Grow Sales by Putting Clients First
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FINDING HIS WAY
Dave Brown grew up in a loving home. Always the social kid, he enjoyed surrounding himself with people. When his friend Brandon invited him to church for “Bring a friend day,” Dave was happy to go. Two weeks later, was “Bring your family to church day.” At 8 years old, Dave “sold” his family by convincing them to go to church with him. His father, a gifted musician, soon became the worship leader. Even though Dave was growing closer to the Lord, he was still shy about praying out loud. While in the 8th grade, it was the night before See You at the Poll when students gather at their school's flagpole on the fourth Wednesday in September to pray. Dave’s parents were watching The 700 Club and Pat was discussing current events happening in our country. Dave remembers Pat asking viewers to join him in praying.
Catching Dave’s ear, he turned to the screen and felt like Pat was looking directly at him. Dave was captivated as Pat said, “I want you to pray out loud,” repeating it three times. The next day when he was with students praying around the flagpole, Dave remembered what Pat said. His heart raced and his hands got clammy as he uttered his first public prayer. That was a life-changing moment for him, and he hasn’t stopped praying since.
During his sophomore year at Trinity University, Dave participated in the Southwestern Advantage internship where he sold children’s learning products. During that time, Dave and his mentors realized that he was a natural salesman.
Dave learned a very important lesson early in his career when he was 22 years old that would change his perspective forever. Most salespeople dream of doing business with people who are influential in their community. Dave did his homework and learned that Brian and Beverly were such people. Since they had four kids who were known for being smart, they were the perfect target audience. As Dave knocked on their door, he was excited about the prospect of landing such a sale.
During their time together, he showed them what the educational materials could do to further benefit their children’s education. As they asked questions, Dave recalls, “I didn’t flat out lie but I’d exaggerated a bit on what the products could do and the benefit they would provide.” Dave got the sale but didn’t feel good about it. Trying to ignore the pit in his stomach, he went on to sell to more people who knew Brian and Beverly and he wasn’t shy about using their name. It paid off and he kept getting more sales. Yet, he still couldn’t shake his feelings of guilt.
Later, when he was home, Dave reflected again on his interaction with Brian and Beverly. He asked himself some tough questions: “Will I walk away from a sale if it is not the best thing for the person? What if I could sell with honesty and integrity and still be a top producer? Then, clear as day, Dave says he felt like someone said, “Do both. Be fully honest and transparent when you’re selling and be the best at sales.” Dave explains, “I decided to be a servant salesperson. From that point on, my sales efforts would be focused on putting others’ feelings, needs, and desires above my own.”
Dave knocked on more than 50,000 doors before he was twenty-five. He continues to hold the record for the most customers ever sold for the Southwestern Advantage college program, out of more than 250,000 salespeople. He’s also made more than 200,000 cold calls to companies worldwide.
MAKING THINGS RIGHT
Twenty years later, while Dave was writing his book Servant Selling, he knew he needed to make amends with Brian and Beverly. After doing some research and tracking down their number, he arranged a video chat. As they looked at each other, Dave sincerely apologized and asked for their forgiveness. They were happy to give it. Feeling an immediate sense of relief, Dave was grateful when they invited him to attend their Thursday night family dinners.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PERSISTENCE
When asked what his favorite book is, you might be surprised to hear Dave’s answer. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess, he shares. Dave says that persistence is the key to being successful in life and in this children’s book, Sam-I-Am asks his subject to try green eggs and ham 30 times before he obliges. It’s the perfect story of persistence and perseverance.
Another key to living a successful and fulfilling life that Dave follows is making yourself do things When You Don’t Feel Like It. He has coined the phrase “WYDFLI.” Most things that truly benefit our growth and help us are also things we don’t feel like doing: Eating healthy, exercising, and putting someone else’s needs above our own. Yet, when we do these things, it’s for our good and we begin living the life that God intended.
CONNECTION OVER EFFICIENCY
Known for moving fast and always being efficient with his time is one of Dave’s best skills and one of his biggest challenges. For example, one morning while trying to get his son Dawson out of the house, Dave shares, “Dawson was having a tough morning, and my wife said to me Connection over efficiency. Connection first, then efficiency, not the other way around. Here I am trying to get my son out of the house for school, thinking about efficiency, efficiency, efficiency: Put your clothes on, brush your teeth, drink this, take your vitamins… but Dawson just needed somebody to sit with him and I completely missed it. I didn’t get a chance to connect with my son and felt awful. I apologized to him and made it right.”
Most of us can relate to feeling stretched and worrying more about deadlines than connecting with others but deadlines will always be present, people won’t. Dave says it’s important to keep our priorities straight and honestly admits that this is something he struggles with daily.
Get your copy of Dave Brown's Sevant Selling today!
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