Sometimes, we don’t think and we just do things. Irrational? Hmmm… yes. But it’s somewhat rational. So how do you exactly deal with a rationally irrational consumer?
Today’s guest is Steve McKee. He is the president of Wallwork and Company. He is also the author of the book When Growth Stalls and Power Branding. He has been a columnist for Businessweek over a decade and currently writes a column for SmartBrief on leadership.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Steve:
What is a rationally irrational consumer?
Nobody in any purchasing situation acts completely rationally. But when you start to fill in the layers, that irrationality can be somewhat rational.
Biggest Mistake in Prospecting
Giving into the fallacy of rationality
The Device to Begin Understanding a Rationally Irrational Customer: CERTS (Context, Expectations, Risks, Tradeoffs, Shortcuts)
Every purchase has a context. Think about what context your prospect is operating in. And often, context determines expectations.
Prospects are continually trying to mitigate risk. So think about their risk and how to mitigate them.
In that context of risk, prospects are always making tradeoffs.
Ultimately, when you build trust with the prospect, you become a shortcut for them.
Insight: What is going to drive or significantly affect their decision?
Relationship: Look for opportunities to make relationship with the prospect since people do business with people they like and trust. Your prospects are humans so leverage that connection.
The Mindset Shift
When a company has a need for a product or service, they’re feeling pain. And they’re looking for a solution. So when you appear on their doorway, they desperately want you to be the answer. Think of it that way!
Work for the Prospect Before They Hire You
Start working for the prospect before they hire you. Start serving them and meeting their needs. Start genuinely and sincerely working for them before the hire you. And oftentimes, they end up hiring you. But if not, you’re still building relationships and trust. Start to give away what you have and it will come back to you.
The Purchase Process Can Change
A purchase process can actually change the purchase process.
Think of wise ways to violate things.
Steve’s Major Takeaway:
Remember, your prospects are humans and they want to like you.
A sales manager role can cost a lot, so today I’m sharing five areas where sales managers typically have struggles as well as some insights you can apply to your own practice.
1. Not having a clear expectation
When your sales team is just going in circles, without a clear direction as to where they’re going or what they need to achieve, this leads to a higher turnover rate. Also, not getting clarity from the management leads to lack of performance.
Solution: Have a clear objective. Have a clear understanding of who you go after. Check out Donald Miller’s book,Building A Story Brand
2. Focusing on the vanity numbers
Vanity numbers are the bigger numbers that look good but there’s really nothing inside. For instance, this could be the number of calls you make.
Solution: Focus on the results from that call. Look at the number of appointments made rather than just the number of calls. Focus on outcomes, not vanity numbers.
Solution: Teach correct principles and you let people govern themselves. Find time to sit down with your sales reps.
4. No coaching
Solution: Sit down with the sales rep and help them identify the key indicators and see where they’re performing. Guide them and figure ways they can try to improve. Set one-on-one coaching once a week to new reps. But top sellers need coaching too.
Product training is great but it’s not the only thing sellers need. You’ve got to teach them how to sell.
Solution: Bring someone in who can give a talk to them. For instance, I have 6-week training approach where I meet with the sales team. Then I help them develop processes to help guide them. Or get them to join the TSE Hustler’s League.
Bonus Area: Time Management – Follow the 12 Week Year
This is based on the book, The 12 Week Year, where you have to focus only on just 12 weeks at a time. Set that goal and see how it can significantly improve your career and life in general.
“Every entrepreneur and business owners have one most common burning question running through their head, “How can I improve my sales?”
“What’s your sales metrics (the average revenue per sale)?” I respond back to them.
Unfortunately, almost all entrepreneurs and business owners stare at me clueless, unable to answer my simple question, which is perhaps one of the most common reasons why their sales never increase.
You see, knowing your sales metrics is super essential to sales growth because once you know it, you can dramatically (or methodically) skyrocket your sales and your competitors will get left behind in the dust.
Here are five sales performance metric you must follow:
The number one metric that every website owners obsess about is website traffic – a total number of unique visits to your website.
Surely, website traffic is supercritical for a successful online business, and you can monitor this metric quickly by using Google Analytics.
Your website traffic is a good indication to know whether your website is growing, stagnating, or declining. You can also measure this sales performance metric to see the efficiency of specific promotional methods. Let’s say, for example, your website experiences a sudden traffic spike after posting a guest post on a popular blog, which should indicate to you that you should be doing more of the same in the future.
On the other hand, if your website’s traffic is in decline for a very long time, this tells you that you should change your approach and try new things because whatever you’re currently doing is not working. If you don’t do it fast, your website will fail.
Your Website Traffic Sources
In addition to knowing your website traffic numbers, you should also know where all those traffic are coming. Again, you can do this quickly by using Google Analytics (it’s free).
This free SEO tool breaks down your traffic sources into four different categories: organic traffic (traffic that comes through the search engines), direct traffic (traffic that types your domain into the browser), referral traffic (traffic coming from another website), and social traffic (traffic generated through social media).
Why should I care about all these traffic sources?
The answer is simple: each traffic source will tell you more information about your website.
For example, if 70% of your website’s total traffic is organic traffic, that tells you how well your site ranks in the search engine, which in turn will show you how effective your SEO strategy is. With over 40,000 searches per second on Google alone, today search engines have become one of the most important sources of traffic.
Referral traffic gives you an idea of a total number of visitors who come through other websites – perhaps you published a guest post, or a site linked back to content on your website.
If a lot of websites are linking to your site, your business can benefit in two ways: First, your website rankings will dramatically improve, and you’ll be less dependent on the search engines to drive traffic. Second, plenty of links referring your site means that you’re doing an excellent job and shows how valuable your content is.
Direct traffic is the total number of visitors who type your website URL into their browser – for instance, http://www.yourwebsiteurl.com. A good amount of direct traffic indicates a loyal following.
Lastly, social traffic indicates a total number of visitors that come from the social media sites. The more valuable, relevant, and shareable your content is, the more engaging it becomes on social media, and thus, more traffic you will get to your website.
Which traffic source is best for me?
Well, the answer isn’t simple. It all depends on the website type you’re running. However, one thing is for sure: it’s always beneficial if your traffic came from different sources as it will help minimize the risk of your website being slaughtered if your primary site traffic source shrink.
Your Website Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is another critical sales metric, which has a significant impact on SEO. It tells you how many people leave your website immediately after arriving. So the lower your bounce rate, the longer your visitors are staying on your site (enjoying your content) and converting.
On the other hand, a high bounce rate indicates to you that your visitors are leaving, immediately after they arrive.
But, this sales performance metrics don’t tell you why they are leaving. You’ll have to do the spy work yourself by digging a little bit deeper. However, usually, a high bounce rate include poor website design, slow load times, poorly targeted keywords, and broken websites.
With these things in mind, you can easily and quickly improve your website’s bounce rate by making your site look professional, function properly, and publishing valuable content regularly.
Your Best Performing Pages
Google Analytics also has a Behavior section that allows you to quickly see your top performing pages in regards to traffic volume.
Knowing which pages get the most traffic on your website is highly decisive as it helps you understand what your audience honestly respond to. If you publish different types of content on your site, this is when you can start to analyze what content type is working, and post more of those materials in the future.
However, traffic numbers aren’t the only way you can discover your “top performing” pages.
You can also look at the total number of social shares for a page, which is an indication of a high-quality article. Google Analytics doesn’t have this tool. However, there are plenty of other tools and WordPress plugins that displays this information, such as Social Metrics Pro.
Once you know which content is popular with your audience, the next step becomes even more straightforward: publish more of it!
Your Website Conversion Ratio
The conversion ratio is another top critical sales performance metric, or perhaps the most vital sales performance parameter of all because it can have a massive impact on your website’s profitability – if you can only improve your conversion rate from 2% to 4%, you can double your profits, almost overnight!
Conversion rate indicates how well you motivate a traffic to take the desired ACTION.
Here’s how to calculate your conversion rate:
Conversion rate = total visitors to your site/number of conversions
A website may have different conversion “goals.” For instance, if you’re running an eCommerce store, then you might have these three conversion goals:
Make a sale (number one priority!)
Ask a visitor to sign up for your email list
Ask a visitor to share your content on social sites (optional, but still highly valuable)
Understand this: if your website has high conversion rate, then whatever you’re doing is excellent. On the other hand, if it has a low conversion rate, either you are probably driving the wrong traffic, or your sales copy is weak, or your call to action isn’t powerful enough to drive conversions.
Because conversion rates can have a powerful effect on profits, you should spend your time and effort on optimizing your website for conversions, regularly. Even small changes can deliver a dramatic spike in your sales.
Annabelle Short is a writer in contentblossom and a seamstress of more than 5 years. Annabelle is a mother and she loves making crafts with her two children, Leo (age 9) and Michelle (age 11). When not working, she’s spending time with her family or putting pen to paper for her own personal pursuits.
A college dropout, Romacio Fulcher hustled his way to success in making millions by having found the missing link. Today, he dishes out his formula that includes three things that can help us become massively successful.
A year ago he was broke. Now, he has made over $2.3 million with 43,000 people joining his network. He has helped 500 of them make $25,000 a week and seven people make $1 million in the last 12 months.
Romacio works for World Global Network, a 6-year old publicly traded network marketing technology-based company. They market the latest and brightest in technology. Recently, they released the world’s very first wearable device that allows people to monitor their blood sugar levels, non-invasively, without having to prick your finger. Soon, they will also be releasing their blood alcohol monitoring device!
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Romacio:
The Missing Link
The person that’s going to help change and transform your life may not look, sound, and act like you.
The 3 Elements of MASSIVE Success:
1.Connecting with the right people
There’s somebody out there that knows what you don’t and has the answer to your challenge, prayers, and concerns. Understand that people are life’s most valuable asset. Therefore, it’s mandatory that you seek out the right person.
Whatever industry you’re looking to pursue, always look at the top. Who are the top ten to twenty people in that sector/profession? Then do whatever you have to do to get next to them.
The Golden Question
“What do I have to do to make it worth your while for you to teach me what it is you know?”
2.Getting involved at the right time
90% of massive success has to do with timing.
You have to play your role in your rescue. You’re going to have to work hard. You’ve got to be a grinder!
Once you find the right person, you have to pursue them. You’ve got to show interest and to consistently follow up.
Be BOLD. Successful people never became successful by being close-minded. Nor can you become successful by not being bold and courageous.
Some principles to ponder on:
At some point in time, every person will need residual income. As a business owner, time is your biggest ally. When you own a traditional business, no one will work as hard for your business as you because they don’t have the same opportunity of gain as you do.
“I’d rather have 1% of 100 different people’s efforts versus 100% of my own.” – J Paul Getty
If you have an ounce of ambition inside your body, go to www.workwithromacio.com. Type in your information and he will immediately get a hold of you and discuss how he can help you
Today’s snippet taken from one of our sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League is about how you can face your fear of asking for referrals.
Did you know that 91% of customers are willing to offer a referral if asked by a seller? Unfortunately, only 11% of salespeople are asking their clients if they’re willing to give referrals.
Here are the three reasons why salespeople fail to ask for referrals:
1. Fear that they’re going to get mad.
2. They forget.
3. They don’t know how.
Breaking Down Fear
Will anyone be willing to hurt you if you asked them for a referral? Or is anyone going to try to kill you if you ask for a referral?
Fear is a good thing. It’s human instinct.
But hey, 91% of your customer are already willing to give referrals. That’s 9 out of 10 people. Why should you even be afraid?
Ways to Overcome the Fear of Asking for Referrals:
The more you do it, the better it can help you.
2. Get to know your prospect.
Follow them on LinkedIn. Talk to them often. Then send them something of value (link to your blog, white paper, video, or anything which you think may help them). The more you keep the line of communication open, the better chance you have of building effective relationship where you’re willing to ask and they’re willing to give you a referral.
3. Ask and be present.
The more you ask and the more you keep that line of communication open, it’s easier to build that bond that leads to generating opportunities.
It allows you to model already-proven strategies, shaving valuable time off your timeline.
So why not start close to home?
The following 22 people are entrepreneurs who live in our midst. They call South Florida home, and they have demonstrated success in their respective fields. Learning their stories and studying their techniques could translate to career and personal success.
Many of the companies represented below landed on Inc.’s list of the 5000 fastest growing companies, and some of them have been there for years.
Jorge Plasencia Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO of Republica, one of America’s leading and fastest-growing independent marketing and communications agencies. República is an international agency creating relevant, enduring connections between brands and people across culture, language, and technology. The Miami based company generates north of $15 million in revenue.
Brett Forman is the founder and CEO of Forman Capital, a real estate lender for bridge and commercial real estate loans. The Boynton Beach company generated $7.9 million in revenue in 2016, landing it at #4252 on the Inc. 5000 list.
Suzan McDowell is the president & CEO of Circle of One Marketing, a full-service marketing and advertising agency with a tilt towards the African American and Caribbean markets. Circle of One has developed successful multicultural campaigns for a wide range of clients, across all types of media. The company generates about $2 million in annual revenue.
Maria Salazar is the Director of Sales at Azulle, #249 on this year’s list. Azulle, based out of North Miami Beach, boasts a line of mini PC’s, tablets, and the Quantum Access computer. The company seeks to bring affordable and innovative technology to businesses and families, generating $6.3 million in revenue.
Adam Mopsick is the CEO of Amicon Management in Miami. The real estate and construction company generated $2 million in revenue last year, earning it the #1232 on the Inc. 5000 list.
Niles Tagliamonte is the Vice President of Sales for Endosystems, based out of Fort Lauderdale. The B2B company distributes equipment and devices related to the aesthetic and wellness industry. Endosystems is #1412 on Inc.’s list, with a revenue value of $3.2 million.
Brian Scheel serves as the Vice President of Sales for Arrow Consulting & Design, a software development firm headquartered in West Palm Beach. With revenue of $10.3 million, Arrow has twice been named to the Inc. 5,000 — in 2015 and again in 2016.
Robin Tidrick of PaperStreet Web Design is Sales Director at the Fort Lauderdale-based company. With a 2016 revenue of $3.4 million, PaperStreet offers website design, internet marketing, SEO and content services. Founded in 2001, the company has served more than 1,300 firms since its inception.
Alexander Nygart and Gary Garth co-founded White Shark Media, a digital marketing company that tailors online marketing solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. Ranked #786 on the Inc. 5000, the Miami-based agency had a 2016 revenue of $10 million and was included on the previous two years’ lists as well. White Shark Media was also ranked #18 on Inc.’s list of Top Miami companies.
Kevin V. Michael is the co-founder and managing partner of Invizio, LLC, a South Florida IT services and consulting firm dedicated to helping businesses maximize their use of technology. He oversees business development, strategic relationship development and client relations for the company. The company generates about $6.2 million in annual revenue.
Ron Green is the President and CEO of Greenlight Staffing Group, an IT staffing firm in Hollywood, Fl., that offers temporary, contract and permanent staffing to various industries. Greenlight has made the Inc. 5000 list for the past two years and generated $3.1 million in revenue in 2016.
Jessica Massad is the founder and CEO of Collateral Management, a network of appraisers that provides valuation services for both commercial and residential properties. This year’s #1589 ranking marks the third time the Fort Lauderdale-based company has made the 5000 list, and the company generated $10.8 million in revenue last year.
Eric Rhoads is the founder and CEO of Streamline Publishing in Boca Raton. In its 20th year, the company generated $5.6 million in 2016 and made the Inc. 5000 list for the third consecutive year. Streamline is anchored in the traditional printing of consumer and trade magazines and is also well-versed in digital radio and video products.
Richard Ticktin is the CEO of Synergy Labs, the manufacturer of dog and cat hard-goods in Fort Lauderdale. Synergy Labs earned the #1469 spot on the Inc. 5000 list with $8.7 million in revenue and 276% growth. Synergy boasts its own R&D laboratory and its own chemists, and it supplies more than 40 countries.
Henry Woodman is the President of ICE Portal in Hollywood, FL. ICE Portal is a technology company that helps hotels produce and distribute visual content to clients, generating $2.3 million in revenue in 2016.
Paul Rubenstein is the managing partner of Convert IT Marketing in Fort Lauderdale, an advertising, and marketing firm that specializes in internet marketing for law firms. The company earned the #1676 spot on Inc.’s list and generated $6.2 million in revenue last year.
Christine Phipps is the president of Phipps Reporting — a company that provides transcription, deposition and litigation services to the legal industry. The West Palm Beach company generated $8.6 million in 2016 and earned the #1915 ranking on the Inc. 5000 list. This year was the company’s fourth consecutive appearance on the list.
Sylvain Faber founded Eyevertising in 2010. The promotional product supplier, based out of Miami, generated a reported $2.4 million in 2016, and it holds six U.S. patents for its custom pinhole sunglasses.
Patrick Barnhill is the founder and president of Specialist ID, a distributor of photo identification badges and accessories in Miami. The company generated $3.7 million in 2016 and earned a spot on the Inc. 5000 list for the third consecutive year.
Gary Vermaas is the CEO of Base4, a management company that assembles teams of architects and engineers to design resorts, theme parks, hotels, and hospitals as well as retail, commercial and institutional buildings. The company generated $5.7 million in 2016, earning it the #1607 on the Inc. 5000 list. Base4 also earned a spot on the list in 2016.
Nicholas Santillo is the president and co-founder of Fractl, a Delray Beach advertising and marketing firm that gets attention for clients through viral content and media mentions. Fractl generated $5.1 million in revenue in 2016, and it landed at #1053 on the Inc. 5000 list.
Today’s guest is Johnny McLendon and he talks about his challenge with his business and what he did to get through it and finally land some big deals!
Johnny is a photographer at heart and a certified drone pilot. He also came from the corporate world. By 2010, he started his photography business and progressed from there.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Johnny:
Johnny’s biggest sales struggle:
Not having a big fan base, Johnny also had this fear of doing cold calls and meeting people. Although he enjoyed being around other people, it still was a tough thing for him.
As a result, Johnny had to do some side hustles to keep him afloat. He wasn’t constantly not making enough money or hitting his goals. And he kept on doing the same routine, doing cold calls.
This caused him a lot of anxiety and fear. He no longer wanted to bother people. But he knew that if you’re not going to tell about your business, they’re never going to know anyway.
Strategies in overcoming the fear of prospecting and cold calling:
1. Having an accountability partner
Johnny has his brother, a serial entrepreneur, as his accountability partner. They constantly keep in touch to check on each other.
2. A morning routine
So he routinely does cold calling every morning and makes followups 3-10 times or until they tell him to stop calling him, which no one has done yet. A followup can just be a short email or a quick call. You somehow have to have a bit of thick skin so then they reject you, then it’s fine by you.
3. Having a script
Have a script on your desk that you can readily access. Introduce yourself. Mention something about them to make your call personalized.
4. The power of education
Educate your customers on the value that you bring to the table and.
Results Johnny Has Gotten:
Johnny says the trust factor is usually built during his third or fourth call.
Johnny’s Major Takeaway:
Face your fear. Just go after the things you want. Face the fears and somehow overcome them to help you reach your goal.
Jim is an author of a number of books, a professional skydiver, an organizational consultant, and a sales professional. Jim has also held corporate executive positions and does a fair amount of executive coaching and CEO presentations.
Maryann has been writing about body language and studying it intensely for 13 years. Having had theater experience, she has built on it by collaborating with a body language expert. Then he got together with Jim to focus it on sales.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Jim and Maryann:
Why Is Body Language Important:
So much of our communication is non-verbal. And a lot of our body language is involuntary body language.
So signals are you giving as a salesperson that you may not want to be giving and what signals do you really want to give?
Alternately, what are you picking up from other people in their resistance to you or in their liking of you? Are they accepting you?
Knowing all this can help you close deals effectively.
What manoeuvres do you give off that are self-soothing gestures? And what are other people doing when you see tension come into a sales relationship?
What level of engagement do you have with your prospect?
Strategies for effective body language:
Make eye contact.
Listen effectively to them.
5 Sales Situations Related to Using Body Language:
You’re working for a creative relationship. You’re not focused on the sale or the product. But on the steps of your relationship by asking genuine questions. Stay away from the transactional mindset. Your goal here is to create a long-term relationship that doesn’t just result in a single transaction but transactions over extended time.
Trust – openness
Don’t have your front protected like fingers crossed. You’re not putting barriers between you and the other person.
Don’t clench your hands.
Use eye contact.
2. Solutions selling
You’re selling the solution that happens to be a product that can benefit the individual and the customer. Do a fair amount of investigating in that process. Show interest in them and the problems they need to solve.
Show active listening by leaning towards the person and nod occasionally to let them know you’re listening to them.
Have some mirroring gestures. Adopt the same time of posture so the person feels comfortable with you. Go to where their energy level is then bring them with you in an energy level that you’re in control.
3. Expertise selling
You need to exude credibility. You’re making a point that you’re the expert in this industry and this puts you in control. But be able to present in a way that you’re credible.
Sit upright. Speak from a position of authority.
4. ROI selling
You have to have information on the cost structure and the revenue stream of the organization you’re presenting to. So you need to build a lot of confidence in your prospect by getting them to divulge information to you. Be able to make an ROI argument.
When the people look down to the left, that means they’re doing numbers and calculating.
When people look down to the right, it means deep emotions.
Do baselining, which means asking questions that involve memory and try to see where do the eyes go. If the eyes go up left or right, that means it could indicate imagination.
5. Fear Selling
This is focused on scarcity but this strategy can be manipulative. And sometimes, people can sense if they’re being manipulated. This could put your long-term relationship in jeopardy. This is the wholesale mentality and this is common in selling women products.
Body Language Remotely
Body language can be done remotely in how you say it. The pace and tone of somebody’s voice gives you a ton of insight as to where they’re at.
Jim and Maryann’s Major Takeaway:
Have the body language of trust if you want a strong, positive, and long-term relationship with somebody. Do open body language. In some ways, look vulnerable then a person will trust you.
From the very beginning of the interaction, be aware whether the person is open or close. And be aware whether you are being open or close.
Prospecting is a pretty challenging component of sales, but you can’t just do without it. So today, I’m sharing with you some ways in finding prospects effectively.
You don’t have to do everything you find here. Just do the thing which you think matters most to you and your industry.
Focus on the methods you think will work.
Strategies for finding prospects:
1. Test out 3-4 methods.
You could use LinkedIn, the phone, a networking event, and then try to utilize a long term method such as a blog. This way, you’re generating content to attract your ideal customers to you. Other long-term methods include a podcast or a YouTube channel. And for long-term methods, you can’t just test them out for a month, but over a longer period of time.
2. Long-term projects vs. short-term gains.
You have to recognize there are things you need to do long term.
Others though have a short-term approach because they want to produce immediate results. An example of this is your email list you’ve built on LinkedIn. Or go to Google and search for plumbers in your area.
3. Reach out to them.
This depends on the medium you’re utilizing. For LinkedIn, you can probably use LinkedIn Navigator. Try a Google Search or use Upwork to find people to develop leads for you and see the jobs they’ve done for different industries. They can actually build a contact list for you that you will be contacting later on.
4. Go to events.
Find 3-4 events in your area and try to go to one of those events regularly. Make a goal of reaching out to four nice, solid people you can interact with. They could be your potential customers or their strategic partners. Or you could probably host a meetup yourself.
5. Create blog content.
Create content relevant to your ideal customers. Again this is a long-term strategy, so you need to get this one for about 6 months where you’re producing content regularly. If you need help with writing it, get someone from Upwork. What’s important is you’re creating content around your customers and the things they’re searching for.
In your blog post, make sure to drive customers back to your website. Then leave opt-ins, which are places where they could leave their email addresses.
Most of all, you need to consistently do it!
Today’s Major Takeaway:
Find four methods or sources that you can use to test or find a new prospect. Do your research. Go over some of our previous episodes related to prospecting. Then see and test them out for a month (for short-term ones) and 6 months for the long-term approach. See what works best for you. Take advantage of the ones that produce the most for you and focus on them!
Our new semester next week is focusing on business development – how you can improve to become masters of finding new opportunities.
At the end of the day, it’s about applying the results you’ve learned.
Having a Process in Place
One of the clients we had was not having a process in place. So there was nothing to guide the team. Instead of basing what they do on data or best practices, they do things based on feelings. After training with me and they had a process in place, they saw greater results and they overcame whatever sales challenges they had coming.
Don’t bash your competitors. This won’t build a professional with your prospect. Instead, find something good about your competition and say it. And then mention what makes you different from the competitors.
In utilizing creative ways to prospect, you’ll find that it’s in the little things. It’s in the details. You don’t have to do big things to produce big results. It’s the littlest of things that can even have the greatest impact. Then be persistent and consistent in your sales approach.
As a sales professional, what really matters more to you in terms of your career? Money or sustainability?
Choose the former and you might shortly realize you’re in the wrong company. It’s therefore critical that you choose the company that best fits you if you want to advance your career – long term.
Dan is the Founder and CEO of Treeline Inc., a 17-year-old sales recruitment company. They help companies build solid sales organizations.
Today, he shares some sales characteristics that you can align with your sales environment.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Dan:
Asking the Right Questions
What’s their average deal size? What’s their average cycle? How much is the quota for the year?
Is This the Sales Environment for You?
Sales people have different selling characteristics, not because they’re not talented, but because they picked the wrong opportunity. Some people can be consultative in nature. Although personality traits can be similar, the selling characteristics may be different.
Selling Characteristics of the People They Hire:
It doesn’t mean you make 200 calls a day. Rather, this is more of an emotional resilience. It’s your ability to emotionally disconnect from an opportunity so you’re more realistic and more logical.
Have the assumption that another competitor is trying to win the business from you.
What’s real and what’s not? Numbers don’t necessarily equate to success.
Why Many People Fail
Very few people pick up the phone. They just pick up the phone and call the number, expect someone to pick it up, and buy. You can’t just call for the sake of calling. There has to be a process in place.
How Treeline Inc. Can Help You:
There is so much noise out there, with millions of jobs being posted everyday. If you’re looking to advance your career, the ultimate way to do a search is to have someone that:
Understands the market
Knows what opportunities are out there
Can simplify the process
Can help you build the pipeline around validated opportunities that can add value to your career
They will listen to your story and help figure out how to leverage your strengths so you can develop some messaging to make sure you can get your food in the door with growing companies.
They’ll help you find the right next step.
They will make sure the opportunities they give you are a best fit to your selling characteristics and that you meet all the requirements of the opportunity you’re looking for next to advance your career.
Dan’s Major Takeaway:
Be selective in finding the right fit. It’s not about the biggest compensation plan, rather, it’s about sustainability. Find a company and culture. Ask good questions so you know that you can sustain a career with a good company. Then you will grow, find success, and the money will come.
Today, we dig deeper into the core behind your motivation.
What drives you?
There are a lot of different things that drive people. But at the end of the day, of course, you want to gain some money.
Personally, I joined the sales industry because I saw the opportunity to increase my income. I didn’t like to be confined in a salary level or would have to wait for a couple of years to get a raise.
I wanted to have the capability to earn the income I deserve and wanted. And in sales, you can do that.
Money is not everything. But it’s essential.
Everyone in sales or in business, you don’t do it just because you want to help people, although that’s one of the major factors. The idea here is you want something in return.
Hence, at times, the great motivator is what you get from it.
I grew up in poverty, coming from Jamaica to the United States. And seeing all those struggles my mom and our family endured, I said to myself that we were not going to go through this ever again.
So this led me to a career where I can be in command and I can earn an unlimited income. It’s not that I wanted to be greedy, rather, it’s what I could do with that money. And that was part of the motivation I had.
And the only way I could get that money is by offering something to people that was of great value to them, which solved the biggest problems or struggle they had.
We’re in it for ourselves!
This is not a bad thing. This is your drive to push you. This goes back to the five why’s concept of Toyota, where if you ask why five times, you lead down to the true cause.
Again, recognize that before you get what you want, you have to bring something to the table to help your customers. The more genuine you are with bringing value, you will be compensated. But don’t discard the fact that you’re not in it for the money as well. Of course, we are! In the first place, we got into sales because of that capability to earn money.
Money is not a bad thing.
So don’t be ashamed of this. Money is not a bad thing. What is bad is the things some people do for money.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Chris:
The Formula for Drive: Non-teachable Characteristics of High Performers
1.Need for achievement
The person wants to do well just for the sake of doing well. And the person who has a high need for this naturally wants to set the bar high, jump over that, and set the bar even higher the next time. They’re focused on producing excellence just for the sake of excellence.
A competitive person wants to be the best among their peers and they want to win their customer over to their point of view. Psychologically, to them the sales is a contest.
This is the person’s sense of certainty that they will succeed as well as their resiliency to hang in there when they face the inevitable rejection they have to deal with.
Process to Improve the Hiring Process:
Online assessment – The Drive Test through “forced choice” questions
Behavioral interview questions – the interviewee is asked about previous examples of behaviors they’ve engaged in that are predictive of the types of characteristics they’re looking for.
Core skills (Confidence, Persuasion, Relationship Skills, Organizational Skills) – these are teachable
Tips During Interview:
Have your game plan ready.
Have your questions written out. Have your interview guide written out.
Mistakes when hiring people:
Not having a structured format to the interview process.
Hiring people who are just like you.
Common blind spots:
Find out whether or not the past success was related to brand recognition or was it really because of their own effort? This is a very important distinction many companies will miss.
Sample Interview Questions:
Need for achievement:
What is your greatest goal ever accomplished professionally and how do you intend to top it?
What are the sacrifices you had to make to be successful?
What does competition look like for you?
Where do you rank compared to your peers?
Tell me about the time you remained persistent even though everyone else around you gave up. Tell me about it another time.
One of the reasons people have a difficult time asking questions is they don’t feel confident they’re able to do it.
They feel they’d come off as too disrespectful or they’re not worthy enough.
They feel like they’re on a lower level to the prospect so they don’t have the right to ask them questions.
So what kind of questions should you ask your prospects?
Business-related questions: Examples:
What’s your business goal?
What are your plans to achieve that?
This kind of questions will help the prospect think. It also shows you’re well-prepared, you’re listening, and you’re mindful of their needs. You’re showing them that you’re not just shooting in the dark. The better you understand them, the better your presentation is going to be and the better chances of closing the deal.
Start to answer a question they have but then stop to get clarification from the buyer or reposition the sales process.
For example, if they ask how much your product costs at the beginning of your presentation, this could mean they’re just fishing.
What you can do is begin to answer by saying, “Great question, but first…” Naturally stop and try to clarify by asking, say how many customers they have or why is xyz so important to them.
Now, you have become the consultant. You take control of the situation.
Today’s guest is David Tabb. He is a franchise owner for Welcomemat Services, a marketing company that specializes in new mover mailing. He does door to door sales.
And in his industry, this is what works effectively. In this episode, he’s sharing some insights which you can apply to you own process, no matter what industry you come from.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with David:
Some businesses are not actively looking for business because they’re so busy operating their business they just want you to come to them.
Challenges with door-to-door sales (and what you can do!)
1. Developing your rhythm.
Keep a log next to you and have 2-3 hooks you can use and develop. Write them down and see what their responses look like.
2. Creating lists
Creating lists will also create that accountability factor. Have your target list for that day. Having that list will allow you to get going.
3. Simplifying the process and being able to get to the decision makers.
4. Will they say yes?
Of course, but you yourself has to see it. You have the data that you’re doing well so go out and talk the people. Open the door everyday as many times you can. Get through gatekeepers and decision makers. Just keep having conversations and you will get to a yes. That’s guaranteed!
5.Taking care of your body is critical.
Make sure that you’re also taking care of your body. Do some walking. This will help your prepare and get that mind work. Walking gets your mind moving. Park at the end of the parking lot.
6. Asking for help
Allow the person to help you get what you want and it’s a lot easier to get them to do it. This can be a game changer for you the way it did for David. Just be genuine about what you’re looking for.
David’s Major Takeaway:
Track what you do and just keep working on it. It always changes. Every situation is a new opportunity. Don’t walk in with a set game plan for every situation because that probably won’t work. Be adaptable and track what you’re doing so you can find your rhythm, especially when you’re starting off. This will lead you to bigger and better deals and percentages across the board.
How can you be more efficient with emailing? How can you get more insights from the prospect?
Today’s guest is Brandon Bruce who has come from humble beginnings to now co-founding and growing Cirrus Insight with $12 million in revenue and #44 on The INC 500 List. They were the first Gmail salesforce connector in the market when they launched it in 2011.
In this episode, we talk about what’s not working in sales today and the things you should do.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Brandon:
What has changed in the sales landscape:
Positive: Tremendous amount of energy, enthusiasm, and everybody’s hustling
Negative: A big push from people coming in who focused on just getting the deal done.
The downsides of having “push” mentality:
Retention issues since there wasn’t any sustainable relationship built
Find that balance between being easy and being pushy.
The Concept of the Raving Fan
Raving fans are unpredictable in a great way. When you make these customers happy, they’re so happy that they might go out and do some crazy things for you that you won’t have any idea about. Who knows what could happen?
Tactics to Reach Out to Prospects: Meeting Them Halfway
Meet your buyers halfway. Make it really easy for the buyer to contact you. But how are you going to have those conversations?
1. Put your calendar on your website so they can schedule a time with you at their convenience. Make it a buyer-driven demo
2. Attach.io – they do attachment tracking and document management
3. Post the pitch slide deck on social media, your email signature, or on your website so people can view whenever they want to see them.
How You Can Improve Your Email Outreach:
1. Make your emails short.
Have them 2-3 lines long with simple sentences and paragraphs. It has to be super easy for people to read it at a glance.
2. Add links.
Put a link or two, and let them be at the same place so people can easily click on them. This could be in the form of a simple CTA and another link after your P.S.
3. Have an interesting subject.
4. Don’t lose faith!
5. Ask for feedback from other people in the game.
6. Send your emails early, preferably at the same time you check your emails too (which is usually upon waking up)
7. Make sure they work on mobile and they’re easy links.
8. Make sure the preview that pops up in their phone is interesting enough that they’ll open it.
Brandon’s Major Takeaway:
Keep up the excitement. Sales is always a hustle. Make sure you’re meeting customers halfway. Make deals that are easy for them to say yes to. Be clear in your message that you’re easy to do business with.
Today, I’m sharing with your some sales principles that learned while I was on a vacation to my homeland, Jamaica.
You see, the average salary in Jamaica ranges from $149,000 to as low as $16,667 (Jamaican dollars). Now, imagine living off out of that much. Say, US$500 a month?
It’s not easy but they make it work anyway. So how are they able to do it?
Jamaica has been known for the quality of education they provide to students. But the major challenge is being able to translate people’s education into opportunities in the real world.
Principle #1: When life gives you lemon, sell it and buy food.
Jamaicans are very creative and crafty. Whatever they’re going through, even challenges, they make sure they have a good time.
Music is everywhere in Jamaica. Everyone is out playing music. You’ve got to take whatever life gives you, be happy, and use it.
People in Jamaica don’t complain or whine too much about their situation.
If you have a tough situation in your life, figure out to make it work. That’s the idea!
As a sales professional, you may be dealing with difficulties right now, but take what you have and make it work – at least for now. The key is having this kind of mentality.
Jamaicans are sellers. Everywhere they went, they’re trying to sell. They find a way to create something even from nothing.
Principle #2: Outwork everyone including yourself.
As a sales professional, the most important thing you need to outrun is your yesterday. Your yesterday is not who you are, but who you were. Today, is going to be who you are. What kind of person do you want to be? Sure, you’ve probably closed $5,000 worth of sales yesterday. But today’s another day. You need to close $6,000 to outbeat that person – and that is yourself.
Stop comparing yourself to other people. Compare to your yesterday, however, and outbeat that.
Principle #3: Be happy. Be content with who you are and with life even if it’s not in your favor.
$500 here in the U.S. will only take you so far, even in Jamaica. But people there are happy. They take care of themselves and their loved ones. There are many things for you to look forward in life. There are things more important than money. No one should take your happiness away from you. Your loved ones are always something you can go back to, your grounding source. So be grateful for what you have.
Check out Episode 737 for more sales tips and strategies!
We all know it, 80% of the business is coming in from 20% of the sales teams. But sometimes, we don’t necessarily focus on those top performers. What would that do for an organization if they could get their top performers to sell 5% more? Learn how you can coach top sellers to perform even better!
Today’s guest is Allan Allard and he helps top-performing sellers continue to sharpen their skills. Allan used to be a psychotherapist. But he soon found out that most of patients he had who were all dealing with depression and stress were actually salespeople.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Allan:
What is a top performing seller?
According to Allan, he defines a top performer as someone who is excelling in their industry in their company.
Factors why salespeople are not able to perform at the top of their game:
Ask yourself, are you the right person in the right industry and selling the right product or service?
Sometimes, salespeople are in the wrong industry and performing on the average, but when put in a different industry, they begin to excel.
Mindset is the general attitude and your approach to life and this is the key to being a top performer. It’s how we feel about ourselves.
If you are confident and know you can accomplish any goals, you are ahead of the game.
Changing your mindset will take you to the next level.
Feeling one-level down than your clients
You’re not coming from a “one down” position but from an equal position where you have tremendous expertise and power.
Realize that you have something your customers don’t have. So sit down and be comfortable with yourself. Top sellers have enough confidence and security because they feel equal to their prospects.
Doing what you’re told and failure to ask tough questions
People are scared to rock the boat and they want to please people. This is a common challenge for many people to get rid of this deep-seated belief and subconscious mind of “I”m not good enough.” or “I’m not talented enough.”
For that inner roar to come out you have to feel that you have the right to roar and there’s an appropriate place and time to do that.
The Biggest Challenge Top Sellers are Facing:
Top sellers don’t have anyone challenging them. Every one is in awe of them because they’re spectacular.
Many managers are so confident the sellers are going to bring in the numbers anyway so they leave them alone to do their thing.
But they’re not challenged to get to the next level. Nobody is giving them any feedback. They need to be challenged. High performers have unique needs.
Why focus on high performers?
That’s where you get the fastest results. They already know how to sell and they’re already motivated.
Things top performers need coaching on:
1. Exploring your shadow self.
Top performers are usually very hard on themselves. So they need to learn how to accept themselves and embrace themselves on deeper levels.
Help them acknowledge and explore their “shadow” self – that part of ourselves where we want to hide from everyone, including ourselves.
2.Thinking more holistically about your success or 360-degree success.
High performers are often really good at what they do because they’re neglecting other areas in their life. Over time, they’ll end up in a not so good place and deeply regretful.
Allan’s Major Takeaway:
High performers have far more potential that’s untapped. As a sales manager, you need to have a bigger vision for that person. See more than they see in themselves and be able to bring that out. As a top performer, just think of your accomplishments like you’re just scratching the surface.
In this episode, I share with you some FAQs about the TSE Hustler’s League, an online coaching program for all types of sellers. Have an accountability partner and see yourself expanding your knowledge and getting the leads you deserve!
What is the TSE Hustler’s League?
Whether you are new in sales or have been selling for a while and want to improve your sales hustler, TSE Hustler’s League is a specialized coaching program where each semester is 12 weeks long and designed around a theme.
January’s semester will be focused on Business Development. We meet once a week for about 45 mins and go over the theme and how to improve your skills. And each week further focuses on a particular topic.
What happens in the Hot Seat?
We will also put you in the Hot Seat where you get to share your challenge to the whole group, which listens to you live on the call. They take notes and they ask clarifying questions. And most importantly, they give you feedback. They’re sellers coming from other industries but they have similar experiences in their organization and they can give you insights. These are insights coming from different and new perspectives which are very helpful.
When and where is the meeting done?
The sessions are live and held weekly at noon EST. It’s done over a webinar platform so you can watch it or listen to it wherever you are. And if for some reason you can’t make it that day, you can go ahead and watch the recording that will be posted later that evening.
In the membership section, you get to have a username and a unique password to get lifetime access to the semester’s content.
Are sessions required?
Sessions are required but there are exceptions to the rule. Of course, we all know we’ve got to hustle so if you need to take an appointment, go ahead. What we like to see is that people come to each session and implement the goals we give at the end of the sessions and practice these principles. This is where you will see results.
What is an Accountability Partner?
When you join the program, you’re given an accountability partner and I personally follow up with these individuals. They’re not necessarily in the same industry as you but they’re someone that can keep you accountable.
Goals are set and the end of each meeting where the accountability partner will then follow up with you before next week’s session. The whole point of this is you have someone other than you, myself, or anyone in your organization who can keep you accountable. You can do this via video, phone call, or email. It usually lasts for 5-10 minutes.This is what makes TSE Hustler’s League so powerful because of this accountability aspect.
How much does it cost?
The investment is only $112 per month and over the three months, the total cost is $336. You get all the basics and all the things you need to become a better seller. You can pay upfront or simply pay monthly. We have flexible payment options. This is not a money-making machine because we intended to create this to help all sellers.
On today’s Sales from the Street episode, I share our experience going to Jamaica, particularly, what it’s like literally selling on the street of Jamaica and how you can apply some of these strategies into your sales process.
Although everyone is selling the same thing what makes each shop different comes down to the individuals.
The 2 Types of Sellers
There are two types of sellers. The first one is the pushy type who wants the prospect to take the biggest bite at first glance. The other seller is someone who wants the prospect to take a step by step approach.
Step by Step Selling
So this lady in Jamaica did this step by step approach in selling.
First, she invited us to step inside the shop to go and look around. (This way you know their likelihood of purchasing goes up.)
Second, she recognized that as a male, I might need a wallet. So she gave me something she thought I would like and let me hold it. (Recognizing the pain.)
Then, she tried to convert us. Naturally, I asked for the price and she gave out the price.
The problem here is that I wasn’t in need of that particular product. But I realized this lady literally followed a sales process.
Another lady used this same process and we ended up buying things from her.
Lessons You Can Apply into Your Sales Cycle:
1. Let them know you exist.
Let them know there is a problem. What is the first step you should do with each of your sales?
2. Break down the things the prospect has to recognize.
Don’t focus on selling. Just set the appointment, Instead, sell the appointment. Then sell the pain and then from there you go on and on until you get to the product itself.
Focus on those simple steps and they will get your further than where you started.
Too often as sales professionals, we have the same old mindset that doesn’t give us the result we want. How about changing that? How about rethinking the way you sell?
Today’s guest, Jeff Bajorek, challenges sellers to rethink the way they sell. He is a consultant, speaker, sales advisor, and a podcaster.
He has been selling for several years and has learned that by rethinking the way you sell you will become successful.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Jeff:
Is Social Selling the New Cold Calling?
Focus on what allows you to bring value to your audience and personalize that. Think about those things that got you to the table in the first place rather than focusing on the likes you get.
Salesperson-centric versus customer-centric
Have empathy for who’s receiving that message otherwise it’s nearly impossible to convert anybody.
Most salespeople just see names as numbers and how many people they can reach. They want to make their quota but don’t realize that at the end of the day those prospects are humans. Being honest is the way to go.
The Power of Connection
Instead of focusing on hitting your numbers, think about calling, say, 50 people, and connect with 20 with them and make four sales.
Just put yourself in those 50 shoes and try to tailor your pitch or proposition in a way that it’s going to resonate with them so they will respond to it.
The reason you only get a 10% response rate is because it’s a garbage proposition in the first place.
Strategies for Scaling to Get Better Results
1.Put yourself in the place of the rep.
Think about how you felt when you were in that role and you didn’t know about anything.
2.Take notes and review.
Take extra time after each call and if you were in the position of the prospect, would that proposition have resonated with you?
Take notes of what worked and what didn’t and review those stuff. What do you need to change? What needs to stay the same?
3.Pay attention to things.
Be aware of yourself and don’t think about the next five dials while you’re on a call. Be there for the person you’ve got on the phone at that time. Really engage with them.
When you’re a manager, your salespeople are your customers. But managers stop thinking about that all the time. As a result, the sales professionals lose sight of what they’re trying to do as well.
5.Instead of worrying about scaling at an alarming rate, just make it work.
Figure out what works. Make it work repeatedly. And then build it own as tolerably as you can. Don’t lose sight of what you’re doing.
Developing Underlying Trust
If you do it right, your best customers do the prospecting for you.
You’re in this business to connect with people. You’re there to help.
Jeff’s Major Takeaway:
Everything is coming at you a million miles a minute. There’s more room than you can possibly imagine. So stop, take a deep breath, and think twice about why you’re doing what you’re doing. Effectiveness increases your efficiency.
Check out Jeff’s podcast The Why and the Buy. They’re soon starting a book club where they pick a book every month and they’re going to do a live podcast recording where everyone can join the conversation.
It not unusual for people to make their New Year’s resolution. They jumpstart the year right and then towards the middle through the end of the year, the enthusiasm they had at the start of the year starts to dwindle and they’re back to their old habits.
We all have done it – falling short of accomplishing our goals. But if we do the same thing over and over, we will get the same result.
You need to do something different to get different results.
But the key what we are missing is accountability.
If you told someone your goal, the likelihood of you accomplishing that goal increases significantly.
Get an accountability partner. Find one or two individuals that have similar goals as you have and ask them to keep you accountable.
Have them follow up with you to see if you have accomplished that goal.
Mastermind is a perfect environment to have others push you along.
Breaking Down Goals at a Granular Level
Set short-term goals. Start at granular levels. How are you going to accomplish your goals? What do you need to do each quarter? And just focus on one quarter at a time.
Instead of focusing on the sale, just focus on the next thing. Just focus on what you need to do to get you to the next level – whether that’s to make a call or send an email.
Break down your goals further to granular levels – number of calls you need to make, number of appointments, etc. Once you’ve accomplished that small goal, you’re ready to move on to the next.
If you’re creating or running a business, big or small, you should have that mindset that you’re going to be able to sell it when the opportune time comes. What? Yep! You’re creating value in your business so you have to be prepared.
We’ll have our guest today expound on that, particularly on the major sales challenges business owners face when it comes to selling their own business.
Jonathan Pellegrin has been in the publishing business for 30 years, having published trade magazines and business publications in 30 different industries.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Jonathan:
Major challenge businesses face: Lack of energy to do business
This is the time to monetize the value of whatever assets you’ve built to provide for happy, productive retirement.
Businesses typically represent 90% of the owner’s net worth. Any business that can operate without the founder has value.
The business owner should always be thinking that whenever necessary to sell your business, you’re able to do that.
Selling a Business is an Art
Buyers are doing multiple transactions and make acquisition.
Sellers have one big sale to make so it requires a lot of attention and planning. It’s imperative they do everything possible to be able to go toe to toe with sophisticated buyers.
The real value of any business is intellectual capital, but people often overlook this.
What comprises the intellectual capital?
These are the processes, the routines, and all of the methods the business owner has developed over the years to make their business successful and to make their business replicable.
100% Close Rate
We have 100% closing rate in our selling activities.
Closing is about getting a yes or a no. The absence of a yes is a no.
But salespeople are afraid to try to find out what the impediments are to getting a yes. If you don’t get there, there’s something standing in the way.
Not getting a yes or a no is worthless. When you get a no, you get to ask for a why. So find out what’s standing in the way?
Getting a no is the same as closing a sale because with a no, you have something to work with. Without any answer, you have nothing to work with.
The Framework of Selling a Business:
This means gathering information. It’s important to talk to people who sold their businesses. Reach out to them and treat them as a mentor and they will share everything.
2. Decision making
If you’re a sole owner, you can decide yourself. But if there are shareholders, you have to create an alignment. It can be complicated if it’s a family business to get people on the right page.
Buyers have far more experience than sellers so sellers have to educate themselves. 4.Create your selling team composed of:
Right hand/Middleman: Have a right hand person to stay with the business after it’s sold and they should be part of the selling team because that’s part of what the buyer is buying.
Confidant: This could be you’re lawyer, only if they’re experienced and skilled in doing transactions.
Accountant: They should have experience selling companies. This is critically important. You also want to have audited financial statements even if you’re a small business so you have credible numbers.
Seller: This should be somebody who has sold a company before.
5. Position your company and develop a selling strategy.
Keep in mind that once you sell the company, you don’t own it anymore so they can do anything they want. Buyers are often not honest with what their plan is for the company. So shift the proposition so the added value is to the benefit of the sellers.
Jonathan’s Major Takeaway:
Be prepared. You’re creating something of value so you need to educate yourself. Talk to people who sold successfully and unsuccessfully. You should have a middleman about you still have to be actively engaged in the process.
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About Our Guest:
Formerly Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson Hill Press, JONATHANPELLEGRIN, author of The Art of Selling the Family Business, launched his first magazine while a student at the University of Wisconsin. After graduation in 1967 and completion of the executive training program at a major New York retailer, he returned to Wisconsin in 1968 and joined Johnson Hill Press, a single-magazine publishing company founded by his father. He became CEO in 1976, a position he held until 1994, at which time PTN Publishing Company of New York acquired his family’s firm.
Pellegrin led three catalog trade missions in markets served by the company’s publications for the US Department of Commerce in developing countries on the African continent. This earned him an invitation from the Secretary of Commerce, Rogers Morton, to come to Washington and discuss his successful business endeavors.
Pellegrin attended the Owner/President Management program at Harvard Business School and received the distinguished alumni award from the School of Business at the University of Wisconsin Madison. This was followed by an invitation to become an executive-in-residence at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. Working with IMD, Pellegrin created the IMD Distinguished Family Business Award as well as lecturing MBA students about entrepreneurship and writing a case study on the value of high functioning independent boards of directors in family companies. In addition, he earned a Doctorate of Business Administration at Business School Lausanne where he researched and wrote his doctoral dissertation on the sale of family companies.
Failures can be crippling if we allow them to be, but when we have the proper guidance, we can learn how to turn failure into success. Airica Kraehmer of Gracious Care Recovery shares her own story here and reminds us that we can turn our weaknesses into our strengths.
Airica’s story doesn’t directly involve sales, but it does involve difficulty and mental toughness.
She started working as a model in the fashion industry and she had a dream to succeed there. She realized that the fashion industry demands that you be your own product and that you bring your A-game all the time. She called it cut-throat.
As a result, there’s room for exploitation. Airica found herself the victim of human trafficking because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
She wrote down her story, and when she finished her book, she looked for outlets that would help her share it. She figured telling her story would help her move beyond the struggle.
She became an international best-selling author, and it taught her that she could rise above the low points in life.
Seeking a challenge
After she moved to Florida, Airica realized that the state was number two in the country in terms of human trafficking, tied with Houston. After the upcoming Super Bowl, Florida is projected to move into the number one spot due to the large influx of people.
Hearing stories of other victims made her realize that she was part of something bigger. She realized that the process would repeat if she didn’t do something to help.
She reminded herself that there were as many good people in the world as there were bad people.
Nobody wanted to talk about trafficking, so she kept encountering closed doors. She compares it to cold calling for sellers. [07:23]
Though people cared about it, they didn’t feel like they could speak out about it.
She kept knocking on doors, and eventually, she found Gracious Care Recovery. There were survivors there who recognized the need for people to speak out.
Her message to sellers, then, is to keep knocking on doors. Despite the fact that she was addressing an impossibly hard topic, she found people who would engage.
Get in the other person’s mindset. We each have different experiences, and we’re each traveling a different journey. That means we each have different ideas.
That can be a powerful tool as long as we remember that the effort isn’t all about us. It’s about who we can help and who we can serve.
Keep in mind that the prospect isn’t rejecting you. It simply isn’t the right time for your prospect.
If you’re a sales manager who is motivating a team to overcome rejection, teach your team members to practice persistence.
Be persistent, but be kind. Be willing to invest the time to build trust.
Sales is a numbers game to some degree, and you have to keep reaching out in order to achieve results. Especially now that we find ourselves at the beginning of a new year, you have to keep knocking in order to hit your targets.
Airica compares her personal experience to bankruptcy. It was the ultimate low. She had nothing left. And she knew it would take years to recover.
She learned that you have to leave behind the things that don’t serve you well and that you shouldn’t focus too much on the why. It’s ok, for example, to ask why something happened, but refuse to stay focused on it.
Instead, look to the future and ask yourself what you can do to address what happened.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Who am I serving?
What is my purpose?
What’s my goal?
Once you’ve identified those things, align your morals and values with your goals.
Tackle one goal at a time. Small goals will accumulate quickly and result in large accomplishments.
“How to Turn Failure into Success” episode resources
This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.
Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.
This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out.
You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.
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