From college dropout to door knocker, to over a billion in sales, Ali Zamany knows a thing or two about becoming an effective sales leader.
Listen to his advice from Million Dollar Mastermind 2020.
Whether you are running a sales team, a sales office, or a sales organization, it is essential that you become an effective and trusted leader that your people can look up to and emulate.
In sales, many people think that the first door you knock is the hardest one, but in reality, the hardest door to get past is your own.
Every day, before you knock any doors to make sales calls, you need to get your butt out of your own door at home, and open the door of your car and get ready to face whatever the day throws at you.
5 Tips For Becoming an Effective Sales Leader
You need to be willing to push past anything that comes your way in order to find success, and in order to teach success to those in your organization.
As a sales leader, your goal is to bring your team along to learn the very skills that you have perfected consistently over an extended period of time.
You’ve done it day in, day out, week in, week out. Everything you teach to your people is something you have already accomplished.
This takes a lot of time and energy and it’s important that you always remain the best student, constantly learning how to improve and become better, because the greatest students always become the greatest teachers.
Zamany suggests that you get involved in every part of the process, even if it’s something you don’t necessarily like doing.
You should want to become the eyes and ears of your company and your team and know what’s working and what is not.
Let’s dive right into the 5 tips that Ali Zamany recommends to be able to rise above as a top sales leader in your industry:
Lead By Example
The magnitude of importance of this point is incredibly crucial, no matter what size team you are in charge of. You’ve probably heard the old adage that says “The speed of the leader is the speed of the team.”
This couldn’t be truer. You don’t want to just be a manager, who delegates and oversees tasks, you want to be a LEADER, who has 2-way communication with their team that allows them to lead, inspire, manage, motivate, guide, mentor, direct, and coach others.
Here are a few ways to lead by example:
Punctuality. In other words, show up EARLY. If your meeting starts at 11 AM, then get there at 10 or 10:30, because if you are the leader, you need to always be the first one there.
Most likely you’ll have team members show up early, and you can help them go through some roleplay, rebuttals, or goal setting. Make sure you are always leading by example by showing up first, every time.
Uniforms. Make sure when you show up to the office that you don’t look disheveled, wearing a wrinkled shirt. If you have a uniform in your organization, show up in full uniform, with a clean, freshly pressed shirt. You need to act as the model, the “poster-child” that is always dressed to the “T” looking your best.
Administrative Duties. Always lead by example administratively. If there is paperwork that needs to be done in the morning, then make sure yours is done the night before, so you show up at the office with your paperwork done, rather than doing it at the office.
Likewise, if there is paperwork that needs to be handled at the end of the day, then do above and beyond what you would expect from your own team. You can’t expect anything of them that you aren’t willing to do yourself.
This will cause the people who work for you to gain respect for you, and you will be able to inspire them to do the same.
Production. This is really the big one. You need to always be the number one sales rep within your group that you are managing, especially in the early days, because you are showing them exactly what needs to get time.
If they can see that you have less time, because you have a lot more responsibilities, and you are still able to produce more sales than them, then this demonstrates what leadership is all about. You are showing them exactly what needs to be done while eliminating any and every excuse that sales reps can have.
Human Beings are creatures of habit, creatures of form, creatures of routine. We need that discipline, we need that regimen, we need that structure. A lot of very successful corporations create a very regimented environment where individuals fall into place pretty easily.
These companies have a very robust and detailed training and on-boarding system. In many organizations, the customer service team gets 10 times as much training as the sales team.
If you want to have highly skilled salespeople, then you need to create a very structured environment where everyone knows what is expected of them. In order to develop an incredibly successful sales team you must do the following:
Clarity. It is essential that your team is completely clear of what is expected of them, and you must enforce consequences when they become lax or don’t comply with rules and expectations.
For example, if they are constantly showing up late for sales meetings, you need to have very clear rules that aren’t open for interpretation. Close the door, and don’t allow latecomers into the meeting, and make it known that if it continues, they will be let go.
Scripts and Routines. When you are initially training your team, it’s essential to create scripts and routines that your people are required to learn in order to have the most success.
Just like when you were learning how to drive, you had a book to follow with all the rules and guidelines that told you everything in specific detail, even down to where you place your hands on the steering wheel.
You need the same kind of detailed instruction so that there is no question of what is expected and how to handle different situations. Obviously, as you became a more experienced driver, you changed things up a bit, but you had the foundation from the beginning that you built upon.
Likewise, in your organization, if you teach them the fundamental rules in a very structured and detailed manner, such as verbatim phone scripts, tonality, body language, closing, etc., they will eventually learn to put their own style and spin on things and only become better as time goes by.
Coaching and Training
Be the “early-bird coach” rather than the “white knight.” In other words, you don’t want to just show up at the last minute to save the day after things have already gone wrong.
Being an effective leader means that you begin to understand trends, activities, actions, and results, not only while they are occurring, but even before they occur. Rather than having to be reactive, after it’s already too later, you need to become proactive and try to inoculate and address things long before they get out of hand.
Being a coach is having an interactive communication with your team. You are either coaching them up, or coaching them out. You give them a set of responsibilities and mandates and set expectations for them to follow through. If they don’t, then you let them know that they are not a good fit for your organization.
Either way, they are being coached and are learning something in the process. Here are some of the situations where it is necessary to get on top of things right away:
Compliance. If you have a sales rep that has been getting a few complaints, address it right away. Find out what that problem is, and get ahead of it. Learn to Identify, recognize and address these things right away, rather than letting them go and become much bigger problems down the road. If you have an employee that just refuses to fall in line with their responsibilities and mandates, then it’s time to take action and let them go.
Punctuality. Perhaps you have an employee who shows up late. Set a precedent the very first time it happens. Don’t wait until the 3rd or 4th time they saunter in late. Let them know right off the bat that there are consequences, and tardiness will not be tolerated without consequences.
Sales Performance. Maybe one of your team is struggling with overcoming objections, or meeting quotas. Getting on top of the situation right away, and finding out the root of the problem before it gets worse, is essential.
Administrative. One of the team members isn’t turning their paperwork in on time, or isn’t completing it correctly. This needs to be addressed immediately so that it can be fixed right away.
Attitude. If you have someone in your organization that is exuding a negative attitude in the office and causing a “cancerous” environment, take them aside and handle it as quickly as possible before it spreads to others and brings everyone down.
Personal Issues. Any number of possible scenarios could be affecting the sales performance of your team, such as their own personal financial struggles, or family and legal issues.
If you are able to develop a personal relationship with your people so that you can really get to know them, you can take them aside and find out what’s going on and see if there is anything you can do to help them in their current situation so that they will be more effective.
Self education will empower you to become wealthy, create a legacy and make a very big impact. I’m not talking about the formal education system in the US, where you are learning from a textbook that was written 80 to 100 years ago, with no application in the real world.
On top of that, you are learning from a teacher or professor that is making an average income, trying to teach you how to become successful and become an entrepreneur in your life.
Ali Zamany says that he actually had a scholarship to a university, but elected to drop out to become a professional “door-knocker.” He said it was the best decision of his life. Here are some of the reasons he is a huge proponent of self-education.
Constant And Never-ending Improvement- (i.e- “CAN I”) Become a lifelong student. Always be learning. Don’t ignore this step, because Zamany said that for the first couple of years he was in sales, he ignored it, even though everyone was talking about it at sales meetings. The first personal development book he read was “The Greatest Salesman in the World,” by Og Mandino.
He highly recommends you check that out. Gis first CD set he ever bought was “How to Master the Art of Selling Anything,” by Tom Hopkins, and he said that changed his life. Remember the best students become the best teachers. So keep learning as much as you can.
Don’t just focus on motivation, focus on education. The key is to have substance, not just horsepower, but brainpower as well. If you want to teach extreme value, then you need to learn and study it yourself first. It’s something constant and perpetual.
Two of his favorite books are “Speak to Win,” and “Psychology of Selling,” by Brian Tracy. He has read both of these books over a dozen times each.
When you do this, then not only do you have your own experiences to draw from but you are able to glean tens and hundreds of other stories you can leverage from all the books you have read.
Take Advice From Successful People. Just like you wouldn’t ask a fat personal trainer to get you in shape, or you wouldn’t ask for marriage advice from your single friends. The same goes for business advice. The school system is not the place to look for advice on business success.
If you research the Forbes 400 wealthiest people in the world…all billionaires, you will find that 2/3 of them are a high school, college, and university dropouts. We can’t rely on the school system to teach us what we need to know to become wealthy.
If you want to become successful, the number one and ONLY golden rule is to take advice from successful people. Too many times in life, we take advice from the wrong people. The ones who are unsuccessful themselves, or more messed up than we are.
Ironically, it seems like the most broke, challenged, and unsuccessful people are the ones with the most opinions. If you are looking to make 6 figures, you need to look for advice from someone who has already done that.
Likewise, if you want to make 7, 8 or 9 figures, you need to ask someone who has already accomplished that.
Learn on the Go. It doesn’t matter where you are, you can take the opportunity to educate yourself. Throw on some headphones at the gym, or while you’re driving in your car, or at night while the kids are in bed.
Anytime you have free time, make it a habit to become a lifelong learner. Read, listen, watch and absorb everything you can from as many successful people as you can, and then go teach it to others.
Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast
It’s not always about having a strategy. It’s not always about having a plan. It’s about creating and defining the culture within your organization. The culture is a living, breathing organism. It’s not spreadsheets and formulas and algorithms.
It’s the people within the organization. It’s the pulse. It’s the blueprint. Culture is the DNA of the company.
You need to really understand how to define it, create it, and more importantly, how to implement it. Culture is what separates great corporations like Apple, Google, Amazon, etc., from average ones.
If you don’t create the culture, it will be created for you, and you may not like it. So, here are a few things you need to consider to be able to create a winning culture, as well as a winning environment:
Mission Statement or Core Values. If you can come up with your own company core values, it gives you the ability to broadcast in one sentence or less per value of who you are and what you stand for. It gives the overall view of the impression you want to leave.
As an example, here are the core values Ali Zamany has implemented at American Smart Home.
These values can be shared with everyone from sales reps, to the head office, to vendors and channel partners, to distributors, customers, and the marketplace in general.
The core values sum up everything that you do. Every time you make a decision, refer back to whether it fosters the culture you are looking to create.
Often, you will see core values related to the customer, but Zamany wanted to create his values around his inside environment internally because it’s something he can control. He wanted to create a culture of go-getters, a culture of learners, a culture of enthused individuals.
A culture of winning, excitement, growth and expectations, integrity, and strong moral fiber, and doing what it takes to get the job done. Here are his company’s 7 core values:
- Single-mindedly respect anyone and everyone.
- Deliberately create value in all that we do.
- Relentless commitment to never-ending improvement.
- Inherently humble, ambitious, and a little bit quirky.
- Obsessively lead with integrity, transparency, and fulfillment.
- Stubbornly biased towards swiftness, passion, and fulfillment.
- Compelled by tomorrow, compulsive about today.
It Takes Fire to Light Fire. If you want to be able to engage others, you have to engage yourself first. If you want others to be able to lead, you need to be able to lead as well. I
f you are able to create excitement and model yourself what you want out of your people, then before you know it, you will begin to see your team emulate you in the way they talk, walk, dress, and act.
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Knowledge is Power.” Zamany believes it should be rephrased to say “Applying Knowledge is Power.”
You can spend your whole life learning everything there is to know about anything, but if you never apply what you learn, you will never move the needle.
You will remain in the same place. The key is knowledge and application. If you learn these 5 tips and strategies and go apply them in your own business, you will find the success you are looking for in business and in life.
To watch this talk in full, visit Lnkw.co/mdm2020
About Ali Zamany: He is the Founder & CEO of American Smart Home and Smart Home PRO, currently tracking 8 figure revenues. Though raised in poverty and a college dropout with little formal education, he decided to take a path of entrepreneurship and never looked back.
He built the single largest D2D sales-force for a 5 Billion Dollar Publicly Traded Corporation, generating 9 figure revenues. It is there where he earned the infamous title of “D2D King”. He attributes much of his success to his relentless self-education.
Ali has an extensive background in Direct Sales & Marketing spanning over 15 years. His organizations have sold over 1 Billion Dollars.
He is now a highly sought after speaker, and he has trained, developed and mentored thousands of sales professionals and leaders while coaching dozens of people who went on to generate over 7 figures under his mentorship.