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

Episode 61 · 1 year ago

Lessons Learned in Sales W/ Patrick McLoughlin


This episode is the first in our new podcast series “Lessons Learned in Sales”, John Kaplan talks with Senior Director of Consulting and Facilitation Patrick McLoughlin about his own career including:

- The lessons he’s learned from some great managers and the mantra he uses today

- The worst mistake he ever made

- The time a colleague stole a prospect’s glasses

This is a conversation you don’t want to miss!

Here are some additional podcasts featuring PaddyMac:




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

And you know what he does. He reaches across the table and he knows the glasses off the customers day. You're listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps you and your team's sell more faster. will feature sales leader sharing their best insights on how to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatable revenue growth, presented by the team at force management, a leader in vtb sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hi, it's Rachel with the audible ready sales podcast. Today we are going to be launching our new series lessons learned in sales. We're asking some sales veterans five questions about where they've been and what they learned in their sales career. For this episode, John Kaplan talks with force management senior director for Consulting and Festilitation, Patrick McLaughlin. Hey, it's my great pleasure and honor to introduce to our listeners today Patrick mcgoughlin, better known as Pattie MAC and Patty Mac. I'm really, really looking forward to this conversation today. Thanks for sentence some time with us. Sure thing, John, happy to be here. Hey brother. So, before we get started, tell us a little bit how you. How did your first come beforce management? Oh, well, Brian Walsh. As many of you know, I spend my career at Xerox Corporation and happened to work with Brian and be around Brian for many years. That would be another podcast tell and telling Brian Walsh stories. Brian reached out to me about five years ago and he knew that I was pointing my career. I was looking to make some some decisions and some moves, and he said, Hey, we did you'd be a great fit. Why don't you come in and meet with John and maybe with the team and grant and Dave and the rest of the organization? And you know what, when I came in a force I felt the same type of family and atmosphere that I had multiple times of my career. Entire team focused on one problem, all built on working together, and I was like wow, I'm not a big person in to change. So leaving Zeros was a very difficult decision. I can tell you they'll have to pull pull me out kicking and screaming to get me to lead force management now. But that's why I ended up here at force. And Yeah, I remember that first that first meeting that we had, that you and I had, I just looked at you and I said this person is going to be perfect at facilitation for force management. So tell us a little bit about some of the career jobs that you had at Zer Rox that kind of got you to this point with your great experience. Yeah, so, so the so the big thing for me, John, was even just getting into sales to begin with, right, and when I graduated from college it was like for me it was big on, like what am I going to do? I probably wasn't as driven and focused as I was later on in my career, probably to the display of my parents, but a friend of my parents had me take the Myers break test and it came back that I should look to do sales and I was like, okay, that's what I'm going to do, knowing anyone work behind a desk. So I started out working for a...

...sales agency of zerox corporation and I had ZIP codes. I co called every day. I mean I, you know, did that for for a number of years and then and then eventually came along to rox corporations and account manager and then just things naturally pivoted to sales management, to a variety of different roles. I think people always wonder why I spent twenty five years at Zerox. The reason is because I had new challenges and I worked with great people. I think everything that we do in companies is the people that we do it with, and I just think about the people that influence my career and help develop me and to the salesperson I was that first day that I walked in the Apex Communications and that like last day that I left as a vice president in the southeast United States, was pretty pretty impactful. Yeah, it's a I think most of the listeners know I spent time at Zerox as well and the company is such a great backdrop for people like you and I because of the great experiences. Like back in the day they were the sales training company and the training that we received there. I like to tell people I kind of got my I got my undergraduate in sales at zero Rox and I got my you know, I got my MBA or my doctorate in sales from PDC. But zr host was a legit great culture, great experiences, great people and they did such a great job preparing us for for a sales career. So so we'll talk about yeah, let's talk about that a little bit. Dude, like you know, I'm sure that you at thinking back on your sales career. One of the questions I want to ask you is, and I don't mean to catch off guard on this, but, like you know, the highs and lows there the like. What is the worst mistake you ever made in a sales job? Oh, I probably could go on and on about deals and things that I did strategically attack tactically wrong. That's a good question. You know that my biggest mistake, John, I stayed in sales jobs too long. I I got too comfortable, I got too focused on the short term gratification, meaning that I had worked on deals, developed a territory and then someone came along and said Hey, patty, would like to promote him move you into a new position. I said, well, I don't want to do that. I know I've cultivated this farm. Now I want to reap the rewards of the of what I've done in it. And you know, as much as my loyalty and my being comfortable where I am, I think it probably was detrimental and my skill set development. I think people were coming to me looking for me to develop skill sets, and I did. I'm not. I'm not saying and I missed out, but maybe I did. Maybe I maybe I could have done more things if I taken on more responsibility earlier. So looking back on it, I probably...

...would say I probably should have looked at the long term goals a little bit more carefully versus reacting to the short term successes that I was focused on. You know, that's it's that's so relevant and I think it's a betch that happens to a lot of our listeners. I suffered from the same thing and in the sense that it was always really hard for me, like you build the team or you get a great territory and you know they'd move you and it was always it was kind of like, you know, I just learned how to play a position and now I want to be you know, I want to become an Allpro, I want to get the accolades, and it's like, you know, first you learn how to swim and then you're feeling comfortable in the pool and the next day your brothers, you know, grab you and they throw you in the deep end. It's now Kate's time to learn how to swim in the deep end and I didn't even get to enjoy the sunshine in the in the kiddie pool or what happ yeah, exactly. That's interesting. In in you know, I think that just as you as you go. What kind of advice would you give to the listeners that as the people that are in that they're they're in that situation right now. They're just looking at they go, how do I know when it's the right time to when it's the right time to move? Yeah, so I guess. I guess the thing is someone once said to me that when a pilot it gets in a plane, they're always looking for that run way. They're always looking for where they're going to go in case something happens like so I'm not trying to take it from a bad perspective. I guess my my biggest thing was I remember when I became a sales manager, I didn't think I could do it. I remember when I became a DP, I didn't think I could do it. I remember when I came to force management and as a facilitator, I was more scared my first facilitation than I was my first sales call. And then the vice that I got and why I decided to come to the force management was I was weighing a job from another technology company and force management. Probably don't know that, but now you do. And I was on a golf course in Florida, the TPC. It's saw grass, and an executive was with, friend of mine, was a big executive in a major bank. I told him the two option. He says, what's the difference? As it will the other job. I can stroll into and do this job scares me to death. And he says take the job that's scared you to death because it'll keep you on edge. So I would say to people all the time if you're complacent, if you can do it, if you're if you don't have an element of fear that's driving you or you're learning, that that's where you want to be going to, because then it makes it more fun, because then when you accomplish things, God rewards are great. Like I love what we do on a daily basis. Yeah, you know, Dude, that such a great point. I think the I think the the neural science around that would say that when you're challenged, it actually creates energy for you and when you're not challenged and you can it's not. The people are trying to be complacent out there. It's just like if you can get up in the morning and do your job with your eyes closed,...

...but in the but the caveat is you don't get energy from it, then that's a bad spot to be in. And what I love when I see you every day or when I wish I could see every day. Hopefully, post pandemic times we can get back to seeing each other every day. But, like you always say to me, I can't believe that they pay me to do this job. And what, yeah, what that always told tells me about you is that you are getting energy from the job. The job is not taking your energy. So you yeah, so my story and put it into a learning event for the people that are listening. So thanks for doing that. Yeah, yeah, I think it's I think it's great advice, because I think people are if you're sitting out there right now and you're listening and, like the company, just when you start to get comfortable and you start k now, I'm going to really make my money and I get to play my position and have a great year and and they pull you number one. You know, think about the company. WHO's pulling you out of that job where they haven't realized that benefits of you in that job, and that should really tell you like their thought process. If they think you can do the next job, sometimes why don't we think we can do the next job? So it's a really good kind of contemplation. Those are good problems to have. Absolutely I've really been looking forward to this question. What's the funniest thing that's happened about a sales call? Oh Gosh, so Rachel told me that you're going to ask you that question because she wanted to give me some time and repair and I got was in the card. I was thinking, oh my gosh, what am I going to do? And then one story popped in my mind and I can't top it, so I'm going to tell it. I was probably my third year sales. I had first two years. First year I got made plans. Second year I make Presidents Club things. You're going really good. Third Year I'm just clicking. I'm like I got this, I got this down and I got involved in a pretty large, high volume, mid volume opportunity with a publishing company outside of Washington DC. And you know, back in the day at Sieros we had sales specialist that handled certain product lines that would support us on those sales calls and those opportunities. They were experts in the competition, the marketplace, the functions, features and productivity and devices we were selling. So his name was Ark Chris Folly, because I'm going to make art listen to this podcast. So art says, Hey, I'll just meet you in Maryland at the account. I said okay, Great. So we show up at the account and we're doing our precaell plan in the parking lot and he says show me the proposal. We get to the product, we get to the pricing and the benefits page, to the business outcomes we were selling and he's looking for his glasses. He can't find his glasses, so he says, let me see it goes. I can't read this, and he's like, listen, you got to do it just when you get to these things. You got to hammer home the required capability business outcome. You know this is a competitive account. You got to just drive this thing home. Now this is a twenty... year a veteran that had eighty percent of his career was president's Club, and I'm like, all right, I got it. I got it and likes we practice it. He said practice it, practice it. So we're practice in it and were doing in the call and we're in a room that's probably only big enough for two people. We have three people and a round table and I get to the business outcomes page and I start doing exactly like I did in the parking lot and art doesn't like a thing that I'm doing. So you know what he does? He reaches over and he grabs my glasses off my face and he starts reading the proposal. Now here's the worst part about it, John. I only read, I only have glasses on because I need a Rolph by age for reading and seeing the screen. But at the time I was near side of me. I can't see far. Well, art was far at sighteds. He couldn't see near so the glasses were complete mess up. So art is now aggravated to the point that he's going to explode. And you know what he does? He reaches across the table and he goes the glasses off the customers day and I'm like, I can't believe he didn't even ask permission and he said these don't work either. Right. So the client, you know, the customer says. The customer says one, give me the proposal, customer goes. I'll read the line and you tell me what you want to tell me. Oh good, Lord to give me the outcome. Give me the outcome. Yeah, now, here's the army of it. We didn't win that deal. We did win that deal, but it is dead to this day. It was just like. It's just like, and we were all like, you know, not to say I mean. You know, I mean arts a little older than I was, and I get think the customers a little older than art so, which is three generations of men, and the glasses were going around the table like buddy stopped. I couldn't stop laughing. That is awesome. That is awesome. So, art, if you're listening, let us know what if you did lay six or what happened after that? I thought you're going to tell me that you you wanted to look older, so you had glasses that had no power in them or whatever, and you grab I love that. That's a great one, Dude. Hey. So so, tell me on that vein, thinking about you know, great sellers, great sales leaders that you work with in your career. Like tell me your memory or best recollection of the best sales person, the best sales leader you worked with. Okay, so his name is a Rickens Alice. Rick is retired now in Atlanta, Georgia, and Rickens Al has. Brian and I worked for Rick at one point in our career. Rick taught me that everything about selling was everything you did up front. He could scope a deal, he could attach to the biggest problems. He taught us that winning a deal was everything you did and the first thirty percent of the deal, how you set up your differentiation, how you set up the outcomes, how you got to high level people. I mean Rick knew how to put a deal together, he knew... to negotiate, he knew how to create value that didn't cost us anything in negotiation. He taught me everything that I did was in the beginnings of a sale cycle and it was all about strategy. And then the other thing that he had was he had a great sense of empathy and curiosity with customers, regardless of the level he met with. He made people feel important. I actually learned something from them that I read which actually became a mantra of Patty Max, the other person that was of powerful influence to me, and I've told as many times. During sales trainings was a lady named Mary K. Now you may have heard of Mary K cosmetics. I never met Mary Kay, but Mary Kay had a saying for every person you meet in your life, pretend they have a sign around their neck that says make me feel important. If you do that, you will not only exceed in sales but life. And Rick taught me that, and so that's something I've tried to bring the force management, both internally and externally. Every day, every person that I need, I try to make them feel like they're the most important person in the world. But I love that. I love that. and Do you thinking about the listeners that we have now with all of the hopefully we got some good news of, you know, coming out a pandemic? But it's been like a long, long year and and these ricks, they're all around us and I used to force myself to look around me and look for uncommon people, and there's a lot of people doing things that I don't want to replicate and then there's very few the uncommon, the uncommon amongst the uncommon that, you know, I wanted to look out for and to replicate some of their behaviors. There's an old saying, I think, that I heard while I was at Xerox. I think it's says you are you become in sales over time. You become a culmination of the best people that you ever worked with or work for, and it's not that you're copying, people are imitating, people are not not being authentic, but it's your you become the manifestation of some of the great examples that people have shown to you. So hats off to rick out there. Get to get him to listen to this too. Well, I do that for sure. Yeah, Hey, brother, that takes us to the takes us to a another question that is in the last questions we wrap up here. What's the best piece of sales advice that you've ever got that you don't often hear? Yeah, that's a that's a really good question and I'd like to tell it in a story, but I think that so many times we, as sales professionals, and this is a profession, what we do for a living, matters, were really good at it. I heard you say that and it's it's been it's been pounded into my ears by you for a long time. Like what we do...

...matters and I think is as sellers is we look at our opportunities as sales opportunities and they're more than that. Their business opportunities. It's a business opportunity for us, is the vendor, and also business opportunity for the prospect and great selling is merging those interests on both sides. And I think so many times I see sellers trying to figure out how to position their solution as a competitive advantage, negotiating, giving things away, doing things. I think that you look at every opportunity. Is the customer has a right to say no to you and you know, if your pipelines held, that you have a right to say no to the customer to some extent. But I think we need to look at it is is that we've got to do deals that are good for us, our company and our you know, our compensation, and we have to make sure the deals are right for our customers. From the business problems they saw and one of the biggest lessons I had was I was chasing a law firm in Washington DC and it was a big law firm and I had a champion, I high ranking champion, and they sat me down and told me exactly what I needed to win the deal, terms and conditions that the managing partner wanted, pricing, everything that was it was a total package and I came back and I didn't know if I was gonna be able to do it, and that with my sales manager, and my manager was like yeah, I think we can pull this off. So we called this contracts lady. Your name is Linda Fairchild, and you probably heard me talk about Linda, and she put together the contract and he decent door office and so I drove over to another building, I walked into her office and she goes, congratulations, young man, and she handed me the document and I said, Oh, thanks, Linda so much. And, as I you know, if as I grasped a document, she didn't let up and I said and she's like, well, what are you going to give me? And I said, what do you mean? She's like, I'm like, thank you. She's Gonnavo. He said thank you. What are you going to get for this? And I said, well, what do you mean? And she says, well, that's great that you're getting the deal, but you know, you should be getting something else for this. And I said what do you mean? She's like when you just don't give anything away. Right, if we're going to give the customer something, they've got to give us something. It's got to be a you know, a sale is both sides of the equation should be winning, should be getting something. And I said, all right, what do you mean? She's like, well, you just figure out what you're going to ask for a return and meeting all these expectations. And she says it's only you understand and you think that it's of equal value and proportion to what you're giving, then I'm happy, but I'm not going to tell you what if that is. And I think so many times as sellers that you know, we saw ill will world business problems. We help organ excagations get to places they can't get on their own, and I think we've got to remember that and we've got to if we took the attitude that this is a business deal on both sides, we may approach to deal slightly different, but I think to do that you got that healthy pipeline right. Yeah, so Boik, I love that. I love that message, Patty Mac. There's two things that resonate for me in that is that pipeline cures all ills. It gives you courage, it gives you... gives you the ability to what I call hold your water in a Yay sales in a sales engagement. And then the other thing that Linda shared with you that just really resonates for me is you give, you get. Yes, you give you get, and there's so many people out there right now, including me when I was the younger salesperson, that I thought that I gue, if I gave on discounting, that I got the deal. Well, that's not where it stopped, because if I got the deal, then they got my solutions, and so that wasn't a good gift. Get, if I give a discount, that I get the deal, and I would always tell you know myself. I'm like give get, I gave the discount, I got the deal. No, that's not what that meant. Not. And if you don't believe the value of your solutions, then why should anybody else, especially with the professional procurement person I think Linda's probably given us all advice that can last forever. Absolutely, if you don't value what you're giving a way, the person that you're giving it to will know that there's more to give. Absolutely, and that's a bad. That's a bad deal for us. That's a bad deal for us. Patti Mac you are an absolute joy, my friend. You are from the day that you came to force management. I love to tell the story of your initial presentation to us and just how badly you it was so obvious how badly you wanted to do this and be good at this, and it was so obvious how great you are going to be. And I know the listeners that have experienced you and I hope that everybody gets a chance to experience you. But you've just been an absolute God. Sent us to me to force management and I can't thank enough. So thanks for joining us today. Brother, keep crushing it. You too. Buddy talks to him. Of Force management. We're focused on transforming sales organizations into elite teams. Are Proven methodologies deliver programs that build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth. Give your team the ability to execute the growth 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. 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