The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode 66 · 5 months ago

Lessons Learned in Sales W/ Antonella O'Day


Our second episode of our podcast series “Lessons Learned in Sales”, John Kaplan talks with Force Management Facilitator Antonella O’Day about her sales career including:

- How she got a deal done in 8 minutes

- A mistake she was grateful to have happen early in her career

- How she found Force Management by looking for the top sales training companies

- One piece of advice that has helped to elevate her career

You won’t want to miss the lessons that made an astronomical impact on her sales career.

Check out this and other episodes of The Audible-Ready Podcast at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

Here are some additional resources based on the conversations with Antonella:

- Making Discovery Uncomfortable [Podcast]


- Overcoming the Seller Deficit Disorder 


When we get too focused on ourselves,it is so limiting in terms of the outcomes we can produce as sellers whenwe open up the door to really Beng focused on the customer and trustingthat they're going to give us the answers that we need in order to dowhat's best in their eyes the possibilities afenless you're, listening to the audible, ready,podcast, the show that helps you and your teams sell more faster willfeature sales leader sharing their best insights on how to create a salesengine that helps you feel repeatable revenue growth presented by the team Fforce management, a leader in BTB sales affectin. This let's get started hi it's Rachel with the audible, readysales podcast. Today, another episode in our series, lessons learned in saleswere asking some sales veterans, five questions about where they've been andwhat they've learned in their sales career. For this episode, John CaplinTalks With Force Management, facilitator, Ancinella, Oda Goodmorning and Tomella. How are you I'm good? How are you doing today? John I'mdoing fantastic, it's my great pleasure to introduce to our audience AntinelloDay, one of the brightest and newest stars to the force managementfacilitation, crew. Hey before we get started. I ask you to just share withour listeners. How did you come toforce management, interesting story? I wasworking for a another training company prior to and I absolutely loved what Iwas doing and I was just like. I need to do more of this now. My backgroundis in sales as well as an ableman have done a lot of traning and learning. Youknow prior in my corporate light, and I went online and I did a search of thetop training companies in the country and force Madagement was on the list.We showed up yeah you as Awsome Yeah,... shot it up, ut, you know top tenand I was like wow it's in the next town over it's in Charlotte. I live inWaxa and I was like I have to you know, reach out so went on to link in and theI sent grants a message directly and he said Hey. This is what I do now wouldlove to get involved with your company. Can we set up a meeting and grantresponded fairly quickly and said sure you know we couldn't have aconversation I'm going to have you have a conversation with my head? You knowthe head of the facilication team Brian and had a conversation with Bryana wasreally impressed with what he shared about the company and the vision andthe direction and what the premiseup of you know what you did was and that itwas really not training but really focused on changing the way the entireorganization operated had a chance hin to meet with the Dave, Davis and Meganand had a tremendous experience. There went through their little hood camp toprepare to deliver command of the message, and I guess it went prettywell because they asked me to come on board so that s we we are so blessed to have you, and youknow I do some podcast with Rachel and we talk about like the importance ofrecruiting and if I had known like, I don't know what I was thinking your onetown over for me. So that's my bad for form, not finding you for not findingyou earlier, but we're so grateful to. Have you hey? Let's talk a little bitabout how? How did you first get into sales? So this is interesting. I went tocollege for international marketing. You know I came from a blue colorfamily, like my goal, was to work in the corporate world, get collogeeducation, Workin, a corporate environment and throughout college Iwaited tables is probably a lot of college people do and it given. Myfirst taste of you can get paid what your work, basedon the experience that you give your...

...customers and I loved it to my core-just really enjoyed it and, as I went into my senior year, I rememberstarting to look for different roles, and I was looking at morking roles andsat through a few interviews, and I was like why am I goingto go, take a jobwhere I'm going to make even less money than I do right now, waiting tables incollege- and I know I'm more more than that. I know I bring more to the tablethan that, and so I remember having a conversation. You know with a fewpeople that I would consider mentors at the time and they're like you, shouldtotally go into sales and I'm, like you know what you're right. I am going togo into sales, because I'm Gon n make a lot more money in that space becauseI'm going to get paid what I'm wore I'm going to get paid. What based on theexperience that I give O my crients and that's really what ultimately drove meto go on that direction? BHET's decision I ever made. That's incredible.I wonder I wonder how many folks that are listening actually were in sometype of service like waiting tables like paper routes like because it's aninteresting perspective. I think the aspect of early on in your life, havingan understanding of the importance of communicating and interacting and andserving a customer, I think, probably probably has served you well yeah. Ithas, and I'm very grateful for that experience that opened my eyes to youknow looking at the sales route, because I think I would have been verylimited should I had I gotten inside right out of college yeah, I've heardpeople dave, Davy Arcoo talks about the difference between sellers andeverybody else as they they just have a an unbelievable ability to handle theindignity of the clothes, and I'm just thinking about, like being a waiter orwaitress. I'm not saying that everybody's rude, but you just dealwith a lot of behavior wear. You know...'s all about the customer and thecustomers right and, and it's probabl- that's probably a really good trainingground. I got to start looking for that in recruiting. I like that, hey, so all right. Solet's talk about you're in the sales role now or you go into the sales rollthink about we're, asking everybody the same kind of questions to get kind of agreat library advancers here, but what's the worst mistake that you evermade in a sales job when I think about the worst IAM grateful that it happenedvery early in my career, let me say that, because it changed the way Ilooked at my business going forward, so I get very well in sales right out ofthe game which is good and which is bad. I think you know when I look back on it.The challenge I had very early is that it was all about me. It was about megetting my goals, it's about me getting the biggest sale. It was about megetting recognition. It was about me twenty four seven and one of the good things about that was.I wasn't fearful at all about putting big proposals on the table. I was allabout the big proposals. Geti. I remember one of my trainers. Early inmy when I had first started out said: Don't spend your customers money, putthe big PUPOSAA on the table. Let them tell you yes or no, and I was workingwith this one client smaller company, fairly new, really just starting out-and I remember, coming back to the office and puttingtogether a proposal for them, and I still remember like my mindset at thetime like what do I need? What do I want to get this person to like? Whereare my numbers right now? I'm just really focusing really on my personalagenda. Very solar focused at the time- and I remember going back to theaccount of eating n with one of the keystate holders there and putting theproposal on the table, and he was so...

...angry like angry yelling at me, andI've never been yelled at by any customer before that for since, thankgoodness like, but we got a little disclaimer right. Were you up in, likethe New York areae agota little bit, clavor okay go ahead and he was like what don't you get didn't you hear ourconversations prior to today we are were small company. This is likeoutgragous. How can we even consider doing business with your company and itwas just a horrible experience and I remember leaving there I'm not upset atthe customer, because for the first time I was like he is absolutely right.I didn't hear anything that they were saying Om, so focused on what I wastrying to accomplish for myself that I completely left the customer out of theequation altogether and grateful that it happened so early in my careerbecause it changed my perspective going forward in every interaction that I had.It was all about the costomer going forward being like solely focused onwhat they were trying to accomplish, what was most important for them andreally matching it up, and I will say that it had it established some of the bestrelationships. You know trust commitment and to what you know Ibrought to the table because they knew I came from the perspective of it wasall about them and not about myself yeah. It's amazing. You know we teachthat overcoming the cellar deficit disorder and you know we start firststarted force management that was kind of one of the tenants that we had whereyou know the data says that buyers believe they don't believe that weunderstand their business and they don't believe that we listen very wellas sellers and it's amazing to me when I think about when I askd that questionBeung into myself like how many times did I feel resistant Tho. How manytimes did I feel anxiety in the...

...conversation really revolved around theanswers or the approach that I was giving was not related to anything thatI heard from them, and so I had an agenda of Awas being polite andlistening and and but I couldn't wait to talk about what I wanted to talkabout, and there was this casm there was this disjoint between what I wassaying and how it related to what they were telling me. But you know, I thinkyou got a great gift from that. Byer Ho told you that early and said you knowyou're just this isn't about you, it's about me and you know. Unless you makeit about me, I'm going to have a really tough time. You know interacting withyou that's kind of a gift, it's probably scary, when you're a youngsheller sa horrible feeling at the moment, but you know when you reflectback on it. The impact it made in terms of my performance going forward wasastronomical and I think when we get to focused on ourselves, itis so limiting in terms of the outcomes we can produce. As sellers, when weopen up the door to really being focused on the customer and trustingthat they're going to give us the answers that we need in order to dowhat's best in their eyes, like the possibilities areondless, I love that Iactually have like a little a little thing. I callt the enemywithin there's this little. You Know Demon on my shoulder that says. Why areyou talking, because what it means to me, is youbetter be talking about something that you heard them say and what it actuallydoes for me. Is it actually helps me say it think about hey the reason? Whyam saying this, Mr missrs customers, because you said, and it really helpesme kind of make it all about them? That's a great one. I hope ourlisteners can get a lot of mileage out of that, because that's just one of thefundamental truths before you make it about Yourstelf, you have to earn theright by first making it all about them...

...all right. Let's change gears a littlebit and add some add some levity into the end of the dialogue. What's thefunniest thing that ever happened on the sales call AIN got a couple ofprobaby good stories here, but I think that one of the ones that probablysticks out the most in my mind, I was actually the manager at the time, andone of my sellows was really struggling with an account that had been in thepipe line. Way Too long was kinvinced, it was so was coming was goin coming inand he said I just need you to go in there and talk to them and see. If youknow I'm completely wrong in terms of the direction this is going. So Iremember arriving at the account and my my rep saying you know domind by useyour restroom, and so he went off to the restroom I'm sitting with the ownerof the business at the time and he and I'm pretty no nonsense. I'm verystraightforward, I'm very candid, I'm not here to like sloff anything up. Igot a very New York. You know, Mentality Tern, O my broot and my myrep was gone for I think eight minutes, and in that eight minutes I remembersitting down with a cly and I'm basically saying listen. This isbasically what you've told us you want to get out of this whole entire program.This is like the proof of where we've done it similar type of companies. Thisis you know what we delivered for them, and you know you either need to make adecision right now. This is something going to you're going to move forwardwith with and if not we're, leaving like you're not going to hear fom usagain and by the time I rep came out of the bathroom paperwork with sign. I waspacking up my bar word: Oh yeah and wheree. We going I'm like we're donedone, you know, and the customers like. Thank you me think so much for pushingme on this. I would just kind of like not a hundred percent sure I feel goodabout this now and we were out and that your done eight minutes now. What wasthe story when you got back to the branch? Oh my gosh, he was like you hadto see her. I went to the Fabro was...

...ther for literally sixty. It went fromeight minutes of like sixty seons. I was there literally for sixty seconds.I came out wit faper work was done. You gotto take your own calls with you yeah.It was just. It was very funny when I thought you were going to tell methat's an awsor story. I love that. I thought Youw're going to tell me thatthe rep just never came back no noewas outstanding ret, just really strugglingwith this account. I just needed a little bit of a push, so I was to pushbat is awesome. That's awesome all right on that bane. Let's talk aboutthe best salesperson or sales leader that you worked with in your career andwhy this one's tough, because I've been soblessed to have had extraordinary sales people that have worked for me andIA've also been blessed to have tremendous sales leaders. Can I answerboth sides of those Craes? Please? Yes, I think when it comes to sales, prtheperson, like people automatically think the person with the best results likethe highest purplr, and that's not how I really looked at it in terms of youknow best sales person, I always looked at it from a perspective of yes, theyhave to have tremendous results, but you know: Are they committed to whatthey're doing? Are they truly focus on the customer? Do they bring the bestattitude to the table each and every day you know? Are they a team player?Are they able to see the big picture, even though they're an individualcontributor- and you know when I use all that criteria to determine who itis? I would have to say two people really hit the top of my list, oneperson by the name of Bornout Aheran. She was just extraordinary in all those areas andanother rep that I had by the name of Tommy Paln Tha, both of these peoplethat came up through the rans with me and the managers, and they were justreally really good at what they did and they really brought the entire packageto the table each in every day and consistently- and I think, that's hard,sometimes as a seller, to be consistent... what you do and the attitude yourink. But you know I I had the good fortune of working with both of themfor a number of years and just consistently extraordinary toeverything that they did. That's awesome. We have a lot of salesmanagers that listen to this podcast. If you wouldn't mind, just go over those characteristics again,and so, when our folks are out there interviewing today that they can lookfor those so go over those again yeah, so obviously great results. But youknow it very focused on being committed to what they do being committed to thecustomer and focused on the customer person, foremost, making sure that theybring great attitude to the table. Each and every day because it impacts thepeople around them, tell Ers Hawe the a tremendous opportunity to really buildthe culture of an office. So that attitude is key. Team Player, obviously-and I think being able to you, know, see and think about the big picture,even though their individual contributors to the game yeah. I likethose a lot. You know what we're seeing at Tanella is when you and I weregrowing up- we had a quota. We had. You know my first job at Zerox. I wasresponsible for products and services. I had a quoti but the sale. I mean westarted to get into network products and that type of stuff, but it reallydidn't appear to be like a complex sale, people weren't buying from us as heservice, and so therefore it wasn't really a collaborative sale, but thisteam player concept. The more I see today's sellers in complex salesandvironments when I say complex sales environment. I mean like many of thelisteners that we have. They are selling a something as a service, whichmeans there are multiple touchpoints and multiple insights, that a seller, asales team, a sales function and pyer...

...kind of gets from each other, and it'sthis collaboration. It's this. You know this when people say team player, youknow you really have to be. You know if you're, an individual contributor likehandling your business and staying in your lane as awesome, but you have tohave experience with collaborating and sharing information and makingcontinuous communication with the customer. So I justlike the highlightthat one today, if you're out there listening and you're out thereinterviewing and if you're selling anything as a service you better behitting on that collaborative and for examples and evidence, because I seethat's where individual contributors get into a jam is when it's all aboutthem and they are great individual contributor, but when first time theyhave to collaborate in the space they struggle, that's make himg bad peoplethey're, just they struggle with it. So that's a really really good one. Thankyou for highlighting that. Okay, the last one will wrap up on we'll bringthis one home. The best piece of sales advice that you've ever gotten that youmight not hear that. Often this one is stuck with me, my entire career. It wasactually told to me twice slightly different in each roll. So I rememberwhen I first went into sales, one of my sale leader and named Bob Kis, ter, jus,tremendous guy, very inspirational and motivational made. You feel you couldalways do the impossible and remember him sitting me down and saying to me:Antanella, never worry about pleasing the people. Above you don't worry aboutmanagement, it's irrelevant. He says, focus on your customers. They willalways elevate you up, and I remember that he said that to me-and I always you know, continue to take that to heart and then he was therewhen I got my first management job and he had the same conversation with meand this time you kind of switched up...

...saying around a little bit and he saidAncanella. You know, as you s Sep, into your first leadership role. Don't worryabout the leaders that you report to their irrelevant worry about your teammembers and making them a priority. They will always elevate you up to thenext level. I love that I mean when you think about it, so many people arefocused on managing up, so many people are focused kind of internally, but youknow that advice is you handle your business outside with your customersand the rest kind of takes care of itself? I think that's awesome, awesome,advice and Tonella. Thank you for spending time with us. I know you got ajam pack schedule. I really really appreciate spending time with you and Ihope I know our listeners will benefit from putting some of these principlesto work this week. So I wish you a great week at which I liser surprisermybehalf is black yeah yeah. Thank you just go crush it talk soon and forcemanagement. We're focused on transforming sales organizations intoelite teams, are proven methodologies, deliver programs that build companyalignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth, give your teams the ability toexecute the gross strategy at the point of sale. Our strength is our experience.The proof is in our results. Let's get started visit us at force.Managementcom you've been listening to the audible, ready podcast to not missan episode subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player until nexttime.

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