Tips on what sales shifts to make to help you sell more with Chad Sanderson

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Shift your perspective and attempt to understand where the others are coming from. Your success rate will improve and you will sell more.

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Doug: Well, welcome back listeners to another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. Today’s episode is going to be quite interesting, and I want you to tune in not tune out. So, today’s episode is going to be around selling. But I think you’ll be really surprised and really appreciate the perspective that my guest today has on selling and why selling, you know, the way that he does it with integrity, and how it’s a natural flow to make it work, to close bigger deals. So, I don’t want to steal all of Chad’s thunder, but I do want to formally introduce him, and then get into the podcast episode because I’m sure you’ll agree, once you listen to this episode, that you’re going to find some valuable information whether you’re face to face selling, selling on the phone, whether you’re writing copy or content for your website or your social media, that he’s got a lot of information that’s very easy to implement and to use. So, Chad Sanderson has been leading sales and marketing teams to success for over 20 years through his proven and predictable ValueSelling Framework. Chad has also been named one of the top five emerging training leaders. And he’s worked in sales, he’s built teams and he’s achieved targets, both within organizations as a consultant.

Doug: He cuts through the outdated theory based fluff that’s so often attributed to sales training and gets down to the nitty-gritty with a raw no BS perspective, to look at what’s working, what’s not working, and where there may be many opportunities for you and me, our business to drive predictable revenue growth through sales optimization. So, I want to welcome Chad Sanderson to the Real Marketing Real Fast Podcast today. Well, Chad, welcome to the Real Marketing Real Fast Podcast today.

Chad: It’s a pleasure to be here. I appreciate you taking the time to have me on.

Doug: So, I’m super excited because I love sales and marketing. And I know that people have all sorts of ideas about sales, but why don’t you share just a little bit of your background, what you do and how you got into the space that you’re in.

Chad: Yeah. So, I actually started my career in marketing of all places. And believe it or not my advanced degree, my MBA is focused on marketing. I spent about 10 years, doing marketing, running global marketing for software companies. Got my MBA in marketing, and 48 hours after I got my MBA, it dawned on me that, “Wait a minute, these salespeople, they’re making a hell of a lot more money than me and they’re not any smarter, so I think I need to rethink this.” And so, I jumped into sales. I went from, you know, running a global marketing organization to being an individual contributor, carrying a bag with quota attainment over my head, and you know, all the things that come with being that type of role. I was lucky enough to actually be trained in the ValueSelling Framework, actually, I should say, forced into it, because I’m not necessarily the easiest person to train. And it helped me close my first million dollar deal inside of 93 days and then within 180 days, I was up to multi-million dollar deals. And I thought, “Well if this is good, something else has got to be better.”

Chad: So, when I got trained on everything else and then kept coming back to ValueSelling. So, as I went from individual contributor to sales executive, to sales and marketing executive running these teams and growing these organizations, I kept relying on this framework, on this approach because it kept everybody focused on what the other individual was thinking, feeling, doing, it gave us a how to connect other individuals, which it sounds so simple, but so many people struggle with. After the last 10 years of selling digital transformation services, mobile and, you know, anything with a screen, we designed the apps, did the customer experience research and things like that. Last company I was with decided to go in a different direction. And I got contacted by the same guy, who trained me 17 years ago, He said, “Hey, you need to come to do this. You’re very passionate about it, you’ve succeeded, you’ve failed, you’ve implemented other things that haven’t worked, you knocked it out of the park with this, and you love working with sales teams so you should come to do this.”

Chad: So, about two and a half years ago, made decision, made the jump and started, you know, kind of, our own company focused on helping organizations whether it be marketing, sales, consultants, doesn’t matter anything that generates revenue, help them understand how to connect to other individuals using a repeatable, conversational, consultative framework that drives the type of results they want and have not looked back, and it has been one hell of a wild ride.

Doug: Well, that’s really refreshing. I mean, you know, one of my frustrations in sales and marketing is often people think, “Well, it’s just sales and marketing, it’s easy, I can do that.” Or “My girlfriend can help me or my kids know social media.” And so, you get these people that are speaking and training and selling courses and they really don’t have any life experience, haven’t banged their face at, you know, or fallen down or got kicked or run over a few times while they’re down and got back up, right? So it’s like, “Hey, you know, I’ll just this post this stuff” So yeah, when I looked at your background I thought, “Wow, this is really cool. Here’s someone who’s done it, who’s done it well and is still doing it, but you’re teaching it,” so congrats on that.

Chad: Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, it’s been an interesting journey because the best part for me was like, all right, I got into sales like almost everybody else, I thought, “Well, hell if this is where the money is, so that’s where I’m going.” But for me, you know, we talk to sales reps all the time, for me the intrinsic reward is the problem-solving. And there’s just something about my makeup, and I don’t know, DiSC and, you know, all of those personality profiles, still haven’t told me what it is, but there’s something … or my therapist, haven’t told me what it is, that keeps me focused on and engaged in solving problems. But I love doing it from an organizational level. And specifically, I really enjoy working with sales reps and coaching them, to help them overcome their own lack of awareness. And so, it’s been a very interesting transition because I am definitely Type A squared, like work, work.

There’s no work-life balance because it’s all work, other than when I’m on the back of a motorcycle. I just love what I do. But if you had asked me when I was, you know, playing with my GI Joes and Transformers when I was a kid if I would someday be doing sales transformation, marketing transformation training for organizations, hell no, this is not the answer you would have gotten.

Doug: Well, it’s funny. I mean, when you say you did your DISC, I’m thinking, yeah, you’re probably type A. I was in a situation where I was in a room full of people, they divided up by personality types. And I did make a transformation after being in that room because I was the only guy that was Type A that hadn’t had a heart attack yet. So, I figured “Okay, so this is a hint.” [crosstalk 00:06:25] a bit of problem by doubling your work effort, double your work effort over and over and over again, I better get that in check. But onto the sale stuff, so where do you think the low hanging fruit and the opportunities are for, you know, individuals, consultants, or people in the sales role to, you know, make a radical change? Like what are the easy points to take a look at?

Chad: Yeah, it’s a great question because you look out on the market, and we all were inundated with all of these pundits and people who have ideas and all these tactics and, you know, the theme of the week changes or whatever is getting the most hits on this social platform, or that social platform. And there’s some good stuff out there. Like, I’m not dogging all of it [crosstalk 00:07:04].

Doug: Marketing guy who’s bringing all this new stuff, yeah?

Chad: It’s a lot. I mean, there’s a lot to take in, there’s a lot to process, it’s a lot to think about and actually, make your own. And that has to happen, right? We have to stay on top of what are the trends? What are we seeing technology-wise, we have to stay on top of that. But what I see is the easiest, literally the simplest transformative point for professionals that are generating revenue: consultants, marketing, sales, is to start with their perspective. If they can shift their perspective because they control that, just a little. I’m not talking about reconfiguring Tiger Wood’s swing, right? I’m just talking about move your thumb just a little bit on the golf club. And I’m not … that’s about as far as I can go with golf now I’m not a big golfer. But if you just shift your perspective a little bit and stop looking at the world, through only your eyes, but literally attempt to try and understand where the other individual is coming from, your success rate goes through the roof.

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Shift your perspective and attempt to understand where the others are coming from. Your success rate will improve and you will sell more.

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Chad: You no longer will see as much trouble gaining or maintaining credibility rapport. It’s easier and more collaborative to create and hold on to the urgency that’s necessary for a revenue generation cycle, it’s easier to uncover and learn from other individuals, to come up with better solutions. And all you have to do is shift your perspective: Take the time, take a deep breath, which is funny coming from a guy … now I’m worried I’m gonna have a heart attack because I’m Type A, but all it is, is a little shift of perspective and a lot of people struggle with it. And that is, I think, one of the easiest things for individuals to do to start that transformation process.

Doug: Well, so walking through that and, you know, just working that out, so I’m sitting in an office and I’m a sales rep for XYZ Company and I’m now sitting in front of the purchasing agent, and you’re saying so to shift my thinking to understand what where they’re at, where are most people at that are sitting on the sales side of the desk opposed to the guy who’s sitting on the other side who’s got the checkbook?

Chad: They’re all worried, the vast majority, and I don’t like absolutes, again, something else I learned in therapy, they’re all worried about them, they’re all worried about their sales cycle, they’re worried about how they’re selling, they’re worried about what their perception is, you know, they’re worried about their timelines, they’re not taking the time to understand that we can influence the timeline. But it is our timeline that’s going to complete a sale, it isn’t our timeline, that’s going to find somebody to fill the top of the funnel, we have to uncover what the other people are thinking about, how they are thinking about the problems, understand the context in which they are operating, to better connect what we do to it. It’s also the easiest way to differentiate. So, if I’m trying to differentiate, you know, product A, B, and C, and it’s literally just products and features, and we’ve all heard it’s about, you gotta show what? About, five X, six X, an improvement over somebody if you’re trying to get rid of an incumbent, but if you just stop and ask the right questions, you don’t have to differentiate against the competitors, you only have to differentiate in the other individual’s perception. Then the easiest way to do that is by asking the questions and working with them.

Chad: Most sales reps are doing that because we drive them quarter to quarter, they are worried to death that they’re not going to hit their quota, and that becomes the primary motivating point in their horizon, in their timeline, so they can’t seem to take the time to just say, “Hey, wait a minute, I’m sitting across the desk from a purchasing agent, this person, procurement, you know, what? They probably have MBO’s or get comped around how much money they saved for the organization, so how am I going to make their job easier?” You can tell with some easy questions and if you got any semblance of emotional intelligence, that person’s having a good day or a bad day? You just have to pay attention to it. And there’s always keywords like mirror their posture and behavior, right, whatever, it’s another human being sitting across from you. So, they have similar fears, they have similar goals, but we don’t know what their specific perception of reality is, we just have to ask. And if we can just understand that, we have a much better chance of being able to connect with that individual, get the trust necessary to get a deal done, right? You have to have the trust and the credibility, maintain the credibility and build the rapport.

Chad: but it’s all about, “Hey, I’ve got this cool new product that we just released, you know, release which has this feature that’s going to change your life, and if you don’t sign up today, it’s going to cost you, but yeah, it’s all that kind of crap that nobody wants to hear. Most people just want somebody to recognize them, to see them, to understand them, and I know it sounds really touchy-feely, and if you could see me I’m, I think Steve Sims said he was five something, I’m six two, bald, and he said ugly all the time, I’m ugly even longer. And so, it just [crosstalk 00:11:53].

Doug: I was thinking to say that but I was gonna say you don’t look like a touchy-feely guy.

Chad: I’m not really touchy-feely which is where I’m going.

Doug: Keep my distance.

Chad: I’m not. Yeah, depending on which perspective I’m in at the moment it can be different, right? I mean, I love working with people, but I’m like, don’t sugarcoat it, let’s be honest, have the self-control, the self-awareness that you need to accept feedback. And understand that me just telling you, you’re doing great isn’t going to make you better, like we have to challenge and push each other. But again, how you present that is all about the other person’s perception and perspective. And most of those people sitting across my purchasing agent, they’re thinking about their boss, they’re not worried about how that purchasing agent’s thinking about their boss.

Doug: Right. And the purchasing agent, like you, said, maybe thinking, “Hey, if I make the wrong decision, I could get fired.” And there’s all these things that they’re worried about and making their quarter or saving their, you know, working within their budget. So, I guess once the salesperson can get … you know, they change their mind that, “Hey, you know, if the sales cycle in my industry is three months, it doesn’t really matter what my quote is with my boss, once I get my sales funnel full, I’ll be hitting my numbers, but maybe the little bit … that time it’s going to take to understand their perception, as you said, will eventually come to play and bear fruit, I guess.

Chad: Yeah, I mean, it doesn’t take a lot, right? So, we all know if you’re in sales, or if you’re a consultant [inaudible 00:13:16] to book a certain number of hours, or if you’re in marketing, you have to put enough things out to generate enough of top-funnel activity for the conversion rates. Okay, first off it, none of it happens without effort, so those people that you run across that end up in those positions, and they’re looking to punch a clock, okay, move on, these are all disciplines: sales, marketing, consulting, these are all disciplines, and in order to master this point, it takes effort. So, in sales specifically, if you want top of funnel, and you want it full, like, I think, I’ve heard, “I want three X or four X, you know, I don’t know that I have a target, I just know when I’ve got enough that I have what John [Barrows 00:13:52] would refer to as [FU 00:13:53] pipeline. I can let some deals go, and I don’t have to worry about it, right?

Chad: So, when we’re looking at those types of things that take effort. So, you still have to do the prospecting, you still have to do all of the things that everybody knows how to do in a sale: you have to find them, you have to engage them, you have to qualify them, you have to advance them, you have to close them, right? Whatever your steps are, whatever your processes, but the way to make this sales cycles shrink, and the way to make the deal sizes bigger, is to shift the perspective so that you’re building your differentiation, not around your product versus another product, but your product versus the buyers perception of their problems, and the challenges that they have. It’s as simple as asking questions. Now, it takes … we all move so fast, there’s a natural way to go through this hence why you rely on, you know, a framework to keep you honest, right? Keep you prompted, so to speak, so you don’t miss anything. But it’s literally just … I tell a lot of sales reps, “Hey, What is the favorite thing you like to do?” They always say the same thing, “We like to talk.” “Great, the secret to your success is to shut up and listen.”

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Shift your perspective and attempt to understand where the others are coming from. Your success rate will improve and you will sell more.

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Doug: Yep, I remember once in a sales situation when I was actually working for somebody else, I remember asking the closing question, the guy said to me, “So, I hear that you’re being recruited by, you know, one of our competitors.” He says, “Are you going to go to the interview?” I said, “I guess, that depends, are you going to hire me?” And I just sat there, crossed my arms and sweat through my suit for about three, four minutes knowing that whoever spoke first was gonna lose.

Chad: Well, that’s just it. I mean, a lot of it is common sense, right? A lot of this and, you know, in sales enablement, marketing enablement, whatever you want to call it, there’s a lot of what we call, I refer to it as sales R&D: Rip off and Duplicate, right? We all know how to sell, we understand the process, we know the fundamental or having been exposed to the fundamental processes of marketing or consulting.

Now, the challenge is to do it well, and because of all of the investments that companies like Amazon and Apple and Disney and Verizon, all these [BDC 00:15:59] companies have made and what they call “CX,” Customer Experience, all of your B2B buyers have different expectations today of the experience from their B2B sellers, then they had five/ten years ago, whether they’re aware of it or not. If you have an Amazon Prime account, right? Everybody has that app and you say, “Well, why do you have it?” “Well, it’s convenient. I want to see a drone deliver my packages someday, I like free movies.” Whatever it is, right? It gives you what you want, where you want it, when you want it, and often how you want it, and what time frame you want it, so we’re spoiling ourselves.

Chad: Technology is essentially shortening our attention spans, there’s psychology and a whole bunch of reports out there to prove that. There’s even some easy test, you can realize it’s happening and you’re not even aware of it, you know, some [inaudible 00:16:47] tests that we could do. But it’s like if you understand that, the expectation of your buyer is not to be challenged aggressively, not to go into a situation where there’s friction, but they’re used to having their life catered to them through all of these technological advances. “Alexa, find me the perfect marketing SAS solution.” The minute somebody can say that, and Alexa knows that individual well enough, then we got a problem, we’re a long way from that. So, we’re still at a point where people buy from people.

Now that we have shorter attention spans sales reps have to be much more strategic in the way that they engage with an individual, be very aware of the experience they’re giving the other individual, the other person and make sure that we’re doing it. If you want to be transformative, and you want to be effective, just ask the questions from their perspective, uncover their perception, their perspective and connect to it, rather than attempt to show them how you connect to other solutions in the market.

Doug: So, can you give us a specific example like name a client or not name a client of, you know, how you would [inaudible 00:17:52], kind of, reframe your thinking and ask those types of questions?

Chad: Sure. So, I mean, we work with companies from, you know, Adobe, Google, in healthcare, it’s [inaudible 00:18:05], it all comes down to … it doesn’t matter what industry. That’s the beauty of this, it’s the beauty of it, doesn’t matter what the industry is, because it’s all people. Everybody’s still buying from people. So, let’s think about, say, a company that’s a marketing SAS company, there’s 6825 of them, or whatever it is today in the MarTech 5000.

Doug: Oh, is that all?

Chad: Yeah, and probably in the time that we do this interview, two more will have been founded all right? But they keep going on and on. Now, we do a lot of work in the MarTech space, and we’ve worked with a lot of those companies. And it’s as simple as literally, how do you differentiate, in a sea of over 6000 potential competitors? Not to mention, competing against internal initiatives, right? And the status quo, which still catches a lot of people off guard and kills a lot of deals.

So if you’re talking to, let’s say a marketing manager, and you’re talking to a marketing manager and all you have to do is a little bit of research, like there are three easy steps to do this, you got to do a little bit of research to understand what is the business objective or the organizational objective for the company in which your buyer resides? So, most companies, let’s just assume it’s revenue growth, so maybe it’s market expansion, so if you think about that, as like a sheet of glass, balanced on the top of the CEOs head, this is what the organization is targeting. And then you break that and it shatters down through the organization, then you get down to a different level, each of those shards becomes the primary focal point, for an individual in that organization, that resolves back to helping the organization achieve its goal.

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Shift your perspective and attempt to understand where the others are coming from. Your success rate will improve and you will sell more.

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Chad: The lower you go in the organization, the less likely that individual is to be aware of how their role is actually empowering the organization to achieve its goals. So, with the research, we have the context, it sounded something like, “Hey, I was preparing for this meeting, notice that your CEO stated you wanted to reach 2 billion in revenue by 2020 and increase your margins by X,” let’s say 5%. So, that’s a corporate objective.

Marketing manager gets tasked with, “Hey, you need to increase,” let’s say, “25% increase in the amount of traffic through our e-commerce site, and reduce the cart abandonment rate by 50% in the next six months, that’s what we call business [inaudible 00:20:23]: It’s time-bound, it’s quantifiable, right? So, we can make some well-educated guesses, if you understand the business, if you understand how organizations work, if you understand how those roles work: marketing versus it, versus whatever, and instead of saying, “Hey, this is what you’re focused on.” “Hey, I did some research, this is what your CEO said the goal of the organization is. Other individuals like you that I’ve worked with have focused on decreasing cart abandonment rate, is that what you’re focused on?” So, I’m showing I did my homework. And it’s so simple, did my homework, I work with people like you, but I really want to understand your perspective.

Chad: So, I’m going to ask them questions to get them talking. And then I’m going to specifically, once I understand what it is, they’re being measured, not necessarily just measured on, but the thing they’re focused on that is time-bound, and quantifiable, allowing me to inject urgency into the deal, I’m going to ask him, “So, what problems are getting in the way?” And then I’m gonna shut up and listen. It’s literally that simple.

Then when you get more strategic, you ask probing questions, specifically to expand that person’s view of the problem set, so, that they include problems that you know, only you can solve. So, for example, if I was working for a company, I’m talking to this marketing manager, they’ve got to do cart abandonment rate. He asks where the problems is, “Well, I don’t have a team that understands the tech stack or I don’t have, you know, I don’t have a fully integrated, so we got too many points solutions here. Okay, well, have you ever struggled with having purchased software that required too much setup and was never fully adopted inside of the organization? “Oh, yeah, we struggle with that all the time.”

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Shift your perspective and attempt to understand where the others are coming from. Your success rate will improve and you will sell more.

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Chad: I know our system is like a quick turn on. It’s just literally like we just turn it on, and it starts to work, right? And so then we say, “Okay, well, these are all the problems you’re talking about, help me understand, what do you think the optimal solution is? I mean, we probably know 98% of what they’re going to say, but it’s the process of getting them to self discover, and us being able to hear it in their words, which then allows us to talk back to them their own language.

Says, “Well, I want a solution that, you know, it’s easy to … I want a solution that’s simple, it’s got a nice user interface, I don’t have to have data experts to use it.” Well, what if you can have a solution that literally could be spun up in say 48 hours and could be you can be generating results and easy to understand reports for your executives within three days?” “Yeah, I definitely want that.” Right. So, now I could that problem, that we know we can [inaudible 00:22:58] solve and I turn it into expanding their solution set to include an element of a solution we know we can uniquely provide. And it’s subtle, but it’s more about getting them to tell us they want than us telling them that they really need us, if that makes sense.

Doug: Yeah, it does. It’s interesting, because somebody I interviewed in my podcast recently came to mind and they’re in the CRM space, and he’s been in the CRM space for a long time. And they’ve come up with a brand new AI type solution that addresses that exact issue. One of the problems is that you have to fill in the blank and the adoption rate, you’re only using 30% of it or 20% of it, and your salespeople hate it, what if I give you a solution that guarantees a 100% adoption rate, or I’ll give you your money back?

Chad: Yeah.

Doug: Pretty, pretty compelling offer.

Chad: Yeah, without a doubt. I mean, it’s really more about having the customer tell you … So, I can give you another example, I can’t name the company, but I will just say it’s a very large telecom company that I actually sold to, and the way that this works, I started talking to the marketing manager, met the marketing manager at an event. And then he comes to me and says, “Hey, I need to gamify my point of sale system.” So, if you think about where you are in a conversation, in a normal buying process, this person’s already telling you what they want for the solution. And so, it’s just as simple as, “Great, help me understand what it is you’re looking for, in that solution set, why you want to gamify the point of sale?”

And I start to ask, “Tell me what problems you think gamified the point of sale will solve?” Well, as we back up, we find out that this marketing manager was tasked with increasing adherence and adoption of the point of sale system for sales tracking by 30% in that particular fiscal year. But that’s not where you started the conversation, that was just how that person was going to be measured. From their perspective, they’re so far down the way the human brain naturally works in problem-solving, they’re already thinking about the solution. Most salespeople are like, “Great, I’ve got a gamification solution, here’s the contract, sign tomorrow.”

Chad: Well, that marketing manager had $80,000 in the budget. Once I traveled back and found out what he was being measured on, that marketing manager, that businesses issues that time-bound, measurable thing that they were focused on, actually falls under the category of problem for the director of marketing. And the director of marketing assigned that specific problem to that marketing manager. So, using some negotiation, got access to the next level up, and I start asking him, “Why do you need greater usage of the point of sale system?” Well, he was tasked with increasing per rep quota achievement, in the retail space by 15%, in the next six months, and in his mind, one of the problems was, people weren’t using the point of sale, so he assigned that out to this guy, made that the marketing managers number one focus.

Chad: So, you start asking the questions, and then you get back to figure out, “Okay, I’m going to get access to the VP the area Vice President, the Area Vice President looks at it and says, “That’s a problem.” What he’s tasked the director with, the increase in rep quota attainment, is actually, in his perspective, a problem. Why is it a problem for him? He’s been tasked with increasing area revenue per store revenue by 25%, in the next fiscal year, and when you start to ask him about his perception of the problems, he tells you, “My reps aren’t [inaudible 00:26:16] enough quota.” And it bubbles down, all going back up the chain, through this business objective that the organization’s set. Now, it’s a very simple stair-step cascade, kind of, thought process. But as simple as it is, for your listeners to switch their perspective, they have to first understand their best weapon and their worst enemy because we are our own worst enemies when it comes to taking the time to just think through this, and think like this.

Doug: Wow. Yeah, I mean, no, I just think of the times I’ve been in sales calls and you’re right, often you’re thinking about what I need to do, what I need to do, what I need to do, because I’ve left the sales meeting, or I’ve left the client, and that’s the goal without backing up and saying, “Okay, so the person that I need to sign this today for me, what did they need? And you’re right, you forgot about that.

Chad: Yeah, and if you don’t take that time to really think about it, then nobody … they’re going to give you the same information, they’re going to give the competitor. And then you haven’t really established the trust. When people buy from people they trust, that moves them away from problems and towards solutions. Yes, that shows up on one of our slides, probably with a little TM or some bullshit after that marketing put on there, but at the heart of it, it’s true, right? You work with people, you surround yourself with people that understand you, that have a similar worldview. And it is not that difficult to understand another person’s perspective or to uncover it, it requires preparation, it requires all of the things that we know you’re supposed to do in a sales cycle, or in a consulting approach, or in marketing, it just requires you to shift the perspective just a little, so that you’re focused on building it from the customer or the buyer back. So, part of this is the CX, the time I spent in CX around design thinking and all of the things that those organizations were doing to build customer journey maps, customer buying mass, whatever they were calling them, empathy maps, we did all of that stuff.

Chad: But what it taught me very clearly, was that if I don’t understand the individual that I’m working with, that I’m targeting with, then all I am going to do is spin cycles, chasing down answers to questions that are irrelevant, because the relevance is around the buyers perception of relevance, not what we think we need. So, you may have a sales process, and then if your listeners have this, I feel for you, I’ve been there too, that there are 223 steps you have to take, and if you take these steps, and you fill our sales force at exactly the right moment, and exactly the right way, poof, magic fairy dust, you close the deal, doesn’t happen that way.

The sales process is built to drive predictability for the organization you work for. So, it’s more about how the organization wants you to sell, when in reality, if we align with the way the person you’re talking to you wants to buy, by understanding their perception, we can move through that process faster. And we learned that there are some steps that our organization may need that actually get in the way of closing a deal faster.

Doug: Sure. Because it’s convenient for your organization and not the client.

Chad: Sure, it’s more about us, it’s more about how the organization goes to market, how the organization SELLS. I mean, I’m when I started doing CX, 12? [inaudible 00:29:23] up to 13/12 years ago, no wonder my goatee’s gray, when we started doing that, trying to explain to corporate executives, the concept of experience, the concept of everything that goes into that customer loyalty, right? That customer’s journey.

And let’s be really honest, right? Because, again, I’m a no BS kind of guy, customer experience is a really cute way to basically say, “Hey, I just want to spend more time with you, so I can keep my hand in your wallet longer and get more out of it.” Okay? So, the brand loyalty and what we want, because, you know, of the generational changes, people want to feel important, they want to feel like they’re recognized, they want to align themselves with these brands, so they’re willing to do that, they’re willing to let you put your hand in their wallet over and over and over if they get something out of it.

Chad: Well, what they get out of it is the emotional connection and response from your brand or the experience they have with that. And that is becoming more … builds off of that me to Instagram selfie, “Hey, check me out.” Kind of culture that we’re seeing, and it’s bleeding into the way that B2B has to operate in order to be effective. And it literally boils down to, you go all the way down the chain, it’s literally just a shift of perspective.

Doug: Well, and I think you can take that shift of perspective and apply it to everything you’re doing sales and marketing and back right up to, you know, what does that prospective visitor to your website, what’s the problem they’re trying to solve? What do they expect to see when they get there?

Chad: Sure. Now, this is where the tech stack and the tools, if we structure it correctly, we take that shift of perspective. So, it will impact the way that you sell it because it impacts the way you interact with another individual, the questions that you ask, the order in which you ask them, the way that you help them come to that self-discovery. From a marketing standpoint, now, if I shift my personal development, from say, thinking about all of these demographics to I think about what that person is thinking about, the perspective, if they hit my website on page A, and the data shows me that they go from A to, you know, page two, page four, page nine, and then convert or if they come in, you know, the backside of the website, and they go through a different progression, my data tells me how they’re going to end up or convert. So, if we know that and we know where that historical data has come from, where they ended up as a result, we can start to understand where that person is in their mental processing of finding a solution, so we tailor the content and the journey, based around … and you can even, you know, all the AB testing, you want all the tracking of the, you know, Glassbox Digital actually let you see where people are clicking on a website, so you can use all of that.

Chad: But you structure your approach to them, based off really tailoring it to their perception, their perspective, their experience, in every step of the way, not just this concept of customer experience, once they’re in they want to keep them, this is how do you attract them, this is how do you provide them the information that can be valuable to them based on where they are in the thought process of finding the optimal solution?

Doug: Yeah. And I think the other side of that is how you attract them and how do you repel the people that you don’t want? Which is really, like you said, is qualifying. You want to have the right people in the tent and the wrong people outside the tent and just focus on the people that are fit.

Chad: Well, yeah, I mean, we’ve all probably chased the deals. I mean, I’ll own it. I tell stories all the time, the stories about the deals I won are nowhere near as exciting as the ones where I lost my ass because those are the ones you learn from, right? And so, we’ve all chased the deals, we’ve all gone down the rabbit hole after a deal that we knew this wasn’t going to happen, but we just always saw the dollar sign, all we saw was how much it was going to impact my pipeline or whatever it may be, you know, so qualifying out-

Doug: Yeah, and the thing you need to be adaptive like you’ve said, you need to listen. I was down meeting with a big bank, a Hong Kong bank years ago, and they wanted us to do some analytical work for them on their sales funnel and their data. And we went in there and looked at it, I was with our sales rep, and I said, “Yeah, I don’t think you guys have a data problem. I can do what you need. I think you have a lead problem.” And the guy said, “You’re right.” And so, we ended up with a three year contract and lead generation for them and didn’t do any of the analytics that they [inaudible 00:33:29] invited us to because like you said, you pay attention, find out what the customers sore point was, and they clearly needed more leads than they did to analyze what they did have.

Chad: Yeah, and it’s that listening, I mean, it’s so damn touchy-feely. Like, again, we throw around words like active listening and authenticity. And I have a real hard time with some of the packaging on this stuff because it’s a little contrary to just my natural state of existence. However, that doesn’t mean, I’m smart enough to know that that doesn’t actually mean, it’s wrong. And so, if you listen, oftentimes, people will take the problems that they hear from another individual, and they’ll think that that individual is telling them the honest God’s truth, this is what my problem is, when in reality, they’re often moving so fast, they’re giving you multiple problems, from multiple goals or metrics that they’re trying to achieve, and they’re mixing them up.

So, if you don’t listen, and really kind of take that moment, to put together the pieces of the puzzle, from their perception, that perspective, you could miss huge opportunities. This is how we see deal sizes increase 30%, 40%, 50% just by teaching reps how to ask the right questions, capture the information and put it together in a way that gives you more complete picture than one individual in an organization is gonna be able to give you.

Doug: Yeah, that’s really cool. So, let’s move along to a different area, what are you most excited about in the next six to 12 months, you know, based on the kind of work that you’re doing, what you see in the world and in this industry?

Chad: Well, you know, I could easily say, “Oh, there’s all this awesome technology coming out.” And there are some very cool tools out there and I have to admit I’m a self-professed tech geek, I played with them all, they’re probably still part of me in the back of my head, believe it’ll be a silver bullet someday, but we haven’t found it yet. In terms of what I like personal focus, and what I’m the most excited about, I’m going on a two-week motorcycle trip up to Yellowstone and Idaho Springs, so that’s the personal side of it.

From the business side of it, I’m going to be really interested to see if we actually get to a point in MarTech, where there’s gonna be some consolidation. The expansion rate has been unreal, and you have companies, you know, the sizes of Salesforce and Adobe and the big ones out there, they’re starting to make some acquisitions, you know, Adobe picked up in [Magento 00:35:43] and Salesforce is always acquiring something, but it’s not the rate of consolidation that you would expect. So, what I find really interesting about that is there are a lot of impressive point solutions, what I would call point solutions out there, has some really well developed, well thought out technology, whether it be the AI and machine learning they put on the back end or how they structure their algorithms, but they really are a point solution.

Chad: And I would have thought by now some of these bigger players would have more aggressively acquired some of those points. I’m not seeing the acquisition as fast as I would have expected. So, I’m really curious over the rest of 2019, to see if there is more of that strategic acquisition, or if somebody comes along and just sweeps up a big swath of it all at once, because the numbers on how fast that market is growing, you know, MarTech is growing, there’s still a lot of money to be made there for people that can figure out and do it right. So, I’m excited to see how that kind of unfolds.

Doug: Well, you just may be way ahead of the curve, because of your experience. I mean, I think, you know, I would hate to be a marketing director for a marketing solution provider that’s got tons of legacy, because I’d be deathly afraid of what’s happening with the more nimble guys are using AI and machine learning, that are probably going to come in and eat my lunch, and we have to buy them or going to lose clients to them.

Chad: Oh, yeah, it’s definitely the two people and a dog, in the garage in Georgia that people have to be worried about. I mean, it definitely isn’t that space, because it’s so accessible now, right? I mean, you can do multi-platform, SAS solutions, depending on how extensive the back end database is with the underlying algorithms, you can spin those up fairly quickly. I mean, all of them, you know, the speed of innovation has definitely increased, simply because of all the tools that exist to help support it. And so, it’s definitely interesting to see guys that have … Semi Salesforce’s been around for a while, and it’s beyond a Leatherman or a Gerber for sales. I mean, it’s literally like everything you need to build a small sales city.

Well, suddenly organizations that we’re seeing out there it can be heavy, not that it’s not a great solution for global organizations, it has amazing ability to be tailored, but it’s almost overwhelming for some organizations. And in a buying environment, where B2B buyers really want less friction, they want a more streamlined solution, looking at a Salesforce, I mean, it literally, you can almost get speechless, because there are so many things you could do with it. And that also creates its own type of friction through absence.

Chad: And so, you’re right with the legacy stuff, it’s going to be very interesting to see who can be nimble enough. I mean, it took what Salesforce four, five years, that I’m aware of, to redo the interface to get the lightning? So, some of these legacy guys are gonna, it’s the guys in Georgia with the dog, that I would be the most worried about.

Doug: So, some of the bad advice that you hear when you’re out doing business, you’re out in meetings, you’re at a conferences, and you hear somebody say something that, you know, with regards to sales, that just, kind of, makes you cringe, you want to go over and slap them.

Chad: How much time we have left?

Doug: Well just give us one.

Chad: I’d say the one that is a hot button for me, is when I still hear people talk about “Social selling is the answer or social engagement is the answer, so you don’t need to engage with people on the phone, you don’t have to perfect your email.” I think that is a cop-out quite frankly. First and foremost, social engagement is a channel. It is one channel of many that you as a sales or professional consultant marketer, have at your disposal to engage with individuals. Most people want to hide behind social because the rejection hurts less. So, it’s kind of like, you know, man up a little bit, put some steel on the spine, and understand that rejection is part of the game. Look, if you’re in sales specifically, and you don’t know how to handle rejection, let’s talk about a change in career, let’s look at maybe, you know, maybe some guidance counseling here on did we choose the right career? Because this is the name of the game. Rejection, you know, it takes what? 11 to 16 nos to get a yes, and they show up in multiple ways.

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Shift your perspective and attempt to understand where the others are coming from. Your success rate will improve and you will sell more.

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Chad: And everybody’s inundated all the time, attention spans are getting shorter. Why would I only use one channel? Why would I only rely on social? If I’m trying to get in front of somebody to understand their perspective, share with them something I believe they will find valuable that demonstrates I did my homework? Why in the hell would I only use social? I think that is some of the worst advice. And there is a gentleman that I’ve had, let’s say, passionate exchanges within, probably shouldn’t have done it online, but have done it at conferences. I think, it provides too narrow of a view for people that are in sales marketing and consulting today, that if they embrace that, it’s going to handicap their ability to be successful.

Chad: It doesn’t prove to provide enough of the spatial reasoning necessary to succeed with all of the different ways from snail mail to digital, you know, LinkedIn Snapchat, like all of these things you have at your disposal, why would all I worry about is Twitter and LinkedIn and how many likes I get? A like on social media is like a golf clap, right? It’s sound and fury signifying absolutely nothing. So, those likes aren’t going to help you close the deal. So, I constantly hear it, In fact, I run into it, I would say on a weekly basis when I’m working with teams, there’s always somebody who’s, “Oh, well, I’m more successful with social.” “Okay, did you hit your quota of the last four quarters?” “No.” “Okay, then this conversation is over, you got it wrong. Let’s talk about something [inaudible 00:41:15] [crosstalk 00:41:15]

Doug: What you mean is you’re more comfortable with social because you felt good about yourself [crosstalk 00:41:19] working, but you didn’t make the money for your company or yourself.

Chad: Right? I mean, it’s basically I’m hiding.

Doug: Yeah, yeah. I see that all the time with people in marketing, I’m going to rebuild my website, I’m going to do new email marketing, they have all these things, and why don’t we go get some sales first? And then and then after we get some sales, then I will help you rebuild your website, but that’s not the reason you’re not getting sales. So, let’s deal with the sales thing first, and then I’m happy to take your money and build websites and help you with social media, and all that other stuff.

Chad: Yeah, If you don’t have the revenue like you can stand around and you can spend a lot of money? I mean, I don’t know the exact stat but somebody was telling me something about how the vast majority of the MarTech, the larger MarTech companies, the big sweethearts, are not profitable. And in fact, Lyft is perfect … I mean, it’s not MarTech, but Lyft just goes public, and specifically says in their documents to go public, “We’re not sure if we’re ever going to turn a profit.” Say, what? What world are we living in? Like I thought business was around to generate revenue. And you see all of these companies that aren’t doing that. So, there’s a bad example out there for people to fall into when they’re building this business. But at the end of the day, if you can’t build the revenue pipe, if you can’t connect to somebody’s perspective, who actually has a problem you can solve, then all you’re doing is wasting money with, “Oh, let’s put video on the website or let’s try this or let’s try that.

Doug: Yap, I hear you, Amen. Yep. Yeah, I mean, I’ve heard people say, “Hey, I want to compete with Lyft and I want to compete with Uber, and to your point go look at Lyft. Lyft’s a public company with lots of public funding, they say they can’t make it work, so what makes you think that’s the right industry?

Chad: Yeah, nothing makes me cringe more than where is the Uber of? Or where the Lyft of? Okay, I’ve got nothing else [inaudible 00:43:04].

Doug: So, if people want to connect with you and not just like your post on Instagram, how can they connect with you and have a deeper relationship?

Chad: The easiest way right now is going to be just on LinkedIn, you’ll find it is very easy, bald guy, really, really bald, it used to be red goatee now gray, you can hit, well I’ll be right up front, it’s a website in progress, it should be fully operational here in the next couple of days, or you know what? I’m a believer in the phone, I’m a believer in just pick up the phone and call me, so I’ll go ahead and give you this is my number, it’s 303-834-5932. I do answer the phone when it rings. I’m not like people who swear they don’t answer it anymore. So, any of those three ways will be great, I’d be happy to have a conversation.

Doug: That’s amazing. You’re the first person in just about 150 episodes that’s ever given their phone number out.

Chad: Well, it’s funny. So like, you know, I run a podcast too and talk to executives, and we always ask at the end of every episode, “How does somebody get in touch with you, if they don’t have a referral, they don’t have a reference, they haven’t been able to build that credibility with you?” And I would say that eight out of 10 executives will tell you they will pick up the phone if somebody calls them, but you better have done your homework. And so, I’ve seen more success. I personally have closed more business using a strategic cadence based approach that leverages all of those channels at my disposal, and one of those happens to be the phone. So, I’m happy to pick up the phone, if I’m not in a workshop if I’m not engaged with the client. I travel all the time, so I’m happy to pick up the phone and talk.

Doug: Okay, one quick story soon seeing as you brought it up, when people connect with me on LinkedIn, I have my EA go through and, kind of, vet them to make sure they’re real people, not just somebody in some weird country trying to sell stuff. And one of the things we do in the welcome message is basically after asking them if there’s something they couldn’t find how we help them, is there’s a link to my calendar to book a phone appointment, and I’d probably have one call a week.

Chad: Oh, yeah, it [inaudible 00:45:08]. So, this goes back to … I mean, if we’ve got to stop, you can shut me up. You know what happens when you hit the hot button topics with me. I had the same thing, right? I have … In every email I send there’s a link to book time with chat, here’s my calendar. Like literally anybody can book time. I tell people in workshops, “I will, outside of the contractual arrangement I have with your organization, if you as from one professional to another, want some help, if you have an account you want to brainstorm, if you need to get strategic, if you want me to review something, call me, just reach out. And what’s interesting is in the last two and a half years, I’ve had three individuals only take me up on that, out of hundreds that I’ve worked with. And each of those three has consistently been 124 or greater percent of quota.

Doug: There you go. So, one more time, what’s your phone number?

Chad: 303-834-5932.

Doug: So there you go, listeners, there’s another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. Chad had lots of energy, so it was a super fast episode, lots of content. We’re going to make sure the notes are transcribed. But I think the message came through loud and clear, you need to shift your thinking to think like your prospect, whether its face to face or using all the social tools and online tools. So, thanks again for tuning in, thanks to Chad for being so generous in sharing your knowledge and wisdom with our listeners.

Chad: Been my absolute pleasure.

Doug: So there you go. Thanks, listeners for tuning in. Make sure that you head over to iTunes, if you’re not subscribed, don’t be shy and subscribe, leave us a comment and we look forward to serving you on our next episode.

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