Joining me for the third time is sales trainer Mike Weinberg. He’s the author of two excellent books: New Sales. Simplified, and Sales Management. Simplified. Among the topics that Mike and I discuss are how salespeople can stop being commoditized and how you are responsible for your own development and success as a salesperson.
Is it easier to teach a technical non-salesperson how to sell, or to teach a salesperson how to sell a technical product with value?
Easier to teach a salesperson technical.
What’s one fiction book that every salesperson should read?
Car and Driver Magazine. I don’t understand reading fiction.
If you could change one thing about your business self, what would it be?
I would have a better understanding of how all the technical things work in the background, and be better at letting go of those things, so I would maximize more business.
What’s your favorite quotation — words of wisdom that you live by?
“It is what it is.”
“Sales success is not situational. It’s based on the seller. It’s not the customer. It’s not the market. It’s not your territory. It’s not your boss. It’s you.” ― Anthony Iannarino
Andy Paul (0:35):
It’s time to Accelerate. I’m your host, Andy Paul. Join me as I host conversations with the leading experts in sales, marketing sales, automation, sales process, leadership, management, training, coaching, any resource that I believe will help you accelerate the growth of your sales, your business and most importantly, you.
(2:00) Hello and welcome to Accelerate. I am so excited to talk with my guest today. Joining me on the show for I think the third time is Mike Weinberg. He’s the author of two great books, New Sales Simplified and Sales Management. Super fun. And you find him in newsalescoach.com, online. Mike, how are you?
Mike Weinberg (2:18)
Great, Andy, this is third time’s a charm. I’ll get it right this time.
Andy Paul (2:23)
Well, I don’t know. We had lots of people listen to the previous time. So, I’m sure we will again.
Mike Weinberg (2:29)
Awesome. Well, thanks for having me.
Andy Paul (2:30)
So, for those who maybe missed the first one of the two first episodes, and maybe by chance are in sales, and they haven’t heard of you, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Mike Weinberg (2:41)
I like sales, but I love sales. And I spend most of my time helping salespeople and sales teams acquire more new business. So, that’s really the focus of what I do. And I do it in two ways. My first book, as you talked about, New Sales Simplified is really focused on old school practical powerful, simple ways to improve and developing new business bringing on new clients, new logos. And then the other area of focus is sales leadership and sales management; because I learned the hard way that you can train salespeople until you’re blue in the face, but if the culture is wrong and talent is managed poorly, and the compensation plans is goofy, and there’s an anti-sales culture, all that sales coaching and training is meaningless. So those are two areas that I focus om. I love what I’m doing, and I’m thankful for the chance to talk to you again and visit with your audience. So, thanks, Andy.
Andy Paul (3:31)
Oh, my pleasure. So, let’s get right into it. So, in your mind, what is the single biggest challenge facing sales professionals today?
Mike Weinberg (3:40)
Single biggest challenge? Alright, I’m going to skip the prospecting answer, because that’s common. I think everyone would agree that one of the biggest challenges is filling the top of the funnel, getting new opportunities created. But I’m going to jump past that one and I’m going to talk about getting commoditized. I don’t think I have a client today, of all the companies I’ve worked with in the last couple years, that is not dealing with salespeople getting relegated to vendor status, not coming across as value creators, and dealing with buyers and enlarged companies attempts to commoditize them and their solution. I think that is one of the biggest challenges, maybe the biggest challenge in sales today.
Andy Paul (4:29)
And I mean, that’s certainly understandable. I mean, we might talk about that in my books and the other guests have talked about it. So, what is the solution?
Mike Weinberg (4:38)
Well, there’s a lot of solutions. I think one is recognizing what’s happening, and it’s not always the salespersons fault. There’s the system, I would say is set up to commoditize us. I’ve got some very highly differentiated clients, serving premium ends of the market and even in those cases, where they’re proven brands and renowned experts with huge ROI for what they provide, the buyers are still trying to commoditize them and negotiate fees, and rates, and all kinds of things. So the professional procurement world and the system, I would say is set up to commoditize us, and that’s an issue but I’m seeing salespeople do a lot of things that shoot their own sales efforts in the foot they get them downgraded in the in the buyers mind so, the fix is one, attitude another one, making sure that that salespeople are viewing themselves as consultants and professional problem solvers and value creators, not just vendors and price quarters; and you can see the difference between top producers who walk into a situation and see themselves as a consultant and see the prospect as needing help. Versus the average guy who walks in and sees himself there to gather info. It’s kind of like the phone consultant. They still ask a bunch of questions, but they’re not really trying to understand the customer’s situation, how they can help, they’re trying to gather enough info so they can do a proposal. So, they see themselves products, vendors, and price quarters. And it starts with that, and it goes all the way through. When we tell our story, are we are we articulating value? And are we talking about the real issues that we address for our customers? Or are we leading with our product? And when you lead with your product, and your sales stories all about you and your company and how great you are, there’s no way you can come across as a consultant When you make your solution or your product, the star of the sales call and really the centerpiece, I feel like you’re begging, you’re begging the prospect to take your feature set and your price and put it on a spreadsheet against everybody else’s features and price and say, “hey, commoditize me. I’m bringing no value in the way of selling, my company is bringing no value. It’s all about the product.” So, there’s a lot of ways and I’ll just throw one more in there. This is going to sound really weird, it’s probably somewhat contrarian; there’s a lot of really nice, really relational salespeople that when the customer asks them for something, they think they’re going to score points by being– this is going to be fun especially because the world you come from, Mr. Zero Time Selling. But they think they’re going to score points by being the most responsive and the most obedient and doing exactly what the customer says. And while I am with you, that responsiveness and Mac 1 response is incredibly important, it doesn’t mean though, if the customer asks you to do something stupid or premature that you should do it. It’s like when you and I get– how often do you get the phone call or the email from someone we don’t know who was on your website or they read Amp Up Your Sales, and they loved what you were talking about in there, and they send you an email through your site and say, “hey, Andy, I need your pricing for a two-day event. And send me some specs on what you speak on.” I think the moment that we respond to that email, where you actually send back a price and some specs and a menu of what you could speak on, I think we’re getting commoditized. Because we charge more than what other people charge because we’re better. They’re taking that other price quote and comparing it to yours because you didn’t add any value, all you did was provide a price and almost did a proposal. Well, salespeople do the same thing. The customer says, “hey, come and do a presentation. Let me see your demo”, or, “let’s have the dog and pony show”, or, “hey, I really like what you’re saying, can you quote that for me?” And then we run home and do the proposal or come and puke all over them with the thing, but we haven’t done discovery, we don’t really know their issues, we haven’t asked enough questions. So, we come across as a vendor, as a pitch man, there’s no way they’re viewing you as a consultant who’s bringing premium if all you’re doing is throwing out a price, or you’re presenting before it’s time. So that’s just some of the ways we can fix this issue where we’re getting just downgraded in the mind of the buyer.
Andy Paul (8:53)
Well, I mean, you talk about the problem, but really what’s the fix? Because part of what the issue is, on the back side of the equation, they’ve become so accustomed and acclimated to the fact that salespeople just are “speckers” and quoters. That really what they expect, they don’t really ask for anything else. To your point is, if you don’t have the thought in your mind about, “jeez, that’s fine. I’m glad they’re interested. But I really need to dig into this first. I need to ask them some really great questions first”, if you don’t have that mindset, then you’re just playing into their hands, and then it becomes a serve. I call it the vicious sales cycle. It’s sort of self-reinforcing.
Mike Weinberg (9:35)
Right? I’m 100% with you. So, what it takes is A, some guts, and B, some ownership of your sales process, where you have the guts and the and the sales acumen, to look back at the customer and say, you know what, “I hear you. I understand why you’d like that. Now, let me share with you what we found works really well. How about– so I can get you the best possible presentation that will be the most relevant, so we do a proposal that’s tailored to exactly what you’re looking for. Let’s spend some time together because I need to understand more about your situation and frankly, not just with you but there’s some probably some others new organization, it will be helpful if I heard from them and their angle, as stakeholders, what matters to them, so that we can really come back and give you a some idea of what would be most relevant and impactful for helping you”. It’s having the guts to say, just because the customer has asked you to come in and pitch, or present, or propose, to kind of stall– I think Mohan Khalsa said in Let’s Get Real and Let’s Not Play, that a lot of times we need to slow down the sales process to speed up the sale. And it’s taking control and having the guts that it’s okay not to do everything the customer asks you to do.
Andy Paul (10:57)
No, I think absolutely. To me that’s not contrary, I was talking about in terms of responsiveness, because part of that same thing in the first book is the second book, you’ve got to ask the right questions. You can’t be afraid to push back, and I had a boss. Unfortunately, at customer service have the same thing to me, which was, “don’t you ever say yes?”. That’s great. And that’s really– So what’s your position to be is that customers really need to have you help them understand what they really need, they think they know, but they just have a certain level of understanding and your job is to make it take that to a deeper level of understanding.
Mike Weinberg (11:40)
Well, and the real buyers who care and are buying value, appreciate when you push back, and you try to learn more, so you can give them the best solution for them, not just what they’re asking for. And I have this in my business, I’m sure you have in yours, where someone asked me and they’ve already decided, and this reminds me of the guy that I pay to consult me on the consulting business, but one of his lines is “don’t let your client tell you how to consult.” And that comes from when you get this client who asked you, “hey, what’s your price for a two-day sales leadership retreat?” And if we were just to give that price, I mean, you’re nothing but a price quarter and a product pusher. If you don’t come back, “no, hey, let’s back up a little bit. Why are you even asking for a two-day retreat? What’s going on? What if we can solve this with a one-hour phone call? Or maybe it’s going to take three months of coaching, which would still cost less than possibly what I’m going to charge you for a two-day retreat? Let’s figure out what’s going on here. So that I can I can bring you value.” But if I don’t stop to understand and I just throw the price out, well, I am just a vendor at that point. I’m not bringing any consultative value. And I think there’s a fear today, because there’s a lack of mentoring and you and I have talked about this in the past where, who’s teaching the salespeople how to sell? I had mentors, when I was a young pup, bosses and executives and sales managers took me on sales calls with them and they came on my sales calls. And they modeled good behavior. And they would help me prep before and then they would debrief after sales calls. So, you had other people watching you. Today, we have all these sales managers that are buried up to their eyeballs with 75,000 tasks and 200 emails a day and all the crap we probably talked about in our sales management.
Andy Paul (13:25)
You talk about in your book.
Mike Weinberg (13:26)
Yeah. So, no one’s mentoring them, it’s not surprising that that’s happening salespeople out in the field looking like amateurs, because there’s no senior people showing them how to do it. It’s brutal.
Andy Paul (13:40
Yeah, certainly. The sales environment has sort of changed over the last several decades. It used to be companies were much more paternalistic and brought new people on and they went through in-depth training programs and so on. And now you see less of that.
Mike Weinberg (13:59)
Yeah. I don’t know if some of it’s in the name of being lean, and some of it is– I think there’s a senior executive just hoping that it’s getting done by osmosis. When you bury a sales manager, and you ask them to do nine other things that have nothing to do with leading the team or mentoring or, or coaching or holding them accountable, all that, they’re not going to get it done. I think part of what’s happened today is– I had a client say this to me, that the professional buyer on the customer side is learning and growing faster than the seller is. So, the seller is much less of a pro than they used to be. How many times have we had this conversation where in the old days, they needed to see you, the buyer needed you for info. That’s the last thing they need you for today. They got more info, they’re drowning in info, so no one need to see a sales guy. No one has extra time on their hands. They don’t want your doughnut that badly. So, if you can’t run a professional meeting and bring value, then you’re of no use, and that’s what’s scary to me today.
Andy Paul (15:06)
That is a huge disconnect that is the huge disconnect, right? I mean when you hear people, professionals in the research firm say that there’s going to be this huge decrease in the number of professional salespeople out there over the next five years, the reason in part is that they haven’t kept up with the buyers and the buyers can find what they’re getting from the unprepared sales rep online. So, they don’t need them anymore.
Mike Weinberg (15:33)
So, can I ask you a question on that topic?
Andy Paul (15:35)
Mike Weinberg (15:36)
I know we are used to each other. Do you believe that stat? when you when you hear—
Andy Paul (15:39)
Mike Weinberg (15:40)
Okay. I don’t believe it either. But I think it’s a good wake up call.
Andy Paul (15:46)
I think it’s good wake up call. I think if it happens, and I think it is going to happen to a lot of people. I mean, it could be the equivalent number, lose their jobs, you know, 20% of business to business salespeople, they lose their job, they’ll be replaced by other people because for reasons I’ll get to in a second, but if it happens, it’s because they let it happen to themselves. That’s really the key thing. If you’re in a position where you take a look at yourself, and realistically, or get your managers to really, pragmatically and realistically assess you, in your capabilities and your knowledge and your skills, you’re just going to– if you’re not keeping up, if you’re not improving, if you’re not becoming the expert, the consultant, if you’re not somebody that the customer would almost be willing to pay to spend time with because of the value you bring. Then yeah, you stand at risk of being replaced.
Mike Weinberg (16:39)
Yeah, so I have a message for your audience. Obviously, the people listening to this are ones that were investing in themselves, and that’s really the key, that’s how you get ahead. I mean, look at all the info you are putting out there today, a lot of it for free. I don’t know what episode number this is, but it’s really high because I’m tweeting out all these great podcasts–
Andy Paul (16:59)
It’s going to be 300 and something by the time this goes out, yes.
Mike Weinberg (17:02)
Okay, so you’re a madman. My message to your audience is if you just listen to what Andy is putting out here, both his opinions, and his editorial comments, and these guests he has on, and then you go link to some of these guests. You like a particular guest, go link to their content on their own site, or buy a book, or for goodness sakes if you haven’t grabbed– sorry and Andy for the shameless plug, but if you haven’t grabbed Amp Up Your Sales by your host, Andy Paul, one of the best written and best sales books and that’s why I still love the review I put out there for you on Amazon, I love your book. What would happen if someone spent 10 bucks to buy a book and actually carve out 15 minutes a day to read it? What would happen to sales acumen across the board? Well, if they listen to your podcast and read those kinds of content–
Andy Paul (17:49)
To that point, I have some trial programs out with customers this year where we’re doing exactly that, where we put together a reading list for them, 12 books, and their sales team is taking one book per month. And we read your one of your books, New Sales Simplified. And what they’re doing is they’re giving the sales team 15 minutes during the sales day, every day.
Mike Weinberg (18:23)
That is so smart.
Andy Paul (18:24)
They had to commit to it.
Mike Weinberg (18:25)
Andy, this is the craziest thing that happened. I charge a few thousand dollars to do like a brief webinar for a client, a company, I don’t know. And I had a situation, literally, with an executive not that long ago where they hadn’t read my book yet. And I gave him the number for the fee I was going to charge him for this particular webinar to go over highlights in the book. I think it was a sales team of like 50 people. I said, “you could spend 150 bucks, put this book in every person’s hands. You don’t even need this webinar.” I was trying to talk him out of it. And he’s like, “well, they won’t read, I got to spoon feed them”, and I’m thinking, “well, this webinars not going to help them either because they’re not going to know what we’re talking about”, 10 bucks, everything I know about hunting for sales is in a $10 book, right? I don’t know what to say to people. You’re going to pay me thousands of dollars to read you my book, but you won’t spend $10 to read it yourself. That’s really what it comes down to.
Andy Paul (19:23)
Yeah, so these clients that I’m working with on this trial program this year, is they set aside 15 minutes a day. And they bought notebooks for all the reps, right? They take notes, so they read 15 they write notes for five, and then every week they send me the notes that I’ve written.
Mike Weinberg (19:41)
Do they get together to discuss it)
Andy Paul (19:43)
They get together and discuss it every week on their sales meeting, and then once a quarter, I come in or virtually come in, and we discuss the books that they’d read the previous quarter.
Mike Weinberg (19:55)
Yeah, that’s a sales team whose skills and confidence are going to go through the roof
Andy Paul (20:00)
Just think about it just reading these books. Because they didn’t really have the money to do conventional sales training. And if that’s the case, there’s still no excuse for not improving the skills of your team. And here’s a simple way to do it. It cost them not much at all. So, there’s lots of ways to accomplish those, is your point. And just invest in yourself, invest in your people. And don’t be afraid to spend a little of your time. I know you want people to make 100 calls today, carve out 15 or 20 minutes, let them read a book every day. And after a year, there was so much smarter than they were before.
Mike Weinberg (20:31)
Andy, that’s so good. You and I were talking in the pre-show. We were bantering about to take a trip with our mutual friend Anthony Marino. And it’s funny I point people to your podcast now because it’s so– and you’re almost ubiquitous with the number of episodes and these incredible guests that you have. But I say it, for free you can go listen to Andy’s podcast. And Anthony has written a blog post every day for the last six years. And I think he’s got maybe the biggest mind in sales there is today. For free every day you go listen to a podcast while you’re driving, walk in working out something and go read what Anthony writes, it takes you five minutes, you’re going to be so far ahead of the game. But it takes a little bit of discipline, and you have to want it, it’s not going to happen by itself. You got to carve out that little bit of time and go make it happen just like prospecting.
Andy Paul (21:14)
Yeah, well, I think the lesson for salespeople is that it doesn’t really matter what your company does to a certain degree, right? If your manager is too busy, they’re distracted, you can say, “yeah, that’s one of the reasons I’m not making my numbers”, but the fact is ultimately, it’s down to you. People have to compensate for poor sales managers.
Mike Weinberg (21:37)
Yeah, they do. That’s a whole other topic.
Andy Paul (21:39)
It’s all the topic but at the end of day it’s your career, your life. So, if you’re listening this podcast in part because you’re not getting great training or good advice or guidance from your sales manager, great, at least you’re doing that, investing that time.
Mike Weinberg (21:52)
I’ll say good for you. That’s what top people do. They invest the moment. I was joking with someone the other day, I took 2500 bucks out of my own pocket last week to buy a program on productivity from one of the Guru’s that I follow online, and I’m going to go to his two-day workshop. And I bought the premium package. I didn’t just want the videos and the workbook, I wanted to go meet with him for a couple days. And I love spending money on myself. Because I feel like it’s my responsibility to keep my skills sharp and keep learning. And I feel like I can, in good conscience, if I want individual sellers to invest in my stuff, I should be spending money listening to what other experts are doing too. So, it’s the top people who invest in themselves and take responsibility for the personal development, period, end of story.
Andy Paul (22:40)
Yeah, well, for people listening, I’ve got a coach, I pay every month for coaching, join a mastermind group. So, you have to do it, you need to get other perspectives other than just your own. What you can do to succeed. All right, so if we’re to boil all this down, this first part of this conversation, to one piece of advice that you’d give to a sales professional, some behavior they could master that would make a difference, what would it be?
Mike Weinberg (23:15)
I’m going to combine an attitude and a behavior.
Andy Paul (23:17)
Okay, go ahead.
Mike Weinberg (23:18)
The attitude is that your prospect really is in a less than optimal situation. And I will tell you that from studies I’ve done, top producers have this view, they not only see themselves as the consultant or the expert, but they view the customer or the prospect in a position where they need help, or they’re stuck, or where they’re dealing with a suboptimal. And I will tell you, if that’s your attitude, and your motivation for making sales calls, and for whatever methodology you’re going to use, and I won’t bash social selling just yet in this podcast, I’ll wait a few more minutes. But whatever methodology you’re using to get in front of people, if your motivation is pure, and you’re there, as my dad taught me a long, long time ago, if your motivation is to help the customer win, you’re going to win. So, if your attitude says, “they need my help, I can help them.” There’s nothing manipulative, there’s just no integrity issue there, “they’re stuck, I can help them do better, either solve this problem, or remove this pain, or improve this result and achieve this outcome.” If that’s my motivation, I should be incredibly motivated, to do everything possible to get in front of them and have, what you and I would call, that discovery meeting. So, my encouragement from a behavior– that’s the attitude that one should follow, is intense commitment to the behavior of working the top of the sales funnel, where you are being irresponsible, and remiss, and you don’t have your prospects best interests at heart. If you don’t do everything possible to get their attention, show them how you can help them with their issues and achieve a better outcome. So, you work hard on your messaging, and you use all means necessary from social through traditional picking up the telephone and everything in between to pursue them hard because you can help them improve their life and their business. And if that’s your attitude, and then you adopt that into the behavior, nothing’s going to stop you. How’s that?
Andy Paul (25:16)
I like it.
Mike Weinberg (25:17)
I made it up just now.
Andy Paul (25:20)
Perfect. I wrote it down. It’s going into my next book. So, you want to bash social?
Mike Weinberg (25:32)
Not really. I don’t want to bash social, but I will tell you that I’m taking some satisfaction in where we stand, and you have some really good social experts that are guests on your show. I only want to bash the charlatans, as a handful of us like to call them, who preach that it’s social only, or inbound only, and they’re quick to tell you it’s their way and the old stuff doesn’t work anymore, it’s fruitless, it’s dead, the phone is a waste, don’t pursue someone until they’re ready and they’re coming to you. And that’s a fool’s game. And I think what’s happened over the last few years, is the reason that people like me who are preaching all methods of prospecting, especially using the telephone, to go reach out and initiate contact with people, who are not yet pursuing you as a warm lead, so you get to them before they’re shopping. And I could go on and on about that topic. I think the reality is that enough damage has been done by lazy salespeople and fooled sales managers listening to the charlatans preaching that prospecting doesn’t work, that the pendulum has swung back, and people are much more open to picking up the telephone and incorporating good old-fashioned traditional methods into the top of the funnel behaviors. Do you think that’s a fair assessment of where we’ve come in the last couple years? That we’ve kind of swung back to–
Andy Paul (27:01)
To some degree, absolutely. Because I think if you look at what’s happening in terms of the whole, you know, one of the fastest growing areas of our economy in the tech businesses is software as a service. And you look at the primary sales model being used, the predictable revenue sales model and the server service segment. It’s all in proactive outreach, either phone or email or a combination of phone and email. So if anything, more and more salespeople are using the phone as a primary way, least sales development reps, business development reps to reach out to the prospects.
Mike Weinberg (27:32)
So, is anyone holding these charlatans accountable for the last five years that were yapping their mouths in telling everybody that the phone is dead?
Andy Paul (27:40)
There still are people that believe that, so it’s not like everybody’s gone away. But I think to your point, there’s going to be a balance and a mix of what to use. mature response to my,
Mike Weinberg (27:52)
You are so mature; you always have such a mature response to my hysteria. I come at it with this, like former New Yorker–
Andy Paul (27:58)
I’ve got my own thing. I mean, the thing is that they are in the same vein as people that promise that this solution is all, it’s the end all, be all. We’re having this incredible influx, really a sort of explosion, a number of companies coming out with sales technologies, right? Some lamination technologies, so on so forth, and you’re starting to see– it’s always really irks me when I see some advertising ads for “we guarantee 400% improvement and close rates” or, “300%” it’s like, yeah, why are you saying that? “A”, you’re not helping yourself at all when you do that, and you’re just going to get the people coming to you that want the quick fix. And they don’t really have that chip, they want the quick fix, they don’t have the processes in place to support your solution anyway.
Mike Weinberg (28:46)
Yeah, that’s good. There’s a lot of hyperbole. There’s a lot of hysteria. All I know is I’m with you on the– I don’t know how many thousands of companies have been launched in the sales enablement space. Today, this year that we’re doing enablement, last year, or something else next year. But you can sense the trends as we watch what’s happening. I don’t know how you feel, but if I get one more cold email from someone who’s fishing on sales consultants’ websites, asking if they can do a guest post on my site, would I be willing to look at it? Look at it and promote their perfect sales tool? I’m going to kill somebody. It’s multiple times a day. You’re getting the same ones because we’re on the same list. I can’t believe that method is working for anybody, but the proliferation of toys and tools, it’s a frightening market right now. They are trying to get attention.
Andy Paul (29:46)
Well, yeah. That’s part of the issue, right? That we’re having more and more of these tools, and– so the cold email, there’s some people are writing some really good information about how to structure and write cold emails, like Heather Morgan was part of a group that we bought to, she had a guest on the show. But she’s– for all her influence, it’s still a relatively small fraction of the market she is heading, based on the emails that I get.
Mike Weinberg (30:16)
Heather Morgan interviewed me a couple of years ago when she was working for someone else. And I’m like, “this girl has got some good insights.” And it’s really fun to see the business that she’s built now, is this email guru of how to use email effectively. And you’re right, she has a lot of upside opportunity because if what we get every day in our inbox is an indication, people could use Heather’s help, that’s for sure.
Andy Paul (30:40)
Yeah. I got one today from a company selling us a software solution that was– they wanted to have a call to talk about my needs. And it’s a mid-market solution. So, it’s just me and a couple of people, I’m not exactly mid-market. They didn’t do the research at all. And this is a company that’s selling a tool, this tool is going to help you be more effective in your sales. And those companies, also the sales enablement companies, almost seem to be the worst offenders, unfortunately.
Mike Weinberg (31:11)
That’s funny, I didn’t really think about it that way. But you’re right. They don’t they don’t take their own medicine and you would not want to behave the way they’re behaving as a model.
Andy Paul (31:21)
That’s really unfortunate. It’s sort of at that point, somebody’s got to wake up on that. So alright. I didn’t ask any of the questions I planned on asking. But that’s always happens when–
Mike Weinberg (31:33)
It’s my fault. I’m sorry.
Andy Paul (31:35)
We’ll just have to save it for the next time. Here in the last segment to show I’ve got some standard questions I ask all my guests and since you’ve been on before, I have to change these questions for you. So that you’re not prepared.
Mike Weinberg (31:49)
You’re going to make me look dumb again. That’s what you did.
Andy Paul (31:53)
You did a great job the first time. So, here’s another hypothetical scenario. You’re a sales leader in a company, you’re selling B2B product to enterprises and your CEO gives you your goals for the new next fiscal year. It’s a 12% increase in sales, but he’s not giving you any extra headcount or resources to make it happen. So, what would the first 30 days of the new sales year look like in terms of– what actions you’d be taken to hit your goal?
Mike Weinberg (32:20)
That’s a great question. I might even have a chance of answering that reasonably, intelligently. Thank you, Andy. Better than what I feel like I was going to get asked. A 12% increase, I get no money and no headcount, high pressure, CEOs do it. I think the very first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to go to my people, and I’m going to spend more time on this with my best people, but I’m going to I’m going to ask all of my sales team to do this. I’m going to ask them to identify two very critical lists for me. And this comes back to my very first step from the new sales driver framework that I preach when it comes to developing new business. And I want a two-prong list from everybody. I want to list of their three or four most growable current accounts, where we have some percent of the business, but either there’s cross sell, upsell, or penetration opportunity, other divisions, whatever it is, I need their three or four, best cross sell, upsell existing clients that we think are the most durable. And then I’m going to ask everyone to do double the work on coming up with their list of prospects, beyond whatever leads they’re going to get, beyond whatever strategy we’ve been following. And I’m going to ask above and beyond for a list of special prospects that they commit to proactively pursuing, and I want that list to look and smell a lot like our best high value customers who are raving fans. So, and I want to see on paper what the real potential is, that would be part one. Part two is, I’m going to look these people in the eye and I’m going to ask them, what percent of their calendar are they going to block out and dedicate for nothing but pursuing the accounts that they’ve named? They’re both global customers, and prospects. Because I’m convinced, and I’ve seen it, and a lot of clients of mine, as much as I’m a sales nerd, and I want to help them fix their story and run better sales calls and be more consultative and all the stuff we were talking about earlier. You know what I’m seeing a lot more of Andy? The truth is that fast lift comes from when we have the right strategic accounts we’re going to pursue, and we have all our calendar pursuing them. So, in that vein, I want to make sure I’ve got both of those covered as quickly as possible, if that’s what I’ve been charged to do.
Andy Paul (34:45)
I love it. Great answer. Because I agree with it philosophically, but we could go talk about all the skills and other things we really need to develop, but if we just do the basics, if we commit to the basics, Ben was going to ripple effect through everything else we do.
Mike Weinberg (35:02)
Andy Paul (35:03)
Yeah, I agree. Great answer. I’ve got some more rapid-fire questions for you. You can be one-word answers. You can elaborate, if you wish. So, the first one is, is it easier to teach a technical non-salesperson how to sell or to teach a salesperson how to sell a technical product with value?
Mike Weinberg (35:20)
The latter, easier to teach a salesperson technical.
Andy Paul (35:23)
Okay. What’s one fiction book that you recommend every salesperson read?
Mike Weinberg (35:32)
Car and Driver magazine.
Andy Paul (35:36)
Mike Weinberg (35:37)
My wife reads a fiction book every week and I make fun of her, “honey, there’s so much facts, I don’t know why you’re reading fiction.” And she wants to kill me. And she gives me all the reasons that reading fiction is good for you and you expand your brain. I’m the worst guy to ask about a fiction book. So, I’m going to just give you my number one, go to, Car and Driver magazine.
Andy Paul (35:55)
I’ll give you a recommendation off the air. Okay. If you could change one thing about your business self? What would it be?
Mike Weinberg (36:05)
Andy Paul (36:06)
Mike Weinberg (36:09)
I would have a better understanding of how all the technical things work in the background and be better at letting go of those things so I would maximize more business.
Andy Paul (36:21)
Okay. All right, last question for you. So, what’s your favorite quotation? Any words of wisdom that you live by? You can paraphrase if you can’t remember exactly.
Mike Weinberg (36:34)
I have so many little quips. I’m going to use something that’s really common and you probably don’t hear from anybody, but honestly it is what it is. I am so tired of people making excuses and playing victim and talking about circumstances. And the reality is, as Anthony points out in his great new book, The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, that sales success is not situational, it’s based on the seller. It’s not the customer, it’s not the market, it’s not your territory, it’s not your boss, it’s you. And it is what it is. So, that’s my way of looking back at everybody and go, “stop the whining and the moaning and just go deal with it. We’ve all got a hand we’ve been dealt. Go play it. It is what it is. Stop whining. Go.”
Andy Paul (37:22)
Yeah, saying “if only” doesn’t help you.
Mike Weinberg (37:25)
No, that’s a terrible way of looking at life.
Andy Paul (37:27)
Right. It is what it is. You know, sometimes I’ve said that to that to my wife, and she’s not real happy with me.
I am not saying it’s good for your marriage.
Andy Paul (37:39)
I don’t say it very often, it is what it is. Very interesting. Good. All right. Well, Mike, as always, a pleasure to have you on the show. Tell folks how they can connect with you.
Mike Weinberg (37:51)
Andy, first of all, this is a joy. You asked me some of the most intriguing questions and maybe make me sound more foolish than anybody else which is probably why I enjoy coming back because it’s such a challenge. So, thank you.
Andy Paul (38:01)
My pleasure. Anytime you need me to make you look like a fool let me know.
Mike Weinberg (38:06)
All right out there, newsalescoach.com is the website, newsalescoach.com, and I’m on Twitter @Mike_Weinberg, W-E-I-N-B-E-R-G.
Andy Paul (38:19)
Excellent. thanks again. And remember friends, thank you for taking time out of your day to listen to Accelerate. And remember, make it a part of your day every day to deliberately learn something new to help you accelerate your success. And one easy way to do that. Take a minute and subscribe to this podcast Accelerate. And that way you won’t miss any of my conversations with top business experts like my guest today Mike Weinberg, who shared his expertise about how to accelerate the growth of your business. So, thanks for joining me and until next time, this is Andy Paul. Good selling everyone.
Thanks for listening to the show. If you like what you heard and want to make sure you don’t miss any upcoming episodes, please subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or stitcher.com. For more information about today’s guests, visit my website at andypaul.com.