Category Archives for Growth

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.

FSMSDC, Small Business, Sales Growth

TSE 1100: Hyper-Growing Small Businesses

 

FSMSDC, Small Business, Sales GrowthGrowing a small business requires you to think like an entrepreneur, and we can avoid reinventing the wheel if we engage with experienced entrepreneurs to learn more about hyper-growing small businesses.

The Florida State Minority Supply Development Council connects us with successful entrepreneurs from a variety of industries, and many of them are using the council to grow their businesses. Every business, regardless of size, struggles with some kind of difficulty.

Today, we’ll hear from Ebony Smith and Abdullah Tharoo about how they’ve overcome the big challenges of entrepreneurship.

Accidental entrepreneur

Ebony started her career in oil and gas until she found herself facing an ultimatum from her management team. She was being moved to an office that she didn’t want to occupy.

She took it as a sign to take time for herself. And because of a non-compete clause built into her contract, she took a year off from work and went to coaching school to improve herself and become a better leader.

She quickly realized that the idea of coaching had some legs when a friend of hers called her in need of a coach. Although she only had a weekend of training under her belt, the friend recognized that Ebony had more coaching experience than she did.

She helped her friend return to the workforce after maternity leave and then moved forward from there.

The transition was difficult but she made the decision to invest in herself. She had great savings and knew how to be frugal. She also sold her house in a hot market, which gave her a cushion and time to learn her new profession.

Next level

She found herself at a business development conference trying to figure out how to get to the next level. Ebony knew that she wouldn’t make the same money she had made in her trading career until she became a great coach.

She focused on becoming a good practitioner rather than scaling the business. She said she needed to know what she didn’t know.

She wanted to become the coach that she needed when she was in corporate America.

She and other women at the conference decided to create a mastermind, and through that relationship, she discovered the value of certifications for coaches. Ebony also discovered that there were corporations out there that wanted to spend more than a billion dollars annually with small business.

Since then, she acquired all the necessary certifications for coaching and she said that people recognize her at events now.

The key is to tell people what you do. And then tell them again and again. Eventually, they’ll hire you for a small contract and then they’ll get bigger.

Community

Ebony points to her mastermind as one of the drivers of her growth and success. She also said that her four years with the NMSDC have helped her learn things she didn’t know she didn’t know.

Change of trade

Abdullah Tharoo operates in the credit card payment processing technology industry and he helps companies protect against the credit card breaches that often occur.

People often assume that companies like his gained their success overnight. He said he doesn’t have a scientific answer to explain his growth, but rather he keeps things simple.

About four years ago, he discovered a need to move into a different trade that would allow him to spend more time with his kids and his wife. He stepped back from the family business operating high-end jewelry stores.

He had previously thought that he wanted to really find a way to make a difference in people’s lives and save them money and help them grow. Abdullah recognized that technology was where everything was headed.

Great support

He knew he wanted to be involved in technology, so he did research and he engaged mentors. His family’s support played a huge role in his move forward, as did the mentors.

You need intelligent people outside your situation who can guide you to where you want to go.

He said that although he has been attending the NMSDC since he launched his business, there are some deals he hasn’t been able to close. Despite that, many of those companies have referred him to other people.

Your network decides your net worth. You must have a strong network because the people you walk with are the ones you’re going to become.

NMSDC

Abdullah said he continually returns to the NMSDC to do community service because he meets people there. He meets people who may not be able to directly give him business but who can guide him to the companies that need his service.

Warm introductions are so much better than cold calls. He said he doesn’t make cold calls anymore because he doesn’t have to.

He consciously makes the decision to give something back to the community that gives so much to him. He said people go out of their way to help each other.

A lot of people don’t want to join the NMSDC because they think they can’t reach these big corporations like Disney, NBA, NFL. But if you don’t aim high, you’ll never get where you’re trying to be. The NMSDC is the perfect instrument to get in front of these companies.

Network

He invests most of his time building relationships. Every day, he sets out to meet 10 new people before he goes to bed. On days when he’s behind in his meetings, he’ll sit on the sidewalk and shake hands with people because he hasn’t yet met the 10.

Then, he decides who he wants to keep in touch with.

Make friends who can help you grow emotionally, spiritually, and financially.

“Hyper-Growing Small Businesses” episode resources

You can connect with Ebony at her website, www.ebenumequationcoaching.com, or on LinkedIn @EbonySmithCoach.

You can connect with Abdullah at tharooa@paykoncept.com.

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

Tools for sellers

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. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

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.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

FSMSDC, Storytelling, Leadership

TSE 1098: Storytelling and Leadership

 

FSMSDC, Storytelling, LeadershipI often learn from entrepreneurs and I discovered a lot about storytelling and leadership recently during the Florida State Minority Development Council’s expo. On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll hear from two of the entrepreneurs I met there.

The best leaders learn from past leaders, whether the leadership was good or bad. CJ Latimore and Gustavo Hermida work in two different industries, but the things they share here apply no matter what industry you’re selling in.

Urban development

CJ Latimore is a public art specialist who characterizes his work as “telling stories through architecture and urban development.” He says it’s about hanging on to cultural icons even after certain buildings have been torn down.

He boils it down to adding a soul to buildings. It’s one thing to have a building that’s structurally sound but CJ believes it’s vital to track the communities and demographics that existed in the building before it was torn down. Very often, when a building is torn down to make way for something new, the previous demographic is forgotten. So is their story.

Storytelling

CJ says it’s possible to tell a story without saying a single word, and he points to art as the mechanism.

We must bring people together more efficiently and create a sense of timelessness along the way. Begin by getting people to hear your story.

Sales reps often try to add value to the company without even knowing anything about you or developing rapport with you.

Business etiquette

Consider this situation from a business etiquette perspective. If you don’t know me and you don’t know what my story is about, how can you act to help me? How can you add value?

CJ’s mission is to build images to help people get what they want in a prestigious way. When he shares that with people, they often ask to hear more. And when you can get people to say they want to hear more, they’re ready for your story.

Survival thinking

He said his biggest challenge was lack of awareness. Because the human brain is hard-wired to think about food, shelter, and clothing, stories that don’t incorporate those ideas can get lost.

The answer, he said, is to be creative. Tell a story that will make people focus on something else even briefly.

In this case, many people don’t readily know what they can do with art. Perhaps it doesn’t make sense to them. They don’t go to shows or museums.

The trick is to incorporate your uniqueness and associate it with food, shelter, and clothing.

Survival and storytelling

Everyone has pain and the quickest way to get someone to listen to you is to provide a solution to help their pain go away. You’ll have their immediate attention because no one wants to be in pain.

If you can share a way to save money, save time, or educate your prospect about saving money or time, that’s what everyone wants.

People want more time with their family and more time for vacation. Your job is to stop people in their tracks with the solutions you offer.

People will remember you more if you’re unique and if there’s something about you that’s meaningful.

If it’s true that the brain has as many as 300 impulses per minute, you have to find a way to engage three or four of those with your story.

Other people telling your story

When you can get other people to tell your story for you, that’s an indication that you have a great story and that you’ve told your story well. People love to spread a good story.

Since the beginning of time, people have shared the greatest historical events through story.

Start with your story and turn it into a community story. Own your story. Compile multiple stories that work and make them your own. Make them exceptional. Give people the results that they need.

Company values

Gustavo Hermida said that his biggest struggle has always been aligning his company with the right people who will carry the company’s values forward. His goal is to find people with integrity who make a promise and then deliver on it. It’s important because people often distrust salespeople automatically.

But people are people, and buying people are people.

He has built a career on putting himself in other people’s shoes to understand what will help the other person feel comfortable making a decision or able to move a partnership forward.

Finding the right people

He expanded his search to include looking elsewhere for the right people. Although previous experience was a welcome factor, it wasn’t the main qualifier he was looking for.

He discovered that he preferred hiring the right person and then forming that person.

Company growth

Gustavo started the company with zero base and limited financial resources. Over the last two years, the company has made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America.

He caters to small startup companies because when it comes to multifunction equipment, sometimes leasing companies won’t offer financing to companies until they’re fully established.

He helps those companies build their own credit, which has catapulted his company in terms of growth.

Gustavo advises being very careful about the people that are working for you. Ensure that they share your company values. Build a team of different ages and different backgrounds.

Motivation comes in many different forms, but find people who are self-motivated. Build a team you’re proud to work with.

“Storytelling and Leadership” episode resources

You can connect with CJ at www.myuniqueawards.com.

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

Tools for sellers

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. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

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.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Business Growth, Topple, Ralph Welborn

TSE 956: How to Fire Up Your Business Ecosystem and Grow Explosively

Ralph Welborn, The Sales Evangelist, Explosive GrowthOn today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’re talking to Ralph Welborn, CEO of CapImpact, about ways you can fire up your business ecosystem and grow explosively.

Ralph is a co-author of the book Topple: The End of the Firm-Based Strategy and Rise of New Models for Explosive Growth. 

He refers to himself as a moth to a flame when it comes to addressing hard problems. 

Running in place

Ralph points to the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland as a perfect analogy for businesses all over the world. Though they run faster and faster, they stay in the same place.

People get seduced by shiny new objects such as AI, digital capability, and other buzzwords and they get caught up in a race. They are chasing the same objects everyone else is, but what will truly be different in a few years as a result of these things?

In many cases, companies simply burn up resources chasing after them, but they stay in the very same place.

Instead, he focuses on the new models and growth engines around the world and how people can take advantage of them.

Don’t run the Red Queen’s race, and don’t force your clients to run it either.

Instead, differentiate yourself and tell a good story. Understand real problems.

Tackling problems

Working with an entrepreneur in Kenya on an extremely challenging problem, Ralph discovered that new growth engines have emerged but people are still doing business the same way.

He worked to put his arms and legs around the patterns and commonalities that emerged, and he discovered four lessons of explosive growth.

He and the entrepreneur in Kenya worked together to figure out what capabilities they needed in order to solve their problem in a new way.

New 20 percent

For every organization, about 20 percent of capabilities drive 70 percent of value. But the 20 percent changes. What is the new 20 percent you need to be relevant tomorrow?

If you believe that we live in a fundamentally changing competitive environment, then it makes sense that the capabilities you need to take advantage of that environment are different.

To solve the problem in Kenya, the pair orchestrated a new 20 percent that solved the problems they were facing, and by the end of six months, they were producing in one day what they had previously produced in a week.

Mobility companies

When Detroit’s automakers announced two years ago that they were no longer car companies but were mobility companies, that was a reflection of a new 20 percent of capabilities that will drive value in the future.

Immediately, investments and partnerships between tech companies, data companies, analytic companies, and car companies emerged. Industry walls are coming down.

As a salesperson, refuse to run the Red Queen’s race. In a changed world, there’s are new strategic questions.

  • Where is the value being created and destroyed in the ecosystem in which my customers are engaged?
  • What is the new 20 percent of capabilities necessary to capture that new value?

Hesitation

Every existing organization by definition has been successful. It’s the reason they are in business today.

They’ve gotten where they are today by organizing what they do. They built products and methods and they get paid for it.

The problem is that the world shifts and making that shift is hard. Companies don’t always recognize the new capabilities that they need.

New competitors emerge with new capabilities and shrinking margins should clue us into the change.

Value captured is value seen. If you can’t see it, there’s no way you’ll be able to capture it. 

If you’re optimized for a world that no longer exists, that doesn’t work in a world of explosive growth companies. It isn’t enough to try to do more, better, faster, cheaper with what you’ve currently got.

Customer experience

Of course, customer experience is critical, but the way we’re thinking of it is inside out. Customers don’t care about our products themselves. They care about what our products allow them to do.

Customers don’t care about your credit card, but rather about what your credit card allows them to do. They buy a cup of coffee because of how it makes them feel and what it does for them.

Polishing up your products and services misses the fundamental point of what customers want to do and where they spend their time, energy, and resources.

All explosive growth rests on tackling friction in our customers’ lives. What are the friction points in the way our customers live their lives?

What are the new 20 percent capabilities I can develop to address those friction points?

If you believe that your competitive landscape has changed, that requires a new strategic question. You compete in a world of ecosystems rather than industries. Find a new 20 percent capabilities to solve your customers’ friction and begin to grow explosively.

“Grow Explosively” episode resources

Reach out to Ralph at www.topplebook.com where you can find out more about his book or connect with him.

This episode is brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. To get a demonstration of maximizer, go to the sales evangelists.com/maximizer.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. Maximizer is intuitive, simple, and personable. Maximizer integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one. It works throughout the whole organization and it’s customizable to the way you sell.

This episode is also brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers and provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

“The Sales Evangelist”

Check out TSE Hustler’s League and apply to see if it’s a good fit.

Leave us a review 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.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share it with someone else you think might benefit.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.