Andy Paul joins Collin Mitchell in this episode of the Sales Hustle podcast. Let’s hear from Andy about his sales story with the way he’s experienced the emergence of new technologies, products, and services over the years and how he played his part in introducing and selling them to customers as a sales professional. He also divulges on the most important aspects of his sales career that made him a Global Sales Expert.
Andy Paul is the well-known host of “Sales Enablement with Andy Paul,” the top-rated sales podcast that’s been considered as the go-to resource for sales leaders and top sales producers around the world with more than 900 episodes to date and millions of downloads. Andy has been recognized as #8 in LinkedIn’s list of Top 50 Global Sales Experts who has also authored two Bestselling books: Amp Up Your Sales and Zero-Time Selling.
With over four decades of experience in sales, he has sold everything from computers to small businesses to complex communications systems that were worth tens of millions of dollars to some of the world’s largest enterprises. It was only when he closed over half a billion dollars worth in products and services that he started his own company - The Sales House, a sales leadership accelerator dedicated for VP’s of Sales and Sales Managers in fulfillment of his mission to share and educate about the power of continuous learning for continuous acceleration in their performance.
Find out more and reach out to Andy Paul through the following links:
Also check out his podcast - Sales Enablement with Andy Paul at https://pod.link/1046045197
Join the Sales Hustle Community! Text “Hustle” to 424-401-9300.
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Episode 83 - Andy Paul
Collin Mitchell: [00:00:00] Welcome to the sales hustle. The only no BS podcast, where we bring you the real raw uncut experiences from sales change makers across various industries. The only place where you can get what you're looking for too. Uh, your sales game today's episode is brought to you by sales cast sales cast helps sales professionals transformed the relationship building process and win their dream clients.
[00:00:30] I'm your host, Colin Mitchell. What is happening? Sales hustlers. Welcome to another episode. I'm extremely excited today for the guests. I'm going to be talking with Andy Paul. He's the host of the top rated sales podcast sales enablement with Andy Paul with more than 900. Episodes to date and millions of downloads.
[00:00:51] Andy, thanks so much for coming on today,
[00:00:53] Andy Paul: [00:00:53] Tom. Thanks for inviting me. It's been looking forward to it. Yeah,
[00:00:56] Collin Mitchell: [00:00:56] no, we just started chatting and I was like, we got to hit record and get going. Hopefully
[00:01:02] Andy Paul: [00:01:02] good stuff behind. Yeah,
[00:01:05] Collin Mitchell: [00:01:05] exactly. Um, Awesome. So I'm happy to have you on here. You know, we kind of have some topics that we're going to dig in today, that things that you enjoy talking about.
[00:01:13] And I believe we're going to have a ton of value for all of our sales, hustlers listening. Uh, but just give us the short version. Like what's Andy Paul's sales story.
[00:01:22] Andy Paul: [00:01:22] It's a long one. Um, I'm, I'm ancient, I'm old, but, um, yeah, I graduated college with a history degree and no discernible job skills. So I went into sales and landed, uh, selling computers at the time, standalone computers, uh, to small mid enterprises working out at that time, kind of called borough second largest computer company in the world at that time.
[00:01:46] And, uh, yeah, my day was, uh, Driving up to a business park, somewhere in the East Bay of the Bay area and getting on my car and. Making calls all day long. Uh, at least at the beginning. And, uh, until I built up a pipeline, but yeah, just door to door in the businesses, selling, selling computer systems for accounting, accounting applications.
[00:02:10] And then, uh, go ahead. Yeah.
[00:02:13] Collin Mitchell: [00:02:13] So some, some real cold Colleen.
[00:02:16] Andy Paul: [00:02:16] Oh, yeah, absolutely real cold calling, uh,
[00:02:20] Collin Mitchell: [00:02:20] hide behind your
[00:02:20] Andy Paul: [00:02:20] phone. Well, so we're in a big bullpen and the boss would come in at eight 30 and turn the lights out. So when the lights were out and you weren't gone, there was no. Uh, and this was, you know, about to date myself too horribly, but yeah, it was before PCs and, uh, you know, we shared a phone.
[00:02:42] I sat cheek by jowl with another guy, and there's 16 of us in this room. And two, every two people shared a phone and yeah, those were, uh, those were the good old days.
[00:02:53] Collin Mitchell: [00:02:53] But turn the lights out, get out of here, hit the pavement. Yeah.
[00:02:57] Andy Paul: [00:02:57] Yeah. And I, yeah, I ended up. I don't know why, but, and I'm doing reasonably well making president's club.
[00:03:02] First couple of years got promoted quickly to sales management and Oh, somewhere in my fourth year on the job, uh, in sales is start losing seals to PCs. There were selling in today's dollars, quarter million dollar systems were selling and. I remember going into one customer's office, I thought for sure, we're going to close it.
[00:03:27] Actually, I had spoke to the decision maker the day before the owner of the company and my sales guy wanted me to go down with him to help close the deal and we get there. And so I was yelling, Hey, I just can't, can't give you the order. That's a lie. He turns around credenza behind his desk and points in an Apple too.
[00:03:43] So that was that. And I went to the computer store last night. I said, this can do everything your $60,000 computer could do. And I was like, No, but there was no arguing with the guy. Uh, I mean the Apple two had just gotten distressed for the first time at that point, just, uh, but that's sort of happening a few times.
[00:04:01] So I picked up the phone and called a friend who was at Apple and said, Hey, I want to come to work there. So I actually moved from Burroughs, went to work at Apple in the early days, 81 to 83 and, uh, ran small business marketing. For Apple. So how to sell Apple twos, Apple threes. I started like the first software evangelist for Apple.
[00:04:20] My job was to go find people, develop software applications, biz for business, for Apple, to an Apple, three computers. Um, and then a couple of other startups where the company that made the first battery powered notebook computer, uh, it was a spectacular failure, uh, and then ended up sort of moving into the satellite communications field and.
[00:04:39] Worked in that for about 15, 15 years selling really large infrastructure type satellite communication systems all over the world. Which was a lot of fun. And I started my own company in 2000. So I've been doing consulting, mostly working with small, mid sized businesses to teach them how to sell big things and competing against big competitors, uh, to help scale their business started my podcast about five years ago.
[00:05:06] And then just out of the blue. Got an offer to sell my podcast to a software company, ring DNA last year. And so we've been just so focused on podcast in the last year.
[00:05:18] Collin Mitchell: [00:05:18] Wow. Okay. So I have a couple of questions for you before we dig in. So is there anything, you know, what, what if, maybe there's a couple things that you learned along the way, you know, early in your sales career that just kind of have always stuck with you and kind of molded how you view sales.
[00:05:36] Andy Paul: [00:05:36] Oh, absolutely. Yeah, I know. It's just part of my, my new book, but yeah. Yeah, I think there are really four things you need to master. Master may even be the wrong word, but be proficient at, in terms, in order to succeed at sales. And they're not served the conventional hard sales skills. There are, I call it power skills, but soft skills.
[00:06:01] Other people call them. It's just the ability to connect with another human being. Have an insatiable curiosity, be persistent, meaning be curious until you fully understand what someone is saying and then take that understanding and be creative with it and, and apply it in a way to help solve the buyer's problems that some people call an acumen.
[00:06:26] Uh, to me, the acronym is really just the applied. Knowledge of what you just learned from the customer to help them solve a problem and achieve an outcome that they want to achieve. So it's just connection, curiosity, understanding and acumen. I mean, with those basic toolsets. Yeah. I've got a history major, you know, reasonably smart guy.
[00:06:45] I'm adept at technology for a lay person, but it's certainly not a technologist, but worked in some very complex technical fields. And did extremely well, and it was nothing about my understanding of the product. It was those four elements that I talked about that enabled me to succeed. And so I think that's true of everybody.
[00:07:04] You know, if, especially in today's world where we see more technology coming into the space and sales over the last five, 10 years, it's really this golden age of sales technology, despite that it's still the human side of things. That's going to be the differentiator for you. And you just can't ignore that.
[00:07:23] And there's some writers are smarter than I am that look at the future and see, what's evolving with AI and say, um, like Jeff Colvin in his book, humans are underrated. Oh, it says, yeah, there's a service consensus. Developing that, those to learn how to succeed in the future in this more heavily automated and machine learning environment are those who learn how to become more intensely human meaning.
[00:07:48] Do the things that humans do uniquely and do them better than other people. So connect better, be more curious, develop a deeper understanding, have more empathy, build that rapport, apply your acumen and. Focus on those things and you'll come out on top.
[00:08:06] Collin Mitchell: [00:08:06] So what I hear you're saying and is, is basically leaning more into those things will be the way to stand out in the, you know, other, the sea of salespeople that are going to be leaning more into automating.
[00:08:24] And using technology to try to make their job a bit easier.
[00:08:30] Andy Paul: [00:08:30] Well, I mean, I use technology, obviously it'd make my job easier too, but I, I use it to make me better in those four areas that we talked about. Right. Um, and so instead of being scripted, um, less scripted instead of following rigid processes, I advocate that sales leaders need to turn the salespeople free and give them more autonomy to use these, these four factors.
[00:08:53] To help differentiate themselves to help build the connections they need with these other humans, the multiple stakeholders in every account. And yeah, people are under too tight of a reign, which I think unfortunately is too often the case these days, you can see the underperformance that we're seeing in much of B2B sales.
[00:09:13] Collin Mitchell: [00:09:13] And in, in, in that case, it's, it's really leaders, not giving sellers sort of the autonomy to, to bring them be more human, be more of themselves in these conversations, in these relationships and these connections that they're building and being more reliant on sort of the scripted sort of playbook that's laid out.
[00:09:33] Andy Paul: [00:09:33] Yeah. I mean, it's for you think about it. I mean, it's easy to come become. Yeah. Alliant on those things on these more rigid processes and there's multiple problems with that. One is, yeah. Most of the sales processes that are laid out, that companies are using have no relationship at all to the.
[00:09:53] Buying process the buyers are using, I think, a, a widening gap. And I'm certainly not the only one that sees this. And I always give this example of Gartner back in 2018. Carry out the study, the buyer enablement study. And one of the centerpieces of this was this diagram, a flow chart of the buying process.
[00:10:15] And it was this, they call it the spaghetti diagram. Cause it's like taking a handful of cooked spaghetti. Yeah. Throwing it on the wall. But at its heart, we're four jobs buyers accomplished have to accomplish to make their purchase decision, which is define a problem. Evaluate alternatives, finalize requirements, select a vendor.
[00:10:34] No. I, I think that was a little simplified. I think there's actually a couple more steps in there for buyers, but basically along that, that path and yeah, in the course of doing hundreds of hundreds of interviews, since that time with sales leaders, not one has ever said, well, yeah, we've, we've sort of modified our sales processes to align with the way the buyer's buying.
[00:10:59] Not one. And, and I always, you know, I sound a little maybe amused word, but when I read about sales leaders talking about, Oh, we're practicing modern sales and you look at their sales processes and you can Google them online and find sales process for companies all over it. It's like, Huh, you know, I was using that same sales process back in the seventies when I started selling, it's not changed.
[00:11:29] Yes. We put a veneer of technology on top of it and yes, we've, we have changed dramatically. The top of the funnel, the whole lead gen activity. That's completely different. But once you get into the heart of sales qualification demo, or, you know, discovery, qualification, demo, whatever order you go in. It's the same.
[00:11:48] I had that same process decades ago. So it's time to really change, right. Instead of marketing, how we sell based on our steps that are, you know, our processes let's face it. Most sales processes are created for the convenience of management, not for the seller and not for the buyer. And I think until we start making that change, And, you know, a great new book out and it's called sales management that works written by Frank society's from Harvard.
[00:12:18] Um, You know, he identifies changes in buying behavior that sellers need to adapt to, that they haven't been. And that's a topic that I think sales in general is gonna have to confront as if they really want to take maximum advantage of the technology that exists and increase productivity of individuals.
[00:12:39] And in the process, help their buyers become more effective buyers. They got changed the processes they use.
[00:12:46] Collin Mitchell: [00:12:46] And so what are some things that. Need to be removed from the selling process and what are some things that need to be added to the selling process to mere more of the buying process?
[00:13:00] Andy Paul: [00:13:00] Well, several things, first of all, with looking sort of a bigger scope is, is.
[00:13:06] If you look even in the gardener diagram, but other people's work on the way decisions are made, they basically fall into two stages. The first stage is someone says, we have to decide what our problem is and how we want to solve it. So they're going to, some people write about this. Paul Nutt, a researcher.
[00:13:27] Famous expert on decision science. It says, you know, people make a choice before they make a decision. They choose how they want to solve it before they decide who they want to solve it with. So, but we train salespeople to sort of focus on, Hey, let's go persuade that person to sell your, to buy our product.
[00:13:45] Sort of bypassing this whole let's really understand what the problem is and not just understand the problem, but let's help the buyer understand what their problem is. Right. That's how the value we add is to really understand the scope and the magnitude of the problem and the outcomes they want to achieve.
[00:13:59] And then we need to help them evaluate the alternatives in addition to us. Right. And then influence what we think is the best path for them to take. Yeah. So. I say sellers should spend more time thinking about the way they sell is sort of a, like if you're manufacturing and try and get your chip design into a larger solution.
[00:14:24] I mean, any solution we sell from business perspectives basically fitting into a larger system of the company's business, right? It needs to integrate seamlessly and it's going to help improve, uh, some dimension of their business. One or more dimensions of their business. So you're really should be in that first stage of selling is we're trying to solve how they want to solve their problem.
[00:14:45] You know, it's, it's not a, that's not a battle of products. That's a battle of ideas. And so it's really about how do I influence the buyer to think about the product there. As soon as the problems they want to solve and outcomes achieve in a certain way that. When they get to the end of that phase of the buying process, I say, yeah, this is how we want to solve the problem.
[00:15:09] And Oh, by the way, it happens to look a lot like Colin's product.
[00:15:13] Collin Mitchell: [00:15:13] But if I hear what you're saying correctly here is you're almost, you're almost proposing that you actually lay out the options. Like, Hey, here's some, here's some paths to solving this problem. We're one of them, but we're not the only one.
[00:15:28] And you may want to consider these.
[00:15:30] Andy Paul: [00:15:30] Absolutely. I mean, if you're doing, I know the term is a little out of fashion these days because consultant concentrative selling. Yeah. But you are become a trusted advisor. That's not out of fashion. That's still your goal as a seller. How do we become a trusted advisor to the buyer in helping them choose how they want to solve their problem?
[00:15:51] And so. In the heart of my sales career, when I saw these satellite system was worth tens of millions of dollars to customers. I routinely get to this point where I knew when the customer made that choice, that the choice of how they want to solve the problem. And I knew that. Yeah, it was largely based on what I had been selling to them.
[00:16:15] Didn't mean I'd won the order at that point, but I, the term I used for at that point is I had won the sale. Right. I'd won that first battle bout helping influence how they decide chose. They wanted to solve their problem. And then oftentimes they would bundle all that information up and they had released an RFP.
[00:16:35] To, you know, they had down select from 12 vendors. They talked to the final three, but I knew that when my competitors opened up the RFP and looked at it, they'd say
[00:16:46] Andy's been here and that's what you wanted. So I wasn't guaranteed to win it. And oftentimes those sick be three to six months between knowing I had surf influenced that first decision to get the order, but I knew I had the inside track. And so I tried to front load as much of the value. And this is why I advocate is front load as much of the value as I could into the process to help the customer decide what a, what the problem is they're trying to solve.
[00:17:14] And B what's the best way to solve it
[00:17:19] Collin Mitchell: [00:17:19] and positioning yourself as. The best path of solving that to achieve the
[00:17:25] Andy Paul: [00:17:25] outcomes they want to achieve. Yes.
[00:17:27] Collin Mitchell: [00:17:27] As long as they're aligned, as long as there's it's aligned, right? Yeah. That's right. But that might not always be aligned and that's okay. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:17:36] Andy Paul: [00:17:36] Sometimes you don't get those deals and that's fine.
[00:17:39] Collin Mitchell: [00:17:39] So, so many people want to try to force their solution to be the best option and. You're saying to not do that. No.
[00:17:49] Andy Paul: [00:17:49] Yeah. I've a boss early boss gave me this, this theory of the world, which I've used for, I said for decades, and I remember going in complaining once this wasn't my first job before I got promoted to manager, it's like that sworn I was going to win this deal or.
[00:18:06] I could have sworn I was going to win the deal and didn't, and I was bitching and moaning about it to my sales manager. And he said, stop. He said, you wanna hear my theory about the world said, sure. He said, here's my theory. It's a big world out there. Go find somebody that wants to buy our product. I was like, Oh, That's a good point and it is a big world out there.
[00:18:32] And if you get, if you, if you're, so yeah, maybe if you're running, depending on your style selling, if you're running so lean on your pipeline, that, you know, you can't afford to let someone go, what are you gonna lose it anyway? So you might as well let it go, right? You have to be this self pragmatism you need to have is so important is another lesson I learned early in my career is just.
[00:18:56] Don't kid yourself. No, you're not. No one's benefiting from that. Don't kid yourself, you know, be as ruthless as you need to be to try to qualify prospects. And if they're not going to qualify, then it's a big world. Go find another one that will. Yeah. And this is hard for sellers because. Has been this way since the beginning of time is every wants to know what's in your pipeline.
[00:19:20] Everybody wants to know what your ratios are already. Conversion ratios are. I mean, that's, these are not new. They've been around as long as their sales, but I think what's different today is that okay. Managers are trying to apply uniform metrics to the whole team instead of saying, well, Andy does it differently than Collin, and I'm going to accept that I'm going to allow that.
[00:19:42] And that was hard for managers. Ages ago. It's still hard for managers now, but yeah, I think for those people who want to be consistently successful in the business, they have to learn how to grab the autonomy, to be able to operate on their own terms. And the way you do that is by delivering.
[00:20:00] Collin Mitchell: [00:20:00] Right. And different people can get the results in different ways.
[00:20:05] And a lot of people are stuck in that sort of rat race of hitting activity, quota that a lot of managers demand
[00:20:13] Andy Paul: [00:20:13] well, they do. And that's because they're, they're fearful themselves. That's the reason, right? The reason man is there's sales bosses. I call them. Operate that way are demanding is, is they're afraid because there's a similar set of metrics that's been applied to them and they don't know how to justify any changes from that, any variations.
[00:20:35] And sometimes they don't have the skillset because we've invested so little in sales managers to help them develop in their own skillsets is, yeah, they're a little uncomfortable. I won't use, how do I work with my individual sellers to help them? Become the best version of themselves and in the process, maybe they vary from our process bit by bit.
[00:20:56] Um, instead it's sort of like everybody needs to be, Hey, everybody needs five X pipeline coverage. It's like, well rolling. Do that. I don't think so.
[00:21:06] Collin Mitchell: [00:21:06] So I've got a question for you. I gotta ask you now you called them sales bosses. Explain
[00:21:12] Andy Paul: [00:21:12] that. Well, I, I just, instead of trying to distinguish between a C level on a director level and a frontline sales manager, it's just sales bosses.
[00:21:23] It's easier. My shorthand for the sales hierarchy and. Yeah, there are a lot of problems there and yeah, I've been one for a long time. And so I am perfectly aware of the problems. I'm not perfect by any stretch of imagination, but I think we're, again, as I said earlier, I think we're kidding ourselves about just how modern our selling is.
[00:21:45] And the impetus for change has to come from the management level. And it has to look at really how our bar is actually buying and shouldn't we be aligning our processes more closely to theirs instead of being stuck on discovery or qualification. I mean, we need to do discovery. We need to do qualification, but let's well, I mean, let's take discovery.
[00:22:09] This is one of my passions is that. You look at the normal sales process and there's a discovery stage, right? And there are exit criteria for discovery. Well, here's the problem with that is you don't do discovery only once during a sales process, during a buying process, you should do discovery every time you interact with a buyer, you're doing discovery.
[00:22:34] Uh, there's always more, you can learn, you don't have a full, complete, full understanding of what they want, uh, buyers, as it goes through the process. And they'll say they're talking to three or four different vendors. What happens is they get smarter and educated about what it is that they potentially could accomplish, or, Hey, they got smarter about what the problem is.
[00:22:53] B they get smarter about what potential outcomes they can achieve. Well, if you're not continually going back in and rediscovering. And understanding what they think and what their perspectives are and what might've changed with them. Sometimes even as a result of what you tell them, then you're going to miss something.
[00:23:12] And so saying that there's one point of discovery is foolhardy. That's not the way the world works. I mean, qualification, you know, look at the way we do qualifications. First of all, always have a huge part of the sales universe hung up on Bandt, which I think is pointless. But you can use some of those points as our, a preliminary qualification.
[00:23:37] But my belief is is that your prospect is not fully qualified until they quantify the value they're going to receive from using your product or service. And if they can't quantify it, it means they have not done the internal business justification for the purchase, which means that the people have to make the ultimate call.
[00:24:00] Right ready to make that call. But instead, most sales processes, we got the single point in our stage in our sales stage of qualification. We qualify every time you meet the customer, you're going to qualify and requalify them. So looking at these things as sort of standalone events, as opposed to part of a process, Well, I think it really mirrors what the buyer is going through because they're continually discovering they're continually re-evaluating their business case and what they can achieve based on what they've learned from vendors, your sales process has to match that.
[00:24:34] Collin Mitchell: [00:24:34] Interesting. Yeah. Now I have, um, what I'm curious is is you talk to a lot of people in sales clearly, uh, you talked to a lot of sales leaders or sales bosses, and so I'm curious, is there anybody out there. That are doing some of these things that you're talking about and you feel are doing a good job.
[00:24:58] Andy Paul: [00:24:58] That's a great question. I mean, clearly. Some companies are doing things well and succeeding. Right. But in success though, especially in the tech space is sort of interesting because a lot of it's due to circumstance, right. Being in the right place at the right time. Uh, oftentimes credit's given to their sales process, which isn't really the case.
[00:25:20] I mean, they're executing it and scaling it appropriately, but even then it could still be still be better. Um, Yeah, I think there's lots of good sales leaders out there. I just, I still would say that most cases from my conversations is they're not. As buyer oriented or as interest in being aligned with the buyers, I think they, they need to be.
[00:25:46] And so one of my metrics that I look at that I try to encourage people to look at and sales leaders look at is looking at productivity differently. And so for me, productivity and sales is measured just like productivity in the economy is it's a rate of output per unit of investment, or, you know, have input.
[00:26:07] And so I look at sales productivity as a measure of dollars of revenue generated per hour of sales time. Hmm. And as best I can tell, and the data is not very good and sales, as we all know, it's never been, but in my conversations with people on my show, people more from more from academia that have a little more insight into this than I do.
[00:26:33] But based on everything, I'd tell us this, this basic measure of sales productivity has not improved in the last 20 or 30 years, which. Given all the advantages of technology that we have today, you would logically think that it should. And yeah, the question is it gets back to, are we using the technology in a way to.
[00:26:58] To help productivity in the truest sense, I suppose, just doing more things, right. As I measure or tell folks, this is, you know, the baseline, think about your buyers, want to achieve you when people make a decision and Herbert Simon who won a Nobel prize for his work on decision-making and other things and economics back in the day.
[00:27:19] Sixties or seventies. I forget when he won it actually, but he created a thing called the philosophy of bounded, rationality. And he said that when people make decisions, they have faced the three same constraints, time, information, and understanding. And so I believe through my own experience and sort of research and reading is that what buyers are trying to accomplish as they're trying to.
[00:27:45] Quickly gather information to make a good decision with the least investment of time and resources possible. That's what your buyers are trying to accomplish, which means that most cases they make what's called a good enough decision, right? Because they have constraints of time, information and understanding.
[00:28:05] You know, I can never have enough time. They can never have perfect information provided by vendors and they can never perfect understanding of the problem with it central solutions. Right. So
[00:28:19] when you think about, okay, well, how do we set up our selling to it? To deal with this, right. Is how can we help the customers more quickly come to an understanding of their problem? How can we help them move through their process with the least amount of time possible to help them make that good decision and those buyers or sellers actually do that today are the ones that I think are more consistently successful is.
[00:28:44] And I was always, my goal is, yeah, how can I help the buyer get to that point where they say, wow, this is good. This is good enough. Right. I could spend another two months researching the solution, but the outcome is not going to make me improve my output or whatever my top line goal was by 10% or 15% or whatever.
[00:29:03] Um, so we're gonna pull the trigger now.
[00:29:05] Collin Mitchell: [00:29:05] So how so, how does a seller set the stage to like. I'm going to help you make a good enough decision to save you a lot of time and energy.
[00:29:15] Andy Paul: [00:29:15] Well, it goes back to the jobs the buyers wanted to achieve as for, so they need to understand their problem. You have to spend more time understanding the problem.
[00:29:25] But you're trying, they're trying to solve. And you know, we just sort of take what buyer says, well, this is my problem is that during a discovery calls or face value, and you want to do the opposite, you want to be skeptical. You want to be curious, you want to dig into it. You wanna make sure you really understand.
[00:29:43] And this is something that a lot of people just don't think about is that one of the primary sources of value that you can provide to your customers, to your buyers is to make them feel understood. So that was one of my goals early on is how can I make them feel like I heard them? And I really understood because I thought everything that followed after that I was coming from a better position because the customer thought, yeah, Andy gets them and maybe the other people really don't get it quite as much.
[00:30:12] And when they have to make their decision, they're saying, well, we have a choice. We can go with. Uh, you know, company a that they started getting word, doing company B, but Oh, company, see Andy's coming, they get it.
[00:30:23] Collin Mitchell: [00:30:23] They understand us, they know what we're trying to accomplish. They get the
[00:30:26] Andy Paul: [00:30:26] problem. So spend more time at that beginning.
[00:30:31] And there was a, uh, if you do that, then. You can start painting the picture for the buyer of what success is going to look like. Nice. Yeah. I'm sorry, go ahead.
[00:30:45] Collin Mitchell: [00:30:45] Yeah. And this sort of ties back to one of the things you mentioned earlier is, you know, one of the key ingredients of being successful in sales is.
[00:30:52] Having that curiosity, right? Having that curiosity is going to feel asking those better questions, more questions. Why tell me more so that you can fully understand at a level that most sellers aren't willing to put the time and the effort into getting to that point.
[00:31:10] Andy Paul: [00:31:10] And it plays into this ability to form a connection and, and trust with the buyer.
[00:31:18] Again, this is one of the shortcomings of the way of discovery done with many companies with serve a scripted list of questions are the most commonly asked questions is that we've
[00:31:27] Collin Mitchell: [00:31:27] come sales, interrogations
[00:31:29] Andy Paul: [00:31:29] sales interrogations, right? Is that you assume that the customer trusts you enough to answer the questions.
[00:31:42] Again, that's something else. Something else that most sales training misses is they assume it's it's yeah. It's a given you're a Salesforce and you show up, you say, we're going to do a discovery call. I'm going to ask my questions. They're going to give me full answers because it's in their best interest to do so.
[00:31:59] Yeah. It doesn't work that way. Well,
[00:32:01] Collin Mitchell: [00:32:01] even, even to kind of add to that, sometimes they don't. Necessarily know the answers yet. Like it's your job to help them find some of those answers.
[00:32:13] Andy Paul: [00:32:13] Exactly. Again, that's part of, you know, hello. Let's let me help you scope out what the problem is. So yeah, I, I, this gets back to, we start talking beginning.
[00:32:24] This is surf lot. This is just serve. Being a better human right is not just taking everything at face value, being a little skeptical it's for the benefit of the buyer. You're trying to help them understand what they're trying to achieve, help them get a better understanding of what they can achieve.
[00:32:41] And that requires curiosity requires persistence requires that you keep asking questions. So you understand, and whether using. Yeah, reflecting questions, ask the customer, make sure I got that right. Whatever technique you need to use is use it just don't assume anything. And assuming that you understand something is dangerous, territory and sales, because chances are you.
[00:33:11] Collin Mitchell: [00:33:11] Well, I think so many sellers want to just rush through the process to get to the next step, to get to the next question, to get to the next part of the process, to check that box and move on to the next, you know, deal discovery demo. That they're pressured to get in the pipeline. That's probably halfway full of fluff anyway, to satisfy their dashboard jockey sales boss.
[00:33:38] Andy Paul: [00:33:38] Yeah, that's exactly right. And that, and that's part of the problem. And. Yeah, I think it's the attitude that sellers need to have is in this one that was certainly they talk about in sales, but it's, I think maybe it was talked about more, um, a little while ago that is now is certainly when I started in sales, the pitch was look, you know, here's your patch.
[00:34:02] And in my case, it was not a geographic patch. I had a vertical market that I sold into, uh, mostly to. Building the construction trades. So those houses, builders, road builders, and so on. And I was told, Hey, You're the CEO of this business act like the CEO of this business. And you don't hear that as much.
[00:34:26] It used to be very common in sales, you know, here's your patch, whatever it is, your list of accounts, whatever this is your business. And that freedom that autonomy served been slowly eroded by the metrics jockeys, and the only way it's going to happen as sellers have to claim it. And I think that seller's feeling a lot of frustration.
[00:34:51] Obviously they churn very quickly. Average tenure on a job is low. Uh, they're not feeling like they're getting the ability to support to develop from their managers is. Especially, it was people, quit managers, not jobs. I think that's largely true in sales. And so if you're feeling like you're in a situation where someone's not able to add value to your career, and they just want you to hit that number, uh, you know, activity number, that's very frustrating and it doesn't need to be that way.
[00:35:21] So sellers, I think, are going to have to be the agents of change in this environment, individual contributors. And they're going to be the ones that have to push back. And say that's an interesting suggestion to their manager. Uh, let me think about it. Yeah. And it runs contrary to what most people do, but I sort of developed a reputation in my career.
[00:35:47] I finally had one, one boss out of frustration sight. Don't you ever just say yes to anything?
[00:35:57] Not the way I did it because I could take their suggestion, but if it was wrong, who gets fired me right. Is so. If I was going to go out, I was going to go out on my own terms and I was going to succeed on my own terms. And I guess I was fortunate early in my career to have no managers that, that sort of supported that and gave me enough rope to hang myself.
[00:36:22] But I worked hard and I kept experimenting. I was extremely curious. I wanted to do better. If something didn't work, I'd try something else. And just kept doing it. And so, yeah, I was one of those people that always had a smaller pipeline than everybody else. Bye is that the top of the sales charts, but I developed through experimentation, I ruthlessly qualified people and made sure they were at the point where they were ready to make a decision.
[00:36:50] They had done their internal work, did great discovery. Um, so I felt like I understood what they were trying to achieve better than my competitors. So I just operated my own terms. I'm about as part of a team, right. At people supporting me work together. I mean, my boss helped when I needed my boss. I mean, I wasn't doing it alone, but I was doing it on my own terms.
[00:37:14] So too, at the same time. So I, yeah, I would like cellar sort of keep this image in mind of what you need to do is you need to fit in and stand out.
[00:37:24] Collin Mitchell: [00:37:24] Right. So I'm, I'm curious in that. Role, was it a, was it a smaller, larger midsize organization?
[00:37:35] Andy Paul: [00:37:35] All sorts. Yeah. The first ones were, I kept, I worked for increasingly smaller companies.
[00:37:41] Um, but I, yeah, I ran sales at six different startups, something like that.
[00:37:49] Collin Mitchell: [00:37:49] The reason I asked that question is you actually see sometimes, and I don't know if you've seen this, but I have, is that in some of the smaller companies or the smaller organizations, they're ran a little bit closer to what you're talking about here, where there is a little bit more autonomy.
[00:38:06] There is a little bit more freedom. There is that ability to kind of run your own business inside the business as a seller.
[00:38:13] Andy Paul: [00:38:13] Yeah, wow. During the startups and some of those times I was, yeah, the first I was, I had the VP title as the first person in the door and I was spent two years selling before we hired anybody.
[00:38:26] Um, but we always had the sense of urgency, but I never thought that this approach was runs contrary to having a sense of urgency, to close deals and grow a company. In fact, I think it's the most efficient way. Is to go deep as not be superficial and make sure you fully understand because then your win rates going so that much higher.
[00:38:46] Um, so yeah, I, I, people think this takes so much more time to operate this way. It actually doesn't. I mean, it's survival. I, to me, it's, it's the way you actually accelerate and help
[00:38:58] Andy Paul: [00:38:58] buyer get to that point where they can say, yeah, this is good enough. Right. Yeah. And so there's a term that Herbert Simon came up with for that.
[00:39:08] He said, decision-makers fall into one of two camps there, satisfy SIRS or maximizers, and satisfies is a conjunction of satisfy and sufficient suffice. So. Buyers will look at alternatives until they find a solution that satisfies the requirements, both for solving problems, achieving the outcomes as well, satisfies the requirements and sufficient to achieve their business goals and satisfies.
[00:39:38] And what's their incentive, you know, the marginal gain from incremental investment of time. Just isn't there. And so my goal is always, how do I get the buyer to that spot as quickly as possible, how to create this vision of success for them that they say, um, you know, I don't need to talk to anybody else.
[00:39:59] And even in some more transactional business, I was helping this company for a number of years. We coined this phrase, what we're trying to do is take prospects off the market. And we did that by accelerating that front side of the sales and buying process. So we get the customer presented this vision of success, what this feels like, right.
[00:40:19] What success is gonna look like, take them through a mental test drive and what that's gonna look like. And then they say, yeah, we don't need to talk to anybody else. We remove the incentive to talk to other vendors and. It works. It's it's. But if all you're doing is trying to sell your product and you're just trying to push your solution as the only solution for it.
[00:40:41] If you're trying to persuade them, instead of trying to influence the choices they're making, then yeah. That won't work for you and Forester just by way of wrapping up and Forrester did a study. Man. I think for me, it's eight years ago. Now, something like that about this idea, they said that they did a survey of large number of B2B enterprise buyers and said, yeah, the first seller to be able to present this vision of success, they had a different term for it to the buyer won the deal like 65% of the time.
[00:41:19] 65% or what odds would you take? Right? The wind 65% of the time. You'd follow that every time. So it's, it's huge. And I certainly mirrors my experience is that yeah. If you can re get to that point first with the buyer, they'll move ahead because they have all the things they need to do.
[00:41:40] Collin Mitchell: [00:41:40] Yeah. Yeah, and this is a lot of, I mean, there's tons of great things in here for all the sales, hustlers listening.
[00:41:48] So this might be one of those episodes you want to listen to twice?
[00:41:52] Andy Paul: [00:41:52] Well, have me back. We'll talk about it some more.
[00:41:54] Collin Mitchell: [00:41:54] Yeah. And the, uh, it'd be just, uh, any final thoughts as we wrap it up. Um, You know, tell people where they can find your podcast or anything else that you want to include in the show notes for
[00:42:04] Andy Paul: [00:42:04] them.
[00:42:05] Yeah. I mean, certainly visit my podcast sales enablement with Andy Paul. Uh, for the first four years it was accelerate with Andy Paul, but then let's say the podcast was acquired last year by ring DNA. And so at sales enablement with Andy Paul. Yeah. No exactly when this episode will air, but yeah. Have episode 900 is coming out next week.
[00:42:26] Um, be at a thousand before the end of the year. So it's all very exciting, but it's yeah. In depth conversations with, with, uh, people in the sales world marketing world, but some but about a range of issues and, um, yeah, I've been doing a lot recently about mental health and wellbeing and, and, uh, in sales and it's, so we're trying to.
[00:42:49] So treat the entire sales person, if you will. Um, and so yeah, find us there. iTunes, Spotify, wherever you listen to podcasts and follow me on LinkedIn. Uh, real Andy Paul is the, the handle and I post multiple times a day and, uh, love to connect with you.
[00:43:07] Collin Mitchell: [00:43:07] Awesome. Thanks so much, Andy. If you're listening to the podcast today and you enjoyed today's episode Raza review share with your friends and as always, we're listening for your feedback.
[00:43:16] Thank you for tuning in to 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. 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, Colin Mitchell.
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