Should Salespeople Be Confident (Or Embarrassed) About Working In Sales?

Matthew Kimberley is a leading sales expert and the CEO of Book Yourself Solid® Worldwide, where they support hundreds of thousands of small business owners in growing their businesses through our books, programs, and network of licensed business coaches.

On today’s episode of the show, Matt explains why we should be proud to call ourselves salespeople.

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:

Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Matthew Kimberley
Leading Sales Expert

Resources:

Transcript

Matthew Kimberley:

Is there something that happens in childhood which makes us great salespeople? Or is there something which can be learned?

 

Will Barron:

Hello, Sales Nation, and welcome to today's episode of the Salesman podcast. On today's show, we have Matthew Kimberley. He is a sales expert and a keynote speaker, and all round fascinating guy. You can find out more about Matthew over at matthewkimberley.com. On today's episode, we're diving into what is a weird topic of whether salespeople should be conscious and embarrassed about selling, or whether they should be confident and should just dive in there feet first. We cover a lot of ground in this one. There's a lot of rabbit holes, and there's a lot of value for you guys, Sales Nation. And so with all that said, let's jump in to today's show.

 

Will Barron:

Hey Matthew, and welcome to the Salesman podcast.

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Thank you for having me, Will. Huge pleasure, being here.

 

Should Salespeople Be Confident Or Embarrassed About Working In Sales? · [01:05]

 

Will Barron:

I'm excited to have you on. I think we can really add a lot of value with today's conversation. And I'm convinced it's something that gets overlooked by a lot of sales managers, coaches, trainers. And this is the idea and the construct … and perhaps it's difficult for a salesperson to say this to their sales manager without looking weak or without looking like they are doing great in their role. But I want to ask you a question that I've perhaps thought, but never vocalised to a sales manager or coach. And that is should we be somewhat self-conscious about pitching a product or a service, or selling the whole process in general, or should we be really happy and excited to be doing it?

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Well, I think there's a difference between self-awareness and self-consciousness. I think that the vast majority of salespeople have a high level of self awareness. And there are occasional narcissistic types who are attracted to selling, the alpha males who see themselves as hardcore closers, whereby all etiquette and good moral judgement goes out the window in pursuit of closing the next deal. But for the vast majority of my clients, and a vast majority of your listeners, Will, nobody wants to be a douche. Nobody wants to be that kind of person who is avoided at cocktail parties, right?

 

Matthew Kimberley:

So there is an element of self-awareness which is tied intrinsically with emotional intelligence and situational awareness, whereby some people who are not practised salespeople, or not natural salespeople, will say, “Ah, I'm acting out of integrity now because I'm asking somebody to do something for me.” Because when we're young, we have no problem whatsoever with asking people to do things for us. “I want more ice cream. I don't want to go to bed. Pick me up.” I have a three year old; he just lists off his demands, day in, day out. He has no problem with that. I wouldn't dream of walking around acting like the kind of ass that he is to other people. You don't just string off a list of demands to people, left, right and centre. Especially the inconvenient ones. I asked him for breakfast. I said, “What do you want to eat for breakfast, Ed? Do you want toast or porridge.” He said, “Chicken nuggets.” You see? Typical. And then he had a tantrum because he couldn't get them.

 

Matthew Kimberley:

So we are not like that, as we grow up and we become more evolved and aware that everything in life is a quid pro quo. There's got to be a little bit of give and there's got to be a little bit of take. And preferably, if you're British, like you or I, a little bit more give than take, and putting up with things that we wouldn't normally put up with, because it's far better to be uncomfortable than to inconvenience anybody to the slightest degree.

 

“When a salesperson and a prospect engage and the prospect becomes a customer, they should leave with more than when they paid. So if I give you $10 for your product, I value your product more than I value the $10, or I wouldn't do the trade. So, sales is really about enriching the people around you.” Matthew Kimberley · [03:40] 

 

Matthew Kimberley:

I think that the best salespeople try to be critically aware, and they have to be selling the right products, and they have to be in the right place or the right service in a good company that respects their customers and respects their prospects and respects their leads. Really the transaction that happens when a salesperson and a prospect engage is that the prospect, when they become a customer, should leave with more than when they came. So if I give you $10 for your product, I value your product more than I value the $10, or I wouldn't do the trade. And it's the same for you as the salesperson. You value the $10 to be a fair trade for the product you are going to hand over. So really, sales is about enriching the people around you. And when you can adopt that, what Bob Berg would probably call a go giver approach, to the people around you, then you shouldn't feel any kind of self-consciousness at all.

 

“Sales is essentially a question of creating opportunity and diligently following up. That's it. That's your job as a salesperson. You create an opportunity, with or without the help of a marketing team, and you diligently follow up in order to close that opportunity one way or another.” Matthew Kimberley · [04:43] 

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Now there are exceptions to this. If you're selling a crappy product in a crappy industry with a bad set of ethics, with a bad mannered sales manager who forces you out of your comfort zone all the time, then yes, maybe you should be feeling some self-consciousness. You shouldn't be calling this person back for the eighth time after they've asked to be put on the do-not-call list. You should be feeling self-consciousness if you're acting out of integrity. But really, your job as a salesperson is independent of your personality, independent of any kind of moral judgement that you make, providing that the baseline is there. It's just a question of creating opportunity and diligently following up. That's it. That's your job as a salesperson. You create an opportunity, with or without the help of a marketing team, and you diligently follow up in order to close that opportunity one way or another.

 

Will Barron:

I want to interject here a second, because there's a whole bunch to go at here, and I don't want to skip ahead of ourselves. There's one thing that you mentioned then which I think is fascinating and we'll come back to in a second. And that is this idea, whether this is good or bad, of separating the job from ourselves. And whether that increases our performance, or perhaps that could even increase our levels of stress because we're not being perhaps congruent with who we really are and all that good stuff. So we'll come back to that in a second.

 

The Top Salespeople Understand the Art of Give and Take · [05:38] 

 

Will Barron:

But something that you mentioned that absolutely fascinates me, and you may be able to give more insights on this than me, because I don't have any children, and that is this idea of the terrible twos. So let me tell you what I've read about this, and you can tell me if it's complete bullshit or whether there's something to it. And that is that there's a point where a child, they need feeding, so they cry and they get fed. And this obviously goes on and on and on until the point where a parent then decides, “No, you are now capable of thinking for yourself. You're now capable of making decisions. You are now capable of not being fed right now, because it's inconvenient for me.” So there's a weird separation here that the child has to go through of at one point … it's almost connected to [inaudible 00:06:24] in that it thinks something and it happens. Which would be lovely in sales, clearly, if we could think about closing a deal and it just happened. But there'd be no value in the salesperson in that scenario, so clearly that can't happen.

 

Will Barron:

And then they go through this process of the separation and they don't quite understand, so they're having tantrums, because they are used to thinking about something and it happening. And now, they've got to ask or wait or compromise. Is this perhaps, when we say salespeople are born made, whether it's a learnable skill … and I don't want to dive too into the parental psychology of it all here, but just as a glossing over the subject, is this a really important moment in a salesperson's life, where they learn a whole bunch of skills about selling? For example, giving and then taking a little bit. Perhaps giving 51% and taking 49. Is this a real critical moment in the birth of the world's greatest sales professionals here?

 

Matthew Kimberley:

I'm going to say categorically not. Now, I'll tell you what, there are some men children who never grow up. These demanding manchilds who end up having partners or facilitators in their life, often their parents, who just keep spoiling them and keep giving them what they ask for. And they never do learn the value of exchange. There is something to be said for being that demanding, irrational, unreasonable person. I'm just going to hazard a guess here. My experience with this industry is limited. Not nothing but it's limited. The alpha males on Wall Street or in the City of London who wear red braces and blue shirts and have grown to become the VIPs in their industry, they're typically very demanding people. And they typically are good at closing deals because they will batter the doors down until that deal is closed. But there are other things that come into play in that situation. Like the other party will have a lot to lose, or there's enormous amounts of money in play and on the table.

 

Is There Something That Happens in Childhood That Makes Us Great Salespeople? · [08:41] 

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Okay. I guess the question, really, if I unpack it a little bit, Will, is is there something that happens in childhood which makes us great salespeople? Or is there something which can be learned or relearned? Is that right?

 

Will Barron:

Yeah.

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Because it was a great question, but I don't want to disservice it by giving it a bad answer.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. Essentially what I'm asking is … and we can perhaps go down the context even … and this is totally off topic and we'll drag it back onto topic in a second, but I love these tangents. Let's put it in the perspective of perhaps not you and I adopting a baby. This might get a bit weird. But you've got yourself, you've got your partner, you've got a child. Some people want that child to be the next David Beckham, the greatest footballer of all time, the greatest tennis player of all time, the next Lewis Hamilton, whoever it is. And this is probably not the best way to bring up a child, but we're going to go down this route. If you wanted to bring up the best sales professional of all time, should we be, from a young age, training them to be demanding? Or should we be training them from a young age to be able to hold off and build longterm relationships to bring in a bigger deal at the end of the day? How would we bring them up?

 

“How do sales conversations happen? They happen because you create the opportunity for them to happen. So they typically happen if you open your mouth and say the first few words.” Matthew Kimberley · [10:23]

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Okay. So the way that I would bring up a salesperson is really only onefold. I would get them to invest in relationships, and I would get them to invest in relationships with strangers. So don't be afraid to start conversations. If anything, I wouldn't train them to be extroverted, but I would train them to tame their fear. I would train them to experience as many opportunities that life has to offer for talking to people, because that's what sales is, as I said earlier. It's creating opportunities. But how do sales conversations happen? They happen because you create the opportunity for them to happen. How do conversations happen? They typically happen if you open your mouth and say the first few words. So I would teach my even introverted child not to be afraid of having conversations with strangers, not to be afraid of repercussions of looking stupid or feeling that they look stupid.

 

“The amount of sales reluctance I see is based upon fear of looking stupid. This fear of putting yourself in a situation that is not comfortable is what keeps most salespeople off the phones, out of meetings, or from knocking on doors.” Matthew Kimberley · [10:45]

 

Matthew Kimberley:

I'd like to teach them the fundamental principle, which I try to instil in my clients, which is if you do this, what's the worst that can happen? Is anybody going to die? Is anybody going to get arrested? Is anybody going to be upset? No. Okay. So go ahead and do it. What's the best that could happen if you do it? And the amount of sales reluctance I see is based upon fear of looking stupid. So maybe I'd practise exposure therapy with my kids. Maybe I'd make them wear tutus and donkey tails and walk down the high street, just to get used to the idea that even if people are looking at you and laughing at you, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. Because this fear of putting yourself in a situation that is not comfortable for the vast majority of people is what keeps most salespeople off the phones or out of meetings or from knocking on doors.

 

Should Your Job Define Your Identity as a Salesperson? · [11:30]

 

Will Barron:

For sure. You've very kindly pulled this back on track here of something that I wanted to talk about earlier. And this idea of separating our job from ourself, is this something that we should proactively do to encourage exactly what you just described there of if someone doesn't like our product, our pitch, it's down to the job, the role. It's different from our egos. So we're not going to feel as hurt. We're not going to get the response of not wanting to do it again. Is that a way of looking at it, of we are not our jobs? And it sounds silly when I say that, because of course it's true, but should we focus on that?

 

Matthew Kimberley:

And its been explored a great deal in sales literature as well. The answer, Will, is who do you ask? Because you'll get a different answer from whoever you speak to. There are the self motivational types that say, “It's your duty to listen to tapes in the car on the way to the office, or loud music, or The Eye of the Tiger or something, and psych yourself up for the day ahead.” And then there are others, like the brilliant David Sandler, who wrote You Can't Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar, and was the founder of the Sandler system. You might be familiar with that. Many, many good franchise sales trainers in the UK and around the world follow the Sandler system. And-

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. Just for context, we interviewed the CEO of Sandler the other day.

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Oh brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. If I wasn't doing what I do now, I'd be a Sandler trainer, I think. And I first explored it when I was living in Belgium, and I read the book, You Can't Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a seminar, and I fell in love with it. And I contacted the local Sandler trainer and he was … And if he's still there, I'm sure he isn't, it's probably a different one. So I contacted the guy in London, and I was blown away, and it was brilliant, but I was running a company at the time. I couldn't jump on a plane or a train every 10 days to go to his President's Club meetings. But I absolutely adore the system.

 

Transactional Analysis in Sales: Manipulative or Necessary? · [13:19] 

 

Matthew Kimberley:

He talks about, in his book, and this is where I first heard about it, transactional analysis, which is where you separate your I and your are, your identity and your role. So every day we do a number of roles. One of them is being a parent. Another one is being a driver. Being a friend, being a husband, being a wife, being a gardener, being a sports person and playing a round of golf. Being a salesperson. So we wear different hats at different stages during the day. And how well we perform that role really depends on how well we played the game. So today I played a great round of golf, and next week I played a crappy round of golf. That doesn't make me any less of a person. And today I had a great day in the office, I closed a dozen deals, and next week I can't close a door. It doesn't make me any less of a person. It just means that the role I played wasn't at maximum capability.

 

“It's perfectly okay to adopt the mentality or the philosophy that the way that you conduct yourself as a salesperson can absolutely be who you are. But you don't have to change your personality. You just have to follow the steps of the system in line with who you are.” – Matthew Kimberley · [14:29] 

 

Matthew Kimberley:

You can separate things like that if you want to. If it makes it useful for you. If you think, “I am not what I do. My job is not who I am.” I work with a lot of entrepreneurs, and by entrepreneurs, I mean tiny one man businesses who devote their lives to selling themselves. And they would say, “Well actually, my job is very, very closely related to who I am.” Which is fine as well. I think if that's not useful to you, then it's perfectly okay to just adopt the mentality or the philosophy that the way that you conduct yourself as a salesperson can absolutely be who you are. And I would urge that you don't try to alter your personality. You don't try to become this vivacious Tigger-like person. You can always tell. I'm not the first person to say this, but you can always tell if a salesman is on the phone because they sound like they've taken three lines of coke before they get to you. “Hi, is that Mr. Barron? It's great to talk to you. My name's Matthew. I'm calling from Zenith Glazing.” You just know from their first word that they're a salesperson. You don't have to change your personality. You just have to follow the steps of the system in line with who you are.

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Now, if you are a slow and thoughtful and ponderous type of individual, then you may follow your steps from opening through to closing the prospect in a very slow, thoughtful and ponderous way. If you are the type who's more energetic and fast-talking and spirited, then you may jump from one slot to the other until you get to the close as well. As long as you're following the system, I don't like the word script, but as long as you're following the system, you can bring any type of individual to the sales process, to the sales game. And they can absolutely be themselves, as long as they understand the principles of selling.

 

Matthew Kimberley:

So the sales muscle that we talked about earlier, which all kids have and which gets weakened as we get older, can be strengthened through activity. The more sales conversations you have, the more telephone calls you make, the more pitches you perform, the more meetings you go to, these all strengthen the sales muscle. But on their own, they're not as good as copying that or combining it with form. So it's like going to the gym. You can go and do a dozen pushups or 300 pushups, and if you do them badly, you might injure yourself at worst, or they'll be ineffective at best. But if you learn good form, and you understand the science and the physiology behind which muscles should be working when, and when to take a break, and the order in which you should do your exercises, then you will find that they are better pushups. And I can do 150 pushups for greater benefit than your 300 if I understand the physiology behind it.

 

“If you study selling, and you read the books, and you get a good sales coach, and you have a sales trainer, and you're actually thoughtful about the process and you guide your prospect from the opening to objection handling to closing the sale, then you're more likely to do a good job than if you just call 100 people blindly.” Matthew Kimberley · [17:01] 

 

Matthew Kimberley:

And sales is the same. So if you study selling, and you read the books, and you get a good sales coach, and you have a sales trainer, and you're actually thoughtful about the process and you guide your prospect from the open through to the close, down the various steps that it takes in order to qualify, connect with, present to, objection handle, and close your prospect, then you're more likely to do a good job than if you just call 100 people blindly.

 

Will Barron:

I want to tie this back to something that we mentioned at the top of the show, and then something you just mentioned then, Matthew, of this corporate, suited and booted, either talking super fast because that's what all their colleagues speak like, or speaking slower because they want to be more conservative and they've read in some books somewhere that that's the best way to sell, versus-

 

Matthew Kimberley:

That's how you increase your gravitas, right? You slow down.

 

The Difference Between Being Professional and Being Corporate in Sales · [18:13] 

 

Will Barron:

For sure. But then there's a balance there, clearly, of your gravitas versus you look incongruent and you give people … it's almost unexplainable in lots of situations, but you give them that gut feeling that you're being fake, or you're to bullshit them, or you're trying to convince them of something that you perhaps don't believe. So there's clearly a balance between all of this. And we're kind of layering and layering, which is amazing. There's the role or the identity that you have at work, versus perhaps the identity that you have with your kids, which clearly has to be different because of the corporate world. You can't just go and hug everyone, perhaps, even though you'd love to. You have to shake hands.

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Well, yes and no. I do disagree with that, Will, and I don't think that being professional is the same as being corporate. Certainly I used to win business in … well, I used to run a recruitment firm. IT recruitment. I used to win business by being the opposite of corporate, just because everybody else was being corporate. I'd encourage my staff to take photos of their pets to meetings, just because it gave a form of connection. And if you're a purchasing manager in an investment bank meeting your 20th recruiter of the week, you're going to remember the crazy cat lady who bought photos of her 30 cats and talked about them for 10 minutes at the beginning of a meeting. Either for good or for bad, but you're going to remember them.

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Or when cell phones first came out, or digital cameras, I'd grab a selfie with people at the end of a meeting. The only reason I was doing that is because it was unexpected, so it was a bit of a [inaudible 00:19:28] interrupt, and nobody else was doing it. Nobody else was doing it. And so then I'd send a copy of the photo that we had together. I mean, how many times do you go into a very strict meeting where people expect to see your PowerPoint, and you say, “Right, before we begin, let's grab a selfie.”? That's going to have an impact. It might disqualify you from the process entirely, which for me is great, or it might endear you and certainly make you memorable for the purchasing committee to make a decision later down the line.

 

“I would urge all salespeople to pursue being more human and less corporate, because that doesn't mean less professional. It just means you’re easier to connect to.” Matthew Kimberley · [19:55] 

 

Matthew Kimberley:

So I would urge all of us to pursue being more human and less corporate, because it doesn't mean less professional. Now, easy enough to say without a boss breathing down my neck, I know, but here's to forward thinking bosses in the world.

 

Will Barron:

So you kind of took the words out my mouth there, where I was going with it. I know you can't see me now, but the audience can. I'm wearing a hoodie. I'm not wearing a shirt. The whole premise of this show is-

 

Matthew Kimberley:

I'm not wearing pants.

 

Will Barron:

Neither am I, but we'll leave it there, because it might get a little bit weird. The whole premise of this show is that a lot of salespeople live in this corporate bubble. But then, as soon as they meet with a customer and they go out for a couple of beers with them, or however they're building that deeper rapport, instantly it changes. I know for me, medical devices, I'd act one way when I was with the surgeons I was selling to that I had great relationships with. But then when my sales manager was out for the day with me, we would all get weird, because they were conscious that that's my boss, so they would be on their best behaviour and trying to make me look good, and I was being overly corporate and weird because I didn't want to give my sales manager any opportunity to look negatively on me. And so it was all a bit weird. But then, as soon as he or she disappeared, everyone went back to normal.

 

Will Barron:

So where I'm going with this is-

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Yeah. That's sad, isn't it?

 

Why You Need to Loosen Up a Bit and Take Yourself Less Seriously in Sales · [21:13] 

 

Will Barron:

It is sad. And where I'm going with this is how can we turn that on its head? Is it a symptom of the fact that we just take sales and business just too seriously, when loosening up slightly might lead to even better results than when we're all tight and corporate about it?

 

“I think everything becomes easier, everything becomes more fluid, and there is always less friction when you are less tied to seriousness.” – Matthew Kimberley · [21:39] 

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Yeah. A few years ago I wrote a book called How To Get a Grip. Plug. And one of the fundamental rules of getting a grip is to take yourself less seriously. I think everything becomes easier. Everything becomes more fluid. There is always less friction when you are less tied to seriousness, or how well you are perceived, or even the outcome of many things. That's not to say there isn't a time for being strict. There is a time for being firm. There is a time for being demanding. There is a time for throwing your toys out of the pram. There's a time for kicking up an almighty stink, and there's a time for being corporate and official. For sure.

 

“For the vast majority of salespeople, you can afford to immediately connect with your prospect by doing something human before you start your PowerPoint presentation, before you open your brochure, and even before you make some small talk.” – Matthew Kimberley · [22:22]

 

Matthew Kimberley:

I think I fail to understand one single situation. Now, this has to happen across the board, right? You can't have, sitting in a boardroom, 15 stuffed suits and the joker. That's sad, and the joker would be the outcast. But if everybody could take it down a couple of notches, I think we'd find there was a lot more mutual respect, a lot less fear. And I think for the vast majority of salespeople, you can afford to immediately connect with your prospect by doing something human before you start your PowerPoint presentation, before you open your brochure, before you make some small talk. It can be something as small as complaining about a back injury that you have had because you swung the golf club too hard at the weekend. Or it can be telling a story about how your three year old is the most demanding little ass that you've ever seen. Because that will have an impact. Again, one way or another.

 

“You can't really attract loyal followers or very committed customers if you rely on professionalism and service standards alone. Personality has got to be in there.” Matthew Kimberley · [23:52] 

 

Matthew Kimberley:

But the idea of magnetism, Will, is that if we want people to be attracted to us and do business with us and like us and stick to us and be loyal to us, then we've got to be somewhat magnetic, right? We have to give them a reason to stick to us. And true magnets have a North and a South. They're simultaneously magnetic and they're repellent, which means if you are wearing a true version of yourself on your sleeve, if you are being yourself, and I'm not talking about sharing your prejudices or things like that, but if you're prepared to break open that suit collar a little bit and show a little bit of who you are, then some people are going to like that, and some people are going to say, “No, this isn't really my cup of tea.” You can't really attract really loyal followings or very committed customers, I believe … well, you can, but it's much quicker if you don't rely on professionalism and service standards alone. Personality has got to be in there.

 

Matthew Kimberley:

And this has been studied by everybody, from Cialdini to Bob Berg to everybody else. Charisma and magnetism, they're all related to allowing some form of personality to show. And if it can be your true personality, rather than a manufactured one, then you just live in congruence, and you can be the same person at home with your kids as you are with your clients, as you are with your boss, when the confluence of circumstances allows that to happen.

 

Understand That Salespeople With a Personal Brand Have a Competitive Edge · [24:37] 

 

Will Barron:

So I like to leave the audience with a real practical process or step that they can implement, because a lot of people are listening to this on the way to a sales meeting, or on the way to the office to make some calls, whatever they're doing. And I think there's perhaps an opportunity here with the world of personal brand, because that's what we're talking about in a wider context here, versus when you just show up and you're pitching how we can implement the real reality of who we are, perhaps even before we get into the meeting with them. So is this something that salespeople should proactively do? Should salespeople have their own public … even if it's a Twitter profile or LinkedIn profile? And should it have, I think you described it earlier on, pictures of the 20 cats that they have? Or again, should it be more corporate? Should we be overthinking it? Or within the realm of common sense, should we allow the cat lady in us to come through?

 

Matthew Kimberley:

I can only talk from myself and my clients, and it depends what you're selling, it depends who you are. There are so many variations. But I can talk from myself and self interest, from my interest in what the world would be like as a better place. Yes. I think you should categorically have some form of personal branding as a salesperson, even if you're salesperson number 64 in a phone bank. And here's why. One, you've got that element of personal branding. You will attract other cat ladies. You will attract other supporters of Liverpool football club, and you will attract conversation with people who are strong fans of other football clubs if you let it know who your team is, on a very, very basic level.

 

“One of the biggest problems that B2B sales professionals have is that they get forgotten. A typical decision maker in any company may have had five or six meetings with potential outside vendors. They don't remember all of them by the end of the day, let alone a month later. So you have to do something to become more memorable” Matthew Kimberley · [26:22] 

 

Matthew Kimberley:

The second reason, which I think is even more important, is that one of the biggest problems that B2B sales professionals have is that they get forgotten. They just call up, they schedule a follow up call for a month from now. “Are you buying?” “No.” “Okay. I'll call you in a month. Are you buying?” “No.” “I'll call you in a month. Are you buying?” “No. Stop calling.” And they just get forgotten. At the end of the day, a typical decision maker in any company may have had five or six meetings with potential outside vendors. They don't remember all of them by the end of the day, let alone a month later.

 

“If your prospect forgets about you in a long-term sales cycle, you're as good as dead.” – Matthew Kimberley · [27:25] 

 

Matthew Kimberley:

So what can we do to become more memorable? What can we do? We had one guy in my office who used to carry a little bag of Haribo Starmix with him everywhere. These little party bag sized candies. And it just became his trademark. It cost him 20 quid a week or something like that to have his pockets and bags always stashed with candies, but when it came to being remembered, they never forgot. And he could use that as the opening of calls; “Hey, I just wondered whether you need another Starmix delivery?” Or the cat lady would say, “Do you want a cat update?” Her Christmas cards would be pictures of her and the cats. And they would be remembered. And if you're forgotten in a longterm sales cycle, you're as good as dead. So yes, do it for personal branding purposes. Make yourself more connectable. But definitely do it so that you're less likely to be forgotten.

 

To Succeed In Sales, You Have to Be Memorable · [27:36]

 

Will Barron:

I like this. You're essentially saying we need a gimmick, as long as it's congruent. And I know-

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Gimmick is fine. Gimmick. Use it. Gimmick is a great word for it. If you've got a gimmick, run with it. I have one. I was going to show you my bottle of whiskey, which I always keep on my desk. Whiskey is my thing. My programme is called The Single Malt Mastermind. People send me whiskey in my office. Every time I write an email to my newsletter list, I mention something about the fact that I'm enjoying a single malt, or something like that. Not because I'm a raging alcoholic. Well, I don't think I am. But because I'm no longer the guy who does selling. It just gives me a tiny gimmicky … I call it a motif, you call it a gimmick. It's great. Just this tiny little advantage that makes you more memorable.

 

Will Barron:

For sure. And we won't, but we could dive into the psychology behind being in a tribe and only remembering so many people's names. And then you remember gimmicks or specific things, like, “That's the tall person, the short person, the person with red hair.” However you want to describe them. And that's easier for your brain to tie down to once you've done the number of names that you can physically tie into your brain. And it is an evolutionary asset almost that we're describing here. And I know from my perspective … and maybe I need a gimmick. Maybe I'll get a cowboy hat or something. And I'm half joking as I say that, but I'm looking up in the air and visualising it, of-

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Well, if I were in your shoes, I'd run with the colour red somehow, because it's already an integral part of your brand. So maybe it's your socks, or maybe it's your eyeliner, or maybe it's your briefcase or something. You've got an option to explore there, at least.

 

Will Barron:

For sure, for sure. I'll need to tie that in. And just one thing that came to my mind as we were going through that was I drive a Mazda RX8. For whatever reason, I don't know why, but there seems to be loads of rotary engine enthusiasts that listen to the show. And it'll happen as soon as I mention it now. Every time I mention the car on the podcast, I get, say, five, 10 emails from people who listen who are really into RX7s, RX8s, Mazdas, just rotary engine vehicles in general. And those emails are way deeper than if I ask a question and ask people to email me in, whether it be, “I can help you,” or, “Email me your sales pitch,” or whatever it is. I'll get more of those emails, but they're not half as deep. And the people who write them don't care half as much as when they've connected on that super deep level of what they see as a niche. Kind of like-

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Have you had Michael Porter on this show?

 

Will Barron:

Oh yes, I have. I interviewed Michael Porter ages ago. Yeah.

 

Matthew Kimberley:

I think you have. Yeah, no, I think you have. I seem to remember. It was a very, very long time ago. And he and I worked together for half a decade. We were best buddies, and worked together for years and years. And he told me a story about a dentist. And in this dentist's world, in Book Yourself Solid at least, the system that we were teaching at Michael's organisation, we have something called an always-have-something-to-invite-people-to offer. It's an event which is frequent, which is group-based; you bring your prospective clients in just to spend some face-time with you on a regular basis. So if people say, “How can I find out more about you?” Rather than sitting down and having to do a dozen one to ones, you can say, “Well, just come to my always-have-something-to-invite-people-to offer.

 

Matthew Kimberley:

You've got to forgive me. There's a little bit of building work that's just started behind me. So this dentist said, “Well, what am I going to do? People don't want to come and learn about dentistry every month. Nobody wants to go to the dentist, even when they have to go to the dentist. So what could I possibly do that would bring people together?” And Michael said, “Well, what do you enjoy?” And he said, “Well, more than anything, I like jumping on my Harley and going for a ride.” And he said, “Well, do that. And invite everybody who owns a Harley to come and meet every Sunday in your parking lot at the dental surgery and just host a Harley owners meetup.” And so he did. And of course, checking back in after nine months when there were something like 60 or 90 people all showing up for the weekly Harley Davidson owners meetup at the dental surgery, Michael asked the dentist, said, “How's business?” He said, “Well, it's never been better.” And Michael said, “Well, how come?” He said, “Well, every Harley Davidson owner in the town now comes to me to get their teeth fixed.” Right?

 

“The business will follow if you can connect with your prospects on a human level.” – Matthew Kimberley · [32:00] 

 

Matthew Kimberley:

So it was just that connection, whether it's about Mazdas or Harleys or football clubs or cats or having a sweet tooth, it counts for so much more. The business will follow if we can connect on a human level.

 

Matthew Advice to His Younger Self on How to Become Better at Selling · [32:05] 

 

Will Barron:

I love it. And with that, Matthew, I've got one final question I ask everyone that comes on the show. And that is, if you could go back in time and teach yourself something about sales that would help him improve his game over the longer term, what would be that one thing that you'd tell him?

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Sell a product you really care about from day one.

 

Will Barron:

Is that a lesson hard learned for you? Was that something that you knew intimately from the very beginning and the get go? How did that insight come about?

 

Matthew Kimberley:

I've sold many, many things, from my own time, to appointments, to timeshare, to double glazing, to professional education, to recruitment services, to companies. I've sold many things. And the big differentiator in how much I enjoy it, and therefore how easy it is for me to get up in the morning and sell, has been how much do I care and/or believe in the product or service that I'm selling? And if there's any friction between you … I guess the question is would you sell this to your grandmother if she needed it? Or would you sell it to your grandmother full stop? And if the answer is no, then you shouldn't be selling it, because you'll be in permanent conflict.

 

Will Barron:

For sure. I like that. That's a real practical way to look at it. And hopefully, a couple of people are listening to the show now, their ears are pricked up, and maybe you've set off some weird questioning in their mind.

 

“If you're a competent salesperson who's willing to learn a new industry, you will always be employed. Sales is the key to freedom. And if you can sell, you don't even need a job.” – Matthew Kimberley · [33:23] 

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Yeah, good. I want you to hand in your notice. Don't be afraid. If you're a competent salesperson who's willing to learn a new industry, you will always be employed. Sales is the key to freedom. If you can sell, you don't even need a job. You can just go to buy a boatload of rubber ducks at a discount and sell them at full price. You don't need to create things. If you can sell, you are never dependent upon a boss or on being free. Product is always available for sale. You can always get commission-only gigs. And if you're selling something which you don't like, please stop. Your health will thank you.

 

Parting thoughts · [33:58] 

 

Will Barron:

Amazing stuff. Well with that, Matthew, tell us where we can find out more about you and everything that you're doing.

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Sure. Go to matthewkimberley.com. That's Kimberley L-E-Y at the end. Matthewkimberley.com. Put your email address into any one of the dozen boxes or so that will jump up in front of you and get a copy of my guide. Five things you need to do every morning to get more clients in the next 60 days. That will add you to my email list, and then I will say, “Hey, please reply to this email and let me know who you are.” And that's where the interesting stuff starts, when we start corresponding by email. And maybe we can work together, maybe I can help you out, maybe I can come and speak at one of your events. Or maybe we can just become pen pals. In any case, I'd love to hear from you.

 

Will Barron:

Good stuff. Well, we'll link to that in the show notes to this episode over at salesmanpodcast.com. And with that, Matthew, I want to thank you for joining us on the Salesman podcast.

 

Matthew Kimberley:

Thanks for having me, Will.

 

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