How I went from a nobody to the #1 sales trainer In
How I failed big time as a rookie sales person.
When I first returned home after completing six years in the US Navy I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted, or so I thought. The profession of selling really appealed to me so I applied for a job selling life insurance. I only lasted a few months before I knew I was not mentally equipped for the stress and insecurity that comes with the territory.
How I discovered a powerful system.
The experience was not wasted. My manager gave me a book on selling and in one tiny portion of the book there was mention of Ben Franklin's system for improving your skills. I was intrigued so I thought I would give it a try.
This system helped me become a top sales person.
As the program recommended, I carefully selected 13 skills and attitudes that I wanted to master. I typed them on small cards along with an affirmation to go along with it. I carried one card with me each week and read it at odd moments, focusing on improving that single skill for the week, then moving onto the next skill. At the end of 13 weeks I would repeat the process resulting in continuous, ongoing improvement in each skill.
It seemed too simple to work.
I struggled with this program for the next few years. I thought it was too simple to have any real effect. However, I kept with it in spite of getting sidetracked with all sorts books on sales, all good, but nothing seemed to really take root. I kept coming back to Ben Franklin's program.
My original list was basically the same as it is today:
1. Attitude: Define what you want and go after
My first small sign of progress.
I had to make money to support my wife and son while I was trying to go to school and ended up in a supermarket bagging groceries. The store manager watched me closely as I dealt with the customers, always having a great attitude (it was on my list), always offering to be of service, (service was also on my list) and he asked me if I would like to be an apprentice in the meat department. The pay was good and the hours were great, but the work was extremely difficult.
The meat business is brutal - very hard work with a lot of pressure!
Three years later I became certified by the union and was promoted to their meat department manager at one of the busiest stores near Boston. I had 16 meat cutters working for me and we were selling half a truckload of "hanging beef" a week. All during these three years I was off and on with my self improvement program. As I mentioned, the biggest struggle I had was it seemed too easy to possibly have much of an affect on me. Little did I know that Ben Franklin's system was working on me in the background. That's the beauty of this program.
I didn't know they were going out of business!
I wanted to move back to Maine where my wife and I are originally from. I found a meat company that was looking for help, so I applied for the job and moved to Maine. The company I went to work for had 25 employees (mostly in their 50s and early 60s) and was set up as a corporation with a board of directors consisting of 10 local business owners, all over the age of 75. When I took the job I didn't know the company was about to go out of business.
They asked me to take over the "sinking ship".
After a few months the CEO asked me if I would take over and run the company. Keep in mind I was only 25 years old and had never seen a profit and loss statement in my life, plus, all the employees were more than twice my age. I took over and everything started to click. It was almost as if Ben Franklin had his hand on my shoulder and was showing me what to do.
A 500% increase in 5 years.
During the next 5 years the company grew at the rate of 100% per year. The skills I had been embedding in my subconscious mind really came to light and I seemed to be a different person than when I first started. We decided to sell the company while it was going strong and the stockholders (me being one of them) could get their money out. That was a high point in my career. At 30 years old I really felt like "somebody!" After a year working for a small local distributor I discovered the foodservice distribution industry. My wife and I decided to sell our house, take our two kids and move to Orlando, Florida.
It's amazing how fast you can go from "somebody" to "nobody!"
It was if I was dropped from an airplane into the middle of a city without knowing a single person. At that time there were over 800 people a day moving to Florida, all looking for jobs in a place where they didn't much care about how you did it up "North". It was the ultimate culture shock.
A fast recovery because of the "system" I was using.
I landed a job as a meat department manager for an Albertson's Supermarket that was just opening. There I met the vendors who were selling to the supermarket and I worked my way into an interview where I was hired as a sales rep. I immediately did very well because of my experience along with the selling skills I developed using Ben Franklin's system. With a little stability in my life I was able to start up my 13 week cycle again to see if I could continue to improve while adapting to this new Florida lifestyle.
Again, the company was about to close due to heavy losses.
Within a few months I was promoted to sales manager for a meat and poultry company distributing throughout Florida. That's when I found out the company was losing $50,000 per month. The parent company gave us six months to turn it around or they would close. Once again, the heat was on. We not only turned it around, but increased sales from $250,000 per week to $1,000,000 per week. The General Manager left to start his own company and I took over the responsibility of managing the company.
A new opportunity to move forward.
I was offered a sales position for a Fortune 200 meat company as the Central Florida Sales Rep. Even though it was a step down, I jumped at the opportunity to go to work for a national company.
Three years to become a National Sales Manager.
Over the next 3 years, armed with nothing more than the 13 skills I developed by implementing the Ben Franklin system, I quickly became an Area Manager, Regional Manager and then moved to Oklahoma City to become a National Sales Manager. This experience was priceless. I was flying all over the country meeting people at the highest level.
Training - product knowledge and selling skills.
I discovered I had a unique ability to train people how to sell and started conducting training sessions for my own sales people as well as the sales people of my customers. This had an extremely positive effect on sales.
Becoming an independent sales trainer.
I started writing lessons that I merged with Ben Franklin's 13 week program. That's when I started to build my initial sales training course. I put the information in a manual and had a program that would increase anyone's sales if they implemented the principles. I also honed my presentation skills by teaching sales people how to sell meat. I kept refining and refining the program based on feedback and results. The company I was working for was in the process of a merger and I felt it was a good time to go on my own. The year was 1992. My wife and I both left our jobs so I could become an independent sales trainer.
If I couldn't sell - we couldn't eat.
After selling our house, putting our belongings in storage we spent the next TEN YEARS traveling the country living in hotel rooms and working out of our van! TOGETHER WE DROVE 418,000 MILES, TRADED OUR VAN IN ON AN RV AND SPENT MANY MORE YEARS DRIVING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF MILES! We spent many nights in Wal-Mart parking lots, truck stops and rest areas throughout North America racing from one city to another to be on time for another seminar. We kept going, and going, never giving ONE THOUGHT TO QUITING. All my sales came from writing sales letters and making follow up calls while driving from one seminar to another. If I couldn’t write a persuasive sales letter and make a sale on the follow up call we simply could not eat. In true sales you eat what you kill. You have to close or go hungry!
Hundreds of seminars and thousands of sales people later.
After presenting hundreds of seminars and training thousands of sales people I realized that I accomplished the impossible. The largest companies in the industry were hiring me to speak to their sales team. I had become (and still am) the #1 independent sales trainer in a 200 billion dollar industry.
To earn the respect of your customers you must be an expert in your business
During my travels I visited thousands of restaurant owners, as well as hundreds of distribution centers and manufacturing plants. I have written over 300 articles for industry magazines, 27 books as well as created a comprehensive center of the plate website for DOT Foods, all adding to the effectiveness of my training.
Certified Speaking Professional.
In 2005 I was awarded the designation of CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), the highest honor awarded by the National Speakers Association and the International Federation for Professional Speakers. Less than 8% of speakers worldwide qualify for the CSP designation.
One of the best comments I receive after my seminars:
"This guy has been there, he's one of us, I am going to use this program." And isn't that what training is all about?
All my distributor programs are sponsored by vendors.
According to research by Wiley Publishing it is the responsibility of your brokers and manufacturers to provide training for their distributors. However, for the most part they do not have the skills to go beyond product training (there are a few who do a good job). You can provide my program for your sales people at no cost to you by simply sending me an email requesting information.
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copyright BobOros 2016