How To SPEAK So Your Buyers Actually LISTEN

Paul McGee is an author, motivational speaker, and conference facilitator. Paul educates companies on how to survive and thrive in challenging times.

In this episode of The Salesman Podcast, Paul explains how your body language, attitude and the hierarchy of psychological needs all play an important part in determining if anyone pays attention to you.

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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Paul McGee
The Sumo Guy

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Transcript

Paul McGee:

I think very often when we get into sales, you go, “Why did you get into sales?” “Well, I had the gift of the gab.” I think sometimes we might be good at talking, but as we’ll all know, it’s also about that active listening, those probing questions, being organised as well and prepared before you actually have a meeting. So I think it’s difficult to say, as salespeople, were good or were bad, I just think we need to, as Jim Rohn once said, “Work hard on your job, work harder on yourself,” and just see the whole journey of life itself, specifically, obviously sales.

 

Will Barron:

Hello Sales Nation, I’m Will Barron, host of The Salesman Podcast, the world’s biggest B2B sales show, where we help you not just hit your sales target, but really thrive in sales. Let’s meet today’s guest.

 

Paul McGee:

Hi, I’m Paul McGee. I’m known as the S.U.M.O Guy, S.U.M.O Stands for Shut Up, Move On. Also known as a motivational speaker and performance coach, that is me in a nutshell.

 

Are You an Effective Communicator? Here’s How You Can Gauge Yourself? · [01:15]

 

Will Barron:

On this episode with Paul, we’re diving into how you can speak so people actually listen. We’re diving into body language, your attitude, psychological needs and the hierarchy of them, and a whole lot more. So with that said, let’s jump right in. How good are we at, I guess, predicting analysing how good we are at communicating with others? Are salespeople, for example, who probably assume that they’re pretty good communicators, is that likely true? Or are we a poor judgement of this?

 

Paul McGee:

I think that’s going to vary. I think to, say a one size fits all-answer to that probably wouldn’t be appropriate. I think self-awareness is crucial. I think very often, when we get into sales, you go, “Why did you get into sales?” “Well, I had the gift of the gab,” and I think sometimes we might be good at talking, but as we’ll all know, it’s also about that active listening, those probing questions, being organised as well, and prepared before you actually have a meeting. So I think it’s difficult to say as salespeople were good or bad, I just think we need to, as Jim Rohn once said, “Work hard on your job, work harder on yourself,” and just see the whole journey of life itself. Specifically, obviously sales, as one where we’re continually learning. And there’s a little phrase I use in another one of my books, which is, “Hangout with humility,” and that is just that sense in which having that open-mindedness to sometimes realise, “I could be wrong,” and also just have that understanding, “And I can always get better.”

 

Why Effective Communication is a Must-Have Skill for Every Salesperson · [02:26]

 

Will Barron:

Let me turn this on its head for a second, just to get everyone excited about the conversation we’re going to have, Paul. If you had to convince the 20 plus thousand people that are going to be listening to this, and even more on YouTube, that are going to be watching it right now, that learning to communicate effectively is important, both in sales, business, and elsewhere as well, how would you pitch that to them?

 

“I think ultimately, from the moment you’re born to the moment you die, you’re in some way communicating. And the quality of your life is determined by two things: one, the quality of your relationships, and secondly, the quality of your communication. You put those two together, and you are destined to have an absolutely awesome life.” – Paul McGee · [02:39]

 

Paul McGee:

I think ultimately, from the moment you’re born to the moment you die, you’re in some way communicating. And the quality of your life is determined by two things, one, the quality of your relationships, and secondly, the quality of your communication. You put those two together, and you are destined to have an absolutely awesome life.

 

Factors that Influence Our Communication Styles · [03:00] 

 

Will Barron:

Love it. Okay, so let’s get started here. Are there any standout reasons, any standout things that people do every single day, which affects their ability to communicate, especially in the B2B sales world? Is there any big bang for buck-things that we should hit on this first?

 

Paul McGee:

I think we need to have that … S.U.M.O obviously can stand for Shut Up, Move On. It can also stand for Stop, Understand, Move On. For me, stopping and understanding is realising there’s two big mistakes that people make. Number one, we drown people in detail. So let me tell you everything I can about this topic, about this product, about this service. We literally, people are just drowning in detail. Steve Jobs, when he was launching the apple iMac, had a meeting with his advertising agency. I talk about this story in the book, and he said, “Right, I’ve got a 30 second advert, five messages, I want communicating.” The advertising agent went, “Steve that’s too many. You’ve got 30 seconds, focus on one.”

 

Paul McGee:

And Jobs said, “No, it’s got to be five.” This guy, the advertising agency, picks up a piece of paper, throws it at Jobs, Jobs catches it and says, “That’s what happens when you’ve got a single message you want to communicate with people.” He then gets five other pieces of paper, screws them up, throws them all at Jobs, Jobs doesn’t catch a single one. He says, “And that’s what happens when you give too much information to people.” So firstly, be aware of how easy it is to drown people in detail. Maybe you are passionate about your product or your service, but we need to press pause, and realise that sometimes we’re just communicating far too much information for our potential buyer, our customer to take on board.

 

Paul McGee:

The second one is it’s great to improvise, it’s great to think on your feet, but I think sometimes we have a danger if we just wing it. Oh, I’ve talked about this so often and we’re just going into that situation, and we’re not prepared. I don’t know of any presentation, or any meeting, or any way in which you communicate with people that couldn’t have benefited from us taking even just 30 seconds, just to think a little bit more about what do I want to achieve from this actual conversation with someone. So drowning people in detail, winging it, big no-nos.

 

Will Barron:

So two things here, if that, because obviously there’s loads of urban legends about Steve Jobs, if that actually happened, with a dude just throwing paper balls at him, I would’ve loved to have seen his face and the aftermath of that scenario, I imagine him exploding.

 

Paul McGee:

Him exploded and you know what? That actually, story is taken from his biography that was written about him. He did ultimately go for one single message. That guy was one of the few people that actually managed to convince Jobs to do something different, because as we know, incredibly single-minded, but he had a little bit of that humility to actually go, “Okay, maybe you know more about what you’re on about than I do,” and actually went with it.

 

How to Refine Your Messaging when Verbally Communicating with a Prospect · [06:24] 

 

Will Barron:

Okay, so we’ve talked about on the show, Paul, before, value propositions, messaging, and perhaps branding comes into this as well, on one side of a conversation. We’ve talked about communication skills, using your body language, things like this on separate other conversations, but we never really combined the two. It seems as you’re describing this, it seems like an obvious thing to do if we’re going to focus on preparing for meetings, presentations, interactions with potential customers. If we’re putting that time in, that we need to get the messaging and tie that into a conversation as well as, “Hey, we do one, two, three,” which might go on a prospecting email for example. So how does your messaging in the context of a conversation, how do we refine messaging, when we’re just verbally chatting about it, versus in an advertisement for example?

 

Paul McGee:

I think it’s, I talk about KFD, and KFD for me, not to be confused with KFC, is a whole sense of which, in which, “Okay, what do I want my audience to know? How do I want them to feel? And what do I want them to do?” Now clearly, if I’m doing a presentation, then as you say, you have time to prepare your advertising. What do I want people to know? How do I want them to feel? What do I want them to do? But just be mindful and aware of that, even in a general conversation. We’re having a conversation now, but ultimately there’ll be certain things I think, “Right, I want you to know certain things here,” that will be prompted partly by your questions, but there might be certain things that I’m going, “You know what? Even if Will doesn’t ask me that question, I need him to know this.”

 

Paul McGee:

I want my audience to know things. At the end of this presentation, of our conversation, I want your audience to be feeling something. Not flipping out, “Where was that guy from? Manchester? I don’t want to listen to him again. What an accent?” But feel inspired, motivated, informed, maybe even entertained occasionally, but also there’s the, “And what do you want people to do?” Just having that in the back of your mind. I think Andy Bounds uses this phrase, “Just having in the back pocket of your mind,” what I want people to know? How do I want them to feel? What do I want them to do? That can influence how you communicate with people.

 

Practical Frameworks for Connecting with Buyers During a Sales Conversation · [07:54]

 

Will Barron:

Is there a cadence, or a structure to work this into a conversation. When perhaps it’s a business conversation we’re having, it’s not just a flippant, you’re in the line in the supermarket and someone goes, “Oh, what do you do? What are you up to?” So in a business context, so almost a semi-presentation, as in you’re speaking to someone who might be a potential customer, is there a cadence? Is there a structure? Do we need people to know, then feel, then do? Or can we change this around? What’s the best and most effective way to put all this together?

 

Paul McGee:

I think we can go for a much … Again, as I said, this phrase before, one size fits all, and give me all the steps that we need. I think it’s just having that flexibility. Will. At the end of the day, it’s about a human being connecting with another human being. It’s about relationships. We all know that sometimes you can have a great product, a great service, but if for some reason, people don’t like you, they don’t relate to you, they don’t connect to you, Houston, we’ve got a problem. So if I think I must, first of all, tell you this, and then you must feel this, and then you must do that, Uh-uh (negative).

 

Paul McGee:

It’s knowing that’s at the back of your mind, but sometimes, people are making an instant judgement about you straight away, how they feel about you has been influenced within nanoseconds of them seeing you, or hearing you on the phone, or even how quickly respond to an email. So I would just say, look, it’s a toolkit of ideas, but I’m not going to say thou shalt use it in exactly this order, all the time. There are some times where I really appreciate, being very prescriptive can be hugely helpful. At the end of the day, I’m selling a service to organisations, and I’ve got a set of principles, tools, and ideas, but I like to be flexible.

 

Positive Attitudes and Successful Sales Conversations · [09:29] 

 

Will Barron:

Okay. So is that the structure then, that we have a series of tools or ideas, so we’re not necessarily going, “Hey, we’re going to talk about feature, benefits, how that affects you, stage one. Then we’re going to make you feel great by, I don’t know, making you sing and dance, and we’re having this conversation in a bar, doing karaoke at 9:00 on a Saturday night.” So rather than that, is it better to have a set of principles as you then, almost a moral business guideline to have these conversations? And if that’s the case, how do we structure that so we can essentially riff off it?

 

Paul McGee:

Okay, for me actually, it’s about a toolkit, but also what is hugely important, it’s about your attitude towards that person. So for me, we talk about how I want people to feel. Actually, what I want them to feel, is that they can trust me, that this is a person that I can actually do business with. Now this is maybe not going to be in many sales books, but actually from an attitude point of view, everyone talks about being positive. Yeah, get that. Got the T-shirt, of course that’s crucially important. But here’s something you’ll rarely hear. I am having a conversation with someone who’s maybe wanting to hire me as a speaker, because the service I offer, primarily is, “Paul, we’ve got a team away-day. We’re going through a lot of change, a lot of challenges. People need reinvigorating, re-energising, can you work?” Or, “We’ve got a conference, and we’d like you to come in as the motivational speaker.”

 

Paul McGee:

When I’m having that conversation, of course I’ve got in my back pocket, those tools, language, ideas, but actually above all, what’s crucial, before any tool or idea, is what’s my attitude like? And how am I going to best serve my audience? How am I going to best serve this client? Now that is an attitude that is almost like something from my heart. That isn’t something where I just want to get the sale, hit my target this month. Of course, you want to do that. But maybe I’m coming from things a little bit left-field, because if someone says to me, “Right, Paul, how about you do us a session on negotiation skills? And we’ve just got loads of money left over from the budget this year. So what was your fee?”I’ll go, “I’m sorry, I’m not the right person to do negotiations, because I’ve got a reputation here that goes beyond what I’ve worked with you on that conference, and that team away-day. So I’m not going to take all your big bucks. I’m not going to say, ‘Yeah, I do negotiations,’ I’m going to go, ‘How do I best serve you?'”

 

Paul McGee:

And I’ll say, “Look, if you were looking for this, this and this, I can help you. If you’re looking for negotiation skills, look at someone like Andy Bounds, or someone else who might be able to help you in that area.” So actually you have to start from an attitude point if you want to serve people. Then I can be fairly flexible and fluid on how I use my strategies, to then help people when we steer them down a particular pathway, but I’m always governed by how can I add value? How can I make this person become my biggest champion? So that actually, work comes to me, rather than me always hunting for work.

 

Will Barron:

Okay. How do we, and I know I keep trying to make this more practical than perhaps how it is when you’re an expert in it like yourself, but how do we build perhaps a mental checklist before we pick up the phone to speak to someone? How do we get our attitude or mindset in the right place? So, and perhaps we’re coming from a one phone call, where a customer’s complaining that someone hasn’t been delivered on time, you’re going to help them out. And you’re stressing and you are getting stressed alongside them, or you’re trying to be empathetic with someone else.

 

Get in the Right Attitude for Every Sales Conversation · [12:35] 

 

Will Barron:

Or your cat’s just got run over, and you hate the cat, so you’re not worried about that, but you’re going to get a huge vet bill at the end of the day. So that’s your GTR off the table, because you’ve got to spend 20 grand on this stupid cat. I don’t know, I have no idea how much vet bills are. But you’re in this weird mental state, where all this stuff’s going on, and you’ve got to now speak to a new customer, and you want to have this attitude, how do we get ourselves in the right mindset to approach them and have a decent conversation with them as you describe it?

 

Paul McGee:

I think actually one of the first things that you do, is actually recognise, “Okay, hang on. I need to flick a switch here. I’ve got all these issues with my cat,” and I’ve just lost my cat actually, Will, and it didn’t cost 20 grand, but it was a sad event. So, I just need to flick that switch. “Okay, this has happened. Hang on a minute,” asking yourself a question, on a scale of one to 10, where 10’s death, “Where is this issue? Where is some of this stuff?” I know with my cat, it was a flipping 10, but at least I’m alive and fairly, most of my family members are as well. So first of all, “Okay, got some stuff going on. Let’s flick a switch here. Let’s go.” Just as you’re going up to a performance, when you go to the West End, you watch your theatre show, the actor doesn’t come on, or there wasn’t announcement beforehand. “Now this showing of Les Misérables, we just need you to let you know that the lead actor lost his cat yesterday. So a little bit upset, little bit low key.”

 

Paul McGee:

At the end of the day, when Shakespeare said, “Life is a stage,” it really is a stage. We’re actors on that stage, and that means I have to have that ability to sometimes go, “All right, I’m stressed by a lot of things, scale of one to 10, where 10’s death, where is it? Let’s get my perspective. Now let’s get focused. I’ve got a customer, maybe they’re unhappy about something, or maybe I’m trying to actually win them round so they use my service. I need to focus on this. So I want to have that attitude, I’m going to serve them. I want them to think, okay, there’re certain things I want them to know. I want them to feel certain things at the end of this, and there’re certain actions we need to take, that we need to do after it.” That’s it in a nutshell, if it’s not practical enough for you, I apologise, but that’s my approach.

 

Will Barron:

Well, sorry to hear about your cat. That was an unfortunate example for me to use. Sorry about that, Mate.

 

Paul McGee:

It was Will, if we’re perfectly honest, it was, but you know what? It’s okay. It happens. We’re all human, aren’t we? And the fact is, life’s about techniques and it’s about communication, but it’s also about just understanding where each other’s coming from. So it’s all cool. Don’t worry. It was just one of those things, but there’s a there’s X million cat owners out there. So we got to be sometimes careful, haven’t we? It’s sometimes those bizarre little throwaway comments that people make, like the cat issue, where you suddenly go, “I’ve got all my strategies, and all my techniques, and flipping heck, I’ve just used some off the top of my head comment to someone who’s a cat owner, whose cat’s just died. Oh my goodness.” But Hey, it happens, and I’m more forgive than some customers might be.

 

How to Re-Energize a Sales Conversation When It’s About to Break Down · [16:10] 

 

Will Barron:

Well, I want to, you used the word earlier and I don’t want to dwell on the cat thing clearly, but you used a word earlier, which I wanted to come back to, and this might be an opportune time to come back to it. And that is you mentioned the word, “Re-energise.” So say we’ve had an unfortunate, clearly you’re not taking it personally. Clearly, you know I’m not, I wasn’t having a go, or a dig. But a customer might, as you described, might take it more personally than that, what can we do to re-energise a conversation? Perhaps it’s gone sour, perhaps we’ve not delivered when we said that we should do. Are there any ways to communicate, to, I guess, make things less awkward, or to re-energise the conversation, and get it back to the higher energy, the positive energy that we need it to be for someone to take action and do a deal?

 

Paul McGee:

Yeah, I think sometimes when that’s happened, you went, after the cat thing, I carried on talking, you went back to it then and went, “Hey, I apologise for that unfortunate example.” And I think sometimes not ignoring it, but acknowledging it as you did, as you demonstrated then, actually apologising, is actually quite helpful. But then it’s the case of where someone’s unhappy about the service, you go, “Look, here’s the deal. We have a problem. We have an issue here. I’m sorry about what’s happened. I’m sorry you feel the way that you do. But my goal in working with you now, is how do we best move this forward? How can we influence and improve this situation? So I’m at your service. Want to maybe build some bridges here, resolve the issue as effectively as I can. So can I ask you a few more questions?”

 

Paul McGee:

So again, have some humility. This isn’t about alpha male to alpha male, or alpha woman to alpha woman. Again, have a little bit of humility. It’s not about putting yourself down. It’s not about being walked over, but you know what? If you’ve said something inappropriate or insensitive, sometimes you apologise, but then let’s move on.

 

How to Influence a Buyer’s Feelings and Stay in Control of the Sales Conversation · [17:59] 

 

Will Barron:

Cool. So I think sales people will, because we’ve done it on this show a million times, we did this when we first started the show four years ago, we tried to drill into the audience that it’s not all necessarily about features or benefits. There’s multiple layers to a complex, especially when it’s a long deal cycle in B2B sales. So I think we can cover the, we’ve covered the no-side of things. How do we start to influence how people are feeling, and how do we stay in control of a conversation perhaps? Like you just did then, of it was, “So have some humility, apologise if appropriate, carry on the conversation.” And then you said, “We should ask questions,” which keeps us then, not necessarily in control, but it keeps the conversation moving forward. So I love that, and I didn’t want to just gloss over that tactic, or not even a tactic, the way you arranged to solve that problem.

 

Will Barron:

So how can we do, I guess, similar, to make people feel certain things, or make them feel good, which is a value add in itself? If you’re on stage and you’re doing a motivational talk, you being there, getting everyone excited, pumped up and energised, offers real value to the audience. So how can we go about doing that on a more of a one-to-one basis? When I guess, you may disagree being a speaker, but when you’re on stage and people are there, especially when they are there because perhaps the corporation has arranged this day, and they have to be there, and they’ve got to watch it, they might as well enjoy it, because they’re just going to be miserable otherwise. But how do we do a similar effect when someone doesn’t have to be on the phone with us? We’re trying to add value to them, but we’re taking up some of their time to do that. Are there any ways we can do this, again over the phone, in person, perhaps one-on-one, or one in front of a couple of people, rather than a big crowd?

 

“We have a number of psychological needs as human beings. We might have different words to phrase it, but often what I tend to think about is this, people need to feel important and people need to feel understood.” – Paul McGee · [19:40] 

 

Paul McGee:

Yeah, sure. I think just understanding we have a number of psychological needs as human beings. We might have different words to phrase it, but often what I tend to think about is this, people need to feel important and people need to feel understood. Now, one of the best ways I want to make you feel important, is actually going to be showing some genuine interest in what’s going well in your business at the moment, what are some of your challenges, what are some of your issues. Some are about some of your sales teams, some about some of what you’re trying to achieve in terms of your future goals. And actually actively listen, that’s not just a case, and that’s difficult on the phone, which is why … So I’ve got a friend of mine, and I won’t mention his name, because he is probably going to listen to this, but he’s probably got a good idea who he is.

 

“How do you make people feel important? Show that you are listening.” – Paul McGee · [20:49] 

 

Paul McGee:

And he goes, “I’m not into any of this crap about having to make noises so that people know that I’m still listening.” But the thing is, I’m not bothered about what you are thinking, Mate. You asked me question about how was your holiday, or one thing or another. I talk about it, and I hear from the other end of the phone, absolute, complete silence. So I’m like, “Are you still there?” Because it’s so easy to lose signal, particularly if you’re speaking in the car and everything. So one, how do you make people feel important? Show that you are listening? So over the phone, there has to be that just occasional. “Mm-hmm (affirmative). Right. Yeah. Okay. Sure.” 

 

Paul McGee:

Or even just saying to people as I do … So I’ve had a conference call just before speaking to you, and I’m saying to them, “Okay, in order that I can best add value on the day to your event, I just want to ask some questions to understand a bit more about some of your issues, your challenges and what you hope to achieve from the session? So I’ll be doing some of the questioning, and doing quite a bit of the listening, if that’s right? And I’ll be taking some notes as well, if that’s okay?” And it’s just, you’ve got to make that … So people want to feel important. They also want to feel understood. So that might well be with a face-to-face, or over the phone, where there comes a point where you’re saying, “Okay, Will let me just clarify then? So what you’re saying is you’ve got issues with X, Y, and Z. Have I got that right?” People don’t want to be sold that clearly. They want to feel that they may be buying a solution that they’re collaborating with you to resolve something, to improve something.

 

“When people feel they have been listened to, that’s a great way to make them feel important. And when we meet that need of feeling important, feeling understood, that really does open things up for us to be received more positively, and for us to hopefully provide some solutions.” – Paul McGee · [22:12] 

 

Paul McGee:

And if you can just go in your mind, however that is, how to make this person feel important. That’s not by patronising them, but hey, maybe compliment them on something, go into their office, find something to genuinely compliment, be observant. But recognise that when people feel they have been listened to, that’s a great way to make them feel important. When they feel they’ve been understood, whether that’s because they’ve got a complaint, or they’ve just got something that they have as a need in their business. And we meet that need of feeling important, feeling understood, that really does open things up then for us to be received more positively, and for us to hopefully provide some solutions.

 

Will Barron:

So I experienced very literally this phenomenon of having to go, “Uh-huh (affirmative), yep, I get it,” on these podcasts. When we first started, there was no video, because I was terrified of being on video for some crazy reason. So I was doing them all over a Skype audio call. And I hate listening to podcasts when the individual at either end in the conversation are going, “Yep. Okay. Yep,” because it seems like then you’re listening to just a tight knit conversation, as opposed to when there’s a bit more pause and there’s a bit more silence. When one person’s talking, you feel like, well I feel anyway, and the BBC, and there’s data on this as well, but BBC Broadcasts and their specifications in their interview programming suggests the same thing, of it makes you feel like you are in a group, or you’re sitting around a table, when there’s less um’s and ah’s, and yes and no’s.

 

Will Barron:

But what I found, was I had exactly what you described of someone would rant for two, three minutes, and then they’d go, “Will, are you there?” Because I’d been silent on the other end. Now, when we switched over to the video side of things, and for the audience listening to this, Paul here doesn’t see the feed that you get on YouTube. It’s a slightly further away camera. I think it’s actually quite wonky. So I’ll tell you, Paul, I’m not actually sliding down a hill, just the camera’s wonky on the screen at the moment. And then I found that I could be silent, I could just nod along and I never had these queries. And it happened very regularly, and it took a lot more editing in the podcasts and the audio itself, to cut out when people go, “Are you there? Are you’re listening?” So the reason I tell this tale, is it’s not just your voice?

 

If You Want to Close More Deals, Improve Your Active Listening Skills · [24:00] 

 

Will Barron:

It’s your body language, it’s your nodding. It’s nodding in agreement, it’s nodding in anticipation of what you think is coming. So I want to come back to psychological needs in a second. I want to see if there’s a hierarchy of them, and whether important and understood are at the top of it, and where we should focus. But just on this point of body language, when we’re in the room with someone, is that any other physical things that we should be doing, to just emphasise the fact that we are actively listening and that we are paying attention to them? Other than the obvious of just nodding along?

 

Paul McGee:

I think in many ways, maybe one of the things, is just to make sure that we are, some of the stuff we’re not doing. Do you know what I mean? So fiddling, or just checking some of my notes, on my paper. I mean, what can I say, Will? You do these podcasts. And I think I’ve got to have of a confession, and that is that probably 90% of what I talk about, most people go, “Well, that’s flipping obvious.” Most things are obvious in hindsight. So I was saying to my son, not long ago, I was talking about how many years ago, when you went travelling, you went on a holiday, you took your luggage, they didn’t have wheels on the suitcases. He went, “Dad, you’re having me on.” I said, “Matt, seriously, I’m not.” He said, “The most obvious thing, Dad, you would do, is put wheels on, have a handle, and life’s good.”

 

Paul McGee:

I went, “Absolutely Mate, but for years, no one ever thought about it.” So when you say things like, “What are some of, apart from nodding your head, what are some of the things you should be doing?” I think again, it does come down to, look, what is your attitude here? Is it just, “I’m here to win the sale, hit my targets.” Or do I want to generally help this customer? Because there could be repeat business, and there could be referrals. What are doing now, is you are just looking at me and you are nodding. Sometimes we think, “Come on, there must be some more techniques.” Look, I think sometimes screw some of the techniques. Screw them, because we get so focused on a technique, and we forget attitude is usually important. We’re connecting as a human being to another human being.

 

Paul McGee:

If you know my passion, if you know my heart, if you know that, actually I’m here to say, “Can we do business,” then there are certain things happening on our unconscious level between us, that we’re not aware of. So I’m not going to go down the NLP route and say, “Okay, so they’re touching their chin, so you touch their chin.” Trust me, it becomes flipping freakish. I think what you get so often with some training, is it’s all technique-based, and there’s not enough about, “What’s your attitude like to this person?” Because you know what? I’m not into unethical selling. If you just want to sell something to someone because you want to meet your target, you and I will never do business, because I’m just not the kind of sales trainer you are after.

 

Paul McGee:

But if you are going, “Look, I think they have a problem. I think we have a solution to that problem, and I believe I can help them.” And that is about being flexible in how I communicate with people, realising that some people are very much extrovert, some introvert. Some want big picture, want the passion, some want all the detail. I need to flex for success, I need to be adaptable. I need to be flipping present in the moment rather … And know that I’ve got those tools that we talked about earlier on, but actually I’ll weave them in almost naturally and intuitively, rather than, “I have a set of techniques here and strategies that I’ve learned from The Salesman Podcast.” Yeah, of course they can help. But first of all, start with your flipping attitude, because some people just will pick up, “You’re selling to me, you’re using techniques on me. Oh look, he just touched my elbow. Or she just touched my elbow, because they were obviously an NLP course, where they went. ‘If you touch the other person, touch them on the elbow, they’ll like you more, and they’ll build more rapport’.” 

 

Paul McGee:

Hey, maybe that could help. But let’s maybe try and think about being a bit more genuine and natural in our sales, rather than thinking, there is a prototype salesperson, and this is all the techniques they use. You know what, Will? I don’t even call myself a salesperson. I mean I’ve built a business from scratch, it’s done pretty well. I speak all over the world. I’ve written 11 books. That’s wonderful, but at the end of the day, when I’m communicating and connecting with people, that’s what I’m doing, communicating and connecting. Not always thinking about, “How do I sell to this person, and what techniques?” Maybe I’m doing lot of it on the unconscious, competent zone, perhaps that’s the case?

 

Paul McGee:

But I still think if we can get our attitude right to begin with, all the other guys and women who’ve spoken on your podcast can give you far more techniques than I can. My main thing is around mindset. I don’t do sales training, privileged to be your podcast, I ain’t a sales trainer in the genuine sense of that. I talk about communication. I talk about that for all kinds of people, from managers trying to engage and influence their staff. This is where I’m coming from. So it might not be what you typically expect from this kind of podcast, but I hope your listeners and those watching get that feel of, “All right, it is a lot about our attitude, and are we trying to serve our customer? Or are we just trying to sell that to them?” So rant over, I hope that was helpful.

 

Will Barron:

Well, that’ll be a two, three minute clip on YouTube for sure on its own. But for context, that is exactly what this audience are looking for. We do interview sales trainers, but there’s very few that get through my barrier of bullshit testing that happens before they get on the show. We interview multiple Olympic athletes now, we’ve interviewed a Nobel Prize-winning psych psychologist. We’ve interviewed Olympic athletes. We’ve interviewed an astronaut, we’ve interviewed a UFC fighter, that was one of my favourite interviews that we’ve ever done. All these individuals, just high performers. We’ve interviewed a billionaire, that show is coming out in a few weeks time from probably when this one comes out. It’s going to coincide with something else that he’s doing. But yeah, I feel, hopefully the audience feels as well, and this is my … I try not to give my input on things, because I’m just a sales dude. I don’t feel my opinion is all that valid, when I’m speaking to someone like yourself on these subject matters.

 

Will Barron:

But over these four years of doing interviews, 500 plus interviews now that we’ve done, the trend that I see, and again, over these four years, as time goes on, is the hack is, if we need a hack, if we want to put a click-baity title on this episode, it’s to have the right mindset, attitude going in, and all the subconscious stuff happens by itself, and you don’t need the weird touching elbows. And I had someone the other day, grab my hand, squeeze it ridiculously, stare at me in the eyes really intensely, and then cup my hand with the other hand. I was going, “This is really weird.” So I get sweaty hands. I don’t know if you can see that on the screen, everyone who’s watching on YouTube, but his hands were disgustingly sweaty as well. And it was a really uncomfortable three, four seconds.

 

The B2B Sales Hierarchy of Needs · [31:24] 

 

Will Barron:

And clearly in his head, he thought he was doing the right thing. He thought he was hacking me, he thought he was getting into my neuro-psychology or whatever bullshit it was branded as when it was taught to him. It was just weird and creepy. So my footnote to your rant over there, Paul, one thing I want to just touch on before we wrap up, so I think this could be really interesting. So we mentioned, or you mentioned psychological needs, of importance, of being understood. Is there a hierarchy of needs that we should be in the B2B, in formal and informal business conversations, be aiming towards? Or thinking about for the person that we’re speaking to? Because I think if you interviewed most B2B salespeople, good, bad, indifferent, middle, top end, A, B, C, D players, they’d all be saying, “I want the person to be happy, and I want them to be excited.” If there is a hierarchy, where does happy and excited rank versus the likes of someone feeling important, and someone feeling understood?

 

Paul McGee:

I think in many ways, again, and I don’t want to drown people in detail. People want to feel happy, they want to feel comfortable with you. They want to feel that they’ve made a good decision, which comes back to how do you want people to feel? I think that stems from the fact that actually, I feel this person connected with me and was making me feel important, made me feel understood. So I feel happy, I feel relaxed. Then because of how we’ve maybe then talked about our actual products or our service, hopefully that excitement comes. So actually rather than people going away, “So give me this hierarchy?” Look, here it is, “I’m there to serve you.” Maybe in order to do that, and to build rapport and connection with one human being to another face to face, over the phone, whatever, I need to make you feel important. I need to make you feel understood.

 

Paul McGee:

I need to think about what I want you to know, how I want you to feel, and what you’re going to do. Let’s just keep it fairly simple. I’m sure there are books out there with a big pyramid of hierarchy of needs. Maslow had his own hierarchy of needs around in terms of human survival, right on through to self-actualization. But I think what people are after in life, is, “Give me some quick wins and go-to’s.” And if you think about the fact that maybe we’re summing up.

 

“If you had a rejection or a bad day, on a scale of one to 10, where 10’s death, where is this? And just recognise you are there to serve people, make them feel important, make them feel understood. If you start with those kinds of things as part of your armoury, then I think you’re going to win more battles than you’ll lose.” – Paul McGee · [33:23] 

 

Paul McGee:

So we’ve got KDF, that’s your big one. Obvious, I know it is, but just keep on remembering it. Every time you talk to someone, present to someone, what do I want to know, feel, do? Get perspective on certain things as well. Particularly if you had a rejection, or a bad day. On a scale of one to 10, where 10’s death, where actually is this? And just recognise you are there to serve people, make them feel important, make them feel understood. If you start with those kind of things as part of your armoury, then think you’re going to win more battles than you’ll lose.

 

Paul’s Advise to His Younger Self on How to Become Better at Selling · [33:45]

 

Will Barron:

Perfect. Well, to formally wrap up here, Paul, I’ve got one question that I ask everyone that comes on the show, and that is, if you could go back in time and speak to your younger self, what would be the one piece of advice you’d give him to help him become better at selling?

 

Paul McGee:

I would say, remember the beach ball. Which, and I want you to imagine for a moment. So if you … I’m going to actually show this. So if you’re watching this on video, you may get a bit of an idea of these colours of these beach balls. So I’ve got this beach ball, and as you are seeing it, and if you’re listening, but your viewers will actually see that the colour you can see is red, yellow, and orange. The thing is, I’m looking at the same situation, the same beach ball as you, but I’m seeing three completely different colours. I’m seeing blue, white, and green. Now, if someone says to me, “Well, hang on a minute?” They rang me up and said, “Paul, I’ve just asked you colleagues, or your customer, or your client, what colour the beach ball is, they say it’s red, yellow, and orange. I’m asking you the same question. You’re saying it’s blue, white, and green. Hang on a minute. You can’t both be right. How many beach balls are in the room? There’s one.”

 

Paul McGee:

And one of the things I would say to my younger self, and I’d say to everybody, is sometimes shut up thinking that your perspective is the only perspective there is, and move on to see where other people are actually coming from. So as I turn the beach ball around, all of a sudden, rather thinking about my perspective, blue, white, and green, in other words, my goals, my needs, my priorities, what do I want to achieve from this conversation? All of a sudden, I’m taking a little bit of time out to understand my customer’s side of the beach ball. And of course, once I’ve understood theirs, and they’ve understood mine, then you know what?

 

Paul McGee:

Maybe we can see all the colours more clearly. So, what I would say, remember the beach ball, and remember that your perspective on a situation isn’t the only perspective there is. When people see things differently from each other, rather than start with this premise, “Well, one of us has to be wrong, and guess what? It’s not me,” if you turn that beach ball around in a certain way, as I just did to the viewers, but those listening, you can turn the beach ball around in a certain way so you all see the same six colours at the same time.

 

Paul McGee:

And I think what’s refreshing about this podcast, is maybe, sometimes people are saying things that maybe seemingly contradict each other. That’s fine. Some of them have got their own emphasis. It’s their side of the beach ball. Doesn’t mean because people see it differently to someone else, one of us has to be wrong. We can both be right. So long answer to my 16 year-old self, but I need to emphasise it, because he had a real problem with lack of attention to detail. So I would just say this, 16 year-old self and everyone else listen or watching, remember the beach ball.

 

Parting Thoughts · [36:24]

 

Will Barron:

Perfect. With that, we’ve covered quite a lot of ground on this episode. And so I think there’re multiple books that tie in. Tell us about the books, and then where we can find out more about you as well, Paul?

 

Paul McGee:

Okay. Go to thesumoguy.com, and then you’ll find out more about my stuff. If you are a sales organisation, you want to your people to be inspired at conference, then I’m your man. If you want them to hear loads and loads of sales techniques, go to someone like Andy Bounds instead. I’ve got a new book come out recently, called How To Have A Great Life, 35 Surprisingly Simple Ways To Success, Fulfilment And Happiness. It’s also come out on Audible. The reason why I’ve done 35, each chapter takes less than five minutes to read. It’s a standalone thing. So if you’re not into books, you don’t need to worry, just read one or two chapters, or you could listen to it in the car. So go to thesumoguy.com, and maybe we’ll have some connections in the future.

 

Will Barron:

Good stuff, I’ll link to all that in the show notes to this episode over at salesman.org. I appreciate the rant, Mate and I want to Thank you again for your time, for coming on The Salesman Podcast.

 

Paul McGee:

Pleasure, it’s been great. Thanks. Will.

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