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Topics Covered: <a href='/resources/search/?query=sales best practices'>sales best practices</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=sales approach'>sales approach</a>
Sales Strategy
Sep 20, 2017 | Sales Reinvented Podcast lock

Listen to the podcast here.

Paul Watts:
 Hi, this is Paul Watts from the Sales Reinvented Podcast. Welcome to the Best Of Series, brought to you by the Canadian Professional Sales Association. In today's episode we have Tibor Shanto, Laura Posey, and Brian Halligan. We will be sharing some of our favorite Do's and Don'ts.

First up, Tibor Shanto.

Tibor Shanto: I think the top Do is again, look beyond the obvious. Most sales people, the obvious thing is what you and I talked about, so won't repeat it, but what's the need, what's the pain, blah, blah, blah. What's the product? Right? What's marketing's message?

 And I think you need to look past that, and even past the client and into their objectives, because that's what's going to get them juiced. So you know one of the things I say when I work with people is leave your product in the car. You know leave the window open a little if you want it to breathe, but you know, go in with a blank canvas and see what you and this prospect can paint together.

 The other, is again to really as you said earlier to really focus on the question. As I say, I was reading this article, where artificial intelligence in sales, and they've been tracking different arguments, and the old adage of the pitch to listening ratio continues to prove that the less you talk, the more that you engage with the client and allow them to talk about what they want, the greater likelihood that you're gonna be able to get ahead.

 The last one is really more mechanical or functional but I think you really need to start thinking about how you spend your time. And one of the things I work with, with a lot of my clients is that it's not time management. I'm not a big believer in time management. It's more, what do you allocate your time to? So what are the high value activities? What percentage of the cycle do you have to spend on them? So not every day or every week, but the cycle. And then how well is that reflected in your calendar? And if you don't do that, then I think you're preparing yourself for failure.

Paul Watts: If I could ask you to give us the Don'ts. What are the Don'ts Tibor?

Tibor Shanto: The usual but what I would say one thing is don't be afraid. You know I don't think any sales person has really ever died or lost a limb trying a technique. So what's the worst that's gonna happen? I mean we found so many different ways of losing clients. What's the harm in trying something that maybe is not comfortable. You know if I had a dollar for every time I had somebody I was working with saying "Oh I can't do that." Then I'd probably be much richer.

 But you know I've checked with Ottawa. I've checked with D.C. There's a whole bunch of things you can do that most people think you can't do so you know don't limit your thing. You know just go and do it. The listening part. I think sales people again for the right reasons, enthusiasm and all that just interrupt customers too many times. And then last thing, I don't think that they should do is ignore prospecting. I think again sometimes salespeople are on a real ride and they say this is gonna continue and they stop prospecting and one Monday morning they wake up with a very blank calendar and a lonely feeling.

Paul Watts: Next we have Laura Posey.

Laura Posey: Here's one that I really like. Here's my favorite cold calling Do. Think of cold calling as a survey and nothing more. Your job is to simply talk to folks and find out, do they have somewhat of an interest in the thing that you're selling and if so, then we can go on and have another conversation. And if not, if it's just not a priority for the right now move on.

 One of the things that I see in selling as a top Do is I'm a big planner and I think it's incredibly important for you to have a plan for your career. Not just for your day or your week or your goals for the year. But you really understand as a salesperson what do you ultimately want to accomplish? What kind of things do you want to be selling? What kind of average order values do you want? Do you like a long cycle a short cycle? And really wrapping your sales career around the things that make you who you are, and the things that excite you and are super fun for you. So I think having a career plan super important.

 And my third sales DO is get extraordinarily educated in asking questions. I think it's the secret to sale success.

Paul Watts: That was a great list of DO's. So what are the Don'ts?

Laura Posey: The Don'ts are don't listen to any of your colleagues who aren't doing better than you are. If you're on a sales team and you've got a bunch of people around you, don't talk to anybody who's not making more money than you are. Because they're gonna pull you down and not lift you up.

 Another one of the Don'ts is don't ever get it in your head that your industry, your product your whatever is special or different or unique because it's not. Selling is selling. The process of selling applies across all markets, products etc. So don't think that what you're doing is so special and unique that you've got to reinvent the wheel.

 I think my other big Don't is don't just scatter shot your efforts. Don't just dial blindly through the phone book. Find a market that you resonate with that you like. Who the general personality of the people in that profession line up well with your personality. Find products and services that line up with things that you're interested in so that selling is fun and easy. And you're not ever working with people that make you nuts. The Don't is, don't get seduced by forty different things that you could be doing. Get really focused on the market that's the best fit for you and dominate that market.

Paul Watts: And finally, we have Brian Halligan.

Brian Halligan: I'm gonna start with the Do's because they're better.

Paul Watts: Alright, Okay.

Brian Halligan: Okay and I'm gonna give these more to companies than reps and VPs of sales. My first one would be, you want to viciously align your commission plan with the value the customer gets in the success of the customer. If your commission plan is just based on revenue I don't think that's creating alignment. I think you really want hardcore alignment between- A sales rep gets their commission plan and they plan their work around it. You want them planning the work around signing up insanely successful customers who get sustained value over a long period of time and tell other potential customers about it. If you just focus on revenue you get a very short term thinking on that. So that's my first one.

Same thing on pricing. You want to align your pricing model with your customer's success. So for example, at HubSpot. For our marketing products we price it on the size of your database. So you sign up and you've got ten thousand companies in your database. If you do your marketing well through HubSpot, in a year or two's time, you've got a hundred thousand companies in your database and you've grown very fast. We make more money from our customer, the better they do, the faster that increase in the database size. I like that type of pricing model.

 The third that I would give to companies and to VP's of sales, is think about how you can create value before you extract value. Typically, salespeople are trying to extract value first and then create value later. I just think the economy has shifted supply and demand has shifted. There are far more vendors and competitors in almost ever industry today relative to 10 years ago. It's so much easier to build products today. So you have to almost focus on that creating value first. My favorite examples of that are like Warby Parker glasses, where they send you 5 free pairs. Try them on, you send them back. Casper mattresses. You can try a goddamn mattress for a hundred days and send it back if you're not happy and they'll pay for it. Slack the software company that's a [inaudible 00:07:41]

 I think there's a big shift here that buyers are expecting to give a good healthy try of your product whether you're a banana vendor or a mattress vendor or a software vendor. People want to try it before they buy it and get some value before they give you value. So those would be the three Do's.

 Big shifts I think going on in the way you design your business today. I guess in terms of Don't it's the opposite of that. Don't create a commission plan that's focused solely on revenue and focused on short term success. Don't create a pricing plan that's inside out, think outside in. How do I create value for my customers first and then pull that in. And by creating value for your customer doesn't mean you can't charge them a lot of money. If you deliver a lot of value you can extract a lot of value. You just need to get the incentives aligned. And the third is don't try to jam products down people's throat. The leverage has really shifted from the buyer to the seller. Lean into that, don't fight it. Those would be my three Do's and my three Don'ts.

Paul Watts: Today's podcast was produced by Rebel Soul Media a division of RED TV Inc. and with the help of our sponsors. The Canadian Professional Sales Association. Visit to learn about Canada's largest sales organization dedicated to advancing sales and accelerating performance. Thank you for listening and please join us on our next podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions for the show, please go to our website Until next time, remember the ABC's of selling. Always Be Consultative. I'm Paul Watts and you have been listening to the Sales Reinvented Podcast.

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