Tuesday Oct 15, 2019
EP7: Don‘t Make the Spiders Angry
There is a universal product that every company has that it needs to better understand and sell more effectively and correctly. And it's a product that can be crafted and messaged just like any other product your team sells. Because it’s a real product, it requires belief in its potential value and worth from the folks that sell it. It’s a product that shouldn’t be short-cut or mis-messaged…or even try to do too much. It needs to be measured for effectiveness. And the ability to get this product in front of your list is also one of the keys to market dominance. That product is the Discovery Meeting or Discovery Call. In the episode, I ask Chris to separate fact from fiction and put some sound data and reasoning behind this misunderstood and much-maligned tool. This episode of Market Dominance Guys is The Right Tool for the Right Job, or as I like to call it, Don’t Make the Spiders Angry.
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The complete transcript of this episode is below:
Chris Beall (02:11):
It's subtle as can be, and when people want to change it, it's really fun to listen to them because they want to change it to eliminate the taboos. They want to run from the taboos into the conventional, where they can ask some normal questions. Did I catch you at a bad time? All those kinds of questions feel...
Corey Frank (02:32):
Why is that, Chris? They don't want to express vulnerability, they have an inner governor that says, I don't feel confident enough, vulnerable enough, to go there. And so, it's really on them, not necessarily, they're not ready emotionally to commit themselves to that level of vulnerability in our profession.
Chris Beall (02:58):
Yes. And [inaudible 00:03:01] puts it perfectly, which is, every objection I ever heard was felt as a rejection and went into the banks, the memory banks of, oh my God, I'm going to be rejected again so I'm going to take actions to avoid rejection. And the objection would be, no, I don't have time. To hear that in somebody's voice is actually not to hear, I don't have time but I don't like you, I won't even give you 27 seconds. And that'll happen. There are people who can say no, there are people who'd slam the phone down, there's people who will bark at you. All these things will happen and they accumulate so the emotional courage that it takes to be a cold caller is substantial, even with only two sentences. Even two sentences you can learn, and if you get the emotions right in your voice, you're good.
Now that the cure for it actually is not to go get [inaudible 00:03:55]. The cure is to have a belief. And the belief is in the potential goodness of what you have on offer for the other person, which is never your product. So this is the other huge problem with this approach is there's a desire to skip the step of selling the meeting, which as an object of independent value for this individual, regardless of what is ever going to happen and to jump to selling the product to the company. And that error is the standard error. Once you get past the courage question, then the question is, what do you really sound like? Are you sincere, or you're not sincere? So you need to sincerely believe something to make all of this even-
Corey Frank (04:42):
So a one call close, even if it can be done, shouldn't be done because you rob the prospect of an opportunity to have this trust journey with you. You're really manipulating at that point. So even as a fuller brush sales person, even though they probably hit you over the head, there should be a one call, one door close, you would set the meeting. And that aspect of the meeting is the prize for that instance. That is the objective, that should be the only objective on a cold call at this point.
Chris Beall (05:25):
Yes. And therefore you must believe in your product, your product is the meeting. So you must know what they're likely to get from the meeting independent of ever moving forward to business. So the core belief for successful cold calling is to believe in the potential value of the meeting for the human being that you're talking within the downside case where there's never going to be any business done between your company and theirs. It's precisely that formulation. That's what you must believe in. And you must rationally believe in it, that is you must be able to internally defend that belief to yourself. You must know what they're going to get. And the only thing you could get from a meeting, when people have often said to me, "Oh, what does that mean, you should give them a prize like, they get a $5 gift card?"
No, you must know what they're likely to learn that will make a difference in their life no matter what. They're not sure to learn it because learning is always an iffy proposition, but there's a likelihood, a probability that they're going to walk away from that meeting knowing something they didn't know before, that's a value to them, not to their company. It may be a value to their company, but that's irrelevant. It's a value to that human being. So I'll repeat the formulation. This is the key to the whole thing. If you can accomplish this, the techniques mean almost nothing, but this is hard to accomplish. If you flip it around and you get good at the techniques, you'll get some success, but your success will be limited by the fact that you don't have the correct core belief because people are being [inaudible 00:06:57] listening to voices and they'll hear the lack of sincerity in your voice.
So what can you be sincere about? You can be sincere about this one thing and then it's so important to get there. If there were one thing I would change about every sales organization in the world would be this, that everybody who has first conversations, the leads and the potential value of the meeting that they have on offer for the human being that they're talking with, in the case where there's never going to be business done between the two companies. And those are all important, the word never is important there.
Corey Frank (07:32):
Chris Beall (07:33):
Belief in this very specific. Belief in your product gets in the way of belief in the potential value of the meeting. If you try to combine the two beliefs [inaudible 00:07:49] .
Corey Frank (07:49):
But that is the fundamental dispute, they're one and the same. And they are two distinct destinations in your perspective.
Chris Beall (07:58):
Yes. If all you learned from me as a fuller brush man, is that there's such a thing as a spider spray that kills black widow spiders, and you don't buy any from me, you know something new, which is when you're looking for something to kill spiders with, don't use Raid, it just makes them angry, that's a value.
Corey Frank (08:21):
That's awesome. You're already preempting my objection. How will that benefit there? [inaudible 00:08:33]
Chris Beall (08:35):
That's the key. And what's so interesting is we've done the experiments. So for one of our customers who will remain on named here, we took on the project of doing a massive amount of calling for them, using our outbound on-demand service. And we got the script right, we got the messaging right. We knew that this stuff should work. And it only worked at about a 4% conversation to meeting conversion rate. And after three days, I just said, no, no, no. You know, because one of the beauties of ConnectAndSell is in three days you're done, In fact one day, you're done. You're always done in one day. Your signal has come back. If it's working, it's working. If it's not working, you should stop and fix something. That's the whole idea. So in three days, because I was paying attention to other things, I'm looking at the numbers and I go, this is insane.
We can't do what we said we would do with these conversion rates. We're below threshold and we're not moving. And oh, don't worry, they'll learn to do it better. That's never the case. They don't learn to do a better, you teach them to do it and they do it and that's it. So I listened to a bunch of recordings and I thought, what is missing here? What is missing in this paint by numbers thing that I'm hearing and what was missing was the sincerity in the tone of voice. And by the way, these callers were selected specifically for their sincerity, they're graduates of some of the finest religious colleges in the world. They're pre-filtered for sincerity. This is like packaged sincerity on steroids, and yet they were failing. And so the question is well, what's missing. And I thought, oh, well, what's missing is they don't believe in what they're selling.
And in fact, their sincerity about their religious calling is that, that's real, their sincerity about this product is zero. So what could they be sincere about? Well, they think they're selling the product, they're selling the meeting. So we got a customer to actually just tell them in a video testimonial, what the meeting did for them, not what the product did for them, and then what the product did for them. And what they learned in the meeting was that by changing how they dealt with this particular problem in their organization, which happens to be expense management, they would free up time to pursue their own strategic objectives, which is the reason they joined their company in the first place.
They learned about the opportunity to be free to do their job well, like learning that Raid makes black widow spiders angry, and that there's a spider spray that kills them. And then frees you up from having to worry about angry black widow spiders in your garage. They learned that there was a path to freedom in which, if they were to go down that path, they would find themselves with time, with the energy, with the bandwidth to do the job as they really wanted to do it. Instead of being consumed with this meaningless to them sort of ticky tack paperwork back and forth rework job that they were doing.
Corey Frank (11:36):
Sure. But isn't that the different evolutions of sales professionals? Like I remember an article, I think it was about 20, 25 years ago when I first got into sales by the Beverage Institute that talked about the four evolutions of sales professionals and evolution number one, well, what was called the commercial visitor. And the commercial visitor was someone who had a certain level of criteria that classified themselves as such number one, was they fell into sales by accident. Number two, they felt that sales as a profession is living on the fringe of society. This was well even before Sandler's kind of role versus identity where or supplication, they had really an essence, a high need for approval. And they felt that anytime I have to ask for something and taking something from someone and I couldn't square that circle.
And so what you're talking about these folks who had a tough time believing in the product they had to sell, and is that a fundamental mistake for a lot of sales leaders or a lot of visionary CEOs is not necessarily talking about the personal benefits of the product or the learnings that their product has, even if someone never buys, as you had said, and that instead they're dwelling on the better, faster, cheaper, rainbows unicorns world after that the prospect has purchased the product and is paying you their monthly SAS business. And it seems like there's a disconnect and identity perspective or from a messaging perspective of training these new salespeople
Chris Beall (13:20):
There is. And my claim is this, there is a universal product that every company has that it needs to understand and sell correctly. And that product is the discovery meeting. And it's a product that can be crafted, it can be understood like any other product, it can be described sincerely, it has to be delivered correctly. It's a real product so it has delivery. And its purpose is to help somebody understand something of value to them or potential value to them that they didn't understand before. Because the asymmetry in businesses is, if I'm the purveyor, if I'm the vendor, I know I always know more than the person I'm selling to. So the first product I can put on the shelf is the product where I share that knowledge in a way that is useful for this person, even if they don't [inaudible 00:14:11].
That's the universal product, and once you understand that that's the universal product, then you can manufacture and sell discovery meetings in a completely reliable way. And we know from the math of business, that the flow rate of discovery meetings constraints the growth of the business. It's as simple as that actually. This entire thesis is around one thing mathematically, and we were dealing with the human side like how do you get there? Right? Just the manufacturing process for these discovery meetings. But the discovery meeting itself is the product. And this is the hardest thing for sales leaders and marketing leaders together. And this is where the sales and marketing alignment question if we can explore in depth in another one of these discussions. Sales and marketing alignment happens when sales and marketing agree as to what the discovery meeting itself is as a product. As soon as that happens, the entire sales and marketing misalignment problem goes away.
Failing to do that you're left with this evil Knievel approach where I'm going to leap across this huge trust barrier and land on the buy something from a side of the Snake River Canyon. And I end up down in the bottom of the Canyon, almost every single time, which is this whole quota attainment problem and all that kind of stuff. And it's the business failure rate from businesses fail primarily because they don't establish product market fit between the product that they need to sell first and the market and the product they need to sell first is not the product they set out to build, but it's the discovery meeting.
Corey Frank (15:50):
And the discovery meeting, if you had to is it's an educational journey that establishes value if the person never moved forward with the product itself.
Chris Beall (16:06):
That's the absolute. Everything you offer along the journey to possible sale has to have independent value that is value independent of the sale itself. If I apply on that simple construct, you can generate a strategy, a series of steps that you can consistently execute between the starting point, which is being the scary invisible stranger, who is also inconvenient and a possible ending point that is not predetermined, which is somebody deciding that they want to enter into partnership with you and take advantage of your knowledge and what you have to offer as a product and the steps in between are steps of increasing trust and knowledge moving together. And so what you have to share is knowledge. So your product is knowledge and knowledge is shared in a discovery meeting and the opportunity for the person to confess, which is the breaking of a taboo to go back to the original topic, to confess their problem to you. They're paying their situation. That opportunity is actually what's on offer in the discovery meeting. The opportunity for them to confess their problem to somebody that they trust. That's actually what the product is.
Corey Frank (17:22):
I love it.
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