Sales Hustle is now Sales Transformation
May 5, 2021

Episode #93 S1-EP93 The Path to the President’s Club with Meghann Misiak

Meghann Misiak joins Collin Mitchell in this episode of the Sales Hustle podcast. Let’s hear from Meghann about her sales story that got her into the profession and where she is now in helping other professionals meet their goals, achieve their quotas, and enjoy their incentives.


Meghann Misiak is the sales strategist/trainer who Founded The Path to President’s Club, a professional training and coaching platform that helps salespeople find the shortcut to the highlight of their career. By helping individuals achieve mastery of their craft, her platform allows salespeople to work consistently and get their return of investment faster than usual. 

Meghann has been in the business of transformation since 2016 with the way that she’s been accountable for not only training sales teams and inspiring change, but also for driving results. She does this by helping B2B sales teams close - in higher quantities and higher profitability through sales training, frameworks, and coaching. Through her method of enabling sales leaders to scale and develop their teams in a more strategic way, she’s able to ensure that every seller is set up for success from the first day. 

Throughout the course of her career that spanned in a few short years, she went from a commission-only sales job, to achieving President's Club during her first year in a B2B sales role, then moved on to becoming the Associate Director of GTM Training at Movable Ink, an enterprise Saas organization that caters to clients like AmEx, Hilton, and The Home Depot.  

The Path to President’s Club is the fulfillment of Meghan’s career. It was the result of her taking the leap into her dream job as a sales training consultant and helping B2B sales teams accomplish their own wildest dreams. 

Geek out about sales with Meghann Misiak on The Path to President’s Club Website at https://www.pathtopresidentsclub.com/ and connect with her on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/meghannmisiak/

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Transcript

Episode 93 - Meghann Misiak

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 very excited today. I've got Megan Michek on and she's a sales strategist and trainer for B2B sales teams. And we've got a interesting topic planned out for you. Uh, so let's just jump right in making welcome to the show.

[00:00:50] How are you? I'm doing well. Thanks for having me. So just give us the short cliff notes version of your sales story. Yeah. I have been in sales for about 15 years now, ever since my very first high school job, I was working in Florida selling bathing suits. Um, in retail, when I went into college, I wanted some discounts, so it stayed in retail.

[00:01:15] Um, but I also knew someone who was a leasing agent. So I got into leasing and. Even those early jobs. I learned so much about sales. I learned solutioning from, um, having to fit people for bathing suits. People have a very low threshold for how many bathing suits they will try on before they're really upset and feel terrible about their bodies.

[00:01:38] And, um, you know, leasing, I'm not gonna lie. I was working for a really old property, so there were a lot of fancy new, beautiful properties. And I've, I've really learned about competition and positioning and making people, um, envision themselves in that apartment. And when I graduated, I had a degree in sociology.

[00:01:58] Didn't. Really want to become a sociologist. So I stuck to what I knew and loved. Um, I got a really horrible commission, only position. I think everyone has one of those in their sales careers. Actually. I'm actually one of those weirdos that likes commission only rolls. Okay. But yes, this, this one was honestly the grungiest job I've ever had.

[00:02:21] Um, Well, what were you selling? This is no one ever asks. I'm so glad I, um, actually had moved to new city. I was moving to Atlanta and, um, I had never had grown up in Atlanta, but I had never been driving age and I was actually, um, I was helping people find apartments. So it was a company where you would call in or come into the office.

[00:02:49] We would give you this, this recommendation, you know, usually five to 10 apartments that fit your criteria. People always wanted granite counter tops, like huge. Apartment on the 31st floor for $400, you know, they drill. And, um, it was actually, yeah, really interesting learning needs, assessments and solutioning and setting realistic expectations for customers.

[00:03:13] Um, I actually, we had this huge wall of all of the apartments that we had, uh, a paper, um, for each one. So you go to the wall, look up all the apartments. You would definitely see you would go and talk to other people and say, Hey, like what's, what is the highest referral fee for, for each one of these and, and like, which you kind of get the spiel commission breath on the sales floor.

[00:03:36] It was horrible. And then you would try to get people to pick one of the apartments you recommended. And the challenge was that when order for me to get paid. They had to select one of the apartments I recommended and put my name on the application. Sometimes they would choose one of the apartments and write one of their friend's names on the referral fee, um, because they knew someone in the complex.

[00:04:04] So it was. One of the hardest jobs I've ever had, but also it taught me so much about sales and honestly the biggest lesson is about hustle. So for all those hustlers out there, sometimes the, those really tricky commission on the roles, they really teach you a lot. Yeah. Yeah, I perform well when my back's up against the wall.

[00:04:27] So, um, that's why I'm a, uh, a lifelong commission only, um, is my style, but it's not for everybody. It's not for everybody. Um, but one of the things that you mentioned there that you learned early on that I love other than hustle, um, is, which is what I learned in my first role as well. Um, and it was a, you know, straight commission breath.

[00:04:48] Treating people, very transactionally, you know, the, the, the pitch was, you know, it was a lot of cold Colleen and the pitch was basically you, you threw out your pitch and then you throw out an offer and if they didn't bite, then you throw out another offer and they didn't bite. You change the subject and tried to say something clever, maybe to make them laugh.

[00:05:06] And then you throw out another offer. And if they didn't then order from you. You better get a committed for a future sale. And that was like the level of relationship that you had with your customers and your prospects. Um, but I did learn hustle and hard work and some good things. But one thing that I love that you said was like setting proper expectations for customers, right?

[00:05:26] They have these huge. Needs list, uh, in your case, you know, granite countertops, maybe walk-in closet, whatever. Right. But, but, but, but a small budget. Right. And so I love like, you know, the best way to like build trust and rapport with your customers is to kind of push back and like challenge them or tell them they're not.

[00:05:45] Right. Um, and a lot of sellers aren't willing to do that. Yeah. And I love that you pulled that out and also, um, You even when you're talking about, um, your commission only positions learning a lot of hustle and, and you learn certain things. I think it's really interesting when people, um, I've gone to a lot of different types of companies in my sales career.

[00:06:10] And every time I get to a new company, there's always like new complaints and new challenges and also new benefits. Um, and it's interesting to me, because for anyone who has not worked in a commission only role, you. You really like, don't get that, right? Like there's certain things that you, you pick up in different roles.

[00:06:29] And so I think it's really beneficial to learn from. Within different industries, different types of roles. Yeah. And so, um, for me, there's, there's a lot of lessons there, but, um, yeah, it was interesting because when I went to another role, my next role was in payroll and HR. And the biggest challenge there was.

[00:06:55] Competition. If anyone works in payroll, the hustlers out there, it is, it's a grind because we were competing against usually like 15 direct competitors. And we would, it was to the point where we would go in and I would talk to you, um, HR, people who had been in their role, like longer than I had been alive.

[00:07:16] And they probably used, they've used like. Dozens of systems. And it was so interesting to have people say, okay, I know the spiel, these are the things that I like about the 15 other systems I've used. These are the things that I don't like. This is what I'm looking for. And yeah. So for me, I've learned so many different things out of every role.

[00:07:40] And I think that's something that a lot of people don't realize. And in that scenario that you just explained there, like most sellers would be like, okay, cool. Yeah, we do that. Now. Let's go to the next phase. And that's actually an opportunity to like ask better questions, help them maybe. Think about something that they haven't considered.

[00:07:59] Um, you know, it's easy to take the easy path, like, Oh, okay. You know what you want, you know, what the problem is like, you know, and just kind of move forward and build a big fluffy pipeline that, you know, wondering why 30, 40% of your deals don't close. Yeah. Or in that situation, like challenging them or making them think of something.

[00:08:20] So, and, and those are great skills. To learn early on, like regardless of what you sell. Yeah. And I love in both of those scenarios, um, I learned that you had to push back on people because. With HR people. When I was selling payroll, they had a really big challenge selling what they wanted to usually the financial teams.

[00:08:46] And I've, I've had that experience with a lot of different people, a lot of different teams that I've worked with. So when you only you're, when you really. A salesperson as a ticket taker where they're telling you, this is what I want. And you're like, okay, this is how we would solve that. You're usually miss so many things.

[00:09:06] And so that's been, um, such a valuable lesson for me. And when you are in a commission only role, it forces you to figure it out. But I do see a lot of people. Um, it's one of those things that you can't necessarily track, right? It's not like, Oh, we're losing deals because we're only giving them what they want.

[00:09:24] It's not necessarily something you can track in Salesforce, but, um, it is a skill that I, when I come into organizations and really help them level up their sales processes, it's one of the biggest things we focus on, not just taking what one person in the organization says. Cause a lot of times you're talking, you're only getting one perspective.

[00:09:46] Um, a good example of this is when you're talking to you user level. Buyers. So the people who are actually using your product, if you're in like a SAS company, a lot of time, they're their biggest pain points around efficiency and effectiveness. And when they go and try to sell that too, The people who are actually holding the budget and making the decisions, they're like, okay, well, we don't really care as much if this is frustrating for you, we want, unless it's making us money.

[00:10:17] Yeah, exactly. So I think this is a huge challenge that salespeople today need to learn, especially as sales is changing. Um, even with COVID. Right. There's new processes, new new approval processes, new people involved. Um, the, the buying teams are getting much larger. So it's something that we will probably be even more important over the next few years.

[00:10:42] Yeah. Yeah. And so something that we kind of talked about, you know, digging into, which you hadn't gotten to yet, but, you know, we never know where these conversations are going to go. We don't plan these sales hustlers. They go where they go and we keep it tactical as much as we can. Um, but Megan, like, so.

[00:10:59] Tell me a little bit about the things that you work on, people with that, you know, path to president's club. Everybody wants to make president's club. Right. So what are some of the things that you work with them on? And then let's kind of talk a little bit, like owning your own path to president's club.

[00:11:13] And what does that look like? Because not everybody's fortunate enough to. Have the sort of maybe leadership that they would like to have, or, or, you know, uh, professional development inside of an organization and things like that. But, you know, I'm a big believer that you've got to own your path. And if you don't, if you're not getting the support, you know, internally, then it's up to you to go out and get it and make it happen.

[00:11:35] Absolutely. And I love that challenge for people because it's very similar to my own challenge. Um, when I was, I think it was. The third role, um, that I took, I was doing all right. As a sales, honestly, I had no idea what I was doing. Let's, let's just be honest. And, um, I was at that point where I was like, I just, it's not clicking.

[00:12:00] I I'm trying so hard. I'm putting in the work. I'm hustling really hard. And I felt like it was just turning my wheels and it wasn't until I. Invested, um, in training that my first year in a new role where my boss had invested in Sandler sales training, I hit president's club. And so even the name of my company is based on my own experience because, um, I did was lucky enough to have external resources, but now I work with people and, and primarily teams to, um, To put coaching frameworks in place and to put deal qualifications.

[00:12:39] And the frameworks I've seen really helped people up level their skill sets in sales. Um, but I know that not everyone has access to those resources. So for me, even when I've worked with my mentor, my mentees, it all starts in one spot, which is asking people about their goals. And so many times when I asked salespeople their goals, it's like, well, it's hitting quota.

[00:13:03] That's the basic right. And, and also if you're, if you're, if you're only going goal is to hit quota, you're probably going to get like what 80% there. Right. Um, I always ask people not only what their annual and quarterly goals are, but really what their personal goals are. What's motivating them to even achieve those things.

[00:13:22] And I hear some incredible things when I ask people these questions, for example, um, one person was like, Megan, hi. I'm just out of college. I'm still figuring out if sales is even the career path I want to go down. So can I just slow down a little bit? I don't necessarily want to, I don't even know if I want to get a promotion into the AAE role.

[00:13:43] I really want to figure out, um, if it's sales, if it's partnership, that's kind of cool. Experience, but also I have those people who come in and, um, even with the same level of experience, they tell me, Meghan, I want to be where that person is at. I want to be an SAE. I want to get three promotions in two years.

[00:14:01] How can you help me get there? And so it's, it's actually strategizing for three steps ahead. Um, while you're in that, that's that one role and for leaders, it's, it's one of the easiest ways to get people motivated. Um, because when it comes down to it, I have a sticky note on my computer right now that says, uh, will this get me to the next client?

[00:14:24] And. It's so helpful when an E anything we talk about, right? Whether it's like so many of the hustlers out there, tell me Meghan, like give me books to read, give me resources to consume, help, help, help, help, help. And I'm like, let's take a step back and figure out what your goal is because that path will look very different depending on what that end goal is.

[00:14:46] Um, whether it's presence, Cub, a promotion, and even what you're getting out of the role, maybe you want more enterprise experience. Maybe you want to, maybe you don't like the company you're working for. And the goal is to get through the next six months to get a promotion and to get that title before you can change into a new role.

[00:15:05] So it all starts with the. But the individual goal. All right. So I love that because there's so many things there's so many ways we can go from here with this. Um, all right. So let's start here at number one, those two different examples, right? The person that's very clear on what they want personally. A little bit easier to motivate them and pick a path.

[00:15:27] Right. So, but what, what about for the person that might be listening? That's like, kind of like the other, you know, first example that you gave where they're not quite sure, like sales was their plan B or their fell into sales, like most people or whatever they thought they were going to do, didn't work out and they're in a sales role and they're like, I don't even know if I like this.

[00:15:45] But, you know, I want to give it a fair shake and give it, you know, a, a good effort. How do you coach that person? How do you motivate that person? Yeah. And it is hard. Um, Early in my career. When I first got into sales training, I was under the impression I was so naive. When I, when I look back on it, I was under the impression that everyone was like me, everyone wanted to be, they were very ambitious.

[00:16:15] They wanted to be in sales. They wanted to be incredibly successful. They just needed the resources. And if they had their resources, they would, they would just achieve these incredible levels of success. And once I got into sales training, it was very different. And I think a lot of sales leaders have this mindset, right?

[00:16:35] It's like, if someone is not aggressive, they're not. Driven. And I found quite the opposite. I found that people just learn differently and are motivated differently. So for me, I not only ask people what their personal goals are, I ask them their stretch goals. Um, and then we actually. Well map out what that path looks like.

[00:16:57] So for an individual, um, I'm thinking of someone very specific who was in that same path where he didn't know necessarily what he wanted out of his career, but he was in a BDR role, more of an entry level business development rep role. So we then laid out a plan for him. The top three areas of focus were first, um, simply finding success in the role.

[00:17:23] Right. It, it was, um, kind of mastering learning. We, we had a lot of goals around just learning and, um, not focusing as much on the lagging indicators of success, but more of the leading ones. What could we control? What could we, every single week get him focused on and having some small, quick wins was really important for him just showing him, giving, getting his confidence up.

[00:17:48] Um, but we also. We're open with him about exploring different options. So one of his, um, on his path towards finding out if sales was even the right career choice for him, we had a meet up with one person from each department each week, and simply learning a little bit more about the role about what it looked like about the paths from sales, into that role, people who had been successful in that path and finding out.

[00:18:16] More if, um, if he liked those skills, if he didn't like the role and helping him assess that. And I think that requires a level of trust, um, and also. Some vulnerability as a sales leader, because it is not the most efficient or effective thing for you as a sales leader. So to say, Oh yeah, if you, if you don't want to be in sales, we'll help you look at other career choices.

[00:18:41] Right. But for me, um, if we think about long-term. The long-term vision and goal. If you create a culture where, where your salespeople truly trust you and are open with you about their career aspirations, and they know that you have their business, their best interests in mind, that's going to be a pretty fantastic culture.

[00:19:05] Yeah, no, I couldn't agree more in, in, in something that just kind of add to that is, you know, in that sort of culture where you create, you know, a safe place for people to be real and be honest and authentic with what their aspirations are or art. Right. Um, there's a lot of sales leaders that just like, you know, how to, you mentioned early on, you know, when you were at coaching, as you kind of just assume that everybody want these certain things.

[00:19:30] And I think there's a lot of sales leaders that. Are in that same sort of mindset. Um, but also more importantly, like checking in constantly because things change. Right? So what somebody's goals are today might change in six, 12, 18 months. So, you know, you've got to constantly recheck in and see like, is this still the path?

[00:19:50] Like, has anything changed? Do we need to. Reframe anything, maybe they thought they wanted an AA role, but they're just super comfortable and an SDR BDR and just loving that and don't want that anymore. But you haven't checked in, so you're pushing for that and they don't even want that. So it's so important to create that space, but then also constantly check in and make sure that like, Hey, are we still on the same page with where we're trying to go here?

[00:20:12] Yeah. And I'll give you two ways that you can do that as well. Um, that are actually really easy. Um, and that's what I've found is through. My experience building sales enablement programs from the ground up. A lot of times the simplest solutions are the most impactful you don't need. You don't need a resource and, and dozens of team members to be able to build some of these things.

[00:20:38] Um, one of the easiest ways that I learn about people's goals, um, is through. To two programs, um, most directly relate to this conversation, which is I help teams build onboarding programs. Um, and I help them post onboarding, actually get people from role to role through formal coaching programs. And one of the two resources that are really easy to implement the first one, I call a personal goals worksheet.

[00:21:04] On people's first day on the job, we sent them a questionnaire. It's like 20 questions, pretty easy. And we're open about the fact like the, the why we're saying, Hey, we know it's your first day. You won't know all of the answers to these questions, but we really want to know how you prefer to work. What motivates you?

[00:21:22] And so we asked them a set of questions. Like what interested you about the company? Um, why did you choose us? What are you looking for out of next 30, 60, 90 days? Um, what are your long-term goals for year one and year five? Um, even things like would anything hinder you from succeeding in that role? We actually have learned about certain sales reps that have had, um, learning disabilities that we would have never known about.

[00:21:50] And so it's really helpful to ask about these things. And even, I think one of the most valuable questions on this was how do you like to be. Incentivized, because we were making the assumption that everyone just liked money and award and recognition. And a lot of times people said flexibility. So one of the managers even started implementing, um, Work from home Fridays for people as an incentive.

[00:22:19] If they hit their goal, they could work from home on Friday. And just little things like that can give you so much information. You don't have to have all the answers when it comes to how to effectively manage your team. Even just asking the questions and as a salesperson, you could implement this yourself, say, Hey.

[00:22:37] Wanted to, um, wanted to fill out a quick form for you just to let you know how I like working. I'm curious if you, as a manager could do the same, I would love to understand these things about you, right? Like as a manager, what do you think? A, a great employee looks like? Like how do you typically incentivize people and just having these conversations are really helpful.

[00:23:00] Those are some fantastic tips. Um, I think that that's, I think, I mean, we, we don't do that. Uh that's. I mean, I'm learning something here too, so I appreciate it, Megan. And I think that's so important to like, have that question, your, uh, just from day one to have a really good baseline of. Of where people are at.

[00:23:18] And then also be checking in on that is, is super important too. So, you know, if in, and also just reversing it, like from the sales role of, of, of, of getting that sort of information from your sales leader as well, right. To kind of, you know, establish that sort of rapport and, you know, real authentic relationship from the very beginning, um, which creates a nice culture in a, in a safe place to be able to be honest with each other.

[00:23:43] Um, now, so tell me. A little bit more about like, just kind of high level what you do. Um, so that if anybody's like looking for help and you might be the good fit for them. And then any final thoughts before we wrap it up here. Yeah. Um, so for me over the last five or six years, I have built. Training programs.

[00:24:06] Um, so usually it was always onboarding programs, helping people that are either new to the organization or newly promoted, make sure that they're getting, they get up to speed in three months versus. You know, 12 to 18 months, um, we were seeing incredible results. Um, I also help with value based selling and closing more deals.

[00:24:26] So, um, usually I tell people I impact three main metrics. It's closing more deals through a deal qualification frameworks. So if you're looking for something very custom and maybe you've also tried to implement something in the past, that didn't work, I can help you make sure that it actually. Is effective this time.

[00:24:48] I also help you close bigger deals through value-based sales training. Um, this is, this is again, what helped me most in my career is actually learning how to optimize every step of the sales process. Um, and finally, what we've been talking about today is scaling teams. So that is where the onboarding and coaching frameworks come in.

[00:25:10] So, um, I actually have, I do a lot of free. Um, consulting through virtual coffees as well. So if anyone is interested in learning a little bit more or wanted to throw some questions my way, always happy to set up a virtual coffee. Yeah. Awesome. And is there a link or something we can drop in the show notes for folks that want to take you up on that?

[00:25:31] Absolutely. There's the link to, um, geek-out sessions on my website. So, um, it was great geeking out with you today, Colin. And so one of my favorite things in sales. Awesome. Thank you so much. Megan sales house stores. We'll drop the link there in the show notes for you. If you enjoy today's episode, write us a review, share it with your friends and as always we're listening for your feedback.

[00:25:52] 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 column Mitchell.

[00:26:16] And if you enjoyed this episode, feel free to leave us a review and share the podcast with your friends.