Sales has a bad rap among many people, that’s a fact, even in the MBA world. And what many MBA folks probably don’t know is that they can actually build a solid career in sales.
That’s why I’m bringing Dalan Rohrer on the show today to talk about the article he’s written on LinkedIn about the Four Reasons Why MBAs Should Go Into Sales, where he highlights the reasons why sales can actually be an incredibly rewarding job and career.
Dalan is currently studying for his MBA at BYU and will be graduating soon. He has accepted a full-time offer to work for Microsoft particularly landing a sales position. He also has a background in retail sales where he worked at Target for almost four years.
So what are the four reasons why MBAs should go into sales?
MBA folks are excited to do heavy thinking and strategizing-type of work so a lot of MBAs are geared towards a consulting career. With B2B sales, you’re doing the same type of work where over and over again, your goal is to solve problems in a better way. It’s not about pitching the product but helping the customers solve a tough problem. That in itself is consulting where you span across industries and different problems so you get to practice flexing your strategic muscles.
MBA people are overzealous, type A big dreamers and many of them see themselves in a leadership position down the road so they take jobs that believe will set them up for leading organizations. In many sales companies, there is a lack of strategic-minded people with leadership potential that really understand what’s happening when a customer meets the sales team. Customers are hungry for these professionals who understand their challenges and sales is a great way to build experience you need to lead an organization.
In sales, you spend many of your days visiting incredible companies and working with some of the highest leaders of those companies, helping them solve problems and working with them and they experience you and everything that you bring to the table. Eventually, you build a professional network of people who trust you and understand how you work, even people who can be your mentors or hiring managers.
Money cannot buy happiness. But so many MBAs take jobs because of the pay and sales is one of the ways you can be better paid. You work hard and well but you’re not expected to work for so many hours. In sales, there is no salary cap. You can have an unlimited salary cap as long as you push yourself.
Dalan’s Major Takeaway:
If you think sales is a dirty word and think that everything about sales is disgusting and atrocious, then it’s not true. There are a lot of incredible sales jobs and you are only limiting yourself unnecessarily if you don’t consider them.
Check out Dalan’s article on LinkedIn Four Reasons Why MBA Should Go Into Sales
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Book: The Challenger Sale the best people are the ones who understand how to take a strategic problem and solve it for their clients
Today’s episode on Sales from the Street features Scotty Weeks who is backed by a 25-year experience in the machine solutions industry. Scotty is a supplier for tier one machinery to the manufacturing community.
A manufacturing engineer by profession, Scotty’s daughter also got into the business by selling tools. His daughter always asked her dad for advice until she finally persuaded him to get out there and become the industry expert and go-to guy that he is. And so he did… and they actually make a good team by sharing insights with each other.
In this episode, learn how to get sales without actually asking for it, the power of reading good books for personal development, and how the benefits of social selling can improve your sales.
Training advice Scotty got early on in his career:
How to get partners without asking for the sale:
Be it with helping them find new leads or becoming a business developer for your partners. Find out what you can do to get them to the point of buying something in the future.
Asking for a sale very early on in the sales process is very counterproductive.
This gives you an opportunity to engage in the conversations which open up doors early on in the process.
How to funnel your customers down so they’d ask:
Find out what they’re not doing and ask the right questions. Are you not getting anything? What can you change differently in your business? Instead of leading them with, lead them to.
The benefits of social selling:
Be very deliberate in your communications so it’s not misunderstood and it’s not misleading.
Then apply what you’re doing to your face-to-face conversations.
Facebook is more of the end users, not the buyers. This gives you the opportunity to engage them and allow them to be your inside advocate. LinkedIn is more of the professional approach. What you will find are the decision-makers, the buyers, and the CEOs.
Scotty’s Major Takeaway:
Develop yourself first. Understand yourself as an individual, not who you think you are but who you really are. Understand your product. Develop your character and be there for the customer.
“I don’t think people realize – we are a brand. We need to communicate that brand…and it’s all about how you deliver the message through your brand, making it authentic and making it relevant.” – Maria Brown
Today’s guest is Maria Brown. She is a sales trainer/evangelist. With 20 years experience in training and management, she is the source of information in the furniture retail industry. She motivates sales professionals to become evangelists, to help them get excited and fall in love with what they do as sales professionals, and to help decorate people’s homes and people’s lives.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Maria:
Maria’s coolest sales experience as the customer: buying from Terry Shapiro at Rooms To Go – delivering above & beyond what was promised.
The importance of becoming your own “Google:”
The importance of understanding the client’s emotions when relaying information:
How to improve your “Google” ability:
Turning “Im-possible” to “I’m-possible”
Top qualities of successful individuals:
Make sure your message is:
Current projects Maria is working on:
Maria’s Major Takeaway:
“Be the source of information. Have your information be meaningful, applicable, and relevant to the customer and their operation. Be present. Be engaged. Listen and anticipate what their questions are going to be. They love when you anticipate. Become the source, but more importantly, the FORCE.”
“Salespeople are a force of nature…we are enthusiastic, passionate people. Don’t lose the enthusiasm. Don’t lose the passion. Be real and be authentic. Promote and take care of your brand. You are the destination of information.”
Here are the things that I’ve learned from soccer coach, Coach Ruth:
Now how do we translate this into sales?
Many sellers are too afraid of asking for the business and closing the deal. It is a fear that hinders then for accomplishing their goals and performing well.
From the soccer example, once you’re in an ideal position, do not be afraid of asking for the business. The 20% of successful salespeople who are bringing 80% of the business are not afraid of asking for business – Why?
3 Reasons Why Most Sales Professionals Are Afraid of Asking for the business:
My recommendations (addressing the 3 reasons mentioned above):
3. Simply, ask for the business.
Take more shots on goal!
Go out and do big things!
Previous TSE episodes mentioned:
During today’s interview I had the pleasure of speaking with Linda Richardson about her new book, “Changing The Sales Conversation”. Linda is the Founder and Executive Chairwoman of Richardson, a global sales training business. As a recognized leader in the industry, she has won the coveted Stevie Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sales Excellence for 2006. In 2007 she was identified by Training Industry, Inc. as one of the “Top 20 Most Influential Training Professionals.”
Linda is credited with the movement to Consultative Selling, which is the cornerstone of Richardson’s methodology. Linda is the author of ten books on selling and sales management, including her most recent work; Perfect Selling, The Sales Success Handbook — 20 Lessons to Open and Close Sales Now, Sales Coaching — Making the Great Leap from Sales Manager to Sales Coach and Stop Telling – Start Selling. She teaches sales and management courses at the Wharton Graduate School at the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton Executive Development Center.
Here are some of the major takeaways from our discussion:
Many customers are satisfied with their vendors, however today vendors need to delight or surprise customers. They do this by going above and beyond the call of duty.
The new sales conversation is an extension of consultative selling. Here is a brief history of sales and how Linda feels that sales has evolved:
The quality of the seller needs to improve because the buyers know more today.
First of 5 Strategies:
The sales person needs to become more educated on the client and industry. They will need to not only know about present needs, but also future needs. The seller will need to be way more prepared.
2. Heat Mapping:
This where all of your futuring comes in play and the seller brings insights that adds to what the buyer knows. This will also help you bring more information.
3. Value Tracking:
Buyers want to learn how things are going to impact their organization and what the outcomes will be. Sellers must be able to provide this information to their buyers.
The organization must have best in class sales practices. They must have phases with best practice activities. For example, these things must take place in order for the deal close.
The seller must be able to provide an emotional connection with the buyer. Sellers sometime overlook this but you must be transparent and show volubility.
“Clients don’t want research but they want insights” – Jerry Bullmore
Research about the client and their industry, blogs they read and social sites they go to. Learn how your clients thinks and then you can bring more value to them.
Connect with Linda
Tired of your same old sales performance? Well, this episode is just for you. Linda Richard is the queen on consultative selling and in today’s episode we talk about how sales people must change the sales conversation in order to find success. You will love it, listen now!