The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 7 months ago

182. The 4 Pillars of Selling Without Selling Out w/ Andy Paul


Our job as sales professionals is not to persuade someone to buy our product. Our job is to learn what is most important to the buyer and help them obtain or achieve that.

In this episode, I speak with Andy Paul, Author, Podcaster, Speaker at, about the four pillars of human-centered sales featured in his most recent book, Sell Without Selling Out.

Andy and I talked about:

  • How buyers experience their interactions with sellers
  • What the differences are between sales bosses and sales leaders
  • How to promote human centricity in our sales approaches
  • What the four pillars of human-centered selling are
  • Why you should develop your own individual selling process  

Check out these resources we mentioned:

Subscribe, listen, and rate/review the Customer Experience Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play or Google Podcasts, and find more episodes on our blog.

...monsigns not about the technology. It's about how we interact with our buyers in a way that yeah dispense. Is What we've done with the last hundred thirty years and and truly embrace selling, creating this experience, positive experiences for our buyers. The single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. Selling without selling out. It's not just an attractive idea, it's the most effective way to sell, and today's guest wrote the book on it. He's personally sold hundreds of millions of dollars in complex systems to enterprises around the world and he's helped client companies sell hundreds of millions more. He's hosted more than a thousand episodes of the highly recommended sales enablement podcast, he's attracted nearly two hundred thousand connections and followers on Linkedin and he's authored three books, including the brand new cell without selling out, a guide to success on your own terms. It actually releases three weeks from today, well at least the day that this episode releases. It comes out on February twenty two, two thousand and twenty two, or twenty two two thousand and twenty two. I love the read myself. I'm looking forward to diving into some of it today, including the idea that, quote, your sales boss will hate that you're reading this book and quote Andy Paul. Welcome to the customer experience podcast, e than. Thank you very much and thank you for that very generous introduction. Yeah, it's all true. I think the Internet told me it was okay, and there you go. Gotta be true. Totally and again, love the read, love the conversation you and I you were kind enough to host Steven me, my longtime friend and team member, Chief Marketing Officer Bombomb, Steve Passonelli, you've hosted US multiple times on the sales enablement podcast, but most recently to talk about Human Center Communication, and you mentioned that you had this book in flight and that there were similar themes, and it absolutely is completely true. Oh, yeah, yeah, that's a lot of similarities between the two. Yeah, it starts with being more focused on the other person than yourself. Yeah, goes from there, right, as is, you know, the theme of the show, the customer experience podcast. Yeah, at the end of the day, your ability to win business as a salesperson's based upon the experience the buyer has with you during their buying process. And, sir, that's where it starts and ends. Yeah, it seems intuitively true, and yet we don't always act in accordance with that idea. But you team me up for the opening question that I ask everybody, sure, which is customer experience. When I say that to you, Andy, what does it mean? Well, I'm I'll distinguished between the buying experience in the customer experience. Right, I'm and there's one thing as when the customer, the buyer, is going through the process of making their decision, which is what I write about. Is Yeah, there's some research can from Gardner and CEB and others that that, and I talked about this in the book, as the majority of the criteria they use to make their purchase decisions based on their experience with you as a buyer or use the seller. Excuse me. And that, sir, says. It alls like you know, every time you opportunity to interact with the buyer, are you being an intentional about helping them achieve the thing that's most important to them? That's why I talked about in the book is is our job as sellers is not to go out and try to persuade somebody to buy our product, which is one experience if you've been on the receiving end of that, or as to go out and really listen, to understand what's most important to the buyer and then help them get that. Boy, you receive that experience very differently as a buyer if the sellers taking that approach. Yeah, so true that that buyers experience. It has such an outsize impact because it colors should they even proceed. It colors the entire sets the expectations for everything else to come. I think the Human Day to human dynamic of it between buyer and seller, and we talked a bit about the nonlinear buyers journey though. People are interacting with the seller at different points along the way, which is why listening and asking good questions is so important. I think that human to human element leaves a much stronger impact and therefore has an outsize effect on the broader custom him were experience. So I want to read a quote to you from Your Book and I'd sure love for you to speak to because it's something I've been talking about a lot, because I talked about human center communication, video messaging, and you really get at it in a remarkably similar way. And here's the quote. You can't pitch someone on why they should trust you. You can't explain to someone why they should build a relationship with you. They have to experience you. Yeah, I mean it's there's a I tell the story in the book about there one time I was the very early my career, is calling on the CEO of this large home builder and I'd cold call him on a...

...couple times before. I never spoken to him, and cold call him and again the third time, I expecting that he wouldn't be there and had one of those Oh shit moments where he actually said yeah, I want to talk to you right. So, yeah, I'm in the first year of my career. I'm being dragged in this off as this very successful executive. You built this company and a hand of my business card. He sitting on those sides, big dusk, completely pristine top. It looks at I launch in my pitch and I get about ten, fifteen minutes and or fifteen seconds in, Tony Pulls up his hand, tells me to stop and he reaches into his desk drawer and pulls out the stack of business cards about two inches high and bomb by rubbery and takes our band off and spreads him on a table. So like a dealer at blackjack in Las Vegas. It's so Mr Paul said, these are cards from all the computer sales people that have called on me in the last year and I haven't bought from any of them. Any of them. So tell me why should I buy from you? And isn't that moment? I was like, Oh yeah, he's like there's Epiphanis, like he's not asking why should buy from my company. You would know why he should buy from me. And here I was less than a year into my sales career and I had no idea how to answer that question. But I learned. Actually, the large part from the him is about. Yeah, it was. It was how I was going to help him right get what was important to him. And Yeah, it's very fortunate to have a number of customers or earlier the first few years of my career. That just helped me understand this, that it wasn't about what I want is, but what they wanted is about me helping them get things that were important to them. And when you do that, then you answer that question for them. They experience you right. That the questions I talked about the book called the why you question every buyer asks us of you. They don't ask it out loud necessarily, but they're asking it nonetheless, and the answer comes from yeah, how they experience their interactions with you. Yeah, and that experience is we all know that actions speak louder than words. In this I yea that I'm going to expect. You can't. In fact, I think the more someone protests how trustworthy they are or how worthy just to stay in the quote or how worthy of a relationship they are, the less likely it is to be true. Why do you think? Because I think a lot of people, I think most people, would intuitively accept everything that you just offered, but we still act in accordance to and their they the influence the decision. But why do you think we perhaps, on average, status quot overvalue product feature, price, benefit, timeline and undervalue the role of sending out well equipped, well supported, confident salespeople, knowing that they're buying the person as much as they're buying all the other details. Well, that you spoke to her. It's a status quote. It's this perspectively. Have that that if you ask most sellers what their job is, they'll tell you that their job is to persuade somebody to buy their product. And as I for that. Well, that's going to take you down a certain path in terms of the type of actions you take, because it's gonna be about you, your job. It's you, me persuading you, me convincing you, as opposed to I really curious. I need to understand what's really important to this buyer and then if I can help them get that, then that's a win win for both of us. Right, but that's not the perspective that we give sellers by enlarge. So the training and the socialization around what sales is, and you know, stretches back to even things like on boarding. Yeah, most companies are on board reps, so let's do that in a shorter period of time as we can, right, we just we words, want to make that very efficient. We're going to push them out. And yet, yes, as David Epstein writes about his book range is there's a huge body of academic work the shows that the most effect way to learn takes a little more time, learning slowly. So if we maybe invest a little more time and helping people understand the right perspective, how the right framework about how they're supposed to be approaching their customers, that may change. We not turn people as for fat as fast as we do and man have the burnout we have. We certainly have made of customers have a different reaction to actually interacting with a seller. Because, yeah, right about this, and maybe unfair that they think sellers are clueless and pushy and so on. But you know, the reputation didn't come around on its own. It didn't spontaneously becau spark into life. We earned it, but it's like us and we can change it. Yeah, and that's the and will get there in a couple of minutes. I think this idea of selling in versus selling out and the integrity that's involved. There even this idea of influence as the antithesis on the positive side of persuasion, which is a bit more selfish. But I want to offer listeners the quote you had many awesome people say really nice things about the book,...

...but I'm gonna go to the one that's on the cover from be tob sales expert jail conrath. Quote. This book is filled with rock solid advice and tips on how you can achieve your goals by becoming a human centered sales person. She also called it the new how to win friends and influence people. But what I want to key in here on US her, by the way. Yeah, totally and fair. By the way, a human centered salesperson. What is human centered mean to you? Well, gets back to what just talked about's about somebody takes the approach. That's about the buyer and helping the buyer. Yeah, I have very simple definitions. The book of of sales is it's not persuading something to buy your product. It's listening to understand what's most important to the buyer and then helping them get that. That's human centered. Right, it's about you. It's e Zigglar. I talked on the book. You know the paraphrases. Quote is is you get everything you want from life if you help on not other help enough. Other people get what they want in life. That's the approach you should be taking right. It's as soon as you start making about you as the seller then, yeah, the buyers starts distancing themselves. You know, it's it's behavior that that people sat universally resist. So why do we keep selling or telling sales people on training them that this is the way they need to behave on their front of customers? In a perfect example is I'd posted something on Linkedin, I think is yesterday, advice I got from my first boss, Ray, First Boston sales, and I went to one day and said, yeah, what am I supposed to do when I run into prospects of tell me they're just not interested, and he looked at me said go find someone who is. And this post, you know, it's got the whole group of people who are part of the I'm not interested is an objection. It's like, well, no, on's what are they objecting to? No one's objecting to anything right. I mean I'm a business owner. If I tell something I'm not interested, I'm not interested. Right, this statement of fact. It's not objection to be overcome or to be handled. Right. Yet there's this mucho strain through sales at anytime. So they pushes back little bit. You got overcome it, right, you got to overcome the subjection. It's like it's not an objection, it's an objection. Yeah, yeah, if you ask me a follow up question, say well, if you're not justus, and I was there a time, this might become the top of your priority list where it's worth revisiting. Sure, because, as somebody want the commenters on the threads that is no, doesn't mean never. All right, right, but you've got a limited amount of time as a salesperson. So do you want to impose yourself on that buyer when they've already said look now, it's not a good time? Or you don't come back where you can really help them? And unfortunately, for too big of a segment of our sellers, they've been trained to believe that that first objection is the invitation to sell harder. That's right, no, it's it's it's all about you at that point. It's not about the buyer. Yeah, so important. Another concept in there that I felt was very human center just to specially the way Steve and I wrote about it in our book. That has a great deal of kinship with your own was Orota Return. I'm in attention. If we focus on return on time and attention. I feel like that's also very human centered, because we're focusing on what is in this. If we're going to ask someone to invest time and attention in something, what, what can we deliver in exchange for that? And I think that also fits this human centricity and even by your centricity. Yeah, well, it's the basic bargain, if you will, that you strike with byers at the heart of sales. They're going to invest some other time and attention and you, what do they get in return for that? And if they have too many interactions with you where they get nothing in return, then they're going to stop giving you their time and attention. It's pretty simple, and the successful sellers are those that are very intentional about saying, look, every time I have an opportunity to interact with a buyer, doesn't matter that email, voicemail, in person, call, video, call, whatever, I'm gonna have a plan. I'm gonna understand what the value is they need from me in this interaction. They will help them make progress toward making a decision. That's in the book as why it says they know this is so. The measure of value is are helping them make progress toward making their decision and if meeting with them or talking with them doesn't achieve that, then was a waste of their time and a waste of your own. Yeah, and it also very likely to this pollution concept reduces your addressable market. If you consistently fail to deliver an Rota, let's call it Roda, Roda. Yeah, yeah, if you consistently fail to deliver a Roada, you are going to shrink your available market, because people can unsubscribe, they can block, they can ignore, they can block your number, they can block your domain, they can tell whatever Ad Service stop showing me ads from these people like it's and it's all getting easier and easier to... The only one that still frustrates me is when I get text messages that I don't want. That feels like a five click on the iphone block this collar, but everywhere else it's like two clicks. MACs. Yeah, people remember, right. I mean it's yeah, you get in a dated you get a lot of request. But if they you have this unsatisfactory interaction with the buyer. But remember, but remember, yeah, Thei. They'll block you, as you said, physically or, yeah, they'll ignore your calls or whatever, and that's it comes from, just us a not being mindful, not being in the moment to say, okay, what is my intention here? Is My attention? Just to say hi, just to check in? There's my intention to help them? Yeah, make progress. And if you don't use that as your basic benchmark for every interaction you have with a buyer, yeah, you're not. They're not earning a good return on the time in investment or time at attention. They're investing in you, for sure, and you're not getting a good return on the time you're investing in them. I mean right, it's so finite. We have time as finite. Let's make the most of it. And Yeah, to be thoughtful. Yeah, to blend that response with your previous one about muscling through things, here's another quote that I loved, and it's near the beginning of the book. Stop Acting Sales E. Your buyer doesn't like it, you don't like it, stop it. And so with that I'll tee up this kind of selling out versus selling in your on set for listeners. Just like break that down selling without selling out, as the title of the book, and you compare and contrast in the tables you got a couple like super powerful tables that are worth the price of admission. I mean they're worth whatever it is. Twenty two, twenty seven bucks, just the two table. Ninety five, one thousand six hundred and ninety five. Bargain, it is. The table alone on selling out versus selling in is worth it, as is sales boss versus sales leader, which is where we'll go next. But break this concept down for people so they can be feel welcomed into this concept. Yeah, so the ideas is, again, if you start with this idea that your job is to persuade somebody to buy your product as a seller, you think that's your job, then the set of actions you'll undertake are what I call sales he right. It's the stereotypical selling behavior. You know, we're going to pitch before we understand. Right is, you know, just persuasion itself as a sort of the cycle, the brute force hammered that you apply to people you're trying to course them into believing what you think is important. You know, that thing we just talked about with the I'm not interested. Right is every with all those people on my linkedin thread that that comment and said that's not sales. salespeople go down now that's that's sales he that's about you, that's selling out, that's behavior that that has no value to the buyer whatsoever. And so we know at these are we see him every day. We experience and we're probably ofttimes guilty of doing it. My give a story in the book about, you know, horrible experience had earlier in my career, the actually the last time I think I did it, where, yeah, customer had promised an order before the end of the year and they were shutting down between Christmas and New Year's. The order didn't come in. I had already made my number. I didn't care. Unfortunately, my boss hadn't and he wanted that order and so he forced me to call this customer, with whom I previously had a great relationship, cal him at home on Christmas Eve, why they were opening presents, to ask them to fax the order, which we did. We got the order, but the relationship was dead. I mean they couldn't wait to replace us. I mean it took him by that. Said there was such a big customer. Took a couple of years without a couple of years. Yeah, there's no turning and I was due to that. It was completely unnecessary. So that's sales behavior and doesn't just come from the sellers, it comes from the sales bosses as well. Completely unnecessary. Yeah, the episode that is selling in as right as is selling in is and I talked about four pillars of selling in, but it's just sell in a way that you create this positive buying experience on the part of the buyer that enables you, you know, basically they give you permission to influence the choices and tradeoffs they make, and that's the position you want to be in. So you're not selling to them, you're selling with them. Yeah, and it's this Christmas Eve story is so powerful because it's about what I think I need right now. Sacrificing lifetime value the customer positive would have now rols like it just it, just so. We can't well, we can't help ourselves. Like, what do you think about that? Is Is that? Well, I'm here sitting in a are going to a salon. They called him up. Modern sales pros hosts these meetings around the country. I'm are going to One New York City and sitting at table a bunch of sales sales leaders and they were talking about, yeah, discounts and spiffs...

...and and yeah, asked and I said so, let me go around the table and may ask you as yeah, Y'all said that you you spiffs at end of month, under quarter to get orders. And I said, so, what's the arrowly on those spiffs? I have a calculated that. When the value you giveaway of expercent of the deal to the seller or you give away expert on the sale to the buyer in order to sign so you can get the order two days earlier. Now how's that working out for you? Don't thinks about it. That is do this crap. And, as I talked on the book, is is if you think you've going to a buyer and you said look, we're here to help, and you think you're really sincere about it, but then you get to the last week of the month and last week of the quarter, you say really need the order of this quarter, this month. What's going to take two to get this deal signed? Boom, yeah, they just got exposed as a lie. Everything you said up to that point has been exposed as a lie. They know you're there purely for transaction and it doesn't mean you don't hit your numbers, but planet out better. Don't leave yourself, feels with many people do leave it to the last week, the last month. You know, build your pipe point up so you don't have to fall into that trap at the end of every accounting period. And it just transforms the way you sell. I mean this company where had to call the customer curses eve. Soon thereafter actually took over the sales organization and we just stopped doing it all together. And Yeah, there's a little bit of a transition, about ninety days to get out of habit of filling filling our order funnel at the end of the last end of the quarter, but then got into a much more smooth, more predictable flow and less of this hockey stick effect, and the customer satisfaction with us as sellers went up substantially. Yeah, really good. You used sales boss in this conversation and sales leader in this conversation. In the mood I read in the introduction again is your sales boss will hate that you're reading this book. Do I assume correctly? And then I'll turn into a more specific question. It's not yes or no. Do I assume correctly that your sales leader, wouldn't mind that you're reading this book talk about the different try to sales poss of sales leader. Sales leader, absolutely encourage you to read this book because sales leaders understand that that success for them only comes on the heels of success of the individuals. Right. They're only a succeed to the extent that you, as a seller, develop and grow and become more successful in your own right, whereas, yeah, I think we've we've got a generation of people as managers who do it all by the metrics, all by the KPI's and don't really focus as much in the individual. It's all but the process, and it might work for a little while, but then you're going to hit a wall and people going to churn and leave. You're going to be investing all the time and on boarding New People, you're not going to get the results you want. You're going to find that the experience the buyers have is degraded. And, yeah, boss has. Bosses need to learn how to transition into into leaders and I think this is we're not helping, unfortunately. I think a sort of profession and enabling our frontline managers and next level managers with the tools and the education they need to understand how how to help people improve their performance in a way that's not just hey, go make more calls, but actually using the technology that exist to help people become the best version of themselves. And Yeah, it's just too much serve cookie cutter approach. But I think those that truly our sales leaders, they understand look, they're gonna be as good as the people they have and the people they have they want to make and make the investments in them to help them improve and and achieve their own goals in life. Mat can't time in times conversations with sellers that even managers talk to manager say so, you know, if we're talked about a problem, individual says, well, what's this person trying to achieve in life? What's their big goal? That no idea, no clue. There's not unusual. I think it's like, why, I know what their sales goal is. What so? What? Yeah, I of course you know what their sales goal is. What do they want to achieve in life? If you understand that, then that's yeah, what's most important to them. It's just like you're doing with your buyers. You do this with everyone. How can I help you get what's most important to you. Yeah, and what's good for the buyer is good for you the seller. What's good for your seller is good for you, the the leader. It's it just kind of goes around around. You buy the language around science and art here. Mean you talked about metrics, KPI process. I think we call that science. Obviously, success is built in both science and, sorry, sorry, pseudo science perhaps. Well, what are you wanting? You to that language to capture that dynamic. Yeah, well, it's it's both right. Unfortunately, what most people want to pass off as science of selling is...

...just math. Right, conversion rates cool. Yeah, there is a science of selling to in terms of the neuroscience and behave for all economics and so on. Yeah, and that science is rapidly evolving. You know some of the things that we think we know about about behavioral economics, like loss of version. Yeah, there's papers come out in the last few years repudiating loss of version, saying it doesn't exist. Yet it's been a central tenant of the way we train sellers for years. So the science exist, but it's rapidly evolving. So you need to stay involved and engaged, keep learning and stay abreast of what's going on. And then, yeah, there's a huge art component, which is how do I interact with you? I as an individual human I'm one of you. I mean seven a half billion people in the world. I'm selling to you Ethan. Your one of seven hundred seven half billion people in the world. That's a one of a kind conversation. It's never you can't replicate it. You can say look, all you want is say, Hey, if you say these three words at this moment in time, you're going to increase your conversions. Yeah, I'm a skeptic of that because they don't pen those Art Longitudinal Studies that I control all the variables. So right, let's sale a point in time. So we have this this thing in sales where the science of actually what could be understand the science of selling if we did actually follow millions of sellers, a hundreds of thousands of sellers over a period of time to understand what really worked in certain search circumstances? We'd have it. But you know, we don't do clinical type studies and sales. We just takes our of these anecdotal evidence and apply it in a broad fashion. So yeah, I believe there's science. I try to stay a breast as much I can about, you know, readings and in business journals about psychology of sale, psychology of buyers and so on. It's just data points to help me and I think that's we all need as sellers is just be open, be continuously learning. Factor those into what your own experiences are, because we're all in the process of developing our own individual selling process. Right is yes, the company as a process, you should really consider it a framework. As individuals, we have to learn to what works best for us and own it and take the one of the themes of the book is push back if you have to push back. Yeah, it's your career. No one cares about your success as much as you do. No one cares if you develop as to hit your goals as much as you do. You know career goals and so you have to take that ownership to learn and be openminded and experiments and try new things and not necessarily always follow the company line. Believe it or not, that's why bosses may hate it, because for me and my own experience in the people I know that that broad swath of people that have succeeded, they haven't done it by hewing strictly to the company line. They've done it by saying that's good, I can use that experience like yeah, that method, that technique, bi or Alb, incorporate that and not not all the rest of it, but that one works. And you become the sum total of your experiences. And Yeah, you put your bottomline. Say Okay, I may, I've been doing exactly what you want me to do it, Mr Boss, but I'm going to be accountable. I'll deliver and as long as you deliver, yeah, keep going. Yeah, I really like that line you draw between math and science and the way that you broadened out science there. And it's perfectly true. And and again for folks listening, that was a great pass at selling out versus selling in. A nice return to it there at the end. And the dynamic there with the sales boss versus the sales leader you mentioned earlier the four pillars. Those four pillars are connection, curiosity, understanding and generosity. Yes, have to do deep dives into each one of them, but share whatever you would like about the development of that framework. What might be most valuable to someone in a you know, short take or something counterintuitive or unexpected or things that people ask you about when they encounter this framework. Share anything you like about right, connection, curiosity, understanding and generosity. Yeah, thanks. I mean, I believe that success in this this profession selling, is based on these four pillars. The call selling in connection, curiosity, understand generosity. Let's start by comparing it to selling out. The behaviors that we dislike, that are buyers this, like that we as sellers, hate, hate, performing a conducting are all learned behaviors. They're not innate human behaviors. Or, another hand, we are wired as humans to want to connect with other humans. We're wired to be curious about other people in the world around us. I mean it's our curiosity that enables us to navigate the world in unfamiliar situations. So that's our innate human behavior. Understanding, right is we want to understand the world around us. Were curious about it. We want to understand other people. That's feeds into our ability to be empathic and have empathy for other people. And we're wired to be generous or wired to give. We grew up and we grew up in a tribal nature where...

...we, you know, collectively shared everything. Right it was. This is how we've been involved. That's who we are as human beings. This is natural, innate behaviors and if you just lean into them, if you learn how to become more proficient at some of them, then I believe those are really the keys to success in helping your buyers, the key to success in life. I mean it's always love. This phrase from Keith Ferrazi and his book never eat lunch alone is is hey, what's the fast way I can help you? Right, that's that's that's what you're trying to do with your buyers, trying to connect you, trying to earn the right to stick your nose into their business through building your how to build and trust and answering the why you question. You're used your curiosity. I there about six different types of questions get people's frameworks to use to help them really truly begin to understand their buyers. Because one thing's happened in sales these days is it's always, sir, been there in sales, but I think it's been accentuated and amplified today. Is With yeah, we got playbooks. You ask these questions, right, or maybe some variety these questions. We all have sort our standards out of questions, but then you don't extend your curiosity beyond then. So, yes, you know something of the buyer, but do you really understand the buyer and what's most important to them in the context of these things that you know? Because my experience over a long time, unfortunately, is is that in every up to I've worked on to the Mitter of selling women shoes at Jay z pennies or nine figure deals, is that there was always one thing that was more important than everything else, and you need to find out what that is. You need to understand what that is and who it's most important to and why it's important to them. And when you know that, then your odds of going have success have gone up substantially. And then once you know that, then it's like, okay, what's the value I need to be able to give in a way that's generous to help them achieve what's most important to them. Said, these are natural human behaviors and that's just a Dawn't struck me at some point my microw. Don't remember precisely one, but was like, oh, yeah, the way they've been trained. Actually, that's an act right, that's that's a role that you're playing as opposed to how am I communicating with us, this other person, to help them achieve what's important to them, and that you do through being you. Yeah, I love the pillars, I love the way they compliment one another and I specially love the way that you wrapped them in this natural human bow kind of especially at this stage where, you know, people are wondering what is the creep of technology, what will the machines and bots and ai take over, and what will what scraps will be left for humans to do in terms of gainful employment, and you really capture them here right and it seems like, and I want to call back to something else really powerful you said in the conversation just to just to really emphasize it, which is these interactions. Yes, they can be guided by playbooks, they can be guided by frameworks, but they are one and seven and a half billion to one and seven and a half billion, which makes them not one in a million but one of a kind. And so this idea of taking this repetitive, mechanical, industrial, Bot driven approach to things that are inherently complex and interesting and ambiguous and shifting, and that there's a truth in there. Just to go to another thing you shared there. There's this truth underneath some of this other stuff if you can just, you know, get the permission to have it revealed to you through relationship and conversation, curiosity, in part by opening it up, by being generous, etc. And so did you see? Seems so obviously the path forward in successful sales, especially at this moment in two thousand and twenty two. Yeah, I mean the great quote from Jeff Colvin and his book humans are underrated, which the day loved it, and he frames as they said. Yeah, in this century that we're in, as we're going to see all this change to work and and the jobs people do, as you said, based on automation, machine learning, AI. He said, those that succeed are those who learn how to become more intensely human, meaning the things that you do as a human that machines can't do, which is connect with a person. Yeah, is to have credibility, develop trust, be intuitive, intuitive, you know place of the questions and the curiosity you ask because, yeah, you know you're going to you're going to be you're going to think about new questions. Hopefully you know what every interaction you have with some I'd think a great measure for a seller. I you're really paying attention. Is, after you know, discovery call is M to ask... questions today. Right, what much was a new question I asked that I never asked before. Means you're really paying attention. Right, you're you're being mindful of the buyer, understanding, synthesizing information a way that machines will never do, or at least not unforeseeable future for the next number of years, and giving yeah, this is a human impulse. We do it because it makes us feel better, makes us feel good about ourselves and, Dushin, makes other people feel good too, to receive, but makes us feel good. Yeah, it generates an know, reciprocity. So, yeah, these are things that that, yeah, machines aren't be good at for some period of time, if forever, on some of these things. So yeah, lean into it because you get the point where you know, machine is driving the sales process and I need a buyer thing about by from Birus perspective. Gosh, how might differentially all these but driven sales experiences are buying experiences. Well, the end of the day, it's because it could be the person, right, someone's going to say, oh well, yeah, the person's gonna make the difference. It just when you think that they're going to try to take people out of the equation, it's always the person. They'll make the difference. Yeah, I've encountered so many places we can go from here. For some reason, I guess I'll offer this to see if you've heard or seen similar I I've run into this idea in a couple of different ways that essentially my buying Bot is going to interact with your selling Bot in the bots are just going to do it while we what are in hammocks on the beach or something, I don't know. Yeah, well, but, but that, but that, but it requires so many discreete can concrete confirmed things. Yeah, I mean this is one that element. I always give us an example to answer that question. Is Risk, right? So, depending on yeah, certainly, the the the nature of the transactions that can be done in automated fashion are changing all the time. Right, the the boundaries are changing, but a certain level of complexity and and strategic nature of a purchase, the risk profile changes. And yes, I always sort of amused by studies that say, Oh, the millennial buyers don't want to talk to sellers. It's like, well, first of all, that's old news, is in the history of mankind. Nope, buyers, everyone talk to a seller. So let's just start with that as a premise. But they do in order to mitigate the risk, right, is to get validation for certain assumptions they made or to get, yeah, certain assumptions challenged. And, yeah, to mitigate risk, because risk isn't part of every indecision. So, yeah, any buyer who thinks, well, just do this and never talk to the seller and I serve complex, magically important decision may find themselves with a very short career at that. That job, you know, the CEO. So so, did you talk to the talk to people from the company about that? Oh No, no, we did that all online. Well, this is not working out. Oh Yeah, if you talk to the person, maybe we would have found some of this out right. Yeah. So, so I think as long as risks, risks are involved, then humans will be involved. And Yeah, risk is evident everywhere. Right, what's the cost of making the wrong choice on, you know, certain product or service you buy? Could be fairly substantial. It's just like the risk of hiring the wrong salesperson or hanging the wrong employee and inner roll. So yeah, they're certain ways to technology absolutely helps and we'll take ready out of AI and sales get a certain the repetitive actions that free sellers up have more time to sell. What's great to give more time, but now we need to make them more productive in the time they have. That's really the answer and that's part way addressing the book. Yeah, so those four pillars again, connection, curiosity, understanding, generosity and in true spirit of the book, you kind of button the section up where you make explicit to that those pillars and kind of dive into them and share stories that the purpose of operating in accordance with these pillars, in the purpose of selling in in accordance with these pillars, is to make people feel, for things connected, interesting, understood and valued, and those are deep, deep human needs. And so we undertake these not to be better ourselves also, though that's going to be a result, and then it's going to feel better, will be more satisfied in our work. We ultimately do it because that's what people need and want. MMM Yeah, I mean it's it's the naysayers, of which many exist, about Oh, buyers don't want a relationship with that it's like, sure, they're not looking for more friends, right, I never want to be friends with my buyer. Don't set up. But I yeah, we have a connection. We have a we have a relationship. Whether people like the word or not, you know, the definition of being connected is the way to things work in relationship to each other. So you know,...

...if you're working, if you're selling to somebody, if you're having a conversation the buyer, you have a relationship. I hit to reveal to some people, but you do. But you know, it's that. Yeah, that connection is it's people like feeling part of something bigger themselves. Yeah, talk about the book and a number of deals I've won where I had thought I had no business winning working for startups, you know, competing us, really big tech competitors, where the cusher said Yeah, you know, you one, because you made us feel understood, and that's powerful source of value to to any person is to feel understood. If you can help your buyer feel understood, believe me, you're going to have an advantage. And so, yeah, requires to be open minded, you be curious. It's and yeah, the pillars play also when you think about from a sell a leader standpoint, about hiring rights is. Had this conversation just last week with a sales leader. I said, so you're writing a job description. What's one of the tell me the job description. Well, job description was all sales centric stuff, you know, like aggressive hunter, the usual sort of things. And I said, well, have you asked one of your buyers what they need from one of your sales people in factor that into your job description? Dead Silence. It's like, Hey, this is modern selling. If we were to talk about modern selling, minor selling is not about the technology, it's about how we interact with our buyers in a way that, yeah, dispense, is what we've done with last hundred thirty years and and truly embrace creating these experience, positive experiences for our buyers. Yeah, hundred thirty years goes back gosh, maybe a little bit past the Henry Ford's Assembly line, and I was it was it was John John Anderson was the guy's named at NCRS. Are Pioneered the first modern sales force. Of you'll be to be sales for selling cash registers. So NCR back in late eight hundreds and we pretty much been doing sales the same way ever since. And it's like this is nuts, right, as ye know. If you, yeah, get on my soap box here, but if you get on a a few if you google sales process, you be to be selling process. You got millions of millions returns. You look at the images and they're all these linear stage based processes, you know, like that initial call, discovery and demo, blah, blah blah, and it's like wow, is haven't changed and this is how it is. Trained in forty years ago the exact same process. So we're just we just added technology on to existing processes and it's like no, it's just change it. Rights. There's we need to have a truly biocentric way of looking at the way people buy and the way we sell. And I don't give us a whole lot in the book, but it's is that. Sorry about that? Is that you know, the sales manager, if you're talking your cell about where the buyer stands in their process and if you're totally looking at from the perspective of this your stages, which have nothing to do with the buyer stages, then we're always going to have this misalignment between sellers and buyers. Yeah, it's interesting and there's so we don't have time to get into it. I love this conversation. I will let you go in just a couple of minutes. But but what you've done here in in you know, one of the things you haven't said explicitly, but I have been hearing through a lot of what you're saying, is that like the mindset, this approach, that we're going to essentially go to market in an approximately adversarial way, we're going to use war metaphors and similar and we're just going to go out and try to, you know, attack this market and muscle our way to revenue, but then also to quote you instead, like what we do is sellers. Isn't complicated. We listen to understand what the most important thing is to our buyers and then we help them get it. Like I feel like we've over engineered and certainly over made it a bit unnecessarily adversarial, when in fact the most effective thing, to go back to the second line of the introduction I wrote, the most effective thing we can do is come alongside people and and do away with any of the adversarial undertones and you'll immediately separate yourself from a lot of your competition. Oh, absolutely, absolutely, and that's why you have the section of the book about difference between persuasion and influence, and I know we don't have time to get into it, but just a definition of persuasion and act includes the word prevail, right. You can prevail upon. Someone will look up the definitional word prevail. Prevails about overcoming through force, and that's persuasion and that's sort of the basic M for how we train US and educate and socialize our sellers. Is that's that's their job and if we had more time we to talk about you know,...'s the language we use is really important and terms of how we think and understand what we're doing, what our jobs are, and even symposis something simple like an objection. I could safely say then decades of selling, buyers never really objected to relate to anything like, you know, up the court and I object. Yeah, they just don't care that and it has this implied adversarial nature to it, like absolutely, you know, they thir and again. Then you're spending all your time and energy in one of these live exchanges, which is the most valuable and powerful time you can spend with another human being in any context, coming up with like okay, spell counterspell spell counterspell attack, counter attack, defense, counter attack. You know, you're like, what card do I play next? Instead of what did that person just say and why did they say it that way? Let me ask shocking chip. Yeah, I think that that's why I tries spout very simply. It's just stabbed, as you say. It's just aren't was just a understand what's most important to them. How do we help them get that if that's our focus of sellers every day when we go out and talked to our buyers? Yeah, it'll be a much different career from most people. Yeah, for folks listening, if you've enjoyed this conversation with Andy A, it's not done yet, but be you might enjoy one of the earliest episodes I did back on episode sixteen with Charlie Green, who's mentioned on page one hundred and ten, of selling without selling out. We called that one better ways to build trust with your customers. His whole kind of calling cards around trust and becoming a trusted adviser. A little bit after that one episode forty seven with Brian Robinson. We called that one asking better sales questions for greater sales success. He's very much into this kind of mindset. How I approaching this and being present in the moment and asking better questions? And I would be remiss if I did not mention my guest on episode one hundred and seventy six, Howard Brown, the founder and CEO of Revenue Dot ioh who has been on the sales enablement podcast a number of times. And what is the relationship between the sales enablement podcast and revenue DOT IO? Did they buy it? Are you like, I don't understand the language around it, like, what is that? What is that relationship? They bought the podcast. I bought my podcast two years ago. Awesome and yeah, so Howard is free to come on the show whenever he wants. Awesome, cool and and I really enjoyed my conversation time with him too. Before I let you go andy, I would love to give you a few opportunities. The first two are to think or mention someone who's had a positive impact on your life or your career, and the second is to give a nod or a shout out to a company, your brand that you personally appreciate for the experience that they deliver for you as a customer. Okay, yeah, I mean at this point my life, it's hard to think just one person. My wife's has been hugely influential and in terms of supporting me throughout the chapter my career writing books, podcasting, blogging and so on. The on this book in particular, my won't thank my editor, Amanda Lewis, who, yeah, so I think turn this into a good book from what I gave her as a matter of scripts or lots of appreciation for her on that. And in terms of brand experience, let's see. I mean I'm a generally a huge fan of jet blue and what they do. I fled jet blue lots are my my bus as I commute back and forth between New York and San Diego. Yeah, compared to all the other airlines, least for me, they do a fantastic job. Awesome. For folks who enjoyed this, where would you? Obviously, Linkedin is a great place to send them. How can they learn about selling without selling out the sales enabling the podcast? What's the easiest way? Is your going be Paulcom, and Paulcom is place to go to learn about sell without selling out. It's available for preorder now and, as you said, that's shortly to be available for for purchase and reading on to too too too, too easy to remember. Yeah, come to Linkedin. I'm ever present there. And Yeah, please listen my podcast when you can hear great guests like Ethan and Steve Awesome. Thank you so much for your time. Thank you for investing time and energy into organizing your thoughts around this. I think it's a helpful guide to the way forward because it is in service of people and I just really respect your approach. It was fun to read. It made me think differently about a number of things and it got me lit up on a number of other things as well, so in good, all the best way. So I really enjoyed recomplished. Yeah, good. So you served at least one person so far and, of course, well, actually many. Again that. The endorsements are amazing and and I hope people do enjoy it as much as Jill and also find it to be the new how to win friends and influence people. Well, thank you. Yeah, that's... pleasure. Thanks for having me cool. Thank you. The digital, virtual and online spaces where we work every day are noisier and more polluted than ever, and the problem is only getting worse at risk or relationships and revenue. Joint bombombs Steve Passanelli and Ethan bt, along with eleven other experts in sales, marketing, customer experience, emotional intelligence, leadership and other disciplines, to learn a new way to break through the noise and pollution. Human centered communication a new book out now on Fast Company press. Learn more by visiting Bombombcom book or search human centered communication wherever you buy books. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player or visit Bombombcom podcasts.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (222)