Sales Coaching Company Takes a Cutting-Edge Approach
Writer / Renee Larr
Photographer / Michael Durr
When Bryan Neale was looking to combine his career as an NFL referee with his other career in sales coaching, he was trying to find a clever way to blend the two. He made a list of nouns and adjectives describing a referee.
“When an official makes a call fans disagree with, typically the fans call them blind,” Neale says. “They also sometimes call us zebras because we wear black and white shirts. So, Blind Zebra was born in 2014.”
Blind Zebra is a sales coaching company focusing on two specific areas – business-to-business sales coaching, and client success programs.
“We train [clients] in our homegrown methodology,” Neale says. “First we teach on how to think. We give names and shared language to the way salespeople think. Things like, is our intention to sell or to be helpful? Do we view the world from a position of abundance or scarcity? There are 10 different areas we coach our clients to check in with, before they ever say or do anything with a potential customer.”
“Think, Say, Do” is Blind Zebra’s sales philosophy.
“Everything we teach falls into one of those three categories,” Neale says. “‘Think’ is about how we show up as people and salespeople. It’s the ‘head, heart and soul’ of the person. This part of our content is what sets us apart from most traditional sales training programs. ‘Say’ and ‘do’ are just what they sound like – sales process steps, phrasing andlanguage, and actions to take.”
The second side of the business is the client success program.
“These days the client success role, which used to be under the heading of customer service, is taking on a much more important strategic role in most companies because the experience that customers expect these days is higher than it’s ever been,” Neale says. “We noticed other sales coaching companies weren’t training for both sales and client success.”
Pricing varies based on coaching frequency, length and delivery. Changing the way they deliver programs has opened up their business to customers outside of the Indianapolis area.
“With us offering virtual services, we have opened up our client base to the whole United States,” Neale says.
Neale noticed inadequacies with sales training at other companies.
“They had great programs but they weren’t as great as they could be, because the person administering the program was a trainer and not a salesperson,” Neale says.
Neale has been officiating for 33 years and is in his seventh year as an NFL referee. That part of his life is on full display in the Blind Zebra office.
“We have zebra print everywhere, and tons of NFL and officiating items all over the office,” Neale says. “That being said, you don’t have to be a football junkie to love us and what we do from a sales standpoint.”
Neale even has a piano in the office that he plays.
“If you’re into musicals I’ll play a song for you on my piano, which is right next to my desk,” Neale says. “We work very hard and take really good care of people. We’re constantly pushing the edge, and we have a ton of fun. We love what we do.”
Blind Zebra is located at 1051 East 54th Street in Indianapolis. For more information, call 317-602-6510 or visit blind-zebra.com.