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Archive Monthly Archives: December 2019

Brian Harrington, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1224: How To Craft A Rock Solid Sales Pitch To Potential Investors

Brian Harrington, The Sales EvangelistA sales pitch is part of the selling process but not all salespeople know how to craft a rock-solid sales pitch to potential investors.  First, everyone is a salesperson. Regardless of what you do, everyone sells to someone.

Brian Harrington started in the infomercial business. He worked for his father who was one of the principal pioneers of the infomercial industry. His experience taught him the craft of selling products on TV. 

In those early years, Brian saw how easy it was to sell through television advertising but he eventually saw how investments could be lost as fast as money was made.  They made some changes and instead of sticking exclusively with Infomercials, they followed customers to where they were making their purchases. That decision led them to the digital world and social media. 

Brian and his team started to sell products through Google and other online opportunities such as Facebook. Since then, they’ve branched out to several other platforms. They sell directly to consumers with a diverse selection of products including health and fitness, beauty, home products, and more but continue to also sell through traditional brick and mortar retail stores. 

Brian’s company sells products with a focus on three core worlds: 

  • Product
  • Education, providing ongoing training to entrepreneurs and sales professionals
  • Investing/ Advising/Consulting where they help startup businesses grow and provide value. 

Mistakes you’re making when pitching to investors

It’s easy to make mistakes when pitching. especially if you have no idea how to craft a rock-solid sales pitch to potential investors. The first mistake people make is not being prepared.  If you show up to a meeting and don’t know enough about their business, competition, industry, to answer a potential investor’s basic questions, you can tank a meeting in the first few minutes. It can make you look incompetent in an area you claim a level of expertise. Investors do not want to get involved with people who seem to lack core knowledge. 

Simple changes can make the pitch so much better.  Brian says it can be broken down into 3 easy steps: The Tease, The Please, and The Seize. 

The Tease, The Please, and The Seize 

The Tease:  Get the investor’s attention right away. The first impression matters and you have a small window to capture a potential investor’s interest. Cater the pitch to the person you’re pitching to and keep the company’s culture in mind.  BE PREPARED. Your goal is to capture their attention and interest in the first 10 seconds.  

You also want to be mindful of how your actions and words may be received by your audience.  If you’re working with international investors, do the research about how to conduct yourself during the meeting in order not to make a faux pas. 

The Please: On the one hand, you want to be sure you’re prepared to answer any questions your potential investor might ask. On the other hand, you also want to withhold enough information so they continue to ask questions and dialogue continues.  Take a breath when you’re talking and allow those questions to happen. These unanswered questions will keep them excited and interested in hearing more. There’s a balance between the information you want to offer and the information you want to hold onto until the pitch closes.

 The Seize: Once you’ve had a great launch to your pitch and generated excitement, your job is to keep up the energy. You do this by making sure every pitch has a call to action. Think of ways to make your pitch intriguing enough for the investor to enjoy your presentation, see the value in your product, and have the desire to work with you in a new venture.  You want them to have confidence in you and the products or services you represent.

It’s important to take the time to do the research in potential investors.  Make sure you know they’re looking to invest in your industry or type of product before you ever get in front of them.  Find out what kinds of pitches they’re drawn to. For Brian, the best pitches are the ones that come from people who command attention and hold the attention of the room throughout the presentation. 

Have the right amount of confidence 

Confidence is key for any salesperson. That confidence, however, has to balance with the facts that are being offered.  A good investor is going to research the data you are using to support your claims so stick with the truth. Don’t makeup stories to make yourself look good.  It can compromise your integrity and an investor needs to be able to trust you. 

You also want to be careful about being annoying.  Again, you don’t have a lot of time to make a great first impression.  You don’t want to come off as too cocky or flashy. The best course of action is to substantiate your claims and have a real plan you can confidently and competently execute. 

The truth is, not all pitches will be successful. There are risks in every opportunity but oftentimes, the rewards are bigger than the risks. You can lower the risks by offering realistic projections that show you’ve systematically mapped out how you’re going to make a profit. 

Crafting a Great Sales Pitch

As a salesperson, it’s your job to craft a rock-solid sales pitch to potential investors. The right pitch doesn’t sound too  “salesy.” During a pitch, be careful of talking too much. It could seem like you’re trying too hard and can be perceived as a lack of confidence in your presentation. 

Turn that around by keeping these key elements in mind when crafting a great sales pitch:

  • Come prepared
  • Be confident
  • Know your business
  • Show a level of traction and validation 
  • When presenting, take a deep breath and refrain from repeating the same things over and over again. 

“How To Craft A Rock Solid Sales Pitch To Potential Investors” episode resources

Connect with Brian Harrington by emailing him at brian@kevingharrington.tv. For more sales information and questions, you can also catch up with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

The Accidental Seller Series

TSE 1223: The Accidental Seller Series 8-“Norma Bell”

The Accidental Seller SeriesThis is the last episode for the Accidental Seller Series. Because it’s the last, it needed a very special guest, Norma Davis Bell, Donald, The Sales Evangelist’s mom. Check out our previous Accidental Seller Series episodes. 

Norma Bell wanted to become a policewoman growing up because of the idea of protecting and helping people. As she grew older, however, her path took her in another direction.

After Norma decided she wasn’t going to train to be a policewoman, she discovered she had the skill to make dresses.  Norma’s older sister, Ivy, wanted to support her and connected her with a friend with the idea that Norma could be her apprentice.  As it turned out, however, the friend wanted an assistant more than she wanted to teach so the opportunity was short-lived. Ivy, who owned a small store and bar at the time, new Norma was great with people and invited her to work with her.

Ivy had a great head for business, was able to network well, could make things happen and managed the administrative details of their work.  What she was lacking, however, was the customer service skills. Her little sister, Norma, had a natural gift when it came to working with customers, entertaining people with jokes, and bringing joy to their places of business. This was especially evident when Norma worked in the store. As a cashier, even if she had the longest line, people would stand in line longer, just to wait for her. She knew the names of each of her customers and Norma made each of them feel special.  With the sisters working together, the businesses thrived.   

Working as a salesperson in the shop

Norma felt good while working in the shop because it gave her the opportunity to earn money. She felt happy knowing she brought in more customers to the store and to the bar. She talked and laughed with them and she became their reason for coming back. People gravitated towards the shop and the bar because of Norma’s outgoing personality. 

Seeing all the success, Norma’s husband eventually convinced her to quit working with Ivy to start her own business. She hadn’t wanted to leave but did so with her husband’s encouragement. 

Running and managing the store on her own was a challenge because all the pressure was on Norma. She no longer had Ivy handling the administrative aspects of the job and the money was leaving as quickly as it was coming in. 

Norma decided to close it down when the money ran out. She went to live back with Ivy.

After some time, the family moved to the United States and Norma went into customer service. She struggled for almost 4 years before things began to smooth out for her family. Despite the hardships, Norma decided to take on the challenges and opportunities the United States had to offer in order to give her kids a better life. Today, Norma enjoys the fruits of her labor through the success of her grown children, like Donald.  Even when he was young, she had dreams of Donald becoming a radio announcer. Today, she gets to be interviewed by her son! It’s a joy for Norma to listen to Donald, The Sales Evangelist, as he makes a global impact through his podcast.

Norma’s best advice:  Keep on going. Keep on praying.

“The Accidental Seller Series 8  – “Norma Bell” episode resources 

You can connect with Norma and her life story on Facebook. 

You can also catch up with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Veronica Romney, Personal Brand

TSE 1222: How Can My Personal Brand Set Me Apart From My Competition 2020?

Veronica Romney, Personal BrandThe year is almost over. As a salesperson, how can you set your personal brand apart from your competition in 2020? 

Veronica Romney is solely focused on educating and facilitating individuals in their marketing and branding efforts. Veronica and her team are helping clients to stand out from their competition. They make it their goal to ensure you position yourself correctly so you can jump into the narrative and story that your prospective customer has as opposed to trying to force the customer into yours. 

You Don’t have to be the Best of the Best 

Set your personal brand apart from your competition even when you’re not the best in the business. Many businesses and sales reps are under the assumption that in order to distinguish their personal brand, they have to be the best of the best. The prevailing thought is that the only way to be seen as special is to look bigger and be better than everyone else in the same industry. This mindset can be exhausting for both business owners and sales professionals and can lead to burnout as they fight for consumer attention. Customers are bombarded with attention-seeking ads, streaming services, and other campaigns.  Companies and salespeople do a disservice to them by adding additional distractions that just focus on how great they are.

Veronica teaches her clients to focus on something more critical:  You don’t have to be your customer’s hero. It’s more important to be their guide in helping them get to where they want to go. 

Tony Robbins, for example, is a huge brand. He is a big name and a big individual with a big personality. Everything about Tony Robbins is larger-than-life and at the end of his documentary, Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru,  he was asked what he hoped people would better understand about him through the documentary. His answer is critical to his branding and should be a great takeaway for people who work with consumers.

He said that it’s not really about people caring about the person, Tony Robbins. The Tony Robbins brand lets customers know that it’s the means to an end and it’s a company that will get them to where they want to go. Tony is aware that he isn’t the show and he isn’t the product.  It’s more about how they are transformed through him and what he teaches. People respond to the things that cause change, keeps them hungry, make them feel fulfilled and feel alive.  

His organization does that.

The Positioning Technique

CarMax uses this method of selling cars. You can use this tool to set your personal brand apart from your competition. The industry is overly saturated and the competition is stiff. There’s no point in fighting against the current. Instead, CarMax guides its customers where they want to go.  Whether the customer is purchasing a car, trading in or selling a car, CarMax has made it a simple three-step process. They have removed the barriers of haggling and negotiation from the interaction with their salespeople and by doing so, have made it easier for the customer to do business.

This positioning technique relieves salespeople from having to be the product or prove they’re the best. Instead, they can concentrate on being a guide, mentor or coach for their customers to avoid burnout. 

People need a guide when purchasing decisions need to be made. For example, someone buying a weight loss program or supplement isn’t just buying a product but the transformation that product offers. As a salesperson responsible for packaging products and services to the consumer, the goal isn’t to make the product the hero of the sales pitch. The goal is to offer transformation by helping customers understand how the product can get them to their destination.

Position Yourself as a Guide, Not the Hero. 

Consumers today are focused on their self-interests. Consumers want their problems solved quickly and as salespeople, guiding them through their ambitions is key. 

Develop your voice

It’s tempting to want to be a chameleon who can be everything to everyone but it’s also impossible. Yes, it’s important to mirror the person you are talking to in order to help build a connection but your voice must be unique to you and your brand. 

Let’s take Warren Buffet as an example. He is a billionaire, investor, and businessman. Warren Buffet is famous for writing an annual letter to his shareholders to talk about his market forecasts and investments for the upcoming year. 

MSNBC and Forbes have turned these letters into books. He has been able to deliver consistently, over decades, to successfully build a personal brand that people can trust and feel confident about. 

Warren did this by writing letters to just a single person, Doris. Writing to just one person makes the letters have a unique and intimate tone.

Speaking to one person creates consistency in your voice and people relate to that when you connect with them. 

Find Your Own Doris

Doris is Warren’s sister. He has an emotional connection to her and that’s the kind of affection and connection that you need to have with the people you choose to connect with. Finding your voice can be difficult, especially if you are new to sales, so find a favorite customer, someone that can really benefit from what you have to offer, and pretend you are speaking to that person every single time, no matter who your customer is. Eventually, you will be able to develop your natural tone consistently. 

It’s the same thing in politics. Politicians who are consistent and speak the same way, regardless of audience or circumstance draw people. 

There can be a disconnect when businesses have one person writing for their blogs, another person their press release, and yet another working their ads. Each person is going to have a different voice in their writing instead of having a company voice.  It’s important that there is consistency in a company voice throughout. 

Consider Asking Your Customers these Four Critical Questions

Veronica suggests four critical questions you can use to set your personal brand apart from your competition and help find your voice as a salesperson and help you understand your customers more intimately. They help to develop a relationship when you have an opportunity to survey a new client. The answers to these questions are a great vehicle to learn how to be the best guide you can be:

  • What are you trying to accomplish this year?

It’s important to set a time parameter on the things your customer wants to achieve. For example, you can ask about a quarter goal or a yearly goal. Setting a time frame gives you an endgame and will serve as a guide to where the customer hopes to go.

  • What do you think it would take to double your business results or your happiness this year?

Your goal is to enter their story and not to force them into yours. They have already been thinking about what they need to accomplish their goals but these questions allow you to go into the story they have already created in their own mind. What if their solutions are wrong for them? You have to know what they’re thinking to guide them to the right answer. 

  • What frustrates you the most about your business and life right now?

Whatever the answer is, your product and services have to offer the solution. You are in the business of taking away the pain and obstacles that prevent your customers from getting to where they want to go. Every client will have different pain points so you can’t make assumptions about what frustrates them about their business or life.

  • What have you tried to do to improve the situation you’re in?

Your customer’s answers will give you insight into what they’re open to trying. Knowing that you’re offering something they’ve never tried before may feel revolutionary to them. You need to understand what people are comfortable doing. 

The answers to these questions will allow you to see your client’s aspirations and what they think they need to double their business. Their answers will give you an idea of what frustrates them the most and what their pain points are. The questions tell you the mechanism and the behavior they’re already accustomed to. It’s why these 4 questions are critical in distinguishing yourself from the competition. 

Stay focused on your client and maintain the goal of making them the hero of their own story. You’re there to offer the transformation.

“How Can My Personal Brand Set Me Apart From My Competition 2020” episode resources

Catch up with Veronica via her personal website, veronicaromney.com. She is also on various social media such as Twitter

You can also catch up with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Felipe Lodi, LinkedIn Sales

TSE 1221: How To Create A LinkedIn Profile That Consistently Brings New Business To Your Pipeline

Felipe Lodi, LinkedIn SalesHow do you use your LinkedIn profile? Many salespeople create a LinkedIn profile to bring in new business. 

Felipe Lodi is a returning guest and he’s back to teach salespeople how they can create a LinkedIn profile to bring in new business. Felipe is based in Ireland and he is helping other expatriates like himself to establish themselves in Europe. By teaching them the social skills needed and building their LinkedIn accounts, he’s helping them market their abilities and attract opportunities. He launched his book, Advanced LinkedIn, last year and now, he holds hundreds of workshops within the public and private sectors throughout  Ireland. 

Common Mistakes Salespeople Make on LinkedIn 

There are many common mistakes made on LinkedIn. Once you know what they are, they can be avoided. The most common mistake is the failure to use their headlines creatively.  The headline is 120 characters long and can be found underneath your profile picture. Most people just list their titles with a brief job description. Doing this is a waste of characters. The tagline stay visible and can be used to make a value proposition. As an alternative to your title, create a sentence that shares your why, how you do what you do, and what you sell. 

Another common mistake is that people don’t utilize their Summary or About Me sections effectively.  These areas give you a whopping 5,000 characters to really make a statement.

Common content: 

  • Creating bullet points
  • Providing your contact number and email address

A better alternative: 

  • Reasons why you’re doing what you’re doing 
  • Tell people why you are the right person for them 

Your profile is where you talk about yourself. When you go outside your profile and start engaging with people and creating content for others, talk about your prospects and how you’re going to solve their problems. 

Creating your LinkedIn profile

It’s not necessary to spend money on LinkedIn to make money. Use LinkedIn because of its organic reach instead. 

There are three ways to enhance your account:

Optimize Your Profile

Profile Optimization is to better ensure people will get to the information about you you want them to see, make sure your LinkedIn profile is visually appealing.

If you are looking for a job, don’t open a LinkedIn account to just looking for employment, but seek ways for you to find opportunities.

If you are in sales, start believing that LinkedIn is your sales platform. It’s the best place to reach out to C level executives because you have direct access. There are no gatekeepers on LinkedIn and salespeople can use this accessibility to their advantage.

It’s important to make your profile visually appealing. People will judge images before they read any information. It’s important to have an avatar and profile picture that looks professional. When Felipe changed his profile picture to an image of him holding a mic, the invitations for speaking engagements began to grow. People believed he had the ability to speak because of the image of him already doing the job. Use your photo to tell people what you do without them ever having to go to your profile. 

The people who invited Felipe to speak were the people who already had him on their radar because they already had a relationship through engaging on LinkedIn. Every little detail counts – the picture, the tagline, and the summary need to support the story you want to tell and what you want potential clients to know.

Start Creating Content

LinkedIn’s algorithm doesn’t downgrade content that looks like an advertisement, unlike Facebook and Instagram. You can take advantage of the organic reach by posting free ads.  In doing so, you reach people with whom you’re connected without paying any additional fees. LinkedIn’s ad platform is still fairly young compared to Facebook. For example, LinkedIn doesn’t have a feature to target a specific demographic but it can still be used to publish compelling content to attract business. 

The second part of Felipe’s methodology is to create a LinkedIn profile to bring in new business through the content you’re offering. Your content is your vehicle to attract more people to your profile.  If offers an opportunity to inject your products and services in a way that is appealing. For example, create educational content and allow people to have access at no charge. Include some components that talk about the items or services you offer. 

How to build your content:

  • In the first paragraph, talk about what you do. 
  • In the second paragraph, tell them a story about how you’ve helped someone in the past.

Content on LinkedIn needs to be there at all times. Utilize automation to repurpose your content for different time zones. Automating your content gives you more time to do the third part which is engagement.

Consider the Cost of Engagement

The last method you can use on how to use the LinkedIn profile to bring in new business is the cost of engagement which includes the time you invest in the activity on your profile, especially with the people who want to connect with you.  The more you engage, the more attractive your profile becomes. The relationships you nurture in the present can turn into future selling opportunities. You can show potential buyers how committed you are in your profile presentation and content creation. Don’t let two weeks go by without checking in. You want to let people know you’re accessible and you’re ready to answer their questions. Position yourself as an authority within your niche.

You may not see a lot of results such as likes from your posts but that’s fine. Even when you don’t see the number of likes, it doesn’t mean that it’s not working. LinkedIn only chases the number of views that matters. Your post might have zero likes but gets 230 that means, 230 people have stopped for at least three seconds to check your content. 

Even when people didn’t like or share your post, they have come to associate your face, your compelling tagline, and the type of content that you are pushing. 

LinkedIn also breaks down the number of views of your post such as the names of the companies that viewed your post. 

As a salesperson,  you can follow up with the people who have seen your post to start the conversation. They may have not liked but they keep seeing your posts and make the association with your content. There is something there that you can explore. Don’t be stuck in content creation, make sure to have time to create engagement. Try not to be anxious about the spellings and other menial things, put more importance on how you can repurpose your content. 

“How To Create A LinkedIn Profiles That Consistent Bring New Business In Your Pipeline” episode resources

Catch up with Felipe Lodi via his LinkedIn account. You can also check on his book, Advanced LinkedIn

You can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Debby Montgomery Johnson, Accidental Seller

TSE 1220: The Accidental Seller Series 7  – “Debby Montgomery Johnson”

Debby Montgomery Johnson, Accidental SellerHere’s another episode from the Accidental Seller Series where we interview successful salespeople who didn’t start their careers with the intention of going into sales. 

Debby Montgomery Johnson is the president of Benfotiamine.net. Most of Debby’s family members are in the medical field and growing up, she wanted to be an anesthesiologist. It was during middle school when she worked at a hospital, she thought being an anesthesiologist was cool. When she got into high school, she discovered medicine wasn’t for her. Her interest was in languages so she studied French, Spanish, and a little bit of German. Once in college, she majored in Political Science and got her bachelor’s degree. 

Debby had planned to go on to law school but after she got out of college, she enrolled in paralegal school and worked for a firm specializing in corporate and family law after graduation.  Unfortunately, she was let go from that job. 

Getting into sales

Being released from her paralegal job became the catalyst for her going into the Air Force where she served for eight years, even in Germany.

Debby was working with the Pentagon as an imagery analyst and during that time, their work entailed analyzing photos from the Cold War. Till then, Debby had never really looked at the sales industry as a career. When Debby thought of sales,  thoughts of a car salesman or vacuum cleaner salesman came to mind. She didn’t really want to be a salesperson. 

Debby left the Air Force when she had her third baby and started working as a bank manager. There were sales involved in her job but what she really wanted to do was assist people and help them with their finances. Debby left the job when her husband died so she could take over their company. Debby had no experience in running a company that was based on internet sales. 

As she became more involved, she realized the company made more money in a month than she made in a whole year. This convinced her to jump into the business full-time. Thus her becoming a part of our Accidental Seller series episode. 

Fears about sales 

Most salespeople in our accidental seller series have fears. For Debby, her biggest fear was the fact that the company wasn’t familiar with the details. It was built to help people suffering from diabetes with neuropathy. Her late husband, Lou, had the same disease.  The company offered products that worked for him and he shared a personal testimony about how each product worked for him. It was hard for Debby to really embrace the company as hers and to believe in herself when she didn’t know how the products helped their clients. She didn’t have the confidence in herself that she could actually sell. 

Debby was able to get past that fear by bringing her father into the company. 

Her father answers the phone and talks to clients. Being a retired dentist, he has a medical background that helps build rapport. Debby’s father also understands the chemistry side as well as the medical side of their company. 

Debby’s first sale made her ecstatic. It was fun and it released her from the fear of talking to clients. She was getting to interact with them as a person, not just a client. She made it her goal to build relationships, not just transactions. 

Selling is helping

Debby has a great mindset as a salesperson. She talks to clients and only sells products that will help their specific needs. She keeps a positive outlook throughout but understands people are different and every product may not work for every person. With this understanding,  she tries to create opportunities for clients to try a product so they can see if it works for them. Instead of just trying to complete a transaction, Debby is making interactions more personal. She thinks of her clients like family and she’s willing to go through great lengths for her family. 

Even with all their success, there are trying times throughout Debby’s sales experience as well. An example is when she’s calling potential clients and there is an apprehension the client will say no. Cold calls are dreadful for Debby. 

One challenging client was a doctor.  Debby’s company had stopped selling the product the doctor wanted so Debby called her and left a message. When she finished the message, she started complaining about the client to her son. It was right after that she heard on her phone, “If you are satisfied with the message, please hit send.”

Needless to say, she got a phone call from the client telling her how unprofessional she had been. 

Should I quit?

It would be easier to quit than run a business but Debby has become very close to her clients and sees them as part of her family. She feels responsible for the products they take and she just can’t turn her back on that. With the mindset that clients come first at all times, she keeps on pushing on with sales. 

Her husband’s death has been life-changing for her but it’s the reason why she went into sales. She has since expanded her career path and is now an advocate for relationship survivors. Debby has also started a nonprofit organization called The Woman Behind the Smile. 

For Debby, it’s important to just jump into it when she finds something she likes. She knows if you fail, it only means you’re one step closer to your goal. 

“The Accidental Seller Series” episode resources

Catch up with Debby Montgomery Johnson by going to benfocomplete.com or through her email addresses,  orders@benfotiamine.net or debby@thewomanbehindthesmile.com

You can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Devin Reed, Closing Revenue

TSE 1219: 5 Counter-intuitive Mistakes Preventing You From Closing Revenue

Devin Reed, Closing RevenueThere are times salespeople don’t make the best decisions that would lead to closing deals. These mistakes can cause a fall. Let’s take a look at the 5 counterintuitive mistakes preventing you from closing revenue

Devin Reed is a content strategy manager at Gong. He handles all the content marketing strategy courses and responsible for presentations. He also goes to roadshows, such as Sales Live Miami. 

At this roadshow, Devin talked about  5 Counterintuitive Mistakes Preventing You From Closing Revenue. It’s about the five things salespeople think are good practices, and are trained to believe are good habits when in fact, they’re doing the opposite. These five mistakes hurt their deals and sales conversations. What Devin is sharing is backed up by data. 

Devin works for a company that has millions of sales conversations. They’ve looked and analyzed these conversations to see patterns that help them get an idea of the things salespeople talk about the most. Here are the 5 counterintuitive mistakes preventing you from closing revenue. 

  • Using the ROI to seal the deal
  • Focusing on quantity when it comes to discovery questions
  • Answering objections quickly and thoroughly
  • Using  large enterprise clients
  • Using cold call opening line

Don’t use ROI to seal the deal

People make the mistake of using the ROI to close. Finding a way to bring ROI into the conversation is one of the basic strategies taught to beginning sales reps.  This strategy is proving to be counterintuitive. 

ROI isn’t bad in itself, but it becomes an ineffective tool when it is used for persuasion. Presenting your ROI to the client doesn’t work because the information doesn’t go to the right part of their brain. 

The human brain has two parts – the emotional and rational. More often than not, the right part processes information later than the emotional part. If you want to get the attention of your prospects, you need to tap into the emotional side of their brains first. You do this by giving them a before and after story.

“Hey, I was in a podcast and not to brag or anything but that podcast did so well. They were doing this and that. I came on and I did this thing and two weeks later, they saw an X increase in their ROI.” This is an example of a “before and after”, then diving into the ROI. 

When you are able to provide the identifiers with the before and after stories, the emotional pull comes in. Make it a goal to tap into their curiosity instead of just desperately presenting the numbers. A good salesperson always to starts with emotion and understands people need to feel before they will give you their ear and show interest. After you’ve piqued their interest, then you can get to the boss to present the ROI. You show them what you can do for them is not only a great idea but also makes fiscal sense. 

Another reason why presenting the ROI often doesn’t work is because it’s naively done. Junior sales reps usually speak to CFOs who have years of experience. Their newness in the industry and lack of confidence make their calculations look phony. CFOs don’t find the numbers trustworthy. 

Focusing on quantity when it comes to discovery questions

Most salespeople have a discovery playbook with 15 to 30 questions. New sales reps believe it’s necessary to ask them all because they have the mindset the more questions mean more information and eventually, the more chances of closing the deal. While asking questions isn’t a bad thing per se,  on the other hand, it gives buyers discovery fatigue. It feels more like an interrogation than a valuable business conversation. 

Based on the data, 11 – 14 targeted questions is the sweet spot for the number of questions a salesperson should ask. The article by Chris Orlob entitled Why You Can’t Sell to C-suite Executives shares how salespeople only have four questions to ask C-suite executives. 

Tips when asking targeted questions: 

  • Use open-ended questions Using open-ended questions allows you to get more information. Ask one question that prompts a stream of answers. 
  • Get someone to think instead of reciting information  Ask questions that will make them think about their answer. For example, “How is that tech stack preventing you from closing revenue?” This question causes them to take a moment before giving an answer. 
  • Ask connected questions  Don’t just throw out random questions. Ask them in a way that paints a bigger picture. 

Answering objections quickly and thoroughly 

Answering directly shows how ready salespeople are to handle objections but the downside to that is the risk of actually answering the wrong objections. Instead, pause and wait. The benefits go both ways. For the salesperson, pausing creates room to time to think and for the prospect, the pause makes them feel heard. 

By the middle of the discussion, the prospect has already decided if they want to actually meet with the salesperson.  It’s the salesperson’s responsibility to make sure the conversation is good throughout the meeting so prospects see the value and have a good time. The prospect of enjoying the conversation is the most important goal. 

Using the enterprise logo when selling

Data shows that salespeople using social proof has actually a lesser success rate. Salespeople may think dropping names of big companies they’ve worked with is compelling information but prospects don’t share the same perspective. Instead of building trust with the prospect, what it does is alienate them.

The right approach is to use tribal identifiers. This means building a tribe based on shared characteristics. The best salespeople will have three to six tribal identifiers to make the connection more appealing and compelling. For small startup businesses with fewer clients, salespeople can make a hyper-specific process. This would mean not focusing on the same geography, for example, but instead, targeting companies with the same struggles and goals. 

Salespeople need to show their clients they are more than just someone on LinkedIn. They need to invest time upfront if they want to be heard. #SalesFacts

Cold call opening line

Many believe if you want to catch your prospect’s attention, give them an opportunity to first say no. The assumption is that using an opening line that allows them an opportunity to say no gives the prospect the power they want to feel in the conversation. Philosophically, you want them to feel comfortable in letting their guard down. 

This strategy doesn’t work. Data says there’s a 6.6X increase when, instead of trying to get them to say no, you ask instead, “How have you been doing?”

The potential client answers in the same vein and it causes a pattern interrupt. Your opening line isn’t something that the receiver is expecting. 

An opening question like, “Hey, this is Devin. Did I catch you at a good time?” is a telltale sign that it’s a cold call and immediately the guard goes up. From that point on, it’s an uphill battle.  

Always remember the before and after story because that’s how trust is built. People may not remember you but they will remember your story. You don’t have to be a great salesperson to share a story, you just have to share stories of value. 

“5 Counterintuitive Mistakes Preventing You From Closing Revenue” episode resources

Catch Devin’s podcast, Reveal the Revenue Intelligence, where they interview industry leaders who understand how they use their revenue intelligence to win the market. They have a pretty impressive line-up of key interviews. Connect with Devin Reed in his LinkedIn profile

You can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

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