“Spend time, invest some time, whatever age you are, wherever you are in the world, just spend some time and build a network.” – Chris McNeill in today’s Tip 1124
How do you build your network?
Join the conversation below and go check out the full interview with Chris!
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes in the form of a clip from my most recent interview on the Sales Success Stories podcast with Chris McNeill, and I should probably note that on that podcast I ONLY interview individual contributors who are either the #1 top performers in their organizations like Chris, or at least in the top 1% on a very very large sales team. Here’s the clip:
Chris McNeill: The number one piece of advice that I give anybody, in any profession is build a network. Spend time, invest some time, whatever age you are, wherever you are in the world, just spend some time and build a network of some colleagues and some professionals outside of your company because you can learn so much from them. Right. Like the first network that I started to build, you were part of that. Like, you and I met in North Austin randomly at a coffee get-together at 7:30 in the morning for salespeople.
And I probably spent about 18 months building a really solid network that ultimately helped me see and understand kind of the breadth and depth of what selling is, or at least some slice of it. Right. I’m sure there’s a lot I don’t know. But that also helped me understand. There are other things I could go sell to different people that I’m going to be better suited to do. And some of that came from listening to the podcast, going to the Summit. Right. Like the Sales Success Summit. I’ve been to that three times now. I missed the first one. I’m one of the only people that actually went to the one-two years ago because I knew your secret broadcast location. Right. And I’ve already got my tickets for next year. Right. I’m going to be in Austin again, of course, because it’s great to spend time physically with other sellers. But it’s also great for me to be able to just tap into whatever it is hundreds of years of collective experience of people that sell everywhere to everybody and lead sales teams or have led sales teams and make the decision to be an IC and are just out there seeking a better version of themselves, too.
So for me, like building that network, tapping into that collective, like consciousness, so to speak, taking 30 pages from the first Sales Success Stories Book, 30 pages worth of notes, like all of that really accelerated, I think my learning. And that’s kind of when I started to make a decision that I needed to go sell somewhere else and sell something different. And it helped me find, I found my job where I hit plan, I found that through somebody in my network. And if you have a network, interviewing is super easy.
Scott Ingram: Yeah, we’ll talk about that some more, because I’m just interested in kind of your philosophy, your approach, how you managed that building the network process, because you did it very well. I mean, I was a part of it. I watched you and you did a great job. You were really intentional about it.
Chris McNeill: I don’t know if I was intentional as you can give me credit for. It’s a lesson I learned 12 years ago when I moved to Austin. So I’m an introvert. Getting out and socially engaging generally is pretty draining to me. And starting conversations with strangers is one of those things that kind of goes against the grain for me normally. And I learned a lesson when I moved here, my now wife lived in Austin at the time I moved in with her and I used to go pick her up from work. She worked at the hospital. She worked at Seaton hospital, downtown Austin and I would pick her up after work sometimes and just go wait on the floor for her and I’d talk to all her colleagues because they all wanted to know who I was.
And one day Melissa came to me and she’s like, “Hey, what the heck are you saying to my co-workers? They’re saying you’re like, the most fascinating person they’ve ever met.” And I go, “That’s really weird because all I do is ask them questions about themselves.” Right? And so that seed planted 12 years ago. When I started getting out and networking, that’s all I really did, Scott. Intentionally, yes, I’m a salesperson. I want to build a network of sales professional colleagues so I can learn from them, right. So I can kind of steal from their experience a little bit. And of course, I wanted to meet some business owners. I wanted to meet some people that made up a broad sector from a networking standpoint. But with respect to my sales activities, turns out salespeople love to talk, so just ask them a bunch of questions about themselves.
Scott Ingram: To hear me ask a bunch of questions of Chris, just click over to DailySales.Tips/1124 where you’ll find links to the full interview on Sales Success Stories as well as links to the Sales Success Summit and the first Sales Success Stories book. Once you’ve done that, be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!