Meredith Elliott Powell:

You’re dealing with people no matter what. So you have to make that connection. You have to build that relationship. Your sales conversation needs to be focused more on them than on you, and you can’t really sell anything until you understand what their problems are.

Host:

Sales logic with Mark Hunter and Meredith Elliott. Powell is brought to you by vanilla soft.

Host:

Most people refer to vanilla soft as the solution. It’s the solution to ensure sales reps make the right number of attempts for every lead across all channels, including emails, social on the phone. It’s the solution to serve the rep the next best lead. Every single time you need to get your solution@vanillasoft.com.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Hi, this is Meredith Elliott pal, and welcome to sales logic. The show where we dive into the strategies we discussed, the steps we do everything to help you sell logically. So I’m here with my cohost Mark Hunter, a mark.

Mark Hunter:

Hey Meredith, how you doing? It is a privilege to be here. I love the topic that we have today. I, I, I’m just kind jazzed to get this show underway. Well,

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Did you, before we jump in, cause we do have a really good show scheduled for today. Connie give all of our listeners an overview as to how the show works and how they can get on the show.

Mark Hunter:

Yeah. We break the show down into four parts and here’s where you, the listener can get involved every week. One of the parts that we do is we answer a question and it’s a question. It comes from you. One of the listeners, and what we do is we invite you to jump out to our website sales logic, podcast.com. Leave the question, or you can just throw it out on social media with hashtag sales logic. And who knows the question you ask might just be the one that we answer next week. So that’s one of the parts that we have three other parts to it. We always have a topic that we kind of do a deep dive into. We share a book that kind of resonates with both Meredith and myself. Yes, we do read, we do more than just do podcasts. And the last thing is we do the lightning round where we just go at it fast and furious and we do the whole show in about 22 minutes.

Mark Hunter:

Don’t hold me to it, but Hey, we try to hold it to about 22 minutes. So that’s kind of the lineup for this week. Uh, you want me to go ahead and share the topic and the question? Yeah, go for it. Well, the topic we’re going to be talking about, and boy it’s appropriate cause you and I both do a lot of these. We’re going to talk about sales, kickoffs, sales, kickoff meetings, the don’ts and the dues, or should we say the do’s and the don’ts depending on whether or not you’re an optimist or a pessimist, but Hey, we’ll talk about that later. The question, here’s the question. And it comes to us from Serena in Sioux falls. South Dakota just happens to be up the road from where I am in Omaha. The question is I sell business to consumer and business to business. Should I change my sales strategies or approach in other, do my sales strategies and approach need to be different because I sell to both B2C and B2B. It’s interesting that that’s a question that we’ve never had asked of us before. Controversial. I want to say so I’m going to let you jump in first.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

I know. I think if you got controversial, I think you ought to jump right in and do it.

Mark Hunter:

Well, here’s the whole thing. There’s nothing to change. It’s the same thing. Whoa, boom. Drop the mic. There it is. Now here’s the whole thing. There are subtle nuance differences between B2C and B2B business to business and business to consumer. But in the end you’re still dealing with a customer. You’re still dealing with somebody who has to make a decision and don’t think for a moment that, oh, well in business there’s no emotion involved. Whole liar, liar, pants on fire. There’s emotion in every decision. Okay. So that was my controversial piece. I’ll go ahead and let you throw it in. I don’t know if you agree, disagree.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Well, this is why I like working with you. Cause we usually think alike on most things. And this is one where we definitely do. There isn’t much adjustment at all. Like you said, there’s subtle nuances, but if you’re selling B to C or you’re selling B2B, you still need to walk through the same process. You need to begin by building your reputation in the marketplace because I don’t care if I’m a retail consumer or a business consumer, I am only going to do business with people and products I have heard of and about I’m going to be gravitate to those. It is still a relationship business. As mark said, you’re dealing with people no matter what. So you have to make that connection. You have to build that relationship. Your sales conversation needs to be focused more on them than on you because the only person they’re interested in is themselves.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Whether it’s a business or an individual and you can’t really sell anything till you understand what their problems are and whether it’s business to consumer or business to business, it is going to take follow up. You’ve got to stay in the game. Sales cycles are long in either form that you’re spending. You’ve got to track it. You’ve got to measure it. You’ve got to use customer relationship management systems. Now maybe the, um, you know, maybe the social media channels you use or how you market it or promote it. Your language might be a little bit different, but the base foundations where the core of what the process is, it’s exactly the same.

Mark Hunter:

See, you brought up so many good things there because the vocabulary you use might change the terms you might change and so forth. The medium you use, you might use Facebook. If it’s B2C, you might use LinkedIn. If it’s more B2B, those might change. But like we said, we both agree on the nuance remains the same. There’s something else that you said at the beginning that really resonates with, with a line I’d love to use your reputation arrives before you do can’t stress this enough, especially in this period of time that we’re in right now, people are looking for verification. Your reputation really arrives before you do. So don’t think you’re going to craft the reputation on that initial phone call that initial email. No, no, because if they’re interested, they’re going to go out and check you out on the internet. And here’s something very interesting.

Mark Hunter:

People always say emotion, mark. Uh, when I’m dealing with emotion, it’s all over in B to C, but it’s not in B2B. Here’s the whole thing. B2B might be perceived as more of a financially driven decision. Okay, I get that. But ask a consumer. If they want our waste money, they don’t want to waste money. You see? So really both are financially driven. It’s just how it’s said, how it’s stated in the emotional field. Because again, in B2B it may be financially driven. But the last thing the buyer wants to do is make a decision. They don’t feel good about make a decision that I just don’t know if this is going to work out. No, you see, there is a motion on both sides and you have to play to that, which comes back to the core creating value. And you better be listening to the customer because the customer is the one that’s going to tell you what are their needs and how do you craft that solution to fit around them? I don’t know. You’ve probably got some final comments on this.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

And my final comments is, um, you know, if you’re listening to this right now, this should really excite you. And the reason it should excite you is because if you’ve only sold B2C in the past, if you’ve only sold B2B in the past, there may be another market opportunity. I know mark, um, for both you and I mean, we’re looking to go a little bit more B to C this year, haven’t done that, but with some of our products and services, finding maybe some opportunities to appeal to the entrepreneurial world, which is a little bit more considered B to C rather than B2B. So if you already have the structure in place and if your products and services lend themselves to that way, start to really think big as you think into 2021, and really ask yourself if I’ve already built the sales process. If I’ve got the model at works, that works. Is there anything I can add to what I’m already offering? Or is there any way my current products could be adjusted so that I could sell a little bit more B2C or B2B? So, uh, I love the fact that in sales, once you build the model, it works all over the place,

Mark Hunter:

All around. It even works in a third B to B to G business to government, because you think about that. That’s actually a different selling model, same nuances, but business to government, much more bid driven, much more. Um, well I’m not going to go down and I think going to open up Pandora’s box, but it’s very interesting. B to G is a separate model. Maybe one day we will talk about that. Hey, let’s jump into the topic, the topic you and I both do a lot of sales kickoff meetings. And of course this year boy, 99% of them are going to be virtual, but let’s talk about sales, kickoffs. What are the do’s and the don’ts?

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Well, I think one easy do to, um, to start with is you need to schedule a sales kickoff. If you don’t have a sales kickoff scheduled, um, and you have a sales team, no matter how small they are or how big they are, how spread across the world they are. Um, if you need, um, if you have a sales team, I would say your first do is that you need to have a sales kickoff meeting.

Mark Hunter:

I, I, I’m going to echo that and go a step further and make sure that the sales kickoff invites not just the sales team, but the marketing team. You gotta have marketing people. You really need to have everybody in the supply chain as part of your sales kickoff meeting. Because one of the things that you got to do at sales kickoff is have the entire organization rallying around one objective, how do we serve our customers better, more efficiently. Now the sales kickoff is also about introducing new products and new services and all kinds of things. And very typically those are done by the marketing people. That’s great, but you know what? Here’s a, don’t do not allow marketing to share the objectives, do not allow marketing to say, this is what our objectives are. No that’s for sales management to share because the SA the sales objectives, that’s sales, that’s not marketing that’s sales on your piece. Don’t delegate that part to marketing.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

And I would say that you need to, um, you need to make sure that you really kick off with celebrating the wins, especially this year. Um, 2020 was a difficult year, and you may not have hit your, um, sales goals. You may not have even come close, but the one thing I do know is that if you are still standing, you and your team have accomplished a lot and you need to, before you start focusing on what you need to do in 2021, take a moment, take a breath, and really look at the progress that was made in 2020. Take a moment, recognize and celebrate that.

Mark Hunter:

And when you recognize, recognize individual people, there’s something special about being recognized as an individual in a sales kick-off meeting, we don’t celebrate the sales community. We don’t celebrate and recognize people’s performance all 52 weeks a year, but especially at a sales kickoff meeting, but here’s something else don’t set the tone and temple that, Hey folks, we’re at now 2021, and it’s going to be different. It’s not, it’s not. Yeah. I mean, it’s going to take a while for us to pivot out of this whole pandemic that we’re in. Don’t paint a picture that suddenly, Hey, the world has changed. No, because you know what? Your sales people are going to go. You’ve been smoking dope and jumping rope again, get your vaccine. Would you,

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Um, you know, you gotta realize that your audience at a sales kickoff meeting our salespeople and the idea of sitting in a meeting and listening to speakers all day long is one surefire way to lose them almost immediately. So you better plan a sales kickoff that gets them active and gets them engaged. I did one, um, uh, for a team where they actually had me do a pre-record and I just loved it because what they’re going to do at their sales meeting in early January is they’re going to have all of their salespeople, um, compete for a, a sales pitch to see who does the best sales pitch. And certainly I was a speaker at it, but my speaking engagement was long before the sales kickoff. And my job was to teach people how to do a sales pitch. So they know that they’re going to bring all these people into a meeting. And rather than just let them sit there, they’re going to let them improve their skills by holding the meeting by all the way through the meeting, being active and engaged. Yeah,

Mark Hunter:

Here’s a, don’t, don’t give up the microphone. If you’re the sales leader, here’s the whole thing. Wow. You’ve scheduled, you know, you’re the VP of sales. You’ve scheduled the sales kickoff meeting. And suddenly the CEO wants time. The CFO wants time. The HR person wants time. Everybody wants time. And if you want to put your salespeople to sleep fast, all you have to do is have them listen to those people go, wah, wah, wah, you cannot give up the microphone. Now I realized, Hey, the CEO needs to talk. That’s okay. Make sure you package the CEO, right. Make sure if the CEO is not an eloquent speaker, make sure that you book in them with people that are dynamic on the front and the back end, make sure you set things up the CFO. If the CFO wants to walk through the numbers or we’re going to walk through the numbers.

Mark Hunter:

Well, let me tell you some little walk through the numbers means snooze time. So you might say, Hey, you know what? We’re going to share the numbers with the organization ahead of time. And then you’re just going to take some questions from people you have to make sure. And when you set a time, please, this is so key for a sales manager. If you set a time that the CFO’s going to have seven minutes to speak, you hold them to that because you know what? The way you run your sales meeting, the way you run your sales kickoff is the way your salespeople are going to run their sales meetings with customers. So guess what? If you run it where there’s no value on time, there’s no value on meeting. Guess what? Your salespeople are going to have some pretty pathetic sales calls. They take their cues from how you run the sales kickoff meeting.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Don’t forget to include your salespeople. Um, the most important people at the meeting are, are your sales team members. And don’t forget to include them, include them before you plan it, get their ideas on the agenda of what would be valuable for them, um, to hear, um, include them in the presentations, really bring, um, people who’ve had great success, get them to really share what they’ve been. Um, you know, what they’ve been doing. And then, um, and then really include them in getting them active, get them involved and get them in engaged. It’s their meeting. Really not your meeting. It’s it’s, it’s designed to get them motivated, excited, and clear on what they need to do in 2021.

Mark Hunter:

Thank you for saying that. Because so many times the sales kickoff thing check, we had the sales kickoff meeting. No, it’s not a check mark. It’s not, I got this done. If the salespeople don’t walk out of that meeting, or however you have the meeting, more jazzed and more pumped and more excited and feeling good than something is raw. I want to come back and talk about getting people involved. Now they don’t have to have extensive parts. I remember one of the first sales kickoff meetings I was involved with, I don’t know. I was maybe 23, 24 years of age, and I was a new salesperson. And the big guy asked me, Hey, mark, we’re going to give you some time to present this. I remember I put hours and hours and hours of practice into what wound up being about a three minute presentation. But you know what I really felt honored.

Mark Hunter:

I really felt good. And I feel it really helped me gain a level of confidence by being able to share with my peers. It is amazing when you involve your people, but here’s one thing don’t set your people up for failure. Coach them through the process, help them set them up toward they will look good, cause nothing will destroy a salesperson. You ask them, Hey, you’re going to, you’re going to be able to share this, or you’re going to talk about this. And then you have them stumble and fall all over it. I’ll tell you what they’re going to feel like dirt and scum for months and years to come, you’ve destroyed somebody. Don’t lift them up and make them look good.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Li uh, make sure that the sales kickoff has, um, has clear key takeaways. What’s going to be different after the sales kickoff, what’s going to have changed. What do you want your people to have felt? What different do you want them to be able to do? So go into that meeting with very, very clear objectives and make sure that, um, that the meeting delivers on that.

Mark Hunter:

Yeah. And if there are dates that go along with those, you make sure that they know those dates. Because again, there has to be absolute clarity in terms of how the sales organization is going to be held accountable, how they’re going to be measured, what their expectations are. And it’s amazing how, when you do all that and the final piece, and we’re going to need to get to the book. And I think you’ve got it. You got a great book. You’re going to share it. The second is make sure that the sales kickoff meeting is not just motivation. Uh, I kinda, I kind of hate the term motivation. It’s gotta be education. It’s gotta be education, inspiration and training. So they have those questions answered. They know what they’re supposed to do when they leave that nothing worse than having a sales meeting, where people are walking out saying, what do they want me to do? I don’t, I don’t understand that. I don’t, I don’t get that role. No for that. So anyway, Hey, you want to talk about the book?

Meredith Elliott Powell:

I liked

Mark Hunter:

It. I liked this guy a lot.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

I do too. And, uh, I gave him a heads up that we were going to be pitching him today. But for I introduced the book, I’ve got to tell you that, um, Sam Silverstein, who is the author is one of the only other people that I have found that is as crazy about the word accountability. Um, as, uh, as I am, um, accountability is a word that, um, I started to use, um, on, in a book, uh, title. And my publisher said, you can’t use the word accountability because nobody wants to be held accountable. Uh, Sam had the guts to put it in there. I did not. The book is, um, one of the newest from Sam Silverstein. He is, um, prolific as lots of on books, but it is called the account ability, um, a circle. And I love this book because it is, it is one in a series that Sam has written about. You truly is the master, um, of accountability. But what I love about this, um, a book is that it shows the impact of accountability. And if you get nothing else from it, it is clearly going to shift your paradigm about how you think about accountability and move it. What from is possibly a negative, but actually something that you’re excited about. And when it comes to sales and sales success, accountability is so key. So it’s the accountable accountability circle by Sam. So, um, Silverstein,

Mark Hunter:

I’m going to add, I’m going to add a comment. Not only does he talk about accountability, but he walks it. If you notice Tim Silverstein, I quoted him in my newest book of mine for sales. Uh, the gentleman speaks accountability from such a high level and yet a practical level. And that’s what I think makes the book resonate, especially right now in the midst of this pandemic that we’re in, you know, and so forth, very difficult times. Uh, so excellent book. I, in fact, I love everything that he puts out. So anyway,

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Is it, his reads are always interesting. You can go to Sam silverstein.com or you can go to Amazon, uh, to get, uh, to get your copy of the book. But the point is, if you or your team are struggling with accountability right now, you need the book and you need Sam Silverstein. Cause he’ll begin to shift your paradigm about it.

Mark Hunter:

There we go. Okay. Meredith his hand on the buzzer, got your hair. Cause we’re moving to the lightning round, the lightning, the lightning round question, top sales trends for 2021 go,

Meredith Elliott Powell:

All right. I would say that, um, virtual sales, digital sales baby, they are here to stay.

Mark Hunter:

I’m going to add video, video, video. You can’t get enough video.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Yeah. You’ve got to continue to build your reputation. Understand that consumers are going to continue to buy without you

Mark Hunter:

Transparency, your reputation arrives before you do. You better be the same person, which means you better read Sam Silverstein’s book on accountability because accountability is one of the key factors in being transparent.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

The, um, the sales professional that learns to follow up is going to be the sales professional who wins the sale happens in the follow-up. It always happens in the followup.

Mark Hunter:

Um, I’m going to say it’s omni-channel multi-channel I don’t care how you say it, but you better be learning how to use every form of communication, medium known to mankind.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Yeah. You better be sensitive to, um, you better take the time to learn your buyer’s journey and learn how they interact with you and how you can jump into that buyer’s journey. Uh, um, early on, before you ever make contact, um, physically with them,

Mark Hunter:

And I’m going to say you don’t necessarily make the sale. Your community makes the sale for you. The customer is looking for proof is looking for valid. We think of Yelp reviews around restaurants. Well guess what the internet is giving you reviews all the time. Your customers are looking for others to speak and talk about you before they choose to do business with you. Yeah.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Um, sales is going to be a company, uh, um, strategy, a company, a objective salespeople are no longer going to be long wolves. They need to be working as part of, um, operations are part of them, customer service, or, um, as part of them, it’s really a holistic approach to the sales process.

Mark Hunter:

I’m going to run with that and go a step further. This is the era of partnerships, partnerships, and referrals, relationships, community. The more you are seen as part of one, the more they will support you really comes back to how big of a network can you create?

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Yeah. Your business is going to grow from the inside out rather than focusing on attracting new business. First focused on securing the existing customers that you have kind of to Mark’s point that it’s a community. Um, uh, you know, that’s how it’s gonna grow, but people are going to verify you before doing business with you. And that’s going to be even more powerful in 2021. So the happier your existing customers are, the more successful.

Mark Hunter:

And I’m going to say, get even tired with who your ideal customer profile is. Geographic boundaries no longer exist in this digital world. That means you got to get laser focused even more because your competitive set and your customer set is global. Why don’t you share one more? I’ll share one more and then we’ll close it down. All right.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

If I’m COVID gave you a tailwind and um, and this has been a good year for your industry. Look for that tailwind possibly to stall a bit as we move into 2021 and have COVID gave you a headwind. Look for that head would to be strong for the first and second quarter, but possibly to ease off and the third and the fourth. So you need to learn to adjust your strategies based on what you see happening in the marketplace. And if your luck has been good, don’t count on it holding. And if your luck has been bad, stay in the game because the tide will shift.

Mark Hunter:

And I’m going to add the trend that never stops the telephone. The telephone still works. It worked way back when Alexander Graham bell first invented it and it still works today. So with that, let’s go ahead and close down. I want to say thank you for listening to sales logic this week. If you like what you hear, subscribe, rate, and review the show on your favorite podcast app. If something we’ve said has earned you a single dollar, consider telling a friend about our show. It’s how we grow to help you grow. I’m Mark Hunter, and

Meredith Elliott Powell:

I’ve made it to Elliot pal.

Mark Hunter:

Remember when you sell with confidence and integrity,

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Uncertainty suddenly becomes your competitive advantage

Mark Hunter:

And the sale becomes logical.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

All right, we’ll see you next.

Speaker 3:

Most people refer to vanilla soft as the solution. It’s the solution to ensure sales reps make the right number of attempts for every lead across all channels, including emails, social on the phone. It’s the solution to serve the rep the next best lead. Every single time you need to get your solution@vanillasoft.com.