Mickeli Bedore joins Collin Mitchell in this episode of the Sales Hustle Podcast. Mickeli shares his short version of how he started in sales. Mickeli also shares some sales tips and conversations about closing.
Mickeli Bedore is the Co-Founder/Chief Revenue Officer at Closers Media. They implement and teach a conversion to close sales system that helps B2B focused founders & professional service companies close more revenue & grow.
Closers Media also produces Coffee&Closers, the largest independently produced Sales show in the Midwest.
You can learn more about Mickeli Bedore and Closers Media on their website at https://closersmedia.com/.
If you’re listening to the Sales Hustle podcast, please subscribe, share, and we’re listening for your feedback. If you are a sales professional looking to take your sales career to the next level, please visit us at https://salescast.co/ and set a time with Collin and co-founder Chris.
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Sales Hustle - Episode 52 - Mickeli Bedore
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[00:00:24] Sales professionals transform the relationship building process and win their dream clients. I'm your host, Colin Mitchell. What is happening? Sales hustlers. Welcome to another episode of sales hustle. And I've got a special guest that I have been wanting to get on here for quite some time. He is the chief closer at closers media.
[00:00:47] It's Mikolaj vador. And if you like sales podcasts, I'm sure you've listened to his before. And we're going to dig into talking about closing. And conversion to close, which is something that glides super passionate about and helping folks with. So, Michael, I tell folks just how, how did you, what's your sales story?
[00:01:04] How did you get into sales? Well, first of all, call and thank you for having me on this. I'm a huge fan of yours. And we were just talking prior to this about how we're, we've got to know each other quite well over the socials, but this is kind of the first time we got to really interact and our mutual roll it out.
[00:01:21] Our friend Rolodex is a, is incredible. Considering you live. In South California, and we're up here in Minnesota. So thanks for having me on. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, no, I I've been looking forward to having on here and I know that, uh, we're both pretty busy and we finally were able to make it happen. So I know that, uh, we're going to have a lot of fun and have a lot to talk about.
[00:01:40] Um, so, you know, I like to tell folks, just give us the short version, how you got into sales and then, you know, we'll save most of our time together for the tactical stuff. So our listeners can feel like they learned something or maybe get that kick in the asset. They need to get back to the office and do what they know they should be doing.
[00:01:56] Absolutely loves to tell it. So it's kind of a tale of two, two lives. Um, I spent about 14 to 15 years, um, ranked the top one to 3%, um, of some, the largest sales forces in the world. Those would be at IBM, uh, Oracle, Verizon, and so on. And what I was known for what my conversion specialties, the reason was is that I was, uh, I kind of role.
[00:02:19] So, um, though I did prospecting and did, did some MDR BDR roles. Um, most of my, the bulk of that experience was in, um, the AAE kind of conversion to close role. So I did that and, um, in 2014 or so I was working at IBM and they, they, we didn't have a physical office, so they're like, Why don't you go and, um, work rudder.
[00:02:43] And so having to work at a coworking space called cocoa, where I met our business partner uh gharial um, and, uh, it was, it was full of, of startups, just tons of startups and, uh, their, what they were really good at was exquisite at delivering their service. Or, or, you know, making their product, but they just, they struggled with selling and it was something that came naturally for me and starting a business was never even on the forefront of my mind.
[00:03:09] And so I helped them sell. They helped me launch my first business. And here we are, I think it's been six or whatever years later. And what we focus on out closers media, as we do coffee and closers to provide content for people in the professional service for the professional services space, a lot of digital agencies and so on.
[00:03:28] Um, and what we help them do is to naturally, uh, close the right, like close more business, close the right kind of business to our sales training and our hands-on coaching offerings. Hmm. Okay. Interesting. So I want to dig into a little bit of your, your, your, uh, your roles there. Um, you know, what does it take to be in the top, you know, single digit percentage of a huge sales organization, like,
[00:03:59] okay. The number one trick that I learned early on was. To follow the top. So every time I take a new role, I would be like, who's your top one to two, you know, first and second ranked, uh, sales star. And I would sit with them and I would just sit with them. I would ask them questions, but I would, I would, I would definitely sit on their calls, you know what I mean?
[00:04:20] And I would just kind of learn by doing and what I found with each and every one of them was preparation. Okay. So here we train on, on three stages, but preparation is an entire month of training. Because what they had was they knew their pocket, right? Not just who they are, their talents or their, their target account list, but they knew the pockets.
[00:04:39] So they break it off in the industries. So when they're prospecting and they're having conversations, they, they they're, they're talking exempt only to healthcare companies that day. And ultimately healthcare companies in Sioux falls, South Dakota or whatever. And so they would be, so laser-focused on what was going on in there in that community, say Sioux falls with the sports team, whether whatever, and, um, And then they would equally be, as you know, up-to-date on what's going on in the healthcare.
[00:05:04] Uh, uh, and in that healthcare community, um, if they're publicly traded, they're pulling their 10 Ks. So they know what's going on inside the company, what's been committed to shareholders and they got scripts and all this stuff all around their computer. Right. And I learned. I learned early on that if those guys have been doing this for bringing back then I was fairly new.
[00:05:25] If those guys still use scripts and those guys still pull that level of data, that's what I'm going to do. So I just learned from the best man, and I found that if you want to stay up top, you've got to make sure you are prepared and organized. You got to listen to great podcasts like this one to get tips and tricks from people selling today.
[00:05:43] And you got to always be reading and learning because the market shifts, man, I mean, nine months ago, we didn't have a, we didn't have a pandemic. Now we're selling overall, virtually people used to sell trade shows are now going to adapt to a whole new style. My advisement has always been stay up in the no, stay in the know follow people that are better than you.
[00:06:00] And just keep growing because sales is a language. The second you stop using it, you forget it, you know? Yeah. No, there's so many good things there. So, I mean, that is, that's going deep on the preparation of like knowing, knowing the. Geographically knowing the area that you're calling into, knowing the industry that you're calling into, knowing the roles and what's important to them and also knowing what's going on in the organization as a whole.
[00:06:30] So is there any sort of like systematic approach to doing that and getting that preparation prior to getting, you know, engaging those type of contacts? Yeah. Just for those that have towels to target account list. So if you're working on at a company or hell, you're, you know, you're on your own, like me, um, we're going to have a list of companies in which you serve.
[00:06:56] Like I said, professional service companies are our jam specifically though, digital agencies. And I can tell you what I'll just say, why right now, what I like about that pocket? Is, there's really only two rebuttals to overcome, you know, whereas usually there's about five right. Price, all deal. Um, but with them, there's only two and those two are I believe, or I need to believe that you can deliver, or you can do the things you say you can do for me.
[00:07:27] And the other is I need to believe. That everything you're seeing right now is for you, your promises and the delivery that you're going the way you're going to deliver it, that you're going to do it exactly how you say everyone. You do it. There's only two rebuttals. So we built this entire training around bath.
[00:07:41] You know what I mean? That's a pocket. Okay. So in regards to this, when you have a towel, the preparation comes with defining your pocket. Who is your pocket? Your pocket is someone who you've had success with. We've had a handful of acquisition or a, of our clients there's agencies get acquired, or tr three, four X, you know, their revenue growth and months.
[00:08:01] That's our pocket. I can't say the same for construction companies. And I can't say the same for a. You know, uh, software while I can for that, but you know, for other industries, right. But I can say it for digital agencies, I can say prefer for professional service companies. So the pocket I start with, where have you had success?
[00:08:19] So you can leverage third party verifiable proof that when someone challenges like, well, have you done this before? Have you helped? So don't let me, as a matter of fact, are you familiar with Proofpoint marketing? You know, are you familiar with blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You know? And then another preparation is.
[00:08:37] Whenever we leverage third party proof. We always say, here's the situation that we found them in, or you was there chance here's, here's where they were at. Here's their was their pains and challenges here was what we put in place to fix those pains and challenges here was the outcome. And here's why it's a celebrate accomplishment.
[00:08:54] You know what I'm saying? So, That's that's another level of preparation, but when you have that, and I know it sounds for a lot of people, it sounds like a lot of work. You only have to do it once. Do you know what I mean? So if you're a rep at heart working for someone else, you get your new territory, you know, you only have to do it once a year.
[00:09:11] Once you have all that data, you got that data and then it makes prospecting and calling in, or, or sales calls so easy because you know more about their business than they do because who the hell is going to read a 10 K. If you're like a CFO or, Oh, sorry. Bad example. If you're like a CTO or if you're a VP of sales, like you gotta read your own 10.
[00:09:31] K. So if I read it for you, if I read it, I mean, just focus on the things that I can sell. Um, I'm coming at at your w as a, as a, you know, a specialist, not a, not a salesperson. So. Couple of things I want to unpack a little bit. Right. So if, if you're in a new sales role, right. Or if you're just looking to increase your conversion to close, right.
[00:09:55] Is. Have a good sense of what are your current accounts or what are the current accounts your company has. Right. And having a good understanding of like, why did they go with us? What did we help them with? What was the result of that? And then how can we take that information and inject that into the sales conversations that we're having?
[00:10:15] Right. So that's what I hear you're saying. And, and, and being very focused or specific on, you know, that. Targeted account list that you keep talking about. And I would have been assumed there's a lot of sellers out there that haven't even put that targeted account list together, which is the first step.
[00:10:34] Right. And how do we go about doing that? Yeah, there's two misconceptions about salespeople in my opinion. And I will argue to the death of anybody on, especially this one, sales can be taught that like we aren't just hatched. We didn't follow the sky. I've been to this 15 years. I sucked to day one, probably hell year three, but repetition.
[00:10:54] Right? Repetition. Okay. I will definitely, I will. I will find anybody to say I can now I can't teach you to be a good person. Or empathetic or, you know, like I can't teach that, but I can teach it. We can teach everything else. So that's number one. But number two, is that what you're getting at salespeople?
[00:11:11] Don't just wing it. Well, the good ones don't just wing it. You know what I mean? Yeah. And that's the thing is I'm seeing this because you're laughing because you're like, well, actually they do you're right. A lot of them do the good or the mediocre, but not the grades. You know what I mean? And let me flip this on you, because if you're going to the, you know, the, the pocket of the preparation, it is a lot of work, but what's, I think what's worse.
[00:11:34] What's worse showing up every day going, Oh, what am I going to do today? I mean, to me, that's far more stressful and way, much more like, like energy drain, trying to figure it out, you know, and then pick up the phone and they call the answer and you're like, Oh yeah, uh, You just play in defense, man. You know what I mean?
[00:11:53] I want to play offense. That's the fun parts. Right? So if I can do that stuff up front, you know, then I'm good to go. And your question, I think what you said, how do you, how do you find it? What was it? So, so I, you know, you've mentioned a couple of times this, you know, Preparation is key. If you want to be great in sales.
[00:12:12] Right. And you mentioned a couple of times as he's having that targeted account list, like getting very specific, whether it's geographically industry, you know, there's a lot of things that you can do. You know, be specific and narrow on that target account list. Right. But how would you suggest somebody who maybe hasn't put a targeted account list together or doesn't even know what that is?
[00:12:35] Where would they start identifying here's what should maybe be on that list and like, how do I go about creating it? Gotcha. Sorry. I totally like darted away from that deck, but I went on my own little tangent there, but anyway, I've got to make those points. Cause I still believe in them the way that you would find this, I think easiest way to find it.
[00:12:55] Whether you're an entrepreneur and you're selling your own or you work for a company. If you work for a company, they're going to give you a territory. In most cases, if you're on your own, you know, you know, you've got to define that. How I wouldn't say to define it is where have you had success previously?
[00:13:12] Okay. With whom, what companies list them out. And if you're thinking, Oh, it's my first day of sales. I've never sold anything before. Hmm. Well, your company has, so where have they had the most success? You know what I mean? And what you look at is you're going to find rhythmic patterns and you're going to say, man, I have soul.
[00:13:31] I have, I we've had a lot of success in professional services. All right. Professional services, a wide brush, right? Wherever we had the most success. Oh, digital agencies. Why have we had so much success there? We sell what we sell. They S you know, like they sell marketing, they sell awareness, we sell conversion, perfect pairing.
[00:13:52] Right. We understand each other. We respect each other. So whether you're a company to firsthand the job, your company has had success, selling something to someone. Otherwise you wouldn't have a job there because they wouldn't exist. And then when you look at that, you go, all right. Where have we had the most success here, and then you go through your, your, well, if you're building a territory list by yourself, you just look at where we have the most at-bats, what are the greatest stories who's close to the quickest, right?
[00:14:18] Where are they geographically located, blah, blah, blah. And you find all of a sudden that territory coalesced or your, your, you know, your target that you're trying to, to help and serve and sell to is right underneath your nose. It's been there the whole time. And then you put that, that hold that preparation behind that, because now you've read, you've identified it, you become a master in their business, in their politics, in their city, in, in their pain and their salt.
[00:14:46] And then you become a master of their challenges and their pains is nothing worse than a salesperson. Cause you, you probably get, I mean, I'm gonna, you know, chief closing officers, are you calling? Um, you know, I'm a co-founder I ain't hit up all the time by that salespeople. And the worst part is, is we don't know anything about what we do.
[00:15:04] So, and I have changed pains and challenges. I'm not going to say it on the air because I get harassed, but you know, we have our own R L tans that we're like, Oh man, we got to fix that. Or I wish there was a solution for this. We, we buy stuff too. Right? Um, but when you go in and you say, you know, for a, a, you know, for, for, for a sales training, coaching operation, that's specifically, you know, Taylor's to professional service company has even more specifically digital agencies.
[00:15:30] We find that, you know, a lot of people in your position struggle with boom, boom, boom. Does does that ring a bell? Yeah, it does. And specifically in Minnesota where the pandemic has been shutting down a lot of businesses, I'm sure you find it hard to get people on the far. Right? These are real pains. I'm like, you're damn right.
[00:15:47] That sucks versus, Hey, you need sales training. Like, you know what I mean? Like what, what call are you taking? Yeah. And then you're telling me stuff. I didn't know about like, Oh, I didn't know that was going on this week, man. Where'd you hear that? Oh, it's in your, uh, business journal. I never knew that acquisition happened.
[00:16:06] Yeah. Do you want me to make an, you know what I'm saying? Like now this is not a cold call. This is not a sales call. This is just two people. One just happens to know a lot more about me and my business and my industry, whatever. Then I do. I'm going to listen because I'm a master of their pain and their challenges.
[00:16:25] And yeah, I, I have a product that solves that, but we'll get there some more of your pain, all ties back to that preparation. Right? So something you said earlier on. In working in these large organizations, which you were able to, you know, hold, you know, in the top percentile. Um, and you said something which I think is so crucial in anybody who's just getting into sales, or even if you've been in, in sales, when you're looking to get better, find out who who's the best, who's the best there who's who holds the records.
[00:16:54] Who's staying at the top and do exactly what you did. Yeah. You know, um, watch them, monitor them, sit in on their calls, you know, like. Get your ego out of the way and ask for some help and be open to getting better and learning. Right. And I think even more so for people that maybe have been in sales for awhile, as soon as they think they know it all, or they stop being open to learning or trying things and they're in trouble.
[00:17:16] Um, but to stay on topic here, um, you said, you know, through doing that, you noticed a lot of similarities is, is one, is those people were, you know, they had their scripts and they had their preparation. Um, And they became masters at the people that were, you know, on their targeted account list. Um, and then you even mentioned that, you know, over there at closers that you guys spend a whole month on teaching preparation.
[00:17:43] So that's obviously an important piece to the puzzle. And what are some things that you can tell our listeners like. Where can they go? What can they do? How can they get started to be more prepared than they are today to become masters at the pain or the industry or the area that is on their count list?
[00:18:10] Number one. Okay. And if you don't mind, I'm going to play both sides because I have tale of two lives and I'm thinking there's tailed to listeners, right? Um, chill to listeners right now that are, I'm an entrepreneur I'm new to sales brand new, or I'm just plateaued. And I work for a big company. Yeah. So what I would say to all of those people first and foremost is find people that are better than you, right?
[00:18:35] They're not hard to find if you do work for a company. I mean, it's, the metrics are probably posted every week or you can go to the CRM or whatever you can.
[00:18:46] And if, if you don't have, if you don't work for a company or you're, you know, what they call me or talk to Brandon Mortenson, or, you know, talk to Colin here, talk to people that are great because here's the thing. When I was young, younger, and hitting these guys up, they all would sit down with me. They would all share why, because.
[00:19:08] Because when you get to that level, you've made the money, you've won the awards, blah, blah, blah. Right. You, you want to give back and you love this crap because if you're at that level, you've had a good life and you you've, you know, you want other people to have a good life too. I mean, hell I, 15 years, I didn't need to quit.
[00:19:24] IBM. I was at the top of the heat man. You know, like it was, we were making good money. It was good, but something was missing. So I'm the living proof. That we wants to help you. So reach out, you know what I mean? I mean, that's number one anyway. And then Vic, to answer your question, how do you get started is number one?
[00:19:42] I think you have to understand your pocket. I mean, that's like if you're going to go. Okay. So, so to answer your, you know, we've talked about a previously, but like to create your Talor to create your target. You just got her CD pocket and we talked about this already, but it's where have where a success or he lived, then you find those reasons.
[00:19:58] Okay. So how do you become a master? How do you become prepared? How do you become an expert on what that list is? Who is on that list? How do you start to speak their language? How do you know their problems better than they do? That's kind of what I think I want to tap into a little bit.
[00:20:20] Great, um, how you find it. So you left the market or this, you let the market decide, you know, the market doesn't lie or that, um, so that's, how is, let's say I've identified that it is professional service companies and digital agencies. Okay. What I'm going to do is, is I'm going to go and I'm going to subscribe.
[00:20:43] If I can send them, they will let you, but I'm going to try and become members of groups, Slack channels, LinkedIn, you know, like all that kind of stuff. Right. I want to know what they're talking about. What are they living every day? I'm going to reach out to them and I'm going to say, Hey, you don't know me, but I do this.
[00:21:01] And if it's okay, I've found that we've had a lot of success doing this. Could I just ask you day in the life questions? You'd be shocked at how many people are like, Oh, so is this a sales call or not a sales call? No, I just want to get really, and I don't have any experience. I've never worked for a insert, whatever it is there, you know, like what's the day in the life.
[00:21:21] What are your pains? What are your challenges? Right. Um, I'm pulling 10 Gates guys. If you're selling it to publicly traded companies and you're not pulling 10 games, you're nuts. It's, it's literally a commitment that these companies have that they've made to their shareholders. They have to do it. So if you sell your piece software and you know, you're looking through someone's 10 K and they got to replace any, or, you know, they're, they're getting smoked by license audits and whatever.
[00:21:47] It's right there and, and no one reads them except the CFO. So you come in and you tell some CML, a marketing person. So there's commitments you guys have made. And specifically in bottom line revenue growth in that sector rate here, were you aware of that? They're now paying attention to what you have to say.
[00:22:03] They don't know. They don't know that. So I guess what I say is that as the market doesn't lie, the market also is the best teacher. Because all this information exists out there. It's just, you gotta, you just gotta wrangle it in. You know what I mean? And, and, and once you have these conversations, if you have those conversations, some people like to listen to me, like I'm never doing that.
[00:22:25] That's fine. You can still be a passive learner on these Slack channels or Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups or podcasts or clubhouse now, or whatever. You can listen to what these people I struggle with. So then when I call you call and I go, Hey, um, you know, You may be the one, but I talked to people in your position daily.
[00:22:45] And there's the three things that you really struggle with. Any of those resonate with you? Uh, definitely the first one. Okay. How long has it been a problem? You know, little sound there. How long has it been a problem? You know, what are you planning to fix that this year? Yeah, we are. You already know that you already know their plan, fixing it because you read their 10 K you know what I'm saying?
[00:23:02] It is not hard. It's right there. It's literally all this information exists, but people are just too lazy. Yeah, it take that step to just pull that information. Yeah. Once. Yeah. All right. So never happened. Try to companies re read the 10 case, get the information that you're looking for. Um, and you know, if may, let's say, let's assume that you're not working with public traded companies, get into their groups, get on their newsletters, find out what they're talking about.
[00:23:29] I'm assuming we might find you Michela on a digital agency room on clubhouse being a fly on the wall.
[00:23:40] Ironically, we might be starting one. So yeah, we're definitely, I mean, clubhouse is already a gym because you get to start it now. Right. It's like the ground floor. So yes, but if clubhouse was five years old, absolutely. We would be to all of them. I have to actually turn the notifications off on clubhouse sometimes because it gets too easy to just want to yeah.
[00:24:00] Jump in and see what's going on. Um, and then you ended up late to meetings and who knows what else happens? Um, so yeah, totally, totally now, real, real quick. I'm not going to interrupt you, but for those people that like. Tuned out cause they heard 10 K. Okay. If you're not selling into publicly traded companies, there is Crunchbase there's Alaric zone where the right one, there's a bunch of these places that you can find.
[00:24:28] You're not going to find the level of 10 KV, you know, but you're going to find enough level of pain and challenge that they're facing. Even if, you know, there's a lot of pain or problems or things that are going to be somewhat universal across specific industries, like a lot of them are dealing with the same stuff.
[00:24:47] So I'm guessing you could probably make some assumptions. Um, you know, that if material, surety of companies in that space have this problem, there's a good chance that the other there's are two. Um, so, you know, um, even if you can, you can't find that level of information. There's probably some assumptions that you can make based on as you start to collect this information.
[00:25:06] Generally, you have a better idea if it's going to apply, you know, to, to all of the digital agencies that you reach out to. Okay. And so, so tell me a little bit about your, you know, your secret sauce, your specialty, this conversion to close, you know, what sort of problems do you see and what are some fine tuning things that people can do to like really increase their from conversion to close.
[00:25:35] All right, you're speaking my language. You got me all rammed up. You see them is this, you know, myself to, to pass. Um, so I don't want to beat this to death. There are three stages that we coach and train on that I'm going to talk about right now. And if I were to start a new job, I would just do exactly what I would do.
[00:25:52] So we eat our own cooking, you know what I mean? Like I'm constantly updating our, our playbook because I learned something. I mean, I just got ghosted last week. I don't to go sit a lot. And I was like, damn. And I don't exactly why I got ghosted. And then I had, I got a main, just immediate, which is tell me no, so I can go away.
[00:26:11] You know what I mean? Right. But, but here's the thing of what maybe is, and I'll get into your question is. We laugh. We laugh about this in our, on our cohorts, in our clients. We always laugh. You know, we have our little ring ring, you know, when we celebrate and we also have our want want, when somebody gets a maybe, or they get ghosted because it's not their fault.
[00:26:31] It's your fault. You didn't ask the right question. That's your fault. Not their fault. People pissy about getting ghosted. It's like. What didn't you do? You're not going to blame your prospect. They don't owe you that. What did she do? So, number one is preparation. We've spent a lot of time on Saturday to talk to you about preparation, but there's a handful of events that you want to do in my opinion, which is, um, we work on getting the pocket.
[00:26:55] So we teach them how to identify a pocket. Okay. Um, being an, a master in that pocket, I think I've already, we've already covered that. Right. So, okay. So then. Once you have the pocket pulling third party verification or third party proof of success. Makes it a hell of a lot easier, especially in professional services.
[00:27:15] I told you the two pans are the two things you have to overcome. It's all about trust. Those are the, basically that in a nutshell is just, do I trust you? Do I not trust you? Because you professional services. You're buying me. There's not like a thing behind me or as a team probably, but you got to trust that I'm really this team to do what we sold ya.
[00:27:35] Um, so finding that third-party proof. And the last thing is getting your dang story down. You know what I mean, giving a, telling the story to get all that stuff from the pocket that we just described. And putting it into a consumable, like, what do you do? So what do you do? So how can you help just having it right there and getting that down?
[00:27:58] Right. Cause nothing worse when you, when you hear someone who doesn't have their storyteller. Oh. And then at the end, you're still like, okay, where do you, what do you do? I'm more confused now. I thought I knew what you do now. I really don't know what you do.
[00:28:14] Yeah. And last to be honest guys, like a lot of us and I've started, this is my fourth startup. So trust me. And I tell you I've sucked at it too. Like when I say you my own cooking it's because I get my butt kicked just like the rest of you. It's just, I write it down and jot it down. And I pivot, you know, Um, so that's the first thing, that level of organization don't skip.
[00:28:35] It just don't write the best people in the world that I used to follow. And I'm telling you, these are in the world cause literally a hundred thousand sales reps at Oracle. I think when I was working there like five sales reps, maybe it was IBM, whatever, they were both just a shitload. And the best of the best always had scripts on their computer.
[00:28:54] When I was at Verizon was a field gig, the best that has had scripts on their, um, on their steering wheel. These are the guys who do this for ever, you know what I mean? That's the best. So do that. Number two is how to increase conversion is. It's going to hurt in the beginning or the end. Here's what I mean, ask the hard questions or you're going to, or you're going to, you're going to feel the pain of asking a hard question in the beginning is such a softer pain than wondering what the hell happened.
[00:29:30] Why aren't they taking my calls anymore? I don't want to be, Oh, they haven't even looked at my emails. What's going on. You know what I mean? That's sucks. So we do a thing called fast 15. It's basically, it's a kind of a pre-qualification qualification, right? Is we say, all right, what's going on with your business?
[00:29:47] And, you know, tell me what's going on in your business that may need improvement. And then leads, use like a doctor, just let them go. Right. And then as they're talking about it, you're okay. Okay. We don't do that. We might do this. I mean, chances are they looked you up before they took the meeting sometimes not, um, Or they don't understand truly what you do.
[00:30:06] So once they say, you know, you said a few things that really stuck out, and then you want to unpack those things, right? Because you want to understand what's the level before everyone jumps to band, Oh, budget of 30. It will. If you don't even know you're leaving dollars on the table, if you just, you just listened for what you want to listen for.
[00:30:23] You know what I mean? Let these people roll. It's unbelievable. How much more you can sell someone. When you find out, Oh, that's just, that's what they think the problem is, again, in fact, that was earlier preparation, knowing their challenges. You're like, Whoa, you said something interesting about this. Can you be a little more specific?
[00:30:42] And then they go on and go on. Right. And all of a sudden you're like, so it looks like the theme of this problem is everything, but these things in particular, Might be the focus. Yeah. Yeah. What's your plan on addressing these, right? What, what are you guys going to do about it? Well, why are we starting the beginning of a RFP?
[00:31:01] I don't know. You know, something like that. You're like, okay, well, I can help you write that RFP, whatever, all of a sudden, you start doing this and doing that. And then you have permission in my opinion to say, What do you think the timeline and this is, you know, are you driving? Are you the, the signer who signs this check, um, who approves this word's budget coming from?
[00:31:18] You know, uh, let's the other one bands, budget, authority, need timeline, verify it needs, you know, and then you get the rest of it. So if their authority there's, you know, they ask budget, have you done any research on how much, something like this might cost effects? You know what I mean? They're giving you this stuff, right?
[00:31:34] And then you cut it. That's what we call the 15th. Disruption, bang. Hey, you know what, we're at the top of 15 minutes. Do you have another, the meeting or can we go over a little bit? No one booked 60 minute meetings, obviously back to back, obviously, except for me. Uh, but now I have do, but, um, you know, so you have you, you cut it and then we can use you to the next step in our sales process.
[00:31:53] Is this cause, guess what? You have a sales process, right? It's probably preparation. Whether it's a good or bad one, something is better than nothing. And then you run them through that, you know, agenda, follow up all those little things in between when you run a discovery and you're on a proposal and you close.
[00:32:09] And when you ask hard questions upfront, like, you know, like basically, you know, like what, who gets fired if this doesn't happen, nobody. All right. But you know, at how much do you think this has cost with the cost of what's the cost of inaction? I dunno. Probably not that much. You know? So, so what you're saying is this really isn't an urgent matter.
[00:32:30] No, it is not an urgent. Yeah. And I think that's it. I think that's an important point because a lot of sellers get so caught up in just trying to get them to the next stage of the sales cycle, that they don't understand that, that qualification or discovery, whatever you want to call it. It's. It's more important for you as a seller than it is for them.
[00:32:48] Like, is this prospect worth taking on this journey? Is this prospect, you know, be beat guarded with your pipeline. Don't just shove anybody who's willing to go there. Cause they'll give you the next. Yes. Like, do I want you in there? Are you worth my time? Do you validate what I do. Do you, do you understand the impact of me helping you?
[00:33:11] Do you value that? Is this important to you? If it's not it's okay. Um, but you've saved yourself a lot of time and hassle, and then you don't have a bunch of junk in your pipeline that you're kind of just like, you know, I don't know. Maybe it's going to close, not sure. Um,
[00:33:28] So frustrating, you know, it's funny you say that, man, like, everyone's worried about how much they got in their bank account and they're not concerned with how much time they've wasted to get it there. Do you know what I mean? It's, it's baffling to me, how much time people will waste to not do the right things in sales.
[00:33:48] Right. And they celebrate that, that win, that one win. And you go, bro, if you would have a little more elbow grease into this. You could add five of those and it would have taken a half the time, you know, but people listen, man, I've done a Judd pike garbage before. I mean, we're, I'm not immune to mistakes.
[00:34:06] I'm a human being. I'm a sales, human beings. We make mistakes all the time in the business. And now we just collect nos all day, but it's just a lot easier life. If sales is your, is your path that this is what you choose to do with your, with your life. Um, organization preparation is. Yeah. Yeah. And I, and I think that's what separates the I'd rather get to that note early on than later, and be questioning like, what did I do wrong?
[00:34:31] Why are they go see me? Why are they giving me a maybe, um, there's so many, like in my book, that's a, that's almost a win, like, okay, great. I can, I can move on as long as it's a no. With a good, valid reason, not like, Hey, I didn't properly take you through the line of questioning for you to really understand what I do.
[00:34:50] And you said no, versus like, Hey, sorry. I understand you sell, sell ERP software, but we're in a five-year term. There's no chance, even though we hate our vendor, like. Can't do nothing, you know, that's a valid no, you know? Um, so, so, so getting to the note early is better in my opinion, but also understanding, like, do they have a good reason for saying no?
[00:35:11] Or are you just ha have you just not done a good job, a good enough job of like, explaining how you're going to help them? Um, so those are kind of two differences. Um, and, and so, and I like that you mentioned, you know, asking those tough questions early on, like get the hard stuff out of the way. Right. Um, because you don't want to be questioning, you know, why you didn't ask that later and why the deal is not closing.
[00:35:37] And I want to clarify something because I don't want to only hear the note that is very important for your time. You know what I mean? But also what I said about, I'll say it again, is. The other reason why you want to qualify early on and ask those hard questions and ask prodding questions, right? Kind of a land and expand methodology as far as learning about their business.
[00:35:58] Is a lot of people will just run to either the, the they'll run to what they want to hear. You know, you gotta be, you gotta be disciplined and you gotta keep asking and keep qualifying because there's a chance that not just to sell more product, to sell more stressed, there's a chance that they don't even know they have the pains they have.
[00:36:16] You know what I mean? You need to allow your, if you're in the servant sales business, like I am like, I, I want to serve. That's what sales is to me. Right. I want to serve. Well, it is my job as a professional salesperson to uncover all of the pains, not just the ones I want to hear. You're not only leaving money on the table, but you're not doing your job.
[00:36:35] You're not helping this person out. You know what I mean? You really want it. There's times where we found pains. If they're like, I didn't, even though that I'm like, yeah, it's been a big deal in the state of Georgia. I don't know if you, it has been crazy, but blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And this. Yeah, new law and this new thing is really going to affect taxes or blah, blah, blah, or whatever.
[00:36:51] Right. And they're like, Oh my God, I did not know that you say, yeah. So we have a solve for that. I'd love to hear about it. We'll get there. We'll get there. We'll the next step. Many our sales processes, uh, discoveries, you know, in some reading about your team and blah, blah, blah. So we'll get there ultimately to them.
[00:37:07] That's huge right there. I don't want folks to miss that clarifying things. Um, because a lot of sellers can go wrong, right? Like the prospect says one thing and they hear another, and then that's what gets logged in the CRM. So validating things and clarifying things are so important. And then also sometimes, you know, once people, once your prospects are talking.
[00:37:25] Just dig in a little bit deeper, like, Hey, make light, you know, you mentioned this one thing and I, you know, I'm not just, I don't fully understand, you know, this kid. Can you tell me more about that? Um, and, and they'll just go deeper and tell you more and, you know, people will just. Talk and talk and people enjoy talking.
[00:37:44] You let that, you, you know, provide them a safe space where you're not just like trying to push them to the next. Yes. And you're really curious and really asking good questions because you want to solve some problems or identify some problems. You know, they'll tell you way more than, than you probably were expecting.
[00:38:06] People want to be heard people don't like to be. So, you know, you hear the old people. Don't like to be solely like to buy it. And that's, that's fair, but people just like to be heard, you know what I mean? People want to be heard, give them that space. Cause whatever role they're in, unless they're the CEO or whatever, if I don't get to be heard it well, you know what I mean?
[00:38:23] Completely heard. So when you just, you know, open the floor and, and, and, and create a vulnerable space, We're where people can really talk about their problems, you know, cause if it is an entrepreneur and it is a lot of our audit, a lot of founder led trainings that we do that is their livelihood. That is their livelihood.
[00:38:41] If this doesn't go well, they are screwed. So give them the space to, to just, you know, unload their, their problems with their challenges and the ones that I can help. Like for revenue growth, we will help the ones that we can't. How I learned to make an introduction to my buddy Colin, or, Hey, I'll make an introduction to Sarah or whatever, and then do it.
[00:39:02] Do what you say you're going to do it, actually do it in a timely manner. Great. Cause there's so many people that, you know, screw ups, business relationships by just not doing what they say they're going to do or doing it, and then not doing it for weeks and having some lame excuse on why they didn't do it.
[00:39:20] When you know, there's like, there's just. Simple things that you can do to have more success in, in those relationships. Um, it, it it's been, um, a lot of fun. We're gonna kind of wrap it up here. Any closing thoughts from the chief closer over there at close or media?
[00:39:40] Uh, no, I think it has been a great interview, man. You have some great questions and I hope that your listeners, if, if anything, they take, you know, they captured two things from this is take the time to prepare. Take the time to organize, you know what I mean? And then don't be lazy when it comes to, to getting to the know fast because it isn't just, you know, it's not, it's not just a waste of time to, to, to not to try and seek that.
[00:40:06] Yes. But you're also leaving money on the table. You know what I mean? Ask good questions, qualify those questions. Listen to your clients, let them speak. Let them share. And if you can help them, help them. I love it. Um, tell folks with, you know, links, places to go find you, check out the podcast, training, all that good stuff.
[00:40:27] Um, what do you want, w where do you want them to go? And we'll include all that in the show notes for, yeah.
[00:40:36] Right on. So we're, um, cold places, closer to media.com. You're gonna have everything. So you'll get, you know, that sort of, so we do a podcast called coffin closers, where we interview incredible people like colonists looking at you on the show. Um, and so we, so that copy closers, uh, or sorry, closing media.com uh, checkup, copy closers, um, on the podcasts.
[00:40:56] And, um, we're going to be launching this clubhouse thing. Um, shortly, we're going to have a space for marketers and sales folks to come together and be called cocktails and closers. And, uh, have a, have a cocktail and just kind of erode our frustration. So we will drop all those links in the show notes.
[00:41:13] And if you're listening to the podcast, please subscribe, register, review, share with your friends and we're listening for your feedback. Thank you for tuning into this episode of sales hustle. Are you a sales professional? Looking to take your sales career to the next level. If the answer is yes, then I want you to go over to sales, cast.com, check us out.
[00:41:36] And if you feel that you are ready, set up a time to talk with me and my co-founder Chris, I'm your host column Mitchell. And if you enjoyed this episode, feel free to leave us a review, share the podcast with your friends.