The Sandler Success Triangle (Behavior, Attitude and Technique)

Dave Mattson is the CEO & President of Sandler Training, one of the most prestigious and well thought of sales training companies on the planet. In this episode of the Salesman Podcast, Dave is explaining how our behaviours, attitudes, and techniques determine success or failure in sales.

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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Dave Mattson
President of Sandler Training

Resources:

Transcript

Dave Mattson:

If you had a great attitude, but didn’t do any behaviour and your technique was poor. Okay. You’re still going to fail, right?

 

Will Barron:

Hello sales nation and welcome to today’s episode of the Salesman Podcast. On today’s show, we have Dave Mattson. He is the CEO over at Sandler training. And on today’s episode, we’re diving into the Sandler success triangle. It consists of behaviour, attitude, and technique, and Dave shares why behaviour is probably the thing that needs to come first, even though we’re all focusing on technique.

 

Will Barron:

Dave’s new book’s Sandler Rules For Sales Leaders is available on Amazon winning to everything else that we talk about in the show note to this episode over at salesmanpodcast.com and all that said, let’s jump in to today’s show. Dave, welcome to the Salesman Podcast.

 

Dave Mattson:

Thanks for having me Will.

 

The Sandler Success Triangle · [01:18] 

 

Will Barron:

I’m glad to have you on sir, we’ve talked about Sandler on many shows in the past, and we’ve had a bunch of your team on the show in different places throughout the couple of years that we’ve been running. So it’s great to have yourself on and to perhaps dive into this into even more detail than we have in the past. And there’s one element of Sandler training that I want to focus on today. And we’ll start with this and we’ll see where we go. And that is the Sandler success triangle. So this is behaviour, attitude, and technique, and how this all pulls together to have success in sales in particular.

 

Will Barron:

So where I want to start with this is we cover all these elements all the time on different episodes, but we’ve never looked at the bigger overall picture of how they interact perhaps, if we want to put it that way. How much of each do we need to have success in sales? Can we have success if we’re crushing it 99% in the behaviour side of things, but we have a terrible attitude, and average technique, or is it more efficient for us to be 70, 80% in all of them?

 

Dave Mattson:

It’s a good question. So it’s a triangle because I think you should have all three, right? It’s not a two legged stool. Those tend not to work. If you had a great attitude, but didn’t do any behaviour and your technique was poor. Okay, well, you’re still going to fail, right? Same with behaviour. If you didn’t do the behaviour, but you’re great at technique for the two prospects or customers, you talk to a year, that’s not enough either.

 

Dave Mattson:

So you need a healthy balance of all of them. And I think by default Will, most people tend to gravitate towards awesome technique. If I could be great at this talk track or this objection handling or this script that will get me through everything. And it doesn’t really, it only is a small spike of success, but then you’re going to go right back to where you were.

 

Why Most Sales Trainings Only Focus on Product and Technique · [02:45] 

 

Will Barron:

You took the words out my mouth here. The follow up question I was going to ask was why is sales training typically… And this has been my experience internally, the companies I’ve worked for in sales roles, it is a 100% focused on product features and benefits. And then sales technique is that because they’re just the easiest things to perhaps have on a whiteboard and to talk about?

 

“People will learn the techniques and then maybe 30 days later, they go right back to what they’re accustomed to doing. So why is that? There was no behavioural change and there was no mindset change. You’ve got to get those two things done.” – Dave Mattson · [03:24] 

 

Dave Mattson:

I think so, and I think oftentimes most training organisations don’t put them all together. So we try to make our claim to fame in the training, not Sandler, but in general, “Hey, we’ve got awesome technique.” But the issue as you say, is that people will learn the techniques. And then maybe 30 days later, they go right back to what they’re accustomed to doing.

 

Dave Mattson:

So why is it there was no behavioural change and there was no mindset change. If you think about exercise or dieting, it’s the same darn thing. Everyone goes and sets goals until probably February 1st and they’re right back to what they were doing last year, because there was no mind shift. There was no behavioural change. You got to get those things done.

 

Dave Mattson:

And to your point, if you said, “Hey, we have attitude training today. We’d like to invite you.” No one shows up, no one shows up for that. And so what we tend to do at Sandler is we have awesome tactics and strategies. And then we say, this is how you have to shift the way you think, and here’s how you behave. But we lead with technique because people are more willing to accept it.

 

Dave Mattson:

And then we sneak in the other ones after they say, now, if you’ve been in Sandler for a while, you understand the value of behaviour and attitude, because you know that that’s, what’s going to your growth and perpetuate this new behaviour that you’ve done. But in the beginning we gave you a technique and then we slip in behind with the other two.

 

Attitude, Behaviour and Their Link to Sales Success · [04:30]  

 

Will Barron:

Okay, well, let’s take technique off the table for today’s conversation. And I know my audience is skewed in the, if they’re downloading a podcast like this and listening to it near daily, that probably already on board with the fact that they’ve got to go beyond just what email subject line they’ve got to use or how they write stuff in a script before they make a call. So, I appreciate my audience of probably not representative of everyone in sales, probably the top performers, and then the people who want to become the top performers. So let’s take technique away and let’s focus on attitude behaviour for a second.

 

Will Barron:

Does one have to come before the other or are they interchangeable in how we should focus? And I’ll give you the context of you’re a salesperson listening to this, you’re on the way to a sales meeting or you’re on the way to the office. And you want to focus on one element from podcast. We want to give them some practical tips should attitude become before behaviour or are they interchangeable?

 

“If you do behaviours on a daily basis, it actually changes your attitude. And I think that’s really what we have to work on. People try to work on their mindset first without behaviour and they stall.” – Dave Mattson · [05:52] 

 

Dave Mattson:

Well, my opinion is that behaviour actually controls attitude. And we don’t wake up one day and say, if it’s raining, hell I don’t want to go jogging today. Or, Hey, today’s going to be a great day. In the mindset stuff, head attitude, successes resides right between your ears most of the time. And there’s a million things on the positive and negative side about mindset, but when it comes to behaviour, if you do the behaviours on a daily basis, it actually changes your attitude.

 

Dave Mattson:

And I think that’s really what we have to work on. People try to work on their mindset first without behaviour and they stall. And so if you had to pick one, I would pick behaviour because it will ultimately shift over to your attitude and you may not even realise it, but it happens in your daily life on your personal side and it’ll happen on your business side. So if you had to pick and Will, I would go with behaviour.

 

Will Barron:

I didn’t know you were going to go with that, but I totally agree. And I think this is something that’s missed. I’ve about other people gone the show before, and the guest is the expert I’m only here to pull insights out. But we’ve gone back and forth and a couple of ways of why other guests has thought attitude or however you want to label it, mindset comes before their actual steps in your day that the process side of things. And I agree, it’s the way around. And I know from the growth of the podcast, if I focus on right every day, I’ve got to put out a podcast as opposed and regardless, that’s the rule. There’s no, there’s no option.

 

Will Barron:

That then forces me to wherever I’m miserable or whenever I’m loving, editing these videos in the moment, or I’m loving going back and forth or someone’s cancelled or whatever it is. It makes a lot of that almost redundant. It makes a lot of that, in the moment it’s important, but then five minutes later, it becomes even more insignificant than what it really is as well.

 

“Most salespeople do not have a daily behavioural plan and so they rely on being reactive to the ups and downs of the day. And if salespeople would create a behavioural plan, they would be far more successful.” – Dave Mattson · [07:20] 

 

Dave Mattson:

Yeah. I think that’s true. And I think if most salespeople do not have a daily behavioural plan and so they rely on being reactive and will take technique off, but we also have the ups and downs of the day. I mean, listen, let’s face it sales. We lose more than we win. That’s just how it works and that’s not out how it works in most other parts of the business world, but it certainly works here in sales.

 

Dave Mattson:

And if sales people would create whether it’s a prospecting plan or a daily cookbook or recipe for success, a behavioural plan, they will far be more successful. And I even think for sales leaders, if they would work on behavioural plans, because look, you can only control. You can only do things that you can control. I can’t control outcomes. Whether people say yes or no to me, I can’t control the outcome.

 

Dave Mattson:

Whether somebody gives me an appointment, regardless if my technique is awesome, but I can control my own daily behaviour. And I also think that’s where people fall short of taking their corporate goal and their personal goal. What don’t end up doing, unfortunately, is link. What do I have to do every single day in order to hit that goal?

 

Dave Mattson:

They worry about the end result, which I cannot control. I can’t control whether I’ve got a 12 million quota. I can’t control that part, whether who says yes and who says no, but I can control my daily behaviours and activities in order for meeting, get to that number. And that’s the magic really?

 

The Benefits of Having a Behavioural Plan · [08:44]

 

Will Barron:

And this reduces your levels of stress as well, doesn’t it. If you’ve worked backwards from your end goal and your pipeline is full and you know that you’ve got to make as many calls a day in so many meetings and you just plot away at it, it takes a lot away. It takes a lot of the negativity, the stress and the parts of sales that we all hate doing away from the whole mix and even just away from the conversation.

 

Dave Mattson:

Well, absolutely, it’ll help you take away the stuff in the funnel that shouldn’t be there because you don’t have it because if you’re always behaving properly in the front of the funnel and doing all the things on a behavioural basis in the middle of the funnel, then it’s much easier for me to disqualify. Let’s do that.

 

Dave Mattson:

And then the mindset of being reactive all the time, where they ask you for free consulting, you jumped, you do this I jump. Well, I’m jumping because I don’t even have a process. But if I had to daily behavioural plan to your point, and I know I’m doing all the things necessary in all aspects of my business, because think about it. We’ve got in the types of businesses that we’re in. There’s so many balls that we have to juggle by default.

 

Dave Mattson:

We tend to go to the ones that we’re comfortable with. And so if I had a hunting and farming, let’s say parch of my job, where I’ve got to go sell that new business. And I’ve got to create ongoing relationships where we’re selling additional products and services. If I had a fear of cold calling or rejection or something over there, then I tend not to do as much of the hunting part because I’ve rationalised all of the farming and relationship building side.

 

Dave Mattson:

So I’m healthy on one side and I’m not healthy on other side. And sales leaders always struggle with this where I hit part of my quota on a product, but not the other. That’s where the stress resides, because I don’t necessarily know I’m anxious, because I don’t know what it really does take every single month or day in order to hit my number. And that lowers the stress to your point.

 

How to Create a Personal Behavioral Plan · [10:37]  

 

Will Barron:

I guess thinking about it as we’re talking, it’ll take away some of these ups and downs in sales as well. Because in my experience at the end of every year, in every role I’ve ever had, my targets were always year to year. There was always a mad panic to close those last two or three deals that just put you… Usually had hit target by a month or so before, and they’re just pushing you into the decent bits of bonus and commission. I guess if you are doing things throughout the year, it eliminates some of that as well.

 

Dave Mattson:

There’s two things to your point. I think one, you get to self-diagnose, you know if you’re on track, if you’re not on track. I don’t have to look at my number and say I’m X amount behind on my quota. I see that, and so if I’m not getting the results, I need to tweak different parts of my behavioural plan. And that may be in different parts of the sales process. And so that’s one, two, the ups and downs, it’s a 100% true. Most people spend six months trying to find the business and six months nurturing the relationship after the fact and it’s feast or famine. If you want to have a steady increase, whatever it is, consistency, let’s do it that way. The only way to get that done is through that behavioural plan. Otherwise, you will be a victim of the ups and downs and you’re going to be a hostage to whatever’s in the funnel. You’re going to try to save as you indicated, just because you need to close your numbers, you need to get the year end. And there’s a massive push at the end, which I never understood. You know, we train 31,000 new people a year. And the biggest thing that they find when it comes to the behavioural plan is less stress. And the second is they hit their goals about a quarter ahead of time because they actually have done all the things necessary up to that point.

 

How Behavioral Planning Makes You a Better Salesperson · [12:30]

 

Will Barron:

So I want to come onto what a daily behavioural plan is, what it looks like. And hopefully we can show the audience how they can somewhat build one in the small amount of time that we’ve got to discuss it here, Dave. But before that, just for a bit of context for the audience, because I know a lot of sales nation are B2B salespeople and there’s a whole bunch of leadership in there as well. But for all the salespeople, do you become a better prospect internally for over opportunities for an easier ride and not having your sales manager on your back. If you do all of this planning. So, and to go to the word that you used of your consistent with your results.

 

Will Barron:

Is that a nicer person to manage from a sales manager perspective, someone who they can track the results throughout the year and then they know that they’re going to hit target at the end versus what I’ve always done, which is always done so so at the end of the year closed a huge deal, had my manager on my back for 12 months. And then he is my best friend at the end of the year when I closed that one big account. Is the consistency what they want from you as well?

 

Dave Mattson:

From a sales leaders perspective?

 

Will Barron:

Yep.

 

Dave Mattson:

Yeah. Hey sales leaders, we ultimately are judged based on did we hit our revenue goal or we didn’t? So, that’s how we’re judged. And that’s what we’re responsible for doing is driving revenue. If I’m a sales leader and I have team member A who has taken the quota that I’ve given them, we’ve broken it down to what they need to do a recipe for success.

 

Dave Mattson:

Then I can help them from a coaching, a training, mentoring standpoint, because if I know that they’re doing the behaviours, but the outcome isn’t right then there’s only one of two reasons. One, the behaviour is not enough, right? We’re not doing enough of the behaviour so we have to do more of that. So we need to dial it up. Or our technique is poor if you’re doing the behaviours, but the is not there.

 

Dave Mattson:

Then we know there’s a breakdown somewhere and it would be easy to see. So if I’m doing X amount of net new contacts, but I’m not getting the appropriate amount of first calls, then something is wrong in your call or something’s wrong in your email or whatever. However, we’re prospecting. It’s much easier for me as a sales leader to point exactly where I could help you. That’s magical.

 

Dave Mattson:

The other thing that sales leaders don’t really know is what are sales people doing every single day. The only way that I’m judging and talking to you is about deal specific issues. Where are you with X, Y, Z, what’s going on with ABC because that’s what you’ve tracked and that’s, what’s in the CRM and that’s when the pipe, but if I could go one step back, then this I still will always do.

 

Dave Mattson:

How can I help you close more business as a sales leader? Of course, but if I can do this in dealing with the behavioural stuff up front, much easier for both sides and as a salesperson, I benefit too, because then I get your wisdom of the 20 years or 10 years or whatever your experience level is as a sales leader to help me because now you know exactly where to help me.

 

Software Solutions That Can Help You Track Your Behavioral Plans · [15:20] 

 

Will Barron:

And I guess this is again, leadership down. It wouldn’t be perhaps something that an individual B2B sales person would implement, but are there any software solutions that help track all this? Or any CRMs that prompt you to make those 10 calls and those 15 emails every morning and then allows you to forecast forward on your behaviours versus your results? If that makes sense.

 

Dave Mattson:

Sure. Personally, we have one at Sandler it’s called Sales Accountability and it helps you identify what your quota goal is. So you have to input that portion of it. And then it says, “Let’s create your cookbook.” And then it breaks it down to what you need to do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis.

 

Dave Mattson:

And within about two minutes a day, you get to actually track where you are against your goal. It’s also gamification. So as a sales leader, I then get to see where the dashboard or where my people are doing. From a behavioural standpoint, I can see who’s not doing their behaviours. Who’s shying away from the hunting and only doing the farming.

 

Dave Mattson:

If I use that analogy and then I also get to have behavioural contest, hey, how many net new conversations can we do as a team this month? And you can have little contests and I can then compete against Will. Salespeople are competitive, right? If I know that everybody sees what I’m doing, I tend to up my game. So there’s a lot of things going on, but it’s called sales accountability. That’s the only one I found so far.

 

Sandler’s Sales Accountability Software · [16:47] 

 

Will Barron:

That makes whole sense. And it seems like, I don’t know, you can turn this into a product pitch if you like, but I don’t know how far that goes, but it’s almost, it gives you all the data for sales leadership to coach people as well of, Will’s doing amazing on the behavioural side of things, but Tanya, I don’t know why that name’s coming into my head, but Tanya… I don’t even know where Tanya.

 

Will Barron:

Tanya is doing X, Y, Z on the techniques side of things. She is closing the same amount of deals with less behaviour. So Tanya, can you work on the behaviour and Will, can you work on, go back and forth and team up and build a partnership there. Interesting.

 

Dave Mattson:

That’s exactly right. But you also get to see the fact that hey, Tanya may or may not be doing as much of the activities or that Will is doing. And even if will is more successful in certain areas, I can be told from a sales leader, “Hey, you need to up your activity base.” But when I see others on the team doing that, I will up my game naturally. You don’t even have to tell me I’m going to up it.

 

Dave Mattson:

Now, if my results are better to your point, then people will look at me and say, “Hey, how are you doing that?” Now we’ve got best practises. We can create playbooks internally because obviously I’m doing something right. If my numbers are doing it now, there’s something called the comfort zone. People do get into the comfort zone. The longer people are in the industry, for whatever reason, there’s a million reasons for comfort zones.

 

Dave Mattson:

But sometimes our technique is we are good at it, but we tend to do less behaviour. And sales leaders always say, “Oh my gosh, if Dave would just up his activities, we could get 50, 60% more productivity out of Dave, but how do I get that on?” And that’s really what the behavioural plan will help me do, because I inch out of my comfort zone and do more and more. And the end result is the win for me personally, as a salesperson. And for you as a sales leader.

 

Overview of a Daily Behavioral Plan · [18:44] 

 

Will Barron:

Makes total sense. Okay. So Dave, let’s get super practical here. Let’s give the audience a true real life takeaway so that they can implement some of it into their own game after this episode and change the way they’re doing things. So I think we can do this through, if you can give us an overview of what a daily behavioural plan is then perhaps I can quiz you on the specifics of it.

 

Will Barron:

And we can see if we can give our audience, that takeaway of perhaps what they should seeing in the diary. If that’s how it works every time they wake up and sit in front of the laptop and rather than replying to emails reactively, they’ve got an insider plan to move on with the day.

 

Dave Mattson:

You mean in essence, it’s really reverse engineering, your numbers, your quota. And so if you say, “Hey, I need X amount of sales at the end of the year.” You would end say, “Okay, how many sales is that? How many presentations would I need?” And you go right down your sales funnel. And two, you get to the point where, how many net new conversations do I need? Everybody manages and focuses on. I need X amount of presentations and X amount of customers in order to hit my number that’s way at the end, that’s lagging.

 

Dave Mattson:

If you go into the front end, then it’s how many, let’s just say, how many net new opportunities or conversations do I need to have? And how many of do I need LinkedIn referrals? How many of this do I need? And that’s on the front end. So let’s do a quick practical example if I could do, do you mind?

 

Will Barron:

No, go for it.

 

Dave Mattson:

Let’s do the front end and let’s talk about a prospecting cookbook. We call it a cookbook or a recipe for success. It’s a behavioural plan. Your listener should be able to answer the following questions. How many net new conversations do you need in a given week or month in order for you to hit your numbers? Net new, now you could say, “Well, I only call on existing customer basis.”

 

Dave Mattson:

Which me too, I do too, but I could have a net new with than the organisation, or I could have a conversation with, let’s say you Will bond a net new opportunity, whatever the case may be. So it works for both. And once you have that number now in my business, and we’ve got 400 Sandler trainers, I know my number is two per day.

 

“Most sales reps cannot answer how many net new conversations they need in a given month or a week in order to hit their number.” – Dave Mattson · [21:05] 

 

Dave Mattson:

I need two net new conversations per day in order for that to drive through the funnel to do extremely well. Now, of course, the end result is better or worse depending on my technique, but let’s just do the 20 that’s my first aha moment that most sales reps cannot answer. How many net new conversations do you need in a given month or a week in order to hit your number?

 

Dave Mattson:

Step number two, I would come up with the top five prospecting avenues. Where do your leads come from? Is it a LinkedIn? Is it referral base? Is it cold calling? Is it email? Whatever the case may be. I know mine, we have about 47 different ways that we could go to market, but I also know based on my personality type, I’m introverted, networking meetings take a lot of energy from me.

 

Dave Mattson:

Talk to total strangers. I can do it, but it’s not as productive as other things. So that’s step two. What are your top step three. If I know my numbers two a day, so let’s just say that I need 10 a week, right? So I need 10 a week of net new conversations. I know my top five referral or my lead sources.

 

Dave Mattson:

And so let’s just say it’s LinkedIn, let’s say it’s customer referrals. Let’s say it’s strategic alliances and outbound calls my next step to put a number to each one that would equal 10. So I may want three from LinkedIn, two from existing customer referrals, one from outbound calls, whatever it is.

 

Dave Mattson:

But once you put that number to it Will, now I can then manage that number. That’s my cookbook. My cookbook says I need X amount from LinkedIn. If I use that as an example, and I can now of self prescribed because if I go through the month and I don’t have my number, I can say, “Wow, I’ve completely forgotten to do my front end.”

 

Dave Mattson:

And again, this is only the front end example, and I can then adjust. So I got to go back and get more of that versus saying, I’m going to work on the end result, which is my sales on the back end on this example. If I did my upfront behavioural stuff, then I know if I got two a day two net new, and I know where they’re coming from.

 

Dave Mattson:

I know my metrics will end up working out. Now, if I take a bigger picture, as I said, all you have to do, and it’s okay to switch your behaviours and activities. It’s okay to switch those words, but what do I have to do throughout the process? So let’s take some other things. Do I have to spend two opportunities per day or two conversations per day with net new and I need three with existing customers.

 

Dave Mattson:

So, you can start to juggle all the things that you have to do based on your sales process and based on what you have to do every single day. It’s like a recipe let me give you a quick example. My mom had great spaghetti sauce and I thought it was so simple to do. And so I just went in and started throwing a bunch of stuff, but it never actually tasted the same.

 

Dave Mattson:

And every time I did it, I did something slightly different, which is true in sales. Isn’t that how salespeople do it. Something’s it’s different each and every time I’m trying to replicate something. But what I ended up doing is I finally had to ask my mom for the recipe. And once I understood what the recipe was, I got to follow it.

 

Dave Mattson:

The end result was very predictable. And then I could of course, based on the… I have five children based on their tastes. I could tweak it, but it was easier to edit that recipe. And once I followed it, I got a consistent output. And that’s true in sales as well. We tend to sales people to look at the sauce or look at what other people are doing.

 

Dave Mattson:

We don’t know exactly what they’re doing from a behavioural standpoint, and we tend to wing it. And we get away with it in sales, but that’s really what it is. You reverse engineer, your sales funnel, to the point where you know exactly what you should be doing in different aspects of your business every single day.

 

Behavioral Goals Should be a Priority But That Doesn’t Mean You Should Neglect All Your Other Sales Activities · [24:40]

 

Will Barron:

So assuming here, and this is a huge assumption that we know that our funnel is pretty C aimless. We know that we have somewhat good technique. We’re not going to be making huge mistakes. That obviously then that skews all the data. So assuming that [inaudible 00:24:54] is going to go somewhat to the best that it can in B2B sales.

 

Will Barron:

Should our focus then be on doing, not doing nothing, but having the number one priority, just to simplify it, perhaps one email outreach that connects one LinkedIn outreach that connects and brings people into the funnel. Should that be our one priority? Should we drop everything else to make that happen? If it’s Tuesday and we’ve only done one out of those, should we stay late on Tuesday night to make it happen, to catch up for the day before? Should we be as religious about it as that?

 

Dave Mattson:

So there’s a couple things. Should you drop everything else to get that done? No, that’s not what… See the cookbook says you should not drop all the other things that are important just to do the things that you’re behind on or that you want to do. That’s what gets into this trouble. However, you should be a on goal time not clock time. If it’s Thursday and you’ve hit all your behavioural goals, hey, guess what?

 

Dave Mattson:

If you need a Friday afternoon, take it off, but you should never leave on a Friday afternoon if you have not done your behavioural goals, because what have you done? You’ve skirted the issue. And I would say to you, people get to celebrate each and every week, each and every day when they do a behavioural plan, because I don’t get to celebrate sales that often, because maybe I’m on a seven, eight month selling cycle.

 

Dave Mattson:

So we don’t, high-fi one another every day. But if I do the behaviours every day, I feel good about it. It’s a win for me. It’s awesome. And I’ve taken that step to success. Let’s do jog, I’m not a big jogger. I hate jogging. And if I didn’t jog today to your example, I would say, “Okay, well, I’ll do it tomorrow.” And if I didn’t do it tomorrow, then what would happen when I got to Friday?

 

Dave Mattson:

You know what I would say, “I’m not going to do the 20 miles that I was supposed to do. So I’m just going to scrap it and I’ll do it next week.” And I push it off. And that’s what sales people do. But if you do it every day, then yeah, to your point, what happens if you don’t do it? I think you need to up it by the end of the week, you have to adjust and say, at the end of the week, I got to hit those weekly behavioural goals even though I missed my Tuesday.

 

Dave Mattson:

And that’s true Will, if you’re with a customer all day, I spend a lot of time on site with customers and I don’t get the opportunity to do parts of my funnel. But so for instance, one of my behavioural plans is I call on the way home, I have a commute. I call five customers every day and I call them every day. Now, if I’m off site, I may not get that done. But when I get back to the hotel, I will make those calls.

 

Dave Mattson:

So I fit it into my day. What I don’t use as an excuse is, I’m offsite, I can’t do this. But at the end of the week, all I’m doing is I’m hurting myself. So if I want to be successful, I will self-manage myself to get that on. And don’t allow myself to get sucked up with all the excuses, which are valid sometimes I get it, but you’re going to have to do it. Now-

 

Habits, Willpower and Tracking Your Behavioral Goals · [27:50] 

 

Will Barron:

Let me just stop here a second, Dave. So we’ll use these calls as an example, because this is a great example. Clearly sales people they could do exactly the same as what you are doing, of call on the good customers, offer them some conversation. Whatever context we want to put it in. So I think that works now for you specifically, and this won’t be for everyone, but I think this is a point that we can drill into a little bit deeper.

 

Will Barron:

Is that a habit that you’ve set that when you don’t do it, you go, “I’ve got to get this done otherwise I can’t wrap up for the day.” And there’s a lot of subconscious processing going on in there that is got to achieve this goal otherwise. I’m going to feel bad about myself or are you self correcting and using willpower to force yourself to do these calls?

 

Dave Mattson:

I think it’s both, is it half empty or half full? I mean, to me I tend to do the guilt thing. So if I don’t do it, I know that’s the number. Then I just find that unacceptable. Because once you actually know the number Will, then I’m exposed. I have to end up doing it. It’s when I don’t know the number that I have to do, then I don’t feel too guilty about it. I say, “Yeah, I’ll make those calls tomorrow.”

 

Dave Mattson:

But if I knew I had to do five, now it’s up to me. So I have to look at myself in the mirror for me, it’s guilt, you know better. Hey, listen, step up buddy. And so I that’s how I do it now. It’s different for others. But I also know the outcome of those calls, because only a couple things and we’re not doing tactics, but when you do those calls, there’s only about four things that could happen. All of them are great. So why shy I away from it?

 

Will Barron:

The reason I ask this is that, and I’m perhaps guilty of it as well. But I think there’s a lot of this trend in the world at the moment of life hacks. And just set habits and then you don’t have to think about it and it all comes to you so easily. People are obviously looking for a magic bullet with a lot of this, but I know myself, I’ve got a bunch of habits that I set every day.

 

Will Barron:

And after 60, 90 days they become easier, but I still have to talk to my brain. And I don’t know what’s going on here of there’s a weird disconnect of when you talk at yourself, it seems to be a feedback loop that goes into somewhere else in your brain and quiets the dumb part of it that’s telling you to just watch YouTube and chill out for an hour, because you’ve worked hard all day. Or whatever your vice is.

 

The Benefits of Setting Yourself to a Higher Standard · [30:09]

 

Will Barron:

And so yeah, I just wanted to double down on that because I’ve never met anyone who has success that has had it on the back of habits and they’ve just flown through it all beautiful and easily. It all comes on the back of hustle, hard work and willpower and not letting yourself… Holding yourself to a higher standard, perhaps that is a better way to describe it. Because that’s what you are doing there. You said you feel guilty about it. It’s because your standards are up here and if you don’t do the work you are below there, right?

 

Dave Mattson:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think also, for us, I let down the company, I let down my family, I let down myself. And once you realise what’s the why of why you’re working, then you really do know it’s not just to hit your numbers. It’s really to get whatever it’s your bonus plan or your commissions. Let’s just be self-centred as a sales rep for a second. And that therefore in turn means that I get to send my kids to this university and I get to do this and I get to do that.

 

Dave Mattson:

That will drive me. That drives me. And when I have those things printed, then as you say, you look and think, there is no magic water. If I could just do the behaviours and just say, “Hey, listen, I don’t care how I feel about it. And my technique will be better. Good. It’ll work itself out.” That’s true. That’s not how it works in the real world. I wish it did because I would be a professional golfer. I practise enough. It’s just not happening for me.

 

Will Barron:

Amazing, I think, and we can wrap up with this Dave and I think you just summed this up really nicely and this is how, even what I’m doing now in the deals that I’m putting together for partnerships and the add buys on the audio side of the podcast. And the live events and everything that we are doing, I have to treat myself as if I’m like a seven year old child.

 

Will Barron:

And I’m not capable of going, “Well, if you do all this big picture stuff, you’ll get that deal, which leads to a nice car or the watch or taking my partner away and going doing whatever, or retiring early.” Whatever it is, obviously it’s endless the possibilities. I have to treat myself like a seven year old and go, “Well, if I do this one thing over and over and over, that’s how I get the success.”

 

Will Barron:

I have to chunk it down so much so that literally I have to record so many podcasts a week. I have to then get them edited, have to get back from the editors. I have to upload them. There’s no wishy washy of if you do so many a month and you just get a little bit ahead of yourself every month, behind the camera here. There’s literally a whiteboard of a diary essentially that printed on it that has the shows that are coming out. And if I don’t have that two or three week pathway, I literally-

 

Dave Mattson:

You’re scrambling.

 

Will Barron:

I get stressed. But it’s the only time I get stressed for anything. And so I have to dumb it down as much as I can to get any benefit from any of this. And with that Dave… Go on now.

 

Dave Mattson:

I was going to say, hey, listen, we’re all… Adults are little kids in big people clothing to your point. And we can say dumb it down, but I do think we have to chunk it down. So it’s palatable for us to do, especially for the things that we don’t want to do. You got to chunk it down or it’s not going to happen. So what you’re doing, I think everybody did. We would all be in this profession far more successful than we currently are.

 

Will Barron:

For sure. Makes total sense. And I think you’ve given a lot of context to this, because I’ve had sales managers, who’ve been well, treat your territory either a regional territory that I was physically driving to with my medical device sales roles, they would treat it like it’s your own little business, like you’re the entrepreneur. And when someone says that to me, I think, I’m going to do all this crazy awesome stuff and I’m going to be really innovative. And I’m going to change the game of how we do this.

 

Will Barron:

And obviously that’s my entrepreneurial flow that I didn’t necessarily realise I had before I got into doing the podcast and growing this audience and all that kind of thing and the marketing side of things. But that was what I took away from the conversation, but what they were really saying, but well not perhaps saying it very well was you need to do what we’ve discussed today of treat it like it’s your business. But imagine that there’s 10 of you going around, perhaps doing all these little jobs and then focused down into those specifics.

 

Dave’s Advise to His Younger Self on How to Become Better at Selling · [34:20] 

 

Will Barron:

So, I think you’ve had a lot of context to the conversation of that today here Dave. And I’ve got one final question that I ask everyone that comes on the show. And that is, if you could go back in time and speak to your younger self, what would be the one piece of advice you’d give him to help him become better at selling?

 

Dave Mattson:

I would give myself the advice of have a process down and that is create a sales process and not wing the sales process, but also create the process for behavioural plan because so I think everything else comes into place. Those are the things that I would do.

 

Dave Reveals The Moment He Recognised the Benefits of Having a Plan · [34:47]

 

Will Barron:

Clearly what you’re doing now, heading up Sandler, when did that become apparent to you? When did you realise that a plan… Because it makes your life easier essentially. You’re putting a little bit of work front to give yourself process, to do everything that we described in today’s episode. When did that become apparent to you that this could be advantages to yourself and then everyone else that you’re working with as well?

 

Dave Mattson:

Well, I was a client. I thought hard work would create success. And if I outworked you, then I would be more successful than you. And as a client, then that was really a knock on the side of my head. When I realised that’s not really true, I need to work smarter than harder. And once I changed how I did it, then I had the conviction and the confidence to say I did it. I eat my own dog food. This is helpful.

 

Dave Mattson:

And then when I watched clients, because I’ve been at Sandler for 30 years and I became David Sandler’s partner in 1994 and just have continually buying more and more of the company. And when I see and hear testimony after testimony, after testimony of how I become the number one salesperson or how I had no sales experience and I just blew away my numbers or I got out of my comfort zone that I was stuck after five years, then you realise that this success try angle there’s a tonne to it.

 

Dave Mattson:

And we’re awesome at the technique stuff, but it’s the attitude, behaviour, things that make people just go right to the top. And that’s what got it for me when I experienced it. And then I see it and I just, even as a sales leader, I do what we talked about, which I manage the cookbook. I know the numbers will come and if not, then I’ll manage the cookbook so the numbers do come. And so it’s just made my life easier, Will.

 

Parting Thoughts · [36:42]

 

Will Barron:

Amazing. And I could feel you getting lit up then and there was a spark, then there was a passion behind it. So I appreciate that Dave, it means that this is a legitimate thing and a problem that I have on the show occasionally and those shows don’t make it out, but I could tell that you really believed that and you really care about it. So, that’s awesome. And with that, tell us about the new book, which is going to be clearly suitable for sales leaders that are listening. And then I believe you’ve got offer for us as well.

 

Dave Mattson:

Yeah. So we’ve got the 49 Rules For Sales Leaders and it really came from the 49 Rules For Sales People. And we don’t teach a lot of scripts because I don’t think people remember scripts, but they remember guardrails, right? GPSs, if you can handle this situation this way, the words will come. And so we had such success with the 49 Rules For Sales People. We created the rules for sales leaders and it takes them through all aspects of their business.

 

Dave Mattson:

Many sales leaders will come into this position without any prior training or experience. So we learned by fire right? So we’ve got to figure that out. And that’s what this does. And to your point, I’d love to offer any of the listeners, hey, go to sandler.com, check us out, pick a training location, call them up and be our guest from just being part of your group.

 

Dave Mattson:

Just say, “I listened to Dave and Will, and I’d like to come and just sit in on today.” You can, as my guess, just sit in and absorb as much as you can. If I never see you it’s okay. I promise you’ll be much better. We’ll give you the success triangle, its attitude, behaviour, technique and whatever course you choose to participate in could be sales. Leadership could be prospecting. It’s up to you.

 

Will Barron:

Amazing stuff [inaudible 00:37:58] to all that and show notes this episode over at salesmanpodcast.com. And with that, Dave, I want to thank you for your time, your insights on this. Well, clearly, if you free we’ll have you back on to dive into the overall areas of the sales triangle in the future, and with that, I want to thank you for joining us on the Salesman Podcast.

 

Dave Mattson:

Thanks Will.

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