I was interviewed by Louise Uwacu for her U&I Talk Show, we talked about the Professional Sales Certificate Program, becoming a professional speaker, social selling and more. So if wonder what the path could look like to become a sales trainer, speaker and author this is a good start. Enjoy!
This weekend I watched my girlfriend’s all women’s team play in a baseball tournament. I sat on the sidelines (not the easiest thing for a guy who likes to be moving constantly) and watched them compete. They played some great ball and ended up 2nd overall in the tournament. What I want to focus on today is something their coach Chad had to say to the team.
One of the players asked what the score was. Chad’s response was “the score doesn’t matter – play like you’re behind by 5 in the last inning.” (The team was leading 12-9 at that point)
That one line resonated with me a lot. The difference between “beer-league” thinking and championship thinking lies within that one line. It’s about intensity and follow-through. It’s not about slightly exceeding the status quo (or our quota). It’s about seeing how far we can take it, competing with ourselves to win as big as we can. (For the record – they played hard until the very last play).
This lesson reminded me of a good friend and mentor of mine Jim Janz, a giant in the direct sales industry. He’s earned and still earns millions of dollars annually as a result of the sales leaders he has developed and helped become successful over the past 40+ years.
The single most important rule Jim shared with me that has helped him and his people succeed is this:
It’s not over until 11:59:59 on the final day of the month.
Success and quota attainment is not linear and it has as much to do with momentum and magnetism as it does with qualified prospects or the perfect sales process.
There is magic in 11:59:59.
Lets look at a typical scenario that I have seen hundreds of times:
A salesperson or entrepreneur sets a goal of $100,000 in sales for the month. By the 15th they are only at $19,000 in sales. At this point their attitude begins to shift and they already decide that the $100,000 is unattainable – in many cases they will also build a long list of reasons why it hasn’t happened. They begin to tell the story of why they can’t and won’t win. They say things like:
- “The leads that marketing is delivering are duds.”
- “The economy is really tight right now.”
- “I don’t have time to make proactive calls – I’m too busy to look for new business.”
- “No one else in the team is winning either – it’s tough out there.”
So on the 15th of the month they go and negotiate with their boss (or with themselves) and decide that $60,000 is a more reasonable goal. They also adjust their attitude, intensity and creativity to match that goal. Their customers can hear that lack of enthusiasm and lack urgency on the phone. At 9:30 am on the final Friday of the month they hit $62,000. They switch to thinking about the weekend, put their brain on auto-pilot and get ready for a fresh new start next month.
They tell themselves that when all that other stuff lines up (better leads, positive economics, fewer admin tasks and evidence that other people have done it) then they will be able to hit that $100,000 goal.
Then of course there are those people that don’t quit on the 15th of the month, or even at 9:30 am on the final day. The numbers don’t matter. They push for the goal.
I worked with a major Board of Trade’s sales team a number of years ago, helping them with their sales process. The sales manager has a diverse leadership style – she’s both highly empathetic and inclusive BUT you better perform if you work for her.
April is year-end for them and at 9:30 am on the final day of the month the entire team was well behind targets. She found them literally mulling about by the water cooler – telling their stories about why things had changed, why all the good prospects had already joined us, and why some people had good reasons for not renewing membership.
The manager pulled her team into their boardroom and gave them the 11:59:59 talk – it was their job to push through with the same intensity they started with month with – and with an expectation that they can still win. She announced a celebration party that night in honor of them meeting and exceeding their quota. Each person was asked to go back and look over their top 20 prospects that still hadn’t signed yet and put together a compelling offer for them – and to continue to call and follow-up until the final hour.
Just after 6:00pm that day, not even 11:59:59 pm, her team had closed the equivalent of a month worth of business – the same day that started with them admitting defeat. It was the single biggest sales day they had on record that year.
They played like they were 5 points behind, but they played to win. Too many of us set a goal to win but will never know what we are capable of because we mentally walk off the field of business in the 4th inning.
One final lesson From Jim. Jim Janz would always tell his people that their job wasn’t to actually hit their BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) – it was to play to win until 11:59:59 on the final day of the month. At that time they would then take an inventory of their progress, celebrate their efforts, review lessons learned and then set a new audacious goal. Failure is never final or fatal – just work hard and learn from your mistakes.
I have two questions to wrap this up:
- What would happen if you worked and re-worked your plan until 11:59:59 pm on the final day of the month?
- What would happen if you played like you were 5 points behind regardless of how big your last sale was?
On May 5th the next Professional Sales Certificate Program starts. For many of our graduates it has helped boost their company revenues and personal career in a matter of months. It’s said that nothing happens until someone sells something. We may have all kinds of great gadgets and amazing tools like Twitter and LinkedIn but someone still needs to know how to close the business.
Working with Langara College, international speaker Bill Gibson of Knowledge Brokers (South Africa) and myself (Shane Gibson) have put together the ultimate sales training program for new sales professionals and professionals that want to add a revenue generating toolkit to their repertoire. The methodologies in this program have been successfully used and implemented by major sales organizations including BMW, ABSA Bank, Gestetner, Vodacom, Siemens and Ford to name a few.
Our next program starts soon and here are the dates:
Successful Selling Strategies – 60655
May 5 – 28, 2014
Persuasion, Communication & Relationship Building – 60656
June 2 – 25, 2014
Motivation, Closing & Keeping Clients – 60657
July 7 – 30, 2014
Sales & Planning Toolkit – 60658 * Updated with brand new content on social selling
Aug. 5 – 27, 2014
Each course is 18 hours in duration held over a six week period and consists of weekly reading, presentations, group discussions and live webinars. If participants can’t make the date and time of the live-webinar there will be an opportunity to watch a recorded version. All courses have testing built-in and each participant must have a passing grade in all courses to be eligible for the certificate.
- Successful Selling Strategies
- Persuasion, Communication & Relationship Building
- Motivation, Closing & Keeping Clients
- Sales & Planning Toolkit
About your Instructor and Trainer Shane Gibson
Shane was named on Forbes.com as the 5th most influential social sales professional in the world. Shane is an international speaker, and author on social media marketing and sales who has addressed over 100,000 people on stages in North America, Southern Africa, India, Malaysia and South America. He is in high demand as a keynote speaker on the topics of social media and sales performance.
Shane is the in-house Sales Trainer for BuildDirect and also the facilitator for the Langara College Professional Sales Certificate Program.
Shane’s books include Sociable! How Social Media is Turning Sales and Marketing Upside Down. Closing Bigger the Field Guide to Closing Bigger Deals and Guerrilla Social Media Marketing, co-authored with Jay Conrad Levinson.
Shane’s speaking and training clients that he has worked with include: Ford, CMA Canada, The Vancouver Board of Trade, Ford Motor Company, HUB International, Canaccord Financial and hundreds of entrepreneurs, individual sales people and marketers over the past 16 years. When he’s not working or tweeting you can find Shane hiking or skiing in British Columbia’s Coast Mountain range with his family.
I have been podcasting since 2004. These podcasts have included guests interviews with Guy Kawasaki on Enchantment and with Jessica Northey on how she become one of the most influential women in social media.With close to 120 podcasts in the archives I thought I would hand-pick some key podcasts that I have produced on social business strategy. Here are my top 5 (or at least 5 you shouldn’t miss):
#1) 10 Corporate Social Media Myths Dispelled
This social business podcast is about 10 social media myths that are commonplace in the companies and organizations that we work with at Socialized! Agency. Many of these misconceptions stop organizations from truly realizing the potential of social media (or even starting).
#2) How to Hire the Right Social Media Manager the First Time
Hiring a social media manager, social media coordinator, chief tweeter or whatever you might call it is a challenging endeavor. There are many brands which have experienced great success and many who have also shot the foot off of their brand on the internet – often due to who they hired or promoted to do so.
#3) What Comes First a Pretty Website of Business Results?
Too many people think a website, Twitter account or well produced video is a strategy — in reality they’re just tools. Before you invest money and time in building a brand new site, or devote more time to your social media efforts, it might be a good idea to have a plan.
#4) Social Media Department Versus Socialized (Social) Business?
As organizations push into the social media space many will start with a social media position, others will have a social media department within their company. This is a great initial step but there are pitfalls and down-sides to seeing social as separate from other business activities. This social business podcast talks about the whether or not we should have dedicated social media silos or fully social companies.
#5) Should You Let Your Sales Team Publish Content Using Social Media?
Today’s podcast answers the question “Should you let your sales team publish content using social media?” I cover 5 reasons sales professionals should not be publishing content on social media and 13 reasons they should be.
Subscribe to the Social Business Podcast on iTunes
Shane Gibson (@ShaneGibson) is a sales and social media speaker who has addressed over 100,000 people on stages on three continents over the past 15 years. He is also co-author of Guerrilla Social Media Marketing and Sociable! How Social Media is Turning Sales and Marketing Upside-down. When he’s not speaking or Tweeting he is in the trenches working with the sales team at BuildDirect as a sales trainer.
Team selling is a whole new dynamic for a lot of new sales people, even tenured sales people and executives can often miss in a team environment. Sales people are measured by their individual contribution to the bottom-line but in team selling they need to take a look at the bigger picture and engage and coordinate a whole team.
Today’s assignment after you listen to the podcast is as follows:
1) Develop your own Edification sheet or elevator pitch for your team mates
2) Get each of them to do that as well for you and then memorize each others “Edification Sheet”
3) Develop a checklist for prepping for meetings that ensures that you:
a. Know the key strengths and purpose of those people on your team
b. Determine the meeting lead
c. Warm everyone up for the call
d. Debrief after the meeting with the key questions:
– What went well?
– What didn’t go well?
– What could we do better?