Matthew Kimberley is my coach. I don’t know of anyone who is more expert when it comes to sales and marketing. While I hate to use the over worn term ‘guru,’ if there is anyone who should be called a Sales Guru, it’s Matthew Kimberley.

Recently, I interviewed Matthew for my Doubledare Braintrust coaching webinar.  Because many of my clients are in sales or manage sales teams, it was a great opportunity for all of us.  This week I’m going to focus on some of his advice for sales people.  Next week I’ll cover what he had to say about recruiting and managing sales teams.

While he acknowledges the importance of sales skills or traits like emotional intelligence, tone of voice, persistence, and discipline, Matthew is a big believer in well-organized action. Whenever he has a client complaining of being in a slump, the first thing he wants to know is how many meetings and phone calls the client made in last two weeks.  Often, the answer is, “None.”

There are marketing tools available to us now that allow us to scale like we never could before, allow us to reach great numbers of people . . . But it doesn’t change the fundamental principle that if you’re not picking up the phone, if you’re not having conversations, if you’re not sending emails, if you’re not initiating contact and actively following up with your prospects, then don’t be surprised if you don’t make it so.

He also believes it’s essential for salespeople to use some kind of CRM tool to log their activity—prospecting, follow-ups, tracking what stage the prospects are at in the sales pipeline. “You know this is a really fundamental tool, whether we’re using an Excel spreadsheet or pen and paper . . . We can come to our desk every morning and say, ‘What do I need to do in order to move opportunities forward?’”

A few more golden nuggets:

You should never say, “I don’t know what to do next,” because your pipeline, your dashboard, will tell you. You can say, “It’s empty.” Well then, we need to feed it. Go out and get some new leads, hit the phones, buy a list, do a mass mailing, go to a networking event . . . It’s about activity and it’s about measurement.

If we can get better at forming a rapport with our clients, if we get better at understanding what they need, we can tailor our marketing and sales materials to directly appeal to their needs and their desires. Then we will increase our closing ratio.

I think we need to put both the prospects and the sales person on a level footing, particularly in a B-to-B context . . .  Don’t put the prospect on a pedestal. Don’t be in such awe of them that they smell weakness. If you go to a meeting, you don’t need to be gushing and effusive about how grateful you are for the fact that they deigned to bless you with 15 minutes of their time because they must be such a busy person, but you promise that you’ll keep it short . . . (Don’t do that because) it undermines the whole value of your own worth and what you’re doing. So you say, “Thanks for seeing me.”

Next week I’ll share a little of Matthew’s advice for sales managers. If you can’t wait till next week for more Matthew Kimberley, be sure to check out his website. And I can always be reached at
photo credit: FotoFloridian The beckoning beach via photopin (license)