Category Archives for Sales Training

Mads Singers, DISC Assessment Profile

TSE 1239: What Is The DISC Assessment Profile And How Can It Help My Sales Team?

Mads Singers, DISC Assessment ProfileThe DISC Assessment profile is an important training opportunity for any sales team. It is one of the tools many sales reps have started to utilize as its reputation for personality assessment has grown among sales leaders and their companies. So what is the DISC Assessment and how can it help your sales team?

Mads Singers is a management coach.  He has been in the management field for 15 years and has worked with industry giants such as Xerox, IBM, and more. For more than seven years, Mads has been running his own business. 

What is DISC?

DISC Assessment Profile is a behavioral framework similar to Myers-Briggs. It’s a framework to help people understand themselves and other people. The acronym DISC stands for:

  • D: Dominance
  • I: Influence
  • S: Steadiness
  • C: Conscientious 

Everyone is born unique; however, there are traits that certain groups of people share. If you look at a sales team, for example, you can see that many members have similar personalities.  Salespeople, as a whole, tend to be assertive and focused. Typically, they are also comfortable around other people. These are traits that most successful people have so sales managers tend to be drawn to these types of personalities when hiring sales reps. 

DISC Assessment Profile is immensely effective when looking to hire the right people for the right jobs. Many assume that people are motivated by money but the truth is that people are motivated by goals and having the ability to achieve their goals. 

Facing the challenge

There is a challenge when you are selling to someone who is not like you. Salespeople need to understand the different ways other people think. Sales don’t just happen from a meeting.  Rapport has to be built and it’s not as easy when the seller and the buyer don’t connect to people in the same way. For instance, people from software and technology companies aren’t your typical salespeople.  They don’t talk as much and they want to cut straight to the point.

This can be a very abrupt style of communicating for buyers who need more of a relational approach. For such different personality types, it’s harder to build rapport because the style of communication is so different.  The salesperson has to be mindful that they will not always get to sell to a client the way they themselves want to be sold to.  It’s up to the salesperson to uncover what style is needed for each unique client. 

Different Personality types from the DISC Assessment Profile

There are four personality types reflected in the DISC Assessment Profile:

  1. D – Dominance 

The high D personalities are very driven people. These are the people who don’t usually smile a lot because they’re constantly thinking. They are focused, law-oriented, money-oriented, and power-oriented. They are the people who will do whatever it takes to get whatever they want to get. You will find a lot of these people at the highest level in big organizations because they are willing to do whatever it takes to meet their goals.  These personalities push people to the extreme but they are willing to work just as hard or harder. 

  1. I – Influence

High I personalities are typically salespeople. They tend to be loud and talk a lot. They are the storytellers. Sales managers hire these personality types because of their ability to network and talk to strangers. Because of this they usually know a large pool of people.  In sales, referrals are essential and high I’s know how to call in favors. They have a very positive mindset and know-how to inspire people to follow them toward their goals. 

  1. S – Steadiness

The high S groups are the moms and uncles of the team. They are the ones who are more focused on others than on themselves. Their happiness comes from drawing out other peoples’ joy and they don’t adapt well to change.  High S’s are people-focused but aren’t the ones who are going to start a conversation. They’re in the corner wanting someone to initiate the discussion first

  1. C – Conscientious 

Lastly, the high C personalities are the accountants and financial people. They love learning every minute detail and will ask a lot of technical questions. These people generally shy, however, and prefer not to have verbal communication. They are very detailed and want to know everything about everything. Salespeople who don’t know their product well fail to make a sale with Cs. 

Hiring the right sales reps

Most salespeople are high Ds and high Is. These are the people who have a mix of high drive and are also excellent networkers. One challenge with having an assessment test for salespeople before hiring them is that most people will tell you what they think you want to hear. Some can tweak their tests to have a result similar to what you’re looking for. The other challenge is that people don’t know themselves well enough to give accurate answers. 

Just realize that natural behaviors do not change. Even when your personality changes, your natural behaviors stay the same.  There is hope for people who are hiring. People can learn coping traits. Someone who is naturally loud, for example, can train themselves to be quieter around quiet people. 

Identifying the person you’re talking to

There is an easy way to connect with someone who has a different personality trait or communication style. Watch them and mirror their speech and/or body language. Try to adopt some of what you observe as you’re talking.

When you meet a person with a different personality  and you want to sell to them, adjust more to their behavior to build a significantly stronger rapport with them. If you are a high D and talking to a high S is a challenge, mirror them and they will likely warm up to you. 

From a management point-of-view, you can hire people even when they don’t share the same personality as long as they help you build value for your business. If you want to be more effective with people around you, try and behave more like them. It doesn’t mean you turn into them but you’re going to have a much better relationship if you can match the behavior. 

“What Is The DISC Assessment Profile And How Can It Help My Sales Team?” episode resources

Reach out to Mads Singers via his website. He also has a training course called Management Mastery that’s designed for business owners. If you have more sales concerns, you can also talk to Donald about it via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for 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 in January 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.

The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1238: Best Sellers In History Series 4 – “Benjamin Franklin”

The Sales EvangelistThis is the fourth episode for the Best Seller in History series. This time around, the sales spotlight is on Benjamin Franklin. 

Despite Benjamin Franklin only having two years of formal education, his inventions are used to this day. He was a phenomenal writer when he was a teenager and was an inventor throughout his life. Franklin was a statesman, designed a musical instrument used by Mozart and Beethoven, and was an abolitionist in his later years. It’s worth noting he was also a writer, painter, political philosopher,  politician, Freemason, diplomat, and so much more, including a phenomenal seller. We will explore five reasons why.

Sales Spotlight – Benjamin Franklin

One of the founding fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. Due to financial constraints, he wasn’t able to finish his formal education so he worked as an apprentice for his brother who was in the printing industry.  When Benjamin was 15 years old, his brother founded a newspaper called The New England Courant. His experience in his brother’s company helped in shaping his skills as a phenomenal seller. 

There are five reasons why Benjamin Franklin was so effective:  

  1. Problem-solving skills
  2. Curiosity 
  3. Ability to seek knowledge
  4. Learning from smarter people and masterminding 
  5. Ability to build a strong rapport

Ability to solve problems  

Benjamin Franklin had extraordinary skills in problem-solving and used this talent throughout his life. James Franklin, his brother, was running a newspaper but he wouldn’t allow Benjamin to write for the publication. He realized the solution was to ghostwrite through anonymous letters, under the guise of being a middle-aged widow. The anonymous letters focused on what was going on in the community so it naturally piqued the interest of the readers. 

Benjamin would slip the letters under the door of James’ newspaper each night. Each morning, James and his friends would discuss and debate the content of the letter. The letters got published and Benjamin’s alter ego became a popular contributor to the paper. His brother wasn’t happy when he found out that it was Benjamin who was writing the anonymous letters but had no choice but to continue publishing for the readers who loved the anonymous letters. 

Sometime later, James was thrown in jail after writing something that wasn’t favorable to the government. During his absence, Ben ran the newspaper without major issues. When his brother came back, Ben presented the idea of partnership. When James didn’t agree with Ben’s proposal, Ben decided to leave and went to Philadelphia.

Problem-Solving skills as a sales rep

There are times when buyers don’t even recognize they have a problem. They are so focused on the status quo and happy with their current system that it doesn’t occur to them to change things. They refuse to learn more or don’t realize there is more to learn. 

The prospect may even have problems they’re not aware of.  Others have identified their problems but they just have a band-aid solution to ease the discomfort. As a sales rep, you need to find a way to actually solve the problem. That’s what Benjamin did. Even when he asked his brother, James said No repeatedly. Ben thought outside the box and he thought of ways to address a problem regardless of the decisions made by James. Your job is to help your clients recognize the problem and present them with a solution, even if they may have objections. 

Be Curious 

Benjamin Franklin was curious and was a voracious reader, consuming books and literature.  He was always learning.

This love of learning led him to create an almanac where he included tips and advice that could be applied to everyday life. As a result, his almanac stood out from the rest of the competition. 

Benjamin’s curiosity was ever-present, even after his retirement in the publishing industry. He made many inventions and even received recognition from the King of France due to his skills as a scientist. Money wasn’t his motivation for inventing things.  It was more for satisfying curiosity and creating a better society.

Curiosity as a sales rep

Sales reps who are curious are the ones who are able to dig deeper and as a result, offer true value. Take for example a sales rep selling a SaaS software solution. It is a service that allows you to send mass messages to clients and interact with them. If the sales rep presenting the product jumps directly into the proposal and price offer, he will likely lose the deal. 

Consider another sales rep who is very curious and wants to figure out why they need the text messaging service. She wants to find out how the client can take advantage of the software. It will be easier for the second sales rep to actually make the sale because she’s gathered more information. She’s able to build more value by asking effective questions. Your curiosity will help you land deals because you’re willing to put in the extra effort.  When meeting with clients, always go deeper. It all comes down to providing value to your client. 

Keep on learning

Benjamin Franklin had an affinity for learning and that is what made him stand out from his contemporaries. He always knew a little more. When he was left in Europe with no money, he took it upon himself to learn the printing industry of England. When he came back to the US two years after, he had an arsenal of knowledge ready to use.  He was able to successfully turn his business into a success and take advantage of opportunities that allowed him to learn more about the daily operations.

As a sales rep, you can fuel your mind by reading books and listening to podcasts related to your industry. Keep on learning more about your clients. Read more newspapers and know the trends. Read up on current events and research how these trends affect your industry. Take part in training and workshops that will help you improve, not only as a sales rep but also as an individual. Provide the value as a consultant within your space. There’s nothing new under the sun but you can always learn something new from other people.  We can never know enough.

Learn from smarter people 

When Benjamin Franklin first came to Philadelphia, he was a boy who was broke, dirty, and dingy. Benjamin realized that in order for him to excel, he had to learn more. He didn’t have much but he had nice clothing. That helped him hung out with the right people, the high society. He spent so much time with these individuals, the people around him just assumed he was already successful and belonged.

This inclusion allowed him to network and make relevant connections. It was a smart strategy and he thrived. Benjamin Franklin even organized a group that would be able to benefit from one another. There were 12 members initially and all the members were from different backgrounds. What they had in common was they shared an inquisitive spirit, a desire to improve, and they wanted to help others in their community. Among them were painters, surveyors, clerks, bartenders, and more. The members were older than Benjamin Franklin but he was clearly the group’s leader. 

Make it a point to learn from smarter people and associate with them. Being in a group will help you thrive but the moment you become the smartest person in the room, you need to find a new group. The people within your group will challenge you, push you, and help you grow in your career.  In a mastermind group, there’s a lot of accountability in place because you’re there with a purpose. Be dedicated to your group and its goals.

It’s important to look the part you want to become. Come to the group looking put together and be professional.  

Ability to build rapport 

Benjamin Franklin knew the ability to build rapport helped him solidify his biggest deal and he understood it’s one of the most important facets of sales. 

The TSE Certified Sales Training Program is designed to help salespeople learn how to build value and build rapport. It helps salespeople land deals by training on what to say and asking effective questions. 

Andrew Rosebrough is the owner and president of Portable Medical Diagnostics, a mobile x-ray and ultrasound company servicing various parts of Florida. His company has taken on some of these principles Benjamin Franklin taught over the years and it has helped his company to thrive.

Some salespeople think to be a great seller, one also needs to become a great orator. Contrary to that belief, Benjamin Franklin wasn’t much of a speaker. He was more of a listener than a speaker. He felt like he didn’t know what to say all the time. An author pointed out that the best-sellers are not the extroverts or introverts, they’re the ambiverts – the ones who fall right in the middle. 

The Scenario 

In Benjamin Franklin’s time, the United States was in trouble. They were fighting the British and the situation was bad. The American soldiers were underfunded and undersupplied.  Their circumstances were dire. The French, however, were secretly assisting the U.S. armies but they weren’t fully committed to helping the soldiers just yet. Luckily, Benjamin was already famous in Europe. He was an inventor, a scientist, and the French people knew him. Benjamin Franklin also learned French and the French people appreciated that. He was charismatic and he used that to his advantage. Benjamin socialized, networked, and made sure to play their game.

Benjamin just didn’t ask for what he needed right away, he first played the long game and learned the way of the French and it softened them to his requests. His counterpart was John Adams but John was the typical American and the French didn’t like him. He made no effort to level with the French. 

Understand your clients

As a salesperson, you need to understand your clients and what they like to do.  Try to be part of that. Discover what makes them tick. Spend time with them and get to know them on a personal level. 

This can be difficult because you may have other things you like to do more. This is, however, an investment to land that big deal. John Adams didn’t take the time to understand the French and because he was forcing business, he was kicked back to the U.S. 

Employ the platinum rule like Benjamin Franklin did. The platinum rule says, treat others the way they would like to be treated. 

Best Sellers In History Series 4 – “Benjamin Franklin” episode resources

Benjamin Franklin was an amazing seller. Here are the five reasons why: 

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Curiosity 
  • Ability to seek knowledge
  • Learning from smarter people and masterminding 
  • Ability to build a strong rapport

Connect with Andrew Rosebrough via his LinkedIn account or visit their website.  

If you have more sales concerns, you can also talk to Donald about it via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for 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.  

It’s also brought to you by B2B Sales Show with a different podcast format. It has a rotating co-host and they brought in multiple sales though leaders and half a dozen other co-hosts that are either interviewing the guests or sharing quick hit tactical content themselves from their own lessons throughout their sales career. They have multiple episodes a week. 

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

We have a new semester beginning in January 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. 

Nicolas Vanderberghe, Customer-Facing Solutions

TSE 1236: The Next Wave in Customer-Facing Solutions

Nicolas Vanderberghe, Customer-Facing SolutionsWith the new year, we are all looking towards the next wave in customer-facing solutions available for us. This is important as it helps improve our business and sales strategies. 

Nicolas Vandenberghe is a CEO and entrepreneur. Nicolas is originally from France but has now lived in the U.S. for a good part of his career. He’s been working for tech companies, working at Chili Piper since 2016. The company’s biggest vision is to improve sales and completely transform the industry by using digital tools. 

Big companies like SalesForce specialize in back end algorithms and can miss the opportunities on the front end.  This is where Nicolas’ company helps its clients thrive.

Salespeople used to be technophobes and hated the idea of using technology in their sales process. As new technologies have become available, salespeople now adapt to a variety of tools and have become savvier. 

Next wave in customer-facing solutions

The sales industry tends to move in waves. First, it was about automating internal processes, and that’s why we have CRM. It ensures that everything is recorded so, in any situation, much of the sales cycle happens in the backend. 

The next generation helps with the interaction and is referred to as customer-facing tools. This is the next wave in customer-facing solutions. 

An opportunity that Nicolas’ team addresses is in the booking, or scheduling a meeting. In sales, even before the first meeting, an opportunity has to be created to book a time and engage with a prospect. The easiest example would include inbound products, called the concierge.  In earlier days, the concierge occurred when prospects visited your site, and let you know they were interested in learning more by filling out a form that provided contact information for the follow-up. Upon clicking the submit button, they’d be brought to a thank you page and told that someone would be in touch.  The prospect was left wondering who would get in touch and when. In some cases, there would be no follow up so retention was lost. Many companies are losing more than half their pipeline due to a broken process. Businesses can lose up to 80% of their leads because they don’t act fast enough. 

Qualifying the prospects

Nicolas and his team built an intelligence solution to address this problem. In their version, once the prospect fills out the form for submission, Nicolas’ company uses the information from the form to qualify the prospect right away. They look at the prospect’s company size and the criteria set by their client to qualify. They’re able to do this, and reach out to a salesperson, in real-time. They call the prospect’s number and when they pick up, the prospect is connected immediately to a salesperson. If the sales rep isn’t available, a calendar is made available so the prospect can book a time that works for them, all with one click. 

Streamlining the front of the sales cycle allows for more direct revenues. Companies that work with Nicolas’ team have seen an increase in revenue and conversation rates between 50-100%. They’ve even seen many companies double their conversion rates.  Some companies have even started to work with them with as little as 30-40% conversion, losing 60-70% of their leads. 

Business to small businesses

When a prospect wants to purchase a product or service, the quickest company to reply is typically the one that will get the account. This concept is called business to small businesses, where a bigger company is sending to small businesses. They don’t have an army of people to go through a procurement process.  Instead, they’re going to look for a variety of vendors. These are the types of prospects that bigger companies are losing. It’s because they fail to act quickly and respond to their prospects’ needs. 

For a larger enterprise, the buyer has more time but they’re also going to look at how they are going to be served. The solution to this is called the red carpet. This means showing up, taking the form, and immediately offering the option to talk to somebody. This strategy of being direct is another boost to your conversion rate.

As a salesperson, you need to remember that the very beginning of the sales process is to make sure that things end on a very good note. 

B2B and B2C

Things don’t go as fast for B2B because of the different teams involved in the sales process. The marketing team is in charge of bringing in traffic to the website. The sales team is in charge of managing the resulting. Each of these teams follows their own processes. The problems can begin when there’s nothing that brings these two teams together. The greater the number of people involved, the more inefficient the process becomes. 

It takes a long time for people to adapt to the changes.  Different teams can have their own incentives and may not be completely aligned with the company’s goals. 

The breakdown of the decision-making power between the marketing team and the sales team is the reason why B2B may not be as effective as B2C. 

Increased conversion rates

There have been many companies that have sought Nicolas’ company’s services and some have doubled their conversion rates. Every customer with Chili Piper increased their conversion rates by at least 50% or more. The company called Grow.com and its marketing operation were very keen on optimization, especially after they plateaued at a 40% conversion rate. The company went to Chili Piper. Upon implementation, they went up to 68% in their first month and 72% in the second month. That is a drastic jump from 40%-72%. More revenues mean more pipelines, and more pipelines mean more profits. 

It can take time to get everybody on board to adapt and accept the changes. However, when that’s done and the solution has been deployed, it becomes a beautiful success story. 

Re-educating the market 

There are people working for a company whose sole job is to make calls and set an appointment. When they are able to set a schedule, they get a commission. These middlemen aren’t needed under the new system. This can understandably lead to resistance. 

This process needs more education so people know how to use the resources available. This knowledge ensures that everyone is aligned.  Everyone using this system will be better off. 

What can you do?

Collaboration between sales and marketing is a recipe for success. When you meet your prospects, you need to be prepared. Have prior meetings so you can make the most of your time with the client. The marketing team prepared the presentation and the sales team meets with the customers. There must be something that connects the marketing team and the sales team. 

To address this, Chili Piper created the events workspace where it becomes easier for both teams to schedule. The marketing team will be able to explore the sales team’s calendar. They then schedule meetings ahead of time. The sales and marketing teams need to collaborate with each other to ensure an increase in revenue. 

Salespeople need to understand these new customer-facing tools and their massive impact on their business. This a hyper-competitive market. Companies who are struggling should rethink their sales process and look for ways to optimize the opportunities that are currently available. Companies that ensure the buyer has the best and fastest experience all the way through the entire deal will have a much better chance at closing. Map out your journey and look at the places where your processes are optimal. 

“The Next Wave: Customer-Facing Solutions”  episode resources

Reach out to Nicolas Vandenberghe via their website to know more about the next wave in customer-facing solutions. You can also call out to Donald if has some time. 

Reach out to Dave Mattson via his LinkedIn profile. You can also email him directly at Dmattson@sandlercut.com

If you have more sales concerns, you can also talk to Donald about it via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for 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 in January 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. 

 

Planning and Setting Goals for 2020

TSE 1233: How To Plan And Set Goals You Can Achieve In 2020

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Planning and Setting Goals for 2020With the new year comes new goals and resolutions. This episode’s guest offers new ways and suggestions to help you plan and set goals you can achieve in 2020.

Many salespeople don’t realize that sales is easy if you follow a basic formula. Typically, however, sales reps have a habit of following the bouncing ball their prospects are throwing despite the many times it can lead to a dead end. 

Dave Mattson started out as a client at (David) Sandler Training and he’s been with the company for 30 years. He worked his way up the organization and became a partner in 1994. He had an opportunity to work with Dave for six years before David passed away in 1995. Dave purchased the company in 2012 and is currently the Brand Manager and CEO. They have 265 training centers globally and just last year, they trained 31,000 people and streamed their training to 19,000 people. 

This streamed training is becoming the way of the world, especially with the technology that is currently available. As a result, people in their system are represented by different age groups, different cultures, and different countries. Dave’s company creates content that is accessible in whatever format their clients need. For example, younger clients prefer several 4-minute micro pieces of training, versus a 45-minute lesson. With that knowledge, Sandler made 2,700 micro-learning lessons and added it to their suite of products and services. 

Sales strategies keep evolving so Dave and his company must keep up with new trends.  With Sandler being one of the longest-running companies, many people in the industry may view them as “dinosaurs” but year after year, they win awards for best sales training, management, and coaching. They clearly have the expertise to do it right. 

Importance of goal setting and planning

From a CEO’s perspective, planning is imperative to make sure all the different groups in the organization know where they’re going. The assumption is that you have great salespeople working for you, competent individuals, but you have to make sure they are all heading in the right direction. It is the leader’s responsibility to see all the working parts. Each group needs to be assigned their tasks so everyone ultimately moves toward the organization’s goals.  

As a leader, you need to set up a strategy on how to plan and set goals you can achieve in 2020. Layout the benchmarks you want your salespeople to achieve and how you intend to get there.  Show your team the contingency plans so they can better define daily goals for themselves. When the entire team has accountability, planning becomes a “we” exercise. The more you socialize it, the more people get involved. Dave suggests that for your corporate goal to become successful, each salesperson needs to link their commissions to personal goals that will keep them motivated.  A great question is, “If you earn your $250,000 commission, what are you going to do once you have your money?” Being able to visualize something that is meaningful to them, helps to keep up the momentum.

There are two reasons why people leave the company.  The first is that they don’t feel like they’re being stretched. The second is they don’t respect the person they work for. Sales leaders have to think of ways to motivate their sales reps to achieve their goal, not only for the organization but for individual goals as well. 

When the team doesn’t play their role 

The most common reason people say they don’t play their role say is they don’t have enough time. There has always been a serious time compression problem in sales. Many magazines claim that the top 3% of all producers are the people who have written down their goals so 97 out of 100 people don’t. This tells you how difficult the job of a sales leader is in an organization. They are in charge of producing revenue from people they can’t control. 

Sales leaders need to find a way to motivate their people to make the organization’s plan a success. 

The planning process

The first thing you can do to plan and set goals that you can achieve in 2020 is to think about the different buckets of goals. What are the categories that are most important to you?  Job promotion? Family? Purchases? Think of the things you want to do in those areas and mindmap. Doing this allows you to free your inhibitions and get comfortable with the things you want to do. It’s the fastest way you can brainstorm. Using your dream board or a journal, start putting these buckets in order of priority.   

As a CEO, Dave usually focuses on no more than five goals. This allows him to really focus. Goals are more achievable when you don’t have a broad list that can serve as a distraction. 

Have your mind map, narrow your goals to five, and have some plan of action. Break your plans down quarter by quarter, month to month, and day-to-day. If you can hit your goals for Q1, then you know you’re on track. If not, plan out your contingency and look for the people who can help you get refocused. 

The problem with setting annual goals is, while there’s nothing wrong with that, these goals are a long way off and you don’t get to feel a daily win. 

Become a behaviorist 

Say you have a goal of $10 million. You may have a monthly goal of  $850,000. That may mean six sales a month and 24 presentations. Getting in front of people is part of the plan but you can’t control all aspects of that goal.  For example, you can’t control how your prospect will respond. You can’t control anything but your own behavior. An option is, then, is to take a financial goal is and then reverse engineer. What are the daily goals you need to meet? Make little daily goals because you may not be able to control the outcome but you can control your behavior every single day. 

Sales reps from any company can break down their annual goal and reverse engineer to daily behavior. Doing this will help them reach their quota faster.

When setting goals, what matters most is your attitude and behavior. A sales rep must have a balanced mindset and do the things he is supposed to do on a daily basis. 

Balance between realistic and stretch goals 

You need to know the distinction between a stretch goal and a realistic goal is. Stretch goals are reachable in longer time frames and while that is okay, you still need realistic goals that you can hit. 

Sandler taught Dave how to make some stretch goals.  When Dave was 70% to his goal, David would move the target even further. Sandler didn’t do it to be discouraging but, instead, he’d encourage Dave to keep moving because he knew Dave had the momentum to do even better. 

Remember to move slowly and celebrate your success. 

Goals are there to adjust. Be careful of setting goals that are too low just to feel good about yourself. 

Motivate yourself to reach your goals

You can plan and set goals you can achieve in 2020 by motivating yourself.

Motivating yourself is a great idea way to reach your goals. Verbalize and publish your goals. Some people write down their goals in a journal so they can track their progress. It’s also good to have people around you who will hold you accountable to your goals and keep challenging you. They can be your partners, your colleague, or anyone else who won’t shy away from calling you out. 

It’s also important to be able to adjust in the event you don’t achieve your goals. Failing isn’t a bad thing when it offers an opportunity to make the adjustments you need to get closer to success. These tweaks are the way to get back on track.
To plan and set goals you can achieve in 2020 write out your goals and create a plan of action. That will be your guide. Verbalize your goals too and make sure to break them down into achievable, daily goals. Believe in yourself and remember the Success Triangle: Attitude-Behavior-Technique. Know that it’s okay to fail. You are going to fail more than you win and the failures are not necessarily negative to your goal setting. They just let you know it’s time to adjust. 

“How To Plan And Set Goals You Can Achieve In 2020” episode resources

Dave Mattson recently finished his book entitled The Road to Excellence. It’s a playbook to help small entrepreneurs take their businesses from where they are today to where they want to be in three to five years. He also just published the book Success Cadence, he wrote it with two other business-minded people from the company called Splunk, they were able to take their company from 30 million to 1.2 billion in just five years. This book is about how to turn your organization and yourself as a producer into a sales-focused machine and find people who are willing and able to do what it takes to succeed. 

Reach out to Dave Mattson via his LinkedIn profile. You can also email him directly at Dmattson@sandlercut.com

If you have more sales concerns, you can also talk to Donald about it via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for 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 in January 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. 

 

Abraham Lincoln, The Best Seller in History episode 2

TSE 1232: Best Sellers In History Series 2 – “Abraham Lincoln”

Abraham Lincoln, The Best Seller in History episode 2

This is the second episode from the Best Sellers in History series. This series talks about some of the most successful people and sellers in history. We’ll talk about who they are and what made them so successful. 

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States of America and led the nation during some of the most turbulent times in American history, such as the Civil War. It was the bloodiest war and the greatest constitutional and political crisis faced by the U.S. at that time. President Lincoln persevered and was able to abolish slavery, strengthen the federal government and modernized the U.S. economy. Despite humble beginnings, Abraham Lincoln became one of the greatest statesmen leaders in our nation’s history.

Sales Spotlight – Abraham Lincoln 

A half-hour long episode isn’t enough time to discuss what made Abraham Lincoln persuasive and successful in his career. However, we can highlight The Gettysburg Address to illustrate how President Abraham Lincoln had the power of persuasion. Here are the four points we’ll be looking at in this episode:  

  • He had the ability to tell stories
  • He sought common ground
  • He was empathetic
  • He had the ability to give compelling reasons

 

In the era of Abraham Lincoln

In the early 1800s, slavery in the United States was a very common thing. At its height, there were 700,000 individuals who were slaves. The first slaves came into the country as early as 1619 and slavery was finally abolished in the year 1865.  For 246 years slavery was entrenched in the U.S. economy and modern society. It was a fact of life and it brought in so much money that by today’s standards, slavery would account for roughly $6 billion. It’s been 154 years since Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery and still, slavery lasted almost a hundred years longer than we’ve known our country without it!  

Abraham Lincoln was raised in Kentucky and eventually, it became a slave state. His father who was a farmer but they eventually had to leave their smaller farm.  Larger farms had slaves and they couldn’t compete with the manpower. In addition, his father was a Christian and didn’t believe in slavery. Thomas Lincoln took his family and would move several more times before eventually settling in Illinois where Abraham Lincoln grew into adulthood. Lincoln married and his wife’s father had his own slaves. Through this exposure, Lincoln came to know how slavery operated and he didn’t like it.

Changing the system

Slavery was big business and everywhere. It was a system where some of the most influential people were involved. It would be a difficult system to change but Lincoln didn’t believe that people should be property. It became his passion to reverse slavery.  When he became a president in 1860, many from the southern states weren’t happy about it. They looked at it as the North trying to impose their rights over their way of life and their economy. This eventually led to the bloodiest war in the U.S., the Civil War. The nation was divided. Family members who fought on different sides killed each other. This went on from 1861 to 1865. It was a difficult time for the nation. Democracy was hanging by a thread and with the war going on, everything was falling apart. 

Through the need to unify, The Gettysburg Address was written. The four lessons highlighted in today’s episode came from this famous speech.

Ability to tell stories 

The Gettysburg Address was delivered in an attempt to pull the nation together. Abraham Lincoln wanted people to recognize they weren’t just the north and south but one nation. 

Tim David wrote an article about this and he pointed out the lessons from the address,  The first was the power of storytelling. He emphasized that the opening line of the Gettysburg Address was a story about our forefathers and their legacy. From the very first line of his speech, people wanted to know where Abraham Lincoln was going with his story. 

Abraham Lincoln was a self-educated man. While kids during this time were working in the field, Lincoln was reading books. There were traveling teachers and when they came around, he’d get a formal education, but still, it wasn’t enough on its own. Most of his education stemmed from his desire to learn. He was dedicated to his education and as he read, he learned the power of a story and how it can make an impact when written well. 

As a sales rep, you need to be able to engage your prospect with a story that is grounded in reality. Talk to your prospects about a successful experience you had with a client. Help your prospects see the positive results that can come from working with you. Instead of just talking about the benefits of your products and services, offering a real scenario can help to illustrate the point better. Talk about how you helped previous clients and their companies. For example, a social media marketer may say, “We helped ____ generate X amount of return with their social media ads. If I could share with you how we did it in just 5 minutes, would you be open to  a conversation with us?”

Like Abraham Lincoln, use a quick story to pique their interest. 

Seeking a common ground 

Abraham Lincoln looked for common ground. 

With the war over, Lincoln wanted to make sure his speech would unify a divided nation. The time was ripe for rebuilding the country. Abraham Lincoln looked for common ground to ensure that his message would speak to the hearts of his people. He knew that regardless of where they came from, both Northerners and Southerners loved their nation. They fought together against the English, against the mother empire, and they won. He implored everyone to bring back that feeling of solidarity when the union was founded. Abraham Lincoln used the word Liberty because it was something that would resonate through the hearts of his listeners. 

He capitalized on the American ideal and it made his speech compelling. His writings are persuasive because he knows exactly what topics people are passionate about.

Connect with your prospects

Sales reps can utilize this skill, especially when meeting with prospects. It is your job to make them feel connected and have common ground. Donald Miller’s book uses Joseph Campbell’s idea of The Hero’s Journey. It is the story of a hero who is transformed after the difficulties he faced in war. As the salesperson, your role is the guide.. As the guide, you’re not trying to take over or compete with your client, you’re trying to move your prospect to action. 

Before the meeting, do the research to find common ground.  It may be the school attended or other notable experience or hobby. Bring up topics that both you and your prospects love to talk about. Always follow the basics: Build rapport and help them realize you’re coming from common ground.

Showing empathy 

Tim David pointed out how Abraham Lincoln used words that made people feel connected to him. He used a lot of personal pronouns like ours to help develop rapport and to create a sense of togetherness. The use of personal pronouns increased Lincoln’s status in the minds of his audience.

 Tim continued to emphasize this point with James Pennebaker’s studies about how people use functional words such as pronouns. In his book, The Secret Life of Pronouns, he wrote that in any interaction between people, the person with a higher status uses fewer “I” words and instead, uses first-person plural pronouns such as we, us, and ours.

Using personal pronouns

Abraham Lincoln’s use of personal pronouns early on in his speech allowed the audience to recognize his authority and role as a guide. They were able to classify him as someone they could listen to. Because he established his authority, people were willing to listen.

From a sales perspective, we can do the same thing when talking to prospects. Use inclusive personal pronouns in your conversations as you talk about common ground.

This will make your prospect feel involved in the process and let them know you’re there to help them. Assure them you are committed to their problem and you are there to work with them to come up with a solution. 

Speak as if you are part of their organization.

Creating a compelling reason

Abraham Lincoln was particularly skilled at offering compelling reasons for people to do something different.

Salespeople want to have influence as well.  We want to give prospects reasons to change and take action. Tim shared a 1970 Harvard Psychology research led by Helen Langer.  In her study, she discovered that saying the word because increases your persuasive power from 60% to 92% even when you don’t actually have a compelling reason. 

Tim has a concept called ABT or the Advanced Because Techniques. Abraham Lincoln may not have literally said because in his speech but even without using the word, he made the entire Gettysburg Address a speech that answers the question why.

Lincoln was giving compelling reasons to many Whys

  • Why we need to come together
  • Why we need to to work together
  • Why we need to be one nation

People responded to his speech because he gave compelling reasons. They saw the bigger purpose

Giving prospects compelling reasons

Salespeople can’t just state facts about products and services. You need to give them the reasons why your products and services will work out to their advantage. Examples are as follows: 

 

  • “When you implement the software, we’re going to make it possible for you to actually get home and have dinner with your kids every night.”
  • “When you implement this solution, we’re going to make sure you never have to pay a late fee to the government again.”

 

When you give them compelling reasons, people will take action.

Best Sellers In History Series 2 – “Abraham Lincoln” episode resources

We are no Abraham Lincoln and we are not facing a divided nation, however, we have daily battles and regardless of the severity, we can still use these principles in overcoming sales difficulties. 

Do you have any stories worth sharing? Sellers in the history that made an impact on your life? Tell Donald about it via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for 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 in January 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.

Best Seller in History episode 1

TSE 1229: Best Sellers In History Series 1 – “Jesus Christ”

Disclaimer: This episode isn’t a podcast to convince listeners to become Christians. This episode simply highlights how Jesus Christ persuaded people, an important trait in sales. 

Best Seller in History episode 1There are so many individuals who have been great persuaders throughout history. This new series, The Best Sellers in History, will be a game-changer for salespeople of today. The best persuaders in history were people who could prompt others to take action and move toward a better way of life. Great salespeople who know they are guides for prospects and clients make great B2B sales reps. With the exception of social media, the way communication works in sales today is historically similar. This eight-episode series will begin with Jesus Christ, whose existence has been proven by history. 

In the sales spotlight – Jesus Christ 

It’s the perfect time of year to put Jesus Christ in the spotlight. Today is Christmas, a day where people celebrate Jesus’ birth. In his time, he was referred to as Jesus of Nazareth, the common way people were referred to. Men were known by their name and the place they were from. Donald would have been known as Donald of West Palm Beach. 

Jesus was a preacher, a rabbi or teacher, and a leader. Today, to Christians around the world, he is the Son of God and the Savior of all mankind. 

Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and after his baptism, he began his ministry. Most of his preaching and teaching weren’t done in Synagogues but in the countryside where most people lived. 

Jesus was teaching people they could repent, turn their lives around and return to God. His teachings were based on love. Jesus opened the path for many to know eternal life. People were astounded by his teachings and followed him. He was changing the minds of common people and undermining the wayward teachings of the Pharisees. Because of this, Jesus faced opposition from the leaders of the day.

This conflict, and the outcry of many Jewish people, eventually led to his death by the hands of  Roman soldiers. 

While he died long ago, his teachings did not die with him. His words became so influential, to this day, one-third of the world’s population is associated with Christianity. By far, it is the largest religious group. There are seven reasons why Jesus was so persuasive and Donald is going to expand on each to show how they can be applied in B2B selling, even today. 

  • He Showed Sympathy and Built Rapport 
  • He Was a Skilled Storyteller
  • He Shared a Vision
  • He Challenged the Status Quo
  • He Listened Effectively
  • He Asked Powerful Questions
  • He Invited People to Change

He Showed Sympathy and Built Rapport 

Jesus is the first The Best Sellers in History character. The first reason for Jesus’ persuasiveness was his ability to empathize and build rapport with the people he talked to. 

Jesus made the time to sit down with common people, who made up the largest portion of the population, as they do today. He talked to people who were marginalized by society and could relate to them. During his time, Romans had the power and ruled over many territories. They hired people to collect taxes from the citizens, including Jewish people, and this money funded the Roman empire. Because the work is done by tax collectors they were not approved of by the communities they lived in.  At public gatherings, they were not welcomed to be among everyone else. As a result, they became marginalized citizens. 

The status put upon tax collectors didn’t keep Jesus from them.  Jesus sat down with them and had dinner with them. 

One of these tax collectors even became one of Jesus’ disciples.  His name was Matthew. Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector from Jericho.  He was a wealthy man but hated by many. When Jesus went to Jericho, people flooded the town and swarmed him. Being a short man, Zacchaeus climbed a tree to see Jesus. Jesus noticed and asked the man to come down so he could be a guest at Zacchaeus’ house, unheard of during this time. He also showed sympathy toward Levi, another tax collector and the son of Alphaeus. Jesus saw him at his booth, invited Levi to follow him, and he did.  

People didn’t understand these actions but Jesus shared that a physician comes to heal the sick, not the healthy. In the same way, Jesus was spending time with people who needed his help the most.  He went out of his way to help the poor and heal the sick. 

He made an impact

Jesus wanted to make an impact by modeling how he wanted people to treat one another.

As a B2B sales rep, how do you show your clients and prospects you empathize with their needs? Set yourself apart from others by taking the time to understand where they are coming from. Identify their pain points and tailor your message to their specific issues.

An example of how a salesperson can distinguish himself or herself can be illustrated by two sales reps who want a nursing home to be a new client. Sales rep A sens a generic email to the chief administrator that says he can help them save more money. This same message, however, has been sent by many salespeople and it gets lost among the others. Sales rep b, on the other hand, has spent time reading trade magazines and learning about the industry. This sales rep sends a personalized message that talks about the losses the administrator may face when the new Medicare starts cutting back and what it is going to cost them. Sales rep B also talks about how their company has crafted a new service that could benefit the nursing home despite the cutback.

In this case, sales rep B will surely get the deal because they have discovered a problem and are providing a solution. While it takes more time and effort to learn about your prospect or client by listening to their needs and hearing about their challenges, it will help you craft a more personalized message. In the sales training program, we call this a deliverance message. Share with your prospects the challenges they didn’t know they could face. These are called blindside challenges. Distinguish yourself among other salespeople by studying, being prepared, listening, and offering a solution. 

Another way you can show empathy and create value is by writing a blog post or creating content that’s related to the challenges your prospects are facing. When a potential client feels understood, sees you’ve done the work, and you’re building rapport through your efforts, you’ll find prospects are going to pick up the phone to talk to you. 

He Was a Skilled Storyteller

The second reason for Jesus’ persuasiveness was his storytelling ability. In one instance there was a lawyer in the crowd where Jesus was preaching and the lawyer wanted to trap Jesus. He asked Jesus how to receive eternal life, one of Jesus’ core messages. In response, Jesus replied with a question about what was written in the law. In reply, the lawyer replied that the law states that one should love the Lord with all his heart, his soul, and strength. One also has to love his neighbor as he loves himself.  He then asked Jesus who he should consider his neighbor and Jesus shared the story of the Good Samaritan.

This story talks about a man robbed and attacked on a countryside road. There were several people who walked past him and didn’t help him, including a priest, a Levite, and the good Samaritan. The first two men just passed by. The priest crossed to the other side of the road as did the Levite. It was the good Samaritan who took the injured man and tended to his wounds, brought him to an inn and told the innkeeper to take care of the man, paying for all the expenses. All the people who ignored the man were his people but it was the Samaritan who showed compassion and saved him.  By sharing this story, Jesus was able to illustrate the actions of a neighbor. The story that Jesus told was relatable and the people listening understood the point he was trying to make. 

Selling to highly educated professionals, like doctors, can be unnerving. They can ask a question that may be out of your scope of expertise. You can navigate their questions by sharing a story. Understand the purpose of the question and solve their problem through a story that promotes rapport. Ask a clarifying question and share a story that’s similar to your clients’ situation or problem and share how that problem was solved. Stories are a great persuasive tool. 

He Shared a Vision

Jesus was skilled in promoting hope for the future. The people already knew the prophecy of the Messiah who would come and save mankind. The Messiah would deliver them from their enemies and the tyrannical rule of the Roman empire.

People believed in Jesus because he fulfilled the prophecies laid out in scripture. When Jesus came and preached to people listened to hear his message of hope.

As a sales rep, it’s your responsibility to understand a prospect’s pain, their struggles, and their challenges.  As you get to know them and learn more about their needs, you have the opportunity and then to offer hope and solutions through the products and services you have to offer. 

For example, if you are selling digital marketing services, you may discover that a prospect’s website is not functioning effectively.  It’s your job to convey to this potential client how you can help make their website work faster and appear on the first page of a Google search. Approach the client with the knowledge of their struggle and offer a vision of a better future by working with you.

He Challenged the Status Quo

Jesus treated women with care in a time when women didn’t have much value in society. Women were separated from men in public and religious life. They were not allowed to participate in public prayers but they were encouraged to pray privately. In contrast, Jesus showed immense respect for women. 

An example of Jesus’ compassion toward women was illustrated in the story of the Canaanite woman who yelled after Jesus to help her daughter. Jesus showed compassion to the woman, a gentile, and helped her after hearing her great faith. This was unheard of during Jesus’ time.

There are many examples in the Bible where Jesus pushed the boundaries of the status quo to create change.

In sales, we can experience the status quo and many industries can get stuck in these familiar patterns. In many instances, the most daunting competitor isn’t another sales rep but your client’s comfort with the existing routine inside their organization.  

As salespeople, we have to face the status quo head-on. It would be easy to ignore the need for change.  Very few people are willing to break the norm and face being rejected by society. Sometimes, even when we know that our prospect is doing something wrong and their system doesn’t work in their best interest, it can be tempting to stay silent in order to avoid conflict.

For example, Donald joined a sales training program with David Sandler about how to challenge the status quo. In that training, Donald learned that you can overcome the status quo by using off-the-record conversation. When things are dying down and everyone’s starting to relax, hit up your prospect with your suggestions. Tell your prospects about the problems that you have found in their system and back it up with proof. Creating this margin allows prospects space to really see what you’re trying to point out. The conversation may be bold but sometimes it takes boldness to get people to change. Push against the status quo and don’t be afraid. 

He Listened Effectively

Jesus knew how to listen to people and it became another tool in building rapport. Let’s go back to the story of the woman who was bothering Jesus and asking for help. The lady was persistent despite the disciples’ efforts to turn her away. Jesus listened to her and heard her troubles. Throughout his ministry, Jesus listened to the people and showed up to teach. He tuned in to their stories and showed mercy and compassion. 

As a salesperson, you can imitate Jesus by listening intently to your prospects. The act of listening comes in many forms. For example, you can listen through a phone conversation, or by reading LinkedIn posts and seeing what’s going on under someone’s profile. You can also listen by going through reports, annual filing, and quarterly earnings. 

When you’re listening, don’t let your mind roam. Focus on what they’re saying instead of thinking of what you can say next. Listen for opportunities to ask a clarifying question that leads to a value-rich conversation.

If a prospect is trying to decline your offer because it’s not a good time, instead of just giving up or trying to force your own solution,  try listening to what’s between the lines and figure out what the prospect is really saying. Ask why it isn’t a good time for them and get closer to finding out what the core of the objection really is. 

He Asked Powerful Questions

Jesus was skilled in asking for effective and clarifying questions.  When the lawyer wanted to trap Jesus, instead of answering his question, Jesus asked a question in return. In sales, sometimes you don’t have to give your prospects the answers right away.  Alternatively, additional questions may be needed.  

When you hear “I’m not interested” you don’t have to take that at face value and end the conversation there. Ask them questions and let them talk. Your ability to ask questions can help you become successful in sales. In every objection you face, there is potential to learn more and get closer to helping your client find a solution.

He Invited People to Change

The last reason why Jesus was persuasive was his ability to ask people to do hard things. Jesus began gathering his disciples early on in his ministry. Some of his first were Peter, James, and John, who were all fishermen. Jesus told them to leave their livelihood and invited them to become fishers of men.  His invitation was a much bigger vision than they had ever seen for themselves.

Peter, James, and John recognized that Jesus was the Messiah and they gladly left their lives behind to follow Jesus. More would soon follow.

When salespeople ask clients to use their products or services, you are inviting change to take place. You can successfully do this when you ask the right question, are a good storyteller, and when you show empathy. 

Never assume a potential client is going to come to the conclusion to work with you on their You are their guide to finding solutions through your products and services.  Always be proactive, ask for the change, and be prepared to show them the action steps. 

Jesus showed us how to be persuasive in order to offer a better way of life. Do the same for your clients.

Best Sellers In History Series 1 – “Jesus Christ” episode resources

Selling is not complicated but you have to have a strong foundation. Learning fundamental practices and implementing them will offer potential clients hope for positive change based on what you have to offer. 

Watch out for the next episode in this series. 

You can also catch up with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for 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 in January 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.

 

 

Brian Keels, Hiring Process

TSE 1227: Things To Look For When Hiring Successful Sellers

Brian Keels, Hiring ProcessHiring is part of the sales process but businesses know there are things to look for when hiring successful sellers. Getting the right people to join your sales team is one of the most effective ways to boost your sales revenue. 

Brian Keels is a businessman living the life of a busy entrepreneur. In addition to being a happy husband and father, he is also working for a very large enterprise software company. There, he takes on different sales and leadership roles from regional to global levels. He’s done businesses in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Recently, he’s been doing enterprise sales in Barcelona, Spain by day. By night, he is building his own investing business in the U.S. 

Things to look for when hiring successful sellers 

Sales leaders are always looking to hire successful sellers to help increase their revenue. The model in which a business is working is an important consideration when hiring new people. 

Business models vary.  While some are constantly looking for new businesses, others adopt a farming role where they want to sell more within their existing customer base. Another consideration is the size of the business, whether it is a multinational brand or targeting a smaller niche. 

Hire the right behavior 

Of the three things to look for when hiring successful sellers, the first and the most difficult is the right behavior. If you are hiring a salesperson who is to make 50 calls a day, being proactive is important. 

The ideal candidate will need to be someone who can be proactive. They should be able to work without someone having to tell them to pick up the phone and make calls. This is a challenge because no matter how skilled the salesperson, if he doesn’t have the impetus to pick up the phone, smile while talking with the customers, or keep the calls energetic, then he won’t have the behavior be successful in that position. 

Most successful salespeople didn’t have this proactive spirit when they started selling. Proactiveness has to be developed over the years of working in sales. Being proactive is a core strength for sellers. It opens more doors, creates more connections, and can eventually point their customers toward the right decisions. 

At the end of the day, when you consider the sales process, regardless of the products and services you sell, it all comes down to being proactive and having the ability to go out and do what’s needed. 

Whether it’s selling knives door-to-door or selling in an enterprise, a salesperson should be able to design and execute an effective sales process by talking about the value they lend to the consumer through their products. 

As a hiring manager,  a good interview question for potential candidates will give them the opportunity to talk about an experience when they got to be proactive. New sales reps tend to go through trial and error as they gain more experience, so ask about their experiences and what they have done, not what they would do. As they answer, listen carefully as they explain the way they dealt with needing to be proactive. Their answer will help you understand how they will do things in the future.

Look for self-awareness 

There is so much opportunity that comes from being self-aware. The benefits are tied to existing behaviors as well as understanding the candidate’s skills, ambition, and attitude. 

Looking back at the successful people Brian hired in the past, he saw their high sense of self-awareness. Self-awareness is also integral to the type of model the seller is in. 

If you are hiring a salesperson for inside selling, then you might forego knowledge and go for a person who has a higher potential in selling products and services over the phone. As a sales leader, you compensate for that gap and understand that their self-awareness may not come with as much knowledge but they can be supported by the strength of available training programs that are offered to sales reps.  

To see if a candidate is self-aware, you can also ask about the issues they had with quotas and what they did to improve those results. Listen to what they tell you and tune in to the things that they did to address their challenges. When they say that they haven’t had any challenges in the past, then that can set off a big red flag. 

It’s a hard truth in sales that we don’t win all the time. Being able to overcome their issues and how they came through can shows you how self-aware they are. 

People who are self-aware typically know where they need help, they recognize where they are in a specific model and most importantly, they know if they’re ahead or behind the curve. They’ll come to a sales manager with the areas they need support based on the models that they’re in. It helps support the seller and it helps the sales leader be more focused on the areas where they need the most help.  Having a methodology, skill, and an understanding of the product is key to success. 

Considering the scale of their roles 

When hiring a salesperson to consider the scale of their role. If the person is on the enterprise level and they have a knowledge gap, that’s probably going to be an issue. However, if you hire that person knowing they are going to be part of a sales academy program, there is less worry that you’re hiring someone who doesn’t have the full skill set.  You know that it’s coming after the proper training.  

What skills the salesperson needs to have at the point of hire, depends on the role that your candidate will be playing in the company. 

There is a process that you need to follow in sales. You also have to have certain behaviors to convey that you understand what you’re selling. 

It is also equally important to have realistic expectations as a sales leader. Setting your expectations too high causes burnout for new sales reps. This won’t help them reach their goals no matter how much they produce. This isn’t setting them up for success. 

Hire people who can manage themselves 

These people are able to take a specific situation, diagnose and execute planning. No one may be getting the results they’re going for but they can assess, see the need and come up with a solution. Look for candidates who have sales goals who approach you with a plan and don’t need to be told what to do. They can work independently and just do what’s best for their career and their business. 

In the event that they didn’t reach their sales goals, they are able to self-correct and start a new plan. They don’t feel the need to go to their boss every time they have to make sales decisions. They can manage not only themselves but also their situation or their virtual account team. 

The key is understanding that no one is perfect. People are going to step up to the plate, swing, miss, strikeout, and learn what to do the next time they go to bat. 

There are different types of successful sellers out there. Even when we work on a sales team, treat your team at an individual level. Remember that every salesperson has their own environment where they succeed. When your sales team is clicking on all cylinders, it makes every quarterly business review a pleasure to sit in. 

“Things To Look For When Hiring Successful Sellers” episode resources

Connect with Billy Keels via his LinkedIn. You can also check out his site, Billykeels.com. 

You can also catch up with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for 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. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

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.

 

Brian Harrington, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1224: How To Craft A Rock Solid Sales Pitch To Potential Investors

Brian Harrington, The Sales EvangelistA sales pitch is part of the selling process but not all salespeople know how to craft a rock-solid sales pitch to potential investors.  First, everyone is a salesperson. Regardless of what you do, everyone sells to someone.

Brian Harrington started in the infomercial business. He worked for his father who was one of the principal pioneers of the infomercial industry. His experience taught him the craft of selling products on TV. 

In those early years, Brian saw how easy it was to sell through television advertising but he eventually saw how investments could be lost as fast as money was made.  They made some changes and instead of sticking exclusively with Infomercials, they followed customers to where they were making their purchases. That decision led them to the digital world and social media. 

Brian and his team started to sell products through Google and other online opportunities such as Facebook. Since then, they’ve branched out to several other platforms. They sell directly to consumers with a diverse selection of products including health and fitness, beauty, home products, and more but continue to also sell through traditional brick and mortar retail stores. 

Brian’s company sells products with a focus on three core worlds: 

  • Product
  • Education, providing ongoing training to entrepreneurs and sales professionals
  • Investing/ Advising/Consulting where they help startup businesses grow and provide value. 

Mistakes you’re making when pitching to investors

It’s easy to make mistakes when pitching. especially if you have no idea how to craft a rock-solid sales pitch to potential investors. The first mistake people make is not being prepared.  If you show up to a meeting and don’t know enough about their business, competition, industry, to answer a potential investor’s basic questions, you can tank a meeting in the first few minutes. It can make you look incompetent in an area you claim a level of expertise. Investors do not want to get involved with people who seem to lack core knowledge. 

Simple changes can make the pitch so much better.  Brian says it can be broken down into 3 easy steps: The Tease, The Please, and The Seize. 

The Tease, The Please, and The Seize 

The Tease:  Get the investor’s attention right away. The first impression matters and you have a small window to capture a potential investor’s interest. Cater the pitch to the person you’re pitching to and keep the company’s culture in mind.  BE PREPARED. Your goal is to capture their attention and interest in the first 10 seconds.  

You also want to be mindful of how your actions and words may be received by your audience.  If you’re working with international investors, do the research about how to conduct yourself during the meeting in order not to make a faux pas. 

The Please: On the one hand, you want to be sure you’re prepared to answer any questions your potential investor might ask. On the other hand, you also want to withhold enough information so they continue to ask questions and dialogue continues.  Take a breath when you’re talking and allow those questions to happen. These unanswered questions will keep them excited and interested in hearing more. There’s a balance between the information you want to offer and the information you want to hold onto until the pitch closes.

 The Seize: Once you’ve had a great launch to your pitch and generated excitement, your job is to keep up the energy. You do this by making sure every pitch has a call to action. Think of ways to make your pitch intriguing enough for the investor to enjoy your presentation, see the value in your product, and have the desire to work with you in a new venture.  You want them to have confidence in you and the products or services you represent.

It’s important to take the time to do the research in potential investors.  Make sure you know they’re looking to invest in your industry or type of product before you ever get in front of them.  Find out what kinds of pitches they’re drawn to. For Brian, the best pitches are the ones that come from people who command attention and hold the attention of the room throughout the presentation. 

Have the right amount of confidence 

Confidence is key for any salesperson. That confidence, however, has to balance with the facts that are being offered.  A good investor is going to research the data you are using to support your claims so stick with the truth. Don’t makeup stories to make yourself look good.  It can compromise your integrity and an investor needs to be able to trust you. 

You also want to be careful about being annoying.  Again, you don’t have a lot of time to make a great first impression.  You don’t want to come off as too cocky or flashy. The best course of action is to substantiate your claims and have a real plan you can confidently and competently execute. 

The truth is, not all pitches will be successful. There are risks in every opportunity but oftentimes, the rewards are bigger than the risks. You can lower the risks by offering realistic projections that show you’ve systematically mapped out how you’re going to make a profit. 

Crafting a Great Sales Pitch

As a salesperson, it’s your job to craft a rock-solid sales pitch to potential investors. The right pitch doesn’t sound too  “salesy.” During a pitch, be careful of talking too much. It could seem like you’re trying too hard and can be perceived as a lack of confidence in your presentation. 

Turn that around by keeping these key elements in mind when crafting a great sales pitch:

  • Come prepared
  • Be confident
  • Know your business
  • Show a level of traction and validation 
  • When presenting, take a deep breath and refrain from repeating the same things over and over again. 

“How To Craft A Rock Solid Sales Pitch To Potential Investors” episode resources

Connect with Brian Harrington by emailing him at brian@kevingharrington.tv. For more sales information and questions, you can also catch up with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for 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. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

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.

Devin Reed, Closing Revenue

TSE 1219: 5 Counter-intuitive Mistakes Preventing You From Closing Revenue

Devin Reed, Closing RevenueThere are times salespeople don’t make the best decisions that would lead to closing deals. These mistakes can cause a fall. Let’s take a look at the 5 counterintuitive mistakes preventing you from closing revenue

Devin Reed is a content strategy manager at Gong. He handles all the content marketing strategy courses and responsible for presentations. He also goes to roadshows, such as Sales Live Miami. 

At this roadshow, Devin talked about  5 Counterintuitive Mistakes Preventing You From Closing Revenue. It’s about the five things salespeople think are good practices, and are trained to believe are good habits when in fact, they’re doing the opposite. These five mistakes hurt their deals and sales conversations. What Devin is sharing is backed up by data. 

Devin works for a company that has millions of sales conversations. They’ve looked and analyzed these conversations to see patterns that help them get an idea of the things salespeople talk about the most. Here are the 5 counterintuitive mistakes preventing you from closing revenue. 

  • Using the ROI to seal the deal
  • Focusing on quantity when it comes to discovery questions
  • Answering objections quickly and thoroughly
  • Using  large enterprise clients
  • Using cold call opening line

Don’t use ROI to seal the deal

People make the mistake of using the ROI to close. Finding a way to bring ROI into the conversation is one of the basic strategies taught to beginning sales reps.  This strategy is proving to be counterintuitive. 

ROI isn’t bad in itself, but it becomes an ineffective tool when it is used for persuasion. Presenting your ROI to the client doesn’t work because the information doesn’t go to the right part of their brain. 

The human brain has two parts – the emotional and rational. More often than not, the right part processes information later than the emotional part. If you want to get the attention of your prospects, you need to tap into the emotional side of their brains first. You do this by giving them a before and after story.

“Hey, I was in a podcast and not to brag or anything but that podcast did so well. They were doing this and that. I came on and I did this thing and two weeks later, they saw an X increase in their ROI.” This is an example of a “before and after”, then diving into the ROI. 

When you are able to provide the identifiers with the before and after stories, the emotional pull comes in. Make it a goal to tap into their curiosity instead of just desperately presenting the numbers. A good salesperson always to starts with emotion and understands people need to feel before they will give you their ear and show interest. After you’ve piqued their interest, then you can get to the boss to present the ROI. You show them what you can do for them is not only a great idea but also makes fiscal sense. 

Another reason why presenting the ROI often doesn’t work is because it’s naively done. Junior sales reps usually speak to CFOs who have years of experience. Their newness in the industry and lack of confidence make their calculations look phony. CFOs don’t find the numbers trustworthy. 

Focusing on quantity when it comes to discovery questions

Most salespeople have a discovery playbook with 15 to 30 questions. New sales reps believe it’s necessary to ask them all because they have the mindset the more questions mean more information and eventually, the more chances of closing the deal. While asking questions isn’t a bad thing per se,  on the other hand, it gives buyers discovery fatigue. It feels more like an interrogation than a valuable business conversation. 

Based on the data, 11 – 14 targeted questions is the sweet spot for the number of questions a salesperson should ask. The article by Chris Orlob entitled Why You Can’t Sell to C-suite Executives shares how salespeople only have four questions to ask C-suite executives. 

Tips when asking targeted questions: 

  • Use open-ended questions Using open-ended questions allows you to get more information. Ask one question that prompts a stream of answers. 
  • Get someone to think instead of reciting information  Ask questions that will make them think about their answer. For example, “How is that tech stack preventing you from closing revenue?” This question causes them to take a moment before giving an answer. 
  • Ask connected questions  Don’t just throw out random questions. Ask them in a way that paints a bigger picture. 

Answering objections quickly and thoroughly 

Answering directly shows how ready salespeople are to handle objections but the downside to that is the risk of actually answering the wrong objections. Instead, pause and wait. The benefits go both ways. For the salesperson, pausing creates room to time to think and for the prospect, the pause makes them feel heard. 

By the middle of the discussion, the prospect has already decided if they want to actually meet with the salesperson.  It’s the salesperson’s responsibility to make sure the conversation is good throughout the meeting so prospects see the value and have a good time. The prospect of enjoying the conversation is the most important goal. 

Using the enterprise logo when selling

Data shows that salespeople using social proof has actually a lesser success rate. Salespeople may think dropping names of big companies they’ve worked with is compelling information but prospects don’t share the same perspective. Instead of building trust with the prospect, what it does is alienate them.

The right approach is to use tribal identifiers. This means building a tribe based on shared characteristics. The best salespeople will have three to six tribal identifiers to make the connection more appealing and compelling. For small startup businesses with fewer clients, salespeople can make a hyper-specific process. This would mean not focusing on the same geography, for example, but instead, targeting companies with the same struggles and goals. 

Salespeople need to show their clients they are more than just someone on LinkedIn. They need to invest time upfront if they want to be heard. #SalesFacts

Cold call opening line

Many believe if you want to catch your prospect’s attention, give them an opportunity to first say no. The assumption is that using an opening line that allows them an opportunity to say no gives the prospect the power they want to feel in the conversation. Philosophically, you want them to feel comfortable in letting their guard down. 

This strategy doesn’t work. Data says there’s a 6.6X increase when, instead of trying to get them to say no, you ask instead, “How have you been doing?”

The potential client answers in the same vein and it causes a pattern interrupt. Your opening line isn’t something that the receiver is expecting. 

An opening question like, “Hey, this is Devin. Did I catch you at a good time?” is a telltale sign that it’s a cold call and immediately the guard goes up. From that point on, it’s an uphill battle.  

Always remember the before and after story because that’s how trust is built. People may not remember you but they will remember your story. You don’t have to be a great salesperson to share a story, you just have to share stories of value. 

“5 Counterintuitive Mistakes Preventing You From Closing Revenue” episode resources

Catch Devin’s podcast, Reveal the Revenue Intelligence, where they interview industry leaders who understand how they use their revenue intelligence to win the market. They have a pretty impressive line-up of key interviews. Connect with Devin Reed in his LinkedIn profile

You can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for 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. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

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.

 

 

Accidental Series, Joseph Storer

TSE 1217: The Accidental Seller – Joseph Storer

Accidental Series, Joseph Storer Joseph Storer is one of them. 

Growing up, Joseph Storer wasn’t sure of what his career would look like. He was a lazy student in high school but he had a passion for playing baseball. Joseph thought he’d end up working with cars as an electrician, just like his father. 

In his freshman year in college, he discovered his interest in business and working with people. His first experience in business was right after he went on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 

Getting into Sales

Going into the mission field was a difficult decision because he had a student permit that was valid for six years. He was sent to Brazil, learned a foreign language, and lived in a big city. Joseph discovered a whole other world filled with great people and exciting experiences. The mission taught him to have structure and order in his life. 

Coming home, Joseph went back to college for accounting and finance. During the summer, he was able to get a union card and went to work building two dams in Idaho. The pay was very good so he decided to put a halt to his college and continued to work on the dam. 

He was then given another assignment as an aid to an engineer for a new project. While working in Rexburg, Idaho, he met a lady who became his wife. Joseph got married and didn’t go back to school. They moved to Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia where Joseph started his waterbed business. Sadly, the business went down six months after launch and that became the catalyst for starting his professional sales career. 

His friend saw his potential in the world of B2B selling. This, along with having a neighbor who was in manufacturing sales, made him interested in selling for manufacturers. This was his catalyst for getting into sales. 

Challenges in being a true sales professional 

The biggest challenge when getting into sales was the wage. He was working in construction and was earning well and transitioned to sales where he was earning $1,200 a month, as well as a commission-based income. He wondered if he could make ends meet but at that time, there was no choice. 

Maria, his wife, was very supportive and she believed that sales was something that Joseph could do. His boss trained him and taught him basic selling skills. Joseph was given a list of all the hospitals and clinics in the area and was told to set a goal to make at least three face-to-face calls every day. 

He took the lessons to heart and ended up making more than three face-to-face calls a day. Even when he was done for the day, he tried to do one more. At the end of his first year in sales, he was in the top 10% of salespeople in the company. He started his sales career being “consciously unconscious” but through time, he learned to sell and became very efficient in sharing the product line and distinguishing his company from the competition. 

Effectiveness in sales

A lot of his success was due to putting in the face time with people and being available to meet their needs. Joseph took great care of this aspect of sales.

For example, he worked with a hospital in Washington that needed a suction system. The people there said they had very poor suction. Joseph assured them with his products, their suction would get better. They purchased the device but then, Joseph went arrived with a bucket of peroxide, rubber gloves, and did the installation. The next morning, everyone in the operating room was amazed by the volume of blood the suction was able to get. The results weren’t just due to the product but also because of Joseph’s extra steps to make the product work better. 

At 67 years old, he is now in the latter years of his sales career but still, Joseph feels like he is just starting again. He is in a new company and there is technology he doesn’t understand. Joseph is learning and back to the same reliable process, he used in 1977 – getting on the phone, making calls every day, talking to people, getting in front of them, and learning the ropes. 

 Continue learning

In Sales, the more you learn the process, the more effective you become. 

The very principles that started his career back then are the same that are driving him today. 

Joseph loves the medical industry because he knows that he is helping to save lives. He’s making a difference. This is especially evident when he visits third-world countries. It’s not just about6 the money. At the end of the day, he is helping people and for Joseph, that’s what matters. 

Joseph loved learning and learned many languages. This helped him talk to more people and advance his career. 

His boss once saw him speaking Portuguese. It opened up the opportunity for him to lead a Latin American division of his company called Spacelabs based in Dallas, Texas. Joseph did well. He was also called to go to Macau to take care of a $7 million deal. He arrived with his translator but during the presentations, he realized most of the people in the room were Portuguese. The translator sat down and Joseph did all the talking. It didn’t take long until he closed the $7 million deal. 

Joseph is always ready and when an opportunity presents itself, he adjusts accordingly.

As a salesperson, it is important to love what you do so you won’t have to work a day in your life. 

“The Accidental Seller” episode resources

Joseph Storer has a training class called The 1,2,3s of Selling. It’s based on the principle of doing three things and then doing it over again. It is a helpful guide for people who are getting into sales.

He also has a program called the Power of One which talks about how much success you can have when you make one more call. 

You can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for 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. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

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.

Joe Ingram, Phone Sales

TSE 1215: Three Ways To Make You More Successful Selling Over The Phone

Joe Ingram, Phone SalesHave you ever tried selling without being in front of someone? Three tactics to successfully sell over the phone include building relationships, choosing the right words, and knowing the right speed.

Joe Ingram is a sales genius who uses an intellectual approach to sales. Joe realized that phone conversations play an integral part in the process and many people are missing this key point by looking at the training cycle and sales industry.

The average individual in the U.S. touches their cellphones 2,500 times a day. It’s very observable when you walk into Starbucks. Nobody would even notice you walked in because they’re looking at their phones. We are continuously on the phone. 

While using emailhttps://thesalesevangelist.com/episode866/ is a good way to communicate, the product is only perceived as great up to a certain price. Sending out a well-written email is a good marketing strategy but there’s a big difference in sending emails and talking to somebody over the phone to get the call to action to take place. If the price goes over a hundred dollars, then you need to make a phone call. The way you present yourself and your company, during the phone conversation, will determine if the potential client is going to purchase the product. 

Communicating over the phone

Communication has several elements. As a speaker, you need to be able to perform all of them to accurately get your message across. 

55% of communication comes from body language. The person you’re talking to is watching the way you move during the conversation. For example, when we were at school, we observed how our teachers moved, paid attention to the things they pointed out, and more. All these signals conveyed to us what they felt, what they meant, and what they were trying to teach us. 

38% of communication comes from tone and inflection. You can say the same thing but use different tones to convey a whole different meaning. Tone and inflection tell your client what to pay attention to. 

7% of communication is based on the actual words we use in a face-to-face conversation. In a phone conversation, you lose 55% of your ability to communicate because your client can’t see your body language. Because there are many disconnects over the phone, salespeople tend to veer away from calls as a channel to making a sale. Without body language in phone conversations, you’re left with 80% tone and inflection and 20% words. Based on that percentage, it would be easy for a phone conversation to go badly if the right tone and choice of words aren’t being expressed well. 

As a salesperson, you can’t sound like a customer service provider. 

Many cell phone providers don’t sound excited over the phone because they’re not trying to make a sale. They are talking to you because you need something from them, and regardless of their performance, they know you will not drop the conversation. 

You will tolerate a mediocre to poor performance to accomplish your goals. There’s no selling involved. However, it’s different when you tell them you’re canceling your subscription. You immediately get transferred to someone on their sales team and suddenly, the conversation takes a turn. Their goal is to make you feel better and they want you to feel good enough to stay.

Joe sees this in a lot of companies. They teach their sales department to treat everyone like customers, even though people who are still prospects need to be approached differently.

Building relationships through your phone

Building a working sales relationship takes time. The easiest way to start is by phone as it allows you to hear and understand each other. Joe has worked with companies who are able to make sales using phone calls. 

When Joe was working as a manager in Chrysler Dodge Jeep, he had an employee named Jay. He spoke four languages and it was difficult to understand what he was saying. Jay was able to sell 20-25 cars each month while maintaining great customer satisfaction and profitability, all because of his body language. He made sure that potential clients felt safe during the sale. His clients watched his mouth when he spoke because it helped them to understand him better. Joe knew his customers needed this visual cue so he didn’t talk over the phone but preferred to conduct a sales transaction in person. because then the customers won’t be able to look and see what he’s trying to say.

Joe teaches people how to use better words when talking to prospects. 

Choosing the right words

Our subconscious mind cannot process the negative part of what we’re saying. When we’re told, “Don’t think of a kitten,” our mind zeroes in on the kitten, the opposite of what we’re told. The same thing is true when we tell our clients, “No problem.” Their subconscious mind picks up on “problem” and you want to avoid that. 

A simple strategy is to replace  “No problem” with more positive language. For example,  “my pleasure,” “certainly,” and others. Create a positive mental picture in their heads. Couple your words with great tone and inflection to deliver a good message. 

When a company calls and inquires about your business, don’t think of it as someone trying to buy a product. Instead, think of it as someone who is calling with a list of companies in mind and they’re trying to see if yours is the best.  If they talk to you and you aren’t using the right words or tone – don’t expect your company to be considered. 

If I can’t get your prospects to have a face-to-face conversation, your next best option is a phone conversation that allows you to build rapport

Texts and emails are the segues to get you to an actual phone conversation. If you can sell and close a deal over the phone, then great. If you can’t, your goal is to set a face-to-face appointment. 

Choosing the right speed

You need to consider your speed when talking over the phone as well. Speak based on how the person on the other line is speaking. Be slow in speaking when you’re talking to somebody who speaks slowly. Adapt to the person you’re talking so you can deliver your message in a way they can understand. Listen to their words and use them when you respond. If they are looking for significant discounts, then use the exact terms when it’s your time to talk. 

This is how you show empathy in your conversation. You abandon the phrases or words you’d like to say for those the other person wants to hear. As a salesperson, the way to successfully sell over the phone is to be who your client needs you to be. 

You’ll find many of the same skills you use in a closing face-to-face can be used on the phone.

“Three Ways To Make You More Successful Selling Over The Phone” episode resources

Reach out to Joe Ingram via his phone number (+562 548 526). You can also check his website, ingraminteractive.com. 

You can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for 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’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.

Prospecting, Terry Hansen, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1213: How to Build A Six Figure Income Even If You’re Not Great At Closing! 

Prospecting, Terry Hansen, The Sales EvangelistEver wonder how you can build a six-figure income even if you’re not great at closing? Closing is one of the most important parts of sales. It is crucial and every word you utter during closing matters.

Terry Hansen hails from Idaho Falls, Idaho. His plan is simple but he still has impressive sales success stories. He’s worked with many organizations and sales reps around the country and helped them boost their sales. Throughout his sales journey, Terry has observed three bottleneck scenarios in which entrepreneurs and sales professionals can get stuck.

The first is that many struggles to increase their sales and income because they are not getting in front of the right kinds of companies and individuals. They are going at it like opening a phone book and just calling from the top of the list, hoping that someone will buy from them. Once on the phone, they don’t spend time introducing themselves, starting a conversation and making appointments.

The second scenario a bottleneck can occur is the lack of a framework to qualify customers and salespeople end up closing with people they shouldn’t. This comes from a scarcity mindset. There will always be goals and sales quotas, that have to be hit. Because of this, many people in sales end up trying to sell to without taking the time to determine whether they’re selling to their target customer. Sometimes, salespeople can close a client and later have regrets because they didn’t share their work values.

The third bottleneck in failing to close well comes from not having the right skills.

It is each of these three scenarios that can become the speed bumps that keep entrepreneurs from growing their sales.

The value of prospecting 

Many sales books stress the importance of having closing techniques. You have to be a champion in overcoming objections and resolving concerns to become successful in growing your sales. Another secret to success is becoming an account manager. You need to have stellar customer service, be able to ask for referrals, take good care of your base, and keep your competitors from your clients.

Terry read a variety of books and did everything they suggested but he still wasn’t hitting his quotas and achieving the level of success he wanted. He then had lunch with a great mentor and was venting about his frustrations. Terry let him know that despite doing the right things, he was still living paycheck to paycheck. His mentor shared an illustration about two salespeople, one great at appointment setting but lousy with closing and the other, great at closing but bad with appointment setting. The first salesperson could schedule 40 appointments per month but only closed 10% of those appointments, which resulted in only four sales per month. The second salesperson lands four appointments per month. He is an amazing closer and but can only close deal 50% of the time, making two sales per month.

Terry understood that he would make more money and build a six-figure income even if you’re not great at closing by being good at setting appointments and increasing opportunities. Closing is equally important but the analogy taught him he needed to redouble his efforts in making appointments and meeting with people.

The challenges in prospecting 

Prospecting is uncomfortable, scary, and awkward.  Stereotypes of salespeople being manipulative, talking a lot, listening too little, and using high-pressure tactics have to be overcome. Most salespeople don’t want to be perceived as manipulative and try to make relationships a priority. However, there can be a period of adjustment as they work to avoid reflecting on the negative stereotype.

Salespeople are having a difficult time getting past the gatekeeper and making contact with the decision-maker. Too often they leave multiple voicemails and emails with the hopes of getting a reply but typically, that doesn’t happen. The challenge is to be compelling in those initial interactions.

Terry tries to be generic in his voicemails to avoid stereotypes. The first three seconds you’re identified as a salesperson are the most challenging.  The person who is being contacted can lose interest regardless of what is being sold. It’s best to veer away from bad introductions and barking up the wrong tree. Salespeople shouldn’t just go through the phone book without a clear idea of who they want to contact. There’s no need to spend too much time trying to facilitate an introduction with people who don’t fit the ultimate goals. Doing so will delay getting in front of the clients who actually need the service or product being offered.

Building your client 

Salespeople should look at their top  10 best clients, profile them and get an overall sense of the companies they represent. From this information, they can build a dream list of similar companies. Use these strategies and tactics to make contact with the decision-makers: create a profile, build and stay focused on a  specific list of desired traits, and use the right kinds of tactics.

Many salespeople hate prospecting because they find it awkward. There’s already a resistance when they call companies and there’s a feeling of relief, not the disappointment when they get a voicemail to leave a message. The voicemail is now an escape. With the gatekeepers, like receptionists, salespeople have to get assertive to get to the decision-makers. The goal is to get past the voicemail and get to a person. This is an opportunity to be persistent

Instead of just saying, “Yes, please,” to leaving a message, salespeople should be a little more curious and assertive. Probing questions such as, “Is he in the office or out of the office?”, “Is he at a meeting?”, or “If you slip a note to him to let him know I’m on the line, would that be appropriate?” can move a salesperson closer to their target client.

Be persistent and follow-through

It’s also a good idea to ask the secretary if it would be okay to wait on the phone until the meeting is done, especially if they’re already wrapping up.

If the decision-maker is out of the office or on vacation, press further and ask if it’s possible to get their personal number. If it’s given, follow up is imperative.. 50% of the time, secretaries will say not but the other 50% will give the number or transfer the call directly.

Think positively and don’t assume the other person is unwilling to talk. If your persistence doesn’t work, however, then ask for someone else in the organization. The director of marketing, the human resource officer, the CEO, anyone with buying power in a decision committee can be great alternatives. These days, CEOs and presidents no longer make a decision by themselves. A vote or by committee makes the purchasing decision today. Find two or three of these people in the organization and talk to them. These tactics are not difficult but they do require you to be more assertive and persistent, not aggressive and arrogant.

The secret to prospecting and having conversations with decision-makers is to be more persistent, assertive, polite, and professional.

“How to Build A Six-Figure Income Even If You’re Not Great At Closing!” episode resources

Terry Hansen and his team are hosting a special online sales training workshop this week where they’ll be teaching the three secrets that salespeople can use to boost their sales revenue. They’ll be talking about how to build a six-figure income even if you’re not great at closing. You can go to salespitchmastery.com/register to attend for free by using the special link or you can attend it for $49.

For other sales concerns, you can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let him know how they work for you.

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’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.

Seize attention, Likky Lavji, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1212: Networking Effectively and Creating a Sphere of Influence

Seize attention, Likky Lavji, The Sales EvangelistThe idea of networking effectively and creating a sphere of influence is nothing new in sales. It’s a facet of sales that everybody understands and executes. Networking is one sure way of meeting new people, building relationships, and it eventually opens doors for opportunities. 

Likky Lavji has been meeting people and building relationships for 30 years. He built and grew his IT company based on his referral network. By the time he sold his company, he had ample knowledge about how to do the business. Now, he’s sharing his knowledge with others.

The old methods of doing business 

Face-to-face meetings and getting to know people before starting the business are old methods of doing business. Today, people depend on social media to grow their business. We are bombarded with social diversions making us adept in communicating using social media platforms. The downside to that is it’s becoming more difficult for many to have conversations face-to-face. 

As salespeople, we need to combine old and new methods to make it work. It’s great to go back to the basics. Look at your existing base of connections and get to know them. Identify your best clients from your database, the ones who not only bring in revenue but referrals as well. Once you’ve identified your clients, you can start building your sphere of influence. 

Creating your sphere of influence is easy to do. You need to know your people and reach out to the people they know as well. In a networking event, look for the person who has people around them. Find an opportunity to start a conversation and be authentic. Don’t force anything. It has to be organic. 

Likky once stuttered and it held him back. With the help of Bob Burg, the author of The Go-Giver Way, he was able to move past his stuttering. 

Building relationships 

It’s normal to have some level of fear when talking to strangers in a networking event, or anywhere else. However, that fear can be overcome. You need to veer away from the misconceptions of others. Put those aside and just be who you are. People fear networking because of the notion they have to sell. Change that mindset and think of networking as meeting people and making friends. 

Don’t go into sales mode right away. 

Likky uses the acronym F.O.R.M. to start conversations: 

F – Family. Everybody wants to talk about their family. Some people even have their family photos in their wallets. You can talk about their dogs too. 

O – Occupation. You can ask about their occupation. For example, ask them how they got into their business. 

R – Recreation. Find your common ground and talk about their hobbies and interests. 

M – Message. These are the things you stand for. 

Listen to what they say

Build meaningful conversation and listen to their response. Ask more questions about their interests. It doesn’t matter if they don’t ask you questions because this isn’t about you. Make sure they do all the talking. Bob uses 10 field questions when meeting new people such as, “What do you enjoy most about your profession?” and “Describe the strangest thing you’ve experienced in your business.” 

People get excited when talking about these things. It’s your job to hear and understand what they’re saying. Show empathy and put yourself in their shoes. Understand what they’re going through. Listen well, take notes and follow-up. 

In Bob’s book, he suggested listening with the back of your neck. This means listening to what they’re saying and putting everything aside. All the words would go through your mouth, your face, through your ears, and to the back of your neck. There’s nothing else present except for those words coming into you. 

Giving out business cards isn’t the best way to execute networking effectively and creating a sphere of influence. Whenever Likky sees he may need to give away his business card, he tries to avoid it. 

Connect them to others 

In networking effectively and creating a sphere of influence, another way to do this is by giving referrals to someone else When you meet people in a networking event, ask them who their ideal customers are and you will see there are others in the room who have the same audience that they have. Refer them to those people and help them make a connection. They will learn to trust you because you helped grow their business. Don’t worry if the referral sources aren’t 100% successful.  All you need to do is make the introduction and let them have the conversation. 

If they want to do something for you in return, then talk to them about the kind of customers you are looking for. Consider having a meeting with them first so they know who you are and what you want. You’ll also get to know who they are, their centers of influence. 

If you meet somebody and you promise them something, always make sure to follow through within 24 hours, either by email or follow-up, because they may forget you beyond that time frame. 

A handwritten letter or card is also a great idea in networking effectively and creating a sphere of influence. 

Start building relationships and connections before you start selling. The more relationships you build, the more people know what you do, and the easier it will be to get referrals and make business happen. 

When it comes to building your sales income and boosting your sales, developing the skills of appointment setting. It pays more than the skill of closing sales. The secret to mastering the art of appointment setting is persistence, being assertive, and being polite and professional. 

“Networking Effectively and Creating a Sphere of Influence” episode resources

Connect with Likky Lavji and visit his site. He has a free workshop coming up and you can check it on www.salespitchmastery.com/register. For other sales concerns, you can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let him know how they work for you. 

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. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. We hope to see you there! You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

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.

Gia Le, The Sales Evangelists, Business referrals

TSE 1207: How to 10X Your Income With Repeat and Referred Business

Gia Le, The Sales Evangelists, Business referralsBusinesses, regardless of size, will always find ways to grow. One sure tactic to 10x your income is to use repeat and referred business. 

Gia Le is from Australia with a mixed heritage of Chinese and Vietnamese. She started her career in finance and insurance with an automotive dealership. That’s where she got her start in sales. In the beginning, she went from almost being fired three months into her job to being the top-performing consultant in Australia’s largest automotive holding company. Later on, Gia realized she wanted to have more flexibility in her life. She looked for ways she could use her skills and pursued another career that would give her more freedom and flexibility. 

She tried real estate for a year and noticed that digital marketing, an emerging platform, was being underutilized in Australia. Four years ago,  the use of social media was just starting to blossom. She saw that as an opportunity and decided to build a digital agency where she made just  $500 in her first month. Today, her agency is growing across Australia and Asia. 

Selling using out-dated  methods 

When Gia started with the dealership, her company offered several training programs. She learned the techniques and rehearsed the scripts but nothing was working. The old methods of selling didn’t work for sophisticated customers who saw sales tactics as insincere. She was in the new world using out-dated methods of selling. She struggled for three months until the right mentor appeared. He pulled her aside and told her not to focus on the sale. Instead, he instructed her to focus on the people and realize they’re more than just selling finance and insurance. 

Salespeople want to solve a problem and deliver a service.

When Gia started connecting and focusing on her clients’ pain, empathizing with them, and gaining their trust using the art of storytelling, she started closing nearly 70% of her clients. The dealership was fast-paced and it was important the salespeople could close a transaction in less than a day. 

In Australia, financing and insurance make more money than the actual vehicle, comprising 60- 70% of the dealership’s profits. Gia learned to never give out her business cards because she knew that was a customer’s consolation prize, that they were leaving her with hope and hope she didn’t pay the bills. She had to close before the client left.

Growing the business through repeat and referred business 

People think referrals happen by luck. Getting referrals is actually all about having the right strategy, being disciplined, having a strong thought process, and making sure that the system is bigger than yourself. Gia took advantage of her downtime as a salesperson when Facebook and Google were still growing in popularity. While everyone else was busy trying to find new clients on Facebook, Gia was busy prospecting her old clients. She understood that 90% of her next sale was going to happen before they even walked into the door. When her clients came back, they had made a conscious decision to return to Gia. They remembered who Gia was, what she did and the way she’d treated them.

Not many salespeople kept in touch with their clients the way Gia did. It takes a lot of discipline and tenacity to follow-up, especially when you’re busy. Gia made it a point to have at least six touchpoints when working with a new client.  For example, sending a gift, making sure a thank you note got sent within thirty days, hand-writing birthday cards and calling on an anniversary. With consistency and automated systems in place, relationships were built. It was because of her dedication that clients were consistently referring to family members and friends.

Build a connection

Staying connected is the key. The relationship began when clients signed the contract. Gia would assist them when they wanted to make a claim due to an accident, enabling her to assist clients with a replacement vehicle. She could also help with the contract and make more money for the dealership. Everyone benefited because she stayed connected and earned the client’s trust. 

Gia’s current team also emphasizes having a relationship with their clients. They go beyond what they offer and know they aren’t just selling products and services but also trust and a promise. They even help clients who have poor credit ratings. 

There are many ideas to grow your sales but discipline and consistency are key when using repeat and referred business. If you decide to make 10 phone calls a day to original clients, do it and watch your business grow. 

“How to 10X Your Income With Repeat and Referred Business” episode resources

Visit Gia Le’s digital agency website to see helpful sales strategies, tips, and tricks. Also, check out her own company site. 

For other sales concerns, you can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let him know how they work for you. 

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. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. We hope to see you there! You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

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.

Vlad Calus, Content Marketing, Lead Generation

TSE 1206: The Main Things Generating The Most Leads Right Now! 

 

Vlad Calus, Content Marketing, Lead GenerationAs salespeople, we often ask ourselves about the main things generating the most leads right now because we always want to be in on everything that works. Consumers’ purchasing decisions are affected by their experiences and we want to know what affects them in order to appeal to those emotions and convince them to buy our products or services. Sales professionals that we are, we love leads and we like getting new prospects. 

Vlad Calus is the founder at Planable, a content collaboration plan for freelancers and marketing teams. It is the most visual platform that helps you preview your social media content before publishing it. Planable helps you check and review your content before publishing it. It makes collaboration and asking for feedback from your teammates easier as well as asking for clients’ feedback before finalizing the content and scheduling the posts through social media. 

Generating the most leads right now

 There are three things that helped Vlad to get leads. The first one was writing a book. He wrote a book called Marketing Themes of the Future which gained them over 2,000 leads in just a couple of weeks. They also published the Content Academy and it generated them more than 500 people in just a couple of hours. 

Publishing is one way to generate leads and that’s what Vlad and his team did. They also did a content calibration report where they reported on the state of content marketing and how content marketing teams are working. For them, their team wasn’t able to generate many people by just a sudden initiative. They did the planning on how to create their content and spent a lot of time on it. The content are called special initiatives. They worked on it for about 12 months and all of the people involved were on the same page. They then had press releases for client launches and they constantly repurposed their content. 

Content calibration 

Vlad’s team looked for the problem in their industry and wanted to address it. Research shows that there have been no content calibration reports done for the last nine years. They wanted to understand the state of the market but there are only old data available. In marketing, data are key players to a business’s success. They then understood the need to generate a lot of data and started the project with their customers, connections on the net, and the people they met. They generated leads by using the data of the report they collated. 

One of the data they have is on how to repurpose content for their followers. There’s also the part where you need multiple stakeholders as part of your content strategy. They also discovered in their research that broken collaboration is wasted time and communicating with your stakeholders vie spreadsheets and emails is one of the most broken workflows there is. They use all these data and share their marketing reports to their clients and potential clients to motivate them to jump on a call with them and start using their Planable. 

It’s applicable to other industries as well regardless of the size of the company. You can make reports using the data from the audience that you are working on and start by sending your audience Facebook polls or sending them a simple type form they can fill out. You can collate the data and use it for your marketing strategies. 

Publishing a book to get more leads works especially if you promote it yourself. Put your email signature in the book and see the number of people who click on it every single day. 

From readers to lead generators 

People who have read Vlad’s book started recommending it to other people they know. The book presented the benefits of collaborating on the content and using many different platforms to create a more collaborative market. The ebook also presented solutions that you can use for your content marketing collaboration as a marketing team. 

Every email we get, we put them into an email marketing flow and we ask them to jump on a call with us for them to find out more about Planable. We send people case studies on how Planable has been helping companies. 

The other thing that helped them in generating the most leads right now is their Content Academy. They interviewed over 30 experts in content marketing from different industries. These people are the front line in creating content, from the ideation, editing, writing, publishing, and generating leads. The Content Academy includes seven-step videos with topics like ideation strategy, content editing, content publishing, promoting, and so on. 

Vlad’s team presents it to potential clients and we give them sneak peeks of the things they can learn in the Content Academy. 

He makes snippets and minute-long videos showing how it would help businesses and publishes the videos on his LinkedIn and other social media. 

In content marketing, don’t be afraid to try creating content and putting yourself on camera. Get yourself out there and just start creating content. Listen to the feedback of the community and write again until you are able to make quality content. 

“The Main Things Generating The Most Leads Right Now! ” episode resources

Reach out to Vlad Calus via his LinkedIn

Go ahead and hit me up for concerns and questions about sales. You can also reach out to me via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let me know how it works for you. 

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. Our next semester starts on November 8 and we would love to have you. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Come and join us. You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

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

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well 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.

DeJuan Brown, Mindset, Donald C. Kelly,

TSE 1205: The Accidental Seller Series 2 – “DeJuan Brown”

DeJuan Brown, Mindset, Donald C. Kelly,

This is the second episode of the series The Accidental Seller. There is a more accidental sellers in the sales industry than we know of. In fact, there are about 4.14 million sales professionals in the United States who fell into this career. DeJuan Brown wanted to be a chemist when he was a kid. He also wanted to be a system analyst because he wanted to follow his uncle’s footsteps who worked as a system analyst for Guardian Life for a long time. But in college, he studied Psychology and Philosophy. The mathematics included in studying both Chemistry and System Analysis dissuaded him to push through with his childhood careers.

His view of sales and of the salespeople came about when his father started selling Insurance when he was two years old. Selling insurance then was very different compared to how it’s done today. People are able to sign up online or pay for their premium online but before, selling insurance was a door-to-door sport. His dad would spend hours going door to door collecting premiums from people. Seeing his dad selling made him think that sales was super lucrative on the back end but also super hard at the same time. DeJuan initially thought that salespeople were undesirable. 

The sale stigma 

The perception of salespeople then didn’t change much until today. In fact, stats show that only 18% of buyers respect salespeople. There’s still a bad stigma and DeJuan didn’t want to be associated with it. Salespeople are seen as sleazy and manipulative and even though his Dad is not like that, he came to adapt that view as well. It’s apparent with a car salesman and the salespeople you see in infomercials and TV. People kept telling DeJuan that he’d be good in sales but for him, it was a choice between using his skills for the worse which is doing sales or using it for the best which is helping people through law and other things. 

The accidental seller

DeJuan was doing a variety of things and was moving from one job to another. He ended up waiting tables and bartending. He was good at it and made a tremendous amount of money in it. His friends kept telling him to go into sales because he’s good at selling entrees but still the stigma of salespeople stuck in his mind. The stigma prevented him from considering the possibility until his buddy got a job at Intuit. His buddy convinced him to get into sales and he applied. He got a schedule for an interview and got a part-time job of 16 hours a week doing transactional sales. That’s when he got into sales. He fell in love with the reward of sales and it was the first time that he felt good about serving people. 

Fears in sales 

He had fears and trepidation when he started sales and most of the fear revolved on the thinking that he had to push people. DeJuan wanted to help people. If they want something, he wants to help them get it and if they do not want to get the product and services, then he doesn’t want to push them and he just wants to leave them alone. The fear went away relatively early in the process when he realized that he was helping people. He understood people and all that they have at their disposal. He gave them all their options and made sure that they made decisions based on what they have.

Helping people changed his paradigm on sales audits. DeJuan thought about quitting during his tough times but his experience helped him get through the rough times. When he isn’t at the top of the leaderboard, he thinks of quitting and starting out on another career.

That fact kept him on and motivated him. There’s no such thing as every time you dial, someone picks up the phone or responds to every email. Understanding that helped him control the inputs and outputs. The mindset shift helped him shift his attitude towards selling. His first sale was unforgettable for him. He was consistent with his deals and he was able to enhance someone’s product or their order.

For his first sale, he was able to sell a logo and on the same sale, he was able to add color and shadow. He also offered the self-sealing envelopes on the same order. DeJuan is now in the enterprise industry and connected with Seismic. DeJuan was an accidental seller but if asked if he was going to choose another path, he’d say that being an accidental seller is one of the best things that happened for his career. 

“The Accidental Seller Series 2″ episode resources

Reach out to DeJuan via his LinkedIn and he will also be in the Sales Success Summit. He is also on TwitterGo ahead and hit me up for concerns and questions about sales. You can also reach out to me via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let me know how it works for you. 

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. Our next semester starts on November 8 and we would love to have you. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Come and join us. You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. We want you to join us for our next episodes so tune in to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Song credits:

Pick. Written By Matej Djajkovski, Martin Hampton; Performed and produced by OBOY

String Thing. Written and performed by Bradley Jay Hill

Projector. Written by Matthew Wigton; Performed by Falls

8-Bit Blues. Written by Bradley Jay Hill; Produced and Performed by Fairlight

Binary Falls. Written and produced by Matthew Wigton and Caleb Etheridge; Performed by Falls

The Menace. Written, produced, and performed by Bradley Jay Hill

Juice. Written by Matel Djajkovski and Martin Hampton; Produced and performed by OBOY

Bellicosus. Written, produced, and performed by Isaac Joel Karns

Lucorum. Written, produced, and performed by Isaac Joel Karns

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

TSE 1203: One Major Closing Question Youre Neglecting to ask

TSE 1203: One Major Closing Question You’re Neglecting To Ask 

 

There are times when the sale is almost a done deal but at the end of the day, it’s not pushing through because there’s that one major closing question you’re neglecting to ask. This can happen to everyone, not just for the new sales reps. 

That one closing question you’re neglecting to ask

Let’s take Dave as an example. Dave is a seller who is wrapping up things with Bob in a phone call. Dave gave an amazing demonstration but Bob is being wishy-washy in his response and told Dave that he is still going to analyze internally first before moving on with Dave’s deal. Now, Dave is upset, furious, and blurted out some things. 

Dave could have done things differently by asking follow-up questions. Seeing it from Dave’s perspective, his outburst was understandable. He’s been working the deal for three months and he thought that he already got everything right. He already told his manager about it and he’s pretty excited for it to officially close. He needed this sale to achieve his quota. 

If he remembered to ask the closing question that many neglects to ask, the result would have been different. 

“Would I make  this purchase based on the same information I know if I were the buyer?” 

Based on the things you’ve shared with the buyer, would you have made the decision to make the investment? Many take this for granted because oftentimes, salespeople are shortsighted. 

Focusing on your pipeline 

Having focus is a great characteristic, however, focusing on the wrong thing isn’t. As salespeople, we need to shift the focus from ourselves and our pipeline, rather, we need to focus on our clients and our prospective clients. 

Going back on Dave, he was too focused on himself and the need for impressing his manager. He is a rising star in the company and the deal would be 25% of his quota. Everything was about Dave. Sometimes, a similar thing happens to us. 

We tend to focus on ourselves and fail to show empathy toward the clients. Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People states that the fifth habit of becoming effective is to seek first to understand then to be understood. 

The outcome would have been different if Dave asked himself the closing question mentioned above. Dave was in a difficult situation. He just got promoted and he’s now in the big boy’s league, this means that he’s afraid. The thing is that all these situations that Dave is facing don’t help his potential client solve his problems. Bob has nothing in him to consider shifting to Dave’s offer. If you were Dave, you would have gone a different path. Instead of looking at your fears, you instead looked at what Bob’s company needs. 

Perhaps you’d look at some studies and do some homework about Bob’s industry in relation to the software that you’re selling. 

Reality in sales 

Not every deal is going to close, that’s a universal fact in sales. But when you try to ask the closing question mentioned earlier, you won’t get in an awkward situation. Take for example the close rates, it’s the sales rep’s number of prospects to the number of deals converted. A 25% close rate means closing 10 deals out of your 40 prospects. The average close rate is between 15%-23%. Some people have higher close rates and others have a lower close rate. 

The close rate would increase if we work a little more in asking the tough questions. Salespeople must analyze the situation from the buyer’s standpoint. You can start the conversion process after every call, ask the buyer the same closing question, “Based on what you know, do you feel comfortable moving forward with us to a demonstration?” “Based on what you know, do you feel comfortable moving forward with us toa proposal?” Do this in every step of the process. 

The closing question you’re neglecting to ask should be given priority now. Ask yourself and the buyer that question. Find more of your ideal customers and have more meaningful conversations with them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

“One Major Closing Question You’re Neglecting To Ask” episode resources

Go ahead and hit me up for concerns and questions about sales. You can also reach out to me via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let me know how it works for you. 

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. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Come and join us. You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

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

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Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Ludovic Vuillier, Accidental Seller, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1202: The Accidental Seller Series 1 – “Ludovic Vuillier”

Ludovic Vuillier, Accidental Seller, The Sales Evangelist

Hubspot’s stats showed that 46% of salespeople did not intend to go into sales. That means a massive 4.14 million individuals are now an example of an accidental seller. Perhaps they were working different jobs and suddenly they decided to go into sales or the circumstances prompted them to go into sales. This series will be about the people who have become an accidental seller by hook or by choice. 

Ludovic Vuillier is an entrepreneur who runs the Good Life Manifesto. It is a tool to help you live a good life. It is a guide that’s related to health, business, finance, and relationship. 

Ludovic started his career in sales 20 years ago. He sold for myriads of companies and consulting organizations. He also helped these organizations to find success in their sales. 

But before he went into sales, he wanted to become a doctor because of his interest in the human body. The downside to that is one has to spend over 12 years in school before becoming a doctor, which is something he cannot do. That made him ditch the college path. 

The deciding path 

His father died when he was young and he inherited some money but didn’t have a clue what to do with it. The amount wasn’t big but it was enough to offer comfort. He spent a year and a half traveling. He saw places and learned about many cultures. The experience taught him to be comfortable outside his comfort zone. After that, he fell into sales. 

He started selling mobile phones door to door. His lack of social skills became an advantage because he was able to absorb and pick up the things that work and that don’t. Ludovic also ventured into telemarketing and sold cosmetics over the phone. 

It takes many things to become a salesperson. One has to have a strong will and desire, persistence, and a greater purpose. 

Ludovic started to take on different types of sales jobs including doing sales over the phone, face-to-face sales, one-on-one, one-to-many, and others. He learned how he can influence peoples’ thoughts, emotions, and actions to be effective in the sales industry. 

The challenge that was the sale 

It wasn’t just the money and the people that prompted him to go into sales, it was the challenge in sales. He was hooked with the idea that people have patterns and salespeople can study what makes them tick and influence that. Unlike other new sales reps who are afraid of rejection, Ludovic was just fearless and kept pushing head-on. 

One of the challenges in the sale is the need of doing it repeatedly, like a cycle. He gets bored easily and the thought of doing the same thing over and over again for a long period of time was a huge challenge. Ludovic was able to fight against the boredom by just keeping on. He made the decision of not quitting. 

He was one of the sales reps who didn’t make sales consistently but his perseverance reaped good results as he started to make a sale after another. 

Closing a deal

Closing a deal is exciting, elating, and motivating. He closed his first deal and kept closing deals. His career began to expand and his sales experience continued to grow. Ludovic started to use his talent to help call center companies. 

This, again, came by accident. 

His friend opened up a sales office and he tapped him for help to train his friend’s salespeople. The gig wasn’t going to last for more than a few months and Ludovic knew that. He went there and helped. Within three months, he was able to help the team grow their average revenue to five times more, totaling to $500,000 a month. After leaving his friend’s company, with his friend’s encouragement, he decided to make it a business. 

He then cold-called a few telemarketing companies and set up appointments. He observed sales offices and based his price on the noise he hears in the company. A telemarketing company that makes a lot of noise earns well while a company that doesn’t make a lot of noise means something bad is going on. When it’s quiet, it means he is needed. 

Looking back 

In Tim Ferris’ podcast, he always has this question to ask his guest: “If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?” Ludovic said that he would do nothing. Where he is right now was because of the decisions he made along the way. Being the accidental seller that he was, he was able to use all the things he’s learned and picked up while being a seller. 

Learn as much as you can. Life doesn’t happen based on what things are supposed to be. 

“The Accidental Seller Series 1 – “Ludovic Vuillier” episode resources

Find Ludovic Vuillier in any social media. He’s also got two websites, one is a personal travel blog and the other one is the goodlifemanifesto.com

Take some of the principles shared here and remember to not give up. Instead, make things happen. Reach out to Donald for any sales concerns on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We want you to join us for our next episodes so tune in to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. The Sales Evangelist wants every salesperson to be able to build stronger value and close more deals. Our TSE Certified Sales Training Program will help you be that. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well 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.

Rylee Meek, Social Dynamic Selling, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1201: What Is Social Dynamic Selling & Why Does This Work So Well?

Rylee Meek, Social Dynamic Selling, The Sales EvangelistMany sellers appreciate how social dynamic selling works well. It’s effective and has connected more than 2 million consumers to their clients. 

Rylee Meek grew up in a small town in South Dakota but is now residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He lived in a town with very few opportunities but at the age of 15, he already had that drive to start earning money. Rylee got a job at a pizza joint and made a minimum wage of $5.15 an hour. He dove into the entrepreneurial world at that young age. His family made a significant amount of money from network marketing and that impacted his path. He met many like-minded people who directed him to the right books to read. It was his initial step of taking that entrepreneurship role. 

He then started working with a network marketing company instead of proceeding to college. At 19 years of age, he was able to get his   BMW but then he realized that his income came solely from the effort and from working up to 17 hours a day. So he started to do things differently. He worked for Prudential but then he wanted to work and sell to more people and not just family members and friends. He proceeded to take another job selling home remodeling.

Rylee clearly remembered what the manager told him on that interview, that the job is 85% negative but he needs to focus on the 15% that’s positive to make it through. Until now, Rylee still believes in focusing on the 15% because that’s what matters. Getting 85 Nos to get 15 Yeses was all it took. 

Network marketing journey 

Rylee invested in several network marketing ventures and met many challenges along the way. At one time he became homeless after putting much of his money into a business in Mexico. The government shut down their company and he needed to come back to the states. He spent some time thinking of the things he could do next. He was invited to a pitch presentation and that helped his wheels spinning. His first presentation was done a few months after and he made $2.1 million in sales. They then started recruiting, hiring, and training. When everything worked out well, Rylee stepped back from presenting and started doing coaching, training, and teaching their sales reps. 

Reaching the masses

Rylee was earning well and could take his products to the masses but he didn’t have any passion for his products. While there are many businesses who have so much passion for their products but do not have the vehicle to take their products to the masses. 

He thought hard and brainstormed on all of the things that they’ve been doing right with their company from the coaching to selling their products and services. Rylee wrote everything down and that gave birth to what is now the social dynamic selling system.

Social dynamic selling works well

The core of social dynamic selling is dinner seminars. Invite people and give them a nice steak dinner. You then establish the presenter as the authoritative figure in that industry to gain the trust of the guests. After giving the pitch, you can ask them for an appointment and meet with them the following day to close the deal. 

Creating a message is important. It is an atmosphere where you’re sending an invitation directly to your potential clients to come over to listen to your presentation and craft that into multiple different verticals. 

It takes a little bit of money to make this happen and your product has to have a decent enough margin for this to work. 

Rylee’s team uses direct mail. Many may say that this method is archaic but they had a higher return on investment using direct mail. It beat all the other kinds of marketing including Facebook, Google, and SEO. The response they get from direct mail is crucial in any campaign. Regardless of the method that you’re using, you need to know and track your numbers to be able to see if you’re allocating your funds properly. 

Direct mails

The competition of using direct mail has dwindled today because of the massive amount of junk mail that people get. Companies tend to forget that they are many ways for you to not make your mails appear like junk such as addressing people by their first and last name. 

Social dynamic selling works well if sales reps learn their numbers and not just the art of selling. As a salesperson, you need to know how effective you are and you will see this with your appointment rate, closing rate, and stick rate. 

There are so many components involved in any successful campaign and the first step is knowing your ideal clients. Use the tools available today to figure out your true customers. After that, you can demographically and geographically identify the best area to target those people. Choose the venue according to the result of that targeting. The next step is to craft the message and to create an invitation that’s compelling enough for the potential clients to take action. Everything must be consistent from the crafting of the message down to the day of the event and the actual sale. 

The whole process has a flow and you can’t rush it. 

Always think of your target audience and create the event with their convenience in mind. Do an early dinner for potential clients aging 50 years old. For retirees, you can do breakfast. The rule of thumb is to offer something up the moment they come to the venue because that’s when the law of reciprocity kicks in. 

The goal in every event is not just to sell but to get to know the potential clients and earn their trust. You can do that by creating a fun and laid back environment. People want to buy but you need to create that environment that allows them to make the buying decisions instead of pressuring them just to make a sale. 

Social dynamic selling works well, there is no question about that but you need to follow the process. 

Remember, the first step is knowing who your clients are and it all goes from there. 

“What Is Social Dynamic Selling & Why Does This Work So Well?” episode resources

Reach out to Rylee by visiting his website, socialdynamicselling.com. You can also visit his other site, workwithrylee.com. You can schedule a strategy call with him or with one of his team members. 

If you any sales concerns, you can also shoot Donald a message on his LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a training program designed to help sales reps improve their skills in making sales and closing deals. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce high-quality podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Video, The Sales Evangelist, Sales

TSE 1198: Closing Questions

 

Video, The Sales Evangelist, Sales

Salespeople are good at closing deals but before that, we are great in making closing questions. Master the closing deals that ensure a done deal client. 

Benton Crane isn’t from the advertising and marketing background. He is from data analytics and started his career in Washington D.C. as a statistician at the Census Bureau and analyst in the National Intelligence Agency. He then partnered with the brothers Neil, Jeff, and Daniel for a campaign. The combination of their creative skillset and his analytical skills created a system that makes advertising campaigns effective. 

The power of videos in the business

The most powerful form of communication happens in face to face conversations between two individuals. These face to face interactions are how you make out the nuances of a conversation. This will allow you to listen to the tone, see the gestures and body language all happening at a subconscious level. 

Video is the medium that’s closer to that face-to-face action. When you talk to someone on the phone, you miss the body language and all the subconscious communication that’s happening. But with video, you’re able to capture a large portion of what happens in face-to-face interaction. 

Aside from that, videos are scalable. The people you can’t meet through phone calls can be met via videos. You can take your most effective salesperson and sales pitch and scale that up to reach millions of people using videos. 

Effective pitch through videos 

People have thought that the world of sales and marketing are two separate camps. In the advertising space, it’s often about infomercials or traditional branding styles like what you see in Nike and Apple. But it doesn’t work that way. You can blend those two worlds together. 

For so long, there’s been a competition between the two camps. The salespeople would trash the marketers and the other way around when in fact, they can incorporate together to create a great pitch. 

Incorporate a story in your sales pitch and put in brand humor, voice, and character to make it more memorable. #SalesTips

At the end of the day, no matter how effective the sales pitch, it’s not going to build the long-term brand. Squatty Potty, for example, has the humor and the character and that what makes it memorable. If you break down that video for a sales structure, you’ll see that it follows the perfect sales structure. 

The sales structure

The Squatty Potty has elements that are as follows: 

  • It has the hook
  • It captures attention
  • It shows empathy
  • It understands the problem
  • It presents a solution, 
  • It has a call to action for viewers to buy the product. 

When it still doesn’t work, then build that credibility. Make that call to action as soon as possible. There will always be a percentage in the audience who are ready and there’s also a percentage who are not quite ready. So, address their concerns and build that credibility. Give them another call to action after you’ve done that. 

Anyone can create videos. Creating videos takes hard work but everyone can learn how to do it. The principles that Benton’s team use in making a $5,000 video are still true in making a $500,000 video. It’s not much on the scope and budget, it’s more of doing the right thing at the right time. 

The Squatty Potty story 

Benton’s team just did a successful video for Poo-Pourri and when the CEO of Squatty Potty saw that video, he just knew that they needed to have theirs created as well. They came to Benton’s team and his team was initially cold since they just did one for the same product. But then they thought of ways on how to make it less disgusting to talk about and make it more proper and put together. 

They landed on the unicorn idea and it all happened from there. They made it safe, colorful, and less awkward to talk about. They had to reach a broader audience so they needed to do something a little more unexpected. 

Squatty Potty worked with Shark Tank and Bed Bath and Beyond prior to working with them. They were making $4 million a year and jumped to $25 million after they worked with Benton’s team. It was around that ballpark. 

Bobby Edwards, CEO of Squatty Potty, had the guts to put a pooping unicorn as the face of its brand. But the risk was worth it and took them to where they are today. 

If what you’re selling provides a real solution to the problem, then the video can work. It can be a sales tool and it can also be just a part of the sales process. Either way, it’s a powerful tool to use.  

Investing in the video can go both ways, losing your production investment or gaining millions of dollars in return. Incorporate your closing questions in your videos and make the best out of it. 

“Closing questions” episode resources

Connect with Benton Crane on his LinkedIn or via his site, harmonbrothers.com. For more sales concerns, connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a program designed to help sales reps get from where you are now to where you can be in the future. This course is an aid for salespeople to become better in asking the right questions, presenting solutions, and closing deals. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce high-quality podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Client Relationship, Andy Racic, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1196: Sales From The Street – “Are You Firing Me?”

Client Relationship, Andy Racic, The Sales Evangelist

One of the scariest questions to ask in this field is, “are you firing me?” You might have asked this yourself, out loud or in silence, but regardless of how, it’s nerve-wracking just the same. 

Andy Racic has been in professional sales for nine years and most of those years were spent serving HR professionals. These days, Andy is with a software company called Tango Health. They offer B2B software and outsourcing solutions to help professionals across the country. 

The beginning

While Andy was living in Houston, he was working for an agency recruitment firm called Michael Page. The agency recruitment space is 100% sales: that is 90% sales and 10% consulting. They were in the business of the oil and gas market and despite the difficult times in the business, their agency was able to establish a good relationship with their clients. Out of the blue, one of their clients asked him to help find a recruiter. 

That was an alarming thing to hear because to him it sounded very much like looking for their replacement. It was a source of concern because the market was going downhill so their company was looking for ways to keep their clients and continue serving them. 

Andy ran that client inquiry to his manager and they dug into it. They discovered that the company was having a big project that would involve a lot of hiring for them. The company was looking at 30-50% growth and they were looking for more people. Andy and his manager went back to the drawing board and built an entire recruitment process outsourcing model for that company. 

They then made the call and presented the model for them and convinced them to trust them a little bit more instead of hiring another recruitment agency that they hadn’t worked with before. 

Putting the best foot forward

There were doubts about whether what they did would work. The market was changing and the client could have gone in a different direction instead of working with them. Still, Andy and his team did what they could. 

Andy’s team did a thorough briefing on the situation with their client’s internal stakeholders and presented a team that would help in the recruitment process. He gave them the background of each individual along with their track record and the reasons why they’re a good fit. 

They won their trust and worked with the company, so to speak. Andy’s agency found a lot of people for them and delivered good results for them. 

When a problem arises, salespeople can always go back to the traditional process of evaluating the problem and going deeper to understand that challenge. You need not have that “Are you firing me?” moment when you learn to take measured steps and prevent such a situation to arise. 

A good salesperson needs an open mind whenever he hears information because the snippets of information may make or break your business or the deal. Be on the lookout for what’s going on and dig in until the third level questions to ensure that there are no assumptions on your side. Make sure that you make the best out of any situation. 

When you’re talking to a client, listen intently to pick up something especially when things go south. Stay present when the client is speaking rather than making them repeat what they said because that’s how you win a deal. 

“Are You Firing Me?” episode resources

Are you firing me? Listen more to what Andy has to say about that. Get in touch with Andy Racic via his LinkedIn profile. Make sure to customize your messages for a more positive response from Andy. You can also connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a program designed to help sales reps get from where you are now to where you can be in the future. This course is an aid for salespeople to become better in asking the right questions, presenting solutions, and closing deals. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce high-quality podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Janet Clark, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Process

TSE 1184 Sales From The Street: “The Heart Flow Sales Process”

Janet Clark, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Process

Sales is a process and every salesperson has to master the heart flow sales process before expecting results. 

Janet Clark’s company, The Freedom Shift, is a sales matchmaker. Janet matches high-ticket salespeople with coaches and consultants who want to expand their sales team. She is also helping the coaches with their lead generation and figuring out their qualified leads because this part of marketing can be difficult. 

Before she built her company, Janet started in corporate sales selling B2B. She built sales organizations for big telecommunications and internet-based companies. It was only five years ago that she started selling high-ticket transformation programs for top-level coaches and consultants. 

B2B selling and transformational selling

In B2B selling, a salesperson is selling somebody in a corporation and spending somebody else’s money. Their decision is still laced with emotion but it’s more of making the right decisions so as not to lose their jobs. 

In transformational selling, a coach or consultant is selling to a company owner who makes a decision to invest in himself to reach a new level of personal growth. A coach or consultant talks to a person who spends his own money. There are a lot of emotions involved in making the decisions of doing high-ticket investments yourself. 

The key to connect with people is to reach them from the heart, hence the heart flow sales process. Every letter in the word Heart Flow stands for one of the steps in the sales process. 

Factors to consider 

Two things need to happen before someone invests in a high-ticket program. Number one, the prospect has to know that the program works. They need to feel a level of trust in the person delivering the program. The second factor is for the prospect to consider whether the program will work for him.  

Marketing and the qualifying piece answer that question. Talking to the prospect about the program and how good it is alone wouldn’t result in a closed deal unless the conversation goes deeper and they figure out where their fear is coming from.

The Heart flow process is not hardcore selling and it’s not manipulative. 

Most people need a push and not manipulation. Sometimes, they need to borrow the confidence of the salesperson in order to make big decisions. There is a fine line between being confident and pushing somebody a little beyond their comfort zone and doing something manipulative. 

People who make investments need to see results and they won’t get the results they want when you bring them in the program in a coercive way. 

The Heart Flow Sales Process

Heart 

Heart Flow is divided into three sections and as mentioned earlier, every letter stands for a step in the process. 

  • Hello
  • Explain
  • Ask
  • Recap
  • Teach

Hello is the greeting. It’s when you sit with your clients and figure out who they are. This is where you build rapport. Next, is to explain how the call is going to go. Set the stage right away and do an agenda before the call. It is important to take the prospects through the process in order to steer them in the right direction. 

Ask, because fact-finding and interviewing are two important parts of the sales process. Learn to ask the right questions and the typical objections in the program you are selling. When you realize that the person is not a qualified prospect, you go to the next section. 

Recap the things that they’ve said to ensure that they know you’re listening and absorbing the information they gave you. 

Teach is the transition point where you start giving them some information. It’s important to teach them something that they’re not aware of and give them that eureka moment. Teaching them little things that they don’t know or might have known in a way that is an Aha! Moment. 

Flow

The next section is Flow. 

  • Feeling
  • Layout the offer
  • Own the silence
  • Wrap it up

Feeling is asking them how they feel about what you’ve said. This step makes them reflect on the things you’ve said and respond accordingly. This brings you to the next section, layout the offer. 

This is where you explain to them that what you just taught them (in the Teach step) is incorporated in this program. Layout to them the elements and the components that make the program work. It’s more of the benefits and results of the program rather than the times of the day you’re going to do the coaching calls. 

Own the silence and don’t make the mistake of owning the talk after you’ve laid the offer. It’s important to mute yourself and let them come up with what they’re thinking. 

The last step is to wrap it up. Answer their questions and move forward into getting them into the program. There is science to the sales process and a way that it needs to flow. There’s also an art to sales so that every person brings their own artistic way of doing the process. The heart flow sales process allows you to be creative but still keep the process flowing so that you can stay on track. 

Refrain from reading a sales script and do it in a natural format but in a guided way. 

Sales should be a normal conversation with people where you’re helping them through the process of making a decision. #SalesHacks

“Sales From The Street: The Heart Flow Sales Process” episode resources

As a salesperson, make sure that you’re doing this for the right reason and not just to make a commission. Connect with Janet Clark. You can find her on Facebook, High Ticket Sales Collaborative or visit her site, The Freedom Shift. You can also shoot her an e-mail if that’s more convenient for you. 

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses and you can get the first two modules for free! 

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. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

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 who 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. 

For sales concerns, you can shoot us your question anytime. Connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound

 

Inbound, LinkedIn, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1180: Can I Classify My LinkedIn Leads As Inbound Leads?

 

Inbound, LinkedIn, Donald C. KellyWith all the focus on social selling, it can be difficult to determine whether you can consider referrals and connections that result in LinkedIn leads as inbound leads.

If a prospect connects with your content which leads to a conversation and then an appointment, can that be considered an inbound lead?

LinkedIn connections

You’re likely among those sellers who understand that your LinkedIn profile is your personal profile. You cherish it and treat it with respect. You post thoughtful content and share impactful videos and write articles and long-form blogs. You’re creating content that your audience can engage with. 

If those prospects end up in your direct message as a result and that leads to a conversation, that’s an inbound lead. Though it might not qualify as inbound in the traditional sense, you’re engaging in the same activities. No matter who creates the content, it’s an inbound lead. You could even give it a unique KPI name like “social media lead” or SML.

Converting leads

If I connect with 15 or 20 business owners today and 10 of them reconnect with me, the result is 10 new social media leads. I can nurture them by creating videos, posts, or articles and tying the content to my new prospects. 

Ideally, those people will engage in a conversation.

I recently connected with a woman on LinkedIn who later posted a good piece of content. She mentioned me and others she had recently connected with using a “shout out.” Turns out all the people she mentioned continued to engage with her on LinkedIn

I’ll watch her content now since I had a positive interaction, and I might eventually decide to engage with her company. She’s nurturing us as prospects.

Engaging content

Then, once you do, be intentional about connecting with those who interact with your content. Work to connect with your second- and third-degree connections. 

Try this simple paragraph:

Thanks so much for commenting on my post today, James. Permission to connect here on LinkedIn?

Usually, when you connect immediately, they’ll appreciate your outreach. You can start a conversation that may lead to further interactions.  Now you’re getting more contacts off your ideal customer or prospect. 

Blur the lines

Imagine you have a targeted list of prospects that you’re trying to reach. You’re making phone calls to named accounts and you’re connecting on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. 

If you separate your prospects into different categories, you can optimize them. 

I recently connected with someone on LinkedIn who became a social media contact and then a social media lead. When the prospect asked about sales training for a team, it led to an initial appointment. 

That connection would haven’t happened without engaging content on social media and our interactions there.  

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.

 

Proposals, Conversion, Adam Hempenstall

TSE 1179: Business Proposal Trends in 2019

 

Proposals, Conversion, Adam HempenstallWhat are some of the business proposal trends in 2019 that you’ve used and that have worked for your industry? Trends change so often that we have to keep track of all the changes to be in the loop because what’s new today may be old news tomorrow. 

Adam Hempenstall has been in the web design business for almost 20 years. He started doing basic websites and brochure sites before the company transitioned into a custom software company. They started building CRMs for different companies and have now invested full time into improving their proposal tool known as Better Proposals.  

Business proposal trends

The most important thing is that you’re not just seeing a transition from the old school PDF method but the clients’ reluctance to change. There is, however, a massive shift towards people opening proposals using their phones.

Proposals need to be web-based these days. It has to do with what everything else is doing. They’re not just documents anymore, they’re experiences. Clients should be able to read the proposals by the time that you’ve sent them. 

Aside from that, proposals should be sent quickly. Based on the observed data, there’s a higher rate of conversion for proposals that are sent within 24 hours compared to proposals sent in 3-4 days. The other important thing is trying to understand your client most. 

From the data and stats Adam’s company is running, they’ve observed the following business proposal trends in 2019 that work:

  • Convenience over quality
  • Being quick in sending proposals 
  • Caring about your client

Convenience over quality 

People favor convenience over quality. This is apparent in the number of people watching videos on YouTube instead of going to the shows. Live shows mean better quality but people would opt to watch it on YouTube because it means that they can watch it immediately. 

People want things the way they want them. For example, you’ve sent a proposal and the client is reading it in his train ride because that’s the time that he allocated for it. The client is not going to sit there and zoom in through the 15-page PDF proposal you’ve sent. That is not convenient for him. He’s probably going to skim, get bored, and close it down. He’ll make the decision over the price and all that effort of making the proposal is going down the drain because you’ve sent it in a format that isn’t convenient for him. 

To beat your competitors, you want to stand out when you’re sending proposals. You don’t want to send the same ones that others are sending. This is especially true if you’re selling software, marketing, or anything with digital elements. You want to show your prospects that you are at the forefront of technology. 

Track proposals

If you tell your prospective clients that you can make their website better and more responsive, you won’t send them a proposal in PDF form. Instead, you send them a web-based proposal and put a tracker in it. 

This will allow you to see the activities that your prospective client is doing. You’d see that your client has opened the proposal and that he’d spent a good amount of time reading it. 

You can give him a call half an hour later to just check in on how it was. You’re in a good place to speak about it because it’s still fresh on his mind. 

You can’t do that with PDFs but you can do it if you use web-based proposals. 

Adam and his team made a high-end proposal for a furniture company. The proposal was great but they didn’t have another meeting with them. After six months, the company randomly opened the proposal and Adam got a notification that they checked the proposal. Adam shoots them a quick message just asking how things are going and if they were able to find a solution to the problem that they were trying to solve last year. The company replied saying that they weren’t able to appreciate the value of the proposal then but are now willing to talk about it. 

This is what tracking can do; this is what a notification can do. 

It’s equally important to repeatedly follow up after a proposal, but not up to the point that you’re putting it on them. 

Just being there and being consistent is enough. 

Sending proposals quickly

We’ve all had a time where we’ve completed a proposal quickly and had a good overturn deal. There have also been times that we’ve procrastinated and done other stuff instead of doing the proposal and when you’ve finally done it, your client has already gone with the other guy. 

Adam’s company looked at the actual data of real proposals that people send through their software platform a few years back. Using the raw numbers, they tried to figure out different factors that affect proposal conversion. You can see the study on betterproposal.io/reports in both 2018 and 2019. They found out that sending the proposal within 24 hours after the initial meeting converts 25% more than if you send it in 2-3 days. 

In Adam’s company, they meet their clients on a neutral ground. They have their meetings in top-end hotel lobbies because it’s comfortable and you can talk to the prospective client freely. When he leaves, you get to stay, order yourself another drink and write the proposal right then and there. It gets difficult when you give it a few more days because by then you remember very little of the meeting. 

All those little things that you forget from the meeting were important to the client and if you wait more days before you write the proposal will lose you the deal eventually. 

These include the following:

  • The actual words they used
  • The phrases they used
  • The expressions they made
  • The body language they gave off

All those things that you remember within a couple of hours will be forgotten within a day. 

Write your proposal immediately after your sales meeting to increase the chances you’ll win the deal. #SalesProposal

Care for your clients 

This part doesn’t have anything to do with the proposals. It is more of what happens before the proposal, and it’s doing good discovery. 

You can’t write a good business proposal for a person or a company if you don’t do good discovery. You can have the experience but that will only help you so far. You need to ask questions and you need to dig in and get them to reveal as much as they can. 

You need to understand what they are trying to achieve.

Scratch beneath their surface-level problems to figure out their fears and help them find the solutions. You’re changing the proposal into a personal level and by then, it’s not only the surface-level solutions of the problems you’re proposing. 

You are sending them a proposal that truly addresses their deeper concerns. 

Care about them, care about the situation, and do what you can to get the truth of their situation. 

So, ask the right questions and don’t be afraid to get a little bit uncomfortable. 

Trying out the three suggestions mentioned above will make your proposals better. Instead of sending PDFs, send a web-based proposal and save yourself lots of time. It’s also convenient and it’s a conversion booster. Aside from that, web-based proposals are cheap. 

“Business Proposal Trends in 2019” episode resource

Sign up to Better Proposals website and see hundreds of templates. They also have contracts and other things you can check. 

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses and 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 who 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.

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.

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.

 

sales team, sales leader, quota

TSE 1148: How to Build a Championship Sales Team

sales team, quota, sales leader

Whether you’re a brand new sales rep, a sales leader, or an experienced seller, the key to success relies on your ability to build a championship sales team. 

Will Richter drives revenue for medical device companies by increasing their sales volumes, reducing their operational inefficiencies and crushing their competition. He has the unique ability to find the blind spots in any company’s sales process and can turn around a growth plan of action and a winning team in less time bringing bottom-line results faster.

Deep assessment

Will points to leadership and culture as the keys to building a championship sales team. Whether you’re a business owner, a CEO, or middle management, the culture gets dictated by the leadership. They set the tone for the culture and they define the expectations for everyone on the sales force. Those leaders also determine what will not be tolerated. 

Once teams accept mediocrity, it becomes the norm. 

When you’re a sales leader, you’ll either inherit a team or you may get the opportunity to take some educated risks and build a team. You must do a deep assessment of the team’s skills, its motivations, its past successes, and get to know the team members. Find out what makes them tick. 

You cannot manage every member of your sales team the same way because they may have different motivators. If you don’t discover their motivators, you’ll struggle to create a championship kind of environment. 

People and culture

People are the fabric of any great culture. If you’re at the top, you’ve got to reassess your talent base, and you’re probably going to have to let some of that go. Think about the culture you want to create. Then, seek out people who have the experience and the knowledge you want. If your sellers are strong and they have similar values, they’ll outlast someone who simply looks good on paper. 

The average sales rep lasts about 18 months in any company. So if you bring a new seller on board, imagine the cost of onboarding plus the cost of training and the ramp-up time it takes for him to start earning money. Your company won’t likely make anything if he only stays for 18 months.  

Wrong person

The worst part of the sales leader job results from having to let team members know that they aren’t a good fit for the team. In fact, the higher up you go, the more these people have on the line. They have families and wives and big mortgages and a lot to lose. Will reports feeling a lot of empathy for these folks. 

At the same time, do not accept exceptions or excuses. Expect your team to have the same “win all the time” attitude that you have.

Will was hired to turn a sales team around in which only about half of the team members were strong. One gentleman who had been with the company for six years absolutely killed it his first year, but then he rested on his laurels. The company couldn’t fire him because people had tried in the past and it had become a political issue. 

Will had to work closely with the guy, giving him a lot of feedback and working to coach him up. But Will’s says that people are either coachable or they aren’t. If you aren’t coachable, you’re cutting yourself off from professional development. This guy didn’t want to be coached, so Will put him on a 30-day plan. The guy got in his face and screamed at him and eventually, they were able to ask him to go.

Difficult conversations

Will likes to build relationships by getting to know his sellers as people. He asks about their families and their hometowns, and what makes them tick. Then he recommends being an open book yourself. Be transparent and real about your shortcomings. 

As you coach your team members, speak factually. Leave the emotion and personal information out of the conversation. Stick to facts and data. 

Highlight the fact that she has a quota, she has a territory, and she has a quantifiable history. Now, she has a certain amount of time to accomplish this other thing in order to avoid moving to a new set of consequences. Document everything. Factual information feels less personal and it’s easier to digest.   

Background information

Create a profile for the kind of players you’d like to hire. How many do you need? What type of background do you want? Should they have a certain amount of experience? What kind of values are you seeking? 

Whatever your criteria might be, create a profile and then create a world-class recruiting strategy and a strong hiring process. 

Many companies place an ad on Indeed any time they need to hire a new seller. They sort through resumes, pick three, interview two, and hire one. It’s called reactive recruiting.

On the other hand, when you’re proactively sourcing candidates, begin by hiring a recruiter. Tell him exactly what you’re looking for and ask him to leverage his database to find candidates who meet your criteria. Have him call the candidates that meet your criteria and then screen them. Ensure that they are the top of the top before you ever sit down with them. 

Hiring process

Determine what you want your hiring process to look like. 

  • How many interviews should their be?
  • Who should they meet with? 
  • What kinds of questions should we be asking? 

Once you’ve matched the values, make sure you don’t hire reps with massive egos. Implement these strategies, then onboard them properly and train them thoroughly. That’s the foundation of a championship sales team. 

Once you’ve established your value system, you’ve put the right leadership in place, you’ve created the right culture, you’ve developed a good recruiting strategy, you’ve created your profiles, and you’ve built an excellent training program, then you must train your team on your product, as well as training them on superior sales skills for your market in your industry.

Your ultimate goal is to create a proactive sales management program that sets realistic but strong goals that hold the reps accountable. Recognize that your success is directly tied to your sellers’ success. 

Military tactics

Will calls himself a big fan of military and their tactics. He finds that leading from the front demands leaders who are willing to be in the field. If all they do is sit in the office, they won’t know what the team is doing. 

Sellers respect managers who get into the fight with them. After your presentations, talk with the seller about the call and the things that were great about it. Then address things that could have been done better. 

We all feel good when we accomplish things. It makes us confident. Understand, though, that there’s a big difference between being busy and being productive. 

Be mindful of managing the team’s time as well. What activities are they engaging in? Where are they going? Who are they calling? Are they making the best use of their time?

Young sellers often think they can cut corners. Approach-based management allows well-trained, talented sellers who engage in high activity levels to reach their goals. If they do the right things at the right times and the right places, they won’t struggle. 

Shared culture

You want to be in a culture with people who share your same values. Hire the people that you can trust and respect, and who are competent and honest and hard-working. 

We’ve all taken jobs where we didn’t know what to expect until we started working. Do a great job of smoking out the company’s values and culture. 

If you can’t click with the existing employees, your time there will be short-lived. 

“Build a Championship Sales Team” episode resources

You can connect with Will on LinkedIn. He’s happy to help sellers who are working to build a championship sales team. 

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.

 

Donald Kelly, Gmail, The Sales Evangelist, Email

TSE 1142: 5 Reasons Gmail Is The Best Email Tool For Sellers

 

Donald Kelly, Gmail, The Sales Evangelist, Email

Many of us start our day with emails, so knowing that The Sales Evangelist team has outlined 5 reasons why Gmail is the best email tool for sellers. 

Multiple functions 

Google’s Gmail Suite is an incredible tool for companies due to its many functions. For The Sales Evangelist, we use domains. I personally have Donald as my domain and this is connected to my Gmail business suite. Every email that I receive goes through my domain and into my Gmail inbox. 

Aside from that, it is also easy to set up. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that you can check for instructions. You can also hit Google and read about how to sign up for the suite. 

Integration 

A lot of platforms have integration but for me, Gmail beats them all. While Outlook has 365, it seems clunky and the apps are difficult to integrate. The same couldn’t be said with the Google-owned Gmail. Google is the top-dog in the industry and has a massive number of users. With that many people using Gmail accounts, it became necessary for developers to find ways to integrate their apps and tools into Gmail. 

I use Calendly, a tool that integrates seamlessly into Gmail. Other apps like Hubspot and LinkedIn Sales Navigator connect to Gmail as well. These tools and plugins make full use of Gmail’s integration capabilities. 

Templates

Google has what they call canned responses and these are found in the settings of Gmail. Look for the settings, and click on advanced. This option explains what canned responses are and provides instructions on how you can create templates for common messages that you send. You then click enable and save the changes. 

For a sales rep who’s always out there sending intro emails, follow-up emails, and other responses, this canned response is a good thing. Although you need to personalize it, you will not need to write the whole thing over and over again when you’re using the template. You can just tweak it. 

You can make templates for commonly asked questions that you get. Even better, you can just type out the common responses to these questions and make it into a canned email. Now, that’s your template. You can learn more about this in Episode 11 of The Sales Evangelist. You can also connect with us on YouTube for more videos.

Mail scheduler

The third reason Gmail is the best for sales reps is its ability to schedule emails. The great thing about this is it’s free. I used Boomerang and Hubspot in the past but now, I just go to my Gmail account and click compose at the bottom. 

You’ll see that arrow next to the send button; you click on that and you can then easily schedule your mail. This feature is helpful for busy people and busy prospects as well. 

Sometimes we are inundated with so much on a day-to-day basis that we take the work home. The same can be said with business owners, VPs, executives, or mid-level managers. They are so busy and they can’t respond to mail throughout the day. This is where scheduled mail comes in.

Email callbacks 

Outlook and other providers offer email callback as well, and it’s very useful in case you make mistakes in sending out your mail. 

Say that when you used your canned response you weren’t able to personalize it enough and ended up putting the wrong person’s name. This isn’t a good thing, so you need to unsend it. You can do so with Gmail. 

Go to the top right corner, click settings, click on general, and look for the undo send. You can send cancellations up to different time periods. You can keep the email longer to give you more time to recognize your mistakes, edit them out, save, and send. 

Shortcuts 

Here’s the fifth reason: shortcuts. It’s also an easy one and you can find it on the cog and click advance. You can create your custom keyboard shortcuts once it’s enabled and saved. Google has default shortcuts you can use or you can utilize the shortcut feature and make your own. 

As a busy sales rep, you can just hit C and you’d be able to compose an email or reply to an email, or hit A and reply to a particular mail. There are several other shortcuts that you can use to save your precious time. You can check out Episode 1137 of The Sales Evangelist for more information about this feature. 

I like Gmail because of its integration, the ability to create templates, the scheduled responses, the email callbacks, and the shortcuts. 

“5 Reasons Gmail Is The Best Email Tool For Sellers” episode resources

Time is money and we want to work as efficiently as possible. We keep including TSE Certified Sales Training Program every chance that we get because we want to help you. So, check the program out and explore the possibilities. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program, designed to help sales reps and sales team on how to improve their skills in finding the right customers, the activities and strategies that work, and how to ask the right questions to build a strong value and close business deals. 

To see how helpful it can be, simply go to thesalesvengelist.com/freecourse to get the first two modules for free. Take a bite and have a feel of the course. 

You’d want to be a savvy salesperson and Audible can help you do that. Enjoy the free 30-day trial and explore the thousands of books they have today. 

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FSMSDC, Entrepreneur, Podcast

TSE 1105: Growing Your Business and Creating Value

FSMSDC, Entrepreneur, PodcastDuring our time at the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council’s expo, we’ve met a number of people who understand the secrets behind growing your business and creating value.

Felix Bratslavsky works at Tampa General Hospital, a very large level-one trauma center that is number one in Florida for transplants. The organization has more than 8,000 employees but they still contract out much of their workload.

Gilda Rosenberg started a vending machine company 35 years ago in Miami and she slowly grew it to include major clients like universities, schools, and hospitals. She calls her relationship with  the NMSDC a love affair that resulted in referrals, connections, and mentorship that helped her to grow her business.

Partnerships

Tampa General has a minority business program that breaks out the four procurement categories from construction and professional services to general goods and services, and medical services and supplies. The hospital has a lot of contracting opportunities and a lot of partners within the state of Florida and even nationwide.

The Minority Business Enterprise program administered by the NMSDC recognizes for-profit businesses in the U.S. that are 51 percent owned, operated, capitalized, and controlled by minorities.

Felix says that MBEs that want to stand out should strive to be a partner. Add value, be cost-efficient, and know about the customer. Understand the customers’ goals, their missions, and where they’re headed. Bring the solution to wherever your prospective customer is going.

In the case of Tampa General, the hospital recently got a new CEO that is leading the organization down a different path. MBEs that want to engage should recognize that the business has changed paths and they should offer solutions that relate to the path the company is on.

Be an expert in your own business. Instead of coming to the prospect with a variety of items, they should know the situation well enough to narrow the solution down the best possible option and lead with that one.

Homework

MBEs must do their homework and focus on preparation if they that want to get noticed. Organizations receive hundreds of emails every day, so generic outreach will generally get deleted.

Learn the process to get on the vendor application and then build a relationship. Finally, come with solutions. Understand your business and their business well enough that you can have meaningful conversations about each.

If you want to be the next partner, you should already know who your competitors are, and who your prospect is currently using and why they are using that company. You should know whether a contract exists, and whether it’s up for renewal.

Companies that do those things win opportunities.

Differentiate

Differentiate yourself by being prepared. When there are so many companies doing the same thing and offering the same service, you have to stand out.

Maybe you stand out on price or on value or even additional services. Whatever it is, make sure that the corporations you’re pursuing know what sets you apart.

Finding the right people

Gilda recalls asking a bank for a $5 million loan for vending machines and being treated as though she was crazy. She said that her connections through NMSDC helped her learn how to negotiate the loan process as she interacted with banking people and how to create bids from connecting with hospital CEOs.

Her biggest challenge in the vending industry has been the labor force. Her first route driver stole from her, so she learned that she had to control inventories differently. As the industry grew into a technological one, she had to bring in geek squads.

She also learned how to find the human resources that support your mission and your vision. She said that finding the right manpower still poses one of her greatest challenges even today. The company struggles to find loyal employees who stick around because small companies struggle to sustain high turnover. The cost of training is simply too high.

NMSDC

She experienced a huge lift when she was introduced to the minority certification program. Then, she slowly grew her network and interacted with larger organizations where she landed contracts.

You must prove yourself to the client. She says the most incredible satisfaction comes from helping minorities nationwide. Her suppliers and equipment originate from minorities. And now newer companies want her to introduce them to other contacts.

Gilda calls her mission a mission to help other minorities. She also calls NMSDC the best college she ever went to. Although she studied economics in college, she grew professionally among the members of the NMSDC. She learned to nurture others.

Don’t think twice about joining the council because there’s nowhere better to network. The council’s handholding helps businesses by taking extra steps to get you to the right people. And knowing the right people can be the key to growing your business and creating value.

“Growing Your Business and Creating Value” episode resources

You can connect with Felix at (813) 844-3474 or at fbratslavsky@tgh.org or go to the hospital website. You can connect with Gilda at gilda@gillyvending.com. Learn more about the National Minority Supplier Development Council and its offerings at the website, nmsdc.org. If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.

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. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

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.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Lauren Cohen, Small Business

TSE 1104: What Are The Secret Scale UP Success Strategies?

Lauren Cohen, Small BusinessThe same secret scale up success strategies that help entrepreneurs grow their businesses to the next level will benefit individual sellers who recognize their territories as their own business.

Lauren Cohen works with foreign investors to find the right business opportunities, make the right investments, and get and keep their visas. She discovered along the way that many of these people didn’t pay a lot of attention to their business structures and that the same was true of American business people.

7 Steps Scale Up Success Strategy

Lauren characterizes her role as creating a GPS for your business, but you have to have a destination. You can’t tell your GPS that you don’t know where you’re going.

These 7 areas of a business’ foundation can result in disaster if they are overlooked.

  1. Funding in capitalization. Without the right capital, or if you’re under-funded or under-capitalized, it doesn’t matter how great your business idea is, you’re going to fall apart.
  2.  Business planning. If you don’t have a business plan and an exit strategy, you don’t begin with the end in mind.
  3. Branding and marketing. Building your brand is part of your foundation but it doesn’t exist independent of all these other elements, and marketing is part of branding.
  4. Legal and compliance. Without a legal structure in place, which so many business owners don’t have, you’re risking your family and everything you have.
  5. Financial and taxes. Everyone knows what that is all about.
  6. Operations and systems. Without systems, you can’t repeat your success.
  7. Insurance and licensing. If you don’t have insurance and someone sues you, you’ve got nothing to protect you. Without the right licenses, you can be shut down.

Know your area

You cannot be an expert in every area, so Lauren’s number one tip is to stay in your lane. You don’t know what you don’t know. Figure out where your gaps are and then allow someone who is an expert to oversee the process.

She suggests a 3-step process to assess your company.

  • Assess
  • Diagnose
  • Deliver

Diagnose the issues and then fill the gaps you identified in the process.

Exit strategy

Lauren related the story of a client who wanted to exit her business within five years so she needed an exit strategy. She needed a strategy to get from where she is to where she needs to be.

She wants to sell to one of four parties but she doesn’t want to sell at a discount on her dollar. Rather, she wants to sell at the highest possible dollar amount. In order to do that, she needs to increase the profits.

That’s where the various elements of branding, compliance, taxes, operations, and all these other components become important because they will help the business owner get more value at the time of exit.

Funding and capitalization

It sounds crazy, but if you ask someone to invest $100,000 in your business, they are going to laugh at you. If, on the other hand, you ask for $5 million, they’ll suddenly believe that you’re serious. The problem is that there’s no ROI for $100K.

The cost of obtaining the money is so high that it’s not even worth it for them to pursue it.

Financial and taxes

This one is easy. If the IRS is after you because you haven’t paid your taxes, get them filed. You may pay penalties but at least you’ll be up-to-date.

Legal and compliance

Legal and compliance include your corporate record books, which everyone should have. Some companies don’t even have the corporate entity which is a whole other story.

Make sure you have a corporate record book that’s affiliated or associated with that entity. Hold a meeting each year and record the minutes in that record book.

Reflect all the changes to shareholders and bank accounts in your records.

She estimates that 70 percent of businesses don’t keep their record books up to date. If you try to sell your business or you end up in litigation, you’ll need that book.

Building and scaling

It’s vitally important to have all of these considerations in mind as you’re building and scaling your business. If you find a potential strategic partner who wants to help you build your business but he discovers that you don’t have all your contracts in place, the deal will fall apart.

If you have the wrong documents, you’re potentially setting yourself up for liability.

Don’t try to do this alone. Consult with a professional. Everybody avoids hiring a lawyer or a professional for fear of getting the bill at the end. But it’s better to get the bill now than to get a larger bill later.

“Scale UP Success Strategies” episode resources

Grab a copy of Lauren’s book Finding Your Silver Lining In the Business Immigration.

You can take a copy of her quiz at showmethemoneyquiz.com. It’s quick, free, and fun and it will give you access to schedule a call with her. You can also find her on Facebook @scaleupcheckup or on LinkedIn @scaleupcheckup. You can also reach her directly at (866) 724-0085 or info@scaleupcheckup.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.

 

Kyle Burt, LinkedIn, Sales Content, Social Selling

TSE 1103: Every Seller Should Create Good Content

Kyle Burt, LinkedIn, Sales Content, Social Selling

       

Every seller should create good content as a tool to gain leads, grow their business, and increase overall success. 

Kyle Burt first heard The Sales Evangelist podcast two years ago when we interviewed Alex Berman about using video in sales. Kyle, who once chose business school over film school, went home and started making videos. 

Massive success

Kyle quickly turned his video capability into massive success for himself. Before video, he was using cold calls, email, and “screaming from the tops of mountains,” knocking on every door and delivering cookies. When you’re starting out, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes. 

He realized that video provided a good strategy to get leads. But he shifted his focus to making videos because he wanted to make videos. He realized he had a level of value and a perspective that wasn’t being shared. 

Kyle recognized, too, that only the people in his bubble would understand the content he was posting because it was niche content. 

Coca-Cola

He established a weekly schedule because he knew he had to post consistently, and he introduced Whiteboard Wednesdays. It was a chance to introduce different technologies.

Maybe 20 videos later, he was on vacation in Cancun in 2017 when he got a LinkedIn message from the VP of technology for Coca-Cola. He assumed someone was pranking him, but in fact, the gig turned into a consulting opportunity with the company.

When Kyle realized the VP had seen the very first video he ever posted, the most awkward of the bunch, he knew that he was on to something with video. 

Objections 

In the case of objections, sellers often face their own objections to appearing in or creating videos. 

  • “I don’t look good enough for the camera.” 
  • “I don’t have the right equipment.” 
  • “There isn’t enough time to create videos.”

The important parts of the content are good audio and good content. 

Fear of the comments

In my own case, I’ve been slow to take advantage of YouTube because I’m a little bit afraid of the comments I might get. People can be nasty sometimes. 

The point is that there will always be the possibility of those comments. Someone once told Kyle he sounded like a little baby. He wasn’t even entirely sure what they meant by it, but he had to let it roll right off. 

You have to be ready to take it on the chin when you put yourself out there. You’re going to get some good and some bad. 

Internalize the fact that nobody has it all figured out, and then realize that people are genuinely good. Most people don’t want to tear you down, so don’t spend your time on the small number of people who have something negative to say. 

It’s worth noting, too, that stories only survive for 24 hours, so they won’t live forever. If you create a bad one, it won’t be around for long. Even with LinkedIn, the feed algorithm means that it might technically always be there, but it will be harder to find. 

Persistence

We spent two years trying to get Kyle on the show but we couldn’t make it work out because of different schedules. Our recording day is Monday because it’s what works best for my team, and sometimes we have to bypass opportunities if they don’t fit with that schedule.

In Kyle’s case, he was persistent. He got early access to LinkedIn Live, which as of this writing is only available to a few people, and he invited me to connect with him. After 18 months of no real interaction, he reconnected with me and we made it work. He grabbed my attention and we ended up recording with him on a day outside of our normal schedule. 

Disrupt the norm. Create good content that stands out. 

LinkedIn reach

My good friend Stephen A. Hart from the Trailblazers Podcast pointed out recently that there are 9 billion impressions on LinkedIn every week, which amounts to 468 billion impressions annually. Of those, only about 3 million users are creating content. That means there is a lot of space to create more free content. 

You can’t find that kind of visibility on YouTube, Facebook, or any other platform. Basically, there are a small number of creators and a huge number of impressions, so it behooves you to grab a piece of the video market. 

I happened to get into podcasting early when there were only a few sales podcasts. Now I’m a grandfather in the podcasting world. 

Much innovation seems to happen with consumers first. The business world moves more slowly because there are more considerations to think about. 

The marketplace dictates what it wants. 

Coffee With Kyles

Kyle previously collaborated with another guy named Kyle to launch a video podcast called Coffee With Kyles. Now he’s working on a solo style show that will primarily involve live video. It will allow him to eliminate a lot of the editing and create more interactive experiences. 

In the case of this podcast interview, our audience can’t interact with us right now as the interview is happening. When they are finally able to, it will change the game. 

The goal is to get more people engaged and online. When you go live, you can’t stop the show because something goes wrong. Kyle said he has gone live five times and has broken the system five times. 

Because of his persistence, he was one of the few to beta test LinkedIn Live, and it allowed him to connect with people and build relationships.

If you try to be known, you’ll miss the mark. If you create good content, you will be known. It’s all about who knows you. 

If you aren’t creating some form of content or interacting with content on social media, you are irrelevant. Figure it out quick. If you’re a writer, write. If you can do video, do that. If you can do audio, do audio. Figure out your lane and experiment. Every seller should create good content.

“Every Seller Should Create Good Content” episode resources

You can connect with Kyle on LinkedIn or at his website, www.catchcloud.com

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.

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. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

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.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Oscar Trimboli, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Prospects

TSE 1096: How Do You Listen To What The Prospect Isn’t Saying?

Sometimes we lose out on promising deals because our prospects are giving us indications that all is not well but we’re failing to listen to what the prospect isn’t saying.

Oscar Trimboli is a deep listening expert who is on a quest to create 100 million deep listeners in the world, and he starts by helping us understand what we should be listening for when we interact with our prospects.

Taught to speak

We all learned to speak, to do math, and to study literature, but none of us can remember our listening teacher. As sales reps, we spend a minimum of 55 percent of our day listening, but only about 2 percent of us have been taught how to listen.

Remember these two bits of statistics as you listen to the information in today’s podcast.

  1. The 125/400 rule. I can speak 125 words per minute, but you can listen at 400 words per minute. You’re programmed to be distracted and filling in 300 words. You’re contemplating what to have for dinner or what to do over the weekend when you realize you have to get back into the conversations.
  2. The 125/900 rule. Your prospect can speak at 125 words per minute but you can think at 900 words per minute. The likelihood that the first thing your prospect says is actually the thing he means is about 1 in 9 or 11 percent. If you had 11 percent chance of a successful surgery, you probably wouldn’t proceed without a second opinion.

Most likely, your prospect is well-rehearsed and is speaking like a well-oiled machine. The most powerful thing we can do is explore the other 800 words per minute that are stuck in their heads.

Unblocking pipeline

When we grab on to those unspoken words, we can unblock pipeline and begin to understand our prospects.

We must be mindful to ask our prospects what they are thinking and to listen for the things the prospects aren’t saying. Oscar spends his days teaching people to be obsessed about the cost of not listening.

We often don’t do this because we assume our competition is those people we normally compete against. Many of us are listening for code words that a prospect might say that would link to a product or benefit.

The really skillful sales reps focus on the customer’s customer’s problem. Instead of thinking about the person in front of you, think about the customer that this person must go speak to.

The pipeline becomes shorter and more qualified, and you avoid unexpected surprises.

Change the question

We should consider the power of asking the question, “How does a business case like this get approved in your organization?” We’re good at asking who approves deals without asking how they get approved. Once we ask how it gets approved we will understand who else we’re being compared against.

Many large organizations have a project management office that filters the funding for all new projects. If you don’t know when that group meets or who participates or what other projects you’re being evaluated against, you may find your deal slipping away.

  1. Understand the 125/900 rule.
  2. Help the prospect sell the business case rather than what you’re actually selling.
  3. Help your prospect orient on the customer rather than on your offering.

If you do these things, your pipeline will look very different.

Help your team

Build some muscle around listening for what isn’t said.

Find the organization’s website and determine what matters to them. Use the words the company uses in your selling process. Don’t use your language rather than their language.

If the CFO can’t read and understand the first page of your proposal, you’ve failed.

Help your reps become fixated on their customers’ customers’ problems. It’s the difference between good and great.

Teach in a way that can’t be misunderstood and figure out how your clients make money.

Listen in color

Many of us listen in black and white. Oscar is trying to teach the world to listen in color. How do we notice the energy of the person across from us?

Oscar also asks his client, “If this organization was a movie or an actor or a book, which one would it be?” Many people listening might call it Titanic.

The question gives them a permission slip to tell the truth in a different way. Use a metaphor to figure out what the prospect is thinking in a different way.

You can carry the metaphor forward and discover who the villain of the movie is.

If we talk in this colorful metaphorical language we can quickly get much more from our prospects. Listen to what your prospect isn’t saying.

Get to the truth

Your prospects will tell you as many lies as you think they will. They aren’t doing it intentionally. It’s just that your questioning isn’t helping them get to the truth.

You can help them bring their truth to life using these techniques. Make it as conversational as possible.

If the person you’re talking to is a jock, ask which sporting team the organization would be. If he’s a nerd, ask him what character on The Big Bang Theory the company would be. They won’t suspect where you’re headed with that question.

The art of selling is your ability to be in the moment.

Ping pong questions

Don’t go into the room asking, “What keeps you awake at night?” Oscar calls it a disrespectful question and says that if you ask it, you haven’t even earned the right to be in the room.

Try to ask more how- and what-based questions rather than why-based questions. People may perceive your why-based questions as judgemental. People often feel more defensive with why-based questions.

Instead of “Why is this project being funded,” mention that you’re curious how projects like this are funded. Just by changing the language, you make it more comfortable for them to explain.

How-based questions

How-based questions move conversations along more quickly. This truth emerged with suicide counselors who discovered that why-based questions slow a conversation down and buy them time with people who are in danger of making poor decisions.

Hostage negotiators also stick to when, how, and what-based questions.

Listen for what’s unsaid and remember the difference between how quickly the prospect can think and how quickly he can speak.

Help them explore their thinking rather than helping them explore what you’re selling. You’ll become a trusted advisor.

“Listen To What The Prospect Isn’t Saying” episode resources

Connect with Oscar at his website, and if you visit oscartrimboli.com/listeningmyths, you can find a hack sheet with five tips that explore the things we’ve discussed here. It will help you listen beyond the words.

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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Talking About Price, Selling, Donald Kelly

TSE 1075: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “When Should I Talk About Price?”

Talking About Price, Selling, Donald Kelly

The trend in sales now is to provide value to your customers, but there must be some kind of exchange in the transaction, so you may find yourself asking, “When should I talk about price?”

How do you bring it up? What exactly will you say when it’s time to talk about it?

Today we’re going to share ideas that will help you provide tremendous value and ensure an effective, value-rich conversation for both parties.

This is a segment from our TSE Certified Sales Training Program and we’re going to share a snippet from one of our training programs and then offer some ideas based upon what you hear. It will let you learn something about selling and offer you an experiment that you can test for yourself.

You’ll hear the challenges that other sales reps are facing and share with you what has worked for the group members.

Taboo

We’ve been taught that it’s taboo to talk about money, so many of us shy away from it. New sellers face the biggest challenge, usually because of limiting beliefs.

In the past when I was selling software training classes, I didn’t understand that it was worth $10,000 for customers to earn their certification over a weekend. I didn’t think anyone would be willing to pay it.

I didn’t understand that for their $10,000 expenditure, they were going to see a $20,000 to $30,000 increase in their earnings over the course of a year.

All I knew was that $10,000 was a lot of money. My self-limiting beliefs made me apprehensive, and this is a common problem for new sellers.

You must believe in the product or service you’re offering and the value it provides to your prospects. When you do that, you’ll develop more confidence in your messages, and it won’t matter what the course costs.

Bring up the money

Once you’ve identified a product you believe in, when do you bring up the money? That depends largely on the product or service that you’re selling. If it’s software that costs $30 a month and they won’t commit, they probably weren’t the right fit anyway.

Let them go.

If you’re selling a software solution that you have to customize for the organization, you’re going to need more time. You’ll have to gather more information in order to give them effective pricing.

If the customer can see the prices on your website, they can weed themselves out at the beginning. People who really want to learn more and have more value-rich conversations will engage. In the later conversations, we can discuss what they’ll get for their investment.

Addressing price

We’ll tap into emotion by addressing how our product or service will help them.

  • What will happen if the client doesn’t get coaching?
  • Why do I need coaching right now?
  • What results will I see if I get coaching?

Because people make emotional decisions and then justify those decisions logically, if we build value well, the $1,500 price tag for coaching won’t seem like a big deal. The return on their investment, the ability to provide well for their family, and the possibility that they will advance in their careers will justify the cost.

In the case of a more complex solution, when the customer asks about price, be honest when you tell them that you can’t predict exact numbers right now. If you can’t yet determine all the variables and if you can’t determine the exact infrastructure, explain that to the customer.

Then invest the time to understand the setup and the infrastructure. Find out what challenges the prospect is facing.

Be intentional

It’s possible that the customer is simply fishing, or in other cases that he is simply looking for a ballpark figure. In the latter case, perhaps try giving him a range for other similar clients.

Don’t give the customer your lowest number if you provide a range. If the cheapest you’ve done is $5,000 and the most expensive is $20,000, don’t offer the $5,000 number. Go a little higher.

Instead, offer a higher number, like $8,000 or $10,000. Once they have a number in their minds, you’ll determine whether they are truly serious about moving forward.

Content

In this situation, effective blog posts that describe the return on investment will help your customers gather information. Especially if yours is a complex solution, you’ll help them understand the components involved and what they should be looking for in a vendor.

In the case of sales training, perhaps you’d have different blog posts that describe the different levels of training and the different types of service that you offer.

The prospect can determine what courses are available and what his options are for in-person training, group training, or workshops.

Consider, too, outlining entry-level solutions, mid-tier solutions, and a higher tier. Each solution, based upon the complexity, can solve specific problems.

Research

The prospect can do some research ahead of time and find answers to some of their basic questions. Because this will be an enterprise solution, he’ll have to come to the table prepared to invest money.

At this point, it’s appropriate to talk about budget because you don’t want to begin building presentations or demonstrations if the product or service isn’t a fit. Get an understanding of what kind of investment the prospect is looking to make.

Be up front. Acknowledge that you’d like to know as soon as possible if the prospect determines this isn’t a good fit. Promise to do the same for your prospect.

Ask if the company has already earmarked a budget for this project. Find out if they are planning the project for this year.

Pain

Once you’ve discovered the pain, use that to see if you can move them toward the project right now. Anticipate that they may not be able to do the whole thing right now, but they might do half this quarter and half the next quarter.

Once we have an understanding we can move forward. If you built rapport with this prospect and created communication, it will be easy to discuss finances.

Terminology

New sellers might ask about the proper words to use. Rather than budget or payment, I use the word investment. That’s a given, right?

They are investing in sales training to solve a problem. They are expecting to see a return on the money they spend.

If it’s a new seller who wants to become the best in the company or a female business owner in a male-dominated industry, they are expecting to show some results from their investment. The word payment sounds too transactional.

As you’re having these conversations, understand that you should wait to mention the money after the buyer has a sense of the value you’re offering.

They must see the value before they can comprehend the investment.

“When Should I Talk About Price?” episode resources

Connect with me on LinkedIn or on Instagram and let me know how this worked out for you.

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 in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

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.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Closing

TSE 1065: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “Don’t Make The Closing an Event”

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, ClosingSellers are understandably focused on the closing of any deal but it’s important that we keep things in perspective and don’t make the closing an event.

The truth is that every transaction has a beginning, a middle, and an end, but we often get so focused on the closing that we unnecessarily freak ourselves out.

This conversation comes from our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, our sales coaching program that helps sellers maximize their effectiveness.

Sales process

The sales process naturally builds toward a close where the client signs the deal and then everyone celebrates. Our challenge as sellers is to avoid the temptation to make the closing the entire focus of the sale.

Focus throughout the sale on building value. Initiate conversations that address your prospects’ challenges and difficulties. Realize that you’ll never get to the closing if you don’t effectively address the buyers’ objections.

Help the buyer feel confident in this deal by sharing stories that provide value and dispel your customers’ objections. Instead of waiting for your customer to offer his objections, bring them up on your own terms as a way of building trust.

Red flags won’t go away simply because you ignore them. They don’t typically diffuse themselves, and your decision to wait until the end of the process to address them could cost you your deal.

Growing problems

Like many other relationships in life, struggles between buyer and seller don’t naturally disappear over time. In fact, problems often get bigger and worse as we fail to address them.

A single demo for your client won’t magically offset all his concerns, so don’t wait until then to address his objections. If he has concerns about your product or service, it won’t likely matter how good your demo is: you won’t overcome his hesitation until you address the problems.

Addressing fears

Whether you’re selling water, computers, or houses, your buyer doesn’t want to part with his hard-earned cash until you’ve addressed his fears.

He may want a new house. He may even need a new house. But he has fears of his own:

  • What if he can’t afford this house?
  • What if an unforeseen issue comes up?
  • How much will hurricane insurance cost?

Help him minimize those risks and fears throughout the process. That way, when he gets to the end of the transaction, those fears won’t be an issue.

Prospecting

Hubspot reported recently that as many as 40 percent of salespeople don’t like prospecting and about 30 percent struggle with closings. As a result, we tend to make closings a big deal in our own heads because we’ve worked so hard to find a prospect and get to this point.

Instead of viewing it as a huge event, we should think of it as a natural byproduct of the sales process, and we should move the buyer smoothly through to conversion.

Conversion begins the moment I start building value for my prospect. If I focus on blind-side challenges and identifying key problems, I can address objections early and minimize the risk that my deal will fall apart.

My goal is to eliminate any reasonable doubt about whether I’m the right vendor for the prospect.

Pitching yourself

If you’re able to identify the companies your prospect is currently working with, you’ll be better able to pitch your own strengths against theirs. You can identify the competition’s weaknesses and use those to make your case.

Share stories about past clients who have left that company to work with you and explain why they made that choice.

Build one-on-one conversations into your process as often as possible so you can clarify any questions as they develop. Once you understand the big issues that will likely sabotage your deal, you can help everyone get to the same page.

Follow your demonstrations with an email outreach offering to address any new questions the prospect has.

Avoid pushing objections to the end of the process. Make objections and questions a constant part of your dialogue so that you minimize any risk toward the end of the deal.

Strive to create a smooth experience for your customer.

“Don’t Make The Closing an Event” 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 in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

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.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Ty Bennett, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1061: You Can Love People Without Leading Them, But You Can’t Lead People Without Loving Them

Ty Bennett, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistRegardless of your industry or your product, relationships are the currency of your business, and though you can love people without leading them, you can’t lead people without loving them.

Ty Bennett is an entrepreneur who fell in love with the speaking and training development aspect of building a sales team and it led him to write books on the topic and start a training company called Leadership Inc.

Ty points out that we’re in the people business and we’re interacting with, networking with, leading and influencing people every day. The care, investment, and love you have for people will communicate that you have their best interest in mind.

Those relationships engender trust, foster accountability, and build a level of commitment that you want in your team. And love drives it.

Missing love

Many business books never discuss love, perhaps because it isn’t considered a business-centric word. Ty addresses this issue in his new book called Partnership is the New Leadership.

He interviewed a guy on his podcast named Tim Sanders who wrote the book Love is the Killer App but this hasn’t always been a business word. Traditionally it has referred to personal relationships but when it drives your actions and when you’re coming from a place of service and contribution, that’s where love exists.

Leadership is much more effective there.

Soft leaders

Some people believe that leaders can’t be perceived as soft, so they shy away from the idea of loving the members of the team. If you’re too soft, after all, you’ll be walked on.

If you were to line up 10 people and evaluate the production level of those people, you’ll find a relationship to how they feel about their manager. Statistically, most people will tell you that they hate their bosses, and also that people join companies and they leave bosses.

People also show up differently when they are in the right frame of mind; when they feel supported; when they feel heard; and when they have opportunities to win.

When people feel like part of a team, the commitment level changes drastically. #TeamCommitment

Training to lead

If you’re seeking to develop this kind of leadership without being perceived as soft, focus on being interested rather than interesting.

Rather than figuring out how to stand out and making it all about you, focus on the other person. Great leaders are those who truly care about other people and become adept at asking questions. They have a genuine curiosity about people. They want to know what drives them and what’s important to them.

As you get to know your people on a deeper level, it speaks volumes to your team members.

Now take things a step further and focus on hearing them. Don’t forget the idea that people support what they help create.

Give your team a voice. Welcome their feedback. Those efforts demonstrate that you care about what they have to say and you’re listening rather than simply issuing marching orders. You’re demonstrating that you’re confident enough in who you are to allow them to be part of the process.

We no longer live in the era of top-down leadership where I tell you what we’re going to do and you implement it. Social media has changed us psychologically and it has given each of us a voice.

Invest in people

Go above and beyond for your people. Do things that are not in your job description. Give more time, more energy, and more of yourself into your relationships. Reach out in ways that are meaningful to each person.

No doubt each of us can think of someone who has invested in us this way.

As leaders, those investments change our relationships. When you invest in people they become family.

Ask yourself whether people would ever say that about you.

This level of investment can be difficult because we’re busy. We have so much on our plates that it’s hard to think outside our own agenda.

It can also be tempting to focus on the things we have to do and ignore the things that we could do but aren’t required to do.

At the same time, we have to shift our mindset. Maybe we need to listen to a podcast or hear a story from a different leader. Maybe we need to find a leader who can open our eyes to different approaches. Perhaps read a book.

Following the manager

Although every industry is different, Ty interacted with sellers recently who told him that their loyalty was to their manager, not to the company. The product matters a lot less to them than the manager does.

If you’re seeking to become this kind of manager, start by carving out one-on-one time for your people as often as possible. Come in five minutes early and ask one of your people to come in five minutes early. Make time for it.

Find time to connect with your people with no agenda. It’s just to show that you care.

Ty also recommends reading The Go Giver, one of a series of books about adopting a giving mentality on the way to greater success.

Relationships change when people invest in them. When a leader invests, it will impact the relationship in a huge way.

“You Can’t Lead People Without Loving Them” episode resources

If you’d like to connect with Ty, you can find him at tybennett.com and on LinkedIn, and you can check out The Relevant Leadership Podcast.

Grab a copy of his new book called Partnership is the New Leadership.

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 in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

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.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 1057: Be Willing To Let Them Mess Up!

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

Sometimes business leaders find themselves wanting to make sure that their team members get everything exactly right, but unless you’re willing to let them mess up, they’ll likely never learn.

Perfect situations don’t exist. Imperfection is a factor in life, but it’s also where our growth happens.

Maintaining control

Control often gives us the sense that we can force everything to work. As a result, we avoid letting our team members try things their own way because we fool ourselves into believing that our way is always the best.

In my own story, I landed an appointment with a huge organization, and I invited the CEO of my small company to go along. I wanted his support, but I also wanted to show my boss that I was working hard. I wanted him to see the opportunity I had landed.

Most importantly, I wanted him to support me through the unknown parts of the appointment. If I found myself struggling in the conversation, I knew he could help me out.

Turns out he took over the whole show. Instead of acting as a ride-along on my appointment, I was the tag-along.

I had been talking to the client for months, so he felt a little bit ambushed. I had promised him one thing and then given him something completely different. Instead of a meeting with a sales rep, he found himself sitting in a meeting with an executive that he wasn’t really prepared for.

My plan

I imagined myself leading off the meeting and asking for his input along the way. I didn’t imagine it becoming his return to the glory days.

Because I wasn’t operating from a playbook, there was no real structure. The deal did close, but it was challenging.

If you find yourself asking why it’s a big deal, the problem was that it eroded my confidence as a seller.

Sometimes, because CEOs and entrepreneurs started out selling their own product or service, they have a tough time letting that go. They see a problem and they address it themselves because it’s how they operated before they hired sellers.

My CEO misunderstood my request for help and he took over the meeting instead.

In a previous episode, Kevin Davis talked to us about the challenges that sales managers often face, and the book he wrote, The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness, that addresses many of those issues.

Learning process

When I finally had the opportunity to go on meetings myself, I fell into a habit of mimicking what I had seen my CEO do. I shared the same stories, even though they weren’t my own stories, but I hadn’t gained an understanding of the problem I was trying to address.

Because there wasn’t any substance to my conversations, my opportunities started falling away. I wasn’t having a problem keeping things in my pipeline, but I was struggling to get them to close.

The old adage of the butterfly struggling to get out of the cocoon applies here: the struggle makes the butterfly stronger. If you were to cut open the cocoon so he could easily slip out, he would never develop strong wings that would help him fly.

You’ll never set the vision for your company moving forward if you’re busy doing the work that you hired your sales team to do.

A better option

We should have developed a gameplan before going into the meeting. By deciding who would say what and how we would build rapport, we could have avoided the awkward meeting with the client.

My CEO could have reviewed the questions I was planning to ask to ensure that I was properly prepared. Then, he could have assured me that if I got into trouble, he’d be there to help.

That scenario would have allowed me to at least try running the meeting.

The sooner you prepare your sales team to operate on their own, the more room you’ll have to grow your company.

Coaching is the correct answer. As you grow a more experienced sales team, you can add to is, and you can create repeatable success.

You will have to let them mess up. That doesn’t mean you ignore any train wrecks that are happening, but you can help them understand where they went wrong so they won’t make the mistake again.

Specify roles and responsibilities before the meetings so your team will learn to fly on their own.

Helicopter manager

Sometimes, in the role of coach, it’s tempting to give your team members the correct answers so they’ll learn more quickly. Don’t do it.

Helicopter managers tend to erode the team’s confidence and they actually lengthen the learning process by creating people who rely heavily on their help.

When they discover the answers on their own, the learning will be more meaningful.

Send us your stories about helicopter managers so we can all learn from the experience.

“Let Them Mess Up” 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 in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

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.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, Sales Leaders, Small Business

TSE 1042: 3 Mistakes Small Company Sales Leaders Make

Donald Kelly, Sales Leaders, Small BusinessVery often, sales reps find themselves frustrated and hemmed in by the mistakes small company sales leaders make.

I had a conversation last week with a sales rep who was frustrated because his company had no real plan or guidance for how it would achieve the owner’s vision. The owner expected Herculean efforts by the rep, but eventually the rep stopped performing and left the company to escape the pressure.

In many cases, unless the owner corrects the mistakes, the cycle starts all over again when a new rep joins the team.

Honeymoon

Many of us in small organizations understand the excitement of entering a new role only to discover that the reality was different than the idea you bought into. The sales rep I mentioned was never good enough to accomplish what the boss was hoping for, because there was no plan in place to help him succeed.

Because the rep wasn’t as successful as the boss expected, he was moved into a different role. The rep continued in a sales support role, but his demeanor changed. His excitement disappeared. He wasn’t giving as much of himself to the company because he was discouraged by all that had happened.

Eventually he left the role and moved into a much better position.

Missing plan

Entrepreneurs certainly have the freedom to set their own vision for their companies. It’s their responsibility to establish where the organization will go, but they must also determine how it will get there.

Imagine an owner who sets a goal to make $1 million. He wants the best sales reps to come into his organization and help him carry out that plan.

He hires a successful sales rep from another company where there is already a proven sales process and proven guidance to help him succeed. The owner expects the sales rep to execute at the new company the same way he did at the previous one, except there’s no structure in place.

If the rep didn’t take the sales job expecting to have to reinvent the wheel, he’ll likely be frustrated by the lack of any kind of process. If he’s a new seller, he may not have the resources or the experience to help build a sales process from nothing.

As a result, he’ll be frustrated and burned out quickly because he doesn’t have the necessary tools to be successful.

Without a change in the owner’s approach, every sales rep who walks into this same situation will likely end up leaving.

Mistake 1: Failing to find the best customer

If you don’t identify the best potential customer for your business, the sales rep will constantly have to switch gears in an effort to pursue different prospects. He’ll struggle to gain traction because he’ll be chasing too many possibilities.

He likely won’t have any idea what works and what doesn’t, because he’ll be spread too thin.

Have a clear definition of the customers you’ll pursue, and how you’ll connect with them. If you haven’t already determined who your ideal customers are, give your sales reps additional time to figure out which customers are worth pursuing.

Mistake 2: Failing to understand basic metrics

If you aren’t tracking certain metrics within your company, you’ll have no way to determine which efforts are working and which ones are not.

Begin by determining which KPIs you’ll use to evaluate the effectiveness of your sales reps.

  • How many deals they close?
  • The number of appointments they set?
  • How many demonstrations they schedule?
  • How many contacts they locate?

I recommend you focus on outcome-based KPIs. It’s ok to track the day-to-day activities that produce important outcomes like demonstrations scheduled or deals closed, but I wouldn’t judge your employees on those metrics.

Avoid measuring vanity numbers like the number of calls made and instead evaluate meaningful numbers like the number of appointments that resulted from those calls.

Determine what kind of realistic result your rep should be accomplishing. Should he be closing $6,000 worth of deals each month? Once you know that, you can help your reps ramp up.

Mistake 3: Failing to guide your team

Once your team has an understanding of the ideal customers and how to find them, you must give your team a clear expectation of what to say.

Prepare your team for the questions they must be prepared to answer and the objections they’ll likely hear. Develop resources like downloads or podcasts or articles that will help your sales reps educate themselves. Accumulate resources that your reps can share with your prospects.

If you don’t help your sales reps succeed, they will move on to another company. Then, you’ll find yourself in the same mess again.

Don’t make these same mistakes. Develop a plan to help your team succeed.

Check out the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for help building a successful team and an effective process.

“Mistakes Small Company Sales Leaders Make” 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.

Story Telling, Donald Kelly, Sales Training

TSE 1035: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “Story Selling”

Story Telling, Donald Kelly, Sales TrainingStories provide a powerful opportunity to connect with your prospects, and story selling can push you across the line and even make you more successful than the competition.

They can even help you overcome a less superior product because people respond to good stories.

Stories as a lifeline

Good stories can separate you from your competition.

I’m putting together a workshop right designed to help business owners understand the power of stories in the selling process. Many of them are trying to land big contracts without great stories.

I call this process edutaining, and it differentiates those who do it well. After all, anyone can talk about their product or service. Not everyone can explain how it solve problems for clients. Not everyone can give specific examples of the difference their product or service made.

Your prospect wants to hear why it matters. He doesn’t care about your software or widget; he cares about what it can do for him.

Focus on “why”

I’m helping a client build a huge presentation for a corporation her company has done business with in the past. She’ll be educating these buyers about her company and its offerings. As she prepares, she’s trying to determine what exactly she should say.

We’re working to provide the “whys” of her company instead of focusing on the “what.” Rather than address what they do, what they offer, and what they can create, she’ll focus on why they’ve done those things.

  • Why did you start the company?
  • What makes you passionate about solving this issue?
  • Why do clients seek your products?

When she told me the story of why she started the company, she came to life and her excitement pulled me in. She told me about her first client and the series of events that launched the whole company, and she pulled me in.

It didn’t matter to me that she had been in business for 15 years.

The buyers

Think about your buyers.

Spend time thinking of examples of the ways you help your customers solve problems. Ask yourself what your buyers are most concerned about.

Think back to an experience when you helped a client solve an important problem or prevent a crisis for their own customers. Then, weave that into your presentation.

In the case of this client, her company had suffered a bad experience because of a product delay, and she was concerned about how to handle the situation. To take the fear out of the incident, she decided to tell a story that directly addressed it.

She acknowledged that her organization isn’t perfect, and then she addressed how they had fixed the mistakes that happened in the past. She emphasized her company’s desire to never make the same mistake twice.

“Story Selling” episode resources

The TSE Certified Sales Training Program addresses how to provide value to your buyers. We discuss the importance of teaching and educating them using stories, and you can be part of it.

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in April.

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.

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, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Emotional Connection, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast , Sales Training

TSE 1030: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “Emotional Connections”

Emotional Connection, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast , Sales TrainingEmotional connections are an important part of life but sometimes sales professionals forget that those emotional experiences can help us make genuine connections with our prospects. In some cases, those emotional connections can help us close more deals.

On Valentine’s Day, we’re sharing some ideas for ways that you can build emotional connections with your prospects.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program

The TSE Certified Sales Training Program began as a result of my inexperience as a seller. I wasn’t a great sales rep, but I went through training that transformed me.

I created TSE Hustler’s League, which was my own version of a sales training program. Since then, that program has evolved into the TSECSP.

You can take the course alone or with a group to gain from group coaching. The new semester will begin in April.

Connecting with buyers

Salespeople often overlook the importance of connecting with buyers on an emotional level.

At some point in your life, you were likely interested in someone but you were afraid of letting that person know. You might have even been rejected by that person.

Imagine your buyers in that scenario. They encounter emotional experiences daily. They have problems and challenges daily that they need help solving. If you step into that role, you have an opportunity to create emotional connections.

Best clients

Think back to those clients you’ve successfully brought on board. Perhaps they were afraid of losing their jobs if they couldn’t solve a problem at work. Or afraid of losing track of invoices. Or unable to follow up on opportunities that came through their pipelines.

They likely signed on with you because you were able to demonstrate to them how they could solve a problem. You created a connection by helping them.

Sending email

If you’re sending email as part of your prospecting process, are your subject lines boring?

“Join us for a free webinar.”

Your prospect doesn’t care about your webinar. He cares about his problem. He doesn’t care about your business or your product until you show him how it can help him.

Tap into his struggles to help him care about your business.

If you’re dealing with finance directors who are frustrated with the invoicing process, try this subject line: “Dave, are you frustrated with these invoicing situations?”

That may not be exactly his struggle, but if the rest of your ideal customers are struggling with this issue, it’s likely that Dave is, too.

If Dave is, in fact, frustrated with this issue, he’ll likely click on your email. When he opens it, the first line will include his name, and will immediately tie back to that subject line.

“We’ve helped more than 10,000 finance directors solve the problem of not being able to process invoices on time. We’ve helped them avoid miscalculations and lost invoices.”

Providing solutions

Once you’ve made an emotional connection with your buyer, you can offer the solution to his problem. Then, after you’ve explained the remedy you offer, you can invite him to join your masterclass or webinar.

It’s possible that your prospect won’t respond to the first email because he’s busy, but you can grab his attention with email number two. When you demonstrate your understanding of his pain and his challenge, he’ll likely feel connected to you.

Using videos

Videos help you build emotional connections because the prospects can hear and see your emotion.

Tools like BombBomb, LoomWistia, and Soapbox allow you to embed videos directly into your email so that your prospects have an opportunity to make a human connection. That 20- or 30-second video allows them to hear and see your emotions.

You can share an experience you had in the past or a solution you’ve provided to a previous client.

Sellers who do this well throughout the pipeline can tap deep into emotions.

It’s one thing to tell a prospect that you can save him $50,000. It’s quite another to talk about the extra fees that a company is needlessly paying each month because of missed reports and missed opportunities.

People lose their jobs over those kinds of issues, and VPs feel the pressure to fix those problems.

When you can demonstrate how your company can prevent those people from losing their jobs over missed reports and missed opportunities, that $50,000 savings feels more personal.

Building value

Build value in your stories and demonstrations. Tap into their frustrations. Reiterate their challenges and explain how you can help them tackle those challenges.

Work to build emotional connections.

This stuff works, which is why we share it here.

“Emotional Connections” episode resources

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. If you put in a lot of hard work in 2018 but weren’t able to close many of your deals, we can help you fix that. We have a new semester beginning in April and it would be an honor to have you join. Visit thesalesevangelist.com/CST.

Check out BombBomb, LoomWistia, and Soapbox to help you make emotional connections with your prospects by embedding videos into your emails.

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.

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 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Hannah Shamji , Copy Writing, Customer Interview

TSE 1026: How To Do High-Quality Customer Interviews

Hannah Shamji , Copy Writing, Customer InterviewSellers must understand what drives their customers and their core needs in order to help them be more effective, and conducting high-quality customer interviews is an important piece in that process.

Hannah Shamji is a conversion copywriter who has a degree in Psychology and training in counseling. She likes to merge her understanding of human behavior through customer research with producing an effective customer interview. It brings about accurate feedback and insight and provides a valuable asset to your business.        

Challenges of Customer Interviews

Focus groups are a popular way of conducting interviews, but Hannah has found them to be time-consuming and not very effective in getting pure, unbiased answers. When we ask the wrong questions, we often get empty answers.

There are time constraints in creating the right questions to ask. There is a difference in just writing a question and coming up with a question that sparks the emotions of the customer to draw out the purity of their response.

Why Do Customer Interviews

Speak to the emotional drivers of your audience. This helps bridge the gap between what you think might sell your product or service and what will actually sell it.

Doing these customer interviews correctly will help you answer the questions of what you should sell, how you should position it, what people care about, and what features or aspects you should focus on.

In the past, I’ve done things just because they seemed like a good idea rather than being sensitive to whether it was something people wanted.

An example of this was for a college class, my classmates and I had the opportunity to create an on-campus business. What created excitement for us ended up being a complete failure, and ours was one of the first companies in the school’s history to lose that amount of money.

We were more concerned with our own interests rather than what the rest of the student body was concerned with. This is why it is so imperative to find out the products and services that appeal to your audience.

Starting the Customer Interview

Find your target audience and connect. This audience could be an existing customer you’ll propose something different to or a prospect you aren’t sure will be a good fit.

Figure out the target market and pursue it.

When Donald first started out in the business industry, he worked for several small companies that did not have a target audience and they just wanted him to go out and sell. The mentality of not having a specific audience to market to is not a good sales strategy.

Once you establish who you want to market to, the kinds of questions you ask are imperative.

Avoid asking “why” questions. Research shows that when people are asked “why,” they feel like they have to justify or validate their answer, which can lead to defensive answers that may or may not be accurate.

Instead, ask the customer questions directly relating to the product or service.

Follow leads

Ask questions to understand the customer better.

This can shed light on how the customer can benefit by investing in what you have to offer.

Define an anchor. What do you want to accomplish or gain from this conversation?

Follow the leads. Ask things that correspond to what the customer is discussing and try to bring about different responses to the same topic. Don’t be afraid to go deeper with responses.

Listen for hints about what motivates your customer: why is he interested? Why was he willing to make the investment in your product or service? What sets you apart from competitors?

To those managers working to position their companies using messaging, Hannah offers the following:

  1. Avoid pitching your product or service. This keeps the customer feelings unbiased and honest.
  2. Use these conversations as pure research to better your business.
  3. Unbiased customer answers can lead to a successful, productive and efficiently-run business.

High-Quality Customer Interviews Episode Resources

You can reach Hannah Shamji through her website at www.hannahshamji.com. She provides a guide with do’s and don’ts for customer interviews on her website.

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.

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in March.

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 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, Client Success, Sales, Increase Sales

TSE 1022: The Redheaded Stepbrother of Sales…Client Success

Donald Kelly, Client Success, Sales, Increase SalesThe Red-headed Step Brother of Sales … Client Success; we don’t pay attention to it. But, we should.

There were times, growing up in Jamaica, when we would have issues with getting water into our house. The pressure wouldn’t be strong enough or a pipe would burst, and we would have to take buckets down to the community water source and haul them back home.

Imagine me, Little Donald, carrying a bucket of water a quarter mile each way …and I’m sure I filled that bucket to the very top.

Naturally, some will spill out as you walk along, but imagine my surprise to see the bucket only half-full when I got home … A small crack in the bucket caused me to lose most of it.

What incentive would I have to go back for more? I needed to fix that bucket.

Client success is the same way. Nobody pays attention to it but it is critical to the organization’s success.

Client Success

Client success is the function of a company responsible for maintaining the relationship between the client and you, the vendor. The goal of client success is very simple: to make sure your clients are as successful as possible. This, in turn, improves your relationship with the client and the lifetime value of that client.

It helps the organization in many ways. As with my bucket example, client success is the source that helps to make sure the holes in the bucket are sealed. We don’t lose water – we don’t lose customers. [02:17]

Compare the lifetime value of your client to my bucket of water. The last thing you want to do is lose your customers after working so hard to get them. It would be such a waste to work for a year and a half to land an amazing client only for them to move on after only a year.

Multiply that scenario across multiple clients and you’ll find yourself in a whole heap of trouble: you need to fix that bucket. You need to address client success. [03:26]

I read a statistic in an article published by the Precision Marketing Group which states that 86% of buyers will pay more for a product if they receive a better customer experience.

This may not occur immediately but imagine a client does come on board who has an opportunity to purchase more of the licenses, or services, that you offer.

Let’s use furniture sales as an example. You sold a nice desk and chair to your client. In the future, what prevents him from going elsewhere if he needs another chair? [04:11]

Maintaining relationships

What if your client success team was able to actively work that account and learn the goals of the client? If you knew the client was planning to expand in six months, for example, would it not make sense for you to create an opportunity to help them reach that goal?

In some companies, sales takes care of this but it spreads the sales force thin. They are asked to find new people, build value, close deals, AND actively farm the account, fix problems, and keep the client happy.

You need new business to come in but you also need to maintain relationships with your current clients so they will return to you over and over again.

It is virtually impossible to do it all. Something has to give and, in all likelihood, new business will stop coming in. [04:58]

Again, 86% of buyers would pay more for a product or service if they receive a better customer experience.

Let’s say your product is at premium value and a buyer could go somewhere else next time to get it for less. If the buyer perceives a value in the sales experience he has with you, however, he will stay with you. [05:48]

Client Support

Client support, on the other hand, is basically a range of client services to assist clients in making cost effective and correct use of a product. This includes assisting in planning, training, troubleshooting, maintaining, updating, etc.

Using the office furniture example again, the client support team helps install and assemble the desk. The client success team does not.

In smaller organizations, however, sellers often do it all. Solving problems while also maintaining accounts can certainly be overwhelming. You can see how this could affect new net revenue. [06:32]

The emphasis on new business causes client support and client success to be pushed to the side: they become the red-headed step children of sales.

Customer experience

Another statistic from the Precision Marketing Group states that the companies who prioritize customer experience generate 60% higher profits.

Instead of hiring three new salespeople, would it not make more sense to hire two sales individuals and one client success individual instead? Hire a client success person to ensure that everyone brought on board by the sales team stays on board.

Instead of losing new clients each year, keep them for five or six years – even longer. Give them an amazing experience. Help them. Guide them and fix any problems they might have so they don’t feel neglected. [07:29]

It has been said that the client success team is just an appendage of customer support and it is not as important as sales. But we all know that it is much easier, and cheaper, to keep a client than to find a new one.

If you give your client a great experience, he will give to you in return with referrals and repeats sales.

The client success team can then create more opportunities for more sales.

The Pod Approach

A ‘pod’ is a term some companies are now using to refer to a three-system approach: one person from sales, one person from customer support, and a third person from client success working as a team. Together, they create a cohesive relationship that keeps new business coming in, solves issues, and works toward the success of the clients.

It makes a huge difference. [09:30]

Finally, I previously shared a story about my experience working for a software company where I didn’t really know what to do. I learned, however, from working with client success (known as customer support back then) the type of clients not to pursue, which helped me to recognize the type of clients I did want.

I was able to retain those types of clients, build stronger relationships with them, and close more deals.

Customer support helped the clients be successful. If they recognized a problem that I could fix for the client, they would bring me in. It worked amazingly.

I suggest considering such a system in your organization. If you already have one in place, be sure to evaluate its effectiveness. What is the lifetime value of a client right now? How much money can you expect from that client? Is there a process for upselling or cross-selling? [10:07]

Don’t waste your time and energy on a client only to have him fall through the cracks.

Don’t go home with a half-empty bucket.

Episode Resources for ‘The Red-headed Step Brother of Sales … Client Success”

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.

This episode is 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. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Prospect.io is offering three months at half-price.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

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 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

 

 

Ian Wendt, Door-to-Door Sales, Summer Sales, Fear and Mental Toughness

TSE 1019: Sales From The Street: “Fear and Mental Toughness”

fear and mental toughness, Ian WendtSalespeople need mental toughness to weather all the ups and downs of the industry, as well as the pressures and difficulties when things aren’t going well.

Sometimes clients choose another seller. Sometimes a customer ends the relationship. In other cases, we do everything we’re supposed to do, and the deal still won’t close.

Today Ian Wendt talks with us about one of the most difficult moments in his career and how he got through it and continued his journey.

Teaching instead of selling

Sales is full of challenges, and it requires a certain amount of self-motivation. For Ian, though, the greatest challenge was when he decided that he didn’t want to knock on doors.

He realized that while he was really good at selling, he was even more valuable as a teacher. He needed to find a way to make himself valuable enough that he could teach other people how to sell and how to be mentally tough, which was what he was really passionate about.

It’s sometimes tough for people to build a sales career that doesn’t involve knocking on doors. Finding a way to make the transition felt daunting to him.

He was haunted by the fear of what would happen if he couldn’t make it work.

Ian shared a quote from the book Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins that goes like this:

“Most people don’t even start if they don’t have a guarantee.”

That was Ian’s mindset at the time of the transition.

Pulling the trigger

Ian decided to sell for one more summer, and his regional manager used him to do some training. When Ian went to certain offices, those groups started seeing huge spikes in their performance. He was helping them close significant deals and move the needle.

He started tracking his results so he could demonstrate his value.

Ian asked for the opportunity to run a training program, but his leadership told him there was no such position available in the company.

If, however, Ian could prove the value in his training, the company would consider creating one.

Ian is a big believer that you don’t negotiate until you bring value, so that’s what he set out to do. He was determined to produce something he could negotiate with.

Tracking results

Ian started tracking the offices, reps, and leaders that he was training. He tracked their metrics and their increases and the improvements in their completion rates for about three months.

He visited about 11 offices and trained more than 60 reps.

Once he had a binder full of information, the leaders called him in to ask what he was doing. They were seeing improvements and they wanted to hear how he was doing it.

He got the leadership on board and he created a pitch for his proposed training. They jumped on board with his idea and moved toward getting started.

Unseen struggles

One of the biggest struggles for Ian was that he wasn’t directly selling anymore. He was investing his time and efforts into these offices and these other sellers, so he wasn’t selling a ton of accounts.

He got a few sales, but he went from making a lot of money to making very little. Ian overdrafted his account at least four times, which was unheard of for him.

He was battling the stress of the downward mindset.

As a result, he now teaches that stress is the number one factor in negativity and negativity is the one thing that will destroy a sales career.

Those reps that operate in fear can be completely debilitated.

What if?

What if I’m moving the needle but this doesn’t pay out? Or what if I have nothing to show for all my work? Worse yet, What if I don’t make enough to live off of?

Ian lived with exactly that fear during the summer he spent training other sellers. He was plagued by the internal debate over whether to return to the regular sales or to keep trying to develop his training idea.

Results

Ian put himself in a position to do work that he loves. Now he’s over all of the training and content creation for his entire company, and he gets paid really well for it.

He’s grateful every day that he was able to create his own future. He recently spoke at a conference where he reminded the audience that sales will always be hard. But, he said, if you can master it, you can really control the outcome of your life.

You can find a way to do work that you love and position yourself to look forward to the work week.

He loves the opportunity to share what he has learned with other people, and he loves being surrounded by people who are constantly trying to develop themselves.

“Fear and Mental Toughness” episode resources

Ian is in the process of developing a consulting and coaching program. In the meantime, he’s doing some side work with individual organizations and people.  Connect with Ian via direct message on Facebook @ian.wendt, LinkedIn @ianwendt, and Instagram @iwendtster.

This episode is 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. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never, ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

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.

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, and share with your friends!

Aaron Walker, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Mentor

TSE 1018: Where’s My Mentor?

 

Aaron Walker, Mentor,Many of us in sales have jumped into companies without a training process or guidance; we find ourselves winging it and wondering, “Where’s my mentor?”

Aaron Walker started in the business when he was 18 years old. At the age of 27, he sold to a Fortune 500 company and retired.

Eighteen months later, his wife told him he was becoming fat and lazy; so he went back to work, purchased the company he first started and grew it four times in 10 years.

It was all fun until the unimaginable happened in August 2001.

Aaron accidentally killed a pedestrian with his car. It changed his life.

He sold the business and spent the next five years learning how to deal with the tragedy.

Changing his legacy

In the process, he realized that his financial success lacked significance. He didn’t want his legacy to be “‘enough money to retire at the age of 27.” Nobody cares.

He wanted to make a change. He decided to spend his life encouraging and edifying others.

Aaron changed the way he did business. He started looking outward more than inward and he gathered mentors to help him.

His life began to take a very different path.

With the help of several mentors he has worked with for more than two decades in a Mastermind group, Aaron launched his own coaching company, View From the Top.

He now leads 14 mastermind groups in eight different countries to help people live a life of success and significance.

Isolation is the enemy to excellence

Aaron defines a mentor as somebody who will walk alongside you for an extended period of time, as opposed to a coach who helps you get through a certain point in life.

Aaron has been with some of the same mentors for more than 40 years. They help him realize where he needs to go in life.

Mentors are people who have been there/done that and whose core values coincide with your own. They are the people who want what is best for you rather than what is best for themselves.  

For sales, in particular, mentors are crucial. Aaron believes that it is very difficult to grow and expand alone because we each have only one filter – one life experience that guides how we view things.

The value of mentors

Other people see us differently than we see ourselves. As such, mentors can help realize your superpowers. They also help you understand your weaknesses and to see your blind spots.

Having a mentor to point out what we would otherwise miss ourselves can be the very thing that puts us over the top.

We have many obstacles and upper limit challenges that we need to push through. Trusted and unbiased advisors can point us in the right direction.

Aaron recalls a guy in one of his mastermind groups that was putting together a course that was, in reality, absolutely terrible. Everything about it was terrible, but the group helped him tweak it and shape it into something amazing.  

It’s the same way in our lives. Aaron admits he lacks tact but never realized that many people viewed him as arrogant and condescending until his wife pointed it out to him. It was one of his blind spots.

We need people around us who can help us out.

We all know the overly confident, borderline cocky salespeople. Getting them to accept advice, to realize their blind spots and to be humble is tricky. Confidence is needed in sales but people don’t buy arrogance and cockiness. There has to be a measure of humility. A mentor can help you get there.

Surround yourselves in business, in marriage, in every area of your life with mentors that you trust to help you get where you want to go.

Where’s my mentor?

To find a mentor, look for someone who has been married for a long time if you have questions about marriage. Find someone who has been in business for along time if you have questions about that.

Look for someone who has nothing to lose, or gain, by talking to you. Family members are often biased in that regard because they want you to have what you want to have.

You want someone who will give it to you straight.

You have to be willing to subject yourself to scrutiny. You have to be willing to accept the truth in order to hear the truth. That is why masterminds are so profoundly helpful – you have 8-10 people with completely different life experiences at your disposal.

They can take your great idea, look at it, and point out the things about it that you might not have thought of.  When you work with the same people over months or years, a pattern develops and they see it.

Aaron has worked with the same counselor for decades. They talk when things are going well and when they aren’t. Over that amount of time, the counselor realized that Aaron did something completely radical about once every 36 months. This type of behavior classifies Aaron as a ‘creator developer’, rather than a ‘maintainer manager.’

A creator developer is someone who gets bored easily and who doesn’t like everything to be the same all the time. It explains why Aaron has had 12 businesses. He likes to develop and create.

Because Aaron had a mentor who was able to point it out, Aaron can now plan accordingly.

The ebbs and the flows

Many young people don’t have mentors while many people with experience to share aren’t necessarily interested in reaching out. Aaron is hoping to connect the two.

Mentors have changed Aaron’s life in many ways. He remembers many ebbs and flows throughout his life. One dark time several years ago was particularly difficult. Aaron relied heavily upon his mastermind group at the time and met with them every week. He just could not get motivated but the group was there to listen.

It went on for months.

Then, one Saturday, Aaron got a call from one of the guys in the group. It was alarming at first because the group never spoke on the weekends but Aaron knew by the tone of his voice that it was good news.

“I know you’ve been in a dark spot for a long time and I’ve been praying for you … but you are wearing the hell out of everybody in the group. You just keep on and on every week. Take the chains off from around your neck and move on,” he said.

And then he hung up. Aaron was so mad at the audacity of the call.

But then he started thinking.

Realizing that his friend loved him enough to tell him the truth was the change he needed to get over it and to move forward.

A casual friendship does not give that kind of hard truth.

Put down the facade and be vulnerable. That is where true strength starts. Surround yourself with people who know your good, your bad, and your ugly but who still care about you.

It is the solid foundation that will allow you to become all you were created to be.

“Where’s My Mentor?” episode resources

You can reach out to Aaron via his website, Viewfromthetop.com. His mastermind group, Iron Sharpens Iron (ISI), meets on a regular basis via video conference all over the world. Check it out!

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.

This episode is 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. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Prospect.io is offering three months at half-price.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

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 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Confidence, Salespeople

TSE 1012: You Are Important As Well!!!

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Confidence, SalespeopleIf you find yourself hesitant to tell people that you work in sales because you think anyone can do it, today we’re discussing the fact that You are Important as Well!!

The year was 2011. I was a recent college graduate working for the first company in my professional career. I was attending a fine dining networking event when I ran into an old friend.

The old friend, it turns out, had decided to take on Wall Street after graduation and was now the head of finance for a multinational company in Miami. It sounded like he was doing great.

“Hey! Donald! It’s great to see you! What are you doing these days?!”

I clammed up because I didn’t want to tell him that I was in sales for a medical company. I was ashamed of saying I was a sales rep because, early on, it felt to me like anyone could do sales. [0:00]

Change your mindset

It took me awhile to realize that not just anyone can do well in sales. And I want to help you change your mindset, too. I want you to understand that you are important as well!

Many professional careers – medical, law, finance – require college degrees. They are critical jobs with important tasks.

Sales, however, doesn’t carry the glamour it once did. Many of us don’t even wear a suit to work anymore. Rather, it is believed that anyone who can “sell” can get a job in sales. We sit behind a computer and make phone calls … we are pushy people, bottom feeders, and we lack the ability to do anything else. [03:19]

That is how I used to feel. Now I know better.

Money

In sales, we have an unlimited level of income. After executives, sellers earn the highest incomes.

  • As a salesperson, it is your job to bring money into the organization.
  • Money is the lifeblood of any company, even for non-profits.
  • Finance, HR, tech, even the CEO – none of them can do their job without money.
  • The company cannot grow without money.

Every department needs money but only sales can deliver it. [04:38]

Certain jobs, like sales, are an asset to any company. Other positions – ones that earn a paycheck every week without bringing money into the firm – are liabilities. [06:21]

Salespeople are so important to the bottom line. The information we have is needed in board meetings because everyone wants to know what the sales pipeline looks like.  They need to know. [06:52]

Education

Sales can be an easier field to get started in because it doesn’t require a lot of technical training.

It is why I do this podcast. It is why I offer training and how I am able to help companies, and their sales teams, do better.

Understanding individuals, understanding the industry, and understanding the sales process is all part of training. It increases our education.

Schools are now spending time and effort to offer sales training as a degree because they recognize the power of the sales role. They recognize how critical sales is to any organization.

The prestigious capabilities of sales is returning and it is exciting. [07:33]

Believe in yourself

I am ashamed sometimes for ever doubting myself but I learned from it. I learned and I improved and I was able to perform better as a result. Now I understand what I am truly capable of bringing to an organization and I understand how valuable I am.

Have the strong and firm knowledge and belief that you are important. Listening to this podcast, for example, shows that you have taken an interest in learning something new. Improving yourself improves the entire profession. [09:19]

I was fortunate enough the other day to be thanked by a regular listener who credits this podcast with helping him succeed. He took some of the things he has learned from our guests and from the books we’ve recommended and is currently enjoying a sales incentive trip for doing so well in 2018. [10:00]

Recognize that you are important.

You are a professional sales rep with a skill that many people do not have. Work for a company that validates your contributions and offers a product or service that you feel strongly about.

Keep learning and keep growing. Earn that unlimited income.

I want you to be successful and to find more ideal customers. Build stronger value, close more deals. Do more each and every day. [10:56]

“You are Important as Well!!” episode resources

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.

This episode is 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. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Prospect.io is offering three months at half-price.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

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 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Sales Course, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1010: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “BETA”

Online Sales Course, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

Sales professionals who lose track of the fundamental tasks involved in selling don’t perform as well, so we’ve created the TSE Certified Sales Training Program to help sellers stay focused on what’s important.

Sales includes many tedious tasks that, done together, help sellers be successful. The TSE Certified Sales Training Program focuses on fundamentals because we want to help you be proficient at selling.

Golf game

Golf demands precision. Small adjustments to your club or your stance can completely change your swing and where the ball lands.

It’s a tedious game, and the professionals who play it every day practice the same shots over and over to become proficient at it. If they don’t practice it repeatedly, they won’t perform well on the course. [03:19]
TSE’s Certified Sales Training Program intends to do the same thing for sellers. Our goal is to help sellers focus on the small, fundamental tasks on their way to becoming proficient.

I spoke to a VP of a major organization about fundamentals and why we miss them sometimes; things like prospecting, asking the right questions, building rapport, listening, building value, and closing.

Experienced sellers

I’ve come across many people who are experienced sellers that suddenly clam up and struggle to do things like prospecting. Fear paralyzes them and their pipelines dry up as a result. [04:02]

I typically discover that they never truly understood the fundamentals, so when they started to struggle, it wrecked their confidence.

The TSE Certified Sales Training Program is different than anything we’ve offered in the past. It’s 12-weeks long, and it’s broken up by month. Each month, we tackle the core struggles sellers face.

The first month addresses prospecting. The second deals with building value. The third area is conversion or closing.

Each month includes four modules and each module includes 30 minutes worth of video. After you watch the videos, you can engage with the coaching groups to address what you learned.

At the end of the week, you apply the principles you learned, and test the results. We include role-playing and shared experiences.

At the end of the entire course, you’re certified. Now you can go and share what you’ve learned with others in your organization.

We’re launching a Beta test of the program and we’re inviting about 20-25 people to participate with us. They’ll help us work out the kinks before we publicly launch the program.

Role play

If you’re looking to improve your own fundamentals, role play is an important tool. Even if you’ve been selling for a long time, role-playing helps you improve your interactions with customers.

A recent guest on the podcast shared that his company shares information among all the team members, tests new ideas, and then evaluates to see how successful it was.

When they stumble upon a successful idea, they apply the new concept to their own process. They role play and practice it because they realize that you can always improve and you can always learn. [07:50]

Study

Listening to this podcast is a great way to continue to learn about sales. In addition, you should engage in personal sales study of your own.

In the case of TSE, we can’t always discuss concepts in depth because we have a limited amount of time. Consider listening to audiobooks as a way to expand your knowledge base. If you don’t already have Audible, take advantage of the 30-day free offer available to the TSE audience to listen to books while you do other things.

If you prefer, you can use Overdrive in conjunction with the public library to get access to free audiobooks.

Either way, invest 30 minutes each day to increase your knowledge and capabilities on your way to being a more effective seller. [09:05]

Practice

Practice what you learn.

Try all the things you role played and read about and then be intentional to implement new ideas into your process. Practice them to see what kind of results you get.

We’re excited to share the new program with you, and we’d love to talk to you if you or your team are interested in joining us.

“TSE Certified Sales Training Program” episode resources

Check out Audible and Overdrive to help you maximize your growth by learning more about sales.

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.

This episode is 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. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

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.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Richard, Execvision.io, Sales Manager, Sales Coaching, 5 common mistakes

TSE 1003: 5 Common Mistakes Sales Managers Make When Coaching

Steve Richard, Execvision.io, Sales Manager, Sales Coaching, 5 common mistakes

In our work with sales reps, sales teams, and sales managers, we encounter many people who believe that sales coaching doesn’t work, but many of them fail to realize that there are 5 common mistakes sales managers make when coaching.

Steve Richard, founder of ExecVision, shares how to avoid those mistakes, and he suggests you start by recognizing that there’s a difference between coaching and training.

Coaching

Training is teaching someone to do something new that the person doesn’t know how to do. Coaching is helping someone do something that they do know to the point of mastery.

If we expect a rep to embrace a certain behavior, we have to train him. If we don’t, that failure is on us. Then, after we’ve trained him, we have to overcome the “forgetting curve” which is a function of our brain’s tendency to purge information.

Coaching is the act of training iteratively, focusing on the person, and repeating that behavior until it becomes second nature, like tying a shoe.

Consider whether your organization is struggling with any of these mistakes.

1. Failing to define what good looks like.

We must give our teams a definition of what a call should look like. Include the key things you want them to say, the behaviors you want them to exhibit, and give them a target.

Give your team members total clarity on what you want them to do. [06:11] Develop consistency among your team members so you can hit bigger numbers.

Also, build a team of people who will identify these steps. Include managers, senior executives, and representatives from operations, enablement, and sales. A varied team can ensure that these decisions aren’t being made by people who haven’t made calls in a while.

Check out the book Cracking the Sales Management Code: The Secrets to Measuring and Managing Sales Performance for clarification about metrics. Learn the difference between activity metrics that you can control — things like making phone calls and sending LinkedIn connection requests — and objectives like having conversations with people which you have less control over.

Aside from simply giving your team members goals, give them a roadmap to achieve them. [08:32] How many activities should they achieve in a week to achieve their goals?

Many organizations have salespeople who are “unconsciously competent,” which means they don’t know why they are successful. Though it’s not bad, it’s impossible to scale. You can’t pair a new employee with someone who is “unconsciously competent” and expect her to learn the right way to do things.

2. Neglecting to train because of time.

Most every sales leader intends to coach his team. [10:26]

Managers typically know they have to be more consistent as a team, and they know that the way to do that is through coaching. But they also universally say that time is the thing that prohibits them from doing it.

They have the greatest of intentions, but something always gets in the way.

3. Misunderstanding how to train correctly.

It’s shocking to think of the amount of money that is spent on sales rep training. Sales managers, however, typically receive very little training. Many of them have never been taught to coach the right way.

Think, for example, of a sales manager who observes a call and then immediately launches into constructive feedback. Basically, he tells you all the things you did wrong.

When the sales rep hears it, his system sends a hit of the stress hormone cortisol, which triggers the “fight or flight” response.

The sales rep either defends himself by digging in his heels or he puts up a wall and stops listening. In either case, it’s not good.

Instead, try the model that Jim Kennan recommends: observe, describe, prescribe. Leave the judgment on the shelf.

Listen to the call. Recount what the rep did during the call. Then ask a question that prompts the seller to figure out what he could have done differently to improve the call.

People value more what they can conclude for themselves than what they’re told. 

4. Lacking observable moments.

If sales reps can’t listen to recordings of their calls, they’ll have no way to improve their performance. [18:45] They will only have vague ideas of what they think they did during the call.

During the 80s, the Japanese beat us in the auto industry because they were continually improving their operational efficiency.

Adopt the continuous improvement mindset that served the Japanese so well.

5. Making training ad hoc.

Your organization’s training must be habitual. It must be part of the rhythm of the company.

Make your training such a part of the process that it becomes the gospel.

It can be as simple as listening to 5 minutes of a call with a rep and asking for reflections. It will do good things for your company.

Instead of feeling like sales managers have to do all the work, involve the sales reps in their own development. Run call-of-the-month competitions where reps submit their best call every month with written commentary.

Give people an environment in which it’s fun to learn and improve.

“5 Common Mistakes Sales Managers Make When Coaching” episode resources

Connect with Steve via email or call him on his cell phone at (202) 302-3193.

Check out ExecVision’s Call Camp that breaks down real sales calls like game tape to evaluate what works and what doesn’t. It’s a free webinar that shares practical advice with sales reps, managers, and leaders to improve their effectiveness.

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.

They are offering a 14-day free trial, and half off your subscription when you use the code Donald at checkout.

This episode is 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. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

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, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, Stephen A Hart, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1000: The Sales Evangelist 1000th Episode with Donald C. Kelly

Donald Kelly, Stephen A Hart, The Sales Evangelist

It’s The Sales Evangelist 1000th episode and Stephen A. Hart from the Trailblazers.FM Podcast is conducting the interview while Donald Kelly answers the questions.

This podcast started five years ago after Donald attended sales training to try to improve his performance. He started seeing some gains, and he figured the very least he could do was tell other people what was working for him.

He realized along the way that he would get to interview great guests like Jeffrey Gitomer who would share a wealth of information and he was hooked. Donald wanted to share sales content that would help himself and others at the same time.

Blessings and opportunities

The greatest benefit to a podcast like this is the relationships you build. There’s a camaraderie and people want to help each other. [05:50]

Perhaps it’s because the medium is so new, but a lot of podcasters are connecting with each other to share experiences.

People have become like family, and many business opportunities have emerged from it.

There’s a whole crew of people in the background who help create the content, and it’s blessing people along the way.

After Donald jumped ship from his full-time job in 2015, this lifestyle business allowed him to travel and speak in different parts of the country, and it all stemmed from the training and consulting that has developed.

10,000 hours

The podcast is officially five years old, which amounts to about 10,000 work hours. According to Malcolm Gladwell’s theory that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert, Donald is officially an expert podcaster now.

The story started when Donald was working at a software company in Boca. His plan was that at the three-year mark, he wanted to go back to grad school for an MBA. [10:11]

The other alternative was that he would launch a startup.

TSE started as a hobby because Donald had done B2C in high school and college. Now, he transitioned to B2B, but he didn’t know how to talk to people or set up business opportunities.

His company provided training and he discovered a love of teaching and an excitement about the content he had learned.

He paired his love of teaching and his desire to be the center of attention, and it was a perfect marriage. Edutainment allowed him to educate and entertain at the same time.

Birth of a podcast

Jared Easley introduced Donald to the world of podcasting despite the fact that Donald knew nothing about it.

He started by listening to Seth Godin’s Startup School, a podcast that featured Seth guiding 30 entrepreneurs through the process of launching a dream business. [11:46]

He was still debating startup or college, and he realized that a startup didn’t have to mean developing a product. Donald didn’t see how the podcast was going to make money, but he launched it as a hobby.

The platform existed six months before the podcast did, but Donald recalls that he had to get over the worry and just pull the trigger. He had to stop worrying about how it would sound and what people would say about it.

He eventually decided that he had something valuable and he needed to share it. When he got out of his own way, the money started coming in.

When Donald started producing content that benefited the people around him, people started to raise their hands and seek his help.

Lessons learned

Donald calls episode 1 cringe-worthy. He says he was nervous and afraid throughout it. He was self-conscious about his voice, and he didn’t own his personality. [15:29]

Donald also wishes he had done video much sooner. He was afraid of the comments people would make and that fear kept him from producing video.

Donald also wishes he had known that people don’t know what you have to offer until they know what you have to offer. He was afraid of sounding pushy, so he was apprehensive about sharing what he knew.

Take more action. Get out of your comfort zone. Get out of your own way.

Despite the late start to the video world, TSE is getting into video now, so it’s better late than never.

Rejection

Donald points to the burned-ship theory that dates to sailors who were either going to burn the ships and win the battle or die on the seashore. There was no escape.

If you’ve burned the ship, there’s no alternative, so you have to make it work. Those men are the master of their own destiny.

Although Donald could still be employable in the sales realm if necessary, he doesn’t want to use that as a parachute. [19:27]

The “no’s” can’t hinder him. He either has to conquer or die.

He realizes that the “no’s” aren’t personally directed at him.

Your “why”

Donald’s desire to provide for his family drives his passion and his motivation. He wants to make things happen so that his family never has to be in the predicament of being homeless again. [21:50]

Those dark moments such as the first lull in listenership can plague podcasters.

Although numbers are great for measuring, Donald got too focused on the numbers. He started to compare too much and he neglected his own community.

When the website was down for a prolonged period in 2016, he started to feel tremendous stress. For 1-2 months there was no new content.

He worried about losing listeners and the huge setback that might come. He wasn’t sure he would be able to continue because there were so many technical problems.

Valley

You can’t succeed in a silo. Name any company and you can almost guarantee that they had help from some outside forces. [29:17]

The term entrepreneur is deceptive because there’s really no single person who creates a business. Donald avoided asking for help because he was embarrassed and he thought he was supposed to know how to solve the problem.

Advice and discussion help people share their burdens and to recognize that they can benefit from other people’s input.

Top takeaways

People who succeed do so because they partnered with others for good. There are people who are willing to partner strategically to make things work. [31:57]

All of his guests who have had success did so because they found synergy in the people they worked with.

Look at Henry Ford and the number of companies that spawned from his invention. Tire companies, radio companies, and other companies developed because of it.

You can’t be a lone wolf and you must be willing to admit that other people might be able to do things better than you can.

TSE is writing for HubSpot now and has been mentioned in Entrepreneur and Inc. Magazine because Donald was willing to reach out.

Don’t be afraid to sell yourself. People in post-recording conversations advised Donald that he was charging too little.

Customers aren’t paying for one hour of guidance or coaching. They are paying for 15 years of experience. [35:23]

Be aware of your worth. If you undervalue yourself, no one will willingly pay you more. Ask for more than you’re comfortable asking for.

Always push yourself for bigger and better things.

Once you push outside of your comfort zone, you’ll evolve. You’ll find yourself doing things that once scared you.

Emotional rollercoaster

Preparation helps us avoid the emotional rollercoaster of sales. October Donald should be helping December Donald. Salespeople must plan much further out than they can comfortably do. [38:50]

If you know you need 5 deals, you should put 7 or 8 in your pipeline. Never ease up off the gas. Have a systematic approach.

When Donald coaches people, he helps them see beyond the now. He helps them develop a system that prevents lulls.

Healthy competition

Donald remembers wanting to be included on a list of top sales podcasts. [44:01]

He refers to the power of “coopertition,” where people become allies.

As a track athlete, he learned that when you’re turning back to see where other people are, you aren’t aerodynamic anymore. You lose your focus and you slow down.

Instead of looking to see where other people are, look toward the finish line. Compete against your own yesterday instead of competing against others.

Future of TSE

The Sales Podcast Network will continue to grow and offer a community of salespeople who will encourage one another. [50:57]

If TSE ever gets boring, maybe the day would come when it would be “sunset.”

TSE will continue to grow. The goal on sponsorship side will eventually separate so that the training organization will separate from the media company side.

TSE will seek to double its revenue, and ultimately the platform will be bigger than just a podcast.

TSE has been a huge influence in the podcasting space by encouraging those people who are in the community.

The Sales Evangelist 1000th Episode resources

Connect with Stephen A. Hart and check out his  Trailblazer.FM Podcast.

This episode is 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. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

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.

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, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Lower Customer Acquisition Costs, New Leads, Eric Graf, Flocgen

TSE 993: Partnering To Lower Customer Acquisition Costs

Lower Customer Acquisition Costs, New Leads, Eric Graf, FlocgenEric Graf, CEO of Flockgen, explains how mid-market businesses can trade relationships with one another to expand service offerings and lower customer acquisition.

As sales reps, we need to make appointments and we need to make sales but often times, we don’t know how to find the best people. Typically, we develop a prospect list and a sales pitch and bring on a marketing team.

It becomes the core business.

Eric cites this as a common problem that negatively affects business with regard to customer acquisition.

At Flockgen, clients are able to increase their bottom line because the cost of customer acquisition is spread among the partners.

Expanding beyond the core

Mid-market companies can expand the conversation with their customers beyond just the core aspects. When they do, they will realize that the prospect of monetizing exists in multiple areas which are often overlooked.

At Flockgen, the cost of customer acquisition is spread across multiple services far beyond what mid-market companies might do in the core.

As an example: There are already a number of partners with great businesses that sell telecom products. Some have had the same product for the past ten years, but their sales reps can’t talk to the customers beyond the core even if they wanted to.

They don’t have anything else to present to those customers. [00:53]

Flockgen offers an alternative solution.

They can drive revenue with those relationships around completely different products and services. Ones that have nothing to do with telecom.

They leverage those relationships to introduce new products and services in a way that doesn’t require a lot of cost because they already have hundreds of partners that offer many different things. [02:46]

Such a partnership allows you to do more in one place instead of finding a partner with many companies on your own.

By focusing on the ways mid-market companies work together to become stronger and build revenue, everybody wins.

Creating a well-oiled referral process

Referrals are a natural part of sales. They drive revenue and create business.

Flockgen partners with people they know and trust.

Using the telecom example again, suppose you have a salesperson selling phone systems all day long. As a partner with Flockgen, the salesperson could also talk with customers about sustainability, controlling costs, or operations. He has a credible way to have that conversation because Eric and his team have provided him with content and talking points.

He doesn’t have to be an expert in the field. Instead, he just has to be able to access the interest in the client. [04:16]

The Flockgen Difference

The Flockgen concept developed organically. Eric spent the last ten years working in the energy industry where he saw a lot of disruption. There were many new companies with new services and new products, and declining costs all around.

Previously, Eric was in the telecom world, which he views as a more mature industry in terms of sales and marketing. Everyone knows each other and works with a collaborative spirit despite competition. Actual channels exist that allow people to team up and co-market.

Eric hoped to build similar channels in the energy industry by borrowing the ideas that worked for telecom.

Educating their partners is a key. How does referral marketing work? What are the pros and cons? [05:32]

Rightsizing the program and menu for each of their individual partners is what sets Eric and his team apart. No two businesses are the same, even if they do the same thing. What works for one might not work for the other, or for their sales team.

Matching capabilities

Flockgen matches capabilities in an intelligent way with their partner sales team so that everyone feels comfortable and credible when having conversations. It allows them to drive relationships further. [06:31]

Establishing bilateral relationships with their partners is crucial to the success of every party. Each can refer business to the other by promoting services up and down their respective networks.

One partner could be driving revenue one day and receiving referrals the next day from others in the network who are doing the same thing.

Getting started is easy. It is just a matter of understanding what you do, what a new customer base would mean to you, and what services you offer.

Flockgen makes sure everyone in your organization is on the same page.

If you are a large company, then you already have the business development teams and the corporate development teams in place to establish relationships. But it can be difficult to keep those relationships fresh. [09:29]

Eric’s approach is for everyone to meet in the middle to allow collaboration and to set clear terms with one another.

He believes that despite doing well at the start, many businesses that focus on partnering and collaborating will fail because they are not structured correctly. One partner gets the shorter end of the stick, perhaps. [11:37]

Flockgen focuses on healthy partnerships. They maintain the relationships so that you can concentrate on talking to clients and building value.

Transparency = Trust

Providing transparency is critical to the success of the partnerships they create. When both parties understand the terms, it protects the credibility of the relationship. What happens when I refer to you? What happens when you refer to me?

It becomes a matter of trust. It drives behavior. [13:39]

When everyone brings the right attitude, a real willingness to focus on the customer, and is respectful of the initial relationship with the client, value is added to all of the relationships. [15:03]

Flockgen partners only with those who stand by their work. Those they can trust to do good work and who do not hesitate when asked for customer references.

It’s not who you know, it is who you know that you can trust.

The partners utilizing the networks at Flockgen are driving their revenues and driving their commissions. It works because everyone is focused on creating the best customer experience.

There are lots of folks who represent or promote similar services but they don’t backstop and track and monitor, or intervene when necessary, as relationships mature and transactions come together the way Flockgen does. [17:45]

Flockgen levels the playing field.

Mid-market businesses in the US generate 26% of the revenue in the US despite comprising only 1% of the commercial active firms. A large portion of the market is generally overlooked and underserved.

Eric encourages everyone to take those businesses seriously when thinking about who you are selling to and how you are positioning your services and products. [18:26]

Think about how to reach those customers.

“Lower Customer Acquisition Costs” episode resources

The front door is always open at Flockgen. Visit them at www.flockgen.com

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.

This episode is 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. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

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, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Kathleen Hessert, Krista Jasso, We are Gen -Z, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 988: How To Adjust My Sales Process When Selling Gen Z

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’re talking to Kathleen Hessert and Krista Jasso about the newest generation and how to adjust your sales process when selling Gen Z.

Kathleen launched a project called We R Gen Z because she saw a lack of information about the newest generation because the marketplace was completely focused on millennials. Her organization conducts original research with a bank of 1,000 teens on a monthly basis to understand Gen Z.

Krista — a member of Gen Z herself — works as the social media coordinator and intern coordinator for We R Gen Z and she believes that her generation will take the world by storm.

Massive spending

Gen Z spends $44 billion a year in the U.S. and influences $600 billion when it comes to household spending.

It’s vital for the marketplace to understand that Gen Z will make up 40 percent of the U.S. population and 37 percent of the global population by the year 2020. [3;47]

Organizations that exclude them will be behind in their sales efforts, and they may never catch up.

Mistakes selling Gen Z

Sellers often talk down to Gen Z and the generation sees it. Gen Z has what Krista calls a “strong BS filter,” and they see right through lack of authenticity.

The generation values authentic, genuine behavior. Gen Z is turned off by fake, flashy marketing, instead choosing brands that are transparent about what they value and believe. [6:50]

Gen Z cares about who is behind the product as well as the product or service itself. They care about what top executives are saying about topics such as politics and the environment.

They include countless outside factors in their decision-making and if a brand doesn’t match what they are looking for, they won’t support it.

Gen Z trends

We R Gen Z hosts a trends panel that evaluates what’s hot and what’s not for the generation.

Organizations should understand that Gen Z are the next creators and innovators. Those companies need the young people of Gen Z more than the young people need their products or services.

They will buy or shun organizations based on their values and their passion. When Nike included Colin Kaepernick in its commercials, one member of We R Gen Z put all his Adidas clothes away and wore only Nike for two weeks to honor the decision made by the company. [10:19]

The founder of Tom’s Shoes gave $5 million to anti-gun-violence in response to a school shooting in California, marking the largest corporate donation ever to this particular issue.  The decision resonated with Gen Z.

Business is more than money, especially for Gen Z. Older marketers can miss this if they try throwing more money at the marketing effort.

Instead, marketers should look at the lifetime value of a Gen Z customer, which is a lot higher than the lifetime value of an older customer who has been with the company for a number of years. [12:13]

Digital natives

Managers must remember that Gen Z asks why. Previous generations were taught not to question authority, but Gen Z asks why, not to be disrespectful, but to understand the reasoning behind decisions.

The generation is curious and they want to understand motivations.

Gen Z is also the first generation to be true digital natives. They grew up in a world where the Internet was prolific. When they seek information, their first source is Google and their second is Instagram. [14:29]

They tend to seek a wide range of different perspectives on a topic. If someone tells them one thing, Gen Z tends to seek other voices before making decisions because they are used to this expansive focus.

Gen Z and video

Gen Z responds better to video than past generations. Primarily, the generation watches YouTube and Netflix more than they watch regular television. Many of them learn new things like how to play instruments simply by watching YouTube videos. [16:39]

Companies can’t take traditional routes when selling Gen Z.

We R Gen Z’s research shows that 48 percent of respondents said that social media influences their purchases most. Big sales are next because the generation is more frugal than its predecessors and they are watching their dollars more carefully.

Companies have to be on social media, present it in an awesome way, and be there for the right reasons at the right time.

They’ve seen all kinds of incredible creativity and they expect it cool and different and new each time they interact with a brand. [20:45]

Reaching Gen Z

Brands must actually engage with this generation on social media. Consumers are looking to see that brands are liking comments and responding to comments. They must show that they are authentic and real.

They must also understand that 64 percent of Gen Z will buy things via smartphones. Most of Gen Z will look to reviews before buying and that they will sometimes buy a product because their friends vouch for it. That suggestion will carry more weight than any marketing campaign. [24:41]

Other findings are that 65 percent won’t use voice tech such as Siri and Alexa to buy, though they will use them to accomplish tasks like making lists.

Spending habits

Krista told the story of one of their panelists who loved the idea of the Nintendo Switch so much that it motivated him to get a job. He hadn’t had a job prior to that, but the new system motivated him to save his paychecks to purchase it.

Gen Z is willing to save for a few months to buy a certain product, but if the product is overly expensive, they fear it will be irrelevant by the time they save for it, so they won’t likely purchase it. [27:51]

Gen Z has also learned from millennials that they don’t want to be burdened with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. Their frugality is based upon the things they’ve seen. they want a different future for themselves.

As an aside, clothes, gift cards, and tech are the hottest items for Christmas when you’re shopping for Gen Z. They also really appreciate making gifts for the people they care about.

Marketing

Look at your marketing and your brand. Look at how you’re reaching Gen Z and think outside the box. It’s a creative group of people and you have to stay a step ahead of them to gain their loyalty. [31:36]

Think about accessibility. They want brands to be easily accessible and to make their lives easier and faster. Speed has become their standard, and they want easy.

Brands that don’t make it easy to access products and services don’t stand a chance.

“Selling Gen Z” episode resources

Follow Kathleen and Krista atWe R Gen Z and find them on social media. If you’re a brand seeking custom research, email them at askus@wergenz.com. You can also find Kathleen on LinkedIn or @kathleenhessert on social media.

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This episode is 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. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out our new semester of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League. We’re taking applications for the semester beginning in January, and we can only take a limited number of people.

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.

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, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

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