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

Episode · 8 months ago

Lessons Learned in Sales W/ Dale Monnin

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Our podcast series “Lessons Learned in Sales” continues this week as John Kaplan talks with Force Management Facilitator Dale Monnin. They discuss: 

  • When Dale learned just how critical it is to always be audible-ready.
  • What led him to dramatically pivot the way he sold and the success he drove because of that shifted approach.
  • An incident where fire dancing went awry. 

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

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

He was a first person that really sort of said time out. 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, it's Rachel with the audible ready sales podcast. Today we continue our lessons learned in sales series. We're asking sales of veterans five questions about where they've been and what they've learned in their sales career. In this episode, John Kaplan Talks With Force Management Facilitator Dale Monnin. So it's my great, great pleasure to introduce a great friend of mine, Dale Man and facilitator at force management. It's great to see. I think we carved out some time. You're actually on the your you're being a I don't want to make any light of this, but you're out there on the road, as you know, in spite of Covid you're out there working with our customers. You're actually in a hotel right now, right. Yeah, still on the move. Doing it and but doing it safely and doing it, you know, intelligently. Amen, we have that. Ye. So, brother, I'm so I'm so looking forward to have in this conversation with you, with our listeners being able to find out a little bit more about you are. We just get great feedback about you and all the engagements that we have. But let's back it up a little bit and talk about how did you first come to force management? Okay, sure, I mean, I like what you just said. I loved your entry. I think we just rap right there, John, and yeah, you were so kind with those comments. But let's let's, let's go back and share a bit about how we got here. So it's grant Wilson, who's you know, your your partner in starting this wonderful business force management. Was My regional director at PTC when we were there, back in the back in the S and back in the heyday there. And when I left force management I started my own business and in the interim it had been sixteen, seventeen years gone by when I saw grant again out there on the circuit with with my business. It turns out we were both doing different work but for the same client, another PTC alum, who you'll recall, and many of our listeners probably would recall, Jim Vetta. Yeah, rest his soul. And we were in the conference together. Jim was our sponsor, and we saw grant and we set hello and and just rekindled the relationship. Nothing much really came of it, you know, right away, but we kept in touch over the next few year. Is Because, a, he's a great guy and we wanted to keep in touch and be I'd always had a passion for for teaching and consulting, in particular with respect...

...to sales, and when I learned about what he did, I'd be lying if I didn't say I was attracted to what force man was doing at the time, but I was pretty overwhelmed and and thankfully, super busy with my own work. But the right time in the right place. Intersected in this is January two thousand and seventeen, and and here we are pushing five years together. Wow, it's simply five years, brother, five years, January twenty two, holy smokes, buddy. And and how many years were you at PTC? Five and a half? Yeah, well, I thought, yeah, I five. You had international you had international experience as well right when I when I lost track of you, you went international and I think you wound up in like South Africa or something like that. Yeah, all my leadership years were internationally. Once I finished a stint in Waltam, we sat in Dick Harrison's office and Dick said, you know, where do you want to go? What do you want to do in the markets in South Africa had opened up with the fall of apartheid and he was really quite keen for us to go and establish a direct presence there. So that's where that's where I started. I went from there, spend a couple of years there and spend another year and a half to to and in the UK and London and just really enjoyed the experience. Well, your son, as you're such a well rounded executive, and you know I love the stint. You and I have something kind of cool personally together, and you started something called the drum cafe. was called the drum cafe, still called the drum cafe and it's something that you something that you still do and and as some of the listeners have heard, I actually picked up the drums a couple of years ago when I was just trying to get a good flow state going. I always wanted to do it and Dale and I have had some fun times. You've been over to my house and and working with me and I'm still still I'm still going coach, I'm still trying to I'm still trying to improve, but I absolutely love it, absolutely love it. I'm super impressed was what you've done. It's all about the attitude you've got. It was in yeah, to get it out to your hands and finish, that's a whole different story. That's right, brother. Okay, so let's talk a little bit about we like to ask some standard questions here and then you and I can have great conversations on it. But why did you get into sales? HMM, great question. Well, I I was really bad at writing code. I suppose to see answered that. I was an mis major at our Alma Mater, John Bowling. Green State Universe. Had A great program and graduate with honors and I thought I'd be out there as the systems an bust and doing doing all sorts of systems work and technology work from the inside out. But I soon realized that my knowledge was largely declarative and I'd lacked the procedural aspects...

...of really understanding how to do what it took to be to be good in that space. And Yeah, I'm only joke, half joking, because then in artific talent development work, as you know here force management, we we often reference the importance of having the right people in the right seed on the right bus. And that was me. Quite frankly, I own that. I'm very transparent about that. That was it NCUR Corporation in Dayton, Ohio at the time, and so I was I was trying to shift to sale because, and I'll touch on this in a bit, our whole family really just we're just kind of born to be in sales and I couldn't find anything with an NCR IBM had a field office just down the road on West First Street and Dayton. It took me in, kind of took a chance on a new guy that had had the experience and the rest is sort of history. In fact, one of my signature wins was over and crs. This is sort of my I told you so story to see her that, I say, when there's an opportunity and account that was replacing the Glass House, mainframe environment with the decentralized, distributed architecture and that's the story. Actually bring into some of our sales trained with force management. So that's a professional reason. But I mentioned my family that, you know, the the the men and the women, all good sales people. We manifest our selling talents in different ways, but we had a great role model in my dad. I know you're really close to dad and there's a lot of respect for for our professional parents and what they do to to blaze a trail for us. But you know, dad started the family business dealing garage doors in one thousand nine hundred and sixty one. It's a it's a business which persevere today despite the pressure from large national brands, thanks to my little brother, Dean, does an amazing job with it. But Dad just had a way, you know, a knack, a charisma garage doors. If you think about that, that's a business that's largely commoditized and you know, when you have a business for your product is commodit sides, you end up competing on price unless you're selling in a different way. And what we also preaches that we can differentiate ourselves as much by how we sell as what we sell. And Dad sold on service and and professionalism, and you know this also is just part of our ethosyrit force management. So I said, a great role models. I learned, you know, just by watching, observing and and just the collateral lift from what he did. Brother, I forgot about that, about that vast background that Ye have. We got such a great background. International Technology, coding, sales, sales management, drum cafe. You're an Ohio Guy, I'm a myschiu Guy. We wound up at the same school, but so I forgive you for that, but I forgot about just the vast, cool, diverse background that you have. Let's let's move into a question that allows us to kind of reflect on some funny stuff that's happened to us. What's the worst mistake you ever made in your sales job? Well, I...

...was told this interview was meant to make me look good. That for now to use. wherest did I start? I there's so many stories. In fact, when I do trains, which I'm in Dalysi this week, doing one starting tomorrow, I always open up by saying what really qualifies me to be in front of other sales professionals is what I did wrong as opposed to what I did right, because that's where we learned the most from and we speak a lot about being being audib already. You know. It's the very first line in our definition of what command of the message means. And I'll just maybe speak just just one anecdotal example where I was in setting up for a demo. This was back at PTC. I was a northeast O high and Cleveland. Is a company called Wilbert manufacturing it to work for smuckers and and Volvo truck and some other companies in the area. And we're at the U Shaped Conference Room and I'm sitting here and we're getting ready to fire up the computer and show the demos, show what we can do, and there's a little bit of dialog you ahead of the switching on the machine and getting it started, and an individual, and I'll tell this story in my trainings very often, an individual in the room happen to be a rather distinguished looking gentlemen and he asked a really great question, really insightful about about sales and how to drive and top line revenue and really increase the sales yield. That's that's a great question. You know, what do you do for the company? I started there. That was that was okay. What do you do for the organization and it's sort of stuttered him haul a little bit and hesitatings. I'm I'm in sales, I'm in sales. So when you're not audible ready, you missed tremendous opportunities to deliver a message of value to the individual who's asking. I just blow right on through. Let's turn on the demo. Let's go. I don't ask any more questions subsequent to what he had share with us. The Demos Rolling. True Story. You can't make this up. In less than three minutes. After that exchange at the individual the end of it, the person is sitting not next to me but two people down from me, reaches over the person next us. I mean this person has to really want me to get this message, slides a business card across the conference table, reaches over his colleague and I look at this card like once he give me his card for. I pick it up, I turn it over. It says Jack Stewart is the chairman of the board. Person WHO's said sales is important. What did I miss? I'm missing not por chase, you think to figure out what what the top of mine, value drivers that individual. What a positive business outcome is would compel him to act and act quickly. What else do I learn? You know, I the person who gives me the card. There at a minimum coach, maybe a champion. They want to make sure that I don't, you know, fall off my rocker. I mean it's just all these things, all these rich opportunities to learn and to drive effectiveness in our sales campaigns. Campaigns can be...

...right in front of us, but we're not if we're not present to really what's going on, reading the room, listening and maintaining a state of audible readiness. Yeah, go back and reflect on that. You're like here, I'm here to demo software for design through manufacturing and there's a person across from me asking about sales impact, and it just it. Sometimes it doesn't register when we're out audible ready and we don't know who's in the room and why they're in the room. There's just a lot of rich messages in there for qualification, like who are you going to be demoing to? And if asking, you know, answering a question, not to be annoying, but you know by asking some questions of clarification, you know what what you're in the company and maybe then going back during the demo, it's easy, you know, Hindsights two thousand and twenty. But going back during the demo on asking hey, from a sales perspective, how might you be able to use some of the things that we're that we're demonstrating here in the company from a sales perspective? We get really, really smart the older we get, don't we really know? All you gonna say, you're you're running pretty well. There's a reason that your career probably move differently than mine and the pet dogs of the fact that I can come up with that during the fact, I probably wouldn't even introduce myself to the gentleman. Let's on this, on this vein. Let's let's move into one. How about the the funniest thing that ever happens to you on a sales call? The funniest thing that ever happened to you on a sales call? Well, it's only funny now and it's the only funny thing that speaking about retrospect right hindsight, and there are a few other things that happened that that were culturally kind of out of context. I just missed, but I won't. I won't bring those in notes. That's something we can we can talk about offline, but this is actually I won't call it a sales call. I'm gonna go outside the lines a little bit here and share with you what happened in a drum cafe program so we're in a Gig on the beach and cancoons like seventy five people out there. They want drums, they want to performance. It was outdoors. Kind of really had the one of the spectacle of it. Pretty high profile corporate client spend some money on it. So I we were doing our thing. Towards the end of the program luckily they had to enhance the spectacle. We we thought what we'd had some like fire dancers and you know where this is maybe going to the performance piece of it. And now we kind of went through a friend of a friend to get some local folks to you know, the fire dances. It's been around those things of the yeah, sticks are in their hands that are on fire on on either side of stick. I like still to actuly how it works, but it towards ender of the program was there, turned to move into the front kind of do their performance. One of...

...the dancers loses her flame stick and goes into the crowd, into the audience. The whole groups like bails out like they're on fire, right in the middle. Everybody scrambling. I'm like, Oh my God, do we burn anybody? Did we like her in the customers? We'd like the sort of like the gig ended with a with a screeching halt. there. We kind of cheapestly picked up our stuff and walked away. I don't think we ever did this. You had me murmous that a friend of a friend with fire. Yeah, friend. So let's learned on a few ways there, but I didn't know if we'd ever recover from that one, but we eventually did. So that's I that's probably not what you're looking for. I love it. I just keep telling over we've heard some, ray heard some, we've heard some great ones. I heard Thatny Mans one too. Yeah, yeah, yeah, who was the best sales person or sales leader that you work for and your career? You don't have to name a by name. You can if you want to, but like you know, talk about maybe who that person was and maybe some some characteristics of that individual. Well, I'm going to go right to you know this, this story about Wilbert when I come back to the office and in Cleveland and I'm and I'm and I've got nothing going you know, and it's and it's it's pretty obvious when I'm conducting myself on the way that I just described, and I'm going to bring Terry tripped into the conversation. He's the global head of mules off today and he was my first firstline manager in Cleveland and for the right reasons. I come back and I say, I got something cooking, Terry, let's let's go, let's marshal all this resource, let's do a deep died demo, let's let's let's make something happen, because I was I needed some activity. And tarry would always challenge me and say why, why are we doing that? What the success criteria? If we deliver on the success criteria, then what happens? What's the decision process look like? What's the business problem we're trying to solve? And I'm like, God, you know, these are really great questions and I don't have answers to I just want to go, go and do something and just commit company resource that's not qualified. And he was the first person that really sort of said time out, time out. And here's what made Terry Special, and he'll remember this if he ever hears its video. He goes, you're flailing, Dude. You got to get grounded. And what effect to selling looks like. Invite me over to this house one evening and we sat down the garage, we had a beer, as wife Tracy made it, some dinner, and we just sat down and made some commitments to one another. Said I believe in you, you got potential, but but you're off the mark. And that was the beginning of me being able to pivot in a dramatic way how I sold, and so I always really took my hat off to him. You know, John Stewart was in the mix there and then as I finally got some traction and did a lot more work down streaming the organization, and Gary's just one of the best teachers that I've ever had and so I've got to bring her name in there with pleasure. I mentioned John McMahon, you know, author of the qualified...

...sales leader. I'm sure a named a lot of people recognize here. I saw a lot in John from John when I was in the Waal Fam for for several courts, essentially doing an enablement roll and I got there. The reason I mentioned John McMahon is because of the job that he didn't give me because I wasn't ready and he knew it and he knew that I knew it and he gave me the space to really deepen that unfolding transformation about how I sold. And so he would probably may or may not remember that. But but that just it just goes to show sometimes it's what didn't happen that supports the growth and your future. And of course just to be in the blast zone of a Dick Harrison was was valuable beyond measure. You know, we were so lucky key to work in an environment with such great, great leaders. You mentioned some great names there and that story really kind of helps me remember. Like we were so good and committed to qualification. You know that organization went forty three straight corriders over ten years with never missing their number to Wall Street, and you're kind of giving a your kind of giving a personal backdrop of that. And it was the commitment of people like Terry and John and and Gary and that just where we were committed to being honest about qualification and holding ourselves accountable and and not just doing unpurposeful activity, as a lot of companies out there that focus on activity, activity, activity, and I think what Terry kind of helped you do, and and grant helped me do it back in the day and Terry powers helped me do it back in the day and John McMahon helped me do it back in the day is to be really purposeful with that activity and that was a that's a life lesson which is which was fantastic and that the residence from that continues to this day. I'll just quickly share like when I was in the midst of the drum cafe, we were growing. We're still in there twenty years into it now. But even a dozen years down the track from PTC, I remember talking to a don't colleague and PTC Todd Lloyd. He todds it hort works Dallia now and just then made a great name for himself and has been super successful. He was my first seller in Janisford. made the trip down. He Tracy and we stayed in touch, but I remember being ten, twelve, fourteen years down the road I'm still immersed, you know, solely and drum cafe, and he says PCC still has got, you know, cash a in the market place and I'm like really, he's like yeah, I'm telling you, if you drop that, that name, and you had legitimacy behind you with respect your association with PTC, it carries way to learn. Wow, wow, amazing, absolutely amazing. It was a very, very blessed to to...

...have been on that run with you and others. Hey, brother, let's let's wrap this thing up. I love this last question because it it asks us a piece of sales advice that you know, the best piece of sales advice that you've ever received, that you don't often hear, that you don't often hear. Can you share something with us? Yes, in the first person. That comes to mind because he echoed it over and over and over again to every one of his eleven children, no matter who they're on the phone with, what they were saying, what they were engaged in, dad always said get a name, get a name, because people are going to say everything. Hold people honible to what they say and the way they say it. You know, think about any person who's on the phone. It should turn on with a couple of hours repair a person. I want to show up by noon. Payment should be credit to your account. You know, and I'm who said that. You know, and when will it? How will I know? Because if it doesn't happen and then you call him back, you know where this is going. You call him back and to say, well, I was told they're going to be here by noon. Who told you that? I don't know the person on the phone, you know. And now all the sudden, and I just use that last week and I said it was health insurance, health insurance, aging and I said, okay, well, I'll reach Steve and, you know, on his cell phone number and and what's your first name, sir? And you like, you know, put back like Bob, like he was kind of like no one's ever asked in that before. Like I, you know, fear not, I'm not, you know, asking your first name to call you out. I just when Steven says, how'd you get my number, I can say Bob gave you your number and he said I could call your cell phone, etc. Etc. Etc. So people don't like to be held accountable and in that regard there's there's just we've become a customer. I think, John, and I own this too. I just think that we become a too accostant, to hiding behind words, using throwaway language, trying to dismiss Evay, to move on from the topic or whatever, and just staying present, holding others, as well as ourselves accountable to the words that we use, is critical in fact, to me, just to to end, it's the definition of integrity. It's that our actions match our words. So I love that. That's love that. I love that. It doesn't surprise me that it came from a man that raised eleven, eleven great great kids, highly productive kids, and that that is awesome. That's awesome. Hey, brother, thank you for carving out, sometimes we from some time for this. We know you're on the road. We had the reschedule at Multiple Times because of your schedule. We just appreciate what you do for force management. Are Our customers loved you. Of the company loves you. Thanks for spending some time with us today. Brother, I'm all about family. I know you are too, and I'm grateful to be a part of this family. All right, brother, will be safe. At 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,.

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