Working with Mike Weinberg

Many sales organizations have an opportunity creation problem. The biggest change they need to make is the change from vegetarian, non-hunters to proactive hunters.

Over the last two days, I had the great pleasure of working with Mike Weinberg. Mike is a good friend. I wrote the foreword to his first book. He referred me to this client (so much for our being competitors, like so many people mistakenly believe).

So, without sharing his unique recipe, I want to share some thoughts about Mike and his approach.

Mike started his part of our workshop by explaining how and why salespeople fail to create and win new opportunities. Mostly, it is because they have a weak set of beliefs and the poor behaviors that accompany those beliefs. The ten or so points he made were spot on, and they got everyone’s attention. Every head was nodding in agreement that the very list he was reciting was an accurate cause analysis of their challenges.

Later, he worked on the strategies and tactics that correct the lack of sufficient activity. Of all the strategies he laid out, time blocking was the one that most resonated with the workshop participants—and with me personally. He made the point that if you don’t control your calendar, you are reactive, and it can make you feel like a victim. Everyone in the room acknowledged that this shift alone would change their results.

Mike had two more big sections, one on your sales story, and one on presentations. His segment on sharpening your sales story had me rethinking how you can provide proof of the value you can create during a first call without ever saying a word about you or your company. It’s subtle, and it’s smart. Like much of what Mike and I believe, it’s totally customer-focused.

The segment on presentations was an unbelievable collection of stories and worst practices. It was a menu of bad behaviors that most of us are guilty of now or have been guilty of in the past. His recipe for presenting is very much aligned with his New Sales Simplified approach. With two slides, Mike corrected the most egregious mistakes that salespeople commonly make. It’s very prescriptive and, like everything Mike shared, immediately actionable.

Mike is an entertaining presenter and facilitator without trying to be. He can get loud and animated when he is passionate about a point, but it’s always funny. His sincerity comes across as humble, and much of his humor is self-deprecating. It reminds me a bit of Columbo, Mike smiling the whole time, downplaying how smart the total approach is, knowing that he’s got you figured out.

You don’t want to miss any opportunity to see him speak or attend one of his workshops. You will leave energized and armed to win new sales on the other side.

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