This season I have been doing more guest episodes (which I hope you are enjoying and learning lots from!).
But one thing I don’t normally take time for during the podcast is stories/background about me.
I felt it was time to share more about why I think I am qualified to teach others about selling in the right way.
I would never have guessed I was destined for a life as a sales leader, coach, trainer, and consultant.
Yet here I am.
For those of you wondering why I might be worth listening to, this is the episode for you!
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E121 – Transcript
Hey everybody, welcome to The Sales Experience Podcast. My name is Jason Cutter, so glad that you’re here. As always, if you’re new to the show, please make sure to subscribe wherever you got this podcast, this episode, wherever you found this. Subscribe if possible after you listen to it, enjoyed many of the shows. If you’re new, if you’re a longtime listener, please rate and review the show wherever you can so that people can find us.
Now let’s jump into the episode.
It’s been an interesting run here now in season two, so again, if you’re new to the podcast, I did over a hundred episodes in season one, took a break and then started up season two. This time around it’s been a lot more about guest episodes and what’s interesting is recording guest episodes, publishing those and not doing as many episodes of my own talking about sales related things and it’s interesting and I appreciate it.
I’m learning so much from these guests and sharing great content, hopefully that you’re enjoying as well in these bite-size mini-series episodes.
And this week is exciting because coming up tomorrow in the episode I have Mary Lombardo who is going to be a four-part mini-series and we talk about sales training, hiring, you know, just that whole gamut. But again, what’s interesting is that in season one it was mostly me talking by myself into the microphone and recording episodes.
This time it’s a little bit different. So what I wanted to do in today’s episode in our time together is a little bit different than what I normally would do. And I wanted to share a little bit of my background and really address the question of why me. So why am I the one who thinks I can share about sales experience? Some of you who know me or listened to the first season might’ve caught glimpses of this where I covered it.
I talked about kind of my background where it’s not about sales. I wanted to do was go into a little bit about me and why me and why I think I am so good at sales, and then also why I think I can help other people. And really the fundamental truth is that I was not born into a selling family, into a sales household. I think I’ve developed some sales DNA.
I think I have some of that in me that I didn’t really recognize when I was younger and in fact it was there but it was definitely never nurtured. So a couple of times when I was a kid, and I know this was back when it was still possible and supported, but I went door to door knocking on people’s doors, doing fundraising, selling you know, holiday calendars, holiday gift wrap and things like that because I wanted to win a prize.
I actually wanted to win a small remote control car that was a Ferrari. And I remember I had to earn so many points and I think I came in second for the school and I got my prize. And of course that car didn’t last very long cause it was pretty cheap. But it was an awesome thing that I got. But I did it by going door to door, selling stuff around the neighborhood to family, to friends. My parents of course, taking it to their job and having people sign up.
I also as a kid, used to go early on the bus to school in junior high and there was one teacher there who had an entrepreneurial club where he had his own store that he sold snacks. You’d go to Costco, buy things and sell it, and then on Friday mornings he would actually go and get donuts and sell them out of his classroom and I used to go and sell donuts for him to students who came and then he would give me free donuts as well.
He also had it where he would buy candy and then we’d sell candy to other students. And so there was many times when, when I look back, I actually was doing sales, but I really wasn’t aware of it. Now. My mom before she retired, she was in banking and then in finance and my dad before he retired, he was an engineer who moved his way up to being a project manager to being a manager and uh, running engineering-type programs. So he didn’t have a lot of nurturing from a sales business perspective pushing down on me. However, they were very supportive. At one point I was mowing lawns for people in the neighborhood. I did babysitting and then I got a newspaper route. So I used to wake up super early in the morning delivering newspapers when that was still a thing that was done by kids and teenagers.
And then I got my first job when I was 16 working in a restaurant in the back in the kitchen, and so I didn’t have a lot of that pushing me to be in sales and in fact it wasn’t until I was 25 no, 27 when I got my first sales job. Now keep in mind, case, you don’t know this, my bachelor’s degree, when I went to school, I went to UC Santa Cruz and my degree is in Marine biology.
Then I moved to Seattle and I worked at Microsoft doing tech support for a couple of years. Like I did everything I could to run away from the world of sales and stay away from sales. And then in fact, I ended up in a sales role in the mortgage business in 2002 and without any training at that point in the mortgage business, it was so easy to do well because everyone wanted to buy a house.
However, what I’ll say is without any training, without any real clear direction on how to be a salesperson, how to have conversations, how to listen, how to effectively ask questions, how to really prescribe solutions. At first six months of my sales career were very rough and the mortgage was. I learned a lot. I made a lot of mistakes by doing what I thought people would want when they buy, when in fact that was not the right approach.
So from the mortgage business, I then started a business with a friend and partner at the mortgage business where we helped people in foreclosure and then transfer to a company that was a startup and help them grow that which was using a call center inside sales to help people who were in foreclosure. And then I’ve had many other instances where I’ve been in sales, sales management, sales leadership. I also took a break from sales for about four years where I deployed overseas as a civilian contractor.
Again, running away from the world of sales, trying not to be in sales yet after that came back in sales, sales management, operations, marketing, all of that. And what I found is that in me, in my kind of path that I’ve had in my winding road through life so far, it’s always been some constants which is helping people and business processes and systems and solving problems. So when you wrap all that up, that has what’s made me very successful in sales with either my own selling as well as helping other people coach and lead. Now, what I think is the most fascinating is again, with this story about my path and the things that I’ve done where I spent years tagging sharks and you know, working at Microsoft doing tech support, like all of these things are not what a salesperson would do.
However, I think by not being a salesperson or bred for sales or pushed into sales or having the ability to just rely on charisma, let’s say, and storytelling and those main attributes we all think of when we think of a professional salesperson or that pushy sales person, like I did not have any of that going into this.
And I think what’s most interesting is that because I didn’t have that and because I just wanted to help people and then I built other skills around sales and just learn how to effectively communicate but ask questions, move people forward, and then like assume the sale and all those things I talked about in season one. When I combine all of that, I feel like for myself and for a lot of people I’ve seen out there, it actually makes for a much more successful salesperson long-term.
Short term, the charisma, the storytelling, the pushing, maybe the manipulating. All of those things could work in the short term, but long-term it falls apart like a house of cards when there’s no real foundation and fundamentals of some interpersonal skills with actually solving problems and actually selling something that you believe in, you’re passionate about, you’re excited about or that you know will help the other person either achieve their goals or solve a problem, get them into a better place.
When you have kind of the skills and the experience that I have, which is not sales related, then it makes you more effective in my opinion because you are bringing some different characteristics and you’re bringing more of what people want and people respond well to in most sales situations. Now obviously you have to be able to close. I talked about that last week in the episode on order takers.
Make sure to listen to that one if you haven’t and it’s very important to be able to take your natural skills and then apply those in sales and I know for myself that’s what I have done. That’s what I’ve been successful at doing. And I feel like for myself, I am also able to translate that into ways to help other people, which is why I started this podcast.
In my sales management life, I have lead and train hundreds of salespeople in many organizations in many countries, and been effective in my opinion, at helping those people out there who are in a sales role. Maybe they don’t think they’re the greatest salespeople but really tap into those attributes that they have, the strengths, the skills, the experiences, the talents, all of that to mold into a salesperson that can be a professional and be successful long-term.
So it’s kind of some bits of my winding path through life that has gotten me here and why I think I am so successful in sales and why I want to help all of you listening be successful in sales, whether you’re a sales rep or you’re managing and leading a team and maybe struggling or frustrated with some of the salespeople who just aren’t getting it.
Or maybe you’re an owner of a company and you have a sales team and you need to move on. And do bigger and better things kind of with your time for the organization and you need help with your sales team. That’s what I focus on. And really and fundamentally, if you’ve been listening to the show at all, then you know that one of my other main goals is to shift the landscape of way sales is done and how people feel about it. So that’s part of the sales experience is you the salesperson.
How do you feel about what you do for a living and are you proud to call yourself a salesperson and also shifting the landscape for what customers, what prospects feel about salespeople and the experience they get and are they happy? Do they leave the conversation, the interaction, feeling satisfied, feel like they were heard, feeling like they got what they wanted?
Are they less likely to wake up at 2:00 AM in a cold sweat with buyer’s remorse, feeling like they made a wrong choice, right? Are they making the right choice? And then as a whole across the planet, big vision, big mission is to change the way salespeople are viewed and from, instead of it being a dirty word, instead of it being something where people are embarrassed to call themselves a sales rep and instead they come up with other titles like account executive or account manager and all of these different ways to call yourself a salesperson instead of just saying you’re a salesperson. Changing that in the global mind of people out there and saying, okay, well sales is a profession like a doctor. Like anything else where someone is getting trained, they’re getting certified and they’re doing the right thing for people. How do we do that with sales?
How do we all shift that? How do we make that better? So that’s where I’m coming from. That’s where I’m at now. That’s the journey you’re on.
If you’re listening to this, please make sure to subscribe, check out all the episodes as they come out. I appreciate it.
And if you want to connect to go to CutterConsultingGroup.com you can find my information in there as well as all of the podcasts and the work I do on the consulting side. And then if you want to follow me, the best place is on LinkedIn.
And as always, keep in mind that everything in life is sales and people remember the experience you gave them.