Sale (/sāl/): the exchange of a commodity for money; the action of selling something
Sales is a unique occupation, one in which outsiders can’t exactly articulate. We know when good sales are done and when bad sales are done, but don’t know what makes them good or bad sales. This makes sales an art form, one that my friend Jeremie Cabling is a master of. Jeremie and I both graduated from Babson College and participated in the BRIC program together. Throughout my time knowing Jeremie, I have always been amazed by his tactics of friendliness, charisma, and, most of all, persuasion. Whether it be in his personal or professional life, Jeremie is the embodiment of incredible sales, which is why I have asked him to share some of his artful tactics and incredible insights in a three part series on the blog! Stay tuned for next week where Jeremie discusses what it means to be a good sales person.
Jeremie has always been an introverted guy, so why sales?
In elementary school, Jeremie was fascinated by the entrepreneurship presented in the cartoon characters Ed, Edd n Eddy, where the characters started hundreds of businesses over the course of the show. In high school, Jeremie learned more about business by cold emailing entrepreneurs and lawyers for mentorship and building my own little projects. What Jeremie believes landed him a spot at Babson was a pitch he made to his admissions counselor on a business idea of his about college admissions. “To start any venture you need to build and sell,” Jeremie mentions, “I didn’t like building or coding, but learning about sales energized me.” So, in college and post-graduation Jeremie focused his efforts in landing a career in sales. Currently, he is the only salesperson at Showcase, a Techstars backed start-up which helps companies hire faster and more equitably using video interviews.
Some of Jeremie’s best sales practices?
1. Learn how to persuade
The science of persuasion is hardwired into our brains and what influences us will never change. So, learn how to use words to influence. In asynchronous conversation (emails/voicemails/texts), this requires exceptional copywriting and understanding of what motivates your customer. In synchronous conversation (face-to-face/phone/live video) this requires exceptional listening and persuasive questions.
2. Learn how to pre-suade
Pre-suade by framing those words in the most effective and relevant package for your customer. If you’re selling a product where speeding up a process is the benefit and Silicon Valley execs are your customers… Get on Twitter where those execs consume their content. Engage with their content, focusing your profile, and brand on speed.
Jeremie’s most proud sales moment?
Jeremie’s first internship had a set sales process:
Send 900 emails a month -> book 20 sales calls -> demo 10 leads -> negotiate 3 contracts -> make 1 sale
But, in my first month he sent 1000 emails and booked 1 sales call. That 1 sales call turned out to be a call with an old, confused man, not the COO of a huge casino like he thought. The other 6 sales reps hit 120% of their goals and he hit 0%.
Next month, Jeremie asked his manager if he could try his own process. Jeremie changed how he searched for prospects and wrote his own email copy. That month Jeremie almost doubled the all-time company record for sales calls, while doing half of the usual work. He hit 410% of my goal and led the company to its best sales month in its 7 year history. The VP of Sales valued his deals at $1.2 million. That put Jeremie in the position to build the sales process at his current start-up from scratch.
How does Jeremie best prepare for a sales call?
Sales calls give most early salespersons anxiety.
“The best weapon against any social anxiety is not courage, but empathy.”
A lot of sales reps will try to dig deep to find the courage and risk rejection when picking up the phone. That courage will fade. Confidence won’t. Confidence comes from an empathetic perspective. Any given conversation, even at its worst, can’t be the end of the world. But a good one could do wonders for your career.
What makes selling worth it to Jeremie and exciting?
Jeremie is excited by the hyper accountability- you earn a fraction of the value you bring into a company. Bezos may be worth ~$200 billion, but it’s because he created trillions of dollars in value. “It’s fulfilling to see the value you bring and rewarding to capture what you see is a fair share of it,” he says. It’s the most applicable social skill, he mentions. Use it at the bar to talk to a girl, at school to get better grades, at home to get out of doing dishes. You get paid to practice a superpower everyday. Jeremie also sees selling as a step to start his own business when he is ready and the opportunity is there.