Season 1,

89: How to Lose Money by Making a Big Sale with Donald Kelly

November 04, 2017

Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell, if they have the desire. Early on in his sales career, Donald struggled with sales, but through the proper training and coaching, he became a top performing seller. He has since taken it upon himself to “evangelize” the message of effective selling to new and struggling salespeople and entrepreneurs close more deal. Donald hosts a popular sales podcast called The Sales Evangelist.

He works with small companies in developing effective sales processes as well as training their teams. He is an award winning sales and motivational speaker. When he’s not training, speaking or selling, he love spending time with his family in South Florida.

Time Stamped Show Notes

[6:10] Donald was working as a sales rep in a document management software company. After some training, he rose to the top, did good prospecting and got a fairly good sized deal at the right time.

[7:25] The average deal for Donald was of around $30,000 and this specific one was close to the $150,000 with extra services included. The commission being $15,000.

[10:10] Felt something wasn’t brewing right when the company was letting go of people on their team in order to make the year end look good.

[12:00] Though there hadn’t been anything in the past to worry about, the CEO started to go along with the sales representative but Donald didn’t think any of that.

[13:44] Wanting to become a SaaS based company, the CEO tried to adjust the deals and break the payments over the course of several years in order to have a better evaluation.

[15:00] When on the final call to close the deal with the buyer, the CEO joined the conference called, offered a subscription model instead of a one-time payment. Even when the buyer already had the total amount.

[16:48] It wasn’t to make things easier to the client but to have a monthly payment that made the company look better. Donald tried to undo the offer and have it all in one payment, to no avail.

[17:57] The company was going in a different direction and that commission split into 5 years wasn’t going to cut it for Donald.

[18:36] Having started with The Sales Evangelist just for fun, Donald took this opportunity to going on his own seeing that at the company nothing was in his favor and went to pursue more coaching clients and speaking events.

[22:50] When the CEO offered the subscription payment plan he introduced a weakness because the client was ready to pay and it wasn’t something he even asked for. But it was for the company’s gain only.

[26:05] After Donald left, he found out the radical change by the CEO was because one investor wanted out. They later sold the company to a bigger firm.

[27:37] Donald’s first speaking engagement was for three hours and he made $10,000.

[28:28] Failing Forward Segment

  • Why did this failure experience happen to you? – “It happened to me because I trusted too much in my organization and I felt that I let it  happen by not being assertive and taking charge as I should have been.”
  • What is the single most important lesson you learned from this? – “Sometimes we get so distracted by one thing, we don’t realize that there’s something else amazing around the corner for us. There’s always something else, you might lose here and there but there’s always other opportunities.”
  • How do you protect yourself from failing in this way again? – “I’ve come to realize that the house always wins and I needed to be the house. In this case I became the house and I have won since then.”
  • Who do you turn to when you need help? – “I have speaking coach and business coach. I have spiritual mentors that I get to. Between my spiritual side and my business side I have those coaches that I go to and get guidance. I also have a mastermind of smarter people than myself.”
  • What advice would you give to someone in a similar position? – “Be the CEO of your own business, as a sales professional you need to be the CEO. Take more charge, do more planning.”

[35.53] In The Sales Evangelist, Donald interviews top salespeople and entrepreneurs to educate those struggling or changing careers. He also offers 1 on 1 coaching and an online sales training group.

[43:35] Donald’s final thought: “Get out of your own head, get uncomfortable, take action and if you do that, you’ll learn from them but that’s what life’s all about. If you’re not messing up, you’re not learning.”

To hear this episode and many more like it on your mobile device, you can subscribe to How To Lose Money via iTunes or Stitcher.


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