In our 35th episode of #NutsAboutSales, we heard some amazing sales wisdom from Samantha McKenna, the CEO and founder of #samsales Consulting.

Watch it now to hear about the embarrassing time she mispronounced the name of a huge client to their face, why it's so important to know who you're pitching to, and why it's important to always mind your manners.

Watch the video or read the transcripts below:

What’s your name and where do you work?

SM: Hi, I’m Samantha McKenna and I’m the CEO and founder of #samsales Consulting.

What’s the craziest thing that happened to you during a demo?

SM: So, I was working on a massive deal. Then, finally at the end, they said, “Can we just tell you something before we sign?” And I said, “Sure.”

They said, “The name of our company is Teva Pharmaceuticals not Teeva.” And I said, “Oh my god.”

So for probably weeks, or even months, I always said Teeva, Teeva, Teeva, thinking it was Teeva Pharmaceuticals. It's been about ten years. I still remember that.

What’s your biggest challenge when demoing? 

SM: I find that most sellers will demo, and then they’ll finally end it with the all-exciting, "Do you have any questions?"

So the prospect might just say "Yes." or "No.", or just "No.", and then we call it a day, right?

But the thing we have to do is make sure we stop the route, we ask open-ended questions, and we temperature-check. And I find it's a rarity these days.

What’s your best sales tip?

SM: No matter what, we are trying to learn about our clients before we reach out to them.

If I reach out and I have a discovery call with Walnut and I have absolutely no idea what you do, you might say, "Tell me what you know about me first." And if I haven't done any research, I’m dead on arrival. You're never going to want to talk to me again. 

What’s your most embarrassing sales story?

SM: This was during my days at LinkedIn. The rep was in a full-scale demo saying everything about the product. He kept talking about things that had to do with semiconductors. I finally paused and I said, “Can I just ask you a quick question? Who do you think you're demoing to?” 

And I think he looked a little upset at first, and then told us the name of the company. Then I said, “We’re with LinkedIn. I think that's maybe a demo you have later today.” The pure shock was amazing. 

What’s the worst mistake to avoid? 

SM: The worst mistake in sales is not paying attention to your manners. Perhaps I reach out to you and I say I would love to talk to you about sales etc. You do me the service of sending me a response to my email and you say, “Thanks for reaching out, but now's not the right time. We’re not the right fit.” or whatever. 

What most reps do is they move on to the next. They don't even have the proper manners to respond and say, “Wow, thanks for taking the time to respond to my email.” And then also think about how that ties in with the long game. Just because we might not be right for each other now, doesn’t mean we're not going to be right for each other in the future. 

Sell me a walnut!

SM: Think about walnuts, how satisfying it is to smash them with a hammer or a little mallet and crack them open. This is so much fun to do.

But then, you get walnuts, which you can put into brownies.

Walnuts are exactly what you need to not only help you reduce stress, but also put something fun in your brownies.

Ready to revolutionize your sales process? Create interactive product demos now with Walnut by clicking the big purple "Get Started" button on the top of the screen.

About the author
Maya Sasson
SaaS Content Marketer
Maya is the new content girl at Walnut. When she’s not writing about SaaS sales stuff, you can find her trying to think of all the different puns she can make with the word nut.

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