How To Turn Talented Salespeople Into Million-Dollar Rainmakers

The story so far:

  1. Mike Mark’s ‘closer attraction system’ lets him talk to 200+ candidates at a time before shortlisting the best 2 to 4 for his clients.
  2. His competitors and clients don’t have the economies of scale to attract the quantity and quality of sales reps that he does.

A salesman may be superb at closing, but you can’t just put them on an offer and expect them to perform. If it’s a new offer in a new market, they need training to be able to talk to prospects well-enough to diagnose problems, present the offer, and overcome objections.

And the natural instinct of the business owner is to overtrain sales reps.

“You have to understand, the entrepreneur is thinking, ‘My business depends on this guy making sales. I’m paying a lot of money for these leads. I need to make sure they’re closing. So, I’m going to do everything in my power to get them to close.’”

“I don’t know why the gun.io owner didn’t train me at all, but it was awesome. I was lucky, I guess. He gave me zero training. He just kind of explained what the product was, who the market was, and that was it. He handed me a thread and I pulled on it. Did my own research. Listened to the market and my instincts. And so, it was super easy to sell them.”

In fact, it was this experience that inspired Mike to create the training system CoachingSales.com uses. They call it “Ramp Up And Calibration.”

“Alright, so, when you’re training the closers, how do you walk the tightrope of overtraining vs. undertraining?”

“Yeah, in the ramp-up phase, what they need to understand is the product they’re selling and the emotional journey of the sale. And so, they need to be able to speak the language of the market, understand the product’s USP, and go through enough success stories to believe in the product.”

“The journey of the sales is something I call the Hollywood Sales Method. It’s based on the idea of a 3-act play/film. And if you look at any sales call, especially inbound ones, they all follow the same 3-act structure.”

“The first act is uncovering the lead’s problem, pain or desire. The second act is presenting your offer. The third act is overcoming resistance to the sale.”

Mike goes on to teach me a concept he read in Breakthrough Advertising: Desire x Belief = Conviction

“The job of uncovering the problem is to create desire. The job of presenting the offer is to create belief. And then, what’s going to happen is they’re going to want it but there will be some normal feelings that come up. Like, for example, whenever you make a big change or commitment, it’s normal to be nervous.”

“So, the job of overcoming resistance is to intensify that belief until the prospect reaches a point of conviction. That’s when they buy. And the way you do this is by helping them label their feelings, process them, and guide them through the steps of making a decision.”

According to Mike, this foundational phase takes anywhere from 30 to 45 days. After this, they move on to the calibration phase.

“That’s when we get into the more advanced stuff. Like language patterns, conversational hypnosis, how to follow up, specific objection handling techniques, and so on. We also go into more detail on selling to different personalities and levels of buyer sophistication. We want the reps treating each person differently based on the way they process information.”

“The easiest way to describe it is the first phase is about locking in your script and presentation. The second phase is about knowing how to deviate from that intelligently. To put it another way, first you learn the rules. Then, you learn how to break the rules.”

Check. That covers training a salesman. But what about managing a team of them?

Mike messed up the first time he tried to do it at Traffic and Funnels. And they wasted 9 months – damn near an entire year – until he got his shit together. So, what’s he doing different now – besides not overtraining sales reps – to make sure his team and his clients’ are performing well?

“To be honest, management or being a sales manager is something you kind of have to worry about even before you hire. To give you an example, here’s the most common mistake I see people making…”

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Next: How Mike Mark overcame the “Player-Coach” paradox

Sub-text:

  1. When breaking-in salesmen, only train them on the product, the market, and the emotional journey of the sale.
  2. Once they’ve locked in their presentation, you can calibrate and optimize
  3. You must master the rules to earn the right to break them