May 24

Kevin Snow on CEO Effectiveness


The co-host of the top-100 Apple Podcast, Growth Mode, and CEO of Time On Target, Kevin Snow is a sales expert and a serious technology geek who knows how to help his clients take their automation game to the next level and is changing the game of business development.

With a 20-year career working with brands like Frontier Communications, Nextel, Salesforce, and BNI, his knowledge, skills and understanding of communication and technology are getting real results for the businesses he works with. Kevin knows how to integrate digital technology with your sales process in an authentic, professional way. He’ll show you what you’ve been missing in terms of ensuring an effective system of outreach, and trust-building. 

Part entrepreneur, part salesperson, part networker, part technology master and part Star Wars fan…how can you afford not to have Kevin on your team this year?

[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
Hello, everyone, welcome to another episode of The No Limits Selling Podcast where we talk to industry leaders about how they grow their people, their revenue themselves. And before we get started with today's guests, I want to share something with you I've got a new product coming out is called mindset boosters. It is an app that you can put on your phone, your tablet, your computer, and it's designed to give you software that allows you to change your mindset. So if you wake up one day, you're not feeling the magic six minutes later, you're gonna feel unstoppable. And it's got 60 tracks in it to give you the power, you need to be at the top of your game, because that's what this world is all about. When you bring your best self to the world. Amazing things happen. And speaking of that, I get the privilege of talking to Kevin snow, he is the Chief Sales strategist with time on target. Kevin, welcome to the program.

Kevin Snow 1:28
Hey, thanks for having me. I'm really excited to be here today.

Umar Hameed 1:31
Superb. I love the title of time on target. It's kind of military, but it's also you know, hey, if you're not talking to customers, then you're doing stuff that isn't that important. And it's so easy for our salespeople to do busy activity and not activity that produces revenue.

Kevin Snow 1:45
Yeah, exactly. When I launched the company originally, I was in the military. And I wanted some sort of military type term because I knew I'd have, I've worked with a lot of military business owners, military vets that own businesses. So as we went through all the stuff, and that was the one that really stood out to me for that, really, that that idea of I want to, you know, I want to decrease the time it takes me to get on to my to my target, and to be able to spend more time actually with them, as opposed to doing all the other stuff. So I'm glad someone figured out the name. And I didn't have to explain it. They're like, that's exactly right. Sweet. So...

Umar Hameed 2:21
Brilliant. It's because it's so easy to get distracted with. I know one of the areas you focus on is technology. And technology has the ability to leverage who you are. So you're more effective, but it also has the opportunity to distract you with all the things going on. So how do you get the technology you need, that's actually going to be something that enhances your effectiveness as opposed to giving you the illusion of that, but in fact, doing the opposite.

Kevin Snow 2:48
So the distraction thing is huge. I remember when I launched...

Umar Hameed 2:52
[Garbled] that joke, I was being distracted.

Kevin Snow 2:55
So when I launched time on target the second time because I had an initial launch. And then I deployed for a year and came back and basically had to restart my company. I got trapped in the whole distraction thing. And I was doing a ton of CEO stuff, or at least things that I thought were CEO things like coming up with the company culture deck and coming up with the marketing stuff, and website design and all things that weren't generating any revenue for me. So that that getting distracted as a business owner is happens to everyone. So when you Yeah, it's a thing. Donnie, my business partner for success champions, we do that all the time. It's like, oh, we have this really cool idea, we should do this. And then you know, we'll get sucked down a rabbit hole. So what we've figured out is, you know, for us, we need to have a really focused goal of what we're trying to accomplish, and hey, here's where we need to be, here's what we ought to do, and everything funnels towards that. So then we're able to ask that question, how does this help me get here? And that's the same thing that we do with our clients for technology, because I have my clients come to me all the time, like, Oh, I just saw this thing. And it's so cool. We can do this with it. I'm like, how does it help with this? And if they can't give me an answer, then I'm like, Oh, sweet. We don't even have to talk about it. If they if they can answer it. It's like, Alright, let's talk about how we integrate. And if it makes sense to do it now or later, and we can have that conversation. But if it doesn't actually help you get to where you're trying to go. That's your first clue that it's a distraction. And you need to say, Yeah, Nope, we're good. It's really cool and shiny, but I am focused on this thing.

Umar Hameed 4:32
And what's kind of interesting is, of course, that what you just said, reminds me of Gary Kellerman, the guy that founded Southwest Airlines because he would get employees coming, say, you know, people really want to have a food service on the plane from this place to that place. He says, that's great. Is that going to speed up? Our turnaround is going to increase our profit and the answer was no and no. And it's like, Okay, stay focused, know who you are. And what was interesting with Southwest Lee So the way I know the story is they said, Okay, who's our competition? And it wasn't another airline, they picked the Greyhound bus company as a competition? And how do we get people off the bus onto our planes. And so that's why when you get on a Southwest, it's like getting on a bus. It was like the most efficient way, pick your seat and go.

Kevin Snow 5:16
I don't I flew southwest the first time probably like two years ago. And I went through the whole process of like, Oh, my God, why don't all the airlines do it this way? This is freaking awesome. It's like I can board at my regular time, and I'm still in the military. So I get to go a little bit earlier than normal. But I'm like, I could walk in and I get to pick whatever seat I want. There's no, like, you have to sit here. And you have to do that. And it's just so much easier. And I'm like, Yep, I'm flying with you all the time. Now, just because the experience.

Umar Hameed 5:47
So let's say you're starting a company, you're gonna have five salespeople joining you on this adventure, you're starting at zero. So you have no technology, what are the tools that you pick for the team that would get them to be more effective, get them to leverage their time and effectiveness.

Kevin Snow 6:01
So there's two stages is company growth. And you're going to be doing things a little bit differently. Based on what stage you're in the first stage, if you're starting from zero, that CEO needs to be outsell and be selling and be in front of prospects be asking questions and getting feedback on the product. And get in hearing all the objections and all the things that those people can say before they even think about bringing on salespeople. We have so many people that I work with. They're like, Yeah, I'm gonna go and hire salespeople. And my first question is why? Well, I need to increase revenue. You're not selling anything yourself? Why aren't you out selling and forcing them to go do it. And the reason I say sale CEOs need to sell before they can bring on salespeople is because if you're going to bring on salespeople, how are you going to train them and support them, if you haven't been out in the field. And that's a big thing. When you hire salespeople, small business owners have this this Miss, you know, this huge misnomer going on, that if if a salesperson was really good at one company, they're naturally gonna be able to sell their product and service. That's not how it works. I was not at all I was top sales guy with Nextel and you know, like top 3% of the country, because they spent time training me. And their managers all knew how to sell stuff. And when I had questions, they could actually help me come up with a strategy and what to say and what to do. If you've never actually been out doing that, you can't do that. So your first thing when you are selling as a CEO is to go out and sell and then look at Alright, so what are the tasks that are repetitive, that are keeping me busy and keeping me out from being in front of clients? And how do I get rid of them? How do I automate those, you know, and then that's, that's your first step. The next stage is sweet, we're selling, I'm selling a time we I understand who my clients are, how they make purchasing decisions, I understand how we're selling to them. I'm going to bring on salespeople, well, now it's figuring out how you support them. So they're not spending all their time looking for content to email out, they're not spending all their time updating CRMs and other systems with redundant information, you're looking at all that information to make sure it's easy for them to do their job. And to keep their pipeline full.

Umar Hameed 8:25
Brilliant. So let's talk about some technology pieces. Let's say the CEO has gone out. They've been carrying the briefcase, they know the objections, they know the customers, they can provide some insights to the sales team. So before we go there, I was actually interviewing a gentleman by the name of Anthony Eisenman just a few moments ago before our interview. And so I said, Anthony, you've been fired from your company, you're going in a totally new industry, you're starting from zero, what are you going to do? And he says, I'm not going to learn product knowledge, I'm not going to learn competition. I'm not going to learn any of that stuff. What I'm gonna do is get on the phone and make appointments. Yeah. And that's my only thing is to get appointments and if I can get the appointments that configure the other stuff out, but that would be how it starts from zero and start moving up quickly. So we want our salespeople to be on the phone. What are your thoughts about the products like PhoneBurner and FunnelFLARE that allow you to automate the calling process so you still need to talk to customers but they do the dialing for you and automatically send out an email when you want them to or send out a voicemail. Thoughts on that kind of technology.

Kevin Snow 9:25
So I did I was not a cold caller when I was an outside sales I hated knocking on doors and actually going door to door that way to eat with businesses. I thought it was the most inefficient use of my time. I would much rather jump on the phone and you know, make 50 calls and be done as opposed to spending an entire day to get to you know, knock on 20 to 30 doors and get a couple of parking tickets to boot. Yeah, exactly. And have people yell at me. So I'm fine. I'm fine for with the phone dialers you need to have Good one. So and the salesperson needs to understand what the cues are for when you're live, because I've had some really horrible ones where I've picked up, and there's like dead space before the person coming on, and I'm saying hi Is anyone there and then all sudden they're talking. So it has to be set up, right? Otherwise, it's just horrible. And it's so bad.

Umar Hameed 10:23
Few that I mentioned both of them, you're live on the phone. And soon as a person says, Hello, you say hello, there is no delay. Because soon as I get on the phone, when I get a ton of phone calls, there's a delay, I know it's a cold call, I just go click and just get on with my life.

Kevin Snow 10:35
Exactly. But they're really nice because you it makes the dial and pulls up the information in your CRM, if they're linked, they shouldn't be linked. If you're not linking them, you're doing it wrong. And then you get to see all the information about the client and what's going on, if you talk to them before where you're at in the process, and you know what's happening. So I think they're really great because it gets rid of that dialing piece between that takes that takes time. It literally just [garbled].

Umar Hameed 10:58
Who do I call, it's already programmed in there, you're calling and the thing I like about it is the ability to drop an email, because you know what you're calling about, and to also drop a text message at that same moment without having to type it up. It just says, you know, Hey, John, just dropped you a voicemail we're trying to get, you know, this is what we're trying to do talk soon. And that all stuff is magic.

Kevin Snow 11:21
Yeah, exactly. And all those little things just free up, you know, it's seconds. But over the over a week, or over a month or over a year, that's a lot of time for a sales guy. And it saves them a lot of opportunity. And it opens up opportunity for them to go out and talk to more people.

Umar Hameed 11:38
So I was watching this TV show or movie, it was in the middle of it. And it's this little kid who's seven or eight years old, he's on a bike. And this is what he's saying is like, you know, when I see a girl, and I got really, really scared, and I don't want to do it, I go up to them as fast as possible and say hello, and I kind of just, that's my cue to go take action. And so salespeople will put off the phone as long as possible, what some ways you'd recommend that people just, you know, get this thing done, because most of the people I talked to are going to be there early in the morning or late at night. So if I can get the calls done early in the day, then I can go on with the rest of my day. Plus, I get more appointments throughout the week. So how do you get people to psych up and go.

Kevin Snow 12:16
So when I was doing the telemarketing piece and the cold calling for as an outside sales guy, I had to schedule my time. And I had to schedule it in small blocks. If I scheduled like, alright, this is gonna be cold calling telemarketing afternoon, I wouldn't do it. Because I would find other things that were a better use of four hours of my time. But for what I've done now, because I don't do a lot of cold calling anymore. Most of my stuff is all social media base for my prospecting. I have a set number of reach outs that I'm going to do a day. It's usually 20. And I do those in the morning. And I get up I do my social media posting, I do the Facebook groups that I'm using for my current hunting ground. And I'll make my posts in there. And then I'll do reach outs on LinkedIn. And you know, my goal is 20 a day. And that's very attainable, dude, yeah. And it's like 30 minutes. So I can be drinking my coffee where I'm not ready to actually talk to people, and on the phone or on Zoom. And I can do all my reach outs and social media and 30 to 40 minutes, and I'm done. Now the rest of my day is set for actual meetings where I'm face to face with people, or I'm working on a project or following up with clients, and doing the stuff that actually generates revenue for the company.

Umar Hameed 13:33
So tell me about one of the most challenging accounts that you had to get into how you got there and how you got to a yes and got a relationship started. So tell me one of those war stories since your ex military guy actually overcoming because it's so easy to give up in this field that we're in sales so they don't want to talk to us. Let's move on. Yep. And sometimes tenacity helps and sometimes you need to move on and.

Kevin Snow 13:54
Yeah, so I when I started selling Nextel that was really my first real outside sales job. I had worked in telecom prior, doing more of a hybrid position where I was a hunter and a farmer. So it wasn't really just you know, where I was just only focused on generating my own revenue. So when I got the Nextel I sucked I couldn't close the deal. And it was part of it was my whole focus on you know, the features and the bells and whistles of the technology which you know, I'm a tech guy I love technology I am I am a high C under this profile, you give me bells and whistles, and I will be like ooh, let's get you know what happens when I press this button. But that's not how we are how I needed to sell. And so for a while I drew I couldn't close the deal. I wasn't getting appointments because there was all focused on you know, our key differentiator the walkie talkie thing, right? For me I had to the where I when I turned around was when I got rid of the pitch deck and all the horrible cold calling scripts. and actually started asking tons of questions, and figuring out what was going on with my clients business. And then figuring out how our, our tool could actually help them generate revenue and fix things. You know, we had this really cool capability. It was before all the apps and the App Store and everything where we had GPS, and we had some really cool business apps where you could actually track workers and do job dispatching, and all kinds of fun stuff. I could come into a client who's having issues with mileage or not knowing whether their jobs are going or having the or wanting to accelerate, you know, shorten the wait time for clients get stuff done, and show them how to use that type of tool. And they're like, Oh, my God, this is awesome. And so now I went from struggling to close a deal to selling deals that were generating three times the revenue of my salespeople, because that now I wasn't just selling on price and features. It wasn't that cool. I'll give me free phones, and $50 a month. It's like, Yeah, I'll give you some free phones. But it's going to be $150 a month for all these features. But that's okay, because we're going to generate you an additional $25,000 a month in revenue. Brilliant. Yeah, it was all because I said, I stopped focusing on the stuff and focus on the why. And really, you know, I made prospecting became that way to is really started asking really questions. Hey, so I met with this company last week, and they're having this issue. I'm curious to see what's going on with your business too. Are you struggling with this type of stuff? Like, oh, my god, yeah, we are awesome. Can we meet because I'd love to show you what I did for Bill, and how we can actually help you fix that, too. And now is all focused on them as opposed to Hey, my name is Kevin. I'm with Nextel we're gonna do this blah, blah, blah. You know, we can save you money. Oh, gross. So...

Umar Hameed 16:49
Only person that semi cares is your mom. And she doesn't care that much either.

Kevin Snow 16:53
Yeah, everyone at that time. That was right when wireless was getting really commoditized. So most of the companies especially I worked a lot in the construction industry. They were getting two or three calls a day from salespeople. We had 30 Nextel reps in the Minneapolis market. There is some days that they were I was like the second Nextel rep that they talked to, in a cold call. Yeah, so you had to differentiate yourself and really get figured out what's going to cause that person to like, oh, wow, he's actually talking about me. And he understands what's going on in my world. And I think we can actually have a conversation that might go somewhere, as opposed to just, you know, doing all the tired old telemarketing scripts, and trying to, you know, basically bash your client over the head with a dull instrument, hoping they'll let you in the door.

Umar Hameed 17:48
Brilliant. So Kevin, I suspect that compared to the Kevin, I see now that Kevin from three years ago sucked, because you've gotten better as you go. So there's another version of Kevin out there. So what's the number one stumbling block you're looking to overcome? So you get to that next, Kevin 3.0? Who does that look like? And what's getting in the way of you actually achieving it right now.

Kevin Snow 18:07
So my big thing as a business owner right now is having my hands on way too much stuff. And as I add businesses, because I've discovered that now that I really liked running this one, I've become a serial entrepreneur, Donnie was one of my clients and our business partners. And we've launched a couple of companies together, that that having my hands in too many things, grows exponentially. And it really keeps me from being able to scale. So my big challenge is figuring out how I let go of things. And yeah, totally tough, especially for high C who wants to know everything that's going on, to figure out alright, so how do I offload this part? You know, what things can I give to a virtual assistant to do for clients so that I'm spending time strategy development with them, as opposed to actually building automations and doing the integration. So that's my next big evolution, is how I get stuff off my plate. So I can go back and do more business development, and more high end interactions with clients that will actually generate more revenue down the road.

Umar Hameed 19:14
Staying focused is tough to do when everything actually legitimately looks like it's important. And not everything is important. Yeah. And how do you kind of get that higher level view at it to go? Yes, yes. No, no, no, no, no, yes.

Kevin Snow 19:26
Yeah. You know, for business owner, you want to, you know, the best feeling is when you go out and you sell a client is like, awesome. I just sold the client, we're gonna bring an X 1000s of dollars in revenue, and you're like, Oh, crap, now I have to deliver. Where do I fit that into my schedule, and it's trying to, it's your, you know, it's, it's like when you're a kid and you'd run up the teeter totter, and you try and stand in the middle and keep both sides, you know, level and balanced yield. That's what it's like being a business owner, keeping balance between making sure I'm doing my business development stuff, and I'm keeping stuff in the pipeline. I have new revenue opportunities. He's coming in, and then also getting all the stuff done for the clients so that they keep paying me. And they keep like, ooh, Kevin's awesome. I have no problem giving him more money this month to do more stuff. So that that because that's how you scale that MRR is key. But if you're not delivering, you're not going to keep the MRR.

Umar Hameed 20:17
Absolutely. So, Kevin, what's one mind hack you would share with the listeners and viewers that would help them be more productive, close more accounts be happier sexier? What would that thing be that you would share?

Kevin Snow 20:30
So the big thing that holds most business owners back and salespeople is that whole imposter syndrome, that whole concept of I'm not good enough. And it keeps people from taking bigger risks, and trying to land bigger accounts. You know, the big thing I had when I would manage salespeople were that when they were all stuck at you know, kind of a smaller account level, and they were having to hustle to make quarter was to I would challenge them to just find one big account, go sell one account, go, you know, I want you to close instead of an account that has three phones, I want you to close an account that's got 15. And that would be the focus so they can just do it. And they can figure out like, Oh, this 15 phone thing is so much better. I need four of those as opposed to 20 of the person ones. And understanding all the free time it opens up and the opportunities but most people are scared of going after the bigger accounts, or the more complex accounts said you're going to have to do something that you might not have done a lot before. But that's all just head trash.

Umar Hameed 21:43
Absolutely. I was working with Smyth jewelers, which happens to be the largest independent jeweler in the country look at massive amount. And they were talking about their salespeople that come in, and then they closed like a $700 sale. And they're like, oh my god, it goes 700 All sale and then they get up to like 5000. And then they take them in steps that they selling $100,000 jewelry, but it's like it's a belief in themselves, yep, get to the next level, they start doing it, oh, I can do this, and then just work their way up. And that's how you get to be great is keep on going, don't get stuck. And just think of whatever you're doing that it's less than you're capable of. And somehow we step up and make it happen.

Kevin Snow 22:21
You have to like the person in the mirror. And my business partner talks about all the time, you have to be able to get up in the morning, look at the person in the mirror and say I liked this guy, I would go have a beer with him, and be confident in what you your ability to do and who you can work with. And you know, a lot of salespeople don't look at themselves, when they're having a sales conversation with a prospect at the same level as that prospect. You know, you have to keep yourself at that same level as that business owner you're talking to. Otherwise, you're not going to be able to have the impact that you want and close the deal how you want to, you gotta come in peer to peer and it's going to accelerate the owner is going to know that you're treating them like a business owner. And and vice versa. And it's gonna go so much better. As soon as the business owner knows that. All right. I have this sales guy who's like, ooh, business owner sales guy. I'm going to take advantage of it.

Umar Hameed 23:19
Absolutely. last guest again, one thing you said that was kind of interesting was confidence is the X factor to success. Yep. Brilliant. So Kim, tell me what makes you happy?

Kevin Snow 23:31
Generally, or like work related?

Umar Hameed 23:31
Generally, in life, what makes you happy?

Kevin Snow 23:33
So I, you know, I, I've learned and it's this has become a big thing for me. And it wasn't before because I was really it's like all about my success. And I get really, you know, Oh, why's Why did so and so close a big deal. And why didn't I get that deal? And it was very much what was me, I had now I'm at a point where I can genuinely celebrate my peers having success. And I think it's awesome when they go out and do something big, and that they're excited. And that's translated over for my clients as well to when they do something big. That's not even related to me. I'm like, That's awesome. And celebrating it. And that makes me really happy. And that's one of the cool things that we do with one of my new companies, success, champions networking. It's all about celebrating the wins, and building this network of people that are excited when someone does something amazing. And when someone gets that new claim, even if they are in the same industry, it's like Oh, that's awesome, congrats. You're gonna love that. That's, you know, kudos to you. And it's builds up this huge, you know, this network of, you know, where everyone's in it to win, and they want everyone to win right alongside them.

Umar Hameed 24:50
Brilliant and success is contagious. Kevin, thanks so much for being on the show. I really appreciate you being here and sharing your wisdom.

Kevin Snow 24:57
Thank you for having me. This has been a really fun conversation.

Umar Hameed 25:05
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.


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