Episode 25: Darryl Praill – Playing the Long Game: Know How Your Buyers Buy and How to Provide Value for Them
In this episode, Brynne and Bill are joined by Darryl Praill, chief revenue officer at Vanilla Soft. Listen as they discuss the importance of adding value to your profile by sharing rockstar content.
Darryl Praill 0:00
When I say social selling it defuses transactions to me, it’s not to knock social selling. I mean if I treat social selling, emphasis on the word selling, as opposed to emphasis on the word social, you know, if I am social selling will be an outcome of it because we will have trust established, trust in one another. Whereas if I use social because it’s how I’m going to get at you to sell you something, that’s transaction.
Brynne Tillman 0:24
We absolutely love that. One of the things that we say all the time is build relationships, bring insights, be a resource, and the sale will come when the time is right.
Intro (Bob Woods) 0:36
Welcome to the Making Sales Social podcast, featuring the top voices in sales and marketing. Join hosts, Brynne Tillman and Bill McCormick. As they discuss the best tips and strategies they are teaching their clients so you can leverage them for your own virtual and social selling. Here are your hosts Brynne Tillman and Bill McCormick.
Bill McCormick 1:02
Welcome to Making Sales Social. I’m Bill McCormick.
Brynne Tillman 1:05
I’m Brynne Tillman.
Bill McCormick 1:06
So Brynne, who’s joining us today?
Brynne Tillman 1:08
I’m so excited. This is like having sales royalty today, we have Darryl Praill from Vanilla Soft, which is the premier inside sales tool that is making even remote sales teams be incredibly effective during like, virtual selling, and it’s I mean, he’s got the magic software, SaaS product. I met Darryl, well he’s been like, in my vision. Apparently, in the greenroom, I probably met him in Chicago a few years back, and didn’t remember because we were at the same event, but really fell in love with him as a human being as a sales professional when he interviewed me around at Outbound about a year ago or so, and I am just obsessed with what he’s doing it for sales and in the sales industry. Darryl, welcome. share a little bit about you.
Darryl Praill 2:05
Oh my gosh, I’m here with Bill and Brynne kids! You’re jealous, aren’t you? I know you’re jealous. I am here with Bill and Brynne. Alright, as Brynne just said, I am the Chief Revenue Officer with Vanilla Soft, and of course, the industry’s most established sales engagement platform. You want to make more calls, social touches, emails, outreaches, whatever, in the right cadence, with the right frequency, the right urgency and persistency, you should check us out, we’ll triple your pipeline. That’s the pitch, the one and only I’ll make the whole show. But yeah, so this is what I do kids, I joined Vanilla Soft, three, three and a half years ago as a Chief Marketing Officer and it was fun, because, you know, we didn’t have the massive funding that some of our competitors have, it’d be less than 1% and social became the way that we established ourselves as a true contender. So I’m looking forward to today’s conversation because I definitely have some opinions, so let’s get into it.
Bill McCormick 3:07
Great. We love opinions. So Darryl, we ask every guest on our show, what does making sales social mean to you?
Darryl Praill 3:16
Okay, so in the green room kids, they told me that Bill said I’ve asked you this question and I was thinking to myself, well what will my answer be? Cause it’s–see my first reaction when you see make it social, making sales social, I think relational, that’s where my mind goes. It’s about establishing rapport with prospects, you’re trying to connect with people whom you truly believe your solution, your offering, can impact them and empower them and help them achieve their goals. And instead of pitching it means connecting with them where they’re at the pain they’re enduring, the moment they’re at that moment in time, the challenges they’re incurring, their goals, their growth, their objectives, their aspirations and so when you make it social, you connect with them as a social media, whether that be LinkedIn or any other you know, mediums such as maybe a Clubhouse or Twitter, it’s just a vehicle, in the end the vehicle is designed to connect with them one on one healthy exchange in education, and just rapport, rapport building, that’s what it means to me, I’m sorry if it’s kind of vague, but that’s I go social and I think literally just social, social engagement, as opposed to social selling. I don’t like social selling, because that’s got, just feel transactional to me.
Brynne Tillman 4:34
Interesting. You know everything we teach is around building relationships, providing value, bringing insights, being a resource. So we see that as truly social selling the right way.
Darryl Praill 4:47
But yes, you’re right. I mean, when I say social selling, it just feels transactional to me. It’s not to knock social selling. I mean, if I treat social selling, emphasis on the word selling, as opposed to emphasis on the word social. You know, if I’m social, selling will be an outcome of it, because we’ll have trust established, trust in one another. Whereas if I use social, because it’s how I’m going to get at you to sell you something, that’s transaction.
Brynne Tillman 5:13
So we absolutely love that and one of the things that we say all the time is build relationships, bring insights, be a resource, the sale will come when the time is right.
Darryl Praill 5:23
You nailed it, and this is my one lament that I have for so many sales professionals today. And one of the things I try to coach over and over and over again, play the long game, social is not about doing the transaction right now. Can I talk to you tomorrow? Can I have 10 minutes of your time? And then those 10 minutes when I ask you to sign a PO that is–or, Hi, Darryl–and my opening pitch to you; “Hi Darryl, I see we have a lot of connections to comment. Can I talk to you tomorrow? Can we discuss quarterly business objectives?”. All those stuff, It’s not–(Brynne) “We help companies just like you!”.(Darryl) Exactly!
Bill McCormick 5:55
Yeah, yeah. Wait, what I say is that we have connections in common is the LinkedIn version of “Hey, come here often?”, and I think what I got from what you said is, where’s your emphasis? When you’re talking about social selling, emphasis on the social, or is your emphasis on the selling, and too many people now are emphasizing the wrong thing, for sure.
Darryl Praill 6:18
A simple example. Okay, so Darryll works at Vanilla Soft. You don’t hear me, and this is very intentional going on, say vanilla stuff, vanilla stuff, vanilla stuff, vanilla stuff. And you hear me saying, we’re just my target audience. So they but they live in the world of sales. Well, okay, what the problems have Well, it’s opening its discovery, its objection handling, it’s asking for the deal. It’s, it’s price in a handling, it’s multiple channels, I suck at Social, I’m afraid of the phone. That’s where I live. And that’s where I Darryll tries to live. And then eventually they go, “you know what, through, I kind of like you, I feel like I trust you”. They always knew I was at vanilla soft, never hit it, and they’ll come back and say, “Can you tell me a bit about vanilla stuff? I think you might be able to help me”. Boom, let’s talk, let’s have that conversation. That’s why it’s emphasis on social, relational, trust.
Bill McCormick 7:04
And that brings us to your kind of segue right into the second question, which is, what are you teaching your clients in the sales world, in the traditional sales world, that helps them at the top of their pipeline?
Brynne Tillman 7:18
I’m gonna actually bridge it to one more thing,(Darryl) okay, go for it,(Brynne) which is, you know, and although you guys do all these things, there’s a lot of phone conversation cold call outreach, what they’re saying there, that you can transition and use what has worked in that cold outreach, potentially, to warm it up or use it on social. So how do you bridge like the phone scripts and the cadence in the non-social world to the social world?
Darryl Praill 7:47
What we tell our, both our prospects and our clients, as well as just the community as a whole, is you need to understand how buyers buy, right? So how buyers buy is whether you reach out to them via phone, or via email, or via a warm referral, God bless referrals, right? They’re the best, or they hear about you, just through organic, you knows SEO, they just they just googled a pain and they find your name, doesn’t matter how you get into that top of funnel. The first thing they’re going to do, because again, it’s always about managing risk, and managing secondarily, managing my time, my calendar, my diary is they’re going to go and they’re going to Google you, you’re gonna Google–in my case, Vanilla Soft, or they might Google, Darryl Praill, and then they’re going to go to LinkedIn every single time, and they’re going to go and say, who says Darryl Praill person? And they don’t just say who’s this Darryl Praill person. This is what they’re doing, they’re going okay, let me just do a quick snap, you know, quick skim of their profile their history, so I understand if they have experienced that may be applicable to me that I can learn from them. Okay, who do we have in common because if Bill and Brynne know Darryl, and he’s probably a good cat, I trust Bill and Brynne. And let me look at some of their recent posts, is Darryl just liking? Like, like, like, like, like and not actually contributing to the conversation. Okay, Darryl is not really using social media, there was more transactional, doesn’t mean it’s true, this is what they think. Right? Or they’re seeing posts or seeing opinions. They may not agree with my opinions, but they respect the fact that I have, well reasoned opinions, okay, based on that social presence, they’re going to then make a decision whether to respond back to that phone call, or that email that is right there. Now, if you do a social outreach for the first time, maybe you’re doing just Hey, a connection requests, they’re gonna do the exact same thing. So if you truly want to drive your top of funnel activity, you need to be packaged, for lack of a better word. It sounds so cliche, so consumerism, but you do need to make sure that you handle you anticipate all the objections, they may have other reasons they’ll have to say no, this person has no value. No, I have no time on my counter for this person. I don’t see why I see this person any of my time. So you need to do that. So what we tell our audience is add value, so how do you add value, you add value by you creating content that actually helps them succeed, you add value by participating in conversations that presents another point of view that hadn’t been considered, or builds upon, or conversations already taken place so people can better understand it, if you’re doing that everything else you’re doing will have a 10x impact. That’s how the world works. If I ever as a buyer, if I ever decide to accept your overtures, and actually have a conversation with you, it’s because all of that due diligence happened on my part first, and in fact, what may have even happened one step further, is that I thought I might like you, I accept that your connection requests, but then again, I played the long game, and I sat back and I watched you for three months or four months, where I finally bought in and said: “Fine, you have time on my calendar”. So what I tell our audience is you need to be busy in social media, is a pretty need to understand is it’s incumbent upon you to build your own brand and your own reputation not hiding behind your employer or not expecting your employer to do it. So you own your own street cred, if you will.
Brynne Tillman 11:10
It’s better than the question we asked. So something that Bill and I talk a lot about, it’s kind of this two prong–that what you’re talking about is earning the right to get the call? (Darryl) Yes. (Brynne)Right?(Darryl) Yeah.(Brynne) So there is, you know, Kenan.(Darryl) I know Kenan well,.(Brynne) okay, so gap selling. We have–and he knows I’ve gotten permission for him to actually not even have to say his name every time, but I feel obligated to do this. He talks about mastering the ask-offer ratio. (Darryl) Yep. (Brynne) Right? So we asked you for, you know, 30 seconds to read a message, or three minutes to read a blog post, or five minutes to watch a video, or even like 30 seconds to come look at my profile to accept my connection request. At the end of that you’ve got, you know, you have these reactions, which is what we’ve added in, there’s either a bait and switch,(Darryl) yes, this is where we took his ask offer ratio, right? So we’re gonna get either like that, you know, that’s these messages that we’re getting right that or you just click through content, and it’s really features benefits of your products and services, not value, there’s neutral, which is excessively frustrating, because it doesn’t move the dial, but it doesn’t hurt your reputation, but doesn’t help move them closer to your solution, and then there’s compelling which is anything from I accept your connection request, to I react to a post, to I comment, right? And so you know, you talked about being very, very active on LinkedIn and being out there are a lot and I agree, we agree completely, just try to make as much of it as possible, compelling that it gets them to at least comment or react or say great post or, you know, accept your connection request, because there was such value in that. So I absolutely love what you were saying I just kind of wanted to bridge that back to what we teach, because I think that’s completely aligned.
Darryl Praill 13:05
I want to build on what Brynne just said and give you even more context. So if you’re the number one brand in a category, you’re Coke, or everyone knows who you are. So if you’re just you know, doing the bait and switch, I’ll endure it. Because I want Coke, I need coke. Therefore it is what it is your means to an end and I will discourage you after I’m done. I just need something, salesforce.com might be a better example. I just need to talk to a rep to do something. Alright, because that’s what I–(Brynne) No one got fired for hiring IBM. Exactly. Right. Now, if you’re a contender, you’re unknown contenders. Maybe you’re not salesforce.com, or maybe you’re PipeDrive, right? Well, then you can be neutral, because you still have your organization, so has a good enough reputation, that I’ll go fine. You’re not really adding any value, but you’re not, you know, slimy. So therefore fine. If you’re neither, which by the way is 90 plus percent of every single company in every single world, you absolutely need to be adding that value. So that I won’t take that risk on you. So, you figure it out are you a category leader? Are you a contender, though? You can afford to be a little more sloppy. But if you’re not, then you better get your sh*t together, so to speak, excuse the language.
Bill McCormick 14:25
Yeah, yeah, and what I was going to add, and it goes right along with what you’re saying, Darryll, because I think you said something, you said they perceive you as, so they look at your profile and they perceive you as. Listen, perception is our reality and each person’s perception is their individual reality. So I think what we have to do as business leaders, as small business owners, as sales professionals, is look at our profile from an outside point of view, right? Look at it from that other person that OPV, and say, “how am I being perceived here? How are they perceiving me”, because if I’m being seen as a bait and switch, or worse yet, if I’m being perceived as just, ‘Nah’, people are gonna pass right over us, and we have to separate ourselves for sure.
Darryl Praill 15:17
It’s so funny, because cliches are cliches for reasons, right? Because usually they’re grounded in truth. So the classic people buy from people. So, here’s an example. I was at Vanilla Soft, maybe three months, four months, and I finally got, you know, my head wrapped around everything we did, and I thought I understood the audience everything else. And I went to the CEO, and I said, “Okay, so I’ve got a plan”. And he’s okay. And I said, “a couple things. So here’s the plan things, okay. I said, First up, only your I speak. No one else that company speaks”. He’s okay. Because that makes for sure the company brand is on message. I said, “next, we have rules. And he says, What’s the rules? I said, because I said, You’re the good cop, because I’m gonna be the bad cop”. He’s like, “why are you the bad cop? I want to be the bad cop. And I said, well, you’re too damn sweet and nice. You don’t know how to be a bad cop. But beep, I’m going to say stuff, I’m going to stir the pot, I’m going to agitate to spark conversation, sometimes I will take it too far. And I need good cop come in to play cleanup. He’s a guy can do that”. I said, third. And last. I said, “we’re going to invest more money in promoting Darryl Praill, as opposed to Vanilla Soft”. And then he stopped. He stared at me and he goes, “so I’m already paying you a healthy salary, and I’m gonna pay you to promote yourself”. And I said, “I know you’re thinking, someone’s gonna come along and scoop me up after I have some success too”. And they see as well kinda yeah, I got some money invested in UPL. I said, “People buy from people. I will always be vanilla soft, but people buy from people”. Therefore we need to invest in making sure that, whether it’s video or public speaking or whatever, that I’m adding to the conversation and I’m making deposits, I’m adding value, and that the ask ratio exactly as you put it, is minimum, one in three, one in four, before you can actually make an ask. So I’m going to give content, content, content. “Hey, you guys should join me at this webinar we’re putting on”, you know, ask. So he’s like, okay, now I’ll give my CEO credit. He was willing to trust me. Fast forward a year, and we were at a trade show that we had been at the year before. And the difference in the two years was like night and day, it was still decent traffic the first year, it was “Oh my gosh, call in the reinforcements, we can’t handle the traffic for the second year”. And he turned to me at one point, and he goes, you’re a rockstar. Now, my CEO is a bit of a smartass. When he says you’re a rockstar, usually he’s being condescending to me. And so I’m like, “Yeah, yeah, whatever”. It is, no, no, really, he goes, they’re all coming here. Because they all have heard about us on social media. They want they want to learn more, because this traffic isn’t about advanced emails we did to drive traffic. This is about reputation. He goes this is very apparent very clearly. So he got it. It took a year, give him credit. But he got it. So we had to find roles. A very clear objective. And we’re very intentional about it. So people buy from people. That’s the long and the short of it here, right there.
Brynne Tillman 18:10
You’re here because we love Darryl Praill, who works at Vanilla Soft. (Darryl) There you go, (Brynne) yeah, we’re not interviewing the company. However, we’re happy, we know actually, the company you represent is phenomenal. So we’re happy to talk about that, but not because how phenomenal company is, but because we love Darryl Praill. So that’s–exactly.
Darryl Praill 18:30
So this is the irony. Because you build up trust and rapport on social media, people grow to like you and appreciate you, and because of that, then they’re more than willing to advocate for you on your behalf and talk about your company and do those word of mouth referrals and it’s all because they think they know you, and like you, and value you, and your contributions, and who you are. That’s the irony before they would never promote you. But now they know you they will promote you. That’s the beauty and the irony, though situation.
Bill McCormick 19:04
Yeah, it’s really about credibility, in another famous Kenan saying, he talks about, you know, he’ll take credibility over relationship any day. You know, you have a relationship with someone, you know, they’ll go play golf with you. But if you have credibility with you, with them, they’re going to call you at two o’clock in the morning when they have a problem that they know you can solve. And for our listeners, who are mainly individual sales professionals, we have some larger companies who will watch. But understand what Darryl is saying. When you just go and share your company content, that’s okay. But when you can share your company content with your personal point of view with your thought leadership with your experience and expertise, it’s going to go so much farther, because you’re going to become that rock, that rockstar, that people are going to look to and it’s going to develop credibility. You know what we say all the time is, know, like, and trust is true. But attract, teach, and engage is what creates know, like, and trust, right Brynne?
Brynne Tillman 20:06
Yes, right Bill, to me that’s like the cornerstone of everything that we do. Bob Berg, you know in endless referrals, coined people do business with people they know, like, and trust. In today’s remote world how do we get to know them? I apparently met you or probably met you in Chicago a couple years ago right? In today’s world it’s really hard to get to know people, so social, particularly LinkedIn, and now Clubhouse too, right, is a great place to get to know people. right, but how do you get them to show up to know you like you can walk up to someone in a networking room and shake hands with them? They can come to your tradeshow booth and meet you and have a conversation. Your networking room, your trade show, is LinkedIn today, right? So how do you get them to walk up to you to shake your hand? You have to attract, teach, and engage.
Darryl Praill 20:58
And let me just build on that, cuz we talked a little bit about the whole. Are you category leader? Are you a contender? Are you at the rest of the world, isn’t it you know, people buy from people they know love, trust, respect everything else? Okay? Remember how I began? I said we have like less than 1% of the funding of my competitors. So how did we establish a brand for Vanilla Soft? We did it simply using social media and doing exactly what Brynne and Bill are talking about. We added value, we contributed the conversation. That’s all free, so if you’re sitting out here, you’re bootstrapped, or you’re like, my competitors raise $100 million. We’ve got too, how do I compete? I can’t be they’re gonna bid me everywhere. There’ll be a platinum sponsor an event, I’ll be an exhibitor and a lowly little booth. Right? They’re going to be paying a PR agency and appearing everywhere. I can’t do that. The list goes on. How do you compete? Ironically, social media is the great equalizer, because there, it’s just people being people, right? You can’t pay people to physically go and say that Brynne, Brynne is awesome. Have you talked to Bill? Bill’s amazing. Now people form their own opinion, it costs nothing, nothing!
Bill McCormick 22:10
So good. So good, and when you’re looking at people’s profiles on LinkedIn, you can’t tell one from another of who is the rockstar and who’s not. Unless you’re looking at their content, and their content is going to kind of determine that, and what value they’re sharing. So this has been so so good. We could probably go for another half hour, but they’ll kick us off the channel. So Darryl, thank you. This has been fabulous. How can folks stay in touch with you?
Darryl Praill 22:41
LinkedIn, of course, that’s the easiest way to go. So check me out there or you go to unclose or Twitter on those two platforms. You’ll find me under the handle ohpinion8td. O, H, P, I, N, I, O N, 8, TD. But just LinkedIn, LinkedIn’s nice and easy.
Bill McCormick 22:55
Fantastic. Well, hey, thanks so much for being with us, and thank you all for watching. Remember, we’re here every Monday at noon eastern time with Making Sales Social, bye Darryl, thanks so much for being with us.
Brynne Tillman 23:07
Thanks so much. What a pleasure.
Outro (Bob Woods) 23:12
Thanks for listening, and join us again for more special guest instructors, bringing you marketing, sales training, and social selling strategies, that will set you apart. Don’t forget to subscribe to get the latest episodes from the Making Sales Social podcast, leave a review down below. Tell us what you think, what you learned, and what you want to hear from us next. You can also listen to us on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play. Visit our website socialsaleslink.com for more information.