A member of the global Sandler network, Hamish supports private organizations in Southern Alberta create and maintain a scalable, repeatable, consistent sales engines and an engaged, motivated team by holding them accountable to implementing the structures, systems and processes shared in our sessions.
Hamish worked in a variety of industries including media, communication services, software and professional sports before joining the Sandler network, which melded his passions for sales and education.
Hamish was named the 2020 David H. Sandler Award winner, Sandler’s highest honor, becoming the first Canadian trainer to receive that award. He was the first two time author in the Sandler network, writing books on topics no one likes to talk about. His first book was on Accountability the Sandler Way and his second on Change the Sandler Way. Hamish is regularly invited by Sandler Home Office to speak at Sandler’s train-the-trainer conferences and Sandler’s public Sales and Leadership Summit in Orlando.
Committed to giving back so other entrepreneurs can enjoy the same opportunities he had when he launched his business, Hamish is an active mentor with Futurpreneur Canada, is a Maple Leaf Club donor to Enactus Canada and is a volunteer judge for regional and national student entrepreneur competitions.
[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]
Umar Hameed 0:01
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone! My name is Umar Hameed, I'm your host on the No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how you can become better, stronger, faster. Just before we get started, I've got a question for you, do you have a negative voice inside your head? We all do, right? I'm gonna help you remove that voice and under 30 days guaranteed, not only remove it, but transform it. So instead of the voice that sabotages you, there's one that propels you to much higher levels of performance and success. There's a link in the show notes, click on it to find out more. All right! Let's get started.
Umar Hameed 0:41
Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of the No Limits Selling Podcast. Today we have an old friend back Hamish Knox. Hamish is an expert in selling. He's a Sandler devotee. And we're gonna talk about today is his new podcast, Full Funnel Freedom Podcast. Hamish, welcome to the program.
Hamish Knox 1:00
Thanks for having me back, Umar.
Umar Hameed 1:02
So I have this vision Hamish, of you know, it's 3000 BC. There's a market and someone's in the market by a camel and this two camel dealers in this market and one camel dealer is killing it, and the other one is kind of struggling. And you know, at some point someone had to go, "How come he's selling more than the other guy?"
Hamish Knox 1:21
Umar Hameed 1:22
I wonder if there was sales training way back then?
Hamish Knox 1:25
Yeah, it was usually called scar tissue.
Umar Hameed 1:27
There you go.
Hamish Knox 1:28
And learning or learning from experience, I think is the more polite way of saying it.
Umar Hameed 1:32
Absolutely. And I'm not sure if you've noticed this Hamish is when you look at a resume, people are smarter, they're prettier, they're more handsome, they're more accomplished, and then you hire them and then you see the real them. So Hamish, tell me about your new podcast Full Funnel Freedom, why that's important for sales leaders and salespeople?
Hamish Knox 1:56
Thanks for asking me more. So the podcast Full Funnel Freedom comes out every Monday morning episodes are typically 15 minutes or less. And it's designed for sales leaders who really want to have a funnel that looks like a funnel instead of like a pencil or an accordion or upset stomach in a in an antastic commercial. So it's it's very quick, actionable insights that can be implemented right away to support not only the sales leader in their mindset and their activities, but also in coaching their salespeople to be more effective and efficient.
Umar Hameed 3:16
Brilliant. I'm going to go sign up right now.
Hamish Knox 3:18
Thank you much.
Umar Hameed 3:19
Brilliant. So sales leadership is often a challenging place to be.
Hamish Knox 3:23
Umar Hameed 3:24
Sometimes you get people that are sales leaders, true leaders, and other times you get a really good salesperson that gets promoted to be sales leader, which is a different skill set.
Hamish Knox 3:32
Umar Hameed 3:32
So talk about that.
Hamish Knox 3:34
Well, one of the things that we coach, the leaders we work with on is our people don't work for us, because they love our company, they work for us, because working for us gets them to their personal goals faster, at least they believe that and if they end up leaving, they'll tell us it's more money or bigger title or whatever. But really what it comes down to is they believe that going across the street and working for the other person is going to get them to their personal goals faster. And so this were the top performing sales reps who become sales leader, that's actually a misalignment at the upper C-suite level where they don't actually understand that sales and sales leadership are two very distinct skill sets. And the person who is crushing it as a salesperson, that may be their life's goal. All they want to be is the best salesperson they can be, as much as they love their colleagues, they have no interest in leading them. They're very happy to demonstrate and show hey, here's how I do things, but that's not what they want to do. They want to be out in the field, rocking and rolling with clients and prospects on a daily basis, as opposed to crying to create success through others. And that's actually the question I asked our clients because we do have clients who are very successful salespeople who of course, get offered a sales leadership position. And my question to them is, do you want to create success through yourself or success through others? Neither is good or bad, but you have to pick one, because if you only want to create success through your self, just be a salesperson, and that's absolutely wonderful. If you want to create success through others really truly, then you might be good in a sales leadership role.
Umar Hameed 5:09
Absolutely. I think there's another element to that as well. And sometimes we have these pre-programmed paths in our society that,
Hamish Knox 5:16
Umar Hameed 5:17
I'll be a salesperson, I'll become a sales manager. And...
Hamish Knox 5:20
Umar Hameed 5:20
...that might be my path to CEO.
Hamish Knox 5:22
Umar Hameed 5:22
So it's oftentimes people that are really good at sales. I wouldn't say oftentimes, you, you'd know better than me, that we just think that's what's meant to happen next. And we step into that role and realize this sucks.
Hamish Knox 5:34
Yeah, yeah, very true. And I, I struggle with linear thinking. And that's, like, what you just laid out is a very linear path. And the world is not linear, it's it's, it's matrix based, is exponential. And so that's where often though we do this very quick, like, if this then that, if I'm a salesperson, then I become a sales manager, then it become VP of sales that have become CEO. And the world doesn't work like that. And it's on us as as leaders at the top of the organization to look and reflect and say, "What is the skill set of this individual that I've got? Who is performing really well, in this role? Would that skill set translate really, truly not just a gut, 'Oh, yeah, absolutely because I want to fill a role." But with that skill set really, truly fit over. And then the other part is, does that actually tie into their personal goals, because if their personal goals do not relate to becoming a higher level in your organization, then putting an individual in a role that they really don't want, even though externally, they will say they want it, because as you just mentioned, that's our linear societal progression from salesperson to sales manager, etc. We're actually going to end up losing that person, because they're going to not perform very well in that role for however long it is, it will probably be less than a year, they're going to leave. And now we're out our best salesperson and a sales manager.
Umar Hameed 6:55
Absolutely. And I think there's a really good way of measuring what's going on in our lives and I think that's happiness. So let me ask you a question, Hamish, on a scale of one to 10 in what you do, helping leaders and salespeople do better, what's your level of happiness in what you do?
Hamish Knox 7:12
If the scale went beyond 10, I'd say that, but it's certainly a 10. Quick story, my my eldest daughter, who is now nine, I think she was seven at the time when this happened. So I actually had a leadership session to facilitate on my birthday.
Umar Hameed 7:27
Hamish Knox 7:28
And so she comes downstairs, you know, I'm downstairs, getting ready for my day and, and she comes downstairs and gives me a hug and says, "Happy birthday, Daddy," and I said, "Oh, thank you." And she says, "Well, do you get the day off?" And I said, "Well, no. I mean, some people do take their birthdays off. But no, it's not. You don't get a holiday on your birthday." And she said, "So you're going to work?" And I said, "Well, I don't actually consider what I do to be work. So I'm going to go do that and come home and take you and your sister to soccer practice," and her mind was just melting out the side of her side of her head, lLike, I don't understand what this means. But that's, that's really when someone says, you know, what do you what do you love about what you do? I say, it's literally the last thing I'll ever do. And it doesn't mean I don't have other interests. I have a vision board just above my desk, we're where I'm recording,
Umar Hameed 8:11
Am I on it?
Hamish Knox 8:13
You certainly are. And, and we have lots of things on there that are interest outside of what I directly do with the podcast and with Sandler, and and connecting with friends like you. But it, I love what I do because I get to support people professionally and personally at every stage of their life in business.
Umar Hameed 8:35
Thank you for sharing that. And actually, for the last minimum five years, I've had a speech on my birthday. And that makes me incredibly happy because I'm doing what I love to do, which is sharing ideas. And so the reason I brought up the happiness thing is if you've got a salesperson, and you ask them, what's your level of happiness and what you do, if they're doing an eight or above, excellent, and if they go into sales leadership, and that happiness scale falls down to a four, three.
Hamish Knox 8:59
Umar Hameed 9:00
And just getting them to imagine, now all of a sudden, you're not responsible for your behaviors.
Hamish Knox 9:05
Umar Hameed 9:05
You have to influence the behaviors of salespeople, and you know what they're like, if you've got kids. And so for some people, it's a challenge, they love it. For others, it's like just just put your finger on happiness, I think that's a great indicator of how much you love what you do and how well you do because that the happier you are, the better you do.
Hamish Knox 9:26
Amen, amen. And leader sales leadership is really transitioning, you know, the, the beatings will continue until morale improves, you know, never really was effective, definitely not effective today. And the the old model of really, organizational hierarchies came out of out of the military and, and, and those are starting to evolve and change but from a sales leader perspective, it's the carrot stick ideas just just not relevant anymore. And it's really getting to know our salespeople as people understanding what are their needs. goals and tying achievement of their personal goals to achievement of their corporate goals. And if there's a misalignment in there, because the goals are too small on the personal side to realize the corporate goals? Well, that's a conversation we can have in advance. I tell the leaders that we work with to have emotional conversations without the emotion. If you're my sales leader, Umar, and my goals are my personal goals are too low to hit the corporate goals you have, for me my sales targets and whatnot. Well, let's have that conversation in December, January, instead of the following note, December, when you're like, "Hey, Hamish, you haven't hit your targets? What the heck, shape up or ship out?
Umar Hameed 10:40
Right. Absolutely. And I think expectations in any leadership position setting those with people that you lead is critically important, because people want to know, where am I and what do I need to accomplish? And oftentimes, that's kind of left a little nebulous, and I think, also, like you said, falling through throughout the entire year. Because the job of the sales manager is not to, like I said, punish the sales reps is how do we bring out the best performance?
Hamish Knox 11:04
Umar Hameed 11:05
And the way to do that is to put your finger on the on the pulse of the economy, our company, that salesperson, and helping them see a better version of themselves.
Hamish Knox 11:15
Very true, very true. And I just wrote an article called Ambiguity Kills and a couple of examples from that, the the sales example was the salesperson when they're asked about an opportunity like, "Well, I'm planning on calling Umar next Tuesday," it's like, okay, so Umar has no idea that you're calling them. And so there's no, there's no clear next step, there's ambiguity in the sales cycle. And then on the leader side, you know, it's the it's the person who comes on board, and it's, "Hey, Umar. You know, glad to have you on the team, you know, go sell stuff." And it's not necessarily that literal in the real world. But if it's just like, "Hey, Umar, here's a target go like, well, how am I supposed to get there? What resources do I have? How are you going to support me?" So a leader is number one job is to create clarity, with their people, clarity...
Umar Hameed 11:59
Hamish Knox 11:59
...of expectations, etc, etc, so that they can be successful without them. Another thing that we coach our leaders on is when you bring a new person on, we want to reduce their time to self sufficiency, which can be a scary idea for a lot of leaders, because they think, "Well, if my salesperson is self sufficient, they don't need me." No, you know, armies need generals, arts organizations, need directors, sports teams need coaches. All of the individuals in those organizations who are professionals can do their job on their own, but they still need guidance, coaching and direction. And that's where the leader needs to be spending their time as opposed to sitting on top of their their salesperson going to make that call to answer that objection, that's not helping anybody.
Umar Hameed 12:43
Absolutely. And I think in the old world military with the the British, let's say it's like, stand in line and your commanders behind you, you do what that person says. And if they get shot, we're fucked.
Hamish Knox 12:55
Umar Hameed 12:55
And the modern warfare was very much you know, how do we empower people at the frontlines because every client changes when it hits the enemy,
Hamish Knox 13:02
Umar Hameed 13:02
give them the ability or ways to think so they can actually be flexible, where they meet reality.
Hamish Knox 13:09
Totally, totally, there's a there's an example I heard, and I will not mangle the German name of it. But it's basically it comes down to management by objectives as be the modern term for it. But basically, the way I was told to me is, in World War II, the American military commanders who are on the ground in Europe would get a phone book, which is a very current reference worth of instructions on how they were supposed to do things, right?
Umar Hameed 13:35
Hamish Knox 13:35
We're gonna take this down here is the completely detailed documented plan that we've made up miles away from where you are with, with old information, but you're going to do this plan, whereas the Germans would say to one of their commanders, you're going to take this town, and we need you to take this town within two weeks. So go, you have real time information, you adjust as you need to, your goal is to take this down within two weeks. And if you do, if it's getting to, you know, 10 days from now, and you haven't done it, you need to let us know that so that we can either send in reinforcements or adjust the objective. And and that's from a from a sales leadership perspective, clearly defining the mountain tops for the salespeople, clearly defining the waypoints along the path to that mountain top and saying, "You guys can design the path yourself to get from basecamp to the top of the mountain, I just need you to check in with me at the waypoints to make sure that you're on pace, because our people are probably going to find better ways to get to the mountaintop than we ever could on our own."
Umar Hameed 14:33
Absolutely. I think it comes down to, leaders inspiring the people they lead to, step into the who they were meant to be,
Hamish Knox 14:41
Umar Hameed 14:41
and giving them some guidance. So you know, in these situations, this is how you strategically think but the thinking is yours. Go execute.
Hamish Knox 14:48
Umar Hameed 14:48
So let me bring this down to a personal level for me.
Hamish Knox 14:52
Umar Hameed 14:52
So I've been like one of those people. That's been a one man show a couple of admin folks, as you may remember Hamish, and I do keynote speeches, we do breakthrough coaching on figuring out why people are stuck, so bound to hire our first salesperson. And the reason I'm doing this is I am amazingly gifted at my craft.
Hamish Knox 15:12
Umar Hameed 15:12
But growing the business is not one of those. So I'm going to pick my first salesperson,
Hamish Knox 15:16
Umar Hameed 15:17
coming up to set the tone for hiring more salespeople. What wisdom do you have to share with me, which will be educational to our listeners?
Hamish Knox 15:25
Umar Hameed 15:25
that first person because they're going to be basically designing the processes and a professional way to grow the business?
Hamish Knox 15:33
Thank you for asking, Umar. One of the things I recommend to all you, for lack of a better term a solopreneur, right? Yes, you have administrators and things like that but in terms of growing the business, you're you're at right now. I always recommend starting with a specialist. The, the hiring, like the hunter farmer mindset is is something that is pervasive. And the fact is that the idea of quote unquote hunter, well, there's a whole bunch of moving parts that are in that from, you know, initial connection with a prospect, and then from initial connection moving down into like, qualify, closing. And then on the flip side, the account management side, which account management has largely been passive, I'm more interested in proactive expansion of accounts. So for an individual in in your position where, you know, you're it, you've got support behind the scenes, but in terms of being client facing, I always recommend hiring a specialist, especially someone at the top of the funnel, so I call them lead qualification experts.
Umar Hameed 16:33
Hamish Knox 16:34
And having that person who can really take someone from, you know, "Hi, nice to meet you. Thanks for your inquiry, can you tell me a bit more about why you reach out to organization," and, and really, almost pre qualifying. And then by the time that prospect gets in front of you, your, your time to close for lack of a better term is significantly shorter, because they've already been primed and prepped and pre qualified by your lead qualification expert. So when you connect with them, it's really, it's not an F conversation. It's a how conversation, right? We're not,
Umar Hameed 17:09
Hamish Knox 17:09
if we're going to work together, it's how we get we're going to work together, which from my own experience, because up until recently, I was the only one doing all the sales. I'd rather have how conversations because we're already working together, we've already agreed to do it. So that's what I would strongly recommend is hire a specialist, which may seem a little like, well, I don't necessarily have enough money to pay a specialist here, and especially, specialists here, you will, because you'll find that one specialist, and then that specialist will expand your funnel to the point where you're like, "Well, I don't have time to qualify close anymore, now let me bring on a qualified closer, who is very process-oriented, very focused on taking that conversation from, you know, glad you had a good conversation with my colleague, let's figure out how we can best work together so you can you know, realize the the benefits of working with him are?" Does that help?
Umar Hameed 18:01
It helps a lot. So one of the things that I'm noticing is, you know, we have people that are doing cold calling, because it's still a tool that works.
Hamish Knox 18:08
Umar Hameed 18:09
But we're finding that you know, out of 100 calls made, they might be four or three conversations these days, because a lot of voicemail is being hit because people are just not picking up the phone.
Hamish Knox 18:19
Umar Hameed 18:19
Any thoughts on that how to kind of change that equation?
Hamish Knox 18:22
Yeah, actually, I read a book back in the beginning of November called Tech-Powered Sales by Justin Michael and Tony Hughes. I'm actually looking at it on my desk right now. And there is a day talk about sequences or cadences. And actually my my inside sales rep, his name is Ethan, he, he is implementing a 15 touch strategy that's talked about on page 79 of that book. And it really accelerated our funnel, because our prospects all have a lot on the go. And we coach our clients to be standout on how you sell not what you sell. Because what we sell as a commodity in the minds of our prospects doesn't matter what we're selling. And so in addition to the cold calls, which I 100% agree, absolutely work using very strategic emails, and LinkedIn messages. And we're big fans of Vidyard, we're partners with Vidyard so we use asynchronous video to connect with our prospects in real time. And then, depending on what CRM you're using, if you're using one at all, is to be able to track clicks and opens and and really be on top of the prospects who open something, the metric is three or more times. If someone opens three or more times, they've engaged with it if they open it five or more times it typically means that they forwarded it on to someone in the organization. So having a lead qualification expert who is hyper-focused on a very distinct set of prospects at one time, working them through a cadence, whatever that cadence might be, is going to increase the amount of qualified opportunities that go in the funnel. And the ones that don't convert after the 15 touch cadence, they go into a nurture campaign, and we're just dripping out pieces of content that might be relevant to them. And eventually, when they engage with that content, now's the time to reach out and actually have a conversation.
Umar Hameed 20:20
That is brilliant. Thank you for sharing that I'm actually I brought up Tech-powered Sales, Achieve Superhuman Sales Skills...
Hamish Knox 20:26
Umar Hameed 20:27
...on Amazon, and your listeners right now for $2.99, you can get the Kindle book, and so I'm gonna actually hit Buy soon as we finish this podcast, thank you for sharing that.
Hamish Knox 20:37
You're very welcome.
Umar Hameed 20:38
So one of the things is, you know, we need some lead generation to allow this person to start engaging with people, what are your thoughts on lead generation?
Hamish Knox 20:47
Lead generation can mean a lot of things. I am a big fan of content I, I appreciate there's lots of content out in the world now. But I'm a big fan of of content and, and hyper personalization. So when a prospect gets a piece of content for me, it is not bullet points and pages of dialogue, it might be a simple infographic and a one sentence, "Hey, Umar, here's an infographic from our most recent sample research center report, thought you'd appreciate it, curious how this information is appearing in your world, is it worth a 10 minute phone call," and and having, having that information appear in the inbox or when they're looking for, when they're searching for certain things like, like coaching, or like a keynote speaker, to be able to have these little bits of information popping up that are relevant to them in real time, which causes them to engage. For me lead generation is about number of conversations I have, it's not about number of clicks or number of downloads, I actually want engagement. So whatever I can do in my lead gen, to create a conversation, that's what I want to put out in the world.
Umar Hameed 22:06
Brilliant. And I think you said you know, hyper personalization is very much how can you meet people where they're at?
Hamish Knox 22:13
Umar Hameed 22:14
I was talking to a guy who, are you familiar with Vistage?
Hamish Knox 22:17
Umar Hameed 22:18
Peer Advisor Group do great work. And I was talking to one of the chairs on on the podcast, and he was saying that his number one acquisition tool is engaging in LinkedIn, and a lot of engagement is what you described. So it's not selling anything, it's illuminating ideas and people and that leads to conversations that leads to, leads to sales.
Hamish Knox 22:39
Umar Hameed 22:40
And so one times, sorry, interrupt, I just publishing content, because I need to publish content is not what you need to do, what you need to do is to really think about who is my audience? And what are the five or six critical things that are getting in the way of them being successful, and creating content that speaks to that,
Hamish Knox 23:01
Umar Hameed 23:02
will get people to self select when they engage?
Hamish Knox 23:06
Yeah, it's very true. And actually one of the things that I talked about yesterday, I actually did a, I did a working session with Vidyard on how to use Vidyard at every stage. And one of the things that we talked about is, you know, putting up a piece of content, whether it's a video or an infographic or an article, or a podcast, and then engaging with the people who engage with that content. So let's pretend you and I never met, we hadn't met we hadn't connected before, I put up the the latest episode of the Full Funnel Freedom Podcast and you even just like it, you don't even have to comment on it you like it or celebrated or whatever the other emotions you can express on LinkedIn these days. I send you an InMail, "Umar, appreciate you liking the, my post on the most recent podcast, kind of curious what were your takeaways or what resonated with you., love to connect offline for 10 minutes if if if you were to further the conversation." Now you may self select, you may not respond to me, "Hey, that's fine. Doesn't hurt my feelings." On the flip side, you might sa, "Hey, Hamish, yeah, really enjoyed this part of the podcast, we'd love to dive deeper with you. Here's my phone number, give me a call," and now I've got a conversation. That's the whole purpose of lead gen.
Umar Hameed 24:16
Brilliant. Actually, I was doing some training for a group of realtors on a regular basis. And one particular meeting, one of the sales guys was saying, you know, "Hey, I got this guy to list his house. And it's going to be, you know, a $2 million deal." And the team leader goes, "Wow, you know, how many times did you reach out to the guy to get him to engage? I know, you've been trying for a little while?" And the guy says, "21 times"
Hamish Knox 24:40
Umar Hameed 24:40
And I guess in the salesperson's mind, not this particular salesperson, but generally it's like, "I don't want to bother them...'
Hamish Knox 24:47
Umar Hameed 24:47
...by sending stuffs that they don't want and they gonna be like really mad at me, it's like, 'nobody remembers you, no one cares about you...
Hamish Knox 24:49
Umar Hameed 24:49
until they do."
Hamish Knox 24:48
Umar Hameed 24:50
And it was at 21st contact and the guy was in the right space, and he went, "Yeah. Let's talk. Let's do this." And I think that's one of the things that we, sales is such a beautiful profession.
Hamish Knox 25:05
Umar Hameed 25:06
A Lonely profession, I'm sure when we are confronted with your own demons and your demons that much more scary than the customers out there.
Hamish Knox 25:13
Yeah. Yeah, very, very true. And my, my colleague, Antonio Garrido had shared some information with us from, I believe it's the North American Sales Association. Most net new sales are started between the 6th and the 12th touch on a prospect.
Umar Hameed 25:31
Hamish Knox 25:32
The most salespeople give up after three. And it's exactly what you were saying about all I don't want to bother them, I don't wanna be a pest set cetera. And I bet if we called that prospect who the salesperson quote unquote, doesn't want to bother, and we said, "Hey, do you know such and such from this company?" they would say ,"Who?"
Umar Hameed 25:48
Hamish Knox 25:49
So our job and and this is actually something that is told to Sandler trainers, when they first get in the network is if you're having call reluctance, and you're thinking, you know, what I just I'm done with my call today don't want to do it. There's probably a CEO, sitting at their desk, metaphorically tearing their hair out going, "I wish I had a solution to my leadership management sales challenge. We could be that solution. But they'll never know, if we don't reach out to them and we're doing them a disservice."
Umar Hameed 26:20
Absolutely. And you know, one of the things that is just makes you want to smack yourself in the face, is you're working with a client, and they have not purchased from you. And then after the two or three attempts, you give up, and then six months later, you reach out again and saying, you know, "Hey, how are you thinking?" and he said, "Oh, my God, we just hired somebody to do that." And it was yours in your palm your hand, but you just gave up too soon.
Hamish Knox 26:42
Umar Hameed 26:43
Because you thought you were being passed, or they don't understand they're idiots. And it's like, finding the chosen view. And staying connected is critical.
Hamish Knox 26:53
Very, very true. And we, one of the things that we coach our clients on is and especially leaders to coach their salespeople on is, again, creating clarity and telling a prospect after you know, let's say 12,13,14 touches, 15 touches. The last touch is the, it feels like, "You never want to have a conversation, if so that's okay, I don't like loose ends, close the loop and let me know that that you don't want to have this conversation, I won't bother you again." We get a lot of calls back, "Oh, and oh, no, no, totally. I've just I've had a lot on my plate, I really want to talk to you guys. I'm really sorry, I didn't get back to you," etc, etc. or if we're engaging with a prospect, and they're really just not treating us as an equal. They're really trying to, you know, make us say and do things that are not in our best interest, you know, multiple quotes and proposals, mo, no commitments to next step. We're allowed to say, you know, "Umar, it feels like that this is possibly going nowhere, I certainly hope that's not true. But if, if this is going nowhere, and you've decided to go in a different direction, just let me know, your time is valuable, as is mine. And I prefer that, you know, we spend our time in a productive way. And if that's not here, I'm okay with that. No, now doesn't mean No, forever in my world, what would you like to do?"
Umar Hameed 28:14
Brilliant. And it goes back to where we started the conversation about setting expectations, not only with your salespeople, but with your customers as well.
Hamish Knox 28:22
Very true. Very, very true.
Umar Hameed 28:24
And that's one of the things I love about the Sandler system is that upfront contract, which is like, you know, "Hey, this is what I like to accomplish during this meeting. What do you want to accomplish? Let's agree to that. And let's have a nice conversation rather than leaving things nebulous."
Hamish Knox 28:39
Yeah. Yeah. Ambiguity kills?
Umar Hameed 28:41
Absolutely. I've done a couple of articles on complacency kills. We'll see which is the more deadlier thing.
Hamish Knox 28:49
I think both. I think I think you'd probably label in both cases.
Umar Hameed 28:53
Yep. So one of the areas that, you know, I'm focusing my company on is, so we help salespeople on their mindset and of course, having the wide world of sales is amazing.
Hamish Knox 29:04
Umar Hameed 29:06
And then another part of me is like, "Focus on realtors."
Hamish Knox 29:09
Umar Hameed 29:09
Get focused. And of course, it makes more sense to focus but then there's a part of you that goes, "But what about the other people?" talk me out of it, Hamish talked me into focusing in the area and why that's important. If you think that's the case.
Hamish Knox 29:22
I am a huge fan of, I think that cliche these days is Nietzschean, but I am a huge fan of I believe focus equals freedom. It's a bit of a mantra with our clients, right focus...
Umar Hameed 29:34
Hamish Knox 29:35
...equal freedom. So yeah, you can chase shiny objects, purple [garbled], oh, this tech stack and this tech thing, and you know, this is gonna make my, no no, it really comes down to how do we have more effective human human interactions and starting in a place like we'll just say realtors because that's the example you gave. Get really, really good at realtors which which you are. And as you go forward, eventually you're going to start to get ancillary opportunities, where one of the realtors who you've supported said, "Hey, I got a buddy who's a mortgage agent, we're kind of referral partners. Can you help the mortgage agent? Like, well, you know, is a mortgage agent kind of similar to a realtor?" "Sure." "Could I take what I've done with realtors and turn it into a mortgage agent?" "Sure." "Did I burn calories actively pursuing this mortgage agent?" "Not at all." So what's the harm in going down the path of this mortgage agent because I've got this engine already going with realtors, that I know is going to keep rolling. And so it's okay for me to now, "Oh, let's just make a slight shift to the right to you know, one inch to the right. Let's talk to mortgage brokers now, and maybe I get really awesome at mortgage brokers," and the mortgage broker goes, "Hey, do you do anything with, you know, real estate lawyers like oh, never thought of it before." So the key thing with niching is being able to say no makes us more valuable, it makes us more desirable. But also, getting really focused allows us to perfect what we do really, really well. And then be able to apply it to other niches in the future that were brought into as opposed to us going out and seeking it.
Umar Hameed 31:23
Brilliant. Hamish, before we part company, is there a mind hack or technique you use to become more efficient, are happier or more successful that you'd like to share with our listeners?
Hamish Knox 31:34
I actually was just talking to my, I have a new associate on board started about four weeks ago, and they are absolutely crushing it already. But there's some things that they aren't staying on pace on and they shared this with me proactively. They said, "Hey, you know, I'm not doing this. And I know, it's part of my onboarding plan," I said "Okay, well, how can I support you?" And they said, "Well, you know, I'm, I'm really struggling with time management," which I think you and I probably heard it 1000 times I said, "Well, I'm a big fan of Traps." and Traps have a very negative connotation because out in the real world, yeah, they hurt. But the trap is for me, if this then that. So as an example, if I come into the office in the morning, and I sit down at my desk, I make three cold calls. So the minute my my bum hits my chair, I make three cold calls. So if I sit down at my chair in the morning, I make three cold calls. And and it's those little traps that actually create momentum because I make three cold calls. and maybe I left three voicemails, but I feel really good. Oh, maybe I'll make a fourth cold call. And then I'll go get my cup of coffee. And then I'll dive into my CRM and then I'll dive into my cadences. But because I've done that little trap, I can generate momentum. I use it at home all the time to make sure that I exercise, you know,
Umar Hameed 32:52
Hamish Knox 32:52
it, you know, if I, if I get home, and I'm changing out of my suit, I put my workout clothes on the bed, because then they're on the bed and I got to move them when I go to bed and I feel kind of bad. If I have to move them and put a back in my dresser,
Umar Hameed 33:05
They were smelly,
Hamish Knox 33:06
Umar Hameed 33:06
you feel bad definitely.
Hamish Knox 33:08
Umar Hameed 33:09
Thank you for sharing that. I'm going to suggest a name change by me. Sure. Let's call it trip wire. Oh, I like that. Because that one has no negative connotations. And it's just what the wire does.
Hamish Knox 33:19
Yeah, it's true.
Umar Hameed 33:20
[garbled]something happens and hope that helps.
Hamish Knox 33:23
Yeah, I love that. I love that.
Umar Hameed 33:25
And Hamish, what are the three challenges that sales organizations are facing right now that you know you work with a ton of them?
Hamish Knox 33:32
Umar Hameed 33:32
What are the three biggest challenges right now that they're kind of dealing with?
Hamish Knox 33:36
So three biggest challenges right now they have no clearly defined process, which is the what information that their salespeople have to gather from a prospect to determine whether or not they're closed, which is different from a selling system, which is the how you go get that information. But what having a clearly defined process, having a clearly defined ideal client profile or ICP is the cliche these days. Because until you have that anybody who falls into our lap or who we trip over as an ideal prospect, and you and I have enough scar tissue to know that that's just not true. And then the last one is a lack of consistent role playing by the leader with their salespeople that the hardest four inches to move in our life is our brain to our mouth. And Sandler said never practice in front of your prospect. But sales leaders tend to be very reluctant to practice with their salespeople in an in an effective way and are our best practices the leader goes first. And because they've had really bad experiences when they were a salesperson in roleplay they're reluctant to do it with their people but is the single best way to develop a sales team is through roleplay.
Umar Hameed 34:46
So just to addressing that a little bit Hamish, at one level, it sounds like really dumb role play, do I really need to it sounds dumb, but if you're a musician,
Hamish Knox 34:55
Umar Hameed 34:55
every single musician that's out there that is successful, does One or two or three hours of practice every single freaking day, whether they started when they were three and now they're 92 they still do it because that's how you reach perfection and our rehearsal for our profession is roleplay.
Umar Hameed 35:14
Umar Hameed 35:15
Brilliant. Hamish, thank you so much for being on the program. It's always a joy and I took a lot of notes. It's like a piece of white paper with a bunch of notes on it. So thank you for that.
Hamish Knox 35:25
You're very welcome. Thanks for having me back. Umar. I really enjoyed chatting with you every time we connect and, and I'm excited to see how things go for you with your new new hire.
Umar Hameed 35:36
Brilliant. Thank you.
Hamish Knox 35:42
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.