Episode 61: How to Close More Deals in the Proposal Stage

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Let’s get ready to Throwdown!

Welcome to the show everybody, Sales Throwdown we are back, we have another question from the field. And this comes from Michael Fritz. And Fritz is kind of a friend. He invited me to interview on his show where he talks to entrepreneurs. And him and his team do custom development, websites, apps, and pretty much all the development stuff that I didn’t want to do anymore. And now, that’s where he is. He has a question, talking essentially about follow-up. The exact question is, the situation he finds himself in a lot is he’ll have a great conversation with someone, they’re qualified, they have a problem that we can solve and everything’s going great. And then we send over the proposal and they just kind of go dark. He says that it seems like 80% of the time he has to jiggle the handle and see what see what they’re thinking. They most often don’t reply unless one of us follows up with them. Is there something I’m doing wrong or not enough? You’ve been in sales longer than me. So is this some kind of pattern indicating a change? Man, this is my jam right here. This is Yeah, this is everything right here. This is, okay.

I mean, this is a this is a preaching moment, right? Because this is what everybody has a struggle with. And I mean, everybody. You if you’ve been in sales for 10, 10 minutes or 10 years or, or 40 years you have you still are going to struggle with this no matter how you are, right? Because it’s so hard to foresee the future a little bit. I mean, I mean, it is for me, right? I always try to be a couple moves ahead, but to see that far down the road of having this great bonding rapport and you get all this great action up front and, and you’re so everybody’s enthused about buying and you’re enthused about selling, and so you do all this work, and then you hand it off and you say Here you go. Let me know when you’re ready. Silence, right? We all deal with it. Who doesn’t deal with this in sales? And in the funny thing is, is that if you could revert when you when you go back on your conversations that you had, you’ve never had any agreements of what your

I’ve got answer for you.

Yeah, it’s like, Where did you where were along the line? Did you ever say if I, if I do this work for you, if I do this research for you, if I, if I have all these meetings with you, you know, what’s the deal that we’re going to make here? And it’s lost, and I knew you guys all, you know, everybody on this on this show was chomping at the bit. I had to get in there first.

Damn it, he beat me to it!. I had it all designed in my brain too.

But it’s, you know, it’s the same answer. And it’s like those upfront agreements and you know, what you discuss with your customer.

What’s our next step? Right, exactly. When we do this, where are we going with it? Right?

And you get built up right it’s an emotional high that you get on as a salesperson you get this emotional high of I’m so I’m, I’m solving your problem. Why wouldn’t you go with me? I’m, I’m giving you everything you want. You told me your budget, I’m within your budget, what the hell is going on and you never know…

Clint, you’re living in your own head whenever you know that right? All that verbiage is you, not your customer.

That’s right, and I promise, this is awesome.

Don’t, don’t drink your own Kool Aid.

Yeah, Go ahead.

Go ahead, Nan. No go ahead, Nan.

All right. So just in the last two weeks, I got four bids for a project that I personally want. Okay, so I’m not selling I’m so I get these four bids. And just yesterday, I thought, Oh, you know, I need to get back with the guys that I didn’t use and just tell him thank you for your time. I appreciate it. And my brain was like, well, that’s what I’m going to do. But you know they all they did was throw me a bid that’s all they did they were like gosh I really use me. They didn’t say when are you gonna get back with me? They didn’t say anything and then,

Okay, hold on, did the guy you chose to work with, did he do things well? Like like was he a good salesperson or was there something else that like earned him the business?

And that’s what that was my next point. So when I sell, consistency. I’m in front of them these guys these other three guys they pretty much just went silent. And and this the person that got the deal he didn’t go silent now he was a little obnoxious to a point because he which, I don’t mean that to sound rude, but he was in my face a little a little too much.

But you bought it.

I was gonna say but we’re doing business because the guy is hungry, right and Nan worked a great deal with the guy that’s a win win and and So no, when we say that, it’s okay to be hungry, guys. I mean, it’s hard out there. I mean, if you say, Hey, I don’t want to bother you, but, you know, are we doing this? I mean, so sometimes desperation makes you a damn good salesperson.

You know what? Think about that. Something Clint said in a previous recording was humble. So So don’t be obnoxious again, I hate to use the word but but you know, just say man, I’d really love to I would love to have this this job. I you know, there are things you verbiage is huge, hugely important, timing, verbiage. You know, and consistency. You know, if you go if you go silent and you don’t, you know, I think Clint has told stories. A story about a job that he’s been really just really patient on but he hasn’t gone silent. He is I think, I don’t know, Clint. If you want to rebut it. Don’t think he goes silent. I think it’s really important to be consistent and be in front of your, your client.

What’s what’s 30 seconds of a phone call cost you? Exactly. I can tell you what it’ll cost you if you don’t make it.

Exactly, exactly.

Well. And this brings to mind the two things if you set it ahead of time, like john, you know, gave you the proposal, what should our next step be? You know, what do you see? You know, how do we follow through on this? And if you forget to do that, then chase like hell right. So, so the other three didn’t chase, but they were all in the same boat to begin with. So if you screw it up, then unscrew it by staying persistent, right? Either we have an appointment, or I got to chase you to get the answer, one or two but either way you can you can succeed is where I’m going with this right? Don’t write it off because you didn’t have a next step by sitting back thinking everybody’s just going to call you, right? Or learn that if you’ll say a few things up front, like, what should we do next once I give you this bid, and then hold their feet to the fire is a little bit different, but even if you forget to do that, you just got to put your track shoes on baby cuz you’re gonna have to run Run, run, run, run, run, run run to catch that deal.

It’s funny because I, I got to I got two things to throw and I hope I remember the second after I talked about the first, so yeah, so you all right. Yeah. So you know, the my first thing would be this and my analogy to like, somebody that always tells me they don’t believe in religion or like a higher power or God is like, Yeah, but what’s the consequence if you don’t, right? Because like, if you don’t believe and you die, you know, and it’s real. You go to fire him. brimstone in hell, right. But if you believe and you follow, you go to heaven. There’s a much better upside to it. And I know Doc, I know Doc’s shaking his head. But the point of that is like if you don’t make the phone call, right in sales, okay, there’s a there’s an empty vessel wait, awaiting you. There’s nothing there, right? You’re hoping and wishing on dreams. But if you make the phone call, you’re only one step closer to success and you weren’t before

Or an answer to a no which you want anyway, so you don’t waste your damn time yet, which is a win win. You guys you got everybody out there has to understand no is a good answer. Right? Yeah, it’s not what they want. It’s nothing you can do for them. Now you can challenge the no and get them to tell you hell no. And then you know, it’s a little more solidified. Yeah, but absolutely guys. Resolution, plan and resolution, planning and resolution.

Oh Yeah. Clint, 2?

I will ask you this as and not just to the people on this panel, but to everybody out there listening. Does anybody ever asked their customers? What do I need to do for you to win this freakin job? I ask it all the time. I hate that question. But I’m not saying verbatim like that, but in it, you know, and

How you say, Yeah, exactly. You say, then how do you say it?

Pretend I’m your prospect. And I’m…

Okay, so, John? Sure. Okay. Put me on the spot.

Hey, man, you’re the one who says you don’t say it the way you said you say it.

So agree so so to the point like, John, you know, like, I know you’re going out to bid, your competitively biding this project. Like what what can we do to separate ourselves? What What do you expect to see in the conversations and the pricing? What what is what exactly do you want?

Okay. Hold on. That’s a radically different question than, not really. What am I going to do to get you in this car today?

No. I see. I see it exactly, I think. I think it is the same question. No, I do.

You’re explaining to me what I need to do to separate myself from everybody else.

Okay, but but

It’s the same question.

The emphasis is different. What do I got to do to get a ticket to in this car today? Right? It’s making it about me.

That’s why I say, you know, verbatim.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, you took a different sales. He’s competing against other people. You’re trying to figure out my product brand versus another.

Fair, Right.

Yeah, exactly that I think those are different analogies. You got a valid point. But I like Clint’s approach. You know, how do I set my you know, so you’re almost like asking for advice, which is exactly what I’m doing people love to give you advice right.

Now, that’s what we should do. Right? We should ask questions

Because if you, if you elevate the status of your customer, what do you think that does to the whole entire question?

So, so let me ask you guys this, if you know, to that point, and this, you know, this guy asking the question, when you propose your project, do you send one line item in an email that says cost is $50,000? Probably not. Right? But you probably put a little meat with the $50,000. Because you expect the customer is going to want to see why it costs $50,000. Maybe, maybe not. But the point of it is, is what if they want to know every detail? What if they don’t want to know one detail? What if they just want what if they’re like me? And we expect that we’ve already had these previous conversations of why, you know what we’re gonna do together what the product is, and I just want to know what it costs and you text me on my phone with a smiley face emoji and say, $50,000 and I say, boom, right? I’ll write you a PO. Right? But you have no idea unless you ask what the expectation is. Exactly. And so that that alone may save you or separate you from everybody else you’re dealing with.

If you get somebody that looks like they’re deer in the headlights to you whenever you ask that question, you’ve got the great segue of what’s been my experience, right, your story. You know, you may be asking exactly why I’m asking. I would just want to make sure that I’m approaching this project the way you like to see things done. So what does that mean to you?

In my business, it might be Well, some people just send me a bid for $6.5 million. And they say they have all the HVAC needs and plumbing needs covered. Well, do they really, do they not really right. But I’m competing against people that do that. And, and in reality, what I’m trying to get to is you’re trying to, I want you to scope me out my scope letter versus somebody else. So they say they have everything for 6.5 I’m at 7.2. But do they really have everything covered? Let me go into detail of why I’m a seven point two verses are similar. But John, that’s the world I live in.

No, I get it. And it’s a part of this is that I got to scale this back, right? Because like, like I’m hearing some of the things that you’re talking about. And part of it is just the difference in our personalities, which is totally fine. But the other big thing is that is that our markets are drastically different, right? You know…

And Al, Al’s at $8. To figure out okay, are we doing a $10 deal? Or are we doing an $8 deal? So, you and the big numbers Clint. Geez, I mean, love it.

Because like in my in my world, it’s not hyper competitive, right? There’s not a whole lot of people who do what I do, there’s not a whole lot of options. So the people Good for you. Oh, absolutely. Right. I’m incredibly lucky. And I and I, and I admit that Hey, man, you choose the playgrounds you want to in.

Seven million, I got 8 dollars baby. I got $8.

You chose your industry, sir. I chose mine.

I think I think I told you that.

Yeah. What because you Here’s the deal I would not be happy or successful trying to sell in the way that Clint sells to be successful it would burn me out, I would hate it honestly working for Al in all the social aspects of that in the in the constant availability and everything else like this. It isn’t for me, like like I don’t want to function that way. I want to do my job and then I want to

That’s a great point though. That’s a great point because there’s a million ways to sell.

I thought you did great, John.

Oh, come on, Nan. So yeah, exactly.

Ow, ow, that knife in my back. Can somebody pull it out? Right?

So that so like in my world, right? Nobody asks me like, hey, John, can I see a line item breakdown because I just, no, like, this is a project based upon the gaps you said were important. This is how much I can do it for to do a good job. We can either do this thing or we got to call it over right now.

But here’s the deal. Yours is, yours as consultants its intellectual property that you own because of all the reps you have. Absolutely, yeah, I completely get where you’re coming from, completely get with the fact that that, you know, Clint puts a Lego set together for you.

John, John, I’ve got I’ve got I, if you truly wanted to scope me out, I could write you a 3000 page proposal of everything that’s included. No, that’s the business I’m in.

Because you’ve probably had to do it before, right? On a $7.2 million bid. You don’t think there’s like a million little like washers that go into that project? I mean, you could break it down by you know, almost the cost of materials.

I mean I’ve been on I’ve been on projects guys, we’re we’re there’s been 15,000 different types of nuts, bolts and washers that I’ve said, yeah.

I mean, you can almost weigh the project right and say, Do you know the cost of steel? Right. Let me tell you,

The guy that rules that out in the end wins.

So So here’s my thing, right? If I if I was having to play in that world, I would I would want to be in feel pressure to be so precise. I would never get anything done. Because like, you would fail. I know, right? Because like there’s so much data, there’s so much information and I got to get out all these line items. And is this the right order? And is this enough that I would never get anything done? Right? Like,

You know what the motto is in our business, John, just to that point is the people that count it all don’t get the win. No, miss. The people that miss the most, get it? That’s the competitive world that I deal in the people that literally miss entire systems get the job. So I mean, that’s just the world I live in, right?

I’m gonna I’m gonna add my own two cents to this for for Fritz. It’s the first thing in my opinion is you should never be just emailing somebody that proposal, right? They’re gonna have questions, they’re gonna have concerns. They have forgotten stuff from the time you talked with them in the past. And then you heard Nan a second ago. Nan is a salesperson. And she forgot to let the other people know that she wasn’t going with them. That, your clients have the best intentions possible the majority of the time, right. Now, as salespeople, we often get pissed off because we get jaded about, you know how crappy you know, our prospects are and that gives us an excuse to not follow up. And then we kind of self fulfill their own prophecy of not closing enough deals. But the first thing I do with everybody is I make them go through their process with me and I and I ask them, okay, who’s responsible for this? Who owns this step? Right? Because if you’re just sending a proposal, you are sending that thing essentially into oblivion and hoping it finds its way through the oceans in eternity into the inbox.

A note in a bottle in the ocean would work out better for you. Right?

Because Because what happens when you’re when you get sent to spam?

Right, exactly. Yeah, for sure. And now, this guy’s a marketer. So so I’m not really concerned that he’s getting spammed, but the thing is, is you’re you’re giving control for a moment, right and it like like this is this is the thing, right? You are good at sales when you control the next step, right? And when that when that next step is agreed upon, and it’s mutually agreed on, it’s even easier.

And guys, that’s a harsh word control. All you got to do is ask your client. Yeah, this can it’s not a hard, you don’t have to wrestle some big guy to the ground right? It isn’t like you know, you know, that kind of project it is controlled by asking the right questions so that you know, what is in the other person’s mind your prospect’s mind or your client’s mind as to what they think is going to happen next? Yeah.

Hey, Al. I appreciate talking with you today. Well, you know, I’m curious what do you think a good next step is? And then

Oh, I thought I thought it was in trouble for a second.

Let’s just roleplay, why not?

But, but here’s the deal. You got the hook when you said that to me. I literally was like, Uh oh, I did something bad on air or whatever, right? No, no, no, no, I’m saying that’s how powerful that is.

What What is, I didn’t do anything.

The question. You just said, Hey, Al, you bought it directly. You hit me with it. And I’m thinking, Oh, did I drop an F bomb or something? I mean, you immediately got my attention by that directness and the promptness of “hey.” And then you broke into the question. And yeah,

So so let’s pretend that Al is one of these prospects. And he’s gonna say, John, could you send me a proposal? I’ll take a look at it, let you know. Right. So Al go ahead and say that.

Hey, John, why don’t you go ahead and just work that up and shoot it over to me?

Al, you know what we have found, I can definitely send that over to you. But what we found is that usually in the first couple of steps, there’s some questions and people tend to forget all the details of things. Would it make more sense if we could hop on a call? We could run through it together and figure out if this is a fit for you or not?

Sure, if that’s the way you want to do it.

Yeah, can I It takes me about two days to get this like figured out with my team and everything. If today is Thursday. Do you think Monday works? Or is Tuesday better for you?

Monday’s a holiday but Tuesday should Yeah. should be okay.

Awesome. So is two o’clock okay? And then we got through it from there. And Clint is laughing at me right because he hates this but the only reason he hates it is because he knows exactly what I’m doing. But I’m telling you, but I do this to everybody I talk to you. I don’t I don’t

Here’s, here’s what’s going on on my end. I got 15 things on my damn agenda today. Right? I got you know, all this going on. So when you say that, I’m thinking I got a notepad I got a pin here. All right, two o’clock. 2pm. All right. Yeah, let me let me check my calendar. If I say that to you, what do you say back? Let me check my calendar and make sure, then you say, “you got it right there?” Exactly. Or when said I’d say you know what, you know, you’re gonna call me?

No way, you got to tell me that. Because this is where this is where you get good, right? Because you could very easily default to Okay. Oh, well, you know not sure about this week okay, let’s What about next week?

Because that could be real or I could be diverting you just not make a hard stop, right? Absolutely, hunt the hard stop. Put it down. You’re a professional. They’re professional. Just don’t take that shit guys.

Don’t do it. Okay, so so let’s do this right so let’s pretend it’s Clint, and Clint’s gonna play tough ball with me.

Oh, no, no, no, hold on. Let me let me interject here because you made a comment. You know, I’m laughing at the situation. I’m laughing at the situation because this absolutely works for me. 100%. Even though I know everything that you’re doing, I know the the sales game that they’re working on. But But guys, if you do your process correctly, as John just did it, even if it sounds coached, and even if it sounds scripted, it’ll work. It’s still hitting the bullet points and it will work because it’s still a better conversation. Right, yeah, 100%

Better than nothing. Exactly. You have it in, you have an open arm, right? Hold on yourself with it.

This is super important, right? Because there I I probably spent the first three years of like really working on this stuff making this mistake and being like, you know, so so let’s say, well, Tuesday doesn’t really work either, right? And then I’d be like, oh, okay, well, let’s just like follow it up by phone. And the thing that I’ve had to like drill into myself is like when you will when you you know, when when you love something, you’re supposed to let it go or whatever, this thing’s never coming back. Right? And when you operate with that in mind, and you do the Jocko thing of like default, aggressive, we are getting a next step or this no longer deserves to be in my CRM or my pipeline. I will mark this as lost and move on.

But but here’s, hear me out on this.

I live. Let me let me get this up here. I live by these books. Right? And I won’t show you all what you could pause it and find them out. But the point of it is, there’s a lot of systems in there. There’s a lot of information in there. There’s a lot of bullshit in there, that doesn’t work for your industry. But those books give you tools to be better than than having nothing. And that’s what the end that’s the whole point, right?

Guys, it’s better to say, well, John, you’re making it really difficult to stay on, you know, how we how we hooked back up, you know, more, you know, you can actually challenge the fact that your job’s becoming more difficult, because if you’re at a proposal stage, you’ve had all these conversations ahead of time. Why are you slowing down? You got equal business stature? You guys are rockin. You’re just saying, Okay, this is getting a little harder than I anticipated. Let’s run that. Look.

Yeah, let’s run that. Do it to me.

Go ahead, Al.

Do it to me because…

Okay. Hey, Clint. So I’m going to shoot this proposal over that we talked about? When should we follow up on that or what do you how do you see us getting back together on this project on the conversation?

Man, to be honest With you I need to get this price to my customer I appreciate you getting that to me but I you know, I’m still waiting on other vendors to get their quotes and to compare you to them. Okay, so I don’t know.

Completely understand. I mean it gets a little crazy. I know you got some other people participating in this. You got your calendar, should we talk about a specific day where I can reach back out?

Man I’m just, I’m so I don’t know man, I’m so busy right now. I just look here’s the deal, man. I’m I may have I may have 30 or 40 minutes, right now is the best time because you got me on the phone. Let’s get this done.

Okay, I’m good with that. Let’s you, did you get it on your email. Let’s pop this up and talk. Like if we’re doing it that way guys.

No, none. not… Okay, so…

Hold on, or better yet I will if I’m hitting send now.

Don’t feel wrong. And the reason I’m pushing that is because I have these sales calls daily. I know you do. And honestly, I’m I do that, and I’m not lying. I’m not trying to make anybody feel like shit. I’m not. I’m honestly, in between a five minute window of a meeting. I’m trying to check emails. I’ve got this proposal like, dude, I don’t know yet. I just don’t know. And I don’t have an answer for you. But there is a way to keep me hooked in. And it’s and you you can break me down. And it’s the fact that like, Hey, man, this is really important. I spend a lot of time on this right? My company, my people put a lot of time in this. And I don’t just give these bids out. You guys said you needed the service. I need that. And when you hit me with that, I get it because I also go through that.

Does that do it for you though, as a D?

100% because you know why? And you know why? Because I have to deal with it.

If I if I feel like time is of the essence right? And this guy’s legit on his time constraints. I want I want it I want to meet him halfway. Right, and and remember, now’s as good a time to do business as next week or on Tuesday, it’s even better if I’ve got him on the phone if I got the ability to send him the proposal and go over it right now is now a good time. Well, hell yeah, it’s a good time for me.

Yeah, the whole point is saying what I was saying, you know, when I told doc like, Hey, I got you on the phone right now. You know, like hey, quit fucking around. Don’t Don’t try to schedule me out for two weeks from now. Like,

I like it. I’m good with that.

You could like a sale right now. And I push that to people. John, I know you’re leaning back. Because Because a lot of people miss that window, right? Because they’re hesitant. They’re not decision makers. They don’t have the power or they don’t feel

John, Clint’s a D, right. Nan needs to be coddled a little bit more and she needs some more time. So there’s where the DISC assessment? Who are you talking to? Absolutely. You know if if John needs to crunch some numbers I’m saying, Look, my accountant or my processor, my, my estimator is, you know, I’ve got him in the office, you want to do it now or you want it, you know, you do the, you know,

Because because I’m gonna push you to see how far you’re gonna go and commitment wise, right? Because if you if the first thing out of your mouth is, I don’t know, that’s okay, right? I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna eat your lunch for that. But how far are you willing to go? Because I know the person that probably estimated that project is two doors down. Are you willing to go drag him out of what he’s doing right now? Drag him down here and commit to getting this stuff. That’s me as a buyer guys, and you’re gonna run into that, right? I’m not saying everybody out there is like that. I’m just saying that to me, as a buyer, I’m pushing you to see what kind of commitment because what we commit to right now is how the job is going to go in the future. I believe that, right.

Okay. All right. Hold on. I have questions. I have lots of questions here. So the, the very first thing is that I’m proactively avoiding, I think, a lot of these steps, because I am very, very clear in my expectations about like, what’s going to happen on a call, right? So like, Clint, if we’re talking still at the end of this thing, it makes sense to keep to keep talking, then I’ll go talk to my team, we’ll look at the calendar, and then we can have another conversation with a proposal, work through it and see if it’s a good fit for you. Does that sound fair?

Yes. But I thought we were at the proposal side. No, I know. Absolutely. So let’s fast forward to the proposal.

But hold on the fix for this is right here, Clint. When we go over the proposal, if if it lines up for the budget and the things that are important to you, are you going to be able to let me know if this is a fit and something we should keep talking about?

Maybe.

Yeah, I mean, I mean, I like you. I you know, I like the I mean,

How can I say anything but maybe?

Yeah, maybe, maybe it’s not, but maybe’s not the answer John’s looking for.

But he set it up for a maybe, he’s pressing for could I make a decision, I mean, totally. And I’m like, you’re rushing me to make a decision. Oh, no, I not. Well, it feels that way to me.

But wait a minute, though, right. Here’s the glory of what I’m doing.

Sorry that doesn’t work for you, john.

I because I can I answered the question. Yeah, sure. Because I would tell you look, to be honest with you, it’s not fair to my, the other people that are also putting work into this that I’m not going to compare you guys price and scope. Right. And I got to see all three of you lined up next to each other. You guys are competitively bid bidding this and I’ve told you all of this, right? As a good buyer, you’ll tell everybody, look, this isn’t. This isn’t your job. It’s your job to lose, but it’s not your job, right? We’re gonna we’re gonna compare it. And I tell everybody that right? I’m getting three or four quotes from everybody, because that’s my process. And if you’re any kind of sales person worth their salt, you know that right? Sure. So so to pressure me into a buy on the phone is a no, right.

Hold on. Let’s back up. Right? I have a process. If I’m asking this question, I already know what your decision making process is, I know if we have to get other people involved, if there’s a board of directors, if there’s a spouse or partner, or something else like this. So I’m

John, that’s the point, right. That’s the point is that you got to get to that.

Absolutely. Right. But I’m asking those questions. So that way, I know that I can ask that question. Because in the situation that we’re, we’re kind of role playing a minute ago. Well, I got to talk to some other people first, but if you want to do it right, now, we can go over it. So not only now do I have to break my process in and kind of do this thing now when I’m probably not as prepared as I want to be? I’m also going to be the first guy in?

But but John, if you built the proposal, you you are up to speed you should be know everything that you need to know because the proposal is your finished product, right? So you’ve done all the cost analysis, you’ve looked at all the what’s Plan B, C, D, and E on anything because problems occur. And if you’re not thinking about how a problem should occur, you’re a dumbass. Right? Nothing goes as planned most of the time. So you should already have that in your wheelhouse where if the person says, let’s let’s talk about this now, but then hit the button, we have technology let’s let’s do this. You’re you’re you’re

You’re, you’re, you’re essentially asking me how I fix the hole in my roof when I tell you that there’s a tarp over it already. Right? I don’t have to deal I’m not calling people to check in about like, what their thoughts on the proposal are because I’m not giving a proposal unless we’re on the call together. I’m not sending you part part I’m not sending you shit via via email. Because, because the proposal was not the thing that gets me the business. It’s the trust that we had built over this conversation of me understanding your, and part of this is the is the world I get to play in that you guys don’t get to, right. So I understand. It’s there. In your world, so this is me speaking very specifically to my world. Sure, I, there’s not really proposals in what I do whenever it’s like, hey, let’s go find you a salesperson, right? If it is,

And we spoke to that, that’s intellectual property. So yes, you have a unique dynamic that says, look, nothing comes out of my brain to benefit you. So we’ve signed some kind of equation, I can I do understand that, and I’d respect that. And I actually voiced it, you know, a little bit earlier. But at a certain point, if you are so rigid with your process, how does that affect your clients who may not understand your rigidity? Right? They may not be in the same mindset. I’m an I, you’re a C. How does how does that translate to me when I’m like, Alright, whatever, stick is up your ass.

Wait a second, I’m not being a hard ass about it, right?

Because I can, I can go with it or it can turn me off. I know you well enough? Absolutely. Then I’m like, that’s just John. Right? So I can see where on the second project because you did a good first project. They’re like, that’s john. And that’s the way that works. Yeah. But until you’ve gotten there, I can see where I would be like, who I’d be like, how it’s usually but

But but be careful here, guys, because I’m going to ask Nan question. I know the answer, because it fits both of us and doesn’t fit you too. Hey, Nan, do people buy from people or do people buy from products.

Hundred percent people. Hundred percent.

That’s what I’m talking about. Right? I know. Hold on, hold on. Listen, listen, listen, this is important to me, right? Because I know, I know, a lot of people in the marketing space agency space. And they put a lot of time and effort into these, like really fancy proposals, and then they just send them out via email. Right? And even if they have the best of intentions, that email comes in. I mean, I I’m super excited to work with these people. But you know, I can’t deal with this right now. I’ll get back to this later and then all of a sudden a week has passed. And now they’re getting your follow up email because they haven’t heard from you. And and then all it does is just like, Ah, yeah, not everybody is out to get you not everybody is out to to collect your information. The other side of that is most people don’t have a buying process whatsoever. Right? I mean, Clint does because he because he does it a lot. I do because I’m sure because I’m very formulaic, and you’re going to run into people who have their problems.

I don’t have a process.

And in those spots, I don’t try to insert my process over their process. I asked enough questions to understand what their processes so I can play in their sandbox if I choose to, but left to my own devices, we’re running my game.

The hardest sell that I have to make is to somebody that doesn’t have a buying process.

Yeah, no, I get it. And that’s a guy like me, right? He’s like, you know, I, I have money in the bank. I’m not sure how much it is because I got 15 things coming at me and this is costing me this and this has cost me that. You know, it fluctuates. I got to work on collections. You know, I got to balance revenue in versus what project.

But hey, there’s a reason that most buyers are in two of the spectrums of DISC personality and not the others because they’re fact driven, they’re task driven. That’s what you’re selling to is facts and tasks, you’re usually not selling I mean unless certain commodity sales or something like that but but the point of it is is like how you communicate that stuff to people and you can’t get offended if people offend your process versus their buying process. You’ve missed six steps.

And that’s dead, guys, if you’re listening to this and watching this, this got a little heated because we are different you know, personality are different spectrums. But it nobody’s upset here. We just all were vetting it out. Exactly. We’re just passionate about so, it’s okay guys, don’t let this rattle your cage out there if you’re selling into these arenas, where things sort of get a little bit of you know, in this spectrum.

Here’s the deal. For me. Just real quick, I don’t want to do all the chasing, it drives me crazy because I feel uncomfortable doing it. Right. So if I have to chase, I have done something wrong in my process, right? Like, I don’t know if I’ve talked about this on the show, but one of the guys lately very early on, I closed. His name was Dan, and we’re talking about it. And I said, Dan, we talked about working together, you know, and we talked about the details and everything else like this. Can you let me know if this is a fit for you? And he goes, John, I don’t make same day decisions. Okay, great. Right. And this was a Friday, I said, I said, so how long do you normally take to work through a question like this to try to figure out if there’s value here for you and something that that makes sense for you? And he’s like, least 24 hours, and I was like, awesome. And Tomorrow is Saturday. I don’t typically do follow up calls on the weekends. But I will if you want to have the conversation, he was like, No, I’m traveling with the family. Let’s talk Monday said cool. If I don’t hear from me on Monday, do I have permission to kind of check in with you on Tuesday? See where we are? Yeah, that’s the step I put in my CRM. I don’t give a crap what his follow up step is it so then two hours later…

But you do because you just asked him or what? Okay, so you have some concern, but I love that you just nailed it, man, you just nailed it.

And here’s the really important part. Two hours later, he messaged me and he was like, John, I want to move forward. Okay, now, here’s where here’s where I make the big bucks, right? is I don’t just like leap onto that thing and sink my claws in. And I’m like, trying to close this deal. Dan, I’m a little confused. We had an agreement that we were going to check in on Monday or Tuesday. Can I ask what has changed? Yeah, he proceeds to tell me. Oh, he goes, he goes, You know what, John, I did think about it. And I’ve already made my decision. I’m ready to move forward. I said if I send you an invoice now, are we good to go? Yes, we are. Send them the invoice and paid.

Yeah. And it could have been vice versa and you get the hard no, and whoop te do. Absolute right. But here’s the deal, I can move on to the next.

Absolutely right. I can put that thing in my CRM, I can put that on my tracking and I can call the good because I have done everything I possibly can to own every step of that process.

So guys, not to interrupt, be you be work a system that is you that just doesn’t crack your porcelain cover, right? Don’t you know, don’t be wearing the facemask and worry because it falls apart. The point is, is if it’s really you, it won’t matter.

It doesn’t matter. I’ll tell you that I’ll take it a step further to say, don’t just be you, be consistent, right? All losses wise, that’s the thing be consistent because you have no data if you’re not consistent. Yeah. And I always compare sales data tracking to shooting because that’s what I know, right? Target, you know, shooting at a target. If you change something every single shot, right, I wear this shirt and I wear that sling and I have this bullet and I shoot and it’s off to the right but then I change everything again. Now it’s off to the left. I have no way to

Too many variables.

Yeah, there’s too many right but if I shoot the same gun, the same bullet, in the same position, with the same clothing and the same breathing pattern, and I miss right, I can adjust. I can make adjustments to that. And sales is no different guys.

Not at all, right you and I’m speaking from experience because I think of all of us, I think I’ve been in, like sales training the longest, right just just as far as like, like working with coaches and everything else. And I and I will say that like until maybe two years ago, a year and a half ago, I was spending so much time trying to check the boxes of the coaches I was working with and everything was like this. And it was kind of keeping me from actually doing it to the level that I do it so that way, I’ve got the control that I need to feel comfortable in that way. Because here’s the deal. You don’t have to check these boxes with me. Right and a lot of people don’t that’s totally fine. See ya, I don’t know it’s fine, totally fine, because I’m working my process in a way that puts me up for the most success possible. Consistency

And John, I’ll be honest, I’ve watched you develop that phrase over the last 18 months. Which phrase? The you don’t have to you don’t have to do business with me. You don’t have to check my box and see you later. I mean, I’ve watched you morph into that. And it’s, it’s why you are who you are.

And to our audience, how golden is it? When you’re successful with the process you’re comfortable with, that works for you. But you got a trial and error. And we didn’t get here by happenstance. We got our teeth kicked in, we’ve had a ton of disappointment. And like you said, they’re reps, but it’s staying true to the person that you are. I think you can go back and look at our other episodes, because we’ve been on air about a year now. And you can see consistency in our attitudes, our behaviors. I mean, if you want to do is a case study about how people stay in their corners and are who they are. I think the three of us have shown that to you guys. Yeah, 4, 4 of us, sorry. My bad.

The one time Al doesn’t include doesn’t include himself in the group.

That is true. I probably am the the loose wire on this whole equation right I’m like process, I can’t even spell it.

So yeah that the that that’s the really important thing right? I’m not doing this to be a hard ass right if I was doing it to be a hard ass then I’m then I’m just an ass is really what it is but I’m doing this because a I’m radically consistent with numbers and the numbers that I do right. I’m radically consistent in my prospecting. I know exactly what I need to do each week to get to my certain number of decision maker conversations. I know exactly. If we’re at this stage in my pipeline, I have a pretty good idea about how we’re going to fall and you know what, I will take that consistency and lose some of the things that I would get by being effervescent and bubbly. And, well, you know, we don’t get to talk about that stuff. It’ll come out later, all that stuff, but no, because then that leaves me uncomfortable and unable to perform in the way that I need to to like help everybody else. So it It’s about being consistent. And I love that Clint was and Al, like, Look, you can do this any way you want, but like, make sure it’s you and make sure that it’s consistent. I love it. It’s fantastic. Fritz, own more of the process, right? If you were if you were sending it in, like just allowing them to come back to you, of course, you’re gonna have to go follow them.

Right. But but but Fritz, also I have a question. If you’re getting a 20% response. That’s a pretty decent hit ratio. I mean, if you do it enough, and you’ve got a broad, with no follow-up, or Yeah, yeah, I’m like, you’re on the right path. Something’s going well, you’re doing something right here to get 20. So you talk to 10 people and two of them buy from you.

Well, and to that point, right. Here’s the thing that’s really important to note. He’s talking to 10 people and two of them are closing without having to do any follow up at all. Like Dude, you’re getting a job. Yeah, you don’t have a job now, I guess.

That’s, that’s what I was gonna say right? Is because I look at it nice. You missed 80% of the sales. Oh, well, that’s a whole different outlook. And, and I mean that because

I love you, buddy. I love you so much, this is the best.

And here and hear me out right? Because you truly did you you got 20% of sales without trying your process or working anything different. You just do what everybody else did and you got 20% of the sales. So in my mind, your missed 80% not saying that you’re gonna get all 80 but God dang, you could get 50 or 60 if you did something a little bit different. That’s why I say you missed a play.

Yes. Good point Clint. You’re exactly spot on. Yeah. Go ahead. Go ahead. Oh, no, no, I was gonna say yeah, yeah, you guys knew where I was going with that. He’ll put some put a little put a little process together or, you know, expectations, and this could work.

And the reason I’ve I focus on the 80% loss instead of the 20% gain is because if you let’s say You do win two out of 10, right? But I want to win for look at the multiplication and the exponential growth that you have to do to win four versus focusing on the 80% that you lost. And you still are selling to 10 people. And now you’re winning five or four. Now look at the exponential growth and the growth that you need to do. Their numbers are way different. And if anybody should know that, it’s John in the C corner, right? Sure.

Okay, but let’s back this up, though and understand the 80/20 rule of, and make sure you just fall into that natural pattern, then you can you can push that needle a little bit, but at a certain point you may be satisfied with Hey, I got a good process. I got to do it more times because I get quality and I’m not chasing crap that I wish I didn’t have because if if you’re stretching to get the the fruit that’s too high or just doesn’t make any sense because you got numbers in your head, to me I’m like, Alright, if your natural role is this? Yeah, you want to push that needle a little bit, but I’m not so sure that the extra that you’re gonna get from Clint saying go get the other 40 or 50. If they’re less qualified. Now you got a great problem, right? I’m turning business away because it doesn’t fit me. And it costs me too. And my profit margin starts to diminish. Yeah, you know where I’m going with that.

I think that if Fritz just says, Hey, you know, when can we have another call? We can go over the proposal and see if this is a fit for you, as opposed to just sending out to the email. I bet I bet it I bet it doubles his close rate?

But my question is, who just sends a proposal without a phone call of before you hit the send button? A lot. So I’m like, Hey, I’m about to send this over to you just wanted to. Wow, that doesn’t make any

Most people.

It’s the standards. It’s the standard because what happens is is like a lot of people are making assumptions right? Oh, they just need to see this in written form and the deal done well. Did you check that or something? Are we just making wow

Wow, agreed, I mean I would never do that. So I mean, if I implied that I would just send something no I either have you on the phone I say hey it’s ready about to send it your direction when should we fight I’m not hitting button until I hear a verbal Let’s follow up like you said in 24 hours whatever their process is.

Let me let me tell you why most people’s agreements that they had were exactly what they did. Hey, can you bid me this job? Absolutely. I can do this job. When do you need to by? I need to buy September 5. No problem in the business or noon. I need to by the end of business deal. And guess what? you fulfilled the agreement that you both freakin agreed on, you send it by the end of the day. There you go. And its weak as shit.

That’s what that’s what got to clarify.

Who the hell goes to work and does this?

Well, but hold on Al, everybody. This is a thing it happens right? Because what happens is people rush because because they don’t want to qualify. They don’t want to qualify there. They might be trying to hit a certain number of like proposals sent. You know, because that’s a KPI that a lot of people look at things like this. So it happens for any number of reasons. But the important thing to to know is that most people aren’t going to back away, right? Because you’re you’re just you’re it’s an assumptive question, right? When can we hop on another call and go through this stuff?

Well, let me give you guys some some notice here. If your KPIs proposal sent, I hopefully your base is big enough because you’re not making shit other than that, right? Until they fire you and you most on to the next damn place, I mean. I’m telling you.

I sent one to my dog, does that count?

If you’re out there and you’ve had 10 jobs in the last 10 years. You suck. Sorry, you do. You’re horrible. Quit and go do something else. News.

I think I think we’d beat this horse to death.

We’re, we’re, we’re over. Fritz, I hope, I hope I hope any two minutes of this thing was helpful to you. We got a little heated, just because different in a good way personality for sure. If you are listening to this and you have a sales question, just text it to me 817-345-7449 we’ll talk about on the show, maybe give me a shout out. Thanks to Fritz for asking the question, not being so ego driven that you know, you can’t ask for help. That’s huge. It’s not enough of that in sales. Follow us on social media. Everything is at Sales Throwdown. If you have a question, please reach out. If you know someone who is struggling in sales, please share this with them. And we will catch up everybody real soon. Thanks a lot.

Fritz, you’re doing a hell of a job though, man. 20% hit rate is Yeah, that’s that’s pretty solid, just for the way I heard it. You’re not doing anything wrong. It’s not an indication of like bad habits. There’s just some tips to make it better.

Awesome. Cheers, everybody.