It was a moment of fate when Richard Dufty was led into sales, a piece of advice shared at his local Sydney surf club - fast forward over 20 years later, Richard’s sales career has taken him from multinational corporations and a journey that has put him across the Pacific Ocean to sunny California in the United States.
After getting stuck into the sales world, he found a perfect learning environment in a large corporation - he credits the mentorship and relationships built at Ivanti and Symantec for helping him make the initial leaps in his sales development.
It would be at the later where his success would get life-changing recognition. After landing a huge deal with Telstra, US seniority wanted to come to Australia to review the deal - after a dinner one evening with Stephen Chung, a Senior Director at Symantec, Rochard was packing his back and going to the big leagues in the States.
Initially, Richard expected this to be a short tenure, an opportunity for him to mix it up with the very best. After two years or so, he would head back to Australia and be grateful for an incredible experience.
Fast forward to 17 years later, Richard is still batting in the majors, continuing to find more and more success each at every turn - most importantly, he has found learning and reflections
Within five years at Symantec, he would have a rapid rise to US Country Manager and Senior Director, the largest revenue group in the business. It was here where he face the next biggest crossroads in his career.
He had the option to either stay at Symantec and go do an executive Stanford MBA or take an opportunity at a startup and do what he called a “real-life MBA”.
Just like Richard has done throughout his sales career, he took the biggest leap and plunged into AppDirect, a startup that was doing less than $1m in revenue
“It was frightening, I’m not going to lie,” Richard says reflecting on that decision.
Just like his previous decisions at key junctions in his career, it proved to be a winner. Richard grew AppDirect from less than $1m in revenue to $100m in just four years. Despite this incredible success, Richard still took the same reflective approach, looking at his time at AppDirect as “foundational learning.”
“App Direct is where I picked up on the “let’s go build something” entrepreneurial spirit.”
After multiple dinners, decisions, and startup ventures later, Richard is now at Arkose Labs where he is CRO.
In this podcast, Richard breaks down what he believes creates a healthy startup - from his time at AppDirect to Arkose Labs, Richard has been involved in multiple startups and pins the success down to one thing - people.
“When you go to battle, you’ve got to be on the same page,” Richard points out.
Richard’s reflective nature of his sales journey has given him some key learnings - mostly on how to battle against the inevitable adversity that everyone encounters in sales.
“If you fight against the universe, it will bring you back down - my mentor told me sometimes you have to go up the mountain and back down.”
The ability to look at what didn’t work just as much as what does is a superpower - it is what allows you to grow and develop into the best version of yourself.
At Arkose, he was able to apply all his learning of what worked and didn’t work to maximize his potential for success.
In sales, you are going to find setbacks, brick walls, and failures just as much as successes. Putting the pressure on making sure each one works out can be detrimental to your long-term success.
“When they didn’t work out for me, it was devastating. But like I said, you’ve got to be able to go up the mountain and come back down and learn how to come back up differently.”
Richard looks towards his network as a key resource for battling with the rise and falls of the sales world - everyone goes through struggles, so by opening up you make yourself up to support and advice.
“Having a network, people that have been there, mentors, coaches - look at the best sports players in the world, they all have coaches, whether it is tennis, football, basketball or whichever.”
Going into startups lead Richard to building teams and building his perfect candidates, which involved them having a “Ph.D.” - consisting of perseverance, heart, and desire - as well as encompassing “extreme ownership” and a “growth mindset” and all tied in on the belief in the journey.
In this Masters of MEDDICC, Richard breaks down how both sales reps and sales leaders can break through emotional and mental barriers to become the best they can be. That can be anything from embracing a stoic approach to the sales rollercoaster to building a strong network to fall back on when times are tough.
Richard has taken brave step after brave step, quite literal huge jumps (from Australia to the States!) to pursue that next challenge and embody the mindset of becoming the best he could be instead of embracing comfort.
This podcast tells the story of this incredible sales career and explains his learnings along the way. He also talks about some of his favorite deals and the best MEDDIC learnings from them, as well as having to create success in so many different organizations and industries.
This is a must-listen for anyone in sales, regardless of whether you are trying to build more mental resiliency, learn how to build a sales super team, or even gain wisdom from deal reviews from a sales legend, who cut his teeth with the very best of them.
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