On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’re talking with Curt Rapp about how sellers can benefit from the experiences and knowledge of others, and how that knowledge creates shortcuts.
Curt works as an independent contractor selling luxury outdoor products to consumers. During the holidays, that means Christmas lights and decorations. During the warmer months, he sells outdoor cooling systems and mosquito control.
He has access to marketing collateral like CRM and other resources, but he has to bring purpose and a sense of direction to the process. He has to take ownership in the sales process and get focused.
TSE Hustler’s League
Curt took part in our online coaching program, previously called TSE Hustler’s League.
He said the most valuable part of the experience was learning from other people’s mistakes. Curt calls them shortcuts because he’s borrowing knowledge from other people. [03:15]
Learning how other people handle the daily dogfight of sales helps him borrow their knowledge the next time he finds himself in a dogfight of his own.
In TSE Hustler’s League, even as the administrator of the course, I learned shortcuts and other tricks from people in other industries.
Salespeople tend to isolate themselves because they focus on the fact that their industries are different from other industries. The truth is that although the sales industries are very different, people who sell cars can learn from people who sell bicycles.
Curt said it took him several years to understand that he could learn from other people. Early on, he didn’t listen to people or their advice, and he ignored shortcuts that could have helped him be more successful. [05:31]
By learning from others, he gets to benefit from new information, and then he gets to share it with other people.
Having a plan
Curt said that early in his sales career, he took everything that came his way. He wasn’t selective in the choices he made. He saw opportunities all around but he didn’t wait for the right opportunities. [07:08]
Many of his past mistakes stemmed from dealing with people incorrectly and failing to intentionally set his expectations.
As a new seller, he got excited about phone calls and appointments because he didn’t have the confidence to expect them to happen. Now, he has the confidence to know that he can set appointments and close deals, and it has changed his focus.
Confidence has made everything easier in the sales arena. Also, it’s important to be humble enough to acknowledge that you don’t have all the answers. Once you do that, you can accept help from other people.
Positioned for the future
Curt learned from his TSE Hustler’s League experience that you must always be learning. He came to sales from an IT background, and he didn’t know what he was doing.
He had to be humbled, and that happened when he got around other people who were also hungry for knowledge. [10:40]
Group training sessions helped Curt in a variety of ways:
- It gave him situational awareness. When an unfamiliar situation cropped up, he could draw on discussions he had heard other people share about the topic.
- It improved his skills.
- Group training improved his accountability. He learned that he couldn’t be the guy sitting quietly in the corner of the group. He had to share and contribute something to the group.
To quote the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, if you aren’t sharpening your saw every day, you’ll be passed over. Nothing will be handed to you.
Once Curt changed his mindset to understand that he didn’t know everything, his situation started to change. The TSE Hustler’s League group training helped him shift his mindset to always be learning.
Engage with successful people
Find people who are successful. Use social media. Use online training.
Become aware of all that you can learn and then put yourself in a position to learn something new. Be open to the possibilities. Change your mindset and your mentality. [13:01]
Your future may not look the way you think it will, but it will likely be better than you expected.
“Shortcuts” episode resources
If you’d like to know more about Curt and to find out about the project he’s launching in 2019 connect with him at curtisrapp.com and on Instagram @CurtisRapp.
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.
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