Risk Archives - The Sales Evangelist

Category Archives for Risk

Client Referrence, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1102: “Should I Give Client References?”

Client Referrence, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistIt can be frustrating for prospects to ask to speak to your current customers, and it can leave you wondering, “Should I Give Client References?

It can be tricky to balance this need, because you don’t want your current customers, the ones you’ve developed into raving fans, to be constantly bombarded by prospects.

Root cause

Throughout the process, your prospects are trying to determine whether you’re a good fit and whether you can truly help solve their problem. I recommend that you develop a wide base of people that can give you good support.

But let’s address the root cause of how your prospects got to this point. In my experience, it’s because they don’t have confidence in you as an organization, so they are seeking third-party validation. They don’t want to make a bad decision.

Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. His job or his reputation may be on the line. His company may not have a lot of money, so they can’t waste it on buying the wrong product or service.

Diffuse risk

This issue usually traces back to a fear of risk, so you must diffuse this fear.

It’s not bad to give customer references, but client testimonials might work better. You can collect them in video form or as case studies.

In last week’s episode, we discussed the importance of leave-behinds, and testimonials might be a great option for you, especially if you’re in a high-risk industry. Leave behind video testimonials of your current customers addressing some of the common questions or the challenging objections you routinely hear.

You can leave them information about your past customers’ pain and how you’ve addressed it. You can also indicate that you’ll discuss these topics more on your next interaction.

Your prospects simply don’t want to be guinea pigs.


You know your product or service is fantastic, but your prospects don’t know that yet. Give value in order to help them understand.

Use videos, case studies, and client testimonials on your website to communicate value. You can also create YouTube videos to help your client when he does the research you know he’s planning to do. They’ll establish a level of comfort with your product or service.

If I’m your customer, I’ve got my own business to run. I’m too busy to answer all your customers’ questions and to do all your selling for you. Referral phone calls interrupt my day.


Perhaps the best option, then, is to offer to provide testimonials and case studies first to see if they can address the most frequent questions. Then, if the customer still has a level of uncertainty, you can consider providing referrals.

You can even explain that you’re trying to be considerate of your current customers just as you would do for this prospect someday when they’ve become your customer, too.

Make sure you minimize the prospects’ risk. Give them an opportunity to alleviate. Use leave-behind to help you accomplish that. Tell stories of clients that had similar challenges.

 “Should I Give Client References?” 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.

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Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Closing, Sales, Donald Kelly, Sales Podcast

TSE 932: How Do I Close The Deal?

Closing, Sales, Donald Kelly, Sales PodcastMost sales professionals understand the importance of closing. They also understand that the more prospects they interact with, the greater their odds of closing will be. But sometimes challenging situations arise, which leave us asking, “How do I close the deal?”

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll talk about closing more deals and increasing our win rate by answering the question, “How do I close the deal?”

Talk to the right people

Many salespeople speak to the wrong person when they try to close a deal.

The person you’re connecting with may want the product or service you’re selling, but if he doesn’t have the buying decision, it won’t be enough to close the deal.

It’s tempting, of course, to focus your efforts on the prospect who wants to buy your product. That’s easier than interacting with people who may not yet be convinced.

If you truly want to close, you have to identify the key decisions makers or stakeholders who are actually able to say yes.

Understand the true problem

If you’re addressing a problem that isn’t actually the true problem, you’re not likely to close a deal.

Ask deeper, next-level questions.

It’s not enough to know that they have a problem with emails. Do they need an easier way to send them or do they need better quality emails?

Make sure you understand the problem they are trying to solve.

Identify timeframe

Understand the timeframe your prospect is working within, and how it will impact the buying decision.

The prospect may be excited about your product, but you can move the process along by gathering facts instead of making assumptions.

Is there a big event driving this purchase? What are the negative consequences if the prospect doesn’t make a purchase decision?

Make sure you understand the timeframe.

Recognize common challenges

Eventually, you’ll begin to identify the common challenges that arise when you’re trying to close. Figure out a way to address those challenges before they become a major issue.

Identify the top five objections you hear most often, and tackle them before your prospects have a chance to mention them.

Address it in discovery, or through a testimonial.

Share stories of customers who were similar to your prospect and how you helped them overcome their similar set of challenges.

If you diffuse their objections before they have a chance to mention them you take some of the impacts from them.

Mitigate risk

If your prospect has never worked with you, she may be apprehensive about jumping into a large recurring contract. If things don’t work out with your contract, it can reflect poorly on her.

Help her address that fear by reworking the contract when possible.

If, for example, you sell software, can you cut back the number of licenses and shorten the length of the contract, you can mitigate the risk for your clients. That allows your prospect to verify that your company is a good fit before committing to a lengthy, expensive contract.

Include an invitation

Sales professionals have to be bold without being overbearing. We have to ask prospects to commit to change.

Be prepared at every step with an invitation that moves the prospect to the next step.

Paint a picture of what life will be like when they buy your product or service.

“Close The Deal” episode resources

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. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

This episode is also brought to you byMaximizer CRM. If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM.

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Stop Selling and Start Leading, Best Sales Books, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly

TSE 879: Stop Selling & Start Leading-“Innovative Seller”

Stop Selling and Start Leading, Best Sales Books, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly

As a seller, you’ll come across many people who are hesitant to change. Whether they’re prospects or others within your company, sales leaders must recognize the importance of change and the reason for it. More importantly, innovative sellers will use their influence to convince others as well.

On today’s episode we’re talking about the book Stop Selling & Start Leading, and we’ll discuss innovative sellers and the role they play in the sales process.

This is the second in our three-part series based upon the book Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley. It’s a fantastic blueprint of all the things buyers say they expect and want from sellers.

Our first episode on Monday was about building trust and innovating as sellers. Our third episode will be all about having meaningful conversations and two-way dialogue.

You don’t have to listen to them in chronological order, but the series will help you move from being a subservient seller to leading your customers.

Develop a vision.

CEOs bear the responsibility of looking into the future and anticipating changes that will come. They are responsible for the entire organization and ensuring that it makes money.

In the case of Blockbuster, the leaders never innovated. They didn’t seek new ways to do things and they didn’t take risks. They refused to sacrifice their real estate holdings because they believed that streaming services were simply fads.

Leaders must have vision. It’s a little like riding in a tall truck on a crowded highway: you’re able to see the way ahead and anticipate the problems that are coming.

Leaders see problems and direct their teams accordingly. When sellers do the same thing, they establish themselves as trusted advisors to their customers.

Although you shouldn’t change your entire business plan for one customer, if you can make small tweaks that benefit him, doesn’t it make sense to try it?

Understand vision.

The book Stop Selling & Start Leading tells the story of a seller named Maddie who spent 198 days connecting with a prospect that she believed she could help.

She sent emails, visited, texted, called, and did everything she could think of to grab the craft brewing company’s attention.

The company needed a good designer to create a package design that fit its product but it wasn’t doing much volume, so many larger companies weren’t interested in helping.

Despite the fact that the company had only sold 30,000 units the previous year, Maddie believed she could help. She took a calculated risk and engaged.

The packaging came out perfect, and the company loved the finished product. And in the following year, they sold 100,000 units.

Maddie took a risk because she understood the company’s vision.

In the future, a sales leader in the same position could take that experience and encourage other existing labels to develop craft divisions. Or she could pitch the idea of updating their labels.

“Innovative Seller” episode resources

Our friends at Wiley have provided a free excerpt of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading. Based on research and interviews with buyers, the book provides a blueprint for sales professionals. Read an excerpt of the book here.

They’ve also created a SlideShare free for you to use or download.

Check out the Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and selling your brand using video. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy. You are a brand, and video can help you set yourself apart.

Leave us a review wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe so you won’t miss a single episode.

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Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Taking Risk

TSE 637: The Bigger The Risk, The Bigger The Reward

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Taking RiskI got to work in the business board of this organization where they have these local folks in the community. We come together and help the business department bouncing ideas off each other. And one of the speakers they had spoke about this concept of taking bigger risks to get bigger rewards. Big man Grant Cardone is a big proponent of 10x-ing what you’re doing. If your goal is to make $10, make it ten times bigger and go for $100. Are you going too low? Or are you just afraid? Well, you need to raise the way you think. You need to go beyond that simple level. And this is where the idea of “the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward” comes in.

The Tale of the Broken Dishwasher

Three weeks ago, our dishwasher went out. The disposal went out so a guy came in to install a new disposal. We thought everything was working in our house until the dishwasher broke down. It turned out that the water wasn’t going through the hose from the dishwasher to the disposal which had a blockage.

My wife jumped on YouTube to try to figure things out here and tried to fix it. Then we just stopped and put back on the things we’ve taken off. In my mind, we had to keep going and try to figure things out. So we kept watching the videos and tried to fix it on our own. We could have quit but we decided to keep going.

So we took dishwasher apart as well as the disposal. Until we got to that one little issue that caused this entire blockage. We fixed it and put it all back together. We fixed it and made it better! We also saved ourselves from getting somebody else to do it.

The Bigger the Risk, The Bigger the Reward

Whether you’re new to sales or you’re going after a really big deal or you’re a business owner and thinking about jumping ship, sometimes you have that fear since you haven’t done it before so you should not do it. But you have to take those leaps. Take those giant steps and move forward. Take big risks.

What if you fail? So what if you failed? Is the world coming to an end? On a scale of zero to death, what’s the worst thing that can happen?

For me and my wife, it was an opportunity for us to get our hands dirty and dive in. This same principle has pushed me into many different areas. It has pushed me recently to the deals I’ve been working on. It has forced me to go deeper and go bigger.

Stretch Your Goals

We’re in August now and we have four months left until the year ends. You have some opportunities sitting out there. Take some risks and go after some bigger opportunities. Call some of your clients and go after some of these firms that are just sitting there. Ask them if they want to take a chance right now.  What’s the worst that can happen. Don’t let fear hold you back too often. Fear misleads us and causes us to lose out not only on money but also on life experiences.

Today’s Major Takeaway:

The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. Take those big risks. Go out today and call that biggest opportunity that you can get right now. Just call them. What’s the worst that can happen? Figure out a unique way to grab their attention and do it.

Speaking of taking risks, check out the TSE Hustler’s League. Our new semester is beginning on September 28 and we’re focusing on two groups: Sales foundational business development principles and on Building Value.

Episode Resources:

The Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg

Join the TSE Hustler’s League

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Changes, New Year Goal, Risk, Chip and Joanna Gaines, Donald Kelly

TSE 447: Learning How To Embrace Change As A Seller

Changes, New Year Goal, Risk, Chip and Joanna Gaines, Donald Kelly 2017 is coming and you can’t stay being a mediocre for far too long now. As the year is about to change, it’s also about time for you to step out of your comfort zone and make that big leap from an ordinary to an extraordinary life.

I recently read the book The Magnolia Story, which is a story about a couple Chip and Joanna Gaines who are stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper.  In their show, they would fix the crappiest home in a neighborhood. What’s so admirable about this couple is their ability to take risks and adapt to change. Chip took an educated risk and wasn’t scared of changed. So they kept on switching homes,  recreating them, and changing them so quickly.

So today, I’m sharing with you the insights that I gleaned from this excellent masterpiece.

  1. Adapt to change.

Too often, we settle on whatever situation or circumstance presented to us. But you have to be willing to change.

  1. Be willing to act, and not be acted upon.

Take courage and act on what you feel and change your circumstances if need be. Take action and not be acted upon. You are the master of your own destiny.

  1. Evaluate yourself.

Don’t be afraid of change. Ask yourself honestly…

  • Do you not have the opportunity to hit your quotas and earn the income that you just capitalize on the opportunities handed to you?
  • Are you in a job that you don’t like?
  • Are you stuck in a situation that does not excite you? Or something that you dread?
  • Are you selling something that you don’t like to sell?
  • Do find yourself becoming a mediocre seller and losing that fire/passion?

What is holding you back? Take some time to self-reflect and figure out what is it that you’ve been doing before that has given you such fire. What changed? What did you do or stop doing that changed? Whatever that is, be able to pinpoint it and begin the change the circumstance.

  1. Step out of your comfort zone.

What do you need to do to change today? Are there things that you’re doing that are self-destructive? What do you need to stop doing? Be sure to limit these things that hold you back and keep you in your comfort zone. Change and take some risks.

Today’s Major Takeaway:

You can’t stay mediocre. You’ve got to be willing to change sometimes. Take some educated risk and take more risks than what you’re comfortable with. What do you need to do to change to get yourself to the next level? Take the time to reflect on how you can change the circumstances of the things this year so you can make it better next year. Write them down.

Episode Resources:

The Magnolia Story by Chip Gaines, Joanna Gaines, and Mark Dagostino


HGTV’s Fixer Upper

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.