Positive sales expectations are part of every business, and it's sales trainer Peter Fasulo's job to help bring those goals to fruition. The president of PJF Sales Training, working as a coach and "virtual sales manager" with his clients, shares knowledge gained from years as a salesman and sales director for Fortune 500 companies.
"At 31, I was a director of sales for the Northeast, managing nine managers and about 63 sales reps," said Fasulo, 51, who started his own business eight years ago. His inspiration? His late father, also named Peter Fasulo. "Dad was a sales guy; he was awake at 5:30, out the door by 6:20 in his suit and tie to get to the Hicksville train station."
What do most of your clients struggle with?
A guy will open his own company . . . he's doing all the selling. One day, he hits 50, and he says, "I don't want to be knocking on doors and selling, let me hire three salespeople," but he hires no sales manager. He doesn't really know how to manage them. He can't understand why they're not having the same success he used to have.
What's a secret to sales success?
Time management and preparation. Every top rep at every company I've ever done work for makes a very detailed, minute-by-minute to-do list every single day and sticks to it. If there's a customer service issue that messes up their day, they don't get pulled in eight different directions.
What is a virtual sales program?
Clients hire me, and I come in once a week as a virtual sales manager. I'll do everything from holding a team meeting to having one-on-ones with the reps on how their sales went that week.
How do you push a sales team to the next level?
Constant coaching. In the 1970s, Fortune 500 companies put sales reps through 13 weeks of training before they were given a territory and could see clients. Now it's two weeks or less . . . and then they wonder why the sales reps are failing.
What's the key to closing a sale?
If you provide the right solution to what that customer needs, more likely than not you will win the sale. When sales reps try to sell something the customer doesn't really need, people are going to figure out, "I don't need that." Especially in this economy. But when you go through what their issues are, and say, "OK, you do need this. Here's why you need it. Here's how it's going to help your business." Now the customer is much more likely to purchase. So you have to develop a methodical way of pulling out their need.
How do you get new clients in this economy?
Our VP of marketing sends out email blasts; we're on Twitter and Facebook. And I'm a sales rep at heart. I set aside every Friday for cold calling.
Name. Peter J. Fasulo, president and owner of PJF Sales Training Inc. of Sayville.
What it does. Provide sales rep and sales management training for companies nationwide.
Employees. Two full time; three part time.
Roles they play. Vice president of marketing, email blasts and social media, administration and sales training.
Revenue. $350,000 to $400,000