Good People, Cool Things
Good People, Cool Things

Episode 12 · 2 years ago

12: 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, founder of Scott Lea's consulting, the SURF and sales podcast and author of the book addicted to the process how to close transactional sales with confidence and consistency. And Scott joins the podcast to chat all things sales, at business being a leader share and messages, especially in this wacky time of social distancing and a lot of 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 wellknown and a little bit more obscure. So hopefully we'll get some deep cuts that you like on here, but for now let's dive on it. When did you know that you were good at sales, Scott? Do you remember the first thing that you ever sold? Yeah, I mean I can remember the first first deal I ever closed. I wrote about this before in my book and talked about before, but the first deal I ever closed was my very first week as an inside sales rep on the very first Friday, and it was thirty or so at night when I was cold calling Hawaii trying to sell to the real estate agent we were selling online lead generation school and, you know, I was trying to take badge of the time zone and be honest to be I was like scared I was going to get fired already because I hadn't close a deal. You know, I had I had like that level of urgency and I ended up one call closing this guy and like the lightbulb kind of went off. I'm like wow, you know, that was a hell of a rush and the only reason I got this deal is because it's thirty at nine, eight and I'm still here working like that's probably my my angle 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 company and it was like okay, I think, I think I might, you know know 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 up like entrepreneurial or, you know, selling cookies on the street or lemonade or whatever. Like. I didn't do any of that stuff, you know, at all. So I got lucky, man. I got lucky that I stopped pulled into something that I had some natural ability and you certainly managed to make a good career of it. Can you kind of just give a real quick overview of how you sort of went from that first job and then now you'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 and then, you know, got bumped into the sales leadership roll pretty quickly and was menaging a team of like twenty something people, and that funt me up to senior sales manager and you know, it's running whole office in California and helping out office in ANZONA. And I was at that First Company for about two and a half years and I kind of ceiling doubt, like they were not 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 kind of betting on myself and so I left ended up finding a VP of sales gig got a super, super early stage company. I mean there was like three employees, so really like building everything from scratch, and that's just been the pattern that I followed ever since then. I tend to be places two and a half to three years at a time and kind of get it to a certain place and then, you know, move on and try to look for the next thing to build. And so I've been, you know, like a in sales leadership, but I've been an operator six times. Five of those times as a VP of sales or svp of sales all all but once. A six times total. One of them was like only last of like eight or nine months. So five of them I'd call wins. Had A 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 actases and building my network out, which helped me, you know, with recruiting and just kind of matching people up opportunities and whatnot. And I wrote books called addicted to the process and two thousand and seventeen about like kind of health struggle that I went through and how I got in into sale. You know, I felt like, you know, I had a maybe unique skin on sales 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 sales conference, and got that going in two thousand and eighteen and then just in October of this last year, finally decided to kind of cut the cord and not 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 through my second book right now and spun off the serpent sales podcast in the beginning of 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 and a lot of things. I got my I got my hands and a lot of cookie jokes. You know, absolutely...

...did you have when you made the cut the cord, as you say, the kind of leap into full time your own business? Did you have kind of like that Aha moment, for lack of a better term of this. Is it? This is why I'm going to do it, or was it just like wait a minute, like, no, I had been I had been knowing that this, that day was coming for a while, but I was, you know, kind of risk it verse and like had locked myself in financially to you know, particular income 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 like hurt. No, I don't live like a very lavish lifestyle that yards of you. I don't even live within my means, as a way under my mean, but like that competitive piece, like all man. So I had decided that I pulled the trigger when my side huspital income matched my income from my regular Gig. And so once it did that, I was like, okay, I can cut this other Gig and, you know, hopefully kind of 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 feel very 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 sales and understanding, you know, how to build them to scale and managing remote teams and all this kind of thing. So, so far, so good. For me, awesome, and I think that's one of the things that I've appreciated, at least from what I've seen from you, is you're kind of taking a step back. It's like, Hey, you don't need to be super aggressive about trying to get new leads right now, like worry about the 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, but I feel like every mailing list I've ever signed up for set a coronavirus update at some point of the last few weeks and in some cases I was just like, okay, what like this doesn't really you know, this wasn't really needed, but it just kind of seemed like everyone wanting to get into the conversation. So do you have a tip or a piece of advice for how companies can kind of stand out in this sort of see of everyone trying to get in on this messaging without being too over the top? I think just trying to help them problem solves. You know, it's one thing to just send a note and be like hey, I'm thinking about you during this crazy time, but you know, I've been advising people to have their sales sooks like turn inside, so to speak, and help out the customer success team and and really just call people up and be like a joey, like what kind 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 you what some of your colleagues and contemporaries they're doing. You know, maybe there's some kind of data or some some articles I can share with you as you're trying 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 podcast to share, you know, any of this kind of stuff like and just asking, you know, and then taking a step further and actually doing something about it. Right like you want to. You want to set yourself apart nowadays, like it's really simple. Do what the fuck you said you were going to do. It's pretty simple, because there's not that many people who actually do what they're say they're going to do, at least in a timely kind of manner. Right. So that's what I you know, that's what I've been trying to do. I know I have some clients that I I rest out student said Hey, man, you know, you might be strapped for resources, like want me to run a sales meeting for you? Want me to do some one on one for for your team, you want me to write some blog posts for you or, you know, do a help with the Webin are, assist with your deal flow or you know, any of this kind of stuff, things that are, you know, often outside the scope even of what I normally do. And then just, you know, taking every inquiry. You know, I I I get dozens of messages every 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 be able to talk to you until late May, right now, which is which is true, by the way, but you know, I'll take those and just try to get back and just try to be helpful and I think people will remember, you know, in the long term offully know how you acted and behaved and treated people, you know, during this thing and hopefully things get back to normal and hopefully you know, some some good carm it comes everybody's way who acted right during all the absolutely and I think, I mean I like to think I have a pretty good memory, but sometimes I'm just floored by how good someone's memory is of like an interaction we had, you know, twelve or fifteen years ago, and I like how I remember you. You said this one thing. It's super valuable to man. Have always held on to it. So totally agree that you. Yeah, you need to be treating people right during this. So, I mean, I got one of those methods like three or four hours ago. You know, this guy on Linkedin that me a note said, you know, few years ago you took the time to hop on a call with me and I needed some help and some advice and I had nothing to offer you. And he was like D on a three years later, like I remember that conversation. I'm like wow, you know, that is...

...that message makes me feel so good you 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 up back for sure. For sure, and this probably ties in nicely to this, but I feel like every time I log on to Linkedin, something that you'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 a bigger network. I know that's the that's the real lesson. But I think linked 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 being too self promotional and authentic, which I think people can struggle with. But how have you kind of found that balance, because I think your posts are really thoughtful and and come from an honest place. Is that really the key to it, or have you found other ways to kind of make linkedin work? Well? I mean to be perfectly candid with you. Like I really struggle right now with balancing just original kind of content with promotional stuff. Like I am. I'm participating in so many podcasts and and in virtual happy hours and webinars and summits and training programs and whatnot, and you feel an obligation to people to share the share the content, share the event, right, I'm sure you know, let's be real here. People want to talk to me, but you know, they also want access to my network to draw, you know, some some more eyeballs to it, right, and so you know, I feel I feel an obligation to promote it, but like, yeah, Dang, you know, I think I think I did like twelve, thirteen events last week and it's just no way for me to squeeze all the promotional stuff in over there. So it's tough. I can I can 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 my career, you know, and I think that he given me, that's given me 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 thing that's going to happen. You know. I mean my track record kind of stands for itself. I've done pretty well. I've, you know, built some good companies. I've network and helped a lot of people out. There's a lot of people who work for me, you know, give me good references and things like that. So, you know, there's no risk in being true to myself. Right, like...

I dress like I did in high school. 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 vp of 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 like I'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 you know the pain that, I mean every single day and how that attacks your mental health as well. And I talked about some of these things and I try to shed light in areas that, you know, other people maybe don't have 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 understand what your equity means and things like that? You know, I try to advocate for for the every man, so to speak, right and so that that's that's been my that's been my strategy, I guess. And you know, 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 them and my stuff does. But that's what works for me. You know, awesome. Yeah, and I think it is just kind of a almost like a sandbox where you kind of have to get in there and play around and see what works best for you, because I've seen some people that are one hundred percent just here's a link to my latest thing and yeah, like real generic. 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 months isn't enough. Yeah, now you can see that. You know, you got it. You got to be hammering it consistently, you know, couple days a week, I think at least. And you got a man the notification and the inbox right, and I think people are dimitated by that. You know. I think people opting out hard time managing their their email inbox or their and their flack messages and what have you. And I thought of like, Oh my God, you know, I goin to get a hundred emails the day and got know how many notifications and things like that. How am I going to keep track? While I was like well, you you just do. Man Just becomes a part of your day and part of your routine. 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 surf and sales podcast. It's kind of a spinoff. I. How did you decide 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 the brand surface tails a little bit. And then, you know, we Richard and I know a lot of really smart folks in the stads community and sales and leadership and things like that and like but one of the best reasons to do a podcast is because you have the opportunity to learn from people every single time you record. Right, just like you know, I'm I had conversations a couple times a week with, you know, really successful sales people and CEOS 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 a good, good one liner. There, good quote. there. Get what you think about it there, you know. So I'm getting like free learning out of it, right. And then, you know, you give you you know, 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 might convert 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 engage with 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 for from to right. Like I enjoy talking about business and sales and and things like 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 blood fled tears at this point in time. But we'll like doing it. We we I think last last holiday, maybe early December, maybe Midcember, we just 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 what have you, and then we just have let's go for men. And so we 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 got three 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 every every ten days or so. So you know we're trying to trying to win some of the content wars. I guess my schedule to shame with that Nice, Nice. Yeah, well, my schedule is amiss and I probably work like I'll probably you know right now my...

...business has increased quite a bit because of everything that's happening. So I am no joke. Like thirty two eleven pm time, six thirty in the morning to eleven pm. Today is like a late day for me and I started at thirty and I'll be done by eight or so. That's like twelve hours right now. I'm juggling. So I recorded because be my second podcast I recorded today. Did I wrote blog post, I wrote a Linkedin Post. I could produce a news later today. I had three client calls. You know, I've got got note how many emails and slack messages that I have to check still. But you know, I just I stay busy. You know, I try to be efficient and 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 and everything, and you know, who knows what's going to happen for the next few months. Like there's a part of me that's like, well, if you got clients now and you're getting paid now, like bet are fatten up like a bear, getting ready for hibernation, you know, because things might dry up quite a bit, so I might as well get right now while they 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 to steal it. And this is more for my like three percent of audience members that also host a podcast. But what's your setup like? What's the recording setup like? All this is the best part. Nothing, boom, absolutely nothing. So like, if you think of some podcasts that are like, you know, really like produced, and there's like people making enter the sound is right and like, I'm looking at your microphone right there and like I don't have microphone, like go I love the way. Oh yeah, it sounds great. I'm not saying, you know, I'm not knocking to I'm just saying, like, I don't use that, you know. And so and so, Richard and I were like you know what, man, so one 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, and we're like, I'm kept time for them, but I do have time for is just down in dirty like conversation. You know, it's down eighty five percent. 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 for my 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 people are 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 Dank Stevie Stevie bar club in New York City,...

...you know, really fine. I don't know if this still exists, but I remember someone on a youtube video a few years ago of the Ramons playing at it was some sort of like sit down Dinner Club. So everyone just looks like really dressed up and then the romotes come out of their leather jackets and jeans. I was just like this, I love. Couldn't have been to love that audience for that. I love. I love that so much. I need I need to find this this clip you're talking about. Yes, I'll say if I can dig it up and said it every but it's a magical that might that's actually well, now they're before the S, but we'll get to that in a second because I like your top three recommendation. But before that, I like I agree. I think scripts and all of that are a little life, a little too too deep into things. I think the conversations are a lot more natural when you just let him flow. But I do like asking people a question that they wish they were asked more often, and for you it was 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 and think 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 Strivee to, you know, do more, be more, all this kind of thing, and that's real heavy man. You know, you you can very much burn yourself out. You can very much feel like you've you've never really accomplished anything. You know, if you want to, you can always find somebody who's working harder, making more money than you, or paying this than you, what have you, and it could be quite constructive to chase that chase that dragon, you know. And so, you know, I kind of a few years ago modeled out like here's my magic number, I think right 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 the next thirty years to, you know, and and have this one kind of type of lifestyle. Like I know my magic number that I can get to that will allow me to like disappear, basically, and if I can get if I can get to that number, like I'm going to feel really good about the things that I've done. And, you know, I kind of we'll see if I actually get there and I'm able to do this, but I kind of look at it like a gamblers that the table and those when to walk away. You know, there's something to be said for for knowing when to walk away and reprioritizing at times. You know what I mean, like we're at home right now, nobody's going anywhere, so I'm working twelve the fifteen hours a day, but when this goes back to normal, I'm not wearing that much. I've done these days, you know, for two decades previously and traveled all over the place for work or whatnot. Like I want to get back to normals, like,...

Oh, coach my kids Literal League team. I want to go back to the soccer games and I want to go back to my older stones cross country meet and Basketball Games and all this kind of stuff, right. And so, you know, I think you find, you try to find a sweet spot, you know, where you're obviously your basic needs are met, and I think if you can get to a place where you're not worrying about money, like if you can take you your family on a trip somewhere and not look at the cost, for you can go out to dinner and like, not really like the prices of cocktails or 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 your income, you know, beyond that particular spot, right and make sure you spend 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, because I 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 this is 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 and I might be wrong right. But this is what this is where I've kind of this is where I'm at and kind of where I've come to terms with things, at least for right now. Love it a lot of hopefully, hopefully that makes sense to somebody out there now. It just to me at 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? Oh Man, most amazing question. Top three and ninety bands. Alice and chain very nice, for sure, Pearl Jam, for sure, and I'm gonna say Nirvana just just because they're just so groundbreaking. But I could go like a million different directions of stuff. For legacy purposes and and like impact on the scene, I'll go nirvana if it's like actual staying power and like people who existed during these are not necessarily grunge like. I would change my vote to 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 heard of Orre more like one hit wonder type? Right, what do you have to refer that? That's I love cuts. Let's go. Give me, give give 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 wonder route, which again, like I'm really...

...just pretty much basing it on the one hit. You know, maybe have heard of. Call you, but you have, you have to. You have, feel like, also dove into the okay, so I have to dovated, stepping like a record or to 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 that was a one hit wonder, blind melon. Oh Nice, I'm a I'm a closet like blind melon fan. I can listen to those, the whole records, 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'm pretty sure they're early s. So I don't know if that. You're going to fail this test already. I know I might be. I didn't know they had to be ahead to be such a deep cuts. So they might be s too, but I think maybe this song came out ninety nine. But you know, wetest with teenage dirt bag. Oh my God, I remember that Song. Yeah, yeah, they have. They that first album and then they came out with a segment which is definitely in two for the second one. But there are some, it's a very nice songs on both of those that are like funny and well written and just have like some simultaneously really 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 great sell that. I know I need. I feel like I've failed with the with the one. It were deep deep cuts. I mean I would if I was answer ring. This is just an artist in general. I the offspring was the first city I ever bought. It's me on the Oumbre and which is, I would say, not they're certainly not their most popular city and probably one of the more like forgotten about ones over the course of their discography, 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 the all offspring soundtracks, that fast rock music that makes you want to run through a law it's good times. This is not that they're not like a one hit wonder, but like they didn't lave, you know, as long as they should have, and we certainly need them now more than ever. But it's you know, I love to bring rage against some machine back that's sudden and 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, God knows what. Like that, Dude, a shout out to Zack Dale, Roacho. We need you back to get out of the junk, get out of the jungle, getting the studio,...

...come on, yes, come on, I know Tom would do it. He's he's Hostin a radio show I heard of. Yeah, one of those, one of those serious extemp channels of like Tom's greatest greatest guitar hits, which is just like half him and then half other bands that he likes. I mean is it forms my first ever podcast where I told ZAC DELA Roachis to come down out of the mountain. Excellent, we will broadcast this from the mountains. Hopefully, hopefully he can, he can get over here. Nice, good deal, will Scott, you're almost off the hook, but if you want to reach out to you, 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 mean I'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 mean there's my at least consultingcom website. There's surfing salescom. What I I'm on twitter, but you know, anybody listening to just reach out to me on on linked in and you know, pay hi. Let me know how I could be helpful and I'm out the way the dark building building relationships on on linked in. And eventually turned into a brain. So we'll have you to try to try to be helpful with any anybody not respect awesome. I'll appreciate you hopping on and you're officially off the hook. All right, man, awesome for the time. Absolutely, and of course we always end with the Corny joke because this is life at this point. But how do you make a tissue dance? Put a little boogie in it good after taking I got MIC DROP.

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