Luigi Prestinenzi joins Collin Mitchell in this episode of the Sales Hustle podcast. Luigi is the founder and head of Sales IQ Group. He talks nothing but sales straight from Australia and shares some of his teachings to equip sales folks to level-up their sales game.
Luigi Prestinenzi is the Co-Founder and Head of Growth at Sales IQ Group. Sales IQ equips sales enablement consultants, sales leaders, and salespeople to thrive in highly competitive markets.
He is also the host of the Sales IQ Podcast. He interviews the world’s top sales authors, leaders, and sales professionals. He talks about the different strategies and concepts that can positively impact salespeople and help salespeople sell more.
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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 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? Sales hustlers. Welcome to another episode. I've got a fantastic guest for you all the way from Australia. I've got Luigi Preston NZ, and he is the founder and head of growth at sales IQ group. We're going to dig into some of the things that he's teaching folks, and we're going to have some great conversations.
[00:00:57] We were having a ton of fun talking before we hit record here. Luigi. Thanks so much for coming on sales hustle, man. Colin, thanks. You're asking me to be on that number. I'm pretty pumped to talk all things, sales and, um, you know, sales improvement. And let's let's let's let's break down some stuff. Let's get shit done.
[00:01:15] Yeah. Yeah. I like your attitude. All right. So before we get started and keep it short, just tell us the short version of how you got into sales and we'll take it from there and, and mostly talk tactical sales stuff. So the, all the sales hustlers can feel like they learned something today and start to implement that when they go back to the sales floor.
[00:01:35] Awesome. And, you know, the very, the, the, the, the, the best way for me to describe how I got into sales is that, um, if I didn't get into sales, I'd been a lot of trouble. Um, I was no good at school. Um, my hands are not designed to get dirty. Um, so I couldn't do a trade. And so the only thing that I had was my hustle, voice and more tenacity and, um, you know, my drive to go out there and, and, and find my way in the world.
[00:02:01] And, you know, one of the key roles that doesn't need a, uh, qualification is sales. And, uh, I landed a call center job. Um, I mean, I, I did sell before then. Um, at school I was always hustling, but, um, um, some illegal activities back in, back in the day, but, um, yeah, but I landed myself a job in a contact center and then the rest was history.
[00:02:23] So, um, the lowest end of the, of the scale at the time, uh, but, uh, got in, um, started dialing and the rest is history, man. Wow. All right. So a couple of things you said there, all you had was your voice, your hustle, and your voice, your hustle, and your tenacity, which are some of the three. Yeah. You know, essential things to a good sales person, right?
[00:02:48] I mean, yeah. You know, I started in sales over 10 years ago and you know, I was horrible. I was not that good, but I worked really hard and I, you know, had that tenacity and that hustle and, and, uh, like yourself, you know, I didn't have an education. I didn't want to get into a trade because, you know, I can barely, I can barely hang a picture on the wall without it falling down.
[00:03:09] So, uh, you know, doing something with my hands was not an option. Um, you know, and all I had was good, old fashioned hard work, and it sounds like you had something very similar. So tell me some, what are some of the things early on in sales that you learned that are still stick with you today? Um, don't fear rejection, man.
[00:03:28] Like I think, you know, working at a contact center, like we weren't selling SAS, you know, SAS is sexy to sell these days. Right. It's like a cool thing to be an SDR. But back in the day, man, I'm working in a telemarketing center, kind of like boiler room, you know, the movie boiler room. Um, we are, we had 800 people.
[00:03:46] Um, whatever, if you get these 80 people in a room in a small room, Oh, touch-tone date. We didn't have no predictive dollars, nothing like that. Um, we had shaped, um, literally a shape, a pen and a phone. Um, we had a spruiker up the front. He literally was a spruiker and on the weekends he was spruiking at the front of shops.
[00:04:05] Right. Um, we were selling phone solutions, like ringing up mom and dad's at home. Go and hide. You know, have you got your bill? We can find a cheaper option. Like maybe it was, it was brutal, man, and it wasn't a flight. Um, we didn't even have, we just sat on an initial and the surname and the, a lot of these lists were called before because they had already been, um, been marked off.
[00:04:32] Right. So, you know, your calling lists, um, It's a high commission. So you're getting, fuck-all sort of hourly, right? It's high commission and, uh, you know, you're getting a lot of nos, man. You're not even getting nos. You're getting people telling you literally where to go. Like you're getting hangups tough and say like, you know, people talk about objections in sales.
[00:04:53] Objections are great because if they've got an objection, then they're going to give you an a, they're going to tell you sort of the question that they have before they buy it. It's a buying indicator. It's a request for more information before they buy it. I can handle that. But a rejection you can't handle because they hang up on you.
[00:05:07] You're gone. Right? And so you're making a hundred, $150 a day and it's manual none of this, none of these predictive dollar, you know, that you got, you got your first name, the surname, the email, you've got a LinkedIn profile. You know, salespeople today are absolutely privileged with the access to information that they have about their buyers.
[00:05:25] Right. Um, you could break down ICP by personas. Like, it is incredible how much information that we have in front of us, but, you know, we literally didn't have that. And so you're making a hundred dollars. You're getting hung up, Tom and Tom, again, you might not speak to anyone for three or four hours. Um, you might just get continued voicemails.
[00:05:43] And so the first thing you know, that I learned was you gotta be resilient. And, you know, it was a high that the contact center environment had a high level of attrition and a lot of people come in, a lot of people going, um, I did it door to door as well. When I did door to door sales. Um, some people couldn't hack it.
[00:05:59] Some people could hack, knock it on a hundred doors, you know, getting, you know, 80 people, not home. A couple of people tell you where to go. Um, and then for that one or two doors that actually you can engage in and that was completely commissioner. So, um, there's a lot to be learned when you're actually doing that hard work.
[00:06:18] You know, grinding it out and building that level of resilience and creating ways in your mindset to kind of repel what's actually happening. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, no, I love it. Uh, you know, I started out similar to yourself where we had a list of names of phone and they said, don't use the CRM because it doesn't work.
[00:06:37] And that's what we had. Right. So there's something to be said about, you know, Being in an environment like that teaches you that tenacity, that hustle, that willingness to just, you know, keep going, build that thick skin, as they say, do you think that's something that's missing in new, newer sellers today?
[00:07:01] Is there something that they could do to build that tenacity and that hustle that they're not getting through? The good old fashioned hard work that a lot of us, you know, started at. Absolutely. I think there's a lot to be, you know, there's a lot to be, I think for me there's or component that is missing for a lot of sales professionals and I call them sales professionals.
[00:07:20] Right. Actually, maybe we let's let's let's remove that term for a moment. Uh, a good friend of mine, Kim McLaughlin, um, is an incredible thought leader in the, in the sales space, focused on win loss. The Orca yours often talks about, um, anyone getting sales, but you've got to earn the professional part, right.
[00:07:39] And the reason why I love that is because there are two differences. Yeah. There's a difference between, um, being in sales and being a salesperson and being a sales professional. Right. And the professional part to get to that part, it takes time. You can't expediate that you can't go wrong in a skip steps.
[00:07:59] Right because, um, I'm going to do a little bit of training and I'm going to do, you know, two days, three days a week, two weeks, a hundred hours of training, and I'm done. It takes time, right? You've got to be able to be in a position where you get knocked on your ass. You've got to be in a position where you're presenting to an executive team and it goes completely wrong.
[00:08:22] And you'll lose your shit or, you know what you wanted to present. You actually couldn't get the words out of your mouth, right. Because those are the situations that help you build. It's like another brick that you build on. Yeah. Um, when you get to a door, finally knock on the door and most sales person.
[00:08:43] Yeah. And most salespeople are so stubborn that they've got to make those mistakes or doing things the wrong way till they're going to learn to change or do something. Absolutely. Like he can follow, you know, I'm a big fan, I'm a big fan of playbooks. You're, I'm a big fan of breaking down the sales process and having a guide, right.
[00:09:02] Like. There is a, there is, you know, you can, you can process map anything. And that's one of the things that I'll do really well is I process map. I kind of have a big picture understanding of from the point of awareness from that point of that digital engagement, it happens, you know, cause a lot of companies are doing inbound.
[00:09:18] And we work with businesses that are spending, you know, two, three, four, half a million dollars a month on inbound. Um, and you know, they're getting poor conversions and we help them with that conversion rate optimization component. And we do that by mapping the process and really thinking about what is the road to sell?
[00:09:32] What does it look like? What are the cadence steps, et cetera. And how do we build a predictable model that helps salespeople know how do I take them from point of awareness to point of sale, but there's a big drop to that, right? He's no matter how. You know how you script it, you can give them a perfect process.
[00:09:51] But the reality is, is a level of intuition that needs to occur to guide the person through the buying process. Right. We can't force them, um, right. We can't push them. What, and what are, what are some of the biggest missing? What are some of the biggest missing pieces in that playbook? When you're working with somebody who, you know, is getting a ton of inbound, not converting, or just really missing the Mark or hasn't cracked the code on outbound.
[00:10:15] Yeah. So, you know, I have a methodology you've got to apply up on to inbound, right? He said, it doesn't matter if the leads come in, if somebody's, you know, shown a little bit of intent, it doesn't necessarily mean they're ready to buy. And the reality is the data shows us, you know, Telfast school of management did an incredible report that it takes about, you know, nine to 13 attempts.
[00:10:35] 80% of inbound leads require nine to 13 touch points before they actually can turn and get engaged. Right. You've got to plot, you've got to apply a level of outbound. You've got to apply that tenacity. You've got to apply that mindset that we've spoken about, but the reality is in order to take a playbook and actually enrich it and turn it into reality, you've got to execute it and you've got to learn the, the there's there's nuances that occur there's mistakes that occurred that enable you to go, okay, now I need to know what I have to do differently and execution.
[00:11:10] You cannot try and execution, right? You can simulate, you can run role play, and everybody should be doing that. If sales pros aren't rehearsing before a presentation, if they aren't rehearsing before they start the week, if they're not listening to their calls daily to do, to identify that conscious awareness point of what they're not doing, or the type of questions that they're not asking, or the closed questions versus open questions, like again, salespeople today, in my opinion, They are privileged that the don't even know that they're privileged.
[00:11:42] You've got chorus.io, you got gong. You've got, you know, um, predictive dollars that record the calls. They add the calls to Salesforce. They can literally go back and review just like, you know, you have your elite athletes can, they can review their performance and find that level of intuition that they might've missed because they might not be consciously aware that they're asking closed questions.
[00:12:05] But if they don't go back to listen, they won't identify that. And, Oh shit. You know what? I've asked too many close questions. Okay. I'm interrogating the prospect. I'm not actually able to get him to open up. It's not because of him. It's because of me. And so this is where I say, you know, as a sales professional, if you want.
[00:12:23] To be the best. If you want to be in that top 1%, it's there for the taking, it's not your boss's job to coach you on that. It's not the company's job to train you on that. Go and find that information yourself. If you haven't got a dialer record, the calls yourself. Right. There's apps that help you do that?
[00:12:39] You find yes. Taking ownership, taking ownership in your, your development. Because a lot of people, I think, fall into the trap of only relying on maybe the resources that they have. From within, inside their organization and not taking ownership of their development and going outside or thinking outside of the box or listening to podcasts, following people that are putting out content, hiring outside coaches, taking courses, recording those calls, you know, replaying that, that.
[00:13:12] That game tape, like an athlete of the losses is, is such valuable information and should really be viewed in a more positive way, because it's like, great. Okay. I, you know, maybe shit the bed on this one here, but what can I learn out of this? So it doesn't happen again, really like, you know, I think, again, I go today, you know, we have access, we have immediate access to information.
[00:13:34] We've got YouTube, we've got, um, you know, podcasts. You live and it's Fremont, right? The thing is you don't even have to pay for this stuff. It's actually free. Um, but you've got to have that intent and you've got to have that mindset of, you know, what, um, I want to, I want to get, I want to be the best I can be.
[00:13:53] I want to find that extra 1% every single day. Yeah. And if I'm committed to that and, and again, too many people focus on the results. I need to make X amount of salts. I need to make X amount of appointments. Um, and we look at the SDRs SDRs go, or BDRs, you know, there's all these roles, titles managers, right?
[00:14:10] So many different titles for frigging top of the funnel, you know, their role is to book appointments. And then we measure companies measure non attendance let's measure. We know that 30% of people aren't going to attend to the second appointment or two of the actual discovery call, but we know we're measuring lack of attendance.
[00:14:28] Isn't that telling us something. Well, isn't that telling us that the experience that we're creating in the top of the funnel is not good enough to compel somebody to actually attend that meeting. Right. We might not be nurturing them enough. And again, that takes it back to, you know, why should we check a 23, 24, 25 year old, fresh out of uni and say, here, go into the SDR world.
[00:14:49] And we want you to talk to C-level executives and book appointments or decision-makers and book appointments. And we're going to give you an induction. And we're going to expect you to, you know, to, to, to achieve some results. So I think, you know, companies have a greater responsibility to invest in their people earlier.
[00:15:06] And also when we're recruiting these people, we should be recruiting. And based on what does a career look like? Like a career it's a sales professional can be the best career in the world. Like if you can master the art of selling, you can basically do any job, right? Because it's about building better relationships.
[00:15:25] And that's a key, I think we're missing. We're just missing it. I went off when I first started, you know, we looked at in today's. Yeah. And we looked at tone speed. Um, had, had a slow day, you know, disc and all that sort of stuff. I speak to so many, so many, you know, sellers that are new to the role. Who've been doing it for three or four years.
[00:15:42] And this is all foreign to them. You know, this was the basic shit that we did. This is the one-on-one stuff. The fundamentals of selling. Yeah.
[00:15:53] So it's the responsibility of the organization to invest more in the people from the very beginning to close that gap of that, you know, 30%, no show, but also it's the responsibility of the individual to take. You know, take it a little bit more serious and invest in themselves because there's a lot to be said about mindset.
[00:16:12] There's a lot to be said about the fact that, you know, to show up as your best self professionally, you need to be taking really good care of yourself personally, uh, in, in a lot of different ways. Absolutely. Then calling, you know, when, you know, it's part of just part of my role as well, you know, being been doing a podcast and, um, and outside of that in my career, I've got to meet some of the highest performers across various industries in selling and.
[00:16:35] They all share a common characteristics. They don't believe their personal development up to their organization. They own that. Then, you know, they completely own it. They're accountable for it. Um, that don't justify why they're not getting it. If they're not getting what they need to go and find it, you know, and I had the operational work.
[00:16:52] We've got an organization once said the number one, Rick is converting ridiculous man, like 40 between sort of 35 to 50%. And, um, there was a school training about sort of 80 people. And, um, I'll never forget this. The top performer seek me out, knowing that we've got a new coach, we've got a new sales, um, practitioner coming on the floor.
[00:17:15] She seeks me out said, can you sit with me for a day this, see what I'm doing? And tell me what I could do to improve. Now she's already the top performer, right by far the bottom to middle performance. Had a barrier. They didn't want to talk to me. They were like, well, why, why, why do we need this? Why do we need some help?
[00:17:33] I'll be doing this for 10 years. And that is a difference high performance sake. Yeah. Yeah. And this is common, especially it's, it's, it's common for, yeah. It's common for salespeople that have been in sales for a while to think that they've now figured it out. They now know it all. And as soon as you. Get to a place where you're no longer willing and open to learn or get better.
[00:17:59] You are you're screwed, man. No, you're done. You don't have that. When I tell it, I tell him, I often say to sales pros, no, maybe sales pros, but people that have that have come to that point where they're like, I've got nothing to learn. This is all, Oh, you know, I do all this already. When they've got that fixed mindset, I'm like, dude, it's probably time for you to change careers now because you've hit a ceiling.
[00:18:17] And if you're not prepared to open that mindset of growth, you're done. Now, um, you know, that sounds a bit brutal, but for me, th they're they're limiting their growth opportunity. And the reality is the world is changing. Look selling. In my opinion, hasn't changed. The fundamentals of selling is still the same from the day that people traded, you know, milk for hate, right before currency.
[00:18:39] When you look at the old books of augment Dino and you talk, you know, you hear some of the, the early writings of Illinois and Gail and Napoleon Hill, the philosophies of selling and mindset have not changed. It's the technology that we use has changed, right? The way in which we engage with our prospects has, has rapidly changed.
[00:18:58] And the reality is that change is going to continue to, to occur, right? And if sales pros or salespeople, aren't open to embracing that change and finding that, you know, every day is an opportunity to improve. Then they're in a lot of trouble. They're the ones that are going to be footfall in themselves that they probably won't have a job in two or three times in two or three years.
[00:19:20] And that's going to be the difference, you know? And so, you know, yes, they're already saying that. I can't remember. I sort of saw some, a report of how many roles are going to be automated in selling, but this is the, this is the opportunity, right? Most I've done some, some pretty good sized sales, um, five, 10, 15, 20 mil.
[00:19:40] And most of the Mo the biggest deals that ever did were non budgeted deals that were unsolicited, um, opportunities. They didn't come to me saying we need X. I engage with them early in the buying process. I help them create a business case. A compelling reason to take action and work with them. And they there's a sea level, you know, massive opportunities, T1 news corporation, huge organization.
[00:20:09] You know, I worked with them and their executive team to formulate a business case for them to take action and unbudgeted. We had to go and get the budget for it. Right. And the reality is great. Sellers will be able to help organizations identify and unrecognized need that a robot can't. That an automated platform.
[00:20:29] Can't the only way that sellers can do that is by committing to the craft of developing their skills. So they can continue to find value and create value with opportunities and literally from the Palm of their hands. Um, and that's, what's going to separate them from the wrist, right.
[00:20:53] Yeah, it would, I mean, it would be like an athlete saying I don't need to practice anymore. You're done. Then I'll just show up. I'll just show up on game day, you know, just show up on game day, see what happens, you know, if, if, look like if you look at Christiana Ronaldo, um, what he's getting, you know, late thirties now, and he trains more.
[00:21:15] Because he knows that in order to compete, he's got to actually put in more work. There's lots of our neighbor humor, which I'm a big soccer fan, man, you know, 38 years old, the guy's a freak man. He's doing shit 20 year olds. Can't do, but why? Because he's actually relentless in his focus in training and, and, and keeping himself, you know, he's finding that 1%, um, and trying to find that extra.
[00:21:41] That he's competitors are, haven't got right. And we've got a single, and the only person you compete with in sell is sales itself. That's it. There is no competition out there, right? We live in a world of abundance. What w w w we have an incredible opportunity that this pandemic has created for us is that the, you know, the laws of geography are being broken, right?
[00:22:02] Everybody is comfortable to jump on zoom now and sell across borders, cross country, across regions. We literally live in a world of abundance. If your market's smashed right now, due to due to lockdowns, find a market that's open, right. There is no limit to the opportunities that you can find. So again, the only company, yeah, yeah.
[00:22:22] I mean, are you going to sit around, you're going to sit around and make excuses. Are you going to write right? Well, I think that we've got some, some great points there. You know, I think sales hustlers, if you're listening, you know, take ownership of your development, go outside and always stay open-minded and willing to get better each day.
[00:22:46] If you really want to be a sales professional and get better at your craft, the Weegee. Thanks so much for coming on today. Please tell all the sales hustlers that are tuning in, where they can find out more about you and what you have for them. Yeah. Awesome. Colin. Um, so look, um, I try to be active on LinkedIn.
[00:23:03] So jump on LinkedIn, find me on LinkedIn, um, type in Luigi, uh, should be the first one that comes up, um, and just connect with me, reach out connect. I've got a podcast, the sales IQ podcast, um, and we've got some incredible guests, so, uh, you know, please subscribe to that and listen to it and see if you like it.
[00:23:21] And if you like it, um, We'd love to have you as a listener. And we'll also share with you Colin, a link to, um, a free, uh, online course from Tony Hughes. One of our, one of our, um, one of our founders, um, Tony, Jay Hughes, and, uh, it's an incredible, uh, course, um, that'll help you sell during tough times. So we'll, we'll give you the link so you can share that, um, and people can just literally download it and jump in.
[00:23:51] Awesome. We will include the links in the show notes for you. Sales hustlers. If you're tuning in, uh, please give us your feedback. Write us a review. Share with your friends. We are listening to shows all about you. 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?
[00:24:12] 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, Colin Mitchell. And if you enjoyed this episode, feel free to leave us a review. And share the podcast with your friends.