Strictly Sales with Jeff Hoffman: The Most Important Keys to Prospecting and Sales Management

Strictly Sales with Jeff Hoffman: The Most Important Keys to Prospecting and Sales Management
When all the other children were away at summer camp, he was going door-to-door in Brooklyn selling paper goods with his grandfather. While his older co-workers laughed at his persistent outreach efforts in real estate, he was honing the scientific aspect of sales and closing significant deals before the age of 20. And now, sales executive and entrepreneur Jeff Hoffman is taking a lifetime of sales experience and using it to educate sales professionals at any point in their careers on how to dramatically increase their pipeline and have high-impact interactions at every stage of the sales cycle.
If you weren’t able to attend our webinar with Jeff, “Getting Attention in 15 Seconds or Less: How to Turn Any Cold Call into a Warm One,” don’t worry. You’ve still got plenty of options to pickup some invaluable prospecting and sales management tips and advice.
Lucky for us, we were able to snag some time with Jeff to discuss all things sales — from his best and worst sales stories to advice for aspiring sales reps to how to hire top sales talent. The result — a four-part interview series, Strictly Sales with Jeff Hoffman!

Strictly Sales Series Guide

Over the next few weeks we’ll be getting the inside scoop from Jeff on the following topics:

The Deal Doctor is in, ladies and gentleman! So let’s see what he has to say…

The Keys to Prospecting and Sales Management

Why sales?

jeff hoffman
Selling was something that I discovered early in life. There was no camp, instead in the summer we worked. Both of my grandfathers were in sales. So in the summertime I was shipped to see one of my grandfathers and together we would go door-to-door in Brooklyn and Queens selling paper goods.
Almost immediately, I thought ‘this is an incredible job.’ There was autonomy, he dictated what he earned, and he got to spend his day in front of all different kinds of people. We would go to delis and restaurants selling different types of paper and when we would leave and we would debrief. He had me thinking about techniques at such a young age, and my interest grew over time.

What was your earliest success in sales?

My earliest success came when I was a teenager. I was working in commercial real estate and once and a while I would get to show a person a one bedroom or a studio. You have to be thorough and persistent in that type of role and I would call people once a week or every other week to keep the flame alive. There was a more senior sales rep who sat next to me and he would laugh and say, “ I can’t believe you are still calling these people.” And then one day, I called a woman, and she told me that she had lost her condo, her husband was being deployed, and she needed a place ASAP. I hit her at the right time and was able to close a pretty significant deal.
And that always stuck with me. You can’t discount a drumbeat of sales. I enjoy the art and creativity of this line of work more than anyone, but I have a background/foundation that is scientific.

What is the most important part of prospecting?

You have to have volume. But you have to understand that prospecting centers on attention, not interest.
You have to get your prospect’s attention before you sell anything. And when you only have a short runway in order to get attention you have to use it wisely. What most reps do is use that 30-second window and dump information about their company into it in the hoping that if they talk fast enough and get out enough information they will get excitement. It doesn’t work.

You need to treat prospecting the way you treat wrapping paper. It should be pretty and easy to open. Aesthetics are more important than the content when you are prospecting.”

In the workshop we will talk about what that aesthetic should look like. There is a right look to a voicemail. There is a right look to an email. And just by mimicking that appearance you can double or triple your response rates.

What is the most important part of sales management?

Understanding that coaching and feedback are two different things. Feedback when it comes to technique or performance is not the same as changing behavior. They are both are important, but most managers confuse the two.
Often, a manager will think of a coaching moment as a time to give reps feedback. But the reality is when you are giving feedback you are not a coach, you are a manager. If you want to make a rep better at a specific technique, and you are frustrated that your feedback is not making them better, then you need to coach them. There is a five-step technique that if done correctly has an immediate impact which will dramatically change a rep’s behavior without them even realizing.

Read the Other Posts in the Strictly Sales Series

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