In this episode we interviewed Julian Griffith, the Founder and Managing Director of The Good Peanut and discussed six key mistakes that businesses make in regards to sales. Julian is a former Sales Manager and Trainer across many countries and industries and his business specialises in working with CEO’s to get over the frustrations of the sales team and help the sales team (and the CEO of course).
We discussed the key mistakes most organisations make in detail:
- Not having a sales process
- Not Ensuring Sales Management have the right skills
- Not Having the right people
- Not ensuring there is allocated time for Business Developmen
- Not having the right CRM
- Not starting with the Right Mindset
You can also listen to the podcast on the player above, or follow the iTunes or stitcher links below. We also have a full transcript below and a summary on our blog.
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If you want more from this episode check out the full transcript below:
Kym: Hi and welcome to today’s Marketing Strategy Show. The marketing strategy show is all about getting the right marketing for your business. And if you may recall we have two different types of episodes. One on marketing strategy, we call it marketing planning and one episode on getting into action where we deliver deep into particular marketing or sales area and we call this the marketing done.
In the marketing done episode, we pull back the curtain to someone who’s either an expert on a specialized topic or business owner who’s been there and done that to give you some practical tips on what you should consider improving the sales and marketing you do in your business. And today, we’re going to talk about marketing done or maybe more correctly, sales done. Sales and marketing must work together if you’re going to get more leads, more clients and more ongoing sales. And ultimately, that’s what for profit business needs to do both not only survive and thrive.
So, we’re going to look at sales improvements and what the most common mistakes people make when selling today. Let’s face it. All the marketing in the world can’t help you unless you can convert a lead, enquiry or opportunity into a paying client. It’s that conversion I call sales and its absolutely critical.
Well today, we have a special guest to help us see some of the mistakes we might be making when selling and what to do to change that. His name is Julian Griffith. He is the Founder and Managing Director of the Good Peanut. And Julian’s business specialises in working with CEO’s to get over the frustrations of the sales team and help the sales team and help the CEO of course reach their full potential. I’ll let Julian explain his background and what does the Good Peanut (strange name I know) actually do…
So, let’s get Julian on now…
Hi Julian, are you there?
Julian: Yes, I am Kym! (2.27)
Kym: Hey good to have you on board and thank you very much for joining us.
Julian: My pleasure.
Kym: It’s a great topic – Sales and is very close to my heart. Having managed so many sales and marketing teams and have seen people ignore sales or ignore marketing on both sides of the equation. So, it really doesn’t need to work to get it, does it?
Julian: Yes, absolutely, yup!
Kym: And so so, why don’t we jump in and get a bit of background on Julian Griffith and of course the Good Peanut. I know the story, you told me the story but just explain to us a bit of your background and what the Good Peanut actually does.
Julian: I’ll start with the name of the business.
Kym: Yeah yeah.
Julian: You said it’s a strange name, I think it’s a great name. Ahahaha!
Julian: When I was a forming the business Kym, I had all these you know pre-perceptions around. I had this story around, which is a part of the brain called the Amygdala which controls our belief systems that’s it, fight or flight and it’s the size of a peanut.
Julian: And so much, so much I’ll be talking about this later as we chat today so much around sales success or sales failure is centred on the way we think, the things that we believe to be true, things that either support us in sales or sabotage us in sales. So, the good peanut works, we work with our clients and the sales people really around the minds, the positive mindset that’s on the beliefs that can support them to be successful sales. (3.53)
Kym: Right, It’s not just about knowing your product well and knowing the latest sales technique that’s going to manipulate someone.
Julian: Uhmmm, I won’t do that, no no!
Kym: It’s all about mindset.
Julian: Mindset is absolute key, if you can pitch two pillars. One is skillset and skillset is vital. And we’re going to talk about skillset and process, but skillsets in isolation will not bring success. Uhmm, if the mindset is unsupported, if people believe you have a certain set of belief systems that are unsupportive or negative around sales, they will carry those with them throughout their career. Unless they recognize and them address them.
Kym: That’s certainly interesting in terms of that approach. Maybe we can go back a few steps and a couple of years and not the whole Griffith story but the Julian sales story (4.46)
Julian: Hahaha! Yes, it goes back more than a couple of years. It’s about 30 years now working with my words. Very quick though, I am, my first role was back in the 80’s, I started off from sales and very quickly and I’m talking about a few months I was quickly promoted up to the UK sales training manager and that involved covering eight offices around the country from Scotland down to London and Bristol down to South Hampton. And I ran that for about a year and then by the age of 24 I was running my own sales office on south coast of England where I would, have around about 15 sales people at that time. So, that’s a real baptism of fire for me. I have run sales teams and held senior management roles and I think that’s important to understand the direct correlation between the two. And my last corporate position was in London. I was a GM for a public listed company and my London office had the sales target of a $100 million every year and I was you know, my teams were working with clients such as Citibank, Virgin retail, AOL and British Red Cross. So, I’ve very much seen it from the other side where the pressure is on always to get figures and that environment is there because of the culture. And then go back and report. But you know, we were in a situation where we were struggling to do that. And somebody came in into our business in the UK and essentially in a nutshell, showed me what I am now doing. I had that moment in my career came and I thought, wow, this is it! This is the most powerful thing I’ve seen. Within 20 seconds I thought, one day I can get back to Australia, I’d been living in Australia before I thought get back and do this. And then in 2008 when the GFC hit, it was tough in the UK and I thought probably a good time to leave. So I came back and in 2009, I founded the Good Peanut and as you mentioned I work exclusively with CEOs and business leaders and someone like you know clients include KONE, they’re in lifts and elevators, very large business; PFD, you may have heard of, they got sales in the region, $2 billion. Yeah, privately owned business. Campbells wholesale, Jasol, they are a division of George Weston Foods. I’ve also worked with Volkswagen Group Australia as well as companies in the packaging, finance, logistics, relocation, education industries. And what’s really exciting first now here is we are working extensively in Australia but also increasingly across New Zealand, across Southeast Asia, India and the UK. (7.47)
Kym: Right, so I guess all of that history in the businesses you’ve worked with right? So through your sales or management or CEO experience. It’s been a lot of sales experience and you’ve had a chance observe a lot of behaviours okay, it’s not just to observe but to observe what works and what doesn’t work. What does it mean?
Julian: So, if yeah, I guess the first thing that’s not working when we get called in to our clients, is believing that you can rely on just relationships, personality and in public knowledge. A lot of when we were chatting earlier, Kym, you used the word “wing it”. Well, the expression “wing it” and there are great numbers of sales people out there who do wing it. And yes, they have lived long tenures with their clients in that business, they know their clients well, great product knowledge and they get by. As a result of that, they keep their head above water and some do well but they’re not going to be doing anywhere near as good as they could be. I guess the major, the major thing that I see all the time as a real problem as a common mistake is a lack of process. (8.53)
Julian: If you think of an analogy within let’s say an engineering business that has a sales team, you know a production business. They would have immense documented levels of procedure, process around their production, around their logistics, around deliveries, within their finance department but very often these same companies whilst they might think they do, actually don’t have any true process, robust process within their system.
Kym: And I guess, of course like any other process in business whether it be operations or marketing. Without a process, you can’t scale it?
Julian: You can’t, no, that’s why you can’t wing it here. (9.39)
Kym: Yeah and then…
Julian: And you know, going back to the CEO’s position, Kym, the CEOs are hearing these stories. Well, this is the full cost for the next quarter and if its looking good, that sounds good. By the time, the figures come in at the end of Q1, there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s history.
Kym: Yeah, that’s right and you are probably the same I don’t know how many times I’ve seen in my experience as a sales manager itself may be all set to working clients in business doing with sales. What the sales last week or last month, not many but there’s a lot in the pipeline but they’re going to come in this month, ahahaha! (10.18)
Julian: We call it having happy years. You’ll hear what you want to hear and it runs throughout organisations. Maybe the CEO will hear what he wants to hear. The sales manager will want to hear it from her team and the sales people are very happy to here all these lovely things from their prospective clients and they believe it’s a bit true. So, the lack of process, when it falls down to it, its effective questioning to uncover the prospects buying criteria. (10.48)
Julian: Yeah but you really need to understand what the customers’ values are and then tailor a solution that directly addresses them.
Kym: So, let’s start talking about process of lead, meeting, proposal, quote etc. lost or won. You tell me you have a process, a standard set of questions that you ask.
Julian: Yeah yeah, so you’re quite right. If you take the whole process, you’re right. You can take the whole sales cycle process would be from the initial piece of marketing through to sending the invoice and getting paid because if you slice that whole pie up and look at the piece. That one we’re talking about today which is really the part of today is that really that pieces. Now, what do you actually do when you’re with another client? What do you actually do face to face or maybe on the telephone .I think it’s really vital to understand that people buy emotionally and then they justify their decision with logic. And so much of traditional sales approach is logic based. (11.58)
Yeah, let me expand on that for you. I will explain to you all the features and benefits of our product and because of that, you will, you’re bound to hook into something and buy. Hahahaha!
Julian: I’ve had sales people tell me what have I just done? I just went in there and explained all the benefits so it made so much sense. It was just I was dead sure they’re going to buy and I walked out with nothing.
Kym: Can I relay just a short personal story about that.
Kym: Years ago, the company I worked at used to sell merchant paying services systems to small businesses like pharmacists. And I distinctly remember looking at the sales system and composing a cost benefit study board and we were going to save him $5000 straight to his back pocket and every year. They just couldn’t work out why he didn’t want to change. So, there was no real barrier of change. I guess what you’re saying is not rational that’s the problem. (12.56)
Julian: So, what I going to ask you, did you have find out why he didn’t buy?
Kym: Yeah, we did because they were conservative and didn’t like change. So, we have to go through the barrier of actually trying to overcome that inertia to change and good relationship rather than the cost benefit study was not the right for him basically, and understand and build a relationship with us because they have patience and customers who they want to build that healthy relationship with, that’s why.
Julian: Yes, because sometimes if they don’t get it, they’ll think, okay there is a saving there but is it worth all the effort of changing. (13.38)
Kym: the risk adverse.
Julian: Yes, so logically, you’re right why wouldn’t you go for it and the key thing that we do with our clients is, this may sound slightly counter intuitive but to slow the sales process down.
Julian: Most sales people are very good with you know, the initial piece of rapport building. They’re good at that. In fact, some of them that you know they go on for far too long but it’s important to build up that initial piece of trust and then they’re very good at asking those what we call logical situation questions. You know almost the sort of thing you could ask off a pad. That’s key thing and very simple, they’re unemotional, there’s no tension when you’re asking those. And then they leap straight to offering a solution. What we show in… and work with people around us, just slow that process down and start to tap into their emotional side by uncovering firstly what their looking to achieve and secondly what they’re looking to avoid. And from that, you can then ask essentially what the most important thing to them is about this. And that uncovers what we call their buying criteria – their key value. Then you tailor your solution around their particular buying criteria. (14.52)
Kym: Yeah you are right and when you have a conversation with someone and you tell them what it is that all of a sudden they jump to a solution, you feel as though you are being sold too.
Julian: Yeah yeah, it’s logical and I think it’s so easy for us. And we’re all human beings here. It’s so easy for us to… because we know what we’re doing. I’ve been selling this XYZ digit widget. I know what’s best, I know the best widget is for that client. So therefore, I’m going to go and tell him, going to go and tell him what it is straight away.’ (15.25)
Kym: But it comes with the right intention in a lot of cases.
Julian: Yes, it does.
Kym: The intention is you actually want to help the customer and here’s a great solution for them but the customer is maybe not ready for that yet.
Julian: Exactly! Yes yes… You fail to uncover what’s most important to them.
Kym: So, where do I go to find those questions? How do I find out those questions? Because are they different for each product?
Julian: It’s well like I’m not going to share everything with you today, Kym, please… Ahahaha! (15.51)
Julian: There is a process that we teach which essentially, we call it to warden away questioning.
Julian: Uhmm, which uncovers what people want to move toward. (16.06)
Julian: Uhmm, and that’s pleasure. And what they want to, move away from which is usually pain. And you need to take them on that emotional journey but as we explain to people that we coach in training, it’s not easy. It’s much tougher than doing what they have historically done because you have to start asking sometimes awkward questions. And if you have that, I mentioned that need approval, if you have that need for approval, we need to be loved or liked by your client. It’s tough for you to do that.
Julian: So, I think you know going back to the common mistakes, there’s that. There is a lack of process. And you know, if for example, when I’m talking with perspective candidates, when I do that part of my role with a client, you know I’ll ask our candidate to talk me through their exact sales process. And whilst they will say, yes, I have one, very few of them are able to articulate it.
Julian: And that just tells me they don’t really know the process. They know parts of the whole process but it’s not the fault of the sales person. It’s the fault of the business for not taking the time and the effort to not getting them trained properly. Which brings me onto my next point Kym (17.21)
Julian: Uhmm, yeah.. There are CEOs who think they can hire the finished article –the sales people. I’m paying this people enough money already and they don’t come cheap
Kym: You should know how to sell, hahaha!
Julian: You should know how to sell because it’s ridiculous! I’m paying this guy all this money and giving him a company car and an expense account. Why should I have to spend any more time and money on development?
Julian: Haha! Well, that’s unrealistic. If it’s lala land stuff. In fact, one thing I will share with all your listeners now which is a really important point, its without exception, it’s the strong people, strong sales people who are always the keenest for development. And if you are looking to bring people in to a business, yes of course, the dollars are important, you got to be competitive there. But without any doubt, if you can offer proper career development in sales, training, growth, getting them better at what they do continuously, you not only attract the better people but you will keep them. (18.37)
Kym: So, what is the training you see most often? Like is it product skills?
Julian: Yeah yeah!
Kym: Product skills or selling skills, which of those two? (18.48)
Julian: Well, I don’t… I’m nervous about being too sceptical. I don’t see a great deal of training and coaching going on quite frankly.
Kym: Oh really, in either area?
Julian: Obviously, there is product training. There’s the company training and all sorts of things like that. That happens, of course that happens. And there’s, the guys that are going out, you know, the sales manager and get a feel for the people and…
Kym: The product manager goes out with them or?
Julian: Yes, but I have to say there is, generally speaking, and I speak with hundreds of sales people every year and I ask these questions of them and I ask them of same questions of the CEOs and Sales Directors. You know, what have you actually got in place now, that’s going to support your sales people’s development and growth to help them bring in the revenue that you need to achieve those goals that you told me about. (19.53)
Kym: So, does that start with a normal training and development approach? Identifying what skills are needed for the job and therefore, where to catch. Is that why you’ve started?
Julian: So so, okay. Can you repeat that Kym?
Kym: Yes, so a normal training and development approach would be to identify what skills are needed for the job, what skills the current employee has identifying with the gaps are. Of course, creating a development program around that. Is that the approach you normally see?
Julian: Yeah yeah, by and large. Yes, yeah… So, I think if we could just take a couple of steps back and I will come to that question in a moment. (20.30)
Julian: There is, first off, there is a real problem around sales management. Sales management is usually the weak spoke in the wheel. I want to make this very clear. Sales management is one of the hardest jobs out there but most of the people who are put into the role have never received any specific coaching, mentoring and training to do it properly. Most of them come from and being successful in sales and very often the situation is you know, we need to keep John on board so let’s make him a Sales Manager.
Kym: Yeah, or quite often I see in technology companies where it might be a product division there in charge in sales and marketing or a professional services firm where you’ve got someone in-charge of business development for example. (21.14)
Kym: They are the equivalent of the Sales Manager if you like.
Julian: Yes, yes. So, yeah the first to sort of answer your question for that shift, you know sales management for ongoing you know this is the case where this needs to be an integral part of the business from now into the future. That sales leadership group must have key skills around coaching, mentoring their people, training their people, how to have those tough conversations with their people and hold them accountable. And also, if it’s part of their remit how to recruit effectively. That’s the starting point.
Kym: It starts at the top basically not… (21.55)
Julian: Oh it’s starts at the very very top, it’s starts with the CEO, the CEO really mustn’t try and flick responsibility onto the sales managers.
Julian: That absolute So, that starts from the very very top and then where do we start? So, let’s go back to your question, where do we start? You are right.
Julian: You need to first get a clear understanding of what you’ve got. We will often do it like diagnostic of some kind. So, let’s play around what is the potential of the people.
Kym: What are some of the diagnostics in the marketplace that you’ve seen or used though?
Julian: What sort of diagnostics?
Kym: Are there specifics or they…
Julian: Yes, I get it. I use a specific diagnostic.
Kym: Yeah, it’s not as general like a disc profile or.
Julian: No no no. This is 100% sales focused. (22.47)
Kym: So, you need a sales focused targe
Julian: Yeah yeah, absolutely, absolutely because there’s personality profiles won’t tell whether individual will sell or not. They are important, they are certainly an important part of if you bring in people to your business and you can use this and you can use other psychometric things to make sure the person isn’t psychopathic or something.
Kym: Ahahahaha! Yeah yeah. (23.15)
Julian: But it won’t tell us whether that person will sell. You can you know people will say, well you know she’s very driven therefore, she will sell. And I remember a great story, someone shared it to me well. If you went around your boardroom say there’s 12 directors in it. You can bet your bottom dollar Kym all 12 of them are driven people…
Kym: Ahahahaha! That’s right!
Julian: And a person asked me, would you put a satchel on their back and send them out to go knock on doors.
Kym: Hahahaha! Not necessarily. (23.45)
Julian: No. Someone of them maybe. So driving itself does not necessarily equate to sales. So, we will use that as a part of it. So, one of the things is look at what you’ve got. Be very objective around what you have. Let me share one anecdote with you.
Julian: A few years ago, he rung me and we’d done this process with them a year or two before. He said to me, this is the CEO. He said to me. David. I’d like to promote David from Account Manager into a Business Development and I said, let me just dig out the paperwork and I’ll call you back. So I think from memory that’s not going to be a good idea. Anyway, I rung him and I dug out the diagnostic on David and I rung back the CEO kind of fifteen minutes and I said, my strong recommendation is you do not do that. We’re talking about the Account Manager who’ve been with them for fifteen years
Kym: Well known.
Julian: Well loved. Good valuable asset to that business and the CEO said, I need to do it Julian because we need to fill that gap. So, I said, okay do it but I don’t think it’s going to work out. Long story short Kym, six months later they fired him. (25.04)
Kym: He was probably doing a great job where he was right.
Julian: Yeah. He was just never going to go out there and be what we call a hunter.
Kym: Yeah and that’s very common.
Julian: Yeah, so I think, Look at what you have. The next stage is, you know, really start to raise the bar? Raise the bar of expectations. A lot of businesses have fairly low expectations around their sales people.
Kym: You mean in terms of sales dollar targets or other targets?
Julian: Targets, behaviours, activities. Yeah but its an interesting point there. Doing enough of the right activities enough of the time is the step before targets.
Kym: Yeah. Because I’m not sure in your experiences but very often I’ve seen, the activity is you have got to make fifteen calls a day. Don’t be in the office get out and make fifteen calls a day, that will generate sales. That’s not the right way to measure activity. (26.02)
Julian: No. It’s one measure and certainly we work with quite a number of plans. There’s one in particular that we’re working with now, where they have exactly that, they are very successful and we’re already floating the idea in saying Rather than doing 15-20 calls a day? Is that tradition.
Julian: Yeah and they are short. And we’re suggesting and they are getting the idea rather than fifteen calls a day, why not do 12 and make them better because there’s so much been left on the table because their guys are chasing the clock all the time. (26.42)
Julian: That key starting point it comes from the CEO. I’m absolutely adamant about that and the key executives too
Kym: What are the activities that people aren’t doing that they should be doing these days?
Julian: Okay. The firstly, usually they aren’t doing enough activities.
Kym: Right. Okay.
Julian: Human nature dictates, certainly when it comes to new business, Human nature dictates if you could find other things to do.
Kym: I see that a lot of times, yeah. (27.29)
Julian: Yeah. Like write the report or do this or do that. So very often we see so called business development managers often morph into account managers. That brings us back to a key thing that we do around where you’re talking about that where you start. One of the absolutely key things we do is getting what we call role clarity. What is your role? So, if you’re talking with the sales person, this is done one on one. This is in the job description. What are you going to do day in day out? How much you got time have you got to spend around account management or report writing, around prospecting. Now, what then happens Kym is, normally, someone saying, okay Kym I need you to be doing, I need you to be doing 1 hour of new business prospecting a day. That sounds all great. And then what happens, at the end of the week, the Sales Manager says to the sales person, “how many new prospect calls have you’ve done this week? Well I didn’t have time this week because of xyz. So, there’s no clarity and they are allowed to get off of the hook because of that. Or if you put in place and get, talk it through with them and get each individual really established with you clarity around their role, their responsibilities, their duties, their activities. What percentage are they going to do this? What percentageon that. Come to the end of the week if the sales person has agreed to that. It’s very difficult for them to then turn around and say why they didn’t have time to do it? (29.20)
Kym: Do you see sometimes in CEOs and sales management well so I want to spend my time on business development and write a report and it going to take seven hours to write to do that as well?
Julian: Yeah, there’s sometimes.
Kym: micro management if you like.
Julian: Yeah, they are ridiculous. We were talking with some sales managers the other day and they shared with us. They’re spending every Saturday to doing the reports.
Kym: So, as the leader you have got to allocate and in clarity but you also need to actually free them up to have that time, right? Not just throw every existing customer if you’re in a legal firm for example, not just for throw all the delivery work at them for forty hours and then expect them to do ten hours on business development. And then, while report on it as well. (30.16)
Julian: Yeah, so much of it comes to nothing. You just have excessive amounts of reporting. We are big fans of using CRM effectively.
Kym: And just get the report straight from the CRM.
Julian: It can be the sales person can come out of a meeting. Come out of having three meetings and should be able to put those notes together from those three meetings in 10 or 15 minutes.
Julian: We don’t need a life story here. We need an update. (30.45)
Kym: No and particularly with integration CRMs. CRM integrated with emails its a pretty simple system to do then.
Julian: But I think it’s important. It’s a very good point Kym but it’s very vital to understand that. If you give a sales person a reason not to do the tough things because writing reports isn’t tough its just arduous.
Julian: It’s boring. But if you give people The tough thing out there, let’s be frank about this, the tough things are going out there and looking for the opportunities. That’s the tough thing.
Kym: yeah. Trying to make that call.
Julian: Responding to an enquiry or account managing or writing a report or doing this that or the other. It’s not that tough.
Julian: So, it’s the hard thing. When we talk about the mindsets. We talk about desire and commitment. And desire is, the desire to be successful in sales. Commitment is the level of commitment. How prepared are you to consistently do the things that you don’t want to do?
And you know that’s certainly part of the evaluation process we go through and very often we’ll see sales people who would lack desire and/or commitment but often we’ll see people who have desire and they want it but they are not really prepared to deal with uncomfortable stuff. So, we are not talking about unethical stuff here. (32.14)
Kym: No no no to actually pick up the phone and call.
Julian: And also, I noticed that X Y Z company. They haven’t paid the bill. They are three weeks overdue. I know they are one of your biggest clients but I would like you to ring them this morning and tell your contact there that we need to put them on hold until their account is settled.
Julian: That’s a tough call.
Julian: And that very often that sales person will agree to do it and roll their eyes and hopes it goes away when they are asked the next day they say they didn’t have time to do it. (32.51)
Julian: So, where were we?
Kym: So we are up to Process, training, not enough activity
Julian: I think one of the things that you wanted to talk to me about is what’s changed?
Kym: yeah, what’s changed?
Julian: And I gave that some thought and there’s is, you know, what’s changed? This is important sector I think Kym. What’s changed is customers are far more knowledgeable now.
Julian: And anybody who says to you, you know, it’s was just as tough in my day, you know, ten years ago, its lying. It is tougher now, it is much harder and their customers are more knowledgeable and they’ve more often than not they’ve done all the research before they even meet the sales person. (33.40)
Julian: And that can be business to business or a customer walking into Harvey Norman to buy a TV. They know what they want pretty much and they don’t want to be sold to instead they want to be understood. They need the sales person to understand what’s important for them.
Kym: yeah, they don’t need to be told what’s on your company website
Julian: So you can’t do the ‘wow stuff’ anymore. (34.12)
Julian: And also, from a big picture thing here. This is a real issue about business here in Australia. There’s a big mentality around this county. This is probably the major headache from my CEO clients. They tell me they haven’t do a lot more for less which brings me into a side issue here. One of the things we’ve talked about Mindset and I’ll share this with you. One of the common beliefs or weaknesses is we call it a non-supportive buy cycle. It’s a bit of a mouthful but essentially, the way I translate that as is the way we buy for ourselves is the way that we sell. And if you are a sales person who likes to go around and get the lowest price, do lots of comparison, lots of researching and let’s say you’re buying that TV and you’re the sort of person who will quite happily drive fifty kilometres down the road to get the slightly cheaper place. You are, whether you realize or not, more vulnerable to prospective clients who then turnaround to you and say that’s all fantastic Bill but I need to think about it. (35.33)
Julian: Or I’d like to get a lower price.
Kym: That’s a really interesting point actually. I’ve come across some prospects and past clients as well, none currently thankfully, just using outsourcing, a they’ll screw you down on price and then one day, I’ve never actually realised that before. They take the same mentality like paying people and they are trying to cut down on pricing. You’re right because that’s me totally trying to save a little dollar here or dollar there. You’re right because as soon as something doesn’t fit their pricing they’ll back away.
Julian: It’s a brave, powerful one. I’ve talked about the need for approval. The two most common weaknesses we find in sales people is the ‘need for approval’ and ‘ a Non-Supportive Buyer Cycle’. Our research shows done researched with sales people about two-thirds or half have one or both of these issues, but don’t discount it as it will never go away. People are always going to be trying to save a few dollars here and there. That’s fine but going back to where we were earlier, if you have people, if you have sales people are relying on their winning personality, their product knowledge, they lack of process and because they lack of process, they’re unable to build any value because you are not really quite understanding what the client wants. If then you happen to combine that with the fact they even say like to look around and do some comparison shopping and like to get a lower price and they want to be the friend of the prospect. Is there anyone here that get what we call Sales Pipeline load. So all these promises we’ve touched earlier we haven’t closed this month. But they’ll sales manager its coming in next month.
Kym: And that’s because most buyers hate to say until you know. (37.43)
Julian: And again that’s probably the buyer need for approval. We all know its better to walk out of there with a yes or a no rather than they’ll think about it.
Kym: Hundred percent!
Julian: And there will always be people who need time to think about it and I respect that. And part of the process is what do you do in that situation. (38.17)
Julian: Rather than say Okay, I’ll call you back in three weeks and then be leaving voice mails.
Kym: Just following up on that conversation.
Julian: yeah. Exactly. You know you’re into hiding that.
Julian: You know, I think there’s a big headache around that. The other thing that we’ve pick up around is What’s Changed
Julian: You know, there’s a lot of businesses now we call it that Slide to Commodity. (38.42)
Julian: Because they’ve been unable to differentiate themselves and build true value. They are just viewed upon as a commodity. And commodities by their nature tend to get cheaper and cheaper.
Kym: So, how as the sales person can you build that value?
Julian: Well, it goes back to that proper questioning sequence. To understand the true value system of the client. Understanding. Let me back track a little bit. Firstly its essential to know who you are actually selling to? If you’re selling to a logical buyer
Kym: A CFO for example.
Julian: yeah, a CFO. They tend to be more logical. Or certainly somebody in procurement.
Kym: Oh yeah, okay.
Julian. If you’re selling to that Procurement Manager, middle management, they have no real emotional attachments to this thing they just need to get it done. And indeed part of their work is to reduce price. Many people are on it.
Julian: because you got a financial reward. So their objective is going to be around that. That’s the logical buyer and the reality is most sales people spend their time dealing with logical buyers. (39.59)
Julian: Emotional buyers which invariably are the people at the top of the food chain. I’m talking about CEOs, talking about business owners, business to customer, the customer themselves. They are far more emotionally attached. So, if you go to a business owner, understand what they’re looking for and build a very genuine authentic case around the benefits that’s going to bring them. I’ll tell you now money is now off the table (I speak from personal experience) CEOs, it really isn’t a driver. If you can to prove them, you can give them what they need, take them towards that pleasure and away from that pain that we’ve talked about, money really isn’t the main driver because they are mostly attached to that and the great thing is they will then tell their subordinates what to do. No one is buying from XYZ company. For example the world that we live in, it’s the CEO who gets the bill. At the end of the day, if things go wrong.
Kym: It’s the person who signs the cheque. (41.07)
Julian: Last year we did a lot of work with a large relocation/removal business, multinational company. The CEO said to me, all my sales guys, they come and say, the reason we lost the business is it needs to be cheaper and they actually have a follow up system where they go to all their clients and the ones who didn’t buy from them.
Kym: That’s good.
Julian: And the statistics was only fourteen percent said price. So all the weaker sales people were saying price price, price but their customers or the prospective customers only fourteen percent gave that as the reason.
Kym: Because they don’t know how to sell value, right?
Kym: So just in wrapping up Julian. So we’ll just go through to those Three Key Mistakes that we spoke about. (42.07) I’ve got. Number One which is NO Process. Number Two, there is not the proper training. The training from the Management down not just the sales people, right?
Kym: Number Three I’ve got is Non- Activity and Role Clarity.
Kym: was number four? Is that what you would summarise as the Four Key areas
Julian: Yeah, I think that pretty much covers it.
Kym: And of course, as you mentioned its the whole mindset thing. Just making sure we’ve got people who don’t, who just have a huge need for approval and are never going to ask tough questions.
Kym: And also to a, I call them two type. You’re right, I’ve seen it often they are very good sales person and prepare for investing courses, always looking to improve, Improving their skills and spend time of doing stuff as well as, ask the tough questions.
Julian: But I think I’m going to add on one, is that whole piece around healthy accountability.
Kym: Yup. (43.20)
Julian: Because I’ve worked a lot of businesses where when we start off, there’s a culture of excuse making. Yeah. It’s not our fault. The competition are better. Look at our website competitor there. Their product is great ours is lousy.
Kym: Oh, we have a manufacturer problem last week.
Julian: Our products are outdated. That’s reality. There will always be reasons why things can’t happen. So that accountability mindset, you can’t just force accountability on people. You must firstly prepare them so that they are, can be successful and then hold them accountable to that. (44.05)
Kym: Yup. So, they need to take ownership or accountable to that.
Kym: Excellent! So, people want to get hold to you or when people want to know what you do, what’s the best way to actually do that?
Julian: Well, the business is called The Good Peanut – thegoodpeanut.com.au , that’s the one. And also, we have a 1300 number, 1300 728 940 and ask to speak to me personally, Julian Griffith.
Kym: And I’d urge anyone to go to the website and sign up for Julian Griffith’s Newsletter at a minimum even if you don’t want invest money which you should and then engage with Julian because Julian publishes some wonderful content, wonderful insights and it’s not boring technical stuff its really hands on things that you can put into practice . So Julian, thank you so much for your time mate. It’s been a real eye opener to me. I was sort of thinking about sales techniques and I’ve learnt a lot form this which is absolutely fantastic, thanks again I really appreciate that mate.
Julian: My pleasure.
Kym: Thanks Julian.
Julian: Thanks Kym.
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