Dan Waldschmidt is an international business strategist, speaker, author, and extreme athlete. His consulting firm solves complex marketing and business strategy problems for top companies around the world. Dow Jones calls his Edgy Conversations blog one of the top sales sites on the internet. He is author of Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Can Achieve Outrageous Success.
Focus less on automated technology and more on empathy — Instead of using lead scores to drive engagement develop a training system focused on solving expected problems for industry veterans.
Invest in tools that help you work harder — Instead of focusing on working smarter, focus on scale and effectiveness across the entire enterprise (e.g. Slack, Todoist, Contactually, Feedly, Mention, etc…)
Heal others instead of selling them something — Focus considerable effort on being brutally honest, intellectually candid and in solving the complex problems that your competitors shy away from. Be belligerent about cutting to the core of the real issue
Use your humanity as an advantage — Talk, email, text, social like a human — not a robot. Train your organization to apologize quickly and thoroughly. Do what is right even though it seems like you are losing in the short term.
Make people feel “awesome” — Be memorable. It trumps every other emotion. Find ways to be surprising even it makes you uncomfortable. You’ll end up building deeper relationships and get the “benefit of the doubt” when you screw up down the road.
Build warriors. Protect your castle first — A great culture beats great sales training in any business in any industry. Hire people who are willing to do whatever it takes in order to be massively successful. Ethics matters more than results.
Hiring for experience is the #1 reason you’ll fail — Bring in team members who have a bright future instead of a legendary past. Hire for hard work and creativity not experience in the industry you are playing in.
Stop doing meetings, reports, and status updates — Your best people respond to candor and tough love. Your mediocre team members use weekly meetings and quarterly performance reviews as a way to justify poor results. Change that.
Do what you say. Say what you do — There is no reason why you shouldn’t be following up and following through — and yet it is the huge reason why so many organizations fail. Candor. Clarity. And consistency.
Focus on your line of target customers more than the bottom line — You can’t boost your profit if you don’t know how to generate more prospects. Sometimes, getting cash flow positive is enough momentum to figure out how to stay headed in the right direction.
Play the long game. Take the high road — Success isn’t a quarter, a deal, or a dream client. It’s you doing the right thing, the right way, until you get the results that you are looking for.
Smother your customers, not your leads — Spend less time with prospects and more time with people who are already doing business with you. Over deliver after you’ve closed the deal.
A mission beats a sales quota any day of the week — Give people a reason to dream, not a mark in the CRM to get close to.
A great mission trumps a stellar process — Stop yelling about your sales process and create an inspired environment where the process is magnetic — where your team goes the extra mile in order to achieve results (without unnecessary nagging).
The “good old days” were horrible — Create a culture where the future is what you talk about — not “big fish” tales from the past.
Give a lot more value than people pay for — Lose all the whitepapers and start delivering value in ways that people truly find magical. Be thoughtful and deliberate to make sure people feel loved and appreciated.
Don’t shirk shrinks — The mental battle for sales success is the biggest challenge you will face. Spend time with a coach, mentor, or therapist on a regular basis in order to keep your head in the game. Losing starts the moment you start thinking about it.
Only worry about what you can improve — Focus on the details and fix what’s broken rather than hoping things automatically improve without you having to do anything about it.
Get “new school” with conversations — Stop wasting time talking about things and communicate real time using apps and messaging platforms that allow people to prioritize information, quantify needs, and clarify expectations.
Fight passive aggression and mediocrity head on — Don’t let people get away with playing games and rigging the system to stay employed but ineffective as a part of the team. Fire losers fast.
Be honest about wins and losses — Sometimes you just get lucky. Don’t pretend like it was great sales skills. Other times you lose when you should have been the winner. Talk about what works and what doesn’t.