As the creator of Authentic Selling®, for over a decade, Kendrick Shope has taught thousands of new business owners and seasoned salespeople alike how to make more money with integrity, how to close sales without being pushy, and create freedom in life and business.
Authentic Selling® is a belief system that’s rooted in real relationships and redefines selling as helping. It’s a modern makeover on corporate sales strategies, delivered southern style. And it’s a proven process for creating results, revenue, and raving fans for your business.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Kendrick Shope: Thank you for having me here. I’m Kendrick Shope, the creator of the #1 sales process online, Authentic Selling®, which has been in business for 11 years. MY Story
Over 11 years ago, I was in the corporate world. I was a top-performing pharmaceutical sales rep, and I graduated top in my class from 2 corporate sales schools. My path was laid out. I was going to grow as a superstar in the world of corporate sales.
Then, I had my daughter, and my whole world changed. For two years, I rocked my daughter Halianna to sleep every night. But one evening, it hit me: what I’d been whispering in her ear for 2 years had actually been a mantra:
You can be anything you want to be in this world. All you have to do is believe.
I put Halianna down in her bed and walked across our Chicago home. I threw open the doors to our bedroom and declared to my husband: “I’m living a lie.” I’d had a vision of the future with my little girl growing up. One night, she’d hear that mantra, You can be anything you want to be in this world… And she’d ask me, “Mama, did you want to sell drugs for a living?”
I knew what I had to do. I had to find what I wanted so that I could look her in the eyes and say, You can be anything you want to be in this world. All you have to do is believe. Just look at me.
And she’d see it was true. So I did.
Shortly after, I quit my top-performing, six-figure sales job. I went on a quest to figure out my mission. It led me through a lot of yeses and nos, ups and downs, and dollar bills. And it led me to create the Authentic Selling® process.
Authentic Selling® works with businesses both small and large globally providing tactical, practical, and fun steps to closing more sales and increasing revenue. In 2012, I opened an online university, Authentic Selling® University.
Authentic Selling® University has supported the dreams of thousands of businesses, on six continents, resulting in millions of dollars in new revenue.
The Authentic Selling® process provides your business with tangible sales tools to close sales faster and ick-free. So you can enjoy the freedom that comes with growing your successful business.
2021 and 2022 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2023? What lessons have you learned?
Kendrick Shope: That is the truth, so much has changed in the past few years. My experience supporting businesses through this time is that you need to be open to thinking outside of the box. Corporations that do “business as usual” are not going to continue to thrive, because there is no longer such a thing as “business or life as usual.” Consumers want more engagement with brands and they want to be entertained.
For example, stats show that you have less than eight seconds when someone lands on a website before the consumer decides to stick around or move on to something else.
Studies also show that the majority of consumers are multi-tasking and when we are multi-tasking we have the same brain power as someone who is high from smoking marijuana.
That means we need to think outside of the box on how we, as businesses, grab and keep attention. The balance between informing and entertaining is similar to walking backward in high heels on a tightrope, but that is what marketing is demanding.
Make people feel seen, be more than a number, and entertain them to keep their attention while getting your message across.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2023? What advice would you share?
Kendrick Shope: The pandemic changed everything and continues to alter how we do business. First, the employees are demanding change from their employers with added time off, work-from-home options, and looking for overall improved life satisfaction.
As a society, tensions are high, tempers are short, and the supply chain is behind. We must equip our employees with the tools to handle these conditions now more than ever. Consumers have a choice so if you’re customer service representative isn’t willing to use tactical empathy with upset customers, you’re going to lose some customers.
In addition to investing in a different type of customer service training so that the forward-facing employees are retaining clients rather than losing, I believe that we have to treat employees differently. Having employees who are invested and believe in what they are doing day in and day out, matters with retention. Think about how much it costs on average to train a new employee.
Our bottom line needs people who desire to stay in their jobs rather than look for the next best thing. Even if you’re selling ink pens, ask yourself how you can get employees really sold on what your company does.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Kendrick Shope: Like all industries, when our customers were at home during the pandemic, they got very used to Tik Tok and checked it multiple times a day. I believe this is changing the way people buy and we sell.
We’ve really doubled down on finding that balance between information, entertainment, and creating an environment that both employees and customers are proud with which to associate.
In 2021, my company partnered with the philanthropic heart of Broadway, Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids, to create a night to remember. We had some of the world’s top talent, including Tony award winners, movie stars, pop artists, and more put on a virtual Broadway Show for our staff and community of customers.
The event was free to attend and at a time when humanity was suffering from disconnection At One Night Only, my company, our staff, and our customers came together to raise over $100k for Broadway Cares because I believe that no matter how bad it is when we can lift another up, we feel better also.
This is a great example of doing things that create pride in the company you work for and doing something involving entertainment that allows your customers to be seen and make a difference.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2023?
Kendrick Shope: It can’t be overstated that integrity matters. We were scheduled to open enrollment to Authentic Selling® University the day the stay-at-home order was announced. I went through a crisis of character about what was the right thing to do.
Should I cancel the semester and take a huge revenue hit? If I move forward, is that selfish and tone def to what is going on globally? What would help our community most at this time?
Ultimately, I realized that selling is helping and that more people than ever before at any time in history were likely to be out of work. Providing them with the skill to sell, means they can sell themselves better in interviews, make more money by closing more sales, and hopefully create a life that excites them.
We went through with the launch but only because after 24 hours of back and forth that is what felt in integrity for us to do.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2023?
Kendrick Shope: I expect this trend to continue, the more the general population gets comfortable with remote meetings, appointments, and work, the more important it will be for businesses to adapt.
That is why it’s critical for companies to get a process in place now to meet this surge.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Kendrick Shope: I’m embarrassed to say. If you count cell phones, computers, and television, at least 6 hours. Wow, that makes my head hurt just thinking about it!
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Kendrick Shope: Yes, actually anytime you can engage more than one of the five senses it makes what you’re trying to share more memorable. In addition, stories are great to explain something that feels difficult to make tangible.
For example, let’s say we’re rolling a team initiative about the importance of turning a prospect into a raving fan. A great way to introduce the changes is with a story about unbelievably terrible customer service.
Then you can refer back to the terrible experience as you roll out the new changes of an example of what not to do.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Kendrick Shope: The Great Resignation-I remember one of my clients coined that term in a Wall Street Journal article nearly 2 years ago. Everything she predicted about the workplace is now our current reality and it creates a trickle-down effect, touching everyone.
Management can’t keep employees because of The Great Resignation. Employees are demanding more from employers, so they are leaving traditional jobs at a record number.
Consumers are irritated because there isn’t enough help when interacting with a business so they leave or change companies. Management is losing money because of consumers’ irritation.
The cycle has to be stopped for the health of our economy but the management has to be willing to see that things have to change and be open to what changes need to be rolled out to increase employees retention and customer satisfaction which ultimately leads to more customers and sales.
In 2023, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Kendrick Shope: I’ve been in the online marketing world for over a decade. My husband is the one who is all into learning about Crypto.
I want to learn more about the intersection of business and entertainment because I believe that businesses on top of this will retain more customers and create a brand identity that sells.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Kendrick Shope: Yes, this is what I referenced above. I think we have to consider that nothing is business as usual any longer.
We need to get our employees fully invested in the company, what’s the purpose, how that makes the world a better place, and why can they take pride in working at your company.
I think that all of these things need to be relooked at and adjusted with the past 2 years in mind.
I believe the companies that will thrive, will make a change to listen to employees they may not have listened to before. We need to know what is the customer service representatives biggest gripe with their day-to-day life? What is the sales representatives’ biggest challenge in dealing with inventory shortages? What is causing the team lead to lose sleep at night?
We must do more than be a sounding board, we have to change the way we support employees, giving them the tools they need to succeed and the information they need to feel proud to work for us.
I do think leaders see this as a “not me” or “not enough time or money” to change the way business has always been done. Businesses that fail to change and adapt are going to lose customers because both customers and employees are demanding more from the companies where they spend their money.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Kendrick Shope: What a fun question. I love money! It’s not a popular thing to say but money allows me to do incredible things for my child, give ridiculous gifts to my loved ones (love gifts also), and contribute large amounts to Broadway Cares or my fave charity.
With that in mind, my superpower would be to hit 100% over my quota every single launch.
What does “success” in 2023 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Kendrick Shope: As I shared above I love money because of the experiences it allows me to have with my family and the things that are important to me. I hope to continue to make people’s lives better with my work and get paid well to do it but not just for the money!
Success looks like providing experiences like taking my daughter to meet her favorite star, Aaron Tveit, or seeing the opening night of a show we’re all excited about, or writing a check to the drama department of an underprivileged high school so their kids get the drama experience they deserve.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Kendrick Shope for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Kendrick Shope or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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