Ryan McLean : Slightly Unconventional

5 Things I Learned From My Sales Mentor

My current sales mentor is Nathan Wilson, and he has taught me a lot about being a great salesperson.

I wanted to take the time to write down some of the best kernels of wisdom that I have learned from Nathan in the last 12 months working with him.

Be The Best
When I came into the company I was 100% green. I had little to no experience in the type of sales I now found myself working in.

I was promoted quickly because I had promise but even after 9 months in the trenches (on the phones) I was still very green when it came to running a sales territory. I had a natural talent for developing relationships and driving growth but I didn’t really believe I could be great.

Nathan believed in me and taught me that I could not only be great but that I could be the best.

I had never really aimed for “best”. I always made excuses and performed well enough to be above average but never #1. Nathan showed me that not only could I be #1 but that my customers and company were counting on me to be the best I can be.

In 2012 I didn’t finish #1 in the company but I did finish in the top 20%. Not bad for my first year on the job.

Nathan still encourages me to be the best and in 2013 I am gunning for “rep of the year”.

Be Creative
My old boss Lisa said something to me once that stuck with me. She was comparing me to another employee.

She said if she told employee X to do something he would ask for the steps and execute it flawlessly. If she asked me to do the same thing I would think of the quickest and easiest way to get it done and do that.

Nathan took it a step further by showing me to go above and beyond and be creative in your role. He leads by example and is continually pushing the status quo.

Don’t settle for what everyone else is doing, get creative and create something new that will drive even better results.

Be Bold
Fortune favors the bold and in the last 12 months I have learned to be more bold.

Bold in my abilities, bold in my ideas, bold in encouraging team mates and bold with my customers.

Know what needs to be done and be bold in doing it. Not arrogant, not egotistic…but bold.

Be Yourself
Again something I have leaned through his living breathing example. Nathan is eccentric, outgoing and one of a kind.

He doesn’t try to hide behind who he is, but he uses his flare to drive business growth.

He can talk the talk with customers, but he goes an extra step and creates pizaz in his presentations. He puts on a meeting for pharmacists and has dancing girls and fireworks.

He isn’t putting on a show he is being authentic to himself. Something I strive to be in my interactions with team mates and customers.

Be A Standout (Be A Star)
Don’t just do things well, don’t just be #1 in results but be a standout. Be #1 in everyone’s mind whether your #1 on the leader board or not.

Set an example, be innovative, network, ask questions and go out on a limb.

Do what you can to share your insights with those that can either add to it or benefit from it.

A few months ago as I heard my name popping up here and there as an example of someone doing good things I got scared. I didn’t want to make a target for myself or to fail extremely publicly.

But Nathan encouraged me again to be bold and do what I thought was right.

It reminds me of my favourite quote

Your playing small does not serve the world. As you let your light shine you unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As you are liberated from your fear you automatically liberate others.

I’m Extremely Lucky
10 months ago I had a big decision to make. Should I take an internal promotion opportunity and move to Newcastle for my work.

I am so glad I did, because it gave me the opportunity to work closely with Nathan and I will always remember him and what he taught me.

The biggest gift he gave me was belief. Belief in myself not that I could be great, but that I am great and just need to prove it to the rest of the world.

One response to “5 Things I Learned From My Sales Mentor”

  1. Bob Bodman says:

    Less blogging more selling

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