Episode 73: The Importance of Understanding the Sales Cycle

 

Welcome to the show everybody, Sales Throwdown, we are back, we are talking about, excuse me, puberty. The, the bane of every sales person’s existence in the fourth quarter, we’re gonna wait until January or after the first of the year, right? It’s a common thing, you’re going to hear from people, it’s a stall, it’s a put off, right, but we’re going to hear it and sometimes it is legitimate. And you’re hearing it in your conversations, I’m hearing it, I think we’re all hearing it on some level. So we’re going to talk about how we’re handling it, how we’re talking about it, and all of that. So I have it the easiest, because I had people who were responding to emails and things like this, right. So they’re kind of like raising their hand or wanting to have a conversation. But for the rest of you guys, I think it’s a little bit harder, right? Because you have to go out and like, get people into conversations. And they’re probably reluctant and trying to avoid some of that, because of everything else that’s going on. Right?

Now, what it reminds me of, is um, in December, everyone’s like, Man, I’m just gonna eat because I’m going to do a fast January. And you know, then I’m gonna be honest, fast, I’m going to get in shape, and I’m gonna be like, good to go. And in my brain, I’m in sales, the same thing, you know, well, I’m just going to wait because right now, you know, it’s kind of downtime, and we just start afresh. And that’s baloney. Because you’re either gonna take care of yourself, you’re either either want to improve your business, I mean, I’m in there for the sale to improve your business. So you’re telling me you’re gonna delay improving your business, or whatever it is, you’re gonna delay. Delay is just a wimpy way of saying, I don’t want to do this, because it’s going to be a little bit of a change and difficult. So I’m going to put it and that’s baloney. I, you know, just today, I was talking to somebody and I was just like, Okay, so we’re going to improve your business, things are going to be better in this area. And well, you know, what about this? I mean, people love to act like, the solution is, let’s put it off. Let’s, let’s not eat the pie today. Or let’s eat the pie today and not you know, whatever. It’s, it’s the procrastination of it is just the biggest excuse of stupidity. And I know that sounds not very nice for an S, but man is the truth. Like, don’t listen to that, and then try to identify the problem with sales is that you drink to use Al’s phrase, you drink their kool aid, and you go, Okay, all right. Gotcha. Okay, yeah, let’s wait. That’s baloney. Like, tell them the truth. Tell them really what they’re doing. I mean, I about want to do that every time I talk to someone, because people do it across the board. I guarantee each one of you right now, I think you can think of someone that does that same little scenario of, well, this isn’t a really good time for me. Well, I’m sorry, you know, you either gonna improve today or not, or you’re not, you know.

Damn, just out of the gate, Nan coming in hot.

Being grumpy Sandy. Oh, that didn’t sound grumpy. I didn’t mean to, but

You don’t have to, like S it up and walk it back. You’re, you’re we’re in the safety circle, right? You can talk smack about your prospects. This is totally okay. Um, so like in that moment, when they say, Okay, let’s meet after the first of the year. Are you trying to book the appointment? Right, then like, Are you trying to get it on the calendar? Are you trying to do that? Or do you just kind of let it go? And then try to come back later? How do you handle that?

No, like I said, I want to identify what’s really going on? Because you’re kidding your. I don’t think sometimes I think people say and do things, because it just seems it’s just easier. It’s not that it seems easier. It’s just easier having to actually pick up whatever the proverbial moving to the to improve is just really hard. So to me, it’s identifying it’s like talking to him about it in a nice way. Just going well, you know, really have that, you know, the, how’s that working for you? You know, I love that, I love when people say that, because it’s so true. Like, really? How is that working for you? Not usually working well, but it’s just really hard for a lot of people to get motivated.

So, so on the flip side of that coin, we talked about this in other shows, you guys are slammed in, like after Thanksgiving on normally because of all you know, deductibles being mad and people doing so, there is kind of a good reason for some of these people to like, Hey, we’re just too busy, like like, we’re not gonna be able to give this the thoughtful time. Right, you’re just going to get to no sooner.

Okay, I have a little different slant. I think everybody who has a sales routine should always prepare for this time of year, right? Whatever that prep work is because what you do actually have is you have budgets that need to be spent. If there’s money left on the table, if their fiscal year runs through the end of the year, that potentially leaves unspent money that they’re looking for avenues for, right? Because if you don’t spend your budget, guess what, you get less of a budget and many times the next year, right, yeah. So you begin to justify what we’re doing. So I think there’s a way to approach this. And this is maybe a little different from my arena. But it you know, what Nan said and what we all kind of prepped on, it seems to mean, there is an end of year play for everybody. But have you sat down and thought about what that is in your industry?

You’ve got a plan? Exactly.

Do you have a plan, are you muddling through the holidays? And then it’s muddle meets muddle? And, I mean, you know, if you get and Clint, correct me if I’m wrong, I mean, are you not looking for people with budgets and people that have decided things? And you’re working your way towards the end of the year? Does that not help from a pressure point on both sides of that equation?

Yeah, I mean, most of everybody I’m dealing with has a budget end of the year capex expenditure that they’re trying to either spend, or they ran out in June, you know, June, which is most people they run out in June. And so you’re so you’re coming down to this stretch of, we don’t have any money. So we’re gonna have to wait till the new budget comes out in January when we get our, you know, our capex expenditures again. So, you know, in construction, I think we find a lot of October, November, December is, we’re serious about this project, we’re going to do this project. Oh, and by the way, this is really just a budget so we can get a funding approval for next year, which never happens, and you get dragged along. So, you know, going, going back to kind of what Nan said, most people I think are procrastinators by, you know, just, just by being born, I think we all have a little bit of that in us. And especially when any kind of situation gets stressful or hairy with financing, we want to put that off because nobody wants to deal with it. Now, I say nobody, most people, I think, you know, and when it comes to the end of the year, I’ve talked about it many times where when I plan for the year, I kind of block out that December, January in my sales forecast of just being crappy months, you know, and so I’m already planning for everybody to do that. So everything that comes in in December, January is is really a bonus. So you really have a 10 month selling cycles is the way I kind of look at it. Now, that doesn’t mean that, like I’m the busiest I’ve been all year in the last four to five weeks with with projects coming through and going forward. But I haven’t I don’t have POs on every one of those yet, either. So I could I could literally fall into this category that we’re talking about with these people. For me is a pretty easy so when I have certain things like a every January one, all your equipment pricing goes up, it just escalates every single year, your materials coming from overseas or even in house, everybody puts a even labor right people just naturally escalate inflates their cost at the beginning of the year. So you know, we push a lot of Hey, lock this down, so we can lock in the rates and login the pricing for this material. And that helps us a lot. I mean, I’ve got a couple that I that I’ve sold this last couple of weeks that have been because I’ve, I’ve said those things. So there’s a few ways around it for me. But we do deal with the budget side a lot. And everybody wants to wait. And I’ll tell you, all it takes is you forget about how many things you budgeted throughout the year to all happen in January for when you finally have to start writing checks. You’re like, well, crap, I’ll run out of money by February, you know, because

We put all this on the table. Yeah.

So, we usually you kind of become a finance manager for your customers at some point.

That’s what I was about to hit in it. But it kills me that you the people you do business with, because you do big money don’t have a better handle on their cash flow relative to, you know, their borrowing capability relative to Hey, how big a project can we really put together that make sense for next year, the year? I mean, wow, these aren’t little projects, and that seems like…

That’s where the procrastination comes into play. And no matter how big of a business you are, know how you know, no matter how professional you are, you still tend to like a you know, it’s only June, I have till December to make this decision. December comes like that it’s a snap of a finger. And you know, it’s we’re not, you know, we’re not 12 years old wishing we were 13 and it takes 15 years to get to 13 you know what it feels like? We’re adults here, it happens fast, you know. And, and so it’s just it’s one of those things where I think you really got to dig in and help your customer move the table along and make sure you show how showcase how important it is for them to do that because you know, if you’re not involved at that level This isn’t a serious conversation anyway. And and I, and I, and I kind of always say this for me the sales cycle is maybe six, seven months, even out to 18 months long. So the sales that I’m dealing with in December, they happen back in June, July, August, September. And if they’re crawfishing on you in December, it’s because you didn’t pin it down correctly in September, August, or, or any of those previous months. So, you know.

I agree. I agree. And that’s why I said you everybody understood should be a master their sales cycle. And they should know what Janu-, you know, in the fourth quarter looks like going into the first quarter of the next year? Because our sleepy times next quarter, right? Yeah. But there’s there’s the gameplan of who did we touch base with? What pushback did we get? Where do we go in January, we have more time, they have more time, we find out what schedules are going on. And then we start trying to get in front of people and really set the tempo for the whole next year, right? I mean, because we’re talking, okay, who didn’t get surgeries because of COVID? Well, we actually know that our federal programs are not like major med programs. So we know that we’ll do Medicare, because the ease of entry into these big ticket items is less, we’ll put some of our federal programs and then we’ll everybody’s looking at who’s not on a fiscal year. I mean, those are real health care scenarios. And then obviously, now we’re going to go bid with hospitals and our shift of what we get reimbursed right. So we fight contracts that during that first quarter going into the next year, so yeah.

I mean, that’s interesting. And I’ll give you a pretty good example of what I’m dealing with right now. I just had a meeting with him about two weeks ago, and they said, Hey, you know, we plan on using you for this job. we’ve committed to using you guys, everybody involved that that same kind of speech that we all get at some point in sales, where it’s You got it, you got it, you got it. Okay, that’s fine. Show me Give me the paperwork. Oh, I can’t get the paperwork. So it’s as good as a no, in my book. And, and, and that happened to me, I’ve been working on a project, you know, just like six, seven months, just digging through the details and having meetings on meetings. And, you know, to the point of almost giving away a lot of free consulting at some point that they could just back out and go use somebody else. And one of the reasons that they hadn’t cut the pios yet is because they can’t bill until April of next year, because to so to your previous point, Doc, have not, you know, not understanding their own finances, these guys understand it to the point where they know exactly the day they can build it five months from now. Well, and so that person, yeah. So that’s where the professional salesperson in you needs to know, how does your company bill? And how do you cycle your equipment through or whatever parts and pieces that you’re buying? And when will that hit so that we can match what they’re doing? So I basically made them a deal of, that’s not a problem for us. Cut me the PO today, I won’t bill you a thing until April, that’s fine. I’m a big enough company to handle some of that expenses. But having this piece of paper on hand is the big, the most important thing for me, because now I can lock in all the equipment I can get.

You can do your planning. Exactly. You can be ready to roll, hit the ground.

Basically you’re making me give, you’re giving me four months that nobody ever gives me. So this works out better for me. I’ll fill you in a well,

In, in all seriousness, what’s the value of that? That’s immense. As you go into a big project, it’s huge. Yeah, you’re you’re you know, you can put a ton of stuff together. Yeah. And continue that conversation. So yeah, nice little nugget, man. If you understand there’s their financial side of the equation, and yours and coupled the two. So you’re working in unison. Man, guys that that’s thinking through the equation, man that’s understanding your sales niche and bringing two companies together to get things done.

That’s that’s what we’re here for. Right? And on the other side, right? You’re always trying to build backlog. I mean, that that is a sales goal you everybody wants to sell for today, everybody wants to revenue for today. But you cannot forget about the other half of the business, which is backlog, backlog backlog, right? You’ve got to build that that’s the future of whatever you’re going to do. That’s you having a job two years from now. So somebody tells me I can’t bill you today. I can’t cut you a PO today and Bill it today. But I can cut you one for next year. I’ll take that just as much. It sucks because I don’t get to put it on the sales chart today. But, buddy, that just gave me a job a year from now. I’ll take it.

Yeah, exactly. Particularly if you’re surviving right now. Now I understand the stress of I can’t hardly make it through tomorrow. But when you like you, you you know you can kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel, you’re turning one year, which has been a pretty shitty year for everybody into 2021. I mean, if you can log and find some value going forward. You know, I’ll take it because we have it going on now because we can’t get everybody into hospitals. Everybody knows they’re getting filled up with COVID or, you know, other people with other issues. So we and you know, and somebody pops a positive. I mean, we’ve had four or five surgeries just just in the last, you know, 10 days that have been pushed, shoved, I mean, and even said, Yeah, they got canceled twice, you know. And so we’re dealing with that low back pain and that surgical need or cervical pain, whatever it may be, will not go away, that patient will be back on the docket. And so man, I’ve got a mental note every time something’s getting pushed, and I keep looking at my bank account saying, Alright, we’re good. We’re holding, we’re collecting it here. So you begin to, you know, really look at that diversification and, and and look forward to next year when a lot of this will continue to hit.

Yeah. And I tell you, the bigger the company that you work for, if you’re working, if you’re out there working for these big you know, corporations or publicly traded companies where you have board members that are looking at your finances, let’s say every quarter they meet four times a year, they don’t get they say, Okay, great. You killed it in the first quarter. That’s all great. But what’s second quarter look like what’s what’s next year look like? That’s what they are looking for. That’s their, that’s their money stream.

So? And do you completely understand because they don’t do dick, you’re doing the work. They own the paper? And and it’s really easy to walk in and go? What’s this company that I own? 5% or 3%? Or 2%? Which is a you know, hundreds of millions of dollars? What the hell are they doing? What are you doing with your frontline people? What are your sales people? Do? I mean it Yeah. Well, welcome to the catbird seat that screws every working sales guy that’s out there, right.

I mean, yeah, and it’s a it’s a tough one. You know, it’s a tough one for me, because one, I’m always trying to keep guys in the field of work. And I don’t ever want to see them laid off because I had a crappy sales month. I mean, that’s a heartbreaker for me, you know, to know that I still have a job why those guys are going home. I mean, that’s what that’s to me. That’s what it’s always in the back of my head. That’s what I’m always gearing all of everything I do when I when I see people start getting released from work because we didn’t have jobs. And I mean, there’s a lot of things to it may not be that we have the jobs, but do we have them now? You know, yeah, we’re gonna have them in a month from now, but I don’t have work for them for the next month. Then you see those guys go away? And then you know, that’s that’s a heartbreaker for me. So not only is it just backlog because of board members and money, it’s also backlog because you’re trying to keep people busy and people on staff and yes, sales today are awesome. And but you got to fill those ups and down curves in your in your sales pipeline and time things out is, you know, sales is not just a I take people golfing all day, as much as everybody would like to think that that’s what it is. Sometimes it is, sometimes it can be just that. But man, there’s a lot more to it. I can tell you, you know, if you’re out there, just starting in sales, you got to look at the you know, look at the big your You are the big picture.

Well, it’s funny, because I work at such a lower range than than y’all two do that, you know, if somebody’s like, hey, let’s talk in April, I’ll be ready to do this April, I’m writing you off, because it’s just so far in advance in the in the people that I’m normally working with are, are at a level to where they’re there they are, they can’t forecast that far out. Right. And so I like the thing that you guys were talking about a second ago that I really like was like, asking enough questions to understand how their fiscal year runs, right? Because not everybody does a January to December, right? So it might be like November to November, right? So it could be December is like the best time to have these kinds of conversations, right? But you have to go and probe deep enough to really understand what’s going on inside of the organizations that you’re calling on. Real quick, if you’re watching this, right or if you’re listening and you want to see Clint get really mad every four minutes, his light turns off because it’s on a timer. I’m just gonna go ahead and get it off timer right now. Exactly. So if you want to see a massive effort of trying not to lose their mind, go watch us on YouTube, like and subscribe, comment how you’re gonna handle these kinds of stalls right when you hear them in your conversations. So that way we can talk about it all learn together. I love it. Every time the light goes off, I see that flash of anger in his in his eyes. And I’m like, man, if you’re not watching this, like like you’re not seeing the tightrope walk of Clint Bigelow trying to not get mad.

But John, you brought up I mean, to get back on topic for another minute or two. Do you understand that if a salesperson walked in and asked some of the questions, if you’re in transition, right, you don’t have a sales job, or you’re moving from one company to the next. Please listen to what we’re talking about. Because if somebody walked into my office and said, Tell me about your fiscal year, or, hey, I’m here for the sales interview. But what I want to know is, you know, how does money enter, you know, ask the right questions, I guess is where I’m going with that. Sit down and try to get some business acumen put together instead of talking about how you’ll knock on that. Every Door, Well, okay, great. But during that conversation, right, while you’re highlighting who you are and your capabilities, dig into what is the financial structure? What is quarter after quarter look like? What’s your sales cycle? I mean, how good are you at interviewing for maybe the greatest opportunity of your life, right? Because remember, if you’re even half ass sales, and you’re not in, you’re getting better 1% by every quarter, you’re going to be amazing one day, right? So dig into the business side of sales, take whatever knock, door knocking acumen you have, and put it into the business side of that equation. And go rock the world, man.

Yeah, cuz it’s a good point. Because almost all sales training, I think that we’ve all been through or even that you just get those little glimpse on, you know, YouTube, if you do kind of stuff like that, where you’re looking at knowledge, they all will tell you discovery discovery, right? You got to go learn about your customer. And I think 90% of the time we look at it as a personality thing. Oh, do they like to golf? Do they like to eat at this restaurant? What kind of food they like? What do their kids do? We try to learn all that that’s what we think of discovery. But for me, it’s the business acumen of what you just said, Doc is like, I got to know your business. I know your sales cycle when you when you expect this to be done. To me, that’s discovery. When you get to that level people trust you. And they they understand that you have a different understanding, then then your competition a little bit.

And I’m not even talking about again, you hit on a good point. That would be whoever you’re selling to. I’m talking about whoever you’re interviewing with, right? Am I with IBM? Microsoft? Am I with a real estate company? Am I with a construction company? What are those? What are those cycles of revenue look like? And guys, you get on Google, you can find out anything before you go to your next interview. If you’re if you’re looking at hell, I’m about to be like no unemployment, I got to really hit the streets again and find something to sale. Well, if I was selling hot dogs, I’d figure out what the biggest month of hot dog sales was. Right? And I would look at like other trends, I would assume it’s spring and fall and not the middle of August in Dallas Fort Worth. Yeah, you can make us an assumption. But think through that equation, as you sit before maybe your next sales manager or an RVP is hiring you in and be able to chew the fat on their economics of their business.

Yeah, right. And, and people like that love to explain. Oh,

they know that. If you just ask you a question. They’ll run it at you, then the listening skills come in. Right? Yeah. Suck that up. And then dole that back at em? Hey, I heard you say that, you know, and then time that too, when you’re sitting in that chair trying to get that job? Well, it’s January, and I understand you telling me Look, the first quarter is kind of slow, and healthcare sales. Sounds like that might be a great opportunity for me to catch some of these guys that are the big ticket items that aren’t seeing as many patients, they’ll have more time for me to kind of come in, is that what I’m hearing you say? Guys, you could frame this up, and they would literally get on their knees for you. Right?

I, I love that we kind of pivot into this idea of like, if you’re trying to do like a job change, right? Because when you can show up, and you can ask those kinds of questions with the person that you’re interviewing with. And you’re trying to get that depth of like understanding about, like, what the role is and why other people have, you know, struggled and what other successful people do and what kind of stuff are you running into? Because you’ve got that, that level of curiosity, because you want that clarity it, it also kind of just informs this person that you’re that you’re interviewing with that, I mean, if they’re savvy, that you’re going to be doing that same kind of process with your clients.

Well, and let me let me put a little bit of a break on that. If you’re sitting in front of a high D, you need to ask him what he expects out of his best performer given this time of year, and what his sales cycle what he and just simply say, What’s your lead dog, what do you want out of him? And I don’t know if this the upside and bring that cycle in, in a real like subservient way, right? and drop it on him that you’re talking business cycle and what a leaders do during the downtimes because we can all figure it out for the uptime, right? Yeah, yeah. So keep that in the back of your mind. Don’t overplay that hand. You’re not the whiz kid you don’t know shit about their business. So don’t come in and tell them how to calculate the cabbage. Ask them pertinent questions and let them tell you so you know, the decks where the expectations are sitting, and then walk into being able to fulfill them or run like hell because you can’t do it and you’re gonna be busted out in the end up with another job search on your hands.

Yeah, I mean, I I don’t want to keep beating this up a little bit because it is an interesting topic. It’s almost a whole nother topic we should probably talk about at some point but uh, I think back to one of the things that somebody taught me during an interview, that is one of my favorite things. And this is just, you know, how do you guys do this? They answer it. And then you say the simple thing of do like the way that works, and they’re going to tell you so many things. And Amen. Just Yeah, just listen, right. And you do the same thing with your customers. Okay, how do you do it? Now? Do you like the way you do it now? No, I hate the way I do it now. Okay, how would you like to see it done? I mean, they’re telling you everything you need to know to do the job that they’re hiring you to do. And you can do that in sales. You can do it in an interview, you can do it so many different ways.

I i that second question, right. Hey, would it make sense to chat? Maybe in January, okay. When in January. Right, that second question. How do you guys do that? Well, we do it this way. How’s that working? Well, we don’t really like it. Right? It’s always the second question that you actually solidify your footing as, like as to who you are and why you’re there. It’s a great one. Because these these sales is a great point. Yeah, we’re just so hungry for like, any opportunity, then they don’t ask that question, right. Because if they hear something that works in their favor, they just jump on it right and trying to sink their teeth in. And they don’t have right the right footing. They don’t have enough knowledge, and you look like a salesperson. So it’s really easy to ignore you and treat you like a salesperson. But when you can ask that that second question. Right? Can we talk about budget? Sure. Like in round numbers, what do you think this looks like? At $25,000? Right? If that, if that fits your budget, like don’t start fist pumping yet. Okay. How did you come up with that number? Right, is that like, like, the salesperson who just wants to make a sale doesn’t ask that question. person who wants to understand the expectations and the deliverables? And what a successful they look like, and all these things, which is what your clients really want to be on the same page with you about? Like, because

you know what, you know what, they begin to think this guy really wants to make sure his product fits me, right. I mean, you get a little bit of that where all right, the guy’s asking, I, you know, yeah, I’m feeling comfortable talking to him more about what my needs are, so that we make sure this is a good deal. Yep. And at that point, you can actually use that whenever they kind of, you know, hey, you know, my intent here is to understand, is this the best fit for you?

Yeah. And I hear this a lot, because I, so many people have been through so much leadership training and sales training at this time, and there’s that damn light.

There it is, four minutes on the dot.

Had to take a deep breath on that one.

Hey Clint, do you find that disruptive?

Yeah, a little bit.

Why?

I, yeah. So so I do I do run into this every once in a while, where a guy will stuff that question or those second questions of, will you tell me you’re the professional or you tell me, you know, you’re the one that’s going to be handling this? And there’s a lot of ways to handle that answer. And, and to be honest with you, the that playing dumb is just one of the best ways to keep that ball rolling down the hill. You know, don’t don’t give him one because you’re going to run into free consulting, instantly, you’re going to give into free advisor, you might even say the wrong thing that they don’t want to hear so factly you know, so asking us a question. I agree, john is hugely important. It’s one of the biggest nuggets I think I’ve heard yet in a while so but you know, when when that question gets stuffed by you know, probably if I had to guess a High C, or a high D is going to get stuff by technical knowledge and just a you tell me, Mr. Big sales guy, you got to really be ready for that because it’s going to happen. It’s not all going to play out in this playbook. So

Absolutely not, right, and the way that I think about it is like if you’re getting that kind of response, you don’t have any trust yet. Well you tell me, you’re the expert. Go back.

And rightfully so because you’re probably in some beginning conversations. Yep.

Yeah, you you didn’t get it done either bonding or rapport was lacking you rush something, own that right? Do not run from it, because it’s a valuable lesson.

And they and they might be 100% right? They might actually be serious about saying that statement of your the professional you tell me and I’ll say okay, just cut me the PO and I will tell you how I’m going to do it all you know, I just make that a kind of

okay. You can say

yes, humor humor throws in there a little bit. Hey, man, just cut me the PO. I’ll tell you all about it. And he just says…

I like I love how lightweight that is. Yeah. It’s kind of like

See, I didn’t get it till you said it the second time. Yeah. Wow. I

See, I even put it in, put it I put it in emails all the time. Hey, man, whenever like whenever you’re ready cut me that PO, I’ll tell you all about.

I love that. I love it. I love it. I caution anybody who’s a novice and doesn’t, you know, own those… Don’t, don’t try that one at home without supervision first.

There is a there’s a there’s a major component to this of like picking your spots. Yeah well

Agreed, so cuz guys man, people start getting Mack truck yet right? Hey walk before you run guys out there Do not be a player Hey, you are a player, let it run.

I run I have absolutely I’ve made a living out of those one liners man when no one went to jab those and pull out man, I made a living.

A good friend of mine, actually, Clint, you met him Brandon. He’s an insurance sales and and they’re launching this program and he’s got some people and they’ve got this line that they really like because they’re reaching out. And one of the common things in insurance is like, Hey, we just renewed, right, we don’t need to talk. And and what they’re doing in that moment is they’re saying, Okay, cool. Like, this isn’t a sales conversation. This is a business conversation. I’d like to talk about some of the concerns that we’re hearing from other people. Well, like that, and I’m like, that’s, that’s a really good frame.

Yeah, that’s legit.

Yeah. Really, really, really like that. So, so. So in those moments when you’re getting that challenge, because they’re like, they’re like God, none of none of the sales call. I don’t have anything to sell you because you might not even need anything.

Yeah, cuz, you know, let’s, let’s talk about that a little bit. Because there’s a lot of phrases that are overused now, because it’s taught constantly to sales people. And just just because it’s taught, you know, let’s just say five years ago, that has made its rounds through sales conversations enough where it’s okay, this guy is trying to frame me up here. And so you constantly got to be developing those phrase, you’re asking the same question, the base question of what you’re doing the base reason why you’re asking or telling the statement is always to get to a root cause, right, but the way you frame in what you say, you can’t use industry standard from 15 years ago, and still use the day because people have heard it too much. Right. So that is a prime example to me, of getting outside the box and asking the same exact thing or framing the same thing, but doing it in a different way than everybody else is doing it. So kudos, Brandon.

Yeah, yeah, I was I was really impressed, honestly. Because most, a lot of the corporate sales stuff that I hear from people, they’re like, oh, man, I got this great line. It’s like that that was not great. Like, go go use that 100 times. And then let’s talk about your results of using that line. Because it’s a little it’s a little weird.

Yeah, there’s certain things you can say to anybody at any time, and they’re 100% effective all the time. There are those few things, there’s no doubt, then even when they fail, they’re still successful, because you got to know or you got a no, you got some closure. Right. So to me, it’s still successful. But there that is a very small percentage of things you can say on a sales call. I mean, it’s so small, it’s a couple phrases, right? Yeah, we went off on a tangent there. Sorry, it just does some good nuggets in there.

Well, no, I mean, you brought up like, like a really good point that, like some lines are always work and some lines don’t because because they just get overused, right. But the thing that I will tell you is that the stuff that works all the time, if you’re not thinking about your cadence, and your tonality, and like all the nonverbal stuff that goes along with that, right, your posture and body language, and there’s you know, and all of that stuff, you can do that stuff. And you can do the things that work all the time. But if that stuff is not correct, your cadence and all that it can still fail, right? And so then you’re mad because you didn’t put in the reps and the time and the in the in the repetitions to like, really own that statement with the right like pauses and tonality and cadence and everything. And you’re like, Oh, this stuff doesn’t work. I’m going back to the way that I that I normally do it.

Yeah, I you know, the most common phrase that I hear is, well, you know, a look, I’m not trying to, you know, I get these phone calls about trying to sell life insurance or whatever. And it’s like, man, I look, I don’t I don’t even want to talk to you right now. I don’t have time or whatever. And it’s like, well, who do you currently use? And it’s like, I don’t know, Prudential or whatever the hell and it’s like, well, how do they treat you? And I’m like, dude, I’m done with this. You’re.

They’re not even meeting you in the conversation, right? Like, that’s what I mean, I don’t want to talk to you right now. Don’t Don’t pick up another baton to try and get your needs met.

And to my point, like 15 years ago, when nobody heard that statement that was like, Oh, I don’t know how I feel about my other thing. So it worked at that point in time.

Exactly. Wait a second, though. But I’ll even dig a little bit deeper. If they’re calling you at your age versus my dad at his age for insurance. And if you’re calling on the phone, it’s life insurance, or it’s something along those lines. So if you’re if you’re stabbing in the dark and don’t understand the product, you’re selling the audience, you should be selling it to man, you’re, you know, go back to elementary school, because that’s not what you know, hopefully most of our audience as sold something, right. Well, it isn’t.

And I’ve been so mad. I’ll tell you. I’ve had people in the last couple years, hook me up with some life insurance policies and stuff because they start talking about your kids. All the stuff I’m like, Man, you know, let you get you got a good point like, you know, as much as I don’t want to put that money aside right now I think you got a good point. Let’s do this. Hey, you sent your policies over this umbrella, I need you to go take a blood test. Yes, fucked up the whole sale. You know, I just I mean it can happen just like that, you know like yeah, point and then you made me You made me work and I’m out.

Okay, but I get I get where you’re coming from but when you said oh how how’s your Prudential working for you who talks to their Prudential agent? It’s a dumbest question. I don’t even know I don’t even know

I don’t even know, I don’t even know the guy’s name. What are you talking about? It’s a brochure I get in the mail once a month.

It’s a $50 out of my account every month and I don’t live under 1000. And you know, and my guys want me to die, right? And

tell me once we make this deal that you’re gonna be any different than that guy.

Agreed, right? So yeah, just stand where you said it’s almost better if you say, you know this such a bullshit call. But when you die, do you leave enough money to your kids? Right? I mean, if you on that equation, let’s talk about that. Because Whoa, bitch, it’s hard out there on the road. You could get whacked today. Should we not discuss? Should you need more? Or can I get you the same for less? A simple conversation? I get to the crux and figure out it now having said that, that was a little brazen to me. And I get it. I probably couldn’t do that myself. Right. But it could work. But you get where I’m going with this right? What do you say? And is it engaging? Does it not just reek of like sales? 101? Or you’re like, Hey, I’m a cool hipster are Hey, I’m really knowledgeable about this. I think you’re, you know, I might have something to add to this. You I don’t want to run with scissors, right? I mean, I’m just being me when I say this?

Well, and you’ve got to always go back to there is a nugget in in sales 101. I don’t know that everybody teaches us but they damn sure should. If you have a product and somebody needs it, it’s a pretty easy sale. Right? So if you know you have something and you know somebody needs it, I mean, this conversation should go pretty damn easy. If you’re confident in what you have, and you’re confident that they need it, right? It’s when you’re trying to sell something to somebody that doesn’t need it or doesn’t want it. That’s when we start playing all these tricks and we start trying to do all this stuff. And that’s when it becomes frustrating for salespeople. They’re trying to sell shit that nobody needs. Right. And that’s that’s why we always say on this show, we’ve all said it at one point, sell something that you’re into, sell something you believe in, sell something that you want to wake up every day and do, don’t sell widgets to somebody that doesn’t need widgets. That’s not going to be any fun. It’s not going to make any money. You’re going to be frustrated you’re gonna hate sales.

But But I but I but look left look, right. I mean, look at your house, look at the TV behind me. People need goods and services, right? All kinds, find your who’s buying Toshiba TVs? Or who’s buying who buys those items, right? And then qualify, qualified, qualified qualified, right?

Absolutely. I mean,

I mean, otherwise, you’re on the Jordan Belfort rule of thumb in sales, where you’re going to knock on 6 million doors until you sell it and if that’s your bag, and that’s what you’re that’s who that guy is. That’s what he wants to do. Go I get it. I’m not that guy. I’m not gonna do it. And

I’m the same, it’s funny. There’s another sales consultant coach, right. And we’re connected on Facebook and his his approach is completely opposite of mine. Right? He loves to get in there and brag about how he followed up with the guy for a year and then he closed and I’m like, in his whole thing is like, treat every lead like you bought it. And I’m like, Man, that’s a whole bunch of terrible pressure, in my opinion. But he he’s he’s optimizing for something different, right? He’s his big brag moment is that he closes all these deals, no matter how long. No, okay, cool. I get that. That’s what you want. Like, I’m trying to optimize for something else. Right. I want easy conversations. Hey, I

have that guy on my team. That guy? Oh, well, I mean, I have, you know, we have a I think he’s 62 he’s been doing this 30 some years. And he’s been doing it that way for 30 years. And if a bid comes in his door qualified, unqualified doesn’t matter. He thinks we should bid this thing because you can’t win if you don’t bid it, that’s his mentality. And now he has a proven sales record. It’s it’s the hit ratio is so low. I can’t even fathom that. I mean, I mean, it kills it kills me. It’s like God, you if you really looked at all this stuff you do it’s like a 1% hit ratio. It’s not even worth to be talking about but at the end of the year, that 1% hit ratio doesn’t matter because dollar bills come in the door. Yeah. So if we got to do a bunch of work to get 6 million at least I can project that at least I know. You know that I have to do X amount of projects for him to be successful in the year and staff accordingly or get rid of you know, one of the two but you know, it doesn’t there is no one…

Clint, Clint, you just put a big chalkboard in his office. You talk to him, then you rub your fingers and you go, Wow, I feel better now. Yeah,

No, I would I would tell him what I probably do daily. And you know, we get along pretty good. I would say that that that sound on the chalkboard is what you are to me bud.

Oh, man. All right. So we’re at time. Let’s go. Let’s go out on that. So just real quick, right. Any nuggets, any takeaways from this episode, either talking about dealing with fourth quarter or any of the other stuff we’ve talked about? Let’s start with Clint, you got anything on?

No, there was a ton of different topics in there, you could probably break it up in about four episodes, which is, which is fine. You know, go back to the original conversation of fourth quarter stuff, you know, you got to plan accordingly. And you got to know what people’s cycles are even especially your own get to know yours first, right? If you need sales in December, then you need to plan in June for those sales in December. Because if you’re dealing with him right now, on December 10, is the day we’re recording here. If you’re dealing with sales, trying to close these and find them before December, chances are not happening. But yeah, so plan accordingly, I guess is probably my nugget for that one.

Okay, awesome. Al?

Well, if you have a book of business, any sort of business, you should be out and about this time of year, you know, saying hi to those clients closing out the year talking to them along the way, be looking at what next quarter should look like, be looking at whether you need new light switches in your fucking office? Being be planning accordingly, right? So you’re not disruptive to the other people in your sales group? Um, yeah, no, no, no, no, you’re gonna be it’s a great time to get back in front of some people along the way. As in and even you propose that you should talk next year. I mean, that little nugget went, Hey, I know it’s Christmas, you probably don’t want to talk about sales right now. Can we set schedule something in January, if that works for you? Right. So you can start? Yeah, I mean, always be selling. I mean, that’s a cliche, but it’s a real sense of you get your reps in this this month. Understand your sales cycle, Clint said it better than I could about that aspect of it. But if you know if the social and our social calendars are probably destroyed right now. But in lieu of that, maybe, you know, get back and visit your clients and set the tempo for next year.

Awesome. Okay, Miss Nan, what do you got?

Well, there, in my opinion, there is it’s really important to rest, it’s really important to have downtime. But I plan for that. I don’t ever plan to procrastinate. It doesn’t there’s maybe there is someone out there that could argue there is a reason to procrastinate, but I don’t believe there is a time to procrastinate, don’t procrastinate. Plan, always just just like Clint said, I think planning is extremely vital in every aspect of our life. You know, even in sales, right?

Yeah. Okay, man, God, you guys are all really…

Hit it John.

I don’t think I have anything actionable.

Follow baby. I think we’re on fire today.

If you don’t have anything then just be quiet.

I mean, I have something.

I’m just like I was waiting. I’ll said, well, Clint said it better than I could. And I’m just waiting for the snarky like side comment of like, Oh, that’s not the first time or something like that. And he’s just remarkably silent and my world just shatters.

I soak that all in.

So for Cs, I, you like to ask questions. So asking questions comes naturally to you. That second question is where you can really build some traction of looking like a consultant and an expert and not a salesperson, the thing that I will tell you is you got to work to make your questions light, right, because like, as Cs we take everything seriously, black or white, there’s not a whole lot of gray. And sometimes whenever we’re thinking about the questions we’re going to ask, they’re too heavy. And so when they’re too heavy, you’re just gonna get lied to. So make sure that when you’re thinking about your questions, they’re light and they’re approachable in there, and they’re built to get engagement, kind of like what I was talking about earlier. We don’t do that very well out of the box. So go hang around with people who other people like to be around and try to figure out that kind of stuff. So, it’s kind of like…

Wow, no John hit it man. go hang out with those people that do things better than you. And you know, find the cool kid on the sales team and be his good friend buy him a cup of coffee, and he’ll show you the way, he will.

Clint had something he

I do. As a as I was about to say we’re done here. This goes for all personalities and all salesmen do not neglect your your sales customers or your customers because it’s December the holidays just because you go on vacation. Do not think your customers are on the same vacation schedule as you are. It’s a good point. Make sure you’re back at your house is taking care of your customers while you’re gone. Make sure somebody got that covered.

Vacation? What the hell is that? Well, that was so when you earn a vacation if it takes you 10 years, you walk away and your shits locked down, because if you’re just going on vacation, because that time a year, stay home and work the clock off the clock. I’m being serious as hell on that one. You vacation whenever you can, but not at the expense of anything that you’re working so diligently for right? Yeah, yeah. Vacation shit. No, it is. I had a few extra days.

Yeah, yeah. No, that that’s huge. That’s because it’s such a big assumption. Well, everybody’s taking December off some people are working man, right. So every damn day know your market. No know what’s going on. Right? ask those questions. That way you can be viewed as the expert, not as the salesperson. This is a great episode, guys. Like I think there’s a lot of value in here. to anybody who’s listening. Please follow like and subscribe. We’re gonna keep filming these things and you get to see Clint almost explode every time this light comes off. So like and subscribe. If you guys know anybody else in sales, who is struggling with fourth quarter stuff, end of year stuff, goal planning stuff for next year. This is the time to plan for next year as well. Don’t wait until January. Reach out to us ask us questions. We’ll talk about them. Talk about them on the show. We might just reach out to you one on one. Give us a text 817-345-7449. Like and subscribe if you’re watching on YouTube. That way you can watch Clint explode and follow us on social everything is at Sales Throwdown and we’ll see everybody

If you know a good electrician, drop them in the comments below.

If you know someone who can get Clint a light switch, would you please just comment?

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. up our entire game on this on this show. Anvil waiting us down.

We will see everybody next week. Thank you guys so much. Good selling. Go Go get it. Cheers.