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How to Improve Your Sales Process – Interview with Jim Mattei at Sandler Sales Institute in Chicago

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How to Improve Your Sales Process – Interview with Jim Mattei at Sandler Sales Institute in Chicago

Ron Rodi, Jr and Ryan Paul Adams interview Jim Mattei with Sandler Sales Institute in the latest PME 360 Powering Business Growth show. Jim provides some quality sales process improvement strategies to help you be more proactive in your sales process and generate more leads. Learn how to improve your sales process and close more deals with Jim Mattei with Sandler Sales Institute in Chicago

Jim Mattei with Sandler Sales Institute“You have to be trustworthy and credible and you do that by asking good questions that get people to say they don’t know or they never thought about their problem that way…If sales people would just look at how a doctor looks at his profession it would make a big difference.”
– Jim Mattei, Sandler Sales Force Development Specialist 


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How to Improve Your Sales Process – Interview with Jim Mattei at Sandler Sales Institute in Chicago

Ron: Good morning! It’s Ron Rodi, Jr. Welcome to our weekly business growth podcast with PME360. with me this morning as always is our CEO. Ryan Paul Adams. Good morning!

Ryan: Good morning Ron!

Ron: How are you?

Ryan: Doing great! Jim, good morning!

Jim: Hey guys!

Ron: with us today. I’m very excited to have Sandler Sales Force Development Specialist Jim Mattei.

Jim brings more than 16 years of extensive sales experience that he brings to his clients. As an associate at Sandler Training, he uses his passion in helping individuals and companies develop and grow professionally using the proven Sandler methodology on sales and sales management.

I’m very excited to have him on today. My mentor and excellent sales trainer, Jim Mattei. Good morning! How are you?

Jim: Hey guys! Thanks for having me.

Ryan: Absolutely.

Ron: Thanks for joining Jim. I’m going to call you the original sales scientist. We appreciate you being on board. We really do. We thank you for your time and we’re excited to have you on today.

Jim: I’m looking forward to it.

Ryan: From just a little bit that I had the chance to talk to you Jim, I’ve learned a ton. So I’m excited to have you on today.

Jim: So I might be able to impart a few things that I’ve learned over the years.

Ron: So Jim, as a sort of starting off point, could you give us a little bit more about you and what you do. What your role is. And can you tell us about Sandler? And the Sandler philosophy?

Jim: Sure. I work with companies with sales forces anywhere from 3 to 4 people all the way up to 40 to 50.

I have a client who has 80 sales people. Basically, what we can do is we look at four different areas. We look at skills. We teach skills.

Obviously Sandler has been around for 40 years. A lot of people come to use us for the training. It’s good stuff. We have like 90 hours of content.

And then we talk about people. Getting the right people on the bus. Because if you don’t have the right people, certainly teaching skills that people aren’t able to grow is kind of a waste of money.

We provide structure, process around hiring, process around management, holding people accountable, process around planning and debriefing calls, so on.

And then we also talk about at a high level. And that is strategy. Strategy is where you’re going. And strategy is 80% new business and 20% existing, so we work in all of those four areas with companies to develop and grow their sales organization.

Ron: it sounds like you have a pretty complete system.  The management process from that standpoint, it sounds like you have systems that help businesses.

Let’s focus Jim a little bit on the sales side and winning more deals as a small business. If that’s okay with you, could you structure that a little bit?

Let’s talk a little bit about the process. And one of the things in my experience with Sandler that’s really helped me as a sales person is really having that process down.

And it’s very important to stick to that process just like anything in life. Sticking to a plan and to an agenda. Could you touch briefly Jim on – do you feel that it’s something that Sandler does better than anyone else?

Tell us a little bit more on what sets you apart from the competition? And maybe work that sales process a little bit in there.

Jim: Couple of things. First off, as far as process. We have a proven process for selling.

The key in understanding. If you don’t have the process for selling, you’re going to default to the prospect’s process.

And what happens is, traditional sales, it’s you show up. You do a little bonding rapport, then you may do a needs analysis. And then you go present. You go close. And you end up chasing people.

I mean that’s traditional sales process and prospects understand that process because they take your information. Then they tell you they’re interested, “call me back.” And then, they go into hide mode.

The key is to have a process that disrupts the prospect’s process. You need to be in control as the sales person.

I think, you know, I’m biased to our process. But there are processes out there and there are some good ones. But I think what sets us apart is really not necessarily the process as much as the way we deliver our product.

And so my philosophy and our company’s philosophy is powering reinforcement. So whatever process you use, the key is to have constant reinforcement to it.

Think about going to the gym. When I say I’d go to the gym this weekend. After three days, I’m going to be in great shape. You would laugh at me.

Training is not an event. It is a habit. And I think, learning a process takes time. You can’t change all these things over night – as you know because you are a Sandler client. It doesn’t happen overnight.

So what differentiates ourselves I think is the way we deliver it more so than the actual process. Although, I love our process.

Ron: So is it fair to say then that sales is a lifetime skill development or lifetime mastery, if you will.

Jim: I do. If you think about it, it’s the highest paying profession in the world. Yet we give a little amount of time to ongoing training,

Let’s take for example doctors. Doctors have constantly, constantly gotten training. They have to go certain amount of credit hours a year. They have to go and reinforce what they’ve learned. After they went through what? 10 years of school and residency – hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I mean, it’s ridiculous. And with sales people, you just stick them out to the field and expect them to bring in the business.

Ron: Right. To rely on the skill set that they’re born with. But sometimes if you don’t have the proper training then you’re incomplete.

So a lot of people that we see, salespeople – they’re very good.  They have the raw skills. They have the raw talent. But they don’t have the complete capsule if you will. That really gets them over the top.

So you bring up a good point. I mean if you take a look at attorneys, doctors – how many years of school have they gone through. That’s an excellent point. So let’s go ahead with that Jim.

Can you talk a little bit about the Sandler process – the Sandler submarines? You want to go down in that rabbit hole with us?

Jim: Sure. And I think, for the listeners, I’ll give a big picture overview and I’m going to break it down in segments. I mean, you know Ron, we can spend 8 weeks to go through that process.

Ron: And it’s not fair, you’re right. It’s only a 25-minute conversation.

Jim: But I can chunk it down for you. Really, there are 3 key things – bonding rapport, then you have qualifying and closing.

So think about sales this way. Think about it like a three-legged stool and you need to have all three legs strong to sit in this stool or it’s going to collapse.

The first leg is bonding rapport or people have to trust you. They have to feel comfortable with you. They have to feel that you’re going to bat for them.

You know how it is. They have to like you. But more than like you, I think, respect you.

The second leg of the stool is people have to believe that you understand their problem. Fundamentally understand and not just get a surface-level understanding. But really understand the root causes of the problem.

And the third thing is they have to believe that you have the expertise to fix their problem. So when you go back to talk about process it’s like trust.

You have to be trust worthy and credible. You do that by asking good questions that get people to say, “I don’t know. I haven’t though of that that way.”

I mean think about when you go to the doctor. And this is the best analogy. And I use it over and over again.

If sales people look at sales as if a doctor looks at his profession. You go into a doctor’s office. And I said, “Hey Doctor, my arm hurts.”

He doesn’t go to a 30-page powerpoint on how great they are fixing arms. And here’s who we’ve done. Here’s some references, you get up and do surgery now.

What they do is, they say, “Tell me about that. How long has it been a problem? What happened? What occurred? When did you start noticing this?”

Ryan: Asking the right questions.

Jim: Yes. Look, it’s no more difficult that that. Yet, we the sales people get in our way – our egos are getting in the way.

We show up and say, “Wow! If I tell people how much I know, they’ll go think I’m so smart and they’re going to buy from me. The passion I have for my product.”

I am okay with having passion for a product but at the end of the day, it’s all about the patient. It’s about the prospect. It’s not about us. If it does make sense.

Ron: It totally does. Let me ask you a question more from that.

So the three-legged stool concept, I totally get it. How challenging is it though? A lot of times, sales people will only have an hour long meeting. And to get through those three major anchors. Those are major milestones.

Tell me a little bit more about getting through that in a 45-minute conversation that you may have with a prospect nowadays. Tell me a little bit about that.

Jim: Well, in to your point. Depending if somebody is listening here to this podcast.

You will either have a very transactional sale which is a one-call close or you can have a 2-year sales cycle. It depends on the sales cycle. But I don’t think you have to accomplish all in an hour or 45 minutes.

But if I have a 2-year sales cycle, I might spend the first 2 to 3 months establishing trust and credibility. You really have to apply it to your world.

Ron: Really, it’s applied to each individual prospect – it depends on what their needs are. What their pain is if it’s a transactional type of client if you will.

If the problem is obvious and the fix is let’s say easy or quick, then it might be the time you go ahead and try to move forward.

But if it’s a little more structured, if you will then it will take more time to really dig deep – to really find out why are you here, why did you come to the doctor. If it’s not so obvious as a broken arm, maybe there’s something else going on. Try to get to the root cause.

Jim: Yes.

And  to add another variable in there besides whether somebody has pain. When you have pain in the present and pain in the future.

Some people don’t have a pain now and they’ll have pain 6 months from now. Pain referring to a problem that’s causing emotional stress in their life. But there’s another variable too that you have to consider.

And as trainers we have to understand that behavioral styles of people. Some people probably you can call on and they can make decisions rather quickly. Other people don’t like to change so fast.

And so if I was with somebody that you know, the type of person that plods along, they don’t want to make changes quickly. I might spend a lot of time building trust and credibility knowing that if I gain this person’s trust, they usually become really long term clients.

So you have to adapt to not only if they have issues or not, if this is the right time. But what about the type of people. People just don’t move this fast as other people.

Ron: And it’s important as a sales professional to be able to identify the type of person that you’re dealing with, right?

Jim: Yes, that’s right. That’s why big companies have commercials all the time. There are certain group of people, because they see the name brand and they see that they might have been around for a while. It gives them a level of comfort.

Certain people don’t like trying new stuff. They want time-tested, proven stuff. And if you’ve just called on them one time, it’ll take a lot longer, a lot more calls to get them to realize that you’re around – that you’ve been around.

Ron: That’s an excellent overview. I think Sandler, there’s so much more to uncovering that process. We can dedicate hours and hours. As you said, it’s really a lifelong skill.

Jim, let’s go back to for the purpose of the call today. Let’s talk a little bit more about winning more deals as a small business – whether it’s an individual or a small company. What is your insight on how people can be more successful today?

Jim: Insights on success. I think what you’re in today versus 5 to 6 years ago. I think one of the things that I noticed today more that anything is the environment of sales is so polarized.

You think about it, sales people have a lot of pressure to close and get deals because quite frankly, companies are pressing. They need revenue.

On the other hand, the prospects are holding on to their money because this is a very unique economic environment and they don’t know what’s going on.

There are a lot of variables that are unpredictable. It sets up this I need a sale and I don’t want to spend money.
And prospects also are way more educated today because of the Internet than they were 10 years ago. So you got people who know more about your competition than some sales people I know. So it’s amazing. It’s a very interesting dynamics.

Ron: So what can be done? What’s one to do then when faced with that problem? I know there are small businesses that struggle. Sales individuals who struggle with exactly what you’ve described.

Jim: I think setting what we call upfront contract or an agreement on a first meeting. I think the perception is on the prospect’s side is if you meet them, you’re going to close them hard.

And I always coach people to say, look set up the meeting. Here is the way it’s going to go. You have this issue. We’re going to talk about the issue. I’m going to share with you about what we can do to help you with the issue.

You can certainly share. You can ask me any question. I can ask you any question. At the end, if we’re not a fit, that’s okay. We may not be.

Or, if there is we’ll figure out the next step and put our heads together. But quite frankly, you’re not going to be our next client on the next call.

If you set it up as if you are going to come in and have a ground breaking conversation and that they are not going to get this hard pressure close and they believe you. Then, they’re more likely to sit down with you.

Ryan: Takes the pressure off.

Jim: I think quite frankly, it’s just common sense. But the problem is if you think about it. I was a little kid and I went to the dentist. I remember this vividly.

I was 7 years old. I had to get my tooth filled. I went to the dentist’s office. I sat down and he pulled this huge needle. He said, “Open your mouth.” And he sticks a needle in my mouth. It hurts like you know what.

And he starts drilling my teeth. And my dad was with me at that time since I was young. And I literally ripped his sweater almost. I was scared to death.

So I looked at that compared to my last visit with the dentist which was, “Hey Mr. Mattei! Come on in. Sit down. How you’ve been? Hey we have movies for you. You can listen to whatever you want. Let me tell you what’s going to happen today. You have got about an hour and a half here. We’ll make this as comfortable as possible. Doctor’s going to come in and tell you. Then you’ll have the hygienist come in, it’ll take about 45 minutes for teeth cleaning, we’ll take some x-rays. At the end, the doctor’s going to sit down, look at your x-rays and tell you: here’s what we suggest based on what we found. And then you’ll be out, easily an hour and a half – no longer. Is that okay?”

So it’s a completely different experience.

Ron: So it’s fair to say then that you’re asking for permission and you’re explaining exactly what the purpose of the meeting is or what the purpose of the appointment is to set the prospect at ease, right?

And really get them to understand exactly, hey I’m not here necessarily to hard sell you. I’m not necessarily here to talk about me. This meeting should be about you. And let’s jump a little bit more into that.

I’m sure you have questions for me Mr. Prospect. I’m sure you want some examples of what it is that we do, who it is that we work with, that’s great!

But let’s not spend an hour talking about Sandler or PME360. Let’s spend an hour talking about the pain that you are having, why is it that we’re here.

How are we able to help you? And at the end of the meeting, if we can’t help you let’s just agree to be friends and part ways. Or potentially, maybe we can get started and talk about the next steps. Setting up the proper agenda – the proper mindset to really set the meeting sounds like a key step. And I know that it is.

Jim: It is. And you said it early. It keeps people comfortable. And anytime you can take away any mystery in sales meetings, the more likely they’re going to meet with you. So that’s my experience.

Secondly, when you set an appointment, I think it’s really important that you get them to share with you the issue or problem that your company may be able to fix.

I find that people buy emotionally. They make decisions intellectually. So if I’m frustrated because my sales people are calling not enough new business or they are not calling high enough in an organization or not growing the business because of it or I’m not hiring the right sales people.

You know sales people sounds good, looks good on paper and when you interview them. Then they don’t produce, you scratch your head and wonder what you’re doing wrong on your hiring process.

If I have one of those issues, if I want to understand their issues, you know that’s a good starting point for the meeting.

But if I’m just barging in, “Hey I’m in the area and can I just stop by?”

People look at the calendar that day and they’d say, “I don’t know why I’m meeting with this person.”

That’s why it’s really important to have some topic or issue they’re dealing with as a starting point for the meeting. It’s critical.

Especially, think about this using the dentist analogy again. How many people have cancelled appointments? I get this a lot with my clients. They go, why are my appointments cancelled? What was the example of the issue that got them to invite you in?

A lot of times they don’t know. They’re like, he was just interested in what we did. And he invited me in. Here’s a problem with that. If you have an emotional issue that somebody wants to address. Like, I said the dentist analogy is a good one.

Let’s pretend that I woke up today and I had a sore tooth. You follow me?

Ron: Absolutely. You’re going to run to the dentist. You’re going to make sure you don’t cancel that appointment.

Jim: I’ll call the dentist and say my tooth hurts. And he’d say, “Okay, get in next week.”

Next week comes and I wake up that morning, my tooth doesn’t hurt and I have a lot of stuff on my plate. You know what I mat cancel that dentist appointment. It’s the same thing.

If you get somebody on the phone today and they have an issue and you’ve uncovered it. And you can tell that they have that urgency to meet with you. You set an appointment the next week. If you don’t follow up – a lot of sales people don’t follow up and call back because they’re afraid they’ll cancel the appointment.

The key is just to say, “Hey Bob! Looking forward to talking tomorrow. You shared with me frustrations about not hiring good sales people. And all these people you are hire end up a big weight on the company. And so that’s the issue we’re going to talk about starting tomorrow on our meeting. Looking forward to it!”

I need to bring up that issue or that pain prior to the meeting because people forget.

Ron: Absolutely. And they don’t necessarily wake up in the morning and say, “Hey I’m waiting up on Jim Mattei to call me. And come in here.”

You have to make sure that you’re staying on top of the issue and you’re bringing up that emotive response that got them to take that meeting in the first place.

Jim: Yes. By the way, think about this, guys. I’m sure you’ve done this before. Isn’t it easy to commit to a meeting two to three weeks out? And all of a sudden you get to that day and it’s a different thing.

Ryan: Oh sure.
Jim: It’s like, I’ll quit smoking about a month from now. And the day comes up. A month goes by and you know what, maybe I won’t. It’s easy to commit to things in the future.

But when it comes right down to the day before or the day of, then they start to really reconsider. That’s a human dynamic.

Ryan: You’re level of pain and frustration as a business owner can change from day to day. It happens fast. You know you’ll be where does the next deal come from here?

You’re maybe about light on workload or the phone’s not ringing like it was a month ago. And all of a sudden, you know, you set up a meeting to meet a marketing person or whatever to come in and all of a sudden the phone starts ringing.

Now your pain is diminished, the problem you had yesterday is gone. But that doesn’t mean that the sales person or the company that relationship should die there.

Keep cultivating and nurturing that relationship because at some point that business or that person or whoever you’re looking to do that business with is going to need what you offer.

Be the person that stays in front of them and nurture that relationship versus just the one time, ok we’ll set up this meeting and you disappear.

Jim: Agreed. A lot of sales people give up. You know the nature of sales people they tend to be turn them and burn them.

I call this guy three times. He’s not interested. Well, that’s not enough. You might have somebody to call over a period of time of a year. If you are working with bigger clients, bigger accounts – we call them elephants. You got a Fortune 500 company, it’d take you 2 years.

Ryan: Here’s a quick question for you. You’ve got a great meeting with somebody. You’ve set expectations. You’ve done all the things you’re supposed to do. And you’ve agreed to take that next step – whatever it is. Whether it’s signing up with you to build a home or marketing contract or whatever it is. And then they disappear.

What do you suggest in those situations? Like how much chasing should you do? Should you continue to keep at it until you get an answer – either one way or the other?

Ron: In this case Ryan, what you’re saying is, you have a verbal agreement and the prospect disappears?

Ryan: Correct.

Jim: Couple of things. You have to understand when you leave, my verbal agreement at the end of the meeting and yours even though you say we had one maybe completely different.

I think, when we talk about this I just went to a Sandler conference and one of the speaker talked about what is the next step and define it.

A lot of times it sounds like, let’s get going on this. Once you call me in a couple of days and great! When you leave them, you think you have the next step.

But here’s the question, if you don’t define what get going means.

Get going to me versus get going to you. Maybe get going means I’m going to start talking to some internal people and get them on board. You think get going means I get an order tomorrow.

We’re caught in a mutual mystification. If I call your prospect and I ask him, “What exactly is supposed to happen between you and Ryan? What did you agree on?”

If he doesn’t say the same thing that you said to me then we’ve got a problem. So I think, right there, setting an agreement at the end of a meeting that’s very specific.

Define whatever the agreement is. Define it specifically.

Secondly, people back out. There’s a psychological component to why people back out. Buyer’s remorse as we call it. As I mentioned to you, you buy emotionally.

There’s a psychological term for it but we have so little time.

There’s a little kid inside of you that wants everything. “This sounds great. I want this. I want this. I want this.”

Have you ever walked out of wanting something and six hours later, you start coming out with reasons why it doesn’t make sense right now? Have you had that other voice going on?

Your parents’ voice going on your head. We can predict that. You could predict that. We actually have a step in our process that specifically takes care of avoiding cancellations, back outs and buyer’s remorse.

It’s called post sale step. It’s very powerful. If you understand human behavior, human psychology, you know that if somebody says they’ll do it and then they walk out and change their minds. We know how to fix that. We know how to deal with it upfront because I don’t want to chase them for three weeks. It’s over.

Ron: And Jim, to that point, it’s important to remember also that you as a salesperson, as an individual, you have rights, too.

There’s nothing wrong with “Hey Mr. Prospect can you tell me exactly what you mean by get going. Because there’s nothing wrong with asking those questions. Because you are thinking it.

I’m not trying to pressure you here. I just want to make sure I understand what you mean by “let’s get going”. Sales people have rights. And that’s one of the things that’s important in my book. That fits in to what we’re talking about.

Jim: You think of it in an adult mindset. This is peer to peer. I’m no better than my prospect. But they’re no better than me. We’re just having a business conversation and we’re talking about specifics.

It’s just a reasonable thing to bring up. It’s not as if you are getting confrontational. You’re just saying, “Hey is it fair to say that you ask me let’s get going.”

I probably have a different definition than you. And they’d agree and I’d say, “What would yours be?”

Ron: Very good.

Jim, let’s talk a little bit. I know we’re running short in time here. Really appreciate this. We’d love to have you back again – to dive deeper a little bit more here.

Tell us a little bit about how you got started in Sandler. Do you have an Aha! moment in your career that said I’m tired of doing the same old thing? I’m tired of showing up to these meetings and not have an upfront contract. I’m tired of chasing these prospects or doing unpaid consulting. I’m tired of not having an effective sales funnel, of not knowing the pain.

Tell me of that moment that I know you’ve had. Obviously this is a leading question but tell me more about that because I know it’s a great story.

Jim: I started out at Sandler as a client in 1996 in Tampa, Florida. You do a lot of windshield time in sales and there was a radio station down there that played this Sandler Sales Institute commercial over and over again. And I heard that thing fifty times.

So I was in medical sales at that time. And I used to sell medical equipment to doctor’s offices. They were chemistry and hematology analyzers.

Our company had a big promotion going on and I was out prospecting trying to set up labs and offices and I dropped off some literature.

And one time, this lady said, “we’re interested.”
So I ended up getting a meeting. My boss was all excited because the revenue that generated for the branch was excellent.

Plus there was such as focus on it from a corporate standpoint that I became this hero boy. Because I would come up with these leads – specifically one of those leads.

So I got the manufacturer’s rep to come in, do a demo. I had to do an ROI, how much blood work you’re sending out to the labs and if you bought it, how much money your doctors would make.

We did all that. We presented. They said it looked great. Call us in a couple of weeks. We were ready to go.

I called in a couple of weeks. And they said, “Jim there were a couple of things that came up, we’re not going to do this until the next quarter but we’re definitely doing it.”

So I called back next quarter. And they said, “Jim it doesn’t look like we’re doing it this year. Look like, at the beginning of the year. Keep following up with me.”

So one day, I was out in that area and I just wanted to walk in the office to see and say, “Hey! How’s it going?”

I walked in. The lady at the front says, “Go in the back.” Because she was on the phone. She said, “Go ahead, go in the back.”

I walk through the back door and what do I see – full lab set up. The office manager came out and sees me and she gabs, “Jim, I’m sorry. I can explain.”

I found out that my competitor who has been there for 10 years got wind of it. And said, “We can sell you this.”

And the doctor said, “We’ll just go with you.” Ultimately, I was mad at them. But really, that was my fault. I have taken accountability for that.

Ryan: That’s interesting.

Jim: It took that much literally and I got into the car and heard that Sandler Sales Institute commercial.

And I literally called them right away. And I actually made my investment back within 6 months after training. Because this medical sales, if you sell enough equipment it was decent money at that time. You can make the money back. That’s how really I got started.

It was a painful lesson. I actually think it was the best lesson I ever had in my life.

Ron: What we’ve talked about before learning from those lessons, learning from the mistakes. Because that’s the only way to learn.

Jim: I certainly took action. I didn’t want that to happen again. That was brutal.

Ryan: if you had closed that deal, what would you really have learned long term? Like maybe it would have taken you a couple of years before you took the plunge to learn and do the Sandler training?

Jim: I have no idea.

Ryan: Success sometimes, especially, if early delays your learning process. It sounds weird but it actually does.

Jim: I completely agree with that. I think the key is my dad, he never lets us make excuses and I could have said – I could have 50 excuses why I didn’t get that sale.

But at the end of the day, I said to myself, “what could I have done better to avoid that?”

And I think, that’s when you start going. Obviously, I’m not where I want to be with respect to professional selling. I need to get better because I can’t have that happen again.

I think that’s key. A lot of sales people externalize things like you know what, the economy is horrible or our marketing stinks or the leads weren’t good or we have prices that aren’t good enough.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you. You’ve got to play with the tools that you have.

My experience is, it’s really the process that you bring and your credibility in front of the prospect. You’ve got to work on yourself. That’s the way to get better with sales.

Ron: Great stuff, Jim.  We could talk all day on this. Just to wrap things up, Jim, is there any thing you want to touch on that we haven’t talked about today?

Jim: I think we pretty much covered it. I think it’s getting better today. But sales, the career, it’s a profession yet people give lip service to the ongoing training and reinforcement that you would think would be inherent in the highest paid profession in the world.

It blows my mind quite frankly. And I think a lot of people, lots of sales people because they are so few people that actually train – nobody knows how bad they are. It’s crazy.

Ron: But one of the things I love hearing you say is. “Look, just because you have 18 years of sales experience doing the same thing over and over again for 18 years, frankly you just have 1 year. You have 18 years of doing the same thing over and over again.

How are you getting better? How are you improving yourself?

Jim: You have 1 year, 18 times. You have 1 year experience 18 times.

So it’s the same thing you play golf, I play golf, my brother plays golf all the time, every week.

He has been playing for 20 years. He still doesn’t break 90. And I’m scratching my head, thinking 20 years – you should be shooting par. I think you know, it’s not just that you go through the motion, the play.

Are you doing it deliberately? Are you doing deliberate practice? Are you literally trying to grow everyday?
And I think, you know, 8 years ago, 7 years ago – before the economy took a turn, I think you could actually sit on the phone and take orders.

You didn’t have to sell. But today, our business is picking up and the reason is people realize we don’t have sales people, we have order takers.

We have people who don’t pick up the phone and make a prospecting call effectively and get an appointment. Then go in and close a deal. They have a hard time with that.

And that’s what we are selling. It’s being proactive. We had it good for a while but those times are gone. You have to be better today.

And I think it’s showing up in our training centers. Because our sales training centers are filled now.

You’ve got to have to think about it. If you are listening to this call, that may be your competitor sitting in there. You’ll ever know.

Ron: Jim, tell us something about the event coming up on March 6.

Jim: The event we have is a 2-hour workshop and we don’t charge anything for it. It’s really like when you go to a store, you could look at all the ice cream. But it makes a difference if someone lets you taste it.

I don’t think I’d want to spend $7 a gallon on ice cream unless I can taste it.

Here is how we do it. It’s not an infomercial where we lock you in a room and get your credit card and say here’s why you should join Sandler.

It’s more of a – here’s a sales training, sales workshop and we give you a lot of things that you could take away and use that day.

And at the end, if you want to talk to us based on what you saw in those 2 hours, you certainly can come and talk to us.

If not, we’re not going to beat you and chase you. It’s up to you. But really, what it is, is a 2-hour workshop on how to get around unpaid consulting, where people use your quotes and proposals as a benchmark to shop around.

Or take it back to their current vendor or take your idea and do it in-house. Or getting beat up on price -how to mitigate on price as an issue. Or how to not be a pest. Or if you feel you are in a professional chase. Some of those issues that are part of the traditional sales process, we address those.

Ron: Sounds like you really apply what it is that you talk about. And this workshop is definitely a taste of that. I know I’ve attended in the past. And I’m a Sandler student. And I highly recommend it.

Jim, really appreciate your time today. I know we’re running late here. But it was very valuable. I really appreciate you coming in again.

Jim, how can people get a hold of you?

Jim: the best way to reach me is either or phone me at 847-513-6260 extension 24. So those are two ways.

Ron: Jim, thank you again. We look forward to continuing to work over here. We really appreciate your time.

Ryan, as always, thank you.

Ryan: Thank you Ron. Thank you Jim. Great stuff. Really appreciate it.

Jim: You’re welcome.

Ron: Take care.

Jim: Goodbye.

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