Category Archives for Prospecting

Prospecting, Terry Hansen, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1213: How to Build A Six Figure Income Even If You’re Not Great At Closing! 

Prospecting, Terry Hansen, The Sales EvangelistEver wonder how you can build a six-figure income even if you’re not great at closing? Closing is one of the most important parts of sales. It is crucial and every word you utter during closing matters.

Terry Hansen hails from Idaho Falls, Idaho. His plan is simple but he still has impressive sales success stories. He’s worked with many organizations and sales reps around the country and helped them boost their sales. Throughout his sales journey, Terry has observed three bottleneck scenarios in which entrepreneurs and sales professionals can get stuck.

The first is that many struggles to increase their sales and income because they are not getting in front of the right kinds of companies and individuals. They are going at it like opening a phone book and just calling from the top of the list, hoping that someone will buy from them. Once on the phone, they don’t spend time introducing themselves, starting a conversation and making appointments.

The second scenario a bottleneck can occur is the lack of a framework to qualify customers and salespeople end up closing with people they shouldn’t. This comes from a scarcity mindset. There will always be goals and sales quotas, that have to be hit. Because of this, many people in sales end up trying to sell to without taking the time to determine whether they’re selling to their target customer. Sometimes, salespeople can close a client and later have regrets because they didn’t share their work values.

The third bottleneck in failing to close well comes from not having the right skills.

It is each of these three scenarios that can become the speed bumps that keep entrepreneurs from growing their sales.

The value of prospecting 

Many sales books stress the importance of having closing techniques. You have to be a champion in overcoming objections and resolving concerns to become successful in growing your sales. Another secret to success is becoming an account manager. You need to have stellar customer service, be able to ask for referrals, take good care of your base, and keep your competitors from your clients.

Terry read a variety of books and did everything they suggested but he still wasn’t hitting his quotas and achieving the level of success he wanted. He then had lunch with a great mentor and was venting about his frustrations. Terry let him know that despite doing the right things, he was still living paycheck to paycheck. His mentor shared an illustration about two salespeople, one great at appointment setting but lousy with closing and the other, great at closing but bad with appointment setting. The first salesperson could schedule 40 appointments per month but only closed 10% of those appointments, which resulted in only four sales per month. The second salesperson lands four appointments per month. He is an amazing closer and but can only close deal 50% of the time, making two sales per month.

Terry understood that he would make more money and build a six-figure income even if you’re not great at closing by being good at setting appointments and increasing opportunities. Closing is equally important but the analogy taught him he needed to redouble his efforts in making appointments and meeting with people.

The challenges in prospecting 

Prospecting is uncomfortable, scary, and awkward.  Stereotypes of salespeople being manipulative, talking a lot, listening too little, and using high-pressure tactics have to be overcome. Most salespeople don’t want to be perceived as manipulative and try to make relationships a priority. However, there can be a period of adjustment as they work to avoid reflecting on the negative stereotype.

Salespeople are having a difficult time getting past the gatekeeper and making contact with the decision-maker. Too often they leave multiple voicemails and emails with the hopes of getting a reply but typically, that doesn’t happen. The challenge is to be compelling in those initial interactions.

Terry tries to be generic in his voicemails to avoid stereotypes. The first three seconds you’re identified as a salesperson are the most challenging.  The person who is being contacted can lose interest regardless of what is being sold. It’s best to veer away from bad introductions and barking up the wrong tree. Salespeople shouldn’t just go through the phone book without a clear idea of who they want to contact. There’s no need to spend too much time trying to facilitate an introduction with people who don’t fit the ultimate goals. Doing so will delay getting in front of the clients who actually need the service or product being offered.

Building your client 

Salespeople should look at their top  10 best clients, profile them and get an overall sense of the companies they represent. From this information, they can build a dream list of similar companies. Use these strategies and tactics to make contact with the decision-makers: create a profile, build and stay focused on a  specific list of desired traits, and use the right kinds of tactics.

Many salespeople hate prospecting because they find it awkward. There’s already a resistance when they call companies and there’s a feeling of relief, not the disappointment when they get a voicemail to leave a message. The voicemail is now an escape. With the gatekeepers, like receptionists, salespeople have to get assertive to get to the decision-makers. The goal is to get past the voicemail and get to a person. This is an opportunity to be persistent

Instead of just saying, “Yes, please,” to leaving a message, salespeople should be a little more curious and assertive. Probing questions such as, “Is he in the office or out of the office?”, “Is he at a meeting?”, or “If you slip a note to him to let him know I’m on the line, would that be appropriate?” can move a salesperson closer to their target client.

Be persistent and follow-through

It’s also a good idea to ask the secretary if it would be okay to wait on the phone until the meeting is done, especially if they’re already wrapping up.

If the decision-maker is out of the office or on vacation, press further and ask if it’s possible to get their personal number. If it’s given, follow up is imperative.. 50% of the time, secretaries will say not but the other 50% will give the number or transfer the call directly.

Think positively and don’t assume the other person is unwilling to talk. If your persistence doesn’t work, however, then ask for someone else in the organization. The director of marketing, the human resource officer, the CEO, anyone with buying power in a decision committee can be great alternatives. These days, CEOs and presidents no longer make a decision by themselves. A vote or by committee makes the purchasing decision today. Find two or three of these people in the organization and talk to them. These tactics are not difficult but they do require you to be more assertive and persistent, not aggressive and arrogant.

The secret to prospecting and having conversations with decision-makers is to be more persistent, assertive, polite, and professional.

“How to Build A Six-Figure Income Even If You’re Not Great At Closing!” episode resources

Terry Hansen and his team are hosting a special online sales training workshop this week where they’ll be teaching the three secrets that salespeople can use to boost their sales revenue. They’ll be talking about how to build a six-figure income even if you’re not great at closing. You can go to salespitchmastery.com/register to attend for free by using the special link or you can attend it for $49.

For other sales concerns, you can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let him know how they work for you.

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.

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Failure, Brad McDonald, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1174: Why Do You Say That Failure is the Greatest Sales Lesson?

Failure, Brad McDonald, Donald C. KellySellers get knocked down plenty of times, but sometimes failure is the greatest sales lesson.

Brad McDonald works with Sandler Systems which has 250 franchises around the world that help businesses grow by improving their sales processes. 

Failure

Brad’s 28-year career in the U.S. Navy taught him that failure could mean the difference between life and death. When he transitioned from the Navy to the sales world, he realized that many of his attempts were going to end in failure. He had to change the paradigm. 

The things he perceived were failures — having people hang up on him or cancel an appointment — weren’t really failures. 

Along the way, he learned to embrace failure. 

Gumballs

You must make a lot of sales calls in order to get to yes. On the other hand, if we see the sales calls that ended in “no” as a failure, that will feel bad. 

Brad uses a gumball analogy to explain it. If you want a green gumball from a gumball machine, and there are multiple colors inside, there’s a good chance you won’t get a green one. When you put the quarter inside, there’s a good chance you’ll get a different color. 

Imagine you’re making prospecting phone calls, or cold calls; the most dreaded form of prospecting. If you make 10, 20, or 30 calls, you’ll eventually get someone who wants to talk, just like you’ll eventually get a green gumball. 

You’ll also likely get an orange gumball which might represent a buyer who wants to talk more to see if there’s interest. If you view every orange gumball as a failure, you won’t be very likely to keep going while you wait for the green ones. If, on the other hand, you understand that you have to get the orange gumball out of the way in order to get to the green one, you can embrace it.    

Process of failure

Brad came from a culture where sailors did what he told them to do and they didn’t say no. He was surprised to find in the sales world that prospects aren’t always honest and they don’t always respect his time. And they certainly don’t feel compelled to follow his orders. Initially, all those things felt like failures. 

Failure mimics the stages of grief which are disbelief, fear, despair, anger, and acceptance. 

Brad refers to the “ok, not ok principle.” He came to believe that he needed to be ok being not ok. 

He needed to not seek to meet his emotional needs in a sales call. Many sellers get emotionally involved in their sales calls and that’s one of the five big conceptual roadblocks in sales. Head trash gets in the way. We get excited when we’re about to make a sale and we stop doing the things we need to do. 

Sales activities

Brad learned along the way that his focus on outcomes and results was wrong. He was excited when he made sales and dejected when he wasn’t. He discovered over time that focusing on things he could control, like activities, made more sense. He started doing the things he knew would make him more successful and he tracked those things. 

Brad focused on his tonality, his demeanor, his body language and other things that were well within his control. 

Conceptual issues

Brad believes that all sales problems come in one or two categories. 

  • Tactical. What do I say, When do I say it? How do I say it?
  • Conceptual. Relating to the beliefs we have between our ears.

Most tactical problems have a conceptual basis. In Brad’s case, he came out of the Navy where he didn’t fear much of anything into a setting where he was afraid to make a cold call. The fear was a result of the beliefs he held about sales.

The conceptual issues are these:

  1. The need for approval. The problem occurs when you want to be liked more than you want to make sales.
  2. The BUY cycle. How do you buy things? How do I treat salespeople when someone is trying to sell something to me? We tend to sell the same way we buy. If you tend to comparison shop, you’ll be more forgiving of buyers who do the same.
  3. Negative scripts. Many of these originate in childhood. Examples are the idea that you shouldn’t openly talk about money. Also, very few of us were raised by parents who hoped we would grow up to be successful sellers. 
  4. Emotional involvement in the sales process. It’s ok to have a love for your prospects, but you must also have the mindset that you don’t need anyone. Instead, find something that’s mutually beneficial.
  5. Money concept. Your very first memory of money has a relationship to how you feel about money now. When Brad made his first big commission check, he felt guilty for earning so much money. He had a money concept issue. 

Changing beliefs

Changing your own beliefs will take time. It’s a process. 

For his own therapy, he sat down each Sunday and wrote about his sales experiences. Those articles helped him process the emotional aspects and taught him to have honest conversations with his prospects. 

Salespeople can benefit from journaling about their own experiences, about the perceived failures, and about the head trash. 

“Failure is the Greatest Sales Lesson” episode resources

Grab a copy of Brad’s book, The Art and Skill of Sales Psychology, or email him at mcdonald@sandler.com

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sales Reps, Time Management, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1167: My Sales Reps Say They Are Too Busy…I Think This Is Crap!

 

Sales Reps, Time Management, Donald C. KellySales reps and sales leaders face a lot of challenges, and some sales reps say they are too busy. Sometimes the problems are nothing major, but on some other times, the problem causes a ripple in the revenue. One situation that causes such a negative impact in sales is when salespeople claim that their pipeline is down due to busyness. This is when sales reps spend much of their time helping current customers find opportunities and they no longer have the time to bring new business or clients. 

This is a common situation among sales leaders and sales reps. It is a legitimate question because sometimes, sales reps come up with excuses and they don’t recognize that. Sales reps often have too much on their plate and they get so busy which then prevents them from getting out and doing sales activity. 

Size of your organization 

What is the size of your organization? This is an important question because if you’re working in an organization with sales in a small company, the sales rep is doing the prospecting and finding leads. After that, the sales rep tries to convert the leads into appointments that lead up to initial conversations. They build value, negotiate, and maintain the account. The sales reps are there in the entire process, but doing all that can cause problems. 

If you’re in an enterprise organization, the sales reps’ main responsibility is closing deals. If you have different departments and individuals doing BDR work, researching, getting leads, doing client success, and managing accounts then there shouldn’t be any problem. 

For small organizations, the sales reps are doing everything and the sales reps legitimately may be too busy. 

Empathy 

As sales manager, your first course of action is to show empathy. We can’t expect our sales reps to go out and show empathy to the prospects without giving them our empathy first. We need to truly understand where they’re coming from.

For example, if a prospect says that the software isn’t working, you don’t argue with him. We can’t exactly tell the prospects to go figure the software out. The same is true for our sales reps. We can’t tell them to figure things out and make it happen. Give them the benefit of the doubt, hear them out first, and figure out why they feel overwhelmed. 

Sales managers are busy people and you might feel that you don’t have enough time to manage everything, but you have to do it. You have to go to the second step after empathizing. 

Diagnose 

The next step is diagnosing. Start this by creating a time audit sheet. It can be on a word document or whatever means possible. Have your sales reps list all the tasks they do in a day,  including answering questions, answering prospects, reaching out on LinkedIn, and many others. They have to write everything down and the length of time they spent doing each task. 

Finally, they need to label whether it’s a sales task or an admin task. If it’s something that directly connects to bringing new business in the organization, then label it as a sales task. 

Reaching out for a client in LinkedIn is a sales activity but going through contracts in the database isn’t. In that case, have somebody else in the organization go through the contracts. Free up sales reps from doing admin tasks and let them do activities that directly tie to getting new prospects. #Revenue

Another example is cleaning up the CRM. This isn’t a sales activity, especially if it’s not in prime time. Maybe you can do this at home or delegate it to somebody else instead of letting the sales reps do it. 

On a scale of 1-3 

After putting labels to the tasks, categorize them on a scale of 1 – 3. 

  • 1 – it’s directly tied to bringing new business 
  • 2 – average
  • 3 – it’s not so directly tied to bringing new business 

Doing this will make you see that the majority of the sales reps’ time is spent on admin related activities. In smaller organizations, sales reps must do all kinds of tasks but you can avoid this. 

Getting a sales resource individual to help the sales rep find prospects is a great idea. 

The sales research rep connects with the operations department and makes sure that jobs are fulfilled. If the sales rep was to find a prospect and need a particular product or service to seal the deal, the sales research rep would do that task instead. The sales rep would have enough time to go and look for other prospects and clients. 

Sales research reps are very much like project managers. They see to it that everything gets done and that the proper products and samples needed by the sales reps are provided and presented to the client. 

This saves a lot of time and promotes efficiency in the organization. 

The sales research reps are assistant to the sales reps and do the admin tasks for the sales reps. This way, the sales reps become more productive with their time. 

You can do this to your company, too. Find some individuals who can help you alleviate the struggles of the sellers and let the sellers focus on what they do best: making sales. 

“Sales Reps Say They Are Too Busy” episode resource

Companies differ and what works for others may not work for you. Whatever the case may be, let us know of the results. You can connect with me via our Facebook page or LinkedIn. Drop me a message and let me know if this works well for your organization. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Training Sales Program. A course to guide sales reps and sales leaders to become better in doing their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses to help you find the right customers, ask the right questions, and close great deals. You can get the first two modules for free! 

Or you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Thank you for tuning in and if you liked this episode, do give a rating and review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Scheduling, Time Management, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1147: Why I Love Calendly

Scheduling, Time Management, The Sales Evangelist

The Sales Evangelist team understands the challenges in coordinating calendars and that’s why I love Calendly. This tool is perfect for ensuring that your schedules are well planned and plotted. 

Calendly for selling 

Calendly is a great tool that we’ve been using for years. The calendar dance is a common routine among sales reps who go back and forth with prospects, and partners trying to set a meeting. When their schedules don’t line up, the task is tricky and challenging at best, so how do you go around it?

Calendly is the scheduling app that’s going to make that possible. There are three reasons why I love Calendly and why it’s a great fit for sales reps. 

Ad hoc meetings 

There’s a difference between being helpful and being lazy. When we deal with prospects who don’t have any intentions of calling, we reach out to them cold. The last thing that you want to do is to give them homework or introduce a possibility of them getting busy and not doing the task with you. It feels a little like imposing a task to your prospects. 

Instead of doing this, I recommend that you use the ad hoc meeting embed feature. Gmail integrates to Calendly well, as we mentioned in episode 1142. Scheduling becomes easy when you integrate your Gmail to your Calendly account. You can just click on the little calendar icon next to the send button. A panel opens on the right side and you can click on the time that you are available. You can pick the time you want, put it in your calendar and into your email, copy it, and then paste it into your email. 

Your prospect won’t have to leave the mail. They can click that link to see the times that you are available. They can click on one of those times you are free. The time they picked will automatically be put in both of your calendars making everything more efficient. It’s slick and nice.

Personalization 

The second thing I like about Calendly is the ability to personalize. This feature allows you to create different events or different calendar events for different types of people.

For example, I am a sales trainer and a coach who runs an organization. I have several schedules and my coaching times can be designated so that my coaching clients receive a calendar that only reflects my coaching schedule. I have assigned Monday as my podcast recording day. This means that if a podcast guest wants to record, the only time he will see available on the calendar is Monday. My clients can pick any time that I am available on that day. They can’t just pick any day of the week; they can only see the free time I have on Monday. 

As a sales rep, you want to schedule your days effectively and you don’t want to keep everything wide open. You can designate appointments in the morning or in the afternoon and put those times in your calendar. These appointment times will be specific for initial appointments or whatever you may want to call them. 

Your clients can pick up anytime in your available window and the schedule is then made. This is also helpful when you are looking for a prospect and they can’t talk right then and there but they want to schedule another time. You can pull up your calendar, look up the times that you are available for initial appointments, and you give that slot to your prospect. 

But if they want to talk right then and there, then go for it. 

Whatever your event may be, you can make specific time slots that you can choose from or your clients can choose from. 

The best thing about this is that all these can be integrated into Zoom. When your prospects sign up, they’ll immediately get a Zoom link. They’ll also get a Calendly invite and their appointment will be input to their calendar. 

You can also set this up from your website for clients who want to pay for coaching sessions. 

Team option 

Team option is the newer feature of Calendly. This feature is effective especially for bigger teams with several sales reps. For example, if you want to set-up a meeting with a sales rep of a software company, you don’t have to call or mail them and inquire of their available time. All you need to do is to go to their website and look for the team page and set up an appointment schedule. This team page is connected to Calendly and their Salesforce or CRM. This means that the team’s calendar is connected to the sales reps. 

Whoever has free time on your scheduled appointment date is going to get the notification. This is a round-robin approach so the members cannot cheat the system. This feature saves a lot of headaches especially when assigning which appointment goes to whom. 

You can also set up different events. If you need to set a meeting with your project manager to go over some things with your client, your connected calendars will make it easier for you to see the schedules that both parties are available for a meeting. You can then share the link to your client and have the conversation. 

Simple and efficient 

Calendly is a simple and efficient tool that is blowing the competition out of the water. The TSE team finds this tool very powerful and thus we highly recommend it for you to check and investigate. 

It has an ad hoc meeting embedded which makes prospecting and connecting with prospects easier. You can also personalize your calendar according to types and events. Most of all, you can to a round-robin approach with the team option so that no scheduled appointment is wasted. 

“Why I Love Calendly” episode resources

Calendly isn’t paying us for this episode. It’s effective for calendar scheduling, especially for sales reps. It is the perfect tool to help you make the best of your time. 

While we’re at it, check out Kevin Cruise’s book 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time. It’s an amazing book with simple concepts. You can listen to it, digest it, and start applying what you learn in your daily life. This is a helpful book when you are starting out your Calendly experience as well. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. The program aims to help sales reps and sales teams improve their skills. It is designed to teach you how to find the right customers, the activities and strategies that work, the right questions to ask to build strong value, how to get more people to want to schedule appointments with you, and what you need to do to close powerful deals. 

Go to thesaleevangelist.com/freecourse to check all the 12 modules and get the first two modules for free. The episode is also brought to you by Audible. It’s a good platform for a savvy salesperson like you who wants to learn and grow. Audible has thousands of titles you can choose from. Go to Audible now and do the 30-day free trial and a free book. 

If you find this episode fun and helpful, then we would appreciate your comments and a five-star rating on  Apple podcast. If you’re using other platforms such as Google Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, your ratings there would be valued as well. 

Share this podcast to your friends and colleagues and let’s schedule effectively with Calendly.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

TSE 1144: Tools To Generate Quality Leads On Demand

If you ask sellers what they want more of, the second most popular answer will be quality leads, and the good news is that there are plenty of tools available to generate quality leads on demand

Joshua Smith serves as CEO of a real company called FizzyBlox on the front lines of revenue acceleration. He’s the co-founder of a couple of businesses and the author of the book Stacked: How to Guarantee Qualified Sales Meetings With Real Decision Makers. 

He recalls that his team wondered where the people at the top of the sales profession go to upscale. Where do they go to be educated? Their challenges are much bigger than the average seller because they are responsible for multiple billions in revenue. 

Lead generation process

People constantly tell me that they could close more deals if they could just get in front of more people. Research suggests that 65% of sellers’ time is spent on non-revenue-generating activities. For people whose job is selling, that’s a huge number. 

So how does any business optimize their lead generation process?

The bad news, according to Hubspot, is that for B2B lead generation, it’s virtually impossible to pinpoint which of the channels was most effective at lead generation. If I had to guess which channel was most effective, I’d guess it’s web-bound leads. In truth, though, Hubspot reported that the most effective channel was one labeled “other.” They simply don’t know which activities generate the most leads.

Opportunity

Truthfully, though, that uncertainty creates a huge opportunity. It suggests that there are tons of amazing tools out there that sellers can utilize to generate quality leads. They aren’t all publicized, so our job as sellers is to identify the different tools we can use and more importantly, how we can automate that process. 

Josh’s mission is to create the number one sales platform in the world for senior sales leaders to network, to mindshare, to problem solve, and to intimately discuss the pressing topics of revenue generation. 

LinkedIn

This tool won’t be news to anyone because so many of us are getting leads from LinkedIn, but we must realize that data is fuel for the economy of the business world. We’re on a long business journey and we can’t rely on a single gas station. As amazing as LinkedIn is, we can’t rely on a single place for our fuel. 

Sellers need to become their own content marketers to really meet the demands of the modern buyer. LinkedIn can do wonders for your business in terms of connecting with prospects, especially high-level decision-makers, in a space where they feel safe. Be mindful, too, that if you upgrade to premium, you can see what your social selling index is. You can measure yourself against the other people in your network or industry, which is a really good indicator of where you are. 

I recently had a conversation with someone as a direct result of my LinkedIn efforts, and it turned into an opportunity. It was easy to move the conversation from LinkedIn to a phone call without feeling sleazy. He raised his hand and engaged with me because of the content I shared. 

Your content positions you as a person who can help people. Focus on genuinely providing value rather than posting for the sake of posting. You don’t have to post every day. Josh engages with the sellers’ reps of the companies he’s pursuing and then gives his feedback on the buyer’s experience. If the experience is good, he’ll say so. If it’s bad, he’ll say so. The companies often engage with him after seeing his review, and it launches a natural dialog. 

Prospecting

Every seller wants more leads but few are willing to do the prospecting necessary to generate them. With the rise of AI and automation, sellers feel entitled to not do the work and instead rely on technology. LinkedIn is an established platform for lead generation, and Josh estimates that about 70 percent of the total sales revenue he has generated during his career has been a product of it. 

Even his other interactions like those at trade shows eventually land on LinkedIn, because eventually his prospects will look there to see who he is and what he’s about. Allocate time for LinkedIn. 

From a content perspective consider using automation to help you produce content without manually uploading it every day or every week. There are also plugins that automatically message people as soon as you connect, but if you rely on those you miss out on the personalization that is so important. 

Humans fundamentally need interactions. We’ll never be eradicated by technology because you must be genuine if you want qualified leads. Use automation, but don’t abandon your humanity.

SalesOptimize

Many people in the states opt to use ZoomInfo, but Josh reports that it’s expensive and the data often lacks accuracy. Instead, he suggests SalesOptimize, a tool that’s about 40 percent cheaper than ZoomInfo with much better accuracy and functionality. 

It’s a market intelligence platform that scans the Internet to extract company data like what technology it uses to build its website, who the hosting provider is, what are their annual revenues, and what are the associated brands? Additionally, it provides the contact information for the people who work there. 

Consider that searching for humans may be less effective because they won’t work for the company forever. Instead, search for companies because they represent the accounts. Your prospecting list includes companies, not people. 

SalesOptimize allows you to type in the kind of company you want to target and receive a list of all the different companies you can approach. It also gives you the details around each company so you can determine whether it’s actually a good fit. Once the company passes that qualification process, you can generate insights around people. 

Changing landscape

Given that the average sales rep stays in position for about 18 months, and given that there are multiple people at each company that we need to connect with, it simply makes more sense. Especially in the tech world, it’s rarely a single person that makes the buying decision. More likely, you’ll interact with five to 10 people on your way to a decision. Why, then, are we constantly searching for a single person? 

Even in organizations that have consistency, job functions change slightly. Additionally, titles might differ among companies because of differing hierarchies. SalesOptimize is cheaper, more accurate, and it’s GDPR compliant. 

Qualifier.ai

This tool is for the lazy sales folks who want a super-automated way of doing outreach and getting effective leads. It’s kind of an amalgamation of SalesOptimize and ZoomInfo, but it automates the outreach. Qualifier.ai is about 12 months old, and in its first year, they’ve gained more than 1,000 clients organically. 

It won’t be ideal for everyone because although automation is fine to an extent, personalization is still important. But if your company won’t pay for the other two tools, this is one you can afford for yourself. If you haven’t been given the actual tools you need to do a proper job, spend the money on this tool. 

It sends auto-sending sequences to your prospects and it measures and optimizes and tracks your open rates. You can set the sequence the way that’s best for you. 

Lead generation weapon

The last tool isn’t just a tool. It’s a weapon. Josh calls it a freak of nature. 

With lead generation, we’re collecting data. Our job is to get enough fuel to actually move the vehicle. This tool takes your prospect information and plugs it into this tool and turns it into jet fuel. ConnectAndSell allows you to provide basic data like prospect name, company, and office number in a spreadsheet. This tool navigates you past the receptionists and directories and connects you directly to the person you’re trying to reach without you doing anything. 

Typically in two hours, you might do about 30 dials. With this tool, Josh managed 411 dials in two hours and connected to 15 prospects. These weren’t sales managers or low-level people, but C-level people in Fortune 500 companies, the hardest people to get hold of. 

It’s expensive, but the ROI potential is huge. For two hours every day, you’ll be plugged in speaking to people. 

If you’re seriously looking to scale your business, get SalesOptimizer or ZoomInfo and even consider stacking it with ConnectAndSell to dominate the market. 

“Generate Quality Leads” episode resources

Find out more about Josh’s event at csouk.com. In October, they’ll release CSOConnected, an online pool for education that will provide access to all the interviews. After October, look out for CSOConnected.com.

Grab a copy of his book, Stacked: How to Guarantee Qualified Sales Meetings With Real Decision Makers. 

If you haven’t already, connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

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. 

Tools for sellers

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, 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.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io 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. You can also check us out on Spotify.

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.

 

TSE 1139: Sales From The Street – “Don’t Give Up So Easily”

Some companies will be harder to connect with than others, but sellers who don’t give up so easily may find that an intentional approach can overcome those things that appear to be obstacles.

Jacob Wardrop is the sales director at an email management provider called 28Hands, which helps people who feel overwhelmed with the volume of email and need a more automated way of handling it. 

Old school

Jacob once worked as a sales rep selling software to the construction industry, and he was assigned a geographical territory. The businesses ranged from 10 employees to about 400, and a couple had more than 500. One of those companies already worked with his competitor, and Jacob’s company had never been able to gain any traction with the other. 

Despite making probably 200 calls, his company didn’t know what the prospect was currently using and the company wasn’t even sure if it was a good fit. They simply knew that the prospective company was massive and that there weren’t very many construction businesses of that size in the UK. 

In short, the company wasn’t very open to the outside world. Employees weren’t able to use LinkedIn, there was a no-name policy from the reception, and nobody used their own email addresses. Each of the 19 offices had its own email address, and as emails came in, the receptionist would sift through them and hand them off. 

Finding a way in

His background was predominantly outbound so he had what he calls a hunter mentality. He spent a lot of years doing small deals, kissing a lot of frogs and doing a lot of meetings without a lot of reward. Eventually, he started doing bigger deals, and because he had a taste of success, he saw a great opportunity with this new company. 

He was reasonably sure he could get a meeting with them despite the fact that he couldn’t use LinkedIn or email, so the challenge was to get a foot in the door. Every seller before had failed to get beyond the receptionist, and Jacob got caught in that trap briefly, as well. 

In the end, he counted 67 phone calls to the prospect, and he calls the experience a lesson in thinking about the best way in to an organization rather than just relying on a call list.  

Seeking a favor

He started by scouring the website to see what information he could find. From there, because he worked in a geographical region, he trusted that he could find existing clients who worked in the same sector who would be willing to help out. He built a good relationship with some finance partners and other local companies. Over the course of three months, he felt comfortable asking for a favor. 

He asked for information about who the problem solver was in the company. In other words, if you wanted to get something done there, who would you ask? His clients gave him the gentleman’s name, and also gave him permission to use their name in his email contact. 

He sent a message requesting to speak to the managing director, and he got past the first stage where people tended to get stuck in this organization. The managing director agreed to a call and a meeting, largely out of curiosity. They had never worked with a company like ours, but many similar businesses were already working with us. 

Getting the right person

The initial email kicked off an 18-month sales cycle. 

Sometimes sellers want to make things easy for ourselves so we end up sounding like everyone else. Many salespeople will be handed accounts that others have farmed for years, and they’ll be tempted to repeat the same cycles and call all the same people. Instead, consider taking a fresh look and seeking alternative people. Get creative in terms of how you’ll connect. 

Give serious consideration to how you’ll be listened to.

Referral

The managing director passed him off to a management team to help with the initiative. The fact that he had a referral from someone at the top of the organization made a big difference. It means that Jacob could always call him and that he could update him on progress. That meant that the people he was meeting with were accountable for something. 

This deal was worth about half a million, while the average deal previously had been about $100K. It was a record deal, and after a lot of meetings and site visits, his company landed it. 

Many more traditional companies take a long time to make a decision, and there’s a lot of advice that says you shouldn’t keep pursuing opportunities which aren’t active. In this case, the fact that it took a long time was frustrating, but ultimately it was worthwhile. 

By the end of the deal, Jacob was weary from the stress and sleepless nights, so on a Friday afternoon when he knew the deal was close, he drove there. He arrived at 2 and stayed until 9 waiting for the company to be in a position to sign the deal. 

He persevered and stayed diligent and worked to separate himself from what everyone else was doing. 

Building a process

Eventually, he left a very comfortable position for one that didn’t have all the necessary components for success. He was frustrated and surrounded by negative energy. 

He read a book called The Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters that addressed how to focus on the things that are within your control. Jacob wrote down all the key elements of a high-performing seller, from data profiling and gathering to business development and having a senior sales team. 

The group had a product it could sell and a good message, but no intensity culture around it. He booked eight meetings in a day to see what he could learn off the back of that experience. He discovered that by simplifying and writing down a few key things and a simple goal helped him refine the message. It gave him some optimism because it generated some results. 

Generating data

The company started building data on its prospects from scratch until it could afford to have data profiles populated into the CRM. They recruited business development people and started working to answer questions. Why isn’t marketing doing certain things? Why isn’t the SDR doing certain things? 

It’s a much better approach than blaming other people for your problems or your challenges, which ultimately doesn’t help. It simply generates negative energy. 

Once you take control of the situation and decide to control your own destiny, that’s when things can turn around. 

Now, his team works to book 10 meetings before it spends a load of time or money on marketing content. It doesn’t matter whether they use email or LinkedIn. Simply that they book 10 meetings in a new sector because that element is within their control. You learn a lot when you’re in a room with 10 customers instead of being in an office.  

Focus on the components that you don’t need other people for. Become a bit of a lone wolf and then build something. 

Critique yourself

Regardless of the outcome, whether it’s positive or negative, analyze what you did well. You can have a bad call that still ends well. 

Many salespeople base all their self-esteem and confidence on outcomes from clients, which is a bit fickle since some of it results from luck. The danger is that they start to believe their own hype. 

Analyze yourself at every opportunity. Write down the things you’ve done well and the things you haven’t done well. 

“Don’t Give Up So Easily” episode resources

You can connect with Jacob on LinkedIn or connect with him via email at Jacob.Waldrop@28hands.com

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.

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 mailtag.io, 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.

As a savvy seller, you’ll want to continue learning, and you can take advantage of a free 30-day trial, complete with a free audiobook, on Audible. They have thousands of books to choose from and you can begin your free trial today. 

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. When you share your experiences with the show, others will read the reviews and give us a listen.

I truly appreciate you and appreciate your reviews and your subscription, and your willingness to tell your friends and anyone you know that’s in sales about the podcast.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Sales Tools, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 1127: Sales Tools Can’t Replace You!

Sales Tools, The Sales Evangelist PodcastSometimes sellers trust too much of our sales process to autopilot, and we lose sight of the fact that even the best sales tools can’t replace you

We get distracted from the things that matter most and we miss out on opportunities or ruin relationships because we forget the importance of the most important component of the sales process. 

Sales tools

Sales tools help us promote or sell a product. They could include CRM, which helps us sell by allowing us to track information. These tools may help us understand more about the prospects who are working in the organizations we’re pursuing. 

Tools might include your email account, your LinkedIn Sales Navigator account, your BombBomb account, your cell phone, or your Hubspot tools. There are countless tools you can take advantage of that will help you promote or sell your products more effectively. 

Sometimes I rely so heavily on those tools that I effectively take myself out of the cockpit. I’m unable to guide the sales process because I’ve trusted my tools to automate it. 

Where to automate 

Automation without oversight can leave room for errors.

While it’s good to use tools like prospect.io to automate your outreach, the problem emerges when we fail to personalize the process. If we set up generic emails and then blast them to hundreds of different people, you won’t get the results you’re seeking. People can immediately sniff out bulk outreach. 

If you rely entirely on automation, you’ll discover that very few people read your emails and even fewer respond. You may even discover that some unsubscribe from your communications. 

On the other hand, if you use merge tags to personalize your messages and you focus on a specific industry and you address a specific problem that this industry faces, you can create a message that speaks directly to that industry. 

Reaching out 

While I’m emailing these prospects, I’ll also reach out to them on LinkedIn via an invite, and I’ll comment on some of their relevant content. I’ll also use personal phone calls as well as text messages or possibly even Twitter. 

I interact in different locations. I’m present and I’m monitoring the interaction.

Unlike the generic situation which was devoid of my personal involvement, this option leaves room for my own personality. The prospects have a chance to interact with me in different settings because I’m actively involved. I’m present, and I’m overseeing the process.

People want to be treated personally. 

Don’t lose focus on the human side of your connections. Make sure to differentiate yourself from the competition. 

“Sales Tools Can’t Replace You” episode resources

You’re a savvy salesperson who wants to learn and grow. Check out Audible for thousands of titles, plus a free 30-day trial and a free book. 

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there. I’m fairly easy to connect with. Just comment on something about my podcast. Send me an email.

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.

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 mailtag.io, 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. When you share your experiences with the show, others will read the reviews and give us a listen.

I truly appreciate you and appreciate your reviews and your subscription, and your willingness to tell your friends and anyone you know that’s in sales about the podcast.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Enterprise Seller, Trong Nguyen

TSE 1126: How to Handle Major Challenges When Selling

Enterprise Seller, Trong Nguyen

The sales landscape is always changing but by gathering insights from other sellers we can determine how to handle major challenges when selling

Brandon Bruce is co-founder of Cirrus Insight and he’s going to address how to we can get out of our own zone, where we focus exclusively on ourselves and our companies and seek opportunities to interact with other people. 

Today’s episode is a reboot of episode 736, with great information about long-term strategy, providing value, and email outreach.

Evolving sales

The world of sales is constantly evolving. One of the challenges Brandon sees with sales right now is an unspoken push that exists. Because there are a bunch of companies at the growth stage, and a bunch of companies just starting out, there’s a tremendous amount of energy in the sales industry. 

There’s a premium on hitting numbers. Everyone is hustling and trying to find a way to build a better mousetrap. On the negative side, sellers might be hyperfocused on closing deals so that they forget to prioritize the personal connection. Because connections take time, and sales reps get antsy, we sometimes try to speed things along. 

We don’t want to close a deal next month; we want to close it this month. 

Brandon believes there’s a happy medium to be found. We must work to focus on building sustainable relationships even while we focus on making our numbers. 

Long-term success

Companies that focus too narrowly on numbers will likely struggle to achieve long-term customer success. The customers won’t stay as long because the deals were one-time kinds of relationships. It’s easier for customers to walk away when the customer doesn’t know us well. 

Brandon remembers buying a countertop, a one-time purchase, from a company that worked to develop a relationship with him. They were struggling to find exactly what he wanted until they discovered an unused countertop in a storage area. It was exactly what he needed, and it was something a previous customer decided against using. And the company sold it to him for 50 percent off. 

He calls it a great selling experience because they listened to his needs and they thought about how they could best help him. And even when they had a chance to make more money off the deal, they sold it to him at a great price. 

Even though he won’t be in the market for a countertop anytime soon, they created an evangelist in him. If anyone should ask where to buy a countertop, he’ll absolutely recommend that company. 

They closed a deal, they moved product, and they build a sustainable relationship. 

Evangelizing

We should probably remind ourselves to focus on doing the right thing, and sometimes allowing ourselves to take the easy option. We’re tempted to feel like we should push a little harder, but sometimes we can take the easy deal that leaves the customer feeling satisfied. 

Your customer will become an evangelist for your company. You might have missed a chance to get a little more from them, but because you gave them more, you’ll have the opportunity to earn more from them. 

Building customer relationships benefits your long-run philosophy. 

Raving fan

I joined an organization that gave its sellers to the book, Raving Fans, as part of its onboarding process. It helped us understand the value of customers who bought our solution and then stayed with us to upgrade and buy more later. 

It’s valuable to have a customer who likes your product and who will promote you on social media and leave you reviews. A raving fan might take you to their next three jobs, or mention you on their podcast. 

It has less to do with building a predictable sales machine and more to do with building a fan base who is passionate and who might do unpredictable things. 

Reaching out to prospects

It’s getting harder and harder to reach prospects, and sellers use a variety of tactics to do it. 

E-commerce has gotten huge, and statistics show that buyers have done a tremendous amount of research before they engage in the sales process. Despite that, there’s still room for a lot of outreach and prospecting. But how can we bridge that gap if we have buyers who are already doing a lot of the work themselves?

Begin by making it really easy for your customers to have a conversation. Brandon’s company puts its calendars on the website so that customers who want to schedule time with them can immediately see what is available. Once they schedule a time, it will automatically appear on the company’s calendar. It’s buyer-driven versus seller-driven.

Prospects come to them more often now asking for a demo. Meeting them part-way helps to bridge that gap. 

Another option they use is the ability to place bulky slides in a web portal and then provide a link to it instead of putting the slide in an email. It’s useful because they can click on it and view it online. They don’t have to worry about malware or about a bulky attachment loading too slowly. 

They also get real-time analytics about their slide deck: they know which slide people are most interested in, and where they abandon the slides. The team can then offer to follow up with a demo.

Meeting halfway

Brandon calls the process meeting halfway, which he said is how the best sales always happen. It’s a buyer saying, “I’m ready to buy,” and a seller saying, “We’re pretty interested in selling to you.” It creates a partnership where everyone brings something to the table. 

Persuade by sharing insights. Many people have a distaste for sales because they perceive it as a seller trying to trick a buyer in buying something he doesn’t need. But that’s not selling. That’s trickery. 

Sales is an art and not a science. It can’t be reduced to an algorithm, at least not yet, because it involves nuanced decisions as part of the relationship. In his own case, the company was looking to make a purchase, but the VP of marketing was skittish because the company wasn’t pushing for the sale at all. It left her with the sense that they don’t really want their business. 

The art results from trying to find the right amount of positive pressure to get the deal closed. It’s figuring out what your buyer needs and wants to hear, telling them, and moving the conversation forward. 

Email outreach

Email outreach is difficult and it has gotten harder over the lifetime of Brandon’s company. As with any trend in technology, as more and more people come on board with automation, there’s simply more volume. Those on the receiving end are overwhelmed by it, and it’s hard to overcome the spam filters. It’s difficult to break through. 

Short emails work the best; perhaps two or three lines long with single sentence paragraphs. It must be super easy to read at a glance because people don’t tend to read deep content. 

Clearly state what you do and provide a link or two. Make it very easy for the user to click and say, “I want to learn more.” They’re much simpler than the newsletter-type emails that are rich in image and video. Google and other filters often knock those out. It’s a simple, text-based email with an intriguing subject. 

Recognize that vanity metrics might get you a 100-percent open rate, but they don’t drive conversations, and conversations drive sales. 

Consider asking other people in your industry for feedback. Brandon likes to send ideas to other tech founders and ask if his ideas seem insane or totally off-base. Because it’s a very giving community, people often write back to offer thoughts and ideas. 

Keep the excitement

Sales will always be a hustle. It won’t ever be easy. It’s a nice idea to think that you can create some kind of machine that will keep the money rolling in, but it isn’t realistic. We must keep putting our heads down, hustling, and meeting the customers halfway. Make deals that are easy to say yes to and that leave your customers feeling confident about the decision. 

Let your audience know that doing business with you is easy. 

“How to Handle Major Challenges When Selling” episode resources

If you’d like to connect with Brandon, you can email him at brandon@cirrusinsight.com, or you can find him on LinkedIn

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

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. 

Tools for sellers

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, 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.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io 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.

 

 

 

Sandler, Mike Jone, LinkedIn, Social Selling, Prospecting

TSE 1125: Harnessing LinkedIn to Develop a Consistent Stream of Quality Leads

If you’re not already harnessing LinkedIn to develop a consistent stream of quality leads, you’re missing out on more referrals, possible testimonies, and a powerful prospecting tool. 

Mike Jones owns and operates a local Sandler Training franchise where he works with sales leaders and salespeople in those cultures to develop nontraditional ways of prospecting and selling. He has the privilege of seeing best practices and working intimately with sales culture. He loves the experience of moving between industries and geographies to see what the consistent themes of success are. 

Utilizing LinkedIn

Sellers must take advantage of LinkedIn, but many people use it wrong. 

They often don’t understand LinkedIn’s power to get to the right person. It’s difficult to connect with the right person, but LinkedIn gives people the ability to determine who they need to be talking to. 

There is power in connections. If you aren’t using it to find the right people in the organizations you’re connecting with, you aren’t using it to its full capabilities. 

There are two kinds of prospecting. 

  • Active prospecting, which includes developing daily behavioral metrics about how many conversations you want to have, how many appointments you want to have, and how many existing clients you should be reaching out to. Activity always precedes outcome. If I can dial in my activity and monitor it and compare it to a monthly revenue goal, that allows me to make strategic behavioral changes. Whatever outcome you’re seeking, you have a system perfectly designed to give you that outcome. If you want a better outcome, analyze what you’re doing from a behavioral standpoint in order to achieve that outcome. It’s a form of prospecting that provides real-time decisions, and it gets immediate results. 

 

  • Passive prospecting doesn’t provide immediate results. If, for example, you work 250 days a year and your prospecting system requires you to send out 10 emails, either directly to a prospect or a contact in LinkedIn, asking for an introduction. Over a year, that’s 2,500 prospecting attempts every year. In today’s business culture, it works and you’re missing an opportunity if you aren’t seizing it. 

Thinking about now

Sometimes, as sellers, we get so focused on the now that we forget to focus on the future. In the early days of my sales career, I was guilty of it, too. Every phone call you make doesn’t have to result in an immediate close. 

We may even make the mistake of prospecting to convince people, and that creates a lot of pressure. Instead, identify what kind of prospect is in front of you. 

There are four distinct mindsets that prospects have. 

  1. They have a need they know about. 
  2. They’re comfortable and they aren’t making any changes.
  3. They are willing to make changes in order to have a better return on investment.
  4. They’re arrogant. 

We can only help number one and number three. Numbers two and four will communicate with a salesperson differently. Instead of trying to convince, try to determine which of the four you’re dealing with. It will help you understand whether they’re open-minded about it. 

Prospect’s mindset

Don’t give up too early. When a salesperson reaches out to a prospect, they’re trying to change the prospect’s mindset and alter what they believe. 

Be consistently persistent. Develop a cadence that falls somewhere between “I’m bugging someone” and “I’m ineffective.” Prospecting takes time and sellers must stop looking at their monthly revenue as the barometer for success. We do it because we think that’s how the game needs to be played. 

Realize that your individual metrics and your revenue are important, but you don’t get a pass on your prospecting simply because you hit your revenue. Failure to prospect will impact you months from now. You must manage your calendar to make sure you can service the people you’re selling as well as your future prospects. 

LinkedIn content

LinkedIn is a huge tool for marketing and it’s designed to help people think and share different ideas and insights.

When we look to give back, we’ll get stuff in return. The more you give, the more the people who want your help will come to you. 

If you’re a giver and you’re prospecting, you’re giving so much great information. They’ll keep coming back to you. 

Introductions

Many salespeople don’t do enough to leverage their connections in order to get introductions, which is probably a better word than referral. Probably 20 percent of your clients will provide an introduction without being prompted to. They like to connect people. 

At the same time, there are probably the same number who don’t like doing it. The 60 percent in the middle will do it if someone asks them to. We just have to become proactive and make it part of our process.

The best time to ask for an introduction is when the prospect realizes that he got his value and he’s happy. If you’ve already found a process that works, don’t change it. But if you aren’t having success asking for introductions, wait until the buyer realizes what they have in value. 

It also probably depends on the type of product you’re selling. 

Team behaviors 

Figure out what behaviors your team should be doing and build some healthy accountability around those things. It’s easier to coach people who have individual belief systems and business acumen. Based upon metrics, you can give unique instruction to each person. 

Make sure to have a direct line to the decision maker in the company you are pursuing, and build it around a story. In other words, figure out a common connection to the person you’re trying to connect with and use that. That connection is much more likely to be successful than cold outreach will. 

Don’t wing it. Use your KPIs and other metrics to get prepared. Good sellers won’t sabotage their efforts or be lazy. They’ll want to do something that will help them earn more money. 

Finally, get your life “why-dialed in.” Figure out why you get out of bed in the morning, because that’s your source of power. If you don’t have your life “why-dialed in,” you’ll go through the motions and it will be mundane and boring. 

Evaluate your patterns and habits. Are you getting the habits and outcome that you’re looking for? Sales is a purposeful, predictable event. If you’re serious about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, you can track and measure your output and change it. 

“Harnessing LinkedIn” episode resources

You can find Mike on LinkedIn or you can connect with Sandler Training by The Ruby Group. Visit Sandler Training to connect with someone in your own area. 

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.

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 mailtag.io, 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.

Take advantage of a 30-day free trial, including a free book of your choice, at audible.com/tse.

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. When you share your experiences with the show, others will read the reviews and give us a listen.

I truly appreciate you and appreciate your reviews and your subscription, and your willingness to tell your friends and anyone you know that’s in sales about the podcast.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Donald Kelly, Ryan Levesque , ASK Method, Market Sharem

TSE 1118: 5 Things to Look For When Choosing Your Market

Donald Kelly, Ryan Levesque , ASK Method, Market Sharem

In order to succeed in business long-term, choose a market with room to grow, and consider these 5 things to look for when choosing your market.

Ryan Levesque recently landed on Inc.’s list of 500 fastest growing companies, and his company just passed the $10 million mark for annual revenue. He admits that he has made a lot of mistakes along the way and learned a lot as well. 

Finding a niche

Ryan said many business owners and entrepreneurs make the common mistake of following conventional wisdom in the early days of the venture. They focus on what they will sell or create rather than focusing on who they will serve. Who is your market? Who is your niche?

He has engaged in more than 23 niche markets, from making jewelry out of Scrabble tiles to weight loss and satellite television. Through the process, he has learned the importance of focusing on people rather than things. He points to choosing the right market as the most important factor of all.

You can be the most charismatic salesperson with the best closer, but if you have chosen a bad market, none of that will matter.

Wrong product and people

I’ve personally made the mistake of trying to sell the wrong product to the wrong people. I discovered a product that I liked and I thought other people would like it, too. But it didn’t make money because it wasn’t a good fit. There wasn’t a market for it.

Ryan outlines the indicators you should look for in his book, Choose. He said though, that writing a book invites communication from two different camps: those who love what they read and those who claim it didn’t work. He said it leaves you wondering whether you gave bad information.

Niche markets

In his first book, Ask, Ryan revealed the methodology he used to successfully enter niche markets. They figured out how to warm up prospects and how to determine what people want. It includes a specific set of questions designed to help you understand your audience at a deep emotional level so you can better sell and serve.

In an online environment, you ask questions on your website so you can funnel people into different “buckets” based on their situations.

Ryan focused on uncovering commonalities. For example, what did the people who didn’t succeed have in common? What were they doing wrong? He discovered that he didn’t teach people how he chose the 23 markets he engaged with. Of the millions of niche markets a business could engage with, what did these 23 have in common?

He engaged in what he called the biggest research project of his life. He sought to figure out why the 23 markets had succeeded where others had not. Then he looked at his most successful clients and tried to figure out what separates the successful ones from the unsuccessful ones. He uncovered seven factors that will make or break your business’ success.

The seven factors that Ryan uncovered are universal, foundational pieces that will help you find green markets, or those markets that are a “go” versus yellow which aren’t quite ready and red, which you should stay away from.

Evergreen markets

Consider the following study in contrasts on the topic of evergreen markets, which are relevant now and will still be relevant 20 years from now.

Ryan engaged in the Scrabble tile jewelry market about the time Etsy was coming online. Jewelry combining Scrabble tiles and origami paper was extremely popular at the same time he and his family were living in Asia.

They discovered a woman who was teaching people how to make the jewelry on Etsy and making about $10,000 a month selling the tutorials. There was no overhead, and her homemade version of a tutorial was selling like crazy.

Ryan and his wife decided to make a go of it, so she learned to make the jewelry while he worked on selling it. They built a better mousetrap, and before they knew it they were picking up steam. Before they knew it they were making $10,000 a month.

The ending wasn’t a happy one. The jewelry was completely a fad so sales dropped off almost overnight. Ryan had quit his job and his wife was in grad school so she wasn’t making any money. Avoid fad markets as you’re choosing your niche.

Ryan then engaged in the oldest hobby in America: gardening. He researched niches within the gardening market and he discovered orchid care. He started a business teaching people how to care for orchids and they took the business from zero to $25,000 a month. The tiny little niche business still pays their mortgage and living expenses.

Consider the example of fidget spinners and bitcoin as a study in evergreen markets.

Enthusiast market

The enthusiast market is in contrast with a problem solution market. The problem solution market involves solving problems for the people around you. Once you’ve solved the problem, people move on with their lives. Consider the example of flood removal. If your basement floods, once the water is removed, you never engage with them again. You won’t sign up for newsletters or Facebook groups.

If you own a dog, you will be a consumer in that market for years and years. Look for a market where you can generate a customer once and then sell to that customer over and over again. Chasing after new customers constantly is the hardest thing in the world to do.

Urgent problem

Those two markets aren’t enough on their own. You must have an urgent problem in the context of the enthusiast market. Many people will consider selling dog coffee mugs or Christmas ornaments. But none of those items address an urgent problem.

Urgent problems are those that keep people up at night. People talk about a $1,000 problem, but a $10,000 problem is 10 times bigger than that. An example from the dog market is the issue of peeing and pooping on the carpet. The issue becomes a $10,000 problem when you’re planning to travel across the company with a dog that still pees and poops everywhere. Now the problem is urgent. Now you’re not shopping around to find a 10 percent discount off a potty training solution.  

You’re looking for the urgent problem within the enthusiast, evergreen market.

Imagine you come to me with that problem and I help you solve it. Now, I’ve become your trusted advisor in the market. So now, when you have the next big problem, you’ll come back to me. Whether it’s biting or barking or pulling on the leash, you’ll trust me to help you with it.

Future problems

Seek a market in which, after you’ve solved the initial problem, the success of solving that problem leads to another problem. Imagine helping people negotiate a better salary. If you help your customer negotiate a $10,000 raise, you’ve created a new problem. Now he doesn’t know what to do with the extra money.

You’ve created a new problem for your customer.

Begin by choosing the right market for you. Once you’ve chosen, figure out what your market wants by asking. The next problem might be that they need to hire a first employee. Then the customer might need to establish processes and systems.

This gives you the opportunity to serve that customer for years and years.  

Players with money

Don’t sell to broke people. If someone can’t put a roof over their head or food on their table, it doesn’t matter how good your product or service is. They just can’t afford it.

Make sure you’re in a market that has a high concentration of players with money. The term comes from Gary Halbert, one of the all-time great direct response copywriters. It means that you don’t necessarily need millionaires or billionaires, but people who spend a disproportionate amount of money in that area of their lives.

We all know people who have a crazy hobby or obsession or some part of life where they spend a lot of money. Dog owners are a perfect example because of all the crazy stuff they spend money on, like pet insurance and operations and vacations.

On the other hand, Ryan launched a business in the memory improvement market, but because it targeted students who didn’t have a lot of money, he learned the lesson about people with money the hard way. He learned that you can’t build a big business around broke people.

Whatever you’re pursuing, the business doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to start. Don’t allow perfection paralysis take you over. Better to execute at a B+ level today and then improve moving forward.

“How to ‘Warm Up’ Your Prospects With Trust Before You Pitch” episode resources

Ryan is offering TSE listeners a free hard copy of his new book, Choose. All you have to do is pay a few dollars in shipping and handling. In addition, he’s providing $200 in free bonuses, including the audiobook. He has mindset training about some of the topics addressed here. Visit choosethebook.com/tse to take advantage of the offer.

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

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.

Tools for sellers

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, 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.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io 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.

 

 

Ethan Beute, Bomb Bomb

TSE 1116: How to Produce A 56% Lift In Cold Email Responses With Video vs Plain Text

Ethan Beute, Bomb Bomb

Ethan Beute from BombBomb equates good marketing to selling by teaching, and he explains how you can generate a lift in cold email responses with video.

Cold email response

BombBomb recently conducted a study with a large international tech company that revealed the power that video has in improving cold email responses. The company offers a freemium service but they weren’t sure how to convert the freemium users into revenue opportunities.

The company has teams in countries around the world and they were reaching out to create conversation and generate appointments. They contacted customers who had been using the free service for a while and asked for the opportunity to share some other ways they might be able to help.

BombBomb conducted a pilot program with them that included an AB test of video emails vs. plain text emails. They increased replies from these people by 56 percent. Imagine, then, if you can turn a percentage of those responses into scheduled appointments and then a percentage of those appointments into paid opportunities, that’s a tremendous impact.

BombBomb also found that the video emails created better appointments because the prospects felt as though they knew the seller better, which is a powerful dynamic.

The effort was voluntary, so there was no requirement to send a specific number of videos each day. The company sent about 1,000 videos in a three-and-a-half week period, and the people who sent the most videos were already the highest performers.

Cultural shift

Rollouts like this one represent a cultural shift to your sales team. This isn’t simply a new tool to add to the stack. This video effort allows sellers to communicate more clearly with their prospects and to increase conversion because the interaction takes on a more human characteristic.

If you’re considering deploying video into your team, consider the following:

  • Find people on your team who are already excited by the idea. Roll the video concept out to them and accumulate some early wins.
  • Share what they learned and what you learned with the rest of the team as you roll the concept into the larger group.

Ethan theorizes that the connection between the high performers and the willingness to use video traces back to their constant desire to become better. They likely listen to podcasts or read books. They invest in themselves and are open to new ideas and new practices.

Voicemail with personality

The pilot project involved initial touch emails, so it amounted to basically a voicemail with a face and a voice and a personality. It wasn’t simply an email signature. The sender was no longer faceless but instead became a real human being with real value to offer.

If you find yourself thinking you have far too many leads to manage this kind of outreach, first acknowledge what a great problem that is to have. Recognize that you don’t have to send personal videos. You can send out a triggered video that delivers the third time a user interacts with your product.

By using a trigger-point, you can capitalize on moments in your relationship with a prospect. Even if you don’t greet them by name, you’re acknowledging their presence and valuing their time.

Face-to-Face meeting

There are many elements that make video a winning play for sellers. To start, most sellers are far better in person than in other arenas. Most sales process drive toward a face-to-face meeting whether it’s in person or online.

Human contact is extremely valuable, so you should get face-to-face as early in the process as possible. That allows people to feel as though they know you before they ever meet you. You can save time by skipping the awkward slow-start questions about the weather.

You’ll help put your prospects more at ease.

Hesitation

This style of video works because it’s casual, it’s not scripted or polished, and it’s honest. It isn’t over-produced, but rather it involves just a webcam or a smartphone. You would send it in place of the email you typically send.

Although you can send nicer, more produced videos, that isn’t what we’re discussing. Those videos often feel as though someone is trying to sell you something, because they generally are. It’s a different style of communication.

Ethan hears all the time that the videos that earn the best responses are the simple ones. But as humans, we have a natural fear of rejection. We wonder if the video is good enough. We might even re-record it multiple times, which can lead to us spending 30 minutes to recording a 30-second video.

It’s a waste of time in this scenario because the video doesn’t have to do all the work. It simply has to introduce you and express your sincerity and enthusiasm.

If you find yourself thinking you don’t know what to say, that’s not true. What would you say if you were typing out an email? What would you have said in a voicemail? It can be as simple as creating a habit and developing a process.

Improve your process

Instead of writing three paragraphs to respond to prospects, you can use videos to walk them through mockups or demonstrations. One of our clients uses videos to demonstrate 3D printing without having to send a lot of stuff in the mail. You can save yourself a tremendous amount of time by responding via video and you’ll also come across as more human.

It’s also true that many people are better talking than they are writing. This offers an opportunity to say what’s on your mind without having to compose something.

Video is more fun for a lot of people because it’s more like a conversation. It offers better, warmer replies.

This is about human connection at its most fundamental level. It’s about connecting with people eye-to-eye, face-to-face in digital channels that we rely on every day.

Relationships through video

If you found anything here provocative, this is all rolled out in Ethan’s book, Rehumanize Your Business. We’ll help you with all the nuts and bolts of video communication.

You’re going to hit the send or post button multiple times today. Ask yourself on the next 3-5 sends whether it would be better to send something in person. Much of this is emotional and you can thank a customer or calm a customer down who is concerned or anxious.

Could you say it more clearly if you said it face-to-face?

“Lift In Cold Email Responses With Video” episode resources

You can grab a copy of Ethan’s book, Rehumanize Your Business. Find Ethan on all the social networks and at BombBomb. You can email him at ethan@bombbomb.com.

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

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.

Tools for sellers

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, 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.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io 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.

 

Shawn Finder, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Sales Metrics

TSE 1111: What Are Key Metrics to Track In Your Outbound Strategy?

Shawn Finder, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Sales Metrics

We’re talking about key metrics this month, and today Shawn Finder talks about the key metrics to track in your outbound strategy that will help you be successful. 

Shawn was a professional tennis player before he launched into entrepreneurship in the form of Autoklose, a company that automates the top of the sales funnels for sales representatives.    

Cold calling

Shawn divides outbound into three different categories: cold-calling, emailing, and database because your database is the engine that keeps that car moving. You must have at least two of those inside your outbound strategy. 

Within those three categories, you’ll have different metrics. 

Cold calling will include dial-to-connection percentage, dials-to-appointment ratio, dials-to-opportunity, and dials-to-deal. When you’re cold calling, if you’re dialing 100 people but you’re only reaching 5, that isn’t very successful. Maybe you’re dialing 100 and reaching 10 knowing that 3 of those will turn into prospects and one of those will close. 

If you don’t know those analytics, you’re going to fail because the analytics keep you moving forward toward the right strategy. 

Frustration

Beyond simply tracking numbers, metrics can help you avoid frustration as a sales rep. Many sellers get frustrated if they send five emails but the person never responds or if they make 15 calls but never reach anyone. 

If you know that every 50 calls you should be getting three opportunities, you’ll benchmark your success to those numbers. 

As an SDR or a sales rep, unless you know your metrics ahead of time, you’re going to get frustrated if you think you’re not getting results. Knowing the analytics before you start will help you approach your calls differently.

Statistics

Shawn has found over time that most people, to include account managers, don’t look enough at the stats. As a result, they don’t know what is good versus what is bad, or what is terrible versus what is great. 

His company lists the weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals for each rep. They track forecast versus actual numbers. The goal is to make sure they know whether they are on par to hit quota, outperform quota, or underperform. 

They use a whiteboard in addition to digital tracking because reps don’t always visit the spreadsheets. When the reps see their names with their metrics on the board every time they walk into the office, it keeps them accountable. It helps them know what they have to do in order to achieve their numbers. 

Important metrics 

The dials-to-appointment ratio is important to Shawn because if he’s paying a dialer, and he knows how much each appointment can be worth, and he knows how many appointments he has to have in order to close a deal, he can then determine the ROI on his expense. 

If he’s spending $4,000 on a dialer and earning $9,000, that $5,000 profit is the biggest ratio for him. 

Email statistics

For email statistics, consider open rates, click rates, and reply rates. 

Open rates rely on your ability to convince someone to open your email. Most people spend a lot of time on the body of the email. Shawn suggests spending more time on the subject line and your first three seconds of the email.

The number one reason is that 72 percent of people are opening emails on mobile phones. They only see your subject line and opening line.  

Make your subject line three to five words, and do not talk about yourself in the first line of the email. If you want a high open rate, have a good subject line.

Keep everything personalized. Try “Hi, first name.” Another one he has used successfully is, “Hey Donald, Let’s Have Coffee?” 

Coffee works well because you’re not selling. It’s more casual.  

Opening lines

Consider what will make your prospects want to open the email you’ve sent. 

  • If I can save your sales team five hours a day in prospecting would you give me 15 minutes?
  • If I could fill your calendar with appointments, would you give me 15 minutes?

Don’t lead with information about you that the reader can find in your signature block. 

Your first email should be a little longer, but the second and third emails should be shorter, no longer than four sentences. If they’re longer, no one is reading them. 

Keep it short and precise. Give value. Share case studies and stories and testimonials. Tell them how you’ll solve their challenges. 

Email success

There’s a difference between click rates and reply rates. When you send emails, have your CTA goal in your head. If your goal is to get a reply, make your reply rate a priority. If your goal is to get a click, then make that your priority. 

Make it very simple for your end user. 

Many people don’t consider database part of the outbound effort but it corresponds well with your email and your phone. If you have inaccurate information in your database, you’ll waste a lot of time. 

For cold calling, if you have the wrong phone numbers, it will hurt your dial-to-deal ratio, as well as your dial-to-connection and your dial-to-appointment.

If your data is wrong, your analytics will be wrong.  

Verify database 

If you want to make sure your emails aren’t bouncing and they aren’t catch all, have your emails verified before you actually do your campaign. Verification can be very cheap, as little as $20 for 1,000. Spend the money so you can focus on the 750 that are valid without wasting your time on the ones that aren’t. 

People change jobs frequently, so do your due diligence and verify the contact info. 

Autoklose validates information real-time as you begin a campaign. The company offers a Chrome plugin that validates everything against LinkedIn to ensure that the person is still in the position.

Having clean data is the engine to any of your outbound strategy campaigns. 

Campaign tips

Determine your metrics before you start your campaign so you have something to benchmark against. Identify the key metrics to track in your outbound strategy.

Also, stop giving up after one to two calls. Recognize that it will take five to six touches. Integrate different strategies like social. Engage with your clients. Build relationships with them. 

 episode resources

You can connect with Shawn via email at Shawn@autoklose.com or on the website, www.autoklose.com.

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 mailtag.io, 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.

Andrew Tarvin, Donald Kelly, Humor, Sales

TSE 1108: How to Use Humor In The Sales Process

 

Andrew Tarvin, Donald Kelly, Humor, SalesHumor takes away tension and sellers who use humor in the sales process can increase efficiency and improve effectiveness.

Andrew Tarvin realized over the course of his career that you can’t be efficient with humans. Instead, you must be effective. His experience in stand-up comedy revealed that improv demands the same skills necessary to be an effective leader. He explored the intersection of humor in the workplace and fell in love with the subject.

He observed that it’s strange to think that companies pay him to teach employees to have more fun. He notes, though, that it’s missing from the workplace, and he addresses the issue in his book, Humor That Works.

Strategic humor

We know that humor relieves stress and that it’s overall a good thing. We do not seem to know how to deploy humor strategically. Rather than simply using it for the sake of fun. we must use it to achieve a specific result.

How do I use humor in the sales process to build rapport?Can I get people to pay attention to what I’m saying with humor? Will humor relieve my own stress in the sales process?

We tend to think work must be strictly business. In actuality, though, you’re still dealing with humans. Humor inspires people to connect and let their guard down.

Would you rather?

Andrew calls it a stupid question, but he wonders whether people would rather do something fun or not fun? Of course, people will say they’d rather do something fun. And if work is a little more fun, they’d probably be more likely to do the work.

If you could make interactions a little more enjoyable, people would be more willing to engage in them. Even if the work you’re doing is serious in nature, like the Red Cross, you’re still working with humans.

Humor happens to be one of the most effective means of engaging people. It’s something different that people enjoy.

Working with the FBI

The FBI has a group called the office of private sector where agents work to build relationships with senior leaders at private companies. If the FBI can develop strong relationships before there are problems within companies, they can more readily identify problems when they emerge.

They want to set meetings with people but you can imagine how people respond when they hear from the FBI. Andrew worked to teach them how to use humor to build rapport.

The agents learned to build rapport despite the intimidation factor.

Boring meetings

If you hold an initial meeting that bores your attendees, they won’t want to attend the next time you invite them. If people get value out of your meetings and enjoy attending, they’ll be more likely to attend future meetings.

Humor isn’t what you do. It doesn’t replace the work. It’s simply a matter of presenting information that someone needs in a way they enjoy consuming it.

Engaging strangers

Sales reps face many different hurdles when engaging prospects or new people. One of the greatest difficulties is making a great first impression and building rapport when they meet people for the first time.

Within existing sales processes, a number of challenges exist. The average person sends and receives more than 100 emails per day, with many spending up to 80 percent of their time in active communication.

Many sellers present information to help the buyer purchase rather than sharing information that will help develop a relationship.

Asking questions

Andrew points to a sales presenter named Phil Jones who says that sales is simply earning the right to make a recommendation.

Think of it as a visit to the doctor. Before the doctor gives a diagnosis, he asks questions and ultimately gives a prescription. Imagine if you went to a doctor who gave you pills before you even told him what was wrong. You’d assume he was a quack and you wouldn’t trust him with your health.

The same scenario is true in sales. If the seller doesn’t even know anything about you, how will he address your challenges?

Enjoyable process

Since the seller and the buyer are both humans, see if you can make the process a bit enjoyable. Then, discover whether you can be on the same side.

Ian Altman wrote a great book called Same Side Selling that encourages sellers to solve problems without trying to trick buyers into buying something.

Understand that humor is broader than comedy. Make the process a bit more fun to get people to pay attention. In your outreach, what are you doing to introduce a bit of humor?

If it’s true that people buy from the first person who provides them value, recognize that humor adds value.

Fun

Andrew got a cold email from a guy with a regular pitch. He ignored it like he does most cold emails. About a week later, the guy followed up with a gif of John Travolta from Pulp Fiction with his coat over his arm looking confused.

There was no text with the email because it wasn’t necessary. He didn’t need to point out that he had emailed just the week before.

Another seller started each cold call by acknowledging that this was a cold call and the person on the other end of the phone could hang up if he wanted to. Some of them did, but many others allowed him another 60 seconds because of the humor.

Capture attention and build intrigue.

Connections

Humans are seeking different connections and one way to build rapport throughout a conversation is small talk. Instead of asking the typical questions, ask slightly more interesting questions. Instead of asking “What do you do?” ask, “What’s the coolest thing you’ve worked on the past few months?”

It changes people’s perspective and then their response. Then, drop relevant facts throughout the conversation, like whether you’re a nerd or an introvert or from Ohio. If you offer this kind of information as part of a smaller group, you’ll have an instant connection to anyone else who is also from Ohio.

Humor doesn’t only help during the introduction part of the sales process, either. It can help improve understanding about ideas and it can lessen the awkwardness of the money conversation.

You decide

Even if you work for a company that doesn’t allow humor, the company can’t control how you think. There are benefits to using humor to increase sales and get better results.

Additionally, though, you can use humor to help you enjoy your work more. You’ll be more willing to do your work and you won’t dread Monday.

It comes down to a choice. You decide how you do your work every day.

Andrew’s book provides 10 strategies for using humor in the workplace, and the 11th strategy, a bonus one, is perhaps the most important.

It develops a humor habit.

“Use Humor In The Sales Process” episode resources

You can connect with Andrew at humorthatworks.com, where you’ll find a bunch of free resources and a newsletter. You can also grab a copy of his book, Humor That Works, which teaches the what, why, and how of humor in the workplace.

Connect with him directly @drewtarvin on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Drew also recently discovered that he still has a Myspace page from 2008.

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

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.

Tools for sellers

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, 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.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io 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.

Sales Material, Donald Kelly

TSE 1097: “Fatal Mistake – You’re Not Leaving Anything Behind”

 

Sales Material, Donald KellyIf you find that your deals are falling through the cracks or you’re losing your prospects to your competition, perhaps the problem is that you’re not leaving anything behind

You might be thinking of brochures and other leave-behinds, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Instead, we’re talking about the things you should be leaving behind any why these things are so critical to moving your deal forward. 

Research phase

Unless you’re dealing with a referral, when you’re dealing with a prospect, that person is probably considering other people as well. Even if the prospect reached out to you and seems completely interested, that person is ultimately looking for the best deal. 

You must stay top of mind. Ensure that you stay relevant and always present without being annoying. You must give the prospect something valuable. 

Content

Consider leaving content behind that ties directly to what you’ve already discussed. Or leave content that helps the prospect prepare for the next scheduled meeting. 

Once you’ve done this a time or two, you’ll understand why it’s so important. 

Imagine IT companies in this situation that are evaluating service companies. You won’t be the only company they are considering, but you want them to forget those other companies and focus on yours. 

One option is to determine which other companies the prospect is considering.

Create landmines

Create landmines for the competitor. 

For instance, when I sold document management services, I had a competitor whose services were only good for one department. The competitor served that department very well, but the other departments hated their services. 

I planted the idea in our prospects’ minds that a tool that only benefits one department isn’t really a valuable tool for the entire company. My leave-behind was the idea that the competitor would only benefit a small portion of the company.

If it wasn’t a good fit, certain departments wouldn’t use it, which would result in wasted money because no one used the software. 

I suggested to the prospect that a solution that benefits everyone would be a better fit.

Format

In the past, that kind of content might have appeared in the form of a white paper. Now, however, your prospects are busy and many things are grabbing at their attention.

Instead, consider a LinkedIn post or article, or a podcast, or a video addressing the issue. Identify the top things that make your company a favorable choice. Highlight the challenges that your company can solve better than the competition. 

Educate your buyer before you return for the next meeting or demonstration. That way, when the prospect meets with the competition, they’ll know what issues to ask questions about. 

If you’re not leaving anything behind, the prospect may simply respond to the flashy, cool presentation. 

Notifications

Make this tool even more powerful by using tools that notify you when the prospect opens the message or clicks on the video. 

Consider, for example, that you send a video for your prospect to watch prior to the next meeting. Maybe it answers questions that frequently occur during the second meeting. 

If you send it with BombBomb, you’ll know when the prospect watched it, and whether they watched the entire video. It helps you know when and how the prospect is engaging with your content. 

Do something different

Everyone is leaving a business card, so you must do something that helps you stand out from the crowd. Make your company the obvious choice.

Position yourself as the trusted advisor and the one who is helping the prospect understand all the important considerations before making a decision. 

If you’re not leaving anything behind, your promising deal may disappear. 

“You’re Not Leaving Anything Behind” episode resources

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 mailtag.io, 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.

Oscar Trimboli, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Prospects

TSE 1096: How Do You Listen To What The Prospect Isn’t Saying?

Sometimes we lose out on promising deals because our prospects are giving us indications that all is not well but we’re failing to listen to what the prospect isn’t saying.

Oscar Trimboli is a deep listening expert who is on a quest to create 100 million deep listeners in the world, and he starts by helping us understand what we should be listening for when we interact with our prospects.

Taught to speak

We all learned to speak, to do math, and to study literature, but none of us can remember our listening teacher. As sales reps, we spend a minimum of 55 percent of our day listening, but only about 2 percent of us have been taught how to listen.

Remember these two bits of statistics as you listen to the information in today’s podcast.

  1. The 125/400 rule. I can speak 125 words per minute, but you can listen at 400 words per minute. You’re programmed to be distracted and filling in 300 words. You’re contemplating what to have for dinner or what to do over the weekend when you realize you have to get back into the conversations.
  2. The 125/900 rule. Your prospect can speak at 125 words per minute but you can think at 900 words per minute. The likelihood that the first thing your prospect says is actually the thing he means is about 1 in 9 or 11 percent. If you had 11 percent chance of a successful surgery, you probably wouldn’t proceed without a second opinion.

Most likely, your prospect is well-rehearsed and is speaking like a well-oiled machine. The most powerful thing we can do is explore the other 800 words per minute that are stuck in their heads.

Unblocking pipeline

When we grab on to those unspoken words, we can unblock pipeline and begin to understand our prospects.

We must be mindful to ask our prospects what they are thinking and to listen for the things the prospects aren’t saying. Oscar spends his days teaching people to be obsessed about the cost of not listening.

We often don’t do this because we assume our competition is those people we normally compete against. Many of us are listening for code words that a prospect might say that would link to a product or benefit.

The really skillful sales reps focus on the customer’s customer’s problem. Instead of thinking about the person in front of you, think about the customer that this person must go speak to.

The pipeline becomes shorter and more qualified, and you avoid unexpected surprises.

Change the question

We should consider the power of asking the question, “How does a business case like this get approved in your organization?” We’re good at asking who approves deals without asking how they get approved. Once we ask how it gets approved we will understand who else we’re being compared against.

Many large organizations have a project management office that filters the funding for all new projects. If you don’t know when that group meets or who participates or what other projects you’re being evaluated against, you may find your deal slipping away.

  1. Understand the 125/900 rule.
  2. Help the prospect sell the business case rather than what you’re actually selling.
  3. Help your prospect orient on the customer rather than on your offering.

If you do these things, your pipeline will look very different.

Help your team

Build some muscle around listening for what isn’t said.

Find the organization’s website and determine what matters to them. Use the words the company uses in your selling process. Don’t use your language rather than their language.

If the CFO can’t read and understand the first page of your proposal, you’ve failed.

Help your reps become fixated on their customers’ customers’ problems. It’s the difference between good and great.

Teach in a way that can’t be misunderstood and figure out how your clients make money.

Listen in color

Many of us listen in black and white. Oscar is trying to teach the world to listen in color. How do we notice the energy of the person across from us?

Oscar also asks his client, “If this organization was a movie or an actor or a book, which one would it be?” Many people listening might call it Titanic.

The question gives them a permission slip to tell the truth in a different way. Use a metaphor to figure out what the prospect is thinking in a different way.

You can carry the metaphor forward and discover who the villain of the movie is.

If we talk in this colorful metaphorical language we can quickly get much more from our prospects. Listen to what your prospect isn’t saying.

Get to the truth

Your prospects will tell you as many lies as you think they will. They aren’t doing it intentionally. It’s just that your questioning isn’t helping them get to the truth.

You can help them bring their truth to life using these techniques. Make it as conversational as possible.

If the person you’re talking to is a jock, ask which sporting team the organization would be. If he’s a nerd, ask him what character on The Big Bang Theory the company would be. They won’t suspect where you’re headed with that question.

The art of selling is your ability to be in the moment.

Ping pong questions

Don’t go into the room asking, “What keeps you awake at night?” Oscar calls it a disrespectful question and says that if you ask it, you haven’t even earned the right to be in the room.

Try to ask more how- and what-based questions rather than why-based questions. People may perceive your why-based questions as judgemental. People often feel more defensive with why-based questions.

Instead of “Why is this project being funded,” mention that you’re curious how projects like this are funded. Just by changing the language, you make it more comfortable for them to explain.

How-based questions

How-based questions move conversations along more quickly. This truth emerged with suicide counselors who discovered that why-based questions slow a conversation down and buy them time with people who are in danger of making poor decisions.

Hostage negotiators also stick to when, how, and what-based questions.

Listen for what’s unsaid and remember the difference between how quickly the prospect can think and how quickly he can speak.

Help them explore their thinking rather than helping them explore what you’re selling. You’ll become a trusted advisor.

“Listen To What The Prospect Isn’t Saying” episode resources

Connect with Oscar at his website, and if you visit oscartrimboli.com/listeningmyths, you can find a hack sheet with five tips that explore the things we’ve discussed here. It will help you listen beyond the words.

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

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.

Tools for sellers

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, 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.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io 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.

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greatness in the face of adversity, Weldon Long, objections, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1093: How to Achieve Personal and Professional Greatness in the Face of Adversity

 

greatness in the face of adversity, Weldon Long, objections, The Sales Evangelist

Even if we have the right process or the best mindset, every seller is going to encounter difficulties, so we must figure out how we’ll stick to our mission and achieve greatness in the face of adversity.

Weldon Long has plenty of personal experience dealing with adversity in the form of 13 years in the penitentiary, homelessness, and dropping out of high school. He had what he calls a dysfunctional life, but he learned the ability to thrive in the face of difficulty.

Difficulties are coming

The truth is that difficulties are coming. It’s easy in personal life or in sales life to feel overwhelmed and tempted to wave the white flag of surrender.

Weldon was in federal prison when his dad died. He got a note to call home from one of the prison guards. He remembers realizing that his dad died with him in prison again.

He had a three-year-old son that he fathered while he was out on parole. He realized that he wasn’t being a very good father or son.

He made the decision to change the course of his life but he had no idea where to start. He still had seven years left in prison, so he started reading.

Copy successful people

His master plan was to figure out what successful people were doing and copy that. Seven years later, he walked out of prison and lived in a homeless shelter at 39 years old.

He learned how to sell reading books and he started knocking on doors looking for a sales job. It took about six months to find a job because he was a convicted felon living in a homeless shelter.

He got a job selling air conditioners and had a great first year. The next year, he used his earnings to open his own air conditioning company. Though he knew nothing about air conditioning, he knew how to sell air conditioners.

He hired the operations people and grew the company to $20 million in five years. In 2009, his company was selected as one of America’s fastest growing privately held companies.

His life has been a study in overcoming adversity, and the lessons are useful for anyone because everyone will eventually face challenges. Learning to face them is the key to achieving greatness in the face of adversity.

Sales process

Weldon points to the sales process as the secret to building a successful business.

The prospects are 100 percent in control of the result. They get to decide whether they will write us a check or not. The sellers are 100 percent in control of the process. Far too many sales professionals focus on the outcome rather than focusing on what they actually control, which is the process.

Weldon quickly learned all the difficulties of selling and he said he was amazed by the number of honest people who would promise to call him to follow up but who never did.

Buyers will say one thing and do something else, perhaps largely because they fear getting ripped off or misled. They put a lot of protective mechanisms in place.

Sales hallway

In his book Consistency Selling, Weldon introduces a concept he calls the sales hallway. He and the prospect are at the beginning of the hallway together. At the other end of the hallway is the door he’s hoping to get the prospect through.

As they walk together, the prospects have a lot of questions about products, services, and guarantees. Most importantly, prospects have questions about price.

When they have all the information, they tend to want to postpone the decision. They try to leave little trap doors or escape routes along the hallway.

  • “I’ll think about it.” 
  • “I’ll call you next Tuesday.”
  • “You’re too expensive.”

When Weldon learned to address those obstacles before they came up, it was the turning point in his sales career.

Influence and persuasion

Weldon read an article by Robert Cialdini, author of the book Influence. It was all about the consistency principle, which says that public declarations dictate future actions. The idea is that if you can get someone to make a public declaration, he becomes more likely to take actions that are consistent with that statement.

He determined which objections he was facing most often, and he structured his conversation so that the prospect didn’t struggle with those fears. When he did that, he found way less resistance at the end of the sales process.

When he started selling, it was “kitchen-table selling.” It was residential air conditioning to families who were mad that they were having to spend the money. He was on their turf and they had other bids that were half his price. Weldon learned to prosper in that situation.

Price objection

How do I deal with price objection?

The problem is that most people don’t bring up price until the prospect does at the end of the process. Once the prospect brings it up, he’s in a super defensive posture. They know you’re going to try to sell them on why you’re worth the extra price.

The heartbeat of his whole process is addressing those concerns. When he helped Farmer’s Insurance address the price objection, he recommended looking on the Internet for considerations when purchasing insurance. He found a thousand different articles that all said that price isn’t the most important consideration.

Now when he’s sitting with a prospect, he’ll address the fact that price is a valuable consideration when purchasing insurance. But then he’ll ask the prospect whether he agrees or disagrees with the fact that there are other considerations that are equally as important as price.

Public declaration

Weldon shared the example of a company that canvassed a neighborhood by telephone to find out whether residents believed it was important to fund research for childhood disabilities. The following week, when the canvassers came to actually collect money, the donations doubled because the people had previously made a public declaration that it was important.

Weldon realized that if he could get his customers to acknowledge that price isn’t the most important, and if he could get his customers to declare publicly that they would call him tonight with an answer, he was less likely to struggle against those objections.

Sellers tend to focus on the door at the end of the hallway and they try to close. The key is to prepare yourself as you’re moving through the hallway.

The way to help the prospect get back into resonance is to take action consistent with the words you said earlier.

Improving numbers

There are those who will point out that this approach won’t work every time, and that’s true.

But if you’re closing four out of 10, my job is to show you how to get one or two out of the six you’re losing. You’re already getting the four. I’m going to help you get better margins.

Everyone loves the idea of making twice as much money but no one wants to work twice as many hours. The key is to increase your productivity with your raw materials. Your raw materials are time and leads. How do you produce more output with the materials you have?

Anticipate the objections

If you’re selling air conditioners, it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that your price is too high. You should anticipate that objection. Lay the groundwork so you can have the right conversation.

By the time you get to close, the time for debate and argument is over. Your only hope is to remind them what they said earlier about price.

If I say the price isn’t the most important consideration, I’m a salesman. If they say it, it must be true.

Create the prosperity mindset to prosper before you face adversity. Get clear on what you want so you can achieve greatness in the face of adversity.

Remember the FEAR acronym.

  • Focus
  • Emotional commitment
  • Action
  • Responsibility

Build a plan that anticipates objections and create a sales process that addresses those objections.

“Greatness In the Face of Adversity” episode resources

If you text the word “Videos” to 96000, you’ll receive free content about how to create the prosperity mindset and how to deal with objections in the sales hallway.

Grab copies of Weldon’s books:

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 mailtag.io, 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.

 

Jason Bay, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Video Email, changing the email game

TSE 1089: Sales From The Street – “Changing The Email Game”

 

Jason Bay, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Video Email, changing the email gameI get a lot of requests to appear on The Sales Evangelist, but Jason Bay set himself apart from the crowd by sending a video email and changing the email game.

Jason started his sales career while he was in college, and he and his wife now run a company called Blissful Prospecting, where they remove the stress of prospecting by doing it for their clients.

He quickly discovered that the smaller midsize business was overlooked in the existing offerings, and he wanted to provide a less robust service that still produced the same type of results.

Mom and pop

Jason discovered there weren’t a whole lot of companies that were willing to work with smaller organizations. Those companies that don’t really have any SDRs and maybe they don’t even know the lingo.

Jason wanted to help those business owners who are already multitasking with some of their business development. They don’t have time to list build and personalize emails.

We’ve discovered the same dynamic at The Sales Evangelist. Many of the companies that need help are smaller companies whose sales reps have no training and no real process. The company expects the rep to thrive but they have no basis for it.

It becomes a vicious cycle of reps who wash out or leave to go to another company. The business hires another rep with no real training or process, and the cycle begins again.

Video prospecting

Jason’s company prospects for itself, too, so the company does what it sells. Part of prospecting and selling is explaining to people what you do.

People assume when he refers to video that it’s YouTube and other content creation.

Video prospecting is similar to writing an email. It’s common knowledge now that your emails must be personalized beyond a first name. You must actually include something in the email that’s personal to the reader.

Many people take this approach:

Hey Donald, 

I listened to one of your recent podcasts about this topic and I discovered… (fill in the blank.)

While it’s personalized, it’s a little redundant. We have to work to empathize with the prospect, and they may prove to be a little more difficult for men.

Video allows you to put a face to an email. It allows the recipient to see a human being instead of reading an email, so you’re changing the email game. You can still send an email or a LinkedIn message.

You can’t fake video. Everything in prospecting demands that you do it the right way if you want to succeed. Think about the type and quality of clients you want to attract.

Changing the email game

If you’re engaging in the “murder by numbers approach” of sending 1,000 emails in order to land 5 appointments, think about the quality of customer you’re attracting. It won’t be really good.

If you want to work with a specific group of customers, you must show them that you’re their peer. You aren’t a guy sending tons of spam and praying that it succeeds.

Video takes a little more work, but if it produces more responses, it’s worth the investment of time. I’d rather my sales team spend a few minutes researching and sending out 10 to 15 videos if I’ll get responses from eight of them. They’ll be much richer opportunities.

Your numbers may not be as high with video, but the return will be better. It’s the account-based approach. Instead of getting a big list of people, do research to come up with a list of companies that will be a good fit.

Think of it as going to the gym. If you go to the gym with a plan for the session, you’ll be much more efficient than if you go in and just wing it. Without a plan, you’ll take twice as long and be half as effective.

Do all the prospecting preparation on the front end so that you aren’t spending your time with prospects who aren’t a good fit. Focus your prospecting attention on companies you can actually help and serve.

Video tips

Many people avoid video because they worry about how they’ll appear. You must work around that fear because there isn’t a single scenario where video isn’t a good option.

  1. Make sure to look directly into the camera so the person on the other end feels as though he is actually talking to a person instead of a screen.
  2. Use quality equipment. Most laptops and phones now have quality cameras. Video where you have good light.
  3. Smile. Don’t be so serious. Create the sense that working with you is enjoyable. If you’re at a small company, you’re likely the person that the prospect will be working with. You’re a reflection of the business.
  4. Limit your video to 30 seconds or less.
  5. Prepare bullet points of what you’d like to say. Don’t be too scripted but plan for what you’d like to say.

Your pitch shouldn’t be more than 1-2 sentences.

Connecting with video

Video is easier to consume and it stands out in a crowded email inbox.

You’re not going to sell a prospect over the phone or through email or LinkedIn. Your job is to simply sell them on the appointment.

Your call to action isn’t, “We can help you.” It’s “We help businesses like yours and if you’re having a specific challenge, we might be able to help you too.”

Don’t pretend like you know more than you actually do. And don’t leave your prospect feeling like he has been insulted.

Video options

So many platforms have launched their own video capabilities that it’s difficult to choose one over another. Be conscious of a couple of things, though.

  • Consider tools that flow with the tools you’re already using. If you’re using Hubspot for CRM and they launch a video capability, it makes sense to use that one because they are built to go together.
  • Make sure you can record the screen through video as well as the video of yourself. Make sure you have the flexibility you need.
  • Don’t spend too much money on video capability.

Jason likes Loom and Soapbox right now. Loom is a Google Chrome extension that’s a little clunky but effective. Soapbox has a free version that is very capable and good quality, and its pro version has useful features as well.

AB test everything. Test your specific situation. Before you invest time and energy into video, try sending videos. Measure to see what happens.

Test different areas of the email sequence. Try it at the beginning of the message or maybe at the end to see what works best in terms of changing the email game.

Prioritize your prospecting based on who is the most engaged with the actual outreach. Use the software that shows you who is actually opening your messages and invest your extra effort into those people.

“Changing The Email Game” episode resources

You can connect with Jason at blissfulprospecting.com/Donald where he has put together some basic tools to help you get started in video prospecting. You’ll find a PDF, a script, and the flow for recording that will move you toward changing the email game.

You’ll find lots of good resources on the website as well.

Check out Loom, Soapbox, BombBomb, or Hubspot for video capability that meshes with your existing workflow.

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 mailtag.io, 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.

Brynne Tillman, Donald Kelly, LinkedIn, Social Selling

TSE 1088: 4 Pillars to Leveraging LinkedIn for Business Development

Brynne Tillman, Donald Kelly, LinkedIn, Social Selling, 4 Pillars to Leveraging LinkedIn for Business Development

You may believe that social selling won’t work for your company or industry, but if you take advantage of the 4 pillars to leveraging LinkedIn for business development, you’ll be surprised at how it can help you expand your reach.

Brynne Tillman is the CEO and “LinkedIn Whisperer” of Social Sales Link and the author of The LinkedInSales Playbook and she has spent more than a decade coaching people to unlock the power of the platform.

LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn has its own social selling index so if you visit getmyssiscore.com you get your personal score, out of 100, that will rate your social selling acumen. Your LinkedIn profile is where that lies.

Sellers make the mistake of using their LinkedIn profile as a resume when, in fact, it should be a resource.

Corporate Visions reports that 74 percent of buyers choose the sales rep that provided value and insight early in the buyer journey.

Your profile is their first impression of us, so do it right.

Value

Prospects don’t care about your mission, your passion, or your years in business when they first visit your profile. That may matter down the road, but initially, they care about value. They care about how relevant you are.

Write your summary almost like a blog post. What kind of value can you bring from the first time they read about you?

Identify the challenges that your buyers are facing. Provide three to five insights that will make an immediate impact. Strive to make a “vendor agnostic” impact, meaning that you share insights they can use even if they never buy from you.

Sellers often create this as a pitch and we tell them how to buy from us. What we should do instead is attract them to us. We want them to ask themselves how they can work with us.

This level of value will increase your credibility and move you much more quickly through the sales cycle.

Challenges

If you sell office furniture, determine who your buyer is and what her biggest challenge is right now. Maybe many companies are expanding and the big challenge is the inability to trade in old furniture to get new stuff.

Determine what helps you stand out and then educate your buyer.

Teach your customer how to buy office furniture in a way that leans toward you as the solution, but provide insights that can help them make better decisions for the company as a whole.

Take advantage of the 4 pillars to leveraging LinkedIn for business development in order to move your prospects toward doing business with you.

Pillar 1: Establish your professional brand

Your professional brand is your profile.

By positioning your profile to provide insight and value to your buyers, you are gaining credibility and creating curiosity.

You’re getting them excited to take your phone call. If they can learn something just by visiting your profile, they imagine that a conversation with you will be even more valuable.

Position yourself as the subject matter expert and thought leader.

Pillar 2: Find the right people

How are you leveraging LinkedIn to find your buyers and your influencers? If it’s true that there are 6.8 people who are involved in every large buying decision, how are we identifying all the right people within an organization?

Instead of limiting our efforts to just the champion, who else do we want to touch? How are we finding these people and engaging them?

The prospecting piece and the relationship building piece are the same. It’s a combination of providing great value and leveraging our network to get introductions to our targeted prospects and buyers.

Develop search strings which are literally the title of your buyers in whatever geographic location or industry you choose.

Pillar 3: Engage with insights

How are we sharing content, commenting, and engaging with content? How are we using hashtags to find the right content? Are we feeding our network with really valuable information that moves them closer to our solution?

It’s more than just liking or sharing. LinkedIn wants to see you engaging and sharing and commenting.

Avoid “random acts of social.” Anything we do without intention or purpose is rarely going to see success. Certainly, it won’t succeed on a consistent basis.

Pillar 4: Build relationships

Connecting and forgetting is the equivalent of collecting business cards in a stack on the corner of your desk. How valuable is it? That’s not a network.

There’s more value in truly connecting with a few people at a networking event and having meaningful conversations than there is in collecting a business card from everyone present. Bring that same thoughtfulness online.

Start a conversation. Learn about people. Ask questions. Get to know people a little bit. When you do, LinkedIn will be your most valuable networking tool.

Strategy

Establish what your goals are for social selling. How will you measure success?

If your goal is to have one new client a month, you need four proposals a month. In order to have four proposals, you need to have eight conversations. In order to have eight conversations, you need to have 16 introductions to your targeted buyers.

That means I need four introductions to targeted buyers each week. I must look at my KPIs to see if my 16 is converging to become 8, and then whether my eight is becoming four.

If I need four introductions per week, I probably need to ask for 20. That probably means I need five a day, which could mean five from one person or one from five people.

I need a good network of referral sources and great relationships with my existing clients.

Reaching out

Once you’ve identified those clients who can connect you to other people, you can start this way:

Mr. Client,

It has been a couple of years since we worked together. I hope you’re still loving your furniture. 

I noticed that you’re connected to a few people on LinkedIn that I’m trying to get in front of. Would you mind setting up a 15-minute call where I can read names with you and get your thoughts on whether they might be a good fit?

Two things happen here. If your customer needs more furniture, this is a great way to re-engage without being salesy. You’ll also talk through the list of connections to figure out a way forward.

You can either ask for an introduction or ask for permission to name-drop.

Building engagement

You must continually build engagement with your customers so that you maintain those connections even after the sale.

If you’re looking for new contacts, start with your second-degree connections because at least you have some people in common.

It doesn’t feel quite as cold that way and there are things you can do to warm them up before you actually reach out. Look at the profile. Click the “more” button on the profile and click the “follow” button. The person will get the notification that you followed him.

Look at his recent activity. Read it. Engage with it. If there is something there, begin a conversation by engaging with the information he shared.

Now you’ve engaged, followed, and the person keeps getting notifications about you. He’ll likely be curious because your name keeps appearing.

It’s a little bit like flirting.

Provide value

Don’t jump in and pitch immediately. Provide value.

Build relationships. Get a consistent stream of great content that helps your prospect understand the importance of choosing the right office furniture.

Once you’ve developed a conversation, you can offer a pitch when appropriate.

Don’t just build a network that doesn’t know you. Create content, but realize that it doesn’t have to be a blog post. Consider native video, podcasting, and interviews.

Don’t just generate noise, though. Use the 4 pillars to leveraging LinkedIn for business development to make sure it’s worth their click.

“4 Pillars to Leveraging LinkedIn for Business Development” episode resources

The best way to connect with Brynne is on LinkedIn. Let her know that you found her on The Sales Evangelist podcast and she’ll send additional resources. You can also grab a copy of The LinkedInSales Playbook.

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 mailtag.io, 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.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io 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.

Social Selling, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, LinkedIn

TSE 1087: Social Selling Your Customers Want!

Social Selling, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, LinkedIn

Sellers who interact with and provide value to prospects using social media must understand the characteristics that turn this into the kind of social selling your customers want.

We’re tackling this topic all month, and even if you aren’t a big social media person, we’re providing an actionable plan to help you get in front of your prospects.

It isn’t enough to “set it and forget it” or generate large amounts of content in hopes that people will click through to find you. It’s thoughtful preparation that gives buyers what they want and need right now.

Trying to close

I discovered the idea of using social media to sell when I was in college. I was seeking an internship with people who were in Chicago and our college professor told us that we needed a LinkedIn profile. He told us that we had to maintain that profile because that’s where business professionals interacted.

I thought it was a great idea because I was suddenly connected to millions of other professionals. I also thought it was great that I could pitch to all of those people.

My professor knew a woman in Chicago so he introduced us with the intention that I would seek insights from her. In my mind, though, she was going to provide me with an internship or connect me with someone who had one.

Instead of approaching it as an information-gathering phase, I was trying to close the deal. I think many of us make that mistake with social media.

Instant access

Sellers are often like kids in a candy store because social media gives them instant access to millions of potential customers. Why in the heck wouldn’t we go ahead and pitch them all? Let’s tell every single person what we’re doing.

And then social media turns into a pitch-fest.

Because we can copy and share messages with groups of people quickly, we have access to millions of new prospects at our fingertips. Very quickly, though, prospects recognize that every seller is engaging in the same kind of social selling.

Prospects are overwhelmed with the same messages from multiple sellers, so we have quickly realized that we can’t continue using the same methods.

Liking content

In response, we settled on thoughtful interactions with people. We settled on the idea of liking everything they posted on social media and commenting on their content, sometimes arbitrarily.

We didn’t necessarily have a growth plan or a strategy. We just assumed that if we liked a bunch of their stuff now, when we eventually sent them a message, they would instantly want to work with us.

The idea might have worked well initially, but again, sellers adopted the same strategy across the board and failed to stand out from one another.

Curating content

Next, we moved to curating content. That meant sharing content that others were sharing, so if I found a good blog post about technology, I would share it with my prospects who were interested in that industry.

Our strategy was to be top-of-mind because of our content. We engaged with different platforms and pumped content everywhere, which ultimately became a bunch of junk floating around on the Internet. Again, every competitor was doing the same.

The platforms realized that the content was taking their users away to other sites and they took steps to prevent people from being diverted away.

Algorithms

Social media platforms don’t want you to send their users to other sites. As a result, you must adjust your social selling efforts so that you’re linking to content on that same platform.

LinkedIn wants its users to see the ads that its customers are paying to promote. If its users leave LinkedIn, they won’t see the ads. The algorithm will penalize you for sharing content outside of LinkedIn.

Sellers responded with LinkedIn articles, long-form posts, and videos. We moved to original content in our next iteration of social selling, and within the next year, we’ll likely move to something different.

Human interaction

Despite all this change, there is one takeaway. Be a person. Be human and care about other people.

The definition we shared from Hubspot is this: Social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects. Salespeople will provide value by answering the prospect’s questions and offering thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy.

Do things in moderation. Use direct messages. Set a goal to connect with five new prospects each day on LinkedIn. Try something like this:

Donald, 

It’s always great to learn from sales leaders in the industry. Permission to connect?

Once we’re connected, they’ll see the content I’ve curated over time.

Aligned content

An article on PostFunnel reported that marketers who align their content with specific points in the buyer’s journey yielded 73 percent higher conversion rates. Think about that. If you’re able to produce content based on where your buyers are in that particular phase, it will be relevant to them.

Your buyers want posts that showcase your new products or services and they want to learn something along the way. Use social selling your customers want in order to help them throughout their journey.

Speak to the three stages of the buyer’s journey:

  1. Awareness: when buyers don’t know about you and you want to raise their awareness.
  2. Consideration: when buyers are evaluating and going deeper in their research.
  3. Conversion: when buyers finalize decisions and make a purchase.

Sprout Social suggests weaving awareness- and consideration-stage content together. Those two stages are usually where people rely on social media.

Multiple approaches

This is one of the most effective ways to prospect. When you combine this with your other techniques like cold calling or emails or regular mail, you’ll see great success.

Apply this today. Identify five people to connect with in your industry. If you do that every day for a week, you’ll have 25 new connections by the end of the week.

Strive to create the social selling your customers want to increase your effectiveness and improve your outcomes.

“Social Selling Your Customers Want” episode resources

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 mailtag.io, 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.

Social Selling, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Carson Heady

TSE 1086: Why Social Selling is the New Sales

Social Selling, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Carson Heady

Social selling is the new sales because it utilizes all the techniques and tools that we’ve always enjoyed as sellers in order to help us build better relationships.

Although nothing will ever replace the face-to-face relationships that sellers have with their clients, social selling is a valuable tool. Today Carson Heady shares what he has learned over a 17-year sales career about prospecting and relationship building and how social selling helps with it.

Social selling

Social media can help you find the right person to talk to that can help you connect with the right people, get a meeting, and stay top of mind. It’s a great compliment to the business relationships we should already be forming.

Social selling isn’t a replacement for the things we’re already doing. It’s the application of the tools that enable us to get insights or see what customers and their organizations are thinking, doing, and talking about.

When I first started using social selling, I was guilty of blasting a bunch of messages on LinkedIn and pitching people there. I quickly realized that wasn’t social selling.

Social selling equates to brokering relationships but you’re doing it online. It isn’t sending mass emails to people sharing everything that you have to offer.

Results

Salespeople are interested in results, and Carson said that after studying reports about social selling, he has determined that it amounts to standing apart, being unique, and finding a way to differentiate.

Social selling is a very targeted and specific effort to cast a wide wide net to reach maybe 30 people in a single organization in hopes that you’ll land a single meeting. That effort resulted in one of the larger deals in Microsoft.

Relationships

Carson suggests following business journals and using Sales Navigator to help in your efforts. Following the trades to stay aware of new C-levels that join the organization.

Last year, Carson was the first to the table when a new C-level joined a company he was connected to and now Microsoft is helping to drive change within that organization because of the relationship.

The relationships drive the deals forward, and those relationships wouldn’t exist without the strategic utilization of social selling.

Innovate

We’re all just trying to do something different. We’re trying to get a response or a meeting by setting ourselves apart from the others who came before us and failed. We aren’t just sitting on the phone reaching out to people.

We have so much technology at our disposal that we have to be careful to be focused and tailor our efforts. If we don’t, we’ll likely suffer from diminishing returns.

Our past approach of “spray and pray” doesn’t work anymore.

You have to embrace the probability of success. In the past, people were willing to send out hundreds of notes with the understanding that they wouldn’t get a whole lot of reception.

Consistent

If you want to connect with a C-level at an organization, you don’t just go after them. You’ve got to start a few levels below where you’d like to end up. Once you’re able to talk to someone who is receptive, you can use that momentum internally to get in front of the right audience.

But you must be consistent in your approach. Prospecting never ends. You must revisit those prospects.

Not surprisingly, many clients don’t reply immediately like you’d like them to. Be persistent and reach out to the same folks, but change your messaging.

Offer a compelling reason for your prospects to respond.

Be aware, too, that you may catch someone on an off day. The prospect may be sick or he may have missed the email. He may be busy.

Be adaptable with your process. There are a lot of things that we believe are good philosophies as sellers, but when we try them for a bit they don’t work the way they want to. So we discard them. We tweak things a bit and we adapt.

Concise

Sometimes we send long elaborate emails in hopes that we’ll get a reply. Truthfully, sometimes we get the best responses from emails with only one sentence. People are busy and they don’t have time to read a 3-paragraph message. If you’re specific and you offer a single task, they can more likely respond.

Emails are not intended to close the sale. It helps you grab attention. Don’t try to sell an enterprise solution within a few sentences of an email.

Trying to sell in an email amounts to skipping steps in the sales process. You’re jumping straight into the second or third date without wining and dining the prospect.

Connection

When you’re seeking to connect with multiple people in an organization, your approach will depend on what you’re looking to accomplish. It will also depend on your unique connection to that person.

If you’re searching for a job, don’t reach out with questions about a job or an opportunity within the organization. Instead, try this: “I saw that we have mutual synergies and I’m looking to parlay my experience into your industry. I’d love to sit down for 10 minutes to pick your brain and get some advice.”

Determine your unique connection to that client and then approach using that angle.

When Carson reached out to 30 people in a single organization, he got replies from about 11 of them. Of those responses, he got one response that pointed him to a certain person in the company. He pursued it and landed one of Microsoft’s larger deals.

Your chances of getting a reply are small to begin with. Make sure you put your best foot forward. Reach out to all of the people who have a vested interest in what you’re doing.

Needs analysis

Our process exists for a reason. When it goes awry, and when we get overzealous, we skip steps and we put too much information out there initially.

Sometimes your connection can just be to share an article and engage in a real conversation rather than always sending a message about “following up.” You can also share or retweet the other person’s content as a way to engage.

There is no single bullet that fixes all. Be cognizant that there are a lot of tools that exist that will help you succeed.

The sales process is vital, just like it’s vital that we only use social selling to get a meeting.

Stay top of mind so your connections continue to see you. If the prospect knows that he owes you some information, it may stimulate the conversation to continue. It’s a non-threatening way to follow up.

Relationships are everything. If you lead with the goal of adding value you never have to worry about your sales numbers.

“Social Selling Is the New Selling” episode resources

You can connect with Carson on LinkedIn or Twitter, and you can grab a copy of his book, The Birth of a Salesman: The Transformation of Selling in America. You can also check out his blog, The Life and Times of Carson V. Heady.

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 mailtag.io, 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.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io 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.

LinkedIn, Sales Rep, Sales Training, Social Selling

TSE 1085: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “LinkedIn Gold Rush”

LinkedIn, Sales Rep, Sales Training, Social Selling

There’s a huge prospecting opportunity right under your nose, and it’s a LinkedIn gold rush that can help you generate more leads and connect with more people.

Even if you have been on LinkedIn since 2016 like I have, it’s possible that you aren’t even scratching the surface of what it’s capable of doing. LinkedIn isn’t paying me to say any of this. I’m telling you because I know how much you can do with LinkedIn and I want you to do big things.

Statistics

My friend Stephen Hart, host of the Trailblazers.FM podcast, shared some statistics with me that made my eyeballs pop. When he appeared on The Sales Evangelist, he shared with us the importance of creating content that connects with your audience. He also emphasized the need to incorporate social selling into your existing efforts.

LinkedIn is designed to be more than a host for your resume. It’s created to be a community where people interact.

Content

The article 48 Eye-Opening LinkedIn Statistics for B2B Marketers in 2019 reports that there are 9 billion content impressions in the LinkedIn feed every week. Every single week, the content on LinkedIn is seen 9 billion times, which leads to about 36 billion impressions per month and 468 billion per year.

If you consistently take advantage of LinkedIn by producing content, you can take advantage of these statistics. You can even repurpose things you’ve previously created into LinkedIn content.

The article also reports that only 3 million people share content weekly. There are 500 million total LinkedIn users, and maybe half of those are active. Only 3 million of them share content weekly. That’s about 1 percent of the monthly users sharing content.

Three million users are getting 9 billion impressions per week on LinkedIn.

Try finding that kind of ratio on Instagram or Facebook.

Publishing

As you contemplate what to create, think about this. LinkedIn doesn’t want you to publish an article that has a link going back to your website. Like any social platform, LinkedIn wants your eyeballs to stay on the platform so you’ll see more ads and they’ll get more money from advertisers.

Post your stuff natively on LinkedIn. Publish a LinkedIn article, and make sure to include a picture. Then share it.

Long-form content gets more shares on LinkedIn. Dennis Brown mentioned this when he was on the podcast based upon research that showed that 1,900-word articles get the most shares. Aim to publish between 1,900 and 2,100 words in order to get more traction.

Consistency

If you’re thinking that you can’t write 1,900 words, I understand. Neither can I.

Instead, dictate your thoughts and hire a virtual assistant or someone from Fiverr to do the work for you. Or, use Temi to transcribe your audio into a written transcript that you can tweak and publish.

Don’t include links away from LinkedIn. Instead, trust that your website appears on your profile and as you appear in their feed, you’ll become the subject-matter expert.

Video

LinkedIn also has video capability now and I did my first LinkedIn Live last week with my friend Kyle who is involved in the Beta testing. Because it’s new, the engagement was amazing.

Many people will talk themselves out of using this tool because they don’t like the way they look on camera or they believe they won’t know what to say. But someone else in that 3 million will take advantage of it and they’ll see results.

Start. Right. Now.

You can record video directly to LinkedIn using the camera in the app. Our friend Tiffany Southerland who recently appeared on the podcast shared that she creates video content every week without doing any fancy editing using LinkedIn.

Nine billion impressions and 3 million people. It’s a gold rush.

“LinkedIn Gold Rush” episode resources

Check out the article 48 Eye-Opening LinkedIn Statistics for B2B Marketers in 2019.

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 in April.

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 mailtag.io, 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.

Jason Linett, Sales Podcast, Sales Team

TSE 1081: Leave People Better Off Whether They Buy From You or Not

When you interact with your prospects, your goal should be to provide such great value that you leave people better off whether they buy from you or not.

We’ve been talking about value all month, and today hypnotist Jason Linett talks about how people can change their thinking to grow their business. Growth isn’t just about your platform but it’s largely about how you tell the story to your audience.

We often miss the power of a story and its impact on our potential customers.

Help prospects win

In almost every category, there are others out there who do the same work you do. Storytelling is the one thing that truly sets you apart from the competition so that you’re no longer just a commodity. Your customers can go find another business coach or web designer, and even another hypnotist.

Jason points out that he didn’t get married by approaching a pretty girl at school and announcing that they were going to have children together. Instead, they built a relationship through the natural progression that occurs when people get to know each other.

Look at the relationship building aspect of it. You know that you want to help people, so look for something that will help the customer. Find things you can set in motion that will help your prospects win.

Suddenly, there’s a collection of people out there who didn’t need your entire service but they are in the raving fan category. Some of those that you helped will move forward in the funnel in order to see how you can help them even more.

Ditching fear

Most people don’t seize this concept because they fear giving away too much. They believe that if they give away too much, people won’t buy from them.

Jason said that he has given away more than most people in his industry. He has also earned more than most of the people in his industry. He believes the two naturally go together.

Think of it as a difference of show versus tell. I can tell you what methods may be helpful and you can research them and dig into them in order to determine whether they might truly work, or I can get together with you and actually help you do it.

Many people want to try an at-home version before they commit to the live “being in the room” version.

Convince people to care

How do we get people to care before we ever really ask them to listen?

We need to think differently. It’s about listening to the audience and responding to their requests.

Jason calls hit pitch “The Hollywood Effect.” It’s based on the tendency of movies to launch you directly into some piece of the action, get you swept up into it, and then rewind to tell you the back-story.

He launches into a story about murder, and about a new mother who moved into a hotel after seeing a bug in her home. By the end of her first meeting with him, she killed a housefly with her bare hand.

Draw in the entire room. Get them to put down their food and listen to what you have to say.

Value-first mindset

Do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. If everyone else is doing things one way, let that be your cue to do it differently.

As you decide how to move forward, pick the option you are most comfortable with. That’s your first entry point and you should flesh that out completely and make it exactly what you want it to be.

Once that piece has become a machine that’s running itself, you can branch off to some other thing.

Finding the time

Jason suggests that there’s no such thing as “finding the time.” It’s a game we invented to trick ourselves into not doing things we’re absolutely capable of. Instead, we should use the mechanism of making time.

Consider putting everything on a scheduling platform. Make use of color-coding. Choose one color for the events that cannot be changed.

The number one tip is to listen. So often we catch ourselves trying to mind-read our audience instead of starting with the ask and discovering the customer’s greatest need.

Sometimes what they want is different than what they need. You’re selling what they want, so you’ll deliver what they want, but along the way, you can overdeliver by providing what they need.

“Leave people better off whether they buy from you or not” episode resources

You can connect with Jason at jasonlinett.com or on social media as Jason Linett.

You can also grab a copy of his book, Work Smart Business: Lessons Learned From Hypnotizing 250,000 People and Building a Million-Dollar Brand. Head to worksmartbusiness.com for a freebie called the Positive Influence Power Pack that will teach you specific strategies to influence yourself and others.

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 in April.

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 mailtag.io, 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.

Chad Sanderson, Sales Email, Prospecting, Donald Kelly

TSE 1079: Sales From The Street – “Brief Compelling Stories In Sales Emails”

 

Many sellers understand the challenge of using emails to reach out to prospects, but Chad Sanderson tells us that using brief, compelling stories in sales emails can leave a memorable impression on a prospect who is inundated with noise.

Chad has worked as a marketer, seller, sales leader, and entrepreneur, so he understands the perspective of everyone listening to this podcast.

Email issues

Chad points out that most emails suck. We’re all connected to our devices and we’re constantly inundated with impressions through Facebook messages, videos, emails, LinkedIn requests, and even WhatsApp or Snapchat messages.

That doesn’t even include impressions you get while watching television.

The only way to effectively break through the noise is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Everything is moving at a ridiculously fast pace, so if you never slow down enough to truly consider the other person, you’ll probably fail to truly connect.

You must connect with people in a way that’s valuable from their perspective.

Onslaught

As if the crowded inboxes aren’t enough, it’s also true that many of the emails people send are just drudgery. Chad points to one company that has been pursuing him for several months, and as he mapped the cadence of the messages, he noted that the messages never included anything from his perspective until about email 14. The messages were always about the company.

He said it happens all the time because sellers don’t realize that approach doesn’t work.

And though he tries to be kind because he works in this world too, he sometimes has to unsubscribe because the messages aren’t valuable.

To make the idea simpler to understand, think about this in the context of your friends. Everybody has at least one friend that will not stop talking about themselves.

Even in a social setting, people will eventually move away from that person. It’s true in sales, too.

People business

We seem to assume that the rules are different in sales. We forget that we’re in the people business and that relationships matter in sales just as they do outside of work.

Sales has always been a discipline. It has always been tough. It has gotten tougher because now everyone can get to everyone else and everyone believes they have something important to say.

Slow down and take a deep breath. Think about your general target audience. Instead of thinking about Donald or Chad, think about reaching out to podcast hosts who focus on B2B revenue generation.

Then you’ll have a little bit of context. You still won’t know those people, but you’ll have a good place to start. But you have to be able to reach out to prospects at scale.

Personalization

Chad read a report last week about a company that ran a test of 7,000 emails, personalizing half of the emails to the challenges the person would face based upon their role. Think industry/company personalization rather than individual personalization.

They found that the open rates were four to five points higher on cold emails that were crafted to highlight challenges the receiver was facing.

Some people argue that isn’t personalization, but what we really need to do is understand the conext these people are working in and then show them something that will tap into their curiosity circuit.

The next level of personalization involves those who responded to the first round of communication.Instead of researching 100 people I only have to research the 10 who indicated interest in my product or service.

Stick to the rule of thumb that you’ll do 15 minutes of research on an industry, 10 minutes of research on a company, and 5 minutes of research on an individual. If you can stick to that and not be distracted by dog videos or Tiger winning the Masters, you’ll be able to effectively personalize your messaging.

Make them curious so that they’ll be waiting for the next email.

Telling stories

Chad related the story of a friend who went into a Men’s Warehouse to get a tux. Then he used the experience to reach out to the CEO of the company to highlight how his company could help fill in some of the organization’s gaps.

Using his own individual experience, he crafted an email that was still only six or seven sentences long so that it fit on a mobile screen.

In a B2C environment, share how that brand made you feel or how an individual made you feel. In a B2B environment, tell a story about how you’ve helped someone whose situation was similar to the person you’re targeting. Explain how you were able to help him turn his situation around and tell him about the results you were able to produce.

Tell him about the person who is like him.

Although you don’t know him yet, you know someone who is like him, so tell him that story.

If you want to understand story structure better, grab a copy of Creativity, Inc, a book about how Pixar creates stories for its movies.

Be human

Very few people can write an email the very first time that communicates well and fits neatly on one mobile screen. You’ll likely need multiple drafts to get it right.

Communicate to your audience that you’re paying attention to them and what they are dealing with. Acknowledge awards they won and acknowledge articles you’ve read about that address a problem they might be having.

Consider Barb Giamanco, who reached out to female chief marketing officers to recruit help with a project. She emailed each of them by acknowledging an award each had received.  Then she asked for their perspective on a project she was working on.

The emails indicated that she was paying attention to the CMOs’ careers. It acknowledged a problem that the CMOs might be having and a desire to address it. It wasn’t until the very end of the email that she even mentioned her own intentions.

Be authentic and genuine.

Realize, too, that once you get an email dialogue started, you have to have the skill set to keep it going.

Think about your prospects as human beings. Slow down and think about your target.

“Brief Compelling Stories In Sales Emails” episode resources

Check out Chad’s podcast B2B Revenue Executive Experience and you can find him on LinkedIn, but you must send a note with your connection request.

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 in April.

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 mailtag.io, 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.

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Customer

TSE 1077: Which Type Of Customers Are The Best?

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Customer

 

 

A sudden influx of new leads seems like a dream come true, but you often have to determine which type of customers are the best in order to assess whether it’s really a good thing.

If you haven’t yet grabbed a copy of The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honest and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results by Todd Caponi, get it before he joins us on the podcast in the near future.

In the book, he discusses the three types of buyers.

The active buyer

The active buyer is looking for a solution. He understands the problem and he wants to solve it. These are your inbound leads.

They understand their problem well enough to initiate research to try to find a solution to the problem. They may seek a quote for your product or service, and they are proof that your marketing is working.

These buyers are finding your website.

These buyers are also more than likely going to commoditize you. They are likely considering three to five different vendors and because they don’t have all the details about your company, they are going to try to differentiate you based on price as well as features.

Although they know they have issues that they must solve, they don’t care about the intricacies of your company. They simply need to solve a problem and get the best deal possible.

The passive buyer

The passive buyers recognize that a problem likely exists but they aren’t prioritizing it.

In his book, Todd compares it to the small problems at your house that need to be addressed eventually but that aren’t a priority right now. Maybe the handle on your door is broken or the blinds need to be repaired. It isn’t the end of the world if you fail to complete them.

Passive buyers will eventually get around to solving the problem.

The status quo buyers

These status quo buyers are happy with things as they are. They aren’t thinking about the future; they’ve learned to operate just fine the way things are. Imagine the guy who has a flip phone and doesn’t see the need for a smartphone.

He doesn’t want to change, perhaps because he doesn’t recognize that better options exist. Or maybe he’s worried that the smartphone will be too complicated and he won’t be able to learn it well. Change feels too complex, so he decides to stay with the status quo.

But what if someone could educate him and teach him to use the cell phone?

Challenging buyers

In my own experience, many of my most challenging leads were the active buyers. You might be thinking that these are the kinds of buyers we’d most like to have, and that would be the case if they were always perfectly ready to buy.

If my company was always the front-runner, that would be a great situation for us. But we’re not always the front-runner, and sometimes we’re simply an after-thought.

The buyer is likely considering several companies before making a decision because that’s how the buying department has structured its purchases.

The question becomes can we persuade them to buy once we’re having a conversation?

Best customers

From my coaching and training experience, and based upon Todd’s recommendations, we’ve discovered that the status quo buyers are often the best ones.

Your job is to teach them and help them to recognize unconsidered need.

Consider the book The Challenger Sale. When we can open the prospect’s mind to something he doesn’t know about, we can create the possibility of change. If you can reveal the problem, you can be the front-runner.

Also check out the book Three Value Conversations to help you understand the education process that sellers must adopt.

Managing customers

You’ll ultimately discover that you have all three kinds of customers in your pipeline and you must learn to manage them. The perfect buyers that are the perfect size who reach out to you? Those are the unicorns.

You must prepare for all three kinds of buyers. You may even find that you’re better equipped to interact with one kind of customer over another.

I’d love to hear your insights about each of these kinds of customers and which you like best.

“Which Type Of Customers Are The Best” episode resources

Grab a copy of The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honest and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results.

Also grab a copy of the book The Challenger Sale and the book Three Value Conversations

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 in April.

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 mailtag.io, 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.

Ned Leutz, Zoominfo, Sales Script

TSE 1073: Throw Away Your Sales Script And Do More Creative, Engaging Selling

Ned Leutz, Zoominfo, Sales ScriptSales scripts put sellers inside a box and lock them into selling a certain way, but when you throw away your sales script and do more creative, engaging selling, you’ll increase your conversion.

Ned Leutz runs two teams for ZoomInfo, a business data and technology company that helps salespeople get in touch faster and drive more meetings and more sales. He’ll talk today about throwing away the script in your sales efforts to increase your flexibility and your success.

Fast answers

People are accustomed to getting fast answers without ever having to engage with a person. By the time the prospect makes contact, the salesperson with a script may prove to be less flexible than the Internet. When that’s the case, there’s really no need for a salesperson.

Ned believes that giving a salesperson a script is the “kiss of death” and that scripts don’t drive conversion or sales.

Salespeople who are limited by scripts will often fail to connect with the prospect’s problem. If the goal is to find mutual challenges that you can solve together, the script will be extremely inefficient.

Instead of operating from a script, Ned suggests providing a map to sales reps. He believes in setting an agenda with the main goal of finding a point of mutual connection.

Solving problems

Ned’s team starts with the question, “Why did you decide to take my call?” He says that most people don’t take a call with a salesperson unless they have a suspicion that the salesperson can solve a need.

About 90 percent of the time, the prospect faces a challenge that he needs help with. The other 10 percent might be a case of someone taking your call because you’re just a nice person. In those cases, you’ll have to work to qualify the prospect before moving forward.

The question seeks to discover what caught the prospect’s attention and prompted him to accept the phone call. It eliminates half of the guessing.

Start with the end

Begin from a point of mutual agreement. Either there’s a problem that you can solve or there isn’t. Once you’ve set that agenda, you’ve established an expectation for the conversation. You’ve earned the right to discover whether or not there’s a problem you can solve.

You can ask the key questions of your customer to identify the challenge.

The alternative is to play a sales version of whack-a-mole in which you’re constantly asking, “Is this it?” “Is this it?” You’ll bore the client who will much prefer to research on his own since he’ll likely perceive that you aren’t listening or guiding him.

Nobody is taking your B2B sales call without looking at your website first and deciding whether there is something there that catches their attention. You can assume that the prospect has done some research before accepting your call.

Cold calling

Ned wants sellers to throw away the script in cold calling because there’s enough information readily available to sellers that they should have a pretty good story for why they are calling each prospect. When you call a prospect, it’s a suspicion rather than a script. you’ve got a reason for calling.

Your customer will have the sense that he isn’t just a number on the list.

Ned points out that data companies can’t fix a broken sales process or a bad product. A data company can give your sellers the information they need at their fingertips to have a 90% story as to why they might be able to help a particular company.

Verifiable outcomes

Ned asks his managers to focus on verifiable outcomes. They’ll know that a rep had a really good discovery call if they understand that the client feels some sort of pain, they understand that the client is in a current state that he’d like to get out of, and he can answer the question, “What would you be able to do tomorrow that you can’t do today if you could solve this problem?”

One of the worst sales questions we ask is, “If you solved this problem, how much money would you make?” Most people have no idea.

Instead, ask, “If you solve this problem, how would you quantify the impact of that on your organization? Who else would be affected?”

It’s not important that the prospect be able to quantify it immediately. It’s important that the prospect understand the impact your solution will make.

That thinking will help them decide whether it’s worth making an investment.

Business case

Ned believes that if you can get cooperative collaboration on building a business case, you know that you have a good chance of closing the deal. He points to ineffective activity as the reason many sales teams struggle.

Scripts often result in ineffective cold calling, and data can hurt as well. If you spend your day calling switchboard numbers all day but you can’t get a single gate-keeper on the phone, you’ll have a hard time moving forward.

Ned’s company engages in proof of concept in which they inject direct phone numbers into an organization’s system and then ask the reps to engage in the same activity they always do. They know the conversations will convert at a much higher rate simply because they’re going to talk to more people live.

They’ll set up an experiment in which sellers make 10,000 phone calls across an SDR group without data and then 10,000 with the data and then evaluate the number of live connections and ultimately the number of meetings.

The outcome typically results in 10 more meetings a week, which is 520 more meetings a year.

Empower prospects

Help your prospects arrive at conclusions on their own. Rather than give them answers, allow them to discover the answers themselves.

“It sounds like you see value in this. Your team doesn’t have the right data and we can provide them the right data. If you had to build a business case, where would you start?”

About 90 percent of the time the customer will say, “That’s a great question. How do your customers usually start?”

At that moment, you’ve earned permission to share. You’ll earn your customers’ trust very quickly this way.

Framework

Scripts won’t get you where you need to be. Instead, give your team a framework under which they work to identify the client’s business case and then evaluate whether the expectations are reasonable.

If a customer expects to close 20 deals with a product that isn’t transactional and has a long sales process, that isn’t a very reasonable expectation. The sales rep must negotiate that expectation to something more reasonable.

It’s tempting to rely on scripts, especially when things aren’t going well. It’s also tempting to wrestle control away from your reps.

Instead, invest your energy into building a map and providing constant reminders around asking good questions.

You will close deals with a script, but you’ll close them at a lower dollar amount at a much slower frequency.

Instead of measuring the number of calls you made, measure the number of outcomes. If your number of calls falls, but the number of meetings increases, forget about the number of calls.

“Throw away your sales script” episode resources

You can connect with Ned Leutz on LinkedIn or email him at Ned.Leutz@zoominfo.com.

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 in April.

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 mailtag.io, 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.

Formlabs, 3-D Printing, Donald Kelly, Videos in Email

TSE 1070: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “Shorten The Sales Process With Video”

Formlabs, 3-D Printing, Donald Kelly, Videos in Email

 

Even if you’ve been selling for years, it’s possible that you’ve overlooked some ideas that will help you perform better, like working to shorten the sales process with video. 

Today we’ll discuss some ideas that will help you shorten your sales cycle and some ways to use video to accomplish it. I’ll also share a real-life example from one of my clients to demonstrate how effective it can be.

Power of video

Video is so simple and so powerful that it’s hard to imagine that some people aren’t taking advantage of it. We’ve talked about it on The Sales Evangelist for months because it’s a powerful tool that’s available to every seller.

I recently read a study that showed that 7 out of 10 B2B buyers watch a video somewhere in their buying process. So 70 percent of buyers are watching videos that are usually generated by the marketing department.

But why aren’t we in sales using it as well? It’s simpler for the buyer to consume, and it isn’t difficult for us to make them.

Prevalence of video

Videos are everywhere and we engage with them daily on Netflix, YouTube, and other places. Stories are part of our lives.

We can use them in our prospecting, in our closings, and to build value throughout the entire sales process. Use video to follow up with a client or share a testimonial. Create a video overview of your product.

Creative uses

Chaz works in the 3D printing industry, which for some of us is still rather unfamiliar. Because his product is cutting-edge, it can be difficult for him to explain what he’s doing to his customers.

The emails can get long and confusing. His customers have lots of technical questions. Chaz realized that it would be very time-consuming to answer all of those questions each time they arise. When he tried to get his customers to hop on a call so he could answer the questions, they often went dark on him.

He decided to use video to answer questions for his customers. It shortens the process because it’s quicker than email, and it helps him build trust with his customers.

Chaz said that he can shorten the sales process with video by up to a week.

If you could shave time off of each of your deals, how much more could you process? How many more clients could you obtain? Could you close more deals or earn more commission?

Problem-solving

Imagine your current customers running into trouble with the product you sold them. Instead of asking them to ship it back to you so you can troubleshoot the problem, why not use video to help them identify the glitch.

You can walk them through the process and provide guidance that will help them improve the outcome the next time.

Chaz uses the video to carry the customer through the process and it freed up more time in his day because he was able to help his customer quickly and efficiently so he could move on to other things.

Video tools

We’ve told you about a number of different video tools like BombBomb, Loom, Wistia, and Soapbox. There’s another called Vineyard, and probably many more that I haven’t named.

Video humanizes you for your customer, and research has proven that people do business with those that they know, like, and trust. When your customer can see and hear you, you’ll be able to build trust much more quickly in addition to helping your customer.

You can use video in your prospecting by following up with your prospects. Try using it in your outreach process to see what kind of results you get. We’re testing it ourselves and seeing amazing results.

“Shorten The Sales Process With Video” episode resources

Chaz is part of our TSE Certified Sales Training Program beta group, which wraps up in a couple of weeks. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, and you can watch the videos I mentioned earlier in the podcast here and here.

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 mailtag.io, 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.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io 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.

 

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Reddit, Why Should I Buy?

TSE 1064: Sales From The Street – “Why Should We Do Business With You?”

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Reddit, Why Should I Buy?One of the most important questions you’ll answer is “Why should I do business with you?” and it’s vital that you get it right when you do.

When the question comes, you’ll be tempted to point out how long your company has existed, how great your product is, and how great your customer service is, but those answers won’t likely work.

Sales From the Street tackles actual problems that sellers are facing and allows a sales rep just like you to provide an answer that worked for him.

Loaded question

People frequently get on Reddit seeking advice about how to answer this question. I love checking in there because it gives me a great opportunity to connect with sellers and share my own insights and expertise.

They frequently listen to the podcast after our interaction and it presents a great opportunity to grow my business. If you haven’t checked Reddit for a page related to your own industry, you definitely should.

“Why should I do business with you” is a loaded question, and I’m going to answer it in two different ways.

When I was a young seller, I was quick to point out the features of my product and to preach about why we were the best company, but it never addressed the client’s true issue.

Initial conversation

Your answer to the question will largely depend on whether this is the first time you’ve spoken to this person. Do you have a relationship already, or this your very first contact?

If you’re speaking to the customer for the very first time, he may be testing you to see how you’ll respond. You could play a seller’s version of whack-a-mole and blindly try to guess the right answer, but as a sales professional, that’s not how you want to operate.

Instead, take control of the situation. Your first priority should be to find out why she is asking this question in the first place.

You can respond with a listicle or with a question of your own. Or, consider this:

“You know, David, when people ask that question it’s usually one of three things.

  1. To see if we have the proper expertise
  2. Testing whether I’m quick on my feet. 
  3. To determine whether we can solve their problem.

Which one of those are we dealing with David?”

His answer to your question will help you understand how to proceed.

Take control

Ask questions about the sales process that will help you determine what the customer is seeking. Take charge of the sales process by controlling the conversation.

If the prospect is wasting your time and has no intention of hiring you, you’ll determine that more quickly rather than wasting time on a deal that will never close.

If the prospect is interested, he’ll answer the question and you can continue from there. Pose a question in response to his question.

Ask him why he’s inclined to ask that. If he indicates that his company has encountered other sellers who couldn’t solve its problems, then you’ll know how to respond.

Address the concerns

“I don’t ever want to do business with you if I can’t solve your problem. We want to make sure we’re a fit. I don’t want to waste your time or mine.”

“If you are open to it, I’d love to see what you’re doing now to see if we can help you just like we’ve helped many other companies in the past.” 

You can even mention at some point that you’d love to be honest enough to acknowledge if the two of you aren’t a good fit. That will keep you on the same page.

Your customer expects you to rattle off a list of features and benefits. They expect you to be a submissive seller.

They may not realize that as a professional seller, you’ve helped a lot of people, and you’re an expert at doing so. You’re going to stay calm and confident.

Surprise the customer

If, on the other hand, this is a customer that you’ve worked with for some time, he may be truly trying to determine whether he should work with you. Your goal is to communicate to him that you’re the best at solving his particular problem.

You’ve done it for thousands of other clients, you’ve run the protocols, and you know you’re the best. You can turn the tables on the customer at that point.

“Why should you not do business with me?”

Be confident. Make sure you understand why the customer is asking the question.

“Why Should We Do Business With You?” episode resources

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 mailtag.io, 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.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io 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.

Donald Kelly, Chala Dincoy, Closing The Deal, EMSDC,

TSE 1056: 5 Closing Mistakes That Prolong the Selling Cycle

Many small business owners and sales reps face challenges with closing, and there are five closing mistakes that will prolong your selling cycle.

I met Chala Dincoy at the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council ROAR Conference, and today she’ll talk to us about the mistakes that can delay or prolong your selling cycle.

Chala is an elevator pitch coach who helps people get into the room. Then, once they’ve landed a sales meeting, she helps them close it faster.

The greatest challenge, she said, is getting the appointment because people don’t stand out. About 86 percent of buyers think you’re the same as your competition. Now she teaches reps how to get through the noise and stand out.

Interestingly, she pointed out that many companies don’t use titles like “sales rep” on their business cards anymore because it puts people off to see that someone is in sales.

Thought leadership

That’s the first closing mistake.

The second is you haven’t specifically addressed the customers’ pain points. So now you’re in the wrong room and the wrong people are in the room with you.

You end up talking to lower level managers who pass you off over and over. As a result, you’re never able to get to the influencers that you need to reach.

The real trick, then, is to change your marketing so that you’re in front of decision makers all the time.

Since Chala’s sweet spot is diversity businesses, she works to get in front of conferences where those people are gathered. She has their business cards and they are talking to her at conferences.

This is the kind of marketing you should do, via speaking, networking, blogging, and any other kind of thought leadership.

Branding

Your branding is one of the tools that gets you into the room. Sheryl Sandberg is a celebrity in the business world, and you can do the same thing in the world of your target.

Chala recalls being at a recent conference where five people hugged her as she got off of an elevator. Though she didn’t know them, she says it’s a sign that you’re becoming known in your industry.

Once they know who you are, it’s really easy to land an appointment. It’s easy to invite them to an executive round table and for them to say yes.

Realize, too, that though everyone might be able to benefit from what you’re selling, not everyone needs it. We all sit in chairs, for example, but I may not need the kind of chair you’re selling.

Pain

Seventy percent of humans purchase based upon pain, so if they have a problem, they buy. The flip side is that only 30 percent of people will buy if you’re selling based on improving something.

Chala is fond of the saying, “No pain, no sale.” The third mistake is trying to sell something without addressing pain.

Stories have to be about the pain. When you’re in a presentation, offer case studies of pain. Your elevator pitch has to be based on pain. And all of it has to be the same pain.

We must niche down and focus.

Stop talking about yourself. No one cares how many offices you have or how many awards you’ve won.

Your prospects only care about the pain.

The purse

You must have both the budget and the authority in the room with you. Failure to do so is mistake number four.

We often call it the purse and the pain. If the pain doesn’t have the purse, no decision can be made, and vice versa.

As an extension of that, lower level managers may talk about a different kind of pain that company leadership will. If you base your entire presentation around one person’s pain, especially if that person isn’t the decision maker, your presentation will miss its mark.

You must have both people in the room.

Finally, avoid leaving without a next appointment. You must establish a next step with your prospects.

If they tell you they can’t commit to a date because there are other stakeholders involved and they don’t know all the schedules, then set a date to get a date. In other words, schedule a day that you’ll call to set up the next appointment.

If they aren’t willing to give you a date, it’s a really strong indicator that they aren’t going to buy.

Stop talking about yourself and connect with their pain points.

“Closing Mistakes” episode resources

You can connect with Chala at LinkedIn or at repositioner.com and you can take a quiz to determine how good your elevator pitch is.

We are currently in the Beta portion of our new TSE Certified Sales Training Program. The first section is about prospecting, the second is all about building value, and the third is about closing.

This episode is 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.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, 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.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io 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.

Peter Chun, Lucidchart, Salesforce, Sales Podcast

TSE 1053: How To Effectively Map And Create Multithreaded Relationships In Enterprise Deals

Peter Chun,

Sales constantly evolves and sellers who want to be successful must effectively map and create multithreaded relationships in order to close more deals. Peter Chun talks today about the importance of multithreaded relationships and the challenge for reps who must establish them.

Peter fell in love with the convergence of sales and data and has found a personal passion for it. He loves strategizing about how to close deals and about how to help your company scale and grow.

Evolving sales

The biggest obstacle for B2B sellers right now is the evolving face of sales. Buyers are more sophisticated, and they have more information at their fingertips. They do a lot of research before they even engage with a salesperson.

Additionally, the number of stakeholders within B2B deals is increasing, with research indicating that complex deals often include 6 to 10 stakeholders.

The big challenge, then, is finding and creating multithreaded relationships because too often they are single threaded. Many reps, either because of laziness or lack of awareness, fail to establish more than one relationship within a deal. They rely on a single relationship to get the deal done.

Multithreaded relationships

Being multithreaded doesn’t simply refer to your customers. It’s important that sellers create multithreaded relationships within their own companies as well.

Who else, besides your prospect, needs to be part of the conversation you’re having? Who else on your team has relationships that can be leveraged to build a solid foundation?

One of Peter’s reps teaches his reps to always do discovery because it keeps them aware of the details of the deal and helps them to stay relevant.

If you’re multithreaded, you have other contacts that can help you move a deal forward.

Unnecessary risk

Even when you believe that you have the juice to close a deal, you leave yourself open to risk if you fail to be multithreaded. You may, in fact, be connected to the right person, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t others who can help move the deal forward as well.

Many reps simply haven’t been coached to do this well. Sales leaders must coach them well and teach them how to have a multithreaded perspective.

In the case of a complex account, there may be hundreds of employees. There may be years of history between you and your prospect making it difficult to know where to even start.

Peter says that visually mapping the process will help you keep track of your efforts.

  • Who are you talking to?
  • Where does each employee sit?
  • Who does each employee report to?
  • What are the relationships within that organization?

Becoming multithreaded

In order to establish a multithreaded perspective, begin by figuring out all the people you already know. Start with who you’ve met or spoken to in the organization.

Step two is to identify all your targets or the people you’d like to talk to.

Third, add the executive team. Include the CEO and any executive leadership that you think is relevant to the conversation.

You can then figure out who reports to whom and who is pursuing specific initiatives. The goal is to drive consensus across the organization, so I must identify the leaders who can move this initiative forward.

Recognizing your prospects’ initiatives demonstrates an interest and it suggests that you’re more than an order-taker; you’re paying attention to the details.

Common mistakes

Some managers get so focused on their numbers that they fail to develop a real strategy. As soon as organizations allow their sellers to be a little more strategic, they’ll find that their activities are much more scalable.

Account mapping has been around for a long time, but now we have the technology to use a more systemized approach to it and tie it into our CRM.

Young sales leaders simply haven’t been exposed to enough deals to think that way. But great sales leaders think that way naturally.

Help your less tenured sellers learn to think that way.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with this idea but begin with your top account. Implement the three steps with that account, will help you begin really moving your deals.

Build the discipline within yourself and your team to be multithreaded. Even if you’re certain it will close, you can still consider who else you have access to.

When you’re multithreaded, you have more options when your contacts go dark. Remember to focus on internal and external connections.

“Create Multithreaded Relationships” episode resources

You can connect with Peter on LinkedIn and you can sign up for LucidChart and check out their sales templates.

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in April.

If you’re not familiar with the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, it’s a program designed to help brand new sales reps, as well as those who have been selling forever. The 12-week module offers videos you can watch at your own pace, as well as the option to join a group discussion. It’s broken into three sections: finding, building value, and closing. It’s amazing and it’s fun!

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, 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.

The episode is also brought to you by prospect.io, a sales automation platform that allows you to send cold emails in a personalized manner. To find out more about how it can help you automate your sales process, go to prospect.io/tse. Your prospecting will never be the same.

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.

Joel Burnstein, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, EMSDC

TSE 1052: How To Prepare Your Sales Pipeline For Economic Downturns

No matter what business you’re in or what product you’re selling, downturns happen, so today we’re talking about how to prepare your sales pipeline for economic downturn. 

We’re here at the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council’s ROAR Conference, which is connecting minority-owned and women-owned businesses with Fortune 100 companies.

Joel Burstein says that companies should be most aware of economic downturn when the economy is good. The downturns in ’01 and ’08 were preceded by markets that were really,  but they grew so quickly that they weren’t sustainable.

When things seem too good to be true, they usually are.

Consider the internet

At one point, everything was successful. It didn’t matter what the product was. The reality of the world at that time was that 22-year-olds owned five properties.

If you drive your car as fast as you can for as long as you can, your car will eventually break. The economy is the same.

The time to prepare for the economic downturn is when the economy is good. You do that by diversifying your clientele and diversifying your business.

Clients who are looking are still engaged. You don’t necessarily have to take your foot off the gas; you just have to think outside the box.

Talk to clients

Ask your clients how their world is going. They will have indicators, so if you ask them what signs they are seeing, they may be able to share signs with you.

Realize, too, that not everyone’s downturn is equal. Some people’s downturn started in ’07 while others started in ’08. What happened is that we missed it.

Your perspective depends on where your market falls. Some people are struggling today. It isn’t that they’re struggling tremendously, but their business is down.

Perhaps it only lasts one quarter, or maybe it stretches into two or three quarters. Once that happens, it begins to have an impact.

Have engaging conversations with your existing clients about what’s happening in their markets. Because their markets are different than yours, you’ll gain insight into the overall economy.

Two-fold benefit

Imagine an entrepreneur with a digital marketing company who has decent-sized clients. If she stays in touch with them she can accomplish two things:

  1. She can do some reconnaissance work.
  2. She can deepen her relationships.

At some point, you sell without selling. You have to be in the relationship mindset rather than the selling mindset.

You’ll develop a deep understanding of what your client is facing and struggling with. Your client will remember you as the one who cared about how they were handling the downturn.

Preparing for downturn

Certain industries will survive recession better than others. Energy is a great example.

Oil is another industry that survives recession well, as evidenced by the Texas economy while the rest of the country was in a downturn. People still need oil, and we forget that it’s used to make milk cartons. It’s also used for the oil and gears of manufacturing machinery.

Healthcare is another example. Hospitals have tremendous numbers of vendors because they are like self-sufficient cities.
Unemployment could negatively impact healthcare, but the government tends to step in so that people don’t go without care.
Ask yourself which adjustments you’ll make in order to survive the recession when it happens. Identify ways to gain traction in those industries that can survive recession. Add those behaviors to your daily, weekly, and monthly behaviors.

Larger companies

The EMSDC offers a great opportunity to expand a middle-sized business to a larger business. Because larger businesses have more funds, they survive a bit better than small ones.
If all of your businesses are about the same size, some of those will fluctuate. Some of them will go out of business. It’s the nature of the industry.
There’s a reason we talk about companies being too big to fail.
When you engage in the right behaviors, you introduce that diversity into your business.  It’s a matter of making an effort to prospect in a certain area or to call on certain people or ask certain people for referrals.
Many entrepreneurs get stuck waiting for business to come in. If I can get out there and start having conversations with people I’m targeting, I can control my destiny a little better by choosing who I will target.

Networking

When the economy shifts, you need to have a great network of people you can reach out to for different things at different times. If I don’t know people, I can’t do that.

Networking is a big thing. Speaking engagements are, too.

In our case, we can’t always orchestrate large training opportunities but we can convince people to sign up for workshops or boot camps. It allows us to build our brand, stay connected to our customers, and it offers additional streams of income.

Joel said he leverages his LinkedIn so that his existing contacts can introduce him to people he doesn’t know. People typically don’t leverage it properly, but what if you knew all the same people your clients do?

“Prepare For Economic Downturn” episode resources

You can connect with Joel at keepitsimple.sandler.com or email him at Joel.Burstein@pghkeepitsimple.com

We are currently in the Beta portion of our new TSE Certified Sales Training Program. The first section is about prospecting, the second is all about building value, and the third is about closing.

This episode is 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.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, 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.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io 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.

Jonathan Dale, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Pricing

TSE 1034: Sales From The Street – “How Low Can You Go?”

Jonathan Dale, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, PricingSalespeople often adopt a commodity selling mindset instead of a value-based mindset, which leaves them making less money than they could have made. They find themselves asking, “how low can you go?

Jonathan Dale works with RS&I, a nationwide company with nine branches throughout the United States. They have become the largest distributor and sales agent of dish networks. Anyone wanting the ability to resell dish networks must go through RS&I to do so.

They also own HughesNet, one of the largest satellite internet providers.

Jonathan manages the Vivint portfolio. As a sales leader, he teaches sales reps how to keep the sales process simple by breaking it down.

Jonathan has had so many different experiences with both sellers and partners. It brings a whole other level of complexity to his role as a sales leader.

Focus on value

He remembers knocking on doors to sell home security systems for a company called Pinnacle. It is where he learned the ‘Art of the Sale.’ Although he didn’t particularly love it, he admits that he did learn from it.

The following year, after several failures, he fully understood the sales process and realized he was a salesperson. It required taking a step back and looking at sales in a whole new way.

Jonathan believes that salespeople commonly place a stigma on sales, or have a mindset about it, that prevents them from being successful.

It is a mindset that they have to sell based on price.

Jonathan’s biggest struggle when training new reps in the home security industry is teaching them to become more of a value salesperson versus a commodity sales rep.

He wants them to pitch the overall value of the service rather than diluting the service.

Let the customer decide what the spending habits will be.

The opportunity for a sales rep to make the most money is when the customer is comfortable with where he wants to be.  Often times, as sales reps, we want to fit each customer into the same size box.

Yet, at the end of the day, if we try to force that fit, we lose money. Forcing our clients into a package that they do not need only leads to chargebacks.

Don’t compete on price

Jonathan works with over 350 different retailers that take Vivint as a secondary, tertiary, and even fourth line sale. It is a struggle to get them to understand that he doesn’t want them to compete on price.

Instead, he wants them to have a conversation about the value of the service and let the customer decide if the product fits their needs.

Sales reps, however, are prone to touting the price because it seems easier.

Jonathan made an interesting transition two years ago which was actually detrimental for a few months.

He moved from home security sales – a totally valuable sale – to satellite sales which was more of a commodity. He realized he was losing money because he wasn’t committed to the value of the product.

Often times, sales reps want to take the path of least resistance – the easier sale. If you can provide the customer with benefits, instead of simply selling features, you create value in your product. By allowing the customer to then determine his spending habits, your earning potential is maximized.

Don’t lead with your own wallet

When I sold training classes for $10K a class, the most money I had ever had in the bank at one time was $3,000. It made no sense to me. I just couldn’t understand why someone would spend that much money. As a result, it definitely limited my ability to sell.

I needed to realize that my clients would get a huge return on that $10K investment – that there was a value to what I offered.

We don’t know their spending habits or capabilities.

Instead, believe that your product is the best in the industry regardless of what the competitors offer. Know that your prospects will pay for it because it is the best product available.

Keep it simple

Keep it simple, silly!  K.I.S.S is an acronym that Jonathan keeps in mind when he teaches the retail process to his sales reps.

Look at the product in total.

Do not ‘product spew,’ meaning, do not lecture your prospects on every single detail of the product because that is not what they need.

Instead, sell the benefit of the product.

Increase the value of the product by explaining the ways it can serve the customer.

When the question of price arises, turn it back around and ask the customer what he feels it is worth.  If all went well – if the sales rep has created significant value in his presentation – the customer will be pleasantly surprised when presented with the cost because he has placed an even higher value on it.

Commodity selling means to provide the customer with the necessary scenarios to imagine for himself the benefit of your service.

Know that value should exceed cost

Everyone wants to know what’s in it for them. They want to know the biggest return they can get on any investment. As sales reps, keep that in mind. The sales pitch has to continually revolve around it.

When the customer can see the value – when he understands what is in it for him –  he will buy.

At a recent door-to-door conference, Jonathan was looking for a new accountant when he approached an accountant booth a few rows away from his own booth. They told him everything he wanted to hear. Without even knowing the cost, Jonathan was ready to sign because he immediately understood the value they offered. It was a no-brainer.

In the end, the new accountant service was more expensive than the old service he had been using, but to Jonathan, the value exceeded the cost.

Keep up with the evolving world of sales

As a sales leader, Jonathan spends a lot of time on the road. He ‘gets down in the trenches’ with his sales teams to introduce new ideas and to show them how to make changes that, despite sometimes being more difficult at first, will bring in more money in the long run.

He sets the example for his team.

In sales, we sometimes get into a comfortable rut regardless of results. We can’t afford, however, to continue down a road that does not deliver results.

The sales industry is continually evolving and changing. New ideas and new processes are constantly created. You have to study and keep up with the times.

Have fun as well. The sales process can be a fun way to learn about how people think. Figure out how people think and use it to your advantage. Be forward thinking in your sales approach.

“How Low Can You Go?” episode resources

The best way to reach Jonathan is via email at Jon.dale@rsiinc.com.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. If you put in a lot of hard work in 2018 but weren’t able to close many of your deals, we can help you fix that. We have a new semester beginning in April and it would be an honor to have you join. Visit thesalesevangelist.com/CST.

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.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, 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.

Mailtag.io 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sean Mcdade, Donald Kelly, peoplemetrics.com, People Metric, Prospect Journey

TSE 1028: Your Customer Journey Starts with the Prospect Experience

 

So often, as sales reps, we neglect to realize that the customer journey starts with the prospect experience.

Sean McDade, PhD, is the founder and CEO of PeopleMetrics; a software and services company that helps organizations measure and create a better customer experience by listening to their customers and prospects.  Sean is also the author of “Listen or Die: 40 Lessons that turn Customer Feedback into Gold,” a book about how to listen to your customers, clients and prospects in order to create a better experience for them.

Customer experience

Any time that a company interacts with a customer or prospect, they are providing a customer experience. It could be a digital experience on a website, an in-person experience through a meeting with a sales rep, or customer experiences via contact centers or online chats.

A great company is one that consciously manages those interactions to create positive experiences for their customers.

As a sales rep, the experience you give to your prospects is very important. The prospect’s interaction with a sales rep sets the tone for the experience he can expect as a customer.

This is especially true if you are selling B2B products, software, professional services, or any high-end consumer products that a prospect is likely to spend significant dollars on to purchase.

A sales rep can increase the value in the sales process by answering questions in detail, by solving problems, and by reducing pain for the prospect.

The metric used to measure customer experience is substantially higher for sales reps who add value over those who do not.

When a prospect feels that he was lied to, or misled, at the beginning, it is difficult to recover. The great sales reps are the ones who set the tone for a great customer or client experience over the long-term.

As for the sales reps who are not setting a positive tone – Sean believes they are creating the very real possibility that the client will churn in the future instead.

Marketing vs sales

Marketing sets the brand promise. They set the expectations but it is up to the sales reps to bring it to life.

The prospects will remember their conversations with sales reps long after they’ve forgotten the marketing campaign. The sales rep has more credibility and is more effective, as a result, in setting a positive – or negative – tone with the prospect.

Positive prospect experience

PeopleMetrics measures various attributes by sending a survey to each prospect to determine the experiences that the reps create.

In this way, Sean has found the prospects always feel that value has been added to their experience whenever a sales rep is able to provide these five things:

  • Be prepared. A great sales rep is one who is super-prepared. They know the prospect inside and out; the reps don’t ask questions that are easily found online, for example.
  • Be comfortable answering questions. A great sales rep understands their prospect’s situation and can suggest solutions.
  • Be a good listener. A great sales rep listens more than he talks and will really understand the needs of the prospect as a result.
  • Be knowledgeable about your product. Be able to answer questions beyond what is already available online.
  • Be proactive. Be timely and follow-up.

Referrals are key, especially in the B2B market.  At that level, buyers actually seek out referrals from other buyers before making big decisions.

The consultative sale rep

As sales reps, we sometimes feel as though we are simply taking orders when, in truth, we should aim to be more of a consultant for the buyer. The company we work for should be one that values the consultative element: providing training, experience, and hands-on opportunities for the sales reps to really learn the product well.

As an example, Sean has a great rep at his company who is generally tasked with opening doors by understanding the prospect’s needs, identifying problems, and introducing solutions. On his own time, the rep learned the product inside and out to the point where he can now read the reports the analysts write for similar-type prospects. He knows the industry, the language, and the company so well that he is extremely credible as a result.  The value that the company placed on his training continues to pay off.

Unfortunately, a lot of smaller companies are unable to provide training, so it is up to the rep to become consultative through proactive measures. Learn as much as you can about the product and the industry and talk to account managers who are servicing similar products, etc.

Learning your customer

As sales reps, we don’t need our buyers to know all about our business. Rather, we need to learn as much as possible about theirs. We need to be able to help them see their blind spots and identify their weaknesses so that we can create a great prospect experience by providing solutions.

Nothing annoys a buyer more than having to answer questions simply to bring a sales rep up to speed, especially when it is something the sales rep should already understand. Instead, if you can offer the buyer insight into the many ways that your product can reduce their pain, or further them in their careers, you are already ahead of the game. You’ve got the inside track.

It reminds me of a story where a sales rep friend of mine was shadowing a more established rep. The established sales rep, however, was also a really cocky and arrogant guy who didn’t feel the need to do any research on his prospects before a call. He was confident that his knowledge of the product would be sufficient to land the sale.

Long story short: Because the sales rep failed to take the time to research an acronym that he had seen on the prospect’s website, the sales rep misused the acronym and was unable to recover. It was a horrible experience that could have been prevented with a little research.

The statistics

PeopleMetrics researched 800 B2B buyers and discovered some fascinating reasons as to why they buy or don’t buy.

  • Seventy-eight percent of B2B buyers actively seek recommendations from their trusted colleagues as their first step toward a purchase. They rarely look online or make a choice based solely on an interaction with a sales rep.
  • Seventy-six percent of the time, the recommended company wins the contract. The losing providers, on the other hand, are almost never recommended.
  • Furthermore, the sales rep makes a huge difference as to whether or not a company is recommended. Sixty-one percent of B2B buyers that bought something report that the sales rep provided high value: he was consultative and he was prepared. He provided a positive prospect experience.
  • And here’s the kicker: the sales rep that provided the high-value experience for the B2B buyer got bigger contracts – up to $100,000 more within the 800 buyers.

The champion cycle

Seventy percent of B2B buyers who experience a high-value meeting recommended the provider to others. It is a cycle that goes around and around and around. It all comes down to the experience that the sales reps have with the prospects.

Sean highly recommends reaching out to your prospects after interactions with your reps. Ask them what they did well and what they could do better. At PeopleMetrics, the survey takes less than a minute and they regularly see a 75% response rate.  

Was the meeting valuable? Was the rep prepared?

And most importantly – do you have any concerns related to moving forward? This is a beautiful question because, as sales reps, we waste a lot of time chasing leads that are going nowhere. This question offers a non-confrontational way for a prospect to let us know if our product is not a good fit. Then we can focus our efforts on prospects who are.

E-Courage

The survey is sent to every decision maker in the group who attended the meeting.  Sean does not recommend, however, having the sales manager call the prospect with the same survey questions as it is unlikely they will provide completely truthful answers.

People are more likely to provide honest feedback via digital means than in person.

The Net promoter question

“How likely would you be to recommend our product or services to a colleague?”

Sean is working with a company that is taking this one step further. Their sales reps call and thank every single customer who provided a 9, or 10. This simple act has resulted in even more referrals!

The mindset of most sales leaders is very hard-charging, or maybe marketing owns the customer experience side of things. Once the sales leader recognizes customer experience as a revenue-generating opportunity, he is more likely to implement it.

Sean recalls a client who left a meeting feeling very confident that he had landed the sale only to receive lukewarm feedback.  As a result, he was able to get on the phone and determine where a misunderstanding had occurred. He was able to turn it around and make the sale.

PeopleMetrics

Valuable prospect experiences can be easily and systematically incorporated in very low stress ways. At PeopleMetrics, they are super passionate about the prospect and customer experience.  Their software automatically sends the survey to your prospects. Once prospects complete the survey, the company sends an email alert of results along with recommendations on how best to proceed.

PeopleMetrics also provides the ability to focus on which reps are doing well, and which ones might need more assistance. It is a complete solution for improving the prospect/customer experience by helping companies listen to their clients.

The prospect experience is the key to delivering a great customer experience that can hopefully last a lifetime.

Take the guesswork out of it.  Know how your sales reps are interacting with your prospects.

“Customer Journey Starts With the Prospect Experience” episode resources

You can reach out to Sean via email at Sean.mcdade@peoplemetrics.com , or find him on Twitter @smcdade. Learn more about the company at Www.peoplemetrics.com.

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.

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in March.

This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, 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.

Mailtag.io 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Tom Libelt, Salespeople, Uncertainty, Sales Deal

TSE 1013: How to Deal With Uncertainty as a Salesperson

Tom Libelt, The Sales Evangelist, Uncertainty as a SalespersonHow do you deal with uncertainty as a salesperson? It’s definitely a tough thing that can wipe some people out.

Tom Libelt has been a salesman for almost 20 years; inside sales, outside sales, retail, large corporations – you name it. He has a couple of his own companies as well and is currently focused on the marketing of online courses.

Tom credits just getting up every morning and going to work as the secret to his success. And, he never leaves anything half-finished.

You don’t have to accomplish ten million things in one day – aim for two or three. It is amazing how much you can achieve in a year if you just check two or three items off each day. You could record an album, get a degree, open a store …

In this way, Tom has been able to 5x his company in just three months.

Plan ahead

He says the trick is to plan ahead the night before so as not to lose your focus, momentum, and energy trying to figure it all out the next morning.

When Tom is in the middle of a really fun project, he sometimes will let it set overnight just so he can enjoy it again for another day. Leaving something overnight, however, also just bugs him the whole night; he can’t stop thinking about it.

He wakes up looking forward to finishing it. In his experience, completing a great project first thing in the morning establishes the work flow for the rest of the day.

You will already be in the mindset to get things done.

Dealing with uncertainty

Dealing with uncertainty is especially difficult as a salesperson. We hear ‘No’ more than anyone else in any profession.

It can be a real roller coaster ride: Got a sale! … No sale…. Almost got a sale …hot lead! … nothing.

It is especially hard when there is a target to hit. The ride can last two or three weeks before it lands on a sale. It’s a grind sometimes and it can chip away at your confidence – and increase your uncertainty – if you don’t have the experience to handle it.

As a salesperson, Tom defines uncertainty as a feeling that nothing is working. It is that moment when the negative thoughts start to take over and you begin to worry. It is when the confidence and experience you need to know you will be okay are not there.

Those moments are fueled by fear and the worst decisions are often made as a result.

Imagine trying to close a deal and being terrified of what might happen if you fail. The client can sense that fear and you will not close that deal despite all your abilities. The wrong value and emotions are transferred to the client. Clients don’t buy when they are scared.

You wouldn’t want a hesitant doctor – you want a confident doctor.  It is the same with sales.

Project confidence

We have to project competence, confidence, and professionalism. Tom isn’t concerned whether or not his clients like him but he does want them to trust and respect him.

Tom is of the belief that although having a strong opinion may not always earn you friends, it will earn you respect. Clients don’t want someone who is trying to cater to everyone; they want someone who is confident and able to fix their problem.

Tom and his no-nonsense approach have closed many sales. He doesn’t tell his clients what they want to hear. He tells them what they need to hear.

Sometimes the respect comes automatically because you are working for a well-established brand name but only you, as a salesperson, can earn trust and confidence.

If you are dealing with uncertainty, if you had a poor showing in 2018 for example, Tom believes that 99% of the time it stems from a lack of prospecting.

You have to prospect to fill the sales funnel. Sitting around waiting for the phone to ring is a recipe for uncertainty.

The fundamentals

If you follow the fundamentals, you can succeed. You have to make a start and you have to put in the work. Just because someone hung up on you one time doesn’t mean it will happen every time.

Don’t let uncertainty keep you from continuing to try.

I especially like working with novices because they aren’t afraid. It is the flip side of experience – they haven’t failed enough times to be afraid to try again.

Tom also believes that, as a whole, we have become soft. Instead of cold calling or going door-to-door, we now have technology that allows us to stay at our desk. We no longer have to deal with brutal weather or slamming doors.

Stop asking for permission.

Instead of asking your manager how to best handle a call, or what you should do next, Tom says to just do it! The worst thing that could happen is that the client will say ‘No.’

If that happens, and it will sometimes, just move on and try again. You never know what will happen unless you do it, unless you keep trying. You can’t score unless you step up to the plate and swing the bat.

Sales needs momentum.

Tom realizes that, in the past, he wasn’t always the most successful salesperson. He knows there were times when he slacked off on prospecting, especially after a having a good week. He was forced to restart the process over and over again as a result.

As long as you do what it takes, good things will happen.

Do prospect. Do fill that sales funnel. Stop the amateur nonsense. Leave the outrage and softness at the door.

“Uncertainty as a Salesperson” episode resources

Tom can be reached via smartbrandmarketing.com.

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, 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.

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, and share with your friends!

 

 

Kris Nelson, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Sales Process

TSE 989: Sales From The Street – “From Click Try Buy to a Full-Fledged Sales Team”

Kris Nelson, Sales From the Street, full-fledged sales teamOn today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk with Kris Nelson, head of sales for CoSchedule.com, about how businesses can move from “click, try, buy” to having a full-fledged sales team.

CoSchedule is a SaaS-based marketing platform that helps marketers to stay organized through a combination of content calendar, a product, project management solutions and execution via social campaigns and email campaigns.

CoSchedule took the time to focus on true growth and the company has seen tremendous results. Prior to reaching that point, however, the business, which began as a “click, try and buy,” didn’t even have a sales team.

When “click, try, and buy” works

Initially, they released the product as a straightforward “click, try and buy,” product because it made sense at the time. They also designed it for small teams and individuals. The level of product and the price point didn’t really dictate a need for a dedicated sales team. [01:26]

As the product progressed and became more complicated, however, it became apparent that they needed a sales team to help the clients really understand how CoSchedule could benefit them.

It was simply a natural progression to establish a sales force as the product grew and the price point increased, especially with some of the advanced plans. They moved away from the “click, try and buy,” and toward a professional marketing team and into a standard sales cycle. [03:17]

Bringing whiskey to a Kool-Aid party

I’ve always thought it was a waste of time and resources to have the sales reps focus on low-end sales, think $15 a month kind of stuff, because customers don’t need help making a decision at the price point.

Higher end products are different. Companies who ask customers to pay more become more concerned with the quality of the product, and that’s when you need a sales team.

It is truly overkill to engage someone in a formalized, professional sales cycle at some of the lower price points. At the higher price points, it makes total sense.

You have to be sure you are asking the right questions of the organization to make sure your product is a fit. The sale is nice but long-term happy customers are the true goal. [04:25]

Move toward a sales force

Kris credits CEO and co-founder of CoSchedule, Garrett Moon, as the person who helped take the company where it is today.

It began with a series of phone calls to prospects to see if the market was viable and to see if it made sense to move the price point. Once that was established as true, Moon hired more people, including Kris, and the sales process was on its way. [05:58]

Kris says that CoSchedule is still an extremely heavy inbound model. They still decide the best fit for each client, whether that be the “click, try and buy,” model for the lower level plans, or working with a sales rep for the higher level plans.

Kris really had to learn and understand the buying process of the companies that use CoSchedule to determine how many real touch points would be needed from a sales standpoint to be effective.  

Three-call process

CoSchedule has a three-call process in place now.

The first, known as the discovery call, allows the sales team to learn more about the client’s business, teach them about CoSchedule and then try to determine at a really high level if there is a potential business fit. If everything matches from a budget standpoint and a use case standpoint, they move forward with the second call.

The second call is a full-scale demonstration of the product. It provides a great chance for the client to invite all their team members who might use the tool.

Kris and his team go through the product with a fine-toothed comb and answer any questions. During this timeframe, they give the potential clients access to a free trial of CoSchedule; a chance to kick the tires. If the team is still checking the right boxes by the end they move into the pricing discussion. [07:28]

CoSchedule provides a great tool for marketing organizations and other small organizations to all get on the same page. Their customers often refer to CoSchedule as the single source of truth for all their marketing efforts.

Whether it’s a social media campaign, or a large trade show event, or a podcast, CoSchedule acts as the organization hub for everything. [08:55]

Although they designed CoSchedule with a marketing focus, Kris believes it is also beneficial from an internal project management standpoint. It puts a formal process in place.

All the checklist items and all the behind-the-scenes items that go into a large-scale effort are put into a central location with CoSchedule. It unites everyone involved with the effort on the same page.  

Everyone can see what works well, what needs more work, and where the team must focus to get the product out the door. [09:53]

Building a sales team

Growing a sales team, of course, presents a challenge because there are as many different ways that salespeople sell and lots of ways that people sell effectively.

Kris works to understand how his team sells best and to accelerate that process and help them get better every day. He scales the number of reps on his sales team based on demand.

The number of sales calls, for example, on a rep’s calendar really does determine the growth of that team. Kris says they rely on the marketers to continually charge forward with fresh, hot leads so that they can then continue to add more in sales. [11:26]

Kris uses his personal experiences as a way to motivate his sales team.

In the past, he worked for a large banking finance and software company where it didn’t matter so much whether he hit his sales goals. With a smaller company like CoSchedule, however, every single sale matters. Every dollar matters to everyone involved.  

As a smaller company, Kris is able to focus on the people who work for him as individuals.

Kris expects that the CoSchedule will continue to add to their sales team. He hopes to continually increase the level of sophistication used to deploy that team.

Know if there is validity to your product first. You’ll be surprised to learn what your product can do.

“Full-Fledged Sales Team” episode resources

If you would like to reach out with questions or comments for Kris, he can be reached via email at Kris.nelson@coschedule.com

This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. Use automated outreach to schedule your contacts and keep you from getting distracted.

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. You can expand your outreach and set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

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, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Daily Planning, Weekly Planning, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 987: I Don’t Have Time For Daily Planning

Daily Planning, Weekly Planning, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistOn today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we discuss time management and how daily planning can help you be more effective in your role as a seller.

It seems like there is never enough time in the day to get things done. We need an extra day in the week or at least an extra hour a day.  I was always so busy that it felt like I didn’t even have time to sit down to read a book. Even knowing how important personal development was, I always managed to put it off.

Then, I took a vacation.

It is amazing how much you can do when you are in the air for five hours with limited distraction.

So what changed? What happened? The amount of time I had certainly didn’t change. My focus did.

The concept of daily planning

How many times have you been told to try daily planning? Now, how many times have you actually done it?  [02:04]

If you are the modern seller that I know you are, you are distracted. Reading proposals, talking to customers, going to meetings, checking email … These are all distractions. Every time an email pings your phone, you are pulled in a different direction.

Everyone – from internal teams to clients to prospects to friends – is vying for your time and attention. As a result, important things fall through the cracks. You finish at the end of each day and find yourself wondering if you accomplished anything at all.

It all goes back to the very powerful principle of being acted upon as opposed to acting. [02:59]

Essentialism

Thinking back to a previous episode when we spoke to Greg McKeown about his book Essentialism, I’m reminded that we can’t have priorities.  The plural of the word ‘priority’ shouldn’t even exist. There can only be one priority.

Essentialism means to focus on the essentials. As a seller, your most important task is to bring in new customers and close deals. So, what activities will lead you to that result?

Until you understand what you need to do as a seller, you will not be able to stay focused. You will always be acted upon. Sure, there will always be important distractions but oftentimes they are not the activities that you need to do to accomplish your goal. [04:46]

To help you stay focused and have the time to do the things that matter the most, I want you to think about these three questions:

  1. Will the activity move me toward my essential goal of helping people make a decision and close a deal?
  2. Do I have to do it? Is this a task that no one else can do?
  3. Does it have to be done right now?

If the activity doesn’t tie into your goal or responsibility, don’t do it.

Set your focus

Let’s suppose you’ve set a goal to prospect for 30 minutes a day. It is certainly a step towards achieving your goal, so it needs to be done. But do you have to do it yourself? Or could you pass some of it off to an internal sales team? Or to someone on Fiverr.com?

Suppose you get a call from your boss and she needs a report. Does she need it right now? Is there someone on your team that can take care of it for you? If you are the only one who can do it, can you move it to the end of the day so as not to take away from your prime working time?

When you focus on the essential things, the distractions fall away. The things that used to pull you away move out of focus. [05:41]

I recommend taking an hour each week to plan for the upcoming week. Be sure you are fully vetted and ready so that you can avoid those distractions. What are the important tasks ahead? Schedule everything out. Set time for social media, time for prospecting, time for appointments … You can even set time to receive emails using Boomerang, or Google, so that you aren’t pinged throughout the entire day.  [08:46]

You are acting rather than being acted upon.

Once you have the weekly focus set, spend a few minutes at the end of each day to make any necessary adjustments. You will already know what you will do the next day as soon as you arrive at the office. This makes life so much more productive!

Plan your day

Taking the time to plan your day will save you time. Forget about your friends’ Instagram posts. Focus instead on the things that will help you grow your business, grow your pipeline and have a killer year. [11:45]

Make the effort.

If it sounds like too much work, then by all means – go back to winging it. But if you do, promise me that you will compare your results to the person who is not winging it.

How much more productive are they? Are they hitting their goals? Are they working with less stress, fewer headaches, and less frustration? Probably.

I share this with you because I’ve been there. I know it works and I’ve seen the huge difference it can make. Try it. Give it a month. I don’t think you will regret it.

“Daily Planning” episode resources

If you have additional questions or want more insight, email me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com. I may not answer it right away (because I’m scheduling my time) but I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s automated outreach that will help you schedule your contacts and it can help keep you from getting distracted.

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

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, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, Sales Training Program, Donald Kelly

TSE 980: TSE Certified Sales Program – “Lazy Outreach”

Donald Kelly, Sales Training Program, Donald KellyI received an email the other day from a sales rep that I found so annoying that I am dedicating this entire episode to the ways you can avoid making the same mistakes with your emails.

This episode will give you ideas to make sure your emails grab your prospect’s attention so that he will reply instead of deleting your email.

Annoying emails

The annoying email I received began, “Hello there.”

Who is ‘there’? Do they not even know my name? I’ve done 1000+ episodes. 

I’m on Twitter, Facebook, and my name is easy to find. The lack of effort on the part of the sender was evident from the very start. It is almost an insult.

And it didn’t improve from there as the body of the email in no way addressed my type of business or my needs. It was simply an email blast.

It was, quite frankly, a waste of everyone’s time.

The days of sending out crappy emails are long gone. You want your emails to encourage a reply, to start the kind of engaging conversation that will lead to a sale now, or in the future. It needs to open the door for continued discussions. [01:49]

Engaging emails

Using the email I received as an example, how easy would it have been for the sales rep to look me up on LinkedIn, or on my website? Or why not call and try to find out the best point of contact for the email?  

Furthermore, nothing about the email had anything to do with sales. At all. It was a vague and generic email that didn’t even refer to me as a person.

There was no personal connection, so why would I want to continue that conversation?  

Here’s what I recommend instead: Make sure the subject line is catchy. It is the first thing they will read and frankly, it might be the last thing they bother to read, so make it good.

“Donald, I saw this on your website and thought it might help” is a fine example. They know my name, they know I have a website, they looked at my website … I am going to open that email. [05:11]

Next, begin your email by immediately referencing the thought contained in the subject line. Don’t tell them your name, or your company name because they don’t need it right now. It can all be found later in the signature block at the end.

Don’t even worry about saying hello – just dive into the issue.

Be direct

“Donald, I noticed on your sales page that it wasn’t loading properly at the end. This could be caused by X or Y. I would love to talk with you about how we’ve helped other podcasters fix it….”

That difference makes all the difference! It is simple and easy to read. It provides insight and ideas, informs me of a potential problem and offers a clear step to solve it.

Instead of the overused and generic “We can help you save money/get more leads,” the email is specific and offers a value to the targeted business. [06:41]

Another example of a good email: “I notice you have regular postings for new sales reps and we recently conducted a study with software companies like yours and found three critical reasons that prevent sales reps from succeeding… bullet point 1, 2, 3… Would you care to take a look at the full report?” [07:40]

The goal of that email is to grab the reader’s attention, to focus on their problem of high turnover and to speak specifically to that need.

Now compare that email to one that simply reads “Hey, are you hiring? Check out our new program.”

One email is clearly tailored to the reader and provides relative and pertinent information, while the other certainly does not.

Focus on ideal clients

To be able to personalize your emails, I recommend the age-old principle of creating a list of 50 or 100 dream clients to focus on for a week or two at a time depending on your cadence process.

That focus will allow you the time to do a little research, to learn about their specific industry and to understand typical problems they might have. [09:13]

You might try to connect with them on LinkedIn, engage with them there and later send an email that ties directly to that LinkedIn conversation.

“It was great connecting with you on LinkedIn…” You are now someone the reader is already acquainted with so you’ll increase the likelihood of a favorable response to your email.

The TSE Certified Sales Training Program

These are all core fundamental principles of effective emails that we cover in greater detail in the three main courses of our new TSE Certified Sales Training Program. [10:24]

The first course, Prospect Like an Evangelist, teaches sales reps how to find, attract and engage the ideal customer for their company. We talk about how to use the phone and emails. We also address how to create a flow process and how to utilize social media and mailings to grab their attention.

The second semester focuses on Creating Irresistible Value – the middle of the sales process. How can we master the fundamentals of discovering what matters most to our buyers and how can we turn their interest into an appointment?

We will discuss ways to have deeper discussions with our clients so they can make effective and informed decisions.

The third semester is the Closing Course. We teach sellers how to understand and implement the core principles of closing.

These three courses can be taken as a series, or ala carte. We’d love to have you in the next course that begins in January. To learn more and to apply for the program, please visit The Sales Evangelist.com/cstp. [11:41]

I want you to build stronger value. I want you to close more deals. More importantly, I want to challenge you each and everyday to do big things. We need to be confident and we need to be determined. We need to be professionals that educate the buyer to save them money, to save their business and to save our bottom line as well.

“Lazy Outreach” episode resources

This episode is brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, a personalized and robust CRM with the capability to organize your company and effectively line up not only your sales, but your client’s success. Go to TheSalesEvangelist.com/maximizer for a free demonstration.  [12:24]

We are also brought to you by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. It has changed the way we prospect.

Take advantage of the risk-free trial they offer specifically for the TSE community. First three months at half-price? You can’t beat that! To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. Your prospecting will never ever be the same. 

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 enjoy fine podcasts.

And be sure to subscribe to the podcast and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Michael Wills, Donald Kelly, Sales Training, How to do a salesprocess

TSE 971: How To Develop A Sales Process That Works

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk with global sales team leader Michael Wills about how to develop a sales process that works.

Many sellers have no real sense of direction, but they expect to be successful despite the lack of a plan.

Defining a sales process

A sales process provides a way for you to communicate with a buyer in a systematic way that is successful and repeatable. A single success doesn’t mean you have a sales process. It needs to be measurable so you can confirm results and grow.

To start, recognize that you’re doing something well, but there are no doubt areas that you can improve.

Figure out who exactly your buyer is.

Find out these things:

  • Where do they live?
  • Where do they work?
  • How do they work?
  • How can you communicate with them effectively?
  • What’s my industry?
  • What’s the norm?

Be able to understand and document that information, which will give you a path. Once you have that path, you can figure out the processes to execute.

If you have someone who has had internal success, do a Q&A with him and figure out what his best practices are and build processes around those ideas.

People who aren’t led systematically will create their own strategies, which isn’t necessarily a positive thing. The process facilitates the execution of a strategy.

Dangers of operating without a process

If your team doesn’t have a process in place, you won’t know whether the team is selling to customers that you don’t necessarily want to do business with. You won’t know if the team is selling in a way that is unprofessional or inappropriate. Finally, you won’t know how consistent each person is in the process.

It’s important that you don’t let people operate on their own because you can’t grow around that system.

The sales process must be built around the way the buyers buy. When you truly know who you’re going after, you can understand their way of purchasing.

It’s also really important to understand where your buyer fits within the decision-making process because you’ll have different processes for different levels of people.

The method of communication and the information you share differs based on authority and timeline.

Fundamental parts of a process

Begin by understanding that your buyer knows 50 to 60 percent of what she needs to know because she ever talks to you for the first time. Knowing that frames the picture for you to jump in and be further down the sales process than you would have been without that knowledge.

Begin by talking about the client’s industry and situation. Use her language and previous client experience to bring value. You can share information, share best practices and share things you understand about the challenges her organization will face.

By doing that, you become a trusted person.

Today’s buyer needs value early. By sharing that value, you become trusted, and that person will share your information through the organization.

You can share solutions and then concrete details about how other clients have solved these problems.

Building a pipeline

Build a pipeline of prospects that are interesting to you.

Choose an industry you have a little bit of insight into and that you’re comfortable with. It’s important to understand the language of the industry.

Use the Internet to learn about the industry and the company itself. Determine hot topics and find out the things they are posting.

Instead of referring to it as cold calling, we should call it smart calling because we’ve done the research and you know who you want to talk to and why you want to talk to them.

It’s a lower conversion rate but it’s a great way to build your pipeline and gain some real opportunities.

Customization

Find the right level of customization for your prospecting.

Using a first name in an email is critical, but so is the information you find through your Internet searches, posts, product launches, and any other information that demonstrates that you’ve done some work.

Value

You can’t discuss value until you understand the industry you’re working in.

Use the experience you’ve gained by working with an earlier client to quantify benefits for your potential clients. Through your discovery process, talk to the prospect about the current situation and how your product or service could help them operate more efficiently or have capabilities they didn’t have before.

It’s “back of the napkin” stuff that doesn’t require an Excel spreadsheet, but it’s specific information that will be relevant to your prospect.

When a prospect agrees to meet with you, they already know a decent amount about your product. If you initiate the conversation talking about value, and you can quantify that value, it’s a different conversation.

Being consistent doesn’t mean you never tweak your process, but consistency is the only way to track whether your process is working or not.

It’s critical for salespeople to know what they do well and to understand why they do the things they do.

“A Sales Process That Works” episode resources

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out our new semester of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League. We’re taking applications for the semester beginning in January, and we can only take a limited number of people.

This episode is also brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. To get a demonstration of maximizer, go to the sales evangelists.com/maximizer.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

Leave us a review 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Target Market, Ideal Customer

TSE 962: What Salespeople Can Learn From The “Political and Dating” Industries

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Target Market, Ideal CustomerThe political and dating industries share a common goal: to narrow your choices down to the one candidate that makes the most sense for what you want. Particularly in the political arena, the ads target those people who would be most likely to support a particular cause or candidate.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll discuss why sellers should operate like the political and dating industries and stop trying to serve everyone. It isn’t a winning strategy.

Swipe left

You may be thinking that you already understand sales segmentation and pursuing the ideal customer.

Just as we do in dating and politics, we have to understand with selling that we can’t please everyone. Selling is a game of elimination just as the other two industries are.

Frequently, politicians who try to stand for everything and who cast their nets too widely fail to appeal to anyone. It’s difficult to trust those politicians who try to capture everyone because you know it’s impossible for them to accomplish everything they’re promising.

False promises do not promote trust.

Just as we swipe left or swipe right in dating apps to approve or eliminate a candidate, we must narrow down our focus as sellers.

Intensity

Politics sometimes take a nasty tone, and I’m definitely not suggesting we adopt that approach. We do, however, have to develop some intensity in identifying our ideal customer.

Human nature often deters us from excluding anyone. In sales especially, we don’t want to turn away a possible customer. Our commission depends on those customers.

We sometimes become people pleasers.

We want everyone to be happy and tell other people about our business.

Find believers

Patagonia isn’t trying to appeal to every single person who enjoys outdoor hiking. Neither is Eddie Bauer.

They focus on those people in high-end markets who can spend whatever they want on hiking gear and people who share their values.

They focus on people who support an eco-friendly recycling mentality.

Our sales cold outreach should have the same mentality rather than trying to blast every single possible candidate.

Find the people who truly believe in you.

Even here at The Sales Evangelist, we’re adapting our website to meet the needs we have realized that our audience is looking for.

The moment we focused on new and struggling salespeople, we saw positive results.

Changing pool

It’s possible, too, that your prospect pool may widen.

You might focus your software on a single industry like finance. Once you’ve adapted that well, you shift to another industry like the medical industry.

Very often, small companies want to grow quickly so they cast a wide net. Aside from the fact that it doesn’t work well, it’s expensive because you’re focusing resources on people who will never do business with you.

Explain what you can do and who you can help.

“Political and Dating Industries” episode resources

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out our new semester of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League. We’re taking applications for the semester beginning in January, and we can only take a limited number of people.

This episode is also brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. To get a demonstration of maximizer, go to the sales evangelists.com/maximizer.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

Leave us a review 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sangram Vajre, Sales Podcast, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 960: TSE Hustler’s League – “$1 Million”

Sangram Vajre, Sales Podcast, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

Most startups never reach the $1 million mark. Roughly 95 percent of startups will never achieve that level of revenue. On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we visit with Sangram Vajre, “The Accidental Evangelist,” about what he learned from building a company and how to achieve $1 million.

Sangram founded a company called Terminus, and he had a front-row seat to see what building truly looks like, and along the way, he achieved $20 million revenue in about a year and a half.

Product-obsessed

Most people who start a company begin because of a problem. They understand the problem but they quickly become product-obsessed rather than problem-obsessed. They believe their product will solve the problem, and it might, but they lose sight of the fact that no one has a perfect product right out of the gate.

The process is evolutionary.

Even Salesforce, which is a $10 billion dollar company, doesn’t have a perfect product. The company constantly adds and changes its products.

Don’t fantasize about the product. Instead, fantasize about the problem you want to solve. It’s a huge mind shift.

Sangram started a community called “Flip My Funnel” and he invited media, influencers, and even competitors to speak at the event.

Once everyone was talking about the problem, the market grew and Terminus was able to find its market.

Find problems

Become obsessed with the problem you’re trying to solve.

Figure out how big your market is. Determine the right use case that works for your company and then build a community around that use case.

If you’re selling a product to marketers, to B2B companies only, that’s the niche you want to carve out. You must dominate that vertical and own that topic.

Build a community and build ideas around that topic and galvanize everyone in the company and the community around that idea.

There’s so much power in singularly focusing on one topic so that you don’t get distracted in many other areas. 

The people who listen to you are going to win if they listen to you and they’ll become customers for life.

For Terminus, they defined their market as every B2B SaaS company with a certain revenue and a certain number of employees.

They focused on letting every one of the companies that could eventually be their future customers to know about them. They knew where they wanted to go, so they took the camp and went there and met with people.

Prospect thinking

Sangram said his thinking changed when he realized that, although no one wants to lose a prospect, it’s much more painful to lose a customer.

Your customer is someone you have an intentional relationship with. Sangram started calling everyone a customer or a future customer.

That means you have to know the company you’re trying to sell to and you have to know that they will benefit from what you’re trying to sell them.

If they don’t become customers today, it’s okay because they’ll become customers tomorrow.

Focus on only your future customers rather than focusing on everyone. The list should be short so that it matters to you if you lose one of them.

Words matter

The words we use matter. We’re all humans and emotions impact us.

During a discussion with Jay Baer, author of Talk Triggers, Sangram discovered that every single touchpoint is either building your brand or trashing your brand.

If you’re sending a newsletter every Wednesday but you aren’t sure that it’s truly adding value, you’ll never hear from those future customers. Every time you do something that isn’t adding value to their day or their life, you’re taking away from your brand.

Think about every touch point as something intentional.

Sales strategy

Although the sales strategy in the early days of Terminus wasn’t intentional, Sangram identified three things that helped the company be successful.

1. Rolling thunder

Every month you must do something to get the market’s attention. Do something oriented to your market. Something bigger than just a blog.

2. Big rocks

Many startups have a never-ending list of things to do. Instead, focus on the big rocks, or the things that will truly move the needle.

3. Small wins

Companies often neglect small wins. How do we celebrate small wins instead of focusing only on the big ones? Change your culture so that small wins matter as well. Small wins create the momentum that gets you over the big hill.

Say one “thank you” every day. Acknowledge your team with handwritten notes. Let them know that their work matters.

“$1 Million” episode resources

Connect with Sangram on Linked In or Twitter, and check out his podcast called Flip My Funnel.

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out our new semester of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League. We’re taking applications for the semester beginning in January, and we can only take a limited number of people.

This episode is also brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. To get a demonstration of maximizer, go to the sales evangelists.com/maximizer.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

Leave us a review 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Dr. Richard K. Nongard, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Referrals

TSE 934: Sales From The Street – “Referral Business”

The Sales Evangelist, Sales From The Street, Dr. Richard NongardPeople are often uncomfortable with the idea of prospecting. Many salespeople struggle with it because they relate it to cold calling, but it isn’t possible to transition to a referral business until you find prospects.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Richard Nongard talks about the role prospecting plays in transitioning to a referral business.

It’s our mindset that leads us to fear cold calls, but the truth is that people aren’t usually mean when we’re face-to-face. Unfortunately, that same mindset cripples us even when we’re dealing with warm or hot leads.

We miss the chance to follow up two or three days later to make sure that we answered all their questions. We never check in to see if there’s anything else we can do for them.

Come with value

There’s a reason we don’t just randomly hand out business cards at networking events. People didn’t ask for our cards, so we don’t hand them out without any context or conversation.

Instead, if I come with value and answer their questions in a way that relates directly to them, they’ll be more likely to welcome my interaction.

Richard recommends a simple strategy when cold calling. He explains to his prospects that he’s in the neighborhood learning more about local businesses so he can refer and network with other people here in the community.

When you explain it that way, people are always happy to tell you about their businesses and, of course, they’ll be willing to reciprocate.

Overcoming fear

Sales trainers across the board report that overcoming fear and self-doubt are the most frequent challenges they address.

Most salespeople are well trained in the language of sales

Imagine you’re a new sales rep at a company where 90 percent of your business has to come from prospecting. You have very few leads, and you’ve never sold before.

The key is to build relationships. Networking is essential in a B2B sales position.

We mistakenly believe that if they build a website, buyers will come. As a result, they spend all their time trying to make their website perfect so that when people come to their site, those prospects will become buyers.

They tinker with images and with fonts without realizing that people are the most important component in the transaction. Technology actually becomes a barrier for us because we believe we’re spending our time doing something useful but we really aren’t building relationships that drive people to our website.

Your website should simply be proof of your product or service rather than a way of generating leads.

Networking

Get out in the community and go to meetups. Go to networking events. Take every opportunity to meet real people.

If you’re invited to events that you aren’t interested in, go anyway. The people there might need your services someday.

Many of us would prefer to have a referral-based business over a prospecting-based business, but the truth is that you have to prospect to get to that point.

The reason so many businesses miss the opportunity to pivot from prospecting-based to referral-based is a failure to follow up after the sale. By not creating relationships with the people they are selling to, and not asking for referrals, we overlook many opportunities.

Time management prevents us from following up, as does the lack of a system to support a referral-based business.

Seize the power of now

Richard recalled that he often spent time worrying about the future. He ended up focusing on the future rather than living in the moment.

When we live in the moment, though, we can actually activate all of our intentions. It’s a much more powerful strategy than goal-setting.

Research actually shows that goals have a downside. They can be a downward spiral to mediocrity as we lower our goals to meet our deadlines.

Goals cause a great deal of anxiety. Goals are focused on the future while all we actually have is this moment.

By staying in the present, we activate our greatest level of potential.

“Referral Business” episode resources

You can reach Richard Nongard at his website, Viral Leadership and you can grab a copy of his book, Viral Leadership: Seize the Power of Now to Create Lasting Transformation in Business.

You can also get more information there about training and consulting for large and small companies, as well as coaching services, keynote speaking, and Richard’s new podcast on leadership.

This episode is also brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

This episode is also brought to you byMaximizer CRM. If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is 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.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM.

Leave us a review 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Ryan O'Hara, LeadIQ, Sales Prospecting, Outbound

TSE 928: The New Era of Effective Prospecting

The process of prospecting constantly changes. It has evolved over the last 5, 10, 15 years, and it continues to evolve today. Buyers are more educated than they used to be, so we’re entering a new era of effective prospecting.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk to Ryan O’Hara, VP of marketing and growth at Lead IQ, about the new era of effective prospecting.

Are you practicing the old methods of prospecting? Are you willing to try new ones?

Prospecting changes

When Ryan first started prospecting in 2008, he recalled starting with a person’s first name, last name, title, company, email, and phone number. LinkedIn was new but not many people were using it.

Now, more people have online presences, which literally gives you an open book on how to win their hearts. It’s so easy now to figure out what the prospect is interested in.

The problem is that, since more and more people are doing it, it’s becoming less effective. For the last 10 years, these prospects have been hammered with the same cold emails and cold calls.

You have to do way more today to win your prospects over.

New movement

A lot of salespeople are working to be more human in their selling and their prospecting.

We have a chance right now to refresh and do everything right. Part of that includes learning how to be more human at scale.

The struggle is figuring out how to hit your quotas and be human at the same time.

If you’re a new company, the best approach is to do a lot of activity to figure out the best way to up your product. When you’re learning to sell a product, it’s not a bad idea to do quantity so you learn to beat objections.

Personalization

If you’re working at a bigger company, the more customization and personalization you have to do. Most people think it’s the opposite.

It’s really true now that you aren’t calling or emailing or doing social to convince someone to look at your product because it’s awesome. You’re hand-picking prospects and inviting them to engage with you because you specifically picked them.

When Lead IQ reaches out to someone, they use social every week. They use video on LinkedIn, and they reach out to anyone who engages with it, even if that person is already a customer.

We might ask them to introduce us to another person. They think it’s cool because we’re engaging with them.

It’s also important to be entertaining and appeal to the person rather than the company since people are less loyal to their companies now.

  • Have interesting stats.
  • Share interesting commentary.
  • Start a discussion about an article they shared.
  • Stay away from religion and politics.

Lead cycle

If you reach out to a prospect who isn’t in the market for your goods and services right now, engage them to create some sort of content for you.

They could write a blog post or do an interview with you, and you can help them get their name out there. At the same time, some of their customers are likely people who would want to see your products.

You’ll establish a lasting rapport that might benefit you someday.

Also if you engage with someone who isn’t a good customer, you can ask them to make a referral for you. You’ll be creating a cycle that will constantly generate warm leads for you.

Lead IQ

Ryan’s team likes to do the tedious work required before you reach out to a prospect.

  • If you’re trying to determine whether anyone from your team is already working on this account
  • If you hate creating leads or contacts in Salesforce
  • If you want to be able to find your prospects on the web, research them, and get all of their contact info

They’re trying to mash all the steps together so that when you have to reach out to a customer, you can hit one button and get all the different sales tools.

Sales reps spend 6.8 hours a week doing data entry, but people that use Lead IQ spend less than an hour. It can save your sales reps a lot of time which will allow them to get more deals.

Consider the industry. Be thoughtful with everything you do.  All it takes is one bad rep to make people decide to stop taking sales calls.

Make your prospects feel good. Make them feel like they are being scouted.

“Effective Prospecting” episode resources

You can connect with Ryan on LinkedIn by sending him a personalized message. He gets about 50 messages a day, so he only responds to the personalized messages.

You can also find him at LeadIQ, along with information about prospecting and some of the experiments they’ve done.

This episode is also brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

This episode is also brought to you byMaximizer CRM. If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is 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.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM.

Leave us a review 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Prospect.io, Prospecting, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 920: TSE Hustler’s League-“Prospect.io”

Prospect.io, Prospecting, The Sales Evangelist

On Tuesday I told you about a guy named Louis whose job it is to set appointments and find opportunities for an account executive on his team. The problem for Louis is that his CRM stinks, and his database is no good, so he struggled until he stumbled upon Prospect.io.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll talk about how you can work smarter instead of harder, and how prospect.io can help you do business development effectively.

Specifically, we’ll talk about leads and how we can get effective leads and guide people through our sales process. Ultimately, we want them to find value in what we have to offer and to become a client in the end.

Seller pressure

Louis isn’t a real person, but he represents the struggle that many sellers, including me, have felt during portions of their careers.

Often sellers get hired into a company without knowing that they would have to hunt their own prospects. They didn’t know they’d have to find leads using a database from 1992.

How will you find prospects and nurture them well without losing track of them because your CRM isn’t working effectively?

My new favorite tool addresses these issues, and I love it for three reasons:

  1. You can personalize your outreach.
  2. You don’t get lost in the process of prospecting.
  3. It works well and simplifies your process.

Personalized effect

If you’re doing a lot of outreach, you’ll quickly realize the need to personalize it. But how will you personalize communications at that magnitude when you have to find three to five prospects per day?

You’ve done this long enough to know that if you send the same boring email as everyone else, it will end up marked as spam.

I’m a big believer in the platinum rule. It says that you should treat others the way you think they would like to be treated. If you think of that from the prospects’ standpoint, they are irritated by blast emails that they receive every day.

Prospect.io will help you overcome that.

You can go into LinkedIn Sales Navigator and pull a list of prospects based upon an email that I will send.

If I’m reaching out to sales managers of tech companies in the Philadelphia area, I can use custom fields to personalize my message to that audience. If I’m reaching out to Dave at ABC Software, I can include his name, company, and something personal in the email using a custom field.

Set it and forget it

Prospect.io will send out a drip campaign; an automated cold outreach process that I have customized for my prospects. It will send as many emails as I designate, though generally, you’ll want to keep it around 3 to 5.

The email will originate from your account, and it will be personalized and it won’t be spam or junk.

I keep mine short, usually no more than 5 sentences, and I push for some kind of action.

I literally set it and forget it.

I’ve also set it up with my Slack so that I’m notified when the prospect replies to an email, and then I manually take over the outreach with a personal chat.

Finally, I have it set up with my CRM so that it automatically sets up a name or an account for that person.

You won’t get lost

If you aren’t doing repeatable, predictable steps as part of your sales process, you’ll struggle to repeat your successes.

WithProspect.io, you won’t ever doubt what’s coming up next in the process or how you’ll carry it out.

If you’re new to an organization, it can be difficult to track all the different processes you’re engaged in.

If you send out 100 emails, how will you know when it’s time to send the second email? Instead of having to do it manually, this platform will automatically connect with your CRM and send your follow-on emails without you having to worry.

The only time you’ll be notified is when your prospect actually responds.

This process can keep you from missing out on opportunities because you neglected to respond in a timely manner.

Prospect.io takes care of all of this for you.

 

Simplified process

Finally, although Prospect.io wasn’t specifically created for it, the platform can help you find prospects you can pursue.

If I pulled together a LinkedIn list, I can use Prospect.io to download all of those different prospects. Then I can pull their email addresses as well as data points.

Those data points can be added to my campaign so I can personalize my messaging.

I can make note of personal messages I’d like to send and it will send them.

It saves me time scouring the Internet to find leads, and then manually sending multiple emails to those prospects.

Time saver

This tool can save you massive amounts of time every day. Anyone who is doing massive amounts of outreach can possibly benefit from this tool.

If your prospect isn’t ready to purchase yet, you can have them go into a nurture sequence that guides them to set an appointment to speak to you.

You don’t have to rely on marketing to do that.

This is not a marketing system or a CRM; it’s a sales automation system. It helps you do your outreach in a bulk customized manner.

It’s also capable of tracking conversion. If I link some prospects to a particular podcast episode, it notifies me as soon as they interact with my content.

It allows you to follow and truly apply the platinum rule: Treat others the way that they would like to be treated.

“Prospect.io” episode resources

This episode is also brought to you in part by Prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Maximizer CRMis 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.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRMcan do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM.

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.

 

Sales Process, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 905: TSE Hustler’s League-“Holes In Your Sales Process”


Sales Process, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist PodcastIf your sales team focuses only on how many deals are closed, you won’t know much about your sales process. When the numbers drop, is the problem with the prospecting or with marketing? If you’re only focused on results, you won’t know. In order to find the holes in your sales process, you must evaluate the entire process.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, we’re going to identify three areas that could disrupt your sellers’ effectiveness so that you as a sales leader can help your team find the holes in your sales process.

If you’re new to the podcast, The Hustler’s League is a snippet of our online coaching sessions that allow you to listen in on the challenges that other sellers are facing. We’re spending the month of August talking about coaching and leadership, so today’s episode will help us focus on problem areas instead of only on results.

Buying intention

Very often the sellers who contact me for The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League share that they don’t feel like they are providing enough value for their prospects, mainly because they aren’t sure of the prospects’ buying intentions.

If your sellers don’t know the true reason why buyers are buying your product, they won’t know how to proceed through the process.

Even if they manage to schedule an appointment, they won’t know where to focus their attention. They won’t know what problems to solve for your prospects.

Commitments

Sellers often struggle trying to get their prospects to commit to buy a product or service over and over.

We tend to focus on the end commitment only instead of focusing on all the smaller commitments that led to that point.

If, after the first appointment, you’re not getting multiple appointments afterward, it may be the way you’re handling those commitments. If you agree to follow up next week but don’t set a specific day and time, you don’t have a commitment.

As a sales leader, if you aren’t sure that your salespeople know exactly what it means to make an appointment, role play to show them how to set specific meetings.

Don’t rely on guessing or general plans. Your customers will appreciate the fact that you’re prioritizing their needs by putting them on your calendar.

Failing to prospect

If your company doesn’t have a training process, your salespeople will have a hard time prospecting. If you haven’t actually walked them through the prospecting process so they know exactly how it works, you’re likely setting your team up for failure.

It’s normal for reps to fear rejection, but what are you doing to help them overcome that?

So if it’s overcoming the fear of rejection, the more your sellers do it, the easier it will be.

Ideally, if we expose them to rejection often enough, they’ll become immune to it and it won’t interrupt their sales process.

“Holes In Your Sales Process” episode resources

Grab a copy of Kevin Davis’ book The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness: Ten Essential Strategies for Leading Your Team to the Top.

The Sales Evangelist offers a business development service that develops cold leads for your business. We’ll generate a list and hand it off to your team who can work to close deals. Email me for more information.

If all of this sounds great to you but you still aren’t sure how to start, check out The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, an online group coaching program that brings sellers of all levels and all industries together to share insights.

You can also join our Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizers to connect with sales professionals from all walks of life.

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.

TSE Hustler's League, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 895: TSE Hustler’s League-“Use Their Own Words”

TSE Hustler's League, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you’re talking to a prospect, the most important thing you can do is build value into the conversation. Your goal should be to delight them in ways that none of your competitors have. One of the easiest ways to do that is to use their own words.

Today we’ll hear a snippet from The Sales Evangelist’s Hustler’s League about ways you can use their own words to demonstrate to your prospects that you’re listening.

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online group coaching program for sellers of all abilities in all industries. Each semester we focus on different parts of the sales process to help sellers build more value and close more deals.

Previous information

Pay attention to the small stuff, like the challenges they share with you.

Whatever they tell you in your initial conversation, jot down some notes. I use a tool to record conversations so I can go back and listen to them. I can take advantage of recapping and listening to things that they said in our initial conversations before our next meeting.

If, for example, they tell me that hiring has been a beast because they are losing people left and right, I’m going to use the phrase “hiring is a beast” in later conversations because it demonstrates to the prospect that I was listening.

The simple idea that you listened can make a huge difference. It shows that you’re not just an order taker, but you care about the prospect. It isn’t about you; it’s about your prospect.

What the prospect wants

Many times, sales professionals get so focused on what they know about their product that they forget to address what the prospect needs.

Imagine an oncology office that uses masks to stabilize a patient’s head during a brain scans. Without the mask, the office can’t complete the procedure, so they don’t get paid. Perhaps the tumor grows while they reschedule the procedure.

This prospect doesn’t care whether the masks smell like lavender. They don’t care how comfortable the masks are. They need the masks to arrive on time and to be safe to use. If you’re marketing lavender masks that are comfortable, you’re missing an opportunity.

Personalize the demo

Give the prospect the demo that he wants to see. Personalize it.

If you’re demonstrating a copier, set up your demo so that the first document you print on it has the prospect’s name on it. “Congratulations, David!” or something like that.

If you use a demo that doesn’t exactly speak to this prospect, he may decide that your demo doesn’t relate to what he’s doing, and he’ll check out of the process.

If you’re selling products to finance companies, scan the company’s invoice into your demo so that the prospects see their own documents in your demo. Subliminally, they’ll feel that the process already belongs to them.

“Use Their Own Words” episode resources

We have a new semester of The Hustler’s League starting in the fall, and we still have slots available. We’d love for you to join us. It’s an online group coaching program designed to help sellers of all experience levels improve their sales production.

Our friends at Wiley are offering a 20% discount plus a free excerpt of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading. Based on research and interviews with buyers, the book provides a blueprint for sales professionals. Read an excerpt of the book here.

To take advantage of the 20% discount, go to Wiley.com and enter the code SSLSE.

They’ve also created a SlideShare free for you to use or download.

Check out the Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and selling your brand using video. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy. You are a brand, and video can help you set yourself apart.

If you love this content, leave us a review wherever you consume it and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe so you won’t miss a single episode.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

New Salespeople Training, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 890: TSE Hustler’s League-“It’s About The Inches”


New Salespeople Training, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist PodcastThere’s always room for improvement. It’s why you listen to podcasts like this one. Sometimes successful sellers get so focused on the big stuff that they lose sight of the fundamentals. In sales, though, it’s about the inches.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, we’ll review sales fundamentals that can help you close more deals.

Use your prospect’s name

People love it when you use their names, mainly because people like to do business with those they know, like, and trust. Names go a long way.

Use your prospect’s name in the first call. Try to use his name more than once during the call if you can.

Make sure, though, that you’re saying the name properly, and use the name the person goes by. Don’t shorten it unless you know that’s the name he goes by.

Sometimes you won’t have a name for the prospect, and it’s ok to do a little research. Perhaps call the company to find out the best person to talk to.

Don’t spend hours doing research to find a name, but if you have a dream 100, use a name if you can.

Send a recap email

After you finish a conversation with the prospect, send a recap email to remind her what you talked about.

It enables the prospect to remember what the conversation was about and it will help her prepare for the next meeting.

Thank her for her time, and send a calendar invitation to the next conversation. You can also list next steps to help the prospect anticipate how the next conversation should go.

Personalize the message

If you can recall something personal about the prospect, you can use it in your messaging, and it goes a long way to show him that you’re listening.

Bring up the prospect’s business. If his business is mentioned in a magazine, bring it up. If he receives an award or a certification, mention it. It shows that you’re conscious of what he’s doing and you’re keeping up with his company.

People appreciate a pat on the back. When a past client congratulated me on the upcoming launch of my new podcast, it meant a lot to me because it’s something I’m excited about.

Make sure, though, that the event or article you refer to is something good.

Use Google alerts to receive updates about your clients. Focus on the small details.

When you pay attention to the small things, it makes your prospect confident that you’ll also pay attention to the large details when you’re working together.

Small details often make the biggest difference; it’s about the inches.

“It’s About The Inches”

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online group coaching program that will connect you with sellers from all industries all over the world. We’re accepting applications for our next semester this fall, and we’d love for you to join us.

Check out our Facebook page, The Sales Evangelizers, for a taste of what our online coaching community is like.

Grab your free excerpt of the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley. It’s a fantastic way to learn what buyers are thinking and how to sell the way they want to buy.

Also, check out the Video Jungle podcast to discover how to use video to take your sales to another level.

Leave us a review wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. 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.

 

Dave Costa, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 889: Sales From The Street-“Talent vs. Performance”

Dave Costa, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, LinkedInWorking with a talented group of people doesn’t guarantee success, because talent and performance are altogether separate. Sometimes sales leaders find themselves leading a team whose performance doesn’t equal its talent. When potential is left on the table, how do you teach your team the value of talent vs. performance?

On today’s Sales From The Street, Dave Costa shares how he encourages his team to improve every day, and why — in the battle of talent vs. performance — talent alone isn’t enough.

Dave works in software sales in the human capital management space, and he defines success for his team as improving every single day.

Talent isn’t enough

Talent can only care you a certain distance. It’s true in sales just like it’s true in sports.

Number-one draft picks falter more often than not because they don’t understand the need to create opportunities that help them continually improve.

Dave calls it mental management. He says that when you deal with extremely talented people, the skillset isn’t the problem. Although there is always room to improve, the challenge is motivating them to make an extra call or set an extra appointment.

He refers to it as mental warfare, and he said many reps fail because they get out-worked or out-hustled. Sales leaders, then, must master the art of discovering what drives your sales reps to push through; it’s the art of hitting that nerve that drives them.

At the end of the day, no one regrets doing one more set at the gym. People who push themselves are always glad they did.

Funnels aren’t sexy

Many reps get so caught up in trying to close what’s currently in their pipeline that they lose sight of the top of the funnel.

Dave calls prospecting a decision you make every single day to achieve a result. He stresses focusing on whether you’ve achieved the result you needed rather than sticking to metrics only. Did you get the result you needed to push yourself farther and hit your goals? 

Your prospecting controls everything:

  • How much is in my pipeline?
  • Can I close more deals?
  • How stressed will I be?
  • What will my results look like?

Performance matters

The mental warfare becomes a factor when sales professionals hear “no” before they hear “yes.” Without the right mental game, you’ll be overtaken by the highs and lows. You’ll collapse under the stress.

There will be days when others succeed while you struggle, but you must rise above your circumstances. No one else will do this for you, so you must make it happen.

For Dave’s team, the move to change its mindset has impacted its overall growth. The team’s averages have increased by 2 meetings per rep per week. For an entire team, that’s 16 adds per month, and those numbers can pay huge dividends.

When we push ourselves to set one more meeting or make one more dial, that deal could be the one that changes your year, or even your career.

In sales, we’re often in a position to make life-changing money or to do things that change our situations. If you take the mindset of constantly improving every single day, overall success will come.

Push yourself to be impressive in everything you do. If you’re not, what’s the point of doing it?

“Talent vs. Performance” episode resources

Dave would love to continue this conversation with our listeners on LinkedIn.

You can connect with us at The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook, where a community of people shares their struggles and their experiences with selling.

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online group coaching program designed to help sellers of all levels. Whether you’ve been selling for 15 years or 3 days, we’ll give you all the coaching and guidance you need to perform well.

The course is only $167 a month for three months, and it will connect you with sellers in all regions and industries who can share their struggles as you share your own.

This episode was brought to you by our friends at Wiley, publishers of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading. It’s a blueprint for sellers based upon years of research about the things buyers hate.

Grab your free excerpt of the book here, and view the SlideShare that explains many of the leadership principles you need to stop being subservient to your customers. If you prefer, download the SlideShare so you can refer back to it.

Check out the Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and selling your brand using video. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy.

Leave us a review wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe so you won’t miss a single episode.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, Value, Ideal Customers, What do you sell?

TSE 887: What Do You Do…For Me?

Donald Kelly, Value, Ideal Customers, What do you sell?I noticed something interesting at a conference I attended recently. The conference was amazing, but I noticed something noteworthy about many of the exhibitors: they didn’t know how to tell me the problems they solve. They tossed around words like noteworthy, synergy, cohesive, and proprietary, but they couldn’t answer the most important question: “What do you do… for me?”

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll discuss the consequences of confusing the customer, and why it’s important to answer that single question: “What do you do… for me?”

Solving problems for prospects

When people ask what you do, they are trying to understand what you can do for them. What problems do you solve?

If you tell prospects you operate a consulting firm, what does that mean? It’s bland. Generic. There’s nothing that helps me understand how I can benefit from your services.

We are a consulting firm for real estate brokers. Our clients typically have at least 10 agents, and they are struggling to generate new leads for their realtors. They aren’t closing enough deals, so we step in to provide a blueprint to find more leads and close more deals. 

Don’t make your prospects do mental gymnastics to understand the services you offer. Don’t burden them with jargon.

Donald Miller, author of the book StoryBrand, cautions against confusing your prospects because they’ll most likely look elsewhere for help.

Practicing your message

Many of us rely on the same information for every pitch we give.

Not only are we not personalizing the message, in many cases, we’re consistently repeating a message that isn’t effective.

Just as sports teams must practice in order to know what role each player will assume, your team must practice its efforts in order to maximize the effectiveness. You must practice your message until you can deliver it in a way that helps prospects understand your mission.

Your sales team must have a strategy and an effective message that will help your prospects understand what you can do for them.

“What Do You Do… For Me?” episode resources

The book Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley provides a fantastic blueprint of all the things buyers say they expect and want from sellers.

Grab your free excerpt of the book here, and view the SlideShare that explains many of the leadership principles you need to stop being subservient to your customers. If you prefer, download the SlideShare so you can refer back to it.

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. 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.

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

TSE 885: TSE Hustler’s League-“Dog Chasing A Car”

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, TSE Hustler's LeagueImagine a dog chasing a car in your neighborhood. He’s chasing the car with every ounce of effort that he has, but clearly, he hasn’t developed a strategy: what will he do when he catches it? As sales professionals, we need a clear strategy for prospecting so we know exactly how we’ll delight the prospect once we get the prospect to say yes to the first appointment.

Today on The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, we’ll talk about how to delight the customer early in the process.

Try to identify one piece you can apply to your own sales process immediately in order to delight the customer.

Delight the prospect.

Your goal is to do something for the prospect that your competitors aren’t willing to do or aren’t capable of doing.

Find a small way to delight the prospect early in the process.

  • Send a thank you card.
  • Use video to grab the prospect’s attention.
  • Invite the prospect to an event unrelated to business.
  • Interact on social media.

Teach something new.

Forbes reports that the salesperson’s ability to teach something or challenge the prospect’s thinking drives more than 53 percent of transactions.

Instead of telling the prospect about your product or service, tell him how it solves a problem he has.

If you don’t have any data to provide to the prospect, do research to find data. Give him tools to address challenges or pitfalls.

Address unconsidered needs.

Take advantage of your prospect’s unconsidered needs.

Your customer isn’t as experienced with your product as you are, and he doesn’t even realize the problems it can help him solve. Help him discover the problems your product solves even if he doesn’t realize he has those problems.

As an example, if you’re seeking to hire a salesperson, I might tell you that your hire will be nine times more likely to fail without any kind of sales training. Conversely, it will be three times more expensive to hire a salesperson and then provide training to help him succeed.

I can use data to convince the prospect that spending money to train a salesperson is less expensive than employing an untrained salesperson. If I identify an unconsidered need that he wasn’t aware of, I can get the prospect to say yes to sales training.

Come to the table as a leader instead of as every other seller who is engaged with your prospect. The sales arena has evolved, and buyers have, too.

“Dog Chasing A Car” episode resources

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is our online group coaching program designed to help sellers who have been selling for years as well as those who are new to sales.

Last semester, we focused on building value, and we’re beginning a new semester in the fall. To find out more or to apply, visit the Hustler’s League.

During this semester of the Hustler’s League, one of our students used BombBomb to include video in his emails and engage with his customers.

If you’d like to learn more about video and how to include it in your sales process, check out the Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and selling your brand using video. 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. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe so you won’t miss a single episode.

Our friends at Wiley have provided a free excerpt of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading. Based on research and interviews with buyers, the book provides a blueprint for sales professionals. Read an excerpt of the book here.

They’ve also created a SlideShare free for you to use or download.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Trust, Sales Leader, Innovation, Stop Selling & Start Leading

TSE 877: How To Build Trust & Be Seen As An Innovative Seller


Trust, Sales Leader, Innovation, Stop Selling & Start LeadingYour prospects likely have dozens of sellers seeking to connect and build relationships with them. That means dozens of cold calls, emails, and presentations by dozens of different organizations. The key to success with any prospect is to build trust and be seen as an innovative seller.

Today on The Sales Evangelist, we begin a 3-part series based on the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen. We’ll discuss principles that sales professionals need to adopt and apply in order to be successful.

Be human.

Imagine yourself in a meeting with a prospect for a deal that could be the biggest of your career. The prospect continually interrupts you and you’re frustrated because none of your best content seems to be making a difference.

In a moment of frustration, you tell her you’re only here because she invited you. You could be home hanging out with your family and your pet rabbit.

Something changes immediately. It turns out the prospect has a pet rabbit, too, and suddenly you have something in common. You two launch into an entire conversation about lives outside of work and a relationship begins.

This is one of the stories in the book Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen, and it illustrates how commonalities can boost you from seller to trusted advisor.

Let the prospect know who you are. Let her see behind your sales persona to your other interests. Find a way to remind her that you’re human.

Building rapport encourages the prospect to share something of her own with you, and it may give the buyer reason to connect with you.

See around corners.

Illustrate to your prospects that you’re an innovative seller.

You must know the roles and challenges of the industry you’re selling to in order to provide solutions that make your prospect’s life easier. If you’re working with CFOs in manufacturing, what are the challenges they face on a daily basis? Trade wars with China? Looming high prices?

If I can provide intel or info, even if it’s unrelated to my product, I can help the prospect prepare for — and deal with — the challenges that are stumping her.

Will the company face layoffs? What if they have to raise prices?

When a small organization hires a new seller, they begin a honeymoon phase in which everyone is excited. Eventually, though, the seller gets bored because he doesn’t have any training processes. The CEO doesn’t have time to invest in him because he’s busy running the company, and the seller gets tired of doing cold calls.

I’ve seen it happen countless times, and I can see around the corner for small organizations because I’ve seen this happen before. I can point out five things they’ll struggle with long before the issues actually arise.

If you present yourself as a trusted advisor, your prospect will trust you in all things, and she’ll look to you for solutions.

“Innovative seller” episode resources

We’ve been recommending the book the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley  for quite some time because we believe in the message. Based upon interviews with buyers, it offers specific information for sellers to help them become trusted advisors.

As part of the series this week, we have a SlideShare available for you to download, or you can link to it here. As always, we also have a free excerpt of the book so you can try it out for yourself. We believe you’ll like it so much you’ll want to grab your own copy.

Today’s episode was also brought to you by Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and making your brand pop using video. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy.

If you think you might benefit from more stories like these, check out The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, an online group coaching program that brings sellers of all levels and all industries together to share insights. We’re beginning a new semester this fall, and we’d be honored for you to join us.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

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Daimian Thompson, Donald Kelly, LeadFuze, Cold Email

TSE 866: Cold Email What Works, What’s Changed & What Not To Do


Daimian Thompson, Donald Kelly, LeadFuze, Cold Email

Email is a great form of communication. It allows us to reach out to people on their time without interrupting them like a call would, but the ease of it is the reason more people are doing it. Sales professionals must unravel what works, what’s changing, and what not to do with cold email; why they must zig when everyone else zags.

LeadFuze is a lead generation platform with two important functions: it helps you build a list of leads that match your customer profile, and it provides assistance to help you hone your conversations.

The goal of LeadFuze is to help sales reps and entrepreneurs start more sales conversations.

Understand the purpose

Buyers never buy simply because of email. You’re reaching out to a stranger, so even if you know it’s a good fit, you’re never going to convince them to buy from you with email alone.

The purpose of email is to start a conversation. You cannot go for the meeting too quickly. Sales reps tend to go from 0 to 100 without understanding that they have to earn the right to ask for a meeting.

You cannot sound like a brochure, and you cannot talk all about yourself. Unless you’re famous in your industry, people aren’t going to agree to talk to you just because you’re you.

Once you’ve started the conversation, you can move into your normal sales process, whatever that is. How do you do that?

It sounds cliche, but sales and dating are a lot alike. You’d never walk up to a stranger in a bar and suggest getting married and having lots of kids. The same is true in sales.

It’s not about you. It’s all about them.

Of course you understand your industry; but do you understand theirs? As you’re reading your emails, how many times do you use “I, we, us?” If you are, you’re doing it wrong.

Initiate the conversation

Retail stores must wait for customers to come to them. Sales reps don’t have to.

By the time your customer finds your website, he likely thinks he already knows the answers to all his questions and he has preconceived notions about what he should do.

Be the one to start the conversation.

Begin by looking at your existing customer portfolio to determine who your ideal customer is. Realize, too, that if most of your business exists in one industry, but you don’t like that industry, it’s ok to pursue others.

Send 4 to 5 emails over the course of a few weeks. Keep them short and deliver value.

Email 1: “When I’m talking to VPs in this industry, they generally tell me that they struggle with one of two problems. Which is the biggest problem for you?”

Email 2: (This is not a pitch.) Provide a solution to Pain A from your original email and give a free resource.

Email 3: Provide a solution to Pain B from your original email. Give a free resource.

Email 4: “Is there a problem we haven’t discussed yet? I’d love to discuss it with you to see if I can help you solve it.”

Set realistic expectations

Sales reps tend to diagnose too quickly. We forget that everything worth doing takes time.

We won’t become number one on Google the day after we study SEO. It’s a little like going to the gym: it takes time.

Instead of doing a few hours of cold email one day a week, spread it out over the course of the week. (Again, think of it like going to the gym.)

Keep your pipeline full with a little bit of effort every day. Do simply practices repeatedly. Keep the patterns that work.

When you come into a brand new job, it isn’t lead rich. If it was, the person before you wouldn’t have left.

In the first 90 days, sales reps are a whirlwind of activity. It’s the most productive period in any job.

Because you don’t have any business, you’re completely focused on business development. Once a deal emerges, you stop working on business development because you’d rather be working on the deal.

Sales reps create their own feast or famine cycles because they stop working on lead generation once they see a deal developing. Instead, make it part of your daily calendar.

Use the acronym WIIFM to drive your pitch. When your prospect is listening to your pitch, why should they care? They’ll ask themselves, “What’s in it for me?”

“Cold Email” episode resources

To connect with Damian, email him at Damian@leadfuze.com, or go to the LeadFuze website.

Business development is hard for all sales reps. I recommend the book Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley because it’s a fantastic blueprint of all the things buyers say they expect from sellers and want from sellers.

I’m offering a free excerpt of the book so you can check it out for yourself.

Check out the Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and selling your brand using video. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy. Video Jungle offers top-notch, state-of-the-art advice about video.

Email me for more information about our newly launched Sales Podcast Network, designed to provide specialized sales content for sellers of all levels and all industries. You can also email us about our new business development services.

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

Audio provided by Free SFX.

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