Sales Hustle is now Sales Transformation
Feb. 1, 2021

Episode #53 S1-EP53 Empowerment & Growth in Sales Development with Tom Slocum

Joining Collin Mitchell in this episode of the Sales Hustle Podcast is Tom Slocum. Tom shares his story, starting as a car salesman going into corporate sales. He shares tons of sales takeaways in this episode that will help your sales game.

Tom Slocum is the EMEA Inside Sales Manager at Milestone Inc. He helps people solve some of the biggest SEO/Brand challenges in the Enterprise/Hospitality market.

Tom Slocum is also the Ambassador/Founder of RevLeague at RevGenius. As a RevGenius Ambassador, he is part of a team of revenue professionals who help find, engage, and invite other revenue professionals to join their community.

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Sales Hustle - Episode 53 - Tom Slocum

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 to up your sales game today's episode is brought to you by sales cast sales cast helps.

[00:00:24] Sales professionals transform the relationship building process and win their dream clients. I'm your host, Colin Mitchell. All right. What is happening? Sales hustlers. Welcome to another episode. I'm excited today. I'm talking with Tom Slocum. He's the EMA instilled inside sales manager at milestone. And he's the founder of rev league, which is inside of rev genius and something that I've taken part in.

[00:00:51] And then, uh, I've seen Tom in clubhouse jamming out in there. So I'm excited, Tom. Uh, welcome to the show. Thanks for coming on today. Absolutely man. It's been a pleasure. I've been following you for a long time and a pretty stoked man. This is great. Awesome. So give it, I like to always start these out the same way.

[00:01:07] Give us the short version of how you got into sales and we'll take it from there. Yeah. Uh, so I got into sales about over a decade ago. Um, actually because of my grandmother, she got me an opportunity with a friend of hers and car sales. Um, so when I was 18, I was working at like fries and subway, just little jobs and she got me into car sales.

[00:01:27] So I went through this rigorous. Sales training, learn the Foursquare process, everything about car selling. Um, and at 18 years old pitching people how to buy a $50,000 car. Um, and I just found it with my niche. I loved it. And so from there kind of snowballed into chasing the corporate dream and living in the sales world.

[00:01:44] Wow. Okay. So it started in car sales. I'm very familiar with the four square. Uh, even when you feel like you're a good negotiator and you go into buy a car, you're still gonna spend half your day trying to get the best deal. I think the tactic is like, just wear 'em down. That's it? That's. That is really the tactic is just get us to a point where we just say yes and just say, all right, fine.

[00:02:07] Let's bring the guy over and write it up. Yeah. So tell me, uh, what did you learn early on, um, in, in that role and if anything that still sticks with you today? You know, uh, I just learned how to really connect with people and build a relationship. Um, that's what I did different on the floor, right. Is, uh, when I first started, I was bringing in a lot of my friends and family, um, to make car deals.

[00:02:29] Right. That's what you do. You bring in your network, you start trying to get some quick deals under there that you can help give back to your family. And so I was just learning like what, what their needs were, and it really taught me how to get the product and the person's in tan. Get them in the car.

[00:02:42] Right. That was the goal is if you could get them to the car, then you potentially could close that sale. Right. Because you got them to feel it envision themselves in it. Um, so this is early on learning how to build a relationship, find out what they were looking for in their car, what was their most important factors and then get them into that car.

[00:02:58] Um, and so learning that kind of led to my sales career in the same aspect of. No. I moved over to phone sales after that, and I had to learn how to create that vision and get somebody to mentally picture their selves in my product, my solution, my offering, you know, just as if I would be trying to get you in the car, if I was in person with you.

[00:03:16] Hmm. Yeah. I mean, so tell me about your transition to phone sales. Like that was very different than, than car sales. Right. And, and what did you take from your, your, your role selling cars into phone sales? Um, and you know, what did you learn on your first phone sales job? Cause it seems like that's kind of where something that has, um, kinda stuck with you.

[00:03:41] Right. So tell me a little bit about that. Yeah. Um, phone sales is my favorite man. People think it's crazy, but I love the cold call game. I do. I love outbounding. And so for me, it, you know, I was in the car sales thing. I moved to California after high school kind of took off after the car sale thing bounced around, over there, came home back to Arizona where I'm natively from.

[00:04:08] And I actually was selling solar water heaters through a little office. When I got back, I found this little gig selling solar water heaters, and I met a friend there that happened to know my actual birth mom. And so she was like, Hey, I got a job for you that I think you would be good for because what I was doing, wasn't there.

[00:04:26] And I was expecting a baby. And so I was like, I got to grow up. I got to get in back into the sales world a little bit after doing this whole car sale thing and moving to Cali. So I took the chance and it was a for-profit education company called Argosy. So I jumped into there being a admission or a, uh, uh, like an admissions counselor, right.

[00:04:45] Bringing in people, recruiting people. So it was my first corporate job. Hey, you gotta make dials to these cold leads. We have that people, you know, put online where you used to get gated back in like the early, you know, 2000, 2008 seven, where you'd have to fill out like a form to get to that next site. So it would pop up.

[00:05:03] Are you interested in college education? Fill out this form, you know, as you're clicking through stuff and I would have to call those leads. Some people were serious, some weren't. Um, and so that's kinda where I dabbled in the phone sales and having to make these cold calls all day to connect with people and try to get them to enroll in our school based on this form.

[00:05:21] So what I had learned from sit car sales was that it's all about numbers. It was about how many people you could see on the lot that day. Right? It was about being out there, fighting with the guys on the, on the concrete, right? As people pulled up, being like, Hey, come talk to me like making phone calls, outreaching to people, trying to get as much as you could.

[00:05:38] So I took that kind of same mindset into my phone sales, as it was a numbers game, just like door to door, you just had to put in the volume and the numbers would give back to you, you know, what you needed if you knew your data. Um, and so that's kinda what I took over and kind of that's how I got into phone selling was that for-profit field and getting into that.

[00:05:57] Yeah. Now something you said stood out as you love outbound, right? You love outbound. You love phone sales and I do too. And most people try to avoid, uh, cold calls. Right. Uh, but I try to embrace them and have fun and test new scripts and do all kinds of things. Like how do you. How do you stay excited about phone sales and what would you tell people that are, you know, maybe, you know, the SDRs, the BDRs are days that are still pounding the phone.

[00:06:22] Um, what do you tell them? You know, to keep it exciting and have fun? Like what advice do you have for them? Oh, this is a great question. Something I've always shared with people that I love is a baseball analogy. Um, it's my favorite story to share. It caught my attention a couple of years back is that if you're a baseball fan, right, we all know it's a batting average, right?

[00:06:41] The best baseball player hits a 300. Right. That's that's in the world a really good, better. That means 70% of the time they're striking out or the ball's not going anywhere. Nobody ever thinks about that. Other side of that data is that 70% of the time nothing happens. The guy walks up to the plate and you're not gonna see any action, but that 30% is where they show up.

[00:07:01] And they're hitting that, that, you know, grand slam they're hitting the net tying run at walk-off. Um, so when I approached my cold calling and what gets me so excited is that concept is remembering the 30% that happens. I don't know how many times I've gotten to go into my friends circles outside of work and share that I got to talk to the VP of marketing at Petco today.

[00:07:24] Like I know their name. I connected with them. They actually accepted my connection request on LinkedIn. Like I'm all pumped and I'm telling my buddies that I had a quick 32nd call with this guy. Right. Or I find out the deals coming in with my AA and I'm like, dude, I sourced that. Like I went after that, I got that.

[00:07:39] And now it's leading to, you know, whatever deal size that we can get. Um, and so that's what keeps me excited is just knowing that. That 30% is important and you have to show up a hundred percent of the time just to get that, that 30%, you know, excitement. Right? Why did baseball players, baseball player that's going Oh, and 12 in the world series.

[00:07:58] Can't go through 13 time to the plate and tell coach they don't want to not coach. I'm good. I'm not, I'm not going up there today. I'm over 12. I'm not. He's going to look at him like a dumb ass and say, get up and go do what you got, right? Yeah. You can't, you can't have batting reluctance. Exactly. Right. So cold calling is right.

[00:08:15] You can't be reluctant to it. You have to get out there. Every call is important. Every call is a swing. It helps you get better. That's how these baseball players get better practice and they start learning how to not hit a curve ball when it comes through or a slider. Right. You start to learn how to navigate the waters of the phone sale that eventually you're not reluctant anymore.

[00:08:34] You're excited to dive in and see. And just pray. Maybe you get a new scenario today because you've kind of gotten to this point where you're, you're fine. You're mastering the game. Right. Um, and that's what gets you as excited as the more practice, the more you're on the calls, the more you can get out, live in it and just pay attention to what's being thrown at you.

[00:08:51] You can really evolve and become a home run Derby champ, right. Or, or things like that. Um, with those accolades. Um, all right. So there's a, there's a lot of things that I want to unpack it. And what you said there. Um, the first thing is, is, is I never thought of. Yeah. So I love the analogy of baseball. Right.

[00:09:10] Um, I'm not a sports guy, but I, I love, I love that, that analogy because you're right. Nobody thinks of the other side of that data. Right. So, you know, if, if you're thinking about that, like if you know, 30% of the time you're having success on the phone, um, that's pretty damn good. Right. Um, but I think that's it.

[00:09:28] You got to really shift your mindset, right? Because people are so critical on themselves, especially people in sales. Um, they tend to be stubborn people that, you know, want to do things perfect all the time. Um, and so, you know, when you are looking at all of the times that things are not going well and focusing on that, it's very easy to not.

[00:09:49] Um, acknowledged like those small wins or, you know, the successes, um, and, and that could create foam reluctance. It could, you know, make it not as exciting, you know, I get irritated when I don't get to hop on the phone. So like I, um, try to lead my team. By example, I try to put in at least five hours of cold calling a week, myself.

[00:10:08] Um, And if my day gets away from me and I'm busy, I'm a little bit pissed off that I didn't get to get my like one hour of cold calling it, um, because I look forward to it. Um, and so I think, you know, there it's possible to get to that place. It sounds like you are kind of in that same school of thought as well.

[00:10:25] Um, and one thing that you also mentioned, um, that I want to kind of, um, talk about as well is evolving, right? So let's talk about that. What does that look like? So you're making these calls, maybe you're getting, you know, just, you just get beat up, which happens and that's, that's fine. Right. Um, but I think it's so important, um, that those calls that don't go well, or you may be kind of, you know, wish you would've said something different.

[00:10:54] Um, what, what do you suggest for like reviewing those evolving, getting better learning from those challenges? Let's talk through that a little bit. I mean, that's the best part about it? Cold calling, right? It's a, it's all of that because that's, what's fun. If you look at it from that angle, right? There's so much data you can collect on yourself.

[00:11:14] I always encourage people in the sales world to know their data. It's where I live. I love it. Work backwards off of it. You know, um, how many calls does it take to get a connect? How many calls does it take to get a meeting? What's your show rate, right? That kind of data and work off of it and find those that median that you need to hit for your results to come in and so evolving.

[00:11:34] Right? You need to know that stuff and you need to know. Pay attention to your calls. What are you hearing the most often with? Um, we're just so fast paced as salespeople and we're so distracted by shiny things. And what did you do for me lately that you just don't stop and smell the flowers, right? Stop and smell your data a little bit, take a look at it.

[00:11:53] You're going and where you can evolve. What are you struggling in and really lean on your team to help you evolve? There's so many people around you that might be good at something. And that's what I did. I was good at certain things, but I wasn't really good at other things. And I was humbled enough to go talk to those people and say, Hey, help me.

[00:12:09] Right? Like, you're killing it at your show rate. I'm not I'm out booking you, but my show rates sucks, you know? So we're almost kind of playing on the same playing field here. I'm just booking more. So how can you help me? And then I learn how to. Slow down on that initial call, make sure at the end, I verify the date right the time.

[00:12:26] Say it one more time. And you just evolve by leaning on each other, looking at your own calls. I would call a lot of friends and family in the beginning. When I first got jobs in sales development, um, just pitch them, talk to them, um, and build that, that like, Meant to actually pitch them or do role playing?

[00:12:45] No, no, no. I would actually just call, call them out of nowhere. I really would. Um, you know, I, I was like, I would, it was like, I would just call them at four in the afternoon and treat them like they were a prospect and they would have no clue what I was doing. Right. And so I would get them distracted, like off the.

[00:13:02] They want to know what's coming. So I'd get that authenticity. And I would get to see where I was flat. No, Nope, Nope. Um, I would just call, I would call from my work number at four o'clock. Right. Cause I had it and I would call and just act like it was a random number. Cause nobody knows my work number.

[00:13:19] They know my cell. So if I call from there, of course, they're going to be like, Hey dude, stop shitting me. Right. But if I called for my work number, they'd be like, hello and be like, yeah, hi, this is, you know, and I wouldn't say disguise your voice. No. Not really. Um, I would just be, you know, Hey, this is a different name.

[00:13:33] I'd say I was Michael from so-and-so, you know, and I would pitch, as I was trying to learn how to present this to people. Um, and it would give me that feedback. Right. And then they would hang up on me or whatnot. And then I call them from my cell phone and be like, Hey, jerk. Like, it was me. And they were like, Oh, that was you.

[00:13:47] I swore it was you, but I didn't know the number. And I'm like, yeah, it was me. And I would ask them like, what happened? Like why did you hang up? Like, what was it. I want to talk about why that's important, right. Is getting good, honest feedback to be better at your craft is so important. And sometimes you can't always get that from colleagues.

[00:14:03] Like they're just going to tell you what you want to do with your pitches. Great. All your, your email is fire. Like click send on that. Let me know how it goes, you know? Um, and that's kind of a good segue, cause I know you've really embraced. Groups, peer based groups. I mean, I don't think I realized until today, like how many groups, you're actually a part of, um, how what's, what's the benefit of being in all these groups?

[00:14:27] How has it helped you become better? And for those that maybe aren't in any of these groups, Why should they be in the groups? You know, I was actually going to do like a LinkedIn post around that. Right. And that was content that I was thinking because you're right. It's been so overwhelming since 2020.

[00:14:43] Right. All these communities are blowing up clubs, groups, and we obviously need that. Everybody does. Right. But there's something for everybody out there. Um, and I think it's just the number one thing I tell everybody is it's what you, you put in what you get out. Right. Like, that's just what happens.

[00:14:59] There's a lot of people that are joining the communities and they're just being flies on the wall and they're just like, we have this kind of stinks. Like there's nothing here for me, but at the same time, you're not leaning into it and trying to get out of it what you want. Um, so I'm in a couple of different groups.

[00:15:11] I, I live and breathe and rev genius. That's kind of been my, my thing. Um, and that was also ultimately because of the leadership behind it. Right. Jared, Robin Galen. Yeah. Jared was like my spirit animal. So I gravitated to that. Um, whereas others have gravitated towards like the Justin Michael and discord groups, right.

[00:15:29] Or the Scott Lisa's group. And I think a lot of it has to do with the vibe, the people you're looking to connect with and the leadership that's behind it, that you might relate more to. There's something for everybody in these clubs, but you've got to find that. That community that just vibes well with you, right?

[00:15:45] There's Thursday night sales. Those guys are vibing really well. There's the rev genius group, the SDR ready. Like there's just so many, but you just got to find that niche for you and what it does for me by being in these clubs and these communities, and kind of being everywhere all at once is that I get to stay fresh.

[00:16:01] I get to stay on top of things. I know what's coming. And ultimately it's allowing me to be probably the best manager I've ever been in my sales career or the best leader. Sorry, forget manager, just a leader. Right in, in my personal life. And in my professional life, it's empowered me to be a strong, confident leader and really empower people because of what I'm doing with my time and being able to give it back, um, because of what I'm learning and what I'm seeing and having access to, you know, rev league that I built.

[00:16:30] Right. I, we talked about it in rev genius. I've got 400 people over there that are SDRs BDRs, full sales cycle, AEs. And I get to empower them as much as I can and learn from them. There's so many creative ideas happening all the time that now I can bring it back to my team and empower them and say, Hey, this is what's happening in the community.

[00:16:48] Like we should try this or, Hey, let me take my spin on that and present it to my team and see how we can leverage that. And then just personal branding. I'm everywhere, man. Um, it's allowing me to connect with people differently. Um, I've got people I'm connecting with on LinkedIn that have allowed me to grow as an individual.

[00:17:06] Um, more than I ever thought I could on my own, just because I was able to connect with them because I poured myself into LinkedIn getting on clubhouse, right. With you and others. I mean, I'm getting to connect with people on a whole nother level. Um, that is allowing me to level up my whole life, not just my professional life, but because of these communities.

[00:17:24] I'm growing as an individual because I'm associating myself with the right people. So again, it's always about who you hang out with. Right. You've always taught that when you grew up calling. So if you be in these communities and be around like-minded people that you want to be like or strive to be like, you will eventually get there because that's all you're, you're digesting constantly.

[00:17:44] Um, and so that's why I kind of live in these communities. All right. So there's a long-winded. Yeah, no, there's, there's so many good things about that, right? So. First thing first takeaway from what you said is, you know, find the community that feels right for you, right? There's lots to choose from, you know, rev genius, sales stack, Scott Lisa's group, Justin Michael's group, um, you know, SDR nation, uh, modern sales pros, like just find the one that feels right for you.

[00:18:13] Um, But the number one thing is like, don't just hop in the group and then be a fly on the wall and say like, Oh, this group isn't for me. Or I don't see the value or it's a waste of time, like get active, like, you know, get in there, get to know some people take some conversations offline on zoom, you know, whatever.

[00:18:30] Um, and, and, and the great thing about is the groups that are like super active. You can get real-time feedback on anything you want. You just gotta ask like, Hey, look at this, look at this script. What do you think? Like, Hey, you know, Th, you know, here's, this is a deal I've been working on. They're ghosting me.

[00:18:45] Here's the last day. Like what can, what would you do? What do you suggest? Here's what I'm thinking. Um, people will listen to your calls. People will look at your scripts. Um, I mean, there's tons, all the groups are talking about like, Hey, here's technology, we're using here's what's not working. Here's what is working?

[00:19:00] Have you considered this? Um, there's so much value. And then also, um, just being a part of something, right. Has, uh, has a tremendous amount of value. And then also, um, the, the last thing you mentioned too, is like your own personal brand, right? Like you're there, you're everywhere. They see that you're somebody that wants to invest in your, um, you know, Personal development of getting better, that you're trying to learn that you're, you know, pushing yourself.

[00:19:26] Um, and, and that says a lot about your character as a person. And so believe it or not, those are the type of people that people are gonna want to do business with each other as well. Like, um, I don't think it's that uncommon for people to do business together, um, inside of these groups, because they're in, they're all helping each other, wanting to get better and support each other and whatever that looks like, and it may be different things.

[00:19:50] Spot on. I mean, these communities are generating jobs right there. There's opportunity. We're doing interview channels, right? If you're looking to interview and break into the SAS world, right? You get to be a part of this community. They've got a channel dedicated to that. Like what everybody's trying to digest as a community as a whole and as a whole, it's a lot.

[00:20:08] So what you have to do is find those two, three channels of, okay. If I'm going to join and apply to this community, Why one, what's my intent. What's the why behind it. And then ultimately, you know, what are the three goals that I want to get out of it? If I'm going to put my time in here? And then find those channels that represent those goals and then go do that shit, get shit done.

[00:20:27] Right? Like I dove in, I found what I wanted out of rev genius. Right. I got in when it was 2000 people, now we're up to 9,000 and I got in because I wanted resources. I was doing things. I was building out a sales team. I was trying to understand that and I wanted to support my leadership, how I could. So I went into this community, try to find what people were doing, be ahead of it.

[00:20:48] And, and not spend six months doing something that this group could help me do in two weeks. That's the whole point is it's going to save you time, money, resources, because you have access to people like you doing the same shit, same challenges, and you get different views too. I could post one thing one day about three different tools and you get 20, 30 comments about each tool and why people like them.

[00:21:09] And then you can dissect through that, that knowledge. Right. Um, and it's just like G2, right? Reviews it's but in a community live, you know, engaging in that, um, There's a lot of resources in there and it's a family, it's a home people really get close together. People travel to each other. It's awesome.

[00:21:26] They take it even a step further and they're meeting up in person, right. And they're learning how to network and it's just a good time. Um, but again, it's what you put into it. If you don't put anything into it, don't complain because it's not going to come find you there. The opportunity's not just going to show up at your door.

[00:21:41] You got to go out and earn it and put yourself out there and, and get what you want. And people will gravitate towards that. Yeah. Yeah, no, definitely. And so let's just say what's top two peer based groups that you would recommend for folks to get involved with. If they aren't already, who got to go with rev genus and Jared and Gaylen.

[00:22:00] Right. I gotta, I gotta plug them in. Um, I just think, because they've done a great job in what they're doing, they're giving back to the community it's free. Um, and it's just resource off the resource for you. Um, and it's really thing. Anything for anybody in revenue. If you're in revenue roles got to join there.

[00:22:16] My second plug. Oh, man, that makes it difficult. Um, just because there's so many good people and I love every book, community that I've been in. Um, So I would probably have to go with Justin, Michael and discord. Um, just because it's something different it's against the norm. It's it's sales boards is what they call themselves.

[00:22:38] Right. And Justin, Michael is just truly a machine. Um, and he breaks the mold. It's just something different. If you're not looking to find these communities that are all kind of putting the same stuff out there, just in a different way, like Justin beats his own drum and it's just the craziest shit. Off the wall it's fresh and the group there is just.

[00:22:56] They go crazy and they, and they dominate and it's a different platform, right? It's on discord. It's a little bit different than what others are on with the Slack or any other models they have. Um, but I would have to definitely say rev genius for the SAS world. Those guys you want to get into revenue.

[00:23:10] You want to have a big community. And then for the others that are just trying to break the mold and be different and find a group like that, that's just. Bonkers crazy, really, you know, driving 10 X results and being machines. That's where you want to jump over, you know, and check out Justin, Michael and the discord.

[00:23:27] Awesome. Thanks for sharing that, Tom, we're going to wrap things up, unfortunately. Um, so tell folks anything else that you want to let them know any links that you're going to provide us that we can share to connect with you or anything else? Yeah. Um, you know, I talked a lot about rev genius rev league, right?

[00:23:44] I'll share those with you. Let's get some people coming over. If you're in revenue. Definitely come by. Um, it's a great community. I've got rev league in there for, you know, the, the front of the line, fill the funnel people, um, that are just looking for a strong channel and club. Um, but that's really it, man.

[00:24:00] I've loved it the time here. I appreciate you giving me the platform and, and sharing this with you and happy to do it again. Any other time. Awesome. Thanks, Tom. If you're listening to the podcast, please subscribe. Write us a review, share with your friends and we're listening for your feedback. Thank you.

[00:24:16] 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? If the answer is yes, then I want you to go over to sales 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 collum Mitchell.

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