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Venture capitalists, Judy Robinett, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1166: The Importance of a Strategic Network for Business and Career Success

Venture capitalists, Judy Robinett, Donald C. Kelly

Many sellers overlook fundamental selling principles, but salespeople must learn the importance of a strategic network for business and career success in order to become proficient in our jobs. 

Judy Robinett is an advisor to Springboard, an incubator that helps women founders, with great statistics of 19 IPOs and 165 strategic sells. Judy loves educating people and meeting entrepreneurs and helping them with connections. 

She wrote the book, How to Be a Power Connector, a bestseller in 2014, and she recently published another book called Crack the Funding Code: How Investors Think and What They Need to Hear to Fund Your Startup. It’s a book that tells us how investors think and what they need to hear to fund your startup. 

The beginning

Judy worked as a social worker but she didn’t stop there. She explored her options and opportunities after making some bad decisions like starting her own franchise restaurant. In time, her business failed and she had to sell it.

She worked with a then-unknown company called Skullcandy® when they were broke and had a quarter of a million dollars in revenue. She helped the company build its credibility and bring its revenue up again. That fueled her interest in startups and she became an investor herself. Fast forward to now, she’s a managing director at Golden Seeds

Crack the funding code

Many great entrepreneurs in the U.S. don’t understand the facts. For one, there’s no lack of money. In fact, there’s $318 trillion of private global wealth. These entrepreneurs don’t understand the players: there’s private equity that are all investing into startups as well as the sovereign wealth funds that manage 10% of the global GDP. 

The book Crack the Funding Code is an easy-to-follow roadmap on how to find and pitch investors. The book’s appendix has term sheets, actual pitch decks, and other relevant research information. It is a book that will educate entrepreneurs because these people can change the world. 

Lessons in mistakes

Entrepreneurs take calculated risks. Along the way, missteps create lessons waiting to be learned. Judy’s bankruptcy lawyer said of her failed franchise restaurant, “They can break you but they can’t eat you.

Judy learned to kick fear to the curb and understand that there’s no lack of resources in the world because resources are connected to human beings. It is true that sales are critical in finding and catching investors. It’s also important in catching the customers. Entrepreneurs must learn to navigate in their mistakes. 

They need to figure out how to get investors to figure out how to find customers. 

Funding mindset 

Howard Stevenson, known as the Lion of Entrepreneurism at Harvard, wrote a book on how to be an angel investor. His book talked about how you can set yourself apart from everybody else. In order to be perceived as a high-potential startup:

  • Be clear on your exit strategy and the comparables because investors want to get their money back. 
  • Mitigate risks as viewed by the investors. 

It is good for startups to put high-powered people in their advisory board to help build their credibility, especially if the CEO hasn’t done a startup before. In the VC investing world, people talk about adult supervision. This is critical because you want to have reliable people in your team with deep industry expertise who can open doors to money, media, and other resources that you might need. 

Getting investors is more than just being good and being able to produce something. 

One of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs do in their pitches is the way they focus on technology and explain the details at length. Investors, however, care less about that. Harvard researchers found that the average amount of time people spend looking at a particular slide is 11 seconds. Financial slides, however, get 23 seconds worth of attention.

Investors look for a team that can execute to a big enough market, the total addressable market (TAM). 

Three C’s

Arthur Rock was the first venture capitalist who started the industry in Silicon Valley. He said that if somebody comes to him with a B product but with an A team or an A product but with a B team, he’d always go for the A-team. This means that investors invest in the team that can execute. 

So, the first C is you need to be coachable. We all have that blindspot of not knowing what we don’t know. It’s important to come across as coachable rather than arrogant. If somebody asks you about something that you don’t know, then be upfront and tell that person that you’ll get back to him. Then ask for help to show that you are coachable. 

The second one is having a level of confidence. You are selling your concept, your company, and how you’re going to grow it to the investors so a level of confidence is important. 

The third one is character. Howard Stevenson said in his book that when he hears an exaggeration or half-truth, he runs away instead of walking so that he won’t lose money. Investors have a way of looking at your character in a substantial way. 

Be coachable 

The moment we say that we don’t need more information is the moment that we stop growing. When we stop learning and stop being coached, we also stop progressing and growing. 

A sales rep who has been selling for 10 years and who stops reading books about sales is stuck in the same way that an entrepreneur who stops needing advice is stuck. 

Businesses fall short because entrepreneurs stop growing and because they don’t have a board of advisers to tell them the truth or advise them what to do.  

CB Insights did a post mortem of 101 startups and one of the problems they found was the inability to learn and pivot. Clayton Christiansen, an expert on innovation at Harvard, said that 75% of startups pivot. Viagra didn’t start out being used the way it’s used today, but the nurses noticed a side-effect.

Everybody must be in an exploration of finding out what you don’t know because that’s where growth happens. 

The obstacle is a gift. Run to your obstacle much like David running toward Goliath. Understand that every time you have a vision, Goliath shows up so you must master how to learn and pivot. 

There are two words that mean fear: the first refers to being terrified, and the second is the sense of awe and wonder. This happens when you step out of your comfort zone. 

You need to reframe your fear and deal with it. 

Network your way to the right investors 

It is critical to be in the right room. Judy met a founder who was trying to get investors in Salt Lake City for her company but she was in the wrong room because she wasn’t Mormon and she was a woman. Judy took her to Boston and San Francisco where she closed deals and then sold her company for millions

There are specific groups of investors. First, you start with your family, then your friends, then your credit cards, and you move up to the angel investor, the seed round. There are 400 angel groups in the U.S. and $317 trillion in private global wealth. There is no lack of money here. There’s also the governmental fund, the sovereign wealth fund. It is important that you know which group to go to. 

You can find them via searching in Google, by going to pitch events, or by asking top lawyers and bankers who work with startups. 

Do not forget to ask them the two golden questions: 

  • What other ideas do you have for me?
  • Who else do you know that I should talk to?

On average, people know between 600 and 1,000 people. You don’t have to know tons of people; you need the right people to get in the right room. 

Another good way to build your network is to find your way to private curated events and talk to people.  Let them know what you do. You can also ask them their opinion and who they know that you ought to be talking to as well. You’d be surprised at the number of people who are happy to help but you need to learn to ask. 

This is particularly difficult if you are from the lower to middle class where you’re taught to keep your head down, get a degree, work hard, and don’t ask for help because people would notice. In truth, people do not notice. 

According to research in Denmark, 5% of people in any corporation or organization are the true influencers and power brokers. Those are the people that you need to get to know.

Delivering a compelling pitch

You need a concise, compelling narrative. Dick Wilson, a VC who has had $1billion exit every year for the past five years, was asked how to create a compelling pitch. He said that it’s important to be concise, be compelling, and have passion. 

You want to get to the second date so don’t spill all the details or all the financials because your job is to get those people to be interested in you and start doing due diligence. John Livesay, also known as Pitch Deck Guru, is a great man who can help you out with your compelling stories.

Research often suggests that the majority of startups fail but that data is inaccurate. Hard research shows that about 50 percent fail because the owners aren’t willing to learn. 

Reasons startups fail

Phil Graham, one of the Y Combinator founders, said that there are two reasons why startups fail:

  • lack of customers 
  • lack of sales 

One of the Dropbox founders said that before he started Dropbox, he didn’t know anything about sales engineering and product development. He bought the top three books in each of those areas, and he got an advisory board. Simply put, you don’t have to be brilliant and smarter than everybody else. 

Don’t fail your startup. Use the two golden questions and start reaching out to strangers. Open your mouth and ask. Investors are everywhere and they need startups, too. They need to put their money into entrepreneurs’ startups so a little leg work and some networking is helpful. Go to the National Venture Capital Association and the National Angel Association to find lists of everybody. 

Do your homework and do your due diligence on the investors. 

“The Importance of a Strategic Network for Business and Career Success” episode resources 

Stay in touch with Judy via email, judy@judyrobinett.com, and her LinkedIn account. You can find the documents she mentioned in the episode here and here

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! 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Training Sales Program. A course to guide sales reps and sales leaders to become better in doing their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses to help you find the right customers, ask the right questions, and close great deals. You can get the first two modules for free! 

Or 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. 

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Donald Kelly, Ryan Levesque , ASK Method, Market Sharem

TSE 1118: 5 Things to Look For When Choosing Your Market

Donald Kelly, Ryan Levesque , ASK Method, Market Sharem

In order to succeed in business long-term, choose a market with room to grow, and consider these 5 things to look for when choosing your market.

Ryan Levesque recently landed on Inc.’s list of 500 fastest growing companies, and his company just passed the $10 million mark for annual revenue. He admits that he has made a lot of mistakes along the way and learned a lot as well. 

Finding a niche

Ryan said many business owners and entrepreneurs make the common mistake of following conventional wisdom in the early days of the venture. They focus on what they will sell or create rather than focusing on who they will serve. Who is your market? Who is your niche?

He has engaged in more than 23 niche markets, from making jewelry out of Scrabble tiles to weight loss and satellite television. Through the process, he has learned the importance of focusing on people rather than things. He points to choosing the right market as the most important factor of all.

You can be the most charismatic salesperson with the best closer, but if you have chosen a bad market, none of that will matter.

Wrong product and people

I’ve personally made the mistake of trying to sell the wrong product to the wrong people. I discovered a product that I liked and I thought other people would like it, too. But it didn’t make money because it wasn’t a good fit. There wasn’t a market for it.

Ryan outlines the indicators you should look for in his book, Choose. He said though, that writing a book invites communication from two different camps: those who love what they read and those who claim it didn’t work. He said it leaves you wondering whether you gave bad information.

Niche markets

In his first book, Ask, Ryan revealed the methodology he used to successfully enter niche markets. They figured out how to warm up prospects and how to determine what people want. It includes a specific set of questions designed to help you understand your audience at a deep emotional level so you can better sell and serve.

In an online environment, you ask questions on your website so you can funnel people into different “buckets” based on their situations.

Ryan focused on uncovering commonalities. For example, what did the people who didn’t succeed have in common? What were they doing wrong? He discovered that he didn’t teach people how he chose the 23 markets he engaged with. Of the millions of niche markets a business could engage with, what did these 23 have in common?

He engaged in what he called the biggest research project of his life. He sought to figure out why the 23 markets had succeeded where others had not. Then he looked at his most successful clients and tried to figure out what separates the successful ones from the unsuccessful ones. He uncovered seven factors that will make or break your business’ success.

The seven factors that Ryan uncovered are universal, foundational pieces that will help you find green markets, or those markets that are a “go” versus yellow which aren’t quite ready and red, which you should stay away from.

Evergreen markets

Consider the following study in contrasts on the topic of evergreen markets, which are relevant now and will still be relevant 20 years from now.

Ryan engaged in the Scrabble tile jewelry market about the time Etsy was coming online. Jewelry combining Scrabble tiles and origami paper was extremely popular at the same time he and his family were living in Asia.

They discovered a woman who was teaching people how to make the jewelry on Etsy and making about $10,000 a month selling the tutorials. There was no overhead, and her homemade version of a tutorial was selling like crazy.

Ryan and his wife decided to make a go of it, so she learned to make the jewelry while he worked on selling it. They built a better mousetrap, and before they knew it they were picking up steam. Before they knew it they were making $10,000 a month.

The ending wasn’t a happy one. The jewelry was completely a fad so sales dropped off almost overnight. Ryan had quit his job and his wife was in grad school so she wasn’t making any money. Avoid fad markets as you’re choosing your niche.

Ryan then engaged in the oldest hobby in America: gardening. He researched niches within the gardening market and he discovered orchid care. He started a business teaching people how to care for orchids and they took the business from zero to $25,000 a month. The tiny little niche business still pays their mortgage and living expenses.

Consider the example of fidget spinners and bitcoin as a study in evergreen markets.

Enthusiast market

The enthusiast market is in contrast with a problem solution market. The problem solution market involves solving problems for the people around you. Once you’ve solved the problem, people move on with their lives. Consider the example of flood removal. If your basement floods, once the water is removed, you never engage with them again. You won’t sign up for newsletters or Facebook groups.

If you own a dog, you will be a consumer in that market for years and years. Look for a market where you can generate a customer once and then sell to that customer over and over again. Chasing after new customers constantly is the hardest thing in the world to do.

Urgent problem

Those two markets aren’t enough on their own. You must have an urgent problem in the context of the enthusiast market. Many people will consider selling dog coffee mugs or Christmas ornaments. But none of those items address an urgent problem.

Urgent problems are those that keep people up at night. People talk about a $1,000 problem, but a $10,000 problem is 10 times bigger than that. An example from the dog market is the issue of peeing and pooping on the carpet. The issue becomes a $10,000 problem when you’re planning to travel across the company with a dog that still pees and poops everywhere. Now the problem is urgent. Now you’re not shopping around to find a 10 percent discount off a potty training solution.  

You’re looking for the urgent problem within the enthusiast, evergreen market.

Imagine you come to me with that problem and I help you solve it. Now, I’ve become your trusted advisor in the market. So now, when you have the next big problem, you’ll come back to me. Whether it’s biting or barking or pulling on the leash, you’ll trust me to help you with it.

Future problems

Seek a market in which, after you’ve solved the initial problem, the success of solving that problem leads to another problem. Imagine helping people negotiate a better salary. If you help your customer negotiate a $10,000 raise, you’ve created a new problem. Now he doesn’t know what to do with the extra money.

You’ve created a new problem for your customer.

Begin by choosing the right market for you. Once you’ve chosen, figure out what your market wants by asking. The next problem might be that they need to hire a first employee. Then the customer might need to establish processes and systems.

This gives you the opportunity to serve that customer for years and years.  

Players with money

Don’t sell to broke people. If someone can’t put a roof over their head or food on their table, it doesn’t matter how good your product or service is. They just can’t afford it.

Make sure you’re in a market that has a high concentration of players with money. The term comes from Gary Halbert, one of the all-time great direct response copywriters. It means that you don’t necessarily need millionaires or billionaires, but people who spend a disproportionate amount of money in that area of their lives.

We all know people who have a crazy hobby or obsession or some part of life where they spend a lot of money. Dog owners are a perfect example because of all the crazy stuff they spend money on, like pet insurance and operations and vacations.

On the other hand, Ryan launched a business in the memory improvement market, but because it targeted students who didn’t have a lot of money, he learned the lesson about people with money the hard way. He learned that you can’t build a big business around broke people.

Whatever you’re pursuing, the business doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to start. Don’t allow perfection paralysis take you over. Better to execute at a B+ level today and then improve moving forward.

“How to ‘Warm Up’ Your Prospects With Trust Before You Pitch” episode resources

Ryan is offering TSE listeners a free hard copy of his new book, Choose. All you have to do is pay a few dollars in shipping and handling. In addition, he’s providing $200 in free bonuses, including the audiobook. He has mindset training about some of the topics addressed here. Visit choosethebook.com/tse to take advantage of the offer.

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.

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Stephen A. Hart, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Marketing, FSMSDC

TSE 1091: Three Things Small Businesses Get Wrong When Marketing

Stephen A. Hart, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Marketing, FSMSDC

When you’re looking to grow your business or your brand, it’s important that you recognize the three things small businesses get wrong when marketing.

We’re at the Florida State Minority Development Council expo visiting with my friend Stephen A. Hart. He’s a brand alignment strategist who helps entrepreneurs grow an amazing brand that is authentic, relatable, and profitable.

Mistake #1: Overlooking messaging

Many people hear the word branding and they think of logos or designs. But pretty websites don’t sell things. Words do.

People get unnecessarily caught up on design but what they need to focus on is clear messaging. You have to clarify your message so that customers will listen.

Be deliberate about articulating what you do. In order to do that, you must understand who you’re serving.

Too many people think they are serving everyone with their product or service but that isn’t the case.

If I’m speaking to grandma and I’m speaking to my niece, we’re not having the same conversation. The language is different.

If you understand that you’re speaking to a particular group of people, there is a language that connects to that person. When you understand their pain points and their demographics, you can communicate your message about how your product or service solves a problem.

Dialing in

Stephen recalled a realtor who focused on selling to millennials and young couples. That’s who she was serving, but her message didn’t reach those people. She was trying to serve everyone.

Dial your message in. Understand who you’re truly serving. When you do, your message doesn’t have to be pitchy about your product or service. Your content can create a connection between you and your community.

Then your community will share it with others in the space.

Messaging isn’t a static process. It’s dynamic. You’ll constantly be optimizing your message.

Your brain

We lack trust in those we connect and do business with.

Understand that your brain is trying to survive and thrive. Within that, there are three things it’s trying to accomplish.

  1. You want to make money or save money.
  2. You want to gain status.
  3. You want to associate with a tribe.

Your brain is also trying to conserve calories. So if your website or your collateral is too busy, your audience will tune it out.

For example, how many emails do you receive in a day? Most of them get deleted because the messaging didn’t appeal to you.

It isn’t a design or branding that gets your attention. It’s the message.

Mistake #2: Neglecting web presence

Your website is your digital home, and first impressions last. It allows you to redirect traffic to your products or services or other online avenues.

Studies show that 57 percent of people are afraid to recommend a business because of its website.

Decisions are emotional so if your website doesn’t inspire confidence, you won’t be able to convert the people who show up there.

You must take care of your website, and specifically your home page. Get a good solid web design.

Mistake #3: Lacking content

You must have a presence on social media specifically for businesses. You also have to be on LinkedIn.

Sharing content on LinkedIn generates so much more organic traffic than other platforms. It’s a business-related social channel. As result, the income and quality of the people you’re engaging with there.

There are more than 9 billion impressions on LinkedIn every week, which amounts to 468 billion impressions annually. Of those, only about 3 million users are actually sharing content, which means there’s a lot of room available. And it’s all free.

Don’t worry as much about buying ads on Facebook. Worry about who your audience is. Realize, too, that about 98 percent of your leads will come from LinkedIn.

Video and long-form content are your friends on LinkedIn. Write longer posts. The sweet spot is 1,900.

Also write how-to and list posts to bring awareness to your brand.

Be creative

If no one is looking at your business, you’ll never thrive. You must create content of value and place it where the customers are. Put it in front of their eyeballs where they can’t dismiss it.

Have a solid brand presence online. Avoid the three things small businesses get wrong when marketing.

Branding course

Stephen created an online course called Brand You Academy that allows him to serve people and help with branding. It’s a 6-week online course that walks people through Stephen’s 15-year experience in branding.

When people Google you in 2019, whatever appears in your result will either leave people more or less inclined to do business with you.

People who sign up for the course are getting lifetime access to the course.

You can also connect with Stephen on his website and everywhere on social at Stephen A. Hart.

Isolation

The wisdom and the knowledge you gain from relationships is invaluable.

The Florida State Minority Development Council is here to help you grow your business. Your goal is to make money, so you must align yourself with other people who understand what you’re trying to do.

“Three Things Small Businesses Get Wrong When Marketing” episode resources

You can connect with Stephen at his website and everywhere on social @Stephen A Hart. You can connect with the Florida State Minority Development Council for more information about the council and its offerings.

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.

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Coaching, Start Up, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1078: CEO Lessons and How They Can Impact New Business Owners and Revenue Generators

Coaching, Start Up, The Sales EvangelistRegardless of industry, certain CEO lessons are common to every business owner, and the same lessons are important for you whether you own a business or not.

Benoy Tamang talks to us about the common lessons CEOs learn and the difference it makes if we take these lessons to heart.

Lesson 1

Being a CEO or a first-time startup guy is a lonely position. You’re trying to figure things out and take the bull by the horns.

You believe that your product or service or widget will be in high demand. You have a passion for it that no one else shares. Even your spouse likely isn’t as vested in your business as you are.

Everyone needs a trusted circle. Maybe it’s one person or maybe it’s five. Some will be very different and some will be similar to you. Have some people that you can talk to about the pains and troubles you’re facing.

You must have a support system.

Stand up for your business

Benoy talked to a CEO once who admitted to doing everything his board asked of him. He said he never offers any feedback to their requests either.

Benoy suggested that the board would rather him stand up for his business and speak up for the best interest of the business. Offer an alternative and suggest that you’ll execute your idea and report back.

Just because you took money from them doesn’t mean that they own you. They want you to run your business and stand up for what you believe in. You are the jockey they are investing in and they want you to lead them.

A good support network can offer you that kind of valuable feedback. That’s the kind of relief you can get if you have a good circle and cadre of people who provide unbiased input because they have experience and a willingness to help.

Lesson 2

Every CEO I run into, every senior executive, has a huge fear-based issue that undermines their performance. It constantly drags us down. It can manifest in arrogance, pride, and blustering of “I can do it myself,” but really it’s a cover.

On the other end of the continuum are people who are paralyzed by uncertainty because they aren’t entirely sure they can carry out what is being asked of them. They worry about making the wrong decision.

Benoy had a past client that hired two executive vice presidents who were older than him and who had significant experience. He feared that he couldn’t help them and that he was subservient to them.

Because they were more experienced and seasoned than him, he felt like he couldn’t talk to them. He was a tech, engineering, and product guy. One of them was a CFO and the other was a sales and marketing guy.

He was paralyzed by the inability to give them counsel and coalesce everyone around an idea.

It turns out this guy had some toxic relationships when he was younger and he carried that into his work situation. It neutralized his capability to lead and guide his employees.

It’s the same fear many of us feel when making prospecting phone calls.

Unconscious belief

The truth is that we’re all bright and capable and talented. Unfortunately, we suffer from an unconscious belief that originates from our early stages of life when we started to believe the wrong stories.

We’re capable, but we have a sort of alter ego that believes that we’re inferior. We perceive ourselves as slow of speech, impatient, and dumb. We focus on our weaknesses instead of our strengths.

Instead, we have to isolate the truth and recognize that we’re capable of magnificent work. We have to recognize our tendency to sabotage ourselves by listening to the alter ego that continually undermines us.

Evaluating self-talk

We have to start evaluating our self-talk to determine whether the things we believe are actually true or just a concern of mine that I’ve internalized.

If someone slams the door or hangs up the phone because he isn’t interested, does that make you a bad person? It doesn’t. It simply means that he isn’t interested.

Very often, though, we assign meaning to the rejections and we believe that we must have done something wrong. We assume it’s our fault they said no.

Be aware of the meaning you’re adding to the things that happen to you in a day.

Projecting

The same kind of projection happens in our relationships, too. Imagine my 16-year-old son doesn’t get up on time for school, and I immediately leap to worrying about whether he’ll make good grades or get into college.

I get wrapped up in fear worrying about what could happen.

Then he comes downstairs and tells me that he was up all night throwing up which is why he overslept. I’m in real danger of screwing that situation up by projecting my own fears as a parent on to him.

Identify the best course of action based on data rather than projecting your fear onto other people.

Lesson 3

It’s pretty surprising to find that straight talk is often absent. Too many new leaders focus on being nice instead of being kind.

Nice involves platitudes.

  • “You were great.”
  • “That was a great presentation.”
  • “You’ve got a great business.”

Kind actually goes deeper, and because it originates from a real concern for the person, it offers feedback.

  • “May I suggest that you make eye-contact next time?”
  • “You’ve got something in your teeth.”

A kind person goes a little deeper and offers straight talk even when it’s uncomfortable. Nice is too shallow. Nice is superfluous. Kind is authentic.

If you can just learn to believe in yourself everyone will be much better and we won’t be held ransom by jealousy, rage, and fear.

“CEO lessons” episode resources

You can connect with Benoy at bxtamang@gmail.com.

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.

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.

 

 

Social Selling, Personal Brand, Andy Storch, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1071: Building a Personal Brand, Giving value, Connecting with Others

Social Selling, Personal Brand, Andy Storch, The Sales EvangelistSmart sellers can make social media work for them by building a personal brand, giving value, connecting with others, and growing their business.

Andy Storch is a consultant and coach who is always learning new things about sales and who loves the freedom that selling provides. Though he says he still has a lot to learn, he has an advantage over many others because he’s always trying new things.

Because he has the confidence to experiment and discover what works and what doesn’t, he has a leg up on a lot of other people.

Personal branding

Whether you’re selling services or products, there are very few things that absolutely distinguish your offerings from other people’s. In fact, customers can always find an alternative.

In B2B especially, they are buying you. They want to do business with you.

Relationships are so important for sellers which is why it’s more important than ever to develop a personal brand. You must let people know who you are and create authority.

To that end, Andy uses social media to let people know who he is, to create authority, to share knowledge, and to build authority.

Attracting people

As sellers, we initially think we want to get on a call with everybody, but there are a lot of people we just won’t gel with. Social media attracts people who want to work with us and deflects others.

In an era where everyone is creating content of some kind, we have to put our own content out there in order to build our authority.

Given the amount of content that already exists, it’s tempting to wonder why yours matters. Even if you’re regurgitating information you learned from someone else, put your own spin on it.

For some, it’s blogging. Others use podcasting or YouTube. It depends on your style and where your clients are.

Andy points to podcaster Chris Ducker and his business Youpreneur. In his book Rise of the Youpreneur, Chris says that if you build a personal brand, it’s the last brand business you’ll ever need to build because you can take it with you and evolve it into any kind of business.

Five years from now, you may do completely different work, but if you’ve built a brand and a following, people will go with you.

Building a brand

Your personal brand is what you’re known for. Having your own website and your own colors is the advanced part of it.

Are you known for being knowledgeable, trustworthy, and someone that people want to learn from? Andy posts on social media with the goal of helping his friends discover the things that have previously worked for him.

They tell him that he inspires them, and he has created a personal brand as someone who is an achiever, who helps and inspires other people.

You want to be known as someone knowledgeable and trustworthy at the end of the day.

People who need it

Think of your content as giving information to a friend. You are putting it out there for those people who need it and want it at that time, not for people who don’t.

Don’t worry about the judgment from people that your content isn’t for. Most people are rooting for you. Even if the content isn’t for them, they’ll just scroll on by.

Action steps

Andy’s primary business is B2B so he spends most of his time on LinkedIn. When he moved to this business 18 months ago he committed to posting every weekday. Over time he has gained some traction there, though it’s a tough platform to engage on. Until you have a really good following of people, it’s tough to get likes and comments.

Start by finding an engagement group where people are in a group together commenting on each other’s stuff. Be careful with this, though, because if you join multiple groups it can be tough to keep up.

If you find one, it will help you build your following and gain exposure. It doesn’t directly turn into sales, but it keeps him top of mind for people.

You don’t know who’s on there and who’s seeing your content. Don’t put content out just for the sake of doing so, but find ways to be valuable to the people who follow you.

Don’t assume you’ll start generating sales right away. You’re serving people, you’re building a brand, and long-term it will work out for you.

Logistics

The best practice is to schedule content, but Andy calls himself a live-in-the-moment kind of guy who decides each day what to post. He alternates between providing content that targets his ideal clients and general content that would be helpful for larger numbers of people.

His target clients are less than 10 percent of his overall network, so sometimes he wants to speak directly to them, but sometimes he wants to engage a larger group.

Share experiences

Think back to your own experiences and knowledge. Can you turn those into posts or stories that you can tell Would you rather write or speak?

You’ve got to put it out there are hit publish. You won’t get much response in the beginning but you’ve got to keep doing it.

When you have a fear of judgment or criticism, it grows as you let it fester. The more you take action, just like with cold calling, you build more experience so it becomes less scary.

Podcasting

Andy has two podcasts: The Andy Storch Show and The Talent Development Hotseat. He uses the latter to land meetings with target clients who otherwise wouldn’t meet with him, and it’s working beautifully.

Everyone loves to tell their own story and they love attention. Many people don’t know how to do that because they aren’t going to start their own podcasts. Andy gives them a way to share their stories and experiences.

The same people who failed to accept sales meetings with Andy suddenly accepted the offer to appear on his podcast. He’s working to develop personal relationships with these people.

These people didn’t see a compelling reason to interact with him before they discovered his platform.

The added benefit is that he’s growing his authority and building relationships.

Serve don’t sell

Resist the temptation to include lots of calls-to-action and links. Provide value. They want to know that you’re trustworthy and that you have interesting things to say.

“Building a Personal Brand” episode resources

You can connect with Andy at his website, www.andystorch.com, and on LinkedIn. You can also check out his two podcasts: The Andy Storch Show and The Talent Development Hotseat.

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.

Value, Bob Britton, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Ppodcast

TSE 1063: How to Instantly Increase the Perceived Value of Your Offer

Value, Bob Britton, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist PpodcastThe marketplace is crowded, so if you understand how to instantly increase the perceived value of your offer, you’ll be better able to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Bob Britton got his start in business as an auto mechanic and he had an opportunity to buy an existing business. He figured owning a business couldn’t be that hard, so he jumped in, assuming he could do a better job than the people he had been working for.

He endured a season of failure but eventually started to improve as he learned the sales game. He realized that auto repair involves selling something that no one wants to buy, that no one is prepared to buy, and that no one ever has the money to buy.

He grew the business from a one-man show to a multi-million dollar business and then went on to other things.

Communicating value

If you can’t clearly communicate your value and what sets you apart from everyone else, you’re competing constantly on price. It’s the only way people know how to measure. But if you’re a value proposition, people will focus less on price and more on what they’re getting. It’s up to business owners to figure out what those value propositions are.

Begin by understanding what value really is. What you think is valuable is probably 27th on your prospect’s list of what’s valuable.

Consider even the smallest thing that might be considered valuable. Look beyond the obvious things like saving time or money because everyone claims to offer those.

Starting point

Understand that perception is everything. When you’re creating your value proposition, if your prospect believes it’s important, it is. Perception is everything.

That determines how we start. Begin by looking at the business drivers which are often saving money and making money. But drill down deeper.

  • Why would a customer use your offer?
  • What does the customer really care about?

Think of things like operating cost, downtime, uptime, labor cost, customer retention, market share, productivity, profitability, time to market, lifetime customer value, and any number of other concerns.

Asking good questions

Too many salespeople “wing it” when it comes to this process. They don’t think about the questions they ask and they rely on general ones instead of working to be specific.

People will give us a limited amount of time and effort. Ask specific questions that move people in a distinct direction.

Many sellers will ask about concerns, but that’s too general. Limit the question instead. What is your number one concern? Being specific will give you a lot better information from the customer because they’ll talk about the thing that is top of mind.

Then, flip that around. Ask your prospect the one thing that he hates about your industry. It takes some guts to ask this, but the information you get back will be the most valuable feedback you’ve ever gotten.

Bob asked people the number one thing they hated about auto repair on his way to building a million-dollar company. He used all that feedback to differentiate himself from his competition.

Digging deep

Your clients can give you information that will help you tweak your business and increase your revenue. You won’t have to push harder. Your clients will give you a to-do list that will help you improve.

Be willing to ask what your current clients dislike about working with your business. It will feel intimidating but they won’t crucify you. They’ll help you identify the things that are keeping them from buying more.

You may not need to dump more money into your business. You may not need to increase your leads but rather to just improve your close rate.

Next steps

Once you’ve identified the business drivers, identify some sort of movement. People won’t change unless your offering is significantly better than the status quo. People don’t buy offers; they buy new things.

What’s your movement? Increase, improve, accelerate, reduce, enhance, balance, free up, eliminate, minimize, revitalize, shrink, maximize. What kind of movement can you offer your clients?

Then add metrics to your value proposal to make it stronger and more believable.

Avoid using round numbers which sound less credible. When Bob was running the auto repair business, while everyone else was charging $87 an hour, he charged $98.68 an hour. When people asked how he came up with that number, he said that he figured out with his accountant the exact minimum he could charge to deliver the best service.

It’s a psychological effort that will surprise your customers and shift their thinking. It will position you as different than everyone else.

Do your homework. Don’t wing it because it won’t give you the results you desire.

Prepare

People may throw little tests out at you to see how you’ll respond. If you aren’t prepared, you’ll end up losing credibility because you don’t answer well.

Business drivers, movement, and metrics are the three things that create a tremendous amount of value for your business.

Do your homework. Position yourself as different, new, unique, and special.

Be creative. The competition has never been greater and the market is shifting. More people are becoming salespeople so you have to do everything you can to differentiate yourself.

“Increase the Perceived Value of Your Offer” episode resources

You can connect with Bob at his website, marketingautomationgroup.com and opt-in for a free 7-day course. He constantly produces new content designed to help you increase your perceived value.

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.

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.

Stacey Hanke, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 1006: Immediate Steps You Can Take To Begin Growing Your Influence

Stacey Hanke, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist PodcastIn today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we discuss the immediate steps you can take to begin growing your influence.  Whether you are in sales or not, everyone, at one time or another, needs to increase their influence.

I’m reminded of a coworker of mine who really knew how to connect with people. Tom had that ability to influence others.

He just understood people and prospects and he knew how to speak to them. He could point out potential problems before they became problems. As such, when he spoke, his clients listened. He was respected.

My guest today, Stacey Hanke, is here to talk about how we, like Tom, can grow our influence. [00:01]

Stacey is the author of two books, a Certified Speaking Professional, and CEO of StaceyHanke, Inc.

Stacey and her team work with directors, to C-Suite, and with sales professionals to make them more aware of the level of influence they really have versus they level of influence they believe they have. They accomplish this with keynotes, with mentoring, and through workshops.

They increase awareness by giving practical how-to advice so their clients know how to use both verbal and non-verbal methods of influence every day of the week. [03:25]

Influence: What it is and what it isn’t

Stacey has worked with a lot of individuals and organizations over the past 16 years. And though she sees it happen quite often, Stacey believes that influence is not something that you should turn on and off.

For example, you’ve got a high stakes phone conversation, meeting or sales pitch and you decide to ‘turn it on.’

There’s nothing authentic about that. There’s no integrity to it. [04:46]

Influence is when your verbal and non-verbal communication remain consistent at all times and in all situations. It is congruent with your priorities and purposes.

Influence is having the ability to move people to take action long after the interaction has occurred.

It takes discipline and hard work. It is hard because we often get caught up with worrying about how we are perceived. Will they like me? Am I going to say the right thing?

Switch your thinking. What is important to my client? What is their experience with the topic? Why is this conversation happening?

To really drive home the value of your product or your service – whatever you’re trying to influence the person to act on – it first has to resonate with the client. [05:36]

So, be genuine.

Stacey recently helped a client to realize that he was putting more time into marketing materials and PowerPoint slides than into the actual delivery of the product. It is not the experience his clients were looking for. [06:46]

Feedback: Why you need it.

As a sales rep, one of the first steps to increase your influence is to ask for real feedback. You have to plan for it and ask for it.

Ask someone who you can count on to tell you the truth to listen to you as you practice. Ask them to listen, pay attention and give you feedback. When you can prepare in this way, the person providing the feedback is more likely to be direct and constructive with their comments.

We don’t need to be told how great we are.

We have to figure out our weaknesses in order to grow. It takes discipline to handle feedback and even more discipline to act on it. Don’t sabotage yourself by asking a subordinate or someone who is likely to tell you what you want to hear, instead of what you need to hear.

Put your pride aside. Strive for honest answers. [07:39]

Stacey has encountered many in her workshops who are hesitant to pursue feedback. She attributes this to the stigma that surrounds feedback as meaning you’ve done something wrong.

Feedback instead means that you are already doing well. You wouldn’t be in the position you are in if you didn’t know what you were doing. Feedback provides opportunity to become even better. It encourages constant growth. [09:41]

Leadership

In a study conducted by Joseph Folkman of over 51,000 leaders, it was realized that leaders who frequently ask for feedback rank in the top 86% for leadership effectiveness. On the other hand, leaders who rank in the bottom 15% for leadership effectiveness are in the bottom 10% when it comes to asking for feedback. [10:20]

So how does this translate to working with a prospect?

Stacey reaches out to her clients every three or six months to find out what has been working for them during that time. She frequently asks her clients why they continue to work with her team. What keeps them coming back?

Then she flips the coin. What can her team do to make things easier? How can they provide more value on a long-term basis?  This allows the client to tell you how best to upsell them by letting you know what other services they might want or need.

Your clients can disappear at any point but if you deliver the value that you promise and you truly care about your clients, then the ability to upsell based on their feedback provides a service to them. [11:31]

Being influential is not the same as being manipulative. The more you practice asking for, setting up, receiving, and dealing with feedback, the more you’ll start to crave it.

It sounds crazy but sometimes the feedback is completely different from how you felt during the conversation or how you thought you came across.

Sometimes feedback can be harsh.

But the toughest feedback often comes during periods of growth or transition. You might hate it at the time but it will help you grow. [13:42]

Get comfortable with becoming uncomfortable

Feedback can be hard to embrace if it requires a change that takes us out of our comfort zone.  Make feedback common practice. You can apply it to everything in life. The more uncomfortable you get, the faster you grow.

Once you get over the hurdles, once you stop hitting your knees every time, you will start to see improvement.

Staying in our comfort zone only makes us lazy. Resting on our laurels or believing that we already know everything comes across in our performance.

When you are feeling strong and landing deals, Stacey says that is the time to feel uncomfortable. Work hard even when times aren’t tough.

Imagine going to the gym only when you want to lose weight. It isn’t going to last. It is too painful.

Instead, be consistent to get consistent results. [17:09]

Talk to your clients like you would talk to a friend. They don’t need somebody pushing a product down their throat. They want someone who is trying to meet their needs so ask how you can do that for them.

  • What is the best way to communicate with them?
  • How frequently do they want to hear from you?
  • When can you call or email them next?

To have more influence from a personal standpoint, try seeing yourself as your audience does.

Record yourself on your phone. The level of awareness that develops from observing your own verbal and non-verbal cues can be truly eye-opening.

Everything about our behavior translates into the experience that people have with us. Influence doesn’t happen during the conversation. It happens after the fact. Focus on your thoughts. [20:26]

No eyes? No talk.

Focus your eyes on a single point and practice as if you are speaking to individuals there.

When you focus your eyes, you become focused in your thoughts.  When you lose focus on the point, you will find that you also lose your train of thought.

Make every interaction purposeful.

When you are trying to connect with someone, only speak to them when you can see their eyes. Make it a meaningful conversation.

Anytime you need to look away, stop talking. It creates trust. Without trust, nothing else matters.

You save time when you stay focused and speak less. [22:30]

Many of us forget that the people we are trying to influence may not be as excited about our years of experience or about our product as we are. If you only have two or five minutes with a client, think about how to provide the greatest value in the shortest time.

Make it memorable for them. They don’t have to say ‘yes’ today but you can increase their interest today. Let them know how to reach you tomorrow. [24:31]

Consistency

If you want to use social media to increase your influence, be sure to be consistent among the platforms.

Stacey cites the common problem of using cellphones to send emails, namely, that disclaimer at the bottom to ‘please forgive any grammatical errors.’ Why would you ask a potential client to do that?

Influence comes through with everything we do.

Be sure your messages are consistent. Don’t bash other companies. Remember that your tone of voice does not convey to the written word. Avoid the risk of coming across as unprofessional.

Think before you post.

“Immediate Steps you can Take to Begin Growing your Influence” episode resources

Connect with Stacey and check out her available resources at staceyhankeinc.com.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Moffat, Visibility Impact, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1001: What Causes Fear and How to Overcome It?

James Moffat, Fear, The Sales EvangelistWe all have some kind of fear, but when we discover what causes fear and how to overcome it, we can discover new opportunities and success.

Fear can prevent us from experiencing amazing things in life, or pursuing new business opportunities. We suffer through anxiety and difficulty when dealing with these fears.

But no more!

James Moffat, CEO and Founder of Visibility Impact guides new entrepreneurs and people wanting to start businesses by providing them with the tools and information they need to grow their business with proper exposure.

He accomplishes this through a number of programs to drive results. His clients achieve bigger goals in a shorter amount of time and gain visibility. [02:00]

Self-limiting

I used to have a fear of talking to important people. I felt like I wasn’t worthy of their time or attention. It was a fear I quickly had to learn how to overcome in order to succeed in sales.

When I finally understood that I was speaking with other human beings, people who were maybe just as nervous about talking to me as I was about talking to them, it made all the difference. I was the only limiting factor to my success. [10:37]

James and I will talk about fear. What is it? How can we overcome it? What can we do on a daily basis to conquer fear instead of allowing it to conquer us?

The Effects of Fear

Many of us in sales have fears that hold us back and cause inaction.

James defines fear as a worry about the unknown. It has a physiological effect not only on your mind but on your body as well… cold sweats, stress, etc. [05:10]

Common fears among salespeople include worrying about what to say during a cold call, worrying about having enough product knowledge, and worrying about how prospects may react.

Many of us also fear giving our first presentation to a real audience. Is my content relevant? Will people even listen to me? [05:48]

Overcoming fear

Overcoming these fears – or at least accepting them and learning how to cope with them – is necessary for success.

You don’t have to suddenly like what it was you once feared; you may always dislike cold calling for example, but you must learn how to deal with it.

We often find ourselves assuming the worst before we even begin. We have negative thoughts instead of positive ones.

Controlling Fear

Using cold calls again as an example, James still doesn’t particularly enjoy making them but he found a way to make himself feel more comfortable about it.

He took the time to learn more about the person prior to the making the call. James spent time on their website, learned about their business, and visited their LinkedIn profile.

James would also coordinate the time of the call via email. This allowed for a more relaxed introduction and eradicated the fear James had about interrupting a prospect with an unexpected phone call. [08:37]

Using these techniques, James was able to turn a cold call into a warm call.

Reducing negative outcomes

Once the negative possible outcomes are reduced – once the number of unknowns is reduced by planning ahead – the level of fear is reduced.

We may not conquer the fear, but we will have it under control.

James recalls a situation, outside of sales, when he was atop a tall building with a friend and found himself convinced that he had a very real fear of heights. His friend disagreed because James has no such fear when traveling by airplane.

It is not a fear of heights but a fear of falling. When James feels safe, he is not afraid.

This lesson applies to sales.

Moving Beyond your Comfort Zone

James introduced a new concept to his Facebook group in order to help people overcome their fears. He didn’t want people to join without being known, so he required a short introduction from all new members via a 40-second video.

The videos are posted to the group for comment which in turn stimulates discussion and comments.

It creates immediate visibility among the group members. The video requirement was beyond the comfort zone of many participants, but to James, that is the whole point.

We have to embrace change and technology. Do it once and it becomes easier each time thereafter. [16:27]

You can not find success by remaining in your comfort zone. Learning to move beyond is when remarkable change can begin to occur.  

Training wheels

Think back to when you first learned to ride a bike. You were certainly afraid to fall and probably did fall several times. But the more you tried and the more you trusted the person who was teaching you, the better you became.

You overcame the fear.

Use the resources around you. Ask the senior sales reps how they overcame the fear of cold calling or the fear of rejection. How do they introduce themselves? What steps do they take to make themselves comfortable?

Think of them as the training wheels on your bicycle. [20:32]

“What Causes Fear and How to Overcome It” Episode Resources

Please check out VisibilityImpact.com and the Facebook group by the same name. James can also be found on LinkedIn.com.

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

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

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.

Sangram Vajre, Sales Podcast, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 960: TSE Hustler’s League – “$1 Million”

Sangram Vajre, Sales Podcast, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

Most startups never reach the $1 million mark. Roughly 95 percent of startups will never achieve that level of revenue. On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we visit with Sangram Vajre, “The Accidental Evangelist,” about what he learned from building a company and how to achieve $1 million.

Sangram founded a company called Terminus, and he had a front-row seat to see what building truly looks like, and along the way, he achieved $20 million revenue in about a year and a half.

Product-obsessed

Most people who start a company begin because of a problem. They understand the problem but they quickly become product-obsessed rather than problem-obsessed. They believe their product will solve the problem, and it might, but they lose sight of the fact that no one has a perfect product right out of the gate.

The process is evolutionary.

Even Salesforce, which is a $10 billion dollar company, doesn’t have a perfect product. The company constantly adds and changes its products.

Don’t fantasize about the product. Instead, fantasize about the problem you want to solve. It’s a huge mind shift.

Sangram started a community called “Flip My Funnel” and he invited media, influencers, and even competitors to speak at the event.

Once everyone was talking about the problem, the market grew and Terminus was able to find its market.

Find problems

Become obsessed with the problem you’re trying to solve.

Figure out how big your market is. Determine the right use case that works for your company and then build a community around that use case.

If you’re selling a product to marketers, to B2B companies only, that’s the niche you want to carve out. You must dominate that vertical and own that topic.

Build a community and build ideas around that topic and galvanize everyone in the company and the community around that idea.

There’s so much power in singularly focusing on one topic so that you don’t get distracted in many other areas. 

The people who listen to you are going to win if they listen to you and they’ll become customers for life.

For Terminus, they defined their market as every B2B SaaS company with a certain revenue and a certain number of employees.

They focused on letting every one of the companies that could eventually be their future customers to know about them. They knew where they wanted to go, so they took the camp and went there and met with people.

Prospect thinking

Sangram said his thinking changed when he realized that, although no one wants to lose a prospect, it’s much more painful to lose a customer.

Your customer is someone you have an intentional relationship with. Sangram started calling everyone a customer or a future customer.

That means you have to know the company you’re trying to sell to and you have to know that they will benefit from what you’re trying to sell them.

If they don’t become customers today, it’s okay because they’ll become customers tomorrow.

Focus on only your future customers rather than focusing on everyone. The list should be short so that it matters to you if you lose one of them.

Words matter

The words we use matter. We’re all humans and emotions impact us.

During a discussion with Jay Baer, author of Talk Triggers, Sangram discovered that every single touchpoint is either building your brand or trashing your brand.

If you’re sending a newsletter every Wednesday but you aren’t sure that it’s truly adding value, you’ll never hear from those future customers. Every time you do something that isn’t adding value to their day or their life, you’re taking away from your brand.

Think about every touch point as something intentional.

Sales strategy

Although the sales strategy in the early days of Terminus wasn’t intentional, Sangram identified three things that helped the company be successful.

1. Rolling thunder

Every month you must do something to get the market’s attention. Do something oriented to your market. Something bigger than just a blog.

2. Big rocks

Many startups have a never-ending list of things to do. Instead, focus on the big rocks, or the things that will truly move the needle.

3. Small wins

Companies often neglect small wins. How do we celebrate small wins instead of focusing only on the big ones? Change your culture so that small wins matter as well. Small wins create the momentum that gets you over the big hill.

Say one “thank you” every day. Acknowledge your team with handwritten notes. Let them know that their work matters.

“$1 Million” episode resources

Connect with Sangram on Linked In or Twitter, and check out his podcast called Flip My Funnel.

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

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

Leave us a review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Barth Getto, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Leadership

TSE 899: Sales From The Street-“Your Legend”

Barth Getto, Sales From The Street, Sales LeaderLeadership is difficult. Even when the people you’re leading have something in common, it’s tough to lead a varied group of people. Leading a group of independent, free-thinking employees presents a unique challenge, but it’s one that allows you to leave your mark.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Barth Getto, president of Empowery eCommerce Cooperative, talks about the challenges of leading a varied group of people well. Barth, who leads a collection of independent entrepreneurs that sell in the eCommerce space, says you must learn to motivate and encourage.

Lead by experience

First and foremost, it’s much easier to lead a group of people when you have experience doing their job. If you’re the VP of sales, it will be easier to lead a sales team if you’ve sold the product yourself.

People look at you differently when you’ve walked in their shoes.

You also have to set very specific goals and hold people to those goals.

Salespeople want to be told when they’re doing well. They don’t mind being told when they are doing poorly if they’re being measured fairly.

Realize, too, that you can motivate so much better by giving positive feedback than you can by giving negative feedback.

Be a confident leader

When you’re a leader who isn’t worried about losing your leadership position, that confidence allows you to operate differently. You relax a little more.

Some managers see capable people as a threat to their own positions. They fear that if they give too many public accolades to another person in the organization, they’ll lose their job to that person.

Barth said his goal is to make sure his employees are so well-versed in how the company runs that they won’t miss him when he leaves.

As a leader, the leaders he raises up are his legacy. He trains them and gives them all the tools they need to succeed. It’s a selfless idea: striving to benefit everyone instead of just yourself.

Every time he has left a company, it has done well in his absence.

Seek group input

There’s no such thing as a perfect decision. The best you can hope for is to analyze all the information you have and make the best decision you can.

No one has all the answers to any issue, and that’s especially true in eCommerce.

It is possible, however, to improve your odds by including others in the process.

Be direct

Issues are easier to identify when you have a good CRM in place and a good tracking system so you can provide examples to your team members.

When issues arise with people on your team, tackle them head-on. People who know you care about them will be open to discussions about their performance.

Allow them to be part of the discussion. Ask them where they believe the problem is occurring. Treat it more like a consultation than an accusation.

Again, this is why experience in their job gives you credibility because you’ve personally done the work they are doing.

Also realize that sometimes releasing people from a job that isn’t a good fit is a kind act.

Enjoy the work

Building leaders is rewarding work, especially when you lead a varied group of people. Barth compares it to watching a child grow.

As your team gels and solidifies, you watch the organization move forward and find more success and learn from its mistakes.

The goal, he said, is to watch people blossom and then step out of the way to let them lead. In short, when you lead well, you’re working yourself out of a job.

Once you’ve had success, it’s easy to find another organization that needs your help, and then you get to have the experience again.

Be positive. Give your team a shot in the arm. Do things together outside of just selling.

Understand how your people like to have information shared. It’s easy to have a conversation with someone who knows you care about him.

“Your Legend” episode resources

Connect with Barth via email, barth@empowery.com. If you’re a listener in the eCommerce space selling through any major marketplace, Barth would love to talk with you about becoming a member of the cooperative.

The costs are nominal but the benefits are huge. The co-op provides a support network — a sort of safety net —  and helps you sort through the wild-west aspect of eCommerce.

Grab a copy of the book Turn the Ship Around that Barth mentioned during the podcast.

If you think you might benefit from more stories like these, check out The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, an online group coaching program that brings sellers of all levels and all industries together to share insights. We’re beginning a new semester this fall, and we’d be honored for you to join us.

Check out the Video Jungle podcast, which teaches you how to utilize video to stand out from your competition. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy. You are a brand, and video can help you set yourself apart.

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Bryan Hendrick, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 876: The Challenges of Selling As An Entrepreneur Part 2

Bryan Hendrick, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

Sales is one of the most crucial parts of entrepreneurship, but many of us come up short. Because entrepreneurs occupy multiple roles, sales often gets lost in the shuffle of running our own businesses. On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Brian Hendrick talks more about the challenges of selling as an entrepreneur.

We first heard from Brian in episode 873 as he talked about founding Cascadian Landworks in a city that was new to him and an industry that was, too.

Deep understanding

Brian learned quickly that he needed a deep understanding of the industry he’s working in so he would know who to talk to and what would resonate with them. Like all salespeople, he learned that it’s vital to know who to go after. He typically targets project managers.

He also learned that he has to be very respectful of his prospects’ time because his portion of any construction project is a very small component. Instead, he has found that it makes the most sense for him to seek time with project managers who typically deal with smaller aspects of larger projects.

Entrepreneurs must know who the key contacts are for their business.

Sales processes

Brian said that the “top of funnel” activities and cadence have been an important part of his business development.

He realized several months ago that he had to get off of the revenue roller coaster if he was ever going to be able to move from working in the business to working on the business.

Entrepreneurs always have a flurry of business development in the early days of the company. Once they win the opportunity, they often get sucked into working on that project.

Focusing on your funnel allows entrepreneurs to keep the sales pipeline full and grow their businesses with some level of predictability.

Nurture sales

No one cares about your business as much as you do. Even if you give someone else the reins, they may not operate with the same conviction that you do. Though you might work into the wee hours of the night, they might work until quitting time.

Even if you hire managers, you must have a personal connection to your sales. You must hustle because you need this thing to gain its own roots and run.

Part of that involves fostering relationships with prospects: staying top-of-mind with your ideal clients.

Humans respond to emotional connections, which result from spending time with people. Develop empathy for your clients and lead them. Set the example.

Shift tactics

The construction industry tends to be fiercely loyal, making it tough to grab attention from a client that has an existing relationship with your competitor.

In an effort to overcome that dynamic and recession-proof his business, Brian has shifted from trying to find projects he can help with. Instead, he seeks to share best practices his ideal clients can incorporate into their operations. It ties back neatly to gaining a deep understanding of your prospects.

Although he acknowledges that there are times when it’s appropriate to give up, he guards against getting discouraged by the struggle.

“Selling As An Entrepreneur” episode resources

Connect with Bryan on LinkedIn to share what you’re doing or find out more about what he’s doing.

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online group coaching program designed to help sellers of all levels. Whether you’ve been selling for 15 years or 3 days, we’ll give you all the coaching and guidance you need to perform well.

The course is only $167 a month for three months, and it will connect you with sellers in all regions and industries who can share their struggles as you share your own.

Check out The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook, where a community of people shares their struggles and their experiences with selling.

Also check out the Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and selling your brand using video. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy.

This episode was brought to you by our friends at Wiley, publishers of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading. It’s a blueprint for sellers based upon years of research about the things buyers hate.

We’re so convinced that you’ll love the book that we’re providing a free excerpt to our listeners here.

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

 

 

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Jeff Goins, Donald Kelly, Blogging

TSE 638: Why Great Salespeople And Entrepreneurs Steal Before They Can Create Success

Jeff Goins, Donald Kelly, BloggingStuck in the idea of having to come up with original ideas? Do you feel like you have to recreate the wheel every single time? Sometimes you just have to copy different ideas from great people and rearrange them to make it your own. This is how you can move that needle from being a starter to a thriver.

Today’s guest is Jeff Goins. He is a writer and he also runs an online business helping writers and creatives succeed through teaching online courses. He has built a million-dollar business, has published four books, and has become an online marketing expert. A lot of the skills he has utilized can benefit you and that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

One of those principles comes from his book, Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age. He explains why he believes great artists steal before they can create.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Jeff:

In the book, Jeff mentions 12 rules that will move you from starting to thriving in any creative profession, including sales. One of the rules of the book is to:

Steal from Your Influences

Starting salespeople try to do something original and come up with original ideas. Thriving artists understand that the best way to do creative work is to steal from their influences. Borrow from great people who have come before you. Build on their work and re-share it.

When you steal from just one person, you become a copycat. When you steal from many people, you will become an artist. Jeff quotes Will Durant saying, “Nothing is new except arrangement.”

Study then Copy

Don’t do your work as if you’re creating something from nothing. Do interesting work by becoming aware of all the greats who have come before you. Study the people who have mastered this field. Study them and copy their work.

Do this from a bunch of different people and reassemble and rearrange it into something interesting. In a way, you have created something new by pulling together a bunch of old pieces from different sources and reassembling it into your own.

Finding Your Voice

Take what you’ve learned but make sure your personality still thrives. The only way you get to your style is to copy other different styles. Try what feels like a good fit and over time, you discover something unique to you.

Take your favorite salespeople and copy them. Reinterpret it and share it in your own way. This is an exercise. Understand the first 100 reps of this is going to feel weird and forced.

If you’re interested in mastery. Copy them just as a means for practicing and over time you will understand why they do it this way. You start a thief, you end an original.

It Doesn’t Take Just One Great Idea

A lot of salespeople think they just need that one great idea and everything will be alright. That’s not how business works. Lewis Schiff, in the book Business Brilliant, did a survey on 700 American households who are self-made billionaires and 700 middle-class households. The same question was asked to them about how to build a successful business and their answers were very different. The middle class said it just takes one great idea. The self-made billionaires said you have to borrow from what somebody else has done and then do it better.

Borrow From What Somebody Else Has Done and Do It Better

One end of the extreme would be getting stuck trying to come up with something original and you will stay where you are. The other extreme is just do what other people are doing. That will get you into the end of the game but you won’t get to the top. So you have to do it better or different. Take something and twist it in some way. Instead of trying to add something original, take two different things and combine them.

Looking Into Other Industries

Find what everybody is doing. Get into that game. Copy the base level stuff they’re doing. Then borrow from some other industry. Apple, for example, combined engineers and artists to come up with beautiful products. Bring in two unlikely ideas in a new way and now you’ve got something interesting. You don’t want to do so different that it doesn’t work but you also don’t want to do what’s expected since you’re not going to stand out that way.

Marketing Partnerships and Collaboration for the Sake of Creativity

We don’t do our best alone. The idea that best work comes by ourselves is a bad idea. Genius almost always happens in groups. If you have an idea and you’re not sharing that with other peers or trust friends in your industry to give you feedback, you’re like to fail or not be able to perform at your highest level. Don’t go around sharing ideas but be a part of collaboration where you’re given feedback. Joining mastermind groups is the perfect example. The idea is to get around people you can trust, will tell you the truth, and will set some parameters to either help course-correct you or affirm your ideas.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Jeff Goins on www.goinswriter.com

Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age by Jeff Goins. Go to the book’s site to get a couple of bonuses there www.dontstarve.com.

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout

Business Brilliant by Lewis Schiff

Maximum Influence by Kurt Mortensen

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

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

Help us spread the word out by leaving us a rating or review on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play or whatever platform you’re using.

 

The Power of Habits, Frank Gibson, The Sales Evangelist, Best Sales Podcast

TSE 461: What Salespeople and Entrepreneurs Can Do To Form New Successful Habits

The Power of Habits, Frank Gibson, The Sales Evangelist, Best Sales Podcast Human beings are creatures of habits, which can either help us succeed or fail. But the key is to make sure you form good habits in order to be successful in your career and life in general.

My guest today is Dr. Frank Gibson is going to share with us great insights into understanding more about habits and how you can build habits that are going to help you become an awesome sales professional.

Dr. Gibson is a successful businessman and is also a successful medical practitioner and science researcher. He has appeared on over 50 television and radio shows in Europe and the US.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Dr. Gibson:

Dr. Gibson’s coolest sales experience when he was the customer

The Power of Good Habits

  • Most people dream about what they want but that remains a dream or they fail.
  • Habits are founded on COMMITMENT and DISCIPLINE
  • Commitment moves us into action.
  • Discipline is what makes us successful in life

“It takes years to develop a good habit but only one second to break it.” – Dr. Frank Gibson

The Power of Bad Habits:

  • If unchecked, people start to identify their lives by their bad habits.
  • Bad habits are not who we are, but a result of not viewing ourselves with the dignity, self-respect, and self-potential we deserve.

Change is possible.

  • People don’t want to face their bad habits but they have to understand that they change is possible.
  • Using your mental ability can help you create good habits.
  • You must also use your passion as your fuel.
  • Set rules of engagement before setting off on these positive changes.

Strategies for setting rules of engagement:

  1. Identify what you want.

Identify what you want and determine what you need to get there. Always know the difference between want and need.

  1. Do a SWOT analysis on yourself.

Determine your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Get others to do it on you like friends or coworkers.

  1. Get the training.

Suck up on everything you can to fill any gaps that you see on the SWOT analysis.

  1. Take control.
  2. Become aware of what you need to have for a meaningful life.
  3. Don’t be afraid of change.

Be open and fearless of any possibility in your life because nothing is constant in life but change.

  1. Don’t ever be comfortable.

Just because it’s a great passion, doesn’t make it automatically successful.

Be new everyday: “The old dog died last night.”

Develop a habit that every single day, you are re-born. This way, it allows you leave the baggage of yesterday. Everyday is a fresh start.

Dr. Gibson’s Major Takeaway:

Barriers are not obstacles but strategy definitions. Many people are successful because they knew their courage and perseverance were greater than any obstacle. There are only false barriers.

Episode Resources:

Learn more about what Dr. Gibson does and check out www.lastcallprogram.com and download his guide for How Modern Science has Changed Addiction for free.

The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

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Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Mind-Set, Best Sales Podcast

TSE 272: “It’s Time To Sell”

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Mind-Set, Best Sales Podcast

Many startup companies face a common dilemma in our world today and that is taking their product up to the next level – bringing it to market, successfully. Why? Because many of them are scared of selling. Are you?

I’m bringing Chris Spurvey on the show today as we talk about two very powerful topics that are crucial when it comes to selling: overcoming your fears and having a vision.

Based in Newfoundland, Canada, Chris isn’t new to the sales and marketing space having brought in over $100 million in professional services. He also wrote his recent book, It’s Time to Sell: Cultivating the Sales Mind-Set, which offers a new perspective about the concept of selling so you can change your sales mindset in a way that keeps you motivated!

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Chris:

Why Chris chose to write the book:

  • Being a chair in their technology association of about 300 technology companies
  • Meeting startup companies and realizing people are afraid to take the next step – selling!

The fear of selling: The stigma of that “Electrolux” salesman

Chris shares the story of his mom who ended up buying a very expensive vacuum cleaner all because the salesperson was able to overcome all objectives.

Strategies to Overcoming Fears and Cultivating the Sales Mindset

  1. Create a vision.

Write your vision and put it in the present tense. Make it real by bringing in all your senses. Having that vision gives you the motivation you need to sell.

  1. Use the FORM technique to ask questions

Family – Occupation – Recreation – Motivation

  1. Write your morning pages.

Journaling is a very powerful thing. Write down a conscious stream of thoughts. Write whatever comes to mind. This basically allows the conscious and subconscious mind to communicate with each other.

Chris’ Major Takeaway:

Create a vision. It’s not the fulfillment of the vision, it’s the actual process of creating the vision.

Episode Resources:

www.chrisspurvey.com

Sign up for Chris’ newsletter

Check out Chris Spurvey’s book, It’s Time to Sell: Cultivating the Sales Mind-Set

Other book mentions:

The Greatest Networker in the World by John Milton Fogg

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

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

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

Sales Prospecting, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Best Sales Podcast

TSE 264: 3 Phone Prospecting Strategies You Should Implement Today

3 Phone Prospecting Strategies You Should Implement Today!So, do you make phone calls to your prospects often? Well, it’s a very common part of sales….”using the phone” that is. In this episode I share some ideas you can implement to help with your sales prospecting. Here are the major takeaways:

  1. Leaving voicemails
    • Do research and offer personalized information
    • Leaving voicemails that stimulate curiosity
    • Take advantage of “third party” and “internal” referrals
  2. We are not interested
    • Ask “if you were me and had something you thought could help ABC company, how would you recommend I reach Joe?”
  3. What if someone already has a vendor?
    • Ask them, “No one is perfect. Not me, not my company or your current vendor. If there was one thing they could do better, what would it be?”

These ideas are simple, but powerful. I hope you implement them and see greater success with your phone calls. Feel free to let me know if there are any questions.

Join Us Today!

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

Selling Intangibles, Salespeople, Services, Sales Podcast, Donald Kelly, Jeffrey Shaw

TSE 263: “Selling The Intangible”

Selling Intangibles, Salespeople, Services, Sales Podcast, Donald Kelly, Jeffrey ShawToday’s guest is Jeffrey Shaw, an entrepreneur who’s been selling the intangible and has worked with several individual entrepreneurs, coaching them, and helping those with service-based businesses to be able to sell intangible products.

Jeffrey has been a portrait photographer for over 31 years serving a very affluent clientele until seven years ago when he began his process of training as a coach and his career has now grown tremendously.

He realized it wasn’t the tangible photograph that he was selling but it was so much more than that. It was the intangible things!

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Jeffrey:

Intangible things a brand could be selling:

  • Prestige
  • Lifestyle
  • Space

Why Jeffrey thinks Apple is selling space:

  • Stores being spacious bring a certain atmosphere
  • Carved out a market space for themselves
  • Never selling a bundle but one product at a time
  • They get you in the wave where you ride the wave and buy the rest of the products.

Why several companies have a tough time selling the intangible:

It’s not a common business model. Most business education is based on selling tangible items and commodities. More people are selling the intangible with little example of it and little business education.

However, the intangible is what motivates people to buy. For instance, you may sell an art but the reason somebody buys that art is because of the way it makes them feel.

Best practices to sell the intangible:

  1. Strongly identify with your core value.
  • Turn inward first and get into the heart of what you’re most passionate about.
  • Ditch the niche and look at all the things that you’re passionate about.
  • Identify what’s common among them and come to a core purpose. Then your niche has to be grounded on your core purpose.
  1. Be clear on how you convey that intangible message through a clear marketing message.
  • This is the hardest process being a noisy, cluttered market.
  • You do the inner work to make it tangible and grounding so people can grasp it.
  • Take the intangible and make it tangible in a way that people can understand you.
  1. Understand the values of your avatar.

Really understand the people that you serve, what their real needs and values are. Then you can speak to them in their language. This way, you can do things for your clients before they even ask.

  1. Make your clients feel seen and heard.
  • Think about your good experiences as a consumer. It’s usually when you feel that people saw you for who you were or that you were heard.
  • Being seen or heard is a deep human need.

The power of stories when selling the intangible:

  • Telling stories can be a cliche and consumers can smell the authenticity of stories.
  • Be aware of not doing it the way everybody else is doing it.
  • Sometimes you don’t have to tell your pain point. Instead tell why you love doing your business to help them see the love in the side of business.

Authentic voice + 10%

  • Get clear on what your authentic voice is and then add 10%.
  • You don’t find your authentic voice. You uncover your authentic voice. Align it with your brand. And add 10% for it to actually come through clearly.

 

Selling the product vs. service – which is more difficult to sell?

  • It’s far more difficult to sell yourself than your service because you take it personal. It’s personal because it’s to a degree to which you care.
  • Selling something that is meaningful to you can push buttons.
  • The difficulty of stating your value and naming your price on something intangible.

Jeffrey’s Major Takeaway:

If you had four minutes to cut down a tree, spend three minutes sharpening the saw. Spend a disproportionate amount of time getting to know your clients, what they value, and their lifestyle. All of that is part of sharpening the saw so when you go into business, you’re aligned with the people you’re going to serve. Take the time to sharpen your saw.

Episode Resources:

Check out Jeffrey’s first online business training and coaching program, The Creative Warrior Unleashed, which was more than a year in the making. It is a 6-month program with weekly coaching involved to provide support in the process.

Connect with Jeffrey on Twitter @jeffreyshaw1 and Facebook creativewarriorsunite.com/facebook to connect with a whole community of warriors that Jeff has brought together.

Take the 7-day online mini-course Week of the Warrior for free by going to www.weekofthewarrior.com.

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

JOIN US TODAY!

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

Sales Management, Coaching Sales People, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Donald Kelly, Bryan Orr, Ann-Marie Bélanger

TSE 218: Sales From The Street-“The Business Owner’s View of Sales”

TSE 163 (3)

Today, I have two phenomenal and astoundingly awesome entrepreneurs (and friends of mine) and they will be bringing a whole load of value on today’s Sales From the Street.

Here’s something new… I’m trying a new approach where I’m inviting people who work with salespeople as they talk about managing salespeople, some challenges they’ve seen as business owners, and things they’ve done to improve their sales.

 

 

ann_marie_3583_clipped_rev_1

Ann-Marie Athavale

Ann-Marie Athavale is the VP of Sales and co-owner (along with her brother) of a Canadian-based technology company, Empire Communications, which provides voice, data, and security solutions to businesses covering places in Southern Ontario and parts of Michigan. They do B2B sales and deploy telecom technology for contact centers, school boards, doctors’ offices, as well as IP cameras and access controls for these businesses.

Also gracing today’s show is Bryan Orr, the general manager and co-owner of Kalos, a HVAC construction and electrical company in central Florida. He started it 10 years ago with his family and uncle. Bryan is also a podcaster, general audio nerd, and a business coach. Bryan is the host of the podcast The WOW Small Business Show 

Bryan Orr

Bryan Orr

 

Some major challenges they’ve encountered:

Bryan: Never liking the idea of sales

Ann-Marie: Recruitment and finding the right fit for their team

Top qualities they’re looking for in sales individuals:

Bryan:

  • Competitive
  • High-level salespeople
  • Internally motivated
  • High character and integrity

Ann-Marie:

  • Honest
  • Setting realistic expectations
  • People who are not afraid to say “no”
  • Someone who can go upfront to customers
  • Able to go the extra mile

Bryan says you have to make specific agreements with your team about the type of work they should or shouldn’t be accepting to generate a great customer experience and making sure you’re not wasting time.

Things they’ve seen in their top performing sellers:

Ann-Marie:

  • Going after the vertical market.

Bryan:

  • Being a good listener
  • Good at building legitimate relationships (not just transactional, but emotional relationships)

Does the company need to find you leads?

Bryan:

The importance of one-on-one conversation sets in: Having conversations with your people and coming to an agreement with them

Ann-Marie:

They’re lucky their team members are hunters!

Strategies for developing a sales mentality for your organization:

Ann-Marie:

  • Look for opportunities in the project to be able to offer the customer.
  • Keep the team motivated on a daily basis.
  • Conduct project management meetings: Keep the relationship and line of communication open between the sales team and the technical department.

Bryan:

  • Know what motivates your people.
  • You can’t pretend that you want them to be motivated by what they should be motivated by.
  • Have a constant feedback loop that reinforces that motivation.
  • Engage with their motivations and remind them about their motivations by giving them different opportunities tailored to what motivates them.

Some pieces of advice to early entrepreneurs:

Ann-Marie:

  • Do not be afraid to get out there and sell.
  • Do not be afraid of customers who say no.
  • Make changes as needed as you’re growing your organization.

Bryan:

  • Be open to whatever possibilities that exist, both with customers and with your staff.
  • Listen carefully to your customers
  • Be open to failing sometimes and do not be afraid of what could happen.

Some pieces of advice for a new sales rep:

Ann-Marie:

  • Ask questions and don’t be afraid to get out there.
  • Take risks and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

Bryan:

  • Be relentless.

Get in touch with Ann-Marie and visit their website http://www.empirecom.on.ca/  

Get in touch with Bryan Orr through www.bryanorr.com and check out his podcast The WOW Small Business Show
The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TSE 050: “The Power Of Belief” With Lin Hart Part 2

Lin Hart Quote_miniIn this episode I interview Lin Hart author of the book “Reginald F. Lewis Before TLC Beatrice….The Young Man Before The Billion-Dollar Empire”. Lin wrote this book focusing on a specific 10-year period of Reginald F. Lewis’ life. It was a period during which the two were particularly close and it is a period that received little coverage in his autobiography, “Why Should White Guys Have All The Fun.”

“During his lifetime, Reginald F. Lewis accumulated great wealth and arguably the richest African-American on the planet. This book is not about his wealth. It is about Reginald F. Lewis long before the wealth. It is about the challenges he faced during this 10-year period and the way in which he overcame them. It is about how he transformed himself from being ordinary to become extraordinary”-Lin Hart

I personally feel that the principles that Lin shares are very important to our lives as sales professionals and entrepreneurs. Here are some of the major take aways from my conversation with Lin:

  • Don’t just talk, look for opportunities to do things.
  • Reginald came from a humble background and was able to climb the tallest ladder and accomplish great things.
  • Align yourself with great people because they will have an impact upon you.
  • There are no straight lines to success. You will have to hustle.
  • Most people are fearful of change because they are afraid of the outcome.
  • Changes are never free and this is why some people don’t like changes.
  • Success will come to you when you find something that you love to do so much, that you would do it for free. However, you get compensated for it.
  • Understand your business at a granular level (deep dive). Always understand ALL THE DETAILS! The genius is the one who REALLY understands the details that most others do not or is not willing to understand.
  • Knowing the details of why you are doing something will help you become confident.
  • “The most impactful limitations you will face are the ones you will place on yourself” -Lin Hart
  • Before you start selling something, you must start selling yourself.

Post by The Sales Evangelist.

Books Lin spoke about:

  1. “Why Should White Guys Have All The Fun” 
  2. Reginald F. Lewis Before TLC Beatrice….The Young Man Before The Billion-Dollar Empire”

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TSE 037: Selling As An Entrepreneur with John Lee Dumas

John Lee DumasEntrepreneurs, get ready to ignite! During this episode I was able to interview Mr. John Lee Dumas! The man behind “Entrepreneur on Fire”! John’s podcast is a top ranked, 7-day a week business podcast, focused on inspiring entrepreneurs.

Some of John’s guests includes, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Barbara Corcoran, Tim Ferriss, Chris Brogan and over 500 inspiring Entrepreneurs.

Here are some of the questions/take aways I got from John during this episode.

Why are so many entrepreneurs afraid of selling? 

One of the major reasons why entrepreneurs dislike selling is the fact that they are fearful of rejections. To overcome that you must just launch and DO SOMETHING! Another way to overcome this fear of rejection is to get a mentor or be part of a mastermind group.

What does an entrepreneur do when your business grows greater than your ability to do it alone? 

John recommends that anyone in this situation reads Chris Decker’s recently released book Virtual Freedom. You can increase the value of your time and grow your business even faster by hiring others who can take care of minimal tasks for you.

How do you know at what point to price your product? 

There is no set answer to the ideal pricing of your product. John recommends that individuals focus on value and base the price on that, not merely on the hours spent offering that product or service.

John major take away is to JUST START!

John also recommend’s that listeners check theses two books: The Slight Edge & The Compound Effect.

FireNationElite

Entrepreneur on Fire (EOFire.com)

Podcaster Paradise

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TSE 017: Why Do People Give “Sales” The Stink Face?

Omar and NicholeIn this episode I have the opportunity of interviewing two amazing individuals who are doing BIG THINGS to transform the way entrepreneurs build a successful business. Both Omar and Nichole have an educational background and recognized the limitations that traditional schooling offers related to business.

They look at what it was missing and developed an alternative call the “$100 MBA”. They run  “The Business Republic” which is a weblog for those who are bootstrapping their business. Their focus is to related to these entrepreneurs by providing weekly thoughts, articles and videos to help them build a business that can’t be ignored. They are also developing a podcast that will be released pretty soon. Everything they do is to offer a rich experience to their students.

Some of the major take aways from our discussion are:

  • Creating a great “sales experience” for your prospects/clients
  • People love to buy, but hate to be sold
  • Lack of knowledge/ability is a major contributor and affects a sales experiences
  • Anyone can sell when taught what to do
  • Make the sales experience enjoyable for the buyer

They also reveal the BIG SURPRISE I mentioned earlier this week related to their retreat. It is The Business Reboot Retreat in Cancun Mexico May 10-14, 2014. The retreat is slated to have some awesome instructors and is a going to be a great time to relax and get refreshed. Check it out.

Also check out their free course at www.100MBA.net\free-course . Follow them on Twitter @BusinessRepublic or visit their website at businessrepublic.net.

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