Paul talks cold-calling and call planning with seasoned sales professional, Marty Fitz, head of business development – IT division, at GFI Digital.
“Selling is always kind of happening behind the scenes and weekends, too.” – Marty Fitz
In this new selling environment— “Find direct numbers. There are lots of different ways to prospect and one of them is starting from the ground up… But the first thing is, find that direct line.” – Marty Fitz
“Reach out to your existing clients and ask for referrals. One referral is worth twelve cold calls.” – Paul Reilly
“Pre-call planning is the breakfast, lunch, and dinner of sales champions.” – Paul Reilly
“My biggest philosophy—be yourself.” – Marty Fitz
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How do I prospect and pre-call plan? with Marty Fitz
(Transcribed from podcast)
…and he invites me in there and I had my suit on and all that. And then, next thing I know, he opens this like other door—I guess, a door to another room—and like five cats come out. And so, I’m like petting all these cats. At one point, I had two cats in my lap. I’m talking to the guy, you know, stroking these cats. And so then, I get out of this cold call. He actually took the meeting. —Marty Fitz
Paul: On today’s show, we’ve got another guest. His name is Marty Fitz, or as I like to call him, Party Marty. Party Marty is going to be joining us. And he has been in sales since college. In fact, he is a native St. Louisan, but he graduated from the University of Dayton with a degree in Sales. And as he mentioned, yes, that was actually a major. Now that wasn’t around when I was in school. Man, I wish it would have been. What a great way to get your career started. So, after college, he started doing door-to-door roofing sales, and he ended up having to do a lot of cold calling. And, in fact, he’s going to share a pretty funny story with you on today’s show regarding cold calling.
From there, he went to go work for a company called the Spyglass Group. He started as an inside salesperson where he averaged 190% of quota. Then he ended up going to outside sales. Then he moved into the Carolinas for a position, and he averaged 160% of quota when he was there. And then he moved back to St. Louis in 2014. He was promoted one more time, hit a quota at 130% again. I mean he crushes it. He absolutely crushes it, which brings me to his latest position. He now works for a company here in St. Louis called GFI Digital. And he’s currently heading up all business development activity within the St. Louis and central Illinois area for their IT divisions. So they have a couple different offerings. They sell managed IT services, which basically helps companies take the day-to-day IT responsibilities of support, project security off their plate, and putting that in the hands of the pros. And also, they sell advanced technology services. So we’ll put a link to GFI Digital up on this website, just so you guys can get some more information.
But one thing me and Marty have in common, in his free time he loves to hit the golf course, which is what I love to do. He likes going to concerts as well, when those used to exist. Man, I remember I was going to go to the Zac Brown Band concert here in St. Louis, however it got canceled. So, won’t be going to that, but that’s all right. Anyway, Marty and I had a great conversation about sales. He has three great questions that we discussed.
Before we get into the interview, though, a quick shout-out to our sponsor, Andrea, over at The Creative Impostor Studios does an incredible job. We started tweaking the show a little bit in the past couple of weeks, and Andrea has been there by my side to help out, to coach me through it, to offer suggestions, ideas. In fact, you’ll notice when I post on LinkedIn and Twitter, I’m using these Audiogram pieces. And a lot of it is simply asking Andrea, “Hey, what are some ideas you have?” Or “I saw this. Can we do this?” Andrea is there to support you. So, if you have a podcast, if you’re thinking of starting a podcast, reach out to Andrea and her team.
Now, another thing. I mentioned this on previous shows. You know I’m launching a new book in September: Selling Through Tough Times. Well, I have great news. The website is available: www.toughtimer.com. Visit the website. We’re going to have a link to the website, but here’s why you need to visit. You have access to three chapters of the new book. They are available for download on the new website. We’re going to have a link to all of that so you can go and check it out. You can read through it. While you’re there, check out some of the other resources available on toughtimer.com. Alright. Well, that’s it. Let’s get into this episode.
Paul: Alright. Hello friends. Welcome to another episode of The Q and A Sales Podcast. On today’s episode, we have a very special guest. His name is Marty Fitz. And, as I mentioned a few shows ago, what we’re starting to do now is we want to connect with top-achieving salespeople. We want to keep the pulse of what’s going on in the sales world, and how we’re going to do that is bring salespeople on the show. So, Marty has been gracious enough to join us.
Marty, you know, to kick this off, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and, specifically, kind of your sales path, what you’ve been doing in sales for your career so far.
Marty: And I know Paul this has been a long time coming. I’ve been bugging you about this, so I appreciate you having me on
Paul: (laughing) It’s my pleasure. Absolutely.
Marty: So, it all started, I was like 20 years old at University of Dayton, and I realized pretty quickly, I didn’t want to be in the finance world, because I’m more of a shapes and colors math guy personally. And so, I’ve got a degree actually in Sales from University of Dayton and, did some door-to-door cold calling. Took up some contract cold calling jobs as well. But really, I started out in inside sales with an organization that was telecom focused and, pretty quickly, got promoted out to the Carolinas. And really, I grew up a lot at 23, or 24 at the time, getting thrown out in a market where I didn’t know anybody. And just really kind of—. At that point, I really had to focus on my craft and get the ball rolling. And then from there, it was a great organization, great job. I did it for eight years. I had, near the end, I was, you know, a player/coach role where I managed a team of five and did all the training for new reps while also carrying a quota. But then, you know, eventually transitioned into the role I’m in today, which is really more solutions designed around it deployment, with managed services to help partnering with organizations so they can focus on revenue-driving activities while we take care of the day-to-day. Whether we like it or not, we’re all in IT. So, we focus on that. And then also, helping with more large-scale design with existing IT departments. I’m going to be a lifelong sales rep. I’m not really in the, uh, sales manager corner. I don’t think I ever will be either to be honest.
Paul: It’s interesting, when I speak with sales leaders, and I remember this from early on in my sales career, they were jealous of me as a salesperson. When my sales manager would ride around with me, we’d go meet with accounts. They’re flying in from the corporate office like, “Man, I just miss sales. I miss connecting with customers. I miss the thrill of working a deal and seeing it come through.” So, I get that. Sales is one of the favorite parts of my job now, you know, being a sales trainer and speaker and that, I still love selling. Always will. You know, I’ve got to tell this story about you, Marty. So, Marty and I know each other, just, you know, we play golf. And you guys, as you know, on the podcast, I love golf—all things golf. So Marty and I play golf fairly regular basis. Marty is the epitome of hustle. And here’s why I say that. This guy will take more phone calls on the golf course than anyone I know. I remember one time, we were playing, gosh, it was probably 4:30/5:00 in the afternoon. We just started. So, Marty picks up the phone, he’s finishing up a call, and we’re all staring at you. We’re like, “Come on, Marty. Geez. You’re holding up the show here.” You actually tee up, you pipe it about 300 down the middle of the fairway while you’re trying to close a deal with a customer and it just went off beautifully. We’re not going to tell the rest of the story. I think you ended up closing the deal. But the reason I mention that is one thing that I’ve seen from you, just getting to know you, is that you are a guy that hustles. You get out there, you make the calls, you make the effort, and that’s something that I see is missing from a lot of salespeople today is just that hustle, that drive to make things happen. So, I commend you on that. And that’s one of the reasons I was thrilled to have you on the podcast.
Marty: I appreciate that. Being a salesperson, you have to envelop it, in my opinion, in your day-to-day life. Meaning, when you’re driving, even driving around right—driving around, going to appointments, going to dinner, whatever—I always keep a little notepad, right, of all the businesses maybe I’ve never even heard of. I write down and make sure they’re headquartered in St. Louis or Illinois or whatever. But there’s been a couple of times, even get deals off just starting to, you know, find a company here locally and just working backwards from there. Selling is always kind of happening even behind the scenes and weekends too. Right. So—.
Paul: Absolutely. Always looking for those opportunities. That reminds me—. A great sales mentor I had early in my career, his name’s Kevin Anuk. He was like the top President’s Club winner at Ferrell Gas Propane, the company I first sold for out of college. And one piece of advice he gave me, he said, “Always take a different way home every single day. Look for those new companies, the trucks that you see, you know, the logos and you’re unfamiliar with them.” Similar advice. Write down those names, follow up on them. Everyone can be a lead there. So great advice.
Marty: Well, safety first, you’ve got to keep that safe (garbled).
Paul: Well, there have been plenty of times, believe me, when my sales manager offered to drive for me when we’re out riding together. Have you had that happen yet where you’re driving with the knee, you’re talking on the phone, you’re trying to write down an order. Hopefully no insurance adjusters are listening to this podcast. But anyway, man.
Well, you know, Marty, you’re familiar with the show. The platform here is we want to answer questions that salespeople have. And, I asked you before today, “Hey, send me a few questions that you think of, that are running through your mind that you’re hearing from your sales colleagues.” And three questions we came up with, we’re going talk through them now.
The first one is, with the new working environment, we’re all still a little bit remote, some back face-to-face, but what are you doing to maintain relationships, find new opportunities? Really, what are some of the new ways that salespeople can prospect in this day and age?
A great question, by the way. And this is a question I know many of our audience members have been thinking about. So, I’ve got a couple of ideas before we get into that, though. I’d love to hear from you. If you could give us one tip, you know, thinking about the past two years throughout this pandemic, what’s one thing that has worked really well for you.
Marty: Find direct numbers.
Paul: Find direct for the people you want to contact?
Marty: It’s changed a little bit. Historically, I think there was a bit of a, I don’t want to say negativity is may[be] not the right word—maybe a little taboo, calling someone on their cell phone.
Paul: A little intrusive maybe.
Marty: A little bit. I hate to say it, there’s an excuse now. We’re not going to use the word new normal, but I think people are getting more used to having these phone conversations in their house, not to mention people’s office phones are routing to their cell phone a lot more now. So, when we’re talking kind of going in cold, there’s lots of different ways to prospect, and one of them is kind of starting from the ground up such as, you know, running down a company,
going reverse engineering it to the right person. But the first thing is, find that extension number or find that direct line and working your way backwards to get ahold of the right person. So, I think that’s crucially important, not giving up after the second call third call, five, six times.
Paul: Yeah, that’s true. And some good points there. With the cell phone piece, that’s how we connect. Maybe the pandemic has created a new opportunity where salespeople can freely reach out to people directly on the cell phone.
But I will tell you, when you’re cold calling people don’t do this. I got a cold call here at the office this morning, and the guy tried to sell me on something. I didn’t even know what he was trying to sell me on, but I knew he was a sales guy. When I said, “Hello,” you know, “Tom Reilly Training, how can I help you?” all that, he said, “Please, don’t hang up.” And I’m like, ‘Oh man, how do you lead with that? Please, don’t hang up?’ So, naturally, I hung up the phone, right? It’s— Why lead with that? So, obviously you’re not the type of sales guy to do that but calling direct, that’s key.
And one thing you mentioned there, Marty also, not giving up in that second or third attempt. I imagine you’re a lot like me. You’re the guy that’s going to keep calling until they tell you not to call anymore until you get some sort of response. Here’s what I’ve found. You know, just in my experience, even clients of mine where I have a very solid relationship, it can take two to three times for them to call me back or respond to an email. So, we need to make sure that we don’t give up after that second, that third time. Figure out what your number is and keep driving forward.
A couple other ideas that have have helped salespeople throughout this pandemic—we did some previous episodes on this—when you’re trying to prospect, during these times in particular, where it’s harder to meet people face to face, or meet people for the first time, leverage your existing relationships, both with your clients and just your professional network. A referral is going to continue to be the #1 way to get in front of a new prospect. So reach out to your existing clients. Before the call, you and I were talking a little bit about how you have some of your existing clients, you know, right as the pandemic started—. Would you mind sharing with the group what you did? What was your, process there?
Marty: So the first six weeks, my strategy was just to ensure that my current client base was all covered. When it comes to technology that was a crazy transition. And so that was my first goal was to ensure that the 40 people that I’m talking to pretty regularly were all good. And, making sure that, after the fact, you know, whenever everything kind of settled down, (call it near the end of summer last year), that’s when I went back and we had more of the conversation around referral talk. I made sure to call each one of those folks and ask for a referral because of the good quality work we put out to ensure that their business was running at the highest clip possible during this, you know, unfortunate situation. So, absolutely. I agree with you, referrals certainly the #1 if I had to kind of pinpoint it
Paul: Referrals are critical. In Value-Added Selling, we talk about this, that one referral is worth 12 cold calls. Unless you especially appreciate the pain and rejection of a cold call, you know, when you get the door slammed in your face, find a referral, alright?
Speaking of, you mentioned you did a lot of the door-to-door cold calling and that. Man, I had a painting company in college where I just worked my way, one side of the street to the other side, and all that. Can you think of any cold calls you made, early on, that just kind of drove you nuts, or something happened, or anything like that?
Marty: Yeah. There’s one that stands out specifically. I was in North Carolina, and I called on this home healthcare business that actually managed something like two dozen facilities. Of course, I was expecting like a corporate office. And I show up to this building that’s definitely just someone’s house. It’s been reconverted there. You know, there’s maybe three people that work in there. And the owner is this older gentleman, really nice guy. He works in the upper half of the house essentially. He invites me in there and I had my suit on and all that. And then, next thing I know, he opens this like other door—I guess, a door to another room—five cats come out. And so I’m like petting all these cats I have, at one point, two cats in my lap. I’m talking to the guy, you know, stroking his cats. And so then I, get out of a this cold call. He actually took the meeting. You know, I think he appreciated me sitting down. This guy was an interesting fellow, as you can imagine with the cats. But you know, I got up and there was just about a pound and a half of fur on my suit. I had to go to Walgreens and get the old roller for (garbled).
Paul: Nothing like the old cats showing up on a sales call.
Marty: I got three myself so I get it.
Paul: That’s what—. I remember, I used to sell medical equipment. I went up and visited one of my customers up in Minnesota, and I was making some cold calls, similar to your situation, right? You expect like a legitimate place of business, and it ended up being a person’s home. This individual, they were a makeshift distributor of some of the products we would sell, but they operated out of their house. Cold call. And this person was a doomsday prepper. I mean, they had, they had a bunker, they had the extra compressors, and that’s where the conversation went the whole time—talking about prepping for doomsday type of events.
And the guy eventually was like, “Hey man,” he’s like, “You know, I can see we see eye to eye on some of this stuff.” He’s like, “If you’re ever in the Minnesota area, and you need to get somewhere quick, just let me know and I’ll open up the bunker for you. We’ll be good to go.” I’m like, “Thanks, man. I really appreciate it.” And I could not wait to get out of there.
Marty: You saved the guy’s number though, at least
Paul: You know it! You know I did. Gotta save those numbers.
Marty: You have minimal prep. You know, sales guys probably aren’t prepping the best for doomsday anyways.
Marty, next thing we’re going to talk about here is, planning and how important it is. And, you know, we talked about cold calling earlier. You mentioned that you would cold call, knocking on doors. I have a lot of experience doing that as well, especially actually, I built this business, the training business on knocking on every single business in St. Louis, it felt like, so cold calling is important. And what’s equally important is pre-call planning. I’m going to share a quick example, quick story about pre-call planning and how important it is.
We know that planning is critical, right? As salespeople, we know this. And I’m a firm believer in this because it’s something that has to happen every single time, because you’re always going to have an opportunity in front of you. You want to be prepared. You want to be prepared, and our research shows that 95%—95% of top-achieving salespeople routinely plan every single sales call that they go on. So we know that it’s absolutely critical. And, the question you mentioned was, how can we do a better job of it? How important is it?
Marty, why don’t you tell me, how do you prepare for a typical sales call? What’s your pregame routine?
Marty: And that’s one thing. If I’m looking at myself in the mirror, that’s one thing I, you know, I feel like we can all do a better job of. One thing I do is, depending on the vertical that I’m meeting with, I think of—. Typically, I’ll have a client within that vertical, and I think about the ways, you know, maybe what we’re helping them with. And I’ll kind of think about some of the projects that we’ve done with them in the past so I can reference that going back. And, of course, you don’t, in my opinion, you shouldn’t share the actual customer’s name, right, or the company name. But we can, kind of, at least reference something that might be relevant to them whether it be like business applications or whatever it may be. It just kind of garners that upfront credibility when you can actually drop something very relevant to them. So I made sure to do that. And of course, always look at LinkedIn, always looking at their historical background. And, as we know, St. Louis is a small town. (Paul: It is.) You probably know people that either they work with, they know. I think LinkedIn is fantastic. I always look on LinkedIn. But I can always do better. Maybe think of a couple of questions and that’s about what I do today, truly.
Paul: Well, we’ve seen a lot of salespeople will just wing it, especially if it’s a cold call. They’ll kinda sorta know what they want to try to accomplish on the call and how to do it. But, pre-call planning, gosh, that’s the breakfast, lunch and dinner of sales champions. That’s what they do (chuckles) is they pre-call plan.
So, a couple of thoughts on pre-call planning. Actually, I’ve got a new call planning template that we’ve created for the launch of the new book coming out, Selling Through Tough Times. And Marty, I’m going to email this to you afterwards, but for the listeners, I’m going to put a link to this call planning template on this episode’s webpage in the transcripts so you guys can see it. It’s available at toughtimer.com under the downloads section. But this Tough Times call planning template, it’s a list of 10 questions that you can ask yourself to better prepare you to go in there and meet with this prospect. The things you’re doing right now: the LinkedIn, finding out how you’re connected, thinking about use cases that are similar to what problems they may be experiencing. All of that is incredible. We want to keep doing that, but this list of 10 questions can help you be more prepared.
And the questions are pretty simple. Number one: “What is my call objective? What am I trying to achieve?” The last question, which is equally as important is, “What action do I want from the prospect at the end of the call?” Now, the other eight questions will help you fill out “Okay, what am I going to be presenting? What questions am I going to ask?” Which is very important. So often, we practice presenting our solution and we don’t practice or prepare for the questions that are going to generate a good discussion around what they need. Questions like, “How has the pandemic affected this industry and this particular customer?” So those 10 questions, if you ask them and answer them, it’s going to help you sell more effectively. You’re going to be doing what top achievers do. If you want to do what they do, and you want to achieve like they achieve, you’ve got to do what your competition is not willing to do. And our research shows that only 10% of the general sales population, routinely plans every call, yet 95% of top achievers plan every single call. So there’s a big difference there in what they’re doing and what the general sales population is doing.
So you know what? We’ll go through that next time we play golf together. And you can buy me a beer. That’ll be the payment for the list of questions. Everyone else gets it for free, but you get the friend discount, right?
Marty: I know you don’t drink beer anyway.
Paul: (laughing) That’s right.
Alright. Let’s get to the last question you emailed me on and we talked about is just powerful questions. And I know you’ve got some powerful questions that you will ask that are specific to your product and the solutions that you’re providing. I would like to hear one of your favorite questions, though, that you will ask a prospective client or existing customer even, when you’re meeting with them for the first.
Marty: Absolutely. So of course, like you mentioned, Paul, this is a little specific to my industry, but some companies really view technology as opportunity, and others I do truly view it like it’s a cost center. And so, I’ll just say something along the lines of, “Hey, I know this is sometimes tough. If you’re looking the at organization, you’re looking at the company, in the mirror at yourself, does the organization currently look at technology and view technology as a business enabler, or is it more just viewed as a cost center?” Either—. There’s not a bad answer there. We can, obviously, we’ll piggyback off either way they go, but that helps kind of, at least, get an understanding of where you’re at, where the organization has been kind of historically.
But I mean, questions, even something as stupid as someone’s asking me, “How do you mean?” It’s kind of a weird question, “How do you mean?” And you’d be surprised, obviously, how much that opens up the door, along with just the silence too. If you say a statement, let’s just say, you say something. You present what you would view as something that’s somewhat like a powerful moment—don’t say anything. That’s almost a question within itself because the person naturally feels like, “Okay, I’ve got to ask a question.” Questions just come in all types, forms. I was just curious what you’re viewing right now as powerful questions for your industry as well?
Paul: Sure. No, absolutely. You’re right. something simple like “How do you mean?” or “What do you mean?” Or “Could you clarify that?” Questions that get the buyer to elaborate, it usually means they’re going to go a little deeper into what they’re experiencing. They’re going to give you more information. Love those questions.
One thing we talk quite a bit about in Value-Added Selling is a projective question. A projective question is a question that allows the buyer to dream, to think about what that ideal solution is. And, if we’re in the technology space, I might ask, “If there was one thing you could change about your current process or your current way of doing things, what would you change and why?” And what that question will do, it does a number of things. Number one: it gets them thinking about what’s missing from their current offering, which is your competitor. And as they’re thinking about that, they’re basically admitting, “Hey, what we have right now isn’t 100% meeting our needs,” which, that small window where they’re not meeting the needs, that’s your window of opportunity. So that will reveal some information that can help you understand what’s missing and what’s important to them.
But then you got to ask about the impact of experiencing that. You know, let’s say, I don’t know your industry all that well, so I might fumble this a little bit. You ask the customer, “If you could change one thing, what would you change and why?” They would say, “Well, if we could get all of our different systems kind of speaking the same language and working together, that’s going to help us be more efficient. Or “Really? Okay. Well, if we could provide that for you, if we could find a way for everything to talk better with each other to speak the same language, how would that impact you?” And they’d say, “Well, it’s going to help us be more efficient. We’re going to be able to achieve greater outcomes. We’re going to enhance our profitability.” Then, they’re speaking to the impact of you satisfying their need which also creates a little more distance between you and the competition.
The other piece is digging for that pain also. When the customer says, “Well, I wish all of our systems would work better together.”
“Okay. Well, it sounds like there’s some room for improvement there. I’m curious. What kind of pain has that caused when everything’s not working in sync? What are some of the challenges that will create?” And they say, “Well, we ‘re duplicating our work. We’re doing things over here, and then we have to have these redundant processes in place over here just to fix what’s not going on.”
“Geez. That sounds like it takes a lot of time.”
“Yeah. I spend five hours a week just trying to duplicate things.”
“Really. Okay. So five hours a week, and how many people again are within the role—.”
“Well, I’ve got a team of 10 people.”
“Are they all doing the same thing?”
Wow. Okay. I mean, now you’re talking about a week’s worth of salary and downtime, trying to fix an issue that you guys can solve. So the key, when you’re talking about pain, is not to focus on the pain at the surface, it’s focusing on the impact of that pain. For example, two systems that aren’t really talking to each other, that’s not really a big problem on the surface. The big problem is, what is the pain that causes because they’re not talking with each other.
Great questions. You know, another piece is focusing on self-discovery. People are more likely to change when the change emanates from within. I’m guessing your solutions, they can do some pretty incredible things. And let’s say you demo that for a customer, you kind of walk them through your capabilities or what your solution will do, and then asking them, “Now that you have a better understanding of what we do, what do you see as the greatest benefit to your company? How do you see us working together? How do you see this solution working for your company? What are the ways you would use this?” And what you’re doing is you’re getting them to tell you what they think the best way is. And people love their own ideas, the way most people love the smell of their own farts, okay? (Marty laughs) Let’s be real for a moment. (chuckles)
What they’re doing, they’re telling you what they really like. And now that it’s their idea, guess what? They’re more likely to change, because they’re telling you, “You know what, Marty, here’s how I think it would work. You know what, that’s a great idea. Let’s do that.” And so that self-discovery takes place, which is, basically, asking questions along the way.
Marty: Yep. at the end, you know, makes it much more natural, or you don’t even have to ask for it. It becomes a very natural, “Okay.” When that self-discovery takes place, that’s really where the ink is signed, in my opinion.
Paul: It’s that “a-ha” moment.
Marty: I totally agree. I’m curious, Pauly. When we’re talking about negative— you know, questioning strategies and what have you, this is just how I do it. It might not be good and it might not be great, but, let’s just say we show someone a demo and we show someone a solution. I always go with something very negative right off the bat. Of course, you have to smile and kind of make a joke of this. I’ll say, “So Bill, I’m just curious. Weird question. What did you not like? What did you find that maybe wouldn’t be a good fit?” I’ll like sometimes start right off the bat with “What didn’t you like” to kind of shake things up, and get out of the way. And then, of course, you go back, “Tell me how you feel like this could integrate with your systems,” or “Tell me how you feel like this could be a good fit or not.” But, what do you think about like negatively led questions like that, where you’re kind of shaking it up and going the other way of what they think?
Paul: You know, that’s an effective way to lower resistance. If what they’ve experienced is going to become an issue regardless, I see the benefit of leading with that and just saying, “Okay, let’s figure out a way to talk past that.” So, it’s a technique that I have not used myself, so I can’t speak to the outcomes of it. You know, the deeper psychology of it, I can kind of speak to that by you have a salesperson and you have a customer. The customer at some level might be skeptical of the salesperson or the solution. If you, as the salesperson, give them an outlet to share what they’re concerned about, what they’re fearful of, and then you can address those concerns, your likelihood of success is going to go up. That’s basic psychology of, “I have an objection, okay.” And now you can address that objection. “Okay. Now let’s talk about the positive things.” You can put the objection aside. It’s no longer an obstacle. And then you can focus on what really is going to work for them. I could say it’d be an effective method, certainly.
Marty: In terms of my own brand, that’s—, I actually do that a lot. Just to put the people at ease.
I guess you could say, my biggest philosophy or biggest tip, when I’m talking to the salespeople (and this sounds very, like duh), but just be yourself, right? And I think people sometimes, you know, view salespeople as sales robots, if you will. And if you’re just kind of going about a different way, of course, being yourself the whole way, but like going with negatively, like questions, things that there just not expecting to hear, that helps people just lower their guard and give you the candid answers of why it is a good fit. And that’s something I try and strive for is kind of going at these conversations in the discovery phase and the presentation phase a little bit of a different format than how I would think the general public would do it in the sales community.
Paul: Sure. Probably, there’s an element of surprise there as well, where you catch them off guard. What’s interesting too, is if you’ve built a solid rapport with that prospect, and you have a good relationship, they’re also going to be kind of rooting for you in some ways, because they want you to succeed. So they’re probably—. You know, they might not mention anything negative.
One technique—. I was on—I forgot whose podcast it was on. We were talking about this, and what the salesperson would do, He would give a presentation or a demo and would ask prospect to rate the capabilities the solution that we’re selling on a 10-point scale, 10 being the best, 1 being the worst. He would say something like, “How would you rate our overall product and the capabilities that we just presented on a scale of one to 10, 10 being the best?” And he would tie the customer to a number, and they would say things like, “Well, I’d give it an 8.” And then he would ask this question, “I’m curious. Why wouldn’t you give it a lower number?” And what he’s doing in kind of a different way, he’s asking him, “Why do you like it? What is it about it that makes it an 8?” And he’s getting the customer to admit, to almost own. He’s having that self-discovery, almost, is taking place with that question. But yeah, what you just mentioned, it kind of reminded me of that in a similar technique. You should try that. And I feel like that would be right up your alley.
Marty: That definitely falls into, uh, my own personal bucket, if you will, on how I go about it. So, I might recycle that one, Paul. I appreciate that.
Paul: I’ll send you an invoice just for the wisdom bomb. And actually, I guess I should be paying that invoice forward to the guy who said it to me, but, you know. Anyway, that’s a whole nother, whole nother episode there.
Cool. Well, Marty, man, thanks for being on the podcast today. Truly appreciate it. And you know, Marty, you mentioned LinkedIn, I’m going to put your LinkedIn info on this episode’s webpage just to link to your profile and that just so you can stay connected with the Q and A Podcast community as well. But, um, thanks again for being on the show, man. Appreciate it.
Paul: All right, friends. Well, that is the show for today. A big shout-out to Marty. Thank you for joining us. Just as a reminder, make sure you visit the Qand ASalesPodcast.com. While you’re there, you can ask me a question. I will turn it into a future show. Also, if you would like to be a guest on the show, go ahead and let me know, and I can invite you on just like Marty, just like Carson. We will have you on the show. Make sure you hit that follow button. Make sure you share it with your colleagues, but most importantly…
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