This week on Coffee with Kim, LinkedIn’s Top Sales Voice of 2020, Kevin “KD” Dorsey joins us to share all his sales secrets. He’s scaled teams from 0-150+ reps and revenues from 0-$75M (and counting). He believes in processes, systems and constant self education – all the things this CWK Community is about! During our conversation he taught us how to stay proactive, become memorable and build an audience. Get ready to take notes!
Can you believe it’s already June 2021?! For those in sales, the number one question being asked this time of year is, ‘How close are we to our goals?’ KD says the key to managing the stress of it all is thinking forward. Being proactive keeps you ahead of the game and ahead of your goals.
He advises the same for those planning a startup.
“Start building something of your own on the side when you don’t need to make money from it. Let it build up over time while you still have a full time job then transition out of the corporate world when the time is right.”
He credits the book, The 10% Entrepreneur: Live Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job, to helping build his entrepreneurial mindset.
KD and I agreed curiosity is a quality that keeps us proactive. Curious people ask better questions, seek out knowledge, and are more receptive to new ideas. The issue comes as we get older and more educated – we feel we already know enough about a concept and don’t need to learn more, or that we won’t be good at it anyway so why bother.
To gain back a childlike curiosity KD recommends reading Da Vinci and the 40 Answers, which shares the journey of a scientist finding the 40 solutions to any problem.
Curiosity may be a trait you’re born with, but creativity is one you can learn. It’s also the key to becoming memorable, which, in my humble opinion, KD is a master at. To those he’d like to connect with, he sends a mini trash can with a crumpled note to “save them the trouble of having to throw away his letters themselves.” An unusual gift is sure to keep you at the top of anyone’s mind!
Here’s why he says it works, “Before someone buys from you they need to trust you and have a positive emotion associated with you. If you send something that will make them smile or laugh, even if they decline your offer, they’ll be more receptive than if you cold call them.”
I live by the notion that we are all in sales whether or not it’s our career. KD’s methods of connecting reminds us selling yourself is not about perfection but about relatability and having fun.
If you’re looking to connect and build an audience for your startup, KD says start early.
“A lot of start ups fail because they build their product in the dark and expect everyone to love it once it comes to the light. Before launching, commit to interviewing 10 people a week for a year. Then you’ll have 500 personal relationships with those that will help you build your company and hit the ground running.”
Like many of us, KD has a full plate juggling home and work life, and amazingly he does it all without an assistant. He says his secret to success is intentionality.
“You’ll be shocked at how much faster you get things done when you do it with full intention,” he says, “Five minutes of intention is greater than an hour of attention.”
He also says it’s important to note that while most “stack” activities to manage time he “chops”.
That means no social media out of LinkedIn, no watching hours of tv, instead he’s time blocking and muting notifications.
I believe having your personal team of avengers, aka mentors, will take you further in business and life than going at it alone. I was happy to know KD felt the same! He believes in having mentors and advisors.
“Mentors are people you know and can bounce ideas off of. They make you better but they are not your friends. Also, mentors change over time because what you need changes over time,” he says, “Your board of advisors don’t have to be people you know, just those whose opinions you value. You can ask yourself, “What would this person do in this situation?”
Having a two week vacation in Costa Rica, the first week was just my wife and I, the second week my family joined us.
Learning Spanish and the science of decision making and mental models.
Kyle Coleman, Amy Volas, Ashley Kelly Miele, Scott Leese, Richard Harris, Justin Welch, Jaco vandercouge to name a few.
Homework: Start one small healthy habit.
This conversation with “KD” really made me start thinking about community, networking and mentorship. Since mentorship seems to be something so many of our brilliant guests credit their success to I thought it may be helpful for us to dive a bit deeper on that. So it’s just you and I next week, sort of a mini-training and we’re diving into all things mentorship. How to find a good mentor, how to be a good mentor and most importantly how to utilize your mentors once you’ve found them. Bring some questions with, can’t wait to see you there!