This week at Praxis, we were joined by three Praxis alumni (all successful sales professionals!) for a roundtable-style discussion on the elements of a successful sales career. We covered:
- How to build trust and rapport with your customer
- How to go from amateur to sales professional
- How to know your audience
- How to write scripts and emails that actually get people to pay attention
- How do you master persuasion, anyway?
Casey graduated from Praxis in early 2017. He did his apprenticeship at TemperPak, a sustainable packaging company in Richmond, VA, where he helped build out their sales process and now works as a Sales Director. Over the course of his career at TemperPak, he’s learned through trial and error what does and doesn’t work
Area of specialty: cold emailing.
Jerrod graduated from Praxis in 2017, and has since been working as a copywriter — specifically specializing in long-form sales letters selling nutritional supplements. He also works as a copywriting coach.
Area of specialty: sales letters.
Nick Rundlett started his Praxis apprenticeship in November of 2016 working as an entry-level SDR at Reliant Technology. After graduating the program, he was promoted to Account Executive, then went back and took over management of his old SDR team. Now he’s building out a new sales team at Toggl.
Area of specialty: cold calling.
Everyone in sales should become a good storyteller. Everybody ever should become a good storyteller.
Highlights from the Call:
The #1 rule for being successful in sales?
Do your research.
Scrap the pre-written script. Scrap the template cold email. Do your research and come up with something that’s truly targeted to your audience.
Before you ever pick up the phone, learn everything you can about your prospect. The more tailored your pitch, the more likely it is to have an impact.
A few custom pitches are much more likely to get responses than a large amount of generic outreach. And at the end of the day, how many pitches you make matters far less than how many people respond.
Measure your work only by results.
“Your boss doesn’t care how busy you are. He cares how much progress you’re making.”
— Casey McGoff
Sending out a 1,000-prospect cold email blast isn’t impressive if you don’t get any answers.
It’s pretty simple. You know you’re becoming successful as a salesperson when you start seeing results.
Results come from knowing your audience.
Knowing your specific prospect is important, but knowing your target demographic is too.
Learn what matters to your customer and then tailor your language to address how they think, what they care about, and what they want.
Find where your demographic hangs out and listen to them. Be a fly on the wall and observe what they talk about. Talk to them. You don’t have to be in the demographic to understand the demographic. You can get yourself in that headspace.
How to go from amateur to true salesperson:
You start to get comfortable in the sales game when you know more than your buyer. Worry less about learning everything there is to know about sales, and more about learning everything there is to know about your product. Sales people are consultants. The more you can consult on your product, the more effective you’ll become.
“If you don’t know what to say, you haven’t done enough research.”
— Jerrod Harlan
Your presentation is also important. People don’t know how to perceive you, so they have to go off of what you’re presenting. Get comfortable on the phone, and over email. When speaking to a prospect, it’s easy to try to speak in a high, peppy voice, but that’s the mark of a novice. Speaking in low, comfortable tones makes a huge difference.
“Be completely okay losing and walking out if it isn’t a fit.”
— Casey McGoff
Top advice for crushing it in sales?
“Learn to be okay with failure. Ppeople giving you feedback is not a direct reflection of you as a person, just the actions. You’ll never last in a sales role if you can’t accept failure and move on quickly.”
— Jerrod Harlan
“Self-awareness is so important for sales. If you self-reflect on where you messed up, you start to avoid mistakes. Soon you know how to avoid 25% of all the pitfalls. Don’t be afraid to lsiten to a sales call where you sucked.”
— Nick Rundlett
“Don’t get advice, get information. People see the world through their own lens. Find the #1 sales person in your organization and learn their sales template and what it means. Information is actionable and advice is not. ”
— Casey McGoff