I have received a lot of questions from new salespeople, veteran reps looking for ways to improve, and people thinking about getting into sales.
Thought I would do my best to answer some of the common questions, getting through as many as I can in each 10(ish) minute episode.
In this episode, I actually get through three questions:
- What’s the biggest no-no to avoid in a sales call?
- What’s the hardest thing about starting a new job in Sales?
- How do I stop my co-worker from stealing my sales commission?
Episode 41 – Transcript
On this episode, I kick off a week of answering some sales related questions that have been coming up recently. Welcome to Episode 41 of The Sales Experience Podcast.
This starts week nine of the show and on this end, it literally feel like it’s been flying by. I have really enjoyed creating these episodes, and giving out as much information as I can to help sales people organizations, the goal of achieving more greater levels of success.
If you’re joining the program for the first time, welcome, I’m so glad that you’re here. This is going to be a fun week to start out with some sales questions and answers.
If you been listening for all or some of the 40 episodes that were in the show since the beginning, I appreciate you so much. Thank you for being here on this journey from the beginning and watching things transition and grow and change and hopefully, get better and better.
This week, I wanted to do something a little different. Instead of a topic for the week and having a theme around that for all the episodes, I wanted to dive into answering some questions that I’ve either received recently, received over the years or seen online that people have posted regarding sales.
So, what I want to do is read off those questions, and then do my best to answer them trying to keep the whole show under 10 minutes. And we’ll just go through as many as we can in each episode.
Question number one, what’s the biggest no, no to avoid in a sales call?
I think about how to answer this. There’s so many different things to avoid in a sales call. Obviously, if your goal is to be a sales professional, in the career, long term, doing the right thing for other people, but I think everything falls under the umbrella of manipulation.
Now manipulation is generally defined as a tactic used to get somebody else to do something, to change their behavior, their perception, whatever it is, but through negative, abusive, deceptive, lying, underhanded type tactics. And so manipulating is all about getting the other person to do what you want them to do for your benefit, for your sake and for your goals, and not theirs.
So, manipulation is all about getting them to do what you want so that you can win whatever that may look like versus persuasion, where persuasion can go either way. Persuasion can be used to get the person to do what you want, or for your goals.
It can also be used to help them get what they want, in a way that is persuasive, and moves them from here to there. And so fundamentally, the biggest thing to avoid in a sales career, the biggest thing to not do is to use manipulation.
So, the first step is to make sure that whatever you’re selling how you’re selling, and what you’re doing is for the benefit of the prospects first. It’s to help them and get them to a better place in their life, or achieve their goal or fix their situation or get them something that they’re after.
Whatever that looks like it’s about them first. And it’s about you and your goals and your needs second. I think fundamentally, manipulation is the biggest thing that gives sales people in the sales profession as a whole, a bad reputation, a bad name.
If we think about the classic sleazy used car salesperson kind of mental image that people have, even if that’s not accurate, but that’s what people think about when they think of sales. It comes from strategies that circle around manipulation.
So no matter what you’re doing in sales, remember that the sale itself that transaction, that closed deal is not worth it no matter what if you have to use manipulation to get there so that you can win.
Next question, what’s the hardest thing about starting a new sales job?
So, I see this a lot, especially with new trainee groups that I’ve talked to where they’re new to a role; they’re worried they’re wondering how it’s going to go, they’re wondering what the biggest challenges are.
No matter what you’re doing, if you’re thinking about getting into sales, usually people want to know like, what’s the hardest part of a new sales job, a new job in sales. Whether you’re brand new in sales or maybe you’re switching companies, you want to learn.
I think the most difficult part of a new role in sales, is trying to get all of it within your head, and to make it all as automatic as possible, where you’re running on autopilot. And you can just focus on the basic things that need to be done right.
But here’s the biggest challenge when starting a new sales role, is you probably have some kind of script, you have training, you have objections, rebuttal responses, you have a CRM and data entry that you’ve got to do for some kind of application or the actual transaction. You’ve got some kind of phone system or you’re doing this in person, which is even more stressful, because you have to memorize everything and then go into it without a script in hand or a playbook or a list of all the objections and responses.
So. you’ve got to do all of that, but at the same time, asking questions to the prospect, listening for the answers, doing five different things at once, while you’re moving towards a transaction. If it’s a one call closed type situation, you’ve got a lot to do in a limited amount of time. You got to get it done right and you’ve got to move on to the next one and do that over and over again.
If you have a multiple interaction sales process, so multiple calls over maybe several days or several weeks or months, then you’ve got all these things you’ve got to remember where you left off, and you got to pick that up, you have to use your CRM. And so there’s so much going on at once. It’s like picking up any new hobby in the beginning.
So, if you want to learn how to play golf, for example, so I remember taking golf lessons. And it’s like you got to hold the club, you got to stand a certain way, you got to do this with your knees with your legs, with your feet, you got to twist in a certain way, you got to pull it back, and then swing through and turn your head and make sure you’re looking at the ball at all times.
There’s so many things at once that you have to do, and try to be fluid with it, that it starts off terrible. And the same thing is with sales, is it’s going to feel clunky, and terrible difficult.
And what you want to do is you want to make sure that you master as quickly as possible, each one of those parts separated so that you don’t have to think about that. So the sooner you can get the script down, practice it at night, go through the script with all your friends and family, enroll your significant other, enroll your dog, it doesn’t really matter. Just run through it so that’s natural
Practice with the CRM as much as possible, data entry, finding the leads, putting all the information in that’s necessary. Get comfortable with the phone system, your dialer, meeting people face to face, how you interact with them, whatever it is, just try to master all those parts.
Because the fundamental goal, the point where you want to get to and the point where I see sales, people really start to figure it out and really get into the zone is when you don’t have to think about what you’re doing in all those parts. When you can just focus on having a conversation with another human being and asking questions, looking for where their needs are, their pains, their issues, what their goals are, and then see if you have the solution for that and then moving them forward.
Once you can do that and just literally have a conversation, where you’re also not thinking about or worried about what you’re going to say next. Because one of the biggest challenges when you have so much going on, you’re going to ask your question to the prospect.
And then what’s going to happen is while they’re answering, you’re going to be thinking about what you’re going to say next or do next or what you’re going to respond with, and then you’re not actually listening. And so that means you’re thinking ahead and not in the present and not reacting to what they’re actually saying, and picking up on all the little things that they’re saying or not saying in that conversation.
And so you want to get to the point where you’re just having a conversation with another human being and moving them forward in the process, and not worrying about anything else. If you’ve ever done anything like golf or sports, anything where there’s a hobby involved where it took a while, the key is to get to the point with that golf swing, where you don’t have to think about it.
You don’t have to think about pulling it back, and then swinging through what you’re going to do with your head, you just do it, it’s just muscle memory. And the sooner you can get to not thinking about every little step that you’ve got to do and you can just do what feels natural, then you can make little tweaks from there.
But until then it’s going to feel very forced and terrible. And so that’s the biggest thing with starting a new sales job is putting all that together as quickly as possible so you can just get fluid with your sales process.
Third question, how do I stop my co workers from stealing my commissions?
Now, this is an interesting thing, because in my mind, there’s two separate answers for this question.
The first answer, which is the basic one, which is important is that your coworkers are stealing your commission’s or stealing your sales, whether it’s over the phone or could be in retail could be on the car lot could be in any different way, where you’re talking to a prospect, they leave, they come back or they call back, they get a different rep, then they close the sale with that rep and they buy from that other person, and then you miss out.
And it could be malicious or it could be accidental. If it’s malicious, where the other rep sees your prospect walk back into the store and they go after them and they don’t let them talk to you, that’s a different part, I’m going to address that next.
But for now, the key is, is that if you find your prospects buying from somebody else at a different time, so again, they call back in or they walk back in at a later time, and they don’t come to find you or they don’t buy from you directly, then that’s a sign that you haven’t developed enough of relationship, rapport and all of the fundamentals I talked about, you haven’t gone deep enough with that person.
If they don’t think man, I got to call back and talk to Bob, because Bob was amazing and he knows my situation, I know that he cares about me. If they don’t have that reaction and they call back instead and Sue answers the phone and Sue says, “Hey, have you called and talk to anybody else?” And the prospect says “Yeah, but I don’t remember who that was was or I don’t really care, I’ll just deal with you.”
If that happens, and if that happens more than once and you notice a trend, don’t think to blame the other person, your coworker, the other reps, whoever it is. Take responsibility and ownership and look at the kind of relationships and conversations you’re having and what kind of value you’re setting up. That prospect should call back and know and feel and want to only deal with you because you are the professional who is doing it right and taking care of.
Now, the flip side of that the second part of this answer is that if you work in an environment, if you work at a company where this happens a lot, not just to you but to other people where other reps are constantly taking other people’s deals, where they’re taking their prospects, selling them taking commissions, then my suggestion in that environment is to run, to quit that company, to leave that company and go find another one.
Because that kind of behavior if it happens a bunch and again, the first part is taking responsibility, making sure it’s not just you failing at doing good job of setting up relationships. But if this seems to be something that’s within the company culture, that comes from the top down and that will never change and that will always be an issue and that kind of toxic sales place is not a place that you’re going to want to work at.
So, go somewhere else, somewhere where management supports reps keeping their prospects. And in the event that a prospect does buy from somebody else, the managers want to make the best situation for both reps involved and will fix the situation or coach you on how to do a better job. So, make sure you don’t stay in any place like that that’s toxic, where it’s encouraged or allowed to steal deals.
All right. That’s it for this episode. I tried to keep it under 10 I know I went a little bit long. I’m gonna keep doing this for the rest of the week. It’s totally fun on my side and I enjoy. If you have specific questions, send me a message through the CutterConsultingGroup.com website or through LinkedIn.
And if your organization could use some help improving the performance of their sales team so that everyone can close more deals, make more money, achieve more goals, go to the CutterConsultingGroup.com website, send me a message.
I appreciate and I reward referrals if you set me up with your company and we do some work together. And until next time, always remember that everything in life is sales and people remember the experience you gave them.