The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

11. Using Science and Empathy to Improve Your Sales Conversations w/ David Priemer

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this episode with David Priemer, Founder of Cerebral Selling, we discuss the right tools and tactics to help reps effectively manage their sales conversations.  

One, two, one, three, three. Quote. Before we get started, we want to thank thismonth sponsor introducing Gong Dot Io, the number one conversation intelligence platform for sales. Gong helps you generate more revenue by having better sales conversations. It automaticallycaptures and analyzes your team's conversations so you can transform your team into quota shatteringsupersellars. Visit Gong Dot io forward slash sales hacker to get in on theaction and see it liest. And now on with the show. Hi Everybody, and welcome to the sales hacker podcast. We've got a great episode today.My guest today is David Premer. You may know David or you mayhave seen them on panels on the startup sales circuit, but David has overtwenty years operating experience in B Tobtech sales, beginning all the way back in onethousand nine hundred and ninety seven. He's held every role in the salesorganization. He's done direct sales, service sales, he's even been a salesengineer and he himself is a four time start up entrepreneur. He's been throughthree acquisitions, the acquiring companies being in four IBM and sales force. He'sbeen through one IPO, a work brain and he also spent four five yearsat sales force as a VP of sales and a growth evangelist, which willfigure out what that means specifically in a few minutes. Since leaving his mostrecent post, which was at influitive, he started a platform and a trainingorganization called cerebrall selling, and we're going to talk a lot about some ofthe concepts that he is evangelizing and advocating for the sales community, because Ithink there are a lot of really interesting insights that are going to emerge fromDavid's work around using the brain and understanding the natural tendencies of the brain whenyou're selling. But first and foremost, welcome David. Thanks so much themand that was a great intro. It sounds so much better when you sayI try to give its past some gravity tasks as you're going from thinking ohmy gosh, I'm thinking about all the challenges and things that we had todo and all those businesses. But it's pleasure to be with you here andthe pleasure to connect with the salesacker community. It may have been me, butit also is the fact that three acquisitions, one IPO. That's prettygood stuff. But, as I mentioned in the Bio, you've been doingthis for twenty years. So give us the highlights of your sales career andI think I'm we're specifically interested in what you learned over the course of thelast twenty years that ultimately led to you starting a sales training and sort ofsales development platform called three will selling. Yeah, I mean I'd say there'sthere's two big things. Number one is just by background, being a researchscientist kind of by education, and then getting into sales by accident, likemost people tend to do, you know, and sales we don't teach selling in, you know, university or higher education as much as we should,and so most people tend to get into a by accident. But I wasalways a very curious person, which is why I really loved science and Engineering, just really trying to figure out the kind of the why, right,like why do things happen? Why is this Guy Blue and why does thishappen, and how does this vacuum cleaner work, and just kind of takingit apart. And then when I got in to sales and I started mycareer in solution engineering. It was another expression of that curiosity. All right, well then, why do people buy things and why do they not buythings and how am I going to, you know, showcase this solution tomake it seem like it's really, really great? And so that was justfrom curiosity background and I find that a lot of the best sellers out thereare very, very curious. The second thing that I found was just thatthe world sales is changed so much. I mean, I think by defaultbeing in sales, everyone, especially customers, start off hating you because they havethis memory of this leazy used car salesman or some salesperson in their experiencethat kind of did them wrong. And but sales has evolved a lot.That sentiment is still somewhat pervasive, as you can imagine. But you know, it used to be twenty years ago there were no peer review sites,there was no g two crowd or trust radius or Captara. You know,the Internet was a thing, but people couldn't really figure out a lot ofthings about you. You know, there was no social proof, so tospeak. And what I found has happened over the last twenty years. Asyou know, people have gotten access to more information buyers are so much moreempowered. There's so many more solutions out...

...there that a lot of companies havefound and I find that there's kind of this point of inflection every let's saythree to five years that the tactics that they used to use to be successfulin selling no longer work. And so to me that's kind of been thosetwo things, like the curiosity of the why of selling and the fact thatsales keeps changing, you know, year after year, changes in technology advancesand market and so on, and so it's just been a fascinating evolution ina place where I want to, you know, put the ten pegs downand figure out how to help people. Are there specific tactics? You mentionedthings that have stopped working. One of the things that I think is workingless and less well as the sort of Aaron Ross style predictable revenue plane,text emails saying you know, what's the right direction? Are you the rightperson in this department only because so many people are sending are there other tacticsthat you think are becoming less and less effective as you sort of surveil thissales landscape? Yeah, absolutely. I mean I am a big advocate fornever falling in love with your tactics and, you know, things like, youknow, people, whether you call it, for example, like thealligator email, is one that a lot of people talk about. Things likewe're you know, if a prospect is gone dark on you, you sendthat email out to them and says, you know, hey, Abcr d, You know all right, you're trapped under something heavy. That's right,right, like those kinds of things, like people, kind of gives likethe big old I roll now. And also I think there's you know,when I think about specific tactics, here's like the example I think about allthe time. You know, how when we drive in our cars, people, let's say, drive in their cars, they may engage in dialog or thoughtsor actions that they would never engage in otherwise if they were outside theircar. You know what I'm saying, Sam, I do know what you'resaying. I think about that when I'm singing in the shower most of thetime, something I wouldn't do in public. That's right, you know. Andyet what we're in our car and we're surrounded by all the steel andglass, like, we're allowed to, you know, we give ourselves permissionto do these things. And I think that in sales, you know,we often kind of historically think of ourselves as encapsulate, that that we wouldengage in activities that we would never engage in or that wouldn't work on us, but we just do it under the guise of like, oh, we'rein sales. Like we cold call people and we're like hey, you know, do you have a few minutes to chat? You know, or youknow, we asked them, for example, like hey, Sam, how youdoing today? Meanwhile, you know that I don't care about how you'redoing and and I know that you know I don't care about how you're doing. And so like we engage in these activities that come almost in a way, you'd like to humanize us and kind of put this layer of abstraction betweenselling and like the modern buyer. And so I think all of those tacticsare just going away. The people just want to be treated like normal peopleand sellers should be treating, their perspective, buyers in the same way that theywould want to be treated. I hear you. I will say,as a point of mile, it's only a commentary. I just remember thisis an anecdote from my childhood we were in the check outline at the grocerystore and the clerk said have a nice day and I said to my dad, because I thought it was really smart shit. I said, dad,why does he say have a Nice Day? Says that to everybody. I bethe doesn't mean it. And my dad said, would you rather hesaid go fuck yourself? I said, you know, and you put itthat way, it's a good pot. There's a certain amount of social lubricantthat we need in the course of our interactions. But I hear you.So I'm still if I call call someone, I'm still going to ask them ifthey're doing okay. But your point as well taken. So give usthe foundation to cerebral selling. You know, you mentioned that you have a backgroundsort of in engineering and understanding how things work, so to speak.So walk us through some of the key tenants of cerebral selling. Yeah,I'll tell you. There are two ten of cerebral selling. I'm going toboil them down for your right here. The first one is do things thatwork. Do things that work right, like look at what the data says, what the science says, and I'm not talking, you know, thelatest data about open rates on this particular email subject line, because those arevery fleeting and can change. But the things that are been shown to scientificallywork in terms of persuasive tactics, in terms of messaging tactic. So that'sit. We can get into those in detail. That's the first one.Just do things that work and number two, don't be an asshole. You knowmy training classes where I'd say hey, you know, and people smile andthey laugh, but they know what I mean. They know what Imean when I say don't be an Asshole,...

...and there's different ways, especially whenyou're pitching a product, you're handling objections, you're trying to get someone. Let's see, your cold calling them the phone. That make them feelnot okay. They invoke the sleazy used car salesman. You Know Persona thatevery perspective buyer is on the lookout for right and so it takes so littleof that behavior to trigger it. So just do stuff that works, besmart about what you use in terms of tactics and just don't be an asshole. So what's an example of being an asshole in in the course of atypical sales conversation that we should have tried to avoid and then to be,you know, proactive and suggestive. What are you recommendingly do instead? Yeah, I mean. So give you an example. I mean, often timeswhen you're handling an objection or you're doing discovery with a customer, there isdeclaration that you can make that will help the customer decide whether or not thesolutions for them, and that declaration is, Hey, look, this isn't foreveryone, right. Imagine I'm doing discovery with you, Sam, andI'm trying to sell you on some training and I say, Hey, look, my approach is based on science and empathy and first class execution, butyou know, hey, look, this isn't for everyone, right. There'stwo ways I can go about that. I can say something like Hey,well, you know, look, Sam. I mean I know my approach aroundscience and empathy isn't for everyone. Some clients are looking for something that'sa little bit more tactical around ABM or social selling, and my content tendsto be a little bit more timeless and a little bit more science and empathybased. It's not to say the other things are bad, but hey,you know what, my thing isn't for everyone and so, you know,maybe that's not for you. That's that's the okay way of saying it.Yeah, that sounds okay. The other way of saying it I could say, well, Hey, you know what you know, Sam, my trainingis really for people who are looking to the future, people who understand thatwhat they're doing today isn't working. My training is for exceptional people. Exceptionalpeople are mediocre. So that's okay. You can be mediocre. You wantto be successful, you want to be leader of the pack, you wantto be you know, you want to be top at the dashboard. Youwould choose me, you know. If you don't, then you the hey, look, I'm not for everyone. It's not for everybody. That's right. That's the asshole version, right, and there's an asshole version for everything, and so I get that's just an example, right, of how wewould do it in discovery. But you know, you think of it interms of like, yeah, that the concept of okay versus not okay.Sometimes there's things that we do that make people feel not okay. I willsay, though, in the spirit of conversation, that culled, first ofall, because I've worked at many companies and, by the way, likethat's a very it's a famous it's almost like a riff on Google's don't beevil right, many of the values that you know sort of hip startups thesedays or like we have a no assholes policy. Then you unpack that andyou try to figure out what is it actually it's and maybe the truth ofwhat I'm about to say it is just because I'm an asshole. I'm guipplayingabout trivial definitions. But nevertheless, being an asshole actually a little bit morewidely and one of the places it varies in sales is culturally. So thereare tactics and sort of conversational paradigms that you can use a when you're talkingto somebody in Britain or or in Europe that you don't think they're an asshole, because in the US and Canada they work just fine. But it's alittle bit too direct, it's a little bit too crude and it's not sortof elliptical enough for the style of the culture. So I'll only say thatsometimes being an asshole actually, the definition of it is slightly more variable thanI think most people would assume. It's true. Well, I mean I'lltell you something along those lines. Sometimes of work with clients and they'll say, you know, David, we need some help up leveling the dialog ofour team. And that sentiment exists because of a concept I call, thisis a blog post wading to happen, the asymmetry of experience, which essentiallymeans that most of selling, in a lot of cases, is a youngerperson calling on an older person, you know, who's the buyer, who'sjob they've never done before, right. So there's this asymmetry of experience.So how do we kind of, you know, level the playing field?And so often times clients will say, Hey, David, can you helpus up level the dialog of our younger sales seems so that they seem older. On the flip side, you know, there are, you know, lotsof selling organizations where they're, let's say, millennial sales people selling tomillennial buyers and you know, for example,...

...using emoji's in their email subject linewould be totally appropriate in those instances, right, and may not be whereyour you know, say, a twenty four year old bt are callingon, you know, an evp of sales who's, you know, fortyfive years old. That a big company, right. And so the most importantthing is the leveling, like you said, like you might use atactic that's appropriate in one locale versus another. That's because they are right. You'replaying on the levels. I think it's actually important to be aware ofand sensitive to, you know, the other party, both in terms oftheir demographic location, so you use the right tactic. So you mentioned twobasic tenets. Right, do stuff that works and don't be an asshole.That is the foundational core of screw will selling. But you also mentioned inthese examples you're also sort of referring to a foundation of empathy. So whenyou say empathy, I think part of what you mean is what you justsaid, which is understanding the point of view of the buyer. But whatelse do you mean and and sort of like what informs that philosophy? Yeah, I mean. So I think point of view of the buyer from theperspective of two things. Number One, the way you're reaching out to themand the way you're interacting with them in the words that you use, justlike the way I gave this example of you know how to handle objection.It's just it's the tone, it's the feeling. And then the other wayis in the words you know specifically the pitch that you deliver. And youknow, what I find often times is that, you know, buyers aresuper busy and they're inundated with messages, right, and so they have verylittle time to care or figure out what the heck it is we're talking aboutwhen we talk about our solution that revolutionizes, you know, middleware connectivity between Blah, BLA, Bahoo. No one cares, right, and so theidea behind empathy can spill over into things like messaging, where you are tryingto help your customer, your tart customer, figure out what the hell it isyou do really fast, right, and not the nuts and bolts ofwhat it is you do, but like the big so what? So,I mean, imagine you were an email marketing platforms. You know, everyoneknows email marketing platforms. You could say something like Oh, you know,we are an email marketing platform that allows you to conduct, you know,drip campaigns to prospects and a sequence and you know, automatically does Blahlah,blah, blah blah, and like okay, that's what you do, right.But if someone doesn't really understand what email marketing is or they're inundated witha million different messages out there. For email marketing, you might want tocut through with a message like we help customers improve their conversion rates by fiftypercent. That's what we do. How we do it is with this emailmarketing and all these details, right, but so it is when we pitchour solution. Often Times I find most vendors pitch it initially as something it'stoo detailed, versus something that's actually going to get someone's attention and make themlean in and say tell me more. Well, you are one hundred percentcorrect when you say that. I think it's certainly true. You know,I'm the new CRO here at behavos and one of the things we're working onis is exactly that, which is uplevel. I guess I haven't used that wordbefore, but now I man uses since you heard you use it.We're going to up level the messaging and it's often a function of product centricfounders. It's often a good thing, which is that you have very productfocus founders and sort of product focus organizations that are just in love with allthe cool stuff that they've built and they've also been selling to early adopters whocare about all of those specifics and as they cross the chasm, so tospeak. I think they need to move the messaging from sort of what itdoes to why it does it and how it helps Solf an important customer problem. That's right in a way. So yes, I completely agree and Iwant that to happen. In a way, I'm kind of hoping it doesn't,because I'll tell you, for all the sales tacker community out there,I get lots of calls from founders of companies who are not sales or marketingpeople and they're really are more products, you know, solution type people,which is great, and they call me up and they say, you know, David, I'm trying to grow the company here. You know, wehad a lot of great success early on with our initial customers. So Iwent out and I hired four or five sales reps and you know what,they all suck. No one can sell except for me, and I'm noteven in sales right and as am I.

Okay, I have heard that onemillion times, always, always, as some kind of put down onthe people that they just aired. It's like, you did hire these people, that's right, yeah, but they're either they had experience, but they'reidiots. They don't know how to sell anything. I'm being facetious, butno, I mean that is the problem. And they come back and I say, okay, well, look, tell me a little bit more aboutyour sales process and what it is you sell, and they start going intodetails and details about like what it does and how it works. I'm like, no one cares, like they care. Eventually they'll care about that, butthe first thing they're going to do. You know how? You know,we always say we eat with our eyes first. Yes, of courseyou know. I believe we buy with our ears first, right, likewe kind of hear something that we're buy with our brains first. We buywith our emotions. We hear something and then we lean in. And sothe question is, how are we crafting messages that help people lean in?And in a way it's great marketing approach, great sales approach, but it's alsovery empathetic because it tells the buy or Hey, look, we knowthat you don't have time to figure this all out and we're going to kindof hit you with this message that you know, you can either just takeor leave, but it'll be something that's simple and easy for you to understand. Yeah, well, undervalue the value of simplicity many, many times.So you teach discovery as part of your training curriculum. To the extent thatI have many other interests in life and so any time I say I'm obsessedabout a topic and sales, it's always with a little bit of an astericsand qualifier because it's within the context of my hope of that specific interest.But I am obsessed about discovery because I feel like it's where eighty percent ofthe sale happens and we're not enough sales organizations are actually doing enough of theheavy lifting. Walk us through sort of what you teach and some of thedata and their perspectives that you shared around. I think also discovery face speed,which was really interesting insight. Yeah, absolutely, mean I would agree withyou that if we can trace back a lot of the kind of thethe conversion of our customer prospect into a pain customer, back to the discoveryprocess, and it's not just the questions we ask, but it's how weposition the value of our solution, I mean that's a huge inflection point andso one of the things I think about when I think about like how todo really good discovery or a few things like that exclusionary principle of you know, hey, look, this isn't for everyone. I don't know if thisproblem is big enough for us to help you solve. You know, youmight even invoke a mindset where you're like, Hey, look at I know we'retalking here in terms of discovery. I don't know if our solution isa good fit for you. It's this mindset of the healthy skeptic. Butwhat happens is most sellers go into a discovery process with a what I callthe confirmation bias, and the the confirmation bias kind of works kind of likethis. Let's say I was going out on a dream date with SAM.I've been set up with Sam and it's going to be amazing. Just sayyou know, it's going to be awesome. It is. Well, that's theconfirmation bias. I assume that it's going to be out stimulating conversation,high leg rubs and with all that that. I go in and I see,you know, Sam could be the one. I've heard great things aboutZam, all these great things, and I go into the date thinking,man, Sam could be the one, and that's the idea of confirmation bias. We tend to go into our discovery process assuming that everyone's a great fitfor us and then we just look for evidence that they are. And thenwhat happens is we end up with like a lot of opportunities in our pipelinethat are really going nowhere. And so when I actually looked at the data, right and I looked at this data when I was at sales worse,I looked at it when I was at influidive and you know, I kindof got a bunch of data points for other folks, what I found waswe spend more time losing deals then winning deals. And so what does thatmean? So specifically, what did I do, and this would be aninteresting experiment for you to run in your own organization. People listening, takea look at the amount of time that you spend in the discovery phase ofyour sale cycle. So if, for using whatever crm you're using, youcan measure right the length of time you spend in the discovery phase of yoursale cycle. Sometimes that might be the first one, two or three phases. If you have like, let's say, you know, like a an eightstage or ten stage sale cycle, and take a look at the amountof time you spend deals that you've won, ultimately one and the the time youspend the deals you ultimately lose. Now all obviously, in deals thatyou lose, you're not going to make it to necessarily stage four, five, six or seven so on, but you'll at least make it usually tothe the first few stages. And take a look at the length of thosesale cycles. What I found was that my teams were spending three times aslong losing deals, meaning they spent three...

...times as long doing discovery when theyended up losing a deal versus winning the deal. Right. And why wasthat? You know it was because, you know, we have when wego in with a confirmation bias, we have happy ears. We say,Oh, this customers probably going to be a good fit. Yeah, theywent a little dark on me. It's okay, like, I'll just kindof keep it live, right, versus when we go in with like atight message, good discovery. Right, we go in with the right kindof insights, we come out with the right kind of insights, we canmove that customer along faster. They acquiesced to our message as well, becausewe did a good job of explaining what the heck it was we did inthe early onset of that sale cycle and they were more bought in. Right. And so again, like you can pick that a part and you cansay, well, that may not be the case here, may not bethe case there, but I have thousands of data points that say that wedefinitely spend more time losing than we do winning. So the key is tryingto figure out, all right, well, how do we eliminate that confirmation bias? How do we just focus on, like, the good fit opportunities sothat we can be more judicious more efficient in our discovery? So howdo we do that? It's a good question. So there's a few things, right. So we talked about eliminating that confirmation bias. Right, so, maybe Sam isn't the one, right, and so we invoke our bit ofa challenger Mindset. We say, Hey, look, this isn't foreveryone, you know. Please see the previous comment about being an asshole versusnot an asshole. Right. So you got to make sure you're positioning thatcorrectly, quantifying the value of the problem for the customer, right, sohelping them understand hey, look, you know, this may not be abig enough problem for us to solve. And in kind of using that asa bit of a wedge to get them to come back and help you quantifythe value the messaging right. Often Times, you know, when I listen toa lot of discovery calls from my clients and something as simple as youknow, hey, typically, Sam, when I speak to a customer likeyou, there's three things that I hear right or here's the one big problemthey're typically looking to solve. You know, oftentimes we go into discovery, wedon't prime the pump enough, like we start asking questions and the customerstrying to figure out our how these guys kind of fitting in with us.And one of the big things I'm a fan of is this idea of cuttingpeople a little bit in Discovery Right, and when I say cutting people,I mean you know, there's back to there's three ways to sell a bandaid. You can look for people with cuts and sell them and Bandaid, youcan find people who are afraid of getting cuts and sell them Bandaid, oryou can cut people right and sent then sell them the bandaid. And whenyou're doing discovery, one of the best ways of cutting people, so tospeak, is to label their pain, is to invoke the fears and painand challenges of similar customers. And oftentimes the customers that you're speaking to whenyou do discovery aren't consciously aware that they have those problems until you crystallize itfor them right. And so if you're able to go in with a healthyskeptic mindset right help pull out the value for the customer, but go inwith a very high conviction and polarizing pitch where you're labeling their fears and bringingthem out, you are ultimately going to end up with a discovery call thatis much more impactful and you'll be in a much better position to decide,hey, whether or not this is the right thing for the customer. You'llalso, through your power of conviction, instill a much greater sense of alignmentwith your customer and they are going to be more likely to come back toyou instead of going dark, which is part of the challenge with poor discovery. Is there a recent client? Obviously don't have to name them, butjust like a specific example that helps sort of bring all of this to light, particularly when you think about, you know, the bandaid and cutting peopleso that they need the bandage, etcetera. Yeah, I mean, I'll giveyou an example. So one of the great clients I work with.They do network security, that work monitoring for manage service providers, and sothey be can basically go into, you know, perspective client. And soimagine what's a manage service provider? This is let's say you're a company andyou have your it infrastructure and you don't want to manage it, so yououtsource that to someone else, another a company who manages your it infrastructure,and this company would actually manage it infrastructure for a bunch of other companies aswell. And so now I'm selling up technology into these MSPs, right,and that technology helps them map the networks of their customer and identify problems andso on. And I could go in...

...and start leading with you know,hey, you know, we have this great technology and help map the networksof your customer and pick up all, you know, these issues and allthese kinds of things, and wouldn't that be great, right? But ratherthan sell it that way, they're now going in and they're saying, Hey, you need to MSPs, you need to find the problems in your customersnetwork, for they do right, because we've all felt the sting when acustomer calls us with the problem that we should have been on top of andwe should have been the one to tell them. And so I love thatpitch because it is it's factually correct, right, like that's why you're inMSP in the first place. You're trying to, you know, manage them, work for your customers. But, oh boy, you don't want tobe in a position where your customer finds a problem and calls you with itfirst, right, you want to bring it to them. It's like we'reall seeing now with all these data breaches that are happening in all over theplace. You know, it's one thing when you know it kind of it'sdiscovered after the fact. When a company is more forthcoming with it, differentstory. But so in that sense the pitch is really powerful because it relieson high it's a high conviction message. It invokes emotion and it cuts theprospect. So if the prospect, you know, wasn't think, was thinkingabout should I buy this or should I not by this, now they're thinking, oh my gosh, well, I don't want to be on the receivingend of an irate customer call who's telling you that I should have found aproblem, that you know that they found first. So I really love thatexample. That's a great example. I've reminded of this book the secrets ofquestion based selling, and the US a similar example of right the beginning ofthat book when it comes to selling alarm security systems. But we can talkabout that later. One of the last topics that I just I'm super interestedin that, that you focus on, is objection handling, and I wasreading this blog post that you'd wrote about the five intent categories related to likemost objections and then how to think about handling those objections. Walk us throughthat framework, because I think it's very, very helpful when we're thinking about thedifferences between, you know, sort of like a motion based objections andlogic based objections. Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, we allknow that oftentimes when a customer states and objection, it's like an iceberg,right, like what we see is actually not the real objection. So here'sa fun little exercise to go through. In your own business in sales,one of the most common objections that we get is budget. It's too expensive. That's really expensive, right. Well, now what do we do? Andso go in your own company and right down the objection. It's tooexpensive and then a blank after it and try to fill in the blank withhow as many examples of like it's too expensive. Oh, it's too expensivefor what? For the budget, for the value right, for what we'regetting for this time of year, for the size of the problems going tosolve. It's too expensive because my Buddy Sam works another company WHO's product I'mgoing to buy instead, and no matter what price you're offering, I'm justgoing to say it's too expensive. Right. So it's really important to understand theintent well, like what was the intent behind that objection? And someintents are very logical, like, Hey, I'm just trying to get the answer. Is Your application available in Spanish? I just want to know the answer. And then others, you know, might be extremely emotionally charged and theyare an attempt by the the buyer, to derail your sale cycle. So, for example, a buyer might say, isn't it true that youwere just sued by one of your biggest customers due to breach of confidentiality ora data breach? Isn't that true? Right, even if it's not trueright now, it's out there. The question is to really figure out whena customer lobs and an objection, what is the root cause of that objection, so you can address the root cause and not what is stated on thesurface. So when somebody says, isn't it true that you're just sued fora data breach, and to your point, that seems like a derailing sort ofalmost emotional type of objection where they're not really looking for it's a Gotchagame and maybe they are predisposed against you for some particular reason. What doyou recommend in that situation? How do you handle that in the derailing situation? Yeah, yeah, well, so, the good news is that most objectionstend to fall in the middle of the spectrum, meaning, you know, we're not so lucky to get all objections that are just, you know, logical questions and we don't often get objections that are meant to completely derailus. But you know, my advice...

...if someone does have an a derailingobject action. Part of the challenge is that some of these things can soundthe same, like you could say the same thing, and one they intendcould be to derail or can just be to understand. Right. Usually people, you know, it's like the villains and movies where they're sitting there twirlingtheir mustache. Or most derailing objections don't present, you know, as overtlyas that. But you know, one of the best ways is just tokind of start simply, right, like start simple with a simple, logicalobjection handle, because that's kind of be your weather balloon. Right, you'regoing to try and see, okay, like maybe this isn't actually a derailingoh no, in fact, like we weren't sued. Oh yeah, Iknow there was a lawsuit, but in all honesty, but it actually wasn'trelated to a day to breach at all. Right, and then see what theysay and if they keep coming at you right with like well, no, well, I actually heard it was, you know, a B and C, they can start picking it apart. Sometimes, when you get offered aderailing objection, one of the solutions is to actually try to do abit of an organizational map. There could be, for example, the personthat's giving the objection is just a lone ranger and someone who is just tryingto give you a hard time, but you might have other fans within theorganization and you might be able to compartmentalize this particular derailing objection. Again,this isn't you know, we're we're not running a training course on the podcasthere, but you know that's definitely handling a derailing objections one of the mostdifficult and so my advice is always like start simple, with your kind oftrial balloon and start picking it apart to see like what the actual objection is. I think the last point you made, though, is actually it's almost toyour point about the either the last twenty years the evolution of sales.I find that so much of the time a lot of people's opinions are decidedbefore they enter the room, and so the idea of trying to overcome somebodythat is vehemently opposed to you is it's just not often. Sometimes it's justnot possible. What you have to do is really understand their role in theorganization and, frankly, if they're above the power line and if they haveinfluence and if they have influence in their the economic buyer and they hate youwill then we're gonna have to lose that deal, unfortunately. But if theydon't have influence or there's a way to isolate them and you can support,you know, other champions that have more positive views than maybe that's the wayto do it, and so I think that's a good insight. It's true, and I think at every deal, I think one of the questions that, you know, all sellers need to ask is can we win this?You can't. Mean we all want to have the bravado and hold out hope, but again, like we need to be very focused in judicious with ourtime. A'll give you an example. I mean another client I was workingwith. We kind of went through this whole discussion of discovery and how,you know, we spend more time losing than winning. And I had,by the way, tons of data from sales force that said similar things.In fact, the data that I had from my teams, and this was, you know, I had seventy sales reps across three different cities. Oneof the things that I found was that the teams that had the lowest amountof old pipeline, meaning their pipe was generally young and fresh, had higherlevels of quota tainment. And so there was one sales rep in the companyI was training that kind of came back to me after the first discovery sessionand said, you know, hey, David, I kind of took youradvice to heart. I was managing three hundred opportunities, active opportunities, andlike cut that opportunityist down to seventy five. Now again, I'm not. Youknow, this is like you need the support of your leadership team here. You know one, no one wants to see that much pipeline necessarily evaporate, but one he did that. He ended up over the next selling carriedhit three hundred percent of his quota. Right now, what said deal sizeon this customer. Just curious. Well, this particular customers like a it's amonthly, a month to month contract, I believe you know. Typically,you know, let's say two to three thousand dollars a month. Okay, interesting, because three hundred opportunities read Donkeylus, as the kids might say. That's true. It is, it is absolutely but you know, Ithink all of us, you know, if you were to this, you'reif you're on the podcast listening now, and you're thinking about your pipeline,and if I were to ask you, on a scale of one to ten, ten being that pipeline is air, drum, tights, pick and span, a hundred percent legit, and one being it's complete, you know,vapor where would you find yourself on that list. I'm not asking anyone toout themselves on the podcast here, but I'm willing to bet that there iswiggle room in terms of the you know, the veracity of that forecast, tomaybe cut out some of the opportunities that are not most likely to happen. The most straightforward way of answering that...

...question would it be to invoke somekind of methodology, like a medic some way of scoring the deal so thatyou can have an objective point of view on whether or not you've met thecriteria you need? Do you have a favored methodology when it comes to,you know, sort of like value selling, that you use? You know what, here's the approach that I use and I'm in there's nothing wrong withMedica or or any of the other ones. I love, like the evidenced basedapproaches. So imagine you were called into your ce Yo's office. Youyou were called in front of the your board of Directors, and they startedpicking apart every deal in your pipeline. Would you be able to defend,right in a court of law or in front of these people, the validityof those particular deals? Could you defend it? Is there a story?Is there a narrative, like, if you're ever concerned pick a deal,run through that narrative in your head. Well, you know, we knowthis about the customer. This was the compelling event. There's the timeline.We're working with this person. They have such and such power. But youknow, and if you can tell a compelling narrative to the CEO of yourcompany or your board of Directors, I'd say that you're in good shape.Right, if you can't the either, there're still more work to be doneand I'm not saying you should get out, but not saying you should circumvent work. Right. This can be a controversial topic because there might be somefolks, as they hold on a second, they would like don't get out opportunitiesjust because they're not hitting the center of the target right, and I'mcertainly not advocating for that. If there's more work to be done, there'smore work to be done. But you know, using that methodology of youknow, hey, look, if you had to defend this to your CEO, you got called in front of Mark Benny off and he's picking a part. He's like, David, what's up with this deal? Right, wouldyou be able to defend it very good. I think I could defend most ofthe deals in our pipeline. So by that standard I think we're doingokay. I've got a few minutes left. This has been an outstanding conversation.Well, let's pay it forward a little bit. I like to havea sort of a part at the end of every conversation where we highlight greatvendors, so great technology tools that you're using and give some love and supportto the folks that are out there building great products and also other great leadersand mentors that have helped you along the way. So first in terms oftechnology, undy because there's so much that can go into a sales and marketingtext act these days, either because you've encountered it at your clients when you'redoing consulting or because you have strong points of view, any great tools thatemerge, particularly new ones that you know we should be aware of? That'sa good question. It sales. For us, we would primarily use alot of really great sales force technologies and I think you know, as itrelates to Crm, sales force is still a really a great standard and influid if we used a lot of different technologies. Certainly a fan of youknow, the kind of the supporting technologies like the Docu signs of the world. We also used a great tool called Gong, which I know probably manyof your listeners heard of, and I know these sponsor many sales hacker events. Just really helpful to get insights into the kind of the things that you'resaying and the different complexion of your various calls. So I really liked goingas an example and you know, and I'm also fan and in this iskind of like you know, there are some tools that actually I really reallylike in these categories. But everyone should have an email tracker tool. Iknow everyone. You know a lot of these are embedded right now and yourcrms and other tools like tools like you know yes where and Iq and boxand so on. My personal favorite right now is a tool called mix Max. You've heard of mix Max, but I use mix Max all the time. It's really fantastic in terms of email tracking, scheduling and all that kindof stuff. I use it every day. So definitely recommend that people want tocheck it out. I like mix Max to the only thing I didn'tlike, as they're out there, was that so many of these companies,these days you sign up for they're still running, I think, like playbooksthat are a little bit out of date. And so you sign up for theservice, they embed themselves everywhere, they integrate with everything, they suckup all your data and then they put you on constant like product marketing drip. Campaigns like that just blow up your inbox and I find it a littleintrusive. But I do think that the technology that mix Max has developed isreally, really good, and they integrate so many different things within one platformthat I find it quite useful. Yeah, you know, everyone has their ownlittle favorite and also depends, you know, how it fits with allthe other things that you're using. But you know, I agree, andyou do get a lot of these emails, but you know, easy enough toturn them off and I found that those vendors are respectful of those things. That's true. The other one on...

...my shit list right now is quip, but we can talk about that later. All right, so v piece ofsales or mentors, who should we know about? You know, you'reout there on the circuit. You're talking a lot of folks who are someof the key people that influence you, that you're inspired by. Yeah,I mean you know the one that comes to mind. I'm a big fanof his, Tony Radoni, back at sales force. He's like the wisesage, the the Phil Jackson, always calm, always consistence, you know, always helpful, but always pushes you, and I think those are kind ofthe the leaders that you love working with over the course of your career, the ones that make you you know, can lead you to the answer,help you become better. I know I'm not alone with Tony has touchedmany people at sales force and beyond. Sales leader. Amazing person and reallygrateful for my time with him. Awesome and he books, movies, podcasts, any content that you think we should consume to help improve ourselves? Ohmy goodness, will if you go over to my website, I have cerebralsellingcom. I have a an article and it's called top sales reads to improveempathy, focus and tactical execution. And what's interesting is that most of thebooks that I really love, is it they relate to sales, actually aren'tsales books at all, where they're not, over at least sales books. They'reabout focus and execution and prioritization and just understanding the psychology of selling.And so one of my favorite books, which I you'll see, it's thefirst one list, which I force on everyone, is called the one thing, the surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results. I love that book. I LoveDan Pinks to sell is human. You know, these are just kindof great broad brush books that can help you understand the world of selling,the world of focus and prioritization. The last one I would recommend is abook. It's called Yes, fifty scientifically proven ways to be persuasive. Andagain, these aren't you know, these are we're not trying to learn jedimind tricks here. We're not trying to make people do things that they don'twant to do. That's with the negative impression people have of salespeople. Butyou know, all of these little tactics that you can kind of pick upalong the way will definitely help you. And the great thing is for mostsellers is that you're probably already doing a lot of these things, but you'redoing them unconsciously and once you figure out, you know why you're doing them andhow to focus them, they're going to eat even be more impactful.So I love books like that and if I can just give one more shoutout. Just to read. Just read everyone. You know. It's oneof these things. I wrote an article a couple weeks ago. It's calledthe three surprisingly simple things that top sales professionals do that others don't, andthe number one thing is read. Forty two percent of college students will neverread another book after they graduate, which is a crying shame because there's somany great insights and pieces of knowledge out there and people write those things downand things called books, and if you just read them then you'll know themtoo. So please read. Commit to being better every day. That's partof the cerebral selling mantra right is like you gotta be getting better every day, because if you're not, then you are going to be one of thosesalespeople that ruins it for the rest of us when you act like an assholeand you then propagate that negative stereotype. So please commit to being better everyday and act with empathy. There was a guy, a sales fella thata couple companies ago at Axel and we were going around this circle. Wewere like doing some kind of stand up saying what's the last great book weread, or what's books have inspired us because obviously I like to read aswell, and he said, well, you know, books aren't really mything. Reading's not my thing. I really like to watch youtube and watchmovies. Suffice it to say, he did not last very long. Now, look, it's okay, you know, if you there's lots of different waysnow to consume, you know, reading content. You can get summaries, you can listen to books on you know, the books on tape doesn'texist, but I'm sure there's a similar thing now. You know, justconsume content. Don't keep doing the same thing that you're doing over and overagain, because you're just going to get passed up and you're not going tobe in tune with some of the latest challenges and opportunities in the market.So just keep making yourselves murder. Absolutely. David, thank you so much forbeing a guest. I'm sure your website, Sereebril sellingcom, is avery easy way to connect with you if you want to talk to David orhire them as a consultant or employ some...

...of the cerebral selling strategies. Thanksagain and I look forward to talking you soon pleasure. Thanks so much forhaving me, Sam. Hey, everybody at SAM's corner. Another fantastic conversation, this time with David Preemer, who runs cerebral selling what has been workingin sales management, sales like for twenty years. I liked a lot ofwhat David had to say, particularly as anybody that knows me knows, I'mobsessed with the discovery phase. I really think that's where eighty percent of thesale happens. So many time sellers come to me at the end of asale cycle and they say, what can you do to salvage this? Theperson is gone dark, the person who's not no longer responsive. We receivedthe subjection right at the end and most of the time you can trace itupstream to whatever happened in the discovery process. So the crux of discovery, whatevermethodology you're using, whatever framework you're using, the crux of it isasking questions. The more questions you ask, the more you employ that magical worldwhy, the more successful you'll be. One final thing I'll say, andI've said this to a lot of people that I work with over theyears, when they're talking, you have the power and you're talking they havethe power. Too many people, particularly young reps, they are not comfortablewith silence and they fill up that meeting with so much gobbledegook and so muchtalking. Don't talk so much. You want it to be so that theyare talking two thirds of the time and you are talking one third of thetime. And in fact, many of these call recording technologies and these callmonitoring systems like Gong or chorus, etcetera, they're actually going to diagnose that foryou. And the point of it is that you should not talk somuch. You need to ask simple questions and get the prospect to reveal themselvesto you all through the discovery phase. This has been Sam's corner. Thankyou so much for listening. To check out the show notes, see upcomingguests and play more episodes from our incredible lineup of sales leaders, visit saleshackercom podcast. You can also find the sales hacking podcast on itunes or Googleplay or anywhere that you consume your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, pleaseshare with your peers on Linkedin, twitter or elsewhere. Special thanks againto this month's sponsors at Gong. See More Gong Dot io forward sales hackerand finally, if you want to get in touch with me. You canfind me on twitter at Sam f Jacobs, or on Linkedin at linkedincom and slashSam f Jacobs. SEE NEXT TIME.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (355)