Market Dominance Guys

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A Talent for Managing Talent

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On Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall continues his two-part conversation with his fiancée, Helen Fanucci, Microsoft’s Strategic Accounts Global Sales Leader. Today, they’re talking about how work-from-home experiences have resulted in a shift in employees’ attitudes about where and when they are willing to work. This is Helen’s area of expertise: She’s been managing employees remotely for 15 years, helping them grapple with their work-from-home issues. Additionally, she understands the challenges of attracting and retaining the best people, especially in today’s job market. Microsoft’s customers demand great service and support, and, Helen says, “That’s why we have to win the war to get talent. We have to keep serving our customers with amazing talent, or they’ll find somebody else who will.” And once you’ve hired talented people, how do you keep them? “Through servant leadership,” Helen explains. Describing her role as a manager at Microsoft, she says, “I am expected to model and coach, be inclusive, take accountability. I remove the blocks and barriers so that my team can achieve.”

Chris plays devil’s advocate with his question, “If you’re all touchy-feely with your employees, where does their drive to achieve come from?” Helen is ready with the answer: “When we hire the best people,” she explains, “they come with an inborn drive to achieve. Part of a manager’s job is to make sure those people feel respected. [At Microsoft], we really bend over backward to be accommodating and help employees be successful. But make no mistake about it,” she assures Chris, “We’re about being competitive and winning in the marketplace, and our results show that.” Learn all about hiring and retaining the best people on this Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “A Talent for Managing Talent.”

 

About Our Guest

Helen Fanucci has been a valued employee at Microsoft for 13 years and is currently their Strategic Accounts Global Sales Leader, heading up an incredible global team of seasoned sales professionals who are working with some of Microsoft's most strategic accounts.

Will They Stay or Will They Go?

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This week on Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall is once again flying solo while Corey Frank is out traveling the world. Chris’ guest today is Helen Fanucci, Strategic Accounts Global Sales Leader at Microsoft — and Chris’ fiancée! The topic today veers away from competing with other companies for market domination, to competing with other companies for market talent. It’s just another result of our almost year and a half of working from home due to the pandemic: People now want flexibility in where they work and when they work.

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Borrowing from the Best

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This week’s Market Dominance Guys’ podcast wraps up a terrific three-part conversation between our guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank, and their guest, Henry Wojdyla, Founder and Principal of RealSource Group. Today, Corey asks Henry how he’s finetuned his business perspective and cold-calling technique since his recent immersion in Market Dominance Guys. “I copy and steal religiously,” Henry freely confesses. “I’ve wholesale stolen Chris’ approach.”

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Lead That Cold Call With Trust, Not Value

Lead That Cold Call With Trust, Not Value - Henry Wojdyla

This week, our Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall, and Corey Frank are into part two of their three-part conversation with Henry Wojdyla, Founder and Principal of RealSource Group. And what a conversation it is! Chris was surprised to discover Henry had binge-listened to every Market Dominance Guys’ podcast in one weekend. You might wonder why the rush until you hear the questions Henry was wrestling with while attempting to finetune his business: “How can I systematize what I’m doing?” “How can I maximize the efficacy of the sales practitioner?” “How can we create systems that are somehow universal?” Right here on Market Dominance Guys, Henry found what he was looking for!

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When the Student Is Ready, the Teacher Will Appear

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This week, the Market Dominance Guys’ dynamic duo of Chris Beall and Corey Frank are back together again, talking with Henry Wojdyla, the dynamic Founder and Principal of RealSource Group. His company’s special business niche? The direct acquisition of healthcare facilities, particularly medical offices and surgical centers around the country. Recently, Henry was introduced to ConnectAndSell’s sales-acceleration system, and from there, he discovered Chris’ blogs and then this podcast. He is now taking the theories and techniques of marketing domination, which he learned from listening to every Market Dominance Guys’ episode and employing them to dominate his own market.

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Get Thee to a Data Concierge!

Market Dominance Guys Ep 88 - Get Thee to a Data Concierge

This week, our Market Dominance Guy, Chris Beall, is again flying solo as he continues his conversation with business intelligence engineer Tom Zheng, an expert in the field of data analysis. Explaining the importance of a data-related topic to this podcast audience, Chris points out, “Everybody who is used to Market Dominance Guys knows we talk sales, sales, sales. But because sales generate a lot of numbers, you need a data concierge to take that information and help you generate potential insights.” As a CEO, Chris is currently using a data concierge to analyze all the numbers his company generates and to make sense of the results. What works best, he says, is to tackle this process one-on-one — the CEO and data concierge only — in order to eliminate company politics.

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Giving Your Data the Sniff Test

Giving Your Data the Sniff Test with Tom Zheng on Market Dominance Guys

 

Our Market Dominance Guy, Chris Beall, is flying solo again this week as he meets with data guru Tom Zheng. Tom is a business intelligence engineer and works as an independent contractor in the field of data analysis. In other words, he spends his days making sense out of those large quantities of data that tend to pile up in businesses. As CEO of ConnectAndSell, Chris uses Tom’s data analysis services to guide him through the often-confusing pathways that data can create. As Chris says, because data is kept in ways that are not always optimal for analysis, business leaders need people like Tom to help make sense of it, so they’ll know if they’re dominating their market or not, or if they’re making or losing money on different parts of their business.

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Tried and True: Practice Makes Perfect!

SDRS - Tried and True: Practice Makes Perfect!

This week on Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank continue their interview with Marc Hodgson, sales director at ConnectAndSell. What’s the topic? How to get the most out of a first conversation. As Marc says, “All the magic happens inside the conversation,” getting your prospect from fear to trust and then on to curiosity. But how do you take a green SDR — or even a fairly well-seasoned one — and develop the skills that get them to the level where the magic happens?

 

As Chris and Corey have discussed in previous episodes, first you need to have a clear idea of what the purpose of that initial conversation is: You’re not trying to sell anything but the discovery meeting. And to do that, you need to truly believe in the value of that meeting for the person you’re talking with. Once you have that belief firmly in place, it’s time to develop your skills, which start with learning a great script and how to deliver it in the right tone and with the correct pacing. After that, practice, practice, practice. As Marc explains, “It’s not enough to do it. Now you have to get really great at it. You’ve got to be frequent before you can get good.” As usual on the Market Dominance Guys, you’ll hear this and lots more sage advice on today’s episode, “Tried and True: Practice Makes Perfect!”

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When the Time Is Right, the Magic Happens

When the Time Is Right, the Magic Happens - ConnectAndSell

The Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank, had a meeting of the minds this week with Marc Hodgson of ConnectAndSell, who proudly claims the titles of Sales Headcount Multiplier and Cost Per Meeting Reducer. Chris introduces Marc as a learner, a student of the craft of selling, and a delight to work with. As Chris says, “With Marc there’s no bravado, no sales-jock stuff.” Marc is what’s known as a “long-game player,” spending his work days building relationships with prospects, not pushing for an immediate sale.

 

He credits fellow ConnectAndSell salesperson John Jackson with being his long-player model. As Marc explains John’s sales approach, “[He] talks to a prospect three or four times a year … and when they’re ready to buy, they buy from John.” The phrase, “Conversations matter,” is the basic tenet of ConnectAndSell, and Marc explains his adoption of it this way: “It takes time to build relationships. I have that core belief that there’s going to be value in the conversation. We’re going to learn together.” You can learn more about being a long-game player in this week’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “When the Time Is Right, the Magic Happens.”

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The Best Frog-Kisser for the Job

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On our podcast this week, our Market Dominance Guy, Chris Beall, is flying solo with an episode about selecting the best SDR to have discovery conversations with senior-level prospects. You might subscribe to the “cheaper cold callers are better” mindset, but Chris presents some well- thought-out reasons to put your money where your telephone’s mouthpiece is. That’s right — once again, Market Dominance Guys is asking you to look at the scary spot — cold calls — and rethink what would work best. Chris’ contention is that people holding senior-level positions are much more likely to respond to and connect with someone who has the same level of experience or background they have.

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Why Can’t Sales Run Like My Plant?

Why can't sales run like my plant? Mark Roberts, CEO OTB Solutions

In this week’s episode of Market Dominance Guys, you’ll get to listen in on part 2 of the conversation between our own Market Dominance Guy, Chris Beall, and our guest, Mark Roberts, CEO, and founder of OTB Solutions. These two experts hold the same unfaltering belief about the importance of the first conversation a sales rep has with a prospect: they’ve learned that the cold caller has to believe in the potential value of the discovery meeting they are offering in order to be successful at setting that meeting.

Mark works as a consultant with CEOs of manufacturing companies, many of whom have voiced the lament, “Why can’t my sales department run like my plant?” Mark thinks that sales really can be a science. “There are dollars in your data if you know where to look,” he says. So, how do you get a CEO to say, “Oh! Belief really does count!”? Show them the numbers. Chris and Mark know that every time a CEO listens in on his reps’ sales calls during one of ConnectAndSell’s intensive test drives, they can easily discern the difference between reps who believe in the value of the meeting and reps who don’t — just by looking at the conversation-to-meeting ratio. They can see what “good” looks like and how much fun reps have when they are successful. Marks explains it like this: “Belief, worthy intent, and fun change the quality of the rep’s output. These things that sound ‘squishy’ are the bedrock of success.” And bringing market dominance to worthy manufacturers is the bedrock of this episode of Market Dominance Guys, “Why Can’t Sales Run Like My Plant?”

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Worthy Intent Will Fill Your Funnel

Mark Roberts, CEO and founder of OTB Solutions on Market Dominance Guys

Today on Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall has a discussion about first conversations with Mark Allen Roberts, CEO, and founder of OTB Solutions. Mark and Chris compare notes on how things were in the “old days” of sales, back in the 1980s when they got started in this area of business. Mark recalls that in the old days, you weren’t allowed to go out and sell until you were trained. Nowadays, though, most salespeople aren’t trained. Many don’t even know the purpose of the call they’re making: Their knee-jerk reaction to getting someone on the phone is to immediately start pitching their product. And so, they totally miss the opportunity to use the first 7 seconds of a conversation to establish trust and, thus, begin a relationship that may eventually lead to setting a meeting or making a sale.

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Stuck in the Mud or Full of Fantasy

Gregory Smith SPARXiQ 3rd part of the interview

Welcome to another episode of Market Dominance Guys with Chris Beall and Corey Frank. Today, our guys continue exchanging ideas with Gregory Smith, Vice President of Strategic Accounts and Partnerships at SPARXiQ. In this third part of their discussion, they talk about the view from a CEO’s desk. Chris, who is himself a CEO, thinks that most chief executive officers’ view of their company is often skewed by the remove at which they look at its operations. As he puts it, “They tend to be either stuck in the mud or full of fantasy.” Greg and Chris then reveal that they are both true believers in C-level staff getting out on the frontline and experiencing the jobs their employees do.

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Why “the Why” Is So Essential

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In this Market Dominance Guys’ episode, Chris Beall and Corey Frank continue their conversation with Gregory Smith, Vice President of Strategic Accounts and Partnerships at SPARXiQ. They’re talking today about talent acquisition and development, which Greg says is about 60–80% of most companies’ expenses — and could be one of the significant reasons why some businesses don’t grow. He believes that a company is only as good as their people and the way their people treat customers. With the goal of inspiring his own team to reach for that high customer-service bar, Greg explains his approach in this way: “I’m a coach, I’m a mentor, and I appropriate the resources my team needs to be rock stars.”

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One and Done Is the Loneliest Number

Gregory Smith One and Done is the loneliest number

Today, our Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank, interview Gregory Smith, Vice President of Strategic Accounts and Partnerships at SPARXiQ. Corey introduces Greg as an “M&A whisperer,” which Greg lives up to as he reveals insights gleaned from his work with mergers and acquisitions. How can he tell if a company is going to survive and thrive? Greg says that he begins with two questions: “Does your company’s product or service fill a particular niche? And does your product or service solve a specific problem for customers?” Greg then warns our podcast listeners against being a “one product or service — and done” business. As he explains it, you can occupy a great niche and have a fabulous customer solution, but you need to continue to develop and augment what you’re offering. He illustrates his point with an example from Starbucks’ early days in business and then goes on to tell a cautionary tale of a company that pioneered bacon-infused vodka.

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Do You Want an Awesome Life?

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In today’s episode of the Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank continue their conversation about the unifying convergence of B2B and B2C sales tactics with Jeff Lerner, CEO and founder of Entre Institute. The product Jeff’s company offers its customers is empowerment for people wanting to have a better, more successful life. As he explains it, “Everyone wants an awesome life. There's nothing special about wanting one, but defining your awesome life and executing on a strategic plan to create it, regardless of personal circumstances, is something most don't ever do. You have to be committed to excellence.”

In talking about why excellence isn’t pursued by most people, Chris explains, “Excellence is a form of exile from the community they grew up in — in which people mostly complained about how bad things are in their lives.” Jeff simplifies the process of switching from complaining to pursuing an “awesome” life with his offer of Entre’s blueprint, which lays out three areas of concentration — personal, professional, and physical — which he has named the "3 Ps.” Listen to Chris, Corey, and Jeff discuss the 3Ps, plus the particulars of how Jeff dominates his market using social media videos, and how that B2C approach correlates with the Market Dominance Guys’ B2B approach of “conversations first” on today’s episode, “Do You Want an Awesome Life?”

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B2B or B2C: It’s All About Gaining Trust

B2B or B2C: It's all about gaining trust with Jeff Lerner, CEO/Founder ENTRE Institute

Up to now, our Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank, have used this podcast as a platform addressing the topic of how to dominate B2B markets. But today, the guys are interviewing Jeff Lerner, founder, and CEO of Entre Institute, about the process he employs to dominate a B2C market. By placing daily video messages on social media about himself, his life, and his goal to help people improve their lives, Jeff proves to his prospects that he is a person they can identify with and, eventually, a person they can trust. It’s not as quick as a cold call: Jeff says it takes about six months of exposure to his messages before skepticism is diminished in his prospects’ minds and they trust him enough to be open to what his company offers.

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I Heart No Shows!

Cherryl Turner Chief Development Officer Flight School at ConnectAndSell

On this week’s episode of Market Dominance Guy, Chris Beall continues his conversation with Cherryl Turner, Chief Development Officer of ConnectAndSell’s newest division, Flight School. Together they talk about why it is that of the four sales outcomes — Yes, No, Not me, or Not now — the response that dominates is “Not now.” As Chris explains, “It’s the nature of life.” People are busy. Things come up. Priorities shift. But when a prospect says, “Not now,” what’s a sales rep to do? Push harder and try to squeeze his pitch into the conversation anyway? Or should he relax and bow to the prospect’s protestations that it’s a bad time to talk, by graciously saying, “No problem. I’ll give you a call next week.” It’s an unusual reaction in the high-pressure world of “Make that sale,” but this may be one of the keys to Cherryl’s success in her career: as Chris says, she handles the rigors of cold calling with grace.

It also takes grace to handle the frustration of a no-show. But Chris’s surprising reaction to a cancelled appointment is, “I heart no-shows! They’re my favorite thing in business!” A no-show, he says, makes the relationship more real, because now it’s less perfect. It creates a more-even footing for the next conversation, as well as an opening for a prospect to reveal an insight or two about his business as he explains the why behind his missed appointment. So, when a rep or AE is faced with a no-show and is able to relax and say, “Hey, I understand. I’ll call you back later so we can find a time that will work better for you,” then that improves what Cherryl calls the “trust-o-meter.” She has learned that being persistent with call-backs to “Not now’s” and “No shows” lets her prospects know that she believes in the potential value of what she is selling. And you can believe me when I say, you’re going to want to hear every minute of this week’s episode of Market Dominance Guys, “I Heart No-Shows!”

 

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The Secret of Her Success

Cherryl Turner Chief Development Officer, Flight School Division

In this week’s Market Dominance Guys’ podcast, Chris Beall conducts a solo interview with Cherryl Turner, Chief Development Officer of ConnectAndSell’s new Flight School Division. In the first episode of this two-part conversation, Cherryl relays to Chris how she got started in cold calling and about the important experiences she had talking with prospects — experiences that helped shape how she approaches cold calls and conducts meeting-setting conversations today.

As an example, Cherryl recounts a pivotal moment during a call with a prospect, in which she had the impulse to stop talking and just listen — instead of pushing to make the sale — and how the whole tone of the conversation warmed up after that. This was a career changer for her! Chris alludes to this when he describes Cherryl, touting her practice of conversing with each prospect as a peer and the way she is constantly looking to understand and help them. Feel free to borrow everything you’ll learn in this week’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode, as Cherryl Turner shares “The Secret of Her Success.”

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This Is What Makes All the Difference

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“Everybody knows that the flow of discovery meetings is the constraint on their business.” So states Chris Beall, CEO of ConnectAndSell, as he and Corey Frank, our two Market Dominance Guys, continue their interview with Matthew Forbes, Head of Strategic Accounts at ConnectAndSell. Together, they explore the epiphany that is behind Matt’s recent 4-times uptick in his call-to-meeting ratio. So, what is it that increased that flow for Matt recently, and how can others adopt what he learned so that they too can increase the number of meetings they set?

“I think we let people off the hook,” Matt says, “because they’re busy.” It’s second-nature to get apologetic or back down when the prospect starts making noises like, “Not now” or “Call back later.” But Matt’s epiphany about his true belief in the value of the discovery meeting and in the value of ConnectAndSell for the person he’s talking to, has changed the way he delivers his message. “You’ve got to have the right words, but the words only get you so far.” As Matt explains, if you truly believe in what you’re offering, your tone of voice will communicate that belief. As you’ll hear in this week’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “This Is What Makes All the Difference.”

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You’d Better Believe It!

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This week, our Market Dominance Guys, Chris and Corey, interview Matthew Forbes, Head of Strategic Accounts at ConnectAndSell, about an epiphany Matt had that increased the meetings he set by almost 400%. Wow! What could possibly change that would explain that kind of increase? Well, it’s actually a simple change, but it’s a very necessary one: Matt came to truly believe — deep in his soul — in the potential value of the discovery meeting for his prospects, even if they were never going to do business with ConnectAndSell. His messaging script didn’t change at all. It was his belief that did. Listen to today’s Market Dominance Guys episode, “You’d Better Believe It!” to learn how Matt came to make this meeting-setting leap.

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How to Warm Up a Cold Communication

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Over the years, how salespeople make an initial contact for a sale has changed. In these modern times, it has come down to a choice between making a cold phone call or sending a cold email. It seems to be a matter of choice. However, if you’re trying to break through a prospect’s initial fear of being sold to so that you can engender that level of trust necessary to set a meeting or make a sale, which approach should you put YOUR trust in? The human voice? Or a digital communication?

Today, our Market Dominance Guy, Chris Beall, talks with podcast producer Susan Finch about this very question. As CEO of ConnectAndSell, Chris is an impassioned believer in phone conversations first as the most successful tool for setting appointments. Why? Because with your voice, you can employ timbre, tone, pacing, and emotion. In a one-on-one conversation, you can pause for a response, share humor when appropriate, or convey that you understand the other person’s situation. However carefully crafted, an email message can never do as a good a job at interacting with another human being. In pursuing the all-important goal of engendering trust with a prospect, initial phone conversations win, hands down! Listen in to today’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode as Chris shares his well-honed opinions on “How to Warm Up a Cold Communication.”

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Stuck in the Middle with Denial

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On this week’s episode of the Marketing Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank continue their conversation about the middle phase in the creation of every startup or new product — being stuck. That’s the stage when things aren’t working out the way you’d envisioned them. That’s when prospects aren’t embracing your concept as you’d hoped they would. That’s when you have that sinking feeling that this whole project might be a terrible, terrible mistake. Something’s wrong! Panicking isn’t going to help the situation, but neither is denial. That can lead to faking that everything is just fine — when you know darn well it isn’t. Listen to Chris’ warning: “It’s hard to be honest once you start faking it.” Corey and Chris encourage you to face the truth, because as they say, “The truth is the boss!”

Come listen to how to use your resources to get an honest assessment about why you’re stuck so that you can start moving toward getting your project back in flow. You’ll learn these details and other great advice in this week’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “Stuck in the Middle with Denial.”

The complete transcript of this episode is below:

 

https://marketdominanceguys.com/e/stuck-in-the-middle-with-denial/

 

Announcer (00:06):

On this week's episode of the Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank continue their conversation about the middle phase in the creation of every start-up or new product being stuck. That's the stage when things aren't working out the way you'd envision them. That's when prospects aren't embracing your concept as you'd hope they would. That's when you have that sinking feeling that this whole project might be a terrible, terrible mistake, something's wrong. Panicking isn't going to help the situation but neither is denial that can lead to faking that everything is just fine when you know darn well it isn't. Listen to Chris's warning. It's hard to be honest once you start faking it.

Corey and Chris encourage you to face the truth because as they say, "The truth is the boss." Come listen to how to use your resources to get an honest assessment of why you're stuck so that you can start moving forward getting your project back inflow. You'll learn these details and other great advice in this week's episode of Market Dominance Guys, Stuck In The Middle With Denial.

Chris Beall (01:40):

Oh, yeah. But what do we do when we're stuck for too long? We go back and we fake flow?

Corey Frank (01:56):

Yeah.

Chris Beall (01:56):

That's what we do. We fake flow and faking flow is the death knell of a start-up. You're dead if you fake flow because where you're going to go is somewhere and where the gold is somewhere else.

Corey Frank (02:08):

And also you have these quarterly or every eight weeks or so meetings with your board as a start-up, right. And we both been there where you got to give him something, you got to shoot a hostage, you got to give him some red meat, you got to make a virgin offering or something or you have to fake it. And that's the worst because you're an ear inauthentic in all of those and it sounds like... Which is probably going to butcher it. I think it was Lao-Tzu who had this Zen syllogism he says, "I know nothing, I know everything, I know nothing."

Chris Beall (02:46):

Yes, yeah.

Corey Frank (02:46):

And the stages that folks go through, right. And some folks will never get past the first or the second stage. So when you look at that from the makeup of a start-up so we drill a little deeper here. That has to be a safe place for Cherryl to be able to go to the CEO of the company in this new position she's in and say, "Hey boss, I'm just not feeling it. I think we need," "What do you mean it's not feeling it?" Right. And then there's got to be a level of humility there to incorporate other folks. So how do you, you mentioned earlier that a start-up of one it's a tough and lonely proposition to do and arguably you could say that the success curve is a little more elongated than one with multiple folks but what are you doing to kind of surround yourself with those kinds of folks? We talked early on and at some of the earlier episodes last year about politics and bcc'ing emails and all that kind of stuff.

We don't have to go into it now but right now if I'm going to start-up and I don't necessarily have those types of folks, what can I do to get it? How can I navigate those waters to showcase folks that, "Hey, maybe I'm stuck and we need to break out of this otherwise we are faking it".

Chris Beall (04:04):

Yeah. I think that the trick to start-ups is like the trick to everything. One is tough, one person it's a tough business, right. I used to be as you know pretty serious rock climber mountaineer. That's a very, very, very dangerous game to do alone. Not only because there's no rope to catch you but primarily because you can't trust your mind and you think you can but where are you going to check it, right. Where are you going to check it? Where are you going to figure out whether you're doing something based on fear, on self-induced bravado, on you're tired you just don't want to think about it anymore so you're going to try it. It's a dangerous, dangerous world. Start–ups are a lot like that, we did an episode in which you brought up the Free Solo your pitch, right. Alex, up there climbing a El Capitan's-

Corey Frank (04:56):

El Capitan's, yeah.

Chris Beall (04:57):

Free Soloing it. Well, if you watch the movie you see that he's not really alone, alone in that endeavor, right. He's got people that he talks to, he's a kind of guy who can trust his own mind by the way almost but he's too smart to trust only his own mind. So he has other people to talk with and I think that even that kind of thing it's not the rope, it's the relationship that allows you to go. And what do you have to have? You got to have somebody who sees the world a little differently from you is on your side. And is sincerely going to come forward with their own enlightenment and their own ignorance and you can put the two together and you got a shot, you really do have a shot.

It's like trying to walk on one leg, it's just a problem. You're not really built for it, we're really built to go in pairs and go do things. You and I doing this show is a good example. I can do one of these by myself, you can do one by yourself, that'd probably okay but I don't think we'd be on episode God knows whatever we're on here, 70 or whatever it is by now. There is the covering of each other's weaknesses but there's also the knowing that there's somebody you can go to in order to get unstuck. Because if you really look at these flow states, at these three states, right. The flow, the stuck and the waiting, we don't need much help waiting, we can always find something to do, we just need to know that when we're waiting you need to find something to do, right. We don't need a huge amount of help in knowing that we're stuck as long as we're honest but it's hard to be honest once you start faking it.

And so when you have an external audience like a board of directors like you said or whatever... I remember when I joined this company something happened here which is I joined as a head of products and a few days later sort of the whole engineering team, which is fairly small up and quit. And a few days after that there was a board meeting. Well, between those two we didn't fake it, we actually did some things. We hired a couple of people, we read all the code. I spent a weekend, we read 300,000 lines of code. We built the system repeatedly, made sure we can build and start it, build and start it, build and start it, knock it down, kill it, start it again. That's the kind of stuff you want to be able to do in a live system that's servicing lots of people and went to the board meeting.

That's pretty tempting in a board meeting like that to fake it. "Hey Chris, you lost your whole engineering team, what's up?" I was like, "Well, what's up is, here's what we're doing, here's why I'm pretty sure that we can do things, start it, stop, keep the thing a live, here's what we don't know but here's the recommended course of action." But it is so tempting under that kind of pressure to either cave into somebody or-

Corey Frank (07:39):

Oh, for sure.

Chris Beall (07:41):

Else or whatever and so part of what you're hiring for or partnering with is somebody who has the drive, they got to have the drive without the engine this whole start-up thing is stupid you can't do it, it's just too hard.

Corey Frank (07:55):

Right.

Chris Beall (07:56):

Not to think a lot of people are going to help you. You got to have that big motor and the motors got to kind of be willing to turn by itself. You get up in the morning if you don't feel that every day and you haven't felt that every day since you were pretty young, don't do start-ups it just doesn't work out, it just doesn't trust me. But say you do, you've got to get another person with that kind of drive and then the next part about the relationship that's got to work is, you've got to have a framework for talking about being inflow, getting stuck. You have to have the words for it. You have to have words about things like, "When are we guessing?" You have to use words like ignorant.

The word I use today with Cherryl was I said and was talking to her and got Jon Campbell and I said, "We're just doing this like total idiot. We're just like dummies here. Obviously the thing to do is to talk to somebody else and here we are talking to each other. Let's not do this the hard way, let's go the person that we would be selling to, except we already sold to that person and talk to that person," right. Well, but you have to use the words if you don't use a word like, "We're being idiots here."

Corey Frank (09:06):

Sure.

Chris Beall (09:07):

Then nobody feels safe coming forward and saying, "I feel like I'm a little stuck or I'm being an idiot or whatever," Right. You have to use the vocabulary of truth.

Corey Frank (09:17):

Well, and you as the leader, right. To be the first one to level a degree of humility that it's safe to be humble, it's safe not to know allows you to probably have that outcome's raiser level of clarity to say, "Wait a minute it's probably right in front of us, let's look elsewhere."

Chris Beall (09:38):

Yeah. And when I hire people this is throughout the whole process I always tell them this I say, "Look, you're going to love it here or you're going to hate it here. If you're going to hate it here let's figure out how to have you not join." So you wouldn't be talking to me unless you're qualified because people don't get to talk to me unless they're qualified. That's another process I don't go through that, that would be crazy. That's like qualifying on a cold call, right. The list got to be good or not good we're not going to find out if we qualify on the cold call, that's crazy. We got to set the meeting and let qualification happen in discovery. This is the same problem. So here we are now, we're in discovery and we're going to discover something, you're going to discover whether you want to work for somebody like me in an organization like this because we can't avoid that you're working for me.

There's nothing, no words are going to make it go away. I'm the CEO, you're stuck or we're stuck with me. We can't make me not be that guy, right. But I can tell you how it works and how it works you might love and you might hate, it's about a 50, 50. And you might love it because you'll think, "This is just what I've always wanted," you might hate it and think, "Wow, this feels really kind of exposed and maybe a little harsh." And one of the things I tell folks is, "Look, we don't really report to each other. This is not the strict hierarchy that's about you tell so-and-so what you did, they tell you what to do that's isn't here." We report essentially to our real boss which is the truth as we can ascertain it.

The truth is a pretty good boss and the truth will evolve along with us. So it's a boss that keeps up, it doesn't fall behind. The truth by its very nature will keep up with changing circumstances, changing markets, COVID can come along, you still can have the truth as your boss the day after the pandemic hits just like you did the day before. You might not be able to ascertain it so easily, you may have to go through more effort to find it but it's still the thing that we could report to. However I tell them, "When we're out of time and we got to make a decision and we're just out of time, we don't have enough knowledge to make the decision that's the definition of being stuck, we guess and here's how we guess, I guess."

I guess that's it. And here's the corrupt part, am the person who says that we're stuck and we're out of time, we don't have a... I declare the guess that it's totally corrupt I get it.

Corey Frank (12:02):

Right.

Chris Beall (12:04):

But it's a singularity and you have to accept that coming in and if I ask-

Corey Frank (12:07):

Risk it i guess.

Chris Beall (12:10):

And I'm guessing. Well, but first of all I'm going to call it a guess. We're not going to wrap it up and say, "Our analysis shows this, this consultant said this." Maybe we did an analysis, maybe we have a consultant but if we're guessing I promise you I will tell you that we're guessing and we delegate the guessing to me. And then I'm going to guess and we're going to treat my guess as a fact of the world as the truth regardless of whether it is or not. And that's your commitment when you come on board because the alternative is we can't get unstuck when staying stuck is fatal.

Corey Frank (12:49):

Yeah.

Chris Beall (12:49):

Staying stuck can be fatal. I don't know what to do and the right thing to do is to stop the car before you go off the cliff, you drive off the cliff.

Corey Frank (12:57):

Sure.

Chris Beall (12:59):

So, fatal mistakes are the ones that we should try hardest to avoid through design, right?

Corey Frank (13:03):

Yeah.

Chris Beall (13:04):

Don't avoid fatal mistakes through diligence, always avoid them through design.

Corey Frank (13:08):

Always through design, yes and I think that's again the impetus of the show is the failure to dominate markets.

Chris Beall (13:16):

Yeah.

Corey Frank (13:17):

Always will lead, let's add this new axiom to the pile as well so.

Chris Beall (13:21):

Yeah.

Corey Frank (13:21):

Okay.

Chris Beall (13:22):

It's an interesting thing. So the cycle time thing around going from... And using the words, use your words as they say to little kids. The word flow is a good word, we're inflow that's a great word. The word stuck is a great word it means something, it's a term of art it actually means we don't know enough to continue moving forward confidently.

Corey Frank (13:42):

Yeah.

Chris Beall (13:42):

Just a term of art, right. Waiting is waiting, we're just waiting, we're waiting for something. We need something because until we have that something we can't move forward. Now some people are always waiting because they think they need everything before they can do anything, don't hire those people. Such people are problematic, right.

Corey Frank (14:01):

And by the way I know the truth from what I hear you saying the truth is your boss.

Chris Beall (14:06):

Yeah.

Corey Frank (14:06):

But I know that come five o'clock, right. You have a different boss and that is your bride and it's her birthday today so we will be wrapping this up in a minute because I think Helen's birthday trumps the truth, Helen's birthday is the truth. We always talked about the next book after Market Dominance Guys, or the subtitle for the Market Dominance Guys' book was going to be called Pivot Jesus Pivot. But I think maybe the subheading the Pivot Jesus Pivot would be stuck inflow waiting and faking it in start-ups today. I'll tell you what that would be, that'd be a title then-

Chris Beall (14:43):

That'd be pretty good.

Corey Frank (14:43):

Tell me.

Chris Beall (14:43):

Ideal on the title, Pivot Jesus Pivot. I don't know if anybody gets that but if we were to tell everybody what the joke behind the punchline or whatever it is, is it's like If God were a VC he'd be saying, "Pivot Jesus Pivot."

Corey Frank (15:01):

That's right, "Not enough people are buying into your products."

Chris Beall (15:04):

Yeah.

Corey Frank (15:05):

"You probably need to take a look at it." So I love it. Want to tell you what Chris, this was supposed to be a two-parter and we'll continue the next part because what we want to springboard into what we talked about today about these different states in making progress also is tied into what we want to talk about next time, which is discovery calls. And discovery calls for a start-up because many of the aspects that you're talking about, about being stuck or inflow or waiting or humility or authenticity or status alignment is just as critical when we get to the discovery process. So I think that's what I'm going to look forward to next time on the Market Dominance Guys talking to you, again the surge of sales, the profit of profit and again my personal favorite, the resputing of revenue so till next time.

How to Get from Stuck to Unstuck

Inflow, Flow, Waiting  How to get unstuck

 

This week, the Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank, walk you through the three states of cycle time for start-up businesses or for any company that’s trying to launch a new product or service. There’s in flow. There’s stuck. And there’s waiting. Using an example from his own company’s experience launching Flight School, their brand-new sales-rep training program, Chris tells what happened when they thought they were in flow and ready to set meetings for discovery calls, but soon found that prospects didn’t respond as enthusiastically as expected to what his company was offering. In other words, they were stuck.

But what was the problem? It’s a great program! Why weren’t their prospects seeing the value of what was being offered? Chris explains that it’s often necessary to put your own narcissism aside in order to clearly look at all the possible reasons why you’re not moving toward success as quickly as you think you should be. Only then can you be open to exploring and utilizing all the resources that might help you get unstuck. As he says, “You need to plumb the depths of your ignorance! You need knowledge!” As practical and helpful as usual, our Market Dominance Guys offer advice on this common problem encountered by almost every startup company. Join them for today’s episode, “How to Get from Stuck to Unstuck.”

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The Right Skills for the Job - AI vs. Humans

Market Dominance Guys Chris Beall and Corey Frank Right Skills for the Job

Chris Beall and Corey Frank, our Market Dominance Guys, explore the subject of artificial intelligence taking over jobs held by humans. It’s an emotional issue, to be sure. But instead of looking at this as an either/or concern, the Market Dominance Guys take a different tack by asking,” What do humans do well? What do machines do well? And what can they do together?” You may be thinking, “Wait a minute! Using AI will help us run our business much more cheaply than keeping all those humans on our payroll.” If so, Chris asks you to take a few steps back and look at the big picture by asking yourself, “What’s my main goal here?” In other words, should you be concentrating on how to operate your company more cheaply, or should you be thinking about what will help you dominate your market? And what skill sets are required for your company to do that?

 

Using a sales department as an example, Chris and Corey discuss the different cluster of skills needed for each type of job in that division and which ones can be handled by either humans or artificial intelligence — or by a combination of both. As usual, you can trust the Market Dominance Guys to steer you in the right direction when it comes to dominating YOUR market, just as they do on today’s podcast, “The Right Skills for the Job.”

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Which Comes First, Traction or Scale?

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Our Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank, continue their discussion about churn and its various causes. Today’s topic is about how a company’s growth is managed. Are the guiding forces going after traction first? Or are they jumping right into how to scale before they have worked out their product’s kinks? Chris and Corey talk about the tragedy of designing for scale before you have traction. As Chris will tell you, it’s a fool’s errand. If you have no traction, no conversations with your buyers, then you’re not going to learn anything about what your customers need or about why they may not be coming back. Once again, market dominance is achieved when you investigate your churn! And that’s done with conversations.

Today’s podcast winds up with a question of “Who’s in charge here?” when it comes to how to steer a company toward success. Is it the investors you’ve taken money from, who may be pressuring you to scale quickly? Or is it your customers, who, if asked, will tell you what they do or don’t like about your product or service, guiding you toward what you should do to keep them renewing? Listen in to what Chris and Corey think about this important matter on today’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “Which Comes First? Traction or Scale?”

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All Churn is Not Created Equal

All Churn is Not Created Equal - Market Dominance Guys

Our Market Dominance Guys, Chris and Corey, are back this week with an episode about “churn.” No, they’re not talking about butter-making here. They’re addressing business churn — a measurement of cancellations or non-renewals of your company’s product or service. Are you thinking, “Churn: What can I do about it?” If you’re like many people, you may look at your company’s churn rate, give a philosophical shrug, and go back to hunting for more prospects to replace those MIA customers. But is it really easier to find new customers than it is to figure out what went wrong? As the folk-rock band, The Byrds, might have sung in the 60s, “To every cancellation (churn, churn, churn), there is a reason (churn, churn, churn).”

Corey points out that some churn is inevitable, but not all churn. Examination of cause and effect is needed! In a spirit of solidarity, Chris comes clean about what unexamined churn cost ConnectAndSell, the company he works for. He explains that he had to put arrogance aside and face the fact that their customers weren’t getting the full benefit from ConnectAndSell’s sales- acceleration platform simply because reps didn’t know how to successfully conduct a cold call. And, thus, a training program was born. Yes, it’s shine-a-bright-light-on-the-problem time on the Market Dominance Guys in today’s episode, “All Churn Is Not Created Equal.”

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Strategize, Execute, Evaluate, Repeat

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On today’s episode of the Market Dominance Guys, Chris and Corey continue their conversation with Jason Beck, Vice President of Sales at Enerex, by addressing how sales got a dirty name. Chris explains that in ancient times, the salesman met the buyer face to face, but the encounter was usually a one-time transaction. Then, the camel caravan moved on, and if the buyer wasn’t happy with his purchase, there was no one to appeal to for a replacement and no one to lodge a customer complaint with. Ancient sales was a hit-and-run relationship that frequently left a bad taste in the buyer’s mouth about salesmen. But in modern times, the sale is never over, because the telephone and the internet have created an ongoing relationship between sellers and buyers. The modern salesperson needs to understand that you can run, but you can’t hide, which makes it imperative that reps provide value to their customers.

Jason and the Market Dominance Guys segue into a discussion of what type of personalities are best suited to be salespeople and what types should definitely NOT hold this job. The attributes of being pro-active and persistent are touted, as well as the importance of being in sales for the right reasons. As Jason puts it, “If closing the deal at the end of the day isn’t what you live for, then don’t be in sales.”

This team of sales-savvy guys wraps things up with a discussion of the cycle of the sales process for a new product and why it works — as this podcast’s title says — to Strategize, Execute, Evaluate, and Repeat.

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I’m Not the Salesman Your Mother Warned You About

Market Dominance Guys welcomes Jason Beck

The Market Dominance Guys, Chris and Corey, welcome a new guest this week: Jason Beck, Vice President of Sales at Enerex. Or as Corey dubbed him — the Pied Piper of Retail Energy.

The topic today? What leads to the adoption of a new product or service.

Jason is a big believer in the role of trust in establishing business relationships that will lead to adoption. “Trust is so hard to gain,” he says, “and so easy to lose.” In gaining trust, it’s a two-step program, Jason explains. First, be honest in the claims you make about your product’s value — not as you hope it will one day perform, but as it performs today. And second, find out what your prospects fear most and make sure you and your company are none of those things. If you’re trying to dominate any market, Jason continues, you need to be working toward that tipping point where your initial adopters, whose trust you have successfully gained, will begin vouching for you to your new prospects.

Chris, Corey, and Jason end the podcast with a frank discussion about that dirty word “sales.” They talk about the negative reputation sales acquired and why people fear being sold to. You’ll want to listen in for Chris’ insights about how to turn that frown upside down by shining a brighter light on the necessary role of salespeople in the B2B world. Join us for this episode of The Market Dominance Guys: I’m Not the Salesman Your Mother Warned You About.

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Got Pain? Have I Got a Product for You!

Roderick Jefferson on The Market Dominance Guys

Join us on the Market Dominance Guys as Chris and Corey continue their conversation about sales enablement with CEO Roderick Jefferson of Roderick Jefferson & Associates. This week, the guys address the challenge of hiring the right people for this function — people who have a certain level of sales credibility within the company. Roderick explains that in order to be a respected voice and get a vote when it comes to providing sales enablement tools and processes to support the sales team, you need to bring people on board who have extensive sales experience.

Now, don’t get him wrong: Roderick is not advocating a perpetual continuation of “Do sales the way we’ve always done sales.” Instead, he suggests hiring those who understand that what really works in sales is helping clients maintain their customer roster, and aiding clients with increasing THEIR profits, reducing THEIR costs, and mitigating THEIR risks. In other words, your need to hire a sales enablement team dedicated to having conversations with prospects about business outcome. Roderick states that to do this, sales people have to stop giving presentations and start having conversations — true discovery conversations.

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An Enabler Is a Good Thing — in Sales

Roderick Jefferson - An Enabler Is a Good Thing - In Sales

Today on the Market Dominance Guys, you’re invited to join Chris and Corey and their guest, Roderick Jefferson, the CEO of Roderick Jefferson & Associates, a global sales enablement consultancy firm. This trio of sales gurus outlines the whys and how's of providing sales teams with the information, training, content, and tools that reps need to successfully engage buyers throughout the buying journey. This is known as “sales enablement.” Sounds like a pretty simple “follow the blueprints” process, doesn’t it? And, yet, as Roderick informs us, if you ask 10 people what sales enablement is, you’ll get a multitude of answers.

 

Chris and Roderick discuss this quandary and, more specifically, how the pandemic has impacted training and overseeing sales teams now that each rep works from home, physically away from their manager’s watchful eye. Roderick relates this problem to that of an orchestra whose conductor is missing. Like so many other things now, sales enablement must be fine-tuned to this new situation. In order to orchestrate and conduct a sales team so that each rep plays their part and uses the provided resources in a collaborative manner, a major change must take place in how they are managed.

If you’re a follower of the Market Dominance Guys, you know that this episode will have you nodding along with the opinions of Chris, Corey, and their guest, and jotting down notes from their insights. Stay tuned! They aim to help you dominate your market! 

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Never, Never, NEVER Retire a Follow-Up Call

Never Retire a Follow-up Call - Donny Crawford on The Market Dominance Guys

In this follow-up to last week’s Market Dominance Guys’ podcast, “Your Sales People Are Brain Surgeons,” Chris and Corey have another conversation with ConnectAndSell’s customer success manager, Donny Crawford, about using the telephone plus your beliefs to gain market dominance.

First things first, they discuss how to get prospects on the phone who are the most likely to set a meeting with you. It sounds like a numbers game — more dialing equals more people picking up the phone, which equals more meetings set, right? But as every sales rep knows, you can lead a prospect to a conversation, but you can’t make them link you to their calendar. That rate of success is fairly low. In his experience calling on prospects, though, Donny discovered an amazing way to increase the dial-to-meeting conversion rate: make more calls to people on your follow-up list. He found out that if at first you don’t succeed, call, call, call again. Wait till you hear what his success rate is — and then listen to the story Chris tells about follow-up calls, which corroborates Donny’s experience.

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Your Sales People Are Brain Surgeons

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What do you do if you have a group of 25 or so folks on your sales team, and you want to really make a splash in the first quarter of the new year? Due to the on-going pandemic, we all  know that connecting with customers face to face at trade shows is no longer an option. No doubt, your reps are still working from home, most of them researching their prospects and trying a little social media marketing, but all of them eventually doing the traditional dialing, dialing, dialing, and praying, praying, praying that someone will pick up the phone. How, in the name of all that’s financially holy, are your reps going to help your company dominate its market if they simply continue to use the same old methods during this brave new year we are entering?

Our two Market Dominance Guys, Chris and Corey, along with this week’s guest, ConnectAndSell Customer Success Manager Donny Crawford, diagnose the problem of what’s keeping companies from the market domination they desire. These three cold-calling practitioners offer their insights into what works best to get the greatest number of conversations with decision makers — despite cold call outcomes like “Not me,” “Not now,” “Not interested,” “Call back later,” or even the dreaded hang-up. Wait till you hear Donny’s proven method for how to turn repeated hang-ups from a prospect into the appointment you’re after.

Chris compares the work of a salesperson to that of a brain surgeon, first cracking open a company’s “skull” by getting that first appointment, and then exploring what’s wrong inside the “brains” of a company by having a discovery conversation. Join Chris, Corey, and Donny as they guide you through that operation during this episode of Market Dominance guys, "Your Sales People are Brain Surgeons."

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Diagnosing Discovery Call Failures

Diagnosing Discovery Call Failures with Oren Klaff, Corey Frank, and Chris Beale

In this episode of Market Dominance Guys, we’ll dissect that sales process called the “discovery call” and diagnose the problem that is keeping sales reps from making a successful one. Chris, Corey, and Oren Klaff, managing director of Intersection Capital, share their opinions on the subject, and lament the unfortunate fact that most sales reps have no set method for conducting a discovery call that includes true discovery.

As Oren describes it, “Selling is a bit icky, and [salespeople] want to retreat quickly back to the relative calm of their normal lives. Once a salesperson hears one thing [from the prospect] that’s an indicator of interest, they want to hit the buzzer” and immediately jump to the sales pitch so they can end their own discomfort. As Oren sees it, this cut-to-the-chase method is the primary reason many discovery calls fail. Instead of truly finding out what problems the prospect or his company might have, which the product being offered might solve, reps skip right over the creation of a relationship that might help them eventually make that sale. Chris is convinced that salespeople can actually be coached on where they went wrong during a discovery call and how to do it in a way that works. In this podcast, you can listen to the two questions that Chris begins his own discovery calls with — and then find out what the heck “the dog, the meat, and the chain-link fence” have to do with this subject. Who knew that a discussion about discovery calls could be so insightful and entertaining?

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Getting Prospects from Fear to Commitment

Market Dominance Guys' Guest: Oren Klaff

You’re about to make a cold call, hoping to get a commitment out of your prospect. What are you feeling? A little trepidation, perhaps? As all salespeople know, that’s the fear of rejection. But have you ever considered that your prospect is feeling some fear too? It’s true: most prospective customers feel the fear of having to talk to an invisible stranger. That’s a lousy way to start a conversation with someone you’re wanting a commitment from. So, how do you, an invisible stranger, get your prospect, an unknown person, to go quickly from fear to trust, then from trust to curiosity, and, finally, from curiosity to commitment — all in about a half of a minute? And how do you do it so the call doesn’t end with a disappointing outcome? Chris, Corey, and today’s Market Dominance Guys’ guest, Oren Klaff, managing director of Intersection Capital, tackle this challenge with a discussion about trust and how to manufacture it, especially at the speed and scale necessary for startup founders to glean success — before their new venture runs out of money.

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Your Prospect Adores You! But Will His CFO?

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Every single thing that happens in sales is about learning — on both parties’ parts — and this includes presenting and discussing value metrics with prospects and with customers who are up for renewal. What works best? Adopting an attitude of rampant optimism or one of friendly skepticism? Should the value metrics you present be the same, or should they vary when you’re talking with inbound prospects versus outbound prospects? Is it most effective to emphasize only one appealing value, or is it better to trot out several beneficial metrics?

 

In this third Market Dominance Guys’ conversation between Chris, Corey, and Mike Genstil, co-founder and CEO of VisualizeROI, this trio of experts discusses how to price your company’s offering, how to handle discount requests, and what to do about a prospect’s fixed-budget limitations. Most importantly, they delve into the reality of what happens when you have successfully convinced a prospect of the value of your offering — to the extent that he is now a champion of your product or service — but when he carries your banner back to his company, he is faced with a bunch of skeptics who haven’t had the benefit of hearing your pitch. Since 98.3% of all sales decisions are fought internally, you’ll want to hear the strategy Chris, Corey, and Mike suggest for arming your prospect with the value metrics that will help him win that battle.

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What to Charge for a Trip to the Promised Land

What to charge for a trip to the promised land with Mike Genstil

As a follow-up to the recent Market Dominance Guys’ podcast, “Vanity, Vanity, Thy Name Is Value Metrics,” Chris and Corey continue here with part two of their conversation with Mike Genstil, co-founder and CEO of VisualizeROI. Mike and Chris share their insights into value metrics and how to construct and present statements about value propositions and returns on investment. These market dominance experts explain that it’s all dependent upon the job title of the customer rep being addressed, as well as where in the sales cycle you are with that company. Is risk mitigation the most appropriate metric? Is it perhaps better to talk about productivity gains? Or would a statement regarding cost savings be more enticing as a promised ROI? And, as Corey asks, whose job is it to craft the appropriate statement for the value prop or ROI?

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Can Innovation and a Pandemic Coexist?

Can innovation and a pandemic coexist?

Change is the obvious hallmark of the current pandemic. And, as most of us know, change rewards innovation and punishes those who stand pat on tradition. This is especially true in the winner-takes-all world of sales. Most people believe that true innovation springs from the use of technology. But is innovation mostly about taking a technological product or service and then marketing and promoting it to the stage called “user adoption” — or even to the more desirable stage that we’ll call “user embrace”? Or should innovation be more cultural than technical?

Join Chris as he makes the case for pursuing innovation during the pandemic and talks about the difference between strategy and tactics during this pursuit. Chris is joined by his friend, Gerhard Gschwandtner, founder and CEO of Selling Power, Inc., as they discuss the role of empathy in sales and its importance as a leadership tool.

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Vanity, Vanity, Thy Name is Adoption Metrics

Michael Genstil, VisualizeROI

In the modern SaaS economy, adoption metrics abound. Sure – they measure something that VC investors care about, and sometimes something that product recommenders and even decision-makers want to track. But does adoption speak to business impact?

One thing for sure: when it comes to business impact, adoption metrics are pure vanity. A business doesn’t measure return on investment by asking how much time its employees are spending as “users.” Horror stories abound of products that suck up time due to their own internal inefficiencies, sending employees on wild goose chases to figure out what to put in that so-called “required field,” or how to coax a shiny new SaaS product into spitting out a coherent report on what it did for you — or, more likely, what you did for it. At its worst, a focus on adoption invites corruption, as the SaaS vendor needs to make a claim that their goodness is spreading throughout your organization and the buying committee needs to justify, and feel good about, their purchase.

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Where Did All the Coaching Go? (Long Time Passing)

Where did all the coaching go?

In the last two podcasts, When Operational Excellence Hits a 9-Foot Wall and Myths and Misconceptions of the Cold-Calling World, Chris, Corey, and Valerie Schlitt, CEO and founder of VSA, have been discussing various aspects of striving for operational excellence. In this third and final podcast on the subject, these three sales experts turn to the topic of coaching. Listen to what they have to say about how coaching works best — and the challenge of doing it in today’s work-from-home world.

Valerie explains that what she misses is the way coaching worked before COVID, when she and her team were in the same office, with many of them calling on the same program. And they would sit next to each other, and listen to each other, and hear what went well on each other’s calls, and then copy it. This passive coaching among co-workers isn’t available now. And though active coaching by management isn’t impossible right now, it has to be done in a different way.

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Myths and Misconceptions of the Cold-Calling World

Misconceptions of the Cold-Calling World with Valerie Schlitt

Chris and Corey continue their discussion with Valerie Schlitt, CEO and founder of VSA, which began with the Market Dominance Guys’ podcast, When Operational Excellence Meets a 9-Foot Wall. Making another observation about operational excellence, Chris begins this session with the statement, “A big part of operational excellence is recognizing that you don’t always have the resources that you need to get the job done perfectly — or even well.” Valerie thrives on solving problems just like this one and is adept at addressing problems in unique ways. Together these three sales experts tackle the issues of maintaining operational excellence while running a business — either before or during a pandemic.

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When Operational Excellence Meets a 9-Foot Wall

When Operational Excellence Meets a 9-Foot Wall

Operational excellence is achieved when every member of an organization can see the flow of value to the customer and fix that flow before it breaks down. But as a manager of people, you know that this isn’t an easy goal to achieve — especially if your team members are now working from home instead of working together in one building. As Chris explains in a story about his experience mountain climbing and running up against a 9-foot tall stretch of wall, “We make a great plan — and then we run into that blank wall. The COVID pandemic is an example of that wall.”

In this podcast, Chris and Corey have a conversation with Valerie Schlitt, founder and CEO of VSA, about what to do with the problems this wall has created for her team members and those of her clients. Valerie holds a Wharton MBA and has 19 years of experience directing a great team of her own who use their skills to help VSA’s customers develop their businesses. “Collaborating with people is one of the biggest sources of ways to solve problems,” Valerie explains. But with the work-from-home movement, how can you maintain that same group problem-solving?

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Coaching vs. Evaluating - How Fear Impacts Performance

coaching and evaluation how fear impacts performance

When we’re performing in the presence of someone we know to be more expert than we are, our performance usually suffers. In the world of sales, managers often put this pressure on salespeople, although often unwittingly. They may approach their sales rep with every intention of being a helpful coach, but too often they slip into the role of a critical evaluator instead. And as soon as a salesperson thinks they’re being evaluated, fear sets in — their stomach sinks, their voice tightens up, their intended flow of words gets backed up — and there goes their normal, relaxed performance.

In this podcast, Chris talks with Susan Finch, president of Funnel Radio, on this topic and then segues into the benefits of how a mutually beneficial relationship between members of the company’s team (sales, research, engineering/manufacturing, customer support) creates the best possible means of serving customers. Chris and Susan then discuss how showing appreciation and respect for the behind-the-scenes team members keeps those people from feeling invisible, motivates them to perform better, and to willingly offer support to the people on the front line.

Join Chris and Susan for another relaxed, entertaining, and informative Market Dominance Guys podcast as they explore what works and what doesn’t when managing salespeople and dominating your market.

The complete transcript of this episode is below:

 

https://marketdominanceguys.com/e/coaching-vs-evaluating-how-fear-impacts-performance/

 

Announcer (00:06):

When we're performing in the presence of someone we know to be more expert than we are, our performance usually suffers. In the world of sales, managers often put this pressure on salespeople, although often unwittingly. They may approach their sales rep with every intention of being a helpful coach, but too often, they slip into the role of a critical evaluator instead, and as soon as the salesperson thinks they're being evaluated, fear sets in, their stomach sinks, their voice tightens up, their intended flow of words gets backed up and there goes their normal, relaxed performance.

I'm Susan Finch, president of Funnel Radio, and in this podcast, I talk with Chris Beall on this topic, and then we segue into the benefits of how a mutually beneficial relationship between members of the company's team, sales, research, engineering, manufacturing, customer support creates the best possible means of serving customers. Chris and I then discuss how showing appreciation and respect for the behind-the-scenes team members keep those people from feeling invisible, motivates them to perform better, and to willingly offer support to the people on the frontline. Join us for this episode of the Market Dominance Guys, Coaching Versus Evaluating: How Fear Impacts Performance.

Chris Beall (01:54):

Sales is a game ultimately of dissonance and irony, ultimately of dissonance and irony. There's very little of it where you get to play it straight up because you're operating in the field of other people's emotions and their factual vulnerability. They are vulnerable to you if they let you begin to pitch them, and so there's resistance, "psychological reactance" is generally what it's called, and they can't help it. Then if you respond to that by being offended that they're rejecting you by raising an objection, you're toast.

Jeb Blount wrote a whole book on this called Objections. Here's the book. I mean, it's a brilliant book. Don't take my synopsis and say, "I've read the book," but here's the book. Inside, we hear objections, which are reasonable things for people to say in their circumstance, as rejection, and rejection is the toughest thing that happens to us because it creates embarrassment for us. How we handle hearing an objection and dealing with our inevitable emotional response internally that it's rejection is the key to handling the hard part of sales, which is what to do when they say no and they don't mean it.

What do you do when they say no, but that's not what they mean, because you can't say, "You didn't mean that"? What do you do? Jeb makes this point, which is you do a thing called "ledging." I'm an old climber, as you know. My game growing up was rock-climbing and mountaineering and a ledge, when I just heard the word for this first time, "ledging," a ledge is a safe place. Ledges are where you sit and belay, they're where you sleep, and they're where you don't need handholds anymore. When you're climbing, sometimes you can go through extended periods of time where one hand or the other must be very active on the rock holding on, or else bad things happen, right? For certain kinds of climbs that can get worse than others. It's always a game where you can't make an awful lot of mistakes. It's kind of a tense game. A ledge is where you can relax and that's his point.

How do you ledge? You just have to have a word or phrase that you say out loud at that point that tells you that you've had the reaction of rejection to an objection so that you can have a little bit of time to regain your equilibrium, assess the situation, categorize the objection, and know what kinds of things you might want to be addressing at that point. My ledge is the word "fantastic," so when somebody calls me and says, "Our number nine production system just went down for the second time this week," I say, "Fantastic," because that feels like rejection by the system to me. It's like, "Oh, man, did it go down? Our users need it. It's down. That's not a good thing." I feel bad on the inside, so I go to my ledge and my ledge is the word "fantastic." It sounds good to me, "fantastic." I love the way it sounds. It's poetic. It's three syllables, it's like a little haiku: "Fantastic!" It's real easy to say with an exclamation point on the end and not be sarcastic.

Susan Finch (05:24):

But that is the key, too: It takes practice.

Chris Beall (05:32):

Yes. Everything takes practice. That takes a lot. You golfers know this, right? The hard thing in golf is not hitting the shot that you know is your weakness when trouble is on the side that you tend to go, so all of us have a tendency to either hit the ball left or hit the ball right. There's nobody who has a tendency to hit it down the middle. That doesn't exist, even the great golfers. "My miss," it's referred to as "my miss." My miss is a hard hook and it goes left.

Lee Trevino said this very well. He said, "You can talk to a slice, but a hook just won't listen." He might've said, "You can talk to a fade," to make it more polite, "and a hook just won't listen." I love that. You can yell at a ball that's going to the right and it'll listen to you because it's not going that hard to the right. But when you hook it, it's coming down. It's not just going to left, it's coming down, right? Well, when trouble's on the left and it's a game situation, so to speak, it's important, it's the club championship, or it's just you're going to break your own record or you care or whatever, that's when the hook comes up for me. That's when it comes out and it's because in my head, I have failed to say, "Fantastic, it's out of bounds to the left. OB to the left. Fantastic." Right, and treat that as a clarifying moment.

Susan Finch (07:01):

On the last episode, Chris and I have been talking about scarcity and abundance and economics. Let's go on with our conversation from last episode and continue it because I think this is the only way for us to break cycles as sales professionals before we really can get started. For those of you that have to sell, but you don't think you're a sales professional, you still need to know how to break these cycles.

Chris Beall (07:26):

Yeah. I mean, everybody has to sell. Everybody has to sell and most people get pretty locked up when they're trying to do it when it counts. Most people are actually pretty good at it when they really believe that the outcome is a good outcome, even if it's just for them. As little kids, we're really good at it. We're really good at whining at mom when we're in the grocery store to ask for the candy bar that we know we're not supposed to have. We've become quite effective little sales monsters at that point, right?

All of us, except for a certain class of person that none of us happen to be, thank God, we get tight when we have to perform in the presence of somebody we know to be more expert than we are, and so when the pressure is on, we might be able to perform, but when the pressure is on and the master is there, it's hard to perform. That's evidence that we have a hard time performing in general anything. If you've learned to juggle three balls and then you're in the presence of somebody who can juggle five, your three-ball juggling goes to hell in a handbasket. That's all there is to it.

I experience this on occasion. COVID has really saved me from it because we live in splendid isolation now, so I have this beautiful little Yamaha electronic piano that is sampled from their big concert grand, so it sounds just like the big concert grand, at least in my mind, and I can sit down and play quite comfortably in the evening and my fiance will listen to me and she'll say she loves it. That's easy. All you have to do to make me into a horrible, halting, unsure piano player would be to have my sister's boyfriend, who is a brilliant pianist and a piano tuner, walk in the room, or just tell me that he's coming to visit, and I will suddenly not know what the major third of an E flat chord is. I'll know it, but I won't be able to execute it. I'll be unsure of myself, and that little feel I have, which is, "Where is that? Oh, that's the one between those two black keys that I feel here with this finger," that feel is going to go away like that.

I think that's what happens when we get tight is we lose access to the feel feedback and it's overwhelmed by this performance expectation feedback. Salespeople often put that on themselves, and worse, sales managers often put it on salespeople by showing up. When they should be in a coaching role, they're in an evaluation role. If you want to ruin somebody's performance, and especially in something athletic like sales, all you have to do is make it clear that you're evaluating their performance while they're trying to perform and you will guarantee the outcome that you already knew was going to happen. That's why it's a self-fulfilling prophecy of scarcity.

Getting over that is hard, and one way to do it organizationally, and I'm a big believer when you can do something organizationally if you have the money for the extra person, or you can figure out how to allocate, go with a part-time person or whatever in a role, do it rather than doing it through personal transformation because personal transformation is long, it's expensive, and your overhead is burning a hole in your pocket and your company.

For instance, an example is the difference between managing and coaching. In the NFL, we manage out of the front office, there's a person called a "general manager." They choose the players. The coach has input, but the general manager is responsible for making sure the right players are hired to be on the team and whether they're fired or not is their choice. The coach decides whether to play them or not. That's a different thing. The coach also trains them, teaches them, helps them, gets inside their head, understands when their problem is a psychological problem or physical problem, does all that. But the coach doesn't hire and fire. They have some influence on that, but they don't actually do that.

In sales, which is more athletically demanding than NFL football by far, we make a mistake when we coach out of the leader's position, when we're confusing the person we're coaching with, whether we're coaching them or evaluating them because as soon as we're evaluating them, we're ruining their performance, they tighten up, and in sales, when you tighten up, you're toast. You're just toast when you tighten up. The scarcity mindset, it's something that we tend to say we must address it within the individual by fixing their mindset. We can help with that. We can encourage it. We can provide. Go to Gerhard Gschwandtner's Peak Performance Mindset Retreat and jump out of an airplane, drive that Ferrari. Now, have somebody help you understand where your beliefs come from so someday you might be able to do something about them.

But we can also do it organizationally, and sales is a team game, even when it's played alone. That's something that I think we often forget because sales in history was done like this: "Here's your territory. Go get them, tiger." That's it. That was sales management forever and ever and the salesperson was a business person who owned a territory and they kept that territory. They bought that territory by making their quota and then the territory itself had an increasing value by increasing the quota. It was actually pretty simple, right? Asset must increase in value to be worth the investment. The way it increases in value was we keep raising the quota. The salesperson who wants to keep buying that territory keeps buying it by hitting that quota. That's the old model. That's not the new model.

Software ate the world. There is no inventory anymore to be disposed of, of significance. There are engagements, there's helping, there's this whole new world where there's no inventory, so sales immediately became a team game, and it's hard for folks to recognize that. The most important team relationship is between the player and the coach, but the coach is best, I won't say only, but is best a coach without hiring or firing authority and kind of keeping out of that, kind of keeping out of it. Let the facts speak for themselves, including the performance facts, the recordings, all that kind of stuff, but let the coach just be there to help performance, help you get better.

Susan Finch (14:14):

What about the other players, though? How do they factor in? To the individual performance of one salesperson, you're saying the team is a big thing, it isn't just the coach.

Chris Beall (14:24):

No, I mean, it's a lot. There's a lot of players on the team. There's whoever is the expert on the product. How do they interact with the salesperson so the salesperson is knowledgeable about the things that are worth being knowledgeable about and confident in the product's ability to carry those out for the right prospect?

Chris Beall (15:30):

How does that happen? Product knowledge is inferior to product confidence, so how does that happen? That needs to happen in the relationship between the product team and the salespeople, so if the product team is very engineering-focused/oriented, they're engineers, they tend to see salespeople as these inferior beings who aren't smart enough to build products, and therefore, they talk down to them. Well, when you talk down to a salesperson about a product, you actually reduce their confidence in their ability to represent the product correctly, so you're actually hurting yourself when you do this. Those are key members of the team.

Support is key members of the team. Things go bad. Things are going to go bad. In the modern world, everything is support-oriented and having a relationship between support and sales that is supportive and where sales is not using support as an excuse for future failure. That's a two-way street because sales really owes support their support and support needs to be thinking, "Hmm. Instead of just running the regular book here, is this a case where I could take the extra minute and inform the salesperson responsible for this account what I'm doing and get a little guidance about the business context?" Maybe there is no renewal immediately coming up, but there might be a renewal discussion that's happening because of an upsell opportunity. You wouldn't know that as the support person. You'll find it out if you ask the salesperson, "Is there some nice to be thinking about before I do this?" Because I could support like this the regular way, or I could do the extra effort and get in a screen-share and actually help them. It'll take a little bit more time. Is this person really important to you, o salesperson?

It's a team game on the support dimension. It's certainly a team game on the information dimension. You're getting information about who to go and call on. But by the way, I highly recommend that the information team, the data team be separate. Why? That's actually for a different reason. It feels bad to do work you can't do very well and it reduces your confidence and most don't do data work very well because their brains are not organized for data work, so they don't see it. They don't see the data at all, or it's hard for them to see. The same thing with writing. Most salespeople were not the person who in the English class raised their hand and was the best writer in class, so support in these areas for different elements of the job let the salesperson be free to execute.

Susan Finch (18:17):

I agree. I can tell a difference within a minute when I call a support team that is in the position of being the punching bag and when you call the support team that you know they have this level of confidence that, "No, we're the ones that keep everybody happy. We're the ones that bring back more business. We're the ones that hold this all together," and whether it's true or not, they feel it, and it comes through to where I know I can relax because they're handling this for me, they'll solve my problem, which builds my confidence in the company overall to trust the salesperson the next time they suggest something to me.

Chris Beall (18:52):

Yes, and as management, we need to be careful about what we celebrate. Corey wrote a brilliant piece recently about trying to train himself away from celebrating luck, because after all, if something happens by luck, you're not really looking to repeat the run-up to that. That's just depending on luck, right? If hope is not a strategy, luck really sucks as a strategy, right? Rely on luck, ROL. I don't think so, so let's keep it more in the ROI, a little bit earlier in the alphabet, right?

It's an issue there, but there's another issue, which is the issue of celebration, so when a deal gets done and everybody can see it, at our company, everybody can see it because it's a DocuSign that goes around and it's been signed and then it gets posted and everybody can see it. We're virtual, so we don't have a bell to ring, and it could be in the middle of the night somewhere, right? We could do a deal in the evening here and in the UK, it's middle of the night. I'm not going to have Jerry Hill wake up to some idiot bell that wakes him up, right?

But we even have a tendency as a company, which I try to work against every day, to celebrate the salesperson: "Wow! Great deal, Jerry. Fabulous that you brought that one across the line." Well, what about customer success who ran the test drive? What about my research team, Jaidev Anand, who put together the fabulous list that was used in that test drive, because that was one where they needed data? What about the support staff that took a situation where four people showed up late for the test drive that we didn't even know about and within five minutes they were administered into the system, blowing the minds of whoever it is?

I can think of a case where actually the team from the big OEM showed up not intending to use ConnectAndSell at a test drive of their biggest reseller and they showed up and they watched what was going on, and this is a big OEM. We would all recognize this company. Very, very big. The leader of that group said, "What is this?" and the leader of the reseller said, "Well, this is ConnectAndSell. We're testing it today. It's called an 'intensive test drive.'" There was some listening that went on for three or four minutes and then the question, "Can we join in?"

Well, gosh, it was seven people and we didn't know who they were and the lists had already been divided up among everybody so there was no extra data. All the ice cream was gone. You'd scoop all you want, but there was none left in there. I asked our head of customer success to see if we could accommodate and he never says no to anything that's doable, but even he hesitated just for a moment, and then jumped in and I put it on the clock. Within seven minutes, everybody on that team was administered into the system, they had data to call on, and they were trained. That was better than the test drive, even though it was a different team and they weren't going to buy in the whole bit, that was better than it going well.

Who deserves that deal, which has turned into a fabulous relationship for both ConnectAndSell and for that customer? Well, it's not the rep. I'm the rep, I think. No, I think Jonti McLaren is officially the rep, but I was the one on the ground there that day. The tendency to celebrate the hero who was in the front without extending that celebration by name, not in some general way, but this person, this person, this person, if possible, that's a bad tendency, and it causes a feeling of less abundance among the people who are behind the scenes. Then it's harder for them to execute because they have to overcome the emotional barrier of being behind the scenes, even though by personality, they probably prefer to be behind the scenes, right, they still want recognition. Everybody wants recognition.

Susan Finch (23:09):

It's a little different than the embarrassment thing that we talked about in the previous episode. You don't forget those feelings, but you also don't forget the feeling of being invisible.

Chris Beall (23:20):

Yeah. Yeah.

Susan Finch (23:22):

Nobody wants to be invisible. Even if you want to be subtle behind the scenes, you still want to be seen a little bit.

Chris Beall (23:29):

Yeah. This is one of the main reasons that I suggest that CEOs sell, but also that they get involved in product at a detailed level. Not so much that they're going to make a great contribution. Maybe they are a product person. I mean, that's my background. I'm a product person, engineer, and all that kind of stuff, so it's kind of legit when I do it, but that's not the only reason I do it. The other reason is the people on the front lines on product have a scary job, the scariest job, which is they do work that nobody knows it can be done or not and they're treated as though they're doing work that's simply a matter of doing the work.

Scarcity, Abundance, and the Biggest Sin in Sales

Scarcity, Abundance, and the Biggest Sin in Sales

The pandemic has certainly shown the general public that scarcity or abundance of products can have an effect on people’s emotions. Scarcity increases desire — whether you desperately need the product or not. Abundance decreases desire, because there’s plenty of what you might need in the future. This is true for the sales process too. When you know that you’re going to have another conversation with a prospect, then you can relax during the initial conversation. The tension will disappear from your voice, because you’re not pushing for the sale: you know you have another chance at a future date, and you can relax while you gather information and begin establishing trust with your prospect. There’s no need to hang on and desperately keep the call going; you set up an appointment for the next conversation, and then you end the call. In other words, you “make yourself scarce.” And right there, you’ve introduced the element of scarcity to your prospect’s emotions and, in doing so, increased their desire for more information about what your company offers.

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Enslaved by Preconceptions? Shoshin Can Set You Free!

Enslaved by Preconceptions? Shoshin Can Set You Free!

Can your prospects smell your “commission breath”? Is your eagerness to set the appointment or reach for the deal keeping you from gleaning the information you need from your conversations with prospects?

There is a danger that comes with expertise. When you are a true beginner, your mind is empty and open. You are willing to learn and consider all pieces of information. As you develop expertise, however, your mind naturally becomes more closed. As a salesperson, you might have a preconceived notion that you know where a cold call is heading. Rejectionville again! And this makes you less open to discovering new information, less likely to hear your prospect’s confession about his business or job or a problem you might solve. Your expectations are not immediately met, and you get that sense of doom that this call is a waste of your time. What can save you from that out-on-a-ledge, sales-related fear of impending doom? Shoshin, a Zen Buddhism concept that means “beginner’s mind.” Chris, Corey, and Jake Housdon discuss how employing the curiosity mindset of Shoshin (“I know nothing. Tell me about your experience.”) allows you to take ahold of your emotions, lead your prospect back into having a conversation, and put you back on the road to discovery.

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The Theory of Constraints - Abandon or Persuade

mdg-twitter-20200917-housdon.png

The theory of constraints dominates the world of business, and yet it tends to be ignored by almost everybody in business for a pretty simple reason: it's politically unpalatable. The theory of constraints says your business is a system, and every system has one and only one constraint.

And that's the only thing you should be working on right now: understanding that constraint, characterizing it, coming up with an investment thesis, making the investment, or observing the results of the investment. The investment is something like better cycle time, increased throughput, more units that are doing the work, or better quality. Those who employ this practice will dominate markets.

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Marketing Language Kills Sales Conversations

Marketing Language Kills Sales Conversations

How long will it take to get the meeting? You have three steps first:

1. Make the list. And review that list and eliminate the dumb titles. Chris is a fan of Zoominfo.

2. Write the messaging. Remember, one turn of phrase can kill the meeting. Marketing language kills a sales call. Subtle nuances make or break the call.

3. Talk to people in that market, those that are intrigued enough to hear what we have to say. Who does the talking? Find and hire the ASKERS.

Tune in for this short episode of Market Dominance Guys: Change the Message or Change the List

Modern Sales is a Collaborative Exercise in Search.

Sales is a Collaborative Exercise in Search

The sales lead discernment process is similar to search results. The ones that come up on the first page are the ones you interact with. It's like a discovery call.  A discovery call's purpose isn't to say, "I'm going to buy." One of the biggest mistakes sales trainers make is relying on role-playing as the method to gain confidence. Role-playing is not designed to get you calm and confident. It's a "gotcha" set up. Rehearsal and practice are a better training method to allow the salespeople to get comfortable enough they don't have to think about how they might fail. You need to have it be a reflex to get to the underlying emotion. The underlying emotion that needs to come through is curiosity.

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It’s the CEO’s Job to Feel the Ice Rather than Harpoon the Whale

Feel the ice rather than trying to harpoon the whale.

CEOs are allowed to have weird thoughts and consider odd possibilities. You need input from the market you don't have yet. This is why a CEO needs to be selling to understand what is actually happening. Their job is to feel the ice rather than just sending your reps to drive the road.

Put yourself in there as CEO, don't absorb the friction, find the root cause. The marketplace is always changing. CEOs love to harpoon a whale, but they need to experience every aspect of a sale. They need to be in the mix and feel what is behind the numbers. Listen to this episode of Market Dominance Guys, It's the CEO's Job to Feel the Ice Rather than Harpoon the Whale.

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The We’re Set Objection and Why Introverts Make the Best Salespeople.

Introverts make the best introverts

Marketing can step in and help sales overcome it.

1. Beginning: listen to discovery conversations.

2. Middle: look at support tickets to see the unvarnished truth.

3. End: work on getting the pipeline to be seen as an asset, it belongs on the balance sheet. Ask to be measured on the value we are contributing to help steer my efforts based on results that are being produced.

1. I want to know upfront what's going on - attribution

2. in the middle - discovery

3. at the end - support tickets and we should want to know this first hand.

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