Set Yourself Apart from the Start

September 08, 2020

So you finally landed the role, congrats!

Whether you’re starting as a VP or a SDR, there are certain actions required to set yourself up from success from day one. Does every role now demand a 30-60-90 day plan?

“What’s the best way for me to prepare for and succeed right away in my new role Scott?”

I’ve been asked this question a lot lately, mostly by nervous [understandably so] sales folks, and I suspect due to the great restart of 2020 (F-U COVID), this question will continue to fill my inbox.

My advice is simple and applicable whether you’re a VP or an SDR:

  • Follow the process. 
    • The process was put in place for a reason, and if done correctly, it works (Shameless plug, this is what I do best. Contact me here). Recently, I was asked by the CEO of a great company, “How much runway should I give my new SDR’s to make the process their own?” I will take a hard stance here that the process was built meticulously and at great costs so you will NOT have to take the risk of having six people working six different ways.
  • Develop your mindset to succeed. 
    • Success boils down to one question: How bad do you want to make it happen?
    • First things first, you have to give a damn. Stop reading here if you genuinely don’t care about your prospect or the problems they struggle with.
    • Read my last few blogs on mindfulness and finding mentors. If you can accomplish those, you’ll set yourself up for success.
    • Join micro-communities, like Thursday Night Sales. I get asked nearly every Thursday, “What can I do to set myself apart from my co-worker?” or “What advice can I give to my counterpart who is struggling?” It is a simple answer. By going out of your way to spend your time learning and networking with your peers and leaders, you’re developing a mindset of success.
  • Know your stuff.
    • New VP’s and SDR’s alike, hear me loud and clear. Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice. Let that sink in.
    • LISTEN and seek to understand before prescribing new ways of doing things. For the sake of everyone’s sanity, do not be the “Well, we always did it this way at my last company” person. You left that company for a reason, right? Give it a rest.
    • VP’s, seek to know and understand your people more than anything else.
    • SDR’s, master your industry. Sounds simple, but it’s not. A few weeks back on my Patreon, we had the pleasure of learning from Jon Selig in a private Patreon-only session. He said something that made me stop and should make you ponder as well: “Most of us sell products we’ve never used to people in jobs we’ve never had in industries we’ve never worked.” Know your stuff.
  • Listen to the prospect.
    • Have you ever noticed how your mind wanders when you’re listening to someone talk? Multiple studies have shown that we can only speak around 130 words per minute, but we listen at around 400 words per minute. When you hear me preach active listening, this is what I am talking about.
    • If you’re going to listen to your prospect, it means being able to shut off that wandering part of your brain. Practice this daily in your regular conversations and again, seek to understand before being understood.
  • Stick to the plan.
    • Quick story. When I worked at OutboundEngine, we sold email and social media marketing services to small businesses. We had a new team member come in, and he had never done this before (let’s call him Bob). Bob was a natural born hustler and we knew he would do well, and he did. Bob did so well that he was eventually gifted with inbound leads, which was rare. All of a sudden, he fell off a cliff. Bob had followed the process with cold calls, but started cutting corners with inbound leads. Bob forgot the process and deviated from the plan. He went from 300% of quota to 20% the next quarter.
    • When you are in the pits, go back to the basics. Re-read Addicted To The Process. Pretend you are back at day one on the job and re-walk the steps you took that made you successful in the first place.

Next Steps

Once you find a process that works, you should just keep doing it until the job is done and there is nothing left for you to do and nowhere left to grow.

To keep growing, you have to keep moving. Sometimes, that means moving away from something easy and familiar. Recognize when you’ve hit the ceiling in a certain role or particular organization. When you decide to push yourself towards that new challenge, you are saying you won’t settle for mediocrity.