Marc Kammarman, CEO of Selling That Works, recently sat down with Eric Verdi of Frederick Advice Givers for an interview. Marc’s full interview can be found on YouTube and you can read the transcript of Part I here, but here is the second and final installment for your reading pleasure!
Eric: So lemme go to the next section. It’s called “Minute To Win It”. I think this will tie into your story very well. So, what’s been your biggest challenge while running your own company?
Marc: Owning your own company certainly has its advantages. The only challenge is that it’s not like you get a paycheck every week that’s guaranteed. You gotta sell. The biggest challenge in running a business is making sure that I spend the appropriate amount of time prospecting for new business. When you’re a consultant, Eric, here is the challenge. Is that if you have a lot of business, you’re really out of business in terms of marketing yourself. So, the one challenge that I’ve wrestled with and hopefully have done a better job of it is making sure that I leave enough time for myself to develop new business. To network. To have my marketing company contact you and have this wonderful opportunity on a podcast. The biggest challenge is managing time effectively.
Eric: Yep. I think that’s a problem that A LOT of people, business owners but specifically ones that generate revenue off of sales have. They spend too much time, it’s cyclical. You do marketing, you do advertising, you talk to people, you get business and then you’re doing the business. They spend too much time working in the business, not working on the business. So pretend we’re in a time machine Marc and go back to right before you started your company. Knowing what you now, what is one piece of advice that you’d give to your former self?
Marc: I think this is just an excellent question, Eric. As I think about the question, I’m going to answer this honestly because this was a challenge for me initially. When you’re standing up front of a group of people, whether it’s 25 or 50, I’ve spoken to as many as 2,000 people. The feeling that you get, the powerful feeling that you get standing up there, watching them glued to you, the applause that they give you. When I first began, I thought I was an entertainer, Eric. I thought that making people feel good and giving them some good information but the applause and the feeling of being almost like a celebrity. The advice that I would’ve given Marc Kammarman in 1985 was recognize the responsibility that you have when you’re trying to have an impact on people. When you’re trying to change people’s behavior. When you’re trying to give people an opportunity to better themselves. It took me a while Eric to recognize that responsibility. Since I’ve recognized it and a big part of it was getting remarried 12 years ago to Ana when she made me recognize the impact that I had on her. That when she took the training program that I gave where we met and how it impacted her life both personally and professionally. It was like someone hitting me over the head saying this is what you do and you better take it seriously.
Eric: Yes. I think that’s profound that yeah, the more people you can impact the bigger, larger impact you can have in the community and in the world. Alright so Marc, I want to dig a little bit deeper on this next question. I want you to take our listeners on a mental journey with you. Imagine that you are dropped off on a desert island and the natives have no idea what a sales consultant and a Selling That Works does and you need to give them the benefits of working with you and why they might need your services.
Marc: That’s an interesting way of putting the question because I get dropped on islands frequently. They’re called companies and they don’t know what a sales consultant does because they believe they got a Vice President of Sales, they got sales managers. Why would they ever need a consultant? So, if I was dropped on a corporation’s island and they ask me what is it do you do? This is how I would respond to them. I would look at the president of the company and I would say “Imagine if all your sales people could produce like your number one performer. What would that be like?” Typically, they’re going to say that would be great. Then I would tell them that’s what I do as a sales consultant. We create a sustainable, behavioral change in their sales force that is in alignment with the company’s goals by the execution of the selling process. What we do is change the behavior of the way a salesperson executes the selling process. Only 20% of all salespeople are top performers. The other 60% or 80% are just average. What separates the high performers is they have a high need for achievement, they’re self-motivated, they hate losing, they’re goal oriented, they’re self-managed. None of those characteristics are trainable but what they do is they execute the selling process flawlessly. When you take a look at today’s technology, our interview, this podcast Eric you’re conducting on Skype. IT is different, companies manufacturing at ISO9000 lean manufacturing. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the selling process. It is the same for whatever product or service it is. What we’ve been able to do is focus on the following. We ask every client the same question. Do you have competitors that products or services similar to you? The answer is always yes. Do you have competitors that can provide levels of support and technical support and service similar to yours? The answer is yes. Then we ask them do they have competitors that will sell it for cheaper than them. Yes. How do you differentiate yourself in that market? You differentiate yourself by having a better sales force than your competitors and the things that we focus on our three areas that will separate a sales person from their competitor’s sales force. These are the three things that we focus on. We focus on how do you become a better listener. How do you listen to understand versus listening to respond? Two, how do you make people comfortable with you and want to connect with you? Three, how do you ask good business questions? The art of diagnostic questions. So, if we were on a corporate island, and they’ve never seen a sales consultant before, when I leave I certainly would want them to believe that there is a possibility to get average performers to perform at levels that will help that company meet their sales budgets.
Eric: I love it. I think when businesses and sales force can make an emotional connection with their potential client and that’s exactly what you’re talking about. You’re just saying it better than I am. I think that’s how you gain business and gain clientele. Okay so one last question Marc before we wrap. Think of an internet resource or app like Google Calendar or Voxer that you cannot do without. What is it?
Marc: Well Google certainly is important to me for research. Looking up company’s information. Another tool for me that is necessary is LinkedIn. Helping me to connect and use my network to find new opportunities. I would say those are the two that are critical for me.
Eric: Cool. Marc so leave our audience with one parting shot. What is a book you’ve read or a quote that you live by that has helped mold you?
Marc: A quote that has stuck with me forever and I think about it every morning and that is “the single most significant decision I can make on a day to day basis is my choice of attitude”.
Eric: Laughs. Yeah that’s one thousand percent true. That’s the one thing you need to control. If you wake up every day, you have a choice. Every day is going to provide those speed bumps. It’s how you get through those speed bumps and your attitude and your actions is a direct correlation with how the end results going to be, right?
Marc: I think it was Lou Holtz the football coach that once said that life is 10% circumstances and 90% on how you react to them. That’s something I try to work on every day and I know if I choose the right attitude, it gives me the greatest opportunity to have a good day.
Eric: Exactly. Alright so I want to just touch on one final thing before we wrap this up Marc. Who exactly do you work with? Do you just work with large companies with 500 or 600 employees or you know, cause we have a lot of business owners that own businesses that might only be them or one other employee and we have listeners that have multimillion dollar companies that have hundreds of employees?
Marc: We work with companies of all sizes. I’ve got some Fortune 100 clients and then I have small clients. The ideal client for us and it has nothing to do with size. It could be one or two sales people. It could be 1000 sales people. It’s a leader that recognizes that if the performance of his or her team and what their responsibility in collaborating with a consultant can make a difference in their company. That’s the types of companies we want to deal with. We’ve dealt with companies that have had as few as three sales people and companies that have had considerably more. It’s really trying to find a partner that recognizes that it’s not just the consultant that’s going to make the difference but it is a collaborative effort between the consultant and the company. When we can find those, Eric, we have a legitimate chance to make a difference and really have an impact because we get feedback from people we’ve worked with and phone calls on a weekly basis having them give us examples of using something that they got from us that made a difference from them.
Eric: Very cool. So, Marc, how would our listeners get ahold of you? Facebook? Website? Phone number?
Marc: Our website is www.sellingthatworks.com
Eric: That’s a great URL. You must’ve had that for a while.
Marc: Yeah I’ve had it for a while and it says exactly the way I feel that is what we do. The other way of reaching me is by email. Marc@sellingthatworks.com or 301-846-0611.
Eric: Awesome. Listeners, I hope you enjoyed episode 100 of Frederick Advice Givers with Marc Kammarman of Selling That Works as much as I did. Great guy, love his passion, love his stories. We will see you next week with 101. And we are out!