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Selling during Coronavirus outbreak

TSE 1270: How Do I Sell During The Coronavirus Outbreak? 

Selling during Coronavirus outbreakMany industries are affected by the coronavirus pandemic. With that, there are a lot of questions in the sales community about how to move through this season well.  How can you sell while everyone is quarantined and practicing social distancing? 

Scott Romney is a senior account executive at Soci. He loves sales and building relationships. Soci’s goal is to help their clients overcome the challenges that may come from internal alignment or with their local franchise partners. Soci can come in to balance their clients’ social media reviews and do it using just one platform. 

Facing the challenges

Businesses that are sole-ownership need to take special care with protecting their brand. The main challenge that salespeople are facing right now is how to keep doing sales without compromising the health of all involved and their businesses. Most salespeople are now hiding by not calling people or having conversations with their prospects and clients. What these same people need to wake up to, however, is the reality that the economy is not dead.  It’s still going and very much alive. We’re not currently in recession and the economy can still pick up once the pandemic is controlled and managed. 

Understanding the circumstances is imperative to be able to see the opportunity in times of crisis. We all have defining moments in our careers that can change our mindset. You need to ask yourself what these defining moments mean for you. Looking at the challenge brought about by the coronavirus outbreak, ask yourself how this defining moment can change your outlook as a small business. Look at the efficiency and gaps when implementing new flexible working hours and the critical role that social media plays amid COVID-19. Social media isn’t just all fluff but a real lifeline, especially with staying connected to clients.

In every crisis, there’s an opportunity. As salespeople, it’s part of the job to take advantage of the online resources and get to work digitally. This means of communication can help businesses inform, educate, and connect with their clients. 

Keep working

Even with the pandemic, 99% of the world’s population is still working. Salespeople can pick up the phone and build relationships with their prospects despite the change in how we do business. You can connect and build value, helping your clients see you as a thought leader by continuing to offer counsel.  There is still an opportunity to help with pain points. 

It’s time to have a positive side. The nation has faced far greater challenges in the past but they were overcome. As a sales leader, recognize you can come out of this crisis as a leader and not a lagger. Let your prospects know you are working, even in this dire situation, and keep them informed. Make it your goal to build relationships because only a handful of people are currently moving in that direction.  Take this as an opportunity to grow the business by leaning into your clients. This is a defining moment you can take advantage of. Just keep working. 

Change your messaging

Before the virus outbreak, Scott called on prospects with the message they were doing a good job but wanted to share information to further improve their standing on social media. The updated message emphasizes that social media is now a lifeline they need to utilize if they aren’t already there. 

For example, a local fitness gym, All Time Fitness, has jumped into the social media scene. Despite being closed down due to the virus, they are now utilizing social media by sharing some exercise tips people can do at home. They are also using FaceTime and offering a personal coaching session. They realize this is a great time to broaden their client base and have a great opportunity to serve people while they are in quarantine. Businesses can now change their messaging to provide a solution to current pain points. 

Structure  you deal opportunities

This is a great time to restructure some of your deals and give clients an enticing deal during this difficult time. Sales leaders may need to look at the red tape and their client’s current pain points to better align with existing needs. Updating agreements may be called for. Some questions you might need to investigate include: Can I offer my clients a different structure? Can I break up payment schedules?  Doing this won’t devalue your product. It simply gives you margin to listen to your customers and make adjustments as you’re able.  

The long-term changes

This pandemic will change some companies forever. Businesses will have to make necessary adjustments. The important thing is that you can decide to do something and strategize to gain.

“How Do I Sell During The Coronavirus Outbreak? ” episode resources

Seel despite the coronavirus pandemic! Reach out to Scott Romney via LinkedIn to learn more about Soci, a leading social media management platform to help multi-location businesses. 

If you are interested in more sales stories, you can talk to Donald about it. Reach him via these channels: LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook about 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. 

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. 

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Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill.


Lindsay Pedersen, Forging an Ironclad Brand

TSE 1101: Forging An Ironclad Brand


lindsay-pedersen-author-photoYour brand tells your story when you’re not in the room, and today Lindsay Pedersen shares tips for forging an ironclad brand with sales reps, entrepreneurs, and other business professionals. 

Lindsay is a brand strategist who helps professionals identify the single idea that their business stands for. She’s passionate about working with leaders to harness the power of brand every day. 


Brand is what you stand for in the mind of your audience. If your audience is a group of customers, it’s the thing you mean to your customers. If it’s future employers, it’s what you mean to them. It’s a crystallized meaning of what you uniquely bring to your audience. 

When you spray a bunch of ideas out, it’s harder for your audience to understand. It’s in our interest for our audience to be able to understand because they’ll be more like to remember us, like us, and talk about us. 

It’s up to us to make it easy by distilling it for them.


We want to empathize and understand what it’s like to be our customer. You and your company are not the center of the universe for that customer. They have many other things going on besides your value proposition. 

When you crystallize it into something specific, it uses their worldview rather than their worldview. It makes it easier for them to buy what you’re selling.

Sometimes as businesses, we forget that we’re not selling to a machine or an inanimate object. We’re selling to humans with joys, sorrows, scarcities, worries, and pride. When they feel seen they are more likely to bond with you and want to do business with you. 

Deconstructing brand

One of Lindsay’s motives for writing her book was people’s widely varying definitions of brand. For some people, it’s the name of the business. For others, it’s the logo. Others assume it’s related to marketing budget or television advertising.

 She concluded that the concept was becoming problematic, and she wanted to demystify it. 

There’s some merit to all of those ideas, but she needed to bust the myths about what brand isn’t. Otherwise, we’ll keep having puzzling conversations where people aren’t speaking the same language. 

9 Criteria of ironclad brand

Not all brand is created equally. You have a brand whether you deliberately created it or allowed it to be passively created. 

If you aren’t actively choosing the meaning, you won’t have the brand position you want to have.

  1. A brand needs to be big enough to matter to your customer.
  2. A brand must be narrow enough that you own it. 
  3. Your brand must be asymmetrical so it uses your lopsided advantage to position you with your customer. 
  4.  Your brand must be empathetic enough to address a deeply relevant human need. 
  5. It must be optimally distinct so it strikes a balance between being a familiar promise while also being novel. 
  6. It’s a balance between functional and emotional so that it’s rationally meaningful to your customer but also emotionally resonant. 
  7. Your brand must be a sharp-edged promise that is simple and singular. 
  8. It must have teeth and be demonstrably true. 
  9. Your brand must deliver on time, consistently, every time. 


When you think of sharp objects as they relate to your vision, those things are easier to see. Your eyes have to do less work. 

Ease is good because when you ask less of your audience they are more likely to learn and remember. An example of this is the fact that people around the world associate the Volvo brand with safety. Same thing with Prius, because people think of fuel-efficient cars. 

Buick doesn’t have this sharp edge in its branding. If you’re the CEO of Buick, how do you feel when your audience doesn’t know what your brand means? Who even is the audience?

The Buick salespeople have to do much more work than the Volvo or Prius salespeople. 

Wide net

We assume that if we can keep the door open without narrowing our message to a target customer that we’ll appeal to everyone. The reality is that it’s an illusion of an opportunity. 

The more an entity puts a stake in the ground, the more authentic they are perceived to be. Customers won’t trust companies who won’t take a stand on anything. 

People respect you more when you demonstrate what you’re optimizing for. 

The other thing is that developing a specific message might turn away the people you shouldn’t be serving anyway, but that’s ok because it’s time and money you could devote to the people who are your target customers. 


Remove the mystique of branding. You don’t have to have a good handle on branding in order to intentionally craft your own brand. 

Choose with crystal clarity who your target customer is, but don’t just rely on demographic observations. What are they like? What keeps them up at night? What do they value in life? 

This doesn’t mean you don’t sell to other people. It just means that you optimize with humility on your way to forging an ironclad brand. 

“Forging An Ironclad Brand” episode resources

Grab a copy of Lindsay’s book Forging An Ironclad Brand. She also has a free giveaway on You can grab the workbook that Lindsay adapted from her book. It’s a supplement that provides a step-by-step workbook-style guide to building your own brand strategy. 

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Troy Rackley, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Water

TSE 1090: I’m Selling More Than Water

Troy Rackley, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, WaterHearing from other sellers can help us improve our own techniques, and today Troy Rackley shares his own killer message and how he communicates that he’s selling more than water.

Troy grabbed my friend Stephen Hart’s attention and Stephen told me I had to interview him. Big shoutout to the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council for connecting us with entrepreneurs like Troy.

Water problems

Troy’s company, The Next Level of Performance, operates everywhere water flows: residential, commercial, or agricultural.

He always begins by asking people what problem they are having with their water. They usually say it tastes bad or smells like chlorine.

Troy customizes his solution for the problem the prospect is having.

He then asks, “Do you drink out of the tap?” to which most of his customers say no. Troy challenges that answer by pointing out that because our skin is the largest organ of our bodies, taking a 15-minute shower is the equivalent of drinking 8 glasses of water out of the tap. The water is absorbed into your skin.

So whatever you’re avoiding out of your tap is being absorbed into your body anyway.

Educating customers

Troy educates his customers through a questioning process. It pulls the customer in and they naturally want to close the story loop. They want to know how they can fix this problem.

Troy starts by administering a third-party test to the customer’s water. He insists on a third-party test for integrity purposes. He figures if he’s the one providing the solution, he can’t also be the one telling you what the problem is.

When water companies claim to have tested water for their clients, it’s akin to the fox guarding the henhouse. They can literally tell you anything. Troy offers an independent, third-party assessment of what’s wrong with the customer’s water.

Custom filtration

Troy educates his customers about the undesirable things in their water and then describes the custom filtration system that will address those problems.

Troy calls it water math. The municipalities add all kinds of chemicals into the water to kill bacteria. Troy’s company works to subtract those things so it doesn’t get to the customer.

Troy personalizes the message. Unlike big box companies who want to push a single idea or product, Troy offers unique solutions to his customers. He’s selling more than water.

Not only does it help the customers, it helps his business. He hasn’t done any marketing in his business since he started. All of his growth has resulted from word-of-mouth growth. His attention to detail has built a great reputation for him.

Selling more than water

Troy’s focus isn’t simply on customer service; he strives for customer success. If he can make his customers more successful in their health and finances because they aren’t having to buy bottled water, the service becomes secondary.

By making sure that the customer is educated moving forward, he distinguishes between customer service and customer success. Troy eliminates the number of problems that families have to worry about.

If, for example, a customer falls under a boil water advisory, the system eliminates the need to actually boil the water. The company designs the system to create minimal disruption because he says you never know what will happen with municipalities.

His ultimate goal is to make sure that your family never has a disruption to its water supply.

Company growth

Troy’s company operates in about 15 states as well as Canada, Amsterdam, Sweden, and Australia, because water is a global issue.

Water touches everything in life.

The company installed its system in a fish farm it owns and they reduced the harvest time by three to five months. The water is so clean that the food is more bioavailable for the fish.

Troy is doing something the industry hasn’t even seen. It’s an example of disruptive technology.

They moved into residential work because the consumer must be educated. Municipalities will say that your water is clean when it leaves their plants. As a result, it’s the customer’s responsibility to address any water problems that exist.

Troy wants to help the customer make an educated decision.

Clear or clean

Troy is fond of the phrase, “Just because it’s clear doesn’t mean it’s clean.” There are things in water that you can’t see that can hurt you. Often, the things you can’t see are the greatest threat. Cruise ships are notoriously dealing with norovirus, which originates from the water.

Troy said they have answers to every water issue because they study it and design amazing solutions.

He points to the fact that only one man made minerals, and those are the natural minerals they leave in the water. He’s selling more than water.

Sell on value, not expense.

“Selling More Than Water” episode resources

Connect with Troy at There’s a contact form you can use to initiate the water testing process on your way to restoring your water.

Learn more about the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council.

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

This episode is also brought to you in part by, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link. allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Lee Salz, Sales Differentiation, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1048: Sales Differentiation

Lee Salz, Sales Differentiation, The Sales Evangelist

Sales differentiation helps salespeople win more deals at the price point they want, and today Lee Salz talks about building a framework that will allow you to personalize your sales.

Sales reps in every industry must differentiate themselves in today’s market. It’s crucial for sellers to have room to “color” the sales process.


When Lee was a kid, he had a job as a pickup and delivery driver for dry cleaning. The guy he worked for didn’t own a dry cleaning business; he simply knew it was a hassle to drop off and pick up your clothes.

He developed a contract with a couple of different dry cleaning firms and he charged a premium for the service. The idea took off, and Lee was intrigued by the idea that he was able to add a 40 percentage point premium by differentiating the service.

He didn’t actually put the idea into play until his 50th birthday after he had learned a lot about the industry.

Philosophy of differentiation

Lee said the philosophy translates for every possible seller. No matter what industry you’re in, what size company you’re in, whether you sell products or service, whether you sell B2B or B2C, and it doesn’t even matter what methodology you use in your sales.

The premise is simple: win more deals at the prices you want.

Differentiation around what you sell

Differentiation around what you sell relies on the ability to translate your passion to the person sitting on the other side of the desk.

If you can’t communicate your own passion about your differentiators to the person on the other side of the desk, you might as well not have anyone sitting there.

The idea is to build passion and help salespeople communicate it in a meaningful way. You want your customers to believe they must have what you’re selling.

It’s a responsibility that falls to marketing, business owners, and sales leaders.

Marketing and sales differentiation

Marketing differentiation is one-directional communication for the masses. Think trade shows and websites. It screams to the marketplace, “Hey! Look at us! We’re here.”

It demonstrates all the available potential.

Sales differentiation is two-directional communication with an individual, specific buyer.

It takes all of the potential and personalizes it to an individual specific buyer.

Everyone buys for a different reason so if you leave all the capabilities out there and rely on that to drive buyers, you’ll fail.

You must have salespeople who gather all the potential and bring it to the individual level.

Add those two things together and that meets the definition of solution.

Two differentiation workshops

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling.

Make a list of your most common competitors who also sell what you sell. Work with your team to do the analysis.

Answer two questions:

  • Why do you win?
  • Why do they win?

Make a list of the decision influencers, the people commonly involved in the decision to buy what you sell.

Again, answer two questions:

  • What is keeping them up at night relative to your offering?
  • Given what is keeping them awake, how can you help?

If you engage your team in these two workshops, you’ll get a series of differentiators that will serve as raw material to work with.

From there, develop a communication strategy that helps you build passion around those differentiators.

Differentiation around how you sell

Every interaction between a seller and a buyer provides an opportunity to offer meaningful value that your competition doesn’t provide.

Consider this: Would you prefer a restaurant with outstanding food and mediocre service or mediocre food and outstanding service?

Most people will choose the outstanding service.

That means you could have the best product features and functions but your failure to differentiate how you sell could cause you to lose.

From that very first phone call to the time they sign on the dotted line, you have an opportunity to build a great experience.

Customer service vs account management

Don’t equate the two as the same.

Customer service occurs when your client asks you for something. The measurement of success should be timeliness and accuracy in the response.

It’s the proactive set of activities and behaviors that you’ll provide that adds value in the relationship that has nothing to do with the product.

Look at every touch point to find every opportunity to do something different that your client will find meaningful.

Recognizing your competition

Your true competition exists in your battle to earn face time with your prospects.

No executive has the responsibility to meet with salespeople every hour on the hour. In order for us to earn that meeting, we have to create intrigue in the first moment.

Imagine operating the way the police do. When they knock on your door to ask questions about a crime, they don’t randomly choose your home for a conversation. They follow a trail of evidence that leads them to you.

They’ve put together a theory, and you should do the same with your sales efforts.

Instead of blindly calling people and sending emails, put together a sales crime theory, based on the answer to this question: why should they want to have a conversation with us right now? Instead of asking why we should talk with them, ask why they should want to have a conversation with us.

Put together a messaging strategy based on your research that will help them recognize what you have to offer.

Sales Differentiation resources

Lee’s book Sales Differentiation:19 Powerful Strategies to Win More Deals at the Prices You Want is available in bookstore, at your favorite online book sources, at Amazon, and a variety of other places.

You can also go to and register for Lee’s video series. The videos are typically only available to workshop clients but he’s making them available to the people who purchase the book. Go to the website, click on “bonus,” fill out the form, and start taking advantage of the videos.

“Sales Differentiation” episode resources

This episode is brought to you in part by, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link. allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

This episode is also brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. If 2018 wasn’t the best year for you, check out TSE Certified Sales Training Program. We can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sales Coaching, Sales Leaders, Sales Success, Donald Kelly

TSE 902: Numbers Alone Can’t Coach

Sales Coaching, Sales Leaders, Sales Success, Donald KellySales numbers won’t tell you much about your sales team. They might tell you who’s struggling and who isn’t, but they won’t tell you where the problems lie. Numbers alone aren’t sufficient to help you coach your sales team.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll discuss the role numbers play in coaching a sales team, and how sales managers can improve in their own roles while they help their sales reps improve in theirs.

Think of it like a golf game. If you don’t know how to improve your swing, you’re going to repeatedly be frustrated by the game. You’ll only improve when someone helps you improve your specific techniques.

Realize, too, that my scorecard might tell you what kind of golfer I am, but it won’t help you coach me on my golf swing. The same is true of sales.

Look beyond the numbers

As a sales manager, before you do anything else, you should sit down with your sales reps and work to identify strong and weak areas. Until you identify the problems, you won’t know what to correct.

In my own sales career, sales coaching helped me truly improve my sales techniques. If my coaches had only looked at my numbers, they wouldn’t have known whether the problem was my script or my phone calls or my emails.

He can see that I’m not closing enough deals, but he doesn’t know why.

Sales managers that dig deeper can determine whether I’m struggling when prospects bring up objections or during my demonstrations.

Help sales reps perform better

You may recall during our episode last week that we suggested that your sales team is your customer. You should invest in them and guide them because they’ll make your job easier.

Kevin Davis, author of The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness, shared that the Sales Management Association published a paper in 2015 that indicated that coaching accounts for less than 8 percent of sales managers’ workload.

Most of the time is spent responding to emails, reviewing numbers, focusing on customers or prospecting. You shouldn’t be locked up in meetings all day. You should be working to improve your sales reps.

Shoot to spend at least 25 percent of your time improving your sellers. Give them suggestions about improving their messaging and their dialogue.

Kevin also spoke about the book called Extreme Ownership, which talks about leadership within the Navy Seals. It discusses our tendency to think that we’re doing everything right, and any problems are the fault of someone else. We fail to see our own role in the problem.

Accept responsibility

Your job is to bring people into the organization. You have to find customers and solve problems for them.

While there will certainly be things outside of your control, like businesses that close, you must take control of your funnel.

It isn’t marketing’s fault that you don’t have leads, because you could be doing other things to generate leads. Make sure you’re doing the things that are in your control.

Look at the numbers to find out what they are doing wrong, but look beyond the numbers, too.

Be willing to accept responsibility for the things that are within your control. Don’t blame others and don’t wait for others to fix the problems.

“Numbers alone” episode resources

Today’s episode is brought to you by Maximizer CRM, a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities.

Check out the Video Jungle podcast, which teaches you how to utilize video to stand out from your competition. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy. You are a brand, and video can help you set yourself apart.

Leave us a review wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

The Psychology of Marketing, Chris Dayley, Conversion

TSE 798: The Psychology of Marketing & How It Relates to Your Conversion Rate

Most businesses know their target audience. They probably know their customers’ pain points and they think they know how to influence their customers. Most businesses overlook the psychology of marketing that will help them convert those customers.

In today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Chris Dayley talks about the psychology of marketing and how it leads to more conversion.

Limited time

Research suggests that users to new websites spend 2-3 seconds making decisions about the information they find there. Does it feel credible? Is it relevant? Much of the decision-making happens subconsciously.

As a result, it’s critical in those few seconds that you are clear and deliberate in your messaging and that you don’t distract. Don’t make the mistake many companies make of shoving too much information on your users.

The existence test, for example, involves systematically removing things from your page to determine if any of the components are distracting your users. Dayley shares that most pages he tests have at least one distraction that is hurting the conversion rate.

Psychology of marketing

Understanding your target audience’s needs is one thing; communicating with them on your website is totally different.

In both sales and marketing, you must sell people on value. If you can build value, you have a better chance of conversion.

Additionally, the value you offer must be worth the cost to the user. Is your value proposition worth an email address? A phone call?

Note, too, that if your site requires users to dig to find your value proposition, it likely won’t help the conversion process.


No salesperson does the same sales pitch for their entire lives; it constantly evolves as he determines what works well and what doesn’t. He adjusts his message based upon the pitch.

Don’t assume you know what is best for your audience. Be willing to be proven wrong and try different approaches, even when your content is performing well.

Be willing to challenge assumptions.

Episode resources

Chris Dayley helps businesses test their websites and their content. Using design principles, psychology, user information, and loads of other details, he helps businesses create websites that will convert.

Find Chris designed a free A/B Testing Starter Guide at to train the new people at Disruptive Advertising, and he offers it free to users who would like to try A/B testing.

If you feel stuck in your own silo and you’d like to learn more about marketing so you can better align with others in your company, check out The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, an online group coaching program for sellers of all levels.

We’ve been in your shoes before and we want to help you become more effective at qualifying leads without spending a fortune on quality training.

Barbara Giamanco, Donald Kelly, Sales Message

TSE 626: Your Sales Message Matters. What Does Yours Say About You?

Barbara Giamanco, Donald Kelly, Sales MessageMessage is something often overlooked by salespeople especially those just winging it. They are too focused on finding leads but once they get to speak with someone on the phone, the freeze out. Sometimes too, we’re sending the message to the wrong people reason why our deals are not progressing.

Today’s guest is Barbara Giamanco, CEO and Founder of Social Centered Selling. She previously worked for Microsoft and since then, she has done consultative training and coaching in sales organizations and helping them understand how to integrate the use of social media and social networking channels into the selling process. Barbara is author of the book, The Handshake:Sales Meets Social Media.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Barbara:

Lessons from Barbara’s coolest sales experience when she was the customer at a car dealership:

  • Align the sale to the what the customer needs or wants.
  • Invest in training to teach your team how to be consultative sellers.
  • Don’t make things personal if they don’t buy from you.

How to bring the Experience Factor in Sales Through Your Messaging:

  1. The first interaction could either make or break you.

Your very first interaction with a buyer is either going to get you a go or earn your place in the delete pile. There are not too many opportunities to make a good first impression if you blow it the first time around.

  1. Branding

It’s also about your brand too. You’re communicating either a positive or not positive message.

  1. The right place and time

Don’t just get our pitch out there that you forget there’s a time and place for everything. Don’t try to get a close right after a hello.

  1. Email cadence

Why waste time asking somebody if they got you message. You have about three seconds to get someone’s attention and asking the client if they got your last email is not going to get you a better sales result.

  1. Tailor your message.

Slow it down a bit. Do some basic homework, Figure out the most important things for your customer and tailor the whole message about why your product or service is good for them.

  1. Sell to the right buyer.

Don’t spend your energy going after people who are not the right buyer profile for you. Don’t go emailing and calling the wrong people.

  1. Some things the buyer is going to expect from you:
  • Knowledge of your industry
  • Knowledge of current and future trends in the business
  • Understanding the competitive landscape
  • Understanding the pain they are feeling (Demonstrate how you work with other customers who had similar problems you helped solve.)
  1. Personalize your message.

Get out of the lazy selling. Buyers are not looking for people to sell them stuff but for people who can help them solve their business problems. Gather basic intelligence. Then put 2-3 sentences in the body of the email that you can use as a template for anybody you’re going after in that particular space but be sure to personalize it.

  1. Validate, not interrogate.

Do initial research and try to learn about the major challenges an industry is facing and ask your prospect if they’re seeing or feeling some of that. This is going to get people involved thinking you did the homework because you tried to find out a little something about them.

  1. Bring fresh insights and ditch your pitch.

Talk about how awesome your product is and how great your company is, the buyer doesn’t care. Make sure you’re able to bring value to the table. For example, find a couple of interesting articles about things that may impact their business and how they may want to start preparing and planning for that.

  1. Ditch the cheesy subject lines.

Put together a subject line that gets their attention, something related to a challenge they’re facing for example.

  1. Resist the urge of talking about how great your product is.

Present something that’s going to be of value to them such as a white paper. It may not guarantee you a response but that’s definitely going to at least perk up a buyer’s interest a little bit.

  1. Don’t just show up and throw up.

Think about what it feels like to be in the buyer’s shoes. Always think about what the buyer needs and how you can align to that and support that and solve their problems.

  1. Understand the industry you’re targeting then do your best to map out your sales strategies.

Barbara’s Major Takeaway:

Slow down. Focus your message on what the buyer cares about, not what you want to sell. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Focus on them because that’s how your product or service gets sold.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Barbara on Twitter @barbaragiamanco or on LinkedIn

Visit her blog at

Listen to Barbara’s podcast, The Razors Edge

Social Centered Selling

The Handshake:Sales Meets Social Media by Barbara Giamanco

Selling to Zebras by Jeff Koser

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TSE Hustler's League, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 625: TSE Hustler’s League-“The Golden Message”

TSE Hustler's League, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistSo you think your message is good, huh? But is that what your customers want? Do you speak to their challenges? Are you able to solve their problems? Well, it better be more of a solution-provider rather than a product pitch.

Today, I’m sharing with you yet another snippet of one of our past training focused on creating the message your buyers will understand and believe in.

But first, there are precursors to your message that you need to take note of because they’re going to judge you on all of this before you even start chatting and get down to the nitty-gritty.

  1. Mirror the behavior and terms

Mimic the behavior of the prospect you’re talking to. For example, if their legs are crossed, eventually cross your legs as well. Mirroring the behavior of your clients has a psychological effect on them and this is supported by studies. The same goes for using the same words they use again. People like people who sound like them, look like them, and talk like them.

  1. Physical appearance

The way you look is important. Sometimes, you need to look two steps ahead of your customer. If they’re wearing a shirt, wear something nice and decent like a suit. Look like them in order for them to trust you.

  1. Tonality and Tempo

Mirror the customer’s tone and their pace of talking. If they talk quickly, mimic and talk quickly. But don’t mimic their accents otherwise you could get into trouble with that. Sometimes people speak louder and sometimes they speak softly. Speak to the volume they’re speaking so they see you as like them.

How you lead them to opening up:

Sometimes you can get people to do things by leading them. For example, if they have their legs crossed or arms crossed, also keep your arms crossed and then after a few minutes, start opening up and eventually, your clients will start opening up too.

Ask meaningful questions and the attention goes back to the customer. The questions you ask can allow your customer to talk more.

The Unconsidered Need

Is there something else they still don’t recognize they need? Are you familiar with the correlation of their retention rate and revenue growth?

Crafting the Golden Message

  • Name two characteristics that show your expertise.
  • Use pain words to help emphasize the challenge or issue at hand?
  • Teach them the problem you’re able to solve specifically for them.
  • Don’t just tell them you’re a sales individual, tell them you help people and small companies with xyz.

Episode Resources:

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Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Pitch

TSE 313: TSE Hustlers League Tip “Messaging”

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales PitchToday, we’re giving you a glimpse of what’s happening in our mastermind group, the TSE Hustler’s League. In this session, we focus on messaging, which is something a lot of seasoned salespeople and entrepreneurs are having a tough time with.

In this part of the training, I emphasized the importance of messaging when you’re selling as well as some strategies that have worked effectively.

Here are the highlights of the episode:

Strategies for effective messaging:

  1. Tweak your message towards your avatar.

One of the common mistakes people make when it comes to messaging is that they convey a message according to what they want to hear instead of what the customers want to hear. The best way to create your messaging is to go back to the interview.

  1. Interview your prospects to be able to create the best message.

Find out what their main challenges are. Find out how they’re making money and what’s holding them back from increasing their output by 5%.

  1. Use their own words in your message.

Once you find out what things they want to share, use their own words towards them. Then you’re speaking their language.

  1. Find out the true challenge of your prospects.

Interview 5 of your ideal customers and craft your message around them.

Now think about the last person you spoke with that was your new prospect and ask yourself these powerful questions:

  • How was your message?
  • Did you deliver the message exactly the way you’re supposed to?
  • Could you have fine-tuned the message towards them more effectively if you understood them a little bit more?

Today’s Major Takeaway:

Here is an assignment for you. Find at least 5 of your best prospects and find out why they purchased from you and what made them go to the next level with you. Then tweak your message in a way that resonates with your ideal clients.

Episode Resources:

People Buy You by Jeb Blount

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The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly