PEARL LEMON INTERVIEWS:
Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell if they have the desire. He has since taken it upon himself to “evangelize” the message of effective selling to new and struggling salespeople, and help entrepreneurs close more deals. Donald hosts a popular sales podcast called “The Sales Evangelist”. He is an award-winning sales and motivational speaker. When he’s not training, speaking or selling, he loves spending time with his family in South Florida.
A Fireside Chat
I had the opportunity to have an amazing conversation with Donald Kelly at The Sales Evangelist today. From talking about SEO for Lead Generation sites, Donald agreed to a quick interview.
He took the time to talk to me and answer some questions so I could get to know him better and hear more about the things that have helped shape his business success to date – let’s get stuck into it!
What Is The Book (Or Books) You’ve Given Most As A Gift, And Why?
I’ve given Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill and The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld. Hill’s book helps you to raise your level of thinking, and Hoffeld’s book breaks down the sales process, and provides a great fundamental overview . The Science of Selling helped me to better understand how to become more effective at articulating sales. Think and Grow Rich was a gift from a dear mentor who was a father figure to me, and it led me to my entrepreneurial journey. It’s amazing how that book has helped me.
What Purchase Of $100 Or Less Has Most Positively Impacted Your Life In The Last Six Months?
Earteana Earbuds are bluetooth earbuds and I love them. They provide great audio quality and they stay in place while I run.
When You Feel Overwhelmed Or Unfocused, Or Have Lost Your Focus Temporarily, What Do You Do?
I like going for a walk. Being in south Florida, I’m never far from a body of water and something about walking near water helps me. Also, looking at my wife and son, whether a picture or video, helps me refocus on the purpose of why I’m doing what I’m doing.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
“Always be closing” is one of the stupidest things people share, and it comes from movies. When we take what we learn from movies and apply it to real life, we realize it doesn’t work because it was just a glamorization.
In order to be successful, raise your level of thinking
- Donald Kelly
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
I’ve built a belief that anyone can succeed in sales if they have the right beliefs and mindset, and a desire to succeed. I’ve recently partnered with The Pacific Institute and attended some of their selling mindset programs, and it’s just changed my world. It’s all about thinking bigger and believing we can do more than we believe we’re capable of, and it has grown our business. Effectively planning every single day has helped tremendously.
What Is One Of The Best Or Most Worthwhile Investments You’ve Ever Made?
Investing in “The Sales Evangelist” podcast, meeting with Mark Panthera from The Pacific Institute, and getting into the stock market and investing in cryptocurrency.
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — what would it say and why?
In order to be successful, raise your level of thinking and do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. The idea behind that is we need to think we can accomplish great things, stop copying other people, and just make success happen.
What careers advice would you give to your 21-year old self?
Learn as much as possible about finance, start investing, and think about your future 36-year-old self.
How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours?
One of the best failures I’ve had was in college when I tried to sell water in the park. I spent money on setting up a booth and made no profit. The second year, I walked around selling water, and year three I hired people to help sell water. Going mobile was the key.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?
Biggest thing is that you can learn from everyone and to know that I don’t know it all.
Tell Us About Your Business. What Does It Do And What Value Do You Add?
My business is a sales training organization. Essentially, we train new and struggling sellers how to close more deals, increase their win rates, build a proper sales mindset, and just to be able to have success. We do that through two programs that we offer: our sales foundational program and a sales mindset program. Both of these programs conclude with group coaching or individual one-on-one coaching after the individual completes the content. We also have a creative arm, which is TSE studios, which produces podcasts and helps build brands. The value I add is we are experts in helping people ramp up quickly and increase sales. We are also experts on selling mindest, helping individuals develop the right mindset – essentially using science to understand behaviors.
What is the most significant thing that someone much younger than yourself has taught you?
Biggest thing is that you can learn from everyone and to know that I don’t know it all.
Tell us about someone you admire and why you admire them?
I admire Elon Musk because he knows how to learn from any failures. He turns failures into stepping stones and has incredible vision.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Where do you see your industry in the next 5 years?
Our industry will continue to evolve. I see more opportunities to use artifiical intelligence, not to replace sellers but to help us perform better. Our creative arm, the podcasts, will continue boom. Podcasts are the new blogs.
What is a 'hack' you have for success that most people don't know about?
Utilizing personalized video and showing people your human side goes a long way.
What's your favourite digital marketing channel and why?
Linked In because most of my prospects hang out there and we’ve generated significant revenue.
What is a useful skill someone could learn in one minute?
Caring about other people. If you can become masteful at learning about other people, you’re going to always, always thrive and succeed.
When did you first become a rebel?
In middle school and high school, I started selling things. In college I went into door to door security sales. In middle school, I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which was different from what my family understood about Christianity. The latest is building a business around a podcast, which isn’t traditional compared to most business knowledge you receive.
What's your favourite colour?
How has Covid-19 changed your industry?
So many people are doing things remotely now.
How has Covid-19 changed your company?
We were doing remote training before Covid-19, probably 70-80% of our training was done remotely. Instead of focusing solely on businesses, we’ve started focusing on the individual seller, which has been helpful.
What is the most surprising thing you've seen in your industry?
How someone can start off and become successful relatively quickly. Being a content producer and educating the potential buye, it’s amazing what can happen.
What popular celebrity do you admire the most and why?
Elon Musk again for his vision. Jeff Bezos for his vision and intelligence. Business life is great, personal life is not so pretty. Will Smith is another one. He is a big family guy and a tremendous success.
What's your favourite holiday destination?
Any beaches in south Florida and the Smoky Mountains.
What's something exciting you're currently working on/learning that only a few people know about?
My new podcast, “Selling in Color,” is exciting because 20% of salespeople in the US are underrepresented, mainly people who are black, Hispanic, Asian, and I think that number should change. There are many different opportunities to get more people involved in sales to earn a lot of money, and I think that’s a great thing.
What one thing in life do you consider to be overrated?
Seafood. I don’t like seafood.
What's your star sign?
What are you NOT Very Good at?
Writing but I’ve improved because I’m finishing a book and working on a textbook with another organization.
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Cinnamon raisin bagel.
What one song can you listen to every day non-stop?
Probably anything by Chronixx. The song “Do It For The Love, Not The Likes” by Jamaican artist, Koffee.
Pearl Lemon are an SEO, PPC, PR, and B2B lead-generation agency. We are based in London but service clients around the world.
We have taken the time to interview entrepreneurs and experts (like Donald) in this new series.