It’s ironic. I was the classic ‘reluctant’ salesperson. Yet, I’m recognized as a sales guru and hired by corporations all over the world to train salespeople and business development professionals. Let me explain.
From a business perspective, I was drawn to marketing from an early age. In fact, I received my MBA with a concentration in Marketing. I loved the creativity that was associated with
developing a brand, creating marketing campaigns and leveraging strengths to build a loyal client base. I was also driven to improve the connection and experience with the customer. It’s the part of business that got me excited and revved up!
What I wasn’t so keen on was “sales.” Yet, relatively early in my career, working as the Marketing Manager for a small business, I found myself forced into a selling role. Despite some training, I felt like a fish out of water. Many of the techniques and approaches that were taught were not things I felt comfortable with. There were lots of common sales practices that had vestiges of the classic used car salesman or a fast-talking telemarketer. UGH!!!
And I felt like I just wasn’t ‘wired’ to sell. My father was a great salesman and his outwardly gregarious manner skipped a generation. I was more cerebral and introverted by nature.
Yet, I knew if I didn’t perform (bring in new business), my career was doomed. So I had to stretch and grow. But more importantly, I had to find a way that I could embrace business development in an authentic way that didn’t compromise my values and sense of integrity. I had to find a new way.
Little did I know, that my own aversion to selling would send me down a path to create a way that not only worked for me, but for others who shared a distain for commonly accepted business development approaches.
Over the years, I moved into a Director of Marketing and Sales position where I hired, managed and mentored a team of salespeople in seven locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic. In that position, I honed my approach and taught my team how to outperform all previous expectations. I coached my team to steady yearly increases of 25-40% consecutively for five years.
And in the sixth year, I started creating real magic. I employed new methods and processes into the sales training equation with my team. The results blew my boss away. That year, we grew sales 66% while increasing profits by over 300%. In other words, we priced our services much higher and had explosive sales growth simultaneously. Eureka!
It was the turning point. And it changed everything and took me down a path that I never saw coming. That was 14 years ago. Since then, I have honed my approach and processes, written books, developed training programs, presented at conferences and taught thousands all over the globe how to sell differently.
Fast forward to the present…I’ve just completed the latest revision of our sales and business development training programs – Difference-Maker Selling and Difference-Maker Business Development. I’m excited to say that this evolution incorporates new and powerful changes that I didn’t see coming just five years ago. But times are different. And it’s time to make a difference!