In this week’s episode, we sat down with Sales Gravy’s Chief Sales Officer, Jason Eatmon.
Jason has a tremendous background in sales and sales development training. After growing a technology company, he joined up with sales leader, Jeb Blount, to join the Sales Gravy team – a premier sales training company.
As a speaker, Jason shares his history and experience with sales teams across the world to help organizations dramatically increase their revenue.
If you’re feeling like revenue generation and sales is a challenge, you’ve got to listen to this episode.
See you in there!
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Show Notes 📓
✅ Learn more about Sales Gravy: https://salesgravy.com/
✅ Check out Sales Gravy’s virtual selling bootcamp: https://salesgravy.com/courses/virtual-selling-skills-training-master-class-for-engaging-remote-buyers/
🎤 Thank you to our sponsor, Libsyn Studio (formerly Auxbus)! Want the best podcasting solution out there? Learn more here: https://www.libsynstudio.com/
🚀 And as always, don’t forget about all the mind-blowing free resources at https://speakerflow.com/resources/
Read the Transcription 🤓
Taylorr: Welcome to another episode of Technically Speaking. Now, we are really excited about today’s guest Jason Eatman, right from Sales Gravy. Jason, my friend, welcome to the show.
Jason: I am so glad to hear that you are so excited because I am also so excited.
Taylorr: So, guys, Jason is a Nebraska native, which is where his work ethic and sense of community was born. In 92 he joined an exclusive program within the US Navy to serve as a nuclear mechanical engineer. Very quickly became responsible for the training and certifications of hundreds of nuclear personnel, optimization of drills and training and the creation of specialized curriculum and associated rubrics. It was here that his patriotism constitution and passion for optimism were born. After his service to his country he changed career paths and secured a position responsible for training adults on new technologies to establish proficiencies before reentering the workforce. Jason developed many courses to expand the organization’s offerings and created a significant demand previously unseen for training services.
This is where his passion for technology, instruction, coaching and helping people transform was born. In 09 Jason started a company that was exclusively focused on integrating advanced networking technologies into schools and within 10 years, the company’s growth earned Inc. 5000’s acknowledgment four different times. This hyper-growth was born within the groundbreaking approach to business operations, which included creating original programs for recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training, operations, execution BizDev and sales. In effort to be meaningful and impactful to his clients, he transformed his company into an organization that delivered business outcomes. Jason will attest that this journey was arduous, but hopefully fulfilling. Jason led the company to be recognized as partner of the year for major manufacturers, such as Cisco, it’s also earned him the distinguished position on the Tech Giants advisory council. Now throughout his company’s growth, Jason became recognized as an inspirational thought leader in the industry and community for leadership, economic growth and innovative strategies.
During this time, he trained thousands of professionals facilitated hundreds of clinics, and frequently served as a featured speaker at trade shows and vertical events. Now Jason style as speaker and trainer ranges from casual and direct to no holds barred inspirational. He’s known for telling it like it is and ensures that he connects with everyone in the audience. Using his experience in building successful business, combined with sincere passion to help others master their obstacles and fears, Jason delivers an experience that is sure to usher the change at any organization. He was hand-selected by Jeb Blount to serve as a Sales Gravy’s chief sales officer, and also plays an instrumental role in serving the business and training needs of strategic customers. Jeb and Jason are also co-authoring Boss Business Outcome Selling Strategies, which is set for early 20,21 release. Wow Jason, quite a decorated background. How did you find yourself going into Sales Gravy? Tell us all about your background.
Jason: Well, first of all, I need to have you hang out with me because the way you introduced me was pretty epic.
Taylorr: Thank you.
Jason: I love that. Thank you. I actually forgot that I had done a lot of those things and so it’s nice to hear every once in a while, so I appreciate that introduction. How I met Jeb was awesome, I actually was tasked with growing the company, it was a tech company that we started in 2009 in the last recession and we needed to make the company become bigger than bigger than we could make it ourselves. And so, we had to go build this business development side and we’d never done that and I looked out to my traditional competitors and found out that I wasn’t really inspired by the way they were doing it. It was a 2% business and when I had such a small focus in the marketplace, so I was selling specifically into K-12 into the school districts and just in California. Well, if I only got 2% of that business, I’d be out of business so I had to figure out how to make it better. And so, I picked up some books, I think one of them was like the Art of Cold Calling or something, I don’t even remember what that book was, but I grabbed Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount and I read that and it really kind of resonated with my soul at that time, it really spoke to me.
And what was awesome is I learned about myself and what I mean by that is, there was things that I just couldn’t figure out how to go recreate my success as we brought new salespeople on and what Jeff did in that book was fantastic because he really broke down into the basic elements, the things that make ultra-high performers. And so, when I was able to read that book, I could identify with the different pieces that holistically made me good at sales. And so, he really helped me identify the things that I could use to build a business development program, which we did, and we produced amazing results. And like you said, the evidence is now in history, we were an Inc 5,000 fastest growing companies in the United States four to five years and that was without trying. The goal wasn’t to be on that list, the goal was to build the company so it was pretty flattering to get recognized like that. But other than reading the book, I was inspired to meet this guy, I wanted to meet Jeb.
Jason: There was a handful of questions, well, one in particular, one question I really wanted to ask him face to face. And so, we decided to hire him and he came in and he spent two days with my team. It was awesome and we just hit it off. We became friends and when I sold my shares in the tech company, he said, hey, come be my Chief Sales Officer, and here I am.
Taylorr: What an incredible backstory. What was it like building that business development process from scratch? What did you learn throughout all of that? And what do you think made you so successful?
Austin: Well, because I would love to say that Jason, you could attribute all of that success to that book, which I’m sure there’s a portion of it that came from it, but a lot of it was you. What do you think worked for you? What clicked with that program, that business development program?
Jason: Well, so the first thing was just the refusal to accept mediocre. And what I mean by that is when I went out and looked at our traditional competitors, what were they doing? I talked to my manufacturers, hey, how are people building business? What are they doing? And are they prospecting? Are they just sitting around and waiting for leads? And the answers weren’t compelling. They weren’t compelling at all and so, whatever I had to create, it had to come from scratch it, I couldn’t go buy a just add water business development program.
Austin: Correct. Yeah.
Jason: And so, yeah, the first thing was acknowledging that mediocre was not acceptable and that this 2% business, which cold calling is a 2% business, it was also unacceptable. So, you mentioned the book. Yeah, it wasn’t just that book. It was partly me too, but I was inspired by books like Simon Sinek’s Start with Why, that was a huge influence. And speaking of influence, one of the most amazing books I’ve ever read was the book by Dr. Robert Cialdini, Influence, which by the way, that was the one question I wanted to ask Jeb, because it was very clear to me that he was also inspired by Dr. Cialdini. And when I got to ask him that question, sure enough, Dr. Cialdini was a huge influence on his frameworks, which made me love his writing even more. So, we took all that together, we assembled a plan that leveraged some of these frameworks and strategies, tactics and ideas presented in some of these great books and we just started hitting the pavement with it, and it was working.
We produce results that were quite frankly unprecedented as compared to other companies our size. We didn’t really know what we’re doing at first, but we knew that we needed to step back at least weekly and optimize. We did some things on a daily too, that were amazing. Like, I forced everyone to take breaks, at least two 15-minute breaks in the morning and two 15-minute breaks in the afternoon and they had to go take breaks together, walk around to get off the phone, shake out the things and quite frankly, just talk about what they’ve learned. What sucked, what was awesome and they got better, we evolved at the same pace. That was I think, the most amazing achievement is that all the business development reps, they evolved at the same pace. And I think it was not because of the work we did or the training we did, it was because of the breaks we made them take and what we made them talk about during the breaks. It was cool.
Austin: Wow. I’m curious, it sounds like culture had a big part to play in this, which totally makes sense to me. And it makes me think back to like the reason why you had to go that route. Do you think that the reason that you had to build from the ground up was because the competitors that you mentioned had just intrinsically broken systems, or do you think that it was sort of an evolution in the market in terms of how the buyer saw things that brought this to light?
Jason: That’s such a cool way to ask that question. It’s a cool way and it’s I appreciate you asking like that but honestly, what I found was everyone’s too much of a chickenshit to pick up the phone.
Austin: That’s exactly right.
Jason: Honestly, that’s what it was. People relied heavily, heavily on the social networking events. They relied heavily on being friends with the sales rep of the manufacturer to get those extra leads. They relied heavily on referrals and none of those things are bad, but it’s not scalable. If I really want to grow the business, I need to go get most of it, I can’t rely on charm. And for business owners out there that are listening to this, if you’re relying on relationships and charm of your sellers, you are in deep shit.
When they leave, your system and process have to be the thing that makes your company attractive. Your sales process has to be a compelling part of the business outcomes that you deliver and if they’re disassociated and you rely heavily on the charm and relationships of individual sellers, you’re in trouble, and you’re likely seeing results, like 80% of your number comes from 20% of your reps. I’m sick and tired of that. I don’t know why we accept that. That does not have to be a truth that we accept. And it’s always the case where it’s usually the relationship sellers, they don’t have a good sales process, they’re relying on the charm and traditional ways, you know, these, these conventional referral ways of getting business, and most people are afraid to pick up the dang phone. That’s huge.
Taylorr: Yeah. It’s funny too, when like they’re afraid when they’re afraid to pick up the phone too, I don’t know about you, but more often than not, we train a speaker individually to go and pick up the phone, manage the sales process and so on and I’m sure you’ve seen this in sales teams and sales reps and so on. But one of the things we see is when they pick up the phone, they realize, wow, this isn’t that bad. And wait a second, they actually wanted to hear from me in the first place. Why is such a disconnect from that? Why do you think we’ve gone so far away from wanting to pick up the phone?
Jason: Well, check this out. My favorite sales class that I ever took ever in my life wasn’t really about sales. Now, trust me, I’m not going to make it weird right now, but let me tell you a story.
Jason: I really have a lot of respect for our military. Being a recruiter is one of two of the hardest sales. Because if you think about it, we all, most of us listening to this have the luxury of disassociating ourselves from what we actually sell. If I sell software and somebody doesn’t want it, I don’t have to take that personal but when I’m a recruiter and I have to go sell an idea that I chose, that is harder, that’s more personal. So, when someone says, oh, that would suck. I would never join the military. That’s just for stupid people that would hurt me because it’s personal.
Jason: Okay. Now, the same thing goes for religion. So, one of the things that I did one time was I saw this class on discipleship selling the idea and I was like, oh my gosh, this is a sales course. I’m fascinated by how people sell that idea and so I went and I saw something unbelievably life-changing. Now this is, I’ve told you this isn’t going to get weird, we’re going to keep it in sales, so just stick with me for a second. Everyone that was there for the same reasons, they wanted to be able to feel more secure about talking about the idea if they’re selling the idea of their faith. There’s nothing wrong with that, there’s no judgment there, that’s what they were there for. However, before the thing started complete strangers, were talking to each other, were talking about movies that they watch restaurants they’ve tried, magazine articles that they read, places that they went on vacation. They were selling the ideas to see complete strangers with passion and conviction.
Wait, wait, wait, time out. What’s the actual problem then? Clearly you don’t have any fear talking to a stranger. What is it? And so, I left there and I was fueled. I only went to that first session. It was great, but that observation room changed and inspired me to go study why do people share things? So, when I did my research, what I found out is there’s two fundamental prerequisites to share something with a complete stranger. Number one, you must believe what you’re saying is true. So, I tell people time, if you don’t think the product does what you think it’s going to do, I cannot help you. Find a different job.
People are like, what? Really? Yeah. Yeah, if you don’t believe in what you’re selling, leave. It’s sucks. I can’t teach you magic can trips and spells to use, you got to believe in it. The second thing is you have to believe that by telling someone that it’s going to impact them in a positive way. Now look at a doctor, a cancer doctor, geez, Jason, now you’re getting morbid, but seriously, you get a cancer doctor does a bunch of tests finds out that, ooh, I got some bad news, but he still has to share that with you. He has to call you, make that uncomfortable phone call and share with you and thank God for people like that. Thank God that doctors aren’t as afraid as salespeople for picking up the phone. Because they tell us something because they know it’s true and they tell us because by sharing that with us, it can affect our lives in a positive way.
We have to believe in what we sell and if you don’t get a different job. But assuming that’s not the problem, you have to truly believe that by providing people with that information, it’s going to affect them in a positive way. Because let’s face it, we are professional interrupters. We interrupt people. There’s not a single time I’ve ever called a prospect where they said, oh my gosh Jason, I’m so glad you called because I was sitting around wondering where to spend money. No, that has never happened. We are professional interrupters. And to make matters worse, we are interrupting people, complete strangers with the audacity of insinuating, that our idea is better than what they have.
Taylorr: That’s right.
Jason: So, if you don’t believe that that’s true, how in the hell could you ever get on board? I’m saying if you’re not fired up and passionate about the things that you do for your company and your community and the people that you serve, then I don’t know what to tell you. Sales is a passion game, man.
Austin: That makes sense to me. I, it reminds me of like one of the most cliche terms in sales training, a lot of the time. But yeah, I think that if you don’t a hundred percent stand behind something, then you can’t ever possibly share that with somebody and if there’s an element of you that feels like you aren’t truly going to deliver the value that they need, then who cares? You’ve got to care more than they care and you’ve got to help transfer that excitement to them so that they are as amped up as you are, and if not, then why bother? And I’m curious, you’ve train so many salespeople. Is this something that like… can you take somebody that doesn’t believe in the value behind what they’re selling and turn them into somebody that believes in that value?
Because I think a lot of times you hear about like in small businesses CEOs, and they’ve been selling forever and they keep selling and in order for the business to scale, they need to be able to place their efforts into leadership. But if they can’t let go, then they can never scale. And I think some of that hesitation comes from feeling like somebody else can’t communicate the value, the way that the CEO can. So, is it possible to take somebody that maybe unfamiliar with what you do and help them get that firm belief in the value that you provide? Does that make sense?
Jason: Yeah, man, I think that’s a super, super cool question. And there’s so many different ways to answer it. I think systemically if there’s a problem with sellers not believing in what they sell, you’re doomed. You can’t Polish a turd, so let’s just leave that out of it. Let’s assume that the solution does have a market and it is worthy of selling so let’s just throw away bad ideas. One of the things that I see happen so often is that transition where the leadership or ownership steps out of the sales role and into the strategic role and they have to go figure out how to scale themselves. I see that problem all the time, even with companies that are hundreds of people in size, I still see where the owners trying to create a bunch of mini-mes.
The problem with that is that nobody else is going to have the same skin in the game. They’re not going to have the authority to make on the fly commitments. They aren’t going to have the intrinsic association and spiritual connection with the product because they weren’t there at the inception, they weren’t there at the idea creation, there’s just a lot of things missing. And so, I see this happen a lot where ownership is frustrated, especially with the first, second, third wave of sellers that they hire because they don’t get it. But the problem is always onboarding. It’s like most onboarding programs for sales teams really, really suck. And I’m seeing that with love.
I would say it to anyone’s face in a warm embrace and I would give you some suggestions but the thing is, most onboarding things suck and the reason why they suck is because the ownership hasn’t figured out how to break down the elements of things that made them successful. Do you know why I know I’m an expert in this? Because I just described my first go at it. I suck. I couldn’t figure out how to go hire mini-mes and I realized I’m never going to find them. They’re unicorns, they don’t exist. And you don’t want to have unicorns, you don’t want to find a bunch of mini-mes because they end up leaving and start another company.
You may find that to do the job that you did, it takes three different people. That’s what I found out. I needed a pre-sales engineer; I needed a contracts person and I needed a salesperson. I needed three people to backfill me, but then it becomes modular and then you can onboard for a specific task. How do you onboard if your plan is to hire unicorns? You can’t
Austin: Yeah. You can’t rely too much on the individual.
Jason: No, they can’t. Most people’s onboarding is, hey, go hang out with Joe for a couple of weeks and learn how to sell.
Taylorr: Doesn’t really work out that well. It’s something we see time and time again, too especially in the thought leadership space. Because when people start out, they’re solopreneurs, they’re trying to sell their speaking or their consulting or their coaching and one of the things we hear all the time is like, oh, I’m just going to get a VA and then they’re going to be able to book gigs for me. And it’s like, well, VA is a very broad term, are you hiring that person for business development? Or are you going to have them close? Or are you going to have them research?
What are you going to actually have them do? And then naturally what happens is we see this extremely high turnover rate in our industry, simply because everyone thinks a VA has a magic wand to solve their business problems when they’re not giving them a direction to head. And on the other end of the spectrum, we have people who are afraid to hire people, even though that they’re a bottleneck, they’re not generating the amount of revenue that they want to generate and even if they do sell themselves successfully, usually we hear, well, no one can sell me like I can sell me so how am I supposed to train somebody to do that? How would you answer that question?
Jason: Well there’s a couple of questions in sales that are hard to answer and that’s one of them. But it really boils down to, I think a lot of people, they go hire entire departments full of people to compensate for the fact that they hire the wrong people elsewhere, that is when it won’t work.
Jason: That is when it’s wrong. They have account execs and then they have inside people and then they have BDRs, what the hell? Because what happens is the inside people, the account execs don’t prospect, so their inside people are kind of expected to, but when they get busy doing administrative work and backing up the AE and taking care of existing accounts, getting quotes out the door, working on proposals, et cetera, getting contracts in place, blah, blah, blah, now all of a sudden we’ve conveniently displaced substantial, impactful work like prospecting and all of a sudden we have to hire BDRs. Well, wait, wait, time out. So, who’s actually responsible for prospecting? Well, the answer is everybody should be everybody should prospect. If you have a business that can survive solely on inbound, dude, sweet.
Taylorr: Yeah right?
Taylorr: [Inaudible 22:40] that.
Jason: Look at some of the companies like Zoom. They could care less about how to prospect; they’re getting crazy business right now. They don’t have time to go deal with outbound, they’re dealing with inbound all day long and it’s good for them. That’s going to change one day and the rollercoaster is going to bottom out but the fact is, most of the time I find that people are hiring complete groups of people based on the fact that the other people aren’t actually doing what’s in their essential job functions. If you hire a salesperson that can’t prospect fire them. And it all boils down to this, the biggest problem we have in sales is leadership sucks.
Sales leadership sucks. That would never happen if we hold people accountable and hire the right people in the first place. I’ve met companies that have 300 people in sales, but they’re producing about the same volume as a company with a hundred people in sales because they’ve diluted the entire thing to such ridiculous levels because they continue to hire people to compensate for the fact that other people aren’t doing their job. It’s crazy, but it happens all the time. I don’t know if you guys see that.
Austin: For sure. Right people, right seat. That matters a lot. And I’m curious too, because I think that you were just talking about some of the definitions of the different roles that are involved in the sales process. And I think there’s a lot of debate, people call different roles, different titles sometimes it’s the same role with different titles and I think that at times there’s so much noise out there about the different functions that need to be taken into consideration when you’re building a sales process that things get missed and kind of looked over. And when we talk about sales in the most, I don’t know, distilled way that we can I guess, we tend to split it up into two different components. On one side, we call it the business development side of things, where you’re working on finding leads, nurturing leads, creating relationships, and then ultimately handing interested parties to sales development.
The other side of the coin, where you take interested parties and work them towards a close. Now, I think that we probably share some ideas about whether or not that’s the right way to define those two different components of a sales process but I know a minute ago you mentioned when you were either talking about yourself or somebody you worked with that, that one role that you were filling as the owner needed to get split into three different roles that could be accomplished separately. So, based on what I just said, does that align with your philosophy about sales? Am I missing an important role here? Are there better ways to define the different elements of a standardized sales process?
Jason: So, I had the luxury of working with a whole bunch of different companies. People that sell asphalt roads to counties and cities, people who sell complex multi-million-dollar software subscriptions to gigantic fortune 50 companies and everything in between and I will say this. The only universal constant between what roles are needed is the fact that people there has to be someone prospecting, there has to be someone selling, there has to be someone doing account management because that’s where your reference ability lives in your ability to take care of the account. And we have creative terms now, customer success and customer experience, all that stuff and that’s great. It could be one person; it can be two people can be five people. The more people, it’s more complicated, although it’s more scalable, it’s more complicated. And so, the thing I will say is this, the perfect system, even the most perfect system requires constant governance and nurturing and that is where leadership is.
So, it doesn’t matter whether there’s one person in charge of the entire sales journey from targeting prospect, qualifying, initial meetings, sales process, and post-delivery, account management. If there’s one person, two people, three people, four people, I will say this in the absence of very well-defined daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly management there is no right answer. In the absence of leadership, there’s no good answer. There’s only hope. And that is not a strategy.
Austin: Yeah, man, [cross-talk 27:03] that question on its head. I was not expecting that response and that was a great response.
Taylorr: Yeah. I think one of the things I hear all the time from people is, yeah, I just want the system that works and then once it works, I just want to set it and forget it. What do you have to say to those people, Jason?
Jason: Well, okay, so if they’re a nerd like me and to have an engineering background, I’ll ask them if they know what a carnal engine is and they say yes, and that’ll be really cool because they don’t exist. The carnal engine produces just enough energy to go feed itself, to run perpetually. I hear people say things that are really asinine too they’re really inane like, well, here at this company, we’re moving so fast that we need to be able to change the tires on the race car while we’re driving. Look, the reason why you’ve never seen anybody do that in NASCAR is it doesn’t fricking work.
Austin: That’s right.
Jason: You can’t actually do that. There’s this concept of slowing down to speed up that we have to embrace. So, I really do believe in that old adage, there’s no such thing as a bad team, just bad leaders. Because it blows my mind sometimes when I see leadership sitting around and complaining about salespeople that you hired
Austin: That’s right. And don’t manage.
Jason: What are you doing to manage this daily? You have to feed this machine daily. There’s not a single thing in life that’s perpetual. Nothing. Why would you want a system? Basically, it’s the same thing that I told you before, they are compensating for something that is failing and it could be themselves. I tell you what small companies, and if you have some people listening that are in small companies and you’re in leadership, it’s okay man, fire yourself.
I fire myself three different times from jobs because as the company scaled, I wasn’t the right person anymore. Put your pride aside and go do something else for the company and backfill yourself with someone amazing. That should be your goal, it should be amazing. My goal at one point was, hey, I want to be so worthless, I’m just cleaning toilets. I’m cool with that because then I’m making tons of money.
Austin: That’s right.
Taylorr: Yeah. You’d be the best paid toilet cleaner in the whole world but…
Jason: Yeah, absolutely. Why not? I, I wanted my job to be running around, making sure everyone had coffee. You need a backrub? Cool, I’ll throw that in. That’s all I wanted to do because quite frankly, if you surround yourself with great people and you have a great system that has a great daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually nurturing plan, you’re going to be okay. But people just want to like put gas in the car and let it run around the racetrack and not stop to fill it up, not change the tires, not change the oil, not check the gauges. You can’t give me a single example in life of that.
Taylorr: Where do you think that mindset comes from?
Jason: Almost without exception, I think it comes from the delusion that everybody thinks like the owner. I think it comes from the delusion that everybody is operating at the same capacity as some of the founders or owners of a company and they are compensating for some people are afraid to be exposed that they’re not actually good leaders, they started the company but one of the most terrifying things that happens to any business owner in their life is that day when they wake up and they can’t figure out what’s gnawing at their soul, but it’s the acknowledgement that the company needs to get bigger than they are. That is terrifying.
Jason: But those people, those of us that embrace that and accept that challenge and just surround yourself with good people you can trust that understand the vision, then you’ll be okay. But along the way, you got to fire yourself.
Austin: Yeah. We talk all the time about like making data driven decisions too. And as I’ve been listening to you, it sounds like there’s really not a secret formula to making sales work. A lot of what you’re talking about is consistency and…
Austin: Iteration, and documentation and clear processes. And am I right about that?
Jason: There’s not a one size fits all. There’s not a just add water. It’s not a powdered sales process where just show up, add some beer, add some water, and we’re good that doesn’t exist. I will say that there is a formula for your company, but most of the time here’s the deal. Let’s just take sales, prospecting sales just by itself, by the way, every single solitary, every single solitary person in your company should throw off daily, weekly, and monthly metrics that go towards their essential job functions. If they can’t, you have a lot of work to do.
So, step away from that comment and let’s move into sales from a sales basis on a, on a daily basis, on a daily basis, it’s how many calls you make, how many emails did you send and how many other prospecting activities, LinkedIn or whatever that is, vid yard, I don’t care what it is, but how many of those. That’s daily. On the weekly, it’s how many appointments did you set? On the monthly it’s how many appointments did you get and how are deals progressing? That’s it. If you just do that, your quarters and years will turn out. I cannot believe that in 2020, I still walk into companies that should know better, I don’t care what size they are, they’ve been in business long enough where they should know better, that are still surprised at quarterly results.
They’ve managed by quarter or even worse, managed by year. Wait, you’re surprised they missed their number. You haven’t managed them once, you don’t check in with them daily, you don’t look at daily activity, you don’t work at weekly activity, you just ask them for pipeline reports and you’re totally okay with them kicking the cans down the road because putting a bunch of deals installed stuck, whether relegated down to just checking in. Might it be possible that if you looked at them just a few days in a row, you might’ve seen a trend that would manifest itself into missing their quarterly number? Hell yes, you would have. A hundred percent of the time. That’s what’s so insane. I cannot believe it’s 2020, and we do not have managers, sales leaders that are checking every single day on prospecting.
Austin: Especially when it’s never neem easier.
Jason: Then they have to complain about numbers. It’s mind boggling.
Austin: And the technology gives you those numbers. If you’re using a CRM worth its salt, it will straight up tell you while your preps restraints are.
Jason: Straight up.
Austin: You can look at a dashboard for five minutes flat and know exactly what that person’s been doing all day, all week, all month, all quarter, all year. I mean, it just expands ever outwards and you don’t have to calculate anything. And I wonder, from your seat, do you find that people don’t look at these numbers because they feel like the barrier of entry to discover what those numbers are, is too high? Is it that they don’t have the tools and resources or is it a lack of education?
Jason: No, I think that there’s a couple problems here. There’s a systemic problem and this is something else I can’t believe that we are so evolved as a profession, but we still see the best sellers being made into a manager. It’s a totally different set [cross-talk 34:40].
Taylorr: Not the right seat. Yeah.
Jason: Man, totally not the right seat because the ownership doesn’t have any idea because a lot of them weren’t sellers. They were like the engineering side of the business, or they were the technical side of the business and they don’t have any idea really. They sold a totally different way through rotary clubs and stuff like that when they first built, but now that we have to build this machine that’s scalable, they take their best seller and make them the manager with the hope that whatever made them successful, they could teach other people, but it’s a different skillset. The best sellers very rarely make good managers. It’s insane that. That’s a huge problem.
Austin: Yeah. Do you think that there’s a…?
Jason: Another problem is, there’s a natural that humans have where we don’t like asking people to do things that we wouldn’t do ourselves. So, we don’t ask people to prospect because, oh my God, if I did, what if they ask me to make cold calls? What if they asked me to teach them? What if they ask me to show them how to do it? I’d like a fool because I didn’t sell like that. But if you want a scalable business, you got to have people prospecting every single solitary stinking day.
Taylorr: There you have it folks. Hear that? Prospecting every day. We’re not crazy here. We got Jason Eatman at Sales Gravy to give us a sauce on what you need to be doing daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. I have one last question for you Jason, and this largely applies to a lot of our listeners as professional speakers, thought leaders running very small teams and largely unpredictable revenue, which is what we help people solve, generally speaking. What can speakers thought leaders, just anybody who’s listening, you don’t even have to be a speaker or a leader to get value out of this question. How do you overcome that fear of selling? What can people do to start overcoming the fear of reaching out and prospecting and going through the grind of iteration, going through the grind of setting up the CRM and getting the metrics. What can people do to overcome those fears and take action right now to transforming their revenue and their business?
Jason: Well, that’s such a great question and I wish we had a ton of time, but let’s just take the number one reason why people are afraid to pick up the phone, for example, Let’s just start there. The number one reason why people are afraid to pick up the phone and call people that don’t know them to interrupt them, to go expose themselves to potential ridicule, objection and rejection is because they don’t have any idea how to deal with objections. And because let’s take that recruiter example again. Somebody says, ah, I’m not a baby killer, they hear that all the time you guys, I trained recruiters and they hear that, that hurts.
Jason: How do you deal with that? And the secret is if you read Jeb’s book Objections, you’ll learn that there’s three things, mindset, like get over it it’s fight or flight response, get over it. It’s an automated thing. You just need to anticipate the fact that you will feel triggered, feel afraid. You want to flight, fight or freeze, all of which you’re bad on a prospecting call and there’s ways to control that. The second thing is, all objections can be anticipated.
All objections can be anticipated. Don’t believe me? I guarantee I could take all your listeners right now; I don’t care what they sell, who they sell to, and I will write 10 down and I guarantee I’ll nail 80% of their objections. 80%. How could I possibly do that? Because they’re all the same guys.
Austin: They’re all the same.
Jason: Oh, we’re too busy right now. Hey, you’re not talking to right person. Hey, we tried that before, it didn’t work out too good.
Austin: Don’t have the money.
Jason: [Cross-talk 38:22] editor. Dude, it’s all the same. And so, if that’s true, if what I just said is true, imagine this. If I was going to go into the ring and fight an opponent that only had one offensive move, might I practice the defense against that one move? Sure. And that’s one move. Let’s get crazy. Let’s double it to two. What if they have a right hook and a left knee?
Might you practice the defense for those two and then turn around and figure out an offensive attack? Well, yes, of course. Oh my gosh, what about four? What about eight moves? Oh my God. Now we’re getting insane. So, could you learn eight moves as a sales professional, as an elite athlete of the business world, you’re telling me you can’t learn eight things?
Because there’s not more than eight guys. There’s not more than eight. There is eight or less guarantee it. And if I wrote them all down and I can anticipate them and use a framework like Jeb suggest in the book of alleged disrupt and ask, which is basically one of the same things that you learn in special forces on how to mentally get back into executive control of your brain and not let fight or flight kick in, you’ll rock it. And so, yeah, objection is one of the biggest things that I would focus on to get people to pick up the phone and the second thing is management.
You set the expectation, how do we do today? And every day you check and every day you say, hey, what’s up or every day, hey, good job. And you start with quantitative. And as the quantitative starts to kind of become a culture, then you can start focus on qualitative analysis.
Austin: I love that.
Jason: That’s a secret.
Taylorr: I’m so glad you talked about objections there right at the end and I think Austin and I would agree fully. If you have the passion, let’s round this episode up, you have the passion, you have the conviction, you understand you’re interrupting people, but you have the ability to overcome all of their objections and have all the defensive moves to their offense, what else is there to the successful sales process? And of course, we’re going to count for management and keeping track of daily, weekly, monthly, that’s what it takes, but it takes that constant iteration that, constant in your life. It’s not something that you can just set and forget like a perpetual motion machine. So, thank you so much for sharing all that. Jason, now, as you know, we’re all about creating value for our audience. So, now at Sales Gravy, what are some of the things that you’re working on our listeners can benefit from?
Jason: Well, I’m glad you asked. We do courses all the time, we do a lot of private and public courses on objections, sales negotiation. We have one of the most amazing sales negotiation courses ever based on Jeb’s book Inked. We do a lot of fanatical prospecting, but I’ll tell you right now it’s virtual selling. A lot of people are like, oh, okay, I am really good at Zoom and blah, blah, blah but it’s so funny when everybody that takes these courses, the ones for me or anyone else, when they take these courses, their eyes are this big because they realize they know jackshit about virtual selling. And so, because there’s a whole new mentality, it’s not just your dynamic charm on Zoom.
That’s not what virtual selling is. There’s a whole bunch of stuff to it. And now when you add work from home to it, it’s even worse. Part of your virtual selling package needs to be as sign you religiously hang in the doorbell that says, do not bring this doorbell because I’m telling you, as we evolve into this new virtual world, it’s less acceptable for the kids to run in front the camera on the dogs to bark in the background. That’s one thing.
The other thing too is when the entire world has been relegated to the same virtual stage, how will you differentiate? Look, when we can show up in our car and take people out to lunch and be charming and be fun and take them out to dinner, that was cool. But now that we’re on the same virtual stage, how are you different than anyone else? It’s so funny, man when I ask people, hey, who’s your competitor? It’s a trick question because they start listing off all these companies. I said, stop you’re wrong. In the context of prospecting, everybody is your competition.
I don’t care what you sell. You could sell software, hardware, good ideas or gym memberships, I don’t care what you sell. Every single solitary person that wants that same prospect’s attention in time is your competition. And they’re all calling and they’re all emailing and they’re all doing a crappy job of it. So, now is the time to embrace virtual selling, embrace video messaging, embrace it and do it well. Good lighting, good background, good microphones.
This is not a fricking pickup game guys; sales is not a pickup game. It’s not okay. We have to get ahead and stay ahead. You have to accelerate; you have to use amazing tools and be good at it and we have to be better than everybody. So that’s the thing we’ve been focused on a lot lately. We literally will launch a virtual selling class and less than four hours later, the thing is full.
Jason: It’s amazing
Austin: Get it while it’s hot folks.
Taylorr: That’s right. We’ll make sure there are links in the show notes, but I just want to put a little note to tidy this episode up. The thing Jason just said about virtual selling as professional speakers and thought leaders is crucial. This is the time to differentiate yourself. This is the time to show your decision makers what you’re capable of since they will be hiring you for virtual speaking events and working with their team virtually take the time and the care to make sure your studio is set up properly when you’re having these conversations and those micro improvements in comparison to what everyone else is doing is going to set you apart from the rest. So as always, we hope you got tremendous value out of this. If you did hit that subscribe button, rate it and don’t forget to check out the show notes below and if you want more awesome resources like this, go to speaker flow.com/resources.
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