Our special guest on this week’s episode of Conversational Selling is Mark Hunter. He’s the author of three best-selling books, High Profit Prospecting, High Profit Selling, and most recently, A Mind for Sales, and is recognized as one of the top 50 most influential Sales and Marketing Leaders in the world. His mission is to help others increase their influence, impact, and income.
Mark says, “When you change your mindset, you will change your customers’ mindset, and you’ll change your results.”
We chat about getting into sales by necessity, as well as:
- Not being afraid of using the phone for prospecting
- Why getting in front of customers is more important now than ever
- Sales as a lifestyle, not just a profession
- Blocking out dedicated time for your prospecting calls
- And more
Mentioned in this episode:
Voiceover: You’re listening to the Conversational Selling podcast with Nancy Calabrese.
Nancy Calabrese: Hi, it’s Nancy Calabrese and this is Conversational Selling. It’s the podcast where sales leaders and business experts share what’s going on in sales and marketing today. And it all starts with the human conversation. I am so thrilled to have Mark Hunter, also known as the Sales Hunter on the show today, he’s recognized as one of the top 50 most influential Sales and Marketing Leaders in the world. He’s the author of three best selling books, his most recent is A Mind for Sales. And Mark, I’m going to ask you about what’s going on with that today. And we are here at one of the kinds of sales are huge fans of his excellent advice and insight. You know, Mark doesn’t view sales as a job but as a lifestyle. And he believes that when you live sales in this way, you have the ability to create deep relationships that impact others. And boy, do I agree with that? His mission is to help others see sales in this manner, which in turn helps them increase their influence, impact and income. Well, you know, Mark, it seems like forever since we’ve spoken. I’m sure you’ve been pretty busy. Welcome to the show.
Mark Hunter: Thank you for having me on. I’m looking forward to we always enjoy talking now we get to talk with an audience. I love it.
Nancy: Oh, I love it. I love it. So, you know, let me just open up by asking you what are you seeing out there? Give me your pulse on what’s going on in the amazing world of sales.
Mark: Well, the pulse right now is we’re kind of recording this during this COVID environment as people are still confused. I mean, it is amazing. Some businesses are doing absolute gangbusters. Others are like that. And, but what it’s telling me is that there’s opportunities out there, but boy, we have to look for the niche. We have to be looking for the niche more than ever if we want to be successful. There’s business, a lot of business out there. Okay.
Nancy: Yeah. You know, I always like to open up with a story or two. And I’m your story is pretty darn interesting. How did you get involved in sales? I think my audience would like to hear that.
Mark: Oh, how did I get involved with sales? I I really was, you know, I was not a born salesperson despite having the last name Hunter. And yes, that is my real last name. I was not I was not a born salesperson. I got into sales only because of the police department. Yes. The police department. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. effect. I talked about it my book of mind for sales. And what would happen was I was in college, and I got too many speeding tickets, then nobody was hurt. Nobody was harmed.
But I got too many speeding tickets. And I paid them. But you know, when you’re in college, you’re not responsible for your actions, right? So I just kind of ignored them. Well, what happened was my insurance went through the roof. I could no longer afford car insurance. So I had to find a job that supplied me with a car. So guess what, I wound up getting a sales job because taxicab drivers to do background checks. I got a really flashy sales job, but it’s plagued with a car. That’s how
Nancy: I wound up in sales. Wow. Well, now, you know, somebody told me you were not a born salesperson, which is totally hard to believe. Tell me about that.
Mark: Well, yeah, I mean, simply the fact that I went to college to get a degree in marketing. I mean, that’s that’s really what I want to do. I wanted to be in marketing because back when that when I went to college, that was kind of the cool thing. And so yeah, so I wound up like I said, having to get a sales job because marketing can supply you with company cars. And that but I’m so bad at sales. I was so bad. I got fired for my first two sales jobs.
Nancy: Can you believe that now? Why? Yeah, well, that
Mark: I was bad because I wasn’t listening to the customer. I, I kind of viewed the customer as if they were a bowling pin. And it was just meant to be knocked over take the money and run. And yeah, I mean, I was making some sales. But the problem was I was leaving a mess behind me. They were not pretty winners.
Nancy: You stuck with it. What made you stick with it?
Mark: Because I needed a car. You know, if it was my third job, it was my third sale shop third company car that I finally I got hit over the head literally by my boss. And he sat me down. And long story short, I don’t probably tell him my next book. He told me that I wasn’t listening to my customer. And he went through this whole process to give me examples of how it wasn’t listening to my customer. And as a result, I wasn’t serving your needs. And it was amazing. But when I began to realize that sales is not about the product, but about the person you’re helping, suddenly, things began to change. Then it began to take on a whole new meaning. Now, it wasn’t like the light bulb got bright, all sudden. But over the next 3, 4, 5 years, it really got pretty bright to the point now that I love sales. And I love this is weird. I love prospecting. Ohhhh!
Nancy: You know, and I think you anticipated my next question, because I think why we easily connected was our common denominator that prospecting is the be all and end all for sales? Share your thoughts about it. And why are so many people afraid of it?
Mark: Well, people are afraid people are afraid of sales. And they’re really afraid of prospecting, because they’re afraid of hearing the word. No, they’re afraid of hearing all this. But you know what, I have yet to turn on the internet, go out to the Internet, and find a headline where salesperson is bludgeoned to death or shot because of making because I’m making a prospecting call.
You know, it’s just no, no blood has ever been shed. No. And my whole view about prospecting, my whole view about sales, sums up in this sense. My goal is to help others see and achieve what they did not think was possible. That’s my goal. That’s my goal. That’s what sales is helping others. Boy, I wish we were on video right now. Because my what my arms are flying all over the past. My goal is to help others see and achieve what they didn’t think was possible.
And think about that. When you put that into context. It is amazing. As sales suddenly becomes a different. It becomes something different to you, because now you’re helping people and prospecting. I get it people. People don’t wake up in the mornings. And then I hope a salesperson calls me today. No, I get that. But customers don’t know what they don’t know. I mean, right now You and I both have 1000 people at least who need what we have to offer. Every listener has at least 1000 people that needs what they have often. They don’t know it, and they won’t know it until we pick up the phone. We make the call we get out there in front of them. We talked to them.
Nancy: Well, but answered this, you know, this baffles me. Why are so many sales people afraid to pick up the phone?
Mark: Because, oh, because they just would rather send a text message or an email. Hey, here’s what I look at it. It’s a conversation it is it is just a conversation. You know what? When you hang up every phone call, look, it’s not going to bring world peace. It’s not going to change the course of mankind. The sun’s still going to come up in the morning. It’s just a phone call. Relax, right? And yet, for some reason, people freak out. You know, the people who freak out the most about having to pick up the phone and make a sales call are the ones who really don’t even want to talk on the phone themselves. I had a guy call me one time no answer. He sent me an email. He said don’t understand. Nobody ever uses the telephone number. Yeah, it was funny because because the guy left the guy left us over. You know the message. So I call him first I got his voicemail. Did I ever hear back from him? No.
Nancy: Yeah, I I’m, I’m just baffled. And I think the best part of making a call is you can hang up, if it really goes wrong. You know, I mean, and and think about the time you save and the money you save traveling to and from, it’s a no brainer, and yet people look at cold calling as that evil monster. And so, you know, through people like you that you know, really believe in it and keep putting great content out about it. I urge everyone listening to this to really take advantage of what Mark does and what he generates. You know, keeping in mind with prospecting, why is it so especially critical during times like these?
Mark: Well, right now, we And sales have to be seen by our customers. This is an attitude I want every salesperson as our customers r&d department, we are their research and development department. Right now every I mean, I’ve already had two or three phone calls this morning from various people. One was a VP of sales, substantially large company, really struggling with issues how to deal with right now. And I was so glad I was having a phone call with them, walk them through some things. But you know, we were putting together plan as to how I’m going to help him. I mean, this is right now more than ever, our customers, our prospects our lead to ever it is nice to hear from us.
Because we have now saw that we’ve gone through COVID before now, nobody’s gone through COVID before. But I equate this. We are like the captain of a ship, who has you know, really understands their ship, really understand sailing really understands everything. Suddenly, they’re thrust into the middle of an unbelievable storm. Now they’ve never been in the middle of that storm before that storm is new, every storm is unique. But because of all their expertise, they’re able to figure out a solution, they’re able to figure out a way to bring their ship and their crew through that storm. That’s what we are to our customers. We are I mean to me right now sales is a privilege because of our ability to help people. I mean, to me, I and I know there are people out there who go essential, we’re I believe it’s so strong. That’s why sales is not a job. It’s not a profession. It’s a lifestyle.
Nancy: It’s a lifestyle. Yeah, yeah. And, you know, in keeping in line with that, it’s just having that connection with another human being over the phone is just, it’s like shaking hands. And I, I really feel strongly and I want to ask your opinion, you know, even with now, this crazy world in which we live, outside sales reps better get comfortable with phone conversations. What do you have to say about that?
Mark: Well, it is true. I mean, I do a lot of work in industrial sales where those sales can reduce being in their truck being in their car, and they’re going out there a golf now they’re like, they’re like, freaking out. They got to be on the phone. But here’s the here’s my whole thing. Okay, so so many people are having to work from an office or work from home. We’ll call it wfh work work from home. But remember, customers are now bfh buying from home. Right? Right. So stop and think about it. It may be weird for you, but it’s weird for them to because they have a new stock in their office, you’re used to having them stuff in their job site. I look at it this way. This process. I I’m really questioning how I ever had time to travel before COVID. I mean, I am busier than ever. My head is spinning because I have so many things out there.
Nancy: Well, it’s the amount of time that you’ve saved, home traveling back and forth. And yet you can still get work done. And as you just said, You’re busier than ever.
Mark: It is absolutely insane. I have to leave my office here today and go make a sales call here in a couple hours. And But fortunately, only about a 10 minute drive. And it’s funny. I do kind of laugh. My Account made the comment networks you’re spending a lot less money on American Airlines. Yeah.
Nancy: Well, America may not like that.
Mark: Well I know American may not like that. Yes, but I still hate. I love American Airlines. Hashtag I love American Airlines. Okay. Yeah. But yeah, you’re right. I mean, it is it’s there are so many things out there. And it’s amazing what the telephone that the telephone is such a Hey, I want to jump back to that whole cold calling thing. No, it’s very interesting about cold calling. is if you’re thinking about it in this day and age. And if you really follow the guidebook in terms of ICP, ideal customer profile, you know, your, your, your persona, you know, you have a targeted list of people you want to call, don’t look at those as cold calls.
Those are warm calls. Because you know what, these are people who fit the profile of who you want to be calling. So I I’m kind of at the point now that I’m really not even using the word. I mean, I make cold calls. But then that cold calls, because I’ve either done some research on that individual person, or at least I know, they match up in this industry this vertical. So they’re going to match me. So I mean, I want them to be excited. Okay, I guess they’re not excited. But I’m excited because I’m going to hopefully help you.
Nancy: Yeah, you know it you know, you have me thinking as you’re describing that meeting a new friend. Right? You have to start somewhere. And the first conversation really is cold when you meet a new friend, because you don’t know anything about them. And yet we do that all throughout our lives. Right? And I’m thinking, what is the wall that comes up with many? I’m going to say most sales people, when they have to pick up that phone and have a conversation with a stranger. That’s all it is.
Mark: It is it is just a conversation. And this is where I get so irritated at salespeople who are making these calls, and they want to go into this 32nd pitch. Shut up. ask them a question, engage, engage them. Nobody wants to hear a 32nd. But what they do want, they do want to engage in a conversation. And wow, when I can have a call that you didn’t expect my call, and I get you involved in the conversation, and I can’t because you know, think about this. You and I mean, right now, I mean, is our tone and our voice. And our personality coming through on this unit is Yeah, yeah, I bet it is. That’s what I say with a call with a prospecting call. Let your personality come through. Unless you’re the crazy aunt or weird uncle in the family, then you need to do something different.
Nancy: Talk about why time management is so critical in today’s sales world.
Mark: This is huge, because here’s the thing, because oh, I got to make all these prospecting calls. Oh, I don’t want so I make up excuses. I make up excuses. And it’s so easy to fill the day. We’re doing everything but making your prospecting calls you have to have if you’re not time management, if you don’t have time management. It is amazing how you won’t get around to doing your prospecting calls.
So you do you have to block out time. You’ve got to have your prospecting hour, you got to have your prospecting window. You you’ve got to manage your day based off your talent or just as today, we had set it 11:30 eastern time, we’re going to connect and we’re going to record this podcast. It’s a dedicated time. And when I get done here, I’ve got another activity. I’ve got another activity and I even have on my calendar this afternoon for one hour prospecting calls. If you could see my calendar, it’s Mark prospecting calls. Now, we’re also recording. Oh, but wait, hold on, hold on. I’m sorry. Friday afternoons. You can’t prospect Oh, no. Hey, it’ll be Friday afternoon. And you know what? I’m loving it. I have my best prospecting calls on Friday afternoon.
Nancy: Oh, you are so right. You are so right. So do we. So do we. Not every qualification. I thought you like me for all other reasons as well. I like you too. So you know what? Tell me something that’s true. That almost nobody agrees with you on.
Mark: That sales is fun. Even in the okay, okay, so you’re weird like me, okay. But But very few people will. And also prospecting is fun. Very few people, you know, you know, I will share that in a meeting, I’ll share that when I’m speaking to a group or whatever. And people look at me like that. We’re No, and I even in the toughest of times, it can be fun. Because I look at sale, I look at each customer as if they’re a Rubik’s Cube. Now the first time around. And my whole objective is, is to get all those colors to line up, right? And give me a really screwed up Rubik’s Cube. And man, it’s going to drive me crazy, but I’m going to pull it off. I’m going to pull it off.
Nancy: Yeah. Hi, I agree with you. Talk about what you’d like to leave the audience with today in In summary, and know share with them a takeaway that they can walk away with and if they apply it this week, it’ll it’ll improve their activities and their results.
Mark: Yeah, it really is about your mindset. And at the end of the day, your objective is to know that you have spent the day influencing and impacting others. I may have calls that don’t go well. But if I can say that I have the ability to influence and impact others. And you know what? I had a great day. Sales is not a destination. It’s a journey of helping people. And when we look at sales with that mindset, to me, that’s the takeaway. When you change your mindset, you will change Your customers mindset. And you’ll change your results.
Nancy: Yeah. help keeping in in line with that. Talk a little bit about your amazing book. Your latest. Yeah.
Mark: Well, latest book is A Mind for Sales. And that’s really what it is. It’s about your mindset. Because you can have the best product, you can have the best customer list, you can have the best process. But if your mindset is messed up, it’s not going to happen. And right now this book is literally it came out in March, right as the pandemic was getting going, and it’s going been going gangbusters. It’s selling like crazy. I get notes every day from people all over the US and around the world. It’s nice, because it’s helping you going on today, though.
Come on. Well, today, today only it’s the Kindle version is $1.99 on Amazon. Yeah, yeah, that’s a great price. Now it’s only it’s only for today. Hey, I think the deal and the books a bargain anytime. But gravitate pick up copies for friends pick up 100 copies, Kindle copy. Hey, people go to Kindle. Go online. And if you don’t have Kindle by the book, it’s awesome. And he is leaving, leave me a review of the book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble books, mailing wherever you buy it. Because you know what? People people don’t always listen to me, but they listen to what other people say. So when they read a review Oh, wow. This is from Joe average. Joe average? I don’t know. I don’t know if he’s actually listening. or choosing Norma. And when they read of you all that? Yes. By the book leader review, great way to tell others.
Nancy: Yeah. And how can my audience reach you?
Mark: Well, they can reach me by going to thesaleshunter.com, thesaleshunter.com. I mean, that’s it. You know what? It’s my it’s my name. It’s sales. I love it.
Nancy: Yep. And, you know, as I opened up, we’re huge fans of Mark. We listen to his podcasts and videos, I suggest you go to YouTube. And take a listen each. How many days a week do you publish something?
Mark: We try to put something out three to four days a week.
Nancy: Yeah. And I promise you you will not be disappointed his content will help you and your teams continue to grow during these crazy times. Hey, Mark, thank you so much for spending a little bit of time with me. Audience take advantage of what Mark has to say go find him. And I’ve got to end this with something that I think you usually say Mark but happy hunting everyone.
Mark: I love it.
Voiceover: The Conversational Selling podcast is sponsored by One of a Kind Sales. If you’re frustrated that you don’t have enough leads or your sales team complains that they just don’t have enough time to prospect we can help. To work with Nancy and her team one on one to help you manage your sales team, install her proven outbound sales process and create more bottom line results, email her now at Nancy@oneofakindsales.com. To learn more about Nancy and her outbound sales secrets, grab your free copy of her book, The Inside Sales Solution at oneofakindsales.com/book.