Collin Mitchell welcomes Kristopher Sykes to the show in this episode of the Sales Hustle Podcast. Let’s hear from Kris as he walks us through his astonishing sales journey. We also get to hear from Kris as he narrows down the topic of relationship building.
Having to work in the professional services for several years now, Kristopher Sykes offers comprehensive goal-based financial advice to those individuals, families, and business owners who are serious about their financial goals and value working with a professional. Kris specializes in Retirement Savings Strategy, Business Retirement Plans, Entrepreneurs, Retirement Income Strategies, Estate & Legacy Strategies, College Savings, and Insurance Strategies.
Kris understands that it’s common for many people to delay putting a comprehensive financial plan in place. Not only he is committed to your family's financial success, but Kris is also willing to guide you through the complexities to establish a simple and understandable plan.
Check out Kristopher Sykes’s Podcast together with his co-host Brian Goldsack called Success Fundamentals on the link below.
You can also follow and learn more about Kris on the following link below.
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Episode 124 - Kristopher Sykes
[00:00:00] 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. I am super pumped today to have Chris Sykes on the show. Uh, he's been in sales for 10 plus years. We're going to dig into that. We're going to be talking about relationship building. We're going to be talking about doing things differently, to stand out and catch the attention of your prospects.
[00:00:51] Two things that I'm a big fan of and looking forward to riffing on these things with Chris today, Chris, welcome to sales hustle. [00:00:58] Thank you for having me. I'm really excited. Yeah, man. I, uh, I'm really, uh, excited to learn a little bit more about ya. Absolutely. And so we start these all out, you know, pretty much the same.
[00:01:10] Give us the, I like to, I like to say the short version, cause a lot of salespeople don't know, don't know, you know, when to stop talking. So I seen SU I was that you, but just the short version of your sales story, like what did you, you know, when did you get into sales and why. What were you doing in selling and let's take it from there.
[00:01:29] Okay. Uh, so the short version is like, I didn't just say it was right after college. Um, really, um, I played football in college. Then pursue, um, professional ball. And I got my first job right at college, the gang stuff of the says associate there for maybe six months and that transition to at and T where I started off as a retail sales consultant, then I moved my way up to a, um, to an assistant manager, then moving up to a, uh, area manager.
[00:01:54] And then, [00:01:56] um, I transferred over to my current job. So, um, I just, when I first got into sales, I never knew that I could sell. I do. At and T you know, they hired me. And then, um, after, I would say maybe about four or five months, I was the continuous number one seller in the store. That's why I got promoted the first time.
[00:02:16] Um, then didn't know that I could leave either. Um, and then, you know, we had the, the number one store in my area managers region for a long time. And then that's when I got moved up into that role. So you have man, there's, it's, it's been, uh, I love sales. I think if you're, you know, If you're trying to, if money is, what is your motivation?
[00:02:39] Sales is the probably number one thing to get into. Yeah, man, I think sales is the best profession on this planet. You know, I had a bit of a different path than yourself. I didn't go to college. [00:02:54] I barely made it through high school. And, uh, so there wasn't a ton of opportunity knocking at my door and, you know, sales was willing to take a chance on me and I, I made the best of it, but you know, uh, a lot of times P you know, people who play sports at any sort of high level like yourself, you know, play in college, um, they do really well in sales.
[00:03:17] Why is that? I don't know that that's, that's a great question. I think, um, in sales, in general, well, being an athlete, you go through a lot of, uh, At adversity in terms of training, right? So you go through a lot of hard stuff. So you almost used to going through things that are tough. And when you transition to the profession of sales, you get rejected a lot.
[00:03:42] Right. But yeah, I don't know if that has. You know, being an athlete or over it or whatnot, but I know that definitely helped me, um, [00:03:52] progressing my sales career for sure. Yeah. I mean, it's you see it all the time. And, uh, even when people are recruiting, you know, good sales talent, I mean, if you played sports at any, in any high level, um, that's going to push you up to the short list in a lot of cases, because I think exactly what you mentioned, you know, you, you, you have a different mindset than, than a lot of other people.
[00:04:14] Um, you, you have to deal with that, you know, getting, getting beat up a bit down and you're, you're used to putting in work, you know, um, which is very similar to being in sales 100% also too, you know, Being, um, being, if you're in the, trying to be a sales leader, right. When you, when you, depending on the sport you play, normally you're on a team, right?
[00:04:39] So, you know, if you're, if you're really good at sports and you're fortunate enough to become a team leader that helps you in the, in the, in the business where it's particularly in the sales, but when you have to [00:04:50] be a force of salespeople, for sure. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, I'm curious, man. I mean, it sounds like your time at, at and T like you moved up pretty quickly with, uh, you know, uh, having no experience of selling previously really in, in it or leading the team really, and you just fit right in and, and moved up the ranks.
[00:05:13] Uh, what do you think it is that, you know, kind of pushed you in that direction, uh, on that path, in that time? Well, I, anytime I went into something, I wanted to be, uh, the manager of something, but I knew I can't be the manager if I don't know how to do every job. So my mindset was, um, to find a mentor, ask them what did they do to get to where they are and pretty much do that.
[00:05:44] So, When they told me, well, if you, even, [00:05:48] if you even want to go down this road, you have to perform in your current role. So, you know, understanding. So at that time, Understanding the products, understanding the customers, understanding how to talk to them, how to build a rapport, and then that translates into sales.
[00:06:04] And then, but then you can't do it for one month and be, then be dormant for the next four or five months. You have to be consistent in whatever you do. So doing that in a consistent fashion, allow me to, you know, get promoted onto my first promotion. Which was, uh, uh, assistant manager at a, at an another store.
[00:06:25] So yeah, it's, it's just driving me, I would say. Yeah, yeah. Drive having that growth mindset that's necessary having that, you know, openness to be coachable and teachable and, and, and, you know, learn from others. Right. Which I think a lot of those things, you know, can get acquired through, through, you know, playing sports, right.
[00:06:46] [00:06:45] Oh, absolutely. 100%. I think. When you, when you play sports, you're, you're a competitive person, right? You're, you're naturally competitive because when you play sports, you're not playing for kicks and giggles. You're playing to win something. Even if you lose. Right. You know, you're, you're, you're probably, you're probably upset, you know, and you want to go again and that's how things go.
[00:07:11] And then that caught that competition. Or that competitiveness translates. When you play games with your families in your current job, you want to be, want to be the top of what, you know, 100% like, oh, I can play with Chris, but you know, he's better take this way too seriously. It's crazy. It's crazy because my son is six and I already see it.
[00:07:41] Like, you know, he plays sports [00:07:44] and I don't have to push him. Like he loves it. He has the drive. Like, we'll go play, you know, I coach baseball, uh, for his team and we'll go play a game. And then he wants to go home and practice, uh, you know, on his own and you know, everything he does, he's just so competitive.
[00:08:00] You know, he's got younger sisters and like they'll race down the block and I'm like, man, you gotta let them win it. Like, it's never going to be fun for them. And, and, and it's so true, you know, because, uh, people that play sports, um, and any good salesperson that I've ever talked to, and I've talked to a lot of them, they have that, you know, that drive and that grit and that willingness to just, you know, outwork and, and perform the rest of everybody else.
[00:08:31] 100%. I've always been, I've always been, I bet if you like, for example, when I was at and T I wasn't number one on the, on the board, I was like, what did this [00:08:42] person do? And how, how am I not this? And like, then I would just go, just try to see as many, because how the 18 to format was you walk into the store that you greet somebody.
[00:08:51] So I figured the more people I greet, the better chance I could, you know, I didn't try to like, hang down in the back. A customer. Right? So, um, that was just my mind. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. All right. So, uh, let's talk about a couple of things that, uh, that we promise we're going to deliver for the sales hustlers here.
[00:09:11] Um, you mentioned, you know, one thing that you're really, you know, passionate about in sales and you feel is important is, is just relationship building. Just talk me through a little bit of like, you know, Your thoughts around, you know, building relationships, you know, how essential that is and what are some tactical things that you do that, you know, sales, hustlers, listening to today, there can get the kick in the pants that they need, or maybe, you know, we can teach them something 100%.
[00:09:36] I think the number one thing your sales hustlers [00:09:40] can need to learn when you're in the field of sales is building relationships with the customer that you want. Build relationships with one of the reasons why is because we're so to every day and people who maybe don't make an effort to try to get to know the person first to see if they even need your product is very, very key.
[00:10:04] Right? If I, if I know that I need to sell a particular product and I come to you, come and say, Hey, I have this, this widget and dah, dah, dah, dah. I didn't ask you. I probably don't know your name. I haven't listened to anything you said I'm trying to do is just unload product. So getting to know the person first is very, very key to see that even are in the market for your product is very, very key, but also to the value you're adding to, to, to that person, what is, how could you tie whatever you're selling into your customer's lives?
[00:10:36] That that's one enhanced. [00:10:38] It lives on that too. That's very, very key. Understanding understanding who you're selling to is very, very important building those relationships, because everything about sale is not about what you're selling. It's all about the experience the customer feels. So if they, if they, if I come to you, Collin, and I talk to you and I get to know what you're looking for.
[00:11:01] You will, you will respect me more if I say, well, what I have right now based on what you're looking for does not fit. But if you say, what if I ask you certain questions, if I get to know you and what's important to you or what, what you're trying to accomplish, and I can tie that into, and you don't feel like you're being something that's being pushed on you, the type is then yes, you may be.
[00:11:23] You may bought this from me, but the entire experience with me. You, you feel happy, they should get it. You didn't feel like you were sold to you felt how you felt like I bought this because this actually provides value in my life. So [00:11:36] then you're more apt to tell somebody, whatever, whatever I'm selling, Hey, you got to go see Chris because he's not pushy.
[00:11:42] He talks to you. He tries to have a connection and he wants to make sure that whatever he's trying to give you is actually going to add value to you. Yeah, boom. So much value in that right there. So, uh, sales, hustlers, you might want to hit, rewind and listen to that whole segment again, uh, because it's, it's so true, man.
[00:12:01] And you're speaking my love language, Chris, because I mean the whole goal is building relationships. Adding value and delivering a good experience, whether they buy from you or not, whether they, you know, work with you in, for some reason they're not, or you find out they're not a good fit or you work together.
[00:12:19] And for some reason they have no choice, but to maybe stop working with you, like whatever the end result is, delivering a good experience. Is what you want to be focused on, uh, because like you said, you know, you're going to build more trust and rapport. If you're not trying to push [00:12:34] something on them and maybe they're not the best fit and you were disciplined enough to not try to force something on them, but you know, the, the next time they ask the next time somebody asks them if they know anybody that does whatever it is that you do, pretty good chance.
[00:12:51] They're going to recommend. Absolutely, but also to think about the flip side of it, right? I think about even if the customer does buy from you, there would never send anybody your way because of the experience they feel forced, they feel pushed and they wouldn't want to tell anybody else about that because of how they failed.
[00:13:14] You have to always keep in mind how the person that I'm talking to, how are they feeling? Do they feel uncomfortable? You can see it in their body. Right? They're comfortable or uncomfortable. So even if they do buy from you, it's not a win for you actually. So actual loss because you would, you would probably never see that person again.
[00:13:30] And they would never send anybody your way [00:13:32] based on how they felt in that initial interaction. Yeah. I mean, if you're not delivering a good experience and you still happy to get the sale, I mean, you're never going to fully get their business. You're not going to have their trust. They're not going to send you business and they're not going to give you referrals.
[00:13:48] And, you know, they may not even stick around for any significant period of time, which is really a, a loss and, and, um, something that, you know, you mentioned early on too, is, is. It's really knowing who you're talking to and, you know, being prepared, you know, do doing some research on them. Like I think it's, it, it drives me nuts when salespeople hop on a call and they start asking, you know, really super general questions that they could have figured out on their own.
[00:14:21] If they just spent five, you know, five minutes checking your social media, checking your website, educating themselves a little bit. Um, [00:14:30] Because it shows that they really just don't give a shit. They're just trying to sell you something and they really don't care about you. The person. Absolutely not.
[00:14:38] Absolutely not. If people are in is there. And it's funny because you're actually taught that, but people don't take, when you do research on the, on the person you're talking to, then listen to know that you actually care about them. Right. You know, that you spent some time, at least researching who they are, you know, and you know, you, you made the effort to do.
[00:14:59] Right. Um, yeah, it doesn't. And also to think about your brand sell is all about branding as a purse, right? So when peoples, when people think of Collin, what comes to their mind is, you know, people think of Chris, what comes to their mind. So in the world of selling also always be thinking about your brand, how you sell, how you talk to people about that, the relationship should be, are you smiling?
[00:15:23] Yeah. Yeah. And you want to have consistency, right? [00:15:28] Like w who you are on, you know, your different social media profiles, who you are when you're typing an email, who you are in person who you are, you know, over a zoom call, whatever it is, like there needs to be consistency with who that person is and what your brand is.
[00:15:42] You know, you can't be, you know, Casual in, in, in building rapport and, and, you know, you know, uh, on a call and then sending a really, you know, stuffy email, right? Like there should be consistency with how you speak, you know, who you are and what you do, and not everybody's going to be a fit for you. And that's fine.
[00:16:00] But you know, if you just be yourself, you're going to attract more of the types of people that are most likely to actually do business with you. And people love authenticity. People love it. I mean, you hit it right on the head call. It just be, you you'll be perfectly fine. Yeah. It's a funny, it's a funny thing that a lot of people are talking about these days keeps coming up is, you know, telling salespeople to be more human.
[00:16:28] [00:16:26] I just, it cracks me up because how does a human be more human, but you know what I mean? But it's what we're talking about. Right. Just be more of yourself is really what they mean there, but it's just a funny. Concept a see a lot of people talking about and posted about and stuff like that as be more human.
[00:16:46] And it's just, it's be yourself. You don't have to, you know, you don't have to be the right fit for everybody, but you know, uh, there's a lot of information out there where, you know, people are starting to get into like psychographics and things now where like you can really get clear on what types of people are most likely to buy from them.
[00:17:04] You want a hundred percent absolutely. That that's been very important too. I think the world of selling now, Is, and I think you'll appreciate this comment. Think about how used to be, where somebody used to come to your door and knock on the door. They had like, all these sales products now is more now it's about algorithms.
[00:17:21] And like you say to who was more likely to [00:17:24] buy from you or listen to your stuff. It's, it's, it's amazing that the, how the world of sales has changed somewhat. Yeah. Yeah. And all of the technology and stuff that's out there is great. And I'm a big fan of a lot of it. Um, but it still requires a lot of work, you know, to be great in sales.
[00:17:42] It still requires a lot of work. And I think it's, it's really common for a lot of sellers. To just really heavily rely on the technology and get a little lazy. I'm just going to put that out there. I'm just going to say it. Um, and you know, it still requires like it's hard work to do the research on the people.
[00:17:59] It's hard work to, you know, follow up eight to 10 times to get the deal. You know, it's hard work to, you know, really listen intently. You know, to ask good questions, to drive good conversations, to deliver a good experience. Like all of those things take a lot of work and discipline. And, and the biggest piece I would say to all of it is being able to [00:18:22] show up as the best version of yourself and your professional role really would cry, really requires a lot of work for you to do personally, right.
[00:18:30] Whatever it is, you know, to take care of you so you can show up and give it your all 100%. You said something. Defined what success is in terms of being a sales person. Right. I think people is the consistency behind everything you do. That's going to help you become successful. I think in general, people know in general, in the sales world, there's the, where people fail the most is.
[00:19:00] Right. Yeah. But then also too, is the consistency behind the followup? Does it being successful is all about being, uh, in sales is all about being disciplined and consistent. Because the reason why that's so key is because it's very, very boring to do the same [00:19:20] thing day in and day out. Right. It gets boring.
[00:19:23] You maybe, you know, it's like, oh my God, I don't want to do this again for this person not to respond. But in those times, that's what, that's what you need to do in order to be successful because laws of numbers are going to have more people, the more filters you put out. Even if it's whatever your number is, more things are going to come back to you.
[00:19:44] You just have to be considered. Sure. Yeah. I mean, staying organized is a big part of that, right? I think a lot of it's easy to lose track of all the people you need to follow up with. Um, that's why it's, I mean, it's so important to, you know, take good notes, document that stuff so that you can properly follow up and there is technology and tools that you can use to help you with that.
[00:20:05] That makes it a lot easier. Um, but you know, even just like, if we go like LinkedIn specifically, like it's hard to stay on top of. All of your messages and following up with people and, you know, nurturing relationships that you [00:20:18] develop there and taking them off the platform. Um, it could be overwhelming. I could, I could literally probably spend eight hours a day on LinkedIn, just nurturing, building, booking appointments, you know, taking the conversations offline.
[00:20:31] Like it's a lot of work. Well, absolutely it is. It is, uh, an image thing you do that. You know, you're trying to accomplish it. It's going to take work. I think that's why, so you love sales, Carmen. You're, you're willing to put in that kind of work to become success because you, the sales sales gave you an opportunity to be who you are today, right.
[00:20:50] Is, is near and dear to your heart. Whatever you do have a love for, um, because it's going to be work. If you're trying to be the best in your field at one point blank period. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, I mean, tell all the sales hustlers, you know, before we kind of wrap things up here, just tell them a little bit more about where they can follow you.
[00:21:12] Please tell them about your new, uh, podcast and where [00:21:16] they can find that and what to expect if they were to tune it. Yeah, absolutely. You can find me on LinkedIn at Christopher sites as Chris be. Um, among seeing the same on Facebook, Christopher sakes, um, we have this new podcast, my cohost Brian Gorsich, and I caused the podcast called success fundamentals, where we interview successful people to figure out what makes them tick.
[00:21:38] Right. Um, and we interviewed people in all types of fields. Um, what did they come on? We talk about their journey. We talk about what's happened, what has made them successful and they give advice on how you can be successful as well. So it's been a fun journey so far, um, and, um, you know, looking forward to going down to going down to the journey and actually it started as a passion project.
[00:22:01] And you know, now it's, you know, it's, it's taken off some core to what me and Brian. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks, Chris. Thanks so much for coming on today. I really appreciate this conversation and getting to know a little bit [00:22:14] more about your success as well. Um, and so, yeah, make sure sales, hustlers checkout success fundamentals on all the podcast platforms.
[00:22:22] Uh, this show is just been, uh, taken off. So you definitely want to tune in and not miss an episode. Uh, if you enjoyed today's episode, please write us a review, share the show with your friends. And as always, we are listening for your feet. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of sales hustle. Are you a sales professional looking to take your sales career to the next level?
[00:22:44] 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.