Tag 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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Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

TSE 1187: How do I deal with Unresponsive Inbound Leads

TSE 1187 How Do I Deal With Unresponsive Inbound Leads?

There are tricks on how to deal with unresponsive inbound leads. Dealing with people who come to your website and who give their phone numbers and emails but don’t want to talk to you doesn’t have to be difficult. It is true that many who visit your site want the freebies and they ghost you for reasons you can’t comprehend. 

The sales reps are frustrated because the appointment is not getting through, nor are the emails, or the calls. 

This happens because we’ve conditioned the buyers this way. We’ve taught them the concept of opt-in. They give us their emails for emailed permission-based marketing and we call them or mail them to get an appointment. Other companies are doing this as well and buyers know the pattern and are now looking for ways around it. They often give a bogus email address or an old one that they no longer check making it next to impossible to get in touch with them in the first place. 

Deal with unresponsive inbound leads 

There are two ways to deal with unresponsive inbound sales. The first one is connected to marketing. Examine what you’re offering to the prospects and extend your offer beyond your freebies. They may not be ready to purchase yet and they just want to review your offer so give them something else they can munch. Include another link to something else within your gift. Try to put an invite to your webinar. They can click inside the opt-in to see what the webinar is all about. Engage them further and nurture them into actual leads. 

Give them something a little bigger, perhaps a one-on-one free consultation session or your phone number. Turn the opt-in into a strategy session to be able to talk to your prospects. 

For qualified leads, engage them further by giving them more information. They will qualify themselves and they will give you their phone number and have a conversation with you. Once they go to your webinar, they become converted leads which allows you to give them a pitch or offer your product for 15% off. 

Give the prospects what they want in order to get what you want. #SalesTips

Give them the piece of content and education on the webinar to get the conversion going. As a salesperson, deal with unresponsive inbound leads by giving them what they want first.

You can also use a thank you page as a dual opt-in or a webinar sign-up page to further turn your unresponsive inbound prospects to interested prospects who want to learn more about the business. 

Stop the old school strategy 

Deal with unresponsive inbound leads by letting go of your old school strategies. Stop sending a generic email which contains the usual information about the company, the features and benefits of the product, or the invite for a phone call or appointment schedule.  

Emails such as these are long and asking them for a phone call at the end of it is a huge jump. 

Shorten your email and change your subject line. Go for simpler yet impactful opening such as, “Did you get the download for this or that?” The recipient will see your name, your signature, and all the other necessary information and he is bound to answer a resounding Yes. They need to recognize you as an individual. 

This is when you ask! 

Ask your question when they’ve already responded to your previous mail. If they reply with a Yes, ask them for a phone call to answer any questions they might have. If the prospect shows interest and gives his phone number then quickly respond by giving a phone call. The key is to follow up right away. 

Have a 2-step strategy for prospects who are not ready to buy right away. Make it your goal to make them reply to you before you ask them to have the sales talk with you. Remember that buyers these days are cognizant of opt-ins so warm up to them by using this 2-step strategy. 

If you’re doing insight sales and you’re responsible for all inbound sales, you might want to ask them what prompted them to download the content. Do what you can to engage them in a conversation. 

“How Do I Deal With Unresponsive Inbound Leads?” episode resources

Build stronger value and have more meaningful conversations with your prospects. Close more deals and challenge yourself to go out and do big things every single day. 

For sales concerns, you can connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 modules and you can get the first two modules for free! 

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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! 

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Marketing, B2B, Bill Bice

TSE 1178: B2B Sales Optimization

 

Marketing, B2B, Bill BiceB2B sales optimization requires a longterm commitment to creating quality content that will grow your audience and increase your success.

Bill Bice, CEO of  boomtime, said he was born to be an entrepreneur, launching his first business when he was 14. He loves to talk about sales and marketing because it makes the biggest difference in business. 

Data and marketing

As business owners, we all know that we have to spend money on marketing, but it’s tough to do if you’re not seeing the ROI. For Bill, marketing is about data, which allows you to understand what’s working. The difficulty occurs when you have too much data because it can be difficult to gather valuable insights that help you improve marketing.

Smaller companies often have more freedom to bring their sales and marketing together. In larger companies, the two disciplines are separate, and they are often at odds. Marketing isn’t doing the support work the sales team needs and each blames the other for lack of performance. 

In smaller companies, the CEO or entrepreneur can decide to tie the two together. 

Bill calls himself a big fan of the challenger sales approach, which resulted from research done in Fortune 500 companies. The concept of using key insights to drive a sales approach creates sales optimization in smaller companies. It’s a perfect example of tying together marketing and sales so that marketing generates insights that truly help sellers. It creates better opportunities which result in better success. 

B2B sales optimization

To begin with, businesses must be better at 

  1. capturing leads 
  2. following up on those leads
  3. staying top-of-mind with that larger audience that we’re building 

In any complex, high-value sale, a content-driven approach to marketing is the perfect way to optimize the sales process. 

Then, if you’ve done the hard work of taking care of your customers, they’ll tell others about your business which creates referrals. Now the goal is to amplify that effect, 

How do we make word-of-mouth work even better? 

Capturing leads

Micro-commitments are the most effective part of capturing leads and in doing B2B sales optimization. Your website was once a replacement for the Yellow Pages, and a way to get people to pick up the phone. Now, the most important piece of information for a prospective client is an email address.

If you ask for the prospect’s name, you’ll reduce conversion by 20%. If you ask for the phone number, you’ll reduce conversion by 60%. Every additional field you add reduces conversion by another 8%.

Ask for the one thing you really want from the prospect, which is an email address. You have to be willing to do something that is really hard in order to get those referrals and capture those leads. 

You have to give your best stuff away for free. Give away your deepest and best expertise in exchange for the really valuable thing, which is the email address. #CaptureProspects

The traditional battle between sales and marketing centers around what makes a qualified lead. All we really want is to get people to follow us on LinkedIn and to get the prospects’ email addresses. If we grow our audience in those two places and we’re constantly sending people back to our website with high-value insight, that creates success. 

What’s actually hard to do is the day-to-day work in the trenches, because it’s the consistency that makes this work. 

Marketing mistakes

There are B2B sales optimization mistakes that marketers commit. The first on the list is talking about themselves. Nobody cares. 

Are you talking about the problems your target audience struggles with, and are you helping them solve those problems?

Of the content you provide to your prospects, 90% should be entirely focused on the problems your audience is having and the insights you bring that they can’t get from anywhere else. 

The good news is that if you have a niche in the marketing your company serves, then hundreds of those companies will share the same problems. 

CEOs struggle to find those insights because they are running their own businesses. Your marketing department must take advantage of that. You must train your sales team to use a key-insight driven approach. 

Secondly, you must commit to this kind of approach in your sales and marketing. You should plan for at least a year. It won’t be a miracle fix. 

Test and iterate

All forms of content work. Whether you use video, white papers, or checklists, you must test each idea to determine what’s best for that particular segment of the target audience. Even with the explosion of LinkedIn, most B2B sales optimization organizations aren’t leveraging it the way they could. 

The whole point is to grow a new audience and LinkedIn is the easiest way to get your word out to a larger audience of exactly the right prospects. 

Avoid being salesy. Be there to help your network. Use your key insights to drive interest in what you’re doing. Share insights with consistent posting. 

Get the executive team involved in building the audience. Then, turn those connections into opportunities for the sales team. 

Bill’s team sends 40-50 connection requests a day, and they follow up on each one of those accepted connection requests with a recently-written article by that executive that tackles a problem and shows your audience how to solve it. 

Following up on leads

Everybody wants more leads, but most companies generate all the leads they need. The easiest thing to do is to follow up on the leads you already have. 

Most sales teams aren’t very good at using the CRM so they aren’t capturing leads. No follow-up exists. 

Bill’s team created a process that requires going through email boxes of everyone who is client-facing and capturing those email addresses. Add those people to your CRM and then apply a nurturing campaign that follows up on every single lead. 

Sellers tend to focus on things that will create a commission in the next 60 to 90 days. When you get a prospect that may take 6 to 12 months to close, you may see a tendency to drop those. Put a system in place to capture those leads and follow up with them. Use that data to understand when they are interested so you can assign a salesperson to them when they start paying attention. 

Lead follow-up represents the lowest-hanging fruit in most B2B organizations. Think of the number of people you meet at trade shows, and then figure the number of leads that actually get added to your CRM. They are all valuable prospects, but some may not be immediately valuable.

CRM

Bill dislikes the fact that CRM systems are designed for sales managers, but his team uses Pipedrive. He does appreciate the fact that modern CRMs integrate email systems so that you can see all the email interaction that’s happening within the company.

The more your company automates around CRM, the more likely the sellers will actually use it. Make it a tool that actually makes their lives better rather than just a tool that tracks what they are doing. 

In an ideal world, sales managers will work to uncover objections and help the sellers be more effective. 

Top-of-mind

Once you put some real effort into building a larger audience, it will begin to grow organically because you’re giving them social currency. Word-of-mouth works best, and we want to amplify that. The best way to do that is to give the audience that already knows you — current clients, past clients, and prospective clients — the tools to create referrals for you. 

If you’re giving them insightful and helpful content, the next time the issue comes up while they are having lunch with a peer, they’ll have the perfect thing to talk about. As your audience shares your content, you’ll get organic growth. 

Getting started

Everyone is terrified at this piece because actually doing it is the hardest part. Other than in early-stage startups, companies will struggle to accomplish this unless they tag a dedicated resource. Hire a large enough team to make it happen. 

In Bill’s case, they don’t do the writing themselves. They hire people who are already in that market, who understand it well, and who don’t have to be trained. That kind of approach works consistently to develop a steady flow of high-quality content. 

It’s a combination of well-written content with good insights that match the company’s tone. 

Coming up with ideas is the easy part. 

Send an email with a single link and a catchy headline. Drive your audience back to the website. Link all those articles together so that you create a trail of crumbs and you can see what really interests them. Your reader should never reach the bottom of the blog article and not have a next place to go. 

About us

The second most visited page on almost every B2B site is the About Us page, but 99% of the time, that page includes a boring list of executives and bios. It doesn’t sell you on the company. It doesn’t take you to the next natural place that you should go to. 

You’re trusting your prospects to figure out where to go but you really want to control that customer journey and tell the whole story. Managing that journey improves the capture rate of leads. 

Many customers choose companies who have a face on the business. They will choose you because there’s a real person behind the business who cares about them as a client. 

No quick fix

The number-one battle we face in marketing is that there’s no quick fix. This approach works, but it’s a long-term commitment. If you apply it all through your sales team, you’ll create a dramatic trajectory for your company. 

The challenger sale reports that 53 percent of why customers buy from your company traces to the sales experience rather than the product, the price, the service, or the delivery. The key is how they are sold. 

“B2B Sales Optimization” episode resources

Bill loves to talk with business owners and marketing directors about sales and marketing. You can connect with him at boomtime.com, or on LinkedIn

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.

Jamie Shanks, Donald C. Kelly, Social Selling

TSE 1176: Specific Account-Based Sales Development Best Practices For The Modern, Social Sellers

Jamie Shanks, Donald C. Kelly, Social SellingFrom account selection to sales plays, Jamie Shanks helps sales professionals understand and adopt best practices for the modern, social sellers.

Jamie is the CEO of Sales For Life, which is the de-facto standard in modernizing account-based sales motion. The company specializes in social or digital selling. It evaluates how you sell today and infuses modern digital sales activities into your process. 

Account-based selling

Account-based selling refers to focusing on a set number of accounts, whether it’s organized by territory or strategic value. Instead of relying on inbound leads or channel leads, you must go outbound.

Jamie named his book Spear Selling based on a sales analogy of fishing: inbound efforts are a little like fishing with a net because you can’t choose the fish that land in your net. When you fish with a spear, you swim in the deep water and choose the whales you’re going to hunt. 

Typically, companies focus on account-based motion because they need to increase their average annual contract value (ACV) or lifetime value (LTV). 

Adopting an account-based approach

Companies often get the very first step wrong, which is account selection. Many companies use what Jamie calls wallet-share based thinking. When he was working with a company in the health and wellness space, an account exec pointed to Peloton as a company he was focused on connecting with. When questioned, the AE mentioned that one of the company leaders was a bike enthusiast who thought it might be a good fit. 

The truth is that the health company has no more strategic connection to Peloton than its competitors do. In fact, if they went through the data of relationships, they might discover that the competitors have greater social proximity to the account. That means you may devote 8 months trying to win this account to find that there’s a hurdle you didn’t account for. 

Getting the account selection process right is half the equation.

Companies that ask their sales professionals to build a list of accounts will likely find that they stack ranked companies based on revenue, number of employees, and market share potential. They didn’t think about the fact that people buy from people and relationships matter. 

Sales is a game of relationships. If you could reverse-engineer your existing advocates and customers and identify which accounts have the highest social proximity, you’ll have an advantage that your competitors can’t take from you. 

Account-based models

A centralized model looks at the equation and asks how certain sales resources like inside sales, BDRs, SDRs, and LDRs can mine the total addressable market. It maps green-flag accounts based on relationships, opportunities, and strengths. They could be referrals, partners to your existing customers, or others you’re connected to. Red-flag accounts are those where your competitors have relationships, strengths, and opportunities. 

The decentralized model seeks to identify those accounts that a company already has connections to. The idea is that the company can activate those accounts faster than the competitors can. 

Companies might go with the centralized model because it uses the $20-an-hour inside sellers to do the work instead of the more-expensive AEs. They might choose the decentralized model because they want everyone in the field to be able to unearth the total addressable market of their area. Each person is CEO of his own territory.

Account selection is a skill that everyone needs to master.

Modern digital sellers

The modern digital seller selects accounts based on relationships or social proximity and then plans those accounts using four pillars. 

  • Triggers
  • Referrals
  • Insights
  • Competitive Intelligence

These sellers build a war room or a simple one-page document that outlines the compelling stories that they can share with their audiences. When they target the accounts, they’ll use digital technology like video or LinkedIn to share insights and monitor buying engagement.

Use account segmentation to think about how much time you’ll spend on every account. Apply Pareto’s Law realizing that you’ll spend 80 percent of your time on 20 percent of your accounts which will yield 80 percent of your return. You won’t spend the same amount of time on every account.

These sales concepts have existed forever, but you’ll accelerate your momentum because digital technology allows you to identify who cares, who you should focus on, and how you can move the deal through the cycle more quickly. 

Digital sales

Social selling includes elements like LinkedIn and Twitter and Facebook, but those aren’t the only elements. Modern digital sellers use any available technology to aid in the sales process. 

Companies that engage in digital account-based selling might go through the following steps:

  1. Map the total addressable market.
  2. Map the accounts that exist within each vertical.
  3. Which accounts do we not have but have open opportunities?
  4. Which accounts have we never spoken to?
  5. Of those companies we’ve never spoken to, where do we have a competitive advantage like a trigger or a referral?

If they use tools like LinkedIn to map the social networks of their customer base, they can determine whether anyone knows someone at those companies. Together with marketing, the account executives can storyboard to create a series of sales plays, which might include social media or digital tools.

They can use LinkedIn to communicate with key executives and invite them to an event because they know that conversion is twice as high with physical meetings as with virtual ones. They are using digital tools to bring customers into the analog world. 

Sales play

Sales plays are no different than football plays. The play seeks to achieve a certain result. The seller needs a first-down. Digital sellers might use video, emails, phone calls and other tools to tell the story of them versus their competitors. 

Your goal at an account is to activate the account. The activation cycle is the number of plays that you’ll run against that account. In that time, you’ll either qualify them or replace them. You cannot call into this account forever.

The best account-based teams have a defined activation cycle. Let’s assume it’s 90 days. If you don’t activate within 90 days, you’ll replace it with an account that has a great relationship opportunity. 

Sales plays exist inside that cycle. You might have three to eight different stories you tell along that 90-day journey. Those sales plays or touchpoints are organized as cadences and sequences. 

If you want to win the biggest and best accounts in the world, most companies aren’t coming inbound. You have to tell compelling stories to push them off their status quo. 

Build a series

Once you’ve identified your targets, you must build a series of plays and stories that make the person actually care. 

  • What are three to eight different things they want to know about? 
  • Do they want to know about market trends?
  • Do they want to see a real-life video of customer experience?
  • Will they want to know where they stand compared to their competitors?

What does the future hold for your customer? Think about the customer and develop a series of stories before you start hammering away at the phone. #StorySelling

Get started using all of the available tools. Jamie calls LinkedIn Sales Navigator one of his favorite. There are 500 million people on that platform. He calls it the world’s largest party.

“TSE 1176: Best Practices For The Modern, Social Sellers” episode resources

Grab a copy of Jamie’s book, Spear Selling.

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.

Donald C. Kelly, BDR, TSE Certified Sales Training

TSE 1175: TSE Certified Sales Training “How to Succeed As a BDR”

Donald C. Kelly, BDR, TSE Certified Sales TrainingWhether you’re learning it for your own work as a BDR or you’re preparing to help another seller, there are five important keys to help you succeed as a BDR.

If you’re looking to move to the next level as a seller, The Sales Evangelist Certified Sales Training Program group coaching program allows you to train at your own pace, either alone or as part of a group. The next semester begins this month. 

Drink your own Kool-Aid

Make sure you understand the product or service you’re selling. In fact, I recommend that you actually use it yourself. If it’s an enterprise software SAP or something large like that, you won’t likely buy it for yourself, but you should understand how the system truly operates. Know how it will help the customers you’re pursuing. 

If you’re a BDR, you’re probably not chasing every single customer. You’ll probably have a territory or a certain kind of client. Look at industry reports to understand your customers and how your solution will help. Ask previous clients why they like your solution so much.

It will also help you speak their language and be more confident in your conversations. Know the problem that you’re able to solve for your buyer.

Be intentional

BDRs must make sure to follow their company’s process, and then they have to go a step further. They must know their ratios. 

  • How many conversations does it take to get to a demonstration?
  • How many demonstrations do you typically do before you land a sale?

Keep track of these numbers. Email me and I’ll share my own prospect tracker with you. 

When you have these numbers, sales becomes more of a science. Each day, you can specify how many new opportunities you want so you can get to a demonstration. 

You won’t be as successful if you aren’t intentional. 

Listen

Become an expert at listening. Listen to the things your prospects say as well as the things they don’t say. 

Read case studies, find out what some of your current customers are doing, and understand their problems. If you listen closely, you’ll begin to notice when they aren’t telling you the real issues. Be a silent expert.

Ask tough questions

Sellers sometimes want to appear knowledgeable, so they talk a lot. Instead, focus on the caliber of questions that you’re asking. 

Make a list of these questions you can ask your prospect. Also, prepare a list of follow-up questions. If, for example, your prospect says that he already has a solution in place, you must be prepared to respond to that. Maybe something like this: “I’m not here to break up great relationships. I do, however, know that contracts end and that people typically will look for new vendors. Would you be open to see if we could benefit your organization?” 

Lead with the intro, “Out of curiosity” to soften the edge on a question like, “Why are you waiting until next year to change?”

Make sure you find great opportunities for your team.

Personalize your approach

Take advantage of video to personalize your approach. Depending on the type of business you’re in, use a tool like BombBomb to make a simple video to the prospect and include this in your flow process. 

If you’re sending emails and reaching out on LinkedIn, your personalized videos will help you stand out among the other BDRs. Personalized videos will help you connect with the right clients and produce better results. 

Outwork yourself

Compete against yourself. If you did 15 appointments last week, set a goal for 17 this week. Push yourself. Don’t compete against your teammate’s goals. Constantly seek to improve.

Success will naturally come if you constantly out-hustle your previous performance.

“How To Succeed As A BDR” episode resources

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.

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 1146: 3 Core SEO Principles To Help Increase Your Inbound Sales

 

There’s no greater gift you can give to a seller than leads so we’ve uncovered 3 core SEO principles to help increase your inbound sales

We’re working to unite the two warring departments of sales and marketing. Kyle Carney has a passion for helping businesses grow and he does that with principles that help organizations earn inbound leads as fuel for growth. 

Lead generation mistakes

Many businesses chase after the wrong keywords in their SEO efforts. They know their industry and their target market but they pursue vague SEO terms. If, for example, I search for “new homes,” that could suggest that I’m looking to buy, or to build, or to discover what a new home costs. 

Businesses can improve by being more strategic in their efforts. So instead of searching for “new homes,” they can work to rank for “new home builder in Colorado.” That strategy is crucial for online success because that generates traffic that has qualified itself before the conversation even begins.

Google knows everything. It knows where you are, so if your website indicates the area that you’re serving, it will figure that out. 

One: Get your website right 

The messaging on your website has a huge impact on your inbound sales. We must make sure we get the right message in front of the right clients so they qualify themselves prior to beginning the conversation. 

When we do, the work becomes like fish in a barrel because prospects come to you and say, “I saw this on your site and it’s exactly what I need.” 

Building a website with proper messaging for the right audience allows your prospects to move themselves down the funnel. #SEO

Improve your site

Sellers wear a lot of hats and sellers have the ability to influence anyone. If we want to increase our bottom line, it’s in our best interest to connect with the marketing people and convince them of the importance of a smooth website. 

  • Work toward a mobile-friendly site. Most sites are, but there are small tweaks that will make your site operate faster. If the site isn’t designed correctly, it will run slowly which will affect your rankings. 
  • Identify the things your customer wants by understanding how they find you. If they find you online, ask what they were searching for. You’ll discover actionable information that will help you refine your website.
  • Find keywords that match what you do. Strive for specific, clear intent. 
  • Be data-driven. Find the search volume for keywords to help you decide on your messaging.

Rank for the right things

Most of the data about search content is freely available using tools like Google Keyword Planner. Initiate a conversation with the marketing department to ensure that you’re ranking for the right phrases. If you’re ranking for phrases that no one is actually looking for, it will do nothing for you. 

Once you’ve got the website functioning smoothly, you’ll focus on converting those prospects using content. 

Two: Generate content

This isn’t a reference to a basic 300-word blog. It’s quality content that focuses on answering their key questions and includes every type of content. 

If every seller would create videos to provide information, the potential would provide to be unreal. Create videos. Write blogs. Answer frequently asked questions. 

Block out 15 minutes to create content daily, even if you have to do it during lunch. It’s arguably one of the most valuable exercises a salesperson can do.  

Write down every question people ask you and rank them from the most common to the least. People frequently ask “How long does it take for SEO to work?” SEO is kind of a nerdy topic that many businesses don’t think about. Once they address it, they often want to know how long the results will take, so he wrote a massive article breaking the process down.

He didn’t intend to sell anything, but rather to provide quality information. Within a couple of weeks, people reached out to him asking if they could share it. Then, he landed on a list of 25 top Internet marketing articles worldwide, and he was surprised by the fact that people were even able to find him. 

Kyle points to The Go-Giver as a book that changed his perspective and motivated him to enrich the lives of the people who engage with his content. Now he uses the article during conversations as a source of information he can share with people. 

The article set him up as a thought leader and authority on the topic of SEO.

Think long term

SEO is a long-term game. It’s a process that won’t happen overnight. If you use it effectively, you’ll see results. 

The challenge, Kyle said, is that many sellers have huge lists of content they’d like to create but because they have big deals on the line, they have to prioritize those deals because that’s money in the bank. It’s difficult to prioritize stuff that doesn’t pay off immediately. 

In the long run though, you’ll make so much more money if you can generate content and videos consistently.

Kyle is a big proponent of YouTube but he recommends doing whatever is easiest. Just do something. It’s much better to do something than to wait forever for the perfect opportunity. Use whatever you currently have available. 

If that means starting from scratch, YouTube is a great place to start. It’s a massive search engine all its own. Your videos don’t have to be long, and you can even hire people to create them for you.  

Three: Make quality connections 

Kyle points to the hybrid approach as the best method of conversion. Provide gated content as well as free, accessible content. Create, for example, an amazing guide to the top 10 things to know about your business, and then ask for an email to access it. Connect that to your CRM so you’re providing something valuable that benefits your audience. You’re getting something and they are getting something in return. You’re getting a warm lead and you have an opportunity for a simple follow up. 

  • “I saw that you downloaded our guide. I’d love to answer any questions you have or hear any insights you had from a business owner’s perspective.” 

Then, use your CRM to determine what pages your visitors are seeing on your site. If you can track where they are going on your site and determine what things they are reading, then you can ask them to use this information in your sales process.

People are thirsty for knowledge, so if you can be a resource that answers their questions, it will build a foundation of trust. 

Give your prospects something specific they can apply to their own situations. In my case, I might ask prospects to try sending five emails to see what kind of results they get, or to test LinkedIn connections. Keep it simple. Don’t ask them to read a 500-page SEO book. Give them a quick win.  

Leverage your connections

As you’re out in the world networking, you’re developing key partnerships and mutually beneficial connections. Leverage those opportunities. 

If you’ve written something valuable, ask the people around you to share it. Then, offer to serve those connections as well by volunteering to write an expert blog post on their site. Tell them you’re only asking for a small linkback. It involves writing and proactive outreach, but the payoff is huge. 

The Internet is a popularity contest, and Google works the same way. When more websites talk about your website, that suggests to Google that there’s something valuable for its searchers there. Google will bump it up in the rankings.

It isn’t glamorous work but it can be very impactful. Instead of working to leverage random contacts, you’ll focus on the ones you’ve already built. 

Social media can be powerful for reasons beyond those that we already know about. If you give someone a shoutout on social media, that doesn’t necessarily improve their online visibility, but if you’re an influencer within your network, it provides credibility and it may drive people to visit. 

Write down the questions that people ask you every day and then provide answers to them. Provide the information people are looking for. Don’t hide behind a curtain and don’t keep trade secrets. 

“3 core SEO principles” episode resources

You can connect with Kyle at FirestarterSEO.com or on LinkedIn. He calls himself an open book and says he’s happy to educate people about SEO. If you simply have a question to ask, reach out to him on social media. 

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.

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.

 

Bob Burg, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1128: Developing A Go-Giver Strategy!

 

Bob Burg, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistThe most financially profitable way to do business is to shift your focus from getting to giving, and by developing a Go-Giver strategy, you’ll constantly provide value and good things will begin to happen. 

Bob Burg is a salesman who has written a series of books about the Go-Giver, a parable about the principles behind the kind of success most sellers are hoping to achieve. Through encounters with a series of different people, the main character, Joe, discovers that his focus has been in the wrong place. 

Giving too much

Giving means providing value to others. Though it’s typically not possible to provide too much value, begin by determining whether your focus on providing value will set you up to be taken advantage of. There are plenty of people who are takers and who focus only on themselves. They feel entitled to take without giving anything back. 

If you’re providing value to someone like that, there’s a good chance things won’t work out.  Realize, though, that there’s no natural connection between being a go-giver and being taken advantage of. Understand, too, that if you’re being taken advantage of, it isn’t because you’re too nice; it’s because you’re allowing it to happen.

Being a go-giver doesn’t mean being a martyr or a doormat. It simply means your focus is on bringing value to the marketplace and to others. 

No one will buy from you because you need the money or you have a quota to meet. They’ll buy because they will be better off buying from you. 

Focus on value

The only reason people should buy from you is because they’ll be better off after they do. That truth allows the salesperson or entrepreneur to focus on bringing immense value to the marketplace and to the prospect’s life. When that happens, the prospect will prosper greatly. 

Money is simply an echo of value. Focus on the value rather than the money. Value comes first and the money you receive is a natural result of the value you provided. 

Human nature is self-interested. It allows us to create more human beings. 

Successful people deal in truth. They don’t deny inconvenient things, but rather they acknowledge truth and then work within it to make things better. 

Start by acknowledging and understanding self-interest. Then put it aside with the understanding that we’re better off dealing with others when we suspend our self-interest. The other person is only going to buy because of their own needs. 

Value without attachment

Although people often suggest you should give without expecting anything in return, Bob doesn’t exactly agree with that. Instead, give value without attachment to the result. We want people to expect good things. If you’re in business serving other people, you should expect to profit greatly because you’re bringing value to the marketplace. Just don’t be attached to that result. 

Give value because it’s who you are and what you do. When that happens you create a benevolent context for success. You develop great relationships with people who feel good about you. They know you, they like you, and they trust you, and they want to be part of your business. 

Develop an army of personal walking ambassadors who will refer business to you. 

Starting point

Imagine you decide at this point to change your ways. Start by asking who the people are in your network and what you can provide to them that will help them by bringing value to their lives. Then make a plan for meeting other people that you can develop know-like-and-trust relationships with. 

We’re human beings and we’re different types of people. The reason the Go-Giver took off is because it allows you to be yourself. You can be the person who wants to bring value to the marketplace. 

Most people choose a certain line of work because they believe in the mission. They believe in what they’re doing. We’re happy when we’re living congruently with our values. 

Go-Giver origins

Bob recalls his parents working to make people’s lives better. Then, when he started in sales, he found himself selling a product that offered great value, but he was focused largely on the sales process. Like Joe in the book, he was a seller who wasn’t living up to his potential. 

He returned from a non-selling appointment one day to hear advice from a guy in his organization. The typically-silent guy told him that if he wanted to make a lot of money in business, he should establish a target outside of making money. 

Target serving others, so that when you hit your target, you’ll get a reward in the form of money. Great salesmanship is about the other person and how he’ll benefit from your product or service. 

Economic downturn

Bob heard from a roofer during an economic crisis who recognized that his approach had been wrong. He was trying to save money during the downturn, but he realized that instead of trying to give the least he could for the money, he needed to focus on giving more value. 

It didn’t necessarily mean spending more, but rather creating a better experience. His business took off as a result. 

Technology has leveled off the playing field. We live in a commodity-based society which isn’t necessarily bad. It does mean that you must distinguish yourself. If you sell a widget that your customer can’t distinguish one from the other, it will always come down to price. If you sell on low price, you’re a commodity. If you sell on high value, you’re a resource. 

Communicating value

There are likely hundreds of way to communicate value, but Bob boils it down to five elements of value. 

  1. Excellence
  2. Consistency
  3. Attention
  4. Empathy
  5. Appreciation

To the degree that you can communicate these things to your customer, that’s the degree to which you take price and competition out of the picture. 

Begin with leadership, and with a leader who is totally committed to making this part of the culture. Anyone can lead from anywhere but culture trickles down from the top. If the leader invests in this and gets buy-in from other leaders, it becomes part of the culture. 

Bob Chapman of Barry-Wehmiller wrote a book called Everybody Matters in which he recalls running a profit-focused company. Though there is nothing wrong with profit, it must be sustainable, so it must be the result of the value you provide. Bob attended the wedding of his best friend’s daughter, and the father of the bride made a toast. He acknowledged that the groom was marrying a treasured daughter. Bob took that same concept to his business. 

Barry-Wehmiller has thousands of employees, all of whom are someone’s treasured sons and daughters. When the economic downturn emerged, rather than lay off any one employee, they came together as a company and traded work days. They stopped putting into the company savings account until the crisis was over. The corporate family came together in a crunch. 

Heart level

Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines understood the concept and he restructured the organization to focus first on allowing employees to thrive, learn, grow, and have fun. His team had a higher sense of purpose in their jobs. 

As a result, the team takes care of the customers and the customers take care of the shareholders. 

Until you know there’s a problem that needs to be fixed, you’ll never take the steps to address it. 

Be willing to shift your focus. 

When Bob’s business partner sends a sales letter, he makes an effort to take the “I,” “me,” and “we,” out of the letter. We’re self-interested human beings and we write in terms of how great we are and how great the product is. 

We aren’t denying self-interest. We’re acknowledging that you have to work at placing  your focus on others. 

“Developing A Go-Giver Strategy” episode resources

You can find Bob’s podcast, The Go-Giver Podcast, at his website. You can also grab samples chapters of his books before you buy them. Consider subscribing to his list to get a copy of a written resource called Endless Prospects

The Go-Giver way teaches you to build relationships with solid step-by-step information. 

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.

 

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.

 

Wes Schaeffer, Sales Outreach, Sales Whisper

TSE 1124: Sales From The Street: “The Fundamentals of Sales Outreach”

Wes Schaeffer, Sales Outreach, Sales WhisperMany sellers have a tough time with outbound sales, so we’re spending the month of June focused on the topic, and today we’re specifically addressing the fundamentals of sales outreach.

Wes Schaeffer entered sales in 1997, covering stocks, bonds, retail, real estate, and high tech. He decided that, since sales was crazy and uncertain, he’d bet on himself. He laid the foundation for The Sales Whisperer, where he helps people with sales training.

Outbound struggles

Too many sellers mistakenly believe that outbound is dead. That cold calling and email are dead. The truth is you simply have to do a little bit of homework.

Some people would say that because everybody drinks water, if you sell water, everyone is your prospect. But some people are content drinking water out of a hose. Not everyone will spend money on your stuff.

Client selection is important. You have to figure out who’s going to buy your stuff and who isn’t.

The number of people who are ready, willing, and able to buy what you sell right now is in the single digits. If, for example, you just bought four brand new tires for your car, it doesn’t matter that you’re having a 50-percent-off sale.

Follow a script

Now that you know who you’re going after, what will you say? Will you fall into the trap of not following a script because it feels unnatural?

The Rock has made over $60 million a year by regurgitating scripts. He makes it his own and he makes it believable. The truth for all of us is that we’re living on a script.

I once talked in a presentation about seeing the band Chicago and about the fact that they play the same 20 songs in the same order at every single show. What would happen if they decided to just wing it every now and then?

That’s not what professionals do. Professionals practice things until they can’t get them wrong. You could wake them out of a stupor, hand them a guitar or keyboard, and they could play any song perfectly.

Practicing skills

Look at Tom Brady or Lebron James or Tiger Woods. I guarantee you they are still practicing. Are you willing to practice the little bitty things? How do you open? What do you say? How do you title your emails? How do you build interest?

If you sound like everybody else, I’m going to treat you like everybody else. The only way I can differentiate between you and everyone else that sounds like you is on price.

Think of the phone calls you get from an autodialer. They’re nice because they streamline things, but when people hear the long pause while it’s connecting to the first available person, they are completely uninterested. Then they mispronounce your name and you’re done.

Diagnose the problem

Wes recommends at least five emails in any outbound process. He also pointed out the distinction between frequently-asked questions and “should ask” questions. FAQs can be written out and sent in an email. The “should ask” questions allow you to differentiate yourself. These are the things the prospect doesn’t know.  

Understand your product and the situation of your prospects well enough to know what issues might arise. Our goal in prospecting is to ask a question that our prospect can’t answer.

Doctors do the same, and it’s why we trust them. When they take the time to diagnose the problem, we trust their prescription.

Ask questions

  • How are you generating leads?
  • What trends are you seeing?
  • Is it becoming more expensive to run ads?
  • How is your team performing?
  • Do you experience ups and downs?

Spend some time on your “should ask” questions.

We’re all too close to our own offerings. There’s an adage that says you can’t read the label from inside the bottle.

Outreaching sequences

Timing matters in outreach, and that’s why you need multimedia multi-step followup sequences. You need a success story about a prospect in your niche. You need a case study or a video testimonial. And then you’re off and running.

Dripping a prospect is a little like dating. When you continue coming back to your prospects, they eventually decide that there must be something good about your offering.

You have your target market or your dream 100. It’s worth persisting because, eventually, something is going to happen: a machine will break or the competition will miss a delivery. Maybe an employee will quit or they will have their own quality issues.

Start early, stay late

Remember that whatever you can measure you can improve.

Jeffrey Gitomer speaks about gold calling because he says there isn’t such thing as pure cold calling in B2B. You’re most likely to reach people by phone. You can do direct mail and other things, and they may work.

Executives and decision-makers get to the office early and they stay late. Since I’m a west coast guy, I start calling the east coast about 2 p.m. when the assistants and receptionists have gone home. Same with the lunch hour. The hourly people take their breaks while the boss keeps working.

Be strategic about your calls. Use LinkedIn to find information about your prospects. Where did they go to school? Do they have a recent article? The research demonstrates that you did your homework. It differentiates you from your competition.

Little things add up. Trust the process and have a process.

“The Fundamentals of Sales Outreach” episode resources

Connect with Wes at thesaleswhisperer.com. You can find his social media links and his phone number there.

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.

 

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.

Todd Coponi, Transparency Sale, Sales Podcast

TSE 1109: Leading With Your Flaws

Power Reviews

It seems counterintuitive in sales, but leading with your flaws can shorten the sales cycle and disarm your customers, ultimately leading you to better metrics.

Todd Caponi was the chief revenue officer for a company called Power Reviews which helps retailers and brands collect and display ratings and reviews on their website. His time there caused him to rethink the way he leads sales organizations because he discovered that consumers were more likely to buy a product that had a 4.2 to 4.5 rating than a 5-star rating.

Statistics show that 95 percent of consumers in the B2C world are looking at reviews before they buy. Of those, 82 percent are looking for negative reviews before buying. Todd wondered what might happen if the same notion could be applied to the B2B world.

Pros and cons

Todd embraced the idea of embracing the pros and cons and leading with them. He discovered that his first deal, which previously had a sales cycle of 6 months, closed within 4 weeks.

They discovered that when you lead with your flaws, your sales cycle speeds up dramatically. You’ll qualify deals faster and eliminate those deals that you probably weren’t going to win anyway.

Todd was in New York when his VP of sales called him to say the company had an inbound lead from an apparel brand that wanted to initiate an evaluation. The brand happened to be headquartered in NY, so Todd scheduled coffee with the senior vice president of e-commerce. The coffee meeting became a presentation instead, and the SVP got right to the point.

Competitor is better

He said that his company had been talking to Todd’s competitor, and he wanted to know why Todd’s company was better than the competitor. Todd figured he had nothing to lose, so he asked an unexpected question.

“Do you mind if I tell you why the competitor is better?”

He explained that the competitor had offerings that his own company didn’t, so if he wasn’t going to be able to meet their needs, he wanted to determine that quickly so both parties could move on. The room deflated. The guy clearly thought Todd was crazy, but he agreed to the idea.

Todd talked about an add-on that the other company had but explained that his own company was focused on certain core beliefs. The SVP acknowledged that the add-on the competitor was offering wasn’t a necessity for his company, so they moved on.

Transparency

Within 20 minutes, the SVP kicked everyone else out of the meeting and grabbed a folder that includes the company’s budget for ratings and review software. He pointed to a number inside and asked Todd if he could hit that figure.

The two engaged in a collaborative process that culminated in a deal a few weeks later. The company didn’t initiate an evaluation. It simply chose Todd’s company. He recounted that he had called Todd’s competitor, who quickly went on a rant about the add-on that distinguished the two companies.

Every time they led with their flaws, it completely disarmed their prospects. The company built its sales cycle on a foundation of trust and all of its metrics moved in a dramatically positive direction.

Wired to resist

Todd said that we’re all wired to resist being sold to. As a buyer, he simply wants to be able to predict what his experience with a certain product will be like, and then to get the best deal he can. He said that a salesperson will demonstrate within the first five minutes whether he will be a great resource or push toward a sale even if it isn’t what the buyer wants.

People believe in authenticity and honesty. Many of them believe that there’s a trade-off required so that in order to have authenticity and honesty, you will sacrifice results. But the data suggests otherwise. The data says that when you provide authenticity and honesty to your customers, you’ll maximize your sales results.

Truthfully, the era of hiding your flaws from your prospects is over. The proliferation of ratings and reviews has moved into the B2B area and it has become the way of the world.

B2B buying behavior

A company called Trust Radius just published a study of B2B buying behavior. The data demonstrated that B2B buyers are using reviews 56 percent of the time and analyst ratings only 24 percent of the time.

Every year, reviews are climbing and independent studies are going down. Marketing is becoming less trustworthy and reviews are becoming the core that brings buyers to the table. Sellers must embrace that.

It’s counter-intuitive to most people to show weakness. Many sellers will listen to this and wonder why this works. Todd dug into the neuroscience of this and discovered that buyers make decisions using feeling and then back them up with logic. Logic is the justifying mechanism to emotional decisions.

We are also wired to disbelieve anything that looks perfect. We are taught to seek the negative. A recent study reported that buyers in a typical purchase cycle spend 39 percent of their time talking to sellers and 61 percent of their time doing other homework. This includes research, reviews, and back-channel information.

Utilizing levers

In his book, Transparency Sale, Todd tells the story of a rep who was selling something to an oil company. He explained the concept of levers, which he has become famous for.

If you search Google for tips on negotiating, you’ll find countless pointers that destroy trust. It’s like a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament.

But if you want to build trust through the goal line, you lead with what is important to you as an organization. You create buyers who are actually able to negotiate their own deals.

In the case of the oil company, Todd was pulled into a last-minute negotiation with a group of procurement people. Before they even started, he asked for permission to write four things on the board. He listed four levers on the whiteboard.

  • Volume, or how much they buy
  • Timing of cash, or how fast they pay
  • Length of commitment, or how long they commit
  • Timing of deal, or when they signed

Discount

The people in the meeting immediately asked for 30 percent off. Instead of offering to do 15 percent and initiating that song and dance, he acknowledged that it might be doable and then suggested using the four concepts on the board. These concepts represent four things Todd’s company was willing to pay for in the form of a discount.

The notion immediately disarmed the people in the meeting.

“Commit to more technology and because that’s valuable to us, we’ll pay you in the form of a discount.”

“Since we have a three-year commitment, pay us for years two and three and we’ll pay you in the form of a discount.”

“Extend your deal to five years and we’ll discount an extra 5 percent for years four and five.”

Todd’s company got something in return for every dollar they gave away, and the oil company loved Todd’s company at the end. Remember that you aren’t negotiating hostages. You’re negotiating agreements with products.

Be upfront

Commit to being as transparent as possible. Every person simply wants to feel that they’ve been heard and that they’ve gotten a good deal.

Get rid of one-sidedness. You’ll bring humanity back to the conversation. You’ll have the confidence of interacting with people as human beings. So few companies have a framework for the way they negotiate.

You could implement this concept right now. It doesn’t require a three-day class.

“Leading With Your Flaws” episode resources

You can connect with Todd on LinkedIn or at his website, transparencysale.com. Grab a copy of his book, Transparency Sale. 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.

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.      

Ideal Customer, Dr. Frances Richards, Black Podcast

TSE 1099: Sales From The Street – “My Ideal Customer”

Ideal Customer, Dr. Frances Richards, Black Podcast

 

Business owners and sales reps who try to sell to everyone will struggle to succeed until they decide to focus their efforts on the ideal customer.

Today, Dr. Frances Richards, whose company helps people reclaim their wealth by transforming their health, talks about the journey of finding her ideal customer.

Sales From The Street allows us to connect with a sales professional and hear about the biggest professional struggles that person faced. Dr. Frances is the host of a podcast called Black Entrepreneur Experience, where she interviews CEOs, innovative thinkers, thought leaders, and black entrepreneurs across the globe.

Finding a tribe

Her biggest struggle was finding her ideal customer, and connecting with the people that her message would resonate with. When you’re building an internet business, there are so many different ways to connect with people that it can sometimes be overwhelming for businesses that are trying to find their tribe.

She points to the fact that there are plenty of people telling you what you should do to connect with your ideal client, so it’s tough to know what to do. She said that people told her, “It’s all in the email list,” or “It’s all in social media,” or “It’s all in Facebook advertising,” or “It’s all in the messaging.”

Changing landscape

The hardest part, she said, is trying to determine what’s really relevant. And with the internet constantly changing things, the way you build a company in 2019 is different than the steps you might have taken in 2014.

The steps to find your ideal customer have changed. And when you talk about sales, certain steps are appropriate whether you’re online or offline. Building rapport, and building quality relationships, matters in every situation.

Authenticity

Dr. Frances said that in order to find her ideal customer, she had to block out all the noise and focus on authenticity. She started by deprogramming herself from the idea of working for someone else.

She said she had to adjust to the idea of working for herself and to lose all of the things she was accustomed to, like listening to the bosses tell her what she needed to do. Because she had done many different kinds of sales, she was able to change her mindset from employee mode to employer mode. Then she had to be true to who she really wanted to serve.

When she was an employee, she had to serve anyone. Once she started to define who to serve, then she started to attract her ideal customer as opposed to just doing cold calling.

To-do lists

She had an extensive to-do list of doing 10 posts a day, doing a Facebook live, doing a Periscope, posting on LinkedIn, and all of those other things. She was busy working on the business instead of in the business, which actually brings in income.

Once she prioritized how she would get sales and how she would bring value, she got out of the mode of being desperate. She was listening to her clients’ pain points and she set out to serve them. She went into the mode of serving and helping her clients, her fan base, her tribe.

Dr. Frances has turned down consulting contracts because she wanted to make it a win-win for all parties involved. She operates from a position of making sure both parties are a good fit.

Qualified clients

The shift to serving her clients resulted in more qualified clients. Previously she connected with clients who really couldn’t afford her service so it would have been a disservice to try to work together.

She started asking her prospects what they hoped to accomplish and if someone said, “I want to lose 50 pounds in 5 days,” she wouldn’t even try to convince the person to work with her since the goals were unrealistic.

She has found that when she gets qualified, bonafide clients, the two enjoy working together. The clients are getting results and she is building testimonies.

Ideal client

Just serve the people who really need what you have to offer. Be who you authentically are. There will be plenty of voices telling you what you should do.

Instead of following them, dig deep into yourself and discover what you’re really passionate about. What makes you sing? What makes you get out of bed every morning? That’s half the battle because your attitude dictates your altitude.

If you love what you do, you’ll do what you love. Dr. Frances uses the acronym DANCE to remind her to be authentic: Determine Action Now Creates Energy.

Dancers dance because they want to, not because someone forces them to. Instead of doing things you don’t like, do the things you authentically enjoy. Find your passion.

“Ideal Customer” episode resources

You can connect with Frances at drfrancesrichards.com and you can find her on Facebook and Instagram as Dr. Frances Richards. You can also find her podcast at Black Entrepreneur Experience.

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.

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.

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.

Value, Education

TSE 1092: Building Interest In Something When The Customer Isn’t Looking

Value, EducationSellers who discover how to be successful without a marketing department, in a crowded marketplace, and when the customer isn’t even looking will be successful in almost any circumstances.

I got a question from a listener named Jon Billings who wanted to know how he could teach people who “don’t know what they don’t know.” For instance, if the customer isn’t looking because he doesn’t know he has a problem, how do I communicate that?

Especially in the case of sellers who don’t have access to a marketing department, how is that even possible?

Educate

Your goal is to educate your prospects so that they will look to you instead of your competition when they need help solving a problem.

Educating is the new sales. Regardless of the industry, you’re in, your marketplace is likely crowded.

  • How do you stand out from the competition?
  • How do you help customers recognize you as a differentiator?

You have to challenge the status quo, especially when many of your prospects already have solutions or they don’t realize the existence of a problem.

Build Community

Become a content producer.

Even if you have a marketing department, you should have your own individual brand. Take that brand with you wherever you go.

Even if you change industries, your brand goes with you.

Answer questions

Write down the top 10 questions that customers ask you or that prospects bring up in conversation. Whether they center around cost or service, answer those questions in the form of sharable content.

You can write a blog or produce a podcast. Even better, you can create a LinkedIn article or video.

Focus on the problem while you’re answering the question.

For example, what other issues could your prospect focus on if he outsourced his IT services to your company? What opportunity costs exist?

Differentiate

My friend Kyle invited me to do a LinkedIn Live with him recently and we recorded an episode with him for our show as well.

Kyle told us about how he started sharing videos on YouTube answering questions, and though the videos weren’t very fancy in his estimation, someone reached out to him from Coca Cola with an opportunity for him.

He’s in the tech industry, and though there are countless other tech firms out there that are sending out RFPs. Kyle decided to be different, and it grabbed people’s attention.

Tap into brains

You won’t want to pitch your prospects right away. Instead, connect with them and ask for their assistance. Maybe you’re looking to write a LinkedIn article about things that the directors of large companies dislike and you’d like input from people who are filling those roles.

Get one tip from 10 people, and then when you post the article, tag all of the people who contributed. They’ll see your post, they’ll likely see your profile, and they’ll likely see your website.

Now, when you ask for a chance to introduce yourself in the future, they’ll be more likely to at least give you a chance since you connected on LinkedIn.

Potential ideas

Even if you don’t have the benefit of written case studies, you may have some client testimonials or some stories you can tell. Talk about the problems your clients once had and highlight how you helped them solve those problems.

Now that you’ve written an article about the 10 things that directors of large companies dislike, you could also pitch podcast hosts with the idea.

You’ll be educating more people and becoming a thought leader. But you must create content around the things that people want to hear.

If you’re doing the same things every week and you’re seeing a diminishing return, put a little more effort in. You’ll be on your way to building interest in something when the customer isn’t looking.

“When The Customer Isn’t Looking” episode resources

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.

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.

Troy Rackley, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Water

TSE 1090: I’m Selling More Than Water

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

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

Water problems

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

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

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

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

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

Educating customers

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

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

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

Custom filtration

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

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

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

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

Selling more than water

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

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

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

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

Company growth

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

Water touches everything in life.

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

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

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

Troy wants to help the customer make an educated decision.

Clear or clean

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

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

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

Sell on value, not expense.

“Selling More Than Water” episode resources

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

Learn more about the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council.

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

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

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

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

This episode is also brought to you in part by 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.

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.

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.

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.

Brian Robinson, Donald Kelly, Sales Malpractice

TSE 1084: Sales From The Street – “Sales Malpractice”

Brian Robinson, Donald Kelly, Sales MalpracticeWhen we convince ourselves that we have nothing more to learn, we fail to ask enough questions and we sometimes even commit sales malpractice.

Brian Robinson has been in sales for more than 20 years, but he said that he only thought he knew how to sell while he was in corporate America. He calls his plunge into entrepreneurialism the hardest thing he has ever done, and while it was successful, he said his eyes were opened when he entered the world of “you don’t sell, you don’t eat.”

Brian is the author of the book The Selling Formula, which codifies the steps he used to succeed in that venture.

Intentional questions

Many salespeople do the old “show up and throw up.” We’re so anxious to get to the presentation that we neglect to ask the very best questions we can ask to uncover the needs. We’re seeking sincere engagement from our prospect, so this is the most critical component.

Brian noticed that the best physicians diagnose illness with a list of carefully-crafted questions. That information became especially important when he worked for Johnson and Johnson selling internal devices for laparoscopy. Though the device was clinically superior to anything on the market, he wasn’t getting any responses for trial evaluations.

He knew the device was superior, so he combed through the features and benefits and put together a list of questions related to them. He structured them in a specific order and the wording of each was intentional as well.

Asking questions

He tested the questions, and within about 30 days his trial evaluations doubled because of that list of questions.

When word got out that he had produced those kinds of results, people started asking for his list of questions. He passed it along and found that when people followed the questions exactly, they got the exact same results: they doubled their results.

Brian grew fascinated with the whole idea of going deep on questions. He even developed a personal mantra that questions are the key to life.

Although it took several iterations for Brian to get the list and order of questions exactly right, he stuck with it and he achieved success. There’s still an opportunity to make it even better, but it’s working very consistently now.

Malpractice

Brian defines sales malpractice as providing a diagnosis before you really understand the underlying issues. You won’t be able to give your prospect the best possible answer, and until you’ve uncovered a need, you won’t be able to proceed to the sales conversation.

You have to earn the right to have that conversation. If you rush too quickly into the presentation, your sales presentation won’t be nearly what it could have been.

The key to all of it is how you create your questions.

Get started

Begin by making a spreadsheet with three columns. The first is your features, the second is the benefits related to the feature, and in the third column write down every question you can think of related to those features.

Then take an 80/20 approach. Of the questions you’ve written, which 20% of questions will elicit 80% of the most critical benefits of your product? Start with general fact-finding questions and move into those 80/20 in the most appropriate order to identify the needs.

Imagine you’re selling premade home-cooked meals. What are two benefits to that service?

One is that you’re saving about 60 minutes per meal on grocery shopping, food prep, and cooking time. The other is simplicity. Now generate questions from those benefits.

  • On a weekly basis, how many dinners do you cook for your family?
  • How much time does it typically take you to make dinner?
  • If all you had to do was move something from the freezer to the oven, how would that affect the frequency of your family meals?

Now order the questions from general fact-finding to more specific. Then place the most compelling ones at the top 20 percent of the questions you ask.

Emotional level

Get down to an emotional level. We unfortunately avoid this, often because we aren’t comfortable going that deep into our conversations. We also tend to approach these conversations with a transactional mindset instead of realizing these are human beings with deep emotional and physical needs.

Go the levels that can motivate us to change. We’re trying to make a difference as salespeople. Approach each situation with the mindset that you want to go deeper and ask heart-level questions.

Strive to be seen as a trusted advisor instead of as a sales rep. You’ll have a connection at the human level.

Selling the concept

If someone is willing to grab this idea and test it in their own sales conversations, the proof is in the doing. People have been shocked at the effectiveness of this practice because, shockingly, people don’t think this way.

Brian said he camped out on the questions because that’s where the gold is.

Sometimes management and metrics prompt us to rush the sales process. That causes us to focus on the wrong things. As a result, we end up working twice as hard with less impressive results.

Instead of focusing on outcomes, focus on being so connected to the prospect that the outcome will take care of itself.

We get comfortable where we are, so we live in ignorance. We are amazingly connected to our comfort level. We’re addicted to it. But in order to grow, you have to embrace struggle.

“Sales Malpractice” episode resources

You can get the first three chapters of Brian’s book, The Selling Formula, by going to brianrobinsonbook.com. He also has content associated with the book available at thesellingformula.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.

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.

Dion Travagliante, Value, Sales Rep, Donald Kelly

TSE 1083: 3 Crucial Signs You Need to Add More Value

Dion Travagliante, Value, Sales Rep, Donald KellySometimes as sales reps we don’t bring enough value to the table and there are 3 crucial signs you need to add more value so you won’t be judged only on price.

Dion Travagliante runs Madison One Consulting, a consulting practice where he solves problems for SAS businesses. He said he loves the fact that sellers have latitude in their careers and he loves the chase of finding the potential customer and then uncovering the issue and working to solve it.

People have a preconceived notion that sales is just talking with no science, rhyme, or reason behind it, but he calls it a challenging world that you can train yourself to succeed in.

Commodity

Sellers often struggle to stand out against other competitors and they struggle against being viewed as simply a commodity. The key is to become the winner of the account.

Dion defines value as improvement in a client or prospect’s individual situation. That centers on solving problems. Any company that is selling something originated around the idea of solving someone else’s problem.

That means as a sales rep, you’re a steward of your company’s solution in the marketplace. That should free you to talk to anyone about the challenges they are facing.

Flip the script. There will always be people who perceive salespeople as slick operators who try to jam products down people’s throats. No one wants to have that persona.

Instead, approach every customer as someone with a pain point whose problem you’d like to solve. If you do, you’ll be better than 95 percent of the sellers out there because you’ll be thinking about someone else.

Watch for these 3 crucial signs you need to add more value.

1. Negotiating price

When you’re talking with a prospect and they start negotiating price during the sales cycle. Do not go down the rabbit hole of arguing price.

The worst position you can be in as a sales rep is negotiating against yourself. If the prospect wants to lower the price, it becomes a game of limbo: how low can you go? Instead of just acquiescing, you want to push back on that. They are telling you that they don’t see the inherent value in the price you’ve determined for your product.

You can never negotiate against your own price, but you can flip the script.

If, for example, a single client averages $60,000 and your product costs $20,000, the purchase pays for itself three times over. If your product can speed up the process, the relevant issue is how much money they’ll derive from using your solution.

If the person you’re dealing with is an intermediary and they insist on dropping the price, what they are saying is that they don’t feel confident taking this solution at this price point to the decision makers.

The quicker path is to lower the price. Instead, arm them with more things so they look like the hero when they show up to present it.

2. Seeking referrals

When your prospect asks you for a referral, what he’s really saying is that he’s interested in what you’re selling and he wants to continue down the path, but he wants external validation.

Mike Brooks, who calls himself Mr. Inside Sales, wrote a book called The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts where he shares 500 scripts that you can use to address objections. He suggests acknowledging that you’d be happy to connect the customer with a host of satisfied customers but then asking what sticking points still exist.

They want someone else to verify that they should buy this because we’re all somewhat tribal in nature. Get out in front of it.

Your own self-limiting beliefs can prompt you to negotiate with a client instead of seeking to provide enough value to get them across the finish line.

Practice saying that phrase so that it becomes second-nature. Because 90 percent of decisions are made with the subconscious mind, you should train your mind to respond this way automatically.

Courage isn’t the absence of anxiety or fear; it’s acting in spite of it. The people who improve are those that put themselves in uncomfortable scenarios. Human beings learn by pain.

3. Status quo

When you’ve done the discovery call and you’re in the demo and the prospect says, “You know, I think we’re going to stay with our current solution,” that’s an indicator that you haven’t provided enough value. The prospect is telling you that it seems like a lot of work to transition to your option, so they are going to stay where they are.

They are telling you that you haven’t exhibited enough value to drive them to switch. Sales decisions are made emotionally and then justified logically.

Todd Caponi, in his book The Transparency Sale, talks about the psychology of sales and the fact that if your customer’s logic is preventing them from closing the deal, you need to stoke some emotional flames.

You must provide enough value to make switching worthwhile.

Best sales reps

The best sales reps try new things. They put themselves into difficult scenarios that allow them to learn. They also end up selling more.

Always think about the prospects and their solutions. Get out of your own way and help your prospect solve a problem and better his solution.

Ask pointed questions. Figure out the plight. You’ll come off as more genuine than if you toss around buzzwords.

“3 Crucial Signs You Need to Add More Value” episode resources

You can connect with Dion at madisononeinc.com and you can email him at dion@madisononeinc.com.

Grab a copy of the two books Dion recommended: The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts by Mike Brooks and The Transparency Sale by Todd Caponi.

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.

Email, Prospecting, Value

TSE 1082: Your Emails Give No Value

Email, Prospecting, ValueWhen your prospects find 100 new email messages waiting for them on Monday morning, if your emails give no value, your prospects will never open them.

If there’s nothing in the subject line or the first sentence of the message to grab their attention, your prospects will probably never even open the message. Sellers must give thought to what their first sentence is saying to uncover how their emails are performing.

Preview

Consider your own email inbox.

You’re busy. You don’t have time to read every single email that arrives in your inbox. If you’ve got 100 new messages waiting, you’re not going to read them all. You’ll travel the path of least resistance by eliminating as many as possible.

In the book The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honesty and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results, Todd Caponi highlights several things to be aware of when sending emails.

Email content

The subject line is crucial, so your goal is to minimize it as much as possible. Get to the point quickly with as few words as possible.

Make sure the first sentence of your email relates to the subject line and make sure it has nothing to do with you. Avoid statements like “I have something I want to share with you,” or “My company helps clients who…”

Avoid including sentences that, when you think about them, simply aren’t helpful. “I hope this message finds you doing well.” “I hope your quarter is going great.” These are both fillers and they won’t compel anyone to open the email.

If you’re using the same content and the same statements as other sellers, your emails give no value, and no one will open them.

Truth

One of the worst mistakes you can make is using a subject line that has nothing to do with the email content itself.

If you bait your reader in with one idea and then switch ideas within the email, you’ll probably get black-listed. At best, you’ll get sent to the spam folder so you’re toast forever.

Do something totally different. Personalize your message and don’t include a huge pitch in your first email.

Think about it from your buyer’s standpoint. He has countless sellers reaching out to sell him something, and many of them are sharing similar messages. What if your first sentence offered something to help him?

Consider this example from Todd.

He got an email from a seller who recognized that he was a CEO who had to create and give presentations. The seller provided a PowerPoint template he could use to present metrics and then another template he could use to create a sales handbook.

The sender gave no information about himself or his company. The only reference was information in the signature block that Todd could access if he was interested.

Value

Buyers aren’t stupid. If you send a helpful, beneficial email, I’ll like go to your site. Even if I don’t need your product right now, I’ll know where to go in the future.

Give something of value. Provide some education. Think of it from the buyer’s standpoint. Give him something that will help him be more effective and efficient in his role.

When you give value, provide something that will address a problem that your ideal customer struggles with. It doesn’t even have to be something you’re an expert in, and in fact, that sometimes makes it more genuine.

Imagine I sell HR software to HR directors. If you send a document titled 5 Things HR Directors Should Consider When Selecting A Software, he’ll smell the bias from 10 miles away. If I provide something beneficial that isn’t in my wheelhouse, they’ll recognize that I’m not trying to sell something.

The goal is to build interaction by getting him to respond and open a dialog.

Dialog

If the thing you’re sharing will benefit him even if he doesn’t buy your product, go ahead and share that with your prospect. Just don’t make it gimmicky.

Give something that has value and then connect other places like on LinkedIn or over the phone. Many of us are stuck in the mindset that a single email will open the door to a deal.

Focus on the content you’re sharing. Focus on the type of content and how it applies to him as an individual. Then focus on how you can make his life easier.

Create emails that prospects will want to open so you can build meaningful conversations and then ask effective questions. #ColdOutreach

“Your Emails Give No Value” episode resources

Grab a copy of the book The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honesty and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results by Todd Caponi.

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.

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.

Donald Kelly, Sales Coaching, Sales Training

TSE 1080: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “Discovery Meetings”

Donald Kelly, Sales Coaching, Sales Training

Building value is a critical part of any sales process, and the discovery meeting is an important step in that process.

How much should you prepare for the discovery meeting beforehand? What should you know? What should you do?

The insights I’ll share come from the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, designed to help sales reps perform to the best of their ability, find more ideal customers, build strong value, and close more deals.

What is discovery?

The discovery meeting is an opportunity to learn about the challenge your prospect is facing. It’s a chance to go a little more in-depth.

It’s not necessarily a chance to get all the information about the company or about its history. That’s boring for the client who doesn’t want to have to educate you. The client is likely meeting with other sellers and they aren’t interested in working to educate all of them.

Do your research beforehand so your discovery meeting can focus solely on understanding the prospect’s true problem and understanding how you can bring value and help them learn more about what you have to offer.

Research

You can easily find information about the company and its history on the Internet or the company’s website. If you show up to discovery seeking this kind of information the prospects will likely think less of you.

I’ve said it before, but you also have the option to call into the company and ask the receptionist for more information. The organization may be able to share an information page or other company literature. The PR department may be able to provide the information you’re seeking as well.

This information is vital to the discovery meeting because it will help you have a meaningful discussion when you meet with the prospect.

Understand the industry

Make sure you also understand recent developments related to the industry and the company’s role within the industry.

If the company is in the housing industry and I discover that the housing industry is booming in states like Arizona, California, and Florida, then that will impact my presentation.

If I’m selling marketing services to companies in the housing market it will be important to know that the market is growing. I’ll also need to know the top challenges that companies within the housing market are facing.

Then, determine how those trends will correlate to your product or service.

Case studies

If you have a previous or existing client that is similar to your prospect, consider sharing that information. Has one of your clients faced the challenges of growing in a high-growth market? Have you helped a client tackle some of the issues inherent in that situation?

Is there a business case study I can share that helps my prospects understand the challenge they are facing?

I did an episode some time back about case studies and the folks over at Gong outlined four main steps that should exist within every business case study.

  1. Identify the problem. What is preventing the client from growing? What challenges are hindering the company from accomplishing its goals?
  2. Develop a measurement. How can you measure the challenges the company is facing? How can you quantify the issue the company is facing?
  3. Determine the consequences of the company losing those deals or opportunities. Did they have to let people go or close their doors? Make a dramatic point without going over-the-top.
  4. What transformation did your product or service cause in this company?

Prepare questions

What things did the company try previously that didn’t work?

The more questions you ask the more you’ll learn about them. Go deep. Ask them to tell you more.

You may discover that they are currently working with a company that isn’t providing the kind of results they need. Why don’t they like the current company? Incorporate those facts into your own presentation so you can address their challenges.

Find out who will be making the decision and how they will decide. Find out what their budget will be and when they are hoping to make the change.

Is there an unconsidered need they aren’t aware of?

TSE Certified Sales Training Program

This stuff works. We teach it in TSE Certified Sales Training Program and we’re seeing fantastic results.

If you or your team want to check out the program, we’ll let you try the first module risk-free. If you love it, we’d love to have you join the TSE Certified Sales Training Program to improve your selling skills.

I share this because I want to help you find more ideal customers, have more meaningful conversations, build stronger value, close more deals, and I want to challenge you each and every day to do big things.

“Discovery Meetings” episode resources

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.

 

 

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.

Tom Pisello, Sales Conversation, Donald Kelly

TSE 1076: Holding Prescriptive Conversations With Buyers

 

problem solving, The Sales Evangelist

Sellers can guide prospective customers through the purchasing journey by holding prescriptive conversations with buyers. 

Tom Pisello launched into the topic of prescriptives because he was a product manager who was launching products in the marketplace, with a sales force that had never engaged these particular customers.

In an attempt to help buyers make decisions, he created prescriptive tools that would help customers analyze their existing situation and compare it to the new product.

Buyer frustration

The B2B purchase decision is more challenging than ever for buyers because there are six to 10 decision makers in every decision. Buyers spend incredible amounts of time on their own gathering, processing, and deconflicting information.

And 94 percent of buyers have participated in a buying cycle that just evaporated. Buyers are frustrated. About 84 percent report that the buyers’ journey is taking longer than they expected.

There’s a big opportunity for sellers as well as a challenge for them to overcome: to help buyers through a journey that has become much tougher and longer than ever before.

The problem is that most sellers show up to meetings talking about themselves: about the company, the product, the services, themselves, and the customers they are working with. Then when the competition shows up for their meeting, they do the same thing.

They all sound exactly the same, so the buying process becomes a shootout.

Flip it around

Instead of talking about the typical things, talk about the challenges the prospect might be having. Then, use that to do some teaching about the challenges you’re seeing at other companies.

Then, pivot to a Socratic approach. Ask probing, diagnosing questions to identify whether your prospects see themselves in the other customers you described. Do a little bit of cooperative discovery.

If you sell office furniture, start by sharing current research about what makes a good office setup. Is open office the way to go? What about standup desks? Instead of pitching yourself or your product, share information about productive office environments.

Talk about the challenges of collaboration and flexible work environments. Mention health and engagement. Talk provocatively about these challenges and how they affect your prospect.

The book The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson tackles this approach well.

Share examples

This leads naturally into you sharing stories and examples about how you’ve helped other customers with their office furniture needs and about how successful they’ve been as a result. From there you’ll use the Socratic method to dig deep.

Be careful how much of a challenge you present early on because it’s possible that you haven’t earned the right to do that. Start with something provocative, but then pivot away from the research to your questions.

The goal is to move into a collaboration with the customer.

Guide the customer

Buyers prefer this process because you’re solving a problem and uncovering problems they didn’t even realize they had. But even for issues they knew they had, you’re putting some numbers to them. You’re clarifying how their employees will be impacted by the purchase of office furniture.

That’s why pivoting from research to personal is important. You’re putting it into a perspective your customer can understand and telling the customer exactly what the problem is costing and how you can help solve it.

You’re helping them to prioritize all of these challenges and becoming a prescriptive consultant to them.

As a seller, it’s your moral obligation to act as a guide to the customer.

Because the buyer’s journey has gotten complicated, you need to provide a map of sorts so the customer knows what to expect. Then be prepared to proactively provide information to the buyer along the way.

If you know the company will ask for a business case, proactively provide it. Don’t wait for the customer to ask.

Proactive sellers

The buyer’s journey is hard. As you’re proactively providing content, you can also use smart sales enablement systems to track whether the content is being consumed. If they aren’t consuming the information, they may not be as far along in the process as you think they are.

You’ve got to anticipate every step so that you’ll have the visibility to know whether you’re progressing or not.

Bring up your buyer’s objections before they become objections. Realize that your prospects spend two-thirds of their time gathering, processing, and deep conflicting. Streamline that for them when you can.

Inspiring content

Marketing plays a vital role in putting together inspirational content.

We must identify the content that will inspire our customers. We’re not talking about content that is only about the products or services. It must be shorter, based on the challenges they are facing.

Then we need to enable sales to use the Socratic questioning.

Look back to your last presentation to determine whether you led with information about the product or service or whether you addressed challenges.

“Prescriptive Conversations With Buyers” episode resources

You can connect with Tom at tpisello@mediafly.com. Check out his blog Evolving Sellers From Pitch to Purpose or grab a copy of his book The Frugalnomics Survival Guide. Keep an eye out for his newest book Evolved Selling™: Optimizing Sales Enablement in the Age of FRUGALNOMICS.

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.

 

Talking About Price, Selling, Donald Kelly

TSE 1075: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “When Should I Talk About Price?”

Talking About Price, Selling, Donald Kelly

The trend in sales now is to provide value to your customers, but there must be some kind of exchange in the transaction, so you may find yourself asking, “When should I talk about price?”

How do you bring it up? What exactly will you say when it’s time to talk about it?

Today we’re going to share ideas that will help you provide tremendous value and ensure an effective, value-rich conversation for both parties.

This is a segment from our TSE Certified Sales Training Program and we’re going to share a snippet from one of our training programs and then offer some ideas based upon what you hear. It will let you learn something about selling and offer you an experiment that you can test for yourself.

You’ll hear the challenges that other sales reps are facing and share with you what has worked for the group members.

Taboo

We’ve been taught that it’s taboo to talk about money, so many of us shy away from it. New sellers face the biggest challenge, usually because of limiting beliefs.

In the past when I was selling software training classes, I didn’t understand that it was worth $10,000 for customers to earn their certification over a weekend. I didn’t think anyone would be willing to pay it.

I didn’t understand that for their $10,000 expenditure, they were going to see a $20,000 to $30,000 increase in their earnings over the course of a year.

All I knew was that $10,000 was a lot of money. My self-limiting beliefs made me apprehensive, and this is a common problem for new sellers.

You must believe in the product or service you’re offering and the value it provides to your prospects. When you do that, you’ll develop more confidence in your messages, and it won’t matter what the course costs.

Bring up the money

Once you’ve identified a product you believe in, when do you bring up the money? That depends largely on the product or service that you’re selling. If it’s software that costs $30 a month and they won’t commit, they probably weren’t the right fit anyway.

Let them go.

If you’re selling a software solution that you have to customize for the organization, you’re going to need more time. You’ll have to gather more information in order to give them effective pricing.

If the customer can see the prices on your website, they can weed themselves out at the beginning. People who really want to learn more and have more value-rich conversations will engage. In the later conversations, we can discuss what they’ll get for their investment.

Addressing price

We’ll tap into emotion by addressing how our product or service will help them.

  • What will happen if the client doesn’t get coaching?
  • Why do I need coaching right now?
  • What results will I see if I get coaching?

Because people make emotional decisions and then justify those decisions logically, if we build value well, the $1,500 price tag for coaching won’t seem like a big deal. The return on their investment, the ability to provide well for their family, and the possibility that they will advance in their careers will justify the cost.

In the case of a more complex solution, when the customer asks about price, be honest when you tell them that you can’t predict exact numbers right now. If you can’t yet determine all the variables and if you can’t determine the exact infrastructure, explain that to the customer.

Then invest the time to understand the setup and the infrastructure. Find out what challenges the prospect is facing.

Be intentional

It’s possible that the customer is simply fishing, or in other cases that he is simply looking for a ballpark figure. In the latter case, perhaps try giving him a range for other similar clients.

Don’t give the customer your lowest number if you provide a range. If the cheapest you’ve done is $5,000 and the most expensive is $20,000, don’t offer the $5,000 number. Go a little higher.

Instead, offer a higher number, like $8,000 or $10,000. Once they have a number in their minds, you’ll determine whether they are truly serious about moving forward.

Content

In this situation, effective blog posts that describe the return on investment will help your customers gather information. Especially if yours is a complex solution, you’ll help them understand the components involved and what they should be looking for in a vendor.

In the case of sales training, perhaps you’d have different blog posts that describe the different levels of training and the different types of service that you offer.

The prospect can determine what courses are available and what his options are for in-person training, group training, or workshops.

Consider, too, outlining entry-level solutions, mid-tier solutions, and a higher tier. Each solution, based upon the complexity, can solve specific problems.

Research

The prospect can do some research ahead of time and find answers to some of their basic questions. Because this will be an enterprise solution, he’ll have to come to the table prepared to invest money.

At this point, it’s appropriate to talk about budget because you don’t want to begin building presentations or demonstrations if the product or service isn’t a fit. Get an understanding of what kind of investment the prospect is looking to make.

Be up front. Acknowledge that you’d like to know as soon as possible if the prospect determines this isn’t a good fit. Promise to do the same for your prospect.

Ask if the company has already earmarked a budget for this project. Find out if they are planning the project for this year.

Pain

Once you’ve discovered the pain, use that to see if you can move them toward the project right now. Anticipate that they may not be able to do the whole thing right now, but they might do half this quarter and half the next quarter.

Once we have an understanding we can move forward. If you built rapport with this prospect and created communication, it will be easy to discuss finances.

Terminology

New sellers might ask about the proper words to use. Rather than budget or payment, I use the word investment. That’s a given, right?

They are investing in sales training to solve a problem. They are expecting to see a return on the money they spend.

If it’s a new seller who wants to become the best in the company or a female business owner in a male-dominated industry, they are expecting to show some results from their investment. The word payment sounds too transactional.

As you’re having these conversations, understand that you should wait to mention the money after the buyer has a sense of the value you’re offering.

They must see the value before they can comprehend the investment.

“When Should I Talk About Price?” episode resources

Connect with me on LinkedIn or on Instagram and let me know how this worked out for you.

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.

Sales Pitch, Sales Pitch, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1072: Why Your Perfect Pitch Is Not Working!

Sales Pitch, Sales Pitch, The Sales EvangelistMany sellers discover that their perfect pitch is not working because, as they work to build value, they are appealing to logic rather than emotion.

We’re devoting the whole month to a discussion about building value, and some of today’s information comes from the book The Transparency Sale written by Todd Caponey. Todd will visit with us on the podcast in the near future, but today we’ll talk about the decision-making process and the role our brains play.

Brain power

Every day, we engage in activities every day that are so routine that we don’t even think about them. When we drive to work, we put a seatbelt on without even thinking about it. When we back the car up, we put our arms over the seat beside us and then look backward.

You’re able to listen to this podcast while you’re driving because you don’t even have to think about driving.

Todd talks about three levels of the brain, which you may have heard of before. The reptilian part, the limbic part, and the neocortex.

The reptilian portion is the core or center, and it’s the oldest part of the brain. It prompts us to do things without thinking. It drives our instincts. It’s the part that prompts us to react to pain without thinking, and it’s part of our survival.

The limbic portion is more intricate and it helps deals with feelings and emotions. It helps us make decisions and motivates our behaviors.

The neo- or frontal cortex is the newest part of our brain and it’s associated with information and logic. It’s the largest part of the brain and it ties with math and reasoning and justification.

Sales standpoint

We typically show up to our prospect meetings with PowerPoint presentations, charts, spreadsheets, and graphs of all the amazing things our product or service can do. We show up prepared to sell to the customer’s neocortex — the logical part.

Remember, though, that the logic part of our brain isn’t where decisions are made. Decisions form in the middle portion of the brain, where our feelings and emotions reside.

You must help people make a decision emotionally, and then justify it logically. You can build value as a sales rep by using stories to tap into the emotion or pain that the prospect is experiencing.

Unless there is some kind of pain, your customer won’t make a decision.

Status quo

The reptilian part of our brain wants us to stay where we are. If nothing is harming us, why would we move? Leave things as they are.

Until someone points out the reason we need to make a change and appeals to our emotion, we’ll never see a need to move. If a seller use emotion to prompt the customer to move and then help him justify the move logically, he’ll be much more likely to make a change.

Tie the emotion and the logic together to help your prospects understand the need to make a change.

Making it work

I recently met a guy who sells water filtration systems in Florida. He begins by asking people whether people drink water, and many people say no because it tastes bad and it’s unclean and unhealthy.

He points out that taking a shower in the same water can be just as unhealthy because your skin is your body’s largest organ, which presents a pain point for his prospects.

The seller never mentions price or facts about his product. He focuses on the emotion of wanting to be healthy.

Do it with stories or by asking the buyer questions that tap into emotion.

Defining sales

I define sales as helping people persuade themselves to make a change. If we try to persuade them, their guard immediately goes up.

Great sellers leave the buyer in charge of the decision. If your demos are flopping or your presentations aren’t working, you’re probably focusing too much on logic. Don’t sell to the logical part of the brain. Sell to the emotional part.

“Perfect Pitch Is Not Working” episode resources

Grab a copy of the book The Transparency Sale written by Todd Caponey for more information about the role our brains play in the buying process.

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, Personal Brand, Andy Storch, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1071: Building a Personal Brand, Giving value, Connecting with Others

Social Selling, Personal Brand, Andy Storch, The Sales EvangelistSmart sellers can make social media work for them by building a personal brand, giving value, connecting with others, and growing their business.

Andy Storch is a consultant and coach who is always learning new things about sales and who loves the freedom that selling provides. Though he says he still has a lot to learn, he has an advantage over many others because he’s always trying new things.

Because he has the confidence to experiment and discover what works and what doesn’t, he has a leg up on a lot of other people.

Personal branding

Whether you’re selling services or products, there are very few things that absolutely distinguish your offerings from other people’s. In fact, customers can always find an alternative.

In B2B especially, they are buying you. They want to do business with you.

Relationships are so important for sellers which is why it’s more important than ever to develop a personal brand. You must let people know who you are and create authority.

To that end, Andy uses social media to let people know who he is, to create authority, to share knowledge, and to build authority.

Attracting people

As sellers, we initially think we want to get on a call with everybody, but there are a lot of people we just won’t gel with. Social media attracts people who want to work with us and deflects others.

In an era where everyone is creating content of some kind, we have to put our own content out there in order to build our authority.

Given the amount of content that already exists, it’s tempting to wonder why yours matters. Even if you’re regurgitating information you learned from someone else, put your own spin on it.

For some, it’s blogging. Others use podcasting or YouTube. It depends on your style and where your clients are.

Andy points to podcaster Chris Ducker and his business Youpreneur. In his book Rise of the Youpreneur, Chris says that if you build a personal brand, it’s the last brand business you’ll ever need to build because you can take it with you and evolve it into any kind of business.

Five years from now, you may do completely different work, but if you’ve built a brand and a following, people will go with you.

Building a brand

Your personal brand is what you’re known for. Having your own website and your own colors is the advanced part of it.

Are you known for being knowledgeable, trustworthy, and someone that people want to learn from? Andy posts on social media with the goal of helping his friends discover the things that have previously worked for him.

They tell him that he inspires them, and he has created a personal brand as someone who is an achiever, who helps and inspires other people.

You want to be known as someone knowledgeable and trustworthy at the end of the day.

People who need it

Think of your content as giving information to a friend. You are putting it out there for those people who need it and want it at that time, not for people who don’t.

Don’t worry about the judgment from people that your content isn’t for. Most people are rooting for you. Even if the content isn’t for them, they’ll just scroll on by.

Action steps

Andy’s primary business is B2B so he spends most of his time on LinkedIn. When he moved to this business 18 months ago he committed to posting every weekday. Over time he has gained some traction there, though it’s a tough platform to engage on. Until you have a really good following of people, it’s tough to get likes and comments.

Start by finding an engagement group where people are in a group together commenting on each other’s stuff. Be careful with this, though, because if you join multiple groups it can be tough to keep up.

If you find one, it will help you build your following and gain exposure. It doesn’t directly turn into sales, but it keeps him top of mind for people.

You don’t know who’s on there and who’s seeing your content. Don’t put content out just for the sake of doing so, but find ways to be valuable to the people who follow you.

Don’t assume you’ll start generating sales right away. You’re serving people, you’re building a brand, and long-term it will work out for you.

Logistics

The best practice is to schedule content, but Andy calls himself a live-in-the-moment kind of guy who decides each day what to post. He alternates between providing content that targets his ideal clients and general content that would be helpful for larger numbers of people.

His target clients are less than 10 percent of his overall network, so sometimes he wants to speak directly to them, but sometimes he wants to engage a larger group.

Share experiences

Think back to your own experiences and knowledge. Can you turn those into posts or stories that you can tell Would you rather write or speak?

You’ve got to put it out there are hit publish. You won’t get much response in the beginning but you’ve got to keep doing it.

When you have a fear of judgment or criticism, it grows as you let it fester. The more you take action, just like with cold calling, you build more experience so it becomes less scary.

Podcasting

Andy has two podcasts: The Andy Storch Show and The Talent Development Hotseat. He uses the latter to land meetings with target clients who otherwise wouldn’t meet with him, and it’s working beautifully.

Everyone loves to tell their own story and they love attention. Many people don’t know how to do that because they aren’t going to start their own podcasts. Andy gives them a way to share their stories and experiences.

The same people who failed to accept sales meetings with Andy suddenly accepted the offer to appear on his podcast. He’s working to develop personal relationships with these people.

These people didn’t see a compelling reason to interact with him before they discovered his platform.

The added benefit is that he’s growing his authority and building relationships.

Serve don’t sell

Resist the temptation to include lots of calls-to-action and links. Provide value. They want to know that you’re trustworthy and that you have interesting things to say.

“Building a Personal Brand” episode resources

You can connect with Andy at his website, www.andystorch.com, and on LinkedIn. You can also check out his two podcasts: The Andy Storch Show and The Talent Development Hotseat.

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.

Larry Levine, Selling From the Heart, Linkedin, Sales Book

TSE 1066: Selling From The Heart

Sellers have a bad reputation as people who are artificial and only concerned about themselves, but in order to succeed, you must focus on selling from the heart.

Larry Levine has spent 30-something years in the trenches of B2B work, and he recognized some glaring weaknesses in sales teams he worked with. He values authenticity and he points to it as a big disconnect for many sellers.

But it isn’t just sellers. Think about how many times you’ve run into a friend you haven’t seen in a while, and you toss out the phrase, “we should do lunch.” It doesn’t usually mean anything other than “I’ll see you when I see you.”

Sellers must pay attention to their words.

Use your words

The words genuine, authentic, value, and trusted advisor prompt the follow-on question: “What does that mean?”

Start by leading an authentic lifestyle. Think about this: When you say you’re a salesperson or an SDR, you’re already behind the 8-ball already in the minds of your clients and prospects.

For every great sales professional, there are 10 that give the sales world a bad name.

When you deal with the people in your personal life, are you genuine and true to who you really are? Most likely you are. So why can’t we play that same role when we’re dealing with our clients and prospects.

Building relationships

Many sellers maintain a certain amount of distance in their relationships with their clients. In his book, Slow Down, Sell Faster, Kevin Davis asked how it’s possible to sell something to someone if you don’t spend time figuring out who they are?

  • What makes that person tick?
  • What do they care about?

Sellers try to move their prospects through the sales funnel as quickly as possible instead of investing the time to understand. Listen with intent and help them do their jobs. You’ll be surprised to find that things actually speed up.

Vulnerability

If you don’t build a relationship throughout multiple steps and influencers, it will be difficult to sell anything. People will buy from people they know, like, and trust.

People are beginning to understand that it’s ok to bring your heart to the sales world. It’s ok to be genuine and real. But in order to do that, you have to be vulnerable, which goes against what we believe about sellers.

If you asked your prospects what they truly desire in a seller, what do you think they’ll say? Maybe someone who is honest and who can solve their problems. At some point, you’ll hear them say “I want them to be sincere and show up after the sale.”

Conversations

Have a conversation like you would with your friends.

Memorizing scripts may make you sound too robotic. It isn’t that scripts are bad, but we must make the verbiage in the script our own. If you can’t align to it, you’ll struggle with it.

Imagine if you understood the person you were reaching out to. What are the issues and challenges they are facing.

If you’re calling a VP of sales to set up a demo for software, find out the issues that VPs of sales struggle with. Offer three issues that are most common for sales teams. Ask your prospects which of those three topics he can most closely align with.

The truth is that even tenured sales reps are going about this the wrong way. Instead of the phone call being focused on setting a meeting, focus the call on starting a conversation.

Sales leaders

Time and patience matter. Your organization wasn’t built in a day. You took a series of small successful steps to get where you are.

The same is true for your sales process, but no one has time or patience for it. No one wants to slow down.

Larry recalls deciding one day to focus on quality over quantity. He focused on opening at least two new conversations with two people he didn’t know every single day. His phone skills improved and his mindset did, too.

Sellers who are allowed to focus on quality over quantity may find that they enjoy their roles a bit more because they are connecting with people.

Foundations

Larry’s first mentor freed him from the pressure of memorizing his prospecting script word-for-word, and instead encouraged him to understand the foundation of the script. Once you’ve done that, make it your own.

Get back to humanizing what we’ve previously dehumanized in the sales world. There’s a time and place for technology, but human-to-human matters. Technology can’t replace every human aspect.

Larry warns against being an “empty suit with commission breath.”

Once leadership realizes that there’s a human on the other end of the sale rather than just a bunch of dollars and they set out to solve problems, watch what happens to the level of your relationships and referrals and profits.

Avoiding sameness

In a crowded field, in order to rise above the sea of sameness and be seen in a different light and stand out from the sales wolfpack, the differentiating moment goes back to the human aspect.

People smell sincerity immediately. Instead of juggling personalities, be authentic.

Understand that credibility and clarity sell in a world of insincerity.

Create a transformational experience by having a conversation. As you transform your relationships, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb in a world of transactional conversations.

“Selling From The Heart” episode resources

Find Larry on LinkedIn @larrylevine1992 or on his Selling From The Heart podcast at sellingfromtheheart.net.

Grab a copy of Larry’s book, Selling From the Heart: How Your Authentic Self Sells YouHis website also offers an accompanying self-reflection journal.

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.

Sales Leaders, Sales Manager, Donald Kelly

TSE 1062: Sales Leaders, Stop Falling For The Reactive Trap

Sales Leaders, Sales Manager, Donald Kelly

Sales leaders who neglect their own workload in an effort to help their sellers solve problems will find themselves falling behind, so it’s vital that sales leaders stop falling for the reactive trap.

You hired your sellers to handle their assigned responsibilities and to solve problems. When your sellers distract you with problems, you’ll have less time to focus on sales plans or strategies. You won’t have time to conduct meetings or create reports because you’re trying to keep deals from falling apart.

Distracted leaders

In his book, The Sales Manager’s Guide To Greatness, Kevin Davis talks about all the ways that sellers can distract their sales managers from their own workload. The problem with this kind of distraction is that the sales leader’s responsibilities are to grow the department or the business.

The business will suffer if sales leaders aren’t freed to do their own work.

Additionally, you’re teaching your sellers bad habits and cheating them of the opportunity to learn to solve their own problems.

This is why many leaders feel stretched too thin.

Limited growth

Sellers who never learn to solve their own problems will limit their teams’ productivity. Your team will never have extraordinary growth because you’ll always be limited by your own ability to solve everyone else’s problems.

The sellers will never learn to solve problems, and they won’t learn to focus on solving problems for their customers. Instead, they’ll focus on features and benefits.

Additionally, they won’t be able to function as well in your absence, which means they will struggle any time you aren’t available. So what will happen if you decide to take vacation?

Improving sellers

Sellers will only improve if they learn to solve their own problems and handle their own accounts. As each rep learns to handle his assigned responsibilities, you’ll be freed to focus on other things that will improve the team as a whole.

You may be tempted to think that you’re helping your sellers accomplish more, but the truth is that they’ll never learn to manage their own schedules and their own time if you consistently help them manage it.

Kevin points out that your involvement won’t likely encourage them to use their time for other tasks. Realistically, your sellers will simply be freed to do things like check social media or email.

Forty percent of sellers don’t like prospecting, so they won’t likely do it if they don’t have to. They are likely bringing you problems they don’t want to handle themselves.

Teach problem-solving

Kevin suggests asking two questions of your sellers:

  1. What have you done to solve the problem so far?
  2. What do you think ought to be done?

Your sellers likely have basic problem-solving skills; otherwise, you wouldn’t have hired them. If this isn’t the case, you might have to start by making sure you have the right people on the bus.

Perhaps we’ll discover that the rep didn’t really qualify the prospect in the first place. Maybe the rep isn’t talking to the decision-maker.

Assuming those things aren’t true and that the buyer suddenly backed out of the deal, you must discover what caused the problem.

Root cause

Coach the rep to ask questions that get to the root cause of the change. Teach your rep to use the 5 whys to figure out why the prospect changed her mind.

It’s tempting for sales leaders to try to “save the day” and be the hero. Instead, you need to teach your seller to act as a guide to the prospect and teach your seller how to frame the customer as the hero of the situation.

Consider identifying team leads who can help your sellers when they encounter problems. Maybe a senior sales rep can help answer questions or coach your sellers in weekly sales meetings.

Schedule coaching sessions where you can teach your team members how to use these techniques to identify why their deals are disintegrating. Help them identify the common objections so they’ll be prepared when they encounter them.

Build replacements

No doubt you hope to be promoted someday and you’ll need someone to take over your role so you can advance.

Allow them to be part of the dialogue when you’re addressing issues in your area. Provide reassurance that it’s ok to try things and make mistakes.

If you have a hard time saying “no” to your sellers, make yourself unavailable to them. Insist that they begin working on the problems themselves. If they make a mistake, you can still step in if you must, but give them a chance to try solving the problems.

Take the time to coach your sellers. Make sure you give commands, give guidance, and give them room to run on their own.

Whether you’re a sales rep, a sales leader, or a business owner, use these concepts to improve your efficiency and your output.

“Stop Falling For The Reactive Trap” episode resources

Grab a copy of Kevin Davis’ book, The Sales Manager’s Guide To GreatnessYou’ll be glad you did.

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, Sales Training Course

TSE 1060: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “Stories Are Everywhere”

Donald Kelly, Sales Training CourseStories pack a lot of power for sellers when used in the proper sales framework, and the good news is that stories are everywhere.

Today we’re sharing an excerpt from TSE Certified Sales Training Program that addresses how you can effectively use stories in your own sales.

Utilizing stories

Stories have existed since the dawn of time. Early cave drawings told stories of cavemen hunting, and those stories have been passed down.

It’s true of cultures and of the Bible. Stories paint a picture for us.

Stories exist in movies, songs, social media, and books. It all points to the fact that we love stories. Society loves stories because that’s how we make sense of the world.

Imagine you’re meeting with a prospect for the first time. Instead of talking about your widget and your certification, which could be boring, share a compelling reason for your prospect to do business with you.

Instead, share a problem and a solution to help me understand.

Story structure

Stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning explains the problem so that the prospect can understand it and it introduces characters.

The second part is the build or the escalation of the problem, where it seems that all is lost.

The third part is the breakthrough. It’s the payoff or the climax. It’s where everyone lives happily ever after.

Using stories effectively

It’s important to understand when to use stories.

Use them to reinforce a point or to help them understand the importance of your product or service. In the case of CRM, imagine a client who has been using Excel for years and he doesn’t understand the importance of upgrading to a better CRM.

You can begin by explaining that you understand why he is hesitant to invest in something that he might not actually need.

Then tell a story of another client who successfully used Excel as her CRM for years. The problem emerged when she hired a sales rep who wasn’t as familiar with the process as she was.

The sales rep failed to log some of his contacts, and they didn’t follow up on the lead. The potential client chose another provider because the company didn’t remember to follow up. In this case, it cost them $5,000.

If this happens multiple times a month, how much will it cost you?

We gave this client an opportunity to test our CRM for 30 days, and the company doubled its earnings as a result. The ability to log calls automatically and schedule appointments easily changed the company’s output.

Context

Consider using a free trial, too, to make the transaction less overwhelming.

Don’t make yourself the hero of the story. Craft the story so that your prospect is the hero because he tried the new CRM and it made a huge difference for his organization.

Apply these ideas and let me know how they worked. If you already knew them, stay with it.

“Stories Are Everywhere” 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.

Jacquelyn Nicholson, Rapport, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Female In Sales

TSE 1058: How to Genuinely Build Rapport With Any Prospect

Jacquelyn Nicholson, Rapport, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Female In Sales

Many sellers struggle to connect with their customers, but on today’s episode, Jacquelyn Nicholson addresses how to genuinely build rapport with any prospect.

Jacquelyn is an enterprise seller and one of the inaugural members at Alpha Sense where she acts as an evangelist for the company and its work.

World of sales

Jacquelyn landed in sales after a strange recession in Chicago prevented her from finding a job as an engineer for a defense contractor. She moved to New York and took a job as a sales engineer.

Sometime after, she found herself heading a project for Johnson & Johnson and reporting directly to the vice president of the division. He told her to put together the very best team possible and trusted her to get the job done.

During the course of the project, she made two unexpected realizations. She discovered that she didn’t like buying from salespeople because she thought they were horrible. Secondly, she discovered that she really missed sales.

She didn’t like salespeople because they talked nonstop about how great their technology was. She found herself wondering, “Do you even know what I do? Do you even care?”

“At the same moment, I was drawn back to the world of sales and also slightly repulsed by what I saw in the sellers I knew.”

She decided then to return to sales, and she vowed that she would never be that kind of seller.

Solving problems

Jacquelyn discovered that people buy things from people who can help them solve their problems. If I have a problem and you can solve it, I’m going to buy your stuff.

But I also have to be able to trust the person I’m buying from. People buy from people they trust or they like, and they can spot fake people. Sucking up isn’t the same, and customers quickly learn to spot genuine people.

She determined that the key was getting to know the people she was selling to. Learning about their problems and the things they care about. That only happens after you build rapport.

The problem, she discovered, was figuring out how to do that at scale.

The good news was, she discovered, that it doesn’t take additional time to be authentic. Researching to understand your client’s problems takes time, but kindness doesn’t.

Segue into sales

Jacquelyn realized that she wasn’t going to land in a quota-carrying role until she got some experience in front of customers. She ventured into the consulting world and she gained experience solving client problems and earning their trust.

She loved the idea of solving problems instead of simply pushing products.

Jacquelyn also realized that her time managing a project for Johnson & Johnson taught her that executives aren’t any different than anyone else. Many sellers struggle to have the confidence to approach them, but she said she was fortunate to learn early on how to interact with them.

She counsels sellers now to be respectful of their time. Executives are short on time and short on people who want to be helpful to them for who they are rather than for what they can do.

Don’t put them on a pedestal. Don’t become a “yes man” for executives. They are often surrounded by “yes men” who don’t want to rock the boat, but what they often need is real insight.

Initiate a conversation around something relevant that matters to the executives.

Bad rap

Sellers have gotten a bad rap from some of the bad behaviors of our predecessors, but the world has changed an awful lot. Consumers now have the ability to do extensive research before they ever reach out to a seller.

Sellers must honor the time they have put into the process.

At the same time, you deserve to be treated as more than just a vendor. If your customers don’t treat you with a certain amount of respect, you always have the option to walk away. Sometimes you have to fire prospects.

Taking risk

There isn’t a lot to be afraid of anymore. Jacquelyn faced a rare and aggressive form of leukemia and survived it, so she calls herself “fearless on another level” now.

She defines success as being the best person she can possibly be. She wants to be the woman her husband would marry again; the seller her boss would hire again; the mom her kids are proud to introduce to their friends.

If you constantly define your success in terms of other people and what they think of you, you’re doing it the wrong way.

Help

Jacquelyn believes that help is always available. Sometimes you’re the one giving the help and sometimes you’re the one seeking it. Don’t be afraid to keep your eyes and ears open for the help that’s available.

We have a tendency to believe that we have little to offer, but the truth is that you intrinsically have value because you’re you. Be aware of those who can help you, and those that need your help each day.

Sales is a noble profession because we’re selling something that will help someone else.

“How to Genuinely Build Rapport With Any Prospect” episode resources

You can connect with Jacquelyn on LinkedIn, and if you’re interested in her personal journey, you can go to lxu.training/jacq. She’d love to connect with you.

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.

Key Stakeholder, Donald Kelly, Decision Maker

TSE 1055: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “Key Stakeholders”

As you move closer to the end of a deal, you’ll likely encounter more objections, and identifying key stakeholders is the secret to overcoming those challenges.

As you move into deeper conversation with the prospect, you may not realize that there are other people involved in the process, even if you aren’t directly interacting with them. Your job as seller is to find out who they are.

Today we’ll help you understand who those key stakeholders are, how you should work with them, and how you can prepare for the process.

Initial interest

Imagine you have an initial conversation with someone who is interested in your lawn care business. You generated some interest and they expressed a desire to know more. You’ll naturally address how you’ve helped other people in the past and take other steps to build value.

At this point, you’ll want to find out who else will be involved in this conversation. Typically, though, sellers neglect to ask that question.

Ideally, you should find out whether the prospect has made a decision like this before. If so, has it been a long time?

You do this kind of work on a day-to-day basis, but the prospect doesn’t. He needs guidance, and you can help him move forward.

Identifying stakeholders

Avoid making him feel as though he isn’t competent to make the decision. Instead of asking him who should be involved in the next call, ask it this way: “At this point in the conversation, my clients typically invite other people into the conversation.”

Instead of asking whether he’d like to invite others in, I would simply ask him who he would like to invite into the conversation. He might identify the CFO or the decision maker.

Next, I would point out that, in order to make sure the next meeting is as valuable as possible, I’d like to know whether I can connect with some of those stakeholders to find out what they’d like to hear.

If he has an objection, reframe the request so that he’s the one making the contact with his stakeholders on your behalf. Keep him involved in the process so he feels comfortable.

Cast of characters

The first stakeholder is your decision maker. He tends to be the person that sellers most often keep their eyes on because he’s the one that will do the final sign-off.

But he may not get involved until later in the process. The decision maker may expect the influencer and the champion to do all of the hard work.

Second is your influencer or the person who has the ear of your decision maker. She may be the right-hand person of your decision maker, or she may just be someone who has a connection with him.

In some companies, this may be an administrative assistant, and sales reps must be mindful not to overlook these people. These executive assistants often wield much influence with the leadership.

My wife worked in a similar position once, and her recommendation often depended on how the sellers treated her when they called into the office.

End users are the people who will use the product or service you’re offering, and they’re the ones you’ll likely interact with the most. We must make sure that they understand us and that we understand them.

The buyer will sign the check to close the deal. If he doesn’t like the deal, he will likely have key influence in it.

The champion is the person who likes you and who brought you into the fold. She invited your team to consider the possibility of hiring you.

The champion

We recently did an entire episode about the importance of the champion. The discussion centered around the fact that sellers often focus so intently on the decision maker that they neglect the champion.

In actuality, though, the champion is the one that you’ll interact with the most, and he’ll be the one that has the most interaction with his team.

He’s the one that wrangles the group through the decision-making process. He’s the quarterback, but he must have your support in order to succeed. If he doesn’t have it, he may lose the desire to champion your cause.

The knights

The dark night doesn’t necessarily have interest in your product or service. He’s usually the member of the organization who is a little bit apprehensive, and it’s in your best interest to discover who he is and why he is a dark knight.

The champion, of course, is your white knight. He will tell the company why it should hire you. He believes so strongly in what you have to offer that he’ll work to sell you internally.

The white knight will likely recognize the dark knight, so you can ask him who it is and what his concerns are. Gather as much intel as you can about the dark knight so you’ll know how to address his potential objections.

Handling the dark knight

Make sure you have a conversation with the dark knight prior to the meeting. Present information to Doug that addresses those concerns and ask him during that conversation whether there is anything specific he’d like to see in the presentation.

In some cases, the dark knight will be the person who made the previous decision and whose decision is potentially being undone by your company. Make him part of the process and compliment the work he has done.

Add on to the value and break down the existing barriers.

When you give the demonstration, you’ll be more effective because you took the time to identify these characters.

“Key Stakeholders” episode resources

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. We address three topics: 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.

Donald Kelly, Sales Podcast

TSE 1045: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “David and Goliath”

Donald Kelly, Sales PodcastSometimes the logical approach doesn’t make sense, just as in the story of David and Goliath it seemed impossible to believe that the shepherd boy could beat the giant.

In sales, we sometimes have to be a bit irrational. We must think outside the box.

Today we’ll discuss how unorthodox thinking can help us take down some pretty significant giants. It can also help us win some pretty decent accounts.

Logical approach

When the giant Goliath demanded that the Israelites send out their best warrior, it didn’t make sense for them to send David. He wasn’t the fastest or the biggest.

He was a little farm guy tending sheep, and he wasn’t the typical warrior type.

Too often in sales we default to the same logical approach that sales reps have been using for years. Instead of thinking outside the box, we choose the most rational solution to the problem.

Imagine you’re selling TVs and you’re meeting with a client that has a good idea of what they need and what they want. It’s possible, though, that the client’s perception of the problem may not even be the real issue. Worse yet, their solution to the problem may not be the best one.

In the case of David and Goliath, if the Israelites had sent the best warrior into battle to try to outperform the giant, the best warrior would likely have been killed.

Unorthodox approach

David used an approach that had never been used before. He used a sling and a stone to take down the giant, and the approach was unexpected.

In the situation with the client and the TV, he may assume that he needs a TV because it has always been the best solution in the past. Perhaps, though, the best solution is a projector, but the client doesn’t realize it’s even a possibility.

What if you forget about the TV for a minute and consider other possibilities: smartphones or tablets, or even podcasts. If the goal is for the client to find a form of entertainment, TV isn’t the only option.

Sales reps who ask the right questions can differentiate themselves. They can challenge the status quo and help the buyer to see us in a different light.

Risky decisions

I was reading a book called Selling to the C-Suite and the author mentioned that executives will often make risky decisions if there’s a clear plan for that decision. Most executives routinely get what they want.

In many cases, their team members fail to offer unique proposals because they are afraid of getting fired.

In this case, an educated seller may propose an option that’s a little riskier than just selling the executive a television. The executive may be so busy running his business that he hasn’t researched TVs or other options.

Your goal should be to inform yourself about the industry, the client, the type of business, and the problem. Come to the table as an expert and offer unique ways to solve the client’s problem.

Memorable actions

David explained to Saul that because he had killed lions and bears in the past, he was equipped to take down a giant. If Saul was seeking a victory that would make the opponents his servants, wouldn’t it be worthwhile to consider David’s proposal?

David accomplished exactly what he said he would, and the result is a story that has survived for thousands of years.

Will your clients remember you and your heroic efforts or will you be just another sale rep? Will you be the one who offered them a cheaper price? Or will you be the one who offered a unique approach that turned the organization around?

Studying industries

Know your client’s industry well. Study it. Understand the business left and right.

Instead of trying to sell to 10 million different industries, focus on the top three or five and master those industries. Become an expert in those niches. Then focus on those people.

That doesn’t mean you won’t sell to those other industries. It simply means that you won’t focus on those industries. Invest your efforts into the industries that will give you the best bang for your buck.

Read industry magazines, and watch YouTube videos. Spend time on activities that will help you become more effective.

When you do, you’ll stand out from the competitors. Because you’ll bring different ideas, different strategies, and different tactics, you’ll earn the respect of your prospects.

Bring resources, examples, and share your past experiences with your prospects. Explain to your clients why they must choose the option you’re offering.

“David and Goliath” episode resources

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. 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.

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.

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.

Garrett Mehrguth, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1046: You Need to Worry More About Your Champion Than Your Decision Maker

Garrett Mehrguth, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistSometimes sales professionals get it backward, and they fail to understand the need to worry more about your champion than your decision maker.

Today Garrett Mehrguth talks to us about the importance of your champion in your sales deals, and why we shouldn’t lose sight of his importance.

Sometimes there’s great value in changing the defaults we learn as salespeople. We tend to become so obsessed with the decision makers that we overlook the champions, who are arguably the most important person in the whole scenario.

How decisions are made

Salespeople sometimes focus so greatly on getting a close that we neglect the fundamental truths involved in selling. In fact, we alienate people and we become our own worst enemy.

It isn’t price; it’s me. Most often, we are the reason that deals don’t close. It’s a direct result of who we speak to, who we don’t speak to, the way we end a conversation, the way we treat people, how well we prepare.

We must have transparency and honesty to admit that often we’re the reason we don’t close a deal.

Salespeople are quick to take credit for successes and slow to take responsibility for failures. #SalesTruth

Garrett believes that if we would build our resources and our marketing toward decision makers, we would drastically improve our conversion rates.

How deals emerge

Once a decision-maker recognizes he has a need, he might send a subordinate to a conference to talk to vendors. He might instruct the person to get three quotes and then bring his two favorites to the decision-maker. Once that’s done, the two will make a decision together.

He might suggest filling out 10 forms on the way to finding three good options. The pair will whittle those to two good options before making a decision.

The problem is that if you speak over the champion or speak through the champion or speak around the champion, you alienate your greatest ally.

Why you need the champion

The champion is your greatest asset while you’re not in the room, so if you alienate that person, you’re losing an important ally. You alienate the person who could potentially go to bat for you once you hang up the phone.

Good decision-makers make decisions by asking the champion whether or not he could work with that agency. So who truly puts their butt on the line?

It isn’t the decision-maker, because he has a fall guy.

The champion is the one who needs the information, the emotional support, and the resources to make a good decision. If you honor the champion with amazing intro calls, lots of sales resources, and well-prepared meetings, you give him the ammo to pitch you internally.

Why the decision-maker shouldn’t be your focus

In five years of working with marketing teams, Garrett has never heard anyone mention targeting the champion. Instead, we treat decision-makers as though they have some kind of supernatural power.

The decision-maker is never the point of contact. If he isn’t the point of contact, and he isn’t the one who will be working with the agency you choose, he isn’t the one to target.

Remember that everyone is selling to the decision-maker, including the champion. The decision-maker’s job is to discern the best fit for his champion. So even if he likes a certain agency better, if that agency can’t work with his champion, it won’t matter.

Deal retention is far more important than closing deals. Even if you manage to close a deal, if you don’t treat the champion well, you won’t renew it. You won’t get referrals from it.

In Garrett’s mind, there isn’t a single aspect of the process where the decision-maker is more important than the champion.

Avoiding absolutes

He acknowledges, too, that absolutes are dangerous. It’s certainly not true that the decision-maker should never, ever be considered.

Instead, let’s work to change the fundamental hypothesis that we as marketers and sales reps enter relationships with.

If we spend more time building rapport with the point of contact, you will drastically improve your close rate because you are building confidence and comfort with the most important voice in the room.

You need a champion who will give you a voice during moments when you aren’t in the room because that’s often when deals are decided. You won’t close $150,000 contracts while you’re in the room. It happens behind closed doors, and you won’t likely be there when it does.

Shifting focus to champions

Give your champions resources to bolster their confidence. Make that your primary goal.

Your champion is likely scared to death of going to his boss with a recommendation. His discernment and character will be judged by the referral he makes. Anytime you give a referral to someone, your own judgment is on the line.

Challenge things that other people won’t do. Put your neck on the line by offering evidence and claims that protect the champion when he goes to his boss. You take the risk so your champion doesn’t have to.

It will give him the confidence to recommend your agency and it will differentiate you from the competition.

In order to be successful, do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.

Building confidence

Garrett’s company operates on annual contracts, and they give the point of contact room to act if he doesn’t feel completely comfortable in the relationship. By backing up their claims, it gives the champion room to cover himself if he makes a bad choice in hiring them.

If you create alignment with the champion, you’ll create alignment with the decision-maker. At the end of the day, the decision-makers just have to make more money than you’re charging them.

The champion has to have a day-to-day relationship with you. You can’t neglect that relationship.

It’s why you must develop resources that speak directly to your champion.

Even when it’s time to renew, the champion will get to decide whether to continue working with your agency. Regardless of the data, if the relationship isn’t there, the deal won’t renew.

Change your perspective to focus on champions, and your volume will drastically improve. There are far more champions looking for vendors than there are decision-makers.

You’ll also increase your deal retention and reduce churn.

Change your prospecting and marketing to focus on the champions, you’ll increase your at-bats and your close rate.

“You Need to Worry More About Your Champion Than Your Decision Maker” episode resources

You can connect with Garrett on LinkedIn @garrettmehrguth, email him at gmehrguth@directiveconsulting.com, or connect with him on Twitter @gmehrguth.

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 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.

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

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

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

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Rob Kall, Cein, Quality of Sales Leads

TSE 1043: 5 Ways to Measure the Quality of your Leads, Pipeline, and Sales Talent

Rob Kall, Cein, Quality of Sales LeadsWhen you’re scaling an organization, it’s important that you’re able to measure the quality of your leads, pipeline, and sales talent. It important for business owners as well as sales reps, because simply adding people to the organization won’t necessarily result in more sales.

Today Rob Kall talks about the numbers that we might not be measuring and the importance of that data in helping your organization grow and improve.

Although they aren’t commonly measured, these data are the true drivers of your organization’s success.

Soft things

Many sales leaders believe that the solution to any sales struggle is to throw more bodies at it. Though that option may work sometimes, it comes at a cost.

Eventually, you’ll find that you aren’t getting that much more out of the machine despite the added personnel.

In response to that problem, Rob and his company spent a lot of time looking at how you can move to tangible measurements instead of making decisions based upon gut feelings.

They have identified 5 metrics to improve your company’s performance.

1. Lead quality

Leads are not created equal. If I have 1,000 leads and a 2 percent conversion to close, that’s a super easy way to measure.

But if I get a referral from my rich uncle, that’s probably a much easier sale than calling someone who has never heard of my business or product.

We fail to pay attention to these factors, but they are important. Unfortunately, they can also be difficult to determine.

Begin by creating a baseline.

If you find that of 1,000 leads you generated in the last period, you were able to generate 20 sales, you can measure a 2 percent conversion.

You can also evaluate your leads by industry and location.

Once you understand those conversions, you can identify the leads that are not likely to close and stop wasting your time on them.

2. Prospecting effectiveness

Prospecting results in a lot of “no” responses.

The only thing that really matters is engagement. As a rep, you must get a certain amount of engagement every day.

Some people do it with sheer numbers. Others send fewer contacts but they personalize the ones they do send.

Whichever approach you use, make notes every single time an activity results in something. When you do, you’ll begin to recognize patterns.

Your numbers might look great, but if the outcomes aren’t there, those numbers don’t mean as much.

3. True pipeline

Rob points to a concept he calls a critical deal.

Some companies do pipeline reviews on a weekly basis but others do it on a daily basis. It’s a chance to see how well deals are progressing.

Consider the following three factors:

  • Is it a big deal that matters? If it’s a $500 deal when typically your deals average $10,000, you probably shouldn’t even look at it. Is the significance there?
  • Is it a deal that is unlikely to close? Consider the probability.
  • Has something happened that would make you think it’s less likely to close? If you’ve had no communication with the customer or other indications that the deal may stall, consider those.

If these three factors aren’t there, you probably should focus on other deals. Move the critical deals forward and think about your deals in a structured way.

4. Product knowledge

On the rep side of the issue, reps must have product and industry knowledge. When you’re just starting out, you won’t have as much knowledge as those who have been there for years.

How well does this rep know the industry and the product? How does he compare to other reps?

Those with the best product knowledge won’t necessarily be the best performers. You can’t possibly know every single factor of the industry.

You simply must know enough to be credible. Those who haven’t reached that minimum threshold will struggle until they do.

Consider also closing ability or the ability to look at the last part of the deal.

When you get to the last stage of a deal, what happens? How often do you win? You’ll see patterns if you track this rate.

Does one rep have more of a killer instinct?

5. Engagement ability

If you are able to generate a lot of engagement, you’re probably a good communicator. You’re probably good at providing valuable information to the prospect.

Instead of measuring how the prospect responds to it, measure how much engagement the rep is able to generate.

Technology

The reality is that your sales team probably includes a few people who don’t have the right product knowledge and a few people that don’t have valuable leads.

You may have a few areas where your marketing team is spinning its wheels.

When you start addressing some of these shortcomings, you start to see amazing results.

By fixing the one thing that’s screwing you up, you unlock the potential for your sales organization.

Team mood

As a sales leader, you probably have a gut feeling about your team’s morale. You know whether they are optimistic or not.

When negativity is present, it will affect your team’s ability to sell. It will also affect your retention and your on-boarding.

Though no product is perfect, there are frequently just one or two things that are causing grief.

  • How do they feel about the materials they have?
  • How do they feel about coaching?
  • What kind of competitive pressures are they feeling?

You’ll likely identify multiple areas of improvement that will help your team perform better.

Limiting factors

Many limiting factors don’t simply add up. They multiply.

If you can improve it a little bit, even if you can’t perfect it, you’ll get results from that thing. If the rep doesn’t know the product, train him. If the team doesn’t feel good about the commission plan, explain it.

If your product isn’t ready for market, figure out what you can do to improve it.

“Measure the Quality of your Leads, Pipeline and Sales Talent” episode resources

Connect with Rob at cien.ai. It’s a reference to doing things 100 times. You can also connect with him personally on LinkedIn @RobertKall.

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.

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.

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!

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Donald Kelly, Sales Leaders, Small Business

TSE 1042: 3 Mistakes Small Company Sales Leaders Make

Donald Kelly, Sales Leaders, Small BusinessVery often, sales reps find themselves frustrated and hemmed in by the mistakes small company sales leaders make.

I had a conversation last week with a sales rep who was frustrated because his company had no real plan or guidance for how it would achieve the owner’s vision. The owner expected Herculean efforts by the rep, but eventually the rep stopped performing and left the company to escape the pressure.

In many cases, unless the owner corrects the mistakes, the cycle starts all over again when a new rep joins the team.

Honeymoon

Many of us in small organizations understand the excitement of entering a new role only to discover that the reality was different than the idea you bought into. The sales rep I mentioned was never good enough to accomplish what the boss was hoping for, because there was no plan in place to help him succeed.

Because the rep wasn’t as successful as the boss expected, he was moved into a different role. The rep continued in a sales support role, but his demeanor changed. His excitement disappeared. He wasn’t giving as much of himself to the company because he was discouraged by all that had happened.

Eventually he left the role and moved into a much better position.

Missing plan

Entrepreneurs certainly have the freedom to set their own vision for their companies. It’s their responsibility to establish where the organization will go, but they must also determine how it will get there.

Imagine an owner who sets a goal to make $1 million. He wants the best sales reps to come into his organization and help him carry out that plan.

He hires a successful sales rep from another company where there is already a proven sales process and proven guidance to help him succeed. The owner expects the sales rep to execute at the new company the same way he did at the previous one, except there’s no structure in place.

If the rep didn’t take the sales job expecting to have to reinvent the wheel, he’ll likely be frustrated by the lack of any kind of process. If he’s a new seller, he may not have the resources or the experience to help build a sales process from nothing.

As a result, he’ll be frustrated and burned out quickly because he doesn’t have the necessary tools to be successful.

Without a change in the owner’s approach, every sales rep who walks into this same situation will likely end up leaving.

Mistake 1: Failing to find the best customer

If you don’t identify the best potential customer for your business, the sales rep will constantly have to switch gears in an effort to pursue different prospects. He’ll struggle to gain traction because he’ll be chasing too many possibilities.

He likely won’t have any idea what works and what doesn’t, because he’ll be spread too thin.

Have a clear definition of the customers you’ll pursue, and how you’ll connect with them. If you haven’t already determined who your ideal customers are, give your sales reps additional time to figure out which customers are worth pursuing.

Mistake 2: Failing to understand basic metrics

If you aren’t tracking certain metrics within your company, you’ll have no way to determine which efforts are working and which ones are not.

Begin by determining which KPIs you’ll use to evaluate the effectiveness of your sales reps.

  • How many deals they close?
  • The number of appointments they set?
  • How many demonstrations they schedule?
  • How many contacts they locate?

I recommend you focus on outcome-based KPIs. It’s ok to track the day-to-day activities that produce important outcomes like demonstrations scheduled or deals closed, but I wouldn’t judge your employees on those metrics.

Avoid measuring vanity numbers like the number of calls made and instead evaluate meaningful numbers like the number of appointments that resulted from those calls.

Determine what kind of realistic result your rep should be accomplishing. Should he be closing $6,000 worth of deals each month? Once you know that, you can help your reps ramp up.

Mistake 3: Failing to guide your team

Once your team has an understanding of the ideal customers and how to find them, you must give your team a clear expectation of what to say.

Prepare your team for the questions they must be prepared to answer and the objections they’ll likely hear. Develop resources like downloads or podcasts or articles that will help your sales reps educate themselves. Accumulate resources that your reps can share with your prospects.

If you don’t help your sales reps succeed, they will move on to another company. Then, you’ll find yourself in the same mess again.

Don’t make these same mistakes. Develop a plan to help your team succeed.

Check out the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for help building a successful team and an effective process.

“Mistakes Small Company Sales Leaders Make” episode resources

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 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.

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

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

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

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, Follow Up, Sales Training Program, Prospecting

TSE 1040: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “Why and How to Follow Up”

Donald Kelly, Follow Up, Sales Training Program, ProspectingFollowing up means reconnecting with the prospect, and it’s crucial that you understand why and how to follow up.

Many of us dread the follow-up portion of our job because we fear being a nuisance. When we do it effectively, though, it can be the key to more deals and more success.

Follow up

Follow up builds trust with your prospects. When you tell them that you’re going to follow up with them, they expect to hear from you. Failure to follow up suggests that you’re not dependable or perhaps you found another prospect that is more valuable.

You must keep your promises, because trust leads to success. People do business with people they know, like, and trust.

Next steps

Create a meaningful process that will help move your prospects forward.

Decide what you need to do next and establish a clear next step for every single appointment. When you meet for the first time, schedule a next step that will allow a deeper dive with that prospect.

Let your prospects know that there will always be a clear next step as long as you two are a good fit for one another.

Ask your prospects what they would like to do next. Based upon their answer, you can schedule your next step.

Be prepared to offer some options for meeting days and times. Do NOT leave the meeting with a general statement that the prospect will follow up with you.

Better to have a specific sense of whether the relationship is moving forward than to be left wondering.

Effective strategies

For most sellers, none of this is new material. We KNOW that we need to follow up.

Once you’ve created the next step, use Google Calendar to create a notifications that will remind each of you about the meeting.

Even if your prospect indicates that the time isn’t right for your product or service, have a follow-up in mind that will allow you to reconnect with him after the fact.

Stay in touch. Keep your prospect moving in the right direction.

“Why and How to Follow Up” episode resources

Check out the book 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse.

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.

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