Today, I will share with you the story of Jason and how he used our sales philosophy and methodology to significantly grow his business quickly.
He came to me struggling in his sales territory. No, he wasn’t about to get fired – but he was the classic underachiever. On the surface he looked like he could be a killer. But the results were never there. And he was becoming frustrated.
Jason was 35 years old with a new wife and a new house. He’d been in his current position for 5 years. He was a pretty good sales person -always in the middle of the pack. But…he knew he could do better. His manager was always telling him, “Hey Jason, you can crush this thing. You have tons of opportunity in your territory. What’s going on?”
Those conversations shamed him – but they certainly didn’t inspire him. He needed a plan and a way of thinking – a philosophy – which he wasn’t getting. He was not a real ambitious bloak – not a trained killer. He’d always been average – earning about $80,000/year. BUT, he knew there was more.
One thing you should know about Jason. A born sales person he was not. Not sure anyone is – but there is a worldview that there IS such a thing. There is NOT. And, worse, he started to question himself if sales was even the right profession. Not a good place to be. As he began to doubt, he lost confidence in his ability. We call this the “doubt spiral.” And it’s ugly.
So in the 6 months I worked with him, here were his results:
- Tripled his average monthly appointment count.
- Went from a closing rate of 10% to 65%.
- Monthly income went up 3x.
- And the biggest result was his confidence level – hard to measure, but hard to be without.
The Process: Sales Philosophy, Methodology, & Process.
As he got down on himself, a friend suggested he find a peer group to get in. He began to research online. He found a mastermind / learning group I run and set up an appointment with me where he shared his plight. He was very specific and very open, the first step to getting help and creating change.
He joined the group immediately and began learning ‘The 2X Method’
This is a principle-based method that I’ve been teaching in my coaching practice for over 15 years. It includes 9 Areas of Focus which you can see from the graphic. But for this article, I’ll share specifically which areas had the most impact to him.
This all gets down to having an air tight operating philosophy, a sound, effective sales process to lead your prospect through, and a principle-centered approach to guide your actions.
(1) He Built His One Year Plan
The One Year Plan is ALWAYS the starting point. With no goals, there can be no plan. And with no plan, you will chase shiny objects. In The 2X Quick Start course (free), you can see the One Year Plan and how to use it.
He spent about 5 hours on this – asking me questions as he struggled to come up with “what he wanted” for his business life. This is the place people get stopped: “What is it that you want?” Sounds so simple, but it’s not. When you don’t know what you want, no path is good enough. With the One Year Plan, he achieved what most fail at – clarity.
(2) He Got His Message Right
This boils down to: “How will you depict your value in a way that is compelling to the listener?” If it’s all about you and how great your company is, you have nothing. Not compelling in the least.
So we worked on his message.
- What problems did his solution fix that were of primary importance to the prospect?
- What were the typical questions that his prospect would ask?
- What were questions the prospect was “thinking” that they never asked?
- What was the company’s true Uniqueness?
By doing this “deep work” he arrived at a very simple explanation of his company’s value to the market. He practiced and refined it until he was able to clearly and succinctly tell his prospect.
The key here is that your message should either REPEL or ATTRACT. It should never leave someone in the middle. Most people feel like the more moderate the message is, the more people will be attracted to it. Not so.
Jason identified the three main problems that his customers had (in absence of his solution) and crafted those into a very succinct 30-second message.
This message gave him enormous freedom while in prospecting mode. He wasn’t there to impress someone. He was there to inquire as to whether they had the problem that he was effective at solving.
Another benefit is that having a sound message positioned him stronger in front of customer. No more was he the amateur sales person trying to convince – he was the expert trying to understand.
Bottom Line: If your message sounds like every other company in the space, you’ll be treated like every other company in the space – lied to – strung out – spending countless hours trying to figure out what to say to stand apart.
(3) He Got His Sales Ethos Right.
Definition: Sales ethos is the combination of personal values and operating philosophy that you run your business on. It’s how you value your time, your talent, your knowledge and your wisdom. If you don’t value those, no one else will. Once he embraced his Ethos, he went on a roll. Decisions became easier. Saying “No” became much simpler. And he became clearer about his mission.
One simple rule he began to follow: No prospect (or client) gets a proposal unless they have expressed an adequate commitment to change. They must sell him on why they wanted a solution. They must EARN his proposal.
Your sales philosophy is akin to having “rules of the road.” Those things you will do – those things you won’t do in the sales process.
(4) He Got His Story Right.
A personal story ALWAYS differentiates you from your competitor. Few think it’s important. But it is.
In Jason’s case, he had a background in problem-solving in this exact industry. That was the essence of his personal story. He got his story down to where it took him only one minute to tell it. But it distinguished him from anyone else who called on the same prospect. He just told his story.
His Story: “When I got out of college, I struggled trying to find a career that I excelled in. I made several terrible career moves. Finally, I got an opportunity to work with engineers at a machine company and learned the art of problem-finding and problem solving. I realized that often people work on the wrong problem and that can cost a company millions in lost production and wasted resources. So, I’ve taken some of those skills into this profession, where I can help customers solve their biggest problems. So as I work with customers like you, I’m always going to be asking what your biggest problem is.”
As with so many of these areas, this also changed his position when he was in front of prospects. Not a sales person – a problem finder/solver. But he never said that – he just told his story.
(5) He Built His Lead Funnel
Foreign to most sales pros, this concept recognizes the fact that prospects don’t go from Interested to Purchase in one swoop. They go through a process. And Jason began to help them with that process. He published a checklist (10 points) for the prospect who was slightly interested – but not yet committed.
He titled it: “When Looking For a Technology Vendor. A Checklist.” He used that checklist to send to people whom he called but who weren’t ready to buy. It was an easy way for him to bring value – yet not waste his valuable time. He also published it on his LinkedIN page, thereby, again, positioning himself as an expert.
(6) He Built The Sales Process
While few know their sales philosophy, far fewer have a sales process. Everyone needs one. Jason created a 4-step process and had a graphics person at his company illustrate it. It consisted of the following:
Step 1: A brief phone discussion about the customer’s objectives and problems.
Step 2: A face-to-face meeting where he could dive into more details about their issues – and his solutions. Part of that was a more formal Assessment of their issues.
Step 3: A framework for a solution that he presented.
Step 4: A go/no-go decision point.
One thing about his process that we stress in The 2X Method – it MUST be good for the client – not just for him. In Step 3, the Recommend Step, he laid out suggestions on how they could solve the problem, whether they used him or not.
He had an entirely different process for prospects once they engaged with him. That’s vital, too, but not part of this article.
(7) He Got His Mind Right
No more attachment to a deal. “Attachment” is that condition where you, the sales pro, care more about the sale than the prospect does about getting his/her problem solved. Not a good mindset to be in.
He was happy to stop the process if the customer wasn’t behaving properly or didn’t want to go through the assessment or other parts of his process. Remember, his process was built to help the customer – not just to make the sale.
The 2X Method emphasizes the reality of “market abundance.” The world is a truly abundant place because there are an abundance of problems to be solved. If you stay in abundance, you won’t worry and fret about someone saying ‘no.’
You become FREE.
He became Picky Jason
Where once he scheduled appointments with anyone who expressed interest (and some even when they didn’t), he was more particular now. He made a list of the five things that he needed a prospect to tell him on the phone for him to book an appointment. Doing this instantly changed how he was positioned when he walked into an appointment. One of his questions was NOT “Will you buy this if you like it?” (NEVER ask that question.)
The five things he needed to hear:
- Why they were looking, if they were?
- What circumstances were they battling in their business?
- What they had tried to do to remedy it?
- How open they were to an outside resource?
- Who else should be in a meeting, if that’s the next logical step?
(8) He blocked time to Prospect.
This was, as I call it, ‘Sacred Time.’ It was blocked on his calendar and he rarely missed it. We calculated that each person he reached out to was worth $500 to him, whether they purchased or not.
Because he had his message buttoned up, his prospecting calls were easy. He no longer “begged” for an appointment. If someone wasn’t open, he closed the book on them, politely, of course.
His time block was 4 hours/week in two sittings of two hours each.
He didn’t look up.
He did the work. One of my favorite quotes by Constantin Brancusi “Create like a God. Command like a King. Work like a Slave.” I suggested he give this new method 90 days. If it failed after that, he was free to go back to his old routine.
It did not. He did not.
In the first month using The 2X Sales Philosophy, he landed 7 new appointments with real prospects. In the next month, he landed 10 new appointments and closed 4 new pieces of business.
In the subsequent months, he continued to average 8-12 new appointments per month, far more than his prior average of 5/month. And at the end of six months of using ‘The 2x Method,’ he was on a trend-line to doubling his income. And what’s even better is that he was radiating confidence and self-respect. His new sales philosophy and positive vibe attracted people to him. He climbed to the top of the sales rank in his company – and left people wondering. “What the heck was Jason doing?”
There is Nothing Stopping You From Doing This, Too!
That’s all there was to it. Of course, Jason did a fair amount of work. Jason was not that special – but he WAS coachable. He just needed a roadmap and the combination of a thoughtful sales philosophy, a sound process and good rules of the road.
What’s the best part of all of this for you? You can do it! Great sales people are not defined by their personality. They are defined by their processes and their attitudes. There is no magic. Only mechanics.
If you’re interested in how you can get Jason-like results, I invite you to check out step one called The 2X Quick Start. It’s a series of three videos that represent the exact process Jason went through using The 2X Method. Visit the2xgroup.com/quickstart to learn more!