Sales Hustle is now Sales Transformation
March 15, 2021

Episode #71 S1-EP71 Sales, Retention And Expansion Into New Markets with Andrew Metz

Joining Collin Mitchell in this episode of the Sales Hustle Podcast is Andrew Metz. Let’s hear from Andrew Metz as he shares a cliff version of how he started in sales. Andrew shares some helpful sales topics and the roadmap to leadership.

Andrew Metz is the Regional Vice President of Zywave. He is Overseeing sales for 1/3 of the country (East Region and HCM). Andrew is Leading a team of 24 Account Executives and 4 Sales Managers and specializing in revenue growth through sales and retention and expansion into new markets.

You can learn more and connect with Andrew Metz on LinkedIn at

You can also listen to Andrew Metz at Clubhouse as he juggles his life from running a big sales team to having three kids on the other hand.

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Episode 71 - Andrew Metz

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. What is happening? Sales hustlers. Welcome to another episode. I'm fired up for this one. I've got Andrew Metz. Uh, he is the regional vice president at Zywave. We tried to do this before and we had technical issues, so we got it figured out. He's back and refreshed from a two week vacation on the beach in Florida.

[00:00:55] So I know he's going to be bringing nothing but fire and we've got some great topics around the roadmap to leadership. Andrew, welcome to the show. 

[00:01:04] Andrew Metz: [00:01:04] Thank you very much. I'm glad we finally hooked this up and are making it happen. I 

[00:01:10] Collin Mitchell: [00:01:10] know, I know we started out with some technical difficulties again today, and I think we're both ready to rip our hair out.

[00:01:19] Andrew Metz: [00:01:19] We're here now. It's all good. Yeah. 

[00:01:21] Collin Mitchell: [00:01:21] Yeah. So before we jump in to the good stuff, the tactical things that we are going to talk about today, just give us the short version of your sales story. 

[00:01:32] Andrew Metz: [00:01:32] Yeah, I mean, I, the short, the short version is, um, I'm, uh, I'm an undersized chip on my shoulder, uh, former athlete.

[00:01:44] Um, I guess I'm still trying to, uh, she'll try to prove something. LinkedIn is I jumped over my kids on the beach, as you were referencing earlier. People think it's funny that I was voted the best athlete of my high school class because, um, Um, short, uh, no one, no one was going to think of me as an intimidating, uh, big shrug athlete.

[00:02:02] But, um, I was competitive is what I'm getting at. And I remember going to college and I, I remember having a tie-dye shirt and I started playing acoustic guitar and I thought that's what you were supposed to do in college. And that, that fire got suppressed. Um, and, and I was, you know, playing hacky sack or whatever the hell you're supposed to do in college.

[00:02:20] And, um, I had, I had a friend that I knew back in my hometown, who, who said, Hey, I have a, um, He said, I have a, a sales role where we're working with Microsoft and they're doing lead generation and there's a call center out in Fargo. Would you be interested in working there this summer? And I said, I love Minnesota.

[00:02:40] And he said, well, Fargo's in North Dakota. And I said, well, that's cool. I'll check that out too. So literally didn't even know what state Fargo was in. I didn't have a cell phone or a credit card, and I drove 500 miles from Milwaukee to Fargo, North Dakota. And I went through. You know, like a one-week training program and I got on the phones.

[00:02:58] So we doing lead generation for Microsoft. And that, and in the first day I made a hundred calls and I set some meetings. And one of the older guys that was in my bootcamp, it was like, kinda like he's in his late forties. His name was a shooter. Was his nickname. Just to kind of give you some context, Fargo, North Dakota, he's like slow down, buddy.

[00:03:16] You're making us all look bad. And I knew I was doing exactly what I was supposed to we'll be doing. I was like, and now that was the day got reignited. I was like, all right, here we go. I like found it again. And, um, I was finally rewarded for being competitive and not be, you know, I wasn't viewed as a jackass.

[00:03:31] It was like, Okay. Like I can go work really hard and learn something new and have fun. And I worked at a call center, uh, literally, uh, for, for, uh, for a summer. I didn't know, one person in, in North Dakota. And, um, you know, when I came back, that's what I kind of figured out. That's what I wanted to do for a living.

[00:03:50] And my current gig. I started as a lead generation BDR cold caller. I did it for almost two years and, um, Moved into outside sales for a couple of years and, and then into management. And, um, now I'm managing managers and I'm really, I'm really passionate about the leadership angle. Maybe even more than sales, but I love the idea of, you know, people I've hired six, seven, eight years ago, seeing them progress their career.

[00:04:16] I'm in the process right now of moving a guy that I hired. Five years ago, I'm moving them for a minute, from an account executive into a regional manager position. He's going to run his team, his own team of eight people. And that's, that's extremely rewarding. So that's kinda where I'm at in my career.

[00:04:31] I'm going on my 13th year at my, uh, my SAS based software company. 

[00:04:37] Collin Mitchell: [00:04:37] Which, which we were joking before is highly unusual, right? Yeah. I think that at accompany. Yeah. 

[00:04:44] Andrew Metz: [00:04:44] Well, I I'll tell you another quick story. My first day at Zywave, uh, was November 10th, 2008. And I remember it because they announced that they moved from a private company to.

[00:04:53] They sold to a private equity company. And I went home after my first day. My wife's like, and I'm like, I don't know, that might be it. I had no idea what that meant. And now I'm, I'm working with my third private equity company and, you know, private equity has a different philosophy. They move really fast there.

[00:05:10] They, they need to flip a profit in three, five, seven years, whatever the case is. And, um, you know, I've had, I've had two bosses get fired. I've had to let go of a lot of people. There's a high amount of accountability, but I think I hope. I've been able to lead with compassion, giving people the benefit of the doubt.

[00:05:28] And even when, you know, we got to part ways with people do it in a, in a, in a way that I'm there to support them. I've been references for people I've had to let go. I've I had actually had, I actually let a guy go and he hugged me afterwards. Um, maybe it was relieved to not work for me anymore. I don't know.

[00:05:42] But. I'm certainly not, I'm certainly not an asshole, but there is a lot of accountability being in a private equity SAS company. Right. And it's, you got to get the results first and foremost. Um, but you know, beyond that, hopefully we have some fun doing it and, you know, we can progress our career and make money and all that stuff.

[00:05:59] But you know, at some point that the money, the money all comes it's it kind of boils down to the relationships you're forming. What are you learning? How are you getting outside of your comfort zone? Learn a new skill sets. And I've just. People go. Why have you been at the same company going on 13 years?

[00:06:13] Well, I've kind of had a new role every two to three years and that's, that's been certainly something I don't take for granted, but has created new skill sets and just has kept me engaged for this whole period of time. Where I almost to the point now where we started as a a hundred person company, we're about 800 employees.

[00:06:29] Now, literally the company has just changed from, from when I started and it's changed from even two or three years ago. 

[00:06:38] Collin Mitchell: [00:06:38] Yeah. Yeah. All right. Well, I don't want to pass up on the fact that you booked some meetings on your first day. 

[00:06:46] Andrew Metz: [00:06:46] Yeah. Which is, which is more coaches, more than most can say. Well, I think it was one of those things where I just, you know, the first day people are hesitant and they're worried about getting hung up on or whatever.

[00:07:00] And I don't know, I've never had that fear. I think I was, I was a middle child as the fourth out of six and a blended family. And, um, There were, there was, I had a younger sister, so I was like, Oh, great. Another boy. And you know, I think I lacked a lot of attention. So you had do things you had to, you know, be, be a good athlete.

[00:07:20] You're a magician or something to get some attention. And to me, I just never, I never feared the other side of that call, which is someone hanging up, someone telling you to go pound sand, or go to hell or whatever. You know, my philosophy is like, no one's ever going to hurt you through the phone line. Uh, you know, you're never going to meet these people.

[00:07:38] What are we, what are we worried about now? I mean, that kind of in a microcosm, I've never thought about this, but the call a cold call is almost like life in some ways of. Putting yourself out there taking that step because Y Y people go, Oh my God, you call people for your cold call, you know, lead generation.

[00:07:56] They, you have quotas. It's like, yeah. Um, that's, that's what salespeople do. But to me, it's, it's kind of a microcosm of just stepping out because you will reap the reward if you make it happen, but can you handle the rejection and you know, how confident are you in your own skin? And can you keep perspective on it and laugh it off?

[00:08:15] Or, or just go, yeah, I get hung up on seven times. A day, but I also set five meetings a day and that's part of making a hundred phone calls or whatever. It's, you know, some of it's statistics and that sort of thing, but never really had a fear of picking up the phone and just going for it. Yeah, it's, 

[00:08:31] Collin Mitchell: [00:08:31] it's a skill that can serve you well in, in, in many different aspects of your life, you know, and, and, and I kind of look at it from a different lens where I actually say to be great at that craft or sales in general, it's actually a lot more personal work that you need to do to be more confident to have the proper mindset.

[00:08:50] To actually be good in your professional role, whatever that is, whether you're an individual contributor or a sales leader, um, you know, it's not really mastering the professional skills. That's part of it, but it's really. Investing more in your personal growth to be a better version of yourself to just totally crush it.

[00:09:07] When you're, you know, 

[00:09:08] Andrew Metz: [00:09:08] in, in, in the saddle a hundred percent, I I've, I've seen some people be able to compartmentalize, but I think to your point, like your own co Colin's confidence, right. And, and your own confidence and how you feel about yourself and your, your worth and your value you bring to the universe and stuff.

[00:09:25] I think that all kind of goes through. Through the phone. And, you know, if you're really excited and passionate and you have a voice and go, and you're engaging and you can kind of reach through the phone line and grab him by the throat, people are going to be interested. And it's like, Hey, before you hang up, hear me out, you know, kind of a thing, um, that is, that is engaging and not everyone has that.

[00:09:44] But to your point, I think gets a, it's a pretty good skill set for the rest of the life. And, you know, it's, they give you cold call. You can do a lot of things. It was certainly a solid foundation for me in my sales career. 

[00:09:56] Collin Mitchell: [00:09:56] Yeah. All right. So let's shift gears here a little bit, um, cause you have the track record of, you know, going from individual contributor to becoming a leader, um, and having different leadership roles.

[00:10:10] And you know, I'm assuming there's a lot of people that are individual contributors today that are maybe wondering like, is that the right path for me? Do I want that? What do I do to prepare? Um, so talk me through some of 

[00:10:21] Andrew Metz: [00:10:21] those things. Yeah. I mean, I just had one of these conversations yesterday with one of my individual contributors who wants leadership.

[00:10:30] And to me, you know, if you're fortunate enough that your organization has like a, a leadership track, that's certainly worth exploring. But I think if they don't. The first thing I'd say is communicate to upstream of what your intentions are and ask some direct questions about what, what is the path to get there and start taking on more responsibilities?

[00:10:50] I know my organization, we have mentorship programs like formal mentorships. When a new hire gets gets 'em onboarded, they get assigned a mentor. That's a great opportunity to serve fostering leadership. I think, um, Asking for additional projects or tasks, or try to work through something that maybe hasn't been, um, resolved in, in your, in your current organization, as far as, you know, processes that could be better, um, ways to do student of the game leadership development, uh, within your team.

[00:11:23] And, you know, leadership doesn't mean leadership's not about a title leadership, just kind of a way of being and that, and that can be done as an individual contributor. It could be. You know, it could be leading by example. It could be taking someone under your wing, but don't wait for a position to be posted or for a, you know, an interview to come.

[00:11:41] I think your job, if that's your desire is to position yourself as a desirable candidate, before that opportunity even arises, or at least understand what you can do proactively now to put yourself in that position when the opportunity does arise. 

[00:11:58] Collin Mitchell: [00:11:58] So basically what you're saying is. Take the initiative to find opportunities to showcase that you have those skill sets that are required, should have position become available, be transparent, that those are your intentions, ask some direct questions of what the path is, what that looks like, what could become available, what roles might be created, uh, and, you know, kind of set yourself up on a track to be going in that direction.

[00:12:26] Andrew Metz: [00:12:26] Yeah, because the whole idea of hiring I've done a ton of hiring, um, over the last eight years as a hiring manager is it's a risk assessment. And if I have someone that I don't think is, uh, um, risky to put them in the role, in the sense that risk is just an unknown. I don't know if they can do this. I remember when I interviewed to be a regional manager and run my first team of six people, I said, You guys don't think of me as a, as a manager, cause I never done it before, but I said I was captain of the football team.

[00:12:55] I was a resident assistant in college. I mentored people. I started weaving a narrative to explain to them that this has been my path for years. Um, and you're not taking a risk by putting me in the spot. In fact, I've been doing this already and I was able to tell them a lot of stories, I think gave them confidence to go, okay, this guy.

[00:13:14] He's ready for it. Right. And so that's your job though, to sell yourself, right? It's like really good. Salespeople are good at selling stuff, but they're bad at selling themselves internally. I'm like be a salesperson and about what your, what upstream, what they're looking for. Right. And, and that's, uh, you know, see sales as a skillset is, is beyond just the product or service you're selling.

[00:13:36] It's how do you sell yourself to. 

[00:13:40] Collin Mitchell: [00:13:40] Right. Right. And so what about, 

[00:13:44] Andrew Metz: [00:13:44] um, what about, you know, leaders 

[00:13:48] Collin Mitchell: [00:13:48] identifying who is, who actually wants leadership? Cause I think sometimes leadership can be pushed on people as like a carrot to be dangled and 

[00:13:56] Andrew Metz: [00:13:56] not everybody wants it. Yes. I agree. I think the distinction in my mind in working with a lot of.

[00:14:02] People that went down the individual contributor path, or I think I've moved six or seven people from an individual contributor into leadership roles over the last five years is your degree of one. How much control are you willing to give up? Is when I see people that are real control freaks, I think it's hard to go.

[00:14:19] Okay. Now six people are going to dictate my income. That's scary for some people. And also do you need to get your hands in every single thing? And if you do, uh, You might drive yourself nuts. You might drive your team nuts, but there's also some about empowering your team and ensuring they're learning something.

[00:14:36] So there's some point where you gotta like, take, take your hands off the wheel, but it's also kind of a. It it's, uh, there's a, there's a dial between selfish and selflessness and this isn't a bad thing, but I think really good. High-end salespeople are selfish. They have selfish traits and usually that's a bad word, but in this sense, it's not because they're reliable, they're going to go hit their number.

[00:14:59] They're going to go make it happen. And they want it on their shoulders. They want to take the shot at the end of the game. And that's, once again, it's not a bad trait. I think if you're comfortable with going. I trust other people, I'm going to empower other people. I'm going to lift them up, but I'm also not going to have a hundred percent control over how this all works.

[00:15:16] And you can, you can be okay with that. And you, you can know there's going to be some, you know, there's some problems that are sitting on my plate that I'm going to have to deal with tomorrow or next week. And I'm okay with that. I will, I will cross that bridge when I get there. I don't get anxious, like, Oh my God.

[00:15:30] Because you could sit around and worry about a lot of things. And you've got a team of 30 people, you know, things go South fast, um, in an individual pocket. But so, you know, you need to ask yourself how much control do you want? Are you okay with giving other people the, the accolades and the attention?

[00:15:47] And if you are then. You know, th there's something very gratifying beyond compensation, by the way. And that's the other thing I talked about with salespeople's you just want to make as much money as possible. Don't go into leadership, try to go be the top enterprise sales rep or whatever, you know, wherever the biggest juiciest deals are.

[00:16:03] That's what you should be running towards. Um, because our top, our top salespeople make more than our leaders and I think that's the way it should be. Um, cause they're out there kind of, you know, killing things and dragging it back to the cave. And they're, they're putting, they're putting their name on the line and.

[00:16:18] That's where the rubber meets the road. So those are some gut check things that I would, that I would suggest. And then, you know, if you have good relationships with people internally, it's talking to the top, top, uh, individual contributors about what they love about what they do. And then it's having candid conversations with leaders about what do you like and what don't you like about the job and how much of that can you stomach?

[00:16:38] And, you know, stress and accountability is, is everywhere. But. I think in, in leadership roles, you know, I sit down once a week with our CRO and our CEO and we commit to what we're going to sell that month. And if it doesn't happen, there's, you know, there's accountability. So how do you feel about that as well?

[00:16:58] Hm. 

[00:16:59] Collin Mitchell: [00:16:59] All right. So tell me, what would you tell any 

[00:17:02] Andrew Metz: [00:17:02] like new leaders or 

[00:17:04] Collin Mitchell: [00:17:04] first time leaders? What advice do you have for them? What are some things that you learned along the way in your first 

[00:17:11] Andrew Metz: [00:17:11] leadership role? Yeah, I think it's always a tricky spot, especially if you're going from. You're individual contributor where maybe you're now you're managing your, your peers, your peers were yesterday and now you're their manager today.

[00:17:25] Um, I would say being brutally honest and not, not pretending like you have all the answers, we'll get a lot of buy-in and that's where that was. Some mistakes I made were just my own insecurity as I was like, yeah, I got this. I gotta figure it out. As opposed to just going. I'm not sure yet we'll figure it out and yeah, you got to go figure it out and they're gonna look to you as a leader to have some answers, but.

[00:17:46] It's okay. If you don't have all the answers. And I think the worst thing you can do is pretend like you do or put up a front or be dishonest. Um, so that's, that's kind of, you know, common sense, but I see it all the time, especially with salespeople and, you know, insecurities and egos and that sort of thing.

[00:18:04] I think it's fine to simply say, I'm not sure yet I haven't done this before or we'll figure this out. Um, and so my, my suggestion is just be who you are. You're definitely going to have to, you know, work a little faster, a little harder and, and probably figure some things out you've never done before, but you don't need to pretend that you have all the answers.

[00:18:22] If you've never done it before. 

[00:18:26] Collin Mitchell: [00:18:26] So having a level of vulnerability, um, maybe even being willing to willing to shovel some 

[00:18:31] Andrew Metz: [00:18:31] shit with your team. Yes. Yeah. I think anything you can get in the weeds and help them out. I mean, our world is we do do team selling where our managers are on the demos with our reps.

[00:18:42] And if you can get deals done, I've had some of my managers pick up the phone and do cold calls for the reps and set meetings for them that will get buy in. Like if you're showing them that you're willing to do. Some of the heavy lifting alongside them. You're going to get a lot of buy-in. Um, as opposed to just kind of this ivory tower, I refresh dashboards and see what kind of deals come in, kind of a thing.

[00:19:04] Uh, people people want help selling. They want coaching and that's fundamental your job as a leader. 

[00:19:12] Collin Mitchell: [00:19:12] Yeah. Um, you know, this gets talked about a lot, so I definitely want to bring it up and get your, get your thoughts on it. Um, there's a lot of times that individual contributors get promoted to leadership and they're not really cut, cut out for leadership roles.

[00:19:29] And you know, how often do you see that and how can you avoid that sort of thing from happening, making sure that they are the right fit and not just being a top producer 

[00:19:38] Andrew Metz: [00:19:38] that gets a leadership role. Totally. I think, I think top, top sales reps probably don't make the best leaders because of the things I talked about, kind of that, you know, your DNA, your makeup, and that's okay.

[00:19:50] And I always say, like, to be a leader, you don't need to be at the top rep, but you gotta be good enough that you can help people close deals, but then still have the kind of the, the, you know, Be a teacher and have some patience and not be a control freak. Right. So there's some, there's some kind of DNA uniqueness that I think makes a great leader.

[00:20:08] Um, but it kind of comes down to organizations are quick to go. This, this guy or gal retired, the quarter killed it. They should go teach other people how to do it. And it's like, you know, why, why wasn't Michael Jordan a great coach, maybe because he thought it should have been easier because he could have done it differently kind of a thing.

[00:20:25] And I think being able to. Have the, um, the, the wisdom and perspective that you get to meet people where they're at. They don't have the skillset you have yet. You just hired them six months ago. There's still a lot to learn. And, and, and to me, that's kind of just patience and it's willing to slow down and, you know, uh, the analogy I think about all the time is I have children and it's like, Well, my five-year-old started tying his shoes.

[00:20:53] I wanted to go down and just time quick and get out the door. But I slowly, painfully just waited for him to get them tied. And now he's nine years old. He knows how to tie his shoes. Right. So it's like, if you tie his shoes forever, he's never going to learn it. So sometimes you got to just kind of go through that, you know, walk or crawl, walk, run before you can all really sprint and, um, Some people don't have patience for that.

[00:21:16] So patience is definitely a trait that I'd be looking at. And, and a question I'd be asking yourself if it's something you're considering. Yeah. 

[00:21:25] Collin Mitchell: [00:21:25] Patients is, is definitely an important one. And I would say the other one that you mentioned that is extremely important is, you know, not being the type of person that wants to control everything, right.

[00:21:38] And those type of people, a lot of the times, those types of people are. Top producers and that's totally okay. Yes. But like you said, they don't make great leaders. 

[00:21:49] Andrew Metz: [00:21:49] Yeah. I think they struggle. I think it's, they're swimming upstream or there's some, that's going to make them very uncomfortable. Even if they can drive results, they might alienate their team.

[00:21:58] Um, and, and they might, they might not be able to handle the pressure of, it's not all in their control. There's a, there's a level of trust that you need to have that I think is hard for some people to let go of. 

[00:22:11] Collin Mitchell: [00:22:11] Yeah. Yeah. Well, Andrew, these are some great topics. I really appreciate you, uh, talking, taking the time today to talk about these things.

[00:22:19] Um, just before I let you go, let people know where they can find the best dad, content ever, and anything else 

[00:22:26] Andrew Metz: [00:22:26] that you want to let them know? Yeah. Um, I'm pretty active on LinkedIn. Um, You can check me out at Andrew Metz. Uh, I'm on clubhouse. I'm starting to dabble with that, uh, at Andrew Metz. Um, my, my game is basically documenting the crazy life that I have is trying to juggle being a, you know, running a big sales team and, um, Having three kids homeschooling on the other side of the wall and, uh, working from home for the first time and just trying to figure that whole thing out.

[00:22:56] So, um, you get a real life snapshot of what's going on for better or worse. And, um, I'm, I'm highly engaged in interacting with people on LinkedIn and, uh, we'd love to love to get connected with your audience. 

[00:23:09] Collin Mitchell: [00:23:09] Awesome. We'll drop the link there in the show notes for all the sales hustlers tuning in. If you enjoyed today's episode, please, please write us a review, share it with your friends.

[00:23:19] And as always, we are listening for your feedback. Thank you for tuning into 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 column Mitchell.

[00:23:45] If you enjoyed this episode, feel free to leave us a review and share the podcast with your friends.