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How To Build Trust-based Relationships in Sales, with Charles Green [Episode 411]

This episode dives into what it takes to generate trust with your prospects and customers in an authentic, valuable way.

We are joined by Charles Green, one of the co-authors of The Trusted Advisor, author of Trust-Based Selling: Using Customer Focus and Collaboration to Build Long-Term Relationships, and consultant to corporations on the subject of trust.

Key Takeaways

  • Charlie’s background is in consulting and writing about trust, as it applies to large, complex, intangible services.
  • Charlie addresses how to establish personalized, legitimate links between sellers and buyers in complex sales. Among “know, like, and trust,” which aspect is at the heart?
  • How does reciprocity relate to trust? Charlie talks about a series of asymmetrical interactions. Why does he ‘BARG’?
  • Charlie explains the origin of the handshake. How does vulnerability influence trust? What is the role of small talk?
  • With more technology in the buying process, when does the salesperson need to interact first with the buyer?
  • Charlie talks about challenging, adding value, taking risks, and exposing vulnerability. Complex sales are ‘high-wire.’
  • Trust requires the exact truth. What is the flaw in managing expectations, to ‘exceed’ them?
  • Charlie starts to explain the three steps the buyer takes to choose a vendor.
  • In a proposal presentation, do you focus on yourself, your company, and product, or ask about the buyer’s needs?
  • What is the justification step of the buying decision? When does emotion drive the buying process?
  • Where do you draw the line between value you give away, and value you sell?
  • What is the lie behind ‘tough ideas,’ and ‘adding value’? What is the actual driving factor of the buying decision?

The Sales Enablement Podcast with Andy Paul was formerly Accelerate! with Andy Paul.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul  0:58  

I am excited to be talking with my friend, Charles Green again, been on the show once before. He’s one of the co authors of the trusted advisor with David Mazal, author of trust based selling the original trust by selling and consultant to corporations with the subject of trust. So Charlie, welcome back to the Sales Enablement Podcast.


Charles Green  1:17  

Thank you Andy. Pleasure to be here.


Andy Paul  1:19  

Take a minute Introduce yourself. 


Charles Green 1:30

I’m an EC consultant. MBA, spent 20 years in consulting and found my way into writing and co writing a book as you said, the trusted advisor with David Mae stern Rob Guilford, that came out in 2001. It’s about exactly what it sounds like. How do you become a trusted adviser to your clients? I stuck with it for the last 15 years and wrote a couple other books by selling the trusted advisor field book work mostly with large complicated intangible services businesses like Accenture, Deloitte Also b2b sales like Intel, Google, etc. 


Andy Paul  2:00

Alright, so here’s a question for you. And they always say buyers have to know or have to know like and trust someone in order to buy from them. But as a seller we don’t really get to know the prospect or they don’t really get to know us at least not in a personal sense and similarly with the, you know, it’s sort of a mess sort of a superficial like, more about being non objectionable. How do we tell the same truth about superficial trust or actual trust?


Charles Green  2:48  

I think in complex b2b selling let’s put it that way, as opposed to at the opposite end is low price transactional doesn’t matter much are easy to understand buying low risk. lower risk all that stuff. I don’t need to have a personal relationship with my barista. But you know, we’re talking about the big stuff. And I do believe that it is more complicated and more interpersonal based. And I don’t think you have to like people, but you do have to feel a personal connection. You don’t have to agree with them. You don’t have to like him, but you have to feel that they’re paying attention to you genuinely, as a human being. And you can in fact execute on that fact. That’s the challenge is what I write about and trust the selling point of it. How do you quickly and legitimately establish a personalized link and a connection to somebody in a process that appears extremely impersonal all around making it increasingly impersonal? 


Andy Paul  3:47  

it’s a great question. I think that is sort of the question because I grew up my Burg, and then he uses the term to know and trust quite a bit, but yeah, but I think some people sort of see that and they think well It’s more than it is. And sort of in the no one like, but as you said, it’s more about this personal connection. Yeah, well, let’s reverse engineer how it works. What I’ve come to appreciate going through almost 20 years of focusing on this trust issue is trust is at the heart of it, we come to sort of instinctively trust people, there’s a few myths around it, like trust takes time. Now, it doesn’t actually most of the time, trust happens in little stutter steps, little instance, step functions. And you kind of move up a level. And it also happens. Well, those are my call sir. Yes, absolutely. I mean, there’s the whole issue of, you know, people talking down pre cognitive processing and pre puzzling sessions all this is all very non cognitive.


Charles Green  4:45  

I forget whether it’s type one or type two that are, you know, the comment talks about it’s this system.


Andy Paul  4:55  

Right, but it’s happening unless you’re really even knowing about it.


Charles Green  4:58  

Absolutely subconscious. And all that stuff, but it’s very, very real. You know, watch what happens when you go up to shake hands with a stranger. I use this as part of my stage. Right? I jumped off the stage, you got somebody to reach out and shake my hand. What do they do? They shake my hand back. You know, well, that’s a predictable response. It’s unconscious, and then they’re completely taken apart, you know, taken aback but they do it, because that’s what we do we reciprocate. Robert Cialdini talks about the influence of the third dimension on determining reciprocity, that instinct to return good for good, bad for bad, he talks about it as being at the heart of etiquette. Well, it’s also at the heart of how we establish trust, one person can give something the other person reciprocate. Now match that up with the nature of trust, which is I’ll use a complicated place here it’s asymmetrically bilateral.


Andy Paul  5:52  

So it’s asymmetrical in both directions. 


Charles Green  5:55  

Well, I mean, it’s you have to have two directors to be symmetrical, what I mean by that very simply. There’s a trust store and a trustee and any given interaction, one person initiates the rest, right? And the other person then responds or not. And then you know, and then you kind of reverse the roles and then the other person becomes the trust or the other person becomes the trustee, and the back and forth, upwards migration of these back and forth, you end up creating trust. Right, so the question is, now I work with consultants and lawyers and accountants and stuff all the time. And they are very fond of saying, well, you gotta wait until the person trusts you before you can make it personal. And I always say, No, that’s how you make them press. You start with the person all you got to do something. And what we teach them to do is to reveal a little bit of themselves emotionally, and and don’t this is not about bringing, you know, smart stuff, our challenger sale, bring in a challenging thing. You got to do that but it’s not the leadoff and it’s not the essence of the matter. So what I’ve evolved is this notion of big bars bringing a risky gift. That’s a stupid acronym, but it’s the best.


Andy Paul  7:09  

But it mimics the brand of root beer. 


Charles Green  7:15  

It mimics the pattern of what do you do when somebody invites you to dinner at their house? You know, you bring a bottle of wine, right? It’s appreciated what you do, but if you want to make it special, you go out on a limb a little bit and say, Well, I might normally buy a $20 bottle of wine. Maybe I’ll go for 35 here. But now let me make this special. Where did they go on vacation last year, wasn’t it Italy and where did they go? Let’s get them a bottle a month. And I don’t really know them. But you know, this one looks pretty good as a general rule, that’d be good. So and you’re wrapping up nights, and maybe you put a map of Italy around it or something. Okay. And you bring that now, that’s a nice gift that really stands out. It shows number one you give some fun And it was not about them. Right, obviously aimed at them. Now, is it risky? Yes, it is your slide. Number one, maybe you were wrong to say they went worse yet. 


Andy Paul  8:15  

So the point is, that this goes against our instincts and not take a risk. I’m saying take a risk, risk falling down, flat out and horribly embarrassing yourself a little bit. Now what’s really hard about us is being vulnerable.


Charles Green  8:32  

That’s exactly correct. That’s another good word for it. vulnerability is key to this sort of stuff. When somebody invents the handshake thing to the anthropological origin of the handshake is to say, I come to you with no weapons in my head. I am vulnerable. Exactly. I got, you know, I put myself in front of you in harm’s way. You can do as many as you want. And I trust that you will just as I’m not doing to you, that’s all that reciprocation vulnerability, intimacy and the trust equation that we talked about. And then that’s what triggers all that personal trust stuff.


Andy Paul  9:03  

So here’s an example. And just to get back to the thing to talk about and stutter steps in small steps that it’s brought, but I mean, there’s been in the last two months I’ve read several articles about studies coming about the importance of small talk. Oh, yeah. So for years now, with at least the last decade, is our sales trainer’s sales, training programs, books that say don’t waste the customers time, let’s say, Hey, don’t have time. Forget the chitchat. Yeah, what they found studies, not just with people, but also they’ve done some of the studies using animals as well, in social groupings, is that small talk is vital. Yes, absolutely. As it’s the principle, it’s this reciprocal back and forth, dog sniffing kind of stuff that we do. It’s, it’s built into our subconscious DNA. It’s how we interact with other people. And until that happens, I’m looking at what happens when you buy something online in an automated by, you know, auction system that’s perfectly appropriate for certain transactions, totally knowing what you’re doing. And there’s really no issue but price. And you don’t need any interactions. And you should do that. And by the way, with all the online digital stuff that’s happening with sales, of course, everybody knows listening to this that you know, the front end of the sales cycle.


Andy Paul  10:30  

And, and that’s fine when this is a good thing we should not force ourselves upon the customer until they are ready to hear from us and they should be the ones who tell us when they’re ready. And when they are ready. We should be right there completely available to begin all that interpersonal interactions, which is critical, right? Yeah, I get back to the show. The vulnerability is, is Yeah, you’ve you’ve done some and the small Talk, you’ve done some research about these people, you know, just have a small moment of connection that could be, back in the days we used to go make them person calls us, you look around their office and scam office quickly and see what they’re interested in. We can do the same thing virtually these days. Yeah, but it’s just it doesn’t, you don’t have to, the point is small talk doesn’t have to take 10 minutes or 15 minutes unless the customer chooses, they want to go down that route.


Charles Green  11:23  

It can be very short. By the way, that same pattern replicates and increasingly higher levels of complexity. Small Talk fits into that gift pattern. So does a larger thing. If you put the challenger sales. In this context, that’s the role of a challenging idea. You bring, the gift is an intellectual thought, a point of view that you’ve given some, some thought to and the rescue. You have to say, Listen, this could be wrong. You know, you’re an expert in your business. We’re not, but based on what we know, based on what we’ve seen. I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a wild guess this is probably something you guys need to be thinking about. And you know, You could be wrong. And that’s the charm of it if you’re willing to put yourself out there and offer up, you know, looking like a fool because you made a wrong guess that’s perceived as valuable and respectful. Yes, we don’t want Yes, ma’am. We don’t want people, you know, trying to look as if they’re manipulating us and constantly engineering things rather than out of our head all the time. 


Andy Paul  12:26  

I think that that’s one thing that reps are so reluctant to do. But once you’ve earned the trust, then it’s really what was expected. They want you there to help them make their decision. And as a consequence, yeah. They want you to challenge them , they want you to bring something new to the table.


Charles Green  12:48  

They do it but again, it has to be something that might be wrong. And therefore it can play the role not just as a challenging thing where we provide value addition But also saying, look, here’s how we’re going to play the game. I’m going to offer you something for free. And I think it’s right. And I think it’s valuable. But I could be wrong. You’re vulnerable again. So again, most people think of the challenger thing Do not think of vulnerability, but that’s the role that plays also. You could be wrong.


Andy Paul  13:16  

Yeah, no, absolutely. And yeah, I think if you’re aren’t really comfortable with that high wire type, right of selling, then, yeah, you need to really stick with some nail simple transactional type sales, where you’re not putting yourself out. Well, that’s right. I’m a high wire metaphor is a very apt one. I mean, I use that as a visual because it’s, and that thing plays itself out in lots of different ways. For example, just a small example came up yesterday, somebody was asking me, what do you do when a potential client asks how much experience you have in a given area, you know, and you’re a little bit light audience. So you told me exactly the truth and don’t hedge it either. You know, they say how much expense you got in healthcare. And you told two and a half years, three clients, 175 billable hours in this in the hospital sector and in pharmaceuticals, right? Do you want to know, if you have the truth? Another variation on that is, you know, the mantra of always exceeding expectations, right? That’s not truthful. That’s manipulating.


Charles Green  14:33  

They learned to pad your comments and add something to it, and it’s ever escalating, you’re better off doing exactly what you said you’re going to do. And that really, and this, again, this is all about making yourself vulnerable, and saying exactly what I’m going to do. I’m not trying to manage anything here. This is what I think holds me accountable.


Andy Paul  14:57  

Right. And the reason I was just smiling is because you know, the galore under promise over deliver it’s like a salesperson’s Mantra within the company. This is, you know, they spend all their time trying to say I made a broad generalization right now. But we certainly both have seen it. I just need to manage expectations down. So when I bring this in, I’m gonna look like a hero. And the fact is, it’s really pretty transparent to anybody that has any sort of experience, whether it’s a sales manager or it’s your, your customer, they understand what you’re doing. 


Charles Green  15:31  

And that was kind of right. off the wagon. 


Charles Green  15:38  

Nothing beats the truth. 


Andy Paul  15:41  

I mean, I’ve looked at my own self in terms of Q and I started in this business, you know, as a consultant back in the year 2000. My first client was like, Okay, well, now who are your references? That’s how I remember you telling me about this one. Yeah, I don’t have any. Yeah, you’re the first one. First, How refreshing if somebody might actually admit it?


Charles Green  16:05  

Yeah. So I mean, you just cant.


Andy Paul  16:08  

Now I tell people the most credible thing you can say the most credible thing you can say is I don’t know.You know, who’s gonna doubt you on that one? You’re never wrong when you say that. Okay, so we’re talking about trust. So we don’t relate about the decision making more we talked about that. And I think this is one that is really important for salespeople to understand, which they don’t seem to internalize as much and not just salespeople and people involved in sales and influence, as well as the steps that people go through to make decisions. And you and I were talking about this a couple days ago in advance of this and maybe we don’t align 100%. I think we’re pretty close in alignment. I’m sure why. But I think that what’s important is you need to understand This philosophy and understand this philosophy. And that’s not really not a philosophy, it’s wrong words altogether the science here because it should influence how you act. Absolutely. And salesperson. So, let’s sort of go through that because I, you talked about you have laid out three steps that you have for you to be a decision making, and I put a step in front of that.


Charles Green  17:25  

What’s your step in front?


Andy Paul  17:26  

So I think there’s really two things that happen. And, you know, I sort of came up with this, you know, through my own experience, and then subsequent I’ve read, research and other things that sort of, from these researchers point of view, validate that there’s two fundamental decisions, if you will, and I go into a b2b decision and actually, almost all decisions, right is one as is this, what I call the first is the decision which is the binary decision. Are we gonna do this or not? We’re gonna make this change. We’re not gonna make this change.And then once customers have made that, then they start moving to what you’re talking about, what I call the choice, right? Who are we going to do it with? And you’ve laid out three steps that people go through to make that decision on who they’re going to go with. So that’s why I sort of upended that first one, I’m sure that’s relevant, because sometimes, you have to go and when the decision to go or not go, oftentimes really isn’t based on the vendors. on who’s selling to him. It’s really just based on who the vendors are.And yeah, usually made without them. But also they’re taking information from the vendors and saying, building their business case and their justification for whether they should do this or not. Oh, I know, it’s almost irrelevant at that point. So, yeah, we’re gonna make this change. Because, again, if we believe the data that comes out that says that in the b2b world, you know, 50% plus of deals end up in no decision Yeah, well, that’s that’s not that the customer didn’t make a decision. They made a decision. Yeah, we should not do that. So that happens first. And then we get into what you were talking about with the three steps about, okay, who do we choose? So go through your three steps on that. Sure. I’ll break that one down. It’s basically a screening, selection and rationalization or justification, screening, three steps, The three screening is a largely cognitive, rational process in the business world. Somebody says, Yeah, we decided we’re going to do this thing, or we think we are anyway, go round up the usual suspects. You know, go Google up, get a list of people, call a few folks, get 10 people, throw them on a spreadsheet, once analyzed, and be narrowed down, and then there’s a discussion and it’s usually also pretty cognitive, rational, straightforward, gv sound like the top three. And somebody says, Well, I know so and so you got to put them in, somebody put their thumb on the scale a little bit. You end up with two or three or four, you know, final round candidates. And it’s fairly non emotional, cognitive linear database, etc for the most part with the exceptions you’re talking about, which is, you know, people putting the thumb on the scale in favor, right? I’ve certainly seen situations where when they make their lists, if you haven’t been an insider before then in terms of a vendor, something you’re not gonna be on that list anyway. So it’s a big exception. Absolutely. Right. But even then people accept it. There’s nothing to do about it. They aren’t the guy thrown in right. That’s okay. We’re not at the end yet. Who cares? So then you move into the selection process. And here Actually, let me give you a little bit and yet if I can, no, absolutely. This is our local company. Our biggest sale was a year ago and it was to Deloitte. We were in the final round. There were two others much bigger than us. I won’t mention names but well known names, more established than us. And that was, this process was two parts here, one about two weeks of 20 page RFP response, a lot of back and forth written background and experience, capabilities, etc. culminating in a half hour Skype conversation interview, right? And they lined them all up on one day, you know, one after the other half hour each. And when we found out later that each of the other two firms chose to take the first 10 minutes of their Skype interview and spend it basically talking about themselves, their experience, their credentials, and you can see where this is going, right. Absolutely. Yeah, it’s all and on the other end, the clients are thinking, what part of 30 minutes don’t these people get? don’t really realize that having done this, this is why they’re here. Why are they repeating themselves? This is like going to a job here. You and reading off your resume. Your resume is what got you the job interview.


So if there’s anything that we know is that that’s something we teach. So our 30 minutes was all How are you? And we now have 29 minutes left to discuss something with you. Here’s a PowerPoint slide with five hyperlinked points. We think these are the five critical issues facing you. We now only have 28 minutes to talk with you, what would you like to talk about? And they said number four, so we’ve clicked on number four, you know, a few observations, a risky gift. Here’s a point of view. Here’s a couple of questions here some experience, fantastic conversation, you know, for the remaining minutes, and they told us later that at about 20 minutes in, they said, not only are these the people we want to go with, these are the people we want to learn to sell like we want to do this, this is much better. Well, two things in there one is is just like an interrupted, so it’s not like your competitors were unsophisticated, not at all inexperienced people and yet, we’re worth right By inexperienced members of life and business in general in their business acumen, and yet, this is a common mistake and and people think, harp on the serve over and over again, oftentimes with guests and so on. But you know, it’s about the customer. And you see when you see really experienced organizations make this fundamental sales flaw.


Charles Green  23:21  

It is fundamental and it is so common. I say three out of four, all of our clients, I ask them, what do you do? Well, we open up with the power one, why do you do that? Exactly. It’s like when you go on a date, you go on a blind date with somebody and the person says to you, so tell me about yourself. What do you do? Well, you tell them about yourself because it’s rude not to, but it’s better not to take longer than 30 to 60 seconds. And you better end up by saying, But enough about me. Let’s talk about you. What else can you do? 


Andy Paul  23:49  

But you don’t, you don’t start the second date by taking 30 seconds to tell all about yourself. No hurry. You pick up where we left off, right. So Anyway, now that process that selection, unlike the screening process, which is largely unemotional, cool, however they have linear, this is strictly a motive their pops happen all the time during that Skype interview that we had, you know, they’re going yeah, that’s right, right. There’s always a moment in an interaction like that, where the client says, that’s it. That’s our problem. That’s the issue. Exactly. You put your finger up. That’s where you made the sale, by the way, right there. Well, that’s what I am, that’s what I call it. And I think I mentioned it when we were talking earlier is that it’s that aha moment. It’s the aha moment. It’s not that’s the problem. This is what we want to do business with.That is when I call winning the sale before you win the order.


Charles Green  24:45  

Exactly. Right.


Andy Paul  24:46  

And that’s the moment you’re shooting for.


Charles Green  24:48  

My colleague had a great thing he says the problem is never want the client said it was in the first meeting that we’re talking about. It’s where you find the real problem. You’re right, that’s when you make the sale before you get the order. That’s when it happens.


Andy Paul  25:04  

Yeah, and when you’re in sales, that means it’s such a great point to bring up because this is what you’re shooting for. No, this is why you try to accelerate the creation of trust. I mean, this is why you Yeah, make sure that you’re, you know, mastering these fundamental sales behaviors that create the perceptions in the prospects mind that lead to the trust, because that’s going to get you to the stage before rails. And again, to dissect the trust creation in that process I just described some of it is in the upfront banter back and forth and and you know, the life and the but some of it also is very consciously built in when we said, All right, we got 20 minutes here, five things we think you need to deal with right there. That’s a risk. We could have been wrong on two of them. It turns out later, we were wrong on one of them. But you know, you’re excused because the other three are pretty much right on and they know we’re not experts. That’s the whole point. We’re throwing stuff out there. And it’s not guaranteed layups, either. It’s we’re taking a risk. We’re working with them. We’re showing over our intellectual vulnerability. And we’re making it all for them to see we’re putting it out on the table. You tell us why right and wrong. And if we’re more wrong than right, then you know, we shouldn’t get the job. That’s okay. That’s the deal. Also, though, you help them really get insight about the absoluteness they’re trying to do, and we show them we also show them the taste test of what it’s like to work with us. Yes, the best way to show somebody what it’s like to work with them is to work with them. Exactly. That again, we’ve been. So that’s also a sense of intimacy, creation, and therefore trust. Not step two out of my three, right, third one is justification, rationalization after the fact. Nobody says when they go out to all their compatriots, they say, Well, the reason we went with those guys was man, it was really fun working with them. We really like them. We kind of trust them. We can sort of dig them, you know? No, they were qualified. They weren’t competent, they have the best track record. They have a very impressive methodology, great client list. You know, we rationalize what we decided from the heart, we rationalize it with the brain. So we have the sandwich, right and emotional decision sandwiched by, you know, a selection process that’s very rational and a rationalization justification process. Both are very rational, but in the middle, it’s that hard stuff that happens. You know, as we say, we make logical decisions for emotional reasons. 


Charles Green  27:28  

Yeah. And by the way, interesting in that one example, once they make the flip switch decision to go with you, they started supporting us, for example, in our case, we have much less international delivery capability than the other two firms. Right. So when they said, Well, you know, how are you going to scale over to Eastern Europe? We started saying, well, that’s kind of an issue and they said, Well, maybe we can help you out with this. And we can see some of our people, they began helping us, you know, get the sale once they’ve made up their mind. So listening is a notion that people accumulate based on content, expertise, etc. It’s just wrong. That’s not how people make up their minds. They make it through a evolving sense of trust, which then makes them inclined to reciprocate and listen to your ideas in ways that they would not listen to you had you not done it yourself in the birthplace.


Andy Paul  28:19  

Right? So, two things in there. One is, is this whole idea of trust proceeding? Competence if it is, I mean, Amy Cuddy talks about that in her book presence, but yeah, when somebody you’re forming perceptions, two things you want to know is can I trust this person? And are they capable? Trust always precedes capabilities. Pretty much it’s kind of iterative, but trust me you’re always in the lead. So I mean, if you’re thinking about you know, you start off that meeting like those other guys did with you know, talking about themselves again. Yeah, exactly. What they’re thinking is capabilities are paramount. Really comes in second. That’s not that way at all. Right. And of course clients across drummers are complicit in this little fake ritual because they don’t know any better. They say, Well, tell us about yourself that will force you to tell, why would you buy from you? And they, it’s this game that means that they say, No, it doesn’t. Any more than the blind date. It really cares. When they say, Tell me about yourself. I want to hear about that much about you. They want you talking about them. Well, then you also talked about once they started seeing the help . Yeah, that’s when you know, that aha moment happened? Yeah, that’s right. Cuz now you’re really getting into this idea of you’re, you’re co creating the solution. Right. And when you get that co creation taking place. You’re almost at the promised land. So you kind of are you just not getting paid? Yes. But, you know, they’re at the point where you’ve given them something that they might get to your point about being paid as they might very well have paid you for. independently. And which raises another point. I know a lot of people I work with there had this feeling when you can’t give that much away, because you know, it’s valuable stuff, information knowledge that we’re giving you got to charge for it, you know, there’s a limit, now there’s an unlimited supply of problems. And most people I work with, they’re plenty good enough to keep coming up with solutions as long as their problems and there’s no end to the number of problems that are out there. Well, I think one of the real key takeaways for people is one, hopefully, that they’re taking away is that, and this is, to me, huge. Is that, you know, emotions really drive the sale. And more so than people want to acknowledge. Yeah, there’s been research done about the component of emotions and decision making people thinking that there’s some element that emotion plays, but, it actually was researchers in Italy, you know, study they found a man who had brain damage to the emotional control center of the brain. And so they studied and what they found out is he saw it felt no emotions. And I found out he couldn’t make any decisions. couldn’t decide what to wear couldn’t decide what to eat. So even the simplest decisions in our life, yeah, guided by our emotions. If you go into a business situation or a sales situation, you think that well, the logical solution for them is, you know, x and more. This is what we want to propose that’s like, Well, yeah, let’s look into it a different way. You know, it’s interesting what you’re saying it makes me think I was yesterday with a major global consulting firm that we all know. And it was mid level people. And they had, I’ve been talking about the kind of thing we’re talking about video separately later today. of clients talking. Yeah, we all love to listen to clients. Sure, and very important CIOs and CFOs and everything and they’re talking about About how you gotta have tough ideas and you got to add value. You gotta measure something, you know, stop lying stop lying to these poor consultants, you know, they don’t know better yet and you should.


Charles Green  32:12  

There is this and I’m not totally blaming the client because they’re also a little bit kidding themselves you know that we all like to think that we’re tough, rational determinative that are but the truth is exactly what you said all that research is very right we and I absolutely include highly educated over educated MBA type quantitative people and Riley technocratic and you know, statistically driven industries Yeah, we make decisions like monkeys like babies. We are emotional creatures.


Andy Paul  32:45  

Yeah. Do the same thing. Anyway I always tell a story about working for another company years ago and the CEO and I went and we’re calling this huge telecommunications company. about building a product for them. And we have been working the deal for quite a while and it’s time to bring the CEO with me down. I met with their CEO and, and we walked out of the meeting which had been a very positive meeting. But he turned to me and said, there’s no way we’re going to get this deal to develop a product for them, because they’ve got 300 engineers in that building. Hubbard built products like this. I said, Jim, but he wasn’t; he was an engineer himself. I said, Yeah, it’s not black and white like that. I mean, they’re right. They don’t trust their internal people. Yeah, to be able to get it done. Is that Oh, no, no, they’re paying their salaries Anyway, there’s no way. Well, of course, we got the deal. But I mean, because it was emotional based. I mean, you could just see the trust didn’t exist. You know, as it usually is. That’s the way it works. 


Charles Green  33:51  



Andy Paul  33:52  

So Charlie, since you’ve been on the show before you don’t get the same standard questions you got last time you get a new set. Just for questions. So take it easy. today. So the first one is in your mind, is it easier to teach a non sales person how to sell or teach a salesperson how to sell a technical product? 


Charles Green  35:55  

The former, it’s easier to teach a technical person how to sell than it is to teach a salesperson the technology stuff itself. I think it’s because, well, two reasons. One, it’s simply that it’s more time consuming and difficult to teach technical mastery than it is to teach them good, functional, basic interpersonal human skills. takes more time. I mean, think about getting a CPA, for example, compared to you know, learning how to talk better to clients. Right. But secondly, and interesting. There’s some authenticity issues at stake here. If you can teach a whole thing, bumbling accountants, how to, you know, to empathize. Oh my gosh, that must be terrible. And their clunkiness will be completely evident, but so will their sincerity. Yes, it’s nakedly right there. So by just making a little improvement in people whose emotional intelligence skills are kind of low, you keep that authenticity and you gain a lot of leverage. You can see this is somebody who’s a strongly technical person, and they’re working. They’re trying to do it right. You don’t want to get a lot of credit. Oh, I agree. I agree. I have one client I worked with where it took a guy of engineering who was pathologically shy. And tournaments are number one salesperson. You said, Justin, yeah, authenticity was off the charts. 


Andy Paul  36:13  

If you could change one thing about your business self, what would it be?


Charles Green  37:57  

I’ve never known how to set goals I’ve just never wanted to do. It’s never worked for me and I don’t know how to do it. And I keep hearing everybody saying you got to set goals. No, I just, I’m not trying to justify this at all. I’ve just never done it.


Andy Paul  38:21  

Yeah, I think you’ve reached the point where that’s probably not the Paramount thing for you. I never was, it never was. And but I’ve been and honestly, I think there’s something to it. Everybody else says there’s somebody to it. And so I would change knowing something about that goal. I probably could have done a lot better than I have. Okay. All right. So last question. Do you have a prayer other than the Serenity prayer? Do you have a favorite quote or words of wisdom you live by?


Charles Green  38:49  

If you can detach from the outcome just let it go. The outcomes tend to be a lot better. But you actually have to detach from it. You can’t use it as a tactic. You say, Well, I know I will care in order to make a lot of money. People see right through that one. Truth is you can legitimately care about your customers, you’re going to do the right thing and forget when you’re going to get sales. Just stop thinking about that. You get more sales than likely does work that way. 


Andy Paul  39:32  

Well, good. Well, Charlie, thank you for joining me again. 


Charles Green  39:34  

Always a pleasure getting to interview.


Charles Green  40:42  

Thanks for listening to the show. If you like what you heard, and want to make sure you don’t miss any upcoming episodes, please subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.com for more information about today’s guests, visit my website at AndyPaul.com