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How to Build Your Startup Sales Process w/ Belal Batrawy

If you are a solopreneur, startup leader or founder who needs to build out a high converting sales process, or if you simply want to improve your existing sales process, this episode is for you. 

Today’s guest is Belal Batrawy, a seven time startup seller who’s typically joined as one of the first, if not the first, sales hire. I met him through the Salesforce Top Sales Influencer program and immediately recognized how amazing he is. He’s also been hugely recognized and awarded by LinkedIn, Crunchbase, Salesloft, and a lot of other organizations as a top sales leader to follow.

Belal is all about no fluff, so this episode is full of tactical tips you can use today to grow your sales!

Show Notes:

[2:24] – Belal explains how he began working with startups and how he discovered this passion.
[4:58] – With startups, there’s more to do than time to do it and more questions than answers. It’s easier to know what not to do.
[5:48] – Small is better even when you are feeling the fear of missing out.
[8:01] – There are ways people set themselves up for failure when it comes to startups.
[9:05] – The best thing that can happen is a quick failure. Belal recommends building fast to fail fast so you can use your time wisely.
[11:09] – The fear of failure holds us up in a lot of ways, but it’s a success to fail quickly and change for success.
[14:11] – How do you sell a vision for something that isn’t built yet?
[16:08] – Emotionally charged messaging is key.
[17:50] – Everybody focuses on the messaging but the messaging means nothing if you don’t have the right audience.
[19:58] – If you are giving someone something of value, then they will expect to pay what it is valued as. They become skeptical if it is priced too low.
[21:17] – Belal has always surrounded himself with coaches and mentors and attributes a lot of his success to his belief in seeking counsel.
[23:07] – Perfect pricing is actually just slightly above what the budget is. Rather than negotiating the price, you negotiate the difference.
[25:04] – When something hasn’t been built yet, how do you price it and what do you say to pitch it?
[27:04] – Sometimes you have to walk away from bad customers early on because it can be dangerous to keep them around in the long run.
[29:53] – How do we find the right person as the first seller? Sales will drop when you hire initially and Belal recommends hiring in pairs.
[32:15] – Instead of setting goals, Belal sets minimums. Instead of creating a ceiling, set a floor.
[34:42] – Belal’s faith and spirituality is important to him and he shares what he has learned to bring meaning to the money that drives him.
[36:48] – Belal shares what he has learned from his relationship with his wife.

Connect with Belal:

Links and Resources:

DM me on Instagram @elysearcher

0:02

Welcome to She Sells Radio today’s episode is for you if you are a

0:07

solopreneur a startup leader or a Founder who needs to build out a high converting sales process don’t we all

0:13

right or if you simply want to improve your existing process and want to learn

0:19

from a pro so my guest today is Bilal betray he’s a seven time startup seller

0:25

who has typically joined as one of the first if not the first sales hire and I

0:31

met him through the Salesforce top sales influencers program he’s also been hugely recognized and awarded by

0:39

companies like LinkedIn crunchbase sales Loft frankly too many for me to list out

0:44

or else we would be here for a long time but just know that he is someone you want to learn from and follow and he

0:51

knows what he’s talking about I also know that he’s about no fluff so I know we’re going to get into some really good

0:56

tactical tips and strategies that you can use today to grow your sales so billel welcome welcome to the podcast we

1:03

are so glad to have you it’s an honor thank you so much for having me Elise I’m I’m glad to be here yes oh my gosh

1:09

glad to have you and you know to be a seven time

1:14

involved in seven startup sales right you gotta have some guts you got some

1:20

issues I I probably need some therapy at this point I don’t know why I’m addicted to it oh my gosh you know what’s so

1:26

funny one of my uh one of my clients literally is starting something like that’s specifically therapy for startup

1:32

Founders because there is so much just need for that out there right yeah what

1:38

did you get involved in this world though was this what you thought you were going to be doing forever or what not at all it was just lucky you know

1:44

the the company that was most serious about hiring when I got out of University happened to be a startup and

1:50

it was a startup that sold to other startups and uh so Not only was I in a

1:55

startup growing within it and learning and that one went IPO which is a complete you know like what luck you

2:01

know how many how many companies actually go IPO the startup I joined within within five years had gone IPO I

2:07

was there for three of those five years so I saw it go from 500 people to like 2

2:12

500 people in three years it was crazy yeah and um and then like I said we were

2:19

selling the startups so that’s all I knew and I was like hey this is fun are they all like this and then I found out

2:24

they’re not at all but you know I didn’t know any better I was like they must be all this great let’s let’s keep let’s

2:30

keep doing startups oh my gosh oh my gosh so you would come on SO for someone who you know we’ve got you and I were

2:37

chatting a bit in the pre-chat about our listeners and we’ve got a really diverse array of listeners if someone is not as

2:42

familiar with the space you would typically come on as either like the very first sales person when a company’s

2:48

transitioning from founder-led sales or you’d be one of the first to come on that’s right and back in the day that

2:54

used to be at somewhere around like half a million in Revenue but the way things are today keeps getting earlier and

3:01

earlier because companies can can raise really healthy seed rounds yeah it can justify paying somebody to do sales so

3:07

founders typically will hire a seller a little bit earlier now but yeah it’s it’s early

3:13

days you know zero to one or one to ten that Journey um and they’re both like very different

3:19

from each other yeah oh for sure for sure and you know I think for today you

3:25

know I know we’re going to talk sales process and this really applies wherever you are in your journey you’re

3:32

going to get something from this that applies whether you are a founder and you’re doing your own selling whether

3:37

you want to hire your first sales person and you’re like how do I do this how do I Empower them to be successful or

3:43

you’re in sales and you want to learn some things that are going to help you improve how much you’re selling how much

3:49

you’re closing like takes you’re going to take something from this and apply but what I think would be really

3:54

interesting to start with is how does one build a sales process from

4:00

scratch I don’t know if we even have enough time to cover all that in the episode but you know that’s one of your

4:05

Specialties so why don’t we just start off with like what are some of the core things that someone should be thinking

4:10

about if they are building that out from scratch yeah it’s a great question and it is a very complicated one and and the

4:16

way I like to think about these things is the nature of startups is there’s more to do than time to do it and

4:21

typically there’s more questions and answers so when you’re in a state of like ambiguity like that and it’s

4:27

actually easier to know what not to do than what to do like think of it like a multiple choice exam we have no idea

4:34

what the right answer is so process of elimination you go I know it’s not a or D okay so now I’m getting now I got a 50

4:40

50 choice in B and C like that’s a much better place to be than you’re just staring at it being like I have no idea

4:45

what we’re doing here so it’s always easier to find out what the wrong answer is and then take that off the board and

4:52

then that that again that narrows the universe a little bit more of possibilities and you want to keep narrow growing and the hardest thing

4:59

that you have to fight as a early stage seller or even a Founder selling is

5:06

um you know this the fomo that we feel when we narrow things when we narrow the scope small is better small is always

5:12

small lists small uh tightly defined ideal customer profile you know small

5:18

marketing budget small is better because that forces you um to commit you get better results when

5:26

you do that and you can then make the adjustments you need over time so I’d

5:32

rather do one thing for one week and know if it works or not then try to do

5:37

three things over four weeks and not be clear about any of them right I want to just pause yeah I’d love to pause on

5:44

what you just said there because I know as a Founder myself right there’s so

5:49

much pressure there can feel like so much pressure to just expand expand expand you got to grow the list you got

5:55

to grow the targets you got to grow the obviously that’s important but what I’m hearing you say is specifically when you’re first launching

6:02

something having that small Focus list is that’s a good thing like we want that right how

6:08

do how do we know when we’re focused enough how do we know when we’ve niched down enough

6:13

it should be manageable like uh I was just dealing with a Founder where I asked them okay tell me who your ideal

6:19

buyer is and he starts giving me a list and he’s like you know companies between 50 to 500 employees and I’m like okay

6:25

this time out right there I’m like What’s the difference between a company that has 53 employees and one that has

6:31

  1. because technically both those fit your ICP right but you just told me is a

6:37

great buyer to you but you and I both know a company of 498 people and 53 people are completely

6:44

different and yet you just told me both would be ideal for you they’re not so right away it’s like it has to be the

6:51

top end whatever the ceiling and floor is of whatever you’re trying to focus on whatever parameters you’re putting on

6:57

should should be restrictive enough that whether it was right at the edge of this

7:02

of the floor or right at the edge of the ceiling it’s still pretty manageable and

7:07

like how much can one person do in a given week or month like you you don’t

7:12

have that much time again because there’s more to do than time to do it so is it easier to say I’m going to take 50

7:18

accounts and try to get five customers from this or say I’m going to take 5 000 accounts and hope that God I can get

7:24

five customers from it you can’t work five thousand accounts that’s not manageable it’s not you know you’re

7:30

setting yourself up for failure when you do that yeah yeah it’s a great point because sometimes when I’m going on

7:36

shows and sharing my own Journey like we were able to scale to seven with

7:42

a very small community like not a big list not a big audience and it was just that Personal Touch and that personal

7:48

Outreach but knowing who your person is right so so I’m curious too because you

7:55

said um you said it’s better like it’s easier to figure out what not to do than what to

8:01

do yeah do we just do that by mistake is that trial and error are there some things we can think about ahead of time

8:07

before we make all the mistakes to figure out what not to do yes yeah great question this and I I’m gonna steal

8:13

something that I learned a long time ago from one of the top incubators in California where they brought in a guest

8:19

speaker and he said the mentality you should have as a Founder is a prototype

8:24

to fail than tab so that means I want to build fast and I want to fail fast

8:29

because that’s the best thing that can happen to me is a quick failure like a prolonged failure is deadly because you

8:36

can’t recoup the time that you invested in that failure so like I might be like

8:42

to myself okay I want to start a coaching program now I can be coaching dentists I can be coaching hair stylist

8:49

I could be coaching entrepreneurs I could be coaching uh marketing leaders those are four completely different

8:55

businesses all of them valid how do I find out what’s right for me well I’m

9:00

gonna pick one instead of trying to do all four at the same time and let’s say it’s dentists and now I’m gonna learn

9:06

everything I can about the dental business and I’m gonna try to get 10 dentists I’m gonna have 10 conversations

9:12

with dentist lunch I’m gonna sit down and spend an hour with them and at the end of that week or two weeks or three

9:19

weeks that it takes me to do that I’ll have a really clear idea if I’m actually going to be building this coaching business for a dentist or not

9:25

and that’s that’s a very quick experiment and then the next time I hire a you know a coach to work with me I can

9:33

tell them hey man we are not going to touch a dentist I tried that it’s a dead end they don’t need coaching they don’t

9:38

like it they’re not willing to pay what we’re what we deserve that’s why our business is focused over here instead of

9:45

over there and that’s possible that’s prototype to fail mentality I’m going to go fast I’m gonna focus on one thing I’m

9:52

going to find out if it works or not very quickly because I’m not splitting my concentration in too many places

9:59

and then I’ll have a con you know a clear end in sight a conclusion and then

10:04

from there I can go to the next thing and the next thing oh and I love that too because and I’ll

10:10

just speak from the standpoint of a woman obviously I don’t speak for every woman everyone is different but there is like I know a lot of the conversations I

10:16

have with my clients is a they are about that fear of failure right which I guess we all have to some

10:23

extent but if that is the goal right let me fail as quickly as possible it just

10:29

gives so much permission to say oh this was actually a success because I failed in it right kind of reverse psychology I

10:36

love it but but I think it helps free us up to it does the best Founders do it that way that’s the best Founders if

10:43

every startup that I’ve been with um uh and again because I’ve joined so

10:48

early I was working hand in hand with the founders in almost all seven startups I saw the original deck I saw

10:55

the original idea and what we were doing at the time versus where it started was completely different like wow how did we

11:02

go from like one of the ones I’ll give you an actual Story full story was one of the startups I joined I was the first

11:07

sales hire there they’re now a fortune unicorn when I joined them they only had a million in recurring Revenue so really

11:13

they’ve exploded in growth and I was employee number 30 something there and

11:18

the original the original pitch that Scott the founder did was a product

11:24

called uh I think they called it cow paths like they didn’t even have a company name yet can you imagine they

11:31

just called it project cow paths and they went out for people and they said hey kind of like cows walking through a

11:36

prairie if we could just show you where users are navigating on your website would that be helpful to you and uh it

11:43

was hideous the deck was disgusting it was in this like eyesore blue I was like

11:48

dude did you like you could have at least picked the color that was like nice to look at this is actually hurts my eyes when it’s up on the screen like

11:55

take it off and he was able to get his seed round of funding just with that and

12:01

get about five to ten people to commit that if they build it they will try and use it and that was a fail fast

12:08

mentality like they didn’t even they didn’t even sit down and start coding until they had some people committed to

12:14

testing the idea if they coded um and that was the right approach and and I would argue a lot of full story

12:22

success comes from those decisions they made in those early days to really prototype to fail to work fast you know

12:29

is it easier to code an entire program or just build a PowerPoint pitch the

12:34

idea and get people to commit to the idea yeah so what I’m hearing from you there

12:39

is don’t be afraid to pre-sell either right like I was working with the client last week and she said gosh I’ve always

12:45

built she’s in coaching she said I’ve always Built My programs ahead of time and then gone and sold them and I was like I’ve always done the opposite right

12:53

and they don’t it wasn’t because it was like I knew to do this it was more just I just kind of did it because it just seemed like it made more sense like get

12:59

people to say yes I’ll pay for this and then build it but so am I hearing you right that if if you have control over

13:05

that if you are a Founder um really be leaning into that more like let’s get people to put real money on

13:10

the line and then build minimum Biola product and then build exactly right exactly that’s how you get your early

13:16

customers everybody Wonders that puzzle like how do you get your early customers it’s it’s through those commitments in

13:21

the early days how did you get I’m curious okay because this does tie in with the sales piece

13:27

how do you get someone to commit to something that isn’t built yet how would you approach that if you like you had a

13:33

vision it wasn’t built you’ve got this ugly PowerPoint you know that’s what you

13:38

got how do you have subdivision yeah it’s it first off it’s hard so whatever answer I

13:45

say I’ll say it and it will come off the tongue and it’ll seem like oh okay that’s it and it’s like but that’s that’s actually putting into practice is

13:51

very difficult but the the right way to do it or the way that I’ve seen most effective from these from Founders that

13:57

I’ve worked with is emotionally charged messaging finding a problem that is just like a powder keg for the buyer that

14:03

really sets them off um for example in the case of um connectifier which is one of the

14:10

startups that I worked at that was acquired by LinkedIn we knew that recruiters hate LinkedIn recruiter that

14:16

they find it stifling that they think it’s a gimmick because LinkedIn tells them oh you can send this many emails

14:22

and you have no idea if the person even logs into LinkedIn and Linkedin by its own admission says is that I think more

14:29

well I think over 80 percent of its users don’t even log in once a month so they tout this big user number but none

14:36

of them are active and so LinkedIn uh sells this very expensive recruiter

14:42

package and then these recruiters don’t have a way to actually reach out to the candidates that they spend all this time looking for

14:48

so we found a way to to essentially get the emails and phone numbers for people so recruiters can reach out to them

14:54

directly and I remember John jerson who was the CEO and founder of connectifier saying

15:01

that they interviewed something like 250 recruiters before they even wrote the first line of code and in all these

15:08

interviews they couldn’t find a single one that was like in love with LinkedIn at best people were neutral and most of

15:15

the time they just hated it so that became the Cornerstone of the messaging which is like you know how much you hate

15:21

LinkedIn recruiter and they’re like yeah and then we’d like let them go off for a bit and there’s like a little therapy

15:26

session people really hated it um so you need that kind of emotionally charged messaging like what’s the powder

15:32

keg of emotions that your buyer has over a problem and you want to build around that and if

15:38

your PowerPoint focuses on that or your presentation or your your company deck starts with that problem and why it is

15:45

and you dig that knife deep you’ll find people responding like for sure like people will lean into that and uh and

15:53

cut you off and back well let me tell you another thing that’s not on your slide right which is great right because

15:59

they’re they’re bought in at that point yeah so I want to come to me that

16:05

naturally lends itself to a bit of okay how do we price things especially early stage but before so just know I want to

16:11

go there before we go there is there anything else we should be thinking about when building like anything else

16:17

major that we should be thinking about when building that sales process from scratch I know you talked about niching

16:22

down um you know eliminate what doesn’t work kind of yeah work it that way but

16:27

anything else be very flexible in the list building in the early days so so

16:33

people think um the messaging is what matters most it’s important but the list building is

16:39

actually the most important thing and it should be a sort of a process that changes every week and every month

16:45

because you’ll build a list hopefully it should be a very small list 50 to 250

16:51

names or contacts or companies it shouldn’t be a big list should be something very manageable and as you

16:58

start making your way through that list and having conversations with people getting responses by email Etc you’re

17:03

learning right you’re getting these little learnings and it should make adjustments to the list it might cause

17:09

you to blow up the list and start from scratch and that’s totally okay that’s again that’s a good thing that’s prototyping to fail realizing okay this

17:16

isn’t the right list to be working but um Everybody focuses on the messaging

17:21

they put this like big emphasis over here and I’m like the messaging means nothing if you’re not giving it to the Right audience it’s all about audience

17:28

building in the early days okay that’s a really good point that’s a really really good point anything else

17:36

that you think well I’ll tell you right now just the pricing point that you raised like whatever pricing anybody

17:43

comes up with myself included even when I went on on my own is wrong like your first pricing is gonna be wrong and just

17:49

accept that embrace it realize it and that kind of again lets you give you

17:54

gives you permission you know some sort of freedom to be like okay I know it’s going to be wrong but let me just throw this out there and start here and then

18:02

see what happens every founder I work with with no exception has completely

18:09

underpriced their product I was just going to ask is it under priced is it overpriced I was guessing everyone was under pricing yeah completely

18:16

underpriced I mean we’re talking sometimes multitudes of 10 15 20. I’ve had Founders have to increase their

18:23

pricing 50x which to them was like they’re like you know having a panic attack right believe me 50 exit and

18:31

watch nobody will bat an eye wow it’s

18:36

we discount I think heavily because we think that the analogy I’ll give is this to to your listeners nobody buys a cheap

18:43

diamond if I came today with a high quality you know big you know it’s great carrot size

18:50

extreme Clarity just a quality diamond and I told you it was two hundred dollars

18:55

I would be like yeah you can’t trust me right yeah because you’re like a diamond of that

19:01

quality shouldn’t be 200 it should be like 20 grand yeah like it’s so

19:07

unbelievably cheap that there must be something wrong with it right yeah yeah

19:12

but we we think to ourselves well I’m giving them a no-brainer deal right this should be a no-brainer and

19:18

it’s like if if you’re giving somebody truly something of value of quality then the expectation is I should pay for that

19:25

quality and value yeah and if you discount too much and you undercut yourself too much you actually enter an

19:31

even more dangerous territory where then people get skeptical and then they’re like well clearly it’s not valuable

19:38

clearly I misread the situation clearly it’s not quality and now I need to poke

19:43

holes and figure out what’s wrong so glad you said that I’m so glad you

19:49

said that because that is it’s something I know I did in my journey starting out I know a lot of my clients too like when

19:55

I do one-on-one work with them we’ll look at their pricing and it’s like oh my gosh how are you charging this little for what you do like it’s so good but

20:02

it’s so common yeah how um you know for the example of you got a

20:08

50x you’re pricing like how does someone get past some of the mindset pieces with that because that

20:13

can feel really uncomfortable to go out and pitch at 50x what you just start like do you tell people just go do it

20:19

and see what the response is and yeah it will you’re right it does take a dose of courage to just like completely change

20:25

your pricing like that I I will say this as a as a practicing Muslim we have very

20:31

core to our belief that you should always seek counsel seek advice seek guidance so uh I I’ve always been

20:37

surrounded by kind of like coaches and mentors and things of that nature whether from religious or personal or

20:43

professional and those are the people I lean on to like call me out when I’m doing something like this wrong I will

20:50

say it’s a lot easier to do if like yourself like a coach like yourself makes it so much easier to talk to

20:55

somebody that is like a third party neutral in this to be like hey here’s

21:01

what I’m doing and then they can set you straight like just very recently I met with um Larry long Jr from our group oh

21:07

yeah you’re asking him about like what to charge if you are going to be speaking talking in classic form what I

21:13

thought was to charge was easily I think like 15x less than one or you know like

21:19

under undercut he’s like you got a 15x that’d be that and I’m like are you serious ladies like you got it but like

21:25

otherwise you’re gonna get laughed out of the room I’m like seriously that’s how bad I was yeah because we just don’t

21:30

know right we don’t have the context and when it’s when it’s our own product too we naturally probably undervalue yeah

21:39

and like I said what we don’t realize is you over pack value to such an extent

21:45

where it actually becomes dangerous and causes the cheap diamond effect where somebody goes well there’s something

21:50

wrong why am I getting so much value for so little that’s not how things work

21:56

therefore there must be something wrong here how do we know you know I appreciate what you said about everyone gets it

22:02

wrong at first right so just go ahead and accept that you’re going to get it wrong it’s okay how do we know though when we’ve kind of

22:08

started to hit that sweet spot in terms of pricing is it we’re getting like

22:14

we’re still getting yeses right but it may feel it feels stretchy to us to

22:19

offer it at that rate but it feels like a good exchange but we’re getting yeses like how do how do I go uh that’s a

22:25

great question I I like to hear people give me a little like ah when I say the price just like a little like you know

22:32

like you know when you watch those um shows where they’re going it’s like a couple buying a home yeah and they

22:37

always pick a home that’s right outside their budget like it just happens almost every time they’re like we set 300K and

22:43

they’re like that home’s 325 and they’re like oh but it has everything we need right and now they have to make the

22:49

decision that’s that’s perfect pricing when you’re just slightly above what somebody’s willing to pay and now

22:55

instead of negotiating on the sum you’re negotiating on that difference okay so

23:01

it’s like my budget was three thousand and you’re 3500 is anybody can work with

23:07

me on that 500 and it’s like sure I can work with you on that and now you’re just you know you’re working on that

23:13

difference instead of the the lump sum that’s how you know your pricing is working or you’ve kind of found a good

23:19

spot you want a little bit of resistance it shouldn’t be so much that people go

23:24

wow like I had no idea it’s going to be that much yeah then you know either you’re talking

23:30

to the wrong person and their expectations were set wrong or your pricing is just way over in comparison

23:37

maybe to the market or the average that they typically would pay for that product or service got it like a little

23:42

resistance is so good that means you’re like in the right spot that’s great to know because I know too for anything

23:48

I’ve invested in that I’ve really valued there’s been that like oh you know it feels uncomfortable but I think as a

23:54

buyer we get more out of something when we have to stretch a bit for it exactly right so they get they get a better

24:00

result if you’re this is super helpful by the way so thank you if you’re pre-selling

24:07

something you haven’t built yet right so you’re you’re pre-selling your minimum viable product

24:12

um are there any tips for pricing that like I’m assuming you might do

24:18

you know we’re gonna this is the early or excuse me this is the lowest it’s ever going to be you’re getting some sort of a discount because we’re

24:24

building it as we go like anything any good verbage or wording or just rules of thumb yeah I think that’s so important

24:30

in those situations at least to to to drill into the contrast so okay normally

24:36

something like this would cost blank blank would only get you x y and z

24:42

I’m willing it to offer to you for this and this includes XYZ and one two three

24:49

and I’ll lock you in at this price for a year and so now it’s like a really clear

24:55

contrast and value and it’s like look the only reason why I’m offering you this is because I need early adopters

25:02

that are willing to give me something more valuable than money which is feedback that’s the expectation so while you

25:09

think you’re getting a discount I’m asking what I think is something far more valuable which is your time got it

25:14

I want you to take this seriously with me help me build it as long as you see the vision of what it can be like I do

25:20

and that kind of a pitch it it does two things one it actually makes people who

25:27

aren’t willing to commit nervous because you just said to them hey I want something more valuable than your

25:33

dollars which is your feedback and they’re thinking to themselves am I the sort of person that gives feedback like

25:38

that no I’m not um and they’re gonna hesitate and that’s great because you want to filter those

25:45

people out especially when you’re pre-selling the worst thing you can do is is get a bad customer early on I

25:52

can’t tell you how many times we’ve walked away from deals at startups that I’ve been at can I we mentioned

25:57

connectify earlier we had a deal where we again we sold to recruiters we had Robert Half which was the fifth largest

26:04

Staffing Company in the U.S want to buy connectify for a million dollar contract

26:10

at the time we were a two million dollar company so we would have literally you know like gone from 2 million to three

26:15

per night and we walked away from the deal because the idea of supporting something like Robert Half of the size

26:22

we were at did not make sense even if they’re willing to give us a million dollar check wow sometimes you have to

26:28

walk away from Bad customers early on because they’re extremely dangerous to the business they can actually bring it

26:35

down so I mean I think from a couple of I just want to hone in on what you just

26:41

said because that had to have been really hard to say no to I’ll put it that way right that

26:47

was probably really hard my commission check from that was very hard to say no to because I was like what

26:56

to was one the importance of vision right

27:01

what are we really doing um Integrity on your part

27:07

and then third it’s like just because someone has a lot of money doesn’t mean they’re a great client for you

27:13

they could be a bad customer for you they could be a very bad customer in fact sometimes the oftentimes actually

27:20

the best customers aren’t the ones that pay the most they’re the ones that find the most value and pay the easiest so

27:27

easiest and most are not the same concept um and as an early stage seller it’s

27:33

really easy to get distracted by big accounts and think well I’m going to close Oracle I’m going to close IBM and

27:39

it’s like is IBM a good customer or is like a middling e-commerce brand that’s

27:44

growing a great Customer because I’m going to sell them easily and we’re going to grow

27:50

with them as they grow as a business and so you have to make those decisions and that goes back to the point I said about

27:56

when you make this contrast in your pricing on the one hand you’re going to weed out people that aren’t a fit by by putting

28:03

it that way and on the other hand it’s going to be very polarizing very very magnetic for the people who are a fit

28:09

who go that’s me yeah I I love giving feedback I love trying new things that’s

28:15

you know you’re talking about me and they lean in even harder which is great got it that’s so helpful I think to know

28:23

that early on too uh and to be willing to take a stand for like who’s a great

28:28

client who’s not be willing to turn people turn people off and turn them away you get to stay in your power as you

28:34

build that out so one final kind of area I want to speak to and then I want to ask you a couple closing questions and

28:40

where people can connect with you so I know we have a lot of Founders listening

28:46

who are currently doing all the sales themselves who are really excited about getting some of

28:51

that off of their plate they want to hire a level right they

28:57

they’re like how do I do this how do I um how do I do it the right way I think a few things one I’ve heard you

29:04

should expect that sales will drop when you bring on your first person so knowing kind of what to expect as a

29:11

Founder maybe that’s not always the case and then two how do we set how do we find the right person and set them up

29:16

for Success so it’s kind of a multi-part question it’s it’s tough and you’re right when you do hire that first seller

29:24

um sales will drop off and and I would recommend this which it’s not doable for everyone and I understand that but

29:29

hiring in pairs is a superpower when you can bring in two people and they learn together their ability to learn and get

29:37

over any whatever learning curve you’re presenting for them is going to be massively accelerated than if you hire a

29:43

single person um so hiring in pairs is a superpower if you can afford it obviously many

29:49

companies can’t sure um and the profile you’re looking for again the mistake Founders make is they

29:55

think well I need somebody senior that’s done it before and actually those people have far less Drive far less

30:03

um need to prove themselves far less chip on their shoulder and you’ll find

30:08

them being actually very kind of not I won’t say lazy but they just won’t bring the same effort as somebody who’s

30:15

actually needs their big break yeah the hiring profile that we would typically look for at startups that I’ve that I’ve

30:22

been a sales leader for early sellers are ones that are looking for their big break they’re out of company uh today

30:27

that’s not giving them their chance to move up and they’re thinking to themselves man

30:32

if somebody just gives me a chance I’m gonna I’m gonna nail this shot like I will take I will take it all I’ll take

30:38

all the responsibility and they’re actually excited by the idea that they’re going to be challenged that

30:44

they’re going to be given responsibilities that don’t fit their job title that they’re going to be expected to think creatively

30:50

uh those are the right people so it’s usually people who are like in the mid part of their career like for example if

30:57

I was going for an early stage sales hire at a SAS company a software company I’d want somebody with about two to six

31:04

years experience no more no less not less than two because if they come to me with less

31:09

than two I still need to train them how to sell which is its own mountain to

31:14

climb and then our situation is another Mountain so I don’t want to present them with two difficult things to have to

31:21

learn at once and I don’t want to have more than six years experience because at that point they’re pretty tenured and

31:27

odds are they should have already have gotten their chance at some company they’ve been at

31:33

um so that’s like a very typical profile and the way I set them up for success is

31:39

I want every month to be their best month every quarter to be their best quarter so instead of setting goals

31:45

because who knows what goals are I mean I’ve seen Founders just literally like make up goals and I’m like where are you

31:52

getting these numbers from like it’s totally made up like how can you give somebody a set of goals that you have no

31:57

clue if they can be hit or not set minimums right instead of selling a a ceiling set a floor like here’s the

32:04

minimum we expect that at a minimum this month you can get one customer got it

32:10

right a minimum this year you can get 10 new logos okay now anything above that

32:16

minimum I will greatly reward you okay and anything below that minimum means

32:22

failure like we’re we’re clearly something’s not clicking okay that’s a much better way to say we have a goal

32:29

this year of getting a 30 customers based on what based on what your desire some spreadsheet math that was done like

32:35

that’s not you know that goal can easily be um debated if it’s fair enough it’s so

32:42

interesting you put it that way because when you said that set the minimums my brain went to that’s so interesting but

32:47

how do you keep people motivated if you’re doing that but to your point if you hit above that I’ll handsomely

32:52

reward you and it’s who you’re bringing in they’re inherently going to be motivated right so hiring that right

32:59

type of person that’s right that’s key yeah yeah gosh oh I learned so much today this was this

33:07

was incredibly helpful I want to ask you a bit of a curveball question but I’m

33:13

just curious you know I appreciate that you brought up your faith earlier and it’s something that sometimes when

33:19

people come into this podcast they’re like I thought I was going to get a bunch of sales tips I’m actually like learning a lot about Consciousness and

33:25

spirituality and all because that is important to me um but I believe I read somewhere about

33:31

you that just one of the things you’re focused on in your life is kind of ascending Beyond materialism and that

33:37

obviously your faith is very important to you I’d love to just hear how that works

33:43

with obviously in our world there’s so much focus on money and achievement

33:48

how do you incorporate your faith into what you do to stay grounded and I guess what does tell

33:55

us a little bit about what that looks like for you I think that’s that’s so important yeah thank you for asking that by the way I appreciate that it’s it’s

34:02

um well it’s not easy first up being in sales to say I’m not money driven I’ve definitely

34:08

um rubbed some managers and and sales leaders in the past the wrong way just just saying that because I think the

34:14

expectation is you’re supposed to be money driven if you’re in a sales role and uh that that that’s you know goes

34:20

against the culture I think in some places some some sales cultures I had a a Christian co-worker of mine many years

34:27

ago tell me something and since he taught it to me I never let it go which was he had set up an account a separate

34:34

account where 10 of his commissions went straight into the account and that account was just for him to do all the

34:41

charitable work that he wanted whether that was helping fellow um uh you know people from this church

34:46

uh in his community and so on and I’m like what a brilliant way to like bring meaning to the money

34:53

um and now he felt motivated seeing that bank account growing every time he got a commission check wow and ever since he

35:00

did that I did the same and I set up a second one for that and it really helped me over the years feel

35:06

um healthy and good about my connection to making that money in Commission because I kept thinking to myself with

35:12

every check 10 of it was going to go and then whatever percent is comfortable for you that’s what he did and that’s what I

35:18

did um but that really helped me and that money has been what I get to do all the

35:24

things that I really then enjoy which is like you know the charitable work and so on and that

35:30

um helps me bring a religious aspect to the job and again creates like what I

35:35

think is a healthy connection to the money yeah oh I love that so much that’s super powerful

35:41

so final two questions for you I love when I have um when I have a man on the

35:47

show I love giving him the opportunity to honor a woman in his life just because this is if she sells radio right

35:53

so I just want to open it up for a woman in your life and I know sometimes it can be hard to narrow down

36:00

um a woman in your life who has created a huge impact and what’s the number one thing you’ve learned from her

36:05

so yeah I’d go to my wife and I have to go with my wife for sure uh she we’ve

36:10

been married for 11 years now and I think among many things that she’s taught me

36:17

um I I have gotten so much more better at uh just being patient and and

36:24

learning how you know social relationships are just

36:30

so messy and confusing and and patience is is like arguably like one of the best

36:36

things that you can have when dealing with people’s issues and problems and so on patience leads to then you being

36:42

forgiving you know making amends uh you know bringing back together Ties That

36:47

get fractured and I think that’s been probably one of the the best things she’s taught me over the years is just how to be

36:53

um you know patient how to how to control myself how to realize that when things go beyond my expectations are

37:00

control patience is always the thing to fall back on yeah that has been good that’s been one of my hardest lessons of

37:06

this slide because I’m not naturally wired that way so shout out to her she’s

37:11

uh I think that would be one of the hardest lessons to master but that’s that’s incredible I love that

37:17

um thank you so much this has been like I’ve learned so much I know my listeners have as well please tell everyone where

37:24

they can go to connect with you further I know you’ve got a newsletter coming

37:29

out as well a Blog come out that they can subscribe to so tell everyone about where they can go to connect with you more yes I I post I try to post daily on

37:36

LinkedIn I’ve been better at it lately than I was uh just a couple of months ago so on LinkedIn you’ll find my

37:42

content there and I have a newsletter that’s coming out death to fluff.substack.com uh in the next week

37:49

or two that will be released and I’ll be sharing more content there amazing amazing so death to

37:57

fluff.substack.com we will link that in the show notes thank you so much for your time today and for your heart and

38:03

following the curveball questions when I threw him at you I think this was just a really powerful interview so thank you

38:10

so much I appreciate it it’s an honor thank you absolutely absolutely all right to you my listener go connect with

38:16

Bilal online I want to just remind you that if you are a woman looking to break

38:22

through your first six figures and start earning 10K or a month you can head to

38:27

elisearcher.com 10K club and then of course onileesearcher.com we’ve got all sorts of resources goodies that you can

38:33

take advantage of to grow your sales your abundance and your life thank you so much for being a listener of She

38:39

Sells Radio I’ll see you on our next episode bye for now

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