#11: Listen as David Priemer discusses some key themes from his new book “Sell the Way you Buy”. David brings a wealth of sales experience from startups and large enterprises like Salesforce and gives actionable advice on how to sell better today.
Tyler:  Hey Sales Lift audience. It's Tyler Lindley here. Your host today I have on David Priemer with Cerebral Selling. Welcome to the show, David.
David: [00:00:11] Well, it's great to be here. Thanks for having me time.
Tyler: [00:00:13] Yeah. Thanks for joining. Tell the audience a little bit about what you do and what is cerebral selling.
David: [00:00:20] Yeah, so like, I like to say I'm kind of like the happy accident of the sales world.
Like the Bob Ross, where, you know, most of us, if I were to ask people, like, did you get into sales on purpose? Like, you know, when you were, you mentioned you went to Clemson while you're studying at Clemson, you said to yourself, you know what I want to be when I grow up, did you do that?
Tyler: [00:00:35] I don't know, a little bit, I was a marketing major, you know, they didn't have a sales major at the time.
So I guess I thought I might end up in sales, but, you know, I don't think it's anyone's aspirations.
David: [00:00:44] I don't know. No, absolutely. You all tend to get into sales by accident. Everyone has a story, and then I'm no different. So I started my career 20 years ago as a research scientist, and then ended up getting into sales by accident at the turn of the .com boom or in a whole bunch of tech companies were hiring, you know, just general people to kind of do stuff.
I started my career as a sales sales engineer. So solution engineer. you know, for shoutouts to people who are solution engineers out there, I absolutely fell in love with sales. Yeah. I ended up spending the next 20 years spent across four high growth startups. Three of us startups ended up getting acquired.
One, got acquired by Salesforce. And I came over to Salesforce, spent five awesome years there running small business sales for the Eastern US a bit. Yada, yada, yada. I realized that. You know what? I don't like talking to salespeople all that much. I dunno. I don't want to put you on this money or time.
Do you like talking to salespeople?
Tyler: [00:01:36] well, you know, in this podcast I get to talk to a lot of sales folks. So it's interesting. We were just talking about how I've had to take off my sales hat and try to listen more and not interrupt. So it's definitely an interesting conversation. Good sales folks can tend to drag on and on and on.
I've had, I'm having to learn when is the right time to cut a salesperson off?
David: [00:01:56] Yeah, well, you know what? Like I sales people. I love, first of all, I love salespeople. I mean, this is what this is my chosen profession is what I love. I've always loved the people I work with my teams, but I had this epiphany where, you know, I was advocating, oftentimes for sales tactics that were not ineffective and not unethical, but just things that when they were done to me, they would never work. It didn't work. Right? And so I started embarking upon this journey of like, okay, well, how, when I said it like this customer got it. I liked it. When I said it was like this.
They didn't really like it very much when my team members. You know, said it like this, or did it like this, it kind of turn the customer off. So I started on this very kind of your deep journey of asking, like why this profession that I love so much. Why is it that some people are more successful at doing it than others?
What are they doing and how as a buyer do we feel about these interactions? And so I started doing a lot of writing when I was at Salesforce and content ended up getting kind of picked up Forbes, entrepreneur, all these great outlets. So I started a website Cerebral Selling, just so I would have an outlet to kind of, you know, to kind of share some of the thoughts and insights about my science and empathy based journey of learning about sales.
And, you know, I realized that that was the thing I was actually most passionate about is a few years ago, I started Cerebral Selling as a business, which is primarily focused on sales, education, training, speaking, that kind of stuff, recently wrote a book as you know, but that's been my journey and it's been a dream to take the profession that I love and help kind of the modern generation of sellers do the thing that they love to do in a way that is very thoughtful, empowering in a way that makes buyers love them using these powers of science and empathy. So that's what I do at Cerebral Selling. Awesome.
Tyler: [00:03:34] Very cool. so it sounded like it started off as kind of a side project, a blog, if you will, in, in, in your time at Salesforce, is that right?
David: [00:03:43] Well, actually, no. So when I left Salesforce, I had amassed quite a bunch of content, you know, dozens of articles. And so I left Salesforce to be VP of sales at my fourth startup. And then I realized they kept writing for Salesforce. And I kept doing events for Salesforce, not, you know, I love Salesforce.
Absolutely. But they provided a great platform for me to share my thoughts. And so I just ended up with all this content and what happened was when my buddy Tyler calls me up and says, Hey, David, do you have a, you know, content to help me? I was just. I was sending you the links to all of these websites, which was insane.
So I just started the web. My website is Cerebral Selling as a place to consolidate all these things. And then once I did, I just started using that as mail let's write more and that's how it started.
Tyler: [00:04:24] Interesting. Yeah. I think one thing that sales folks don't do enough is actually create content themselves.
I think some of them look to the marketing team or look to others to, you know, give me all these tools I need to sell. Whereas we all have this huge microphone. Literally I've got one right in front of me. That is, that is the internet that we, that can amplify our message. And I think as sales reps, it's almost our responsibility now to, to have a personal brand and to, and to, you know, write some of that messaging yourself or your audience don't depend on others to do it.
I mean, what do you think about that?
David: [00:04:56] Well, absolutely. When you think about like selling, like, I don't know how many other professions, like maybe medicine where you get to see, you know, dozens of patients every day, but in sales we speak to tons of customers every day. Customers who have problems that we're trying to figure out how our solutions and our marketing and all of our efforts aligned to, and it's different than a normal job that was either say, quote, unquote, normal, where you come to work and you go to meetings and you have like, we have all of these touch points and we learn so much along the way.
The problem I've found with. It's, you know, kind of the modern sales engine is that some people don't learn as quickly as they should. Right? So we go out, we make these calls, we execute these tactics. And in all fairness, a lot of these tactics are things that have been taught to us by people who have been in sales for a long time over the years.
But the problem is a lot of these tactics don't work anymore. They don't work the same way they used to because the modern buyers is so different than they were even five, 10 years ago. So. The modern sales profession hasn't caught up. We have this you're totally right. We have this great opportunity to catch up and share what we learned.
If we are attentive and attune ourselves to what's actually happening, which I think is that's, that's the core message like pay attention, ask why.
Tyler: [00:06:05] Yeah. No, I love ask why "Start with Why" Simon Sinek, as I think. A great book that not only applies to businesses, I think it applies to individuals as well, because we all have our own why, but we also need to be curious.
that's a big, I think, trade in sales. where, where do you think curiosity fits in with sales and this and this wanting to know why?
David: [00:06:23] Oh yeah. Well, I'm glad you talked about, start with one. So I'm a big Simon Sinek fan. In fact, this. You can see this little people ask me what this poster is.
Tyler: [00:06:31] What is that?
David: [00:06:33] It's a flip chart that Simon Sinek used on stage at a conference a few years ago, where he was talking about this concept of the infinite game.
And then he's written a book. Now the infinite game just came out and got it on my shelf here. But he, he kind of adlibbed that talk for the first time four years ago. And I was a big Simon Sinek fan. And so I ended up with the flip chart after the conference and I took it to him. And he signed it for me.
So it's kind of signed in the, in the middle there. So anyways, so, so I'm a big Simon Sinek fan and this idea of why and the way I actually see this manifest the most in modern selling and I actually talk about this in the book is this idea of conviction and conviction. When it comes to modern selling is a very powerful force.
And I often ask people, I say, you know, "Can you tell, but that I love. What I do. Right. I don't know. Tyler, can you, I don't know if you can tell or not
Tyler: [00:07:20] tell. Yeah. I can sense the enthusiasm. So,
David: [00:07:23] so you, you can sense it. Like it's a feeling you get, like, I didn't, I didn't tell you all these things and maybe I'm throwing out data that sounds convincing, but people can tell.
And so I often ask people, I say, well, so when you go out and you talk to your customers, Can they tell, like you mentioned you have a couple of kids. I have three kids and I know when my kids come to me and they're about to proposition me for something like they want to live for the mall or they want to, they want to download an app.
Like I can tell immediately, by the way, the approach know you've ever heard. Like the dad, like, okay, the answer's no. Right.
And so people are very perceptive. And so you can tell that I love what I do, but oftentimes when a seller calls a buyer to describe and starts describing what they do. The buyers can tell, like we, as buyers can tell when a salesperson does not believe or does not have conviction in what they're positioning.
Right? The challenge is for most of us, there's a couple of challenges, you know, with so many young sellers in the market. I love young sellers. The problem is we sometimes lack as young sellers the conviction when we're trying to call on an older, more experienced buyer whose job we've never done. I talked about this in the book.
I wrote a Harvard business post, about a year ago, on this concept called "Experience Asymmetry", which is this imbalance. But the other problem is that for most of us, in terms of what we do in our businesses, the things that we do are actually, if I can call it like normal, like you sell software and I train salespeople, like we do like normal things that there's a million other people that do what we do.
So in order to kind of connect with a buyer we have to manifest this amazing conviction around a seemingly kind of to our customers' normal thing. Yep. And so that's where back to, I'm going to bring this back to Simon Sinek. That's where like the start with why is very powerful, because if I can get in touch as a seller with my why and the why of my company, it will allow me to manifest that conviction.
And in turn, be able to convert more customers through that power of conviction.
Tyler: [00:09:15] Yeah, no, I totally agree. I think conviction, it's something you can't teach either. Either you have it or you don't. I know I've been in sales roles in my career. And if you're missing that conviction or you, maybe you don't believe in the product or whatever, it might be, it.
Yeah. People can tell. I mean, it's, it's so obvious. So, I think it's a, it's a huge one and it's almost where you need to start. So how would you, so if you, maybe if you're not feeling that conviction, maybe if you're, if you're in sales and you're, you're struggling with that. How would you go about finding something like that?
Or what can a ccompany do to maybe, you know, bring conviction to their sales floor? How could a company enable their sales force to be convicted? Sure.
David: [00:09:55] So I have an exercise and I talked about this in the book, and I also have an article for your article on my website. It's called sell more by leading with what you believe and the best organizations and the best sales people they don't talk about.
And you know, this is a very common theme for me. Forget the product. It doesn't matter what the product is like, what the features and functions are like five dot. Oh. And here we are like, no one cares. Okay. They're very busy. So instead of leading with the product lead with what you believe, so think about this.
If you were to take your company or product and forget what it does, encapsulate it in a belief statement. So you may know it that's cerebral selling. We believe that. And then what you want to do is you want to point to a specific well understood, but not often articulated problem. You want to make sure that you don't mention your products services directly.
Cause that kills it. It makes it sound like a pitch. People are very resistant to pitches. So, you know, for example, I might say, you know what, at Cerebral Selling I believe that sales is the best profession in the world, but I also believe that there are a lot of bad salespeople out there that are actually.
In there and in all fairness, they're not bad people. They're just using old, outdated tactics that are, you know, that no longer resonate with buyers. And I believe that if you want to be successful in the modern sales era, you need to get attuned to your customer and use tactics that are scientifically proven and empathetic.
Now, I'm just giving you these examples and there's tons of examples I can give, but I did not mention my products or services anywhere in that pitch. I just talked about like what I, what I intrinsically believe. And if you believe what I believe, then you're going to lean in and you're going to say. Tell me, tell me more, what is this?
Right. And the best, the best companies, the best sellers in the world's lead with what they believe.
Tyler: [00:11:32] Yep. You think it's a company's responsibility to arm, arm folks with that? I believe statement. Do you think that should be done at the, at the senior level of an organization, such that when they're, when they're onboarding a new sales rep, they could say, well, here's what we believe.
Do you think that's their responsibility at that point?
David: [00:11:50] You know it, you know, it is, although I don't see that often done, you know, it's interesting when you look at a company and you look at how their general salespeople pitch and position their products. So just a very simple question. If I said, what do you do?
You're like, what do you do? Like, what do you say? And oftentimes salespeople say, Oh, we're a technology company. We build software that helps people automate and improve efficiency and dah, dah, dah, et
Tyler: [00:12:13] cetera, et cetera.
David: [00:12:13] asked the CEO of the company, that company. What do you do? I wouldn't probably get a functional description of like the product.
I would get an elevated message, especially if you're, you know, a VC funded company you're trying to raise money, you're selling the vision. I would get that different message. And so, in a way it is their responsibility. Cause as a, as a leader, as a CEO, it's your responsibility to be the keeper of the vision and help the rest of the people on your team articulate that vision.
But the trick to doing that because oftentimes we listen to CEO's and we say like, that sounds great. Like the way what they said it was awesome. So the question is how do you take what they say and distill it down into a format that's very easy for a rank and file brand new sales rep to replicate.
And that's, you know, from an enablement standpoint, that's kind of part personal, but you've got to do.
Tyler: [00:12:59] Yeah, exactly. And I think that's a big piece of onboarding. It's not just giving them the tools, the product knowledge. The, you know, here's how to work the CRM. Here's how, here's what our sales process looks like here's how to update your pipeline, but it's also, here's why we're here.
here's why this is this. Here's why this company exists. And here's why you should have that conviction, that we all need for you to have obviously, as you know, to, to actually go out and, and, and sing this from the rooftops and to actually evangelize what we're talking about, not just the product or service, but the idea is the why behind that product or service.
David: [00:13:35] Absolutely. Well, especially if you're like a newer growing company, the product or service will change. Right? Ideally the mission doesn't change, right? Like we're still trying to solve the same problems, you know, that exists in the world for our customers, but the product will change over time. And also, you know, your customers will change over time, but if they believe in the mission, Like bill, the same customers will stick with you.
A mission is like a lightning rod and it attracts the right kind of customers to do
Tyler: [00:14:02] the right kind of employees too. I think it can, it works on both fronts, which is important because as we know, people are our most important assets. So, to kind of, to where we've been talking about sales enablement, but I'd love to kind of hear what does sales enablement mean to you, David?
How would you define it? What does that mean to you?
David: [00:14:18] Yeah. So, you know, so what I see a lot on the market is sales enablement are the ones that, you know, kind of help coordinate and provide tools and methodologies and training and content to the sales team to help them do their job better. Like that's the classical definition of like a sales enablement, but we enable people.
But to me, enablement has a very strong, diagnostic component. So imagine like, if you went to like the doctor. Right. And you think of the doctor's enablement person, if you went to the doctor and yeah, you just said, Hey doctor, I think I need an antibiotic for like this, this rash. And they're like, okay.
I'm like, Oh doctor, I think I need this for that. They're like, okay, are they enabling you? Like in a way, you know, they're enabling you. you know, if I can, if I can say like enablement, you can, you can enable like an alcoholic, right. By giving them, you know, giving them alcohol. And so. In a way that it's not just the, what do you need?
Let me get that for you. There needs to be a diagnostic element, which is like, I'm going to help you figure out what it is you need. Right? Oftentimes as sales leaders, we're in the trenches. We're on calls. We're working with our teams. We need another set of eyes, right. In our operation and using data to diagnose what the problem is.
So from a doctors analogy perspective, you're coming in and Hey, look, you have this rash. You think you need an antibiotic? No, I'm going to say, hold on a second. I want to do some analysis and diagnosis, and I'm going to be part of the, kind of the diagnostic thing to tell you what she I'm going to be.
This extra set of value added eyes. That's what I think enablement t a large part should be.
Tyler: [00:15:46] Right. And do you feel like, do you feel like sales leaders are too much in the trenches to see that? Do you think it needs to be a third party, another set of eyes that are fresh? Or do you think that sales leaders can, you know, do all the things they do in their day to day?
and also kind of maybe do some of that diagnosis as well?
David: [00:16:04] I think they can. I mean, you know, sales enablement as like a, as a segment is, you know, in the, in the, in the lifespan of sales organizations is still a relatively new construct, right. data isn't, we've always had data and it was the responsibility of sales leaders to help look and diagnose the data.
So, no, I, I think it's actually no different than even, negotiation. So one of my favorite books is I know a lot of people out there has Never Split the Differenceby Chris Voss. And he talks about how, you know, when you're training negotiators, or when you're on a high stakes negotiation, like one negotiator, one bad guy, like talking to each other.
It's it's bad guy and like five negotiators. There's one person's talking. The rest are listening to pick up on nuances that maybe this first person is missing. Right. So, no, I think that from a sales leadership perspective. This is something they can and should be doing because you need to be in tune with your sales team.
But the extra set of eyes is now that, you know, sales enablement has become like a well substantiated role in a lot of companies. It's a huge value add.
Tyler: [00:16:59] Right? And you also mentioned kind of other people listening in, I mean, I think with a lot of call recording technology tools, like zoom, where a lot of people can view the tape, it used to be, you had to be there and it was a, you know, a firsthand, firsthand recollection of what went down.
Now the tape doesn't lie. You can actually go back and see the transcript. See how many questions you ask. See how many times you interrupted that person to understand, you know, where you went wrong and what you need to work on. So where do you think tools like that kind of fall into your this philosophy of, of cerebral selling?
David: [00:17:33] Oh, yeah, no, it's next level. I mean, I'm a big fan of tools like zoom and gong and outreach. And the idea is like, these tools can give us insights that we didn't even know about before. Right? So like this question of, you know, how, how do top reps respond when they get objections from their customers?
Well, it turns out 54% of the time. According to gong, top reps respond with a question versus, you know, 30, some odd percent of the time, average performers, like just go into like their monologue, right. Or, you know, you know, using phrases, like, does that make sense or, Oh, I'm sorry. Or what are the best opening lines that help maximize conversion on a cold call?
Like these are things that a lot of times this is actually part of the big problem that exists and how we kind of got into this situation. If I can call it that from sales enablement is that so much of sales has been, here's what I did. Here's what you should do. Right without using the data. And so now that we have all of that, and I say that in terms of like how sales leaders operate, this is what worked for me and my company.
And that kind of gets passed along, even though it didn't work. And so the idea is we can use all these tools to kind of use data, to inform our suspicions and opinions to, to get better.
Tyler: [00:18:39] So it sounds like, do you think now sales leaders should, it should be less of, well, here's what worked for me a few years back and more of, well, here's what the data is telling us today is that, is that th th the change there?
David: [00:18:50] Yes. Well, I think also, yeah, so here's what the data's telling us today. It also depends like what you're selling. Yeah. And who you're selling it to. So a lot of companies are, you know, have these brand new solutions that have never existed. They're trying to create a category. And so I can't just sell you like CRM or marketing automation, like, you know what that is, and I'm just going to sell you my version, which is better.
I need to sell you on like the whole category and the whole problem first. Right. And so there's a lot of you can't just do well, here's what I did, right. But also there's a lot of been a lot of changes in how buyers actually buy. And the funny thing is, and I talk about this in my book, which is coincidentally called 'Sell the way you Buy' is that as buyers we're often, like not even aware of the pathways by which we make purchasing decisions in the first place. So kind of, you know, Charging any with like, as a sales person where like, Oh, route in tune with my products and features, like, that's not how people actually buy.
And so there's a healthy dose of like really understanding your buyer to help them along that journey, which is a lot different than it used to be 10 years ago.
Tyler: [00:19:49] What do you think if you were to some of those key ideas of how has the way people buy, how has that changed? How does it look different now than it did five or 10 years ago?
What are some of those key ideas?
David: [00:20:01] Well, one of the biggest things is that there are just so many solutions flooding the market, right? In every category. The example I often give is like, you know, marketing technology, right? Which HubSpot's apart. So in the marketing technology space alone in 2011, and people had seen us, the marketing technology landscape, 150 vendors in 2011 in April of 2019, there were over 7,000.
So I think we're due for another, another update here. That's a huge increase. And so. As a, as a vendor, you believe that you're solution is special and unique and love differentiated, but to a buyer. You're just like stuck in a sea of sameness. You're just, there's a million people that do what you do. And so that's been one, the biggest challenges, of course, that kind of, yeah.
Attention span deficit exists, not only from the vendor perspective, but just as people, like, we're just so busy, we're so distracted and we're way more peer-driven than we were before, you know, five, 10 years ago sites like G two crowd or, or TripAdvisor, like these were not as prolific. Right. So the way we act.
Actually make decisions. Well, fundamentally has been the same, the pathways and the choice that we have is, is vastly different than it used to be.
Tyler: [00:21:11] If I'm a sales leader, and I'm trying to enable my team to do better and hit their number. How can I use some of that peer driven reviews? How can I use that, that new kind of way that people are researching their, their product or service?
How can I use that to my advantage?
David: [00:21:28] Yeah, well, I mean, so one of the ways that you look at this was data that Salesforce put out a little while back, but like the conversion on a lead is the highest, by, by quite by multiples, when it comes to conversions from referrals or employees, or kind of trusted advisors.
Right. even more so of course, you know, 50 times more than an email campaign, more than like a social recommendation and so on. So this idea of, you know, like, think about this when I started my business, And I needed a logo. Okay. I'm like, Oh my gosh. There's like a million people that can design logos.
In fact, you know, you eat it sometimes when people were looking for sales and there's, what do they do? They go in on LinkedIn and they say, does anyone know any good sales trainers? Right, right.
Tyler: [00:22:08] 50 50 responses.
David: [00:22:10] Like, how are you supposed to know? Right. So I had to go get a logo design for my business. So what am I doing?
I go to my buddy who got a logo recently designed for his business. And I said, what did, what did you do? Like what, how did you get this logo? And he told me, and I just, just did that. And then to go out with my wife, a wave was our anniversary. I needed it. We were going to go to a winery. I'm like, I asked a friend of mine in the area.
I'm like, where should I go? And he's like, he tells me. And I'm like, okay, great. And so how, but he's used it. I mean, partially it's really understanding the value of advocacy and really putting your best customers in the forefront of your mind opening. And I'm not talking about case studies on slides and all that kind of stuff.
I'm talking about, getting them out there, you know, the reviews, oftentimes your people will go on TripAdvisor when they're trying to book a vacation and they'll look at how many stars and Amazon the same thing. So really getting your customers out there is a great way of kind of creating that social proof that a lot of buyers are looking for nowadays.
Tyler: [00:23:04] And it sounds like this kind of naturally segues into a conversation about. Marketing and sales alignment. It sounds like from a marketing perspective, kind of making that advocacy easily digestible for prospects throughout the sales process. It sounds like the big role that marketing could play in the way that buyers are buying now to help these sales teams achieve their number.
Is that what'd you think that's fair? What would you add there?
David: [00:23:28] Yeah, absolutely marketing and sales have to be working in lockstep, you know, everything from how we're generating leads. The quality of those leads to actually another piece, which I call the messaging supply chain. And one of the biggest kind of, kind of play that out a little bit.
That'd be a video editor on my YouTube channel. One of the, the biggest challenges. And it's, it's partially with, with, with marketing and sales, but it's also a sales and customer success like post sales support is that oftentimes these groups say different things. If I were to, you know, put them in a soundproof isolation chamber and say like, Hey, what, what do we do at our company?
I would hear different things. And it's and what happens is it tends to manifest actually quite a lot in sales and customer success because. Sales sells something. It goes to customer success, the customer success, or the inner support rep reaches out to the customer. They say, okay, great. We're get, we're excited to get you started.
And, you know, and, and the customer says, great. Well, we're really excited to start doing this. And then customer success says, well, that's not what we do. Is that what sales told you we do. Right? And it creates that divide. And it's the same thing on the, on the kind of the marketing side, whether it's on your website or whether kind of your business development or BDR function rolls up to marketing the thing, what was that?
They say have to be the same things that the sales team says when they get on the phone with the customer. So that messaging supply chain and alignments is super important.
Tyler: [00:24:45] Yeah, no, it's a great point to especially bring up what happens post sale, because that's where the customer success team is usually managing expectations about what the sales rep may or may not have told them and what the product or service can actually do.
So I think it's important because. And at the end of the day, that's a perfect opportunity to create a great experience that, that kickoff call or perfect opportunity to create a huge opportunity for buyer's remorse. So, I think that is, is one thing. And how do you think sales, sales teams or people that are doing enablement and sales leaders?
How can they decrease the likelihood that reps are maybe over promising? but you know, throughout the sales process, what can, what can be done to try to alleviate that as much as possible?
David: [00:25:29] Yeah, well, I mean, there's, there's kind of two things. Number one, there's like the message alignment, which is like, are we saying the same thing?
And then there's, it comes down to features. So we don't want to ever want to be in sales, a position where. We're just saying that the product can do things cause our customers do want to know, okay, what can it actually do? We don't want to over promise on the future friends, but definitely like on the messaging front, one of the easiest ways to kind of ensure that consistency is to focus on oftentimes not the product, but like the enemy.
Right? So this or the problem, if I can call it that, like don't fall in love with the product fall in love with the problem. So if everyone's very aligned on like what the enemy is, Then it makes those conversations with customers a lot easier. So for example, my third startup, this was the company we were acquired by Salesforce.
We were a feedback, coaching and recognition platform. And so at work, people want lots of feedback, coaching and recognition. HubSpot was actually a customer of ours. They want lots of feedback, coaching, and recognition of how they're doing at work. But the problem is if we just lead with a message of, Oh, it's like feedback and coaching and recognition, people would be like, yeah.
Okay, that's good. But so what we did, what we found was like, what was the enemy? And the enemy oftentimes was this process that people have a say process because I'm Canadian was this a, this first is called the, the annual performance review that people hated. Yep. People actually use the word hate to describe.
So what we lead with was like, people love feedback. They hate performance reviews. Right? People love to buy things, but they hate talking to salespeople. Men love to dress well, but they hate to shop. Right. And so like all of these messages where you're just focusing more on the enemy, right than you are on and the problem on the product absolutely helps everyone promote alignment.
Cause every time we speak to a customer where we're talking their language, speaking about the problem that they're looking to, and then it becomes less about, yeah, the features and functions are important that we all kind of say what it can do, but oftentimes where we kind of miss is we start talking about.
Case studies and the wrong types of enemies. So have I, if that consistent message very important,
Tyler: [00:27:29] right? Yeah. I love that idea of having a consistent enemy if you will, because I think it's easy. It's easy for people to grasp onto those, those examples that you just gave are recognizable people. People relate to them.
Nobody likes to annual performance review, but people do want feedback. So, so it's, I think it's a, it's a great way to frame it. And I think if you can frame your enemy as a company across all of your client facing roles, I think, you know, it would, it would lead to a higher, a higher, experience, better experience for your clients across the board, throughout the buyer's journey, which I think is important.
as we think about the buyer's journey and you think about mapping a sales process to that buyer's journey, do you, do you talk at all about that in cerebral selling? Or what do you think the role, the way that buyers are buying now? How do we, how should we build a sales process that maps to that way that buyers are buying now?
David: [00:28:17] Yeah. So I'd say two things that, so number one, when we were building our third startup, we didn't do that initially. And it came back to bite us. And what I mean was when people would sign up for free trials. So we had a free trial of our service on our website. They would sign up. And then what we would actually do is kind of funny.
We would only ask for minimal information, first name, last name, email, that kind of stuff. Maybe phone number. And then what we would do is that we would, we would take that lead list and we would ship it off overseas to a team that started Googling these people on LinkedIn and them, and trying to give us more information about them so that we could, you know, respond to those leads.
And with a lot of context, the problem was that by the time we actually got that information back, it was. You know, at best 14 hours later and it were, and it works 36 hours later. And, and we knew, and we, we thought we were so smart, but in reality, you know, that the chances of you converting that lead drops off dramatically after the first, you know, 10 minutes, nevermind.
The first hour. And so we changed our process after we realized that like the people were losing interest after that first unit, initial time to make sure that we could reach out faster. And so I would say, absolutely, take a look at how do your customers buy and you're signing up for free trials. If they're doing research online, are you living where they are?
So that process is really important, but I would say so that's that hasn't been, that's been a focus. Yeah. The startups that I've led sales teams at, but. In terms of sell the way you buy the main enemy now, because there's so many solutions out there on the market. And so many salespeople and people are inundated with messages is actually like the attention, their attention span.
So I prefer to focus on what do you say in that first few moments when the customer is interacting with your brand? Not to explain what you do, but to get them to lean in and say, Tell me more about this. So people buy feeling first and foremost, I know B2B technology, which is where I grew up in most of my clients in the B2B tech space.
That's where we're kind of lagging quite honestly, behind where the consumer space is and the consumers know whether you're selling a pharmaceutical, a car, a mortgage, a credit, whenever it is lead with the feeling first. And that's what we do you need to do as well. And so thinking about like, The enemy leading with what you believe, you know, when you think about the buyer's journey, it all starts with that initial lean in to say, tell me more.
Or, and that's where in my view, the B2B businesses have to focus
Tyler: [00:30:41] when it sounds like those feelings and those enemies can go hand in hand. I mean, essentially. It's that that one message which might incorporate both is what could really have an impact and, and get them to lean in and get them to tell me, tell me more, which is as you know, music to any sales reps here.
So, you know, you, you know, you've got a live one then, so, I wanna a great conversation. I wanna, I want to go to our lightning round a few, few questions that I'd like to ask everybody, David, what book would you recommend to our audience and why?
David: [00:31:09] Yeah. I mean, it's one of my favorite sales books is Dan Pink's To Sell is Human.
it's a great book because I mean, Dan pink is not a salesperson, but he believes as I do that's everyone nowadays is in sales and we don't teach it. And so it kind of gives a lot of great sales tactics in that book, but a lot of richer, deeper understanding of what it means to sell and that lots of great stories, my big fan up to sell it to you.
Tyler: [00:31:31] Yep. what is your favorite home cooked meal made by you or someone in your family?
David: [00:31:38] So I, you know, one of the things I do is I love to cook and you want to be like a hero kids. That's, that's what you gotta do. But it's funny. Like, when I think about what, the thing I like to, it brings the most memories.
It's kind of, it's not the most complicated thing, but it's definitely the most emotionally charged, which is like my son, my Saturday morning waffles, you know, it's like, it's not that they're the most delicious little, they are delicious. But it's just, you know, when I make the waffles on Saturday morning with my kids and with the chocolate chips and the whole thing, it's like, it means weekend family to me.
And even though, you know, even though there's more elaborate dishes, that's, that's kind of the thing that I always look forward to
Tyler: [00:32:14] every week gradients I can put in the waffles or anything you top them with, that's a unique or.
David: [00:32:19] Well, you know, I like to keep it, you know, like pretty pure for whole ingredients and buttermilk and butter, chocolate chips, you know, I do put a little bit of a wheat brand in there to make it a little bit healthier.
The kids never don't
Tyler: [00:32:31] tell
David: [00:32:32] them. Right. But now it's, and then for bonus points, you can make a homemade Apple sauce put on
Tyler: [00:32:37] top. It's nice. Yeah. Awesome. Sounds delicious. A software tool or app could you not live without?
David: [00:32:46] Yeah. I mean, like, I think number one is Zoom. Like we're on Zoom right now. I love Zoom.
You know, one of the things with zoom, not only is it, is it great and convenient and there's lots of video software out there, but I'm a big fan of the power of video in terms of creating relationships in terms of improving self-disclosure, even as it relates to doing discovery, like ask yourself if you're on a discovery call with the customer, are they more likely to tell you things that they're, you know, that are important if you're on video?
Or if you're on a phone call, right? So like something simple as Zoom to promote that power video is
Tyler: [00:33:18] tremendous. I love it. Yeah. I agree. I think I've seen some of the data on that, that it definitely makes a difference to keep the video on, in those circumstances. So, so turn your video on sales teams.
let's see if you could go back in time, 10 years and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
David: [00:33:34] So, you know, having been in kind of, you know, the professional sales career for, for 20 plus years now, I have the benefit of hindsight of seeing kind of the trends and patterns in my career. And I think one of the biggest challenges in sales is that most of us think that we need to keep moving up and getting promoted in the sales profession, especially because we're, we tend to sit beside.
You know, people, account reps, BDRs, they do the same thing as us, you know, go, you want to get promoted, right? I want to get promoted to, and though you want to be a senior. So we ended up in this kind of, a little bit of a race where we end up in roles that. We don't, it's not our favorite thing to do.
Like we're not using the best of ourselves sometimes what we're doing it because we think we should. Right. And so my advice, if I were to go back in time is to really focus on like, what is it that you love doing in your job and separate the love that you, the love for it, the thing you're doing from the title, right?
Because I feel like it would help you charge a slightly better and more fulfilling career path. When you ask yourself, like the difference between what could I do versus what should I do based on what I love. And, I have a little video on my YouTube channel. If people want to check it out, I call it like the kind of like increasing your, your proportion of the under the love quotient, which is in every job.
There's things that you do that you love. How can I do more of those love things in the next job versus like focusing on the titles. That would be the thing. Awesome. So 10 years ago,
Tyler: [00:34:56] we'll link to that video, the love video, from your YouTube channel in the show notes. If anybody wants to check that out, finally David, how can, how can folks find you online?
What would be the best way to
David: [00:35:04] connect? Yeah, I mean, the simple thing is a cerebral selling.com and I give away mostly everything for free, except for my training materials and my book. but articles, videos. Podcast recordings like everything to help. So cerebral selling.com is the best way you can reach out to me there.
Or you can find me on LinkedIn. I love connecting with people on LinkedIn. I'm a regular kind of poster, but you can also find me Instagram, you know, Twitter, the whole thing, but yeah. Cool website and LinkedIn
Tyler: [00:35:31] too. Cerebral selling.com as well as David's LinkedIn profile. David, I really want to appreciate you joining today.
Great conversation. We'll have to have you back on at some point, but really appreciate your time. I know the audience got a lot of value, so thanks so much for joining. Appreciate it.
David: [00:35:44] Hey. No, my pleasure. Thank you.
Tyler: [00:35:46] Thank you. Have a great day. Thank you so much for listening to today's show. You can find all the links discussed and the show email@example.com.
That's the T H G sales, S a L E S. Lift L I F t.com have questions for me. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Look forward to seeing you back here next week. And we hope today. Yeah. Brings you the sales lift. Your business needs. Remember ideas plus action equals results. You've got new ideas. Now it's time to take action and the results will follow.
See you next time.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.