Sales Hustle is now Sales Transformation
March 12, 2021

Episode #70 S1-EP70 How To Earn The Right To Ask Questions with Richard Harris

Richard Harris joins Collin Mitchell in this episode of the Sales Hustle Podcast. Let’s hear from Richard as he shares some cliff background on how he started in sales and hear all about the good they do at The Harris Consulting Group.


Richard Harris is the Founder of The Harris Consulting Group. They help clients with their Full-Funnel Sales Training and Operational Guidance.

Richard Harris is also the author of the book called Owning Your Job Search: Your Step by Step Guide From Application to Salary.

You can learn more about Richard Harris and answer the survey on his website at https://theharrisconsultinggroup.com/.

If you’re listening to the Sales Hustle podcast, please subscribe, share, and we’re listening for your feedback. If you are a sales professional looking to take your sales career to the next level, please visit us at https://salescast.co/ and set a time with Collin and co-founder Chris.

Join Our Sales Motivational SMS list by texting Hustle at 424-378-6966. Please make sure to rate and review the show on Apple.

Looking to start your own Podcats? Book a FREE strategy call. 🚀

Transcript

Episode 70 - Richard Harris

Collin Mitchell: [00:00:00] Welcome to the sales hustle. The only no BS podcast, where we bring you the real raw uncut experiences from sales change makers across various industries. The only place where you can get what you're looking for too. Uh, your sales game today's episode is brought to you by sales cast sales cast helps sales professionals transformed the relationship building process and win their dream clients.

[00:00:30] I'm your host, Colin Mitchell. All right. What has happened in sales hustlers? I've got a treat for you today. I've got Richard Harris of the Harris consulting group came across Richard in clubhouse recently and knew I needed to get him on the show for all the sales hustlers, Richard, welcome to the show.

[00:00:48] How are you doing? 

[00:00:49] Richard Harris: [00:00:49] Dude. It's like, I've been on clubhouse like six times. So the fact that you've, you know, found me, um, I'm flattered. 

[00:00:57] Collin Mitchell: [00:00:57] It was just sitting around in there waiting for you to show up apparently. 

[00:01:00] Richard Harris: [00:01:00] So right. She should have been of course, like what else would you be doing? 

[00:01:06] Collin Mitchell: [00:01:06] Yeah, I have a little bit of a love, hate relationship with, with clubhouse.

[00:01:10] I personally prefer the smaller rooms, but it does get very addicted. I have to put, I have to turn the notifications off sometimes, or I find myself easily. Yeah. Uh, pulled towards going in there and seeing what's going on. 

[00:01:21] Richard Harris: [00:01:21] It's funny. Cause you know, I'm doing some, some projects coming on and where we're going to simulcast on clubhouse.

[00:01:29] So we're trying to figure that out, which is not necessarily easy to do while we do a live session, um, on zoom and we're going to do a pre and post party. So we can move, you know, you want to come early and just talk to the, to the guests, you know, before everybody else, or do you want to hang out after, you know, like, so we're, we're experimenting with some stuff.

[00:01:50] So I'm excited for that. 

[00:01:52] Collin Mitchell: [00:01:52] Yeah. I'd love to see how that goes. I think a lot of people are still trying to figure out how to do it, what to do, what the strategy is. Yeah. 

[00:01:59] Richard Harris: [00:01:59] I'm sure we'll look it up. You know, it's just me and my first big partnership project with Salesforce. So, you know, like, No. Yeah. What could go wrong?

[00:02:08] Totally. Totally. What's up? What do you want? Well, today, thanks yearly. Thank you for asking me to be here. I'm happy to, to come out and just spread some love into the, into the sales universe. 

[00:02:19] Collin Mitchell: [00:02:19] Yeah, no, I appreciate it. And, um, before we get into the good stuff, just give us the cliff notes version of your sales story.

[00:02:29] Richard Harris: [00:02:29] Uh, I'll start, I'll go backwards. So I teach reps how to earn the right to ask questions, which questions to ask. And when, and I developed this because nobody taught me this shit. Right. Yeah. Like what would he taught me in a contextual way? Um, I've always been a small business guy. I never went to Xerox or IBM or Microsoft or any of these big companies where that stuff probably would have been taught.

[00:02:53] Right. And his plot. I know that it's stock. Um, so I know that that didn't exist. And I have worked with some of these big companies, you know, that are this large and they still don't know how to teach it. So, so that's where, where I came from. But. I was I'm different, you know, there's, you know, sometimes it feels like sales is a dumpster fire.

[00:03:15] Um, Every other profession that didn't work out. Right. Like I, like, I went to get a degree in communications and marketing. I don't like marketing or, you know, I realized, you know, I'm a teacher and I really can't make money. I'm going to go, you know, so sales is that collection, right? Where the linen land of misfit toys.

[00:03:35] Yeah. I'm the opposite of that. I, I, early on knew I wanted to be in sales. Both my parents were in sales. My mom's a broker. Um, my dad sold insurance, you know, how exciting. And, um, so I was surrounded by business early on. Um, and I liked the aspect of it and I liked. You know, I started investing in the stock market at 15.

[00:03:57] I just told this story, or today I was 15 years old and this is literally last century. So I'm that old. And I was being confirmed in Judaism, which is different than a bar mitzvah. I didn't have the bar mitzvah. Um, and my parents said, well, what do you want? And, you know, The traditional answer is always money.

[00:04:14] And they said, well, what do you, what do you want to do with it? And I said, I want to buy stock. And my mom was a broker and she said, well, what stock do you want to buy? And I kind of looked around and I said, let's buy MTV, MTV words, its own public company back then. Skyrocketed did great job. Got bought by Viacom was now.

[00:04:29] We're owned by whatever took that money invested in Disney invested in Nike. I was very conscious of like, what are the, I understood this concept of disposable income at the kid level. And so that, you know, that's, that's sort of where I realized I liked money and how to make money and I wanted to keep making money.

[00:04:48] So that's where sales came in. My first job was at the gap selling clothes, right. Folding clothes in the mall. Um, and that was a thing. And then, uh, Moved into different insights sales. What's a Mo what's a mall. Exactly. Right. So I almost thought you were serious, which is really scary to me. That means like, I don't know, is this guy millennial or gen Z.

[00:05:12] So, uh, but which are you? Are you millennial or gen 

[00:05:16] Z 

[00:05:17] Collin Mitchell: [00:05:17] millennial, but, but I'm an old soul. 

[00:05:19] Richard Harris: [00:05:19] You are okay. What's up, what's up with this huge argument about the side part? Like I didn't, I mean, granted I'm bald, so what do I know? But like, apparently the millennials and gen Z are having an argument about partying the hair on the side.

[00:05:31] Do you know of this? I 

[00:05:32] Collin Mitchell: [00:05:32] don't know if this I'm not a, I'm not a. Active lobbyist, millennial.

[00:05:42] Richard Harris: [00:05:42] Well, maybe someone, if anybody's listening and you can explain this to me, connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know what's going on with the part bait and recognize that none of you should be fucking debating because I'm bald. Like you said.

[00:05:58] Collin Mitchell: [00:05:58] Yeah. Yeah, so, all right. So sales was in your blood, it sounds like you, you, you learned some, some business acumen early on, and so now you teach the, the shit that people didn't teach you when you first got into sales. Correct. Okay. And so let's, let's, uh, let's get into some of those, some of those things like.

[00:06:21] What particular things do you work with on people that people are teaching either, even in the small level and the big level with the type of companies that you work, 

[00:06:29] Richard Harris: [00:06:29] the two things that stick out the most for me. And it's what, it's what clients tell me. They like, as I talk about. The psychology of selling and more importantly, the psychology of buying, right?

[00:06:41] Not the challenger buyer, not that stuff. I'm going deeper. I'm going deeper into the ego States of your inner child and parent and how tone and. Inflection actually connects to an emotion within you and what that emotion means to you and what you feel when you see here at, or stay at, um, and the same thing from the prospect or customer's point of view, like, what are they actually going through?

[00:07:07] You know, it's not about the buyer journey. It's about the buyer experience, right? Nobody, nobody, nobody, you don't go to the fancy new steakhouse and have someone go, Hey, how was your journey to the steak house? Right. They say, w what was your experience like Colin? Yeah. Right. And so trying to connect that piece, sort of in putting humanity into it.

[00:07:30] Right. Um, Which I think is different. 

[00:07:34] Collin Mitchell: [00:07:34] Yeah, it is. I mean, the listeners are probably going to kill me because I say this all the time, but you know, people that I work with and all my team, I tell them, Hey, the goal is really simple when you boil it down to this, the goal is to make sure every interaction that you have.

[00:07:49] That they have a good experience regardless of the outcome. And the outcome could be doing business, not doing business, doing business and stop doing business, whatever the case is, whether they have the budget, they don't maybe the right fit. Maybe they're not the doesn't matter. Treat them all the same, give the same level of effort and make sure that they have a good experience, regardless of what happens 

[00:08:08] Richard Harris: [00:08:08] all.

[00:08:08] Come back to you. It always comes back to you. Um, I hundred percent agree with you, so I will repeat it for you just so that, you know, you're annoyed listeners will hear it from, you know, from the other dad in the room. Right. So it's about the experience. People make sure they have a good, 

[00:08:26] Collin Mitchell: [00:08:26] so, so let's, let's break, let's break that down.

[00:08:29] Like what. Can a seller do to make sure, because a lot of times this goes against like, and things that they've been taught. Like, I wasn't taught this. When I got into sales 10 years ago, it was about like, get the sale, get the commission, like throughout the offer, change the subject, build rapport. Like it was very transactional, you know, treating people based on what, how profitable they were.

[00:08:51] Richard Harris: [00:08:51] Right. Like to your point of like build rapport. Okay. Well, that's an a, that's an experience, but I don't know a lot of leaders who could teach you how to build rapport and just talk to them. Act like, you 

[00:09:01] Collin Mitchell: [00:09:01] know, a lot of PR, a lot of people fake it, right? Like, Oh, Hey, you know, you must be a giants fan. Like, I don't know if you're a giants fan because you're in San Francisco.

[00:09:09] Maybe, maybe you are, maybe you aren't, but like, do I care? Do you care? No. 

[00:09:15] Richard Harris: [00:09:15] Yeah. I mean, that stuff worked a lot better 10 years ago than it does today. Right. Because of social selling. Um, I don't mind it if I find something like, if someone's really smart and wants to get my attention and they've done research on me, they'll realize I'm a huge Springsteen fan.

[00:09:28] And like, you know, it's all it takes just now to your point, if you say, Hey, born in the USA is my favorite album, then you know, I'll be like, Oh, come on. No, it's not like, it's not, um, But so anyway, so, so teaching that is understanding the psychology, but then let's talk about it in the stuff they try to teach you.

[00:09:49] They try to teach you about open and closed ended questions, right? Yeah. But here's the, the single, what do you think the single most important thing is about open and closed into questions? There are two, but I'll say let's 

[00:10:01] Collin Mitchell: [00:10:01] do the single one. I think number one, like, is it the right question or the right time to ask the question?

[00:10:07] Richard Harris: [00:10:07] Nope. And I failed, right? Nope. The most important thing about opening the questions is it forces us to shut up. So know why you're asking them before you decide which questions to ask. And once you realize, Oh yeah, I'm not supposed to talk now. What do I want them to talk about? What do I need them to talk about?

[00:10:31] Now? I can formulate the open-ended questions, right? Closed ended questions, right? They don't talk about this very much. Yes and no. When your brain hears the word. No. It releases destructive, neurochemicals fight or flight. So when you cold call and you get no, that's why we don't like it. That's why we have to amp ourselves up because we're already thinking negatively.

[00:10:55] We have negative chemicals going on in our brain. Here's the, here's the rub. When you hear the word. Yes, your brain doesn't do anything. So you're predisposed to negativity and your body reacts to negativity from in a physiological way. Now, does that mean, I mean, you know, once I know that, does it mean I'm not going to have that problem?

[00:11:18] No, not at all. What it really means. Is that now you can at least create a little bit of, I call it two centimeters of space, give yourself two centimeters between what you're feeling and what you're thinking. And in that two centimeters, you can create a deep breath and exhale, a little bit of a disconnect from the emotional piece so that it doesn't have as much of an effect on you.

[00:11:42] Those numbers, those neurochemicals are still going in your brain. Like you can't stop it, but I can try to label it in a way that says, Hey, here's a negative. If I give myself this space so I can exhale. That's a positive, I'm replacing this. Like if you had for opinions of boss, right? He talks about this stuff all the time.

[00:12:01] But that's the stuff that, that matters that needs to be taught. And so is great. The challenge with Boston stuff is that he didn't create it. Like if you've been, you know, I've been in therapy for 20 years, like I've been going through this shit a long time, and then I read the book and I'm like, fuck, I could have written that book.

[00:12:19] Collin Mitchell: [00:12:19] Go what's that? Yeah. The, the, the phrase that's coming to mind when you're saying all this is like mindful selling, you know, like the things you're talking about, like taking a breath, being present, like giving that space labeling, like, so 

[00:12:34] Richard Harris: [00:12:34] millennial dude, like, so wait, wait, wait, wait to contradict yourself calling.

[00:12:42] Collin Mitchell: [00:12:42] Hey, I'm labeling it. I'm lazy. Right? 

[00:12:45] Richard Harris: [00:12:45] So. Mindful felling. Yes. That is one. That is what it is. And I, you know, bringing humanity and being mindful, like it's not, you know, those are the things that have to be taught as opposed to, you know, make it about them. You know? Like you got to teach the why that stuff works before you teach what works.

[00:13:06] And do you think people 

[00:13:07] Collin Mitchell: [00:13:07] struggle with this to like, like, um, because it just doesn't feel natural for them. Like, it's very, like, it feels to do some of these things is very, uh, not natural. It's very, um, not what they've been taught, so it's very uncomfortable and it almost feels fake. 

[00:13:28] Richard Harris: [00:13:28] Um, There's a little bit of that, but I think it's also one of the, one of the few professions where your outcome realize specifically with the people you interact with.

[00:13:41] Right. And that doesn't mean that marketing doesn't have that too, but there's, there's, there's about six layers of walls between marketing and the customer. Right. That's why marketing the really good marketers know how to talk to their customers by product. Marketers are great at it. When they talk to the customer, they're trying to break down all those barriers.

[00:13:59] There's nothing in between us to protect us. Um, so that's, yeah, that should be uncomfortable. We're humans like I, and so, so. That's a piece of it. Right. But to try and acknowledge it, it to me again, it's kind of like that destructive neurochemical let's acknowledge. Oh yeah. I'm a human that's uncomfortable.

[00:14:19] Well, now that I know it's uncomfortable. Well, what are some ways I can be comfortable? Right. 

[00:14:24] Collin Mitchell: [00:14:24] Or even just be okay with it being uncomfortable. Well, 

[00:14:27] Richard Harris: [00:14:27] that too. Right. But that, that is the skill of like, Oh, I can ignore that now. I don't worry about it. Like I, you know, when I talk to the veterans of sales, right, when they say, Hey, it's not personal.

[00:14:37] Or when someone wants to beat me up over pricing, I don't take it personally. Well, they built up a callous to that, but I, I will say, well, actually you do. And they'll say, what do you mean? I said, because for a split second, before you say, Hey, I just know they're going about pricing. There's a moment that triggers you to make you remember the positive way to handle this.

[00:14:59] So it's still personal. It's still affecting you. You it's called wisdom. That's what wisdom is, is how do I do this? Better. And I think we all go through this all day, every day. Like we're always in a sales mode, right? Whether it's with your kids, right? Whether it's with your wife or your spouse or your husband or your partner, whether it's with your dog, like you're constantly going through this stuff.

[00:15:23] And, um, it's easier in those places because we have an emotional connection. Right. It's easier. It's not always easy to talk to my, my wife about certain things, but I know it's easier than it would be a stranger. Right. Like I know that my wife's not going to, you know, short of me, you know, doing something ridiculously terrible.

[00:15:41] She's never going to leave me. Right. Um, you know, so, but that took 

[00:15:46] Collin Mitchell: [00:15:46] time and practice and dealing with the uncomfortable pieces and yeah. Or maybe earlier on, and now it's more. Less less 

[00:15:55] Richard Harris: [00:15:55] uncomfortable. Yeah. So I try to teach, I talk about the uncomfortable so that it's no longer uncomfortable. Right. So I'm going to 

[00:16:05] Collin Mitchell: [00:16:05] write that.

[00:16:05] How, how, how do, uh, How do sales leaders get more educated on this stuff other than the obvious of, of, of going to Richard Harris, um, and, and teach these things. 

[00:16:21] Richard Harris: [00:16:21] So there's a lot of ways to do it. There's a lot of self knowledge stuff that I think, and that's, it's a way easier, you know, I'm a gen X-er. I didn't have Google, like, you know, like, I will say this, like you, you said it earlier, you know, what's, what's the mall.

[00:16:35] Do you even know what microfiche is? Colin? Like, have you ever heard of this word microfiche? I have not. All right. So basically when I went to the library in college or the university of Arizona, you know, you have a card catalog, right. And. You'd want to see and say, Oh, go check out this newspaper. Well, they're not going to keep your, you know, the years, the years of newspaper.

[00:16:59] So there's microfiche and you can't see my hand, but I'm holding up a square of about. Two to three inches by two to three inches. It's basically just a big, next slot negative from, do you even know what a negative is from a camera? Like it's film? Do you know what a film like this is? Yeah. Do 

[00:17:14] Collin Mitchell: [00:17:14] libraries have audio books, right?

[00:17:20] Richard Harris: [00:17:20] I'm with you. I'm with you. So, so you had to like, go look under this microscope at the microfiche to read the article from, you know, 1897, right. You guys have the fricking internet, right? Like, I 

[00:17:30] think 

[00:17:30] Collin Mitchell: [00:17:30] I've seen this on a VHS before.

[00:17:36] Richard Harris: [00:17:36] That was awesome. That's a really good one. Um, so anyway, uh, so, so, so it's. So self-educating was not quite as easy for us. Right. Um, and where you, so there's the, and it, and it's also not been taught, innately. Like my kids are 12 and 11 and they know how to Google search by voice. Like my kids a couple of years ago, you know, dad, you don't have to like type it in.

[00:18:08] You can just. Click the speed to the microphone button on Google right 

[00:18:13] Collin Mitchell: [00:18:13] now. There's there's pros and cons to that, right? Because you gotta be careful of what information you trust and consume. And there's a lot of people putting a lot of stuff out there and like, you gotta fact check it like, Oh yeah, 

[00:18:24] Richard Harris: [00:18:24] we're teaching them all that.

[00:18:25] We're teaching them all that. So, so you have to self-educate that's a long story. So one self-educate, I'm a huge fan of reading. Um, I read some business books I've stopped. Reading some others, because I don't want to, um, spoil what I'm writing in some cases. Right. I don't want to accidentally borrow someone else's content.

[00:18:43] Like that's not my intent. I want to let people be authentic. I want to try and sound authentic and be authentic. Um, And so I read a lot of autobiographies, so there's so much knowledge and wisdom and autobiographies, the two biggest ones that I've read lately that I recommend, particularly if you're a manager and even if you're a sales person who thinks you want to go into management is called, um, the score takes care of itself by bill Walsh.

[00:19:10] And he talks about how he built the San Francisco 49 or dynasty in the eighties and nineties. And it's literally piece by piece. How it works, tells these great football stories, talks about how Ronnie Lott had, has decided to have his fingers cut off so he could play in a football game. Um, um, but then he applies it in business and he teaches you.

[00:19:29] And he talks about how does he coach coaches to coach the players, which is. How do I manage managers to manage the team? Right? Like there's and they draw the parallel and so fascinating book. It's a fun book. Um, that's the first one that I'm reading a lot. GreenLights by Matthew McConaughey that just came out.

[00:19:47] Um, and this is 2021. So it came out, I think in December of 20, 20 fascinating book. Um, it's not about a Hollywood guy. It, it talks about, you know, the life lessons he learned growing up and how he saw. Certain things in life is red lights or green lights. And sometimes a red light is a green light, sometimes a green lights, really a red light.

[00:20:08] And how do you figure it out? And he tells these stories. And, and for me, I just thought that was really compelling and fun. And I'm an audio book guy, so I know what those are. Yeah. You know, uh, we did, 

[00:20:19] Collin Mitchell: [00:20:19] you know, you can listen to them in one and a half or two X speed. 

[00:20:22] Richard Harris: [00:20:22] I did, I I'm a 1.3 to 1.4 guy. Um, thank you.

[00:20:27] Um, but I'm gonna call you all my other tech questions. You've just opened the door. Um, but I don't even know where I was going with it. Um, but anyways, so those are the books I like to read. I like to read some of those things. Um, non-sales books, a lot of nones. I w I want life books. Right. Everything in life is sales and everything in sales is life.

[00:20:49] You better 

[00:20:49] Collin Mitchell: [00:20:49] write that one down 

[00:20:50] Richard Harris: [00:20:50] too. Yeah. And, and it's kind of like, why wouldn't you want to take the life skills and put them in sales and why wouldn't you take the sales skills and put them in life? Yeah. That's that's, that's all it is. So, anyway, acknowledging that, talking about it to your point, I like what you said about talking about the uncomfortable to make a comfortable.

[00:21:08] That's what this is. That's what I do. Um, that's where I tell people to go. I actually, I don't know if you want me to dive into it, but, uh, we're going to release a survey, uh, with a company called rev ops squared. Where we talk, you know, what are the, what are the, what are the skill development? So people that CRS need, or want VPs of sales, you know, the sales manager, the director of sales, like we went through this, 

[00:21:34] Collin Mitchell: [00:21:34] what are, what are some of the things on the top of those lists?

[00:21:37] Well, 

[00:21:37] Richard Harris: [00:21:37] it's interesting, right? So there's a couple of them. Um, so I'll mention a couple and then I'll tell you what I found. Very interesting. So at the top of the list for sales, leadership skills development, Right. One is a high priority. 10 was a low priority. Uh, for CRS forecast management is the top skill development area.

[00:21:57] Right. Um, then manage your development, then performance management, pipeline development, pipeline management objectives, and quota management, opportunity management, organizational development. Guess what's not on this list and there's like four more things. Nowhere is the word sales training. Was not chosen.

[00:22:19] Like, and I get it. Like, I understand these are their top things they want to be better at, but you can't be better at forecast management unless you train your team. Right. And whether that training is like what I do, you know, sales training, or CRT engagement training, which is a whole other issue, the forecast is gonna be shit.

[00:22:38] Right. Welcome back to Xcel right now. What's 

[00:22:43] Collin Mitchell: [00:22:43] interesting is, is a lot of those things are. Not far off from each other. They're all fairly, we're all 

[00:22:49] Richard Harris: [00:22:49] similar. Right? Right. Well, and to your earlier point, they're all about teaching people to get more comfortable with the things they're uncomfortable with.

[00:22:59] And some of this can feel micromanagy right. Like performance management, third on the list. Is that sales training possibly, right? Or is it management coaching? Is it personnel coaching? Right? Those are the things that, that are there. I was really. Really excited to hear managed development as the second most important thing, because, you know, just like nobody taught us sales.

[00:23:23] Nobody taught us how to be managers, every sales manager. I know even to this day, they're often promoted because. They're good data. People, they understand the data to navigate a deal. They understand how to follow a sales process. They know how to navigate a conversation. They are experts in product they're experts at the process side of sales.

[00:23:45] You know what they suck at managing and coaching. Yeah, managing people, right? Like they don't want to, like, I've had the conversation. I worked at the gap as a manager and, you know, we had one employee who had really bad body odor and I was like, Oh my God, nobody teaches you that. How do you handle that conversation?

[00:24:04] Right. You don't want to fire somebody. Right. And so I, you know, like, Fortunately again, I worked for a big company. I called them and I said, okay, what do I coach me on coaching this? So those are the advantages of big companies, right? Yeah. Or, you know, what do you do when someone calls in sick all the time, nobody teaches you how to handle it other than put them on a PIP and fire them.

[00:24:27] Well, good luck with that, right? Like that, that, yeah, but maybe there are five other things we should talk about. Maybe their parents have COVID maybe there's a challenge. Maybe they have a drug or alcohol problem. Maybe we could be a little more human to them before we just. Shitcan them and throw them to the curb, you know, so, 

[00:24:46] Collin Mitchell: [00:24:46] well, if we unpack that a little bit, right.

[00:24:48] It's people not being willing to do things that are uncomfortable. Yeah. So they run away or avoid them, right. Or not deal with 

[00:24:56] Richard Harris: [00:24:56] it. Head on. Yeah. I had a business coach, uh, several years ago in her line and I love this line is that the soft skills are the hard skills. Mm, right. And if you, whether that's the soft skills of sales, to your point, it's making you do something you're not comfortable doing mostly because you, you, you don't know how to do it and you just haven't tried it.

[00:25:16] Right. Like that's, you know, that's kind of it. Um, I'm going to push down to the next one for VPs of sales, and then we'll sort of take the conversation where you want to go. Um, and we can do this all day, but I don't, I don't need to. Yeah. You know, doesn't need to be about this report. So the VP of sales who's right under the CRO, their number one was, um, skills development was around understanding objectives and quota management.

[00:25:43] Right? So again, the CRO said forecast management, the VP of sales set, objective quota management, then pipeline management, and then forecast management. So it's interesting in my mind that the VP of sales is saying, Hey, we need to understand how to do the pipeline first. And if we do that, then the forecast is more accurate.

[00:26:09] Right. Right. So then it come after forecast management, it's sales process and metrics management, coaching and sales calls though. It's still like 10 10th on the list. Were you surprised by that? Yes. Yes, because I think everything flows from there. Now 

[00:26:29] Collin Mitchell: [00:26:29] you got to work from the bottom up, right? If you nest in the bottom up, those other things become easier.

[00:26:35] Richard Harris: [00:26:35] That's the theory right now. It's also possible as you go and leave, you can, I can go, you know, I'm not going to do it, but we could go skewed, show the data and show that, Oh, well, gosh, if you think about it, these people all come from big companies where maybe they have a sales enablement team. So that becomes less of a worry.

[00:26:53] Right. So that's a fair assumption that, okay, well maybe they do have sales training dialed in, right. And Richard's head is around earlier stage startups or some other place where sales, enablement and sales training. Hasn't been. Maybe as strong as it could be. Right. So, so I, I see both sides of this coin in that regard.

[00:27:14] Anyway, I'll pause there and see where you want to take this conversation. 

[00:27:18] Collin Mitchell: [00:27:18] So, uh, let's, let's dig into sales process. So, so how do, how do people improve the psychology of sales around their sales process?

[00:27:33] Richard Harris: [00:27:33] Well, so for me, do I have the right exit criteria from one stage to the next, right? As far as I'm concerned, you know, the process is the process. And if this is the standard sales process, and I'll explain a little bit, so one is, you know, there's sort of identification, right? Sort of lead gen, then there's qualification.

[00:27:55] And then there's discovery. Then there's a selection mode, then there's negotiation. And then there's closing. That's every sales process I've ever known. And it irks me to the nth degree, but I see a sales process stage stage four is the proposal stage. They fucking kidding me. That's not a, that's not a stage.

[00:28:16] That's an activity. That's something you do. You send a proposal as part of either the selection process or the negotiation process. Right. When I see the stage is called demoing, are you kidding me? That's either qualification or discovery. Right. Like, it's like, so there's a lot of stuff that's sort of messed up.

[00:28:33] And I think it, to your point, if, if you agree with me, by the way, if someone's sales process is the other way, and it's working in your crushing goals, don't change it. Cause Richard got on here and got on a rant. Like don't, you know, if it works, it works like don't, don't throw away good stuff. Um, but you didn't have to define the exit criteria.

[00:28:55] Between each state, some companies like to say, well, what's the exit criteria and then the entry criteria. And I'm like, well, if you get that micromanaging, that means you've got this gray area in between the stew stage. Like you're not qualified, you've qualified them, but they're not ready to go into discovery.

[00:29:10] I'm like, I don't know what that means. So, so 

[00:29:13] Collin Mitchell: [00:29:13] to me, you don't want to create too much confusion where it's just like, I don't know what to do. 

[00:29:17] Richard Harris: [00:29:17] Right. So, so for me, the exit criteria are very certain objectives or learnings that matter. Right. So that I've learned this part of the process. I understand this part of the process I've identified the committee, I've identified that a committee makes the decision.

[00:29:36] Maybe that's in the qualifying stage discovery stage. I try to figure out who's on the committee, right? Like it just sorta depends. And you know, the challenge with Salesforce and most CRMs is they're, they're built linearly, which is really bizarre to me. Um, and. Uh, because you, you feel like you're forced to stay in those stages where if I were going to do it, I'd do a Venn diagram.

[00:29:58] You know, of a flower where I sorta have a qualification as a circle, another one called discovery. They overlap somewhere. Right then the next one is, um, selection mode. The next one is negotiation mode. And then in the middle is closing. Right or, or winning, and those things would overlap in the CRM so that I could see visually in a very different way than having to scroll down the page so much.

[00:30:26] Right. Like it's, and it's a Richard thing. I don't know if that's the right way to do it, but like just, just sort of the idea I came up with. So, you know, one day when I have a billion dollars and I want to create a, uh, a CRM system, that's what I'll build. Yeah. 

[00:30:41] Collin Mitchell: [00:30:41] Um, all right, Richard, it's been fantastic having you on here.

[00:30:46] Uh, and a lot of fun jamming out on these topics here. Glad I was able to get you on here. What do you want to let folks know? Where can they maybe get this survey? Where can they get this new ebook? You have anything else you want to plug and won't kind of get in show 

[00:31:00] Richard Harris: [00:31:00] notes. Sorry. We didn't even talk. I'm glad we didn't talk about it, but I wrote an ebook.

[00:31:05] I know a lot of people are not. Either happy in their sales role in their white knuckling. It cause you got to wait until the more economy changes and that's the right thing to do, right? Stick with your economy, stick with the business, get a check, make sure you have health insurance, take care of yourself, take care of your family priority one.

[00:31:22] Um, but I wrote a book on, um, how to own the job interview process. How do you actually. Interview better. What are the kinds of questions you should be asking in a job interview besides tell me about your standard day. Not that you shouldn't ask that question, but there are way better ones. How do you use these questions to get shortlisted?

[00:31:41] Which then means you're going to get more opportunities for job offers how to navigate multiple authors. Like, so I wrote this book called owning your job search it's on Amazon. Um, I think it's on Kendall. So if you have, um, you know, the, the, the subscription, it's free to download that kind of stuff.

[00:31:58] Right. Um, so anyway, so that's, that's the book. The survey will be out on my website, Harris consulting group, um, dot com the Harris consulting group.com. It's coming out. Uh what's today, today is February 25th. So probably by the time this drops, it should be up and running. So that being said, you know, thank you so much for finding me and having me and Hey, Hey, clubhouse way to go.

[00:32:20] So like in my, you know, this'll be the coolest thing ever. If someone says, Hey, Richard, I heard you on this podcast. Right. You're going to get credit for that. But then I get to go all the way back to the ultimate source of clubhouse that I got a deal off clubhouse that's for everybody. 

[00:32:34] Collin Mitchell: [00:32:34] I think that's what everybody's looking for right now.

[00:32:36] Like, is this activity. Yeah. Yeah. I think there's rumors about that already, but I don't know if they know what they're talking about. 

[00:32:44] Richard Harris: [00:32:44] Yeah. Who knows? Who knows? Um, awesome. 

[00:32:49] Collin Mitchell: [00:32:49] Yeah. Thank you so much. Yeah, likewise. Uh, we will include all of those links there in the show notes for you, sales hustlers. If you enjoyed today's episode, please write us a review, share with your friends and we're listening for your feedback.

[00:33:03] 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, 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 collum Mitchell.

[00:33:26] And if you enjoyed this episode, feel free to leave us a review and share the podcast with your friends.