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 this month 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 automatically captures and analyzes your team's conversations so you can transform your team into quota shattering supersellars. Visit Gong Dot io forward slash sales hacker to get in on the action 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 may have seen them on panels on the startup sales circuit, but David has over twenty years operating experience in B Tobtech sales, beginning all the way back in one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven. He's held every role in the sales organization. He's done direct sales, service sales, he's even been a sales engineer and he himself is a four time start up entrepreneur. He's been through three acquisitions, the acquiring companies being in four IBM and sales force. He's been through one IPO, a work brain and he also spent four five years at sales force as a VP of sales and a growth evangelist, which will figure out what that means specifically in a few minutes. Since leaving his most recent post, which was at influitive, he started a platform and a training organization called cerebrall selling, and we're going to talk a lot about some of the concepts that he is evangelizing and advocating for the sales community, because I think there are a lot of really interesting insights that are going to emerge from David's work around using the brain and understanding the natural tendencies of the brain when you're selling. But first and foremost, welcome David. Thanks so much them and that was a great intro. It sounds so much better when you say I try to give its past some gravity tasks as you're going from thinking oh my gosh, I'm thinking about all the challenges and things that we had to do and all those businesses. But it's pleasure to be with you here and the pleasure to connect with the salesacker community. It may have been me, but it also is the fact that three acquisitions, one IPO. That's pretty good stuff. But, as I mentioned in the Bio, you've been doing this for twenty years. So give us the highlights of your sales career and I think I'm we're specifically interested in what you learned over the course of the last twenty years that ultimately led to you starting a sales training and sort of sales development platform called three will selling. Yeah, I mean I'd say there's there's two big things. Number one is just by background, being a research scientist kind of by education, and then getting into sales by accident, like most 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 was always 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 this happen, and how does this vacuum cleaner work, and just kind of taking it apart. And then when I got in to sales and I started my career in solution engineering. It was another expression of that curiosity. All right, well then, why do people buy things and why do they not buy things and how am I going to, you know, showcase this solution to make it seem like it's really, really great? And so that was just from curiosity background and I find that a lot of the best sellers out there are very, very curious. The second thing that I found was just that the world sales is changed so much. I mean, I think by default being in sales, everyone, especially customers, start off hating you because they have this memory of this leazy used car salesman or some salesperson in their experience that 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 of things about you. You know, there was no social proof, so to speak. And what I found has happened over the last twenty years. As you know, people have gotten access to more information buyers are so much more empowered. There's so many more solutions out...

...there that a lot of companies have found and I find that there's kind of this point of inflection every let's say three to five years that the tactics that they used to use to be successful in selling no longer work. And so to me that's kind of been those two things, like the curiosity of the why of selling and the fact that sales keeps changing, you know, year after year, changes in technology advances and market and so on, and so it's just been a fascinating evolution in a place where I want to, you know, put the ten pegs down and figure out how to help people. Are there specific tactics? You mentioned things that have stopped working. One of the things that I think is working less 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 right person in this department only because so many people are sending are there other tactics that you think are becoming less and less effective as you sort of surveil this sales landscape? Yeah, absolutely. I mean I am a big advocate for never falling in love with your tactics and, you know, things like, you know, people, whether you call it, for example, like the alligator email, is one that a lot of people talk about. Things like we're you know, if a prospect is gone dark on you, you send that 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 like the 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 all the time. You know, how when we drive in our cars, people, let's say, drive in their cars, they may engage in dialog or thoughts or actions that they would never engage in otherwise if they were outside their car. You know what I'm saying, Sam, I do know what you're saying. I think about that when I'm singing in the shower most of the time, something I wouldn't do in public. That's right, you know. And yet what we're in our car and we're surrounded by all the steel and glass, like, we're allowed to, you know, we give ourselves permission to do these things. And I think that in sales, you know, we often kind of historically think of ourselves as encapsulate, that that we would engage 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're in sales. Like we cold call people and we're like hey, you know, do you have a few minutes to chat? You know, or you know, we asked them, for example, like hey, Sam, how you doing today? Meanwhile, you know that I don't care about how you're doing 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 between selling and like the modern buyer. And so I think all of those tactics are just going away. The people just want to be treated like normal people and sellers should be treating, their perspective, buyers in the same way that they would want to be treated. I hear you. I will say, as a point of mile, it's only a commentary. I just remember this is an anecdote from my childhood we were in the check outline at the grocery store 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 bet he doesn't mean it. And my dad said, would you rather he said go fuck yourself? I said, you know, and you put it that way, it's a good pot. There's a certain amount of social lubricant that 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 if they're doing okay. But your point as well taken. So give us the foundation to cerebral selling. You know, you mentioned that you have a background sort 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 to boil them down for your right here. The first one is do things that work. Do things that work right, like look at what the data says, what the science says, and I'm not talking, you know, the latest data about open rates on this particular email subject line, because those are very fleeting and can change. But the things that are been shown to scientifically work in terms of persuasive tactics, in terms of messaging tactic. So that's it. 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 know my training classes where I'd say hey, you know, and people smile and they laugh, but they know what I mean. They know what I mean when I say don't be an Asshole,...

...and there's different ways, especially when you'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 feel not okay. They invoke the sleazy used car salesman. You Know Persona that every perspective buyer is on the lookout for right and so it takes so little of that behavior to trigger it. So just do stuff that works, be smart 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 a typical 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 times when you're handling an objection or you're doing discovery with a customer, there is declaration that you can make that will help the customer decide whether or not the solutions for them, and that declaration is, Hey, look, this isn't for everyone, right. Imagine I'm doing discovery with you, Sam, and I'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, but you know, hey, look, this isn't for everyone, right. There's two ways I can go about that. I can say something like Hey, well, you know, look, Sam. I mean I know my approach around science and empathy isn't for everyone. Some clients are looking for something that's a little bit more tactical around ABM or social selling, and my content tends to be a little bit more timeless and a little bit more science and empathy based. 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 training is really for people who are looking to the future, people who understand that what they're doing today isn't working. My training is for exceptional people. Exceptional people are mediocre. So that's okay. You can be mediocre. You want to be successful, you want to be leader of the pack, you want to be you know, you want to be top at the dashboard. You would 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 we would do it in discovery. But you know, you think of it in terms 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 will say, though, in the spirit of conversation, that culled, first of all, because I've worked at many companies and, by the way, like that's a very it's a famous it's almost like a riff on Google's don't be evil right, many of the values that you know sort of hip startups these days or like we have a no assholes policy. Then you unpack that and you try to figure out what is it actually it's and maybe the truth of what I'm about to say it is just because I'm an asshole. I'm guipplaying about trivial definitions. But nevertheless, being an asshole actually a little bit more widely and one of the places it varies in sales is culturally. So there are tactics and sort of conversational paradigms that you can use a when you're talking to 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 a little bit too direct, it's a little bit too crude and it's not sort of elliptical enough for the style of the culture. So I'll only say that sometimes being an asshole actually, the definition of it is slightly more variable than I think most people would assume. It's true. Well, I mean I'll tell 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 of our team. And that sentiment exists because of a concept I call, this is a blog post wading to happen, the asymmetry of experience, which essentially means that most of selling, in a lot of cases, is a younger person calling on an older person, you know, who's the buyer, who's job 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 help us up level the dialog of our younger sales seems so that they seem older. On the flip side, you know, there are, you know, lots of selling organizations where they're, let's say, millennial sales people selling to millennial buyers and you know, for example,...

...using emoji's in their email subject line would be totally appropriate in those instances, right, and may not be where your you know, say, a twenty four year old bt are calling on, you know, an evp of sales who's, you know, forty five years old. That a big company, right. And so the most important thing is the leveling, like you said, like you might use a tactic that's appropriate in one locale versus another. That's because they are right. You're playing on the levels. I think it's actually important to be aware of and sensitive to, you know, the other party, both in terms of their demographic location, so you use the right tactic. So you mentioned two basic 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 in these examples you're also sort of referring to a foundation of empathy. So when you say empathy, I think part of what you mean is what you just said, which is understanding the point of view of the buyer. But what else 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 the perspective of two things. Number One, the way you're reaching out to them and the way you're interacting with them in the words that you use, just like 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 way is in the words you know specifically the pitch that you deliver. And you know, what I find often times is that, you know, buyers are super busy and they're inundated with messages, right, and so they have very little time to care or figure out what the heck it is we're talking about when we talk about our solution that revolutionizes, you know, middleware connectivity between Blah, BLA, Bahoo. No one cares, right, and so the idea behind empathy can spill over into things like messaging, where you are trying to help your customer, your tart customer, figure out what the hell it is you do really fast, right, and not the nuts and bolts of what it is you do, but like the big so what? So, I mean, imagine you were an email marketing platforms. You know, everyone knows 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 with a million different messages out there. For email marketing, you might want to cut through with a message like we help customers improve their conversion rates by fifty percent. That's what we do. How we do it is with this email marketing and all these details, right, but so it is when we pitch our solution. Often Times I find most vendors pitch it initially as something it's too detailed, versus something that's actually going to get someone's attention and make them lean in and say tell me more. Well, you are one hundred percent correct 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 on is is exactly that, which is uplevel. I guess I haven't used that word before, 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 centric founders. It's often a good thing, which is that you have very product focus founders and sort of product focus organizations that are just in love with all the cool stuff that they've built and they've also been selling to early adopters who care about all of those specifics and as they cross the chasm, so to speak. I think they need to move the messaging from sort of what it does 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 I want 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 marketing people 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, we had a lot of great success early on with our initial customers. So I went 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 not even in sales right and as am I.

Okay, I have heard that one million times, always, always, as some kind of put down on the 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're idiots. They don't know how to sell anything. I'm being facetious, but no, I mean that is the problem. And they come back and I say, okay, well, look, tell me a little bit more about your sales process and what it is you sell, and they start going into details 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, but the first thing they're going to do. You know how? You know, we always say we eat with our eyes first. Yes, of course you know. I believe we buy with our ears first, right, like we kind of hear something that we're buy with our brains first. We buy with our emotions. We hear something and then we lean in. And so the 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 also very empathetic because it tells the buy or Hey, look, we know that you don't have time to figure this all out and we're going to kind of hit you with this message that you know, you can either just take or 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 that I have many other interests in life and so any time I say I'm obsessed about a topic and sales, it's always with a little bit of an asterics and 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 of the sale happens and we're not enough sales organizations are actually doing enough of the heavy lifting. Walk us through sort of what you teach and some of the data and their perspectives that you shared around. I think also discovery face speed, which was really interesting insight. Yeah, absolutely, mean I would agree with you that if we can trace back a lot of the kind of the the conversion of our customer prospect into a pain customer, back to the discovery process, and it's not just the questions we ask, but it's how we position the value of our solution, I mean that's a huge inflection point and so one of the things I think about when I think about like how to do 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 this problem is big enough for us to help you solve. You know, you might even invoke a mindset where you're like, Hey, look at I know we're talking here in terms of discovery. I don't know if our solution is a good fit for you. It's this mindset of the healthy skeptic. But what happens is most sellers go into a discovery process with a what I call the confirmation bias, and the the confirmation bias kind of works kind of like this. 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 say you know, it's going to be awesome. It is. Well, that's the confirmation 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 about Zam, 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 fit for us and then we just look for evidence that they are. And then what happens is we end up with like a lot of opportunities in our pipeline that 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 kind of got a bunch of data points for other folks, what I found was we spend more time losing deals then winning deals. And so what does that mean? So specifically, what did I do, and this would be an interesting experiment for you to run in your own organization. People listening, take a look at the amount of time that you spend in the discovery phase of your sale cycle. So if, for using whatever crm you're using, you can measure right the length of time you spend in the discovery phase of your sale cycle. Sometimes that might be the first one, two or three phases. If you have like, let's say, you know, like a an eight stage or ten stage sale cycle, and take a look at the amount of time you spend deals that you've won, ultimately one and the the time you spend the deals you ultimately lose. Now all obviously, in deals that you 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 to the the first few stages. And take a look at the length of those sale cycles. What I found was that my teams were spending three times as long losing deals, meaning they spent three...

...times as long doing discovery when they ended up losing a deal versus winning the deal. Right. And why was that? You know it was because, you know, we have when we go in with a confirmation bias, we have happy ears. We say, Oh, this customers probably going to be a good fit. Yeah, they went a little dark on me. It's okay, like, I'll just kind of keep it live, right, versus when we go in with like a tight message, good discovery. Right, we go in with the right kind of insights, we come out with the right kind of insights, we can move that customer along faster. They acquiesced to our message as well, because we did a good job of explaining what the heck it was we did in the 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 can say, well, that may not be the case here, may not be the case there, but I have thousands of data points that say that we definitely spend more time losing than we do winning. So the key is trying to figure out, all right, well, how do we eliminate that confirmation bias? How do we just focus on, like, the good fit opportunities so that we can be more judicious more efficient in our discovery? So how do 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 of a challenger Mindset. We say, Hey, look, this isn't for everyone, you know. Please see the previous comment about being an asshole versus not an asshole. Right. So you got to make sure you're positioning that correctly, quantifying the value of the problem for the customer, right, so helping them understand hey, look, you know, this may not be a big enough problem for us to solve. And in kind of using that as a bit of a wedge to get them to come back and help you quantify the value the messaging right. Often Times, you know, when I listen to a lot of discovery calls from my clients and something as simple as you know, hey, typically, Sam, when I speak to a customer like you, there's three things that I hear right or here's the one big problem they're typically looking to solve. You know, oftentimes we go into discovery, we don't prime the pump enough, like we start asking questions and the customers trying 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 cutting people 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, you can find people who are afraid of getting cuts and sell them Bandaid, or you can cut people right and sent then sell them the bandaid. And when you're doing discovery, one of the best ways of cutting people, so to speak, is to label their pain, is to invoke the fears and pain and challenges of similar customers. And oftentimes the customers that you're speaking to when you do discovery aren't consciously aware that they have those problems until you crystallize it for them right. And so if you're able to go in with a healthy skeptic mindset right help pull out the value for the customer, but go in with a very high conviction and polarizing pitch where you're labeling their fears and bringing them out, you are ultimately going to end up with a discovery call that is 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'll also, through your power of conviction, instill a much greater sense of alignment with your customer and they are going to be more likely to come back to you 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, but just 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 people so that they need the bandage, etcetera. Yeah, I mean, I'll give you an example. So one of the great clients I work with. They do network security, that work monitoring for manage service providers, and so they be can basically go into, you know, perspective client. And so imagine what's a manage service provider? This is let's say you're a company and you have your it infrastructure and you don't want to manage it, so you outsource 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 as well. 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 and so on. And I could go in...

...and start leading with you know, hey, you know, we have this great technology and help map the networks of your customer and pick up all, you know, these issues and all these kinds of things, and wouldn't that be great, right? But rather than 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 customers network, for they do right, because we've all felt the sting when a customer calls us with the problem that we should have been on top of and we should have been the one to tell them. And so I love that pitch because it is it's factually correct, right, like that's why you're in MSP in the first place. You're trying to, you know, manage them, work for your customers. But, oh boy, you don't want to be in a position where your customer finds a problem and calls you with it first, right, you want to bring it to them. It's like we're all seeing now with all these data breaches that are happening in all over the place. You know, it's one thing when you know it kind of it's discovered after the fact. When a company is more forthcoming with it, different story. But so in that sense the pitch is really powerful because it relies on high it's a high conviction message. It invokes emotion and it cuts the prospect. So if the prospect, you know, wasn't think, was thinking about 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 receiving end of an irate customer call who's telling you that I should have found a problem, that you know that they found first. So I really love that example. That's a great example. I've reminded of this book the secrets of question based selling, and the US a similar example of right the beginning of that book when it comes to selling alarm security systems. But we can talk about that later. One of the last topics that I just I'm super interested in that, that you focus on, is objection handling, and I was reading this blog post that you'd wrote about the five intent categories related to like most objections and then how to think about handling those objections. Walk us through that framework, because I think it's very, very helpful when we're thinking about the differences between, you know, sort of like a motion based objections and logic based objections. Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, we all know 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's a 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? And so go in your own company and right down the objection. It's too expensive and then a blank after it and try to fill in the blank with how as many examples of like it's too expensive. Oh, it's too expensive for what? For the budget, for the value right, for what we're getting for this time of year, for the size of the problems going to solve. It's too expensive because my Buddy Sam works another company WHO's product I'm going to buy instead, and no matter what price you're offering, I'm just going to say it's too expensive. Right. So it's really important to understand the intent well, like what was the intent behind that objection? And some intents 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 they are an attempt by the the buyer, to derail your sale cycle. So, for example, a buyer might say, isn't it true that you were just sued by one of your biggest customers due to breach of confidentiality or a data breach? Isn't that true? Right, even if it's not true right now, it's out there. The question is to really figure out when a 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 the surface. So when somebody says, isn't it true that you're just sued for a data breach, and to your point, that seems like a derailing sort of almost emotional type of objection where they're not really looking for it's a Gotcha game and maybe they are predisposed against you for some particular reason. What do you recommend in that situation? How do you handle that in the derailing situation? Yeah, yeah, well, so, the good news is that most objections tend 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 derail us. But you know, my advice...

...if someone does have an a derailing object action. Part of the challenge is that some of these things can sound the same, like you could say the same thing, and one they intend could 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 twirling their mustache. Or most derailing objections don't present, you know, as overtly as that. But you know, one of the best ways is just to kind of start simply, right, like start simple with a simple, logical objection handle, because that's kind of be your weather balloon. Right, you're going to try and see, okay, like maybe this isn't actually a derailing oh no, in fact, like we weren't sued. Oh yeah, I know there was a lawsuit, but in all honesty, but it actually wasn't related to a day to breach at all. Right, and then see what they say 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 a derailing objection, one of the solutions is to actually try to do a bit of an organizational map. There could be, for example, the person that's giving the objection is just a lone ranger and someone who is just trying to give you a hard time, but you might have other fans within the organization 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 podcast here, but you know that's definitely handling a derailing objections one of the most difficult and so my advice is always like start simple, with your kind of trial 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 to your 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 decided before they enter the room, and so the idea of trying to overcome somebody that is vehemently opposed to you is it's just not often. Sometimes it's just not possible. What you have to do is really understand their role in the organization and, frankly, if they're above the power line and if they have influence and if they have influence in their the economic buyer and they hate you will then we're gonna have to lose that deal, unfortunately. But if they don'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 way to 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 our time. A'll give you an example. I mean another client I was working with. 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. One of the things that I found was that the teams that had the lowest amount of old pipeline, meaning their pipe was generally young and fresh, had higher levels of quota tainment. And so there was one sales rep in the company I was training that kind of came back to me after the first discovery session and said, you know, hey, David, I kind of took your advice to heart. I was managing three hundred opportunities, active opportunities, and like cut that opportunityist down to seventy five. Now again, I'm not. You know, 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 carried hit three hundred percent of his quota. Right now, what said deal size on this customer. Just curious. Well, this particular customers like a it's a monthly, 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, I think all of us, you know, if you were to this, you're if 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 to out themselves on the podcast here, but I'm willing to bet that there is wiggle room in terms of the you know, the veracity of that forecast, to maybe 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 some kind of methodology, like a medic some way of scoring the deal so that you can have an objective point of view on whether or not you've met the criteria 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 with Medica or or any of the other ones. I love, like the evidenced based approaches. So imagine you were called into your ce Yo's office. You you were called in front of the your board of Directors, and they started picking 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 validity of 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 know this 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 you know, and if you can tell a compelling narrative to the CEO of your company 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 done and 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 some folks, as they hold on a second, they would like don't get out opportunities just because they're not hitting the center of the target right, and I'm certainly not advocating for that. If there's more work to be done, there's more work to be done. But you know, using that methodology of you know, 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, would you be able to defend it very good. I think I could defend most of the deals in our pipeline. So by that standard I think we're doing okay. 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 have a sort of a part at the end of every conversation where we highlight great vendors, so great technology tools that you're using and give some love and support to the folks that are out there building great products and also other great leaders and mentors that have helped you along the way. So first in terms of technology, undy because there's so much that can go into a sales and marketing text act these days, either because you've encountered it at your clients when you're doing consulting or because you have strong points of view, any great tools that emerge, particularly new ones that you know we should be aware of? That's a good question. It sales. For us, we would primarily use a lot of really great sales force technologies and I think you know, as it relates to Crm, sales force is still a really a great standard and in fluid if we used a lot of different technologies. Certainly a fan of you know, 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 many of 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're saying and the different complexion of your various calls. So I really liked going as an example and you know, and I'm also fan and in this is kind of like you know, there are some tools that actually I really really like in these categories. But everyone should have an email tracker tool. I know everyone. You know a lot of these are embedded right now and your crms and other tools like tools like you know yes where and Iq and box and 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 kind of stuff. I use it every day. So definitely recommend that people want to check it out. I like mix Max to the only thing I didn't like, 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 playbooks that are a little bit out of date. And so you sign up for the service, they embed themselves everywhere, they integrate with everything, they suck up 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 little intrusive. But I do think that the technology that mix Max has developed is really, really good, and they integrate so many different things within one platform that I find it quite useful. Yeah, you know, everyone has their own little favorite and also depends, you know, how it fits with all the other things that you're using. But you know, I agree, and you do get a lot of these emails, but you know, easy enough to turn 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 of sales or mentors, who should we know about? You know, you're out there on the circuit. You're talking a lot of folks who are some of 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 fan of his, Tony Radoni, back at sales force. He's like the wise sage, the the Phil Jackson, always calm, always consistence, you know, always helpful, but always pushes you, and I think those are kind of the 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 touched many people at sales force and beyond. Sales leader. Amazing person and really grateful for my time with him. Awesome and he books, movies, podcasts, any content that you think we should consume to help improve ourselves? Oh my goodness, will if you go over to my website, I have cerebral sellingcom. I have a an article and it's called top sales reads to improve empathy, focus and tactical execution. And what's interesting is that most of the books that I really love, is it they relate to sales, actually aren't sales books at all, where they're not, over at least sales books. They're about 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 the first one list, which I force on everyone, is called the one thing, the surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results. I love that book. I Love Dan Pinks to sell is human. You know, these are just kind of 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 a book. It's called Yes, fifty scientifically proven ways to be persuasive. And again, these aren't you know, these are we're not trying to learn jedi mind tricks here. We're not trying to make people do things that they don't want to do. That's with the negative impression people have of salespeople. But you know, all of these little tactics that you can kind of pick up along the way will definitely help you. And the great thing is for most sellers is that you're probably already doing a lot of these things, but you're doing them unconsciously and once you figure out, you know why you're doing them and how 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 shout out. Just to read. Just read everyone. You know. It's one of these things. I wrote an article a couple weeks ago. It's called the three surprisingly simple things that top sales professionals do that others don't, and the number one thing is read. Forty two percent of college students will never read another book after they graduate, which is a crying shame because there's so many great insights and pieces of knowledge out there and people write those things down and things called books, and if you just read them then you'll know them too. So please read. Commit to being better every day. That's part of 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 those salespeople that ruins it for the rest of us when you act like an asshole and you then propagate that negative stereotype. So please commit to being better every day and act with empathy. There was a guy, a sales fella that a couple companies ago at Axel and we were going around this circle. We were like doing some kind of stand up saying what's the last great book we read, or what's books have inspired us because obviously I like to read as well, and he said, well, you know, books aren't really my thing. Reading's not my thing. I really like to watch youtube and watch movies. Suffice it to say, he did not last very long. Now, look, it's okay, you know, if you there's lots of different ways now to consume, you know, reading content. You can get summaries, you can listen to books on you know, the books on tape doesn't exist, but I'm sure there's a similar thing now. You know, just consume content. Don't keep doing the same thing that you're doing over and over again, because you're just going to get passed up and you're not going to be 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 for being a guest. I'm sure your website, Sereebril sellingcom, is a very easy way to connect with you if you want to talk to David or hire them as a consultant or employ some...

...of the cerebral selling strategies. Thanks again and I look forward to talking you soon pleasure. Thanks so much for having me, Sam. Hey, everybody at SAM's corner. Another fantastic conversation, this time with David Preemer, who runs cerebral selling what has been working in sales management, sales like for twenty years. I liked a lot of what David had to say, particularly as anybody that knows me knows, I'm obsessed with the discovery phase. I really think that's where eighty percent of the sale happens. So many time sellers come to me at the end of a sale cycle and they say, what can you do to salvage this? The person is gone dark, the person who's not no longer responsive. We received the subjection right at the end and most of the time you can trace it upstream to whatever happened in the discovery process. So the crux of discovery, whatever methodology you're using, whatever framework you're using, the crux of it is asking questions. The more questions you ask, the more you employ that magical world why, the more successful you'll be. One final thing I'll say, and I've said this to a lot of people that I work with over the years, when they're talking, you have the power and you're talking they have the power. Too many people, particularly young reps, they are not comfortable with silence and they fill up that meeting with so much gobbledegook and so much talking. Don't talk so much. You want it to be so that they are talking two thirds of the time and you are talking one third of the time. And in fact, many of these call recording technologies and these call monitoring systems like Gong or chorus, etcetera, they're actually going to diagnose that for you. And the point of it is that you should not talk so much. You need to ask simple questions and get the prospect to reveal themselves to you all through the discovery phase. This has been Sam's corner. Thank you so much for listening. To check out the show notes, see upcoming guests and play more episodes from our incredible lineup of sales leaders, visit sales hackercom podcast. You can also find the sales hacking podcast on itunes or Google play or anywhere that you consume your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please share with your peers on Linkedin, twitter or elsewhere. Special thanks again to this month's sponsors at Gong. See More Gong Dot io forward sales hacker and finally, if you want to get in touch with me. You can find me on twitter at Sam f Jacobs, or on Linkedin at linkedincom and slash Sam f Jacobs. SEE NEXT TIME.

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