Jeb Blount is the bestselling author of People Buy You and an internationaly recognized expert on sales. He believes that Sales Professionals are the Elite Athletes of the Business World. On the Sales Gravy podcast Jeb teaches you how to open more doors, close bigger deals, and rock your commission check.
How to Get Meetings With Hard to Reach Prospects
Ever wondered how you can get the attention of that elusive prospect you've been chasing? You know the one. The big fish that is your ticket to President's club a huge commission check.
You know how to sell - that's your job, after all - but getting CEOs and other VIPs to call you back is the tricky part. So what if that impossible-to-reach person weren't so impossible to reach after all?
Hall of fame-nominated marketer and Wall Street Journal cartoonist Stu Heinecke discovered that he could get past traditional gatekeepers and reach those elusive executives by thinking outside the box and using personalized approaches that he calls "contact campaigns".
On this episode of the Sales Gravy Podcast, Fanatical Prospecting author Jeb Blount and Stu discuss creative ways to get meetings with anyone. You'll learn that the secret is about being creative, thinking out of the box, demonstrating authenticity and sincerity, and having a little fun along the way.
Get more meeting with effective Prospecting Sequences. Download our free how to guide here: https://salesgravy.com/seven-steps-prospecting-sequence-guide/
Be Indispensable to Protect Your Job in a Volatile Economy
If you want to succeed at any job, make yourself invaluable. Go the extra mile; make them never be able to imagine what life without you there would be like. - Ross Mathews
Selling in a crisis is tough. Losing your job during an economic downturn is worse. Now more than ever, you need your income. If you lose your job, there is a much higher probability that you will take a pay cut when you land your next one or end up in a role or company that you dislike.
No Mercy for Anchors
The good news for you and sales professionals everywhere is that most organizations and their leaders are smart. They understand that in volatile times like this, they need productive salespeople more than ever. Businesses cannot survive without a steady stream of new sales and loyal customers.
The optimum word here is productive. In a recession, everything and everyone will be examined for its value. If you drain resources rather than generating sales and profits, you are gone. There is no mercy for anchors when the ship is sinking.
How to Get Fired in a Crisis:
Failure to prospect
Low activity and productivity
Poor time management and organization
Surprising the boss with bad news
Being difficult to work with
The bottom line is, when your leadership team is faced with making decisions about sales force reductions, the dead wood gets cut first. Therefore you need to be indispensable to your boss and organization.
Excellence is a Choice
Mediocrity, just like excellence, is a choice. Therefore, the most effective way to protect your job is to make the decision to be excellent. Here’s how you become indispensable and advance your career in a crisis:
Get back to the basics
Be fanatical about prospecting and fill your pipeline
Retain your customers
Contribute and be a team player
Volunteer for projects and always offer to lend a hand
Look for ways to add value
Consistently ask the boss how you can help
Come in early and stay late
Give more effort
Mentor struggling team members
Contribute in team meetings
Attack the day with drive and optimism
Be a beacon of light with your positive attitude
Go the extra mile
Change your way of thinking about work. Devote yourself to your company’s survival. Make a commitment to prove your worth to your boss, company, prospects, and customers every day. Be and become a person that your organization cannot live without.
Going the Extra Mile
Going the extra mile is powerful in a world where mediocrity is the norm and most people won’t. These things may seem small, but in today’s world the majority of your competition fails in these obvious areas:
Showing up early for meetings and being prepared
Checking spelling and grammar on your emails and written documents
Always looking, acting, and dressing like a professional
Volunteering for special projects
Coming in early and staying late
Keeping your word
Doing more than is required
Really listening to your prospects and looking for ways to solve their problems–regardless of the impact on your commission check
Taking personal responsibility to ensure that your support team follows through on their obligations
Telling the truth when you’ve made a mistake or cannot come through on a promise
Constantly looking for ways to add value and do more
A commitment to excellence in everything you do–even when no one is looking
Kaizen and Feeding the Sales Pipeline With Cumulative Prospecting
Putting Aside Time Every Day to Prospect Will Keep Your Pipeline Full
Kaizen is a theory that developed in Japan after World War II and revived the country, their spirit, and their commerce. It’s similar to what we call “feeding the pipeline,” and involves the art of cumulative prospecting. If you set aside time every day for prospecting, you will find a steady flow of success and less stress!
I recently posted a podcast of my discussion with Kristin Austin, where we talked about the importance of perseverance in life and sales and how you can apply the same theory of continuously moving forward to finding satisfaction and success in both.
Japan was in ruins after World War II, and the nation had the task of cleaning up the devastation and overcoming the hopelessness and helplessness that had taken hold. A movement developed that is now a part of their national ideation to this day. It’s called “Kaizen,” and is similar to what Kristin and I discussed.
What is Kaizen?
Kaizen in Japanese means “a change for continuous improvement.” In this case, it’s a business philosophy rooted in making small progress every day to improve your life and find success. Kaizen is based on the idea that it isn’t so much about the grand changes and ideas that we have; change is found in the small steps that add up to large-scale and lasting habits that lead to success.
After hitting rock bottom, the Japanese realized that thinking about the gravity of the destruction and what they had to do to overcome it could become paralyzing. The same is true of sales. The enormity of hitting quota, closing a big sale, and feeding the pipeline can be overwhelming. This can put many salespeople in a state of paralysis where they miss the methodical and gradual steps to get there.
Why the Kaizen Theory is the Key to Cumulative Prospecting
After Kristin was in an accident that permanently altered her life, she had the choice to either give up and retire, or take small steps to get back to her career, pick up the business she had built, and do what she loved again. It initially seemed like a daunting task, so she took minuscule steps, as she called them. One was picking up the Fanatical Prospecting book to gain inspiration.
Then every day, she would do one small thing that would bring her closer to her goal. She didn’t try to set the world on fire; she set out to make one small daily improvement toward rebuilding her life. Kristin emphasized, "If you are moving in the right direction even slightly, you are moving, which differs from being paralyzed."
Kaizen and the Pipeline
In the podcast, we also discussed the notion of “feeding the pipeline.” The mistake I often see salespeople make is that they fill the pipeline by prospecting up front, but once the sales start coming in, they stop feeding it.
They’re on a roll, so they aren’t paying attention to the fact that their pipeline is emptying. And when they do notice, they recognize that nothing is coming down the pipeline because it has gone dry. That puts them in a situation where they become desperate and focus on closing the sale, rather than solving the problems that their clients are having and making an improvement in their lives.
Keeping Your Pipeline Flowing with the Philosophy of Kaizen
So the key to being successful in prospecting is not letting your pipeline run dry. Let’s face it: not many people enjoy cold-calling others and asking them to buy something they may or may not want. However, that’s not what pipelining is.
Filling your pipeline means seeking out those people who not only need your product or service; it means finding the people who would most benefit from what you’re offering. When you change your mindset from closing to helping, you increase your satisfaction, decrease your stress, and stop feeling the weight of paralyzing stress.
How to Get Back Up When Life Knocks You Down with Kristin Austin
“Life is short. Hug the people that you love and make sure that they know you love them without hesitation. Anything can happen to anyone, at any time. We all live with this concept that we are safe if we can control everything, but sometimes the Universe has different plans. That applies to sales too. Sometimes you think you have a sale in the bag and it all falls apart without anything that you have done. You have to roll with it and keep on keeping on." - Kristen Austin
When Kristin Austin was hit by a car, her world fell apart. On this episode of the Sales Gravy Podcast she shares how she climbed out of a deep hole to resurrect her business and life, one prospecting call at a time.
There is no doubt that we all find ourselves hitting roadblocks that seem impossible to overcome. If you are in that situation, Kristin's story is sure to inspire you to take action and get past whatever is holding you back. You'll learn how to get back up when life knocks you down.
Life Knocks Kristen Down
Kristin Austin was hit by a vehicle in May 2018. After regaining consciousness, she began two-years of recovery. This required her to rebuild her life from the ground up.
Kristin owned a business for over ten years that was rooted in marketing and sales; she was a university instructor, a wife, and a mother - and suddenly it all stopped. She was forced to put things in place to keep her business running in her absence and focus on the basics of relearning how to be Kristin.
Kristen Gets Back Up
Forced to stay home and slow her pace, she decided to go back to the basics. Her mission was to get out of her own head and figure out how to get back to the life she left behind out of necessity.
The Fanatical Prospecting Book awakened her spirit because it put her back into a mindset of figuring out a plan about what she had to do, how she was going to do it, and how to get back out there. Throughout her life, Kristin was a salesperson, starting early as a child selling watermelon on Bondi Beach, and moving on to ultimately being a pharmaceutical rep.
The message from Fanatical Prospecting that inspired Kristin was, “If you do the work, the sales gods will reward you.” Once she read that phrase, she immediately got onto LinkedIn and posted about it. And the same day, people responded by coming out of the woodwork to inspire her with words of encouragement to get back up and do what she did best: SELL.
The More You Prospecting, The Luckier You Get
At her lowest, Kristen stuck in her house recovering, feeling worthless, insecure, and shut down. Then the pandemic presented a surprise opportunity when Kristin took over as head of sales with a new company.
There was still the negative self-talk and insecurity. She focused an important lesson from Fanatical Prospecting: “The more you prospect, the luckier you get.” This inspired her to keep moving forward.
Some days were really hard, and others were like shooting fish in a barrel - but above all, she was back in the game and this gave her life purpose.
Put in the Work
Kristen's story teaches us that when life knocks you down, you can get back up. You just have to put in the work. We can all become paralyzed with fear, negativity, and hopelessness - but the trick is to move forward. Kristin, even at her lowest, found the faith to know that if you continue trudging ahead, things will change.
"Nothing happens until you move. Nothing happens until someone sells something. The big lesson I learned is that you have to do something. If what you are currently doing isn’t working, then do something else. Don’t keep doing the same old thing."
When Kristin hit rock-bottom, she turned to Sales Gravy University, knowing that it might be a small step to go back to the basics, but it was a step nonetheless.
On Doing Whatever It Takes Featuring Brandon Bornancin
Are you willing to do whatever it takes to reach your goals and dreams, build your business, climb the sales leaderboard at your company, or bounce back from failure?
Lot's of people have dreams but few actually grind it out and turn those dreams into reality. The good news is that you can defy the odds to get everything that you want in business and in life if you are willing to do whatever it takes.
On this episode of the Sales Gravy Podcast, Jeb Blount and Brandon Bornancin dive into what it really means to be willing to do what ever it takes.
No matter who you are or where you come from, your education, or your network, you can create the life you want and build the business you’ve only dreamed about.
Brandon's journey is all the proof you need.
He graduated college flat broke. He started a business that was an epic failure. Then he turned it all around – before he was 30 – closing over $100 million in sales for Google and IBM and founding two multimillion-dollar companies, the second named “LinkedIn’s Top 50 Startups.”
How did he do it? By doing Whatever It Takes.
Listen above or watch the video below:
Download a free chapter of Jeb Blount's brand new book Selling the Price Increase here: https://salesgravy.com/selling-the-price-increase-free/
How to Sell Without Selling Out with Andy Paul
On this episode of the Sales Gravy Podcast Jeb Blount, Jr sits down with author Andy Paul to discuss what it means to Sell Without Selling Out. Together they discuss why it is so important to make selling more human.
You'll learn that persuasion is not a sales skill. Instead it is a blunt instrument of last resort that sellers use when they don’t know how to influence the choices buyers make.
Get a leg up on your sales career with our free sales training resources. Check them out here: https://salesgravy.com/resources/
A really insightful easy to understand sales podcast. A must listen.
Valuable knowledge and experiences
This podcast is a must for anyone who considers themselves to be a sales professional. Jeb offers advise and experiences right from the front lines of sales that can help anyone become more confident when dealing with the different stages of the sales process.
Short shots of honesty that anyone in sales needs to hear, again & again!
If you're new to sales training podcasts then these are ideal. Short, to the point and best of all, honest. I've always wanted that mythical friend - the person who'll give you a sideways look and say "Really?" normally with by a hiked eyebrow. These podcasts are that. The truth is rarely complicated but a lot of podcasts turn a 5 minute topic into a 60 minute program. Not here though, meaning that they're ideal to listen to through your busy working day. Try them out, you won't regret it.