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How To Become UNSACKABLE In Your B2B Sales Job

Ralph Barsi is Global VP of Inside Sales at Tray.io and a well-respected sales thought leader.

In this episode of The Salesman Podcast, Ralph shares the steps that you need to implement to become unsackable in your B2B sales role no matter what your market or the wider economy is doing.

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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Ralph Barsi
Well-Respected Though Leader and Global VP of Inside Sales at Tray.io

Resources: 

Transcript

Will Barron:

Coming up on today’s episode of The Salesman Podcast.

 

Ralph Barsi:

Number one or very high atop the list would be your outcomes and results and the consistency of how you deliver those outcomes and results. It’s easy for me to look back along my career path and easily call out, even from the early days of my career, who I have thought as A-players.

 

Will Barron:

Hello, Sales Nation. My name is Will Barron and I’m the host of The Salesman Podcast, the world’s most downloaded B2B sales show. On today’s episode, we have the legend that is Ralph Barsi. He is the VP of global inside sales over at Tray.io. Now on today’s episode, we’re getting into a topic which, is well, it’s incredibly important right now in this up and down, topsy-turvy uncertain world that we’re living in, in this uncertain economy that we’re living through. We’re diving into how you can become an unsackable salesperson. Everything that we talk about in this episode is available in the show notes over at Salesman.org. With that said, let’s jump right into it.

 

Is it Feasibly Possible to Become an Unsackable Salesperson? · [01:17] 

 

Will Barron:

Now, on today’s show, we’re going to get into a topic that I don’t know the answer to this question, but I’m going to pose it to you anyway and this is what we’re going to discuss on today’s show. I’m going to ask you how to become unsackable as a salesperson. So the place to start with this Ralph is, is that physically, feasibly possible?

 

Ralph Barsi:

Anything is possible. So it is possible and feasibly possible. I don’t know if I have the answer to the question either, Will, but what I can do is just share from my experience characteristics, attributes, traits that I have noticed over the years of people who I think are indispensable, or as you say, unsackable. That’s a great word.

 

The Most Important Elements of Becoming an Unsackable Sales Professional · [02:15] 

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. I think when we prepped the show, you used the word indispensable. I feel like that is what a manager would describe a salesperson as, but a salesperson being slightly selfish in the self, but probably thinking, right, how can I crush my quota and how can I become unsackable? A business consultant would probably say anti-fragile or all these fancy ways of describing the same thing. But with that said, Ralph, if it’s feasibly possible, we’re both positive thinkers here, clearly, if it’s feasibly possible, what is, it starts you off of a bang, what’s the most important element of becoming unsackable as a sales professional?

 

“It’s easy for me to look back along my career path and easily call out, even from the early days of my career, who I have thought as A-players. One thing rings true among all the A-players in my list and that is that they were always consistent with results and outcomes.” – Ralph Barsi · [02:31] 

 

Ralph Barsi:

Number one, or very high atop the list would be your outcomes and results and the consistency of how you deliver those outcomes and results. It’s easy for me to look back along my career path and easily call out, even from the early days of my career, who I have thought as A-players. One thing rings true among all the A-players in my list and that is that they were always consistent with results and outcomes, driving revenue for the organisation if they’re an individual contributor.

 

Ralph Barsi:

If they’re a sales development rep, for example, they were always booking high quality meetings with consistency and those high quality meetings would become viable sales opportunities for the pipeline. If they were leaders, they were recruiting, hiring and even retaining the top talent in the marketplace. So those have been some of the patterns I’ve seen. It’s just those consistent results and outcomes and there’s so much more beneath that or along with it that we could talk about.

 

Which One is More Important when Aiming for Unsackability: Hitting Your Targets or Consistently Delivering Results? · [03:40] 

 

Will Barron:

Let’s split these two upright, and I can give an anecdote why in a second, but which is, if you had to choose one of them, which is more important, consistency or what I used to do is essentially do an okay year and then every now and again I’d score a massive sale, which would dwarf all the rest of them and so I’d always hit target, but my sales manager would always be pulling their hair out over the fact that I might be missing it, things like to go back and forth, I’d always pull it out the bag maybe just by fluke and luck at the end of the year? So which is more important from that perspective, is it just to hit and beat your target or is consistency is the more to that?

 

Ralph Barsi:

Wow. Such a tough one to answer. It’s such a subjective answer required for that question. Personally, I think consistency is key. However, it really depends on the organisation and where that organisation is in the maturity cycle of a business’s growth. So oftentimes, they’re at a point in the maturity cycle where it’s okay to land the elephant, so to speak, once a year and bring home that walloping ACV amount against our ARR target and that suffices and it’s onto the next fiscal year. You know what I mean? But I’m a big fan of consistency just to mitigate and avoid as much as possible that scenario you just brought up or you can’t sleep, you’re losing yourself waiting for the contract to come in. So I like the consistency. It just gives me a sense of calmness.

 

Will Shares How Sales Managers Often Got Frustrated with Him Because He Always Hit His Targets But He Lacked That Bit of Consistency · [05:16] 

 

Will Barron:

So I’ve never really done sales management, so outside looking in, it seems like if I had someone who was consistent, we could improve them one, two, 5% and eventually they would then consistently hit target, versus I know with me, sales managers would get frustrated because, again, I’d hit that one, two big deals a year and the rest of it, I don’t think they thought I was lazy, but they thought that I could be coached, I could be trained, I could be improved when in reality I was working on those large deals because that’s what excited me. That’s what made me interested in kind of business to government sales, when we were selling medical devices here in the NHS, in the UK.

 

Will Barron:

So I just wanted to get actual expert’s kind of opinion on the thoughts on that, because it seems like consistency, you can do something with. When someone is just seemingly lucky once a year, but they hit targets, that seems like more potentially a bit of a burden as a sales manager.

 

Ralph Barsi:

Sure. It certainly is. Candidly, I haven’t led a team of individual contributors in a good 10 years. However, I’ve led sales development organisations and sales development reps who’ve become power hitters as individual contributors. So I have seen both sides of the fence, and of course served as an individual contributor myself. But I think what you said, Will, is a really nice segue into other attributes that we could talk about and that is that coachability. They’ve got to be pliable enough to accept constructive criticism, feedback and then turn it into better productivity on a daily basis, which obviously leads into quarterly performance and annual performance.

 

“The A-players I’ve seen in my career, they want to improve. Very rarely have I met an A-player sales rep who’s kind of pushed back on any constructive feedback. They’ve always been open to it. They don’t always apply what they’re hearing, mind you, but they’re always open to hearing it.” – Ralph Barsi · [07:04] 

 

Ralph Barsi:

You’ve just got to be an active listener and open to feedback. Also, the A-players I’ve seen in my career, they want to improve. Very rarely have I met an A-player sales rep who’s kind of pushed back on any constructive feedback. They’ve always been open to it. They don’t always apply what they’re hearing, mind you, but they’re always open to hearing it.

 

Ralph Talks About How The Best Salespeople Actively Want to be Trained and Coached on Better Selling During the Pandemic · [07:35]

 

Will Barron:

Sure. In turbulent times, like we’re living through right now with the COVID pandemic and the economy going up and down and what that actually means for anyone who’s in a small to medium business versus the enterprise and all these different variables, Ralph, what should salespeople would be doing proactively on that training, learning and being coachable front? Should they be proactively going to their sales manager and asking for advice and trying to align themselves as different to perhaps some of their other colleagues who were just head down and plodding along? Is there value in proactively going about this as opposed to just receiving coaching when it’s given?.

 

“What I’ve seen happen, even in COVID times from 2020, is sales reps are talking to their customers. They’re learning from their customers how their customers are navigating these waters so that they can keep a catalogue mentally of the most common problems or critical business issues that are surfacing during these really rough times.” – Ralph Barsi · [08:31] 

 

Ralph Barsi:

Absolutely. That’s another strong trait of these types of salespeople is they are proactive. They do take initiative. They hold themselves accountable for their success, or lack thereof, and they take ownership of their business within the business. While it is a great idea and practise to be leaning into your sales leaders for constructive feedback and words on how to improve their game, what I’ve seen happen, even in COVID times from 2020, is sales reps are talking to their customers. They’re learning from their customers how their customers are navigating these waters so that they can keep a catalogue mentally of the most common problems or critical business issues that are surfacing during these really rough times.

 

Ralph Barsi:

They’re doing their best to frame up solutions to those problems. It’s helping them with their talk track for prospective customers who are trying to make their way through these challenging times as well. The best salespeople are spotting the patterns and they’re able to address critical business issues that new prospects are raising in conversations. I mean, it runs the gamut in terms of taking ownership, taking initiative, being proactive, working with internal resources like a sales leader, but also external in terms of your customers and prospects.

 

Will Barron:

So you mentioned, there’s a couple things here that tied together. I honestly don’t know your thoughts or where we’ll go with this. But you mentioned the business within the business. You mentioned internal stakeholders, external stakeholders. We’ve all had this cliché, every sales manager’s told the salespeople that you should treat your… If you’ve got a territory, you should treat your territory as an entrepreneur. You’re trying to grow it. You’re trying to develop it. Or if you’ve got a list of customers, you’re trying to treat it as your own business that you own.

 

Will Barron:

Now, with all that said, again, in the age that we’re living in where you can generate leads on LinkedIn, you can create content, I think a lot of forward thinking organisations want salespeople to become, to a certain extent, thought leaders or experts in their space, and they can leverage that as well as the individual to generate leads and generate conversations.

 

How to Become Unsackable By Delivering Results, Adding Value, and Becoming the Trusted Advisor in The Marketplace · [10:33] 

 

Will Barron:

With all that Ralph, is it’s more true than ever before that salespeople should actively be treating their territories or their customers like an entrepreneur? Could you get to the point where you have so much content, you’re generating inbound leads, your potential buyers want to speak to you because you have the expertise, do you think it’s possible to get to a point where you become unsackable because you are as an individual just such a resource to the marketplace that your organisation that you work for serves?

 

Ralph Barsi:

Absolutely, Will. You become indispensable, as you know, or unsackable through your great work. While it’s really important to be consistent with delivering those outcomes and results you and I talked about earlier, the real outcomes and results that you need to be delivering are in your marketplace, to your customers, to your prospects, to your partners. When you oversee a territory, for example, or a market segment, or even a product line, and you take that business owner approach to your territory and really run your business within the business, being responsible for the profits and the losses, going on in your patch, so to speak, you become that trusted advisor and that person that your prospects, customers and partners actually tether themselves too.

 

Ralph Barsi:

They need your insights. They need your observations. They need your guidance in order for them to move the needle from X to Y in a given timeframe. When you are doing that externally, you’re indispensable internally so much earlier that your company just can’t live without you when you’re serving the marketplace as well as you are, keeping all those things in mind and actually practising against them.

 

Will Barron:

Sure. Okay. So there’s going to be some salespeople who’ll have no problems with this next question, Ralph, and they’re going to blow their own trumpets and they’re going to fail to communicate this effectively and they won’t let anyone else get any sleep until they know how much value they’re delivering to their customers. That’s going to be as sub-segment of the audience who listens to this, right? But there’s also going to be another chunk, perhaps who are more analytical, perhaps they’re slightly more introverted. However, we want to frame up their personality or even the role that they’re in.

 

Will Barron:

For example, me selling some medical devices, it’s quite difficult to get a testimonial from a surgeon because they’re just so wrapped up in litigation and they’re nervous about litigation that they don’t want to recommend you as an individual for numerous cases. So it’s difficult to get that versus if you’re selling accounting software, you’ll probably get someone, an accountant, a buyer to give you a quick testimonial.

 

In Case of Changes or Impending Redundancies, How can Salespeople Prove Their Worth to The Organisation or the Market at Large? · [13:16] 

 

Will Barron:

So with that said, well, we’ll make this real, say that we go into an annual review, our company is doing okay, well, we got a sneaky suspicion, Ralph, that there’s going to be a couple of redundancies, there’s going to be a couple people moving, shaking, whatever it is, whether it’s good or positive, there’s going to be some change. What do we need to take to our sales managers, our sales leaders, what objectively can we show them that makes us, that documented us as being unsackable?

 

Ralph Barsi:

That’s a big question. So I’m going to try to break it up into pieces as well. First of all, if you’re an individual contributor listening to today’s episode and conversation, and you’re having trouble, let’s say you are in the medical device industry, and you’re having trouble getting those testimonials or use cases from surgeons or physicians that you’re working with. The next best step I suggest is really leaning on accurate and current industry trends, as well as executive priorities.

 

Ralph Barsi:

What are the priorities of surgeons or medical professionals today that you can leverage in conversations with prospects and customers, in lieu of said testimonial? As you mentioned, there’s so many different resources online that you can go to to kind of gather insights and data to then share with your marketplace. So that’s one suggestion I would make.

 

“You must become a contributor of value sooner than later. You can only stay a consumer of value for so long. Once you hit that tipping point and become that contributor of value, you’ve hit what we’ve called the breakeven point.” – Ralph Barsi · [15:13] 

 

Ralph Barsi:

The second piece is about when we come into a world where we do think some peers of ours are going to be made redundant and we have to differentiate ourselves on our team, you have to keep in mind that businesses are making an investment in account executives and in sales professionals. There are two concepts that I usually lean on when it comes to this topic. The first is you must become a contributor of value sooner than later. You can only stay a consumer of value for so long. Once you hit that tipping point and become that contributor of value, you’ve hit what we’ve called the breakeven point.

 

Ralph Barsi:

An author Mike Watkins talks about this in depth in a book that he wrote about a decade ago now. It’s called The First 90 Days where he talks about this company makes an investment in you and you’re onboarding and you’re learning the ropes, you’re understanding the company’s history, the marketplace that you’re going to tend to, et cetera, and you’re consuming, consuming, consuming value. But the second you close that first deal or make that first referral or do business with that first partner in developing a channel, you’ve hit that breakeven point and you’re now a contributor of value.

 

“A company needs to see a return on the headcount that they’re investing in the go-to-market organisation sooner than later and need to see that return consistently over time.” – Ralph Barsi · [16:43] 

 

Ralph Barsi:

It also reminds me of a concept called the sales learning curve. This was published in the Harvard Business Review, oh geez, 2004, maybe 2005, from a gentleman named Mark Leslie. Mark, I had an opportunity to hear speak about the sales learning curve at a luncheon several years ago hosted by Sequoia Capital. At the time, they were one of the investors in a company that I represented. So had the privilege of going to this lunch and listening to mark talk about the sales learning curve, essentially saying the same thing that a company needs to see return on the headcount that they’re investing in the go-to-market organisation sooner than later and need to see that return consistently over time.

 

Ralph Barsi:

So if you parachute in to a new organisation, or even if you want to call today day one in an organisation that you’ve been part of for some time, remind yourself of these concepts, how soon did I hit the breakeven point and how consistent am I in being a contributor of value? Number two, have I really illustrated the sales learning curve to the best of my ability? When you’re mindful of that and actually practising towards it, you will become indispensable and unsackable without question.

 

How to Become Valuable to the Organisation by Consistently Improving and Producing Better Results · [17:32] 

 

Will Barron:

Going a step further with this, Ralph, if we think of the… There are inputs and outputs of a salesperson, we’re going to just massively objectify myself and the audience there for a second, on year one, if we’re expecting X return, is year two linear from year one, as in is it X return plus a little bit and then year three is X return plus a little bit more? Or should this be more logarithmic as in should it shoot up, as in the sales person in year five or 10 should be delivering way, way, way more value than they were in year two or year three? So what I’m getting at is do we just need to increase our value gradually over time, or does our value need to compound over the time that we’re in the organisation?

 

Ralph Barsi:

It depends, well and I’ve seen both in practise. I lean towards the former where three to five years out, there’s just gobs of value coming from this individual contributor. Now, there’s an assumption made, though, if we’re going to go that path and it is that more and more responsibility might be granted to that individual over time. There’s obviously going to be a lift in compensation as well for that individual. There may be a promotion in there for that individual. There’s a lot of different variables that we can consider. But ideally, and in my experience, I think that three to five year plan is the way to go. When you take a look at that three to five-year plan, it kind of begins to answer path two, which is your value and the return that you provide the company could be compounding over that three to five-year term or more.

 

Ralph Barsi:

A lot of sales reps, I’d be curious to know, you may know this Will what the average tenure is, for example, in the SaaS industry, or even in the medical hardware industry, what the average tenure is of an individual contributor. I think in SaaS, it’s about two and a half years. So oftentimes you don’t even get to that three to five-year mark. They’re in and then they’re out and off to another greener pasture. But again, as I said at the start of our conversation, in my experience, some of the best sales leaders that I’ve worked for have been able to retain those account executives for far past five years.

 

Will Barron:

So I’m going to totally butcher the source of the data. So I won’t include the source. We can do after the fact, the print in the show notes. It was just over two years in SaaS selling technology products. But I think that was slightly skewed in that a lot of SaaS roles, you might start off as an SDR, and then there’s a natural progression versus in my medical device days, you were just a device rep and then you were a senior device rep doing the same job, just on more money with rather than a 3 Series BMW, you get a 5 Series BMW.

 

In a Time Where Salespeople are Seemingly Changing Jobs Every One or Two Years, Do the Salespeople who Stay a Little Longer Have an Advantage When Redundancies Come Knocking? · [20:38]

 

Will Barron:

So maybe there was more incentive to, or you’re in the same company in SaaS or tech sales, but you’ve got different job roles that might skew some of the data there. That’s exactly what I was going to ask. Is it a competitive advantage then, Ralph? In a culture where people are seemingly changing jobs every one, two, three years, is it an advantage in an environment like we’re in right now where people may be getting redundant to have been in an organisation for that bit longer? Does that put you in an advantage if there are redundancies being made?

 

Ralph Barsi:

I think so. Are you speaking in terms of you’re an individual contributor that’s been made redundant, but you’ve been in the organisation for quite some time? Or you’ve not been made redundant and you’ve got that on your track record that you’d been part of the organisation for quite some time?

 

Will Barron:

From the context of we’re going it’s the national sales manager is on the territory and he’s going around doing a yearly review of everyone and we know someone’s going to get sacked, for whatever reason, good or bad, if we know and we’re in the middle of the pack, say maybe we’re doing the middle of the pack numbers wise. I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I do feel like if you’ve been there that little bit longer, you just got that little bit of extra experience.

 

Will Barron:

Maybe there’s cognitive bias here of the company’s invested more into you at this point and so they don’t want to let you go. Maybe there’s biases involved in this as well. But I feel like someone who’s been there four or five years, seemingly on paper that he’s oing to be a better investment than someone who’s only been there two or three.

 

Ralph Barsi:

I’d agree, Will, again, with the assumption that this person’s been consistently delivering throughout their tenure, they’re the ones who we would in this case see as indispensable, at least in the present moment, enough to not make them redundant. It might be a nice segue into another trait of some of the A-players who are in that situation. It’s not only are they delivering results consistently, taking ownership and being proactive running their business within the business, but they’re also serving others, not just externally in the marketplace, but internally.

 

Ralph Barsi:

They’re helping a lot of the up and comers who are currently sales development reps. They might be helping some lower performing account executives. They might be doing some ancillary work for maybe the marketing team or even the customer success organisation. Again, they’re seen as that trusted advisor we talked about. Internally, their peers and colleagues know that they can lean on Will if there’s a mentorship opportunity, for example, or you might be struggling in your territory and sowing the seeds in establishing your relationships and Will has been seen as an expert at that in multiple territories, for example.

 

Ralph Barsi:

So Ralph, why don’t you talk to Will and Will would find that amenable and get on the phone no problem to kind of figuratively put his arm around you and help you out. That’s another great trait I’ve seen over and over and over again is these high performing account executives will actually pause to help out their buddies.

 

How Salespeople who Have an Annual Review Coming Up Can Prove Their Value to the Organisation and the Sales manager · [23:40] 

 

Will Barron:

sure. That’s perfect. Okay. So with that said then Ralph, let’s get real practical here. Let’s say someone in the audience does have this annual review coming up and they get a little bit sketched out over the fact that their job might be not secure, even though they’ve been hitting target. How do they document the fact that they’ve been mentoring other people? How do they document that they are, you’ve used this word a number of times, that they have accountability and that they have ownership? How do we build, even if it’s a little bit of a document that we can slide across the table to our sales manager, versus just… Otherwise, it’s kind of, well, he said this and she said that and I helped this person. What would you like to see in some kind of documentation of this?

 

Ralph Barsi:

Sure. Well, first of all, go with God, but back it up with data. You know what I mean? To your point, Will, you might want to start, if you’re not yet, you might want to start keeping a log or a journal, whether it be in Google Docs or Evernote or even on a piece of paper that you hold digitally somehow to literally do that. Maybe pull out the piece of paper like this and slide it across the table when you’re at a pivot point where you’ve got to prove yourself, or perhaps that happens in a QBR and it’s the final slide and you start to share what you’ve chronicled over your time with the company that’s kind of outside of your base remit that you’re responsible for.

 

Ralph Barsi:

When you’re keeping a log of not just the successes in terms of deals that you’ve helped close, but the failures as well and what you’ve learned from those failures and how you’ve illustrated resilience and kind of dusting yourself off and coming back, I think that goes a really long way. If you also include on that list several mentees that are up and comers in the company, that too goes a long way. Oh, I didn’t know that you were doing that. I didn’t know you’d been mentoring Will for the last two quarters. We’ve seen a lot of uptick from Will’s performance over the last six months, and wow, that’s great. Didn’t know that you were mentoring him or her. I think that’s huge. It’s the unspeakable stuff that really counts more often than not.

 

The Benefits of Documenting the Value you Add to the Organisation or The Marketplace · [25:58] 

 

Will Barron:

I think a layer of unspeakable, especially if you’re… I hate the term and we won’t dive into it, it’s another conversation for another time, but social selling. If you’re producing or sharing content on social. So what I’ve started doing this year is if I get a nice comments of, oh, that was really helpful, Will, or I need to look further into this or anything like that, anything positive, I’ve been taking a screenshot of it and just on my desktop on the office computer, I just throw it in a folder and it started off just two or three kind of mediocre like you’ve added a little bit of value here, and then five, six, okay, well, still no one’s calling me the next coming of Jesus or anything like that.

 

Will Barron:

There’s no parades of the content I’m posting, but now the folder literally has thousands, I think it’s over a thousand screenshots in there. So then you go, and clearly I’m producing more content than probably any of the audience is, but that might be 50, it might be 100, and just that on a slide at the end of a quarterly business review or an annual sales review, whatever it is, just that shows that you’re adding more than what the numbers show and that you’re adding that value to a community of people that are buying from you, that it’s almost intangible.

 

Will Barron:

The only way I can figure out to track it and add an objective layer too is to take a screenshot of a comment or an email or anything like that. But I feel like that has tremendous value. I know for me when I now look at this folder that there’s too many screenshots and images to actually run through, I probably need to get one of the teams to go through at some point and throw the way, anything that’s too just me getting my ego scratched and not actually as the person appreciating the value, then that’s a resource in its own. So if you are doing social selling, if you are interested of you giving value over email, there’s probably loads opportunities to grab things like that, right?

 

“The more value you add to the marketplace, the more valuable you become in the process.” – Ralph Barsi · [28:06] 

 

Ralph Barsi:

Oh, absolutely. So you become a brand ambassador, Will, not just of yourself, but of the company that you represent and even our profession at large. It reminds me of my favourite quotes from Jim Rohn, which is the more value you add to the marketplace, the more valuable you become in the process. Just taking you for example, you and I last met on your show, like I said it was probably four years ago now, and if I just visit your YouTube page alone and start going through the catalogue of videos that you produced and the different discussions you’ve had with the different people in our profession, it’s astounding in such a good way.

 

“I think a lot of salespeople who are dabbling in social selling, or want to be a little more active in social media need to understand that it’s not always about touting your company, touting the company’s history, touting the latest iteration of your product line. While it’s fine to mention that, instead set an example of really helping out people who are maybe in your role or people who are aspiring to become the role that you are today.” – Ralph Barsi · [28:52] 

 

Ralph Barsi:

So you my friend have a very good problem in that you now need to index and categorise all that work that you’ve done and all those screenshots and all those names that you’ve been able to have great conversations with, and there lies the increasing your value. I think a lot of salespeople who are dabbling in social selling, or want to be a little more active in social media need to understand that it’s not always about touting your company, touting the company’s history, touting the latest iteration of your product line, while it’s fine to mention that, instead set an example of, like you said, really helping out people who are maybe in your role or people who are aspiring to become the role that you are today and get strategic but also get tactical in the content that you are sharing.

 

“If an article, for example, or even a podcast episode appeals to you enough to want to share it with your network, give us some tidbits as to what appealed to you. At minute 22 when Will mention this, it reminded me of this and you need to keep in mind, boom, boom, boom, and now take action on it in your own world. That just goes much further than just sharing the episode or sharing the article or sharing news and information about your company.” – Ralph Barsi · [29:34] 

 

Ralph Barsi:

If an article, for example, or even a podcast episode appeals to you enough to want to share it with network, give us some tidbits as to what appealed to you. At minute 22 when Will mention this, it reminded me of this and you need to keep in mind, boom, boom, boom, and now take action on it in your own world. That just goes much further than just sharing the episode or sharing the article or sharing news and information about your company. Keep it about all of us out here and you’ll do just fine and start to notice that trajectory lift up that.

 

Will Barron:

No one’s ever said that. That is absolutely brilliant, Ralph. Because inevitably, right, when I first started to show, I had to explain to a lot of people what our podcast was, but there’s inevitably that a podcast for every industry, every niche, if there isn’t, you should probably create it for your own niche, right, if you’re in this space that doesn’t have that voice, you can become the voice very easily. But all you have to do, as you said, get the podcast, listen to it, break it down, and then you become an advocate for someone else’s content and then they’re going to promote you.

 

Will and Ralph Talk About Content Strategies and Creating Value by Being the Beacon of News and Insights for Your Audience · [30:50] 

 

Will Barron:

I’ve just had an interview with a young lad who has just commented on everything I’ve done for the last 12 months. He’s come from nowhere and now he was on the show. I’ve had people who’ve written five, six books who I won’t have on because I don’t see the value that they can provide in realtime for the audience right now as we are in 2020. So just doing that alone is a content strategy for salespeople, just to be the beacon of news and insights for people who are too busy to consume all the content and all that podcast content on their own.

 

“Whether you like it or not, you’re always setting an example, always setting an example. People most times won’t ever tell you the example that you’re setting. So hold yourself to high standards and deliver what you think is valuable to others that they can take it and learn from it, whether or not they actually respond to you or share their feedback or even thank you. It shouldn’t matter.” – Ralph Barsi · [31:30] 

 

Ralph Barsi:

Well, Will, I mean, you don’t even need to tell me, that must have been very flattering to speak with that individual and just learn how much they learned from you and your content. It’s a great reminder to all of us that whether you like it or not, you’re always setting an example, always setting an example. People most times won’t ever tell you the example that you’re setting. So hold yourself to high standards and deliver what you think is valuable to others that they can take it and learn from it, whether or not they actually respond to you or share their feedback or even thank you. It shouldn’t matter.

 

Ralph Barsi:

Just rest easy knowing that you’re putting a lot of goodness into the world by way of your content and the way that you’re sharing it. If more people do that, we’re going to have a pretty good next couple years. You know what I mean?

 

Other Than Missing Your Targets, What Makes You Completely Dispensable as a Salesperson? · [32:15] 

 

Will Barron:

For sure. Okay. We’ll wrap up with this. Okay. We’ve covered all the positive stuff. Let’s touch on, we’ll do rapid fire, Ralph, the negative things. Other than missing your target, what makes you completely dispensable as a salesperson?

 

Ralph Barsi:

Oh boy. Well, yeah, I love this. That could be a really good answer for people who are wondering, how do I become indispensable? Simple, just invert what you think a crummy salesperson would need do to be dispensable and you you’ve got the formula. So things that come to my mind include be a poor communicator. Don’t communicate often, don’t communicate consistently, don’t communicate clearly or cogently for that matter and things will not bode well for you.

 

Ralph Barsi:

Second is don’t show up, don’t be accountable, don’t take ownership, don’t put some skin in the game and really approach your craft with passion. Don’t wave the flag or rally around the mission of the company or the mission of the team within the company. Instead, go your own way. There are a lot of great sales reps out there that the challenger sale methodology would call lone wolves. Solution selling would call them eagles. They’re the ones that even though they may be keeping a lot close to the best in terms of their day to day practise, they are present. They are there for their teammates, et cetera. They’re not atop of the mountain kind of doing things their own way.

 

“It doesn’t matter how consistent you are with the results. If you are a diva and the world kind of orbits around you and you’re not there for others and you’re not serving internally and externally, that’s a great way to be dispensable as well.” – Ralph Barsi · [33:52] 

 

Ralph Barsi:

If they were, it doesn’t matter how consistent you are with the results. If you are a diva and the world kind of orbits around you and you’re not there for others and you’re not serving internally and externally, that’s a great way to be dispensable as well. I mean, we can go forever on this. There’s so many obvious traits, I think.

 

The Benefits of Selling with Integrity and Communicating Better · [34:14]

 

Will Barron:

Sure. Okay. Well, and a couple for me and we’ll wrap up with this. One, this is one I used to do, maybe not a lot, but I’ve caught myself doing it in the past and I sort of had to train myself out of, don’t tell white lies. If you’ve done something wrong, suck it up, especially if it’s internal. If it’s a customer, I feel like it’s easier to let go and say, “Oh, sorry. I screwed up.” I used to, when I first got to sales kind of like 10, 12 years ago, I’d make a mistake and I’d try and cover it up internally because I didn’t want to look stupid in front of my sales manager because I cared what they thought of me.

 

Will Barron:

Nowadays, I care less what people think of me. My ego is such that I’m happy to say I’ve messed up. I used to tell white lies that used to then cause more white lies or there are more trouble and then you eventually get found out because you’re going to… So no white lies. Then something you kind of touched on there, but I’ll dumb it down for anyone who is like me who’s listening, Ralph, and that is don’t be a pain, don’t be awkward. If you all that lone wolf, over-communicate, because again, this is something I used to fail on.

 

Will Barron:

I would be head down. I’ll be getting the deal’s done. I’d be, again, pushing for these huge deals once or twice a year, but I would not communicate. I thought I was communicating but I wasn’t communicating that I was working and I had sales managers who thought I was just off skiving, which then got my back up because I’m working really hard. But it was because my perception of appropriate communication wasn’t high enough. So I had to force myself to over-communicate what I was doing and then everyone was happy because they could see the transparency there and they could see that the job was actually getting done.

 

Why You Need to Leave Behind a Trail of Breadcrumbs for People to See, Know and Believe in the Value You Add to the MarketPlace · [35:50] 

 

Ralph Barsi:

That’s right. Yeah. You have to leave behind that trail of breadcrumbs for people to kind of see and know and believe in what you’re doing. I could not agree with you more and emphasise more the importance of high integrity and high standards. That’s a big one in my book. I would also add this, Will, just overall attitude and disposition, the way you show up, the tone you use when you’re speaking with people, and that goes for even in your writing. There’s a tone that people are going to notice and they’ll vibe off of you and you want to lead by example, no question.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. I love the way that most of this show could be summed up as in hit your target, communicate, and don’t be an idiot. This is not fair to say.

 

Ralph Barsi:

It’s a simple formula, but it works. All of a sudden, you’re unsackable.

 

Parting Thoughts · [36:40]

 

Will Barron:

Unsackable. I love it. Well Ralph, tells a little bit about Tray.io and then tell us where we can find out more about you as well, sir.

 

Ralph Barsi:

Oh, I love it. Thank you. So a really easy to follow, Tray.io. That is the URL that you would type in to take a look at us. But essentially, we’re helping a lot of businesses with the problem of integrating and automating all the components of their tech stack and driving automated workflows across their enterprise. So I’ve been at Tray for a little over a year now overseeing their inside sales organisation. Right now we have offices in the UK and in the United States, namely in San Francisco. I’m just having a blast.

 

Ralph Barsi:

It’s comprised of a lot of really sharp, good, good people, and that’s who you want to surround yourself with. If you want to follow me, it’s very simple on LinkedIn. It’s Ralph Barsi. Twitter is @RBarsi. You can also check out my blog, specifically the projects I’ve done in the past. Again, talking about leaving behind this trail of breadcrumbs of value for the marketplace. It’s Ralphbarsi.com/show-your-work and it’s show-your-work. But yeah, that’s how you can find me, Will, pretty easy.

 

Will Barron:

Amazing stuff. Well, I’ll link to all that in the show notes this episode over at Salesman.org. With that, Ralph, I want to thank you for your time, your expertise. I made this promise to you and the audience now that we’ll get you back on in less than four years next time around, mate. With that, I want to thank you again for joining us on The Salesman Podcast.

 

Ralph Barsi:

Looking forward to it. Thank you, Will.

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