There’s no stopping technology from getting into every industry, but it’s not a reason to forget our roots and foundations. Building great customer relationships and providing quality service can still be considered as an art and provide stable support in branding even with today’s technology-driven world. Author and Host of Selling From The Heart podcast, Larry Levine, shares the wisdom and knowledge he’s garnered through personal experience in the sales industry. He talks about how the basic and best practices of yesterday can still be effective tools for sales in the modern era. Larry explains why and how complacency can destroy everything you’ve built up in the blink of an eye, and learn how it can be avoided.
We're going to talk about a five-letter word. That word is sales. We need to talk about sales because we talk about leadership, engagement and branding. It's all about how we make businesses better. The number one thing that always makes any business better is sales because if we're not selling, we're in trouble. Welcome to the show, Larry Levine. He’s got a book called Selling From The Heart and he's got a podcast by the same name. Larry, welcome and let's talk selling.
It’s awesome to be on your show. I like the whole mantra around, “What's your story?” Because in sales, it's all about stories. I'll further peel this one back because it's all this is. The stories in our heads are the stories that we tell. If there's anything that salespeople know, it’s we love conjuring up stories in our head.
Some of them are true and some of them not so much. We have a good time telling the stories anyway. You and I both come from this. I'm an old school sales guy that’s been doing sales. When you own your company, you're always in sales. I come from a sales background for many years and I get it. You get the trials, tribulations, challenges and ecstasy of being in the sales. Sales is a rare breed. The people that are out there doing your sales for you are rare. They are people that are good at it, enjoy doing it and are passionate about it. They are a rare breed because they're the people that love waking up in the morning and hear people say no because if they don't, they're in real trouble.
I know we're going to bring a lot of sales to this but in my world, everybody's in sales. Whether they have that sales title, it doesn't matter. The phobias, the skepticism or the lack of trust around sales all conjure up from bad sales practices. Nobody wants to say, “I'm a salesperson,” but everybody is. The world goes around via sales.
How did you get the first girl or boy to like you or love you? That's all sales. It's all about know, like and trust. If people don't know, like and trust us, we can’t influence them and that's what sales is all about. It's about being able to get people to trust you enough to listen to you, hear what you have to say, and buy into whatever you're talking about whether you're selling an item, a service or an idea. It's all sales and we're all in the sales market no matter what we do.
Here's what I want people to think about. The era that we both grew up in is not like it is now. I grew up in the pre-internet and pre-computer world. I'm not saying this because, just because that's the way it was, this is the way it is. That's what we had. I want to reference something because it plays a huge part in what brought up my foundational structure and so forth. It’s one of the first books I read when I got into sales, which was How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It's probably the best book that I’ve read at that time and still relevant now. That book was written in 1937 and if Dale Carnegie was alive and well, he would be laughing. He'd be sitting in the salesroom saying, “I told you so,” because the core foundation of that book had an important role in developing me as a salesperson.
Building relationships and changing the way people think are the core foundation that I got out of that book. If we go back to when we probably first started in sales, the way that we built relationships and change the way people think was face-to-face or on the phone and that was it. Our whole world revolved around those two things. If I wanted to research Ben and the company that Ben worked for, I had to go to the library and do research. Now, all of that's available on the internet.
It’s available on your phone in your car as you're sitting in the parking lot before your meeting.The stories in our head are the stories that we tell. Click To Tweet
What I want to stress is nothing's changed. The tools have changed but the core principles and the foundation around sales haven’t changed. To me, it's building relationships and changing the way people think. You can do that in the banking world, marketing world, B2C, and grocery stores as a clerk, it doesn't matter. If we look at that core premise about building relationships and changing the way people think, take the sales out of it.
It comes down to brand because it is how people perceive you when you're not in the room. It's how people think about you. It doesn't matter whether it's a customer or somebody that has the desk next to you in the office, or whether it's a spouse. How do people perceive you? Do they know, like and trust you? Do they want to interact with you? Do they want to engage with you? Do they find you interesting? Do they find you authentic? If the answer to those things is no, then there's no basis for going forward.
You bring up something that's interesting because I always love asking a room full of salespeople and their leaders, “How are you perceived in the marketplace?” It's one of my favorite questions that I like asking people to get them to start putting their thinking caps on. Some of the things that you hear around how they are perceived in the market are interesting. We whiteboard it out and start jotting words down. The next question that I layer on top of that is, “How would you like to be perceived in the market?”
It’s completely different questions. You brought up, “How do you get people to know, like, and trust you?” I don't think that will ever go away. In the world that we live in, which was vastly different than when I grew up and when you grew up, I'm still a big believer that people have to know you, like you and trust you. How do you become that person if they haven't met you yet? What I want the profession of sales to think about is, “How does somebody get to know Ben, like Ben, and trust Ben if they've never met Ben?” It's how you position yourself and it's how well you walk, talk and act online.
Do you walk, talk and act online the same way that you do individually? You have one personality. You are you no matter where you are. If you put up this persona online and then say, “This is who I think I am and this is how I think people want me to be,” people buy into that persona. When you walk into their office and you're something completely different, you've lost any trust that you would have had.
You bring up a great point because I'm not here to be the social police and tell people, “This is how you have to choose to use social.” We can all use it however we want. Some use it better than others and so forth but I always say, “You get out of this what you put into it.” I learned this a long time ago. I was fortunate probably in the mid-2000s, I hired a business coach and a mentor. This person had a tremendous impact in my life in the mid-2000s because he helped me understand the importance of marrying your offline persona with your online persona. I'm saying this because I question a lot of how people position themselves online. I don't do it out in public, I mentally question it. I say, “If I met that person face-to-face, I can almost guarantee that's not who they are.”
There's a lot of what I call social chest-puffing going on social. People are positioning themselves as fakes and facades. I write about it as empty suits in the last chapter of my book. It's not to disrespect people. It's to get them to think that if I'm going to build a relationship with Ben or whoever that person is, I have one shot in my world to make a great first impression. If I build up that based on a lie or a facade, I'm going to get exposed sooner or later. Ben's going to go, “That's not what it was cracked up to be,” and then they move on.
I'm a big believer in, “You are who you are, warts and all.” We all have warts. We all have things that we do well. We all have things that we don't do well. We all have things that we're proud of. We all have things that we sit there and say, “I'm not doing that one again.” It's what we learned from these things. The stories that we tell have to tell the good, the bad and the ugly. We have to tell about, “We had this challenge and this is how we work through it.” That builds far more trust and relationship than, “I went online and I made $1 million, the end.” Nobody cares about the end result if they don't understand how you got there. They want to see what is the thought process behind. What did it take you to get there? What were the challenges that brought you to that position? Who are you as a person? How can you help me through the tough times? Never mind the good times.
A lot of people don't want to go there. I learned a long time ago that if you want to get to know the real Larry Levine, all you’ve got to do is ask. I don't hold anything back. I open up whether that be the social window online or face-to-face. I will tell you exactly what's going on inside me and inside my heart because that's who I am. I'm comfortable in my own skin and I've accepted vulnerability a long time ago. I love eating critique and I love having these types of conversations because I love the art of building relationships. If I'm going to start a conversation with anybody, I don't care if it's online, face-to-face, the phone, Skype or any messaging platforms out there. You’ll get the real me. I'm not holding anything back.
That's important. The big thing I tell people is, “If you don't want to know the answer, don't ask the question.” My attitude is if you ask me a direct question, I'll give you a direct answer. Sometimes when I'm consulting, doing workshops or things like that, some people don't like the answer that I give. If you're willing to ask me the question, you deserve a direct answer. You may not like where that is going but you've asked the question. You deserve to be told the truth and that truth may be a little uncomfortable or maybe we have to work through it. Maybe there's a conversation that will come out of that truth and that's okay. For me to sit there and gloss over it, does both of us a disservice.
I want to take this back to what we said about perception. I remember going back to my younger days as a salesperson. I would always ask and I was hypercritical of perception because I knew the negative stigma that's associated with salespeople. It's no different now than it was years ago. It's all the same. I would always ask people and I had no problem asking. Where I'm going with this is what I heard the whole sales profession grasp onto is, “Your customers, your future customers, and those people you engage within your inner circle are wealth of help. All you’ve got to do is ask.”
I'll use your name as an example. I was always cognizant of, “Ben, as we get to know each other and I appreciate the time that we're spending together, I'm just curious, what do you think of salespeople? What's the good, the bad and the ugly?” I would make mental notes of this all the time. I started to form my persona and form opinions. I started to package all this up and I said, “I can ask Ben and ten other people. I can ask my current customers what they like and don't like about salespeople. All I'm going to do is package it together and do the complete opposite.”
It’s not only that. You're also getting insight into their hopes, wants and fears. How have they been burned in the past? How to keep an eye open and build better trust with that particular person? Everybody is a culmination of the experiences that they've had up to that point in time. You and I are a combination of the years that we've met with other people, we've listened to other things, and we've done other things, etc. When we get to this point in time when we ask each other questions, it's based on where we've been and how we've done it. If I can understand you and if I can ask you the questions about, "What are the challenges you've had with salespeople in the past where people have broken promises?” That's a key button for that person. That person wants to be told the good, the bad and the ugly. They want to know what's going on. They want to be communicated with effectively. It’s mental notes. Don't lie to this person ever.
It goes back to this whole knowing your story and things like that because what I don't want to see happen is that a salesperson is asking those questions just because and they don't internalize it. It has to be internalized because of the rampant skepticism and the lack of trust. Everyone thinks salespeople are full of BS and rightfully so because the sales world has done that to themselves. They've crapped upon their customers so much that they've dug the hole that they're in. It doesn't mean that it's going to be like that forever. You’ve got to truly be willing to ask the good, the bad and the ugly. Accept it, internalize it, and do something about it in a proactive manner.
It goes back to, “If I'm going to ask Ben what he likes and don't like about salespeople, how would you like to be treated? What would wow you?” Ben starts telling me all this stuff, then it's up to me to share my story in a way that goes, “Ben, I appreciate what you said. I know what you're going through. If at some point we decide to engage in a business relationship, let me share with you what I bring to the business table that's going to remove what you said.” All I'm saying is we’ve got to humanize what we do in the sales profession. We become coin-operated questions-and-response people with no real thought behind it. I'm going to ask you a question. I'm going to listen long enough to spew another question, listen long enough to spew some more stuff as opposed to, “I'm going to listen with heartfelt intent to what Ben is saying so I can internalize it, digest it, and engage in a better conversation with Ben.” That's not happening enough.
That's the trick and I want to get into this in a lot more detail. I remember when I first started off and I worked for Xerox years ago. It was all about the close. It was all about how you close people because the problem is when I was selling $50,000, $75,000, $100,000 photocopiers, you had one shot. It was almost like being a used-car salesman. You came in, sold them, and got out. Your tech team took care of it for the rest of your life because in five years, when they want to buy another piece of equipment, you were probably in a different territory and you never had that.You get out of sales what you put into it. Click To Tweet
You weren't building relationships. It was trial and close. It got to the point where I knew every close and every trial close under the sun. I hear that time and time again and it's funny. Many years later, it's so off-putting because they're not listening, they're just trying to close. I want to get into training. I want to get into what your perception is on your onboarding, developing and training new salespeople to make them better. I don't think that salespeople are given the resources, training and support that they need to do their job well. I want to know your thoughts on that.
I agree but first of all, I got a ping off of something because I spent many years in the channel that you started in. I spent my entire career in the office technology channel. I sold copiers my entire career.
You were at it a lot longer than I was.
When I heard you say that you work for Xerox, I had a big huge freaking smile because that's the only sales channel that I grew up in. I spent many years in the Los Angeles marketplace selling copiers, every sales position imaginable. I was a partner in a copier dealership in the LA marketplace. I was on more dysfunctional sales teams with more dysfunctional managers than functional managers and functional sales teams. I saw more than my share of male and female salespeople coming and going out of sales teams all the time. If I peel this back, I wrote about it in my book, “Salespeople in sales teams are consistently inconsistent.” They're inconsistent with everything. They're consistently inconsistent with prospecting, coaching, training, onboarding, and nurturing their sales reps.
You can't bring a salesperson into a sales team. Onboard them, give them a couple of days’ worth of training or send them somewhere and then cut them loose. Unfortunately, that's what's happening. There are way too many managers and not enough coaches. I want to throw professional sports into this because it will drive the point across. I'm a big baseball junkie, but I'm also a die-hard sports junkie. I wrote a blog about this and it was at the start of the NFL football season a few years ago. I happen to be a big Los Angeles Rams fan. I did some research and I looked at their coaching staff. I found out there were 27 coaches on the Los Angeles Rams football team.
Let’s equate that to a sales team and I bring this up because every coach on a football team serves a purpose. There are not 27 managers on a football team, there are 27 coaches. How many coaches are there on a sales team that are practicing every day with their salespeople, that are holding them accountable on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, that are video training with their salespeople, watching game film, and role-playing? It's not happening. I always say to salespeople, “It's not all your fault. You’re the products of your environment.” If you're not getting the coaching and nurturing that you're getting from your sales team, manager and leader, then I would urge you to find someplace that you can. Sales leaders, coaches and managers can do so much better. It starts inside of each one of them.
You want your salespeople to become better because they'll sell more. You want your salespeople to become better because they'll take better care of your customers. It's a never-ending battle. As I always say, it starts at the top. What are the people at the top doing to coach and nurture mid-level management? What's mid-level management doing to coach, nurture and grow salespeople? We can't just bring salespeople on. We can't bring functional salespeople on who are excited to come to your team, that sooner or later they find out that this is dysfunctional and they move on.
It's true because the problem is the onboarding process for salespeople is two days speeds and feeds. I've seen this over and over again. “Here are the two days part of knowledge, read the brochure. Here are your business cards. Here’s your territory and what your commission is. By the way, this is what I want for you over the first six months.” That's their training. There is no understanding who the people in the company are, how the product is made, what makes us different, what makes us valuable, who are our customers, and why they care about us. There are a million different things that need to happen before you put a salesperson out on the road and talk to your customers. They need to understand you before they can understand them and how they can help them.
What I want companies to think about is the turnover that's happening in your sales department. Think about the direct reflection that has to your customers.
Here's the quote that I use, "Every employee that you lose, cost you $100,000 to replace.” I will guarantee you for salespeople, it could be 2 to 3 times that amount. If you have a sales rep that you've treated poorly, you haven't taken care of, you haven't coached, you haven't mentored and you haven't been fair to, they're not only going to walk out the door. They've already probably spoken ill about you to customers and they've probably taken some with them. It could be hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars walking out of the door because you're not taking care of your salespeople properly.
I keep things simple. I throw out a unique and heartfelt message because I care about the sales profession and seeing the sales professionals succeed. I'll throw a direct message out to all the sales leaders who are reading and I’d like to share with them this. If you develop as a leader or a coach the sincerity, if you bring substance, heart, caring and you have your sales people's best interests at heart. You do all this and you develop that synergy inside your team, you will develop salespeople that sell with the heart, sincerity, substance and take care of your customers to the utmost of their best ability. If you fail to do those simple things with your salespeople, it's safe to say they're taking care of your customers the exact same way you're treating your salespeople.
You need to be able to train your salespeople so they understand the overall goals of the company. It’s not just the sales close and the quota but what's the culture of the company that goes along with it. What is the raison d'être? What is the reason for being of the company? If all the different departments are not aligned, it doesn't matter what the sales reps do. If they bring it in and they believe all this, then the rest of the company is out there and working against them, you're going to have other frustration as well. Your sales leaders need to be your lockstep and understand what are the motivations of the other departments so they can bring all that information to their sales reps and say, “These are the things we need to keep in mind when we're out there selling. We are six months in backlog right now.” We need to keep that in mind when we're out there selling and the little things that go along with that to help you win. You’ve got to help your salespeople win.
That's why I don't direct all these messages to the salespeople. The problems are way bigger than that. I would say in response to what you said in generalities about a company is I want companies to go back and do a couple of things. Go back to your big fancy corporate websites that you all have poured a ton of money in. I want you to look at your mission and vision statements that you have upon your website. As leaders, I want you to recite it, look in the mirror and say, “Are we upholding this to our customers? Are we transferring this to our salespeople and everybody else who works inside of our company?” If the answer is, “I'm not sure,” or if there are silent pauses, then you all have some work to do.
My thing if I'm doing consulting, workshops or whatever to companies, I say, “Let's take the mission and vision statement and throw them in the garbage because nobody remembers them, nobody can recite them, and nobody believes in them.” We need to create a brand story that tells you where you were, where you are, who you're valuable to, why you're valuable to them, what our mission is and where we're going. If you can create that and that’s something that everybody can recite, believe in, and act according to, that will spread through the organization. That's something that salespeople can grab on to and tell that story effectively. It builds consensus and unity throughout an organization.
That's beautiful, but I'll take that one step farther if I can. I would urge every salesperson that's out there to come up with your own story and own vision, and be able to recite that. I'm a big believer that you must be able to understand, comprehend and tell your brand story and your company story. You have to write and share their vision and all that. If we take out one step below, every salesperson must create their vision and they must have their mission. This is what I challenge the sales world because I love working with salespeople on this. Although we start conversations with sales leaders and I've been asked just like you, Ben. You're growing your business, I’ve got to grow mine. I'm out prospecting and I'm out doing all these things as well.
When I'm talking to a sales leader and they’ll ask me, “How can you help me?” I would say, “I'll get to that, but can I quickly share with you my vision? I see a sales world of authenticity, sincerity, and stuff since it is brought to the business table. That's my mission. That's what I'd like to bring to your organization.” It changes the course of conversations. I urge salespeople to define who you are, understand your story and vision, create your mission because sales professionals are leaders. They just don't know it. It's all internal to them. Every sales professional is a leader. They’ve got to be willing to lead themselves and change the game.Salespeople will take care of your customers the same way you’re taking care of them. Click To Tweet
It brings us all the way back to the know, like and trust. You work for a company and you support a brand whether that company is yours, whether it's somebody else's. Sales is done person-to-person, human-to-human. Whether people know, like, and trust Coca-Cola is one thing. Whether they know, like and trust their sales rep who is the person that they're dealing with day in and day out. They know that particular person that when they phone them and say, “We've got an issue,” that person is going to jump to the pump. They're going to help and take care of them. It’s something completely different. That's where the relationships get built.
Relationships get built person-to-person, human-to-human, one at a time. That's where the magic sales are. You talked about prospecting. Let's get into it. I love your whole thing about, “Let me tell you about your vision.” I see a lot of salespeople that are totally and absolutely reliant on the marketing department for them to do their job. It says, “Until I get leads, I can't do anything. Until marketing gives me my leads, I can't do anything.” I want to hear your thoughts on that.
I'm going to be polite when I say this. Sales world, when you decided you wanted to get into sales, there's one non-negotiable thing that I have that I will tell you. When you get into sales, prospecting is non-negotiable. It's not, “I'll get around to it, then I’ll wait and so forth,” because the world that I grew up in, I never had a marketing department. I had not one lick of marketing done. I'm a firm believer that sales professionals must learn how to become their own best marketers, and they do that. I had to learn that. I had to put food on my table. I couldn't wait for somebody to put food on my table. I would starve. I learned how to become proactive with everything.
Back when you and I started in the business, there weren't SDRs, BDRs, ATRs and whatever acronym you want to use. We had to learn how to prospect and it's no different now. There are going to be some people that are going to hate me for saying this, but SDRs, BDRs, and companies have made salespeople lazy. They got to be out in front of customers and they're going to be doing all this stuff. That's great, but they also have to learn to prospect. They’ve got to become better at prospecting. All we've done is we've created a sales full of order takers, babysitters, and spoiled rotten salespeople. I'm a complete sales nerd, but let’s call it what it is.
You get too many sales reps out there that are waiting for somebody to do something for them. They're always sitting there and they're complaining like, “The leads that I get from marketing are garbage. They don't understand.” When was the last time you sat in a marketing meeting and said, “This is what we need. These are who our clients are. I don't care what the metrics say and I don't care what the thing are, these are the people that are spending money with us. These are the issues that they're having problems with?” It’s getting the sales and marketing on the same page to be able to have that conversation so they can support each other. There seems to be this enormous wall that goes up between sales and marketing. They don't talk and listen to each other. They point fingers at each other. They should be part of the same team because their job is to take care of the customer together.
I wish I lived in that world where hopefully, I could answer that question a little bit better. I didn't grow up in a world where I had a marketing department. I survive on myself. What I will say moving forward is in the world that we live in, salespeople need to learn how to become better marketers, and marketers need to learn how to become better at sales. It's simple as that. They’ve got to quit pointing fingers and so forth. To marketing's credit, they might be driving great leads and they might be driving great awareness and all that. Have you ever thought that maybe your conversations as salespeople stink? It has to go both ways and we can't point fingers and be out of the world. I came from where copiers then became connected networks. Everyone would point fingers, “It's not printing, it's the network's fault,” and then IT companies are saying, “No, it's the copier company's fault.” Fix the problem and learn how to work together. It’s no different than it is now.
That's the essence of the thing. Customers just want problems solved. Their attitude is, “We're giving you money to fix a problem that we can't fix internally. We do not either have the knowledge, the expertise and the time or whatever to be able to deal with this problem. We're not looking for you to point fingers at each other. We're not looking for you to blame each other. We're paying you to solve a problem that we have that we need to take care of.” If you can't do it as a sales, marketing and ops team putting the whole thing together to fix the problem of the customer, somebody is going to come and eat your lunch.
It's spot on because I always share this, “They are your customers until somebody else comes along and provides a better experience.” It’s as simple as that. The world that I came out, which is the world you started in, I always say to leaders, “I'm not here to put potpourri on anything right on your parade and drop bad ill will on you, but I want you to think about this. Are you temporarily babysitting your customers?” They go, “What do you mean?” I said, “If you're doing nothing as a sales organization and as a company to grow, nurture, facilitate and enhance the relationship and the experience you're providing to your customers, then you're temporarily babysitting them until somebody else comes and wows them.”
The organization I used to work for years ago used to have a client that was 60% of their business. The worst thing in the world you can do for any organization is to have one client that's worth that much. A company 50 times bigger than they were walked into their client and said, “The company that you're dealing with has 30 employees and they handle $3.5 million worth of your business. We can handle you worldwide. If 30 people in our company die, you wouldn't even know about it. You're a billion-dollar company and we're a billion-dollar company, we can support you worldwide.” Within a matter of six months, that business was gone. It was absolutely gone because they were able to offer something we couldn't even dream of. The owner of the company assumed that he was going to die taking care of this company and he owned this relationship for life. It probably would have bankrupt him.
The only thing that pops into my head, and this is what I want people to think about, the relationships that companies think they have with their customers is not what the customers think the relationship is with the company. That's what's interesting about this whole thing. In the world that I grew up in and still when I'm talking to salespeople, everyone will say, “My customers love me. I own that customer.” All the clichés you hear that are out there. My response is, “I'm not here to doubt it. I'm sure they do love you. Would you mind if I called them up on the phone and ask them how great that relationship is?” You should see the expressions on people's faces. They're terrified and I write about it in Selling From The Heart, the misalignment that happens inside organizations. It’s not only inside the organizations, but also the misalignment with how they're taking care of their customers.
Look at your top ten customers. I want to be able to look at sales leaders in the eyes and go to your top ten customers and say, “Do you know, like and trust them? Do they know, like and trust you? Do they respect you? Have you humanized that relationship?” Furthermore, if you're not loving on your clients and I'm not saying loving on your clients like in holy matrimony, maybe in holy business matrimony, somebody else will. It's up to you to build those rock-solid relationships with your customers and that's my challenge to the sales world.
My challenge to my customers is to stop being a commodity and start being a brand worth loving. It’s not whether you perceive yourself as a commodity or not, it's do your customers perceive you as a commodity? If they can sit there and say, “Somebody is $1,000 cheaper. I'll give them a shot,” then you have no relationship with your client.
It's happening all over the place.
I have a couple of questions. The first question is what's the best way for people to get in touch with Larry Levine?
All kinds of different ways but you can reach out through Selling From The Heart. If people go to SellingFromTheHeart.net, you can find out all about my mission, vision, podcast, blog articles and all that. You can find me on LinkedIn at Larry Levine 1992. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. If anyone ever wants to email me a question, a thought or they want some inspiration, you can reach out to me at LLevine@SellingFromTheHeart.net.
The last question I'm going to ask is the question I asked every single guest as they walk out the door. The question is, when you leave a meeting, when you get in your car and you drive away, what's the one thing you want people to think about you when you're not in the room?
I wowed them and I showed that I cared. I say this for a reason. I'm glad you brought it up. I was always critical of what would happen to me. I’ll be critical of this the minute we end this interview. The first thing that’s going to go through my head is, “What did Ben think of me?” I'm cognizant of that. That's the first thing. The minute I got to my car as a sales rep, “Did I wow that person? Did I put a smile on their face? Are they still thinking about me?” Think about that one. How many salespeople leave a meeting, walk into their car and ask themselves that question? That person they just had the meeting with instantaneously went right back to what they're doing and don't even give them a second thought.Your customers are yours until somebody else comes along and provides a better experience. Click To Tweet
That’s a scary thing and most sales reps never think of that way. Larry, thanks for being such an amazing guest. You have unpacked some incredible stuff. I can't wait to see where this thing goes because you added some real nuggets of joy to people.
I appreciate it. Thanks for having me on, Ben.
Larry Levine is the best-selling author of Selling from the Heart and the co-host of the Selling from the Heart Podcast. With 30 years of in-the-field sales experience within the B2B technology space, he knows what it takes to be a successful sales professional.
Larry has successfully sold to customers ranging from up-and-down the street accounts to Fortune 500 companies. In the fall of 2013, Larry became a corporate major account rep for a Japanese OEM in downtown Los Angeles, California, one of the most competitive markets in the United States. He walked into a zero base opportunity with no current customers. By using the strategies explained in Selling from the Heart, he booked over $1.3 million in new sales in 2014, leaving behind over a $1.6-million pipeline for the next rep to develop.
Larry now coaches and inspires sales leaders and their teams to do what he did. Since 2016, Larry has coached sales professionals across the world, from tenured reps to new millennials entering the salesforce. They all appreciate the practical, real, raw, relevant, relatable and “street-savvy” nature of his coaching. Larry is not shy when it comes to delivering his message.
In a world full of empty suits, I'm passionate about helping sales reps succeed by uncovering their valuable before they get visible. I help sales teams understand the true value they bring to the market.
“I’m leading a revolution of authenticity, integrity, and substance in the sales profession.”
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