A strong pitch, chasing clients, countering objections, defending your product, and closing the sale are all familiar aspects of successful salespeople. Yet, this approach has become increasingly outdated as connections and relationships become powerful. On the Sales Transformation Podcast with Collin Mitchell, Darrell Evans tells more.
My name is Collin Mitchell, and this is Sales Transformation, a new kind of sales show designed to bring you to the epic life-changing moments of elite sellers. In the world of sales, you can sink or swim or break through to the next level. So, you can experience your transformation.
Alright, welcome to another episode of Sales Transformation. As always, I've got a fantastic guest for you today. I'm going to be talking with Darrell Evans. He is the co-founder over at Yokel Local. He's a serial entrepreneur, investor, co-founder, like I mentioned, Yokel Local Internet Marketing. He and his team have helped entrepreneurs and companies to generate over 300 million in revenue online since 2011.
Darrell, welcome to the show. How are you doing?
Collin, I'm excited to be here with you, man. I'm looking forward to a great conversation.
Yeah. For those that don't know, we got a doubleheader going on today. And, we were having too much fun just chatting here before we hit record, so I know that there's going to be a lot of nuggets in here for the listeners. But to give us some context here, give us a little bit of, you know, kind of where it all started, where you know, when you started in sales, what you were selling, and let's take it from there.
Darrell's Early Sales Experience Selling Sports Gear at the Trunk of his Car
So the early background is I started in my 20s for sales, but I started my first business out of the trunk of my car when I was in college. Wholesaling sportswear, T-shirts, hats, you know, I buy from a wholesale vendor using this thing called a check, and you put it in the mail. For all the listeners that are internet native, right? This is pre-internet days, and I would send a check out into the worldwide USPS system and hoped that the product would show up, and it did. Backup my car and swapped me out of my Honda Civic with shirts and sportswear. I was in the commerce business; the trunk covers business, not the e-commerce business. But my first days of sales happened in real estate, and I got a real estate license in 1992 while I was still in college. As you and I were talking about real estate back then, it was all the things you can think of cold calling, door knocking, and flyers in rental properties. That was where I cut my teeth in sales.
Real estate, huh?
From Sportswear Business to Real Estate to Mortgage Industry
Real estate. It was. It was interesting. I love real estate, but I didn't think of it as a career. I enjoyed the idea. I ended up getting a finance degree while I was in college and transitioned into the mortgage industry after another short stint in the financial services world. So, my sales background tracks through real estate. You can call it the sportswear business, but real estate, financial services, which are life insurance, health insurance, mutual funds, et cetera, into the financial services world of the mortgage industry, which was a 12-year track for me. And, I stayed with a mortgage company during that window time.
And, did well over 7000 consultations during that window, I think close around 1800 loans. And so that was where the muster was diced up. And then now 11, 12 years later in our digital marketing agency we've had for 11 years. You mentioned the 300 million we've done for our clients. So, now we figured out (how it works). One of my big passions right now is helping companies generate sales or generate the leads that bring in the sales for companies to feel their growth.
I'm always intrigued by people with a good track record in sales and marketing these days. To understand both at least, somewhat of a basic level, maybe your struggle was on one side, or the other is pretty much essential. I mean to be a good marketer, you need to understand the sales side of the coin. What is a good lead for sales, not just like, hey, I got a lead to fill out the form, but like what leads and sales are actually going to close? Right? To be good in sales like you need to understand, you know, you need to be a good marketer these days.
I agree. I agree. I was fortunate to start in industries that had, what I would call, a long-term sales cycle. You know, there's never an emergency to buy a house, never an emergency to sell a house, never an emergency to get a mortgage. You could argue that when rates are dropping, you know rates could fluctuate. You might argue that a refinance can be urgent.
"But, in my experience, none of those scenarios were urgent. So, it made me understand the idea of pipeline. It gave me a clearer understanding of long-term relationship building."
If you come to me, let's say hypothetically, you want to buy a house, and you're in a lease of an apartment today, and you've got four months left on your lease. Well, I've got to work with you now for the next four months, five months, six months. Like, I used to work with the military folks in VA loans and VA transfers.
Suppose someone's got orders to come into Nellis Air Force Base here in Las Vegas, where I'm at. Those orders may come out 12 months in advance, ten months in advance. So, they may call to inquire about real estate or call to inquire about the financing ten months early. Does that mean they need to make a pre-qualification application today? No, right? They need to understand what it's going to take. Can they use their VA again? Because they already have the VA on the property in Texas, and they still use the VA.
Understanding that Sales and Marketing was All About Relationship Development
And so, what I'm getting at is I learned early on, Collin, that the best salespeople become resources to their prospective customer in such a way that you essentially eliminate competition. So, what would most people do if you weren't ready to buy a home or aren't prepared to get a mortgage and you don't close today or start the process today? They move on to the next lead. And I never understood; I'd never thought about it that way. I always stayed in touch with them once a month over the next ten months, and I probably have a better shot.
I understood the BANT formula. I got taught this in my early 20s. It is what it stands for. It's an old-school sales philosophy. And it has more to do with pre-qualifying the prospect. But I just started saying, okay, what does it mean? Budget? Do they have the budget to buy the thing that they want to buy? Do they have the authority to make the decision? And I'll tell you why and how I flip that word over from a sales perspective. Do they need to transact this business at all? Is it a want, or is it a need, like a vitamin versus painkiller and then timing? And so, what I learned was, you must find out they have a budget. That's true. You got to find out if they have the authority to make the sale.
"But here's the other piece, we all agree in sales that people buy from people they like, know and trust."
So, I flipped it on its head and said, " Can I make sure that I am the authoritative person they think they should buy from, not just are they already to make the purchase? And then I'm like, okay, is this a need? Or is this a want? Meaning, if you're transferring from Blackwood to Nellis, but do you have to buy a house, right? Is it a need or want, so I would always be okay with that variable? And the last piece color that I think would make salespeople elevate their game is understanding that you can't control timing. Even if there is a "triggering event" that would likely make them want to purchase, your job is to understand, you know, control timing. And so, I just learned something early in my days around the world of promoters and pipelines to understand patience and the long game and understand it was all about relationship development
"My job, to be good in sales is to develop relationships and over time get a return on those relationships."
Listen to the rest of the interview and learn how saying no to a potential customer can actually benefit you and your business.
Are you ready to take your business to the next level?