Dan Pena is not a guy you would want to mess with (in business or outside a pub).
I love his direct, no nonsense attitude to business and I’ve taken a lot away from his interviews on London Real over the past few years.
Here are his top pieces of sales advice for us sales professionals –
1) Hang with other sales hustlers
You will take on the traits of the 5-10 people that you spend the most time with.
Are you hanging around with sales killers or the guys in your team who like to take Friday off to play golf with “customers”?
“I’ve never seen a ‘part-time’ super successful, high performance person.” – Dan Pena
To take this a step further, are you brain storming new ideas and strategies with sales hustlers outside of the business you work for on a regular basis?
The brain of the many generally out performs the brain of one. They can pull on many experiences, assets and references to get the answers to your tough business questions.
2) Take massive action
Do you follow up with 10 people a day or 100?
Do you get passionate with your customers or just turn up?
Do you know more about your product than anyone else in your industry?
The people who win are those who take massive action. If you’re comfortable (yuk!), work 9-5 or just “want to get by” then you will never have success in sales.
The rewards in life are always leveraged to the top 1-5%. They earn more money, respect and toys than the other 95% combined.
3) Create great customers
It might seem counter intuitive but most of the time it’s far better to have fewer, better customers over more poorer ones.
Don’t waste time on things you can’t change! – Dan Pena
More, poor quality customers usually means –
- More idiots wanting more than their fair share of your time
- More time chasing business that might not close
- More large opportunities missed as you are spread too thin
- More weak and fragile relationships
Pareto’s law suggests that 20% of your customers will bring in 80% of your sales target. Additionally 80% of the pain in your ass comes from just 20% of your customers.
These are the ones you should be firing.
Are you doubling down on your best customers or are you giving your competition an excuse to get in there and take them away from you?
4) Measure more
Sales professionals need to measure a number of key metrics if they plan on improving their performance day to day.
Things like conversion rate from one end of the sales funnel to the close are important statistics which enable us to set improvement targets.
“Nothing changes unless it’s measured” – Dan Pena
These targets force your brain to think how things can be improved rather than how can it just get through the day with minimum stress which is it’s natural inclination.
5) Just fucking do it
Finally Dan demands that you “just fucking do it”.
Slightly more aggressive than Nike’s spin on things but it’s the most important message of all.
In sales things change that rapidlly that if you ponder, plan or procrasinate for too long the deal you had on the table will have gone somewhere else.
“Any problem solved will be replaced immediately by a larger more complicated one!” – Dan Pena
Most problems that sales professionals face can be overcome by taking action (and once there overcome there will always be more of them) so stop planning and get stuck in.
Some action. Any action. It doesn’t matter.
80% of sales is just keeping momentum.
More about Dan – DanPena.com