On this episode of the Massimo Show
Rod sat down with Jeb Blount, a Sales Acceleration Specialist who helps sales organizations reach peak performance fast. Through his companies–Sales Gravy, Channel EQ, Level 4 Training, and Innovate HCG–Jeb advises many of the world’s leading organizations and their executives on the impact of emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills on sales. Jeb spends more than 250 days on the road each year delivering keynote speeches and training programs to high-performing sales teams and leaders across the globe.
As a business leader, Jeb has more than 25 years of experience with Fortune 500 companies, SMBs, and start-ups. He has been named one of the top 50 most influential sales and marketing leaders (Top Sales Magazine), a Top 30 social selling influencer (Forbes). He is the author of seven books.
Jeb’s accolades are impressive but as with many successful and influential people his inspiration came from small beginnings.
“I got my start in sales in high school because I joined the yearbook.” Jeb recalls. “As part of the yearbook you had to sell ads. I got the ads sheet and went to downtown Harlem, Georgia and walked into Hall’s Hardware store. Mr Hall was behind the counter and asked if he would buy a yearbook ad from me. He pulled out his checkbook and paid for a full page ad. And when as soon as he handed it to me, I was hooked.c All I gotta do is ask people, they’ll give me money. I end up selling three thousand dollars worth of ads. The quota was three hundred dollars.” His success selling yearbook ads was an early indicator of his success out in the workforce. Jeb entered into a corporate career where he started at the bottom of the organization and within ten years was running the sales team because he was able to outsell everybody on the team.
The Thrill of the Win
“I’ve got a talent for selling” Jeb says “not because I’m really outgoing – because I’m actually an introvert; I don’t really do well with big groups of people – but I know how to sell. So I understand strategy.”
Jeb notes that he thinks like a chess player and that he loves the competitiveness of the sales.
“I would tell my leaders, look, I don’t really care about the money, but I want a trophy, so I’m winning.” Jeb says. “And when I win, you better by God, give me a trophy because I’m on stage and I want to look at everybody and say, I kicked your ass because that’s how I like to live, you know, I may be charismatic when I want to be. But it’s not, it’s not my normal state.”
Jeb attributes much of his early success to people who were willing to take a chance on him. People like Mary Gardner who gave him a job at Nutrisystem and Bob Blackwell, who was his first sales manager at Aramark say his talent, his potential, and ultimately his ability to be coached.
“if you can’t be coachable, like if you’re not willing to allow people to give you some feedback, it’s really hard for you to grow.” Jeb tells Rod. “Be aware of where you are. Don’t start making promises you can’t keep and make sure that if you’re walking in close a deal, you can get the deal closed.”
“We just got the worst financial crisis of our lifetime.” Jeb tells Rod. Jeb grew up listening to his Granddad tell about his life during the depression and how he retired as a multimillionaire despite his average paying job and how it influenced his own company.
“I had a massive corporate job. I was a top rung of a Fortune 500 company, private jets, big corner office, two assistants living large, eating the best food, drinking the best one…when the Great Recession happened and everybody had to downsize in our company, in particular a company I worked for when people weren’t working, then it downsized quicker and we were the leading edge of that. I did go find something else to do.” Jeb describes. “I was going to go back into the corporate world. Headhunters were after me. I could have easily gotten another role. And I just realized after an interview for a CEO job on the plane ride back and I won’t do that. So I came back and told my wife across the table, I’m going to start a company and I’m going to use our life savings, one of the hardest conversations I ever had…but it was just one of those things where I believe that if I didn’t take the chance, I would never get the chance. And I think that right now with where we are in our current economy, we’re in a recession, we’re in the pandemic. I think that this is also going to create another explosion of entrepreneurs, because just like you, my company is a product of the Great Recession.”
To close out the show Rod asks Jeb a few more great questions:
1) Is Prospecting Dead?
2) When I get a prospect, when is the best time to call?
3) What is the bridge concept
Rod and Jeb close out with an 11 word sentence: When it is time to go home, make one more call.
Jeb Blount is the leader and CEO of Sales Gravy. Sales Gravy is the #1 most trafficked website in the world. He is also a best selling author of twelve books including Fanatical Prospecting, Sales EQ, Objections and most recently Virtual Selling. He is among the world’s most respected thought leaders on sales, leadership, and customer experience.
- Is prosepcting dead?
- When is the best time to call a prospect?
- The pipe is life- how to keep sales pipeline full.
- When it’s time to go home, make one more call