Julie Steelman joined the show this week.
You can listen to our conversation here.
You can read the first part of our conversation here.
From her website:
Julie is the author of The Effortless Yes! Demystify the selling process and discover:
- Your selling archetype
- Your natural asking style
- Your bankability
After our conversation and reading her book, I am not sure that the copy on her website does her justice; it may be understated.
We talked about her book, her solutions and how those solutions can help you get to that Effortless Yes!
You write, and I love it:
Hope gives us a false sense of forward movement while allowing us room to bail in case we sense failure approaching.
I had to read that a couple of times. At first blush, I thought:
What’s wrong with having hope? Sometimes it’s all we got.
Don't you have to have hope to keep moving forward?
Ok. I’m a word-nerd. And this is where I get a little sticky about semantics. I would say you have to have belief and faith to keep moving forward. And belief and faith in what you are offering, that you’re doing a good job, that you’re gonna break through and somehow someday it’s going to get heard. And you’re going to step to a new level.
And hope is different. In a medical situation it may be more applicable. In the business situation, hope is one of those things that kinda has you with your fingers crossed behind your back wishing-wanting-waiting for the windfall to happen. By the very definition of hope it keeps you from taking action.
Belief and faith actually have you take action. This is where I’m a little word-nerdy about it. But I think the definitions of them create a different momentum for you.
I like it a lot. I like that you’re a word-nerd and you’re get very disciminating about your choice of terms. I like a clear writer. And that distinction between those terms is so clear.
And hope as you describe it is sorta hoping that the broom of God will sweep us along to our destiny. And belief and faith, we believe and have faith that what we’re doing were going to reach our goal, people will recognize us and appreciate us and begin to partner with us.
Where does hope end and unbridled enthusiasm begin?
Well, so remember I had you use faith and belief instead of hope? So, hope ends when you actually believe that what you are offering, as a product or service, has such a value to aid, enhance and assist your customer that you use that as your motivating and driving force. You get excited about it. You really believe it with every fiber of your being then you move into a state of confidence that you didn’t have prior to that. And unbridled enthusiasm shows up and you’re going from:
“I have to call this customer because I have to make my boss happy and tick off one more number on my sheet.”
“ I want to call this customer because I can’t wait to for the them to have the change they’re looking for. “
Totally different experience.
Now, all of this is about our moxie and how we can dust it off and make it shine.
What are your 6 ways to do just that: dust off our moxie and make it shine?
Ok. So, the first thing is dusting off our moxie is all about moving out of hope and into making a decision that what you have to offer is of value and you get out there and you are excited to share it with people. I don’t mean faking it. I mean you really gotta believe in it.
Some of the 6 steps you can take is you write down stuff like why you care that your customer resolves their challenge or how what you offer alleviates pain or struggle or your customer gets more of what they want. Because you have got to understand and believe so you can get into that unbridled enthusiasm.
And then the 2nd thing you can do is based on what you wrote down, write a clear statement about that captures the heart of why you’re selling your products or services.
So, there’s why you care and then there’s why are you doing this. What’s your motivation?
- Baby needs new shoes;
- Kids need to get through college.
- It doesn’t matter; You know, it’s ok.
Your why matters to you because that’s where you’re going to find your motivation.
Now, the 3rd thing you can do is post that statement where you can see it often. Recite it frequently because it’s going to become your mantra.
And the next time you start to hear ‘no’ or ‘not right now’ or ‘we don’t have the budget’...recite the mantra and remind yourself why you care and why you’re doing this. Because it will allow you to keep going.
And then the next thing you need to do is answer a couple of question honestly.
- Have I been hoping to make sales?
- Have I been waiting for something to happen?
- Have I believed my own excuses or societal stories about why it’s hard to make a sale?
If the answer to any of that is "yes", then you have slipped into "hope". You’ve moved out of deciding and believing in what you’re doing. Because if you believed in it you would actually be taking action and say
“ I don’t care that CNN talks about, you know, Wall Street crisis every nano- second. I know that someone out there that has money, that there’s someone out there that has money, and there’s someone out there that needs what I got.”
And if you’re in a big organization working for a sales manager, they’re never going to let you not make your number because CNN says you can’t. That’s not going to fly. And it shouldn’t fly. Because there’s always someone out there that needs what you got.
I want you to remember that.
The next thing I want you to do is determine that moment in working with your customer that gives you the most juice. So, there’s always that thing that as someone who’s selling something you get really excited about when the lightbulb goes on with that customer. What is that moment? Identify it. List 5 ways you can start creating more of those moments.
It will make a really big difference in your forward momentum. We all need those little signs, that acknowledgement, that we’re getting through and that we’re making a difference. So, what is that moment for you? Really take the time to identify this because it will give you forward momentum like nothing else will.
So, the last thing you can do is decide right now that you’re going to take responsibility for making sales and exceeding your number. Just decide clearly and firmly that you’re going to let go of hoping and wishing you’re going to make sales.
And I actually encourage you to do all this in a journal or a piece of paper and keep it around you.
And those are the 6 things you can do to dust off your moxie and get back into an active state.
Don’t become that skeptic that we talked about. Don’t become a "Ruminating Salesperson" who’s unsure about what they’re selling because of all of these outside societal forces. Because as soon as you’re unclear then you’re customer is unclear.
We've all heard of an unique selling proposition and an unique value proposition. You talk about a Unique Payoff Proposition? What’s that?
So, this is one of the shifts again we talk about. When you talk about a unique selling proposition and a unique value proposition, we’re talking about ourselves. So, in most selling situations that are more customer-focused and more heart-centered we need to talk about the customer.
I say switch this formula up a little bit and talk about the unique payoff proposition. The payoff is about the customer. It’s about what they’re going to get doing business with you.
Again, here I am switching languaging because I get a little picky about this. But, when you switch it to what’s the unique payout proposition, you’re talking about the value, the benefit, what’s going to be different after the customer does business with you. They need to do that before they do business with you.
So, you know, if you say:
“ We’ve been really known to blah-blah-blah and that’s our unique selling proposition...”
“Well, when people work with us, we always deliver and people get X-Y-Z.”
All of a sudden it’s about them. They can picture themselves having that. And you shift the conversation from what’s great about you to what’s going to be great about them.
And that was one of the very thing to trip the ‘yes’ switch to make a decision to buy from you.
Let's go back to that moxie thing. I think you’ve already answered it but I still think it’s important, these points you keep bring up. Can you sell yourself without moxie? Can you be audacious without moxie?
I kinda think they go together.
I kinda think they go together. It’s really...what I want to say about this is whether you resonate with “moxie” or whether you resonate with “ audacious ”...you know “audacious” is one of those funny words people think:
“Oh wow, I’m being very ego-centric; I’m being very me-centered.”
What I mean when I say this is that believe in what you do enough and get excited about the payout that your customer gets that you actually get, you’re out there enrolling people in that vision that is very exciting. Because it’s going to move them to action.
These two things together are what get you to give off a vibe that gets other people excited about a decision to reach a decision to go find the budget, to convince the boss; it’s what gets them motivated. That’s why I like the pair together.
We hear all about social media, social networks, and you write about social selling and its 5 selling styles. What are those 5?
Yeah. It’s really important. People are spending a lot of time on social media but they’re socializing and that’s ok.
But if you’re in a business and you’re using it for business purposes then you need to figure out or understand how to switch from socializing into selling in a way that’s actually serving your customers.
There are 5 Social or what I call “Posting” types.
The first one is “Ghosting”. That’s someone who posts inconsistently and uses automated tools. Frequently, there’s no human element or realness to the messages.
The 2nd type is “Posting and Coasting”. This is when your posts are there but you repeat messages over and over. You don’t interact with people. You don’t develop relationships. You post or re-post other people’s materials.
A lot of people on twitter post a lot of quotes. That’s great! But, add a little comment to it to add some personality to it. If you just post a quote and put it out there, that’s nice. But it doesn’t associate it with you or anything about you. Why do that? You’re just spending time.
“ Posters and Coasters” tend to post other people’s content and they don’t talk about it. Like:
“ I read this article and I had this ‘aha’ moment in paragraph number 14 because it’s going to change my business and I hope it’s going to change yours.”
That’s different than:
“Great article. Here’s the link.”
The third type is not my favorite. It’s “Boasting”. And I know some people out there who do this. This is someone who’s very focused on themselves and make outlandish claims about their business and they talk abut themselves incessantly. So...
“ Hey, I just landed my new customer for $2.5 million. Boy, I tell you I’m such a good salesperson. It was so great.”
Now, there’s not too many people that are going to do it just like that. But one thing that I do see “ Boasters “ do is take credit for other people’s accomplishments. You want to be careful about doing that kind of thing.
There’s a great way, and gracious way, to put out really good information about
“Using my selling system, my customer just had a $20,000 week.”
Actually I just got that email yesterday. And I did post about it. But what I’m saying is:
“Here’s a way you can have a $20,000 week.”
So, I didn’t make the $20,000 about me. She did it because I told her about it; so it’s my $20,000. Don’t do it. That’s a boasting way and it turns people off.
Style number 4 is one of the effective styles. And, what a “Hoster” does is put intelligent information out there and asks people to think. Because it invokes dialogue and it gets people talking. And you start seeing this conversation go back and forth and start talking and getting a dialogue going.
Here’s what’s cool about this. Your customers are going to start revealing some of their trials, tribulations and struggles. And guess what? Now you know what some of them are and you can use that information to ask them to take a conversation offline or to get in touch with them in another way and say:
“ Hey. I saw you had a problem with such and such. We know how to solve that. Lemme give you a little information.”
And they start talking and you figure out how to serve.
Number five is one of the most effective styles and it’s called “Toasting”. You invoke dialogue like a “Hoster” but you invoke dialogue in a celebratory way. A “ Toaster ” is really someone who shares their customers experiences, businesses, benefits and accolades with the rest of their tribe. So, they’re really about creating this community about this celebratory experience of them doing business together.
A “ Toaster ” is the most effective. Again, what I love about the “Hoster”and “ Toaster ” style is there’s a thing called the witnessing factor. And a lot of people in social media don’t talk about this and I don’t know why; but I found it to be true. And that is people may not click “ like “ on your Facebook post. they may not write a comment. They may not respond to your Tweet. But what you don’t know is how many people are reading or watching or what we call “lurking” this conversation. Right?
They’re watching you and it’s almost like if you were in a hospital and you get to look through the glass window and see all the babies. There’s people out there looking through the glass window watching how you behave, how you provide value, how you give customer support ...through all of these posts. They’re watching because they’re very interested and it’s likely they could turn into a customer.
So, don’t underestimate the power of that factor.
I’ll give you a quick story if I could. Do you have time?
Yeah. That would be great.
So, I live in Hawaii. And I started to posting about doing our morning swim for exercise. Now and then we get blessed with the dolphins that come swim, too. And I’ll take a video of it and post it on Facebook.
So, there’s this woman who we were ‘friends’ in the Facebook world but I never talked to her; we’ve never exchanged posts; nothing. time goes by and I post this video about dolphins and talk about selling and blah-blah-blah.
So about 6 months go by since I posted that message and she sends me a private message that says:
“ You don’t know me but I’ve been watching. How cool is that there’s a woman out there who wants to help us break through and sell and you get to swim with dolphins.”
Where would you get to put those two things in the same sentence?
She goes on to say:
“ I need to talk with you because I really like the way you are and I want to live the life you do and you’re the real deal and you did it and you sold your way out and you live in Hawaii and you swim with dolphins. I need to talk to you because I know you can help me. “
So, where would you put those two things together?
That’s the power of using social media in a way that’s extremely effective.
That’s a great story! You know, when you said she contacted you and said:
You don’t know me, but I’ve been watching you....
This is going to get weird.
But it turned into such a great story and such a great example of how you use it to combine the two worlds.
Pushing forward with this social selling you write about engaging graciously. Grace, living graciously, to me involves patience and listening and tolerance. It seems many companies are too impatient to do that. What are they missing?
Well, we go back to the classic thing about putting their agenda above the customer relationship. And that’s the short answer. Right?
I’ll give you an example. I’m a salesperson and let’s say I follow up because I have to and I have to put in my Salesforce and I have to cut and paste the email I sent so my manager will know I did it.
When you’re doing it in the spirit checking something off YOUR agenda list instead of doing it in the spirit of checking off something off your client’s list.
Yeah. We need to follow up. I’m not saying don’t do it. We gotta make your managers happy; I know that.
Just shift the focus to following up about your customer and that’s the right thing to do to honor the relationship.
In that conversation, that email or phone call, it changes in tone and content as well.
Again, we’ve gotta go back to being focused on the customer. Because following up, when you engage graciously everything you engage about is about helping that customer solve their problem; it’s not about you and how you’re so great and they need to buy yesterday because you need to get the albatross of the boss off your shoulder.
If you’re doing things from that place, there’s a good chance it shows through. And your customer is ignoring you and going to make that whole ‘get-your-boss-off-your-shoulder’ experience worse.
Like, it’s I know we have to do both things. But explain to your boss about why you’re doing what you’re doing. Give them the business reason behind it and they’ll back off you so fast, you’ll be like:
“ Whoa. I wish I had done that sooner. “
And you need to give them the information they need and do that.
But when you send the email to your customer, make it about your customer. Otherwise, you’re wasting their time.
Part Three of this conversation will be published on Monday, September 19.