S03E13 – Timology: How to stop selling and start winning


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There are a lot of theories about how to become a great salesman. But today I’m going to tell you one you probably haven’t heard before. Stop trying to sell. The second you approach your clients as a greasy salesman you’re bound to fail. Instead, approach them as friend. Creating a real relationship with people is way harder than being a salesman. But it’s guaranteed to pay off in ways you never expected.

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S02E24 – Communication Breakdown: Why nobody cares about your email


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In the age of digital connection there we’re forgetting some basic facts. Your closest relationships are with the people that you actually meet in person. Next come the people that are willing to answer your phone call. Way down at the bottom are people you only interact with via email or social media. Tim is joined by Byrne On Demand sales rep Doug Bellar to discuss how to really connect with your clients.

S02E21 – Death of a Salesman with Andy Rutledge


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Being a salesman sucks. Especially if you’ve just started in a new territory or with a new company. By month six you’re ready to quit. You’re depressed. You’re frazzled. You have no one to turn too. Now you do. On today’s episode Tim shares how you can get over the hump and really succeed.

He’s joined this week by Andy Rutledge, a relatively new salesman at Stadia.  He is in the midst of dealing with the desert that is month six at a new sales job.  Tim provides some counsel to his younger counterpart.

The problem is that success for a sales person is hard to see in the moment.  Success means money and even if you’ve been making some deals you won’t see the fruits of that labour for at least another three months.  That means you have to have a robust sense of self.  You have to believe that you’re succeeding.  Otherwise the voices in your head are going to take over an make your life miserable.

 

S02E05 – The Naked Truth (On Being Too Expensive)


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There are few things more painful in life than being dragged into a corporate workshop.  That is until you go to a Tim Byrne corporate workshop. Instead of the usual droning on about sales projections and team building you get a Tasmanian Devil whirlwind of foul-mouthed truth speak.  The good folks at Curb Signs Inc. made the fateful decision to invite our hero to their office in Aurora to deliver a lecture on all things sales.  

“Everything you do is too expensive.”  Every sales person hears that every day.  But that’s bullshit, according to Tim. Well, most of the time anyways.  33% of the time you’re not too expensive compared to your competitor. You’re too expensive for their budget.  It’s all about how they build their budgets.  Property managers will always move numbers around to make it look like they’re saving their clients money.  Often times they will take money out of the budget for your work and stick it somewhere else – leaving you with nothing. So when they tell you you’re too expensive it has nothing to do with your estimate.  The other 33% of the time you lost the job because they don’t like you. It’s only that last 33% where you will actually lose a job because you were undercut by a competitor.

Building relationships is by far the hardest job a sales person has to master.  Sales people

will do anything to avoid having to go to yet another social function where they awkwardly stand in the corner talking to people they already know.  Those events are about building new relationships!  The easiest thing about the job is writing the purchase order or bidding the job.  Shaking hands and meeting people is fucking awful. Cold calling is the worst of the worst.  But it’s the only way you’re going to be successful so you better get good at it and quick.The only thing your organization is going to need in the next few decades is people that know how to talk to people.  Most of the jobs in big companies are going to be automated. Building relationships is the only thing matters.    

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 1 – The Secret to Being a Great Sales Guy


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Tim is excited to launch a brand new series for the summer.  His “Timology” series will reveal the secrets of great salesman.  Tim came by this knowledge the hard way – years of failing. For over 20 years Tim scratched and crawled his way to building a successful business.  Along the way he developed a winning strategy for selling his products and services.

Tim says that three are three facets to being great in sales.  Those are relationship building, marketing and accounting. In today’s episode Tim talks about the importance of building a relationship with a client.  Tim likens building those relationships to being a successful political candidate. You have to shake one hundred hands to get one vote. The math is similar in sales.  You have to introduce yourself to one hundred people to get one sale.

Building a relationship with a client depends on personal contact.  Tim insists on taking a potential client out for a drink or a meal before taking them on.  If they don’t have time for that Tim isn’t interested in working with them. You need to become friends with your clients otherwise you won’t be able to depend on them for future business.

There is a lot of negativity around sales.  There is a common idea that sales people are scumbags who will say anything to get your money.  And to be sure there are plenty of guys like that out there. Tim takes an opposite approach. If you are the only one walking away happy you’re doing it wrong.  You don’t just bid jobs in order to bid jobs. You have a moral obligation to give the client a fair price.