My guest for this week is Danny Creed. We have a fun back-and-forth conversation about sales. This is part 1 of the 4-part mini-series.
In Part 1, Danny and I talk about:
- Straight Talk
- Knowing who your buyer is
- Performance marketing vs. brand marketing
- Foundational sales stuff
- Sales professionals and 10,000 hours
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Real World, Master Business Coach Danny Creed is an international master business and executive coach, business consultant; trainer, best-selling author, international keynote and workshop speaker and experienced entrepreneur and business owner. (www.realworldbusinesscoach.com). He is a recognized expert in sales, management, and start-up business strategic planning. He is a business turnaround and marketing specialist with a strong emphasis on business and personal development.
Danny is a Brian Tracy International Certified Business Coach and Sales Trainer. Coach Dan has logged to date nearly 15,000 business coaching, consulting and training hours. He has been involved with 15 successful start-up businesses and over 400 business turnaround challenges. Dan commits himself to over 200 hours of continuing education to enhance his coaching skills. Coach Dan is the SIX-time recipient of the FocalPoint International Brian Tracy Award of Sales Excellence.
Danny Creed is a published author. His first book, BOOTSTRAP BUSINESS, was a collaborative effort with world-renowned business development experts, Tom Hopkins (How to Master the Art of Selling), John Christensen (FISH!) and Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul). His second, A Life Best Lived; A story of Life, Death and Second Chances is available worldwide on Amazon.com and Audible at http://www.businesscoachdan.com/author/.
Danny Creed’s next books, Straight Talk on Surviving and Thriving in Business and Straight Talk on Finding Customers: The Champions Network, are planned for a Christmas 2019 release. He is also widely published in numerous magazines around the world including Business Coach Magazine, serving all of Eastern Europe and Business Venezuela, the magazine of the Venezuelan American Chamber of Commerce.
E117 – Transcript
Jason: Welcome to another episode and another guest series with The Sales Experience Podcast. My name is Jason Cutter. So glad that you’re here. I know I always say that, but I always mean it because if you’re listening to this and hopefully it’s because you take your sales experience serious, your sales profession, career seriously, and you want to make the most out of it, your time as a sales professional, creating the freedom that you want in your life and creating big things in your life, using your skills and your talents and your abilities and your experiences. And then you also want to create the ideal experience for your prospects and moving them from prospect, from cold all the way through warm to a customer to a raving fan when you do it right and when you create that sales experience. It’s not just for you but it’s also for them and that way everybody is winning so I’m so glad you’re here.
Jason: This is my second guest on The Sales Experience Podcast for Season Two, so I’ve got Danny Creed and before I start that recording, Danny and I get into it. He has been doing this for such a long time. He has coached people, I think he says he has over 15,000 logged hours of coaching salespeople, businesses, leaders and everything.
Jason: This guy has done it all. He’s had some amazing mentors, which I know anybody who spent any time in sales will look up to, so very excited that he was the second guest on the episode. Good old Danny Creed’s straight talk. We talk about that. We talk a lot about sales and just all over the whole maps is super valuable. This one here is going to be put into four parts, is going to be a four part mini-series where we’re just going to continue the conversation. So this is part one. If you want to check this out, like I said, make sure to go to CutterConsultingGroup.com you can go to slash (/) podcast or click on the podcast link. Find the episode, in there will be the transcript, show notes, all of Danny’s links. You want to find him and reach out to him.
Jason: Make sure to do that, and then you can always reach out to me as well through the contact us or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can find me on LinkedIn as well. So without further adieu, enjoy part one where Danny and I start talking about sales.
Jason: Alright, welcome to the sales experience podcast. My name again, Jason Cutter, and welcome to another special guest episode today. Just kicking right into it, I’ve got Danny Creed, master business coach, mentor, consultants, so many things and talking to him. He’s been through so much.
Jason: Danny, welcome to the sales experience podcast.
Danny: Jason, thank you. I’m very glad to be here. I’ve listened to your podcast.
Jason: I appreciate that. I know you’re a super busy guy and again, for anybody who’s unfamiliar with my show, checking it out and listening to this as the first one, I’m not a big fan of interview shows with giant long intros. I want to get into the meat of it and you have an interesting story growing up on a farm, so anyone who’s interested, we’ll put all your show notes and all your information in there and the book that you’ve written, the ones that you’re working on, we’ll put that in there. And so what I want to jump into, one thing that caught my eye before we spoke was your straight talk approach. What does that mean? Especially being a farm guy like yourself? What does that mean?
Danny: Well, I’ve built my business coaching practice around the idea that we make success way too hard. We make the concepts of selling way too hard that everybody has their end all be all solution to sales or management or success. They have the miracle app. That’s going to change everybody’s life. And the bottom line is that I knew Zig Ziglar and he used to say all the time, look the difference between the similarities, rather of a 40 story skyscraper in a three bedroom houses without a good foundation, they would both fall over. And so I believe that there are foundational, there’s a foundational recipe for success in selling and almost anything that we have to master the foundation before we can do anything fancy. And I just believe we’re not getting enough straight talk on that. And so I based my practice, you know that I’m not here to criticize you, we’re just going to be very honest and straightforward.
Danny: And I’ve worked with some companies that are worth over, you know, multi billion dollar companies. And the first thing we do is I come and say, you know, we’re going to start out by looking at our foundation and make sure we’re doing certain things right. Cause as you know, in sales, one of the things that always happens is we find out what works and we keep doing that, but we never do anything to improve what works. We’re always looking for what’s going wrong, you know, and there’s billions of dollars spent every year in corporate today, the when something goes wrong and somebody will go, “let’s form a committee and find out who to blame.” And the fact is we just need to work. I just don’t believe in that, that we let’s figure out what happened, why it happened, how it never happen again. And then we get tack again and let’s just, let’s get to the basics and let’s master those.
Danny: And I believe there’s about 14 basics as it comes to selling. And in some of that just, you know, simple. I have an 80 question questionnaire just for clarity that I make every client fill out. And there are things that sometimes they should know, but they don’t. It’s like, who’s your perfect customer? And they said, well, here’s who I have right now. I don’t know. Have you done any research? I worked with a dentist one time that he thought his perfect customer was a man. And we went through every one of these files, a male of certain age. We went through every one of these files. He was spending almost 200,000 a year on marketing directed toward men and his target audience was actually a 35 year old woman. You know, how can you sell to anybody if you’re not selling to the people who will buy your product?
Jason: I think that’s interesting and always enlightening to me because we’re in the same realm, although experience-wise a bit behind you. And uh, I’ve been in sales for 16 years, which I know you’ve been in sales for quite a bit longer, but it always amazes me when I talk to clients when I talk to businesses who don’t know some fundamental things like who’s their ideal client? And again, like you’re saying, not who do they think they’re selling to, but who’s their most profitable client? Who’s the one that makes the best customer, which may not always be the most profitable, but which one do they like dealing with? Who do they enjoy dealing with? Who’s going to be the best one to send them referrals or be the easiest to work with and not the biggest pain in the butt? And then it’s always interesting to how they don’t know necessarily what their cost per acquisition is, their lifetime value and, but they’re throwing money at marketing, at sales and you know, just chasing these things. Just doing whatever they think is the right thing, but it’s not, it is not targeted
Danny: You said the magic word chasing thing. And some people get off on spending big amounts of money on marketing and they don’t even know who it’s targeted to. Many marketing agencies, I’m probably going to get, you know, some of your listeners may criticize this, but you know what? So many marketing agencies create campaigns to win awards. They don’t create campaigns. Trout. Yeah. You know, and I sat down, I always like to talk to the agency because I do have some background in that and I’m going to be very critical. If the campaigns aren’t designed to sell, I could care less. If we win an Addy award. I want, “does it sell?” That’s going to be the bottom line of does it work and that for anything to sell any kind of marketing to be successful, you have to know who should it be targeted to. If you don’t know exactly who your prime target audience is, your print won’t work, your billboards won’t work, your magazines won’t work, your newspaper won’t work, your television won’t work. Otherwise you’re just trying to get an award and be happy with the prize, but you’re not selling them. You know? So you have to be very careful because as an entrepreneur, I’ve done quite a bit of entrepreneurial startups and one of the first things I learned from my old mentors was, you know, protect your money and then you know, at that point if you’re not working on your business, you’re selling, you know, and if you’re not selling, you’re working on the business. Yeah, pretty easy.
Jason: Yeah. And I think there’s a big difference in what you’re saying between marketing for branding purposes and kind of awareness versus, you know, kind of the demographic and the focus for this podcast and this show, which is sales managers, leaders, CEO’s with sales teams, and sales reps, which is more performance marketing, which is who are we targeting, let’s target them. And then the metrics and the followup about how is that performing so that we know we’re getting the right amount, what’s our cost per lead, what’s our cost per acquisition? And even if for the sales reps who are listening to this always, and this is what I preach all the time, is you know, always make sure that you do your best to understand what the message and the marketing and the branding and whatever’s being done by the marketing team to generate the traffic, the calls, the interest or whatever you’re following up on because it’s a story and a message that starting from one place and coming through and the sales is the next step. And if it’s performance-based, then it needs to have that message with a call to action. Each stage that leads to an actual sale.
Danny: You said a mouthful there. I mean first of all, you shouldn’t do any marketing lessors called action. You can’t sell unless you have a call to action. I’ve worked with a lot of, I’ve trained a lot of sales people and many of them can give the pitch great, but they never ask people to buy. They don’t have a strong call to action. And really, you know, the way I learned, you know, when you should close, is early and often. It’s one of the first lessons I ever learned. There’s two, close early and often and never take a note from someone who can’t say yes. And that’s powerful because you know a lot of salespeople out there who make lots of contacts and they talked to a lot of people. But that’s the problem. Networking, which is a whole nother topic. But most people go out and network without an idea of who they’re networking for.
Danny: They just want to go out and get a hundred cards and give out a hundred cards. Well, so what? I could care less. But you mentioned something I want to talk a minute about and that’s, that’s metrics. Look, if you’re selling anything out there, if you’re working for a company or you’re an entrepreneur or whatever you’re selling, you better be keeping metrics whether you want to or not because you have to look at your job as you’re running your own business. Even if you’re a sales rep for a company, you better be keeping your own metrics. Don’t let somebody else keep it in for you because as a business owner, which you have to state that you are as a business owner, you better know what good looks like and you better keep track of, even if you’re not, whether you’d say, Oh, I’m not that kind of person that keeps numbers. Look, I can show you 14 years of tracking that I do whether I want to or not. I will not go to bed on Friday night until my tracking in there. I can tell you how many hours I’ve coached. I can tell you what my closing ratios are. You better know that, and that’s a big missing element. Will you agree with that, Jason? That’s amazing element.
Jason: Yeah, and I think that’s really the difference between true sales professionals. Even who are an employee working for a company and somebody who’s got the title of sales rep or account executive or whatever variation of that is, but the difference between a true sales professional is they treat it even as an employee, like their own business. They know their numbers, they know it takes this many appointments to get this many deals. They know if I make this many calls and emails, if I spend this much time on the phone everyday, like they know their numbers as well as the manager does or even more and they’re tracking it. The professionals, I know they’re tracking their calls on their own. They’re not having to be told to track it and be told what numbers to do are being fed their reports. They’re seeking that out and if they don’t have that readily available, they want the numbers so that they can figure out their success formula.
Danny: Amen. And I’m telling you, we’re back to the foundational stuff, that straight box stuff that I believe in. That concept you just mentioned is maybe, I don’t know, 500 years old, thousand years old. I’ve tracked it all the way back to the mid 18 hundreds where insurance companies as such knew exactly. You make a hundred visits, you’re going to get to talk to so many people. You’re going to get to get permission to give so many people a proposal. You’re going to get so many closes, right, that you have phone calls or internet hits and you can track it. The success that I’ve had, the success that you had, I mean there are skills and such involved but some of it sometimes comes back to work in the numbers.. I’ve seen people that are unsuccessful and I know in the coaching game I believe that you can’t, if you don’t invite a coach, you can’t call yourself a coach, so you have to get out of the cell and that kills a lot of people.
Danny: But I know guys that men and women that gripe because, boy, I’m just not selling. No one wants to buy. And I looked at how many sales calls they’re making, and it’s like one every 10 days. Now, from the very first day that I started doing this, I average at least five presentations in front of a client every week, five to seven and you know, so I had a guy say, “well, you know I did about 30 presentations this year and I average 182.”I mean, so law of averages, just say, I’m going to close a few more, but let me ask you something, if you don’t mind me turning the table a little bit. One of the people you talk to say about the power of work ethic in today’s market, because I’m telling you, you can never be a great salesperson unless you, you’re not afraid of some work.
Jason: You know, in what I see and what I’ve seen over the years and then even now with teams, is the kind of salesperson who has the fundamentals and the foundation of winning, right? They have the right attitude, the right work ethic there before the bell starts and you have to kick them out at the end of the day, right. There’s been some situations where somebody is hourly plus bonus or commission, right? Depending on the level, there’s others that are salary. There’s others that are a hundred percent commission, but literally you know, hourly people who it’s five o’clock and you have to send them home because there’s no overtime and they just want to keep working, right. The kind of person who looks for the opportunities and understands some level of work life balance, but usually you need to have work so that you can have that life balance and you know, that may mean some weekend, that may mean some evening, some phone calls, whatever that is.
Jason: It’s about making it when you can and understanding that balance of when you can make it, when the time is right, let’s say the phone calls the time of day, depending on what your model is and what you’re selling. Then you got to make it and then if it’s a slow time, that’s when you do your other stuff. That’s when you, you know, you don’t have to push as hard. I know for myself there’s been several times where I’ve been in sales, you know, in more of a sales role than a management role. And it’s like, okay well calls may come through at six in the morning, I’m going to take it cause that’s somebody responding to marketing and then I have a little break and then maybe more calls come in. And you know, so it’s really that work ethic and I think a lot of stuff is that work life balance is this, I won’t say a lie that people are being fed a lot, but if you’re in sales, especially if you’re not to the level you want to be in, there’s not really a work life balance.
Jason: Like you just need to put in the time and the effort and really get your 10,000 hours in however fast you can do it and then really become successful where now it’s less conversations. I’m sure like yourself where you’re having less conversations, a higher conversion and you know, not having to grind as much as years ago, but there’s a lot of people who enter in sales and they don’t get, you know, that difference. And then also like work ethic, phone calls, emails, all of the stuff, presentations, demos, but work ethic as far as learning and putting in the time and studying on your own and becoming a professional and treating it like a profession, right? Like a doctor doesn’t just show up and then put in the hours like they’re studying and all of these extracurricular things. Then that’s how I know when somebody has it or not, is when I say like, you know, what are you reading?
Jason: Or what kind of stuff are you watching? What are you listening to? And if they’re not right, if it’s all about game of Thrones versus you know, something that developed them and it’s going to be a struggle.
Jason: Alright, that’s it for this first part of the four-part mini series with Danny and I. And as you can tell, it’s just going to keep going like this. Lots of value, lots of fun. Basically, as we kept going, it just kept going and going and going, and you’ll hear that. Lots of value. I know that we had a good time. Hopefully you’re enjoying it as well. Check out the website, cutter consulting group.com to check out the transcripts and Danny’s links and make sure you come back for part 2.