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The Value of Being an Outward-focused Sales Leader with Ian Koniak

Transcript
Wesleyne Greer:

Hello and welcome to another episode of

Wesleyne Greer:

the transform sales podcast today I am so excited to have

Wesleyne Greer:

Ian koniec How are you Ian?

Ian Koniak:

I am doing great. How are you doing? Wesleyne

Wesleyne Greer:

I am doing fantabulous. I am so excited to

Wesleyne Greer:

chat with you today. Let me tell you guys a little bit more about

Wesleyne Greer:

Mr. Konya. How about that he is one of the strongest b2b sales

Wesleyne Greer:

leaders in the world and a highly sought after elite sales

Wesleyne Greer:

coach. His accolades include being the number one sales

Wesleyne Greer:

performance at Fortune 500 companies and the number one

Wesleyne Greer:

strategic account executive and the enterprise select division

Wesleyne Greer:

at Salesforce. He shares his insights as a sales thought

Wesleyne Greer:

leader in keynote speeches, webinars, training sessions and

Wesleyne Greer:

podcasts. His sales success is rivaled only by his ability to

Wesleyne Greer:

help others untapped their true potential, his elite coaching

Wesleyne Greer:

service, Ian koniec, sales coaching is successful is so

Wesleyne Greer:

successful that he has stepped away as strategic account

Wesleyne Greer:

director at Salesforce. So run his business full time. Wow, it

Wesleyne Greer:

is definitely a labor of love to have your own business. But I'm

Wesleyne Greer:

curious how did you become the number one elite enterprise

Wesleyne Greer:

sales director and transition into starting your own business?

Ian Koniak:

Well, I became the number one sales director at

Ian Koniak:

Salesforce after actually having some pretty big failures, I miss

Ian Koniak:

my quota three years in a row before becoming number one. So

Ian Koniak:

I'll take a step back and just kind of tell you how I got

Ian Koniak:

there. So I was always very, very good at what I would refer

Ian Koniak:

to as transactional selling. So think of transactional selling

Ian Koniak:

as the grind, do a lot of activity, a lot of cold going a

Ian Koniak:

lot of prospecting, show up, outwork everyone and get

Ian Koniak:

consistent results. In fact, I was the number one global sales

Ian Koniak:

rep and sales director at my prior company, Rico, where I hit

Ian Koniak:

42 months in a row quota, I would outwork everyone period, I

Ian Koniak:

would show up and you know, consider myself pretty

Ian Koniak:

personable, and generally just figured it out. And that worked

Ian Koniak:

great for my first 10 years of my career, then I go to

Ian Koniak:

Salesforce, and the environments very different. Now I'm selling

Ian Koniak:

software, and I'm selling to large enterprises. So I thought

Ian Koniak:

I can go out and outwork and hustle everyone else. And I took

Ian Koniak:

that same approach that it served me my whole career into

Ian Koniak:

software sales, and it didn't exactly work out. So I did end

Ian Koniak:

up hitting my quota. My first year, I got lucky, I found a big

Ian Koniak:

deal after 15 emails to the CIO. And here I am thinking like, I'm

Ian Koniak:

God's gift to the sales world, because now I have 11 years in a

Ian Koniak:

row of quota attainment, including going to the

Ian Koniak:

enterprise division at Salesforce, I got Rookie of the

Ian Koniak:

Year. And then I bombed for three years in a row. So I

Ian Koniak:

literally was out working out hustling everyone, and I was

Ian Koniak:

missing my targets. And so I took a step back. And I said,

Ian Koniak:

Well, maybe the approach of grinding and hustling is not

Ian Koniak:

actually effective when selling software. And I ended up getting

Ian Koniak:

really humbled. And really, my whole entire ego took a massive

Ian Koniak:

hit, because I had always prided myself on my performance. And I

Ian Koniak:

had been a top performer my whole career. So to go from this

Ian Koniak:

high performer to now somebody who misses not one, not two, but

Ian Koniak:

three years in a row, my whole world really crumbled. Honestly,

Ian Koniak:

it led to a lot of like, self doubt, and a lot of beating

Ian Koniak:

myself up over this. And so I decided to take a step back, and

Ian Koniak:

I did what any smart person would do if they fail on their

Ian Koniak:

own, which is go seek help and learn from others who are the

Ian Koniak:

most successful. So for me, it meant investing, you know, over

Ian Koniak:

$20,000, even though I wasn't doing great at that time, I

Ian Koniak:

found the money to go and invest in a sales mastermind, a sales

Ian Koniak:

program geared at helping elite sales performance get to their

Ian Koniak:

highest possible potential, I hired a sales coach. And I just

Ian Koniak:

took a step back. And I said, maybe what I thought I knew is

Ian Koniak:

not actually the way and I spent a year really investing in

Ian Koniak:

myself and learning what was needed to sell enterprise deals

Ian Koniak:

at the level of elite performers. And that was the

Ian Koniak:

year where I finished number one at Salesforce. And then every

Ian Koniak:

year after that I made the club I cracked seven figures and

Ian Koniak:

sales and generally just had this remarkable transformation

Ian Koniak:

in my professional life and in my personal life that started

Ian Koniak:

with personal development, and humbling myself. So I think

Ian Koniak:

that's the real answer is how I got there. And then that evolved

Ian Koniak:

into more of a calling of, okay, if I can do this, I need to help

Ian Koniak:

other people do it. Because I'm a normal average guy. If I can

Ian Koniak:

get to the elite performer level, I don't want other people

Ian Koniak:

to go through the mistakes that I made of missing their quota

Ian Koniak:

three years in a row and more importantly, the mistake of

Ian Koniak:

putting all their self worth in their performance and feeling

Ian Koniak:

like a failure dealing with all the struggles that I had during

Ian Koniak:

that period. I want people to learn the actual way to get to

Ian Koniak:

the top that's healthy that's abundant that's aligned that's

Ian Koniak:

why I like to name your your podcast when we talk about

Ian Koniak:

transform sales and and that's what I had to do myself is

Ian Koniak:

transformed the way I sold and once I did that, and I saw the

Ian Koniak:

results. The next logical step was to help others do that

Ian Koniak:

because life is short. And if you're only working for yourself

Ian Koniak:

and you're only serving yourself, you're not fulfilling

Ian Koniak:

your mission on the To planet. And so for me that was very deep

Ian Koniak:

and personal and spiritual in nature decided to leave that

Ian Koniak:

business and serve others for living through my coaching

Ian Koniak:

business.

Wesleyne Greer:

Wow, you really embodied one of the things that

Wesleyne Greer:

I speak so emphatically about. And it's that someone helped you

Wesleyne Greer:

to get to where you are today. So you should reach back and

Wesleyne Greer:

help somebody else up. And it sounds like in everything that

Wesleyne Greer:

you're doing in your coaching business, like you're really

Wesleyne Greer:

doing that. But I want to rewind a little bit. And I want to talk

Wesleyne Greer:

about that transition from the first place that you left as a

Wesleyne Greer:

superstar salesperson going into Salesforce. So what are some of

Wesleyne Greer:

the things that you did in your first company and tell us a

Wesleyne Greer:

little bit more about what that actual product that service that

Wesleyne Greer:

you were selling was? And how did that not translate into this

Wesleyne Greer:

new role?

Ian Koniak:

Well, I was doing copier sales. So I sold

Ian Koniak:

multifunction devices, they weren't like desktop printers

Ian Koniak:

that you would buy at Staples, these were $10,000 copiers, and,

Ian Koniak:

you know, very high level, but ultimately, it was a commodity.

Ian Koniak:

Right. So for copiers, everyone's got him in their

Ian Koniak:

office. And what I would do really simple as I lead with

Ian Koniak:

price, and I'd go in and I'd say, hey, most likely, you're

Ian Koniak:

spending a lot of money on lease agreements for these copiers on

Ian Koniak:

toners. On printers, we can save you typically 10 to 20% of your

Ian Koniak:

printing costs. And I would target the CFO. And you know, I

Ian Koniak:

was very good at that. And I said, you know, you don't need

Ian Koniak:

to be paying this money for printing, we have a better way

Ian Koniak:

to help the environment, better way to reduce your energy and

Ian Koniak:

better way to reduce the number of devices you have through

Ian Koniak:

these multifunction devices. So I would go around and basically

Ian Koniak:

assess what they were using and what the costs were. And if I

Ian Koniak:

could help them great I would and if I couldn't, you know that

Ian Koniak:

I would walk away and it was a very repeatable process, it was

Ian Koniak:

a repeatable talk track, it was very easy, because everybody had

Ian Koniak:

printers, copiers, scanners, faxes, you name it, they had it.

Ian Koniak:

And I would just consolidate those and provide all the

Ian Koniak:

supplies and maintenance and it was a very, I would say

Ian Koniak:

financially driven business case driven sale. But that

Ian Koniak:

necessarily didn't change the way they worked, right. They're

Ian Koniak:

using these devices and whether they say Xerox on them, or

Ian Koniak:

whether they say Rico on them, which is the company I worked

Ian Koniak:

for, didn't really matter, maybe they'd have to learn the new

Ian Koniak:

interface. But there wasn't much change management, there wasn't

Ian Koniak:

much training, there wasn't much they had to do, it wasn't a

Ian Koniak:

disrupter to the business. Whereas when I went to

Ian Koniak:

Salesforce, you're talking if you sell any type of software,

Ian Koniak:

you are literally disrupting how they work. Any software exists

Ian Koniak:

to automate manual processes or to improve collaboration or

Ian Koniak:

create reports or better visibility, any software is

Ian Koniak:

going to take work they're doing manually are doing in multiple

Ian Koniak:

systems and create a streamlined, automated way of

Ian Koniak:

doing those things easier and faster. But that's going to

Ian Koniak:

require change, that's going to require them to actually have to

Ian Koniak:

rework their existing processes, it's going to have data

Ian Koniak:

migration, it's going to have to require some support from the

Ian Koniak:

users and from the stakeholders, it's going to need a business

Ian Koniak:

case. So it's a lot more strategic in nature, because

Ian Koniak:

you're changing how they work and the nature of what they're

Ian Koniak:

doing. And people are naturally resistant to change. Okay, so

Ian Koniak:

the selling motion of selling change is much different than

Ian Koniak:

the selling motion of selling cost savings for a commodity

Ian Koniak:

that they already are using anyway. So it didn't translate

Ian Koniak:

very well. What did translate is my work ethic and my

Ian Koniak:

determination to help my customers, but it didn't

Ian Koniak:

translate to the actual stakeholder management and

Ian Koniak:

needing consensus on a purchase and having to really understand

Ian Koniak:

how they're doing things today in more detail. So they can show

Ian Koniak:

them how they can do it in Salesforce, it was just a lot

Ian Koniak:

more of a longer sales cycle and more strategic in nature. So

Ian Koniak:

that's the transition that I was never trained to make. And I had

Ian Koniak:

to kind of figure out on my own through the years,

Wesleyne Greer:

and you really talked about that perfectly,

Wesleyne Greer:

because a lot of times people come from selling a physical

Wesleyne Greer:

product, you can see touch, feel and going to selling services or

Wesleyne Greer:

something unsexual. And in your previous position, it was like,

Wesleyne Greer:

here's money you can save in your pocket that you can

Wesleyne Greer:

reinvest, I can show you an ROI calculator, I can give you a

Wesleyne Greer:

beautiful report. But when you go to selling the software as a

Wesleyne Greer:

service, and it is very different than what people have

Wesleyne Greer:

done, and one changes are at one of the things I like to say is

Wesleyne Greer:

do you drive home the same way every day, people who work in

Wesleyne Greer:

office, do you drive home the same way every day? And some

Wesleyne Greer:

people say, Yeah, I absolutely do. And other people say no, I

Wesleyne Greer:

don't like to use a brand names on my podcast. But I use this

Wesleyne Greer:

magical app that always tells me a different way to go home. I

Wesleyne Greer:

was like, Yep, I'm one of those people too, right? And so the

Wesleyne Greer:

thing is, it's like, Who are you talking to? And most times when

Wesleyne Greer:

you're talking to these decision makers, they've been doing

Wesleyne Greer:

something the right way. And it's hard, but they don't

Wesleyne Greer:

realize how hard it is or how much time they're wasting and so

Wesleyne Greer:

for you to get them to try something new, even though it's

Wesleyne Greer:

gonna save them time. It actually does save them money

Wesleyne Greer:

too. It's such a hard thing to convince.

Ian Koniak:

Yeah. 100% it's changed, right? It's selling

Ian Koniak:

change. It's selling a future vision. So you know, in order

Ian Koniak:

for you to sell change. There's a set of skills that you need.

Ian Koniak:

There's a set of you have to get people to admit they're in pain,

Ian Koniak:

you have to get really extract the pain from them. You have to

Ian Koniak:

get them to realize that they have a problem that they might

Ian Koniak:

not even be aware of. So that requires educating that requires

Ian Koniak:

educating and becoming a thought leader in the space and really

Ian Koniak:

becoming a master of the problems that you solve, why

Ian Koniak:

their problems and being able to teach them something new about

Ian Koniak:

their business or their way of working that they don't already

Ian Koniak:

know. Because if you say, Hey, how are you doing things today?

Ian Koniak:

And they say, here's how I'm doing it. And you can

Ian Koniak:

intelligently say, You know what, you could be doing it this

Ian Koniak:

way. And here's why it makes sense. And here's how much time

Ian Koniak:

it can saves you. How do you feel about that, if you can

Ian Koniak:

explain that in a way that's compelling, and that, you know,

Ian Koniak:

is naturally where they can object to it. Most people are

Ian Koniak:

gonna say, Yeah, of course, that makes sense, I didn't realize

Ian Koniak:

there was a better way of doing things. So that's the job is to

Ian Koniak:

educate them without calling their baby ugly, without telling

Ian Koniak:

them that you know how they're doing things completely ass

Ian Koniak:

backwards, you can do it in a way that's very professional and

Ian Koniak:

polished. And that's something that I teach my clients how to

Ian Koniak:

do it. It's called Mastering your message. But it begins with

Ian Koniak:

really knowing about the problems you solve, and really

Ian Koniak:

knowing how to develop questions that extract not if they have a

Ian Koniak:

problem, but extract what their current situation is. So you can

Ian Koniak:

then tell them, here's why this is a problem. I'm not sure if

Ian Koniak:

you've ever thought about this, or you know, consider doing it

Ian Koniak:

another way. But if you do, you can actually save this much time

Ian Koniak:

to reinvest in these key areas, because most likely the things

Ian Koniak:

that your software or your services are going to help

Ian Koniak:

improve are things that they don't necessarily enjoy doing

Ian Koniak:

their administrative tasks, there's tedious manual

Ian Koniak:

processes, there's back and forth, no one loves doing that

Ian Koniak:

stuff. So if you can automate some of that, usually it makes

Ian Koniak:

people's lives easier, it makes their stress go down. So that's

Ian Koniak:

the kind of conversation you want to be having with decision

Ian Koniak:

makers that actually want to save time and want to improve

Ian Koniak:

the quality of their work every day. So yeah, it's a totally

Ian Koniak:

different skill set,

Wesleyne Greer:

the thing that so many salespeople don't get.

Wesleyne Greer:

And when I'm talking to teams, I'm like, You need to get your

Wesleyne Greer:

product out of your head, you need to step into the buyers

Wesleyne Greer:

world, right? So what are the challenges and that's exactly

Wesleyne Greer:

what you're talking about what is the actual challenges that

Wesleyne Greer:

they are having every single day that is making their life hard.

Wesleyne Greer:

And sometimes you'll find those challenges are not actually

Wesleyne Greer:

something that your software can solve today. Sometimes they have

Wesleyne Greer:

so many more roadblocks before they can even conceptualize

Wesleyne Greer:

whatever your product or service needs to do. And your job is to

Wesleyne Greer:

help them say, hey, you know what, I have a partner, I have a

Wesleyne Greer:

company I work with, I know someone who can actually help

Wesleyne Greer:

you with XYZ, and what are they going to do? They're probably 70

Wesleyne Greer:

to 80% of the time, they're going to come back to you once

Wesleyne Greer:

that problem has been resolved and be like, Okay, thank you so

Wesleyne Greer:

much for helping me solve that. Now. Can we talk about something

Wesleyne Greer:

else? Yeah,

Ian Koniak:

I mean, selling is helping, selling is helping?

Ian Koniak:

Absolutely. Period. Here's the problem with sales. And I've

Ian Koniak:

been thinking about a lot of this Wesleyne sales, a very

Ian Koniak:

inward, me focused industry, business, it's very much about

Ian Koniak:

my income, my quota attainment, my goal is my position on the

Ian Koniak:

leader board, my recognition status, it's very much in the

Ian Koniak:

ego driven, selfish, driven sales industry. And the reality

Ian Koniak:

is that that can get you really far in a place where hustle and

Ian Koniak:

grind and hard work is rewarded. And you could get the

Ian Koniak:

recognition of those accolades from outworking everyone. And

Ian Koniak:

you know, it could be celebrated. But when you're

Ian Koniak:

selling a software, or service or anything strategic in nature,

Ian Koniak:

the best salespeople, the highest successful salespeople

Ian Koniak:

are the ones that actually leave their ego at the door. And they

Ian Koniak:

realize, hey, it's not about me, it's about my customers in the

Ian Koniak:

qualities that make a very, and I'm talking about the titans of

Ian Koniak:

software, I'm talking about the elite, seven figure earners that

Ian Koniak:

are making millions of dollars, more than business owners more

Ian Koniak:

than doctors and lawyers and accountants selling software. I

Ian Koniak:

know several people who have made north of a million dollars

Ian Koniak:

a year in the way they sell is very differently. So the

Ian Koniak:

qualities are not the grinder the qualities are not the person

Ian Koniak:

that's just hustling and focused on their own commission and

Ian Koniak:

their own goals. What those sellers are doing differently is

Ian Koniak:

they're actually focusing on the customer outcomes and the

Ian Koniak:

customer problems. And in order to really dig deep and

Ian Koniak:

understand what the customer is really going through, especially

Ian Koniak:

in a large enterprise where it's very complex. And maybe this is

Ian Koniak:

built over years or decades, in some cases of what's led to

Ian Koniak:

these problems or these pain points. It's not some easy

Ian Koniak:

thing. It's like an onion, you have to peel back. And there

Ian Koniak:

might be multiple reasons and systems, why things are the way

Ian Koniak:

they are. But in order to discover that you actually have

Ian Koniak:

to be curious, you actually have to be empathetic, you have to be

Ian Koniak:

very patient, you actually have to give a damn and care about

Ian Koniak:

your clients. Those qualities right are sometimes counter

Ian Koniak:

intuitive to the qualities which are rewarded or recognized when

Ian Koniak:

you get into the industry of sales. So you have to make that

Ian Koniak:

transition from an inward focused salesperson to an

Ian Koniak:

outward focus salesperson who cares more about helping your

Ian Koniak:

clients get the results they want, then you getting the

Ian Koniak:

results you want, especially if You sell in the enterprise, and

Ian Koniak:

you only have a few accounts that you're responsible for that

Ian Koniak:

are multibillion dollar accounts, which is what I manage

Ian Koniak:

at Salesforce as an account director. So it really does

Ian Koniak:

require leaving your ego at the door and actually shifting your

Ian Koniak:

focus to how you can help them. And when you do that, you get

Ian Koniak:

helped in multiple intervals, it comes back to you tenfold, when

Ian Koniak:

you just make it about others, everything you want more comes

Ian Koniak:

back to you when it comes to income, recognition,

Ian Koniak:

fulfillment, right? So that's the shift. That's the sales

Ian Koniak:

transformation I wanted to make is helping people get out of

Ian Koniak:

this me focus and make it about you focus in frankly, I think

Ian Koniak:

that's what God put us on this earth to do is to help other

Ian Koniak:

people and love other people in the sales industry doesn't

Ian Koniak:

always lend itself well to that. And it's so much pressure that

Ian Koniak:

we just, you know, we make it so much about ourselves. And that's

Ian Koniak:

the opposite of what's needed to really get the best results for

Ian Koniak:

your career. So that's kind of why I'm here. That's why I'm

Ian Koniak:

doing what I'm doing. Anyway,

Wesleyne Greer:

I love it. You mentioned that you had a three

Wesleyne Greer:

year period, if you didn't hit quota, and you decided to invest

Wesleyne Greer:

in yourself, a lot of times sales, people think, Well, I'm

Wesleyne Greer:

not hitting my quota, I'm not getting what I need for my

Wesleyne Greer:

company. So I'm just gonna find another job, they don't stop and

Wesleyne Greer:

say maybe I should take some kind of ownership of my own

Wesleyne Greer:

destiny, maybe I should kind of put some money behind it because

Wesleyne Greer:

it's going to pay dividends. So walk us through that three year

Wesleyne Greer:

period where you were really, you didn't know how to trust

Wesleyne Greer:

yourself, you felt like I don't know what I'm doing. And that

Wesleyne Greer:

decision you made to invest in your own development?

Ian Koniak:

Well, you know, like many salespeople that are

Ian Koniak:

underperforming, I tended to blame external circumstances,

Ian Koniak:

those first couple years. So the first year I didn't perform, I

Ian Koniak:

blamed my territory, I said, Well, this other reps have the

Ian Koniak:

top accounts, I was Rookie of the Year, my first year, why

Ian Koniak:

don't I get the top accounts, it was a very kind of resentful,

Ian Koniak:

bitter kind of period. And because those thoughts were

Ian Koniak:

going in my head, I actually didn't show up my best every

Ian Koniak:

day. And then I didn't perform. And in all fairness, I didn't

Ian Koniak:

have great accounts I didn't have I have, you know, six

Ian Koniak:

accounts. And I think two or three of them ended up going

Ian Koniak:

bankrupt. So there was some territory considerations. But I

Ian Koniak:

also had a boss that generally saw me as a number he didn't, I

Ian Koniak:

didn't feel like he cared about me as a person, I was just

Ian Koniak:

someone who helped him succeed, rather than someone who he

Ian Koniak:

wanted to make successful. That's how I felt, you know,

Ian Koniak:

we've all had bosses, at least some of us have had bosses like

Ian Koniak:

that, where you just feel like they care more about themselves

Ian Koniak:

than you. And that wasn't the good experience. So I blamed him

Ian Koniak:

a little bit, I blame my territory a little bit, then I

Ian Koniak:

missed the number. And then the second year, I was still working

Ian Koniak:

for that same boss, and I missed it again. And I had the same

Ian Koniak:

territory. And it was like, man, you know what, I gotta change

Ian Koniak:

teams, I gotta leave teams, I have to go to another division.

Ian Koniak:

And I have two choices, I can leave the company and I actually

Ian Koniak:

had a job offer from Microsoft. And because I felt so entitled,

Ian Koniak:

the job offer wasn't as high as someone else who I knew that

Ian Koniak:

went to Microsoft, and I turned it down. And I said, I'm just

Ian Koniak:

gonna stay at Salesforce and Change division. So I go to the

Ian Koniak:

commercial division of Salesforce, which instead of

Ian Koniak:

having, you know, 510 accounts, I had 50 accounts. So I'm like,

Ian Koniak:

I need more at bats. I'm a transactional guy, I'm going to

Ian Koniak:

sell great in the transactional world. And I just need a

Ian Koniak:

different boss in a different territory. So I switched

Ian Koniak:

territories, I was given an opportunity to transfer to the

Ian Koniak:

commercial team in that year, I said, I'm going to give

Ian Koniak:

everything I can and I tripled down on my hard work on my

Ian Koniak:

effort. I had a great boss had a great territory, I had all the

Ian Koniak:

opportunity in the world. And I was sitting at 95%, of quota

Ian Koniak:

going to the last day of the year, I was told that I was

Ian Koniak:

gonna get one deal in that all I had to do was to come by and

Ian Koniak:

pick up the paperwork in the office and went go pick up the

Ian Koniak:

paperwork from the President, she said, everything looks good,

Ian Koniak:

the CFO approved it, the CEO approved it, I just need to make

Ian Koniak:

one phone call. And she tells me to wait outside, she keeps me

Ian Koniak:

waiting outside for over an hour while she's on the phone

Ian Koniak:

speaking Chinese. And she comes back and she says in I'm sorry,

Ian Koniak:

but we can't do the deal today. Now, keep in mind, this was the

Ian Koniak:

last day of the fiscal year, okay. And I had everything

Ian Koniak:

riding on this, I changed teams, I changed territories, I done

Ian Koniak:

everything in my power to control my destiny. And now she

Ian Koniak:

tells me we can't do the deal. I said, why? What do you mean,

Ian Koniak:

everyone's approved it? And she said, Well, I talked to our

Ian Koniak:

parent company in China, and our CIO in China said they're doing

Ian Koniak:

something similar with CRM in China, they don't want us to

Ian Koniak:

sign off until we can compare what they're doing to what we're

Ian Koniak:

doing. And that's gonna take a few weeks, and so we can't sign

Ian Koniak:

the deal the last day of the year, and I said, that's

Ian Koniak:

garbage. Let me talk to the CIO. It's not the same week for six

Ian Koniak:

months, like let me talk to him and she gave me his phone

Ian Koniak:

number. She's like, Look, if you can convince the CIO to do it,

Ian Koniak:

then I'll sign you know, and I literally was in her office till

Ian Koniak:

like six or seven o'clock, waiting for her to come out and

Ian Koniak:

she finally kicked me out of the office. And she's like, I gotta

Ian Koniak:

go home, try and get the CIO on the phone can do and I was

Ian Koniak:

calling nothing. I was emailing nothing, and I kept calling till

Ian Koniak:

like 10 or 11. At night. Finally the guy picks up he's like, em,

Ian Koniak:

what is going on? I got your email, like, why do you want me?

Ian Koniak:

I said, this is the last day of our fiscal year. You have to

Ian Koniak:

sign this deal we've been working on six months, the deal

Ian Koniak:

goes away tomorrow, if you don't sign, you guys are gonna miss

Ian Koniak:

out, you got to do it. And he said in, I'm on vacation with my

Ian Koniak:

family. This is not how I work, I have to go collect. And that

Ian Koniak:

was my rock bottom. That was my rock bottom. I remember sitting

Ian Koniak:

in the mirror, staring at myself, it was home, I'll never

Ian Koniak:

forget it, I had a blistering headache, my head was throbbing,

Ian Koniak:

I looked at myself. And it was like an out of body experience.

Ian Koniak:

I couldn't even recognize myself in the mirror. And I just I was

Ian Koniak:

at such a low feeling of failure on that last fiscal year after

Ian Koniak:

I'd done everything to do that and still fallen short. At that

Ian Koniak:

point. I'm like, I don't know what I need to do. I don't know

Ian Koniak:

who I need to do. But I know that I can't do it on my own, I

Ian Koniak:

need to get help. And once you get to that point, and I'm in

Ian Koniak:

addiction recovery, I've been sober for two and a half years,

Ian Koniak:

and I have given up a lot of vices and a lot of things in my

Ian Koniak:

personal life that weren't serving me anymore with my

Ian Koniak:

family and with my job and anything. And so I know the

Ian Koniak:

importance of hitting that rock bottom, because I've had to do

Ian Koniak:

it in sales to get help, but also in my personal life with

Ian Koniak:

addiction to go get help. And when you hit that point where

Ian Koniak:

you are humbled and you say, You know what, my way is not the

Ian Koniak:

right way, my way is causing pain, my way is, you know, not

Ian Koniak:

sustainable, that's when you become receptive. And that's

Ian Koniak:

when the universe and God will invite people into your life to

Ian Koniak:

go help you. And that's when all the answers will appear. But you

Ian Koniak:

have to have a humble heart and a humble mind to be able to see

Ian Koniak:

and acknowledge and accept those things, those opportunities. And

Ian Koniak:

that's exactly what happened to me is right after that time, all

Ian Koniak:

these opportunities to get help started emerging. I learned

Ian Koniak:

about this program, I also got a mentor at Salesforce. And it

Ian Koniak:

just, you know, everything was happening to serve him to take

Ian Koniak:

me to this place where I could actually get better, if you

Ian Koniak:

will, in the sales world. And that was my story. So that's

Ian Koniak:

kind of the evolution of those three years, it was like from

Ian Koniak:

one thing, pointing the finger to another thing pointing the

Ian Koniak:

finger. And finally, I had to point the finger at myself. And

Ian Koniak:

that's when I actually got help.

Wesleyne Greer:

Wow, that story that was so impactful. I mean,

Wesleyne Greer:

when you really talk about hitting rock bottom, like

Wesleyne Greer:

literally being in somebody's office, thinking about me,

Wesleyne Greer:

myself, I got to hit this number, it's the end of our

Wesleyne Greer:

fiscal year, I don't care what you have going on, you're on

Wesleyne Greer:

vacation with the family that matters to me, not I gotta hit

Wesleyne Greer:

my number. And without you, I'm not gonna hit my number, and

Wesleyne Greer:

really having that realization, like, it's not all about me, I

Wesleyne Greer:

have to do something differently. And then in your

Wesleyne Greer:

personal life, even sharing your journey of your recovery, right,

Wesleyne Greer:

and I congratulate you on being two and a half years sober. That

Wesleyne Greer:

is an amazing accomplishment. But really, when you see all of

Wesleyne Greer:

those different bits and pieces, and all the different things you

Wesleyne Greer:

had to do to realize I must do something different.

Ian Koniak:

Yeah, you're right. And it's funny, you mentioned

Ian Koniak:

that, like, that's what you took away from that story. Because

Ian Koniak:

that was the thing that needed to change, that selling is all

Ian Koniak:

about me and closing deals and my quota and my trip, I mean,

Ian Koniak:

this deal would have put me on trip would have got me to like

Ian Koniak:

130%, it was a decent sized deal. I mean, I had everything

Ian Koniak:

riding on it, I did not care about the client. In fact, I was

Ian Koniak:

in that situation. And I told myself, never again, I will

Ian Koniak:

never be in a situation where I'm pressuring a client on

Ian Koniak:

January 31, to do a deal they're not ready for. So I can hit my

Ian Koniak:

number in the fiscal year, I need to be proactive, I need to

Ian Koniak:

get ahead of that I need to get my numbers Well, early before

Ian Koniak:

that. And so I don't have that pressure that I'm applying to my

Ian Koniak:

clients. And in fact, there was a deal earlier that month, where

Ian Koniak:

I put the same kind of pressure, and I lost it as well. So that

Ian Koniak:

forced me to put more pressure on the other clients. So

Ian Koniak:

pressure doesn't work when you put pressure on something that

Ian Koniak:

cracks and breaks. And that's exactly what happens to our

Ian Koniak:

clients. So my way of selling now is truly a no pressure

Ian Koniak:

selling like this is good for you. I'm here to help you. If

Ian Koniak:

you're not ready, and you don't want it. There's plenty of

Ian Koniak:

people that do want my help my time, my resources, my team. So

Ian Koniak:

it sounds like you're not a fit sounds like you don't want to

Ian Koniak:

change something you don't have a problem. I'm going to spend

Ian Koniak:

time elsewhere. Thank you for your time. Like that's exactly

Ian Koniak:

how I sell now. And when you're pressuring when it feels like

Ian Koniak:

you're pressuring when it feels like you're pushing somebody to

Ian Koniak:

do something, they're they're not ready for it you don't want

Ian Koniak:

it feels disgusting, it feels really icky. And that's kind of

Ian Koniak:

what I teach in my sales coaching is like how do you help

Ian Koniak:

people and shift this focus from pressuring someone to do

Ian Koniak:

something that helping them get what they want and understanding

Ian Koniak:

what they want and giving them a path to get what they want

Ian Koniak:

making it easy for them to do business with you by designing a

Ian Koniak:

really good experience that they can follow in purchasing and

Ian Koniak:

working with you. So this is all kind of coming together now with

Ian Koniak:

what I teach and when a coach it's been I'm the Dean of the

Ian Koniak:

enterprise sales school over at pavilion and you know, what I'm

Ian Koniak:

teaching has literally arose from years and years of doing it

Ian Koniak:

the wrong way. And then crossing the chasm and realizing, hey,

Ian Koniak:

this other way of doing it feels better clients respond better.

Ian Koniak:

And by the way, my income tripled. I went from averaging

Ian Koniak:

around $250,000 a year which is certainly no chump change. It's

Ian Koniak:

pretty good in sales to averaging around 750 My last few

Ian Koniak:

years of Salesforce so this way of selling not only did wonders

Ian Koniak:

for the client, but actually, it did wonders for my family and my

Ian Koniak:

income and enabled me to retire from sales at 43 to go pursue my

Ian Koniak:

dream, and now help people full time, which I don't think I

Ian Koniak:

would have been able to do had I not had the financial security

Ian Koniak:

to take that risk and to actually, you know, say goodbye

Ian Koniak:

to what was very stable and what I've gotten very good at. So I

Ian Koniak:

just feel like every salesperson listening needs to make that

Ian Koniak:

shift, that is the biggest shift you can make is to put your ego

Ian Koniak:

at the door to humble yourself, and to actually become an empty

Ian Koniak:

vessel is what I like to use, like air, an empty vessel,

Ian Koniak:

you're nothing let God shine through you let your skills,

Ian Koniak:

your experience or knowledge, let love shine through you on to

Ian Koniak:

the people you're meeting with. And it'll come out naturally,

Ian Koniak:

because you care, you're empathetic. So when you make it

Ian Koniak:

about your agenda, you're trying to impress people, the best way

Ian Koniak:

to impress people is to stop trying to impress, okay, you

Ian Koniak:

leave the best impression when you're not trying to be

Ian Koniak:

impressed them. You're just trying to learn and ask

Ian Koniak:

questions and actually be curious, okay, another way to

Ian Koniak:

say this is, if you want to be interesting to others, you need

Ian Koniak:

to be interested in others. And that's the people skills which

Ian Koniak:

the world needs in, especially the sales world needs, is just

Ian Koniak:

stop making it about you and your company, and your products

Ian Koniak:

and your services, and your demos and your bullshit and make

Ian Koniak:

it about understanding your customers and what their world

Ian Koniak:

looks like and figure out how you can help them. And if you

Ian Koniak:

can help them great, the sales gonna come naturally, if you

Ian Koniak:

can't, you know what, you're just gonna save a lot of time

Ian Koniak:

pushing them to something they don't want to do. So that's

Ian Koniak:

really in a nutshell, what I think is how to become an elite

Ian Koniak:

seller. And that's how I got there myself is by making that

Ian Koniak:

shift.

Wesleyne Greer:

That's amazing. A few of the things that I kind

Wesleyne Greer:

of want to highlight from what you said is, there's nothing

Wesleyne Greer:

like hitting your quota three months before the fiscal year

Wesleyne Greer:

ending, and you're just cruise control. And having being able

Wesleyne Greer:

to make that systematize, where year after year, you're like

Wesleyne Greer:

three months. And it's like, yeah, okay, I'm done anything

Wesleyne Greer:

else is just gravy, and really stepping out of yourself and

Wesleyne Greer:

realizing that no one cares about you, I'd love to say that

Wesleyne Greer:

nobody actually cares about you, your mom, your dad, your spouse,

Wesleyne Greer:

your kids, they care about you, but your customers actually

Wesleyne Greer:

don't care about you or the product that you're selling. It

Wesleyne Greer:

is all about them when you're talking to them. And they know

Wesleyne Greer:

if you're into them, or if you're just trying to get

Wesleyne Greer:

information to sell them. So really the thing that I like to

Wesleyne Greer:

sum up what you say is serve, don't sell, right, find a way to

Wesleyne Greer:

serve each and every customer, each and every prospect don't

Wesleyne Greer:

sell. So you mentioned this paradigm shift the way that

Wesleyne Greer:

enterprise sellers really need to change the way that they sell

Wesleyne Greer:

the things that they say when they're out there in the field,

Wesleyne Greer:

give us two or three things that you could help someone who was

Wesleyne Greer:

on that bubble, they are struggling, they don't know what

Wesleyne Greer:

to do, how to do when to push forward? What are some of the

Wesleyne Greer:

two or three things that you would tell them to start today?

Ian Koniak:

Well, what I did when I made this shift, like in

Ian Koniak:

terms of actionable items is there's an old Paret it's called

Ian Koniak:he Pareto principle. It's the:Ian Koniak:

for. And it says that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of

Ian Koniak:

your clients. And so what I did is I picked my top 20%. So I had

Ian Koniak:

a list of maybe it this time, it's interesting, after it

Ian Koniak:

became number one at Salesforce, then I got promoted, I went to

Ian Koniak:

the enterprise select Group, and I ended up going from commercial

Ian Koniak:

back to enterprise. So it's funny how that worked out. But

Ian Koniak:fundamentally, the:Ian Koniak:

accounts and you need to focus there, a lot of people are

Ian Koniak:

spending a lot of time on smaller opportunities, what I

Ian Koniak:

did is I spent a lot more time on fewer opportunities, but they

Ian Koniak:

were larger in nature. So that's the first thing is you know,

Ian Koniak:

pick your your 20%. So if you have an account list of 10, pick

Ian Koniak:

your top two that you're gonna go all in at, if you have a list

Ian Koniak:

of 50, pick your top 10 accounts, right so that

Ian Koniak:

segmentation and focus is number one. Number two is within those

Ian Koniak:

accounts, you want to heavily research two components of

Ian Koniak:

research that I do. Number one is account research. So

Ian Koniak:

understanding what they sell, how they make money, what's

Ian Koniak:

happening in their business, looking at the news, looking at

Ian Koniak:

their marketing, become a customer if you have any b2b to

Ian Koniak:

see or b2c customers actually go to their stores or buy their

Ian Koniak:

products or go online or sign up for their newsletters or go on

Ian Koniak:

their website and play around or go to their portal like whatever

Ian Koniak:

you can do to go through the customer experience. So you can

Ian Koniak:

have a very specific point of view on how you can help that

Ian Koniak:

customer based on the research you're done. Do that right?

Ian Koniak:

Again, that requires caring that requires patience that requires

Ian Koniak:

a deep dive deep work is what my good friend Brandon foolhardy

Ian Koniak:

calls it doing deep work on the account. Okay, that's the second

Ian Koniak:

thing you can do in terms of research. And then there's the

Ian Koniak:

individual research so once you've researched the account

Ian Koniak:

what they do, then you want to research the people in the

Ian Koniak:

account because ultimately, it's people who ended up sponsoring

Ian Koniak:

your product or service and buying people that are the

Ian Koniak:

champions of the cause that you're helping them with. So you

Ian Koniak:

need to find out who are the key people in those accounts and

Ian Koniak:

specifically who are the key executives in the accounts to go

Ian Koniak:

after a lot of salespeople are afraid to go after senior

Ian Koniak:

executives, they have imposter syndrome. They don't think they

Ian Koniak:

can add value. What I did is I said, You know what I gotta get

Ian Koniak:

over. It's not about me executives are the ones who

Ian Koniak:

stand to gain or lose the most from the current situation. So I

Ian Koniak:

need to be talking to the executives who can make

Ian Koniak:

decisions, power compresses, deal cycles. So map out the key

Ian Koniak:

executives in the departments that you actually can impact or

Ian Koniak:

sell to, and then do the research on them. Look at what

Ian Koniak:

news have they been on? Have they been on podcasts? Have they

Ian Koniak:

done videos before? Have they gone to keynotes and given

Ian Koniak:

speeches and literally take the time to listen to those

Ian Koniak:

podcasts, watch what they're saying. And then pull out data

Ian Koniak:

points of what they're sharing that you can use specifically

Ian Koniak:

for prospecting, Hey, I saw you from this conference, you said

Ian Koniak:

X, Y, and Z, I believe we can help you with X, Y, and Z would

Ian Koniak:

you be open to meeting right? When you send that kind of

Ian Koniak:

message to an executive it stands out versus every generic

Ian Koniak:

sequence that they get from every other salesperson. And

Ian Koniak:

then you have to be very diligent and following up

Ian Koniak:

because executives are busy. Even if you have the perfect

Ian Koniak:

message, it still takes on average eight to 12 touch points

Ian Koniak:

before you book a meeting with an executive. So you need to

Ian Koniak:

continue to follow up and be organized. And then the last

Ian Koniak:

thing that I would say you can do so again, segment your

Ian Koniak:

accounts, do research on the accounts and the people within

Ian Koniak:

them, start targeting and personalize your prospecting.

Ian Koniak:

And the last thing I'd say you need to do is go get help

Ian Koniak:

actually, if you failed on your own, and you're trying to do it

Ian Koniak:

on your own, go get help and frickin fork out some money. I'm

Ian Koniak:

not talking about just watching free YouTube videos or watching

Ian Koniak:

free podcasts. Because if you've already been doing that, and

Ian Koniak:

you're not getting the results, okay, then it's not enough, go

Ian Koniak:

get help from a mentor or a coach or join a mastermind or a

Ian Koniak:

program that can actually give you hands on guidance and

Ian Koniak:

support and coaching to get you to that next level. You cannot

Ian Koniak:

do it alone. If you could, you already would have done it on

Ian Koniak:

your own. So humble yourself and realize like what you're doing

Ian Koniak:

isn't working in that accountability and having that

Ian Koniak:

mentorship and knowing learning from someone who's already been

Ian Koniak:

on that path is the fastest path to success modeling once they

Ian Koniak:

learn to model other people. And I've done that in my coaching

Ian Koniak:

business, I modeled the top coaches that model the top

Ian Koniak:

solopreneurs my coaching business has been on fire. So

Ian Koniak:

fundamentally, I am a firm believer of learning from the

Ian Koniak:

best in skipping the learning curves. Why pay tuition if you

Ian Koniak:

don't have to, and someone's already paid the tuition for you

Ian Koniak:

so forth, got some money, the best investment you can make is

Ian Koniak:

in yourself. Jim Rohn says if you invest in a job, you can

Ian Koniak:

make a living. If you invest in yourself, you'll make a fortune.

Ian Koniak:

And that's been my personal experience. I've never stopped

Ian Koniak:

investing myself, whether it's with you know, the sales

Ian Koniak:

training or whether it's with the addiction recovery, having a

Ian Koniak:

sponsor and having therapy or whether it's with my coaching

Ian Koniak:

business, having mentors and being part of coaching

Ian Koniak:

masterminds, I've continued to invest in myself, you know, for

Ian Koniak:

the past five plus years, and it's reaped amazing dividends.

Ian Koniak:

So that's the third thing people can do is find somebody that you

Ian Koniak:

can learn from that you can get support from and sign up for the

Ian Koniak:

program. There's a plethora of whether it's me or whether it's

Ian Koniak:

someone else's a plethora of resources for sales, coaching,

Ian Koniak:

and sales support, and go learn from people who've done it. So

Ian Koniak:

you don't have to go pay the tuition.

Wesleyne Greer:

Wow, you just gave us a whole masterclass mini

Wesleyne Greer:

MBA on what to do if you are a salesperson that is not

Wesleyne Greer:

currently hitting quota achieving goals. And you know, I

Wesleyne Greer:

would say even if you're right at the bubble, you're like

Wesleyne Greer:

barely squeezing in at the end of the each month or the end of

Wesleyne Greer:

each year, there's room for you to grow. And what I really got

Wesleyne Greer:

from you is that it's really all about doing the deep hard work,

Wesleyne Greer:

figuring out your top clients, understanding who they are, what

Wesleyne Greer:

they do all these things that are behind the scenes, and then

Wesleyne Greer:

investing in yourself. And so if you really are serious about

Wesleyne Greer:

becoming that top salesperson and I always like to say when I

Wesleyne Greer:

talk to sales leaders, because you know, I like to talk to the

Wesleyne Greer:

leaders that are causing the salespeople to do all these

Wesleyne Greer:

things. I tell the leaders that your goal should be every single

Wesleyne Greer:

person on the team should be hitting quota every single

Wesleyne Greer:

month. It's not just looking at it the end of the year. But if

Wesleyne Greer:

you're not hitting quota, at least 10 months out of 12 then

Wesleyne Greer:

there is room for you to grow. And there are resources there

Wesleyne Greer:

are things that you can do to actually get better. So I am

Wesleyne Greer:

curious, do you have a way that people can get in touch with you

Wesleyne Greer:

or an offer or something they can do if they want to know

Wesleyne Greer:

more? Yeah,

Ian Koniak:

there's so many resources I have for the sales

Ian Koniak:

community. The first resources is my LinkedIn I post every day

Ian Koniak:

follow me on LinkedIn if you want send me a DM the second

Ian Koniak:

resource is my newsletter. And if you send me a LinkedIn

Ian Koniak:

request connection request or a DM I'll get you the link to that

Ian Koniak:

but it's just untap your sales potential.com/newsletter Again,

Ian Koniak:

untapped your sales potential.com/newsletter That's

Ian Koniak:

the second resource. The third resource is my YouTube channel.

Ian Koniak:

It's just the in Kodiak YouTube. If you Google me you'll see that

Ian Koniak:

resource in the fourth resource is my mastermind class my

Ian Koniak:

coaching program, which is a group of elite sales performers.

Ian Koniak:

It's been sold out since it's in reception, I will be opening up

Ian Koniak:

spots in December again for my next cohort, and there is a

Ian Koniak:waitlist of over:Ian Koniak:

serve waitlist. So if I blast it out to the entire waitlist, and

Ian Koniak:

whoever signs up first is the one who gets in the program. So

Ian Koniak:

it's limited to 100 spots. And we'll be opening in December and

Ian Koniak:

the link for that is untapped your sales

Ian Koniak:

potential.com/waitlist. If you're not ready to go on the

Ian Koniak:

waitlist yet, just go on on top your sales potential.com. And

Ian Koniak:

you can read all about the program. And what's included.

Ian Koniak:

It's a one year membership, where you get coaching

Ian Koniak:

mentorship and part of a community with me leading every

Ian Koniak:

single week and even private one on one calls with me where I can

Ian Koniak:

help you through your deals or whatever personal challenges

Ian Koniak:

that you're trying to face, whether it's habits mindsets, or

Ian Koniak:

just trying to break through that chasm that I talked about

Ian Koniak:

and become your your best self. That's what I do for a living

Ian Koniak:

now. And it's a great source of joy and fulfillment to help

Ian Koniak:

others get to their elite level performance. So that's how you

Ian Koniak:

can get a hold of me and I look forward to serving you at the

Ian Koniak:

highest level.

Wesleyne Greer:

Awesome. And all those links will be in the show

Wesleyne Greer:

notes, guys. So you can click on them as you're listening as

Wesleyne Greer:

we're wrapping up this time where we have gotten a complete

Wesleyne Greer:

masterclass on how to go from being ordinary to extraordinary

Wesleyne Greer:

and enterprise sales. And so I thank you so much for your time,

Wesleyne Greer:

your talent and your expertise today. And you shared all the

Wesleyne Greer:

ways that people can get in contact with you as we wrap up

Wesleyne Greer:

this episode. What are the last words or the last thing you want

Wesleyne Greer:

to leave with the listener, I'm going to

Ian Koniak:

steal a line from the great Zig Ziglar. And he

Ian Koniak:

says, If you help enough people get what they want, you will

Ian Koniak:

always get what you want. So focus on understanding what

Ian Koniak:

people want what your customers want, and show them how you can

Ian Koniak:

help them get it and you will watch your results in your life

Ian Koniak:

transform.

Wesleyne Greer:

That is amazing. And you ended it with the best

Wesleyne Greer:

word transform. Thank you so much. This has been an amazing

Wesleyne Greer:

episode. I've learned a lot from you. And I know that my

Wesleyne Greer:

listeners have had a rich experience. And so that was

Wesleyne Greer:

another episode of the transform sales podcast. Remember in all

Wesleyne Greer:

that you do and every day try to get one person better so that

Wesleyne Greer:

you can transform your sales until next time

Get Your FREE GUIDE to A Build High-Performance Sales Team at https://go.transformedsales.com/p3

Highlights

  • [01:13] – Becoming the number one elite enterprise sales director at Salesforce.
  • [05:26] – From selling $10,000 copiers to being a more strategic salesperson.
  • [09:45] – Mastering your message and the skills you need to sell change.
  • [12:33] – Selling is helping: Why you must be an outward-focused salesperson.
  • [16:17] – Underperforming for 3 years and how investing in himself changed everything.
  • [21:59] – Why you must adopt a no-pressure sales strategy.
  • [27:28] – How to be a more successful enterprise seller.

In this episode of the Transformed Sales Podcast, I chatted with Ian Koniak, the Founder and President of Ian Koniak Sales Coaching, Inc. He’s a sales coach, sales trainer, and keynote speaker. He helps B2B account executives perform to their full potential and crush their quotas by mastering the mindset, habits, and skills needed to perform at the highest level. As the former number one AE at Salesforce, his program is built by an AE for AE’s based on what works. 

Prior to starting his own business, he worked in B2B technology sales for 19 years at F500 tech companies as an individual contributor, sales manager, and director of sales, with over 100M in career sales and numerous finishes at number one nationally, including finishing number one in the US Enterprise Select Division of Salesforce. Most recently, he worked as a strategic account director for the enterprise west sales team at Salesforce where he partnered with their largest customers to help them drive growth, innovation, and success on the Salesforce platform. 

At Ricoh, he led a team of 10 sales managers and 70 reps responsible for 60M annual revenue across hardware, software, and services. After a near-death experience, he started his coaching business to serve others and help them achieve incredible success by mastering the mindset, habits, and skills needed to perform at the highest level. Ian will share why you should transition from transactional to strategic selling, the qualities of top-performing sellers, how to sell big deals to big accounts, how he became the king of enterprise sales, why investing in yourself is critical, and so much more. So don’t miss out.

Quotes

“The selling motion of selling change is much different than the selling motion of selling cost savings for products that are already being used” – Ian Koniak

“Selling is helping” – Ian Koniak

“You have to make that transition from an inward-focused salesperson to an outward-focused salesperson who cares more about helping your clients get the results that they want” – Ian Koniak

Learn More About Ian Koniak in the Links Below:

Connect with Wesleyne Greer:

  • Wesleyne’s Website – https://transformedsales.com/
  • Wesleyne on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/wesleynegreer/
  • Wesleyne on Facebook – https://web.facebook.com/wesleynegreer
  • Wesleyne on Twitter – https://twitter.com/wesleynegreer
  • Email Her at WGreer@TransformedSales.com
Transcript
Wesleyne Greer:

Hello and welcome to another episode of

Wesleyne Greer:

the transform sales podcast today I am so excited to have

Wesleyne Greer:

Ian koniec How are you Ian?

Ian Koniak:

I am doing great. How are you doing? Wesleyne

Wesleyne Greer:

I am doing fantabulous. I am so excited to

Wesleyne Greer:

chat with you today. Let me tell you guys a little bit more about

Wesleyne Greer:

Mr. Konya. How about that he is one of the strongest b2b sales

Wesleyne Greer:

leaders in the world and a highly sought after elite sales

Wesleyne Greer:

coach. His accolades include being the number one sales

Wesleyne Greer:

performance at Fortune 500 companies and the number one

Wesleyne Greer:

strategic account executive and the enterprise select division

Wesleyne Greer:

at Salesforce. He shares his insights as a sales thought

Wesleyne Greer:

leader in keynote speeches, webinars, training sessions and

Wesleyne Greer:

podcasts. His sales success is rivaled only by his ability to

Wesleyne Greer:

help others untapped their true potential, his elite coaching

Wesleyne Greer:

service, Ian koniec, sales coaching is successful is so

Wesleyne Greer:

successful that he has stepped away as strategic account

Wesleyne Greer:

director at Salesforce. So run his business full time. Wow, it

Wesleyne Greer:

is definitely a labor of love to have your own business. But I'm

Wesleyne Greer:

curious how did you become the number one elite enterprise

Wesleyne Greer:

sales director and transition into starting your own business?

Ian Koniak:

Well, I became the number one sales director at

Ian Koniak:

Salesforce after actually having some pretty big failures, I miss

Ian Koniak:

my quota three years in a row before becoming number one. So

Ian Koniak:

I'll take a step back and just kind of tell you how I got

Ian Koniak:

there. So I was always very, very good at what I would refer

Ian Koniak:

to as transactional selling. So think of transactional selling

Ian Koniak:

as the grind, do a lot of activity, a lot of cold going a

Ian Koniak:

lot of prospecting, show up, outwork everyone and get

Ian Koniak:

consistent results. In fact, I was the number one global sales

Ian Koniak:

rep and sales director at my prior company, Rico, where I hit

Ian Koniak:

42 months in a row quota, I would outwork everyone period, I

Ian Koniak:

would show up and you know, consider myself pretty

Ian Koniak:

personable, and generally just figured it out. And that worked

Ian Koniak:

great for my first 10 years of my career, then I go to

Ian Koniak:

Salesforce, and the environments very different. Now I'm selling

Ian Koniak:

software, and I'm selling to large enterprises. So I thought

Ian Koniak:

I can go out and outwork and hustle everyone else. And I took

Ian Koniak:

that same approach that it served me my whole career into

Ian Koniak:

software sales, and it didn't exactly work out. So I did end

Ian Koniak:

up hitting my quota. My first year, I got lucky, I found a big

Ian Koniak:

deal after 15 emails to the CIO. And here I am thinking like, I'm

Ian Koniak:

God's gift to the sales world, because now I have 11 years in a

Ian Koniak:

row of quota attainment, including going to the

Ian Koniak:

enterprise division at Salesforce, I got Rookie of the

Ian Koniak:

Year. And then I bombed for three years in a row. So I

Ian Koniak:

literally was out working out hustling everyone, and I was

Ian Koniak:

missing my targets. And so I took a step back. And I said,

Ian Koniak:

Well, maybe the approach of grinding and hustling is not

Ian Koniak:

actually effective when selling software. And I ended up getting

Ian Koniak:

really humbled. And really, my whole entire ego took a massive

Ian Koniak:

hit, because I had always prided myself on my performance. And I

Ian Koniak:

had been a top performer my whole career. So to go from this

Ian Koniak:

high performer to now somebody who misses not one, not two, but

Ian Koniak:

three years in a row, my whole world really crumbled. Honestly,

Ian Koniak:

it led to a lot of like, self doubt, and a lot of beating

Ian Koniak:

myself up over this. And so I decided to take a step back, and

Ian Koniak:

I did what any smart person would do if they fail on their

Ian Koniak:

own, which is go seek help and learn from others who are the

Ian Koniak:

most successful. So for me, it meant investing, you know, over

Ian Koniak:

$20,000, even though I wasn't doing great at that time, I

Ian Koniak:

found the money to go and invest in a sales mastermind, a sales

Ian Koniak:

program geared at helping elite sales performance get to their

Ian Koniak:

highest possible potential, I hired a sales coach. And I just

Ian Koniak:

took a step back. And I said, maybe what I thought I knew is

Ian Koniak:

not actually the way and I spent a year really investing in

Ian Koniak:

myself and learning what was needed to sell enterprise deals

Ian Koniak:

at the level of elite performers. And that was the

Ian Koniak:

year where I finished number one at Salesforce. And then every

Ian Koniak:

year after that I made the club I cracked seven figures and

Ian Koniak:

sales and generally just had this remarkable transformation

Ian Koniak:

in my professional life and in my personal life that started

Ian Koniak:

with personal development, and humbling myself. So I think

Ian Koniak:

that's the real answer is how I got there. And then that evolved

Ian Koniak:

into more of a calling of, okay, if I can do this, I need to help

Ian Koniak:

other people do it. Because I'm a normal average guy. If I can

Ian Koniak:

get to the elite performer level, I don't want other people

Ian Koniak:

to go through the mistakes that I made of missing their quota

Ian Koniak:

three years in a row and more importantly, the mistake of

Ian Koniak:

putting all their self worth in their performance and feeling

Ian Koniak:

like a failure dealing with all the struggles that I had during

Ian Koniak:

that period. I want people to learn the actual way to get to

Ian Koniak:

the top that's healthy that's abundant that's aligned that's

Ian Koniak:

why I like to name your your podcast when we talk about

Ian Koniak:

transform sales and and that's what I had to do myself is

Ian Koniak:

transformed the way I sold and once I did that, and I saw the

Ian Koniak:

results. The next logical step was to help others do that

Ian Koniak:

because life is short. And if you're only working for yourself

Ian Koniak:

and you're only serving yourself, you're not fulfilling

Ian Koniak:

your mission on the To planet. And so for me that was very deep

Ian Koniak:

and personal and spiritual in nature decided to leave that

Ian Koniak:

business and serve others for living through my coaching

Ian Koniak:

business.

Wesleyne Greer:

Wow, you really embodied one of the things that

Wesleyne Greer:

I speak so emphatically about. And it's that someone helped you

Wesleyne Greer:

to get to where you are today. So you should reach back and

Wesleyne Greer:

help somebody else up. And it sounds like in everything that

Wesleyne Greer:

you're doing in your coaching business, like you're really

Wesleyne Greer:

doing that. But I want to rewind a little bit. And I want to talk

Wesleyne Greer:

about that transition from the first place that you left as a

Wesleyne Greer:

superstar salesperson going into Salesforce. So what are some of

Wesleyne Greer:

the things that you did in your first company and tell us a

Wesleyne Greer:

little bit more about what that actual product that service that

Wesleyne Greer:

you were selling was? And how did that not translate into this

Wesleyne Greer:

new role?

Ian Koniak:

Well, I was doing copier sales. So I sold

Ian Koniak:

multifunction devices, they weren't like desktop printers

Ian Koniak:

that you would buy at Staples, these were $10,000 copiers, and,

Ian Koniak:

you know, very high level, but ultimately, it was a commodity.

Ian Koniak:

Right. So for copiers, everyone's got him in their

Ian Koniak:

office. And what I would do really simple as I lead with

Ian Koniak:

price, and I'd go in and I'd say, hey, most likely, you're

Ian Koniak:

spending a lot of money on lease agreements for these copiers on

Ian Koniak:

toners. On printers, we can save you typically 10 to 20% of your

Ian Koniak:

printing costs. And I would target the CFO. And you know, I

Ian Koniak:

was very good at that. And I said, you know, you don't need

Ian Koniak:

to be paying this money for printing, we have a better way

Ian Koniak:

to help the environment, better way to reduce your energy and

Ian Koniak:

better way to reduce the number of devices you have through

Ian Koniak:

these multifunction devices. So I would go around and basically

Ian Koniak:

assess what they were using and what the costs were. And if I

Ian Koniak:

could help them great I would and if I couldn't, you know that

Ian Koniak:

I would walk away and it was a very repeatable process, it was

Ian Koniak:

a repeatable talk track, it was very easy, because everybody had

Ian Koniak:

printers, copiers, scanners, faxes, you name it, they had it.

Ian Koniak:

And I would just consolidate those and provide all the

Ian Koniak:

supplies and maintenance and it was a very, I would say

Ian Koniak:

financially driven business case driven sale. But that

Ian Koniak:

necessarily didn't change the way they worked, right. They're

Ian Koniak:

using these devices and whether they say Xerox on them, or

Ian Koniak:

whether they say Rico on them, which is the company I worked

Ian Koniak:

for, didn't really matter, maybe they'd have to learn the new

Ian Koniak:

interface. But there wasn't much change management, there wasn't

Ian Koniak:

much training, there wasn't much they had to do, it wasn't a

Ian Koniak:

disrupter to the business. Whereas when I went to

Ian Koniak:

Salesforce, you're talking if you sell any type of software,

Ian Koniak:

you are literally disrupting how they work. Any software exists

Ian Koniak:

to automate manual processes or to improve collaboration or

Ian Koniak:

create reports or better visibility, any software is

Ian Koniak:

going to take work they're doing manually are doing in multiple

Ian Koniak:

systems and create a streamlined, automated way of

Ian Koniak:

doing those things easier and faster. But that's going to

Ian Koniak:

require change, that's going to require them to actually have to

Ian Koniak:

rework their existing processes, it's going to have data

Ian Koniak:

migration, it's going to have to require some support from the

Ian Koniak:

users and from the stakeholders, it's going to need a business

Ian Koniak:

case. So it's a lot more strategic in nature, because

Ian Koniak:

you're changing how they work and the nature of what they're

Ian Koniak:

doing. And people are naturally resistant to change. Okay, so

Ian Koniak:

the selling motion of selling change is much different than

Ian Koniak:

the selling motion of selling cost savings for a commodity

Ian Koniak:

that they already are using anyway. So it didn't translate

Ian Koniak:

very well. What did translate is my work ethic and my

Ian Koniak:

determination to help my customers, but it didn't

Ian Koniak:

translate to the actual stakeholder management and

Ian Koniak:

needing consensus on a purchase and having to really understand

Ian Koniak:

how they're doing things today in more detail. So they can show

Ian Koniak:

them how they can do it in Salesforce, it was just a lot

Ian Koniak:

more of a longer sales cycle and more strategic in nature. So

Ian Koniak:

that's the transition that I was never trained to make. And I had

Ian Koniak:

to kind of figure out on my own through the years,

Wesleyne Greer:

and you really talked about that perfectly,

Wesleyne Greer:

because a lot of times people come from selling a physical

Wesleyne Greer:

product, you can see touch, feel and going to selling services or

Wesleyne Greer:

something unsexual. And in your previous position, it was like,

Wesleyne Greer:

here's money you can save in your pocket that you can

Wesleyne Greer:

reinvest, I can show you an ROI calculator, I can give you a

Wesleyne Greer:

beautiful report. But when you go to selling the software as a

Wesleyne Greer:

service, and it is very different than what people have

Wesleyne Greer:

done, and one changes are at one of the things I like to say is

Wesleyne Greer:

do you drive home the same way every day, people who work in

Wesleyne Greer:

office, do you drive home the same way every day? And some

Wesleyne Greer:

people say, Yeah, I absolutely do. And other people say no, I

Wesleyne Greer:

don't like to use a brand names on my podcast. But I use this

Wesleyne Greer:

magical app that always tells me a different way to go home. I

Wesleyne Greer:

was like, Yep, I'm one of those people too, right? And so the

Wesleyne Greer:

thing is, it's like, Who are you talking to? And most times when

Wesleyne Greer:

you're talking to these decision makers, they've been doing

Wesleyne Greer:

something the right way. And it's hard, but they don't

Wesleyne Greer:

realize how hard it is or how much time they're wasting and so

Wesleyne Greer:

for you to get them to try something new, even though it's

Wesleyne Greer:

gonna save them time. It actually does save them money

Wesleyne Greer:

too. It's such a hard thing to convince.

Ian Koniak:

Yeah. 100% it's changed, right? It's selling

Ian Koniak:

change. It's selling a future vision. So you know, in order

Ian Koniak:

for you to sell change. There's a set of skills that you need.

Ian Koniak:

There's a set of you have to get people to admit they're in pain,

Ian Koniak:

you have to get really extract the pain from them. You have to

Ian Koniak:

get them to realize that they have a problem that they might

Ian Koniak:

not even be aware of. So that requires educating that requires

Ian Koniak:

educating and becoming a thought leader in the space and really

Ian Koniak:

becoming a master of the problems that you solve, why

Ian Koniak:

their problems and being able to teach them something new about

Ian Koniak:

their business or their way of working that they don't already

Ian Koniak:

know. Because if you say, Hey, how are you doing things today?

Ian Koniak:

And they say, here's how I'm doing it. And you can

Ian Koniak:

intelligently say, You know what, you could be doing it this

Ian Koniak:

way. And here's why it makes sense. And here's how much time

Ian Koniak:

it can saves you. How do you feel about that, if you can

Ian Koniak:

explain that in a way that's compelling, and that, you know,

Ian Koniak:

is naturally where they can object to it. Most people are

Ian Koniak:

gonna say, Yeah, of course, that makes sense, I didn't realize

Ian Koniak:

there was a better way of doing things. So that's the job is to

Ian Koniak:

educate them without calling their baby ugly, without telling

Ian Koniak:

them that you know how they're doing things completely ass

Ian Koniak:

backwards, you can do it in a way that's very professional and

Ian Koniak:

polished. And that's something that I teach my clients how to

Ian Koniak:

do it. It's called Mastering your message. But it begins with

Ian Koniak:

really knowing about the problems you solve, and really

Ian Koniak:

knowing how to develop questions that extract not if they have a

Ian Koniak:

problem, but extract what their current situation is. So you can

Ian Koniak:

then tell them, here's why this is a problem. I'm not sure if

Ian Koniak:

you've ever thought about this, or you know, consider doing it

Ian Koniak:

another way. But if you do, you can actually save this much time

Ian Koniak:

to reinvest in these key areas, because most likely the things

Ian Koniak:

that your software or your services are going to help

Ian Koniak:

improve are things that they don't necessarily enjoy doing

Ian Koniak:

their administrative tasks, there's tedious manual

Ian Koniak:

processes, there's back and forth, no one loves doing that

Ian Koniak:

stuff. So if you can automate some of that, usually it makes

Ian Koniak:

people's lives easier, it makes their stress go down. So that's

Ian Koniak:

the kind of conversation you want to be having with decision

Ian Koniak:

makers that actually want to save time and want to improve

Ian Koniak:

the quality of their work every day. So yeah, it's a totally

Ian Koniak:

different skill set,

Wesleyne Greer:

the thing that so many salespeople don't get.

Wesleyne Greer:

And when I'm talking to teams, I'm like, You need to get your

Wesleyne Greer:

product out of your head, you need to step into the buyers

Wesleyne Greer:

world, right? So what are the challenges and that's exactly

Wesleyne Greer:

what you're talking about what is the actual challenges that

Wesleyne Greer:

they are having every single day that is making their life hard.

Wesleyne Greer:

And sometimes you'll find those challenges are not actually

Wesleyne Greer:

something that your software can solve today. Sometimes they have

Wesleyne Greer:

so many more roadblocks before they can even conceptualize

Wesleyne Greer:

whatever your product or service needs to do. And your job is to

Wesleyne Greer:

help them say, hey, you know what, I have a partner, I have a

Wesleyne Greer:

company I work with, I know someone who can actually help

Wesleyne Greer:

you with XYZ, and what are they going to do? They're probably 70

Wesleyne Greer:

to 80% of the time, they're going to come back to you once

Wesleyne Greer:

that problem has been resolved and be like, Okay, thank you so

Wesleyne Greer:

much for helping me solve that. Now. Can we talk about something

Wesleyne Greer:

else? Yeah,

Ian Koniak:

I mean, selling is helping, selling is helping?

Ian Koniak:

Absolutely. Period. Here's the problem with sales. And I've

Ian Koniak:

been thinking about a lot of this Wesleyne sales, a very

Ian Koniak:

inward, me focused industry, business, it's very much about

Ian Koniak:

my income, my quota attainment, my goal is my position on the

Ian Koniak:

leader board, my recognition status, it's very much in the

Ian Koniak:

ego driven, selfish, driven sales industry. And the reality

Ian Koniak:

is that that can get you really far in a place where hustle and

Ian Koniak:

grind and hard work is rewarded. And you could get the

Ian Koniak:

recognition of those accolades from outworking everyone. And

Ian Koniak:

you know, it could be celebrated. But when you're

Ian Koniak:

selling a software, or service or anything strategic in nature,

Ian Koniak:

the best salespeople, the highest successful salespeople

Ian Koniak:

are the ones that actually leave their ego at the door. And they

Ian Koniak:

realize, hey, it's not about me, it's about my customers in the

Ian Koniak:

qualities that make a very, and I'm talking about the titans of

Ian Koniak:

software, I'm talking about the elite, seven figure earners that

Ian Koniak:

are making millions of dollars, more than business owners more

Ian Koniak:

than doctors and lawyers and accountants selling software. I

Ian Koniak:

know several people who have made north of a million dollars

Ian Koniak:

a year in the way they sell is very differently. So the

Ian Koniak:

qualities are not the grinder the qualities are not the person

Ian Koniak:

that's just hustling and focused on their own commission and

Ian Koniak:

their own goals. What those sellers are doing differently is

Ian Koniak:

they're actually focusing on the customer outcomes and the

Ian Koniak:

customer problems. And in order to really dig deep and

Ian Koniak:

understand what the customer is really going through, especially

Ian Koniak:

in a large enterprise where it's very complex. And maybe this is

Ian Koniak:

built over years or decades, in some cases of what's led to

Ian Koniak:

these problems or these pain points. It's not some easy

Ian Koniak:

thing. It's like an onion, you have to peel back. And there

Ian Koniak:

might be multiple reasons and systems, why things are the way

Ian Koniak:

they are. But in order to discover that you actually have

Ian Koniak:

to be curious, you actually have to be empathetic, you have to be

Ian Koniak:

very patient, you actually have to give a damn and care about

Ian Koniak:

your clients. Those qualities right are sometimes counter

Ian Koniak:

intuitive to the qualities which are rewarded or recognized when

Ian Koniak:

you get into the industry of sales. So you have to make that

Ian Koniak:

transition from an inward focused salesperson to an

Ian Koniak:

outward focus salesperson who cares more about helping your

Ian Koniak:

clients get the results they want, then you getting the

Ian Koniak:

results you want, especially if You sell in the enterprise, and

Ian Koniak:

you only have a few accounts that you're responsible for that

Ian Koniak:

are multibillion dollar accounts, which is what I manage

Ian Koniak:

at Salesforce as an account director. So it really does

Ian Koniak:

require leaving your ego at the door and actually shifting your

Ian Koniak:

focus to how you can help them. And when you do that, you get

Ian Koniak:

helped in multiple intervals, it comes back to you tenfold, when

Ian Koniak:

you just make it about others, everything you want more comes

Ian Koniak:

back to you when it comes to income, recognition,

Ian Koniak:

fulfillment, right? So that's the shift. That's the sales

Ian Koniak:

transformation I wanted to make is helping people get out of

Ian Koniak:

this me focus and make it about you focus in frankly, I think

Ian Koniak:

that's what God put us on this earth to do is to help other

Ian Koniak:

people and love other people in the sales industry doesn't

Ian Koniak:

always lend itself well to that. And it's so much pressure that

Ian Koniak:

we just, you know, we make it so much about ourselves. And that's

Ian Koniak:

the opposite of what's needed to really get the best results for

Ian Koniak:

your career. So that's kind of why I'm here. That's why I'm

Ian Koniak:

doing what I'm doing. Anyway,

Wesleyne Greer:

I love it. You mentioned that you had a three

Wesleyne Greer:

year period, if you didn't hit quota, and you decided to invest

Wesleyne Greer:

in yourself, a lot of times sales, people think, Well, I'm

Wesleyne Greer:

not hitting my quota, I'm not getting what I need for my

Wesleyne Greer:

company. So I'm just gonna find another job, they don't stop and

Wesleyne Greer:

say maybe I should take some kind of ownership of my own

Wesleyne Greer:

destiny, maybe I should kind of put some money behind it because

Wesleyne Greer:

it's going to pay dividends. So walk us through that three year

Wesleyne Greer:

period where you were really, you didn't know how to trust

Wesleyne Greer:

yourself, you felt like I don't know what I'm doing. And that

Wesleyne Greer:

decision you made to invest in your own development?

Ian Koniak:

Well, you know, like many salespeople that are

Ian Koniak:

underperforming, I tended to blame external circumstances,

Ian Koniak:

those first couple years. So the first year I didn't perform, I

Ian Koniak:

blamed my territory, I said, Well, this other reps have the

Ian Koniak:

top accounts, I was Rookie of the Year, my first year, why

Ian Koniak:

don't I get the top accounts, it was a very kind of resentful,

Ian Koniak:

bitter kind of period. And because those thoughts were

Ian Koniak:

going in my head, I actually didn't show up my best every

Ian Koniak:

day. And then I didn't perform. And in all fairness, I didn't

Ian Koniak:

have great accounts I didn't have I have, you know, six

Ian Koniak:

accounts. And I think two or three of them ended up going

Ian Koniak:

bankrupt. So there was some territory considerations. But I

Ian Koniak:

also had a boss that generally saw me as a number he didn't, I

Ian Koniak:

didn't feel like he cared about me as a person, I was just

Ian Koniak:

someone who helped him succeed, rather than someone who he

Ian Koniak:

wanted to make successful. That's how I felt, you know,

Ian Koniak:

we've all had bosses, at least some of us have had bosses like

Ian Koniak:

that, where you just feel like they care more about themselves

Ian Koniak:

than you. And that wasn't the good experience. So I blamed him

Ian Koniak:

a little bit, I blame my territory a little bit, then I

Ian Koniak:

missed the number. And then the second year, I was still working

Ian Koniak:

for that same boss, and I missed it again. And I had the same

Ian Koniak:

territory. And it was like, man, you know what, I gotta change

Ian Koniak:

teams, I gotta leave teams, I have to go to another division.

Ian Koniak:

And I have two choices, I can leave the company and I actually

Ian Koniak:

had a job offer from Microsoft. And because I felt so entitled,

Ian Koniak:

the job offer wasn't as high as someone else who I knew that

Ian Koniak:

went to Microsoft, and I turned it down. And I said, I'm just

Ian Koniak:

gonna stay at Salesforce and Change division. So I go to the

Ian Koniak:

commercial division of Salesforce, which instead of

Ian Koniak:

having, you know, 510 accounts, I had 50 accounts. So I'm like,

Ian Koniak:

I need more at bats. I'm a transactional guy, I'm going to

Ian Koniak:

sell great in the transactional world. And I just need a

Ian Koniak:

different boss in a different territory. So I switched

Ian Koniak:

territories, I was given an opportunity to transfer to the

Ian Koniak:

commercial team in that year, I said, I'm going to give

Ian Koniak:

everything I can and I tripled down on my hard work on my

Ian Koniak:

effort. I had a great boss had a great territory, I had all the

Ian Koniak:

opportunity in the world. And I was sitting at 95%, of quota

Ian Koniak:

going to the last day of the year, I was told that I was

Ian Koniak:

gonna get one deal in that all I had to do was to come by and

Ian Koniak:

pick up the paperwork in the office and went go pick up the

Ian Koniak:

paperwork from the President, she said, everything looks good,

Ian Koniak:

the CFO approved it, the CEO approved it, I just need to make

Ian Koniak:

one phone call. And she tells me to wait outside, she keeps me

Ian Koniak:

waiting outside for over an hour while she's on the phone

Ian Koniak:

speaking Chinese. And she comes back and she says in I'm sorry,

Ian Koniak:

but we can't do the deal today. Now, keep in mind, this was the

Ian Koniak:

last day of the fiscal year, okay. And I had everything

Ian Koniak:

riding on this, I changed teams, I changed territories, I done

Ian Koniak:

everything in my power to control my destiny. And now she

Ian Koniak:

tells me we can't do the deal. I said, why? What do you mean,

Ian Koniak:

everyone's approved it? And she said, Well, I talked to our

Ian Koniak:

parent company in China, and our CIO in China said they're doing

Ian Koniak:

something similar with CRM in China, they don't want us to

Ian Koniak:

sign off until we can compare what they're doing to what we're

Ian Koniak:

doing. And that's gonna take a few weeks, and so we can't sign

Ian Koniak:

the deal the last day of the year, and I said, that's

Ian Koniak:

garbage. Let me talk to the CIO. It's not the same week for six

Ian Koniak:

months, like let me talk to him and she gave me his phone

Ian Koniak:

number. She's like, Look, if you can convince the CIO to do it,

Ian Koniak:

then I'll sign you know, and I literally was in her office till

Ian Koniak:

like six or seven o'clock, waiting for her to come out and

Ian Koniak:

she finally kicked me out of the office. And she's like, I gotta

Ian Koniak:

go home, try and get the CIO on the phone can do and I was

Ian Koniak:

calling nothing. I was emailing nothing, and I kept calling till

Ian Koniak:

like 10 or 11. At night. Finally the guy picks up he's like, em,

Ian Koniak:

what is going on? I got your email, like, why do you want me?

Ian Koniak:

I said, this is the last day of our fiscal year. You have to

Ian Koniak:

sign this deal we've been working on six months, the deal

Ian Koniak:

goes away tomorrow, if you don't sign, you guys are gonna miss

Ian Koniak:

out, you got to do it. And he said in, I'm on vacation with my

Ian Koniak:

family. This is not how I work, I have to go collect. And that

Ian Koniak:

was my rock bottom. That was my rock bottom. I remember sitting

Ian Koniak:

in the mirror, staring at myself, it was home, I'll never

Ian Koniak:

forget it, I had a blistering headache, my head was throbbing,

Ian Koniak:

I looked at myself. And it was like an out of body experience.

Ian Koniak:

I couldn't even recognize myself in the mirror. And I just I was

Ian Koniak:

at such a low feeling of failure on that last fiscal year after

Ian Koniak:

I'd done everything to do that and still fallen short. At that

Ian Koniak:

point. I'm like, I don't know what I need to do. I don't know

Ian Koniak:

who I need to do. But I know that I can't do it on my own, I

Ian Koniak:

need to get help. And once you get to that point, and I'm in

Ian Koniak:

addiction recovery, I've been sober for two and a half years,

Ian Koniak:

and I have given up a lot of vices and a lot of things in my

Ian Koniak:

personal life that weren't serving me anymore with my

Ian Koniak:

family and with my job and anything. And so I know the

Ian Koniak:

importance of hitting that rock bottom, because I've had to do

Ian Koniak:

it in sales to get help, but also in my personal life with

Ian Koniak:

addiction to go get help. And when you hit that point where

Ian Koniak:

you are humbled and you say, You know what, my way is not the

Ian Koniak:

right way, my way is causing pain, my way is, you know, not

Ian Koniak:

sustainable, that's when you become receptive. And that's

Ian Koniak:

when the universe and God will invite people into your life to

Ian Koniak:

go help you. And that's when all the answers will appear. But you

Ian Koniak:

have to have a humble heart and a humble mind to be able to see

Ian Koniak:

and acknowledge and accept those things, those opportunities. And

Ian Koniak:

that's exactly what happened to me is right after that time, all

Ian Koniak:

these opportunities to get help started emerging. I learned

Ian Koniak:

about this program, I also got a mentor at Salesforce. And it

Ian Koniak:

just, you know, everything was happening to serve him to take

Ian Koniak:

me to this place where I could actually get better, if you

Ian Koniak:

will, in the sales world. And that was my story. So that's

Ian Koniak:

kind of the evolution of those three years, it was like from

Ian Koniak:

one thing, pointing the finger to another thing pointing the

Ian Koniak:

finger. And finally, I had to point the finger at myself. And

Ian Koniak:

that's when I actually got help.

Wesleyne Greer:

Wow, that story that was so impactful. I mean,

Wesleyne Greer:

when you really talk about hitting rock bottom, like

Wesleyne Greer:

literally being in somebody's office, thinking about me,

Wesleyne Greer:

myself, I got to hit this number, it's the end of our

Wesleyne Greer:

fiscal year, I don't care what you have going on, you're on

Wesleyne Greer:

vacation with the family that matters to me, not I gotta hit

Wesleyne Greer:

my number. And without you, I'm not gonna hit my number, and

Wesleyne Greer:

really having that realization, like, it's not all about me, I

Wesleyne Greer:

have to do something differently. And then in your

Wesleyne Greer:

personal life, even sharing your journey of your recovery, right,

Wesleyne Greer:

and I congratulate you on being two and a half years sober. That

Wesleyne Greer:

is an amazing accomplishment. But really, when you see all of

Wesleyne Greer:

those different bits and pieces, and all the different things you

Wesleyne Greer:

had to do to realize I must do something different.

Ian Koniak:

Yeah, you're right. And it's funny, you mentioned

Ian Koniak:

that, like, that's what you took away from that story. Because

Ian Koniak:

that was the thing that needed to change, that selling is all

Ian Koniak:

about me and closing deals and my quota and my trip, I mean,

Ian Koniak:

this deal would have put me on trip would have got me to like

Ian Koniak:

130%, it was a decent sized deal. I mean, I had everything

Ian Koniak:

riding on it, I did not care about the client. In fact, I was

Ian Koniak:

in that situation. And I told myself, never again, I will

Ian Koniak:

never be in a situation where I'm pressuring a client on

Ian Koniak:

January 31, to do a deal they're not ready for. So I can hit my

Ian Koniak:

number in the fiscal year, I need to be proactive, I need to

Ian Koniak:

get ahead of that I need to get my numbers Well, early before

Ian Koniak:

that. And so I don't have that pressure that I'm applying to my

Ian Koniak:

clients. And in fact, there was a deal earlier that month, where

Ian Koniak:

I put the same kind of pressure, and I lost it as well. So that

Ian Koniak:

forced me to put more pressure on the other clients. So

Ian Koniak:

pressure doesn't work when you put pressure on something that

Ian Koniak:

cracks and breaks. And that's exactly what happens to our

Ian Koniak:

clients. So my way of selling now is truly a no pressure

Ian Koniak:

selling like this is good for you. I'm here to help you. If

Ian Koniak:

you're not ready, and you don't want it. There's plenty of

Ian Koniak:

people that do want my help my time, my resources, my team. So

Ian Koniak:

it sounds like you're not a fit sounds like you don't want to

Ian Koniak:

change something you don't have a problem. I'm going to spend

Ian Koniak:

time elsewhere. Thank you for your time. Like that's exactly

Ian Koniak:

how I sell now. And when you're pressuring when it feels like

Ian Koniak:

you're pressuring when it feels like you're pushing somebody to

Ian Koniak:

do something, they're they're not ready for it you don't want

Ian Koniak:

it feels disgusting, it feels really icky. And that's kind of

Ian Koniak:

what I teach in my sales coaching is like how do you help

Ian Koniak:

people and shift this focus from pressuring someone to do

Ian Koniak:

something that helping them get what they want and understanding

Ian Koniak:

what they want and giving them a path to get what they want

Ian Koniak:

making it easy for them to do business with you by designing a

Ian Koniak:

really good experience that they can follow in purchasing and

Ian Koniak:

working with you. So this is all kind of coming together now with

Ian Koniak:

what I teach and when a coach it's been I'm the Dean of the

Ian Koniak:

enterprise sales school over at pavilion and you know, what I'm

Ian Koniak:

teaching has literally arose from years and years of doing it

Ian Koniak:

the wrong way. And then crossing the chasm and realizing, hey,

Ian Koniak:

this other way of doing it feels better clients respond better.

Ian Koniak:

And by the way, my income tripled. I went from averaging

Ian Koniak:

around $250,000 a year which is certainly no chump change. It's

Ian Koniak:

pretty good in sales to averaging around 750 My last few

Ian Koniak:

years of Salesforce so this way of selling not only did wonders

Ian Koniak:

for the client, but actually, it did wonders for my family and my

Ian Koniak:

income and enabled me to retire from sales at 43 to go pursue my

Ian Koniak:

dream, and now help people full time, which I don't think I

Ian Koniak:

would have been able to do had I not had the financial security

Ian Koniak:

to take that risk and to actually, you know, say goodbye

Ian Koniak:

to what was very stable and what I've gotten very good at. So I

Ian Koniak:

just feel like every salesperson listening needs to make that

Ian Koniak:

shift, that is the biggest shift you can make is to put your ego

Ian Koniak:

at the door to humble yourself, and to actually become an empty

Ian Koniak:

vessel is what I like to use, like air, an empty vessel,

Ian Koniak:

you're nothing let God shine through you let your skills,

Ian Koniak:

your experience or knowledge, let love shine through you on to

Ian Koniak:

the people you're meeting with. And it'll come out naturally,

Ian Koniak:

because you care, you're empathetic. So when you make it

Ian Koniak:

about your agenda, you're trying to impress people, the best way

Ian Koniak:

to impress people is to stop trying to impress, okay, you

Ian Koniak:

leave the best impression when you're not trying to be

Ian Koniak:

impressed them. You're just trying to learn and ask

Ian Koniak:

questions and actually be curious, okay, another way to

Ian Koniak:

say this is, if you want to be interesting to others, you need

Ian Koniak:

to be interested in others. And that's the people skills which

Ian Koniak:

the world needs in, especially the sales world needs, is just

Ian Koniak:

stop making it about you and your company, and your products

Ian Koniak:

and your services, and your demos and your bullshit and make

Ian Koniak:

it about understanding your customers and what their world

Ian Koniak:

looks like and figure out how you can help them. And if you

Ian Koniak:

can help them great, the sales gonna come naturally, if you

Ian Koniak:

can't, you know what, you're just gonna save a lot of time

Ian Koniak:

pushing them to something they don't want to do. So that's

Ian Koniak:

really in a nutshell, what I think is how to become an elite

Ian Koniak:

seller. And that's how I got there myself is by making that

Ian Koniak:

shift.

Wesleyne Greer:

That's amazing. A few of the things that I kind

Wesleyne Greer:

of want to highlight from what you said is, there's nothing

Wesleyne Greer:

like hitting your quota three months before the fiscal year

Wesleyne Greer:

ending, and you're just cruise control. And having being able

Wesleyne Greer:

to make that systematize, where year after year, you're like

Wesleyne Greer:

three months. And it's like, yeah, okay, I'm done anything

Wesleyne Greer:

else is just gravy, and really stepping out of yourself and

Wesleyne Greer:

realizing that no one cares about you, I'd love to say that

Wesleyne Greer:

nobody actually cares about you, your mom, your dad, your spouse,

Wesleyne Greer:

your kids, they care about you, but your customers actually

Wesleyne Greer:

don't care about you or the product that you're selling. It

Wesleyne Greer:

is all about them when you're talking to them. And they know

Wesleyne Greer:

if you're into them, or if you're just trying to get

Wesleyne Greer:

information to sell them. So really the thing that I like to

Wesleyne Greer:

sum up what you say is serve, don't sell, right, find a way to

Wesleyne Greer:

serve each and every customer, each and every prospect don't

Wesleyne Greer:

sell. So you mentioned this paradigm shift the way that

Wesleyne Greer:

enterprise sellers really need to change the way that they sell

Wesleyne Greer:

the things that they say when they're out there in the field,

Wesleyne Greer:

give us two or three things that you could help someone who was

Wesleyne Greer:

on that bubble, they are struggling, they don't know what

Wesleyne Greer:

to do, how to do when to push forward? What are some of the

Wesleyne Greer:

two or three things that you would tell them to start today?

Ian Koniak:

Well, what I did when I made this shift, like in

Ian Koniak:

terms of actionable items is there's an old Paret it's called

Ian Koniak:he Pareto principle. It's the:Ian Koniak:

for. And it says that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of

Ian Koniak:

your clients. And so what I did is I picked my top 20%. So I had

Ian Koniak:

a list of maybe it this time, it's interesting, after it

Ian Koniak:

became number one at Salesforce, then I got promoted, I went to

Ian Koniak:

the enterprise select Group, and I ended up going from commercial

Ian Koniak:

back to enterprise. So it's funny how that worked out. But

Ian Koniak:fundamentally, the:Ian Koniak:

accounts and you need to focus there, a lot of people are

Ian Koniak:

spending a lot of time on smaller opportunities, what I

Ian Koniak:

did is I spent a lot more time on fewer opportunities, but they

Ian Koniak:

were larger in nature. So that's the first thing is you know,

Ian Koniak:

pick your your 20%. So if you have an account list of 10, pick

Ian Koniak:

your top two that you're gonna go all in at, if you have a list

Ian Koniak:

of 50, pick your top 10 accounts, right so that

Ian Koniak:

segmentation and focus is number one. Number two is within those

Ian Koniak:

accounts, you want to heavily research two components of

Ian Koniak:

research that I do. Number one is account research. So

Ian Koniak:

understanding what they sell, how they make money, what's

Ian Koniak:

happening in their business, looking at the news, looking at

Ian Koniak:

their marketing, become a customer if you have any b2b to

Ian Koniak:

see or b2c customers actually go to their stores or buy their

Ian Koniak:

products or go online or sign up for their newsletters or go on

Ian Koniak:

their website and play around or go to their portal like whatever

Ian Koniak:

you can do to go through the customer experience. So you can

Ian Koniak:

have a very specific point of view on how you can help that

Ian Koniak:

customer based on the research you're done. Do that right?

Ian Koniak:

Again, that requires caring that requires patience that requires

Ian Koniak:

a deep dive deep work is what my good friend Brandon foolhardy

Ian Koniak:

calls it doing deep work on the account. Okay, that's the second

Ian Koniak:

thing you can do in terms of research. And then there's the

Ian Koniak:

individual research so once you've researched the account

Ian Koniak:

what they do, then you want to research the people in the

Ian Koniak:

account because ultimately, it's people who ended up sponsoring

Ian Koniak:

your product or service and buying people that are the

Ian Koniak:

champions of the cause that you're helping them with. So you

Ian Koniak:

need to find out who are the key people in those accounts and

Ian Koniak:

specifically who are the key executives in the accounts to go

Ian Koniak:

after a lot of salespeople are afraid to go after senior

Ian Koniak:

executives, they have imposter syndrome. They don't think they

Ian Koniak:

can add value. What I did is I said, You know what I gotta get

Ian Koniak:

over. It's not about me executives are the ones who

Ian Koniak:

stand to gain or lose the most from the current situation. So I

Ian Koniak:

need to be talking to the executives who can make

Ian Koniak:

decisions, power compresses, deal cycles. So map out the key

Ian Koniak:

executives in the departments that you actually can impact or

Ian Koniak:

sell to, and then do the research on them. Look at what

Ian Koniak:

news have they been on? Have they been on podcasts? Have they

Ian Koniak:

done videos before? Have they gone to keynotes and given

Ian Koniak:

speeches and literally take the time to listen to those

Ian Koniak:

podcasts, watch what they're saying. And then pull out data

Ian Koniak:

points of what they're sharing that you can use specifically

Ian Koniak:

for prospecting, Hey, I saw you from this conference, you said

Ian Koniak:

X, Y, and Z, I believe we can help you with X, Y, and Z would

Ian Koniak:

you be open to meeting right? When you send that kind of

Ian Koniak:

message to an executive it stands out versus every generic

Ian Koniak:

sequence that they get from every other salesperson. And

Ian Koniak:

then you have to be very diligent and following up

Ian Koniak:

because executives are busy. Even if you have the perfect

Ian Koniak:

message, it still takes on average eight to 12 touch points

Ian Koniak:

before you book a meeting with an executive. So you need to

Ian Koniak:

continue to follow up and be organized. And then the last

Ian Koniak:

thing that I would say you can do so again, segment your

Ian Koniak:

accounts, do research on the accounts and the people within

Ian Koniak:

them, start targeting and personalize your prospecting.

Ian Koniak:

And the last thing I'd say you need to do is go get help

Ian Koniak:

actually, if you failed on your own, and you're trying to do it

Ian Koniak:

on your own, go get help and frickin fork out some money. I'm

Ian Koniak:

not talking about just watching free YouTube videos or watching

Ian Koniak:

free podcasts. Because if you've already been doing that, and

Ian Koniak:

you're not getting the results, okay, then it's not enough, go

Ian Koniak:

get help from a mentor or a coach or join a mastermind or a

Ian Koniak:

program that can actually give you hands on guidance and

Ian Koniak:

support and coaching to get you to that next level. You cannot

Ian Koniak:

do it alone. If you could, you already would have done it on

Ian Koniak:

your own. So humble yourself and realize like what you're doing

Ian Koniak:

isn't working in that accountability and having that

Ian Koniak:

mentorship and knowing learning from someone who's already been

Ian Koniak:

on that path is the fastest path to success modeling once they

Ian Koniak:

learn to model other people. And I've done that in my coaching

Ian Koniak:

business, I modeled the top coaches that model the top

Ian Koniak:

solopreneurs my coaching business has been on fire. So

Ian Koniak:

fundamentally, I am a firm believer of learning from the

Ian Koniak:

best in skipping the learning curves. Why pay tuition if you

Ian Koniak:

don't have to, and someone's already paid the tuition for you

Ian Koniak:

so forth, got some money, the best investment you can make is

Ian Koniak:

in yourself. Jim Rohn says if you invest in a job, you can

Ian Koniak:

make a living. If you invest in yourself, you'll make a fortune.

Ian Koniak:

And that's been my personal experience. I've never stopped

Ian Koniak:

investing myself, whether it's with you know, the sales

Ian Koniak:

training or whether it's with the addiction recovery, having a

Ian Koniak:

sponsor and having therapy or whether it's with my coaching

Ian Koniak:

business, having mentors and being part of coaching

Ian Koniak:

masterminds, I've continued to invest in myself, you know, for

Ian Koniak:

the past five plus years, and it's reaped amazing dividends.

Ian Koniak:

So that's the third thing people can do is find somebody that you

Ian Koniak:

can learn from that you can get support from and sign up for the

Ian Koniak:

program. There's a plethora of whether it's me or whether it's

Ian Koniak:

someone else's a plethora of resources for sales, coaching,

Ian Koniak:

and sales support, and go learn from people who've done it. So

Ian Koniak:

you don't have to go pay the tuition.

Wesleyne Greer:

Wow, you just gave us a whole masterclass mini

Wesleyne Greer:

MBA on what to do if you are a salesperson that is not

Wesleyne Greer:

currently hitting quota achieving goals. And you know, I

Wesleyne Greer:

would say even if you're right at the bubble, you're like

Wesleyne Greer:

barely squeezing in at the end of the each month or the end of

Wesleyne Greer:

each year, there's room for you to grow. And what I really got

Wesleyne Greer:

from you is that it's really all about doing the deep hard work,

Wesleyne Greer:

figuring out your top clients, understanding who they are, what

Wesleyne Greer:

they do all these things that are behind the scenes, and then

Wesleyne Greer:

investing in yourself. And so if you really are serious about

Wesleyne Greer:

becoming that top salesperson and I always like to say when I

Wesleyne Greer:

talk to sales leaders, because you know, I like to talk to the

Wesleyne Greer:

leaders that are causing the salespeople to do all these

Wesleyne Greer:

things. I tell the leaders that your goal should be every single

Wesleyne Greer:

person on the team should be hitting quota every single

Wesleyne Greer:

month. It's not just looking at it the end of the year. But if

Wesleyne Greer:

you're not hitting quota, at least 10 months out of 12 then

Wesleyne Greer:

there is room for you to grow. And there are resources there

Wesleyne Greer:

are things that you can do to actually get better. So I am

Wesleyne Greer:

curious, do you have a way that people can get in touch with you

Wesleyne Greer:

or an offer or something they can do if they want to know

Wesleyne Greer:

more? Yeah,

Ian Koniak:

there's so many resources I have for the sales

Ian Koniak:

community. The first resources is my LinkedIn I post every day

Ian Koniak:

follow me on LinkedIn if you want send me a DM the second

Ian Koniak:

resource is my newsletter. And if you send me a LinkedIn

Ian Koniak:

request connection request or a DM I'll get you the link to that

Ian Koniak:

but it's just untap your sales potential.com/newsletter Again,

Ian Koniak:

untapped your sales potential.com/newsletter That's

Ian Koniak:

the second resource. The third resource is my YouTube channel.

Ian Koniak:

It's just the in Kodiak YouTube. If you Google me you'll see that

Ian Koniak:

resource in the fourth resource is my mastermind class my

Ian Koniak:

coaching program, which is a group of elite sales performers.

Ian Koniak:

It's been sold out since it's in reception, I will be opening up

Ian Koniak:

spots in December again for my next cohort, and there is a

Ian Koniak:waitlist of over:Ian Koniak:

serve waitlist. So if I blast it out to the entire waitlist, and

Ian Koniak:

whoever signs up first is the one who gets in the program. So

Ian Koniak:

it's limited to 100 spots. And we'll be opening in December and

Ian Koniak:

the link for that is untapped your sales

Ian Koniak:

potential.com/waitlist. If you're not ready to go on the

Ian Koniak:

waitlist yet, just go on on top your sales potential.com. And

Ian Koniak:

you can read all about the program. And what's included.

Ian Koniak:

It's a one year membership, where you get coaching

Ian Koniak:

mentorship and part of a community with me leading every

Ian Koniak:

single week and even private one on one calls with me where I can

Ian Koniak:

help you through your deals or whatever personal challenges

Ian Koniak:

that you're trying to face, whether it's habits mindsets, or

Ian Koniak:

just trying to break through that chasm that I talked about

Ian Koniak:

and become your your best self. That's what I do for a living

Ian Koniak:

now. And it's a great source of joy and fulfillment to help

Ian Koniak:

others get to their elite level performance. So that's how you

Ian Koniak:

can get a hold of me and I look forward to serving you at the

Ian Koniak:

highest level.

Wesleyne Greer:

Awesome. And all those links will be in the show

Wesleyne Greer:

notes, guys. So you can click on them as you're listening as

Wesleyne Greer:

we're wrapping up this time where we have gotten a complete

Wesleyne Greer:

masterclass on how to go from being ordinary to extraordinary

Wesleyne Greer:

and enterprise sales. And so I thank you so much for your time,

Wesleyne Greer:

your talent and your expertise today. And you shared all the

Wesleyne Greer:

ways that people can get in contact with you as we wrap up

Wesleyne Greer:

this episode. What are the last words or the last thing you want

Wesleyne Greer:

to leave with the listener, I'm going to

Ian Koniak:

steal a line from the great Zig Ziglar. And he

Ian Koniak:

says, If you help enough people get what they want, you will

Ian Koniak:

always get what you want. So focus on understanding what

Ian Koniak:

people want what your customers want, and show them how you can

Ian Koniak:

help them get it and you will watch your results in your life

Ian Koniak:

transform.

Wesleyne Greer:

That is amazing. And you ended it with the best

Wesleyne Greer:

word transform. Thank you so much. This has been an amazing

Wesleyne Greer:

episode. I've learned a lot from you. And I know that my

Wesleyne Greer:

listeners have had a rich experience. And so that was

Wesleyne Greer:

another episode of the transform sales podcast. Remember in all

Wesleyne Greer:

that you do and every day try to get one person better so that

Wesleyne Greer:

you can transform your sales until next time

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