Jim Padilla | What Makes A Good Salesperson?

Adam LeanPodcast

In this episode of P is for Profit, we chat with Jim Padilla— sales expert and owner of Gain The Edge. Jim spends his time helping businesses find and build heart-centered sales teams.

Our conversation with Jim is very valuable because as you know, sales are the lifeblood of a business. And, during these unprecedented times, a lot of business owners are struggling. If you’re one of them (and even if you’re not), you don’t want to miss this!

We’ll chat with Jim about brand assimilation for sales teams (What is it? Why is it important?), the view that every business is an individual’s entity, as well as…

  • What makes a good salesperson
  • Finding the right salesperson for your team
  • The 3 mistakes you’re making trying to find the right fit for your team
  • How you should be paying your sales team
  • And more

Listen now…

Mentioned in this episode:


Adam Lean: In this episode, we’re going to talk about how to get better results from your sales team. We’re going to talk to a sales expert who helps businesses find and build heart-centered sales teams. This is P is for Profit.

Adam: Welcome to P is for Profit. My name is Adam Lean and I along with the rest of the team at The CFO Project are passionate about helping business owners improve the profitability of their business. My guest today is Jim Padilla. He is a sales expert and owner of gaintheedgenow.com. Jim, welcome to the show.

Jim Padilla: Hey, Adam. Thanks for having me.

Adam: I’m super excited to jump in because obviously, sales is the lifeblood. Businesses cease to exist without sales. And I know a lot of business owners are struggling with sales because they’re usually experts in the craft or trade or their business, not necessarily experts in sales. So I’m excited to jump in. So before we begin, tell us, you know, who you are and your background and why you got into this. 

How Jim Became a Sales Expert

Jim: Sure. Well, my wife and I, we have this crazy business called Gain the Edge. Where the go-to solution in the personal development, coaching and consulting world for outsourced sales teams. And basically, we’re really experts in brand assimilation and stepping into your world, and then representing you authentically in delivering that powerful experience. 

And that’s what we really focus people, teaching our people, which then helps makes us, you know, irreplaceable to companies. And essentially, this was something that is a skill set that I learned in my early years of my life because I grew up in a very abusive environment, and I ended up in foster care as a teenager and it was on the streets, you know, at 16 and in jail at 19. 

And I spent most of my, you know, first portion of my life really having to master the environment that I was in because for me, survival was making sure other people didn’t see me as a threat. And so little did I realize that, you know, 25 years later, I’d be making millions of dollars teaching other people how to master their environments so that people could see you as a non-threat and then let down their guard, which is what happens in the sales process when most people see you as a threat. 

And that’s why they’re not buying from you or not listening to you. It’s not because you’re not saying the right things, it’s because they’re prepared to defend themselves against you. And so this just became, we’ve decoded this and now we’re really, we’re brand ambassadors that deliver a powerful branded experience that leads to the ultimate conclusion of a sale.

Adam: Wow. Powerful story there. So let me ask you about a couple of things. So brand assimilation, you mentioned that term. What is that?

What is Brand Assimilation?

Jim: Well, there’s, basically, it’s about learning how to move and flow in your world, right? So, which is what a salesperson should be doing. You know, most of the time, the entrepreneur, the business owner, you’re gonna make a better sales conversion than any salesperson that works for you simply because they’re not you. People are buying you and they’re buying you before they buy the sale before they buy the product. Well, you know where all the bodies are buried, you know, the history, you know, the story, you know, the exceptions, all of that stuff. 

Your salesperson doesn’t know that. So they need to learn not just what your product is, but why is your product? What does it do? Why did you create it? Why do you care if people buy it? What is, you know, all of these things, because when you’re talking to people about buying from you, you’re not just talking to them about their product, you’re talking to them about how, about what role your product plays in their life and their mission and their journey and their story. 

And, you know, it’s hard for somebody to have that conversation as an extension of you if they’re, if they don’t understand that. So that’s really about what brand assimilation is. Being built to make sure that when you speak to me, you know, if a client speaking to me, they feel like they’re speaking to you. 

Adam: Yeah, that makes sense. So let’s say that a, and this makes sense, what you just said for a business who has a very clear mission, so like nonprofits or even businesses like yours, or mine, where we’re helping business owners improve something. But what if it’s for a business that’s not so clear? So let’s say a heating and air company or plumbing company?

Jim: Yeah, ironically, we have a few clients who sell to heating and air companies and contractors. So we have these conversations every day. And quite honestly, every business is an entity. If you’re not, then you’re not going to succeed. If you’re running your business in today’s economy as if it is a widget producing machine, you’re only going to have so long of a shelf life. You have to show up as a difference-maker. 

Not, don’t be different just to be different for the sake of difference, but be different because it’s you. Your business should always be an extension of you, not you working for your business. In order for your, if your business is an extension of you, then your business helps carry out your mission, your mission, your mission, your purpose. You know, it should be, people buy into the story. Otherwise, you know, if you’re a heating and air conditioning guy, well, I think all of us probably know a dozen of them, if not more. So why you versus anybody else? 

Adam: That’s true because on the surface, they’re a commodity business. But how do you, I guess becoming a difference-maker would mean that you’re separating yourself from everybody else and you’re not, you’re decommoditizing yourself.

Jim: Exactly.

Adam: So let me ask you this, what makes a good salesperson? So the business owner is the, you know, basically what you said the business owner is the best person to sell because it’s them and they’re the ones that care the most. How do they find people to duplicate that?

Duplicating Your Passion In Your Sales Team

Jim: Well, I can tell you all the mistakes that they’re making first. Something we talk about often is too late, too fast and too cheap. Most people wait too late to find salespeople because it’s an afterthought, right? Most people, first of all, they’re thinking of salespeople as an expense and they should be seeing them as their greatest asset. So when you see somebody as an asset, you treat them very differently than you do if you see them as an expense. And so that’s the first step. And then, if you are cramming it in, you think you just got to get to the last minute, I need some sales, that’s the wrong way to go about it. 

So it’s too late. And then it’s too fast. You’re bringing somebody on and you’re expecting a miracle overnight. I can’t tell you how many sales jobs that I’ve worked in my earlier years where I walked into position, they said, Here’s your leads, here’s your script, go make us some money. And I don’t know you, I don’t know your community, I don’t know your environment. You know, all of these things are vital for somebody to be successful. You know, Chet Holmes famously seven times, you don’t lose great salespeople because they can’t sell. 

You lose a great salesperson because they don’t know how to process their commissions and they don’t know how they get paid. They don’t know how to record their metrics, right? If people want to have their job done easy, salespeople want to sell, they don’t want to be an administrative nightmare, right? They don’t want to wonder and worry about where food is, they want to know what, you know, they want to hunt. And, you know, I love to, you know, eat what I kill, so to speak, right?

But I would at least want to know where the hunting ground is, you know? don’t make me search the whole city. You know, put me in the right place and I’ll go to town. So that’s the other piece. So it’s one is too fast. It’s just you cannot short cut of, you know, a true brand representation. Now I can walk into your world because I’m great at this, I can find a way to make a sale in a short period of time. But I’m always going to be way better at this six months from now than I am today and I’ll be way better at that 12 months now than I am six months. So it just takes time. 

You can’t expect a miracle overnight. Do not do that. And then most people just don’t want to invest in salespeople. And bottom line is, you know, it’s not always about paying the highest commission. It’s how do you provide the greatest possible experience? How do you give them the opportunity to earn what they need and want? You know, somebody wants to earn a six-figure career or quarter-million dollars as a salesperson, it’s not your job to give them the highest commission split, it’s your job to teach them how to maximize the opportunity that works within you, right? 

So be sure that you can reward, we love paying big commissions because that means everybody’s doing things right, right? We don’t, I know companies to get, you know, I know buddies of mine who they get irritated when they cut a fat commission check. Like, that should be music to your ears to cut fat commission checks because that means you’ve got clients, that means your company’s growing, that means your team’s happy because a lot of things are working right.

Adam: Absolutely. Speaking of commission and pay, what is, is there a rule of thumb to pay salespeople based on commissions or a base pay? And the reason why I ask this is a couple years ago, I read a book, I believe it was called Traction by Gino Whitman. And he simply advocated for not paying commissions. He says a good salesperson is somebody that’s, you know, if you pay him a decent wage, they’ll do just as well as if they were paid on commission Then, of course, the vast majority of other people say the opposite. You should pay on commission.

Jim: Well, and here’s the great thing, my personal perspective on just about any area of business or life is there is no one way. So somebody says this is, the moment somebody says this is the best way, I already stopped listening, right? So, you know, there’s as many different ways to do it as there are people. The key is making sure that you’re incentivizing people effectively. And with salespeople, they’re a different breed of people. 

And, you know, they’re risk-takers in general. They’re a little quirky, sometimes unpredictable, but the biggest thing they need is assurance. They need support, they need an environment to succeed, right? And they need to know where they need to go. And so if you can make them feel safe, they feel like you’ve got their back, you’re going to do whatever, you’re gonna help them with whatever’s necessary to do their job effectively, then they’ll go do business.

If they feel like you’re going to take advantage of them, if they feel like you’re going to cheat them, if they feel, if they don’t know, you know, when are you actually going to pay on this commission? Or are you going to try to, you know, are you looking for reasons to reduce their commission and all that stuff. Those things occupy brain real estate. And if their brain is focused on that stuff, instead of serving your clients, you’re never going to get the best performance. 

Adam: Absolutely. Makes sense. So a good salesperson, are they born or are they bred?

Salespeople: Nature vs. Nurture

Jim: The instincts and capabilities, I mean, I have a gift. I don’t know that I was born with it. I think the lifestyle that I lead might, you know, help create me where I am. There will always be people who are better at it than others, but it’s not because they can’t sell. It’s because they got too many layers of fears and disbelief covered on top of their skill set. That’s the difference. We can all sell. Every single human you’ve ever met has been selling their entire life. You’re selling your kids on listening to you, you sell your spouse on marrying you, sell your buddy on let’s go to this movie that you got to see, we’re selling all day long.

Adam:  Yeah, selling yourself on getting a job. I mean, yeah. 

Jim: Correct. The difference is, once we put on a professional hat and say I’m selling for a living, all of a sudden, we get weird and we get like, Oh, I have to do it like this. I must sound this way and you’re just killing yourself. Because the most enrolling thing you will ever do is be yourself. There’s nothing more authentic and viable than the truth. So that’s the key. Now, and then you just got to, you know, there’s a million great systems out there that you can follow to make sales. And but there, you shouldn’t be about the system. It should be about you moving through the system.

Adam: Yeah. Do you feel like you’re, because of your background, you are more hungry and that translated to being a better salesperson? Like he just wanted to, you had the fire in the belly or the hunger to succeed. Does that make sense?

Jim: Yeah, I’d be a fool to say no. The difference is I learned this skill set, but I learned it in the wrong mindset because I learned a powerful skill set to be able to influence and lead people. But I, because I had to fend for myself, I did it for my benefit instead of theirs, right? So I made money because I wanted to make money. 

You know, I spent a decade selling mortgage loans and I put a lot of people in bad loans because I got paid well to do it, you know? The difference is now, you know, after I lost it, we filed bankruptcy in 2008. Lost homes, my wife and I separated, we went through a lot of bad stuff because of money. So no matter how much you make, it matters how you make it and then what you do with it. And since that time, I gave it all up, gave it all over to God. 

I said okay, I did this first 40 years your way, I’m ready to do the, you know my way, ready to do the next 40 your way. And now I want to take this skillset and use it for people’s good. And how do I sell in a way that serves people and leaves me feeling good, and not just capitalizing on opportunities? And ever since then, you know, now we just truly live to show up to serve other people and never made more money. You know, it’s amazing how it follows that way.

Adam: Wow. Yeah, love it. So what, in your opinion, separates successful business owners or even salespeople who manage salespeople from those that always just seem to struggle?

Jim: Man, you know, there’s a lot of different things, but if I can boil it down, it’s the ability to not take yourself too seriously, but take the situation very seriously. Know that you’re, it’s, you know, it’s not about you, but it can’t be done without you. So it’s not about you being on, you know, the point but without you being on point, you know? It’s kind of cliche, all these little buzz words I’m throwing out. 

But it’s, you know, nobody’s hiring me because of me, they’re hiring me and my team and my company, because of how we can help them achieve their mission. You know, don’t ever make yourself of too much importance about this. But at the same time, you have to claim and own your badassery because people need to know, they have to believe that you can do this for them with them and help them.

Adam: So we were talking before the show, and you essentially said that you help businesses either find salespeople or train salespeople or optimize their salespeople. So sort of walk us through what that looks like and what type of business needs what.

How Gain The Edge Helps Their Clients

Jim: Okay. Yeah, so basically, our sweet spot and what we’re known for is being an outsourced sales company. However, that’s for the smallest percentage. That’s our premium offering. Most of our clients at that level are 7, 8, 9 figures. And their primary pain point is that they’re no longer, it’s no longer the highest and best use of their time to be hiring, training and developing salespeople. It’s not that they can’t sell. 

Most of them are actually great at sales. They just don’t want to be running sales teams anymore. They want to focus on building their empire and serving their clients and all that. So we step in as a plug and play sales division, fully from, you know, senior VP, team leaders, trainers, coaches. You know, I got a full, you know, outsourced team, a virtual team of about 100 people. And we handle their business. And they basically, they generate leads, we close them. 

We speak into helping all of that, all of those phases, but we show up as that brand representation for them. And then, because we are in the recruiting game, we’re recruiting salespeople all the time, we’re very good at it. And so instead of turning all these people away that we can’t hire, we decided, well, how else can we benefit those people. And there’s a lot of smaller companies who are not quite ready to be outsourcing but we help, they don’t know how to hire a salesperson. They’re struggling. They can’t grow beyond themselves. So we help them recruit and vet sales talent that’s ideally suited on brand and on point for them. 

And then we also can run their salespeople for them. So we can either just recruit them and place them, or we recruit them and then we just run them in our network. But they don’t work for us, they work for you, right? And it’s becoming a bigger need than we thought. Because a lot of people need that because they have no clue, really, how to start this journey. And usually, you’re going to end up hiring your brother, your mother, your sister, your friend. You’re going to hire all the wrong people. 

And you’re going to go through, you’re gonna cost yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars learning that lesson. And so we shortcut that lesson. And then we have a thing called the Peak performance Network, which is where our sales team trains and optimizes. We spend, you know, we do live training calls every day with our team, roleplay calls, call audits. Everything basically, as a sales expert, as a sales guy for my whole life, I just thought What do I want? 

How would I want to be supported as a salesperson? And we just built that environment. So it’s where salespeople come to optimize and thrive. And again, our mission is to help salespeople be seen as the greatest asset in any company. So we teach them all the ways to remain a valuable asset and not a commodity for the clients that they serve, or if they’re building their own business. So we now sell access to that. So as solopreneurs or salespeople, you can just, you know, pay a monthly membership fee and you are in our network and we treat you like you’re on our team, except we just don’t give you leads.

Adam: Yeah, that makes sense. So that way the salesperson is getting feedback and help and industry info on how to be a better salesperson.

Jim: Totally. 

Adam: Yeah, that makes sense. Okay. And by the way, where can people learn more?

Jim: You know, the best place to go right now is if you go to jimp360.com.  JIM P like Padilla, my last name, jimp360.com and just hit the contact button. So 360 site wherever you, however you move around the world, if you’re a Facebook person, if your LinkedIn person, whatever, you contact me on your terms. But I’d love for you to go hit, go to that website, hit the contact button and shoot me a text and say hello and that, you know, you heard me here on the podcast. 

You know, love to jump on a call with you and just talk and see what kind of, you know, what you’re doing in your business and how we might be able to help or who I can introduce you to because we’ve been very, very blessed with a powerful network of allies and colleagues and I can pretty much solve damn near anybody’s business problem, either with my brain or an introduction. So, and I love doing that.

Adam: Wow, yeah. And we’ll put that link in the show notes so that anybody listening you can just click on the show notes page and go to Jim’s website here. So one more question for you. What is one piece of advice or piece of wisdom that you would give business owners or salespeople, whether the business owner is the chief salesperson for their business?

Jim: Biggest piece of advice that I would say, right, is just don’t believe 90% of what you hear. Know that you’ve got this, you can overcome your circumstances. Your past does not dictate your future. And your circumstances don’t define who you are. Where you want to go is the only thing that matters. And there’s a path for you.

Adam: Wow, that is powerful. So, Jim, thank you so much for being here today. This is, we could spend hours talking about sales. But, you know, I would encourage anybody listening to go to his website, it’s jimp360.com. Did I get that right? 

Jim: Yes. 

Adam: Excellent. And again, we’ll put that in the show notes. Jim, thank you so much for being here.

Jim: Yeah, definitely. Thanks for having me on.

Adam: So again, if you would like to see if Jim can help you with your sales team or outsourcing your entire sales department or just getting sales help for your team, feel free to reach out. But thank you so much for listening. And remember, the goal of your business should be to make more profit than last year and to turn that profit into cash that you get to keep. Thanks for listening.