This episode of the Sales Transformation Podcast with Collin Mitchell features Edward Purmalis, Podcast Advisor at Salescast and host of The Level Up Show. Pursuing sales was not in Edward's life plans. But with the advent of 2020 and the massive losses experienced then, Edward had to bounce back with something new.
He returned to his roots in sales and levelled up by discovering SaaS selling. He shares the awesome opportunities in sales but also the need to remain grounded on your morals. Edward quickly realized that receiving big commission checks are great but never at the cost of your values.
Edward also shares how he embraced social media and took the plunge to start his own podcast. The goal of his podcast is to share stories from people who have already made it and teach you the secrets of levelling up your own career.
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01:17 Edward's unplanned but successful entry into sales
07:37 Prioritizing morals over the hunt for commissions
12:00 LinkedIn and RevGenius: Platforms to rebound from the losses of 2020
18:46 Selling to salespeople can be easier because of their natural curiosity
21:30 Surround yourself with people who value you
24:19 Embracing social media and starting his own podcast
27:08 The Level Up Show: Success stories of where you fit in the business world
07:16 "If you're constantly in an environment of people who really indulge in the narcissistic and manipulative ways, you'll see yourself slowly growing into that, and that didn't lead to anything good. I had to get a real reality check."
10:01 "The best, most brilliant, top performing sellers that I know all have those traits, all have the ability to always be open-minded, willing to learn, willing to take feedback, and willing to put it into action, and understand patience and playing the long game."
22:02 "I'd say losing a lot of confidence is pretty normal, if you lose the things that you have. And the biggest lesson that I learned is to surround yourself with people who actually understand your value and understand your growth."
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[00:00:00] In the world of sales, you either sink or swim or breakthrough to the next level. My name's Colin Mitchell. And this is sales transformation, a new kind of sales show designed to bring you through the epic life-changing moments of elite sellers. So you can experience your own sales transformation.
[00:00:24] All right. Welcome to another episode of sales transformation. Today is a special episode. I've got my partner in crime here, Edward PIR. Malleus um, he's one of our podcasts advisers over at sales CAS. He's been working with me for some time. We actually met on LinkedIn. But we're going to tell his story today and let you guys get to know him.
[00:00:44] Um, I'll give you the short and dirty here of his bio, and then we will just jump right in. So ed wood is a guy that was dealt a rough cards. He fell into sales by accident, like many, um, God, his first sales job at the age of 19 and just absolutely fell in love with the craft and became a top performer and then lost it all in 2020.
[00:01:05] And you're going to have to listen to the rest of the episode to find out what happened next. So add, give us this, you know, give us, give us the starting off point here. Like, you know, when you first got your first sales job, what were you doing? What did you love about it? All that stuff. All right, Colin.
[00:01:19] Well, we have arrived to the Magnum Opus of my podcasts and courier. This is like when Metallica released one, man, this is this, this is that point. This is that point where we go big. But yeah, so my sales career was. As for many complete accident. Right? So I was lucky enough to be born in a fairly wealthy family and unlucky enough to have lost it all by the age of 17.
[00:01:46] So right when I was supposed to go into college and do all these things, I was this pampered kid who had everything in the world and now like we can't make ends meet. We can't pay the bills, we're losing properties, we're losing everything. It's Armageddon. Right? So. I hadn't paid a lot of attention in school.
[00:02:05] Uh, grew up with a lot of anxiety and whatnot. So it was an interesting path. Uh, but, uh, yeah, when I, when the point came, when it was like, you know, sink or swim, I have to do something and I don't get to go that route that I had planned out for so many years. Um, after working a couple of. Pretty shitty odd jobs.
[00:02:26] Uh, I very randomly met a old classmate of mine and we had a conversation. He was like, Hey, I'm actually working at a place where guys like you, who never shut up, make a lot of money. And I was like, sounds like a dream job. Right. So, you know, this place was. Phenomenal in a million different ways. And part of that word is really sarcastic in this sentence.
[00:02:56] You go in and you get one interview. They check a few can call the conversation in English, bada Bing, bada boom. You get sat down at a call center desk with a mic, a phone, and a bunch of inbound leads. Commission only no salary, nothing just sink or swim. Let's see what happens. So getting that role, um, the people in there into your process of reality, like I think this guy might be it, this guy might be a superstar here because a lot of the people there were.
[00:03:30] They didn't have the best English or the best communication skills. And for me, that was a fairly natural thing. And, uh, given that a part of the whole process was a bit sleazy having like a fast stalking sort of classic Glengarry Glen Ross sales salesman, archetype, a personality was very, very good there.
[00:03:50] So what happened was, I want to, I want to back up for one second. So, um, At, at a young age, losing everything and then having to get a sales job out of necessity. Like, just tell me a little bit about like, what, what was the plan before you sort of fell into that sales job? Like what did you think you would be doing what you're doing?
[00:04:11] Just so we can have some contrast there. Yeah. So as a lot of people know. Usually, if you want to have a pretty successful career, uh, one of the best things you can do is go to a top tier university or college or whatever. And for me, school was kind of, eh, you know, I always knew that there's two ways to get and you can have good grades.
[00:04:32] You can have. I knew that I had the second. So I really didn't pay a lot of attention and, uh, you know, kind of thought I was going to buy my way into everything. Cause that was kind of what the, what the, what the status school was at that point. So. And then, you know, when the time comes, there's nothing I'm literally out on my feet.
[00:04:54] So, you know, it, it, it was a big adjustment, but that was kind of the defining point of my life and the person that I am today, because I had to really make that choice. Right. I could have wallowed and kept being the same person I was, or do a complete 180 and, you know, become a grinder. All right. So tell me what, you know, you, you said a couple of things, right?
[00:05:16] You said there's so, so number one, they sounds like they were hiring anybody who had a post that could speak English. So you, you check those boxes, but then, um, you, you mentioned that there's, there were some things, you know, you loved about it, maybe some things you didn't, but what, what were, what did you learn early in that first sales role that, you know, kind of mold.
[00:05:38] Who you are today and falling in love with the craft. Yeah. Truth is I've always been a fairly honest, transparent and a consultative person by nature. I like solving people's problems. I love listening to what's going on in their world and it gives me a huge endorphin rush to actually help somebody or.
[00:05:59] Potentially changed the way they see things, especially if they're stuck somewhere in life. So that's who I am at my core. Right. But the, the moral compass of the, of the sales floor was a bit different. Right. So I had to, I had to adapt and I had to take out maybe the sneakier side than me, which I learned very well because of.
[00:06:20] You know, uh, raised by a single mother. And if you want to be a lazy kid with a single mother, you got to learn how to be a bit sneaky. Right. So, you know, th they were really crafting me the wrong way there, and I even bought into it for a while. Uh, but, uh, really, it was slowly destroying me in many different ways.
[00:06:40] Tell me more about that. How so? Well, you know, the environment was very sales bro environment, right? Uh, what you're doing there, nobody was getting scammed or anything. Like there was no fraud going on, so it wasn't like a boiler room, but there wasn't a lot of care or love or interest in the well-being of the client.
[00:06:59] It was really all about the numbers, the numbers and the numbers. So being at that type of environment where. I mean, we all have different sides sort of solves, right. And we get to make decisions and choose every single day who we want to be and how we're going to treat others. And if you're constantly in an environment of people who really, uh, indulge in the narcissistic and manipulative ways, uh, you'll see yourself slowly growing into that and that didn't lead to anything good.
[00:07:30] I had to get a real reality check for the second time in my life. Um, and, and so you found a way to still stick to your values and be you in that role, even though that was not the majority of the people on the sales floor, is that what I'm gathering? Yeah, that is exactly right. I was very consultative. I was not pushy at all.
[00:07:55] If it may be physically cringed when I heard the word push from somebody and it still does. Uh, so that actually gave me a lot of success in that. But again, there was, there were also some aspects that weren't that great. And some, you know, some personality traits that were, that I was starting to hone.
[00:08:13] That really didn't make me happy with the person that I was seeing in a mirror. Yeah. Yeah. And so I'm guessing. Maybe did you see, did you catch a lot of shit for that? Uh, yeah, actually it would be like, Hey, why aren't you closing this? Why aren't you doing that? Why aren't you doing this? And I'm like, slow down, wait, let it happen.
[00:08:32] And for the first six months, Like, like scolded for it. But then they started seeing the numbers and seeing the consistency and it was always the thing. Like, it'd be, it'd be three days until month closed everybody who's in the gutter and is not performing, sitting there stressing out your supervisors.
[00:08:51] They're like, okay, these people aren't working properly. These people aren't working properly like, oh, he's going to make it. And it doesn't matter. Like, it doesn't matter if I had 10% of quota or 50% of quota, it was going to be over quoted by the end of the month. Um, and, and I'll just talk you up for a second, because I know from the work that we've done together, that.
[00:09:11] You know, a lot of top producers, there's two qualities that I see in top performers. One, they have the patients and they understand how to play the long game of really developing the relationship, having the patients, being consultive, uh, Tatum with those relationships, which is something a lot of sellers struggle with specifically, if they have experience in like transactional sales, it's even something that I struggle.
[00:09:40] At times because patience is not my strong quality by any means. Um, and another thing that I see in, in you have seen in you and a lot of, and it's a, it's a quality of, a lot of top performers is the ability to learn things quickly. You know, learn things quickly and put them into action quickly. Um, the, the best, most brilliant top performing, you know, sellers that I know, uh, are all have those traits all have the ability to always be open-minded willing to learn.
[00:10:12] Willing to take feedback and willing to put it into action, um, and understand sort of, you know, patients and playing the long game because those types of reps are the ones that close the bigger deals. They might not close as many deals, but they have relationships that last longer, and they close bigger deals than a majority of the rest of the.
[00:10:31] That was that last part, right? There is exactly what was, what has, and always will be my sales methodology. Right. Uh, I not trying to close everybody. I'm not trying to push my product on every single person that I talked to. Uh, And understand that a core that five strong clients and five formed relationships are worth a lot more than 20 clients who are maybe in and out, uh, or are there because of some artificial pressure or anything else.
[00:11:02] And that's always been a big marker in all of the statistics I've ever done on my own sales process and sales results. Mm mm. All right. So now I want to. Fast forward a little bit, right? So you get this job, you're seeing a lot of success and this is, and this is right after, okay. You know, having a very comfortable lifestyle, losing it all because of some, you know, unfortunate circumstances, you know, finding, getting a job by necessity, getting some level of success, maybe seeing a light at the end of the tunnel of maybe getting back to sort of.
[00:11:42] Lifestyle that you were comfortable with. Right. And then losing it all really quick. Tell me what happened? What was that like? Did it bring up feelings of like, you know, I'm 17 again, talk to me, talk me through all that. Oh yeah. So really, um, as I mentioned previously, I did see like a personality shift that I didn't fully like, uh, at, around the end of that whole, uh, of that whole career shift and 2020, I was in the travel industry.
[00:12:12] Right. So 2020 hit. All outdoor out on our asses, there was no commission to be made nothing and, you know, keep in mind a hundred percent commission role, no anything. So, you know, so you are getting a hundred percent of nothing. Not, not only that man, people are like getting refunds and now you're in the minus.
[00:12:35] Oh man. So, so I, I immediately understood that, you know, March of 2020, I was like, I'm not staying here because I don't want to see this show go on anymore. Um, so yeah, after that was a really humbling experience because I knew I had a good track record in sales, right. I was making very good money.
[00:12:54] Everything was great, but it was inbound B to C transactional sales on a foreign market in a specific. Um, I was not a hot candidate at all. And given the fact that the job market was completely crushed at the start of 2020, since we didn't even know what was going to happen, uh, finding a new job, was it.
[00:13:18] A big, big pain in the ass. Uh, there were some local startups, um, that I applied to initially who all rejected me because all I knew what to do with was how to sell airline tickets. So what I had to do from there. Really start taking matters in my own hands and learning the B2B space because I was one of those people.
[00:13:40] And I think I've heard this exact phrase from at least two people on your podcast. Calling. I sat down, I opened Google highest bang sales roles. B2B sauce. All right. I don't know what a sauce is. Uh, but I'll do it. Let's do it. Right. So I started kind of honing myself and learning more about what consultative selling was, what long cycle selling was.
[00:14:06] And I'm like, well, Hey, well, if I sell cycles were longer and I'm pretty consultative, maybe, maybe this is the right thing for me, but. And that job market, good luck telling that to somebody who has 50 other candidates with relevant experience. So once you figured out what SAS was, what was your next steps of learning?
[00:14:29] You know, like where did you turn? What resources did you find? How did they help you? I had one concern. I had one, a career consultant that I went for one session to meet her and, uh, You know, I paid her 50 bucks for her to tell me, Hey, you need to create a LinkedIn profile. So like, ah, okay. I've heard of LinkedIn before.
[00:14:53] Uh, got my profile off the ground, started adding sales, people, sales leaders, whatever, reading the feed, learning a bit more. And all of it was all, it was jibberish to me. Like it was like reading Mandarin for me. I'm just sitting in there, like, what is this? Wait. So prior to 2020, you not even have a LinkedIn profile.
[00:15:11] No, I didn't have anything, man. I was, I was happy and contempt sitting at my call center desk and doing what I had to do. I don't think a lot of girls, I don't think a lot of growth happens during comfort. Oh no. The more discomfort, the more growth it's the exact opposite, right? Yup. Yup. All right. So you pay 50 bucks.
[00:15:33] She says, get a LinkedIn profile. You're like, I just paid 50 bucks for somebody to tell me I need a social media profile. What the heck? And she gets, she gave me some pointers. Like, how did you describe your experience? Like which how to write a bio and it was all. It wasn't the best advice. Let me tell you that it was very sort of cookie cutter.
[00:15:55] I am a sales person with sales experience. I am ambitious and I am a hard working and that was like the kind of bio she was suggesting for me and I, and I went with it. Right. But really what happened is I started reading the feed. Right. And I'm a naturally curious person that needs to know what the words mean and what the abbreviations mean.
[00:16:16] I was sitting there like what's an SMS. What's, uh, what's all this stuff that I've never heard of. So I just started consuming all the content I could physically consume. Um, and it was there any, uh, particular people that you came across that really, you know, made an impact or you followed and feel that you learned a lot from.
[00:16:39] Uh, a couple, a couple, um, Josh brown, of course naturally. That's the first sales guy you see when you open LinkedIn? I think nowadays, um, a couple of different leaders, um, that, you know, I, I honestly don't fully remember who I've met more recent than back then, but my biggest resource was a rev genius. Rev genius had just started existing it.
[00:17:03] I was one of the first early adopters and I joined and I started reading all this stuff that was going on with. And they had this magical little thing called a job board. Yeah. Yeah. So in and funny enough, that's I think that's how we originally connected is through both being in, in rev genius. Yeah. So you weren't my first five genius job.
[00:17:27] Actually, I finally, in October of 2020, I found a quick one to two month gig doing just pure outsourced SDR work for about 20 bucks an hour, which was all the money in the world for somebody. Literally had no income for six months. So, you know, it was, it was fun, but it wasn't the right thing. And there, there were a couple of circumstances that I won't really go into, but it didn't work out.
[00:17:51] Let's just say that. So, you know, but did you learn anything in that short. Yeah, I think that you can now put B2B SAS on your LinkedIn profile.
[00:18:03] Now, what that taught me was that that was my first and only real cold calling experience, uh, like full cold calling, like all the hours of the day, just sitting down cold calling and we were selling marketing services for sales leaders. So. It wasn't that difficult to get a meeting. If you're calling somebody and giving them the dream right now, you know, I didn't work there long enough to understand that the dream was actually true or if the dream was relevant or anything like that.
[00:18:31] But you know, it, it, it gave me a little bit of experience and it faced of cold calling and honestly thought it was very, very easy because, well, I was selling to sales leaders. I mean, and that's a bit different than trying to convince an owner to get a meeting with. Yeah. So it's funny. Sometimes selling to sales people is the easiest sale.
[00:18:51] I mean, I mean, I, I think that, um, in my experience, working on selling with salespeople, sometimes it can be, um, I think, I don't know what it is, but salespeople are just not the toughest buyers to deal. Yeah, they're also more naturally curious about meetings. Like, oh, let's see. Because if you go to a sales meeting as a salesperson, at least.
[00:19:21] If you don't get anything out of it, you're going to get to see how somebody else sells. Right. And maybe you'll take something from that and maybe you'll learn something from that. So, or maybe you have, maybe I'll have a LinkedIn post to flame somebody like not going to name this person, but during the demo, they had four cats in the background yelling.
[00:19:38] So worst case scenario, you get a LinkedIn post-op and you'll never believe it. This dude called FaceTime. Um, no. The interesting thing is, is, is I don't know if this is true or not. It's just kind of a feeling, but I think sometimes, um, if you do a good enough job, they might just buy from you out of respect for doing whether they need the crap or not.
[00:20:01] Uh, um, or even for not doing a good job. What if you're like a young. Sales guy, and somebody sees you they're like trembling and they're like, let's give this kid some confidence and book a meeting with our a all right. So I mean, a lot changed for you in a short period of time from, you know, Losing everything to losing everything, building it about losing it again, being, you know, the one thing that I would say is like true and through and through in your story is like just taking initiative and like taking action and not.
[00:20:37] You know, sitting comfortably or staying stagnant, um, you know, and then getting, you're putting yourself out there, you know, asking for help building a LinkedIn profile, joining communities, connecting with people, getting B2B SAS on your profile. Yeah. Now, you know, now I can actually say the B2B SAS parts actually.
[00:21:01] So, you know, look at me. You know, going from working fully inbound to putting yourself out there and doing outbound, um, and to now starting a podcast, creating original content on LinkedIn consistently, like how is somebody who maybe is where you were at previous. Get to where you're at now. Like what advice do you have for them?
[00:21:31] Um, I'd actually be happy to quickly gloss into like, because we've, we've established that I take shit, I get knocked down and I get back again, but I'm happy to talk about kind of the. Emotion that went into it. All right. Cause losing things a couple of different times, at least the first time it's tough because it was completely out of my control.
[00:21:50] Second time was also tough because it was also out of my control. You know, I really didn't cause this pandemic, I hope, but uh, really going into it. You, you, you lose a lot of confidence. I'd say losing, losing a lot of confidence is pretty normal. Lose the things that you have. And the biggest lesson that I learned is to surround yourself with people who actually understand your value and understand your growth.
[00:22:13] Because by the time I lost that third job, the job before he joined you, the one that didn't work out because you know, it, it, it literally didn't work out. It was completely stupid. Nobody was at fault there. At least that's what I like to say to not cause an injury, Tony buddy. But, uh, I was dating somebody at the time and I was living with her and, um, At one point, she threw out this phrase, right?
[00:22:38] Maybe you're not as good as you think you are. Maybe you've just had good jobs all this time. And that was so demoralizing. I was, I was pretty confident that that relationship was going to die from there. Uh, so, you know, and, and when I got out of that echo chamber and actually moved back in with my mom of all people who, you know, that.
[00:23:00] I have 50% of the same brain as she does. Uh, talking with her on a daily basis was a good way to get kind of my confidence and everything back to the point where it was before. And they're really just living with one person that's kind of demoralizing and doesn't understand your value in the workplace can kinda mess up everything.
[00:23:22] Hmm. Wow. That must've felt like a punch to the gut, huh? Yeah. You tell me, uh, I've, I've, I've taken a lot of bullying as a kid. I've taken a lot of harassment and damage, but that was, that was the gut shot. That was the got shot right here. Cause you know, if, if you lose everything and then at a young age, build yourself up to a point where you are the envy of many other people.
[00:23:46] And you kind of build your personality around it a little bit, right? Because I mean, after all you did the work you put in the hours you took, what's yours. You, you know, you, you put in all the effort in the world and having somebody not only not recognize that, but also somebody that you live with and are in a relationship with is yeah.
[00:24:06] It's not good. Yeah. Well, tell people about your show. What can they expect in your show? What can they find in your show? Right. So the show and to social media, to do things you wanted to talk about social media and the show, believe it or not calling Mitchell. I have never done social media until two months.
[00:24:29] I don't post on Instagram. My Facebook profile is from 2014. I am 60 pounds lighter in my Facebook photo. Okay. And it looked like a child.
[00:24:40] You've got to update that. You've got update that I have. I have, I have one main picture that was taken before a wedding that's in my LinkedIn, my Instagram everywhere. And that's the freshest piece. Photography I have, cause I just don't do social media, social media. It doesn't sit with me as, as, as well as it does with others.
[00:24:59] At least it did it. Right. And now within two months, I'm. Raking at LinkedIn posts in the five digits, uh, you know, having a podcast, which has been actually a big dream of mine. Cause I been listening to podcasts since I was like 11, 12, and it was always kind of a thing for me. Like it would be so cool to sit down with those guys and just have a conversation on air.
[00:25:22] Here we are five episodes in, I actually did not know that you were such an avid podcast listener from a young age. Yeah. Gaming comedy, whatever was interesting at that time. Plus, you know, sitting and listening to a bunch of loud mouth loud, mouth 20 to 30 year olds, doc, a lot of shit also gave me some pretty witty comebacks as a young child.
[00:25:51] So wha wha what's the name of the show? Where can people find the show? We're going to drop the link for that in the show notes for everybody. Any final thoughts, ed? Well, wow. This was actually a lot easier than I thought it was going to be, but no, it was great. And I think, you know, if we were to do a two hour episode, we'd still have things to talk about.
[00:26:10] And I love our kind of dynamic duo that we've been doing on social media with podcasting, with the LinkedIn, with the live calls. Every Wednesday, don't forget about that. Real drop the link for that as well. Yeah. And my show is the level up show with Edward per Mollis and the show is really me inviting guests and people who have had a path to success that was maybe not the easiest or not the, not the most, uh, Not the most natural, not the most to tailor made, but definitely interesting ups and low ups and downs.
[00:26:51] And, um, the point of the show is to hear out their stories, how they got to where they are today and what advice and what value they can bring to you as a listener. I'm fairly industry agnostic. I think all things are interesting. So really if you're somebody looking to either level up your career or.
[00:27:13] Maybe just somebody who's really starting out and figuring out what their market fit is in the business world. My show is for you. Yeah. We'll drop the link there so you can check it out. You just getting started. I've already had some pretty awesome guests with some awesome stories. So I look forward to seeing where that goes.
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