Being Elite: Four Lessons Learned From a Sales Veteran
We recently caught up with Force Management’s Senior Director of Consulting Patrick McLoughlin on the Audible-Ready Sales Podcast. He shared some lessons learned in his 30+ year sales career. Here are our top takeaways from that conversation.
1. A mantra that can propel you forward
Patrick uses one mantra—every day—and it’s helped him make great strides in his life, professionally and personally. “For every person you meet in your life, pretend they have a sign around their neck. That says ‘make me feel important.’ If you do that, you will not only exceed in sales but in life as well.” After reading that mantra, it’s easy to see how impactful operating by that mentality could be.
2. Don’t get too comfortable
We asked him what he felt was the biggest mistake he made in his sales career. His answer? Being too comfortable in each of his roles. We’ve all been there, you work on deals, develop your territory, or develop your team and you want to reap the rewards of it. Getting too focused on short-term gratification is a trap that is easy for salespeople to fall into. Wherever you are in your career, find ways to look at your long-term goals a bit more carefully, versus reacting to short-term successes and only focusing on those.
He says, “I remember when I became a sales manager, I didn't think I could do it. I remember when I became a VP, I didn’t think I could do it. I remember when I came to Force, I didn’t think I could do it. Now, I love what I do every day
When your leaders come to you aiming to promote you and provide you with more responsibility, make sure you’re not becoming too comfortable.
3. Look at your deals as business opportunities, not sales opportunities
Every deal you’re working on is more than a sales opportunity. Great selling demands that reps merge the interests on both sides of the deal, their side and their prospect’s.
To avoid this challenge you have to look at your deals as an opportunity to help buyers solve their complex business challenges and achieve a critical positive business outcome. Patrick says, "As sellers, you've got to make sure that your deal is right for your company and right for your customers and the business problems they need to solve."
It can be easy, when you’re chasing a signature, to forget that you’re solving critical business problems, you’re helping your buyer get to a place they can’t get to on their own. You are critical to their success, just like they’re critical to yours. The more you can solidify that realization for your buyer in sales conversations, and yourself as you move opportunities forward, the better outcomes and margins you’ll be able to create.
Here are a few resources you can use to improve your ability to negotiate on value and close great business opportunities for you and your buyer:
- Helping Buyers Reach Their Own Conclusions [Podcast]
- How to Ask the Right Questions in Your Sales Conversation
- Approaching Your Sales Conversations with Empathy [Podcast]
4. In a sales career, you have to be ready for anything
Early in his sales career, Patrick and his colleague were presenting a proposal. Apparently, his colleague couldn’t see and he grabbed the prospect’s glasses right off his face. Not every sales call goes the way you intend. Always be audible-ready!
More Sales Fundamentals You Can Implement into Your Daily Rhythm
Patrick McLoughlin often shares more sales fundamentals and tips on the Audible-Ready Sales Podcast. Through his career in sales and now his career as a sales training facilitator for Force Management, he’s got a wealth of knowledge on sales fundamentals, real-world examples and actionable techniques you can learn from. Here are a few podcasts you may find helpful as you work to hone your skill set.
- How to Move Yourself Beyond Mediocrity [Podcast]
- The Handoff: SDR to AE [Podcast]
- Improve Your Active Listening Skills [Podcast]
Force Management Customers: If you’ve been through a Force Management delivery with Patrick McLoughlin as a facilitator, share with us some of the best takeaways from that experience. Hopefully, no glasses were stolen in the process ...