In this episode, we consider the values of minimalism and how they apply to sales processes. Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular guest on Front Line Fridays.
Andy Paul 0:56
Hello and welcome to another edition of Frontline Fridays. I’m your host, Andy Paul with my very special guest, Bridget Gleason.
Bridget Gleason 4:44
HI Andy, so what’s our sales issue for today?
Andy Paul 4:46
Well, you know, it’s pretty talked about, are we over complicating sales? Are we over complicating our selling processes? It’s a topic I think about a lot, that is, as I write and talk to groups and work with companies is, you know, I hear this quite an absolute believer in the sales process. But does it? Is it taking over right? Are we forgetting sort of the basics that really make things happen? We’ve talked in the past about the importance of this human connection effect. Our last episode we talked about making the connection, the importance of that connection. But I just, I wonder, I said, we’re just forgetting things that really make sales happen.
Bridget Gleason 6:23
How much do I know? You know?
Andy Paul 6:24
That’s what he’s saying. So how much can you know, things really important are just really the fundamental sale. managing people, motivating, helping motivate players, putting them in the right positions, making sure that they’re, over communicating with them, make sure they completely understand what their responsibilities are. So they’ve got an unambiguous understanding what the responsibilities are, what they should be doing when and so on. As far as thinking about that, it’s because I’ve been writing about this a little bit, as is Yeah, we can focus all we want on the process. And we’re going through I think a phase in sales now where at least you look at the writing that people are doing the books published, there’s a lot about process being written, then we’ve got the whole account based marketing thing going on, which is all relatively process driven, sort of losing sight of the real fundamentals that at the end of the day are what influence people will make decisions to do business with you.
Bridget Gleason 7:28
So what would you like to see Andy, what would you see or read or there be a prevalence of that would indicate that we are back to the fundamentals?
Andy Paul 7:51
I was talking to my son, who helps produce this program. We may do this with the show and put on a series of episodes for some period of time where we’re teaching people about sales, but we never really talk about selling. And that sort of sort of the point, I think, sort of a love hate relationship with sales books.
Bridget Gleason 8:30
I read and so don’t don’t be too harsh on them.
Andy Paul 8:35
And I’ve, perhaps read as many if not more than anybody else in the world because I’m interviewing sales authors constantly. And I do read the books of the people that authors that come on the show, and I always learn something. But I go back and look at the things I learn. It’s not a big concept. I’m learning things that are really important that are transforming . There’s always the goal that always comes from the small stuff. You know, how do you create strong first impressions? How do you know, this whole we can sort of go through sort of the basics right, creating strong first impressions, being nice, listening twice as much as you talk, paying attention, you know, delivering value on every touch, asking great questions, listening without judgment. I mean, those are the things that really move the needle. in my estimation, when you’re dealing with prospects, but if we seem that we simply lose focus on those things.
Bridget Gleason 9:38
But sometimes it’s a story that’s told, or it’s a reminder of something that happens to resonate with a particular situation that I’m coming and so it may just be timely, a good timely reminder. I don’t mind them though, I guess I don’t feel as offended by the genre.
Andy Paul 10:13
I’m not offended by it. I’m just saying for now, because I’m gonna start writing my next one. But how often have you read a success story about sales? And maybe you have I haven’t. Or, you know, again, because I talked to hundreds of people every year and asked about success stories. You know, it’s never about it was our sales process that won the day. It was no, you know, this conversation I had was this great question. I asked that illuminate something for the buyer that, you know, the turn the corner, right, that made the difference. It was always the person, a person part of it that really was decisive as opposed to we’ve got this play, and this play.
Bridget Gleason 11:13
Yeah, it’s not the process. But the process is sort of fundamental still, I think the process is still important, but I almost feel like the processors are there. Those are table stakes, those you have to have, but what the differentiators are the things that you’re talking about that are perhaps more nuanced.
Andy Paul 11:36
Right and I’m just basically reacting to what I hear from people interviewed and the books that I read about. You know, process is paramount. And I agree processes are really important when you need to understand your process and be trained for your process.
Bridget Gleason 11:55
Andy Paul 11:57
Yeah. If people want to hear another sports analogy, but think about golf and I’m not a great golfer, I enjoy golfing. I rarely get a chance to do it. But there was a time in my life where I used to do it more more frequently. And yeah, took lessons from at one point in time. And I remember from the pro is, you know, we’re working on all the mechanics of a swing, but then the day, he was saying, you know, it’s all about the clubface being square upon impact with the ball. And, you know, you look at the swings on TV, if you’re watching golf, and you look at all various professional golfers, you know, their swings are not all copycat images of each other. I mean that some have pretty, pretty unique back swings, but, you know, clearly they get the clubface square on impact. So it’s like, yeah, that is an enduring fundamental. And, yeah, that just doesn’t change the technology of how all this advances in technology and golf, all these new composites and you know, clubhead changes and so on that have made it easier to swing a golf club, made more forgiving when you hit the golf ball. But all comes down to still the same thing as if you’re going to succeed more at least from tee to green, that clubface needs to be square on impact. That sort of thinking about that sales term saying what’s the equivalent to being square on impact, right? Where it’s really, if you have one swing thought that’s the one you’re trying to get to.
Bridget Gleason 13:44
Yeah, and maybe like golf, it’s, that’s the primary thing, but there’s a lot more in golf, I’ve played golf. There’s a lot more than that. Sure, in order to have a good game, I think in sales also that there are certain fundamentals in some ways.
Andy Paul 14:53
The more things change, the more they stay the same. And to me that’s a testament to a certain unchanged ability of the human experience, right? For all the change we’re introducing into our lives by technology, the still fundamental sameness, also us humans, and how we interact with each other. That unfortunate in mice in my case, you know, when I look at sales teams on what they’re doing, and how they could improve as they seem to be sort of intent on forgetting this as if technology is gonna save us.
Bridget Gleason 15:47
Technology won’t save us.
Bridget Gleason 16:00
I mean, you and I talked about it in the last podcast, I think it goes back to that. It does go back to that relationship. And are you able to develop this connection, connection and trust and integrity and these things that people buy from people? People buy from people. And so oftentimes the back of my head, I think, am I going to get ripped off? How’s the quality? Can I trust this person? Can I trust this company? Do they do what they say they’re going to do? There are all these questions in my mind, and if I’ll pay more, or buy faster with people when I just feel like you know what, I trust you. I trust you to do it. I don’t even care what the price is. I trust you. I don’t it doesn’t have to be perfect. I optimize around trust and studies that I’ve read have indicated that I’m in the majority. But that’s one thing. People want to want to deal with a company and a person and a brand that they can trust.
Andy Paul 17:20
Yeah, I agree. I mean, I think that’s so fundamental that if you don’t make that connection, our starting to go back to the topic we talked about last time, but bears repeating is, is if you can’t make that trust based connection, you’re not going anywhere.
Bridget Gleason 17:40
Right. And maybe it goes back to what we talked about last time, but it also is a fundamental Hmm, what are the fundamentals?
Andy Paul 18:41
Listen without judgment.
Bridget Gleason 18:43
So be present and ask great questions. Listen without judgment, deliver value. Love it.
Andy Paul 19:53
Yeah. I think one that people have the hardest time with. As one that we’ve talked about, we’ll talk about it again. Now, you know, sellers are so easily distracted these days. But be present and ask great questions. That’s the listen without judgment. You know, we are creatures of pattern, right? So we want to, when we talk to someone, we want them to be like something else that we’ve experienced in the past, so it helps us more quickly comprehend who they are. So we want to match them to a pattern that we know will put them out, you know, putting people into boxes or putting them in the niches. And when you do that, without listening to what people are saying, You miss a lot. And you miss the opportunity to really hear what their challenges are, their aspirations, the problems, their goals, where they want to be, what you can do to help them so that listening without judgment is really critical.
Bridget Gleason 20:53
Well, and it’s also just listening without I think a lot of people say they don’t listen. They don’t listen without, like jumping to a conclusion or just wanting to jump in with a solution.
Andy Paul 21:06
Well, and so this pattern thing, and there’s lots of words where people are with confirmation bias, right? So when we hear something, read something, see something? Yeah, we think about a way to make it conform or confirm to the bias or the opinion that we already hold rights. When we talk to a buyer. It’s like, Oh, yeah, they’re just like this other company I spoke to. But they’re not, you know, that everybody’s different. I mean, ultimately, you may find out they’re roughly the same, but you’re not gonna know until you ask great questions and listen without judgment, to understand the value that has to be delivered to help them make the decision.
Bridget Gleason 21:44
It’s fantastic. I love that.
Andy Paul 22:16
Well, Bridget, I’m glad I was able to make one serious contribution.
Bridget Gleason 22:21
It was a great way to wrap it up for today. I love that one. Andy, I’m taking that one with me.
Andy Paul 22:29
Okay, well, good. All right. Excellent. Well, if you’re out there listening to us today, which I hope you are, you’ve come back week after week to learn something new today. Really appreciate you taking the time. If you have just a minute, less than a minute, go to iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play wherever you listen to this podcast, subscribe, leave a review. We really appreciate it. And we’ll look forward to talking to you next time. So this is Andy Paul with Bridget Gleason who is my regular guest on Frontline Friday’s. Good selling, everyone will talk to you next week.
Bridget Gleason 23:03
Andy Paul 23:04
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 for more information about today’s guests, visit my website at AndyPaul.com