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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: Page 4

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

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

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Feb 24, 2021

Tim Hughes is a firm believer that the world of selling is shifting towards social selling—but not how you think. Tim doesn’t believe in pushing your agenda on social. But he does believe in forming connections and having conversations. How does he craft his social media approach to lead to conversations? How do those conversations lead to sales? Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented to hear Tim’s amazingly successful strategies. 

Tim Hughes is an expert in social selling and is currently ranked #1 by Onalytica as THE most influential social selling person in the world. He is also Co-Founder and CEO of DLA Ignite and co-author of the bestselling books “Social Selling” and “Smarketing”, both published by Kogan Page.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:06] What is the difference between prospecting and lead generation?
  • [1:49] Why are these strategies so important?
  • [2:38] Timothy’s prospecting process on social media
  • [4:22] Salespeople have to be where their clients are
  • [5:58] Tim’s top prospecting dos and don’ts
  • [8:34] How to craft a buyer-centric LinkedIn Profile
  • [12:18] The power of posting humanized content

Prospecting on social media is the future

Tim doesn’t see prospecting success in interrupting people with advertising, cold-calling, or email. He believes those legacy sales methods are gradually falling away. His ideal method? Social selling. He’s been in business for 4 years and all of their prospecting has been done on social media. You have to have a great profile, proactively grow your network, and offer great content. You can’t hope someone will find you, but must proactively look for them.

You have to be where your clients are, and ⅔ of the world’s working population is active on social media. Over the last quarter, those numbers have grown by 12.5%. Social media usage continues to grow. The idea that your clients aren't on social media isn’t relevant anymore.

Why does Tim love social media? Because it enables you to have conversations. Brochures, webinars, and other tools don’t get you deals. Conversations are what get you deals. So grow your network, create content, and generate conversations. One of Tim’s guys wrote a post about Led Zeppelin and has had 6 C-level calls off a crazy piece of content. 

Tim’s social selling dos and don’ts

Tim emphasizes that you need to have a buyer-centric profile. What are they looking for from you? They don’t care if you’re a quota-crushing salesperson. Secondly, you should grow a network of people that you know. It’s about being remembered and standing out. Connecting with people for the sake of connecting doesn’t give you that relevance. You should also strategically create content that people find engaging, insightful, and educational. It doesn't have to be about your company. Humanized content gets you more engagement than sharing about your company.

Social selling isn’t actually about selling. Tim implores you: do NOT sell on connection requests. You go to a networking event to have conversations, right? You don’t go up and start selling to someone. If you don’t do that with in-person networking, why would you on social networking? Tim gets that everyone has targets to make and pipelines to fill. But you do that by building connections and having conversations—not social selling.

How to craft a buyer-centric LinkedIn Profile

Tim’s first tip is simple: make sure your profile picture is a photograph of you. Secondly, you need a great summary title: don’t make it your “what.” For example, some people say they’re “passionate about digital transformation.” That doesn’t elicit a strong emotional connection from a viewer. 

People are looking for your “why.” If you talk about your why, you’re connecting with someone’s gut feeling. Tim’s summary title says “Should have played Quidditch for England.” It closes business for him. He also has his name translated into Chinese because his first book was translated into Chinese. Doing these things sets him apart and catches people’s attention. 

If you see people who have the title “sales director” your brain lumps them together with every other sales director. If you say something different, the brain sees two different people. It changes your possibility of winning business from 1-in-16 to 1-in-2. 

Make your summary about your why. If you met someone in a bar and had a conversation, what would you find out? When people are looking at your profile, they want to see the human side of you. What are your beliefs? What are you about? When people form connections, they have conversations. When you have conversations, you close deals. 

The power of posting humanized content

One of Tim’s team members posted 3 photos on LinkedIn from a trip with his son. The post talks about how the pandemic has impacted 16-year-olds and it only took him 10 minutes. He’s had 18,000 views, 90 likes, and 20,000 people look at his profile. 20,000 people see what he stands for. People will buy from you, refer you, or share your content on other networks when they feel a deep connection to it. He’s gotten 6 C-level calls from that post. Social is the most proactive way to form relationships in the world today. 

Humanized content gets the most engagement on social. Some people aren’t comfortable with that because they say that LinkedIn isn’t Facebook. But Tim points out that if you were in person with a prospect, you build a relationship by taking them to a meal or a football game. You have conversations about life and family. Why wouldn’t you do the same on social media? You need to build content around what you stand for. Humanized content is the way to get the most engagement. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Tim Hughes

Connect With Paul Watts 

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Feb 17, 2021

Prospecting and lead generation are the lifeblood of sales. You need a consistent flow of fresh prospects at all times to be successful. So you need qualified ideal prospects in your pipeline at all times. Prospecting requires human-to-human interaction, which often requires picking up the phone. Many salespeople see prospecting as a necessary evil and face heavy reluctance to the task at hand. Connie Kadansky strives to change salespeople’s mindsets and help them overcome sales call reluctance to find success.

Connie Kadansky is the President of Exceptional Sales Performance, an international sales coaching practice. She is a recognized expert in identifying and eliminating sales call reluctance, the emotional hesitation to prospect and self-promote. In this episode of the Sales Reinvented podcast, Connie shares her expertise on prospecting and lead generation. Don’t miss it!

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:41] Why are prospecting and lead generation important to sales?
  • [3:24] Connie’s prospecting and lead generation process
  • [4:51] Know the value you offer—and believe it
  • [7:13] Skillsets that a salesperson must develop
  • [14:02] Why you need to prospect with creativity

Connie’s prospecting and lead generation process

Connie starts by identifying what her ideal prospect looks like and writes down and highlights where she’s willing to deviate. She determines who isn’t an ideal prospect and holds that clearly in her mind. Then she decides how to initiate contact. Connie believes in picking up the phone to introduce yourself. After that, you can follow up with email and LinkedIn. Throughout the process, you need to focus on the value you can create for your prospect. 70% of a sale is engagement and discovering the need of the buyer. In Connie’s world, the human is doing the work of prospecting. 

Attributes that lead to prospecting success

Connie emphasizes that a salesperson needs to know their value with every fiber of their body. You must believe that your product or service is an essential piece of the puzzle for your prospect. She also notes that you have to change your mindset and begin to see prospecting as an adventure. When you do that and pair it with curiosity, you can learn from every single outreach.

Connie knows that salespeople get hit with call reluctance. You need to realize that it isn’t prospecting that’s causing the anxiety—it’s how you’re thinking about it. Don’t call it a cold-call. If you’re prospecting people and organizations who need what you have, don’t get caught up in thinking it’s a cold call. You can “warm” it up rather quickly. Be authentic, have fun, and focus on creating value for them.

She recommends creating a list of who you’re going to prospect the night before. Why? So when you get into the office you are prepared and can get it done early. Make it a priority. Make sure you measure your results: What are you doing well? What do you need to do differently? Have those mechanisms in place so you can get momentum. The best salespeople get into a rhythm and the energy carries them forward.

Connie’s top dos and don’ts to prospect successfully

Connie cannot emphasize enough: you must follow through immediately. Connie had someone email her last week with his name and phone number. She called within 14 minutes and he was delighted. He’s going to become a client. Don’t think it comes across as desperate. If a prospect is reaching out to you, it’s because they need something. Don’t miss out on that. You can get creative with your follow-through. If they don’t respond to a call or an email, leave them a message on LinkedIn. 

You must also always keep your word. Connie keeps something on her desk that says “promises.” So when she’s on a call with a prospect and promises to send them a link, she makes a note, and then sends it. If you don't write it down, it will fall off your radar. Keep listening to hear what her other tips and tricks are.

Why you need to prospect with creativity

Connie works with salespeople to overcome sales call reluctance. Financial advisors must be continuously meeting with new prospects to be successful. So she made a list of 12 financial advisor coaches or thought leaders who work with advisors. She picked up the phone and called 11 and said: “We work in the same industry. We’re not competitors. I have an idea, please give me a call back at your earlier convenience.” 

Three called her back because they were curious about her message. Two of them thought her idea was brilliant. One even said that working with her would help their clients be even more successful in his program, which is what he wanted more than anything. So she’s doing business with him—all because of overcoming sales reluctance and picking up the phone

She learned that you won't get them all—you don’t want them all. You only want the people that are in alignment with what you’re doing. You want the timing to be right. Be creative, let the phone be your ATM. Leave a message that gives them some information. The people that are ready will return the call.

Connect with Carole Mahoney

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Feb 10, 2021

Historically speaking, lead generation was “throw stuff against the wall” and see what sticks. Now, inbound content marketing has taken the lead. You make great content, people read it and engage with it, they come to your site, and you nurture them through the funnel. But Darryl Praill—the Chief Revenue Officer at VanillaSoft—points out if that’s all you are doing, you’re missing half of the opportunity. Learn how he uses Gartner’s double funnel strategy in this episode of the Sales Reinvented podcast!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:13] The difference between prospecting and lead generation
  • [2:48] Prospecting = becoming a better salesperson
  • [4:42] Darryl’s prospecting process: a two-funnel methodology
  • [8:54] The attributes of a great salesperson
  • [12:29] You must develop the skill of social-selling
  • [14:02] Top 3 prospecting and lead generation dos and don’ts
  • [15:58] Don’t let confidence or ego get in the way

Prospecting allows you to become a better salesperson

Lead generation is a one-to-many strategy. It’s running an email campaign, writing content, hosting a webinar or a podcast, etc. with some intelligence behind your content list. It’s typically a nurturing process where the leads are scored and are deemed marketing qualified, then sales qualified, and passed to sales. Prospecting is very different. You operate with a warm list that’s segmented. You know who you’re selling to, why they should talk to you, and you know everything about them. There is logic and reason behind reaching out to them. 

Darryl points out that if you don’t prospect, you don’t close any sales. If you want to get paid, you need to do it. Many sales reps are looking for an SDR, a marketing person, etc. to feed you leads so you get to be the closer. But the reality is that you have good days and bad days and you don’t always close. Or, you have fantastic months and you’re making bank. But the next month it’s a desert and you’re twiddling your thumbs. 

But prospecting keeps your pipeline full. It allows you to refine your dialogue and messaging. It allows you to hear new objections and find out what’s affecting your audience. It allows you to learn about your audience and make yourself more relevant to them. Darryl emphasizes that you have to practice your craft to stay relevant, skilled, and capable. 

Darryl’s prospecting process: a two-funnel methodology

Darryl uses the double funnel method from TOPO. It functions two ways: You do traditional lead generation, then you do account-based marketing (ABM). ABM used to be called Target Account Selling (TAS) and was all the rage in the 90s. You say, “I know exactly these 5 accounts I’m going to go after and why.” You know the named accounts and industry accounts to go after. Then you divide and conquer. 

To be successful with this strategy, you have to map them out. You have to know all the operational and executive people associated with each account. ABM is about marketing getting in front of them from a branding point of view. Then you target them with highly personalized content and then sales proactively reaching out to them. 

The biggest challenge is picking the list and knowing why it’s relevant to you. So if you get on a call with them, you can get their attention. If you’re struggling in this process, Darryl recommends calling some of your customers to ask them point-blank “Why did you buy from us? What impact do we make?” You need to understand the value prop you have. 

The attributes of a great salesperson

Darryl believes you have to have a great mindset. You can be book-smart and know the processes and the methodologies, but if you can’t handle rejection then you’re going to fail. Why do you get up every day? Why do you put yourself through the meat grinder? Andrea Waltz has a “Go for No!” strategy where you shoot for a no. You shoot for 10 “nos” an hour and learn to get excited about them. Every no is a step closer to the yes. 

Darryl points out that people connect with people who tell stories. It makes the relationship real and tangible. If you’re reading from a script you will fail. No one will return your calls. But if you can tell a story, it gets people engaged. Then you can have a conversation and do discovery. It’s safe, you’re not a threat, and they’re giving you permission to engage.

What else do you need to do? Block time in your calendar or you will be distracted non-stop. Stick to it and protect that time. Be committed to your craft and committed to prospecting.

You must develop the skill of social marketing

You have to develop the skill of social-selling, which Darryl prefers to call social marketing. It’s the skill of knowing how to engage with your community, how to position yourself as a subject-matter expert, and how to establish credibility. The first thing a prospect will do when they hear from you is Google your company and then head to LinkedIn and check you out. You have to be relevant on social which means being part of the conversation—not just reposting other people’s content. 

When Darryl started at VanillaSoft, he was 50. He wasn’t familiar with LinkedIn. So he hired someone to teach him how to post, when to post, and how to format it. He learned how to engage and when not to engage. It’s a skill you need to have. What are Darryl’s top three dos and don’ts? What story does he share that taught him to build a better process? Listen to the whole episode to hear it all!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Darryl Praill

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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Feb 3, 2021

According to Carole Mahoney, prospecting is one-on-one, high touch, quality communication, and outreach. Lead generation is more one-to-many, general messaging, and top of the funnel. If you want to be proactive and fill your funnel they’re both important. If you’re not prospecting you’re not going after your ideal customer. If you’re not engaging in lead generation you’re not educating, you’re not putting the word out there so people know how you are. But how you do both matters. That is why great content in all of your messaging matters. Carole Mahoney—the founder of Unbound Growth—shares her expertise in this episode of Sales Reinvented.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:50] The difference between prospecting and lead gen
  • [1:28] Why both are important to the entire sales funnel
  • [2:03] Carole’s lead generation + prospecting process
  • [5:26] Attributes or characteristics of a great prospector
  • [8:23] Skills salespeople need to develop to succeed
  • [10:21] Top 3 dos and don’ts of prospecting and lead gen
  • [12:59] Why copywriting and cadence matters

Carole’s lead generation + prospecting process

Carole emphasizes that you have to put out content that attracts the right people. It needs to be about them and their problems. Prospecting is easier when people have heard of your product or service. It also brings opportunities that you may not have considered. 

What is the issue that people are dealing with that you can help with? Where do they start educating themself? That’s where you want to be. You can put out content through speaking engagements, webinars, podcasts, eGuides, checklists, and more. Lead generation can be creating a social media presence and creating your own content like blogs and podcasts. You need to be in front of people that you can help the most. 

If a list of people signs up for your upcoming webinar, you can turn on your prospecting skills and reach out to them one-to-one. What intrigued them? What are they hoping to learn? What questions do they want to be answered? Include those in your webinar. Then you can follow up with them after the webinar. 

Attributes or characteristics of a great prospector

The first and most important thing is to be able to manage your need for approval. If you’re concerned about what people might think, it will be difficult to prospect. It will be difficult to ask questions or push back. People are afraid of putting things out on LinkedIn or blog posts for fear of being heckled. 

Secondly, You need to have a plan and discipline developed around it. You won’t always see immediate results. It may be weeks, months, or even years down the road. You can’t just jump in and expect results. Carole emphasizes that you can’t be a perfectionist. Things will never go exactly as planned. 

Skills salespeople need to develop to succeed

Carole believes most salespeople need to work on their copywriting skills. Sellers often take whatever marketing hands them and sends those into their cadences. They don’t think about what they’re actually saying. But you need to take the marketing message and customize it to who you’re talking to. “Set it and forget it” makes sellers lazy. You need to focus on the quality of your message. Carole notes you should also block time into your schedule to be consistent. You need to develop resilience. It’s paramount to prospecting and lead generation. What are Carole’s top 3 dos and don’ts of prospecting and lead generation? Listen to learn more!

Why copywriting and cadence matters

Carole was working with a client who worked at a SaaS tech company who was struggling to get responses to her cadences. She was trying to move customers from a competitor to her product. But everything she sent out got a very low response rate. So Carole took a look at the first email. It was too long, it was all about her product/service, and she was asking the prospect to take a large leap—all in the first email. No interest or value had been established. 

So Carole asked her to rework it. She wrote something that talked about their results and focused it on her prospects. She saw almost double the response rate and got conversations in the pipeline. She learned that you have to keep it brief, make it all about the prospect, and ask the right questions. Always focus on the potential value for the customer.

Resources & People Mentioned

  • BOOK: Grit by Angela Duckworth

Connect with Carole Mahoney

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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Jan 27, 2021

Why do you NEED a formal lead generation process? What is Christopher Ryan’s Revenue Machine Blueprint? How can it impact your lead generation, prospecting, and revenue? Christopher is the CEO and founder of Fusion Marketing Partners. As an expert in helping B2B companies grow revenue, Chris leverages his extensive experience to create successful and cost-effective lead-to-revenue frameworks. He shares his expertise in this episode of Sales Reinvented. Don’t miss it!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:15] The difference between prospecting and lead generation
  • [1:57] The Revenue Machine Blueprint
  • [3:19] Christopher’s ideal prospecting process
  • [6:11] The attributes of a great salesperson
  • [9:28] The skills to develop to exceed at prospecting
  • [11:34] Top 3 prospecting and lead generation dos and don’ts
  • [13:52] Why you NEED a formal lead generation process

The Revenue Machine Blueprint

Lead generation and prospecting are the precursors to generating revenue in a B2B environment. They’re an essential part of the process. Chris espouses the Revenue Machine Blueprint, which is a four-step process that every single person goes through to buy something—no matter what the selling medium is. What are the steps?

  • They have to become aware of you. 
  • They need to be educated about what you offer.
  • They need to engage with you in some way.
  • They need to get involved in the sales process and become customers.

The “Always be closing” mantra can damage your reputation and your bottom line. Christopher emphasizes that you must be cognizant of moving prospects through the process. 

Christopher’s ideal prospecting process

Christopher follows a “Lead to Revenue” process. It’s a systematic process from awareness all the way to generating revenue. He’s surprised that many large companies still don’t have a lead to revenue process and they just wing it. But if you can’t measure something, you can't improve it. How many inquiries will you generate? How many will turn into leads? How many will turn into opportunities? 

There are 4–7 conversion steps in the revenue generation process. If one part of the process is only operating at 50%, it impacts the output of everything. If you create a process, measure each step, and fix what isn’t working, it can profoundly impact end results.

But Chris believes you also need to differentiate push marketing and pull marketing. One approach is getting people to come to you and converting those people to leads. The other approach is to push and find people. Cold-calling is a form of push marketing. An online search done by a potential customer is pull marketing. You want increased “pull” traffic because it’s less expensive in the long run. 

The attributes of a great salesperson

Chris notes an effective salesperson needs the ability to take no for an answer without feeling personally rejected. For example, an insurance salesperson makes a $500 commission and on average, closes 1 out of 20 leads. They have to hear “no” 19 times. But what if you look at each sales pitch as making $25? A rejection becomes part of the process to get to a yes

You also have to leverage contacts. Turn people that you meet online into influencers or advocates for your product or your service—even if they don’t buy themselves. Another attribute is a giving spirit. Focus on serving, not selling. When you adopt that attitude, you can sell more by selling less. It may feel counterintuitive, but it’s true. 

Chris points out that this is another biggie: sales reps must apply the principle of reciprocity. You give something to the prospect without expectation. But when you give without expectation, the prospect feels an obligation to do something for you.

What else? You need to develop domain expertise. You need to have knowledge of the industry, what’s happening in it, how connections are made, and what the newest trends are. You want to understand more about the industry than your prospect so you can become a value-add to them. You want to be a resource—not a nuisance. 

What other attributes and skills should a salesperson embody? What are Christopher’s top 3 dos and don’ts? Listen to learn more!

Why you NEED a formalized lead generation process

15 years ago, Christopher worked in a software company as the CMO. His sales counterpart was very skeptical about implementing a formal lead generation process. They fought over it a lot. They did end up implementing the process. Within one quarter, he made this guy a believer. He’s a close friend and advocate 15 years later. It takes discipline to apply metrics, measure them, and improve them. Sometimes it takes some pain to get to the right thing. You have to be brave and push what you believe in. You must be persistent to get to the goal. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Christopher Ryan

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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Jan 20, 2021

How can a salesperson be a door opener? How can you nail lead generation and prospecting? What do you need to focus on? In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Caryn Copp shares some of her award-winning process—including touching on the 5 Planks of Door-Opening Success. If you’re ready to take your prospecting and lead generation skills to the next level, do not miss this episode! 

Caryn Kopp is the Chief Door Opener® and Founder of Kopp Consulting’s award-winning Door Opener® Service. Caryn’s company lands executive-level prospect meetings for their clients using the skills of experienced business developers and superior sales messaging. Kopp has 2 trademarks in Sales Messaging, she co-authored the best seller, Biz Dev Done Right, she is a top 50 Keynote Speaker and had her first cold calling job when she was 11! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:04] The difference between prospecting and lead generation
  • [3:04] Why are both important to the sales process?
  • [5:04] The 5 Planks of Door-Opening Success
  • [9:51] The attributes of a great salesperson
  • [12:05] The skills salespeople need to develop
  • [14:02] Caryn’s top dos and don’ts of prospecting 
  • [17:10] Why you must be diligent with note-taking

The difference between prospecting and lead generation

Caryn points out that lead generation used to be anything to do with inbound lead generation and prospecting. The terms were used interchangeably. Lead generation has become more of a marketing term. It’s associated with sending out mass emails and getting people to raise their hands. The hand-raisers are then supposed to be sorted. One segment gets a phone call from sales. The others go into a drip campaign to lead them to be hand-raisers or influencers in the future. 

Prospecting is choosing a group of prospects that need to know about you and approaching them. It may start with an email, a phone call, or an introduction from another customer. You’re engaging in a proactive activity to lead to a conversation.

Lead generation softens a prospect so salespeople are contacting people who already have familiarity with the company, service, or offering. Caryn has done outsourced executive-level “door-opening” for over 20 years. They can get the right meetings without lead generation. But it’s more effective with lead generation.

The 5 Planks of Door-Opening Success

Caryn uses lead generation to create awareness with narrow groups of prospects and their influencers. If those leads aren’t ready for a phone call, there needs to be an automated drip campaign to keep them engaged to convert them to being hand-raisers or being influencers. The 5 Planks of Door-Opening Success leads to successful prospecting. If you aren't getting in the right prospects’ doors, you have a problem in one or more of the 5 planks. So what are they?

  • You need the right target: 25% of prospects don’t belong on the list. You must choose prospects who feel a sense of urgency (navigating a trigger event), will pay for your services, and find you to be the right solution for them. 
  • Plan what you’re going to say. What will get a busy executive to clear their calendar for a meeting with you? Especially if they already have a vendor for the solution you offer. They need to feel like it’s the best decision they’ll make all week.
  • Have answers for objections. You will get shut down if you don't nail the 3 P’s of prospects’ objections: pre-think, prepare, and practice. What objections might you face? How do you prepare the answers? Can you have answers ready in a split-second? 
  • You need the right door-opener. Some people are great at having a meeting and closing the sale (hunters). Then they are others who are intuitively great at opening the doors. 
  • You must execute. Are you the right person to make the calls? Emails? How do you grow the relationship and make a difference? How much time are you spending on generating new revenue and prospecting? An hour or two a week doesn’t cut it.

Caryn believes if you focus on developing and becoming an expert in these 5 planks, you’ll be more successful opening doors, getting leads, and closing sales.

The attributes of a great salesperson

Caryn emphasizes that being successful with prospecting and lead generation takes a certain kind of person. You can get training and be better than you are, but you may never love it. Some people have the DNA for sales. Caryn finds these salesmen and women to have an insatiable curiosity for people. They have the ability to be fully present in conversations. They can pivot without being shut down. People that don’t possess that skill may get a prospect on the phone, but they can’t get to the outcome. It’ll be entered in the CRM as “the prospect wasn’t interested” but it might mean they can’t hold their own in a conversation. They are also maniacally methodical. They have to want to put time into this—which not everyone wants to do. What are the top skills to develop? What are Caryn’s prospecting and lead generation dos and don’ts? Listen to learn more!

Why you must be diligent with note-taking

When Caryn was doing door-opening for other companies, there was one prospect at a pharmaceutical company that shut her down—but not because she wasn’t interested. They were reorganizing and no new vendors were being considered. She wanted to hold off for 6 months. During their conversation, they ended up chatting about a dog she adopted who was afraid of its water bowl.

Caryn kept diligent notes. She sent this prospect information throughout the 6 months to keep her warm. Right before the 6 months, she hopped on the phone and asked her how her dog was doing. Her prospect couldn’t believe she remembered that detail. It solidified their relationship in a way that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Caryn’s client got the meeting and the business.

The moral of the story? Take copious notes, review them, and make every phone call and email meaningful. Every touchpoint will either build a relationship or ruin a relationship. Lastly, never miss a follow-up. Set a task reminder and be consistent. Be a constant quality presence in your prospect’s life. To hear the rest of Caryn’s thoughts on prospecting and lead generation, listen to the whole episode! 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Caryn Kopp

Connect With Paul Watts 

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Jan 13, 2021

What does success look like for you today? How has your definition of success been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? Have you changed your expectation of success based on the world you’re currently living in? In this special episode of the Sales Reinvented podcast, you’ll hear the first-ever podcast episode exchange. Christie Walters-Herbert and Jeff Bajorek from “The Why and The Buy” podcast reminisce on 2020. They talk about how to change your definition of success and why you would want to in 2021. Don’t miss it!

Outline of This Episode

  • [4:20] You can’t hit a target you can’t see
  • [10:10] Modify what success is to recenter your vision
  • [13:34] What does success look like for me?
  • [16:48] What do you want?

You can’t hit a target you can’t see

What does success look like now? Jeff points out that you must ask yourself this question not only to see new opportunities—but to give yourself some relief. In times of uncertainty, you can’t cling to your previous goals because it may not be fair. But it’s also hard to commit to a new goal. When you know the old one isn’t good enough anymore but can’t commit to a new one, you’re in limbo. You can’t hit a target you can’t see. 

Jeff’s spent a lot of time thinking about this question. Is success being able to keep his business open? Is it growing the business? Is it being proud of the work that he’s doing? These questions aren’t necessarily tied to monetary goals but they are guideposts. Have you given yourself permission to determine what your guideposts are?

What does success look like for me?

Christie emphasizes that you can’t try to replicate someone else’s success. If you are, you’re going about it the wrong way. You can’t get motivated based on someone else's motivation. You can’t structure a business based on someone else’s structure. You’re not wired the same way as someone else—why base your success on them? You can still gain insight from someone else’s perspective on success and what helps them focus. But you have to define what success looks like for you, which begins by becoming clear on what you want. 

For Christie, success looks like doing the right things in her business day in and day out. She’s coaching people to have these conversations with her customers. Personally, it’s about making sure her health is in the right place in case she did catch something. It’s about conversations with her loved ones that are about the life she wants to create.

Define success so you can achieve it

Are you proud of the work you’re doing? Are you proud of where you are right now? Are you proud of what you’ve done? That gives you the context for what you believe success is in life. If you set out to accomplish something and you do, you should be proud. But if you don’t have a clear definition of success, it’s hard to be proud because you don’t have a measuring stick. If you don’t have a definition for “when,” how do you know you haven’t already achieved it?

Some people find it difficult to be satisfied or happy with any point that they’ve reached in their life. Some people downplay what they’ve accomplished. They think they should’ve accomplished more. It’s all because of the story you tell yourself. On paper, everything looks great. You’ve accomplished a lot. But because you weren’t clear on what was enough, you may not feel successful. 

Is it necessary to spend another night working? Or could you take that time and spend it with your family? Because in reality, you’ve accomplished a tremendous amount and it’s not going to fall apart because you put your attention on a different portion of your life that is just as important. That’s a struggle that a lot of people have.

What is important right now?

Many people are unemployed or underemployed trying to find their next step. There’s so much weight that comes when you feel like you’re not living up to your potential. It’s why you need to understand what is important right now. If you take a job that’s less than what your level of success would demand under normal circumstances, define what your success is. Are you providing for your family? Are you keeping your skills sharp until the right job opens up? Does the job provide you connections?

Ask yourself these three questions: Where are you going? What’s the ultimate objective and goal? What does that translate into for success today? You must adjust your perspective. If you cannot define success, you cannot achieve it. Spend your time reframing those concepts and things will become clear.

If you’re willing, share them with us. We may just share a book and some swag with you!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Jeff Bajorek

Connect with Christie Walters-Herbert

Connect With Paul Watts 

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Jan 6, 2021

Jeff Bajorek believes that prospecting is so much more of the sales process than people give it credit for. He emphasizes that “Prospecting is understanding your message from the get-go. Prospecting is creating tension. Prospecting is demonstrating your expertise.” Success with prospecting relies completely on being someone worth talking to with something worth talking about. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented to hear Jeff share his thoughts on the prospecting and lead generation process.

Jeff Bajorek is a consultant, coach, author, and podcast host. He helps sales teams perform better by helping them to rethink the way they sell. Jeff’s latest book, “Rethink the Way You Sell: When It Goes Sideways” was written during the Coronavirus pandemic, intending to remind salespeople of what’s important. Success with prospecting relies completely on being someone worth talking to with something worth talking about. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:07] The difference between prospecting and lead generation
  • [2:25] Why are they so important to the sales process?
  • [4:20] There isn’t a one-size-fits-all prospecting process
  • [6:18] Attributes + skills for a salesperson to develop
  • [11:25] Jeff’s top 3 dos and don’ts
  • [15:10] Do what works for you—not what you’re told is “right”

Why you NEED numerous leads in your pipeline

Jeff points out that if you don’t have any pipeline, it changes everything else that you do in the sales process. When there are fewer deals to be worked, every deal becomes exponentially more important. When you feel like they’re more important than they need to be, you make bad decisions. You give away value when you don’t need to. 

Jeff also points out that it’s more productive to sell when you can do the right things for the right reason. What if you could be the same person all the time? Jeff made more sales when he wasn’t pushing to reach his goals. He was a different person towards the end of every month and every year. He wanted to keep being that person. Pipeline gives you the sense of security that you need and allows you to be who you want to be as a salesperson. You can negotiate harder when you have a solid pipeline.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all prospecting process

Jeff’s gut reaction is that you can't describe the ideal process because there isn’t one that applies to everyone. Too many salespeople are looking to paint by numbers and you just can’t do it. When you start with the solution to the problem in mind and work backward with the most effective way for you to do prospect, you get more creative. You take more risks and have more fun. When you get too tied up in “this is how this has to be done” it leads to poorer results. Jeff emphasizes that if you spend less time worrying about doing it the right way, you’d spend more time doing it effectively. 

Attributes + skills for a salesperson to develop

Jeff notes that you have to be willing to think on your feet and ask questions you don’t know the answer to. It encourages a collaborative environment where you can answer questions together. You can’t be truly curious if you’re not willing to be wrong. So leave your assumptions at the door. Don’t bully your prospect around by asking questions they don’t know the answer to—but you do. When you are manipulating your prospect with questions, they will know it.

Sellers could also learn to be more empathetic. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and appreciate your own messaging from their point of view. How would you feel receiving that email or being asked that question? It’s why you need to have your messaging down. Is curiosity built into your questions? Does it relate to the solution? Are you being empathetic? Is everything tailored to the person you’re talking to? 

When you’re confident in the story you’re telling and the way you solve problems, you feel confident. Jeff calls it swagger. You know you’re putting your best work out there every day. You know you’re doing the work you need to do to generate results regardless of when that is. Context and perspective are often missed. What are you trying to accomplish and how are you getting your message across?

Do what works for you—not what you’re told

Jeff feels—because he runs his own business and he’s a very opinionated person—that he’s held to a higher standard. He often feels judged for how he does things. He gets several people referred to him regularly and always has leads in his pipeline. He doesn’t work the phones often. He doesn’t have an email sequence ready to go. He found himself feeling guilt for not having the perfect lead generation sequences in place. But he’s already effective. He pointed out that he got so tied up in doing things “the right way”, that he forgot that the work was being done. 

There are top performers out there who are insecure about the way they’re performing. If your business is growing and you’re outperforming your peers, remember: the problem you’re trying to solve is more important than the way you solve it. The solution is paramount. Are you solving the problems? Jeff points out that at the end of the day an opportunity is an opportunity. Don’t focus too much on how you accomplished it. Instead, recognize what you’re doing well. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Jeff Bajorek

Connect With Paul Watts 

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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!

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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

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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.

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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. 

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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!

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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

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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

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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! 

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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

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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!

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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

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