Sales Hustle is now Sales Transformation
July 5, 2021

Episode #115 Build and Train High Performing Sales Teams with Thomas Bloomer

Joining Collin Mitchell in this episode of the Sales Hustle Podcast is Tom Bloomer. First, let’s hear from Tom as he gives us a backstory about how he first started in sales selling average advertising. Fast forward today, he is now a proven sales leader, and we are going to hear from him about his new book called Teach Me Sales, a 21-day roadmap to sales success.


Tom Bloomer has spent over 30 years as a proven Sales Leader. He started as an entry-level sales rep and worked his way up to building a team that resulted in my becoming the Regional VP of Sales responsible for over $40M annually in local ad revenues. He built multiple teams from the ground up in several states and through several economic changes and company acquisitions. Throughout his 15 years as VP of Sales, Tom worked for three of the leading direct-mail advertising companies in the country: Clipper Magazine, Gannett Media, and Valassis. While working in that capacity, he was responsible for strategic growth, change management, company training, and new product sales. Tom’s career experience also includes leading teams in the Private Education Sector, Retail, and the Food Industry.  It is this background and wealth of knowledge that has given him the ability to hire, train, coach, and lead hundreds of successful people over the years who have all contributed to him earning the reputation as a tremendous coach and leader and a speaker that motivates and inspires others.

Tom Bloomer is also the Co-Host of OK Boomer, Teach Me Sales Podcast. His podcast is inspired to motivate listeners on the path to success. You can check out the podcast at https://okboomerteachmesales.com/.

You can also get a copy of Tom Bloomer’s book Teach Me Sales at Amazon or any Barnes & Noble outlet.

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Transcript

Episode 115 - Tom Bloomer

Welcome to the sales hustle. The only no BS podcast, where we bring you the real raw uncut experiences from sales makers across various industries. The only place where you can get what you're looking for. 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. What is happening? Sales hustlers. Welcome to another episode today. I'm excited. I've got Thomas bloomer, uh, coming on. He just released his new book, teach me sales. And I was recently a guest on his podcast as well. So Thomas is a proven sales leader, helping acts, um, assess, build, and train high performing sales teams.

[00:00:54] Tom, thanks so much for coming on today. How are you? Hi call. I'm doing great. It's a pleasure to be here. I appreciate you having me, you know, I, I've kind of considered myself a sales hustler for a long time, but it's official now. So this is good. Now you're in the sales hustle alumni. Absolutely. You're going to be episode 116 or something like that.

[00:01:16] It's cool. I, you know, it sounds like a good number. I like that. Yeah. Yeah. You, and along with, uh, many other really awesome guests that we've had. So you've got a new book out. I'm excited to talk about that. Um, I'm excited to talk about, you know, dig into, you know, we like to keep it short here in the beginning and then dig into the more tactical stuff.

[00:01:36] Probably some of the things that are covered in your new book teach me sales. Um, but just give us the short version of Tom bloomer sales. Uh, great. Uh, you know, if they can't see me probably on audio, right? This is just audio only, but I've got my shirt, sleeves rolled up. So you know, that, that's my story.

[00:01:54] I've been in the weeds ever since I started, um, went into sales by accident. As, as most people I was in education decided it wasn't for me. I wanted to start selling. Um, started selling an average advertising, got lucky with a company that was just kind of getting going. And I went through the school of hard knocks, you know, knocking on doors, going door to door.

[00:02:15] Um, back when direct mail advertising was just kind of taking off. Um, and, and that's what I learned. That's what I learned in did. And as we grew, I opened up the state of New Jersey for a company as we grew, I spend more and more of my time coaching others, um, in that product. So that's kind of the quick story and the shirt sleeves are still rolled up.

[00:02:35] Uh, and I can tell you that, that they, they definitely are, and we do use video. So those of you that are watching, we'll see, Tom actually has his shirt, sleeves rolled up because he has been in the trenches and still is, I guess, right? Yeah. I went through a little bit of change. I was with the company that, that we're just talking about for 28 years, they went through a couple of acquisitions and, you know, call it EV every acquisition I'd come home.

[00:03:02] I tell my wife, I'm like, I probably have another year, maybe two years, but, um, you know, these are large companies that they don't even know my name and it's, it's not going to be here for too long, but, uh, the company was originally sold in 2003. It wasn't until last may that the current large company that owned us, uh, eliminated my VP position.

[00:03:24] So I had to go back in the weeds again. I had to learn a little bit of a new way of selling a lot more social selling than the type of selling I was doing. Started a podcast as you're aware, because I was looking for new ways to reach the audience I wanted to repeat. So, so yeah, I'm, I'm, I'm still in that and now I'm trying to promote a book.

[00:03:43] So I'm back in the weeds, you know, hustling and selling every day. Yeah. Yeah. I love it. So what can, what, what are some things that people can expect in the book? Uh, tell us a little bit, you know, just kind of give us a sneak peek of, of what's covered in teach me sales, this, you know, 21 day roadmap. Sure.

[00:04:02] Hey, I appreciate you asking, uh, you know, the thing I was most passionate about and the reason I wrote the book is I wanted to spend time at this point in my career doing what I was most passionate about over the last several years and things that in a large company, sometimes you lose sight of, and that was basically COVID.

[00:04:20] You know, working with a seller or working with a young sales leader, going through everything, kind of living with them day to day on the highs and lows and trying to do the things to make them a little bit stronger, show them how they could do it and grow. So, you know, the book is it's 21 days. It's designed to be read over 21 days and it's hopefully I'm a sales coach with that reader for 21 days, getting them the roadmap to, to increase their success, whether they're new to sales.

[00:04:49] Or they've been doing it for a while and especially coming out of this pandemic, you know, we've, we've all fallen into maybe some, some, some old habits or some habits that aren't as good. We not, we need to kind of get back to the way we know we need to be when we can get out there and sell with people.

[00:05:04] So, um, I hope it inspires people every day. I hope it reminds them of some good habits or teaches them a new habit they need to start. Um, and then I'm hoping that it's encouraged. You know, it's a lighthearted book with hopefully a lot of fun. My wife says not everyone's going to get my humor, but if they do, I think they're going to find it an enjoyable reader.

[00:05:25] I love that. I mean, we all need a good laugh here and there because, um, you know, I mean, it's easy to get super stressed out and, and take things a little too seriously in a, in any sales role. Like we all have quota and goals and targets and, and there's a lot of pressure with the activity quotas and all of these things that make, you know, um, sales, a tough gig.

[00:05:47] Um, so, so, you know, uh, I think a good laugh here and there is great. Um, I liked that, you know, there's, there's some things in there too, to inspire people because, you know, half of the battle is just having a proper mindset. Um, but I'm curious to find out, like, what are some, some good habits, um, in, in your career that, you know, you, you kind of picked up in the beginning that have just kind of stuck through you and maybe you're covered in the book.

[00:06:11] Uh, yeah. And, and I liked that you brought up. Because that's really where I kind of start in the book because it doesn't matter what you learn as a seller. It doesn't matter how well, you know, features and benefits, how well you can read customers, whether you can close or NY, none of those things matter if you're not doing it for the right reasons and to me the right way.

[00:06:31] So everyone kind of has to figure out what is it that I want, how can I help others and how can I be effective? So that mindset, we start right on day one. And to me, it starts with confidence. You know, you, you need to be passionate in sales. Cause it is hard, as you said, it's hard and it's stressful. And that's why a lot of people get into sales.

[00:06:51] And seven months later, they're like, I'm never doing that again. You know, I don't know who told me I could make money in sales. I want nothing to do with that. And then there's others that are doing it for a while and they're burning out because you know what, they're just not having fun with it. So you need to kind of get that mindset.

[00:07:07] And to me develop confidence that is going to make you passionate about what you're doing. If I'm really confident that I can help someone. I'm going to do everything I can to get in front of them. I'm going to do everything I can to show them how I can help them. And I'm going to go back. Cause you, you, you got to go back, you know, you gotta be persistent.

[00:07:27] You get, you got to persevere through everything to me, you do that when you have confidence and passion. So we kind of start off with that out of the gate and then, you know, every seller. You know, you and I we've, we've talked a couple of times now and, and I think we're very, very similar. Uh, I'm a bigger sports guy than you are.

[00:07:44] I, I think you're not as, as big a sports guy and, and talking, um, we both have similar signs behind us, you know, we want to go and accomplish things. So I think we're very similar. But there's still going to be a different style. Everyone's unique. And one of the things I learned, because no one really taught me to sell, you know, I learned by talking to business owners and, and them not buying, so, okay.

[00:08:07] You know what I gotta do better next time. So what can I learn? How can I approach that different? And you just keep at it. When I started to coach people, I just assumed, let me just teach them what I do. Um, and, and I learned, okay, that's not going to work. You know, it's just going to be very frustrating, cause they're not the same as me.

[00:08:24] So, you know, a good sales coach over time learns to sit down and find out what are the gifts, what is unique about that individual seller and how can I help them? Because that's when the seller is going to love what they're doing and be real successful when they're putting their best traits into play.

[00:08:41] So we cover that early on. Yeah, I love that. Um, you know, cause there's so many successful salespeople, they get promoted to manager VP, right. And, and they think what works for them should work for everyone else. And that's definitely not the case. Um, and I love that you, you know, hi how you laid that out because you know, I think it's important that sales leaders know.

[00:09:06] Like there is many paths to success and also success is different for different people where you maybe want them to go, might not be where they want to go. Right. And if you can really tap into like what matters most to them, you know, just kind of a classic example is, you know, I think a lot of people make the assumption that, you know, maybe an SDR BDR wants to become an account executive and that might not be the case.

[00:09:30] They might love just sticking in that role and really want to Excel in that and get better and, and, and stay there. Um, and then there might be other people who have bigger aspirations who want to lead a team someday. Um, and, and you're going to treat those two people very differently. You're going to coach them very differently.

[00:09:47] Um, you know, they're the reason why they do what they do is going to be different and not everybody necessarily wants what maybe you want as a leader now. And, and, and that's how you're gonna help. Because if you try to inspire what motivates you on. You're, you're not helping them. You're not going to get them inspired.

[00:10:04] They're not going to get excited. You know, I used to cringe at meetings like, like everyone else, especially after we were acquired a couple of times, you know, we have upper leadership that, that we have to report up the chain. Um, you were fortunate, you got out of that, uh, earlier on. So I was not quite as smart.

[00:10:20] I didn't realize to get out of that early on, but you know, I would cringe. I'd be in a meeting with, you know, 40 salespeople. That that I'm working with and I'd have somebody from up the ladder and they'd be doing this huge PowerPoint on, you know, the, the profits and loss of the company, you know, and where we're headed.

[00:10:37] And if you do this, this is what's going to happen this quarter for the company and our sellers didn't care. You know, they, they had their own interests, their own needs. And if you don't sit down and talk to the people you're working with, you know, you're really gonna miss the boat. It's it's you gotta be very human and talk to.

[00:10:55] Yeah. Yeah. And I think that, um, you know, th the, the important takeaway there is being human, which is so funny, right. Because, you know, I found, and there's more people that are kind of spreading this, this message out there as like, you know, how does a human be more human cause it's funny. Right. But you've come naturally.

[00:11:16] It just doesn't. Yeah. And, and something that you mentioned earlier right. Is, is everybody's different. Right? And so the way that they speak, the way that they write emails, the way that they, you know, um, communicate the message of the value, our position might be a little different and that's totally okay.

[00:11:33] Okay. I think that there's, you know, a lot of organizations that are still just really stuck on, like, this is what we do. This is how we say it. This, if they say this, you say that, and that's kind of the linear path to it. Getting the sale, you know, and that's just not the case. People are going to be, you know, the sellers are going to be happier.

[00:11:50] You know, if, if they're, if they have a little bit of autonomy to just, you know, do what they do best and be themselves to get to the end. Right. Because that's when they bring out their best. So, you know, I like to have fun with a little bit of humor. I, I that's, that's kinda my style. So when I would be going in front of a new prospect, that would be one of my best traits I'd go in there.

[00:12:13] I'd get them to relax. I'd get them to drop their, their little border wall a little bit to be open, to talk to me. And then I could go from there. I was never the most analytic. And I'm not going to go in there and show them all these data points and have a PowerPoint of how we accomplish what we do for them.

[00:12:29] That just wasn't me. But I worked with some sellers who they didn't, they didn't want to engage with people. They didn't want to sit there and, and, you know, be, you know, chit chat with them and ask them how their weekend was. They wanted to go right in and find out what that business needed. And then here's how I can help you.

[00:12:46] Very analytical. If that's their strength, that's what they have to do. So, um, you know, it's, it's important times in the book, we refer back as we work on different techniques, we always go back and say, okay, let's go back to what made you successful? How are you going to do this for the type of person?

[00:13:05] Yeah, yeah, yeah. I love that. And so, and, and, and even as a seller, like being okay with the fact that there's only going to be certain buyers that are going to like the way that you sell. You know, and so there's going to be buyers that perf that prefer that more analytical approach. And it's like, I don't have time.

[00:13:23] I don't want to be your friend. Just give me the facts and I can make a decision if this is the right fit or not, or there's going to be other people who care more about really making sure that they like and trust the person that they're going to buy from. Right. And so. You know, different, you know, there's, there's even a lot of talk now about like psychographics and stuff where, you know, everybody thinks they knew who their ideal customer profile is.

[00:13:46] And that's great. And that typically only goes so far as far as maybe employee size industry, job title, maybe a little bit deeper. Um, but now they're actually looking at like, Hey, you know, what are some things about Tom? You know, what sort of similarities do you maybe have to people like Tom and, you know, uh, Then Tom is the type of person that's maybe more likely to buy to you because you have these similarities and you bring up such a good point.

[00:14:11] Because to me, that's what separates the good salesperson from the superstar salesperson, because they understand, you know, I, I know what makes me. I know what my strengths are, but boy, I need to read that customer to find out what version of me do they need to say. And if they need that more analytical one, or if I want to be really good, I'm going to have to understand how to add that into my game and to work on that.

[00:14:36] So, you know, that's that not everybody can learn that. But when they do that to me is what separates the great ones. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. You gotta be able to read people and, and if we kind of go and take a step back to is, is one of the things that you said you covered early on the book is his confidence, right?

[00:14:53] So if you go into a sales call or interaction, and you're not being the, you know, version of yourself, you know, it's going to be extremely obvious. That you're not confident in, in what you're doing, what you're saying, how you're presenting or any of those things. And that's how you really easily, you know, lose that ability to build rapport and trust, you know, from your prospect and people can.

[00:15:18] Common. They can hear it over the phone. You know, when, when I was out on the street every day, I was, I was face-to-face with people, you know, mid nineties, early 2000, I'm driving in my car, I'm knocking on their door. If it's a restaurant that didn't want to see me, I'm coming in through the kitchen. Right.

[00:15:33] I'm going to find that decision maker because I was confident that I could help sleeves rolled up and everything. Right. Exactly. I was ready to go. Yeah. But then you have to do some on the phone that confidence can come across on the phone or not come across on the phone. You really need to be able to do that because otherwise you're not going to get appointment set.

[00:15:56] Um, you start text messaging, people, you DM people, you're sending out emails. What you do, and that opening is it's really gonna make a difference. One of, one of the things I really like to talk about is what I call you need to get like. Well, how do you get lucky to me? You get lucky by getting a business owner or decision-maker to sit down and listen to you for just a couple of minutes.

[00:16:21] Well, how do you get them to pay attention for that couple of minutes? You gotta, you gotta get them to want to listen to you to see some value and to say, you know what? This is somebody I want to talk to. The more people you see when you open that first minute or two confidently and passionately. That's where people say, I want to spend time with this person.

[00:16:41] You could have the best solution. You know, there used to be this comic strip of that I loved, and it was a picture. It was back in the cowboy in Indian days. Right. So you have this, uh, I guess this cowboy, I forget what it was a general and he's in a tent and he's sitting there and they've got. You know, um, little bitty, uh, guns and bows and arrows.

[00:17:01] And there's a guy saying, Hey, there's a salesman here to see you. And the guy says, I don't have time for a salesman. And then you look outside the tent and the salesman was selling machine guns. So, you know, you had a solution for them. You didn't get him to talk to you. So you got to get lucky and get those people to engage.

[00:17:19] Yeah. Yeah. I love that. Uh, it's a little example there. Um, so tell me, tell me what else people can, can expect in the book and, and, and, and, uh, you know, what, what is, what is covered there? What might they learn that they maybe aren't, you know, Uh, well, I, hopefully I'm going to get them to look at themselves a little bit differently.

[00:17:41] Okay. The route we try to unearth what, what some of their best traits are. And then I want them, we do daily reflection at the end of each day, things for them to think about as they go through the day and try to see I, am I putting these things into practice? You know, can I put these things into practice?

[00:17:58] Um, I think it was Bruce Lee, the, the martial arts guy who once said, he said, I fear not. The man who's practiced 10,000 kicks. I fear the man who's practiced one kick 10,000 times because he's really going to know how to do it. So each day I hope that we're going to come up with for that individual one new habit that they're going to continue to work on and refine.

[00:18:22] So they get really good at it. And, uh, I don't think you're not much of a baseball guy. If I remember. Uh, I played baseball as a kid and I coached baseball for my son and just went to a ball game, uh, last weekend. So I I'd say I'm, I'm somewhat of a baseball guy. Okay. Well, yeah, you're coaching your son now.

[00:18:40] So you're, you're living this every day. So, you know, there's one of the chapters, as, as somebody starts to ramp up, one of the chapters we talk about is what you do when no one is watching. So you, I'm sure you see the kids that show up for the game and they're not doing anything in between the games. But they come out, they'll come in there for fun.

[00:18:59] Or, you know, sometimes kids are coming to games just because their parents are making them. But you know, if they're not doing some of the other things, look at, look at pro athletes, the difference between a hall of Famer and somebody who never gets out of the minor leagues, it may be one extra year.

[00:19:16] Every tenant bats. Well, how does that person get to that level? They're doing things when no one's watching, you know, you're strong sellers, they're out there on a couple extra calls. They're doing some research because there should be no such thing anymore as a cold call. A cold message. A cold email, because right now everyone has the technology to, to learn their buyer, to understand what that our buyer is thinking about.

[00:19:44] What's important to them, you know, but some sellers are spending the time to do that. And some aren't. So, you know, to me, one of the things we talk about, or the ways that you kind of, the little things that you need to do when no one's watching, if you really want to be success, Yeah. Yeah. Like just like, you know, athletes review the game tape to get better.

[00:20:04] Right? You, you need to be reviewing your sales calls, you know, what could you have done different? You know, how could you have maybe changed the outcome of that call based on, you know, a couple of minor details. What did you maybe miss that you didn't cover that you maybe need to go back and revisit and cover dig deeper on?

[00:20:21] Um, I think, you know, uh, there, there is a big. Difference in, in people that are, you know, average or, or all star, you know, sellers, right. And all-star sellers, uh, know what it takes, um, and the level of commitment to get good at their craft and, and practice things over and over and over again and stay the course and, and, and review things in between and, and spend their own time in.

[00:20:48] Personal and professional development. We talked about mindset earlier, you know, a big part of being great in sales is like really investing in yourself so that you do show up as that competent version of yourself, you know, when you're in your role. Yep. No, absolutely. It's too easy in sales to make excuses.

[00:21:06] You know, this is why, well, my company didn't give me this. You know, my company expects me to spend so much time in the office or spend time doing things that aren't productive or, you know, they're, they're forcing me to spend a lot of time in a CRM instead of figuring it out. How can I utilize what I need to do to be more successful as we go through?

[00:21:26] So, you know, you've got to get out of that habit of making excuses as you go. And, you know, I love listening to your podcast. Um, I never listened to any podcast until, well, maybe a little over about a year ago. And we were looking for ways to communicate. My wife loves podcasts. She has her one, she listens to every day.

[00:21:48] So she kind of turned me on to it. But you know, what I found called when I started listening is, and I've been doing this for a long time. Right? I think I'm a pretty good salesman. Man. Every one, if I, if you listen to some good podcast, you're walking out enthused, you're, you're coming up with, you know, I used to do that.

[00:22:05] I need to do that again. Or they talk about, yeah. You know, I knew to do that, but I haven't been doing it. So to me, that's, that's a key thing. Or are you investing a couple hours a week listening to two shows? Just like yours every day. Yeah. And I think that's a, that's a great point because, you know, um, You talked about some of the common excuses spending too much time in the CRM, you know, maybe I don't have the support that I need from leadership.

[00:22:30] Maybe the leads, uh, all of those excuses. Right. But, well, what are you doing to invest in yourself? And are you listening to podcasts? Are you reading blogs? You know, there's so many people on social media that are just giving away. You know, great information, you know, are you following the right people?

[00:22:48] Are you consuming the right content? You know, to constantly be looking for just little opportunities to get a little bit better. Um, so I love that you're bringing up that point, Tom, thanks so much for coming on today. Really appreciate it. One more time, let people know, you know, the title of the book, where they can find it and anything.

[00:23:06] All right. And again, thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it. And, and I'm official sales hustler right now. So this is, this is great. Um, Colin, uh, the book is teach me sales. Uh, they can find it on Amazon Barnes and noble and it pretty much anywhere they'd like to get books. Um, they can look for the book there.

[00:23:23] Um, I'll put my sales hat on for one second. If that's okay. If you liked the book and you buy it, please leave a review. That would be awesome. That helps us get out there to, to more people, uh, as they go through and they can check out our website. Our podcast website is okay. Boomer teach me sales.com. Uh, there's a lot of information there as well.

[00:23:42] So, uh, I hope your listeners have enjoyed the show. It's been an honor for me to be. Awesome. Thanks so much, Tom. And if you enjoyed today's episode, please, please, please write us a review. Share the show with your friends and as always we're listening for your feedback, Jack, thank you for tuning into this episode of sales hustle.

[00:24:00] Are you a sales profile? 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. 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.