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Guest Kirk Peterson - Belly to Belly Sales



Andrew

This is re posted.


Hello, and welcome to repost it. In the next few moments we'll be breaking down the posts that we have found to be inspiring, interesting, or otherwise entertaining quotes that catch our eye and we feel are worth a deeper look.


Unknown Speaker

Thank you for


Andrew

stopping by.


Larry

All right party people, it is time for the re posted sales series. We're going to take a couple of sales quotes and kind of examine them. We're going to start with our number one ombre here on the repost podcast. Sometimes he's uncle Kirk, sometimes he's the executive producer. You never know. He's a friend of the program. Hello there. Kurt Peterson.


Kirk

How you guys doing today? Thanks for having me on.


Larry

Outstanding. So when I met you years ago, you were selling air conditioners for living now. They say that playfully you are selling selling the big, huge h fac air conditioners that they have for industrial complex. This is for carrier. And we were having this meeting a long time ago, you would tell me that you went and this one guy used the concept called belly to belly get belly to belly with your clients talk about that meeting. And what that means is a salesperson.


Kirk

Yeah, sure. So I was a young pup just on a relatively young sales team here in the Bay Area, and our sales manager had tapped into but there was one guy on the sales team had been there 1015 years longer than the rest of us. So he was kind of a godfather sales. And you know, he was selling three times more than all the rest of us maybe combined. And so the sales manager asked us to go into this meeting and make a 30 minutes sales presentation about something that we did was a lot of latitude. And so all you know, all those young guys get up with our PowerPoint presentations and talk about variable frequency drives and why ours is better than the other guy and, you know, slow leaking seals and all this stuff. And he's the last guy to go. And so he gets up no computer, no PowerPoint, but he goes over to the whiteboard in the corner and takes out the magic marker out of his pocket. And he starts at the upper left hand corner and makes this big half circle down to the bottom left. And then from the upper right to the bottom right. So these two half circles are touching in the middle. And he just looks at all of us and sits down. And, and so he lets this kind of comic, long, dramatic silence, go and he's like, that's, that's it. That's the secret to sales. He's like, you got to get belly to belly with your customer. And I love this story. Because it was you know, I mean, I don't remember, I don't remember what my presentation was on. But like this thing sticks in my head 18 years later about this pitch about men, you got to get face to face with your customers and understand who they are.


Andrew

I think that's interesting, because I think about the Tommy Boy scene where he finally lets his guard down and sells the brake pads because he's not nervous anymore. But we've talked about in this podcast a lot about how they were traditional ways of thinking. And I liked that this guy was older than you I was reading about sales. And this guy says nobody plays football in the NFL for 20 years from seniority, you have to beat out the younger players. And with this change in the way the world is working with COVID you manage sales people now like what are you seeing? Are people able to be effective by this paradigm shift to being able to connect with people remotely? Because the technology didn't exist when you had this belly whiteboard meeting?


Kirk

Now, that's for sure. And I think I mean, I think we find ourselves in trying times, but I still I still believe that face to face, you just get so much more understanding of what somebody is about. But the real core of this for me is you have to know your customer and like what their pain points are and what they're thinking about, and what's the hardest part of their job and just really understand what they need to be able to provide that instead of just answering the phone,


Larry

we'll get to like you managing in a second. But like, why do you think you were a good salesperson? Like what did you do better than anybody else? or What was your most common part of your sales game? Like that's it,


Kirk

there's a there's a compliment wrapped up in that question, which I appreciate. I'm not sure that I was a great salesperson. But I you know, I definitely I started out young, as I was always trying to emulate the most successful person around me, like that was my strategy was like, I'm gonna look at the best guy doing what he does and follow his lead. Eventually, I figured out that, like, I had to make it my sales process around my personality, you know, you can watch Jim fix golf swing, and he's one of the best in the world at what he does. But if you try to copy that, like you're gonna have a bad time on the golf course. So I took some pieces from the people that I saw around me that were successful, but I really ended up finding out like men, what I'm really about is I like helping people and I like solving people's problems. And, and so that really shifted my view from trying to sell a product to trying to solve problems and provide solution.


Andrew

So admittedly, I don't really know what you do. You used to sell HPC systems and now you do something different. How does this belly to belly thing apply on different scales, so like you're selling a cell phone and an at&t store versus Working for Amazon fulfillment services selling multimillion dollar software. Like there's everything in between. I like this concept that you have to be around people but like, do you doesn't apply in every aspect that you've touched? know for sure. I


Kirk

mean, there's I mean, there's some sales processes that are just commodity, right, I mean, you're going to buy a bottle of shampoo, that's, that's going to be a pro almost exclusively price based thing. This definitely applies. My experience has all been in more highly engineered technical product, where somebody is going to be willing to maybe pay a little bit more for the expertise of the service, or the fact that you're solving, solving issues for them that your competition might not be able to,


Andrew

until you're able to convey that more accurately, like Show me your problem. This is how I can fix it versus on a zoom call being like, oh, here's here's the tech sheet on this 30 ton unit.


Kirk

Yeah, exactly. And that, that, hey, you know that I understand where you're at, and what you're going through. And the other piece to this too, is that wrapped in the kind of belly to belly concept is is just about, like proactive touches with customers. Like I really encourage all my sales guys to have a goal like, Hey, I'm gonna make 10 proactive customer contacts a day, you know, two of those are going to be around existing quotes. one's going to be a customer that I've lost, at some point in the past that I'm just checking in on, you know, try to set these metrics and hold those up. Because if you're not proactively reaching out, you're missing some opportunities.


Larry

So used to be the sales guy. Now you manage the sales team at Peterson enterprises. Do you like the idea of moding motivating other people to sell more than you actually selling yourself? No, there's


Kirk

always a grass is greener philosophy, like I miss the like hardcore, like a, I'm just responsible for myself, I'm gonna go out and get my truck and go, you know, go meet some people today. I've missed that aspect of the sales process. But I also really enjoy managing a sales team. I feel like I feel like I've been able to be fairly successful at working with those people. And mostly through something I learned from you, Larry, which is just asking questions. Like, I feel like if, if I guys got a customer for three months, and I asked him some questions about who's the decision maker at the operation? How much total revenue are they doing? How much of the stuff that we sell? Do they buy a year total? You know, if in three to six months of having a customer if you can't answer those questions, and know who the decision makers are, and who the gatekeepers are, and what the, you know, how much of their total business are we getting? Then you're missing a step somewhere. So I enjoy it. I enjoy working with the people to try to help them be successful.


Andrew

So I apologize. I have a caveat before everything I've said during this interview, but what is it like telling sales people to go out and be belly to belly when you don't live in the same city as them?


Kirk

It's tough? That's really tough. It's a good question. No, it's a that's a that is arguably the most difficult part of my job is that I've been I've been remote for the last couple years as I've managed the sales team. So this is I mean, that applies to me as well, which is I would be a more successful manager if I was able to be belly to belly with each one of my sales guys. But you know, we're we're spread out over the country. So that's, that's a difficult task to try to keep up. But I think a lot of that too, is I try and I'm not always successful at it, but I tried to make proactive phone calls. When I'm not when it's not something about, hey, I need them to get this report in or they're not calling me with an emergency. It's Hey, how you doing? What's going on in your life? What's going on with your family? we you know, and having more of a personal contact. I feel like that allows me to be a more effective when I'm able to pull that off


Larry

early on in our friendship like 16 years ago. You totally were nerding out you're like, dude, they're putting an air conditioner. My air conditioner on this hospital. You gotta come watch this with me. Gonna bring the big crane with like nerded out and watch your air conditioner. get put on this hospital like this great moment for us. That was fantastic. I


Kirk

still remember that. That was the first big chiller I ever sold. so fired up.


Andrew

I think in the spirit of me one upping everyone I installed or removed a water tower 350 California in San Francisco with a helicopter.


Kirk

But you weren't in a helicopter.


Andrew

No, I was hanging Mission Impossible style. Way. Well, if you want to hpac system, please reach out. You can find us at reposted podcast on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. I'm Keller for Kirk and the belly.


Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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