Episode 147: Making Sales Social Special End-of-Year Episode
Social Sales Link’s Bob Woods goes over some of the highlights from the Making Sales Social Live interview series of 2022.
You can access the full individual interviews with all of these inspiring professionals in the library of the podcast platform that you’re currently on.
Bob Woods 00:03
Thanks for joining us for this special episode of The Making Sales Social Podcast! We started this podcast as a twice a week offering back in July of 2021. One episode each week focuses on the interviews and conversations both Brynne and I have had with voices in sales, marketing, and business, while the other is the recorded version of our Making Sales Social Live sessions that me and Brynne host each week on LinkedIn and other social platforms. And because everyone seems to like this format, we’re not going to stop doing it.
Welcome to the Making Sales Social Podcast! Featuring the top voices in sales, marketing, and business. Join Brynne Tillman and me, Bob Woods, as we each bring you the best tips and strategies our guests are teaching their clients so you can leverage them for your own virtual and social selling. Enjoy the show.
Bob Woods 01:03
In this special episode, we have some highlights from the best of our interview slash conversation series of 2022. We’ve talked to more than 50, Yeah, 50 of these great people this year and we’ve to use a cooking term, reduce them into one dish, or you know, in this case, show, with seven ingredients, or in this case, conversations.
First up is the great Bob Burg, who has authored a number of books, including the one I think a lot of people know, The Go-Giver, and many, many others on sales, marketing, and influence. Now Bob is all about the concept of “know, like, and trust” are the concept of people buying from those salespeople who all things being equal, they know, like and trust with everything being digital nowadays, how does that know, like and trust idea work, when the entire concept of social selling starts out in the digital world. Bob has some thoughts.
Bob Burg 02:10
There are ways to be able to connect with people. And one of the things I love that social media has done, regardless of which platform it is, is it’s allowed us to meet people, we otherwise never would have had the opportunity to meet, okay, then that relationship can be built and it can be built powerfully. And so I think, you know, when we let’s say for instance, we reach out to someone for whatever reason, okay, and I’m not talking about Inbound here, which is great to put out information that attracts and force. Absolutely, that’s something we do all the time. But just if you are reaching out to someone, how would you do that? Well, it could be a nice comment on their post, it could be sharing their post with a comment before that, telling, you know, sharing the value from that quote, and how impressed you are with this person and what they’ve done and with the principles that they take, you know, what have you. It could be when somebody comments on somebody else’s post to engage with that person and do so in a very edifying way and do so in a way that adds value to the conversation.
It’s also moving it offline, it’s, you know, someone says something very nice about something you’ve posted, send a personalized handwritten note to that person through this thing called the mail. And it’s amazing because you’re the only one probably who was done that, and they get a really nice note from you and your personalized note card that says, “Hey, just wanted to thank you so much for that kind, you know, share or that kind quote on my on my post, please know how much that meant to me, best regards.” and then put in the number 10 envelope or whatever envelope and put a regular stamp on it and send that out.
Wow, talk about connecting with someone but you know, these are just some of the things we can do. You know, it’s making sure that when we connect with someone on LinkedIn and we send an invite that we know a little bit about them first, and we’re able to genuinely and authentically comment about something that we know is of interest to them so there’s all these things we can do to you know to reach out in a way that communicates value right from the start.
Bob Woods 04:24
The ABC or “Always Be Closing” mentality used to kind of slash sort of work in sales you know, once upon a time. Nowadays, it doesn’t really help in building that “know, like, and trust” idea that Bob and Brynne just referred to. ABC is not only a turn-off for many prospects and customers out there, it can also be less than satisfying for the salesperson to always be in that mindset. In August I spoke with noted coach and sales trainer Harry Spaight about his selling with dignity concept and why ABC, is not as easy as 123.
Harry Spaight 05:03
Selling with dignity definitely has a process. It’s like every other sales process in general, except that you are now coming from a place of serving. So much of sales is mindset, right? Okay. So people who are in sales will recognize things like, you’ve got to be up, you’ve got to be positive, if you’re negative, then people are going to recognize that they’re going to sense the negativity. So we get all of that in sales. I’m venturing to say, people got me over the years, and they get a lot of other people when they come from a place of serving. Just like the doctor with a good bedside manner that stuff people get early on, there’s a connection that goes on.
So all along the way, in the sales process, I suggest is that you find the human connection, you picked up the tones, you ask someone for 60 seconds, you know, to make your call if they hesitate if you start, you have a little banter, you say, “I promise this will not be a life and death experience. You’ll have some fun with it.” You show your humanity, you recognize that when people are busy, and they say, “Look, Harry, I’m really busy.” We don’t try to talk through that. We say “I get it, I understand what busy is like I’ve been busy before, when is a good time to follow up or later today at three o’clock be okay?” And by saying that getting the person off the hook, giving them a chance is better than trying to overcome a rejection, an objection where the person is legitimately busy.
So there are different things that people can do that show the human element, right? So if you walk up to someone on the street, or wherever you’re in the restaurant, you name or you’re having a conversation and someone says, “Look, I’m really busy, and they look at you like, don’t talk to me.” Well, okay, I guess you’re gonna go next. And then just Oh, but the way I feel that we can still work in sales is ask when is a good time to follow up. Because now we’re showing that we’re listening, we recognize they’re busy, and we’re being polite, and I think personally, I’ve had more success than with those types, in that way, than just let me just plow through it knowing that you’re really busy and really disrupt your day.
Bob Woods 07:37
We are all motivated, not from the outside in but from the inside out. In July, Brynne spoke with Bill Zipp, author of The Ultimate Sales Manager playbook, becoming a successful sales leader. They talked about the importance of knowing your whys in whatever it is that you do. This especially applies to sales leaders who need to help their salespeople find their “whys”
Bill Zipp 08:03
Sales leaders go astray when they press the More button and they’re constantly pressed, we need more deals, we need more meetings, we need more appointments and more leads and then more higher and more headcount. And all that outside-in pressure actually doesn’t work, the more button is broken. And ultimately, what it’ll do is it’ll completely backfire on you. And that’s not how human beings are motivated. It’s not how salespeople are motivated. We are motivated not from the outside in, but from the inside out.
And so in the book, we start right here with motivation, not mobilization, not more and more and more. But what’s your why? Why do you do what you do? Why do you wake up in the morning? Why do you sell? and I really help leaders, let’s have these conversations, let’s find this stuff out. And let’s do it because purpose drives passion. And when there’s passion, you get this outstanding performance. And so that’s the starting point and that’s kind of what I mean by a people-first approach to performance. It’s starting in the soul of your sellers and not by hitting them more buttons more and more and more and more and more.
Bob Woods 09:22
The Win-Win outcome sometimes sounds lofty in the world of sales and business, but it’s something that really should be obtainable. In October, I spoke with Kay Miller, author of Uncopyable Sales Secrets, to talk about Win Win sales. When everyone comes out of a sales situation with smiles on their faces.
Kay Miller 09:45
Well, the Win-Win is really as we talked about understanding the customer, understanding their pain, their problem, or their aspiration, and truly wanting to help that customer achieve that. If you’re in any kind of relationship sales, which is what we deal with, and I think you listening, haven’t read a relationship sales, you know, we’re not the door-to-door salesperson who I bought a crate of grapefruit from one time when I was pregnant and had horrible acid reflux, but you know what? I bought it, and my husband is like, “what the heck are you thinking?” I’m like, I wasn’t, and he’s gone. So hey, good for him.
For everybody listening, when you know, listening to this, we want relationships. And the only way to do that is to really understand them and be their trusted adviser. Suggest to them what would be the best option, but that is after a long, you know, well, I shouldn’t say that because when I bought a car, they were very good about boiling it down to what I wanted. And this was the second car I bought from this dealer because they were so great.
Bob Woods 10:55
Yeah, even with transactional sales, and that thought just kind of bubbled up in my mind because, generally speaking, you think of cars, car dealerships, and it’s transactional, the ones that don’t think like that, just like in case to case, those are the ones you go back to.
Kay Miller 11:11
They are. And I remember when I called one time, it said on their mission, you know, whatever their answering system, “where service sells the second car”, so it’s a whole bunch of things that you do, right, but the relationship doesn’t end just right when you make the sale. You really want them to win. In many cases, if you can find a way to help your customer’s customer win, say, you know, I work with a manufacturer, well, they’ve got distributors, and this happened recently. Well, the distributor has a whole bunch of things to sell. And so your product might, you know, fall to the backburner.
So if you can help your distributor or whatever the customer’s customer, be more educated, you know, give them some incentive to promote your product, you’re helping your customer and you’re helping them look really good. So look for creative ways to create wins for your customer. Obviously, when we sell to the right customer, it is a win. But we want to focus on giving them the right solution.
I love it when a customer says “yeah, that’s what I want” instead of trial closes and all that stuff. You know, you’re going through, you’re saying “Does this sound like what we’re talking about?” “And does this sound like what we’re talking about?” and what else? By the time you get to the end of the conversation and you totally get it right. It’s just a partnership that you’re walking through, ideally.
Bob Woods 12:42
Shifting gears from the sales mindset and mentality. Now it’s time to master how you sell your product or service. Brent Adamson joined Brynne in August to discuss staying ahead of the smartness arms race, in an era where customers start to lack confidence in their own ability to make decisions and on behalf of their company. Due to the overwhelming overflow of information.
Brent Adamson 13:08
I’ve got to think about what information have they likely already encountered. Not just from us, but from competitors, from trade associates, from advisory firms like Gartner, what information have they already encountered? What conclusions have they probably arrived at as a result of consuming that information? What questions do they likely have? Where are they likely confused? Now there’s an information strategy. First of all, figure that out and there’s ways we can talk about if you want but ask yourself, how can I help?
The way that a sense-making sales rep, the way they are– and by the way, this is not a personality type, this is not a profile, it’s not I am a sense maker, it’s just a technique, it’s something any one of us can do is engage in sense make not be a sense maker but engaging in sense-making essentially approach a customer with this very empathetic posture of you know, there’s a lot of information out there. And I would imagine at some points, it’s a little confusing. I’d love to if you’re open to it, maybe I can see if I can help you kind of work through it. And the frame-making approach is just providing them a framework to help them organize, analyze, prioritize that information in a way that makes sense for them.
So I’m not telling you what to do. I’m providing a scaffold, a structure for you to conclude on your own what you want to do because I’m not solving for your confidence in me, I’m solving confidence in yourself. So it’s got to be done Socraticly, you have to believe it’s your decision. So my role is to frame making. It’s like, here’s working with other customers like you, the kinds of things you want to consider. There’s a lot of questions out there. Our sense is based on this evidence that these three questions are the ones you want to prioritize.
In the article, I profiled a company called Expedia. They’re in the cloud computing business, and Brian Smith, I talked about him in the article, is the chief strategy officer there now. Also, head of sales. Brian is just brilliant. He’s just so brilliant. And what I’ve done is back at the four times we’ve traveled I used to do is I’ve done his sales kickoff and, and one things I heard Brian say to his entire sales team once and it just completely stuck with me said, “it’s our job as a sales organization to help our customers make the best decision they can, in as little time as possible.” That’s it. Our job is to help our customers make the best decision they can, in as little time as possible.
I want them to feel good about that decision, I want to feel confident about that decision. And by the way, if it’s not for us, it’s not for us. But as long as we’re the team that helped them feel good about the decision that will come back and benefits benefit us, if not in the short in the long run. I want that to happen quickly because if it’s not us, I don’t want to take 18 months to find that out, if you’re going to lose, lose early, right? So our job is to help our customers make the best decision they can in as little time as possible, have a little empathy, right? Ask yourself, “Am I just throwing another log on the fire” so that one of the opposite approaches of sense make is what we call the giving approach, which feels so natural, giving is the provision of get more information to your customers, which we often assume is sellers. That’s our primary role. That’s the way we deliver the most value is the provision of information. But if your customers are already overwhelmed with too much information, giving them yet another link, another poll, and other white paper, another video to watch. This is fuel to the fire, I call this indiscriminate generosity, and at some point, you’re actually exacerbating the very problem you’re solving.
So as you engage in social and as you make selling social, I think the new window of opportunity for differentiation is to ask yourself, How can I help my customers feel more confident in the choices they’re making? How can I? How can I give them a framework, a scaffold, a guide, a tool, a diagnostic, a benchmark, that is not going to just be one more piece of information, but is not is not a product or a piece of information, but a tool for them to make decisions.
Bob Woods 16:48
Fishing where the fish are not only applies to the sport of fishing, it’s essential for salespeople to know where to fish for their prospects. In September, I spoke with an internationally renowned business strategist and marketing consultant Husam Jandal , who was digital before digital was even cool. He has more than 20 years of experience in the digital marketing space. He spoke about how marketing and sales departments should work together so that salespeople can fish in those correct ponds.
Husam Jandal 17:21
Make sure that you develop what’s called a buyer persona, a persona is a fictitious character that represents a segment of your target audience. So that profile, or that persona, would simply say, “Who is that target profile? Or that target audience? What do they do? What are their pain points? What are their problems? What are their needs, which industry that they are in? Where do they go to shop around?” all of these details about your ideal client, aka persona, that piece has to be developed. It can be a tedious exercise, but it’s necessary because once you develop that persona and that persona has to be developed by both minds are both functions, or both departments, ie the sales and the marketing, they have to collaborate on making sure that they have the correct persona designed, because then everything to be done in terms of sales, and marketing has to be based on that persona. So that’s one thing that usually I see being masked, i.e. developing a buyer persona and making sure that’s being used for all of the future activities.
The other thing that can help, which we touched on briefly, that helped the two parts work better together and maximize ROI is an exchange of data. And by the way, although we did talk about marketing data, also sales data has to be shared with marketers. So then marketers know what to focus on more. If they know that a certain campaign produced X number of sales or clients, then marketers can focus more on that campaign, create similar ones and allocate more budget to the type of campaigns that generate more results or more sales, etc. So sharing data is important. So sales can share their own data as well, not just in the form of who converted or how many clients or how many sales, but even some basic data that can be extremely enlightening for marketers such as sales calls having like if you have if you record your sales calls, marketers must listen to them. Yeah, just so they can better understand what kind of objections that a salesperson is going through, and then or opportunities, and then they can convert those objections or opportunities into content, for example, unless that addresses those objections, and they’re supposed to and so on and so forth.
Bob Woods 19:50
In August, Brynne spoke with Nikki Roush, founder of sales Maven. Nikki wrote a book called The selling Staircase, which focuses on relationship selling in steps four and five of her staircase, Nikki talks about actually selling your product or service and then wrapping up with the clothes.
Nikki Rausch 20:11
So step number four is when you actually start doing the selling. This is the proposal step. And a proposal can be a formal proposal, but it may just be in a conversation. So I always suggest that the way you move from step to step is you ask permission, so I never go into sales mode with somebody. I always say you know, “based on what you’ve shared, I have some ideas of ways we might work together. Would you be interested in hearing more about this? Okay, good. So I’m going to ask their permission, and then I’m gonna lay out the way to work with me based on what they have shared, and I’m gonna stand in my place of credibility and authority. And I’m going to recommend what I know they need at this moment.
I’m not going to say there are 18 ways to work with me. I’m gonna say, you know, I’ll give up to three, but usually, I’ll pick one, I’ll say, you know, based on what you’ve shared, my suggestion is that we work together in a, you know, in a multi-strategy, session type opportunity where we can work on these specific things. Here’s, you know, based on what you have shared with me, these are the things that we would cover in those sessions. And then I’m going to move to step five, I’m going to issue that closed language, and closed language is that very direct, Yes or No question. It’s essentially saying to somebody without saying to them, “Do you want to hire me?”Yes or no. So I’m going to say, “Is that something you’d like to move forward with?” and then I’m going to zip it and wait and let them respond.
Bob Woods 21:38
Speaking of closing, it’s time to close out this special edition of Making Sales Social! Want to hear more? You can access the full individual interviews with all of these great human beings in the library of the podcast platform you’re currently on. And, of course, feel free to browse all of our episodes, you’ll find lots of help that can aid your digital sales efforts, what a year 2022 was, right? We had such great conversations with these business leaders over the past year. And like I said before, we ain’t gonna stop in the new year either.
With that, I’m Bob Woods of Social Sales Link. Here’s hoping your 2022 was a success and that 2023 either meets or exceeds your wildest expectations. So when you’re out and about throughout 2023, Make sure that you’re making your sales social.
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