Aligning Sales And Marketing For Business Growth With Art Saxby [Episode 42]
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Is there synergy between your sales team and your marketing team?
Many assume these are separate entities that may even be in contention with one another, but there is exponential growth to be found when they are in alignment. On this episode of CEO Sales Strategies, Doug C. Brown talks with Art Saxby, CEO and founder of Chief Outsiders, about Art’s strategies for aligning his (and his clients’) sales and marketing teams effectively. They also discuss trust-building between sales and marketing, some of the best ways on how to grow using both teams, and more.
In this episode you will learn:
Episode’s guest – Art Saxby
Aligning Sales And Marketing For Business Growth With Art Saxby
I’m bringing you another great guest. His name is Art Saxby. He’s in Houston, Texas. He owns and he’s the CEO of a company called Chief Outsiders. What Chief Outsiders do is they provide marketing professionals, usually VP and up-type advice to companies consultancy. They do it for a fraction of the cost. Ultimately, it’s a fractional marketing-type position. They come in and help you grow. You could keep them and not keep them at that point. Their whole deal is to get you to the next levels of growth that you are looking for in your particular business.
Art has got a background and that’s very positive. He’s a super nice guy. He was in the defense industry. He started working for companies more on the marketing side like Frito-Lay, Coca Cola and Kellogg’s. He worked for the Imperial Sugar company down there in Sugar Land, Texas. He’s got a vast knowledge of marketing. It’s important. He’s got a great knowledge of sales. They’re constantly training their marketing teams on sales as well. There are four main components to what we talked about. I would get a pen out for this one and have some paper.
The first thing is, what is marketing? There is a lot of sometimes contention between marketing, sales and other divisions. What does it? Why do we need it? The second part of this whole thing was he’s growing very fast at about 35% to 50% in year-over-year growth. We talked about what does it take to be able to grow? What’s sanity? What are the things that you want to have in place if you want to grow your company whether it’s on his level, which is a multi-eight-figure company at this point? He had mentioned $30 million in the interview. I’ll go with that number at this point.
The fourth thing is he created something he calls Executives-as-a-Service and fashioned it after the SaaS model. What I want you all to think if you don’t mind while you’re reading this is how could you create your own as-a-service. There are parts of your business that you can create like Executives-as-a-Service, SaaS or service-type software processes. How can you create some of the things that you have and create the same concept where you can then plug and play certain parts of your offers into somebody’s business or life?
They win and you win. Many times, that’s recurring income, which could be much more stable than going out and selling one-offs. The last part and I love this subject is how does the CEO want to be sold to? He doesn’t want to be sold to. He wants to buy. He goes through and breaks it down into three components of what he looks for as a CEO and has been a chief executive in major massive companies. There are great sales lessons for you. Without further ado, let’s go to the interview and talk to Mr. Art Saxby.
Art, welcome to the show. Thanks for being here.
Thanks for having me, Doug.
You’ve got a great company. I love it. It’s called Chief Outsiders. It’s a consulting firm in Houston, Texas. I could tell people what you do but why don’t you tell people what you do so they will know the frame for this interview?
We’re a consulting firm in a way. We provide fractional or part-time chief marketing officers. We work with mid-sized companies who are at a phase in their growth where they need some extra expertise, not selling the strategy deck but someone on their leadership team who can help them take it to the next level. For most of these companies, they can’t afford to hire an executive-level VP of marketing or they may not need that skillset forever. My folks go in as part-time members of the CEO staff to help take their vision, build an engine for growth, get it going and running as part of their company and then fade away.
Essentially, you get them there and help them grow through marketing efforts. They can do it at a fraction of the cost that they would if they brought internal staff.
We have over 100 chief marketing officers full-time on staff. Every one of them has been a vice president of marketing at one or more large operating companies. When we talk to a prospect, we will try to figure out which of our people is the right fit for them. It might be the same industry or geography. They’re great at the thing that company needs.
If that company needs to go from selling with people in the street to lead gen and demand gen, we’ve got people who love to do that. We will figure out who’s the right person. They act as if they’re on that management team. Since the clients are only paying for them 1 to 2 days a week over those 6 to 12 months to implement, they can afford that level of talent they never could before.
That’s an awesome model. I love what you had as an Executives-as-a-Service. I’m going to come back at that during this interview here. I want to go right to the heart of this. A lot of times, salespeople or people selling go, “Why do I need marketing? I don’t need marketing.” I would love to delve into what is marketing and why do we need it.
It’s very different by industry. In a simple case, the job of sales is to sell what’s in stock. The job of marketing is to figure out where should the company be going. If that’s the direction, what’s the competitive set? Who’s the perfect client? What do they care about? What products with features should you have in the product and service? How do you price it? What’s the right way to get it into the market or the channel? Sometimes it’s the lead generation or demand generation so that you can hand the lead to a client.
Often, continue a level of relationship with the client so that you can get continual referrals. The simple thing is if you know exactly what you need, the clients you’re going after, what they want and how they want to buy and you’ve got it, you don’t need a whole lot of marketing. There may be a time when you say, “We think we can move into this segment but that’s different. How do we get there? We had a big competitor come in. There was a change in the marketplace and we’ve got to go do something different.” That’s when marketing is needed.
What I’m hearing is it’s more like a joint venture between the two, marketing and sales. It’s a symbiotic relationship. That is a need when it comes down to it.
In many instances, marketing is bringing leads to sales. They’re the front-end that says to sales, “Do your job. We need to hand you great prospects to go after.” Sometimes marketing is softening up the market that the salespeople are already after with continued communications and other things. There are other times when it’s like, “Where does the company go next? What’s the next thing?” That’s when marketing helps. It’s looking at that competitive set and the company’s strengths and saying, “Here are the new services we need to offer, the new products or the new features.” How does that integrate back into the organization?
It’s not what I would call what Peter Drucker put out there in the media, which is marketing’s job is to make sales superfluous or pretty much nonexistent. I’ve never agreed with that and I’m hearing you not agree with that. I don’t want to put words in your mouth but it sounds to me like you look at marketing as a function. What sales look at is, “We got to do something to acquire an end client.” If we work together then it’s the one-two punch versus you got one arm tied behind your back-type punch.
Business is changing. It used to be marketing would do something, throw it over the wall to sales and sales would do stuff. It’s different by industry but changes happen many times, especially in an industrial situation. The client or the prospect has made up 80% of their mind before they ever allow a salesperson in the door. That client has already researched who the competitors are and whose features, benefits and price.
They said, “I’m going to talk to these three clients.” That’s when sales get involved. It’s when the customer says, “That’s what I want. I’ll let them in the door.” Marketing’s job is to be there so that they’re part of that selection process. It used to be sales could go knock on the door, walk in with a catalog and spend time with an engineer, especially in the last few years. It’s tough to walk into a factory and sit down with an engineer.
It’s almost non-existent if you don’t know how to do it. I can hear people typing away or going to yell at me because I’m going to say this. Salespeople understand that marketing is not your enemy. They are a valued resource if you use them in the right way. You said this perfectly. It used to be that marketing used to do their job, throw it over the wall and then hope sales takes and runs with whatever they put forth.
Sales were always looking at, “I don’t need marketing. I got to go out and knock on these doors and get into this.” Marketing is like, “Salespeople are prima donna-type individuals who are constantly whining they’re not getting enough.” What I heard you say and I would like you to correct me if I’m incorrect is the internet has changed all of that where now, 80% of the decision to invite a salesperson in, they already have all of the information prior to. That’s where marketing is invaluable.
That percentage will change by industry, situation and time. I talked to a CEO. He was grousing about his salespeople and said, “I don’t think these salespeople know how to buy donuts anymore.” I was like, “Donuts?” He goes, “In my day, I can buy a box of donuts, walk in and sit down with any one of my investments. I knew that the secretary at this place likes sprinkles and this thing. These guys don’t know how to buy donuts. They told me they can’t go see their customers.” It’s not because the new salespeople don’t know about donuts. It’s a whole different thing. You can’t just walk into even your current customer, sit down and talk about what else they need.
The world has changed because the buyers have changed and the way the buyers make decisions. If you’re selling into a Fortune 1000 company and their purchasing department, you got a Millennial on the other end who may not like talking to people. If you’re selling into an old-line manufacturing company, there’s someone on the other end who doesn’t mind buying people. You can’t get in the plants. They’re too busy. There has got to be a way to figure out how do they make their decisions and where do they go look for the information so that when the client says, “I need some of this stuff,” wherever they go look, that’s where you are. That’s what marketing can get you.
It shifts it from interruption sales and marketing to permission-based sales at this point.
Frankly, the two have to work together. We’re a marketing organization. I’ve got over 100 chief marketing officers full-time on staff. We have two sales training webinars every month because a marketer that doesn’t understand sales is a pretty bad marketer. If my people would be naturally inclined to be great salespeople, they wouldn’t be salespeople. They’re marketers. That’s the thing they love. If they love that without understanding what it takes on the other end to take that leap and deal with it, they would be suboptimal.
It’s in reverse for salespeople to understand what marketing does and work with the marketing team on what they’re hearing in the field to help marketing to do their job. Marketing can give feedback to sales. I go into companies sometimes and they want to toss me out the window because I’m like, “You need to work together when it comes down to it.” Marketing is throwing out their messages over the top of the wall. We’re a fencing company.
The salespeople are trying to go out and sell but the client is saying, “I don’t want picket fences. I want solid lessons because that’s what marketing generated.” When that congruence is there, what I have found is referrals are so much easier. Cutting the speed to close is so much easier. There are fewer objections in the whole process. When it’s handed off to customer service or inside sales liaisons to the farm the account, all of that is congruent. The client satisfaction rate goes way up.
One of the tricks or advice I had for the salespeople is if your feedback to marketing is, “You’re sending me lousy leads,” that’s just mulling. If your feedback to marketing is, “Look at what I’m doing. If you could do this for me and help me with this specifically,” I would love to be able to talk to clients that were at this point. Help marketing understands what it is you need to do your job. Marketing’s job is to go back and go, “That’s the challenge. We better come up with a way.” That is productive. You can get the two organizations working together. If it’s just those guys over there or the prima donnas, nobody can do anything with that.
Behind every business problem usually is a human issue. That’s what I’ve found.
If it wasn’t for the people, the clients would be a whole lot easier.
I want to transition a little bit because a lot of companies are reading this. Many of them are mid-sized and large-sized clients and some are even smaller clients hedging on that mid-sized revenue that could use a service like you are presenting. A lot of them are fast-growing as well. I know you’re extremely fast-growing. Your company is growing by 50%-plus every single year. What I would like to delve into is how do you deal with the growing pains of an organization? You’re now a multi-eight-figure company.
In the last conversation you and I had, you said, “We’re going to double our size in the next twelve months or so.” Let’s say it’s 50% a year on average. That’s still high growth for most companies. If you’re doing it year-over-year, it gets to a point where there have to be some growing pains, I suspect. We went from $68 million to $368 million in two years. I had a full head of hair prior to that. How are you dealing with growing? The first question would be this. What do you think the common growing pains that people run into might be in your position?
It’s very different along the path. Our longer-term growth rate has been about 35%. In 2021, it was over 50%. In 2022 so far it’s well over 50%. We’re a people business. We can’t just run the factory an extra shift on the weekends to make up for that and say, “We got the software. Sell it to ten people, not five.” If I’m growing at 50%, I need to be bringing in 30%, 40% or almost 50% more people in 2023. I hired 28 chief marketing officers in 2021 in a market where finding people was a challenge.
The growth challenges happen in phases. In the early phase, the most important thing is to have a vision that you can communicate. I talk about vision casting. Help people understand what’s the destination. When you get those people bought into the destination, they go, “Let’s go there. We can get there. We work there together.” What often happens is the CEO or the founder is the one who’s got the vision and who’s focused on it. They can talk about it. They are the number one salesperson.
There was a time when I was the number one salesperson in my company with everyone else combined. I had a vision for a $100 million firm. We’re not there yet. If the vision is $100 million, it won’t happen if I am the number one salesperson. If the business is the Art show, that doesn’t happen. I had to figure it out. Why am I successful selling? What am I doing? How can I clone myself? In doing that, we provided more sales training and support to some of the people who said they were interested.
I did the scariest thing, which was hand off the lead. I knew if I had this one, I could close but if I don’t hand it off to them and let them try and sometimes fail, they will never get to where I am. It’s a scary phase going through that, “I’m the number one salesperson and I’m going to have to have somebody else selling.” I haven’t sold or negotiated a deal in years because I was able to develop a sales organization. In identifying that, we said, “Why are they successful?” You can multiply that. That’s one of the big growth challenges.
I love what you said. I’m going to try to unpack it a little bit here. What I heard is if you’re an army of one or you’re an army of many but you’re the one, the only way out of this is you’ve got to create some type of system that you can then impart upon others and let them try. If they fail, you provide them with more training on why they failed and let them go with training. You train them.
They will fail. I would have brought in more business than they did. If you move three years forward, they’re way better salespersons than I ever was. They’re bringing in way more business than I ever did.
That’s always funny to me because a lot of times I’m working with mid-sized companies in that space. The bottleneck is the CEO or the founder of the company because of exactly what you said. They are the best salesperson at least in their mind at the moment. They’re afraid to let go because they have no feedback system, “If I let go, they will mess up this client. This client will leave. We won’t get this much new business.” What it does is impede their ability to grow the company.
You can say the same about operations. If the CEO is the best engineer and they’ve got to touch everything, that’s limiting or if they’re the best customer service. When you start a company, you are everything. You are the best at everything. No one else is ever going to know what you know. You have to make a decision, “Is this a lifestyle business? Am I building the Art show? It’s going to be a great business and I’m going to run it. I’m the guy. I’m the center.”
“Do I have a vision for this future or destination that’s much bigger than I am?” It’s a lot more exciting. It’s easier to get other people engaged in your vision, be a part of your vision and help you bring your vision to life if it’s a big vision where they can see growth. It’s hard to get a whole lot of people who’s excited about me, “Come work for me because you will help me.”
It’s interesting to me because of the vision when we built that company and went up to three hundred plus million dollars. The CEO of that company clearly conveyed and articulated that vision on a regular basis. We were like, “Let’s go.” It’s because everybody wants to be on a moving train. I had my stock and all that good stuff. Even when I left the company, they went on to build it beyond that and sold it for $2 billion. I know the CEO still. We’re friends. He still conveyed that vision all the way through until the time of sale.
For those people who are maybe not at that level where their company is starting to scale or they want to scale it but they’re not sure, I would press them to take a look at their vision. Are they articulating it and painting the picture in the way? There are always going to be tough times in building a business. That vision carries us through is what I have found. You and I were joking a little bit before like, “Business is so simple until you add people.” Money out and money in equals something. That’s business when it comes down to it.
I could throw out a little structure to think about if you’re thinking about the vision of your company. There’s a very simple structure. It starts with the destination. What could this company be? Articulate it. What would customers, competitors and people working in it say about it? What’s this grand vision there? Why would it be good for the company if it got there? If it got there, it would be good for this. We wouldn’t have this. Second, we have a plan to get there. The plan may be roughed out but we have a plan to get there. The fourth one is, what’s in it for me and you? Imagine how great it would be if you were part of this and you got to build it because of your job.
If we got this company over the next thing, we would be more stable. There wouldn’t be layoffs. You would be running a sales team instead of being a salesperson. Have that destination and say, “Here’s why the destination would be good. There’s a plan to get here. Here’s your role.” Say it again and again. Until your people can mimic you perfectly, you haven’t said it enough times. You have to say it so many times that they know exactly the words you’re going to use. Until they can do it for you or articulate it for you, you haven’t done it enough.
We’re drilling the vision consistently. I remember I was in the military. They used to ask us this almost on a daily basis. It’s crazy to think when you go through it. I was in the Army. The first time we did a live-fire exercise where machine guns were going off and they were pointed at us, we would run and do what they told us to do. I remember at that point going, “What am I doing?” I kept going. It’s not brainwashing if you’re so committed to that outcome or the vision.
We can take Apple, for example. Even now, I see heated debates or almost fistfights get in between, “Apple or Microsoft?” It’s one of those things. It’s that vision that people want to be part of that drives them and gives them a greater purpose. It hits a human need, which is called growth and significance too because if you’re growing in a company, you can say, “Look at our company.”
“I’m part of this thing. My career is going to move forward.”
Firstly, we’re speaking with Mr. Art Saxby. He owns a company called Chief Outsiders. They’re in Houston, Texas. They provide fractional vice presidents of marketing and above.
My people are all across the country. We’ve got over 100 chief marketing officers full-time on staff.
If those of you who are paying attention didn’t get those four questions, write them down if you did. They’re invaluable to your growth. You have this thing called Executives-as-a-Service. I come from a technology world so I’m used to SaaS or Telecommunications as a Service. What is Executives-as-a-Service? I love the name when I first was looking at it.
That was purposeful because I started the company in 2009. The idea of fractional executives of people working remotely was not the norm. Nobody even heard of it before. The idea is we were trying to figure out how do we communicate this to our clients in an easy way that they will remember? They can put it in their mind and go, “It’s that.” At the time, SaaS was a growing thing. It was the new buzzword. You don’t have to buy it, own it and keep it in your house. You buy as much as you need but not all the rest when you need it.
You’re buying software as a service. You’re buying access to the service. We’re the same way for an executive but you don’t have to buy the whole executive, hire them, put them on the payroll or have 100% of them. You say, “For the next couple of months while we’re figuring this big thing out, I need 25% to 30% of a person. Once it’s rolling, maybe I only need 10% because he can oversee my people get this thing done.”
You get into it and go, “This is a bigger deal. There’s a big trade show coming up. Why don’t we ramp up from 25% to 35% these next two weeks while we get ready for this big thing? We will bring it down.” You can buy as much as you want. That level of support can go up or down. It’s a service. The thing you’re buying is an executive, not someone selling you a strategy deck. It’s someone who’s going to be on your leadership team helping you lead the company forward.
It’s expertise. It’s almost analogous to driving to me. You get on the highway. You need a little more thrust so you push the pedal down. You’ve got somebody in engineering, sales and operations put all that car together for me so that I can go from 45 to 70 to get onto the highway, let’s say. When I need it, I need it. When I don’t need it, I can back off of that. It’s a wonderful business model. When I was doing Chet Holmes and I was Chet’s VP of Sales and Training, we used to do something called Take It Virtual.
What we would do is teach how to build a virtual team and bring people in similar to what you were talking about. Back then, it was a little bit ahead of its time but we did it. We had a $27 million company and employees all over the world. Now, it’s more mainstream. That’s accepted. To companies reading, it is a heck of a way to increase your profitability because you don’t have that high overhead. If it doesn’t work out, you’re not losing. You don’t have to pay severance and all these things that would come along with a full-time in-house employee.
You can get a better-level person because you’re buying just the best stuff they do. You’re not buying all of the other stuff. As the VP of marketing sitting in the seat, rarely can I say, “I spent 30% of my time on the key strategic initiatives.” As the VP of the seat, I’m going to HR meetings and I’ve got this budget planning thing. They’re paying for 100% of me and getting 10% or 15% of me on those big stuff. If you’re hiring this fractional marketing executive, you’re only paying for that big stuff because they’re not doing the fire drill stuff. We outsource our bookkeeping.
The company called GrowthForce does a fantastic job. That’s because even at $30 million if I will try to have my own in-house accounting staff, I couldn’t get a very good accountant because there’s no career path. They work with me and we grow a little bit. I’ve got 1 or 2 people and GrowthForce has got 40 people. I’ve got part of a bookkeeper environment. They have a career path because they’re in a company that focuses on that. They can get a better accountant because that accountant is going to be a learn from everyone around them and move up. I get a much better-quality person and I didn’t have to buy them. I’m using them when needed.
It’s an awesome model. We only have four internal employees here and eleven outside people. The reason that we do it that way is exactly what you said. It works out great. I got to ask this question because you’re the only marketing company I’ve ever talked to that regularly trains their people on sales to understand sales as well. I know a lot of people on this particular show are saying, “How do I sell to a guy like Art? He’s the CEO of a multi-eight-figure and bigger.” Soon I predict in the next years, you will be a $100 million company. I would like to ask this. If somebody is selling to you, how do you like to be sold to?
I don’t like to be sold to but I do like to buy. Most people don’t like to be sold to but they do enjoy buying. There’s a big difference. I buy to satisfy my needs. Sometimes they’re important needs. Sometimes it’s a little different. When I want something, I go look for it. There are two parts. You’re trying to sell to me and you say, “I took this type of a service that Art might buy. If Art had that problem, where would a guy like that go look to find the answer?”
The first thing I would go look to is my trusted advisors. I’m in a Vistage group because I knew that Vistage coach. I would ask the other CEOs in that Vistage group, my fractional CFO and my CPA. I would go to the trusted advisors first who I believe in and know my business and me. If they go, “Art, I’ve got a name for you,” that’s number one. The second is depending on your service. If I say, “This isn’t something where I would get something. My network doesn’t have it,” where do I go look?
Is this the type of thing you would google? Is this type of thing where I would look for a white paper? Is this type of thing where I would go to a conference? Where would I learn? If you can profile me and say, “He would be buying this type of thing,” I don’t buy things. I’m never going to pay you to do the stuff you do but I’ll pay you a lot of money to solve my problems. Talk to me about what I’m facing, “Are you seeing the business like this? Is this a problem that you’ve run into?”
I can recognize that and go, “That’s exactly the problem I run into,” versus, “Can I tell you about my software? I can lower your costs.” Everyone in the world is going to say they can lower costs. You either lower costs or raise them. There are only two things. I never believe you can help my company until I first believe you can understand it. Understand me, what problem you would be solving, where I would go look for information and especially where I would get trusted advice on that information.
I’m going to bring it back and see if I can restate what you said. There’s a pen in my hand. I always take notes through these things because I learn too. In other words, most services on your level being sold are peer-to-peer referrals when it comes down to it. Go to the trusted advisor first. It’s always peer-to-peer relationships. When I work with consultants, many times they’re like, “What do you mean?” The majority of consulting is sold on peer-to-peer referrals. That’s number one.
Number two, we as the seller need to be out into, what a gentleman said to me once, the public square. You must be out there promoting and providing services. His name is Alan Weiss. Alan is a very smart guy. Get Google, the white pages, the download, the report or something that’s valuable to you. We have to be out in the public square. Go to trusted advisors and be out in the public square. You’re looking for two things. What I heard was you’re looking for a value-based offer, which solves the ROI not only on the business but the ROI you’re also personally seeking.
Sometimes the message is ROI. Sometimes it’s, “I’ve got a problem and I’ve got to fix this problem.” I know in the back of my mind if I fix this problem, I’m going to be more profitable. At that point, for that issue, don’t talk to me about ROI. Talk about, “This is the type of problem we can solve and see. We work with a lot of companies similar. Often, we see this. Is that the type of thing you’re facing?” If I think you’ve solved the problem before and you’re great at solving that problem, once we get into price and features, we will figure out if this is a good ROI. You’re not even going to get into the conversation until you’re addressing something that I need to buy.
On the personal side, that could be stress reduction or lifting something off you and giving you more time back in your life to get something else done that you want to get done versus having to deal. Maybe you don’t even have to deal with this if somebody could lift it off your plate.
Grease the squeaky wheel. Get it off my back.
Mr. Art Saxby, I appreciate you being here. Is there anything that maybe I should have asked you about but I didn’t? You might have said, “I was hoping he asked me this question.”
I’ve had a good time. I love talking about business. If you’re a business owner, it’s about having a vision that other people will say, “I want to be part of it.” If you’re a salesperson, it’s about understanding that customer so well that you know what keeps them up at night. You know if they’re up at night where are they going to go look and when they go look either.
I appreciate you being on the show. If people want to reach out to your company or get ahold of somebody in the company and go, “I need one of those VPs of marketing,” how would they get ahold of you all?
The website is ChiefOutsiders.com.
I highly recommend you check it out. If you’re looking at that type of position for your company, it is the way to go. Art, thanks for being here.
That was great. I learned a lot. I hope you learned a lot. If you didn’t get all the questions, write down everything he said. It was great. I wrote it all down. It was excellent advice. I love the fact that he trains his marketing team to be salespeople because they understand what’s going on. As we discussed, it’s got to be ubiquitous. Marketing and sales are one tandem highly-functioning unit. It’s not separated like it used to be in the old days.
In the old days, salespeople used to be able to knock on doors and do the things they were doing. You could still do some of that but now, marketing more than ever is a needed resource, especially on higher-level sales. About 80% of people, before they look at a salesperson or talk to a sales team, they’re starting to make their minds up based on all of the marketing and positioning that’s going on. As a sales entity selling to higher-end CEO Sales Strategies-type clients, what you want to do is make sure you’re positioned well in your sales efforts. This is so critical in marketing.
I also love the fact of what he said when he broke it down. You’ve got to go to the trusted advisors or what we call peer-to-peer referral selling. That means there are people that he relies upon for advice. You want to get to those people first. The reason you want to get to those people first is that they will refer you in. They are trusted advisors of his. The second thing he said when you’re selling to a CEO like himself is you want to be what we would call in the public square. You’ve got to be out there because here’s the deal. They will google you and hit your LinkedIn but only if they know you.
In other words, if they got the trusted advisor in, they’re going to go to the easy sources. For some reason, if he has a challenge or problem that he’s looking to resolve and no trusted advisor has this, he goes out and finds information. He might download a white paper or a report, check out a talk that was done or something like that or ask someone in his network who they would recommend for him to check out. You’ve got to be in that public square. That means when people are looking for you, they’re not going to just google your name.
You’ve got to be out there and keep pushing content out there. You’ve got to be visible so that when somebody says, “If I mentioned computers, what kind of computer do you have?” You would probably say, “I either have an Apple or Mac. It’s one of those. I have an IBM clone, Microsoft tablet or something like that.” You have Dell or maybe HP. There are other companies out there that are supporting the same products and services but you may not be thinking of them because you’re not hearing the name. It’s a little different than branding but it’s close to branding.
What you want to do is get yourself out there. In time, what will happen is you will become a recognized entity. Over time, you become a brand. That brand is what are people thinking about you when you’re not there and the promise delivered. The third thing he said was, “Solve my problems in a value-based way.” He is looking for value-based solutions, not just on the professional ROI. In other words, professional ROI is the hard fact that comes out of this.
You’re going to decrease the cost of goods and increase profitability. Those are all important. A lot of times, people on his level and up and down on revenue are looking for also, “How do I solve my problem here?” This translates into a professional ROI. We talked about how maybe it’s less stress. We get it done. He doesn’t have to deal with it at all because you could take it off his plate. Therefore, he has more time to focus on other priorities.
This is a great episode. I appreciate you being here. If you like this, please support me by going up and subscribing to this channel. The more subscribers I get, the better exposure we get. The more exposure we get, the more we can do these types of things. As always, if you have a subject matter, send it to me at Doug@BusinessSuccessFactors.com. You can hit me up at my LinkedIn profile @DougBrown123 or call our number at (603) 595-0303.
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