As a sales professional, rejection becomes second nature. The noise of social media and advertisements gets louder by the day and with that, capturing the attention of prospects has become increasingly harder. At times, getting buyers to take your phone calls, read your DMs, or reply to your emails can feel like an impossible feat.
Yet, there are seldom-used tactics all salespeople can use to turn the tables and keep buyers wanting to hear and buy from them.
Want an actionable framework that allows you to create unbreakable connections with buyers?
On this episode of The Evolved Sales Leader, host Jonathan Fischer sits down with Michael to discuss understanding opposites in order to achieve balance in sales.
Don't forget to follow us on LinkedIn for more engaging sales insights and discussions! Happy watching!
Meet Michael Hanson:
After working in a variety of revenue roles from account management to marketing to sales, Michael realized that the hardest role is to turn cold leads and prospects into warm sales opportunities. He also realized that more times than not, that responsibility is given to the most junior people in the company. Michael thus set up Growth Genie in 2019 to help empower them.
Previously, Michael was VP of Growth at CloudTask, where he worked side by side with the CEO and COO to scale them from 10 to over 200 employees in just 3 years.
Check out the transcription of this webinar episode below!
Jonathan Fischer 0:04
Welcome back to the Evolve sales leader podcast recorded live right here on LinkedIn every Friday. I'm Jonathan Fisher. As business development leaders, it can be frustrating when results don't meet expectations. And sometimes it just feels like things are out of balance somehow. Well, today's guest will heartily agree that the issue of balance is critical to success in b2b selling. Michael Hansen is a real estate, serial entrepreneur, I'm sorry, not real estate, Michael Hanson is a serial entrepreneur, having founded several successful companies, including the b2b sales consulting firm, growth Genie, where he is the CEO. And on our show today, Michael will be speaking on the yin and yang of sales. This is understanding the opposites to achieve balance in sales. Before a conversation is through, you will have several key insights you can use to have buyers wanting to hear from you. Taking your phone calls, reading your direct messages, replying to your emails, you're gonna have ways to make prospects excited to show up to your meetings, you can build an unbreakable connection with your buyer, and create conditions where prospects actually want to buy from you. And of course, before we're through today, you're going to walk away with an actionable framework that you can use to implement everything we cover. Michael Hanson, fantastic to have you on the show today. Welcome.
Michael Hanson 1:23
Yeah, thanks a lot for the invite. And looking forward to today's conversation.
Jonathan Fischer 1:27
So let's kick it right off. So how did you come to this insight that there is something called the you could you could call the Yin and Yang and sales? Maybe, you know, tell us how you arrived? The insight? And then what does that even mean?
Michael Hanson 1:39
Yeah, sure. So maybe I'll talk about an example of what I see go wrong with with salespeople, right. So I'm going to talk about this as a buyer. And then also, as someone is like a sales trainer, he's listened to salespeople with calls. So if we take a first scheduled call, so not talking about outbound here, we're talking about you booked a meeting with someone and you want to learn more about product, what I see happen is two things which you'd like polarize, right, and there's like everything else, we live in this digital age where there's lots of polarization, if you look at the meat or anything else. Now, SEO is is no different. From what I've seen, right? You got one camp who's like, let's do a discovery call. And we're just going to ask the person loads of questions and get to know them. But it's like a little bit of an interrogation. It's like, why are you asking me all these questions, I just want to see your product. And then on the other side, you got someone who's like, I'm just going to talk about our products and talk about ourselves. Whereas what I think you should be do doing is a bit of both, right? So you should be asking questions to understand the buyer, so that you can tailor your solution, but still show them something because they've got 30 minutes with you to learn about your product. So it's doing a bit of both. And certainly I like to think about this is one of the principles of the ying and yang of sales, is in every call, the buyer should learn something new from you, and you should learn something new from them. So that's one of the principles and young and younger sailors educate and learn. And then in terms of where it comes from the concept of ying and yang, a lot of people would have seen it on like necklaces and like happy markets and stuff. But essentially, it's from a religion called Taoism, which is 2000 years old, so it's as old as Christianity. And it's all about everything has an opposite, right. And these opposites are actually interconnected. And if you can find the balance between the opposites, that's where you have success and like transcendent. So I think in sales, we always need to have these this balance. And like, that's just one thing I talked about there, you should be educating, but you should also be learning from your buyer as well.
Jonathan Fischer 3:39
So what is the normal approach right now? So you say the least divergent approaches like what are some of the most common ways that you see sales teams and missing it in b2b sales, especially as regards to this issue of balance?
Michael Hanson 3:52
Yeah, sure. So I gave that that one example of like, educate versus loan. But let's say another thing I talk about is like, give versus take, right? So if you look at sales in a very basic way, it's give versus take, in a sense that as salespeople, we're always trying to take things, right. So if you're an SDR, you're trying to take people's time, I want to have 1530 minutes with you, if you're closing deals are trying to take people's money, even like I was saying on a discovery call, you're trying to take information, but you're not thinking what can I give this person in return? So but you still need to know when to take as well. So you've given a lot of things don't be scared to ask for the sale or ask for the meeting. So you're balancing those two things together.
Jonathan Fischer 4:35
So the premise here is that either extreme can lead to less than optimal results is kind of what I'm hearing Michael, would you agree with that? Is that kind of the essence of the thing here is that if we can balance the given the take these other sort of antinomies we may have that's where there's a sweet spot. Is that am I on track?
Michael Hanson 4:53
Yeah, exactly. And even if you look at things like I see different types of sellers, right some you get more of like an old school Hello, who's like, let's just cold call. LinkedIn is useless, right? It's just for like young people, it's people wasting time. No one reads our emails. So let's just do $100 A day and just like cold call people, right? And then you've got other people who are like, Oh, calling doesn't work anymore, like no one picks up their phone, right? Whereas actually, what I found is if you use all of these things together, you can research someone on LinkedIn, like nurture them, imagine, you know, people are listening to this for you, they've got some awareness of Jonathan Fisher of Overpass, if you give them a cold call, there, it's actually less of a cold call. It's warm, right? But the problem is, what I found in sales is you got people in like camps, right? They want to belong to a band. And even if you take this outside of sales, I see this now with like, remote working, right? Like some people are really big into remote working, a lot of you make people work in an office, you're really backwards. And then you got other people who are a lot of people who work from home do nothing, they're not productive. Raise reality, both sides have a bit of truth, right, which is now you're seeing the rise of hybrid working as well.
Jonathan Fischer 6:00
Yeah, I'm a real fan of this, this, this, this way of thinking? I mean, it takes two wings for an airplane to fly straight, right? I don't know about you. But unless you have a condition, we use two legs to walk right. And it's nice to have a right to left to right arms and hands. So there's definitely something to that, that there's there's a balancing act to be done here. So what what is it about selling that makes it relate specifically to this yin and yang concept, though? If you could break that down even further for us?
Michael Hanson 6:27
Yeah, so essentially, Everett, like the tower's philosophy, which is where ying and yang comes from is like, everything has that everything. There's like an action and a reaction, right? Like, if you ask a question you get you get an answer. If you're giving something to someone, they naturally want to give stuff back to you. So that's why it's relevant to sales, because everything has some type of balance, right? So when it comes to sales, it's exactly the same. You're always trying to think, what's that balance that I can be achieving? So some questions, like I said, you want to be thinking about have I learned something new of this person, and have, they also learned something new off me during a call, because often it's one way or the other, like, I've just been teaching them about things, but they haven't been learning anything from me. So example I'll give you is, I always say when I'm training STRS, that your goal, your principal goal, first goal on the call, is not to book a meeting. Because if you book a meeting with someone, and they've learned and you've learned nothing about them, you've got no idea of its qualified, and it may be a total waste of time, right? Whereas your first goal is research is to understand if this person has a challenge that you can help with. And once you've uncovered that challenge, then you talk about your products, right, then you give information about how you can help them solve that challenge. And then you book a meeting, right? So that's more of like a mindset thing. But that's an example. Okay, which trying to take information to understand if this person is qualified. And once we've done that, then we're gonna give them some information about our product.
Jonathan Fischer 8:06
So I really liked that. And the reality is we go in and I don't know about, you know, every single sales professional out there, I think a lot of times, you're almost thinking more on the straight line, just even, there's even a system for training called straight line sales. And maybe it's less of a straight line sometimes is better, you kind of have to do a little bit of a different mental, I think approach to think about Alright, is this is there this give and take happening? You've got multiple sort of opposites in your training on unit Yang. So give and take is one of them. What are some of the ways we can know whether there's enough given a take and give us some more examples? Like you mentioned, one of them was in my learning versus teaching. Give us a couple others if you would?
Michael Hanson 8:47
Yeah, sure. So where I give you an example of like, how we actually book a lot of outbound meetings at growth, Genie, right? So we never say, do you have 15 minutes to someone? We don't know. Because we think that if we're contacting a stranger, the last thing they're going to want to give us is their time, right? But there's actually a study study done by Gong, analyzed half a million emails, cold emails to strangers. And what they found is if you ask for interest, you get twice as many meetings as if you asked for time, right? So how do we put this into practice? And that psychologically, the reason for that is because you can be interested in many different things. We only have 40 hours in a workweek, even if you're a workaholic, 60 hours, right? So if we break down there, so I'm going to give you the approach to the three steps if I'm looking at like an email, which is your reason for getting in touch with the person, a pain point that they may have, and then something that can solve that pain point, which is it can be a piece of content, right? So in our case, I may say, Hey, Mr. VP of Sales Jonathan, I noticed you're hiring STRS at the moment, once you hire them and you want to get them to hit target as quickly as possible, which is actually taking longer than before because sales is becoming more difficult. Would you be interested in a playbook that can help you onboard your STRS? Twice as quick? So here, I'm not saying would you like to learn more about sales, training, sales consulting, I'm saying we've got a playbook that's going to help you onboard those new hires faster, that you're about to hire. Right? So I'm giving something away for free, and we get a very high response rate on that email. So that's an example of give now, the idea is they say yes, now once they've said yes, then I can engage them in a sales conversation, and then I can turn it into, because that's the honest thing I see. Some people are really good at this research approach. But then they're not closing, they don't book the meeting, they don't go for the sale. Right. So you still got to do both. Once you've got the interest, then that's when you want to turn it into a sales conversation.
Jonathan Fischer 10:51
Yeah, for sure. I mean, it's interesting how different personalities will will definitely shine in different aspects of the sales piece. This research Pete, you're talking about. So giving, giving good insights, and there's a Rule of Reciprocity at work you talked about and being ready to close that sale when you've once you've given something that attracts them to come to that meeting. So basically, they're not coming to meeting to find out about your, your, your fancy widget, they come to the meeting to find out how you're going to solve a problem for them. You also talk about offering genuine value outside of the demo. I mean, if I've got you on my call to show you my widget, how can I offer you value besides my demo?
Michael Hanson 11:28
Yeah, so I give you some examples. So we're getting a little bit more into like a salesperson is trying to close a deal, or they've had a conversation with someone, they've seen the product and you were trying to nurture them through to close, you know, especially if you're selling like big enterprise, hundreds of 1000s, millions of $1,000 deals, it's not going to be a one call close, right, you're gonna have several calls. Now the mistake I see with a lot of salespeople is they'll just wait for the next online call or in person meeting, and then it and then what it feels like as a buyer is this is very transactional, we're only ever going to talk about business, we got no relationship outside of that. Whereas what I think is, during in between those calls, try and be helpful. So something I do, right, we're not a recruitment firm, right? But if I know that a VP of sales is hiring STRS, or hiring A's, I say, hey, send me the job post, and I'm part of loads of communities. And I can post that for you, or introduce into something like Overpass, right? So I'm trying to help them even though I don't get Commissioner, that we're not a recruitment firm, we never get involved in the recruitment of STRS, we just do the training, I'm just trying to be helpful. And I know they've got that problem of hiring, right. So that's what I'll do is I'll go out of my way to help them, even if it's not related to my service, right? Because again, when it comes to the next call, they're like, Oh, Michael was helpful, Michael likes to help us, he's not just trying to sell us something, he's just a helpful person in general. So that's where you want to be as a salesperson, this comes to the balance of Yin and Yang is trying to be as seen as as helpful as possible, right. And then people are going to trust you, and they're gonna buy from you.
Jonathan Fischer 13:07
I like this, because it's an alternative to the old, I think it can be a little bit cheesy, trying to create personal conversation with folks. Now if you're a natural with that, and it can happen that is, that's great. But it can feel very forced. When you get in a sales conversation. Someone's asked me how my day is going, and I just met them. Honestly, it kind of is off putting, but if someone says, Hey, I've got this other idea, I can help that does stand out. I think that's really powerful. Michael, do you find that a lot of people you're working with and sales teams? Do you feel awkward? Like how do I build a human connection? And what advice you give them? Maybe they don't have some of the additional assets and value to add that you have? What advice do you give an SDR to be positioned to do that?
Michael Hanson 13:50
Yeah, it's a what you said is actually something that a lot of like STRS account executives say to me, they're like, Oh, what, what do I do in between calls? You're saying like I can nurture? send them emails with helpful content, what kind of helpful content can I send them? And this is where I say the best sales teams don't work just as individuals that work with teams. So like, ask your customer success team, have you worked with a similar customer in the past? And what were the pains they were facing? And then you can say, Hey, your situation reminds me of this customer. And this I think will be helpful to you speak to your marketing team, right? Use marketing to know like, what some useful content you can share, right? Like we're on a podcast webinar today, that may be something interesting for your sales team over the past two years, to nurture leaders, right. So always just think around like content that you can share just just generally being helpful. And even if you see something in the news that maybe is relevant to them, send them that it doesn't also just have to be content that your company is creating. It could be external third party reports, guys, it could be anything.
Jonathan Fischer 14:54
That's good stuff. Well, speaking of SDRs looking for additional ways to add value, it's a good chance As for us to remind our audience, our show is powered by Overpass, one of the best platforms out there, if not the best to quickly hire highly skilled STRS, AES, anybody in sales support anybody that needs to work a phone, or work an email account, or work social media for your business, especially in business development, some of the best people literally on the planet are waiting with their hands raised to work for a great company like yours, all you got to do is go create a free firstname.lastname@example.org If you're the hiring manager, and you can have people that are fantastic hired to work for you in days, instead of weeks, check it out overpass.com. So this idea about offering additional value outside of the demo, you also speak about just generally communicating, is it does it follow the same vein? Or do you see there are ways to kind of connect a little bit beyond that demo call, or there's some maybe tactical and strategic things you should be looking to do outside of a given demo call to help your close rate improve?
Michael Hanson 16:01
Yes, you should also think about an account based sales approach, right? Because when you're on a call, the person may say to you, hey, I need to speak to my boss about this, I need to speak with someone else in the company, or I'm not the right person. So what you can do is you can take the information you've learned in that, and then connect with the other stakeholders, right? And say, Hey, I had an interesting conversation with Jonathan. Here's what we talked about. He mentioned these are pains. Is there any other pains that you have? You wanted to mention? Right? Or would you like to join us on our next call? So that's one thing, engaging different stakeholders? Again, they'd say, there's two sides of this, there's account based selling of who are the different stakeholders at the account I'm selling to? And then on the other side, you've got your own team, think about who else from your team? Can you hear about, maybe you're talking to a CEO, right? So you bring in your CEO, and have like a, you know, CEO type strategy session, or maybe you sell to marketing chief marketing officer. So you bring in your CMO, right, and they, they kind of get together and talk about marketing. So always think around the stakeholders, both on the buying side and the selling side and how you can use them.
Jonathan Fischer 17:10
Yeah, I love that. Well, something else I've heard you share, Michael, is that it's hard and who would disagree? Sales is about communication. And so if we're talking about balance and communication, how does that apply to selling conversations?
Michael Hanson 17:25
Um, sorry, can you repeat the question? Balancing communication?
Jonathan Fischer 17:29
Yeah, if sales is primarily communicating, is that another area where getting Yang is is something we could apply? Like, is there an imbalance in the communication that's happening? As we're out there selling b2b?
Michael Hanson 17:40
Yeah, I think pretty much everything we talked about today is communication. Like I think so bait to me, sales is the art of communication, right? I can give you another. Maybe like yin and yang, part of our module on the ying yang or sales is we call it material and spiritual. The word spiritual freaks people out. So you can even talk about it as a motion. All right. So if I break this down, let's think about if you're a VP of sales, Chief Sales Officer, Chief Revenue Officer, often, those personas are always thought about as Oh, we the only thing we're interested in, is I need my team to hit my target. And I need to hit the numbers right. Now. Yes, of course, that's true. And that is what we would call the material side of it. Right? The metrics behind that as well. The spiritual side is what I found, I've spoken to hundreds of the sales leaders over the years is that also interested in the development of their team saying like their STRS, their A's become managers, right? Becoming future leaders becoming better humans. And that's more of a spiritual side that really feeds their spirit thinking, I've helped this team, I've helped this individual like rise through the ranks, I've really helped them in their career. And I find that all sales leaders are generally like that. So that's an idea of, you know, you're, you're selling at a material level, you're telling this person Yes, we're going to make you ROI, we're going to help you hit your target. But then you're also talking about how you're going to help their team individually as well. So that's more of like a spiritual thing. And pretty much every bite even if you look at a CFO, who are the ones who really think oh, they're already interested in numbers. CFOs are humans they're like us, right? They go to the pub, they go some of them go to like Burning Man, I've met CFOs that go to Burning Man, you know. So like, every everyone has that human side as well to people aren't just numbers, and you've got to connect with them on a human and emotional level as well.
Jonathan Fischer 19:37
I guess in a way that brings us back to that we do want to make a human connection as much as possible. That's more difficult early on, it can't be forced. But once you're in conversation, it sounds like it makes sense to start to ask some questions about that person. Do you have a recommendation as the kinds of questions you can ask? What are some things that let you have Is there a matrix you could follow? What advice do you give in your training to SDRs and other sales development leaders?
Michael Hanson 20:01
So you mean questions related or more of like an emotional level? Or Yeah.
Jonathan Fischer 20:05
How can I discern the so the material is going to be more clear, I can usually calculate that from the the, you know, the discovery calls, most people will refer to it. However, the spiritual can be far more difficult to discern depending on maybe some maybe if it's on their LinkedIn profile, it may not be it depends on the individual. Right. Lots of times that stuff's not there. What do you do to discern that?
Michael Hanson 20:26
Yeah, so I'll give you an example here, right? Often, it's about going more specific, because often you see, like salespeople pains that are very base, like Why call surface level? And they need to go deeper? And then you're like, Okay, how can I go deeper in this in a material level? How can I go deeper on a spiritual level? Now, to give you an example, a base level, pain could be cold calling is difficult, right? It's very base level. But if you go deeper on a material or spiritual level, you could say, the average connects rate now for a cold call is 5%. That means one in 20 people pick up and it can be soul destroying, as a salesperson, to not get any connects all day. So you've got the statistic, one in 20, people pick up and then you want the emotion, it's soul destroying for your sales team. So rather than just saying cold calling is difficult, that's an example of how you can make that, you know, more material and more spiritual. Well, I can't I can't hear you, Jonathan.
Jonathan Fischer 21:31
Thank you. Are people occasionally reticent to share? What are some of the what you're calling the spiritual aspects of an ROI? Could that be difficult to tease out? Are there is that something that, you know, when you're building the playbook? Do you, you kind of have some additional questions in there in discovery that can help you discern that?
Michael Hanson 21:49
Yeah, we always like if we're doing like interviewing our clients, for example, we say to them, like, what are some of the emotional things like the emotional pains, emotional goals of your buyers, right, we're going to look into that. So for, again, say it's, we've got FinTech companies who are working with like financial technology. And some of them have like tech, like basic technology, where you can scan receipts right on your phone, so you don't have to like actually use a scanner, and then upload it to your computer. So it's essentially taking away a lot of time, that would be done on quite boring admin work. And it's like, Hey, you can spend more time with your family. You don't have to like, work on the weekends and like at night, like doing this type of stuff. So that's, that's an example of it. Be I always think around. And the other thing, the other advice I would give to any salespeople that are listening to this is become experts in your industry, right. So obviously, I sell to sales leaders and marketing leaders, and I understand their brain. And that's why I can come on this podcast and talk about this. But if you sell to finance leaders, right, you should be listening to podcasts about CFOs, you should be reading like CFO reports. And once you get into that world, then you're going to start understanding what are their like emotional goals? What are their material goals? So that's something I would always say, you're actually going to be a better salesperson, if you understand the customers and their problems that you sell to more than your product and its features.
Jonathan Fischer 23:22
Also sounds like if you're savvy, you can come into the conversation already aware? And hopefully you've workshop with your team. What are some of those more effective emotional components of return on an investment? Where are the real pain points, you're going to solve all that pain isn't more emotional, therefore the results would be emotional as well. I like that that balance. Now you call that spiritual or purpose related versus material or the money related? What else can we do to discern some of the more you know, the less monetarily oriented ROI factors are like, I'll give an example. What's popped into my mind? Like, what about the person's careers? I get them? Is that making it overly personal? Can Can you overdo that side? How can you do it wrong? I guess would be a good question to ask you.
Michael Hanson 24:06
Yeah, you've always and that's why I said at the start, you got to be careful with these things. Because even the word spiritual like freaks people out, right? Some people don't like the word spiritual. So like you said, I break it down by like purpose, right? What's the purpose to all of this? So it could be the impact they have. Another thing I like to think about is impact, right? And I've always actually said that in sales, you should focus on how are you positively impacting people, because if you're positively impacting an organization, they're going to give you as much money as you want. So actually, the two things are very interconnected. But yeah, of course, like the term spiritual and it's often associated with like hippies in California, etc. So I'm more talking about here. What's the higher purpose of working together? How are we both going to help reach our goals and not just hey, let's make them loads of money together. But how are we going to help society? How are we as a team going to help each other and I think the example I gave earlier, so I gave you an example of like a chief revenue officer, it's not just they're gonna hit their target, they're gonna save their team develop and see all their salespeople be happy. I'll give you an another example with marketing. marketing's complaint is always sales treats us like shirt sales doesn't care about our content, bla bla, it's not always the case, right? But often, we see that between marketing and sales. So if you could say, we're going to help your marketing team be more appreciated, have better visibility with the sales team. Again, that's a bit of like a spiritual thing, because then marketing is seen as having a higher purpose within the company.
Jonathan Fischer 25:44
That makes sense, that makes sense. Another unit, a yang balance that you've talked about in your training is current challenges versus future results when you're discussing return on investment or discussing your solution. share more about that with us if you would.
Michael Hanson 26:00
Yeah, so the example I give her and I'm going to come to I always like talking the analogy of the film The Lion King, right? Because there's a film that most people have seen, like one of the most famous films ever. And in that you have scar, who is the villain, right? Who is the evil uncle, and then you have Simba who's like the hero of the film. Now, what I say is without scar, there would be no Lion King, right? It wouldn't be a famous film, because scar creates all the drama in the film in that he, Simba thinks he killed his dad, because that's what scar made him think. So he leaves Pride Land, and he ends up coming back to Pride Land to defeat scar and like save the kingdom. Now, the reason I give that story is that basically, in every story, you need a villain, right? You need some type of challenge that you're trying to overcome. And in your customer stories, it's the same. So the big problem I see is, again, if we go to a customer story, we made this company five times ROI, we made them $5 million, 100 million dollars, whatever it is, and it's like, so what? Because you don't know, what was the situation before working with you? So you always need that pain of what was the situation before working? What was the scar in your story. And I can go into chats about psychology and, and all kinds of stuff here. But Carl Jung calls this like the shadow right? Which is like, what's the shadow that you're trying to overcome? So always think about that, in your stories is like, who is your villain? Who is your scar from The Lion King, and many people have, I'm sure will have seen the Lion King. But even if the Lion King is not the film, your favorite film, think about your favorite film. And I imagine there's there may be a happy ending, but there was loads of drama at the start. And if that drama didn't exist, the ending would be irrelevant. So you've always got to think around, what's that villain in your story? I can't hear you, Jonathan.
Jonathan Fischer 27:59
That's a great way to frame it. And I like how, looking at the challenges a villain can also unify you in a competition with your buyer. So a lot of great insights. And I know you've got a lot more to share on this whole concept of yin and yang. Michael, you've got an initiative that's helping you get your message out there a little bit more. How can folks take the conversation further from today?
Michael Hanson 28:21
Yeah, so I was gonna suggest everyone listens to a podcast that I just started a couple of months ago called The cosmic bridge. And essentially, it's related to one of these concepts of we're talking about the ending Yang, which is connecting the material, and the spiritual. So what I found with working with sales leaders, who were often seen as very material people, because we're trying to help people get money and our company's money, but often they have a story behind them a spiritual side. And that's what we talk about in the cosmic bridge things that connects people's material world, and spiritual world and profession, and that passion. Say, I recommend listening to that. And we actually have quite a lot of sales leaders who've come on like Dow Dupree John Barrows, but they're talking about their family life and their spiritual life. So it's quite interesting.
Jonathan Fischer 29:07
Good stuff. Well, I think that sounds like a worthy addition to your listening pleasure along with of course, the evil sales leader. And we're fellow travelers that sounds like Michael. Well, let's, let's jump in audience to our live q&a. We've got some questions folks have been posting in chat. Let's go ahead and take a look and see how we can interact with our live audience right now. So let's see here.
So LinkedIn user makes this comment. I think there's a good question kind of tucked in with it detachment from a specific outcome, but the same time nurturing and being helpful. That sounds like a little bit of a riff off of the whole Taoist origins of your concept here. Would you agree with that, and expound on that, please?
Michael Hanson 29:55
Yeah, 100% and this is it. I like this comment here because it's like It's really a good example of how you can go too far in either direction, because I've done this in training, especially with like young STRS. And I'm like, detach from the outcome. Right? Go in with the mindset, I just want to learn from this person. But some, sometimes if you detach too much, then it's like, I'm just never going to get the meeting, right. So it's about having that my goal here is not to book a meeting, my goal is to get another person to know the challenges of the buyer. But then if the buyer is telling you loads of challenges, and then you just hang on the phone, you're like, the meeting was to be booked. Right? So it's that, definitely that balance of, I'm going to fall in love with the process, right. But if, at the end of the day, you still need to get the results as well.
Jonathan Fischer 30:42
Yeah, you gave me too detached, because there's likely there might be that one more push that that person needs. And, you know, I was like seeing the one with those passion wins is one of one of my mentors taught me. And if I'm passionate about them receiving the help, and the great benefit that my product or service can provide them, then I'm going to want to push beyond that resistance. I'm going to send that extra email make the extra phone call, make that extra effort to help them get what benefits them. So here's a question for you as well. Let's see here. It was right here. From Lindy, here we go. Yeah, Lindy asks a good question. How much time should an SDR spend researching before reaching out? And what are the some of the things they should be looking for in the research piece?
Michael Hanson 31:30
Yes, that's a great question. This is actually another one of the ying and yang, which is quality versus quantity. So sales is a numbers game, right? Because the majority of people you reach out to are not going to be a good fit for your service, right? It's not going to be the right time. They're not the right person, etc. So you need to reach a large number of people. But you don't want to spam people, right? So I normally say don't spend more than five or 10 minutes like researching a lead. Because if you do that, you're not going to be able to reach a large number of people in a day. So you can what I recommend doing is think about what are some research triggers that you're looking for, to make a good company have a fit for your service. So I say, for example, in our business, if a company's hiring salespeople, I know that they're a good fit, because we can help with the training if they're using a piece of sales technology. So when I'm looking at a company website, or LinkedIn, I'm quickly trying to scan that information. And I can do that in five minutes. So you should think about what are those triggers for your companies as well?
Jonathan Fischer 32:33
Yeah, that's good stuff. What about some tips or best practices for mindset for STRS? asks Chris, here on LinkedIn, are there some, I guess, maybe off priori, or even during the call, like, what is your advice? In terms of mindset?
Michael Hanson 32:50
Yeah, so I think the last comment touched on it, like detachment is a good one. So if you're feeling like really scared, which is normal, especially for cold calling, oh my God, I don't know, the person is going to be rude to me, I'm going to get the meeting, just attach and say, Hey, I'm just gonna have a conversation with this person. If they're a good fit, that's great. But the meeting, if not, no worries, I move on to the next one. That's one thing. And the other thing I like to think of is this concept of voluntary suffering, right, which is actually, the things that the hardest are often the most rewarding. So things like cold calling, for example, is more difficult than sending someone an email, because when you send someone an email, you don't have to see their reaction, you don't have to feel their emotion. But the reason cold calling is difficult is because if you get someone on the phone, and you have a conversation with them, more magic can happen. So I say like put yourself in tough situations. And that's how you're gonna grow as a salesperson.
Jonathan Fischer 33:45
Love it. Dennis asked a great question here. You know, the idea of communication styles and giving and taking and offering value to both sides. How do you track that that's happening to your organization? As a leader?
Michael Hanson 34:02
Yeah, it's a good, good question. So I mean, another one is like speaking versus listening, right? So there's different technology tools, you can use like Gong, chorus and Lego, and they will break down the percentage that the prospect is speaking, and the percentage that the buyer is sorry, the seller and the buyer is speaking. So obviously this two way call that should be about 5050. And then if you're looking at the buyer, if the buyer is actually speaking 90% of the time, that may not be a good thing, because maybe the seller hasn't taken control. And obviously the other side of it, the seller is speaking all the time. That's not good, because they're just kind of product pitching. So you're looking at like should be a 6040 split either way.
Jonathan Fischer 34:46
Yeah, yeah. Here's another great question for Lindy and I think my mind is thinking in terms of enablement with her question. She says it's great to have other departments working with sales to help you know offer value? Or there maybe like do you have sort of a ideal suite of assets that enablement people could offer or marketing people could offer their sales colleagues to help support this idea of offering value?
Michael Hanson 35:15
Yeah, the thing I always say is create snippets, right? So sorry, to all the marketing teams out there. But when you create long form content, your sales team doesn't read it most time. And they can't. Because if you're a big organization, you create loads of content you've got like, it's our podcast every week and our webinar, like 5000 page guide. So what you want to do is create snippets of like, these are the best bets from this, these are two or three statistics that are really interesting. So as team can scan it and say, Oh, that's relevant for my buyer. So let's try and create snippets or what I call like, trailers to your content.
Jonathan Fischer 35:52
So is, obviously long form may have its place, but if I'm hearing you correctly, maybe break that down so that you have a usable item the sales operators can use by way of posting social or connect, attaching to email or what have you. Is that kind of the idea? Yeah, yeah, exactly. That's good. Well, hey, you get more bang for your buck. So no apologies to marketing required, right? They're getting more for the same effort. Joshua actually asked an interesting question from your recent post on your social their LinkedIn, what was the last scary, but rewarding task that you tackled? Personal question for you, I gather?
Michael Hanson 36:30
Yeah, well, I'm actually go to today. So even though we do sales training, as I'm like, busy kind of running my company, I don't have as much time to do things like cold calling as I used to. But I still like to do it because we do cold call training. So I would feel like hypocrite if I don't still cold call because it's changing over time. And today, I do cold calling for the first time. And well, we're using this thing called a parallel dialogue, which essentially calls like loads of numbers at once, because of the problem. I mentioned earlier that people don't pick up their phone anymore. So it's like having random people pick up the phone. And then it kind of comes in your face very quickly how this is the persona, this is the industry. So it was a bit intimidating. But again, I had about six conversations. And as I had more conversations, it got easier. So yeah, that was a scary but rewarding task.
Jonathan Fischer 37:19
So I mean, you flat out admitted on LinkedIn, that cold calling scares you. To your credit, I admire you for admitting that out loud. You're certainly not unique in that in that regard. Right?
Michael Hanson 37:29
I think cold calling scares everyone. I think even like the top sales trainer, cold caller in the world, if they said cold calling that very first instance. So you got that first connect didn't scare them, they will be lying. Because if you don't, you can't, you can't. The problem with cold calling is you can only control what you say you can never control the other person and what they're going to do. Whereas if you write an email, you can control every little bit that's in that email, you don't see how the person responds to it. So that's why calling is scary. And again, it's a bit like going out on tour when people were scared of public speaking, because they don't know how people are going to react to them. But what they can control is what they say. Right? So it's the same with cold calling, just focus on yourself and what you're talking about. And you just have to let the other people be that.
Jonathan Fischer 38:14
Yeah, and here's the thing as someone on LinkedIn says, It's like improv comedy. I like that. And I maybe I'm the weirdo, but I don't find calling scary anymore. I did, I used to, for me a lot of what you're talking about, I think maybe I've also internalized and that is I'm there to offer value. So if I'm calling you, maybe I'll bother you for a second, but you're not gonna care in a minute, you're gonna be glad I bothered you. If you if you can. Let me speak to you what I'm about to say, you'd be glad I bothered you. Like you've never been bothered by somebody at first, but then it ends up being really great. I assume that that's the outcome I'm trying to create for the person. I'm cold calling. And it makes it fun. It's like it is a bit of a game and it's like improv comedy. I mean, what right now you got nothing. Right before you call it your persona. Yeah, literally nothing to lose there for so that should be really good. You know, ammo for all of those. And then the SDR SDR role who, hey, you just have to make some what we might still call cold calls, you know, they don't do they do not yet know You, you are bringing their phone, whatever else you've done to reach out a lot of new methodologies we've trained on with that. A lot of which is having those snippets to offer and taking some of the steps doing some research. So it's not completely a cold call. Still, there's going to be some need for that though. Would you agree with that, by the way?
Michael Hanson 39:24
Yeah, I actually, I'll tell you a story related to what you're saying is, I cold called someone and they ended up becoming a customer. And they said to me, they were like, I remember you calling me and I was like giving you information. I was like why am I giving this person information? I'm giving them too much information and like any any stuff. Anyway, this person she's chief marketing officer, she ended up becoming my friend. They've been a customer for two years and she invited me to a wedding right? So that's how cold calling can work that I'm like, you can build like really meaningful relationships. And as I said, not just transactional where you build trust and you end up becoming friends with people was a nice, nice story about cold calling.
Jonathan Fischer 40:02
Yeah. Well, when you've got chutzpah, but you're also authentic, I think people are attracted to that, right? Like, there's a real human being who actually is putting themselves out here. That's impressive to people. So again, there's a lot to be said, When you come at it with the right mindset in the right heart. And it's kind of a hard thing. Again, back to that balancing, right? There's, I actually, I have a monetary impact I want to achieve but I'm not really focused on that one cold calling and focusing on the fact that I want to benefit this other human I'm going to talk to, and it can only it can only go either Well, or zero, right? So why not? Yeah, that's a good question from Joshua here. How can an SDR do this? This is really more of a tactical question. So like, let's say it's me, let's say I'm sitting in that chair, again. I'm making some calls. How do I know if my conversation is imbalanced? Or not? Or there's some just easy dirt? Simple ways I can measure that.
Michael Hanson 40:54
Yeah. 100%. So first one is that question. I said at the start, once you finish the call, think back and think, did I learn something of this person? Because if you hadn't, if you had a three minute conversation, you didn't learn anything new about them, then your call was kind of a waste of time from your perspective. And they did they learn something new from you? If they didn't, then it was a waste of time from from their perspective, think about? Was I speaking too much on that call? Like, was I listening to the other person? Right, so that's another thing. And then also thinking around did I connect with this person? Like a human level? Right? Did I connect with them in that way? Or did I just talk about like numbers and figures? Right, so those are some questions to ask yourself.
Jonathan Fischer 41:41
I love it. It should it literally be as close to 5050 percentage wise in terms of verbiage as well, if I listened back to a gong recording, let's say,
Michael Hanson 41:50
yeah, 5050 is good. It doesn't have to be that if it's like 6040 you speaking 60% of the time, that's also okay. I think the main thing is just that it's really, there's also a thing on a gong recording that says interactivity, which I really like, which is like the back and forth that you're having as well. That's normally a good sign.
Jonathan Fischer 42:09
Good deal. Hey, final question of our session today. So again, from Chris, any insight on calls to go to voicemail or text, no voicemail, you know, what do you recommend when you're, you're trying to get through but you have a little way you can still communicate using technology.
Michael Hanson 42:27
Yeah, so voicemails, I still recommend leaving voicemails, what I normally do is I actually pair them with like an email or LinkedIn message. So I'd say, Hey, Jonathan, been listening to your show every Friday. I really like it. I've actually got some tips around how you can reach more people and more sales leaders. I'm gonna send you an email now this is a subject line and that kind of creates curiosity about email somebody a little formula I use for voicemail
Jonathan Fischer 42:54
a lot of good stuff. Well, I don't know if there's been a give or take we you've definitely given and we're grateful for that today. Michael, thanks so much for helping us all become more evolved sales leaders today.
Michael Hanson 43:05
Thanks a lot and I really enjoyed it.
Jonathan Fischer 43:07
And thanks to our listener, it without you the show's not possible. Hey, keep on coming back and bring your friends next time. That's gonna do it for this episode. Thanks so much again, signing off. Take care, everybody.