How Field Sales Reps Can Sell When Unable to Visit Prospects

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We sat down with Dale Dupree, the Copier Warrior and leader of the Sales Rebellion, to discuss how door-to-door sales reps can stay productive during this time of shelter-in-place and the closure of all non-essential businesses. Learn how to adapt to the time and sell in a new way.


Video Transcription:

[00:00:00] Trey: [00:00:00] I’m Trey Gibson, founder and CEO at SPOTIO. Our core purpose here is we’re transforming field sales to achieve more with the Corona virus coming in and basically wiping out the ability of field sales teams

[00:00:13] Dale: [00:00:13] to

[00:00:13] Trey: [00:00:13] interact face to face. Uh, this core purpose of ours is kind of taken on a whole new meaning.

[00:00:18] So we’ve come together as a company and we’re focused on helping field sales teams adapt to this new reality for the time being, by giving you resources. To do what we’re calling virtual field sales. We’re talking about tactical and practical strategies for how you and your company can thrive through these times.

[00:00:35] I’m super excited to have Dale Dupree with us today. He’s the leader of the sales rebellion, also known as the copy warrior. The dude has many, many years of face to face sales. He’s an expert at sales marketing. And so what I want to ask you, Dale, just to kick it off, is if you’re like one of our customers that.

[00:00:53] It’s primarily sold face to face. Let’s go back to your copy days. You go to businesses face to face at your primary mode. All of a sudden the rug is pulled out from underneath you a few weeks ago. What’s going to be your pivot? What? What do you suggest they do to remain productive during these times?

[00:01:10] Dale: [00:01:10] Yeah. I would start back in 2009 2010 with my answer. And, and honestly, you could even go back to 2007 and 2008 I was a young adult. I was 22 at the time. Uh, working for my dad, selling copiers just into the industry. Now, you know, a side note or really just like, so you understand a little bit more about me.

[00:01:28] I grew up in the copier world. My father owned a firm’s since I was born. Toner runs in my blood. Um, but the point being that. Even though I had the aptitude around what the machine was, I didn’t know Jack about sales and, and there was a recession happening. People were wondering if they were going to have a job tomorrow, essentially.

[00:01:46] And so nobody was buying, you know? So at that stage, yeah, I could walk in the front door, but nobody wanted to see me at all. So I spent, you know, a solid year to two years trying to overcome that, and then was immediately hit with a million people. Contracting the swine flu, and then all of a sudden there’s a national emergency.

[00:02:04] And I’m like, are we, is this it? Like, is this the first four years of my career basically sucking dirt and, and like enjoying the taste of it to some extent, because I’m so used to it by now, you know, and. And really, so instead of laying down and dying, which is one of my favorite quotes in the world, on the Plains of hesitation, bleached the bones of countless millions who are on the verge of victory, set down to rest of our resting.

[00:02:30] They’d died. Wow. We’re in that place right now. And we’ve been here before. A lot of us have. And so this is, this is where you define, you know, um, the innovators essentially from pessimists. And, and so at this point, if you’re a field sales rep. You’ve got to start thinking about, well, where do your consumers go?

[00:02:49] And right now, if your consumers are not essential business, they’re suffering just like you are in the first place. So you have to, you have to understand, and what I mean by suffering is, is that most people are still open, believe it or not, you know, they’re still open. They might not have a door. You can walk in, but they’re, they’ve pivoted to selling online.

[00:03:08] Their, their phones are forwarding to the house. Yeah. They’re working remotely. They’re there. Work from home. If you’re watching this, I don’t know if this is going to be video too, but you can see I’m work from home too, and my son has been running around for the last couple hours behind me in the midst of me doing sales trainings with, you know, remote students that I have all over the world.

[00:03:26] And, and that, and that’s okay. You know, we have to adapt to these things. You have to meet people where they are right now. It’s the big picture. And so let, let’s, let’s hang in 2010 for a minute, where I was so fed up with the fact that pulling on doors didn’t work anymore cause they were locked. I had to knock on them and someone would come to the window and say, do you have an appointment?

[00:03:44] And I mean, they would get mad, you know? No, there’s an affidavit, there’s a pandemic. And wow. You know what, I’m just trying to make a living and like, and, and furthermore, at that point in my life I was being nurtured and led. Into the idea of creating a cadence for myself and an understanding in my, in my roots and my foundation as a salesperson.

[00:04:05] That servant leadership was the most important thing for me as a salesperson. And so it was hard to, to hear those types of things and people keeping us in my heart. I’m thinking, I’m just here to try and help. I know what’s happening with our economy. I know what’s going on around us. I know that people are struggling.

[00:04:21] I’m trying to innovate and, and so I did. I went home. Uh, that night and I was making, gosh, I don’t want to say like $30,000 a year after taxes. Cause at this point in my life, everybody is well too, just to understand where I was at and, and I, I persevered. I sat down at the drawing board and said, what am I going to do?

[00:04:39] And I created the rebel letter campaign, which at the time was just the letter campaign. But now that we’ve found that the sales rep volume, we’ve rebranded it. Um, but what we did is we, we had a cadence of five letters, but at the time it was just one. And what I did with this one letter is I actually, I put it in a Ziploc bag.

[00:04:55] I put a note on it inside of the Ziploc bag as well, too, that said, you know, not touched by human hands. And then I had gloves on and we were going to these, to these businesses, and I had, you know, uh, gloves on, and I was walking up and knocking the door and holding this up and like, let him . And they wouldn’t open the door.

[00:05:13] And they would laugh a little bit. And I’d say, this is for Kevin, or, you know, whoever I was leaving it for. And I created an experience in the midst of people going through a pretty traumatic situation for most or a very. Uh, uncontrollable situation. So when we’re in a place where we don’t control anything, we’re typically, we’ve lost hope.

[00:05:30] And, and I brought hope back, you know, by, by kind of becoming this walking experience, you know, around the offices and, and the places that were open. I was walking in, you know, with the gloves on as well too. And sometimes I had a face mask. And, and I was joking with everyone, you know, I was, I was saying I’m not sick, but you might be.

[00:05:48] And so,

[00:05:49] Trey: [00:05:49] yeah, similar to what we’re dealing with now, like crazy

[00:05:54] Dale: [00:05:54] applicable. Yeah. So I have been telling people to check out the rebel letter campaign. We’re actually giving one of the letters away for free, you know, essentially an honor of. You know, what we created and where people are at, because we want to make sure that when we’re at least to some extent, and we got, I got a text message yesterday at six 30 at night and a phone call yesterday from two different students, one up in Pennsylvania, and we want to cross a river on the West coast.

[00:06:21] And both of them were saying, I can’t believe it, but you know, someone just called me and said, Hey, I got your letter. You know, and the thing is, is that right now, more than ever. And it was true back in 2010 as well too, because like Trey, you’re at the office right now and you’re, you’re a level executive.

[00:06:36] So the people that are at the office right now, which most of my pro or my clients are as well to the people that are at the office with the C level executives. So if you’re sending the mail, Patricia or Patrick are not opening it. It’s the C level is the owner or whoever it is in the eye. They’re opening the mail right now.

[00:06:54] Think about, um, but it, these are the types of things that we can be pivoting to, right? And, and, yeah, I mean, there’s a letter a little bit sketchy in the year 2020. I mean, sure. Like most, you know, but so is a Facebook ad, you know, quite frankly. And, and, and so are most of the crappy sales tactics that sales people rely on, you know?

[00:07:12] And, and so. Doing something that is experiential and that creates an atmosphere of breaking up the day a little bit, breaking up the moment completely and causing them to be so interrupted by what’s happening that they have to pay attention to. It will get you places. And let me give a quick example that we’ve got a rep that.

[00:07:31] Um, Hey, he sent that out to, it’s a $950 million firm is who he’s targeting and he doesn’t know if how their business is doing at this point. But, um, he’s been sending the letter up until sending the letters is, you know, like we said, we have a cadence of five, which after you download the free one, you can check out the rest.

[00:07:48] And by the way, it’s just crumpled if somebody wants to go check it out this listening. He’s been sending the cadence. He called last week, and the guy, the owner of the company, picked up the phone, said, I know who you are. You’ve been sending me all these letters. They’re awesome. And when we’re out of this thing, I want to talk to you.

[00:08:04] And then he said, well, what are you doing right now? And they spent 20 minutes on the phone and just chatted. And because it’s about meeting right now, more than anything, it’s about meeting people where they’re at, you know? And so even without the letter campaign, understand that people are still at work.

[00:08:19] They’re either at home and they’re struggling and they’re having a hard time getting used to it. So call them and be an ear and ask them like, Hey, can I help you? Can I provide some resources? Can I shoot you some? I’ve got some great articles I can, I can pop over to you to help you to understand you’ve got three kids and your wife is an essential business and you’re having to work at home and you’ve never been at home with the kids.

[00:08:38] You know. Hell, let us help you let you know. There’s plenty of resources. Don’t assume that people know how to do these things and don’t have an expectation either walk in, you know, just trying to help and you’re not, you’re going to change the game for yourself and for your prospects.

[00:08:52] Trey: [00:08:52] You know, it’s funny you mentioned that, that C level executives being at the office, and I just now realized this for the first time, is

[00:08:59] Dale: [00:08:59] up in my office.

[00:09:00] Every aisle,

[00:09:01] Trey: [00:09:01] all employees are working from home, but there’s probably 15 cars in the parking lot, and if you look at them. Range Rover, you know, uh, there’s, it’s all the, the owners of these companies are all the ones at the office and they’re the only one. So it’s funny you mentioned that. I hadn’t thought about that yet, but you’re right.

[00:09:17] Like the executives are the one dude that, cause he got the keys to the office, they kick everybody else. You know, everyone else is working from home and they’re coming up by themselves. So that, that’s

[00:09:25] Dale: [00:09:25] really interesting. You

[00:09:26] Trey: [00:09:26] said that. Uh, what’s, I know you and I talked before and you had some crazy like creative ideas on how to get in doors.

[00:09:32] Places are, I mean, one like involved a brick or something. Like what’s some of the other crazy stuff you did to get into like, you know, get people’s attention that might be applicable during these times.

[00:09:44] Dale: [00:09:44] Yeah. You know, I think the, the subject in general is applicable no matter what. And you know, because I think right now, like we’ve created something called the rebel resources and it’s free for anybody that wants it kind of thing.

[00:09:57] And we did a big zoom and shout it out to everybody on that. And you know, pretty much anybody that requests it gets it. And it’s just a Google doc that we’re working in and it’s, it’s got hundreds and hundreds of links though. It’s a good information that people aren’t getting right now. You know, whether it’s.

[00:10:12] You know, even a list of, of Ted talks that are applicable to the situations we’re going through. Pandemics, crisis. Um, you know, this relentless concept of behind. Um, self doubt and the things that you might be feeling right now. You know, you know, some of you might be overwhelmed with sadness in the midst of what’s going on with you.

[00:10:30] Some of you might’ve been laid off for this point. My heart goes out to you. The rebellion cares though. And, and, and from our perspective, you know, no matter what, and we’re thriving right now. And I hate saying that to be quite Frank with you. I’m proud of us, but I hate saying it because. You know, we want to be in the trenches with the rest of you.

[00:10:46] And so, so we’ve stayed in the trenches, you know, but, but I’m not complaining by any means about the fact that we’re doing well, but what we’re trying to continue to sacrifice as much as we can. So we’re staying up until midnight, waking up at four or 5:00 AM and, and being present with all of you during these times.

[00:11:03] You know, time zones, reps that are, that are just trying to get by reps that are trying to work deals, right? New emails, structures. You know, there’s a lot of help that needs to go out right now. And we’re committing the next 30 days of our lives to making sure that we serve others. And, and so I think that if you watching this right now, take that approach, the crazy stuff.

[00:11:22] You know, will, even though it will definitely get attention, um, all of it will seem crazy, right? When you’re, when you’re in that mindset, it’ll be like, why this person is completely different than anything I’ve ever talked to in the first year, guys. You know? But if we go to the tools and tricks and tips and tips that I would have on that as.

[00:11:39] Yeah, we have a ton of campaigns inside of the rebellion. We have hundreds, but you know, some of them that are fun that people use, even outside of what the copier warrior did are, you know, we have a box campaign and there’s, there’s multiple types of boxes that you can set, but my favorite is a pizza box.

[00:11:52] So you send a pizza box and inside it’s like a round slice of pizza essentially, but it’s, it’s, instead of it being pizza, it’s a printed piece of paper and it’s each slices. At correlates with a problem that you’re probably having inside of your office with something that I can help you with. Wow. And it’s just fun.

[00:12:09] And there’s a, uh, you know, a message on the top when you scan, uh, uh, up to the top, there was a couple of things you can go in, but one would be a QR code and you scan the QR code and it heads to a video and you introduce yourself to the person right after that. So you want to talk about. Surrounding the account or creating a differentiation between you and the 75 other reps that are calling on the account.

[00:12:29] Cause remember to everybody that it doesn’t matter if you only have one or two competitors, there are 50 to a hundred salespeople calling on that organization word in with everybody else no matter what your selling price point.

[00:12:41] Trey: [00:12:41] Absolutely. Yeah, exactly. We get, we get hit up from all industries all day long, so you have to stand out not only from your competition, but the 500 other people.

[00:12:51] Fantastic point.

[00:12:52] Dale: [00:12:52] Any

[00:12:53] Trey: [00:12:53] success stories that your clients are having? You’ve heard recently

[00:12:56] Dale: [00:12:56] about one of your clients.

[00:12:57] Trey: [00:12:57] Have, you mentioned one about the letter. Anything else come to mind that you’ve heard that’s like, man, this person just took it to the next level and so proud of them?

[00:13:07] Dale: [00:13:07] Yeah. I think one of my favorite stories right now, um, is a, is a wrap out in the West coast that.

[00:13:13] He found out that that one of his prospects was sick. Now, did she have a COBIT 19 I don’t think we’re really sure at this point, but he just found out she was sick a couple of weeks ago when this all started to go down and. Instead of doing what most sales reps would do and playing the sympathy game and Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry to hear.

[00:13:34] He just basically said, where can I send something that will get to her, to, that’s the reception, and, and figured out her her mailing address basically, or a way to get it to her. And several weeks later, which was only like a couple of days ago, actually, she wrote him an email. And what was awesome is that he put a care package together for her that, that it was kind of funny at the same time too, right?

[00:13:56] So it was, it was like, Hey, I heard you were sick and it had some stupid stuff in that like, you know, chewable vitamin C tablets, like, you know, because these things are hard to swallow and they’re much better with sugar, you know, with like little notes on it and you know, but just. Intricate things from that perspective of, of making somebody feel warm and welcome when you’re, when you’re in the midst of outreach, because they understand that you’re selling something.

[00:14:19] You don’t have to tell them that you’re not selling anything right or that you know, they already know that you are. So don’t try to lie your way through it, but do things to them that make them feel that you actually care about them as a human as well. And empathy is not a card that you play. Empathy is natural.

[00:14:36] And so if you’re, if you’re trying to use it as a, as a weapon or a tool in your tool belt, you will fail. But if you can some and deep down inside of yourself, you know, the good inherent person that you are from those depths, do something good for somebody else and, and you’ll, you’ll see results. But I’ll say also.

[00:14:54] Um, we have some people that are doing some pretty ridiculous things, bro, from the perspective of just how they’re serving the community. We have, we have one organization in the Midwest that’s, that we’re affiliated with. I have a friendship with, um, that is, they’re taking their service texts. And they are basically advertising on paying money to advertise on the radio right now, to tell people that, Hey, if you have a not for profit or you have a need, we have cars and delivery drivers, and in between our, our service that we’re performing for our customers, we will pick up food, we will pick up medicine, whatever you need, and we will deliver it.

[00:15:29] And our techs are, you know, healthy. They’re being safe gloves, masks, you know. Yeah. So they’re following the rules from that perspective, but they are giving and they are diving in and they’re not in a state that’s on any kind of lockdown or restrictions either. Right. So, so they can do that. Right. But also there’s a, there’s a company over here in Florida where the two owners have dropped their salaries.

[00:15:48] Um, in order to make sure that nobody has to get fired, you know, that’s the essential worker. You know, there’s a couple, there’s a couple of the part time people that are going to make more money being on unemployment probably. So I’m sure there’s strategy in it at the end of the day. And they’re there, but they’re taking care of their people.

[00:16:03] You know, no matter what the decision has been, and they’re doing it by making sure that they first sacrifice themselves. So if you want to be successful right now during this time, during this pandemic, and you need to remember that people. We’ll be watching. Yeah. People have a, they have a real keen sense of, of going back in their own memory banks and saying, what happened during this time?

[00:16:23] What did you, what were you doing during this time? Why should I talk to you? So,

[00:16:27] Trey: [00:16:27] yeah. That’s awesome. So a couple of quick fire questions before we wrap up. Number one, what type of mindset are you coaching your clients to have right now? Like what do they need to be approaching the day with?

[00:16:40] Dale: [00:16:40] Yeah. So where we take the mindset of, of, of legendary, that’s what we, we, we choose with all of our reps.

[00:16:48] um, and it’s, it’s a winning sales mindset from my perspective because it’s the idea of going from mediocre to warrior to legend and, and the idea of behind what a legendary sales rep is. It is somebody that’s remains disciplined, that is extremely understanding of what’s happening and accepting that we’re, this is not a good situation.

[00:17:06] Uh, but having hope in the midst of it, letting go of the things that they can’t control and, and doubling down on the things they can. And the mindset also of understanding that empathy, like we just said, it’s not a playbook, right? But it is a natural action that you can say can, it is, it’s compassionate.

[00:17:23] It’s compelling as well too, but it’s also fulfilling to you and the other person at the same time. And so this is about the human connection more than anything. And so people getting behind the mindset of that, Hey, look. This is not a time, it’s, it’s a too uncertain. People aren’t just out there like, yeah, let me buy something.

[00:17:40] Yeah, people aren’t. People are not feeling comfortable about buying things right now. If you can take that as truth, it is much easier to attack it and to overcome it. That’s

[00:17:51] Trey: [00:17:51] great. And so what do you see changing permanently in the business world after this is all over with,

[00:17:58] Dale: [00:17:58] we’re all going to work from home, bro.

[00:18:01] Yeah, I see a lot of things changing, but you know, honestly and I, I hear a lot of experts and a lot of people saying things will change. Yeah, guys, things will change. But listen, none of you know, I don’t know and no one else does. And so why don’t we just accept the things again, that we can’t control? Let them play out.

[00:18:21] And when we’re at the other end of this, we’ll see how it, how, how it looks, because I’ll tell you that at the end of 2007 and eight. You know, people said that the mortgage industry and the real estate industry will never be the same. Well, guess what guys? Yeah. Is it, is it pretty similar to what it used to be that things are changed, but it’s still pretty similar y’all?

[00:18:40] I mean, it doesn’t, it hasn’t changed to the point where people are living in different houses and talking differently and looking differently. I mean, they’re the same people, so yeah. Nay. No matter what happens with business around us, the minor changes that will come of this, that we as humans will still be the same people that we were before.

[00:18:57] And hopefully we’ll have a better perspective on life, on our families, on our friendships, on our business, relationships on ourselves. And we’ll come out of this as a, as a community, much stronger.

[00:19:08] Trey: [00:19:08] I think so, yeah. Absolutely. So you mentioned some great resources. I’m sure people that are listening are going to want to come find you.

[00:19:15] Find what you’re talking about, work in, they track you down

[00:19:17] Dale: [00:19:17] at. Yeah, they could just Google Dale Dupree if they really want to find me and they can’t remember any of the other names. Just Dale Dupree, just like it sounds to UPR.  the first like seven pages or me. And then if you want to remember, go to the sales there’s an about page, has my cell phone, has my email address.

[00:19:35] You can hit me up any way you want. Email is fine. I can just shoot you the link. All you need to do this. Mention rebel resources so I know what you’re talking about and I’ll get you into him. That’s awesome.

[00:19:44] Trey: [00:19:44] Any final word message for the field sales reps leaders out there?

[00:19:48] Dale: [00:19:48] Yeah. You guys keep up the hope.

[00:19:50] Do not let it die. This will end. This too shall pass and when it does, we have to be prepared and ready to get back to, to normalcy to the way that that, that it was might not be anymore, but normalcy will still be a thing and we need to do it together as a unit. It’s awesome.

[00:20:07] Trey: [00:20:07] You don’t think so much for your time.

[00:20:09] It’s fantastically valuable. We’ll

[00:20:11] Dale: [00:20:11] talk to you later. Thanks Ryan. Yup.