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Trial, Error, Triumph: The Journey Of Learning From Failure [Episode 151]

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When you face a failure in business, how do you deal with it?

Sometimes, failure can be a success in itself. In this week’s episode, Doug C. Brown speaks with Feras Alhlou of Start Up With Feras. Doug and Feras discuss their journeys of learning how to sell, the challenges faced in early days of business, and overcoming challenges including rejection and objections through practice and learning from mistakes. Doug and Feras also highlight the significance of building relationships, personalization, and meaningful communication in sales, and much more.

In this episode you will learn:

 

Episode’s guest – Feras Alhlou

CEO Sales Strategies | Feras Alhlou | Learning From Failure

Feras has founded, grown, and sold businesses in Silicon Valley and abroad, scaling them from zero revenue to 7 and 8 figures. In 2019, Feras sold e-Nor, a digital marketing consultancy, to dentsu (a top-5 global media company). Feras has served as an advisor to 150+ other new businesses. In his current venture, Start Up With Feras, he’s on a mission to help entrepreneurs in the consulting and services space start and grow their businesses smarter and stronger.

Feras is giving CEO Sales Strategies listeners a complimentary 30-minute conversation with him! You can sign up for yours using this link: https://www.startupwithferas.com/ask-feras

transcript

Trial, Error, Triumph: The Journey Of Learning From Failure

Introduction

I’ve got an excellent guest. His name is Feras Alhlou. He’s a smart guy. I wanted to bring him on here because he became very successful, not even knowing how to sell originally. He had to learn. He had no sales training in the beginning, and he had to start a company. He started and he went through the school of hard knocks. We’re going to talk about how people buy from people, how you’re going to get no’s, some of the horror stories that might have come up in selling and life that he’s experienced, and how we can take those lessons of failure and learn from them, and how it teaches us how to sell.

We’re going to talk about the mastery component of it, the confidence level that’s required, and things that are going to be applicable in your daily life. Learning how to sell is one of those amazing things. If you know how to sell and you want to get better at it or you don’t know how to sell and you want to learn about it or you’re great at it, but you want to be in the top 1%, we are rolling out our 1% University coming up.

If you’re interested in that, or if you want to dive in, which is part of our university, if you own a company or you’re a salesperson, one of the major things that a lot of people are missing is who are their ideal buyers. I’m going to do a whole episode on this. We’re teaching people how to delve into that and what messaging to use and taking care of that problem for people so that they can make better connections and have a better speed to close. Without further ado, let’s go speak to Feras right now.

Feras, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for being here.

I’m glad to be here as well.

Why don’t you tell everybody, you’ve got this vast background in life, business and sales. Why don’t you tell everybody what you do or where you’ve been so we can set the frame for this?

I moved to Silicon Valley back in 1998. Two years into that, we had the tech bubble burst. I joined a startup. We did okay. We raised a lot of money after the burst, but we ran out of money. I got laid off. I couldn’t find a job for a couple of months. I ran into a friend of mine who was looking to start a business. That’s how I got into entrepreneurship. It wasn’t part of the plan. In a way, I was forced into it, but I’m happy that I was. I struggled a lot in the first couple of years, especially in sales because I did not have a sales background, but then learned and was able to learn from my mistakes of the mistakes of other people I’ve spoken with, figured out the sales thing, growing a business, then pivoted and started another company. Fast forward to 2019, we sold that last business I had then to the global media company.

I was excited to have you on because you didn’t have any sales background and you learned how to be in sales, you were able to bring that forth. We’re going to talk about a few of the ups and downs that happened with that and some of the horror stories that come along. One thing when people tune in to this, they think, “You’ve been doing sales forever. It’s easy now. It must be like breathing. You never have any challenges. You never have this and you never had any, because I’m the only one.” A lot of people think like that.

Starting As An Entrepreneur

For you, it wasn’t like a salesperson was born. It was that a salesperson was made. It came out of a need to fulfill your and the business’s desires and needs in the process. I find it a cool thing. You brought up some key point failures. We’ve all had failures in business. I don’t know any entrepreneur who hasn’t. These can also be lessons of something that we can take and these failure lessons could be something that teaches us how to even sell better or how to be better in front of somebody. Why don’t you give me an example of what happened and how you turned it around?

If you’re not failing, you’re not taking risks and not trying new things. We’ll get to that maybe later in the show. In terms of sales, the hardest thing for me was the very first day we decided to go out and pitch. My business partner and I put together a rough business plan and we said, “Here’s what we want to do.” This was many years ago. This is the dawn of the internet, websites, and online marketing. We said, “We go to these business owners and we tell them how we can help them get leads and get customers.” Where do we start? The places that we eat at restaurants, they know us. We’ve been going to these places for years.

If you're not failing, you are not taking risks or trying new things. Share on X

Five rejections. On the first day, 5 visits, 5 solicitations, and 5 no’s. We got home where the office was in the garage. We were devastated like, “What did we do to ourselves?” I don’t know how to describe it. To me, we needed two days to recover from that and to put our minds together and say, “We;ve got to do it. We’ve got to do better at it.” That’s the first horror story in terms of five people that I’ve been taking our money all these years because we go and eat there, they know us, but we heard maybe ten different reasons why they didn’t think they needed our service. When we talk about objection handling in sales, those ten things that they threw at us that I didn’t know how to answer on that first day, answering these questions and being ready to answer the next time around helped a lot.

The lesson you learned was you had a relationship with people, but you didn’t know whether they were interested or qualified to do business. We thought they were based on what you said, but you learned that you got information that was invaluable for the next time you went out and did this.

Maybe the younger folks in your audience can’t imagine a life without a phone or a website. Think of something new nowadays. If you’re selling a service around AI, that’s new. If you go to a business owner and a decision-maker, one tactic that worked well is that we showed these business owners how a competitor of theirs, maybe a restaurant down the street or maybe a company similar in size, similar maybe in the same vertical, taking advantage of the new technology and the new service. That almost always got people to stop for a second, if this competitor is doing this, I’m missing something now. That was one of the techniques we learned and we applied it later to get people interested in listening to the whole pitch.

The fear of loss and scarcity that your competitor might be out competing because you don’t know. Here’s what I want everybody to catch in this whole episode that we’re going to do. You’re not alone. I remember making cold calls for the first time and I was like, “Hi, I’m Doug,” and no click. I wouldn’t even be able to get my last name out sometimes. People go, “Don’t bother me,” click. I didn’t know how to cold call when I first started. I started in a place where it was like, I’m a good guy, we’ve got something good to offer. I’ll call some people because that’s what the company told me I needed to do.” I didn’t have any training in it like many companies who start, they don’t train their people. We learn certain things as we go along.

By the end of the 3rd or 4th day, like you, I had the majority of what would be going on in the call. What I did was I brought that right up front, “Hi, I am Doug, I’m from ABC company. You don’t know me, I don’t know you. This is a cold call. If you give me a few seconds, I’ll tell you why I called and then you can tell me whether or not you want to continue or hang up. If you want to hang up, I’ll wish you the best day that you’ve ever had in your life. Can I have 5 to 10 seconds?” People would go, “Sure, kid,” then I would take all that information that you were talking about that you learned in those first five no’s. I said, “We’re helping people either get a better future or head off a problem, and here are our top 3 or 4 things.”

Inevitably, some people were saying, “I got that,” then we could use the same thing that you were talking about, which was, “I’ve talked with some of these other companies in your industry and they’ve expressed some interest. Would you like to take a look?” This is like going up to trying to get a date and you walk up to every pretty girl in the restaurant, the park, whatever, and they all go, “Get lost loser. No.” It will beat up on our psyche, but you said in the beginning that if you’re not failing, you’re not taking enough risk. If we don’t take enough risk, we’re never going to get to the goal that we’re looking for or the goal.

I was listening to your book now and the author said, “Easy is evil. All these new things that we learn, we have to learn things maybe we don’t like to do and we don’t like to learn. These are difficult things for us.” I can’t think of anything alive that’s worthwhile that you can get to easily. If you want to be a millionaire, if you want to set up an amazing business, amazing culture and hire people and help others, you have to put in the time, effort, and learn. On sales specifically, there weren’t a whole lot of YouTube videos at the time, not a whole lot of newsletters on sales.

This is a funny story. I remember my business partner had the CDs on sale and I grabbed it. It was by a guy by the name of Tom Hopkins. The book was Mastering The Art of Selling Real Estate. We were not selling real estate. I figured, “We didn’t have a whole lot of money. We were bootstrapping. I’m not going to go and pay $200 for another CD set. Let me learn from this set.” I remember until this moment I would put it and and put the CDs in and take notes of how he was answering. He was going through examples of, “If a customer says this, say that.” I took notes and practiced this. I remember my younger daughter would come in and say, “What you’re doing? Why are you replaying?”

I was trying to memorize not just what he said but answer that question with confidence in a natural way. After a lot of studying and replaying those CDs, it took me 3 or 4 pages of notes, that’s what I put into practice. The next sale you get a little bit better and then you get a little bit better. That’s certainly how you improve your closing rate, and your win rate, qualifying the leads. You don’t spend a lot of time on qualified leads. A lot of that comes from learning and from practice.

I’m hearing, “Always play the long game.” Mastery is a key and what you were doing with the Tom Hopkins program, even though it wasn’t real estate in your business, it was the concepts and the constructs. What you were doing is you were mastering those constructs and the concepts. That was then growing confidence within you that if this comes down this way, I may have the ability to handle it here or here, where before we were like walking around the corner and somebody sprays a hose in our face and we’re like, “Whoa.”

The reason I was laughing when you were talking is I was writing notes. I remember when I was nineteen years old, I went into the military. I figured, “I’ll take up boxing because this makes me more of a tough guy and maybe the girls will like me more,” but I knew nothing about boxing. What do you do? You go and you train a little bit. In the training, they’re like, “Get in the ring.” It’s no longer sparring by yourself with nobody. It’s an opponent. I was thinking, “I don’t want to hit this guy too hard because I don’t want to hurt him,” but he had the opposite feeling. I put my arms up. We start moving forward and he hits me right in the solar plexus and down I go right to the mat. That’s analogous to your learning of the no. You don’t walk in and keep your hands down and don’t protect your solar plexus. I learned that one real quick.

It was Mike Tyson who said, “You have a fight plan, you have a sales plan, and that whole plan goes down the drain after the first punch.” In a way, you have to prepare. Eisenhower said, “The plan is nothing but planning is everything.” I think in my experience, a lot of people think that great salespeople are born that way. I was able to do it and many other entrepreneurs that I’ve worked with, if you look at sales as a science, there’s an art to it, but there are specific steps you have to take ahead of this sale. Research the customer, understand who you’re talking to, understand their competition, their pain points, go in there prepared with the potential objections they might throw at you, all of that, and a whole lot more.

That’s a preparation that will build your competency. Once you’re competent, you’ll be more confident. It all goes back to learning, even when we were selling to Fortune 500 and we had clients on Fortune 100, learning how to do that whole complex sales B2B for a 3 or 4-month sales cycle didn’t come naturally to us. We had to also learn, read about it, apply it, make mistakes, and then learn for the next mistakes.

I talk to many people selling today in sales, and I find that their level of patience for this ability to play the long term is so off. It’s like, “Teach me everything I need to know about selling a Fortune 100 company within six weeks and I’m out of here. Off I go.” There’s so much more to this. I tell people that if you want to master sales, it’s a follow-up process of continuous learning and mastery over at least a two-year period to get to a certain place. It’s like going for karate or whatever. They give you a different color belt every time you graduate to a certain place. For the most part, if you’re a white belt or a yellow belt or whatever the second one is and you’re fighting a brown or a black belt, it’s a little more difficult. Getting in the ring the first time with an experienced fighter, I was whacked in the solar plexus and down I went.

When we are doing what you’re talking about and we’re saying, this is a science and we have to study it like if we were studying chemistry. We’re not going to go grab a bunch of chemicals and throw them together. We could blow ourselves out of the building. We have to do the same process and that takes time. I mean, it takes two years to get an Associate’s degree in chemistry. In four years, you get a Bachelor’s of Science in chemistry, then a Master’s, then a PhD. If we want to be in a position where you are in life, which you didn’t know anything from the beginning regarding selling, but you built up your skillsets all the way through this process to sell your company eventually down the line. You retired way earlier than anybody could imagine in a lot of ways.

At the same time, now you had a choice on what to do, versus having to stay in this and now you are giving back because you’re in that position. You’re working with individuals and companies and you’re helping them through these horror stories and stuck processes and getting clear. I have to ask this question because I have never asked this question to somebody. What does it feel like to be on the other side of this where it’s like, “Money is not the issue and this is that.” I’m in that position, but you’re like, “I could eat Cheetos all day if I wanted to and go onto the bay and watch whatever dolphins.” What does it feel like to know that you came from a place that you had no experience in and turned into a place that most people only dream of?

First, that sense of gratefulness. Whether you’re a spiritual person or not, it doesn’t matter. Be grateful to people who have helped you along the way. That’s important in life. It’s not all about money or status. I’m a capitalist at heart 100%, but I’m also in sharing and helping others. At one stage, especially living in Silicon Valley and hearing the stories of founders starting something from scratch, building something up, growing the company, and then exiting, that experience of going through something and building it from the ground up is very rewarding. It’s not just the ability to exit and do the Silicon Valley thing but also the memories, journey, the people and friends that are still now close friends, even after 5 or 6 years of exiting, we still check on each other and we make sure that everybody is doing okay.

Being grateful to those who've supported you is an important part of life. True fulfillment comes from more than just money and status. Share on X

There’s that joy and fulfillment, and that you’ve done something great for yourself and others. There’s that aspect. On the business side, which, you alluded to is that experience, the ups and downs, the successes and the failures, sharing those with the new generation or the next generation of founders brings a great sense of fulfillment and a great sense of being able to share means a lot to me. When I speak with a young founder, I tell him, “I made those three mistakes. You can at least avoid these unforced errors. You’ll do better. You’ll get to your goal faster.” That’s what I’m hoping to accomplish in this season or this phase of my life.

Effective Sales Strategies

Startup With Feras is the company. We’re talking about something that’s something that a lot of people don’t do. You brought up the word preparation, almost like a checklist. You had a checklist of some sort. Many people go unprepared for a meeting or even anything. Even before this episode, I went and looked up all kinds of things about you. I didn’t know you were a part of the American Red Cross, I believe it was you’re a Vice President, Vice Chair, or something of that nature. I didn’t know you lived in Canada at one point. You worked for a company out of Canada. We should be doing our research and our checklist on every relationship that we ever make because we don’t know otherwise.

In Tom Hopkins’s book, he was talking about real estate, but 95% of what he talked about in terms of sales principles, tactics, and strategies, apply that concept of mirroring. When you go into someone’s office or maybe on Zoom, knowing a lot about who they are and what they do and what they like, and I’m not saying you fake it because there’s a lot of that going on maybe in sales, but genuinely be interested and share. Maybe you went to the same school, maybe you have the same hobbies, maybe you like the same football team, or maybe you’re rivals.

Bringing that into the discussion creates a bit deeper connection than, “I’m here to pitch the service.” I think that research you mentioned Doug, and there’s no excuse in my mind, if you’re in sales and you don’t go into any sales meeting, knowing everything you can possibly know about the company and the person you’re speaking with and the pain point of that industry and potentially that company, that’s all at your fingertips. You can go on Google or ChatGPT. You can ask around. It’s people who either don’t know that you have to do it or you’re being lazy. That’s not an excuse.

CEO Sales Strategies | Feras Alhlou | Learning From Failure
Learning From Failure: If you’re in sales and you don’t go into a sales meeting knowing everything you can know about the company, the person you’re speaking with, and the pain point of their industry, you either don’t know that you have to do it or you’re being lazy.

 

A lot of times it’s the latter. That’s what I’m finding with people. It’s like, “I don’t need to do that,” but there’s such a gold mine of information. Quite frankly, for those of you who are younger, I’m going to say it from an old guy’s point of view, we didn’t have these resources back then. In a blink of 5 or 10 seconds, I was able to scan your LinkedIn profile, Feras. I learned that you went to the University of South Florida. You have a Master’s degree in Engineering. You have an undergraduate degree from the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Those are bonding points. I almost went to school, for example, in Oklahoma.

We have the Oklahoma connection as well. I did the same thing. I went to your podcast, and your website, listened to a couple of podcasts, and understood what is it that your audience is interested in. This is part of being professional. This is not like Doug and I praising ourselves here, but we’re a bit older than maybe the average listener. We’re sharing with you what I think is to help you avoid again the mistakes that we made. I call these unforced errors. They’re errors that you can’t control. Pandemic, issues with the economy, macro issues, but things that are under control. In my mind, there are no excuses. You have to put in the time, do a checklist, and do it before every sales meeting and you’re guaranteed your win rate will improve.

Is there a standardization on a checklist that you use? In other words, “It’s got to be out these eleven things,” or whatever it is or we should be knowing individual things for each individual out there?

Some of it will become second nature. When you do this, you pitch. The first pitch was horrible. The second pitch is less horrible, and then later it becomes smooth and natural. I always tell people who are new to sales, one of the sales courses I took, the coach said, “You have to be a walking billboard. You have to tell everybody about what you do,” especially early on. You can’t be obnoxious about this and tell people you’re at a funeral and talk to people about sales. I did it at a wedding. That’s okay.

You sell life insurance.

You don’t want to be obnoxious about it, but you want to be able to very naturally sell, the way you present, the way you pitch. If I see someone at the gym or someone I don’t know standing in line and there’s a conversation, you have your 10 or 30-second or 1-minute pitch. Those should be memorized and you should be able to say it with passion and energy, with confidence. If you’re going to pitch to a Fortune 1000 and they’re meeting a bunch of executives, the level of preparation for that meeting is completely different. That’s more of a formal setting.

If you are sending a proposal out, then you should have a checklist for everything you want to include in the proposal. Maybe I’m left brain and I love checklists, but regardless, if you happen to be a more right-brain person, someone on your team can help you, but there’s no escape if you don’t follow a method and systematic approach to sales, you’ll be missing out on a lot of things in terms of follow up with leads, understanding where these are coming from, customizing the solution and the pitch.

CEO Sales Strategies | Feras Alhlou | Learning From Failure
Learning From Failure: If you don’t follow a method and a systematic approach to sales, you’ll be missing out on a lot of things.

 

There’s a statistic coming out where CEOs and owners of companies are saying in the 80% up value, where they feel that the salesperson who came in was a complete waste of their time or very unhelpful. One of the big things that’s happening now, whether people want to embrace it or not, and you should if you’re selling, is personalization and meaningful communication. If you don’t do what Feras is saying, you don’t have the scientific approach, we don’t have the checklist, how in the world can we create meaningful communication if we don’t know about, “What do they want? What do they fear? What do they value?”

All of the things that come along, not only with the possible primary decision maker but now there’s a lot of consensus buying going on after the pandemic that wasn’t there before. If you’re getting into a Fortune 100 company, there are a lot of people who are going to touch that process. We need to know about each and every single one of those people. The more we know about those people, it opens up opportunities for connection, to build trust. That’s what we’re looking for in many cases, conveying trust and confidence and our expertise to solve their problem or to help them with a better future, whatever they’re looking for. Did I miss anything first?

No, that is spot on. People buy from people. When you’re pitching, you’re sending a proposal, when you’re doing a follow-up call or email, “How’s the proposal going?” Spend some time. Check on them. How’s it going as well? It’s a relationship that you’re establishing and fostering. I wasn’t that type. I love to sit down and read books. That’s my number one dream and I’d be in heaven if I was to sit down and read. Life, work, and business, you have to be out there intermingling and interacting with people.

A lot of these are acquirable. Some of us are born like that where we can spark a conversation without thinking about it. If you’re not that type, you have to learn it because people buy from people. The buyers are not interested in the features. They want to know that this product will solve their problem and you are the trusted advisor who’s going to help them in that process.

I love what you said. People buy from people. They don’t buy from titles. That’s the thing about confidence. We recognize folks when you go in to talk to a CEO of a Fortune 100 company, they still have fears and desires. They’re still human beings. They might have a title, but we’re not selling to the title. That’s where I find many people blowing it. In part of your checklist, write it down. You are going to be seen as a peer, not an underling or a subordinate because the moment you do that, you automatically position yourself in a place where you don’t want to be and you’re going to make mistakes as Feras and I started opening this conversation up. Feras, didn’t you go to a trade show one time?

Early on we didn’t have money to travel, attend trade shows, and pay money for hotels. One of our customers, a good friend, said, “I’m exhibiting at this show.” There are about 150 businesses like ours,” This is at the dawn of eCommerce. A lot of companies and small businesses who have products want to know about eCommerce and how they can sell online. This customer tipped us and said, “This is in Chicago.” We were in San Jose. We ended up flying the day of and we booked one night instead of three nights ago and the night before, rest and all that. The earliest flight out of San Jose is 5:00 AM.

We got there late morning to Chicago. We got to the exhibit hall. We did not pay money for the whole conference. We paid the least expensive ticket to get into the exhibit hall. My business partner and I walked the exhibit hall from the very beginning. We looked at the map one booth at a time and we had these rolling laptop cases, huge ones. We had our notes, brochures, our laptops, and at 8:00 PM we were toast, we were done, but we spoke with every exhibitor minus a couple who did not want to talk to us at all. We had a plan. We had a goal to talk to exhibitors and we did. It was exhausting. I don’t know if I would do it again, but that’s what it took.

After that 10th pitch, I’m already saying this 10 times, it was something that I laugh about now. We couldn’t afford to stay there an extra night. We couldn’t afford to fly and be relaxed the night before. We did get several leads and we closed two eCommerce projects within a couple of weeks of that conference. It did pay off. It was a $5,000 project at the time. It’s a lot of money for us. We were extremely excited about this and that gave us a bit more confidence to go out and do more of these shows locally where we didn’t have to travel.

You got some leads, you sold two sales, and you were on a very meager budget to be able to do this, but you must have got a lot of no’s too.

We spoke to close to 120 of them. We closed the two deals right after the conference. For those other leads we collected, in a lot of them, we had to do follow-ups over email or on the phone. Over time the ROI was amazing, but the immediate ROI is those 2 deals because those 2 customers were ready to go for eCommerce when you met them in person, and when we flew out to Chicago and they saw us. We were able to convince them with our product and our service so they bought right away. The return on investment of this in terms of sales, we had several sales over the next months, but right away like that was the sweetest thing after all this hard work. We couldn’t move within a couple of weeks to close two deals of something relatively new. That was rewarding as well.

Closing

Folks, follow-up should be part of that checklist because as you heard, “We close two deals immediately, but then with consistent follow-up, we close more deals.” Feras, how do people know more about you? How do people get ahold of you if they want to talk or learn more about what you do?

You can go to StartupWithFeras.com. This is our website. We cover all things entrepreneurship and how to start a business in terms of business planning. We talk about vetting the business ideas, we talk about sales and marketing. You can sign up with our daily newsletter, The Daily Advisor. You can go to our YouTube channel, Startup With Feras. You can watch the videos there. We have a weekly livestream every Wednesday at 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern, where we cover a business topic and then we answer questions that have come our way. Free advice, no gimmicks, we don’t pitch. If you have a question, we answer it. Sometimes we answer it with a lot of details. It’s free advice and free consulting. We’d love to see you on those live streams.

I want to give you kudos on the YouTube channel because I went there and watched some of your videos and they’re very good. I appreciate it.

Thank you. I appreciate it. We’re working on it hard. YouTube is a new thing in terms of learning, you can be young, you can be old. There are always new things to learn and improve. That’s what we’re trying to do here.

As you get older, folks, I can tell you that you have a quest for learning. You’ve learned a lot. You build upon that and I believe now that I’m 61 that learning has taken on a whole new meaning. It’s much more meaningful now to me than it was earlier on. I thank you for being here on the show. Thanks for bringing all the great information. I love to have you back sometime if you’re open to it.

Thank you so much. I appreciate it. I’d love to be back again. I appreciate all the good work you’re sharing on your show. It’s great content.

Did you get all the pages full of notes? I hope so. Keep to the basics. I’m going to keep saying that over and over ad nauseam for some of you people because when you’re violating the basics, you’re going to miss out on some key things. No matter how experienced we are, we’ve got to do the basics. We have to do our research. We must. I heard somebody very successful one time, he was in multi-level marketing at the time. This was back in the early ‘80s, making well over a million dollars a year net. He said, “This business is about good salesmanship.” What he was talking about was research.

What he was talking about was what Feras was talking about, who has built a major company and been able to sell it off. You want to keep with the basics. The basics are who are they, what are they, what do they want, what do they value? What do they need? What do they fear? All the people who are touching that process, you don’t want to forget those. Those are the basics. Now, more than ever, you can go find information on these people and these companies. You can come up with an amazing opportunity to see insights that they might not even be able to see because you’re on the outside looking in and they’re on the inside looking out.

All CEOs and business owners appreciate when you can bring them something that hasn’t happened yet that might turn into a challenge for them down the line and/or an opportunity for growth down the line. That is powerful. When you do your research and as he said, you keep that checklist and remember part of that checklist has to be following up, many people don’t follow up and they hurt themselves because I can tell you story after story where people have gone, done the appointments, haven’t followed up, a couple of months later, their competition is in there.You’ve already prepped them. You were the original person in there and your competition closed the deal because you didn’t stay in touch and you didn’t follow up. Remember, sales is an art but it’s also very much a science as Feras has said.

If you or someone you know is seeking to grow in sales, you’ve got a company, you’ve got sales teams and you want them to grow, we are running out a 1% University on how do you work and think like a 1% earner. We’re going to take you from wherever you are and we’re going to move it to the next level. If you’re interested in that, go to your email and send us an email at YouMatter@CeoSalesStrategies.com. This is an invite-only, and we’re doing this on our show. If you’re interested, let us know.

Remember, confidence is sexy and you build confidence by mastering the disciplines of what you know, the disciplines of what they’re looking for, and putting it all together. When you have that information, you are far more confident. I love what he said, “Easy is evil,” from that book he read. If it’s coming too easy, you’re not out doing enough. Get out there. Take some risks. You’re going to fail. Learn from the failures and then grow.

Go out and sell something. Sell a lot of it. Play win-win. You win. They win. Best sale in the world spawns referrals when you’re taking care of them and they know you care and you’ve done them a great job and deed in the process of helping them get where they want to go. Remember, you do not have to discount. Be careful about discounting because when you discount down, sometimes you have to sell 5, 6, 7, or 8 things to make up for the discount. You’re just pedaling your bike and it’s not going anywhere. You want leverage in your life and your selling. That’s one concept of a 1% earner. To your success, go out there. Make somebody happy today. Until next time.

 

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