How A Top Tier Sales Professional Learnt How To Sell | Ask Sales Leaders

How a Top Tier Sales Professional learnt how to sell

In this installment of interviews with high-performance sales professionals, Tom sits down with his good friend James Le, who works in Major Accounts Sales at ADP Canada. Spectacularly, James is now in his 10th year at ADP and has qualified to be part of the President’s Club 4 times – an elaborate overseas trip only select high-performance sales professionals can achieve. In fact, Tom remarks that in past conversations with James, he’s been impressed by how seriously ADP takes sales and sales training. Therefore, in this short interview, Tom and James discuss what has helped them become high-performance sales professionals and how James learned how to sell.

How did you learn how to sell?

I’ve been fortunate to work for one of the best sales organizations in the world that prides itself on sales training.  I’ve had consistent, ongoing training since starting my sales career.  I remember being assigned a mentor, role-playing, online webinars, learning from my peers, instructor-led training, online and in-classroom courses, and, most importantly, applying what I learned in the field in front of my clients. Most recently, I’ve learned to sell through social media from social media Gurus and experts within my organization.  Many people throughout my career have influenced me and helped me improve as a salesperson.

Also read:

What do you do to improve in sales?

I read online blogs, research documents, and follow websites that discuss the latest in sales, insights etc.  My company also does ongoing sales training, which I participate in.

What is your greatest sales success story?

This sale included strategy, diligence, beating out the competition, patience, teamwork and hard-work.

One of my clients used a legacy product they wanted to upgrade to our latest cloud-based solution.  During my initial meeting, we discussed their requirements, and one requirement that came up was a deal-breaker.  The meeting went well but ended very shortly as we could not meet their one requirement.

I followed up with the client and thanked them for their time.  I researched and sent them an email with data that would help me overcome the requirements we couldn’t meet.  I did not hear back for 4 months until one day, and I received a phone call that they were interested again and wanted to meet.

Something had changed during the 4 months, and they had many discussions/meetings around that topic.  They had advised that they would submit an RFP (request for proposal) to select a vendor.  We went through a 200-page questionnaire document and submitted our RFP.  We were shortlisted to move to the next step and demo our solution.  After 8 months, including subsequent meetings, emails and phone calls, the client let me know they would proceed with us.  All the hard work is not just finished yet, as we went through our terms and conditions and pricing negotiations.  The client signed the agreement several months later, and we are currently working with our consultants to set up their new solution.

What tips can you offer fellow sales professionals?

I have several tips I can offer.

  1. Heavily research your prospects.  Search their website for their goals/mission, understand who the stakeholders are, search on LinkedIn and find out who you are meeting with and their background.
  2. Customers will buy if you can show them the value of what you are selling.
  3. Find out their business challenges and how your product/solution can help them achieve their goals.
  4. Put yourself out of your comfort zone.  The only way to learn and get better is through experience.  Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; you will only improve.
  5. Seek opportunities that will challenge you as sales are consistently evolving and look to move to the next level of sales.

The Selling in Asia Podcast

Learn from the world’s best founders, sales leaders and business people about what it takes to succeed at your selling product, service or dream in Asia.

Don’t miss out on weekly episodes with sales expert and founder of SOCO Sales Training, Tom Abbott, where you’ll join him for insightful cutting-edge interviews with exceptional people making a difference to companies’ bottom line across Asia and the world.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a sales professional or a sales leader, you’ll discover actionable strategies that can be applied immediately- you might even laugh a little on the way, too.

Scroll to Top