Episode 134: Adding Value vs. Helping a Prospect – Michael Pedone

Predictable Prospecting
Episode 134: Adding Value vs. Helping a Prospect - Michael Pedone
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What do you do when you connect with a warm lead, but they don’t seem receptive? What’s the difference between adding value for a prospect and actually helping that prospect? These are some of the questions that today’s guest will help answer.

Joining the podcast today is Michael Pedone from SalesBuzz. Michael is an advocate for sales skills and SalesBuzz is an online sales training site that provides helpful information for sales professionals that can help take you from the top of the funnel all the way to the close. Listen to today’s episode to hear what Michael has to say about common mistakes people make with important sales skills, the definition of a cold call, and connecting through LinkedIn.

Episode Highlights:

  • The most impactful sales skill that Michael sees people bungle
  • The definition of a cold call
  • Throwing out the “easy” button
  • Why you shouldn’t remind a warm lead that they filled out a form
  • Approaching leads with the intent to help
  • The difference between adding value and helping
  • The cadence that works best in a selling situation and how to blend it with different modalities
  • Connecting through LinkedIn
  • How often you should be prospecting
  • Why people should really want to be in sales



Michael Pedone

Marylou: Everybody, it’s Marylou Tyler. I have a guest. I have been on Michael’s list, I don’t know, probably 15 years? Is that possible? It’s been a while that I’ve been on his list. Michael Pedone is here today from salesBuzz.com. It’s a live online training site. If you guys haven’t been over there, get this URL, SalesBuzz.com.

Michael has been an advocate for sales skills. He has been a mentor to me. Whenever I get stuck with things when it comes to sales skills, I go to his site, I get his newsletters. There are always fabulous tips. He’s here today to talk to us about all things sales skills and training. I’d like him to focus on top of funnel but he covers the whole thing, FYI, just so you guys know. He is the master starting those conversations all the way to close and beyond. Welcome to the podcast, Michael.

Michael: Hi, thanks for having me. I’m very excited. This sounds great.

Marylou: Good, good, good. Here we are. I am catering to the folks that are trying to start conversations either with people we don’t know––not quite warm yet, not necessarily cold—with all the new stuff that’s out there. We’re trying to get conversations started. We’re trying to get people to engage with us. We’re trying to get people to advance into the pipeline. You are the perfect person to help us understand where we’re going wrong based on your experience with what you’ve seen at the market. I’m going to turn it over to you and ask you one question which is, what is the most impactful sales skill that we can learn in a prospecting environment or even cross sell/upsell that you see people bungle all the time?

Michael: Yeah, sure. Let’s do this. Because you said something that’s really interesting and I hear it all the time. We’re back up in a second, you mentioned the reaching out, top of funnel. They want a conversation going. They’re not necessarily cold, kind of warm. This where I go right and everybody else goes left. The definition of a cold call is contacting any prospect that is not raising their hand. The definition, I’ll say it again, definition of a cold call is contacting any prospect that is not currently raising their hand.

You can do all the research that you want on them on LinkedIn. You can send them emails about you. You’re going to call them. All that other stuff. It does not warm up. You can’t even get referrals. You can call your best clients and say, “Hey, who should I call? Who should know about me?” You put them on the spot. Even if they give you two or three names, when you call them, if they were not expecting your call, just because you know them, or you have somebody in common, doesn’t make it any warmer for them. I think that’s where it really needs to start with is you have to put them––the calls––whether it’s a cold call or a warm call. Here’s the good news. Whether it’s a cold call or a warm call, the objective is the same. You want to pique interest enough to where you get a conversation started.

I’m just going to give an example for this. I have somebody that keeps emailing me. I can tell I’m on a cadence. It’s like every three or four days, I get another email, another subject line. They’re trying to drip to me, they’re trying to make you look personal, but yet this whole time, they’ve not call me once. Everybody has to understand. You have to understand this is that, I’m a straight commission sales rep for 25 plus years. Yes, I’m old school. I’m not opposed to warm calling. I would rather do warm calls all day long.

A warm call to me is somebody fills up a form, the reason they’re on my website, filled out, propose or request or a white paper or whatever. They’re looking at pricing pages or whatever. If they’re warm, you call them right away. We’d rather do that. The problem is this, you can’t force generate those things. The only thing we can control is our outbound reach. With that being said, back to your original question, what’s the one thing that they need to do to focus on is they need to drawout the easy button. You can make a lot of money in sales but if you expect that you do 10 emails and nobody responds, or you do 10 phone calls and nobody responds to you, and you go, “This isn’t working. I’ve got to change things up. I’ve got to switch jobs.” Listen, you have to fix your mindset to know that you’re in for a fight. You’ve got to get to work. You got to put a lot of energy and effort into it. That’s why you really have to be good with your sales skills so that you can avoid that burnout.

You’re making mistakes on the phone, on the email, and things of that nature. You amp up your output by 10, you’re just going to make that 10 times amount of mistakes to that 10 times amount of prospects. Even though you have to increase your output, you want to sharpen your skill sets so that you get better results. Once you start making better results, it won’t bother you anymore. If you make 60 calls in a day and you get five conversations going, and two of them turned into a proposal, and you can do that in a daily basis–, you won’t care. That’s an example.

The problem comes when you’re doing all the emails, doing all the research, you get them on the phone, and nothing happens. Weeks turn into months. The next thing you know, you’re looking over your shoulder and now maybe looking for a new job because you’re afraid you’re going to get canned because you’re getting the results.

Marylou: Right. I’m think a lot of it too, even on the inbounds side, I’ve seen this, they don’t necessarily remember they fill out a form especially if you’re not able to get back to them rightway which is yes, another sin but sometimes, it just can’t happen. If they’re coming in on a Saturday and you’re not there until a Monday, for example. You’re almost like starting over with them to remind them that they filled out something or that they engaged somewhere or downloaded something. I think that is also frustrating for people because they make the assumption that they’re the ones who self-selected. They took the time to fill out a form. Why don’t they sound friendly when I actually do call them and follow up? I think that’s where people get also put back and stymied as to how to progress, what to do next.

Michael: You want to know how to solve that?

Marylou: Yes, let’s get there.

Michael: This is exactly how you saw that problem. You don’t remind them that they fill a form out.

Marylou: Hmm.

Michael: This is the biggest mistake I see salespeople, even a veterans. Listen, this is what we’ve all been taught. There’s no fault. You get a warm lead, you call them up and you say, “Hey.” You’re taught to use that to remind them to try to warm that call up.

Marylou: Correct.

Michael: First of all, if they filled the form out, you’re not the only one that they probably filled out if they’re looking around then. People get hot and cold really easily. I think a lot of us have short attention spans. We go ahead, we fill something out, we’re really excited about it one day. By the next morning, we’ve forgotten about it. That’s just part of the way it is.

From a salesperson perspective, if you’re dealing with inbound warm leads, then the things is, if I’ve got an inbound warm lead and they filled out a form like a free demo or whatever, I don’t call and say, “Hey, I’m following up on the form you filled out, the information, or the white paper.” Because then I’m going to get into a conversation of, “Which one was it? Who are you with again?” And now the flow is all blown. We’re already off the map.

You have to understand, your goal and objective when you’re picking up the phone, even on a warm lead, they filled out a form, so you’re going to be contacting them for the first time. Your objective is to remind isn’t to remind them. Your objective is to pique their interest enough to where they want to have a conversation with you. What I do to solve that is I’ll do this, if somebody was on my page and they filled something out, instead of reminding them they filled it out, I’ll call them and say, “Hey, Marylou. It’s Michael Pedone with SalesBuzz.com. How are you?”

Marylou: “Doing great.”

Michael: “Good. Listen, the reason for my call, I understand you’re curious about what type of results you could expect if you went through our online sales training program. I’m assuming you’re probably curious about pricing and if we have any incentives available. There’s a possibility I might be able to help you. I just need to ask a few questions first to be sure. Would that be okay?”

Marylou: “That would be great. Sure.”

Michael: If you analyze what I did there, instead of reminding him they filled the form out or whatever, I go to the reason. I go to the original reason that they filled the form out. They have a pain point or problem and they’re looking to solve it; they’re looking for a solution. When I lead with, “I understand what you’re curious about what type of results you could expect if you…”  and now enter whatever problem or solution you can offer. It brings them back into that mindset and they’re like, “Yeah. I am curious about that.” Then, I tease it with, “I’m assuming you’re probably curious about pricing and if we have any incentives available as well. I might be able to help you with this. I just need to ask you a few questions first to see if we’re good fit. Will that be okay?”

Now, all of a sudden, it’s not that, “Who are you again? What form?” It’s because I’ve lead with what the original reason they must have filled that form out which was pain point or the problem they’re trying to solve. Now, they go, “Yeah, I’ve got a second. Sure, go ahead.” They voluntarily gave me control of the call by giving me permission to ask them questions, and now I’m off to the race as we have a conversation. That’s how it’s supposed to be done.

Marylou: That’s great. I really like that because like you said, it focuses the conversation on what’s important to them.

Michael: Exactly.

Marylou: That is really where we want to get is what’s important to you. We have some assumptions going in because they came in a certain way. We have some assumptions that we can weave in and feather in to the conversation. But if you make it about them, then life is good. That’s wonderful.

Michael: I mean, listen, these all goes back to the Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends, Influence People book that was written a hundred thousand years ago. First of all, to anybody who’s listening to this podcast, if you haven’t read or did an audio book of Dale Carnegie’s, How to Win Friends, Influence People, I would highly recommend it. But let me save you eight hours real quick just to be safe. It’s really simple. People care about themselves and they like other people that show an interest in them. That’s why if you go to a party and you say, “What do you do?” They go, “I do this.” You can say, “How’d you get involved in that?” Then, they start telling you how they got involved with it. That person telling you is like, “Man, I like this guy.” They don’t even know why because you’re showing an interest in that person. Anybody who shows you interest or attention, you naturally start to like more.

Now the problem gets when salespeople artificially do that or insincerely, I should say, try and do it that way. You got to be sincere. If we go back, to answer your first question, what’s the one thing that’s going to set everything else apart, I will have to say it’s this, you have to go on with every sales call not to close, not to sell, not anything; the very first thing in the top of the list is you have to have a mindset of, “Let me see if I can help this person.”

When you go into it with the objective of trying to help them, everything else, your tone on what you’re saying and how you’re saying it is going to be the right tone. Even if they do reject you, listen, it’s a lot easier to take rejection, “Hey, I don’t want your help,” than you trying to push a product service on them and then they reject that product or service. When your intention is to see if you can help and they don’t want it, okay, you can just go over the next one. Especially over the phone, people sense that sincerity. You don’t have to be overboard with it. But that should be the mindset to go in. Everything stems from that, you’re going to start to see, you’re going to have a lot more success.

Marylou: Michael, I’m curious. Help versus value. I hear a lot that we have to add more value on calls. What is the difference? Is there a difference between adding more value or helping?

Michael: It’s a huge difference.

Marylou: Okay.

Michael: Right. In order for me to help, I have to first see if there’s a problem that exists. Most people when they hear of value, they mean features and benefits. Unfortunately, that’s where a lot of sales people, they equate that their features are the best. They start talking more about what they offer but they skip the number one step in sales which is to make sure that the prospect recognizes, sees, agrees, and wants the solution for a problem.

Most people, when we call them, especially cold calling, they don’t even know they have a problem yet. You cannot call them and tell them they have a problem because they’re going to doubt it. Let me give you an example. If anybody listens to this podcast and has gone in, got a prospect on the phone, asked a couple of probing questions based on the answers, the salesperson goes, “I know how to solve this.” Then they go into this how to solve that problem and what you offer. You just do this amazing little pitch of what you offer. You get to the end and you go for a close. Your prospect goes, “Yeah, sounds good. But I think we’ll just going to stick with what we have.” Now, the salesperson is blown away. “I showed you, I can save you all these time and money. It makes no sense. Why would you say that?” Now, they’re stuck. That happens because they skipped a major step in the sales process. They never took the time to ask the questions to get the prospect to see if a problem exists so they can both see it together.

The psychology of what I’m teaching is that when somebody recognizes a problem, human nature’s to do what next. If you recognized you have a problem, what’s your human instinct to do next?

Marylou: We’re trying to solve it.

Michael: Exactly. If I fall down and I realized I broke my arm, everything else on my to-do list just went out the window. I’ve got to solve this problem. I’m just using that as an extreme example to drive the point home. For sales people who are struggling, they’re not reaching their potential, and they’re getting frustrated and call reluctance is setting in, I’m here to say, “Listen, it’s solvable.” Your company is only in business because it solves specific problems for specific types of scenarios. You need to know what they are. Unless this is a startup, there’s been success. There’s already proven track record—we can talk about startups later—if it’s a proven business and you’re coming in new as a sales rep, then there’s a couple things that’s going to happen to you. You’re going to get your basic training. You’re going to have the hotshot or two that’s there that’s going to have a gift of gab that just knows exactly what to say, when to say it, and how to say it. They’re hitting their numbers. They don’t even look like they’re trying.

Every company might have one or two of those I call the unicorns. You’re not going to be able to replicate that. Don’t even try. Don’t get frustrated when you try and do it. They do it and it doesn’t work because they’re just instinctively knowing what to do but they don’t know why. You need a plan. If you come in with a plan of knowing, “I’m going to see if I can help.” And then to get the conversation started, I first have to pique interest. The only way I’m going to be able to do that is I have to scratch a pain or scratch an itch; agitate a pain, scratch an itch with a 15-second what’s in it for them value statement. Once I do that, and make enough calls, I’m going to start getting more people wanting to go, “Sure, I’ve got a second.” Now, you can get a conversation started. Once you go in with that, you’re going to start to see success.

Marylou: Now, you’ve mentioned about the phone versus email where in the US especially, maybe not so much in Europe, we’re really relying a ton on email. We think email is the nirvana that’s going to sell for us. You’ve mentioned that the top of the call that is necessarily the best way to do this. Do you have a sense or a recommendation of this rhythm, this cadence, that you think works most in the selling situation top of funnel and how you blend different modalities in?

Michael: Yeah. That’s an excellent question. First of all, there’s no perfect cadence. There’s got to be different scenarios for different lead types. The first thing, I wish just email alone would work. Wouldn’t it be just better for everybody? We have the tools. They’re already out there. Your company is probably paying for them. You can load up 100 prospects, pre-populate the first name, maybe pre-populate their industry to make it look like you’re targeting them, and email blast them.

The problem with that is, I think, 20% of them automatically go to a spam folder. Right out of the gate, most of them aren’t getting it. There’s some good leads in there but you’re burning through them by just email blasting them all the time.

The example I gave you earlier before we started this conversation is that I have somebody who keeps emailing me every three or four days. If they would just pickup the phone and call me and say, “Listen, I have an idea. I might go and help grow your company. I’ve been able to do it for XYZ training company. I just need to ask you a few questions.” I’ll be like, “Okay, I’ve got a second. Go ahead.” But, no. You just created a window of opportunity for yourself. If you don’t know how to handle that, that window of opportunity will come crashing down your knuckles. But that phone call was way more powerful than the email. The thing that sales people love about email is we can blast it up to a lot more people, and we don’t feel the rejection when they don’t call us back. That’s the attractiveness of it.

Now, there was a very popular book, I don’t know if you know about this, about a book that all these emails went out. It worked in that scenario but also that company was poised to grow really well. I think there’s some companies out there that do the email side and then they rely too heavily on it. Email has its place. For me, if I had a bunch of leads that are dead and we’re not sure how qualified they are, pre-qualified, and you want to use the email drip marketing then absolutely. Make sure you have a marketing strategy or automation in place that if they do open it or if they visit the page, you get notified, and now, pickup the phone and call them. I’m fully fine with that.

If you get an inbound warm lead, where all of a sudden they filled out of form online or they’re showing some interest, and now it’s in your funnel. You see that they just filled out this form whether it’s a free webinar or price information or whatever, I’m amazed. I’m shopping for couple of things on my own as owner of SalesBuzz. I fill these forms and I’ll get emails back from people trying to setup an appointment. I’m like, “My god. I’m a qualified buyer. I’m interested. I’m hot.” It’s like pulling teeth to get somebody to call me. Just pickup the phone and call them.

With that being said, you asked about the right type of cadence. Here’s what I would say. If it’s way dead old leads, old database, email’s totally great for that because you don’t want to burn yourself up calling, calling, and calling. Try to use email to warm, to get them to reach is the way I would probably point it out. On other stuff, if you’re going to do a cadence, I always liked mine to start with a phone call. Probably the best cadence I ever did and when I got the most success with personally, I would call.

If I got voicemail, I left a voicemail, I immediately send an email. In the email, I had a link instead of asking them for a date and time and thus going back and forth, I have a link in the email that they could book a call with me right then and there. In my voicemail, I would say, “Hey, Marylou. It’s Michael Pedone with salesBuzz.com. Listen, I have a couple ideas that might be able to help your sales team overcome call reluctance. What I’m going to do is this, I’m about to send you an email. If you like what you read and you decide you want to have a further conversation, you can reach me back at…” Then, I repeat my number twice and I say, “Or just reply the email I’m about to send you. Hope you had a great day. Take care.” That’s it. I’m done with that.

As soon I’m done with that voicemail, I send an email. The email doesn’t go into the ideas I have for you. The email will simply go ahead and repeat what I said on voicemail. “Hey, Marylou. Just left you a voicemail regarding how I might be able to help you solve XYZ. I just need to ask you a few questions first to be sure. In order to avoid playing email phone tag, just pick a time that works best for you here at my calendar.” I would send that out and I would get a 26% response rate on that.

Marylou: Wow.

Michael: If they booked a call during that campaign, if they booked a call, that’s just as good as the callback. But here’s the thing, if I didn’t hear back from them within 24 hours in sending that, I had a second email that would go out automatically––different subject line, a quick little message. If on the next day, towards the end of the next day and the third day, if I didn’t hear back from them again, I would send them another email but that would be my last one. It was a 72-hour outreach that I would do. But it was for a certain type of leads after I just did this live online virtual summit that a lot of them attended and a lot of them sent in my class. There was some familiarity with me. After the third message and 72 hours, if they didn’t respond, okay, I know they got the message and if the timing or situation is not right, I’m not going to keep chasing. I would just put in my drip marketing campaign. I let the email side takeover now, put that back there. I go on to the next one.

Marylou: Right. Do you use […] any of your stuff now like LinkedIn in connecting that way?

Michael: I love LinkedIn. I absolutely love LinkedIn. But I think I use it differently than others. Yes, I will connect with them. I don’t know what it is. I think there’s enough people like you and I that have been promoting that if you’re going to use LinkedIn and somebody connects with you, do not email blast them the second they connect with you with 10 paragraphs of what you offer.

Marylou: I so agree with you on that.

Michael: Right. It goes right back to dating or meeting somebody. You don’t just ask them to marry you after you said hi. You know what I mean? I think people are impatient especially the millennials, they’re really impatient. I think that there’s a lot we can learn from the millennials. I’m a Gen X guy myself. For me, the generation before me was you worked for a company for your entire life and then you get a gold watch at the end. My generation came along and said, “Yeah, I’m not going to work my entire life for somebody just to get hosed at the end.” I’m going to be my own guy. I’m going to make something happen for myself but we weren’t afraid to work hard.

Now, you got the millennials come around, a lot of the people think they’re not willing to work hard. I don’t agree with that. Listen, you can order food on an app now. Two minutes later, it seems like it’s at your door. I think the promise that they’re looking for something to be really quick. I think that’s what we can learn from them where you know what, maybe it doesn’t have to take this long amount of time. At the same time, they have to learn from use where it’s going to take 10 times the amount of effort they’re probably putting into it. Yes, there might be a shorter way but we got to be 10 times smarter. We still have to use the basic principles of selling if you’re going to be successful.

You could have the tools and Twitter, LinkedIn, and all that stuff you can reach your prospect, but if you don’t know how to pique their interest, it goes back to the old days of meeting somebody face to face and showing interest in getting to talk. If you can’t do that, then it doesn’t matter how fast you get to them. You’re not going to get the results you want. What happens, you’re just burn through a bunch of good quality leads that could’ve been deals and then you’re left with nothing. Now, you’re like, “Okay, this doesn’t work.” That’s the problem.

Marylou: Definitely. I’d like to think of LinkedIn more as a permission-based tool. I get a lot of connects. When I connect with somebody then I get this dissertation which is like, I don’t even know you yet but I do like it from the standpoint of connecting people and then asking permission to give them something later on. I don’t put any URLs or any type of links in my email messaging unless they have given me the permission to do so. That’s how I view LinkedIn; it’s more awareness, I think, rather than […]

Michael: Yeah. You’re spot on. Here’s the other thing too. If I connect with somebody, or if I’m reaching to out to somebody, a lot of that, I don’t even contact them after that. Now that we’re connected, I just try to make sure that a couple of times a day, I’ll have one of my blogpost get reposted to LinkedIn because what ends up happening is, instead of me, “Okay, we’re connected. Now, chances are if we’re connected.” When they go to their feed, especially if they started to follow me once we get connected, now, they see my stuff in their feed. If there’s an article I’ve written––I’ve written a handful––there’s one that they see and it piques their interest, they go to read it, they like it, and next thing you know, they’re reaching out to me. That’s the way social media should be working. There’s too many people out there that are saying cold calling is dead. You should probably do social media. Most people don’t realize, it takes time to build a brand.

Marylou: It’s attraction.

Michael: Yes. I think you need a combination of things. Sure, spending an hour a day doing your social selling, promoting your stuff out there, getting things going out there, but you also need to put time to picking up the phone and making what I call, first time outbound call meaning people you never tried before. By the way, that means people you try on a second, third, or fourth time, those aren’t follow ups. If you’ve never talk to them, that’s first time attempt, second time attempt, third attempt, then you also have your time where you’re going to be following up with people you have spoken with but haven’t closed yet.

I’m totally fine with dividing the day up to a little bit social selling, a little bit first time calling, and then follow up calls. If you organize your day that way and you put in a really good effort everyday, you’re going to generate results.

Marylou: Definitely. One of the things that I just love about what you said is this whole concept of blocktime where you block out activities within your day. I’m a big fan of the phone block. I think you get better the more you’re on the phone. I’m not a fan of getting on the phone, sending an email, and doing a LinkedIn, or something else. I think it’s better to actually serially focus on one channel at a time if you could do that.

My question to you is a lot of the roles now are either split but there are reps that prospect, close, and service accounts. Do you have a feel or a recommendation of how often we should be prospecting if we’re in this role or we’re doing multiple types of hats that were prospecting, closing, and servicing accounts? Is it an everyday thing? What do you think?

Michael: Again, I don’t think one answer’s going to cover for everybody because everybody’s got different scenarios. You go and look at it like this, if you’re a farmer and you plant once and all you tend to do is try reap what you sow, eventually, if you’re not replanting you’re going run low. By the way, this is how sales […] especially if you’re a sales rep that handles things from start to finish. A lot of times, what’ll happen is that the sales rep work really hard. They do the prospecting, they get the person on the phone, they do the pitching, they do the follow ups, then they do it over and over again. Maybe not seeing much results and all of a sudden, all the deals are starting to come in. Next week, next month, more and more, keep coming in. What ends up happening, the sales rep gets a little lazy because they think they have the Midas touch.

Listen, I even had this once where not only was I did all these work and then nothing was happening. All of a sudden, everything started to come in. Even I would get a call in and I would just, I skipped a bunch of steps and took the order and I’m like, “Man, there’s nothing I can do wrong. I’m just living high on the hog.” You’re not. All of a sudden, all the deals stopped and I crashed because I never refilled the pipeline even the things were good. I would just say, in last year company is telling you, “This is how much you have to do.” If you’re more of a free agent in that scenario, I know you’re not going to like it, but you have to do it anyway. It’s no different than going to the gym. A lot of times we liked going to gym but there are days that we just don’t want to go but we know that if we have a goal, we got to get up and get going in anyway and just get it done.

For me, when it comes to prospecting, I like to get it done. Believe it or not, I like to build my list either the previous days so when I come in the morning, it’s ready to go or I would like to get in there early and get it knocked out. But here’s the thing, most sales people where they make the mistake of prospecting, they come in, they show up to work on time. First of all, if you show up to work on time, you are already 15 minutes late. I hope everybody realizes that. They get to work on time, they go to the meeting, get some coffee, check some emails, whatever. When they decide to start making phone calls, they sit down and they go, “Okay, who should I call today?” Then, they start digging to their database. They find one then they call it. They find another one, then they call it.

If I’m sitting next to you and that’s your strategy, for the time you made your third call, I’m already on my tenth because I’m going to make sure, I’m going to build my list first, then I’m going to call that list. I’m not going to hunt and pack.

Marylou: I agree.

Michael: These are little things that sound so simple but it takes discipline. When you do it the right way and you’re disciplined, the results are astronomical. If I may, if we have time, I’d like to share just one thing here.

Marylou: Sure.

Michael: Way back in the day, I was that kind of salesperson that would always invest. First of all, I never went to college. I barely graduated high school but I still built and sold my first company a month before my 37th birthday. It was a seven figure cash payout. I was still able to do all that even though I have the cards stacked against me. Part of the reason I was able to do stuff like that is because I was the type of kid that would invest in himself no matter what. One of the seminars I went to was a Brian Tracy seminar—I’m showing my age here a little bit—but one of the things he mentioned was, he had an example of how the winning his horse in all time and the second winning is horse all time. The difference between their wins was like less than a millisecond of that race. Yet, the horse that was number one earned ten times as much as the second place horse.

The whole point of this is this, if you’re in sales, if anybody ever asked you, why are you on sales? I think people need to be honest. I think today they’re afraid to say why they really want to get in sales. If I interviewed somebody for a job and I go, “Why do you want to be in sales here?” “I’m a people person.” I’m like, “This job is not for you. Most of the people here calling, they’re not your friends. They’re not going to want to talk to you. You need to go to a customer service or something of that nature.”

Number one reason why sales people should get in sales, in my opinion, they want to make a lot of money. When they realize that the only way they’re going to make a lot of money is helping other people get what they want and then you’ll get what you want as a return. When you have that mental attitude, that picture, and then you take that horse race story I just shared with you, you’ve got to put the effort into it. Here’s the thing, I’m a big believer in playing hard and working hard. In another words, I want to make sure sales people come into work focused not just letting the wind blow them whichever way.

Whatever works for you, take the time between this time, “This time I’m doing my prospecting list.” “I’m doing my first time calls.” “I’m doing my follow up calls.” “I’m going to do my social selling.” Map it out. Yes, there’s going to be times where you have the perfect plan in place and you’re trying to work it and something outside comes in and affects that. You have to adapt and, “Okay, we weren’t able to do it.” Then, next day, you get right back at it and just work so that when you’re done with that eight-hour a day, you can leave and go home knowing you gave it your all. You left everything out on the ice. When you leave and you go home with your family, your mind is free. After you come in and get it done again, it’s going to pay off.

Sales, I think, is one of the greatest positions in the world because the better you are at helping other people and knowing how to sell, your lifestyle, whatever it is for an individual, I’m not saying you have to have big mansions and lamborghinis, private jets, and all of that nonsense. If that’s your thing, sure, sales can get you there. But whatever it is that’s important to you, when you have money in the bank, that gives you options. If you just want to pay off all your debt and live comfortably, that’s fine. If you want a big house, you can get it too. It’s wide open. That’s one of the main reasons why I really got in the sales because I can have that freedom. The better I get at what I do, the more options I have. I can live the way I want to live.

I think if you’re on sales and I’m only saying this to some of people that might be struggling right now, they’re maybe getting ready to give up on themselves, or their company, or whatever, hang in there. Most people quit right before they’re about to have their big breakthrough. Just put a little more effort into it, stop looking for the easy button, get to work, learn from others who’ve already achieved what you’re after, and you’re going to have a very good career on sales.

Marylou: 100%. It’s a lifelong learning. There are certain categories in your eight week course that I saw online, captures the essence of the categories we need to continually practice, roleplay, and get better at. It’s not this huge elephant that we have to worry about; it’s sections of the elephant that we need to master and practice and practice over and over again. It’s a lifelong learning. That’s what I love about sales––I love about sales process––it’s lifelong, always learning something new, always engaging the people who can teach us something. The work that you do is all about that. It’s all about enlightening us as to how to have better conversations that are meaningful, that add value, that helped, and ultimately get us what we want which is more deals.

Michael Pedone, thank you so much for joining us today. Let’s get everybody all your contact information. I’ll also put it in the show notes. SalesBuzz.com is the website. Anything else you want to know us to know about that we can look up on the website in order to get to know you better.

Michael: To anybody listening to this, if you want to go ahead and find me on LinkedIn, Michael Pedone on LinkedIn. Send me a friend request or a connection request. I’m more than happy to accept it. Just don’t start sending me a bunch of pictures yet. Let’s get to know each other first a little bit.

Marylou: 100%. There’s some free courses too on his website. I recommend everyone take his voicemail class because we all know you’re not getting returned voicemails. It’s a known entity. That’s one area you can start right away today. Learning how to leave an effective voicemail and that is the beginning of your getting hooked on Michael’s work.

Michael, again, thank you so much for visiting me on the podcast today. I’m hoping people will get over there and start getting the types of business they’re looking for by practicing and getting better at their skills.

Michael: Awesome. Thanks for having me on. I loved it. It was a lot of fun. Thank you.