Uncover HOT Sales Prospects BEFORE Your Competition

Tibor Shanto is a cold outreach selling expert and author.

On this episode of The Salesman Podcast, Tibor shares how we can use trigger events to win business from buyers who don’t realise they’re in the market.

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:

Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Tibor Shanto
Cold Outreach Selling Expert

Resources: 

Transcript

Tibor Shanto:

We have to be the catalyst that triggers the reaction. Again, change the focus from event to reaction, because there are events happening every day and people don't react to them, which means there's nothing for me to capitalise on. Right. But if I can give them a cold call, as you say, which I love by the way, they're not that contrary to false rumours. But I think as a salesperson, especially if you work in a company that has any sort of structure, just walk down the hall and talk to the person in your company that does the job that you're trying to sell to the next company.

 

What is a Trigger Event? · [01:10]

 

Will Barron:

Hello sales agent, I'm Will Barron and host of The Salesman podcast. The world's biggest B2B sales show where we help you not just hit yourself a target but really thrive in sales. On today's show we have Tibor Shanto, he is one of the world's leading sales experts and he's the author of, or co-author of the book Shift. We're diving into trigger events on this episode, show what they are, and then Tibor's quite unique insights on when we should be using them, when we shouldn't be using them and how we can sell to people who plan along, they're happy, who don't have a huge need right now, how we can sell to these individuals, because these are the people that our competition are not targeting. And so with all that said, let's jump right in. What is a trigger event, and then we can deal with whether they're still relevant today.

 

Tibor Shanto:

A trigger event is an event and they come in different forms and you can read the book, there are generally three categories, personnel change, some sort of event or regulatory thing. But it's something that happens that sets a series of events into motion. And that's why in the book there's a lot of imagery around dominoes, the first domino falls and that happens to get the rest of the dominoes to fall. So if you will, a trigger event could be a change in personnel, VP of sales leaves, that's an opportunity. And in the book we in fact elaborate that in fact, that's three opportunities because whoever replaced them is also an opportunity, where they went is an opportunity and where the replacement came from is an opportunity. So one triggered one domino falling presents three opportunities to salespeople. A couple of other quick example, financial notices you read in the wires that a company's gotten 100 million dollars to do some sort of project, you have something that fits into that project, the notice on the financing is the trigger event. My own personal life I still use trigger events in a very specific way. I have a resume up on every single job board in north America, and I'm not looking for a job, but every time somebody posts for a salesperson, I get an email and that triggers a phone call to those people.

 

Tibor Shanto:

“Hey, what are you going to do to ramp this person up out of the gate?” And I've gotten engagements like that. So it's an event that causes something to happen that you can leverage to 

either get a sale or engage with a particular prospect.

 

Trigger Events and How They’ve Evolved Over the Past Decade · [02:46]

 

Will Barron:

So you literally wrote the book on this few years ago, what's changed since then, Tibor? How have your thoughts on this evolved?

 

“What you find when you co-author a book is it's really a lesson on compromise. It's a lot like marriage, but no nocturnal rewards.” – Tibor Shanto · [03:35] 

 

Tibor Shanto:

So I co-wrote the book. I didn't write it. A lot of the original thinking was done by my co-author at the time. So I co-wrote the book. I think what I came to realise, and I spoke to my co-author about this at the time that the book that we were putting together was a great primer. And I think everybody should read it for that reason, but it is just a start, it's like getting on the yellow brick road and really not getting too far down towards the Emerald city. So I've always been the type of guy who's been attracted towards the Emerald city so I kept going. And the thing that's occurred to me after I wrote that book are two things. One is, in the book it says that, and this was again, what you find when you co-author a book is it's really a lesson and compromise. It's a lot like marriage, but no nocturnal rewards. So what you find is you have to give and take. So one of the things that I gave on was this notion that status quo is this dark dreary place where sales don't happen, but on daily basis, I pick up the phone and call people who have never heard of me before, I say something to them, something very specific pre-planned. And these people who were previously status quo, all of a sudden are inviting me in and are buying.

 

Tibor Shanto:

So there's one area where I disagree with the book, and the premise was that events happen in this area and the window that's described as the window of dissatisfaction. So in the book, we talk about people who are completely satisfied, the status quo ostensibly they're not buying, at the other end you have the people who are actively looking, so these are people ostensibly in immediate pain and immediate need. So they'll buy, they're easy, you can pick them off. So the opportunity for a smart salesperson and enterprising salesperson was in that window of dissatisfaction where something happened to somebody who was in the status quo, an event happened that triggered some element of dissatisfaction, and now that makes them an opportunity for a salesperson. The problem for me since then is I started doing some reading, after the book, I started going in a different direction and I wanted to figure out what makes a customer loyal. Because if I could borrow for what makes a customer loyal and begin to introduce those elements or those attributes into the prospecting process, then I can hit those nerves that get a person to be loyal, maybe I can get them to come over. And one of the things that I found in research, and if people are interested, they could read a book by two guys called Bell and Patterson.

 

“According to a book called Customer Loyalty Guaranteed, 75% of people who switch from company A to company B said that they were satisfied or completely satisfied at the time that they switched. Which blows a big hole in this notion of windows dissatisfaction, because you don't have to wait till they become dissatisfied. There are things that you could do as a salesperson that will make things happen now.” – Tibor Shanto · [04:50] 

 

Tibor Shanto:

It's a book called Customer Loyalty Guaranteed. And they talk about the fact that 75% of people who switch from company A to company B. So they go from AT&T to whatever the competitor is in the states, I guess it would be Verizon. They go from one to the other, 75% of people who switch from one to the other said that they were satisfied or completely satisfied at the time that they switched. Which blows a big hole in this notion of windows dissatisfaction, because you don't have to wait till they become dissatisfied there are things that you could do as a salesperson that will make things happen now. And the big misnomer about trigger events is there's a disproportionate amount of focus put on the event and no focus at all put on the reaction. And if you think about trigger events, what we capitalise on is the reaction, not the event. Everybody sees that financial notice at the same time so now it becomes a race, all we've done is move the starting line, right? But if I could trigger the reaction in you without the event happening, so if I can get you to think along the lines that the event would make you think along without having to wait for the event.

 

Tibor Shanto:

I always say waiting for the event is like waiting for a bus with everybody else going to the same destination. Where's the advantage? But if I can trigger the emotion in you that the event would trigger before the event happens, then I have a leg up. And that's where my head is at these days.

 

Trigger Events Versus Habitual Sales Processes: How Should You Divide Your Time · [07:05] 

 

Will Barron:

Perfect. We'll come on to both building customer loyalty or the triggers for building customer loyalty, how we can do it before hand. How you can engineer the event or the precursor to the event so you can get ahead of the pack in a second. But one thing I wanted to cover just before we move on to them, kind of two real practical resources was this notion of trigger events and if we are super conscious of our time as sales people, trigger events versus spending time just outbound prospecting, cold calling, cold emailing things of this nature. So I always found trigger events were difficult to give practical application to because it's a spur of the moment. Perhaps you've got Google alerts set up, perhaps you're monitoring LinkedIn, but it's very difficult to set a habit to build on these events versus cold calling. You can call people in the morning, in the evenings, you can drop 10 emails a day. You can build sales habits that I find for most salespeople and myself have better slight edge returns over the long run versus the random trigger event that would happen in the industry.

 

Will Barron:

And as you'd alluded to everyone's then scrambling on that opportunity, because the sales manager is getting down the neck because they've been told by this CFO of their company who's had this conversation and it's gone down the grapevine. And so my question here, Tibor, is your kind of evolution of this thinking it might be the answer to it, but is there a percentage of the time we should, or is there amount of focus that we should be spending on trigger events in general? Because obviously they are important when they do happen versus the habitual sales processes that we can put into place of 10 calls a day, five emails a day, is one more important than the other in B2B sales and is the one or the other should we be spending more time and more focus and energy on?

 

Tibor Shanto:

I don't think one is more important than the other. I do believe in the expanding toolkit. So the more things that I could do to engage with potential buyers, the better. I think the second question's probably the more important one, which is how much time do I allocate to each because I don't want people to believe it's one versus the other. It's one integrated with the other. And in fact, things that you learn in trigger events, you can actually put into cold calls because you can test what triggered the last guy with the next guy looking for that reaction. Right? So again, you have to figure it out I'm staying at the very high level, but if I know that I've gotten a certain reaction as a result of an event with certain people, then I can still probe that area on a cold call and see. Because there's just as much of a random element of cold calls as there is to trigger events. The guy doesn't pick up, there's no event, right? So I don't think it's one versus the other. I think it's both because you can learn from different things into that. So I think… But I do want to change maybe one of your perceptions and I think maybe trigger events would've had a better name that have been named trip wire.

 

Tibor Shanto:

Because I think that there are things that you can put out there that will, think of it like a spider web, you're that spider in the middle and there's all kinds of things happening out there. Even though you have these extra eyes you can't keep your eyes on everything all the time so you put this web out there and as soon as something happens at the extreme edge of the web you're aware of it and you can begin to act and move towards that. So I tend to think of trigger events not so much as events instead of trip wires. And when an event or prospect or something happens to trip one of the wires, then I know what set of actions I need to put into motion in order to capture the opportunity presented by that trip wire. So if you think of it as a trip wire then you can do a whole bunch of things in advance. I think to fair in the book we do go into things that you could do to put yourself in a better position to take advantage of those triggers. My question is that everybody's waiting for that same trigger, yeah, you're now fighting with less people, but you still fighting to get on the bus. Right?

 

Trigger Event Essentials For Success in Sales · [10:50] 

 

Will Barron:

That makes total sense. And I know from just to get a practical element to this, me in medical devices selling to the NHS here in the UK, we would typically know that budget was going to be thrown at operating theatres way before it physically happened. But I guess the whole of the industry knew that this was happening because we would literally, and I assume the competition would have as well. We literally had a product specialist in the office monitoring every single line of communication he or she possibly could with senior execs with the NHS and more money was flowing in different directions. So just on this before we get into the conversation of how we can engineer some of this, rather than having to be reactive to it, how do we, if we have not got these lines of communication internally within our own organisation coming to us, how can we monitor some of these trigger events? How can we suss what are out and how can we be literally here, the first to react to them?

 

Tibor Shanto:

So I think again, to me, and it's going to sound broad and I'm happy to take it down to as much detail as you want. We have to be the catalyst that triggers the reaction. Again, change the focus from event to reaction. Because there are events happening every day and people don't react to them, which means there's nothing for me to capitalise on. Right? So again, trigger event is nice, it's the modern day version of compelling events. It's cute, looks good on a book title but it's really not what it's about. It's about the reaction, right? It's about that individual and you can have the same event and you can have five VPs of sales from the transport industry and each will react a different way. So there's this misnomer that an event will cause the same reaction to everybody else. And I think that's why people become disappointed because according to the playbook, he should have reacted like this but he didn't read the same playbook so he doesn't do it. Right? So I go and tell my boss that my pipeline's anaemic because the guy didn't react the way he was supposed to, not that I didn't do my job. But anyway, it's a whole different story. I think what we have to do is first of all, I don't worry about the 10% that is actively looking.

 

Tibor Shanto:

They're going to come to you, they're going to find you, they're that abstract 57% of the way through the buying journal that everybody likes to misquote in the industry. Then you have the other that I don't call the window of dissatisfaction, I call people who are passively looking. They're not quite in the status quo, but they're not limited to buying so they could suck up a lot of your time if you don't test it or they could become buyers. So again, you need to constantly test. What my focus is, is on that 70% that called status quo, status quo, depending which side of the ocean you're on. And to me, the way to get to those guys, they're intuitively cocoon. So the book suggests, wait and wait and wait until somebody kicks them into whatever and they come out of their cocoon and then you can grab them. I'm sure it's much more eloquent than that, but that's where it comes down to. Right? But that's clearly in the book, in the manual it says wait for that 70% to change their status from being status quo to window of dissatisfaction. So I've got to wait. And here I do agree with you, I got to wait for a random event that whatever [DAD 00:13:56] you believe in is going to put into motion for me to get a sale, not a way to make quota, right?

 

Tibor Shanto:

So what has caused? So each of us… So when you go back to 75% of people switching being satisfied or completely satisfied at the time that they switched, what caused them to move? When I went back and spoke people, both people who left me as customer, people who came onboard and so on, what I found out is that was most aligned with their future plans, where they were planning to go in the future. So you call somebody who status quo and you introduce to them the same concept that a trigger would set into motion and it'll fall on deaf ears because they can't relate to that. They didn't have that problem, it didn't happen to them, and even though they saw the event on the news, it had no impact on them, right? So they're going to keep going. But if I can give them a cold call, as you say, which I love by the way, they're not that contrary to false rumours, but if I give them a cold call and I start talking about the type of objectives that the last six people of his type have bought from me and how I helped them achieve it and the kind of outcomes that they got as a result.

 

Tibor Shanto:

And not only did we help their people do one extra call per day, but as a result of that, their margin is better improved by this much. And that had a positive effect on their line of credit and they were able to fund other projects, right? So nothing to do with sales, all to do with their business, that kind of conversation to a person who's interested in winning more projects and is interested in stretching their budgets and dollars further is going to cause the same kind of reaction as let's say, an event of a tender for a big project, or if they lost a project because they didn't have the right financial structure or whatever the case might be. So to me, the way to trigger that reaction is to align with the things that they're thinking about, not to base it on a random event, as you say. But that takes work research and that's something that a lot of sales people just don't like to do.

 

How to Use Positive Trigger Events to Uncover Warm Prospects · [16:01] 

 

Will Barron:

Why is it that what you're describing here is taking someone, giving them a potential possible future that gets them excited and we're selling by being positive, by being experts. And it makes total sense, right? Why is it that typically salespeople are both taught and then seems more intuitive to go into the negative element of all this? And this is where particularly a trigger event of sorts will come along and shit, I let the fan and then they need to spend money. They need to change things. Why is it that we always deviate and we typically default to this, well, if you don't do this X, Y, Z's going to happen, it's going to be horrible that's why you need to move forward, versus what you just described Tibor which is, Hey, everything's going fine, but you don't want to just be fine you want to take things to the next level. This is going to make you look great and yada, yada, as opposed to mitigate the horrible negative effects of a trigger event. Why do we default to the negative rather than the positive in sales?

 

Tibor Shanto:

So I think there's a couple of reasons, one and I'll advocate for the frontline to some degree they wound up and told to do that. So, they do it because they want to keep their jobs, fairly safe thing. Right? And I think that goes to the bigger reason which is for the most part, sales has focused on that part of the human character that they like to leverage the fact that we're somewhat afraid of things, right? 70% of us are risk averse, we talk a lot about the fight and flight and they know that most people would tend to, especially, when we approach them as opposed to them approaching us, will tend to likely more flight than fight for their whatever. So I think in general, we're looking for pain. Again, if you go back to solution selling the latent pain, right? Talk to sales people about what do they want to know about their customers, they want to know their problems, their pain, because why? Because we're selling solutions, right?

 

Tibor Shanto:

You ask most people what solution or what it is that they're solving because what is a solution, it's solving a problem. They haven't got a clue. So I think the other part of it is to talk to the 70% that are in the status quo, who are completely immune to any sales message that we have, we need to do some work. And I don't mean that facetious, but I think you and I have spoken about this before that my son used to be a competitive athlete in track and field [inaudible 00:18:21] high school. So I used to take him to all kinds of meet, [inaudible 00:18:25] but it was fun because one of things that was interesting to me is those kids and they were 14, 15. When they were getting ready for the 100 metre and at their age it was about a 15 second event, they warmed up for about 45 minutes before that race and those kids who made it through the first heat went into the second one. What they warmed up again, right? And the ones that got into the third one, guess what? They did it again. Now you show me one salesperson that watches your podcast that practises that much for any sales event they go to.

 

“Leave your product in the car. Go in there with just your brushes and your colour palettes and paint the picture with the prospect.” – Tibor Shanto · [19:19] 

 

Tibor Shanto:

So it takes work. It takes work to understand what a business is trying to do because you can't… You have to be three, four circles beyond the product, right? Because the product will kill you every time because a status quo person's going to right away fixate on that. So you have to really… I always have this joke that leave your product in the car, right? Go in there with just your brushes and your colour palettes and paint the picture with the prospect. But to do that, to fly solo without a safety net, without the product, without the spreadsheet, without your social media and without your tweets behind you, that's hard work. And I'm not sure that sales people A, are always willing to do it, more importantly I'm not sure they're always given permission or time to do it because they're constantly being whipped to go after that know 10% that's in pain.

 

How the Status Can Be Your Competitive Advantage · [19:50] 

 

Will Barron:

Is this a competitive advantage for say SaaS software where there's multiple competitors within the realm, there's a salespeople or perhaps to come down to the salesperson if the software is very similar. Is it a competitive advantage to be able to go to the status quo individuals? And I guess even if they don't want to buy right now, you are the first in line, right? You're top of mind for when perhaps things do change. Is this a real competitive advantage that the audience should be considering as a way to break free from the monotony of, well, I've just spoke to your competitor, they're doing this with the price, they're doing this with a feature, they're going to shoehorn this in for us. Is this a way to kind of move away from all that?

 

Tibor Shanto:

Yeah, because I think at one point you have to ask to what end, because that sounds to me like they're buying by the pound, right? So you don't like that or I'll put in a couple of more pounds and we'll have silver studded rhinestone things on there instead of regular. But you're still selling. Now, the challenge for SaaS, it's funny because I spoke to a SaaS company and I get along with the fellow quite well so it wasn't… When I was talking to him about the way they approach things with objective based selling and so on, he was very fascinated. But he also pointed out that a lot of SaaS companies, including theirs, solve to one particular thing. So in some ways until their product line expands, they're almost forced to go out and sell this way. Right?

 

Tibor Shanto:

Then they do run into that problem that you have three different dialers or accelerators or whatever they want to call themselves these days. And then I think you do have to find, and I think at that point, again, some of the things that I talked to them because now you have to find how that person is going to look at productivity and risk and so forth. And I go back to something that people think I say humorously, but I'm quite serious. I think that if you're going to succeed in sales, you should read the 10 day MBA because you should understand what a person who's making a decision from a business point of view is going through. They're not making a purchase with this buying cycle. They don't have a buying cycle that aligns with my sales cycle. They have things that they're trying to do within their business.

 

Tibor Shanto:

And if I can talk to them about the things they're trying to do within their business, then I have a much better way of saying, well, this is how my offering can help you do that. That's the work that I think a lot of sales people can do on their own. I think marketing departments can help them. And I think that will equip them to go and talk to some of these people that they normally aren't having any traction with. And then if they're willing to learn, they can learn in the moment because those prospects will tell you what you have to say to the next one.

 

How to Uncover Your Prospect’s Preferred Buying Process · [22:40]

 

Will Barron:

For someone who wants to implement this, Tibor, what would be the step by step by step process? I guess from what research would they have to do?

 

Tibor Shanto:

They send me an email and we set up a time to talk and I train their people to do it. No. I think they have to go…

 

Will Barron:

Well let me just tee this a little bit further because I think there's probably multiple-

 

Tibor Shanto:

I'm just kidding.

 

Will Barron:

…steps to this of… I know you're kidding, but for you to give them the answer now, it's probably the next step for you to refine it for them. But with that said, what is the step of, well, what do they need to achieve with the research beforehand? What does that first call look like? And then when are we asking that kind of question of, or not even a question, when do we start that research of how does this individual buy versus how am I going to sell them and shove my pitch down their throat?

 

Tibor Shanto:

Well, how they buy is step two, why they buy is step one. So, if you think about like, why is in the middle, how is is next. So I think the how they buy, I worry about next. It is important. I'm not minimising, but it doesn't matter until I have a conversation with them. Right? I think the first step that people can do is to implement a serious process of opportunity review, not deal review, but opportunity review and look at all three types of deals. So again, one of the things that I thought the book didn't do salespeople a favour around is to put a lot of emphasis on strictly reviewing wins. And I understand why, because the idea is if you can repeat things that are working, they're going to keep working. Except what if you miss some nuanced little turns here and there and you don't pick up on the trend until much later.

 

Tibor Shanto:

So they have to review all three types of deals, meaning the deals they won, the deals they lost and the deals that went to no decision. Because again, the reason that we win, yeah, we want to know, but we also want to see nuance changes. You want to know why you lost because it's probably not the reason that your sales person thinks. There's an outfit in Atlanta. I forget what their name is. I can find that and send it to you. But I remember talking to one of their principles and their business is postmortem. And time after time, he says the salesperson has no clue why they lost. They feel that it was because of price and some product related competitive advantage or disadvantage. When they go in and do a proper postmortem and talk to all the people that were in the decision, many of whom the salesperson never spoke to because of the way they approach things, they really didn't know why they lost or what they could have done to win.

 

Tibor Shanto:

And I think that that's invaluable information if I'm going to change the way that I sell. And the same thing with the decisions. For two reasons, one is I want to know why they went to the sideline, B, I've got some traction with them already. Maybe that event will come along that will allow me to bring them back into active phase and then I can just take them to the finish line building on the work that I've done before. So I don't want to say it's easy, but I've already done some work. So I think if they did that, I find a lot of organisations celebrate their wins and they want to highlight a couple of things that they did right, and generally they're things that the manager said that they should do. They don't talk about the things that they could have done that the manager didn't talk about for obvious reasons.

 

“The problem is that if you send your salesperson in to a lost opportunity, the customer has now switched gears from buying mode to implementation mode. Every minute they lose not implementing is costing them money. So if you approach them about telling you why you lost, they're going to tell you its price and product. So maybe it should be a different person, somebody from sales ops, from marketing, maybe even sales enablement, but it shouldn't be the same person that just lost the deal, having to go back in and find out why they didn't like him.” – Tibor Shanto · [26:04] 

 

Tibor Shanto:

When it comes to losses, they generally lick their wounds and talk about pricing product and next time, where a few of them take lessons into the future. So the problem is that if you send your salesperson in, especially to a lost opportunity, the customer has now switch gears from buying mode to implementation mode. Every minute they lose not implementing is costing them money. Right? So if you approach them about telling you why you lost, they're going to tell you it's price and product because they need to get to implementing. So you have to think about how you do that. So maybe it should be a different person, somebody from sales ops, from marketing, maybe even sales enablement, but it shouldn't be the same foresaw that just lost the deal, having to go back in and find out why they didn't like him, right? It's just not a good way to learn about what turns customers on.

 

Tibor Shanto:

But I think if they implemented those for wins, losses and those decisions, they would begin to see what are the objectives that they've been able to support. What are the outcomes that those objectives have resulted in and what those have meant on the business. And then it's literally a question of repackaging that information to the next person that looks like that.

 

Using a Lost Sale Analysis to Uncover Why You Lost a Deal · [27:05] 

 

Will Barron:

What does that look like on a practical level? So clearly you're on the phone and you're selling, perhaps you can use an example of yourself or an anonymously a customer, what does that lose data look like? And then how is it repackaged and then brought into something like a cold call or a cold email moving forward?

 

Tibor Shanto:

So what I ultimately do is we go to, and anybody that wants can reach out, but I go to what are the underlying elements of objectives? So I bring it down to the starting point. This is going to vary for industries and companies and so on, but I bring it down to the starting point that it all builds on what's the person's role. So, a CFO in the same company is going to see and define things differently than a plant manager for obvious reasons. So then the next four elements is how can I move risk for them? So can I help mitigate risk? If you're really good and there's some good reading out there, can I turn up the risk element where they are? Because if they're the status quo, they're going to feel comfortable where they are. So the only way to get them to move is to turn up the risk factor of where they are to the point where they're not comfortable and they move.

 

Tibor Shanto:

There is the financial, but again, I think most salespeople get stuck on financial strictly as being, can I get you more revenue or take out some expense to improve your bottom line? But there is, a lot of companies are worried about cash flow on a day to day basis. So if you can show them that your system has the ability to get them paid a day earlier, so they have a lesser reliance on their line of credit, that could make a difference. If you can show them that you can help them get their product to a particular part of the globe at a cheaper rate, that improves their margins, which allows them to do other things.

 

Tibor Shanto:

So it's that next, as I mentioned earlier in our talk, it's that ring or two beyond the product that probably most people will experience. Most will never deal with the product directly. They'll deal with some sort of outcome that the product generates. So talk to that, not the features and benefits because the VP of whatever doesn't really know what your box does, but they do benefit from the output. So talk to that and what they could do with the output.

 

Will Barron:

These conversations are awesome, Tibor, because you've just triggered a few things in my mind, just as you were giving examples of this. And one of…

 

Tibor Shanto:

A trigger event.

 

Will Barron:

In my own brain. How exciting or useful that is for anyone else, I'm not sure. But as you're in for of moving risk, that seems for me selling medical devices, that seems like a huge one that I would always touch on and it's very difficult to say, because of legal reasons and repercussions of our product is safer than this product. It's very difficult to test between different medical devices, because clearly there's a high standard that they've all got to reach just to be on the market. But there seems like multiple rings of this risk, which could be mitigated by, we would sell managed services. So that would take away a lot of the risk of repairs and broken instruments going back into circulation by mistake and things like this.

 

How to Uncover the Value Your Buyers Expect From Your Product or Service · [30:05] 

 

Will Barron:

How do we… Because I feel like there's multiple elements to this. I feel like we can go deeper into it. So speaking to customers that we've lost business from and preferably getting another organisation who specialises in this to do some of this for us perhaps is the better way to go about it. But if that's one element, are there any other ways that we can source out what these rings of value that are added up over time? And especially as we go up higher at the food chain, they don't give a shit about features and benefits as you're saying here. They give a shit about the business impacts of all this. Are there any other ways other than just deals lost that we can start to uncover these extra rings? Because I feel like that's separating us immediately from the competition once we're having that higher level ringed conversation with a ring that's specific to a role that we're dealing with.

 

Tibor Shanto:

I think again, much like we immerse ourselves in the stuff that we're comfortable with, the day to day stuff and the things that marketing tells us to get familiar with. I think there are ways to immerse ourselves in the day to day of the person we're trying to sell to. So, much like there's a salesman's podcast like yours, I'm sure there's an equally high standard podcast for CFOs if that's who you're selling to, or supply chain managers if that's who you're selling to. And the wonderful thing is that all these organisations have associations who are pumping out content on a day to day basis with the hot issues that their community is dealing with. So gee, maybe there's something we could sell to because the whole community's looking at it. Take a look at what the keynote subjects are at their conferences, because those are the issues that people are talking about and then ask yourself, how can I address or change an element of that? Not the whole thing. You don't have to change everything overnight. You just have to get on the boat so you can have the conversation.

 

Tibor Shanto:

So it does take work, and to some degree it's something that doesn't start with the sales person. It really starts with marketing and sales enablement, as to what they wind this person out to be. The sales people are just foot soldiers. At the end of the day, most of what they do they're told to do. And they think they do it quite well and I think the outcome often is not theirs. I mean, it is on a tactical level, but the big picture they went after what they were told to go after. So don't complain about what they brought back. But I think if it started happening on an organisational level, but I think as a sales person, especially if you work in a company that has any sort of structure, just walk down the hall and talk to the person in your company that does the job that you're trying to sell to the next company, because the shit they face day to day is probably the same, right?

 

Tibor Shanto:

So at least you'll get a sense for what's the rhythm of that person's day and how can I make their life different? You don't have to say better or easier, but just different in a way that they would appreciate that difference. And so I think there's a whole bunch of things we could do, but as with everything, it all starts with the first steps. So, I'd say you and I have given the audience two or three concrete things they could think about. Rather than giving them three more, let's given the challenge of picking one and letting you or I know how they made out in a week or two.

 

Will Barron:

The one that I'm taking away from this, Tibor, and this is going to sound ridiculous and hopefully you'll laugh at me and call me a fool for this. But I see it regularly. So I'm doing a bit of keynote speaking conferences here in the UK. I'm going to have to speak all around, trying to build up that as a skill that I can offer. So I'm going slowly, treading waters into it. And typically people only want to sell tickets to the audience, my audience, Sales Nation, as opposed to they care what I'm saying on stage. But something, this red flag as soon as you said this, you gave this example, I never really watch anyone else's talks at these events. The talks at these events are probably the episodes that I should be creating for the audience, right?

 

Will Barron:

These are probably if we do more… So we're doing a bit of sales coaching at the moment as well one on one. The audience kind of want to chat to me off the record, off the air and get my thoughts on things just because I interview so many interesting people like yourself. But these events are probably the problems that the sales people, managers, directors that I'm on the phone with, they're probably the problems that would get me in with those conversations in the first place, right? Because people attending these events are going to learn about the sales industry, learn about sales training, and I'm sat in the back room. Typically after my talk, having my feet up with a beer, speaking to all the other speakers, trying to network to get them on the show, rather than maybe I should be sat outside paying attention to some of these things.

 

Will Barron:

And going back to medical devices, I'd go to your biggest urology conference. I'd be the pretty much every year I'd know most of the urologists. So that's why I'd always be invited over by the companies that I worked for in the past. I would never watch the talks. I'd always be chilling again, trying to get the urologist to come out for a beer afterwards to, I'm doing inverted commas for everyone who's listening, network with them, really just go and get blooded with them and have a laugh. I would never watch the talks. And so there's a huge gap perhaps in my knowledge of what was hot, what the conversations were in those moments by just being lazy. So that's one for me. Next sales conference I go to…

 

Tibor Shanto:

And if I could add one more to that.

 

Will Barron:

Sure.

 

Tibor Shanto:

What you also learn is the buzz words, because the guys up on stage, they want to look sharp and cool and modern, so they're going to use the latest buzzwords. So if you use some of those buzzwords in your next prospecting calls, your sales calls or whatever, you're going to sound like you're in the know.

 

How to Spark Your Buyer’s Emotions and Get Ahead in Sales · [35:39] 

 

Will Barron:

For sure. And we can have a whole conversation about that another time. I'm trying to engineer a couple of memes, a couple of buzzwords into this show that the audience will know that no one else or first time listeners won't really be sure of. And there's a whole tribe mentality behind this. And we'll talk about it another time, because that's a fascinating topic of building a tribe around you in that sales role, in that business role. That's a topic for another conversation just far as long in itself. But there's one thing I do want to touch on, Tibor, just before we wrap up, everything we're talking about here is seemingly very practical of we can reduce risk. We can paint this picture in the prospect's minds of we can mitigate risks. There's financial elements, there's this cash flow elements to this. There's perhaps prestige elements to this. Other than the prestige elements, it's all very black, white data.

 

Will Barron:

Is that what we should be focusing on? Or is there an element of, or can we add an element of emotional, I don't want to say selling, because that sounds manipulative, but an element of future pacing people to make things seem brighter as opposed to just cash flow is going to be better. Does that make sense? I feel like everything we've talked about so far is very analytical.

 

Tibor Shanto:

Well, yes. I think the financial one is, we didn't finish the other two. But to take it back, I think risk is more emotional than anything, right? Because if you looked at risk from an actuarial point of view, there's very little of it around in many places. And I always say, if you want to see risk at work, just go and stand by the rental car counter at any given airport and watch them dole out insurance for something completely unnecessary because they're hitting that risk nerve, which is very emotional. Right? But I think the other parts of it that come into it quickly are productivity in the true sense because productivity has become one of those empty calorie words, so it has to be qualified. How am I going to make you more productive? Because they're deaf to the word productivity, but they're not deaf to the concept.

 

Tibor Shanto:

And then the other is how can I shift time in their favour? So can I help them get something to market quicker? Can I extend the life of an asset that therefore has some repercussion, that's either a financial benefit or productivity benefit? So these are all interrelated. But to your point, no, it's not all about data. I think there's some data points that help you set the landscape, but we are dealing with people and that's why it isn't, you can't say black and white things like there is in the book, Trigger Events, because as soon as you got two people together, black and white goes away and it's all grey, right?

 

Will Barron:

Yep.

 

“The hardest part for sales people, including me, is to shut up and let the other guy talk.” – Tibor Shanto · [39:03]

 

Tibor Shanto:

So the subjectivity, the emotion and all that. But I'll capsulize for you the way that I talk about objective-based selling, you'll see that it's both mechanical and emotional and all those things. In it's purest form if I sit down with a prospect that I have no knowledge about, which would be a mistake. You should have some knowledge before you sit down with a prospect. But let's say it was a bad morning, I didn't have my coffee. So I would sit down with the prospect and I would say, “Well, if we were sitting here 18 months from now and your team had hit a Grand Slam or had won the Premier League for you. But they did that wonderful thing. What would that look like?” And with that, I give the prospect permission to project into the future, to let go of everything they've thought about today and just describe to me what that world of perfection looks like 18 months from now. And the hardest part for sales people, including me, is to shut up and let the guy talk, right?

 

Tibor Shanto:

So it's a good time to learn note taking habits, but let him talk. Whether it's five minutes or 10 minutes, this is really a catharsis for them. We're letting them really think about what that Grand Slam looks like 18 months from now. And when they finish, I say, well, I understand where you're going now. It all makes sense. Just one thing, help me understand why we're not there today. And what they'll tell you is all the things that they perceive to be in their way of getting to where they want to get to, inevitably, three or four things that I could sell to. Right? So again, even if you have no knowledge just by adopting the objective mindset, you can begin a conversation like that. And to bring it into a more practical way when I'm trying to sell my prospecting programme, when I meet with the VP, once we get past the small talk and blah, blah, blah, and all that stuff, we get into, okay, so Will, how much of your revenue comes from existing customers versus brand new? And that'll give me a number like 90-10, 85-15, whatever. Right?

 

Tibor Shanto:

And then I'll go, great. So if I looked at you 2018 plan, what did you have in there? And I don't know if it's MBA school or what, but they always say 80-20. But what they just put on the table is a gap between where they are now and what their stated objectives are. Certainly I can help them now cross that chasm. Right? So I think that it's a mindset shift. Not like you don't have to build up your muscles, you just have to change your angle.

 

Will Barron:

This you've pulled it all together here, Tibor, and I thank you for that, mate. This is perfect because that's a phone call, a meeting. Maybe it's not the initial five seconds of a cold call. Maybe if you scaled it could be, but…

 

Tibor Shanto:

No, I do it differently. That's for a meeting.

Will Barron:

Sure. Okay. So for a meeting. This could be a way to keep top of mind with people to have a positive conversation with someone, because this is clearly projecting into the future, looking at what could happen, what's holding you back. There's value in that because unless you've got some kind of coach, unless you're boss in the organisation, or there's mentoring going on somewhere from some angle, that might not be a question that gets asked very often or as often as what it should, but that's a nice conversation to have. That's totally different to, “Hey, what are you doing? Can I help? No. Okay, goodbye.” Which is what most people do every quarter to get [inaudible 00:41:20].

 

Tibor Shanto:

No, it's even worse than that. It's even worse than that. “I kicked you last quarter. I'm kicking you again. Are you in pain enough to buy my aspirin?” That's what it sounds like usually. But I will tell you one thing that when they start answering that where they want to be in 18 months, the wonderful thing is you begin see personalities coming into it and now latch onto those as well and you can get through some of the choppy waters because you've gotten them to reveal something more than their business aspirations.

 

Parting Thoughts · [41:54]

 

Will Barron:

That makes total sense. And with that, Tibor, we'll wrap up there, mate. Tell us, for anyone who is listening, they want to know more about you. You mentioned prospecting and the different work you do, tell us where we can find all of that and yeah, where we can find out about the book as well if anyone wants that prime as you kind of teed up as.

 

Tibor Shanto:

Yeah. So, again, in all seriousness, I think that as with anything, you have to start the first one in order to appreciate the second one. So I would recommend people running out and getting Shift!, whether they get it from Amazon or their local bookstore. I think it's Shift! How to Harness Trigger Events. I don't know, you would think we got paid by the words in the title, but anyways, it's on any online store. They can reach me directly. I've made it easy for the planet. They can now just go to Tiborshanto.com, or they can call me directly at +1 416 822 7781. And you would imagine that my email is just Tibor at Tiborshanto.com.

 

Will Barron:

Amazing stuff. Well, I'll link to that and they're showing it to this episode over at salesman.org. And with that, Tibor, again, you've been on the show a bunch of times, making sure a lot of insights and energy, and just your time with us. So me, Sales Nation, we all appreciate that. And I want to thank you for joining us again on the Salesman Podcast.

 

Tibor Shanto:

Always have a great time, Will. Thank you.

 

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