In today’s episode of the ‘Sales Samurai’ podcast, host Sam Capra, who helps marketing leaders in the retail space go beyond the sale/transaction, talks with guest Lee B Salz, Keynote Speaker, Sales Management Strategist and Author of ‘Sales Differentiation and ‘Sell Different’. They discuss selling differently as well as the mistakes that salespeople do which cause them to lose deals.
Three Key Points
Follow the Sales Samurai Podcast on Social
Speaker 1 00:00:01 Coming to you from Orlando, Florida, Orlando, Florida, and streaming around the world around the world. You are now tuned in to the sales samurai podcast. The only B two B sales podcast, providing unfiltered unapologetic news and tactics directly from the sales trenches. Here's your host, Sam Capra. Speaker 2 00:00:30 Uh, welcome to another episode of the sales Sam. I appreciate you listening. Before we begin, do us a favor, take a moment to subscribe and download on today's show. We're gonna be discussing selling different. And we got an amazing guest for you guys today, Mr. Lee, Sal's keynote speaker sales management strategist, an author of sales differentiation, and sell different Lee. Welcome to the show, man. Speaker 3 00:00:54 Thanks. Great to be here. Right. And early man, Speaker 2 00:00:57 You're lying. I mean, when we booked this, I, I didn't put two and two together. And it's about cell been 15 your time in about, well, it's not that early for me, eight 15, but man, you're an early riser. Speaker 3 00:01:07 Sam it's dark. And if I look at my windows here, I'm staring at the moon. <laugh> Speaker 2 00:01:14 There you go. Hey, so for the listeners, and I know obviously with the books and everything you do, but for the listeners, give a little context, tell a little bit about yourself, kind of bit about your background. If you don't mind Lee. Speaker 3 00:01:24 Sure. I'm a sales management strategist and I work with companies where there are executives that say, boy, there's a great opportunity for us out there, but I don't think we're getting our fair share. So I helped them to put together the strategy, the processes and the tools to help their sales people win more deals at the prices you want. Speaker 2 00:01:42 I think that's winning combination for most sales leaders and most sales organization. <laugh> I'm curious, how did you get, I mean, this is one of those age old questions, you know, I don't think anyone ever grew up as a child saying, I wanna be a salesperson or sales strategist. Like how did you get into sales lead? Just outta curiosity, Speaker 3 00:01:58 Sam, I didn't realize this was gonna be a six hour podcast. Cause that's a very long answer. Speaker 2 00:02:02 We're going a Rogan style today. Speaker 4 00:02:05 <laugh> Speaker 3 00:02:07 So I didn't wake up and say, I wanna be a salesperson. I evolved into it. When I was in college, I fell in love with the fitness industry, came to realize that there was no money to be made in the fitness industry. <laugh> and did recognize that I really enjoy. So I said, you know, I'm gonna keep fitness as a hobby, but there's really something here on the sales side. So I had an opportunity both as salesperson and a sales management executive in various industries to build sales teams. And I'm one of those odd ducks, you know, normally a recruiter would call you and say, I've got this fantastic opportunity that could, company's doing so well. And they're looking to bring in a sales leader. What I was looking for is it's a mess. It's a turnaround situation. It's new. No, one's figured out how to sell this stuff. That's what gets my juices flow. And what I found was when the creative part of the job was done. So was I that's when I was ready to move on. Well, consulting your job is to build the creative side and then teach your client, had to administer what you've put together. So for me, it was just a natural to move in this, in that direction. Speaker 2 00:03:18 That's fantastic. That's not an everyday thing you hear from recruiters and selling the value of the job and say, Hey, it's a real shit show over there, but do you wanna look at the job? So I love that piece of it. Speaker 3 00:03:29 I love the challenge. Tell me nobody's done it before. I'm in. Speaker 2 00:03:33 That's awesome. You've been doing this a while and I always ask this question because it's amazing how sometimes probably about 90% of the time, it kind of hovers in the same answer in some way, shape, form, or fashion, but through the course of sales, your course of sales career, like what have you seen from a sales perspective that has changed for the better, and then what's changed for the worse, in your opinion. Speaker 3 00:03:54 There's a lot of sloppiness in sales today that I find there, I will be 50 years old on Valentine's day. Speaker 2 00:04:02 You're like a fine wine. Lee just get better with age. Speaker 3 00:04:05 That's right. I, I like the way you think Sam. And when I started off in sales there, wasn't this thing, what's it called? The, oh, that's right. The internet, right? So you had to go into a business and say, what is it you do here? Cause you couldn't do a lot of research on your own today. There are so many tools available and I find you still have sales people saying, what is it you do here? Or they don't have any idea about the individual that they're calling on. And that's just to me, sloppiness, all the tools are there that you can be fully prepared to have a meaningful conversation. When you go in one of the more recent trends and Sam, I'm sure you've seen this as well with this, uh, little pandemic we've got going on is virtual selling. When I wrote the book proposal for sell different, there, wasn't a chapter about virtual selling in there. And then this pandemic happens like, you know what? We need to have a chapter on virtual selling, right? Speaker 2 00:05:01 Yeah. Speaker 3 00:05:01 And now that we've been at this a couple of years, one of the things that you're seeing today, and I think you're gonna see ongoing is that we're gonna become much more strategic in the way that we sell before we say, let's get people on planes and jump in cars. We're gonna say, you know, what, how do we need to sell this deal? Can we do it virtually? Because what's come out in several studies is buyers love it. They love buying virtually. And if you think about what you're selling in most sale types, you can get it done virtually. And the sales side of it, the executives are saying, you know what, look how much more productive our sales people can be if they're not wasting time driving, if they're not wasting time, get on planes. So there's both sides that are loving it. So I think you're gonna see a lot more strategic decision making when it comes to deal pursuits, how do we need to sell this virtual in person? Speaker 2 00:05:55 I like it. And you hit the nail. I think you've said this in a different way, but 100% agree with you from a sloppiness standpoint and, and on the other side as well, you know, technology has been the amazingness of, of our century. Yeah. It's also been kind of the crutch of our century, right? It's made lazy salespeople, lazier, and it's made great salespeople even better. Right? And that goes to your point of you, a lazy sales person can't even do the bare bone with technology at your disposal. That's, it's gonna be a hard road for you to, to go down needless to say, Speaker 3 00:06:25 And I'll tell you, Sam, not a week goes by and I'm not exaggerated. Not a week goes by that. I don't get an email, particularly on LinkedIn, where I have this profile that says, this is what I do. Speaker 2 00:06:36 Right. And your profile doesn't lack. That's for sure. Right? Speaker 3 00:06:40 And someone's saying we can help you with benefits, health insurance benefits. That must be for me, myself and I cuz I'm a solopreneur. And they talk about all these employees that I have then, uh, let's see, we can help you put together an effective sales. I had somebody offered to write a sales playbook for my company. And I was like, wait a minute. I thought I'd do that. And it's so embarrassing to yourself and to your brand take the, and it's not a lot of time go on someone's LinkedIn profile. See what they're all about before you gonna send a note to 'em and for crying out loud, you could tell and Sam, I know you have the same experience. I dread accepting a connection on LinkedIn now because I can measure with an egg timer, how quickly I'm gonna get a solicitation email. And that solicitation email will have nothing to do with who I am and what I might be interested in. Right. So frustrated. And I put it in the bucket of sales laziness where let's and there's this expression. Sales is a numbers game. You've heard that before, right Sam. And here's the problem with that. I partially subscribe to that. But if you wholeheartedly believe it's just a numbers game, you make people feel like a number and everyone wants to feel special. Yep. And so when you send out these generic emails, generic phone calls, when you're prospecting, you make people feel like a number. Yeah. It doesn't work Speaker 2 00:08:10 Makes perfect sense. Speaker 3 00:08:11 It doesn't work. Speaker 2 00:08:12 Yeah. I, I was just having this conversation the other day, Lee, with someone around, Hey, it almost lulls you into this sense of six says, Hey, I sent out 544 emails. Okay. Well how many conversations, how many meetings did you get? Well, I didn't get anything like, there's this sense? I did my job. Like that's the check box. I've done my job. As I say, that's not your, your job is to close deal. Like I think there's a disconnect there. So, and it's happened along the way, but you agree to in my way off base Speaker 3 00:08:40 You right there. I mean, I tell sales people all the time that you're in one of the few professions that gets paid based on results. Don't confuse work with effectiveness. I sent out 540 random emails and you'd say, boy, I had a great day. Did you really accomplish anything? Speaker 2 00:08:59 Sure. Speaker 3 00:09:00 And I work with a lot of sales leaders on this, where they want count dials. And what we wanna count is conversations. And then looking at the remainder of the process from that conversation, what percentage moved to the next step? And then the next step and the next step. And based on your model, you manage and gauge your sales people based on their effectiveness of this and when that's not being achieved, that's where you go. When you do your troubleshooting work, Speaker 2 00:09:26 Without a doubt, you've written two sales books on sales differentiate. I mean, what sparked that interest? I I'm getting a sense of what sparked it, but tell the audit a little bit about what kinda sparked the interest around sales differentiation. Speaker 3 00:09:37 So I'm gonna show my age. You know, we recently lost Betty White and you remember this show golden girls, Speaker 2 00:09:43 My wife watches it every night to fall asleep too. Speaker 3 00:09:45 Okay. So picture it. Malboro New Jersey in the 1980s, Speaker 2 00:09:51 Right? Speaker 3 00:09:52 A young boy high school student needs to get a summer to job. And a family friend has this revolutionary idea. And I want you to go back. This is 1986, right? Revolutionary idea. You ready? Speaker 2 00:10:07 Right. Speaker 3 00:10:08 Pick up and delivery, dry cleaning. He didn't own a dry cleaning store. He said, you know what? I think it's a hardship for people to take their dirty clothes to the laundromat and have to go back and, and get them up when they're clean. Speaker 2 00:10:22 Right. Speaker 3 00:10:23 So he said, I think there's a business here. And my summer job was as his driver. So I was driving all over mal picking up dirty clothes and bringing them back clean. And I was really by this idea, Sam and I wondered, would people be willing to pay more to have this service? Speaker 2 00:10:45 Right? Speaker 3 00:10:46 What do you think Speaker 2 00:10:47 Without a doubt, convenience is everything. At least in today's day and age, I would say convenience they'll pay a premium for Speaker 3 00:10:53 Nope. That wasn't the answer. Really? It was some people, it was some people. Okay. So people who worked locally okay. Or had someone at home that could take the dirty clothes in and bring 'em back clean, they thought we were nuts. Why would I wanna pay anything more than I need to for my dry cleaning. Right. Speaker 2 00:11:11 Makes sense. Speaker 3 00:11:12 Malborough is about an hour and a half from Manhattan for New York city and a lot of commute into the city on a daily basis. And don't necessarily have someone that can help them take the dirty clothes in and pick 'em up clean. So for them, they thought this was brilliant. And they gladly wrote that check every single week. So one of the key messages that I took away at a very young age was the import of having clarity of your target client. Now you've probably heard the expression, Sam ideal client, right? Right. I don't use that expression. I call it a target client and it's not a nomenclature thing. See, ideal client says to salespeople, if all the stars were to align, this is the kind of business we'd love to have. It's like buying a lottery ticket, a target client, a target client profile says this is, who'll see meaningful value in what we have to offer. Invest every selling minute of every day in pursuit of those opportunities. Sam does your audience like free things Speaker 2 00:12:19 Without a doubt. Speaker 3 00:12:21 Awesome. If you go to target, Speaker 2 00:12:24 Some of 'em do Lee. I don't know about all <laugh> Speaker 3 00:12:26 All right. Well, I, I've got a very easy URL for you. Ready? Okay. If you go to target clients, profile.com, you can download my target client profile worksheet has nine components to it. And that will give you clarity on the right business to pursue. Speaker 2 00:12:45 But Hey, Lee, on, on that note, but it also does that vice versa. Like if you know who you're pursuing, it also tells you don't wish your time with that who not to pursue as well. Right? I mean, think there's clarity across the board, which I think to some degree is the hardest thing for sales is like, we want more, we need more, but really it's not a question of quantity. It's a question of quality, right? Speaker 3 00:13:06 We have to have both, right. If you don't take enough trips to the plate, you're not gonna get enough base hits. Right. But if every time you're going up there, you're swinging a wet noodle that doesn't work either. Speaker 2 00:13:16 Right? Speaker 3 00:13:17 So you need to have a, a balance of both. You know, you touched upon something really interesting Sam, when you were talking about, uh, who you're going after. I have a lot of conversations with sales, people about the price issue. As a matter of fact, I, I gave a masterclass on it to about 700 people the other day. And one of the big reasons why that price issue comes up is a lack of clarity on who will perceive meaningful value and what you're offering. So using that dry cleaning example, if all I did all day long was go after people that worked locally or were had someone that could take the clothes to and fro I'd be hearing the price issue all day long. I'd be running to my manager and saying, Hey, we gotta lower our price. Or, or if I can be able to sell this when the real issue is I'm pursuing the wrong deals, these are people that will never see or perceive meaningful value and what we're offering. Right. So stop it, stop doing that. So get clarity on who will see meaningful value, what you're offering and all of a sudden that price issue starts to go away. Speaker 2 00:14:23 That's fantastic. So there's a couple things that really jumped out at me that I wanted to get some feedback from you on and understand this. Cause I think it's fundamentally imperative for sales professionals in general, but kind of looking at, at this, one of the things that cuz prospecting, right? You can't close a deal unless you start a comp like everything begins with the meeting and a conversation, right. You can't get to the end, the goal line. Right. But, and I've always thought this, I think we overcomplicate it overcomplicate prospecting way too much. And you brought that up and I wanna get your thoughts around. You said, Hey, sales people are over complicating the prospecting. How do you believe that solely? What's your thought process around that? Speaker 3 00:15:03 Well, there's a couple of pieces there. Speaker 2 00:15:05 Yeah. Speaker 3 00:15:06 There are a lot of sales people that believe that the only way to generate is referrals and social selling. Speaker 2 00:15:14 Okay. Speaker 3 00:15:15 That prospecting is dead. And the ring group, are you familiar with the ring group? Speaker 2 00:15:19 Yeah. Speaker 3 00:15:20 Okay. So they conducted a study and they asked executives if they had ever taken a meeting with a salesperson who had reached out to them through some form of prospecting. Speaker 2 00:15:31 Right. Speaker 3 00:15:31 And do you remember what the answer was? It's in the book? Speaker 2 00:15:34 I don't. It was like, but it was, uh, it was very low. Wasn't it? I can't remember Lee. So Speaker 3 00:15:38 It was a huge number. It was 82%. Speaker 2 00:15:42 Oh really? So from a cold outbound, they're saying 82% of, um, did engage Speaker 3 00:15:48 Better than four outta five executives said they took it me with a salesperson that had reached out to them through some form of prospecting. But the study went a step further. Then they found out the key ingredient, the secret sauce, if you will, to getting that meeting, you know what, that was Speaker 2 00:16:04 What Speaker 3 00:16:04 It's gonna take our conversation back to where we started personalization. If you're sending out generic emails, leaving generic voicemail messages, having generic conversations, when you get them on the phone, you were not gonna get that meeting. But if you did some research, as a matter of fact, I'm having this conversation with my son, he's pursuing, uh, internships and finance, Speaker 2 00:16:27 Right. Speaker 3 00:16:28 And he submitted some applications and there's one in particular that he is really in it in. And he was sending a follow up email. I said, well, let's talk about that. Let's not send a generic follow up email. Let's talk about why you're interested. Well, he took the time to have a conversation with an executive in the company to learn about the culture, Speaker 2 00:16:45 Right? Speaker 3 00:16:45 He also is a user of the product, loves the product. And based on the scope of it, not only does it align with, with his interests, but he feels he can make a significant contribution to the company. So he's sending this email as a follow up, not saying, Hey, uh, what's up with my application. He say, here are three reasons why, Speaker 2 00:17:06 Right. Speaker 3 00:17:07 I'm genuinely interested in this opportunity. So someone's gonna read this and go, okay, this guy, didn't just send a hundred applications out there. And he's looking to see if he can get a job someplace. He wants this opportunity. And I'll tell you where that comes from when my boys were much younger. So let's see, I'm gonna go back about 10 years ago when remember yoyos came back in Vogue. Speaker 2 00:17:32 I do not, but I'm I'm of okay. Speaker 3 00:17:35 They did. And Sam, they didn't come back like you and I knew them where they were like 10 cents for yoyo hundred bucks, dude, a hundred bucks for yoyo. Speaker 2 00:17:45 Wow. I remember the Rubik's cube coming back. I don't remember the yoyo. Okay. Speaker 3 00:17:49 Yep. And they were sold in these cool specialty toy stores. Yeah. And this one Saturday afternoon, I took my boys to the store. They wanted to look the yoyos. And while I was there, this guy walks in and asked the manager for a job application and the manager says, we don't have any applications here. What you need to do is go to any other store in the mall, get their application, fill it out and bring it back to us. And so one of the books that, that you referenced before sales differentiation is a book on hiring and onboarding sales people hire right. Higher profits. Right. And given that that's one of the things I worked with companies to do. I went up to this manager and I said, yeah, I apologize. I overheard your, your conversation. I gotta ask you, what's this no applications thing. Speaker 3 00:18:40 How do you hire people? Right. He says, we got a pretty neat store here. Don't we? I go, well, you do. And we're in a mall setting. And what people do is they just go store to store and to just fill out applications all day long. Right. I don't want those people. I want people that want this job, not a job. They want this job. Right. And so a way that they can demonstrate that to us very early on is a willingness to show an initiative to go to any other store in the mall. I didn't tell 'em which store get an application, fill it out and bring it back here. And those are the only people that we consider for a role here. It's a filtering effect. And I think it's, it's brilliant because when, if you're an executive and this happens all the time with sales talent, and I, and I work with clients when they're evaluating candidates. Speaker 3 00:19:28 Yeah. And I tell 'em what you have to really figure out is, does this person want a job or this specific job, this specific role that you're offering. And when you ask them and I interview, uh, candidates on behalf of clients, I'll ask them, what is it about this role that really has you intrigued? Cause I get involved late in the process. After they talk with several people, they had their chance to do the research. And the more generic, the answer, the less interested I am in that candidate. So if you bring it back to a sales side, when you're selling products and services and you think of the executives you're calling on. So let's say you call on CIOs. CIOs are inundated from sales people naming. I mean from outsourcing hardware, software services, all of these different things. And there's only a select few this individual's gonna meet with. Speaker 3 00:20:25 So how do you stand out from the hundreds, if not thousands of salespeople trying to get the CIO's attention, you gotta per the outreach and you don't make it about yourself. You make it about them. Right? Right. If you look at most prospecting emails today, it starts off with, we do X, Y, and Z and a B and C. Well, show me that you know something about me and my company that you took a little bit of time, did a little research. Two minutes of research can make you look like you're brilliant, right? And we're not willing to do that. Speaker 2 00:20:58 100% agree with you. One thing I will layer on and do it consistently. I've gotten on my side just as a leader of sales, a sales leader, I should would say, I've gotten a great first email, but I've get a million emails a day. And I don't hear from the person ever again, I don't respond. Maybe it's two years later, like there's been things where I'm like, Hey, if they would've followed up, what is the number? Now? Nine to 11 touches is what you have to do to get one meeting. The sense of follow up, consistent follow up in your prospecting needs to either as well, to your point, if you have that TCP, not an ICP that target client profile, and then you got the right personalization. I like to call it relevance or personalization. I know there's different levels of those two, but then you're consistently following up. That's the math equation in my estimation of success or going down the right track. Agree, disagree, duly. Speaker 3 00:21:47 Um, partially agree. Okay. I believe there needs to be follow up. I'm a hundred percent with you Speaker 2 00:21:52 With that. Yep. Speaker 3 00:21:54 But, and this comes back something we touched upon a little bit ago and so different. What I talk about in there is the importance of having strategy for the quantitative side, not just a qualitative side, meaning just leaving board messages or making calls to the same person over and over and over again. That's not doing it. We need to be strategic. We need to have different techniques from an email voicemail. Now voicemail is one of the more controversial topics. So Sam, let me ask your opinion. Speaker 2 00:22:24 Well, I was gonna ask you this. I was gonna ask you this Lee. I was gonna ask you, do you think leaving voicemails? What's your perspective on, so you're flipping the script on me, huh? Speaker 3 00:22:33 I'm gonna flip it on you first. And then I'll tell you my answer. Speaker 2 00:22:36 Oh my God. I'm not the guest on this show. We got dang it. All right. Fair enough. Speaker 3 00:22:41 Hey Sam, we're in sales. You gotta control the conversation. Speaker 2 00:22:44 <laugh> I lost control fast. Speaker 3 00:22:46 So what do you think? Speaker 2 00:22:47 So I do both like the, I will make a call and there are times where I don't leave a voicemail and then there are ti and there's depending on where I'm at in that sequence or thought process or workflow there's times where I actually do leave a voicemail. And then the consistency of that email or that voicemail sometimes ties back to can we meet? But other times it's actually tying back to other things that have said within prior emails or even upcoming emails or upcoming events, things that I'm doing. So the strategy hovers around those areas, Lee. Speaker 3 00:23:17 So Sam, if you left a hundred voicemail messages, what would you ballpark? How many do you think call you back out of a hundred, Speaker 2 00:23:25 Depending on if that, that was the, um, I never think I'm gonna get a call back from a voicemail. I, my expect, or if I get one, man, I'm, I'm batting a thousand in some regards, it's really just another touch in my estimation. Maybe 1%, 2%. Maybe Speaker 3 00:23:40 I'm not even sure you'd be that high. Speaker 2 00:23:43 I'm giving myself. It's an amazing voicemail. Speaker 3 00:23:45 Well, it's funny. There are a lot of people that are out there that do what I do for a living. And they talk about how to get return calls in voicemail. And I call 'em out on it because there's only one way you get a return call from voicemail and I can prove this Speaker 1 00:24:01 You're listening to the sales samurai podcast. We'll be right back after this break, Speaker 6 00:24:10 Sales samurai is excited to announce the launch of the largest database of B2B sales resources on the planet, 600 plus resources with more added every single day search sort and filter leading software providers, podcasts, books, blogs, and so much more, the best part. It's absolutely free to search. Go to sales, samurai.io to start your search. Speaker 2 00:24:39 Right? Speaker 3 00:24:40 Imagine Sam, we're done with our session here today, done with our interview and you check your voice message. And there's a message from a salesperson saying, Hey, I've got a thousand dollars for you. Give me a call back. You calling them Speaker 2 00:24:54 Probably for a thousand bucks. Sure. Speaker 3 00:24:55 You would just some random person saying, Hey, I got a, Speaker 2 00:24:59 I thought you were talking about my sales rep. So yeah. I mean, okay. Speaker 3 00:25:01 No, no, no, no, no. So a random salesperson. Speaker 2 00:25:05 Uh, no, because I know it's probably a ploy or, or there's a pitch or there's a catch to it behind there. So I'm not making that call back. Speaker 3 00:25:12 Hey, I've got free internet for you. That's what's on your voicemail. You calling 'em back. Speaker 2 00:25:16 Probably not. Speaker 3 00:25:17 Probably not. Okay. So I offered you money. I offered you something for free and you still weren't calling me back. So what could we possibly say in a voicemail message that would get you to call me back? And the answer is nothing accepts. So I'm gonna put an asterisk there. Speaker 2 00:25:32 All right. You're doing the, but okay. Speaker 3 00:25:34 If there's serendipity, I'll give you an example. Speaker 2 00:25:37 Okay. Speaker 3 00:25:38 Let's say you sell cell phone services and you leave me a message about being able to reduce my cost of cell phone. And I happen to be looking at my cell phone contract, which is up and I'm considering alternatives. Serendipity is you're leaving a message while I'm already thinking about this issue. So then there's a, a possibility that I'm gonna call you back absence of that. It's not gonna happen. Speaker 2 00:26:04 Cause that's pretty finite, right? I mean that that's like, Speaker 3 00:26:07 It's very finite you. Speaker 2 00:26:08 Yeah. Speaker 3 00:26:09 So based on that explanation, you probably think I'm anti voicemail for prospecting. I'm not, I'm a huge proponent of it. I think we need to use the medium differently and change our expectations. Let's take off the table, the return call. We're even gonna say that in the voicemail message, you're talking about cell different in the message. I'm not expecting you to call me back. What did you just say? My ex that's different than all the other messages, right? But here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna wet that person's whistle. I'm gonna create some intrigue. So when I connect with them live, they have some context for the conversation that they're intrigued by. It. I'm not expecting them to call me back. Of course you still leave your contact information. Speaker 2 00:26:49 Sure. Speaker 3 00:26:50 But I'm gonna set the stage for what I really want to have happen when I connect with them live. Speaker 2 00:26:56 So you've literally diffused the bomb of, Hey, call me back. You're saying, listen, I'm not expecting you to gimme a call back. And then you're basically leading into what the expectation of that call, what we do connect live might be so peaks their interest. What's their whistle, whatever the term might be. Speaker 3 00:27:11 Yep, exactly. And I might even say, depending on which attempt this is, I'm gonna try you back on Thursday at 10:00 AM. And if I have their email address, I'll send them an invite. One of the beauty of outlook, a lot of sales people don't know this. And I've learned this from a salesperson who worked for me for a number of years. As a matter of fact, I recruited her in, in multiple companies outlook. If you send an invite, puts that in your calendar, whether you accept it or not. Right? So when you think of creative ways to get it a, some FaceTime with someone, and I'm not saying that's the first thing that you do, but when you've tried some different techniques further into that process, try when you leave that voicemail message say also send you an invite. It's a creative way. Nothing, nothing that we're ever gonna talk about gets us to about a thousand Sam, right? Speaker 2 00:28:02 Without a doubt, Speaker 3 00:28:04 It's all about moving the needle, Speaker 2 00:28:05 Right? Speaker 3 00:28:07 And if that helps you be 5% more effective reaching people, take that number and multiply it through the rest of your process. What does that mean to your success? What does that mean to your income? Everything is about moving the needle just a little bit. And if we can keep moving that needle a little bit, the compounding effect is just unbelievable. Speaker 2 00:28:26 100% a great. So this is the other thing that caught my eye because I'm old school sales. I, you know, the pain sell to the pain and all that stuff. And you actually brought up some good points around discovery and, and the pain selling and pro I remember my, I used to always think it was the weirdest term probe for what is your thoughts around that? Can you share that with the audience? Cause those are some of the things that kind of caught my attention as well. Speaker 3 00:28:52 Yeah. And that's one of the things we preach to salespeople. You gotta go find the pain, you gotta find the pain. Speaker 2 00:28:58 Right. Speaker 3 00:28:58 And, and I have a client, a coaching client, and he works for a garbage company here in Minnesota. Now Minnesota has a lot of idiosyncrasies, including the weather right now. It is minus 14 degrees. And that's not the wind chill. That's the temperature right now. And in Minnesota, just about every county, every homeowner, every business contracts for their own trash removal. Speaker 2 00:29:20 Wow. Speaker 3 00:29:21 It's not done by, at the county level. And all of these companies do a nice job. I mean, it's commodity truck shows up E empty. Your trash can gets put down, you get an invoice the end. Speaker 2 00:29:33 Right. Speaker 3 00:29:34 So he came into this company just outta college and he is like, so I know I gotta go find the pain. I'm like, what pain do you think you're gonna find? He goes, I don't know. So then he went on 20 sales calls with other reps and got back together with me. I said, so tell me what pain did you hear? He's like, I didn't hear any, of course not the services commodity, but there was an opportunity in his industry that his company was well positioned for, which is most companies cuz he's on a corporate side, right. Are overpaying for their trash services and it's unknowing. They don't know that they're overpaying. So you know, like on your cell phone bill, there's all these taxes and fees. And it's just like, well that's just part of the deal. I didn't even talk about it right in that industry. That's how these trash companies profit on the account. So they'll tell you it's $9 a month. And then there's all these surcharges and fees. Speaker 2 00:30:27 Yeah. Speaker 3 00:30:27 But they're not taxes. They're making up these numbers. And so we developed a strategy to spark interest in a conversation with him because if he went in looking for pain, first thing he would hear is, oh, you're from this company. Yeah. We're happy with who we have today. Nobody has a problem getting their trash picked up. Right. But we changed it from that. So this idea of pain, first of all, there are some sales that's not applicable. But then what happens in a lot of sales is we teach 'em probe for pain. We get, oh, pain runs. Write it down. Every time we hear pain, let's write it down. But there is a second level that we don't get into. Is that paying a problem or an inconvenience. And if you think about those two, an inconvenience, we all have 'em we deal with it. We live with it. It's an annoyance, a problem. We need to do something about now and we're willing to invest time, resources, and dollars to address it. So I'll give you an example. We got a COVID puppy and she's now about a year and a half. Speaker 2 00:31:34 Right. Speaker 3 00:31:35 And she's asleep behind me as we speak. And she gets really excited when somebody walks past the house and we have these nice wood blinds in the dining room and one of the sets of blinds, she got really excited one day and just broke the blinds like can't fix 'em Speaker 2 00:31:50 Right. Speaker 3 00:31:50 So there's three windows in my dining room and you have blinds blinds and a sheet looks awful. My wife and I talk about it multiple times every week. Right. But you know this COVID thing, we don't have anybody coming to visit someone in the house. So it's an inconvenience, Speaker 2 00:32:09 Convenience, not a problem yet. Speaker 3 00:32:11 All of a sudden, if my parents or her parents are coming to town, I will guarantee you, there will not be a sheet on that window. It is now a problem. And we gotta do something about it. Right? I'll give you another example. And this is very current today. If you look at COVID right COVID we have this mindset, we gotta get rid of it. Well, if you think of that problem, inconvenience, when people are dying from it, that's a problem. If they're getting hospitalized, that's a problem. But you know, we never got rid of the common cold. We still have it. Right. You feel lousy for a couple of days. And then you're fine. If we can get COVID to become an inconvenience, think about what we've accomplished. Okay. I got COVID all right. I feel lousy for a couple of days and then I'll be fine. So this whole thing about probing for pain and understanding, what's an inconvenience and what's a problem. If we're just writing down the pain and it turns out they're all inconveniences now, you know, why your deals stall out? Speaker 2 00:33:09 How would you recommend differentiate? Like, and I know it might be very black and white, but like sometimes those inconveniences con is it a matter of timing? Is it a of like, how do you justify, Hey, is this an inconvenience or is this actually a problem for you? As a, as a prospect, Speaker 3 00:33:24 You have to ask follow up questions and not just say, I'll give you an example. I have a client that's in the, uh, outsourced help desk space. And they'll tell me stories about a help desk manager that they met with. And they say the wait to times right now it's 30 minutes to get help. And they'll write that wow, 30 minutes. That's really bad. They'll write that down. And then the last questions of that person, so is 30 minutes. Is that a long time? Is that an acceptable time to you? Well, it's longer than we want. Okay. Now mind you this on their own, can't decide to outsource this. They have to get others involved, particularly north on the org chart. And one of the big questions that sales people don't ask is your executive team. How do they feel about this issue? Do they know about this 30 minute thing? Speaker 3 00:34:15 And are they willing to invest dollars to address it? You know what the most common is? I don't know. They never had the conversation with that executive level and if they don't turn their keys as no deal. And so part of our role in sales is, is to coach and counsel the people that want to take action on something. And one of the big things that happens in sales that causes us to lose deals. We meet with midlevel management. We all say, boy, I want to get to the C-suite. We wind up meeting with midlevel management and we don't ask enough questions to understand how the C-suite feels about this issue we're talking about because the person you're meeting with may see it as a problem. But if the people that control of purse strings see is as in convenience, the deal goes nowhere. Speaker 2 00:35:05 Right? Hey, would, would you also suggest Lee on that? Because you know, I we've all done it. You know, you're always trying to get to the C-suite or upper level, you know, top down approach versus bottom up. But I find there's a lot of value from those. I used to call 'em chairside back in my days at career builder, understanding the challenges of a day to day user. Right. And, but in order for that to actually bubble to the top, someone had to find a per like, what was the personal impact to you on your day by this happening, right? That became tangible where they would champion you. They would say, you know what? I didn't think of it that way that X, Y, and Z, this is who we need to talk to. Right. Because you're right. I don't know, as a big killer. Right. And the on top of it is, I don't know. And I'm not really willing to do anything about it. So Speaker 3 00:35:51 Then go home. Right? <laugh> that deal's going nowhere. If they don't know where they not willing to find out, let's not waste our time. Speaker 2 00:35:59 You got it. So I think those are a couple layers that I think those are really valid points that top down bottom of however you wanna approach it. But I love the fact that, Hey, ask those layered questions like, Hey, is it, is that a long time? Not, we like to see it better, but what about your executive team? I think that extra layer essential, because it helps you understand the dynamic within the organization. Speaker 3 00:36:21 And the big question of why, right? 30 minutes you say that's way too long. Why do you feel that way? I mean, they can be multitasking while they're waiting to connect the help desk. So it's hard to convince anyone that you're losing productivity. Yeah. Why is that too long? Speaker 2 00:36:38 Yeah. Speaker 3 00:36:38 And if you can't articulate it for the C-suite in a business case dollars and cents, the deal goes nowhere, Speaker 2 00:36:45 Right? Without a doubt. And then I think the other thing is, Hey, it's long here, but if you're having convers within your TCP and you're noticing it's exponentially longer than anyone else in their sector, that's education and thought leadership, you're bringing to the conversation around the reasons why they should be investigating. I love that. Speaker 3 00:37:03 And part of your target client profile, Sam is determining who in the organization, not just the organization itself, but who in particular will perceive the most value in what you're offering. And let's go to that person first. Let's get them really excited and then help them sell internally to get others on the same page. Speaker 2 00:37:23 That's awesome. So you brought this up and I wanna touch on this again, because I think this is a big point, this whole pain probing for pain and all this stuff. And you brought the, the waste management and all those type of things. What pain do they really have? Okay. They maybe missed my delivery once in 74 years. Right? Not a lot. Right. That's more of an inconvenience than it is a problem. And an old colleague of mine said, Hey, do you sell a pain pill? Or do you sell a vitamin pill? Like a missed opportunity? I think like getting down to that, are we a pain pill or are we more of a vitamin, a missed opportunity? I think everyone thinks there are a pain pill and not every solution. Everything out there is a actually a pain pill in I off basely is everything in some way, shape, form, or fashion solving. I Speaker 3 00:38:06 Nope, a hundred percent with you. There's pain in this game and we have to figure out, and it's funny, when you look at managing salespeople, there are salespeople motivated by fear and some that are motivated by greed. And you have to figure out which individual old, the more dominant the two is when you're working with them. If you keep talking to someone, look at how much money you're gonna make, and they're more motivated by I'm afraid I'm gonna miss my goal, or I'm gonna fail with this. Something like that. It's meaningless, it's meaningless, but you're exactly right. There's pain in there's gain. And we have to be able to position those effectively so that people want to take action on them. Speaker 2 00:38:43 What that go? Hey. So in your book, this was one thing that I was actually interested in strategic selling opportunity. Speaker 3 00:38:50 Just one thing. Yes. Speaker 2 00:38:51 I've I've already said four things. Lee I've already said the, what do you want from me? Speaker 3 00:38:56 You, you told him one and you'd given 'em four. Speaker 2 00:38:58 I can't, you know, that's how I am. I'm indecisive. I don't know. See, now you have to, now you have to keep probing <laugh> So you said 99.9. I don't know if that's an exaggeration, but sales people miss this, uh, within the deal cycle. So what is that Lee? Speaker 3 00:39:14 Yep. It's 99.9, nine 9% of sales people miss an incredible opportunity to differentiate themselves. Speaker 2 00:39:22 Okay. Walk us through it. Speaker 3 00:39:24 So we talked earlier about CIOs and all the different sales people that are trying to get their attention. So we have this discovery meeting and it's a great discovery meeting. You found not just pain point, Sam, you found problems and you position your differentiators. They ate 'em up. They loved it. You've got action items. They've got action items. The deal's so good. You could taste it. So either head off zoom or you're going back to your car and you're replaying the meeting in your head and it's like your favorite movie for me, that would be caddy shot by the way. And here's the flaw. Sam. We think that the people we met with, remember that meeting just as vividly as we do, Speaker 2 00:40:06 Right. Speaker 3 00:40:07 Doesn't Dawn on us that after our meeting, they had seven other meetings, 120 emails, 16 voicemails, each one of 'em layering on top of, of our, are you familiar with the forgetting curve? Have you ever heard of this? Speaker 2 00:40:19 No, I haven't Speaker 3 00:40:21 Google this Herman ebbing house back in the 18 hundreds. Okay. Studied our ability to remember after 24 hours, we forget 50%. Speaker 2 00:40:31 Okay. Speaker 3 00:40:32 After a week it's we remember less than 10%. So think about all of, of this that's happening in, in this business setting. Our best case is about 50% after 24 hours. That's not enough. When you think about a conversation we had, we were talking about either outsourcing something that haven't been outsourced before or changing, uh, suppliers. Speaker 2 00:40:53 Yeah. Speaker 3 00:40:54 We need better retention. And so here's the opportunity that so sales people miss out on it's the recap email within 24 hours of that meeting, you send a recap email that has five parts to it. The first one is your objectives. What they said, they're looking to accomplish, use their words and expressions. So they're reading it, not and going, yeah, he heard me how weak can help position your differentiators. Remind them of the key points that you talked about, of where you fit in that meeting your action items, their action items. I mean, how many times Sam have you had a follow up meeting with someone and they were supposed to do this stuff. They're like, oh, that's right. I was supposed to talk to fail. I forgot. Sorry. And then are agreed upon next step. And you send that in such a way that they can forward it to others. Speaker 3 00:41:44 People who need to turn their keys, that can quickly be brought up to speed, who weren't in that meeting. And if you think about what that does, there's no CRM on the planet that can write that for you. Right. So it's gonna take you five, 10 minutes to put that together. They know it took you time to put that together. So you're showing genuine interest in them. Remember I said, no one likes to feel like a number. Now you're making them feel special that you took the time to put that together is significant. And it helps you to stand from everyone else that's going after that account. Speaker 2 00:42:16 Yeah. I think you a ton. And I'm always shocked when I don't get a recap. Like when I've met with sales people that I've never like I accident the conversation was pretty decent. Like I thought there was some clear next steps and I got nothing in a recap. And of course after a week they follow up and I forgot the entire conversation and, and things of that nature. But here's one thing I, I would say on the recap in today's day and age, it's even easier, right? Lee, for the simple fact that if you are doing it via zoom, there's gongs, there's all these recording things that capture everything and almost transcribe it for you. That you can take an extra five, 10 minutes to and speed up the play to hear all of it. Just, I, I don't wanna say copy of face, but you not having to remember everything on these zoom calls. Right? Speaker 3 00:42:59 Correct. There's plenty of tools. That'll help you do it Speaker 2 00:43:02 Without a doubt. Speaker 3 00:43:03 You just have to have to have the discipline to do it. Speaker 2 00:43:06 Exactly. And then the other thing I'll layer on to that, cause I love what you said is how many times have you followed up around action items? Hey, you were gonna get with Phil. Hey, maybe before that next step, maybe that is an email, you know, basically replied to it. Hey, just checking in, make sure you had the opportunity to talk to Phil before our meeting on Thursday of this week. Right? Speaker 3 00:43:25 Right. Speaker 2 00:43:26 Those are the blocking and tackling that sets yourself apart from everyone else. Who's just hopping into a meeting. Like what are we doing here? I don't know. What's set an agenda. Those type of things. Right? Speaker 3 00:43:35 Exactly. Exactly. Speaker 2 00:43:38 So why just curious, like if we know this and this is, is this the over complication of sales, like why isn't this happening more Speaker 3 00:43:45 Thoughtfulness or lack thereof. There's a lot of pressure from sales leaders to push on activity, not necessarily the quality of that activity. And there's a lot of salespeople that confuse effectiveness for work, meaning I'm doing all these things. Like we talked about before I sent all these emails out and they think they've achieved something and we haven't moved the needle at all. Speaker 2 00:44:09 Right. Without a doubt. Speaker 3 00:44:10 So part of it's like where we started it's sales laziness. It's not enough awareness in the sales management suite of looking at not just the quantitative side, but the qualitative side of every step of the process. Speaker 2 00:44:24 Fantastic. Hey Lee, how do people learn more about you obviously get your book, share a little bit about how they connect with you and all that kind of fun stuff. Speaker 3 00:44:34 Sure. So the books available in all your favorite bookstores, you can get it on Amazon. Of course, if you wanna get a taste of the book, if you go to sell different book.com, sell different book.com, you can download the first chapter either to read or even listen to. Um, so you get a taste of that. And regardless of where you buy the book, come back to that website, sell different book.com. There's a video series that goes along with it. And it's only available to people that buy the book. So you go there, fill out the form, upload your receipt. And for every week for a year, you're gonna get an email to the sales differentiation, minute volume, two, to help you implement the strategies in the book, as well as other ones that are not in the book. Speaker 2 00:45:19 That's fantastic. We're gonna put all that in the show notes. So no one has to remember that though. It'll be in the show notes for the episode. Awesome. I have it on my one, my top, every year I put about 40 into my queue. What is it? The reading list on Amazon, the Kindle it is purchased. It's just, I got six books in I'm 2022 ma it's it's late January. I only get so much time, but that is in my reading queue. So I'm, I'm excited to look forward. I'm looking forward to, to reading through that and getting on the video queue as well. Lee, I sincerely appreciate your time today, Speaker 3 00:45:53 Sam. Thank you so much. Speaker 1 00:45:56 Thank you for listening to the sales samurai podcast with your host, Sam Capra. Be sure you subscribe to our podcast and visit sales samurai.io and join the conversation. Access show notes and discover bonus content.
Bestselling author and sales management strategist
When salespeople aren’t winning deals at desired levels or price points, executives and business owners turn to Lee B. Salz, a world-renowned sales management strategist and CEO
of Sales Architects. A recognized specialist in Sales Differentiation, Lee helps organizations win more deals at the prices they want. Working across all industries and sale types, he creates winning sales strategies for companies around the globe.
A featured columnist in The Business Journals and a media source on sales and sales management, Lee has been quoted and featured in The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The New York Times, MSNBC, ABC News, and numerous other outlets.
Lee is a frequently-sought keynote speaker at association conferences, sales meetings, and
virtual events. He conducts customized workshops on a wide array of sales performance topics including Sales Differentiation, salesforce development, hiring, onboarding, and compensation. He is the bestselling, award-winning author of six books, including Sales Differentiation and Hire Right, Higher Profits. In September 2021, his sixth book, Sell Different!, was published by HarperCollins which presents all-new Sales Differentiation strategies to outsmart, outmaneuver, and outsell the competition. Sell Different! has already achieved bestseller status in the US and Canada, was ranked top new sales book around the world, and was a finalist for top sales book of 2021.
Lee is also a competitive powerlifter in the bench press. In December 2018, he completely
ruptured his left triceps muscle while training for competition. He was told by doctors that his powerlifting career was over. Overcoming the odds, in 2021 at the age of 52, he won the gold medal in both his age and weight classes in the Minnesota State Powerlifting Championships and received an invitation to compete at the national level.
A graduate of Binghamton University, originally from New York City and New Jersey, Lee now
resides with his family in Minneapolis. When he isn't helping his clients win more deals at the
prices they want, you will find him throwing batting practice to his sons, training for his next
powerlifting meet, and goofing around with his dogs.