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Get The Executives’ Interest: How To Contact Key Decision Makers The Right Way With Gabe Lullo [Episode 148]

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What is your go-to way to contact prospects?

The way we reach out to people in business has changed with the times, from letters, to phone calls, to emails – and the times are changing again. This week, Doug C. Brown speaks with Gabe Lullo, the CEO of Alleyoop. Doug and Gabe do a deep-dive into contacting executives the right way to enhance relationships and lead to increased revenue. They discuss the power of video and voice notes in communication and connection, common mistakes salespeople make when prospecting that can lead to lost deals, how to increase your show up rate for your appointments the modern way, and much more.

In this episode you will learn:

 

Episode’s guest – Gabe Lullo

CEO Sales Strategies | Gabe Lullo | Get The Executives’ Interest

Gabe’s expertise in sales, marketing, recruiting, and management began when he started his own business after graduation from the Barney School of Business at the University of Hartford. He owned and operated his own sales, training, and marketing firm for more than a decade. He excelled in training sales and marketing professionals, and additionally, Gabe has had a successful career in executive recruiting. He has been instrumental in expanding the company’s search and placement for IT, Software Development, Sales, Customer Success, Marketing, and Executive leaders. Gabe’s most recent success has been at Alleyoop, where he has been working to build and grow the company by focusing on culture, environment, customer success, and sales.

Visit his website: www.alleyoop.io

Gabe is offering CEO Sales Strategies’ listeners a 10% discount on a 4-month pilot for Alleyoop services! Mention the CEO Sales Strategies Podcast via this link https://alleyoop.io/contact-us/?button=nav_contact to learn more.

transcript

Get The Executives’ Interest: How To Contact Key Decision Makers The Right Way With Gabe Lullo

In this episode, I’ve got an amazing guest. His name is Mr. Gabe Lullo and he is the CEO of Alleyoop. They make tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of calls a month out to CEOs, decision-makers, and business owners. We’re going to talk about how to make that phone call, how to contact them, whether it be via email or other methodologies, how to do it the right way, how to get their interest, what they’re looking for, and what they’re not looking for.

Get a pen, paper, digital pad, or whatever you take notes on. This is a masterclass in how to do it. Speaking of classes, if you are interested in becoming part of our 1% Academy where we teach you how to think, act, and sell like a 1% earner, or you’re interested in our new eBook, which is the Nonstop 1% Eearner, reach out to us at YouMatter@CEOSalesStrategies.com and let us know. Let’s go speak to Mr. Gabe Lullo.

Gabe, welcome to the show. Thanks so much for being here.

Thank you, Doug. I’m a huge fan as you know. Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited to dig into this. It’s going to be fun.

I appreciate that. Gabe and I have the gift of gab between one another. If this sounds like two friends having a conversation, that’s pretty much what it is. Gabe, would you let everybody know what you do and set the frame for the call?

I’m the CEO of a company called Alleyoop. If you’re a basketball fan, you pretty much would get this very quickly but an alley-oop in basketball is considered the ultimate assist. It’s that exact moment in time when someone throws up the ball, someone else comes in, gets all the credit, and slamdunks the ball. It looks awesome. We do that for our clients.

We are a sales development agency. We’ve been doing this for many years. We’ve worked with some huge, crazy, awesome brands and a lot of founder-led startups. We come in and help rebuild or fully build out a sales development function from the entire support of the SDR, data, technology, playbook, and messaging. We deliver that in the form of high-quality appointments for either founders or sales teams so they can scale and expand their business.

Essentially, you help people get qualified leads so that they can talk to their target buyers.

That’s the result of what we’re looking for. There are a lot of insights though like up funnel that are also exciting for especially founders. You’re looking for investments, funding, VC firms, or PE firms to work with you potentially. All that data, analytics, the product market fit features, what should we be spending time on and building out features, and all of the insight and information that is gathered in those conversations is also extremely important. We provide all of those data and analytics as well as what’s working and what’s not working but at the end of the day, the meetings on the calendar with your ideal client and the buyer are where the magic starts to happen for sure.

I want to dig into this data analytics thing in a moment. You’re the CEO of the company. Your website is fantastic. I want people to go check it out. It’s one of the best websites I’ve ever seen on the planet.

Personalized Video

Thank you. I appreciate that. We built it in-house. It’s Alleyoop.io. The reason why we have such a great website is you’ll also notice there’s a lot of video on our website. Video is essential in humanizing the sales process and we use video to do that, whether it’s through making custom videos for our clients to help the prospecting channel, as well as our SDRs doing custom one-off videos to prospects all day, every day, to cut through that noise of emails and messages to get meetings on the calendar.

How does video do that? It’s a great statement. Video enhances the relationship between the person who doesn’t know us and gets to know us.

Video enhances the relationship between the person who doesn't know us to get to know us. Click To Tweet

The old adage is a picture is worth a thousand words and people say video is worth a million. At the end of the day, look at social media, TikTok, for instance. That’s all video. Look at YouTube. We’re on video. You and I can be doing this old school like we used to back in the day on audio conference calls but at the end of the day, video is the new normal. I sit from home and build a multi-million dollar international business without leaving my house. I’m on video all day, every day.

Video from a prospecting channel cuts through the noise. Instead of making a cold call, sending a templated email, or sending a note on LinkedIn, we have effective tools that we use but if I made you a customized hyper-personal, very relevant video that hits you right between the eyes, it’s going to gain your trust, knowledge, appeal, and most importantly, hopefully, get you to say yes because AI is dehumanizing the entire approach.

CEO Sales Strategies | Gabe Lullo | Get The Executives’ Interest
 Video is the new normal. It can gain you trust, knowledge, appeal, and approval.

 

Don’t get me going on that one, Gabe. AI is dehumanizing everybody and everything in all areas. I was going to make a little joke there. I was going to say, “What’s audio conferencing, Gabe? I’m not old enough to remember what that is.”

Remember star 6 to mute yourself on those things?

Yes. You’d be on these audio conferences and people didn’t know how to mute themselves and they kept hitting star-something. I find this thing with what you said about the video. A lot of people don’t use it enough. It’s so interesting to me. I don’t know if it’s just because some people say, “I’m not that good on camera,” or whatever it might be but that doesn’t matter what I’ve found with the video.

It’s like the genuine connection of human-to-human personalization and meaningful communication. If you make that video personalized, it doesn’t even have to be a high-quality video. It could be something we take from our cell phone. I’d love your feedback on this because we’ve never talked about this.

What I have found is just because you take the time, and I’m not going into data analytics, but you’ve got information on these people that you can take and make the video relevant and meaningful to them using some of these data points. I find that people appreciate the fact that you went above and beyond what normally people don’t do.

Companies like Loom, Vidyard, and Vidoo are all companies that specialize in video creation from a one-off scenario. There are ways you can leverage this and do it at scale and still be personal and relevant but doing it in itself is what’s going to stand out. I get prospected every day. I’m the CEO of companies. I’m on Zoom info. I get cold calls. I look at it differently because it’s my product. I look at it from a different perspective and see how they are doing.

At the end of the day, if someone sends me a personalized video in an email or a LinkedIn message and it’s super relevant, it’s going to allow me to understand what they’re doing. I ask them to do it because many AI bots are out there so when someone tries to pitch slap me on LinkedIn, I respond and say, “I love to talk with you but can you do me a favor and send me a one-minute Loom video of who you are and why you think you’d help me specifically? I’ll be interested.”

Here’s what’s funny. Ninety-nine percent of them don’t even email me back or follow up. The ones that do, I take the meeting. Not because I said that I would but more importantly, it’s probably going to resonate. That’s what we’re saying and what we do. Think about it like this. No one is in the office anymore. Outside sales was the way business was always done. Everyone’s going remote. Inside sales is the new wave of doing everything.

Why not take video in this capacity? It’s going to bring those things back that we were used to, especially in sales. Gift of gab, salespeople are mostly extroverts. Salespeople like interacting with other people. Salespeople understand how to communicate with the use of body language. If you don’t attach a video to it, internally in your team, let alone prospecting-wise, you’re hamstringing the entire process of communication.

You brought up people prospecting you every day. I have been teaching people for years and they’ve been pushing back. They’re starting to get this concept. You can mass market out. You’re getting on your LinkedIn and there’s all this crap. A friend of mine sent me an update. He said, “Seventy-two percent of messages that came through were complete junk. They were irrelevant.” I was like, “Let me go check. Almost 80% of mine were like that.” You’ve got all this noise coming through. How do we differentiate ourselves at this point or be different?

Video is one of those ways of doing it, as what you’re telling me but what I’ve been teaching people for a long time is you don’t have to go out to thousands and thousands of people if you get clear on who your ideal buyer is. If you target with ideal, personalized, relevant information and meaningful communication between one another, your close rate will go up. The conversations that we’re having are sales-ready in most cases or certainly sales-qualified versus marketing-qualified leads so to speak.

There are multiple analogies. I always say to you, it’s the machine gun or the sniper rifle. Both are effective for doing some big damage but they’re both very different. What you’re saying is more of you hone in on an ideal client profile. You focus on the right contact, put in the extra effort, make that video, do the voice note, make the cold call, and prospect with 100% intention like that sniper rifle. You’re going to be precise and get what you’re trying to get done.

CEO Sales Strategies | Gabe Lullo | Get The Executives’ Interest
 Hone in on the ideal client profile. Focus on the right contact and put extra effort into making video and voice notes before cold calling prospects with 100% intention.

 

If you’re just throwing mud against the wall spraying and praying without direction, you’re going to get some low-hanging fruit for sure but are you going to bank your entire annual budget off of that and forecasts? I wouldn’t. That’s why video I’m like, “Is it extra time? Is it extra effort?” Yes. “Are there technologies to help you augment that?” For sure, but it stands out and cuts through the noise, especially in the noisiest space we’ve ever been in in sales.

It’s all about the right tool you use to get to say, a CEO like yourself. When you were talking, I wrote down, “Chopping wood,” because it’s like, you could take a hatchet, an axe, or use a chainsaw. It’s a lot easier. To me, the chainsaw is far more targeted than what we do. When somebody’s prospecting a CEO, a lot of people want to know, “How do I get CEOs like Gabe?” You already started in on, “When you get a cold contact on LinkedIn, send me a video.” As CEOs in general, how do they like to be approached?

How To Approach A CEO

At the CEO level, CEOs become CEOs for different reasons, whether they’re salesmen, product guys, or financial experts. They always have a strong suit. You have to figure what that looks like out. Look at their past experiences and what they’re doing or have done on LinkedIn. If it’s a salesmanship type of person, I would be prospecting them through a cold call because most people who are in sales or have that sales backbone will answer the phone. They’ll respect the conversation more because that’s the hat that they wear.

If they’re more in the financial piece of it or more of a product or developer type of guy, I would go more into the messaging part of it, such as an email. Be hyper-relevant and write a longer email for that personality type. If they live and sit on LinkedIn – you can easily see that based on their most recent posts or activity and engagement, which is all transparent – if they’re on LinkedIn, I would target them through LinkedIn. You can understand if they’re on it by that activity. Those are the three channels that I would look at and prioritize based on what you think their personality type lies in. That’s how I would personally do it.

If I heard you correctly, which I hope I did, we’re talking about doing our research, determining the personality type, determining the preferred communication method, and reaching out according to those three rules.

Determine the personality type and the preferred communication method before reaching out. Click To Tweet

Correct. We also have something called Bursting, which is a combination of all three of those channels. If you need to get ahold of someone in your personal life, other than smoke signals, you’re going to do everything you can through all the channels to get ahold of them. We wanted to approach it the same way. It’s not about just putting them in a 22-day sequence, making a phone call, and sending an email. It’s boring and methodical.

If you truly want to get ahold of someone and they feel like you want to get ahold of them, which is the feeling you want them to feel, then I would do everything I can to get ahold of them other than stalk them. I don’t want to be annoying, weird, pushy, or in your face but I do want to use all the channels I can as ingredients to get to the result, which is a conversation.

If you see a smoke signal coming up in front of your house in the front yard, that will be me with a blanket. I love the word Bursting other than stalking. When we find somebody that we think we have some romantic interest in, we’re going to do everything we can to try to impress that person to have a conversation with us.

Permission-Based Conversation

It’s like you’re hunting for that conversation but at the end of the day, if you feel like you’re being hunted, you’re going to run the other way. You want to use all of those channels as reference guides. Our team is cold calling. The phone is king in our work. Phone is the fastest and most effective way to get stuff done, no matter what anyone says. We make about 100,000 calls a week.

CEO Sales Strategies | Gabe Lullo | Get The Executives’ Interest
Get The Executives’ Interest: Phone is the fastest and most effective way to get stuff done.

 

I can tell you that we know what we’re talking about but at the end of the day, we’re going to use email and LinkedIn. “I left you a voicemail. I’m not sure if you got that. I don’t know what’s the easiest way to connect or communicate,” but I asked. I said, “What’s your preferred way of communicating?” I don’t write a 40-page email on my first approach. If I’m trying to contact you, Doug, like, “I left you a voicemail. I hope you heard it. I’m sending you a note here by email. What’s the best way to communicate?” That’s the question.

People will respond to that, not asking anything other than, “What’s the best way for us to talk?” They’ll probably say, “Email is the best way. What do you got?” You’re in a dialogue, which is the point of the entire process or they’re going to say, “I got your voicemail. I’ll give you a callback or me a call tomorrow.” You know it’s a phone. I’ll layer in a voice note on LinkedIn.

Video is great but voice notes are faster and easy to do. People would say, “When you see a voice note, what do you want to do?” “Hit the red.” “Don’t hit the red button.” Everyone’s going to hit the red button. You want to do it because you don’t know what it is behind the door. I don’t like the iPhone update because the voice note’s transcribed but on LinkedIn, it doesn’t yet.

If you have a voice note on LinkedIn, you’re going to want to hit play and listen to what the person has to say. I’ll throw that in there too and say, “I left you an email and a voice note. I’m not trying to stalk you but I do want to talk to you. My boss asked me to reach out to set up a call. He did ask me to reach out to you by name, hence the reason why I’m connecting. I’d love to know if we can put something on the calendar here.” It’s more of a prospecting to SDR type of motion and doing that on a voice note. You’re stepping away from all the other math you get on LinkedIn messages.

Gabe, what I’m hearing is you are getting permission-based conversations. You’re reaching out in a very respectful way, respecting their boundaries and preferred communication methods, and building high rapport before you even get the opportunity to have the conversation with the person sometimes. You’re getting more of a permission-based conversation and the person says, “Sure. I’ll take your call,” versus interruption like, “Let’s talk about the fish on the wall,” and all the old types of top-down selling methods.

I don’t know one CEO who would not respect highly professional, articulate, and respective types of approach to opening up a dialogue. They not only will respect that but they’ll also lean into it and appreciate it more and be willing to give you their ear. The biggest thing about a CEO is they’re ridiculously busy. Appreciating that and saying it upfront is the easiest way to get respect in that dialogue from a prospecting perspective.

“I know you’re the CEO of your company so I’m going to safely assume you’re the busiest person I’m going to be talking to, but the reason for my call is to capture 30 seconds of your ear to let you know who I am and why I’m calling and see if it even makes sense to continue the dialogue. Would that be fair?” That’s super professional, articulate, quick, and appreciative of their time, and then dropping the hammer once they say yes.

If we ask for 30 seconds, we better be able to say what we need to say in 30 seconds or less.

You can’t go over 31 because if you said anything more than 31 seconds, you’re a liar. You lose all credibility and respect and you’re a waste of time to talk to. That’s how I look at that. In a cold call or any type of permission-based prospecting, all you’re thinking in every single step is to gain more time. The first 5 seconds and 7 seconds are to gain 30. The next 30 is to gain a demo. At that point, it’s all about time. It has nothing to do with the product.

My first 10 seconds is to gain 30 seconds. My next 30 seconds is to gain 30 minutes at a different time and day. That’s how you have to look at it. Every role has its role to get to that dance. I always say this. A lot of CEOs are building their business and they’re an SDR at that specific moment. A lot of people think they’re a CEO throughout the entire sales journey. I don’t care what your title is. At that exact ten seconds, you’re not a CEO. You’re an SDR. In that 30 seconds, you’re still an SDR.

The 30 minutes over there, you’re an AE but you can still own all of it and be a CEO as a founder-led sales motion but you have to respect your role and what it’s for. If you’re in that SDR role, you’re the trailer for the movie. Trailers are high energy, fast, quick, and punchy. The whole focus of a preview or a trailer is to get you to the movie, not to tell you the ending, everyone dies at the end, or the pricing of your product. It’s about getting you enough information to get to the movie and let the demo or the movie do the work at that moment. It’s all about staying on track with the sales cycle.

The SDR role is like the trailer of the movie. It's about getting you enough information to get to the movie. Click To Tweet

Gabe, I have so many questions but I want to ask this particular question. Is this transferable? Can an SDR do this for anyone? Can we take any personality and say, “This person’s great at being a CEO but they shouldn’t be in the calling role. They want to transfer their skillsets to an SDR and have the SDR replicate and get them more appointments.” Is that feasible?

SDR With The CEO

It’s better. Think about it. The CEO is the best salesman ever for their company. Unless you’re a product CEO, and I love you but at the end of the day, if you can’t explain your product in a super passionate way, that’s a problem. You shouldn’t be doing it. Founder-led sales motions are phenomenal. A lot of CEOs who are trying to start and leverage the sales process do it the wrong way. They hire a VP of sales first, which is the last thing you should be doing. It’s highly expensive.

You think that because they’re sophisticated, high priced, and experienced, they can replicate you the best. It is not the best way to do it because, frankly, the first thing they’re going to want to do is hire SDRs. They say, “Here’s what I recommend. Hire an SDR,” which in reality, it’s better. Think about it. An SDR’s job is to not sell your product but sell you. Their entire focus is to edify you. What we tell our SDRs is, “You’re not selling the product, you’re selling the person.”

Their first preview, trailer, or job is to get them excited to talk to you. If you can have your calendar slammed with high-quality meetings with people that you want to talk to but more importantly, they want to talk to you, you’re going to be able to generate enough revenue to pay not only a VP of Sales but probably hire three AEs underneath them in very short order. That’s how I look at it and that’s why putting an SDR with the CEO is better than having the CEO hire any higher-level salesperson from the beginning.

CEO Sales Strategies | Gabe Lullo | Get The Executives’ Interest
 Putting an SDR with the CEO is better than a CEO hiring any higher-level salesperson from the beginning.

 

That is fantastic information. I wholeheartedly agree with it. Not because we’re friends and we hang out but it’s so smart to do it that way. I see constantly where they’ll go, “I’ll get a VP of Sales and that will leverage me. I’ll be able to do this.” Sometimes, yes, and many times, you’ve created another issue for yourself that you’re going to be managing through the process. The SDR got ahold of you. As a CEO, they’ve got their 30 seconds. What do they have to say in those 30 seconds?

How we do it here is four bullet points. They have 30 seconds to say 4 bullet points that are very relevant and specific to your program, product, or service. We’re all about people here. People buy from people and you have to understand people. We also want to hit those four personality types. There are analytical people. We call those guys The Urchins. They’re very specific. We got the Sharks. They’re the money guys. They want to get a return on investment. “How’s this going to make me money?” We have the cultural people. Those people are looking at customer satisfaction rates or big general things that are helping either their staff or their community. You got the financial people.

What I would look at is putting in a bullet point that would be relevant to any one of those personality types. You don’t know who you’re talking to on the other end. You can take a guess based on their title but at the end of the day, if you hit all four, they are going to resonate. I would say something about money, saving money, or making it. I would say something about analytics, some statistics in there, what it does for the marketplace, and how it differentiates from a competitor. Those are the four bullet points I would put in your message and then you walk it back.

It’s like fishing. You give them all the food but you have to pull it back and you got them on the line. “I’m not the expert here. My job is to coordinate calendars and get you in front of my boss, Doug. He asked me to reach out to you. Based on what I’ve said so far, it makes sense to have you speak with Doug. Would you agree?” “I would. I’m pretty interested in this.” “Great. I have his calendar in front of me and then you go right into the meeting.” That’s how we do it.

Once you set the meeting, do you come back and say, “In our conversation, what was that one point that got you to take this meeting?” Do you qualify for that or not?

What we want to do is get the meeting in the first half of the call and if you can keep them on, once they say yes to the demo, try to qualify as much as you possibly can. Ask questions that are relevant so the account executive or CEO can go into that meeting fully prepared. We usually try to get 3 or 4 of those knocked out. We don’t want to ask too many questions in the front because we may lose the meeting. It goes down the rabbit hole and you’re backpedaling. Try to get them to say yes based on your four points of messaging. If you have them on the line and they’re curious, try to get as many questions as you can, and then always defer back to the meeting. Share those notes with the presenter at that moment so they can come into that meeting fully prepared.

Don’t overdo it. You could invoke some objection in that process of asking and lose the meeting. What I heard is there are four biotypes for personalities. You’re asking a question to hit each one of those personality types and then that’s going to resonate with one of them because there are generally only four in that process. Once that resonates, we’re setting a meeting. From there, we might ask 2 or 3 questions like, “Gabe, I promised 30 seconds. We’re at that point. I wanted to know, could I have another 30 seconds? I have a couple of points I wanted to put in here for meeting notes,” or whatever you might want to say at that point.

You’re building value on the customization of the appointment, which is respecting the hell out of their time. “We don’t want to waste your time on this appointment. We understand you’re busy, Mr. CEO. Doug is my expert here who asked me to set this up. You’re going to be meeting with Doug. For Doug to be fully prepared and tailor this call for you, he did ask me to ask a couple of questions so he’s fully prepared and he does his research prior to the call.”

I say all of that to tell him why I’m asking the questions. If he’s like, “I’m running into a meeting. He can ask me those on the call,” it’s okay. If it’s like, “I appreciate that. I’m super busy. I don’t want to be spending more than twenty minutes on this call with Doug. Go ahead, ask me,” I ask the questions. Doug has the information and he goes into the call prepared.

I give him that permission to say, “This is why I’m going to ask these questions so my expert comes into this meeting fully prepared to respect your time, Mr. CEO. At the end of the day, if you don’t have the time to do it, I understand that. They’ll be able to answer those questions on the call.” I’m promoting it to be a fully custom white glove VIP experience, which stroking that ego of the CEO is going to be effective and they will show up to the meeting.

They gave you a piece of invaluable information, which is twenty minutes. You want to keep that meeting short, pithy, and right to what it’s supposed to be. Once we get that meeting with the CEO, if we find out then, and I see people make this mistake all the time, Gabe, it’s like they try to figure out other influences like, “Is this a multi-person sale on that call that we were just talking about?” They’ll start asking questions like, “There are other decision-makers in this thing, right?” I see them lose meetings that way.

Here’s why. We all know BANT or Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing. It is great training for account executives, not for SDRs. It’s great to know all of those things in a sales call, not a prospecting call. It’s different. It’s if you’re trying to get authority and budget. I have clients come to me and say, “Can we make sure that we have the right budget in place before a demo is on my calendar?” I’m like, “Absolutely not.” Why would you want to price people out of a demo before you even know what you can do for them? There’s no way.

There are questions. The need is probably the most important question that you would want to get on a prospecting call because then you are wasting people’s time, including yours. Authority is based on title. We all know that. You could look up pretty much the title and the size of the company and how big that structure is to know who’s the authority. The budget is something that you should need to discover in a demo, not in a prospecting call.

If I could sum up our whole call here, the whole purpose of getting to a meeting with a CEO first is we’re trying to get in and get an appointment for us. I know I’m breaking this down to its essence and its basics but so many people violate what you said, step 1, step 2, and step 3. They’re trying to get married before they get a date.

We want to do this, get permission-based, be able to do our research, understand the personality types that we’re going for, understand the preferred communication types, keep the call brief, let them know it’s a brief call, and have a question that hits all buyer types. From that buyer type, then we’re setting only an appointment. Also, asking if we could further increase the effectiveness or the efficiency of our call with our CEO and want to ask a couple of questions if they had another 30 seconds.

If not, we’ll let the AE deal with it or whoever’s dealing with it. After that, our job is to set that appointment and gather as much information as we can. We’re going to use these data analytics to continue to use for follow-up pieces and other relevant information to keep the relationship strong. Did I get it right or did I miss anything?

You nailed it. Everyone could do everything you said in a sales development function, miss this one piece, and get disappointed. That is the follow-up reminder process that needs to lay in there. We are very fanatical about show-ups because we don’t get paid on just an appointment set. That’s mud against the wall. We get paid on a meeting completed so we want that meeting to happen. There are processes in place between when you book the appointment and when it happens to ensure that it happens and increase that likelihood. Building a framework around that is important or you’re going to get no-shows all day and you’re going to get pissed.

When you book the appointment, it's important to build a framework for the appointment to happen. Click To Tweet

I call them secret meetings. I remember when I was early on in my sales career. I drove 1 hour and 45 minutes one way to a secret meeting.

It’s unbelievable. Before everything was written on a handbook, calendar, or diary, it was all paper. We get it. Things fall through the cracks but if you’re a CEO and you don’t live and die by your calendar, everything’s electronic on your phone, to blow off a meeting? Come on. I’m going to start screenshotting meetings on my calendar, put it on LinkedIn, and say, “This guy didn’t show up today.” Who wants to do business with people like that? It’s so bad. Things happen. People get rescheduled. Planes don’t land on time but to no call, no show? It’s ridiculous to me.

Before we conclude, I want to ask this. As the SDR sets the appointment, do they tie the appointment down? Is there a possibility that we might have to change this? Do they ask anything like that?

All of our SDRs do reminder calls on the day of and don’t set an appointment that is farther than ten business days, and that’s a stretch. The farther away the appointment is set, the less likelihood of them to show. Even if it has to be pushed out because of the coordination of calendars, we always are doing those reminder calls and follow-ups. We’ll move those things around for our clients when necessary. It’s not a confirmation. We’re not doctor’s offices. We’re not calling you up and saying, “I’m calling to confirm your appointment.”

If that is the language you’re using, 9 times out of 10, people are going to say no or ask to reschedule because no is the option. If I said, “Doug, Brian, who is our Account Executive, is the gentleman you’re going to be meeting with. He’s done some research. He has taken the notes from our previous call. He’s super excited. I spent a good hour to customize the presentation later and he’s looking forward to meeting with you later. We have you down for 3:00. Does that still work for you?” “Yes, it does.” “Great.” Putting it into that is a lot different language than, “I’m calling to see if you’re available still to meet with us at 3:00.” It’s important.

I’m so grateful we had this last piece of information to talk about because that’s where people blow it all the time.

It’s all that work and then you didn’t do that little piece. You’re going to be like, “This Gabe guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” It’s that little piece to keep it all together.

I’ve never asked you this question but I’ve always looked at it as we have to come in as the expert and be confident. A CEO is always sniffing for that point. That is what I found because they want to know if they can handle whatever they’re about to embark upon with them. They’re looking for leverage. If they have somebody that they feel is going to be wishy-washy or doesn’t have that level of confidence, that drops their level of confidence in the whole situation.

When we train objection handling, I always tell all of our sales reps, “There are ten objections you’ll ever hear.” People think I’m nuts when I first say that but then when I take them through each one of them, which we don’t have time now, but they’ll say, “You’re right.” There are ten categories of objections. You can hear a million things but you can categorize every single thing you ever hear in any type of cold call or prospecting channel into ten buckets.

I will promise you this. Most of the ones, especially CEOs who are throwing objections your way, are not because they truly care about the answer or even the question but they’re testing you to see if you’re worth their time that they’re potentially going to give you. That’s what it’s all about. They’re testing you if you know your stuff, especially VPs of sales, CROs, or CEOs who are heavy salespeople. They’ll take a meeting based on respect for the salesperson. It’s like, “You got your stuff. I’ll take your meeting.” It’s almost like they’re both in the same game. “I respect you so I’ll give you my time because you handled these questions that I threw your way.” It’s mostly the test.

Your high driver types will test to the ends of the earth. I remember I had a meeting one time where somebody was throwing objection after objection. I asked, “Mr. CEO, may I ask a question that might be a little off-color?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “What if you didn’t have all these excuses that you keep throwing at me? What would you do then?” He said to me, “It’s an excellent question. I’d do this.” I said, “Sir, how long have you been lying to yourself?” He goes, “You got the meeting.”

The reason I brought that forth is not to say, “Look, I’m smart.” I think I am but what I want is for people to capture what we’re talking about here, Gabe. Some of these people are going to push and test the waters to see if we have the metal or the confidence to be able to handle that situation. They might be testing it internally because that is the environment of that organization where everybody challenges people and they don’t want to be embarrassed bringing somebody in through the door.

Remember, there’s always a business return on investment and a personal return on investment on every single decision. Gabe, I appreciate you being here and bringing the A++ game. I would love to have you back on another episode if you would love to do so. How do people know more about you and the company? They’re like, “I can use an SDR.” What would they do?

I’m very avid on LinkedIn. I post every day but we take the weekends off. Monday through Friday, we’re posting on LinkedIn. I’m hyper-responsive there. If you’re looking to reach out to chat about business, advice, tips, or strategies of any kind, shoot me a note on LinkedIn and we’ll get back to you for sure.

Folks, if you have any questions regarding SDRs, how to use those SDRs, get to CEOs, get to high-level decision-makers, and leverage your time, reach out to Gabe on LinkedIn and we’ll go from there. Gabe, thanks again for being here on the show.

Thank you, Doug. It’s always a pleasure. I’m a big fan.

Did you take a lot of notes? I hope you did. Don’t forget to do your research, have those personality types defined, and have their preferred communication style. It’s so important to the preferred communication style. I have done live tests where I’ll take two people and sit them in a chair back to back. They’re best friends in an audience. I will give one of them who is verbally dominant and the other is auditory dominant. I will ask them to speak to one another.

I will change it up. We will only use auditory dominant words for the verbally dominant person and only say kinesthetic words in communication with the auditory person. The most amazing things happen. They start to separate on stage and move away from one another. Language communication and preferred communication styles are so important. I’m so grateful that Gabe brought that up.

Don’t forget those because you could be repelling people because the words that you’re using sound like scratching on a chalkboard to them. We all have a preferred communication style and buying communication style as well. Make sure that when you’re making that initial call or trying to get that initial call out, use that preferred communication style if at all possible.

Also, remember step 1, step 2, step 3, and step 4. Don’t try to do steps 3 and 4 to try to close the sale. You’re trying to get an appointment in that process of talking to a CEO. When you set a timeframe, you better look at your clock or watch and make sure you do not go over it because as Gabe said, you’re breaking trust at that point and you’re useless to that person. Not that you as a person are useless but they’re going to look at you and go, “You wasted my time. I can’t trust you.” The game’s over.

There are so many things to unpack in this category of the process that in other words, you want to use everything we talked about in this call. Make a checklist of the things that you must have. Use the data analytics and use that data that’s coming through in your meaningful communication. Video is an amazing way of doing this but make sure you take the moment to make sure that the video is relevant and meaningful.

You don’t have to be the best on video. This is not a Steven Spielberg production you’re trying to put out. What you’re trying to put out is genuine, meaningful communication that is relevant to them. Remember, a lot of times, relevancy is they have something they want to solve or as important as you’ve read here before, CEOs are also looking for, “Bring me things that are going to happen in the future that I’m not even aware of,” that makes you invaluable to them at that moment. Make sure that when you’re doing that particular call, you’re using the buying types in that call when you’re making the pitch for the appointment if you will.

I hope you got a lot out of this episode. If you love it, please do me a favor and review it. I know it takes a moment, I’ve done it, but I would be forever grateful. If you want to join our 1% Academy where we’re teaching you how to think, act, and be a 1% earner in selling, and you’re looking to get clear on your buyer types, reach out to us and let us know. If you’d like a copy of the eBook, Nonstop 1% Earner, also reach out to us and let us know.

You can reach out at YouMatter@CEOSalesStrategies.com. We answer all emails and all inquiries. If you don’t hear back from us within a day, email us again because your email didn’t get through for whatever reason. We will get back to you for sure. Go out and sell something. Focus on client acquisition but do it in a win-win manner. You win, they win. Hopefully, everybody wins. That is the greatest sale in the world. Please do not discount when you do not have to because, in discounting, you have to make multiple sales to make up for that discount depending on how deep it is. You want to work easier with more leverage like a 1% earner. Until next time. To your success.

 

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