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The Right Time For Founders To Step Back From The Sales Process With Anthony Garcia [Episode 111]

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When you are the founder or CEO of a company, how do you know when it’s the right time to step back from the sales process?

Many founders and CEOs struggle with letting go of the sales process. In this episode of CEO Sales Strategies, Doug C. Brown speaks with Anthony Garcia, founder of Catapulting Commissions. Doug and Anthony discuss when to successfully step backward from the sales process, transitioning to a sales team, why human connection and interaction are critical for success, and much more.

 

In this episode you will learn:

 

Episode’s guest – Anthony Garcia

CSS 109 | Sales Process

Anthony Garcia is an expert in sales training, recruiting, goal achievement, and motivating business leaders to peak performance. With nearly two decades of experience, Anthony has achieved top accolades in direct sales, business-to-business sales, and medical sales. In previous roles, he has trained and developed sales teams for C.R. Bard, Cutco Cutlery, and Paychex. His international best-selling book, “Catapulting Commissions”, was recognized by Selling Power Magazine as one of the best sales books to read. Anthony is also the host of the Catapulting Commissions podcast, where he discusses the complacency that robs people of their full potential and interviews some of the world’s top sales performers and entrepreneurs.

Visit his website: www.anthonypgarcia.com

Anthony is giving away a free digital copy of his book, Catapulting Commissions. Download your copy here: https://www.catapultingcommissionsbook.com/free

transcript

The Right Time For Founders To Step Back From The Sales Process With Anthony Garcia

Anthony P. Garcia is here from Catapulting Commissions. We are going to talk about two important topics. The first is, how do we know when it is time, as the founder or the owner of a company, to stop being involved in the sales process, whether you stop too late or too early? How do you transition the power of selling from a founder or owner in transition to a team in that process? That is the first thing we are going to talk about.

The second thing we are going to talk about is how you master the discovery process to speed up the sales process. Here we are, post-pandemic and sales have changed. For those of you who are still fighting that idea, it is always going to be a human-to-human connection but the process is changed. If you are following a process you were doing several years ago and it is not working like it is supposed to, it is because the model shifted. Your model must shift with that particular model. Without further ado, let’s go talk to Mr. Anthony P. Garcia.

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

Thanks for having me. I’m excited to spend some time here.

We are going to talk about how you know when it is time for the founder of a company to stop being involved in the sales process itself. I found this a fascinating topic because of our backgrounds between yourself and myself. A lot of times, founders are involved in the sales process and they’re screwing it up. Why should a founder not be involved in the sales process at times?

The founder is involved in the sales process as we grow in scale and you grow from a startup to a full-fledged 8 to 9-figure organization. When you are in that startup phase, the founder is heavily involved. Whether you have some funding, you grassroots and bootstrapped yourself up to your business, the founder has a lot of skin in the game.

In the entry-level or early stages of business development, I see founders sometimes remove themselves too quickly from the sales process. They outsource the sales process or hire a sales manager, VP of sales or someone who has the experience and give that person the reins and step away. On the inverse, there are sometimes when the CEO has things to do, such as run the organization, new product development and larger business development and they try to get involved in that sales process. It is that fine balancing act.

Here is how I look at when a CEO knows it is time to eliminate themselves from the sales process. It is super simple. The instant moment that you become the bottleneck is the time to eliminate and remove yourself from the sales process. When you eliminate and remove yourself from the sales process, there are two ways to go about it, the right way and the wrong way.

The wrong way is I will have founders that will have built their organization from the ground up, have monthly recurring revenue, have built some profit and hit a certain revenue metric. They were like, “Anthony, I’m the bottleneck. I removed myself and turned over the reins to either an outsource sales team, my SDR or VP of sales.”

My first question is, how much time has that person spent shadowing you, training with you and watching you? If the answer isn’t forever, the answer is wrong. To scale out, I tell founders, “Pick any sports, major league baseball, farm team systems, starting quarterback, backup quarterback. The person that is going to run your sales department should be shadowing you for quite a long time.”

There are a lot of industry insights that the founder has on the way they do business in their organization that someone has to shadow and learn. You can’t substitute on-the-job training. My short answer is the moment you become the bottleneck, that is the time for you to look and say, “Am I a value add or am I a distraction add?”

CSS 109 | Sales Process
Sales Process: The moment you become the bottleneck, that is the time for you to look and say, “Am I a value add or am I a distraction add?”

 

If we look at professional sports as you were referring to, Jimmy Garoppolo was shadowing Tom Brady in the NFL. In hockey, they will send veteran players down to the AHL versus the NHL to teach the upcoming kids, who are nineteen years old at that point, how to be a professional-level player. When they come up to the NHL, they don’t get clocked against the boards and they are an asset.

That is why I was saying in the beginning, “Sometimes they are screwing it up.” I agree with you because what ends up happening is sometimes they hand it off too quickly. That person was like, “Jump into a professional boxing ring when you were a golden gloves champion.” You might be able to handle yourself in that ring but some finer nuances are playing on the higher levels, especially on that founder and CEO level.

When we are talking from CEO to CEO, if we don’t understand the language of the other CEO or what the commonality amongst that CEO speak would be, we break rapport sometimes in the sale and mess it up. It is not the salesperson’s fault at that point. It is that they haven’t been trained appropriately to be able to understand how to think and function at that level. That is what I hear you say.

When that disconnect happens where your salesperson can’t think and function at that level, you will hear CEOs have a bad sales team and the salesperson isn’t getting it done. It is an instant blame game. This person is not doing it. Lead gens give me the wrong leads and your salesperson feeds into it. I have had some difficult conversations with some successful CEOs of organizations and I say, “You are not going to like what I’m about to tell you but you don’t hire me to be your friend. This is your fault. I want to be crystal clear. The fact that you haven’t allowed this person to shadow you and learn everything and be your understudy is a challenge.”

If you know you are getting to that point where you want to remove yourself from the sales process, either you are starting the bottleneck or the company is growing at such an accelerated rate, the first thing you need to look at is to say, “Who is my understudy? How much time are they spending with me?” The answer should be, “A lot.”

I would do it on the reverse with the sales team and say, “You must know how to think like a business owner or a CEO if you are selling to a business owner or a CEO.” It is incumbent upon the sales team as well to understand how to think and function at that level. You and I both know because we have sold to these levels. You walk in and a business owner has a problem. We are trying to present it from a sales position and the business owner’s feeling is like, “You are trying to sell me something. I get it. You do not hear my problem on my level.” Therefore, rapport is broken and all other things are made equal. Business owners and CEOs want to do business with people who play win-win on their level. That is what I have found.

I love how you explain that. That hits home for me. I have never put it in that perspective. I may steal this and drop it on my clients and have them read this portion. I always tell clients, “The greater you understand the person’s problem and you can articulate that you have a clarity and understanding of their problem, the less you have to sell. If you even understand the problem, for the most part, someone is going to make the assumption. If you understand my problem so well, you must have a solution.” When it goes from founder to founder, CEO to CEO, we resonate with problems. We understand where you have been. I haven’t thought of it that way but that makes tons of sense. That is a great point, Doug.

The greater you understand the person's problem and have clarity and understanding of their problem, the less you have to sell. Share on X

I love what you said at the beginning here, “They aren’t set up to outsource to a team.” Especially if they had previous businesses and they have been successful before. They were like, “I will hire people in and they will do their thing.” When it doesn’t work out, they are going to blame the sales team. When I look at the lead flow that is coming through the company, let’s say they are supplying leads to their sales team, I often find that they are providing them leads or marketing qualified leads but not sales-qualified leads.

There is that holistic process of driving a lead to get it to the conversion side. When the company is not necessarily set up to handle a sales team and they are dropping leads in that aren’t going to convert, it’s the hard conversation you have to have with the owner. It is the owners or that person who is outsourcing at fault at that point. It is not the sales team’s fault.

They were like, “I have been selling it. It has been successful for me. Why isn’t it successful for them?” Their thought process is difficult to grasp that concept I have found. Once they grasp it, they even accept it. Have you found the same? That would be the first question. Why do you think that happens if it is?

We will talk about repeat founders or people who have run successful businesses as an example. If I go to the gym, want to get in shape, hire a personal trainer, eat healthily and do the right thing but I don’t know any better, I’m not going to question and do everything the trainer tells me, all the research I have done, I’m going to eat healthily, get up every day, work out and I’m not going to question anything, I’m going to get amazing results. If I want to stop, come back a couple of years later and be like, “I can do this,” you have the know-how or the experience of the level of success but sometimes we forget some of that work that took place to get there and some of the fundamentals. We have to take a step back and start over.

Here is what I found, Doug. In full transparency, I found it with myself because, for the first business I ran, I was 22 years old. I did 10, 12 to 16 hours a day in my first year building this business game up. I never complained and never asked questions. I got up, did this, addressed issues, raised the team, trained sales, helped customers and did the whole night. I never stopped.

I closed the business down, had some challenges, went to the corporate world, came back and relaunched a second business. It had been several years since I started a business. I remember coming to my wife one night and I’m like, “I overestimated how easy this would have been because I did it back then. I didn’t anticipate doing the fundamentals again.” My skillset was better. I was a little bit more mature. I had more business insight. I had done it before. To go back to the fundamentals and do the basics, the blocking and tackling, the Xs and O’s of business development and growing a business, sometimes we skip out on that because we have had a level of success before. When that happens, that is where I am a big advocate of having somebody in your corner to tell you, “You are doing this wrong.”

I always ask clients, “What is it about me? Why are we making this decision to move forward?” The answer was enlightening. Everybody around them in their community, bankers, CPAs and the mayor of their town, you guys are doing phenomenal. You are great. You are bringing jobs to the community. We love having you here. No one tells them, “This is what you are doing wrong. This is where things are making mistakes.” You have to have that person in your corner. For myself, I had that person in my corner that was like, “Just because you did it several years ago doesn’t mean you can pick up where you left off. You have to start all over.”

CSS 109 | Sales Process
Sales Process: Just because you did it several years ago doesn’t mean you can pick up where you left off. You have to start all over.

 

You can find Anthony at AnthonyPGarcia.com. I love what you said because many people think that because they have had past successes, what they are going to do is going to turn into magic and gold on day one. I have found a challenge even more exacerbated over the last several years where the shift and the pandemic have happened in sales.

I’m an old guy. Back in 1998, 1997 and 1996, when DSL was coming in from dial-up service, I was like, “This is going to change how sales are done forever.” People were like, “You are crazy. That will never happen.” I’m like, “No, things will go more virtual. You can get all this information online.” We are the sales team that they rely on for expertise. If they can go out over time and find things we have been telling them, they won’t need us as much. They will need us as a sales team but differently.

In 2022 and 2023, we are here. I’m finding that a lot of people have a hard time embracing the new way of selling. Marketing is far more important in the sales process but from a salesperson’s perspective, even more so. They have to become almost micro marketers and put themselves out there in the public square more because, with a click of a few button strokes, you find anything you want. By the time they invite salespeople in, they have already made a certain decision about what they are looking for. They are looking for the right people or entities to help them.

A lot of people, at least people I’m talking with, Anthony, who are selling or are CEOs of companies, are not doing the fundamentals of the selling process or are still stuck in a rigid system that worked several years ago. It is not what they want now. They are trying to go back and do this long discovery process through the process. They are losing sales because of this. Have you found a similar thing that is happening?

When we move into the discovery process of working with the prospects, I see many people doing it incorrectly. It’s the ability for our consumers to find out anything about us before they meet with us. At this point, if I’m selling whatever it is, I need to make the assumption that this person has done their homework on me, my company, my competition and even my pricing. If you are sufficient, big enough and have enough reputation, your information is out there. Make all those assumptions.

You mentioned transitioning from dial-up to DSL and you go DSL to web and web to video and text messaging and then automation. The constant evolution is changing. We are sales professionals as the CEO. We have to evolve with it. There is this study done out of Oxford University. I’m going to butcher the name of it.

The idea behind the study was the future of automation. What jobs will be most likely to be automated in the future, can be transitioned and we don’t need anymore? The likelihood that a salesperson is going to be automated or no longer a necessity is up to 88% to 90%. That is scary. A sales manager, a sales director and a CEO are less than 10% because that ability to influence and forecast is something we can’t do. The human approach to influence is something that cannot be automated. For the CEOs that are reading, your role has to adapt and move for us to grow. With the adaption and movement of growth, it is a discovery process.

The human approach to influence is something that cannot be automated. Share on X

Many years ago, we had these long, drawn-out discovery processes. We build some rapport. We would qualify our prospect. We ask some questions. It’s the whole premise of question-based and question-based selling. We were making this long conversation but the questions we were asking were in alignment to help set us up for a pitch.

If I’m setting myself up for a pitch, whether it is a one-call meeting or booking the next meeting, if I’m in a long enterprise sale, these long processes are no longer being welcomed and received by our prospects. Our prospects want a much shorter, faster process significantly. As we evolve as owners, CEOs and salespeople, we have to adapt to what the market wants. That is a faster, quicker sales process that is more efficient. It is not just giving somebody the price.

It is well said because it is accurate on what is happening. When we are looking at the discovery process, they are already going to know you, look at you, and know more about you than you might know about yourself in some capacity. I will illustrate this way. I was looking for a new vehicle. When I went to the dealership and I was talking to the dealer, I was like, “How long have you been in business?” The sales rep was like, “I don’t know.” I’m like, “You started in 1967.” I’m going on with these things.

I’m asking him questions like, “In this model car, can you get heated back seats?” He goes, “I don’t know.” I said, “This XLS model, it says heated back.” I’m asking him questions he doesn’t have the answer to. My trust meter is dropping precipitously at that point. In his case, he might not have been able to do a lot of research on me because it was incoming but I was an online inquiry first.

To your point, as the sales team, we also should be doing extreme research as much as possible on the people we are going to see to shorten up that discovery process. I would like to know your steps if you would. How do you master the discovery process to speed that sales process up? I teach people that research is key number one, “You must go and do research.” It is one of the things that people are most reluctant about. It is critical to do it in my estimation. I’d like to turn it over to you. You are the expert on this. How do you master the discovery process to speed that sales process up?

First things first, you said you like to do research in the beginning. I love that you said that. The whole premise and essence of SPIN selling are situational-based questions. I look at the people I work with and say, “We are going to do a discovery call. We are not going to SPIN sell.” With all honesty, I’m not going to ask situation-based questions because I should know the answer already, hence doing research.

I love that you say that because I want to grab as much information as possible. You and I are in alignment there. Understanding the situation is important. I tell the people I work with, “If the information is available online, you shouldn’t have to ask for it. If you are bringing it up, it is only to link together familiarity, link together a problem or to demonstrate that you have done your research on this situation.”

The second thing I tell everybody in the discovery process is we have to take time to understand why in the world this person is meeting with us. Let’s be clear. I would love to think that I’m the best in the world at what I do. I’m sure Doug, you like to think you are the best in the world at what you do. We have to be realistic and say, “I’m good. Doug is good. Some competitors are good.” I want to know why you are talking with me.

In grasping the situation, I want to grasp the internal motivation for this person meeting me because, at this point in a discovery call, they are giving me their most valuable resource, their time. I have found that the majority of the time when we do a discovery process with somebody, they have researched us online, watched the video, looked up reviews and done their homework on us. I want to know why they agree to meet with me.

The reason I asked somebody is to get some clarity. “Can you help me understand why did you agree to meet with me?” If it is outbound, “Why did you agree to meet with us?” If it is inbound, “What prompted you to work with us and reach out?” The old-school sales methodology of retail was like, “How can I help you? What did you come in for?” That whole premise of what someone came in for is valuable. The method of which we deliver is tonality, fluctuations and voice.

I have found that if we jump on a discovery call, rapport-building is something that is often taught. Building rapport is a value add. Building rapport inauthentically or building rapport because you are nervous is a value deficit. You are demonstrating, “I’m not comfortable enough to have this conversation with you.” If rapport is something that has to be forced, you are doing it incorrectly. If rapport has taken up the majority of the discovery call, you are doing it incorrectly.

Building rapport inauthentically or building rapport because you are nervous is a value deficit. Share on X

I have found that if you go through a line of questions, rapport naturally comes out. My job there in the discovery process is to demonstrate that I understand the problem you have and the better I can articulate the problem you have, the higher you trust I can provide you with the solution. What is it that prompted you to reach out to me? Whatever the answer is is great. Can you tell me more about it? How is this impacting XYZ?

It’s those two questions alone. “What prompted you to reach out to me? What prompted you to accept this meeting,” whatever they tell you. “Can you tell me more about it? How is it impacting XYZ, business and life?” Those two questions alone could take 20 to 30 minutes. The information that your prospect is telling you is the exact reason they are going to say yes to you later in the sales process.

I have found and cringed when I see sales calls. I have cringed at video sales calls. I cringed several years ago when I was in corporate and I saw an executive VP sit with one of the largest customers we had as a potential and did a discovery call that was agenda-based. “I’m going to set the agenda before the discovery call. There is some value. I got us clocked in for 20 or 30 minutes. Does that still work for you?” “Sure, I agree with that.”

If the agenda dictates the flow of the conversation and you are more focused on answering the questions on your agenda sheet than listening and acknowledging what the person is telling you, you are not going to move forward in the sales process. It is the equivalent of going on a date with somebody and saying, “How was your day? How was dinner?” They start responding and you look at your phone. That is the equivalent when we have these agenda-based discovery calls. If you can simply change the tonality, “We will prompt you to accept this meeting. What made you want to reach out to us?” Whatever they tell you, we go from there.

There’s a series of questions we follow that I have. The first rule I say is these are the seven questions you want to ask. If you don’t ask all seven questions, it is not the end of the world. Don’t force yourself to ask all seven questions. We simply say, “Let’s gain some understanding and background. Gain is why it is impacting this person.” If that is done effectively, I don’t even have to pitch anymore. I simply say, “Okay, great.”

I love reframing in the discovery process. For example, “Doug, what you’re sharing with me is you have tried to outsource your sales team, you hit some snafus, your client acquisition costs have gone up, your payroll has gone up and thus profit has gone down and you are stressing because your cash isn’t where it used to be and you are stressing over the next few quarters.”

Here is my favorite part. Anytime I hear of any problem, I say, “What is your plan to solve this?” You might think that is a silly question because they have reached out to us for something. Once someone says, “What is your plan to solve this,” it tells me what they are thinking. They were like, “I don’t know my plan. I came to meet you.” I’m like, “Who else are you meeting with?” “I found another outsourced sales team. We are going to cut back on marketing.” Whatever it is, I want to hear what this person has to say. That line of questioning creates a conversation we can continuously dive deeper into.

I love this conversation. I wrote down a bunch of stuff here. First, I wrote down the old circle with the line through it like, “No fake rapport. No pitch when not necessary.” What I’m hearing you saying through the questioning is we are validating these people. All human beings want to be validated. I remember listening to Oprah Winfrey. She said after every single conversation or interview she did on her show, the guests, no matter who they were, would come off and say, “How did I do?” It could be the president of the United States walking off the stage and saying, “How did I do?” That part is being a human being wanting to be validated.

The questions you are asking them, understanding and giving them active feedback as you are doing, Anthony, is validating them as human beings. If you are asking the questions on the right level, you understand what a CEO or a business owner thinks. You are creating peer-to-peer bonding in the process. That will increase rapport in itself. You don’t have to spend a lot of time and rapport.

I was listening to a call from a client of mine and their sales team. They were doing the exact thing you said not to do. They were stuck on an agenda. It took them nineteen minutes to ask the first best question. I went back and helped this rep reframe things. We had two conversations. They reframed this. They sent me a message like, “I closed twice as many sales as I have ever closed and I did it in a shorter period.”

The reason I’m bringing this up is what Anthony is bringing forth is the real deal. We want to build rapport through questioning. We don’t need a script. The reason we don’t need a script is that the person we are talking with doesn’t know we have a script and they don’t know their part of the script. What you are asking, Anthony, is questions to get them to open up, talk and express what they are feeling but is done in a way that is very non-threatening and validates them. It is brilliant. Once we get to that place, “What is your plan to solve that,” they start giving you that information. I hear you know where to lead the conversation at that point.

They have shared with you what is important to them. Here is the kicker. Most newer sales professionals and CEOs aren’t comfortable with that sales process. I have met CEOs that are good at one thing but don’t like that sales process. I want to get clear. After they told me everything about their plan like, “Here is my plan to solve this issue. Here is what we were thinking.” I reiterate their concern of them. I’m like, “Can you share with me what factors are important in determining how you are going to go about getting to this solution?” That is it.

Whatever their solution was, they thought they were going to solve it. “What factors are important to you?” I love this process when we are working in enterprise sales, these long sales cycles where maybe I have to get an endorsement from entry-level or mid-level and keep working my way up to a final decision maker because this is where it all comes out. They were like, “We are meeting with four vendors. You are one of the four vendors. I got to be honest with you. We’re looking for fit and pricing. We are going to send the structure up. My CFO or my CEO is going to make a decision on whom to meet with next. That came out.”

They were like, “I’m working with a small base business. Can you share with me what facts are important for you going about selecting your solution? With all honesty, I want someone to work well with my existing CRM. I don’t want to change stuff on the backend.” Whatever it is, they are telling me additional things that are important to them. I have yet to tell them I have an answer and solution. The more I demonstrate I care about the problem, the more they trust that I have something to say.

Here is how we transition. I’m going to share this with you. There is only one answer or response to this transition that throws people off. As long as you know how to address it, it doesn’t matter. Here is my transition phrase. “I have done the whole thing. I have reiterated the concern.” I state back to them what their concern, their ideal solution and what they told me was important.

When someone sits down with you, they know you have something to sell. We are not just sitting down to sit down. They know you have something to say. I let people know right out of the gate. This is only if it is true. For the most part, it is usually true. We have some systems in place to make sure we don’t get on discovery calls with someone who is not qualified. I say this and I lower the tone of voice, “I would like to work with you to help solve this issue. Where do you recommend I start first?” That is it.

The reason I say, “Where do you recommend I start with first,” is that they are going to tell me what is the important deciding factor to them. Somebody turns around and says, “Tell me the price of your services.” That is the one question that people are like, “Someone tells me the price of your services.” I’m like, “I’d love to share the price of the services with you but I’m not quite sure that I’m the right fit. Before we go there, why don’t you tell me what it is you are looking for? Where do you recommend I start with first?” I go back to saying, “Tell me where should I start first.”

Whatever they want to start with first, structure, pricing, integration, implementation and timeline, it is irrelevant to me as a salesperson because I’m not going to follow the agenda. I’m going to answer what is important to them. They were like, “Why don’t you start with the implementation process first because we run a busy system and I don’t know if we can afford the downtime for our CRM or our software?” I’m like, “Let’s talk about it.” I jump right in and start addressing that issue.

We transition to the pitch, which is a different discussion and conversation. If I’m in a two-step sales process, I have to conduct a demonstration. I want to put something together and demonstrate it. Everything they told me I was going to address, get that put up and schedule my next meeting to show whatever service demonstration I have to do if I’m in a two-call close process. I want to know where they want me to start. It gives the illusion of control back to the person I’m meeting with. Everybody loves to be in control.

I love what you said, which is, “Don’t pitch until your time to pitch.” That is such a thing I see people do right out of the gate. It is like, “Tell me what you got.” They will do that out of the line. They’re like, “I’m busy. Tell me what you got.” They pull out the pitch deck. They go, “Thanks for coming in. See you later.” It is because one hasn’t discovered what the issues are they are trying to solve and that is a huge rookie mistake that people present – they pitch long before it’s due.

We are not supposed to present our pitch until we understand we should be. That is where a lot of people are running into selling, especially with a business owner or CEO. If we don’t understand what they are looking for, we are throwing out a solution that may be missing the mark. You alluded to that early on in our conversation. As soon as we do that, it is like, “No, I wanted chocolate ice cream. You are throwing me yogurt. I don’t eat yogurt. We are not even going to talk about that. Have a good day.” The game is over at that point for most people.

You shoot yourself before you even get off the ground.

We all know sometimes it takes a long time to get in front of the right person if we are doing a more complex sale. It takes time to get in front of these people. We wasted all that time, energy and money. If we are working for companies, they don’t like to hear, “We are below quota this month.” If we are working for ourselves, we certainly don’t want to hear, “We are below quota this month.” We can’t pay our bills or do this. We want to be 50%, 100% to 200% above our projected numbers every single month. Shortening up that discovery process to speed up the sales process is one of the ways of doing it. It is important. I appreciate you sharing this, Anthony. If people want to get ahold of you and learn more about you, what should they do?

The website AnthonyPGarcia.com has links to everything. We talked a lot about discovery. If you go to DiscoveryScript.com, there is a template. I don’t want to call it a script. You can download it. It outlined the process we discussed. Both of those will get you connected to me directly.

I recommend you get the template. If you didn’t catch it, I reframed what Anthony said as I asked and he said, “Where do you recommend I start first?” I asked the same question but he reframed it a little bit. Thanks for being on. I appreciate you bringing your A-game here. Any final closing words on your end?

In this area of business that we are in, so much noise and so many distractions can either accelerate or decelerate you. Every one of your readers who is a CEO and a salesperson are going to adapt and do very well. Those that don’t adapt are going to struggle because there are a lot of changes taking place. The one thing that can never change is the ability for human connection and human interaction. The more robotic we sound, the less successful we will become. The more I empathize with you, the better success we will experience.

CSS 109 | Sales Process
Sales Process: The one thing that can never change is the ability for human connection and human interaction. The more robotic we sound, the less successful we will become. The more you empathize, the better success you will experience.

 

Do you want to say that again because that is the epitome of what we must do going forward in selling?

The more robotic we sound, the less success we are going to have. The more empathy I can display, the more success I will have. We are in a time where the ability to be empathetic with each other isn’t glorified. I’m not going to go on the political sphere of life but we live in an era where you are either on this team or that team. If you pick it, it doesn’t matter, political, religions, sports, entrepreneur or corporate.

We never demonstrated empathy. I have found the clients I work with who have retained me to help their process and clients I work with who have helped them improve their sales process are just empathetic. It is simply saying, “I understand where you are coming from.” I don’t say it unless I mean it. I’m not lying. “I want to hear how it is impacting you so we can elevate our level of empathy, revenue, profits and a lot of other things.”

I don’t know who said this but somebody said, “We are human beings having a human experience on this earth.” I don’t know who quoted it but the reality is I was staying in some hotels. I will mention that Hilton was the hotel brand that I was in. I picked up the phone and dialed the front desk. Up came a message like, “This is Pam and I’m the automated attendant in training here. I would like to route your call to the appropriate person. Please tell me what you got going on.”

In my brain, I went, “You go to be kidding me.” We are trying to dehumanize this process to this level that I can’t get a person live at a front desk at a hotel. I’m a diamond member with Hilton. I stay there a lot. The reality is I’m like, “I’m going to check out another brand.” In my head, I’m like, “Why am I thinking this way?” It goes back to what you said, “Human beings want to be relating to one another and have this connection that is going on.”

I see a lot of selling people hiding behind social selling. They are trying to close deals without ever talking to somebody and complex deals while I’m trying to talk. The crazy part that drives me nuts is every once in a while, it works. People will celebrate it in the media. When somebody wins in multi-level marketing, they say, “This person is at the top of the game.” They didn’t tell you about the other twelve failures that they had to get to that point.

What you said is the key to going forward in selling. If we can differentiate ourselves on the basis that we are human people who care about human people, that is what people who own businesses are looking for. We can automate certain parts of our process but when it comes down to it, it goes back to day 1 when 2 people met. They had to communicate on some level. Otherwise, the rest of us wouldn’t be here. Anthony, thanks so much for being here. Folks, Anthony P. Garcia at Catapulting Commissions, check it out and download the template.

Doug, thanks for having me on the show.

If you have a set agenda in your discovery process and you are following that to the T, you are probably boring the heck out of the person on the other line or the person you are in front of. The reality is when somebody is already on step 7, you do want to go back and try to figure out steps 1 through 7. You got to do it in an expedited fashion. If they are already on step 7 and step 9 is where they close, you got to get there quickly. You can’t take time. People are less tolerant than they were in the process.

The more rapport you have built, the more tolerant they will be of your particular process. If that process is putting them to sleep or frustrating them and they were like, “Let’s get to the point,” what will happen is rapport is going to get broken. You are going to start looking at the watch or clock and be like, “I got to get out of here.”

There’s important stuff in this particular episode as well as all the other episodes we have done. This one here is when you are supposed to exit as a founder or how you speed up the discovery process to increase your sales process’s speed to close. It is so important. One of the mistakes I see a lot with founders is they exit too early. As Anthony said, they are not allowing people to shadow them. They haven’t trained the people appropriately. They want to get out of that sales process, the CEO, the founder of the business and the executive. That makes sense.

They may not need to be there. They may need to be focusing on something else. In the beginning, when you start, you are doing everything. As you get to the next level, you want to manage people in that process but you got to be able to hand off that process appropriately so that they understand the process. Otherwise, they are going to be wallowing there going, “What do I do?” Worse yet, sometimes making it up causes disruptions in your overall process.

You want to make sure that process is a clean handoff, like in a relay race with a baton in hand. It is a very clean transfer from one person’s hand to the other person’s hand and the other person can run with that baton. You can manage them but if you hand that baton off and it is fumbling around and you are going to lose time and stumble, you might lose the race due to that.

You want that A and B, if you are exiting too early, that person is going to struggle. Also, you are exiting out too late where you are the bottleneck. I have had that happen in my life where I had sales closed and the founder goes back in and reopens the sale. In other words, it is closed and they are ready to sign. The owner walks in, they call me back and they go, “We are thinking about XYZ because we talked to the founder or the owner and they said this. We have questions now.” It can be one or the other.

When you are going through there, reach out to a guy like Anthony. Let somebody help you get to that position when you are working through your transition in the discovery process to speed up that sale. If you don’t know how to do this, reach out to Anthony or people who can help you. That will speed up the process.

One thing I would’ve done early on in my career that I didn’t do because I didn’t know they existed was I would have got mentorship a lot earlier. I had a slugging it out on the streets. You make mistakes doing that way. When you deal with people who are helping you, have already been there and are willing to share as we were here on this show, you can move ahead a lot faster. That is the way to do it.

If you like the subject of this show, please let us know by going up and giving it a five-star review and some comments. Tell your friends about this show. The more people that know, the better we can help other people out there. We started this show not to monetize but to help people. That is how we continue to keep doing that. We will bring real guests who will share real information and have been there and done it. You can rely on that information.

If you are looking to build yourself up to the top 1% earners category, go from A to B or if you are at B and want to go to the top 1%, reach out to me at Doug@CEOSalesStrategies.com. We are running a 1% university that is coming out in 2023. If you want to get on the waiting list, please do so. If you have a subject matter you want to know more about or that you think you’re an expert in that you be a great fit for the show, reach out to us at YouMatter@CEOSalesStrategies.com. Go out and sell something. Sell a lot of it. Sell it profitably. Play win-win. Make your day happy. Make someone else’s day happy. That is what we do in sales.

 

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