Sales reps are facing a crossroads. The Digital Economy has empowered buyers and forced sales reps to change the way they sell. The choice is simple: evolve and thrive or cling to the past and struggle. This podcast delivers the high impact content that sales execs need to crush it in 2019 and beyond.
With 2020 ticking down, it is time to look forward to 2021 and year most people have been wishing for since March. Well, with that said, our sales game needs to shift into high gear to make 2021 your best ever.
Dan covers 5 areas of focus:
1) Pre Call Research - we often talk about the power of doing the homework prior to a call. But are we doing the right research and enough of it? What major initiative is the company undertaking? Cloud? Digital Transformation? AI? How are they going to grow next year? What has COVID done to their business and what do they need to do to succeed in 2021? Has their customer base changed? Should it? How do their customers make money and how have they been impacted? What new methods of distribution can be leveraged? In short, the research needs to be conducted with these types of questions in mind. The financial reports, the recent interviews with the company CEO, the industry publications are all key.
2) Having a Point Of View- while we are all on new ground in the Zoom Economy, we need to formulate a POV on the state of affairs in our industry. What do you see happening in the short and long term? What are the trends and how are successful companies tackling these key issues? What do you recommend based on what you have seen? There has never been a better time to bring ideas and insights to the table. The status quo is weaker than it has been in a long time. And while your prospects like to hold onto comfort, they know now that change is the key to not only success but basic survival.
3) Selling Change - By posing the questions around the prospect's current state and leading them to discuss the consequences are staying the course, we open the door to change. We need to be able to then connect our offering to that large initiative(but only 33% of reps can effectively make this leap according to Objective Management Group). How does what we bring to the table help our prospect lead that paradigm shift? Not just how it works, but what it will do for the company strategically. The impact it will have long term. Why vs How.
4) Selling Urgency- There is no time to waste in the Zoom economy. Not only do we need to sell change, but we need to sell urgency, action, execution. The reps that can demonstrate conviction, and highlight the cost of standing still and the benefits of swift action are succeeding, but according to OMG, only 12% can do this effectively. Thinking Big means turning on these skills.
5)Finding the Money -How do you tap into the largest buckets of dollars that your prospect has set aside for immediate action vs. the nice to have, "we'll come back to you" solutions? There are only a handful of these initiatives at your prospect's organization. Tap into them, discuss your ideas to help. What initiatives are being funded aggressively and how does your solution fit? Companies are spending billions on change, on reinvention, on new business models, on paradigm shifts. Be there.
There is a thin line between the top reps and the average reps. But why do the Elite reps outshine everyone else? And where in the sales process does this occur? Dan hits you between the eyes as he reveals the inflection point where the Elite rise and the average reps fumble it away. Don't miss this one!
Jerry Acuff is one of the Top 3 Sales Trainers in the world and he returns for a second visit to Sales Is King. We discuss a wide range of subjects including how to effectively advance a sale, selling through adversity, and how to build relationships in the Zoom Economy. Jerry pulls no punches and gives us the straight scoop on how to improve your sales game!
Dan returns to the studio with a blueprint for becoming an elite seller in the new "Zoom Economy'
Listen in for what is now a requirement for finishing out the year strongly and blasting in 2021 with a vengeance.
It is by far the most effective method of prospecting, yet leveraged less in the sales process than any other channel. James Muir returns to Sales Is King with a new book and incredible advice for sellers looking to make Referrals a key part of their success.
Sales Leader, Michael Macchiarelli joins the podcast to discuss how Equinox has pivoted to maintain it's superior service to its customers in a challenging environment. We also discuss how selling needs to shift in the COVID economy and some of the keys to Michael's sales success which has resulted in rapid promotions during his seven-year tenure at Equinox. With over 27,000 followers on Linkedin, Michael gives us the G2 on building audience on social and leveraging it to build credibility and revenue. Don't miss this interview!
A new study from Demand Gen Report validates what we have been experiencing over the past 3 months. The purchasing process has become more complex with buyers dramatically raising their expectations of sales reps. We walk through some of the eye-opening changes in Buyer Behavior and outline the steps you need to take to keep winning business in the COVID economy.
Here is the link to our new blog
Sign up to join our mailing list:
Dan discusses the critical differences between Sellers and Closers, with a focus on the requirements for increasing win rates in the COVID economy.
Check out Dan's new blog: The New Normal: Selling In The COVID Economy
In my recent Linkedin Poll, the #1 challenge Sales Reps face today is Prospects Going Dark and the research backs this up as according to Forrester only 17% of reps are invited back to a second meeting. These initial meetings are disasters for a large chunk of sellers. Why? Today we review the Top 7 Reasons Why Prospects Go Dark, according to USC Business School.
Once again, the profession of Sales is being disrupted. First it was the rise of the digital buyer gaining more knowledge and power and now it is the COVID19 economy and the transformation of the way business needs to be conducted during and after this monumental crisis. Just like high profile companies that faced disruption and lost(Blockbuster, Sears, ToysrUs), we in sales cannot afford to be a spectator while the cataclysmic shift occurs. The world just picked up its pace and we need to keep up or face displacement. On the flip side, change of this magnitude brings massive opportunity. How can we become the Amazons and Ubers of this BusinessQuake? Follow Dan's steps to getting out ahead of change, to embrace change and lead change versus getting swallowed up and left behind. Here is how you become the Netflix of Selling; the Amazon of Selling versus the Blockbuster's and Macy's of Selling. Are you talking about the good ole days or paving the new path of success in a radically different world?
Are you making the moves now that will contribute to your success in the future? How far in advance are you playing? With a crisis in our laps right now, shouldn't we be 100% focused on the here and now? Not so fast. Your long game, your long term plan, connecting with those key contacts that can be helpful to you and get you to your longer term goals is key. Staying 2 or 3 moves ahead of your competition, ahead of the market is going to be a key barometer of how well you are going to fare in the future. This pandemic is driving some executives farther away from their goals, while motivating others to double down, work harder, get more specific on their objectives and improve all aspects of their sales and business game. Which one are you?
Here is that great Alex Rodriguez(ARod) interview:https://www.linkedin.com/posts/dansixsmith_how-to-turn-rejection-into-a-home-run-motivation-activity-6657988379289899008-Cxhb
Now more than ever, we need to engage Buyers with value, with a buying experience and process that shows them WHY NOW, why you are a MUST HAVE as opposed to a 'nice to have.' According to Objective Management Group, only 33% of reps can connect the benefits of their solution to the prospects stated challenges and priorities. What? And more troubling is that 12%, that's right 12% are skilled in convincing the Buyer to take action NOW. With budgets on lockdown, and projects being trimmed and cut, you need to approach selling completely differently if you want to have a shot. Tune in for the Sales Is King Playbook for Success. Tough times call for another gear and a smarter way. Peace!
You worked your tail off to become successful in Sales. But things changed almost overnight. New rules are upon us and with that comes the need for an entirely new game plan. Your success is going to depend on how quickly and effectively you adjust. As we have said on this program from the beginning, change is constant and those who adapt and reposition themselves will come out on top. In this episode, we review a great new article.
We walk you through each point:
1) Think like a CFO
2) Lead with Empathy
3) Move from email to phone/video
4) Prep your champion to grab the money
...and we talk through this multi-step approach to doing this successfully,
Other reference material to which we refer: The Empathy Effect, with Dr. Helen Reiss: https://anchor.fm/dan-sixsmith/episodes/Episode-95-In-the-Spotlight-The-Empathy-Effect-with-Dr--Helen-Riess--MD-e4tvkm
Jerry Acuff Joins Dan: https://anchor.fm/dan-sixsmith/episodes/Jerry-Acuff-Joins-Dan-eut93
Sales Reps know how to face hardship. They know how to challenge people's thinking. They know how to overcome obstacles. They know what it takes to succeed at all costs and against all odds. They are built for battle. They know what it is like to be down to their last out. They know that you do not win every deal. They know that you have to find a way to the goal line. They know what its like to take one on the chin; to get off the canvas and continue to fight. They know that a bad day can be followed by an amazing day. Most importantly, they know that their success is in their own hands. They know that you have to take the wheel and steer in life. They know action is critical. That is why, we , in sales, will step forward to keep our companies alive, to keep the money coming in. To your success. It is hopefully almost over.
Book we discussed: Brendon Burchard: High Performance Habits
Podcast we to which we referred:
What Are You Doing About Job Security?
Things are getting tougher for us. Times of immense challenge bring out the best in the winners and worst in most of the others. If you lost your sales job, listen to this show. Dan discusses the campaign you need to launch, the fight you need to wage to get back in the game and fast. If you are still on the playing field, there are actions you need to take to insure you don't miss a step in your quest for success.
Books Dan refers to:
Never Eat Alone- Keith Ferrazzi
Friend of a Friend- David Birkus
Build Your Network Podcast- Travis Chappel.
Dan's Linkedin article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/fall-american-textile-industry-bitter-fight-survival-dan-sixsmith/
Dan's website: http://salesisking.net
In seemingly a matter of weeks, the world economy has been thrust into chaos. Times have suddenly gotten way tougher. But no one is going to tell you that you have quota relief or that you don't have to sell as much. Dan shares some tips to not only weather but thrive in a crisis environment. Do not miss this episode.
Take a ride with Dan on a 20 minute riff on what it takes to completely transform your sales game. From the heart and unscripted as always, Dan walks you through the key ingredients of a successful sales rep transformation program. Learn what the Elite Sellers are doing to keep the checks cashing. Hear the latest research on buyer preferences and the steps you need to take to stand out from the crowd of uneducated and unsophisticated sales reps.
Research shows that more intense and shorter bursts of physical activity are more powerful than the long arduous workouts and similarly in Sales today, are you able to benefit more from fast targeted bursts of super- engaged activity? Dan returns to the studio to discuss the benefits of "Sprint Selling", capitalizing on peak segments of the day to register more efficient activity and driving your sales up!
In addition, Dan discusses the most overlooked method of adding to your numbers. You'll be surprised!
Tune in for a quick hitting episode.
It happens to even the elite sellers. A slump. A lull. You are pressing, antsy, frustrated, angry, concerned...need we go on? Here is a 5 step plan guaranteed to get you back in the WIN column and FAST! 💲✍️ Do not miss this episode 🤟
Sheevaun Thatcher returns to the podcast for another engaging interview! We discuss the foundational elements of RingCentral's(one of the hottest tech companies and leader in the Unified Communication space) success as an organization, specifically around enabling sellers to maximize their effectiveness. In addition, Sheevaun gives us a preview as to what the future may hold for selling success moving into 2020 and beyond. Don't miss this one!
How do you find great Sales Talent? In this episode, we talk about why it is so difficult to find and hire elite sellers and what the successful companies are doing to identify and predict the future success of potential new hires. For more compelling stats and information, see the following White Paper:
The main reason why Sales has failed to close deals the past 7 years in a row? They didn't show the prospects the money. The inability to effectively sell value is the main thing holding you back from crushing quota, make a ton of cash and turning losses and stalls into green. Tom Pisello wrote the book on selling value. In fact, he's written two: The Frugalnomics Survival Guide and his most recent best seller, Evolved Selling. Tom draws from his wealth of knowledge and experience working with hundreds of companies and thousands of sales teams to tell us how we can leverage value selling to change the face of our Sales game! Don't miss this one 🎙
Buyer confidence is cited as the #1 issue facing sales reps in B2B deals(new Gartner report) But it is not what you think. It is not the Buyer's confidence in the sales rep, but it is the buyer's confidence in themselves! Confidence to make the right decision. Buyer enablement and the sales rep's ability to help the Buyer navigate through the massive amounts of information that they are wrestling with is paramount to sales success. Dan details 5 steps to successfully engage with Buyers and show them the most prudent way to tackle the decision making process.
Garter article: http://ow.ly/vFbj101NWfn
Growth Guru, Data Monetization Expert, Serial Entrepreneur, and now Investment Banker, Kristin Luck returns to the Sales Is King Spotlight to discuss the NEW RULES FOR SUCCESS in business today. Do not miss this conversation!
Relationships used to be all you needed in Sales. Today, with dramatically reduced attention spans, complicated buying decisions, executives doing more selling and buying, and buyers placing a diminished value on Sales Reps- the dynamics of relationships are changing. Dan explores this and discusses what you need to succeed in this increasingly transactional digital economy.
Do you feel guilty taking vacation from your job? Is the Hustle mentality detrimental to your health and wellness? Does it have a negative impact on your personal and family life? Does your company really care about your 'work-life' balance? If these questions interest you, tune into our interview with Carlos Hidalgo, who personally has felt the sting of the Hustle Culture. He almost lost his family in the process of 'hustling' at all costs. His new book, The UnAmerican Dream, describes the rollercoaster ride that Carlos experienced and the story of how we jammed on the brakes and changed his life. It also provides a blueprint for putting some sanity back in your life!
74% of Sales Managers are poor communicators? What? Yes, a MHI study confirms our worst fears about sales leaders. Dan details some of the other critical issues plaguing sales leaders today and what needs to be done about it and FAST 🤔
[New Interview] Empathy expert, Dr. Helen Riess joins Dan in the Sales Is King Spotlight to discuss her outstanding book, The Empathy Effect. We have spoken so frequently about the importance of Empathy not only in sales and in business but in Life. Being able to establish deeper connections with your customers, your co-workers, your direct reports, your family and friends is paramount to feeling satisfied in your day to day activities.
In business, buyers can see through the people who only cares about themselves. The people who show a genuine interest in their friend, prospect, or customer are succeeding in connecting and differentiating. But can Empathy be learned? Or is it just part of our DNA? You better believe you can learn how to be more empathetic and Dr. Reiss explains how in this high impact episode.
Too many folks have only a surface level understanding of empathy. In this interview, we get deep into what empathy really means, how you can improve your ability to be more empathetic and why it is becoming so important in the workplace today.
Visit Dr. Reiss' organization here if you want to train and coach your team to be more empathetic:
Do it 👊
Sales is being disrupted. There, I said it. What are you doing to evolve your sales game? Dan reviews the latest evidence that the chasm between the Haves and Have Nots in Sales is growing. The Elite Sellers are kicking the piss out of everyone else in the following areas:
Timeline of the deliverable(s)
Understanding Buyer needs
Ease of working with
Your comfort level
Enough Already! It is GO TIME!
If you find yourself slugging it out with the competition, here are 5 powerful steps to win the deal.
1. Engage in effective discovery- around strategic objectives and business priorities
2. Us! How do we deliver a different experience?
3. Show them the money! Can you show the ROI?
4. Get deeper into the decision making process!
5. Talk about the post-sale experience.
Take a listen and share your thoughts. What would you add?
Take out your competitors early and often. Waiting for a prospect to bring up your competition is a misstep. Proactively address your competition, expose their weaknesses and highlight your strengths. Do this early in the process. Dan walks through a couple of recent examples from his sales conversations. Beat their *sses today!!🥊
Self belief is a foundational component of Sales Excellence, but how do you create and maintain this bedrock confidence through the ups and downs of the deal battlegrounds? Dan discusses the power of visualization as a way to drive certainty and then how to leverage that certainty in every aspect of your business and sales life. DO IT 👊
Please subscribe :) and share with your friends and colleagues if this podcast delivers value for you. Peace ✌️
Elite Sales Reps both "describe + prescribe." They take control of the sales process by asking intelligent questions, highlighting the consequences of inaction and tying back their solution to the challenges they uncovered. Too many reps though rely on describing what the solution does, how it works, the features, the intricacies-staying in the weeds and leaving the prospect to say 'SO WHAT?" The Elite Sellers 'prescribe' the actions that the prospect MUST take to solve their stated issues. Do it 👊
48% of reps do not EVER call a lead. Most reps, if they do call, GIVE UP after 1 or 2 attempts. A new study shows that being persistent, prompt and personalizing your outreach can increase the chances of a lead turning into a qualified opportunity by over 300%. So, next time you find yourself complaining about not enough leads or bad leads, ask yourself how many times, if ever, you reached out to your current lead base and how quickly after you receive the lead you reply. Greatest success = minutes after receipt and it only goes down hill from there. This is a massive money making opportunity. Listen in for more eye opening stats and what to do about it.
DO IT 🤟
Too many reps sit back and wait for the prospect to buy. The Elite Sellers take control of the process, tell a compelling story, create a differentiated and exceptional buying experience. They convince the prospect that the solution or product is a 'must have' and that the purchase needs to happen now. Don't sit back. Take control. Sell, don't facilitate. Close, don't expect and hope. A high impact and quick hitter on the new Sales Is King 🤴
Dan is back on a RANT. The concept of Ghosting is becoming more commonplace in the digital world. People's attention spans are shrinking and they are bombarded with messages from God knows where.
Dan delivers a short and NOT SWEET episode:
*Ghosting is on you. Look at yourself in the mirror if the rate of Ghosting is going up for you. Your are not delivering enough value.
*Don't accept it. Stay with the prospect and make sure you are following up with value and not harassing messages. If you do not get an answer, you need to deploy tactics which are designed to elicit a reply from your prospect.
Tune in to listen to Dan's recommendations on ways to reduce and even eliminate being Ghosted.
The top sellers in the game today do NOT care if people like them. They do not need anyone's approval. But isn't sales about getting the buyer to like us? NO IT ISN'T and the research backs this up. The need to be liked is the #1 weakness of the underperforming sales rep. Read it again. And think about it. According to the Objective Management Group which surveys and assesses sales teams and sales leaders:
Sales reps that need to be liked:
-Are 148% less effective
-Are 147% less likely to reach a decision maker
-Their probability of closing is 151% smaller
-Are less comfortable talking about money and less confident in their price(this one is according to me :) )
-Have more stalled deals in their pipeline(me, again)
-Usually get emotional when things get testy
-Btw 58% of all sellers need to be liked
Elite Sellers do not need anyone's approval and therefore are 329% more effective at creating URGENCY
Dan goes through the research and along the way delivers a high impact approach to overcome the need to be liked and to improve your sales game.
Buy a ticket, now 😉🎟
Are you stuck in your head? Many of us are left frustrated when deals don't go our way and we sometimes get into bad habits in our sales game. Dan explains that while it is normal to experience frustration once in a while, we run the risk of a prolonged slump if we don't get out of our heads and back onto the 'field.' Dan explains how the book, UnF*ck Yourself by Gary John Bishop was a game changer for him in 2018 and he takes us through some of the book's key points including:
People spend their lives waiting for the cavalry all the while never realizing they are the cavalry
You have the life you are willing to put up with
Your brain is wired to win
You shouldn’t let what happens in one area of your life affect your outlook on the whole
Uncertainty is where things happen
Certainty is a complete illusion
Doing is the quickest way to change your thoughts
You can always change something when you take ownership and responsibility for it
Don’t expect victory or defeat. Plan for victory, learn from defeat
Love the life you have, not the one you expected to have
Successful people don’t wait
Stop blaming your past
You simply can't rely on your company to deliver all of the training, coaching and mentoring required for you to achieve massive success. You CANNOT. You must INVEST in yourself. Real money. Decide which areas of your game you need to improve and then hire a coach, immerse yourself in sales content, attend conferences, subscribe to ongoing learning/courses, learn from those who already play on the field on which you want to play. Lastly, you need to create a personal brand and not only that you need to build audience. Yes, the elite sellers have personal brands and leverage these brands to market themselves and grow their audience. The larger your audience, the more influence you have. The more people you can help, the more money you will make. LEARN to EARN, my friends.
Winning in Sales requires deploying some old school techniques, tried and true for decades and combining them with newer school approaches; those that reflect the way buyers want to buy and that work in the Digital Economy.
In this new lively episode, Dan takes us through this approach. Are you back on autopilot? Or are you ahead of last year by a lot?
ask for the business
deep subject matter expertise
detailed research available now to us in digital economy
being able to ask thoughtful questions
tell a story
follow a process- what is the approval process, who has the budget, how do you get a champion to promote you in the org and how to come right out and ask that individual if he or she will support you
leverage the right folks in your organization and prepare them properly
sell the value /focused on the prospects challenges or initiatives or opportunities
show them the money/ROI
Do IT!!!! 💰
Where is the best path to connect with your prospects or customers? Via phone? email? text? Video email? Video text? Linkedin? Twitter? Facebook? Instagram? Snapchat, maybe? The answer is: all of the above and it's on you to find in which channel or channels your prospects like to hang out! Today's digital selling approach gives you more opportunity than ever to learn about your prospects and to develop an e-relationship based on what you learn about them.
Dan describes the 4 keys for multi-channel connection mastery:
1. Creating Engaging and Interesting Social Profiles which includes producing original content
2. Conducting detailed research on your prospect and customer targets across all channels
3. Delivering a 'diversified portfolio' approach to prospecting
4. Consistently executing this approach EVERY DAY
Grab your boombox and turn this episode up LOUD :) 🎙
Modern Sellers leverage these three critical traits in creating deeper connections with their prospects and customers. These traits are being leveraged by Sellers to effectively differentiate, deliver a top notch customer experience and win more business. Dan walks us through a new book by Ted McGrath, "Never Be Closing" and his fresh and unique approach to Sales which touches on some of this new philosophy.
Admiration- do you know your prospect so well from your research and through your discovery that you actually admire what he or she has accomplished. After all, your prospects want to be respected and liked just as much as you do.
Appreciation-As part of your connection development, do you demonstrate a true understanding of your prospect, an appreciation for what they are working towards? Their goals, visions, dreams? Similarly, are you appreciative of the opportunity to connect and become a valued member of their team-co creating value, co -creating a solution, a plan of action.
Inspiration- Do you inspire prospects and customers to take action? Are they so moved by your understanding of their goals and desires, and your ability to get creative and collaborate, that they are driven to move forward and become a client?
Elite Sellers are gifted storytellers and that doesn't mean they spin a yarn about the good ole days, college exploits or last night's ballgame. They follow a well thought out approach to selling that connects emotionally with their prospects and customers. Dan walks us through the formula used by sales expert John Livesay.
A Few Highlights:
Your happy client, the one whose problems you solved, is the hero of the story(not you).
What do you solve?
Paint a picture
"And what this means to you is...."
"Does that sound like the type of journey you'd like to go on with me?"
Check in moments
Tune in for groundbreaking tactics to telling compelling stories and making selling easier than it has ever been before 🎧
Dan switches it up and reads his popular new LinkedIn article which implores reps to stop complaining about a lack of leads and to take on greater accountability- in short, transforming themselves into modern sellers. This episode focuses on the following key areas:
1. Personal Brand/POV
2. Giving a sh*t/Empathy
3. Always Adding Value
4. Creating Your OWN Demand
Don't miss this new spin on modern selling 🎙
A new Forbes article says it all: the game of Sales is in a constant state of flux with sales reps grappling with a myriad of new techniques, approaches and methodologies to follow. Ask questions, don't ask questions, the prospects already know what they want, the prospects need to be led, deliver insights, connect problems to your solution, differentiate, add value, be persistent, but not pushy...need I say more? The state of Selling today requires a close connection between sales leaders and reps. Dan boils it down(with the help of an Inside Sales article) to the 5 key traits needed for success in sales today.
🎙Resilience and Grit
🎙Motivated + Competitive
🎙Product Knowledge/Subject Matter Expertise
Let's face it, Selling is in a state of disruption, which means that we've hit a fork in the road. Will you choose the path the leads to riches or the one that will take you to mediocrity and potential extinction?
Stated over and over and over lately: Sales Reps need to be problem solvers. Easy right? Nope. While 83% of Reps are proficient in asking discovery questions, the number plummets to only 33% of Reps that can actually connect their solution to solving the problem. Even more on issue, only 12% of Reps can create a sense of urgency in Buyers. Dan breaks down the key characteristics of effective problem solving in Sales today.
Furthermore, Reps need to be accomplished storytellers, say the experts. Well, that's great but what the bejesus does this mean? Dan walks us through a new article by the folks from the Challenger Sale for some guidance.
These are two pivotal skills for success in 2019, so grab your walkman and listen NOW, damnit 🏅
Dan kicks of 2019 with a blueprint for reviewing your results. First, break down 2018 and analyze all of the wins and losses and also the no decisions. Why did you win? Can this be replicated? Why and in which situations did you lose? Which skills do you need in 2019 to drive better numbers? What element of your sales game needs work and how will you improve?
Next, moving forward into 2019, Dan discusses the importance of deep conversations with prospects. Understanding their motivations, the reasons why issues are important, why they haven't been addressed, what's at stake. Dan references a Men's Health article where a famous mountain climber broke down his fear into more detail, making the fear more specific and solvable. We need specificity and depth in 2019 vs superficial, trivial, chats. Will you do it? There is a sh*tload of money to be made in 2019. Go deep and grab your share ✊
Are you capable of making millions as an elite seller? Are you a Wolf? Or a lamb? Dan puts a bow on 2018 with a killer program which details the motivation and tactics in step by step fashion of Jordan Belfort, the Wolf Of Wall Street's Straight Line Selling methodology. Don't miss the last episode of the season! 🤟
Dan is interviewed by Mari Anne Vanella on her program "Outstanding Outbound" and comes out swinging in a harsh criticism of sales leaders and later outlines the 3 steps required to maximize sales leaders' success in 2019:
1. Decide which skills are important and hire the right sales reps that demonstrate those skills
2. Learn how to COACH
3. Hold yourself accountable
Grab your popcorn, get comfy and hit PLAY.
While 74% of the wins in B2B Sales go to those reps that engage early and helping to set the buying agenda(vs only 26% occur in the late stage RFP/bake off/feature fight), many sales execs struggle with asking the right questions and uncovering a reason for the prospect to move along the sales cycle. Thus only 17% of reps get invited to a second meeting. Dan takes a look at the reasons why people BUY, their motivations from a psychological perspective which is key to understanding what drives decision-making. There are dozens of reasons why a buyer will pull the trigger on a purchase. If, as a modern seller, you can engage and uncover one or more of these motivations, there is a great chance you are going to be in the drivers seat. But you need to be skilled to unlock this path to success. Tune your dial to the latest Sales Is King and learn how to CONVERT more meetings into $$$. 🎙
In How To Become A Rainmaker, by Jeffrey J. Fox, the author talks about the need to sell money rather than products or services. You are not selling medical devices, stocks, software, technology, services, etc. If you are doing it right, you are selling MONEY. What Fox is saying is to sell value instead of widgets. Dan, in this new episode, uses this as the launching point for this eye opening episode where he details the steps Sales Reps need to take to effectively sell value. Dan walks us through a new report by the RAIN group which states that nearly 60% of buyers find meetings with sales people useless. There are 5 key areas to where sales reps and sales leaders need to focus and improve to adequately grow in 2019:
1. Sell With Value
2. Train and Coach
3. Grow Existing Accounts
4. Improve Sales Management Effectiveness
5. Improve Time Management(e.g spend more time selling, man!)
Turn on your CarPlay and listen now! 🚗
Sales is a pressure game. Hero one day, goat the next. What have you done for me lately. Quotas, disappearing prospects, price pressure, objections, bitching, lying, deadlines, wild goose chases. New research shows that only 50% of sales reps will make quota. The 10th year in a row this metric has taken a dive. Can you handle this? 50% of us can. What about the other half? Do you use pressure as fuel or do you fold up tent and go into your excuse routine? Dan discusses what sales reps need to do in looking back on 2018 and prepping for 2019. He also calls out sales leadership for a poor job in 2018. Those quota numbers are on them too. Another RANT to help us shift into high gear and crush our numbers! Can you take it?
Like-ability, which used to be at the top of the list of sales rep requirements in the pre digital era is now turning into one of the biggest weaknesses for sales reps today. A new study by the Objective Management Group confirms this. Those reps that find themselves needing to be liked by the prospect or customer and that work in a producer role in a consultative, longer selling cycle role are outperformed by a wide margin by their counterparts who do not care about being liked.
Tune in as Dan takes us through each of the categories and the score comparisons, the consequences for reps, and what we reps need to do to avoid this common downfall and turn things around.
A buyer calls up and says he has thoroughly researched all of the solutions available and believes you and your company may be just what he is looking for. He just needs a demo and a quote and he'll be good to go. Good news? Not really. Only 26% of deals are won in this scenario. In this episode, Dan reveals that some buyers may think they know what they need but the sales rep's job is to take a step back and diagnose the situation much like a medical doctor would with a patient that comes in asking for a particular drug. One of the most difficult sales moves is to pull(gently) the buyer potentially out of his 'journey' and into your sales process. There is a multi point approach that is required when a sales exec encounters this type of buyer:
1. Find out where the buyer is in the process
2. Uncover his motivations and reasons for believing you can help him
3. Shift/pivot into Discovery/Assess mode uncovering motivations/issues
4. Validate that you can in fact help
5. Use phrases like, 'help me understand..." and "have you considered...?"
6. Value/Gap Sell based on your Discovery
Dan returns from a short break with a high impact episode designed to give the power back to salespeople. With so much conversation around the power of the Buyer and the challenges facing Sales, it is easy to cede control of leverage in our sales process. Dan outlines a multi step approach for taking control and grabbing back the leverage from the buyers including:
-highlight what the problem costs them today. what happens if this remains an issue?
-turn the tables on risk
-deliver info they did not previously know
-sales is an exchange-they benefit(mindset)
-mine your current and happy customers
-other income streams
-principle of least interest
-antenna always up
-make sure this is a deal/client you want
Grab your victrola and listen 🤴
Making excuses is the fastest way to derail your sales career. Making excuses is essentially giving yourself a pass for poor performance. Dan returns to the studio to detail the dangers of what he calls "excuse selling" which focuses on all of the reasons why you can't close more business; why you missed quota; your bad marketing department, etc. Dan delivers a passionate plea to drop your excuse selling and delivers a multi point plan to do just this:
1. get your head right
2. know there will be obstacles
3. create your plan to overcome obstacles
4. become self aware
5. own the losses as well as the wins
6. learn from both the wins and losses
7. take 100% responsibility
Get you headphones on now and listen 🎧
Less than 2 out of 10 of us ever get invited back to a prospect for a second meeting. That means we are fumbling the first meeting. Our first chance is going to be our last chance if we don't get the first meeting right. Dan delivers a first meeting blueprint which will ensure that we dramatically improve our chances of a prospect moving through the buying process with us and ultimately doing business with us. The following key steps are required for success in the first meeting:
- YOUR SOCIAL PROFILE
- EARN RIGHT TO ASK QUESTIONS/CREDIBILITY
- CONVERSATION OR MONOLOGUE
- UNEXPECTED VALUE
- UNCOVER A NEED
- MINIMIZE RISK OF MOVING FORWARD
- STATUS QUO BUSTER
- BUYING PROCESS
The bottom line is that having success in a first prospect meeting requires a ton of upfront work and then executing against a well orchestrated game plan. Grab your 🎧 now!
It's not sexy, but patience is rising to the top of the key traits of the successful modern seller. Dan returns with another high impact studio episode which highlights the changing buyer requirements and increased complexity of the selling process which are pushing sellers to evolve and adjust their approach. There are no short cuts or quick fixes in the modern sellers toolbox and patience with the process, looking at the bigger picture and playing the long game are major keys to success in this Next Wave of Digital Commerce.
Really? We all remember Glengarry Glen Ross when Alec Baldwin rips his sales team for being weak, and how they should follow the ABC's of selling, specifically Always Be Closing. Fast forward to 2018. Should we be heeding this advice? Dan jumps headlong into the debate on what Sales needs to be focusing on to be most successful. What does closing actually mean in the modern buying process? Some believe we need to modify this phrase to Always Be Helping. I think Alec Baldwin and your sales manager would laugh you out of the room if you posed that back in the early 90's. Today it is certainly more appropriate but Dan creates his own definition of what we should always be doing in Sales today. Warning: Don't listen just before bed 🎧😉
Flash forward to December 31, 2018. You are at a New Year's Eve party with your spouse and closest friends. How will you feel about your 2018 sales performance? Think about it. In this bare knuckled episode, Dan delivers the blueprint for success during the remaining months of 2018. We all have time to add on to our current success so far this year and turn around our disappointments. Successful competitive runners typically call on a 'kick' to get them to dig deep and finish strong even when their bodies are tired. Similarly, in Sales, with 4 months to go, now is not the time to ease up. You are almost home, but much work needs to be done. Follow Dan's guidelines and make sure that New Year's Eve 2018 is a great night 👊
Get those headphones on! 🎧
A new Fast Company Article, http://ow.ly/aleN101e2iw contends that Sales is rapidly becoming a STEM(science, technology, engineering, mathematics) job. Dan takes us through the highlights of that article and then asks the question, which is more important, EQ or IQ? Or is it both? What do the brains of the top Sellers look like today. Dan walks us through his formula for what he calls "breakthrough selling", a place where the most sophisticated sellers live. Click play now for another comfort zone ruining episode. Don't miss it. 🎧
Commitment is foundational to your success in the Digital Era. Commitment means dedication over a long period of time. You must commit to making yourself better right now if you are to succeed in a changing environment. Dan rocks another episode and takes us through a blueprint for success, whether you are in sales, marketing, finance or any job right now. How are you changing the way you approach your job in 2018 and beyond? Are you creating change or waiting for change to show you the door at your current job? Are you committed to learning new skills or simply hoping that your current skills have enough juice to carry you the rest of the way. Are you digging in for the long haul or flipping on autopilot and letting the chips fall? Your mindset needs to change and if it doesn't, you may be putting yourself in harm's way. The biggest risk in business today is standing pat; clinging to the status quo. Don't believe that? Go rent a movie at your local Blockbuster tonight.
Sales Coaching when done correctly reaps tremendous benefits on organizations. Unfortunately, the majority of companies either do not provide sales coaching to their reps or deliver half assed attempts at coaching. In addition, there are some glaring gaps and disconnects here.
82% of Sales leaders say they 'coach' their reps, yet only 48.2% of reps say they are actually coached.
Sales leaders score themselves 79/100 on coaching prowess, yet their reps give them a score of 49/100
The benefits of coaching are many:
112% increase in deal size
32% reduction in cycle time
3x increase in wins
20% reduction in attrition
64% greater chance reps will meet quota
So why the hell isn't this a bigger priority for organizations !!
Dan dives into two new articles on sales coaching and rants his way through the implications delivering some much needed answers on how we solve this critical issue. Get your headphones on and turned up! 🎧
A new study from SiriusDecisions shows that quota performance for Sales Reps is still not improving and in danger of dropping yet again in 2018. There are 3 key takeaways from the report:
1. Over 70% of sales leaders say that their reps are not connecting their solution to the business issues of buyers
2. Sales Cycle Times are increasing with over 64% saying they are facing longer lead times to get deals done.
3. Only 27% of a sales team's time is spent on core selling activities.
Dan dissects these issues and delivers some valuable insight into why he thinks these problems are occurring and what sales leaders and reps can do to improve in each of these areas. Listen Now 🎧
Dan starts off this brand new studio episode with a RANT about Narcissistic salespeople and why this trait is a surefire way to sink to the bottom of your peer group.
From there, Dan covers a new study by the Objective Management Group(link here: http://www.omghub.com/salesdevelopmentblog/elite-salespeople-are-200-better-sales-competencies) which details those activities that Sales All Stars are best at when compared to average or poor sellers. Hint: it all has to do with how you speak about MONEY 💰
Don't miss this wild ride 🏄♂️
Fortune 500 CMO Peter Horst joins Dan to discuss the challenges marketers and sellers face in a rapidly evolving business landscape. Of specific focus is a conversation around how brands are tackling social issues(e.g The NFL, Pepsi) in the "Fake news" era and how sitting on the sidelines is actually the most dangerous strategy an organization can deploy. Peter is an engaging speaker who brings the credibility of 30 years of leading some of the world’s most iconic brands at companies like Hershey, Capital One, and General Mills. Drawing on his experience that spans B2B, B2C, technology, consumer packaged goods and financial services, Peter is one of the highest-rated keynoters at conferences around the world and brings humor, authenticity, and compelling content to his engagements.
Kristin Luck sits down with Dan for a fun and lively interview on just how we finally solve the marketing-sales alignment issue. Kristin is one of the Top 100 Influencers on Twitter for Marketing and Sales. She is an expert in marketing measurement and growth hacking in addition to being a serial entrepreneur and a globetrotting keynote speaker on marketing, branding, storytelling, startups and innovation. She also regularly contribute to both the commercial (Fast Company, Forbes) and academic press (Research World, Journal of Brand Strategy). Lastly, she is the founder of Women In Research, a non-profit with over 5,000 members globally. Buckle your seat belts👊
McKinsey's latest article sets the B2B Sales world on fire and Dan is back in the studio to take you through it including why science is leading the charge in this "B2B Sales Revolution." There are disruptive changes being brought on by advanced analytics and machine learning in conjunction with a more content- focused and digital savvy Buyer, all leading to a new look B2B organization: one in which the CEO drives sales transformation by making sure the Marketing, HR and IT are all looped in and singing from the same sheet of music. The link to the article can be found here:
Other big changes Dan discusses include new research on when Buyers really need a salesperson and understanding the 'How, What And Why' of your prospect and customer. Lastly, Dan discusses the war for talent but also the rising importance and changing nature of sales coaching and training in this equation. It is a MUST Listen 👊
Forrester is in the process of outlining the key characteristics of the Modern/21st B2B Seller and Dan returns to the studio to break it down for you. A successful B2B sales rep needs to be/have the following:
1. Empathetic Partner
2. Flexible and Adaptive Behavior
3. Storytelling Mastery
4. Advocacy Focus
5. Operational Mindset
6. Digital Adeptness
Dan delivers a high energy overview of what acing each of these categories will mean for your success.
A recent survey of CIO's(Chief Information Officers) shows that only 1 out of 10 sales reps leaves them 'highly satisfied" when meeting with a salws rep to evaluate a company's services. The study from article: http://ow.ly/g1T510179Be
goes on to say that CIO's expect the sales reps to do a better job of connecting their solution to the CIO's priorities and strategic roadmap. They need to do a better job of discovery in the meeting but also need to come into the meeting more prepared, doing the homework and the research to build trust. Secondly, they need to be more patient and be willing to hang in there with the CIO as he/she goes through the buying process. Lastly, show them the $$$. What is the economic value that you will deliver? Who else is using your solution and have you solved these issues successfully with other organizations. Listen to Dan's colorful spin on this report now 👊
58% of potential deals in B2B today end in what is being referred to as "No Decision." The buyer/buying committee chose to keep things as is. We call this "status quo bias." Buyers are risk averse, so it appears easier and less risky to not spend the money on your product or solution. But you did such a great job 'pitching' -talked about all of the great benefits we could provide-why didn't they buy? Because you did not effectively help the buyer see the risk of inaction. Because you didn't spend enough time discussing the current state, and the ramifications/the impact of not dealing with the challenges the buyer currently faces. Dan is back in the studio to talk about his CURE for the DO NOTHING VIRUS. Don't miss it!
Dan is back in the studio with a new episode and news about a new podcast series. Companies don't care about us anymore. Are you exposed right now if you lost your job? Are you ready? How have you prepared? No one cares about you but you. Loyalty is a thing of the past. How do you gain leverage? How do you take back control? Dan discusses strategies you can deploy to improve your job security. Don't leave things to chance. LISTEN NOW 🎧
Author, Speaker, Attorney and Serial Entrepreneur, Michael Alden joins Dan for an hour of hard hitting, straight talk on what it takes to succeed in business today. Michael's new book, Blueprint To Business, is a strategic, tactical and motivational playbook for making things happen and overcoming obstacles. If you want the honest truth, you came to the right place 👊🔥
In addition to the 'foundational' elements of sales success, (the grit skills like determination, follow up, rejection proofing, asking for the business, hustle), the successful seller in 2018 also needs what Dan calls 'finesse' skills, like strategic thinking, financial literacy, creativity, recalibrating, expertise, simplifying, problem solving, idea generation, curiosity and more...give it a listen 👊 Do it!
Coffee is still for closers, yes, but Dan returns to the studio to discuss what modern sellers are doing to CLOSE deals and it's not what may have worked in the past. The 2018 Sales Rep is leveraging a new set of skills and tools to get deals on the books. Dan discusses 10 reasons why closers fail and what can be done to assure that your sales numbers keep rising in the face of a changing buyer and buying process.
How will you stand out in the "Sea of Sameness" that every Buyer faces today when deciding on which solution to purchase? Dan returns with a new studio episode(some new music as well ✌️) and a 7 Point Plan for Effective Differentiation. It's about Learning and Listening first, Empathizing and Educating second, Personalizing Your Pitch, Adding Value, Selling Yourself, And then Differentiating Follow Up. Tune in as Dan bangs out another kick-ass episode! Also don't forget to check Dan out with his Sales Is King Video Tips Of The Day on LinkedIn and Facebook. Also Follow Dan on Twitter @digitaladvantg.
Samantha McKenna is the new Head of Sales for LinkedIn's Enterprise and Mid Market, NYC. She joins Dan for a hard hitting interview on what it takes to succeed in Sales including the strategy, the motivation, and how to effectively leverage technology. Sam is a rising star in the world of Sales and she tells her story of early achievement, rapid and frequent promotions and the journey that has led her to Linkedin. Dan and Sam dive deep into what it means to be a "modern' sales exec in 2018 and how social selling is pushing up quota attainment and impacting sales excellence.
Travis Chappell, host of the popular podcast, Build Your Network, joins Dan for a frank discussion on the topic of Networking in 2018. Travis, a dyed in the wool salesman, recently launched a podcast on Networking and has lured some of the top business minds on to his program to discuss their secret sauce - guests such as Ed Mylett, Brad Lea, Kevin Harrington, Jordan Harbinger, Elena Cardone and a great cross section of business leaders and entrepreneurs. One thing is for sure: Just as Sales and Selling have changed dramatically, so has Networking. Successful networking in 2018 and beyond is not at all what you think and nothing like the old school depiction of the person busily handing out business cards at events.
Travis' podcast can be found on all podcast platforms. Here is a link to the iTunes/Apple Podcast version: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/build-your-network-john-lee-dumas-patrick-bet-david/id1268488944?mt=2
Millennials are growing in importance in B2B purchasing decision-making. What are they looking for in vendors, partners and relationships? We have heard so much about personalizing our approach to buyers, but are we personalizing around age? The "Digital Natives" as a recent HBR article refers to them(20-35 year olds) [link here: http://ow.ly/MEPV1010Nm0], approach the selection process in a very different way than their older colleagues and a growing percentage of these Digital Natives have sole decision making authority with a whopping 73% involved in influencing the decision. Dan covers what you need to know including 3 surprising criteria that many companies and sales execs may be overlooking. Thanks for listening 👊
Dan is back in the studio with a Rant and some timely tips for Sales Execs looking to generate more demand and to more effectively prospect. Social selling is undeniably the most effective way to increase demand and bolster your Pipeline: 76% of Buyers are open to engaging with providers on social channels; 62% of Buyers actually want to connect with sales execs on social; and a whopping 92% of buyers want to connect with thought leaders on social!! So how do we take advantage of this? How do we do it the correct way? Dan outlines the 6 key steps for social selling success. Listen UP 👊
The new dynamics in the B2B world today require that Sales Execs are able to connect with and influence many different stakeholders in order to be successful. Senior executives are becoming more involved in these decisions today and therefore Sales Execs more frequently find themselves in front of members of the C-Suite. But according to Forrester only 20% of salespeople are meeting the expectations of these senior execs. In this episode, Dan interviews the author of "The Perfect Close" and selling visionary, James Muir. Dan and James discuss what sellers are doing wrong today; what these senior execs are looking for and how Sales Execs need to shift their approach in order to impress and influence more of these key decision makers. A link to James Muir's outstanding book can be found right here: http://ow.ly/TXXG100YVH5
Dan is back with another episode based on new research from gryo marketing group. With a growing number of stakeholders involved in complex B2B purchases, the dynamics have shifted dramatically and sales people need to shift their approach in order to succeed. Link to research here: https://www.gyro.com/thinking/ Highlights include: 97% of buyers already have a preferred vendor coming into the decision committee; a 'champion leads the way for the winning team in 84% of the cases; 66% chose thought leaders; 89% chose teams that understood them and energized them; 83% chose those with similar values and culture. Listen in for the Top 4 Difference Makers that put the winners over the top.
Success in 2018 means having the \u201cgoods\u201d, the knowledge, the subject matter expertise but it also means building an effective distribution network of connections who can learn from you, improve their situation from you and pass you on to others. Both are critically important not only in Sales but in Business and Life!
How Many times have you heard a prospect say that he or she needs to think about it or another classic line: \u201csend me some information\u201d These are classic blowoffs and in today\u2019s podcast episode Dan outlines a plan for turning these around into revenue conversations. Follow Dan on Twitter @digitaladvantg; On Instagram:dan6smith Or send Dan an email email@example.com to set up a free consult.
Connecting with Buyers early in the process, counter to what we have heard, is required by 71% Of Buyers who are actually looking to SALES to help with idea generating and brainstorming. In addition, Perseverance is crucial to winning more business. How long do you typically hang in? 44% of you quit after 1 \u201cNo\u201d and another 22% bail after the second \u201cNo\u201d
Dan leads a discussion around new research from RAIN which outlines what Buyers are saying sets the sales winners apart from the runners up. The winners according to the study sell RADICALLY different than the second and third place finishers. The results are surprising. The report uncovers some new approached that Buyers require in 2018.
Dan is back with a new in-studio segment and he talks about how to sell against fear: How to not be crippled by inaction and a game plan to disable fear both from the perspective of the seller and the buyer. Buyers also wrestle with fear today and choose to stay in their comfort zones. Effective sellers today know how to defeat that fear and win more business.
Dan discusses the critical importance of preparing for each meeting and what is involved in doing that successfully. In addition he covers how to successfully execute and carry out the game plan. The big difference between high performers and the unsuccessful salespeople is how they execute and take action.
Dan is back with a special episode of Sales Is King and discusses the success of the Beatles and how it relates to marketing and selling in the digital age. The band that is known as the number one band of all time did not have it easy and when they did make it big ,their lessons of success are very relevant to us today
The synergy of expertise with relationships is critical to successful selling in 2018. Dan reviews how to develop expertise and then put it into practice through growing an active network of engaged followers.
Keenan joins Dan for a sneak peak of his forthcoming book. If you can effectively expose and uncover a significant gap between your prospect\u2019s current state and his desired state, the more value will be placed on your product or solution.
Global Sales Effectiveness Leader, Paul Bickford joins Dan to discuss his successful formula for helping organizations transform the selling process including what\u2019s required and some of the incredible results you can expect!
Dan is back to discuss the secret of successfully developing a high value network. The book \u201cGive and Take\u201d is a phenomenal resource as you seek to deepen connections and build a bridge to success in Sales, Business and Life.