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9 Areas of New Learning to Improve your Sales

George Grombacher January 28, 2022

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9 Areas of New Learning to Improve your Sales

To get better at persuasion, commit to becoming a life-long learner. Doing so will not only make you better today, it will greatly elevate your professionalism and long-term success.


Who is the most persuasive person you know?


Are they a fast talking, slick salesperson? Or is it someone who really knows their stuff?


For me, the most persuasive person is the one who knows their stuff. It’s the salesperson who knows their product inside and out and can answer every question. It’s the leader who confidently outlines the strategy. It’s the elected official who can speak from the heart as well as back up their thinking with facts and data.


To help you become better at persuasion, here are new key areas of learning to focus on that have helped me over my 20 + year career in sales.

Invest in yourself. Bring it All Together.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Episode Transcript

Come on

Abraham Lincoln famously said, If you give me six hours to chop down a tree, I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. So you’ve got to keep the saw sharp. In this example, you need to keep the axe sharp. But Commonly, people like to say that

an analogy for lifelong learning is need to keep the saw sharp. So how committed are you to being a lifelong learner? Now for me, I am 1,000% committed. And I think that you are as well, which is why you’re here. So let’s get into it. I think that if we’re trying to get better at anything, specifically trying to get better at sales, there are some really key areas to be paying close attention to, and want to talk about nine different areas that if you focus on and you think about and you pay attention to that, without question, improve your sales abilities. So when you think about the best salesperson, the most influential, the most persuasive person that you know, in whatever field, maybe you think about

Unknown Speaker 1:18
a business person leader in business, who is super persuasive, and very authentic and everything you say you sort of nod your head along with? Or maybe it’s your favorite elected officials favorite politician. If that’s the thing. We have favorite politicians, do you have a favorite politician or elected official? Do I have a favorite politician? No, I don’t. Anyway, or salesperson, Just who do you think? Who is the most persuasive person that you know, what comes to mind?

Unknown Speaker 1:49
Is it a super slick, fast talking wheeling dealing kind of a person maybe. Or perhaps it’s somebody who really absolutely knows their stuff. And they speak passionately. But they also back up all their feelings and emotions with data and facts. That’s to me, that’s the person who is the most influential, the most persuasive, and the kind of salesperson kind of influencer that I personally am interested in being. So with that in mind, let’s talk about these nine different areas. So area number one is, we have to have knowledge of the actual product or the service, we have to really have a level of expertise that people are going to be confident that we know what we’re talking about. Now, for me,

Unknown Speaker 2:40
if you’re not familiar that I’ve been at this, at this, doing this for over 20 years now at this point, and when I started

Unknown Speaker 2:52
product knowledge,

Unknown Speaker 2:54
process, knowledge was not as important to me as simply the marketing piece, getting in front of prospective clients and actually talking with them about what it is that I had to sell. And during that time, it was insurance and financial services. So it was my first job out of college. And I didn’t know much about anything, I was a political science major and had no intention of going into professional sales or selling insurance and financial services. But I found myself doing that. And so I certainly appreciated that I needed to have a base or working knowledge of the products I was selling. But there was also an immense amount of pressure and necessity to get out and actually sell the product. So early on in my career, it’s much more focused on the actual marketing and sales piece of it more so than the product. Now, over time, certainly grew to appreciate that if you’re going to be a professional salesperson, if you’re going to be viewed as an expert, you need to know your product and your offering, inside and out. So while that may seem obvious, it’s not necessarily something that we all do in practice. So know your product, know it inside and out. Or at the very least, you need to align yourself with somebody who can fill in any knowledge gaps or gaps and expertise that you do not have. So super important. You got to know your stuff. Number two, is we need to be masters of our marketing systems. Do we have a system in place that produces reliable, consistent and sustainable, new potential opportunities for whatever it is that you’re selling? And early on, when I started this whole, started my career I mentioned in 2001, it was essentially pre internet, the internet was there, but the way that it is today, it’s dramatically different. So today, we obviously have a very robust internet. We have all these different social media platforms. We have all these different systems and processes for reaching out to people

Unknown Speaker 5:00
and getting new opportunities in front of them and then getting us in front of the potential prospect or the prospect potential customer, to share with them what we do to find out if there’s any kind of a fit.

Unknown Speaker 5:12
So do you how much how confident are you in your system to consistently and

Unknown Speaker 5:22
again, sustainably create new flows of opportunities for you, and certainly a limitless number of these.

Unknown Speaker 5:31
Now, the what I was doing when I started off in sales, and what I do today is different, but there’s certainly elements of both of those things that don’t think that you can ever totally automate your way out of not having you part of the marketing process, or at least some part of it, I think that the more we can merge the wonders of technology and all the great tools that are available with the human touch. I think that that’s really when you’re going to have most of your success in marketing, but obviously a really, really important thing. Next is your actual selling skills. So how good of a salesperson Are you. Now you may be an absolute natural, you may have the gift of gab and you may be really quick on your feet, all that good stuff. But I have come to realize is that selling very much like martial arts, there are lots of different ways to do it. There are levels of expertise, just like in martial arts, there’s all the different belts you get. And you start off as a white belt, you progress to Black Belt and beyond. And there are constantly opportunities to refine and get better and improve. So whoever you gauge yourself, you say, You know what, I’m not six out of 10, or I’m just getting started, or I’m an absolute 10 out of 10 was sales. I think that I know, I know that there are always opportunities to get in better. And there are wonderful sales trainers out there and great sales training programs out there that I’ve taken advantage of over the course of my career. But having the skills necessary to be successful is obviously a huge key. Let’s take that one step further. I think it’s so important that you have an organized sales process. And that’s important for a variety of reasons, it’s important for you so that you’re not having to go and reinvent the wheel. Every time you have a new prospect, you’re not having to come up with some kind of a new system, or a new way to present information because you do it the same way. Every time. You have the same introductory conversation with them, you have the same factfinding interaction, you have the same needs assessment, you have the same way that you present information, you have the same way that you ask for the sale, you have the same way that you ask for referrals, you’re the same way that you follow up. When you’re able to do that and really get that dialed in. That’s when you’re going to start experiencing really experience experiential growth. So embracing a sales process embracing an organized process and a lot of ways I think is counter counterintuitive to people that are drawn to sales. But like Jocko willing says discipline equals freedom.

Unknown Speaker 8:11
The more discipline we are in our approach to sales, the more freedom it will give us long term long term at first, it probably feel really restrictive. If you’re like, Ah, I’m not able to express myself, maybe. But as you get better at it, as you master your fundamentals as you as you master your process, it’ll give you way more flexibility to be more impromptu and to be able to go with the flow more because you can always come back to your, your your process and your sales track. So great for you, great for client great for potential new clients because you will become more referral, your new customer will be more comfortable because they know exactly what the experience is going to be for anybody that they should refer to you. And that’s nothing but a good thing. Obviously, we want referrals, it’s the best way for us to grow our business. There’s no two ways about that. Number four are making sure that our operational team slash systems are in place, they are as tight as they possibly can be. Now, obviously, there’s a lot going on throughout the course of

Unknown Speaker 9:20
attracting through your marketing, new potential opportunities, the actual sales process, the onboarding process for new clients, the client maintenance, the way that you acquire new clients, all that good stuff needs to be documented. If it’s you, and you are a solopreneur great still need to have these processes in place. Or if you’ve got if you’re part of a firm that has 1000s of people, or a company that has 1000s of people and you are a part of that process, still extremely important that you understand how every different part of it works. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Fortune 100 companies over the course

Unknown Speaker 10:00
as my career today I own and operate my own financial firm. And so I can speak to what great big companies are like. And obviously, what smaller companies are like. Just because a company is big does not mean that they have great systems and processes does not mean that they have great operational teams and systems. In fact, sometimes it’s quite the opposite. Sometimes, it’s really, really hard for great big organizations to do that, because it’s really hard for the change. So it’s hard for them to keep up with the times with technology.

Unknown Speaker 10:31
And I’d be more surprised, frankly, when I find an organization that has everything great when they get past a certain size. So in a lot of ways, if you’re a small organization for to you, you have this massive leg up, because you’re very nimble, you can make choices and decisions and any changes or pivots that you need to a lot faster than big organizations do. But the more you can systematize, the more you can automate, like talk about standard operating procedures, a lot can have documented processes that say, when this happens, this is what we do. And we follow this process. Again, just like the benefits of having an organized sales system, same thing will make your life just a lot easier. So number five is technology. It’s everywhere, it’s at our fingertips, we’ve got software for literally everything, and artificial intelligence and machine learning and all of this stuff. Wonderful. But again, kind of going back to what I was talking about earlier with marketing, it’s not going to replace you. And I think that the mistakes that I’ve made over the course of my career with my new business, prospecting with with my marketing, is when I take my hands off the wheel, and I hand it over to some kind of technology, it doesn’t normally go as well as I would like it to and I find myself having to go backwards and tweak things. So evaluate the different opportunities that are out there. But do not think that there’s going to be something that’s totally going to replace you because I don’t think such a thing exists. If it does, please do ping me and let me know. But utilize the best that technology has to offer. And then merge that and combine that with all of the wonderful gifts that you have, and your ability to personalize your marketing and every other aspect of your business. I think that that’s really when you’re going to win. Number six is cross selling opportunities. So if you work with an organization, and there are multiple offerings, let’s say you work at a law firm, and you are a general business attorney and your client has, has some kind of an event and they need estate planning. Well, there’s an opportunity right there to cross sell within your firm and to introduce them to an estate planning attorney or heaven forbid your client gets divorced, or they tell you that they’re going to be getting divorced, there’s an opportunity for a family law attorney to potentially be coming in and you’re then able to meet the needs of your client in a way with somebody that you know is going to do a great job. Perhaps you work in a financial firm or you work in a bank. And there are opportunities for you to be marketing and talking to your client about other needs that they potentially have. Well, that’s why you need to have a more it pretty high working knowledge of all the different ways that your organization can benefit.

Unknown Speaker 13:26
benefit the person that you’re working with your customer, your client. And if it’s not part of your organization, or rather, let’s just we’ll we’ll stick with the law firm. If you are a if you are a solo practitioner, if it’s just you, and you’re not part of a larger firm, I definitely encourage you to go out and make relationships with other complementary professionals probably need to have a relationship with a tax professional or CPA, an insurance professional and investment advisor or financial person, property casualty insurance agent. The list goes on and on. If you’re going to be doing a great job for your client, which I know that you are interested in doing because you’re watching a video about how to learn and get better. Making sure that you have the resources to be able to refer to ensure that your client’s needs to be met. That’s really what it’s all about. Number seven is working with other professionals to meet more complex needs. It’s essentially what I was just talking about right there. More complex needs is a different way of saying work with bigger clients or larger cases.

Unknown Speaker 14:33
In terms of going back to my early career selling life insurance, it’s pretty easy to sell a family a term life insurance policy really only need to figure out how much death benefit do we need? And how long do we want the insurance to last for that’s essentially the two key elements for term insurance. So that’s something that a 22 year old me could get done pretty easily. But if I had the opportunity to sit down

Unknown Speaker 15:00
With a business owner who had a much more complex situation they had, he or she, she had a lot more needs than simply needed to buy a term life policy. Well, that’s where I would need to be working with other professionals, again, either within my organization, or to be able to develop relationships with other professionals that are outside of my organization, in order to do a good job for my clients, because that’s what I’m interested in doing. Like to take a step back, what am I really trying to do, I am trying to help my clients to get better with money so they can live the kind of lives that they want, what I want is for them to live happier and more contented lives. So if I can remove any barriers that are standing in their way to access or to get to that life that they really want, that’s what I’m interested in doing. I want to get those out of the way. So they can move forward without, with as little friction as possible to get to the life that they want. That’s what I’m interested in doing. So number eight is developing relationships and partnerships with people outside of your organization, I think that there is immense value in being able to network, learn from mentor and be mentored. And there are an literally unlimited number of organizations that we can join, I think that it’s important to understand the purpose of different organizations, different professional organizations, or industry groups. Number one, it’s their job to advocate for the group that they are serving or representing. So they have resources and a budget to go to the state capitol, and to lobby. And to make sure that legislation isn’t passed, that’s going to harm their industries, ability to be a viable industry and being successful. So advocacy, education, these groups also exist to help educate their members and keep them up to date and to provide continuing education and things like that. And then number three is networking. I think sometimes we confuse them. And we put networking first. And there are certainly organizations that are geared specifically for networking, which is great. But if you’re if you’re looking for something more than that, just be mindful. Why is this organization in business? What are the different opportunities? What am I going to be able to access when I join it? So I think that joining a group like that is going to give you the opportunity to meet and observe and check out people that are maybe in your industry, and you can learn how they go about and talk about what they do, because it’ll be different. So you’ll be able to get a different perspective on what you do, from being around other people that are doing what you’re doing just for different organizations could be an opportunity for you to also get mentorship like I talked about. So lots of different organizations, you could join a general organization like a chamber of commerce, you could join a really specific industry association. Like for me, I work in investment management. So I could join the financial planning association or something like that the National Association of Insurance, financial advisors,

Unknown Speaker 18:12
if I wanted to also join an organization, because I wanted help in growing my business, you could join a mastermind group, like YPO, which is Young Presidents Organization, I think, something like that, or Vistage, there’s lots of groups that are like that, that would give you the opportunity to be able to network. And as I say that I don’t know that I’d be able to join young professionals or Presidents Organization at this point about the cut off is, oh, well, that might be one of life’s missed opportunities. But that’s not that big of a deal. Number nine, tracking activity and progress. What gets measured gets done. That is as simple as it is true. You are curious how you are doing in a certain area, you need to pay close attention to it. Now, early in my career, I absolutely resisted this, I think that all of us probably push back and resist accountability is because nobody likes to be told what to do, or nobody likes to be said, you know, you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing.

Unknown Speaker 19:12
I did that early on, because I didn’t have competency and I did to have mastery in certain areas. And so I thought that probably made more sense to hold myself more accountable once I became more established, but I was wrong. It’s important to to track your metrics and your numbers from the get go right away. So you need to know how you’re doing. I think that a good way to think about that, or perhaps a different way to think about it is think about a personal budget. Now, nobody likes to do that. It’s not like yes, time to go through my budget. But once you start doing it and you get the habit of doing it, you find that it’s a really empowering exercise. It lets you know yes, we are I am on track to meet my financial goals in my objectives. There’s value in this and it also tells me that yeah,

Unknown Speaker 20:00
I can afford to do that, or No, I can’t afford to do that. So tracking your numbers, tracking your key performance indicators, whatever you’re tracking in need to do that consistently. Need to hold yourself accountable to it. Like that there’s so much value in that, especially once you get the hang of it. So there are nine different areas of key new learnings that if you focus on consistently you think about you’re constantly trying to learn and do better in those areas. Like it will serve you both now and with what and 100% into the future as well. If you want to dig deeper into this, we’d love to have you check out the life blood dot live website, we’ve got professional sales coaches that are certified and you can have a no cost conversation with to find out if there’s a good fit. Awesome, got great courses that can help you get a little further along your path to professionalism and more sales success a little faster by investing some money to get into those programs. We just have a ton of other information as well. So appreciate you checking out today’s video and happy persuading. Happy Selling

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