About Bryan Charleau: Bryan Charleau is the founder of Pitching Sales. He is a seasoned sales professional with over ten years of experience in the sales industry, ranging from software to construction. Through his experiences, he has learned countless lessons and gained first-hand knowledge of the challenges that sales professionals face when establishing themselves in this competitive field. Bryan’s first book, Pitching Sales, is filled with important and often overlooked information that can help to prepare you for the beginning stages of your career and to guide you through some of the unexpected situations you may find yourself in. Check out the latest episode of our Conversational Selling podcast to learn more about Bryan.
In this episode, Nancy and Bryan discuss the following:
- Bryan’s unique approach to sales.
- Why the word selling has such a bad rep?
- How did Bryan get into sales?
- Why Bryan felt compelled to write Pitching Sales and where it fits in the market.
- Why do people hate picking up the phone?
- Is there another story you want to share with the audience?
- Bryan’s view on the fact that experienced salespeople don’t pay attention to the activities.
- Does Bryan believe in scripts?
- What is the one takeaway you’d like to leave the audience with?
- How can my people find you?
- Everybody’s had an experience that’s turned them off of sales, but they overlook the experiences where they bought something, where that salesperson was very helpful.
- I guess that stigma can sometimes come along with this profession.
- And one of the interesting things that go along the lines of hearing No is just having that mindset switch where you realize: “It’s okay to hear no”, “It’s okay to be rejected in this profession”.
- Whether you’ve made a sale or not doesn’t matter.
- That’s where most people start in this cold calling environment, and you have to get the proper mentality to move forward and make something to yourself, or else, you’re going to get frustrated, fizzle out, and you might get out of the profession.
- As long as you’re coming in with the proper mindset of saying, “Hey, if this person says no, it doesn’t matter whether you made a sale at the end of that day”, then you start hearing those yeses.
- Perfect scenarios very rarely exist. They should be looked at as a bonus, not as the norm.
- I do think it is important to have a guideline for those initial 3-6 months allowing that person to grow and integrate their own personality and own thoughts on the product or service or whatever it may be.
- Don’t fear that rejection. Don’t make that excuse to pick up the phone. You are getting further than the person beside you who picked it up once and made one sale and doesn’t know any better why they got it or how they got it.
- I know how hard this is to be, and I know that I just hate to see good sales professionals get turned off of the profession, and that’s kind of what I try to help people with.
“When you start to take that time and say: “This is a career that I want to look into. I’m going to do things outside of the office to prepare. I’m going to read books. I’m going to go to seminars, training courses, whatever it may be.” I think that’s a real shift in mindset. And when I look back about 10 years into my profession, I realize there wasn’t really anything that helped people in that first 3-6 months in getting off the ground because you see all these sale books on the perfect clothes and how to prospect and how to expedite your sales cycle, etc. Well, that’s great information if you know how to sell and you’re already in this profession, and you’re looking to go to the next level. But that doesn’t help you if you’re scared to pick up the phone.” – BRYAN
” We’ve grown up. And we’ve been conditioned to avoid hearing No when we’re asking for something. And that can wear on you. If you hear it continuously, it doesn’t matter what aspect of life, but if it’s determining your paycheck, it’s hard to hear it time and time and time again. And that just leads to you picking up that phone slower and slower the next time you hear it. And it can really start a dangerous cycle if it’s a profession that you’re really trying to get into.” – BRYAN
“And my favorite part about selling is you can never learn at all. There’s no end to the book. There’s just so much information and practice you can be doing just to get better and better.” – BRYAN
Connect with Bryan Charleau:
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bryancharleau/
- Pitching Sales: https://www.pitchingsalesconsulting.com/
Try Our Proven, 3-Step System, Guaranteeing Accountability and Transparency that Drives RESULTS by clicking on this link: https://oneofakindsales.com/call-center-in-a-box/
Connect with Nancy Calabrese:
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/oneofakindsales
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/One-Of-A-Kind-Sales-304978633264832/
- Website: https://oneofakindsales.com
- Phone: 908-879-2911
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ncalabrese/
- Email: email@example.com
Voiceover: You’re listening to The Conversational Selling Podcast with Nancy Calabrese.
Nancy Calabrese: Hi everyone, it’s Nancy Calabrese and it’s time again for Conversational Selling, the podcast where sales leaders and business experts share what’s going on in sales and marketing today and it always starts with the human conversation. Today we’re speaking with Bryan Charleau, founder of Pitching Sales. With his unique approach to sales, Bryan has developed a reputation for helping businesses increase their bottom line and build strong lasting customer relationships. And whether you’re a seasoned sales professional or just starting out, Bryan’s insights and expertise are sure to be invaluable. His first book, Pitching Sales, is filled with important and often overlooked information that can help to prepare you for the beginning stages of your career and guide you through some of the most unexpected situations you may find yourself in. So, if you’re considering a life in sales as we have, looking for guidance in your sales career, or questioning if sales is right for you, let Pitching Sales be your mentor and Bryan your confidant. So, let’s dive into today’s discussion with Bryan. Welcome to the show! [1:34]
Bryan Charleau: Well, thanks for having me, Nancy. I really appreciate it.
Nancy Calabrese: Oh, believe it or not, my computer just went off. I don’t know, my phone just went off. Can you believe that, Bryan? We were talking about that right at the end.
Bryan Charleau: That’s the beauty of timing.
Nancy Calabrese: Oh my God. So, why don’t we start with your unique approach to sales? What’s unique about it?
Bryan Charleau: Well, I think one of the things that I’ve tried to hone in on, especially, I guess, early in my training career, was trying to fill the gap on people new to the profession. I really think that it’s overlooked, given the stresses that come with it. [2:17]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah.
Bryan Charleau: And I know we were talking a little bit before, but when you start getting into cold calling, and you start getting into these unfamiliar environments that people are generally thrown into, undertrained, thrown into the fire a little bit, and then expected to come up with results. It can be stressful, it can be scary, you know, downright, it can turn people off of the profession, which is too bad because I think it’s an incredible profession to be a part of. But that first three to six, six months to a year is really a tough time for these sales reps that are coming in. I really wanted to provide something to help them get through it and get out to the other side where they feel much more comfortable. And that’s kind of the approach I took here. [3:05]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow, you know, sales is that you mentioned the word selling and we immediately think of used car salesmen, right?
Bryan Charleau: Mm-hmm.
Nancy Calabrese: And it gets such a bad rap. Why do you think that is?
Bryan Charleau: Well, I think because those are the ones that stick out to you throughout your lifetime growing up. It doesn’t really matter what age you are, but everybody’s had an experience that’s turned them off of sales. And they overlook the experiences where they bought something, where that salesperson was very helpful. The person was knowledgeable. The person, you know, maybe they had an idea of what they were looking for and they said person got to know them a little bit better. Say: “Hey, you know what? This one actually might be a better fit for you”. They remember the snake oil salesman or the used car person who sold them a clunky car or whatever the case is and those true good sales professionals they don’t notice, and I think that’s what gets overshadowed with that. I guess that stigma can sometimes come along with this profession. [4:12]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, I mean, selling is just about communicating, right? Communication. And so how did you get into sales?
Bryan Charleau: Well, I started funny enough, I talk about it in my book there. My first sales job was selling car wax to people filling their gas tanks at gas stations. I had to Yeah, I had to go up. It was the middle of summer. I was in between like; I think I was second-year university and I was needed some extra money. So, I took this job and I had to wait for people to start pumping gas, approach them, come up to them, you know, introduce myself, you know, gain enough trust with them to allow them to do a demo for their kind of talk about the, the benefits of this wax and try to close them before they went on their way with the rest of the day. So, it was a real thrown into the mix in trying to learn sales at an escalated pace because your sales cycle was about five to six minutes. [5:19]
Nancy Calabrese: Oh my God. I mean, and talk about that. You have a very short window to close the deal.
Bryan Charleau: Yeah. And, and kind of what we were saying too, is, is that like, and it was a commission only too. So, it’s not as if I was, you know, I could sit around and collect 10-12 bucks an hour, only thrown out a couple of demonstrations, I had to approach every single person that came up there and trying to make 100 bucks a day doing this. So, there was no, there’s no being shy or timid. And I was just like, okay, let’s see how it goes. [5:53]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow, awesome. Your story is better than mine, by the way. I love it. So, in a market with so many sales and business books out there, why did you feel compelled to write Pitching Sales? And where do you feel it fits in the market? [6:12]
Bryan Charleau: Well, that was the biggest thing. So, not so much with this job, but my next job right out of university, which was in essentially a call center, selling sports hospitality packages to major companies for them to entertain their top, you know, reps, their top customers, whatever it may be. All cold calls all day, just you and your phone, essentially. And moving forward into a couple of jobs after that. I had started to really try to take this profession seriously. And when I did so and to me, a sales job turns into a sales profession. [6:53]
Nancy Calabrese: Right.
Bryan Charleau: When you start to take that time and say, this is a career that I want to look into, I’m going to do things outside of the office to prepare. I’m going to read books. I’m going to go to seminars, training courses, whatever it may be. I think that’s a real shift in mindset. And when I look back about 10 years into my profession, I realized there wasn’t really anything that helped people in that first, you know, three to six months in getting off the ground because you see all these sale books on like the perfect clothes and how to prospect and how to, you know, expedite your sales cycle and all these things. Well, that’s great information if you know how to sell and you’re already in this profession and you’re looking to go to the next level. That doesn’t help you if you’re scared to pick up the phone. [7:44]
Nancy Calabrese: All right.
Bryan Charleau: What good is the best closing method in the world if you’re not getting through to prospects?
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah. So why do people hate picking up the phone?
Bryan Charleau: Because they hate, everybody hates rejection on the surface level. Everybody hates being told no. And we’ve grown up. And we’ve been conditioned to avoid hearing no when we’re asking for something. And that can wear on you. If you hear it continuously, it doesn’t matter what aspect of life, but if it’s determining your paycheck, it’s hard to hear it time and time and time again. [8:25]
Nancy Calabrese: Right.
Bryan Charleau: And that just leads to you picking up that phone slower and slower the next time after you hear it. And it can really start a dangerous cycle if it’s a profession that you’re really trying to get into.
Nancy Calabrese: Right, right. So, I know that you shared a story earlier, but is there another story you want to share with the audience?
Bryan Charleau: Well, I think the funniest thing that came to me was when I was in the second job, the one that was at a university where this was like, you know, you’re showing up in a suit and tie, coming to the office every morning type of thing. And one of the interesting things and it goes along the lines of hearing no and just having that mindset switch where you realized it’s okay to hear no, it’s okay to be rejected in this profession. As you move on that person’s realizing that that person has, forgotten about you by the time they finish hanging up the phone, they’re going to go on about their day. And it’s up to you to decide if you’re going to let that linger in your day, or if you’re going to move on with yours and create something out of it because the next person is an entirely different person in an entirely different situation. And that is the mentality that you have to have to be successful in a world of cold calling as you’re trying to really set your roots in this profession because you know that’s where everybody as good as it is as sales is and can be and can get. That’s where most people start in this cold calling environment and you have to get the proper mentality to move forward and make something to yourself or else, you’re going to get frustrated, fizzle out, and you might, you know, get out of the profession. That’s honestly, it’s too bad. [10:26]
Nancy Calabrese: Right. You know, it’s funny because when I got my start in sales, it took me, you know, between six to nine months to really get my mojo going. People don’t realize and even, tell me if I’m wrong, experienced salespeople, if they make a switch to another, you know, company or a career, it still takes time to develop the as I said mojo, is that your experience generally?
Bryan Charleau: Yes, 100%. And the biggest, biggest thing I can tell a new salesperson, and sometimes it blows their mind a little bit, is the process is more important than the sale itself. And what I mean by that is, are you fearing rejection every day that you come into the office? If the answer’s no, then you’re off to a better start. Whether you’ve made a sale or not doesn’t matter. You know, when you look up a prospect and you’re about to call him, are you making an excuse for them already before you do? Are you going to, I call it a case, do you have the what ifs? What if he’s busy? What if he can’t afford it? What if he doesn’t like it? What if he hangs up on me? You can put a what if in front of any excuse that you want. And guess what? It’s not going to go anywhere. [11:47]
Nancy Calabrese: Right, right. So, you know, I take a no is it not now? That’s it.
Bryan Charleau: Yeah, yeah, that’s all it is.
Nancy Calabrese: Yep. And then, yay, I’m getting closer to my yes, right?
Bryan Charleau: 100% and as long as you’re coming in with the proper mindset of saying, hey, if this person says no, it doesn’t matter whether you made a sale at the end of that day. And you’re new to sales does it helps? Don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t matter because you’re further ahead than your numbers might say because you’re not worried about picking up the phone and that will eventually translate into positivity, better conversations, more prospects on the phone. And then you start hearing those yeses after that word. [12:33]
Nancy Calabrese: I totally agree with you. And at the end of the day, what I always focus on, and I’ve got years in the business in selling, is what are the activities I can control, right? We cannot control at the time of the call how that prospect is feeling and what their needs are. And I find that some salespeople, especially experienced salespeople, they don’t pay attention to the activities. What do you say about that? [13:09]
Bryan Charleau: Yeah, and I think that that’s you have to condition it all of it’s such a mental mindset sale, it doesn’t matter if your day one walk into an office or if you’re 20 years into doing this. The process is the same, you’re better at it by the end of it. But if you don’t follow it, it doesn’t matter if you keep trying to manipulate the scenario to make it a perfect, whether it’s like, well, I know this person is going to be around it. you start to try to massage the scenario into something that is the best case. It doesn’t work that way. And then you start to see numbers fall off. You start to see that these perfect scenarios very rarely exist. They should be looked at as a bonus, not as the norm. And you have to get back to knocking on people’s doors, picking up the phone, and just re-engaging with the process that got you to where you are. starts in the early days. And if you can really drive that habitual mindset, you’re gonna keep having that success five years, 10 years, 20 years, doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, doesn’t matter if you change to a whole new industry, different service, anything, the process remains the same and that will always be the case in sales. [14:33]
Nancy Calabrese: And that’s what’s the beauty of sales is if you have your methodology down, the conversation may change based on what you’re selling. But in essence, you’re saying the same thing, but to different people, right?
Bryan Charleau: Yep. Yep. And you’re going to learn.
Nancy Calabrese: Do you believe in scripts?
Bryan Charleau: I like to I like to go by having a guideline. I think early, I think early it is important because there needs to be some structure for somebody that’s just coming into the profession to just say, hey, pick up the phone and do your best. It’s a, you know, a method for failure. [15:14]
Nancy Calabrese: Right.
Bryan Charleau: But I do think it is important to have a guideline for those initial three to six months allowing that person to grow and integrate their own personality and their own thoughts on the product or service or whatever it may be. Once they’ve gotten used to that, and they’ve and they’ve shown that they don’t they’ll pick up the phone, they should they show that they don’t fear rejection. That’s when you start to let the shackles off a little bit and let them grow into their own salesperson. [15:48]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah. Now, interestingly, I very much believe in scripts. And my feeling on scripts is, after a certain period of time, the script is internalized, right? So, you can just spew it out without having to look at one. But the value of having a script, to me, is that at least gets you in the door. And the real challenge in selling is when you hear the objections. Right? How are we going to overcome these objections? So, we pretty much script everything, but they don’t read it, you know? They act it out.
Bryan Charleau: That’s what I kind of look at the difference between a script and a guideline or some structure to it is if that person’s struggling to stay focused or stay on topic or get some points that need to be said, they need to have that in front of them. And that’s good for a lot of people. And then when you turn it into something that you said is internalized, now they’re going on. They’re becoming more conversational with the people because they had this structure to lean on. And I fully agree with that. You can’t just let people into the, into the wild thinking that they’re going to come up with the best things to say when they’re, they just don’t have that experience to know that. [17:13]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, you can’t wing it.
Bryan Charleau: No, no, absolutely not.
Nancy Calabrese: Winging is hard work. It’s sloppy.
Bryan Charleau: Absolutely not.
Nancy Calabrese: Wow. You know what? Last question, because we’re running out of time, and you and I, I’m sure, both agree we could go on and on.
Bryan Charleau: Absolutely. We’re just scratching the surface.
Nancy Calabrese: I know! What is one takeaway you want to leave the audience with?
Bryan Charleau: Well, I guess it would depend on where that person is within there, um, in their sales career. I would say if you are just starting out, if you are looking at this profession, you’re unsure of whether it’s for you, you’re here looking for help and guidelines because you’re struggling or don’t know. Listen to that, what we were talking about. Listen to that. Just get over picking up the phone. Like even if the person said you hear a no a hundred times if you pick up that phone just as quickly on the 99th call as you did the first one you are doing fine you are doing great you are going to get better don’t fear that rejection don’t make that excuse to pick up the phone you are getting further than the person beside you who picked it up once and made one sale and doesn’t know any better of why they got it or how they got it. and then for the person that is maybe a couple years in they’re seeing some success they look at this as a really good profession to be in. I always say, once you change your mindset from a job to a career in sales, you are going to go to the next level. And what I mean by that is saying, hey, this is the career and I’m going to go all in. That’s when you start picking up books. That’s when you start listening to audiobooks on your drive home or your commute home. That’s when you start looking up if there are any seminars in your city if there’s any extra training that you can do. And once you flipped that mindset, this is what I wanna do for the rest of my life. Doesn’t matter what capacity, but I want to do this. You are now a sales professional and you will see yourself expedite. Exponentially. It’s unbelievable. That mindset changes. [19:23]
Nancy Calabrese: Oh my God. Yeah, you and I both speak the same language. How can my people find you?
Bryan Charleau: Well, there are a few ways. Well, first and foremost, and I think that this is even though it’s geared towards people starting the profession, I think there’s information in there that any season sales professional can lean on. And that’s just with my book, pitching sales, a complete guide to becoming a sales professional. That’s on Amazon, Audible, and all that. But I also have my landing page, which is pitchingsalesconsulting.com. They can reach out there. Like I’m just here to help people. Like I know how hard this is to be and I know that I just hate to see good sales professionals get turned off of the profession and that’s kind of what I try to help people with. Get them over that hump. [20:13]
Nancy Calabrese: All right, so we’re gonna start calling you Coach Bryan.
Bryan Charleau: That works for me. I love it.
Nancy Calabrese: That’s awesome. So, listen folks, he’s great. Go get the book, go reach out to him. Have a friendly conversation. Selling is, I think selling is freeing. And if you really want to enter into a career that gives you so much freedom and satisfaction, take it up with Bryan. And Bryan, I hope you’re going to come back to the show.
Bryan Charleau: Absolutely. Anytime. Like I said, I can, I just love talking about this stuff with the people who have the same type of passion for it because like you said, it is freeing. It’s a wonderful profession to be in. And my favorite part about selling is you can never learn at all. There’s no end to the book. There’s just so much information and practice you can be doing just to get better and better. [21:09]
Nancy Calabrese: Yep, I love it. And so, everyone, make it an awesome sales day out there, and we’ll see you next time.