Lori Richardson joins Collin Mitchell in this episode of the Sales Hustle Podcast. First, join us as Lori gives a little introduction about her sales story and what she’s been up to. Then, she dives deep, talking about creating better sales teams and culture.
Lori Richardson helps companies with sales transformation through data and best practices. She teaches HR and sales leaders how to hire top sales talent. They have a tried-and-true process to show company leaders data and insight about their existing sales reps, leaders, processes, and pipeline.
She is passionately obsessed with sharing the career (craft) of business-to-business selling to those in college, universities, and those considering possible career change - especially for women. B2B sales is an admirable profession. It can be a flexible profession (hours / location / types of industry) and it can be a very lucrative ($$) profession. She love sales and will always be known as a seller at heart.
She is a change-maker—a game-changer. She has been given a lot of energy every day to do positive things, and with the support of great peers and role models, she work to do that. Lori helps fix sales team issues - and she is a master connector, so it's only natural that she trains sellers on referral strategies.
Lori believes in a big, abundant world. We work best with big picture thinkers and visionary leaders.
To find out more about Lori Richardson, connect with him on the links below.
You can also get a copy of Lori Richardson’s book called She Sells at https://womensalespros.com/.
Join the Sales Hustle Community! Text “Hustle” to 424-401-9300!
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Episode 111 - Lori Richardson
Welcome to the sales hustle. The only no BS podcast, where we bring you the real raw uncut experiences from sales change makers across various industries. The only place where you can get what you're looking for too. Uh, your sales game today's episode is brought to you by sales cast sales cast helps sales professionals transform the relationship building process and win their dream clients.
[00:00:30] I'm your host, Colin Mitchell. All right, what is happening as sales hustlers. Welcome to another episode today. I've got Lori Richardson. Who's the CEO and president at score more sales. Lori spent 15 years in tech, FinTech and distribution sales before opening her own sales strategy firm score more sales in 2015.
[00:00:50] She created women in sales pros, a community for more women in sales and sales leadership. Uh, Laurie, welcome to sales hustle. Yeah, thank you. Call it. It's really great to be here. Yeah, thanks so much for hopping on. Appreciate it. Uh, before we get into a topic that, uh, I know you love talking about creating better sales teams and, and culture, and, uh, just give us the short version of your sales story.
[00:01:16] Uh, I was a teacher and, uh, in my early twenties became a single mom and couldn't afford to be a teacher anymore. So I, uh, looked into technology sales. I grew grown up in a family run business, and I had a feeling that I knew how to sell. So, um, I wasn't intimidated at all. And, uh, got an opportunity in tech at a time when it was a booming, booming industry.
[00:01:45] And I have never looked back. Wow. Okay. So, um, what made you think that you had a knack for sales? You know, it's funny. I had been around my grandmother, who was my role model. Uh, I didn't know it at the time, but she had women's clothing stores. She had a per scale. So they competed in Seattle where I grew up.
[00:02:09] They, they competed with Nordstrom basically, and very service minded, service oriented, high fashion, um, you know, Fashion shows the whole nine yards. And she did a lot with a word of mouth selling, uh, word of mouth referrals and a lot of value selling. She never discounted for example. And so I learned some things very early on that didn't, you know, didn't make a whole lot of sense at the time.
[00:02:39] But when I got into my first sales role, it's certainly, um, started to come back to me and I just felt like I could sell. Wow. Okay. Well, how much were these, uh, did these dresses and outfits cost? Oh, they, you know, they were higher end. Um, so they, they, she sold things like four piece wardrobe, her outfits that were all coordinated and, um, it wasn't, you know, uh, it wasn't hat, each item wasn't made by hand certainly, but, but it was a higher end of what you would buy in the store is comparable to what, uh, A higher end store, like, like a Nordstrom would charge.
[00:03:21] Interesting. Okay. And so when you got into tech, what, what were you selling there? So I was selling computers, personal computers, the first PCs that were on the market. Uh, the first software. Um, grew up, you know, not far from Microsoft and used to sell, you know, uh, working with corporate accounts, sold thousands of, of computers and peripherals printers, you know, hard drives that used to be very small and, uh, and just, you know, tons and tons of technology getting, getting out to, to the business community.
[00:04:04] Great. Okay. And so tell me, how did you get so passionate about, um, you know, sales, recruiting, sales culture, and, and, and women in sales? Yeah. So around 2015, I was. Working with a large telecommunications firm. And we were going to have a big meeting where all of the managers showed up from up and down the east coast.
[00:04:28] And I had only worked with each of their offices individually, and I'd never seen them in one place together when everybody showed up and I walked into this training big training room, there were about 90 people and there were two women out of the whole group. And I thought. This is crazy. You know, this is, it was 2015 or so.
[00:04:50] And I just thought, why aren't there women in these roles and you know what, what's the deal. So I just started doing a lot of research for Sanders, did more about their company and. Kind of the mindset there. And I also just started learning about the fact that there were not a lot of female candidates and then women don't get promoted as well.
[00:05:11] And I, it just became kind of a big interest of mine. And I did research and I worked with different researchers and we've just come up with all sorts of things and started consulting with companies on helping them find. Uh, you know, attract, hire, retain, and promote more women in sales. And I have a book coming out in July about that.
[00:05:34] Oh, that's fantastic. What's the name of the book it's called? She sells. Oh, awesome. Awesome. And so, I mean, have you started to see more of a shift in this area where people are being a little bit more conscious about, you know, um, having more diverse, you know, sales teams and promoting more women? Or do you feel like there's still a lot of work that needs to be done?
[00:05:55] There's definitely a lot of work to be done. One of the biggest problems is that because of the pandemic, a lot of women left the workforce. And if, if you were a woman in sales and you had a quota hanging over your head, and then you had to homeschool your kids and you had to do, you know, this and that and continue.
[00:06:15] Everything else that you do as, as a parent? Um, a lot, I know some women that left, uh, sales and got into, you know, maybe customer care or another department where they didn't have such a, you know, monthly commitment or quarterly commitment. So we lost some women that way, but also there's still a bad rap about sales.
[00:06:38] You know, it's got a, it needs a PR agent, I think. Yeah. That's a, that's a tall order. I mean, I don't know a PR agent out there that can handle that task. It would be a big agency, a big on the line. Yeah. I mean, people are still, you know, putting lipstick on their job title to make it undercover that there.
[00:07:00] Actually in sales or they'll say, well, I'm just doing it until I go to grad school or something like that. Yeah. Or they mumble it in front of, you know, other people, you know, but yeah, I mean, there, there there's at least the circles that I think you, you, you were in, in, in, and I think we know a lot of the same people and follow a lot of the same people as well.
[00:07:22] And we have tons of mutual friends on LinkedIn and stuff like that. There's a lot of people that are doing things right, right. And are trying to. Trying to do their part to, um, you know, give the profession, uh, uh, a better perception from, from others. Um, but yeah, there's still a lot of old school, you know, bad habits.
[00:07:41] I mean, when I first got into sales, 11 years ago, I was taught everything wrong about how to sell. And I had to go out on my own to find something that felt more right. And, and in line with me as a person, um, where, you know, it was very treating people transactionally, and it was all about my commission and pretty much nothing else.
[00:08:00] Right. Yeah. And that's, that's such a. You know, single view of, of selling. I believe that sales is a really admirable profession. And if you don't have someone that can sell in your company, you know, as a, as a founder, you know, that things won't happen unless you have a way to turn your great ideas and products and services in a currency.
[00:08:24] And so we've seen. Great, you know, beautifully made products fail. We've seen, we've seen through the pandemic. We've seen all sorts of services, close, um, restaurants and shops closed. I mean, ultimately is because they didn't figure out a way to pivot and grow revenue and they had more expenses than revenue.
[00:08:46] And it wasn't worth it. So it's such a key role and it's, it's a great profession. Plus for people that get into sales, you know, you have not only the opportunity to have a really great income, um, money is not everything, but money does provide for, uh, you know, a lot of options for you. And the other thing is that you have flexibility in a sales role, unlike most, anything else.
[00:09:16] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I want to go back for a second, right? Cause you, you said you got into sales, uh, while you were a teacher and uh, and I've, I've heard, I've heard quite a few stories of teachers going into sales and do extremely well. So I'm, I'm curious of the link there, but, but, but the question I have is.
[00:09:32] Is so you, you became a single mom and you basically got into sales to be able to provide for your family. What would you tell, you know, maybe other women that are in that sort of position, maybe they've left their job because of COVID or maybe they're finding that, you know, the income that they're making, isn't what they'd like it to be.
[00:09:50] Uh, how can they get into sales? You know, what sort of resources or tips do you have for them? Yeah, it's a matter of thinking about what kinds of skills you need in sales. And generally speaking, you need to be very coachable. Uh, you need to have a, a very positive mindset. Um, you need to have a real will to succeed.
[00:10:16] And if you have some of those foundational elements, uh, a lot of skills can be taught. To you. That's why people in the service service industries, like they came from hotels. For example, and restaurants. I also was a server at a great restaurant part time when I was also a teacher. And those are we've hired people in from those, uh, areas as well.
[00:10:40] And, um, But you still, it's not for everybody, not everyone could sell. I also believe in using assessment tools to evaluate, you know, how successful someone might be, but you can, you can do all that. You can find those things out. And it's definitely something to pursue. There's so many different ways online and through clubhouse, different shows and, uh, all sorts of podcasts where you can learn more about it.
[00:11:06] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there's an abundance of resources, right? So, so finding the right ones is key. Um, but there's so many great people putting out good content, you know, whether it's on LinkedIn or clubhouse or podcasts like this or yours, um, where they can learn the sort of skills and things that they need to be successful in sales.
[00:11:26] And you know, that the best thing is right now because of the pandemic as we're going ending it hopefully, um, There are more opportunities that are virtual than ever. There are so many companies that will hire a virtual sales person, so you can literally learn and work, um, you know, from home. And that didn't happen a couple of years ago.
[00:11:51] So it's a, it's a wonderful time to consider sales. Yeah. How, how do you think that has helped or benefited, you know, maybe women that are trying to get into sales? Well, it, when there's counterbalances, I mean, they're there. Um, predominantly women or caregivers. So it's been a really tough time for the parents.
[00:12:13] Um, if you're not a parent, um, and you male or female, being able to work remotely, most people found a productivity boost as well as, you know, eliminating that nasty commute that many of us have that live outside of big cities. Um, you're in LA, um, outside of Boston, I mean, You know, do you want to drive for two hours each way or use that three, four hours, you know, for your health?
[00:12:42] I don't know. Yeah. I mean, so many people are taking advantage of that extra time to invest in themselves, you know, personally or exercise or, or, you know, whatever sort of practice that they now have that they didn't have time to do before to be a better version of themselves in their sales role. Yeah.
[00:13:01] And there are people, some people that will never go back to. You know, even three days a week in an office, I believe. And what I mean. So let's like flips, flip the, the, the lens here a little bit. Right. And look, look at it from maybe sales leader, um, you know, lens, um, you know, how can, how can, uh, how can a sales leader create a great sales culture with kind of this mix of in-office and virtual teams?
[00:13:32] Yeah. As a sales leader, optimal optimally, what I would like to see as a leader is. I'd like to get my team together. Periodically, maybe quarterly depends how big your team is. Um, if some people are closer to the, to the office, you know, they didn't all move away. Like a lot of people did. Uh, it depends on the company, but having people in person once in a while, I think is really valuable and.
[00:14:00] You can, you can get a lot accomplished in terms of training and coaching and just building culture among the team. So I like a blended approach and I wouldn't be opposed in, in the right circumstances to people coming in a couple of days a week. I just think that, and I don't know of anyone that's doing five days a week yet, but I know that there are a lot of people that are really eager to get there.
[00:14:26] People back to normal, you know, back to the old, old five day a week, uh, deal. And that's just not gonna work in, in the companies that I've seen. Yeah. Now, if they're being more productive, virtually, why would they be? So gung-ho on wanting the back to the office. That makes no sense. Yeah. I mean, I, I knew of a company that, you know, the salespeople punch in with a time clock and they took lunch at one specific time of the day.
[00:14:54] And they couldn't use their cell phones while they're or, oh my goodness. Yeah. That's, you know, pre pandemic. That is, uh, that is micro-managing at a whole nother level. Yeah. And I, I don't know for a fact, but I would bet that they saw huge productivity gains among their, their reps. And I'm curious to see what happens as they go forward.
[00:15:19] Uh, if they end up with, with some option for, for remote work. Or a huge turnover. Like we could, they have some fun too. Yeah. Yeah. Um, all right, so, so let's in, and so. What sort of things are you seeing, like around recruiting and building sales teams and hiring new people in, you know, different markets that don't have experience with, um, you know, what are you seeing in, in, in this new environment where, you know, people aren't limited to hiring just in there?
[00:15:51] Yeah. It's a real gift when, when you can recruit from anywhere and. And you're not stuck with whoever's showing up locally. So I love that. Um, for a long time, for many, many years, we always hired based on our gut feel and we'd ask questions, you know, then it progressed to people doing role plays and.
[00:16:13] Doing assignments and things like that. But I do believe that it's hard to tell if someone is going to be successful in sales, because some of the characteristics don't necessarily show up in an interview. So I have been pleased to see more ways to help kind of suss that out and help people, um, to hire better initially, because the cost of a bad sales hire is so huge.
[00:16:42] As you probably know, and you can lose so much ground in terms of developing sales opportunities. By having someone, somebody told me a story, the other day of a sales person that just lied, you know, that just, it was, he was working remotely and just didn't do anything about what he said he'd do. And, um, and they fit, you figure it out in about, uh, 90 days.
[00:17:05] So, so that's there, you know, two ways you can assess for it and find a great fit, or you can just wait and see how they do. Down the road, but that can be costly. I would say it's probably six months that it would take to figure that out too. Figuring out that they're just watching Netflix and playing video games all day.
[00:17:27] It might be 90 days. Yeah.
[00:17:32] Just enough or working just enough to not get found out. Yeah. I mean, this is, this goes on. Even in the office, people, you know, Charlene social media or, you know, back in the, um, you know, a little bit, you know, uh, I don't know, years ago people would just, you know, dial into the fur. They would dial just random numbers, friends or movie times, or, you know, the, to find out what time it is just to increase their phone time.
[00:18:01] Like, I mean, there's always going to be some bad, right. But that's why she's higher for commitment, desire. Motivation outlook, all those things. Yeah. And so you mentioned using assessment tools, is there any assessment tools that you recommend for, you know, finding these sort of rock star candidates that, that everybody hopes for?
[00:18:24] Yeah. I recommend the process that we use at scoremoresales actually so happy to talk to anybody hip hop that they can. Check us out on the web. Learn more about that. Um, yeah. Are not good because they're personality based. And what we found is that the top salespeople and the worst salespeople often have similar personalities.
[00:18:49] You're kidding. Like, no. You know, people looking for people that are outgoing and gregarious, you know, and I dunno what else they do in these tests, but, um, but personality is not the way to select salespeople is probably, uh, it's a, it's a good way to see how people on the team relate. So there's some value in, in personality assessments, just not to know whether someone can sell and will sell.
[00:19:16] So it's like having an athlete. Who's very talented. Doesn't mean they're going to perform during the game. Right. So you have to figure out why you have to find ways to, to make sure that that's going to happen. Yeah, no, I understand. Yeah. So the personality tests are definitely helpful to see if they're good culture fit for a team or compliment other people on the team.
[00:19:38] Uh, but not necessarily a good criteria to decide like, can this person sell or not? Right. Exactly. And that's always been tricky about sales because it's only in the sales role that you have to deal with things like rejection and, you know, you, you deal with some uncertainty. If I'm in finance. I don't, I'm not uncertain about my future.
[00:20:00] You know, if I. By follow the rules and do what I'm told. You know, I have a salary and I can get a bone. I can get a bonus based on certain things, but sales is, you know, kind of, uh, can be a rollercoaster. And so you have to have, have the, the right, um, you know, foundation for that. Yeah, it's a, it's a unique to unique human that, uh, that can, that that wants are, can deal with the level of rejection that people do in sales on a regular basis.
[00:20:30] And even things like the need to be liked. You know, if you, if you have too much of that and you want everybody to be your friend, it's, it's hard to sell because when I'm in a sales role, I'm going to need, if, if you, if you say, you know, call me on Tuesday. I I'm ready to make a decision and I call you and I don't reach you.
[00:20:51] Someone who wants to be friends will be like, oh, I don't want to bug Collin. You know, he told me to come in Tuesday, but you know, I'll wait, he'll probably call me back. But if I don't have this need to be liked, uh, more but more of an attitude of being respected, then I'll call you on Wednesday and say, you know, we're going to talk on Tuesday.
[00:21:11] Want to make sure that we caught up and, and I don't have that issue there, but there are a lot of people cause we're human human beings that have, have those kinds of things. How, how hard is it for somebody to break out of that? Well, it's, it's easier if you hire someone that has. That's strong in these areas.
[00:21:35] And if they're weak in them, if they're weak in a lot of different areas, then it's going to be really tough. But if they're just weak in a few areas, like the need to be liked, I mean, you can talk to someone and coach them around being respected rather than being aliked. I mean, I'm liked by my friends. I don't need to be liked by my customers.
[00:21:55] Right. But I'd like to be respected by my customers. And by the way, if my customers respect me, they probably are going to like me too, but that's not a deal breaker for me. Yeah. Yeah, no, absolutely. Um, and, and because sometimes, I mean the best people in sales are going to tell the customer what they need to tell them and not just what they think they need, they want to tell them to be liked.
[00:22:20] Right. Or, um, just call it a yes, yes, man, or yes, woman. Right? Exactly. That that's not going to get you very far in sales because I mean, the best way to build trust with your prospect is to actually push back and actually challenged them a little bit. He'll help them in some way. And don't, don't just, yes.
[00:22:38] Something you're right. Yeah, Laurie, thanks so much for coming on today. Um, why don't you tell all the sales, hustlers, listening, just anything that you want us to include in the show notes or any final thoughts you want to tell them about your podcast or where they can find the book or anything else that's going on in your world?
[00:22:54] Yeah, I'm really proud of the podcast conversations with women in sales it's, um, uh, all interviews with women in various roles in the sales process. And, um, my book she sells will, those are all found through women sales pros.com and the podcast is right, right there as well. Fantastic. We'll drop those links in the show notes for you sales hustlers.
[00:23:19] And if you enjoyed today's episode, please write us a review, share the show with your friends and as always we're listening for your feedback. Thank you. Tuning into this episode of sales hustle. Are you a sales professional? Looking to take your sales career to the next level. If the answer is yes, then I want you to go over to sales, cast.com, check us out.
[00:23:43] And if you feel that you are ready, set up a time to talk with me and my co-founder Chris, I'm your host column Mitchell. And if you enjoyed this episode, feel free to leave us a review and share the podcast with your friends.