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In this episode of Sharpen Your Axe, Mike Hardwick, Churchill Mortgage founder and president, and Matt Clarke, COO/CFO of Churchill, talk about how Mike originally learned to sell.

Learning to Sell Successfully

When Mike was young, his parents started a church in Nashville, TN. In the beginning, the church couldn’t afford to pay anyone a salary, so Mike’s parents both had full-time jobs to help make ends meet while also dedicating time to growing the church.

One of the ways the family would raise money for the church was by going door-to-door on Saturday mornings selling hot doughnuts. Mike’s father would load Mike and his brother, Steve, in the car most Saturday mornings and drive them to Krispy Kreme to buy doughnuts by the dozen. They would then go to the church to meet other fathers and kids, and divide up the doughnuts.

Afterwards, the group would disperse in surrounding neighborhoods and sell the doughnuts to people who were waking up for the day. It was then that Mike not only learned how to sell, but he learned how to upsell! He also learned how to cold call and the importance scripts for sales scenarios. Years and years later when he worked at the bank and in the mortgage industry, he pulled from those selling techniques.

Know your Pitch

Mike and Matt discuss the importance of hard work and consistency, paired with knowing your “pitch.” Many sales people have call reluctance because they don’t know what to say – it can be awkward and uncomfortable. Because of the fear that brings, most sales people waste time on busy work, instead of work that generates sales.

Matt draws attention to the importance of having a selling system. One of Mike’s favorite sayings is “be systems dependent, not people dependent.” In other words, have a plan. Don’t rely on your personality or charm to make a sale. “Plan your work and then make your plan.” Invest the time in a good coach and a good system to become more proficient at any job.

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