Stop Being PUSHY To Close More Sales

Deb Calvert is the President of People First Productivity Solutions, offering sales training, coaching, and leadership development programs. Deb leads the Stop Selling & Start Leading® movement and founded The Sales Experts Channel.

On this episode of The Salesman Podcast, Deb shares why we don’t need to be pushy (manipulative) to win business in the age of Internet Selling.

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:

Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Deb Calvert
Sales Training Expert

Resources:

Transcript

Speaker 1:

Manipulation. No, you don't have to be manipulative. Assertive and persuasive and influential. Yes. That's the nature of selling. I think that selling honourable, integrity based selling, selling with a noble purpose sets you up for better success in the long term. If you're going to be that huckster, you are not going to get referrals. You're not going to get repeat business. You're going to be working harder all the time because you're starting from zero every single time.

 

Will Barron:

Hey, Sales Nation, Will Barron, host of the sales on podcast. The world's biggest B to B sales show where we help you not just hit your sales target, but really thrive in sales. Subscribe if you haven't already enjoy Sales Nation and without, let's meet today's guest.

 

Speaker 1:

I'm Deb Calvert, buyer, researcher, seller, coach, and sales agitator.

 

Will Barron:

On today's episodes, you're going to learn why you don't need to be a pushy salesperson to have huge access B2B sales. And you're also going to learn what an outsight is. Yep. That's a real word. You're going to learn what an outsight is and how it can help you close deals easier. Let's jump right in.

 

Can Salespeople Have Success Without Being Manipulative? · [01:00]

 

Will Barron:

Can a salesperson have success? I guess there's two ends of this, which we're going to cover. Can they have success without manipulating others? Or do they need to have this high level of influence and manipulation to just get the job done?

 

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Great question. Manipulation. No, you don't have to be manipulative, assertive and persuasive and influential. Yes. That's the nature of selling, but it's not the same thing as manipulation and to somehow blur the lines there, that's the negative stereotype of selling. It's the wrong thing to do. It takes you in the wrong direction.

 

If Manipulative Selling Is Not So Effective, Why Are Salespeople Still Using It? · [01:52]

 

Will Barron:

So we might dived into, I guess, politics and a whole load of psychology here. But typically when there's a stereotype, there's something to that. Is this because manipulating within the world of sales, it works, it gets the job done, it allows me to feed my family, put food on the table, buy nice watches. If there's an open market and people are, I'm kind of meant my word table, but dumb enough to let me sell them, why shouldn't I just close as many people as I possibly can and earn as much commission and then go and spend it how I like and live an epic life?

 

“Honorable, integrity-based selling, selling with a noble purpose sets you up for better success in the long term. In fact, the most successful salespeople are genuine, authentic, buyer-focused and not manipulative. They're looking out for their own and their buyer's best interest long term.” – Deb Calvert · [02:32] 

 

Speaker 1:

Well, I suppose that's a choice you can make. That's a choice that doesn't really do justice to the profession of selling. So I'm not going to call that salesmanship. I think that selling honourable integrity based selling, selling with a noble purpose sets you up for better success in the long term. You can be. In fact, the most successful salespeople are genuine, authentic, buyer-focused and not manipulative. They're looking out for their own long term and their buyer's best interest long term, too.

 

Authentic, Buyer-Focused Selling is The Fastest Route to Long-term Sales Success · [02:54]

 

Will Barron:

If we put this into the context of cash in the bank from commissions salary and all that good stuff by the end of the year, and I feel like this solves the problem of just wanting to close everyone and crush it and win every business, and so everyone else. I think that all disappears when you go from kind of aiming for a $100,000 in sales, which I think you can hustle your way towards, versus when you want to get into bigger deals, the enterprise sale, long term deal cycles, where the rewards are much higher than that potential 100K, is that the difference here that if we want to be hucksters, we're stuck at this high five figures, low six figures, versus if we want to really excel, if we want to, as you would, and I love this word, if you want to become a professional at it, the reward for that is just way higher potential for earnings.

 

“If you're going to be a huckster, you are not going to get referrals. You're not going to get repeat business. You're not going to get a good night's sleep. You're going to be working harder all the time because you're starting from zero every single time. A professional salesperson looks out for the long term partly because that's where the job gets easier. You've got relationships and referrals and a reputation that proceed you and help you to make those sales. So unless you're doing something that is a single transaction and you're perfectly happy to manipulate people and then have to go find new victims to prey on, that's not the right way to approach selling.” – Deb Calvert · [03:44] 

 

Speaker 1:

Sure. I mean, look, if you're going to be that huckster, which I think is the right word for it, you are not going to get referrals. You're not going to get repeat business. You're not going to get a good night's sleep. You're going to be working harder all the time because you're starting from zero every single time. A professional salesperson looks out for long term partly because that's where the job gets easier. You've got relationships and referrals and a reputation that proceed you and help you to make those sales. So unless you're doing something that is a single transaction and you're perfectly happy to manipulate people and then have to go find new victims to prey on, that's not the right way to approach selling.

 

Will Barron:

For sure. Clearly there's, we're both on the same wave up for this. I'm trying to play a devil's advocate with a lot of it, but it strikes me the word victim that you use, then you'll only sucker someone once. And if you are selling to the C-suite, it's very likely that they're going to sucker you before you sucker then, going from the average B2B sales professional, dealing with someone who's not necessarily older, but if they're C-suite at a decent size company, they're very likely experienced. And the've seen this nonsense before, right?

 

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. And buyers not even in the C-suite, I think all of us, even individuals and consumers, we have a nose for it. We are able to see it much more so than we used to be say, 20 or 30 years ago. We're onto the typical tricks of sales people. So it's just, you're not going to be successful long term period if this is the approach you take.

 

How to Influence Buyers Without Being too Pushy · [05:22] 

 

Will Barron:

Perfect. Okay. So we've got everyone on board that we're not going to be manipulative. We're not manipulative. We're not going to be pushy. We're not going to be weird. We're in this for the long term. We're going to be professionals. So how do we then, and I want to get into questioning and things like this, moving forward in the conversation there, but how do we, in your words, how do we be assertive? How do we be influential? How do we not manipulate someone, but bring them around to perhaps our way or the correct way of thinking when we know they've got a problem, perhaps they don't see the problem they have? What tools do we have in our toolbox to influence someone over, to being able to and open for us to solve a problem for them?

 

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's a big question. If you don't mind, I'm going to step back to give just a little context. First we conducted an extensive research study with buyers, B2B buyers, and we also did some seller-side research. This was all for the new book, Stop Selling and Start Leading. And here's why that's relevant. There's a huge disconnect between buyers and sellers. Sellers over 75% of them in these stories over 500 stories attributed their success when they made extraordinary sales. They attributed their success to one thing. And that one thing was persistence. And yet, in all the buyer research the word persistence, when we asked, “What do you want to see from sellers you choose to do business with? Not one single time, did the word persistence come up. So this is why sellers are feeling reluctant to be pushy. It's why there is good discussion that needs to be had about being persistent.

 

Speaker 1:

See, when I think persistent, I think about that fly buzzing around your head. The one that won't go away, no matter how often you swat at it. There's something more that we can be. And that something more is persevering. Persevering is not the same as persisting. Persisting is just an activity. It's what makes you write the emails and phone calls that say, “Hey Will, just check in. Haven't heard from you in a while.” Buzz, buzz, buzz, right? I'm the fly, right? Persevering.

 

“Before you can be influential and before you can have an opportunity to get in the door, you've got to portray yourself as being someone who's committed and can make a positive difference.” – Deb Calvert · [08:09]

 

Speaker 1:

The difference is that there's meaning there's purpose. The reason that I am contacting you, the reason that I'm so passionate that I have such a zeal for wanting to work with you is because I believe I have an unwavering commitment to be able to make a difference for you. When a seller feels that way, they no longer feel pushy. And when a buyer perceives a seller that way, the word they attach to that is value. Here's this salesperson I haven't bought from him yet, but here's this salesperson who's bringing value to me. And I can tell they really have my best interest at heart. And I think that's the crux of the difference. So before I can be influential and before I can have an opportunity to get in the door, I've got to portray myself as being someone who's committed and can make a positive difference.

 

How to Perceive Yourself as an Influential Well-Meaning Salesperson · [08:22] 

 

Will Barron:

How much of this, just to, there's one word that stood out there, Deb, how much of this is perceived versus how much of it is that you truly are passionate about the products that you're selling? You think it's going to change the world versus you can turn that on and off in front of a potential customer.

 

Speaker 1:

Oh, great question. You're right. Perceived as important. It's important first that a seller perceive himself or herself appropriately. So to perceive yourself as a leader who can help people as opposed to perceiving yourself as you have a product to push. Night and day difference. And then how it shows up to the buyer. It's not so much about, I perceive my products can make a difference. It's that I perceive that I can make a difference for you. Sure, my product might be a part of that, but before I'll ever know that, or before you'll ever care to hear about that, we got to have our human to human connection. I'm here to help you.

 

What Does it Mean To Be a Leader in Sales? · [09:23] 

 

Will Barron:

So let's focus on the seller first, then we'll perhaps we'll come onto the perceptions of the buyer in a second. How can someone listening to this, Sam, the salesperson he, or I guess he or she could be Sam, we'll go with she, she sells SAS software. She sells marketing automation or something along the lines where there's lots of competitors. She goes into conversations. She knows the product inside out. She knows the industry inside out.

 

Will Barron:

But when you say to her that she's got to have the perception that she's a leader, that she, as an individual, can help a potential customer. And there seems to be a gap between her belief system and then the reality that if you've been doing sales with a specific company for a reasonable amount of time, you do know their products, you are an expert on it. You are a leader within that realm. How do we bridge the gap then for someone listening, who's going, “Yeah, I know my products. I don't feel like a leader though. And so I don't feel it. So I'm not comfortable in trying to put that across and that perspective across to a potential customer”?

 

Speaker 1:

Okay. So we have to first now get to the what does it mean to be a leader? The root word of leader, laden simply means to guide. So we're not talking about being a manager. We're not talking about being someone who has incredible charisma. We're talking about someone who is interested in guiding people. Now, if you get the visual, a guide, think about somebody in the jungle, who's got the machete, right? You're clearing the path. So a guide clears the path makes the way forward easier for others who follow and takes people to a place they actually want to go. You don't need a guide if you've been there before. You need a guide to help you, when the way might be a little treacherous, but at some place that you do want to be. Now, every seller hopefully can see themselves as that guide I've just described.

 

Speaker 1:

And that is different from seeing yourself as a product pusher. I wanted to clarify that first. Your question about how do I get there? Well, first of all, it's mindset. You need to have the intention to take people to a place where there are exciting new possibilities. You need to understand people, not just understand your product in order to do that because you got to make the link. The link is, “All right. I sell SAS software. It's the same as a dozen other solutions out there. Mine's better because X, Y, Z, oh, and price.”

 

Speaker 1:

That's just not inspiring. I don't want to go there. I don't have any desire to follow you. There's nothing about possibilities of the future in that equation. But if you know about me, I'm your buyer and you know my needs or you know the values of my company or you know the ways that my performance is going to be measured. If you've asked me just even one or two questions that tap into what I value, well, then you know where the possibilities are. And you know that exciting place that I want to be and now I need you as my guide to get me there.

 

How to Uncover and Magnify Your Buyer’s Interest · [12:17] 

 

Will Barron:

I want to dumb things down just slightly, because we're talking on a high level here. So more experienced salespeople might be going, “Yep. Makes sense. I need to just shift my mindset. I need to just realign how I talk to myself. The words I used to describe myself, and this will all kick into action.”

 

Will Barron:

Then you'll have another group of people listening and perhaps and I've been in this mindset as well of, the struggling between the gap of how you describe, “I've got a product. It's the cheapest. That's how I'm going to sell it. I just need to be in front of more people,” which means email automation, which means dialer and call calling and spamming people.” There's a gap between that and understanding the journey. How do we uncover what the journey is so we can describe it to ourselves and potentially describe it to a potential customer? And what I mean by that is even someone who is cold calling for dollars, there's still a journey that they've got to take the potential customer on. But until we, I guess what is the journey? What is that narrative? And then how can we relate our own ideas to that?

 

Speaker 1:

So from the seller's perspective, the journey goes like this. You're a buyer, you have a need, I have a product, let's do business. That's the whole journey from a buyer's perspective, there's more involved. It's maybe I have a need and I probably have something that's already kind of filling that need. But in addition to that kind of need, I also have lots of other needs. I have lots of other pressing issues. I have lots of other things on my mind today. And until the value is heightened for me, I'm not going anywhere. There is no journey. So first step is that you need to understand and then magnify my interest before there's ever going to be any desire or any sort of action taken. You can't leapfrog over all those other steps or you're left in the dust.

 

Questions that Help Uncover the Buyer’s Journey · [14:13] 

 

Will Barron:

So how do we magnify the desire? And you've explained this perfectly. I was meant to my words slightly then. How do we go? What questions do we need to ask to get to each stage of the buying journey? So forget the selling journey for a second. If we're putting all our attention on the bio and serving them, how do we get past that moment where we call up, they've got a problem, it's not high priority for them, but perhaps we know it should be a higher priority?

 

Speaker 1:

So we need to ask, “What are they doing now?” We need to find out how satisfied they are with what they're doing now. And there are ways that you can ask these questions so that you get actual information. And then you need to find out what they do value what they don't value, what would be ideal for them. So it might go something like this if you're asking for actual questions. Maybe it's “Will, tell me what you're doing with your blah blah problem?” And you give me a little bit of information and I listen very closely. I don't listen just for my cue to pounce on something. I need the whole story. So I'm listening. You tell me your situation. You tell me what you're doing. And I say, “Oh, interesting. What do you like about that?” And you tell me what you like.

 

Speaker 1:

You probably also tell me what you don't like, but I don't have to ask it that way at first. If you don't give me any negatives, I say, “So sounds like you're very satisfied. If you had a magic wand, what would you wave? What would you do differently? If you could.” And you're looking for the opportunity now you've gone from listening to the situation. Now you're listening for the opportunity. And you find out anything at this point, still not to pounce, but because to magnify, we have to say, “Really, why would that be important for you?” So you find out what it is that they think they'd like to see different. Now we need to deepen the value. We need to understand why it matters. And they're selling themselves at this point because they are beginning to have that forefront, “Oh yeah, this is bad. And it's bad for me.”

 

What to Do If You’re Struggling to Uncover the Buyer’s Real Needs · [16:10]

 

Will Barron:

What happens, Deb? Or what questions can we ask if we get little response back? Taking off the table that they, it's not a good time for them or they're not in the right mindset, perhaps they want to have a good conversation, but we're struggling to uncover what the real needs are. Cause I feel this is the crux of the whole thing. And especially for the sales people listening, if you can undercover that they've got a real need. And again, I like the phrase you use, you don't pounce on it and you can uncover it and magnify it and go deeper.

 

Will Barron:

Then the rest of it kind of falls through. You don't need to use weird manipulative closing techniques. You don't need to be discounting, putting pressure on using scarcity and none, all that disappears when there's a real need. And you can hopefully you feel confident and that you can lead the buyer to the solution. So I feel this is the real crux of the conversation here. What do we do when we're struggling to… We know, because I've come in this scenario before, we know the need. How do we get them? Or what questions can we ask when they're just not seeing it without us kind of just telling them and outlining it and being so blunt about it?

 

Speaker 1:

Yes. So I've been doing something interesting with cold emails. So even from the very beginning to have this mindset that I want to understand you and your situation. And this has been fairly effective for me. I sell training and coaching services. And in my cold emails, I've started giving nothing but a multiple choice question. My multiple choice question is for the training services you've used in the last three years, which of these is true. And then I list four things that are bad, typically about sales training. And I've actually gotten a fairly good number. I have to go back and run the percentages, but much more than I'm accustomed to of responses. Usually then they come with a little narrative. So, I don't like that the training goes away and never comes back after the workshop. We spent, blah, blah, blah, money. We had these problems, no matter what we do, we never seem to get an ROI on training. They give me a lot of detail.

 

Speaker 1:

Well, now we have a conversation. The conversation has started. So I just tapped right into the pain point. I made it okay. And I didn't ask for any business, I didn't sell myself in that first email and say, “We don't do any of those things,” which we don't, but I waited for the opening before the conversation naturally goes there.

 

The Most Important Rule of Any Cold Outreach Strategy · [18:30] 

 

Will Barron:

Okay. This is fantastic. And stop me if kind of any of this gets into too much detail on your business front. I don't want to be out in all your business secrets and having all letters do the same thing, Deb. Is this a cold email that's going to someone who doesn't know who you are or is this a somewhat of a warm lead?

 

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm talking about cold, cold, cold emails. When I know someone when I have a referral, which I obviously would prefer, then the conversation is different because I've done some research and I know something and they hopefully know a little bit about me, too, because it was warmed up by an introduction. But even then I generally in a conversation, we'll get to that point where I've been in doing this 12 years, I've heard all the typical complaints about sales training, what's yours? And so we can kind of have it be lighthearted.

 

Will Barron:

So it's the first step, all this then to get inside knowledge from the potential customer. Is that the fastest way to build trust with them? If you can just grab something from them, relay it back. And then I guess this bounce back and forth builds the beginning of a relationship. Is this is the first priority with a called email, for example, to get something back from them rather than to book a meeting or pitch them or send them a slide deck?

 

“To make a sale, you have to make a difference.” – Deb Calvert · [19:48] 

 

Speaker 1:

It is in my book. See, to make a sale, you have to make a difference. And the first difference I want to make is to show that I'm different and that I can bring value and that we can have a conversation. And it's not going to be the tension right out of the gate between buyer and seller, where your defences are up. I got to take the defences down so that we can get acquainted and find out if we are right for each other. So that's all I wanted to beginning as a conversation and some insight about you.

 

Situational Approach to Sales · [20:20] 

 

Will Barron:

Perfect. Is this something that we can do at in-person events at conferences? Is this a conversation starter that we should be leading with? Help me through this. Should we be saying, I know the problems that you are probably facing with Sam, your current SAS software, this, this, and this and this, which one's the biggest pain in your? Or should we be more humble about it and try and uncover what their problems are without putting words in their mouth?

 

Speaker 1:

Well, I think this is going to be situational and it's going to depend in part on your industry and your own personality style. It's not an either or question. Sometimes you will approach and people will be open and receptive and you can just ask very broad, open ended questions. Other times, as you said, they're a little bit more reserved and they have their guard up. That's when a multiple choice type of a question can help to break the ice in that way.

 

Why You Need to Ask the Right If You’re to Get a Response to Your Cold Email · [21:18] 

 

Will Barron:

Well, I'm going to suck some free sales training off you right here, Deb. So I've got some ad space to sell on the podcast next quarter. I think there's four episodes left for the pretty much for the whole of the year now, which is fantastic. I'm going to do so literally. So it's Monday, today on Wednesday, I'm going to do some outreach. I'm going to send some, there's no real cold emails because most of the people that I'm emailing within the sales SAS software space know who I am. And half of them have been on the podcast themselves when I've reached out to these marketing managers, directors. So with that in mind, that it's a cold email, it's a cold conversation, but not perhaps the coldest of relationships. What questions should I be asking them, perhaps from an ad sales perspective, to tee up a conversation where we're just talking about podcast marketing in general, rather than sponsoring the podcast itself?

 

Speaker 1:

Hidden agenda here. Yes. A little free sales training. In your shoes, I think one of the things I would like to know first is how are you currently reaching your target market? How are you currently reaching salespeople around the world? How are you currently reaching sales managers around the world who make decisions? However you'd choose to frame it depending on who you're calling on and-

 

Will Barron:

And, and sorry=

 

Speaker 1:

Still no pitch behind it.

 

Will Barron:

Let me just stop you here because I want to get, it could be any example, just using this as its top of mind for me at the moment. What does that sentence look like? Does that an email saying, “Hi Bob, I'm just interested and intrigued of how you're reaching people at the moment. I'd love to just learn a little bit more about your marketing funnel.” Is that what we should be asking? Because that it seems almost like a time suck for someone to reply to that immediately.

 

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So I would, first of all, take out some of the minimising words, just want to, and this is going to be boom, hard hitting because that's something people will be more likely to respond to. Is it a time suck? Well, I don't know about your prospecting efforts, but I know about the folks I coach primarily they're making 200 calls to get two conversations. That's a time suck. I'd rather make 50 calls and get five conversations. It just saves a lot of time. Do I have to change my emails and ask sort of a ponderous, non-leading not going to make the sale from this first call? Sure. But that's okay because the numbers still play out and it saves a lot of time.

 

Speaker 1:

Some people have even been doing, I haven't done one for my business yet, but I've been coaching some others who have been successful, they're doing a pure survey and that's how they position it. Subject line and beyond. I am surveying this kind of company I'd like to know what's what are your current approaches for reaching your target market. And from there, you have information that can be valuable in other ways. And you have an idea of who your most likely potential candidates are. The ones who maybe aren't entirely happy with what they've been trying.

 

How to Magnify the Value of Your Product or Service · [24:15] 

 

Will Barron:

So what would the next step of that process be? Say, I get an email back or some the SAS sales person gets an email back saying, “This is what I'm not happy with.” And I guess the context of the end of that email is probably, “Who the heck are you? And why am I telling you all my inner secrets?”

 

Speaker 1:

Right. And you might put that into the email especially if it's more of a format, like a survey. So you might say, “I have one of the largest podcasts in the sales space and I'm interested to know because I am staying on top of information like this, about podcast and sales. I'm continually learning.” You might just put something else into it like that. Got your question, get your answer back.

 

Speaker 1:

Your next step then is to magnify the value. So you are currently using this, you told me, and you have a gap that looks like this, you mentioned. Help me understand why that matters to you. We want to get to value. What would it mean to you if you could reach more and different and global? Okay. What are those benefits to you? You get them telling you as opposed to you assuming, and then you get to the point of, I think I can do that for you. I think I could help you to achieve those goals. Here's how others have done it and the door's open.

 

The Unique Email Sequence That Sets You Up As An Industry Expert · [25:38] 

 

Will Barron:

Perfect. And this seems like a great opportunity. Then once we've done this a few times and we've got a good number of responses, and if there's some kind of trend to that. Is this opportunity then to pile on top of that next cold outreach email of I've spoke to this, this, this, and this? Maybe not the people, but the organisations. These are the trends and the problems that they're facing. Are you following in suit with this? Because then that sets you up as a, not a thought leader, there might be a better way to describe that, but as an industry expert. Is that the next level of all this?

 

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. Yes. That's your content piece. And so now you have an opportunity. What old school, white paper, video, infographic, there're all sorts of things you could do once you'd gathered enough of that information.

 

The Difference Between Manipulative and Influential Selling · [26:16]

 

Will Barron:

Okay. So final thing on this, just to play devil's advocate one more time, Deb. A lot of this, if we're aiming from one way, and we're trying to get to the other, some people might describe this as manipulative, because we're not being upfront of what we're actually after in these conversations, is this a just a mindset shift that we have to make of for us to win the business we need to serve people. So we need to ask questions like this and gather data from them. So it's not me manipulative. Versus, I have this hidden agenda and I'm trying to console someone into having a conversation with me so I can show my pitch down the throat. And that is manipulative. Can we have the same actions, but because of the intent behind it have different results?

 

“The difference between manipulating and influencing is about whose needs are being served. When you are manipulating someone, you're getting them to do something that they otherwise would never do because it's not good for them. When you're influencing someone, you're having a conversation and you're spotlighting something that is a shift for them and it benefits you and it benefits them, too.” – Deb Calvert · [27:03] 

 

Speaker 1:

Yeah. The difference between manipulating and influencing is in the heart of what you just said. And it's about whose needs are being served. When you are manipulating someone, you're getting them to do something that they otherwise would never do because it's not good for them. It's only good for you. When you're influencing someone, you're having a conversation and you're spotlighting something that is a shift for them and it benefits you and it benefits them, too. That's the difference. And what I'm describing, heightening the values, spotlighting the problem, that's all in service of being able to help someone do something that they want to do. You'll know because the value they tell you is where you take them.

 

Why You Need to Offer Fesh Value Every Time You Interact with a Buyer · [27:47] 

 

Will Barron:

Awesome. And just before we wrap up there, but there any other data points, is there anything surprising that came from the research that went into the book, which we'll touch on in a second, that kind of ties in with any of this?

 

Speaker 1:

The research was fascinating and there's a bunch of it in the book that I think people, I'm getting emails every day like, “Tell me more about this and I'm excited about that.” So it's a lot of fun. On this topic about where we started sort of being pushy and persevering, I think another relevant data point is this.

 

Speaker 1:

In order to bring that value as you're persevering, instead of being the buzzing fly, it's that every contact that you have back with somebody offers new value. And one of the ways that you do that is through something that buyers really like called outsight. It's a real word. I didn't make it up. Outsight is a contrast to insight. See, we all know that we're supposed to bring and co-create insights with our buyers, but they come from us. They're limited by their very nature. Outsight means I'm listening to competitors and vendors and people inside and outside my organisation. I'm listening to my customers, even the ones who are prospects and don't buy from me. I'm constantly on the lookout for little bits of information that help me know what's new, what's next, what's possible. And then you're able to innovate. See outsight is that it's the gateway to innovation. So we have to be more open-minded and buyers respond favourably when we do,

 

Where to Source Outsights to Use in Your Cold Emails · [29:17] 

 

Will Barron:

Are there any questions that we should be asking are great customers to pull insights or outsights out of them so that we can share that with potential new relationships that we're trying to build?

 

Speaker 1:

Yes, It's a hard one, requires a little bit of humility, but I think it's really important to ask your long term established customers, what they like and what they don't like about doing business with you. I don't mean your company. I mean, with you. And it can be in the form of sort of a service check. So it's something like, “Hey, well, we've been working together for three months now. It's important to me that we continue to build this relationship. So this is a service check. I'd like you to tell me two things that you would like me to do differently so that you'd continue to do business with me and give me referrals every day.” And I have to be ready for whatever you tell me. I might not like it, but I need to know. And then you can take that to others because you're building your reputation, your brand and your business acumen and your personal ability to satisfy customers.

 

What To Do With the Quotes, Anecdotes, and Insights You Get From Buyers · [30:26]

 

Will Barron:

And, the final one. Cause I could ask you questions on this, all Deb all day, Deb, final one on this. And we'll wrap up here. With this data essentially because we're collected data here, right? With all this data that we're collecting with, hopefully these both quotes and anecdotes of problems in the space of industry problems that are being resolved or not resolved, future potential problems of not making change. What should we be doing as a B2B sales professional, not a marketer, not an organisation, what should we be doing with these quotes, anecdotes, insights? Is there an opportunity here to, or let me ask you more bluntly, should we be creating a blog post or a PDF that goes in our email signature of top five problems I personally see in the industry right now, or should we just be passing these off to marketing and let them do their things with them?

 

Speaker 1:

Yeah. I don't believe that every salesperson needs to be a content marketer. If you have the capability to do a video, to do a PDF post, to do a blog every day, whatever you want to do and can do, that's not a bad thing. It will work for you. But for those who don't have time or don't have comfort level or don't have social media presence, don't let this be a barrier to you. Instead, the way that everybody including you should be using this first and foremost is to have your own confidence, to know for yourself and to be responsive in the things that you do to continually be pushing to get better and better. That's the first way to use it. The rest of it is gravy. It's icing on the cake.

 

Will Barron:

Perfect. And so anecdotally, as you say this, I do something similar and this is going to sound really daft to the audience. It's going to might sound daft to yourself as well, Deb. I, my younger brother, he came over and did a bit of an internship for me, not too long ago. He's looking for a sales and marketing job right now. So he spent a little bit of time here in the office doing some behind the scenes work for me so we could see what's going on behind the scenes of the podcast and how it's growing and how I and the team grow it. One of the things I asked him to do was to go through my LinkedIn messages from the past couple of years and to essentially pull any nice messages that came in from random people, that it's a weird scenario.

 

Will Barron:

And I say this when I meet people in person at different conferences and events. I'll meet people. And they've been listening to me every other day for two years, three years, four years on the show and they feel like they've got, because I show quite a lot of my personal life and my goals, aspirations on the show to keep people motivated, to have a longer narrative over the podcast, so it's not just one episode. People tune in over the longer term they see the show grow and else.

 

Will Barron:

So people feel like they know me. So people send me these really nice messages when I don't know who they are. I don't know that they existed up until this moment. And so it's always really humbling to get a really nice message to come through. So I got our Elliot to go through and pull out all these quotes, put them in a big document.

 

Will Barron:

And whenever I need my confidence boosting, whenever I've recorded you and this episode's been awesome. But whenever I've recorded a really poor show and it's been my fault and I don't know if it's going to air and I've wasted the guest time, it doesn't happen very often. But for whatever reason, I'm down on the impact that the show is having. And I need that kick in the ass to do something new, to take a chance, take a risk. I'll look through this document, I'll see all these quotes from people. And that gets me going and gets me excited.

 

Will Barron:

So from a confidence perspective, as you said that then there's no reason why, if you've got a nice little document on the side in your computer, no one else sees, from all the nice things that customers have said to you. That's probably a good way to get yourself going in the morning on a Monday when you're a bit sluggish. And you're not sure the value, you're doubting that the value that you can give the world, you're doubting the value that you can give your potential customers. You're not sure of you're a leader that just came to mind then as a little hack that I've done, which sounds silly, but it gets me motivated occasionally in what I would be worth sharing with the show.

 

Speaker 1:

I don't think that's silly at all. I think that's smart because success breeds success and confidence is contagious. And in sales, we've got to keep ourselves motivated and you do need to know all the good things that you've done for others. I think that's a smart strategy.

 

Parting Thoughts · [34:30] 

 

Will Barron:

Perfect. Well, if you think it's smart, I'm going to, I'll take that, Deb. And with that, tell us a little bit about the book where we can find it and then where we can find out more about you as well.

 

Speaker 1:

The book is Stop Selling and Start Leading. It's only been out for a few weeks now, but it's already rocketing off the charts. It's pretty exciting. I have two co-authors Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, who are the preeminent, the foremost experts in the space of leadership. And so we collaborated, we pulled in proven evidence based practises of leaders. And we applied this to selling like, “What would happen if sellers adopted those proven behaviours of leaders? We surveyed buyers, we collected seller stories and we're onto something. Nobody can dispute that this is smart approach that just makes sense fundamentally. And the results are pretty clear. So hope everybody will take a look at the book and then let me know what you think, because we're thinking already about what next, what, what additional research should we be conducting and how can we continue to add value here?

 

Will Barron:

Perfect. Well, I'll link to the book, your homepage as well, and show this episode on salesman.org and Deb, pleasure as always. And thank you for joining us on the Sales Nation podcast.

 

Speaker 1:

Thank you, Will. Always a pleasure.

Table of contents
Get your free book today:
Untitled-4
Selling Made Simple
Find and close more sales, like clockwork, using 15 proven, step-by-step frameworks.
100% Free sales skill quiz:
Do you have the 15 traits of high performing sellers?
Learn your strengths and weaknesses in an instant. Don't get left behind.
illustration-web-4 1
Do you have the 15 traits of high performing sales people?
Learn your strengths and weaknesses in an instant. Taken by over 10,000+ of your competitors. Don't get left behind.
22_LINKEDIN SUCCESS FRAMEWORK (3) 1