Sales Mistakes Most Founders Make – In Just 7 Minutes with Damian Thompson

Check out episode
  • Why founders get stuck making sales
  • The single greatest selling tool (and why you avoid it…)
  • A common sales move that’s probably killing your sales

Resources/Links:

  • Ready for some Knowledge Bombs? Just fill out the form on the right to learn the mistakes that keep most founders from having the success they work so hard for.https://www.salesability.com/mistakes

Summary

Damian is the Founder of Salesability where he helps turn small businesses into sales machines. Sales is the most important skill for an entrepreneur but the one they least want to learn.

In this episode, Damian shares how he helps reluctant founders unleash their ability to sell.

Check out these episode highlights:

  • 01:55 – Damian’s ideal client: I call them the reluctant salesperson. These are service providers, entrepreneurs, small business owners that were forced to sell because they started a business, but they aren’t professional salespeople and don’t believe that they want to be.
  • 02:37 – Problem he helps solve: I help them create the systems and processes they need to win more business in less time.
  • 03:28 – Typical symptoms people experience with that problem? They’re just not winning enough business.
  • 04:36 – Common mistakes they’re going to make? They all believe they have a lead problem when they really have a sales problem
  • 06:07 – Damian’s Valuable Free Action(VFA): Have a very clear understanding of who you serve and how you serve them.
  • 06:58 – Damian’s Valuable Free Resource(VFR): https://www.salesability.com/mistakes
  • 07:42 – Q:’Why does this matter?’ A: I think it matters because, you know, again, the premise I’ve built this business on and I spent three decades in selling is that, sales is the most important skill for a business owner, but the one that is least likely to learn. And this is because of their misperceptions. The head trash we carry with us sometimes as founders that aren’t sales pros, you know, and also falling that bad advice like follow up until you die. You know, if you want to enjoy selling more, or at least not hate it, there are some things you can do. Don’t give up your power base, don’t act like, act as an equal, right? As a pear, don’t be a beggar, right? Learn how to believe in not just what you sell, but how you sell, right, to have better results. If you don’t believe in what you sell, that’s a product problem. And if you’re the founder of the business, and you’ve got a product problem, well, you got a real problem, right? So that’s generally not the issue. But most business owners and entrepreneurs I talked to about this. They’re very passionate about their products and services. They’re very passionate about the customers in their market, they’re passionate about how they’re going to help them and they really do think of them in a way of how can I help them have success. But they just haven’t put the sale systems and process in place so they can win more deals.

Tweetable Takeaways from this Episode:

“Have a very clear understanding of who you serve and how you serve them.” -@DamianThompson Click To Tweet

Transcript
(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)

Tom Poland: 0:09 Hello everyone and a very warm welcome to another edition of Marketing The Invisible. My name is Tom Poland, beaming out to you from on the sand next to the waves at Little Castaways Beach, Queensland, Australia. Joined today by Damian Thompson. Damian, good day sir, where are you hanging out?

Damian Thompson: 0:23 Good day. I’m in Mexico City, Mexico.

Tom Poland: 0:26 And that good day was not, that was half authentic because of Damian’s half Australia half American, right?

Damian Thompson: 0:32 Half authentic, yes.

Tom Poland: 0:33 Yeah, half authentic and your son. Your son is one-third American, one-third Australia, one-third Kiwi, is that about right? I don’t know how that works. But yeah, and that number two is on the line a few days but enough of family genealogy. Damian’s value proposition was something that I could, I really, to me it spoke of authenticity, and spoke of that sweet spot between desirability and believability because Damien is the sales expert and most sales expert, dare I say, are full of hype and BS. But Damian’s thing of you know, like, if you’re closing one in four right now, I can create a closed one in three, if you’re closing one in five, I’d guess you’d want a four. That to me had this authenticity about it and that’s why I was keen to reach out and have you on the show. So, thanks for being here. Let’s rock and roll. Damian is the founder of Salesability, which in itself is very clever, salesability.com, where he helps turn small businesses into sales machines. Sales are the most important skill for an entrepreneur but the one they least want to learn. He helps reluctant founders unleash their ability to sell. So, Damian, let’s get this show on the road. The title is “How to Avoid the Sales Mistakes that Most Company Founders Make”. Damon’s going to show us how to do that in less than seven minutes. So, Damian, our seven minutes starts now. Question number one is, who is your ideal client?

Damian Thompson: 1:55 So, I call them the reluctant salesperson. These are service providers, entrepreneurs, small business owners that were forced to sell because they started a business, but they aren’t professional salespeople and don’t believe that they want to be.

Tom Poland: 2:06 Indeed. Probably a little introverted, are they when it comes to selling?

Damian Thompson: 2:10 Yeah, you know, where they have some head trash around what selling actually is because there are the charlatans out there that are telling you can connect everything and all that nonsense. And so instead, they haven’t learned that sales is a process. And I find a lot of times, engineers, project managers, people that actually build a process are good at selling.

Tom Poland: 2:25 Interesting, because you give them a track that can follow a process.

Damian Thompson: 2:29 Exactly.

Tom Poland: 2:29 Okay.

Damian Thompson: 2:30 It’s a process. It’s a business process. Yeah.

Tom Poland: 2:32 So, six and a quarter minutes left. Question number two, tell us more about the problem you solve?

Damian Thompson: 2:37 Yeah, so it’s more than that, it’s, you know, I help them create the systems and processes they need to win more business in less time. One of the challenges they’ll have is that they are doing everything, they’re the jack of all trades, a solo printer if you will. And because of that, they have to, in their early stages, they’re trying to figure out how to deliver their service or product to try and deliver, you know how to kind of scale the operational side, the delivery side, they’re forced to do the selling. So, they don’t kind of maybe do as well as they should. They don’t spend as much time as and learning how to kind of do it properly or set it up. Or frankly, they get a lot of bad advice on the internet.

Tom Poland: 3:10 Hmm. So, question number three, five and a half minutes left. We’ve got this person who’s the founder, the technically great, they’ve got some magic, they need to get out of the market. How do they know they need what you’ve got? Question number three, what are some of the symptoms they’re going to be experiencing because they haven’t nailed the sales process?

Damian Thompson: 3:28 Sure. So, one is they’re not winning enough, right? They’re just not winning enough business. You know, they’re kind of spraying and praying proposals out there, they’re talking a lot, they do really well maybe if they get a really heavy direct referral, like one of their clients, introduces them to another person who has a direct need, they do okay. But when it comes to anybody in that kind of warm middle market which is where the real meat is gone, where you’re really going to scale your business, they don’t do that. So, and they have this fear, like, you know, their fear of not being good at sales stops them from actually doing something that they need to. It’s one of those in the back of their head they say I should be doing this, but I’m not. They’re always looking for something else in the business to do. They don’t have the time to kind of focus on growing their product offering or growing their team or growing their service delivery to scale past themselves and a handful of contractors. So, they’re feeling those kinds of pain points. That’s generally a good symptom, saying, Hey, I feel, I should at least talk to you.

Tom Poland: 4:18 Okay, so four and a half minutes left. Question number four is, what are some of the common mistakes that these founders are going to make when they realize they’ve got this, they don’t have the sales process, that they are losing good prospects, they’re going to try and do stuff. So, before they find Salesability, what are some of the common mistakes they’re going to make?

Damian Thompson: 4:36 So, this is probably close to your heart. But you know, they all believe they have a lead problem when they really have a sales problem, right? And so, they think that throwing, just throwing just more leads and it’s going to solve the problem because they aren’t, their win rates very low because they don’t have a system in place. So a big mistake they make there is trying every single, you know, lead generation strategy in the world, whatever the new hotness is in the marketplace, whatever some gurus trying to pitch them off, you know, don’t cold call, don’t do this, don’t do this, and preying on their lack of desire to do lead gen. And so, they think that’s the issue. Another really big one that’s quite expensive is they try to outsource the problem; they try to hire salespeople too fast. Like if they don’t know how to manage, they don’t have you, they don’t have a process to get it, they think there’s some unicorn who’s going to come in and build the sales process for them. And I can tell people, like, if you hate being a sales rep, you’re going to hate being a sales manager even more, right? Because everything you hate about sales of having, you know, not having control, like, kind of the customer is being in control out of your processes, you don’t have a good process to fall back on. You’re doing the same thing but you got a curve point doing it for you. Or believing that some magical agencies going to come in and close the deal for them. I just need to set it up. And they’ll come in close, like, it just doesn’t exist. And so those are some of the most common, three of the kind of, we have about eight we think about so.

Tom Poland: 5:50 Thank you. Question number five, two and three-quarter minutes approximately left? What’s one valuable free action that someone listening to this who’s got the sales, block of sales process problem? What’s one step that could take towards fixing the problem, it’s not going to give them the whole solution, they might need help for that, but one step.

Damian Thompson: 6:07 Strong qualification. So, you know, the biggest problem is most of them are wasting time, if you will, that they’re never going to buy anything. And this comes to this kind of like, this value, you know, the keys in the follow-up or false to key to sales success, that’s just flat out wrong. The keys in qualification, following up people who are never going to buy, makes you feel uncomfortable, makes them feel uncomfortable. Now it’s like you’re stalking somebody, you’re sending them constant communication that’s ignored. And this is the reason why people hate selling because they’re not doing it right. They think that selling is badgering someone until they say yes, right? Just leave a proposal out there and then chasing it up and following up until you die. That’s not it, like, have a very clear understanding of who you serve and how you serve them. And make sure you qualify and make sure they’re a good fit before you spend time and energy trying to win that business.

Tom Poland: 6:50 Great advice. Thank you. Just under two minutes left, questions six. One valuable free resource that we could direct people to that’s going to help them even further.

Damian Thompson: 6:58 Fantastic. So salesability.com/mistakes is a page, it’s going to give you a video of all the eight most common mistakes we see and how to address them. So, it’s kind of talked about the qualification we just talked about, a couple of other things, proposals, a couple of those other mistakes. But go sign up, there’s a quick form, a real quick form, and you’ll get instant access to a video to watch. They’ll give you that free kind of feedback.

Tom Poland: 7:20 Yeah, and I’ve been through that. And the eight mistakes it’s really very valuable. It’s nice and short and compressed. So good bang for a time back. So that is salesability.com/mistakes. Last question, sir. Question number seven, just over a minute left. What’s the one question I should have asked you, but didn’t? And the answer.

Damian Thompson: 7:39 Why does this matter?

Tom Poland: 7:40 So why does this matter?

Damian Thompson: 7:42 Okay, so I think it matters because, you know, again, the premise I’ve built this business on and I spent three decades in selling is that, sales is the most important skill for a business owner, but the one that is least likely to learn. And this is because of their misperceptions. The head trash we carry with us sometimes as founders that aren’t sales pros, you know, and also falling that bad advice like follow up until you die. You know, if you want to enjoy selling more, or at least not hate it, there are some things you can do. Don’t give up your power base, don’t act like, act as an equal, right? As a pear, don’t be a beggar, right? Learn how to believe in not just what you sell, but how you sell, right, to have better results. If you don’t believe in what you sell, that’s a product problem. And if you’re the founder of the business, and you’ve got a product problem, well, you got a real problem, right? So that’s generally not the issue. But most business owners and entrepreneurs I talked to about this. They’re very passionate about their products and services. They’re very passionate about the customers in their market, they’re passionate about how they’re going to help them and they really do think of them in a way of how can I help them have success. But they just haven’t put the sale systems and process in place so they can win more deals.

Tom Poland: 8:42 Damian Thompson, thank you so much.

Damian Thompson: 8:44 Fantastic, I appreciate it, Tom.

Tom Poland: 8:46 Thanks for checking out our Marketing The Invisible podcast. If you like what we’re doing here please head over to iTunes to subscribe, rate us, and leave us a review. It’s very much appreciated. And if you want to generate five fresh leads in just five hours then check out www.fivehourchallenge.com.

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