People always see and read these incredible stories of others starting businesses at a young age and becoming young, wealthy, and free. But it’s usually someone you put on a pedestal and don’t see any way that you could relate to them as a person or their attributes. They must have a special prodigy like skill set, a rich family, a better education, or some kind of insider connections that gave them a step up in life. Most of the times we feel like these people have never gone through real life challenges or hardships. They might as well be a fairytale, a mythological creature that you read about but can never become, right? Wrong.
Meet Ben Buckwalter, a 25-year-old, inspiring college dropout turned millionaire salesman and coach.
Buckwalter grew up in a small Midwestern town surrounded by corn and soybean fields. He did not have a rich family and struggled to do well in school. His ADHD made it hard for him to focus on anything he was not interested in and it led to him to often failing assignments and tests and entertaining himself with being disruptive in class. His community never failed to remind him that his low test scores meant he did not have much of a chance to succeed in college and then at getting a good job. After struggling and failing through an entire semester of college- he dropped out. Afterall, no one expected much from him. He took his first real job after college at a call center after shoveling dirt for a few months at a garden center and this is where he credits the start of his education journey of sales and where he started dreaming of being successful despite his circumstances.
The success that Buckwalter has acquired at a very young age is astonishing. He is the founder of multiple million dollar companies, has won multiple business awards including winning the Click Funnel’s 2 Comma Club Award for doing over 2 million dollars in sales in 12 months, and is becoming one of the most sought after coaches in the sales and marketing world at 25 with no formal education.
Buckwalter says, “The best classroom is life, and the best place to learn about something is by immersing yourself in it. Take the call center for instance, most people might have viewed it as a negative job experience, but that’s where I was able to get my unconventional crash course on sales. It taught me a lot of things and it taught me fast. Including how to overcome fears, how to have self-confidence, how to present a convincing offer, and how to close a deal. It’s also where I realized how important sales was. Sales is the lifeblood of any company or business you want to start and once you master sales you’ll control the gas pedal to your company and eventually your life.”
3 things Buckwalter did to hit over 2M in sales in 12 months:
1. Believe in your product
Buckwalter says, “A truly great salesperson will only sell a product they passionately believe in. Your ability to sell means nothing if you’re not representing a product that will actually make the buyer’s life better or more effective. Selling something you believe in not only makes you more persuasive, but also indirectly helps you emit confidence and trust. This one thing is all the difference in building long-term success in sales. Before selling any product I ask myself, ‘would I sell this to my own grandma?’ If the answer is no then I don’t sell it at all.”
2. Care about your customer
“Until you truly care about your customer and solving their needs with your offering, you will never unlock your full sales potential. No one cares how much you know, until they know how much much you care. Caring is a core tenant of continued sales success. Caring goes hand-in-hand with believing in a product you sell and one cannot exist without the other. Caring genuinely will impact your ability to build relationships and trust over time,” says Buckwalter.
3. Examine your sales process- constantly
“You can be the best salesperson in the world and have the best product in the world, but if you do not have a solid sales process in place, you’ll crash and burn- fast. Your sales process should be a simple, repeatable client journey that you and your sales team can take prospects on to convert them into long term customers. A good sales process will not only help you close more deals, but also increase your margins, receive more sales through customer referrals, and plug any costly leaks that make you lose opportunities. There’s a huge correlation of an effective sales process design and the top sales performers in the world. If you notice your sales start to drop, your sales process is the first place you need to examine and refine usually, it’s there you’ll find what you need to improve” says Buckwalter.