Timology 5 – The Psychology of Selling

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Selling is hard.  It’s exhausting physically.  It’s exhausting mentally. It’s not for the faint of heart.  Tim tries to drive that message home this week when he is once again joined by his sales guys Dylan and Andy.  It’s all about the psychology of selling and why the hardest part of the job is dealing with what’s going on in your own head.

The episode starts with a conversation about embarrassing yourself on the job.  You have to be prepared to do it. Tim shares just such a story. Earlier this year he met with the head of one of Stadia’s biggest clients.  The guy is a major power player in Ontario construction. He’s way too busy to be taking meetings with Tim. Yet Tim, somehow, managed to get just such a meeting.  It was a hot day. Really hot. And Tim decided to where one of his nicest shirts. It was a purple shirt. Arriving early Tim sat on the patio directly facing the scorching summer sun.  By the time the big shot arrived Tim’s purple shirt was soaking wet. The pit stains stretched down to belt. The big shot was clearly weirded out and he hasn’t taken Tim’s call since.

The point of that horror story is that you have to be prepared to look stupid.  “If you’re not putting yourself outside of your comfort zone every day you’re not going to make it,” Tim says.  It’s going to take a while to get comfortable with yourself in the job.  


Timology 4 – Tim’s Tips for Sales Guys

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Tim needed an audience for this week’s episode so he invited Stadia sales guys Dylan and Andy into the studio.  The three had just attended a sales seminar together.  There was plenty Tim liked about workshop but, naturally, there was also a lot he disagreed with.  So he invited the boys to join him for a post-mortem.

Tim says that a good salesman focuses on what the customer wants.  People in sales too often worry about what they want.  Dylan has been working sales for Stadia for 2 years while Andy has just started working for the company.  Tim says there are about 5 tiers of experience that a sales guy will move through during his career.  In the first 3 months of a sales career everyone is totally focused on making as much money as possible.  The problem is that creating new clients often means giving away free favours.  The problem is a new sales person has no favours to give away.  It’s all about who you know when it comes to favours.  It takes at least 2 or 3 years to get there.  Those first 3 months are a long haul.

Sales workshops always emphasize the importance of knowing everything about the product that you’re selling.  Tim thinks that’s a lot of horseshit.  You don’t need to know much about your product.  You do need to know a lot about people, the resources you have around you and how to make them fit together.  If you can put a sentence together and communicate an idea in 30 seconds or less, you’ll do just fine.  In the first level of a sales career you need to learn how to communicate, how to pick-up on social cues and begin to build your network.

As you go from level 1 to level 2 the most important thing you can do is try to gain knowledge.  That might sound easy but it’s harder than it sounds.  Most people are asking questions not to learn something but to defy authority.  Especially in a male dominated industry like construction there is a lot of bravado.  Try and shut-up and listen once and a while!  You’re going to have a meltdown around 9 months in when you realize you don’t know what you’re doing.  Read, listen to podcasts and watch YouTube videos constantly.  You have to be self-aware and be willing to recognize what you have to improve.









Timology 3 – Tim’s Podcast About Podcasts

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“Why are you doing this?”  Tim gets asked that all the time.  Other business owners were totally mystified when Tim first launched the podcast.  They couldn’t understand why he would risk “offending” potential clients.  Today, Tim tried to explain.  The construction business is trapped in the past and the old methods of marketing are not working anymore.  Spending $10,000 for a booth at PRSM doesn’t make a lot of sense anymore.  If cold calling and RFPs are your only method of finding new business you’re hopelessly stuck in the past.

Podcasting offers something different.  A way to become friendly with potential client on their time.  They can listen to the show whenever is convenient for them.  So why invite other people to chat on the show?  Tim believes that a rising tide lifts all boats.  He wants to prove that this kind of marketing can work for all kinds of businesses.

In this episode Tim details the process of recording, editing and posting every podcast episode.  The cost is much less than traditional advertising methods and the potential rewards are much higher.  He urges his friends and colleagues to get out of their comfort zones and join him on an episode.  Every guest gets total control over the episode and can even scrap the episode if they don’t like it.  If the industry is ever going to join the 21st century it’s going to start with better digital marketing and podcasting is a big part of that revolution.

Timology 2 – Why selling is like dating

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In the first episode in this series Tim outlined the mathematical formula every great salesman needs to follow.  Marketing + relationships + accounting = a sale. Today he reveals the secret to building relationships. It’s a lot like dating.  Would you walk up to someone in the bar and say “Hi! I’m really good looking and I’m great in bed.”? It wouldn’t work. It’s the same in sales.  You need to form actual relationships with actual people before you can expect to sell anything.

Building a relationship starts by getting people to remember your name.  Then it’s learning the other person’s name and using it at least three times in a conversation.  You’re trying to build intimacy and that can’t happen if you don’t know the other person’s name. Tim uses all sorts of tricks to get people on the phone.  That isn’t easy these days. Try and avoid voicemail at all costs. But if you have to leave a message make sure your name and number are at the front  of the message.  Do anything you can think of to get a callback.  Tim will record happy birthday on a voicemail whether it’s the person’s birthday or not.

Long before you ever seal a deal you need to know your client.  It’s the same as dating. Most people don’t hop into bed on the first date.  And if they do it tends to be a little weird. You have to build an actual relationship before you get lucky!  At minimum you’re going to need at least four interactions with your client (lunch, phone calls, a meeting on-site) before you sign any contracts.