One of the things I like to share with my customers is my mistakes and my lessons, so they don’t have to. Mistakes are part of the journey of improvement, the more you make the more you learn. The problem is though, some people see a mistake as failure and come to an abrupt conclusion that something doesn’t work. The problem there is that very little learning has taken place. A mistake is not a fail, it’s a First Attempt In Learning! And in sales, that usually is the 1st ‘No’ you get from a prospect. Sales is all about problem solving and it’s imperative to understand WHY a customer didn’t chose you so you can be better armed for the next prospect meeting.
Of all the areas in business, sales is the one that you need to continually improve on in terms of your
- Process (including pre and aftersales)
- Info sharing within team
- Market dynamics
- Customer’s pain points
- … this list can go on
There are just so many variables to deal with and keep on top of. And with that mistakes will be made, however see them as a great opportunity to learn.
Of all the lessons in the video probably the 2 most impactful ones for me are
- No does not always mean NO
- Not persistent enough
And they are very much related to each other.
The 1st ‘No’ is usually a statement that you approached the sale from the wrong angle. It took me a long time to perfect my message and even when I did and still got the ‘No’ I didn’t stop there.
This led me on a journey of developing mechanisms on how to add value before the sale. Your goal as sales person should be demonstrating how your company can solve their pains and do that by giving them a sample of your product or service, before any formal engagement has taken place. This is all about building trust, your most powerful ally in sales. Will you lose sometimes, absolutely, but’s its a percentage game.
I will always show my hand straight off, offering strong value.. Do some businesses then go off and think they can do it all themselves? For sure.. but then the question is, would it have been a good fit? Probably not, so in essence it’s a good filtering process so don’t be disappointed, as I keep saying it’s important to work with Win Win customers!
Lessons in Sales Video Transcript
Hi Shay Lynch here
director of Future State.
And in todays video I wanna talk
about my biggest lessons in sales.
Now Im gonna talk about five
and gonna talk around the
five and Im not saying
these are the only five
mistakes Ive made.
Ive made many mistakes and
Im still making mistakes.
We all make mistakes.
Its fine to make mistakes.
In fact the only way you
learn something didnt work
is through testing it
and making a mistake
so you can get feedback and improve.
Thats what systems thinking is all about.
But you need to acknowledge
youve made a mistake.
So today I wanna talk about
my top five and by the way
these are all interrelated all the time.
The first one is inbound marketing.
The promise came out a number of years ago
that inbound marketing was the solution
to all the sales issues on this planet.
There are experts out there telling you
you dont need to pick up the phone
ever again in your life that the phone
conversations of old are gone.
Thats what they will tell you.
I bought into that.
And I bought into that at the consequence
of not putting enough
effort into outbound sales.
What happened then?
My sales funnel contracted and I put
a lot of money into developing (chuckles)
online marketing programs online funnels.
They cost me lots of money
lots of time lots of tweaking
and in fact it took so
long to build this process
the industry had changed so much
in the meantime so it was null and void.
And that is just one of the biggest
lessons that I have made.
Not enough reliance or
effort on outbounds.
When I started my business
my first business
back in or Im an engineer.
Ive always been a systems thinker.
Ive always built process.
I had never done sales in my life.
I had to build a sales process for myself.
And at every stage of that funnel
at every step that I was building
I would get a brick wall.
Then my goal was to how to
you get over that brick wall
by developing new ways
of opening conversations
and helping and talking to people.
So I built a process that worked
which then I forgot about because I put
all my efforts into inbound marketing.
And one of these things that I learned
is about building a cold
cold cold lead process
would involve a lot of cold calling.
Now that took a lot of practice
and Im gonna talk about
these two together
because they are very much related
and in fact this last
one not enough persistence.
Once I started phoning people
and telling them what I could do
I was getting no on the phone straightaway
So I was completely
knocking them off my list
no I got a no.
And I assumed that meant no.
Well no doesnt always mean no.
Because first of all
my message was wrong.
I was asking for a meeting or in fact
my first effort of cold calls
was talking to em about how amazing I was
and how amazing my services
were et cetera et cetera.
So that was the first thing
the message was wrong.
How can I change my message
to be more successful?
Well eventually I was saying
I knew the cold call was
only to get a meeting.
The purpose of it was
just to get a meeting.
So I was saying “Look this is what I do.
“Id like to tell you more about it.
“Can we have a meeting?”
And I was getting some success with that.
But when I got to the
meeting I was getting no
and again I assumed no meant no
and Id move on to the next one.
And that was causing me an awful lot
of effort and heartache and frustration
because I had to keep finding new leads
and finding and searching for them
who else can I help?
That lead generation
process was causing me
an awful lot of effort
for very little value
the value to everybody
still was very poor.
So I started to really look back
and figure out well how can
I turn these nos into yes?
Well once I started realizing
that getting a meeting
was not good enough
I was talking to people and saying
“Look this is what I do” on the phone
“I wanna offer your company free CPD
“and the benefit you will
get was X Y and Z.”
And that would take more of
an hour to an hour and a half
as opposed to the average
My conversions for meetings
And what really was the
eureka moment there was
not only was I telling
them what I could do
I was showing them.
So we were taking one of their
problems in their business.
And I had multiple
stakeholders not just one
another huge benefit.
I was helping them solve a problem today.
I was exchanging value for time.
So I was demonstrating
value before the sale
and I was demonstrating my value
with a problem in their business.
And then what happened is my conversions
to getting work dramatically
increased as well
because in their mind they were saying
“If he can do this for free
“what can he do for us if we pay him?”
And that was my cycle that
I really worked hard on.
But then the other thing
that I didnt know was
I was assuming on my first try
no meant no but it didnt
because I would ring them again.
And once I discovered this and I will not
take credit for this this was given to me
by a colleague about
the art of persistence
and not annoyance
theres a big difference.
Because if you truly believe
you can help somebody
and then you can demonstrate that
they will be extremely happy
that you were persistent.
Yes do not be annoying.
Theres a big difference and
theres a thin line sometimes.
Always try and be helpful and
valuable to your customers.
So for example if I
got a no on the phone
and they didnt want
to talk to me anymore
I would phone them up
and leave a voicemail.
And again the voicemail
is another powerful tool
where you can start building engagement
with your customer by
having a key short message.
And the message is not about
“Would you like to meet?”
Its about what value
you can deliver to them
and say in the meeting “I will ensure
“you walk away with that value.”
So for example “Hi this
is Shay from Future State.
“Im working with clients and
building strong performance
“in their sales processes at the moment.
“I believe I can help
you and I would like
“to have a CPD with you
and show some strategies
“for an exchange for time for value
“with your sales team and
it will take about an hour.
“How does that sound to you?”
I went straight into the value.
And through that I would give a customer
three nos before I would stop.
And that whole process taught me
how to be more effective with the leads.
So again I dont have to broaden
the amount of leads I get in.
I can be really clever with my message.
So no does not always mean no.
The other thing is you want to do this
for your breadandbutter clients
all this process about getting out there
knocking on doors and
getting more meetings
to get more sales.
However theres always
a few strategic accounts
that you would like to get.
That is you have to build a strategy.
Its not just about knocking on a door
and getting some sort of
PA and a buyer in between.
Its about having an omnichannel approach
networks theyre attending
getting talking to their people
figuring out more about their company
so you can have more intelligence.
So eventually when you do get a meeting
its gonna be more valuable
to them as well as you.
Take an omnichannel approach
to developing a key account.
Now you dont have many key accounts.
You want to have three or four big ones
to complement all the ones that have
your daytoday operations fulfilled.
But you always want to have
three or four big ones.
And it takes time and strategy.
My approach in the beginning
was just to knock on doors.
The more I was being strategic
about really understanding
their market pains
their internal pains how I can help them
or problems I can solve and
then as soon as I got access
to somebody I had all this
information to deliver
and it was of immense value
to them not just for me.
And all of these related
to becoming persistent.
So just to summarize for
me the biggest lessons
Ive learned and these
wont be the last time
I talk about these but dont forget
the power of outbound sales
and outbound lead generation
in your business.
Do not rely if you want to choose to do
but one thing I will say
anything that youre not sure of
keep testing keep testing
keep testing and keep testing.
Okay to test but dont
commit until youve validated
that its working.
Keep validating before you
jump in full steam ahead
with a new strategy.
Just keep testing and do not underestimate
the power of outbound sales effort.
And always be persistent.
Over to you.
Now its great talking
about these things
as I always say but what are
you gonna do in your business
to ensure that you are gonna take control
and being more persistent
in your sales effort
to achieve new valuable clients
and serve value and
deliver to them as well?
In the meantime this is Shay Lynch
saying thanks for listening.