Good People, Cool Things
Good People, Cool Things

Episode 12 · 1 year ago

Leadership, Sales Strategy, and 90s Rock Bands with Scott Leese

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Scott Leese is a three-time winner of the American Association of Inside Sales’ Top 25 Inside Sales Professionals, and a highly sought-after consultant, advisor, leader, and sales trainer. With a focus on sales strategy, people, process, and infrastructure, he’s worked with several companies with a $0-$25m ARR, giving them expert guidance as they scale. If you have a product or service you want to sell, Scott will make it happen.

Welcome to good people, cool things, the podcast featuring conversations with entrepreneurs, writers, musicians and other creatives.I'm your host, Joey held, and today's guest is Scott Lease, founderof Scott Lea's consulting, the SURF and sales podcast and author of the bookaddicted to the process how to close transactional sales with confidence and consistency. AndScott joins the podcast to chat all things sales, at business being a leadershare and messages, especially in this wacky time of social distancing and a lotof virtual events. And because we're both fans of rock music from the S, we chat a little bit about some of our favorite bands, both wellknownand a little bit more obscure. So hopefully we'll get some deep cuts thatyou like on here, but for now let's dive on it. When didyou know that you were good at sales, Scott? Do you remember the firstthing that you ever sold? Yeah, I mean I can remember the firstfirst deal I ever closed. I wrote about this before in my bookand talked about before, but the first deal I ever closed was my veryfirst week as an inside sales rep on the very first Friday, and itwas thirty or so at night when I was cold calling Hawaii trying to sellto the real estate agent we were selling online lead generation school and, youknow, I was trying to take badge of the time zone and be honestto be I was like scared I was going to get fired already because Ihadn't close a deal. You know, I had I had like that levelof urgency and I ended up one call closing this guy and like the lightbulbkind of went off. I'm like wow, you know, that was a hellof a rush and the only reason I got this deal is because it'sthirty at nine, eight and I'm still here working like that's probably my myangle is how to get good is like I'm just going to outwork everybody.You know, took me like I did okay, that first full month,but then the month after that I was a number one rep in the companyand it was like okay, I think, I think I might, you knowknow what I'm doing here. So it didn't it didn't take me,you know, that long, despite the spect I had no prior sales experience. I was not one of these kids who, you know, grew uplike entrepreneurial or, you know, selling cookies on the street or lemonade orwhatever. Like. I didn't do any of that stuff, you know,at all. So I got lucky, man. I got lucky that Istopped pulled into something that I had some natural ability and you certainly managed tomake a good career of it. Can you kind of just give a realquick overview of how you sort of went from that first job and then nowyou've got your own company? So what was that sort of path like?Well, so I was at an ae for only only about seven months.I did really well, you know,...

...as a just start breaking records andthen, you know, got bumped into the sales leadership roll pretty quickly andwas menaging a team of like twenty something people, and that funt me upto senior sales manager and you know, it's running whole office in California andhelping out office in ANZONA. And I was at that First Company for abouttwo and a half years and I kind of ceiling doubt, like they werenot going to make me a VP and I wanted to, you know,keep moving up and I was very ambitious and my very aggressive and just kindof betting on myself and so I left ended up finding a VP of salesgig got a super, super early stage company. I mean there was likethree employees, so really like building everything from scratch, and that's just beenthe pattern that I followed ever since then. I tend to be places two anda half to three years at a time and kind of get it toa certain place and then, you know, move on and try to look forthe next thing to build. And so I've been, you know,like a in sales leadership, but I've been an operator six times. Fiveof those times as a VP of sales or svp of sales all all butonce. A six times total. One of them was like only last oflike eight or nine months. So five of them I'd call wins. HadA couple exits, couple that are like in the works and you know,on the side I started like advissing and consulting other companies about their sales actasesand building my network out, which helped me, you know, with recruitingand just kind of matching people up opportunities and whatnot. And I wrote bookscalled addicted to the process and two thousand and seventeen about like kind of healthstruggle that I went through and how I got in into sale. You know, I felt like, you know, I had a maybe unique skin onsales methodology. So I created this thing called the addiction model, sewing and, you know, my my consulting business coming kept growing and on the side, and then I found the serpent sales business, this micro kind of salesconference, and got that going in two thousand and eighteen and then just inOctober of this last year, finally decided to kind of cut the cord andnot work for anybody else anymore and just go all in on my you know, my my consulting business, my serpent sales business, and I'm halfway throughmy second book right now and spun off the serpent sales podcast in the beginningof the this year. Here and a man, I just you know,I'm staying busy. Man, that sounds like you're I go my hands anda lot of things. I got my I got my hands and a lotof cookie jokes. You know, absolutely...

...did you have when you made thecut the cord, as you say, the kind of leap into full timeyour own business? Did you have kind of like that Aha moment, forlack of a better term of this. Is it? This is why I'mgoing to do it, or was it just like wait a minute, like, no, I had been I had been knowing that this, that daywas coming for a while, but I was, you know, kind ofrisk it verse and like had locked myself in financially to you know, particularincome level and style of life and what on. And even more than that, like I'm just so competitive that the idea of somehow earning less just likehurt. No, I don't live like a very lavish lifestyle that yards ofyou. I don't even live within my means, as a way under mymean, but like that competitive piece, like all man. So I haddecided that I pulled the trigger when my side huspital income matched my income frommy regular Gig. And so once it did that, I was like,okay, I can cut this other Gig and, you know, hopefully kindof maintain what has ended up happened, is it? With like you,you know, way up, which has been great so far, you know, even despite all the coronavirus craziness and everything like that. Like I feelvery lucky and blessed, like I'm in a really good position and you know, I think now more than ever, companies are looking for help with salesand understanding, you know, how to build them to scale and managing remoteteams and all this kind of thing. So, so far, so good. For me, awesome, and I think that's one of the things thatI've appreciated, at least from what I've seen from you, is you're kindof taking a step back. It's like, Hey, you don't need to besuper aggressive about trying to get new leads right now, like worry aboutthe customers that you have, like they're all they're all struggling with this too, and I think, I mean, I don't know about you, butI feel like every mailing list I've ever signed up for set a coronavirus updateat some point of the last few weeks and in some cases I was justlike, okay, what like this doesn't really you know, this wasn't reallyneeded, but it just kind of seemed like everyone wanting to get into theconversation. So do you have a tip or a piece of advice for howcompanies can kind of stand out in this sort of see of everyone trying toget in on this messaging without being too over the top? I think justtrying to help them problem solves. You know, it's one thing to justsend a note and be like hey, I'm thinking about you during this crazytime, but you know, I've been advising people to have their sales sookslike turn inside, so to speak, and help out the customer success teamand and really just call people up and be like a joey, like whatkind of changing in adjustments you guys going through over there? You know,how how you thinking about this right?...

What challenges are you having? Maybe, maybe I've been through some of that before. Maybe I can tell youwhat some of your colleagues and contemporaries they're doing. You know, maybe there'ssome kind of data or some some articles I can share with you as you'retrying to, you know, maybe go cloud banks for the first time,or maybe, you know, running a virtual company for the first time.You Miss People I can introduce you to, or articles to share, a podcastto share, you know, any of this kind of stuff like andjust asking, you know, and then taking a step further and actually doingsomething about it. Right like you want to. You want to set yourselfapart nowadays, like it's really simple. Do what the fuck you said youwere going to do. It's pretty simple, because there's not that many people whoactually do what they're say they're going to do, at least in atimely kind of manner. Right. So that's what I you know, that'swhat I've been trying to do. I know I have some clients that II rest out student said Hey, man, you know, you might be strappedfor resources, like want me to run a sales meeting for you?Want me to do some one on one for for your team, you wantme to write some blog posts for you or, you know, do ahelp with the Webin are, assist with your deal flow or you know,any of this kind of stuff, things that are, you know, oftenoutside the scope even of what I normally do. And then just, youknow, taking every inquiry. You know, I I I get dozens of messagesevery day, people saying, you know, can you help me out? You know, I got to meet advice on this topic that topic,and I, you know, play all fifteen minutes to your time and honestly, I say yes all that stuff. You know, I might not beable to talk to you until late May, right now, which is which istrue, by the way, but you know, I'll take those andjust try to get back and just try to be helpful and I think peoplewill remember, you know, in the long term offully know how you actedand behaved and treated people, you know, during this thing and hopefully things getback to normal and hopefully you know, some some good carm it comes everybody'sway who acted right during all the absolutely and I think, I meanI like to think I have a pretty good memory, but sometimes I'm justfloored by how good someone's memory is of like an interaction we had, youknow, twelve or fifteen years ago, and I like how I remember you. You said this one thing. It's super valuable to man. Have alwaysheld on to it. So totally agree that you. Yeah, you needto be treating people right during this. So, I mean, I gotone of those methods like three or four hours ago. You know, thisguy on Linkedin that me a note said, you know, few years ago youtook the time to hop on a call with me and I needed somehelp and some advice and I had nothing to offer you. And he waslike D on a three years later, like I remember that conversation. I'mlike wow, you know, that is...

...that message makes me feel so goodyou know that kind of that's all the reward you need sometime right. Absolutely, that's cool to be able to do that kind of thing and hopefully,you know, possitively impact somebody's somebody's business, for their career or their life,what have you. It's a lot of fun to get those coming upback for sure. For sure, and this probably ties in nicely to this, but I feel like every time I log on to Linkedin, something thatyou've written is at the top of the the feed. On my end,I did I have a decent amount of connection, so it's not like,you know, you're the only one, but yeah, I did need abigger network. I know that's the that's the real lesson. But I thinklinked in as as definitely a tougher platform to crack, it seems like,for a lot of folks. And I think there's a fine line between beingtoo self promotional and authentic, which I think people can struggle with. Buthow have you kind of found that balance, because I think your posts are reallythoughtful and and come from an honest place. Is that really the keyto it, or have you found other ways to kind of make linkedin work? Well? I mean to be perfectly candid with you. Like I reallystruggle right now with balancing just original kind of content with promotional stuff. LikeI am. I'm participating in so many podcasts and and in virtual happy hoursand webinars and summits and training programs and whatnot, and you feel an obligationto people to share the share the content, share the event, right, I'msure you know, let's be real here. People want to talk tome, but you know, they also want access to my network to draw, you know, some some more eyeballs to it, right, and soyou know, I feel I feel an obligation to promote it, but like, yeah, Dang, you know, I think I think I did liketwelve, thirteen events last week and it's just no way for me to squeezeall the promotional stuff in over there. So it's tough. I can Ican empathize with that. As far as the other stuff goes, you know, I I didn't really start speaking until I was already pretty deep in mycareer, you know, and I think that he given me, that's givenme a big confidence boost to just sort of say whatever the fuck I feel, you know, because I'm like, you know, what's the worst thingthat's going to happen. You know. I mean my track record kind ofstands for itself. I've done pretty well. I've, you know, built somegood companies. I've network and helped a lot of people out. There'sa lot of people who work for me, you know, give me good referencesand things like that. So, you know, there's no risk inbeing true to myself. Right, like...

I dress like I did in highschool. I look like a homeless person, I curse like I you know,like I wear baseball hats, like I don't look like a traditional vpof sales, and so I just kind of embrace that, I guess,you know, and my voice and in my niche. I don't know,man, I mean I tell it like I like I see it and likeI've lived through it. You know, I talked a lot about things.I've been difficult. You know, people know about my health challenges and youknow the pain that, I mean every single day and how that attacks yourmental health as well. And I talked about some of these things and Itry to shed light in areas that, you know, other people maybe don'thave much exposure to. Write, like what's it like in an executive room? What's it like in a board meeting? You know, do you even understandwhat your equity means and things like that? You know, I tryto advocate for for the every man, so to speak, right and sothat that's that's been my that's been my strategy, I guess. And youknow, there's a lot of people who do things very different probably than me, and it works really well for them there and probably way better for themand my stuff does. But that's what works for me. You know,awesome. Yeah, and I think it is just kind of a almost likea sandbox where you kind of have to get in there and play around andsee what works best for you, because I've seen some people that are onehundred percent just here's a link to my latest thing and yeah, like realgeneric. It's almost like the title of post just goes like right over.So definitely, definitely a little bit of a challenge to get in there,but I think once you find what works, then you'll see some great results.Yeah, and you got to be you got to be consistent with it. That's the other thing, right, you can't get on's are eight monthsisn't enough. Yeah, now you can see that. You know, yougot it. You got to be hammering it consistently, you know, coupledays a week, I think at least. And you got a man the notificationand the inbox right, and I think people are dimitated by that.You know. I think people opting out hard time managing their their email inboxor their and their flack messages and what have you. And I thought oflike, Oh my God, you know, I goin to get a hundred emailsthe day and got know how many notifications and things like that. Howam I going to keep track? While I was like well, you youjust do. Man Just becomes a part of your day and part of yourroutine. And you know, I've I've built much of, if not all, of my businesses on the on the foundation of having like a really strong, you know, present on on linking, you know, sports. It,I guess, is what I'm getting that, for me at least,yeah, for sure, for sure.

And you would mentioned earlier the surfand sales podcast. It's kind of a spinoff. I. How did youdecide to start a podcast? Was it just you're like, wait a minute, I have a lot of good stuff and like chat with people about this, let's do it. Yeah, just another way to kind of amplify thebrand surface tails a little bit. And then, you know, we Richardand I know a lot of really smart folks in the stads community and salesand leadership and things like that and like but one of the best reasons todo a podcast is because you have the opportunity to learn from people every singletime you record. Right, just like you know, I'm I had conversationsa couple times a week with, you know, really successful sales people andCEOS and sales leaders. And every time I'm in one of those conversations,you know, I'm jotting on those. I'm like, Damn, that's agood, good one liner. There, good quote. there. Get whatyou think about it there, you know. So I'm getting like free learning outof it, right. And then, you know, you give you youknow, it's a form of content marketing, if you will, right, so it's additional content that we're putting out there and you know that mightconvert into surfing sales. You know, attending might convert into, you know, Scott's consulting business leads or deals might just converting the more people who engagewith your content. You know, on on Linkedin or twitter or whatever.And then you know, you just you just have for you're doing it forfrom to right. Like I enjoy talking about business and sales and and thingslike that. You know, I'm not getting paid is running my podcast.We don't have any sponsors paying us. You know, it's all just bloodfled tears at this point in time. But we'll like doing it. Wewe I think last last holiday, maybe early December, maybe Midcember, wejust sort of Said fucket, like let's just let's just go for it,and I think we recorded a couple conversations, just Richard than I to kind of, I don't know, feel it out or get the flow or whathave you, and then we just have let's go for men. And sowe guarded in January. We're how played through April now. So you know, in about a hundred plus days we released like sixty five episodes and gotthree or four and can recorded right now that I've yet to be released.So you know we're we're doing, you know, six or seven recording everyevery ten days or so. So you know we're trying to trying to winsome of the content wars. I guess my schedule to shame with that Nice, Nice. Yeah, well, my schedule is amiss and I probably worklike I'll probably you know right now my...

...business has increased quite a bit becauseof everything that's happening. So I am no joke. Like thirty two elevenpm time, six thirty in the morning to eleven pm. Today is likea late day for me and I started at thirty and I'll be done byeight or so. That's like twelve hours right now. I'm juggling. SoI recorded because be my second podcast I recorded today. Did I wrote blogpost, I wrote a Linkedin Post. I could produce a news later today. I had three client calls. You know, I've got got note howmany emails and slack messages that I have to check still. But you know, I just I stay busy. You know, I try to be efficientand you know, try to try to do as much as I can.Man, you know, I'm like a big big goals and and ambitions andeverything, and you know, who knows what's going to happen for the nextfew months. Like there's a part of me that's like, well, ifyou got clients now and you're getting paid now, like bet are fatten uplike a bear, getting ready for hibernation, you know, because things might dryup quite a bit, so I might as well get right now whilethey getting good, you know exactly. I like that analogy the bear fat, and I up for you to feel the SH I feel feel free tosteal it. And this is more for my like three percent of audience membersthat also host a podcast. But what's your setup like? What's the recordingsetup like? All this is the best part. Nothing, boom, absolutelynothing. So like, if you think of some podcasts that are like,you know, really like produced, and there's like people making enter the soundis right and like, I'm looking at your microphone right there and like Idon't have microphone, like go I love the way. Oh yeah, itsounds great. I'm not saying, you know, I'm not knocking to I'mjust saying, like, I don't use that, you know. And soand so, Richard and I were like you know what, man, soone of the barriers is people think like Oh, we gotta produce it,we got to make it sound perfect and all this kind of thing, andwe're like, I'm kept time for them, but I do have time for isjust down in dirty like conversation. You know, it's down eighty fivepercent. Good. I'll take it that to be right. How we go? So I don't have no microphone whatsoever. I just use it like straight formy math book. Are Same with Richard. We don't do any editing, we don't script the thing, we don't stand out like a questionnaire beforehand. The PRETT people. It's just all like on the fly, you know, meandering kind of kind of conversation. And so you know, some peopleare like the like the molly crew with their production and like air band styled, and you know, we're like the Ramons, just like playing some DankStevie Stevie bar club in New York City,...

...you know, really fine. Idon't know if this still exists, but I remember someone on a youtubevideo a few years ago of the Ramons playing at it was some sort oflike sit down Dinner Club. So everyone just looks like really dressed up andthen the romotes come out of their leather jackets and jeans. I was justlike this, I love. Couldn't have been to love that audience for that. I love. I love that so much. I need I need tofind this this clip you're talking about. Yes, I'll say if I candig it up and said it every but it's a magical that might that's actuallywell, now they're before the S, but we'll get to that in asecond because I like your top three recommendation. But before that, I like Iagree. I think scripts and all of that are a little life,a little too too deep into things. I think the conversations are a lotmore natural when you just let him flow. But I do like asking people aquestion that they wish they were asked more often, and for you itwas when is enough enough? So when it is enough enough? Yeah,I mean it's a it's a it's a brutal question to sit with and andthink about. You know, there's all the talk out there about like,you know, never be satisfied and like always set new goals and and Striveeto, you know, do more, be more, all this kind ofthing, and that's real heavy man. You know, you you can verymuch burn yourself out. You can very much feel like you've you've never reallyaccomplished anything. You know, if you want to, you can always findsomebody who's working harder, making more money than you, or paying this thanyou, what have you, and it could be quite constructive to chase thatchase that dragon, you know. And so, you know, I kindof a few years ago modeled out like here's my magic number, I thinkright like I'm not I don't need to be a billionaire, you know.I mean, I don't want to work twenty four hours a day for thenext thirty years to, you know, and and have this one kind oftype of lifestyle. Like I know my magic number that I can get tothat will allow me to like disappear, basically, and if I can getif I can get to that number, like I'm going to feel really goodabout the things that I've done. And, you know, I kind of we'llsee if I actually get there and I'm able to do this, butI kind of look at it like a gamblers that the table and those whento walk away. You know, there's something to be said for for knowingwhen to walk away and reprioritizing at times. You know what I mean, likewe're at home right now, nobody's going anywhere, so I'm working twelvethe fifteen hours a day, but when this goes back to normal, I'mnot wearing that much. I've done these days, you know, for twodecades previously and traveled all over the place for work or whatnot. Like Iwant to get back to normals, like,...

Oh, coach my kids Literal Leagueteam. I want to go back to the soccer games and I wantto go back to my older stones cross country meet and Basketball Games and allthis kind of stuff, right. And so, you know, I thinkyou find, you try to find a sweet spot, you know, whereyou're obviously your basic needs are met, and I think if you can getto a place where you're not worrying about money, like if you can takeyou your family on a trip somewhere and not look at the cost, foryou can go out to dinner and like, not really like the prices of cocktailsor steak or whatever, you know, then you you're in a really good, really good spot and you don't necessarily need to double or triple yourincome, you know, beyond that particular spot, right and make sure youspend time doing other things that you love and with with people that you love. So, you know, I'm glad you asked that's that question, becauseI think that it's a worthwhile conversation and there's certainly people who will tell me, like you know, you're an idiot like this is why this is thisis why you're not a millionaire yet and all that. And you know what, you might be right, you know, and I'm and I might be andI might be wrong right. But this is what this is where I'vekind of this is where I'm at and kind of where I've come to termswith things, at least for right now. Love it a lot of hopefully,hopefully that makes sense to somebody out there now. It just to meat least. So hopefully, hopefully, everyone else good. But of course, now we're in the home stretch here with probably the most important question here, with our top three. What are your top three s bands? OhMan, most amazing question. Top three and ninety bands. Alice and chainvery nice, for sure, Pearl Jam, for sure, and I'm gonna sayNirvana just just because they're just so groundbreaking. But I could go likea million different directions of stuff. For legacy purposes and and like impact onthe scene, I'll go nirvana if it's like actual staying power and like peoplewho existed during these are not necessarily grunge like. I would change my voteto Metallica. Nice. A real question. Should be the real question should be. Like what are your favorite s bands that like nobody's really ever heardof Orre more like one hit wonder type? Right, what do you have torefer that? That's I love cuts. Let's go. Give me, givegive me your three like undercover, nine bands that were Joey's favorite.Oh Man, undercover. I'll probably go more of like the one hit wonderroute, which again, like I'm really...

...just pretty much basing it on theone hit. You know, maybe have heard of. Call you, butyou have, you have to. You have, feel like, also doveinto the okay, so I have to dovated, stepping like a record orto write. Okay, I'll give you one that I'm like huge fan of, like especially their first record, but even some of the other one thatwas a one hit wonder, blind melon. Oh Nice, I'm a I'm acloset like blind melon fan. I can listen to those, the wholerecords, like over and over. That's a ninety. I like that.I like that. I'm I know one is coming to mind, but I'mpretty sure they're early s. So I don't know if that. You're goingto fail this test already. I know I might be. I didn't knowthey had to be ahead to be such a deep cuts. So they mightbe s too, but I think maybe this song came out ninety nine.But you know, wetest with teenage dirt bag. Oh my God, Iremember that Song. Yeah, yeah, they have. They that first albumand then they came out with a segment which is definitely in two for thesecond one. But there are some, it's a very nice songs on bothof those that are like funny and well written and just have like some simultaneouslyreally cheesy lines but also lines that make me so win way. Yeah,shadows of great will say that. will say it came out late ninety,late ninety nine. So it's act just qualet child, child of s man. That's not that's when I was growing up. I mean I was thirteen, I guess. Yeah, thirteen in one thousand nine hundred and ninety,you know, so right, right when all they grown seam was like kidding. So that's like that's my root right there. You know, that's greatsell that. I know I need. I feel like I've failed with thewith the one. It were deep deep cuts. I mean I would ifI was answer ring. This is just an artist in general. I theoffspring was the first city I ever bought. It's me on the Oumbre and whichis, I would say, not they're certainly not their most popular cityand probably one of the more like forgotten about ones over the course of theirdiscography, but it's the first one I remember buying with my own money.And Yeah, I mean, I'm sure crazy taxi helped as well with theall offspring soundtracks, that fast rock music that makes you want to run througha law it's good times. This is not that they're not like a onehit wonder, but like they didn't lave, you know, as long as theyshould have, and we certainly need them now more than ever. Butit's you know, I love to bring rage against some machine back that's suddenand nine s Bam that like there. We need them now more than ever. Man, come on back, Zac, yeah, what are they doing?Come Co that been in the jungle for like twenty fucking years, Godknows what. Like that, Dude, a shout out to Zack Dale,Roacho. We need you back to get out of the junk, get outof the jungle, getting the studio,...

...come on, yes, come on, I know Tom would do it. He's he's Hostin a radio show Iheard of. Yeah, one of those, one of those serious extemp channels oflike Tom's greatest greatest guitar hits, which is just like half him andthen half other bands that he likes. I mean is it forms my firstever podcast where I told ZAC DELA Roachis to come down out of the mountain. Excellent, we will broadcast this from the mountains. Hopefully, hopefully hecan, he can get over here. Nice, good deal, will Scott, you're almost off the hook, but if you want to reach out toyou, I feel like we've already touched base on a couple different spots.But are you hiding anywhere else on the Internet? No, I'm I meanI'm a the linkedin stuff is like the easiest way to get ahold of me. No, I can be had so many different ways, and I meanthere's my at least consultingcom website. There's surfing salescom. What I I'm ontwitter, but you know, anybody listening to just reach out to me onon linked in and you know, pay hi. Let me know how Icould be helpful and I'm out the way the dark building building relationships on onlinked in. And eventually turned into a brain. So we'll have you totry to try to be helpful with any anybody not respect awesome. I'll appreciateyou hopping on and you're officially off the hook. All right, man,awesome for the time. Absolutely, and of course we always end with theCorny joke because this is life at this point. But how do you makea tissue dance? Put a little boogie in it good after taking I gotMIC DROP.

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