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The Power of the Anti-curse to Overcome Rejection

May 19, 2020


This is the continuation of the conversation with Donny Crawford about sales follow up, overcoming rejection, and likening sales to Google search results. Thank people for the conversation no matter how it went. This helps keep your emotions in check and allows you to move forward to the next call, even if you were rejected in the previous one. Get some very applicable and practical techniques in this episode of Market Dominance Guys - The Power of the Anti Curse to Overcome Rejection.

If you missed the first half, you can catch it here > 

Three Reasons Sales Reps Don’t Follow Up

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This is the full transcript to this episode:

In this episode of the Market Dominance Guys, Chris and Corey continue their conversation with Donnie Crawford talking about sales team follow up and why they don't do it and what you can do to change that bad habit. The first thing they talked about were the three reasons reps don't follow up. We pick up in part of that conversation so it makes sense for the rest of it. And we talk about search and how search and sales are so closely related. Sales and your ability to solve a prospect's problems are no different than Google giving you the right results for what you're looking for. You just have to be able to sift through the junk and know that there's more than the story that's being presented to you.

Chris Beall (01:13):

If you were advising somebody else and you were just looking at the business impact, how would you advise them? Oh, I'd have them call them. Why? Well, because something good might happen. That's part of the why. But the rest of the why is, guess what? This is somebody that we know something about that's incredibly valuable. This is somebody who answers their phone. And the cohort of folks who answer their phone, if we had known in advance, they answer the phone without having to call them, we would have just called that list.

Donnie Crawford (01:44):

Yeah, just that list. Exactly.

Chris Beall (01:48):

But now we know that list. They coughed up that information to us, answering the phone. And we don't know how often they answer the phone, but we know they answered it once, which is a lot more than zero times. So we have... Psychology tells us, I've been rejected. I don't want to talk to somebody who rejected me. The fact is they made an objection. They didn't care to talk with you. They didn't have time or for whatever reason. And they objected strongly enough that they hung up on you.

Donnie Crawford (02:20):


Chris Beall (02:21):

And so if you can take that objection and say, "You know, that's fantastic." And this is the key to the psychology. When somebody hangs up on you, non-sarcastically, you need to say to yourself, fantastic. This is somebody that I know answers the call.

I'm going to talk to them again. And I'm going to talk to them about a week from now and see how it goes. That's open-minded. And then you put in the teleprompter, that thing I just said, which is, "When we spoke on this date, you didn't have time for a conversation." All the other ones compared to that one psychologically are super easy.

Donnie Crawford (02:58):


Chris Beall (02:59):

Because you had a further conversation. However, there's another psychology element. And this comes back to don't know how and don't know why. Which is when somebody says something to you that is any other objection, that is not indicating to you definitely that they're intrinsically disqualified, you should talk to them next quarter.

Donnie Crawford (03:21):

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Beall (03:23):

Because there's only four possibilities in a sales conversation. Yes, no, not me, not now. And we lump everything about not knowing that some prospect is disqualified into not now.

Why? Because until we talk to them, we don't really know anything about them. So we can't talk to them in the past. We must therefore talk to them in the future. And then that's the definition of not now. How far in the future? One quarter. Why? Because the basic unit of time for considering any new category of offering, not your offering, but any new category of offering, is about one quarter.

Donnie Crawford (04:03):

It's happening quarterly. Right?

Chris Beall (04:05):

Yeah. If you're going to buy something, you're going to consider it within a quarter. So put it out one quarter. Don't think, put it out there. And that's another thing is don't think. And then write a teleprompter that says, "When we spoke on this date, you said whatever and I'm curious about whatever."

Donnie Crawford (04:26):

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Beall (04:27):

And that's it.

Donnie Crawford (04:28):

That's it.

Chris Beall (04:30):

And then you let the conversation flow. So a big part of the psychology is you don't want to do what you don't know how to do. And if you don't really know how to do it, you really don't want to do it. Especially if your emotions are involved in a negative way. And so you need a ledge, as Jet Blunt calls it, an emotional ledge to clean to when the objection comes, that feels like rejection. The worst one is the hang up.

So your ledge is a word or two that you say to yourself or say out loud. Don't say to them, they're gone. But you say it out loud, listen to yourself say it and set the follow-up. So what I say is "fantastic." Just exactly like that.

Donnie Crawford (05:17):

That person answers the phone.

Chris Beall (05:18):

That person answered the phone, I'm going to talk to them again next week.

Donnie Crawford (05:24):


Chris Beall (05:24):

That's your ledge. And you need that ledge the same way that you need something to say to yourself. Say you're weightlifting and you know you're to the last rep that you can do before failure. You need to encourage yourself in that.

Donnie Crawford (05:39):


Chris Beall (05:40):

It doesn't happen by itself. That weight doesn't jump up off your chest or wherever you're trying to get it all by itself. This is the one that you're going to have to push until then. It's like "Eh, no biggie." Right? And then when you're... This is why we have spotters. So when we lift, because you might dropped.

Donnie Crawford (06:00):

That's our managers, making sure we keep doing it.

Chris Beall (06:02):

Exactly. Managers spot us when we drop the weight on their chest and somebody needs to help come get it off.

Donnie Crawford (06:09):

Yeah, yeah.

Chris Beall (06:10):

But in general, we should be able to talk for ourselves and get that weight up one more time. And we need self-talk and the self-talk needs to be completely routine, setting the right tone of voice, very positive. And by the way, it has to specify why it's positive. Because when we're talking to ourselves, it's just like we're talking to a prospect. If we don't say why, they don't believe us. So if we don't say why to ourselves, we don't believe ourselves. Fantastic. Here's somebody that answers their phone. I'm going to talk them again next week.

Donnie Crawford (06:10):

I love it.

Chris Beall (06:49):

You're done. So that's kind of it.

Now why do people believe that their follow-ups can be done manually more effectively than ConnectAndSell? They believe it for two reasons. One is they feel like they need to prep for the follow-up. What was the last conversation about? What do I need to think about before I talk to this person? They have to ready themselves. And there's some truth to that, but you're going to make a trade-off. And that is, say it took 22 dials on average to get somebody on your list on the phone. Now you've got somebody who answers the phone.

So your "answers the phone" list is now down to busier. Right? So they don't always answer the phone. You don't know. So say your new dial to connect for that list, it takes 12 dials. So now here's the trade-off. If it takes 12 dials, still can navigate to failure, 11 times. Your mood is going to be pretty poor by the time you finally get somebody, it's still going to be a surprise because you don't expect to talk to them. So now you're going to have a different problem, which is your preparation didn't prepare you for anything, but leaving a voicemail. And leaving a voicemail, it's a one-shot thing. You can't leave voicemails over and over and over for somebody just because you had one conversation with them a quarter ago.

Donnie Crawford (08:07):


Chris Beall (08:08):

We didn't earn that many voicemails. So you have another psychology problem on a performance problem ahead of you if you decide to manually call. You won't be ready for the live conversation when it happens. And that's a serious problem.

So what to do about that? Well, to get the other side of the bat, which is if I could talk to somebody on my follow-up list, and now it's going to take me two minutes instead of four minutes. So that's kind of nice. I get a little reward, it's faster. And I know what to say, it's right there in my teleprompter. All I have to manage is my attitude, my mood. But I always have to manage my attitude, in both cases.

So instead of peaking for the big conversation, that doesn't happen, the big conversation that doesn't happen, the big conversation that doesn't happen. I don't have peak at all. I can just relax and know that my teleprompters can tell me what to say. I'm going to say it.

Donnie Crawford (09:02):


Chris Beall (09:03):

And that's... Yeah. So it's a trade off. And that trade off, it's got to be explicitly made by the rep. So then now I know why I shouldn't do it manually because I still haven't on in 12 chance, or one in eight chance or whatever, and I'm not going to be as good. And by the way, it's going to cost me half an hour. Half an hour is a lot more than two minutes. So what could I have done with those 28 minutes? Well, I could have talked to four more people-

Donnie Crawford (09:28):

Talk to more people. Exactly.

Chris Beall (09:29):

I could have talked to four more people. Given that sales is search, have to talk to people. So if I talked to more people per day, that's good. My follow-up list let's me talk to more people per day, which lets me search more of the space for someone who has or might have the problem that my company offers a solution for.


Chris Beall (10:47):

So it kind of all comes down to the psychology of the here versus the future. I'll call it the ant and the grasshopper. Salespeople tend to be grasshoppers. They don't do anything for the winter. They just eat right now and hope for the best. They kind of hope winter is not coming. So that's a problem for management. How does your compensation help them? How does you're talking to them help them? How do you show them data and evidence that helps them? And how you help them hold themselves accountable for doing what they know needs to be done? You'd be on that rowing machine right now, Donnie. If you and I had a relationship where you said, "Chris, I want to make sure that I hit this rowing machine every day. Can you help me?" And I'd ask you every day, "Hey, Donnie got on the rowing machine yet?" One or two answers. "I haven't, but I'm jumping on-"

Donnie Crawford (11:37):

Yes or no. If no, get on it.

Chris Beall (11:41):

Yeah, Donnie. We can still hold this conference call when you're on the rowing.

Donnie Crawford (11:47):

Just get on there.

Chris Beall (11:48):

Get on it. I don't think you're going to transmit any viruses or anything.

Donnie Crawford (11:50):

Oh, shoot.

Chris Beall (11:52):

So accountability is always assisted by other accountability. And we need to manage to that because we know this stuff is hard for these three reasons.

Donnie Crawford (12:02):


Chris Beall (12:02):

I don't know the how, they don't get the impact, and the psychology works against them. And then there's one more thing, which is, everybody loves a cherry on top. Everybody loves the extra, the freebie, but wait, there's more. And here's the more for follow-ups, when you talk to somebody, you can actually send them an email with the logo. You can actually reach out to them on social and they might accept your invitation. As long as you do it correctly, which is you thank them for the conversation. No matter how the conversation went, they gave you a gift and you must acknowledge that gift and do nothing else.

Donnie Crawford (12:42):


Chris Beall (12:42):

So if you acknowledge the gift and sell to them, you're actually violating a social contract and you must not do it. But if you acknowledge the gift and simply thank them and then offer them a gift, maybe a piece of fairly neutral information that's of value that you know about, then you're approximately balanced.

So with regard to social transactions, social exchange theory. So you follow up with an email instead of it being ignored as cold spam, it's an email from someone that just spoke with. And all that email has to say is thanks.

Donnie Crawford (13:21):


Chris Beall (13:22):

So that's it.

Donnie Crawford (13:22):

That's it.

Chris Beall (13:25):

Now, what do the numbers say? The numbers say that follow-ups outperform cold calls by a factor of something on the order of three. They're easier to reach and they convert to meetings more readily because you have better conversations. And because your timing is likely to be better because you can't move into the past, only the future and all of their purchasing is going to happen in the future. So you're getting closer to the date where they're going to buy

Donnie Crawford (13:52):

When you started to really think through the Market Dominance stuff and the making sure you're falling within that cycle, I think that big idea was that is the ultimate reason for following up. I mean, it's completely the, that's the big idea, the important idea to keep in mind. So hopefully I can relate that to them. By the way, on the fantastic piece.

Chris Beall (14:19):


Donnie Crawford (14:19):

I remember actually doing flight school with them and on the fourth call, the fourth blitz with Olive Caser, there was one group where we were talking about fantastic. We were talking about that word. Like any objection that comes your way, it's almost like you can just answer "fantastic." That's fine. Great. I do like the answer of even people hanging up with you, fantastic. That person answers their phone. Move on. That's great. I'm going to follow-up with that person later.

Chris Beall (14:47):


Donnie Crawford (14:48):

There was a rep who used the word "fantastic" five to seven times in one call with every single objection he got. It was hilarious. And we even got on, Matt and I, heard this guy saying fantastic over and over and over again. And his whole attitude about these calls was just magical. It was just amazing. And it was just because he was treating these calls as, not as a scary cold call, but as something that he can learn from and learn how to handle objections and have the right attitude when handling them. It was actually really a beautiful thing.

Chris Beall (15:28):

That is fabulous. I mean, that is... Self-talk is funny, right? Because self-talk like, I'm going to come up with something I say to myself is not effective.

Donnie Crawford (15:38):


Chris Beall (15:39):

It has to be almost like cursing, right? It's anti-curse.

Donnie Crawford (15:46):

It is the anti-curse.

Chris Beall (15:49):

We need to have something come out of us that's kind of like... Cursing comes from a different part of the brain than speaking. It actually is a completely different part of the brain.

Donnie Crawford (16:00):


Chris Beall (16:00):

It's not related. It was barely related to speech. Cursing is more closely related to physical action.

Donnie Crawford (16:07):


Chris Beall (16:07):

Like punching the door or something like that.

Donnie Crawford (16:08):

Totally. There's actually a physical energy that comes out of it when you curse. There's actually a psychological effect, physical effect to it.

Chris Beall (16:17):

Yeah, cursing, self-talk that allows us to reposition ourselves for action after something like that.

Donnie Crawford (16:24):


Chris Beall (16:24):

And it's important that people do it. It actually is really important. And it lets us know something about how somebody else feels, that they're serious, that this means something to them.

This is the anti-curse. This is saying "That thing went bad, but cursing is a bad idea right now because I need to be in a different psychological space." So you need a knee jerk reaction, but it's just an expostulation that allows... And it's said in a positive way and you need to practice it. One of the beauties of ConnectAndSell is you'll get to practice that many times a day and you'll get really good at it. [crosstalk 00:17:05]

Donnie Crawford (17:04):

That's a big idea too, Chris, that's a really good idea. That's a podcast.

Chris Beall (17:04):

Remind me-

Donnie Crawford (17:09):

That's a podcast.

Chris Beall (17:13):

That is a podcast.

Donnie Crawford (17:13):

The anti-curse and you have to practice them

Chris Beall (17:17):

First thing in anti-cursing, right? We learned how to curse when we're young and we become very good at it. As teenagers, we practice it. And then as adults, we really, really have got it down. But we don't really learn to anti-curse because why? Right? We lose... After all, if we do that in public with people that we're trying to get to help us, here's the deep dynamic. When we're young, we're in a power struggle with our parents. We need their help, but we want independence. We have to have independence because we have to become adults someday. So we're doing this really awkward dance with our parents and that dance involves power. And we have to be careful about not giving up too much power to our parents, too early. And parents, this is why it's tiring to be a parent because you're in a power struggle with your children all the time.

No matter whether you think you are or not, because they have to be on an evolutionary journey where they take independence and you lose power. Because at some point you're dead and they're not, and they need to continue to function. Right? So if you have all the power and they never managed to get the independence, it doesn't work out so well. Right?

So there's this journey that we're all on. And you would think that we would get to the point where we're no longer fighting everybody around us in order to keep them from having too much power. But in fact, we all do something in order to gain power with others around us, the way we used to with our parents. I call it the baby bird syndrome. We open our mouth and show the pink interior and say, "feed me."

So we complain. We complain in order to restore a power relationship that we like, which is our power over our parents by us squawking. And we don't have to do it with our parents. We can do it with strangers.

The way this dynamic really, really goes down all the way is in sales we have a problem. And the problem is we have to be the adult. And most people can't give up the power that comes from not being the adult and having people do things for you because you complain. Those who do by the way, are a master salespeople. The definition or the hallmark of the master salesperson is somebody who is so grown up that they have no, inclination to complain about bad things that happen. In a sales situation, they have mechanisms that they've adopted. Anti-cursing is one of them in order to maintain their status as the adult in the two person relationship between seller and buyer, the buyer must never be the adult. The buyer has to complain.

Donnie Crawford (20:03):

And then you're there to provide the solution and the guidance and to be the trusted adult and parent to lead them down the right path. Yeah. That's interesting. That's interesting.

Chris Beall (20:15):

Exactly. So it's totally different from what folks think, which is, "If I'm strong, one of the things I get to is I get to say, 'Hey, that wasn't good enough. You should have done more, whatever it happens to be.'" Right? But as the adult, with a bunch of kids, that's a ridiculous thing to do unless you're trying to get them to understand and grow. In a sales situation, we're not trying to get the other person to grow.

Donnie Crawford (20:38):


Chris Beall (20:38):

We're trying to get them to explore with us, whether it's wise for us to work together from their special knowledge, which don't have. We have to have access to their special knowledge about their situation. We have knowledge about our solution that somehow those could come together in a conversation we could figure out, "Oh yeah, this is something we ought to do." But it doesn't work so well if we can't access their knowledge and we can't access their knowledge, if we're complaining and making them do stuff for us. We're accessing their resources.

Donnie Crawford (21:10):

Well, parents and child relationships are the same way. A lot of times the child's not going to open up and not going to provide the information until they realize the parent is really there for their safety and their guidance and they can trust them and they're not just going to spew out feature function to their kids. They're going to listen and understand and be honest with whether their advice or their product or their solution is going to even be valid in a situation or not. You have to be willing to say, "Yeah, we don't apply to you at right now at this time. I can't give you advice right now at this time, because it doesn't make sense for you, but in four months in may." In four months-

Chris Beall (21:57):

Exactly. Because I can see your evolution from my experience. Yeah. So I think what we tend to do is simply play these... We play these old scenarios out, depending on our level of maturity. And in sales learning how to act more mature than you are, is a key to making progress.

Donnie Crawford (22:20):

It's interesting.

Chris Beall (22:21):

And therefore having words that you can say to yourself that cause you, or help you act more mature than you are, is very useful.

Donnie Crawford (22:29):

Yeah. When I was 19 or 20, I was on my mission. Me and my companions were all trying to be really good, like really good people. Like, I mean, just... I've never tried harder to be as good of a person as I could possibly be than I was in those two years when I was on my mission. And there was a companion of mine who lived a very colorful life before joining... To be going on a mission. And he was a bodybuilder. He lifted weights even on his mission. And it was hilarious, him trying to be good. The time I knew he was really, really trying was when he dropped free weights onto his foot and he yelled, "Yes. Yes." And he just was screaming at this, his cuss word was a positive. Right? It was exactly the anti-curse that was like... And it filled him with endorphins and it took the pain away actually. But it's a perfect example of the "fantastic" that guys will answer the phone. It was-

Speaker 1 (23:33):

I love it. I love it. Well, this is the essence of the whole thing. And I think we got to it here in this stuff about follow-ups. As the essence is the hardest stuff, which is deciding to overcome our need for emotional distance and retreat when we feel rejected, that's the hardest part of sales. That's why Jet Black wrote a whole book about it. So the hardest part is where we need the most help. And we need the help from others and each other and ourselves... I mean others in ourselves. And we got to have something that we do when it gets hard.

Donnie Crawford (24:10):


Speaker 1 (24:10):

And that's going to be talking to ourselves and we better say the same thing every time with the same tone of voice.

Donnie Crawford (24:17):

I like it. I'm absolutely going to use fantastic. This person answers the phone for this. I will incorporate that. So.