In 2008, Dale Dupree found himself heading back home to help out at the family business.
He never would have guessed that selling copiers would lay the foundation of his wildly successful career in B2B sales.
Now, as the founder of The Sales Rebellion, Dale shares his and his father’s incredible story of triumph over tribulation and the importance of prioritizing relationships over transactions.
Here’s what we’re unpacking today:
- Why you should be open to exploring your territory
- Leading with compassion
- Building unbreakable bonds with your customers
- Creating momentum through hope
Relationships come from exploring your community
Dale: I learned a very intense and secret sales principle: the concept of exploring your community, wandering your territory.
My father would take us to appointments. We would leave and he would say, “Let’s go visit the neighbors.” In my mind, I always wondered if we have an appointment with them. Why are we going to see the neighbors?
My father just wanted to introduce himself. Have you ever seen a cold call where someone walks in and they just say, “Hey, my name is Curtis I own a company. I just wanted to come and meet the owner here to introduce myself and learn more about your business?”
As a matter of fact, I tried to figure out when I started cold calling how to do it that way.
Really, my dad didn’t have a double agenda. He just wanted to know you. He wanted to relate in some fashion. He wanted to serve and so this concept of wandering your territory and exploring the territory in which you live as a sales professional is extremely important.
Understanding comes from exploring outside your territory
Dale: I was addicted to understanding people’s culture. How they lived, what was important to them and how it differentiated. How it was different from my local territory back home.
I didn’t find much difference to be honest with you. I found that for the most part, everybody is a human living their life right in their own little way.
At the same time, I also met a bunch of amazing people. There was no difference between going to LA and going to South Dakota. You saw the same kind of passions in people; you saw the same kinds of aspirations.
I was fueled by this little thing called curiosity. It’s something that ignited a fire in my career that created success for me for years to come.
Empathy is important, but I also lead with a genuine sense of compassion. It was the way I walked this earth through my B2B career and in my music career.
However, somewhere around 2007 or 2008, things dramatically changed for me. Just one thing after the next. We had turmoil back home.
Prioritizing relationships over transactions
Dale: There were a lot of changes with my father’s health in addition to the recession in 2008. So, I was needed back at the home front.
I helped my father run his firm and I learned in that time the things that are extremely important. It’s not about the transaction as much as it is about the relationships.
We built unbreakable bonds in 2008 with our customers. We prioritized the relationships. We kept our commitments to the community. When people didn’t pay their bill, we didn’t go pick up the copier. We didn’t stop giving them service. We told them we were here with them.
Hardships inside of a small business are not easy, but they’re the same across the board.
Challenging the status quo
Dale: We decided we were going to take all the trials that we had been tested with and grow from them and glean from them instead of being victims to them.
We survived and survival is an important thing inside of the sales world.
So, in 2010, we rewrote the narrative and we crushed every single record my father’s business had made up until that point. Revenue. Gross profit. Machines sold. Everything.
We decided that instead of walking with the status quo, we were going to separate ourselves and individualize each transaction. We’re going to treat people like humans, not as commission checks.
The biggest piece of the puzzle was how we valued people over products and processes.
Giving hope back
Dale: You should be showing your community hope on a daily basis. Whether that’s through content outreach or the way you’re serving them with your product.
You should be giving hope back to others because hope creates synergy which leads to momentum. Massive amounts of it to almost uncontrollable momentum.
It caused the individuals inside of our business – myself included – to believe in ourselves on a deeper level.
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