Tuesday Nov 09, 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.
Here is the complete transcript of this episode:
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):
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?"
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):
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.
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