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Experts Unleashed

How To Build & Manage Top-Performing Sales Teams With Cole Gordon | EU81

cole gordon closers into leaders sales recruitment and training
Tags: Sales Leadership, Sales Management, Sales Calls, Sales Team

Cole Gordon went from running his own marketing agency and then shutting it down…

To becoming a high-ticket sales rep and quitting that…

To starting his own sales coaching business and then pivoting to sales recruitment and training.

Now, his company Closers To Leaders does $6 million/year in revenue.

And he did it in just 11 months.

He’s my guest today for this episode of Experts Unleashed.

We talked about all things Sales.

And specifically, how to recruit, retain, and lead top-performing sales teams.

You'll Discover

  • The characteristics of a top 1% salesperson and the 3 pillars of attracting the best talent to your team [05:30]

  • Why your values as a business owner will determine the type of salespeople you will attract and retain [11:37]

  • How to understand the emotional make-up of salespeople to manage them better [16:31]

  • How Cole identified the gap in the high-ticket sales niche that allowed him to scale to a $6-million run-rate in 11 months [24:53]

  • Is scaling to $500k/month or $1m/month worth it? Revenue, margins, team size, stress, lifestyle - all the factors you need to consider [27:33]

…And much more!

Episode Transcript

Cole Gordon: [00:00:00]

Like when I was a sales rep, the only thing I cared about was being the best. And I wanted to not only had the best numbers and the best, you know, KPIs and you know, the best track record I wanted to be known as the best.

Joel Erway: [00:00:11]

Hey, what’s going on? It’s Joel Erway and welcome to another very special episode of Experts Unleashed. I am super honored, super excited to have a good friend of mine on the podcast today, his name is Cole Gordon from Closers Into Leaders. And today we are going to dive into all things, sales teams, sales conversations, all things sales.

I know a lot of you who are listening right now have probably jumped into this game. And maybe you have a sales person on your team. Maybe you have a few sales people on your team. Maybe you’ve been struggling to recruit a sales person, a solid sales person on your team. I wanted to make sure that I had Cole come on the show and talk about all the things that he does to manage a great sales team.

Actually more than managing, find, recruit, train, and retain a great sales team. And that is what we’re going to be talking about today. Cole, welcome to the show my man.

Cole Gordon: [00:01:13]

Thanks man. Happy to be here.

Joel Erway: [00:01:16]

Thanks man. Sounded so excited. You know, we had such a great pre-show conversation. The energy was high, and then “thanks man”. I’m just teasing you. I’m just teasing. So Cole and I have been connected for a while now. We run in similar circles. We’re in at least one mastermind together, actually technically two now. But we have been running in the same circles for quite a few years. I’ve got to know him Cole, super intelligent guy, super smart guy.

And he has done some incredible things with his own company, grown that very, very quickly, but Cole is respected in this industry as somebody who knows how to lead and manage high performing sales team. Cole, why don’t you give us a quick, let’s say a 32 second, 60 second background about who you are and give us the need to know info about you.

Cole Gordon: [00:02:18]

Yeah, for sure. Four or five years ago had an agency business done for you. Ads. Hated it, sucked at fulfillment, probably wasn’t really, even that good at ads. And I was in his high ticket coaching program at the time where my revenues were decent. And despite my skill with ads, not being very good.

So everybody was like, Oh, you know, you’re just so good at sales. Like you’re just a sales guy and I was so new in my entrepreneurial career that when you’re brand new into anything that you’re doing, you’re kind of trying to find your identity within that thing. Right. So I very clinged onto that and then got burned out of the agency.

It was like done for you. Uh, sucks. And I had friends who were doing full-time sales, who had actually sold me into that program. And I knew they were making 10, $20,000 a month. So I was like selling, you know, full-time high ticket commission, remote, all that stuff. So, gave all my clients a way to a really big agency owner you’re like actually knew what he was doing and then went into full-time selling, how long road of sucking for a long time not being as good as I thought it was, ended up becoming the best person on my first team.

Finally, we took a long time and after that became the top performer for several other teams before starting my own sales training and recruitment company which is probably now about 13 months ago. And so we went from zero to about. 6 million run rate within 11 months. And, you know, we work with people who really, a lot of times are anywhere from about 50 grand a month in high ticket sales to all the way our top client does two and a half million a month.
And we just help them find, hire and train top 1% sales talent. So that might be somebody who’s never hired a sales person before. And they’re trying to, for the first time, get off the phone and bring on a new sales rep, reclaim their time and scale their company. Or maybe they just want more sales reps, they have a current sales team. Or their sales teams underperform me. And it’s like, how can we lead, train and manage those people effectively to get them back before? So those are kind of the main things of what we do. It’s a lot of fun and, uh, mm.

Joel Erway: [00:04:17]

You know, what’s interesting is if you had told me. Like, if you were a client of mine and you were like, Joel help me, uh, help me build this, you know, I need to get lead flow coming in for this done for you offer.

If I were to kind of like, guess what the market size is for your offer, I never would have guessed for you to be able to go from 0 to 6 million run rate in 11 months. I just didn’t think it was that big. Ignorance is a hit. That’s the, that’s my ignorance showing, but it’s amazing to see how much demand there is for this offer.

My first question to you is, where do you see like the biggest problem that most people have with finding great sales talent? And maybe you can lead us down the road of like what are the characteristics of a top 1% salesperson?

Cole Gordon: [00:05:19]

Yeah. Well, the first thing you said, I thought the same thing, to be honest, like I, you know, my offer evolved into the sales training and recruitment, before it was just pure sales coaching.

Right. And I just kind of listened to the market. I was like, wow, this is a huge need. And to be honest, it’s, I probably could have skilled faster if I would have realized that the market cap was this big as it was, but, you know, at a certain point it just was like, you know, I don’t know what I don’t know. I’m going to scale up until there’s some obvious diminishing return and we’re hitting that.

So, dude, I was right there with you, man. And it still surprises me to this day and I think there’s a lot more room anymore, but I’m in terms of the question was the biggest mistakes are what people do and how can I, how to, how to find the talent in the first place.

A couple of things, um, let’s start at the very core, right? You got to remember a lot of people forget that what you’re really doing at the end of the day. Is providing a salesperson with an amazing opportunity from a career standpoint. Right. So, you know, as a marketer that, um, if you know the, the thing, they can do the most heavy lifting for you in your business, but especially like a marketing campaign is what the offer, right.

Offer could do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Well, Lo and behold, you know, when you’re out there trying to recruit a sales rep, you’re operating in a marketplace. Okay. And the best people will gravitate towards the best career opportunity, AKA the best offer. So I always want to look at, you know, what type of offer are you putting out there?

What’s up a career opportunity are you putting out there for the reps? Okay. So there’s a few things that makes this up. There’s obviously the comp structure. Right. More particularly, like, what are the on track earnings if they hit what you would like, let’s say you’re closing 20 to 30% and you’re closing this amount of contract value.

You know, when you overlay that with a comp structure, what would they be making a year if they just do what you do? Right. So what’s the earnings potential within the position. Another big thing is like, what does a lead flow like? You know, I’m not totally like all about, Oh, you should only do inbound leads and no outbound or whatever.

Like I love outbound. I love prospecting. I think any salesperson wants to be at the best should be able to do both. But if you have amazing quality inbound lead flow, that is more attractive to the sales rep, you know, also like, how good is your actual offer? You know, if there’s certain companies that we work with that, you know, their offer is just amazing.

They have a great brand story, you know, their testimonials are insane. It’s like the offer super transformational, like really impacts the people. The sales reps are getting messages a week later, like prospects are thanking them for enrolling them and selling them, that matters. And then the final thing that makes up a good offer for a salesperson, a good career opportunity for a salesperson is the culture.

Right. Particularly like how good of a leader are you? Right. How’s the culture like sticky, like do people like love being part of it? How good are you at communicating vision, mission and values, right? That’s huge. Can you enroll them in the larger vision, because people are more apt to perform and work really, really hard for something that they perceive as bigger than themselves?

You know, look at Amazon, look at Apple, look at all of those companies. That’s actually a higher driver than pay, by far, you know? So that’s probably the one that people most miss out on, but those four keys there are really what you want to look at in terms of your career opportunity. Because the inverse of that, where most people screw up is they have this mentality of you know, I’m on my high horse as an entrepreneur, you know, The sales rep should prove what they can do for me and just go out and hunt and get me business before I even really even like invest in them at all.

And then they just like the only people that they ended up getting are really, really flaky inexperienced reps who saw, because all the experienced ones are going to the good offers. So the things I try to do with clients is, you know, sometimes they don’t have this issue. Some of them, they do need a little bit of a reset, cause they’re not empathetically looking at it from the sales point, sales reps point of view.

And I’m like, let’s just rework how this offer is structured. And then lo and behold, now we get better people super easy. So that’s the first one. I have some more stuff in terms of how to actually find the people once you have that, but I’ll turn it over to you if you have any thoughts on that, we can wrap on that for a second.

Joel Erway: [00:09:55]

I think where the biggest aha moment for me. And I’d be, I would love to hear your feedback on this is for the entrepreneur who is looking for a sales rep. Right? One of the things that you mentioned is like they have to have, the entrepreneur has to have the leadership qualities and you said the biggest driver, um, over pay was getting the sales or to buy into the bigger vision, the bigger mission of the company. Right. I think if we were to, uh, correct me if I’m wrong, if we were to marry the two perfect people, entrepreneur and a sales person, that entrepreneur has to be based on those qualities that I just heard you, uh, that I just heard you say it would be my assumption or be my inference to I assume that the entrepreneur has to be somebody who really wants to build a business.

And I say that because there are plenty of lifestyle entrepreneurs out there, and I’m saying this because of my own discoveries of having some issues, managing sales reps and finding great sales reps.

And it just became a drain on my life until I really kind of figured out what I really wanted my business to become, which is more lifestyle driven. Do you find that to be the case? Like if you find a lifestyle entrepreneur who looks for a sales repping, do you find that having more complex than say an entrepreneur who is looking to really be a business owner and grow that into something substantial more than just fulfilling their core lifestyle demands.

Cole Gordon: [00:11:36]

Right. So that, that’s actually an amazing, amazing question. So, I just think you’ve got to find, I have to find the right, you know, you gotta find two people who have the same values.

Okay, so I’ll give you a great example. Is we have a client who she actually is local here in Arizona. She does about a hundred thousand dollars a month, but she was very got to help scale from 30 to 100 to 150. And then once she got there, it was very like, you know, I might want to do more, but I’m really like in a pause here.

And make sure that my health is good. My stability is good. I have the lifestyle that I want to have that, you know, the things that I got into this business to do in the first place are being honored. And that’s really, really good. That’s like, self-aware that you’re able to do that because it’s easy to get on the scale train.

Right. And I’m like, okay, totally cool. And then when you look at our sales team, they’re all, they have the same values. They’re all very, like they’re getting into this for those same things, right? They’re a, commission-based remote sales rep. Who’s doing high ticket, you know, one or two call close, pretty short sales cycle because they want to travel.

They want to be able to go to Europe and still take calls. They want to be able to, you know, be able to make their own schedule and, you know, have kind of time in the morning for their families, if that’s something that they want to do or, you know, structure things on their terms. You know, for somebody like her, who has more of a lifestyle, have a business, you want to find somebody who has that same type of value.

And then when you’re onboarding and enrolling that person into the company, it’s communicating to those are the values. So those are things that, you know, if these are important to you, you’re really going to like it here. Now, but at that same lifestyle took them entrepreneurial and said, pick on somebody who was like me when I was a sales rep, like when I was a sales rep, the only thing I cared about was being bused and I wanted to not only have the best numbers and the best, you know, KPIs and, you know, the best track record I wanted to be known as the best too.

You know, it was very like, that was what I wanted, nothing wrong with that. And so. I grab a tape gravitated towards cultures. They kind of felt the same way in terms of their value system. So it’s just one of those things where the more clear you are with when you’re ever you’re, I think you’re hiring on employees, team members.

Um, the more clear you are with your values and what the culture really is like the product of a good culture is repelling the people who are not a right fit. And then really sucking in people in who are, and then that helps build retention as well. You can market message and a brand, right. Same function.

So that’s a great question, man. And that’s how I would look at it because there’s tons of really good closers I know who are in a season of their life, man. They’re good. But they’re in a season of life where they’re like, dude, I’m not working the 50, 60 hour weeks sometimes. And cam on 15 came on, you know, I want to be able to have like, you know, I love working, I love selling, but I’m not trying to kill myself.

And so that person is a great page here for somebody who has the same goals with their business.

Joel Erway: [00:14:41]

Yep. Yeah. It’s, it’s funny because that was a big lesson that I learned from working with some salespeople that were not a great fit for my company and not a great fit for my personality.

And as I heard you talking about, it’s like the light bulb kind of went off. It’s like, okay, well, you know, there are different goals with each entrepreneur and, and depending on what the sales person is looking for, I think that’s a really important correlation that you have to make early on, or it could be a tumultuous relationship between the two.

Cole Gordon: [00:15:25]


Joel Erway: [00:15:28]

Okay, cool. So let’s talk now about, um, let’s talk about properly managing a sales team or a sales person. Right. When I have dealt with, I don’t want to call salespeople out, like this is not my intention. I’m just speaking from personal experience.

One of the major problems that I ran into when I was managing multiple salespeople at different stages. Like usually it’s just one person at a time. Sometimes we would have two, but I found that, some salespeople can be needy, meaning, I don’t want to say that in a bad way even though it came out bad, but they can be, uh, I feel like salespeople are typically more empathetic and more emotional than say other types of people.

Do you find that to be normally true? Like just kind of on a broad spectrum, like a more relational standpoint?

Cole Gordon: [00:16:31]

Yeah, almost, almost all the time. Okay. So, you know, you got somebody that, um, It can be frustrating, like sometimes. And it’s funny, cause like this was sound correct, but it’s like, you’ll get frustrated with somebody a salesperson.

That means like, why did, why did people have to have emotions? It’s because in sales it can be a very, it can mess with your emotions. It can kind of be a roller coaster at sometimes. So it’s interesting because there’s people who are a little bit emotional and they have their upd and downs, they’re usually the best.

But sometimes you gotta be able to ride those waves a little bit, you know.

Joel Erway: [00:17:15]

What’s the best way to handle somebody who’s emotional? And from my managerial standpoint, who is not necessarily used to managing a lot of people, how do you manage an emotional type of person?

Cole Gordon: [00:17:28]

So I’ll go over kind of my overall management philosophy.

Right? So the big key thing for people to know here is that sales team will never exceed the level in which it’s sled. Right? The leadership is the most important thing. Like a lot of the stuff I teach in terms of sales teams, not only from what’s, you know, my experience in building solve in our company, but also like I’ve worked with most of the top high ticket companies doing eight figures or employee figures or more whatever, and seeing how their sales teams work and whether they are aware of it or like the patterns and the things that I can kind of pull out that made them successful and how to like, see what was going on across all of those teams.

So this is coming from that as well. And one of the big things is leadership. Right. In great leadership. So how do we lead our team effectively? There’s really two ways. Okay. Well, first we want to create inputs, right? Inputs is like kind of like data and feedback. Now there’s two types of inputs. There’s quantitative and there’s qualitative.

So quantitative is what everybody kind of leans towards. Right. That’s having a great tracking dashboard, making sure you’re tracking all your KPIs. You’re tracking every step through the funnel. So to speak. The problem with that is though, because of regression mean the natural variance that happens anytime you’re working with numbers in humans, you need a large data subset to really get what’s called mystical significance, right.

And sales burden need at least 30 to 50 calls. And I don’t even think that’s actually statistically significant, but you know, that’s kinda like the minimum, the see a true trend probably 50. Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t want to look at the calls to find out if my sales reps, right. Should we track?

Absolutely. You know, it’s really, really good thing to do especially when you track all of the proper metrics, but we’ll also really want to do in on POV creating quantitative inputs is qualitative. Right. And qualitative is really like your temperature check on how the team’s doing on a day-to-day basis.

So we do that through a Phil’s management, which the big two things I’ll recommend for that. Like you need daily meetings in the morning and, it’s not having the meetings, it’s how to run the meetings. Okay. So probably after working with about a hundred clients, so far sales teams, I bet my two I’ve ever worked with, I’ve reviewed their meetings or team meetings and they’ve been good.

Like most people just totally suck. I mean, it’s just really bad. And then in comparison to that. So it’s not enough to have the meeting. It’s how to run the meeting, right? That’s the first type of qualitative assessment to see is this person in pocket, how they’re doing, et cetera. The second thing, and this is a really good time efficient is what’s called a qualitative end of day report, where they list the calls they had, what happened, what was great, what could be improved?

What’s the next steps fan role, what payment plan, if they didn’t enroll and et cetera? And it lists all those things out. It lists all the leading indicator activities out in terms of what they did to self gen, marketing, and prospecting follow-up. And then they give themselves ratings as well as an overall assessment on how they’re feeling, where they need help, et cetera.

It’s almost like a little journal for them each day, which is good for them to raise level of self-awareness. So they all regulate. [Inaudible] get a temperature to check what’s actually going on with them, she can coach them more effectively. Okay. And so the big thing is just really kind of that assessment and a temperature check in as many inputs as you possibly can.

And through the end of day reports as well, what we can do is we can pinpoint where might be the areas. Cause we can’t review all the calls until we have a full-time sales manager.
Right. So you kind of got to pinpoint. And pick and choose. But with that, we have all the consults and we can zero in and be like, that’s what I need to review.

Gonna review that in the next morning meeting. So when you run that system, I mean, there’s more to it, but that’s how I teach it. What’s great is your sales management time daily can be as low as 10 minutes. [Inaudible] maybe an hour or 75, but you know, that’s pretty efficient and you can do that with multiple reps too, but those are the things that I’ll do.

The last thing I’ll add as well is the frame and how you’re coaching is really important. So it’s all about like, just as the offer and your business is helping the prospect go from current situation to desired situation. Right. Your career opportunity for every single team member on your team is helping them go from current situation to desired situation.

Right? So I want to know how my sales person ticks. What’s important to them, what their goals are, who they are as people, how they work. What’s you know, what they’re excited about, what they want to do, where they’re at now, where they want to be all of that stuff. And I want to know those things, anchor them down.

And then when I’m coaching, I’m not coaching them so they can make me more money or so they can do things the way I want it, want it to be done. I’m coaching them so that they can hit their goals.

And I’m constantly weaving that in everything that I do. So that’s really key as well. I think you know, if anybody implements, even half of that, they’re like already in the top 1% of teams I see. You know, most people it’s just not even close. You know, most people when somebody sales reps not performing their sales, team’s not performing. I’ll ask the first question. It’s almost dumb. Right. But I’ll ask, do you know why they’re not performing? And the answer is always no. And there’s no shame and under-performance, there’s only shame of not knowing why.

Right. So we want to have a relentless do of clarity to find out what the real problem is and to see the problem, as clearly as we can see it, because usually when you fully understand and see the problem clearly, the answer is like dumbly obvious. It’s like, duh. Like you don’t even need to be an expert sales trainer to fix that problem once you like, are able to see it super clear. It’s just obvious, you know, so. That’s my sales management spill, man.

Joel Erway: [00:23:47]

Yeah. I mean, so there’s, there’s clearly a process for everything. There’s a process for management. There’s a process for coaching and, you know, reading a bunch of leadership books over the past couple of years, you start to realize like, everything in your life is really about being coachable or being coached.

Like it’s, it’s just. It’s leading people through a process, whether it’s your customers, whether it’s your leads, whether it’s your staff members, your employees, right. It’s all about leading them through whatever situation that they’re in.

I mean, you nailed it on the head with everything that you said I’ve never heard sales management explained, explain like that. Most people, it’s all like hire seven figures closer and get these closers. And t’s this misconception because there’s so much more to it so much more to it.

I mean, that’s, you know, that’s, that’s the sell them what they want, give them what they need.

Cole Gordon: [00:24:49]

I was really going to say that it’s so it’s like my marketing, you know, somebody might say, well, of course the most important thing is leadership, but I saw an ad and it said, let me give you a proven sales rep on a silver platter.

Right. But look like I found after testing, like, I’m very like, you know, you’re always kind of in this dance with the market. Right. And it’s like, you know, you’re seeing where they respond to where they don’t and I’ll never forget. One day I was doing a launch for one day, one week I was in, I was doing a launch and, you know, we had like the first burst of enrollments.

And then like, I went through like, you know, day forward, I think it was two week launch or something like that. So like the 45 day 67, like crickets couldn’t, it’s like no reason I couldn’t get anybody to respond. And so I started to steer the wheel a little bit. I’m like, okay, well maybe let’s go this way.

And I never forget, man. I started talking about sales teams and recruiting, just, you know, I started harping on those strings. And it was like, just, I mean, just sold out like crazy. And I that’s when I knew that’s the demand trigger and like the marketplace is this sales rep. And so that’s always what I, you know, give them what they want.

But what I really try to do with everybody is cultivate. I mean, very few people. Sometimes they actually have it and that’s like, you know, that’s great. But usually they don’t. So it’s like, Give them the rep, but I’m also like cultivating them as a person and as a leader, because even beyond the sales team, if you want to scale from a 100 to 500 to 500 to a million, like you gotta be good at managing people and leading people and really like helping them and coaching them how to make decisions.

Right? Every single client I’ve had of above a million a month, the organizations I’ve been a part of that have been above million a month. They all have that. Right. So it’s like, I know if every single one has it. I know it’s into something, you know, I really try to know what I can get that in a client. They just crush it.

Like it’s just a game changer for them.

Joel Erway: [00:26:52]

Yeah. What do you see as the limit then for that lifestyle entrepreneur who just wants, you know, I don’t want to say just wants, but doesn’t have the aspirations of getting to half a million, a million a month. Right, because clearly, you’re going to need a team, you know, a decent, I say decent size team.

It’s all relative, but like, you’re going to need to lead a team to really make that happen. But for the lifestyle entrepreneur who wants to stay, you know, stay small and, you know, low stress, doesn’t want to lead a team. What do you see that ballpark revenue kind of that?

Cole Gordon: [00:27:32]

Yeah, I would say anywhere from, you know, it depends on your model, right? I can tell you my personal experience. I was at about a 100 to 150K a month, 80, 85% profit margin. And I was sitting there thinking, is it worth it? You know, like I can see 500 grand a month. I can probably do a million a month eventually. Like, I’m pretty confident if I would, if I want to deal with the BS and it’s going to take to get there, I have many clients there.

So like I kind of know the path and it’s like, I’m just always asking, like, you know, I think my health is really important. My social life is really important, I think is it worth, it is a really important question. So I know for me, it was at about a hundred, 150 and really good margins and that’s where I was like, Is it worth it? You know, and I have a chose.

I chose to scale. I think it’s just in my DNA, man. It’s just one of those things, even if it makes me more unhappy, like I gotta go through that journey to realize what I really want. So who knows, maybe we’ll be talking next year and I’ll be, I’ll be chilling in a 150. And I learned a lesson who knows, but, um, yeah, I mean, I thought that’s where it was for me and I stayed there for a while.

Really contemplating if I wanted to do her. And then I did. So, um, I think it’s that level. One thing I will say in hindsight is, um, you know, when you’re, you know, if you want to stay smaller, one thing I would really look at is really increasing your prices, increasing your prices and increasing the amount of customers that you upsell into your backend.

Because.I think honestly, I could probably have hit three to 400 by myself if I just would’ve increased my price point and I’m just really focused on keeping the customers that I had, you know? So that’s one thing to consider, obviously it depends on your model. Like, you know, I like not one-to-one, but kind of one-to-one group hybrid and a little bit of done for you.

Obviously because we do the recruiting, so my that’s kind of my model would have been, you know, if you just do two group coaching calls a week. Yeah. I don’t know, like maybe a 100, 150, you know, obviously probably your price is lower. You’re going to build a sales team. So it just depends.

Joel Erway: [00:29:54]

If you’re looking at low hundreds, right. 100 to 200, we’ll say.

Cole Gordon: [00:29:57]

And so, you know, and then, and maybe you can have good margins because guess what when you build a team, you start cranking money on ads. You start paying out huge commission checks and your margins go down. Okay. So it might be making your one thing that’s frustrating is like, and I’ve seen this in clients.

It’s like, you’re like, well, you know, we tripled I’m way more stressed. But I’m making the same amount of money I was. And it’s like, but you know, they might not be taking all the sales calls, but now they’re managing a bunch of people. So, you know, there is in a perfect world, you should be making more like we can look at their margins.

I’m pretty good at that. And trying to rearrange that stuff, but that’s something you have to look out for too. So yeah.

Joel Erway: [00:30:41]

A hundred percent. All right, let’s talk about best practices when hiring your first sales rep. I want to give a little context behind the situation just to give my listeners where this is coming from.

I had a client last week who built a mini webinar. She’s in our mentorship program. She’s crushing it. I mean, for all intents and purposes, a brand new offer, she had never sold those before. And instantly filled up her calendar. I think the first five weeks she’d be like 35K and so she’s quickly trying to find a sales rep to get her off the phones.

She found a sales rep and literally the first day she quit after like the third call. And so now my client is freaking out because she’s like, what do I do? You know, it’s, you know, going through this whole cycle again. What do you see as like the biggest mistake somebody makes? I don’t really know her process of how she found the sales rep.

I don’t know the background, but how common is that story? Maybe not exactly, but like a sales rep that quits very, very early on. What could she have possibly done to avoid that, or, you know, what’s the best practices for hiring a sales rep?

Cole Gordon: [00:32:04]

So the quick commentary on that situation is like, it’s better for that person to quit on day one than it is for them to go a month and go through a bunch of calls and you waste a bunch of time and money on that person, and then they quit.

Right. So. You know, look at the positive side of that. Now let’s talk about kind of properly maybe how are we going to avoid that in the first place? Um, you know, the whole turn or the whole phrase hire slow fire fast. Definitely, it’s there for a reason, right? So, for people who read a big thing with a sales industry, I would say the high ticket sales industry is that there’s not a lot of like literature or training on it.

So, you know, there’s tons of Brian Tracy and sales books, and a lot of these sales material out there that you’re gonna read a book on. You understand the context of where that’s written. You know, it’s not written by these companies who are in this high ticket info, little small niche world that we’re in, right?

These are software companies door to door. And while you can learn a lot of stuff, you know, a lot of the stuff that you’re going to learn in terms of sales, recruiting is very much the high churn, throw a bunch of mud against the wall and see what sticks now. That’s great. But if you’re, you know, an inbound model and you’re paying for leads, You know, they hired you, they got a mini webinar.

They’re crushing it, but you know, they’re, Hey, they’re paying a hundred dollars an appointment and sure. They’re getting 10 X when they’re closing, but a hundred dollars an appointment. And the opportunity costs of not closing if our culture doesn’t close. So it’s, there’s more risk in hiring salespeople in our world.

If you have inbound. So, because of that, the big things that we want to do is one. We want to create a massive amount of volume in terms of recruiting pipeline. Okay. The second thing you want to do is have a slower hiring process. It’s very like we vet pretty freaking hard. Okay. And so we do it in six steps in our hiring process.

The first thing is like, think of generating your recruiting pipeline, like generating your marketing pipeline. Okay. So are you going to sell better? Like, let’s say you’re a phone sales guy. Are you going to sell better? If you have 25 appointments in the week and you don’t need any one call, are you going to sell better if you have one?

And you got to make the sale debt quote. Obviously the, if you have one, you’re gonna be in a place of scarcity, not in a place of abundance, like you are in the other summer. Same thing with recruiting. If I generate a hundred applications, my chances of finding the right person is like, it’s just, you know, I probably have too many people to pick from, you know, but if I’m like so busy, I’m on calls all day, every day, five calls a day, I’m stressed, I’m burned out.

I’m exhausted. I make a few posts in the Facebook group, my client group, and I get 10 applications. Most are crap tour. Okay. Out of the two, I interview them, I hire the least worst option. You’re just, you’re, you’re starting, you know, um, you’re not in a good spot. We’ll just say that. Right. So we want to generate an abundance of people.

And then once we have that, maybe let’s say 10 people who on paper in one minute video look really, really good, but to put them through a hiring process, that’s really helps that typically what we do is application. We do a one minute video. We have a whole funnel for that. And then, um, we’ll do a screening interview.

And then after the screening interview we do, what’s called a skills interview. And that’s where they’re going to get in a role play situation to really actually, because a lot of salespeople, they interview well, but they don’t like the interview way better than they sell. Right. So let’s say actually, like, can the person do the thing?

So we’ll do a role play and then we do a scorecard interview. So the key with the scorecard interview is that it’s all based on creating a verbal upfront agreement. And like, here’s what the. Essentially like, like same thing that you do with a client, like, okay, I’m agreeing to do this. You’re agreeing to do that.

Right? Sending the salesperson, here’s the outcomes or the position, here’s the constituent parts, the behaviors you have to do to make up that outcome. And here’s like what the time probably is going to require and what you’re going to be compensated, Andy, a part of in exchange for that. And we get a verbal agreement that way, if there’s good performance or there’s, you know, performance below where I want.

I can always point back to the scorecard and just pull it up and say, look, we’re not where we agreed. You know, the other thing, the score card interview does work really well too, is what I do is I start with the company vision and then how the position fits into the vision and then the outcomes and KPIs at that position, the behaviors that are needed to generate those outcomes of KPIs and then the time requirement and the investment plan.

So you can see like most people, are they doing that when they hire sales people? Okay. I can’t do it when I hire anybody. You know,

Joel Erway: [00:36:59]

It’s not just salespeople, they don’t do it. They don’t do it for any position.

Cole Gordon: [00:37:04]

That’s what I recommend. And that’s what we do. Ask what I recommend for anybody who wants to hire sales people or anybody.

And, you know, the issue is, is that a lot of, a lot of people, um, you know, they’re like, dude, I’m taking five calls, six calls a day and doing fulfillment and you’re running my own ads. Like I don’t have time for that. And then that’s why they would hire a company like us. Could we just do it for them?

So that’s the big thing, you know, and like, You can just tell by the level I explained it, if you do that stuff, like your chances of success are just so much more, it’s almost like it’s just inevitable that you’re going to succeed and you have a high volume and strong hiring and vetting process.

Joel Erway: [00:37:46] Yeah. You know, it’s funny. We just hired a new executive assistant. Probably our fourth assistant that we’ve gone through. And after the first three, I realized we need to actually go through a hiring process. So we hired a company to do it. And you know, the first three assistants we hired on Upwork or whatever, right.

Like went on a job board and like, Oh, you look good. Boom. Here, help us out. Right. This last, when we found Katie. It took 30 to 45 days. It was a process. Right. But we hired a company, the perfect assistant, I believe Tim Francis’ company. And, they have a process for how to find virtual executive assistants and night and day.

I mean, that’s an understatement night and day. Like just when you actually go through a vetting process and you, like, they made us do the same thing. What’s your goals? What’s your company vision. And I gotta be honest. Like it took me quite a lot of time cause I didn’t have it, you know?

I’m more that lifestyle driven entrepreneur and I didn’t have that vision. I didn’t have all those things written down, but they were so important if you want to get a rock solid team member, because they gotta be aligned with how you operate and how you function and what the goals are for them. So I can only imagine it’s the same when hiring a sales person.

Cole Gordon: [00:39:10]

Yup. I mean, it definitely is, man, especially when you’re giving them opportunity, right? Like your assistant. Sure. You might be paying them hourly, but you know, it’s like, if you start giving them your sales calls and you give them 10 calls and you know, Oh man, I would to close five of those and they close one, you know, it’s not just the app cost, it’s the opportunity cost.

And some of that’s, you know, some of it is inevitable, right? Like. You know, for me, I’m very good at sales. So I even brought on an amazing sales person, but there’s still like, there’s still some that he’s gonna miss that I would have closed. And that’s just part of it. But I’m kind of willing to pay that, to get back my time and to increase my availability.

Right. The larger, the availability is the more room there is for scale, if I can [inaudible]. So there’s those things to consider. Like it’s never going to be, uh, you know, most times are not going to close as good as the entrepreneur. There’s, there’s a whole discussion on why, unless like the entrepreneur’s really bad, but, but yeah, it’s well worth it.

Just want to do it correctly.

Joel Erway: [00:40:14]

Awesome. Dude Cole, we talked about a ton of stuff today. I mean, we talked about, you know, what to look for in hiring a sales team member, the management process of managing a sales team, and the intricate details of what you need to do if you really want a high high-performing sales team.

And most importantly, we discussed leadership across the board in a company. And how important that is for leading your sales team. Right. And make sense as what your company name is, right. Closers into leaders, did I get that right?

Cole Gordon: [00:40:52]


Joel Erway: [00:40:53]

Closers into leaders. Yep. Is there anything that we missed that you feel like is really important that we hit on? That I didn’t bring up.

Cole Gordon: [00:41:07]

Um, no, I mean, usually my response to that question will be the leadership then. It’s huge. And it’s something that like, it’s one of those ugly things that nobody wants to work on, but it’s actually my favorite thing to, like, once I get people are receptive to it, my favorite thing to coach people on, because it’s like, Yeah, it’s really interesting to you and you finally see somebody where they realize, Oh, I’m really like, I’m not good at this leadership thing.

Oh, I want to work on it. And like, you’ll see how much they could just grow. And it just makes like, when you can get that down, your ability to scale. And even if you’re a lifestyle guy, man, like you, as soon as you really, really get it down, like you get a lot of your time back and it’s nice. Right? So, that’s the big thing I wish I to drive home with people.

Obviously, it’s part of the process. There’s you do want to find the right sales rep. You do want to have the right onboarding and hiring and all of those systems, you want to train them effectively. Um, you know, it’s all important, but leadership I think is key.

And a lot of folks overlook it. It’s not sexy.

Joel Erway: [00:42:14]

Awesome, dude. Where can people reach out to you, where do they connect with you?

Cole Gordon: [00:42:19]

I mean, I think, you know, Facebook, just DM is a great way if they want to chat about potentially working together or something, but, another good resource just for your community would be my seven figure selling secrets, Facebook group.

I know we were talking about that group before the call in earlier, but when they enter that group, if they put their email in, they automatically get sent through email Kajabi logins to a free course, and it has 30 plus hours of sales content on everything sales training, the process end to end, or that’s prospecting, triage calls, outbound calls, setting calls, the whole sales process objections, follow-up. All of that stuff.

It has how to train your setters, your closers, you know, how to manage them, you know, stuff to go deeper on what we talked about here, tons of different interviews from our mutual friendships, Sago, Frazier, all really, really good stuff in there. So tons of content they can dive in.

It’s also in the units tab, but, we put it in a Kajabi real nice for people as well when they want to hunker in there and speed up the videos and stuff. So they get that for free. And then I post in the group, like all the time, like I’ll probably just get off this and do a live in there and do a training for the group.

So it’s a good resource if they want to just hop in there for free.

Joel Erway: [00:43:42]

Awesome, man, we’ll make sure we include those links and so it’s easy for people to search and go find that group. Highly recommend being a part of that group. I’m a part of it, the way that Cole runs it is a masterclass in itself.

And he always puts out fantastic content. And I don’t say that lightly because there are tons of groups and communities that can become a part of and this one stands out above the rest and cuts through the noise. So I would highly recommend following Cole and, dude, much appreciated you taking some time and sharing your knowledge with us, sharing your wisdom.

Cole Gordon: [00:44:20]

Absolutely, man.

Joel Erway: [00:44:22]

Cool. All right, that’s gonna wrap it up for today’s episode. Good to reach out to Cole. Let him know you heard him on Experts Unleashed and let him know that you appreciate him sharing his information and his wisdom with us. Cole, it’s been a pleasure. And for everyone listening right now, we’ll see you on the next episode.

Take care.

Cole Gordon: [00:44:40]

Peace out!

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