How to be a successful salesperson in Asia an interview with sales trainer Marcus Chan business podcast episode 49

The process of becoming a good or high performing salesperson comes down to the habits you display from handling rejections, challenges to creating that presence pre-call / pre-meeting and building trust and credibility with each step of the way.

With my latest interview for the Point of View Business Show, I sat down with B2B sales trainer, coach, Forbes Business Council member Marcus Chan to talk about sales and in particular around the common mistakes reps make and how to overcome them.

Check out the chapters:

  • 0:00 - Introduction
  • 0:59 - Who is Marcus Chan?
  • 1:28 - The common mistake that reps make when they get their sales rejection?
  • 3:20 - Not asking enough questions leads to losing the sale
  • 4:54 - Asking better sales question in the discovery phase
  • 5:35 - What is the best sales methodology to adopt?
  • 7:07 - Does charisma play a key role in the close?
  • 7:53 - Why some of the best salespeople are introverts
  • 8:51 - How has COVID or the ‘new norm’ changed the way sales reps act in terms of generating leads and closing them?
  • 10:44 - Why you need a social presence as a modern sales person
  • 14:11 - Marcus talks about his early sales days
  • 16:39 - Having mentors and teachers in your sales journey
  • 20:02 - Why having mentors is so important in any profession
  • 21:11 - What advice would you give a fellow Chief Sales Officer on inspiring / motivating their sales reps to exceed their quota?

Watch a quick trailer why this is the common mistake that reps make in their pitch

Watch the episode

Listen to the episode

Improper discovery with your prospect means an improper solution

A common mistake a lot of sales people make is not properly ‘qualifying’ the prospect in the initial meeting. Some might say, what exactly does that mean?

When I was talking to Marcus and asking him the number one common mistake that sales professionals make, he talked about the “combative conversation” we sometimes have when we deal with a prospect for the first time.

For instance always going into a conversation in defensive mode, rebutting what the prospect is saying and practicing lines that perspectives would throw at you.. For example, a prospect might say “hey, we’ve already used something the same that we are quite happy with” and you might then take that as an attack on your brand, which will lead to a mindframe of ‘defending’ your position. If you do that, you immediately lose the prospect.

Marcus says “what's up happening is after they get done kind of pitching back at the person that person comes has a different objection and then different and it becomes a ping-pong match back and forth and no one really feels good at the end”.

In addition, Marcus mentions that sales rejection is perfectly normal, almost all sales conversations will have some initial push back, because it’s human nature to have a defense when something new comes into frame. Marcus says “when you think about this in a sales situation when you ask for the business the other person on the receiving end suddenly they go tense their body goes tense they're in this fight or flight mode”.

Marcus continues “99 of time it's not even the primary objection it's a smokescreen surface of objection“.

So what’s the solution? As a sales person, you’re job in the initial stages to uncover the actual pain point of your prospect. Dive deeper and ask more questions to really uncover and clarify what the real root objections are, as Marcus sales “ultimately the smokescreen objection is a symptom of something larger so dive in deep first instead of thinking, if they say this I'm gonna say that… seek to understand what the real objection is and then overcome that specifically”

Habit of a successful salesperson

What can be the quickest way to lose a deal? By talking too much. Similar to a first date, you want to have an easy conversational flow, you want to ask questions to your date naturally and uncover elements about that person.

Now going back into a salesperson mode, Marcus says “the Achilles heel of most sales reps is they talk too much they talk too much”, when we were talking about his sales methodology he teaches to his students.

Marcus employs an opposite approach whereby “80-90 percent the whole process is purely questions based” based on an idiosyncratic dialogue with your prospects, which “really opens them up, and it's the way the questions are structured so when you ask them a certain way you can actually create a virtually objectionless close”.

Marcus employs a particular code which:

  1. You connect with your prospect
  2. You open them
  3. You direct the conversation (naturally) and
  4. You expand the relationship

Marcus mentions if you practice and follow this approach for every part of the sales cycle, it will lead to far better close outcomes.

I followed this up to ask Marcus if ‘charisma’ or ‘charm’ can also play factor, and as much as it can, Marcus observes that in B2B sales “they [prospect] have a problem they want someone to listen to them and solve the problem”.

Marcus goes on to say that in his experience “the best sales people are like sometimes a lot of them are actually introverts, because they are really good at listening. Because they're internalizing and they're asking deep thoughtful questions, so they're not going surface level, they're actually speaking a lot less than most sales people do so”.

How do salespeople succeed in 2022?

One question I posed to Marcus was the role of sales in COVID, now that sales has moved to an online setting where video calls through ZOOM or Google Meetings are the norm.

What Marcus said was the situation of COVID and the move to video meetings has meant that “video has less room for error than face to face” as there’s less moments to build rapport with your prospect as you would with face to face meetings.

Marcus observes that today’s sales professional needs to “nail every part of the process” from the phones, to the copy you write, all the way through to your digital social presence.

The rational to building your social profile as a sales person is that you’re building “credibility and trust” by what they see, which will help build that social proofing when it comes time to meet via video.

In addition, Marcus mentions that today’s sales person to success in 2022 and beyond is to “leveraging every possible medium to get a hold of”. Meaning expanding your skillsets and going beyond that “one-trick pony” and becoming good at email copywriting, face to face, cold calling and more.

Reach out to Marcus Chan

What is Point of View (POV) Show?

The Point of View business Show highlights business professionals in Asia and around the world to get an understanding on what makes them effective, how they do it and advice to help you grow in Leadership, Branding, Marketing and Sales. Follow the journey and connect with me on LinkedIn.

This is Andy Tran

A strategist, marketer and problem solver. 

Focusing on sharing topics and resources to help students and business professionals in leadership, branding, marketing and sales 
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram