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

Episode 74 · 4 months ago

Lessons Learned in Sales W/ Marty Mercer


Our podcast series “Lessons Learned in Sales” continues this week as John Kaplan talks with Force Management Facilitator Marty Mercer. Marty shares some great stories, including:

- How he became a seller and he didn’t even know it

- A beneficial lesson in patience that he learned that drastically shifted his sales career

- Why he didn’t sell anything in the first nine months of his career

- How a colleague nearly broke their computer fifteen minutes before a presentation

This episode is packed with lessons that both reps and managers can use to propel their careers forward in the right direction.

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

- Virtual Selling Tips & Tricks [Podcast]

- Stacking Customer Requirements in Your Favor [Podcast]

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

So that was another way got fall ofokay. I got a Lero that what I know now- and it isn't the product you are 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 fuel repeatable revenue growth presented by the team Fforce management, a leader in ptseet. If this, let's get started hello, it's Rachel with the audible,ready sales podcast today we're asking some sales veterans, five questionsabout where they've been and what they learned in their sales career. For thisepisode, John Catlin talks with force management, facilitators, Marty, MercerMarty Great, to see your brother. How are you I'm doing? Fantastic? John?It's glad to see your happy smiling faces usual right back at your brother,hey. So thanks for joining us today, we'vereally been enjoying these. You know with our audience getting to know ourfacilitators better, and I thought maybe one way we could just kick offtoday is tell us a little bit about your background and how you wound up atforce management yeah. I question: That's a good place to start the verybeginning right W I spent twenty five years was the pre sales demo guy for awhile that I've moved into selling and then, like many sellers one day theysay: Hey, you're, really good at this on so become a manager, I'm like. Well,what do you had to do for that? They did really give me a very great ananswer, so I got into that as a small whittle start up company- and you knowwe were all thinking it up to be honest, and you know we got good at him. We gota great product, but a great solution, and you just keep doing well and youkeep getting bigger mentor titles and getting caught by company after companyand one day the last company that buys youjust doesn't do a very good job and to that kind of tank a they got rid of abunch of us, and I was kind of like what I'm going to do with the rest ofmy life right in so we had work with a...

...sales training company out of Atlanta.I called them up, I said: Hey, do you guys ever use? You know trainers, theysaid, but I were thinking about it. So I knew them and they knew me so Istarted working for them for several years and then that company kind offaded out- and I got a call from somebody- had forced management. Hesaid Hey. Your name was referred to us. They said that you were one of the besttrainers that they do so were calling you to see. If you want to come workwith US- and I said okay, where is it Charlotte's? I drove to Charlotte Love,hold a met, John Camplin and the rest as they say it history. So I think it'sbeen about think's been about five years, and I was just thinking aboutthat. I was trying to remember. Is it been five years already wow? I think so? What I remember is you know I had to doto day audition for you, so you I your yeah. I thought I was a hot shot and itwas everything was going great until you the first day and we got to thisone segment and I just kind of misunderstood what I was supposed to bedoing as a trainer Nessa, I got done with it. Looked at me, you go dude man,you were killing it all day, but that was terrible, Mir subtle to M Seton wow and here's. Ihere's a cool part about it, so there were a couple stories that I had nevertold before this different content. Some what I had been doing before soyou and I work shop, those two stories and then you said you better go back toyour own tail room. You better get those stories the because you got tocome in tomorrow morning and kill it, and so you were very kind to work shopthat out with me and turn out two great stories that I've used a lot and therewere new stories. I never had so yeah you were, you were very helpful,they're very kind, and but what was important for me was when you said boythat was terrible, because I used to hear that racket. I I was just it's funny that you say that I mighthave mentioned this. I don't think I mentioned this on the last podcast wedid, but I'm really all about this last chance you series that they do onNeflis and the latest one last chance.

You basketball, I think, is it's thebest one for me, it's so the last chance you is like the stories aboutthese junior college. It's kind of like the last chance for a lot of these kidsin the last two or three years had been about football and the football coachesfrom a leadership perspective of I don't want to say anything disparaging,but like really really rough, and I really really loved this coach, mostlyat East Los Angeles Community College. It's a great story if you haven't seenit, but the reason why I'm saying that is something stuck out to me for whathe said is that somebody told him he was wondering why he wasn't startingand he went to his coach and he's just like had all these lists of. You knowwhy you should be starting and the coach just looked at him and said: I'msorry, John You're, just not good enough to start here, and it was inthat not saying that, because that's not what I said to you, but I thoughtthat what O, what a wonderful- and he said, nobody ever said that to him andsaid it to him in that way where there was no malice, there was no. I was justlike hey and it really got him contemplating on. You know, talking to people and giving themstraight. Feedback is really really a blessing, and I remember back in mylife when people have done that to me and just told it like it was withoutany malice without any so anyways, if you guy, know you're a big sports guydown there with Georgia, tech and I think you'd really really enjoy that.So to follow up on that last conversation, we just had much. You diga little bit deeper for us and tell us specifically, how did you get intosales? Well, I wasn't going to go into sales for cover reasons on I had ahorrible image of salaries. Coming from my father, my father was a prettysuccessful civil engineer and Steel Pavian business small little company. Iwas a teo in this poppo world. I do would have been the head a product andthen there was a third guy who was the seller, and I remember at the dinnertable hearing these kind of disparaging...

...comments about dethe would just trustto who in the seller and T is my dad. I Love Them and you Sim engineer and allthat kind of stuff. It's not a bad health in to that and I was going to goto medical school, my mom's a nurse and I was the violas younger and everythingwas on track and I'm taking the M cats and I'm doing all that kind, O workingin a hospital, but my junior year I started to begin to realize I don'twant to go to medical school, so I ended up getting a graduate degree in aDestina engineering and I stayed in the health care business. You know I wantedto become the Great Hare consultant in the Corner Office with the full floor,a wall, the ceiling, the floor windows, and I always going to be taking a pieceof very deal and they would all come to me with the hard questions that I wouldgive him the hat, because that was my vision. I was going to be the wizenedold consultant right and except I was at old, yeah, so pcell. They thoughtthey should be getting into computers. We ended up doing a deal with a smallsoftware company and I was he with the Demo Guy, so I just ran around you anddemos all the time, and by three years later I get a box at my home, and Iopen up the box and inside is the original motor role of brick fo. What Icall the Gordon Gecko phone, the one I watching on the beach with the rubberantenna yeah, I called the company- was from the company that we weredistributed for them, and I said Michael, why didn't you send me thisfollow? This? Is The coolest thing? Of course everybody wanted one and he wassurprised and he said Pardi we send that phone to everybody who sells amillion dollars software. I thought I was a consultant that was therevelation that you re, not a consolin you're, a seller that was a milliondollars at twenty and a cop it was about. Forty deals is three years andthat's what I said. Okay, if I consult in now, you got to clarify the son due.Were they paying you as a seller or no one? And I was just getting my salaryand no there's no commission, but I mean it turned that was, you know, hada happy ending right, but I'm not...

...kidding you. I was a consultant whojust happened to be doing demos and tell Sofer implementing ets. When I gotthat phone he said we should aid to everybody who tell a million dollarlike a the wrong comfy, admit the wrong job. My deferee, that I thought I wouldthat's all I got in to say it is awesome. I gotta tell you O, that's notuncommon. I've talked to other people about how they got into sales, andsometimes it's a simple revelation of camp like they were either on the o.You know on one end of one part of the process, which the only thing that theydidn't have. Officially, I guess, is the quota, but they didn't really knowwhat they were out there doing consulting or application engineers, orwhat have you and some of the best sellers I've ever met are people thathave kind of got that realization they were natural sellers, they weren'treally in it for the compensation because they didn't know, but theminute they found out that that's what they should be making is when theyjumped into sales. I love that that's an awesome story. Yeah along thoselines, tell me God, listic questions for you here tell me the worst mistakeyou ever made in a sales job. Well, I think it's the beginning, when Ithought the way you're going to be great at selling was to just tell themeverything that was about that product. I mean I knew every Modin every screenI can go into the condities. I did go into the CONTINU right, so I wascompletely convinced that, because Bique the best product on the market-and I do every thing that was about it- and I charm me and I'm energetic- and Ican answer any question her there was- and that was all true that all you know,because I knew it was great for them they would automatically get it andthen they went by, and I remember for the first beginning dinner full month.I didn't tell a thing and I finally hoped to deal talking to the CIO. Whydid it take so long and he I feel he told me. Basically, I asked the peopleon nursing three or four or five questions about the business impact onthe hospital and they said Martin. They...

...were talked about and we will work onthe contract. He said and that's why he just gave you the discount. You justgave me a yeah, that's another one of those revelations at you were issue the business impactnot about the cool functions, so that was another wake up call up. Okay, Igot A. I got to learn something more than what I know now and it isn't theproduct right, I'm already good at that. I got a a o you and maybe one of thecarryovers from being so technically versed on the product, which is a hugeadvantage for you to make a leap in the sales, but then realizing that you kindof kind of have to hold on to that and when it's appropriate and you earn theright to share that information about the product. So that's reallyinteresting. So for those that are listening about the conversation thatwe just had about the technical folks getting in the sales is that it'sreally all about timing and kind of earning the right to share thatknowledge, but it can become a burden. It was a burden for me. I had tounburden my self of that technical knowledge, Yeah Yeah. I not do that. Ilove that. That's really interesting, so I know I'm going to get a good oneon from you on this one. What's the funniest thing that happened on a salescall, so I was thinking about that and youknow we probably all had lots of funny stuff, but the first seller I everhired as a manager, lorry Martin, still one of my best one of my you know bestfriends. In fact, he did invited me down to her sixtieth birthday party andand Augite that we're still pretty tight right. So she was the seller andI was the manager in many cases. I would go with them because they werebig crowds of people and we had to she's going to do the delap and we hada project or to project his projectors to finally come out. It's we gettingthe room set up. An she's got a computer on this table of those moogleetables like you would see in the cafeteria. This is not a hostel, sowe're getting off. Sypein the woman WHO's, our vain contact comes up andlooks how he kind of got things to figure. She l a O, no lory. She said:that's ton where the pable should go...

...and she grabs the side of the tablethat had the computer on it and goes or like a bat and the computer goesPlantar Ed, bouncing off the keyboard. No, Oh, no, the loanie and it's likeyou know, Demo in fifteen minutes. You know cling at the floor, and so wedidn't laugh it. We laugh we laughed later, but Lori was at so comic collectto shoot the former. I senor she'd see a lot worse right. You know she did. Imean I kind of want to get super angry. She sat get on the floor. Red Of thekey started ticking them back on as on those keyboards. Were they had littleclips on them? They could get, they could slip on there and I of theletters wouldn't work right, but she somehow did the dim with an IT. Didn't bother her at all,but she started the presentations. You would have thought nothing had happenednow. It was the funny then, but then all right back to the airport were justlaughing go in. Can you believe she didn't think to the computer on no but calm under pressure, though duderight and impression yeah on the hands and knees? That's awesome! That's agood story all right! Now, a sales person or sales leader you work with inyour career WHO's. The best one in some of Barcona talk about this Guy BruceBruce was a guy that killed up and the companies that all got melted togetherand when I, when I was able to move from maging teams that were selling ptbase taps the big unic think main brame million dollar stuff. I'd never been inthat world and Bruce had, and so I was, I guess, hop luckily smart enough tolisten to brutes. The brief is the feller he works for me, I'm the I m theVP and I learned more from Bruce. I know than Bruce Several learned from me,but the two things that I was reflecting on this waren Bruce was atthe seller that will come to me and say: Hey I stilled out our blue sheet erfilled out whatever it was were using at the time I just emailed it to you.Let's set some time up, so we can walk...

...through this deal, so we can figure outwhat the next steps should be. I was heating everybody else over the headsitting or blue sheets simier blue sheets bose was always proactively. Owethought out well thought out, O good conclusions, good strategies, its welook. We have an amazing conversation because we didn't have to figure outwhat the wit the details were. We were actually talking strategy so so that hewent the real rarity. From that perspective, the other thing that Ilearned from him is stop talking so much a you can maybe tell by now.That's no challenge for me right, I mean I'm real axe of her he's a realintrovert. I would open the show close. The show goose was very quiet and it'swhat I learned from him is, I remember getting in cars. Many many have dat formeetings and I would say, brutish man we got to get back to the office andpick that pricing together keep the go. Don't I rose, they wanted to do theprice in the guys. We don't got to answer that question just because theyask you something. Then me you got to answerit. I was like he was a masterand waiting and waiting and waiting to. We have full scope, full understanding,full connections to people, champions economic buyers, and then we put theprice together and so that that again, you know not rushing to the demo andnot rushing fil proposal. Breese was the matter at that and he call mebecause I didn't have that skill. He had Marty. That's a that's a reallyinteresting perspective about your story about Bruce, because when I thinkabout that story, I think about a couple of things, and I often tell thisto companies that if you are the way that you're managing in utilizingresources to help raps get on stock or to do you know to coach and developthem if you, if you focus on compliance versus the value that it creates,there's a problem and that's a really bad value proposition. The second thingis what sticks out is. Is that Bruce came to you and I used to tell managersthat work for me if your reps aren't...

...coming to you for help pre callplanning for help on strategy. That's also a real good indication that yourvalue proposition to them is probably focused around compliance and notaround what I that's. I really like that story. I like that. Okay last onebrother, what's the best piece of sales by advice that you ever got and that and that you don't hear thatoften yeah. So I remember years ago my boss had a sales. I was like it's aregional director at the time Alan he had come in trying to new. He wasn't onthe old crew he was to the outside and I, in the beginning of a little culture,was kind of cleany. You know when Alan going to keep up. You Know He. He has aGothis kind of thing. I remember he had very clearly saying to be Marty got tostop doing it. Unnatural acts is like a what you talking about. He goes. We gotto stop doing all these crazy things at the end of the quarter, O kind of closethat deal to try to pull it in and so what he said. Unnatural acts, that'sall the things. Well, if you side by now, you know you'll get this price,but if you don't time by now, the price is going up. I mean all the crazy goofythings that we've all done. We know we shouldn't be doing them, but at alreadyat our company. At that point time we thought that's how you're supposed todo it, but you know it. The revelation of Alan coming in were thinking. Hedoesn't know anything he's like we're doing way too many unnatural acts. Wegot to stop it if it goes to the next quarter that it's going to go the nextquarter, I get a PAP, the money away, just to look at the book at this porterand that led to us becoming much better and will be called diagnostic selling.It also led to US becoming much better negotiators and planning for thatnegotiation phase, but that they'll never forget the phrase, because I waslike what are you talking, because I called her up some bad images right,unnatural, a yeah, yeah O, explain it I'm like he's. I guess I do one ofthose at once a week. You know it's amazing, though, like it's so profound.What that individual said to you,...

...because, like everything we do isseller, teaches our customers all these unnatural acts that we do typically inthe last two weeks of the quarter, it teaches in a preconditions buyers. Youknow when we were at pts, we had probably eighty percent of our revenueand sometimes much much more. That came in the last two weeks of the quarterand that's not uncommon for enterprise software companies in the number. OneReason: Why is because the buyers were preconditioned by the sellers said ifyou wait till the last two weeks of the quarter, these guys are going to dounnatural acts and and you'll probably get a great discount. So I think that'sa really really valuable lesson and also, I think, the number one reasonwhy we do those unnatural acts this pipeline. It's always related to myplan. If you got a big pipeline, you're less inclined to do on Natural Act. SoI love that yeah. I love that great ad brother, Hey Dude, you've been such ablessing to force management. Your you know I thought you're going to come inand kill it kind of for us with your health care background and in thathealth care background and technology and software- and you know you are oneof the favorite facilitators out in the market place and we just get nothingbut raving reviews about you. So thank you for what you do for us and justwish you just continued success. Now, I'm going to keep hanging out with youguys, you have you got it brother. Every great week, Dude Force managementwere focused on transforming sales organizations into elite teams, areproven methodologies, deliver programs that build company alignment and fuelrepeatable revenue grow. Give your teams the ability to execute the grossstrategy at the point of sale. Our strength is our experience. The proofis in our results. Let's get started visit us at force. Management Com.You've been listening to the audible,...

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