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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the Sales Game Changers LIVE Webinar sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales on April 21, 2021. It featured Optoro Enterprise Sales Leader Caroline Turner and Thrive Senior Living COO Nicole Moberg.]
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CAROLINE’S TIP FOR EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “I really think it gets down to the person on the other end of the phone always wants to be heard. We as salespeople come armed with a deck and want to bulldoze over them. Take the time just to listen to the other person, let them feel heard, let them feel like you understand where they’re coming from. Don’t be afraid to be that thought leader and push them into a new direction, push them to what other companies are doing that you deem as the best that are out there. That is the best steward you can be for the company of changing mindset and how you all can support them.”
NICOLE’S TIP FOR EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “Ask your leader and your customer what your reputation is, how are you perceived? That can be a simple one, but it’s a hard one. Be ready for the response and have an open heart when you ask it. Go to your leader right now and ask what your reputation is in the company. Go to your top customers right now and ask what your reputation is. Or say, “Why are you still doing business with me?” I think that is probably some of the most valuable information you’ll ever get. Feedback is a gift, and if we create that as part of our culture, make it open, make it as a very positive thing in your culture and your team, I think you can really get yourself to the next level.”
THE INTERVIEW STARTS HERE
Fred Diamond: Welcome to the Sales Game Changers Live. Every Wednesday we interview sales leaders from around the globe about how they’re working with their customers, how they’re managing their teams and how they’re keeping the sales process going. We got a great show today, we have Caroline Turner from Optoro and we have Nicole Moberg from Thrive Senior Living.
Caroline Turner, it’s great to see you. For people are historians of the Sales Game Changers podcast, you were episode #003. You were actually the first interview that we did back in 2017 after a couple of the test interviews that we had done. It’s great to see you.
Nicole, it’s great to meet you. You’re a well-regarded sales leader, of course now you’re doing more than just sales which we’ll get to in a little bit. Caroline, why don’t you go first? Why don’t you tell us how you’re doing? Tell us how things are going and how the pandemic has affected your efforts?
Caroline Turner: Thanks so much for having me back, it’s so great to be here. Here we are 13 months into the pandemic. Initially no one knew what was going to happen in the world. What I’m seeing now, especially at the turn of the year, is that folks are back in a buying mode. Latent deal cycles that were quiet, that everything was on hold, technology roadmaps were just putting the breaks on stuff, folks are ready. They need solutions, they’re willing to get out of survival mode. \
What we’re seeing is conversations that were started pre-pandemic, Q1 2020 are now back to life and are starting to close, which is exciting. I think we have a lot to look forward to.
Fred Diamond: Give us a little context about what Optoro does.
Caroline Turner: Optoro is a return solution. As everyone’s buying stuff online, guess what? You return a lot more stuff because it doesn’t fit or it’s the wrong style. We are the technology that helps you to return that on a website and then helps to find its next best home in the most efficient way possible.
Fred Diamond: Nicole Moberg, it’s great to see you. Thrive Senior Living, one point you had led sales, now you’re the COO of the company so you’re running more than just sales. We’re interested in seeing how that evolution has gone, but Senior Living. Obviously, you guys have been foremost as an industry over the last year, a lot of interesting things happened. Why don’t you give us a little bit of a perspective on how things are going for you and how the pandemic has affected your efforts?
Nicole Moberg: Thank you so much for having me. I guess I would say this, picture this. It’s January, February 2020, we’re hitting record results as a company, the marketing plan is in place, the sales team, tons of focus and then COVID hits. An industry, mind you, that houses the most vulnerable population.
Our sales process is eye-to-eye, hand-to-hand helping walk people through the process so our script was completely flipped. I will tell you, right away we had a decision. Was it status quo or was it pivoting? And that’s exactly what we did. We did calls every day, really focused on mindset for the sales team, that was what we found was absolutely key. Helping them come up with different messaging to cater to what was going on.
And somewhat of what Caroline said, it helped us build up that pent-up demand. We integrated new technologies. We’re still seeing the impact but we are also seeing the pent-up demand. The pandemic has certainly changed us and has created some burnout. But I would say the A players weathered the storm really well and they’re stronger for it. And that goes to the sales leaders as well
Fred Diamond: A question comes in from Jeremy, Jeremy just says, “Senior living, woah.” Obviously you guys as an industry has been in the news. Nicole, give us a little bit of a perspective on what it’s like to sell what you sell. You talked a little bit about how that shifted, but in general, what kind of sales professionals sell Senior Living type of services?
Nicole Moberg: We’ve actually dubbed this term, hunter with a heart. When I came into the industry, salespeople were called marketers and we know in this call there’s a difference between sales and marketing. Two very different functions need to work together very closely and focus on building lead generation inquiries.
The hunter with a heart is that salesperson that can sit with someone during potentially one of the most difficult times of their lives. At the same time, help them make a decision and sit with them. It truly is someone that doesn’t just have that heart, that high empathy but someone that can ask the hard questions and have a ton of persistence. Because these are not questions that are easy to ask and are even more challenging to answer. It’s definitely a unique sale.
Fred Diamond: We do webinars every single day, as people know who are listening, and there are a couple words that come up all the time. You just mentioned one, which of course, is empathy. Caroline, talk a little bit about how empathy works in your industry. Has it changed? How’s it been modifying? First of all, also, who do you sell to? Do you sell to the retailers or do you sell to UPS? Tell us a little bit about who your customers are.
Caroline Turner: We sell to retailers and we sell to brands. We work with folks like Ikea and Best Buy, we run all of their returns as well as American Eagle. On the empathy piece, I think what this moment in time has done for us is literally given all of us a window into each other’s lives or in each other’s homes. Nicole, you mentioned burnout. Everybody’s feeling some sort of feeling afraid.
What I’m seeing really effective sales folks do in this environment is be really conscious that people have a million things they’re juggling outside, I’m going to make this sales process as easy for you as possible. I’m going to wrap you in process, I’m going to walk you through it, take it in bitesize pieces because you are thinking about a thousand other things right now you have to solve, not just doing your day job. That’s how we translate empathy, just trying to make it easier for folks to work with us.
Fred Diamond: Let’s talk about some priorities. Caroline, let’s start with you. As a sales leader, what are some of the top priorities right now this week? It’s interesting because when I interviewed you for the first time for the Sales Game Changers podcast we talked about questions like, “Tell us about a mentor”, “Tell us about your greatest sales success”, “Tell us about what your advice is for being successful in the next year or so.”
Now, every single day that we’re doing a webinar it’s about, “What should I be doing today?” We were using the hashtag #rightnow very frequently. What are some of the priorities for you right now? And then Nicole, I want to hear from you as well.
Caroline Turner: As I mentioned, the turn of the year just felt like a new breath of fresh air for folks, maybe psychologically or just as new budgets were in place. We’re really trying to close out some of those deals that just came into our pipeline in Q1. This week, that’s it. Before a meeting coming up, we want this stuff closed.
The second is just thinking about how do we get into the top of the funnel? For folks who didn’t have capacity to talk to us last year, wasn’t really moving, we’re leveraging virtual conferences, we’re leveraging referrals, partners. To just get in front of the right audience right now to build that momentum so that we’re top of mind as folks are thinking about the returns problem, which they’re all coming out of. Everybody returns stuff after Christmas, after the holiday season so it’s fresh, they felt the pain, we’re trying to get in front of folks as they’re doing their budgeting into Q3, we’re on their minds.
Fred Diamond: Nicole, what about you? What are the top priorities right now for you as a sales leader?
Nicole Moberg: One is we’re well into Q2, salespeople, as we all know, like to know where they stand. They like to know where they rank and I think sometimes we think, “Okay, we’ll do the weekly rankings, they’ll see where they rank and that’s all the feedback they need. They know where they stand.” We are taking a step back and saying, “Let’s actually really sit with this sales team member and truly understand their personal and professional goals.”
Burnout is real, we all know that. Sales is a hard profession, we get rejection. We can’t take out that personal and that professional. But long story short, we sit with our team, we do what we call quarterly assimilation. We look at thinking habits and skills based on the sales success framework that we’ve created and the pillars in those. We sit with them and we share with them how we feel they’re doing, they share how they feel they’re doing. We’re in the midst of that.
The other thing we’re doing right now, I’m actually in the middle of it, is customer listening circles. I think with COVID we can do an online survey, that’s great, we’ll get great feedback but nothing replaces face-to-face. This week I’m physically at one of our communities. We did three yesterday sitting with families, who is our ultimate customer along with our residents, and just listening. What can we be doing better? What are we not doing today? What are we not thinking of with respect to how this has all changed for you?
If you think about it, they haven’t been able to see their loved ones for a year. Hearing from them is absolutely #1. That’s been the two, and we took that information from yesterday and we rallied the team this morning and we created this Q2 contest. We tied in the feedback that we got from families in a very positive way so they were really excited and rallied around it. We killed two birds with one stone, heard the feedback and motivating the team. That’s what we’re doing right now.
Fred Diamond: I’m just curious, what are some of the skills that someone would need to be successful in selling senior living? Then the same thing for you, Caroline. Again, you mentioned empathy, sales with a heart, but what kind of skills does someone need to be successful selling what you do? Nicole, why don’t you go first since we just talked about your customers?
Nicole Moberg: Hunter with a heart I explained it’s someone that can connect with people but at the same time, help them make a decision. I would say in our industry what we do know is that it takes an average 21 touchpoints from the time of inquiry to move in, so it’s persistence. We say grit, it can be an overused term but we believe it’s that passion, perseverance for long-term goals. And it’s not just follow-up, it’s creative follow-up.
I absolutely believe in the phone, people are actually picking it up now and have been since COVID even more so than ever, but it’s also using creativity in the phone call, in the follow-up. We brought on a technology piece during COVID earlier, it’s an app to do videos and to track the videos that people have watched. A lot of industries are doing that, but it really is important in our industry. I would say those are the most important things. Grit and that passion, perseverance to follow up but also, being able to connect with people.
Fred Diamond: Caroline, how about you? What are the skills for a good sales professional in your industry for your technology?
Caroline Turner: Managing returns and especially the rise of e-commerce, this is something new on folks’ radar. Usually, returns are the things that nobody wants to deal with so really arming the reps with the confidence to be that thought leader. Telling someone, “This is what good looks like” when you think about e-commerce customer journey, how important returns is and walking them through what the best companies are doing. That’s one.
The other, I totally agree with Nicole, it’s that persistence. You’ve got to stay in front of them, you have to break down the cycle into small pieces and keep pushing them along to get that decision. Or if ultimately it’s a no, you want to know that as well. Get them out of your pipe so you can move on.
Fred Diamond: As challenging as the last year has been, there’s obviously been positive things that have come from it. It’s crazy to think that it’s been a year that we’ve been operating this way. Nicole, for people watching, you’re actually traveling today. You mentioned you were at some of your customer locations yesterday. Caroline, you’re based in the DC area, people haven’t left their houses in many cases. Talk a little bit about what some of the positive things are that have come out of the last year as a sales leader. Caroline, why don’t you go first?
Caroline Turner: I had mentioned it earlier, this idea of just with your team being invited into their homes. I think in the past folks may have sheltered you from what’s going on in their personal lives. Now it’s front and center and it brings a lot more empathy and you’re able to share a bit more than folks did in the past. That’s been very positive.
I found from the executive team on down, everybody’s leaning in to figure out how we can help close business. It’s made us more nimble, it’s made us more creative on closing deals and move faster just for the urgency of, “This person’s ready to buy, we’re going to do what it takes to get them over the line.” That’s been fantastic as a sales leader having such partnership across the company.
Fred Diamond: Nicole, I want to ask you also about the positive things that have come out. Based on what Caroline just said, she said more people are involved. Have you found that as well where it’s not just the salespeople but the rest of the organization has come into the sales process at some level?
Again, we know how we can access people because in a lot of cases, people have their cameras on and they’re logged into Zoom, Teams, GoToMeeting or whatever it might be. It’s not too hard to send a text and say, “Jump on to the meeting right now” as compared to if they were in an airport of something. I’m just curious, on your side, have you seen that as well where more people in the corporation have gotten involved in the sales process?
Nicole Moberg: I would say two things to that. One is I feel like the leader during COVID had to change. I’m talking about the executive team as well, it’s not just sitting on the sidelines, visionary, ivory tower. It’s in the trenches with the team, that’s exactly the leadership that was needed during COVID. What that’s helped done is break down silos.
In the role I’m in now moving from Chief Sales Officer to Chief Operating Officer really has allowed me to see inside almost every area of the business. It’s created momentum in working together. But as far as the biggest surprise, one thing that was a big surprise for us – I don’t know if it was a surprise, but you hear the stats. People are already 60% to 80% through the buying cycle before they even get to the salesperson.
I think what was a little bit staggering for us is we felt it was almost up to 80% during COVID. Think about what that means. It’s staggering. It means that we can avoid that. One thing that we actually did, we brought on a chief storyteller that helped us tell the story. People couldn’t come see us, but we wanted to get our message out there. It really helped from a marketing and sales perspective.
Our chief storyteller went into our community, showed the reality. Because we’re already in an industry that people need to be educated on, they don’t quite understand what it is that we do, they think it’s nursing home hospitals. We brought on a chief storyteller to really tell the story. Three of us were talking earlier, infection control, we had to pivot our whole sales message and we had to work together to do that.
It wasn’t just marketing/sales, it was operations, it was the clinical team having a voice, it was all of us working together.
Fred Diamond: Caroline, for people who are watching today, you spent a good part of your career at CEB. They were with The Challenger Sale, that was one of the first places to publish the 57% stat that the customers are 57% down the road, which Nicole says maybe now is as far as 80%. I’m going to put you on the spot here, how does storytelling work in your industry as well? Again, you’ve worked at some amazing places, you’ve been a sales leader for so long. Talk about that angle in your sales process. How do you direct your people to maybe get that type of emotion across?
Caroline Turner: We’re sharing a lot of data. For example, 90% of the people that have a bad returns experience do something to hurt the brand. Whether it’s posting online, telling your sister not to buy from that company. Getting that visual in front of folks, they’re getting the thumbs-down on Facebook, really comes to life for them. Of course, they’re hearing it, they’re seeing it, they’re doing social listening. We’re trying to take some of that data and make it come alive for folks.
Which is why I think, and back to The Challenger Sale, that storytelling, disrupting how people are thinking about how to do their day-to-day is so important. We like to bring data, of course, to the conversation but really make it come to life by putting it in client voice and telling a story of why did American Eagle start working with us? What was hard for them in growing e-commerce sales? You start to feel it yourself and you put yourself in those folks’ shoes.
Fred Diamond: What are people doing wrong right now? Again, you both work with a lot of people. Nicole, a lot of your background has been in education, you’ve worked a lot to teach people how to sell at the college level. Talk a little bit about what you see people doing wrong so they can start making some repairs. Nicole, why don’t you go first on that?
Nicole Moberg: One thing I think of when you say doing wrong, I think it’s this lack of realization that what happens today impacts the next 90. If a sales rep came to me and said, “I’m not seeing a whole lot of momentum.” Without fail, I’m going to go back to what they were doing 30, 60, 90 days ago. What does that really mean? For us, it means follow up all the time. When I said 21 touchpoints, it’s actually increased during COVID to 27.
Having that data, knowing that data, knowing what that truly means. It means if you don’t follow up today, it’s going to impact the next 30, 60, 90 days. I don’t know that people are doing it wrong, it’s going back to the basics. I think it’s a really good reminder. Sometimes we know what to do, we’re just not doing it and sometimes it’s good to be reminded.
Fred Diamond: Caroline, one thing that we talk about all the time is follow-up. Did you know Steve Richard at CEB?
Caroline Turner: Yeah, we just did a training with him as well.
Fred Diamond: Did you? He’s been on the podcast a couple of times. For people listening, his company, ExecVision tracks millions of sales rep phone calls. I asked him, “Having listened to millions of phone calls, what do you see is the biggest fault?” and he said, “Lack of follow-up. People won’t ask for the next thing, for the second meeting or for follow-up.” What’s your call on that? What are some of the things that you see people doing wrong?
Caroline Turner: Certainly I’ve noticed that at lots of companies I’ve worked with, folks don’t same, “How does same time next week work just to get your feedback?” It’s so easy and people say, “Oh, sure, I’ve got it.” So just trying to teach folks little hacks to just ask for that follow-up call and that expectation that at every opportunity, you’ve got something scheduled with them.
Also, what folks are doing wrong, I learned this at CEB and it’s true everywhere. Regardless if you’re talking to a CXO who is a megastar in their business, you are still the expert on your business. Having that confidence to come in, be the expert on what you’re selling and be that thought leader, only you have the perspective what other companies are doing and why they’re coming to you. That person wants to hear it, they want to hear what other folks are doing.
I think the best folks are able to pull that out and talk about it, whereas other folks are still learning it and maybe aren’t comfortable and go right to the feature dump, which is not that interesting.
Fred Diamond: I want to talk to you both about customer conversations. Again, we talked before, Nicole, you mentioned about the empathetic conversations and we talked a little bit about empathy. We mentioned 21 to 27 steps during COVID to get to eventually where you want to get to. Talk about what people should be talking about, and let me tell you the context. Like we mentioned, we’ve all gone through and are continuing to go through the effects of COVID.
You listened in then very beginning I mentioned some of the sponsors for the Institute for Excellence in Sales, none of those companies are back in offices. Everybody who works with them is still at home, they’re not going to events, their customers in many cases are not going to the office as well. Talk a little bit about how you’d encourage sales professionals to have conversations.
Is it okay to talk for half an hour about how your kids are doing if you know you have a kid in college? Again, Nicole, you taught a lot, I mentioned in the beginning during our prep that I have a daughter who’s in college right now. Or like Caroline, you just mentioned, people want to get to the features and the benefits which we all know that’s where they go wrong.
I’m interested in both of your thoughts. Nicole, why don’t you go first? Do we still have the latitude to have those, “Let’s just talk to a prospect even though it might not be leading to a demo” or something like that?
Nicole Moberg: It’s an interesting question for Senior Living because just talking is a lot of our sales process, it’s actually deep knowing is what we call it. People, they want to feel known and that’s actually how they make the decision in our industry. It’s actually more important than ever.
What we’re finding and I alluded to this earlier, the phone, people want to talk longer and they’re asking more questions. They may be 80% through the buying process, but once they get to us they still want to make the right decision. That’s where we come in, it’s having those hard conversations.
To Caroline’s point which I really liked, I think revolving around this is they know more than they think they do. Acting as that expert with them, they’d know even though the prospect is the one going through this situation, our salespeople know more because they see it every single day. The conversation’s very human, it’s very emotional, it’s very intentional there are real conversations, there’s more patience needed than ever.
I always challenge my sales team too, be the last to hang up. It’s almost counter-intuitive to be fast. Let them be the last one to speak and just see if there’s more questions. It’s amazing what happens when they do that because it’s so hard for salespeople. They want to hang up the phone and move onto the next one. If they just sit back and listen and let them be the last, just make sure.
I’ve heard multiple stories where they actually said, “Oh, before you go, I have one more question.” It’s been a lot of fun, people are answering the phone and having those conversations and it needs to have that emotional connection.
Fred Diamond: We had a great guest on, his name is Rob Jolles. He’s taught at Xerox and he was one of the creators of the Xerox Training Program. He talked about questioning and he said the best question was, “And…?” That’s something that he was training people to say. Even when they just answered the question, “And…?” And he said, invariably, people would find something else to say.
As a sales professional, you don’t want to screw it up so sometimes like you just said, it’s like, let me get them off the phone because I achieved my goal of talking today and hopefully having something to do with follow-up. Caroline, how about you? What are some of your thoughts on the conversations that sales professionals should be having today?
Caroline Turner: I totally agree with Nicole. I think everybody is here for that outlet to be human, to talk about how this is impacting them. We recently went through the sales process with Steve Richard and I can’t remember what we talked about, but I loved that conversation. It’s like Maya Angelou called, folks remember how you made them feel, not what you said. I’m paraphrasing, but it’s true.
If you can connect on some level, they escaped to Palm Springs for a week and are working remote or they finally got to see a long lost relative, it makes a huge difference as things get hairy in the sale cycle, which they always do. Have some baseline relationship, I think it’s great.
When we do our training, if on that first call they want to talk for 25 minutes and you can do a 5-minute one slide pitch, that’s okay. As long as you get the next step, you can do your pitch on the next call but you’ve made this connection.
Fred Diamond: We have a question here from Nickie, “How have you both changed as sales leaders in the past year?” Nicole, why don’t you go first? And again, you’re now running operations, not just sales with Thrive Senior Living. Give us a little perspective, how have you changed over the last year as a sales leader?
Nicole Moberg: Definitely feeling more connected to the rest of the organization being able to put all the pieces together. One thing that was a great reminder was that you’re always on stage as a leader. I think the emotions were really high this year. I think sometimes we underestimate the value of being vulnerable as a sales leader in particular, but also being strong and handling it very graciously.
There’s that term, as the leader goes, so goes the team and that’s true. If you’re showing a lot of stress, it’s going to reflect on your team. That’s one of the most disruptive toxic things you can do for your team. How has it changed me? I told you I worked at Disney before and you’re always on stage at Disney, you’re always on stage as a leader. This year was a really good reminder of that.
Fred Diamond: One of our guests said on one of the early webinars that we had done, they didn’t get a course when they went through their MBA on how to lead through a pandemic. We’ve all had to be creative and actually, I think you make a really good point. There is a degree of vulnerability but at the same time, we’re looking for the leaders that we talk to every day for leadership. Caroline, how about you? Same question from Nickie. How have you changed as a sales leader over the last year?
Caroline Turner: I think it’s given me the chance to even be more of a cheerleader for the folks that I work for, because I know how harder every deal is. You tow this line of driving people really hard but then also knowing that they’re fully supported too. I think I’ve pivoted more to really in the trenches, really get how hard this is right now for you. How can I help? Leaning more into the weeds than ever before.
In the midst of the Coronavirus, I switched to a smaller company and it lent itself to that too. I think I wanted to be closer to folks to really help out in the trenches.
Fred Diamond: What would be your expectations for salespeople right now? You both have given us so many great ideas, we talked about listening, we talked about empathy, we talked about becoming more of a subject matter expert. Specifically, what would be your expectations for sales professionals?
Caroline Turner: Nicole said it, I totally agree with it. It’s mindset. Folks need to buy stuff, there’s still budget, there’s still money. We’ve got to go into all these conversations that we are the best good for them, we understand their needs and map out how we can support them. We’re going to have to pivot, there are going to be problems. With this mindset of, “We can do this” I think is what drives salespeople every day.
Fred Diamond: Nicole, I have a quick question for you. You’re doing a lot of teaching, you’ve taught a lot of college student sales. Does mindset come up when you teach sales in the college level?
Nicole Moberg: Always. One thing I didn’t share is that during COVID, we did Selling in a Crisis course, all of us, the whole team together. 80%, 90% of it is mindset so yes, absolutely.
Fred Diamond: At the Institute for Excellence in Sales we would do one session per year on mindset typically on a Friday in October. Now, ladies and gentlemen, every single Thursday at 2:00 o’clock we talk just on how to maintain the Optimal Sales Mindset. Same question for you, Nicole. What are your expectations for sales professionals right now?
Nicole Moberg: I like to say complexity is the enemy of execution and confused buyers never buy. I think you can overcomplicate the message, I still see it today. Stop! I was on a vendor call last week and I said to this person, “How do I purchase? How do I buy?” and I couldn’t believe I had to ask that question. I still don’t know today how I do that and this was a Zoom call, they were selling by Zoom. I think that’s probably what they’ve always done but it was just so complicated.
When I think about what are our expectations, it’s to keep it simple. It’s so cliche and it’s so basic, but don’t overcomplicate it. It’s absolutely the enemy of execution. Like I said, I still don’t know to this day and I’m actually interested in buying, but I don’t know how to do it. My daughter is 11 now, I used to say I want to run it by her and if it sounds simple enough, then it’s just going to work.
Don’t just hear me say it, I think to our messaging over this year, if it hasn’t changed, there’s a problem. It’s challenging your team to be able to keep that message very, very simple and to ensure that it has changed.
Fred Diamond: I want to acknowledge you both, you both have led great sales organizations, you’re providing such valuable services to your customers. It’s such a critical part of the business process, Caroline. And Nicole, of course, you’re helping people with such a critical step at a certain point of their lives where confidence and safety and security are so critical. I want to acknowledge you both for all the people you’ve impacted over your careers and for the wonderful lessons you taught us today.
Give us an action step, give us something specific that people watching today’s webinar or listening to today’s podcast can do right now to take their sales career to the next level. Nicole, you get us started and then Caroline, you’ll bring us home.
Nicole Moberg: Two quick ones. The first one is ask your leader and your customer what your reputation is, how are you perceived? That can be a simple one, but it’s a hard one. Be ready for the response and have an open heart when you ask it. Go to your leader right now and ask what your reputation is in the company.
Go to your top customers right now and ask what your reputation is. Or say, “Why are you still doing business with me?” I think that is probably some of the most valuable information you’ll ever get. Feedback is a gift, and if we create that as part of our culture, make it open, make it as a very positive thing in your culture and your team, I think you can really get yourself to the next level.
There’s an actual exercise that really changed the trajectory of my career. It’s called reflective best sell, I’m going to recommend that. It’s something you can do on your own, but you work with others to ask for feedback. It really relates to when they saw you at your best. Like I said, it helped my whole career take a different pivot when I did that exercise.
The other one I’ll share is ongoing which is work diligently to replace yourself. It’s not that it’s just because it’s the right thing to do, which it is, to build other leaders. But guess what? If there’s opportunities in your company and you’ve worked diligently to replace yourself and you have done a great job, you’re going to be considered. That was probably the best piece of advice someone gave to me early in my career, truly work diligently to replace yourself. And it works.
Fred Diamond: Caroline, before you bring us home, we’re getting great feedback here. Henry says, “Thank you so much.” Nickie who asked a question before says, “This was excellent.” Sebastian says, “Thank you so much.”
Caroline Turner, why don’t you bring us home? Give us your final action step for people listening to today’s podcast.
Caroline Turner: Thank you for the opportunity. I really think it gets down to the person on the other end of the phone always wants to be heard. We as salespeople come armed with a deck and want to bulldoze over them. Take the time just to listen to the other person, let them feel heard, let them feel like you understand where they’re coming from. Don’t be afraid to be that thought leader and push them into a new direction, push them to what other companies are doing that you deem as the best that are out there. That is the best steward you can be for the company of changing mindset and how you all can support them.
Fred Diamond: Caroline Turner, thank you so much. Nicole Moberg, thank you so much. Everybody else who’s watched today or listened to the podcast, thank you all. Go out there and stay safe.
Transcribed by Mariana Badillo