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The Roadmap to Sales Team Success and Problem Solving with Michael Peveler

Transcript
Wesleyne Greer:

Thank you for joining another episode of the

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transform sales podcast. I am so excited today I get to interview

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a fellow Texan. I interview people all over the world and

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very seldom do I get to interview people right here in

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Texas. And so today I have Michael P. Fleur. How are you,

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Michael? I'm fantastic. Thank you. Thanks for giving me the

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opportunity to be here. Let me tell you guys a little bit about

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Michael. He's a senior executive with a proven track record of

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planning and execution of business objectives. He has

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strong business management background with an expertise in

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training, development, strategic planning and market development.

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He is a problem solving team leader and he loves what he

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does. So Michael, how did you start your career? And how did

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you become this amazing person that actually says I like team

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building and problem solving? In my bio? Yeah, well, it sounds

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like it was written by somebody that liked me. So let's just

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start there. So my background is education. I was actual, I

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started as a music education major in college and went to

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school at Texas Tech up in Lubbock. And then my first gig

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was teaching down in Houston, I was a junior high in high school

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band director down in the Fort Bend area and taught for eight

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years there and a couple of other spots in Texas. And for

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those who are from Texas know that everyone outside of Texas

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knows that football is a big deal. Friday night football,

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right Friday Night Lights. Well, if you also know that that's

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big, you know that Friday Night Music is big, too. So the band

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programs were huge, big deal. So I taught for eight years made

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the decision to get out, see if I could do something out else

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wanted to kind of test myself I grew up pretty poor. So I

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started working when I was about 15. So I took every job I've

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ever had and checked off everything I liked about what I

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did and didn't do in my life, you know, putting myself through

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college and all those things and came up with a set of skills

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that I said, Man, how do I get paid to go do that. And that led

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me to corporate training and development. So I am in every

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way a teacher, that is who I am. And so I came to a company as a

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corporate trainer, we were doing soft skill, business

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growing so fast, we were fighting to keep people you

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know, on board and recruit and building the next level of

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talent. So I was doing a lot of that stuff really got my

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business acumen sharp getting a chance to do that. And then my

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boss, who is a mentor of mine came to me and said, Listen,

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I've got this opportunity to run this program. And it's a

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basically, it's a business development program, partnership

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program. But the last three people that have had the job

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didn't make it to 90 days. And you run training as well as

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anybody I've ever had. So you can just stay and keep running

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training, or you can do this. And I said, Well, that sounds

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exciting, Mike, but who's gonna run training? I care a lot about

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it. He said, obviously, this is the cool part, you get to do

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both.

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Okay. And so what if I hate it? Can I go back to just running

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training? And he said, No, that's not how this works. If

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you want to play, you got to put skin in the game. And I said,

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let's go. And so I did. And that really got me into it. So I

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started traveling 20 countries a year working with other

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manufacturers building programs. And then eventually it led to

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hand eyes in the Drake hotel in Chicago, going out to see

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customers. And he looked at me and said, Look, you've done

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everything I've ever asked you to do. But you never carried a

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bag, never been a salesperson. And I know you've got the work

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ethic to do it. So I'm not going to let you just go be a

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salesperson, I'm going to make you build teams, we're going to

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build a new focus, vertical focus in the company. And you're

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going to go build the teams to go build it. So you got to build

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the business case, you got to go give us the justification, the

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return on investment, find our product and how it fits in for

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that it was education. So we had a K 12 team, which was a very

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different model. And then we had a higher education, but very

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different models, different product offerings, different

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solutions. And it just kind of grew from there and kept going.

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And I was there for 17 years. And then we got acquired by a

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company that was really slow compared to what we were like

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big giant came in. And after about two years of sitting

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around waiting to go do something. I left and went to a

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little bitty company. And we started really growing that and

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it was exciting and fun. And then we got bought by a much

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bigger company. And it was really slow again. And so a year

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in I was calling them going man I'm working 30 hours a week.

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This is the most boring job I've ever had, like, make it our

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number were your top Forecasting team in the company. But we're

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dying here. And at that point, I just decided to leave and go

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find another opportunity and I came down let's ID family owned

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business. Been around for a three years plus second

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generation Oh worship at this point, looking to kind of

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reinvent the brand and really reinvigorate the team with the

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the younger generation now running the company and got to

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join some amazing people. And I've been there for it'll be

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four years in October. So fantastic. I love what I do.

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I've got a great sales organization and a great team of

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people. And yeah, wow. So you have so many things that we were

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gonna unpack. The first one is, there are a lot of people who

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are actually in education right now. And they're like, I don't

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know, if I want to continue doing this, maybe I want to be

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in sales, maybe I want to do this. And what you said is, hey,

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I took something that I knew how to do really well. And I use

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those skills and translated them to a different industry. It's

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the same thing that I did when I went from being a chemist on the

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bench. And I started selling to those people, because I

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understood that world, right? I really understood and I got what

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they needed. So tell me about how you were able to transfer

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your skills from doing one thing within the education realm and

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to really getting into the training environment.

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Yeah, sure. So really simple. I get talked to my teachers all

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the time, who know that I made the jump. And they want to know,

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and it's sad state of our country in our world right now

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that people want out of education like they do. And I'm

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at a point in time, my age, where all of my friends that I

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was teaching with, they're all retiring, now they're hitting

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it, as soon as they get their number they're getting now they

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just don't want to put up with anymore. And it's a sad state of

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affairs of where we are. But I tell every single one of them

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the exact same thing. Most people in the real world have

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not worked a day as hard as you have as a teacher. People have

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no idea the amount of effort and time and compassion and patience

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and multitasking it takes to manage a classroom period after

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period and to manage administrators and to manage

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parents, and to manage all the other forces that go into it.

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And so I always tell people look, find what you love to do.

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Find what, what it is that when you do the clock goes really

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fast, right? Not the thing that every time you look at the

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clock, it's like, Ah, man, it's only been three minutes. Like,

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you know, when I'm in the gym, right? It's like, Hey, man, I've

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only been doing this for three minutes. I thought I've been

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doing this for like an hour, right? Yeah. It's like it, the

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bias has taken so long. Find the thing that you love to do, and

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then figure out how to get paid to go do it. And don't worry

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about your skill set. Because your work ethic and your ability

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to learn because teachers are learners, fundamentally, you

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know, your ability to do that will take you far, good

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communication skills are critical as a teacher critical

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in business, right? Understanding what it is you're

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talking about. Right? Being prepared? Yeah, that's what we

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do every day, right? Do we know what we're talking about? Are we

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prepared to handle it? Are we prepared to practice it? Are we

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prepared to go out and talk to somebody? Rejection is one thing

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from a sales standpoint that teachers aren't used to in the

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same way. So that is a little bit of a jump. But everything

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else? I remember when my boss came to me and said, I got a

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team not performing well, can you go in and fix it. And as I

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was going through the process of trying to understand the

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staffing and the focus, and how they're using their time, and

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all that stuff, I was like, I'm just doing a gap analysis, this

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is the same thing I did as a teacher, right? Here's where you

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are, here's where you're trying to go. Here's the plan of how

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you're gonna get there. Same exact thing. So yeah, I tell

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teachers all the time, you guys will kill it in the corporate

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world. And you'll work much harder. And you'll look around

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at everybody and go, Why does everybody need this much time to

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get this done? I got it done in half the time. I love it. I love

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it. And you know, one thing that most people don't realize is

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every single thing that is in the environment that you're

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working in is sold by a salesperson, those textbooks

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that you're using the overhead projector, or the whiteboards,

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and smartboards all of those things are sold by a

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salesperson. And so the easiest step into sales from any career,

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whether it's education, or engineering, or your nurse, like

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look around you and look at all of the different product names,

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and go to those companies and apply for those jobs. Right?

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Like reach out to those hiring managers on LinkedIn and say,

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Hey, XYZ I've used your product for 10 years. It is amazing. And

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I am looking for a career change. I would love to come

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sell for you be a corporate trainer be in supply chain,

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whatever it is, like you said that thing that makes you so

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excited and really stepping your toes into sales. That is one of

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the things people don't do. They're like applying for all of

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these giant companies out here who they don't know anything

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about and they don't know them. Start with what you know. So

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yeah, no, that's it and look, one of the reasons that I have

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headed up so much effort into education is because I came from

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In the space, and you know, I had people I worked with, and

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then I get up in front of a group of teachers and start

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talking to them, and they would look at me like, Who are you

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like, you're a teacher, holy cow, you've been hiding the

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whole time. And I was like, these are my people, right? I

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mean, these are the folks that look, to be fair, it's one of

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the skills that I think is necessary to be a salesperson,

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you've got to be willing to learn, and you got to be willing

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to teach, you got to be willing to teach each other, teach your

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team, help your coworker, help your person share experiences,

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right. All of that is, is a critical part of going and being

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successful in what we do on a daily basis. So it's really,

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again, transferable skills.

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Absolutely. I always say we serve, we don't sell. And one of

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the things that keeps saying one of the things, one of the many

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things that I talk about all the time is teach them and they will

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come right. So whether you're a leader, or you're an individual

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contributor, your job is to impart your knowledge, the

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things that you know, on your customers on your sales team.

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And if you already have that background, it's so much easier

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to do it. Right. Absolutely. So you took the skills that you had

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in education, and you translated them into the corporate arena.

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And I really enjoyed when you talk about a box that you had

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and said, yeah, no. So pretty much you don't have the option

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to fail. It's just going up. What was some of the emotions

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that were going through your brain at that point? I was

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excited at the opportunity. I'm not a person that sits around

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well, I you know, he and I read event and event years later, and

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someone said, So Michael, what is it you do? And he stepped in

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and said, let me answer this question, if you don't mind. And

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I was like, oh, no, what's he gonna say? Right? And he said,

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Michael is my FIX IT guy, he builds things that don't exist,

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and he fixes things that are broken. And that's, that's a

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good definition of who I am, right? I don't have long term

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patience. I have a lot of patience in the moment. But I

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get bored doing the same thing forever and ever and ever. I

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like building stuff. I like evolving and growing, if we're

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just gonna do the same thing every day. It's I'm not that

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person. There's other people that are great at that. Right,

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that are those great Sustainer type personalities for for me,

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it's building. So when there was an opportunity presented, yeah,

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there's a risk, but there's always a risk. And so I jumped

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at it. Because why wouldn't you write I trusted him. He didn't

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give me any reason not to. And look, I spent that whole holiday

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It was right before Christmas. And I remember I spent two weeks

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on my computer during my Christmas break, trying to learn

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about all these customers I was going to be working with. So for

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me, it was exciting. It was it's what I do. Once I get the

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opportunity, I dive in both feet. And I go right, the more

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knowledge and more understanding I have. And the more I speak the

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language right and more I understand their terminology,

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their words, the more comfortable I'm going to be when

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I get in front of them. You mentioned that the position that

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you took over the last three people had only lasted 90 days.

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How were you able to take a position that in literally 12

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months, there were four different managers? How did you

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take that and really start driving change within that

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organization within that that group that you were leaving? You

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know, look, I just tried to consolidate as much information,

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you know, our company had gone through a lot of transformation.

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And there was a point in time and some of the chaos of

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leadership change, where people were able to hide, we all know

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it, you know, we all see when organizations go through

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turmoil. There's people that aren't doing anything any you

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know, during the day, and they're still getting their

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paycheck. And that's what had happened. It wasn't you know,

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there were just people have gotten away with not doing

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anything. So for me, it was learning as much as I could

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gathering as much information as they had put together and then

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coming up with the direction of what made sense of where we were

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trying to go and then laying out a clear pathway. Again, you

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can't follow a road if you don't know where it is you're supposed

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to go. And sometimes you only have visibility to the next two

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weeks. Sometimes you got visibility for the next two

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years. But visibility is visibility. Right? You know, my

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family and I we like to backpack and hike and there's times we

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were talking about last night at dinner, we went hiking where we

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were in a cloud where we were hiking. So our visibility, felt

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a little bit like an ad slasher movie, right and kept watering,

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who was going to come out from around the tree, but you only

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But that's where you hiked. You just you followed the path and

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you you went with what you could see and you went at the pace

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that you can move comfortably and still see and be

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comfortable. And in business. I think it's the same way. So I

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laid out a path and we started going and as we learn more and

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got feedback and all those things that come in and help

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drive your direction we added to the plan and the path. That's so

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good. You talked about people hiring, right? Like, that's what

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so many people do, especially if you have a remote sales team,

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they can do just enough to get by. And as long as they're not

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ruffling feathers, and they're kind of close to their quota,

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then managers leave them alone. But I am very outside of the

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box, like, ya know, if

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you're always just close or right at it, that means you're

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not really pushing yourself, you're just in your comfort

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zone. So I want to kind of push you a little bit further. And

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sometimes that push, like you said, may push them out. But

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they need to understand this is the new culture. And this is

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what the we're gonna be doing. What did you do for those

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hiders? Those lurkers? How did you really impact upon the

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organization like, this is our vision for the future, this is

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what we're going to be doing?

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Well, so let me fast forward to the current company that I'm in,

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right. And I'm comfortable talking about it. I won't name

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any names. But you know, when I came to the company, I had seen

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historically a higher turnover rate. I'd seen you know, you see

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it, we all do people that always you know, I've got a job at this

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company. And then three months later, they're somewhere else.

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And I'd seen this company, I'd seen Atlas IDEs name in that

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worship, people were moving from one place to you know, and

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coming out was for a few months and then going. So when I came

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here, my first thought process was, I've got to listen, I've

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got to listen. And the first thing I need to do is learn

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what's working, not what's not. And so because what's in motion,

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and has positive momentum, we can use that right. And then

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we'll work on the other stuff that we have to so I started off

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my first week, with every one of my reports, I had two phone

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calls, right? One was like a 30 minute, hey, this is who I am I

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have I have a family, I have kids, this is what I've done in

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my career. Tell me about yourself, right? Build some

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personal rapport. And then I had a call that was it's about an

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hour and a half to two hour call, but I 10 questions. And I

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told them, I said, Look, I've got my Microsoft notes here, all

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I'm going to do is write what you say. And I'm gonna ask 10

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questions. And if you really want me to come in and help you

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fix, and grow this company, and you want to be part of it, this

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is your opportunity to be as honest as you're willing to be

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this your chance, right? And I'm going to ask these 10 questions,

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and you can say anything you want. I'm not, I won't respond,

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unless I asked you to elaborate something or something, it just

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goes way too long. I might have to cut it short. Right. So my

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first question was, what is the company do? Well, And my second

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question was, what is the company not do? Well, well, I

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had one person that they weren't like, 45 minutes on this, right.

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And you're getting a lot of good information, you're also

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learning a lot about your person. And so through the

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process, I was able to gather a lot of stuff and find

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commonalities, and then being transparent, because I think

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it's really important. As a leader, I came back to all of

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them and said, Look, here's the compiled results of what you all

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told me. And these are things that I think are easy to fix.

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And we can go work on that together. Does everybody agree

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that that would be valuable that that would be beneficial, if we

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worked on this stuff, and got this stuff fixed, and they all

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went, Yeah, that'd be great. Immediately, I got their buy in

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on it, I gave him a chance to, you know, for me to come in and

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start solving their problems, and it pulled anybody that was

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hiding out. So you pull those people into the process, and

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then they're all accountable for helping, I didn't say I haven't

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gotta go solve it, I said, we're gonna, we can go solve this

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stuff together, and we can get rid of this, I may be the point

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of the spear, right, I may be the one that asked to go have

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the conversations with the CEO, or, you know, whatever, that's

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fine. That's what I signed up for. I don't have the competence

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to do that I shouldn't have taken the job. But the next most

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important thing to me is the culture. And the culture in the

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team is what I can control and impact the culture of the

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company. And so by setting up and being very clear about what

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we were going to work on, as I started solving their problems,

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I started being able to insert my solutions for other things

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that weren't named, that were obvious to me, based on my

Wesleyne Greer:

experience, hey, by the way, we're working on this, but I

Wesleyne Greer:

want to make sure we get this too. And they would go Oh, and

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that some of them may have thought we never talked about

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that one. But nobody ever said that. And the end result was we

Wesleyne Greer:

started removing obstacles, people started feeling better

Wesleyne Greer:

about it. And then it became, I gotta verify that you're really

Wesleyne Greer:

pulling your own weight, right? And you could see who was doing

Wesleyne Greer:

it or not, you could see who was prepared. Who could talk about

Wesleyne Greer:

what their pipeline look like, who could talk about projects

Wesleyne Greer:

who can name names, right? I've told them all if I ask you about

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a project and you start with them, that's a bad sign. Right?

Wesleyne Greer:

Ah, bad sign, stalling for an answer. Not a good sign. Like

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you got to know what's in your pipeline. You got to know what's

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going on. Right? And if you can't answer those questions and

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stay on top of it, and we're not seeing orders come in when you

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say they're going to come in, and we're not seeing activity,

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or at least understanding why. And obviously, gosh, the last

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couple of years, we've been through a couple of major

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events, global supply chain challenge COVID, all that stuff.

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So certainly, they're just a couple of little things. And

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that's obviously slowed down and given us reasons for why things

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haven't come in. But you just have to be reasonable through

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that process. And through that, you can establish your core

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values, what really matters, right? For me, it really matters

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that as a team, we compete with each other. But we focus on the

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competitors outside the building, the other people that

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we sell against, right. So it's great to have salespeople that

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want to push each other. But I also want them to be each

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other's biggest supporters. Right? When somebody else gets a

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big order, I don't want them to be like, I want them to be like,

Wesleyne Greer:

Great job, that's good for the company, right? But I also want

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you to be pushing to be the one that got that big order, so that

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everybody's calling you going, Hey, congratulations, right. And

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so we spend a lot of time celebrating our wins as a group,

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so that everybody gets to hear those kudos, Pat's on the back

Wesleyne Greer:

all those kinds of things. And the great thing is, everyone's

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gotten to be the hero at some point in time in the last few

Wesleyne Greer:

years by getting that big order in and saving the month or

Wesleyne Greer:

saving the quarter or whatever, and everyone's going to go, or

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it didn't work out and you're like, I'm doing everything

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right. You're like, just stay patient, stay focused. And you

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know, when they're calling the other salespeople frustrated,

Wesleyne Greer:

they're hearing the same message. Because we built that

Wesleyne Greer:

culture.

Wesleyne Greer:

Wow, that right there, everyone listening that is a complete

Wesleyne Greer:

masterclass on how you step into an organization get buy in very

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quickly and start executing on the things that needs to happen.

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Because the roadmap or the recipe that I heard is, hey, I'm

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just Michael, I'm just introducing myself. Now I want

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to understand from you what's good, what's not so good. So we

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can work together to solve them. And you don't just listen to the

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words they're saying, you listen to how they're saying it, you

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listen to their body language, you listen to their demeanor,

Wesleyne Greer:

how long are they complaining? How long are they giving

Wesleyne Greer:

solutions? Are they making excuses like so as a leader,

Wesleyne Greer:

having that kind of conversation with your salesperson, whether

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you've been in the position, two months, two years, 20 years, if

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you don't have this information, you really should understand it,

Wesleyne Greer:

don't just use your preconceived notions of what you think this

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person is like, or what you think they may do, really use

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their words. And then you take that and you say, we're a team,

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we win as a team, we lose as a team, this is what we're going

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to do, we're going to work on one to three things. And then

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you help them all celebrate their wins. And when somebody

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needs to be uplifted, they have the collective team around them,

Wesleyne Greer:

because at some point, everyone has been in that seat. So really

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building that strong organization based on the

Wesleyne Greer:

culture, the way everybody collaborates with each other.

Wesleyne Greer:

That's what drives sales. I mean, so many sales leaders are

Wesleyne Greer:

out here beating people with the CRM and KPIs and all this and

Wesleyne Greer:

that, and yes, it does have a place. But that's not what we

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lead with. We lead with you're a human being. And this is the

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behavior that drives sales. And so that is what we need to do to

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push the needle forward. Yeah, I couldn't say it better you lead

Wesleyne Greer:

with culture, right? We use the tools CRM, and KPIs are tools

Wesleyne Greer:

that help with the direction of where the trials gonna go. But

Wesleyne Greer:

we lead with culture, first and foremost, right? So I have, if

Wesleyne Greer:

you don't mind, I'll keep this one short. But I have the same

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conversation with every person that works for me, right? And I

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tell them, it's the first conversation we have after they

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start, obviously, we go through all the interview process, but

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it's the first conversation and through the interview process,

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I'm really looking for culture, right? Can I talk to this

Wesleyne Greer:

person, my going to be able to call them and tell them that

Wesleyne Greer:

there's a problem? And they're going to be able to handle that,

Wesleyne Greer:

right? Because I've got to be able to deal with a world of

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conflict, right? We're salespeople, that's what we deal

Wesleyne Greer:

with all the time. And there's going to be times I need to be

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able to call someone and say, Hey, I don't think we had the

Wesleyne Greer:

right game plan here, the right approach. And there's going to

Wesleyne Greer:

be other times where I'm going to be like, you know, you need

Wesleyne Greer:

to be able to call me and say, Hey, I didn't get the support

Wesleyne Greer:

from this other team area, or I, you know, I felt like you let me

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down or whatever, that's okay, that we have to have those

Wesleyne Greer:

conversations. So I'm listening for that. I'm asking questions

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about that through the interview process, because I need to know

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that you're going to come in and fit the culture we built. But

Wesleyne Greer:

the conversation is really simple. I hate surprises, even

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on my birthday. So don't let me get surprised. That's rule

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number one, right? There's a problem you call me about it.

Wesleyne Greer:

Rule number two is good news is great. But bad news comes first.

Wesleyne Greer:

Right? Again, as a sales leader, my job is to remove obstacles

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for you. I can use my title, I can use my relationships. I can

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use my pool with the other senior managers in the team or

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in the company to potentially help get you out of a problem.

Wesleyne Greer:

But I can't do it if I don't know about it. Right. Now, if I

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find out about a problem from somebody else in the team,

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that's like two strikes. Right? You got it. You call me first. I

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don't care day or night you call me first because again, I can't

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help you. If I don't know there's a problem, right? It's a

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servant attitude. Right? The third thing is we do what's

Wesleyne Greer:

right, because it's the right thing to do not because it makes

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people happy. So as I tell them all you learned everything you

Wesleyne Greer:

need to know in kindergarten, right? We don't lie. We don't

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cheat, don't steal, we hold hands when we cross the street.

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We don't do anything that even smells like we were being

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unethical in the way we go. When. Right? And I always tell

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them, this is your official warning on that. Right?

Wesleyne Greer:

Everything else, you will get a chance. This one, this is your

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official warning. Right? You won't get a chance. If I find

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out you lied, cheated, still misled any of that stuff. Our

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next conversation will be I wish you the best of luck. And then

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the fourth thing is, you're absolutely welcome to disagree

Wesleyne Greer:

with me. There's nothing wrong with that I have my own opinions

Wesleyne Greer:

based on the information that I have. But if you think I'm just

Wesleyne Greer:

off my rocker, don't call and tell all the other salespeople

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call me.

Wesleyne Greer:

Right? In the old day, come into my office, right? Come talk to

Wesleyne Greer:

me Shut the door. And let's have an honest adult to adult

Wesleyne Greer:

conversation. And I will drop my expectations and just listen

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without judgment to what you have to say. And if you

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absolutely can bring a compelling reason, or compelling

Wesleyne Greer:

point that I didn't consider or information I didn't, that

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helped me adjust my direction. I'm glad to do that, right. But

Wesleyne Greer:

at the end of the day, I get paid to make decisions as a

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sales leader. So at the end of the conversation, I'm going to

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make a decision, I'm not going to spend days thinking about it,

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I'm going to make a call. And at that point, we're all on the

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same page. Right? So we're not going back and complaining that

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you didn't agree with me? No, I'll explain to you why I'll

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open the books, I'll show you the stuff that maybe you don't

Wesleyne Greer:

need to know as a salesperson. But in this case, I'm going to

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tell you, I'll give you a perspective. I don't mind. But

Wesleyne Greer:

then we're going to focus on getting back to work, right? And

Wesleyne Greer:

we're just going to realize that that didn't work out the way you

Wesleyne Greer:

wanted it to. And I've been I've absolutely changed my mind.

Wesleyne Greer:

Right? When people have come and given me a compelling reason to

Wesleyne Greer:

understand why my decision maybe wasn't, you know, fully

Wesleyne Greer:

informed. That's okay. And that's it. If you can follow

Wesleyne Greer:

those four rules, and you can put your work ethic in every

Wesleyne Greer:

day, and you can work with the team every day, you probably

Wesleyne Greer:

have a chance to be successful. And it's amazing to me how many

Wesleyne Greer:

people can't follow those four rules. Yeah, I just recently

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onboard a new employee. And so um, you know, what we, as

Wesleyne Greer:

leaders have to do, we have to mentor our next generation of

Wesleyne Greer:

leaders. So I just promoted somebody up to become a manager.

Wesleyne Greer:

And one of the things that I overheard her telling the new

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employee is be honest with Wesleyne. She likes to if you're

Wesleyne Greer:

not honest with her, that is her Achilles heel, like, I need to

Wesleyne Greer:

know, like, you need to tell me the consequences. Like don't

Wesleyne Greer:

worry about that. We can figure it out together. But like you

Wesleyne Greer:

said, if I find out from somebody else, oh, that's a big

Wesleyne Greer:

problem, because you didn't come to me. And then I had to be

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introspective and say, was there something I did that made you

Wesleyne Greer:

feel uncomfortable with sharing this with me? Was it my

Wesleyne Greer:

reaction? Or was this your insecurity? And then once I

Wesleyne Greer:

worked through that, then we can move forward. But there's

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something that I call being a hot leader? Yes. Hot, honest,

Wesleyne Greer:

open, transparent, right. And that is what we literally, as

Wesleyne Greer:

strong leaders, we should always have that hot mentality and not

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hot, swerving off as soon as something happens, but be

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honest, be a person of your word, do what you say you're

Wesleyne Greer:

going to do. I expect you as a team to do this. And I'm going

Wesleyne Greer:

to hold myself to the same standard open. Openness is yes,

Wesleyne Greer:

I've not always been perfect. But this is where I am now. And

Wesleyne Greer:

this is how we're going to get to the next level and being

Wesleyne Greer:

transparent. Transparency is Hey, guys, I know you may not

Wesleyne Greer:

want to do this. However, I just had a board meeting. And if we

Wesleyne Greer:

don't do xy and z, then I'm going to be on the chopping

Wesleyne Greer:

block. You guys are still going to be here. But they told me

Wesleyne Greer:

that my job is on the lie. So I need you to help me save my job

Wesleyne Greer:

that's being transparent, that's being vulnerable. And for a lot

Wesleyne Greer:

of leaders, they can't lean into that. They can't get into that

Wesleyne Greer:

vulnerability to be like, Oh, I'm going to tell them what's

Wesleyne Greer:

going on behind the scenes. But that's the only way that we grow

Wesleyne Greer:

as leaders and our teams grow also.

Wesleyne Greer:

Well, I so love that you have no idea how much we're aligned. So

Wesleyne Greer:

I use the word vulnerable all the time. I'm a 54 year old guy

Wesleyne Greer:

and saying vulnerable people sometimes like me, like but I

Wesleyne Greer:

tell the team so we have we have a sales meeting every week,

Wesleyne Greer:

right? Like every sales team does line alternates, so one

Wesleyne Greer:

week it's everybody in the company that impact sells so

Wesleyne Greer:

product management, customer service, marketing, all those

Wesleyne Greer:

people and they they've got one hour a week to get everything

Wesleyne Greer:

into the sales team they need to write because I can't have my

Wesleyne Greer:

salespeople spending hours orders in meetings that aren't

Wesleyne Greer:

related to sales, right? You can't hold them accountable for

Wesleyne Greer:

a number and then go like, but I need you eight hours and other

Wesleyne Greer:

stuff. And when I came here, that was a problem. So I said,

Wesleyne Greer:

like, you get one meeting one hour, every two weeks. And guess

Wesleyne Greer:

what it works fine, everybody's able to get in what they need

Wesleyne Greer:

to. And if something special like and brand new products

Wesleyne Greer:

coming out, we're doing training, obviously, that's an

Wesleyne Greer:

exception, right. But for the most part, it works fine. The

Wesleyne Greer:

other meeting the other every other week, it's just myself and

Wesleyne Greer:

my direct reports. And the whole theme of that meeting is be

Wesleyne Greer:

vulnerable. This is where we get better. This is where you have

Wesleyne Greer:

to admit I don't do this, well, hey, I've been trying to sell

Wesleyne Greer:

this, I've been trying to talk to a customer about this. And I

Wesleyne Greer:

didn't go well or I tried to demo and the product didn't work

Wesleyne Greer:

like it right? Whatever it is, or I'm struggling with CRM, and

Wesleyne Greer:

I can't figure out how to make this work. And you know, people

Wesleyne Greer:

are is on me about I gotta be tracking this stuff. But I can't

Wesleyne Greer:

Oh, guess what your email and CRM aren't synced. They're not.

Wesleyne Greer:

That's why and but you got to have those conversations. And

Wesleyne Greer:

everybody's got to be willing to be the learner. And everyone's

Wesleyne Greer:

got to be willing to be the teacher in that session. And I

Wesleyne Greer:

will tell you that my team loves that. In fact, they have, they

Wesleyne Greer:

have lobbied me to only to do that meeting three times a month

Wesleyne Greer:

into the other meeting only once a month, instead of every other

Wesleyne Greer:

week. And it's just because they all professionally get better.

Wesleyne Greer:

During that time. They learned something. Most weeks they go,

Wesleyne Greer:

Oh, that's good. And you know what, when you're out there

Wesleyne Greer:

doing this every day, that's all you're looking for? Hey, give me

Wesleyne Greer:

one more little tool. One more little nugget. One more thing

Wesleyne Greer:

that I tried that last week, and it blew up on me and you did it

Wesleyne Greer:

and it worked? How'd you do it? Huh? Good. You know, the thing

Wesleyne Greer:

is, there's so many sales leaders out there that have

Wesleyne Greer:

these sales meetings that just make me pull my hair out. I'm

Wesleyne Greer:

like, why are you going through the CRM? Why do you have this

Wesleyne Greer:

put like this, you should do this on your own. And then you

Wesleyne Greer:

bring up issues. But using your sales meeting what it is meant

Wesleyne Greer:

to do, which is moving the needle. And if that's moving the

Wesleyne Greer:

needle on product knowledge, what's happening on customer

Wesleyne Greer:

service side, what problems they're seeing in the field

Wesleyne Greer:

issues with customers, all of those things. And then also,

Wesleyne Greer:

hey, I'm a salesperson, and I'm struggling with this, can

Wesleyne Greer:

someone help me and you let them I like to call a mastermind

Wesleyne Greer:

around that you will let them collectively work together as a

Wesleyne Greer:

group to really overcome those obstacles. And you're right,

Wesleyne Greer:

because as a leader, it's like, I know how. And I always tell

Wesleyne Greer:

people, as a leader, as a business owner, I should know

Wesleyne Greer:

how to do everything in my business or everything that my

Wesleyne Greer:

team is doing. But I have to know how to do it. Well, like my

Wesleyne Greer:

podcast, I am so very, very happy to know that all I have to

Wesleyne Greer:

do is show up and do an amazing interview everything before it's

Wesleyne Greer:

done by somebody else. And everything and afters done by

Wesleyne Greer:

somebody else. I do not desire to know how to edit videos. I

Wesleyne Greer:

just don't, right. I know what good looks like, but I don't

Wesleyne Greer:

have to do it myself. And as leaders, we have to recognize

Wesleyne Greer:

that we have to let those strongholds go. We don't have to

Wesleyne Greer:

do everything. We don't have to touch everything. We don't have

Wesleyne Greer:

to be everything to everyone. We need to allow our team to do

Wesleyne Greer:

some of those things. No, it's exactly right. And listen, my

Wesleyne Greer:

team is much better at selling every day than I am. I'm good.

Wesleyne Greer:

They're better, right? And the great thing is I tell them use

Wesleyne Greer:

my title use my stuff to help you, right? Hey, I need to bring

Wesleyne Greer:

my I'm gonna bring my VP and for this I'm gonna you know, I'm

Wesleyne Greer:

when next time we go out and do a meeting, I'm gonna I'm gonna

Wesleyne Greer:

have my VP fly in, right? And people go, oh, this person must

Wesleyne Greer:

be important. Okay, great. Yeah, when I come off the back row of

Wesleyne Greer:

American Airlines,

Unknown:

all the way by the bathroom.

Wesleyne Greer:

You know, but what I can do is bring a bigger

Wesleyne Greer:

picture perspective and a level of competence in the company and

Wesleyne Greer:

reinforce the message that my salesperson has brought in and

Wesleyne Greer:

help them go be successful. Right. And that, again, my job

Wesleyne Greer:

is to remove obstacles for them. Their job is to sell, right, but

Wesleyne Greer:

my job is to remove obstacles that keep them from being able

Wesleyne Greer:

to sell effectively. And if I do that, yes, we review CRM, yes,

Wesleyne Greer:

we go through opportunities. Yes, we do forecasting, like any

Wesleyne Greer:

company, we have to do that stuff. But do we do that in

Wesleyne Greer:

meetings that consume everybody's time, only the

Wesleyne Greer:

forecast meeting, and we do that once a month, we do that one.

Wesleyne Greer:

But we have to and especially in the world we live in with supply

Wesleyne Greer:

chain as a hardware manufacturer, gosh, it's such a

Wesleyne Greer:

struggle that if we don't give clear sight to our product,

Wesleyne Greer:

purchasing people and those folks then we won't have

Wesleyne Greer:

something to sell. So the both sides of the house have to

Wesleyne Greer:

really connect through this process. And three years ago,

Wesleyne Greer:

people didn't know what supply chain meant. Now everyone has

Wesleyne Greer:

the textbook definition of it. So those kinds of things. It's

Wesleyne Greer:

worth the time and it's actually built confidence in others. So

Wesleyne Greer:

leaders in the company, because they sit in that meeting, the

Wesleyne Greer:

forecast meeting, and they listen to the salespeople talk

Wesleyne Greer:

about the opportunities in the activity of what's going on in

Wesleyne Greer:

the field. And I tell them all, you guys can ask these guys, any

Wesleyne Greer:

questions you want, right? These men and women are prepared. And

Wesleyne Greer:

so they'll go, so what are you hearing from the field about

Wesleyne Greer:

this? Or what's the customer said? And they can drill the

Wesleyne Greer:

answer off because they're, they're doing it. And the end

Wesleyne Greer:

result is that people whose and we all know there's always

Wesleyne Greer:

senior leaders in the company like how the sales guys are they

Wesleyne Greer:

really even work in Maine, I just see their expenses. Are

Wesleyne Greer:

they really doing well, not mine, because mine are sitting

Wesleyne Greer:

in that meeting going, they know what they're talking about.

Wesleyne Greer:

They're out there hustling, they've got activity, they're

Wesleyne Greer:

closing deals, they told us they were going to close. So their

Wesleyne Greer:

confidence level in the team is high. And if you come into this

Wesleyne Greer:

team now and you don't meet that expectation, it becomes really

Wesleyne Greer:

clear really quickly. Oh, Michael, Michael, Michael, we

Wesleyne Greer:

can talk forever and ever and ever, because you're talking

Wesleyne Greer:

about your salespeople taking ownership of their business,

Wesleyne Greer:

like actually thinking about it like this is their own small

Wesleyne Greer:

business, and I put into it what I get out, I need help. Because

Wesleyne Greer:

I can't actually go into the warehouse and make these parts

Wesleyne Greer:

myself, right. I can't make sure the order is set to the all the

Wesleyne Greer:

right facilities, and so that every sales person needs to

Wesleyne Greer:

think about their book of business, their territory, as

Wesleyne Greer:

their own small business. Because you input output, the

Wesleyne Greer:

more you do to understand your customers, your territory, the

Wesleyne Greer:

needs of what they need, you can translate that back into the

Wesleyne Greer:

organization. And that means they can better serve your

Wesleyne Greer:

customers, right? It's a full cycle loop. Absolutely. So as we

Wesleyne Greer:

like I said, we could probably talk for like 90 minutes,

Wesleyne Greer:

because we're so well aligned. But as we wrap up, I always like

Wesleyne Greer:

to ask you this final question, what is one thing, just one

Wesleyne Greer:

thing within your personal or professional life, you are most

Wesleyne Greer:

excited about having accomplished? Ah, gosh, so

Wesleyne Greer:

everybody's got their own personal philosophy of why we're

Wesleyne Greer:

here. And mine is that we're here to try to make the world a

Wesleyne Greer:

better place. And we've got four children to biological to

Wesleyne Greer:

adopted. The oldest two I made do charity when they were

Wesleyne Greer:

growing up, because I don't think fundamentally were

Wesleyne Greer:

charitable. They fundamentally were kind of selfish. So I made

Wesleyne Greer:

them donate their money or their time, to things that they cared

Wesleyne Greer:

about, right didn't matter. Right when my agenda was theirs,

Wesleyne Greer:

but they had to do it. But then when we were faced with the

Wesleyne Greer:

opportunity, we stepped up and did it and brought two kids and

Wesleyne Greer:

out of foster care. And our fine line crazy. It's not always

Wesleyne Greer:

easy. There are two teenage boys now, some days good, some days

Wesleyne Greer:

bad, some hours, good, some hours bad. But the fact that I

Wesleyne Greer:

think we've tried to live by the credo that we try to teach as

Wesleyne Greer:

well, I think that probably makes us a better person. And I

Wesleyne Greer:

think that very much contributes to how we approach business as

Wesleyne Greer:

well. And how I approach business, right? We didn't come

Wesleyne Greer:

here to destroy, we weren't sent here to destroy each other, we

Wesleyne Greer:

were put here for whatever you believe, while we're here, we're

Wesleyne Greer:

to lift each other up. And I think we do that in the way we

Wesleyne Greer:

manage. And I think I do that. And the way we parent and all of

Wesleyne Greer:

that.

Wesleyne Greer:

Wow, you gave me chills. That was That's amazing. I always say

Wesleyne Greer:

that, you know, my philosophy is the same. I have been so lucky,

Wesleyne Greer:

so blessed to have this talent, and what my calling is to share

Wesleyne Greer:

my time, my talent, my expertise with those around me, so I can

Wesleyne Greer:

help uplift others because I didn't get to where I am by

Wesleyne Greer:

myself. And so I like to pour back into people and the fact

Wesleyne Greer:

that you have adopted two children after raising two of

Wesleyne Greer:

your own biological children, that definitely speaks volumes

Wesleyne Greer:

to the type of person that you are. You're kind it was a family

Wesleyne Greer:

decision, obviously. And there's been a lot of sacrifice a lot of

Wesleyne Greer:

work and we have great kids, we our life is much better because

Wesleyne Greer:

we they have we have them in our lives. So it sounds like we're

Wesleyne Greer:

superheroes, we're not we get a lot we get a lot more than we

Wesleyne Greer:

give. And now they'll just you know, finish high school and

Wesleyne Greer:

move out or be great. Spoken like a true leader, minimizing

Wesleyne Greer:

your contribution and really talking about this wasn't just

Wesleyne Greer:

me, it was a team effort. It was a family decision, and they're

Wesleyne Greer:

giving to us as much as we're giving to them. Those are the

Wesleyne Greer:

words that true leaders lead with lead their life personally

Wesleyne Greer:

as well as in business. And so I'm so honored. I have enjoyed

Wesleyne Greer:

our time together so much my Oh, thank you. And if people want to

Wesleyne Greer:

get in contact with you, what is the one best way? LinkedIn? It's

Wesleyne Greer:

just Michael PE v e l e r. You can search me there Atlas ID is

Wesleyne Greer:

the company and And, yeah, just reach out to me, you can contact

Wesleyne Greer:

me directly through it. Awesome. Well, thanks again for sharing

Wesleyne Greer:

your wealth of knowledge and all of your many, many years of

Wesleyne Greer:

being in sales leadership, transitioning from education and

Wesleyne Greer:

really helping us understand what it takes to build strong

Wesleyne Greer:

teams from the beginning, not in two months, three months, 10

Wesleyne Greer:

years, but how do you grab that organization by the horns and

Wesleyne Greer:

really write it? So thank you so much again, Michael. No, thank

Wesleyne Greer:

you for the opportunity. I really appreciate it really

Wesleyne Greer:

enjoy it. And that was another episode of the transformed sales

Wesleyne Greer:

podcast. Remember in what all you do, it is most important to

Wesleyne Greer:

serve and not sell. Have a wonderful day until we meet

Get Your FREE GUIDE to A Build High-Performance Sales Team

Highlights

  • [00:48] – Becoming a sales team-building and problem-solving guru.
  • [05:25] – Transferring his skills from the education sector into sales.
  • [12:57] – Taking up a sales manager role and killing it where many had failed.
  • [14:58] – How to ensure your sales team (Including the remote team) performs as expected.
  • [20:26] – Strategies for establishing core values that will keep your sales team winning.
  • [27:28] – Why being vulnerable as a sales leader is so powerful.
  • [31:51] – The great potential of a sales team that takes ownership of their business.
  • [36:40] – Being passionate about making the world a better place.

In this episode of the Transformed Sales Podcast, I interviewed Michael Peveler, the Vice President of Sales at AtlasIED, a company that manufactures next-generation communication systems and commercial audio/video products that protect, inform, and entertain within the education, transportation, hospitality, industrial, security, and corporate markets.

Michael is a senior executive with a proven track record of planning and executing business objectives. He has a strong business management background with expertise in training, development, strategic planning, and market development. He’s a problem-solving team leader and he loves what he does. 

Michael will share his wealth of knowledge in sales with us and talk about his many years in sales leadership after transitioning from education. He will also teach us what it takes to build a strong sales team that will stand the test of time and keep your business growing in the long term. Stay tuned!

Quotes

“To be a salesperson, you gotta be willing to learn, teach others, help your co-workers, and share experiences. All of that is a critical part of going and being successful in what salespeople do on a daily basis” – Michael Peveler

“It’s really important as a sales leader to be transparent” – Michael Peveler

“You lead with culture first and foremost” – Michael Peveler

“As a sales leader, your job is to remove obstacles for your team” – Michael Peveler

Learn More About Michael Peveler in the Links Below:

  • LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/peveler/
  • Twitter – https://twitter.com/PevelerMichael

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:

Thank you for joining another episode of the

Wesleyne Greer:

transform sales podcast. I am so excited today I get to interview

Wesleyne Greer:

a fellow Texan. I interview people all over the world and

Wesleyne Greer:

very seldom do I get to interview people right here in

Wesleyne Greer:

Texas. And so today I have Michael P. Fleur. How are you,

Wesleyne Greer:

Michael? I'm fantastic. Thank you. Thanks for giving me the

Wesleyne Greer:

opportunity to be here. Let me tell you guys a little bit about

Wesleyne Greer:

Michael. He's a senior executive with a proven track record of

Wesleyne Greer:

planning and execution of business objectives. He has

Wesleyne Greer:

strong business management background with an expertise in

Wesleyne Greer:

training, development, strategic planning and market development.

Wesleyne Greer:

He is a problem solving team leader and he loves what he

Wesleyne Greer:

does. So Michael, how did you start your career? And how did

Wesleyne Greer:

you become this amazing person that actually says I like team

Wesleyne Greer:

building and problem solving? In my bio? Yeah, well, it sounds

Wesleyne Greer:

like it was written by somebody that liked me. So let's just

Wesleyne Greer:

start there. So my background is education. I was actual, I

Wesleyne Greer:

started as a music education major in college and went to

Wesleyne Greer:

school at Texas Tech up in Lubbock. And then my first gig

Wesleyne Greer:

was teaching down in Houston, I was a junior high in high school

Wesleyne Greer:

band director down in the Fort Bend area and taught for eight

Wesleyne Greer:

years there and a couple of other spots in Texas. And for

Wesleyne Greer:

those who are from Texas know that everyone outside of Texas

Wesleyne Greer:

knows that football is a big deal. Friday night football,

Wesleyne Greer:

right Friday Night Lights. Well, if you also know that that's

Wesleyne Greer:

big, you know that Friday Night Music is big, too. So the band

Wesleyne Greer:

programs were huge, big deal. So I taught for eight years made

Wesleyne Greer:

the decision to get out, see if I could do something out else

Wesleyne Greer:

wanted to kind of test myself I grew up pretty poor. So I

Wesleyne Greer:

started working when I was about 15. So I took every job I've

Wesleyne Greer:

ever had and checked off everything I liked about what I

Wesleyne Greer:

did and didn't do in my life, you know, putting myself through

Wesleyne Greer:

college and all those things and came up with a set of skills

Wesleyne Greer:

that I said, Man, how do I get paid to go do that. And that led

Wesleyne Greer:

me to corporate training and development. So I am in every

Wesleyne Greer:

way a teacher, that is who I am. And so I came to a company as a

Wesleyne Greer:

corporate trainer, we were doing soft skill, business

Wesleyne Greer:s, early:Wesleyne Greer:

growing so fast, we were fighting to keep people you

Wesleyne Greer:

know, on board and recruit and building the next level of

Wesleyne Greer:

talent. So I was doing a lot of that stuff really got my

Wesleyne Greer:

business acumen sharp getting a chance to do that. And then my

Wesleyne Greer:

boss, who is a mentor of mine came to me and said, Listen,

Wesleyne Greer:

I've got this opportunity to run this program. And it's a

Wesleyne Greer:

basically, it's a business development program, partnership

Wesleyne Greer:

program. But the last three people that have had the job

Wesleyne Greer:

didn't make it to 90 days. And you run training as well as

Wesleyne Greer:

anybody I've ever had. So you can just stay and keep running

Wesleyne Greer:

training, or you can do this. And I said, Well, that sounds

Wesleyne Greer:

exciting, Mike, but who's gonna run training? I care a lot about

Wesleyne Greer:

it. He said, obviously, this is the cool part, you get to do

Wesleyne Greer:

both.

Wesleyne Greer:

Okay. And so what if I hate it? Can I go back to just running

Wesleyne Greer:

training? And he said, No, that's not how this works. If

Wesleyne Greer:

you want to play, you got to put skin in the game. And I said,

Wesleyne Greer:

let's go. And so I did. And that really got me into it. So I

Wesleyne Greer:

started traveling 20 countries a year working with other

Wesleyne Greer:

manufacturers building programs. And then eventually it led to

Wesleyne Greer:

hand eyes in the Drake hotel in Chicago, going out to see

Wesleyne Greer:

customers. And he looked at me and said, Look, you've done

Wesleyne Greer:

everything I've ever asked you to do. But you never carried a

Wesleyne Greer:

bag, never been a salesperson. And I know you've got the work

Wesleyne Greer:

ethic to do it. So I'm not going to let you just go be a

Wesleyne Greer:

salesperson, I'm going to make you build teams, we're going to

Wesleyne Greer:

build a new focus, vertical focus in the company. And you're

Wesleyne Greer:

going to go build the teams to go build it. So you got to build

Wesleyne Greer:

the business case, you got to go give us the justification, the

Wesleyne Greer:

return on investment, find our product and how it fits in for

Wesleyne Greer:

that it was education. So we had a K 12 team, which was a very

Wesleyne Greer:

different model. And then we had a higher education, but very

Wesleyne Greer:

different models, different product offerings, different

Wesleyne Greer:

solutions. And it just kind of grew from there and kept going.

Wesleyne Greer:

And I was there for 17 years. And then we got acquired by a

Wesleyne Greer:

company that was really slow compared to what we were like

Wesleyne Greer:

big giant came in. And after about two years of sitting

Wesleyne Greer:

around waiting to go do something. I left and went to a

Wesleyne Greer:

little bitty company. And we started really growing that and

Wesleyne Greer:

it was exciting and fun. And then we got bought by a much

Wesleyne Greer:

bigger company. And it was really slow again. And so a year

Wesleyne Greer:

in I was calling them going man I'm working 30 hours a week.

Wesleyne Greer:

This is the most boring job I've ever had, like, make it our

Wesleyne Greer:

number were your top Forecasting team in the company. But we're

Wesleyne Greer:

dying here. And at that point, I just decided to leave and go

Wesleyne Greer:

find another opportunity and I came down let's ID family owned

Wesleyne Greer:

business. Been around for a three years plus second

Wesleyne Greer:

generation Oh worship at this point, looking to kind of

Wesleyne Greer:

reinvent the brand and really reinvigorate the team with the

Wesleyne Greer:

the younger generation now running the company and got to

Wesleyne Greer:

join some amazing people. And I've been there for it'll be

Wesleyne Greer:

four years in October. So fantastic. I love what I do.

Wesleyne Greer:

I've got a great sales organization and a great team of

Wesleyne Greer:

people. And yeah, wow. So you have so many things that we were

Wesleyne Greer:

gonna unpack. The first one is, there are a lot of people who

Wesleyne Greer:

are actually in education right now. And they're like, I don't

Wesleyne Greer:

know, if I want to continue doing this, maybe I want to be

Wesleyne Greer:

in sales, maybe I want to do this. And what you said is, hey,

Wesleyne Greer:

I took something that I knew how to do really well. And I use

Wesleyne Greer:

those skills and translated them to a different industry. It's

Wesleyne Greer:

the same thing that I did when I went from being a chemist on the

Wesleyne Greer:

bench. And I started selling to those people, because I

Wesleyne Greer:

understood that world, right? I really understood and I got what

Wesleyne Greer:

they needed. So tell me about how you were able to transfer

Wesleyne Greer:

your skills from doing one thing within the education realm and

Wesleyne Greer:

to really getting into the training environment.

Wesleyne Greer:

Yeah, sure. So really simple. I get talked to my teachers all

Wesleyne Greer:

the time, who know that I made the jump. And they want to know,

Wesleyne Greer:

and it's sad state of our country in our world right now

Wesleyne Greer:

that people want out of education like they do. And I'm

Wesleyne Greer:

at a point in time, my age, where all of my friends that I

Wesleyne Greer:

was teaching with, they're all retiring, now they're hitting

Wesleyne Greer:

it, as soon as they get their number they're getting now they

Wesleyne Greer:

just don't want to put up with anymore. And it's a sad state of

Wesleyne Greer:

affairs of where we are. But I tell every single one of them

Wesleyne Greer:

the exact same thing. Most people in the real world have

Wesleyne Greer:

not worked a day as hard as you have as a teacher. People have

Wesleyne Greer:

no idea the amount of effort and time and compassion and patience

Wesleyne Greer:

and multitasking it takes to manage a classroom period after

Wesleyne Greer:

period and to manage administrators and to manage

Wesleyne Greer:

parents, and to manage all the other forces that go into it.

Wesleyne Greer:

And so I always tell people look, find what you love to do.

Wesleyne Greer:

Find what, what it is that when you do the clock goes really

Wesleyne Greer:

fast, right? Not the thing that every time you look at the

Wesleyne Greer:

clock, it's like, Ah, man, it's only been three minutes. Like,

Wesleyne Greer:

you know, when I'm in the gym, right? It's like, Hey, man, I've

Wesleyne Greer:

only been doing this for three minutes. I thought I've been

Wesleyne Greer:

doing this for like an hour, right? Yeah. It's like it, the

Wesleyne Greer:

bias has taken so long. Find the thing that you love to do, and

Wesleyne Greer:

then figure out how to get paid to go do it. And don't worry

Wesleyne Greer:

about your skill set. Because your work ethic and your ability

Wesleyne Greer:

to learn because teachers are learners, fundamentally, you

Wesleyne Greer:

know, your ability to do that will take you far, good

Wesleyne Greer:

communication skills are critical as a teacher critical

Wesleyne Greer:

in business, right? Understanding what it is you're

Wesleyne Greer:

talking about. Right? Being prepared? Yeah, that's what we

Wesleyne Greer:

do every day, right? Do we know what we're talking about? Are we

Wesleyne Greer:

prepared to handle it? Are we prepared to practice it? Are we

Wesleyne Greer:

prepared to go out and talk to somebody? Rejection is one thing

Wesleyne Greer:

from a sales standpoint that teachers aren't used to in the

Wesleyne Greer:

same way. So that is a little bit of a jump. But everything

Wesleyne Greer:

else? I remember when my boss came to me and said, I got a

Wesleyne Greer:

team not performing well, can you go in and fix it. And as I

Wesleyne Greer:

was going through the process of trying to understand the

Wesleyne Greer:

staffing and the focus, and how they're using their time, and

Wesleyne Greer:

all that stuff, I was like, I'm just doing a gap analysis, this

Wesleyne Greer:

is the same thing I did as a teacher, right? Here's where you

Wesleyne Greer:

are, here's where you're trying to go. Here's the plan of how

Wesleyne Greer:

you're gonna get there. Same exact thing. So yeah, I tell

Wesleyne Greer:

teachers all the time, you guys will kill it in the corporate

Wesleyne Greer:

world. And you'll work much harder. And you'll look around

Wesleyne Greer:

at everybody and go, Why does everybody need this much time to

Wesleyne Greer:

get this done? I got it done in half the time. I love it. I love

Wesleyne Greer:

it. And you know, one thing that most people don't realize is

Wesleyne Greer:

every single thing that is in the environment that you're

Wesleyne Greer:

working in is sold by a salesperson, those textbooks

Wesleyne Greer:

that you're using the overhead projector, or the whiteboards,

Wesleyne Greer:

and smartboards all of those things are sold by a

Wesleyne Greer:

salesperson. And so the easiest step into sales from any career,

Wesleyne Greer:

whether it's education, or engineering, or your nurse, like

Wesleyne Greer:

look around you and look at all of the different product names,

Wesleyne Greer:

and go to those companies and apply for those jobs. Right?

Wesleyne Greer:

Like reach out to those hiring managers on LinkedIn and say,

Wesleyne Greer:

Hey, XYZ I've used your product for 10 years. It is amazing. And

Wesleyne Greer:

I am looking for a career change. I would love to come

Wesleyne Greer:

sell for you be a corporate trainer be in supply chain,

Wesleyne Greer:

whatever it is, like you said that thing that makes you so

Wesleyne Greer:

excited and really stepping your toes into sales. That is one of

Wesleyne Greer:

the things people don't do. They're like applying for all of

Wesleyne Greer:

these giant companies out here who they don't know anything

Wesleyne Greer:

about and they don't know them. Start with what you know. So

Wesleyne Greer:

yeah, no, that's it and look, one of the reasons that I have

Wesleyne Greer:

headed up so much effort into education is because I came from

Wesleyne Greer:

In the space, and you know, I had people I worked with, and

Wesleyne Greer:

then I get up in front of a group of teachers and start

Wesleyne Greer:

talking to them, and they would look at me like, Who are you

Wesleyne Greer:

like, you're a teacher, holy cow, you've been hiding the

Wesleyne Greer:

whole time. And I was like, these are my people, right? I

Wesleyne Greer:

mean, these are the folks that look, to be fair, it's one of

Wesleyne Greer:

the skills that I think is necessary to be a salesperson,

Wesleyne Greer:

you've got to be willing to learn, and you got to be willing

Wesleyne Greer:

to teach, you got to be willing to teach each other, teach your

Wesleyne Greer:

team, help your coworker, help your person share experiences,

Wesleyne Greer:

right. All of that is, is a critical part of going and being

Wesleyne Greer:

successful in what we do on a daily basis. So it's really,

Wesleyne Greer:

again, transferable skills.

Wesleyne Greer:

Absolutely. I always say we serve, we don't sell. And one of

Wesleyne Greer:

the things that keeps saying one of the things, one of the many

Wesleyne Greer:

things that I talk about all the time is teach them and they will

Wesleyne Greer:

come right. So whether you're a leader, or you're an individual

Wesleyne Greer:

contributor, your job is to impart your knowledge, the

Wesleyne Greer:

things that you know, on your customers on your sales team.

Wesleyne Greer:

And if you already have that background, it's so much easier

Wesleyne Greer:

to do it. Right. Absolutely. So you took the skills that you had

Wesleyne Greer:

in education, and you translated them into the corporate arena.

Wesleyne Greer:

And I really enjoyed when you talk about a box that you had

Wesleyne Greer:

and said, yeah, no. So pretty much you don't have the option

Wesleyne Greer:

to fail. It's just going up. What was some of the emotions

Wesleyne Greer:

that were going through your brain at that point? I was

Wesleyne Greer:

excited at the opportunity. I'm not a person that sits around

Wesleyne Greer:

well, I you know, he and I read event and event years later, and

Wesleyne Greer:

someone said, So Michael, what is it you do? And he stepped in

Wesleyne Greer:

and said, let me answer this question, if you don't mind. And

Wesleyne Greer:

I was like, oh, no, what's he gonna say? Right? And he said,

Wesleyne Greer:

Michael is my FIX IT guy, he builds things that don't exist,

Wesleyne Greer:

and he fixes things that are broken. And that's, that's a

Wesleyne Greer:

good definition of who I am, right? I don't have long term

Wesleyne Greer:

patience. I have a lot of patience in the moment. But I

Wesleyne Greer:

get bored doing the same thing forever and ever and ever. I

Wesleyne Greer:

like building stuff. I like evolving and growing, if we're

Wesleyne Greer:

just gonna do the same thing every day. It's I'm not that

Wesleyne Greer:

person. There's other people that are great at that. Right,

Wesleyne Greer:

that are those great Sustainer type personalities for for me,

Wesleyne Greer:

it's building. So when there was an opportunity presented, yeah,

Wesleyne Greer:

there's a risk, but there's always a risk. And so I jumped

Wesleyne Greer:

at it. Because why wouldn't you write I trusted him. He didn't

Wesleyne Greer:

give me any reason not to. And look, I spent that whole holiday

Wesleyne Greer:

It was right before Christmas. And I remember I spent two weeks

Wesleyne Greer:

on my computer during my Christmas break, trying to learn

Wesleyne Greer:

about all these customers I was going to be working with. So for

Wesleyne Greer:

me, it was exciting. It was it's what I do. Once I get the

Wesleyne Greer:

opportunity, I dive in both feet. And I go right, the more

Wesleyne Greer:

knowledge and more understanding I have. And the more I speak the

Wesleyne Greer:

language right and more I understand their terminology,

Wesleyne Greer:

their words, the more comfortable I'm going to be when

Wesleyne Greer:

I get in front of them. You mentioned that the position that

Wesleyne Greer:

you took over the last three people had only lasted 90 days.

Wesleyne Greer:

How were you able to take a position that in literally 12

Wesleyne Greer:

months, there were four different managers? How did you

Wesleyne Greer:

take that and really start driving change within that

Wesleyne Greer:

organization within that that group that you were leaving? You

Wesleyne Greer:

know, look, I just tried to consolidate as much information,

Wesleyne Greer:

you know, our company had gone through a lot of transformation.

Wesleyne Greer:

And there was a point in time and some of the chaos of

Wesleyne Greer:

leadership change, where people were able to hide, we all know

Wesleyne Greer:

it, you know, we all see when organizations go through

Wesleyne Greer:

turmoil. There's people that aren't doing anything any you

Wesleyne Greer:

know, during the day, and they're still getting their

Wesleyne Greer:

paycheck. And that's what had happened. It wasn't you know,

Wesleyne Greer:

there were just people have gotten away with not doing

Wesleyne Greer:

anything. So for me, it was learning as much as I could

Wesleyne Greer:

gathering as much information as they had put together and then

Wesleyne Greer:

coming up with the direction of what made sense of where we were

Wesleyne Greer:

trying to go and then laying out a clear pathway. Again, you

Wesleyne Greer:

can't follow a road if you don't know where it is you're supposed

Wesleyne Greer:

to go. And sometimes you only have visibility to the next two

Wesleyne Greer:

weeks. Sometimes you got visibility for the next two

Wesleyne Greer:

years. But visibility is visibility. Right? You know, my

Wesleyne Greer:

family and I we like to backpack and hike and there's times we

Wesleyne Greer:

were talking about last night at dinner, we went hiking where we

Wesleyne Greer:

were in a cloud where we were hiking. So our visibility, felt

Wesleyne Greer:

a little bit like an ad slasher movie, right and kept watering,

Wesleyne Greer:

who was going to come out from around the tree, but you only

Wesleyne Greer:have visibility of:Wesleyne Greer:

But that's where you hiked. You just you followed the path and

Wesleyne Greer:

you you went with what you could see and you went at the pace

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that you can move comfortably and still see and be

Wesleyne Greer:

comfortable. And in business. I think it's the same way. So I

Wesleyne Greer:

laid out a path and we started going and as we learn more and

Wesleyne Greer:

got feedback and all those things that come in and help

Wesleyne Greer:

drive your direction we added to the plan and the path. That's so

Wesleyne Greer:

good. You talked about people hiring, right? Like, that's what

Wesleyne Greer:

so many people do, especially if you have a remote sales team,

Wesleyne Greer:

they can do just enough to get by. And as long as they're not

Wesleyne Greer:

ruffling feathers, and they're kind of close to their quota,

Wesleyne Greer:

then managers leave them alone. But I am very outside of the

Wesleyne Greer:

box, like, ya know, if

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you're always just close or right at it, that means you're

Wesleyne Greer:

not really pushing yourself, you're just in your comfort

Wesleyne Greer:

zone. So I want to kind of push you a little bit further. And

Wesleyne Greer:

sometimes that push, like you said, may push them out. But

Wesleyne Greer:

they need to understand this is the new culture. And this is

Wesleyne Greer:

what the we're gonna be doing. What did you do for those

Wesleyne Greer:

hiders? Those lurkers? How did you really impact upon the

Wesleyne Greer:

organization like, this is our vision for the future, this is

Wesleyne Greer:

what we're going to be doing?

Wesleyne Greer:

Well, so let me fast forward to the current company that I'm in,

Wesleyne Greer:

right. And I'm comfortable talking about it. I won't name

Wesleyne Greer:

any names. But you know, when I came to the company, I had seen

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historically a higher turnover rate. I'd seen you know, you see

Wesleyne Greer:

it, we all do people that always you know, I've got a job at this

Wesleyne Greer:

company. And then three months later, they're somewhere else.

Wesleyne Greer:

And I'd seen this company, I'd seen Atlas IDEs name in that

Wesleyne Greer:

worship, people were moving from one place to you know, and

Wesleyne Greer:

coming out was for a few months and then going. So when I came

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here, my first thought process was, I've got to listen, I've

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got to listen. And the first thing I need to do is learn

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what's working, not what's not. And so because what's in motion,

Wesleyne Greer:

and has positive momentum, we can use that right. And then

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we'll work on the other stuff that we have to so I started off

Wesleyne Greer:

my first week, with every one of my reports, I had two phone

Wesleyne Greer:

calls, right? One was like a 30 minute, hey, this is who I am I

Wesleyne Greer:

have I have a family, I have kids, this is what I've done in

Wesleyne Greer:

my career. Tell me about yourself, right? Build some

Wesleyne Greer:

personal rapport. And then I had a call that was it's about an

Wesleyne Greer:

hour and a half to two hour call, but I 10 questions. And I

Wesleyne Greer:

told them, I said, Look, I've got my Microsoft notes here, all

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I'm going to do is write what you say. And I'm gonna ask 10

Wesleyne Greer:

questions. And if you really want me to come in and help you

Wesleyne Greer:

fix, and grow this company, and you want to be part of it, this

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is your opportunity to be as honest as you're willing to be

Wesleyne Greer:

this your chance, right? And I'm going to ask these 10 questions,

Wesleyne Greer:

and you can say anything you want. I'm not, I won't respond,

Wesleyne Greer:

unless I asked you to elaborate something or something, it just

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goes way too long. I might have to cut it short. Right. So my

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first question was, what is the company do? Well, And my second

Wesleyne Greer:

question was, what is the company not do? Well, well, I

Wesleyne Greer:

had one person that they weren't like, 45 minutes on this, right.

Wesleyne Greer:

And you're getting a lot of good information, you're also

Wesleyne Greer:

learning a lot about your person. And so through the

Wesleyne Greer:

process, I was able to gather a lot of stuff and find

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commonalities, and then being transparent, because I think

Wesleyne Greer:

it's really important. As a leader, I came back to all of

Wesleyne Greer:

them and said, Look, here's the compiled results of what you all

Wesleyne Greer:

told me. And these are things that I think are easy to fix.

Wesleyne Greer:

And we can go work on that together. Does everybody agree

Wesleyne Greer:

that that would be valuable that that would be beneficial, if we

Wesleyne Greer:

worked on this stuff, and got this stuff fixed, and they all

Wesleyne Greer:

went, Yeah, that'd be great. Immediately, I got their buy in

Wesleyne Greer:

on it, I gave him a chance to, you know, for me to come in and

Wesleyne Greer:

start solving their problems, and it pulled anybody that was

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hiding out. So you pull those people into the process, and

Wesleyne Greer:

then they're all accountable for helping, I didn't say I haven't

Wesleyne Greer:

gotta go solve it, I said, we're gonna, we can go solve this

Wesleyne Greer:

stuff together, and we can get rid of this, I may be the point

Wesleyne Greer:

of the spear, right, I may be the one that asked to go have

Wesleyne Greer:

the conversations with the CEO, or, you know, whatever, that's

Wesleyne Greer:

fine. That's what I signed up for. I don't have the competence

Wesleyne Greer:

to do that I shouldn't have taken the job. But the next most

Wesleyne Greer:

important thing to me is the culture. And the culture in the

Wesleyne Greer:

team is what I can control and impact the culture of the

Wesleyne Greer:

company. And so by setting up and being very clear about what

Wesleyne Greer:

we were going to work on, as I started solving their problems,

Wesleyne Greer:

I started being able to insert my solutions for other things

Wesleyne Greer:

that weren't named, that were obvious to me, based on my

Wesleyne Greer:

experience, hey, by the way, we're working on this, but I

Wesleyne Greer:

want to make sure we get this too. And they would go Oh, and

Wesleyne Greer:

that some of them may have thought we never talked about

Wesleyne Greer:

that one. But nobody ever said that. And the end result was we

Wesleyne Greer:

started removing obstacles, people started feeling better

Wesleyne Greer:

about it. And then it became, I gotta verify that you're really

Wesleyne Greer:

pulling your own weight, right? And you could see who was doing

Wesleyne Greer:

it or not, you could see who was prepared. Who could talk about

Wesleyne Greer:

what their pipeline look like, who could talk about projects

Wesleyne Greer:

who can name names, right? I've told them all if I ask you about

Wesleyne Greer:

a project and you start with them, that's a bad sign. Right?

Wesleyne Greer:

Ah, bad sign, stalling for an answer. Not a good sign. Like

Wesleyne Greer:

you got to know what's in your pipeline. You got to know what's

Wesleyne Greer:

going on. Right? And if you can't answer those questions and

Wesleyne Greer:

stay on top of it, and we're not seeing orders come in when you

Wesleyne Greer:

say they're going to come in, and we're not seeing activity,

Wesleyne Greer:

or at least understanding why. And obviously, gosh, the last

Wesleyne Greer:

couple of years, we've been through a couple of major

Wesleyne Greer:

events, global supply chain challenge COVID, all that stuff.

Wesleyne Greer:

So certainly, they're just a couple of little things. And

Wesleyne Greer:

that's obviously slowed down and given us reasons for why things

Wesleyne Greer:

haven't come in. But you just have to be reasonable through

Wesleyne Greer:

that process. And through that, you can establish your core

Wesleyne Greer:

values, what really matters, right? For me, it really matters

Wesleyne Greer:

that as a team, we compete with each other. But we focus on the

Wesleyne Greer:

competitors outside the building, the other people that

Wesleyne Greer:

we sell against, right. So it's great to have salespeople that

Wesleyne Greer:

want to push each other. But I also want them to be each

Wesleyne Greer:

other's biggest supporters. Right? When somebody else gets a

Wesleyne Greer:

big order, I don't want them to be like, I want them to be like,

Wesleyne Greer:

Great job, that's good for the company, right? But I also want

Wesleyne Greer:

you to be pushing to be the one that got that big order, so that

Wesleyne Greer:

everybody's calling you going, Hey, congratulations, right. And

Wesleyne Greer:

so we spend a lot of time celebrating our wins as a group,

Wesleyne Greer:

so that everybody gets to hear those kudos, Pat's on the back

Wesleyne Greer:

all those kinds of things. And the great thing is, everyone's

Wesleyne Greer:

gotten to be the hero at some point in time in the last few

Wesleyne Greer:

years by getting that big order in and saving the month or

Wesleyne Greer:

saving the quarter or whatever, and everyone's going to go, or

Wesleyne Greer:

it didn't work out and you're like, I'm doing everything

Wesleyne Greer:

right. You're like, just stay patient, stay focused. And you

Wesleyne Greer:

know, when they're calling the other salespeople frustrated,

Wesleyne Greer:

they're hearing the same message. Because we built that

Wesleyne Greer:

culture.

Wesleyne Greer:

Wow, that right there, everyone listening that is a complete

Wesleyne Greer:

masterclass on how you step into an organization get buy in very

Wesleyne Greer:

quickly and start executing on the things that needs to happen.

Wesleyne Greer:

Because the roadmap or the recipe that I heard is, hey, I'm

Wesleyne Greer:

just Michael, I'm just introducing myself. Now I want

Wesleyne Greer:

to understand from you what's good, what's not so good. So we

Wesleyne Greer:

can work together to solve them. And you don't just listen to the

Wesleyne Greer:

words they're saying, you listen to how they're saying it, you

Wesleyne Greer:

listen to their body language, you listen to their demeanor,

Wesleyne Greer:

how long are they complaining? How long are they giving

Wesleyne Greer:

solutions? Are they making excuses like so as a leader,

Wesleyne Greer:

having that kind of conversation with your salesperson, whether

Wesleyne Greer:

you've been in the position, two months, two years, 20 years, if

Wesleyne Greer:

you don't have this information, you really should understand it,

Wesleyne Greer:

don't just use your preconceived notions of what you think this

Wesleyne Greer:

person is like, or what you think they may do, really use

Wesleyne Greer:

their words. And then you take that and you say, we're a team,

Wesleyne Greer:

we win as a team, we lose as a team, this is what we're going

Wesleyne Greer:

to do, we're going to work on one to three things. And then

Wesleyne Greer:

you help them all celebrate their wins. And when somebody

Wesleyne Greer:

needs to be uplifted, they have the collective team around them,

Wesleyne Greer:

because at some point, everyone has been in that seat. So really

Wesleyne Greer:

building that strong organization based on the

Wesleyne Greer:

culture, the way everybody collaborates with each other.

Wesleyne Greer:

That's what drives sales. I mean, so many sales leaders are

Wesleyne Greer:

out here beating people with the CRM and KPIs and all this and

Wesleyne Greer:

that, and yes, it does have a place. But that's not what we

Wesleyne Greer:

lead with. We lead with you're a human being. And this is the

Wesleyne Greer:

behavior that drives sales. And so that is what we need to do to

Wesleyne Greer:

push the needle forward. Yeah, I couldn't say it better you lead

Wesleyne Greer:

with culture, right? We use the tools CRM, and KPIs are tools

Wesleyne Greer:

that help with the direction of where the trials gonna go. But

Wesleyne Greer:

we lead with culture, first and foremost, right? So I have, if

Wesleyne Greer:

you don't mind, I'll keep this one short. But I have the same

Wesleyne Greer:

conversation with every person that works for me, right? And I

Wesleyne Greer:

tell them, it's the first conversation we have after they

Wesleyne Greer:

start, obviously, we go through all the interview process, but

Wesleyne Greer:

it's the first conversation and through the interview process,

Wesleyne Greer:

I'm really looking for culture, right? Can I talk to this

Wesleyne Greer:

person, my going to be able to call them and tell them that

Wesleyne Greer:

there's a problem? And they're going to be able to handle that,

Wesleyne Greer:

right? Because I've got to be able to deal with a world of

Wesleyne Greer:

conflict, right? We're salespeople, that's what we deal

Wesleyne Greer:

with all the time. And there's going to be times I need to be

Wesleyne Greer:

able to call someone and say, Hey, I don't think we had the

Wesleyne Greer:

right game plan here, the right approach. And there's going to

Wesleyne Greer:

be other times where I'm going to be like, you know, you need

Wesleyne Greer:

to be able to call me and say, Hey, I didn't get the support

Wesleyne Greer:

from this other team area, or I, you know, I felt like you let me

Wesleyne Greer:

down or whatever, that's okay, that we have to have those

Wesleyne Greer:

conversations. So I'm listening for that. I'm asking questions

Wesleyne Greer:

about that through the interview process, because I need to know

Wesleyne Greer:

that you're going to come in and fit the culture we built. But

Wesleyne Greer:

the conversation is really simple. I hate surprises, even

Wesleyne Greer:

on my birthday. So don't let me get surprised. That's rule

Wesleyne Greer:

number one, right? There's a problem you call me about it.

Wesleyne Greer:

Rule number two is good news is great. But bad news comes first.

Wesleyne Greer:

Right? Again, as a sales leader, my job is to remove obstacles

Wesleyne Greer:

for you. I can use my title, I can use my relationships. I can

Wesleyne Greer:

use my pool with the other senior managers in the team or

Wesleyne Greer:

in the company to potentially help get you out of a problem.

Wesleyne Greer:

But I can't do it if I don't know about it. Right. Now, if I

Wesleyne Greer:

find out about a problem from somebody else in the team,

Wesleyne Greer:

that's like two strikes. Right? You got it. You call me first. I

Wesleyne Greer:

don't care day or night you call me first because again, I can't

Wesleyne Greer:

help you. If I don't know there's a problem, right? It's a

Wesleyne Greer:

servant attitude. Right? The third thing is we do what's

Wesleyne Greer:

right, because it's the right thing to do not because it makes

Wesleyne Greer:

people happy. So as I tell them all you learned everything you

Wesleyne Greer:

need to know in kindergarten, right? We don't lie. We don't

Wesleyne Greer:

cheat, don't steal, we hold hands when we cross the street.

Wesleyne Greer:

We don't do anything that even smells like we were being

Wesleyne Greer:

unethical in the way we go. When. Right? And I always tell

Wesleyne Greer:

them, this is your official warning on that. Right?

Wesleyne Greer:

Everything else, you will get a chance. This one, this is your

Wesleyne Greer:

official warning. Right? You won't get a chance. If I find

Wesleyne Greer:

out you lied, cheated, still misled any of that stuff. Our

Wesleyne Greer:

next conversation will be I wish you the best of luck. And then

Wesleyne Greer:

the fourth thing is, you're absolutely welcome to disagree

Wesleyne Greer:

with me. There's nothing wrong with that I have my own opinions

Wesleyne Greer:

based on the information that I have. But if you think I'm just

Wesleyne Greer:

off my rocker, don't call and tell all the other salespeople

Wesleyne Greer:

call me.

Wesleyne Greer:

Right? In the old day, come into my office, right? Come talk to

Wesleyne Greer:

me Shut the door. And let's have an honest adult to adult

Wesleyne Greer:

conversation. And I will drop my expectations and just listen

Wesleyne Greer:

without judgment to what you have to say. And if you

Wesleyne Greer:

absolutely can bring a compelling reason, or compelling

Wesleyne Greer:

point that I didn't consider or information I didn't, that

Wesleyne Greer:

helped me adjust my direction. I'm glad to do that, right. But

Wesleyne Greer:

at the end of the day, I get paid to make decisions as a

Wesleyne Greer:

sales leader. So at the end of the conversation, I'm going to

Wesleyne Greer:

make a decision, I'm not going to spend days thinking about it,

Wesleyne Greer:

I'm going to make a call. And at that point, we're all on the

Wesleyne Greer:

same page. Right? So we're not going back and complaining that

Wesleyne Greer:

you didn't agree with me? No, I'll explain to you why I'll

Wesleyne Greer:

open the books, I'll show you the stuff that maybe you don't

Wesleyne Greer:

need to know as a salesperson. But in this case, I'm going to

Wesleyne Greer:

tell you, I'll give you a perspective. I don't mind. But

Wesleyne Greer:

then we're going to focus on getting back to work, right? And

Wesleyne Greer:

we're just going to realize that that didn't work out the way you

Wesleyne Greer:

wanted it to. And I've been I've absolutely changed my mind.

Wesleyne Greer:

Right? When people have come and given me a compelling reason to

Wesleyne Greer:

understand why my decision maybe wasn't, you know, fully

Wesleyne Greer:

informed. That's okay. And that's it. If you can follow

Wesleyne Greer:

those four rules, and you can put your work ethic in every

Wesleyne Greer:

day, and you can work with the team every day, you probably

Wesleyne Greer:

have a chance to be successful. And it's amazing to me how many

Wesleyne Greer:

people can't follow those four rules. Yeah, I just recently

Wesleyne Greer:

onboard a new employee. And so um, you know, what we, as

Wesleyne Greer:

leaders have to do, we have to mentor our next generation of

Wesleyne Greer:

leaders. So I just promoted somebody up to become a manager.

Wesleyne Greer:

And one of the things that I overheard her telling the new

Wesleyne Greer:

employee is be honest with Wesleyne. She likes to if you're

Wesleyne Greer:

not honest with her, that is her Achilles heel, like, I need to

Wesleyne Greer:

know, like, you need to tell me the consequences. Like don't

Wesleyne Greer:

worry about that. We can figure it out together. But like you

Wesleyne Greer:

said, if I find out from somebody else, oh, that's a big

Wesleyne Greer:

problem, because you didn't come to me. And then I had to be

Wesleyne Greer:

introspective and say, was there something I did that made you

Wesleyne Greer:

feel uncomfortable with sharing this with me? Was it my

Wesleyne Greer:

reaction? Or was this your insecurity? And then once I

Wesleyne Greer:

worked through that, then we can move forward. But there's

Wesleyne Greer:

something that I call being a hot leader? Yes. Hot, honest,

Wesleyne Greer:

open, transparent, right. And that is what we literally, as

Wesleyne Greer:

strong leaders, we should always have that hot mentality and not

Wesleyne Greer:

hot, swerving off as soon as something happens, but be

Wesleyne Greer:

honest, be a person of your word, do what you say you're

Wesleyne Greer:

going to do. I expect you as a team to do this. And I'm going

Wesleyne Greer:

to hold myself to the same standard open. Openness is yes,

Wesleyne Greer:

I've not always been perfect. But this is where I am now. And

Wesleyne Greer:

this is how we're going to get to the next level and being

Wesleyne Greer:

transparent. Transparency is Hey, guys, I know you may not

Wesleyne Greer:

want to do this. However, I just had a board meeting. And if we

Wesleyne Greer:

don't do xy and z, then I'm going to be on the chopping

Wesleyne Greer:

block. You guys are still going to be here. But they told me

Wesleyne Greer:

that my job is on the lie. So I need you to help me save my job

Wesleyne Greer:

that's being transparent, that's being vulnerable. And for a lot

Wesleyne Greer:

of leaders, they can't lean into that. They can't get into that

Wesleyne Greer:

vulnerability to be like, Oh, I'm going to tell them what's

Wesleyne Greer:

going on behind the scenes. But that's the only way that we grow

Wesleyne Greer:

as leaders and our teams grow also.

Wesleyne Greer:

Well, I so love that you have no idea how much we're aligned. So

Wesleyne Greer:

I use the word vulnerable all the time. I'm a 54 year old guy

Wesleyne Greer:

and saying vulnerable people sometimes like me, like but I

Wesleyne Greer:

tell the team so we have we have a sales meeting every week,

Wesleyne Greer:

right? Like every sales team does line alternates, so one

Wesleyne Greer:

week it's everybody in the company that impact sells so

Wesleyne Greer:

product management, customer service, marketing, all those

Wesleyne Greer:

people and they they've got one hour a week to get everything

Wesleyne Greer:

into the sales team they need to write because I can't have my

Wesleyne Greer:

salespeople spending hours orders in meetings that aren't

Wesleyne Greer:

related to sales, right? You can't hold them accountable for

Wesleyne Greer:

a number and then go like, but I need you eight hours and other

Wesleyne Greer:

stuff. And when I came here, that was a problem. So I said,

Wesleyne Greer:

like, you get one meeting one hour, every two weeks. And guess

Wesleyne Greer:

what it works fine, everybody's able to get in what they need

Wesleyne Greer:

to. And if something special like and brand new products

Wesleyne Greer:

coming out, we're doing training, obviously, that's an

Wesleyne Greer:

exception, right. But for the most part, it works fine. The

Wesleyne Greer:

other meeting the other every other week, it's just myself and

Wesleyne Greer:

my direct reports. And the whole theme of that meeting is be

Wesleyne Greer:

vulnerable. This is where we get better. This is where you have

Wesleyne Greer:

to admit I don't do this, well, hey, I've been trying to sell

Wesleyne Greer:

this, I've been trying to talk to a customer about this. And I

Wesleyne Greer:

didn't go well or I tried to demo and the product didn't work

Wesleyne Greer:

like it right? Whatever it is, or I'm struggling with CRM, and

Wesleyne Greer:

I can't figure out how to make this work. And you know, people

Wesleyne Greer:

are is on me about I gotta be tracking this stuff. But I can't

Wesleyne Greer:

Oh, guess what your email and CRM aren't synced. They're not.

Wesleyne Greer:

That's why and but you got to have those conversations. And

Wesleyne Greer:

everybody's got to be willing to be the learner. And everyone's

Wesleyne Greer:

got to be willing to be the teacher in that session. And I

Wesleyne Greer:

will tell you that my team loves that. In fact, they have, they

Wesleyne Greer:

have lobbied me to only to do that meeting three times a month

Wesleyne Greer:

into the other meeting only once a month, instead of every other

Wesleyne Greer:

week. And it's just because they all professionally get better.

Wesleyne Greer:

During that time. They learned something. Most weeks they go,

Wesleyne Greer:

Oh, that's good. And you know what, when you're out there

Wesleyne Greer:

doing this every day, that's all you're looking for? Hey, give me

Wesleyne Greer:

one more little tool. One more little nugget. One more thing

Wesleyne Greer:

that I tried that last week, and it blew up on me and you did it

Wesleyne Greer:

and it worked? How'd you do it? Huh? Good. You know, the thing

Wesleyne Greer:

is, there's so many sales leaders out there that have

Wesleyne Greer:

these sales meetings that just make me pull my hair out. I'm

Wesleyne Greer:

like, why are you going through the CRM? Why do you have this

Wesleyne Greer:

put like this, you should do this on your own. And then you

Wesleyne Greer:

bring up issues. But using your sales meeting what it is meant

Wesleyne Greer:

to do, which is moving the needle. And if that's moving the

Wesleyne Greer:

needle on product knowledge, what's happening on customer

Wesleyne Greer:

service side, what problems they're seeing in the field

Wesleyne Greer:

issues with customers, all of those things. And then also,

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hey, I'm a salesperson, and I'm struggling with this, can

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someone help me and you let them I like to call a mastermind

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around that you will let them collectively work together as a

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group to really overcome those obstacles. And you're right,

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because as a leader, it's like, I know how. And I always tell

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people, as a leader, as a business owner, I should know

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how to do everything in my business or everything that my

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team is doing. But I have to know how to do it. Well, like my

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podcast, I am so very, very happy to know that all I have to

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do is show up and do an amazing interview everything before it's

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done by somebody else. And everything and afters done by

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somebody else. I do not desire to know how to edit videos. I

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just don't, right. I know what good looks like, but I don't

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have to do it myself. And as leaders, we have to recognize

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that we have to let those strongholds go. We don't have to

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do everything. We don't have to touch everything. We don't have

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to be everything to everyone. We need to allow our team to do

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some of those things. No, it's exactly right. And listen, my

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team is much better at selling every day than I am. I'm good.

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They're better, right? And the great thing is I tell them use

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my title use my stuff to help you, right? Hey, I need to bring

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my I'm gonna bring my VP and for this I'm gonna you know, I'm

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when next time we go out and do a meeting, I'm gonna I'm gonna

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have my VP fly in, right? And people go, oh, this person must

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be important. Okay, great. Yeah, when I come off the back row of

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American Airlines,

Unknown:

all the way by the bathroom.

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You know, but what I can do is bring a bigger

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picture perspective and a level of competence in the company and

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reinforce the message that my salesperson has brought in and

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help them go be successful. Right. And that, again, my job

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is to remove obstacles for them. Their job is to sell, right, but

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my job is to remove obstacles that keep them from being able

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to sell effectively. And if I do that, yes, we review CRM, yes,

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we go through opportunities. Yes, we do forecasting, like any

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company, we have to do that stuff. But do we do that in

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meetings that consume everybody's time, only the

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forecast meeting, and we do that once a month, we do that one.

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But we have to and especially in the world we live in with supply

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chain as a hardware manufacturer, gosh, it's such a

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struggle that if we don't give clear sight to our product,

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purchasing people and those folks then we won't have

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something to sell. So the both sides of the house have to

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really connect through this process. And three years ago,

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people didn't know what supply chain meant. Now everyone has

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the textbook definition of it. So those kinds of things. It's

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worth the time and it's actually built confidence in others. So

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leaders in the company, because they sit in that meeting, the

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forecast meeting, and they listen to the salespeople talk

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about the opportunities in the activity of what's going on in

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the field. And I tell them all, you guys can ask these guys, any

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questions you want, right? These men and women are prepared. And

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so they'll go, so what are you hearing from the field about

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this? Or what's the customer said? And they can drill the

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answer off because they're, they're doing it. And the end

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result is that people whose and we all know there's always

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senior leaders in the company like how the sales guys are they

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really even work in Maine, I just see their expenses. Are

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they really doing well, not mine, because mine are sitting

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in that meeting going, they know what they're talking about.

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They're out there hustling, they've got activity, they're

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closing deals, they told us they were going to close. So their

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confidence level in the team is high. And if you come into this

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team now and you don't meet that expectation, it becomes really

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clear really quickly. Oh, Michael, Michael, Michael, we

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can talk forever and ever and ever, because you're talking

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about your salespeople taking ownership of their business,

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like actually thinking about it like this is their own small

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business, and I put into it what I get out, I need help. Because

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I can't actually go into the warehouse and make these parts

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myself, right. I can't make sure the order is set to the all the

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right facilities, and so that every sales person needs to

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think about their book of business, their territory, as

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their own small business. Because you input output, the

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more you do to understand your customers, your territory, the

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needs of what they need, you can translate that back into the

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organization. And that means they can better serve your

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customers, right? It's a full cycle loop. Absolutely. So as we

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like I said, we could probably talk for like 90 minutes,

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because we're so well aligned. But as we wrap up, I always like

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to ask you this final question, what is one thing, just one

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thing within your personal or professional life, you are most

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excited about having accomplished? Ah, gosh, so

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everybody's got their own personal philosophy of why we're

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here. And mine is that we're here to try to make the world a

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better place. And we've got four children to biological to

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adopted. The oldest two I made do charity when they were

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growing up, because I don't think fundamentally were

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charitable. They fundamentally were kind of selfish. So I made

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them donate their money or their time, to things that they cared

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about, right didn't matter. Right when my agenda was theirs,

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but they had to do it. But then when we were faced with the

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opportunity, we stepped up and did it and brought two kids and

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out of foster care. And our fine line crazy. It's not always

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easy. There are two teenage boys now, some days good, some days

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bad, some hours, good, some hours bad. But the fact that I

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think we've tried to live by the credo that we try to teach as

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well, I think that probably makes us a better person. And I

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think that very much contributes to how we approach business as

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well. And how I approach business, right? We didn't come

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here to destroy, we weren't sent here to destroy each other, we

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were put here for whatever you believe, while we're here, we're

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to lift each other up. And I think we do that in the way we

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manage. And I think I do that. And the way we parent and all of

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that.

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Wow, you gave me chills. That was That's amazing. I always say

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that, you know, my philosophy is the same. I have been so lucky,

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so blessed to have this talent, and what my calling is to share

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my time, my talent, my expertise with those around me, so I can

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help uplift others because I didn't get to where I am by

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myself. And so I like to pour back into people and the fact

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that you have adopted two children after raising two of

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your own biological children, that definitely speaks volumes

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to the type of person that you are. You're kind it was a family

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decision, obviously. And there's been a lot of sacrifice a lot of

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work and we have great kids, we our life is much better because

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we they have we have them in our lives. So it sounds like we're

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superheroes, we're not we get a lot we get a lot more than we

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give. And now they'll just you know, finish high school and

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move out or be great. Spoken like a true leader, minimizing

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your contribution and really talking about this wasn't just

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me, it was a team effort. It was a family decision, and they're

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giving to us as much as we're giving to them. Those are the

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words that true leaders lead with lead their life personally

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as well as in business. And so I'm so honored. I have enjoyed

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our time together so much my Oh, thank you. And if people want to

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get in contact with you, what is the one best way? LinkedIn? It's

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just Michael PE v e l e r. You can search me there Atlas ID is

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the company and And, yeah, just reach out to me, you can contact

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me directly through it. Awesome. Well, thanks again for sharing

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your wealth of knowledge and all of your many, many years of

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being in sales leadership, transitioning from education and

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really helping us understand what it takes to build strong

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teams from the beginning, not in two months, three months, 10

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years, but how do you grab that organization by the horns and

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really write it? So thank you so much again, Michael. No, thank

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you for the opportunity. I really appreciate it really

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enjoy it. And that was another episode of the transformed sales

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podcast. Remember in what all you do, it is most important to

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serve and not sell. Have a wonderful day until we meet

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