Episode 12: How to Talk About Money in Sales Conversations

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On this episode, we talk about the big elephant in the room. And that’s money. And we all have to handle that differently, but you got to cover it. I handle it differently as a consultant than the way Clint talks about it as construction, and Nannette and Al have got to talk about it differently as well. Some key takeaways, it’s not always a dollar amount, sometimes its resources, sometimes it’s improvement. But you got to dig in there. And another key point is, sometimes you got to say no, you know, you can’t help everybody. If the budget doesn’t fit, you’re better off telling them now and moving on to the next one. Don’t devalue yourself into oblivion. And if you’re struggling with sales, if you have questions, please reach out to us. We’re on all social media. Everything is at Sales Throwdown. If you’re watching on YouTube, we appreciate it. Please subscribe. Leave a review. Don’t sugarcoat it. Be honest with us. We read everyone. Hope you enjoy the show.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the main event. In the D corner we have Cint The Cleaver Bigelow. In the I corner, we have Al The Gambler Daniel. In the S corner, we have Nan The Promoter Fallman. In the C corner, we have John Small Mountain Hill. Let’s get ready to throwdown!

Welcome to the show everybody. Today we are talking about probably the most taboo thing that a salesperson has to talk about, at least if you’re American. Nan, Nannette actually has that exactly on the point, money, budget. All of this stuff and euros. Yeah, so we were talking a little bit before. And the way that I got to talk about budget is way different than how Clint has to talk about it, and Nannette and Al have a very different way of talking about it as well. So I’m going to let Clint take the lead. Because before we get into this, oh, my God, we’re going to Clint was talking about a couple of deals he lost. And they’re kind of related to budget. So it’s kind of related directly to the topic.

It happens to everybody. Good days. bad days.

Yeah, what you got, buddy?

Way to piss me off right now. So yeah, been a tough little month here. You know, typically, we get on here, and we talk about successes and all that, you know, the good stuff, and everybody likes to hear that. But unfortunately for this, this last 30 days, I’ll say, it’s been rough, it’s been tough. Haven’t been closing some deals that normally go through. And what we were talking about before, this was, you know, I feel like I went through the process correctly, I got to budget step, to the point where we even develop the budget for the customer. You know, we literally help them out. This is what we think it will cost and you know, in six months when you decide to do this project, and, and then we and then we gave him a hard number. And we busted our own budget. That’s tough. There’s no coming back from that. Right. So, so a couple big projects are in limbo right now figuring out what the, you know, what the hell’s going on?

So, if I heard you correctly, when you bust the budget, what does that mean?

I mean, they approve funding right, from corporate, expenditures for, for this project.

The dollar amounts you put up? Yeah, so give us a clue what kind of dollar amounts we’re talking about.

So let’s back up a little bit. Right. So how do you get into the situation where they’re coming to you and saying, hey, help us build our budget.

Okay, so that, that’s the fantastic part of this whole thing, right, is that one of the biggest successes that I have is getting in on the ground floor and saying, don’t wait till the very end, and then put this thing out to bid with your already approved budget, because you’re not contractors, you don’t build things for living. You engineer them, or you manage them. But you don’t build them. And we do. So let us give you the budget to get approved. And it’s tough for me to say because, you know, 99% of the time, this is, this is the best case scenario that somebody allows me to come in, help you develop a budget for your project, you go to corporate, and you get it approved. And then you come back and say, Okay, we’ve got the funding approved, let’s get a hard dollar proposal. And I give you a hard dollar proposal under the budget, it’s a it’s 100% win almost every time. Except for when you don’t meet the budget that you told them.

You’ve already set them, set them up.

What changed?

They don’t have any more money.

So, so you, you come in?

They don’t make more money. Hard to squeeze blood out of a turnip.

It is, yeah.

The way that you explained it before was you know, you take a look at it, you think, okay, it’s 1.3. And then when you go into like the hard look, it’s 3.

Well see, so that’s the sale, right, from a sales side of things, not necessarily an operations or, you know, even a estimating side, from the sales side, we tell you, hey, we’re the, we’re the big boys on in town. We know how to do this, we know how to build it, we’ve seen it go wrong. Let us kind add all that, you know, fluff, I’ll say, into it. And, and that way you’re not scared when it comes time to build this thing. You’ve got the money. And, and you’ve got all the all the right moves to make. But here in the last couple months, we, we’ve kind of fallen short, right?

So I have a question, I would guess that you build in overrides into the whole equation. So you broke through those as well, right? Like, busted the dam, and it’s a flood.

We’re talking about 30% bust over. And it’s tough, because there’s just no, I literally had a project and what’s even harder is, not only that, but our customer may not have a project now either, right? Because the funds not there.

Explain that a little more.

So if a, let’s go, I’ll get technical here. General contractor, right, they hire subcontractors to do all the work, they manage the work. They’ve proposed a, to the owner, right, the some, the guy that owns the building that’s building this stuff. They’ve hired this general contractor to go out and do a study. Find out what it costs to do this project. And this is a year, year and a half before, right? What’s it going to take to do the architectural? What’s it going to take to do the engineering? What’s it actually going to take to build all this stuff? And then what’s it going to take to operate it maintain it? That’s what they’re doing. So this owner had asked this company to go do that study. And I had known this company got in on the ground floor and said, Hey, when it’s time to do that, when they asked you to do that, reach out to me, and I’ll help you from a contractor standpoint for free. Because I want you to approve this. However, this is the caveat, is that when I do this for you, you’re going to you’re going to the table with me. That’s it. We’re not bidding this out. We’re not getting three or four bids to compare. I get you a budget that gets approved. I come under budget we doing, we’re doing the job.

So this is a a shortcut to the dinner table.

Absolutely. You’re, you’re cutting the dinner table out. There is no more dinner table. You’re just eating. Yeah. As long as you come under budget, right. That you developed, and we screwed it up. Okay. Yeah, that’s tough, right? There’s just no…

Now Clint, who screwed it up? Did you play a part in this? I mean, what’s your ownership in this equation?

Yeah, I mean,

That’s a good question.

It is I yes. And I’ll tell you why the ownership is on me.

Can I ask you another questions?

Yeah.

Should you really be on this podcast?

That is so cruel!

That’s a joke, go ahead.

He didn’t, he didn’t even want to speak into the mic. He was like leaning away over here.

Hold on. I know who he is. That only speaks to if you know you’re audience. You know both sides of that equation.

Al Daniels leans so far away from me when he asked that question.

I’m the closest guy to get my teeth punched in. I’ve already, we’ve already had that comment. How did they pull you off of me? Right.

What’s the movie, right now, the Hollywood movie? Where the guy take the gorgeous star…

Blockbuster or like porn, which one are we talking about?

If I’m talking about it? It’s it’s the…

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?

Hollywood. Okay.

Thanks Paul. Team P. Brad Pitt?

Yes, him.

Okay.

So he takes the can of dog food. And he smashes this into, this is terrible. But I just think Paul, oh, um, Paul? what did you… Clint, almost…

Am I just getting shit on this entire podcast?

Hey, man,

I’m so sorry!

Back on topic.

Every, everyone has a bad episode. Alright, so, so we’re talking about, about how you screwed this up. And yeah, and how it’s your fault.

The parts you played in this equation.

So I’ll take it back to the sales standpoint. So what I could have done better is probably really dug into the details on the front end of them just saying, okay, here’s a manufacturing facility. You say you’ve done 100 of them. So give us a price. And, and we’re where it gets lost. And, and cloudy is what exactly do you have in this space? Right, we have some details, we have… And it’s not all our fault. Look, they add a lot of stuff in the end. Oh, now we want a new special bathroom. Now we want a new break room. Now we want a new machine that we’re going to add in. And every time you change or add anything in construction, you’re costing money. There’s no doubt about that.

Any time you change or add anything in any industry. It’s not just construction. Right? Yeah.

So even if you’re building a website, and you build a website then they say, actually, I want the background blue. It costs money to just change stuff, right? Costs man hour.

It’s just a small change. Yeah, yeah. But you got 50 of them.

Right? What is small?

Agreement.

So there’s there, so I will agree that, you know, I’m not going to take 100% ownership of the situation, from our company standpoint. But I’m also not going to take 100% of ours either, because we’re experiencing this and we should be able to predict a lot of those things, right? So when you develop budgets for people, man, you got to think about all those typical things that people change in the end, right? If you’re a professional, I think that you have a pretty good idea of, Oh, yeah, last minute, we want to, you know, saw-cut the whole floor and tie into the existing plumbing instead of doing it new. Oh, now we want to take the whole new edition and put it inside our existing space. If you’ve been in the business for more than five years, you know that shit’s going to happen. That’s what you, that’s how you develop your budgets, right, based on those, all that data retention. All that money lost that you did, all the money gained that you did, that data that you, that you have, had built into your system. That’s what gives you a good budgets.

So were you feeling rushed? Like, like, because you’ve been in the industry for a while, right? And by, by your own statement? Like you should know this, right? You should know the budgets change and right and changes happen. So were you just, were you in a hurry?

Yeah, so this happened two different ways. One, was in a hurry, we had 19 minutes.

19 minutes over like a multimillion dollar building?

Yeah, this is a $2.5 million job that we budgeted in 19 minutes. And here’s what happened. They went out to consultants. And the consultants said, here’s what you need to do this project. They sent that budget over to us and said, Hey, can you just kind of fact check the consultants? We looked at it and we said, you know, and they said, oh yeah, by the way, we need it back in, you know, 10 minutes, because we’re going to the customer into a meeting. Well, I can’t, you know, I can’t work magic all the time. But you know, let’s take a look at it real quick. So we browse through and we say, yeah, everything looks in line? I don’t know. But yeah, sounds good. You know, square foot wise, this dollar per square foot? Yeah, I think you’re there. And then come to find out that there was a line item in there, of, you know, probably 60 line items on the spreadsheet. There was a line item in there. That was a, you know, $190,000 bust. And that wasn’t our fault. That was the consultants fault for putting that cheap, and they missed something they, you know, they missed a ton of labor.

And you guys didn’t pick up on that?

We just missed it. You know, because, you know, we’re talking, we’re talking 19 minutes. So you talked about rush, right? Yeah, that, that happened. That’s a rush. There’s another one that we had for months. And we went through it with a fine tooth comb. And we missed 6, $600,000.

So can I ask?

So that’s, that’s a misstep.

A long the same lines though. Do you think the fact that it’s summer and people were on vacation? And you’re, you’re, you’re shifting gears? Sure. I think it all ties in, did that tie into part of this? Because I know it affects our business.

Yeah. So, so I’ll say that if you have one job to get through in a week, you spend all your time on that job, you get 40 hours to dive into it and really look at it. And you can think of all these possibilities, you can give the customer suggestions on ‘don’t do this, do that.’ That happens. But what happens when you have five jobs to get done in a week? Because that happens, right? They’re all qualified. They’re all great jobs, they all got approved budgets, they all got real money, they’re all going to happen. And none of them are better than the other. All right. Because if you’ve established your process, and you vetted your customers properly in the jobs that you bring in the door, sometimes they’re all going to come in at one time. And they’re all good. What do you do then?

And then some companies, you get pressure to, hey, we’ve got a bunch of estimators and they don’t have anything to do, keep them busy, go get something.

Oh, mine’s terrible about that. We do that all the time. And I always ask the question, well, can’t we, let’s go revisit some stuff. Right, let’s go back and find some jobs that are still in limbo? And is there anything that we can do to push those further forward versus bidding this job that doesn’t qualify our process? And sometimes you’re right, sometimes it’s just practice.

So do you have any actionable takeaways about how, how to, how to avoid the situation in the future?

Yeah, I mean, I think that you when you’re developing a budget, it’s the best case scenario for your sales process. Not many people get into that sales process and really have an opportunity to be on the ground floor. Usually, it’s on the 10th floor, you know, and you’re, you’re like, Hey, give me three bids. And you’re one of those three bids, and you’re catching it from there. If you have the opportunity, especially in construction, to go back, and you’re talking to engineers, how do we build this, right? And, hey, here’s how I want to design it. But does that actually we’re building it? No, man, you can’t do it like this, because our guys will have to be here and you have a lift there and a crane there. You can’t build it like that. So therefore, we have to design it like this. If you’re in on those conversations, you’re in man, you’re into that you’re you’re the only person that can screw it up as you, at that point. I mean, I truly believe that, especially in my business. So if you get in those situations, it’s not just and so there’s, there’s kind of a saying and you know, not a saying, but you know, the conversation kind of goes like, well, it’s just a budget. So let’s just get through this. That’s the worst attitude, the chosen budget. Because now, what you’re seeing what I’m talking about today, and my problems that I’ve had this month are exactly that attitude. Well, it’s just a budget, let’s just give them a number. Let’s just move it forward. And then we can kind of get them off our back for another six months until we can pick back up into it. But if you screwed that number up, now your real numbers really shot. So if you do get a chance to do this, the takeaway is spend some time, get in there, get in deep, ask a lot, a lot of questions. What’s your, what kind of equipment are you going to put in there? What do you, what do you really want? What do you, what do you like, you know, and if they can’t give you answers, help them get the answers, dig, dig, dig. And I mean, I can’t stress that enough. If you can’t get that information, then maybe you don’t, maybe you’re not in a situation where you can even help them get a budget. Maybe, maybe they need to take a step back. And that’s painful for them to hear. Because everybody gets excited about a new project, right? So it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, you start hearing about an office in the office expansion or you’re moving.

You think about growth and potential.

Start thinking about all these cool ideas, right? And so your actionable items are really dig into that budget phase. Because if you’re in that spot, man, you are golden. There’s no better position to be in as a salesperson and to help a customer develop their own budget, which you are going to, they’re going to buy from you.

Yeah. Yeah, it’s your money.

Why would anybody ever help? You know, you? They let you develop a budget? And then why would they go out to anybody else? I mean, people do, people do that, they’re, they’re, maybe it’s their process, maybe they’re just shady people. Maybe they’re just looking for the best bang for their buck. But the point of it is, is you have increased your odds exponentially if you can get in on the ground floor. So when you do that, you get that chance, dive in deep, and make it count. Because it’ll bite your ass. And it’s doing that me, to me right now.

Wow, alright, so that’s, that’s one version of budget.

It was a deep one.

That was a deep one. It was good.

I mean, luckily, you know…

I don’t live in that world. But yeah.

It just happened to you know, happen to be, something’s happened right now. So not all wins.

So here’s some insight to the people who are listening, right, and they’re into the same sim, similar scenarios. How do you how do you prevent that from happening? What would you have done differently on these two projects that might have made a difference?

Like I said, you know, one is, you know, when somebody tells you, you got 10 minutes, go hit the timer, man, sometimes you just gotta say, look, I couldn’t give you a good answer in 10 minutes, and I’m not even going to try. So there, there’s a big point of, you know, who else are they going to call? What are they going to spend two minutes with you on the phone, call somebody else and say, oh, now you got eight minutes? Yeah, nobody’s going to do that, right? And realize that sometimes you just can’t be that helpful person all the time. And if I did give you advice is going to be shitty advice, because I haven’t processed anything. Yeah. So once again, going back to your process and running them through that if they don’t fit, man, sometimes people just don’t fit no matter how bad you want to do stuff.

There’s the nugget, you got to say no, sometimes. Yeah.

Or you have to be able to put the brakes on them. Right there. Sure. Yeah. To have them understand that what they’re asking for doesn’t make sense, not only with you, but even anybody else they would call.

With anybody.

Yeah, you’re just going and not get the information you need.

Maybe they’re calling you because they’ve known you to do that in the past. Yeah. Right. And it’s worked a couple times. So therefore, it’s like, Well, shit, we’ll just call those guys.

And, and it’s always good to be Johnny on the spot. And I know we all want to be so you know, I, you see an actionable item. Right? And you want to be the action Jackson that jumps into that equation? Yeah, I get the temptation. But sometimes that’s, that’s the worst way to run anything.

That’s probably the biggest, you know, for me as a, as a high D, that’s probably the biggest takeaway is what you just said is, I can’t always be Johnny on the spot. And that’s tough for me, because I think I know everything. I think I’m the best at everything. So when you tell me like I bet you can’t get this done in two minutes, challenge accepted, here we go. And the fact is, is that we’re, it’s just not all wins. You can’t just win all the time. And, and in this instance, you know, I’ve had a great eight month run this year. I mean, just a fantastic run. And this month has just been a little tough.

Well, you talked about your hit rate a lot, right. And the other side of that thing is that the longer, the long run is the longer than anyone wants to talk about, right? So the other part of variance is that it’s variance, right? So you might be closing 90% of that business, but that other 10 is going to rear up, you know, and it’s never when you want it to, but you gotta, you gotta just plan accordingly.

So that’s a that’s a good point, john, because, you know, in January, I could tell you about hit ratio is being at 69%. You know, I remember that figure very well, and then in April have been at 72. And then, you know, here lately, it’s been in that 79 to 80. range, right? Great numbers, this job that I lost. Whoever’s fault it would be. Is it going to?

Not yours, obviously. Go ahead? Yeah.

Okay, but you know, the point of it is, is that this isn’t going to move that, that mark, way down, I’m not going to be at a 20% because of that. And the only reason it’s hard for me to go through this is because I feel like I did everything that I could. And then now that I’m looking back, I think I could have done that better, I could have done it better, I could have done that better. But the point of it is that there’s, there’s always growth potential, right? No matter how great you’re doing, there’s always a better, you know, a better situation, or there’s always a better thing that you could have done to, you know, push it forward. So, you know, takeaway is again, is just, they’re not all wins, you can’t just, you can win 99% of time, I believe that in this industry and sales, yeah, you may be just that guy. You’re not winning 100%. Nobody is. So now what do you do? What do you take away from the 1% that you lost? How do you improve How do you improve? How do you get better? And I think that’s what we’re talking about.

Because, you know, if you’re listening to us, and this is one of the first episodes like, we’re not batting, we’re not batting 1000, right, I get, I get no’s. And I gotta tell people no. Like, I gotta lead. This is gonna come out in a couple of weeks. But it’s, it’s labor day week, right? So Monday was a holiday, and I get a lead from a guy. And he’s like, well, we want to move our entire sales process, and all of our data from one CRM into another one. And we need it done by Friday. And I have no idea how much data it is, I don’t know how complex their process is, and I said, Hey, I don’t know if I can do this or not. I mean, here, here’s the next step. If you want to go there, right, you can either let me in and take a look at it. Or we can have a call or a screen share. But I can’t promise you that I’m going to have this done by Friday, because now it’s Tuesday.

And you bring up a really good point there. Because if you if you were to commit to that and fail, you’re forever a failure.

I would be I would be so upset. And, and normally I like to help everybody, right? So my gut instinct is to say, Oh, yeah, sure, absolutely. We can absolutely do this.

You’re a problem solver.

Right? Absolutely. But I know myself well enough to be like, I would rather set expectations well, and say, I might not be able to do this. And why, why, why is Friday important? Yeah, really? Like, like, that’s the question. I’m really curious about.

And I’ll tell you on the, from a D standpoint, you know, most DS are, you know, we use manipulative, you know, manipulative a lot. It’s not a great word to use, but manipulation and like, why you’re doing something, one way or the other. So in that situation to me, John, is, it’s interesting, because I, we talked about it on my team a lot. It’s like, Who else can do this? Right? In your, you know, if we can’t do it, then maybe nobody can, right? Because we’re supposed to be the best that we can be. So if I can’t do it, maybe somebody else can do it as good, but they can’t do it better. Or they can’t do it at all. So if I ta-, if somebody tasked me with an impossible task, and I say, Look, man, this isn’t a fit for us. And I back out. Doc said it earlier, what are they going to do? They’re going to go to your competitors, and they’re going to fail. And forever, their name is going to be mud to that company. And what a, what a bright light, it’s going to shine on you, when you get to come back and say, Hey, now you need me. I told you we couldn’t do this. And you know, let’s take it slow. Let’s learn about each other. let’s get let’s get through this process. And there’s a reason I have a process. So it’s not always bad when you say no, you know, when you pull yourself out of a impossible task. Sometimes it’s a big win because your competitor committed to it. And now they fail. Right?

Right. And if you’re, if you’re really on your game, right, when we say hey, look, I can’t do this. And they say, Okay, so now that we’re done, kind of tell you something without making you angry. Yeah, your expectations are off. Like, I don’t know, I don’t know where they came from, or anything else. But like, I don’t know that anybody could get this done.

Is that easy for you as a C to ask that question? And I want to go around the table because I, I’m interested.

Asking the question around, Hey, can I kind of tell you something without making you angry? Or like saying the, saying the follow-up?

I think your expectations are off.

Oh, man, I, here’s the deal, right? I like being the smartest guy in the room. And I like being the guy with the answers. I love telling people and you have a Kia budget and you’re wanting to Cadillac? Yeah, it’s not gonna happen

What about you, Nan? Does that come natural and easy?

No, absolutely not. But I, like with the account I was talking about earlier. I think it’s really important to not act like everything’s going to be okay if it’s not going to be okay. You know, you do have to speak the truth to people, you can’t, and I think that’s what I admire about what you said. I think I have the propensity to want to say, Yep, I’m going to make it happen. But that’s so stupid, you know, you cannot do that. And when you pull them into reality, calm, we’re going to we’re going to figure this out. And then ask questions about why Friday. And what, so did you ask that question? Did you say why Friday ever?

I didn’t ask him why Friday, I said, Hey, you, we’re going to do this, we need to get started now. Here’s what I need from you before I can even tell you like what this is going to cost. You know, and then we need to have a quick conversation about it. And then, you know, he, it hasn’t even showed me that he’s opened my, my email. So he’s probably, you know, just…

I think it’s really important to talk about steps, though.

He might have called three people and you might have been one of those. Oh, yeah. Somebody committed to say, Oh, yeah, we’ll, absolutely get that done by Friday. Well, and they’re, and they’re still scrambling.

Yeah. Well, it came through one of my, one of the partners that I work with, right, so so I’m listed at, I’m listed as a certified partner on, on a couple of different like CRM, right. So it came directly from them. So they probably reached out to like seven different people, because it’s super easy to do that. And he got a yes from someone and like, I hope it goes well. But you know, I’m not sure that it will. Sure. So there’s nothing I can do about that.

Doc as a, as a super I, call you a super I, is that, is that easy for you to talk about?

Talk about budget? If you break it down mentally, that there are, when you talk about budget, you can talk about hard dollars, you can talk about time, and you can talk about resources, right? Which are the thing, that’s, that’s the clout that we all have. To speak to money, it’s not how I grew up, but it’s how I’ve become, in the sense of what costs this much, do you have that much money, right? Or my biggest the biggest ambiguity is time, do you have the time to put into this project, because in healthcare, it is about utilizing their time, their availability, and money doesn’t really matter because we have third party payers, they pay what they decide to pay. So the budget is your time and your resources. So if it’s a in-house project, is the staff willing and able to, you know, participate in this because without them, I can’t get it done. And Nan actually has a big project that takes a lot of staff. And they’ve done a real good job, because everybody bought into the process. So when we talk about budget, it’s about convincing the physician or the group we’re working with, to allocate, allow us to come in, open your doors, let us get with you.

Let us look at your books.

Well, it’s not necessarily the books because we’re running a separate program, it just becomes part of their books, and then you get to see that as, as you go along.

But it’s not necessarily revenue that we’re talking about. A lot of times they’re asking for, I want to report, I want this, I want that. And so that’s their money. Maybe, you know.

I don’t know that I agree with that.

Okay, so

I think that’s what they want to know out of the program to show that it’s a viable thing, and that they’re going to spend their resources wisely to get a return. That’s their ROI, right, wherever they are. But their budget is I gotta divert my staff, I got to take this person. And, and here’s the other key. So when you go into an office, and the receptionist is sitting there, she’s getting paid X number of dollars to do what she’s doing today. Yeah. And if you add something to that, guess what, she just has to do more work for the same amount of money. Yeah. And when you view that, in its totality, when you come into some of these organizations, or these hospitals, or any place you go and ask somebody who is getting a paycheck, I need you to do a little bit more, you’re not going to get paid for it because they are. That’s the budget.

So when you talk with these offices, right, and you’re and you come in as like, just like a full fledge problems offer. You know, like you do one of the best jobs I think I’ve ever seen about just being the consultant, like what’s going on, you know, as opposed to showing up, trying to pitch around certain specific or approach or, you know, you know, whatever, you know, the current hot deal is right, now that you’re working on that. And do you think that because you’re so diversified, and the, and all the different things that you do, that that makes it easier for you to go and have such an open ended conversation about, okay, what’s your struggle? Right? How can, how can I help you make more with your square footage and your staff and everything else? Like? Do you think that that’s easier? Because you’re an I? Or do you think that, that it’s easier because you’re an owner? Or do you think it’s just easier because you have so many offerings in your bag?

No to the last one, because I think it’s always specific to whatever we’ve had the conversation about, or what happens to be the current trend in healthcare, whatever that project is. And I know this seems a little bit vague. But specifically, when we talk about whether we’re selling to a hospital or to a clinic, they are, they’re different organizations, and one is you got to meet price. And then you gotta say, Hey, is there room on the shelf? That kind of stuff? Do I have surgeon participation? Would somebody want to use this? So you have those variables? When you walk into a physician’s office or that more like a business, you’re offering the guy who runs the business, another program that would either make, you know, cut their costs in one arena or make more money? Which is same thing more to their bottom line? Yeah. So when we go in, and we speak to a physician, we say, Hey, Doc, would it make sense if you began doing this program, maybe it’s a wellness initiative, right, that gives the patient some insight into their cardiac health, which Nan’s working on a project like that right now. And we will show you an increase in your revenue, but you’ve got to dedicate staff and time and then we’ll coach them through that process, that initially, they’re going to latch on to sure I’d like that revenue. But you can’t get all happy feet. Because if they didn’t, if they’re not staffed right, if there’s not enough space, so you have to go in and sort of then do an analysis of that practice, because they have to have the volume to participate. Because sometimes it’s our people coming in, to facilitate with their people. Right. So you got in house staff, out has staff, and we’ve been pretty successful at making that work. It’s not a hard row right now. I mean, speak a little bit to that.

Did you answer, did you answer John’s question?

Specific to?

Well, you know, I’m curious. Because like, in a lot of realms, right, if you go out and you’re talking to a prospect, I’m like, I don’t really need A, I really need B good, right? And you go back to, you know, the ownership of the company and say, Hey, they don’t want A but they want B, not everybody is willing to go out and figure out how to do B right there. Like, like, Oh, we only do A only, right. So, so my question to you is like being the I, right, and the influencer who likes to, like help problems and everything else, versus also being the entrepreneur and the owner. Like, which one of those leads you to be so open with like carrying a very wide array of solutions? Okay. Does that make sense? Yeah. I phrase it that way, the first time, I think.

So if I go in, and here’s the nice thing about what we do. If it’s not in my wheelhouse, if it’s if it’s A, and I don’t do A very well, or A doesn’t pay me very much. Yeah, I kind of see that coming. And I want to give some insight so that I can come back and knock on the door again. So maybe there’s somebody who’s better positioned to do that. Or maybe it makes sense for them to just do it on their own. Now, they generally fail. I mean, god, physicians gonna hate this, but they’re poor businessman, right? The rule by abdication, so they just give it to somebody else, and it falls apart. And they wonder why they lost money, particularly have to pay for the product, that they’re going to go ahead and then you know, vendor on to the, either the patient population or, or… But from a linear thinking, process, physicians are great, and they understand our why, they can understand the process. They’re just not real good at the management side, because they rule by abdication. So when we come in, then we try to add some structure to that, hey, let’s go do this. Here, here, here are the people that I have? Do we need to add? Do we need, you know, what do you bring into the table? So we kind of put that all into goulash. Right. And hopefully, we don’t start too much to break it apart. Right? Everything still, you know, has its pieces, and they’re all working well together. And then we’re okay, we have an extra nuance right, depending on their payer groups, as to what the profit margins will be. So one program looks amazing, because they have great insurance packages. These are payer groups that afford some of the luxury of preventative medicine and some things like that, which are really good programs, or you go to another clinic, and it’s not so much, right. It’s bare bones. Now, it’s a no, it’s a no, it’s a no. So you have to kind of pick and choose what your target audience is, from the patient standpoint.

Do you agree with all that, Nan?

No.

Well, being an S, I’m listening to everything that Dr. Daniel’s saying, and I’m thinking, you know, I go out to these clinics, with an attitude of Oh, my gosh, I have an amazing program for you, that’s going to benefit you, your patients, you know, and, and I’m just like, super excited about it. And I know that just sounds so S, contrary to what you’re saying. But then I go, that’s what makes me successful, because I know, this is a great program. And I am able to tell them that. So what I felt like Dr. Daniel was sharing was more….

Here’s where Nan’s programs have their their Achilles heel. The scalability, right? If they’re not easily implanted name got to be there on site. And she can only be one place at one time. Yeah. So without that guidance, and so there’s where the, I said the resources, and the people who you ask to absorb, you know, take this to the next level. They’re like, why? I don’t get paid anymore?

Well, it brings a really good segue to what what the budget step is. So getting back focused on actual budgets here. In everybody’s sales process, whether you have a good one or a bad one, budget stuff.

That’s saying, yeah, ours sucks, but go ahead.

I didn’t mean that, I just meant for everybody listening out there, maybe, maybe your process is you go knock on doors, and you give them bids. And that’s right. That’s a bad process, in my mind. Maybe it works some of the time. And maybe you got to do a lot of volume to get the wins. But really good sales processes really dive deep down into, I’ll say, two things more than most. Budget is one. And pain is another. Right? Why are we doing this? And how much does it cost? And can you afford it? Right? So budget is, budget is a really huge step in moving the process forward? However, I will say that in all industries, or in some industries, mine, mine especially, I’m not always going to get the budget number, right. So I don’t want you to think, if you have budget step in your process, that when you get there, and you say, okay, what’s your budget? And the guy goes? I don’t know. Or maybe he says, I can’t tell you, right? Maybe I just, they’re just not going to relinquish that information because you haven’t established enough trust for them to really trust you to give that or maybe he’s just a really high corner D like myself that’s just not going to give it to you. Right? Maybe he’s just fishing for low numbers. They’re all tells though, right? They’re all, they’re all things that, at that point, you have to ask yourself, do I move forward in my process that I don’t, you know, now that I don’t know this budget? Or maybe I know everything about this budget? Do I move forward? Do I not move forward? That’s on you. And solely on you.

Yeah, you make the decision about how much you want to stick to the process.

One hundred percent. No matter what personality type you are. You’re a salesperson, you’ve run them through your process, you get to step three or four, whatever your budget step is, and you get to that point, and they haven’t relinquished it. There’s not enough information. Maybe they gave you everything. It’s on you whether or not you want to move forward. Period. Absolutely. So knowing that fact, how important is it for you to know that? Whether you’re a C, and I an S, and that’s different for everybody, it is different for everybody, it’s different for every personality, but it’s also different for every process in every industry.

But you know what I’ve found the further you go into that conversation, the more you should know, and the more you generally do know, right?

So let’s talk about how do you ask that question? Because I agree with that.

Because you get to a point where…

Yeah, because look, if you, if you developed bonding and rapport and you’re, at this point, let’s say you did it for three months, you, you’ve hung out, you’ve got to know each other you know your wife’s names and your kids names, and you know, your dog’s names, and you’re high fiving each other in the hallway, whatever the case may be. Whatever. That just sounds like really fun to me. Hey, bro. No, look, if you, if you’ve gotten that far…

You just became a surfer.

Yeah, maybe. If you’ve gotten that far, and then all of a sudden you stop a meeting and you say, okay, what’s your budget? And you ask it really direct like that, and really harsh like that. You’ve just lost a lot of things you’ve built up. Oh, yeah.

Yeah, you’ve taken huge steps back and end up being a salesperson.

Exactly.

You have to be creative.

So yeah, creative is one but also staying in your staying in what you’ve built, right? You, you’ve established a bonding and rapport, you’ve established this trust, stay with that trust. You know, and you’ve got to ask softening statements and do these things. Right.

It’s the verbiage you use.

Tonality, body language, cadence.

Timing, time.

How much are we spending on this? Because now it’s a we, not a you.

So some, sometimes I say, man, what you guys just described. Sounds crazy expensive. And it just to me, I’ve never seen anybody, you know, actually do that. I’m excited that you want to do that. But it gets their brain triggered, right? It gets their brain triggered into either one way of, you know, doesn’t matter. Money doesn’t matter to me, I don’t give a shit. We’re going to do this because we’re the top notch company in the world. And we’re going to build the flagship company right here. And I don’t care what it costs. That’s one response. The other response may be like oh shit, what do you mean it costs a lot? Right. So..

What is a lot? I mean, so, you know…

But that, that’s right, Nan, is that you start digging off of that, right? You make some statements, you’re not going in there and saying, Hey, man, what’s your budget? Oh, that’s, that’s it? You know? Yeah. So, as a D, and probably as a C, John, me and you probably have a hard time with this because that’s, that’s the question I want to ask is literally, what the fuck’s your budget, bro?

Well, okay, so I have a couple of interesting, I think the things to, to mention here, right. So like in website world, right, which is the Wild West when it comes to pricing, right. And there’s so many different ways of skinning the cat. Like, are you getting copy? Or are you providing copy? I mean, there’s, I mean, ins and outs were crazy. We were the affordable guys. And so one of the things that I would say is I would talk about money, you know, try to, try to uncover a budget. And then I’d say something along the lines of, are we going for the wish list? Or are we working to stay within the budget? If we can do everything you want, but we’re over the budget, but it does what you want it to do? Is that worth the conversation? Because then, right then and right there, you draw the line in the sand as the prospect. Right? Which makes my life then that much easier. The interesting thing now is that, now that I’m a consultant, right, everyone expects me to be really expensive. Oh, John, oh, man, I know, this is gonna be expensive. I don’t know, I don’t know if I can afford you.

How do you play that?

Most people don’t say it, but I get the gist of it in their tone. And when their walls are up. You know, oh, this is probably going to cost me. Maybe. What do you think we should do?

If I sat down, I’m sorry, I gotta, this is gonna cost me?

People do it.

People do it, man.

I hear it every day.

Okay.

Hey, I need you to rerout, I need you to reroute all that piping that you just put in. I’m sure it’s going to cost me.

Okay. Now I get that.

But it’s no different in the website. World. Right. So you built this website? And now I want to change it? Because I didn’t, couldn’t see it. Yeah, right. That’s okay. That’s the problem with most people. They can’t visualize what you’re talking about until it happens. Now it’s happened. And now I don’t like it.

Well, I kind of have this double whammy right. I’m the salesperson and then I’m also the consultant, right. So if you don’t think that a consultant is going to come in and suggest some improvements, because…

What’s the point?

…because you’re perfect. What’s the point? You are, you are living a delusional life in my opinion.

Why are you there?

Exactly. So very often, I have to figure out like, Hey, what are you trying to do?

But to that point real quick, sometimes it is fine. And that’s where your honesty as a salesperson, your, that’s where your honesty side needs to come out and say, you’re on the right path, that might be the best sale you ever make for a lifetime? Absolutely. So some, so don’t forget that is that, you know, when, when somebody is doing a good job, they’re right, there, they’re down the right avenue, they’re working towards a goal, then you don’t provide value to where they’re at right now, admit that. Right?

Well, you see this a lot in like bigger CPA firms, and like attorney firms and stuff like that, and they’re trying to find ways to bill a certain number of hours, you know, like, like, we have a friend who’s a CPA, and she has got to maintain a certain percentage of her total hours work as billable hours on, on client stuff. And it’s like, that’s terrible. That’s, that’s terrible. There’s a great book, if you’re a consultant, is called Million Dollar Consulting. And I cannot think of who the author is. But it’s a great book. Because one of the things he talks about in there is I don’t price by the hour, I price based upon the impact I’m going to bring. Right, and that kind of broke my head around this because…

How do you do that? I have to read the book obviously.

I think it really starts around pain, right? And when you’re talking about pain, and when you’re trying to figure out like, Hey, can I ask an uncomfortable question? Yeah. What happens if you don’t fix this? What happens if everything stays the same?

You just got to keep seeing her.

Take the key away.

But you know, you know, really kind of digging into that, because, you know, no one has a budget to hire me to come in to overhaul their sales process and set up a CRM, right. So I’ve got to uncover, okay. And everything else, show the value. Exactly. And so then once I do that, then my budget conversation is a lot easier. But you meet a ton of people, especially in the marketing agency realm. And that’s the first question. Sure, I’d love to talk to you. But before we schedule time, can I ask what your budget is? Why the hell would I share my budget with you whenever you won’t even have a phone call with me without, without wanting to talk about money?

So I will say that a lot of sales training out there tells you to do that, what you just did. Right. And, and there’s not always a place for that. Right? There’s not always a good time for that. Of that harsh question of let’s talk about your budget. Oh, man, you just shut doors, you shut a lot of doors. And the hard part is, is that maybe your process requires you to know that there’s, I mean, I like to think mine absolutely requires to know that they’re, now, not the number, but that there is an approved budget, because if there’s not an approved budget, the job’s not real. In my mind.

Oh, that’s interesting. It’s way different for me.

It is. But it’s also way different from asking somebody their budget because you need to know their number so you can beat their number. That’s what, when I hear budget, or when I in the past heard, hey ask them about their budget, go in there and dig about their budget. That’s what went through my head. So if you’re listening out there, right…

Especially if you’re in construction, or something that’s very bid, bid-oriented. Yeah.

Projects or…

If you’re hearing, if you’re hearing us talk about budget, you’re, you’re probably putting your own walls up saying, Oh, I’m not going to do that. Right.

I don’t wanna talk about money.

I don’t want to talk about money. And it’s the hardest thing for most people to talk about. So I want you to understand that it’s not necessarily a budget question can be, have you approved a budget? Yeah, we have an approved budget, is it, is it absolutely going to go through through your corporate expenditure accounts? Is this, you know, your capex spending? Is this actually going to happen? Yeah, no, we’ve got all the funding in the world. Maybe that’s where you need to stop and move on.

I was going to say, you, you don’t have to go any further than what it takes to, yes.

It’s up to you. It’s up to how much information you need to know in your process to move forward.

And there are fringe questions that lead to better questions that lead to more information. So you don’t have to go for the stab at the jugular. Right? I mean, yeah, you can.

Let me let me tell you this. I actually had brought this up a couple weeks ago, I think amongst us that um, I asked a question one time. I said, Oh, hey, man, you know, we know each other pretty well, what’s the budget look like? Is it a 4 million? You know, we can try all these strategies, bracketing and, you know, temperature reads, and, you know, go in and say, Hey, what’s a, you know, it’s a $3 million job. Is it a $4 million job? The guy’s like, I’m not gonna tell you. He did that. That happened to me. And, and why. And then he asked…

Did you get mad?

No, but what happened was, he caught me off guard, because he said, Why do you need to know that? Shit? I don’t have an answer. Because that’s the problem, right? Because if you don’t have an answer, did you really need to ask the question? Right?

Yeah, that’s a good point.

So if you don’t need that for your process, which I didn’t, because I already know that he’s going to take three bids from competitors, they’re going to compare price and scope. The real question is there, is okay. You have a budget, it’s approved. If I come within that budget, do we have a deal? That’s a better question. Yeah. Then asking, what’s the number?

Or you know, hey, you know, if you do uncover a number, but you know that you can’t meet it, hey, you know, if we’re, if we’re 20%, higher,

Is the deal done?

Yeah. I mean,

Is this dead?

Yeah. And maybe not that….

That’s another good question, too. Because, you know, that’s going to happen. And they’re not willing to stretch…,

I talked about that for the first 15 minutes. I mean, even though it was my fault, even though it’s my fault, it still happened. Yeah. So now is the project dead? Yeah, probably. But did I know that that going into it? No, I didn’t, because I didn’t ask that question. So, you know, the, the point of it is, is that budgeting questions don’t always have to be a dollar amount, we’d like it to be there. Oh, yeah, that’s a, that’s a great thing to know.

I want it to be a dollar amount, because then my life makes sense.

Sure, I get it for you.

For me, for, for me, as a C. Right. And for me being a consultant. Right. But, you know, it’s not always there. Right. Sometimes it’s about the resources or, you know, one of the things, you know, that, that Al talks about is like, if I can make someone faster, right, if I, if the, if the sets that I use and the things that I use in the OR can make a doctor, you know, crank out one extra surgery per day without having to spend more time in the OR.

Time is money, right.

Time is incredibly, absolutely. So.

And so I think then the take home here, or one of the big messages that I got gathered from is understanding what the buyer’s process is, yeah. And then helping them when you can, being direct with them when you can, and asking great questions, better questions. But again, don’t stab the jugular. Make it part of the dance that you’re doing to uncover, figure out where they’re comfortable, and what they’re comfortable telling you about the money they have.

And once again, setting up front expectations. Yeah, right. So hey, man, I’m going to ask you some tough questions today in this, in this process that I, you know. You can even, you can even go this far, if this is your process, not saying it’s right or wrong. I need to know my budget to move forward, I need to know your budget to move forward in my process. So therefore, if that’s the case, if that’s truly how your business runs, then you’re going to have to set that expectation up front. And you’re going to have to say, man, I’m going to have to ask you about your budget, you know, your, your situation, your budget, can you give me the dollar amount? And if you can’t, I can’t move forward with you. That may be the extreme of your business, right? But I’m not saying it’s right.

It’s that time everybody. Thank you, Paul. We are, it’s time for the throwdown. Everybody gets about a minute, minute and a half, two minutes if you’re incredibly long winded.

I’m going to throw something new on this.

I’m excited. Alright, so we’re going to start with Clint, the D. Actionable things from either D’s or construction people.

I hate, I hate starting with me, because Doc always has some really intellectual shit to say. But we’ll go for it. Right? We’re not scared. So you know, as a high D, once again, you got this, you got this direct drive? You’ve got this not afraid of the No. I’m not afraid of that, me asking the question. However, you come off brash, you come off, you know, sometimes insulting to people, right? So if you’re a true high corner D, you know, you gotta, you gotta really do, gotta do some self learning and get some tact and how you ask questions. Tonality is huge. For probably all of us, but really more so for me as a high D, body language making people feel comfortable, matching and mirroring, right? What they’re doing, how they speak, their, their body language, their tonality, their cadence, their hand movements, right? If they got big hand movements, make them feel comfortable by giving them big hand movements. But all those things are going to kind of soften. You laugh, but I mean, it’s just real. Yeah, not that one.

That’s the only one that came to mind when you said, make hand movements. I was like, Okay, do I, how do I mirror that?

I know, I wouldn’t mirror that, I mean, unless it’s funny.

Worked this time.

But you know, as a high D, you’ve got all the tools in your box to get out there and ask these tough questions, because there’s a lot of personalities out there that, that just could never ask those questions, because we’re afraid of burning bridges. They’re afraid of the no. You are not afraid of that. So, so go in there with that intention. But do it tactfully. Get in there, learn the psychology of sales, the, who’s across from you? What’s their personality type, match and mirror? You know, all these things, there’s a lot of study that goes into that and how to do it, right. You can’t go in, be yourself and just throw bombs across the table. You can, it might win once in a while. And you might think you’re successful because of it. But we’re talking about improving, we’re talking about, you know, 1% or 2% improvements. And the way you do that is to take all these tasks and move forward.

All right, good job. Al?

So one of the things that I, ,it just slipped my mind till right at the close, when that bell kind of jarred me to life here. Third party stories, right? Other deals you’ve done, don’t paint the picture. Let them paint the picture and make sure that they’re up for the task, and they’re willing to spend the money. So you’re the consultant that says, Okay, I understand you want a Picasso, but we’re going to have to have, like is going to be a print knockoff, right? And listen to what they’re saying. Use your third party stories for the things that you’ve done in the past and how they apply to what, you know, hey, yeah, sounds like we might be over budget. I’ve run into this in the past. Are we prepared for that? I love your idea. Have you thought about this or that that may either mitigate costs or run it up? And if Oh, I hear you kind of lean in this direction? Can we talk about what that would cost? Because these things are usually multifaceted, right. And there are ways to save money. And there are ways to spend money. And if you can couple those together, keeping in mind that that your client or whoever you’re speaking to, has this goal in mind, this picture in their head. And if you’re trying to mirror and take what their picture is and put a price tag on it, make sure that sticks within a range that they can tolerate both up and down, then I think you win.

Awesome, Nan?

So I think what Dr. Daniel said is about listening, that’s huge. You have to be quiet, as the correct questions, let them discuss their situation. And I think it’s really important as an S, for me, I have to bring benefit, and identify that to your client, the benefit that you’re going to bring them. And to the I, to Al’s statement also, you know, you can’t, you can’t tell them what they need, what they want, what they want to spend, but you do know that everyone wants a good deal. They don’t, people do not want to spend or lose money, that, that that’s not going to benefit them. But people will spend money if it if it’s a great benefit. So I think identifying how you’re helping your client, is, is everything. Because they will spend, you know, when you were talking about painting that what how did you say that you said Where? What’s What’s your dream? Like? What is the best thing you want? I think that’s a great place to start. And if you can meet that as much as possible with a lower price than what they’re anticipating, they’re going to jump on it. I think, I think people like bargains, you know, not, I don’t mean like bargains, but they like a good price for what they want.

Okay. I’m gonna hit this from two different points, right? If you’re a C, understand that while money does not seem like a hard topic to talk about, it is very hard for many, many, many people, right? We’re raised from kids don’t talk about money, and don’t talk to strangers, right? So if you follow that advice of your parents, you’re never going to be successful as a salesperson. But understand that it’s awkward for some people, right? I asked questions all the time that get me pinched, you know, like later on, because my girlfriend is like, why did you ask that question? I’m like, because I don’t see a problem with that. It’s like, in The Big Short when the guy says, hey, that’s a nice haircut, did you do it yourself? Like he doesn’t mean anything bad by it? And I’m that guy, right? So understand that it’s uncomfortable for some people, like build your tool chest and get some empathy. It’s not, it’s not there naturally. You have to go find it. From the other side, as a consultant, stop charging hourly. Like, stop talking about in hourly terms. No one’s incentivized to do their best work, if you’re also charging hourly. So do projects, figure out what that is? Because it’s going to be easier to sell. And, you know, then, you know, set expectations around, hey, if this changes too much, we might have to revisit this, but this is what the project looks like, is that, okay? My life changed significantly when I stopped trying to make everything fit and try to, you know, do hourly stuff and everything else, like my life got so much easier. So that’s my, that’s my spiel. So.

I like it.

Yeah. Well, and look what Clint said about the 19 minutes. I don’t think that’s wise to say, okay, you have two minutes, you know.

Hey, you got to be a professional, you got to know your game, you have to know your information, you need to know what it costs to do what you do. Absolutely. And if you don’t, and if that’s hanging in the wind, try to tie it down. I’m not saying that it hasn’t happened in everybody’s arena. But when you go in and yeah, you sink your teeth in tie it down.

Absolutely. Awesome. Everybody, this is a good show. If you’re listening and you want to follow along, everything is at sales throwdown, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, if you’re watching on YouTube, thank you subscribe, so that way you get notified every time a new video pops up. If you are getting value out of this, or if you want to see us make some improvements, leave a review. We read every one of them and we want to make this as relatable and as relevant as we possibly can to people out in the field.

And I want to say thank you to everybody that is listening because it’s been amazing. I am blown away that we are getting the response that we’re getting guys. I’m, I’m so impressed with myself, which is not a unique thing. In this case, it feels really good. I do thank everybody that’s flipping the switch, getting in touch with us, and you know connecting because I mean we’re everywhere. So come find us we’ll be there.

One of the, one of the greatest things, to round this out, is that people are starting conversations with me that never would have happened around these topics. And I’m only growing and they’re only growing by having these conversations. Absolutely so, so that’s, that’s the point.

Share it with someone else, right. Sales is hard enough, you don’t got to do it by yourself.

Tag your team. Yeah, hash tag team D. Let’s put it on there. Let’s see it.

Team C is where is where all the magic happens. Awesome. Y’all have a good night.

They’re full of crap.

See you guys

Go sell something.

Oh yeah, absolutely.