This episode of #SellingWithSocial is a bit different than my typical format - it’s a great conversation I had with my friend, Brandon Bornancin of Seamless.ai. Our chat was recorded originally for his podcast “Sales Secrets of the Top 1%" and he's graciously allowed me to pass it along to you.
Brandon and I had a great time walking down memory lane as I shared the story of my sales career. You probably don’t know that I didn't initially choose a sales career for myself. At the time, I worked at a retail camera center in my area as a photo finisher. I loved to make suggestions to customers about things they could buy to make their photos better. As a result, my boss noticed that I was outselling most of the sales staff. When I put in for a transfer so that I could worker closer to my college, my boss said he would only approve the transfer if I’d agree to go into sales. That was the start of an amazing journey.
Listen to this episode and you’ll hear how I got into technology sales, climbed the ladder, became a resource to those on my own sales team, and even arranged to be mentored by the President and Chief Sales Officer of the company I was working for at the time - Sprint. But none of that is the best part. I also share the three biggest sales secrets I’ve learned throughout my career so far: I call them "PVC" - Personalize | Value | Call to action.Sales Secret #1: Personalize Your Messaging
I wasn’t in sales long, before I realized that every person I encountered, both as a potential buyer and as a team member in my own company, had their own set of unique challenges and goals. It was my job as a seller to personalize my approach to those specific things. When I was able to do that, I built rapport and trust quickly and was able to close more deals, faster.
In this conversation, I explain why personalization is so vital to the sales process and give examples of what it looks like when you do it well. If you want to learn how to truly get into the shoes of anyone you need to sell - externally or internally - you need to hear this conversation.Secret #2: Value
“Value” is not an uncommon word to hear in the sales world these days. Almost instinctively, we know that people are not going to make a buying decision if they don’t believe the solution we’re offering provides the value they are looking for. But knowing exactly WHAT value you should provide takes discernment and insight - and makes all the difference in moving deals forward. It’s your responsibility as a seller to make that discovery.
Listen to this episode as I share how you can look for the “fish on the wall” that enables you to engage in conversations that build personal relationships with individuals. It’s these personal relationships that enable you to learn exactly what the person needs in terms of value. One story I tell is how my real-life experience of buying my first home in the San Francisco Bay area enabled me to connect with a CTO in a personal way - and THAT helped me discover the exact value I needed to provide to him and his company so that we could close a huge deal together.
.My Third Secret: Call To Action
Another of the sales secrets I've discovered in my sales journey is this: Never step away from a sales call, meeting, or even a cold call without driving toward something else. Here’s why it’s important: You don’t want to leave the ball in the other person’s court once you’ve engaged with them. If things are going to move toward a deal that benefits your company AND your customer, you have to ensure that the next logical step is put forward for their consideration. When you do this, you’re nudging the conversation forward in a subtle, but powerful way. I share practical tips on how to apply this principle during our conversation.50% Of Your Job Is Selling Internally: Here’s How To Do It
It’s natural to think of selling as an external thing - and it definitely is. But the external portion of what we do as sellers is only 50% of what matters. The other 50% is what goes on internally, within your team and company. You may not have thought of it this way but much of what you are able to accomplish in your career depends on how well you can sell yourself, your ideas, and your position INTERNALLY.
What does it take to sell effectively within your organization? First, you have to know your stuff - the data surrounding the issues. Second, you have to know your competition. Third, you must have a strategy in place that you can explain clearly and that makes sense. Fourth, you have to know why the people involved might say, “No.” When you have all those pieces, you are able to sell TO those things. Listen to hear how I discovered and applied that approach throughout my career - to great success.Outline of This Episode