GUEST POST: Sales Training Breakthrough

Gary Michels Southwestern Consulting

Written by SVO Member Gary Michels, Co-Founder of Southwestern Consulting

This morning I had a call from someone who saw me speak in Chicago last month. He said he is frustrated about the fact he cannot seem to have breakthrough in his sales results and wanted some coaching and advice.

I get calls like this all the time and would love to share my thoughts.

According to the United States Census Bureau, there at least 14,592,649 people that list themselves as “Sales People or Related Profession,” and it is estimated that the number is much higher than that because so many professions have some sense of selling either a product, service, concept, or idea to a potential customers or a co -worker.

What is shocking and worth mentioning is that currently in the United States there are only 66 colleges that have a program where you can learn sales in some capacity and only 15 colleges where you can specialize with a graduate program of some sort to learn the skill of how to sell. There is a major inconsistency here in that Sales is also one of the most lucrative professions anyone can have if you are good. It can also be one of the most frustrating and stressful professions you may ever have in your life.

In 2005, I had been in the Sales profession for 30 years already, and realized that our country needed to fill the gap of providing an avenue for people to come and learn the skill set of sales. Myself, and two others (My Co Founders Rory Vaden and Dustin Hillis) had a similar vision as I did and Southwestern Consulting (then called Success Starts Now!) had its humble beginning. Five of us promoted, for four months, a public seminar at the Santa Clara Convention Center and over 750 people showed up to hear several speakers (not well known in the public yet) speak on the topic of Sales.

We saw the hunger in the eyes and heart form the attendees to learn all they could to be better at what they did.

Over the next three years we put on several public events all over the country from Los Angeles, Washington DC, Chicago, Houston, Denver, Nashville and many more. The response was the same everywhere we went. Sales people wanted to sharpen their skills and get better. Our little company that started with five of us, now has over 130 people worldwide that have trained over 9000 companies over the years and worked with thousands to sharpen their skills.

I often ask my clients and people in my audience how much money do you believe has flown right over your head in your career due to lack of knowledge on how to sell effectively? I rarely see less than $10,000 as an answer and often see people with answers of well over $1,000,000. The interesting thing is most people don’t know what they don’t know and have no idea they truly can learn “salesmanship” as you learn any other profession.

Learning things like 20 different closes to move the sales process to conclusion, the seven-step process to overcome any objection you may receive, how to ask for and receive more referrals than you have time to follow up on, and to work ½ as hard to get double the results, are just a few of the topics we teach, train and coach on every day.

Being born and raised in the Bay Area, as well as knowing our company started right here in the bay area, has me often thinking about my desire to work with more sales people and clients right here in my backyard, one of the crown jewels of business worldwide (Silicon Valley).

For the past several years I have been involved with the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber, now The silicon valley organization, and have often believed that a Chamber of Commerce has a huge responsibility to offer for its members as many tools and resources to bring on more commerce for the member.

I was recently asked to partner with The SVO to roll out a three-part series to truly bring sales skills to the membership and community and I am absolutely thrilled and  excited about the opportunity. We will be bringing the heat mid - September through October as a launching point for many to Turn It Up A Notch in their business.

For more information about the event and any questions, click here.