Gene Slade, CEO of Lead Ninja System, has helped thousands of sales reps shatter their limitations to achieve record profits. Slade coaches for success by asking strategic questions to guide those he mentors in the right direction, a beautiful departure from typical methods.
What makes Slade particularly qualified to coach professionals in the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing trades is that as an HVAC professional himself, he went from overworked, underpaid, and with an unsatisfied family, to wealthy, empowered, and the world’s #1 dad — using his own methods.
Slade’s unique approach is clearly working, as he has helped many of his master class participants double their revenue by more than seven figures. We sat down with him to discuss this and other strategies for getting sales reps to improve the way they interphase with clients, and as a consequence, maximize their lead-to-close ratio.
To Keep Clients Engaged, Ask Questions
What sets Slade’s approach apart is that he actively engages his students in the learning process, nudging them to become active players as opposed to passive listeners. He prefers to ask strategic questions than to offer solutions so that participants can arrive at the right answers on their own.
“When I ask them questions, they’re becoming enlightened as opposed to being preached at,” said Slade. “On the first day of my Lead Ninja Mastermind course, I probably ask them over 500 questions. So, my method of teaching is constantly provoking their thoughts, which leads them down the path that I want them to go.”
According to Slade, this is also the approach he takes with clients, to actively engage them with strategically-placed questions, which prevent their minds from wandering.
“When I ask questions, they can’t tune me out. I’m controlling what they think about,” said Slade. “So that is how I teach. I teach my students the same way they should be selling to their clients.”
Sharpen Your Critical Thinking Skills
Slade’s approach to coaching for success also revolves around sharpening the problem-solving skills of those he mentors.
“They need to be ready to quickly think on their feet when a client offers up an objection, and create a need out of thin air,” said Slade. “But that takes practice. That’s what we help them to fine-tune.”
Slade takes every opportunity to improve the critical thinking skills of his program’s participants. For example, he gave away tickets to his last in-person conference to the two sales reps who best answered a client objection in a hypothetical scenario. This generosity of spirit is also emblematic of his core principles.
The More You Give, The More That You Get Back
Both in life and sales, one of Slade’s primary motivators is the idea that the more you give, the more you get back. As Slade related, he was able to grow his HVAC company into a leading provider in the region by giving away $250 tune-ups for free, which he would mention on the radio during a talk show he was hosting at the time.
“We were wildly successful,” said Slade. “Give, give, give, and eventually they’ll come and ask for more. That’s the kind of 30,000-foot view you need to have.”
Along those lines, Slade’s favorite quote is a variation on what Zig Ziglar used to say: “You can have everything in life you’ve ever wanted if you just help enough other people get what they want.”
To Gain Clients’ Trust: Sell What You Know
Slade’s journey, from a technical apprentice working HVAC jobs at the age of 11 to the owner of a powerhouse generating millions in revenue, is emblematic of the principle of ‘sell what you know.’ In other words, this is the notion that, to address your clients’ pain points, you need to understand how to best resolve them.
Slade spent his formative years in the 1990s navigating the ups and downs of helping in his father’s HVAC company. Thereafter, he segued to learning about construction, and over the next twenty years, grew to master the art of gaining his clients’ trust and satisfaction.
But, Slade also believes he could have circumvented some hard lessons if he had worked with a great mentor earlier in his career. As Slade elaborated, “Listen to other people. Successful people tell you how to get there. Most people are too afraid to approach them. But it’s so rewarding if you do.”
Those seeking mentorship in the world of sales should consider joining Slade’s bi-weekly live coaching sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9 AM EST. Tailored to individual needs, participants receive real-time guidance from Slade, allowing them to overcome challenges and celebrate victories in a group setting. The company also hosts quarterly conferences for those wishing to participate in person. The next conference is taking place at the end of October in Orlando, Florida.
About Gene Slade
Gene Slade, CEO of Lead Ninja System, is a pioneering force in the realm of sales training and business development. With a steadfast commitment to empowering professionals in the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical trades, Gene offers transformative coaching experiences that revolutionize the way business owners approach sales and growth through personalized guidance, community support, and access to exclusive resources. For more information, please visit https://leadninjasystem.com/