Speaking

We are passionate about elevating your leaders, people and systems. Our keynotes and workshops make us a valued partner in delivering greater clarity, strategy and action.

James has a unique and frank approach developed over more than 28-years working with family businesses, mid-market companies, venture backed start-ups and divisions of large global enterprises. His keynotes, breakout sessions and facilitated workshops make James a valued partner in delivering new growth mindsets, leadership skillsets and predictive toolsets to executives and their most valued sales and customer-facing teams.

Contact us at [email protected] to learn how James can help you overdeliver the goals of your next event or strategic working session.

You can also take advantage of a free trial to test the compatibility of our speaking programs with your organization, goals and business environment.

Interested in learning more?

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Some of the audiences who have benefited from our programs

Global Inside Sales Association (AA-ISP)
Relā Leadership (CARE to Sell)
Innovation Tech Summit
Business First Speaker Series
Rev1 Ventures Workshop Series

CRM User Group Meeting
The Ohio Society of CPAs
American Negotiation Institute
Better Business Bureau
Corporate Sales Kickoffs

Corporate Lunch and Learns
Industry Trade Shows
Professional Associations
Executive Breakfast Series
Non-Profit Development Teams

Minds On (Podcast)
SalesFuel/Manage Smarter (Podcast)
200+ Business Radio Shows

“Your message was clear and well-received, and brilliantly tied together.”

James Gerdes, CEO, WebPresented

“James completely shifted the way we viewed growth for our company. His lesson’s where much further reaching than just how to grow sales, but rather WHY growth is important and how to develop a culture to sustain it.”

Jake Mendel, VP, Early Stage at Silicon Valley Bank

“My light hearted nickname for James is “Yoda” due to his ability to coach the techniques required to harness one’s inner strengths. His creative strategies are respectful to individual selling styles and net desired outcomes.”

George Vadyak, Senior Vice President, Corporate and Federal Sales

“The sessions offered by James forced us to look at our services, product, and sales culture from a different perspective. His coaching style and sales methodologies apply to all industries and any size company.”

Todd Stratman, Business Intelligence, Analytics & Technology Consultant

“James is an incredible sales coach and mentor with natural business intuition. I have seen first-hand his ability to work with individuals at all levels to give them the confidence and skills to be true business development pros.”

Brad Martyn, Founder, FocusCFO

“Even seasoned sales professionals and leaders need re-calibration. You can begin applying James’ coaching to your customer engagements immediately. It really does make a difference in today’s highly-competitive landscape.”

Ron Minto, President, Rostrum Management Company

Popular Topics

DEVELOP A NEXT LEVEL SALES TEAM

Teach Your People to Take the Lead and Take Control of Growth

Sales is a game of probability, not a game of perfection. Are you doing everything you can to maximize your odds of collecting more WINS? Shadows in your sales process can hide the real reasons behind flat and unpredictable revenue growth, inconsistent margins, bloated pipelines, too many lost proposals or quotes, and the challenges preventing new sales team members from penetrating new markets and adding new customers. The good news? Most of these challenges are self-inflicted, which means they can also be prevented.

Key takeaways:

  • Learn the “Four Whys” every prospect must ask and answer before they buy.
  • Identify costly gaps in your current sales process.
  • Cleanup your sales pipeline and improve forecasting.
  • Reach more decision-makers and collect more WINS.
  • Grow deal values and shrink sales cycle times.
  • Improve win rates for new sales and account management teams.
  • Salespeople apply the Universal Buying Cycle™ on your next sales call.
  • Managers leverage the Universal Buying Cycle™ in your next pipeline review.

Sales as a Leadership Competency

Everyone Has Something to Sell. Anyone Can be a Growth Multiplier.

Everyone has something to sell, which means everyone in your organization can be a growth multiplier – whether you lead a sales team responsible for penetrating new markets and improving win rates; a marketing team responsible for aligning product-service, sales and customer experience strategies; or an IT team responsible for selling innovation initiatives to internal stakeholders. This session will deliver the clarity and confidence your people require to compete and win as growth multipliers.

Key takeaways:

  • Understand the mindset of a growth multiplier.
  • Develop the skillset required to practice sales as a leadership competency.
  • Define the toolset your team will require to achieve and reinforce success.
  • Experience the difference when you stop selling and start helping people buy (real-plays).
  • Remove existing silos between product-service, sales, marketing and customer experience teams.
  • Learn to apply the timeless growth principles of servant leadership in your unique environment.

LEADING YOUR SALES TURNAROUND

Should You Upgrade or Replace Your Sales Force?

You’ve upgraded your operations, strategic systems, physical plant, product-service offering, website and marketing strategy. What about your sales force? Are your sales leaders, people, systems and culture optimized for growth? Where are the gaps? What options do you have? How much capital should you invest? What kind of return can you expect year-one? Where should you start? In this frank and unapologetic session, we will identify the invisible barriers that hold sales forces back from greatness and learn what to do about them.

Key takeaways:

  • Learn why some salespeople sell on price and fold under pressure.
  • Discover how to stop the competition from beating you out of earned business.
  • Learn how to eliminate excuses that are impacting your bottom line.
  • Uncover hidden weaknesses that have your sales force stuck in stagnant growth.
  • Discover the most predictive core competencies of your best salespeople.
  • Learn how to set the goals, plan and scorecard required to move your team out of its rut.
  • Understand and optimize the impact of your sales manager(s).
  • Learn what every business leader should expect from his or her sales leader.

HOW TO HIRE GROWTH MULTIPLIERS

Traditional Ways of Hiring Salespeople Simply Don’t Work Any More

Every marginal salesperson added to your sales team makes your business weaker. Like an eagle plucking feathers from its own wings as it tries to gain altitude, when hiring managers throw marginal new hires against the wall to see if one sticks, growth becomes more difficult and success becomes less predictable. Learn how to source, select and retain sales and customer-facing team members who CAN and WILL exceed your expectations within their first 90-days on the job.

Key takeaways:

  • Eliminate the high cost of making poor hiring decisions.
  • Identify candidates upfront who not only CAN sell but WILL sell.
  • Recognize the differences when hiring salespeople vs. other employees.
  • Significantly reduce the time required to build and process a large candidate pipeline.
  • Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your interview process.
  • Make hire decisions with a 90-day plan to ensure sales success.
  • Gain the confidence needed to quickly replace underperforming sales team members.

IMPACTFUL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE INITIATIVES

How CX Delivers Measurable Results That Drive Sales and Margins

Customer experience initiatives are critical elements of a complete go-to-market strategy, and most are expected to have a direct impact on sales and margins. Success requires customer experience professionals to have sophisticated insights into sales’ priorities, as well as metrics that align CX investments with desired sales behaviors and outcomes. Participants will use this session to gain an intimate understanding of which sales metrics customer experience initiatives impact and the levers that maximize their impact.

Key takeaways:

  • Learn and apply the CX-GPS — the customer experience goal, plan and scorecard.
  • Identify the right questions to engage and understand each customer type and/or persona.
  • Enhance your process for retaining and expanding grumpy and at-risk customers.
  • Identify the most important metrics impacted by ‘lost customer’ and other engagement strategies.
  • Develop more confidence when introducing changes and communicating bad news.
  • Learn to move beyond referrals and find faster paths to more sustainable growth.

SELLING TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION

Improve How IT Teams Sell Innovation to Internal Stakeholders

Innovation is a team sport. For meaningful initiatives to succeed, innovation teams must be built around the right roles and staffed by people who are competent in the tasks specified by each role. Often, one of the last competencies to be cultivated by innovation team members is sales; that is the ability to lead internal stakeholders to making a formal commit to change. In this context, “sales” is also a team sport. When innovation team members learn to practice sales as a leadership competency, they learn to take control of growth and lead internal stakeholders through the uncertainty and fear that can block important initiatives from taking hold.

Key takeaways:

  • Identify your most important stakeholders (i.e. sponsors and funders).
  • Understand and connect what stakeholders’ value to the solution you propose.
  • Build your own simple stakeholder engagement process from first contact to agreement.
  • Identify the right questions to create meaningful engagement and establish your expertise.
  • Significantly reduce the time required to build consensus and secure commitments.
  • Learn to successfully compete for limited time, budget and other critical resources.
  • Develop the confidence required to make this competency a permanent part of your team.

Are you ready to accelerate your organization’s growth?

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