Last week was action-packed with sales kickoff meetings for three clients – one in California, one in Florida (relieved for some warm weather venues!), and another here in The Lou coming up on Sunday – a total of 13 sessions including two keynotes, six breakout sessions, and five roundtable discussions.
I share this not to brag (or complain) about the workload or travel, but to make a bigger and much more important point: The top producers, at each of these companies in very diverse industries, are STILL deploying traditional, dare I say ‘old school’ methodology, and they are experiencing abundant sales and sales management success. And what’s fascinating is that the top-performing sales managers and individual producers I’m meeting are hungry for coaching and help to further master the FUNDAMENTALS.
Read this slowly because it contrasts sharply with the popular nouveau nonsense you see getting a lot of “Likes” on LinkedIn: Top producing sales hunters and sales leaders are STILL deploying traditional methods for prospecting, creating opportunities, conducting sales calls, holding salespeople accountable for results and pipeline health, etc…, and those who are absolutely crushing it are the ones clamoring for more content and coaching on the basics.
Be careful. Be slow to believe what you read online or hear from experts. Just this week, several supposed sales “experts” (who happen to sell inbound marketing and lead-generation services – imagine that) posted about the pending death of cold calling. I always smile reading those posts because the authors don’t even make a half-hearted attempt to mask their agendas. Isn’t it interesting how they happen to offer the exact fix/solution/replacement for the older methodology they proclaim no longer works?
I’m mentoring a young sales stud – a family friend living in another state and new to selling IT services. He just joined a company and recently sat in a meeting where the company’s digital agency was telling the senior execs that prospecting is completely ineffective and their agency would drum up sufficient leads to fill the sales team’s pipeline. The young man, who had just finished reading Sales Truth: Debunk the Myths. Apply Powerful Principles. Win More New Sales., approached the CEO after the agency left. He told the CEO he didn’t think that what this marketing agency shared was accurate and said that even though he was brand new to the company, he wasn’t going to wait for these mysterious, supposedly forthcoming leads. He would get to work picking up the phone in pursuit of strategically selected target prospects. In the past few weeks this young stud sales hunter secured a record number of meetings with prospective accounts including one enormous potential dream client. Keep in mind, this salesperson was brand new to selling IT and could barely articulate the company’s offerings or value prop yet.
So, let me say it again: Be. Very. Careful. Be wary of supposed experts with agendas. I continue to be amazed how much success today’s top salespeople are having while deploying approaches that experts tell us are dead. As I shared quoting a great line from the movie Princess Bride in this fun article a few years back, “They keep using that word. I don’t think it means what they think it means.”
Two Powerful New Podcast Episodes
I was recently a guest of two great podcast hosts. I absolutely loved these powerful, fun conversations, and I’m confident you will, too!
One is more focused on sales leadership and effective sales management and the other is for sellers looking to create more opportunities and close more sales. Give a listen to the one most relevant for you. I’d love to hear your take on these.
WHY ARE MANAGERS FAILING THEIR SALESPEOPLE is a brutally direct dialogue with the UK’s Marcus Cauchi. He’s even more blunt than I am, and this conversation about sales leadership dysfunction makes The British House of Commons’ Prime Minster’s Questions seem tame!
The classy and eloquent Douglas Burdett invited me back on his enormously popular MARKETING BOOK PODCAST to talk all things Sales Truth. This was a really fun, wide-ranging conversation where we blow up some very popular sales myths and Douglas has me share what today’s top sellers are doing to create, advance, and close more sales opportunities. You can give a listen here or find this episode wherever you consume podcasts.
If you haven’t yet grabbed your copy of my 20 Sales Tips to Crush 2020, get it here now. The year is young and you can make 2020 your best sales year yet!