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

Episode 79 · 9 months ago

Lessons Learned in Sales W/ Tim Caito

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Our podcast series “Lessons Learned in Sales”, continues as John Kaplan talks with Force Management Senior Partner Tim Caito. As always, Tim shares valuable insights, including:

- How to stay connected to your customer’s projects post-sale to ensure their success

- The time a customer left him and his colleagues in the middle of an oil field

- The common characteristics of the best sales managers he’s worked with

- A motto he uses to differentiate his sales approach

Tim’s passion for sales and coaching is energizing. Tune in to this episode to hear valuable takeaways you can use to drive positive impacts for your customers and your sales team.

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 conversation with Tim:

- Tim Caito - Meet the Facilitator Bio

- https://bit.ly/2U14OL4

- On-Demand Webinar | Selling and Negotiating on Value

- https://bit.ly/3wSAile

- Negotiation FAQs & Best Practices [Podcast] 

- https://apple.co/35W424J 

And then he starts walking down those, you know, these stairs from this barrel and he says, I'm going to give you some time to think about that. chumped and his chief and too he left you. That's right, and feel it's now just started to rain. 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 BTB sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hi, is Rachel with the audible ready sales podcast. Today we continue our series lessons learned in sales or asking some sales veterans five questions about where they've been and what they've learned in their sales career. For this episode, John Kaplan talks with force management's Tim Cato. Hey Tim, how you doing? Brother? Hey John, good see you. It's really, really good to see you and I'm I was reflecting on a couple of things and I know we'll have some fun with this session, for sure, but would you just do me a favor and tell the audience how did you come to force management. Yeah, well, I guess when you hear the story you'll know the background on why I think myself as the Og for force management delivery folks. But you know, John, you can say it was fate, it was hand of God, whatever, but through a varietous circumstances, you know, twelve years ago I kept getting people in my network saying, Hey, have you ever heard of force management? If you will, have you ever talked to these force management people? Wow, you've got a customer said, you know, you should connect with these force management people. And those all came in in a span of about two weeks and I remember sitting in my office, look it up to the sky and say, okay, I got the message. And so, you know, I had checked out. We had overlapped in the marketplace a little bit for a while. They're you know. They said, Hey,...

...you know this guy, this guy's a bowling green guy too, and I thought, well, that it's got to be all right right there. So I reached out and said Hey, let's get to know each other and went over to Charlotte had a meeting and I was pretty clear, based on what I did at the time, John, that I specialized then helping people with negotiation, helping people close big deals. The problem I kept running into with those is they were always trying to do that from a week foundation. In other words, the upstream process wasn't that good. So I half the time would tell them go fix your sales approach and then come back and talk to me, you know, because that's what's going on. Well, I saw enforce management the Best I had seen in that and I remember going into Charlotte saying hey, I'd like the partner. I got this stuff back here. You got that stuff up there be beaut a fall. I remember at the time all the folks I was talking yeah, yeah, that's real good, but here's our issue. He got one guy that does this is one of the founding partners, you know, and we just don't have enough bandwidth. And here's what they told me. Then, John, you'll crack up at this tim we only needs you like maybe two or three times a year, a couple days a week. We got these people that do. All you have to do is basically show up, do your thing and then send in your expenses in an invoice. And I said, yeah, but what about this partner? It well, all in good time. My friend, and so that's kind of I think that was like middle of December and I think by February, March I was doing my first session and a couple weeks later turn into ten days a month and then it took off from there to the point where we're now the same company. So anyway, it's amazing just thinking about that, like how time flies. But you know, do you remember your teach back? So, just for the listeners, so when we bring on facilitators, we ask them to do a teach back, so to...

...learn our stuff and then to teach our stuff back to us. Do you remember doing that in Charlotte with me? Oh, I absolutely do. I have. So one of my favorite stories, and I tell this, is so tim shows up. You show up with a three by five card with all of our content and we have a leader guide that looks, you know, something like this, and we're expecting the facilitators to, you know, demonstrate their knowledge out of this leader Guide and you show up with a three by five card and I did everything I possibly could do in the moment just to kind of contain myself, but I sucked it containing myself and I actually told you, like where your notes I said to you, where your notes, and you're like you held up the three by five card and you didn't do it in a way like your stuff is so easy. I could put it on a three by five card. But my mind was racing so bad I actually said to you, that's not going to work for me. Do you remember what you said to me? I don't know. There might be several things, but what I remember from that situation, and as pretty much happened, since I lived that for years, so to me it was did the notes were reminded me of the things that were in there that I could speak to. So I don't know if I said that, but you did. If. By the way, probably one of the most amazing teach backs. It would be like writing a novel and then having somebody do a book report to You with no notes and you're speaking to the author. And your teach back was so good and so authentic I didn't even let you finished. I mean, and I think it, we had a certain amount of time slotted for the day or whatever and you know, I don't know, an hour or something into it, I'm like, all right, let's just talk about basically how much of your time we can get and you have helled it, dude like that. Well, yeah, thanks, Jodson Hot A. Say the one I said before. It was very natural for me because I've...

...lived so much of that already, you know, and you know what they say, you teach because you made a thousand mistakes. It just really clarified a lot of that. To be fair, the you know, there wasn't as much rigger that is there is now. You know, we were kind of like building it as we went but I do remember at the end of that I was feeling pretty good, you know. I felt like I knew what I was talking about. You were giving me some good feedback and I'm like, okay, let's go. And you couldn't help yourself, John. I don't know if you remember, you said, well, don't get too far ahead of yourself. You know, it's like that. It will Samuel Jacksons, and don't let that go to your head. Yeah, like that. We needed so, you know, rest this start. The first delivery I did was a big four hundred person one and your partners in the back of the room, our clos in the back of the room and we're running and so I remembered that. So I had the official leader Guy, but I had the little note card tucked inside, and so grant came walking up, you know, at the first break of wow, that's great, this is going really well, and I he called me look at it person what's that? It's my leadership. Unbelievable. There's tell John, please. Unbelievable. I remember that delivery and I remember getting a text from grant, who's the the cofounded, the other CO founder of course, management, and I think the text was just like Cato is crushing it, and that's basically been the theme for how many years has it been now, Tim it's going on twelve, is it really? Yeah, yeah, so you've been such a blessing to us with your great background, the the I think the people that know you that are listening to this is like your acumen in negotiation is like the highest at the highest level, and you've been such a huge, great addition to force management of how you've integrated the negotiation, the concept of,...

...you know, negotiation and value creation and you connected those four for our customers. So we got a little format here. I need to follow it. I could talk to you about the good old days, like some of those times we've been out on the road, you know, you know whatever, New York or you know. That's right, that's right around so to talk. So let's do the format like tell us. Originally, I remember was like Owen's corning or I don't want to miss mess that up, but like why did you get into sales in the getting of your career? Well, coming out of out of school I was actually headed down a career path and professional psychology and was doing a year or real live work at a school for Behavior Problem Boys, unknowingly how good at background that would be for what I ended up doing. But Anyway, I was doing that while applying to US multiple graduate schools and remember getting an acceptance letter from one. Is Sitting in the parking lot of that place after a year at seeing what the industry was like, what it would be like for me sitting here looking at the ladders and I don't think I want to do that. And at the time other people's are well, what are you going to do? I don't know, but I don't want to do that, and so I kind of just stopped and quit and said we better figure this out. Fortunately for us, a you know, neighbor of my parents was a manager at one's corning and said Hey, you might want to consider sales. I'm like no, I don't know. You know. And so anyway got into that. That started it and kind of found that I actually did like that. But you know, the better question, John, might be why did you stay in sales? Yeah, Cuz, yeah, to me what it took me a little while to figure out, but then it kind of started finding that I didn't realize why it went well, but it always went well. And then I realize, you know, one of those days when someone says, you know,...

...when you do what you love, it doesn't feel like work or whatever, and I'm like, well, what is it about this that I like? And I found it really had tied into some passions that were just emerging in me that I've just followed that path and it's worked out really well. You know, I love competing. You know, I've held sales leadership leadership positions, and almost every time I get to that thing we're trying to get to, I want to get out of it because now I've been meetings all day or looking at spreadsheets and not out there helping close deals, which is what I like. I Love Coaching, you know, whether it's kids in baseball or people on your team or people that you know, our customers that we work with. I Love Coaching and a lot of times because what it helps me do, and I really this is what jazz is me helping people see something they think they know but see it through a different Lens, and and actually selling has given me the opportunity to do that. That's so awesome. I you know, I think about some of the some of the best sellers and leaders that I've ever met have a background in understanding human behavior, and there's no doubt in my mind your background of really being focused and understanding how the mind works and how it turns into behavior that's visible and probably helped you in your you know, really understanding from a negotiation perspective. How much of do you think that you brought that forward and that understanding of human behavior in selling and negotiating? You know, and and I know you know this about me because I know it about you, I picked up a lot for my dad and you're learning stuff all the time. You don't really realize, but that's the way he was. You know, he kind of get a way to connect with you and then, yeah, so that was Connie and me, I guess, but then you I added to that some incredible mentors I had early in my career that helped me understand that, develop and then actually...

...learn how to channel it or use it. So, you know, did it come forward? Yeah, I had the great fortune to, you know, after that owns corning stint and I ended up running the onboarding thing. Got Exposure to this world of sales training, sales development through that and it you know, but in those days it was it was just still kind of emerging. been around for a while, but it was still emerging and started my career in that side. So for the better part of last forty years, John Close to it. That quite but for forty years I've been selling, selling, so I think when you do that and you combine it with what you know, my dad stuck in my head when I was little and what some of those early mentors taught me, you add all that together and then be a student of the game, I think it you know, fortunately it's worked out. It's worked out really well for us, brother, I'll tell you that. Hey, so let's do some self deprecation a little bit. Worse mistake you ever made in the sales job. Yeah, and this is one you know, we talked a little bit about this now, but I have to admit it was me the probably at this point third biggest deal I've ever sold, but at the time it was the biggest one. Still a big automotive company, they had multiple divisions. The first time ever they decided to do one thing across all those individuals side. I mean it was a high profile thing, thousands of people, etc. Etc. It was a big deal and the mistake I made, I call it overtrust under own all right, so I trusted, being a twenty seven, twenty eight year old hot shot that just closed the biggest deal in the company's history. Feeling big and bad about myself, I brought it in and said, okay, we got to get this team together. I mean, John, you can appreciate this. there. This was like fourteen different delivery people going to bounce...

...around the country doing for five hundred people Monday through Wednesday at noon and then Wednesday at ze till Friday at five. Another four or five hundred came in every week for a month, right, and it was a lot of build up and everything else. And you know, it was my big deal. So I kind of stay connected, but I trusted the company would resource it the right way. Well, even though it was a big deal, John, I you know, in the Totem Pole of the sales folks and that organization, I was probably now entering top ten, but I wasn't the one that was able to work behind the scenes and get the best people. And so I got they were bad, right, but they weren't the top tier and I trusted that and that thing went sideways, you know. I mean there was like one of those moments where you get called into the suite at the hotel with the we call them the three Amigos, of people that represented each division, and they're basically telling me we're pulling the plug on this and like her, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, and in that moment I remember thinking, Dag gone that company. I sold this thing. You didn't then, John, the under own was I thought all I had to do was sell, you know, and and that moment I kind of realized actually, it's your job to make them successful and I had under owned it and was dealing with the symptom of its them versus the root, cause it was me and, if you know, kind of like had that epiphany in that moment and said, you know, I asked these three folks, can you give me like an hour? Let me see what we could do. I came back and actually proposed another way. That's when I jumped in and kind of start. I took over some of the ownership of that and actually would build it out. It would up being pretty good, but I could tell you exactly the moment. I could tell you what the guys were wearing, what city we were in, what hotel, when we're in...

...and was like the switch went off in me. You have been messing up because you think it's somebody else's job to make sure these people are successful. And what if they are? Roll you can't escape ownership of let's stay on that for just a second. So any listeners that like you're in a process. Your job in the sales process is to sell it. It might not be to resource it. You're trusting the process. Looking back on it now, several years later, what advice would you give people, because I think that probably rings true with people right now. That says, Hey, I'm worried about that. Like you see sellers trying to circumvent the system. They want the best sales engineer or they want the best product specialist or whatever. How do you balance kind of trusting the process and making sure that you kind of own a great outcome for your customer? What advice would you get? Well, the first thing is what I just said. Recognize it's not your job to sell it. It's your job to get the customer to what they are investing it. You know they're definition to success. So that's the first thing. And the second thing is it's okay to trust the process in the system, but the system needs I see what I also didn't realize then. We had people that were specialist in design and people that were specialist in delivery and people that were specialist in video art. We had specialists all over the place and I count on them to kind of just come together and do things, but I was the only guy in the company that knew the customer and that's kind of been my thing going forward. We always have people a force management. We got great specialist we got people that know what they're doing, but our people that manage the relationship with a customer. And I tell this, if we do on boarding work for people or organizations that are looking at who does what when in the engagement process. I just say, just remember there's one person's whose job it is to make sure all that comes together and...

...produces the outcome. And you know, for me the recommendation is don't addicate your responsibility to own that, no matter how it's set up, the handoff meetings, the everything else. John, you know, we make a social contract up front with our customer when we say we could help you with this. It's not I can help you buy my stuff, it's I could help you with your problem. And until that's being addressed you can't let go of it. And of course, in today's world I don't run into many organizations that are in the one and done business. It's ironically, ensuring their success is the best way for you to have more success going forward with them. So I see, yeah, yeah, really, probably pretty basic for some people, but for me it was like the most simple thing that I was messing up. I like that a lot. Whilst that, what's the funniest thing that's ever happened on a sales call to you? Well, you could tell by the gray hair jot I'd been doing this for a while, so I've seen a lot of a lot of bizarre things. But you know, Rachel had leaked that question to me a dance like started thinking through, so I got to get just a pinch of set up on this one. This was known in my company at the time as the too oil wells to finance guys three pair of shoes and a set of clean socks. Story. That probably like what's going on. So again, way back early on, earlier in my sales career, I'm in Kansas. That's my my patches is, which it Tak Kansas. But I happen to have two or three the largest customers in the company in that little patch and it was also the time there was basically a recession going on and one of those large customers, my biggest, had made a unilateral decision he wasn't going to charge his customers for his services his product during that time to help them out. But the other part of his unilateral decision is he decided he didn't need to pay US during that...

...time. You know, good old boy out in Valley Center Kansas, right he said, and I'm like, Hey, there's a lot of money piling up over here. That you always and it's a recession and the company management kind of wants to get that in and I tried, you know, Mr Naive, Nice Young Guy, trying to deal with it, and he said, you know, now, do you guys think I'm not good for it? No, no, I'm sure you good for it. But you know, they kind of wanted in our bank and I was suggesting as a post telling. So finally he says listen, because I said something like what's the guys in finance are all over. He said, well, get those guys in here. Let me talk to him. I don't know. So I call them up on that. I said if we got a prayer of getting this money, it's going to involve you find a which of two guys show up. You know, we used to call the people are med quarters, the suits. You know, they showed up. We all war suits. We go to this guy's place. It's kind of November, cloudy, and we get in this discussion and they're saying, but you don't understand, we're not a business like yours. We're probably trying to blah blah blah. And he said, let me show you something and he takes us out to his jeep and we get in it. Now he had a lot of property in this big complex and he drives us out to this remote part of his pride, like a mile out in this field right. Well, what he had discovered a few months before that, John, is there were old oil wells out there. Oh Wow, been camped off when, you know, price o oil went so low. He didn't even know he had them, but somehow found them and had opened the up back again because the price, oh I, was pretty good. You know, these things were pumping out like a hundred grand every couple weeks. For this guy was it was unbelievable. So he drives us out in this money field, he takes the two suits and me and we walk up and he like opens this big barrel right where all the oil is popping in and he says, boys, this thing fills...

...up every two weeks. I sell it for a hundred thousand dollars. I'm good for what I owe you, and I'm not even talking about the rest of my business, just with this. I'm good with what I owe now. Here's the thing, right, you can ask me to pay you now and you won't have business for me for three months, or you can be patient for three months and I'll keep buying from you all on and then he starts walking down this, you know, these stairs from this barrel and he says, I'm going to give you some time to think about that. Jumped in his cheeping too. He left you out. Yeah, that's right. And feel it's now just starting terrain. And I remember these two guys looking at me and go like he's coming back right as I'm I don't I don't think so. I think this is what's called. He's sending us a message. And There Huh, we got flight back. I got to be a meetings tomorrow. I well, I guess we better start walking. So we're walking through the mud. Now it's rating. They're rolling up the you know, the bottom of their of their of their pants up to, you know, over our ankles and mud. There's slogging through this thing and they are person this guy we're gonna we're gonna see this guy is the most unprepared. Blah, blah, blah, Blah Blah. And I said Yeah, you know, I kind of get it. I don't know all the things you guys know, but but here's what I do know. If we lose his business for three months, that's going to our biggest competitor. I got to feel and they're not going to be so happy to let him go. So I don't think this is like a today and three months from now. So I think this is a forever thing. And if you're not clear that, he sees it US forever. We're walking through the mud amile back to this thing. And then all of a sudden I said, but what do you think about it? This is going to be a great story to borrow, and they started laughing, you know, and right around the time they're laughing and saying yeah, maybe we ought to keep our eye on the prize whatever, here comes my man out his jeep, bur and he pulls up,...

...but he looks out as point, doesn't say get in. He's looking out the window and he's like Gee, sorry, you boys ruined your shoes. Have Yeah, made any decisions like the League guys? Hey, I think we can wait a little bit. I think we could be patient. He says good, get on in this car, and so we jump in and then he says here and he hands his bag up, and Brown paper bag. It's got three pair a dress shoes in it, you know, probably all the same size. You know, I'm sure they didn't have dollar stores then, but whatever the equivalent was in Valley Center Pansas. He went bought three of them and three pair of socks and he said here, I have sorry, you guys ruined your shoes, but you know, here, take these for me. And then he said, Hey, when you take care of me, I will always take care of you. That is awesome, Dude. Guess what, in about a week he paid the whole thing. He just said, okay, make my point, because for him, John, we thought it was an AAR situation. Yeah, he saw it as a trust situation. Yeah, you know, and he delivered the message. But you know, those two guys I went later went on, as I said, I ran the new hired training from one of those two guys. Always showed up during the however many weeks we did that, and they would always tell this story. They were like legends. Back in the finance department of rose. One time we went to go collect money from this guy and their message to the new hires was don't get in the G don't ever. Dude, that's awesome. Hey, who was the best salesperson or sales leader that you worked with in your career? And why? Wow, that covers a lot, John. I would say for me the best salesperson, the best manage they were both. They were both, and I hate to do this to you, but to me it wasn't one, it was five. Yeah, and I'm not going to go into detail on each one of them, but it was. It was John and Fred and grant and Larry and...

...how I mean those five. But they did have some common characteristics. One day, you know, they knew how to sell the they were great teachers. But the thing for me, John, every single one of them invested in me. Several of them took a big risk on me and they just had incredible integrity and they would always find a way to, in the midst of doing good, would do what was right. You know, and I know that that's kind of a funny saying, but that's kind of what I picked up from them. Is If you're not doing right but you're being successful, that short lived. But they had the ability to align the business they did on things that mattered and produce really good outcomes for us and our customers, but they were always doing it with a moral compass. HMM. You know, it's awesome about that is I really cherish those messages that we get from you every now and then when the company's making a hard decision or in you're always the person that recognizes when something's being done right, and I really really appreciate that about you. That's never lost on you. Well, shaped down I still got a file down here and it was from way back in those which you todd days. All this says is job, but if I've ever gotten an Adam boy or whatever, it goes in that file. That's awesome. I love that. All right. Last one. What's the best piece of sales advice you ever got that you don't often hear? That you don't often hear? Yeah, well, I'm going to break the rules and give you two quick ones. One was from that Guy Larry. Now, Larry was a guy that ran on the company was named after him, one of the then biggest training companies in the world, and he's the guy that kind of ment her me on this idea of selling, selling and his you've heard me say this one before. Larry used to say when you sell selling, Tim you got to sell according and selling you sell. Yeah, you...

...don't hear that all the time, right, but what he was basically saying was walk to talk, and he taught me when you do what we do. Every sales calls it demo, so you probably ought to treat it like that. And ultimately, what you want to have people do. There's how I've translated that, John, is when people want to work with us because they want their people to be that, you know, treat customers the way you just treated them. That's like not only the ultimate compliment, but it's a pretty straightforward way to be able to show you want to know what we do, watch me, you know, and and that that's where you'll pick it up now from that years later. The second best advice I got was from that Guy Hell, who I was, you know, trying to figure out where do I go, what do I do? This is he said, you know, and I said it's amazing. Now I have this unbelievable run. I have a way of picking these companies that start our small and they become wildly successful, you know, and I played a role as and how looked at me and said, Tim, did you ever noticed that maybe the common thread is you and you're not the only reason they did that. But but his advice was, tim what if you were the brand? What if the things you do end up being the differentiators and he was kind of saying trust yourself. Then, you know, years later you heard that, you heard that phrase. Be Your own brand. That wasn't around them, but that's basically what he was saying. So between those two, every time I'm interacting with customers I considered a demo and you know, we got to walk to talk. That's back to that integrity thing, right. And then secondly, maybe it's EGO, but I consider myself the brandy. You know, I love that. I ought to be the poster child for the brand. I love that. I think it's so relevant for everybody listening. So that turns into what we often say is how you sell can sometimes be just as important as what you sell. And you were selling selling, but if...

...you're selling products and services are whatever you're doing, how you sell teaches the customer, the buyer, a lot about what that ongoing experience is going to be. So I think that's great. I think that's great advice. Dude, you have been awful. Lucky John. Yeah, the great people nudging me in the right direction, you included. Amen. Right back at you, brother. I so much appreciate what you do for us. I so much appreciate you and all the stuff that you do for our customers. The feedback from the marketplace when you engage with clients is just tremendous and outstanding. Thanks for spending some time with us, brother, and I just I wish you just unbelievable continued success my pleasure, John. Truth be told, I am going to blast me too, brother. We got awesome customers. I have fun with them. Amen. Thanks, Buddy. Appreciate you done. 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 teams 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. To not miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time,.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (165)