“The real successful people I noticed are taking a lot more time to tell stories.” – Ian Koniak in today’s Tip 1633
What’s your thought about this?
Join the conversation below and go check out the links!
Have feedback? Want to share a sales tip? Call or text the Sales Success Hotline: 512-777-1442 or Email: [email protected]
Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip is a clip from the hallway conversation at last year’s Sales Success Summit between Jeff Bajorek and Ian Koniak that I just shared in its complete form on the Sales Success Stories podcast today. Listen to this:
Ian Koniak: One of my mentors, Ed Mylett, he says, Make your mess your message. And my mess was I was a transactional sales guy in an enterprise role at the largest SaaS company in the world, Salesforce.com, failing miserably, trying to be the guy who is pleasing others, be the guy who’s outworking everyone, be the hustler, and it didn’t work. And I missed three years in a row of quota. And I looked at myself in the mirror. This was between 2014 – 2016, so a while ago. And I said, Everything I thought I knew about sales is wrong. And there is a big difference between transactional sales and enterprise sales. And when you’re selling to a large enterprise, they don’t want someone who’s going to grind and hustle. They want a partner, someone who understands their business, someone who really takes the time to listen and understand where their challenges are and co-create a solution, not someone who’s trying to pitch or sell them. And that was what I was missing. I always thought you just show up and you throw up and you go in and you try and close deals. And that is actually ineffective when you’re working with very large organizations, where sometimes it’s been 10 or 15 years of building in something that you’re taking out or changing.
And I think once I realized that the approach that I was taking was not working, that’s when I took a step back and I said, I need to invest in myself. I need to really take a step back. And I ended up signing up for a coach and a mastermind program. In the first 10 years, I invested $20,000 in my own money. And what they taught me was to slow down. A lot of the focus was around creating your vision for what you want in your life, doing a lot of meditation, doing a lot of visualization work, doing work that had nothing to do with hustling in a transactional pressure-oriented sales rule, and actually slowing down. I think it started really six years ago. And one of the things that translates to… So that year I finished number one at Salesforce globally in the enterprise and made seven figures. And it wasn’t by doing more, it was actually by doing less. Hence my theme of addition by subtraction. So I focused on fewer accounts, but I focused on getting in with the right executives, finding the right executives, really getting high up, and being a partner. I can tell you stories for days about what that looked like, but the short answer is less is more.
And the second part of this is this idea of, and I talked about this in the keynote yesterday, and this idea of dopamine. You have the pleasure centers of your brain, which is really the areas that release dopamine, the VCA, and a couple other NACS. Basically, the dopamine pleasure centers of the brain want immediate gratification. If you’re in a pressure sales role and you’re calling and you’re trying to move things forward, you’re getting dopamine hits throughout the day. If you’re SDR or an SMB-AE, you’re constantly in that work, work, work, dopamine, yes, no, high, low, roller coaster. Well, if you’re in the enterprise role in selling, that doesn’t exist. It could literally be six months before you get one sale. You have to reorient your brain to develop patience, develop really delayed gratification, emotional regulation. That’s a different part of your brain than the pleasure center. That’s in the prefrontal cortex, and that’s the area of your brain that’s responsible for executive functions. When we think about executive functions, we’re talking about storytelling, we’re talking about problem-solving, we’re talking about decision-making. These are things that if you’re running in that daily, I just got to be busy and get you done and move, you’re not using that part of your brain. So there’s a lot going on here, here, but the real successful people I noticed are taking a lot more time to tell stories.
And so back to your question on PowerPoint, I was responsible for giving the opening keynote and Sales Success Summit. I don’t take that lightly. And so what I’m thinking is, how do I tell the story of the brain and the differences between transactional and enterprise sales from a perspective of dopamine and connect it to a sales community? I couldn’t quite figure that out. Then I took it to any smart person. I took it to people that are smarter than me. I took it to my designer and I said, Well, what are you thinking? I’m trying to tell this story. She’s like, Well, I see a scale. I see a scale with pain and pleasure balancing out. When you press on the pleasure lever, the pain lever actually goes a lot higher. I’m like, That is perfect. Then what I also imposed was brain parts onto that pain and pleasure. Then I proposed or I imposed sales activities and what type of work is hitting each pleasure center. My point is simple. One slide probably took me six hours to develop, but that’s what made the entire presentation impactful.
Scott Ingram: Want to see the video of that impactful presentation? It was actually the top-rated presentation at last year’s Summit. I’ll hook you up if you’ll click over to DailySales.Tips/1633 or go to top1.fm/DSTstuff, because we’ve got a lot of stuff going on. We’ve just sold out this year’s Sales Success Summit but have built a super simple form to capture a bunch of interest areas in addition to Ian’s video, whether you want to join the waitlist for this year’s Summit (just don’t hold your breathe), the option to buy a ticket to next year’s Summit for the best possible price, the videos from this year’s Summit – those will be totally free if you fill out this form, the second volume of the Sales Success Stories book that we’ll be releasing at the Summit – the ebook version will also be free via this form, or maybe you’re interested in the evolved version of the Sales Success Community that we’ll be rolling out. Again, that’s at top1.fm/dststuff OR DailySales.Tips/1633. Once you’ve gotten signed up for the stuff, be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!