Sales involves actually helping people. Solve their business problem and the sale will follow.

 

Aaron Eichler grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He received his Bachelors in managerial economics from University of Chicago. Aaron started working as an International Sales Specialist for nearly 5 years for Minnesota Real Estate Group. He was responsible for creating sales strategies to clients from all around the world. He was very successful in this role, but Aaron was very intrigued for more challenges as his career continued to grow. He then found himself as a Sales and Marketing Consultant at Brookes Consulting Management. His primary role was examining market segmentation and market penetration for companies in Minneapolis.

Aaron has over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, analytics, administration, and advisory, relationship and investment management. He was the recipient of the 2012 award for best sales strategist nationally based on revenue growth resulting from advising clients with optimal solutions.

Aaron enjoys sports, including baseball and football. He is a huge Minnesota sports fan. He spends the majority of his free time with his two daughters, who enjoy swimming, snowboarding, and basketball.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

Sales is a natural derivation of wanting to help people solve their problems. Selling doesn’t have to be sales for sale’s sake. When you’re helping someone with a problem, you may be benefiting yourself and your business by selling them that solution, but you’re also using your expertise to help them solve their business problem. It’s really a solutions business. You’re not just selling, you’re delivering problem-solving solutions, and that can be very simple or very complex. What I mean by that is it can go from picking up and moving a business from one place to another because the current strategy is incorrect for the market and needs to be readdressed to something less severe and merely tactical like changing something that’s on a day to day basis. All of this comes packaged up in what people call sales.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Sales is a natural derivation of wanting to help people solve their problems. Selling doesn’t have to be sales for sale’s sake. When you’re helping someone with a problem, you may be benefiting yourself and your business by selling them that solution, but you’re also using your expertise to help them solve their business problem. It’s really a solutions business. You’re not just selling, you’re delivering problem-solving solutions, and that can be very simple or very complex. What I mean by that is it can go from picking up and moving a business from one place to another because the current strategy is incorrect for the market and needs to be readdressed to something less severe and merely tactical like changing something that’s on a day to day basis. All of this comes packaged up in what people call sales.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Bringing ideas to life is a team sport. Hopefully, you’ve built a strong team behind you of people with varying skills. The primary focus in getting sales is to deliver that sale or solution, so you have to bring a lot of things to bear, including strategic analysis, running financial models to validate the solution, and then work with product teammates. A product teammate is someone who is singular in their directive, who works specifically on certain products you would deliver to a client. Then finally, the product teammate validates their results with the company’s management so they can launch the initiative.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I’ve been seeing many clients recently who have been interested in returning to the old fashioned style of sales and marketing. We went through a period of years where the traditional call had died off a bit. Some of the younger generations in our country have made their way into management roles at businesses, and many are not used to spending time sitting down face-to-face with people to deliver solutions.

However, I believe that trend has reversed itself in the past couple of years. I think we’re seeing a lot of people returning to traditional sit-down meetings with solution providers to deliver problem-solving solutions and new strategies. We’ve gone back to teamwork and brainstorming work on problems that corporations are seeing nowadays. It’s a trend across the C suite, where you’re seeing chief operating officers, chief executive officers, and chief financial officers making a move back towards the traditional 30-minute sit-down strategy session.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I’ve been seeing many 0clients recently who have been interested in returning to the old fashioned style of sales and marketing. We went through a period of years where the traditional call had died off a bit. Some of the younger generations in our country have made their way into management roles at businesses, and many are not used to spending time sitting down face-to-face with people to deliver solutions.
However, I believe that trend has reversed itself in the past couple of years. I think we’re seeing a lot of people returning to traditional sit-down meetings with solution providers to deliver problem-solving solutions and new strategies. We’ve gone back to teamwork and brainstorming work on problems that corporations are seeing nowadays. It’s a trend across the C suite, where you’re seeing chief operating officers, chief executive officers, and chief financial officers making a move back towards the traditional 30-minute sit-down strategy session.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell a young Aaron Eichler to stick with it. You may feel that sometimes the work you do is repetitive or, in some ways, you may think that it’s not paying off, but it will. It’s hard to see it when you’re young in the business, and you’re doing things that start to feel repetitive. After two or three years, you may feel like you’re just wasting your time, but you’re not. You’re building relationships and skill sets, and if you want to be good at something, if you’re going to be an expert, you’ve got to stick with it and keep pounding the pavement.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

When Millennials and Gen Zs started to get into management roles in the business world, all of a sudden, it seems like there were no more meetings. Maybe they felt they were a waste of time. I’ve even read an article recently stating how managers are a waste of time. This whole movement makes us feel like drones and that there’s no reason to meet and talk about strategy and other solutions. However, I am old fashioned, and regardless of current trends in the business world, I believe there are always additional solutions we can figure out and to do that, you need to take 20 minutes to sit down and talk about it.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

As I said above in the habits questions, if someone down the street is making 100 or 150 marketing calls, you’ve got to make 200. It’s all about how aggressive you are because if you want to be the winner, if you’re going to deliver the best solutions, the only way to do that is to be out there, touching as many businesses as you can. At any given time, only 10% of them are going to have something going on that needs to be addressed, so the more people you play phone tag with, the more you’ll be it.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

One strategy that’s helped me grow my business is data mining, which has led to geographic expansion. It helps with analyzing lists of companies to find those that would be best suited to be called on for a business problem where they’re seeking, be it strategic or not. It’s led to more analysis of companies in different geographies, including over the past few years, expanding into international travel to see companies in other jurisdictions.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Failure in sales happens every day. Nine out of the ten phone calls that you make, the person on the other end of the line won’t pick up the phone. You can hang up, or you can leave a message, but you get back on that horse, give them a few days, call them again, and leave another message if you have to. And then you repeat. Nine out of ten of those people who received your voicemails are going to eventually take your call, as long as you’re leaving a message when you’re delivering something that would be meaningful to help their business improve.

That can be a major hurdle, especially for young business people, because it can feel futile when you’re 25 years old and you’re calling the same person 15 times, and you’ve never spoken with them. However, on the 16th phone call, where they finally pick up and say something like, “thanks for sticking with me. I’m a very busy guy, but I have five minutes to talk about what you’re interested in discussing in regards to my business,” it’s such a feeling of accomplishment. So it’s something you’ve got to stick with over time.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

When you’re in the business of delivering strategic or other solutions for companies one thing that can occur is that a client can be acquired. Often a larger company buys your client and then you lose that client. The mistake that many sales people make is not staying in touch with their primary contact from a former client. Once their client is acquired many sales people drop contact with that person because the new, larger company is no longer in their target market, and that very well may be true. But I’ve seen it many times where keeping in touch with that former clients results in a sale, either by referral or with the new bigger company.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I recently purchased an Apple watch. I bought it because our family has a history of heart problems and other heart-related issues, and I’d heard a story about a business colleague of mine who bought an Apple watch for his father. When he put it on, it kept saying he had irregular heartbeats. He’d thought it was broken, but in actuality, he had a bad heartbeat. He ended up going to the doctor just to be sure, and within half an hour, he was in surgery. So, the Apple watch saved his life.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I use the G Suite on a daily basis. When I have to write up strategies, I use Docs, and my business is fairly analytical. Also, we use Spreadsheets every day to go over what we’re looking at for a particular company, and what we’re recommending to them based on their historical financial information and other analytical information.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The Psychology Of Selling By Brian Tracy. This book is beneficial for anyone interested in sales because it provides several ideas, methods, strategies and techniques to help you make more sales.

What is your favorite quote?

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” – Thomas Edison

Key Learnings:

  • Sales involves actually helping people. Solve their business problem and the sale will follow.
  • Keep communicating with staff. Even a 20 minute meeting can help to find solutions.
  • Remember, building relationships takes time!