS or send them a snail mail.

4. Reply about something they produced.

Episode Resources:

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

Tired of PowerPoint decks? Use Prezi Business and your presentations will never be the same.

UberEATS

Boomerang

Hubspot

SalesHandy

Pete Mockaitis, Sales from the Street, How to Be Awesome at Your Job, Donald Kelly

TSE 714: Sales From The Street-“Fail Really Early”

Pete Mockaitis, Sales from the Street, How to Be Awesome at Your Job, Donald KellyScared of failing too soon? The irony of this, however, is that failing sooner in sales or in your business is actually the quickest way for you to achieve that you want.

Our guest on this episode of Sales from the Street is Pete Mockaitis. He’s an entrepreneur and his is a fellow co-podcaster.

He hosts the show, How to Be Awesome at Your Job Podcast. And today, he talks about the principles behind building a business out of your passion and why you should strive to fail early and often.

Building Your Business Out of Your Passions

  • Just because it’s your passion doesn’t mean it’s going to get you paid.
  • Some passions are not appropriate for trying to build a business or a product or a livelihood out of it.
  • Ask yourself if people really want this thing.
  • Acknowledge the reality that if you don’t have the product market fit, you’re not going to go very far.

Strategies for Finding Your Business:

  • Find a new product
  • Apply that product differently in that it solves a more compelling problem.
  • Change your market.

Fail Early

  • This is where the concept of Minimal Viable Product comes in.
  • Start off lean.
  • Make sure it’s not just something you want but what everybody wants.
  • Start basic and test it out. Then see what the market wants.
  • If you fail, learn from it.
  • Find out what the customers want. So when you fail early, you can easily move forward.

Results Pete has seen:

  • Their podcast hit over a million of cumulative downloads in just over a year.
  • They hit some nice iTunes rankings.
  • Pete has been featured on The New York Times.

Episode Resources:

How to Be Awesome at Your Job Podcast

Shoot Pete at email at pete@awesomeatyourjob.com or on LinkedIn.

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

Tired of PowerPoint decks? Use Prezi Business and your presentations will never be the same.

Nick Kullin, Growth Hacking, Sales Mindset

TSE 713: How To Harness Growth Hacking To 10X Your Business

Nick Kullin is the founder of Second Flight Consultancy, one of the fastest-growing growth hacking agencies specialized in digital marketing.

Today, Nick is going to talk to us about the 10x mindset, particularly how you can growth hack your business through having a proper mindset.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Nick:

What Is Growth Hacking?

Hacking is being able to infiltrate someone’s information.

In terms of sales, apply it into your business that can help unlock how your customers think or the perceived reality of how most people see things.

How can you find the backdoor that no one is talking about or touching and infiltrate that area which is the complete vulnerability to make some big wins in your market?

How Do You Do It?

  • Deconstruct everything your business is going to be touching.
  • Be a nonconformist in how you deliver what you do and what your’e trying to sell.
  • This way, you won’t have to worry about competitors because the only competitor is yourself.
  • Instead of taking a piece of the pie, make your own pie.
  • Deliver value in a way that no other consumer has been approached that way.

Growth Hacking Through Mental Awareness

1. The why is important but first figure out your who.

Make sure you’re resonating with who you’re marketing to. Don’t be too invested in your business that you forget about whether your customers like it or not.

2. Master the art of knowing what the customers want.

It’s not about what you think is cool but what your customers think is cool.

First, figure out what keeps customers up at night. Then reverse-engineer that and tailor it around your customers.

3. Be the Weirdo!

If you’re the weirdo in a business where you’re coming up with messages different than what others are doing, people start to look at you.

4. You should never get comfortable.

Never take a day off of thinking about how you could push the dial. The moment you get comfortable is the moment you start to not being innovative.

Nick’ Major Takeaway:

You’re going to run into failure a lot but embrace it with open arms. Do calculated risks. And if you fail, it doesn’t mean it didn’t work. But it means you’re getting one step closer. Don’t get fooled by doing something that worked so you stop at that point. Keep pushing it until it doesn’t work.

Schedule a time to chat with Nick if you want to talk more about business by checking out meetme.so/nickkullin.

Episode Resources:

Know more about Nick and visit Second Flight Consultancy.

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

Tired of PowerPoint decks? Use Prezi Business and your presentations will never be the same.

TSE 712: Say Thank You Throughout The Year

There’s nothing like expressing gratitude towards other people. A simple thank you is fine, but wouldn’t it be nice if you show your clients how much you really value them?

We all want to feel appreciated. But instead of doing the generic things, make it personal.

I highly recommend you do the Platinum Rule.

The Platinum Rule

The Golden Rule states that you treat others the way you want to be treated.

But the Platinum Rule trumps this in have to treat others they way they want to be treated.

Find out what they appreciate the most.

Strategies for Expressing Gratitude:

1. Send a gift.

If they like ball games, take them to a basketball game or football game in your area. Or if they love a certain resto, send them a little gift card.

Do this throughout the year. Showing gratitude doesn’t only need to happen at the end of the year. Show them you care and do it throughout the year. Just show them you care.

2. Send a note.

Make sure it’s customized. Send them a Thank You mail. No one keeps generic thank you cards. But that would stand out in their mind. It’s worth it to do something like that.

3. Publicly affirm your clients.

Do a post about them on LinkedIn.Endorse them. Share something about their business. Everyone loves flattery. Sharing that show them you appreciate them. Share some referrals.

4. Show swag.

Send them your company shirts or mugs. Send them something with your brand on it. They can be you’re walking billboard.

5. Create custom spotlight.

If you have a blog, bring the spotlight to your clients and highlight them. If you have a newsletter, you can spotlight one of your top clients once a month. Or interview them and create a blog post about them.

6. Refer customers to them.

This is totally appreciate. Again, it’s moreso the relationship that’s important here.

7. Host a special event to acknowledge your customers.

Event them to an event you’re doing. Or have a client appreciation event at a trade show. Invite them to come to that dinner.

8. Send unexpected discount to them.

9. Reach out to your clients.

If you travel to an area and there are clients living in that area, go ahead and reach out to them. Take them lunch or simply stop by their office.

Episode Resources:

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

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TSE 711: Common Mistakes Businesses Make When It Comes To Sales

Chris hallberg, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Business Development

Today’s guest is Chris Hallberg, author of the book The Business Sergeant’s Field Manual: Military Grade Business Execution Without the Yelling Push-Ups.

Chris has worked with hundreds of companies, advising them and giving them practical principles to help them scale and see tremendous success.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Chris:

Common mistakes businesses make when they try to scale:

  1. Taking your top sales rep and making them your sales manager

The skills you need to be a great sales manager are different than you need to be a great sales producer.

You have to have somebody leading the team that understands the process.

  1. Conflating marketing and sales

Senior sales leaders these days don’t really understand marketing. It’s now an integrated approach.

If given the right tools, a salesperson can be involved in the marketing process. Each salesperson can have their own little sales company and their own little sales brand and generate additional interest just by participating in the process.

The Ideal Sales Leader:

  • Somebody who has hit the numbers and always get the number you’re asking from your average salespeople
  • Somebody who can do the job but also enjoys training other people
  • Think of sales management as a third of it spent on recruiting and hiring the best available talent.
  • They need to support the top sellers.
  • The other third of the time is spent re-training people that can’t make it.
  • Sales management involves managing that flow of human energy and talent on the way in, retaining it, trying to save or retraining, and off-loading.

Tools Chris Use on His Clients:

Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)

The Accountability Charts

  • Identify the teams you need to have. Then have a specialized training and the specialized accountabilities that go with that.

Important Principles Entrepreneurs Should Keep in Mind:

1. Go where your customers are.

You can’t expect clients to come to you. Go to where the customers are. Meet them where they are. Make it easy.

2. Have the right mindset.

Show your customers that what you do is going to make their life better.

Chris’ Major Takeaway:

Make sure you’re around people that get you, develop you, and take you to the next level. You have to have the right conditions for you to grow. Be careful where you put your time.

Episode Resources:

The Business Sergeant’s Field Manual: Military Grade Business Execution Without the Yelling Push-Ups by Chris Hallberg

The Business Sergeant

Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)

Traction by Gino Wickman

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TSE 710: TSE Hustler’s League – “Who Are Your Ideal Customers?”

Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's League, Ideal Customers, SalesToday’s episode on the TSE Hustler’s League is all about finding your ideal customers and how you can actually find them by asking yourself these series of questions.

And in so doing, you will have sufficient information that will help you get to those customers who will give you the most success and who will, in turn, get the most value from you.

The “What” Questions in Knowing Your Ideal Customers:

What are your ideal customers?

What do they look like?

How many employees do they have?

What do they do?

How do they make money?

How much money do they make?

  • You can always estimate, ask them, or base it on how much their competitors make.

Where do they hang out? Where do they spend their time?

What do they sell?

  • List down all of their services and which products they sell the most.
  • Why is this important? Because this will help you understand how to target your marketing approach.
  • This will help you understand which ones they’re having trouble with and maybe you can give insights.

Who do they sell?

What issues do they face?

  • This way, you can provide insights or resources that may help them.

What conferences do they attend?

What are the specific benefits your customer is seeking in buying your product?

When does your ideal customer buy your product or service?

Episode Resources:

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Sales from the Street, Donald Kelly, Sales, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 709: Sales From The Street -“You Can Learn To Sell”

Sales from the Street, Donald Kelly, Sales, The Sales Evangelist

Not everyone is born a seller. But any one  can learn how to sell.

If you think you’re never going to be good at selling – stop right there. Stop making excuses. Because you can improve if you commit yourself to it.

Today’s guest is Chuck Allen, a commercial and residential roofing sales rep based in Texas for a roofing company, America’s Choice Roofing. He has been doing this for about five years now.

He’s sharing with us his biggest struggles and some strategies he applied that have now made him a million-dollar sales individual.

Chuck’s Biggest Struggle:

His transition from roofing supply to residential and commercial sales

Chuck thought it was easy to go from being an order-taker to doing the actual sales.

Although he knew the product so well, he had a hard time explaining why their customers would want the product.

He went two months without selling a roof. His bank account went rock bottom. He struggled and he second-guessed everything he did.

This was a humbling experience for him, finding out that he wasn’t a great salesman. And at that point, he decided to do something to improve.

Some Strategies to Learn How to Sell

1. Write down your weaknesses and strengths.

Chuck taught himself how to sell.

Be brutally honest with yourself. Chuck realized his weaknesses:

  • How to convey the value to customer
  • How to make people comfortable with him

2. Enrich your knowledge.

Read books. Listen to podcasts. Get some sales training. Learn as much as you could from as much people.

3. Practice.

Learn how to do presentations that can keep people’s attention. Explain your process and company. Do not lose them in a pool of technical jargon.

4. See what successful people are doing.

Follow successful in your field and in sales in general just to see how they do it. This allows you to adapt your strengths to theirs.

5. Have confidence in yourself.

Understand that no matter what the question is, you’re going to have an answer for it.

Chuck’s Major Takeaway:

Believe in yourself and believe in your products. If you don’t, nobody else will. People can tell when you’re genuine. You have to truly believe in your heart that what you’re doing is going to be the greatest benefit to the person you’re trying to work with. And nobody on earth can provide a better solution to that problem than you can.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Chuck Allen on Facebook, on Twitter @ChuckAllen2, and LinkedIn.

America’s Choice Roofing or give them a call at 855-5-MYROOF.

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David Sill, Donald Kelly, Cold Calling, Growth Stratergy

TSE 708: Why and How High Growth Companies are Still Cold Calling as Their Number One Growth Strategy

David Sill, Donald Kelly, Cold Calling, Growth StratergyDo you know why cold calling still works?

That’s because not everyone can do it and you doing it gives you that competitive advantage. All the more reason you should do it because high growth companies has cold calling as their number one growth strategy.

Today’s guest is David Sill, the SVP of Sales for DiscoverOrg.com and he’s going to share with us some tactics and strategies on cold calling.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with David:

Why sellers say cold calling is dead:

  • People can’t do it because it’s hard.
  • People are unwilling to do it.

The Power of Outbound Calls:

  • Big companies have to make outbound calls.
  • Make sure you have the infrastructure, resources, and leadership to go forth and fire on that engine as needed.
  • Develop that outbound muscle as a really smart strategy for high growth.
  • Their study suggests that 40% of the action comes from outbound generated leads.
  • Ultimately, you want to have that healthy balance between inbound and outbound leads.

Best practices to compile a group of ideal customers for your outbound funnel:

1. Need for high quality data

Data is what fuels the system. And it needs to live where your team lives (i.e. Marketo, Hubspot, Salesforce, and sales acceleration technologies) because that’s where they’re spending their time.

Data needs to be refreshed but also it should be integrated and used to live where the team lives.

2. At DiscoverOrg, data is human-curated.

The company has a growing research analyst team with about 300 full-time employees. Their job is to sit down and do a variety of techniques, phone interviews, and reach out to verify and re-verify data. Hence, they guarantee reliability and accuracy you can’t find from other third-party data sources.

What makes an effective outbound approach:

1. Commit to the right resources.

There has to be a clear delineation of roles on the team with the right tools and technology. There needs to be the right data. There has to be the right training on the front end as well as coaching throughout.

2. Be constantly testing.

At DiscoverOrg, they use a dialing tool called FrontSpin and an email campaign tool called Outreach. And they use Salesforce.com for their CRM. And they’re constantly A/B testing.

Breaking the Stereotype of Cold Calling:

Only in live conversation does the collaboration take place.

As opposed to other outreach like email campaigns and voiccemails, they’re part of the strategy. A lot of people rely on them too heavily. But with one-way outreach, there’s a time lag. Not to mention, you’re a pre-conceived bot.

David’s Major Takeaway:

Do the hard thing. Companies that grow are doing things that others are unwilling to do. Everybody could do them but lots of folks aren’t doing them. Therefore, if you want competitive advantage, you have to execute in areas where others can’t or won’t. And cold calling is one of those areas.

Episode Resources:

Learn more about David and their company on DiscoverOrg.com or shoot him an email at david.sill@discoverorg.com.

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TSE 707 – How Can I Get My Sales Team To Following Up

Follow Up, Cold Calling, Donald KellyOne of the things many sellers hate doing is following up.

In fact, it’s almost as worse as prospecting. We don’t like it at times.

It’s probably because they’re afraid of doing it. But people actually have different reasons they don’t do it.

So today, I’m going to share with you three things you can do to help you improve your follow up process. Sometimes, we don’t even have that process. We just wing it.

1. Set an appointment.

Nothing will progress without commitments or without some kind of forward motion. Don’t send emails saying you’re “just following up.” That’s a generic type of email. Talk to them as a human being. Otherwise, they’ll just ignore it.

So you need to get the commitment before the next meeting. Put something on the calendar. And just listen until they respond. If it’s an email, verify their email address.

2. The idea of a referral

Try to find someone you can recommend for training that can come into their HR or finance organization for instance. Try to connect them with someone who can potentially help them. Set out an introduction email between them. You can follow up with someone else without saying you’re just following up.

Tag them to an article or any relevant post on social media which you think may benefit them.

3. Have a sequence or process.

Figure out the different milestones in your sales process. And on each stage of it, figure out something you can send to them on each stage of the process. Be it blog post or testimonial or video, be creative. Share this podcast. See, you’re not pushing your agenda but you’re just trying to grab their attention.

Think outside of the box. Think like a human being. Think what you would like to receive. Make things personal.

Try something new!

Episode Resources:

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Rebecca Teasdale, Donald Kelly, Loyalists Team, Sales Team

TSE 706: How to Go From a Good Team to an Exceptional Team

Rebecca Teasdale, Donald Kelly, Loyalists Team, Sales TeamHow do you move your team from being good to great?

Rebecca Teasdale is the co-author of The Loyalist Team. Learn how you can  apply some tips and strategies from this book into your own sale process.

The other co-authors of the book are Linda Adams, Audrey Epstein, and Abby Curnow-Chavez.

Whether you’re the team leader or the manager or a member of a team or department, there are so many great gems in this episode.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Rebecca:

About The Loyalist Team:

This is based on the model for the types of teams that all teams fall into.

The books allows you to identify and recognize if you’re on a great team, a bad team, or somewhere in the middle.

This allows you to diagnose your starting point for any other business process. Once you know it, you know where to start and what actions to take.

The 4 Different Types of Team:

  1. The Saboteur Team (The Bottom End of Pack)

Characteristics:

  • There is about 15% of teams with this type of team.
  • Teams are governed by a lot of distrust.
  • People are motivated by having the best recognition or the best project or the next promotion.
  • People undermine each other. They’re afraid and are not able to do their best work.
  1. The Loyalist Team (The Top of the Pack)

Characteristics:

  • People hold each other accountable. They will call each other out when they see someone struggling or not doing their best work.
  • They’re just as committed to the success of their peers as they are to themselves.
  • When they see someone struggling or having a bad day, they’re able to step in and help the person rebuild their confidence or give the help they need.
  1. The Benign Saboteur Team (Middle of the Pack)

Characteristics:

  • Living the life of live and let live
  • No active undermining but very much set down mentality of not wanting to get involved.
  • They’re motivated to survive.
  1. The Situational Loyalist Team (Middle of the Pack)

Characteristics:

  • This is a good team, but not great.
  • They’re good on the surface, but they’re missing a couple of the key ingredients.

What You Can Do to Get to the Loyalist Team:

  • Be very intentional about being a good team but be armed with the right knowledge.
  • Have success conversations.
  • Get involved.
  • Talk about what things don’t work and be comfortable with that.
  • Have the ability to talk about these types of issues.

Some intersting statistics:

  • The loyalist team is 2000 times more likely than a saboteur team to be viewed effectively by their internal customers.
  • They are 50,000 times more likely than a saboteur team to detect conflict when it arises and do that in a productive way.
  • A loyalist team is 106 times more likely to give each other hard feedback.

Strategies for checking the team:

Know where you are at this point. Have an environment where you can sit down and have a conversation about this. Have a meaningful discussion on:

  • Your shared priorities
  • What you need from each other to be successful
  • What behavior do you want to hold each other accountable for
  • What ways are you going to support each other
  • How are you going to hold each other accountable
  • What results are you looking for as a team

Rebecca’s Major Takeaway:

Start by understanding any relationship on the team that are not loyalist relationships. Then work hard on finding common ground. Show up in a supportive way for those people. Give them the knowledge you want them to succeed. Start being willing to have difficult conversations as you’re asking them how to be better. Then go from here.

Episode Resources:

www.theloyalistteam.com

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Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's League, Sales,

TSE 705: TSE Hustler’s League-“Don’t Focus on the Sale”

Donald Kelly, TSE Hustler's League, Sales,

Today’s episode is another snippet taken from one of our sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League. If you haven’t yet, you’ve got to check out our awesome team of like-minded people.

This semester, we’re covering two tracks – one is focused on business development and the other one is on building value and increasing your close rate.

Everything we do in sales must have a purpose.

Empathy is key.

We look at our clients like bank accounts.

Don’t just try to get a yes from them.

Don’t just focus on getting the sale because there is so much more beyond that.

Make sure you have that strong sense of empathy. Understand your customer. Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective.

Your prospects are humans. Think about things from their standpoint.

Don’t focus on the end-result. Focus on mile-markers or key points in that process.

Things that need to happen in the sales process before the sales:

1. Learn about the prospect before sending them an email.

  • Get them to open the email.
  • Get them to respond to the email.
  • And when they respond, you want them to say yes.

2. Gain the prospect’s interests or help them become aware of you before even getting to a sale.

Episode Resources:

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Donald Kelly, Sales from the Street, TSE, Sales

TSE 704: Sales From The Street-“I Am The Bottleneck”

Donald Kelly, Sales from the Street, TSE, Sales

Today, I’m going to share with you a challenge that I had, specifically that fear of closing the sale, and how I was able to overcome that.

I actually realized that I was the one getting in the way of my sale. So I knew I had to  surpass that.

A lot of sales people are afraid to close since their fear of getting rejected overpowers them. But there are things you can do to get overcome this fear and to get comfortable once you get to the closing part of the sales process.

Strategies for closing the sale:

1. Build as much value.

Help your buyer solve the problem and make that decision.

2. Get them to the next level.

They’re not going to be mad at you.

They need your help so bring them to the next level.

Don’t Make Closing an Event

Closing is just a continuation of the entire sales process. So don’t think of it as a separate entity.

Stop making it as this big thing in life.

Guide the prospect into the next part of the process. And just keep on moving.

Episode Resources:

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Millennials Seller, Young Sellers, New Seller, Donald Kelly, Tim Cole

TSE 703: How to Prevent Burnout as a Millennials Seller

Tim ColeToday’s discussion places its focus on younger sellers, specifically how to prevent burnout as a millennials seller. But older sellers can benefit from this too.

Tim Cole is an award-winning CEO. He has helped launch 20 new brands to the market and has been instrumental in 6 legitimate blockbusters. A key player in the pharmaceutical industry, he has a book released recently called The Compass Solution: A Guide to Winning Your Career.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Tim:

The Need for Overcoming Burnout

71% of millennials are disengaged from their jobs. They don’t want to be there and are looking for a place to go other than where they’re at.

You need to find something that can give you purpose and direction.

Tim describes burnout as a deteriorating process for people losing a sense of purpose leading them to lose their way until they’re no longer inspired. They deteriorate to full disengagement until they burn out.

Tips to Avoid Burnout:

1. Find something you’re passionate about.

2. Find something that you have some degree of attitude and skill around.

Practical tips to avoid burnout.

1. Exercise

Go to the gym and exercise for the rest of your life. Keep yourself in good physical shape and commit to that shape from that point forward. Assume that if your body deteriorates, your mind will too and ultimately your job.

2. Social Network

Have a strong social network. Have a group of friends you can confide in that can give you a strong network away from the job.

3. Family

4. Hobbies

Do things that occupy you away from your job.

Resilience

Have an iron jaw.

How to avoid being complacent:

  • Never allow yourself to settle in a comfort zone.
  • What else can you do make yourself better?
  • Do something more!

Tim’s Major Takeaway:

Never stop learning. Never assume you’ve figured things out. Challenge yourself every day to continue to evolve. If you commit to learning, you will eventually adapt to whatever the circumstances are and you’ll overcome them.

Episode Resources:

Learn more about Tim on www.thecompassalliance.com or follow him on Twitter @officialtimcole. Grab a copy of his book The Compass Solution: A Guide to Winning Your Career.

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Experienced Sellers, Struggling Sellers, Sales Leaders

TSE 702: The Three Biggest Struggles Experienced Sellers Face

Experienced Sellers, Struggling Sellers, Sales LeadersToday, I’m sharing with you the top three struggles experienced sellers (those who has been selling for three years and more) face. And if you find yourself in a rut, here are some tips and tricks to help you get over it so you can achieve success in your sales game each and every time.

Boredom

  • Look at changing to a different industry.
  • Rejuvenate your success. Go back to the first time you helped someone. Go back to your customers and focus on them. Have that why and focus on that.
  • Play games. Join in team competitions. Or join the TSE Hustler’s League.
  • Set goals. Compete against yourself.

Lack of Hunger

  • No one is going to sit on top forever. So don’t just stay there.
  • Do things to evolve. Stop being complacent.

Inconsistency

  • Stop winging it.
  • Optimize your process. But make sure to be consistent.
  • Have a pattern and be consistent.

Episode Resources:

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Noah Kagan, Donald Kelly, AppSumo, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 701: How Noah Kagan and Team Used Inbound and Outbound To Reach 8 Figure Sales

Noah Kagan, Donald Kelly, AppSumo, The Sales Evangelist

Noah Kagan is the founder of AppSumo and today, he’s sharing with us what they did internally to grow AppSumo to an 8-figure business though inbound and outbound strategies.

The number one challenge many sellers face is getting more customers. Noah describes AppSumo as a “groupon for geeks” where they offer daily and weekly deals for small business owners.

His other company, Sumo.com offers free email tools for online businesses. It’s 90% inbound sales. While AppSumo has been 90% outbound sales. That being said, Noah is sharing the different strategies they’ve learned in their seven years of doing this.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Noah:

How their outbound approach works at AppSumo:

  1. Align your offering to how your clients can grow.

They focus on promoting clients to 100,000 people.

  1. Work on how you can transition them into a phone call or real-time chat as soon as possible.
  2. Give a clear benefit.
  3. Make sure you follow up.

Doing a follow up is critical. Almost 50%, if not more, of our communication with potential partners happens on a follow up.

  1. Education is key to not come across as being pushy.

Show them that they’re important to you.

  1. Put in the work.

Your responses and replies are a direct input of how much time you’re spending on that email. For how many replies and success you get from people responding to your through text or email is a function of how much you’re putting upfront.

More nuggets of wisdom from Noah:

The more boring sales is, the better you do it.

When you contact the person you believe you can truly help, then it’s a disservice for you to not educate them and make them your customer.

The power of having process.

This also involves figuring out the right sales people for your culture.

Go find a product that you just love.

There are tough times you feel you have a crappy job or you’re in a company you don’t believe int. Then use it as a time to really improve and hone your skills.

Listen for feedback or ask for it.

Work on how you can get better for the next one. Then you will improve and be so much better.

Are you driving results for other people?

Your selling some expectations and they have to have some confidence on whether you’re going to deliver on that.

How to Improve Your Sales Pitch and Process:

Record your next sales call or sales email. Get it transcribed. then send it to someone you think will give you honest feedback, Then go through your sales pitch and your sales process. Do this on a monthly basis.

Strategies for achieving KPIs:

Split up the responsibilities so your team can focus on what they need to do all day.

Put people doing specific tasks and they should only focus on that specific task.

Getting Started with Inbound Sales to Generate Traffic:

  1. The education model

Offer a free product or some type of product for free for lead generation. Put on different types of content.

  1. Then call people and talk to them and find out if what you’re offering makes a big difference.

Adjust your messages according to what customers like.

Noah’s Major Takeaway:

Find something you just love. Don’t think yourself as a salesperson and instead, think of yourself as an educator.

Episode Resources:

AppSumo

Sumo.com

Listen to Noah Kagan Presents podcast.

The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge

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prospecting

TSE 700: TSE Hustler’s League -“Prospecting System”

prospectingToday’s snippet taken from one of our sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League is big on prospecting. How do you create a prospecting system that keeps your sales  pipeline healthy?

Who is more likely to buy your product or service?

Write down who your ideal customers are. Write your ideal customer profile down.

Where did your last 10 customers come from?

Cold calling, door-to-door, referrals or from your Dream 100 customers. If you’can’t think of the past ten, think of your past five. Write down how you got them.

Where are you getting most of your customers from?

Inbound, outbound, cold outreach, networking, etc. This will give you an idea of which strategy you need to focus on.

Why do they buy?

List down the reasons your customers bought from you. Then you can use the information you get in crafting your message.

Episode Resources:

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TSE 699: Sales From The Street-“Selecting Great Customers”

Customers come in all shapes and sizes. So how do you go about selecting great customers?

Today, I’m sharing with you some great insights into how to maintain awesome relationships with clients and build new relationships.

You Have Control

You are on the front line so basically you have the ability to select the customers that you bring into the organization.

7 Components to Look At When Selecting Customers

1. It’s a client wherein you like the product they offer.

2. Look at the end result. Think from the customer’s outlook.

What causes to get the job well done? Look at the attributes of the customer and what the ideal customer looks like? Work backwards.

3. The leader has to be involved in the process.

4. Someone who has a clear idea of their objective.

A good metrics is that they should have clear KPIs.

5. Willing to roll up the sleeves and hustle

6. Look at the organization’s culture.

Check out Glassdoor and you’d see what the sales reps are saying about the company. You’ll have an idea of their leadership style.

7. See what their customers are saying about the organization.

Episode Resources:

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Mark Fortune, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Sales

TSE 698: Power of Local Leads & How To Get More

Mark Fortune, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, SalesSometimes we go far and wide finding prospects when we have folks right in our own backyard. There is power in getting local leads. Today, you’re going to learn how to find them and get them.

Our guest today is Mark Fortune and he’s going to teach us how to gain local leads. Mark owns a small business marketing agency based in Arkansas. They work with small and local businesses. They put in marketing systems, strategies, and campaigns to help them grow the business. He does this through the Duct Tape Marketing System. Mark is the author of Local Lead Generation Book for Small Businesses.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Mark:

Why Target Local Businesses

  • They don’t have the time, money, or bandwidth to compete with the bacon guys. But they can pinpoint far more accurately. You can actually compete with the big guys.
  • Most business owners tend to jump from one tactic to another in just a wee. They just see what sticks but they don’t really get the results they’re after.

Biggest Mistakes People Make When Getting Local Leads

1. Trying everything at once.

Don’t just try all social media platforms or you will just end up losing focus.

2. Not knowing who they’re talking to

Small businesses get so excited about trying to generate leads that anybody with a pulse becomes their targeting strategy.

Figure out your best customers.

What you need to do is sit down for a minute and think about who your best customers are.

Most businesses come from word of mouth and referral as a start. So think about who those clients are and what’s common among them. Use that the proxy to your targeting as you go out and generate more leads. Use your best customers as your example.

Consumers are in control these days.

Consumers can find out pretty anything about what they want right at the tips of their fingertips. But they’re still human. So don’t try to rush them into a relationship when they didn’t have the chance to evaluate or educate themselves about you.

Steps to get started with targeting local businesses:

1. Spend time upfront getting to know your customer.

Build that relationship. Understand what makes their business tick, what their vision is, and what they’re trying to achieve.

2. Apply what Facebook offers as a tactic to the needs of the prospects.

This needs to start with the client. Understand what they’re going out with, what they’re trying to do, and what they’re trying to get done. Then figure out the best way to help them get there.

Online or Offline?

  • Understand first where your customer base is today. Are there win back opportunities with, say, return customers or last customers? Are there referral opportunities?
  • Stop treating referrals as happy accidents.
  • Be consistent.

Why another book on local businesses:

  • Mark co-wrote the book with other consultants with similar businesses.
  • It’s a practical guide to helping people generate more local leads.
  • Don’t read the book chapter by chapter and but jump from one topic to another as you try to figure out from one chapter to another.

Strategies for getting referrals:

1. Be referrable.

Make sure you do what you do well. Deliver on your promises. And you’ve got to get good reputation.

2. Have a plan and a process for asking for referrals.

Educate your referral partners on what you’re going to do with that referral when that comes in. Understand that people get nervous as they’re putting their personal credibility on the line if they refer you to somebody. You’re trying to give comfort to your referral partner that they feel credible and positive about referring you out.

3. Be consistent.

Reach out to folks every week, whether it’s two people or two hundred. But never stop mining for those referrals. They’re going to be the cheapest cost to acquire leads you get.

Content Marketing

Whether it’s a blogpost or an infographic or whatever, continue to publish new content and post it on different channels. This lets your target market know that you’re out there and that you can solve the problems they’re after.

Branding and Presence

Be sure to update your posts. Maintain that online presence to make sure your customers sees you the way you want to be seen.

People Like Connecting With You

Small businesses have to have a personality and it has to come through in your marketing. Take a video tour of your business. Run some contests. Support local community causes.

Strategies for local businesses:

1. Put the customer first.

Focus on solving problems. Localize your approach. Local may not mean geographically. It may mean before going to a sales call, you’re going to understand everything you can about the company and the people you’re going to be dealing with. Do your homework.

2. Listen as much as you talk.

Go to a sales call with the intent of listening. Seek to understand before you’re understood. Figure out what you can do to help the companies. But sometimes, you might not be able to. It’s better to quit early and move on rather than waste everybody’s time.

Mark’s Major Takeaway:

Make marketing a system and it’s the only way to success over the long run. Focus on it and be disciplined. On the sales side of things, just listen. Listen to your customers and what they’re saying because there are nuggets in there. You will find pain points and points of value that you turn into your advantage.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Mark on www.fortunemarketinginc.com and check out his book Local Lead Generation Book for Small Businesses.

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Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Prospecting

TSE 697: 5 Lies I Told Myself Not To Prospect and How I Overcame Them

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, ProspectingProspecting is the lifeblood of your sales pipeline. Without adding new people to your funnel, the deals you have are going to dry up. Today’s episode is focused on prospecting. And I wanted to share with you something that has held me back over the years.

5 lies I told myself to not prospect and how I was able to overcome them:

1. We don’t have time.

I was so busy doing other tasks like working on proposals or going through past leads or make sure I caught up with all the emails. I was doing different things for my boss and so many other stuff and I didn’t have the time.

But that was the lie I told myself. Of course, I had time! I just lied to myself. And so do you. Keven Kruse has an effective book on how we can better plan called 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management.

Set time for prospecting and block it out. Say, for two hours. Do it from 8-10 am. Block it off and do it then.

2. We don’t want to disturb the prospect.

If you can tell them a way that they can, say, save another $500 in his business per month, then they’re probably going to take your call. So don’t think you’re disturbing them. Sure, you may disrupt there.

But know that you have that solution or value to help their business. To be able to present that in a valuable way.

Make sure your messaging grabs their attention.

3. I don’t know how to do it so I can’t do it.

Learn your way around. And this podcast is a good start. Search videos on YouTube for prospecting. You’re going to mess up the first time. But learn and move on. Read books. Listen to podcasts. Interview people from your industry. Apply them.

4. I’m going to follow up on past customers.

Of course, you should. But that’s not the only place you can go to find new people. You need to get new lifeblood in the organization. Yes, get your old customers, but don’t neglect finding new people. So set that time in the morning focusing on finding new people.

5. I have to send an email first before I call them.

You can call people without sending them emails. Get out of that trash-talking in your mind and just go ahead and call.

Episode Resources:

15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse

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Gong.io, Chris Orlob, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 696: Top B2B Sales Trends for 2017

Gong.io, Chris Orlob, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

Today, we have Chris Orlob on the show. He works for Gong.io that provides data that help sellers become better at sales. In this episode, he’s dishing out top B2B sales trends they’ve seen in 2017 (some of which are going to roll over to 2018).

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Chris:

What Gong.io Does:

It’s the #1 conversation intelligence platform for sales teams. What they do:

  • Records sales calls
  • Transcribes them from speech to text
  • Analyzes them with machine learning

Benefits sales teams get from Gong.io:

  • People can figure out what’s working and what’s not
  • You can use data to drive sales effectiveness across the entire team
  • You can ramp new hires faster.

Whether or not you purchase a technology like this, become familiar with it because it’s probably the most impactful technology on the organization next to the CRM.

Top Trends in 2017:

Sales Quotas 

Since 2011, sales quota attainment has steadily been dropping year to year. It’s continuing to decline over time.

Annual quotas are being increased on average 7.5% a year.

So one one hand, there’s declining quota attainment and on the other hand, there’s this increased total quotas.

A correlation:

During the same time period, the VP of Sales average tenure has declined from 26 months in 2011 to 19 months in 2016.

The reason for these trends: 

There is a big and wide sales performance gap between the top 10%-20% of the performance on your sales team and the middle of the pack (80%-90% average performers who make up the rest of your entire salesforce)

The reason for the gap is in how they conduct their sales conversations. There is almost always a stark difference in how the A players conduct their sales conversations compared to their mediocre peers.

Sales leaders are blind to sales conversations.

Benefits of Understanding Sales Conversations:

Allows you to design a sales training program based on reality versus just generic.

Allows you to follow through to make sure sales training is being implemented in a live setting.

Talk to Listen Ratio

The talk to listen ration that leads to the most closed deals is different for each type of call:

  • Discovery – The highest converting talk to listen ratio is 46:54 (the rep talks 46% of the time and listens for 54%of the time)
  • Demo – The highest converting talk to listen ratio is 65:35 (rep talks 65% of the time and listens for 35%of the time)

Strategies for coaching:

1. Basing it on facts
2. Role playing
“Humans are learning machines. If they say sales is not a learnable skill is to go against human nature.” – Chris Orlob

Chris’ Major Takeaway:

For Sales Leaders:

Prioritize shifting your bell curve or closing the sales effectiveness gap and the middle of the pack as your number one priority.

For Sales Reps:
Read a lot of books. Implement everything you learn relentlessly and figure out what’s working and what’s not. If you have call recordings at your company, listen to your own recordings. Analyze what worked and what didn’t.

Episode Resources:

If you want to know more about sales effectiveness, check out Gong.io.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Think Fast Think Slow by Daniel Kahneman

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TSE 695: TSE Hustler’s League-“Defining The Ideal Customer”

Today’s episode is another snippet taken from one of our sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League.

Quick Hacks to Find Ideal Customers:

Customer Support

Best customers are the ones paying for products or services. This is an often overlooked area.

If you’re new to an organization, go to customer support and ask which customers give the most headaches.

Ask which customers they get the most calls from. Then ask those they don’t get a lot of calls from because these are the ones you need to go after.

Case Studies

Whether it’s your own case study or a competitors, case studies reveal things you don’t necessarily look at all the time. Inside, you’ll find some talking points you can use to reach out your ideal customers.

Customer Interviews

Meet with your customers for coffee or something and interview them. Or go to their organization or just set up a time to have a conversation with them.

Ask why they went with your organization. Ask about the basic demographics that can help you with your prospecting – teams, number of employees, etc. Ask the more meaty questions. Find out how they make money.

Episode Resources:

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The Sales Evangelizers Facebook Page

TSE 694: Sales From The Street-“What You Must Know Before Taking A Commission Only Job Part 2”

This is part two of the other day’s episode where we talked about things you should consider before taking a full commission job. The first six have already been discussed back in Episode 692 and so I’m going to discuss the last two points today.

  • Work Ethic

If you haven’t done a full commission job before, you’re going to get screwed up without the right mindset. You want to get that money at the end of the day.

Figure out what their ramp up week is. It’s typical scenario that they’re going to train you. And you have to pay for rent. And if you didn’t make any money that week, they’d float you for that week but only for a certain number of weeks.

Then you need to figure out way and when you start getting money, you pay off the money. Say, the ramp up period is a couple of weeks, which means you start paying for your own stuff afterwards.

So be willing to work hard and be willing to wake up early. Be willing to stay up late and do what you need to get some leads. Have that why. Otherwise, don’t do it.

  • Planning

If you don’t close any deal, you get nothing. So if you’re not able to plan your days effectively especially if you’re doing cold-calling, you’re not going to make it.

Make sure you plan out your days and put everything on the calendar. Be totally organized. And if do this, you’re going to be successful.

I’m telling you. It can happen. But you’ve got to hustle. You’ve got to put in the work.

Get Your Mind Right

This includes studying and getting access to knowledge. Read books. Watch videos. Listen to podcasts. Because you need that daily inspiration.

Set apart 30 minutes a day to get your education in as well as some time to get that motivation in.

The path to depression is quick. It’s easy to doubt yourself. And you may think about going back to your job waiting tables. But nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

You have to put some hustle in. But you also don’t want to reinvent the wheel. So go with an organizations that already have all these eight things in place.

Episode Resources:

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The Sales Evangelizers Facebook Page