Self-Assessment – Day 7

Day 7

Without sugar-coating it, this chapter is about getting brutally honest with yourself. 

The topic we will cover is self-assessment and since I’m not here to talk to you face-to-face you are going to have to find someone to be honest with you. This person can be a close friend, a relative, your current boss, even a spouse. This chapter is meant to be uncomfortable, so get ready to pull the band aid off. You will require a partner to complete this exercise.

While reading this chapter please take a moment with your partner to reflect on the questions. The goal here is to understand both how you see yourself and how others see you. This chapter is meant to push you beyond what you’re used to so if you are ready for a strong dose of reality proceed to the activity below.

Instructions:

  1. Answer the questions below
  2. When applicable have your partner answer the same questions about you
  3. Grade yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 for the following 5 sections (Competency, Judgement, Energy, Focus, Relationships) Your total score will = 50.

Questions like these are one way a Manager can help to determine if you are a fast learner, a good problem-solver, and a versatile, goal-directed person. Since variations of these questions will often crop up during an interview it’s best to get a firm understanding of them now.  Most Managers are not only looking for someone who is a fit for the job but who will also bring additional value to the organization.

Competency – Grade yourself on a scale of 1 to 10

o  What is your biggest strength/weakness? 

o  Tell me about a time in which you developed an unconventional approach to solve a problem

o  Give an example of how you organized your activities when you had several commitments due at the same time

Judgment – Grade yourself on a scale of 1 to 10

o  Give an example of a situation in which no guidelines existed for your work and how you coped

o  What is the greatest risk you have taken and how did you decide to make that risk?

o  Tell me about a decision you made which you later regretted

o  Give an example of your using data to make-a-decision

Energy – Grade yourself on a scale of 1 to 10

o  What are your sources of inspiration?

o  What do you do when you’ve completed your work for the day but see that you have extra time?

o  What sets you apart from your colleagues?

o  What accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction in your life?

Focus – Grade yourself on a scale of 1 to 10

o  Give an example of your ability to work independently

o  How well do you work under pressure?

o  What new goals have you set recently?

o  How do you organize what you do on a day-to-day basis?

Relationships – Grade yourself on a scale of 1 to 10

o  Tell me about a situation where you failed to communicate appropriately. In hindsight, what would you have done differently?

o  What would your teammates say about you?

o  Describe a time when you received negative feedback from an employer, colleague, or client? How did you manage this feedback? What was the outcome?

o  How do you build relationships in a new environment?

Now that you’ve completed the above please take time to reflect on your answers. While there are no wrong answers the questions above will offer insight into who you are and what you can bring to a sales team.  How did you score yourself, how did your partner score you? As a result of the above exercise where do you have room for growth and improvement? What are you going to do going forward to address your areas of improvement? 

Write those answers down below in the comment section or message me on social media if you feel brave. You are ready to move on to the next chapter.

Day 1 – Our First Meeting

Day 1 – Our first meeting

If you’re reading this it’s likely Sales is already a part of your life. Or, you may have considered changing careers recently and for whatever reason Sales struck your fancy. You may even be a current SDR (Sales Development Representative). For some reason or another you are now reading this and as a result I feel obliged to make it worth your while. 

When it comes to sales, before you do anything, before you start reaching out to prospects (possible customers), before you even think about selling or decide to pick up the phone do the following first. I promise it will be worth it.

Get crystal clear on what your WHY is. What is the reason you’re going to wake up in the morning and give half of your day to this job as opposed to another? WHY are you reading this book? What has led you to this moment and most importantly what do you want to do next? Before we start down the road of Sales, I want you to take some time and really think about this. If you are sitting at your desk take 5 minutes, tune out the world and write down all your reasons as to WHY on a piece of paper.  These are going to be the reasons that you persist through the hard times, the times that seek to break you. 

Are you starting a family? Are you finally going after your dreams?  Are you one paycheck away from being on the street? What is driving you? What is going to keep you from giving up the moment things don’t go as planned? In sales, failure is inevitable. However, failure can’t get the best of you if your reason to persist is stronger than your reason to call it quits.

Spoiler, your WHY must be greater than your circumstances! 

So, if you haven’t already determined what your WHY is and what is driving you please take time to reflect. Write your WHY on a blank piece of paper or whatever works best for you! Reassessing your WHY as often as needed to ensure it is still relevant. In case you were wondering, I feel this exercise is so vitally important for sales professionals because it gets people to think long term and not just about short-term success metrics. The greater you can make your WHY the better chance you have at succeeding in this profession and in life.

Big Trouble in Email Land

The following was originally published, Monday September 17, 2018 at dansaso.com

Hello internet, how’s it going?  
 
I’m pumped to let you all know what I’ve been up to lately and to get this project off the ground. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Dan Saso. I’m a Sales Account Executive at a company called Malwarebytes. If you don’t know what that means, it means I sell cyber security software to businesses across the Midwest. Our company located in Santa Clara, California better known as Silicon Valley. This is where I’ve spent the bulk of my childhood and adult life. It’s where I went to school, high school even college (Go Spartans!) on yeah and it’s also where I got married.
 
When I’m not selling at Malwarebytes, you can find me taking care of my three animals, Oreo, Pixie and Buster (2 dogs and 1 cat). I’m also happy to fish at any of our local beaches – if there’s water I’ll fish it. When I’m not doing either of those things you can find me following my other passion which is helping people.
 
That’s why I started this blog, to help people learn from my mistakes, my successes and of course my failures.  While this blog is going to be about me and my journey it should also be about you.
 
So, who am I and why should you care? Well, I’m someone who is starting from scratch when it comes to building his own brand. If you’re reading this it’s likely you’re in the same boat, starting out with your own business. You’re looking for new ways to market and sell, to make your business appeal to a younger more tech savy audience. 
 
Whatever the case may be, I’m glad you’re here. I’m going to pour my blood sweat and tears into this. Everything I’ve learned over the past 12+ years I’ll share with you. I’ll also catalog my journey going forward for posterities sake. I’m glad you’ll be coming along for the ride.
 
So, without further ado let’s get started!
 
Full transparency, future blog posts will be shorter. I felt like I needed an introduction. The following is an account of a meeting I had recently with Joe Harris – Sales Executive.
 
Joe Harris is a Sales Executives who works alongside me at Malwarebytes.  What Joe needed (and also the reason we sat down to begin with) was a better way to reach his customers. He needed an upgrade to the emails he had been sending out.  He needed to make an impact with his readers. We strategized on this for hours. We reviewed past email campaigns, messaging tactics, and hammered out a new way for him to sell.  You see, this needed to be more than a simple feature and benefit dump. We both felt that was ineffective, played out and the reason why his audience was no longer calling him back. We needed a reason for his prospects to feel compelled enough to respond and engage.
 
You see the problem with his old emails is that they focused on the product and not the customer. This is a big deal and shouldn’t ignored.  The simple truth is there was no reason for Joe’s readers to have ever responded to his old emails. They lacked relevance or a reason for his readers to care. While they addressed how the product worked, they didn’t address the customer. You seeJoe’s past emails had missed the point . The customer needed to be the focal point of Joe’s outreach, NOT Malwarebytes!
 
So what did we do? Well, by the end of our meeting we had accomplished 2 critical things.
 
  1. We wrote 10+ emails
  2. We got crystal clear on why these new emails (and not his previous ones) could matter to his readers
 
The new emails took a different approach and focused on the reader. The intent was to show how the reader was being affected by the absence of our product.  Joe’s emails were now about the customer and his/her hardships. It wasn’t about us anymore, it was about them; and that was the difference.
 
Here’s the key point to take away from this. What you and your company may be saying to your customer isn’t always what they want to or need to hear. Take a step back and consider how your words and actions may already be affecting your customers. Get humble quick!
 
Unless you first consider how your customers want to buy any outreach you do is meaningless.  When it comes to email marketing, give your readers a reason to care, make it about them and watch what happens. Your emails should make the reader the hero of his own story. It should be about them and their journey, and not about you.
 
In closing I hope you found this of value.  I promise future blogs will be shorter.
 
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @dansaso or connect with me on LinkedIn for those who want to collaborate.
 
I’m excited to get your feedback and will strive up my game.  Treat these posts as an open forum. Voice your feedback, your criticisms your praise and your responses.
 
Thank you in advance for all the above. Till next time.