Sales Reinvented

We at Sales Reinvented are on a mission to change the negative perception of sales people. Each week we will be interviewing experts in the field of sales and sharing their knowledge, ideas and expertise with our listeners. They share with us in our vision of a world where selling is a profession to be proud of. The aim of our formatted show is to provide ‘snackable’ episodes that are short enough to listen to in one sitting but long enough to provide real value that will help you in your sales career. Welcome to the Sales Reinvented Podcast.
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At Sales Reinvented, we are on a mission to change the negative perception of selling. Welcome to the Sales Reinvented Podcast.

Dec 30, 2020

What is the key to driving more leads into your pipeline? How does prospecting become something you enjoy—not a chore? Joanne Black believes it’s through referral-driven lead generation. It’s a game-changer that most salespeople don’t know how to properly employ. Joanne shares the details in this episode of Sales Reinvented. Don’t miss it!

Joanne Black is America’s leading authority on referral selling, a sales contrarian, and the author of No More Cold Calling and Pick Up the Damn Phone! She works with sales organizations to build a referral culture, ensure a qualified pipeline, and get the one-call meeting.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:50] The difference between prospecting and lead generation 
  • [1:59] Why are they so important?
  • [2:37] Joanne’s referral-driven lead generation system
  • [5:23] Salespeople must be relationship builders
  • [9:51] Why you should improve your LinkedIn skills
  • [11:35] Joanne’s top 3 dos and top 3 don’ts
  • [13:48] Referral-driven lead generation drives revenue

Joanne’s referral-driven lead generation system

Joanne uses a referral selling system that includes strategy, metrics, skills, and accountability. Every salesperson loves referrals. The conversion rate is more than 50%. What they’re usually missing is a reliable process where metrics are set to get referrals. Joanne notes that sales leaders think they’re doing a good job with referrals. But the reality is that referrals are few and far between.

So she points out that they’re not leveraging one area that would be a game-changer: When you talk about lead generation, who is better to refer to you than your clients? You’ve built relationships with them. Your business, product, or service has helped them achieve results. The problem is that they don’t know what to do and salespeople don’t know how to ask.

You have to start with a strategy around referral selling. What outcome do you expect? You have to be committed to making referrals your #1 outbound approach. You have to measure it, set KPIs, build the skills of your sales team, and teach them how to ask for a referral and get an introduction. Then you make sure they’re accountable to a result. Because without accountability, nothing changes. 

Build relationships to build trust

You need to be relationship builders—not sales pitchers. Salespeople pitch and cold email in every means possible. But we already know that pitches don’t work. It’s why the sales profession has gotten a bad name. Customers buy because of the relationship and trust they have with you. Without a relationship, the rest doesn’t matter. The research shows that trust is important but only 18% of buyers said they trust salespeople. 

If a client agrees to refer someone to you, you help walk them through what that process looks like. Typically, they call or email their connection and say “I’d love for you to talk to Paul Watts, and here’s why…” This person will trust your client, trust that they won’t waste their time, and that they’re a credible resource. The trust transfers to you. 

Good salespeople also need patience, persistence, and a good contact strategy. How are you going to stay in touch? What insights can you share? 

Why you should improve your LinkedIn skills

Joanne emphasizes that you need LinkedIn skills. LinkedIn is a place to begin a conversation and build a relationship—not to pitch. She recommends sending a personalized invitation to make a personal connection. It’s also a great place to begin insightful conversations if you’re really good at asking questions. There is so much news coming in and so many things to talk about. What is going on that you can educate yourself on so you can engage in conversation with your prospect? You build an amazing relationship, learn what they’re looking for, and schedule the next call. 

Referral-driven lead generation drives revenue

A sales VP came to Joanne with a problem. She needed to drive revenue faster. So what did Joanne recommend? That they implement a referral system. In less than two months of implementing the new lead generation system, they drove 26 opportunities into their CRM. Joanne points out that it reinforces the fact that people aren’t systematically getting referrals. There’s a huge opportunity to close the gap with referral-driven selling. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented to learn more!

Connect with Joanne Black

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Dec 23, 2020

Tony Hughes works with companies all over the world and the universal problem that he sees is that no one has enough leads in their sales pipeline. The problem is that if you don’t create opportunities, you have nothing to close. All of your other sales skills are moot if you can’t apply them. So how do you generate leads? What should your prospecting process look like? How can you leverage technology and trigger events to get your foot in the door? Tony Hughes shares his process in this episode of Sales Reinvented! 

Tony Hughes has 35+ years of corporate and sales leadership experience. Tony is a renowned speaker, independent consultant, and bestselling author. He recently wrote Combo Prospecting: The Powerful One-Two Punch That Fills Your Pipeline and Wins Sales and has another book in the pipeline.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:16] Lead generation and prospecting: What’s the difference?
  • [2:51] Why are these processes so important?
  • [4:34] Tony’s ideal prospecting and lead generation process
  • [8:35] Firmographics, psychographics, and technographics
  • [11:28] The attributes a salesperson needs for success
  • [15:37] The skillsets that a salesperson should develop
  • [17:41] Chad’s top 3 prospecting dos and don’ts
  • [20:45] Why you need to monitor trigger events

KNOW Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and Buyer Personas

Tony emphasizes that everyone needs to know their ICP and buyer personas before you can start prospecting. You also have to be honest about product-market fit. The entire world is not a prospect. You need to apply time and expertise where it will help people the most and deliver the best result for you and your company. 

You start by creating a target list of companies. Then you must understand buyer personas. What individuals will you be selling to? Decision-makers or influencers? What matters to them? What pushback will they give? What phrasing and language works for them? You get about 7 seconds before someone wants you off the phone, so you have to use that time well. 

Then you need to nail your conversation narrative + value messaging. No one wants more tech. They don’t want another vendor to manage. They don’t want another change project. So why do salespeople talk about that stuff? Make the conversation about that person and their opportunity to improve results in their role.

Firmographics, psychographics, and technographics

Tony shares that firmographics are the attributes of the organization at the most basic level. What is their industry? Their size? Psychographics questions if they are in growth mode, crisis mode, etc? With technographics, you want to research the tech the organizations are using. Every salesperson needs to develop what Tony calls TQ or the Technology Quotient (like IQ and EQ). You have to be able to wrangle the tech stack. Plus, it’s important to understand what tech your product could be replacing.

Organizations in startup mode may be using Hubspot. If you’re a Salesforce rep, you want to look for companies who are using Hubspot and who have recently done a capital raise (the trigger event). Tony recommends using headless browsing, trigger event monitoring platforms, and Sales Navigator to find a common trusted relationship. Then you can make the sales call on a warm lead. Trigger events combined with referrals give you the highest probability and fastest path to new customer revenue.

Develop your Technology Quotient (TQ)

COVID has accelerated the 4th industrial revolution. Tony believes that if you aren't concerned about the bots coming for your job, you’re asleep at the wheel. That’s why it’s so important that you leverage technology to automate your reach. 

Tony emphasizes that you need to be masterful at talking the language of leaders. Talk about the client’s opportunity to improve results in their role. You need genuine insights and a worthwhile point of view. Unless you hook their interest and back it with legitimate insights, you won’t be successful.

You need to develop TQ and use technologies really well. Get masterfully good at using your own CRM. Learn to use Sales Navigator well to monitor for trigger events. When something changes with prospects, you need to know. People treat tech like a gym membership—they pay for it but never really use it. But Tony emphasizes you can’t struggle trying to use the basic technology. 

Why you need to monitor trigger events

Tony was in London last year and was working with 80+ people. He was talking about the power of trigger events and referrals. On day two, the head of customer success asked to share a story. In the last two years, they’d lost 7 clients in Europe. They lost those accounts because a new senior person joined the organizations and they didn’t develop relationships with them. Another salesperson swooped in and developed the relationship and snagged their clients from under their noses. 

Trigger events are insanely powerful. If someone is coming in and replacing the C-suite executive you have a relationship with, develop a relationship with them—while staying connected with the person on their way out. Congratulate them as they move into their new role somewhere else. In that way, you’re cultivating two relationships where you may have had none if you hadn’t monitored the trigger event. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Tony Hughes

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Dec 16, 2020

According to Brynne Tillman, lead generation and prospecting are both top of the funnel drivers—and the top of the funnel drives all business. If you don’t have opportunities in the door, it doesn’t matter how good your product is. It doesn’t matter how good of a salesperson you are. If you don’t have the first conversation, you won't make a sale. Brynne believes the power lies in warm connections. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented to hear her take!

Brynne Tillman is the CEO of Social Sales Link and a LinkedIn Whisperer who teaches business development professionals on how to convert content and connections to conversations. Through her warm marketing prospecting philosophy, she guides sales leaders to leverage the power of LinkedIn to attract, teach, and engage their buyers, ultimately starting relationships with a high level of credibility.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:56] The difference between prospecting and lead generation
  • [1:30] Why are both processes so important?
  • [2:09] Brynne’s LinkedIn prospecting process
  • [5:35] You have to master the ask/offer ratio
  • [8:33] Detach from reaching your goals
  • [11:58] Top 3 prospecting dos and don’ts
  • [13:46] The power of warm connections

Brynne’s genius LinkedIn prospecting process

Brynne prefers prospecting with warm leads. You have already established a high level of credibility and it isn’t a climb to prove that you and your business are worthy of a conversation. Bryne notes that the challenging part is asking clients to send referrals your way. Many of them can’t think of anyone right off the bat. But they say “If I think of anyone, I’ll send them your way.” Occasionally, they get those referrals. 

Brynne believes that process needs to be accelerated. LinkedIn allows you to do that. Before you speak with your client, run a filter search on their connections, and identify people that might be a good fit for your business. Now you can ask your client, “Can I run this list by you and get your insights on these people?” From there, maybe you could narrow it down to 8 people that would know your prospect and take your call. Then get their permission to use their name in the conversation. With one simple process, Brynne points out that you could have 8 people to reach out to, 4 of which can become phone calls. 

You have to master the ask/offer ratio

Brynne points out that with prospecting, you have to be comfortable asking. You have to be able to have conversations with people. You also have to earn the right to get to the ask. To do that, you have to master the ask/offer ratio. Bryne emphasizes that everything you do in sales is an ask. You’re asking someone to accept a connection, read a piece of content, take a phone call, watch a video, etc. At the end of the consumption, you can do one of three things:

  1. A bait and switch: This is an immediate pitch. No one wants that. Don’t make the title better than the information.
  2. Neutral: This doesn’t hurt your reputation but there is no compelling reason to engage.
  3. Compelled to react: The prospect shares something, accepts a request, asks a question, or asks for more information. 

What are you doing that compels them to take your call? 

Why you should detach from reaching your goals

Brynne recommends you learn the ability to detach from reaching your goals and attach to helping the prospect or customers’ reach theirs. Your prospects can smell commission breath. They can tell when you’re pushing to make a sale OR if you’re seeking to provide value. 

You should only make the sale when you know that the solution is right based on what you’ve learned about the prospect. It’s not easy to do when you have sales goals and KPIs to hit. It’s hard to measure this skill from an organizational perspective. It’s a tough but important shift.

Michael Port wrote the book, “Book Yourself Solid” which was a revelation for Brynne. In the book, he says “Give away so much value that you’re afraid you gave too much—and then give more.” The ability to give is a skill. Salespeople were taught NOT to give things away for free. But you have to be a resource and provide insights for them. If they can learn more from Google than your sales call, you will lose.

What are Brynne’s top lead generation and prospecting dos and don’ts? Listen to find out!

Brynne demonstrates the power of warm connections

8 years ago, when Brynne was building out her program, she found one of her clients (Rob) was connected to one of her largest prospects. She had spent years trying to connect with this person. So she asked her client how they knew each other and if he’d be open to making an introduction. He said “absolutely.” Within 20 minutes, she had a response from her prospect with a meeting time. 

She showed up and he said, “go.” So she asked how she got the meeting and he said “If Rob asks me to do something, I’m doing it. He’s one of my favorite people.” Brynne said, “If I can show you how to get your commercial lenders in the door the same way, would you be interested?” He looked at his calendar, set a meeting with her, and asked “By the way, how much?” It was the fastest sale she ever made. She leveraged her warm connection and realized, “Why prospect any other way?” Warm connections are so much easier. Hear all of her thoughts by listening to the whole episode!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Brynne Tillman

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Dec 9, 2020

How do you get better prospecting results? What is the best and easiest way to bring in leads? How do prospecting and lead generation play valuable roles in the sales process? In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Chad Burmeister shares how he pairs innovative thinking with leading technology to get better prospecting results. 

Chad Burmeister is the CEO of ScaleX AI which aims to solve salespeople’s pipeline problems. Chad’s goal is to empower sales professionals to become the best version of themselves by focusing on their mindset, skillset, and toolset. Don’t miss his valuable take on the lead generation and prospecting process. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:51] The difference between prospecting and lead generation
  • [2:08] Why are they important?
  • [3:21] Chad’s perfected prospecting process
  • [5:26] Success relates directly to your level of EQ—not IQ
  • [7:35] Get comfortable being “Iron Man”
  • [8:38] Chad’s top 3 do’s and don’ts
  • [10:48] Why you NEED to be different

Why both prospecting and lead generation are valuable

Chad sees prospecting as getting a list and making emails, phone calls, or social connections. It’s marketing outward. Lead generation is more along the lines of creating content—like a podcast episode—that you drop out on social channels, email, etc. Prospecting is a brute-force technique and lead generation is finessed. 

Chad emphasizes that lead generation is hugely valuable. If you can become your own marketing department and create your own content, you can be a thought leader and expert in your space. You’ll get personal inbound leads to yourself—not just your business. It’s a combination of brute-force and flow of inbound leads. 

Chad’s ScaleX prospecting process

Chad’s company has perfected the prospecting process. They pull 1,000 leads a month. They then have a virtual assistant execute 3,000–5,000 emails against that list of people. Then they automate social outreach and do 50,000 impressions through paid ads against the same people. They just added the ability to send Vidyard or Loom videos to the top 100 prospects as well. It’s the brute-force prospecting that’s 80% automated and 20% human-driven. 

For Chad, the lead generation process means jumping into a monthly meeting where he records video for an hour plus. That one video gets chopped into 60 to 90-second segments that get pushed out onto his social channels. That alone brings in 2–3 leads a day

Success relates directly to your level of EQ—not IQ

Chad points out that the level of success you have prospecting relates directly to your level of EQ—not IQ. When you’re selling to a certain part of the market, what are their triggers? What is their emotional process? It needs to be natural for your audience to understand. Park Howell teaches a simple process: You set the context, then you use “and” to raise the stakes, then “but”, and “therefore.” You can use this for anything you’re selling. It’s a simple approach to mapping your audience to your solution. You have to put out content that hits home and gets people to take a specific action. Chad shares a specific example—listen to hear him drive the point home.

How do you get better results? Be different.

At the beginning of the pandemic, one of Chad’s customers called him. One of the companies she did PR for was ordered to switch their apparel production over to mask production. So they printed 100 million masks and sold them all to Amazon in one week. She knew she could continue to do well from a commission perspective. So she asked Chad to help her come up with an approach for selling masks. 

So they got together and recorded a 43-second voicemail. They then pulled a list of 1,200 heads of procurement from Fortune 2,000 companies and left them voicemails for 2 days straight. She got 3–5 returned calls per hour. 70% of the time they didn't even listen to the message but still called back.

What Chad learned is that you have to get the right person on the phone. His client sold $10 million worth of masks in 6–8 weeks. There were hundreds of other companies out there selling masks that did emails, social outreach, and other traditional means. The moral of the story? You have to be different than everyone else or you’re going to get the same results.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Chad Burmeister

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Dec 2, 2020

Why are both lead generation and prospecting important functions of sales? Have you ever closed a deal that wasn’t in your pipeline? What are you doing if you aren’t prospecting? Prospecting and lead generation are the lifeline to your sales pipeline, according to the guest on this episode of Sales Reinvented—Mary Growth. 

She emphasizes that you need a certain amount of deals in your pipeline that—when divided by your close rate—help you meet your goals. You have to know what you need to do to hit your number. If you need to hit $1million in sales and you have a 25% close rate, you need $4 million of qualified leads in your pipeline. That’s why it’s so important to have a plan. Learn all about Mary’s process in this episode. 

Mary Grothe is a former #1 MidMarket B2B Sales Rep who after selling millions in revenue and breaking multiple records, formed Sales BQ®. Her 8-year B2B midmarket sales career required daily prospecting efforts. She was the first rep to embed social selling and custom events into her lead gen process to diversify the funnel from just telemarketing and email prospecting. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:24]The interplay between prospecting and lead generation
  • [3:07] Mary’s in-depth prospecting process
  • [8:57] If you’re not passionate about it—don’t do it 
  • [11:51] Skills salespeople need to develop
  • [14:13] Mary’s lead generation and prospecting dos and don’ts 
  • [17:16] Why you must always start with a plan

Mary’s in-depth prospecting process

Mary believes in a world where sales and marketing work together. Her 8 years in a mid-market B2B sales job taught her that revenue generation needs to come from sales and marketing working together

Mary’s ideal process starts with marketing. It starts with a well defined Ideal Client Profile (ICP). Who are your key buyer personas? Who do you want your clients to be? Be as targeted and niche as possible. You need to know their language to emotionally align with them. Then you create content to help the buyer educate themselves. It’s not a “spray and pray” approach anymore. 

Secondly, Mary emphasizes that you have to use marketing attraction methods that work. You need actual social engagement with your audience. You need an SEO and content strategy. Interview your buyers and learn the long-tail key phrases that they’re plugging into search engines. Then produce unbelievable content that helps drive them through your content. You build trust and credibility to the point that they are compelled to work with you. 

Then you look at paid traffic. Find any way to supplement your lead funnel. There are television and radio ads, telemarketing, email marketing, and even podcasts. You can host virtual events like webinars or LinkedIn Live events. There are many ways that salespeople can educate buyers.

Make your website the main conversion point. You want sales and marketing working together to take a targeted approach. The goal is to get buyers to land on the website and adjust and tweak it for the highest conversion rate possible. You need to implement calls to action, opt-ins, chatbots, etc. The site needs to be about how you serve your customer. Don’t let your website fail you.

Lastly, you need to have a defined process and plan to manage the inbound leads so nothing falls through the cracks. Define the process for marketing and sales engagement to make sure no one drops the ball. 

If you’re not passionate about it—don’t do it

Mary believes that you need to be passionate about prospecting. If you don’t have the energy and passion that’s necessary, you shouldn’t be in a role where you’re responsible for it. You either have the DNA of a hunter or you don’t. Not everyone is built to handle rejection and it can be energy-draining. You’ll be mediocre at best and won’t see results. 

Mary points out that there are sales roles where prospecting responsibilities fall on a marketing team or BDR/SDR teams. A lot of salespeople are account executives that take those leads through high-level qualification, discovery, proposal, and close. Not every salesperson should be in prospecting. Some are better built for account management. 

Conversely, if your role requires you to get deals in the pipeline, you and you alone are responsible. Don’t blame marketing for a lack of leads. Own the number yourself. Let marketing, SDR, and BDR teams be the icing on the cake. If you want to be a top sales performer, you won’t get there without prospecting. Take it upon yourself to be successful. What are other skills you can develop to be more successful? Listen to hear Mary’s advice.

Ingrain prospecting into your long-term memory

A salesperson has to be willing to speak the prospects’ language—not their own. Mary notes that you must convert your language to make their lives better. Be the master of a day in your prospect’s life. You have to be exceptional at your craft, which means learning how to have meaningful conversations with prospects. 

What is another key to becoming exceptional? Practice. Do it 100+ times. Practice on anyone and everyone. Do what you need to do to become proficient. Make the outbound call so comfortable for you that you can do it in your sleep. 

Do AB testing with your emails. Look at your responses and see how people are—or aren’t—engaging with what you’re sending out. Monitor your social media and how you’re engaging with your audience. 

When salespeople are under pressure, they resort to what is stored in their long-term memory. You have to practice these skills so they’re ingrained in your memory and become second nature. Mary shares a story about the importance of planning—don’t miss it. 

Connect with Mary Grothe

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Nov 25, 2020

Do you struggle with prospecting and lead generation? Is getting a meeting with a potential customer like pulling teeth? Cory Bray believes the struggle is often because you aren’t giving your prospecting a compelling offer. No one is going to be enticed by a sales meeting. A sales meeting may even be a deterrent. What does Cory recommend doing instead? He shares advice, strategies, and tactics to navigate the process in this episode of Sales Reinvented. Don’t miss it! 

Cory Bray is the Managing Director at ClozeLoop. Cory has built high-performing sales teams in industries that range from manufacturing to technology. He knows what works in practice, not just in theory. He’s a high-value advisor to multiple accelerators, bestselling author of 6 books, and a dynamic keynote speaker who has spoken all over the world. He’s passionate about making sales accessible, actionable, and scalable with Fast Frameworks.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:56] Why prospecting and lead generation matter
  • [2:41] Give your prospect a compelling offer
  • [4:54] Learn to be resilient—and set negative goals
  • [6:39] Skill to develop: Conversations with strangers 
  • [8:42] Top 3 prospecting dos and don’ts
  • [11:13] Learn resilience in the face of a “no”

Give your prospect a compelling offer

Cory notes that you need to achieve the right amount of volume with the least amount of effort. Effort can be measured by human time and the amount of capital deployed. If you have spikes in leads, it can be overwhelming to your team. So you need consistent lead volume over time so the organization can handle it.

Cory sees prospecting as human-assisted marketing. It’s targeted. With any good effort, you’re offering someone something a prospect can accept or reject. But most salespeople make a mistake when prospecting. They’re offering a sales meeting—which isn’t compelling at all. When Cory is prospecting, he offers them one of his books. It’s compelling and something of actual value. It's a touch that gets them into the funnel. The bottom line? Offer people something that they actually want

Casinos and negative goals: what do they have in common?

The expected value in a casino is negative—unless you’re the house. But when you’re in a casino, you’ll win hands at a Blackjack table, spins at a slot machine, or rolls at a craps table. Casinos do that to keep you in the game. Cory shares “Unfortunately, when you’re making cold calls or you’re sending a lot of prospecting emails, you don’t have that luxury of having those intermittent wins designed to keep you around. So you have to create them for yourself.”

How do you do that? A great tactic is to set negative goals—which sounds counter-intuitive. If you’re supposed to make 75 calls a day, make your goal to get 74 “nos” a day. Along the way to that goal, you may just get a yes. You focus on the negative goals so when the positive one comes, it’s a bonus. 

Cory emphasizes that salespeople have to be able to handle rejection and bounce back from every “no.” Salespeople often aren’t liked. Cory had someone tell him once, “I already have a mother, I don’t need anyone else to think I’m the greatest person in the world.” Some people aren’t naturally great at rejection—but you can learn to handle it. 

The #1 skill to develop: good conversations with strangers 

Cory believes that you need to develop the ability to have a good conversation with a stranger about a topic that they’re more of an expert at than you are. So many salespeople get overwhelmed with the idea of needing to be a subject matter expert in everything. Cory emphasizes that shouldn’t be your goal or even a concern.

Whoever you’re calling will have more subject matter expertise than you will. It’s not a competition. Instead, Cory recommends becoming an expert at having conversations around topics you’re NOT comfortable with. Can you navigate a conversation without feeling like you’re under a ton of pressure? What other skills should you develop? What are Cory’s top 3 prospecting and lead generation dos and don’ts? Listen to hear Cory’s thoughts. 

Learn resilience in the face of a “no”

The first big deal Cory closed started with a solid “no.” But after the meeting, Cory came up with another idea. So he created a 4-minute video for the Senior VP. When he contacted the VP he said, “It sounds like there’s not a great opportunity for us to work together based on our last conversation. Here are 4 minutes to review another idea that I had.” 

His response? “This is really interesting—let’s meet.” That’s how Cory closed the biggest deal his company had ever made. He learned that you must be resilient and don’t take no as the end of the sales process. No might just be a roadblock or an invitation for further conversation. 

When you get a “no”, put them in your long-term nurture pipeline. Don’t lose sight of them. You can figure out how to use them as an asset in the future. To hear the rest of Cory’s prospecting and lead generation wisdom—listen to the whole episode!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Cory Bray

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Nov 18, 2020

Persistence is one of the best things a salesperson can do to achieve successful prospecting, according to Kristie Jones. Lead generation and prospecting are a long game and there are skills that a salesperson needs to develop to be successful in these areas. What are they? How can you improve your prospecting and lead generation skills? Kristie shares her tips + tactics in this episode of Sales Reinvented. Check it out! 

Kristie Jones is the go-to expert for SaaS companies wanting to build or scale their sales teams. Her 19+ years as a Sales Leader in the SaaS space fuels her passion to help businesses increase revenue through improved strategy, process, and people. She coaches everything from sales process and strategy to hiring and training Sales and Success Reps. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:01] The difference between prospecting and lead generation
  • [3:01] Consistency + persistence is key in the process
  • [3:46] The skillsets a salesperson NEEDS to develop
  • [7:11] Why follow-through is so important
  • [9:17] Kristie’s favorite story: persistence in action

Lead gen is a long game

Kristie defines lead gen as playing the long game. You need to ensure that prospects are aware of your company. Lead gen is usually owned by the marketing team and is more of one-way communication. Prospecting is a two-way communication that is specific and targeted to customers in a personal and customized way. The goal is to get off the “maybe” pile and get into the “Yes/No” pile. 

Closing deals is all about timing. Even if a company is a good fit for you, they may not need your product or service now. So you need to embrace persistence and continue to add value and stay in front of the prospect until they’re ready to purchase. Kristie’s goal is to keep leads as warm pizza until they’re ready to move forward. You want to make sure they don’t go back to frozen pizza. The end goal is qualification. Until then, make sure marketing is keeping the “not right nows (NRNs)” in the lead generation funnel. 

The skillsets a salesperson NEEDS to develop

Kristie emphasizes that salespeople need to have discipline and persistence. They need to block time in their calendar and build out time to prospect. Prospecting may be the red-headed step-child of sales—but a necessary evil. It’s one of the most important activities you need to be consistent with. Putting new deals in the funnel is 100% in your control. You have to be consistent and persistent. Consistently fill the top of your funnel. Make sure you are persistent with your NRN list and follow up with them regularly. 

The qualification process is also important. Clients call her and say “deals are stalling out” and what she finds is that there's stalling out because they shouldn’t have been in the pipeline in the first place. You need a formal nurture strategy for your NRN’s to keep them warm. A lot of the messaging is all about you, your product, and your service. It isn’t about helping the client and making their life easier. Turn that around. Prospecting “Has to be all about them, before it can be all about you before it can be all about us.”

The importance of follow-through

Kristie emphasizes that you can’t just “wing it.” You need a plan. The reason that prospecting automation tools exist is that everyone is great at starting the prospecting process—but not following through. Every time 4 days go by and you haven’t touched a prospect, you’re starting back at zero. Winging it is NOT a good strategy. It means you don’t have a strategy. You will be disorganized. There’s more noise than ever out there. If you’re not constantly in someone’s “face” they won’t remember you. She also points you that you can’t think a full pipeline means you don’t have to prospect anymore. 

Kristie’s favorite story: persistence in action

Kristie had a prospect she was trying to qualify who fit her customer profile perfectly. He would be her ideal client. She went after him 100%. He was playing along, then he went under. She let him go back into the wild and went back after him months later—with no luck. 

So she started digging around. She went on Twitter and found out he was a Belgium beer lover—Kristie is too. So she sent her next email with the title: How about we grab a blue moon together? That got her the meeting. She learned that she was becoming part of the noise. She wasn’t separating herself. She had to dig deeper and get personal. 

Her LinkedIn account is all business. But Twitter is business + personal. Most people on LinkedIn recognize that it’s a professional networking platform and behave accordingly. Twitter is like going to a bar with someone. You get a sense of who they are as a whole. That’s where the personalization can occur. The minute it’s on social media, it’s public. Twitter is fair game. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Kristie Jones

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Nov 11, 2020

Do you have a plan for lead generation? Do you have an organized approach to prospecting? Have you developed the necessary skills to be successful with lead generation and prospecting? Adam Snider has a tried and true process that he follows wholeheartedly. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented as he shares some tips + strategies for salespeople to stay relevant and craft their approach. 

Adam Snider currently leads a B2B sales department, owns Leading Sales Results, is a Coach with The Sales Rebellion, and a Trainer with Quota International. He is also a frequent contributor to The Sales Expert Channel. Adam is passionate about changing the negative stereotypes of sales professionals. Don’t miss out on his 19+ years of experience. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:00] The concept of prospecting and lead generation
  • [1:39] Why both practices are essential to sales
  • [2:25] Adam’s prospecting and lead generation process
  • [5:20] Characteristics that make a salesperson great at lead gen
  • [7:50] Top 3 lead generation + prospecting dos and don’ts
  • [10:42] The importance of sharing a relevant message

Adam’s prospecting and lead gen process

Adam emphasizes that effective prospecting needs to start with a plan. Where are your leads coming from? Where are your customers? How will you find leads? How will you engage with your market?

Once you answer those questions, you need to organize your approach to generating leads. How do you plan to engage with potential customers on LinkedIn or other platforms and mediums? Perhaps you could target specific companies or contacts. Once you have an understanding of where your leads are, you should organize what Adam likes to call a “suspect list.”

Organize who you want to engage with. He recommends a list of a minimum of 100 and a maximum of 200 on your list at any given time. You want to feed the suspect list continually and continuously pull from it. Acclimate yourself with the companies and people, do your research.

Then you organize a daily prospecting plan. What prospecting are you going to do each day? You could make 50 calls on Monday, go to a networking event on Tuesday, or send target letters to C-level executives on Wednesday. Whatever you do, you need to set a plan and follow it.

Salespeople need to be inquisitive

Salespeople need to be tenacious. They need to learn to not take things personally. Some salespeople are born with traits such as extrovertedness, which is helpful. But you can also learn them. The #1 skillset Adam believes a salesperson needs is being inquisitive. 

Adam notes that before a military force storms enemy lines, they research and plan to increase the chance of success. If your only reason to call a potential customer is to talk to them about your product or service—do not speak to them. Get inquisitive and find out a reason to call besides selling yourself and your company.

Adam’s top 3 lead generation dos and don’ts

Adam shares some tips to help you improve your prospecting skills:

  • Do it. Prospect, even if you’re not good at it. You’ll get better and you’ll increase your chance of success.
  • Follow up with your prospects. Don’t write one email or leave one message. The more you become recognized by the person you’re trying to get in touch with, the better chance you have of connecting with them. 
  • Do your research. Know who you’re calling, what they do, and what they oversee. What industry are they in? Who are their vendors? What about their competitors? 
  • Don’t talk about yourself. Adam believes this so strongly that he created a t-shirt that says “Me, me, me—who cares.” Don’t make it about yourself. 
  • Don’t be cocky. It comes from insecurity. Balance the insecurity you may feel with research and a reason to call. 
  • Don’t give up. You will have bad calls, bad days, and bad door knocks. It’s a race of the tortoise—not the hare. You have to be persistent and tenacious. 

The importance of sharing a relevant message

Adam was coaching someone on his team who was struggling with prospecting. This person was doing all of the right activities. He was organized, tenacious, and worked hard to grow his pipeline. But he wasn’t getting results. So to diagnose the problem, Adam listened in on one of his sales calls. 

Adam noticed that the call was 100% salesy. His team member was even asked if it was a sales call, to which he sheepishly responded “yes.” Adam felt for him. Adam took the next call and ended up leaving a message. He believes you should always leave a message. If you don’t, what reason do they have to call back? 

The message he left was a relevant piece of information based on a regulation that came down in this person’s industry. He mentioned how the regulation would tie into the potential client’s business. He said he’d like to have a conversation about the plans they’re making based on this new regulation. Then he ended the voicemail. 

Adam was confident that the team member learned new skills. Even better, they got a call back. That rarely happens—even with a good voicemail. The moral of the story? Leaving something as impersonal as a voicemail—if it’s relevant to the listener—increases your chances of getting a call back.

Always remember: What do they want to hear? What’s important for customers? The relevance of your message is essential to your success. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Adam Snider

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Nov 4, 2020

How do you save time, get results, and avoid burning your lists? How do you get results from cold emails? Kim Albee believes that it’s by knowing your perfect potential customer and providing them value. In this episode of the Sales Reinvented podcast, she shares her expertise in prospecting and lead generation. Don’t miss it!

Kim Albee founded her company Genoo, as well as the B2B Online Marketing Group on LinkedIn. Kim helps you attract quality leads, and establish the engagement necessary for sustained growth. She does this by providing practical strategies and integrated tools that maximize resources, energy, and return on investment. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:56] The difference between prospecting and lead generation
  • [1:39] Why are these concepts important?
  • [2:08] Know your perfect potential customer
  • [4:11] The attributes a salesperson should embrace
  • [5:16] Skills that a salesperson should develop
  • [6:56] Kim’s 3 prospecting and lead generation dos and don’ts
  • [8:46] Kim’s favorite prospecting + lead gen story

Successful lead generation = knowing your perfect potential customer

Kim believes that prospecting is looking for your perfect fit. Ideally, your perfect fit is a buying opportunity—they’re at the bottom of the funnel. Lead generation is where you’re getting your perfect potential customers anywhere in the funnel. You’re generating and attracting them to you through a variety of different mechanisms. 

Kim notes that at Genoo, they are always building relationships and engagement with their perfect potential customers. One of the biggest mistakes that Kim sees people make is sending cold emails. Instead of sending cold emails, you should provide real value. That means taking a marketing approach to build leads and engagement. You respond in a way that deepens the relationship and builds authority. 

Give your leads bite-sized chunks and lead them a step at a time through the buying journey while building trust. You can use any kind of lead gen to do this.

Pay attention to digital body language

Kim notes that listening is a great attribute—as well as paying attention. It’s great to have a conversation and listen more than you talk. But in the online world, you also have digital body language to go off of. What are they clicking on? What are they looking at? What are they interested in? 

You should send out value emails and then track these things. If you listen well to those metrics and respond appropriately, you can give them the messages you know will resonate. You’ll hit with a lot more of them. When you reach out for a call at that point, they know who you are and will more readily take your call.

Skills that a salesperson should develop

In every sales job, Kim points out that there’s a certain amount of going after a goal. You think the path from A to B is a straight line—but Kim disagrees. She believes the path is varied, that it isn’t linear. You need to have really good materials and understand your perfect potential customer. What are the different concerns that they have? How can you satisfy them? There are different routes through that conversation that you should have ready. 

You need to work with marketing and put together how you move people through the buying process. How does that mesh with the conversations you’re going to have? You have to pay attention to what your prospects and leads most need. What is most relevant and valuable to them? Help them move towards that and build trust and credibility. 

What to do when cold outreach fails

Kim had a customer that was using a cold email strategy. They bought a list of 14,000 potential customers. Of the 14,000 cold emails they sent, they only booked 62 meetings at a 0.4% conversion rate—meaning only 8 of those 62 meetings qualified. Their qualification rate was 12.9%. They were burning through lists.

When they bought the next list, Kim asked for a chunk of the leads so she could show them a better strategy. They gave her 350 of the next 14,000 leads. So her team sent out marketing emails that added value for their perfect potential customers. They got an 18% open rate on their emails and booked 20 meetings. They qualified 10 of those meetings—a whopping 50% qualification rate. They qualified more leads with their 350 than the 14,000 other emails that went out.

They took the 14,000 emails that hadn’t generated any leads and tried to give them value, but they couldn’t. Once you burn them, there’s no going back. Kim notes that the goal is to “Provide valuable, relevant content for the leads to engage in, and then follow up appropriately.” 

Providing value matters AND it works. Good content and understanding your perfect potential customer is the key to success. Sales messages don’t provide any value. They’re designed for the bottom of the funnel. But marketing messages share value while sharing, relating, and engaging. You’re hitting the top and middle of the funnel and engaging in a long-term strategy. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Kim Albee

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Oct 28, 2020

What is the difference between prospecting and lead generation? How are they similar? How do your strategies need to vary with either approach? In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Bill McCormick shares some strategies to help salespeople nail lead generation and prospecting. If you’re ready to take your skills to the next level—don’t miss this episode. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:35] The difference between prospecting and lead generation
  • [3:00] Why is lead generation and prospecting important to sales?
  • [3:39] The ideal prospecting and lead generation process
  • [7:08] The attributes a salesperson needs to embrace to find success
  • [8:19] Ditch the pitch: learn to provide both value + insight
  • [11:01] Bill’s top 3 dos and top 3 don’ts
  • [13:35] Bill’s story that proves timing really is everything

WHY a prospect and a lead are so different

Bill points out that lead generation and prospecting are both activities that you do. They can be very similar in that respect. But a prospect and a lead are quite different. A lead is someone at the tip of the funnel that’s not yet qualified. They may not even end up being a part of the sales process. A prospect is someone who has been qualified. They’ve made it into the funnel. The bottom line? All prospects are leads but not all leads are prospects. 

Bill also points out that lead gen happens very early in the process. It’s being able to take a quick look at someone—and based on your ideal client profile—determine if they’re going to make it into the prospecting category. Lead generation is all about lead qualification. Prospecting is about researching and moving the prospect along to the end goal of a sales conversation. 

The ideal prospecting and lead gen process

Bill is quick to note that each sale in each industry can be different. But he shares some key components anyone can focus on:

You must cultivate an ideal client profile: You need to have an idea of who you’re looking for. It will either help you qualify and move leads forward—or discard them. Once they’ve been moved into the prospect category, you must then determine the “who” and the “how.” The “who” is composed of the decision-makers. 

Secondly, you need to focus on how you will authentically nurture the relationship with a prospect to move them along your funnel to a sales conversation. When people are prospecting on LinkedIn, they are starting with sales conversations. Bill emphasizes that you can’t do that. What do you do instead? Ditch the pitch

Ditch the pitch: provide value and insight

Bill shares another solid piece of advice: ditch the pitch. Bill leads by providing value and insight to nurture someone along the sales funnel. Don’t lead with your solution—lead to it. He notes that it’s hard to do because you believe in your product and service. But when you pitch, you sound like the adults in a Charlie Brown cartoon. No one listens. 

He was recently on a call with a prospect and shared some insight with him. His prospect said, “Hey, you better stop, you’re giving away too much.” But that’s exactly the way Bill wants it. He responded by saying, “Imagine what you’re gonna get from us when you’re working with us.”

Bill goes on to say, “Remember the end goal is to have a sales conversation. We have to earn the right to have that conversation by providing value‚and not by pitching.” Bill shares some of the key attributes he believes a salesperson needs to succeed with lead generation and prospecting. Listen to learn what those are!

Bill’s top 3 lead generation and prospecting dos and don’ts

Bill summarizes his top do’s and don’ts for everyone to follow to find success: 

  • Connect on LinkedIn with ALL of your clients. It makes for great prospecting potential down the road. 
  • Make sure you have nailed down an ideal client profile and understand that everyone can’t be your ideal client. You’ll hit your best batting percentage when you’re swinging at the right prospects.
  • Make sure you develop a way to nurture your prospects without pitching to them. How do you provide value and insight at each point of the funnel?
  • Don’t use the LinkedIn Connect button as a cold outreach tool. If you pitch the whole way it falls flat. 
  • Don’t think in terms of closing a sale. You don’t want commission breath. Think in terms of having a conversation.
  • Don’t rush the process. Timing is everything. If we focus on valuable and insightful conversations, the sales will come when the time is right. 

Bill shares a poignant story to drive his last point home—don’t miss it. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Bill McCormick

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Oct 21, 2020

Many people are familiar with the concept of time pressure as a negotiation tactic—but what about allowing time to lapse as a tool? How does the passage of time sway a negotiation and become a powerful tactic? In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Jodi Cahn shares this powerful negotiation tactic and many others, including understanding and addressing a counterparty’s core needs. 

Jodi is an experienced negotiation trainer and has taught KARRASS® Effective Negotiating for 20 years around the globe. On top of being a practice negotiation trainer, she is a Sales Representative with Solar Energy Partners in California. Don’t miss this insightful episode! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:41] What is negotiation?
  • [2:20] Why is negotiation important in business?
  • [3:17] Why don’t salespeople like to negotiate?
  • [4:58] Jodi’s negotiation process
  • [7:16] Patience truly is a virtue
  • [8:37] Negotiation tools, tactics, strategies
  • [9:51] Top 3 dos and don’ts
  • [11:51] Jodi’s favorite negotiation story

View negotiation as the beginning of a relationship

Negotiation is an exchange where two parties both want in, but there’s a gap that must be closed. It is about an exchange of values. There has to be a give and take piece to it. It is a critical part of business. 

“In business as in life—you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate,” — Chester L. Karass

Jodi points out that we’ve got to be able to defend our interests and participate creatively in the give and take process. Nobody likes it when one side wins. Both parties have to be satisfied for successful relationships to be built that will last long-term and be fruitful. So you must be creative and adaptable.

Negotiation is a competitive game and in any competitive game, you make moves and countermoves. So you have to recognize tactics and be able to counter them. But you have to learn to move outside of the game and into a cooperative approach to build a relationship. 

Understand the other party’s core needs

Jodi emphasizes that you need to think about the needs of the other party that may not be obvious to you at the outset of the negotiation process. Be creative and listen deeply to address the unspoken needs of the other party—and address them before the other party does. The better you understand their needs and the more specifically you can address them, the more likely it is that they’re going to feel taken care of by you. It forms trust in you when they feel heard by you and they’re willing to be flexible with you in return.

She shares the 10 core needs that you can focus on: financial needs, time, avoiding risk, satisfying organizational demands, avoiding extra costs, convenience, growth potential, reducing aggravation, status, and satisfaction with the deal. It has to do with something called psychological reciprocity. There's a level of psychological reciprocity that takes place between people when they feel heard and appreciated. You want to keep the negotiation in that framework and keep the relationship healthy. 

One of the benefits you gain when you focus on and address their core needs? You’re limiting the other party’s options—but only if you can address those needs better than someone else can. Limiting their options gives you power in the negotiation.

The importance of the passage of time

Jodi shares some important attributes a great sales negotiator encompasses. One of them is the ability to be patient and realize that time is your friend. Our culture in the West is in such a hurry all the time. The benefit Eastern cultures have over us is their use of time. They aren’t rushing to get things done. Jodi so poignantly states, “With the passage of time, information surfaces. With the passage of time, the relationship deepens. With the passage of time, people become flexible.” The ability to be patient is critical—but often overlooked. Jodi shares a well-thought list of negotiation dos and don’ts that will leave you inspired, so keep listening. 

Time as a negotiation tool

Before Jodi became a negotiation trainer, she was in the film business. She and her partner had a script that we wanted to produce and were negotiating a deal with Lionsgate in the UK. When Jodi saw the terms they were offering, she thought they were absolutely terrible. She didn’t want to respond to it. In fact, the agreement was so one-sided that she chose not to respond

After three weeks, Lionsgate called and asked for a response. Jodi couldn’t give in, she didn’t know how to respond. They waited for a total of three months. After three months, Lionsgate realized she wasn’t going to respond. What happened? They came back and offered a much better deal to move the film forward. 

Jodi corrected the power balance through the use of time and got a deal she was happy with. The moral of the story? Time is a powerful negotiation tool.

Resources and People Mentioned

Connect with Jodi Cahn

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Oct 14, 2020

In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Philip Brown shares a few unique negotiation tactics and strategies that any negotiator can add to their skill set. Negotiation can be an uncomfortable process for salespeople, but if you employ some of the tactics Philip shares, you’ll be well on your way to becoming more comfortable with the process. 

Philip Brown is the inventor of Negotiation Cards® and the founder and creator of The Negotiation Club Ltd. His vision is to help businesses hone their negotiation skills through Practical Practice Workshops—with the end goal to increase revenue, boost profits & improve services. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:51] Negotiation is problem-solving with a twist
  • [1:26] The importance of negotiation 
  • [2:01] Why don’t salespeople like to negotiate?
  • [3:01] Philip’s negotiation process
  • [4:32] Attributes of a sales negotiator
  • [5:17] Negotiation tactics, tools, and strategies
  • [6:36] Top 3 negotiation dos and top 3 don’ts
  • [8:49] Phil’s favorite negotiation story

Problem-solving—with a twist

Philip sees negotiation as a problem-solving process, with a twist: “It's all about solving blockers and barriers to an agreement which could be on the table, but the twist to it is that although you're problem-solving, you're also trying to maximize your value from that agreement.” Negotiation is also a unique skill set that is important to the business. If an agreement doesn’t deliver a net benefit, then you’re in a weaker position than when you started. Negotiation skills are paramount to ensuring you’re always on the growth side of the equation.

A procurement perspective on negotiation tactics

From the procurement side of things—where Philip’s viewpoint is from—the first thing you do to prepare for a negotiation is to understand the specifications of what you want. Then look at market information and build an agenda you follow through the entire negotiation process. Continue to build specifications with internal stakeholders and understand their boundaries, who the decision-makers are, and what the approval process is. Philip points out that learning to properly use an agenda is imperative. You need to have an agenda from the very beginning and be updating it constantly throughout the negotiation 

Philip’s negotiation do’s and don’ts

Philip emphasizes some things that successful negotiators do:

  1. Practice: Practice your negotiations outside of the actual real-world negotiation. You will never come across a football, baseball, or basketball team at the top of their game that hasn’t practiced. Why is that any different to negotiation as a skill? 
  2. Always consider the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’: Consider why certain wording is being used and how someone’s body language reflects a response to the question you put forward. 
  3. Active Listening: Active listening is a fundamental attribute and skill. It’s about employing the proper questioning techniques and trying to understand the reasoning behind what’s being said. 
  4. Reflect: Take time to reflect and consider what’s happened throughout the negotiation. 

Philip believes that every single person has a different negotiation style. A ‘don’t’ for him may not be a don’t for everyone else, nor always the right thing to do in a negotiation. But one ‘don’t’ he recommends you don’t get emotional unless it’s on purpose.

Negotiation tactics: Throw out an odd number

Philip has a friend who’s an independent truck driver. He’s an exceptionally well deliverer of service and always reliable and trustworthy. Because of this, he was always paid more than the rest of the agency drivers. But then the firm increased the rates of all of the other agency drivers so their rates matched. 

There was only one other driver who had been receiving a higher rate. The first man went to the agency and expressed his frustration. He asked for a higher rate and was turned down. Philip’s friend then went to the firm to discuss the issue. He was persistent with his request for a higher rate based on his experience. 

The hiring agency asked if he’d split the difference with them and threw out a nice even number somewhere in the middle. Normally, Philip’s friend would’ve accepted the request. However, he decided to try a different tactic—and threw out an odd number that was slightly higher (and benefited him). The hiring manager was thrown off and agreed to the higher odd number

Philip’s friend was tenacious and continued negotiating through discomfort. He wasn’t afraid to test a new tactic—and it paid off. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Philip Brown

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Oct 7, 2020

How is negotiation a problem-solving process? What is the best way for a salesperson to approach a negotiation? Susan Borke emphasizes that negotiation is a problem-solving opportunity that arises anytime someone makes a request. And there are a lot of requests that come up in business—between vendors, suppliers, clients, and even internally within your organization. You have to learn how to handle those requests in a way that is beneficial to each party. Susan shares her thoughts on the problem-solving process that is negotiation in this episode of Sales Reinvented. Don’t miss it! 

Susan Borke is the owner and Principal of BorkeWorks and has been teaching negotiating techniques for over 25 years. With a background in legal and financial administration, she has managed departments and divisions that included attorneys, paralegals, and other business professionals. She understands the needs of C-level executives and their employees as well as the pressures faced by creative professionals and entrepreneurs.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:09] What is negotiation?
  • [1:28] Why is negotiation important? 
  • [1:54] Salespeople don’t like to negotiate—why?
  • [2:56] Susan’s negotiation process
  • [5:03] The attributes of a great sales negotiator
  • [6:11] Why you must calculate the BATNA for both parties
  • [9:46] Top 3 negotiation dos and don’ts
  • [11:55] Favorite negotiation story

Viewing negotiation as a problem-solving process

Susan embraces the mindset that negotiation is a problem-solving process. She points out that an effective resolution solves all or most of your problems and all or most of your counterparty’s problems too. To achieve the result that you want—which is maximizing what everyone gets out of it—Susan employees a two-phase problem-solving process that provides a roadmap that is effective in any negotiation:

  • Negotiation Readiness: This is the work you do by yourself to prepare for the negotiation. It consists of research, rehearsal, and review. 
  • Negotiation Resolution: This is the work you do when you're engaging with your counterparty in any way. It may be in-person, over the phone, a video call, or email. This process consists of regulating your emotion, relating to them, and responding accordingly.

If you’re in the midst of a negotiation you need to be able to regulate your emotions. If you’re surprised or caught off guard by what someone says, how do you regain your footing? How do you diffuse the situation when emotions get heated? You must know your buttons as well as strategies to address situations when they arise

Sales and negotiation skills go hand in hand

Salespeople often get anxious when they get to the negotiation part of the sales process. They fear hearing the word “no” or failing to negotiate effectively for their interests. Susan points out that many of the skills that serve successful salespeople are useful in negotiating. It all comes down to your mindset. Salespeople need to modify their mindset about negotiation. They need to employ new tactics but realize things that they already do can also be effective when they negotiate. Susan points out that “It becomes a virtuous cycle of being able to be more effective when they negotiate, achieving success, and then doing the same thing again.

She also emphasizes that anyone can learn the skills to be an effective salesperson and an effective negotiator. The skills ARE transferable. At the end of the day, it’s about doing your homework—and listening attentively. Once you interact with your counterparty, the key is to listen more than you talk. You want to genuinely seek to understand what your counterparty is saying they need. You also want to be alert to what is going unsaid and be comfortable with silence. It comes down to creating a relationship of integrity and trust.

BATNA: Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement

One key element of preparation is to understand what each part will do if they fail to reach an agreement. You must calculate the best alternative to a negotiated agreement, AKA—your plan B. You must engage in this thought experiment for yourself AND the other party. Susan believes it gives you an incredible amount of leverage. Not only does it illustrate that you've been thinking about them, but it also gives you a chance to weaken their BATNA. 

Perhaps a sales manager has a reputation for giving an extra discount to an unhappy prospective client just to make the deal happen. A sales team who knows about his situation can go to them in advance. They can share the parameters with the sales manager and make sure he or she is willing to back them up. Or they agree that the sales director WILL grant a discount but it’s a pre-agreed upon amount that is part of the strategy. You want to make sure you aren’t losing your commission and the organization doesn’t lose profit. 

A negotiation story: Two children—one orange

Susan asks you to imagine a situation where you have two children and one orange (the children are NOT siblings). They both want the orange. How do you resolve the problem? Most people say the answer is easy: “Cut the orange in half.” So one child takes her half, peels it, and eats the meat. The other takes the peel and uses the zest and throws away the meat. 

Each child lost half of what they wanted.

Instead, you must start the problem-solving process by taking the time to ask, “What are you planning to do with the orange?” This allows you to gather the information that enables you to give each party 100% of what they want. Susan points out that you can get so fixed on where you want to end up that you fail to see the needs we're actually trying to satisfy. 

To hear more of Susan’s sage advice o n the negotiation problem-solving process, listen to the whole episode of Sales Reinvented! 

Connect with Susan Borke

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Sep 30, 2020

Do you know negotiation techniques you can apply in any given situation? What strategies and tactics should you employ—or leave in the dust? Santino Pasutto is my guest in this episode of Sales Reinvented. He shares the challenges you face in the negotiation process, how to prepare, and some dos and don’ts of upmost importance. Don’t miss this episode focused on negotiation techniques!

Santino ‘Tino’ Pasutto is the Senior Vice President of Strategic and Commercial Development at Optimum Talent. He is a skilled sales and negotiation leader with 15+ years in business management. Tino is known by customers for his strategic approach to uncovering opportunities and helping them understand business issues that once addressed will allow them to improve their competitiveness. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:45] What is negotiation?
  • [1:05] Why is it so important?
  • [1:28] Why do salespeople HATE negotiation?
  • [2:51] Santino’s negotiation process
  • [4:39] Empathy is more important than ever
  • [5:46] Negotiation techniques to embrace
  • [7:23] Tino’s top 3 dos and don’ts
  • [10:35] Favorite negotiation story

The challenges within a negotiation

Both parties in a negotiation have shared and opposing interests. The goal of a negotiation is to narrow the gaps between those opposed interests and understand each other’s perspectives to come to an agreement. Tino is careful to note that win-wins aren’t always achievable. But the more you can understand the other person’s point of view, the easier it is to agree.

Another challenging factor for salespeople is that negotiation is an under-trained skill. But you CAN learn, hone, and develop negotiation techniques until you’re skilled. Tino notes that on top of poor training, salespeople probably have an unhealthy sales funnel that stems from poor targeting. Opportunities may be forced and they’re put in a position where they constantly have to negotiate and it’s a price battle. A lot of that stems from prospects that don’t align with your value proposition. 

Over-prepare for the negotiation 

Tino notes that salespeople tend to go in underprepared. But he believes it’s far better to err on the side of being over-prepared—and it’s the first of the negotiation techniques you should employ. Do what you can to gather customer research online, through social media, or LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Extensively research and understand your cost model and your margins and what levers you can pull on. Understanding your numbers helps you understand your walk-away point. 

Another tip? Don’t fall in love with the deal because you’ll probably overpay. Tino emphasizes that this is why discovery meetings are so critical. It allows you to gather information on how to position your service relative to the opposing organization’s challenges and issues. You then position your offering and reaffirm your value proposition throughout the negotiation. 

Don’t devalue your position

Santino implores salespeople: do not deal in maybes. Say “Yes, we can offer that” or “No, we can’t.” Avoid saying “let me check with my boss.” Why? Because it really devalues your position in the negotiation. If you’re waffling on your responses, the person on the other side of the table then realizes that you’re NOT the decision-maker. They’ll keep asking for more, keep pushing back, and it spirals downward. Don’t compromise your position.

You can avoid wishy-washy responses by utilizing negotiation techniques such as scenario planning and determining questions they may ask ahead of time. Plan it out so you don’t have to think on the fly. Tino notes that it’s also important that you be in alignment with your team before you walk in the door. You can’t pass notes under the table during a negotiation. You’ve got to know what the person next to you is thinking and how each of you will respond to questions that arise.

Negotiation techniques: Tino’s dos and don’ts

Tino shares that you must know the customer’s problems and how to address them tangibly. How do you make your value proposition tangible so they can compare you with other vendors? It helps you earn credibility going into the conversation. To do so, you need to be inquisitive and ask great questions. 

Why is a term or clause important? Why do they value it? Are they asking just to ask? Or is there a misunderstanding between parties? Uncover the entire iceberg. The more you can uncover their problems by asking intelligent questions the more you can understand—and reach your desired outcome. 

Ultimately, you want to have a healthy sales funnel so you CAN walk away from poor deals that don’t make sense. Salespeople don’t always think about the fact that opportunities outside of your current negotiation make a positive contribution to the process. You also have to know the math inside and out and know your walkaway point. Lastly, make sure your entire negotiation team is in alignment.

To hear Tino discuss his favorite negotiation techniques in detail, listen to the entire episode of the Sales Reinvented podcast! 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Santino Pasutto

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Sep 23, 2020

Why should you build options into your negotiation? How do different options influence the potential customer towards making a deal? Does it cheapen your service offering? Sheila Heen joins this episode of the Sales Reinvented podcast to share her take on the negotiation process—and why she believes presenting the customer options can be a gamechanger. 

Sheila Heen has taught negotiation at Harvard Law School for 20+ years. She is the founder and CEO of Triad Consulting. She also co-authored two New York Times bestsellers: Difficult Conversations: How To Discuss What Matters Most and Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well. Take advantage of her years of experience in negotiation and learn from the best—listen now! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:18] Sheila’s Introduction
  • [0:57] What is negotiation?
  • [1:16] Why is negotiation so important?
  • [1:30] Why don’t salespeople like to negotiate?
  • [3:50] Sheila’s negotiation process
  • [7:08] Attributes that make a great sales negotiator
  • [9:43] Tools, tactics, and strategies
  • [11:14] Top 3 negotiation dos and don’ts
  • [15:11] Favorite negotiation story 

Salespeople don’t want to strain the customer relationship

According to Sheila, a negotiation is any interaction you’re having with someone where you’re hoping to influence them—or maybe they influence you. It’s the way decisions get made. The better you are at it the more you learn and the more influence you have. Salespeople struggle with negotiation because it takes their relationship with a customer and strains it. Why?

You’re trying to build a relationship with the people you’re going to serve. You’re learning about their challenges and how you can support what they’re trying to accomplish—then it gets handed to procurement. Suddenly, we have disconnected the negotiation from the underlying needs and it becomes ALL about price. It can feel stressful. 

Even worse—in your discomfort—you can give in to their asks. Every time you give in, you’re teaching them how to negotiate with you.

Understand your customer’s sphere of influence

Sheila believes you need to understand the client’s challenges. What are they trying to accomplish? What have they tried already? What has or hasn’t worked in the past? Who are they trying to influence internally? What else is on their mind? Who do they have to negotiate with to get a green light on this?

Who are the key stakeholders who—if they really buy into what you’re doing—are going to be their biggest advocates? It doesn’t always align with whoever has the official job titles. You must listen to find out who the decision-makers are in their world. You must equip your counterpart to be prepared for the internal negotiations they’ll have with those influencers. Sheila points out that “The success of my negotiation hinges on the success of their negotiations.”

Why you NEED to build options into your negotiation

Another tip that Sheila shares is that you must listen carefully for the language and vocabulary that your counterpart uses internally. Incorporate everything you’ve learned into your proposal—using their own terminology that’s familiar to them. Secondly, you must create different budget options for them in the proposal. For example:

  • Option A: Accomplishes everything you want to accomplish at a certain price point. 
  • Option B: Accomplishes most of what you want to accomplish with more risk, with someone you don’t know, etc. but potentially at a more affordable price.

By having a couple of options that test the waters, it actually flushes out they're real interests and constraints. Presenting them with options also gives them an out—if we are going to save some money, what are the tradeoffs? Make it a joint problem for both of you to solve. Perhaps you can’t deliver the same thing for less, but you can work together to deliver as much value as possible for their investment.

Negotiating this way helps them feel like they have the autonomy to choose the best fit for them. They always know more about their context and the reactions that they're going to get in their internal conversations than you do.

A great sales negotiator is a great listener

Sheila emphasizes that the ability to listen is the most important attribute a salesperson can have. She’s recently talked to a vendor about a platform to use for the upcoming school year. The vendor didn’t ask her a SINGLE question. She didn’t ask questions about Sheila’s class, what she was concerned about, or what she needed

Instead, the saleswoman immediately launched into showing her the features of the platform. It didn’t inspire a lot of confidence. Even just five minutes of asking questions about Sheila’s needs and concerns—followed by the same presentation—would have yielded dramatically different results. What a missed opportunity

Sheila shares her favorite tools, tactics, and strategies AND her top 3 negotiation dos and don’ts plus her favorite negotiation story. This episode is packed full of useful information—don’t miss it!

Connect with Sheila Heen

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Sep 16, 2020

Do you know how to use leverage in negotiation? Or are you afraid to come across as demanding, therefore harming your relationship with a prospect? Today’s guest on the Sales Reinvented podcast—Steve Hall—shares how you can use leverage in negotiation that creates a mutually beneficial outcome for all sides. 

Steve is the Managing Director of Executive Sales Coaching of Australia and is recognized as Australia's leading authority on selling at sea level. He is a member of the Sales Experts Channel and has been a finalist in several categories in the Top Sales World Awards. Don’t miss out on his expertise in negotiation—listen now!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:50] Steve’s definition of negotiation
  • [1:18] Negotiation plays an integral part
  • [1:36] Common fears around negotiation
  • [2:51] Steve’s negotiation process
  • [4:15] Attributes of a successful negotiator
  • [5:55] Negotiation tactics to leverage
  • [10:07] Top 4 negotiation dos and don’ts
  • [13:01] How to use leverage in negotiation 

The power dynamic in negotiation

Negotiation is an important part of life. It’s also an integral part of the entire selling and business process. With it being such a normal part of our existence, why do salespeople hate it so much? Steve believes that salespeople want to be liked and prefer not to make demands of people. They’re afraid to negotiate because they’re afraid they will lose the deal. They have this faulty belief that the customer has all of the power and leverage in negotiation. This belief stems from a complete lack of formal negotiation training for salespeople. Of course they don’t like it, because they don’t understand it. And you fear what you can’t understand

Level the playing field with research

Steve emphasizes negotiation preparation begins with: research, research, research. You must understand what your outcome is, and what you’re trying to achieve. It’s not typically about money and usually other factors are involved. It isn’t just making a sale or completing a contract—but an outcome that works for both sides. What is their desired outcome? What are they trying to achieve? Who are you talking to—procurement? Or are you negotiating with the CEO? 

The key is knowing what you want, knowing what they want, and anticipating what they might demand and ask for. Anticipate what you can offer. Having things ready increases the chance of leveraging the negotiation and getting what you want while giving the other person what they want. You must also remember, If you’ve been dealing with someone 6–12 months, they have skin in the game, too.

Negotiation tactics used on both sides of the table

Steve sold software in the 90s and his customers would often delay their decision-making when they were nearing the end of the year. They knew if they delayed long enough they had the potential to squeeze in some year-end deals. Conversely, if the other party has a strong deadline they have to meet—and you don’t—it’s negotiation leverage in your favor. Another tactic you can use to leverage the negotiation? Get your counterpart to agree to a small decision. This increases the likelihood that they’ll commit to a larger decision down the road. 

The power of leverage in negotiation 

Steve references a TV Show called Black Books (about a bookshop in England) to drive home his point about properly using leverage in a negotiation. In an episode of the show, a customer comes up to the counter and says “This book is being sold for 5 pounds, can I have it for 4 pounds?” The owner acquiesces—but tears out the last chapter before selling it to the customer. The next day, the customer comes back and says “I’ve got to know what happens!” and the bookshop owner says “Sure! Give me twenty pounds.” He had all the leverage on his side, and the customer had no choice but to comply. 

Steve shares another story from a move two years ago. He moved houses and had to get his phone reconnected. He went to the phone company and was trying to set it up, but also wanted to set up streaming services. They said they couldn’t set it up immediately as he had requested because the phone wasn’t connected—but they’d send the box two weeks later because “It was their policy.” He asked to speak to a supervisor and was still turned down. 

So he went online and found an article in which the Managing Director of Customer service was interviewed. The article was all about how they had transformed their customer service and were customer-focused. Their main motto was “Yes we can.” So he called customer service again and mentioned he was writing an article about their customer service. He pointed out that the article the Managing Director was interviewed in didn’t meet the reality he was facing. He allowed them to respond—and they sent him the box and the service was active shortly after. 

He created leverage by using their own words to his favor and he got exactly what he wanted. The moral of the story? Always find leverage in negotiation.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Steve Hall

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Sep 9, 2020

Intellectual curiosity is a curiosity that leads to the acquisition of knowledge. The intellectually curious have a deep and authentic need to understand the world and the people around them. In this episode of the Sales Reinvented podcast, Mike Macchiarelli shares how intellectual curiosity influences the negotiation process. Don’t miss this episode!

Mike Macchiarelli has over ten years’ experience in B2C selling as a salesperson, trainer, and manager. During his time with Equinox—a global luxury-lifestyle fitness brand—he won numerous awards and has helped to train over 1,000 salespeople. He also is well known for his online blog, Saving Face, where he writes about sales, negotiation, and leadership.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:52] Negotiation is reaching a mutual agreement
  • [1:09] Business at its most basic is an exchange
  • [1:41] Why don’t salespeople like to negotiate?
  • [3:09] Mike’s negotiation process hinges on flexibility
  • [4:52] A great salesperson must have intellectual curiosity 
  • [5:50] A strategy Mike uses to bring curiosity into the equation
  • [7:34] Mike’s top 3 negotiation dos and don’ts
  • [9:40] What the Cuban Missile Crisis teaches us about negotiation 

Flexibility in negotiation is imperative 

The biggest hurdle to overcome in the negotiation process is preparation. Mike sets aside time in his calendar to prepare on paper, to think through what is about to happen and strategically formulate his approach. But Mike points out that no matter how strategic or well-crafted your approach is, you have to be prepared to change it throughout the negotiation. 

It’s a journey with different stages and you have to be flexible. You have to mentally prepare to go back and forth 5-8 times (or more) and adapt your strategy along the way. One of Mike’s favorite approaches is from Michael Wheeler’s book ‘The Art of Negotiation’. In its simplest form, you must: learn, adapt, and influence. Keep listening to hear more about his approach! 

Intellectual curiosity is the key to successful negotiations

Mike emphasizes that a salesperson at his or her core needs to be curious. Curiosity trumps all. The entire sales and negotiation process is a process of exploration and discovery. You must have the curiosity to discover what’s truly driving the other person and what’s going to meet their needs. So much of what you need to know is hidden under the surface. It takes curiosity to ask the right questions to gather the necessary information. You must actively listen to understand and have empathy throughout the process. 

An exercise to build your curiosity muscle

An exercise that Mike recommends to build your curiosity muscle is to take a sheet of paper and list out everything you know about the current situation: Who are the people you’ll be negotiating with? What is their professional background? What about personal information? What are they looking for? Who are the stakeholders? What issues may crop up? 

In another column write everything you’re wondering based on what you know. It enables you to train your intellectual curiosity and come up with a million great questions and avenues to explore during your negotiation. It also helps you focus on the driving factors and motivations of the other person.

Mike shares his top negotiation do’s and don’ts—and why price is rarely the issue in a failed negotiation—so keep listening!

A negotiation doesn’t exist in a vacuum

Mike is a huge history buff. One of his favorite negotiation stories happened during JFK’s presidency: The Cuban Missile Crisis. The United States found out that Russia had been building and storing missiles in Cuba. The situation could’ve easily escalated into conflict—maybe even a nuclear war. But when the two countries negotiated, they allowed each party to save face. They consciously applied empathy and placed themselves in the other person's shoes before they made moves that could exacerbate the situation. 

Mike points out that you must never back a person into a corner or make them look bad in front of other people. A negotiation doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The people you negotiate with will always have to explain their decisions to another person. They have to think about whether or not the deal will reflect well on them. It’s part of the social conditioning built around making a deal. It’s our job to help them feel confident and certain they can justify their decision to another person. They’ll go through with the agreement if they are confident in the deal being made.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Mike Macchiarelli

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Sep 2, 2020

Why is knowing your walk-away point so important in a negotiation? How does it influence the process? In this episode of the Sales Reinvented podcast, Diane Helbig shares her thoughts on knowing your floor—your bottom-line walk-away point—and why it’s such an important part of the negotiation process. 

Diane Helbig is an international business advisor, sales trainer, and growth accelerator. She is the author of Succeed Without Selling and the host of the Accelerate Your Business Growth podcast. Don’t miss her unique take on the negotiation process!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:36] Diane’s definition of negotiation
  • [0:57] The key to long-term and successful relationships
  • [1:14] Change the mindset around the negotiation 
  • [1:58] Diane’s process begins with knowing your walk-away point
  • [3:54] The attributes Diane believes are important in a salesperson
  • [4:31] Tools, tactics, and strategies to prepare for the negotiation
  • [5:11] Don’t make assumptions during any part of the process
  • [6:52] How Diane’s firm walk-away point paid off big

How Diane prepares for the negotiation process

Diane’s negotiation process always includes calculating her walk-away point. It simply means that she writes out the point she is willing to walk away if an agreement can’t be made. She emphasizes that you must know this before you walk into the negotiation conversation. 

Secondly, you must let the other party speak. You need to ask questions to understand their walk-away point. If you know their floor and ceiling, you can identify where you’ll meet in the middle. Diane implores salespeople to listen without a preconceived idea or agenda other than to learn. It’s critically important. Be quiet, calm, and hear what they’re saying and create healthy dialogue. 

Don’t make assumptions about any part of the negotiation process. Don’t assume anything—the conclusion, where they’re coming from, and what the customer needs or wants. Diane points out that this is a recipe for disaster. 

Be prepared to adapt the conversation

Another ‘don’t’ that Diane believes is important: Don’t respond to things you don’t hear. Salespeople have a bad habit of hearing what someone is saying but responding with a different or competing thought. They tend to come into the conversation with ONE thing they believe the customer needs to know or ONE solution they’re dead-set on offering. When a salesperson responds to what they wish was asked—it causes a massive disconnect. It’s all well and good to be prepared to convey your underlying value message. But If it isn’t brought up—there’s no point in mentioning it. 

When being blunt with your walk-away point helps you win big

15 years ago Diane had decided to leave the company she was working for. She created an agreement and a process that she wanted to approach her employer with. She created a strategy and she told the owner she wanted to change their relationship. She wanted to be paid a commission on each of her customer’s sales, not a salary. 

The owner said no to her request. So she asked him to sit down to have a conversation about it. As she listened to him, she realized his reasons for saying no weren’t in the best interest of the business, but about staying in control. She knew what her walk-away point was and they hit a point where she just said she’d give him her two-week notice—and he backed off. 

So they started to negotiate her commission. She wasn’t asking for commissions on sales with the highest paying clients or the other 180 she worked with—just the 20 clients she had a strong relationship with. They finally agreed on terms.

When Diane went back to sign the paperwork and asked “What do you want to tell people about what I’m doing?”. He questioned why he would need to tell them anything. She pointed out that if a client called that she wasn’t working with anymore, someone would have to tell them something. 

She realized he hadn’t paid attention to that portion of her conversation or the addendum in the paperwork. She ended up getting ALL of her clients and got exactly what she wanted and more while he got exactly what he wanted. She learned that you must be quiet, calm, and confident in the moment. The success of this negotiation was because she knew the value of what she had to offer and was confident with her walk-away point.

Connect with Diane Helbig

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Aug 26, 2020

It’s time to get comfortable being uncomfortable with negotiation. The vast majority of the population finds negotiation uncomfortable and they allow that discomfort to derail the process. Today’s guest on the Sales Reinvented podcast—Perry Green—shares that it doesn’t have to be that way. It can be a game-changer if you learn how to embrace the discomfort and move beyond it. 

Perry Green is a highly accomplished and experienced negotiation executive, with over 25 years in the CPG industry. He is a past recipient of The President’s Award, Nestle’s highest sales honor. He’s currently the Director of The Gap Partnership, the world’s leading negotiation consultancy. Don’t miss this episode packed with expert advice from one of the best negotiators. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:40] Negotiation is an intentional and intense conversation
  • [1:21] Negotiation helps you identify how to move forward
  • [2:02] Why salespeople don’t like to negotiate
  • [3:50] Perry shares his “de-preparation” process
  • [5:12] The attributes of a great negotiator
  • [6:10] Embrace this powerful negotiation tool
  • [7:13] Perry shares his top 3 dos and don’ts 
  • [9:49] The hardest part of the negotiation process

Salespeople must get comfortable being uncomfortable

Perry points out that salespeople always focus on the ABCs: Always Be Closing. Once we hit our objective, we are high-fiving and celebrating. But with the negotiation process, you have to push yourself to a place where you’re uncomfortable. The deal you’ve “won” may go sideways or fall apart, and that’s hard to cope with. We want to feel good about the relationship, but then we want to get out of there. 

Negotiation is an uncomfortable back-and-forth. But Perry points out that we have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. One way you can do that is by looking beyond why you’re there. Most salespeople represent a large organization. They represent numerous voiceless and faceless people within that organization. The revenue that you bring in allows those employees to take care of their families. 

Perry emphasizes that those are the things we have to think about—versus our own discomfort. We have to focus on the value that we bring to the table. 

Be a practitioner of the craft

Perry notes that a successful negotiator needs to be a practitioner of their craft. You need to be someone who is going to practice the craft every single day. If you’re studying body language in negotiation, are you practicing the techniques in conversation with your colleagues? Are you practicing at home? Applying those skill sets in your day-to-day helps them to become natural so that when you’re in an uncomfortable negotiation you’re able to overcome your discomfort.

Perry also recommends embracing the tool of silence. He believes it is the most powerful weapon that you have. Salespeople love to talk, so when we don’t talk it unnerves the other party. It allows us to see what’s going on inside their head. It’s also a tactic we often forget about. Perry believes that if we’re going to say something it should be followed by questions to glean information from the other party. Then you stay silent and listen.

Don’t let your customer see you sweat

Perry emphasizes: “Don’t ever let your counterparty see you sweat.” Instead, you have to learn to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Get out of your own head and don’t spend your time making rationalizations. Don’t focus on trying to figure out where things will go. Instead, get in their head and glean the information you need that will bring you to the outcome that you want. He also notes that you shouldn’t give the other party more power than they already have. Start the negotiation from an equal playing field. To hear more of Perry’s strategies to get comfortable being uncomfortable, keep listening!

The hardest part of the negotiation process

When Perry worked for Nestle, he worked with a national retailer that his company had an exciting relationship with. They had been working together for years. During this particular negotiation, they were working on a joint business plan. Both sides kept introducing more variables to try and make the deal work. The negotiation went on for a week.

When they finally reconvened, Perry was ready to do whatever necessary to get the deal done. 

But he’ll never forget what his category manager said to him: “Perry, no is an acceptable answer.” Unfortunately, the answer in that negotiation was no. From there on out Perry recognized that he had to get comfortable being uncomfortable and learn to say no when it was necessary. In the end they got better results because they didn’t try to force something and pay too much for it. 

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Aug 19, 2020

Do you have the right combination of negotiation tools, tactics, and strategies in your arsenal? Do you understand how important it is to develop negotiation skills? In this episode of the Sales Reinvented podcast, Kristie Jones shares some of her favorite negotiation tools. She also gives some sage advice about the negotiation process. Don’t miss it! 

Kristie Jones is the Principal at the Sales Acceleration Group. Kristie is the go-to expert for tech startup founders who want to accelerate their revenue by improving their sales strategy, process, and people. She uses her 15+ years of experience to help small and mid-sized technology companies take their revenue to the next level.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:43] What is negotiation?
  • [1:31] Why don’t salespeople like to negotiate?
  • [2:39] How Kristie uses anchoring in negotiation 
  • [4:01] The attributes of a great negotiator
  • [6:20] Negotiation tools, tactics, and strategies
  • [7:49] Kristie’s top 3 negotiation dos and top 3 don’ts
  • [11:07] Kristie’s favorite negotiation story

Negotiation is a critical piece of the sales process

According to Kristie, negotiation is the process of working toward an agreement on an issue formally not agreed upon. She notes that people don’t regularly see eye-to-eye on numerous topics. So the ability to talk through differences without damaging a business relationship is critical to ongoing and long-term success.

Negotiation gets tricky because people, in general, don’t like to negotiate. Not only that, but most sales reps don’t have the correct formal training or repeatable processes in place that allow them to deal with those situations—and proper training is key. Salespeople have a process for filling funnels. We have cadences and sequences to handle outbound leads, stages in the sales cycle, and more. But Kristie is willing to bet that no one could pull out a repeatable strategy for negotiation. 

Seek to understand your customer

Kristie points out that you have to seek to understand. She handles negotiation like she would an objection and she handles an objection by asking more questions. When a weird question comes up that seems out of left field, assume that the prospect has had a bad experience. Find out the reason the question is being asked. Find out if they have had adverse experiences. Then differentiate yourself from that past bad experience. 

If their question is an unreasonable request, she notes that you are completely free to say: “I wish I could. Unfortunately, this is the situation...” What if you could trade something else for money? If it’s a significant client with nice brand recognition, trade case studies or testimonials for a discount. Or adjust the terms of payment instead of reducing the price. Understanding what is influencing their behaviors can help you reach acceptable terms for both parties. 

Kristie’s negotiation tools, tactics, and strategies

A negotiation tool that Kristie likes to use is calculating the cost of not coming to an agreement. Make a list of costs to each side and write down the disadvantage of not coming to an agreement. Sellers think “I’ve got a lot more to lose than the prospect or customer if this doesn’t come together.” But that’s not always the case. They may lose face with their boss or their team if they don’t make a deal happen. It might not look favorable for them. 

People take negotiation personally—but it’s not your money. It’s the company's money. It is everyone's job to get the best deal for their organization. Kristie also states “Don’t set fire to a bridge you might need to cross later.” Some relationships won’t be repairable if you don’t handle them appropriately. There’s a difference between negotiation and personally insulting or offending the person on the other side of the table. An agitated and upset person will impact your bottom-line more than someone who is happy. 

What buying SIX Acura cars has taught Kristie about negotiation 

Kristie is a huge fan of Acura, so much so that she’s purchased six of them over the last 20 years. She buys all of her cars from a salesman that refers to himself as “The Polish car guy”. Kristie LOVES the negotiation process and haggling and negotiating with her car guy. They’ve developed a nice banter over the years. She waits for one phrase to come out of his mouth and when it does—she knows she’s won. 

She admits she employs the ‘Columbo’ technique. Columbo was a TV detective who would pretend everything was wrapped up and then—on his way out the door—would say “Just one more thing…” She always ends the car-buying process with “I’m going to need new floor mats”. 

Kristie notes that you must be prepared and know who you’re dealing with. Know how they’re going to react. She comes to the table having done her homework and knows the market value of the car is and what competitors are offering it for. Do the same with your negotiation and you’ll have a great foundation to work from. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Kristie Jones

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Aug 12, 2020

Asking leading questions may not be permitted in a court of law, but in the negotiation process it is inherently necessary to ask leading questions. Asking the right questions is the #1 negotiation tactic that Ian Moyse emphasizes in this episode of Sales Reinvented. We also chat about his negotiation process, attributes of a successful negotiator, and other tools and tactics he utilizes. Don’t miss it!

Ian Moyse is the EMEA Sales Director at Natterbox and based out of the UK. He is also an industry social influencer who is widely published on matters of Sales Leadership, Social Selling, and Personal Branding. He was awarded the accolade of UK Sales Director of the Year by BESMA and in 2019 was listed in the top 50 Sales Keynote speakers by Top Sales World. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:56] What is negotiation?
  • [1:53] Why is negotiation so important? 
  • [2:41] Salespeople prefer to avoid conflict
  • [4:48] You need to ask leading questions
  • [7:42] Practice and preparation is key
  • [11:40] Hone your questioning skills
  • [14:30] Top 3 negotiation dos and don’ts
  • [16:44] Ian’s favorite negotiation story

Negotiation is woven into the entire sales process

A negotiation consists of two parties who both want something different. You have to talk through questions that arise to get to a mutually agreeable outcome—even if it’s not moving forward together. It’s still a negotiation. The more complex and larger the investment the customer is making, the more variance there is. The more they’re creating their own package, the more the customer is likely to want something different. That’s why Ian believes you must ask leading questions. He also notes that you shouldn’t park the negotiation at the end of the sales process. The earlier you can drive what the customer wants and get the hard points on the table, the better.

A negotiation thrives when you ask leading questions

A negotiation is only as strong as the questions you ask. Which is why it should include asking leading questions. You want to gain an understanding of the things the customer is looking for that aren’t standard. Whether its payment terms, technology, or licensing—there will always be something that comes up. 

Ian notes that a negotiation is simply a discussion around what you can or can’t have, where you can meet, how you can adjust things, and whether or not you can come to a mutual agreement. If you can knock out some of the hard questions early on in the process you shouldn’t get blindsided at the end. 

Ian uses the analogy of the Titanic. If the captain had seen the iceberg 10 miles away and made adjustments there wouldn’t have been this big surprise at the end when the ship sank. A negotiation is the same. If you ask leading questions in the beginning, you can usually avoid a sinking ship. 

How to lessen the fear surrounding negotiation

The label “negotiation” often makes a salesperson quake in their boots. Especially because Procurement people are trained how to negotiate and press the buttons of salespeople. They're trained on what to say to a salesperson, what to ask, and how to behave to get the maximum they can out of the process. They are subtle and experienced

Another tactic that Ian recommends to prepare for the process and alleviate nervousness is to practice. Practice playing the negotiation out with someone. It’s not about having the answers—it’s the method of discussion that you engage in. Roleplay and practice ahead of time. 

He also notes that if you’re nervous, bring someone along with you who’s more experienced. If you’re the only person negotiating on your side, you spend your time formulating an answer. If there’s two of you, one can take notes and you can alternate answering questions.

Hone your questioning skills

Do you have the knowledge and proper approach so you ask the right questions and handle them appropriately? A customer can ask any question in the world—but it doesn’t mean they’re going to get the answer they want. Likewise, salespeople have the right to ask clarifying questions:

What are the most important things we can address first? Can you elaborate? Can you explain why? Is there anything else you need? Can I clarify what you’re asking? 

Get your counterpart to talk more and put everything on the table. If you can discuss some difficult things at the right time and with the right manner of professionalism it puts you in the best position to win. 

There is no perfect world. Sometimes—no matter how much you prepare and ask leading questions—a negotiation won’t move forward. It’s the nature of business and negotiation. To hear more of Ian’s expert advice, listen to the whole episode!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Ian Moyse

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Aug 5, 2020

Most salespeople can naturally sense tension but are wholly uncomfortable with it. But healthy tension in negotiation is a normal part of the process that salespeople should embrace. According to today’s guest—Melissa Madian—healthy tension is critical to the success of a negotiation. In this episode of Sales Reinvented she talks about how it influences a negotiation and brings value to both parties. She emphasizes understanding the value you offer and holding firm. To benefit from her years of expertise in the field, listen to this episode!

Melissa Madian is the Founder and Chief Fabulous Officer at TMM Enablement Services Inc. She was one of the first people to pioneer the Sales Enablement role and has spent the past 25 years perfecting the sales experience for revenue-generating teams. Melissa is one of the 15 Top Sales Influencers to Follow in 2020, one of the 20 Women Leaders to Watch in Business in 2018 and ranked 10th of the 35+ Most Influential Women Leading B2B Marketing Technology.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:10] Capture value while maintaining healthy tension
  • [1:38] Negotiation abilities impact profitability
  • [2:47] Negotiation is the entire sales cycle
  • [4:10] Melissa’s negotiation process
  • [5:34] A salesperson can’t be afraid of conflict
  • [7:16] Negotiation tools, tactics, strategies
  • [8:12] Melissa’s top 3 dos and don’ts
  • [10:42] Why you should always present two options

The inaccurate perception of negotiation

In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Melissa Madian points out that there’s a perception that negotiation happens at the end of the sales cycle. That when we get to that point it’s time to put our gloves on and fight it out. Instead, she emphasizes that you’re always in a state of negotiation. There’s always a balance of give and get. It’s not you versus your customer. 

It’s about answering the question: How am I going to make sure we get value and the seller maintains value? In order to do so, you must maintain healthy tension. Melissa’s definition of negotiation is that simple: It’s capturing value while maintaining healthy tension. 

Maintain healthy tension in the negotiation

Melissa references a McKinsey report in which they shared that for every 5% that we discount our solution or product, 19% of the profit is lost. So when discounts are given because a salesperson would rather concede than operate in tension, all of your value leaks out of the negotiation. It also undermines your position as a valued vendor. 

Melissa notes that you need to go into the negotiation with a plan in place and determine what value each party needs to get. Then you need to decide what kind of healthy tension will you maintain in the negotiation so you don’t give up too much—but acquiesce when necessary. It always comes down to: What value am I providing to the customer? 

Be a personal trainer NOT a bartender

Melissa uses a wonderful analogy of a bartender and a personal trainer. She points out that there is no negotiation process with a bartender. You pay them and they feed you endless drinks until you’re drunk. There is no healthy tension, no give and take. The bartender gives and gives, and you take. 

Instead of being a bartender, you must negotiate like a personal trainer. A personal trainer pushes you towards your goals. At any given time, there might be a lot of conflict in the relationship because they’re pushing you to be better. The balance of the relationship is a healthy tension where both parties are pushed towards the same goal. 

Hold firm to the value you provide

Melissa emphasizes that good negotiators don’t roll over, they curate healthy tension because they know they’re offering something of value to their customer. You must first know the value of what you’re providing and then hold firm to the value you’re providing so that you don’t lose profit and you maintain your credibility. 

In order to know the value you’re providing them you must do your research. You know to know your customer, understand their pain points, and recognize how your product or service is making a positive impact on their company. You must research the potential roles that may get involved, objections that may come up, and do not allow yourself to be surprised by anything that crops up. Do not wing it or you will be blind-sided. 

She also implores: Do not assume that the customer won’t pay more money for what you’re providing to them. Customers do not pay solely because an item is well-priced. They pay for the value that it offers them. If you maintain healthy tension in the process you are more likely to succeed. To hear the rest of Melissa’s negotiation strategies and her favorite negotiation story, listen to the whole episode of Sales Reinvented!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Melissa Madian

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Jul 29, 2020

Emotional control in the negotiation process is difficult to master. It’s partly because as a species we are ruled by emotion. It’s difficult to take a step back and let go of the different influences on the negotiation and focus on the facts. In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Jeb Blount shares his take on emotional control in negotiation and why it’s so important to the process.

Jeb Blount is the CEO of Sales Gravy and a Sales Acceleration Specialist. He’s a best-selling author and most recently penned: INKED: The Ultimate Guide to Powerful Closing and Sales Negotiation Tactics that Unlock YES and Seal the Deal. Jeb is a world-renowned keynote speaker and the host of the Sales Gravy Podcast. This episode is packed with information you can use to become a better negotiator—don’t miss it!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:01] Jeb’s definition of negotiation
  • [2:04] Negotiation is the precursor to profit
  • [3:10] Salespeople find negotiation uncomfortable
  • [5:20] The rules Jeb follows in the negotiation process
  • [10:01] Emotional control and other important attributes
  • [13:16] The MLP Strategy (motivation, leverage, and power)
  • [17:18] Important negotiation dos and don’ts
  • [20:34] Jeb’s eye-opening negotiation story

Negotiation isn’t an inherent part of western culture

Negotiation is essentially emotionally controlled conflict. Jeb points out that because it’s inherently conflict, it’s difficult for people in western economies to engage in. Negotiation isn’t an everyday facet of our lives like it is in some Eastern cultures, such as India. If you’re in the UK, US, or Canada you don’t negotiate—you pay the price

Because negotiating isn’t a part of our everyday existence, we aren’t good at it nor do we like it. There’s a lot of stigma surrounding negotiating. In some instances, if you attempt to haggle or negotiate a price it’s met with contempt and an upturned nose—leaving you embarrassed. When it isn’t a cultural norm, it can feel uncomfortable. It can feel like rejection. It feels like a zero-sum game with distinct winners and losers. 

Unfortunately, most salespeople aren’t properly trained how to negotiate. If they are, they’re trained by someone who typically doesn’t have sales experience. On the flip side, most procurement people are professionally trained negotiators who know what they’re doing and take advantage of that fact. 

Three rules for the negotiation process

Jeb embraces a few rules as part of his negotiation process: 

Rule #1: Don’t negotiate until you’ve already won the deal. Until you’re selected as the vendor of choice, don’t attempt to negotiate—or you’re just negotiating with yourself.

Rule #2: Leverage the negotiation triangle. Make sure you develop a great relationship with someone in the stakeholder group. Once they select you, you’re typically shoved off to procurement who want to lower your prices. It’s nice to have a stakeholder to reach out to if it seems you’re at an impasse.

Rule #3: Incorporate a give-take playlist. Jeb points out that you should never give without taking something in return. He emphasizes that “I want to be able to give things to the buyer that are low-value to me but high-value to the buyer while I take things away from the buyer that are high-value to them.” The more you take, the more painful the negotiation process becomes—thereby compelling them to stop negotiating and align on a deal.

A salesperson must master emotional control

Jeb believes that emotional control is paramount to your success:

“Don't negotiate when you're hungry. Don't negotiate when you're tired. Don't negotiate when you're worn out. Because when you're in those positions, you're more likely to give things away that you don't have to...When you're worn out, there's a limit to your willpower, your emotional control, and discipline.”

He notes that if you’re not in a position where you can exercise full emotional control, do everything possible to reschedule the negotiation so you don’t get into a situation where you're giving away the upper hand to the buyer.

Jeb goes on to share a negotiation strategy that he teaches in his book: The MLP strategy (Motivation, Leverage, and Power). He also shares some powerful negotiation dos and don’ts. To learn more about how he leverages these in a negotiation, keep listening!

A story about the power of emotional control and relationships

Jeb’s company had spent six months going through a discovery phase with a prospect they had worked with in the past. But the deal they were working on was the largest yet. They had reached the final proposal and were selected as the vendor of choice. So the stakeholder group sent them off to procurement to nail down contracts.

Their counterparties procurement team sent them a letter stating that they had found other businesses that can do what Jeb’s company was offering—but at a better price. Jeb’s saleswoman read that letter and lost all emotional control, worried they were going to lose the deal. She was poised and ready to concede and lower their pricing to save the deal. But Jeb knew it was a negotiation tactic and responded accordingly. He let them know that they’d be happy to lower the price to fit the budget, but that something would have to be removed from the deal to do so. 

They came back to the table and quibbled over details for three solid months. The executive team was being pressured by the upper-management to wrap things up because they were now way behind schedule. Jeb received a call from the executive sponsor trying to figure out what the hold-up was. Jeb filled him in and told him that procurement had stalled the process. 

So the executive sponsor made a call to the Senior Vice President. The VP then called procurement. 24 hours later, they received their original contract, signed and ready to move forward. Jeb’s emotional control and relationship-building strategy won them the deal

This episode is PACKED with useful resources from a top sales negotiator. Listen to the whole episode to take advantage of his vast knowledge and expertise. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Jeb Blount

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Jul 22, 2020

Do you know what it takes to be a successful negotiator? Do you possess some of the necessary skills and attributes? Do you need to brush up on your negotiation skills? In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Mladen Kresic hones in on why salespeople struggle with negotiation. He also shares some of his favorite negotiation tactics and gives some pointers for dealing with the negotiation process. Mladen is full of spectacular insight into the negotiation process. Don’t miss it!

Mladen Kresic is the CEO of K&R Negotiations—aka For 30+ years Mladen has successfully negotiated billions in deals all over the world on behalf of the most well-known international companies. His expertise is working with C-level executives in business transactions. He is the author of Negotiate Wisely in Business and Technology, a guide for sales negotiations and an Amazon e-book best-seller. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:59] Negotiation: an interaction to achieve a result
  • [1:12] Why is negotiation important in business?
  • [1:50] Why salespeople don’t like to negotiate
  • [3:22] Mladen’s value-based negotiation process
  • [5:00] Attributes of a successful negotiator
  • [6:51] Negotiation tools, tactics, and strategies
  • [10:03] Top 3 negotiation dos and top 3 don’ts
  • [13:25] Mladen’s favorite negotiation story

Why do salespeople struggle with negotiation?

Mladen notes that negotiation is viewed as an adversarial process. Most sales professionals want to be liked by their customers. They want to please them. To some, entering into a negotiation feels like they’re putting that relationship on shaky ground. But Mladen believes that if they must view a negotiation as a process to achieve a result versus giving it a negative connotation. Doing that will change the process for the better and help you become a successful negotiator. 

Secondly, Mladen sees a lot of salespeople who don’t know when to walk away. They can be so desperate for a sale to meet their quota that they overlook things they shouldn’t. They’re so focused on being liked and reaching a deal that they get frustrated when the deal is dead. They have to learn to walk away when and if necessary. 

How Mladen prepares for a high-stakes negotiation

Mladen focuses his negotiations around what he calls the leverage cycle. It’s value-based leverage that is about delivering an outcome to the buyers. It creates confidence in the seller that they can deliver what the buyer seeks to improve. 

Mladen also focuses on agenda management. Most people think about an agenda in terms of how to conduct a meeting, interaction, or phone call. Instead, Mladen focuses on a macro-agenda, or what the entire process looks like—the resources and activities that need to happen in that timeline. 

Mladen believes it is THE most critical aspect of the process that we should focus on in order to thrive as a successful negotiator.

The attributes of a successful negotiator

Everyone has natural traits that will not necessarily change so you must play to your strengths. Mladen emphases that negotiation is an art AND a science and there are some things that can be learned, but that these traits are paramount to your success:

  • Genuine Curiosity: Genuine curiosity is absolutely critical. What makes the other side tick? What do they value? What do they need out of this relationship?
  • Confidence without arrogance: A prospect wants to feel that you’re confident in your product/service but are humble in your approach.
  • Competence: You need to know your product or service well and be knowledgeable about the counterparty as well. 
  • Integrity: Salespeople have a poor reputation because they’re perceived as lacking integrity, which is why this attribute is so important. 
  • Compassion: You have to have a level of compassion for the people you’re negotiating with and be able to put yourself in their shoes.

Mladen believes that if a salesperson possesses these attributes they’ll be one step closer to being a successful negotiator. Mladen goes on to share his Risk/Reward tactic, how to break down levels of importance, and other strategies and tactics that are important to the negotiation process—so keep listening! 

Mladen’s negotiation dos and don’ts

Mladen shared some pertinent dos and don’ts in this episode:

  1. Listen more and talk less. Mladen admits he’s a type-A personality that loves to talk (as are many salespeople). But to be a successful negotiator, you must purposefully slow your pace and be sure to listen intently and talk less. He points out that you’ll always have the opportunity to say what you need to say at some point. But first and foremost, you want your counterpart to feel heard and understood. 
  2. Prepare and plan—don’t wing it. This is where agenda management comes into play. Even if you’re strapped for time, you make time to prepare. It is unprofessional to come into a negotiation completely unprepared. 
  3. Don’t make arbitrary concessions. Don’t respond to a request just because they asked. It’s detrimental to one’s credibility and prolongs the process. Instead, Mladen shares that you need to engage in principle concessions: concessions made with credible business rationale. Is the scope too large? Is there a lack of value in the deal? Is there a competitive alternative that is better placed and lower priced?

If you begin to employ some of these strategies in your negotiations, you’ll likely yield more favorable results. Mladen shares his favorite negotiation story and how it changed his negotiation style in the remainder of the podcast—so be sure to listen to the end!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Mladen Kresic

Connect With Paul Watts 


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Jul 15, 2020

Are you aware of how your mental mindset impacts the entire negotiation process? Do you walk into a negotiation feeling timid or unsure? Or are you confident and prepared for the negotiation process? Mary Grothe understands how mindset influences the negotiation process and has developed a strategy that she’s found success with. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented to hear her take. 

Mary Grothe is the CEO of Sales BQ®, an outsourced RevOps firm of fractional VPs of Sales, Sales Ops, and CMOs who serve companies across the nation by profitably rebuilding their sales & marketing departments and growing their revenue by focusing on the Behavioral Quotient (BQ) and proven inbound + outbound strategies. Don’t miss Mary’s unique insight into the negotiation process!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:04] Mary’s definition of negotiation
  • [1:24] Why negotiation is so important
  • [2:15] Why don’t salespeople like to negotiate?
  • [3:27] A negotiation begins with your mental mindset
  • [11:38] Negotiations tools, tactics, strategies
  • [13:46] The 4 levers Mary recommends using
  • [15:52] Mary’s favorite negotiation story

The negotiation process starts with adjusting your mental mindset

Mary points out that most executives know how to negotiate. If you go into a negotiation knowing that the person on the other end of the table is educated in negotiation tactics, you can go in with a different mindset. You’ll know that they’ll take one look at your proposal and will never agree to the first terms set forth. If you have the expectation they WILL negotiate, it changes how you approach the entire process. 

A lot of salespeople crumble, give in on pricing, and don’t get great margins on their deals. So how does she prepare for the negotiation process? Understand that it’s about getting a win-win for both sides. Then you must calculate your walk-away point: your starting point, your middle point that you present as the walk-away point, and then your full walk-away point. Knowing what each of these numbers are helps prepare you and boosts your confidence.

Remove emotion from the negotiation process

Mary emphasizes that you must remove emotion from the negotiation process—it sets you up for failure. Salespeople are known for “desperation justification”. They have a quota they have to meet by the end of the month or end of a quarter. Most negotiators know this. What if this deal is HUGE and you’re behind on your quota? What if you don’t know your pricing? Do you come across as lacking confidence or knowledge about your product and service?

Trained negotiators—and your prospect—can pick up on your emotion and lack of confidence. Unfortunately, it gives them the leverage they need to negotiate a better deal for themselves. Knowing that you need a deal gives them the upper-hand. But if you remove emotion and any ulterior motives from the process you can level the playing field. Keep listening to hear Mary’s full thoughts on the topic.

The importance of PCE: passion, conviction, and enthusiasm

Mary strongly believes that a great negotiator must embrace ‘PCE’:

  • Passion: You must be passionate about your product or service and completely bought-in to solving the prospect’s problem. It helps the prospect become comfortable with moving forward with you.
  • Conviction: You must have conviction about how your product/service will help your prospect. Show that you can quantify your problem and present case studies, testimonials, etc. that prove you can solve their problem. 
  • Enthusiasm: If you exude enthusiasm and get the buyer bought in and enthusiastic about the sale, you’re shrinking the negotiation game. They’re excited about getting the deal done and less focused on negotiating price and contract terms. 

Mary also notes that salespeople must be assertive and confident. When a salesperson believes they can solve their client’s problem it leads to confidence. There isn’t desperation justification in play—they truly believe in their product. 

The four levers to implement in your negotiation 

Mary shares four ways that you can leverage concessions to make them work for your company, while also giving your prospect what they’re asking for:

  1. Are they asking for a discount? Agree to the discount, but ask what item they’re comfortable removing from the proposal.
  2. Do they want to decrease the price per item? Offer a decrease in price if they purchase over a certain threshold. 
  3. Offer them a monetary concession if they can execute the deal in the next 24 hours. This is a common end of month/quarter strategy that negotiators are accustomed to working with.
  4. Agree to some sort of concession if the buyer agrees to give a testimonial, be a reference, or introduce and/or refer people to your product and/or service.

Utilizing some of these negotiation tactics will help each side find a win-win from concessions and come closer to a deal. 

Mary shares a negotiation story that led her to develop her successful negotiation process—listen to the whole episode to hear how it changed her negotiation game!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Mary Grothe

Connect With Paul Watts 


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