Sales Hustle is now Sales Transformation
Feb. 18, 2022

#249 S2 Episode 118 - Sales Made Better Via Design Thinking with Ashley Welch

In this episode of The Sales Transformation with Collin Mitchell podcast, Collin talks to Ashley Welch, Co-Founder of Somersault Innovation and author of Naked Sales: How Design Thinking Reveals Customer Motives and Drives Revenue.

Ashley shares how she stumbled into design thinking while doing a routine sales job and saw how applying it to sales has helped her close much bigger deals than ever before. Ashley zeroes in on adopting the Design Thinking way of being genuinely curious about your customers to co-create the best tool and experience for them. This way, customers feel that they are part of the process, and the resulting product or service is truly unique and relevant to their needs.

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  • Sales jobs gives you flexibility and autonomy
  • When you're more interested in the client than selling your product
  • Be open to feedback and look for opportunities to improve 
  • Taking the leap to pursue an entrepreneurial vision
  • Falling in love with design thinking
  • Discovery is made better with design thinking
  • Selling can also be about co-creation
  • Be obsessed about your customer's customers


Ashley: "To see what would happen when we used this methodology (design thinking) with people is incredible. You start with deep discovery on whatever challenge or opportunity you're trying to discover and having people put it on post-its, and think out of the box about things, and think sort of wild and crazy as a way to diverge, we say. And before you start to narrow in your ideas was just this amazing process that would decrease the risk of failure and increase your chance of delighting the end customer. It works every time."

Ashley: "The bias of sellers is to go narrow too quickly and narrow right into, tell me exactly about the system you use today, what doesn't work about it, let me show you mine, let me compare the features, and we're off to the races. Versus staying more open about not necessarily so personal, but their life, and business, and what they care about." 

Collin: "You don't want to exhaust them like, hey we've got to stay in discovery for three weeks before we can move forward, right? But you know, you can move forward but still stay curious, still stay open throughout the whole process because more might be revealed."

Ashley: "The other mindset we talk a lot about is this notion of co-creation. So that's a same-side of the table kind of idea. The reason I'm staying curious and open and learning about you is because I'm trying to co-create with you the best thing for you."

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Learn more about Collin in the link below: 

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[00:00:00] In the world of sales, you either sink or swim or breakthrough to the next level. My name's Colin Mitchell. And this is sales transformation, a new kind of sales show designed to bring you through the epic life-changing moments of elite sellers. So you can experience your own sales transformation.

[00:00:24] All right. Welcome to another episode of sales transformation. I am very excited for today's guest. I've got Ashley while she's the co-founder at summer salt innovation. Also the co-author of naked sales, uh, actually is a mother seller co-founder author curious Explorer, and I'm very excited to have her on the show and tell her story.

[00:00:46] And some other stories of examples, uh, in the group. Incredible work that they're doing over there. Ashley, welcome to the. Thank you Khan. I'm really pleased to be here. Thanks for having me. Yeah. Um, Amy connected us. Yes. I love Amy big shout out to Amy. We're both, uh, in the Amy fan club, so awesome. I'm glad to have you on here.

[00:01:09] We connected for a bit. Um, you said. A copy of your book, which I'm extremely grateful for and I've just gotten started on. So just take me back a little bit. Where did your sales journey start? That's a good question. Where did it start? I think, you know, it started when I was just little, little, little, and I always wanted to sell something or start a business.

[00:01:31] And I always had lots of different ideas. I cut hair in college to make a little money. I came up with this idea of like a cereal bar where everybody could have cereal at all times of the day. So I was always thinking about sales. And then I joined a consulting firm 25 years ago, thinking I want to be a consultant.

[00:01:51] I said, I'll do anything for you. To get me in the door. And I was put as an assistant to two people who were in sales and it was sort of old school sales. And so they sort of would like whip it up in the, in the room with someone and then sell it and then just hand it to me. It'd be like, can you write the proposal and make it happen and make the contract so.

[00:02:10] Got my feet wet very quickly and loved it. And so I didn't go into consulting. I stayed in sales and so I've been there ever since. And then some somersault innovation was born seven years ago with Justin Jones and myself when we started it. Okay. All right. So tell me in that first gig, um, what was it that you loved about sales so much?

[00:02:31] And tell me some of the things that you learned or. Yeah. Um, well, I think what I loved about it is it's very entrepreneurial. And so I could like, you know, if you're, you're sort of on your own in many ways. And I, and I realized that early on that I could really make it my own. And as long as I was successful in supporting sales, and then when I was a seller myself early on, when I was supporting, and then when I was a seller myself of actually, I just had a number as long as I.

[00:03:03] I sort of was left alone and I really like that part of it. Um, when I was a mother, I love that there was a lot of flexibility, as long as I was again, being successful in sales. And I love the clients. I loved connecting with people and sharing things beyond what we were doing. Potentially, but even what we're iron just in the world and what do we care about and books and Ted talks and everything else.

[00:03:26] So, um, just the magic of the relationships, um, was, uh, you know, a huge charge for me. Um, okay, so you love the autonomy of, as long as I hit my number, leave me alone. Yeah. Everybody loves that. Um, Tell me, what was there some things that you learned sort of early on that have stuck with you or have kind of taking you down this path of what's in the book, which I won't give any spoiler alerts yet.

[00:03:58] We're going to dig into that, but is there anything you learned early on in your sales journey? That's kind of stuck with you. Yeah. At least come to mind one it's it's really about all the whole, the whole person bringing the whole person into the role of seller. Um, so I that's what I was sort of alluding to this idea that I would try to engage with the other person about them beyond their job and beyond their corporation, and also share myself which therefore made like really authentic connections that last did well beyond the sale itself.

[00:04:29] Um, and got us very connected. And I think in. Um, I think the other thing is, you know, this idea of like getting on the other side of the table with the customer versus across in the customer, I was always interested sort of more interested in what they were trying to do than I was around what I was selling.

[00:04:46] And in some ways that made it more six, I was more successful because of that. Um, which was always kind of like, sometimes I felt like I sell things. And it's crazy to say, but I almost like we hadn't even talked about what I was selling and it was sold. Right. Like it was all about them trying to achieve and, you know, and then I would make it so, but, um, just trying to be it's very, you know what, now I would turn very customer centric and more interested than them than what I was selling was a hugely benefit.

[00:05:19] Wow. Okay. I love, I love this idea of getting on the other side of the table instead of across from the table, which is kind of an analogy, but it's across the virtually whatever, right. Get on their team. We're doing this together. Um, was that something you were taught or is that just something like, that was just part of like naturally who you are.

[00:05:39] As a person which transferred over to like how you were as, yeah, no, I don't think it was what I was taught. I think it was who I was as a person. Then a lot of people teach in that. So I just like who, I didn't understand any other way to be. I think, you know, the things that I did learn that I wasn't very good at in the beginning was thinking more strategically and bigger and not doing what so many of us do do, which is narrow too fast on like a, you know, a smaller deal.

[00:06:13] So, uh, I was naturally customer centric and super curious. I was not naturally strategic, I would say. Um, so how did you start to improve that skill of being. More strategic. Yeah. Well, I think first of all, I'd say I was grateful for people who gave me that feedback as hard as it was to hear, um, that someone would say that and present the fact that there was actually more opportunity on the table at the table.

[00:06:42] If I stayed open longer, if I stay, if I was a bigger thinker. Um, and so I think. Embracing that feedback is like, okay, as much as I want to say, no, I'm not, no, I'm really strategic. Um, being humble enough to say like, maybe they do have something to say that I should listen to. Um, and then trying to align myself with people who, who were, I think more strategic than I was, and really paying attention to what were they doing and how were they, how was it possible that they were selling a million dollar.

[00:07:13] When I just sold, you know, a hundred thousand dollars. And so trying to, to believe that something else was possible, if I was able to reorient myself. Okay. Yeah. Being open to hearing feedback is hard for a lot of sellers, especially if you're like having some level of success. Right. Then it's hard to hear like something that you're maybe not good at, or you could improve upon.

[00:07:36] Um, but being humble and. Yeah. I mean, being humble enough to just like, hear that and not just hear it, but like actually do something about it, right? Like seek out, like you mentioned, uh, people that were more strategic and maybe spending some time with them and working on those particular skill sets that would help you think.

[00:07:55] Yeah. Um, was there a moment where you're like, okay, I think I finally have figured out how to like mesh these two things together and you started maybe like seeing bigger deals or feeling more strategic in the relationships with clients. I can't remember a moment, but I certainly remember a client. Uh, it was a farm, huge pharmaceutical, and it's actually that a client that Justin and I worked on together and.

[00:08:20] Um, I don't know that there was some magic that happened. I think in, uh, he was the consulting lead consultant. I was the one leading the business development and there was some magic between us and in what we were sort of able to create for the customer and do for them. Um, and it just kept growing. I mean, it was over a million dollar client pretty quickly.

[00:08:40] And so. I think being witness to that and seeing that the possibility, um, gave me a lot more, um, sense of confidence and belief that wow, like really, if you're, if you really start to think differently and engage differently with the customer and even just the mindset of believing, like I can talk to the executives, why not go for it?

[00:09:04] Like that in and of itself is a, is a powerful shift in how you think. I think if that happened for me, Wow. Okay. So that gave you sort of the confidence to go into future deals, um, in this, in that same manner and feeling like, okay, well, if I actually start to think bigger and think more strategic, then it actually pays off and it does work.

[00:09:27] Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. You know, it's kind of a mind trick that doesn't sound very sophisticated. Um, but actually really does. It's, you know, it's all about the power of your mental models and your belief systems. Yeah, or limited, right. We're limited, limited beliefs, you know, you can just kinda think ma maybe I'm just not that strategic.

[00:09:48] Yeah, exactly. Right. And then chances are, you're not going to be very strategic in the way that you sell, if you keep telling yourself that. Um, so when, when did, uh, when did you and Justin decide to. Yeah, start the company and then, uh, write the book, walk me through kind of the timeline of how that happened.

[00:10:10] Yeah, it was literally seven years ago tomorrow. Um, wow. Yeah. Perfect timing. Yes. Happy birthday to somersault. So, um, well, w w literally when we decided was we were in Germany. Client was German. And we were over there and we were in a little cafe and, you know, there was some things going on in the camp. I had been with this company for 20 years that I had worked for and I grew up there and I, um, credit them for so much of who I am today.

[00:10:38] And Justin has been there a lot last seat in there for about four years. And I think we just started, we had fallen in love with design thinking, which is what our firm is all about now, which is this very creative innovation methodology and thought like, what if this is what we did all the time? Uh, number one and two, I was like, Jesus, I better get outta here.

[00:10:57] I'm going to die here. I'd been here for 20 years. Um, so, and, you know, there were a couple of other things that were, this is actually interesting, I think from an entrepreneurial mindset, like I knew that there were three things that I had to have to make sure that I could make this leap. One was at the time I was married and, um, my husband had the healthcare, so I didn't have to do it myself.

[00:11:17] Two was, I knew if I didn't make any money for a year, we wouldn't have to sell the house. Like I, you know, I could come back around and, uh, and come out of it. And my kids wouldn't starve and three, I could get another job. Like I believed in myself that I was like, this doesn't work, I'll get another job.

[00:11:34] And so I had those three things. And so that enabled me to, and just, and Justin sort of had the same to say, like, let's do this. Like, let's take a chance on ourselves and try this. Yeah. I mean, even having the okay, health insurance, you know, having maybe some savings built up where you could, you know, if we make nothing for a year, we're fine.

[00:11:52] We won't have to sell the house. Um, and believing in your side, it's still a little scary. Right? Cause you're like, I mean, you've been at that point, you've been at the 20 years. Right. And to sort of reinvent yourself and like go and try something new. Must've been. Yeah, well, it was both exhilarating and scary.

[00:12:12] So it was exhilarating like, oh my God, finally, you know, I've been thinking about cereal bars and cutting hair, like doing something on my, and now I'm actually gonna do something on my own. Uh, was great. And then it was, you know, it was scary. I think it may made it a little less scary because I had a business partner.

[00:12:30] I don't, I don't know that. I know I would never have done it on my own. Right. And so by having a business partner, it gave her. You know, a companion to hang on to, to share this journey. Yeah. Yeah, that definitely makes it a little bit easier. Right. But still super challenging. Um, and you know, okay. So I'm curious, uh, when you be, when, when did you become so intrigued with design thinking specifically.

[00:12:57] Yeah, I will. When the other company I worked for, we had partnered with a simulation company that had a design thinking simulation and I got trained to do it. And so I would, you know, even though I was on the sales side, I would deliver sometimes. Cause I like that. Um, P. I, you know, I had never heard of design thinking and then to see what would happen when we use this methodology with people, it was incredible people, you know, it's all about, you know, you start with deep discovery on whatever challenge or opportunity you're trying to discover and having people put it on post-its and like think out of the box about things and think sort of wild and crazy, um, as a way to divert, we say, and before you start to sort of narrow in your ideas, Um, was just this really amazing process that would decrease the risk of failure and increase your chance of sort of delighting the end customer.

[00:13:48] And it works every time. And so it was just fun and creative and really useful. And so I think, you know, it was probably 10 years ago that I learned about it and, and just love the process. Okay. And so that was, so while you were working there before you guys started, you know, Justin started the company together, um, you came across, you know, design thinking and, and then from there, how much of your time in the, you know, your previous job before you guys started were, was spent doing design thinking type of.

[00:14:20] Yeah. So I was selling it and delivering it a little. So probably not that much, you know, maybe 10% of my time, you know, the rest of the time I was selling leadership development and team development and change management kind of things and facilitation skills. But you enjoyed doing that work more than any of the other work.

[00:14:38] I mean, it's really good. What you're pointing out. Yes. Yes. I became so passionate about it. I was like, this is what I want to do, even though it was a small percentage of our. And were you seeing like some crazy results that you were like, this more people need to be doing this and we need to help them with it?

[00:14:58] Yeah. One of the actually says you asked great questions, Colin. Um, I was thinking about, you know, one of the things we would do, would we put in a, uh, sort of a design thing. Process or like a learning event in this leadership development program. So we would work with leaders, top leaders in different companies, and we'd give them a challenge and they had to use a design thinking process to do it.

[00:15:19] And we would be in the classroom with them. We'd set them up. Right now, uh, you need to make a list of people that you can call, like an end user. You can call today or tonight because tomorrow you need to come home and come back and report out on it. And people, of course, it'd be like 10 night today. Like I can't get to them and we.

[00:15:38] No, of course you can, you know, find a way and they would, and the fact that they would connect with the end user or, or someone connected to what they were trying to solve for completely changed the game. Right? Of course, all of a sudden you had the voice of the customer in the room, you had new stories, new information, and people were transformed just by that little experience and piece of information.

[00:16:00] And so it was just sort of magical to see what would happen when people use these techniques. Wow. And design thinking had been used in other ways, but not specifically for sellers. Not specifically for selling, not in the past, I would say, is, is that what you're saying? Are you asking, like, was it being used?

[00:16:21] No, it's usually, you know, all of us are beneficiaries of, of design thinking. So it's usually, it w it started out in the we'll start it out in sort of architecture, but then in the innovation around products. So if you've ever used an apple product, like it came from a design thinking process. If you've used a Quip toothbrush came from it, does anything process, Virgin airlines, you know, I have this all blue and beautiful.

[00:16:43] Came from design thing process. Cause you start with really sort of like obsessively curious about what end-users like ourselves. Like why, why do we do things? And then you create based on what you learned. So it's live product development space. Okay. So for the listeners that are kind of like, okay, this sounds super interesting, but just quickly before we get too deep in the weeds in this, give them like the simplest.

[00:17:10] Explanation of like, what is design thinking? Okay. Now I'd love people to come back and say, like, I don't get it. Say it again, or here's a better way to say it because people always ask this question and I'm not sure that I have the most succinct answer, but I'll try. So it is a creative problem solving process.

[00:17:29] It's just a process. It has, you know, usually about five phase. And in each phase, it has a set of tools. Um, and think of like agile lean, six Sigma. Those are all like processes. Yeah, this is just the same. It's just a process. So if you said, I want to make a new cup, um, a design thinking process would say our first phase is discovery.

[00:17:59] We're going to go out. And instead of Collin's best idea for the, his next edition of this glass or cup, we're just going to set that aside and we're just going to watch people. Drink and talk to them about why did they drink? When did they drink? How do they drink and learn all about, why do you use that cup?

[00:18:15] Why did you choose that one? And not that one. Um, why do you do like that color? You know, you know, tell me more about that. Um, so that would be the first phase. That would be the discovery phase. And then we would, you know, sort of reframe our seller. You understand what discovery exactly. So that's what it is.

[00:18:31] It's a set of face. Um, different tool sets. So you're moving from sort of, what is your challenge, understanding the end user, who is, you know, caught up in that challenge all the way to coming out with your solution on the other end. Um, and so in our sellers, mostly using. In the discovery process or throughout the entire sales process?

[00:18:54] Yes. Wow. So I'll make a distinction. If you, if you're making a new glass, you're doing an end-to-end design process, you're starting with discovery all the way to your new glass. In what we're saying, as we're sort of curators of the tools from the world of design for sellers, we're saying sellers don't need to know an end to end process.

[00:19:14] They're not running a design thinking process. With their customer, but we can sort of borrow from the world of design to give sellers these like super power tools. Like designers are super powers or their super power is around discovery. So like, why don't you give some of those tools to our sellers who also need to do discovery?

[00:19:35] Um, so how do we do it in a way that you really get like keen insights into what your customer cares about or like what are unmet needs that they don't even know about that I can figure out and I can link my solution. Was there anybody who was like, what do you mean? You want us to use a process that people use to create products, to sell more deals?

[00:20:00] No, I wouldn't say that

[00:20:05] as though, as to like, wait a minute, what is the same thing? Why do I need to know what this is? Just make myself sell more, which is why I try not actually, and then they're signing up with you and they're like, oh, you're like, we just used that. It works.

[00:20:22] Wait, what did I just sign off on? Okay. This clearly works extremely well because I don't even know what happened.

[00:20:34] Um, okay. All right. We're having too much fun here. So let's get a little bit back on track here. Okay. So, uh, discovery process. So giving sellers. Super power. You know, you hear a lot of people talk about different ways to do discovery sellers clearly know discovery is important. If you do discovery wrong, you're not going to close deals.

[00:20:53] Deals are won in the beginning of the process, we get all that. Right. So just give me like an example, how, you know, somebody would maybe do discovery today without, you know, design thinking super powers and versus how they would do it with design thinking powers. And what would, you know, what are the kind of key differences.

[00:21:11] Yeah. So, first of all, I would say that I don't think discovery is a phase or a stage. It's a mindset, right? It never ends. Right. You're always doing discovery. You're always learning more. The person first, um, late, secondly, I'd say, you know, I think traditional design, excuse me, traditional discovery is all about, you know, sort of the table stakes.

[00:21:32] Understanding the corporate initiatives, looking at their website, looking at their annual report, 10 K competitors, like all that stuff is sort of like discovery around their business. And where we start to focus is how can you really understand who, who are the end users? Of course, who are their customers, who is your customer's customer and what do they care about and do some discovery there.

[00:21:59] And so let's use an example. So, um, we've been working with a medium sized tech company. We just worked with four account teams and, um, one of the leaders of, of the account team or the, of the account team, uh, was going after. Media company and had been in there actually, and had done some good work, but, um, we said, okay, well, who are the end user?

[00:22:22] Like who are the people that are going to, let's say, use your software in there. And they sell a sales enablement platform. So like talk to them, talk to them about what does sales look like right now in their organization, get some quotes, get some stories and bring that back to the people you're trying to work with.

[00:22:40] And so he did and. Literally we are in the training and it was a four hour sort of working session. He said, well, this is the guy I want to get to. This is the SVP I want to get to. And we had already talked about doing some of these end user like gathering stories and doing some research, which he'd done.

[00:22:56] And so he wrote a LinkedIn message to this guy, like while we're talking any in the message, he's like, you know, I talked to Sarah. One of your colleagues. And I can really empathize with her because, you know, it's hard being a seller when you don't have the right tools. And then he gave the story of Sarah, like the end user story, right.

[00:23:16] In that email or in the LinkedIn message. And the guy wrote right back, he didn't even know him. And he was like, yeah, you're right. Thank you for sharing that. I, you know, happy to talk when can. Anyway. Yeah, that's what we're saying. I mean, so even at the simplest associates, even at the, like the simplest example there, even just taking the time to be proactive and do that is going to make you stand out.

[00:23:42] In a huge way to even get the conversation going in the first place, because nobody's doing that very few people are doing this. Exactly. And you're not, you're not selling there. You're just saying like, look, I'd like to connect with you and I'm paying attention to you and your business. And I've actually even talked to some people or I have some stories I've collected.

[00:24:03] Let's talk about it. I'm not, I'm not even talking about. I'm talking about you and in this sort of creative, you know, discovery process of who's your customer's customer and getting information from them, what are you looking for? Like, are you looking for specific things to tie to problems or solutions?

[00:24:23] Like, walk me through that a little, yeah. Another great question. Um, I think there's a balance. So the balance is I want to stay open and curious enough that I'm just learning things that I don't know. Right. And, uh, I'm also selling something, right. So I'm not going to stay forever in this space of. You know, tell me about your dog and like, what do you think about the universe?

[00:24:49] And, you know, like we're not going to go so wide that I'm not sort of starting to think about, well, the, the domain in which I'm selling. So in this case they were selling a sales enablement platform. So Andrew, the AAE, you know, wanted to understand, like, just tell me about your life as a seller. Generally, and then, you know, and tell me, you know, what does it look like?

[00:25:13] What tools really work for you, what don't. So you're starting to narrow in a little bit in the area that you work. But I think that, you know, the, the bias of sellers is to go narrow too quickly. Right. I narrow right into tell me exactly about the system you use today. What doesn't work about it. And let me show you mine.

[00:25:32] Let me compare you my features and we're off to the races versus staying more open about. No, not necessarily so personal, but their life in business and their surrounding what they care about. I mean, you almost have to. I mean, it's hard, right. For sellers to kind of slow down. Right. And they're like, because as soon as they get a little sniff of just like, oh, there's a problem.

[00:25:57] I have a solution for that. Um, and there's, there's just so much more that could be uncovered. What went down just a little bit touch exactly what I was talking to a woman the other day. She's like, we get happy. Or do you hear that term happy years? Like right here. And I'm like, boom, I know what I got something for you.

[00:26:15] Let's close this down because I can get paid. And it's Friday, especially, especially like say an inbound lead. Right? There's so many things that get skipped on inbound leads. Cause you're like, what do you mean discovery? That's an inbound lead. They won't buy from us.

[00:26:34] Nothing's black and right white, right? The world is gray. So it's not like saying, therefore you got to stay open for your whole entire inbound call and just stay in the discovery space. It's always this balance, but the, you know, I think sellers in general, we tend to move towards the narrowing. Just stay open a little bit more, see what that gets you.

[00:26:52] And what you're saying is like also be staying. Throughout, right. It's not like, Hey, we did, we did discovery. And now we, you know, when this next day like discovery continues on, right? Because you're going to learn more, you know, you're not, you don't want to exhaust them. Like, Hey, we've got to stay in discovery for three weeks before we can move forward.

[00:27:10] Right. But you know, you can move forward, but still staying curious, still staying open throughout the whole process because more might be revealed. The other mindset. We talk a lot about this, this like notion of co-creation. So that's the same side of the table kind of idea. Like, so I may be discovering, but I'm trying to like the reason I'm staying curious and open and learning about you is because I'm trying to co-create with you, the best thing for you.

[00:27:35] So. The, you know, I thought of that because when you were saying, uh, you were mentioning the customer and something, and I was seeing, you know, sometimes they'll ask for a demo right away. We're not saying don't do the demo and just keep asking them questions, but respond appropriately, but use that as a way to continue to gain information so that you can be smarter about what they care about.

[00:27:56] So I'll show you the demo, but I'd love to, you know, stop along the way and get your feedback and tell me how this resonates or doesn't with you, et cetera. Mm. Hmm. Okay. And so tell me, how long were you, were you and Justin doing this work? Um, you know, with, with somersault before you're like, okay, we need to right.

[00:28:15] Make it sales. Yeah. Um, I think two years. Um, we started, you know, you see in the book, a lot of the stories are from Salesforce, where we started working and playing. Like we literally, we started somersault cause we wanted to be teachers and coaches of design thinking, nothing to do with sales. And, but once we started, we were like, wait a second.

[00:28:36] This is like this magic tool set that was really relevant for sales. Why isn't anyone doing this in sales? So we started to play with these sellers and teams at Salesforce and the results. Ridiculous like millions of dollars to the bottom line. Not because I just said it was magic. It is magic, but not because it's rocket science, but because it's just very intuitive things that.

[00:28:59] Because sales is about money and pressure that we become like less curious and open. And so design helps you stay sort of open more connected to your customer. And that turns into results. So we were getting so much traction, there was so many good stories that, um, it was easy to say, like we gotta put this down and we got to, you know, stick a claim that like we've discovered something here.

[00:29:25] Was it, was it hard to pick which stories made it into the book? Um, well, we'd only been doing it for two years then, so I wouldn't say it was too hard. I'd say it's much harder now because there's so many great stories and they all, you know, they all highlight something a little bit and you gave it, you gave us a, like a recent, you know, refit story.

[00:29:45] Um, can you give us one of your favorite, uh, stories from, from naked cells to just help. Maybe, you know, anybody who is still kind of struggling to figure this out at this point, just put it into context. Yeah. Well, I'll tell the story. That's at the very front end of this book and you can get the, you can get the first chapter, uh, in, on our website.

[00:30:04] You can download it's the Greyhound story. Um, and so this is Sacha and rye, who is still a kick ass, a E at Salesforce. And. Uh, he came to our course sell by design. He, we asked everybody to bring in an account with them. He was trying to get into Greyhound and, and literally Sachin's a super smart guy. He had already built an app.

[00:30:26] He'd had engineers working on an app that he was trying to sell them and we were. You don't even know them, like stop, stop with all the imagination and even construction of things. Like go put yourself in the shoes of a customer of Greyhound. Just go down to this, you know, the Depot in San Francisco. So he did, he's like an extreme user case of discovery.

[00:30:48] He did an amazing job. He took. From San Francisco to LA and back again, talk to the drivers, talk to the baggage, handler everything. And when he got back, he started writing the executives again and said, I just want to tell you about my experience on gray ham. And he said he got a hundred percent open rate on his emails.

[00:31:05] He eventually got a meeting and in that meeting with an executive he's. You know, so, um, I understand like your M seven report could use some innovation and the guy was like, what? Like, how the hell do you know what an M seven report is? And it was a driver report that he had learned about on this experience.

[00:31:24] And so. Literally turned into a $3 million deal because it started with him sort of being obsessed about his customer and using that as a way to engage and then get on the same side of the table with them and say like, let's figure something out together to make you even more successful. Wow. Yeah, that's a great story.

[00:31:43] Um, I think that the key takeaway there right. Is okay. Yeah, he was obsessed about his customer, but he was obsessed about his customers, customers. Exactly. Right. Um, which is interesting because if you think about whatever you do, if it's SAS or whatever business you're in, um, not a lot of people, uh, get the opportunity to get on the same side of the table by being obsessed about their customer's customers.

[00:32:09] And the interesting thing is like, everybody gets so busy, right? Like even your customer, you would think should know their customer pretty well. But if you bring something. Yeah, they're busy, you know, with other things that they can easily get I'm so far away or disconnected from that. And you bring something like that to their attention.

[00:32:30] Why would they do business with anybody else? And it's so distinctive, like you're saying, and, um, they can't turn away from that information. Everybody wants to know about what their customers think or experience. If they don't have any customers, they don't have a business. So, um, if you're talking about my customers, I'm listening.

[00:32:49] Yeah, well, Ashley, thank you so much for coming on. This was incredible. Um, how can people get into your world? Get the book and stuff? Well, I love to talk, uh, so please reach out to me on LinkedIn, Ashley Welch, somersault innovation. Uh, you can also find our website, somersault Somersault is with one M um, just like you do a somersault in your living room.

[00:33:12] If you do, and you can find naked sales on Amazon. So it's a really quick. And, um, some really, um, sort of simple tips and tricks, uh, that we can use. Right? I'd imagine if you know sellers get this book and start implementing design thinking, there'll be doing a lot of somersaults in their living. Yeah slash office.

[00:33:38] So, uh, so we will, I will drop the links there so you can connect with Ashley so you can get your copy of the book, all that good stuff. If you enjoyed today's episode, please write me a review, share the show with your friends. It really helps us out. And as always, I'm listening for your feedback. You can go to sales,, drop me a voice diem, and we will get back to.

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