Sales Blog from Sales expert Trent Leyshan

Archive for July, 2009

What should I look for when I hire a salesperson?

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

POver the years, I have personally hired and developed many talented salespeople across multiple industries, and for me, it’s always about finding and developing salespeople who possess the “Six P’s for Sales Success”:

1. Presentation  2. Preparation  3. People Skills  4. Passion  5. Persuasiveness  6. Persistence

1. Presentation: Looking the part if so important. If you don’t look professional it says to me a lot about who you are. In my opinion, if you struggle to even look the part, you’re more than likely ill-equipped to deal with the stresses and demands of a high performance sales role. Looking professional is the easy part, yet it’s the first thing we see and judge when we meet someone for the first time. This is an opportunity for a salesperson to set a positive tone before even a single word is spoken.

2. Preparation: Chance favours the prepared! Preparation is paramount. If I interview someone for a sales role and they can’t tell me anything valuable about my business, then that demonstrates this person will do the same when dealing with customers. You have to take an interest in your customer’s business and their best interests. Preparation demonstrates you are committed to the cause and creating the right outcomes.

3. People Skills: We naturally ‘buy from’ and ‘sell to’ people we like or share a likeness with. This makes a salesperson’s personality and people skills fundamental to capturing the hearts and minds of their customers. A salesperson’s ability to connect with other people and develop ‘business friendships’ will determine their long-term success.

4. Passion: Unless you have passion for what you are doing, you will not be willing to push through the (inevitable) set-backs and tough-times to get to a place where transformation and elite skill development is formed. I want salespeople that are aligned with my company’s values, are passionate, prepared to go the extra mile, and are completely focussed on the task. My experience has taught me that with this attitude, if they stick with it long enough, their success is just a matter of time.

5. Persuasiveness: A salesperson must have the ability to influence and most importantly lead their customers with confidence. Without this ability, a salesperson is merely presenting ideas and hoping for the best. Persuasion should not be mistaken for manipulation. Manipulation is a destructive skill when used in the wrong ways. Persuasion however, demonstrated by bold and virtuous salespeople, is something to behold.

6. Persistence: The ability to stay the course, through thick and thin, to achieve a goal is critical. Having the resilience to bounce back, overcome, transform, adapt, change course or regroup is essentially married to persistence – in achieving positive outcomes in a competitive market. I have seen many sales and business people with good ideas and the preceding “Five P’s”, yet lacking Persistence: their failure is always inevitable. And often their success was just past the point where they were prepared to go – if only they had taken one more step.

Salespeople that are naturally endowed with and/or committed to developing their “Six P’s” are far more likely to succeed in their sales roles than anyone else. When hiring and developing salespeople, I recommend looking for those that already possess these six attributes and/or those that you believe may have the potential to develop them.

I also believe it is critical to create a program and a support structure that’s provides salespeople an opportunity to further develop the “Six P’s” on a regular basis, ideally in collaboration with their leader and aligned with the organisation’s culture.

When your team members can confidently demonstrate the “Six P’s”, you will be amazed at where they can take your customers and your business.


Trent Leyshan                     Sales Training ∙ Sales Coaching  ∙ Sales Book

How much are your salespeople really worth?

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Commission onlyCommission only salespeople can be effective, however one of the major problems with a comm-only sales strategy is that salespeople in these roles, more often than not, become all about ‘the sell’ for obvious reasons: no sale -no pay -no eat!

Traditionally, comm-only sales-models promote a ‘hunter’ as opposed to ‘gatherer’ mentality, with many salespeople willingly spearing anything that moves in order to get paid, irrespective of the value being created for the customer, and oftentimes at the detriment of any genuine long term relationship.

A gun salesperson can take up to six months to get into the sales groove in a new organisation. I have seen a number of exceptional salespeople take even longer, but once a tipping-point in confidence is reached they then take-off exponentially.

A comm-only salesperson is not likely to be given the opportunity to accumulate a large amount of time to build confidence due to commercial pressures, nor are they likely to be able to personally survive financially during this time to reach such a point in their skill development.  

This all makes creating a comm-only sales-model trickly to get right, not to say impossible. It can be done, but if you want great salespeople they generally value their skills and time, and won’t go anywhere near comm-only based on principle. 

I have found over the years, having hired and trained countless great salespeople, across industries, that a combination of a reasonable base salary (to keep their cash flow moving) and a generous commission and bonus structure that promotes the development of customer relationships over time – to be the most effective sales strategy.


Trent Leyshan

The Law of being left behind

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Big KevI conducted my sales-apprenticeship with arguably Australia’s most flamboyant and successful TV salesman – Big Kev!

I started working for Kev as a spruiker selling products on stage with a microphone at shopping centres and trade-shows all over Australia. The trick to spruiking is getting just one person to stop! Not hundreds or thousands, just one. I remember, standing on stage twirling my mop and politely saying, “hello” to the passers-by, most people would just rush by and continue on their merry way.  This was of course unless until ‘one’ person stopped!  Just ‘one’ is all you needed, and by virtue of human curiosity and heard-mentality, slowly one by one, more people would stop to see what was going on.

Before you knew it, you had a crowd in front of you, which would then allow you to wind into your sales-spiel and create a show for the audience. And when you got to the end of your spiel, if one person buys – they all buy. Why? The Law of being left behind.

This law suggests that if someone else buys a products or service, it must be valuable enough to buy for ourselves. This belief transforms into a subconscious need to acquire the product or service, simply because someone else has it. And when you get a group of likeminded people together in a buying environment, all it ever takes is one person to buy to set ‘The Law of being left behind’ in motion. The converse is also true, if not one person puts their hand up to buy – no one else in the group will buy. Why? There is no leader, the pack isn’t moving in any particular direction, therefore there is no need to move – the safest move is no move at all.

Think about how ‘The Law of being left behind’ works with your business? How do you get ‘one’ person to stop? Is there a compelling reason to buy from you today as opposed to tomorrow, or never? Can you think of a way you can cluster like-minded customers together to enable them to compete for your product or service? By choosing your value-offering do your customers receive a sense of confidence they are moving in the right direction? By not choosing your value-offering are they being left behind in some way? If not, I’m sorry to say ― they wont buy.

 Always remember : No one likes to be left behind, ever!


Trent Leyshan                             Sales Training ∙  Sales Coach  ∙ Sales Book

Razor cut-through!

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

RazorHow do you cut-through the mass of competition, clutter and confusion in your market and get to your truly great customers?

By truly great, I mean the customers who aren’t price driven. The ones that buy again and again and refer their friends. The customers you love helping and will go to great lengths to ensure they are happy and fulfilled with your product or service, always.

These customers seem more like friends, because you like and share a likeness with them. You don’t mind going the extra mile because it’s about helping them! And guess what? Your customers loves that about you! They will always reciprocate anyway they can, they never question price… why the heck should they, they’re happy.

And more than happy to chat, twitter and blog and tell all their like-minded friends, or anyone that will listen, whilst they boast about how good their business friend (you) is at what you do.

Now that, my sharp-minded friends is what creates: Razor cut-through!


Trent Leyshan    
Sales Training ∙ Sales Coaching ∙ Sales Seminars ∙ Sales Book

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