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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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Now displaying: March, 2021

At Sales Reinvented, we are on a mission to change the negative perception of selling. Welcome to the Sales Reinvented Podcast.

Mar 31, 2021

Sales training courses always seem to start with “You have a lead, now what?” People are left questioning “Where did I get the lead in the first place? Where do they miraculously come from?” It’s why Kendra Lee starts her process with lead generation. Generating leads and doing research gives you talking points—and something to be confident about when prospecting.

Kendra is passionate about helping SMB companies get more customers. Mastering lead generation and prospecting is a great starting point. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented for her insight into the lead generation and prospecting process!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:01] Prospecting and lead generation
  • [1:32] Why are they important?
  • [2:33] Kendra’s ideal prospecting process
  • [5:05] Attributes + characteristics of a prospector
  • [6:26] Skills a salesperson should develop
  • [7:56] Top 3 prospecting dos and don’ts
  • [12:23] Drop-by prospecting in Washington D.C.

Kendra’s ideal prospecting process

Kendra starts her prospecting process with lead generation. Kendra is self-admittedly very shy about talking to new people, but she loves prospecting. Cold-calling on its own is challenging. She knew there had to be a smarter way than calling down a list. So for her, the ideal process is to start by identifying who your target market is and what their business issues are. 

Who within that market is your ideal prospect? Who is the decision-maker? Create a value proposition based on those issues.

Then you can reach out by email, LinkedIn, calling, etc. You have to find innovative ways to get past the gatekeeper (voicemail, email deletion, or a receptionist). Once you get the person on the phone, you have to decide how you’re going to uncover their needs and handle objections.

Attributes + characteristics a successful prospector needs

Kendra emphasizes that salespeople must follow up—not give up. They often give up because they don’t know what to say after the first few calls, emails, or messages. Secondly, you must approach the prospect from their business problem perspective. It’s not about your solution, it’s about what their issue is. You need to use your business knowledge about a problem and focus on what they care about. Not how your software application makes their world better. 

Top 3 prospecting dos and don’ts

What are Kendra’s dos and don’ts for prospecting and lead generation? 

  • Don’t show up and throw up. She doesn’t care if you’re calling, emailing, or on LinkedIn. Don’t talk about yourself.
  • Don’t ramble in your emails. They aren’t for a sales conversation. Keep it brief. Save the great information for a conversation. 
  • Do not lie. It hurts your credibility.
  • Do follow-up. Even the worst salesperson will find success some of the time just by following up. Consistency is critical.
  • Be yourself. If you aren't being you it won’t come across as a natural conversation. People want to talk to someone genuine. Kendra loves leaving a fun voicemail—no matter the length. Be yourself at every touchpoint. Kendra firmly believes it leads to a higher conversion rate.
  • Have a value proposition. What do you do really well? How can you help them? What’s one recommendation? Know what it is that would compel them to have a conversation with you.

Drop-by prospecting in Washington D.C.

When Kendra was a rookie in sales, she learned how to do cold-calling and drop-by prospecting (AKA door-knocking). Her manager took her to downtown Washington D.C. to an office building. He pointed to a suite and said “We are going to go in and have a conversation to see if we can get to the IT manager.” He opened the door and pushed her in. 

The receptionist was right in front of her. Kendra looked at her like a deer in headlights. She completely froze. She turned around and started to leave, leaving her manager to swiftly pull her inside and do the prospecting himself. 

Kendra now loves meeting new people. But she had to get past the fear. To do that, she got serious about lead generation. She was never going to walk in a door without a purpose. She had to have a value proposition and do something in advance to warm up that call—even if it was only in her own mind. It’s about coming across confidently. 

Connect with Kendra Lee

Connect With Paul Watts 

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Mar 24, 2021

People love to overcomplicate sales and prospecting. Mark Hunter emphasizes that you aren’t trying to create world peace or discover the vaccine for COVID. It’s just a conversation. But it’s a task salespeople need to own up to—that many hate to do. Why? Because they overthink it. Learn some simple tactics to find success prospecting in this episode of Sales Reinvented!

Mark Hunter is “The Sales Hunter”. He is the author of two best-selling books, A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting. Mark is recognized as one of the top 50 most influential sales and marketing experts globally.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:51] Prospecting + lead generation
  • [1:12] Why are they important?
  • [2:01] Mark’s prospecting process
  • [3:18] Attributes + Characteristics
  • [5:15] The top skills to develop
  • [6:26] Top 3 prospecting dos and don’ts
  • [8:33] Embrace the 58–2 technique

Don’t solely rely on marketing

Prospecting is going through the qualification process and deciding whether or not a lead can become a customer. You can’t close any sale without starting with a lead. When people complain that their sales are down, the first question Mark asks is “How much time did you append on prospecting and lead generation?” The most often used excuse is that “Marketing does that for me.” Mark emphasizes that clearly, they’re not doing enough or you’d be busier. It’s a task salespeople need to own up to. 

Start with your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Mark emphasizes that you need to identify your ICP (persona, avatar, etc.). It’s not just anyone who will download an eBook or respond to an email. That just means they have a heartbeat. Mark jokes that his dog has a heartbeat, but he won’t be buying from him!

Focus all of your attention on your ICP. Look at your current customers. What outcomes have you helped them create? What benefits have they received? What are the common traits among them? What are the common descriptors? You can build your ICP from there. 

Attributes + Characteristics of a successful prospector

Mark believes you must have the desire to put the customer first. You sell to help people. You need to know that you can help a person or a company achieve something they didn’t believe possible. Secondly, people don’t wake up waiting for your call. You have to accept the fact that you will be interrupting someone. But if you believe in the outcome you can achieve, you owe it to them. 

Mark points out that a salesperson has to stay focused and cognizant of time management. You must have the focus and the level of authenticity to stay in the game long enough to make it happen. Salespeople can be all over the place with prospecting. But when you keep these three things in perspective, you can be successful. 

You must also be inquisitive. It’s the information you uncover that’s important. You must learn how to engage quickly to get someone to share with you. That comes with the skill of empathy. The person you’re reaching out to has to understand that you’re human and in this situation with them. 

What are Mark’s top 3 prospecting and lead generation dos and don’ts? Keep listening to find out!

Embrace the 58–2 technique

Mark was trying to reach the president/COO of a Canadian company. But he wasn’t having any luck. He could only reach this person’s administrative assistant who consistently shut him down. Mark finally decided to use his 58-2 technique. What is that? The best time to call someone is between 58 minutes after the hour to 2 minutes into the hour. Why? Because most meetings start at the top of the hour. 

Mark called this gentleman right at 11 sharp. On the second ring, he picked up the phone—thinking it was his conference call. Mark quickly asked him about an acquisition they had just made. He said, “I don’t have time to talk right now.” So Mark scheduled a time to chat with him that afternoon.

He created just enough interest to set up a conversation. They talked for 15 minutes. Two days later, Mark was sitting in his office having lunch. It was all because he did his homework, called him at the top of the hour, delivered value, and didn’t give up. It led to a six-figure deal. He used normal techniques and strategies and threw in some out-of-the-box thinking.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Mark Hunter

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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Mar 17, 2021

In his book, “Never Split the Difference” Chris Voss set out to answer the question, “How do you make hostage negotiation principles work in the business world?” In this special episode exchange, Mark Raffan—the host of the Negotiations Ninja podcast—and Chris Voss discuss some of the principles from this book. Don’t miss it! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:25] Chris’s background in FBI Crisis Negotiation
  • [3:55] Why you want a “no” over a “yes”
  • [6:57] The two human needs
  • [9:04] Chris’s late-night DJ voice
  • [12:42] Why you should never downplay empathy
  • [17:04] NEVER split the difference
  • [20:08] The fallacy of extreme anchoring
  • [21:55] How to use calibrated “How” questions
  • [23:21] “That’s right” versus “you’re right”
  • [25:20] In hindsight: Be assertive—but nice
  • [28:10] Don’t take yourself hostage

You want a “No” over a “Yes”

The prevailing theory is that to close a deal, you should be getting little “yeses” throughout a negotiation. Chris thinks that ideal is awful. Instead, he emphasizes that you need to shoot for “no.” Why? 

The little yeses—i.e. “Tie-downs” or “commitments” are a complete violation of human nature. He believes that it is the #1 reason you have long negotiations that go nowhere. After all, it’s “Not a sin to not get the deal. The sin is to take a long time to not get the deal.” He also notes that it’s the biggest toxin for relationships. People will stop responding to you entirely. 

Humans are so tired of being trapped by “yes” that they can’t help but react negatively. They start to think: Where’s this going? What’s the trap? What’s the hook? Why is it important for someone to be able to say no? 

Chris points out that people feel protected and safe when they can say no. Kids have learned that a “no” can be changed to a “yes.” Why? Because after saying no, you’re more willing to listen. “No” is almost always followed by “And…” which you must take advantage of. What comes after the “and?” 

Why you should never downplay empathy

The widespread lie is that “You need to separate emotion and empathy in negotiation.” Yes, you need to be in control of your own emotions—while empathizing with the other party. Chris notes that people used to think emotions were something that could be turned on and off. Now we know that emotions are hard-wired into all decision-making. Neuroscience has shown that without emotions, you can’t make decisions. 

If you want the other side to make a decision, their emotions must be engaged. But how? You have to avoid negative emotions because they slow down the thinking process. Positive emotions make you smarter, so you want to enhance them while eliminating the negative ones. Which emotions do you like? Which are hurting you? You must separate the emotions and put the person on a different path of decision-making.

How each word feels depends on what side of it you’re on. When you hear “yes” you get a shot of dopamine. Hearing it makes you happy. But you forget how uncomfortable the other person feels when forced to say “yes.” 

The fallacy of extreme anchoring

Anchoring is strongly advocated by most people: i.e. “go first and go high.” It’s called the zone of possible agreement. The problem is that it makes deals go away that you otherwise should have made. Chris sees it regularly and he also negotiates regularly. He will NOT high-anchor. They make more deals consistently without anchoring.

If you high-anchor, you hit the occasional home-run—but you don’t get up to bat as much. Or worse, the other side stops pitching to you. It makes potential deals vanish. Those that survive? They’ll be a great deal. But the long-term loss is high. Chris emphasizes that by the time you realize it’s killing your business it will be far too late. 

Why you should NEVER split the difference

According to Chris, compromise and splitting the difference are horrible. Compromise ruins everything. People are either trying to be fair—or they’re a poor judge of distance. What does that mean? People who tell Chris they like “win-win” are high-anchor high-demand people trying to move a goal-line. “Splitting the difference is a mercenary's tool to make you feel like you got treated fairly when they got what they wanted all along...It’s amazing what people will agree to when they feel like they’ve been treated fairly.” If they feel it’s unfair? You’ll get a no.

Be assertive—but nice

Chris—now older and wiser—would tell his younger self to continue to be assertive but do it nicely. Don’t compromise on what you’re trying to get done but be nice. That’s the #1 thing that Chris would change. He was once told by a fellow hostage negotiator, “Dealing with you is like getting hit in the face with a brick.” 

He equated being “nice” to being “weak.” He embraced the mantra of “You may not like me—but you’ll respect me.” There’s a difference between being assertive and being a straight shooter. You want to be a straight shooter—not a blunt-force brick that people have to fend off. 

You can’t just be cold, data-driven, and analytical. If you’re cold and distant, it will infect the other side and they’ll be less emotional. When you’re in a positive frame of mind, salespeople make 37% more deals. You’ll leave money on the table if you’re striving for neutral.

Chris and Mark cover so much more in this episode. Be sure to listen to the whole episode—and subscribe!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Chris Voss

Connect With Mark Raffan

More about the Negotiations Ninja Podcast

The Negotiations Ninja podcast, is the number one negotiation podcast on Google Play. On the Negotiation Ninja podcast host Mark Raffan interviews FBI negotiators, influential executives, world leading sales guru’s, legal masterminds and expert communicators to draw out what works in negotiation and what doesn’t work and what we can do better.

Connect With Paul Watts 

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Mar 10, 2021

Resilience. Resilience is the ability to recover quickly in the face of adversity. Resilience is an attribute or a characteristic that every salesperson must have—or learn. Why is it so important? How does it improve prospecting and lead you to become a better salesperson? In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Justin Zappulla shares how being resilient can positively impact your career. Don’t miss it!

Justin Zappulla’s career has been highlighted by remarkable performance in sales and sales leadership roles. Today, Justin is the Managing Partner at Janek Performance Group and co-author of the popular sales book, Critical Selling, which is considered one of the top authorities and thought leaders in sales training, sales strategy, and overall sales performance improvement.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:57] How are lead generation and prospecting different?
  • [2:05] lead generation and prospecting fill your pipeline
  • [2:36] Justin’s lead gen and prospecting process
  • [4:42] Resiliency is a salesperson’s greatest attribute
  • [5:41] The top skills to develop
  • [6:54] Top 3 prospecting dos and don’ts
  • [9:21] The importance of resiliency

Justin’s lead gen and prospecting process

The most important part is to start with your perfect prospect profile. It helps you identify who to pursue. Then you identify the ways to meet those prospects (online, conferences, networking events, etc.). You then identify a trigger event that is likely to lead to that prospect needing your product or service and track those events. It might be a merger, a new hire, a home purchase, etc. 

Justin emphasizes that you need to create a reason for a prospect to opt-in. What is your lead magnet? What is your offer? It needs to encourage someone to take action. You are exchanging value for information. White papers, free quotes, coupon codes, webinars, etc. can all be great ways to generate leads.

Once you generate leads, you have to nurture them. The idea is to continue to interact with the lead to stimulate interest or action. Those are handed to sales as sales-ready leads. Prospecting is the process of identifying and reaching out to leads to pique interest, qualify them, and start the sales opportunity.

The attributes salespeople need to succeed

The first that comes to mind for Justin is resiliency. As a salesperson, you will get more “nos” than “yeses.” Great prospectors are disciplined and focused. It takes a lot of activity to produce a prospect, so you must stay focused and hungry. He also thinks of “ego”, someone needs to have a competitive mindset.

What are the top skills to work to develop? Justin would start by delivering a great value proposition. You have to pique interest quickly to be successful with prospecting. It needs to be a targeted message to initiate a conversation. Great prospectors have honed those skills. You also need the ability to connect with people, always be networking, and build rapport and trust quickly.

Top 3 prospecting dos and don’ts

Justin shared a total of nine dos and don’ts that have to be shared:

  1. Find creative ways to offer value in exchange for information. 
  2. Test a lot of activities to see what works. Don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis.
  3. Leverage technology and implement smart lead generation processes.
  4. Create the perfect prospect profile and a clear definition of who you’re pursuing.
  5. Use a multi-channel prospecting process: email, calls, social, events. It needs to be a combination. 
  6. Prioritize prospecting. You have to spend time on it. It shouldn’t be something you do when you’re done with everything else.
  7. Don’t offer something that fits everyone. 
  8. Don’t wing it. Have a plan and system in place.
  9. Don’t give up. You always get more nos than yeses, so stay resilient. 

The importance of resiliency

Justin was interviewing someone for a sales position and they were talking about this person's current role. He had found some success in sales—but it took him quite some time. He was selling a software solution for compliance in medical offices and on the road a lot. He made call after call without success. He made 1,649 calls before his first sale. 1,649

He was resilient. He wore that number as a badge of honor. It’s what it took for him to learn and find success. He’s now one of the more successful salespeople that Justin has come across. You can’t give up. You never lose until you give up. You keep trying, you notice what works, and keep doing those things. Salespeople fail and fail often. It’s part of the process and what makes you a great seller—and it’s why being resilient is so important.

Connect with Justin Zappulla

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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Mar 3, 2021

Alice Heiman believes that curiosity is the #1 prospecting and lead generation skills that salespeople need to develop. Curiosity leads to research, which leads to understanding your prospect on a deeper level, which allows you to craft the right message. Alice shares all about her prospecting process in this episode of Sales Reinvented! 

According to Forbes.com, Alice Heiman is among the world’s leading experts on the complex sale. Founder of Alice Heiman, LLC she strategizes with CEOs and sales leadership to grow sales organizations and increase sales profitably. From prospecting to closing, she leads teams to find new business and grow existing accounts.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:00] Lead generation is global + prospecting is sales
  • [1:25] Why are lead generation and prospecting important?
  • [2:46] Why referrals are the way to go with marketing
  • [6:27] Curiosity is the #1 skill to develop
  • [9:50] Alice’s top 3 dos and don’ts
  • [12:41] Involve your team every step of the way

Alice’s #1 source of leads: referrals

Alice depends on referrals for lead generation. She prefers that. Why? It’s so much easier. Wouldn’t you rather get an introduction than cold-call hundreds of people? Her process begins with making a list of customers and how frequently she talks with them (about what’s going well, what value they are adding, etc.). When you know they are happy and loyal, then you ask them to make an introduction. 

Then she has a list of companies and people that can make introductions, even if they don’t buy from you. She keeps a wishlist of companies she’d love to work with and figures out who to talk to in each of those companies. She will then refer back to her first two lists and question—can anyone make an introduction? Do any of my customers know them? Can any referral sources make an introduction? She always starts with introductions to ideal customers before cold outreach.

If you have to do cold outreach, she recommends doing it in an organized fashion. Alice likes the 5 x 5 x 5 x 5 method. What is it? You take 5 companies that you are interested in. Then you find 5 people that would be involved in decision-making and figure out the best way to reach them. You have to craft the right messaging. You work for 5 weeks to get their attention and land an appointment. Once you have done that, put them in the recycling pile and move on to another company. This is only after exhausting every effort to try and reach them. 

Curiosity is the #1 skill to develop

Alice believes a key skill to develop is the ability to be a better researcher. You need to learn how to be a great researcher and look for the right words, ideas, and trigger events to reach out to a prospect. If you go out with a message that doesn’t generate interest, you won’t get a conversation.

You also need to understand what the day in the life of your prospect(s) looks like. If you don’t understand that, you may bring the wrong information at the wrong time. If you sell to CMOs, what is it like in their every day? What are their financial concerns? People concerns? Business concerns? What are they trying to accomplish each day? What’s going on at their company that’s impacting them? What initiatives are they working on? Is their company laying people off? Are they hiring? Alice emphasizes that you have to understand what is going on in their life. 

She recently heard of a CMO that had their entire marketing team furloughed. You should know things like that before you get on the phone with them. That CMO may be distraught. You can talk to your own customers and ask them those questions. You can talk to your own CMO and find out what their days look like. It’s a great way to start understanding the people you will be talking with. 

Involve your team every step of the way

Alice was working on a complex deal selling software to a large company—and the deal stalled. It was complete radio silence for months. So her team got together to brainstorm a strategy to get things moving. They had the CEO of the company in the room. After months of trying to make something happen, he goes “Oh, I know that person.” He could pick up the phone and call that person right then and there. So he did. And the deal started moving again.

How can you prevent that from happening? You have to tell your team what deals you’re working on and the people you’re trying to get an introduction to. If you go on LinkedIn, you can see if someone on your team knows these people. Your own company can be a great source of introductions. Listen to the whole episode for more of Alice’s prospecting and lead generation tips and strategies!

Connect with Alice Heiman

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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