March 13, 2019

Everything in Sales Has Not Changed and the Very Best Have Mastered the Basics

[The following is excerpted from Chapter 1 in my upcoming book, #SalesTruth: Debunk the Myths. Apply Powerful Principles. Win More New Sales.]

“Many of today’s nouveau “experts” love to tell us that everything has changed. It’s a dangerous new world and all the rules have changed, they claim. Nothing that used to work in sales or sales management still works today. Nothing. Traditional approaches, techniques, and methodologies are no longer effective. In fact, they proffer that if you dare even try to deploy old-school, traditional methods, you’re not just an idiot bound to fail, but also a luddite from the Dark Ages who deserves to be ridiculed. And if you think that I might be exaggerating even a bit here, see the examples in the next chapter.

What’s so amusing and so irritating to me is that I see the exact opposite. The. Exact. Opposite.

The most effective executives, sales managers, and salespeople I observe are masters at the basics. They have perfected old school, traditional approaches. Instead of constantly entertaining themselves by shopping for the latest, greatest, and trendiest new tool, toy, or trick, they stay with the tried-and-true, proven fundamentals of sales and sales leadership. Not sexy, but incredibly effective.

Let me make that point again from a different angle, because I desperately want you to digest this truth: Despite what you hear and read from today’s trendiest, self-proclaimed thought leaders, I have never seen a salesperson or sales team fail because they lack a recently invented sales tool, or because they had not yet adopted a newly created sales process.

I don’t know how to make this next point graciously or without coming across as arrogant, so I am just going say it in abject frustration because I am so tired of the half-truths and false promises giving false hope to salespeople and managers: I have been around the globe helping sales teams in every industry—from mortgages to machinery, from plastics and polymers to payroll services, from defense to distribution, from big data to big trucks, and from SaaS to trash. And I can emphatically and unequivocally state that, regardless of what the so-called experts are writing on LinkedIn or quoting in their “studies,” it’s not their beloved, newfound tool or process that’s missing—it’s a solid execution of the basics. They can wax eloquently about their theories, brag about how many people “like” their posts, speak for free at the online virtual sales conferences, and cite supposedly valid research to their hearts’ content. I know what I am seeing and hearing with my own eyes and ears: The sales world is desperate for rigor and discipline around the fundamentals, not fancy new tricks.”

And that truth, my friends, is exactly why I am so excited about the OutBound Conference taking place next month in Atlanta! My good friend and my #1 Go-To Sales Guru, Anthony Iannarino, came up with the idea for OutBound way back in 2015. He wanted to create a sales conference that focused specifically on the critical fundamentals of proactive selling. In an age when there is so much noise and nonsense surrounding traditional sales approaches like prospecting, the founders of the OutBound Conference (Anthony, Jeb Blount, Mark Hunter and I) wanted to create an event that helped salespeople absolutely master the basics for creating and advancing sales opportunities. We were determined to share the powerful, practical tips and techniques that we teach our client sales teams during private speaking events and workshops, but in a conference open to the public that would be affordable enough for individual salespeople to pay their own way.

That’s how the OutBound Conference came about and from the very first OutBound in 2016, the focus has been the exactly the same: Every speaker and every session is about helping sellers improve their Prospecting, Pipeline, and Productivity. Period. There is no fluff. No pitching from the stage. No one trying to convince you that you need to deploy their shiny new tool or trick.

The 2019 OutBound Conference is the biggest yet, and Jeb, Mark, Anthony and I have invited some legendary sales authors and speakers to join us on the main stage and also to lead training sessions on Day 3. There is no other conference like this and no better value. Whether you are a grizzled sales veteran who could use a kick in the butt and a refresher on the fundamentals, or you’re newer to sales and looking to get a handle on the basics and what truly works to create and advance sales opportunities through the pipeline to win more New Sales, OutBound is for you.

Consider this an invitation to join the OutBound founders and me (and 1000 sales professionals) at the Georgia World Conference Center from April 24-26. It will be the highlight of the year for both the speakers and the attendees. More info and ticket packages at OutBoundConference.com. And the code “mike100” saves you $100.

Stop looking for the shortcut and the secret sales sauce; they don’t exist. Come to OutBound and let some of the world’s most in-demand sales authors/trainers/speakers help you master the basics of selling. OutBound: Prospecting. Pipeline. Productivity.