Episode 9: Digital Strategies to Grow Your Business with Darrell Amy
In this episode, Brynne and Bill talked to Darrell Amy, the author of “Revenue Growth Engine” and co-host of “The Selling from the Heart” podcast. Darrell’s amazing experience in both sales and marketing makes this a must-see episode! Listen to Darell as he talks about your customer’s outcomes and how you can not only discover them but serve them!
“People buy from people” thing, It hasn’t changed. It’s not going to change. However, the way that we communicate, the way that we build trust, the way that we nurture relationships. That’s always going to evolve here and social right now is doing what we’ve always done with an open mind to new ways to communicating.
Brynne Tillman 00:25
The whole idea is, nothing has changed. It’s just where we’re doing it.
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 00:58
Hey, welcome to Making Sales Social. I’m Bill McCormick.
Brynne Tillman 01:01
I’m Brynne Tillman.
Bill McCormick 01:02
So Brynne, who’s joining us today?
Brynne Tillman 01:04
We have the most amazing guest that I have just professionally fallen in love with, over the last year, year and a half. So we have Darrel Amy with us. And we’ll let him introduce himself in a minute. But I found through his podcast, Selling From The Heart. I had, over the years, a pretty good online relationship with his podcast co host, Larry Levine. And when the podcast started, I started listening to it out of loyalty to Larry and then recognized absolutely one of the most powerful 30 minutes of my day, when I walk and listen to Darrell in my ear. I am a podcast fiend and I love podcasts. And there are some that just you know resonate more than others. If anyone says to me, what podcast – if you could only recommend one in the whole world, What would it be? It would be Selling From The Heart. So welcome, Darrel Amy, thanks for being here.
Wow…Oh, my gosh. It’s great to be here. Brynne, Bill. This is something I’ve been looking forward to all week, this is going to be a lot of fun. Anytime we get to hang out, not only do we have a blast, I always leave with a ton of ideas. So this is going to be fantastic.
Bill McCormick 02:29
Well, we can’t wait. So we always start as a tradition here by asking everyone this question. Darrell, what is making sales social mean to you?
It’s a fantastic question. I love it. And I think that sales is social.People buy from people unless you want to live in an e-commerce world. The reality is in any type of relatively complex transaction people buy from people. It’s always going to be that way. I think what’s happened over the last 15 years that’s accelerated certainly over the last year is the way that we communicate socially, person to person keeps evolving, and it keeps changing. And so this is one of the fun things about being in sales right now. The people buy from people thing, it hasn’t changed, it’s not going to change. However, the way that we communicate, the way that we build trust, the way that we nurture relationships, that’s always going to evolve here. And so to me, social right now is doing what we’ve always done with an open mind to new ways to communicating.
Brynne Tillman 03:41
I love that. And I love that the whole idea is, nothing has changed. It’s just where we’re doing it. (Yeah). And I think that’s something that the pandemic has brought us all to. We’ve all seen, you know, having to make this shift. One of the things that, and we’ve talked about this before, one of the things that we’re seeing those people aren’t all making the shift in the same way. And one of the things that Bill and I talked about a lot is treat the person on the other side of the message the same way you would on the other side of the table. (That’s right). I’d love for you to share with us a couple of things that you’ve helped your clients do to make that shift.
Yeah, I think, you know, the pandemic definitely opened our eyes. I think it opened a lot of people’s eyes to a trend that was already well upon us. And that is, you know, the way that we communicate with each other the way that we build relationships, the way that we share value has changed. And you know, it didn’t magically change in 2020. The spotlight just got turned up on it for some people who were a little late adopters, right? So not everybody’s on the front, on this and so I think right now the first thing that you said Brynne is really important. We’ve known across the table that we would always communicate with somebody in the way that they want to be communicated with. I remember 25 years ago, Dr. Tony Alessandra came in and did his Platinum rule training with our sales team. And you know the bottom line of that was, communicate with people at the pace that they want to communicate with and with their relational or they’re more value oriented, communicate that way. There’s just another layer to that, we also have to ask the question about the media that they want to be communicated with on. And so now, it’s not just pace. It’s not just focus, but it’s also media. So I think it’s one of those questions that we just have to ask. Ask ourselves, is this a person I… I have people in my life, I don’t particularly… I’m a nerd. I love gadgets, I have the latest gadgets, I was an early adopter of social, an early adopter of anything that is technical. I’m there, I’m in. So you know, a lot of times I really enjoy text messaging, I really enjoy the ability to direct message somebody. Because I know we can have an asynchronous conversation. I have some clients and some business partners that absolutely want to pick up the phone and have a conversation every time. And guess what if I want to communicate with them, I need to do that. I’ve tried getting him over to the… “Hey, just send me a text thing.” And the reality is not everybody wants that. And I think we’ve got to ask ourselves, pace, focus. And now media, how are we going to communicate with somebody and everyone’s different, you’ve probably put some buckets together, but have different ways to communicate with your clients. I think we’ve got to be sensitive to that. Right now.
Bill McCormick 07:08
I love the Platinum rule. I’m a big proponent of it. And you know, you treat others not the way that you want to be treated, you treat them the way that they want to be treated. You know, I talked about peach ice cream, my wife hates peaches. So I like peach ice cream. If I treat her the way that I want to be treated, she gets peach ice cream, and I get in a lot of trouble. So it’s great.I love that. So tell us in marketing, what’s one of the things you’re teaching your clients that can help them right at the top of their pipeline.
This, so the biggest, there’s two things that I think are the most important, most precious commodities, we can have as sales professionals right now. One is trust. And the other is attention. Those and they’re actually very related. Without attention, Nothing happens without trust, nothing moves forward. So when it comes to attention, and my story, I started straight out of college, I was 21,22 years old selling copy machines and one of the most competitive industries out there, I had no idea what I was getting into. But I jumped in the, you know, the “doggy-dog world” of up and down the street business to business office technology sales. And I realized that, you know, so I did that, I was sales, sales management. I’ve had the bug, I’ve been involved in sales development now since 2004. And then, when I started my sales training company in 2004, my very first client came to me and said, “Hey, Darryl, everything you taught our sales team is great, our website doesn’t say anything about it. Do you build websites?” So being the aspiring young brand new entrepreneur that I was the answer, as you might guess, was, “Yes, sir. We build websites.” And so I dusted my marketing degree. So I actually did have training, undergraduate and graduate degree in marketing. And so I’ve been on this journey for the last 17 years of having one foot in the sales and sales development world and the other foot in the digital marketing world and all of that. And so, what I’ve noticed is, when it comes to getting attention, we have very, very finely tuned filters on right now to survive. It is a matter of survival in our society. There are literally like three to 6000 messages a day coming at us. If you think about that. I mean between, I feel like at least 2000 of those are emails to me. But you know, between advertising and all of the different things that we’re faced with all day long. In order to survive. We have a filter and the only thing that gets through that filter, I believe, are things related to the outcomes that I want, as an individual or in my business. When I say outcomes, I mean, a solution to a problem that I have, or something that’s going to help me achieve a goal that I have. That’s important to me. So what I would say, top of the funnel. A lot of times, I think on social, on LinkedIn, in particular. We think we’ve won when we got a connection,”Ding…ding!!” I got a connection. Well, ( It’s like I got a phonebook ), right. Yeah, congratulations, that’s great. But a real connection, what we need to connect with is not just the name, you know, it’s not just the name, we need to connect with an outcome that’s important to them. Because until we do that, we really don’t have their attention or permission. I mean, most people will gladly, you know, Unless they think you are a recruiter or an immediate pitch salesperson. Most people are glad to build their network,I think…
Bill McCormick 11:02
Are there some of those on LinkedIn? immediate pitch semi…
Brynne Tillman 11:05
connected pitchers? Do you think?
Yeah, I don’t know.
I think it’s a lead and it gives them permission to sell. (That’s right) and just because they connect with you does not give you permission to sell to that. (That’s right) you haven’t earned the right.
Now and so I think we earned the right to start getting through their filter though when we’re addressing outcomes that are important to them. So you know, if somebody comes floating by me today on LinkedIn, or in my email, or in any other social feed, and they’re addressing a specific outcome that I want. I think what we’ve got to do as sales professionals right now, and this is, this is a really good time to do this, is we need to determine when to ask our key clients what outcomes they’re looking for as they move into 2021. And here’s why I say this is an important time. You know, last week, the trucks started leaving the factory with vaccine, you know, so I don’t know, I’m no fight, you know, forecaster of the future. But I think we all hope and pray that, you know, by the time this podcast comes out that we’ve made some progress, and maybe we’re starting to turn the corner into the new normal, whatever that is, well, guess what? The new normal is going to be new, which means there are different outcomes back at the beginning of 2020. I thought it was really interesting. Gartner did some research and they asked, it was about eight weeks into the pandemic, they just did a survey in the tech world and said, What are you looking for? What outcomes do you want? And you know, whereas previously, they may have said, We want scalability, we want efficiency, we want to be able to grow those same companies, those same buyers said we want redundancy, we want resiliency, we want to enable remote working. So you’re selling the exact same product, but the outcomes your clients are looking for are different. So if you want to get their attention… Imagine if at the height of the pandemic and lockdown you send out a message to your prospect or client and put a post on your LinkedIn feed that said “In today’s booming economy with record low unemployment” and you know… You will be like, “What? Who is this person?” It’s one of those moments as a marketing person when we realize oops, I didn’t change my nurturing emails. We need to do that with marketing people.
Brynne Tillman 13:43
I remember your podcast. You, saying like… “I cannot believe what’s coming into my inbox right now. Clearly it was on autopilot,” (Right) and you all wanting to fix that and I remember going “Ohh we’ve got to go look at our autopilot”
We do. We need to look at that and and by the way for our sales friends today, you know, this is an important time to go back and evaluate your prospecting scripts and your sequence messaging and all of that. And so what we need… Here’s where I’m going with this though Brynne. If we want to get through the filter and if we want to drive conversation, everything begins with relationships and our nurture with conversation. We need to be talking about the outcomes that our buyers want. And I would say, amp it up even more and say, You need to understand and be connected to it, at least one of the top three outcomes that your prospect or client desires because guess what, if you’re not in the top three outcomes they want somehow connected to it. You become a “nice idea, we’ll get around to someday,” right? As we all know, the biggest competitor in sales is not another company. It’s the status quo. Why is it the status quo? Because they got top three, top issues they’re trying to work on and you weren’t connected to them. So why would you expect to close a deal? Or even get any assemblance of attention, let alone budget if you’re not connected to one of the top three things. So as we’re in this moment of shift, new, normal, whatever that looks like.This is a time to have our ears open and to be asking questions of our current clients. What are you most concerned about? What are you most excited about? What are your business goals?So that you can make sure everything on your profile, your feed, your conversations are aimed at those, one of those three things.
Brynne Tillman 15:45
That’s a drop of the mic moment.
Bill McCormick 15:48
I’m breaking it all down.
Brynne Tillman 15:50
Recorded, we can go back.
It’s so powerful, though, and we miss it. And by the way, everybody misses this, everybody. And which is why when you get it right, you shine out , you shine like a star.
Brynne Tillman 16:03
Yeah. That is like worth the free admission they had today, No. But really, I want to stress that we talk a lot about resonate with your buyer, create curiosity, teach them something new, get them thinking differently about their current situation and lead them to your solution, not with your solution. But the idea of make sure you fit in that top three is absolutely foundational. And I mean, that’s a pivot in the way that people, they need to take that pivot they need to say, because right now, you may be the greatest thing in the world. But if that’s not their priority, it doesn’t matter. One of the things we hear a lot, and then I’ll pass it to Bill for his next question. But one of the things we hear a lot is, “If they just take my call, I could provide so much value for them.” But getting them to take the call is really hard. And I think even if they think, “Well, my messaging is great” but it’s not hitting the top three. And to me is the moment of, that’s the “aha!,” that’s like, “Ohh, no matter how good all of this is, if it’s four below, it doesn’t matter how good it is.” Because they weren’t in the top three, I love that.
Well, Brynne, I learned it when I was selling document management software. So I got, like, passionate about selling it because there were, you know, five and six figure deals and there were huge opportunities. And we were like, I could help your business. And you know, we would go in, we’d bring our software engineers in and we would create amazing solutions. And every one, we get done at the end, and they go out, “This is really incredible Darrell, thank you so much for doing all this work and we’ve got some other priorities, but we plan on getting around to this someday,” you know. I’m a slow learner, but after, you know, hearing that over and over again, I began to realize, Hmm, I wonder what would happen if I was able to connect my offering to their biggest priorities? And by the way, you usually can. And if you can’t, you should walk away and find somewhere where you can, but when you can, you get like you get access, budget, attention and so if you’re banging your head against the wall going, “Why are people just saying thank you, instead of writing me a check at the end of our discovery.” You didn’t connect to one of those top three challenges. So figure that one out.
Bill McCormick 19:00
It all comes back to the competition being status quo. Because the effort that they need to put into change is too great. Compared to the delivery, the benefits that they’re going to get from you, in my opinion. I mean.
Brynne Tillman 19:02
Well that’s how they see it. Right?
Can I reframe that, cuz I’ve just had a light bulb moment right here. I knew this was gonna happen on the sales experts channel. The competition is not the status quo. The competition is one of the three big problems. See, that’s where the budget’s going. The budgets, you know, everyone’s spending money. They’re just spending money on something that’s in the top three. So you may think the competition is the status quo, because it didn’t do anything in your category. They actually are doing something. It’s just, they’re doing something about their three biggest challenges or three biggest goals.
Brynne Tillman 19:39
We’re fighting for that wallet. You’re fighting for the wallet of the top three.
Yeah, but I think a lot of times a sales rep would go “ Well they’re making a decision or we lost the… you know, they’re not gonna buy” No, they’re buying something. They’re just buying something that’s addressing one of their top three challenges and you’re not on that list. So Figure out how to make that connection. And now’s a good time to do it. Because that list is shifting as we shift, hopefully out of this, you know, pandemic into the new normal, and whatever that’s looking like as we move forward.
Bill McCormick 20:12
Wow. I’ve got lots of nice…(I know).
Me too,this is good. I’m having so much fun.
Darrel,tell us on a daily basis as your coaching clients in marketing. What’s something you recommend that they do on a daily basis that if they do it consistently, they’ll create opportunities for themselves?
Well, I’ll tell you what I’m doing. And I don’t know if this is the end all be all. But this is my goal for 2021, I need to make…I’m a “live in my head” kind of guy. I love people, but I get consumed with ideas. So to me, I want to be more proactive in reaching out and nurturing my network. And so the most practical way I found to do that right now is with video. And I just, I love it. So I’ve you know, a shout out to our friends at BomBomb. That’s what I use. And they’re the sponsors now, the Selling For The Heart podcast, we appreciate them so much. Because what that enables me to do is actually just make a face to face connection with somebody and it’s asynchronous. So we’re not playing phone tag, we’re not, you know, I don’t have to get on the zoom at the same time, although there’s room for that. But yeah, that’s so I have a goal.
And that meeting could beat the goal of the video
It may, yeah, but I’m using it. To me some of the ways I start my day. And this is my goal for 2021 is I’m putting out there as 10 videos a day. And so they’re not all sales videos, some of them are to my co-workers, some of them are gratitude videos. In fact, that’s the best way to get started. I mean, start your day by sending out two or three gratitude videos to your friends, co-workers, clients, whatever. And you I mean… you’re like… I do that and I’m fired up and excited and happy and all of that. So I think that for me right now is nurturing my network and the way that I’m going to do that, I’m doing that currently and I’m going to amp that up in 2021 is just more videos so…
Brynne Tillman 22:32
I love it. I think that is so powerful and in today’s world we’re looking to connect with human beings you know and when you leave a voicemail you know they get your audio when you leave an email you’re just reading but when they get to see you they connect with you as a human being and I think it’s so powerful and then with Bombomb you get statistics did they watch it?
Oh, it’s so cool. Yeah, well, here’s the deal and I’m just gonna make a confession. I don’t think I’m alone. I don’t read my email. I read the first three lines of my email and as Greg Ferrara.He was the founder of GoldMine now runs the Nimble.
Brynne Tillman 23:11
Sorry, sorry, Jon. Jon says my email inbox is a slaughterhouse. My favorite questions or quotes from these last year on the podcast, Selling From The Heart and it is. I didn’t even read all of my email, I skim it (sorry co workers) and I don’t listen to my voicemails either. I read my voicemails because my phone transcribes them for me and I skim through those So, but when someone sends me a video, I feel like a moral obligation to watch the video cuz I think that’s powerful. I think that’s good.
Bill McCormick 23:50
Yeah, I started using BombBomb after I heard Ethan on the Selling From The Heart podcast. And I’ve had tremendous results from every day that I send a video out, I get at least one message back saying, “Wow, that that video was awesome,I’ve never seen anything like that.” And that’s, that’s the reaction that you want. You want to stand out but you’re showing value. And like Brynne says you’re able to connect with the person even if it’s not live, you’re still face to face with them. I found that to be huge.
Darrell Amy 24:25
It’s fantastic. And I think this, you know, then the next question is what do we communicate whether it’s in the video or in a message or an email or a voicemail, it doesn’t matter. And right now, I think that we mentioned attention is a number one of the two biggest commodities, precious commodities. We also need trust and so trust. Without trust business moves very slow. Stephen Mr. Covey wrote a great book called Business at the Speed of Trust. We have trust,things speed up. So,how do you build trust? I think it’s authenticity. We’ve been driving this message at the Selling From The Heart podcast and in the authentic sales challenge. But I think authenticity, this comes down to our message and there’s two sides of the authenticity coin. One is authentic relationship. I’ve got to care, I’ve got to give a rip. You know, I’ve got to relationally be invested in you, in your life and what’s important to you. But there’s also and I think a lot of salespeople do this really well. I think there are a lot of the best salespeople really care. That caring and authentic relationship is not enough to drive results. There also needs to be authentic value. And this goes back to the top three things, right. Values is in the eye of the beholder, so I got to care about you. And I’ve also got to care about the results that you want. And so this authenticity right now, I think is, you know, sometimes it’s, people go to us, “that’s a bunch of fluff.” And I would say, look, if you’re only delivering authentic relationship, you’re gonna have a lot of friends, but you’re probably not gonna make a lot of money. If you’re only delivering authentic value, you’re going to have a lot of fans, but you’re probably not going to make a lot of money. So right, you got to get both of those at the same time. And this, you know, this comes down to the conversations we drive, whether it’s over a BombBomb video, over message back and forth, over chat on a comments, on a post. I’ve got to be able to drive, I’ve got to not just be the nice guy, that I also have to be the valuable, value driver inside this. Which means, you know, one of the things that I’m committed to, and I’m really challenging, all of our friends at Selling From The Heart is, yes, you got to care. But you’ve got to bring value. And if you want to bring value, you’ve got to invest in yourself. And that means you got to learn, and you got to learn not just about selling Yes, we need to learn about selling and hone our craft. We need to learn.If you’re selling business, you need to learn about business needs to learn about your client’s business. You need to read books, you need to listen to books, listen to podcasts, read the Wall Street Journal, whatever it takes to be able to connect the dots for your clients and actually earn the right to be a trusted advisor of that.
Brynne Tillman 27:44
We, yeah, we talked about that often earning the right, really is foundational and not only getting the first conversation but getting each additional you have to earn the right in each stage to keep moving. I absolutely love the magic words that you’re talking about. I mean, really, this is what it takes in today’s world people see through. But one of my favorite things is your partner Larry Levine talks about commission breath, right? Even through zoom, they can smell commission breath. Right? And you know, I had a client I was working with a couple weeks ago that came to the call saying, ”So when I get on a call with the prospect, I have a pretty good idea upfront what I’m going to sell them.” (Oh, you do) Now this is what the client… This is your first call? and you’re going in with a preconceived notion of what you want to sell them. Are you serving them? Or are you looking for the commission? And so you know, that authenticity around the building the relationship, but then, bringing together you know, what results are you bringing them that is impacting what they need? I mean, if people don’t take anything else we want, you know, obviously, top three priority was huge. But this is the second thing to take away. This is, I think in a show up in service of that person detached from the sale. Right. And I think that’s what I’m hearing from you.
Darrell Amy 29:26
One of my projects I worked on over the last couple of years was rebuilding the training program for large technology company. And you know, and what I learned is this translates this actually this program was translated to 29 different languages for the sales team around the world. But what would happen is the technology space where I’ve come out of the technology world, we want to ask questions about the technology. We want to ask questions related to the specific product or solution that we sell. What we need to ask questions about is their business in general. So this goes back to like, what are your three biggest challenges as you move into 2021? What’s the new normal look like for you? We’ve got to start there. Because once again, unless we know those things, we can’t connect our products. I may walk in, I mean, in defense of that person that we’re talking about today, I may walk in knowing exactly whatI intend to sell them, but they don’t. But here’s the thing. And this was, if this would be a great way to this is one of my favorite illustrations. This right here, I keep this in my desk drawer, I don’t know if you can see this. This is a electric drill bit. And so when I’m not, when I’m not helping people grow their businesses, I’m in my shop, building things. So anyhow, Theodore Levitt, Father of Modern Marketing, Harvard Business School Professor used to walk into his marketing 101 class, and he would hold up a drill bit on day one and go, nobody in the history of Home Depot, Lowe’s, or insert hardware store here has ever purchased a drill bit what they bought. And I think we know where we’re going with this is the hole. And Seth Godin would take it a step further and say he didn’t buy the hole, they bought the ability to hang something on the wall. So they would make their significant other happy. And Donald Miller would say, well, we’re actually all cavemen inside. And if we don’t fit in, we’re gonna get isolated and eaten by a tiger. Here’s the point. It doesn’t matter whether you want the hole whether you want to make your spouse happy, or whether you’re afraid of being eaten by a tiger, they didn’t, you didn’t buy the drill bit. And this is what you know, I would say to the person that was talking to you, and I would say to everybody, is people don’t buy your products, they buy the outcomes those products deliver. So unless you walk into that conversation, knowing specifically what their outcomes are that they want, you don’t know what they need. And so you know, this drill bit can make holes, it can hang things on walls, it can help make furniture, it can do all kinds of things. But nobody buys a drill bit.(just coz they want a bit) Nobody buys your product. Nobody, they buy the outcome and that’s why this conversation is so critical, especially right now, is everything’s about to shift or shifting, again is we can be the ones to understand the outcomes, we can be the ones to win the deals.
Bill McCormick 32:28
Yeah. So good. So good. This has been phenomenal. We could go on for another few hours, for sure. But we’re coming to the end of our time, Darrell, it’s been great having you on. So tell everyone how they can get a hold of you,be in touch with you. Talk a little bit about Selling From The Heart.
Darrell Amy 32:46
Yeah, so Selling From The Heart, we’re leading a movement of authenticity in the sales profession. You can text the word heart to 21000 and learn about the podcast. And there’s a ton of great resources there. I also get very involved. My personal book is called Revenue Growth Engines. I live in the intersection of sales and marketing. So I’m involved in sales and marketing alignment. And if that’s something that is alluded you, as an organization, I’d love to talk with you and you can text the word revenue to 21000. Revenue to 21000 and get resources to help with your sales and marketing alignment.
Bill McCormick 33:22
Wonderful. Well, hey, thanks, everyone, for listening. Once again, I want to thank Darrell Amy, and we hope you connect with him, look for him on LinkedIn.
Brynne Tillman 33:31
Thank you so much. You never cease to amaze me, magic comes out of your mouth. Last thing I would say is if you are watching this today, the next thing you need to do once you go to 2100 and put in heart and revenue is go to wherever you subscribe to your podcast. Make sure you get Selling From The Heart subscribe. Honestly, I could not. There are no words to describe the value that I get from each and every one not just from your guests, but from what you and Larry bring to the table. And we are so grateful that you came on today. Thank you.
Darrell Amy Oh, thank you. Pleasure was all mine. It’s wonderful. Thanks for everything you’re doing here.
Bill McCormick 34:11
Right. All right. Thanks, everyone.
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