There’s a shift taking place in field service. Trades companies are moving from quoting and estimating - to formal sales processes. Ross van Dijk, Territory Account Manager at Fortinet joins us to discuss his tried and true sales techniques, his humble beginnings selling CDs at the Choir Olympics, and how to avoid “commission breath”.
In this episode we’ll cover:
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The process you take in your sales process, moving forward, is paramount to your success in closing that quote/ estimate.
This is Take Stock! Presented by Commusoft, the podcast where we bring together diverse experts and leaders to discuss the top trends, ideas and strategies used in the field service industry and beyond. Let's dive in.
Hello listeners! Welcome to the first episode of Take Stock! Presented by Commusoft. I'm your host, Charles Kay, and today I have the pleasure of speaking with a man of many talents. He is a professional rugby player, first-class chef, gold medal Choir Olympics champion, a former sales professional at Commusoft, and now a territory account manager at Fortinet. It is my distinct pleasure to welcome the true Renaissance, man, Ross van Dyke. How you doing Ross?
Hey Charles, how's it going? Doing great today. Thanks for that lovely introduction.
We're happy to have you on the show.
Great to be here.
So let's just dive right in here. Can you tell me more about your background and how you got into sales?
Yeah, it's it kind of goes back to when I was a child- how I got into sales. So I'll save that one for a bit later. My background would probably be a bit interesting, in the sense that I currently live in America and from my accent, I think it's pretty clear that I'm not American.
I grew up in South Africa, and I lived there until I was 22 years old. That's when I broke my ankle, which ended that rugby career you had spoken of. I moved out to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and I ended up living there for nine years. And then I came out here with sales and stayed entire chair for three months. I fell in love with the city of Chicago, where I currently still live six years later. I moved here a year later and I've been here ever since. So that's kind of where I come from and how I get to sit in the here chair today.
How I got into sales is rather funny when I was in high school, I was in the choir, which took me over to the world choir games in the Choir Olympics. While we were in the choir, we had choir CDs that we had made of our songs, and when we went overseas and certain places around the country, we obviously sold these CDs, to pay for the choir touring around and being able to go to these countries and see things. So each of us got a box 10 CDs that we had to go and sell.
It was sold at busing events and all kinds of things. But we used to throw these dinner club, choir dinner type things at the school in the hall. That was the first time I got my first box of CDs and all the parents came down to come watch the choir and it's a charity event and we raised a lot of money.
Ultimately, I was sent into the crowd as a 15 year old with this box of CDs. I ended up speaking to, one of the moms there, she was one of the boy's moms and we started talking about the CD . I said, Hey, would you like one CD? And she was like, yeah, no, no, I'll be happy to buy one CD. But you know, I don't really know if I need it. I'll probably be here for a number of years, so I won't need it.
So I spoke her into buying the whole box because grandparents, all of them need to, you know, have a CD and you can't leave tonight unless you buy all tens so that everyone in the family can hear what the choir sounds like.
So you, you had a natural affinity for sales from a young age is what I'm hearing.
Yeah, I think I did, but that was just funny. And that that's something I would definitely say would be, quite a cool story and it would be the start. From there, I was in charge of selling CDs for the choir, which I ended up doing for the remainder of the four years I was there. So yeah, that's definitely where I got into it.
Amazing. What an amazing, roundabout way to get into sales and I mean, truth be told you upsold her. You had some, some techniques in the bag already.
You know, looking back now. I can see the techniques and why it worked, being a first sale. And if you look at anyone in a first sale, everyone's gonna tell you, I had no idea what happened there or why I closed, or why I sold that.
It's that naivety that gets you your first sale and ultimately being able to upsell and just speak to someone like a human being. So, yeah, I've upsold her a little bit.
100%. What was your first, more traditional sales role?
After I finished rugby and moved to Dubai, I was actually a swimming coach for a while. One of the friends I worked with after about a year and a half started his own, swimming and soccer lesson company, and he asked if I wanted to join. So I ended up joining there. We had to go secure some sites and set up contracts and things, but it wasn't really selling. It was kind of more getting a school who wanted to take us on board. So I wouldn't say that was the most, I'd say my most traditional one was the job I had after that at a company that certainly doesn't exist anymore called Nassaba and that was in Dubai. And that was yes, most, definitely my most traditional, most hardcore cold calling outbound, sales role. That's where I really cut my teeth on sort of the corporate world of sales.
For sure. When you began that job and began that first teeth cutting experience, what were some things you learned and some key components of sales that you picked up on and stand by.
Well, there's a number of, of different things I learned there that was a really fast paced, really hardcore, boiler-room-type sales job in the beginning. You had to get 200 leads and then you had to prospect.
I'd say one of the things that's a core skill you need in sales is, to not be uncomfortable, to pick the phone up and call someone. You know, a lot of the times in sales where people kind of sort of give it a softer name as this whole cold calling thing.
It's pretty hardcore. When you go find your own leads and then you're calling on people to sell your product to them at $35,000, and you need to call them on their first call, get them interested, explain what you do and close on that call. It was an extremely tough job in that sense, but what I learned was not to be scared. You're gonna phone them either way. And if you don't phone them, you're holding yourself back. So you've got to push through the uncomfortability.
The second thing I learned is not to be too overexcited to as, as we call it in sales, have commission breath. Don't want the sales so much.
Tell me what commission breath is.
So commission breath is - I'm sure we've all had the sales calls on the telephones. It's where you can hear that the salesperson wants the deal or wants this to close far more than you. Right? You can smell their commission breath that all they're thinking about is their commission. They don't care about you as, as a company, they don't really care about their product.
All they want is to move that to you so that they get their commission. It's called commission breath, right? The pushy salesman, the salesman makes you feel uncomfortable type thing. Nine outta 10 times, it comes down to commission breath, because that deal is so important. Now there's more components to just them wanting the deal to close, hitting quota, and the stress and the pressure that do come with these sales roles, can also get commission breath to come up because you're so desperate to close that deal to make sure you hit quota so you don't get, let go or you're behind and you have to make up. There's a lot to it.
That's definitely one thing I learned- is not to worry too much about the outcome of a deal, and worry about the middle part of the deal that you can control.
Right. Instead of focusing on your own benefits as a salesman, the commission and your own profits, the goal is to focus on the needs of the person buying the product or the service, and that would sell itself.
Yes, correct. It's it's a lot about the needs, but it's also about making sure the person you're giving it to needs it. Wants it is a better way to say that so we don't use need the whole time. The thing is a lot of people will need a lot of products in the world, but do they actually want it?
That's kind of the game we play in sales it's between that need, that want, and getting people to not just understand, you know, this is the product I sell and that's how I'm gonna save you and all that, but also for them to on their own, come to the conclusion that this product will make my life better.
And if you can do that in sales, that's when you're gonna see a lot of success. And that's where you stop worrying about, your commission or that sale, and you start worrying about helping clients and it's the best way to sell in my opinion, obviously,
Absolutely. With the trust that you get from a customer, the profits and the commission will come naturally. Is that what I'm getting?
Yeah, that's correct. The most important thing is sales is building that trust, you know, and you don't have to build it by being super nice or anything along those lines, you can be very straightforward. A lot of the phone and sales, conversations I've had in the past have not been these nice conversations like "Hey Charles, I'm here to make you feel better". They've been real tough, real difficult conversations where you, as someone trying to provide a product has to say no. Saying no could kill that whole deal for you and you could lose all that money, but you also get to that point where you understand that trust is more important because you saying no, the client understands you.
You're thinking of helping them, you know, not just trying to get money off of them. And that makes a huge difference. And then once you have that trust, you then have repeat business, you have referrals and you have everything you need to really have a successful career in sales.
Absolutely. You're gaining that trust and you're working on behalf of the customer, which in the end will work, to the benefit of the company and you as a sales professional.
Transitioning to the field service industry specifically, oftentimes the customer journey in this industry is based around quoting and estimating. That's a big part of the process. But when it comes to that process, there's a growing trend in the industry where folks are replacing the idea of quoting and estimating to replacing it with more of a general sales process. Can you tell me what is the difference between quoting and selling?
Quoting/estimating, those are two words to explain the same thing. Sort of the first introduction. As we would say in tech sales, its your demo. It's where you get to kind of show yourself off as a company and also show how you're gonna help you give them that quote, that estimate. So that's sort of the start that's where you give the client, "Hey, this is what we can do for you". The introduction, the demonstration. And then from there, it turns into selling where it is then following up, making sure they understand everything, negotiating and then the close.
So estimating would set at the start, the introduction, the demo. This is what we have sort of your advertisement, if you will. The other part is when you engage in the actual process of selling, speaking back and forth with a client, following up with them, giving them different options, negotiating the contracts, getting the contract signed, and then ultimately getting the payment.
Right. So the, the way I understand it, the quoting would be kind of the nuts and bolts of the situation. This is our product, this is our service. This is what we have and the selling. That's pretty much everything else along the way. It's as you said, the following up, the communication, hopefully regular communication, the negotiating and everything up until the close.
Yes, I would say estimating and quoting is more part of, the sales process sort of part of the entire sale is that because when you go do an estimate, whether, you know, in field service, you go to someone's home, how do you present yourself? All of that. That's all part of selling. You're not estimating there.
It's an intimate experience. You're inviting somebody into, your home, your house.
Exactly. That's what it is. You know, we all worry, "oh, is the house clean?" All that. And that's for the person to come in and fix our AC unit. So when you go there, you wanna present yourself the same way this client has been acting behind the door to make sure they bring you in.
So the sales is gonna be part of your estimating. But where the distinction is coming in field service is that estimating is the way they get more clients because not all estimates turn into deal. So there's a lot of estimating that goes out. And how do we make that process better so that when we're going to client's houses, we're showing them a better estimate. We have more options. We have pictures, it looks good. It's easy to understand. We take fast measurements type idea. So that's a big part of that. So that's how we kinda, if you look from field service, are generating leads. Then the second part is where the sales people will then receive these leads after the estimate, and then go into the sales process of following up with this lead.
That's warm lead that we've estimated and coast clients. And we know what it's like. Everyone looks at a number of different providers. Same thing is happening in field service. Everyone's looking at a number of different providers. How do you stand out from that initial contact? And then turn that initial contact that quote, that estimate into a deal into a sale.
Right. And with, the internet, everything going digital online, customer reviews, consumers have more access to more information immediately now, more than ever. So the competition is getting stiffer and stiffer. And so that follow up and the communication and the presentation in the sales process is more important than ever.
Absolutely. I can't agree. More. The process you take in your sales process moving forward is, is paramount to your success of closing that quote, estimate of getting the business to come in and give you the business. As you said with the internet. I mean, if we were to jump on our phone now on any one of the search engines, it doesn't matter which one you use, you are gonna get. Here's a list of 12 of the top. Field service companies in your area. Right. And you can go through them one by one. They'll have ratings next to them stars next to them reviews. It's all there. Mm-hmm, , it's all there. So how do you stand out amongst all this noise to really be the preferred provider and things like that.
So it's a big focus on your follow up. On what you're saying, having a very dedicated process, that's gonna keep you on top of it. And with your consumers being digital, it's paramount that these businesses now become digital. And that is what we're seeing from estimating all the way across to closing the sale there needs to be digital offerings across the board to make that process easier because at the moment, it's not easy for a lot of people.
Absolutely. I, I couldn't agree more. In, , the field service industry, what are businesses, and let's look at this twofold, from both sides of the coin here. What are field service businesses doing correct and right in, in terms of sales and what are they doing wrong or what, what are places to improve?
Yeah, I wouldn't say they're doing anything particularly sort of wrong. I would say more sort of improve. If you look at the field service industry, you're looking at a lot of different businesses with a lot of different components.
Some companies are smaller mom and pop shops, and then some businesses are large, massive organizations. And I'd say, when we look at sort of what's going right, what's going wrong, I think the biggest, right is this. Realization that we need to go more sort of new age, get off of pen and paper, get off of spreadsheets and, you know, sort of Microsoft word type idea or any of those sort of programs that you have from pages, which a lot of companies are using.
And there's nothing wrong with your process, but there are offerings in the market now that are changing it and are making it easier, more streamlined. You can have everything in one place. So I think probably the best thing is, is that that realization has gone on that. We need to take our process, digitize it, and then be able to keep track of everything better.
The other thing they're doing is there's a really good push on report. So they can see better how much sales they're doing, what their profit margins are, how much product they're moving, which type of product is moving better, which one's not going great. So within the sales process at sort of the parts where they're at now, we are seeing that there are gaps that need to be improved on.
Now, when it comes to the actual estimates, the sales people meeting up with people they've been doing it like that the whole time. So their sales are good. They're know how to speak to clients. They know how to get, go to the door. a lot of companies kind of have a sing and dance sheet as somebody told me once it's called the sing and dance sheet.
So before I go there, I do these few steps. And then once I get to the door, I have a sing and dance that I do to speak to the client. So there's so that's very interesting. There are some. Very interesting things out there that are happening and it's all good. It's all good. Where there needs to be improvement in the area is definitely around having more of a set process.
What I mean by that is at the moment the companies are kind of going to someone like myself for us being like, "Hey, you've been in sales all this time. will you do our sales?. Yeah. Great." And I can run with it, which is great because I can put my own process in my own wording, my own, everything into the process.
Now that doesn't necessarily relate into that being a very good fit for the company. Not because I'm bad at sales and I don't get the sales, I will get them. And I will go because I have the experience, but am I doing it the best possible way for the company?
So that's where the improvement needs to be happening and where I can see it happening because people are realizing, well, I can see the numbers at the end of these sales and I can see you're doing well, but are we leaving anything on the table? Are we closing as many as we can?
Well, we don't have any visibility of sort of the processes that, and now it's finding and being able to see the process stay on top of your leads better, do all that. The good thing I can tell you, Charles, is that it's heading in the right direction. It's not as if people are sitting in the dock and this is something brand new, which is awesome because there's a big push to get better, have a better visibility of how my business is running and how my sales are doing from a process. How many deals do I have at closing stage? Who's in proposal who needs a demo who needs to follow up that kind of step?
Absolutely. We live in the information age. Data is key. Without it, we're lost. What, what are we doing? And so, right it's encouraging that many field service companies are beginning or are a few years into their digital transformation, but from what I'm hearing, it seems like it would behoove them even more to keep pushing down that road, utilize data, information, software, and use those tools to their advantage, to keep growing and, and keep customer satisfaction.
Most definitely. It's the only way to sort of take your business, into the, the phase where you are, your clients, your customers are completely digital in their lives. I mean, we don't use cash anymore. We use plastic for the most part. You know, I still like having cash sometimes just because of the nostalgia, but ultimately you can pay, you know, through the internet, you can pay through it a lot of different ways and the clients are used to this.
Let's be honest, we're all used to buying online. We're all used to getting all of these things org ordered and done online. So from your business standpoint, in any industry, not just in field service, but. We're speaking about field service, you need to give them those offerings and make it easier for your clients during their customer journey, to see what you offer, to see how much it's gonna cost them, and ultimately to receive that payment. Every single part of that step can be digital and it can be visible into the start for the sales. What products we have, how much it costs to the contracting, how many contracts are we losing? How many are we getting? And then ultimately to the close and receiving the payments and getting that in.
And that's what we're seeing. There definitely needs to be an offering. Just like your client's experience at home sitting on their couch.
Absolutely. If me as a consumer, I can purchase anything dog food, a chair, this microphone, a computer online, and have it show up at my house in a week, maybe two days a day, overnight field service companies , it would behoove them to come to the customer in that way and bring that customer journey to them.
Yes, most definitely. You need to be running your business digitally. You need to be looking at the it and the data. It's not gonna stop. You know, it's not like we're at a point where technology is stopping, right. It's gonna keep growing, keep changing. So you need to be more, it focused to be able to run your business in the digital world. We live in. It's what we live in. We all even have our own data stored in these data centers all over the place. You've gotta be doing it as a business so that you are not just in the know for the latest things that come out in technology, but also that you're more efficient you're faster and you are giving your clients a far better customer journey, a far better experience with your company, with you needing to do less steps and less effort, right. It frees up so much more time, as we all know. And it, it's gotta be more of a focus on getting quality time back in your day so that you can focus on building your business and the other parts that actually need work. And I'm not spending my time filling in form upon form upon form.
Absolutely. It's not only beneficial to the customer and their customer experience and customer journey. it's huge for the company and for the employees that work for them. They're, without pen and paper, without, Microsoft word documents, with the modern digital tools and software that they can be equipped with- it can streamline processes, help boost sales, and give them the information they need to keep up in the, in the modern world.
Exactly. And, you know, in sales, we even have a term. What would it mean to you if you got an hour or two hours or 10 hours in your day, your week, or your month back, what would that mean for you? And the response is overwhelmingly that my quality of life will improve. And that's not just for, you know, a manager or an owner that always goes all the way down to their technicians, not needing to spend hours on forms or you lose a form and then you stress. I cut grass here in a field service company and we use paper forms and yeah, if you lose that form, you're like, oh, what am I gonna say?
Yeah. And none of that happens. You can in five minutes, get rid of. All your notes, all your pictures, everything, everyone can see it straight away and you're done for the day. Mm-hmm . You don't have to go sit for an hour. You can go home and, you know, spend some time with the family, or your friends and, and enjoy that extra hour to yourself because you did your job.
And it was absolute joy to do your job because you didn't have to worry about anything because Chris of about an end, we're done.
All right, Ross. That sound means it's time for our rapid fire segment. The part of the show where we get to know you on a more personal level, the time is short and stakes are high, and we need to get to know you fast. Are you ready?
Yeah, let's play my game show.
All right, here we go. Okay. Ross, what is your favorite sports team?
South African rugby team.
At what temperature do you cook your steak?
I don't cook a steak at a temperature. I cook it on a grill and I know when it's ready. Medium rare.
All right. All right. All right.
What is your favorite south African food,
Boerewors and lamb chops.
Awesome. Your favorite country that you visited?
That's not fair. Favorite country that I've visited? That's very good to Thailand.
Favorite city that I've ever visited Chicago.
There it is folks. Well done, Ross. Woo. That was a close one. Chicago. That's encouraging to hear, as a native Chicagoan.
Well, I did move halfway around the world to make sure that I live in a city I absolutely love so yeah, when I landed, paid out here, fell in love with this city. That's why I moved here.
That makes sense. I'm glad you said medium rare for steak because that makes sense. But you just, you just know you put it on the grill. And, you know.
You know, I'm South African, we have you guys call it a barbecue walk. We call it a Bri and that's very, very, very, very serious for us back home.
Now you guys do low and slow. We don't. We do the fire. Yeah. And yeah, no, if you, if you make a mistake in South Africa with a stake, you're in big trouble. My friend you're in big trouble.
You're out of there.
Yeah, absolutely. and you've gotta know how to make steak.
In, in the, in the food area here - what was that first thing you said before?
Land lamb chops. Okay. So that's Boerewors pap and sheba. Okay. so boerewors is so I'm actually Afrikaans, English is my second language, but, we have a sausage that's called boerewors. It looks kind of like Italian sausage that you guys would know, but it's a south African, farmer sausage is the direct translation, and the predominant spice in it would be coriander. Now, pap and sheba is, a Zulu dish, where the pap is actually maize meal or corn meal, that we make into a type of like lump porridge, like a dryer porridge. Then Sheba is a tomato and onion sauce that you fry with some herbs and spices and put that then on the pap so it's like sausage and pap and Sheba and then yeah, lamb chops in South Africa or something to behold.
Well, that sounds delicious. You've got me hungry. Well that is great, Ross, let us get back to our interview.
I'm gonna switch to your process specifically as a sales professional. How do you connect with somebody in an authentic way? I know me personally, I'm a little wary of a salesperson coming and, and cold calling me and I'm sure many folks are. So how, as a sales professional, do you make that authentic connection and avoid that pushy salesperson trope?
Yeah, the, the pushy salesperson at trope. At the end of the day, there's, there's gotta be an understanding that you are always going to go into these situations for the first time with people being on the, the back foot. You know, they, they are guarded. They know what you are, they know why you're there. They're guarded. Now what happens often in sales, there's so much information out there that we get all these different sayings or intros or all these different things we can get into when we start sales and all this. For me, I am all about being upfront, straightforward, not gonna mess.
I'm not gonna waste your time. Don't waste mine type idea. That comes all the way back from where I learned to sell in the beginning is that don't waste people's time. You know, these people aren't bothered, about, you know, that your dog is sicker you into the vet or, you know, there's a beautiful sunshine outside or something that will come up later.
At the beginning of the conversation you want to. Tell them who you are. Hi, my name's Ross. I don't say my company's name. I don't do things like that. Hi, my name's Ross. Reason for my call? "This" Would you like to talk? You know, there's different variations of it, but I don't go in and try to trick people to talk to me.
I don't go, "oh, give me a few minutes here" or let's that or anything like that. I go and I'm authentic. I am who I am, what I am, and I tell them why I'm there. "Hey, you know, I'm here to sell you this product", but I don't dive into it, waste 40 minutes of their time trying to speak about it. It's really short and brief.
And if they tell me no, I ask why, and they'll say they either have what they want, they just got something, or, you know, it's not even, even in the thing. And there's no point to carry on a conversation with someone who does not need you. They don't need you. That's it. So for me, it's about finding out.
Whether they need me, whether I can help them and be authentic. I'm completely straightforward, honest. And to the point, I don't try to pull the wool over the ice. That's how I don't come across pushy and I never push. I never push for anything. I will answer you. I will show you what we have. I'll show you how it works.
Ultimately it's be used wanting the product. You've gotta need it.
Absolutely. It's you coming in and saying, "Hi, I'm Ross, here is my purpose here". Why we're having this conversation, here's my product or service and like a take it or leave it pretty much.
Exactly. Exactly. Balls in your court. Decide whether you wanna have a further conversation or not. Right. I mean, if you think of the phone call, everyone makes fun of is the one where this is your limited warranty. Now, have you ever listened to the full recording of that?
I can't say I have.
It is extremely long. It's a lot longer than you think. So the thing is, you've gotta think about it sort of in that way, what's annoying to people, right? Some random person calls you up and just starts spewing at you. You don't want that, but someone calls you up gives you their name tells you why they calling. You tells you, would you like to learn more?
You have a choice to make. If you say actually sounds interesting. Let's have a conversation. Great. "When's good for you? I know I've caught you out blue." And then set it up and go have your chat when it's more convenient.
Right. It's being straightforward, polite, authentic, as you said. And it, it comes down to a level of mutual respect and honesty.
Yeah. There's a saying, I really like, it's be brief. Be brilliant. Be gone. So you've gotta go in. You've gotta be brief to the pointer waste people's time and be brilliant. You've gotta be on your best. You've gotta be sharp. You've gotta know why you're there. You gotta know what you're saying, know who you're talking to and then be gone.
Yeah, I, I like that be brief and be brilliant, be gone that reminds me be gone. Yeah. leave. Leave them wanting more that, that, you know, in my past life, as a musician, I, there are so many parallels, but that reminds me of Miles Davis or Count Basie who notably played very few notes, but every note they played, like every word you would say as a salesperson had meaning and had a depth and purpose. As opposed to an extremely long car warranty, voicemail that you're getting that you immediately turn off.
It doesn't even take you two seconds to put that phone down.
Yep. Exactly. Which is why I've never listened to more than two seconds of it before.
Curiosity. It's a big trait of mine.
Okay, great. So in terms of field service and, transitioning to a sales process in this industry, Can you tell me about the benefits of upselling and adding on something to a ticket? Both for the business and the consumer.
Okay. Yeah. So upselling sort of from the base of it, plain and simple, let's talk about the nitty gritty of it. It's more revenue you're pushing more product. You're doing. More for your business to move forward. That's the cold, hard truth about it. You're making more money for your business. There's better profits. You make more money company makes more money, plain and simple, but it's more than that because upselling is also a way for you to show your clients that you're not just thinking about, you know, this one thing we're putting in and let's do that. You're thinking how you could make the entire life better. So if we think of field service, you know, it's AC plumbing, HVAC, all kinds of different services from drainage and sewers to pest control, fire and security.
There's so many different industries. All these industries are about making people's lives more comfortable, making them cleaner in cases, making them safer in a lot of cases. And the benefit of upselling in these businesses are you actually have the products, the knowledge and the knowhow to know that if you add on this extra bit, it will make life a lot better for everyone.
That for me is kind of the reason upselling happens and why it's successful. If you can understand that, you know, I know we came for this product and we spoke about this, but one thing we know about homes like this, about this situation, about the place we are today, that if we were to add these few extra bits, That would make everything for you, better solve all your problems and increase your quality of life.
That's a huge up benefit in upselling, that's just one of the biggest ones. The other one, and the one that's not always spoken about in upselling is you actually build a better relationship with your clients. You know, and it comes down to their trust again. Because they may say no, you know, and it happens a lot in upselling where there's a no, but they know, and they feel that you have been more than just someone trying to push them a product.
You've gotta be careful in upselling to come a cross pushy. It's kind of easy once you're there to get a little, you know, big-headed or something or think, oh, it's in the bag. It happens in sales. So you've gotta stay humble and you've gotta help the client. But if you do, you build a relationship with a client that will be fostered far more concrete, far more trust build,and from my understanding that you're there to help them and not just sell them products.
Right. It's like if you, if you can establish a relationship from the beginning, from the estimate, from the quoting and build that trust along the sales process, the upselling, it won't be predatory "give me more money", kind of action. It'll establish trust. I guess what I've learned from this conversation is it all comes down to trust and respect. And if you can establish that trust along the way, the upsell will just further build on that relationship, showing you that the company is looking out for the best interests of the customer.
Yeah, absolutely trust and respect is builds into the rapport, the negotiating, the close, everything. If someone doesn't trust you, they're not gonna buy your product and trust. Isn't just about, oh, you know, he's a trustworthy person. I trust that. He's telling me the truth, that kind of thing. It's that they really truly believe that you have their best interest in heart.
And it's not always easy, but it is Paramount to sales that people trust you because that is how you keep them as clients. Any Joe soap his mate, can go out there, sell a product to someone, not care, not this, and they'll sell that product. But that's where it ends. No referrals, no added bonus, no upselling, no nothing. It ends right there.
Then the respect part to that is the other part. You have the respect to say no to them. "No. Sorry. I don't think we're gonna help you." You have the respect to say no. And you also have the respect to have hard conversations with your clients. To have the nice conversations with your clients. You know, you respect what they're looking for. You respect what you can and can't do. And you build everything around the sales that have been thrown into these very specific little words that don't encompass what's actually totally important.
Like rapport, how can anyone explain in sales? What rapport is? It means a thousand different things to a thousand different people. Trust is far stronger than rapport and it encompasses so much more when you get to the negotiating table and someone trusts you, do you think they're gonna have a problem if you upsell them? They won't.
And the respect to be able to tell them no and yes and to respect their input and listen to what they have to say. That happens through the whole sales process.
Right. It all, it all boils down to that, that trust and that respect. As we wrap up here, do you have any tips or tricks for a new sales team?
For a new sales team top tip or idea - make sure you understand what your clients really want, plain and simple. Do your market research. What we find is a lot of people go into these sales and they don't do their market research. They don't really understand what the clients want.
Maybe you are selling product X and the client loves product Y type idea. So you've gotta do some market research. The second part to that for a new sales team is you have to get a process in. From your prospecting to your discovery introduction. If you have a demo phase or something like that, get a process in place and make sure you keep everyone on top of who they're speaking to, where the conversation is and where we are heading. You need to make sure there's a clear direction for every deal from start to finish. That will definitely make a big difference within your sales org.
And then I I'd say probably my last one would be get all the sales people together, sit down at a table for an hour a week and go over all your conversations.
Speak about all the, the difficult deals, the easy deals, those deals that close really quickly. People don't always want to dissect those. And it's so important that you dissect what's winning and why it won and what was said. And why did that work? The analysis. Exactly and in instead of that, but make it fun.
You know, sales at the end of the day is supposed to be fun and it's fun if you're out there to help people and to make their lives better and understand that your product is something that people need and you need to find the people that need it and give it to them.
That's why sitting down for an hour with the whole sales team, you're all sitting there talking about, you know, "Mrs. Jones said this and this. I said this and this, it went this way. They're like, yeah, well, you know, I spoke to Adam over there and he said that." All of that is a collective knowledge of what works in my industry, in my market. What are people saying? The more you can understand what people are saying and hearing the faster you're gonna learn how to speak to them, what interests them, what's important to them. Then your sales will go up. But if you don't have a process in place, all the other lovely stuff around, it just won't work.
Absolutely trust, respect, process information, boy, there, there it is folks. You know, we're about out of time, but in closing, I wanted to give a big thank you to our featured guest, top sales professional and territory account manager, Ross van Dyke. Thanks for coming by.
Oh, Charles, thanks very much for having me, absolutely lovely being on the show tonight and hope we get to do it again sometime. Always get to speak about sales.
All right, we'll see you soon.
This has been Take Stock! Presented by Commusoft. We hope you enjoyed this episode. Be sure to subscribe, leave a review, and check out more content on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. and at our website - commusoft.com.