Overcoming setbacks and adjusting your mindset with Nigel Green, Part 1

About This Episode

In part 1 of a 2 part interview, Brad sits down with Nigel Green, author of “The Revenue Harvest” to hear about his 7 keys to overcoming any obstacle or setback, and why adjusting your mindset will make you more successful in business.

After working for a decade, and building two different sales teams that produced over $50m in revenue yearly, Nigel walked away from the high-paying executive job. He changed his mindset and decided to start living his life around family, time, and optionality. Now as an author and coach, Nigel is sharing his knowledge in workshops and through his coaching program.

To find out more about Nigel, head on over to NigelGreen.co!

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Overcoming setbacks and adjusting your mindset with Nigel Green, Part 1

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Episode Transcript

In part 1 of a 2 part interview, Brad sits down with Nigel Green, author of “The Revenue Harvest” to hear about his 7 keys to overcoming any obstacle or setback, and why adjusting your mindset will make you more successful in business.

After working for a decade, and building two different sales teams that produced over $50m in revenue yearly, Nigel walked away from the high-paying executive job. He changed his mindset and decided to start living his life around family, time, and optionality. Now as an author and coach, Nigel is sharing his knowledge in workshops and through his coaching program.

To find out more about Nigel, head on over to NigelGreen.co!

Nigel Green

[00:00:00] Brad Seaman: So tell me a little bit about, I saw that you had seen diversity. I saw you put some pictures online.

[00:00:05] Nigel Green: Yeah. So Friday, December the 10th. So I grew up in Alabama. Tornadoes are kind of like, they just happen. I remember in 1989, I was a young boy, five, six years old. And, uh, We had a tornado that came through, uh, Huntsville, Alabama, and just destroyed the town.

So I grew up kind of always hear about tornadoes and knowing they were a real thing. Uh, and then, uh, Friday, December the 10th, I now live in Kentucky and Midwest, not really have to worry about tornadoes and. Powered been out for a couple hours. And when you grow up around tornadoes, like it’s hard to say this to people that don’t know, you just feel when it’s different.

And so the power had been out. We got both kids that are laying in the bed with us. I mean, it’s lightning and thunder. And so I grabbed my phone and I just, you know what, Becky, I’m just going to, I got YouTube TV so I can do this. I just pulled up the Nashville views to, it just feels different this time.

And, uh, sure enough, I’m watching the news on my phone and they they’re like they’re naming these little dirt road. They’re like a quarter and half a mile from here talking about taking cover. And I said, get the kids now. And this was one 30 in the morning and it just, this tornado just rocked our little town in Kentucky that is not used to tornadoes.

We were very fortunate in that we did not have any really significant damage, but quarter mile down the road, I’ve got neighbors that lost everything. Didn’t have power. If they didn’t lose their house all together, what was left of it, there was no power for at least a week. And so, um, model of town has gone through some adversity and then insult to injury.

Uh, last Saturday. Another tornado comes through. So we had another tornado come right through the same town and it was, we said it was about as wide as a, so the first tornado that came through on December the 10th set a new record in this country for the longest. Continuous path. It was on the ground for 200 miles.

I saw that. And then we had another one come through on Saturday. That was a hundred yards wide and was on the ground for a mile and a half and did a little bit more damage, but it’s um, yeah, I mean our little town has been, and it’s been a great, you talked about resilience in the face of adversity. It’s been great to see how like.

People that live in the country, they just know how to take care of themselves. And like, there was no, um, yeah, there was a little bit of coverage on the news, but there weren’t quite people really showing up to help. I mean, it took weeks for, for like red cross or FEMA or anybody was out here. So you just got these country folks out there with their own tractors, cleaning it up.

And it was really remarkable to see for me, it was. You got to choose your heart. And these folks said, you know what? This is, it’s going to be hard to get out here and clean all this up in the next couple of days. But the other hard would be living in

this

[00:03:21] Nigel Green: rebel for weeks and months. And they just, people got on their tractors, they got off their chainsaws and they just fix this place right back up in the matter of a couple of weeks.

And it was remarkable and it was hard work, but it got.

[00:03:34] Brad Seaman: Now would you say, is it bad? Is it kind of back up to back, up to normal? Can you get downtown and get a cup of coffee at the diner or is it still everybody’s still stumble a little bit? Well, there

[00:03:44] Nigel Green: there’s, there’s no downtown. There’s no downtown.

There’s no diner. It’s just folks that live on a farm. There, there is none of that. So there there’s no like infrastructure or like commonplace that was destroyed. It’s just roughly 15, I think. Yeah. I mean, you got, um, one, one of our neighbors had a. Something like $1.7 million worth of corn that was in a grain leg.

And the, and the top of the grain leg had been ripped off and there’s rain coming, you know this. So luckily, whatever moisture content came in from the rain and the tornado wasn’t enough to make the corn on salvageable. But in a matter of three days we had more rain coming. So we had to move, you know, they had to move.

I mean, I can’t even tell you the amount of truckloads of corn and go take it to market before they wanted to. Because it was going to be, it was going to be gone. So it’s stuff like that. So it’s not like, well, where are we going? Gonna go get coffee. It’s like, no, my life is in that grain leg. What are we going to do about it?

[00:04:50] Brad Seaman: Yeah, no, for sure. For sure. Now are you, how far I know there was a w and we’ll transition here in a second, but I know there was a big candle factory in one of these tornadoes that got hit and Kentucky is that close to where you guys are at Mayfield.

[00:05:02] Nigel Green: It’s about 50 miles

[00:05:03] Brad Seaman: from here. Just trying to get.

Grounding on kind of where, where, where everything was at. Well, why don’t you, you know, Nigel know, we look, we had a great, we had an awesome time. I wish we’d miked up. The first time we talked, we just talked there on the phone cause Colin Mitchell had connected us. Once you sort of bring everybody up to speed just in terms of your, your role and position in which, in what you do today and kind of your background and then we’ll shift.

And we’ll talk, we talked a little bit about adversity and we’ll shift and talk a little bit about. And then we’ll focus on, you know, the, the one or one topic that you’re really passionate about. So go ahead and tell everybody kind of your story, how you got to where you’re

[00:05:42] Nigel Green: at. Well, I think it’s supportive to where I am now.

I, uh, I’m 30, 30, 8 years old. I live on a farm in rural, Kentucky by choice, uh, with my wife and two young kids. I have a six year old son and a four year old daughter. And we are 20 minutes away from a gas station, 20 minutes away from a cup of coffee, the grocery store. Uh, but we, we live where we want to live and, and nature is right out our door.

Uh, I for work. I work with companies that are in mid-market. So typically tend to around 50 million in annual revenue that have a B2B sales team. And I work with their sales leader to build a best in class process structure so that they can hit their number year in and year out. I got here. I started out as just a sales rep back in 2006.

X college football player that was new. Didn’t want to do much with my college degree, just wanted to go make money. And so sales was a great way to do that. And I moved to Jacksonville, Florida and got started in the healthcare sales by the age of 2009 about. Three years later. So the year was 2009. I’m leading my first sales team for a big healthcare company out of California.

We sold that business in 2012 to Medline. And, uh, I moved to Nashville to build a sales team for another healthcare company. And so that company did really well. And Brad, by the age of 31, I found myself as a. Executive for a fortune 300 healthcare company. And I had about a hundred sales reps across the country was in and out of just about every single state in the us, um, and was working around the clock and said, you know, what, if something doesn’t change, this is gonna, this is gonna fundamentally change who I am as a person.

You know, I believe that what you work on works on you. And so, uh, in may of 2018, I made the decision that. I could not be on a management team anymore and still be the father I wanted to be and be the husband that I needed to be. And also it would be, be the person that I wanted it to being accomplished my goal.

So we just, we, we, um, we ripped, we pulled the rip cord and injected and moved to move to out of Nashville and move without a plan moved to Kentucky. And, um, I had no idea that as soon as the word got out, that I was no longer on a management team, that folks would start calling me and saying, can you help coach consult and advise?

And then just kind of out of, out of. Nigel green, the sales team architect became, uh, a thing. And so that’s, that’s where I am and that’s how we got here. That’s

[00:08:35] Brad Seaman: awesome. I think that’s amazing. I was just that you can step out and make a step out in faith and then all of a sudden, all these doors. Well,

[00:08:43] Nigel Green: I believe that, um, you know, I, you know, I’m, I’m a man of faith in, in, in the Bible, you know, God has a plan for us and it’s kind of funny.

I can’t remember who said it best, but it’s like, um, we, we have our plan and then we’d take it to God. And he just kind of laughs at us, you know, like my, my plan was to keep grinding this out and make a name for myself. And he just kinda laughed at me and he’s like, oh boy, you don’t even know what the plan is.

So you’re going to live in Kentucky and do something else and you’re still going to. Make a little bit of a name for yourself, but it ain’t going to be the way you think, buddy.

[00:09:16] Brad Seaman: That’s. That’s awesome. So I know when we talked a little bit, uh, I love that. I love that story. I know we talked a little bit, you talked about one of the big differences between you and most of the consultants that are out there is like you’re not working with reps.

Right. So tell me a little bit, tell me a little bit about that, because I think that’s a core, that’s kind of a core difference in the thinking and philosophy. Well, I think

[00:09:37] Nigel Green: that, so there is certainly a need for. Training on prospecting and there, you know, selling in a virtual world and negotiation, and there are all these really good.

Models, you know, would it be spin or medic or all these different types of, and frameworks for selling. And there look, there’s plenty of folks out there that do that really well. I mean, Mary Lou, Tyler who wrote the forward for my book, revenue harvest, uh, you know, she built the whole predictable revenue principle in 2013.

So like, what am I going to say about selling that she hasn’t already. I said, um, w what I, what I realized Brad, is that when I was leading a sales team, there was, there were no books to go read, to talk like about how to be a better sales leader. There was no one really, uh, speaking on that, you know, you got it.

If you don’t have to go far to find Jeff blond or Anthony and arena, or some of these cats. That do they have really good stuff on selling? I was lost. Um, and then it was right as I was hanging up my hanging up my cleats, so to speak, Mike Weinberg, he put out the first book, sales management, simple. And Mike’s a friend of mine and he does great work, but it wasn’t there for me.

And so I thought, well, if there’s, so now there’s three or four books, you know, David, Brock’s got a good book, um, sales management, survival guide, but even that, what they, everything they talk about is great, but it doesn’t give you a playbook right. There, there are all these sales playbooks. And so what I, what I decided was that.

Man, wouldn’t it have been great when I was leading a sales team to have someone that not just tell me what to do, but when to do it. And I, and so I started thinking about how do I, how do I want to take all this career capital? You know, all these years of building and leading sales teams and how do I write it for a first time sales leader or someone that’s been an old seasoned vet that’s been doing this longer than maybe you’ve even been alive.

And then I just started looking around. Farming friends and the community. And I said, that’s it, you know, farmers, if they don’t produce a crop, they’re just not a farmer. You’re just not. And so I thought, you know, there are a lot of sales leaders that are running around that aren’t hitting their targets.

You’ll have 50% of the sales teams won’t hit their target year in and year out. And they’re calling himself sales leaders. I said, you know, farmers are also very similar because every year. They are faced with things that they can’t control the weather, the market it’s too hot. It’s too cold, too much rain, not enough rain.

And I hear sales leaders say the same thing, good leads badly to the hiring market, the comp plan, the competitive landscape, but yet all that all that’s great. It’s real. The real challenges. If you don’t hit your number, it won’t matter. And so I started interviewing these, these farmers and I’m saying. How do you do it year in and year out?

What’s your approach? And so they gave me all these ideas that I wove into seven principles and those seven principles that these farmers do really well became the framework that I now use to teach sales leaders, regardless of what you sell, regardless of how you know your sales cycle, whether it’s a week, 30 days, one year quarterly, You can do these things and if you, and it tells you when to do them, and if you do these seven principles, I think he got a really good shot of hitting your number year in

[00:13:21] Brad Seaman: and year out.

Yeah. I love that. Do you mind sharing a couple of your what’s what’s your, you mind sharing a couple of the principles to give too much water on the boat?

[00:13:30] Nigel Green: Are there also, we’ll talk about all seven of them. The first one is planning, right? And that’s the, you just, you, you have to build a plan, right?

Farmers go into a year with a plan and sales leaders go into a year with some. Some form of a plan, but I go into detail in the book about why I think most plans fail. So the first reason they fail is that they don’t account for adversity. The farmer knows that there’s going to be a drought. There’s going to be a flood sales leaders.

Don’t even think about that in their planning. It all looks real good in their spreadsheet. It’s up until the right. Yeah, there’s no negative.

[00:14:03] Brad Seaman: There’s not, yeah.

[00:14:04] Nigel Green: There’s no negativity about, nah, they’re not, they’re not accounting on a big flood or a tornado to cover up the top off the grain leg. Right. That ain’t gonna happen.

So, and then the second one is his position. That’s the second principle, really good plans. But the sales team doesn’t buy into it. So you got to position the plan. Well, and then the third principle is prepare and preparation is all about getting, getting the right people on the team. It’s about training and development.

It’s about technology all. I mean, if you think sales has been disrupted by technology, you should see farming. I mean, these guys are driving around combines with GPS. I mean, they’re all, they’re doing their emails and they’re in there. So, but that’s the way the sales rep is now. Now, I mean, excuse me, the sales man, a lot of times sales managers don’t even have to drive because all the technology and the dashboards, they put it.

All right. You don’t have to drive anymore. Uh, and so we talk about that and that’s prepare, and then the fourth one is plant and that’s pretty under, you know, that’s prospecting, that’s put seeds in the ground and then principle number five is tending. So that’s how you tend to the crop, whether it be your reps, how you tend to your customers, how you tend to the business, then there’s the harvest principle, which is number six.

Everybody wants to close or buy, wants to put some hay in the barn. And then I think probably the most ignored principle is the. Principles farmers understand if you just, if you just harvested this, this piece of ground, you can’t just go right back and put something in the ground. You got to, if you’ve depleted it, you’ve gotta put minerals back in.

You’ve got to restore it. You run all year. Your equipment needs to be restored. And I don’t think sales leaders do a good enough job of restoring that’s different. A lot of people here were store and they. Well, we give them time off note. Rest is to not use restore is to return to its original state. So we do a good enough job of taking breaks and resting, but we don’t restore.

And so those are the seven principles,

[00:16:03] Brad Seaman: a little bit about that. What’s it look like to restore a sales rep or a sales

[00:16:06] Nigel Green: team? It means to stop production, take it, take it out. Train it, fix it. And so it could be leadership training. It could be salesmanship training. It could be career path and advancement, but, but it’s like the thing that a lot of li Lai leaders can’t wrap their head around Brad is stopping the product.

Now some companies like I work with a lot of companies that have some seasonality where their business naturally slows down in November and December. So the business can anticipate that and we can have some quota relief in those months. And there’s a natural built in restoration period. For others, it may just be that they get quota relief so that they can go do a training or they

can

[00:16:54] Nigel Green: go and do that.

But you gotta, you gotta account for it. You got to build in ways in which to go back and return the team and return, not just the sellers. I think you’ve got to do some restoration at the customer level. You’re asking them to spend money. You’re asking them. To allocate resources. You got to make some investments back into that customer to

[00:17:17] Brad Seaman: no, I think that, I think that, I think that’s great.

I, you know, look, I love how you broke. I love how you’ve taken the farm, the former, and that you’ve woven all these principles into sales, because I think there’s so many, uh, kind of cross, cross pollinated, you know, other, all these apply for. And I think the one thing is you’re as we’re kind of going through this list, the two that popped out as one restore the other one that popped out as low as the adversity piece and planning for it.

So talk a little bit about, you know, if I’m building out a pipeline, how should I be thinking. About adversity in the sales cycle from a company a lot, like, you know, having adversity in, in, in the sales process. So we put a number together and now the grain leg has been ripped off the Thompson ripped off the grain leg.

So that’s happened to my sales cycle. Walk me through that process. What should we be thinking about how should we plan for it? How should we think about. We’re sitting down for the beginning of the year and we’re going to come, we’re laying out our plan. Talk to us about how we work adversity, uh, into that.

[00:18:19] Nigel Green: The thing you got to understand about adversity is it always happens in a highly inconvenient time. Okay. So knowing what the first thing about the plan is you don’t get to pick when it’s going to happen. So you can’t say like, well, we’ll have a little bit of buffer in the spring because I want to no, no, no, no, no.

That, ain’t how it works. Okay. What I’m talking about. What are the things that make your life and your, in your example, you asked specifically about the sales cycle. Okay. So you have a defined sales process. If you look at it, what are the inputs that make it work? So there’s, there’s technology, there’s the people, there’s a product.

And then there’s the, the customers that are going to be. Do you think of any other inputs that, that might jump out to you? Okay. So let’s talk, let’s talk about the tech.

[00:19:20] Brad Seaman: No, no, I’m just making sure I didn’t. Okay. So we got, I didn’t miss anything. Okay. I didn’t know if you were like throwing me a softball and I just, I missed it.

I’m sure I didn’t,

[00:19:31] Nigel Green: you know, grossly

[00:19:32] Brad Seaman: neglect something. Yeah, no, I can take any people technology product.

[00:19:37] Nigel Green: What do we do? If the people can’t work, meaning they don’t come to work because they quit. They don’t come to work because they’re sick. What am I going to do? Okay. So I, I’ve got to think about that as a leader in my plan.

What if my, if Brad, my number one sales rep calls me tomorrow and says, my wife is sick. She’s going to go to the Mayo clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, and I’m going to move down there for a month and you’re like, holy crap. I did not see that coming. Brad, didn’t see that coming. It’s not like they quit and took another job like that.

That will happen. We have to plan for that to things like this. Like Julie supposed to come back from maternity, leave in a couple of months and then decides I’m just going to be a stay at home. Mom. What, what, what are you going to do? Okay. You have to think about. Those types of things that are going to happen, you have to say, okay, who am I going to?

Reassign accounts? How am I going to redistribute quota? How do I communicate that to customers like that? That type of adversity that no one could predict. Okay. Technology, we, we run into, uh, some bad receivables or we have to, something happens and we can’t use this technology anymore. What are we going to do?

Or we can’t come to this work anymore because of a pandemic. We can’t come to this place anymore. And we have to use technology to make all of the communication that we’re having in person now happen, asynchronously in a fully distributed workforce. How do I think about technology and how am I going to plan for adversity?

Product. What if we run into real glitches in the product, how am I, whether that’s manufacturing development, if it’s a piece of software, deliverability like shipping, you have to prepare for things outside of your, what are you going to do it? And you don’t know the answers. You just need to be thinking about what is.

Okay. And in customers, what happens if I lose my largest customer? What happens if I lose 10% of my customers because of a competitive threat that comes in and undercuts price or adds on a new feature or you name it, right? That’s the type of adversity planning that I think leaders fail.

[00:21:50] Brad Seaman: So that’s sort of answered my question.

I feel like as a CEO, I’m constantly thinking about those things, you know, I’m, I’m constantly going through the, the, what if scenarios trying to think about, like, in my experience, nothing has in my 11 year business has gone the way that I thought I was going to go. Like nothing like every spreadsheet.

That I ever, um, created, um, was, was foiled. Like I was laughing when you were like, we’re going to play it for a little bumper, light, a little bumper, a situation here, a little bit situation there that doesn’t work like that. Right. You just wake up one day and all of a sudden, um, you know, your, your sales team’s emails have been shut off, or you wake up one day and account, you thought you were going to have it in half or you don’t have anymore.

So, so I find myself constantly thinking about that, but is that that’s not the case where the average sales man.

[00:22:42] Nigel Green: The data shows that it isn’t the case. If it were the case. More than half the sales teams would be hitting their numbers.

[00:22:51] Brad Seaman: Got it. Got it. When you think about this, you know, I think about like, um, you know, there’s good.

I’m going to say there’s good. New sales teams, a bad new sales teams. There’s good news companies, a bad news companies. Right. So great performing companies. From what I can tell to like, to hear bad news, right? So they want to hear about the bad news and they want to make allocations for the bad news and they want to know, they want to know what’s coming ahead, whether it’s good or bad, bad news, or I guess good news companies are usually the companies that hear about, they sound like, like Enron or, uh, Telekom.

Um, they only want to hear good news. You know, they don’t want to hear, they don’t want to hear about the bad stuff. They just want good. They want to hear good news. Theranose I think it’s probably like that. They only want to hear a good. And I think the same thing applies based on what you’re saying applies to a sales team.

Right? You got good news sales teams and bad news sales teams and high performing teams want to know what’s around the corner so that they can address them.

[00:23:46] Nigel Green: Yeah, I would say, well, you know, I’ll tell you what my, um, well, my coach tells me things are neither good, nor bad until you assign meaning. And so I, I think what I’m trying to get sales leaders to understand what this planning principle is that your number one customer calls you and says our building has been damaged by flood.

We can’t use your service. We’re going out of business or we’re going offline for six months. You know, that’s technically bad news, but for the prepared sales lead, It’s just news. It’s just, okay. That is what it is, what it is. So now I’ve got whatever, a million dollars a month or a million dollars a year, whatever, you know, your big customer it’s a lot of money has to be replaced.

Now, what am I going to do? And so I think that the difference is so the good news companies, the good new sales leader is I’m going to, I’m going to be real sensitive and how I go tell Brad, Mr. CEO, this I’m going to, how am I going to frame this? And the bad news people, you know what? They may be more quicker to do it, kind of stick with your analogy.

I just want them. To be able to get to a place that when there’s bad news, I’m not coming to you and say, Hey Brad, we just lost our biggest customer. I’m coming to you and say, I wanted you to hear from me that we’ve lost this customer and I’ve already put together a plan. That in 90 days, we’ll have the business for place.

It’s going to take a heavy lift from the sales team. It might require some additional expense allocation from the business so that we can increase our selling capacity. We might have to go undercut or give a little bit of margin on this one deal to get it done faster. But if we, if we can make some concessions on these four deals, yes, it’s going to have some margin effect on the business, but it replaces the volume that we’re going to lose from this customer.

I’m giving you some options. Tell me, which one sounds best to you. That’s the prepared sales leader,

[00:25:49] Brad Seaman: dude. I love it. I mean, I think you’re hitting such a, such an important niche and such an important place.

So I hope you guys enjoyed that as always. If you want more information on the podcast, go to monster connect.com/podcast. You can get last season. Uh, last year’s episode, you can get all the new episodes for this year. And as always remember, don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can until next time. .

In part 1 of a 2 part interview, Brad sits down with Nigel Green, author of “The Revenue Harvest” to hear about his 7 keys to overcoming any obstacle or setback, and why adjusting your mindset will make you more successful in business.

After working for a decade, and building two different sales teams that produced over $50m in revenue yearly, Nigel walked away from the high-paying executive job. He changed his mindset and decided to start living his life around family, time, and optionality. Now as an author and coach, Nigel is sharing his knowledge in workshops and through his coaching program.

To find out more about Nigel, head on over to NigelGreen.co!

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