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Land your first sales job

TSE 1297: How to Land Your First Sales Job With No Previous Experience

Land your first sales jobA loaded resume is important to many employers but when you’re brand new, how do you land your first sales job without any experience? In this episode, we’re going to learn how to jump the line even before your first close. Mitchell Earl had his life planned out; however, a year into college, everything changed for him. He got involved in a startup that took off in his sophomore year of college. It started with a small team over the course of three years, the company grew to thousands of people. Working for the startup early on allowed him to work in many different positions within the company.

Mitchell eventually met the founder of Praxis and quickly became a valuable member of the team. Mitchell is now the COO. Praxis helps people take the first steps into the real world whether their clients are fresh out of high school, college, or they’ve left school before graduation. The goal is to help them begin their first careers, many of which are in sales. 

Starting your career fresh from school 

Sales is one of the entry points where people care less about credentials and more about someone’s ability to learn quickly, be coachable, and handle rejection.

Before you set out, know what you want. For new graduates, you’ve already chosen a path and that’s great. Oftentimes, however, people get stuck because they can’t figure out what it is they want to do next. 

Show your value

One of the best ways to impress a potential employer is to show how you can be valuable to the company.  As a salesperson, an important skill is to be able to capture someone’s attention. To do that, you need to stop doing what everyone else is doing. Stand out by differentiating yourself.  Once you’ve gotten their attention, secure your place by continuing to prove your value. 

To do this, Mitchell uses a personal pitch deck and a project. For example, you can do preliminary research by going to a company’s website. Figuring out who their buyers are and how you can participate in problem-solving. Build your prospects list and with all this information, document your methodology so it’s duplicatable. 

A pitch deck explains who you are, why you love their company, and how you can help with the problems. This is where you get the opportunity to present thoughtful solutions that show how you can be of value to the company. It should reflect that you know who their customers are. Taking this level of care in your presentation will help you stand out from others.  

Keeping their focus 

Employers will look at your experience. That’s a given. When you haven’t gotten the chance to build your experience, however, be prepared for questions regarding the value you bring without any back up to your claims. Remember, when you don’t have the experience, the effort is your best friend. Let your interviewer know you are willing to show up earlier or stay later than everybody else… They need to understand you are willing to perfect your craft and learn quickly. Give them all the reasons they need to give you a shot.

Also, remember everything is up for negotiation. Don’t assume that the rules of the job exclude you because the moment you do, you remove a way to create that opportunity for yourself. 

Address your weaknesses head-on

In an interview it’s typical to be asked about your weaknesses. The best thing to do is to attack your weakness head-on before they even ask.  Address the elephant in the room immediately and build trust at the same time.

Part of what makes a  great salesperson is the ability to handle objections. As you talk about your weaknesses, you’re also able to share how you’ve overcome these low points. Being able to talk about your weaknesses and the way you’ve moved through them shows potential employers you have self-awareness and grit. This also helps you control the narrative. 

More tips from Mitchell 

It may be that you don’t get hired on your first interview.  That’s okay. Give yourself the best chance by going back to Mitchell’s tips. Build a portfolio of sales projects, build your prospecting lists, and look at different ways you can approach a variety of companies. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a referral from a company that doesn’t hire you. They may know another company who is looking for someone exactly like you. Just don’t let the first no stop you. Handle those objections. This is what salespeople do. 

How to Land Your First Sales Job Even With No Experience” episode resources 

Connect with Mitchell Earl via his LinkedIn account and Twitter. 

If you are interested in more sales stories, you can talk to Donald directly. Reach him via these channels: LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook about any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by Crmble, the easy-peasy CRM for Trello that helps you manage your contacts and leads without investing in complicated solutions, sync all your data, manage custom fields, and get powerful reporting on your sales. Try Crmble now for free at www.crmble.com/tse. This course is also brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. It will help them elevate their sales game. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can go and visit www.thesalesevangelist.com/closemoredeals also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill.

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SaaS Selling

TSE 1258: Selling SaaS To Doctors vs. Selling Traditional SaaS 

SaaS SellingSaaS stands for Software as a Service. In this episode, Justin Welsh will teach us how to sell SaaS to doctors and how the language in these transactions can be applied in other areas of selling. 

Although Justin Welsh is an accomplished seller, he is also a buyer who makes note of his purchasing experiences.  He recalls one such experience, about eighteen months ago, when he went to the Atlantic Center Terminal to buy a new TV. Along with his wife, they just moved to a new apartment and Justin wanted a large 60” TV so he could enjoy college football. He went to the store and told the salesman exactly what he needed.  The salesman, however, had other plans. Justin no sooner had asked about the 60” TV before he was hearing about 65”, 67”, and 72” inches TV. He was even taken over to the curved and 3D TVs. Justin admits he was a little intimidated by such an aggressive sales tactic. He’d just wanted to get the TV he was ready to purchase so he and his friends could enjoy the game.  He didn’t buy a TV that day.

The good salesman

Justin, still needing a TV, eventually went back to the store and had a very different experience. A different salesman approached and asked Justin what he needed. Again, Justin said that he was interested in a 60’’ TV. Instead of being shown the selection right away,  he was asked a series of questions relevant to what he wanted. 

  • How big is your room?
  • What angle do you watch the game from?
  • Where are the windows in your room?
  • How much light do you have in the room?

At the end of that conversation, the salesman told him that he didn’t actually need a 60-inch TV, and that a 55-inch TV would work better for the space he had available. The salesman had considered Justin’s needs based on the information given to him and showed Justin he had his best interest at heart.  As a result, Justin was able to buy a 55-inch TV that was $300 below his budget. You can bet Justin will be looking for that salesman the next time he’s shopping again.

So who is Justin Welsh?

Justin Welsh is the Vice-President of Sales at a tech company called Patient Pop where he manages a strategy team of 30  people. In the last couple of years, they have grown about 400% and has become one of the fastest growing software as a service (SaaS) healthcare platforms. They have defined a new category of software called Software Category Practice Growth Platform. It essentially integrates with healthcare professionals to their electronic medical records and practice management systems. Patient Pop’s role is to manage the patient experience from the first impression online until the patient is in the exam room. 

The software picks up again after treatment. They manage and nurture the patient relationship to ensure that the patient continues to be a customer in the practice. Patient Pop is a tremendous opportunity to redefine and reshape the way that patients experience healthcare today. 

The basics of SaaS

Conducting a pharma sale is different from the usual product selling. In pharma sales, a sales rep goes into a doctor’s office where the doctor is the expert. They are the ones who know how to treat the patients. Pharma sales reps are looking at a healthcare discussion. They meet a doctor, discuss the drug they represent, discuss a treatment plan, the patient profile, and more. Their job is to be an influencer. You’re doing a good job when the doctors think about your product when they see a patient with the profile need that was outlined in the sales meeting. You want them to remember the drug and write the prescription for that drug.

Selling software is different. In selling the software, it’s the sales rep who is the expert.  They don’t help doctors treat their patients better from a medical perspective. The software addresses  the business side of the office. In order to talk to a doctor about his business, you need to be an expert, not just in selling, but about the product itself. 

Having the right approach

As a sales rep with expertise, when Justin approaches his doctors, he doesn’t just reveal the pain points. He makes sure clients are being approached with respect and discusses how his company can add value.  He knows that it’s mission critical to do research on potential clients,and study a healthcare provider’s online presence, so he can show up with solutions from that first conversation. 

For example, Justin’s team wants to talk to Dr. Smith so they do a thorough analysis on his private practice online to see the gaps in his strategies. A sales rep from his team then makes an initial call and says, “Hi, Dr. Smith. I know you’re busy but really quickly, I was doing some research on  your practice in terms of your online presence and I came across three specific things that I thought might be interesting to you…

This is why I’m calling your practice specifically. What I found is ___, ____, ____. Were you aware of these things? I’m not sure if those three things are impactful to what you’re looking to do or if you’re looking to grow the practice, but I’ve talked to other orthopedic surgeons like you who are looking to grow their business and those three things are generally things they’d like to fix. Does that sound like you? 

Great! What’s the easiest way for me to get 10 minutes on your schedule so we can take a deeper dive, and see what else there is to fix? I can show you how we might be able to help.”

Different atmospheres

Pharma reps get about a month or two of training. They are equipped with some great studies. This is another difference between pharma sales and SaaS and there are more. 

When pharma reps walk into the practice, they’ve got great access and are able to talk with the provider. Their job is to move the percentage of prescriptions over time and that’s how they make money, by influencing the numbers. 

With SaaS, sales reps have continuous training. They utilize their LinkedIn, their new sources, and they keep up-to-date with the current trends. Their access to doctors is poor and they only have one or two chances to talk with physicians. If they blow that chance, they don’t get to walk back in the same clinic the following week. They need to move fast and they need to really show the physician’s future, in that first meeting, if they don’t choose to change to their software system. SaaS sales reps can’t afford to act slowly and over time. They have to show up sharp and with expertise.  

The Sales Cycle 

While pharma rep sales contacts are ongoing, Justin’s team has to sell within a week or two. When you’re a pharma rep, there are multiple chances to influence a physician. If the job is being done well, habits are changed over time. A software sales rep needs to influence change immediately and make the most out of the very first meeting. 

When you talk to a doctor about their practice, the conversation is going to be focused on revenue.  Are they losing or not making as much? How does the software you offer make the process more efficient so more patients can be seen?  Once a sales rep understands the office’s capacity for seeing patients, they can quantify how much revenue is being lost and how much can be gained with the proposed services. 

Knowing when to call

It’s good to catch the physicians at the right time. The best hours to talk to physician directly are from 8AM – 9AM or 5 PM – 6 PM.  These are the times there are no patients and the receptionist has probably not clocked in. This is when the doctors are catching up with paperwork or dictations. When the phone rings, they are picking up the phone. 

Often times, doctors ask for your elevator pitch right away. You may give it right away or offer some credibility by sharing the common relationships of people or doctors you both know, especially if it’s a referral. 

Learn to say no

A good software sales rep knows how to tell a client no when it doesn’t benefit the client’s needs, and is ready to walk away if they aren’t ready to purchase with the conditions you’re offering.  If you do the right research, however, become an expert in your product, and know how to add value to their practice, you should be walking away with a closing.

“Selling SaaS To Doctors vs. Selling Traditional SaaS Solutions” episode resources

Stay up to date with Justin and his company. Find Justin Welsh on LinkedIn and Twitter. 

You can also check out his website, Patient Pop.  

If you want more stories, you can just reach out to Donald. Reach him via these channels: LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook about any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

We have a new semester beginning this March and we would love to have you and your team join us. Follow this link to apply to the program. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill.

 

 

Lee Salz, Sales Differentiation, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1048: Sales Differentiation

Lee Salz, Sales Differentiation, The Sales Evangelist

Sales differentiation helps salespeople win more deals at the price point they want, and today Lee Salz talks about building a framework that will allow you to personalize your sales.

Sales reps in every industry must differentiate themselves in today’s market. It’s crucial for sellers to have room to “color” the sales process.

Origins

When Lee was a kid, he had a job as a pickup and delivery driver for dry cleaning. The guy he worked for didn’t own a dry cleaning business; he simply knew it was a hassle to drop off and pick up your clothes.

He developed a contract with a couple of different dry cleaning firms and he charged a premium for the service. The idea took off, and Lee was intrigued by the idea that he was able to add a 40 percentage point premium by differentiating the service.

He didn’t actually put the idea into play until his 50th birthday after he had learned a lot about the industry.

Philosophy of differentiation

Lee said the philosophy translates for every possible seller. No matter what industry you’re in, what size company you’re in, whether you sell products or service, whether you sell B2B or B2C, and it doesn’t even matter what methodology you use in your sales.

The premise is simple: win more deals at the prices you want.

Differentiation around what you sell

Differentiation around what you sell relies on the ability to translate your passion to the person sitting on the other side of the desk.

If you can’t communicate your own passion about your differentiators to the person on the other side of the desk, you might as well not have anyone sitting there.

The idea is to build passion and help salespeople communicate it in a meaningful way. You want your customers to believe they must have what you’re selling.

It’s a responsibility that falls to marketing, business owners, and sales leaders.

Marketing and sales differentiation

Marketing differentiation is one-directional communication for the masses. Think trade shows and websites. It screams to the marketplace, “Hey! Look at us! We’re here.”

It demonstrates all the available potential.

Sales differentiation is two-directional communication with an individual, specific buyer.

It takes all of the potential and personalizes it to an individual specific buyer.

Everyone buys for a different reason so if you leave all the capabilities out there and rely on that to drive buyers, you’ll fail.

You must have salespeople who gather all the potential and bring it to the individual level.

Add those two things together and that meets the definition of solution.

Two differentiation workshops

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling.

Make a list of your most common competitors who also sell what you sell. Work with your team to do the analysis.

Answer two questions:

  • Why do you win?
  • Why do they win?

Make a list of the decision influencers, the people commonly involved in the decision to buy what you sell.

Again, answer two questions:

  • What is keeping them up at night relative to your offering?
  • Given what is keeping them awake, how can you help?

If you engage your team in these two workshops, you’ll get a series of differentiators that will serve as raw material to work with.

From there, develop a communication strategy that helps you build passion around those differentiators.

Differentiation around how you sell

Every interaction between a seller and a buyer provides an opportunity to offer meaningful value that your competition doesn’t provide.

Consider this: Would you prefer a restaurant with outstanding food and mediocre service or mediocre food and outstanding service?

Most people will choose the outstanding service.

That means you could have the best product features and functions but your failure to differentiate how you sell could cause you to lose.

From that very first phone call to the time they sign on the dotted line, you have an opportunity to build a great experience.

Customer service vs account management

Don’t equate the two as the same.

Customer service occurs when your client asks you for something. The measurement of success should be timeliness and accuracy in the response.

It’s the proactive set of activities and behaviors that you’ll provide that adds value in the relationship that has nothing to do with the product.

Look at every touch point to find every opportunity to do something different that your client will find meaningful.

Recognizing your competition

Your true competition exists in your battle to earn face time with your prospects.

No executive has the responsibility to meet with salespeople every hour on the hour. In order for us to earn that meeting, we have to create intrigue in the first moment.

Imagine operating the way the police do. When they knock on your door to ask questions about a crime, they don’t randomly choose your home for a conversation. They follow a trail of evidence that leads them to you.

They’ve put together a theory, and you should do the same with your sales efforts.

Instead of blindly calling people and sending emails, put together a sales crime theory, based on the answer to this question: why should they want to have a conversation with us right now? Instead of asking why we should talk with them, ask why they should want to have a conversation with us.

Put together a messaging strategy based on your research that will help them recognize what you have to offer.

Sales Differentiation resources

Lee’s book Sales Differentiation:19 Powerful Strategies to Win More Deals at the Prices You Want is available in bookstore, at your favorite online book sources, at Amazon, and a variety of other places.

You can also go to salesdifferentiation.com and register for Lee’s video series. The videos are typically only available to workshop clients but he’s making them available to the people who purchase the book. Go to the website, click on “bonus,” fill out the form, and start taking advantage of the videos.

“Sales Differentiation” episode resources

This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

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.

This episode is also brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. If 2018 wasn’t the best year for you, check out TSE Certified Sales Training Program. We 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.

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.