Fireside Friday with Rich Dastice
Sales Assembly: Give us your quick background in sales.
Rich: Before NCSA, I spent time in digital marketing before really getting more directly involved in sales. I have been in sales with NCSA for the last eight years and fortunate enough to be in sales leadership for the last six. Before getting into management, I got my start in our entry-level inside sales role as a Recruiting Coordinator scheduling appointments; in time, I transitioned to our closing role of being a Recruiting Specialist demoing the NCSA product for prospective clients. Since then, I have had the opportunity to manage sales teams within the organization over the last five years and now have overseen the inside sales department in its entirety for the last three years.
Sales Assembly: What's your biggest accomplishment in sales or sales leadership?
Rich: Being at NCSA, I have had the opportunity to make an impact on many student athletes who aspire to compete at the college level. Between assisting families on that journey and being privileged to lead a department that I can have a hand in growing is all incredibly rewarding.
Sales Assembly: What's the best piece of sales advice you ever got?
Rich: My first ever sales manager would always correct me on my tone, stop me if I used a catch phrase or if he heard an awkward laugh coming out of my mouth early on in my career while on the phone. "That's not you. I know that and they know that." So, as simple as the advice was just to be yourself, be genuine and be honest at all times, it was exactly what I needed to hear in my first sales role.
Sales Assembly: What's the biggest challenge facing a sales rep today, and how would you recommend they overcome it?
Rich: Lack of self-awareness, patience and confidence. Working with people starting an entry-level role which may be their first gig out of college or first sales role, it's important to lay out clear expectations and a clear timeline of where they should be and when through the ramp up process. Everyone wants to be really good at their job out of the gate and if that doesn't happen, it's very easy to lose confidence because they are not seeing that instant success or satisfaction. Managing the expectations of your people is crucial as it allows you to reinforce confidence when needed, let them know where they stand early and often and stay overly positive.
Sales Assembly: Do you currently have a sales mentor, or have you ever? If so, what did they teach you?
Rich: Working in sports, I always relate mentors and sales managers to coaches I had growing up that were your most impactful/memorable in high school and/or in college. They weren't the ones you necessarily "liked" the most or that were your favorite, but they were the ones who got the very most out of you, maximized your potential and that you would run through a wall for. Tony Asay in high school and Joe Adam in college were those guys for me. I always run my sales teams with that kind of mindset and try to instill that in my managers, to build that mutual trust with our people that will help drive productivity and a more consistent bottom line.
Sales Assembly: What's the best sales book you've ever read? What are you reading now?
Rich: Make Your Bed by: William McRaven
Sales Assembly: Best sales or business related books, articles, podcasts or newsletters?
Rich: Ted Talks, Sales Assembly's Fireside Friday series
Sales Assembly: What's the best advice you'd give to someone just starting a career in sales?
Rich: Get in a routine. As sales leaders, so much of what we look at is efficiency numbers, stats and data. For a young professional, I talk a lot about "when you're on you're on and when you're off you're off." It's very easy in the course of a day to get distracted, more now than ever. In an eight-nine hour day, each rep who lacks consistency in their routine has the opportunity to grow productivity and impact their own personal results. In phone sales, so many 1:1s and meetings are spent by trying to figure out how to improve your day-to-day and diagnosing what's not going well within your current talk track or technique when selling. I think it’s important to realize that, in a lot of cases, your mindset, attitude, tone and attention to detail when communicating with a potential client can make a bigger impact on the end result more than the actual words you're using. How you're delivering the message can dictate the outcome just as much as the message itself.
Sales Assembly: Do you see any interesting future trends as it pertains to sales?
Rich: Working remotely and wanting more flexibility in the work day. These are things that young professionals are drawn to that come up more and more during interviews now than ever before.
Sales Assembly: What was your favorite sports team growing up as a kid?
Rich: 1998 Chicago Cubs Wild Card Team. Before one-game playoffs were a thing in baseball...