What do Nurses and Sales Professionals have in common?
Well, I made a Gumbo for a few friends to find out!
Let me introduce you to Christy Sabo:
I went to visit my friend, Christy, in Dallas last weekend for some sales advice. Why? Because the first shipment of our product MultiNix is on the way! And frankly, I’m a little concerned about how to make a sale. So I did what nurses do best: I️ went to consort with those I consider experts in their field.
Christy is married to a friend of mine, Tim Sabo, who is the Marketing Director for Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Tim is an awesome guy with an awesome family, and he’s also an entrepreneur at heart, which explains how we first met back in 2015 at The Louisiana Startup Prize. He, as well as myself, are members of The Prize Family, but that story is for another blog post. His wife Christy (whom he calls his “better half”) is a very experienced and effective Pharmaceutical sales representative.
I decided to give Tim a call and managed to convince them to let me drive up and cook my favorite Texans a little Louisiana gumbo to warm their souls. Seeing as I was going to be there anyway, I planned on conversing with Christy on how to “sell” to hospitals. And like a true friend and Texan, Tim said:”Come on up padna, mi casa es su casa.”
So, about that whole “learning along the way” part…
While speaking with Christy, I began to elaborate on my concerns about selling to hospitals, especially with my knowledge of budget constraints hospitals are facing, as well as the understanding that I am not a traditional “sales guy”. In fact, I’m personally put off by the gimmicky tricks that some salesmen employ, but Christy’s reply was comforting. She said “The leverage you have over gimmicky persons is that you are someone who really cares and wants to see a positive change in healthcare. That as a nurse, you are in the ‘most trusted healthcare profession’.” Christy went on to further validate sales does not and should not be gimmicky at all. “To be really successful is when you can discover a way to make others successful.” That statement reminded me of one of my heroes, Zig Ziglar, who also happened to spend a lot of time in the Dallas area.
Christy’s main points were the following. You only need to do three things:
1. Relate – Build a true rapport and a trusting relationship.
2. Educate – First yourself, then reciprocate and provide knowledge of value to the client.
3. Empower – Ensure you can help the client do their job more effectively so they can achieve their goals.
Christy also suggested that we tell our story: Champion the fact we’re Southern, home-grown, a small startup business, and continue to show our passion is to truly help others. It’s in our DNA. It’s in our hearts and souls. It’s definitely in our gumbo!
Now I know what you’re thinking, “C’mon now, Wayne… That ain’t exactly rocket science!” But science has proven these things to be true. Well, I don’t know if that last statement is true… but I definitely know many others are using these techniques every single day! Why? Because Christy didn’t just pull this information out of thin air. She’s learned these things to be true through her personal as well as her colleagues’ experience.
As we were ending our conversation, I asked Christy one last question: Out of all the sales books she has ever read, which one has provided her with the most insight? She pointed me towards a book titled The Relationship Edge by Jerry Acuff, adding that Jerry is from Memphis Tennessee, and has helped many learn the keys to strategic influence and successful selling. In case you didn’t catch what happened that moment, Christy was using her own advice: she was educating and empowering me to be successful on this wild and crazy entrepreneurial ride!
She has also added one more mentor to my list and another friend to be: Jerry Acuff. If you happen to know Jerry, let him know that Christie, myself, and many others wish to thank him. And for the record, Memphis is not too far for me to drive to meet someone of his caliber. I mean, who wouldn’t? (Especially a Southerner such as myself.)
So I’ll end with a personal thank you to the Sabo Tribe. Much love to you and the family. You’re forever in our hearts! And of course, they will be receiving a MultiNix Utility Tool ™ as soon as they arrive. Another token of our appreciation and a thank you for helping be a part of the movement to help us “Get Shift Done”!