Episode 50: Sid Meadows – It’s About “Seek to Be Found” Rather Than Seek to Find!
In this episode, the Social Sales Link team are joined by Sid Meadows, a business strategist and high performance coach. Listen as Sid discusses how so many people in sales are taught to go find customers when it’s really “seek to be found,” rather than seek to find. Tune in to know the difference between the two and what type of content we should be producing to be found.
Bill McCormick 00:00
What does making sales social mean to you?
Sid Meadow 00:03
With the advent of social media and how much people are consuming content. This is really about connecting with your customers in a meaningful way. And honestly, meeting them where they are. Where are they? They’re on social media, and they’re on a variety of social media platforms. And this is really about the salesperson or the sales leader, providing thought leadership and information. Relevant information to their community that’s not specifically about their products.
Bob Woods 00:33
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. You can also listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play. Here are your hosts Brynne Tillman and Bill McCormick.
Bill McCormick 01:11
Welcome to Making Sales Social! I’m Bill McCormick.
Brynne Tillman 01:13
I’m Brynne Tillman.
Bill McCormick 01:15
So Brynne who’s joining us today?
So this is fun. Our guest today, I met on Clubhouse and now I’ve met lots of amazing people on Clubhouse. And we can talk about what that Clubhouse is for some folks that don’t know. But Sid Meadows is the first guest we’ve had on Making Sales Social that we that I met through Clubhouse. Sid, welcome to the show!
Sid Meadows 01:39
Thank you, Brynne and Bill. I’m glad to be here with you today. And I love the fact that we met on Clubhouse and now we’re here, which is pretty awesome.
Brynne Tillman 01:47
Me too! And I just want to… Just for our viewers. Clubhouse is an audio-only it but it’s like going gangbusters and there are rooms that you can go in with topics and Sid and I were in the same room and we both, I think really hit it off based on our very similar perspective in business development, sales and social selling. And so we are so excited to have you here and then I’m going to put this back, give this back to Bill to keep going.
Bill McCormick 02:17
Yeah, so Sid tell everyone just a little bit about you, what you do about your company?
Sid Meadows 02:22
Sure. Thanks, Bill for that question. So I’m Sid Meadows, I’m actually a certified professional coach, as well as a certified high-performance coach and a business strategist. I also host a podcast and I write a column. So I’ve become a journalist over the last couple of years, which is a really interesting part of my career. But I predominantly work with business leaders and salespeople and individuals that work inside the contract interiors industry. And so when you think about that industry, we are the people that provide the products and the services to the built environment. So you think about office space, a hotel space, a doctor’s office, anything that’s inside a built environment, that’s the community that I work with. I started my company in Bark CCT almost four years ago, after I left a successful sales career as an individual contributor. And then finally, as the Senior Vice President of Sales for a leading manufacturer, decided that it was time for some reason to get on this bumpy road of entrepreneurship. So here I am, four years later.
Bill McCormick 03:22
Welcome to the ride!
Sid Meadows 03:25
It is a ride that is for sure!
Bill McCormick 03:27
It is for sure. Well, Sid we always ask each guest the same question to start off, what does making sales social mean to you?
Sid Meadows 03:35
You know, I’ve thought a lot about this, and with the advent of social media and how much people are consuming content. This is really about connecting with your customers in a meaningful way. And honestly, meeting them where they are, where are they? They’re on social media, and they’re on a variety of social media platforms. And this is really about the salesperson or the sales leader, providing thought leadership and information. Relevant information to their community. That’s not specifically about their products.
Brynne Tillman 04:10
Oh, I love that! So I got two things from this. Relevant information but it doesn’t have to be about selling your stuff. (Sid: Yes) So I’m excited to go deeper into that. I just want to ask, give us an example of how you might do this or how you teach your clients to do this.
Sid Meadows 04:27
Sure! So let’s talk about trends for a second. There are trends that are happening in our industry. One of the trends is biophilic design. Biophilic design is the concept of bringing nature into the office environment, okay. And you could do that in a variety of ways. So what I would encourage salespeople to do is talk about the trend and how the trend impacts and what the benefits are to an environment, not the product that you sell. So an example might be “Oh, I have this sofa and it’s in green that looks like the grass you should buy this!” Right? Actually no. Talk about Biophilia and the impact to health and wellness that Biophilia provides to the employee and why you want this type of trend in your office environment.
Brynne Tillman 05:15
So I love that we call this stop leading with your solution and lead to your solution.
Sid Meadows 05:23
Oh, that’s awesome. I love that! Love that!
Bill McCormick 05:25
So every once in a while my dogs get into my office. So that’s bringing the environment into my office. And so as we’re talking about this and talking about trends, wouldn’t you say it’s not so much the trends that are in a specific industry or selling to, but it’s the trends that your clients care about?
Sid Meadows 05:48
Absolutely! And not just care about Bill, but maybe that your clients need to be educated on because trends in any industry come up on a regular basis. And if you’re watching your industry, whatever your industry is, and you’re paying attention, then you can share those trends with your followers and with your customers, and explain what the impact is to them and how it will benefit them.
Bill McCormick 06:10
Yeah, and that’s really where we get to. So often we, as salespeople want to talk, what we want to talk about. And we make the mistake of thinking that that’s what our clients care about and it’s just not true. Talk with us a little bit about what you’re teaching, training your clients to do, like right at the top of the funnel to help get lead generation. I hate those two words together but it’s what we use [ inaudible ] At the top of the funnel, how are you? How are you advising your clients to bring names, bring opportunities in that way?
Sid Meadows 06:52
One of the things that I think is important about this, and how do you fill your funnel is so many people in sales, we’ve been taught to go find customers, right? We’ve been taught to go seek to find customers, and which is great. I mean, you dial for dollars, some people might call it that, whatever it is, you know, we’ve got to go find customers, we got to find new business, we got to fill our funnel. And I think that’s great. But going back to what I said a few minutes ago, you got to meet your customers where they are, and they’re on the internet, right? And so what I want, what I encourage my clients to do, is seek to be found, rather than seek to find, and how do you be found, you’re found by producing content by being a podcaster? By writing a blog, by posting on social media, because guess what, there is a statistic and I don’t remember exactly where I heard it, but 80% of your customers know who you are, know about your company, and know about your product before they ever reach out and call you or talk to you. Right?
Brynne Tillman 07:55
I love that one.
Sid Meadows 07:56
It’s an important statistic because basically the message you got to go digital, you got to be in the digital realm in some way. Salespeople should be promoting video and doing video, doing lives. You should be hosting interviews similar to this with other people in your industry or in whatever your topic is, talking about what it is that you do. So it’s seeking to be found. And if salespeople listening to this have never Google themselves, go incognito on Google and Google yourself and see what comes up because if you’re not curating what comes up someone else is.
Bill McCormick 08:33
That is so true. And what I’ll say to many of the salespeople listening, typically your LinkedIn profile’s one of the first things that will come up so what does that look like when somebody finds you on LinkedIn? What do they see? (Sid: Absolutely) So this is great. So I would love to find out where that 80% figure came from would love to be able to site that statistic.
Brynne Tillman 08:59
I’ll be googling it.
Bill McCormick 09:02
So, Sid, I’m a salesman. I work for a sales manager who’s stuck in 1970s, or to the 1980s.
And this is hypothetical this is not real
Sid Meadows 09:13
I’m glad you prep that.
Bill McCormick 09:17
Reference stuck in 2030. Like that’s where we’re going. But if I’ve got that sales manager that’s stuck and it’s just tells me Look, “You just got a dial, you just have to dial” How do I go about having that conversation to say Listen, “80% of people already know about us, they already know about me, how we’re being found.” How do I have that conversation?
Sid Meadows 09:41
You know, there’s this concept out there about managing up. And I think it’s every salesperson, every individual’s responsibility to know who their manager is and how to manage the manager. You got to manage up there’s absolutely no doubt. And depending on who your manager is, some of the things that I might do is actually present research to them. I might present relative information to them, I might actually go do some research on sales enablement. And what is sales enablement mean? And why is it important? Maybe we schedule an interview with someone to come in and talk to us about digital marketing and sales enablement. I mean, I think you have to present the facts because build to your point, unfortunately, there are sales leaders that are stuck in the past and are not forward thinking enough to see what’s coming. And if you’re not paying attention, you’re going to be left behind.
Brynne Tillman 10:33
I think they’re seeing that now with, you know, a year of shut down and a year of all my field sales are now inside salespeople, and how do we meet new people, we’re not at conferences, we’re not at trade shows. And I think there’s an awakening. I think there’s also fear, but there is an awakening that in order for us to get in front of our buyers, we’ve got to get digital where before there were a lot of avenues, and they may come back. But digital is not going away.
Sid Meadows 11:06
I totally agree with that Brynne, one thing that I will add, if you’re a reader, I’m an avid reader. If you’re a reader, and your boss is stuck in the past, by him or her the book by Adam Grant called “Think again” And that’s about unlearning everything that you’ve ever been learned to think again, and to transform not only individually but your business for the future. Buy that book from him. It’s awesome.
Brynne Tillman 11:31
I love that because you know, life is dynamic. It’s not you know, there sales training out there that was really effective at one time, and less effective now, and so we have to evolve. We have to you know, the buyer’s journey has changed, digital did that, right? Like, it’s not like human beings have changed much. But you know, we Google things before we buy them. When I bought my first car to the dealership, which was my third car but when I bought my first car dealership, I walked into the dealership, I had no idea what my options were. I saw a couple of commercials on TV, maybe I saw something in the newspaper but I had to sit down and go, “Okay, these are the things I want. What can you do for me?” I walk into a dealership now, I know, I want leather seats that are heated, I want this model and this color. And by the way, this is how much I saw it for so I want it at this price or less.
Sid Meadows 12:30
And Brynne you just gave the perfect example of a car buying, right? Every industry regardless of what you sell your customers are doing exactly the same thing. (Brynne: Yeah!) Thank you, Google, you made that possible. We do it on vacuum cleaners, we do it on cars, people do it when they’re buying office furniture. Doesn’t matter what they’re doing, they use the power of the internet. And the customer today is smarter than they ever have been before.
Brynne Tillman 12:57
And we have to keep up with them. (Sid: Absolutely ) Right? And we have to serve them differently. Right. Because, you know, and the last thing I’ll say is, you know, we’ve always been taught that we have to completely control the conversation, right? And I actually have flipped this a little bit. I mean, it’s not like I’ve given up control but I need to understand what do they know, coming into this? A lot of this through questions, I let them take some control because they have more of– 57% of the buying process is done before the seller is even brought in. I think that’s a challenger sales stat. Right? It might have gone up to 67% in the second book, right? So 67% of the buying decision is made that means that they’ve already made their lists in their pros and cons. We need to know where they are. We can’t assume that they’re coming to us without any preconceived notion, you know, so we have to give up some of that control in order to allow them to express exactly where they are and what they’re looking for. And I think that’s a different buyer journey than 10 years ago.
Sid Meadows 14:15
Absolutely. I 100% agree with you!
Bill McCormick 14:17
So let’s take this along that journey now. So as the sales rep, as people are finding me, so what kind of content should I be producing to make sure that they understand that I’m that guy. That we’re that company?
Sid Meadows 14:38
Yes. So I think there’s two components of this. And thank you for that question, Bill. The first component is you need to be an expert on your industry and not an expert on your product. We sell products, that’s how we make a living, but you need to be an expert on your industry in order to know everything about your industry in order to ask the right questions. If all All you know is your product, then you’re short-selling yourself and your abilities as well as you’re depriving your customer of the gift of information, right. And so, if you focus on being an industry expert, not a product expert, then it’s going to help you along the way. Now, as it relates to specific content, the types of content. There’s multiple types of content that you could do. I’m a huge proponent of video so I would say do video, but not everybody has a face for video, I don’t have a face for video, let’s be clear. (Brynne: Ohh…Yes you do!) You know, video intimidates so many people. But video is a great way, especially if it’s less than three minutes to communicate with your customer. Blogs, Podcasts, I said that earlier. Podcasts are a great way to share information with your customer base, especially if you’re in a smaller market, it’s a great way to reach your customers, right? Newsletters, another great example, it doesn’t all have to be posting on LinkedIn or Instagram or anything like that but you’ve got to get in the game of content and producing content. Another thing that I think is really important that salespeople could do especially now is bring together a group of like-minded people, and host a networking event, a virtual networking event, just to help people meet each other. And then I tell people all this all the time. And to Brynne’s point in the very beginning. If you’re not in Clubhouse, you’re missing an opportunity to sell something every day of the week, because your customers are on Clubhouse. Your buyer, your influencer, you’ve got to find them. It’s not easy to find them but once you find them, and you’re in a room with them, all of a sudden, you have a new interactive way to talk to them versus LinkedIn. I’m a huge LinkedIn advocate. But LinkedIn is static. You can’t have a two-way conversation unless someone chooses to comment. On Clubhouse, they’re talking and you can talk too. So I think that’s another place and another type of content that’s just really getting discovered if you will, because it’s live content, not recorded content. So those are just a few of the things that one thing that I’ll say is, start just do something.
Brynne Tillman 17:12
Yeah. The one thing I would say so I think the significant difference just to put nomenclature around it is LinkedIn is asynchronous. (Sid: Thank you) Right? So you post something, they’ll respond back, but you’re responding asynchronously. That’s a word where Clubhouse is synchronous. It’s real-time conversation. And I also like that it’s not being recorded. I think people are more authentic and more genuine. You’re not going to put something in comments that you’re afraid somebody will see down the line. But on Clubhouse, you might say some things, because it’s not recorded. Nobody’s coming back and…Yeah!
Sid Meadows 17:53
Held you accountable for it if necessary, right?
Brynne Tillman 17:57
Well, I think you’ll get more authentic conversation?
Sid Meadows 17:58
Absolutely. That’s one of the things I love the most about it. Is that right there. (Brynne: Me too.)
Bill McCormick 18:02
Yeah, mind melt moment cuz I was gonna say the synchronous versus asynchronous like that’s the main difference. Let’s go back to video. I’m a huge proponent of video. And I believe everyone should do it. You know, and for those that are leery of it, listen, you don’t worry about going meeting someone face to face, it’s no different than looking into a camera. So what are some of the ways you’re seeing video work effectively?
Sid Meadows 18:29
Oh, great question. So my videos are every week. I post a video every Tuesday, I’m a high-performance coach, I use myself as an example. And so I make a living by coaching people on the principles and the foundations of high performance, which is a methodology of coaching. So what I do in my videos, they’re called high-performance tips. I share a high-performance tip. My call to action is for them to engage in the conversation like what are you doing to find clarity about your life or about your career, right? But never in any of those videos do I sell, I’m just providing information, right? I’m providing some type of thought leadership to get my client engaged. That’s exactly the type of video that you should do. Another type of video that works really well is an explainer video. You would do something where you’re explaining something. You know, a great video to do that maybe wouldn’t, and I’ll just use the furniture business as an example might be a quick little tour of a space you just furnished. And maybe you ask the customer a question, what do you love about this space? Maybe you asked the designer that helped design it. What do you love about this space? You don’t necessarily have to be on camera for that but you could walk around in two minutes and show the space and how happy you are to have worked with this client. So it’s that’s a case study, right? You’re providing a case study in a video format. People just get intimidated by video and I would encourage you to step into it. Grab your phone, it’s not hard. I remember the first time I did it, my hand was like shaking like crazy, I was in a T-shirt and I’ve gotten a lot better since then but you know anything that you can provide that’s informative about what you do and not selling what you do, then I think would be a great video.
Bill McCormick 20:08
And that’s if you’re listening and you’re taking notes, you need to write this down and something that Brynne always says, we need to think of the people on the other side of the lens as if they’re sitting across right on the other side of the table and understand that. And then, what Sid said was so important is you’re not selling, you’re not pitching. This is information that you’re giving. You’re teaching a class to people, and you want them to come away with some takeaways, and I guarantee you video will bridge the divide that’s happened because of what we call social distancing. I call physical distancing because I believe the social distance has gotten closer since this whole pandemic happened. So Wow, great stuff Sid, unfortunately, we are coming to the end of our time together. But this has been dynamite such great stuff. How can folks stay in touch with Sid?
Sid Meadows 21:03
Oh, sure. Thank you both very much for having me. It’s been my pleasure to be here. So I’m a LinkedIn advocate. So please connect with me there. Sid Meadows, super easy to find. I’m also on Instagram @coachsidmeadows. And then you can find me on Clubhouse @sidmeadows. If you do reach out on LinkedIn, let me know that you heard me here or you saw me here. I’d love to know why you’re connecting with me. And that’s how, so I would appreciate that connection. I’m always an advocate and proponent of LinkedIn first.
Bill McCormick 21:30
Fantastic. Well, thank you so much. We’ll put those links in the show notes so you all can connect with Sid. So once again, thank you so much for being with us. And thank you for watching and consuming our content for making sales social and as we leave don’t forget when you’re out there, make your sales social. Bye-bye.
Bob Woods 21:50
Thanks for watching, and join us again for more special guest instructors bringing you marketing, sales, training, and social selling strategies that will set you apart. Hit the subscribe button below to get the latest episodes from the Making Sales Social Podcast. Give this video a thumbs up and comment down below on what you want to hear from us next. You can also listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play. Visit our website socialsaleslink.com for more information.