August 2019 - The Sales Evangelist

Archive Monthly Archives: August 2019

TSE Blog 026: How Small Businesses Benefit From Sales Quote Software

You’re probably always looking for ways to expand and grow your business.

If you’re a smaller company, that can be especially hard when you’re working to seem bigger than you are. But you can’t get bigger without competing against others in marketing efforts. So how do you accomplish that?

You enable yourself to put together quotes that are accurate and efficient as well as on par with the big guns. You implement useful software called sales quote software, or a configure, price, quote solution (CPQ).

This kind of solution enables you to quote faster and to use templated approaches, which are easily readable for customers.

This graphic explains what that looks like and what you need to know.

Click To Enlarge


How Sales Quote Software Helps Small Businesses Compete

Via Salesforce

 

Danny Wong is the co-founder of Blank Label, an award-winning luxury menswear company. He is also a digital marketing consultant and freelance writer. To connect, tweet him @dannywong1190 or message him on LinkedIn.

Cold Calling, Omnichannel Outreach, Fred Diamond, Donald C. Kely

TSE 1171: Helping Your Sales Team Perform Their Best

Cold Calling, Omnichannel Outreach, Fred Diamond, Donald C. Kely

I sat down with Fred Diamond at Podcast Movement 2019 to discuss the keys to helping your sales team perform their best. Fred is the host of Sales Game Changers Podcast and today he turned the microphone on me and allowed me to share the things I’ve learned during my career in sales. 

The Sales Evangelist

This podcast resulted from my own struggle as a B2B seller. Because of my own struggles, I wanted to help new and struggling sellers improve their sales game. I wanted to educate people who were in the same shoes and help elevate their performance. 

As The Sales Evangelist podcast grew, people in our community of sellers reached out to me for sales coaching. I started with one-on-one coaching for reps, and then those reps took their training back to their companies, and I started hearing from entrepreneurs and other business owners who needed to replicate themselves so they could scale their companies. 

I launched into the consulting side and helped businesses set up their sales teams. Eventually, that led to speaking opportunities and other things, so in 2015 I left my full-time job to do The Sales Evangelist full time. 

The podcast didn’t make money on its own, but it did generate leads and coaching opportunities and speaking and consulting gigs. Now, though, it generates its own income. 

Sales career

I got into sales before college, partly because my entire family was involved in sales. As a Jamaican boy, I grew up in a setting where everyone sold something. I didn’t see it as sales, necessarily. I simply saw it as the family business. 

I’m naturally outgoing, so people told me I’d be perfect in a sales career. That continued through college where I struggled to find a sales program. 

Eventually, I got a couple of sales jobs in timeshares and door-to-door that involved B2C selling. I made about $20,000 in three months selling door-to-door over the summer during my first year. 

When I transitioned to the professional world of selling, though, I struggled. 

Lessons learned

One of the things I learned selling door-to-door was the value of working smart. I saw people who worked hard but who weren’t effective, so they got burned out because they continued doing things that were ineffective. Those who hustled, on the other hand, worked efficiently and they practiced their messaging and they stopped doing things that didn’t work. 

I learned that I had to be willing to move on when a sale didn’t work out. 

Eventually, I moved into a BDR role in a B2B company, and I brought that need to work efficiently and plan my activities because it was a full-commission job. 

Time is money, and I needed to pay rent. 

During my time at the IT training company, Steve Hatch took me under his wing. He was the CEO of the company, and he taught me both the sales and the business sides of his company. In several cases, he did that by throwing me into the deep end. 

We were trying to work a deal with a local NPR station and he helped me learn to lead the deal and negotiate the deal. He helped me see who I could eventually become. 

Sales challenges

Current sales reps face a number of challenges that are unique to the kind of setting they operate in. Most of the ones I meet with struggle with prospecting, and with prospecting effectively. 

Many learn that cold calling is dead, for example, but they work for companies that were built by cold calling. Their leaders want them to engage in cold-calling but others tell them it’s ineffective, so they feel pulled in different directions. 

At the same time, many sellers struggle with the idea of social selling in which they engage with people on social media. They often don’t have the confidence to do it effectively, so they wait for inbound leads to come, and though they do often come, it simply isn’t enough. 

I constantly give training on how to use LinkedIn and how to take advantage of cadences and flow processes for outreach. 

Prospecting

Multichannel outreach, sometimes called omnichannel, matters the most in prospecting. When I work with sales reps, I encourage them to begin their interactions on social media. Make a genuine connection with people as a starting point. 

Understand that genuine connection doesn’t mean you simply “like” something that they posted or shared. Instead, engage with that person. If someone comments on something you share, take that conversation to the inbox next and tell him how much you appreciate his comment. Then, once you’ve built that connection, you can move the conversation to a phone call. 

Now you’ve created a warm, engaging connection. 

Then, for enterprise sales, you can even take advantage of snail mail to send them something to grab their attention. We created a Willy Wonka style ticket and invited them to join us for our demo. We sent sodas and snacks and a Starbucks gift card. We spent about $12 for each of three boxes and landed about $100,000 worth of deals. 

Sales tips

I read a lot of books in an effort to improve my game, and one of my recent favorites is Mike Weinberg’s Sales Management. Simplified. because he focuses on fundamentals. For me, mastering those fundamentals is the key to moving to the next level. Aside from prospecting, asking appropriate questions makes a big difference as well. 

For sellers who know nothing about their buyers, pipelines won’t matter at all. We’re skipping the discovery process and we’re missing a chance to ask meaningful questions and demonstrate our expertise. 

Related to that topic, time management presents a big struggle for sellers right now. I attribute my continued success to planning. In fact, I’ve created a selling planner because I couldn’t find one that I liked. 

I read a book by Kevin Kruse called the 15 Secrets Successful People Know  and another called The 12 Week Year related to time management. A lot of sales reps throw as many things as they can on a calendar in hopes that they can maximize their time. 

Instead, I break my day down based on categories to measure my effectiveness. I separate sales activities, marketing activities, and operations. I tracked those activities for a week to see where the commonalities are and which tasks I’m repeatedly doing. Then, I eliminated tasks that my team could do for me so I could focus on sales-related tasks. 

Preparation

Do a three-minute prep prior to each sales call. If you have a focused list of clients, consider hiring someone to do research on each of those clients. Find out the following:

  • How does this company make money?
  • What challenges do they have that they aren’t even necessarily aware of?
  • What common challenges are they facing?
  • How does this person I’m going to call help the company make money?

If you can help your customer achieve his goals, you’ll be so much further down the path. The process isn’t about you.

Someone is going to solve your customer’s problem. Why don’t you figure it out first and be the first to provide the solution?

“Helping Your Sales Team Perform” episode resources

Connect with Donald on LinkedIn. Also check out the Sales Game Changers Podcast.

 If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Retail, Sales From The Street, Sales Reps

TSE 1170: Sales From The Street: “Teach Them How To Educate”

Retail, Sales From The Street, Sales Reps

Derek Badala frequently travels with sales reps to teach them how to educate the customer in an effort to solve problems. As the director of sales at Synthax, he is always on the road traveling with sales reps and training them to become another version of himself — a skilled sales leader, influencer, and consultant. 

Technology and education

Being in the audiovisual industry, it could be said that technology and education are their biggest challenges. Making a sale is difficult, especially with new products. You must understand everything about the product and its application. Everybody is trying to get a sale and trying to close deals fast without asking all the necessary questions. With the competition in the market, there’s not enough time to learn about the new product and how it can be applied to the prospects’ problems.

Derek focuses on educating the sales reps and covering all the ways that the products can be used, and less on the features and benefits. He’s working to find ways that his products can make the clients’ lives easier. 

Sales reps must not skip this educating stage and must learn the product and its application to the lives of the client. Too much excitement over a deal that hasn’t happened yet may cause the deal to fall apart. 

Skipping steps

Derek had a client who was excited about getting a product from Digigram that would provide background music to stores. Neither the client nor the sales reps understood all the things about the product and its services. They got ahead of themselves and weren’t able to prepare the details that the client needed. Instead, the company should have better studied the client’s needs to know exactly how the products fit. 

When reps skip steps, it can cause deals to fall apart, which can negatively affect your pipeline. #SalesPipeline

Their company also sells widgets that clients can buy in retail stores. It’s difficult to educate salespeople in retail stores about the product because they have their personal favorites and they immediately suggest those products. It’s a challenge to tell them about your product and make them answer the customers’ questions.

When customers aren’t given enough information about a product, they often buy something that they’re not happy with. They are boxed into thinking about this particular product that salespeople in the retail store like. This is always a challenge. 

Trade shows 

Derek’s company does a lot of trade shows where he teaches classes on audio networking, and how to do audio over IP net. He also teaches classes on how to choose the right audio interface for musicians so that they won’t be sold products they don’t need.

The company’s goal is to educate the market and the customers through webcasts, webinars, and a whole lot more. 

Lunch and Learn 

The company also does a lot of lunch and learn while traveling. While the internet is an efficient tool in disseminating information, there’s still nothing more effective than getting in front of people and teaching them. Buying them lunch and then educating them about your products in a graceful way is very effective. 

Derek travels with many sales reps and while traveling, he continues to teach them how to educate others as well. They attend sessions and they learn from him by example. Instead of telling them a litany of features and benefits of certain products, Derek tells them a story. 

It is important to have success stories to tell about the products. Share little nuggets about the product to catch the clients’ attention. 

Competition 

The industry is growing and with it, competition grows as well. With every product line added, there’s new revenue being added into the business. Even when a company experiences growth, it’s still hard to miss that others are growing as well. 

There are competitors out there who are as good as, if not better than you. Regardless of the competition, we’re now seeing more resellers who are interested in knowing more about the products they sell. 

Derek’s company has grown since he joined in 2017 and he has seen a lot of improvements. They’re now seeing great improvements in the Ferrofish brand as it’s now being used for Broadway shows, the Superbowl, and for broadcast.

It’s always a battle to be on the top line funnel. You always plant sales and cultivate the leads to turn them into closed deals. 

Be the best listener 

In sales, it is important to be the best listener. One of the biggest mistakes in sales is owning the talk. You want to know more about the customers to be able to present solutions to their problems. You need to listen to them and see how you can help. 

After listening, you need to ask questions and listen to their responses. These steps are more important than presenting your clients with the features and benefits of the product. 

“Teach Them How To Educate” episode resources

Stay connected with Derek via his LinkedIn account. You can also visit the company website, RME-USA.com.

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Training Sales Program. It is a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to become better in doing their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses to help you find the right customers, ask the right questions, and close great deals. You can get the first two modules for free! 

Or you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Thank you for tuning in and if you liked this episode, do give a rating and review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Sales From The Street, Vicki Antonio, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1169: Sales From The Street – “Think Like A Large Company CEO”

Sales From The Street, Vicki Antonio, Donald C. Kelly 

 

 

Vicki Antonio is a business consultant and a life coach who helps small business owners think like a large company CEO. This is a result of her journey of knowing what her purpose in life is. She started working when she was 13 years old and she found herself having a pattern of working with startups. Her experience made her realize that startups have a pattern of growing pains. 

She used that when she got into real estate because she wanted to be that mom who goes to PTA meetings and football games for her kids. The knowledge gave her a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen as a whole. 

With the fallout of the market, she learned some hard lessons. She then went into upper management in real estate and after that, she became a business developer for a global real estate franchise. Vicki oversaw about 30 of their shops and her role was to get them developed, get them brand-compliant, and partner with brokers and owners to keep the business profitable. She was a coach for the company’s business needs, whatever those needs might be, on a day-to-day basis. 

Blind spots

Most business owners scale their businesses to a certain place and then they’d have a business blindspot. Very few people see the blindspot and see the capacity that they can get to at the beginning. 

It’s similar to taking a vacation where you know where you’re going but you can’t see it from the place that you start. The closer you get to it, however, the clearer it gets. If you’re not familiar with the geographical location of the area, then you might have some detours that cause apprehensions. It may cause you to stop and get lost a little bit. 

This is where Vicki comes in. She is the guide and she helps the companies see their direction in a clearer perspective. 

Top problems 

Fear is the first problem that small businesses face. Sometimes, they become fearful and they build only up to where they know, and then they get stagnant. The fear comes in because they’ve got to relinquish what they know. 

It’s very much like taking your child to daycare for the first time. There’s apprehension and doubt about whether they can take care of your kid. The same is true for your business because you have an emotional attachment to it. You develop apprehension about handing it over. But it is important to allow someone else to come in, and then to trust that they will do their job. Trust and fear come hand-in-hand. 

The fear of somebody else taking the business to the next level or the fear of engaging with another system are reasons why small businesses fail to progress. 

Clarity

Clarity is also difficult for business owners, especially the entrepreneurs who are self-employed salespeople. These people do a lot to get to a certain place. There’s a lot of things that go into play to get them to the end. Often, they don’t have clarity about what those things are because they either don’t have enough components to see the end or they have too many components that they no longer see the end. When you’re in that slump, you need an analysis of the things you do to see the cause of the stagnation. 

Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan had coaches to give them the bird’s eye view, the area where they themselves could not see. The coaches help them and critique them. They also help them analyze what they are doing and how they can change it to make their play better. The same is true in sales. 

Salespeople are good at what they do but there are still things that they just can’t see. Sometimes, salespeople get in their own way and do things because it felt right for years. Like Woods, even when his form is okay, his coach can be there with him and tell him things like, ‘

If you just turn the club a little bit then you’d see a better performance.’

As salespeople, you need a coach to analyze your system and your tools to make sure that you’re using them correctly. It is equally important that you trust their input and that the information you’re getting is helpful. 

It is important for salespeople and business owners to trust the process. 

Fear 

Fear is false evidence appearing real. A lot of times, we think too much because we don’t have clarity about the direction that we take. We are also concerned about whether we’re doing things the proper way. This makes us fear the unknown, so we stay where we are instead of moving.  

It’s not saying that you’re doing something wrong. It’s more like you’ve known how difficult the climb has been and you want to take things to the next level, or to the next pinnacle. Overcoming fear differs from one person to another because everybody’s risk factor is different. For the risk-takers, there’s a great reward but there’s a big gap there. It’s different for people who are not risk-takers because they calculate their risk to the point of comfortability and the rest is pain. 

Trust 

Your business is like your baby and you’ve put all your effort into it and invested much into it. You have the responsibility of making sure that it’s sustainable, it’s growing, it’s healthy, and it’s cared for. 

Then somebody comes in and says to do the same things you’ve promised but it’s difficult to trust that person. 

This fear can be overcome using a trust list. It’s helpful to create a list of people who have the same core values that you have and people who have track records of having done it already. There’s a good possibility that you can rest for a bit when you work with these people, do business with them, party with them, or engage with them. 

The pattern of sales is changing now where relationships are being developed in the sales process. In the past, it has been a case of meeting a stranger, doing the transaction, and then never seeing them again. This time it’s different. 

As a salesperson, you build a relationship with them and vet them to know who they are and you also see their track records. 

Proof of credibility 

When you think like a large company CEO, establishing proof of credibility is also important. When you’re mentioned in the local newspaper or on a TV interview or magazine, third-party validation builds credibility. Donald Miller’s book, Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen talked extensively about this. 

Client testimonials and LinkedIn also build credibility.  You can use the platform to give recommendations and also get recommendations from clients. People who will check in on your page will see you and the things you’ve done getting that quick validation. 

You have to do your homework and leave your footprints, especially now that everybody is using platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for marketing. They have great graphic artists and do amazing things. Sometimes, high profile companies do not excel in that area but they’re doing great in testimonials. 

Social media is usually the first place that people go and not having great track records in that platform will rob you of opportunities. Social media, LinkedIn, and testimonial platforms are things that you can improve on. 

Addressing clarity 

Clarity is two-fold. Be clear about who you’re working with and what they’ve attained. Second, know who you are as a business. The second aspect is about knowing your niche, your market, your strong suits, and the things you can highlight about yourself. 

Once you know yourself, then you’ll know how to work with others and how to bring somebody to engage to work with you. 

It’s like the trip mentioned earlier, If you hop in a car without mapping out your destination, you won’t know the streets to take and you’ll end up lost. Startups are like that, too. Many startups think that they can be all things to all people but in truth, that’s not possible. 

Vicki started out in real estate with a global and luxurious company. The properties can be worth millions. She has seen salespeople who wanted to get into that price point but because of the lack of experience, they hesitated. They had to first learn that in order to get to the high price point, they first need to stop taking the lower sales. 

It’s important to let go of the old mindset and get into a new mindset by being clear about where you want to be and then knitting yourself to that thing.

Jack of all trades

Becoming a jack of all trades is good because salespeople and see opportunities but sometimes doing that means turning down an opportunity to do something. For example, if somebody wants their house painted and you’re a salesperson in real estate, if you decide to paint the house, you’re wasting an opportunity of making calls doing things that will potentially help you land your next $25,000 client. 

You are impeding your progress because you can only spend money and time once.

Your time has more value than the actual money you’re making. 

The scripture says that you can do all those with Christ and that’s true but you can’t do it all at the same time. 

Seasons

You’re going to go through seasons, through phases, and through stages. If you learn the season and the stage that you’re in, then you understand the capacity for that time frame. 

You need to understand the season that you’re in, the same way that you’re not going to sport a bathing suit when you’re headed to someplace cold. You’re not going to wear an overcoat when you’re headed to the beach. 

This is the thing about clarity. It’s when you understand that you’re headed to the beach and you’re not going to feel offended or feel like you’re missing out on something when somebody steps in your elevator wearing an overcoat. You know that you are going in a different direction and it’s okay. 

If at some point you want to change your direction or change course, then it’s okay. The most important thing is that you understand very clearly where you’re going when you’re making the change so that you don’t impede good opportunities in the season that you’re in. 

Trust the process

It is important to trust the process. Trust is huge because this is the area where you have to have some faith. There will be blindspots in the trust factor but if you’ve made your part then it will be easier. It’s best to prepare, carve out of clarity, train, and sharpen your tools and learn how to use them. 

You’ve got to trust that when you take the leap, you’re gonna land in the right place. 

Remember this: trust that when you take the leap, you’re gonna land in the right place. 

“Think Like A Large Company CEO” episode resources

Stay in touch with Vicki to learn more about her services by calling her at 561-774-1333. You can also visit her website at victoriousu.com and victorious’s lifestyle strategies. She’s also on Facebook, so check her out there, too. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode is brought to you in part by Audible. Check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Training Sales Program, a course to guide sales reps and sales leaders to become better at pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses to help you find the right customers, ask the right questions, and close great deals. You can get the first two modules for free! 

I hope you liked this episode. If you’ve learned a thing or two then do give a rating and review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound

Relationship Selling, Decision-Makers, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1168: Selling In Europe vs. Selling In The USA

Relationship Selling, Decision-Makers, The Sales EvangelistEvery sales transaction differs from the others, but when you’re selling in Europe vs. selling in the USA, it’s important to understand the differences in culture.

Christine Schlonski works with entrepreneurs who have a negative view of sales. She helps them redefine their view of it so they can sell with ease, grace, and confidence and also ask their price. In short, she helps them makes sales, which is simply an interaction between people, fun. 

Fear of selling

Christine points to the depiction of sales in movies, coupled with bad sales experiences that we’ve all had. Subconsciously, we don’t want to be like these people. Women especially struggle to ask for what they truly want because it feels salesy or pushy. They often assume because they’re good people that buyers will line up to buy. 

It’s possible to ask for the sale in a natural way but movies never depict sellers in a positive light. It’s likely that a movie about a seller who sells from the heart and brings value would be boring. But sales truly could be like that. 

Set the expectation and then make the offer. Then consider what’s a go and what’s a no-go. How can we work together? 

Sales differences

Sales in the U.S. move quickly, while people in Europe like time. Realize, too, that Europe isn’t a single country, and sales differ across those countries. In France, for example, sales involves numerous decision-makers, and French people love meetings. Where Americans look to make things happen, you cannot simply show up with an offer and a take-it-or-leave-it attitude. 

Germans exist between those two extremes because they want to be a bit more efficient. Still, though, they cannot be pushed or pressured into decisions. 

Relationships are still the key to all sales. The decision-maker needs to feel comfortable in the relationship and feel as though he is making a good decision. 

Typically, larger companies have more complicated decision-making processes. They often have male leaders and sometimes one of them will block the process because of politics or a need to be right. 

Selling in Europe will never be a one-call close. 

Unique preferences

Christine had experiences in the past where her work with a global company selling high-ticket events over the phone was negatively affected by her American colleagues who were perceived as being pushy. The prospects assumed that her sales process would operate the same way, so they weren’t interested.

For companies who operate in different countries, training sellers to understand the cultural differences can present a challenge. Begin with the simple understanding that no two people are alike. Even without the cultural differences, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution because we’re all human with unique preferences. 

Consider yourself as an example. How would you want to be treated during a call? What’s important to you?

Then, be open to cultural differences and be aware of misunderstandings, but understand that it isn’t a case of the prospect not liking you.

In Christine’s case, she learned to operate as though any “no” in the process was always her fault because she hadn’t managed some part of the process correctly.  

She understands, too, that if she calls into the U.S. she needs to operate with the correct urgency because it’s what they expect. 

Small talk

Sellers in the U.S. are pretty good with small talk, but in the U.K., for example, talk about the weather can be important. Some people perceive that as a waste of time, but you must adjust to the person you’re speaking to. 

Adjusting the conversation to your audience doesn’t demand that you be fake. Pick something that’s meaningful to you that will bring the other person into the conversation as well. 

Suspend your own thinking toward the customers’ needs. Accommodate them.

In the U.S., for example, people don’t give a true answer to the question, “How are you?” Instead, they’ll say, “I’m fine.” In other countries, they’ll be more likely to answer honestly. 

Approach with the desire to serve their needs. 

Expectations

In my own negotiations with a prospect for TSE Certified Sales Training Course, I discovered during the negotiation process that many buyers from eastern Europe want to ensure that they are getting the best deal. A  friend who is also from eastern Europe told me that they’ll often expect to be able to negotiate down a bit. So even if you have a fair price, they may expect you to adjust it. 

In this case, I made the adjustment because it was a win-win opportunity. 

Depending on the products you sell, the price level, and who your negotiating partners are, maybe you set something in place that you can add to the program rather than adjusting your price down. Add value without dropping the price. It gives them a feeling of a win. 

Businesses are always trying to get the best deal, regardless of culture. 

Authenticity

Be true to yourself and be authentic. If you have a great product, begin with a connection. Small talk can feel superficial, so you must communicate that you’re not only interested in a sale. 

“Selling In Europe” episode resources

You can connect with Christine at her podcast, Heart Sells, where she interviews successful entrepreneurs who have overcome sales challenges and who operate from the heart. She seeks to showcase that sales can be fun and that anyone can learn sales. You can also find her at christineschlonski.com

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Twitter:

 

Establish relationships with prospects so they don’t feel as though they are simply being sold to. Instead, offer them an invitation to buy. #RelationshipSelling

 

Hear More About:

 

Social Media:

 

Sales Reps, Time Management, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1167: My Sales Reps Say They Are Too Busy…I Think This Is Crap!

 

Sales Reps, Time Management, Donald C. KellySales reps and sales leaders face a lot of challenges, and some sales reps say they are too busy. Sometimes the problems are nothing major, but on some other times, the problem causes a ripple in the revenue. One situation that causes such a negative impact in sales is when salespeople claim that their pipeline is down due to busyness. This is when sales reps spend much of their time helping current customers find opportunities and they no longer have the time to bring new business or clients. 

This is a common situation among sales leaders and sales reps. It is a legitimate question because sometimes, sales reps come up with excuses and they don’t recognize that. Sales reps often have too much on their plate and they get so busy which then prevents them from getting out and doing sales activity. 

Size of your organization 

What is the size of your organization? This is an important question because if you’re working in an organization with sales in a small company, the sales rep is doing the prospecting and finding leads. After that, the sales rep tries to convert the leads into appointments that lead up to initial conversations. They build value, negotiate, and maintain the account. The sales reps are there in the entire process, but doing all that can cause problems. 

If you’re in an enterprise organization, the sales reps’ main responsibility is closing deals. If you have different departments and individuals doing BDR work, researching, getting leads, doing client success, and managing accounts then there shouldn’t be any problem. 

For small organizations, the sales reps are doing everything and the sales reps legitimately may be too busy. 

Empathy 

As sales manager, your first course of action is to show empathy. We can’t expect our sales reps to go out and show empathy to the prospects without giving them our empathy first. We need to truly understand where they’re coming from.

For example, if a prospect says that the software isn’t working, you don’t argue with him. We can’t exactly tell the prospects to go figure the software out. The same is true for our sales reps. We can’t tell them to figure things out and make it happen. Give them the benefit of the doubt, hear them out first, and figure out why they feel overwhelmed. 

Sales managers are busy people and you might feel that you don’t have enough time to manage everything, but you have to do it. You have to go to the second step after empathizing. 

Diagnose 

The next step is diagnosing. Start this by creating a time audit sheet. It can be on a word document or whatever means possible. Have your sales reps list all the tasks they do in a day,  including answering questions, answering prospects, reaching out on LinkedIn, and many others. They have to write everything down and the length of time they spent doing each task. 

Finally, they need to label whether it’s a sales task or an admin task. If it’s something that directly connects to bringing new business in the organization, then label it as a sales task. 

Reaching out for a client in LinkedIn is a sales activity but going through contracts in the database isn’t. In that case, have somebody else in the organization go through the contracts. Free up sales reps from doing admin tasks and let them do activities that directly tie to getting new prospects. #Revenue

Another example is cleaning up the CRM. This isn’t a sales activity, especially if it’s not in prime time. Maybe you can do this at home or delegate it to somebody else instead of letting the sales reps do it. 

On a scale of 1-3 

After putting labels to the tasks, categorize them on a scale of 1 – 3. 

  • 1 – it’s directly tied to bringing new business 
  • 2 – average
  • 3 – it’s not so directly tied to bringing new business 

Doing this will make you see that the majority of the sales reps’ time is spent on admin related activities. In smaller organizations, sales reps must do all kinds of tasks but you can avoid this. 

Getting a sales resource individual to help the sales rep find prospects is a great idea. 

The sales research rep connects with the operations department and makes sure that jobs are fulfilled. If the sales rep was to find a prospect and need a particular product or service to seal the deal, the sales research rep would do that task instead. The sales rep would have enough time to go and look for other prospects and clients. 

Sales research reps are very much like project managers. They see to it that everything gets done and that the proper products and samples needed by the sales reps are provided and presented to the client. 

This saves a lot of time and promotes efficiency in the organization. 

The sales research reps are assistant to the sales reps and do the admin tasks for the sales reps. This way, the sales reps become more productive with their time. 

You can do this to your company, too. Find some individuals who can help you alleviate the struggles of the sellers and let the sellers focus on what they do best: making sales. 

“Sales Reps Say They Are Too Busy” episode resource

Companies differ and what works for others may not work for you. Whatever the case may be, let us know of the results. You can connect with me via our Facebook page or LinkedIn. Drop me a message and let me know if this works well for your organization. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Training Sales Program. A course to guide sales reps and sales leaders to become better in doing their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses to help you find the right customers, ask the right questions, and close great deals. You can get the first two modules for free! 

Or you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Thank you for tuning in and if you liked this episode, do give a rating and review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Venture capitalists, Judy Robinett, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1166: The Importance of a Strategic Network for Business and Career Success

Venture capitalists, Judy Robinett, Donald C. Kelly

Many sellers overlook fundamental selling principles, but salespeople must learn the importance of a strategic network for business and career success in order to become proficient in our jobs. 

Judy Robinett is an advisor to Springboard, an incubator that helps women founders, with great statistics of 19 IPOs and 165 strategic sells. Judy loves educating people and meeting entrepreneurs and helping them with connections. 

She wrote the book, How to Be a Power Connector, a bestseller in 2014, and she recently published another book called Crack the Funding Code: How Investors Think and What They Need to Hear to Fund Your Startup. It’s a book that tells us how investors think and what they need to hear to fund your startup. 

The beginning

Judy worked as a social worker but she didn’t stop there. She explored her options and opportunities after making some bad decisions like starting her own franchise restaurant. In time, her business failed and she had to sell it.

She worked with a then-unknown company called Skullcandy® when they were broke and had a quarter of a million dollars in revenue. She helped the company build its credibility and bring its revenue up again. That fueled her interest in startups and she became an investor herself. Fast forward to now, she’s a managing director at Golden Seeds

Crack the funding code

Many great entrepreneurs in the U.S. don’t understand the facts. For one, there’s no lack of money. In fact, there’s $318 trillion of private global wealth. These entrepreneurs don’t understand the players: there’s private equity that are all investing into startups as well as the sovereign wealth funds that manage 10% of the global GDP. 

The book Crack the Funding Code is an easy-to-follow roadmap on how to find and pitch investors. The book’s appendix has term sheets, actual pitch decks, and other relevant research information. It is a book that will educate entrepreneurs because these people can change the world. 

Lessons in mistakes

Entrepreneurs take calculated risks. Along the way, missteps create lessons waiting to be learned. Judy’s bankruptcy lawyer said of her failed franchise restaurant, “They can break you but they can’t eat you.

Judy learned to kick fear to the curb and understand that there’s no lack of resources in the world because resources are connected to human beings. It is true that sales are critical in finding and catching investors. It’s also important in catching the customers. Entrepreneurs must learn to navigate in their mistakes. 

They need to figure out how to get investors to figure out how to find customers. 

Funding mindset 

Howard Stevenson, known as the Lion of Entrepreneurism at Harvard, wrote a book on how to be an angel investor. His book talked about how you can set yourself apart from everybody else. In order to be perceived as a high-potential startup:

  • Be clear on your exit strategy and the comparables because investors want to get their money back. 
  • Mitigate risks as viewed by the investors. 

It is good for startups to put high-powered people in their advisory board to help build their credibility, especially if the CEO hasn’t done a startup before. In the VC investing world, people talk about adult supervision. This is critical because you want to have reliable people in your team with deep industry expertise who can open doors to money, media, and other resources that you might need. 

Getting investors is more than just being good and being able to produce something. 

One of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs do in their pitches is the way they focus on technology and explain the details at length. Investors, however, care less about that. Harvard researchers found that the average amount of time people spend looking at a particular slide is 11 seconds. Financial slides, however, get 23 seconds worth of attention.

Investors look for a team that can execute to a big enough market, the total addressable market (TAM). 

Three C’s

Arthur Rock was the first venture capitalist who started the industry in Silicon Valley. He said that if somebody comes to him with a B product but with an A team or an A product but with a B team, he’d always go for the A-team. This means that investors invest in the team that can execute. 

So, the first C is you need to be coachable. We all have that blindspot of not knowing what we don’t know. It’s important to come across as coachable rather than arrogant. If somebody asks you about something that you don’t know, then be upfront and tell that person that you’ll get back to him. Then ask for help to show that you are coachable. 

The second one is having a level of confidence. You are selling your concept, your company, and how you’re going to grow it to the investors so a level of confidence is important. 

The third one is character. Howard Stevenson said in his book that when he hears an exaggeration or half-truth, he runs away instead of walking so that he won’t lose money. Investors have a way of looking at your character in a substantial way. 

Be coachable 

The moment we say that we don’t need more information is the moment that we stop growing. When we stop learning and stop being coached, we also stop progressing and growing. 

A sales rep who has been selling for 10 years and who stops reading books about sales is stuck in the same way that an entrepreneur who stops needing advice is stuck. 

Businesses fall short because entrepreneurs stop growing and because they don’t have a board of advisers to tell them the truth or advise them what to do.  

CB Insights did a post mortem of 101 startups and one of the problems they found was the inability to learn and pivot. Clayton Christiansen, an expert on innovation at Harvard, said that 75% of startups pivot. Viagra didn’t start out being used the way it’s used today, but the nurses noticed a side-effect.

Everybody must be in an exploration of finding out what you don’t know because that’s where growth happens. 

The obstacle is a gift. Run to your obstacle much like David running toward Goliath. Understand that every time you have a vision, Goliath shows up so you must master how to learn and pivot. 

There are two words that mean fear: the first refers to being terrified, and the second is the sense of awe and wonder. This happens when you step out of your comfort zone. 

You need to reframe your fear and deal with it. 

Network your way to the right investors 

It is critical to be in the right room. Judy met a founder who was trying to get investors in Salt Lake City for her company but she was in the wrong room because she wasn’t Mormon and she was a woman. Judy took her to Boston and San Francisco where she closed deals and then sold her company for millions

There are specific groups of investors. First, you start with your family, then your friends, then your credit cards, and you move up to the angel investor, the seed round. There are 400 angel groups in the U.S. and $317 trillion in private global wealth. There is no lack of money here. There’s also the governmental fund, the sovereign wealth fund. It is important that you know which group to go to. 

You can find them via searching in Google, by going to pitch events, or by asking top lawyers and bankers who work with startups. 

Do not forget to ask them the two golden questions: 

  • What other ideas do you have for me?
  • Who else do you know that I should talk to?

On average, people know between 600 and 1,000 people. You don’t have to know tons of people; you need the right people to get in the right room. 

Another good way to build your network is to find your way to private curated events and talk to people.  Let them know what you do. You can also ask them their opinion and who they know that you ought to be talking to as well. You’d be surprised at the number of people who are happy to help but you need to learn to ask. 

This is particularly difficult if you are from the lower to middle class where you’re taught to keep your head down, get a degree, work hard, and don’t ask for help because people would notice. In truth, people do not notice. 

According to research in Denmark, 5% of people in any corporation or organization are the true influencers and power brokers. Those are the people that you need to get to know.

Delivering a compelling pitch

You need a concise, compelling narrative. Dick Wilson, a VC who has had $1billion exit every year for the past five years, was asked how to create a compelling pitch. He said that it’s important to be concise, be compelling, and have passion. 

You want to get to the second date so don’t spill all the details or all the financials because your job is to get those people to be interested in you and start doing due diligence. John Livesay, also known as Pitch Deck Guru, is a great man who can help you out with your compelling stories.

Research often suggests that the majority of startups fail but that data is inaccurate. Hard research shows that about 50 percent fail because the owners aren’t willing to learn. 

Reasons startups fail

Phil Graham, one of the Y Combinator founders, said that there are two reasons why startups fail:

  • lack of customers 
  • lack of sales 

One of the Dropbox founders said that before he started Dropbox, he didn’t know anything about sales engineering and product development. He bought the top three books in each of those areas, and he got an advisory board. Simply put, you don’t have to be brilliant and smarter than everybody else. 

Don’t fail your startup. Use the two golden questions and start reaching out to strangers. Open your mouth and ask. Investors are everywhere and they need startups, too. They need to put their money into entrepreneurs’ startups so a little leg work and some networking is helpful. Go to the National Venture Capital Association and the National Angel Association to find lists of everybody. 

Do your homework and do your due diligence on the investors. 

“The Importance of a Strategic Network for Business and Career Success” episode resources 

Stay in touch with Judy via email, judy@judyrobinett.com, and her LinkedIn account. You can find the documents she mentioned in the episode here and here

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Training Sales Program. A course to guide sales reps and sales leaders to become better in doing their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses to help you find the right customers, ask the right questions, and close great deals. You can get the first two modules for free! 

Or you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Thank you for tuning in and if you liked this episode, do give a rating and review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Rejection, The Sales Evangelist, Cisco Terreros

TSE 1165: Why Getting a No is Not Such a Bad Thing and How to Accept it!

 

Rejection, The Sales Evangelist, Cisco Terreros

Some people aren’t into the idea of rejection but actually, there are positive reasons why getting a no is not such a bad thing. 

Francisco Terreros is a co-founder of Felkrem, a full-service sports marketing agency focused on two core services. First, they represent professional footballers/soccer players in their careers both on and off the field, and secondly, they sell brands and reach the players’ demographics through sports and marketing. They are FIFA agents and marketers who do sales every day. The sell to parents and kids they want to sign to their firm as well as to teams and sponsors. 

They are selling their experience as sports marketers to brands who want to capitalize on their understanding of how to navigate and reach their target demographics. 

Their company is surviving, thriving, and growing rapidly despite the competition in the industry. Felkrem is dealing with the athletes’ professions and their dreams. 

Getting no as a sales rep

Sales reps have been in this situation once or twice in their careers as salespeople. It’s difficult to hear the rejection, and much more difficult to accept it. But why do we get a no and why is getting a no not such a bad thing

A seller’s job depends on his ability to get a yes, so naturally, a no for an answer is a hard pill to swallow. 

Lions are the kings of the jungle. It’s their natural instinct to turn their chase into actual food. They have their hunting strategies matrixed down that when the prey gets away, they don’t just give up. They walk and find another kill. They also don’t necessarily go for the biggest and the fastest one. They change their game occasionally and go for something else. 

As sellers, we need to think like lions. It is our instinct to turn the potential sales opportunities into yeses. Our game must also be matrixed so that when we hear no, we don’t walk away dejected. Instead, we walk away with a new plan in our head. We should learn to walk away and get the next one. We need to understand that no is part of the process and it’s going to help us figure out what we must tweak to get the yes. 

Overcoming this is a hard job because our lives depend on the yes. ‘

The sales process is a numbers game and our closing rate of yes comes before several nos. Your sales career will change once you realize that and calculate how many nos you need to get a yes. Simply put, a no means one step closer to the yes. 

Back to the beginning 

We must all begin learning the basics before we become successful in our craft. Cisco got an internship with the sponsorship department in a major league soccer team in his area. He was assigned to support the sponsorship team. He took pictures of activations, set up banners in the stadium, and met with clients at the game to let them into the gate. He was a secretary but he needed to be more. He started coming in two hours before his shift and observed. With his notepad in hand, he listened to the sponsorship guide sell and he took notes to understand the process. Weeks later, he asked for more and he was given a list of people. He started calling and calling and got zero yeses. 

Years later he realized that all those nos taught him something since they got him closer to the job. The nos helped him understand himself and his techniques and what he needed to do to change the no into a yes. 

Cisco wouldn’t have been able to understand that it’s all a system and a process if he didn’t start with the basics. 

The hungry lion 

The analogy of the lion is perfect for this subject matter. After missing their prey for a couple of times, a hungry lion is more zealous than ever to catch another one. A hungry lion is persistent and patient in an intelligent way, not in a desperate way. 

We need to help our team understand that. Teach your team to think like hunters and that the no is a way for them to become hungrier. Not desperate; just hungry. Desperation can be felt a mile away, so don’t be that desperate seller who tries to oversell. Be hungry and be patient. 

A seller’s desperation is a puff of wind that clients don’t want to inhale. It’s also good to take a mental note that clients can hear your desperate sound even in a phone conversation. When your voice drops and your tone shifts, your client will start to zone out. Pay constant attention to how you sound and how you deliver your pitch. 

Turn that no to a yes

Cisco had a seller call him in the past for a pitch and his voice and tone were giveaways to his desperation. Cisco helped him understand the process of no and he asked the seller to count the nos he got before he had a yes. A week later, the seller talked to Cisco again but now with a triumphant voice. He said that he got 33 nos before he had a yes. Those 33 nos are no longer awful experiences because those are the setbacks that got him to a yes. 

Knowing the nos is the beginning. Doing something to lower the no-to-yes ratio is the next step. You do that by identifying where the gaps are in your pitch or in the presentation and you fill those gaps. 

‘Check Me’ partner  

Accepting no is a difficult thing but this process is a continuous one. Even if you get better at getting yes, you’ll still face some nos along the way. It’s better to have someone who’ll be on the journey with you. Find someone who can check you and get you back to reality when you’re facing a slump. It can be your co-worker or your business partner. It can be another team member or your boss. It can be anybody who can get you back to your feet. Teach them to remind of you three things:

  • What did you learn?
  • What can I do better next time? 
  • The no means you’re one step closer to the yes.

Be reminded of those three things to overcome the depression and dejection that come with the no. So, go and find yourself a ‘Check Me’ partner. 

This can be applied to basically every aspect of our lives because our society fosters a culture of positivity and negativity. People have high emotions of happiness and low emotions of sadness. This contrast is good because you won’t be able to feel the satisfaction and elation that comes with happiness if you haven’t experienced something bad. 

At the end of the day, rejection is a necessary evil to achieve heavenly success. Your no is one step closer to your heavenly staircase of success. 

We don’t have to become an expert in overcoming rejection but we do have to understand the tools to help us overcome the rejection. 

Learn to turn your awful nos to beautiful yeses. 

Why Getting a no is not Such a Bad Thing and How to Accept it!” episode resources 

Connect with Cisco in his social media to be inspired. Follow him on Instagram or shoot him a mail. 

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a tool for sales reps and sales leaders to become better in doing their pitches and presentations. The program has 12 courses to help you find the right customers, ask the right questions, and close great deals. You can get the first two modules for free! 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

If you’re a reader and loves reading and listening to books, you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sales From The Street, LinkedIn, Content

TSE 1164: Sales From The Street: “Should I Create Content on LinkedIn?”

Sales From The Street, LinkedIn, ContentI saw a question on Reddit recently from a seller who wondered whether or not to create content on LinkedIn. The seller worried that writing about topics like quota, rejection, or prospecting might sound too salesy and might hurt his pipeline. 

The truth is that many sellers have fear around the concept of creating content because we worry about how the audience will accept our ideas. 

Middle school prom

Not only should we post our own content on LinkedIn; we should also engage with other people’s content. 

Unfortunately, many of us treat LinkedIn like a middle school prom. We stand around the edge of the room watching each other, too afraid to dance. We might speak to a friend or two, but we’re afraid to look stupid, so we don’t dance. Instead, we let everybody else enjoy themselves. 

We don’t want to look stupid on the dance floor, so perhaps we look stupid on the sidelines instead. We’re afraid of the critics who might make fun of our efforts

True engagement

Engagement doesn’t involve moving around the room and saying hi to people at the dance. On LinkedIn, clicking “like” for a few posts doesn’t qualify as engagement. It won’t sustain relationships. It’s basically an indication of approval. 

Engagement requires you to bring other people into the conversation. If, for example, you’re in the water industry, and you see an article about the danger of water purification tablets, you can tag another colleague who wrote about the same topic. 

The author of the piece will take note of your efforts to bring someone else to his page, and your colleague will take note as well. 

Talk to people and work to create lasting relationships.

‘Salesy’ content

The question on Reddit came from a seller who worried that his prospects might tire of always seeing sales-related content. But consider your own news feed. Are you annoyed by the fact that you frequently see the same faces over and over again? Or do you simply choose to read things that are relevant and skip over the ones that are not? 

On the other hand, when one of those people shares something that helps you or connects you with someone else, that brand sticks in your mind. When you need help with something, you’ll remember the guys who showed up in your feed. 

When you post content and engage with other content, you stay top-of-mind with your audience. 

Audience

Make sure that you’re posting the right kind of content for your audience. Gear it toward your prospect. If you’re targeting salespeople, it’s ok to post sales content. But if you’re targeting decision-makers at Fortune 500 companies, don’t post about yourself. Post what the leaders in that industry want to know or read. 

Gear your content toward the people you want to attract. 

Don’t be paralyzed by the fear that your content won’t sound perfect. Understand who you’re targeting and who you want to attract. 

LinkedIn impressions

To understand how value-rich LinkedIn is, listen to TSE 1085 on our podcast. In it, my friend Steven Hart shared some LinkedIn stats with us based on the 48 Eyeopening LinkedIn Statistics for 2019.

LinkedIn provides 36 billion impressions per month. That’s 468 billion impressions per year, or 9 billion impressions per week. Users see content 9 billion times per week. 

Now factor in that there are 500 million people on LinkedIn, and only a fraction of them are active there. Of those, only 3 million people share content weekly. So those 3 million people who share content weekly are getting 9 billion impressions. 

The rest of us are afraid to share content, so we’re sitting on the sidelines.

Grab attention

Grab your reader’s attention, but be intentional about the stuff that you share. Post things that your prospect wants to read. You can certainly share industry-related content from magazines, but your content doesn’t always have to tie back. 

Consider these options for content:

  • Answer frequently-asked-questions about your industry
  • Share content that your industry would want to know about.
  • Share videos you create from your smartphone in which you answer questions.
  • Post complementary content that is indirectly related to your industry.
  • Repurpose your company’s own blog content.

Seek to be helpful. 

Challenge

Also, consider asking your own audience questions about what they are doing and what they’d like to see. If you tag people in a post and ask them about the CRM they use, you’ll initiate engagement. As more people comment, it will gain more visibility. If someone from outside your own connections engages with it, reach out to that person and request a connection.

Your challenge for the upcoming week is to share one piece of content every day. 

  • Monday: share an industry-related piece that includes something interesting.
  • Tuesday: answer a frequently-asked-question.
  • Wednesday: answer a common question using video.
  • Thursday: post complementary information.
  • Friday: share something your company has created. 

At the end of the week, if you don’t have any impressions, keep posting. You’re going to connect with new people. Ask your teammates for ideas if you can’t think of anything to post.

“Create Content on LinkedIn” episode resources

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sales Process, The Sales Evangelist, Erin Pheil

TSE 1163: How Leaders Sabotage The Sales Process

Sales Process, The Sales Evangelist, Erin PheilSales leaders sometimes make mistakes that compromise deals, so understanding how leaders sabotage the sale process can help us avoid the same mistake. 

Erin Pheil is the founder of The MindFix Group, a company that specializes in helping entrepreneurs, high-achievers, and high-performers eliminate their biggest mental roadblocks that hold them back and keep them from achieving what they’re capable of. 

Head trash

Some sales leaders have very specific definitions of what a sales leader is. For Erin, anybody who is in charge of guiding the people in making the right decisions and who is doing sales for a company is considered a sales leader

Many sellers read books and work with experts to improve their skills in sales. They keep learning, and then they show up on calls. They often show up to these calls prepared, but also with head trash. They’re showing bits and pieces of their old mental programming and outdated beliefs that aren’t helpful in closing deals. They go to the calls and they try to combine new knowledge and strategies that their coaches have taught them with their old beliefs. 

When things go wrong, they don’t blame themselves. They blame the technique and the process, or even the people they hired. They don’t look at their head trash and suspect that they might be the ones sabotaging the process. 

Blaming the process, techniques, and tactics instead of examining how they’re screwing things up sabotages the sales process. 

Accepting blame

It takes courage to accept blame because it’s human nature to blame somebody else. It takes courage to stop, pause, and hold a mirror to yourself and ask how you’re contributing to the challenges that you’re experiencing. It’s much easier to project outward and place the blame.  

Head trash commonly appears as the need for approval or the need to be liked. Sellers will show up to a sales call and, instead of focusing on guiding the prospect towards the right decision, they operate from an underlying need to be liked. This goes beyond having a bond and rapport. It’s more of wanting to be approved. A person with that need often sabotages calls just to be liked. 

They get nervous, they make concessions, and they apologize, which shifts the whole frame of conversation. Being liked becomes the more important outcome. 

Self-doubt 

Money block and old programming from a salesperson’s childhood also have a negative impact on sales calls. 

For example, a client raised to believe that she isn’t supposed to talk about money in the household where degree and certificates are the next big things had a huge block in her sales process. Since this particular client had no degree, she ended up questioning her ability and wouldn’t bring up the pricing until the last minute, or until the prospect asked for the price. This client had old head trash on the concept of pricing and money so that often the price in her head was different from the price that came out of her mouth. 

Even with constant reminders here and there, she just couldn’t do it. It just wouldn’t come out of her mouth the right way. 

This is what head trash is. You show up with a plan and all the right information, but your old pieces of programming, beliefs, and thoughts sabotage and compromise your ability to make a productive call. 

Figure your patterns 

The first thing to do is to figure your patterns. Knowing your patterns brings awareness to your calls. You must pinpoint where in the process you’re having your patterns of resistance and frustrations. 

Create a list of the areas where you keep repeating some patterns that you know do not serve you. It might be telling the same jokes, doing what you’re not supposed to do, or not talking about the money even though you have to. 

The buyer might think that you’re hiding something or you have some trick up your sleeves. Before you know it, you have already sabotaged your opportunity. The same is true if you keep talking to your client without giving him the time to speak. It scares the prospect off as well. 

Consider a salesperson who can’t even have an intro opportunity because she can’t stop talking. Her problem clearly exists at the beginning of the process. 

This is a perfect example of a pattern of people who can’t stop talking. They don’t listen because it has been ingrained in their minds that they should keep talking so that someone will buy from them. They feel the need to show off and prove their expertise in order to be respected. 

Changing patterns

After listing the patterns that you observe, ask yourself, “What would I have to believe to be true in order to keep acting this way?

What we believe determines how we act. 

If you believe that talking about money is wrong, then you’ll probably act in ways in accordance with that belief. A lot of these beliefs are in the back of our heads and most of us might not believe them to be true. But even if a tiny part of us holds true to that belief, then we’ll act according to those beliefs. 

What you get from asking that question for each pattern is a list of old pieces of head trash, programming, and beliefs that you’re still carrying around that are sabotaging your sales process. 

Set aside time to implement the two things mentioned here. First, identify the patterns and second, come up with a list of what you’d have to believe to be true. This will open your mind and make you see things that you didn’t realize are impacting your close rate and your success as a sales leader. 

“How Leaders Sabotage the Sale Process” episode resource

Learn more from Erin and visit her website mindfixgroup.com. Check the hour-long training video that explains how your head trash is impacting your actions and behaviors and causing you to sabotage things. There are also case studies and stories of real people who have overcome their challenges. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a tool for salespeople and sales leaders to help them improve their skills and abilities in finding the right customers, creating strategies that work, and asking the right questions to close powerful deals. You can go to The Sales Evangelist and see the first two modules for free. 

This episode is brought to you in part by Audible, the awesome library with thousands of books. Try it now to get a 30-day free trial and a free book. Goo to audibletrial.com/tse

If you find this episode helpful, give us a ravishing review and rating on Apple podcast. We are also on Google Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sellers, Sales Coach, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1162: How to Effectively Coach Struggling Sellers

Sellers, Sales Coach, Donald C. Kelly

Sales leaders must help their teams perform at peak levels, so they must start by understanding how to effectively coach struggling sellers

I’ve seen this kind of coaching done badly in the past, and I’ve walked my own team members through these struggles. I’ve developed tips of my own and I’ve learned from Mike Weinberg’s book Sales Management Simplified

Questions to ask

All sales reps and sales leaders endure dark moments where nothing seems to work out. Despite the fact that we’ve been selling for years, we endure periods where we simply can’t close. Very often, when that happens, there are several key things we must address.

These situations don’t develop overnight, and they usually result from slippage in certain areas. Begin by answering the following questions as honestly as you can. You’ll never find improvement if you’re dishonest about your situation. 

  • Does the struggling seller have a desire to succeed and thrive in sales? If he doesn’t have the drive to succeed, no amount of training or coaching will help.
  • Why is this particular seller on my sales team? Did you inherit this seller? Did you hire him?
  • How did the seller get into this situation? What signs did you see along the way? 
  • What has been done to fix the problem? What steps has the seller taken? What steps have you taken?

One-on-one meetings

If you aren’t already holding them, schedule one-on-one meetings with your sellers. I’m a big believer in this method because these leadership meetings offer opportunities to connect with our team members. 

One-on-one meetings with sellers provide time to fine-tune and fix micro-problems before they become huge cracks that jeopardize the stability of our organizations. #SalesCoaching

These can be monthly, or weekly, but quarterly isn’t frequent enough.  

As you work with a struggling rep, you can determine the things that stopped happening. Did he stop planning his prospecting? Is he failing to manage his time? Does he fail to establish a plan for his activities?

If you aren’t engaging in one-on-one coaching, you won’t know what’s happening with your team. When you recognize the problems, you can implement solutions and guide your team members to the right solutions. 

These meetings should be knee-to-knee, eye-to-eye if possible. 

Conducting one-on-one meetings communicates to your reps that you care about their success. When you take time out of your schedule to share suggestions and guidance with your team members, it’s meaningful to your team. 

If something is important to your sales reps, it must be important to you. One-on-one meetings help you determine what’s important to your team members. 

If the rep is really struggling, you can increase the frequency of your coaching sessions. 

Changing mindset

When I was a sales rep selling software, I changed my mindset so that I considered myself the entrepreneur over my territory. Mike Weinberg suggests that you do the same by establishing a business plan for your territory or area.

Whether you’re a BDR or an inside sales rep, begin by determining a goal for yourself. For struggling sales reps, help them to create their own goals and then to establish a plan to follow. Including them in the plan gives them accountability. 

Begin with small goals over the next three months of the quarter. Consider what your financial goal will be. Then determine exactly how they’ll accomplish that. Identify the existing customers that you’ll engage.

Establish a time frame in which your rep will accomplish that goal. Remember to include consequences. Ask your reps what a fair turnaround would be. Then ask your reps what should happen if they don’t meet their stated goals.  

Very often your reps will establish tougher consequences for themselves than you might have set. 

Desire to improve

When you have a sales rep with an obvious desire to improve, bend over backward for that person. Move mountains for her. If she is taking advantage of coaching and she establishes an awesome business plan, reward her efforts. Find other resources that will help her succeed.

Get her books or send her links to relevant podcasts. Meet with her when you can, and email her when you can’t meet. Check in through the day and throughout the week. 

When your sales reps thrive, your business will improve and your company will grow. 

It’s far cheaper to help your sales reps improve than to begin the hiring process over again because you need successful sellers. #SalesTraining

On the other hand, if your sellers don’t have a strong desire to succeed, and they won’t dedicate the effort to improve, then it may be time to remove them from your team. 

In my own case, I had sales leaders who believed in me and who recognized my drive to improve. They coached me through my struggles and helped me get where I am today. 

Re-evaluate

Once you’ve worked through the plan over the course of 30-90 days, if your rep still isn’t improving, you must identify why. If you’ve done the one-on-one coaching and you’ve helped her create a sales plan, you may have to put her on probation. It can be an informal program, but you must establish a marker that she will hit within that probation period. 

Usually by this point, if the rep truly wants to succeed, she’ll show signs of improvement. Eventually, she’ll have to work on her own and prove that she can hit milestones without other people’s assistance. Without that ability, she’ll eventually have to move on. 

The Sales Evangelist Certified Sales Training Program helps sellers improve by identifying problems and developing solutions to address them. Many individual sellers choose our program for themselves because it’s worth the cost of the training to increase their success rate. 

“Effectively Coach Struggling Sellers” episode resources

Grab a copy of Mike Weinberg’s book Sales Management Simplified

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Reshan Richards, Steve Valentine, Meetings, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1161: “How To Run Better Meetings”

Reshan Richards, Steve Valentine, Meetings, The Sales EvangelistMeetings serve an important purpose in business so we must learn how to run better meetings to avoid the feeling that we are wasting our time. 

Reshan Richards is a career educator who launched an app — targeted for use in schools — that ultimately became a software business. He has seen a significant intersection between things that are effective in both business practices and the classroom. Together with Steve Valentine, also a career educator, he is collaborating to articulate and pinpoint the specific moves that can be borrowed from the teaching profession and implemented in business. Steve has studied leadership and its application in order to work with young people and help them understand basic leadership. 

Meeting mistakes

The problems that plague corporate meetings often mirror those of ineffective classrooms. Primarily, the transmission of information isn’t right for the audience who is meant to understand it. People often go back to their defaults or their own experiences to measure what is right.

If, for example, you get called into a meeting where one person is doing all the talking or all the work, it isn’t a good use of anyone’s time. It wasn’t likely called for the service of the people who are meant to share the information. In education, a difference exists between the transmission of information and the building of knowledge. 

Reshan and Steve believe that the best kinds of meetings are those that leave people feeling like they couldn’t possibly have had the same great experience without the meeting. In other words, there’s no substitute for the meeting, and people are glad they went. 

Unfortunately, that’s a rare occurrence in both business and education.

Bad meetings

Reshan’s company, Explain Everything, worked with a Fortune 100 company to help them run better training for new-to-title employees. As he evaluated their structure, he realized that 90 percent of the time during a week-long seminar was spent sitting watching PowerPoint presentations. The other 10 percent of the time was application of what they learned. The following week, those employees were sent into the field. 

The meetings were efficient and easy to plan, but retention was low, so he worked with them to rethink their time together. He encouraged the company to think about how it might best utilize the experts in the meetings as well as how the information should be delivered. 

They also found that they were teaching concepts on Monday that the employees wouldn’t get to apply until Thursday. The distance between the lesson and the application meant that the employees had to learn the information twice. 

For Steve, the very best meetings are those that are allowed to be messy and those that permit people to drop their status. He measures the quality of a meeting by the extent to which people are treated as learners and the extent to which they actually learn something they didn’t know when they walked in. 

That information doesn’t have to appear as a revelation. Rather it can simply be the chance to build knowledge together in the temporal context they share. 

Internal meetings

Planning a great meeting looks exactly the same as planning a great lesson or learning experience. Reshan and Steve think in terms of three motions, or phases. 

1. Before the meeting

2. During the meeting

3. After the meeting

These stages parallel the stages of sales, where sellers engage in pre-call, during, and then follow-up

As the meeting facilitator, you should have a really good awareness of the prior knowledge participants have prior to the meeting. 

Meeting prep

Often times meetings get scheduled by those who have the authority to do so, but the attendees don’t know the agenda until they arrive. Those that get the agenda ahead of time either get it too far in advance or too close to the meeting time. 

Meeting prep also varies greatly among the attendees at meetings. Some people dutifully prepare for the meeting while others never even look at the agenda. The facilitator often has to go to the lowest common denominator because a percentage of people didn’t prepare. In the end, that holds the entire organization back because it means that instead of starting at level 7 in the dialog, you’re starting at zero because there is no ritual around basic procedures.

Ask yourself whether it’s necessary to actually have everyone in the same room at the same time in order to achieve your outcome. 

Brain breaks

If you’re interested in making sure that learning happens in your meetings, build in brain breaks where you provide time for people to synthesize the information you provide. Things often move quickly in meetings, and if you build simple pauses like questions or discussions into the meeting itself, you’ll support learning. 

If you don’t give the human brain time to do what it does best, you’ll leave a lot on the table in the meeting. 

Consider the intention of the meeting as you’re determining how much information you include. There’s no right or wrong number of agenda items, but you must provide off-ramps so that you can read the room and respond to the audience. Be willing to push some of the information into off-line discussions without disrupting the meeting momentum.

Just because it was delivered doesn’t mean it was understood. 

Productive chaos

Your organization might successfully navigate a meeting with 14 agenda items, but ask yourself what the impact of the meeting was. In schools, this shows up as racing through the content without making sure students understand. The art exists in adjusting your presentation and being able to reshuffle things if necessary. 

Steve once had to plan a two-day retreat for a group of leaders, and his approach at that time was to build massive slide decks in an attempt to control every moment. Reshan suggested cutting the number of slides down a bit, and then he cut it from about 100 slides to seven.

Steve remembers being terrified because he wasn’t sure what he was going to do or say, but Reshan reminded him that their purpose was to facilitate. They intended to bring ideas out of the leaders so they would have a transformative experience. In short, the leaders were to do more of the work. 

Teach themselves

The pair structured the meeting loosely, but it wasn’t without structure. As a result, the participants accomplished much more than any of them expected. They still hear from the people who attended that event. 

Steve notes, too, that they weren’t being lazy. They were actually being rather rigorous in their preparation because they were removing rather than adding. The result was productive chaos. 

In short, they helped the meeting attendees teach themselves because they built so much of the meeting themselves.

As a general rule, the content kind varies inversely to the time: the longer the engagement, the less content there should be. You’ll build in more generative time from participants.

Think about how you can design your meeting so that the people in the room are doing more of the work and the thinking. That’s what leads them to be able to use the knowledge. 

  • Be clear on the goals and purpose of your meeting, and don’t hold one simply because you believe you should. 
  • Be reasonable based upon people’s schedules. 
  • Set crystal clear goals and prevent diversions and tangents.  

Many people work without the need to go to the office every day. If you’re taking someone’s time, hold your meetings to a higher standard. Remember that they are never getting that time back. 

“How To Run Better Meetings” episode resources

Reshan and Steve launched a book called Make Yourself Clear, and you can connect with them at the website, MakeYourselfClear.xyz

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Stress, Fatigue, The Sales Evangelist, Dana Cavalea

TSE 1160: How To Deal With Stress, Fatigue, Burn Out & Lack of Creativity

Stress, Fatigue, The Sales Evangelist, Dana Cavalea

Sales is a year-round activity with no off-season and no breaks, so it’s important for sellers to understand how to deal with stress, fatigue, burnout, and a lack of creativity. 

Dana Cavalea is the former Director of Strength & Conditioning and Performance for the New York Yankees. Coach Dana, who helps companies optimize performance and productivity, wrote a book called Habits of a Champion: Nobody Becomes a Champion By Accident.  

He became a coach after realizing the tremendous difference that coaches made in his own athletic career, and how they helped him overcome bumps in the road. 

Opportunity knocks

Dana, who originally hails from New York, chose to attend school in Tampa because he knew it was near where the Yankees conducted their spring training. When he got the opportunity to join the team as the guy who handed out towels and cleaned the weight room, he jumped on it. 

Within a few years, he earned a paying job as the director of strength and conditioning and performance, and the team won a championship during that time. 

He discovered, through that experience, that many executives, CEOs, and sales teams wanted to know how athletes prepare to compete at the highest levels. How do they deal with injuries and fatigue and the obstacles they face during a season? How do they keep showing up every day in the face of fatigue and burnout?

Individual protocol

People assume that high-level musicians and athletes feel good every time they perform, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. They’re tired a lot, but they don’t tell themselves that. They understand that fatigue is part of life and that you’re going to have days where you don’t feel great. The goal, Dana said, is to have fewer of those days and more of the days where you do feel great. 

To do that, Dana coaches people to focus on a couple of simple things that affect performance.

  • Hydration
  • Sleep

These factors can inhibit the way you function overall. To address them, you must have an individual routine specific to your needs that helps you perform at your best every single day. 

Some players like music that pumps them up, and other players like music that calms them down. Each person must have a routine and protocol that is based around their needs. 

But how do you get there?

You get there by testing things. If you sleep for six hours but wake feeling tired, that may mean that you need more sleep, or that you need to understand your 90-minute sleep cycles better. We must perform each day and test different things like the food we eat to determine what makes us feel better. 

How do I feel?

Begin by asking yourself the question, “How do I feel?” Phrased that way, the question takes you out of yourself and gives you a moment in the midst of all that you have going on to consider how you feel. People listen to a million different podcasts and listen to two or three books at a time, and we’re so busy that we don’t take time to think about how we’re feeling. 

We’re working to create a self-awareness that is super important in determining the strategies that will help you overcome your struggles. 

Sometimes we underestimate the impact of stress on our bodies. Sports are very competitive, as is business. Sales is extremely competitive. You must prepare and train to compete. 

The key is to keep your energy up by hydrating, sleeping, fueling, and training. Then, fill your mind with good stuff to crowd out the doubt and fear. 

Sports have a defined starting and ending point, but sales continues all year, quarter after quarter. There’s no break because each year leads into another. 

Expectations

If we do well this year, what will the people around us expect from us moving forward? They’ll expect us to do better. So now we’re constantly trying to push our threshold. Although what we did last year was good, it’s not good enough for this year. Expectations shift.

Some people, though, get comfortable playing things safe, and doing “just enough.” They don’t want to do more than they’re already doing because they know it will simply shift the expectation higher. 

People fear success almost as much as they fear failure. Sometimes, they sabotage themselves in order to avoid the pressure of accomplishment. 

Leaders can help their sales teams overcome these struggles by being honest. If a salesperson has hit his numbers for the month and he has a pending deal that he could close this month but he’s holding it for the next month, his leader must remove the need for the seller to impress him.

Creating clarity

Dana heard an interview with Mariano Rivera in which Rivera said his career changed when Yankees manager Joe Torre called him into the office and explained that Mo would always be his guy. As long as Torre was with the Yankees, he wanted Mo by his side. That freed Mo to relax and do what he was best at. He was freed from the need to prove himself. 

If you can reduce the need to prove yourself because you’ve validated yourself, you’re in a great position. When a manager does that for his team, it’s like glue for the team. 

Dana puts his clients on a morning walk routine that includes a 30-minute walk with no technology. It forces them to be by themselves without the defense of jumping into the phone. Without distractions, they can think about the things they actually want. They get the clarity of evaluating their current situation and their own performance. They have time to ask themselves questions about how things are going. 

Taking ownership

You may find that you have a leader or manager who isn’t leading in the way you need her to. In that case, it’s up to you to tell her what you’re struggling with, where you need help, and how she can support you. You can also ask for clarity around the work you’re doing. 

When you have the conviction to seek clarity without fearing the conversation, you’ll invite more clarity. 

Dana often encounters people who exude confidence. He calls it their birthright because it’s so natural to them. They know exactly what must be done in order to succeed. In most cases, though, your team will include really intelligent people who simply haven’t experienced enough success in order to feel confident. Coaches can navigate their sellers to achieve small, frequent wins that stack up and build confidence. 

Sellers can acquire confidence even if they don’t naturally have it.

On the other hand, Dana sometimes encounters finance people who allow the market shifts and trends to impact how they feel about themselves. He reminds them that the market will do what it will do, so these people must avoid being reactive to the external environment. 

Striking out doesn’t make you a loser, and losing doesn’t make you a loser. 

Dana got this advice some time back: People can either love it or shove it. Not everyone is meant to work with you and you’re not meant to work with everyone. That’s just the way it is. 

Starting point

Nobody leaves the gym feeling worse than when they got there. They leave feeling glad that they went. Training is your starting point. 

Not all sales are equal. Don’t compromise yourself in the process of making a sale. Some sales aren’t the right ones and they’ll be a death sentence for your company. 

Sales is a hustle and a grind, so you must approach every day with a vision of what you’re trying to create. We’re quick to judge ourselves against other people. 

Sales is a relationship game. If people know, like, and trust you, they’ll open up to you. If they don’t, they’ll be closed to you. Relationships take time and they aren’t one-sided. 

Burnout and stress are perspective-based. Stress is the result of pressures you put on yourself, and stress over time leads to burnout. 

If you try to be perfect, you’ll ultimately fail. Hit singles. Don’t try to hit home runs. If you hit a single every day, you’ll get a run on the board and another man on base. 

Create a healthy process for yourself and then execute every day. 

“How to Deal With Stress, Fatigue, Burnout” episode resources

Connect with Coach Dana at danacavalea.com or access his YouTube channel for more content. Grab a copy of his book, Habits of a Champion: Nobody Becomes a Champion By Accident.

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Sales From The Street, Donald C. Kelly, Top Seller, Contracts

TSE 1159: Sales From The Street – “The Unicorn Seller”

Jen is the unicorn seller and everyone is enchanted by her rainbow-colored sales skills. She has lots of techniques and strategies which help her close deals. You want Jen, but she’s from the competing company and just in time, you heard that Jen wants to jump ship. This is your dream come true! 

You think of Jen and you automatically think of all the clients she’s bringing along. It’s a whole list of clients and deals closed left and right. Your company will be making money and you’re going to hire more people due to expansion. Jen is the answer! 

As a top-performing sales rep, I was once Jen, too. I’ve had my fair share of being lured by other companies. I know how it feels to be offered something and to be on the receiving end of the decision whether to hire the top-performing sales rep or not. 

Before making that decision, here are some things that you need to consider.  

Why are they leaving?

We make decisions out of desperation sometimes, especially if money is included in the picture. When your sales aren’t doing too well and you need the pipeline, you want people who can bring the money in. Even if you’re snagging them from the competitor. 

You present them with a good 401k plan, you say all the nice things to convince them to jump to your company, and you tell them how fantastic your company’s culture is. 

You need to assess the situation seriously before making a hiring decision. These are some of the questions that you can ask yourself: 

  • Why are they leaving the company?
  • Are they a problem in disguise? Are you willing to take that risk?
  • Why would they come to your company when they’re already making tons of money in their current company?

The answers to these questions will help you understand their reasons and see if they’re a fit for your company’s values. 

What did they do for the competitor?

In Mark Weinberg’s book, The Sales Management Simplified, he pointed out the need for sales leaders to consider what the salesperson did for the previous company. You need to consider whether they sold at their last company. 

It is important to know the system of how their previous company worked. Find out whether they were tasked to find their opportunities or the opportunities were given to them. You need to be specific about the things they do well. 

What if the person you hire hates prospecting? After three months of work, you see no progress because that salesperson never had to prospect before and now she is having a difficult time. This situation is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle that doesn’t fit. It will never work.

Be upfront 

Many sales leaders and managers are lured into this kind of situation because they focus on the number of opportunities they will generate or the business they can get from their competitors once they’ve hired the top-earning sales rep. 

But this isn’t always the case. You must remember that contracts are of two kinds: the long-term and short-term contracts. Jen, the unicorn seller, might be able to sweet-talk some of her clients into coming with her to the new company, but clients with long-term contracts will be staying in the previous company until their contract ends. When it does, you’ll need to coax them into coming to sign with your company. It’s a long process and it takes patience. 

If that’s the case, you need to be upfront and figure out how much business Jen can bring over. Ask her how much business she is bringing along. 

Talk about the numbers and figure out how you can convince the clients to jump from their current company to yours. Think of the agreement structure and find the solution. Figure out if there’s a non-compete.

All of these things must be considered before you bring Jen along. 

Take Tom, for example. I worked with Tom before and wherever he went, his clients tagged along with him. But that isn’t always the case for some clients who are in long-term agreements. People love Tom and he would often bring a couple of businesses with him to the current company. He is a great salesperson, but even at his best, he still can’t bring all of his clients along with him. 

Culture 

The fourth thing to consider is the culture of the company. Will the salesperson fit with the culture of your company? Will your sales team like the new person you’re bringing along? Is there bad blood between them in the past, perhaps like client stealing? It is challenging to fit in and adjust to the ways your company works right away. 

The new salesperson you’re hiring must be willing to follow the culture.

Have the adult talk and orient the salesperson to the ways of your company and how things work. Give her some time to adjust and if it still doesn’t work, then be ready to cut losses and move on. 

Do not toss money on something that doesn’t work. 

Contingency plan

Have a contingency plan laid out in the event that Jen, or whoever you are hiring, doesn’t work out. You can think of some other way of increasing your sales by bringing somebody else. Maybe instead of the top seller, you hire the most experienced one. 

A person with experience may not bring tons of businesses along but they come with an understanding of how to operate the business successfully. Perhaps you can hire someone who may not be Jen but who fits right in the culture of your company with proper coaching. 

Interview properly 

The last tip is to interview the prospects before hiring them. Grill them to make sure that they can do a great job. Do not cut corners and skip over the interview process. You must listen to the team and to the other executives before making the big decision. 

Going back to Jen, even if you really want to hire her, try to disqualify her just as much as you want her. If you see her desire to work for you, that’s when you know that she’s a perfect fit. That’s when you know that you found your unicorn. 

In my experience, the unicorn rarely exists. If it does, consider the tips I mentioned above. 

“The Unicorn Seller” episode resources

This episode is brought to you in part by Sales Success Summit. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

The episode is also brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a helpful tool for sales leaders and sales reps to find the right customers, ask the right questions, and close powerful deals. The program has twelve courses with two courses for free! 

Visit Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

August is my birth month and it would be amazing if you share this podcast to your friends as a birthday gift! Drop us your comments and reviews on Apple podcast. We are also on Google Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sales Coaching, Motivation, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1158: The Actions High-Growth Coaches Use To Motivate Their Teams

Sales Coaching, Motivation, The Sales Evangelist

While proper mindset is important, the actions high-growth coaches use to motivate their teams to allow those teams to succeed in sales.

Sarah Wirth works for EcSell Institute and studies sales leadership. Along with her team, they look at the coaches in the organizations they work with knowing that great coaches help teams to achieve better results. 

Sarah travels the globe studying different teams and applying the best practices they can teach to sales leaders. Their research-based teachings on best practices are grounded in fact rather than opinion. 

Misconceptions about coaching 

One of the common misconceptions about coaching relates to the timing of team meetings or sales coaching. Most sales leaders do team meetings weekly thinking that getting everyone together via phone makes the team effective. Based on the study, however, the best sales leaders have their meetings once a month rather than once a week. The monthly meeting is much more interactive and educational than the weekly kind of communication. 

Sales reps want an interactive educational team meeting where they can hear what the other departments are doing. They also want to hear and learn the best practices used by others in the company. They don’t want to sit and hear all the updates of what’s going on, because those things can be sent and read via mail. 

Instead, sales reps want a certain level of engagement and content to share during meetings. This content is difficult to achieve when you meet every single week. A longer time frame gives birth to more stories and more experiences to share, which results in meaningful and substantive conversations where everyone on the team learns things. 

Learning from experience 

Sellers like to learn the best practices, so they listen to podcasts. They want to learn from people from different fields who bring radical and neat insights that they’re not aware of. 

The interviews and surveys of salespeople reveal that they don’t want to hear the biggest deals. Instead, they want to hear how to get big deals. They want answers to the objections they encounter and tips to make presentations that help them win deals. They want to hear and learn the stories of how others became successful. 

It’s more of knowing what they did and how they did it. 

Salespeople want to be the best version of themselves. They aren’t into sales because of charity. They are in sales because they want to help their families and their clients. 

Most sales leaders are promoted to their position because they were good salespeople. They go from the bottom to the top without getting any formal training, education, and information on how to become good sales leaders. They learn from experience, and that’s why they become successful. Unfortunately, they don’t know how to transfer all these learnings to their peers so their team can be successful and achieve better sales. 

Motivate the team

There are three actions high-growth sales coaches use to motivate their team

  • Team meetings done in the right frequency and format
  • One-on-one meetings with each of the team members
  • Feedback on what they’re doing well and what they can improve

These three are effective ways to help salespeople grow and improve their skills. 

One-on-one meetings 

One-on-one weekly meetings with each team member are as effective as doing one-on-one meetings every other week. Aside from the frequency, it is also important to follow a consistent structure. 

The best sales leaders start their meetings with personal updates in the life of the salesperson they are talking to. They talk about how their family is doing, and if they’re working from home, sales leaders ask for updates on their projects. Sales leaders spend a few minutes connecting with their team members as people. They show that they care not only as a sales producer but also as a person. 

The coaching and mentoring from one-on-one meetings change a salesperson’s motivation and attitude towards his work. It ignites a fire in him that helps the team meet its sales goals. Even books can’t do this because no matter how good the contents of the books are, the pages can’t hear their ideas or challenge them with questions. There is no substitute for talking through what’s going on in their sales territory or getting their input on the strategies that they’re pursuing. 

Asking imploring questions during one-on-one meetings breeds in-depth conversations that are helpful for both parties to grow. 

Do one-on-one meetings with your salespeople either weekly or bi-weekly depending on what works best for your team. 

Give feedback 

Give your team members feedback on their selling skills regularly. After successfully closing an important deal with your salespeople, debrief them, and discuss what you saw in their selling skills. Talk about what aspect they did well in the presentation and point out the things they can improve. 

There is no better time to improve your team’s skills than seeing its members in action. When you see them do what they do best, you can talk conceptually around them. You can coach them on how to answer objections and even do roleplays to address different situations. 

When you travel with your salespeople and see them in selling situations, you also learn how they interact with their customers, build rapport, present information, answer questions, direct conversations, and figure out the needs of the customers. You have the first-hand experience and you’ll know how to assess them on the things they’re doing well and how they can improve. 

This is also a great opportunity for the salespeople to receive coaching from their leaders. They can see the things they need to work on from your perspective. This is beneficial for them and for the business. 

Your team members may have the tendency of reporting only the good things that went down on a deal, excluding the challenges and how they addressed them. They may tweak the information they give you. When you are with them, you get to see them and give them the corrections and guidance they need. Sales leaders can also point out the effective things their salespeople did during the sales call. They can then repeat what they did in their future deals. 

Career discussion 

Career discussion is critical to a salesperson’s motivation as well as his career longevity on the team. Many sales leaders shy away from doing this because they don’t have specific paths for their salespeople. 

There often isn’t a specific role that salespeople can be promoted to. Sometimes, salespeople don’t have goals other than being individual performers. They like to be in sales and not in other roles such as managers. 

Based on research, a salesperson tends to make progress toward his career development goals and stay with the organization longer if the manager helps him make progress. Aside from that, salespeople tend to be motivated when they receive help from their superiors. 

Management often doesn’t talk about things like this to its employees, causing them to feel stuck in whatever position they are in. It kills their motivation to achieve more in their careers. 

Ask your salespeople how they feel about their careers or what they potentially want to do. You can’t assume that they’re doing okay; instead, draw the answers from them. Sarah Wirth and Bill Ekstrom’s book The Coaching Effect was the result of a career development discussion that Sarah did with him. He asked Sarah about her longterm big picture goals and she said that she’d like to write a book. It wasn’t anything serious for her at that moment. It was merely an idea. Fast forward to when they started really doing it and it happened. 

Go outside your comfort zone 

Another effective action that sales leaders can do is to get their team members outside their comfort zones. 

Help your sellers be comfortable with discomfort. If you can get them outside of their comfort zones, they’re more likely to learn, grow, and develop. #SalesTeam

Most of us want to be on the safe side and gravitate toward what we know but this is not helpful if we want to grow. The same is true for your team members. New roles or situations force your team members to learn, grow, and get better in order to handle the new challenges. Get your team members outside their comfort zones on a regular basis, especially if you see them starting to stagnate and get comfortable in their roles. 

 

The Actions High-Growth Coaches Use To Motivate Their Teams” episode resources

Learn more about connecting with your salespeople today. Visit Ecsell Institute’s website to learn more.  

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also read more books to become a savvy salesperson and sales leader in Audible, your online library that houses over a thousand books. Register now to get a free book and a free 30-day trial by typing in audibletrial.com/tse

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program, designed to help sales reps and sales teams improve their skills in finding the right customers, identifying the activities and strategies that work, and asking the right questions to build strong value and close business deals. Get the first two courses for free at thesalesvengelist.com/freecourse

Which of the three actions have you tried in your team? Tell us about it in the comment section in Apple podcast. Your rating is equally appreciated, too. Share this with your colleagues who are using other podcast platforms as well including Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Pipeline, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Coaching

TSE 1157: The Pipeline Hoax

Pipeline, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Coaching

 

The American dream or the pipeline hoax? The American dream is about owning a home or a piece of property that belongs to you. But homes are expensive and not everyone can afford the American dream. In the year 2000, people who shouldn’t have qualified for home-ownership started owning homes and this occurrence caused a worldwide crisis. 

The housing crisis connects to sales in two ways: greed and improper qualification. Bankers wanted to get more mortgages so they could sell these mortgages to the secondary market. The problem with this is that people who were getting houses were not qualified for the mortgages they got. The bankers did whatever it took to get people through the door. When prices went up, these homeowners fell short and eventually lost their homes. 

Sales pressure

As sales leaders, you face this situation often. You need to bring in the dollars, and you’re judged based on how much money you can help the company make. Sales reps are expected to have as many deals as possible in the pipeline. This is where the hoax comes in. 

Salespeople sometimes mask leads in later stages of the pipeline as opportunities. These deals don’t close because the people were never truly qualified. They don’t have the money or the time frame. 

Sellers are marking leads who are investigating, doing research, and window shopping as though they are opportunities. The sales reps may have 50 of these deals but only 10 truly qualified people. The sales reps keep adding these people to the pipeline because they’re told to add opportunities. The quality decreases because they’re adding leads instead of real opportunities. 

Similar to the housing crisis, the sales reps report these numbers to you. As the sales leader, you present it to the VPs and they make decisions based on the potential revenue sources. When the time comes for the revenue to start coming in, you look bad, the VPs look bad, and the company looks bad. As a result, someone is getting fired. 

This situation causes a crisis within the organization. Sales leaders take the fall because they’ve been deceived by the sales reps who try to sell leads as opportunities. 

Consistent education 

As sales leaders, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the pipeline hoax doesn’t happen again. Yelling at your sales reps won’t solve the problem. What you need is consistent education. 

One-on-one coaching time 

One-on-one coaching time with your sales reps is critical. Make sure to establish a distinct definition of a lead versus an opportunity. Don’t assume that sales reps know this because it’s in the sales handbook or in the orientation. Play it safe by reiterating it to the sales reps so that the quality of your leads won’t deteriorate. 

Watch the internal culture. Numbers are good but they must be the right numbers. Teach them that a proper lead is someone who shows interest, has the budget, and has a specific timeframe. Sales reps must be able to gauge this information in their business conversations. 

Give the sales reps a rundown of the important steps in the process. Print them and put them on their desks to keep the culture focused on quality. 

Sales leaders can talk about all these things with their sales reps in one-on-one meetings. Discuss these subjects with them, see how they take on deals, and don’t be afraid to identify and fix the problems. 

Role-playing 

Role-playing is another excellent method for educating your sales reps. 

  • Have your sales reps do a role-play of how they talk to their clients
  • Have your senior sellers who excel in their jobs demonstrate how they qualify their leads properly
  • Point out how and what should happen or how they go about getting the proper information. 

Doing all these things protects you from falling into the hoax. 

Re-education is the answer to an organization’s problem. When the sales reps aren’t asking the right questions and when they don’t understand what leads and opportunities are, they’ll bring in numbers that look crazy at the end of the quarter. 

Foster the proper culture in the organization so your sales reps will bring in the right numbers and close more deals. 

“The Pipeline Hoax” episode resources 

Take care of your sales team and help them improve. Learn more about that with The Sales Evangelist Certifies Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful tool for salespeople and sales leaders to help them improve their skills and abilities in finding the right customers, asking the right questions, and closing a great deal. There are 12 modules in all but you can get the first two modules for free.

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

Check out Audible as well and its thousands of books. Try it now to get a 30-day free trial and a free book. Go to audibletrial.com/tse

For my birthday, I’d love for you to share a rating or review for the podcast. It helps more people find our content so we can help more people do big things. If you like this episode, then do let us know by dropping us some comments and reviews on Apple podcast. We are also on Google Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Dr. Stanley Roberts, The Sales Evangelist, Success

TSE 1156 : Why The Winners-Never-Quit Fallacy Is Preventing Your Success

Dr. Stanley Roberts, The Sales Evangelist, Success Some people believe that quitting is bad, but Dr. Stanley Robertson believes that the winners-never-quit fallacy is preventing your success.

Dr. Stan — CFO for a non-profit in Chicago — takes issue with the idea that quitting is always bad and he wants to share ideas about how to become a successful quitter.

Quitting 

Quitting is simply giving up on something. You can quit going to the gym or quit a bad relationship or quit eating certain foods. You can quit just about anything.

It’s easy to see from these examples that quitting isn’t always bad, but he takes it a step further. He believes that the winners-never-quit fallacy prevents people, and sellers, from finding success. 

Sometimes we have to quit things, and sometimes it’s even desirable to quit things. In fact, we should be quitting things all the time. 

Dr. Stan got the idea from his son, who is a Marine Corps officer. As he approached the end of his tour of duty, he called his dad one day to say he was considering quitting. He wasn’t sure he wanted to continue being a Marine Corps officer. 

Dr. Stan’s advice at the time was to keep going. He pointed to the benefits, the prestige, and the opportunities it would provide. His son, who was 23 at the time, would be able to retire at 43. These were the things he thought were good. Eventually, he rethought his response, and he told his son that he should quit if that’s what he really wanted. 

Quit shaming

Based upon that experience, he came up with the concept of “quit shaming,” or embarrassing people because they quit things. We tend to look down on people who divorce from a bad marriage, or who quit a job that isn’t working out, or who quit an investment. We sometimes even hide the fact that we quit because we fear the pushback. 

When Dr. Stan was young, a guy offered to sell him a VHS — which was new technology at the time — for $200, where it typically sold for $600. Stan bought the VHS only to find that the box was full of bricks rather than a VHS. He was devastated to lose all his money. 

In order to replace the income, Stan stole things. He eventually went into the Marine Corps himself, where his petit theft ended in a court-martial, with Stan losing his stripes. He knew he had to quit making those same choices. In the end, he gave up stealing and earned his law degree. 

Every human being goes through a growth process that demands that they give up things along the way. In fact, seasons of life sometimes lead us to quit things. Take, for example, Arnold Swarzenegger, who gave up body-building for acting, and then gave up acting for politics. 

Our life cycle often causes us to give up things, but some people can’t disengage from the things they are doing because they are emotionally tied to them. 

Course correction

The point isn’t to quit altogether because something isn’t working out. Instead, make a course correction. Do the next right thing. 

In order to be successful in life, you have to create new things and new goals to replace the things you gave up. 

The biggest challenge for people who need to disengage from things is emotional trauma. If you’re going to quit, acknowledge the negative emotions. Recognize that some people will try to embarrass you, so you must develop a plan forward. The negativity will be less impactful if you have a new plan in place. 

We have a problem disengaging from things. Researchers conducted a study called the Jigsaw Puzzle Study in which they studied two groups who were tasked with completing a jigsaw puzzle. One group completed the puzzle, while the group was intentionally interrupted. Researchers discovered that the group who completed the puzzle was happy, while the other group spent twice as much time thinking about the puzzle. 

The human brain is hard-wired for completion. When we give up something, our brains are hard-wired to complete that circle. 

Times you shouldn’t quit

  1. Don’t quit because things are hard. If you struggle to sell your product, don’t quit. Continue working, and push through those struggles to become a better seller. 
  2. Don’t quit because you haven’t succeeded yet. The get-rich-quick concept isn’t realistic, and your success could happen next month. 
  3. Don’t quit because you covet your neighbor’s success. Never compare yourself to someone else’s performance. It’s ok to gain inspiration from your neighbor, but don’t quit because of it. 

How to quit

Interestingly, most people don’t struggle to continue on a given path because that concept has been drilled into our psyche. Ninety-nine out of 100 people will advise you to keep going. Dr. Stan’s work focuses on those people who want or need to give up something but they struggle to disengage. He teaches them how to make that break. 

One of his clients struggled with her weight and her husband belittled her for it. She didn’t want to give up the relationship, partly because they had a business together. She feared that people would question her decision to quit, but eventually, she got a divorce. Once she gave up the business and the marriage, she lost all the weight and her confidence soared. 

Abandon a deal

For sellers, this could appear as a deal that you’ve invested so much time in that you’re hesitant to walk away. Even when your gut tells you that it will never close, you continue investing your time and resources into it because you’re emotionally tied to it. 

The sunk-cost fallacy refers to the tendency to make decisions based upon what happened in the past rather than making decisions based upon the outcoming you’re hoping for. The fact that a deal didn’t work out in the past has no bearing on what might happen in the future. We often make decisions because we’ve spent so much money on something. 

Ringling Brothers had been in business for 146 years making all kinds of money, but last year they went out of business. They had been sued by animal rights activists and the company wouldn’t give up the use of animals. The company was emotionally invested in the use of animals, despite the fact that other groups like Cirque Du Soleil hold wildly successful circuses with no animals. 

Blockbuster should have quit using VHS and moved to DVD or streaming. The company should have engaged in new technology, but they had invested so much in their inventory that they couldn’t disengage. 

You should not be prevented from giving up things for fear of other people’s opinions. Don’t let anyone else stop you from changing course. Always make the decision for yourself. Do not fail to disengage because of what others might say about you. 

“Winners never quit fallacy” episode resources

Check out Dr. Stan’s book, Quit: The Last Principle of Success at www.thequitdoctor.com

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

 

 

Donald C Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Leader

TSE 1155: When Should I Promote Someone?

Donald C Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales LeaderYour company continues to grow and you need leaders to guide your team, so you’re considering the question, “When should I promote someone?

Because of your company’s growth, you need leaders and you need managers. So who should you promote? What do you look for in the people who will lead your teams? What characteristics or habits should they possess? 

Developing leaders

Even if your business isn’t growing at breakneck speed, you may need to focus on developing people who can lead when the time comes. The last thing you want to do is keep people in the same position for long periods of time without any opportunity for growth. They’ll get tired and burn out, and then they’ll look elsewhere for growth opportunities. Make sure you’re always looking for ways to create and develop leaders internally. 

The qualities necessary for leaders in your industry may differ from those of other segments, but for sellers in general, the following guidelines offer a good start for identifying potential leaders. 

Seller doesn’t equal leader

Your employee might be a spectacular seller, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to leadership. Furthermore, if you have a particularly gifted seller on your team, you may not want to remove him from that sales role. 

It’s tempting to believe that your best closer can become a sales leader and train all your other sellers to close as effectively as he does. And it might be true that he can. But it might also be true that he loves selling and he doesn’t want to spend his time conducting one-on-ones or creating reports. 

If your team members aren’t interested in leading, don’t force them. Let your sellers do what they do best for your company.

Look for these traits as you ponder when to promote someone.

1. Sellers who want to lead

When you begin your search, look for sellers who actually want to lead. If one of your team members talks frequently about leading or climbing the corporate ladder, consider giving him the opportunity to do it. If he is ambitious and goal-oriented, he might be just the leader you’re looking for. 

I recently met with a BDR that a client of mine hired, and the guy was passionate about his work. He strives to go above and beyond the call of duty, and he wants to work his way into a leadership role. He wants to contribute to the organization, but he isn’t power-hungry. He understands that great leaders don’t threaten the people above them because they aren’t competing to take their jobs. 

Prepare your replacements as you consider other opportunities you’ll compete for. 

2. Sellers with a proven track record

Desire isn’t enough to be a successful seller. You must also have good results behind your name. 

You’ll note that I said above that you should not necessarily remove your top seller to turn him into a sales leader. The exception is when that seller is the best candidate for the job and when she wants to do the job. 

Recognize, too, that a top performer won’t necessarily be the only team member with amazing results. Consider the top five sellers on your team and then decide whether any of them possess leadership potential. 

Consider whether they have any desire to train other sellers, and take note of a “lone wolf” mentality that suggests they don’t want to share with others. Make it your goal to develop a nurturing leadership approach in which team members help one another. 

3. Sellers who don’t volunteer to lead

Keep in mind that some sellers may not volunteer to lead, but that shouldn’t necessarily exclude them from consideration. If they have the framework, the talents, and the characteristics of a great leader, challenge them to step out of their comfort zone. 

In the book Sales Management. Simplified, Mike Weinberg recalls a CEO who believed it was his responsibility to stretch people like a rubber band: to the edge of their capabilities without breaking them. 

They may not recognize their own capabilities, but your job is to help them see what they are capable of. 

4. Sellers who are problem-solvers

Too often, sellers fall into the trap of complaining about their work situations. Instead of looking for ways to improve things, they look for mistakes. That negative outlook shows in their results.

Look for sellers who are problem-solvers as you seek people to promote. Typically, they’ll be your best sellers because they make it a practice to solve problems for customers. If you find a seller like this among your team members and promote him, he’ll set an example of problem-solving for the rest of the team. 

You’ll have less to worry about because they’ll solve the problems before they get to you. Surround yourself with leaders who can think for you and take care of things so you can focus on other issues. 

5. Sellers who are willing to work

Your leaders must be willing to work hard. This doesn’t mean that they work 18-hour days, because it’s very possible to do great work in less time. Instead, you want leaders who can plan and accomplish things. 

Watch for the people on your team who show up for work early or who listen to podcasts to learn more. Be aware of the people on your team who dedicate time and effort to develop themselves. 

This isn’t about developing a culture of staying late every day, but rather a willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done. For me, I’m a family guy, and Mondays and Fridays are my family days during the week. If I need to stay late, I’ll make it happen around those commitments. 

6. Sellers who are developing themselves

As a bonus, look for people on your team who are investing in themselves. Find those people who are reading books or seeking events to further their training or signing up for webinars that will help them improve their skill set. 

If your team members are seeking to improve without you telling them to, you’re well on your way to finding an amazing leader. 

Help your team members get to the next level and transition into roles that challenge them. 

When Should I Promote Someone? episode resources

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Obstacles, Sales From The Street,

TSE 1154: Sales From The Street – “Shoot the Donkey”

Obstacles, Sales From The Street,Sellers often face obstacles in their sales process, and the need to remove them is sometimes referred to as the need to Shoot the donkey.”

Will Batista has worked on several presidential campaigns and other political campaigns throughout the country. He recently led a state ballot initiative to change Nevada’s constitution and now he is now working in the energy sector, particularly in the communications and investor relations of the company. Jonathan Diaz works in the university setting where he serves as an adviser and he also teaches classes. 

Shoot the donkey 

This phrase originates from an article that Will discovered while he was looking at political media companies. Shooting the donkey means removing obstacles in your course.

In the movie Patton, based on true events, the characters were heading up a mountain but there was a donkey in the way. Failure to get the donkey out of the way would put them in a dire situation resulting in casualties, so they sent out some of the guys to move the donkey. Nothing worked so the general said, ‘Shoot the donkey!’ 

Remove the obstacles 

When we were in college, our obstacles were our beliefs. We didn’t believe in ourselves as much as we should have. There are times that we don’t give ourselves credit when we should. This is true in sales as well. You might not trust your sales ability and you keep telling yourself that you’re no good at it. This idea is difficult to overcome but it’s imperative that you get through it because it’s the only way for you to become successful. 

For example, back in college when we were selling water, the first obstacle that we had was that we spent a lot of money to get a booth and to get all the water, and eventually get my money back. In order to do that business at a bigger scale, we needed more people, so we went to Idaho Falls and that’s when we did a better job. 

The third time, we ran out of water and we could have given up, but we didn’t. Will went to Sam’s club and got ice and made it happen. 

We succeeded on a small scale. We didn’t make hundreds and thousands of dollars but it was proof that when you put a desire into action, you can make it happen. 

Fear of obstacles

Sometimes we fear obstacles and see them as a negative thing because they do have a negative impact at that moment. There is, however, an opportunity for growth and change in every obstacle, and the ability to tackle problems in a different way. It is a great time for a change and to challenge your ability to think differently. 

The water selling was very basic but year after year, we saw that we’re not doing so great and that became an opportunity to improve the process. Obstacles are typically not good things, but they are opportunities for us to grow and to think critically so that when we are faced with another problem in the future, we will be able to overcome the challenge. 

In politics 

A lot of times when you are trying to get something done, there are always goals that you need to meet. Will was thrown into the fire in his first year working as field staff in Reno because he had no experience recruiting volunteers or meeting metrics.

He had to learn the ropes quickly and the obstacles he faced were the goals that were being imposed on him. He had to find ways to meet the goals regardless of whether he had volunteers or not. 

Will needed to get into these gated communities but he couldn’t get in. Sometimes, they’d follow another car and find a way to get to the individuals and voters to get their contact information. He had to do whatever was necessary to meet their goals. They had goals in mind and they focused their actions to meet the goals. 

Obstacles will always be there but you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. 

Another challenge was getting people into the office to make the calls for the campaign so sometimes, Will had two phones going at the same time. He’d be leaving a message on one phone and talking on the other. Hustling is when you do what you need to do to hit your goals.

For students

John advises students of three main things as they seek the best fit: 

  • Identify their interests 
  • Identify their skills and abilities
  • Determine their values, or the things that are important to them 

For students, the biggest obstacle is the parental control or familial influence. Students now are pressured with the idea that they need to choose a major that will provide them with stability in the future. Many are being pushed into taking courses that they aren’t interested in, courses that they aren’t good at, and courses that are not even aligned to their values. 

John tells his students that for them to shoot the donkey, they need to remove the barrier and talk to their parents. They need to choose the major of their choice because, at the end of the day, it’s them who will go through all the studying and not their parents. 

John helps the students remove the barrier of parental control to see the other options and areas that can work for them. 

Removing barriers

A typical challenge in sales is the people. Sales leaders manage sales teams and often they feel like they don’t have enough qualified workforce or that they don’t have enough people with qualified sales experience. Sales leaders overcome this obstacle by trusting the skills that people bring from all different walks of life. 

If you are experiencing a barrier in your sales, and you’ve hit a plateau even when you already have a very good team, try to think outside the box. Bring in somebody from outside of the organization who can break down the barriers that your current sales team cannot. 

Whether it’s in politics, in the corporate world, or in sales, people often fail to recognize the skills that people from other industries have. It’s time to break down that barrier and start looking outside your comfort zone. 

Keep it real without being rude. Give real feedback without being demeaning. You don’t want to waste time so it is important to make the choice that you really want. 

“Shoot the Donkey” episode resources

Connect with Will in his LinkedIn account or email him in batista.wilfredo@gmail.com. You can also reach John via his email jondlazas@gmail.com and johndssj@gmail.com

Whatever role you are playing in your industry, I challenge you to go out and look for the challenges that are in your way. Remove the challenges, make the hard decisions, and make things happen. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode has been fun and it’s brought to you in part by Audible. It has thousands of books and it offers a 30-day trial and a free book when you sign up. Just type audibletrial.com/tse and start discovering the books to become a sales savvy. 

The episode is also brought to you in part by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It is a helpful tool for sales leaders and sales reps in improving their skills. It teaches you how to find better prospects, how to have meaningful conversations, and what questions to ask to close deals. Check out the program now and get the first two modules for free. 

Visit thesalesevangelist.com/freecourse to find more information about the program. 

If you like this episode then tell us about it, give us your good review and rate us on Apple podcast. You can also find us in Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Personal Branding, Content, Sales Leader

TSE 1153: Creating An Authentic Personal Brand

 

Personal Branding, Content, Sales Leader

Creating an authentic personal brand is important because everything that we develop in business is based on creating a personal brand. As sales reps, polishing your personal brand must be a priority to stand out to everyone no matter where you go or where you are. 

Emily Soccorsy and Justin Foster are co-founders of intrinsic branding practice Root + River. They have combined their experience and expertise in branding and passion for personal growth to guide individuals in combining authentic original brands that attract new opportunities and levels of possibilities. 

The intrinsic practice 

Both Emily and Justin believe that every great brand is a spiritual experience. As coaches, they guide individuals regardless of the roles they play in the organization. Their goal is to make them understand that deep foundational soul of their brand and put that into practical use every day. 

Branding is a practice, which means you need to do it every single day whether you are aware of it or not. Intrinsic practice will help you be aware of the things that you do and get organized around them so that those things will have far greater impact for a longer time. 

What is branding?

In simple terms, a brand is how other people experience what you believe. The brand is how people experience you in everyday situations and conversations. If you understand what that experience is giving to people, you can tap into that in a more conscious manner to help build your brand in a way that has greater impact. 

Frank Rogers is a good example. He is a great salesperson who developed a thought leadership brand. He doesn’t wait for the market to tell him what to say. Instead, he leads from the front. 

Chip Scholz from North Carolina is another example. He is an executive coach with a very memorable brand who uses a direct and Socratic approach in his coaching. 

Regardless of the audience you are talking to and the role you have, whether you’re a coach or a sales leader, you must follow the same principles because you are responsible for two brands. First, you’re responsible for your personal brand, and second, you’re responsible for the brand that you are representing. 

There are three specific qualities in intrinsic branding: inner traits that show up in the outer world. 

  • Be original. 

Don’t be a karaoke singer or cover band. Be an original thinker, an original producer. 

  • Articulate well.

Learn how to tell your story eloquently, consistently, and compellingly. Do this without hesitation and insecurities. Share your story from the heart with conviction. 

  • Be vulnerable.

Do not give a packaged version of yourself. It is best to carry the lightest armor you can because when you do, you emanate something. 

All three traits help to make a brand a positive contagion. 

Originality 

Anyone in any position has an opportunity to take an inventory of what their true expertise is and what they are better at doing than anybody else. If you are good in sales, ask yourself how it manifests, what it looks like for you, and in what aspect of the selling process you are crushing it. 

These are difficult questions to answer because most times, what comes easily to us doesn’t get much value. But if you are able to tune into the things that you are good at and able to share those with people, you’ll have the opportunity to be an original thinker and brand yourself as a thought leader in whatever sliver of space that is. 

Make sure that you share the tips that you have and give feedback to people who are open to it. You begin to build your brand by being a thought leader when you differentiate yourself in those conversations. 

Fear

Many feel apprehensive in speaking and expressing their original self because of two reasons: the fear of becoming an over-promoter and the social emphasis on humility. 

There is a fear of overdoing things and the feeling of bombarding people with content they don’t really need. But sharing is a moral obligation if the content is good and you are producing something that is helpful for the community. 

The second one is humility. 

While humility is a beautiful trait, it is unfortunately a terrible brand strategy because you have to suspend the idea that you’re not special. 

Conditioning

From a very early age, we are conditioned to put the emphasis on other people and not on ourselves. People who talk about themselves are looked down upon. 

But the truth is you have a voice and you have a message. You have something that transcends the product or service that you are selling, and you have a piece of yourself to offer to the world. You can’t do these things if you choose the road of humility. 

As a sales rep, it is your role to share your gifts with the world, and the way people can access your gifts is through your products and services. 

Consistent authenticity 

Authenticity comes from knowing who you are and what you can do. It stems from acceptance and conviction. When you discover who you are, the next thing you need to master is how to achieve consistency. 

Austin Kleone mentioned in his book Steal Like an Artist that you need to steal from the people who inspire you instead of copying them. 

Brene Brown is a great example. She built her brand by investigating what she found interesting and curious about the world. She shares what she learns and talks openly about it, and she is authentic and consistent in what she does. 

The same is true for Gary V. Many would say he is  “too much” but that’s the way he builds his brand. He shows up, answers questions, and talks a lot. But still, he is being paid for it because he is sharing something that he is good at. If you’re going to hold yourself accountable to something, hold yourself accountable to authenticity.

Inspiration

The TSE brand prides itself on being personal to our clients. Even now with thousands of people listening to our podcasts, we make it a goal to be the same people we were before. When people connect with us on LinkedIn, we try to communicate with them and send something personal.  

In Justin’s assessment, The Sales Evangelist brand strives to be inspirational before it’s informational. As it turns out,  peoples’ brains are full of information, but there’s always room for inspiration. People welcome inspiration because it’s nourishment to the soul. 

Listen to your audience 

Listen to your audience. People often talk about the ideal market in terms of sales but we don’t like that language. We favor the ideal audience and what you need to do with an audience is to take in their feedback. Your audience can give you energy and you can respond to that. It will help you hold things a little bit longer and move through things a bit quicker. 

Salespeople must be responsive to the audience from an emotional standpoint. You don’t do this by sending out surveys every other day. You do this by asking them questions, listening to them, and incorporating the things they said through your work. 

Articulate 

When you have something to say, you need to say it well, which means you need to write and speak with a level of excellence. Building a great authentic brand requires one to both write and speak well because it’s the only way that the audience can access you. You need to find a balance. 

You can make a system where you go out, do things, and speak. Learn how to produce interesting and consumable content. Learn how to create an explanation that’s going to incite curiosity and interest to engage people in conversation. 

It is important to simplify your message and infuse energy and emotion as much as possible. It’s got to have the unexpected quality as well. 

Simple, unexpected, and emotional are the three ingredients in making interesting content that people would be inclined to share it to the world. 

This is what articulation is and it comes from practice. It is a type of discipline. The skill of articulating well isn’t a natural ability; it’s a product of frequent practicing. 

Vulnerability 

You have to push back against several thousand years of biological and social programming to become a great brand. Branding is far more about conviction. It comes from having an open front and strong back, according to Brene Brown. It is important to show your audience a little bit of the behind-the-scenes. Vulnerability means sharing your true self to the world. It is about being honest and telling people how you are doing or what you are doing. 

Many find this challenging, however, and the line between what’s private and what’s public is difficult to cross. 

Being vulnerable means sharing parts of the journey: the little lessons and failures along the way and opening yourself up to feedback. Contrary to what many think, vulnerability isn’t about confessing everything. It’s about showing your client that you are human and that you are relatable. 

Michael Jordan failed so often that he was cut from his team, but he was able to push through, and that made him more human. It made him relatable and people have hope because of his story. They believe that they can do it, too. 

Show the mess a little bit without being too self-deprecating. Vulnerability means a lot of different things but for us; it’s a behavior and an action. 

Who you are as a brand

Set aside time to dive into who you are as a brand. Ask some thought-provoking questions and do the deep work with the intention of translating that into your action. Remember that you are your first client. It is important to practice self-care and to take care of the energy centers of physical health, mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health. 

Be better so that everyone around you benefits. The world needs the best version of you, not a worn-out version of you. There is no better brand than vibrancy, and vibrancy comes from nourishment. 

“Creating an Authentic Personal Brand” episode resources 

Check out rootandriver.com for resources on how to create an authentic personal brand. Connect with Emily Soccorsy and Justin Foster on LinkedIn.

Sales Management Simplified by Mike Weinberg is a great book that teaches simple concepts about sales leadership. Check it out and tell me what chapter of the book you liked the most. 

This episode is brought to you in part by Audible, your one-stop shop for thousands of books across genres. Go ahead and check out audibletrial.com/tse to get a free book and to enjoy the 30-day free trial. 

It’s also brought to you in part by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a helpful course for sales leaders and sales reps in finding better prospects, having more meaningful conversations, and knowing how to ask the most powerful questions to close deals. Don’t miss the opportunity of becoming a sales savvy and check out the program. The first two episodes are absolutely free. Visit thesalesevangelist.com/freecourse to find more information about the program. 

This episode has been nothing short of fun and I hope you feel the same way too. If you enjoyed it, please give us a 5-star rating on Apple podcast. You can also listen to more contents by clicking subscribe. Share this podcast to your sales reps friends in whatever platform they use, they can find us in Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sales Leader, Revenue, Activities

TSE 1152: Managing Tasks as a Leader

.

Sales Leader, Revenue, ActivitiesManaging tasks as a leader is difficult because all the tasks are urgent and you have the internal battle of deciding which tasks need your attention. 

You might have a meeting with recruiters about the hiring, or you’ve got to do an interview with some sales reps, or you’ve got to create a report for the VP, and other equally important stuff. The list could go on and on and in the end, you aren’t able to get anything done to bring in more revenue. 

The challenge 

As team leaders, the best thing we can give to the sales rep is our care and utmost concern. Unfortunately, though, things don’t go the way we plan due to minute tasks that bog us down. Team leaders are faced with the challenge of managing their time to do the things that will impact the entire team in a good way. 

The grumpy sales manager syndrome 

The grumpy sales manager syndrome is nothing new and you might have experienced an episode of it once or twice. You are the leader so it’s natural to be bombarded with so many things to do: 

  • make reports 
  • attend meetings with sales reps 
  • meet with recruiters
  • meet with marketing folks

You are swamped with many different tasks and it’s overwhelming you.

Mike Weinberg mentioned this in his book Sales Management Simplified where he discussed all the different sales management myths and challenges. He then explained it in a way that’s both understandable and relatable. In the book, he said that this problem stems from the executive

level. 

Company owners or VPs are usually the reason sales managers have a tough time in juggling all their duties and this has nothing to do with the reports they are asking for. Rather, it has to do with the culture that is set within an organization. Executives, for example, aren’t focused on sales and so they don’t do everything in their power to cater to the sales effort. 

First line of defense

All the departments in a company or organization are important for the entire operation to work successfully. The marketing team, the development team, and all the other departments you can name are imperative for the organization to thrive. But all these other departments won’t be getting any money unless the sales team brings in more revenue. 

Sellers are the ones out there who are battling it out against the others. That is a huge amount of weight for the sales team because if it can’t happen, the company may fire the sales leaders for the lack of good results. 

Salespeople are foundations of a successful company and failing to recognize that is a problem.  We need a culture that is built around salespeople. 

Rate the tasks accordingly

Sales managers don’t necessarily have a defined role and instead, they have interconnecting roles within the organization.  For example, if you are helping the team generate revenue, then all your tasks must be related to that. But that’s not always the case. 

To define your goal, try to list the things that you do on a day-to-day basis and rate these activities from 1 to 5. (1 if the task isn’t helping you in fulfilling your goal, 5 if the activity is directly related to accomplishing your goals).  For instance, a one-to-one meeting with your sales rep to help the CS team increase its revenue is a full 5 rating. The meeting is an opportunity for you to give pipeline reviews with the sales rep to help him close more deals.  

Going on key account calls and weekly sales meetings are income-generating tasks and are closely tied to your goals. 

Housekeeping

On the other spectrum, you can have others complete tasks such as cleaning your inbox, creating spreadsheets to track sales and metrics, and attending meetings not related to your role. Or, if you prefer, do these tasks in your downtime. If you want to clean your inbox, then do it in your downtime. If you want a spreadsheet, then use CRM. And, if you want to attend the meetings unrelated to your task, you can jump in for a few minutes to check how it’s going instead of sitting down the whole two hours. 

Assess the tasks and if it’s possible to get an assistant to help you, then hire one. There are several platforms like Upwork where you can find somebody who can do something for you on a project basis.  Rating your tasks will make your work more efficient and will give you time for the more important things. 

Focus on the important ones

Ask yourself a series of questions before proceeding to every task. 

  • Am I needed at the meeting? 
  • Will it run effectively if I am not there? 
  • Will this task help my goal in increasing revenue? 
  • Rate the tasks and pick the ones that are most important by focusing on threes, fours, and fives. 

Fives are the obvious things that must happen. Set down the time for your meetings: time for the one-on-one, time for talking to your sellers, and all the other activities that are immediate. You might want to do the interviewing for new hires on a weekly basis or you might want to review resumes on a monthly basis. 

You must decide the schedules for the different activities and follow through. 

In this way, you can focus on the things that you need to and not be around for things that you don’t need to be a part of. You can also set a time to motivate your team and raise their morale by going to weekly or monthly lunch. 

Time is important 

Time is important and your sales reps need your time in closing deals and making sure that they’re overcoming challenges and working effectively. 

You are the coach and the sales reps are the players, and the only way for the team to work out is if both the coach and the players work hand-in-hand. If you are bogged down, hiding behind paperwork, and locked up in an office without a chance to connect with your reps, then you are never going to reach your goals. 

Applying this to The Sales Evangelist team helped me set the right culture as a leader of an organization. 

Money comes through the door when you are focused only on the things that you need to do.

“Managing Tasks as a Leader” episode resources 

Sales managers and leaders have different strategies in managing their tasks. If you have a story, don’t hesitate to drop me a message or tag me on LinkedIn, Donald C. Kelly. 

Check out Mike Weinberg’s book, Sales Management Simplified

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program which aims to help sales reps and sales team improve their skills in finding the right customers and knowing the strategies and activities that work. The program also teaches you the right questions to ask in order to build strong values and close huge deals. Go to thesalesevangelists.com/freecourse to get the first two episodes for free.

Audible is also a great avenue for sales learning. It has thousands of books that you can read

and audiobooks to listen that can help you to grow as a savvy salesperson. 

Give it a go to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. Just type in audibletrial.com/tse. If you enjoyed this episode and learned from it, please do give us a review 5-star rating on Apple podcast. You can also share this podcast with your friends and colleagues who are using other platforms such as Google Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Leadership, Accountability, Trust, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1151: Respected Leadership Traits

Leadership, Accountability, Trust, The Sales EvangelistEvery person in every industry can improve a little bit every day by focusing on self-improvement and developing respected leadership traits. Whether you’re a seller, a sales leader, or someone who isn’t even involved in sales, you’ll likely find yourself responsible for guiding people and helping them succeed. 

Luis Weger works with a startup focused on changing the medical construction industry and serves as an offer in the Army Reserves. He recently launched a company called “Self: Reinvented” designed to help others discover their purpose and passion and enhance their resiliency.

He believes that anyone can develop their leadership skills, even those who seem to be natural-born leaders. 

2 ACT

He developed a phrase to help people remember the important aspects of leadership. Leaders must remember 2 ACT. Each letter in the acronym represents two concepts. 

A = Aware and Accountable

C = Competent and Confident

T = Trusting and Trustworthy. 

From his experience leading people, training people, and working with clients, leaders must have these six attributes in order to lead well. It’s especially true in the sales profession. 

Aware and Accountable

Every military leader learns situational awareness because it’s vital in foreign countries. You cannot operate in enemy territory without knowing what’s going on around you. 

In business, this refers to knowing what’s going on around you. It also refers to emotional awareness. 

  • Are you in tune with the people around you? 
  • Do you know what’s happening within the company you represent?
  • Do you understand what your client needs? 
  • Are you tracking changes in the industry you’re in?

Industries change constantly, from rules and regulations to policies and procedures. You must stay aware of the changes that are taking place. 

Leaders who live under a rock won’t be leaders very long. You cannot ignore the realities in which you operate because if no one’s following you, you aren’t truly a leader. 

Luis was recently invited to change military units, and he discovered just prior to the transition that there was only one other officer in the unit. That meant that he and the commander were responsible for all 50 soldiers. No one told him that ahead of time, but because he was aware, he picked up on the situation and made an informed decision.

Accountability is also vitally important in the sales industry. 

Being a sales leader means taking accountability for the performance of your team. Don’t pass the blame. Share the credit wherever you can and take ownership of mistakes. 

Leaders guide and protect their team members. They sit down behind-the-scenes with their team members and acknowledge the things that went wrong. Then they help them correct those problems. 

Competence and Confidence

Luis points to the book The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey as one of his favorites. When you’re in the sales profession, your clients look to you as an expert. You represent the perfect solution to your client’s problem.

If you have ever sat across the table from a person who doesn’t truly understand the industry he is selling in, you recognize the importance of competence. No one expects you to be an expert in everything. In fact, companies recruit fresh blood all the time. It’s one thing to bring a new perspective in the form of someone who is learning and quite another thing to recruit someone who is incompetent. 

In the military, lieutenants who come right out of college outrank noncommissioned officers who have been in the military for 20 years. They don’t really know much about the military because they are fresh out of school. How do you lead people who have 20 years more experience than you do? 

You don’t have the same knowledge and skills they do, so how do you reflect competence? You reflect a desire to become competent. Like CEOs, you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room; you simply surround yourself with smart people. 

Build a network. Demonstrate humility. Show people around you that you aren’t the greatest but that you’re seeking help to get better. 

Then demonstrate that you’re comfortable leading. Luis knows leaders who are in charge by title but they don’t want to be there. Confidence doesn’t mean feeling 100 percent all the time. It simply demands that you have the right frame of mind. 

So what

Luis developed a technique he calls “so what?” 

  • “So what if I mess up on my speech?”
  • “So what if I say something unplanned on The Sales Evangelist?”
  • “So what if I don’t close this sale today?” 
  • “So what if someone sees me make a mistake today?”

The point isn’t to minimize consequences. We’re reminding ourselves that it’s ok to be human and to be imperfect. When you get beyond the discomfort that comes from the fear of failure, that’s true confidence. It’s about managing fear and putting fear in its proper perspective. People will be more attracted to you because they’ll see you as a real person. 

Trusting and Trustworthy

Luis recalls hearing a CEO talk about the need to be trusting and trustworthy. You must trust in the skills and training of those who lead as well as those you are leading. If you try to micromanage everyone around you, you’ll burn out. 

Ask yourself whether those people have developed the skills, knowledge, and training to allow you to trust them. You don’t have to trust them right out of the gate because you don’t know what they’re bringing to the table. So what do you have to do to get to the point where you can trust them? Invest in them. Make sure they are trained, led, and managed in a healthy way. If you find that you can’t trust them, ask yourself why. What is it about that person that makes it difficult to trust him? 

Fix the issue if you can. If you can’t, you may have to consider how to move forward.

Perhaps more importantly, be trustworthy. Be a man or woman of your word. Even the smallest failures to do what you said you’d do cause your trustworthiness to be depleted. 

Lack of trust undermines any other attribute you bring to the table. 

Who’s following

If no one is following you as a leader, consider whether you’re truly leading. You may hold the title of leader, but are people willing to follow you into battle. 

As a sales professional, you’re a mentor and trainer and you have capabilities and competencies, but are people willing to follow your advice? Will they do what you ask? 

Be humble and be human. Move beyond the perfect image. Everyone brings something to the table, and you can learn from everyone around you. 

“Respected Leadership Traits” episode resources

You can connect with Luis at selfreinvented.com. He enjoys helping people succeed and sharing his own leadership experiences. 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program or free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. 

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

The Sales Evangelist, Leadership

TSE 1150: How To Show Your Team You Care!

The Sales Evangelist, LeadershipSome sales teams complain about everything from marketing to CRM and comps, but if you develop the ability to show your team you care, you’ll overcome the negativity and establish a great work environment.

I’ve worked as a sales rep, as a sales leader, and as a consultant, so I understand that complaints are a normal part of the sales process. In some organizations, though, the sellers don’t complain as much because they believe their managers care about them.  

Imperfect selling scenario

It’s tempting to believe that sellers who don’t complain work in better environments. Even if they don’t get great leads, and if they don’t have the best CRM, or if their facility looks outdated, some sales reps enjoy what they do and they enjoy the people they do it with. Because the management cares about their welfare, the sellers are able to enjoy their work.

Although your CRM and your environment are important, culture plays a vital role in helping sellers thrive. In a subpar culture, typically the focus remains on numbers alone. 

Sales leaders

During the month of August, we’ll focus on sales leadership and the principles that will help sales leaders succeed so their teams can succeed. Of all the things you could possibly do to encourage your team, investing time in them ranks the highest. 

Just like a relationship with your husband or wife, the relationship probably won’t survive unless you spend time together. Nice gifts and other symbols of affection won’t overcome a lack of time together. The same is true for your kids.

Don’t base your relationships with your sellers on shiny new CRM or an awesome facility. Instead, demonstrate that you care about their success by dedicating time to help them improve their performance.  

One-on-one

Prioritize one-on-one meetings with your sales reps. Although sales leaders get bogged down by countless things that demand their time, you must invest time in the things that truly matter. Log it on your calendar so it won’t get pushed aside. 

In my own sales journey, when my own leaders prioritized one-on-one time, they were able to help me overcome challenges that were hindering my success. It also made my sales leaders seem human and it helped me see them as something other than a boss. I see her as a trusted friend and someone I can respect. Leaders who jump into the trenches with you have the authority to guide you. 

When my sales leader stopped investing in one-on-one time with me, my sales performance declined, not because I wasn’t doing my part, but because I was able to draw motivation from her experience and example. 

Share priorities

Be aware of your team members’ priorities and make sure that the things that matter to them matter to you, too. If my sales rep is engaged to be married, I need to be aware of her priority. I can support her priorities by making sure that she’s earning enough money to pay for an amazing wedding. I must make sure that, during our one-on-ones, I’m helping her figure out how to accomplish her goals. 

Better yet, if I know of someone who owns a wedding venue, I can consider connecting the two of them. As a leader, I can provide guidance and resources to help her achieve her goals. 

If my leader is willing to prioritize the things I value, I’ll do the same in return: whatever is important to her will become important to me. Whatever she needs me to do in order to be successful, I’ll be willing to do it. 

This kind of relationship isn’t intended to be manipulative or controlling. Instead, it’s a natural by-product of the leader’s care for the seller.

Go on-site

Once a month, or on a recurring basis, free your schedule to do site visits with your reps. Don’t go with the intention of taking over the meeting. Evaluate her progress and ask her afterward what she did well and what she might have done better. Help her improve as a seller. Demonstrate to your sellers that you value them enough to share your time. 

Give them room to make mistakes and room to grow. 

In Jamaica, families frequently send their 10-year-olds to the grocery store to shop for the family. That doesn’t happen often in this country. The opportunity helps children learn from their mistakes and gain valuable experience.

Give room for failure

Don’t jump down their throats when they make a mistake in the midst of a deal or when an opportunity flops. Guide them. Let them know you care. Talk to them and coach them. Then give them an opportunity to try again. 

Acknowledge improvement and give your team members room to lead and coach others when they find success. Show them how to become trusted individuals. 

“Show Your Team You Care” episode resources

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester. You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561) 578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

As a savvy seller, you’ll want to continue learning, and you can take advantage of a free 30-day trial, complete with a free audiobook, on Audible. They have thousands of books to choose from and you can begin your free trial today. 

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. When you share your experiences with the show, others will read the reviews and give us a listen.

I truly appreciate you and appreciate your reviews and your subscription, and your willingness to tell your friends and anyone you know that’s in sales about the podcast.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.