Market Dominance Guys
Chris Beall and Corey Frank host episodes with thought leadership that leaves you shaking inside.
We Try Hardest!
Jan 18 2022
We Try Hardest!
In striving for market dominance, which among the top companies in any field do you think puts forth the most effort to gain — or hold onto — that dominant position? Our guest, Matt McCorkle, Manager of Branch Operations for Kaeser Compressors, and our two Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank, debate this question during this final conversation of their four-part discussion on all things sales-related. Even loyal followers of our Market Dominance Guys’ podcast will be surprised at the shared opinion these three sales gurus hold about which highly ranked company within each industry or service can claim bragging rights to the title of this episode, “We Try Hardest!” About Our Guest Matt McCorkle is Manager of Branch Operations for Kaeser Compressors. He has earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and has now been with Kaeser Compressors for 13 years. Catch the three previous episodes in this session with Matt McCorkle: EP107: On the Phone, They’ll Tell You the Truth EP108: Sales and the State of Apprehension EP109: Being There for Your Customers
Jan 18 2022
EP116: Who’s Ready to Buy Right Now?
When your prospect’s response to your cold call is “Not now,” do you assume they mean they’re too busy to talk at that moment? Or perhaps this is just their way of getting rid of you altogether. Our Market Dominance Guy, Chris Beall, talks with Gerhard Gschwandtner, CEO and founder of Selling Power, in this podcast about a more probable reason you’re hearing “Not now.” It has to do with the replacement cycle and consideration cycle of businesses. In other words, where they are in the three-year buying cycle most businesses utilize for timing when they begin considering a new product or service — or replacing an existing one. Once you determine if “Not now” really means “We’re not ready to purchase at this time,” what you do next is critical! Listen in as Chris and Gerhard divulge the intelligent way to deal with the 11/12ths of the market who aren’t ready to buy at this time. Take my word for it: You won’t want to miss the market-dominating advice you’ll hear on this Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “Who’s Ready to Buy Right Now?” About Our Guest Host Gerhard Gschwandtner is founder and CEO of Selling Power magazine, as well as CEO of the Sales 3.0 Conference series. Gerhard’s career has always been centered around helping sales leaders create peak performance in business and in life through video interviews, online events, and live workshops and retreats.
Jan 11 2022
EP115: The Enemy of Your Message Is Drift
The only reliable way to see if your company’s value statement resonates with your prospects is to have lots of conversations with them, and for that, of course, you need salespeople. But as our Market Dominance Guy, Chris Beall, tells our guest host, Gerhard Gschwandtner, founder and CEO of Selling Power magazine, that’s not all you need. You first require an expert to craft the scripted message salespeople will use in their cold calls. And you need a coach to train your callers to deliver that message in the most effective way. Once cold-calling begins, you then need a coach to make sure your salespeople don’t drift from your carefully crafted script and specified way of delivering it. “Under pressure,” Chris says, “we all begin to drift, to try something a little different, something unproven. So, somebody’s got to keep the salespeople together, and that’s the coach.” Join Gerhard and Chris as they provide coaching on the importance of sales-call coaching in this week’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “The Enemy of Your Message Is Drift.” About Our Guest Host Gerhard Gschwandtner is founder and CEO of Selling Power magazine, as well as CEO of the Sales 3.0 Conference series. Gerhard’s career has always been centered around helping sales leaders create peak performance in business and in life through video interviews, online events, and live workshops and retreats.
Jan 4 2022
EP114: There Is No Going Back
You may have heard the term “post-pandemic” bandied about in recent months, but there’s nothing “post” about the COVID pandemic yet: We’re still in the thick of it. It’s not all downside, though, as James Thornburg, Enterprise IT Strategist at Bridgepointe Technologies, and our Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank will tell you. In their third conversation together, they talk about the upside of the pandemic as it concerns sales. Because what is “post” for most salespeople is that bone-wearying business air travel, and the time-waste of business lunches, and the tedium and expense of that daily commute to and from the company office or to and from the offices of business prospects. The combination of cold calling by phone and discovery meetings by Zoom has made a new and successful world for salespeople, one that doesn’t require leaving home. Yes, you’ve heard of attempts to return sales to the pre-pandemic days, but as Chris predicts in this episode of Market Dominance Guys, “There Is No Going Back.” About Our Guest James Thornburg is the Enterprise IT Strategist at Bridgepointe Technologies, which offers a service that helps design IT and telecom projects for their clients and includes selecting the right supplier at the right price with no extra cost to their customers.
Dec 28 2021
EP113: The Cold-Call Kiss of Death
There’s a decided difference between the purpose of a cold call and that of a discovery call. James Thornburg, Enterprise IT Strategist at Bridgepointe Technologies, continues his conversation with our Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank, in order to provide you with some guidance about this important difference. During a discovery call, marketing language, also known as “selling your product or service,” is entirely appropriate. But if you foolishly use marketing language during your first conversation with a prospect — well, that, my podcast friends, is the cold-call kiss of death. Join these three successful cold-callers as they discuss the components of each type of call and warn you away from the two biggest cold-calling mistakes. Listen in to borrow from the best as these three professional salespeople lend you their expertise on this Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “The Cold-Call Kiss of Death.” About Our Guest James Thornburg is the Enterprise IT Strategist at Bridgepointe Technologies, which offers a service that helps design IT and telecom projects for their clients and includes selecting the right supplier at the right price with no extra cost to their customers. Catch his previous episode here: Is Cold Calling a Form of Slapstick?
Dec 21 2021
EP112: Is Cold Calling a Form of Slapstick?
What makes a great cold caller? Our guest today on Market Dominance Guys, James Thornburg, Enterprise IT Strategist at Bridgepointe Technologies, defines the characteristics of a great cold caller as someone who puts in the hard work by having lots of conversations — and also has a little charisma. James uses humor and ConnectAndSell’s Lightning platform to connect to his prospects, and then shares his cold calls on LinkedIn for all to learn from — or be entertained by. Our hosts, Chris Beall and Corey Frank, are enthusiastic listeners, each touting the entertainment and educational value James provides with his cold-calling triumphs as well as his train wrecks. Listen in as these three sales guys discuss James Thornburg’s ability to “pivot to a chuckle” on this Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “Is Cold Calling a Form of Slapstick?” About Our Guest James Thornburg is the Enterprise IT Strategist at Bridgepointe Technologies, which offers a service that helps design IT or telecom projects for their clients and includes selecting the right supplier at the right price with no extra cost to their customers. ----more---- Here is the complete transcript to this episode. Announcer (00:06): Welcome to another episode with The Market Dominance Guys, a program about the innovators, idealists and the entrepreneurs who thrive and die in the high-stakes world of building a startup company. We explore the cookbooks, guidebooks and magic beans needed to grow your business. What makes a great cold caller? Our guest today on Market Dominance Guys, James Thornburg Enterprise IT Strategists at Bridgepointe Technologies defines the characteristics of a great cold caller as someone who puts in the hard work by having lots of conversations and also has a little charisma. James uses humor and ConnectAndSell's lightning platform to connect to his prospects and then shares his cold calls on LinkedIn for all to learn from. Or be entertained by. Our hosts, Chris Beall and Corey Frank, are enthusiastic listeners. Each touting the entertainment and educational value James provides with his cold calling triumphs as well as his train wrecks. Listen in as these three guys discuss James Thornburg's ability to pivot to a chuckle. On this Market Dominance Guys episode, is cold calling a form of slapstick? Corey Frank (01:16): Welcome to another episode of The Market Dominance Guys with Corey Frank and the prince [inaudible 00:01:22] and the prognosticator of all things sales, Chris Beall, my fabulous co-host here. So good afternoon, Chris. Chris Beall (01:30): Hey. Good to be here, Corey. Nice to see you. You look good. Corey Frank (01:33): Yeah, thank you. I think it's the lighting, it's all in the lighting with the black. Black, I heard, is slimming. I probably need to wear all black. But listen, we're in the presence of some royalty here. It's been a long time coming because we've talked about James several episodes. James, if you're one of our seven listeners, you know that your name has come up a number of times in some of the earlier episodes. So we have with us today, not only a titan of technology, the prince of pastures ... You're a farmer, you're a homesteader. But we have the one and only, the king of the cold call, James Thornburg with us. So welcome, James, to The Market Dominance Guys. James Thornburg (02:10): Thanks for having me. Appreciate it. Yeah. Corey Frank (02:12): Absolutely. So are you currently in the throne room? Is that what you call the cold call room you're in right now? James Thornburg (02:16): Yes, it's my basement downstairs. Chris Beall (02:21): James, I love your plain white background. It's so good. James Thornburg (02:24): It's great. For my calls, I've been using the Zoom background. We have some new branding here at Bridgepointe, but yeah, I like just the gray. Corey Frank (02:32): Yeah. Yeah. So James, we've been following you for a while, and obviously, you and Chris have known each other for a while, we've known each other for a few years. I've heckled and commented you on many a LinkedIn post. But you're the king of the cold call, you're not the earl of email or you're not the lord of LinkedIn, you chose the cold call as the channel of dominance for your business here at Bridgepointe. It's one of the principles at Bridgepointe. How come, in your sales career, why cold call versus ... Isn't email easier? Isn't LinkedIn easier? But you chose to have dominion as the king in probably one of the channels that most folks would shun. So why, for you, is the cold call king? James Thornburg (03:13): Well, I mean, I wasn't making a lot of calls for a lot of my career. I mean, when I first got out of college, I was making cold calls. I was selling insurance and I got into selling wireless phones and things like that for Nextel. So I was sitting the phones quite a bit then. And then I got into The Channel, and The Channel, you really just leveraged network relationships. And so I used those individuals to open up doors for me. And I did quite well when I was at my former company, Single Path, I was there for almost 12 years. And for about eight or nine of those years, I focused on working with networking partners and that's how I got introduced to opportunities. But things started to dry up, partnerships that I had before, they were acquired. Some of them were making so much money they just weren't active in terms of opening up opportunities and my pipeline was suffering because of it. So I started looking to figure out, hey, how am I going to net new opportunities? And I was thinking about it this weekend, I'm like, I don't even know how I got introduced to ConnectAndSell. I don't know if it was, I was Googling or whatever, but landed on ConnectAndSell and at that point I was reborn cold caller. And it kind of opened my eyes that, hey, I can open up a lot of opportunities using this platform and making dials. And then that put me in a position, I was at Single Path for about a year, year and a half on ConnectAndSell, using it as a full-time sales rep. And then I saw ConnectAndSell as my vehicle to basically start out. To go out on my own. That's basically what I did about two years ago. Corey Frank (04:50): Got you. Yeah, I think you and Ryan [inaudible 00:04:53] are birds of a feather there, that you put yourself out there. You both put yourself out there. And I think you pioneered this trend, James, that a lot of us can sit in the cheap seats, guys like me, and I can critique a call here and there. Chris and I certainly do our share of it. And we do our share of cold calls, certainly Chris is out there, he'll do it on stage. But James, you have a unique perspective that you actually do it on LinkedIn Live, you'll record your calls occasionally, and put them out there. Good, bad, ugly, warts and all. How'd you get started on that? What kind of crazy guy would do that and be that glutton for punishment? To put yourself so publicly out there? James Thornburg (05:28): I had a leased office in downtown Kalamazoo. I was still working at my former employer. The room was about four by seven with no windows, and I think it was in the middle of February, and I was bored one day. I was making these calls and I'm like, "Hey, why don't I just start recording these calls?" And I was like, "That was pretty funny about the VP of Technology that told me he was a teller." And so then I posted it on LinkedIn and got some traction and people seemed to be interested. And that's kind of where it started in terms of the videos for LinkedIn. Corey Frank (06:02): What do you think about that, Chris? I mean he certainly, as the CEO of his own company there, his own practice, James, he puts himself out there. You talked a lot about CEOs needing to do that, put themselves out there and do a certain amount of cold calls. I think James has certainly taken it to a different level. But what's your thoughts on that? Chris Beall (06:19): Well, I mean, James, what you've done at a different level is you're funny. And I actually think that that contrast between what people think about cold calling, which is the movies, the boiler rooms, the intensity, the screaming, all that stuff. And then we watch you and it's like, the very best part, to me, is that the camera is there for you. We're there. And you look at us and you use us. I mean, that's what fun. It's like, we're in the call because your feelings about it, especially that anticipation thing you do. Like, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, this might go, it might go. It's like, oh boom. And that, I think, is a completely new thing. Everybody's got different style, right? So Shane Mahey does his thing while he's along the banks of the Thames and he's making calls. And that's very much like calls. It's cool, but after, it's like making calls. Your stuff is not just cool, your stuff is funny. And I don't know, you don't think of yourself as a funny guy, I think. Right? James Thornburg (07:28): Not really. I mean, I'm trying to be funny today but it's not really working [crosstalk 00:07:32]. Trying to come up with something witty. Corey Frank (07:37): Great try. Great try. Chris Beall (07:38): Well, it's the thing that you do with the camera that I just think it's great. It's like, we're there. Because cold calling has this funny quality. Each call is an adventure, where you don't know what's going to happen. And somebody once asked me, some really intelligent person said, "Gosh, Chris, you seem to like sports, sporting events, more than most people who sport your particular mathematical inclinations." I think they said something about IQ or some nonsense like that. It's like, why? It's like, because I don't know how it's going to turn out. You get sucked into the little soap opera that is ... Or whatever, a game of some sort. Whatever it happens to. And every cold call is that kind of game. Even though it's not oppositional with this person, when we're there with you, I feel like we, the audience, are getting that sense of why the conversation ... And I'll make a distinction. Cold calls and cold conversations are two different things. If you had to cold call, you wouldn't do it. I wouldn't do it. Cold calling means not talking to anybody for an hour. That's crazy. Making cold conversations are pretty fun, if you're ready for the adventure. For us watching you, it's pure fun. Because we're not the ones who are dealing with the negative side, other than we get to deal with how you deal with it, which is funny. James Thornburg (08:59): Yeah. I mean it's fun to watch somebody get hung up on. Chris Beall (09:02): Who knew? Is it slapstick? That's a question. Is watching cold calling a form slapstick, where we don't have that much of that anymore, but are we getting a little Lucille Ball in there or whatever? A little Charlie Chaplin, I don't know. Corey Frank (09:18): I don't know. I think it's a little bit of schadenfreude, right? I mean, you see somebody else get his butt kicked. And you have a lot of good calls, a lot of successful calls. I think everybody wants to watch it for the train wrecks. And it does ... I know when I watch him, James, I feel like, wow, that was really clever. You start off with a joke, you're just very unassuming. You're not supplicative, you don't lose your status, but you really have this attitude where, "Listen, I'm a human, I'm looking for another human connection. And can we dispense with all the roles and all the accouterments of your title and role and just make a connection because you picked up the phone and I'm on the other end. And let's see if we have something that can benefit each other." And that's just very raw and authentic. Doing so many, and doing so many publicly, and certainly doing so many at scale, because you're the artisan of the ConnectAndSell weapon. What have you learned in cold calling? Because you said, most of your career, you didn't necessarily have to do it. And then you have just had probably more cold calls in the last couple of years, probably more than 99% of sales professionals in the B2B world, so what have you learned from this channel and from the reception that you get from decision levels? Decision level buyers? James Thornburg (10:40): Well, I mean it's really worked for my industry. Our offering, or what we do, is somewhat nuanced. I mean, we're helping IT leaders buy technology and it's hard to articulate that through any other medium. When you're able to have a conversation with somebody, it's easier to explain to them. Because like I said, I mean, what we do is somewhat nuanced, the concept is foreign to probably 90% of the people that we talk to. And I refer to it as speed dialing, ConnectAndSell. Just even using a power dialer or some manual dialing, then your power dialer. I mean, the challenge is, is that you're dealing with a lot of that minutia of cold calling, which is the reason why no one wants to make any calls. So to be able to just press a button and have some conversations. People think I work hard. I mean, it's a lazy way to do it. It makes things easier. You're just having conversations. Do you have the courage to press that button and talk to somebody? And if you don't, then what are doing in sales? And so, when you look at early on, I mean my pitch has evolved and things of that nature. I mean, people have a lot of opinions about the pitch, the openers and things of that nature, but gotten a lot better in terms of the tonality. Just my conversions are a lot higher and that's due to having a lot of at bats. Having a lot of conversations, you get better and better. I think people miss out on that. Everybody wants to talk about the conversions and things of that nature, but it's also, how do we make these reps better more quickly? And the way that you're going to be able to do that is more conversations. I don't know if that answered your question. Corey Frank (12:18): No, you really have to get frequent before you get good, is what I hear you saying. And you've been able to condense 20 years of cold calling, that most of us had to come up through the ranks using old rotary phones, and you've been able to condense it in the last two and a half years or so with a ConnectAndSell type of weapon, it sounds like. James Thornburg (12:36): Listen, I'm a little old school too. I didn't use a rotary phone, but I had index cards. Corey Frank (12:41): Sure. Sure. James Thornburg (12:43): I had index cards and I was writing on that, that was my follow-up. Corey Frank (12:46): Yeah, yeah. Right. With the volume of calls that you've made, and Chris and I would be interested in knowing, okay, because you had such a very tight learning curve over ... Not that you've never made cold calls, but I'm saying in this type of volume over the last 24, 36 months or so at volume, what doesn't work at a cold call? You say a lot of folks will say, "James, I have some opinions on your opener and I have opinions on X and Y and Z." Okay, well you do it at scale. So, in your opinion, what have you learned that doesn't work in a cold call, that you probably see a lot of folks still doing? James Thornburg (14:06): I don't know if I can answer that. I don't have strong opinions about openers, technique, and things of that nature. I don't like the, how are you, though. As the opener. I don't think that's a very good idea. But I think if you have the right tonality and it doesn't sound like you're reading off of some type of script, and you're putting in the work, you're going to have success. But I can't really pinpoint something that doesn't work in cold calling. I mean, what are your thoughts? Chris Beall (14:34): I've got some. I have ideas of what does work. So my two favorite people to listen to, having actual cold calls, are you and Cheryl Turner. And the reason is, both of you have the ability to pivot to a chuckle better than any other people out there. You're light enough with the situation that it's like, you've done the hard work, you've pushed the button, now you're going to be light with this person and let it roll and talk to them. And when something kind of funny comes up, or they challenge you in some way, that the best answer isn't to fight them, it's to laugh. Like the one the other day where the guy basically says something about being retired or whatever. And you go, "Well, we get these lists from these list providers and blah, blah, blah," and it was funny. I mean, it was funny but it was also like, it's not funny like me against you kind of funny. It's funny like, we're all in this together kind of funny. Like life is funny, kind of funny. And you and Cheryl both do it and you do it like ... I was with Helen a couple of weeks ago and we were going through a bunch of Cheryl's calls and listening to them. Because Helen has an interest in trying ConnectAndSell in a very special kind of way, with a huge, huge company out there that she might be calling into. And this is new to her. And she asked, "Well, what really makes it work?" And I said, "Let's go listen to Cheryl and listen to James. And I will break this down for you like I'm Howard Cosell, it's Ali/Frazier. I'm going to take you through this punch by punch. And I'm going to redirect your eyes from the gloves down to their feet so you can see what they're really doing." And what was so interesting was that EQ, on the spot, that it takes to laugh with somebody. I actually think that is the most interesting thing that both of you do. And it's spectacular. James Thornburg (16:33): Yeah. I mean, I don't know. It's just- Chris Beall (16:37): You think things are funny. James Thornburg (16:38): People get so upset about it, about cold calls and things of that nature. And it's just, I don't know. I mean, there's a lot of other problems in the world. I mean, somebody calling you and everything and it's just like ... I mean, even the retired people. Sometimes I got to leave them with a joke because it's like, hey, you're retired. You're mad that I called you, I know that you get calls, but it's like, hey, lighten up a little bit. Let me leave you with a joke. And then I leave them with the five cold caller joke. Chris Beall (17:03): Yeah. I don't know if everybody knows the joke, but could you give us the joke? I mean, let's have Corey be all pissed off at you. Corey, you're retired, right? Or you're pretty much retired, as far as I can tell. James Thornburg (17:15): Corey, Corey. Hey, listen, let me at least leave you with a joke. What do you call five cold callers at the bottom of the ocean? Corey Frank (17:25): I don't know, James, what do you call five cold callers at the bottom of the ocean? James Thornburg (17:28): A good start. Corey Frank (17:31): That's right. See? And you made a human connection, right? Chris Beall (17:36): By the way, let me make a technical point there. This is something that our friend Chris Boss would call tactical empathy. Show the other person you see the world through their eyes, what do they think if they could think clearly about five cold callers at the bottom of the ocean? They'd think it's a good start, right? So some of these things, they sound very natural because they are. James, Cheryl, these people are true geniuses at this. Corey Frank (18:02): Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Chris Beall (18:04): Henry [inaudible 00:18:05] is now converting at 40%. And he's a guy you wouldn't have thought was a natural, but he's picked up a whole bunch of things from Cheryl. He works closely with Cheryl and some magic is going on. If Scott Webb, the 75.9% converter, he just sounds like he's your friend who knows you, who's calling you, and really thinks it's a good idea for you that we should have a meeting. And by the way, I got to go. So he's out of there, I got to. "Hey, I got call. I'll shoot you something." Boom. Done. So these folks all have something in common, which is, in the ring, so to speak, they're relaxed. They're excited and want something to happen, but still relaxed enough to laugh and make these simple-looking moves, that I know as an expert on this, are not that simple to master. Corey Frank (18:58): What do you guys think? Is that nature? Is it nurture? Is it is a little bit of Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption, where he only gets parole once he doesn't give a crap anymore? And it's that attitude, it's tough to teach somebody right out of school that ... It's not apathy. Like you said, it's more ... Because I'm not losing my status. It's very cool in the pocket. Is that something that's taught or is that something that can be learned? [crosstalk 00:19:25] Chris Beall (19:26): Did you have to learn it? Did you just fall into it? James Thornburg (19:31): I'd say repetition and personality. I mean, there is a little personality element to it. And I don't know how teachable that is. Chris Beall (19:40): I don't either. It's like being tall for basketball, you could be Spud Webb and you can be great, but there were never 30 Spud Webbs in the league. James Thornburg (19:53): I mean, I don't think you have to be a James Thornburg and have my personality. I mean, people bring different gifts to the game. And mine just happens to be hard work and maybe a little bit of charisma. Chris Beall (20:05): And more chickens. Corey Frank (20:07): Maybe it is. The homesteader lifestyle has certainly, probably contributes to the mellow nature, the connection, empathy. We screenplay the uh's and the um's in our screenplays that we use for outbound calling. And we got a lot of folks who say, "Doesn't that make you sound unsure? Does that make you sound like, don't know what you're talking about? And if you're talking with a C-Level or director level, they're going to go ..." It's like, no, makes you sound human. Chris and I talked about this last time, never trust a person who doesn't walk around with a little bit of a limp. And so, we screenplay that in. And I think that the brilliance of the 27 seconds is that, even if I don't have this high emotional intelligence, off the chart like you do, or Cheryl or Scott, that at least is a little bit of a verbal crutch to help get you there. That 27 seconds. It's not, can I have a minute? 27 seconds. Chris was talking to me, we call it the playful curious. Can James come out and play? That's what we teach, that's what they teach in the flight school at ConnectAndSell, that is the perfect encapsulation of how to think. What the director's notes for the actor are on the screenplay. Playful curious, can James come out and play? That's how you say that in 27 seconds. And even if I blew the other part, I'm at least going to buy myself another few seconds by saying that. And you're a big advocate of the 27 seconds, certainly, James [inaudible 00:21:36]. James Thornburg (21:36): I'd be interested in Chris's opinion. I mean, how much of it is the call? I'd say it's 90% of the call. If they buy into the 27 seconds, they buy you more time, then you can tell your story and hopefully get some more information or book a meeting or get a follow-up, right? Chris Beall (21:51): Yeah, it's funny. Today I was talking with Donny Crawford about this and we were going pretty deep on this question of, what's the purpose of the cold call? And I pointed out to him, Donny, a great conversion rate is 10%. So that means 90% of the purpose is what happens when you don't convert? And he kind of stopped and he went, huh? He said, "Yeah, we get into that, don't we? That the purpose is to get the meeting." It's like, no, the outcome is to get the meeting when that's the right thing for both parties. Which is more often than you might think. But the purpose is to establish trust, and the caveat is, don't blow it. Once you've established trust in that first seven seconds, don't blow it. Because you're going to talk to this person later. They're in a cohort, it's called people who answer the phone. They're yours to talk with, over and over, 11/12 of them are in market right now. Now James sells something that's very nuanced. At ConnectAndSell, we sell something that's anti-nuanced but isn't in a category either. You can't go up to somebody and say, "Hey, you know what? I got something that's going to get you 10 times more conversations and you're going to love it." And they're going to go, "Wow, really? Here's my checkbook." They're going to go, "Huh, you're either an idiot or a charlatan. I don't know if I want to stick around to find out which." That's how it works and that was Cheryl's response to me in a test drive. I thought the guy was an idiot or a charlatan. She went off and used it, came back in 10 minutes and said, "I was wrong. You may well be an idiot and charlatan, we'll establish that later. But this stuff works, man." So I think that the whole game is at the beginning. When you look at it one way, 100% of cold calls succeed if you get that person to trust you and you don't blow it. And James, you never blow it. I never hear you blow it. Now, maybe you deep [crosstalk 00:23:48]. James Thornburg (23:47): I show the videos of the ones that I'm not blowing. Chris Beall (23:54): Well, people blow it. It's easy to blow it. You want to blow it, sell to them. Corey Frank (23:59): Yeah. Chris Beall (23:59): I get you to trust me, and then I sell to you, I'm kind of toast. Corey Frank (24:03): Yeah. I thought we were friends, what are you doing selling to me? Chris Beall (24:05): Exactly. Exactly. I love Scott Webb's point of view is, he says, "When I insist somebody take the meeting, my internal image is that I'm putting my hand out and slapping him in the chest and pulling them back so they don't step in front of a speeding bus. That's how I feel about that person. I'm saying them from something they didn't see, which is the disaster of not attending a meeting in which I'm going to teach them valuable stuff." Corey Frank (24:34): So he emotes that intent? Chris Beall (24:37): Yes. Yeah, we had a discussion once where he called me and said, "My mindset's wrong, I'm going to fix it." And he was converting 35%. And so he calls me back an hour later and says, "I fixed it. Five for five." And he's dragging that 35% tail into a 75.9% conversions. So he still got that statistical, that big hunk of bad back there, which he thinks is bad. And the rest of us go, "Woo, woo, that's pretty exciting." But it was a mindset change where he said, "You know what? I have an ethical obligation to this person, to make sure they come to this meeting, to learn what they don't even know can be learned. And I am going to satisfy that obligation by insisting they attend with me. That they take it. And if all I get is the verbal, and I just send them an invite, that's progress compared to no verbal. So I'm going to get the verbal, even if it doesn't have a date on it, and I'll send them an invite for something." I tell you what, the numbers don't lie. Corey Frank (25:35): Yeah, for sure. Announcer (25:37): Selling a big idea to a skeptical customer, investor, or partner is one of the hardest jobs in business. So when it's time to really go big, you need to use an uncommon methodology to gain attention, frame your thoughts, and employ successful sequencing that is fresh enough to convince others that your ideas will truly change their world. From crafting just the right cold call screenplays, to curating and mapping the ideal call list for your entire TAM, Branch 49's modern and innovative sales toolbox offers a guiding hand to ambitious organizations in their quest to reach market dominance. Learn more at branch49.com. Never miss an episode, go to any of your favorite podcast venues and search for Market Dominance Guys. Or go to marketdominanceguys.com and subscribe.
Dec 14 2021
EP111: Is Your Cold-Calling Technique Right On?
How’d you do on your last cold call? Can you detect when you’re off your game? Or are you still trying to figure out what techniques are needed to have a successful sales conversation? Jason Bay, Chief Prospecting Officer at Blissful Prospecting, has made teaching others to cold call successfully his life work. In this episode, he continues his two-part conversation as a guest on Market Dominance Guys with our hosts, Chris Beall and Corey Frank, as they discuss developing the techniques and self-awareness necessary in this job. They all agree it takes a fair amount of repetition to hone those sales skills, but you may be shocked to hear them say that just because you’ve been making cold calls for 20 years, doesn’t mean you’re good at it. Take some time out to check your skills against the ones that Jason, Chris, and Corey propose in this Market Dominance Guys’ episode “Is Your Cold Calling Technique Right On?” About Our Guest Jason Bay is Chief Prospecting Officer at Blissful Prospecting. He helps reps and sales teams who love landing big meetings with prospects but hate not getting responses to their cold emails or feeling confident making cold calls.
Dec 8 2021
EP110: Your Tone of Voice Tells All
Did you know that, during a cold call, your tone is more important than the words you use? Who would have guessed that tonality ranks higher than the message you so carefully crafted? Jason Bay, Chief Prospecting Officer of Blissful Prospecting, joins our Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank, to talk about this very thing: how a sincere tone communicates authenticity, which is so important when attempting to connect with your prospect. The guys also discuss how preparing and practicing cold calls can put you at ease enough that you are then able to concentrate on listening to the other person in the call — your prospect! According to Jason, “If you really listen to your prospect’s tonality, you’ll hear what they are thinking but not saying. But you’ve got to be so used to delivering your message that you’re not thinking much about what you’re going to say.” That way, you can really be tuned into the other person. We’d like to suggest you tune into this Market Dominance Guys’ episode to learn even more about how “Your Tone of Voice Tells All.” About Our Guest Jason Bay is Chief Prospecting Officer at Blissful Prospecting. He helps reps and sales teams who love landing big meetings with prospects but hate not getting responses to their cold emails or feeling confident making cold calls. ----more---- Here is the full transcript to this episode: Announcer: (00:06) Welcome to another episode with the Market Dominance Guys, a program about the innovators, idealists and the entrepreneurs who thrive and die in the high-stakes world of building a startup company. We explore the cookbooks, guidebooks and magic beans needed to grow your business. Did you know that during a cold call, your tone is more important than the words you use? Who would've guessed that tonality ranks higher than the message you so carefully crafted?. Announcer: (00:34) Jason Bay, Chief Prospecting Officer of Blissful Prospecting, joins our Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank, to talk about this very thing, how a sincere tone communicates authenticity, which is so important when attempting to connect with your prospects. The guys also discuss how preparing and practicing cold calls can put you at ease enough that you are then able to concentrate on listening to the other person in the call, your prospect. According to Jason, if you really listen to your prospect's tonality, you'll hear what they are thinking but not saying. You've got to be so used to delivering your message that you're not thinking much about what you're going to say. That way, you can really be tuned into the other person. We'd like to suggest you tune into this Market Dominance Guys episode to learn even more about how your tone of voice tells all. Chris Beall: (01:31) Corey, lead us into this thing. Corey Frank: (01:34) Beautiful. Absolutely. Well, welcome to another episode of the Market Dominance Guys. This is Corey Frank and my esteemed cohost, the sage of sales, the profit of profits, Chris Beall, as always. Welcome, Chris. How have you been this past week since our last recording session? Chris Beall: (01:48) Oh, this has been a rocking week. It's been wild. I think I've had five new ideas, two of which were worth not throwing away this week. It's really something. Corey Frank: (01:58) And I understand, not to disclose too much for the audience here, but competition is about to weep. I have a premonition the competition is about to weep here in the next few weeks with all the deals that certainly ConnectAndSell has been dragging in in this very profitable and high-velocity Q4, correct? Chris Beall: (02:16) Yeah. Q4 tends to be good for us, and I think this one is going to be pretty unusually good. So yeah, it's a lot of fun. Corey Frank: (02:24) Yes. And so today we have, I think the butteriest, is that a word? Butteriest voice in the business. We have Jason Bay, CEO of Blissful Prospecting as our guest in the studio. So welcome, Jason, to the Market Dominance Guys. Jason Bay: (02:39) I'm excited to be here. I was a little nervous about what was going to come out of your mouth after you said butteriest. Is he talking about my skin, my body? I don't know what you were- Corey Frank: (02:48) Well, maybe. Jason Bay: (02:49) ... about to go with that, man. Corey Frank: (02:49) Extrasensory, yeah, I could wax your head a little bit. But I know Chris is a big advocate of tone and I'd like to talk about that, maybe even out the gate or so, because Chris is a connoisseur of the craft. And certainly you, Jason, for what you do at Blissful, which we want to learn all about. But tone is so important, and especially when we're talking about top of funnel for market dominance. So, Chris, the first time you were on Jason's podcast last week, I guess, and so first impressions, just if you close your eyes and you just think about the tone of getting a cold call from Jason, what are your thoughts? Chris Beall: (03:20) Oh, I'm just saying yes. I mean, if Jason closed a call with, "Fantastic, I'm a morning person. I'll shoot something over for next Thursday and we'll move it around if we have to," he's going to get 130% of the people he talks to saying yes. 130%. New people will come over and say, "Did I hear that correctly? I want in on that meeting, too." That's what it's going to be like. And it is. I mean, I'm deadly serious, by the way, that tone is everything. In fact, I was talking with Geoff Hatfield the other day, Scott Webb's partner in crime over there at HUB International, and he said, "People think that strategy and execution are where it's at, and the conversations work in service of strategy and execution. They're a thing you do, and you have conversation tools and analytics and all that around that." And this guy, by the way, is a world-class strategist. He's the real deal kind of strategist, right? And he said, "Conversations are up here at the top of the business. Everything else is dependent, including strategy and execution." Chris Beall: (04:24) Well, when you think about conversations, conversations by information content are almost all tone and very little of it is the actual words. So, we know that the words that we've spoken so far here might comprise, as words typed out, we might have gotten four or 5,000 bits of information out so far, the equivalent of a couple of emails, right? Maybe 5,000 bits in email is roughly the case. But the tone is being carried at 20,000 bits a second and it all counts. It all goes right into the mid-brain. It isn't very far between here and the center of your head, and there's nothing to stop that information from going in. So, if Hatfield's right, and by the way, I've known Hatfield only for a year and a half, but I've actually never known him to even be slightly wrong except about whether he is going to make a putt or not, okay? So, on all other matters, as far as I know, Geoff Hatfield is always correct. And this is strong statement from a guy who's an actuary. An actuary. Corey Frank: (05:25) Wow. Chris Beall: (05:25) Think about that. And a strategist. And he says, "Execution, great. Strategy, yeah. Conversations actually rule the [crosstalk 00:05:37] of any company." And that's really something. And it's all tone. Corey Frank: (05:41) So, what do you think about that, Jason? I see an oversized ukulele in the background there, you can see, so you're a musical guy, clearly. Did you learn your tone or were you think you were born with your tone? Was there a point when you started in your sales career that you were oblivious to your tone and your pace and your authenticity, or did you have to work at it like the rest of us? Jason Bay: (06:04) Yeah. The selling came pretty natural to me. My first job at 18 in college was going door-to-door selling house painting services. So, I signed up as a summer job. It was a big company that hires kids and essentially teaches them how to run a franchise. And to zoom back to when I was five, though, because this will answer your question, I remember when my parents signed me up for soccer. I was a super shy kid. So, they signed me up for soccer and my dad's like, "You don't need to do this forever, but you need to try it. We think you're really going to like it." And when my mom dropped me off in the little minivan, I remember walking up to the field and the coach, his name is Steve Herd, I think is his name, and I remember walking up like this because I was so shy and embarrassed that other people that I didn't know were looking at me. Jason Bay: (06:52) That's how shy I was. When I kicked a goal in one of the games and the people in the stands were cheering, they had to stop. My coach had to call a timeout because I was so embarrassed. As soon as I figured out that they were clapping for me, I just couldn't take it. So, I've always had this unassumptive approach to most things, just out of shyness. And we could spend a whole hour talking about what I've learned in therapy about what that shyness probably was. But I've always approached things from the place of, "You know what? If you don't want to do this, that's okay." And I think that that's really key. When I was doing door-to-door, I picked up on that really, really quickly. Now, teaching salespeople was something I struggled with at first, but the going door-to-door... Jason Bay: (07:37) And I still remember the pitch. It was, knock, "Hey, my name's Jason. I'm a student at Oregon State University and I was coming by because I'm running a house painting business this summer. We're going to be painting a lot of houses in your neighborhood. And I was wondering if you were thinking about getting any painting done this summer." And then I would do whatever I needed to do, objection handle from there. But it was very similar to how I approached cold calling for the first time. I didn't really struggle with that. This company that I worked with, they had this thing called the shark tank and they built this feature into their custom-built CRM. They called it the shark tank. But they have about 150,000 leads that come in through the system across the nation every year. And what they would do with the shark tank is they found a way to compile the data, much like we would in lists with people that signed up for estimates that didn't book a paint job, right? Jason Bay: (08:24) People that signed up for estimates that never got an estimate. And we would call through this. And I don't know. I was never really taught how to actually make the call. I just thought, "Hey, I'm going to introduce myself. If the person doesn't want to do an estimate, that's okay. But I'm just going to come in and tell them that I would like to stop by their house. And if they don't want me there, that's okay." And I think a lot of the tonality, looking back and what I try to teach now, is I think your mentality really drives a lot of your tonality. When people try to fake their tonality and try to make their voice sound a certain way, I find that that's a lot harder than just coming from a place of, "You know what? I did a lot of research on you. I don't really need you to talk to me right now. If you're open to, I would love to." You can even hear it in my tone right now. So, I think it came pretty naturally. To me, teaching it was much harder. Corey Frank: (09:15) Well, if this is a microcosm of how you sell on the phone, and certainly from watching some of your podcast and your content on LinkedIn, I think it is, it's that you're a three-dimensional sales professional. You use your hands. You use your body language. I was talking with a rep yesterday and we were showing the old Toy Story clip of Tom Hanks, who's on camera doing the Toy Story read-along. So, it's a voiceover, right? He's an animated character. And it's not like he's sitting down behind a desk saying, "You are not a toy, and what's the next line?" I mean, he was standing up. He was the typical Tom Hanks oversized, animated self. "You are not a toy." And even though they're not recording any of that, they just want his voice and his... Corey Frank: (10:05) And Chris, I think Jason probably competes with you with how many different positions he's had in his short lifespan. But one of your positions you worked at, at actor's theater, at dinner theater. I recall, I think, one of our earlier episodes from a few years ago or so, and you probably got a front row of how actors and certainly you did your share of door-to-door selling. Is there something to this actor door-to-door selling face-to-face and using that to translate well on the inside and for phones? Chris Beall: (10:34) Yeah, I think it's a mix. It's funny. I am in complete agreement with Jason that it comes from inside. Your mentality conditions your tonality. I love that. I don't know if you said conditions, but I did and it was fun. I liked the extra syllables there. They sounded poetic to me. But I do believe that's a fact of the world. And I think we just heard something, by the way. We know there's a lot of research that says introverts make better salespeople than extroverts. And nobody really knows why. This is more extreme, Jason. You're saying that actual shyness, which came from somewhere and hopefully you haven't expunged completely because you're still quite good, but that shyness is a great foundation for, I don't know how to put it exactly, but I remember as a door-to-door salesperson, I thought of it as innocence. Chris Beall: (11:28) So, when I would knock on your door, I would say, "Hi, I'm Chris Beall. I'm your new Fuller Brush man. You probably don't know what Fuller Brush is. I sure don't." That was what I said when you opened the door. And then I'd just stand there. And I couldn't think of anything more truthful to say. But I was certainly vulnerable. I mean, "I sure don't," is not something that comes out of a salesperson's mouth when it comes to, do you know what you... "I don't even know who I'm working for, right? I sure don't." And people would always, after a little hesitation, all of them would say, "How can I help you? How can I help you?" And I think that's a big part of sales is its mutuality. And if we're always got that push and that desire for you to do something, you're going to push back. And if we're okay with however it goes, we give you room to come toward us. Jason Bay: (12:21) One thing that you mentioned on the podcast we were on, Chris, that just blew my mind in the way that you explained it, was you talked about the first seven seconds and the fact that it's less about managing our fear as the salesperson and more about helping the prospect manage their fear. So, if you chunk that up a little bit and think about the psychology behind that, I think that one thing you need to be really aware of, and one thing I've just always thought about, is the other person. So, when I would teach people to go door-to-door, it was little things that I would notice where, "Hey, when that little old person, that man or woman, opened the door, did you notice that they seemed very uncomfortable and almost a little scared of you. Actually? Why do you think that that was?" And it was little things like the screen door. "You opened up the screen door and you're sitting inside the screen door when they open their front door." Jason Bay: (13:53) "Don't do that. How would you feel if someone was up in your face?" And I had this guy. He was a football player at OSU. He's 6'1", 210 pounds. He's a huge dude. And the person was clearly scared of him at their door. It's this person that they don't know. There was other little things about how you stand. Are you squared up to the person versus at an angle? If there's stairway going up, are you maybe down a step so the person can just look down? It's just less threatening. And I think that the sitting in the other seat of the other person and just thinking about what is it like to receive, be on the receiving end of what I'm doing, just being conscious of that is going to drive a lot of your tonality. If you're thinking about the other person and how you appear, how you sound, how you're coming off, that's a really big part. Jason Bay: (14:40) And the second thing I'd add to this is something Ryan and I talked about was, I want to come off as a peer. There's a lot of stuff I've seen and heard content-wise out there in cold calling where you want to act lost and put um's and uh's into your intro on purpose. And I'm just thinking if any executive that I've called that's picked up the phone, they don't want to help a lost person. They're way too busy for that. You know what I mean? I need to be very sure that I called you on purpose, Corey. I called you on purpose, Chris. And I don't know if I can help you or not, but I did do this with some intention. Corey Frank: (15:16) Yeah. Yeah. I agree with that. The use of uh's and um's, I'm a big advocate of that. So, that's where I would politely disagree on a sales approach. Because I don't think it's necessarily being lost. I do like the broken wing mentality dependent on what type of person I'm calling. But there's a great book by Susan Cain called Quiet. It's been about for about 10 years ago. And she quotes a University of Michigan study where they had a team of survey interviewers, just doing public surveys at the university, under the guise that the most successful interviewers, the ones who convinced respondents to stay on the line and answer the most questions, spoke moderately fast and paused occasionally with filler uh or um kind of statements. And she contrast that with the interviewers that made no pauses at all did less poorly. And the rationale behind that study is it elicits authenticity, this concept that never trust any man who doesn't walk around with a little bit of a limp. Corey Frank: (16:29) No one is that polished. That's just a philosophy. The beautiful thing about sales, right? Whether you use Sandler, whether you use pitch, whether you use [Taj 00:16:36], whether you use QBS, whether you use spin, is to know all these methodologies, I think, makes everybody, and this is what we try to teach here at Branch 49 is, learn from the masters. There's a great movie we like to quote, have all of our new folks listen to. Chris and I have spoken about it a few times, called Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Jason Bay: (16:57) Oh, yeah. Corey Frank: (16:57) Right? So, it a great documentary about the only three star Michelin-rated sushi restaurant in the world. And I've been there to. It's at the Ginza subway station in Tokyo. There's not even a restroom attached to it. And Joel [Busharon 00:17:12], the other esteemed three star chef, best restaurants in the world, and Ramsey, talk about the same concept that Jiro does, and I think I hear that in both you, Chris and Jason, is they don't hire chefs and teach them how to cook. They hire chefs to teach them how to taste first. "I've got to teach you how to taste. I've got to develop your palette and then I can teach you how to cook." And what you're saying about don't be squared up, hey, knock on the door, knock on the door and then maybe walk to the back of the porch and then do the, "Oh. Oh, hey, how are you?" Right? Versus open the door and you're there. And I love that nuance and applying a lot of those nuances to the phone on the delivery on the tone. And that's why I'm a big advocate on the ah's and um's. Corey Frank: (18:00) Oren Klaff, who's been on the show several times, from Pitch Anything and Flip The Script, talks about using hot cognitions and cold cognitions. And cold cognitions, speed, feeds, facts, numbers, data you're going to do low and slow. When you're talking about hot cognitions, you almost want to... If you listen to Elon Musk, he's always ahead of his [skis 00:18:26]. It's like his brain is firing at it so many synapse that he can't sometimes keep up. And it's not enthusiasm. It's just authenticity. It's, as the word used, Chris, innocence. I love that. Innocence. It's endearing sometimes. But it's a magical thing, isn't it, to do what we get to do? Ryan calls himself a professional. He was a professional salesperson, and now he's a professional caller. And I really like that. So, what are your guys thoughts on that? Are there natural callers or do you have to go through this tasting school first before you can really get to the promised land in selling? Chris Beall: (19:08) We've taken up training people, and I think training is a funny term but it actually is in this case, on how to experience a great cold call by doing one. And when you really think about it, it is more of a tasting experience than it is a cooking experience. We do all the cooking. We cook up the script. We describe and have them practice what the different parts are about. But there's a funny thing about the sense of taste, so to speak, in sales, which is we can't taste unless we're under pressure. We taste nothing in a sales situation unless it's real. And so we can role play all day long. And then as soon as we're in the real deal, we're not that person anymore, we're somebody else. So, we need to learn to be ourselves, that is, to taste authentically, so to speak, when we know that that dish we're tasting is going out there to a very, very particular kind of customer, the kind who shows up at that three-star restaurant and sends stuff back if it isn't plated quite right, much less if it doesn't taste perfect. Chris Beall: (20:12) So, I think that that's actually what I feel like we do in Flight School. I love that analogy. We let people experience the taste of a cold call by doing it under pressure. Then when they go off and they're doing it themselves later, there is something to talk about when they get off the beam, so to speak, when they drift. There's something to talk about because they're actually aware of what it tastes like to do it right. And yet until you get there, it's like unless you're under pressure performing in sales, it is like an actor, but it's like playing a musical instrument. I play very differently when my audience is me. I play a little bit differently when my audience is Helen. I play poorly when my audience is Kelly's boyfriend Dave, who's a master pianist. Chris Beall: (21:05) That's all it takes, right? Because you put enough pressure on me and that ease of being myself at the piano dissolves. And so practicing under pressure, I remember this when I was a young pianist. The hardest part of getting ready for a big music competition was figuring out how to put myself under enough pressure to break my ability to play that particular piece, which I had now over-learned. Corey Frank: (21:29) Really? Chris Beall: (21:30) And it was very, very hard to find. I once had the luxury in Phoenix of having Liberace show up. Corey Frank: (21:36) Really? Oh my gosh. Chris Beall: (21:37) 10:30 at night at this piano store where I'm practicing, because it was the only place I could find this particular piano that was identical to the one that I was going to play at [Greti Gamich 00:21:47]. And Liberace shows up to buy a piano at 10:30 at night. And I don't know who in this audience even knows who Liberace is. He was a very flamboyant guy and wore a lot of rings and some sort of outrageous clothing and all this. To others, right? To him, it was just who he was. But truly, truly a master pianist. This guy is off the charts good. And it was so valuable to me because Liberace walks in and asked me, "What are you playing?" And now I've got to play this Bartok piece- Corey Frank: (22:22) Oh my God. Chris Beall: (22:22) ... [crosstalk 00:22:22] Liberace. And it actually is what prepared me for the competition. All the other work was worth nothing other than the over-learning, but the pressure was worth everything. And I think that being yourself under pressure is true master. That's that's when you know you're a master. It's not what your performance is under pressure. It's just, can you be yourself under pressure? Imogene Coca told me this at that dinner theater one night. I said, "How can you be so funny on stage?" And she says, "I've done it so much that I'm still me." Corey Frank: (22:58) That's beautiful. Jason Bay: (23:00) I think the practice piece is so important, and being able to get your reps in so you don't have to think about what you're saying. That's where, when you've been doing it long enough, when I get in the zone the most is when I'm doing a training call and sometimes it doesn't happen and it's frustrating because I'm just distracted or off for some reason. But when I get in an hour call with 30, 40 reps or whatever it might be, and I'm very in the zone and I'm just talking and I'm not holding back. I used to have, when I first started training folks, the VP of sales was on the call participating. I would play the game of, "Oh man, well, this person's been running this business longer than I have, and they got more experience than I do," whatever, versus just focusing on delivering the message. I just hadn't done it in that environment enough. Jason Bay: (23:44) And I think it's totally the same with cold calling, like you're talking about, where have you just gotten in enough reps to not have to think about what you're going to say so much and really listen to the person so that I can hear the nuance in their tonality. One thing I ask reps a lot and challenge them on when I talk about cold calling is one of the three things that you need to do is actually get better at listening. You're not a very good listener. And there's a book called You're Not Listening, and it's prescribed reading for my wife. But one of the things that she talks about a lot in that book that's interesting and what I ask reps is, "What is this prospect thinking that they are not saying?" So, when someone says, in a cold call, "We're not interested," or, "We already have one of those. We already do that. I'm busy. Can we talk next year?" whatever it might be, are you really listening to the words and the tonality that is behind that? You know what I mean? Corey Frank: (24:44) Yup. Jason Bay: (24:45) There's so much more nuance behind that. I worked with another company that was a staffing company. The question they would get a lot is... Because they don't want to be branded as a staffing company because it's more of a software platform that they have where staffing is just a component of it, but they get lumped into the staffing category a lot. And I asked them, "So, when people ask you on the phone, 'Oh, are you guys a staffing company?' what's the question behind that question/" because they're not just wanting to know, are you a staffing company? Because you could just say, "No, we're not. Here's what we are instead." I want to answer the question that they're not asking. The question that they're not asking, I mean, there's a lot of them, but really what they're asking is, "Well, we're already trying to fix this problem. And I think it's doing the job right now. Why would we want to do something else right now when this is working?" Jason Bay: (25:34) Or maybe they're wanting to know about your credibility because you called and you're this random person that they've never talked to before. You need to answer those questions when you're answering that question. You need to really think about, "What are they feeling? What is the question behind this question? What are they thinking that they're not saying?" That type of, I don't know if you call it tactical empathy or whatever you want to call it, but that's the type of stuff that you can do when you've gotten your reps in and you're not thinking so much about what you're going to say and you're really just tuned in to the other person. Corey Frank: (26:07) That's developing trust, right? Chris, I think, talked about that several times is that sometimes you have to like something before you even understand it. And part of getting to that like certainly is trust. So, that's why I think we led off this call with truly something that was very, very evident, which is your tone. I think the authenticity and the tonality says, "Listen, I may not need your product, but I like what I'm hearing. I'm not threatened by what I'm hearing enough to say, I can ask you a question. Well, are you guys like X or are you guys like Y?" Corey Frank: (26:46) Versus sometimes, as we've all heard, it's happened to me, folks will hang up on me before I get past 27 seconds as clearly I was off. Maybe they were having a bad day. Maybe it was the fourth call of the day that they had like that or a plethora of other reasons. But if I get that over and over again, as the connected cell weapon certainly would reveal to me, my coach should be able to say, "Wait a minute. Corey, the last 27 conversations he's had, he's got a hang-up past 18 seconds." Announcer: (27:17) Selling a big idea to a skeptical customer, investor or partner is one of the hardest jobs in business. So, when it's time to really go big, you need to use an uncommon methodology to gain attention, frame your thoughts, and employ successful sequencing that is fresh enough to convince others that your ideas will truly change their world. From crafting just the right cold call screenplays to curating and mapping the ideal call list for your entire TAM, Branch 49's modern and innovative sales toolbox offers a guiding hand to ambitious organizations in their quest to reach market dominance. Learn more at branchfortynine.com. Never miss an episode. Go to any of your favorite podcast venues and search for Market Dominance Guys, or go to marketdominanceguys.com and subscribe.
Nov 30 2021
EP109: Being There for Your Customers
Can you truly say that you’re always on your customer’s side? Matt McCorkle, Manager of Branch Operations for Kaeser Compressors, can. At Kaeser, providing support for the products they sell is everything, explains this week’s guest on Market Dominance Guys. “It’s always about the customer,” Matt states. In this third of three conversations between Matt and our hosts, Chris Beall, and Corey Frank, the discussion centers on being 100% committed to supporting customers — those who have put themselves in your hands because you’ve convinced them to trust you. Corey explains that this starts with that first conversation, the cold call. “You are the product that builds trust first,” he says. “The actual product you’re selling comes second.” Join our three sales experts on this week’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “Being There for Your Customers.” About Our Guest Matt McCorkle is Manager of Branch Operations for Kaeser Compressors. He has earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and has now been with Kaeser Compressors for 13 years. ----more---- Here is the full transcript to this episode: Corey Frank (01:20:) Yeah, I have a theory probably that Chris, certainly knowing you as long as I have, that connect and sell, and Matt, I think you'd probably agree with this as a testament, is that it's not a product, it's not even a weapon as you guys like to say internally, but the medium is the message. The trust that you've engendered with people who are sitting in the front row of a workshop, people who you meet on a barefoot run, people who you meet in the dreariest German bars in O'Hare, wherever it is, that you are the product, which builds trust first. Then the product comes second. Matt, I think that you can't have a company like Kaeser that's been around for over 100 years and certainly, you have technical competence, the company does. You have industry competence, but I think, probably, the leadership that continues to come generation after generation continues to engender that trust. Kaeser is a name that I can pick up the phone at 3:00 in the morning if I have a problem with. If I have a problem, I know that Kaeser's going to try to figure out a manufacturer solution to help me. Sometimes it's a little tougher to get when it's pure software and there's no touch. When it's e-commerce alone, you miss out on certainly some conversations like this at an enterprise level, or at a more intimate level. You have just the brand promise, the website, the commercials, Somehow to sometimes drive that, and it'll be interesting to see if those companies end up being as durable as certainly as ConnectAndSell or Kaeser. Matt McCorkle (02:55): Chris and I were actually talking about that as it relates to ConnectAndSell. Building trust, getting meetings with folks because as I was calling with [Cheryl 00:03:04], we're trying to set up some virtual meetings, phone meetings. It's not common in our industry and it's because of exactly what you put your finger on there. This is a hard product, it's a piece of machinery in somebody's plant. They want to know that they can believe that you have the absolute best machinery ever. It's just amazing. It's reliable, it's efficient. It's just an incredible piece of machinery, but if you can't support it, they don't want it anywhere near their plant. That support piece, that you're going to have somebody here at 3:00 in the morning, they're going to know how to put it back together if something catastrophic happens. That's really critical in our industry. When it comes to ConnectAndSell, a lot of times you're pushing for that face-to-face meeting. The way, certainly, we use the sales process after that is to demonstrate that not only do we have business outcomes, but we also have the infrastructure to support these business outcomes in terms of technicians and parts support and things like that. That is definitely a piece that comes into play. I feel that it is more difficult to sell remotely, that you need a little bit of that face-to-face touch. Now, certainly, we're not giving up on doing things from a virtual perspective because it's such a powerful time saving, but at some point in that process, you've got to make that connection. Corey Frank (>04:26): I commend you, Matt. I mean, you think about the stewardship that you are responsible for, for this 119-year-old company, is that what it is? Matt McCorkle (04:26): Yes. Corey Frank (04:36): The stewardship that you're responsible for that company, the leap of faith, of trust that you had to have to say, "I want to take this approach not only from selling but also from certainly the technology benefit of ConnectAndSell." Can't underestimate that, right? I think that there's going to be a reciprocal effect as you can continue to see the market dominance effects occur. You're number three in the US. Hey, I'm sure when you're on the episode and on the show maybe next year, maybe it'll be number two. Maybe that'll be a takeaway. The math says three years, right, Chris? We got another year to cram it in, so we'll see how it works. I imagine that it'll be fun as you look at the legacy. Is the reciprocal effect of Matt McCorkle inside a company like Kaeser going to be affecting the results five years from now, 10 years from now, 15 years from now? You probably have clients that have been with that organization for five years, for 10 years, for 15 years, and they continue to be fans of Kaeser. Those are some of the larger ramifications of focusing on market dominance and the strategy, and really the residue of that, or the DNA level of that is that you build trust. You're building trust certainly with your team, with your board, with your leadership team, by "This is the way we are taking these mantles and planting them here, but this is how we're going to sell." It's really a great thing to see, wouldn't you say, Chris? Chris Beall (06:05): I tell you for me, I don't know how to put, spine-tingling. When we first engaged with Kaeser, I kept it quiet internally. I don't really talk to people about most of the deals I'm working on anyway, but I just thought, "Oh, the skepticism level is going to be so great." It's like why would a 117-year-old at the time, German air compressor company be an appropriate partner for ConnectAndSell, right? I mean, who are they going to have calling and who are they going to call and why are they going to do it? It sure doesn't look like Silicon Valley to me. I had actually more confidence, I remember, leaving that test drive with James Townsend and he said, "Well, what do you think?" I said, "These guys are going to take over their industry," and that was just walking out of the test drive. That wasn't just because the brats and beer were so good, even though, quite frankly, they were off the charts. That was one of the amazing things about being able to go physically in a test drive. I mean, I always ask two questions. Do these guys have the goods and do they have the will? If they have the goods and the will, are they willing to show somebody that they're competent, make it clear that the competence is there, and make it even more clear that they're on that other person's side, that individual person's side, right? That's all you have to really do in a business, but everything works against you. Short-termism works against you. Commission plans work against you. How people get moved up in organizations or moved out, the very short tenure of sales leaders works against you. All this stuff works against you, and it really takes depth, which most companies have a hard time finding, in order to say, "We really mean it. We really are competent. We really do know what we're doing, and by the way, we really are on your side. Not kind of on your side, we're actually on your side. We can afford to be on your side. That's how good we are. We can afford, and we can't afford not to be. We come all the way over there and yeah, you don't get to abuse us. Yeah, we're not here to fetch another rock for your rock pile. We get those games. We don't play those games, but frankly, if you're sincere in wanting to solve your problems, we're going to be even more sincere in trying to help you solve those problems and let the chips fall." That's what I felt when we left Milwaukee that day. That's why I told James, "These guys are going to dominate their market," because the sincerity, the competence was clearly there. I mean, it was obvious, right? As you point out, you don't get to be a 117-year-old industrial company, or any kind of company, unless the competence is there. It was that willingness and the will to win, combined with the willingness to actually be on the customers' side. Those are the things that come at a conflict because many times folks want to win. They want to win at the margin at the expense of the customer. At the margin it's tempting to take from the customer, rather than to have the discipline to say, "No, the way we do this is we are always on their side," because let's face it. We're the doctor, right? I'm a doctor, the patient's unconscious. I'm not supposed to go and look in their wallet while they're unconscious and "Oh yeah, I'll fix the gallbladder, but by the way, oh look! Nice little AmEx card here. I think I'll run up something on Amazon for myself." Chris Beall (10:25): It's very similar. If you're Kaeser, you're the expert. You have a kind of a ... I don't know if it's a fiduciary responsibility, but the responsibility of the expert toward the person who has thrown themselves into your hands and said, "Okay, I'll let you help me." I think when you do it that way, and I look at ConnectAndSell and ask, "What are we good for?" We are good for getting those trust-based conversations, those trust outcome conversations, to have them fast enough that then you can deal with all of that timing stress which shows up in business, because all businesses, as we said, the overhead of a business is like a racehorse. It eats while you sleep, right? It's not so wonderful. We have timing stress, so how do we deal with the timing stress that draws us away from being on the customers' side? One of the ways we do it is to broaden our pipeline, get the portfolio really wide, the funnel really wide, and make sure that it's paved entirely with trust, so that then we have, frankly, the luxury of harvesting that trust over time, as it makes sense for the customer. We're on their side one more way. In one funny way, we serve Customer A by engaging with Customer B, because Customer A might not be ready for a while. Customer B will sustain us while Customer A's need matures, or their understanding matures. We're actually serving each individual customer, oddly enough, by broadening our pipeline, by increasing the number of opportunities that we have at different stages, because it makes us more robust and the more robust we are, more capable we are of service. Corey Frank (12:06): You're also inhibiting ... make it a little bit more difficult for your competition, by at least having a trust-based conversation, even if they're not ready to move forward for your competition. That's part of the collection process that a lot of organizations underestimate, of "I'd rather send an email. These people aren't ready to move forward." No, no, no. Did you have a conversation? That's a good thing, especially if it's memorable, and it's part of a good balanced nutritious breakfast every month to continue to do, and have a conversation with those folks. Sorry, Matt, go ahead. Matt McCorkle (12:40): Yeah, both of those things are exactly how we've approached it and really it starts at the top when you talk about being on the customer side, Chris. I mean, Mr. Kaeser, this is a third-generation owner of the company, and it's always about the customer. It's not about selling another compressor. It's not about maximizing the size of the compressor or the size of the compressor sale. It's always been what keeps manufacturers running the longest and for the lowest cost, in terms of operating cost, not necessarily purchase price. That's what we're focused on. It starts with Mr. Kaeser, my boss, Frank, that's what he instills in everybody. That's absolutely it, Chris, and that's why it works. That's what leads to, I believe, the dominance. The sales cycles are long. The times when people ... you can't necessarily force it. In some cases, you can make the business case to do it now. In many cases you can, but not in all cases, but when you're having those trust-based conversations, when people realize we're willing to share our knowledge, we just want you to get better. We want to help you manufacture better, more reliably. We want to lower your costs. We've got some advice for you. It is probably a little different than what you're going to hear from others, but it doesn't necessarily involve buying anything. That's where the conversation starts and that's where it continues. Corey Frank (13:55): Bingo. That authentic message there that is what you're selling on that cold call is, "Let me leave your world just a little bit brighter, be a little bit more educated, regardless of if you buy anything for me. I'm here to move you down that Primrose path." That's a beautiful thing. Matt McCorkle (14:14): You asked me a question earlier, Corey, about what is it I'm tweaking and I kind of missed that a little bit. I would like to have another take at it because I am working on something, and what that something is is not needing to have the affirmation or be liked at the end of that call. I think this is a really powerful thing. I hear this from Oren Klaff, I listen to some of my best reps. You have to remove it from your mind completely. That's very difficult for me. I want to feel like, "Oh, this person liked me at the end of the call." It doesn't matter. If I have some value for him, but he doesn't like me at the end, or I'm challenging the way he's thinking about compressed air, about his business, about improving things, then I owe it to him to challenge him or her, challenge them in thinking about it. I think that's what ultimately leads to the best value-added conversations that we have on the phone. Corey Frank (15:04): Well, we just had a big event last week, Oren and the team, and us in San Diego. We had a couple of hundred folks and that came up time and again, Matt, where we talked about the four foundations. This is the "Pitch Anything" methodology. You need humor, curiosity, intrigue. The fourth element is where a lot of folks miss out on because of the need for approval, and that is tension. Humor, intrigue, curiosity, and tension. Human language was developed to communicate tension. It wasn't to communicate, "Give me a venti Mocha Macchiato, et cetera." It was to communicate, "Listen, there's a big sabertooth tiger over on that hill. Don't go over there." It's tough for me to do that with hand signals and grunts, so language by itself, stories, Beowulf, our oldest ancient verbal traditions, were to communicate tension. Somehow when we move to sales, right, we leave a lot of that because we have supplicative behavior. Matt McCorkle (16:07): Yes. Corey Frank (16:08): Certainly, the Sandler methodology has two major functions. You're financially secure and you don't need the business, and I'm a psychologist on a Broadway play, and my needs are not met by my prospects. My needs are met by the people in my immediate circle, could be my dog, could be my spouse, could be my children, could be my boss, but outside of that, maybe my industry. Outside of that, if I'm going for my customers to get my mental, emotional needs met, it's going to be a lonely life. You better have an office building, as I say, that's on the first floor, because if you have it on the second or third, you're going to be too tempted to jump out that window. Chris Beall (16:49): I never thought about jumping out the window, Corey. I was raised in one of those ranch-style houses. Corey Frank (16:56): Oh, that's right. Yes, you were. Chris Beall (16:58): I'd be able to go up on the roof and jump off that and it still wasn't high enough to get hurt, so what can I say? I think it's fascinating when the average person who's not in business thinks about business. They tend to think about words like cutthroat competition. They think about concepts, making the number and you're going to force things to have all that kind of stuff. That's not actually how it's done at the highest levels by the most successful people. It's just not. Listening to Matt, it's almost like it's an unfair trick to sincerely be on your customers' side while working your ass off in the back to make sure that you have the best products and that when it comes time to deal with the disasters or the problems in the field, that you are there. That sounds ridiculous, right? Corey Frank (17:53): What's the catch? Chris Beall (17:54): What's the catch, and the catch is it's kind of like a patent, right? What do we do when we get a patent? We make a trade with the public. As you know, I've got one or two of these things, and I've been schooled by one of the best patent attorneys in the world, the best that I know, Sid Leach out there in North Scottsdale now. Sid, he sat me down my first patent and he said, "Look Chris, this is a simple trade. You're trading exclusivity, a monopoly for 17 years or whatever it is with the public, and you're doing an exchange for teaching them precisely how to make your product, to make your invention." That's the trade, right? When you make it that clear, it's like, "Oh, so I better do a really good job of teaching them of disclosing exactly how to make this thing." I have to get out of my heart the desire for secrecy. In the same way, I have to get out of my heart the desire to be liked because it actually works against the purpose. The purpose is if I'm on your side, I'm going to share with you what I know. I'm not sharing it with you to make you feel a certain way about me, but because I sincerely believe that this information can be of value to you. Maybe right now, you're not very comfortable with it. That's good. It's just the way things are, but I can only share from the perspective of what I know, and you'll take it from the perspective of where you are at and how that makes you feel about me is totally irrelevant because otherwise, I'm a thief. I'm stealing your approval in exchange for what's good for you, that I believe is good for you anyway, which is my knowledge. It's the same kind of thing, right? I'm going to teach in exchange for an interesting kind of exclusivity, which is you will exclusively trust me and not my competitor. It's very much like that same sort of trade, it's just not as black and white. I think the issue in both cases is the temptation to not go all-in on removing that hesitation from your heart. You've got to go all-in on the commitment and to be on the customers' side. You have to go all-in on the commitment to share what you know. You can't be cagey. If you're being cagey, you're playing a short game, but life kind of is a long game. Business is a long game, and as we all know, businesses are more different from each other than people are. People are constrained, as animals were constrained by our biology. We share similarities that are deeper than our differences because if not, our ancestors were dead. Dead ancestors don't leave a lot of progeny, therefore, we're not here, right? Companies aren't like that. Companies can have immense complexity, but it's kind of funny. The biology of sincerity, so to speak, of customers' need to have somebody on their side, who's good at what they do, actually makes great companies like Kaeser much more like other are great companies that have stood the test of time because somebody at the top continues to insist, "We're not only great at this, that's what we do back here, but we're also on the customers' side. Not 60%, 70%, 80%. It's 100%." It might even be over a 100%. That's why they're still around, and we exist as a company to help those companies have that first conversation, that second conversation, that third conversation that leads to that mutual exploration. You've asked me before, "What business are you in?" I say, "We curate dominance." Some people say dominance means hurting other people. It's about the competition. It's not, it's the natural mathematical outcome of doing two things well. One is what you do and the other is who you do it for. Matt McCorkle (22:00): By the way, one of the things that draws me to your podcast that I love when I see it every time I see the little logo is the two folks on top of the pile, holding their flags, standing on bodies, laying there. When I saw this the first time I was just cracking up because on the one hand, it's very combative. You talk, I think, about blood. I'm like, "Oh, here's blood on the ground," but there's humor in it. There's great humor in it because you're absolutely right. That's really not what business is like in reality, but that's what we're pushing for. It's just a great image. I love it. Corey Frank (22:38): Well this has been wonderful. Matt, It's great to finally have you on the program. Like I said, your story and your journey has been great content for us these 100+ episodes. Thanks for taking the time. Those Germans, they run a tight ship so it's good for you to kind of jump out for hour and a half or so out of your busy day on a Friday to partake with us. Any final thoughts, Chris? We're going to get Matt back about a year from now in his final year of market dominance and tally up the scores. Chris Beall (23:07): Yeah, well it's an assured outcome. It's happening, it's going to continue to happen, and it's truly an honor and privilege to be able to partner with Kaeser. It's just an amazing thing. The path was all full of strange chunks of luck, right? I think we might have found each other eventually, anyway [crosstalk 00:23:29] because Matt went to Outbound. Outbound is where we kind of go hang out, but I'm so glad that we managed to get it together back then. There's a handful of customers that we work with that, every day, I think about, and I remind myself of what the world can be like. Working with Matt, working with the team at Kaeser, that's in that list. That's pre-breakfast every day. Corey Frank (23:59): That's funny. Matt McCorkle (23:59): Well, thank you. Thank you both for having me on. I do hope it encourages somebody that might be in a different industry and not think about ConnectAndSell working for them to really evaluate because it is absolutely a game-changing technology, but it's also a game-changing company. How Chris runs it is very refreshing and just very open. Chris, you're talking about us sharing openly with the customer. You're so much on our side. It's unbelievable and that's, again, very refreshing. True partnership and I really love working with you again. Thanks for having me on here. Corey Frank (24:34): All right. For the Sage of Sales, the birthday boy, Chris Beall, we're looking for another 110 years or so. Maybe ConnectAndSell will catch up to Kaeser here. We'll be celebrating that, or our progeny will be celebrating that in a future podcast. Until next time, this is Corey Frank with Chris Beall with the Market Dominance Guys. Announcer (24:55): Selling a big idea to a skeptical customer, investor, or partner is one of the hardest jobs in business. So when it's time to really go big, you need to use an uncommon methodology to gain attention, frame your thoughts, and employee successful sequencing that is fresh enough to convince others that your ideas will truly change their world. From crafting just the right cold call screenplay to curating and mapping the ideal call list for your entire TAM, Branch 49's modern and innovative sales toolbox offers a guiding hand to ambitious organizations in their quest to reach market dominance. Learn more at branch49.com. Never miss an episode! Go to any of your favorite podcast venues and search for Market Dominance Guys, or go to marketdominanceguys.com and subscribe!
Nov 23 2021
EP108: Sales and the State of Apprehension
Nobody likes to be told what to do. But in sales that’s exactly what we do: We tell our prospects what to do. With each cold call or discovery call, we’re basically saying, “Buy this!” No wonder prospects on the receiving end of a sales call feel apprehensive and try to end the call quickly! Matt McCorkle, Manager of Branch Operations for Kaeser Compressors, joins our Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank, for a dissection of this sales problem. How do you take a prospect from that state of apprehension, where they fear they’re going to be sold to, and get them to a state of pride, where they are comfortable enough to share their company’s pain and open the door to true discovery? Join Matt, Chris, and Corey as they talk turkey on this Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “Sales and the State of Apprehension." About Our Guest Matt McCorkle is Manager of Branch Operations for Kaeser Compressors. He has earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and has now been with Kaeser Compressors for 13 years. Listen to the next installment of this interview with Matt McCorkle Being There for Your Customers And the first one - EP107: On the Phone, They’ll Tell You the Truth! ----more---- Here is the complete transcript of this episode: Announcer (00:06): Welcome to another episode with the Market Dominance Guys, a program about the innovators, idealists and the entrepreneurs who thrive and die in the high-stakes world of building a startup company. We explore the cookbooks, guidebooks and magic beans needed to grow your business. Announcer (00:24): Nobody likes to be told what to do, but in sales, that's exactly what we do. We tell our prospects what to do. With each cold call or discovery call, we're basically saying, "Buy this." No wonder prospects on the receiving end of a sales call feel apprehensive and try to end the call quickly. Announcer (00:40): Matt McCorkle, manager and branch operations for Kaeser Compressors, joins our Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank, for a dissection of this sales problem. How do you take a prospect from that state of apprehension, where they fear they're going to be sold to, and get them to a state of pride where they're comfortable enough to share their company's pain and open the door for true discovery? Join Matt, Chris and Corey, as they talk turkey on this Market, Dominance Guys episode, Sales and the State of Apprehension. Corey Frank (01:15): And so Chris and Matt maybe can talk a little bit about that, about how the discovery call is maybe a little bit different than most people think. Chris Beall (01:23): I'll tell you one thing that's different, is discovery call doesn't have any piece of it that belongs in the cold call or the follow-up call to get a meeting. The psychology of getting a meeting is so radically different from the psychology of having a discovery call with somebody, which is an exploration. Chris Beall (01:42): I mean, you don't ambush somebody in order to explore something with them. You ambush somebody in order to see whether they'll agree to get past the ambush and have a chat with you about something that could go a little bit deeper and be more legitimately exploratory. And I mean, the mistake we see all the time, I see it all the time is folks going, "Oh, I got the meeting." In fact, I was just listening to one of my own reps the other day. She had the meeting, she had it on the calendar for a date and then started asking questions. Chris Beall (02:15): The questions that you would ask in discovery. And after the third question, the prospect said, "You know what? I don't think this is for me." Now, I went and looked at that particular company. They could use ConnectAndSell all day long. In fact, Kaeser would be an example of the kind of company that we might have rejected because we'd go, "Well, I don't know, [inaudible 00:02:36] using the phone?" And it'd be, "Well, not really." "How many reps do you have or are using?" How many hours did they blah, blah, blah. Was that kind of question. Chris Beall (02:45): So believing in the meeting as the only product that you're selling in an ambush conversation or follow up conversation, I believe is a big key, and then believing the potential value of that meeting for the human being you're talking with, even if you're never going to do business with them is the other key. Chris Beall (03:05): And this is where we've actually learned from some folks like Scott Webb over at HUB International and Cheryl Turner’s picked up these techniques. Scott told me once, he said, when I insist that somebody take the meeting, I feel like I'm pulling them out of the way of a speeding bus. I don't need their permission to save their life. And I think that attitude is super important. And you have that moment where you've gotten enough trust to move into the meet, I'll call it, the middle part of the cold call, where, okay, we get through that, now what? The answer is now what is, we should meet. Not, we should talk more about the meeting. Chris Beall (03:49): And Cheryl's got another thing she does, which I think is beautiful. And she had a CEO on the phone and I think she mentioned this one. She was on the podcast, he's putting gas in his car and he's standing in the rain. And he says, "Cheryl, I'm putting gas in my car. I'm standing in the rain. Of course, I don't have my calendar available." And she says, "Fantastic. Tell you what, I'm a morning person. I'll shoot you something for next Thursday. We'll move it around if we have to." Chris Beall (04:12): Because keeping in mind that the prospect's desire is to get off this call with their self-image intact. That's their only desire that never changes. Doesn't matter what they say. That's what they want. And that your view is they're better off if they take the meeting. A lot better off. So I'm going to make sure they take the meeting and I'll use the fact that they want to get off the call. Great. We're in alignment now, let's get this over with and at least get a verbal. Chris Beall (04:42): I won't go into discovery too far. You know how I do discovery? I mean, I do everything and I believe in sales. We should always do everything based on what we assess as the emotional state of the individual we're talking with and what is the next most useful emotional state they could transition to. Chris Beall (05:00): I don't believe in next steps. I believe in next state. A next state, because sales is an emotional journey, always a hundred percent of the time. And if the prospect's in an emotional state that is not conducive to further exploration, I want to help them get in an emotional state that is conducive to further exploration because that's where the value is going to be, is in the exploration. Chris Beall (05:25): So even in discovery, I figure they're starting off in a state of apprehension because they figure they're going to be sold to. What state do I want to get them into? A state of pride, because pride gives you comfort and when you're comfortable, you can speak freely. So I want them to settle in and speak with pride. That's why I ask that question that everybody knows I ask. I always ask, "Where are you in the face of our blue whirling planet right now?" And the reason I ask it is I want us to feel like we're together. Blue whirling planet, see earth at a distance. And I want them to speak with pride to where they live because that emotion now replaces the emotion of apprehension. Chris Beall (06:03): You can't have two contradictory emotions at once. Our old brain is too primitive for that. It doesn't know how to do that. It makes a choice. How am I going to feel right now? And the choice is actually made for it, so to speak. And that emotion is all there is, everything else is irrelevant. The question is, is it a useful one for doing the work that needs to be done or not? Chris Beall (06:28): I was talking to a guy today who's used to be a minor league ballplayer. And I said, "If you put you and me out at the plate, facing a major league pitcher, your emotional state will be very different from mine. Mine will be apprehension, bordering on actual rank fear. And no matter what that ball does, I'm bailing out. I'm out of there. Whereas you, your emotional state's different." Maybe I have the ability to hit that baseball. Maybe not, who knows? We'll never find out because I've got to get into an emotional state where I'm capable of performing. Chris Beall (07:05): I think that's what we do, primarily in sales, is we help people go from the emotional state they're into one that would be more conducive to getting to an exploration of possibilities. And when we think of it differently, I think we get in trouble. Matt McCorkle (07:23): Yeah, I really like that analogy of being on the phone with somebody and the value of the meeting is saving them from an oncoming train or a bus or whatever you're saying. What we say is, if this one isn't nearly as impactful, but when we're training we say, you are giving the person you're talking to a hundred dollars. Are you going to be excited and happy to give this person a hundred dollars because you're saving them that money simply by showing up and showing them some of the knowledge that we have at Kaeser for their operation? Absolutely. You're not taking a hundred bucks from them. You're not wasting their time, you're giving them a hundred dollars and here's the dollars of value you're giving them. That's the one we use, pretend like you got a hundred dollars in your pocket and you're just walking up to somebody and say, "Here you go. No strings attached, here's a hundred bucks." Helps with that confidence, because you're absolutely right, Corey, we run into [crosstalk 00:08:12]. Corey Frank (08:12): Well, that's what I'm getting at, is your target audience mainly engineers, mainly highly technical folks. Maybe on the shop floor, maybe foreman, et cetera, correct? Matt McCorkle (08:24): Yes, absolutely. Corey Frank (08:25): So Chris, from my perspective as a sales guy, do I have to change my tone knowing I'm not talking to an IT person or a marketing person or we're all just humans and the tone is the tone, is the tone and it doesn't matter if I'm talking to left brain, right brain. Do you coach a company like Kaeser and do you help Matt coach his team any differently than you would coach, if I'm selling marketing software, if I'm selling jets for Boeing, et cetera? Chris Beall (08:53): Cold call's a cold call. You've ambushed a human being. You've frightened them. You need to help them go from that state of fear to a state of trust. You have seven seconds to do it. When I'm ambushed, just like anybody else, you ever been in this unfamiliar city, street lights aren't any too good, you're walking by yourself. You walk around the corner and something is going on there that suddenly makes the adrenaline pump. You've just been ambushed. You've just ambushed yourself by walking around that corner. Chris Beall (09:25): You're just another person at that point. You're just another scared person. I don't care what you do for a living. You can be a damn cop for all I care. That moment is that moment. We have seven seconds to help somebody come out of that ambush situation, that fear they have of the invisible stranger and to help them get to a state of trust by showing them we see the world through their eyes and by demonstrating to them that we can solve a problem they have right now, the reason the cold call is awkward is, were the problem, we don't want to be the problem, but we are the problem. And when we accept the power of being the problem, cold calls become very, very easy. Chris Beall (10:39): The rest of it is nothing more than curiosity. And yes, it's a little easier when you're selling meetings to engineers, because engineers, by their nature are more curious than other people. That's why they went into engineering. I'm marrying a mechanical engineer. She's a very curious person. That's why it was barely straightforward to go from, "Helen, I think it's going to take you 1,872 lifetimes to find a guy the way you're going about it." Only an engineer would want to break it down like that. We had a fulsome discussion about that. And she considers it a proposition, I consider it a proposal, but we are getting married. Chris Beall (11:19): So the journey is always an emotional journey. And until you get into the content of the products themselves, you're really just dealing with human beings. You know me, Corey, I learned to sell by learning how to put a bridle on a horse when I was seven years old, by myself, I guarantee you, prospects and horses are identical. They're big, they're fast and they can kick you on the way out. That's it. They're identical. The only way you can get a horse to agree to be bridled when you're a little person, and we're all little compared to horses, is curiosity. It's the only emotion that consistently moves somebody. Curiosity moves all animals. Chris Beall (12:01): Oren Klaff teaches squirrel theory. It's a theory that says curiosity and apprehension are in opposition to each other. And the animal eventually has to decide to look in the basket. But if you open the basket too soon and dump it out, sorry that doesn't work. We're all human. And I think that gives us great power when we're selling, to know that. But it also means we need to learn and be very objective about how human beings like ourselves, work. Corey Frank (12:30): It's almost as if we make it, Chris, we've talked about this and Matt, what do you think? We make it so complex. So even though the product that you're selling, Matt, at Kaeser probably take pages just to cover all the patents that are listed and you probably keep your patent attorneys, you have dozens of them probably on staff, just keeping them busy. So it's a very complex, nuanced product. And to sell that, sometimes I may make the error in my ways that to cold call, to get appointments, to fill my needs for market dominance, I may think I have to be just as technical and I have to be maybe just as potentially dry as the prospects that I may think I'm approaching. But Chris, it's not that way at all. Corey Frank (13:14): I think one of the earlier episodes you referred to, I think that's one of our first 10 or 12 episodes, certainly I sort of encourage the listeners to go back to that one about the horse and putting the bridle on. I think that's very appropriate, but Matt, what do you think about that? When you hire and when you coach, I imagine you probably have a lot of engineers who are attracted to Kaiser and they want to be in the pre-sale side and maybe they start on the front or the BDR side. How do you kind of have them coach them and teach them these techniques to kind of unlearn a lot of the things that they may have as assumption? Matt McCorkle (13:49): It can be difficult. I mean, you've really kind of pinpointed the problem. I mean, when I approach sales and really even how taught sales at Kaiser for many years, was from a technical approach. And we were very successful at it at the time. But sales is evolving and what might have worked 10 years or 20 years ago, doesn't work as much now. Also competition always gets better. So when you're exploiting something, they're going to figure that out and get and closer to remove that differentiation, that P-ship that you have. Matt McCorkle (14:19): But yes, so salesperson comes on board and the first thing they're going to think about is, I need to know all about your product. I need to know what makes it different. I need to know how it works. I need to be able to describe this to a customer and definitely engineers approach it that way. That's how I even approached it. And the thing is, this also is what happens in sales. You can be successful doing that. And then you can think, "Well, that's the best way to do it because I've been successful at it or I've been successful enough at it." But it's not actually true. Matt McCorkle (14:47): You need to know enough about the technical to be able to ask the right questions, that's all you need to know. You don't need to actually know the specifics of how the machine works or anything really about that. You just need to know how is the customer using it? What do they actually need in their application? Those are really some relatively basic technical things. So as we've used ConnectAndSell and had more discovery, we have gotten less technical. We have gotten more about, what are the real business challenges that this customer is facing? Matt McCorkle (15:17): We actually had to develop new collateral that didn't have anything to do with products, that we had never conceived of that before. We always wanted to go in and say, "Well, our brand color is yellow and black." And so there would be a lot of yellow and black. Well, now we have things that don't even highlight those differences. So yes, training people on the discovery call is not about the product. It's not about technical differentiation. It's about partnering with a company that can deliver better business results that understands you as a company, how you work your key metrics of reliability, productivity. Matt McCorkle (15:51): And I think as Chris is talking about, what I realized as we were hiring different people, getting them to do things differently, I'm realizing that those salespeople that okay, have enough technical aptitude, but then are confident leaving the customer in a state where they say, "I trust this person can deliver on what they're promising. This person understands me." Those are the ones that are really the most successful in the end. And I think it absolutely gets down to emotion. It certainly gets to trust. And that's a lot of what we coach now, is related to those things much less so on the product and the technical details side. Corey Frank (16:31): Sure. And you coach and train all of your folks and across all these branches, correct? Matt McCorkle (16:38): That's correct. Yes. Corey Frank (16:40): When you look at your own evolution as a sales professional, Matt, would you mind sharing what it is that you are working on, on your sales process in November of 2021? Is there an aspect that as you watch your game film and listen to your own calls, that you kind of catch yourself to say, I haven't quite got the yips out of that particular aspect of my process yet. Matt McCorkle (17:07): Absolutely. So Chris, you talk about the pipeline, ConnectAndSell, it really expands that funnel. So you're getting more appointments in, okay, now you have more discovery calls. So then from the discovery, you are creating opportunities. So then once you have opportunities, how do you close them? And so our stage we've been working with ConnectAndSell, I think, what's this? More than two years now. And we've, as an organization, worked through those discovery pieces, how do we do that? We practice as an organization. How can we get better at those discovery calls? And now what we're looking at is we're looking at a playbook, essentially. So you have an opportunity. How do you win that game against the competition? What are the strategies that you use in terms of your conversation and in terms of your solution? Matt McCorkle (17:59): So those are really the two pieces that we heavily look at. That's really what drives our sales. Obviously you have a technical solution and then you have, how do you present it? Or how do you handle that conversation? So we're developing a playbook right now, and this is something was reiterated at outbound, a number of different ways. And that's what we're looking at in terms of, how do you marry technical solution with the conversation to increase your close rate from, say it's 25% and increase it to 40%, maybe even 50%. And that's really, I think the state of the market right now. Things are very, very, very, very strong. I think everybody's seeing that across the economy, with what's going on. So the question is how can you win a greater percentage of these opportunities that you find? Corey Frank (18:50): That's right. Well, I know one thing Chris does and certainly I do as CEOs of our company, is we sell. And Chris has taught me that from a long time, is that Henry Ford's definition of sales manager is best damn salesperson in the place. And Chris certainly has preached many times in this podcast that if you're a CEO, if you're an executive and you are not out front selling, cold calling, learning, you're missing out. And you're certainly not on the fast track to market dominance. Corey Frank (19:20): So, Chris, I haven't asked you this in a while, certainly in a public forum like this, but as a CEO of a company. You guys are doing quite well, but I know you, you're a mathematician, you're breaking down your formulas. Is there a nuance of your sales process as you listen to the calls or as Danny or Cheryl, or even Sean, when they listen to you pitch they be like, "There's an aspect I just got to get rid of, or I got to get better at." Chris Beall (19:45): Well, for me personally, I just would probably need to do more. I'm finding myself getting more efficient at getting folks in first conversations to agree to a test drive. I had one just the other day that I realized that was kind of a breakthrough. I didn't do it on Zoom, I just happened to call the person in an industry we've had no success in, but he said some intriguing things. So I started the clock and it was nine minutes from first word to agreement to take a test drive. And I realized even I've been falling into the habit of wanting to show a little bit more than is needed rather than just establishing sufficient reason to move to the next bit. Chris Beall (20:30): I learn over and over and over that there's two things that we all do wrong. We do them wrong and have to keep finding them. We do things in the wrong order and we get impatient and skip steps. We just do. We skip the steps as individuals. And we skip the steps also in processes. We often ask, how can I get there in fewer steps rather than how can I get there more surefootedly. Chris Beall (20:54): It's a funny thing, and when you look at it from the other side, from the empathy side and ask, how hard would it be for me to take this step if I were being asked to do so by somebody who is telling me about the, say ConnectAndSell thing? We often don't really think about how hard that would be, what would keep me from doing it? We often think, well, I know this, why don't you know it? You idiot. Why don't you just come along with me? We got the best air compressors. We're going to help you the most. We're the guys who actually understand how to put this thing into production the fastest and get you the cleanest results. We know how to save you money. What's wrong with you? Chris Beall (21:34): I find myself in that mindset and I have to go and be more naive, find more naivete inside myself and more ability to be empathetic with this person because I'm asking them to do something. Nobody likes to be asked to do something, that's just simple. Nobody wants to be asked by another human being to do something. We all have psychological reactance to being asked or told to do something. I think we've seen this in the national political scale in the US. Chris Beall (22:06): Now there's a relatively larger amount of societal transparency because of social media and immediacy. A lot of people just don't like to be told what to do. That would be all of us, actually. And when we're in sales, we're trying to tell somebody what to do. So we're kind of up against that and we need to get better at it. Chris Beall (22:26): Our organization itself, we've learned some things from some people who we're working with, an amazing thing. The insistence closed for a meeting, it's so powerful. And yet, as a company we haven't adopted it. We're still struggling with it because it makes us feel funny. It's like, well, what if they don't show for the meeting, blah, blah, blah. We know what that means, mathematically. It's great. They don't show up for the meeting. Isn't that fantastic. The Sheryl Turner, [inaudible 00:22:57], the math works out, but we're reluctant to adopt and try what hasn't been proven or we can say hasn't been proven. Chris Beall (23:07): I believe most of us could look at our sales processes and ask this question. Are there steps that we have put in place? Which provide us with false assurance of progress, where now that we've gotten trust, we could trust the prospect to do their job. And we could do those steps in another order or eliminate a step that we're using as an internal insurance policy for ourselves. And that we're telling ourselves a just so story about that if we make the customer do X, Y and Z, then they're more likely to do the thing we want them to do. If you were that person, would that be what it takes? Or is it just something that was put in place at one point to make you feel better? Announcer (23:57): Today's show is also brought to you by Branch49. Selling a big idea to a skeptical customer, investor, or partner is one of the hardest jobs in business, so when it’s time to really Go Big, you need to use an uncommon methodology to gain attention, frame your thoughts, and employ a successful sequencing that is fresh enough to convince others that your ideas will truly change their world. From crafting just the right Cold Call Screenplays, to curating and mapping the ideal Call List for your entire TAM, Branch49’s modern and innovative sales toolbox offers a guiding hand to ambitious organizations in their quest to reach Market Dominance.
Nov 16 2021
EP107: On the Phone, They’ll Tell You the Truth
Coming from a background in mechanical engineering, Matt McCorkle, Manager of Branch Operations for Kaeser Compressors, is very interested in how sales works. He has always believed in the power of the telephone as a selling tool, so when he learned about ConnectAndSell’s sales-acceleration platform from our Market Dominance Guy, Chris Beall, Matt immediately saw how he could use the telephone to increase Kaeser’s market share. “Matt was so curious, unlike many people in sales,” Chris says. Curious about how to get future appointments, how to coach coaches, how long onboarding takes, and about why face-to-face sales is different from phone sales. In this episode of Market Dominance Guys, Corey Frank and Chris learn what Matt has figured out: In face-to-face sales, he says, “people like you to leave feeling that they like you, and you like them, and everything’s okay, so they’re not really telling you the truth.” But — as the title of today’s episode of Market Dominance Guys states — “On the Phone, They’ll Tell You the Truth!” Tune in to hear our Guys’ and Matt’s view on dominating your market through the awesome power of well-orchestrated and professionally coached cold calls. ----more---- Here is the complete transcript of this episode: Announcer (00:06): Welcome to another episode with the Market Dominance Guys, a program about the innovators, idealists and the entrepreneurs who thrive and die in the high-stakes world of building a startup company. We explore the cookbooks, guidebooks, and magic beans needed to grow your business. Coming from a background in mechanical engineering, Matt McCorkle, manager of branch operations for Kaeser Compressors is very interested in how sales works. He has always believed in the power of the telephone as a selling tool. So when he learned about ConnectAndSell sale acceleration platform from our Market Dominance Guy Chris Beall, Matt immediately saw how he could use the telephone to increase Kaeser's market share. "Matt was so curious, unlike many people in sales," Chris says, "curious about how to get future appointments, how to coach coaches, how long onboarding takes, and why face-to-face sales is different from phone sales." In this episode of Market Dominance Guys, Corey Frank and Chris learn what Matt has figured out. "In face-to-face sales," he says, "people like you to leave feeling they like you and you like them and everything's okay, so they're not really telling you the truth." But as the title of today's episode of Market Dominance Guys states, on the phone, they'll tell you the truth. Tune to hear our guys' and Matt's view on dominating your market through the awesome power of well orchestrated and professionally coached cold calls. Corey Frank (01:38): But Matt, good to finally meet you. I don't know if you've listened to all 100 plus episodes or not. I think besides me and Chris and my mom, I don't know if anybody's listened to all of them. Maybe Henry. [crosstalk 00:01:52] That's right [inaudible 00:01:52] sushi of course. Right. But you've been the subject of many a story that we've had on the Market Dominance Guys over the last couple of years. And I think it's near real time. I remember hearing the narrative of when you met Matt, because that's about the time that we started this thing a couple years ago coming up. And today we have Chris Beall's birthday eve too, I believe. Is that on the docket as well? We're going to celebrate, pre-celebrate that perhaps? Chris Beall (02:19): Indeed, indeed. Oh yeah. I should go get the bottle of Oban just to make sure that we're clean here. I will do that. I'll do that. Yes, indeed. This is my last day at the age of 66 now. Not my last day. Let us be clear. Corey Frank (02:36): God willing, you will see another sunrise tomorrow. Well, welcome to this very special episode of the Market Dominance Guys. I think that Matt who's the leader of the sales and the service sector for Kaeser Compressors has probably been just as instrumental in a lot of the theory and the practice and the application of market dominance that Chris and I have discussed over the last couple years. Probably more than anybody, I think Chris, because you certainly talked through your story and your discovery process. And so we figured what better way to have the pre-birthday eve Chris Beall episode here than to have the guy that really kind of helped inspire this whole thing. So before we get started. So welcome, Matt, it's great to have you on the program. Matt McCorkle (03:21): Thank you, Corey. Corey Frank (03:22): Absolutely. I know two things about air compressors. I know two air compressors only because one of my sons is hopefully becoming an Eagle scout here soon. So we do a lot of camping. Matt McCorkle (03:31): Awesome. Corey Frank (03:32): And I know around campfires, you got your lungs as an air compressor. And then when that kind of wears out and a guy my age, and especially as big as I am, you use these little things called bellows. That's the limit of my experience of understanding air compressors. So maybe you could give a guy like me and some of our listeners maybe an intro to what Kaeser does and an air compressor. And how in the heck did you get this advanced weaponry of ConnectAndSell in something that is very industrially efficient and focused like a compressor? Matt McCorkle (04:04): Absolutely. So compressors, I have a mechanical engineering degree, love seeing how things work, seeing how things are made. And so that's one of the things that attracted me to the compressed air industry, because anything that's made, anything that's in a plant has compressed air in it. It's the significant source of power in every plant that you get into it. We have really fancy motors. Now there's all kinds of technology. But at the end of the day, you've got to move stuff. With all this increases in production capacity, you want to move it faster. And if you want to move it faster, you're using compressed air. So the examples you brought out are good. We would be calling those blowers though. So those are just increasing the velocity of the air. They're not actually squeezing it. So we also make blowers. So you think of blowers like a supercharger on a car. That's just basically increasing the flow. It does increase the pressure a little bit. But when you're in a plant, you're increasing the pressure 10, 15, maybe 20 times the ambient air and compressing that down, putting it into a pipe, and then having that air do some work that you could get done with a person or with a motor, but it's going to be much faster with compressed air and so- Corey Frank (05:16): Across all industries, correct? Matt McCorkle (05:16): Across all industries. Corey Frank (05:18): [crosstalk 00:05:18] chemical, I mean our phones, our computers. Everything I would imagine uses a compressor today. Matt McCorkle (05:24): Absolutely. It all uses compressed air at some point in the process. That's one of the other exciting things about the industry. When you look at market dominance, you never know what industry is going to be growing at a given time. Well, any of those industries are using compressed air. So whether it's electronics or chemical or food or medical, all of these industries use compressed air. One of the big ones right now is packaging. Certainly packaging, going to more sustainable packaging. So there's constantly innovation in packaging, moving from plastics to recyclables. Another big one is certainly material handling. So you look at all these large distribution centers that the Amazons and similar companies are doing, all those conveyor belts, they use compressed air to sort and shift packages. They use optical eyes, recycling, huge industry. These really fancy optical eyes that can scan what's coming across the conveyor belt and send the different materials every different direction at such incredible rates. It's just incredible to see those kind of things happening. And Kaeser's equipment is really reliable. So if you're in the demanding applications, if you're running a lot of hours, that's the equipment that folks want. And that's what we do. So you talk about demanding environments, and sales and compressors is demanding as well. And that's where a tool like ConnectAndSell really helps separate us. Corey Frank (06:43): So let's talk about that, Chris. You met Matt and we heard the story in the pre-show riffs here. But when you first met Matt, without giving away too many state secrets from Kaeser, because obviously you're a brilliant sales [inaudible 00:06:59] in service of businessmen, Matt. But talk a little bit about Chris, maybe that conversation that you and Matt first had, where there was the current state that I needed to get from here to there. And as you guys started geeking out and kind of coming on board, the market dominance train about what TAMs you wanted to exploit. Chris Beall (07:18): One of the coolest things ... first of all, the way it all came about at the outbound conference with the four horseman of outbound, Jeb Blount, Anthony Iannarino, Mike Weinberg, and Mark Hunter, this was 2019 in their conference and that's where Matt and I met. And I was just fortunate enough to attempt to sell ConnectAndSell to a colleague of his more or less on a between. Actually not a bet. It was just I told somebody that I wouldn't explain ConnectAndSell to him, but I'd be happy to sell it to anybody he pointed at. He pointed at a guy at our table. Turns out it was a colleague of Matt's. What actually kind of surprised me was when I met Matt, I was thinking, "Yeah, air compressors. Right? They're really going to want to make a bunch of phone calls." Right? And he just struck me as so open-minded and curious like an engineer, like a scientist. I was like, "Whoa, what's this guy doing at this conference?" Because I can tell you the world of sales is not full of particularly curious people. I hate to say it, but it isn't. There's a lot of conservatism in sales. There's a lot to do with the way we did it yesterday. It's the nature of the beast and for good reason. Because if you don't know why something works, you may as well continue what you thought you were doing yesterday. Right? So being able to take sales apart and put it back together, so to speak. And as our listeners know, I'm an old physicist mathematician. I'm very interested in how things work on the inside and not too afraid to take them apart and see what they look like and what's going on. It was just very, very exciting to me to have a quick conversation. I don't think we talked for more than 15 minutes, Matt. Did we? It was pretty quick. Matt McCorkle (08:58): No, but we got right into it. I mean, Bob introduced us. And I remember the conversation in detail because this is a challenge that I had been wrestling with. At that time, I would've been in this role I'm in for about four years. And so I was really diving into sales, really thinking about how do we grow market share. So a little bit about Kaeser. Kaeser has been around for more than 100 years. But in the United States. But we're not number one globally in our market. And in the US, we're around in the third range. It's not a huge secret. There's some big players that have more share than us. But that's share that we want. And so that's the challenge that I've got to think about. And we had been wrestling with how to get into more accounts. We knew that getting proactive appointments, your future schedule is more important than your past schedule. That's something that we knew from a sales perspective. And when we were speaking, that's what we were speaking about. How do you get those future appointments? So we had tried the sales development reps, inside sales reps. We had worked with outsourcing telemarketers. I mean, we've done all the typical things you look at. We hadn't tried the ConnectAndSell technology. And so everything you were saying was like, this is incredible. This can't be for real. And I remember the question I asked you at the end. I was like, "Everything here is too good to be true. There's got to be something here that's wrong. Why do customers stop working with you?" Announcer (10:23): We'll be back in a moment after a quick break. ConnectAndSell. Welcome to the end of dialing as you know it. Give your fingers a rest with ConnectAndSell's patented technology. You'll load your best sales folks up with eight to 10 times more live qualified conversations every day. And when we say qualified, we're talking about really qualified, like knowing how many tears they shed while watching the end of Toy Story kind of qualified. And we're back with Corey and Chris. Matt McCorkle (11:01): And Chris just straight up answered it right away. And it was a phenomenal answer and I'll never forget it. And I know if we were to ever stop working with ConnectAndSell, it would be because somebody forgot what this reason was. And that reason is because people forget that it's a personnel cost. You said when people don't realize that this is an offset for a personnel cost, then they move on. That's absolutely the truth. And it's been huge. There's just so many levels to it. I think the other challenge ... so there's that. How do you fill that proactive calendar? How do you fill your pipeline that it answers? But the other piece that I struggle with is how do you coach coaches? How do you take a person who hasn't sold compressors and turn them into somebody that can sell compressors successfully? And I think every business leader deals with this, kind of that onboarding piece. How long does it take? Who does it? How do you continue developing? And ConnectAndSell answers some huge problems in that area as well. It gives you amazing- Corey Frank (12:07): Great stuff, Matt. And again, without disclosing the state secret of Kaeser here. When you looked at the sales approach, maybe for your biz dev folks or your fronters before ConnectAndSell and after, right? Obviously we're big proponents on this show of the breakthrough script, the 27 seconds. And as Chris will tell you, when folks first hear that, that's a seismic mental shift for many, many reasons. I don't think that'll work. I don't think they're going to show up. And certainly there's answers for all of those. As if you've listened to the show, you'll understand. But talk a little bit about maybe that chasm that mentally you had to cross to completely say, Chris, ConnectAndSell, I'm yours. Take me. It's not a buffet. It's a full meal. When you do ConnectAndSell, you approach the flight school and [crosstalk 00:13:03] how something like that would help to expedite the process as well. Matt McCorkle (13:08): It definitely started with flight school. And so what we did for that, we came ready to go. The reason I had Chris go to Milwaukee is because Milwaukee was one of the best outbound prospecting, fill your proactive calendar branch already. I took him to the best place. Because I said, if we're going to test this thing, he can obviously make the worst team better, but can he make the best team better? And we went there and we used the pitches that we had practiced and had a lot of good guidance on putting together. And we were using those pitches. And then halfway through, I'm having a conversation with Chris and James and then I'm starting to pick their brain. Okay. Well, how would you put a pitch together? So then they start kind of piecemealing it together and they're doing this and that. And then we give it a try. And we're like, oh my goodness, here's the stats. It's already working better. And we haven't really even been fully trained. We just had a conversation about it. You're talking an hour, and all of a sudden it's better. And then from there we went through the full. So that was the test drive, I guess I should say. And then we went through the full flight school with Donny. As shared on LinkedIn and said many times to him is he's just a amazing teacher and really an incredible teacher. Ability to give difficult, constructive feedback in a way that you leave hugely motivated. And he was a big part of being able to get people to buy into that breakthrough script concept, for sure. And still is for our organization. As we bring new people on, they still get Donny treatment and- Corey Frank (14:40): The Red Baron of flight school. That's Donny. That's for sure. Matt McCorkle (14:43): Yeah. Chris Beall (14:43): Well, it's funny because there's an irony in there. I spent one day, one hour and 53 minutes talking to Donny Crawford from the Orlando airport. And I'm pacing around talking to Donny, trying to convince him to try the breakthrough script once. Just once. And he's telling me all the reasons it won't work, why he doesn't like it, what's wrong with it. And finally he says, okay, okay. And Donny is such a nice guy. He doesn't normally fight on something. So he truly thought the breakthrough script was a bad idea. And then he called me the next day and he said, "Holy smokes, Chris. That thing works. I got a meeting the first time I used it. Then I got a meeting the second time I used it. Then I started fooling around with it and I didn't get any meetings anymore. And I realized you told me if you fool around with it, you won't get any meetings." So Donny Crawford is like the biggest breakthrough script skeptic in the world until he tried it. So it's really interesting. It is the most awkward thing, especially when you think about. When you think about it, it kind of makes you sick. It's like, I don't want to say that part. I don't want to say that part. And then you kind of have to understand not only why it works, but why you don't want to say those things because that's important too. And Donny now, he's our chief flight school instructor. He's run, I don't know now, 85, 90 flight school since then. And I always get the same feedback. And it's because he truly is taking his experience as a cold caller, as a world class cold caller, and he's taking that life journey and putting it at the service of the people that he's training. And so when he speaks, he's speaking from this deep confidence that what he's teaching actually has a shot, but that it's tricky. And I don't know, Matt, whether you found this. But when reps drift, they drift in tone first and it's usually right at the very beginning. They have a hard time throwing themselves under the bus. That's [inaudible 00:16:53] a really hard thing to do. And so they kind of drift and they need coaching. And I find that our reps need coaching pretty much every week, even after they've got a lot of experience. Because the tendency to drift is so strong because it's a pretty high precision operation. Matt McCorkle (17:10): Absolutely. That's definitely true. We all need coaching. I myself eed coaching. I do some calling with Cheryl because I think it's just a great way to stay connected with customers and what they care about. I think one of the super powerful things is just the power of simply having a conversation, whether you're focused on a meeting or not is incredible, at least in our business. I think really in any business it can be. But it keeps you so in touch. So I do the calling. And yes, I'll drift. I'll have a few bad calls and you think, oh, I can tweak this or do this better. And it changes. And then you hear somebody doing it right or you listen back to yourself and you realize, wow, I really botched that. That did not work. But the coaching capabilities in ConnectAndSell to me is as powerful as the speed that you're able to connect with people. It is so hard to take the sales interaction and put it in a way that you can play it back and be like Tom Brady in a football game and watch what the defense is doing and decide you're going to do something different on your next chance with the ball. That's what you can do with ConnectAndSell. And that's one of the huge benefits we've had with it. Corey Frank (18:23): Matt, [inaudible 00:18:27] have you been classically trained as a salesperson. Did you go through TAS selling or Sandler or Xerox or Miller Heiman in your career? I know coming from an engineering background in the Air Force. But as you grew in the ranks at Kaeser and your other organizations, did you go through a classical sales methodology training process? Matt McCorkle (18:50): I thought this might come up. And no, I did not. I am not a true salesperson in that sense. So I first got into sales, prior to Kaeser, I was with carrier and I was what was called a pre-sale developer. So that meant I helped develop the proposal and then went along to present it with the salesperson. And so I still had the fear of sales that I see so much in people that I'm trying to recruit now. But then I had the chance to really get out and sell when I started up our Minneapolis and Milwaukee operations and was out carrying the bag and selling and doing as much reading as I could. Corey Frank (19:27): Because I'm curious because I can see why you do well now. And so maybe take us a little bit on the journey of because you weren't necessarily classically trained, and that's not a bad thing by the way. Right? Certainly especially a lot of sales methodologies that are out there. I think that's why what the ConnectAndSell folks with [inaudible 00:19:45] and Chris and everything do at the flight school is so powerful because it is ... if you can read, we can get you up to speed and sell. Because when I install, ConnectAndSell Chris and maybe Matt, you can comment to this ... it takes about three or four weeks to really get started. It takes a handful of months to really start to see results. Oh no, wait, I'm sorry. That's something else. Right? It takes 60 seconds. Read this, let's focus on your tone. So as you moved up the ranks and adopted your sales process, did you focus on your tone? Were you aware of these things about trust and fear and curiosity to generate? Were you focused on product knowledge? How did you create that snug fit, that trust factor in your world kind of before as you were coming up the ranks here to really get some traction? Matt McCorkle (20:40): Sure, sure. I think one of the hurdles I didn't have to overcome was the power of the telephone. So that was something that I very early on always believed in as a salesperson. Just because one of the things that we traditionally did was these blitzes. And so we'd go into the field and you'd go into an industrial park. And this is still very common today, actually even in the COVID era. And you're knocking on doors and you're trying to get cards, you're trying to see if somebody will meet you right then. And I was like, the maximum you're going to see in a given day is 25 people. This is not a good strategy. So I could see very early on this is not a good strategy. I knew that email was very impersonal. And really the only other thing is to get on the phone with somebody. So the phone was something that I had used successfully. I knew there were techniques to it. I had read a lot of Stephan Schiffman's work about the phone and had seen others be successful with it as well. So I had a strong belief in the phone. But what I also knew was there's two things about it that I always found were extremely hard to overcome. One of them is the rejection. When you're doing a cold call face to face, a rejection, it's very minimal, very easy to get over. You're talking to somebody, people want to be nice to you when you see them face to face. They want you to leave and feel like they like you and you like them and everything's okay. So they're not really telling you the truth. While on the phone, they'll tell you the truth. And the other thing is you're questioning as you're on the phone. Am I using my time well? Because I feel like I'm not doing anything. Whereas when I'm knocking on doors, I feel like I'm being very productive. I'm doing things. I'm seeing people. So those two hurdles were really, I think the biggest ones to overcome. And I think they still are. When you're on the phone, you're wondering, am I using my time most effectively right now to be sitting here waiting for somebody to pick up? And then even talking to that person, you deal with a couple doses of rejection and you question it even more. So what you have to do, and what we've done is we really keep in the forefront what we're looking for. What is that next step that we're looking for? We're looking for that meeting. We're looking for the conversation, just to have the conversation, to be able to say, Kaeser can help you improve your operations. We can help you improve your reliability, reduce your costs. This is what we do every day for people just like you. If we can just share those words with somebody, then we've had a win. So we try to really just focus on what is that next step that we're trying to get. And then also show how in the long term, this calling does bring great results. But I do think that long term focus has to be there. Kaeser again, we've been around 100 years, we have a very long term focus. So it's a great fit for our overall strategy as a company, it's much less short term, much longer term. And so that's what we keep in the forefront. But yeah, I hope that answers your question there in terms of how- Corey Frank (23:28): That's perfect. It's always great to hear, right, Chris, the journey of folks who ... because most of us, I think the Beverage Institute was an old institute that did research on sales professionals and the four evolutions of sales professionals. And evolution number one is called commercial visitor. And the characteristics and the traits of a commercial visitor is I fell into sales by accident, I see sales as living on the fringe of society, I'm meekish, sheepish, anxious about asking people from money, right? It's a lot of the ... if you're familiar with Sandler, they call it buy cycle issues. But that's the characteristic trait. And some folks never get out of that level one, evolution one commercial visitor to ultimately get to the professional consummate salesperson. And part of it from a high level, I'd like to hear from you, Chris, on this, because we've talked about this several times is the philosophy of the discovery call that a lot of folks maybe trip over, especially in a very complex engineering, nuanced product like compressors is I'm going to try to sell everything on this initial cold call to get them to my sales rep to talk about everything in my product catalog. And so Chris and Matt, maybe can talk a little bit about that. About how the discovery call is maybe a little bit different than most people think. Announcer (24:53): Today's show is also brought to you by UncommonPro.com. Selling a big idea to a skeptical customer or investor is one of the hardest jobs in business. So when it's really time to go big, you need an uncommon methodology to convince others that your ideas will truly change their world. Through a modern, innovative sales and scripting tool set, we offer a guiding hand to ambitious leaders in their quest to reach market dominance. It's time to get uncommon with UncommonPro.com. Never miss an episode. Go to any of your favorite podcast venues and search for Market Dominance Guys. Or go to MarketDominanceGuys.com and subscribe.
Nov 9 2021
EP106: The Impact of the Human Voice
If we train our salespeople to use data and devise probing questions that sort out which prospects are worth their time, is our main instruction to reps, “Go for the disqualification jugular vein!”? How’s that working for you? Santosh Sharan, president, and COO of Apollo.io joins our Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall, and Corey Frank, in part three of their three-part conversation about the roles of technology and data in cold calling, and the necessity of training the human voice to do more than disqualify prospects. Santosh explains, “Sales reps depend on technology so much that they don’t take time to do research and take a look at conversations strategically.” Chris and Corey both concur: To be a good talker and listener in a sales setting, training is essential, and the goal of that training should be gaining the buyer’s trust through the use of a great script and “The Impact of the Human Voice,” which is the title of today’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode. Listen to the previous segments of this interview: EP105: Data & Trust: Your Assets in Market Domination EP104: The Increasing Atomic Weight of Data About Our Guest Santosh Sharan, president and COO at Apollo.io, a leading data intelligence and sales engagement platform. Previously, Santosh was COO at LeadGenius, COO at Aberdeen, and VP at ZoomInfo. ----more---- Here is the complete transcript to this episode: Corey Frank (01:21): Well, that's critical. Again, as you know, not denigrating my profession, I'm in my profession, so I know. And is that you can't just take this plutonium 235 and drop it off at the office of the sales manager, and then just say, "Hey, you're good," without any guiding principles and data about operating procedures. And I think that's where Chris to your point was on the tech stack. The MarTech stack particularly is there's so many different increments that we can chase endlessly, but I think it really comes down to the companies that have the deep philosophy, right? You're not a carpet bagger. This is your industry. I don't think you're going to medical school or law school anymore. You are in the data industry. You are in the success industry, right? You are an entrepreneur that continues to see the world differently when it comes to empowering, giving companies like mine the rocket field, companies like Chris' the rocket field. Corey Frank (02:22): And so I want to know that about Apollo as if my folks are aligned that way, philosophically, that I'm buying into a product like Apollo that sees the world that I do, or that challenges me versus simply as a one-dimensional MarTech, that's going to charge me another seat license. And it may not last renewal period because, hey, my guys didn't use it or they didn't use it well. And you realize your account managers, your success managers that you have been spending an awful lot of time trying to reengage with the clients after they've sold them about, "Hey, did you know about this feature? Hey, did you know about this feature?" Corey Frank (02:59): And there's got to be some correlation where how many success managers you have versus your renewal rates. And I'm sure for a lot of companies it's a diagram, you should have maybe positioned it or sold it the right way at the beginning. And finding out a little bit about the culture of the organization, which is tough for salespeople to do, because, hey, we want to hit that number, but Chris, what are your thoughts on that? Chris Beall (03:24): Well, you know me, my crystal ball is actually here because I drove the excursion down to Arizona. So I have the room in that massive 9,000-pound beast for a crystal ball finally. No trunk, it's mostly crystal ball. I actually think what Santosh just described is coming to pass. We've seen it in what Henry at RealSource is doing, that he does have a system that analyzes that highly vertical data in commercial real estate world around medical office buildings. Corey Frank (03:54): Very small market, very tight market. Chris Beall (03:56): Very tight, right? Everybody in it is named. He has a thesis which is to talk to them well before they're thinking of selling, so that he can frame that opportunity for them. He has the Ironman suit, which allows him to basically it is an autopilot. It says the next best thing to do is this. There's another weird piece, which is most people are too busy to talk to you right now. So if you need to intersect that with conversations, you need a way of getting the conversations within the bounds of other people's what they're doing, right? Somebody called me while we're doing this podcast, the person who called me happens to be my regular insurance agent for a kind of insurance you have to buy now in the state of Washington or they tax you for some reason I can't understand. Chris Beall (04:43): So did he get through to me? No. That phone's sitting down there on the floor buzzing at me because I'm busy right now. So how hard is it for him to get ahold of me when I'm available? That's pretty hard. Like he's only got so many attempts to try. I only have how much time, I'm not busy, and that's true for everybody. Think of the autopilot this way. So Tesla autopilot works really, really well on the freeway. It's just fabulous. In fact, it saves lives. I have a friend whose life was actually believed was saved by the autopilot. It saw the car next to him in a rainstorm coming over into his lane and it saw that the lane next to it was open and it changed lanes into it. An emergency maneuver of a sort done smoothly entirely by automation, which no human being could do because he failed to have eyes grow out of the side of his head when he was an embryo. Chris Beall (05:36): You try, right? You can't get those things to pop out the side of your head at least not in the world we live in. But there's a real question when you're going down the road, which is okay, autopilot isn't much for surface streets and probably shouldn't be. And at some point, automated driving gives way to complexity and it's time to put the wheel firmly in your hands while you do the things that are required to navigate the parking lot that nobody is mapped or whatever, right? But the question really is what if your off-ramps were opened or closed at about a 5% open rate and it was scintillating? Some of this one's open now, this one's open now, whichever one's going to come up, you don't know. You got to have somebody get you on an off-ramp so you can go to Starbucks, right? Chris Beall (06:24): You can't just drive down the freeway forever, you're trying to do a little bit more. By the way, I was at a Starbucks the other day driving down from Washington state. And there were 10 Teslas lined up there charging, which told me that Tesla's figured out how to get you to go to Starbucks and charge your car, which means they're working with Starbucks. That's the kind of brilliance we're going to see in the future where the opportunity to interact is also optimized because the sales reps time is the constrained resource. So which offer ramp is open right now, the autopilot needs to tell me that and then I need to get going once I'm out there doing the peculiar things that only I as a driver can do. I love that analogy. I do think that's where the world is going. It accentuates the interpersonal skills. It moves out the data skills interestingly enough. Chris Beall (07:19): Your average sales rep, as we've talked about in the show is a... I don't mean average, I mean great, is a dyslexic talker listener that is not consistent with looking at data because the data doesn't sit still or paying attention to things that require deep focus in order understand them. Chris Beall (07:39): So somebody else has to do that kind of work. AI can do marvelous amounts of it than people who are using judgment can tune it up. The rep's job really should be, what's the next thing for me to do to move a relationship along in the direction of a potential helping relationship commercially for somebody. I think that's what's going to happen. And the talker listeners they're going to do their thing. Again, I don't like football analogies, but I'll go to it. It's very rare that the player who's capable of running that tight route or blocking sufficiently to keep that left tackle, who can keep your quarterback from getting killed, that that person also should be the head coach that same day, designing the place. They're kind of different things and you need both and making them mesh together in a way that wins in that zero-sum game that we call sales is the future and will always be the future. Santosh Sharan (08:38): Yeah. As you would talking, Chris, I realized here's another crystal ball or prophecy. If you look at the evolution of computing, right. There was a time when universities and government could buy one computer, that's it. It would cost like 10 million, right? And right now I look around I'm surrounded by like 10 small or large computers right now. Right? And that evolution took 40 years. Now, that evolution where data is accessible to all hasn't happened yet, to a certain... And this is an area where Apollo is really driving to democratize data. The way computing got democratized or information got democratized by Google. B2B data hasn't gotten democratized, I think that could happen pretty soon as well. Corey Frank (09:27): Wow. Now, that's fascinating. Chris Beall (09:29): Yeah. Corey Frank (09:29): So you guys make your living to some degree of selling undemocratized data and your insistence is to democratize it. I love it. I love it. Corey Frank (10:17): I wasn't sure Santosh to ask this question publicly on the record or not, but this idea of a social score, right. And where privacy ends and where applicable decent data, workable data is. Right? So for instance, knowing that Chris, the X and Y and the Z, but especially on the Z and then the alpha and the beta, maybe what time he picked up the phone, but where does it end? Maybe which number he picked up the phone on, maybe is there a tonality that works for Chris to persuade him differently? Maybe social tips on Chris is a veto, right? And you talk to him like this, this is what we've seen in the community or the consortium. Do you see any of that or maybe [crosstalk 00:11:01]. Santosh Sharan (11:01): Yeah, that's very interesting. I have not seen it in the phone world, but it already exists in the internet world. So what they do is for all of us on our internet, all the content we consume, some Google or Facebook or somebody is keeping track of all the content Chris consumes. All the websites he goes to and all the white paper he downloads. Now, what they do with that information is they'll try to anonymize Chris's name and email. They'll just say whatever information, certainly location and exec and the company, because if with IP address, you can tell which company this traffic is coming from. But then marketers are able to rebuild that it's Chris and no one else using other forms of data. Right? So there are ways to at least on the content consumption side, if you can call it a social score, you can tell a lot by the kind of content people are consuming. Right? Santosh Sharan (11:57): So what you allude to is very interesting if it can be built for a phone, right? Because everybody's calling the same... I have said two phone numbers, which one am I more likely to respond to? Right. Or what times of the day, if people have tried different times maybe Tuesday morning tends to work better because I have no meetings. Or if somebody could create those scores, we already have social scores on social media. Our behavior in their, so I don't think it would be a big taboo, your question on where the privacy stops? Anything that's on the internet, it's already public. Anything that's not on the internet, but it's related, it's on your business card is still public, right. Now, anything that's not on your business card and it's private, like my social security number, now that is strictly private and that cannot be used as data to enhance the profile. Santosh Sharan (13:01): But there is a landmark judgment by Supreme Court. This was like 30, 40 years ago, right around the time internet was being formed. And what they said is your public information, the fact that I work for Apollo is public information. I cannot prevent anyone from selling that information in a different medium and I cannot say that's private to me. Also, if it's work-related, my job title or work phone number, so they're all on my business card. As soon as I give my business card to one person that's like giving it to the whole world. Corey Frank (13:36): That's true. That's a great point. Yep. Santosh Sharan (13:38): Right. So I can't say no, you can have it, but then no one else should know this information. So that's how you make the distinction between public and private info. Corey Frank (13:47): I'm thinking like in terms of even personas, right, Chris, you talk about tonality ConnectAndSell they teach, certainly, I do as well that your voice has the musical instrument, right, has an ability to persuade, to create wanting before convincing based off of pacing. And certain people, it will resonate more than others. Corey Frank (14:09): Certain folks will based off your persona, your birth order, your role. I may talk to you in more of a monotone. And when I'm talking about facts and speeds and feeds, I may just do just kind of have a very low, low scale. For others, I may be a little bit more animated and that may be more successful. Corey Frank (14:30): Again, this is next-generation kind of gong.io kind of stuff, to be sure. But I'm fascinated with that because it's another uncharted world of, I have the data, I have the number, I have the person I'm going to call, now what is the dossier on how I can romance this person? Right. Talk a lot about Chris Vos and never split the difference in how you build trust and how you can get from fear to trust, to curiosity, commitment, very quickly. And a lot of that has to do with voice. Santosh Sharan (15:02): It's interesting what you are saying was the business model for Aberdeen. Is because we had a data business that we bought and we had the content and the business model was, we'll tell you who to contact, but we'll also tell you what to say. Right. And what to say, we were building a lot of content and lot of data. So we could automatically, and we had analyst data with lots of bits and pieces of information, but we could prompt, I guess this could be done better at scale. Clearly what you're saying holds good, right? Selling is a little bit like floating. You need ice breakers or any networking. You need those quick, and you have very little time to capture attention. So this voice box that you talk about, any coaching on what to say, first, it's the how you deliver your message, but also what content you deliver that will attract their attention. Santosh Sharan (16:00): If you're talking to a VP market, maybe you talk something strategic, versus if you're talking to a SDR, maybe you talk about something very tactical that will help them get the next, be successful in the very next call. Right. So knowing those differences, and also we live in this world of personalization where we are getting to a point where computers have to tell you this, right? Personalization is the opposite of specialization, right? So we are all trained to specialize in something and be good at it, just by focusing one thing. Right. And yet now we have to personalize to like hundreds of different... And this is where data and computing can help kind of bridge this gap. Chris Beall (16:42): Yeah. I'll point out something that happened at the very beginning of this podcast. Corey, you got on and you had a highly personalized opening interaction with Santosh talking about his past at Aberdeen, how you were a customer, as you established a connection. You admired his work. You reminded him of those days and what he could be proud of, by the way, we always talk about how the one emotion that we want to elicit in somebody that we're speaking with and want to have a relationship with is actually pride. Chris Beall (17:17): We want them to take their reticence or concern or whatever, and actually substitute for it, pride of either their accomplishments or even something as simple as the place where they live, which people generally choose where they live and they tend to be proud out of it. Right. My opening question on almost every discovery call is a question that very few people ask like this and I ask it for a very specific reason. Chris Beall (17:44): I would ask and I might have asked you this Santosh the first time we ever talked is, hey, so by the way, it helps me to have a conversation with somebody just to know kind of where they are. Where are you right now on the surface of our blue whirling planet. And what I'm actually doing is two things. One is, I'm saying we're together. We're both people and we're in this. The image you get is the earth from out and space, somewhere that famous picture, right? With the earth rise over the moon. And here we are, we're together. We're in this together. We're not just together in this meeting, but we're kind of in this together. And secondly, wherever it is you are, you either love it or you don't love it one way or another, you have emotions about it and that's the first thing you're going to speak about. And that totally changes the conversation. Chris Beall (18:30): And so it's a kind of, I'll call it universal personalization because it turns out we will all personalize the conversation if we're allowed to speak, as long as we don't have anybody trying to box us in. What we teach sales reps to do often is to try to box somebody in and ask box questions where we put you in a corner and say, "So Corey, if I could show you a way to avoid having several of your children kidnapped tomorrow afternoon around two o'clock, would that be a value to you?" Right? That's the kind of question that we have sales reps ask people. And it's like, I don't want to answer that question? Chris Beall (19:11): Whereas if I said, Corey, one of the things that I really admire about you, this just kind of blows me away is how you get so much done, not just professionally, but working with those young students at Grand Canyon University. And yet it's clear to me that because you do special things like you take the kids to places around the world, your children, and you don't have just one or two, you've got a few, you're a generous guy in that regard. How do you do that? That question is the kind of question that leads somewhere. And it leads somewhere for a very good reason because we tend to teach salespeople that the idea is to go for the disqualification or the qualification jugular. You can't do that unless somebody has chosen to, as the wolf does when it's playing with the other wolf to expose its throat, right? Chris Beall (20:08): You don't expose your throat until you trust the other party not to tear it out and leave blood all over their fangs. So that's the essence of how we get to this personalization. And often the data will help us. I'm having a meeting tomorrow with somebody who in less than three minutes, actually, I put it on the clock, it was about two minutes and 48 seconds. I discovered I'm meeting with somebody whose father started the company that he now runs in 1982. That's hugely valuable in our conversation. There's no doubt about that. How long did it take me to find that out, a little Google and I'm there. Right. And I also happen to know that his chief revenue officer came from three companies that I know extraordinarily well and had tenures of 1.3, 1.5, and 1.2 years at those three companies, which is interesting to me. I'll keep that in mind, but I won't mention it. Right. Chris Beall (21:07): So there are things that somebody could say, because it's not always what you do say, it's often what you don't say. I don't know why those tenures were like, they're about average for sales, but I'm certainly not going to bring that matter up. But I could bring up the higher-level thing, which is this world that you've lived in and I live in a sales tech world. It sure seems to be chaotic at times, doesn't it? And that's a kind of personalization that doesn't require that I know the name of your dog. Corey Frank (21:35): Yeah. Well, as my friend Ori Eisen from 41st Parameter in Trusona now. And multiple times Corey, there's two things you need to be successful in business, intelligence. Corey Frank (21:50): Right. And clearly the examples that you gave there, Chris, and just the nuance and the approach of those type of nurturing, seemingly harmless questions yielded an abundance of intelligence that you are going to leverage. Not in an unethical way, but in an unethical way to try to build that connection and that trust as you had said. And so I think that what Santosh's company, what Apollo certainly does, right, is enables us powers, sales guys like us CEOs like us in the hands of the right person, that data is absolutely deadly. And in the hands of some amateurs, you put an AR-15 in the hands of somebody who doesn't know what they're doing and that could have disastrous results as well, so. Chris Beall (22:42): Think of the challenge that it takes to take that example, which is I go out and I query the company. and I just want to know one thing, which is what does the company say about its own CEO? That's really important actually. Corey Frank (22:53): Ah, right. Chris Beall (22:54): The tone of what they say about their own CEO told me everything. And it told me that in two sentences that his father started the company in 1982. And that he was the guy who was the head of sales and took the company international. I don't need to know anything else more in order to begin a conversation in which I can now relax and let him talk because that's really what I want to do. And that's kind of the key to sales. I think the key to sales is to catch the person at the right time when they're ready to buy what you want. Eventually, if they're intrinsically qualified, they will be ready to buy what you want. The question is, do they trust you enough to tell you what they really want? Corey Frank (23:38): There you go. Santosh Sharan (23:39): Do you think the sales reps of today depend on technology so much and do so much. They're not really spending as much time to kind of do this research that you mentioned, right? Or they'd look at these conversations strategically, right? Or they're just like all these tools are bringing them leads and they want to close. They just want pricing in front of the buyer and then move on to the next one. In a way they're living in the day of plenty, and this is not how it used to be several years ago. And that's why you had to do all this hard work and kind research and hone your skills. But now I worry that some of that will go away from this. Corey Frank (24:24): Chris calls it that abundance of riches that you have, what's the term the amplify suck because here I have this weapon like ConnectAndSell, Santosh, right? And now I'm able to dial 1000 times a day if I want to, if I click that button enough. And I am powered by Apollo data. But if I'm lazy on my pitch, "Santosh, hi. This is Corey from apollo.io. I was wondering if you had a few minutes to talk." Maybe I don't have a screen placer, right. That's the amplify sucks. Corey Frank (24:58): So that's a very dangerous place to be because I think of that mentality of, I got 1000 other leads here, there's a couple of Oompa Loompas in the back room, just pouring unlimited amounts of apollo.io data and I got a bunch of hamsters over here, churning the ConnectAndSell, dialer. And so it's no skin off my nose. Right. Chris Beall (25:20): It's really interesting. I mean, the fact is when you don't have abundance, you can't learn how to hold great conversations. And the hardest conversation in sales are the trickiest, not the hardest, but the most different conversation is the ambush conversation. It's the only conversation like it that we tolerate in business. Chris Beall (25:39): We actually don't want anybody to ambush anybody in general, but it turns out that to start a relationship off correctly, we have to ambush somebody right, most effectively. Because they're being inundated with so much noisy information, noisy requests coming in from all these inexpensive media that you got to go to an expensive medium. So you can go to a conference and have a conversation with them, that's really expensive. Or you can call them on a telephone and ambush them. And that conversation to be held effectively. Actually, this is what's so interesting is why I call it, you do Corey, finishing school for future CEOs. Chris Beall (26:20): That skill of holding a conversation where you didn't get to prep, but you can actually personalize it on the fly, that your techniques, which are ethical, are appropriate to the situation. Where you can allow that person to begin the process of trusting you by how you conduct that conversation. That's kind of the only way not to amplify suck, because at least competitively. Because if you really think about it, you only have two choices. You're only going to talk to somebody or you're not. If you don't talk to them, you are competitively in a world where everybody else is sending them more stuff that is tuned up to tease them. And people resist being teased over time. Those magic subject lines they wear out. The human voice never wears out. Corey Frank (27:09): That's a great line. That's great, Chris. I got to write that down. That's so true. We're always looking for the new Jedi Mind Trick on my one word and my email for sincerity and authenticity never goes to out of style, although a touch base status, whatever goofball line is now in Vogue today is tomorrow's Cliché. Chris Beall (27:34): Gresham’s law of marketing and sales communication, cheap information, cheap channels, drive out the previous message that worked. So you have something that's been kind of faked up. It's a little bit counterfeit, but it works. And then it gets driven out by all the noise, because it's easy to copy. Chris Beall (27:53): So when the cost of copying something drops to zero, the value of copies itself tends towards zero. The Mona Lisa, if I could copy it perfectly so you couldn't tell the difference between the original and my copy. You couldn't tell it even if you took the frame apart, right? Well, it drops in value. If I can make 100,000 copies of the actual Mona Lisa down to the Adams, so to speak, not worth so much. Now, I've got to know provenance which I can't know on conversations. So you've got to have something that doesn't degrade. Chris Beall (28:26): And one thing that doesn't degrade is the human midbrain. It's very, very old. It goes back to well before we were humans. Now, anybody who's ever had a dog knows and you know me, Corey, I was a dog guy, right? 16 dogs I had as a kid at one point. The tone of voice you use with a dog determines your relationship with it almost instantly. And a dog and a human last common ancestor we had was a long, long, long time ago. But that part of the brain that interprets the intention from the voice, can I trust you? That goes back a long ways before we were- Santosh Sharan (29:05): What you're saying is we have millions of years of evolutionary memory on how we respond to each other's voice, right? And then with our whatever flight or fight response, it's almost involuntary response, right? We don't even realize that we are building trust and credibility. Do you think this can be coached or do you think it's just a natural talent. Chris Beall (29:31): It can not be coached, but that's what this shirt's all about, flight school, it is what we coach. So today (unnamed company) subjected themselves voluntarily in their Canadian and their UK operation to their first full session of Flight School, which is two hours long. And the preparation is we take them through a messaging workshop and we teach them the psychological framework to go from fear, not the rep's fear, but the prospect's fear of being ambushed by an invisible stranger to trust in seven seconds. And from trust to curiosity in about 17 seconds and from curiosity to commitment, to take a meeting in about 10 seconds. And we teach it to people and then we coach them like the first two hours we coach only the first seven seconds of the conversation. And they have live conversations one after another, after another, and they get comfortable and then they get used to listening to coaching and they try different things. Chris Beall (30:33): And we do this at this level of precision. It's not like, here are the words. The words are not, I know I'm an interruption can I have 27 seconds? It's like this, I know I'm an interruption, can I have 27 seconds to tell you why I called? And each of those voices has a name according to the FBI. Each of those voices can be learned, that hard flat throwing myself under the bus. I know I'm an interruption, that tells you I see the world through your eyes. That's tactical empathy, that was developed by the FBI in order to start a hostage negotiation. Not that exact words, but that idea, right. Took a couple seconds. Then the next part is called playful curious, come along with me, I'm going to show you that I'm competent to solve a problem you have right now. Chris Beall (31:21): You know what your problem is? I know what it is, me. I am your problem. So I'm going to offer a solution to the problem of which I'm completely in control. I know what you're trying to do. Your goal is to get off this call with your self-image intact. I'm not going to say that, that would be impolite, but I know it's true. So on that foundation, I'm going to offer a solution to the problem. Can I have 27 seconds to tell you why called? My voice will go up twice. We teach that, that alone will increase conversation and meeting conversion rates. Just those seven seconds by a factor of four. It's like taking a team of 10 SDRs and turning them into 40 to learn how to do that. So we do teach that. We did it reluctantly, we wanted to do this. We thought we're providing electricity dammit, hook it up and get your lights going and turn some motors, and then we discovered we amplify suck. Chris Beall (32:13): And we had to figure out something to do about it. And so out of desperation actually, trying to save a company in Austin, Texas that had been through an unfortunate experience and had $21 million stolen from them by their president. So the owner, I felt bad for him. And I offered him Mondays and Fridays unlimited for $25,000 for a month. And he jumped on it. Well, then we realized, oh my God, we only have Mondays and Fridays. We got to get this team to the highest possible level to save this company, to save these jobs. So we invented this flight school thing and we did it one session, like what's the most important part of the first seven seconds, right? We had the script already. We've now done it 85 times. Chris Beall (33:00): Believe it or not that generic pitch when you plug in the persona specific message which has one economic component, one emotional component, one strategic component in plain language, not divulging the actual service that you provide or the solution, that combination is teachable and we can get a rep up in one day from being hired to setting meetings. And in fourth of these sessions, they can be setting meetings at a 95th percentile in the population of all cold calling reps out there. Chris Beall (33:36): At that point, they start to feel like they know something about sales and business and you can build on those emotions. So yes, that's a long answer, but the answer is, yes it can be taught and we teach it every day. Corey Frank (33:50): Well, Santosh, you're always invited to these type of discussions here. We just like to riff and rant and share data and get in deep. So anything we can help with, just let us know. But thanks for indulging us on this time. Chris Beall (34:03): This will be three episodes, I think people are going to be just riveted. I think they're going to be riveted, this is good stuff. So thanks so much for coming on Santosh. Corey Frank (34:13): Well, great. Well, Santosh a pleasure, true pleasure. I have a feeling we have a number of guests that always have an open invitation for the virtual seat over there and clearly, with your mind and what Apollo is doing and what they're going to do, we expect to have you back if you're kind enough to indulge us again and again. Both of our businesses, both of our backgrounds, mine and Chris' right, is built on data. The market, the theory of market dominance is the bone structure is in good solid data and great to have a kindred spirit like you in the world and getting the same things that we're trying to get out there into goodness into people like me, sales reps, marketing reps, et cetera. So we appreciate your time and we appreciate you jumping on the Market Dominance Guys. So for Chris Beall, this is Corey Frank with the Market Dominance Guys, until next time
Nov 2 2021
EP105: Data & Trust: Your Assets in Market Domination
Sales and marketing departments usually operate as two separate entities. Although that’s not healthy for a business, it’s generally the reality in many companies. Santosh Sharan, president and COO of Apollo.io, joins our Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank, in this second of three conversations, to talk about the evolution of data as a business asset and how shared data — and unified leadership — can eliminate this unfortunate dichotomy of purpose, and fuse sales and marketing into one weapon with a single goal: market domination. “Sales is simple,” Santosh says, “You’re looking for an edge over your competitors.” It used to come primarily from developing relationships, which Chris defines as gaining your prospect’s trust. Now, though, getting the desired information or data to an interested prospect provides an increasingly important edge — if you can do it faster than your competitors can. And, thus, data joins trust as a necessary tool of sales. Learn more about this and other data- and sales-related insights in today’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “Data & Trust: Your Assets in Market Domination.” Listen to the previous and next parts of this interview EP106: The Impact of the Human Voice EP104: The Increasing Atomic Weight of Data About Our Guest Santosh Sharan, president and COO at Apollo.io, a leading data intelligence and sales engagement platform. Previously, Santosh was COO at LeadGenius, COO at Aberdeen, and VP at ZoomInfo. ----more---- The complete transcript of this episode is here: Announcer (00:06): Sales and marketing departments usually operate as two separate entities. Although that's not healthy for a business, it's generally the reality in many companies. Santosh Sharan, President, and COO of apollo.io joins our Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank in this second of three conversations to talk about the evolution of data as a business asset and how shared data and unified leadership can eliminate this unfortunate dichotomy of purpose and fuse sales and marketing into one weapon with a single goal, market domination. Sales is simple Santosh says. You're looking for an edge over your competitors. It used to come primarily from developing relationships, which Chris as gaining your prospect's trust. Now though, getting the desired information or data to an interested prospect provides an increasingly important edge, if you can do it faster than your competitors can. And thus, data joins trust as a necessary tool of sales. Learn more about this and other data and sales-related insights in today's Market Dominance Guys episode, 'Data & Trust: Your Assets in Market Domination.' Corey Frank (01:45): Chris talks about a connected cell and he's done many a podcast and panel discussion about weasels. And pigs and weasels in data, pigs and weasels and dials, probably in life too. I suppose we could extend this to the zest for life. When you see this Santosh, is it possible that sometimes the intentions, the well intentions that I have as a sales manager or VP or a CRO to get the best data for my team. But, I look at the evolutionary scale. Maybe my marketing eyes are bigger than my sales stomach, if you will. Right? And it ties in into Chris, your weasel and pigs analogy. What do you do when they're just operating at two different evolutionary mentalities? Who wins? Where's the lowest common denominator that you can apply that? Does that make sense for both you guys? Chris Beall (02:39): Yeah. I'm really mystified, but I do get the pigs and weasels thing. I don't know Santosh, if you even know our pigs and weasels analogy. But, it goes like this. At ConnectAndSell, we divide our users or people that we meet into two categories, pigs and weasels. We love pigs because pigs are hungry for the next conversation, no matter what the last one tasted like. And we don't like weasels, because they're trying to weasel out of the one thing you need to do in sales to gain proprietary advantage, which is hold an intelligent conversation with somebody. When we work with a company that will have sort of a rebellion among the reps who are saying, "We don't want to talk to anybody. Management is making us talk to people using this horrible ConnectAndSell thing, right? We have a name for that too. We call it a weasel fest. This actually happens in every field, when you come right down to it. I've told this story... Actually, I told it to the Times of India, at one point. I was asked, "What in your career convinced you that you could do anything and be business." I said is when I was a landscape laborer working on the Indian Bend Wash in Scottsdale, Arizona at the McCormack ranch, soon-to-be McCormack ranch golf course. There were 22 of us on the team using shovels and rakes and stuff like that in order to take the vegetation off the side of this Washington, so that it could be nice and pretty and have grass planted on it. And the shop went union and you know who they got rid of. They got rid of the weasels, this really intelligent company out of Canada and our three Hungarian bosses were just super smart guys. They identified the weasels and fired them. Because, when we went union, they couldn't afford all of us and they kept the seven pigs, no matter what the last shovel felt like. The last time we scraped something we were looking to do more, we were looking to improve, right? And so I think you're right, Corey, it does go all the way down, even into the world of landscape laboring. By the way, the reason I made this little video for the Times of India, as I was convinced by somebody that it would be so bizarre and amazing for people in India to see that a guy who used to be a landscape laborer with a shovel and a rake would be the CEO of a software company. To me, it was just the most normal thing in the world, right? Where I grew up, sure, that kind of thing would happen. But, in different parts of the world, not only do we have different participation on the internet, but we have different ways that people come into the economy and there're all those changes going on. Again, all of which need to be captured in data and then used in intelligent ways. Just to speak on another topic briefly. I came out of the world of electronic catalog and as you know, Corey, I was the guy who was foolish enough to think I could categorize and attribute all the world's products and services and publish it daily in 14 languages. So, all these new products would come out and sometimes we'd have to make a new category and then we'd know a specialty capacity for start motors have got amperage and they've got voltage, they've got max RPMs. We knew all of that stuff about every product that was bought or sold in industry. When I think back on that, and I think about what you just said, Santosh, it's really interesting to me. You're saying basically that the people that we want to talk with and their companies are products and they have more and more interesting characteristics depending on what vertical they're in or what business they're in and what business we are in. So, it's actually more complex than the problem that I took on, which was just categorizing and attributing all the world's products and services. Even though there are a lot of them, there's 14,000, 15,000 categories. Here we might have a smaller number of categories of people who we want to speak with about business. It's not just sell to, but speak with about business. But, we ourselves are more complex. Yeah. That is we are not individuals. We're companies and companies have a lot more variety than individuals in a lot of interesting ways. So, the cross product of all of that I think is where Apollo and other players in the space, when you look at a Bombora with intent or whatever. It's like, "How do I figure out my complexity and the complexity of the world of all these people out there and then the rate of change of all of it and get it down to something where I say the next thing I am going to do." Like Henry does out of the Ironman suit. The very next thing I should do with my time, the one thing I can't expand as a salesperson or as a businessperson is time. The next thing I should do with my time is try to with this particular person for this purpose. That's so fascinating and that does grow without bound. I think that grows, that continues to grow, like that half of folks that aren't on the internet. Even without them coming onto the internet, this grows truly exponentially because the number of variables on one side, the number on the other side and the rate of change over time is such that we're not going to be able to have a unified field theory of it. We're just going to have to do. We're going to have guys like Santosh doing the work. Corey Frank (07:53): Mm-hmm (affirmative). Santosh Sharan (07:55): Yeah, that was well said. Just to follow up on that, within our client base, we see this phenomena that Corey described, where sales and marketing are on completely two different dimensions, right? That's just the reality of business, not necessarily healthy for the business. Now, how do we address it? I guess, first sharing a single tool stack definitely helps, right? Because, their version of reality is shared in that case. Oftentimes in larger companies, they have very different ways. They look at it, they are both acquiring data in different ways. Their ICPs are different. Their personas are different. They want different strategies for go-to-market, outbound versus inbound and so on. But just sharing, I think, tools, data, even having them report to a single person, leader. I think there are different strategies I've seen that help align. So, sales and marketing alignment is a highly discussed topic these days. Corey Frank (08:54): Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, I would imagine, especially with what you do at Apollo and Chris is the mathematician here. I'm not sure what your background is Santosh, but you look at the traditional Cartesian coordinates X, Y-axis. X-axis was maybe to take your earlier historical analogy, Santosh, of name, address, phone number and then, maybe I added zip code to that. Now I have a LinkedIn profile and I have cell number and I have direct number. And then if I have the Y-axis, maybe, I have who my boss is, how many servers I've bought, the buying cycles. But then, you have this Z rotational axis that's happening as well in data. Which is maybe more like you said, the Bombora. How do you... When you look at all three of those, is the competitive advantage I have as an organization now, to go with my data that has as much of... And I don't even know if these are the right terms, by the way. I'm a 17th century at least to beat the poetry major as most people know. So, that's the extent of my math is what I learned from Chris on these podcasts. But is that the right way to look at it, is an X and Y and a Z. And that extra traditional data sets that I can get, the intent data or what I've purchased in the past. Is that talk about a comic weight again. Santosh Sharan (10:17): That's a great... You articulated it very well by the way. So, let me see if I can respond to that, with clarity. With data, or without data, sales is very simple. Like Chris said, they're selling inventory and they have to sell it faster and more competitive than all the other vendors in the landscape. And they are all trying to do the same, right? So, you are continuously looking for an edge over your competitors. Where does the edge come from? Edge, there was some period of time where edge came from relationships, for instance. Now, we live in this day and age where business is moving at the speed of light and whatnot. So, now the demand origination before a buyer thinks they want something, if a seller knows that they want, or they have a faster sales cycle, somehow they're able to bring information faster because of automation or so on. So, there are many elements that play a role into getting that competitive advantage. Whichever team is better into getting to that race faster, they will win. In some cases, maybe relationships still matters. But, we are now we are doing business at far larger scale, where you potentially can't have relationship with everyone. So, this is where data helps and this data could be on the X, Y, Z, that you computed. But, those are just technicalities, depending on the business you are operating in, maybe just X and Y is enough, maybe you need Z. Maybe you need alpha and beta and other dimensions as well. But, that's for the business leaders to decide. Now, the one other thing I'll add, just another concept is, data is an appreciating asset for an enterprise. It's not a depreciating asset. What that means is, I truly believe that in several years from now, decades, every company will start to add amount of data they have to their balance sheet. Because, right now they have other forms of assets that are depreciating that are added. But, data is an appreciating asset. Because if you have, let's say a hundred thousand rows of records of whatever X, Y, Z-axis on multiple, your entire time. Then, you add 10 more records. What does it do? Those 10 more records are increasing the value of the other hundred thousand. Because, now you can correlate that and you can increase the value of your existing data. Now you have one more data element by which you can predict their behavior. So with that in mind, every day that a company accumulates data, it's actually making the old data stronger and better and more useful. It's such an important asset. I don't think most savvy companies have been doing this for a long time. But, bulk of the economy doesn't look at data. They're looking at it as a sales tool. Corey Frank (13:12): Yeah. Santosh Sharan (13:13): They're not looking at as an institutional knowledge depository. Corey Frank (13:18): It's a shame because, I know... Chris, you can chime in on this and Market Dominance Guys, certainly the premise for the show is about getting to 51% reach in your total addressable market by having trust-based conversations. Corey Frank (14:09): And so, Chris, what do you say with what Santosh is communicating? It certainly has an element on the balance sheet and will. I agree with that. That's very well said. But, in terms of pure market dominance, every conversation I have takes away potentially from the competition. I'm educating my market that more so, and that has a quantifiable aspect, I would assume too. Does it not Chris? Chris Beall (14:35): Yeah. It does. I agree deeply by the way, that data is an appreciating asset, which is quite shocking actually to almost everybody, if they think it through. But, it's absolutely correct. And I have some examples I'm looking at right here. So, I'm going to amplify that first. But, it really goes to your point, Corey. I'm looking at the month of October. Today is the 12th of October. Day is not quite done, looking at our own team and asking the question about the quantifiable aspect of data that represents relationships between people who work on our team and therefore our company and folks that we would like to do business with, or at least we'd like to have a meeting with them about doing business. I'm looking in order of conversion rates, conversation and meeting conversion rates top to bottom. That's the efficiency number. Once I start with a conversation, do I get to convert it to a meeting? Here's the data that represents that appreciating asset of trust that is being built with these folks. First is Cheryl Turner's follow list. Then there's, Shea Garber's missed meeting list, another follow-up list. Then there's, another follow list, past two calls last 30 days, 31 to 90 days. Jerry Hill's follow-up list top priority, get it? Reschedule, no-show meetings. I still haven't come up with a cold list yet. Mark Cajun I'm coming down, down, down. I still haven't come up with a list of raw data. In other words, this data is data that has started as raw data. It started just as contact information. It's been processed through the process of having conversations. And now, the results of those conversations are baked into the data so that it's used differently. We know precisely when we want to follow up with these people. We know what we want to say to them one to one fully personalized. We know what we hope the outcome will be. That outcome gets recorded. So, I actually think the way all this stuff comes together is that data represents things that are happening within the business and within relationships, but also supports nurturing those relationships in a human way. And, it's that cycle, I think, that's the modern magic of data. When the internet started to be usable to do what we're doing here, which is video over IP. It's the other void. So, here we are doing video over IP. But, it started doing voice-over IP. And we know that the human voice carries a huge information load, 20,000 bits a second of information compared to the 5,000 bits in an entire email. So, a quarter of a second of a human conversation is the equivalent of an email. Well, clearly that's not the words. None of us speak that fast. Even New Yorkers don't speak that fast. But, what really is happening is, we're communicating with each other as human beings in order to ascertain whether there's enough reason to move forward, including, "Do I trust you? Do you trust me?" And particularly if you're the buyer, you've got to trust me more than you trust yourself. I'm the seller, I'm the specialist. I know more than you do about what it is that you think about buying. You're putting yourself in my hands and you have to trust me before you really care if I'm competent or whether my product's any good. Because otherwise, what's the point? The better my product and the less trustworthy I am, the more trouble you're in. As the buyer, you're getting in deeper and deeper. So, it's really interesting how data and trust and evolving relationships go together on the balance sheet. And nobody has yet set up the, I'll call it the assay office, to come and appraise your company based on the value of all of that. What we do is we just do a subtraction exercise. We take the book value and we subtract it from your hoped for, or whatever somebody thinks your enterprise value is, transacted or not transacted. We subtract one number from the other and we call it Goodwill. But the Goodwill of today is represented concretely in the data you have and in the relationships tied to that data and represented by that data. And in the ability of that data to further those relationships in ways that let you survive. I equate market dominance in survival. Because to me, if you fail to dominate in the market, and I define a market narrowly. As you know, it's truly a list of folks such that for each somebody on that list, if you successfully sell to them, it lowers your cost and risk of selling to every other entity on that list. That's the definition of a market and they're bounded by those relationships and that requirement much like surface tension, bounds a water droplet. There's a reason we don't have raindrops that are the size of cars. They can only get so big before the movement, through the air breaks them up. The surface tension can't hold them. Markets are like that. They tend to be smaller than people think. In Santosh's world, number one thing you do with Apollo's data is you say, "Well, what's my market?" Most people do it wrong. They want to go, "How big is it?" The real question is, "How small can I make it so I can dominate it and still produce enough gross profit to exceed my overhead?" That's the actual business question, not how big is it? So, I can impress some venture capitalists. They'll write me checks and own my company. But, how small can it be and still be big enough to suit the purpose of dominating. If I look at that and I say, "Well, how do I know that I'm dominating?" Well, once I make that list. Who am I building relationships with? What do I know about them? And concretely what's happening? What's converting to meetings? What's happening in those meetings? What's going into follow-ups? Are those follow-ups known or unknown in terms of when they're going to happen and what the outcomes are? I think though, Santosh, when you say data is an appreciating asset, the mechanisms by which it appreciates, I think are quite fascinating, little measured, and they represent the bulk of our economy now. So basically, we live in a mystery economy as far as I can tell. Santosh Sharan (20:48): No. You said so many things that are resonated with me. We certainly... Those Milton and Keen's economic theories are no longer valid in the current day and age. Market dominance, you said survival is dominance. That's so true because we live in 'winner take all' models. Every segment, if you see there is like a CRM. There are 50 CRM companies, but only one or two of them take 85% of the market share. And then, the rest of them are fighting for jump change. That's happening in every sector. The reason is very simple because buyers are interconnected. There's information transparency. So whatever good ideas are getting overhyped, bad ideas are getting over-punished. And that's happening in stock market, in asset prices in companies. No different. Humans are human. They just talk to each other and everybody wants to invest in the same thing. I think this has some very interesting implications on how... As you were going through those lists, what struck me is these lists of your customers are really... It's like a slice of the market, a prioritized slice of the market they want to go after today. And then, whoever can get to a larger slice, in limited time and expense will win. Really, dominance is about the pace at which they can get more successful outcomes. And outcomes could come because they are experienced or they have, however else. It doesn't matter. They use one tool or the other, or one approach or the other. But eventually, as they go through these slices of market, fast enough, they have to demonstrate that credibility and trust. That's kind of the final frontier and... Corey Frank (22:43): Credibility and trust. And I would also add to that, as we talked about weasels and pigs, is the mentality across marketing and sales and the executive leadership aligned where they want to dominate a market. Versus they're just happy to be there. Because I know from a sales reps perspective, I could say, "Listen. I'll take any MarTech tool that will keep Chris off my butt. That will give me even mere basis points, increases where I can do the same amount of work hours, but maybe do a little bit more performance." And to me, I think to Chris, I think certainly to you with your success, that's a mentality that we've got to get rid of in our organizations. Because we only want the pigs who say, "Listen now, how do I take the best of a tool like Apollo, a weapon, like Apollo. Best of a weapon, like ConnectAndSell in arm, truly to a Tony Stark like the person who's inside that suit, who wants to save the world, who wants to save men's souls." Oftentimes that's misaligned is we have the right intentions from the boardroom, from the CRO, from RP&L, but it gets to the person who actually has to pull the trigger. And they're like, "Eh, this is cool. But, what do you want me to do with this?" And, that's certainly frustrating as leaders today. The people who are in the lab with the white jackets and the glasses is on the bridge of their nose and test tubes coming up with this great stuff from the Apollo labs. It's imported very carefully and there're all kinds of clean suits putting into the ConnectAndSell weapon and they're aiming and taking place. But downfield, a lot of the reps are just like, "Eh." And I think it just bears that the lowest common denominator still oftentimes rules all, in the world of sales and marketing. Chris Beall (24:28): Wow. It comes out in so many ways too. It's such a great point. I'm thinking as you're describing all that. Somebody like Cheryl Turner, who's been on this show who works at ConnectAndSell. She's looking to help every single person she talks with. She knows damn well that they will be helped by attending a meeting to learn about how conversations can change the trajectory of their company's future. So, she doesn't let them bill otherwise. Corey Frank (24:57): Yeah. Chris Beall (24:57): It's that last maneuver, Scott Webb called me today and said he was excited. Now this guy's a chief sales officer of a multi-billion dollar company. He said, "Chris, today, I talked to 10 people that are going to be attending a conference that I'm speaking at. I set meetings with 9 of them. I didn't get a meeting with the other because he actually won't be attending. So, I went nine for nine." I think this is a breakthrough. Right? That's, that attitude that we're talking about, which is regardless of the level in the organization, if you hire for that dominance, that willingness, as they say in the NFL to go across the middle and not get alligator arms. To actually be willing to extend and take the hit in order to make the thing happen. That's where the magic really happens. I think that's the flaw in the tech stack approach to sales, is the idea is to say, "I got a stack. Now you don't have to work anymore." Corey Frank (25:52): Right. Chris Beall (25:53): We have a customer that we're talking with and it's like, "Well, we're going to specialize over here and just have the callers. Then, these other SDRs, "Well, they won't do the data and they won't do the calling and they'll use outreach to sync." What do you mean? Are they going to work at all? Are they going to do anything? I guess they'll be pushing the button to send the emails in the various directions and maybe that's going to be effective. Who knows? You know? Corey Frank (26:14): Yeah. Chris Beall (26:14): Every experiment is worth a shot. But, that last part, and it's not actually an aggressive attitude about dominance. That's what's funny about market dominance. Market dominance is a service to the market. The market wants a player they can trust. And every segment, every sub-segment, every group of self inter-referencing folks really wants the comfort of knowing that they can turn to somebody to solve a particular class of problem today, or when they're ready to go after that solution. If you fail to establish yourself in that way, with at least one market, you failed them. Who are they going to turn to? Well, apparently somebody else, right? At the very front lines, that attitude of service, I'll call it insistent service. I'm going to pull you out of the way of this bus, because I know it's not good to get hit by buses. You just don't know that yet. And by the way, it's a foggy day and you don't see the bus coming. I actually got to do that once with somebody. Got to actually put my hand in front of him, kept him from walking inside in front of a bus. It was a reflex on my part. You think about that and go, "Okay." That's what you're trying to do in sales is, you're trying to keep somebody from stepping in front of a bus they can't see, because of the fog. Because, you have fog penetrating radar that can see buses and save lives and as you say, save souls. That's where the game is played. And I think when you hire, if you hire for that and nothing else, you will succeed in building your business and that's often not done. Corey Frank (27:52): That's beautiful. Well, clearly that's what you've done in your career Santosh, between Aberdeen and Lead and certainly why I think that they did everything possible to get you to come over to Apollo as the new president. So, we're coming up. We're going to get the hook on time here. And you got a couple of data geeks, three data geeks here who can certainly talk all day about this. But, we always get to this point of these conversations, we talk about the prognostication. Chris hates this part because he doesn't like to use it. Chris left his crystal ball in his trunk. There you go. There's his crystal ball. It's empty. But, when you look at these different levels. We have the X-axis, Y-axis and the Z. And you mentioned the alpha, beta and the other dimensions. Where do you see it... Without giving away too many of the trade secrets and what's going on in Apollo labs, where do you see guys like me on the sales side, getting extra enhancements or extra superpowers, extra spider bites from looking at some of these new dimensions that you... Santosh Sharan (28:48): There's a product that we are already working on. In fact, we already rolled out a version that's part of Apollo. Think of the job. I don't think the sales reps job will ever be fully automated. They just tweak a few dial and it works. So, you still have to talk and educate the buyer and pull them out of the bus like Chris says. But, everything else can be automated. Now there is so much data that potentially it cannot consume all the data. It's not humanly possible. They have 500 accounts they're sitting on, named accounts and something is happening to each of those accounts every day. There are opportunities popping up. But then, who's going to tell them? Now, what we have built is not surprisingly, we call it autopilot. It's inspired by Tesla's autopilot where the driver still needs to be there in the seat. But then, it assesses you, warns you here and there a few times. So similarly, we built this autopilot that looks at all the data you have access to. All means, all the CRM data, all the market data, all the changes that are going on. And then, it'll suddenly pop up an opportunity saying, "Ah, do you realize there was, we used to have this customer, eight months ago. He was a power user because I went and verified the usage logs from... And now he just turned out. He's joined this company as VP marketing, which could be a great candidate for you." Now, how in the world would we know? So, by correlating information, based on the past info. There is a mammoth amount of number crunching that needs to happen to find these golden nuggets through hyper correlation of millions of records. That's where I think the future... Depends on the timeline, how far we go. But somewhere in near term, I think the data is exploding so much that you need some sort of autopilot or navigated kind of guidance system. Like a side Cape to a rep that will tell them which data to look at. Now, even this autopilot, it just recommends feed. It just tells you, "Here are few things I brought up." It pulls up 10 things every morning. And then you can look at it. You say, "Yeah, this is interesting. This is not interesting." And then, it learns using AI and next time it'll give you a more relevant recommendations. Corey Frank (31:09): Well, that's critical. Announcer (31:11): Tune in next week for the third part of this interview. If you miss the first one, go back and listen to that too. So, you have the full story and all the advice you are going to need to put you on your way to market dominance. Today's show is also brought to you by uncommonpro.com. Selling a big idea to a skeptical customer or investor is one of the hardest jobs in business. So, when it's really time to go big, you need an uncommon methodology to convince others that your ideas will truly change their world. Through a modern, innovative sales and scripting tool set, we offer a guiding hand to ambitious leaders in their quest to reach market dominance. It's time to get uncommon with uncommonpro.com. Never miss an episode. Go to any of your favorite podcast venues and search for Market Dominance Guys, or go to market dominanceguys.com and subscribe.
Oct 26 2021
EP104: The Increasing Atomic Weight of Data