Trong Nguyen — Personal Agendas Trump Business Agendas
The power of building personal relationships
Trong Nguyen has spent most of his sales career in complex Enterprise Sales, and recently wrote a book called “Winning the Cloud: Sales Stories and Advice from My Days at Microsoft.” Trong has an incredible track record, and a wealth of experience in handling complex deals in very complex, multi-level organizations. He was Global Account Manager (GAM) at Dell, where he was named GAM of the Year in 2006, before moving to Microsoft, where he worked on game-changing, multi-million-dollar deals in financial services and healthcare. In this episode, Trong shares some insights into the world of managing complex sales, and how building personal relationships has allowed him to create success for himself.
Shareable Clips & Quotes:
Honesty is the best approach in sales
Work-Life balance in sales
Trong’s results in enterprise sales at Microsoft
Complex enterprise sales example
The realities of doing big deals for big companies
Trong’s morning routine
High-End B2B sales success
Being productive on the road
Generating sales insights in enterprise accounts
Building Relationships at the C-Level
“Mentors have been tremendously impactful”
Asking for Mentoring and Coaching
“Selling in a complex environment is a team sport”
The impact of a great boss on sales success
Recovering from sales failures
Trong’s challenge to improve yourself
[:44] Scott introduces his guest for this episode — Trong Nguyen.
[1:20] Scott gives a shout out to Kris Lawson, who initially connected Trong and Scott.
[1:52] What are the top three things that have allowed Trong to be so consistently successful in his Enterprise Sales roles?
[3:00] Check out ViewedIt if you are looking to differentiate yourself and deliver a truly personalized message to your ideal prospect! Scott also has a free copy of Trong’s book for the listener who sends him the best ViewedIt video explaining why they like the show!
[3:48] What’s Trong’s opinion about honesty in sales?
[5:20] One of the things that has contributed to Trong’s success is being maniacally focused. How does this impact his work-life balance?
[6:58] How has Trong set expectations with his wife along the way?
[8:39] What was Trong’s role at Microsoft, and how did he get to the top?
[9:20] Trong quantifies his results.
[9:59] What is Trong’s origin story? How did he originally get into sales?
[10:50] Would Trong have done anything differently if he were starting over today?
[11:10] Trong shares some insights about one of the biggest and most complex deals he worked during his time at Microsoft.
[12:49] How does Trong deal with that level of complexity?
[13:51] How does Trong inspire and get everyone bought into his vision, in a team where he may not necessarily have any authority?
[15:33] The best leaders are known for having a very clear vision and message, and communicating it over and over again — be it to their internal teams, or to clients. Trong is no different.
[16:57] How much of his time does Trong invest in building internal relationships?
[17:50] What’s the biggest challenge that Trong has had to face?
[20:30] Trong is a morning person. What does his morning routine look like?
[22:06] When does Trong decide what his “deep-thought” work is going to be?
[22:56] What does Trong’s deep thinking look like?
[23:42] What are the other routines and habits that are central to Trong’s success? How does he deal with extreme stress?
[25:12] How does Trong structure his week?
[26:22] How does Trong stay productive when he’s on the road?
[27:30] What are some tools and apps that Trong can’t live without?
[28:54] What does Trong’s information diet look like?
[30:09] Does Trong subscribe to a particular sales philosophy?
[31:00] How does Trong go about learning about a business, so that he knows it better than they know it themselves?
[33:05] What is Trong’s approach to building relationships with the C-level?
[36:15] In Trong’s experience, personal agendas always trump business agendas, which is why building personal relationships is so important. How does he touch a client’s soul? How might purple hair help in that endeavor?
[39:36] Get yourself a copy of Trong’s book for some invaluable tips and strategies from someone who has recently been extremely successful in sales.
[40:29] Scott is giving away two copies of Trong’s book — one for the best review of the podcast, and one for a randomly chosen review! Send him an email with the contents of your review and stand a chance to win!
[40:56] How important are mentors to Trong’s success? How can we best build our own mentoring relationships?
[42:52] How does Trong initiate his mentor relationships and set expectations around how they would be working together?
[44:08] What motivates Trong, and how does he think about motivation in general?
[45:50] What is something that Trong believes, that the average salesperson would think is crazy?
[46:43] What does “blowing things up” mean to Trong?
[48:12] What are some important lessons Trong has had to learn, that set him on the path to where he is today?
[50:18] How big of an impact does Trong’s boss have on his results and his success?
[51:35] Working with the right boss or partner can have a huge impact on your results and success. How does Trong vet if someone is going to be a good partner or just a drag?
[53:08] Trong’s suggestion to expert sales reps is to stay with their customers for three years. What is the rationale behind that?
[55:38] What would Trong like to know about other top sellers managing complex deals in complex environments?
[57:38] Trong shares his experience about a failure that he learned from.
[58:31] Who is the most successful salesperson Trong knows personally?
[1:00:35] Trong challenges you to do three things: 1) Treat sales as a craft and art, and work on honing your skills; 2) Think about how you can make a difference with your customers; and 3) Never stop learning.
[1:02:18] Join the Sales Success Community, start earning points, and get a copy of Trong’s book as a reward! Head to top1.fm, or text “top1” to 444999 in the U.S.!
Mentioned in This Episode:
Trong Nguyen on LinkedIn
Winning the Cloud: Sales Stories and Advice from My Days at Microsoft, by Trong Nguyen
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones
New York Times
Wall Street Journal
Home & Garden TV
The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation, by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson