Julie Steelman joined the show this week.
You can listen to our conversation here.
You can read the first part of our conversation here.
You can read Part Two of our conversation here.
Julie is the author of The Effortless Yes! Demystify the selling process and discover:
- Your selling archetype
- Your natural asking style
- Your bankability
I wrote this in Parts One and Two:
After our conversation and reading her book, I am not sure that the copy on her website does her justice; it may be understated.
I stand behind that, still. Great book, great solution. Get it, read it, do it.
Cold calling. I get shivers just saying it. That’s the trial by ﬁre of all sales people. You say The good news today is you can nix it.
If companies nix cold-calling, what will they do instead?
Yeah, this whole idea of cold-calling...I had a friend once who worked at a, he was a professional football player and he went to work at a financial services company. And he said his first day on the job, they were all:
“We’re going to pay you big, fancy suits...”
As soon as he took the job, they threw him in a cubicle and gave him a phone book and said:
“There ya go. Find a million bucks. ”
And I’m going:
“ Are you kidding me?”
And he was like:
“What am I supposed to do with that?”
So, again, companies get so greedy, so hungry and so desperate for cash-flow that they actually resort to tactics like this.
That’s why I said at the beginning that my hope and aspiration is that we can change this whole conversation and really put reverence and humanity back into the business transaction. Because, this doesn’t work.
Here’s why it doesn’t work. You’re cold when you’re doing. It’s about you when you’re doing it; it’s not about the customer. And, every single person in the United States has been the recipient of a crappy cold-call. Guess what? They’re too smart to do it again. You’ve got three strikes you if you do this. You’re wasting your time.
So, here’s what you can do instead. And I call it warming it up. To me this was the obvious thing to do. I’m not sure why people don’t do this.
- Pick your customer.
- Go do a bit of research.
- Find that hook or that moment where you have something in common.
Either, they have a cause or a mission that your company has in common. Or they have something they aspire to you that your company or product has in common. Or you like the way they do something and you want to compliment them on that.
Because the first way you should introduce yourself to someone and leave a good impression on them is to make it about them.
This is the thing. If companies would make all of their sales efforts about the customer and less about them as a customer they would radically improve their sales.
So, if I could, I’ll give you an example.
I had a woman come to me and she made these organic t-shirts. And she said:
“I’m just not getting through.”
And she wasn’t even calling people. She was just getting the names of buyers at high-end spas and sending them emails. And I’m like:
“This is so not working.”
And she said:
“Yeah, it’s not working.”
So, we went to pick her biggest customer. And we went to her website. Turns out for every t-shirt she sells, she plants a tree. She sends this company $5 and they plant a tree.
Well, this spa she wanted to get into, turns out they’re in Mexico and the woman bought the property because she wanted to preserve this one piece of land that has a natural spring on it and its gorgeous garden. And every time she has a customer stay there, she plants a tree somewhere else.
And I say:
“Ok, so there’s your bond!”
She writes this email and we craft it.
“ I notice we have something in common. For every t-shirt I sell, I plant a tree. For every customer you get, you plant a tree. It seems like we have a common bond. I would actually love to talk to you about creating a custom line of t-shirts using my product in your spa and then we can both plant a tree every time your customers buys a t-shirt.”
She got a response in 5 minutes flat. She got into that spa and now it’s one of her biggest customers.
That’s the difference about making it about them and introducing yourself in a way that shows you care about their business.
That is so great! That’s such a great story!
Joseph Campbell talks about archetypes and how they’re found in stories of wisdom and heroes. You talk about signature selling archetypes. What is a signature selling archetype?
I love the whole idea of archetype. It’s sort of an energetic embodiment, if you will. Said another way, it’s kind of like an alter-ego you can adopt.
What it does is it gives you a context or framework to bring out your natural strengths as someone who’s enthusiastic, charismatic and influential. And use those as a way to sell graciously, instead of through force.
Whew! You’re just so clear. I’m trying to scribble your answers. I’m going to come back and transcribe this, but I was not expecting that answer. That was excellent.
Can you say that again?
The archetype...some people say:
“That whole archetype thing is woo-woo. I don’t want to play.”
Ok. So let me talk to you for a second. The definition of an archetype is extremely simple. And that is, it’s an original mold or model for something. And that’s all they are. They are a way of explaining a context or a framework that enhances your natural strengths and pulls out your natural influential style so you can sell in a way that feels good to you and get through to your customer. And wins business more effectively than all the other ways of doing it.
Excellent! Excellent, again!
Now, you define several different signature selling archetypes. How many do you deﬁne?
When I did my research I discovered that there’s about 12 different common ones. And while it’s fun to know what this is, I want to encourage people to not get hung up on it. Because the real point of knowing what your archetype is is to understand what your strengths are more clearly so you can use them more effectively. But, to also understand where by nature you get hung up on the selling process.
None of us came in with our salesperson of the millenium chip already filled up with knowledge and know-how. We weren’t born with that DNA. There’s a few people on the planet . Bill Clinton was one of the most charismatic, magnetic, type of people. He could say:
“ No. You need to vote for me even though I had an affair; Don’t worry about. It’s all good.”
Right? He’s just kind of got that magnetism and charisma. Most of us need a little help in that department to bring that stuff forward. But you also understand where you trip over the selling process. We can change that so that doesn’t have to be such a hardship.
That’s really why I created them.
I think it’s great. I like that you created a pretty detailed process to discover our individual selling archetype.
You list a very detailed process to discovery this for ourselves. What is the most important step in this process?
I think the most important step to understand is where your shortchange yourself, where you limit yourself, in the selling process.
Discovering our selling archetype leads us to the key step: Asking for the business and perfecting our natural asking style.
Now, what you've shared here and in our discussion and in more scope and detail in your book is the key to the effortless yes. Why is that step, perfecting the natural asking the key to being bankable?
Let me start with the definition of “bankable”. The definition of “being bankable” is to create certain success and profit. Right? It’s really clear. Look it up in the dictionary; that’s what it says. I love it!
An example is...Hollywood stars is the quickest, simplest example I can think of. Notable because they could be bankable. Right? As soon as they are be cast in a movie, that movie is pretty certain to have success and make a profit.
We all kind of want everything that we do in business to provide certain success and profit. I mean why not? There’s nothing wrong with that as long as we’re not trying to be pushy or forceful with our customers.
The reason it’s so important to ask for the business or ask for the money, which is the most uncomfortable part of the selling process for everybody, because the customer actually expects us to.
Here’s why. The customer wants to be led to a conclusion or a final end. They expect us to do that job. When we ask them for the business or the money we’re actually prompting them or signaling that this part of the relationship is ready for and time for to move into the:
“How do we work together, how do we make this happen” phase.
And how do we resolve those things that are unresolved to get to ‘yes’. It is a very critical and important part of the conversation.
I would say 85% of people who are selling something don’t do this. And guess what? You might have a crystal-clear buyer when they show up. But if you don’t do this, you’re going to leave them ruminating. And they’re going to say:
“I’m too confused to do business with you. I’m going to say ‘no.”
What the archetype does is, because you’re clear about what you’re strong at and what you’re not so good at, it leads you to be paired up with a natural way to ask for the business.
There’s actually 15 of those natural asking styles in the book. When you know what your archetype is then you know what your natural asking style is. Because I created the template for you of what to say that plays to your strengths and easily and graciously helps you overcome your hurdle with asking for the business. And really simplify this and make it easy to do.
Because then you stay in the natural confidence state and so does your customer. That’s the whole point of putting these two things together and giving you the ways to do this so you don’t have to figure it out yourself.
Over time, as you use your natural asking style, there’s a little template for exactly what to say based on the archetype in the book, you’ll start to add to it and modify it and use it in your own way. But at least it gives you a place to start.
That’s so fantastic. You know, I had a rhetorical question:
What's so scary about that?
Because that moment where you ask for the order, where you ask if you’re ready to move ahead with it, too often is the most scary moment in the sales process. And perfecting the natural selling process is the key to eliminating that fear.
See? That’s what’s effortless about that. If you stay in the confident state...because here’s the deal. If a customer has never done business with you before, there’s a point at which they have to trust their gut reaction. And if you go messing with that gut reaction and you get all weird and squirrely or you don’t demonstrate leadership by not asking for the money and feeling confident enough in the believing of what you’re offering enough to ask for the money, then you just created fear and doubt inside them.
So true. So true.
I’m looking at the clock and we’re coming to the end of our hour. I so appreciate you taking the time to get up so early in the morning and do the show and be so clear in all of your answers.
We've reached the imagination moment in our show. Let's imagine President Obama has a few moments. He’s found your book. He picks up his Blackberry and calls you.
Julie, he says, because he's the President.
We can't seem to get companies to say, effortlessly or not, to buying into our economy. And they're not getting customers to say yes, in any way, to buying. What do I need to do to entice you to leave Eden and come to DC, an eden of its own sort, I guess.
We want to hear your thoughts, maybe 3 things that we as a nation can take to ﬁnd a way to demystify our selling process, ﬁnd our selling archetype and get the sale we want, we need and grow our economy as fast as we'll ever need.
What do you say to him?
Well, there’s no big question there!
I’m actually going to refer to something you said Mr. Obama that was in your inaugural speech. You said:
Our society was founded on the idea that our products and services as businesses would serve the common good.
And what I’m going to tell you Mr. Obama is we have forgotten about that.
The first thing we could do to fix it is to shift from putting profit over purpose. And instead put purpose over profit.
- You’re going to make your profit. Don’t worry.
- The companies are going to grow. Don’t worry.
But what we’ve done is create a society of overly skeptical consumers and they’re not willing to buy and do business with companies that they don’t trust any more.
That’s the first thing.
The 2nd thing is we need to find a way to have CEOs paid really well, but no longer take salaries and have golden parachutes when companies are not making a profit. That can't be the way it works anymore. Sorry, everybody. Do you trust a CEO that does that? I don’t think so.
The 3rd thing we need to do is invest in putting our workforce back to work. The whole crux around the 3 things I’m going to tell you to do Mr. Obama are instilling trust back in corporate America because there isn’t any. Financially, products or services or customer service. I’d rather buy a Mercedes than Cadillac. You’ve got to get our products back up to snuff.
We need to put, I think we’ve sold off too much of our industrial abilities and we need to bring it back here.
That was too much. I know I gave you more than 3 things. But, that would be my answer, Mr. Obama.
Thank you. I love all of them. Thank you for the 4th one, too.
Leaders are readers. Jim Rohn says that. I just quote him. You're a leader. What are you reading in all your free time?
You know, I kind of go back and forth.
Right now, I gotta tell you I just read my first Stieg Larson book: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. So, I love really good rich fiction.
My favorite business book is The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. And that’s about mastering the inner game. And he teases me all the time.
“ It’s not a business book!”
But it should be. It’s a really good mastering the inner game book.
Julie, leave us with a quote on The Effortless Yes! Demystify the selling process?
Ok. Here you go:
“In order for your business to grow, you must grow.”
Whew! That’s so great. So crisp, so concise. I’m going to rave on it about 8 times longer than it was. What was it? 8 words? That’s a great quote.
A lot of companies could use that. It’s so simple. Have it around the company. Put up in the conference room; put it up on the walls in the cafeteria.
Thank you. It’s been a great conversation. I loved your book. Your answers were so crisp and concise.
Next Week’s Guest: Jim Clifton, Chairman of the Gallup organization and author of a wonderful, fascinating, blunt, discussion of The Coming Jobs War. That’s the title of his book. And it is a great book, a timely book, a book everyone should read. I’d say that even if he wasn’t coming on the show. We have a special day for this show. It is Tuesday September 20 at 9:30 AM, Central. You can listen here.