Chris Burgess - Senior Director of Sales Trinity Solar
Manages over 1500 Reps. Kirby 7 years and was a top rep out of 180K reps worldwide.
After starting his sales career with Cutco knives he quickly found success and then moved to Kirby. Near the end of his Kirby career Chris decided something needed to change because substance abuse was taking over his success. He needed to change dramatically and was introduced to alarms. He quit drinking, hit the road with alarms and counts this as his big life event that changed everything.
Another life changing moment was managing his first team. Rather than focusing on his team and building them up he seemed to focus on the competition and building up his own sales. He read the book "21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" and everything seemed to click. He learned that by helping others and focusing on "us" instead of "me" made the difference in his success as a salesman and manager. He also got a new mentor that shared his same way of thinking that continued to help him push along and achieve his goals.
The shift from 180 to 300's was learning from the best. The team you have is key in finding success. Along with no distractions. Having good mentors will always be the most important because you can latch onto leaders that have your best interest at heart. They care about you and want your success as much as you do.
Chris uses prayer and meditation to keep his mind engaged and focused on his success. Reading is a way for him to motivate him and help him keep his mind keen. To make him stand out from the game Chris tries to focus on every single conversation and being present. Being genuine and focused on each person and each conversation can be felt from who I'm talking with. Chris actually cares. He tries to add value in every circumstance. Hard work is the last thing he tries to do. The difference between 200 sales and 300 sales is pushing just 1% harder. Trying to be the last one in at the end of the day, to knock just one more door, push just a little harder, be a little better. Chris says he doesn't have any special talent he just works really hard to be his best and sell better in every conversation.
To stay balanced between work and home life is a huge problem in this industry. He was about to loose his marriage at the peak of his selling career. He had to take a step back and reset his life, when you are done at the end of the day, what is it all for? It is all to come back to his family. He didn't want to loose them. Time management is so important. "White space" is a very dangerous thing. Chris suggest to plan the most important things first. He plans scouts and his daughters dance classes before he schedules work meetings. He never eats alone, he always plans meetings at lunch time to kill two birds with one stone.
God first, people second, money third. He loved that he found a company with the right priorities for him and his life. "God" means a good attitude, a better life, a higher standard of living. The work/life balance is super difficult to maintain while in the trenches and learning that his company backed those priorities was important to him.
Chris doesn't fire many people. We always teach people to be better. If people are lazy they talk it out... what are you here for? or usually it works itself out quickly once we just talk about it. Looking for the right people is key. Recruiting is an important in the industry. It molds your team so knowing how to recruit is one of the most important aspects.
Chris create consistency a few different ways. Talking things through is a great way to help people move forward to be their best. We suggest good reading materials so they can get pumped up and learn from great people. We help each rep create a positive life and not just positive work life, every aspect needs to build them up. We motivate reps through healthy competition. We give people different roles. Where are their strengths? How can we maximize their talents and what they are good at... lead generators, closers, numbers guy, door greeter, etc. Having roles is a big part of Chris' strategy. Each person needs a job, a role and needs to be accountable. They all help each other instead of being "Lobsters". When you put lobsters in a pot together and one tries to climb out the other lobsters try and pull them back in. They try and lift each other up and help each other do their best.
Referrals is 83% of their business. ANY communication you have with the customer must include asking for referrals. Always ask. Keep asking. Ask in every point of sale. Ask why they are a good referral. Make them sell me on who would like it and why.
Chris thinks methodically while working areas. Being strategic on how and who and when knocking is crucial. He had a small population with 33 guys knocking doors 4 years in a row. He understands that working the same old area can be super beneficial. You have to keep track on every single door you hit. Find the people who know everyone, find the people who are the leaders and know everyone in the area, they can help you way more than anyone..