Hi, this is Ian Daley. Welcome to the pilot episode of The New Leader podcast.
This is the podcast where you’ll find practical, actionable advice for new leaders, or those who aspire to move into leadership roles. You’ll learn directly from those who walk the walk as they share their leadership stories, struggles and successes.
Today our guest is Chris Spurvey, founder of Chris Spurvey Sales Growth Consulting Inc and co-founder at Dockridge Digital.
Chris spearheaded the growth of Plato Consulting to the point it was acquired by one of the largest management consulting firms in the world (KPMG). In the process, he sold over $300 million in consulting services.
Following the acquisition, Chris turned his focus to helping other “non-sales sellers” find a way to grow their revenue in a consistent, stress-free manner. He published It’s Time to Sell: Cultivating the Sales Mindset, founded Make Sales a Habit University and today is a growth advisor to business owners and their management teams throughout the world.
We talk about his background, his experience as a manager, becoming VP at KPMG, his biggest win as a leader, following your intuition, and many more. We even touched on the practical applications of psychology!
I hope you enjoy this one.
What was the first 6-12 months like for you as a new manager?
When I think back to them looking at me, and me looking at them as their leader, I never stopped to pause and “think” through their eyes, and that is the most important aspect in my opinion in terms of how to actually motivate and inspire and get people to act in a way that is going to progress them and also benefit the organization.
We, as leaders, need to be looking through the eyes of the individuals we are leading and think about what is exactly going to motivate them. Think about not only the business side of it, but also think about their personal lives.
They’re coming at their jobs through their own bodies and as a new leader, we – I know I did – never really realized that. We look through our own eyes.
We look at the individual, and we think about what’s going to benefit us as individuals – that’s the initial reaction.
At the base of it is an individual who has a heart and a mind, and ambitions and motivations that are exactly the equivalent of yours – they’re just a couple of years behind you or me as a new leader at that point in time.
So I would suggest making sure always pausing, to think through the eyes of the individual you’re leading.
Biggest WIN as a leader
What would you describe as your biggest win from the people aspect of helping a consultant land a big client?
This guy Ed in our local office, who at that time was a senior consultant, came to me and said, “Chris, I am really struggling with this idea of going out and selling and finding new clients.”
The more I dug into that, the more I realized that he had a really negative view as to what sales is. He saw sales as being something pushy, which many people do. It’s the stereotypical used-car salesman type of mindset.
What I did with him is I helped him identify some unique gifts and strengths that he had, and I reframed sales around that couple of unique strengths.
After talking to him for a half hour I learned that he is a very curious individual. He actually has a website that he manages and monitors in his spare time. This was a user forum for Mustangs.
As I spoke to him and saw that curiosity and problem solving ability I said to him, “When you think about it, when you go in to meet a prospective new client, if you go at it from the perspective of being curious about who they are as individuals, and then try to diagnose and solve their problem, sales will just happen naturally from that interaction.”
I remember it specifically, because about a month later he landed a $250,000-dollar contract and now he is, I believe, a manager.
I inspired him and got him to see sales through a different lens and I was able to have him see it, but also wrap it in the context of his daily job.
And so even without a new model, image and new tactics and techniques that pertains to sales and now he’s excelling in the organization. So that’s one of the wins of working with those consultants, reframing and working around this topic of sales.
Follow your intuition
If you follow your heart, your heart will very rarely lead you astray.
Not to get too woo-woo for that matter, but we have higher faculties, and those higher faculties are perception, intuition, our will, our reasoning factors and so on.
We have a tendency to live through our senses – sight, smell, taste, touch, etc – but we have these higher faculties like memory that we should be trying to develop.
The one key factor that I believe a leader needs to hone in on is their intuition and that’s really being able to tap into what your heart is telling you, and follow that intuition because I believe it will rarely lead you astray.
Links and Resources
Visit his website: http://www.chrisspurvey.com/
It’s Time to Sell: Cultivating the Sales Mindset by Chris Spurvey
The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga