This is the fourth segment of the conversation I had with Ken.
In Part 4, Ken and I talk about:
- Top 3 priorities once you get hired for that new sales role
- Every successful salesperson must act like an “Owner”
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Ken Lazar is a Professional Recruiter and Principal in Ability Professional Network, LLC.
Having spent over twenty years in talent acquisition and professional staffing, Ken previously held the positions of Managing Director for Experis Division of ManpowerGroup and District Manager for Kelly Services. Ken’s teams have put over 12,000 people to work.
Over the course of his career, Ken has won many top sales awards including District of the Year, the Consumer’s Choice Award for “Best Staffing Agency” in Central Ohio and the Leadership Award for Influential Selling. Ken led his team to twice winning his companies highest award, the ManpowerGroup “Power Award”, for growth, profitability and community service.
Understanding the needs of top sales performers and the importance of sourcing and hiring top sales professionals, Ken and his son Matt formed Ability Professional Network, LLC. The recruiting staff at APN are specialists at recruiting sales and sales management professionals. The company’s goal is to help its clients to grow their business and their candidates to reach their career potential.
A graduate in Industrial Engineering from Kettering University with a Master of Science in Industrial Administration from the Krannert Business School at Purdue University, Ken and his wife, Nancy, reside in Plain City, Ohio.
Ken is an avid golfer, custom pen maker and owns the best dog on the planet.
E203 – Transcript
Jason: Hey, welcome to the sales experience podcast. Welcome back to part four of my conversation with Ken Lazar. This is the final of our four-part mini-series. As always, make sure that you subscribe and if you haven’t listened to the first three parts, because we’re going to wrap it up in this final part, talking about what top sales reps do when they’re in a new role and if that’s you or you’re looking for a new role or you want to see how you did when you started, kind of a self-awareness test. Make sure to listen to this part if you’re an owner or a manager, take some of this that we cover in your recruiting and in your management to identify if you really got a winner that you’re going to be hiring or if you really hired that winner if they’re following the steps that they should and checking the boxes of what a successful rep does.
Ken: You’ve really got to start putting prospects in the funnel. That’s the most important thing. If you start out putting really, really good quality prospects into your funnel and continue to do that, you’re going to be successful regardless. It’s what people do not understand that that the top of the sales process is the most critical? You don’t have prospects, you don’t have successful salespeople. Is that what you see and what you’ve seen, Jason?
Jason: Yeah, and I love those three parts. So to recap, the first one is the top salespeople. The top performers, in general, understand their comp plan. Know what’s involved in order to make the most amount of money possible, and not just for money sake, but that’s the indicator of winning and being successful in that role, which means you’re A. closing lots of deals helping lots of customers, which is the goal, and B. helping the company be successful and getting them to where they want to be. And so you’re doing it. And I think that’s always important because there’s two kinds of people in the world, the ones who sit down to play, let’s say a new game or do something and they read all the rules to see how they can win or they just kind of jump in and hope they can figure it out.
Jason: The people who read the rules and then see everything that’s involved and then know how they can win within the framework of those rules are always going to be more successful. Then the second one you said was about having a plan. There’s so many salespeople who show up and just say, okay, you tell me what I’m going to do and what I should do instead of treating it like their own business. No matter what you do, any employee at any company is essentially their own business. That role is theirs to make or break and especially in sales, I mean you may be getting a paycheck from somebody else and have a job that you have to go to or someone that you report to, but fundamentally that is your own business to succeed or not. And then the third part is the quality of the prospects. I mean, you know, whether you’re being given leads or you’re going out and getting the leads, you know where you spend your time, who’s the right one, who’s the best prospect for you to talk to that will get you the results you want versus just being busy for busy sake.
Ken: You got them all. Jason, I couldn’t agree with that. You summed that up perfectly.
Jason: Yeah and I, it’s interesting cause when you put those three together like you did and cause I’ve thought about those in different aspects when you put those three together as what a top salesperson would do, especially out of the gate. So if you’re listening to this and you’re going into sales or you’re thinking about changing roles or you’re looking at kind of how you started your current career versus how it’s going, put those three things together. And obviously for the managers listening, the more you can help facilitate that or find people who will do that. And you can usually see those indications in the interview process. I’m sure you’ve seen that too Ken wherein the interview process, you can see those glimmers of the person who wants to know the comp plan and the numbers want to have a plan or is already thinking of a plan and it’s already thinking about the ideal prospects.
Ken: I guess the, the one other thing that the fourth is thinking like an owner, which is very important. Yeah, I tell the story a lot. I put it in my blog as I was out running one day. It was like in July, it was just hotter than Hades. And so I got back and I’m coming back in my neighborhood and we have this interest in the neighborhood. It’s got some plants in there and some Gates and stuff like that. And there was this lady there that was hand watering the shrubs and everything there. She had this big huge truck with this tank on the back of it. And I said, boy, it’s been really hot. It hasn’t been a lot of water. She says, yeah, your subdivision, doesn’t have an irrigation system for the front. Oh, the entrance. So I’m out here watering the plant.
Ken: You know, we had this company that didn’t do that before you and I want to just want to tell you what a great job that you’re doing and to come out here and water the plants on your own and everything. That’s really great. I want you to tell your owner what good things I think about your company. She says, thanks, I’m the owner. It just goes to show you that whatever you do, you know, if you think like an owner, you’re going to do what’s necessary to get the job done. And that’s what a good salesperson does. He brings him the resources he does what’s necessary, what the client wants, and those are the successful salespeople, not what the salesperson wants or how do I serve my client
Jason: Well, and I think that goes for the successful salespeople, successful employees in any role in any organization, whether they have aspirations to move up or just be really good at what they do and enjoy it and be satisfied. People who take ownership of their role and treat it like their own and work hard and do a great job for themselves and their own reasons. Not because they’re told to or asked to or threatened against, you know, not doing it because it’s their own and they own it at some level.
Ken: Couldn’t say it better Jason. That’s exactly right.
Jason: Well, so that seems like a great place to stop, but I want to give you one more opportunity, one last word, something else to share with the listeners, sales recruiting for owners, for sales reps, whatever that might be.
Ken: Well selfishly I’m going to plug my company if you don’t mind. In order to find good salespeople, you need to find people that do that for a living, there’s a lot of really good human resources people out there. There’s a lot of good corporate recruiters out there, but finding good sales professionals is an entirely different animal. So my feeling is if you’re, if you need to put salespeople in place, whether you have an open position or whether you need to add to the sales force cause you’re bringing on new products or what have you, I would recommend that you find your agency lik ability professional network that you trust to help you through that process because the cost of a bad hire or the costs of a recurrent bad hire is more than what a recruiting agency would charge you for the recruiting thing. So my feeling is to use an outside recruiter whenever you can. I think that you’ll be more successful than plus the time constraints in doing it by yourself or your internal recruiters. That’s just, that’s just my selfish plug for my company and for my industry. Jason, I hope you don’t mind.
Jason: Not at all. And I completely agree. I mean, you know, depending on what level company, if you’re listening to this that you’re recruiting for, there’s definitely an over-under where hiring an agency, getting a recruiter staffing firm involved is definitely worth it. Especially to get you away from the paid ads or the placement on job boards and instead finding those gems of people who may or may not be looking, but could be valuable assets. I mean, I think that’s always worth it. And everyone knows the cost of turnover, especially in sales and how much that costs and time and money. So where can people find more information about you, can or get in touch with you?
Ken: Well, go to our website, it’s abilityprofessional.com and I have a present for your listeners.
Jason: Yeah. What is it?
Ken: So if you are a candidate that’s looking to find a new position, if you go on our website and create a profile and upload your resume into our website, I’ve written a book, it’s called a 30-day roadmap to your new job. And uh, we’ll give you a link to, uh, go to that resource so that you can use that in your journey on your next job search. It’s one day per page. It talks about what you should do for your mind, for your body to keep fit during that day and spirit, some kind of a special saying or some kind of quote that you can use for the day to keep you going. So that’s free. So go ahead and do that. And if you want to call me, call my cell directly. I keep it on my hip all the time. (614) 403-6079 or email@example.com
Jason: That’s awesome. Thanks, Ken for sharing that item with everybody if they go on the site and submit their info and uh, for being available to chat. And thank you for being on the shows. It was lots of fun and hopefully valuable for reps and managers and owners so that we’re listening.
Ken: It’s been a pleasure. Jason, thank you for the invitation for sure.
Jason: And for everyone listening, if you want to catch the transcript for this, also, if you want to get Ken’s links, you can go to cutterconsultinggroup.com go to the podcast page and find this episode. And all the information there, including the show notes and, uh, make sure to subscribe to this iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud. You can go to Spotify. Also Google play. And as always, keep in mind that everything in life is sales. And people remember the experience you gave them.