Paul and Mario discuss three ways to improve your prospecting effort.
“Sales is the art of helping.” Mario Martinez Jr.
“If we help, they buy. If we do good, they buy more. And if we do really, really good, we build solid relationships.” Mario Martinez Jr.
“Show them that you know them. Be interested to become interesting.” Mario Martinez Jr. (Tune in to find out just what Mario means by that.)
Where there’s a problem, there’s opportunity.
Your social media brand should show “…who you help, how you help, and what business problem you can solve.” Mario Martinez Jr.
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What is your best prospecting tip? With Mario Martinez Jr.
(Transcribed from podcast interview)
“The PVC Sales Method essentially is three components: personalization, value, and the right call to action. These, in fact, are the three components that are required for any type of engagement with a customer.” Mario Martinez Jr.
Paul: Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of The Q and A Sales Podcast. On today’s episode, we are going to have Mario Martinez Jr. join us. Now, Mario is the CEO and founder of a company called Vengreso. And on today’s episode, he shares a little bit about Vengreso, and what the company will do, and how it helps salespeople be more productive. So, he’s going to share some information on that. And also, Mario shares with us one of the best prospecting tips I’ve ever heard. I’ll give you a hint. It’s an acronym, PVC—the PVC Sales Methodology. It’s a great tip. It’s going to help you get more meetings. It’s going to help you get more responses from your customers. And he also talks about personal branding. So, we have some great content here for you today.
But before we get into the interview, just a reminder, pick up your copy of Selling Through Tough Times. We are certainly facing tough times. We are in a recession, inflation, there’s product shortages. I know it is tough out there right now. In Selling Through Tough Times, we are going to help you build mental resilience, and also, you are going to learn how to sell effectively in this tough market. So pick up your copy. It’s available wherever you get your books.
Without any further ado, on to the show.
Paul: Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of The Q and A Sales Podcast. I’m thrilled to have Mario Martinez Jr. joining us today. He is the CEO and founder of Vengreso. Mario, how you doing?
Mario: Paul, I couldn’t be better because I’m sitting here with you, man. The man, the myth, and the legend. The Q and A Sales Podcast.
Paul: Oh, I love it. Hey, can you tell that to my kids so they think I’m cool? Like, “the man, the myth, the legend.” I love it. I need to update my LinkedIn title based on that, right?
Mario: Put right there at the headline: the Man, the Myth, and the Legend as said by Mario Martinez Jr.
Paul: We’ll see how many Unfollowers I’ll get as a result of that new title. But, how is everything going in your world?
Mario: Everything’s going phenomenally well, as a matter of fact. We just had some major pivots in the company and the organization and the business, and are we’re making things happen actually.
Paul: Excellent. Well, let’s do this. Would you mind just sharing with The Q and A Sales Podcast community a little bit about Vengreso, what you guys do and all that good stuff?
Mario: Sure. Yeah, great question. So Vengreso actually was most well known, formerly, for our sales prospecting training programs. And we developed this really cool app called Fly Message, FlyMessage.io. You can do Fly Message or flymsg.io. And we developed it for helping sellers to increase their sales productivity.
Turns out, fast forward a year later, and that entire application was all about the business productivity for the 1 billion knowledge workers. And literally, Paul, this thing grew its own set of legs, and on its own, grew without even us even looking at it. So, we actually pivoted the company just a couple months ago into a “software as a service” company which is a major pivot for us—taking all those same great practices that we use for the sales line of business, which happens to be a huge market that we serve with this product, Fly Message.
And what is Fly Message? Fly Message actually is a personal writing assistant and text-expander solution. So, you ever have any templates that you use over and over again, messages that you’ve set up? Maybe you want to invite somebody to your podcast, or maybe if someone asks you for your bio, or maybe it’s a cold prospecting email that you’ve got. Usually most people store those on a Google Doc, Word Doc, One Note, Evernote, Notepad, Notebook, draft email, or worse yet, they hunt and peck for it inside their Sent folder. And so, we created Fly Message to help the knowledge workers to put all these in the cloud, and with a few short keystrokes, literally, type out in nanosecond thousands of characters of content or hundreds or snippet.
So we’ve got developers all over the world utilizing our code. We’ve got accounts payable, accounts receivable, we’ve got HR for onboarding and off onboarding, recruiting, sales leaders and sales folks that are utilizing this, sales enablement. You name it, we have it in terms of a user base. So, that’s who Vengreso is today. We are the creators of Fly Message, which is a personal writing assistant and text expander.
Paul: Awesome, Mario. Well, just hearing the value proposition, so many things come to mind. How much time you can help people save. How much wasted effort, too, goes into the searching the Sent folders. Excellent. Excellent.
Well, hey, thanks for being here on the show today. And when we have sales experts like yourself on the show, one thing I love to dive into right away is understanding why you love sales. So maybe you could start off there, just sharing with the community, what is it about sales that you love?
Mario: Great question. Twenty-six years ago, I started my career in sales—and this was in software sales. And I started out working as a, then called, telemarketer (now called SDR/BDR). But before my stint in B2B sales, 26 years ago, I was actually in retail sales. And I remember, I was a photo finisher at a place called Ritz Camera Centers, and that’s where you used to bring your old 35 millimeter film into and they would develop it, and they’d print your negatives, and you’d get the 4 x 6 photos inside there. So I was a photo finisher. So I was the guy printing your pictures. What was interesting was, when I went to college, which was UC Berkely Cal, I applied to move from one Ritz Camera Centers to another one, and I applied as a photo finisher. My regional director came in and he said, “You know, I have good news and I have bad news. What do you want first?”
And I said, “Bad news.”
He said, “Well, bad news is I can’t approve your application.”
And I said, “What do you mean you can’t approve it?” I need this job to pay my way through, college, because I wasn’t getting any financial support.
And so, he said, “Well, you didn’t ask me about the good news.”
And I said, “Okay, well, what’s the good news?”
He said, “The good news is, I’ll approve it if you go into sales.”
And I was like, “What? What do you mean if I go into sales? I’m a photo finisher.”
So he pulled open the books. He said, “Now, I don’t know if you know this, but for the last year and a half, every month, you were in the top one-to-three position holders for the most amount of gross sales.”
And I said, “What?”
And he goes, “Yeah. You’re in the top position. What are you doing?”
And I said, “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
And he’s like, “What do you mean you don’t know what you’re doing? What are you doing?”
I’m a photo finisher,” I said.
He was like, “Well, tell me what you do as your process.”
You know what’s interesting? Now that I look back on it and after he described it to me, I totally now get what I was doing. But it was unintentional in terms of, I was unconsciously competent, as they say it. So what I used to do was, is I printed everybody’s film, their pictures. I put it in the box. But what I always did was is I looked for all the bad pictures. I put all the bad pictures right on the top so as soon as I opened the box, I would always show people, “Are these your pictures?” And as soon as the first picture they’d see, they go, “Oh, that picture didn’t come out.”
I’m like, “Yeah, yeah, it didn’t come out. You know, what kind of camera do have?”
And they would say, “Oh, I’ve got a…,” and they would say the camera.
And I would say, “Are you going to be taking pictures of your kids running all the time? Like track or football, or these types of pictures consistently?”
And they would say, “Yeah, for the most part, until they stop doing it or they find something new.”
I was like, “Well, you have the wrong camera.”
“Oh. Well what kind of camera should I have?”
And I would say, “Well, in order for you to be able to get these types of pictures and have them come out with clarity, you need this camera equipment.”
And they would say, “Oh, really? Okay. How much is that?”
“Well, this is how much.”
“Is there anything cheaper? Is there—. How about something better?”
And inevitably, they would always say, “Okay, well maybe I should get that.” And then they would say, “Well, what else do I need?”
“Well, now you need new film. Now you need batteries. Now you need a case to hold that thing.”
And so, I described this whole process. And his name was Hunter Anderson, Paul. And Hunter goes, “So, you mean to tell me that all you’re doing is helping a customer?”
And I said, “I guess, yeah, I guess if you think of it that way.”
So funny as it may be, fast forward to 2019. Salesforce produced a movie called The Story of Sales, and they picked 20 sales influencers from around the globe to be inside of this documentary. The first documentary ever of sales. And my famous line that was introduced by [Marc] Benioff at the Sales Cloud keynote in 2019 was where it said, “Sales is the art of helping.” (Paul: Oh, I love it.) So, if you think about why do I love sales so much, it’s because we are the only profession that can say, every time I interact with a customer, my objective is to help that customer. Right? And so, if you think about “what is sales and why do I love it so much” is because we actually get to help customers every single day. And that’s what we live for. If we help, they buy. If we do good, they buy more. And if we do really, really good, we build solid relationships. And then those individuals go to new companies and they bring us along. And that, my friend, is the beauty behind sales. Sales is the art of helping. And that’s why I love it so much.
Paul: Mario—couldn’t think of a better response. I mean, selling is about helping. And, it’s interesting how many times I interact with new salespeople or people thinking about getting into sales, and there’s a misperception out there as to what salespeople really do, how they help people. And we truly do have that opportunity. And I can’t think of a greater calling, is being able to help our customers. And when we do a great job at that, the business takes care of itself. Excellent, Mario.
Mario: Well, I was going to mention, I had a lot of fun being a photo finisher because people would bring in some crazy pictures. Things that a 16 year old and 17 year old kid at the time should never see. And I would always embarrass the customers when I would put those bad pictures at the top. So some of these pictures were extremely risque and they should never have been printed. And so, I would always put those pictures and pull them out—and I don’t care who it was, husband, wife, whatever it is, girlfriend, boyfriend—I would pull the picture out, and I would never look at them, and I would show them the picture and say, “Is this your picture?”
And they’d be like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you.” Oh, I had a lot of fun doing that role too.
Paul: Oh boy. That’s, you know, when I think about that, I’m reminded of that one Seinfeld episode where George Castanza has professional photos taken of him with his shirt off, where he’s like doing all these poses and that. (Mario: Exactly.) And that, I would say, that was probably G-rated compared to what you saw, Mario. But—.
Mario: Absolutely. You can always help people out, but just remember that you don’t have to be a doormat. So, many, many of the people were sure not to bring back those types of pictures.
Paul: Oh yeah. You know, maybe you showed them the little leverage that you had, “Hey, here’s the picture. If you don’t buy this $400 camera, I don’t know where this one may go,” right?
Mario: I was going to say, “If you’re going to take these types of pictures, let me show you the right type of camera that you need.” Any case. All right.
Paul: Oh man. (Mario: I cut you off.) No, no, no. We’ll—hey, in the post interview, we’ll get the real stories.
So let’s get into to prospecting. Me and you—. Actually, I was recently on your podcast, we were talking about all things sales and prospecting and, I would love to hear from you some of your favorite prospecting tips, some of the best prospecting tips, that have helped you out in your career that you have used to help other salespeople as well.
Mario: Yeah. Great question. So, what comes to mind is what we’ve taught all along, and we still have, actually, as part of our Fly Message Sales Pro Plan that’s about to come out for sellers, and that is our, the PVC Sales Methodology. So if you actually type in PVC Sales Method, you’ll be able to learn more information about this. But the PVC Sales Method essentially is three components: personalization, value, and the right call to action. These, in fact, are the three components that are required for any type of engagement with a customer: cold email, cold InMail, voicemail, video message, text message. You better, if you want to slice through the noise and if you want to be able to get buyers to actually respond back to you, keep in mind, advertisement is up by 36%. Events are up by a thousand percent. Emails are at an all-time high. Forty more billion emails been passed off in the last year than in the year before, right? So if you want to slice through the noise, then what you need to be thinking about for prospecting is implementing and leveraging the PVC Sales Method.
Okay. Let’s break that down. P for personalization. When you reach out to somebody, you need to show them that you know them. Show them that you know them. Be interested to become interesting. And this is where most sales folks mess up at. In fact, I was just at a conference, and I went around and I grabbed a bunch of chachkies at all these different booths. I was there at the conference looking for a solution to three specific problems of which I found, but the byproduct was, there was 260 other booths. And what I wanted to do was go out and grab all of the chachkies so I can bring it home to my kids, cuz they’re still at that age where they think it’s really cool they get chachkies.
So I must have gotten scanned probably 102 times. I come back and over the last two weeks I have been getting the spray and pray put it into the BDR sales engagement tool: SalesLoft, Outreach, Apollo, HubSpot, you name it. And I’m just getting the standard canned emails: “Hey, we wanted to be able to have a discussion with you.”
And here’s the funny part. Of those a 100+ scans, I would say 75 of them, I said, “I’m not interested. I’ll let you scan me, but just put in the notes, it doesn’t make sense for us to move forward because what you’re offering is for enterprise-grade selling. We’re a product-led growth company just like Grammarly, just like Calendly, just like Dropbox was, right? The individual is who purchases our product as opposed to the corporate enterprise, so we’re not a good fit.”
Turns out I’ve got all those 70+ companies that are sitting here and sending me messages that are just a standard spray and pray BDR, hit the engage button, and just put me into an actual sequence. The problem is that nobody listens to that. Everybody realizes that you’re on a sales sequence. And the thing that’s missing is, show me that you know me. Because if you were a really smart BDR, if you were a really smart account executive, and if you were—further—had a seasoned marketing team and a super-smart sales leader, what you would do is you would sift through those leads, and you would look at me and, “This is not a guy that we’re going to go sell enterprise-grade software that’s going to help me from a forecasting perspective.” I don’t do, I don’t do sales-led growth motions, so I don’t need forecasting software. I don’t need that bolton, that addon inside of Salesforce. And more importantly, I’m not even a Salesforce shop. So, half these companies that I spoke to at the conference were not even target companies that would work with me, cuz I’m a HubSpot shop, right?
So, this is just an interesting example of, you had information, but yet you didn’t use it. This is an events-marketing problem, this is a marketing problem, and then it trickles down to the sales rep problem. But, let’s say you don’t have that scenario and you didn’t have me walking around at a booth telling people, “I’m not a target market.” Here’s the key. If you want me to engage, then you need to make sure that you know who I am.
Example. One of our reps in our old days, in the old former Vengreso days, reached out to a buyer and said, “Hey I’d love to be able to schedule a conversation with you. I noticed that you, too, are a Star Wars sci-fi geek as well,” and “something about Star Wars, blah, blah.” And then he went on to proceed with some valuable information and then the right call to action.
So, the buyer responded back with, “How did you know that I was a sci-fi Star Wars geek?”
Seller responded back, “Because four months ago, you posted a post on LinkedIn that said, ‘I grew up with… and as a Star Wars sci-fi geek…’” And so he actually sent him back that link.
The buyer responded back with, “Just because you took the time to know me, I will, in fact, take this meeting.”
That is hyper-personalization, and it’s hard to do at scale. Yes. But you can have your email go into someone’s email box and the reality is, email open rates are at an all-time low. Click-through rates that are all-time low, and response rates are even more at an all-time low. So you can continue doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, or you can hyper-personalize something to an individual to show them that you know them.
Once you’ve done that, now you go into the V for value. You need to bring value every single time you engage with your buyers. What do I mean by that? Well, let’s think about that for a second. If I said to you, “Hey, we help sales leaders create more sales conversations and grow their sales pipeline through digital sales training,” as an example.
You would say, “I either have that problem,” or “I don’t have that problem.”
The very next thing that you would say is, “I’ve attached here an article that if you implement these tactics, these three tactics, you can increase your response rate by 60% with your sales team. And it’s just three easy steps.”
Now, if you had a problem with sales pipeline and you had a problem with booking meetings, Paul, would you want to read that article to see if there’s any merit to it?
Paul: Absolutely. I’m clicking, I’m reading.
Mario: Absolutely, I’m clicking. And so, if you saw that and you attach that article to match the problem…. Relevance, that’s the key. Relevance to the problem that you solve, the business pain that you solve with your product or service with relevant content, then that individual is going to click through.
And now it comes with the third and final thing of the component of every sales message, which by the way should be 111 words and less, if you’re wondering how many words—111 and less—is the final. Third part is the C for the CTA [call to action] for PVC. And that CTA doesn’t have to be, “Let’s book a meeting.” That CTA could be, “Hey Paul. I mentioned earlier that most sales leaders that I deal with have a problem with pipeline and meetings. Do you have either one of those problems?” And what you’re doing is you’re giving a call to action to solicit engagement. That’s what you’re looking to do. Because if you do not have that problem—pipeline or meetings—your team does not have that problem, do I want to be spending a single moment of time with you as a prospect if you don’t have a problem that I can solve? (Paul: Yeah. Doesn’t make sense. No.) Doesn’t make sense.
So in that particular case, prospecting tips, PVC: personalization, bring value through content that maps to the buyer’s problem and offer solutions to that, and have the right call to action. You might. use a, “Let’s schedule a meeting,” but if you do use, “Let’s schedule a meeting,” you better make sure that you put dates and times that are two, three, and four weeks out. Why? Because most of us have our schedule booked up two, three, and four weeks out. And at a minimum, at two weeks, you’ll find some open availability. And that’s if you want to get into the C-suite. So PVC is what I call it.
Paul: Man, Mario, I’ve got to say, I love that PVC. It’s easy to remember. It makes sense. What’s interesting, in Value-Added Selling, the latest edition, we surveyed buyers, and these buyers included everyone from high-level executives to procurement-type buyers. What was interesting, one of the questions we asked was, “Why would you be willing to meet with a salesperson?” We’re trying to figure out what makes ’em tick. And the #1 response was, “I would meet with a salesperson because it appears they can help solve a business problem that I’m currently experiencing.” And that validates what you just said about the PVC example: have a roadmap to help solve the problem that they’re experiencing. And so, where there’s problem, there is, there’s opportunity. So I love that. That PVC Sales Method. It’s perfect and it’s simple. So, that’s the thing. It’s easily implementable.
Another piece here, and we’re kind of running short on time, so we’ll make this our final question. You know, personal branding for salespeople has become even more important, right? For salespeople to establish themselves, either, as an expert in a certain field or industry. And I chalk that up to personal branding as well. So, if you could, maybe share a thought or two just on personal branding and what salespeople can do to be more effective.
Mario: Yeah. In times past, Vengreso actually has done tens of thousands of LinkedIn profile makeovers for sales reps. We don’t do that anymore given the fact that we’ve got Fly Message, and we’re helping to increase sales productivity with sales messaging like the PVC Sales Method. However, what I want people to walk away with is the following. First off, 75% of buyers say that they look back at your profile when you engage with them. But what are they looking for? Are they looking for quota-crushing, all-time best negotiator, contract negotiator, 10 times President’s Club earner? No, they’re not looking for that. In fact, a buyer could care less whether or not you’re the all-time best contract negotiator. They don’t care about you. They care about a problem that you can solve. And then once you begin the sales process, they begin looking at the relationship by which they can establish with you.
So with that in mind, your LinkedIn profile, as an example, is not your resume. It should not read like a resume, should not have a picture that has you and your best friend at the wedding with your little corsage. No, what’s that (Paul: Boutonniere.) The little boutonniere on your lapel. Yeah. They shouldn’t have that. No. It should be a professional grade picture. But more importantly, the messaging on your profile should read who you help, how you help, and what business problem you solve. So, who you help, how you help, and what business problem you solve. And that should be from the headline all the way down through your summary and your experience section. It should bring customer testimonials. It should bring case studies. It should bring valuable content to your feature media, and it should articulate to a buyer immediately who you help, how you help, and what business problem you solve. Not All-time best contract negotiator, 15 year President’s Club earner, and or anything else that personifies you looking for a job. Because all they see is when they come back to your profile is that you’re looking for a job, not how you help and who you help, and that it relates to them as an individual.
So that’s my best personal branding tip is, take your brand out on social media very seriously. Buyers are looking at your profile to determine whether or not they want to do business with you. If you recognize that we’re in a digital era, then you’ll recognize that you need to have your profiles reskinned in order to be able to look sexy online.
Paul: Mario, I love it. Yeah, so don’t take the Facebook photo and just use the same one on LinkedIn. Get that professional image. But love those three questions. Excellent, great tip.
So, as we begin wrapping up today, how can people get a hold of you, Mario? Where can they learn more about Vengreso and connect with you personally?
Mario: Well, certainly they can go to Vengreso.com, but if you find me out on LinkedIn, Mario Martinez Jr., when you connect with me, please, please make sure you do a personalized invite and put that you heard me on The Q and A Sales Podcast with Mr. Paul Reilly, my friend. Make sure you show me that you know me. Otherwise, if it’s just a generic request, I hit X, which means I don’t want to connect with you. But I’ll be happy to connect with you if you personalize that. And of course, m_3jr is my Twitter handle. I’m active on Twitter as well.
And if you’re looking for a way to be able to increase your productivity with sales messaging and utilize the sales message that I mentioned, the template that we built for the PVC Sales Method, you can just simply go to flymsg, fly message.io, and set up a free account and have at it, and you’ll have an amazing time at saving an hour per day, at least, or 20 hours a month that you’ll get, and that’s what most of our users are saving right now in terms of productivity—lost productivity by the way.
Paul: Excellent. Mario, well, thanks for sharing all that information. Also, thanks for sharing the content, I mean, the PVC Sales Methodology, and then also how all these sellers out there can bump up there LinkedIn profile, enhance it. And by doing that and you mentioned 75% of buyers go back and look at the profile. Unbelievable.
Mario, thanks again for being on the show today, and just a reminder to the q and a sales podcast community, make sure you visit TheQandASalesPodcast.com. While you’re there, you can ask me a question. I’ll turn it into a future show.
If you found this episode helpful, please share it with your colleagues. Go on to Apple or wherever you get your podcasts and give us a nice rating. But make sure that you have a big day. That’s the key. Make it a big day.