How do you de-risk your company? Marketing and business consultant John Orban and our Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank, wind up their four-part conversation by offering our listeners a great deal of advice about how to balance potential risk. These three sales scholars delve into the potential problems of forecasting your company’s success, the possible perils of determining the market value of your sales pipeline, and the pitfalls of the practice of inflating your sales and revenue prior to a reporting period, which is known as “stuffing the channel.” “I give myself good advice, but I seldom follow it,” admits Lewis Carroll’s famous character, Alice. In this vein, Chris warns that being in love with your brilliant idea for a business can make you into your great idea’s zombie — ignoring all you’ve learned about de-risking. Save yourself from that fate by listening to this week’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!”
John Orban brings his background as a MetLife sales rep and as an administrator of computer networks to his current career as a marketing and business consultant for creative professionals.
Full episode transcript below:
John Orban (01:21):
All the games that were played to make sales, you would not believe the stuff that went on. And quite frankly, I think it's one of the reasons why a number of insurance companies went out of business, because of all the games that their sales reps were doing.
Chris Beall (01:36):
Well, I think that-
John Orban (01:36):
Think that question compensation system is a problem.
Chris Beall (01:39):
It's a very interesting problem, right? We don't compensate our, our software engineers on how many lines of code they wrote this week and then have them go out and fake up some lines of code that ... you know? Okay, I'm going to do this. Then I had the smartness to delete it and add it, delete it ... Oh, I got enough code, right? I found that person who was alive and could sign that insurance policy. We don't do the at anywhere else in business. And it's a hangover. And it's a hangover, I believe, from the fundamental nature of manufacturing-driven capitalism, manufacturing core capitalism, where we came up with a trick. It sounds like the ultimate trick, which is, take raw materials, use machines and turn them into something, therefore allowing money to turn into more money in a very predictable way, but comes with a problem.
Chris Beall (02:30):
You got to dump the finished goods inventory somewhere. Otherwise it piles up. So, how often do we have to dump it or what's our flow rate to dump it? Well, our flow rate to dump it is determined by the flow rate of our factory and our buffer for finished its inventory. So, we do a bunch of things. Here's a gaming thing that people do at sales called stuffing the channel. So, we expand the buffer by getting channel partners to take on inventory that they may or may not be able to sell. Why do we do that? To make the number today. Why do we do that? Because the number today allows us to invest in the factory at very low interest rates, maybe even negative interest rates to borrow that money, because we don't have to borrow it, we got it from customers in advance and therefore we can make our factory bigger and it can dump our widgets up into finished goods inventory.
Chris Beall (03:21):
And at some point the channel, as they say, barfs it back up on us. That's a thing that the channel does. This is no longer what's interesting in the world. What's interesting in the world now is in B2B, is helping companies acquire capabilities that let them run better or grow more cost-efficient, or capital efficient way or more smoothly or less brain damage or less unethically or whatever it is they're trying to do. That's what we're selling. And there is no finished goods inventory. There's nothing to dump. And so, we compensate salespeople as though they're dumping or as though there's stuff the channel, let's face it, as though they're stuffing the channel, and we admire them and call it President's Club if they stuff the channel enough this year, because they got a club and nobody next year it's like, oh he had a bad year.
Chris Beall (04:11):
No. The channel barfed up his stuffing back onto it. Right? That's what we're looking at.
Corey Frank (04:18):
That's right, that's right.
Chris Beall (04:19):
And then it's a funny thing. I don't see it changing soon because, frankly, the very best sales people get to ride on that surfboard. And it's okay for them that they get paid immense amounts of money for being really good. Even though you could pay them the same immense amount of money and they would sell just as much or more, and you could trust them. You could just go, "Hey, I'm just going to pay you this." Like we do with CEOs, right? CEOs are considered often to be the top salesperson in the company. We don't ever pay commissions to ... At least I don't get one. Maybe I should go talk to my board about a little commission work on the side. So, it's a very interest situation in which we're still, I would say, early in the evolutionary process of coming to terms with postindustrial [crosstalk 00:05:12] ... it's not even capitalism anymore. It's just postindustrial innovation economy. We're coming [crosstalk 00:05:19].
Corey Frank (05:18):
We're having Matt from [inaudible 00:05:20], was it next week, I believe? He's going to be on the show, and one of his associates. And I was talking with Robert Vera, who's been on this show as well, Chris, as you know. It's a later episode, John, so as you catch up through the last couple of years, you'll eventually get to Robert Vera. And, Chris, you've said this quote too, and it's interesting to see how kindred minds here think alike. It's that, you know, to create this de-risk revenue generation machine, should be the goal of every board and every CEO and every CRO, a de-risk revenue generation machine. And as we talk about the math of sales. Again, your colleague Jerry Hill posted a great article today on the math of sales.
Corey Frank (05:58):
I'm a big fan of math of sales, [inaudible 00:06:00], we have a community. James Thornburg, ConnectAndSell as a weapon has enabled you to take the emotion, don't get emotional about math, and realize where you are as identifying the constraint in the system, and then focusing on that constraint in the system. But you have zero risk, right, Chris? In pursuing this math of sales, this methodology, as you speak, because if it doesn't pan out, what are you out?
Chris Beall (06:29):
[crosstalk 00:06:29] Right. Exactly. It actually, it's really funny. In the innovation economy, fundamentally, the only that we're risking is the time it takes to find out if anybody wants a solution to the problem that they're having, that is along the lines that we think we're capable of producing. It's so low risk and it's so fast, it can be done with one or two people in almost any size market. It can be done in less than two weeks, normally one week you in any size market and it's the step everybody skips. [crosstalk 00:07:02] And the reason they skip it is, think of the process, right? You have this idea. The idea is a brilliant idea. At least it seems that way to you. It takes over your mind. You think about it day and night, whatever that brilliant idea is, you think about it. All of us who do this kind of work, have this problem.
Chris Beall (07:21):
We come up with something. I got a great idea. Let's go use ConnectAndSell to call folks and help them see the wisdom of donating money to X, Y, or Z. It could be a great idea and I could think it all the way through, and I could get these kind of people to do it. The idea takes me over, it parisitizes me, it zombifies me. I am now that idea's zombie, and it controls my life for a little while. So, now, is the next natural step to go and say, huh, I wonder if anybody will buy this? I really want to be out of it within a week if they, if they won't buy it. Rationally, great idea. Emotionally, there's a kind of an ant for instance, and it gets parisitized by a microorganism. I think it's actually a fungus, perhaps.
Chris Beall (08:13):
And that microorganism, it's one of these real little tiny things, lives inside the ant. But it needs to be eaten by a bird in order to go through the rest of its life cycle to reproduce. So, what does it do? Well, it takes over the mind of the ant, the brain of the ant. And it says, you know what? I think, what would really feel really good right now, it'd be to climb this blade of grass. I want to go up I am an upwardly mobile ant. I just feel the urge suddenly, right? It's like, I feel the urge to take this great idea out. And then the ant gets to the top of the blade to grass. It goes, you know, being head up just doesn't work for me anymore, I want to be head down, feel the ant blood rush to my little [crosstalk 00:08:59] hanging here by my hind legs and my [crosstalk 00:09:01] legs.
Chris Beall (09:02):
I wonder why my abdomen turned so red and looking like ... oh, I'll ignore, that big red berry of an [crosstalk 00:09:09], that won't cause a problem. And then a bird comes down and eats the ant and the parasite gets what it wants, right? So, we have to avoid being that ant when we have been zombified by the idea that takes us as entrepreneurs. And how do we do that? Well, it's hard. This is why we should always do business with somebody else, but we need partner in business that says, "Let's take a look." Take a look, and the way we take a look is to go out into our hypothetical market, turn it into an actual list, talk to people on that list with our breakthrough script, that attempts to set meetings for our brilliant idea. Look at a simple number, which is what is our appointment setting rate for those meetings, and if it's above threshold, then we're okay. But otherwise, thank God we didn't get to the top of that blade of grass and turn our shiny berry red butt up into the sky and let a bird eat us.
John Orban (10:09):
That's right. That's right.
Chris Beall (10:10):
Because that's what happens.
Corey Frank (10:11):
That's exactly right.
John Orban (10:12):
Yeah, that's amazing stuff.
Corey Frank (10:14):
Yeah. So, John, you've been in sales for a while and you've sold all kinds of products and now you're in the art world. So, you're using another side of the brain a little bit more on a full-time basis, a consultant advisor to many upcoming artists and galleries, et cetera. So, if I'm selling art versus Chris and I are in the software business, the services business. But I'm selling art. A lot of these same rules apply?
John Orban (10:40):
It's interesting because I'm still trying to learn what's involved with that. And I happened to hear on one of your podcasts that Susan was a former gallery owner. I don't know whether she still isn't in gallery or not, I'd love to talk with her about some of the things that she's experienced but I think most people would agree that art is pretty much of an emotional purchase. You see a picture and it reminds you of vacation you took, or it reminds you of your grandfather or something, and you make that emotional connection and you get it. Over the last, I don't know, 10 or so years I've tried to analyze, why is the Mona Lisa such a amazing picture and how come we've only painted one of those in, what, 550 years or something like that? It doesn't seem to make sense. But they had something going on back in the Renaissance.
John Orban (11:29):
And it's not just the Renaissance. You take the 1800's, up until about 1920 when art just went south, except for people that we're still doing, well, what I consider to be real art, it's always been that emotional connection. It's the interplay of color. And sometimes it's a subject matter, but I'm still trying to figure all that out. And in the meantime, I'm trying to learn to paint myself and get better at it and see if I can crack that code, then I'll do the next Mona Lisa, that's my project for right now, but we'll see how that all works out.
Corey Frank (12:05):
Well, I think why this is so ... here you are, you're a master of your craft. You've been in sales for years and years. You've sold millions and millions of dollars worth of products to thousands of prospects. Chris, you have the same, taking companies public and raise money and [inaudible 00:12:21] residents and all this stuff. And I've made my share phone calls too. And I think as a science guy, Chris, you say, "Hey, what makes a law, a law is that it's a constant." Entropy or thermodynamics or math of sales. But where this is still so elusive is that, when you talk about trust, when you talk about engendering trust, you're talking about building curiosity. We know it when we see it like good art. I can't describe it, but I know it when I see it.
Corey Frank (12:52):
Of course, with the math of sales, I can actually know it when I see it too, you look at stats constantly of dial to connects for companies and look at their chart. But what we're talking about isn't quite a law, but it's also not a theory, correct? What would you call this kind of tweener period we are, what we're trying to build here in market dominance?
Chris Beall (13:12):
There is an underlying theory, but it's not and hard and fast. You can't go in and say in every single situation, this is what is happening. But in business, we don't get to do that anyway. We're not trying to make something happen every time. We always are dealing with ignorance of the future. That's the nature of complex systems, our ignorance is vast, very, very vast. The only way we know how to manage ignorance in large is through portfolio theory. That is we have more little bets. More little bets are safer than one big bet, if we can decouple the little bets. Now, it's very tricky to know that you've decoupled your bets, by the way. I thought that, for instance, my floor finishing company, that I decoupled my bets. And then I out that at midnight, on November 1st, every year, they turn on the big old furnace in every hospital in the Midwest and the humidity goes down and the airflow goes up and wow, that's interesting.
Chris Beall (14:07):
Those things all happen at the same time. And so, if you think your bets are decoupled and I thought mine were, you can find yourself failing everywhere at the same time. So, even that's hard. Portfolio theory is hard to apply because it's very difficult to get under the covers and say, these are truly decoupled, they're decoupled from big moves in the economy, whatever it happens to be. The way we manage risk, therefore, this is part of the theory is, we go fast. So, before bad things can happen, good things are done. So, the market dominance theory says I'm going to decouple my bets by spreading them across many individual conversations within my hypothesized market. And then I'm going to move fast enough that even if they turn out to be coupled in a disastrous way, I don't go broke because I know that's my state I'm trying to avoid is the broke state. The going bust. I used to be a professional gambler, as you know. And the number one rule as a professional gambler is you don't go bust.
Chris Beall (16:09):
Because then you're out of you're out of the big game. So, everything you're doing has to do with matching your bet size against your bankroll size, and running a portfolio of bets over time. And you got to do it fast before bad things happen externally. So, it's more of a system built around those two big ideas that, look, everything is risky. Big stuff that can go big is really risky. Therefore, start small, go fast and use really tight feedback loops, like Boyd, the fighter pilot John Boyd. He's the guy who revolutionized modern warfare by coming up with this notion of the OODA loop. So, the OODA loop says, you're going to orient yourself, then you're going to observe, then you're going to decide, then you're going to act. The shorter of the time cycle of your OOTA loop, the lower your risk is in making one bad decision that's going to cost your life.
Chris Beall (17:06):
Because you have time to do it again, to orient yourself again, observe again, deciding in and act again. So, what the market dominance theory basically says is it's not really about sales. It says in a world of uncertainty, speed to understanding of something no one else knows, that's a value. And that is this list of people will actually buy this thing. And therefore, it'll get cheaper and faster and easier to get more and more of them to buy it. The faster you can do that and get to market dominance in any size market, the safer you are, because market dominance is more predictable than individual sales, which are more predictable than market acceptance. And so you come up with proxies for the future, like, hey, let me talk to you about a meeting. Oh, if you take the meeting, that's a proxy for you buying the product because it's linearly related, mathematically in a portfolio basis, to folks buying the product. That's actually the underlying ... John, you said, this is almost like a physicist would say unified field theory.
Chris Beall (18:10):
It's actually the application of gambling theory, which is universal in the world of ignorance, ignorance theory, I'd call it, to the realities that we face in the world where we're trying to provide value. [crosstalk 00:18:24]
John Orban (18:23):
Yeah. I used to handicap horse races. So, And I only used to bet on long shots, anything that was eight to one or higher. So ... yeah.
Chris Beall (18:33):
Yeah, yeah. That's really funny. The guy who built the Museum Of New And Old in Hobart, Tasmania, built that fortune on two things. One is, he started out as a blackjack player. And then he did the horse racing handicapping thing all on long shots because there's an emotional reason long shots are mathematically superior. You have to endure the fact that you're generally not, it's not going to pay off, but when it does, it pays big.
John Orban (19:01):
And you only have to wait three minutes, about, [crosstalk 00:19:04] to find out whether it's going to pay off or not.
Chris Beall (19:06):
The cycle times are quick. You'll notice, by the way, that without them admitting it, a lot of people who are doing innovative work in business often have a gambling background. Sean McLaren himself has got a background in new Orleans that he can talk about, and I won't, way, way back. I'm not going to say that Sean could have done something longer ago than my life, but it's entirely possible. But I'm such a young guy that I think it's entirely possible. So, yeah, what's funny is the rest of this is, okay, what are the universals? Well, the universals are in B to B, people are afraid of buying stuff because they could lose their career. That's pretty much universal. Do I find people who will buy stuff because it's intriguing to them. Sure. And they're called tech enthusiasts.
Chris Beall (19:54):
Do I need to identify them and avoid thinking that they're part of the market? Yes. Is that easy or hard? It's hard because I love my product. And therefore, when they buy its idea, I feel loved and therefore I'm attracted to it. So, what do I have to do? Put up barriers to going in that direction. What kind of barriers? Well, preferably having a business partner, says, remember when we talked about tech enthusiasts? Yeah. Mary over there is one of those, let's not sell to Mary. Or we're so early, we don't know if our stuff will work. So, let's go sell to Mary, but let's not mistake Mary for the market. When do we know we're dealing with an electron and when do we know we're with a big old, heavy proton? And when do we know it's a neutron and when do we know the quirks are, you got to categorize in order to make good decisions, but that's about it.
Chris Beall (20:43):
That is really about it. And the reason we talk so much about trust, is trust is the hard part, because you've got to trust that you've got the goods and the staying power to not have to make this deal. So, [crosstalk 00:21:01] that somebody can trust you as a partner collaborator very early in the relationship, from the first seven seconds. And that is hard for people to come to for a lot of reasons. We talked about [Eric Honhower 00:21:17] climbing the LCAP thing. [crosstalk 00:21:21],
Corey Frank (21:21):
So, nine or 10, I think it was? [crosstalk 00:21:23].
John Orban (21:22):
Chris Beall (21:23):
Imagine the level of trust he has to have in him self to even try that stuff, much less to make that one move. And it wasn't the slab, which is the one that freaks me out, because I have bad experiences trying to down climb slabs in Yosemite, but it was that karate kick move. Anybody wants to go back and watch Free Solo if you want to get what got me, and I know of what I speak to some degree, as a former big wall climber [crosstalk 00:21:54]-
Corey Frank (21:54):
Alex Honnold. [crosstalk 00:21:54]
Chris Beall (21:54):
[inaudible 00:21:54] Alex Honnold. So, Alex has got to make a move that's the one thing you never want to do as a climber, it's called a committed move. He has to trust an outcome that he actually knows he's not in control of. And it's the one where he decides of all the moves to be made there, that karate kick move, that just looks so bizarre when he does it is actually the one with the lowest risk of failure in the circumstances in which he anticipated finding himself with regard to how he would feel, how his body would feel, how his mind would feel at that point in the climb. And he chose that from his portfolio, just like we have to do in sales. We have to choose stuff that isn't always going to work. Now, he was going without a rope. In sales, we pretty much have a rope. It's very rare that we're betting our entire career on a deal.
Chris Beall (22:46):
I've I've done it a couple times myself, staying detached and just being on the the other company's side, the other person's side throughout a long deal that's fraught, and you're going to go out of business if you don't get it done.
Corey Frank (23:00):
But zero. [crosstalk 00:23:02]
Chris Beall (23:02):
That's hard. That's harder to do, that's true mastery when you can do that stuff. But most of us in sales don't have to do that.
Corey Frank (23:08):
No, but you mentioned ... what's your law in gambling, right? Never go to never go to zero. And you certainly it's a little tougher today because if I raise money in an A round, a B round and I'm not going in that trajectory, I don't necessarily have that concern of going to zero, do I? Because I can always get more money. I can always do it down [crosstalk 00:23:29].
Chris Beall (23:29):
Yeah, yeah. Let me talk about this for, just for a moment, because this is something people ... [crosstalk 00:23:35] people think they're de-risking their company by taking venture capital. I've mentioned this before in the show. Read the docs, read the corporate text, read them in detail and ask yourself one simple question about every sentence. Is this sentence to protect them or me?
Chris Beall (23:54):
Just add them up. Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, add them up. Put them on the scale. Do it page by page, anyway you want to do it, you'll see they're professionals at something. And if you read it in detail, you'll find out their professionals at salvaging value from businesses that are being thrown away. That's what their professionals at. So, you have decided in order to de-risk your company, to go and go into business with somebody whose primary outcome is salvaging your business. If you think about it that way you might have a different point of view about risk. Another way you can get your venture capital is, find the smallest possible market you can imagine that's a true market and go take it, and let that be your venture capital. That will de-risk your company.
Corey Frank (24:41):
That's right. I think we talk about the gambling, right? One of the books ... it's on my list I think I sent you a few weeks ago, John, is against the odds or it's against all odds. I think it's Against The Gods.
Chris Beall (24:53):
Against The Gods, I love that. [crosstalk 00:24:56]
Corey Frank (24:55):
Against the Gods, by Peter Bernstein. Yes. And he talks about that in the 12th, 13th century, right around there, the concept ... you're mathematician Chris, you probably know this better is, the Hindu Arabic numbering system finally came and replaced letters as a symbol of value, right? And then this consequential concept of zero was finally established. And then this concept of zero was established, so the tools and mindset were finally in place for algebra and accounting and math of market domination, et cetera. But that concept of zero seems to be lost a little bit in folks that raise a little bit too much VC. Sometimes I think-
Chris Beall (25:40):
They think they're climbing with a rope.
Corey Frank (25:42):
They think they're climbing with a rope. And the other one that I was reminded the other day, I was just talking about with Robert Vera about this was, there's a weather forecaster in charge of weather forecasting for the United States Air Force in World War II, right? A lot of weather patterns, hey, they just came across Normandy and they've got to figure out how we can get to Berlin as quickly as possible and we need air cover. And so, this particular gentleman was in charge of making predictions for the weather over the following few months. And this weather forecaster quickly realized that these long-range forecasts that he was putting together were effectively useless. No better than pulling numbers out of a hat.
Corey Frank (26:22):
And when he argued, like the dutiful, loyal soldier he was, up the chain of command, when he argued that they should be discontinued, the reply came back, "The commanding general is well aware that the forecasts are no good. However, he needs them for planning purposes." And I think when we have folks again, like our colleague Gerry Hill put out his LinkedIn post today that, hey, we're in the season of kickoffs this year, right? There's all kinds of company corporate kickoffs and raise the bar race for revenue, swing for the fences, whatever cliche vapid kickoff they're going to have as a theme, there's going to be forecasts. And if there's no forecast without math, the math of sales, the concept of zero, you're living off a little bit of hopium there, it seems.
Chris Beall (27:14):
It's a funny world. It's a funny world in the sense that when you take somebody else's money, you're taking it in exchange for a story. So, when you're raising money ... and by the way, anybody who listens to this and thinks, oh Chris, doesn't like VCs or whatever. That's not true. I actually think investors provide all sorts of wonderful services [crosstalk 00:27:35]-
Corey Frank (27:34):
Chris Beall (27:35):
... I'm just saying, keep your, keep your damned eyes open for certain things that are universal out there. When you're raising money, investors want to see story of how it could be if everything works. If they need an answer to this question, which is, is this worth investing in? Because if it's not worth investing in, if it works, it's certainly not worth investing in if it doesn't work. So, they would just want to know not whether it's going to work or not, but if it works, will it have turned out to be a good investment?
Chris Beall (28:07):
That's actually the first order question. Most things, the answer is no, even if they worked, they wouldn't have been worth investing in. My mother used to have this phrase, if something's not worth doing, it's certainly not worth doing well. So, most mothers didn't tell the kids this, but my mother had a special way with words, shall we say, some of which involved the desert where you could bury a child. So, now that's something that gets confusing to folks because then when they raise the money and now here, what was put on paper was, is it going to be worth doing if it works? Now the question isn't that anymore, now the question is, really, how do we want to balance financial risk and potential return? That's a completely different question. And you need forecasts that are a little shorter term, because now you have questions like, are we going to run out of money? Do we want to run out of money?
Chris Beall (29:04):
All sorts of questions like that come into play. And so, you switch. It's like switching from that hard flat voice where you throw yourself under the bus, I know I'm an interruption. Now you have a new purpose. Come along with me, right?
Corey Frank (29:18):
Chris Beall (29:18):
It's, can I have 27 seconds tell you why I called? Those are different conversations for different purposes. And I think folks get confused by it. The weather forecast has a similar role. The weather forecast needs to ... not, like, are we going to decide to fly or not based on this, whatever it happens to be, it's in general, how are we going to allocate and stage our resources in case things turn out a certain way so we can react at lower cost and shorter cycle time? I think people really, really overplay proactivity in business.
Chris Beall (29:54):
They just wildly overplay it. The primary thing you have in business is your ability to react. Could you proact your way through COVID in December of 2019?
Corey Frank (30:06):
Chris Beall (30:09):
Right? You can't. Who made it well through COVID? Those who had buffers that were against some bad things, they didn't put all their chips on the same table, so to speak. And then those who reacted really, really fast and reacted fast in ways that were not overreactions, Cause overreacting is a bad idea too. Reaction is undervalued, I believe, in the world of business. It is the number one thing you've got to be able to do is take your forecast, take your plans, take your whatever, and go, okay, that was nice. Now what? How quickly can we think through the current situation and what is the one thing that we should do today in order to stay alive? Or in order to take advantage of an opportunity, or in order to snap the mouse trap. One or the other.
John Orban (31:03):
Yeah. I love [crosstalk 00:31:04]-
Corey Frank (31:04):
Religion, right? As a Catholic, we have it in The Lord's prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread," not give us our Q4's bread.
John Orban (31:12):
Corey Frank (31:13):
401(k) or ... even God, the son of m said, "Listen, today is what I want you to focus on." Right?
John Orban (31:20):
Chris Beall (31:21):
John Orban (31:22):
Well, I also love that concept you talk about how the SDRs and BDRs should be on the balance sheet. Because that gives you that extra hedge to be able to react as well. Because that's a powerful concept, it seems to me. And how you want to value that, I don't know. But that is definitely an asset that's underappreciated, I think.
Chris Beall (31:44):
Yeah. And I think your pipeline should be on your balance sheet too and it's not. It is, but it's in a subtle way. If you actually ask a financial expert, where's the pipeline? It's like, what pipeline? Well, where is it? Is it an asset? Oh, I don't know. Well, let me do this thought experiment. I'll take your pipeline away and make it mine, it'll now be my pipeline. I get all those relationships, I get to sell to them, I get your products to sell to them, won't this be great? What are you going to charge me for that? Are you going to give it to me for free, your whole pipeline? Oh no. Okay, so what's the price. Well, whatever that price is, that should be on the balance sheet? Because that is the market value of your pipeline. You only have maybe one buyer yourself and maybe you don't have any sellers, you don't feel like selling your pipeline, but when you sell your company, it's right in there. We call it good will.
Chris Beall (32:40):
[crosstalk 00:32:43 ] But actually, good will is a hodgepodge. Good will can include brand equity. It can include IP that's that's hiding at the edges, knowhow, all that stuff that's in there. But your pipeline, you can measure that sucker. We have an attribution report in ConnectAndSell. We can actually measure the growth of your pipeline due to conversations that you're having at the very top of your funnel every single day. You do a test drive with us, if you'll let us have access to your opportunity set, just throw them all at us. What's the name of the company and what's the anticipated close date? What's the amount? And if you want us to get really fancy, what's your imputed probability of close, which is bullshit.
Chris Beall (33:28):
But if you'll give it to us, we'll tell you how much money you are making that you can now discount, how much money's going into the pipeline every single day. You can watch it every day, one day at a time. To me, if you don't have control over and visibility into that asset, what are you doing? You're just dreaming, right? You're just like, oh, what are we doing? Well, we're doing some stuff today and according to this plan, it will yield fruit next year. Really? If you were to fertilize a field, would you then just leave it for a year and come back and see how it went? Doesn't make sense. We don't do it in other areas, but we do it in business because we're accustomed to not seeing what's going on. We're accustomed to having what are called reports. A report means somebody tells me something. It's hilarious to me that we call them reports when they come right out of the data. Nobody told you anything.
Corey Frank (34:23):
That's right. Well, we certainly told a lot of stuff to a lot of people in the last two hours here. So, we're going to leave it there. So, John, thank you for being, sincerely, one of our seven listeners, seven subscribers. We got the fetching Ms. [Fenucci 00:34:41] here once in a while, we got his sister, Chris's sister, Shelly, we got my mom, we got you. And I think we got a couple other folks out there, Chris, but-
Chris Beall (34:49):
Two of my four kids occasionally listen.
Corey Frank (34:51):
Well, there you go. There you go. [crosstalk 00:34:53]
John Orban (34:53):
This is a groundbreaking show, what you're doing is just fantastic. It's an honor to have been on the program. [crosstalk 00:34:59]
Corey Frank (34:58):
Absolutely. I don't think it's going to be the last time too, john. We really like to dive into, again, the craft of face to face sales really is something, Chris, that's a nuance, a field that we really haven't explored as much. And it'd be interesting, certainly talking with John further about an expert who does that, and I really love, again, the left brain and the right brain that clearly has made you a success in sales, John. So, any final thoughts, Chris?
Chris Beall (35:24):
Well, I tell you what, we brought in art for the first time. That's heck of a thing we brought in books, but we didn't go deep on the books. I think I've been very lazy about my recommended reading list, but I think we should put them up and make a little bookstore. The Market Dominance bookstore would be a fun thing to have. I have listed over here. What about GoldRat? Right? What about Deming? What about Taleb's? [crosstalk 00:35:49] Jesus, anti fragile. [crosstalk 00:35:51] I love rants, by the way. I love rants like out of the crisis, Demings rant. Grouchy old man saying, yeah, but when you read it, you go ... by the way, it's assigned reading for all my kids. My mom had her cruelty and I have mine.
Chris Beall (36:09):
And when you realize, wait a minute, what makes people do things at work? Pride of workmanship. Just knowing that will change everything about how you approach business. That one sentence. What is the first sentence in that book? Drive out fear. Drive out fear, why would you want to drive out fear if you want to control people? Why would you want to do that? It's a big, thick boo written by a grouchy guy who gave you a little Japanese memorabilia behind you? Who, frankly, gifted Japan the postwar economy because the US wasn't interested, because we had too much pride. We just, we know what we're doing. Look, our industrial machine just conquered the world. We must know what we're doing. Well, it turns out one thing that's really not obvious, drive out fear. And people work for pride of workmanship, not money. That's weird.
Chris Beall (36:59):
But those are the essences, that's the stuff where all this is hiding. And I want to get to the [crosstalk 00:37:06]. That's where it's at, [inaudible 00:37:09] book. I go back to flip the script, I don't even have to open it. My whole team does something in every discovery call that we call a flash roll, and we have to keep reminding ourselves what it's for, is to establish ourselves as experts, not to teach them anything about our product.
Corey Frank (37:27):
Chris Beall (37:27):
And it's practiced. I'm very proud of my flash roll. I think mine is the best because [crosstalk 00:37:34] proud of, right? But it's interesting what's in these books. It's interesting when you go into books like Temple Grandins, an anthropologist on Mars, and you realize there's a whole different way of seeing the world and you probably don't see it that way. But people you're interacting with might have some of that in them. And if you're going to deal with technologists, probably really good to read an anthropologist on Mars.
Corey Frank (38:02):
Chris Beall (38:03):
If you're going to understand what it's like when we forget stuff or misapprehend something, read [inaudible 00:38:12] No Shadows in the Brain or Mind, whichever it is. I can never remember the title, because I've got one of those same problems that he's talking about in the book. It's about deficits, neurological deficits and how they manifest themselves in experience and behavior, that stuff will teach you tons. Read Oliver Sacks, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. You're going to learn some stuff about yourself [crosstalk 00:38:35]. So, I will do the book thing one of these days, you guys have great reading lists. I have this little, trashy one that I had come up with. But this is the stuff that ... and then one more thing that you said, John, I'm going to leave everybody with, if you're in business and especially in sales and you don't read in the sciences, real science, not stuff that's politicized, but real science, find something that you can do to read in the sciences.
Chris Beall (39:03):
And my recommendation is just get a subscription in New Scientist's and read two or three articles out of it each week. It's a weekly, so it'll keep you on your toes. They're always coming up with so something like why blue whales don't actually choke to death on all that sea water. I just read that yesterday in New Scientist's, but reading in the sciences grounds you not to the reality, that's not like learn those facts, but to our ignorance, our mutual-
John Orban (39:32):
Yeah. Right, right, right.
Chris Beall (39:34):
It makes it help us embrace our ignorance, which is the key to being in a position to help our prospects move forward with us.
John Orban (39:43):
Yeah, yeah. I agree. I agree.
Corey Frank (39:45):
Well, that's just great. Helps us embrace our ignorance.
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