“Everybody knows that the flow of discovery meetings is the constraint on their business.” So states Chris Beall, CEO of ConnectAndSell, as he and Corey Frank, our two Market Dominance Guys, continue their interview with Matthew Forbes, Head of Strategic Accounts at ConnectAndSell. Together, they explore the epiphany that is behind Matt’s recent 4-times uptick in his call-to-meeting ratio. So, what is it that increased that flow for Matt recently, and how can others adopt what he learned so that they too can increase the number of meetings they set?
“I think we let people off the hook,” Matt says, “because they’re busy.” It’s second-nature to get apologetic or back down when the prospect starts making noises like, “Not now” or “Call back later.” But Matt’s epiphany about his true belief in the value of the discovery meeting and in the value of ConnectAndSell for the person he’s talking to, has changed the way he delivers his message. “You’ve got to have the right words, but the words only get you so far.” As Matt explains, if you truly believe in what you’re offering, your tone of voice will communicate that belief. As you’ll hear in this week’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “This Is What Makes All the Difference.”
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The complete transcript of this episode is below:
Everybody knows that the flow of discovery meetings is the constraint on their business, so states Chris Beall, CEO of ConnectAndSell. As he and Corey Frank, our two Market Dominance Guys, continued their interview with Matthew Forbes, head of strategic accounts at ConnectAndSell.
Together they explore the epiphany that is behind Matt's recent four times uptick in his call to meeting ratio. So what is it that's increased that flow for Matt recently, and how can others adopt what he learned so they too can increase the number of meetings they set?
"I think we let people off the hook," Matt says, "Because they're busy. It's second nature to get apologetic or back down when the prospect starts making noises like not now, or call back later." But Matt's epiphany about his true belief in the value of the discovery meeting, and in the value of ConnectAndSell for the person he's talking to, has changed the way he delivers his message.
You've got to have the right words, but the words only get you so far. As Matt explains, if you truly believe in what you're offering, your tone of voice will communicate that belief. As you'll hear in this week's Market Dominance Guys episode, this is what makes all the difference.
Corey Frank (01:39):
At my last company, I think Chris, you were there a number of times, you walk in, and one of the things I had on the sales floor was a big sign in all caps that said "No tourists." And we find in our profession that there's so many tourists who like to dabble. "Well, I can get five grand across town on an extra base over here, Hey, they're paying an extra 12 points on a rip on a commission over here. I'm going to end, right."
And you have, these tourists would just kind of go, and the product's irrelevant. And so they're mercenaries, they're tourists. And because there's no barriers to entry in our profession, right? There's no MCAT, or GMAT, or LSAT, we had to go through. You have to go through an interview with another salesperson. Maybe there's a personality test, we slide through. And it sounds like the baseline, the table stakes is "Can I convert 5% of my conversations to meetings?" And for Matt, your client that you were mentioning, for that gentleman to do 28% versus five, they're doing over five times the head count on one person.
And then you combine that with the weapon ConnectAndSell, I mean, forget about that. I mean, you have an amplific effect here that is staggering.
Matthew Forbes (02:49):
Well, I'll tell you I always enjoy ConnectAndSell. I like talking to people every six or eight minutes and not doing any of the nonsense work, but I really liked it on Friday. Now granted there was a couple of dollars on a spiff on the line, and I'm slacking and everybody else and making fun of them, because I've been here for nine years and I have that personality and that was fun. But that was the most fun I've had on ConnectAndSell in an awfully long time or ever.
I think people would hear this and go like, "Oh yeah. Okay. That's that sounds pretty cheesy. Like, yeah next. I believe in your soul. Yeah. I believe like, okay." You have to stop and inspect. I don't think I've ever spoken to any of my bosses or Chris, or any CEO of any company and actually like sat down and reflected. I don't think I meant to. I just, I had a scotch, there was a fire and that's all I could think about for a couple hours was like, "Do you re like ... You know you do."
It, wasn't a question of whether I do or not. It's almost like the self awareness of no, no, no, you do. You really do. How come you're not coming from that place? And it was like, "Okay." And I don't think it's so simple. And I think a lot of people are going to go, "Yeah, whatever." I can tell you right now, it's different. It's really, really different. And anybody who's willing to spend the time and reflect on that, even if you think you believe, really sit down, grab a scotch, maybe two, you might have to really question yourself in a way that I didn't think I was going to. Again, I've been here for nine years. How could I not believe, Corey, come on. I'm sitting there telling Chris like, "Oh, of course I believe, Chris, don't be silly." And I did, but I was unaware of how deep that really was. So it's kind of hard to explain to people.
Corey Frank (04:33):
A lot of folks would say belief system is either based off of increased curiosity, or it's based off of outcomes, or that this epiphany is now that, hey you are truly in charge of your own future. Or as you had said, Matt, that you grew an altruistic bone in your body overnight, and you realize that you're a little bit of a savior, a prophet, in your own world, and these folk desperately need it. Where would you say that emanated from? Because you're selling the same product for nine years, you woke up one morning and you ...
Matthew Forbes (05:04):
I think we let people off the hook. I think we talked to somebody, and we have a conversation, and we let them off the hook because they were busy or they did this or that, or the other thing. And I don't think I let them off the hook. I think that my tonality in our opener was different. I mean, it wasn't like, "Hey, I believe we've discovered a breakthrough." I mean, I slowed it way down. Right. And I really hit those notes, and it made a difference.
And I think it would be an altruistic bone. It'd be a big bone Corey, I'm 68. I don't know if it's necessarily that, but there's a little bit of that. Whoever I call who has never heard of us, should hear about us. It doesn't mean it's right for them. It doesn't mean they should run out and buy it or go do a test drive.
I mean, as a sales guy, I suppose I hope they do, but truly they just need to hear about it. They just need to know that it exists. And that piece of me came out in the last week, and it was growing. That's why I looked at those numbers. And the Friday afternoon blitz, by the way, was five meetings for 14 conversations, in an hour and 45 minutes. I was looking at the whole week before.
But I got to tell you, five meetings. I mean, I got off the phone, and granted, it was the most ridiculous day, I had actually made a LinkedIn post about it. I had eight or 10 meetings lined up. I mean, my brain was mush, but I got off the phone. I'm like, "I know I booked two test drives. Life is good. I closed a deal. And I set five meetings. It's a Friday. You've got to be kidding me. If I could do half of that every day of the week. I wouldn't be the number two guy. I'd be the number one guy." Maybe I will be the number one guy. We'll see.
Chris Beall (06:48):
We will see. Well, what's interesting, to me, about this is this I went to kind of a new level with the whole question of the impact of belief, when one of our customers, a recent customer. And I don't know if he wants me to say his name, so I'm not going to say his name, but he's the chief development officer of a big, big company.
And he and one of his people in his business that he works closely with really believed that nothing happens in business until somebody has a phone conversation with someone. So we had done a test drive and halfway through the test drive, his team had produced zero meetings. That's okay in a ConnectAndSell test drive, but it wasn't okay in this one, for me. It just wasn't, there was something about it. With this kind of leadership. I just thought, "Hey, let's just go ahead and introduce the breakthrough script a little tighter. Let's tighten it up a little bit."
So I went through a mini messaging workshop with them in the middle of a test drive, at lunch, and they set five meetings in the afternoon, and that was nice. And afterwards they said, "Well, we're big. We want to buy a lot. Like we don't want to buy a quarter million vials a month." And I said, 'no, you're not good enough. You're not good enough. I listened to your people, and they're good, there's a lot of talent, but you guys could do better. And I really want you to just take a little flight school. $9,500, let's put six people through flight school. Choose your six best. And let's see what we can do. Let's make a shining star."
So that shining star will sustain us as we go through the difficulties of bringing in something new, because we'll know what can be done. So we went ahead and did that. Here's what surprised me. The chief development officer was the lead user in the flight school. And he called me one day. And I was out for, guess what, a barefoot run up in Port Townsend, Washington, along Discovery Bay. And he said, "Chris, I just had kind of an epiphany." And I said, "What is it?" He said, "I just, that I don't believe sufficiently in the potential value of the meeting for this person, to insist that they take the meeting. So I'm going to shift my mindset right now. I'm about to get on ... "
And get this. I mean, this guy's a big, big dog, at a big company. He gets on ConnectAndSell with his team and leads from the front, always, a hundred percent of the time, including when he's in airports and all sorts of things like that.
He says, I'm going to get on. I'm going to see what happens with the mindset that goes like this, "It is wrong of me. It is my failure to help somebody, if I allow them to not take a meeting, take 15 minutes of their life to hear what it is that we've discovered." And he called me back in 35 minutes, four for four.
Since then he's converted 78.5% of his conversations to meetings.
Corey Frank (06:48):
Matthew Forbes (09:52):
Chris Beall (09:52):
78.5%, 78.5%. Now he does some other things though. He believes so much in this, that he doesn't insist that they super commit to the meeting, just that they will accept an invitation, because he's going to pour those invitations back into ConnectAndSell, and talk to them if they don't attend the meeting. So he believes so much, that he's even going to let them off the hook and put them back on the hook and, and eventually talk to them. He's patient about it.
So his net show rate is 85%, which is remarkable. We all know that getting net show rates above 75% is quite challenging, right? So it's a kind of funny act of faith to say, "I'm not going to insist that you swear in blood, that you're going to come to the meeting. I'm just going to go ahead, and we agreed that you're going to come to the meeting and I'll send you the invitation, and by the way, I'm busy. I got something to do. Boom, I'm out of here. Right?" So it's, it's very interesting. When you see this point of view taken to the extreme, and this guy's an extremist. I played golf with him the other day, and I got a picture of what that really means. So he's an extreme kind of guy, right? And he expresses this in the insistence mindset that goes to the meeting, through the meeting, and forever, and it's all about making sure that this person has a shot at learning something that will change their life, or might change their life. And I really think that's not what we teach in sales. It's just not.
Matthew Forbes (11:25):
No one talks like ... Who talks like this? Nobody. Turns out, this is actually the stuff that really matters. You've got to have the right words, no doubt. And we're really good at teaching people, the right words, Chris, at this point, but this is definitely the next level.
Corey Frank (11:42):
The other side of the card. Is that the words are gets you so far Matt, right? But I think today's customers want more than just a talking brochure, and a brochure doesn't necessarily have belief. We've talked about this. Chris, how many bits of information are in an email? How many bits in a brochure, how many bits in a website, versus how many bits in a conversation, and how many even more bits to get to this elusive 600,000 bits to trigger that trust factor, RNA insistence minded, a belief minded conversation. And I think that they want to feel that connection, that part of the ... That as Oren, our previous guest talked about this.
Can you introduce enough skepticism, where you understand that you have their care and feeding of the buying process is acknowledged, they're looking for signals that it's safe to engage in you in a dialogue, all of that thing goes into this thing of trust here. And it sounds like with the right tone, Matt, that you've established, and Chris, and what this gentleman does for the 78.5% is, could you argue, you as a scientist Chris, that the level of entropy, if you will, if I nail the screenplay, and if I nail the tone, my variables of entropy are dropping significantly, and I'm making this a whole heck of a lot less complex than it needs to be?
Chris Beall (13:07):
Yeah. I think you're taking variability out for the prospect, and that's what they need. Oren says this all the time. The prospect needs certainty. They need certainty. And certainty comes from the removal of uncertainty, because nothing generates more uncertainty than being cold called. I mean, that's a lot of uncertainty, which way this thing's going to go. And so what do you do? You seek certainty by getting out of the call with your self image intact.
That's the starting point. We always go back to that ambush moment, where the problem at hand is you. You are the problem. And by the way, believing that and believing that's a good, most reps never get past that. Believing that it's the greatest thing in the world, that you are the problem you, the calling rep or the problem, that that is the rock that you stand on, that you were the problem.
It's like, there are different sorts of religious beliefs out there, right? There's all sorts of foundations of religion. There's one that starts with the notion that birth, sickness, old age, and death, there they are. That's bedrock. Now what? That's how Buddhism works. And you can't kind of say, "Well no. I'm not going to be born, and I'm not going to be sick. I'll never get old, I'll never die" So there's good bedrock there, right?
So, the fear that the ambushed party has of you, the invisible stranger, who's ambushed them, and the certainty that what they want, they all want the same thing, to get out of this call with their self-image in tech. That's what they're looking for, right?
Chris Beall (15:16):
And your willingness to accept that position in their service. This is the problem. When I tell people, "This is what you need to accept.' And they go, "Okay", and they try to trick themselves into it. I'll try to make some mental tricks happen. It's like, no the why behind it is, in their service, because you truly believe in the potential value of the meeting that you're offering, in all circumstances, including the one that you'll say six minutes in "There's no reason for you to continue to even learn this."
Corey Frank (15:47):
Chris Beall (15:49):
Even that one, because it's potential value, not certain value. If you want to offer the reduction of uncertainty for somebody else, you have to eat a massive amount of uncertainty of yourself. That's the service that you're doing. You eat the uncertainty, so that the prospect doesn't have to experience uncertainty.
That's the essence of sales. That is what you do. You gobble up uncertainty, and you endure the pain of the uncertainty, so that the other person can advance towards the unknown and make it known. That's what you're doing, as a sales person. That's the fundamental core act of sales. And yes, you're right, Matt. People don't talk like this. But if they're serious about the stuff they do talk about, they talk about winning, and they talk about putting up big numbers, they talk about killing it, crushing it, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. If you're really serious about that stuff, you kind of owe it to yourself to look at how human beings really work.
Corey Frank (16:46):
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Hustle porn is a dangerous thing, and it has absolutely no nutritional value. Kind of like the old fruit Stripe gum. Remember we used to have as kids, right? You just go through a whole pack because you'd take a couple of bites and all of a sudden the sugar is long gone. It looked good, it smelled good, but you wouldn't want to have it for dinner.
And the study of bio physiology and why people have their bones in their nose, and why paints left and right, and all the stuff that we talked about, Chris, early on in our [inaudible 00:17:14]. I think that's the key to kind of discovering this part of the craft that unfortunately it's tough. Those are tough truths. Those are tough truths, Chris, that you had mentioned.
I think you'd agree with me, Matt, that I am the bearer of this uncertainty. I have the burden of this uncertainty. I willingly do it every day as a cold caller. Our colleague Ryan Recert, I think is one of the unsung heroes of our profession for eating the frog every day, publicly. And James Thornburg, the granddaddy, the King of cold calling himself, what he does every day. And it's folks like that who are pushing sales thought leadership beyond just "I love uncle Zig Ziglar." But beyond just fire up in the morning or Gary V videos.
Matthew Forbes (18:01):
So, well, I tell you while we were talking, I looked at some of the other guys on my team. Was this just me? Was this just an aberration? Did this just happen? Is this going to go away next week? I'm getting my second COVID shot on Thursday. Like, will, I wake up on Monday and not be able to set meetings? Oh my God.
So here's the story. Rich, great guy, great sales guy. Last year booked meetings at 8%. Rich, hopefully, you don't care that I said that. Rich, on Friday, after going through flight school, now does rich believe what I believe in my soul? I don't know. But he went through flight school and they changed his tone. They changed how he was attacking the script.
He went from 9%, on Friday Rich booked meetings at 28.6%. So it's not just me. Mark Hodgeson 7.5% last year, Mark Hodgeson, 19%. Does not suck when all you're talking about is going through a flight school and having someone talk to you about the psychology of the script you're already using, and what's important and why. And then I think what I came to was sort of that next-level piece of it. But yeah, I think you and Chris's perspective, I think you can manufacture this stuff. I think you really can.
Corey Frank (19:17):
So manufacturing, meaning, if you had a new team of BDRs that are starting under you Matt and Chris, and a killer product, I can even learn again, the breakthrough script, pre play, the 27 seconds. What's the piece that I absolutely positively have to show up for that from an atomic weight perspective has more to do with eliciting that extra three, five X, that Mark and rich top-shelf sales folks, for sure that, that they got out of this thing? What would you say it would be?
Matthew Forbes (19:52):
Yeah, it's the flight school. I mean, Donny Crawford explaining the Psychology. I mean, it's our script for heaven's sakes. We should know this stuff. I mean, come on. I mean, we do these things all the time for our customers, but to really sit us down and say, "Here's why you say this word." I wasn't even on the first flight school I was in Florida on vacation. I said, "Okay, honey, I'll go back. I'll watch the call. It'll be an hour."
It was over two hours. I think it was two and a half hours of Chris just talking about the script, and spending 20 minutes on it, why did we say this word? And here's what it means. And here's the reason and the why behind it and let's get into it. And why not that word? Here's this. And just going through that process and understanding that makes a huge difference, and really coming in vocally.
I'm not going to say that everybody faked it, the tonality piece. I think we changed their tonality piece, but I think that's one step closer to, yeah I'm not letting you off the hook. Not because my boss is watching. Not because I want to book a meeting and it's good for me, but because it's good for you. The words Chris has used, I mean it's Chris. I mean, I have to listen to these podcasts twice. I work for the guy, right? But Chris, what do you always say? The potential value of the meeting for the person you're talking to. Like, that means very little to me as a sales guy. I've heard that a lot. And I think this is of it.
Chris Beall (21:14):
Matt, because we see meetings, as a sales guy, we see them as a form of currency. It's a form of validation of [inaudible 00:21:22]. You pay your mortgage off with the meetings. And sometimes we forget to have that empathy on the other side, I believe,
Matthew Forbes (21:27):
Oh, a hundred percent. But I just never really dug deep. And like, do you really believe that? And this is what I say to my customers. In their soul, why does that guy 28? And the other guy is 10, my customer? Because one guy bleeds green. That's the only possible reason because the second you start talking about what you do and you use category language on a cold call, you're off the cold call. You're going to get "I'm all set" all day long. That's just how cold calling is.
So it's not product knowledge, right? It's literally one guy bleeds green, and does not let the other guy off the phone. And not in a Jordan Belfort way, not like that. But he really believes that he's going to help that school. Because that's who he calls. Because he does. And if anybody's listening, and they can get their team to that, you just bought yourself double the amount of inside sales reps you have.
Chris Beall (22:20):
Matthew Forbes (22:20):
Because they're going to book 2X, for sure.
Corey Frank (22:23):
Absolutely. You have to fall in love, it sounds like what you're saying is, and Chris you've talked about this too is, can you fall in love with your craft? Can you fall in love with the individual nuances of your craft? I don't own a Ferrari at this particular moment, but I took a Ferrari tour when I was in Italy. And it's not a big factory for those who are listening, who've taken the factory ... But every aspect from the stitching to Enzo Ferrari's vision, that he really didn't even want to radio in the first couple of Ferrari versions, because it would diminish the sound that you hear when you are shifting from second to third to fourth, that was music enough for Enzo Ferrari. What do you want to pollute it for by listening to Drake, right?
If you don't buy a Ferrari to get from point a to point B, you are a true connoisseur of the craft of motor racing, of motor movement, of engineering excellence. And to hear the shifting and the nuances, and the horsepower, you are falling itself, and you're falling in love, every time you downshift, or you hit that clutch.
And I think that from our profession to almost ... Matt, you almost sound like you're describing an out-of-body experience, where you separated yourself from Matt, listening to Matt, while Matt is delivering the phone call, and you're able to judge yourself, in real time, and correct, if needed, in real-time, an out of body truly experienced. And I think that's clearly ... I can see you getting from seven to eight in a couple of days, maybe your list gets in the jet stream, and you get to 10, 11%. But to have top-shelf rep after top-shelf connoisseur goes to 27, 28%, let alone 78%, there's a there's something in the water.
Matthew Forbes (24:19):
Yeah, there is. It's listening to Chris for two and a half hours, and then actually listening to Chris. I can't believe I actually listened to Chris like deep down inside. [crosstalk 00:24:30].
Corey Frank (24:31):
You can hear Chris, or you can listen to Chris. Two different things.
Matthew Forbes (24:35):
Might be the first time I've ever heard him. I don't know. We'll see.
Corey Frank (24:39):
Well, listen, I don't know how many hundreds of hours I've had to listen to Chris in the last couple of [inaudible 00:24:44]. But, we won't ... Now that we're up against the clock, and we're going to get the hook on time here any minute. So I think everybody has done listening to ... Certainly, well past done listening to me, Matt, it was an absolute pleasure having you on. A journey of promise now, I'm sure. The way you made money, the way you service your clients, and the reciprocal way that you make money, last year, last month, is the enemy of how you make money today, and going forward.
Matthew Forbes (25:13):
I believe that.
Corey Frank (25:14):
And that is the villain of meandering, touristy, you don't have nine years of experience. You have one year, nine times, right? Or you have six months, 18 times. Like a lot of us go in and out of love. And I think you found the secret portal to basically do the cloning of formats over the period of a Friday afternoon.
Matthew Forbes (25:36):
It's like 1200 pounds. That's a lot of mass. I mean, let's be clear. That's a lot.
Corey Frank (25:41):
[inaudible 00:25:41] 30 feet, six-foot. What are you? 6'8", right? So that's like-
Matthew Forbes (25:44):
[crosstalk 00:25:44] I mean, as far as tonnage goes, it was a very productive-
Corey Frank (25:47):
Well, if it doesn't work out, you could probably get a job at a circus. So that's the one thing-
Matthew Forbes (25:50):
Oh, my middle name is Carney. I mean that's enough said, right? I mean, there you go.
Corey Frank (25:55):
That's right. Well, beautiful. Well, thank you Chris. Thank you, Matt. This is another episode of the Market Dominance Guys. Thanks for listening.