Chris Hatfield is the Founder of Sales Psyche, which works to develop and support the mental health and performance of sales managers and their teams. This episode is part of an ongoing conversation we’re having on this program about all aspects of mental health in sales. Chris and I have a wide ranging conversation about the impact of mental health on performance at all levels in sales. And why it represents one of the biggest threats to the overall well-being of a sales team. Especially in today’s uncertain environment. Plus, Chris and I talk about tackling the stigma of mental health in the workplace.
Andy Paul: Chris. Welcome to the show.
Chris Hatfield: Thanks very much, Andy. Thanks for having me
Andy Paul: My pleasure. So where have you been sheltering during the pandemic
Chris Hatfield: sheltering in good old London locked down.
Andy Paul: And serve that are going through a second lockdown now, right?
Chris Hatfield: We’re coming to an end of it. We got a week in it, a week in a bear, but we’ll see what happens after that. See how well behaved people are.
Andy Paul: Yeah yeah. Good luck on that. At least based on behaviors here in Southern California. The big thing is, you’re a soccer fan as am I and big premier league fan and it just be nice to see fans back in the stadium. It’s really weird watching all the matches and my audience has a customer talking about this.
Cause I talk about soccer all the time, but It’s just weird watching the matches and yeah, no energy missing from the 60,000 people or however many.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah, it’s just, it feels very soulless. And even at his fake crowd noise, which I don’t like having on. Cause I actually prefer it to hear what other managers are saying.
Andy Paul: Yeah. Yeah. We hear them yelling at the team.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah.
Andy Paul: All that, that days that’s going to come when we’ve got all this good news about vaccine. Hopefully it proves to be what it says it is, and we can get that distributed and maybe. I don’t know, six months a year, I think at least there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
So even if it’s six months or a year with no, we’re heading in the right direction. To that point, what’s, this is a favorite question. When asked, asking all my guests these days is what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about yourself during the pandemic.
Chris Hatfield: Ooh, that’s a good question. So actually I quit my full-time job during the pandemic and
Andy Paul: Wow.
Chris Hatfield: yeah, the opposite reactions when people normally give me I
Andy Paul: usually is you’re crazy. What are you thinking?
Chris Hatfield: But it’s reaffirmed. I think, I learned this over my career so far in life, but just reaffirmed it, that there is always something better when you make that jump. If you, if your gut instinct is telling you to trust it and back yourself, because when you do then. Things will start happening because of that focus that you’ve got. So I think I’ve just the biggest thing I’ve learned throughout pandemic is trusting myself, trusting the process and looking back on things that didn’t necessarily make sense, but do now.
Andy Paul: so you quit your other job in order to devote full-time to sales psych.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah. So like he’s been in a well, people just say how long have you been thinking about it? I suppose it’s been the process of my whole career, but I didn’t actually think of the business until I was on furlough this year, actually. But the passion behind it and the kind of focus has been building. Bit by bit over time, which points to, I just mentioned around not necessarily making sense, but when you look back, all the pieces were then put together.
Andy Paul: Yeah. Interesting. Cause it seems very well thought out and we’re going to we’re in dive into that. So you would have. Multiple conversations on this show about mental health and sales. So we’ve got having more coming out. It’s a regular topic we’re trying to address, but sales psyche. If I pronounced that, we promised the E on the end You’re really taking a different approach to that because you’re, instead of saying, gosh, here are resources to help you. You’re talking about what are the strategies we can implement for prevention and intervention with sellers before it becomes a crisis.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah, exactly. And I think, you know what, go back to the kind of pandemic. What it’s done is lifted this veil of around the topic of mental health. And I think made people sit up and pay attention to it, more of how important it is. And. I think, it’s not enough now just to talk about it, just to say, look, we’re here. If you need to talk. And that is important still, of course, but I felt one of the reasons why I started it was that’s all people were doing is talking about it and it’s good to, the people are able to now be more open with it. And it’s more of a conversation and things like LinkedIn bar. It’s more about, as you mentioned, going to the preventative piece and going, what can we do to help people, reps or managers before they even get to that point?
Andy Paul: And even a bit larger, I think you’re aspiring to says, look, how do we actually change sales cultures and corporate cultures in such a way as to, to integrate prevention intervention into that. And I want to dive into that but just, leading off as it seems like one of the real impetus to start, this was that you mentioned you suffer from some pretty debilitating anxiety earlier in your sales career. So what were you selling and what happens.
Chris Hatfield: I started developing when I was at university and I started noticing it and then came out, I did sports coaching at universities. So that’s where the kind of coaching blood for me comes in is always wanting to a football
Andy Paul: football?
Chris Hatfield: for soccer, to your main audience and,
Andy Paul: football to me. Soccer. Most
Chris Hatfield: yeah. And that’s where it started.
And then I, for some reason, I think again, it’s just probably part of me pushing into my uncomfortable zone, started doing door to door sales. So a hundred percent commission only Lofton cavity, wall installation and solar panels.
Andy Paul: solar panels and installation. Okay. Yeah.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah. Which is a bad in England, to be honest because it’s very cold.
Andy Paul: it cold and damp. Yeah. But the solar panels, you don’t really think of London as being, I know you don’t need to have direct sunshine, cordless skies in order to capture solar, but it seems like it helps doesn’t it.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah. The rent your roof scheme, which is basically renting your roof out for 30 years.
Andy Paul: Oh, okay. Got it. All right. But minimize your power bills basically to nothing.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah. And I’ll ask people, what color are your tiles? And I say, I don’t know. No. So we don’t look at your roof much do you?
Andy Paul: Okay. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t, I probably couldn’t have answered that. That’s not out here as all surf stucco colored stuff, but yeah.
All right so what happened then? Was there some like moment where it’s an anxiety attack or something that’s just okay, this, I need to deal with this.
Chris Hatfield: It was probably a culmination of moments and just realizing when it happens and for people who find it hard to admit, to empathize with anxiety, I always use the analogy it’s a bit like you’re expecting a test to be sprung on you don’t know when you don’t know why you don’t know any of the answers are, but your life depends on it. That’s the kind of like feeling, I tell people and straight away they’re like, I get it. But it wasn’t okay. There was a number of moments that kind of made me feel like that. And when I was feeling that way, I couldn’t operate properly. I want to lock myself away. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. And I just felt like I don’t want this to be my life, or they want this to be a label that just sabotages me. I don’t want to go into medication and just be guided by my limitations of what I can’t do because of this feeling.
Andy Paul: And. You talked about how you’ve learned, how your anxiety could serve you rather than, as you just said, sabotage. So how does your tell us about that? What was that learning curve and how does your anxiety serve you today?
Chris Hatfield: Yeah, I think, it’s been a process along the way. And, but what I’ve found now is actually when my ex, when I start to feel anxious about things, it’s actually benefiting me because it’s telling me something isn’t quite right. And if it is, then I go back and check it and I’m reassured. And if it isn’t, I’m then able to stay on top of things, it’s really helped me be proactive with my business, with my previous roles at thinking ahead about like the possibilities of what could go wrong and being proactive and developing it. So I actually look back and go, you know what? I’m really grateful. I’m anxious because of, and I think a big thing around this is your mindset and your perception towards it. All emotions are there to servers. And I think it’s just our perception sometimes that sort of filters that in a different way.
Andy Paul: yeah. Y yes. And yeah. Perspective is very key. And yeah, we’re going to dig into that too. As we go through, because I think it’s, you talk about needing a change of perspective about number of things. And I think. Yeah, that will help the mental health mental wellbeing of sellers. I agree.
So before we get into that, those, so tell us what you’re trying to do. A sales psyche.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah Oh, of our mission, the mission is to create healthier mind cells, pipelines, and vibrant cultures. It’s focusing on with sales reps and managers, providing them with the tools and the understanding to develop and reinforce their mindset, not just their skillset. So we talked about the preventative piece, it’s bringing our education and our understanding around it.
And I’ve started talking more recently about these kinds of. Three A’s around it and the attention awareness and action. So bringing attention to some of these topics that are either just ignored or taken for granted by people that maybe don’t struggle with them as much, then the awareness piece is being able to label this.
Cause that’s the biggest thing, with any coaching as well with, we’re not just talking about mental health and wellbeing sooner, you can label something that’s in, you can understand it and building someone’s self-awareness around going. Ah, do you know what. I’ve got imposter syndrome or I’ve been struggling with burnout straight away, helps them understand a lot more.
And then being able to provide them with the action to then go forth and either book in a session to have a confidential and impartial conversation with a coach or by providing them with courses anonymous, Q and A’s and boarding mindset sessions to help them build that understanding and that knowledge around it.
Andy Paul: And I think it’s important for people to understand this, as you pointed out that, that. We tend to overlook completely, almost, I would say in sales, just as a sort of cultural artifact is the direct tie between performance and mental wellbeing. And as you also pointed out, this is not just, we’re not just talking about depression and anxiety.
We’re talking about. Addiction substance abuse. We’re talking about, you mentioned imposter syndrome, right? There’s all sorts of fears that manifests itself, that for sellers, that the answer has always been before as well. What training does this person need, as opposed to, let’s try to really understand what’s going on.
And perhaps it is one of these things that’s, Things in personal life, I’ve gone through a divorce and let me tell him my performance during that period was not good. Even though I thought it was, I thought it was okay, but yeah, it wasn’t right. You just, you can’t fool yourself or maybe you can fool yourself, but you can’t fool others let’s say so.
But in my case, I was lucky I had yeah, an empathetic boss that, that understood what was going on. But most people aren’t so lucky.
Chris Hatfield: No. And I think people just need to remind themselves that very rarely will someone be under performing intentionally. There is always a reason behind there. And the best thing you can do is to go in and look to understand the problem or the challenge that they’re going through. And.
And have a conversation with them before coming in with you need training. You need a PIP, you need this X, Y, and Z and making assumptions.
Andy Paul: Yeah. I mean that for people are undergoing some sort of mental stress, that PIP is always a great hammer to use.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah.
Andy Paul: There was just some conversation about that online on LinkedIn. Not that long ago, it’s yeah, what are we doing? When that’s the case, oftentimes if you’re not. Really interested in getting to the bottom as a manager, what’s happening to this individual. That, especially if it’s a stress related issue, that’s holding them back.
The PIP just blows them up. It’s guaranteed that person you’re escorting that person to a new career opportunity. So yeah, I, and you document on your website, I think some things we’ve talked about in this show Yeah. So the, a big threat to your sales success being mental well being but it’s that again, we tend to think about it in terms of the big moments.
But we don’t think about it in terms of the unacknowledged impact of sort of day to day performance loss through not upper operating, it’s our peak mental capacity. Really people working at diminished levels, I think is the biggest thing you talk about two or three sellers experiencing some form of burnout. It’s not those people aren’t showing up, but it’s just, they’re not able to perform
Chris Hatfield: Yeah, exactly. And it is something that if you look at the numbers, you’ve probably seen on the site costs the UK economy about 45 billion and the U S economy about a hundred billion, but two thirds of that comes from presenteeism. So what you just mentioned there, it’s not that people aren’t turning up.
It’s when people are present, they’re just not. Present within, within the moment, like conscious because so much of this stuff is going on in their head. So it’s not just about whole people being off sick it’s well how well are people coping when they are trying to work?
Andy Paul: And the general explanation for presenteeism is mid category. Do you see as lack of engagement? And it’s okay. There’s this implicit meaning there that somehow work is boring or, managers, aren’t engaging with people to challenge them, but I think that’s really too simplistic.
think that for presenteeism, I would say the majority of it is people that are struggling.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah. Yeah. It isn’t, sales is a tough old game because of course, when you’re struggling. And you’re not performing. You feel like I need to go even harder. I need to work more. And when you are performing, you think I still need to do the same thing because I still need to stay ahead of the game.
And I don’t want to lose that. That title and that recognition and it causes people to find it very difficult to slow down. And I think what, going back to what I said earlier about this veil being lifted, I think it’s always been there these challenges, but because people have been so busy with everything, with socializing and so on, they haven’t taken time.
Whereas now, being in isolation, people are sitting there with that, listening to their own thoughts and becoming more self-aware with them that are actually realizing awe. Do you know what? This is something that I might’ve been masking beforehand by just being busy with everything else.
Andy Paul: But isn’t the big danger that. As we begin to see light at the end of the tunnel and some return over again, over the next, say, six months to a year to some sort of whatever this new normal state or next normal state will be. That suddenly everything brushed under the rug. Again.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah. Yeah. Not that is, there is a risk and by do I do feel like, as I mentioned, I think people are paying more attention to it. And I think when we do go back to that environment, it would just be interesting to see who then thinks. Okay. We’ll go back to how we did things, because I think people will, they’ll probably find a very big shock if they try and do that where the people they’ve actually, over that time, if they had started to do things differently, then struggle to maybe retain those people.
Andy Paul: Yeah in your mind what is a healthy sales culture? A vibrant sales culture.
Chris Hatfield: I think there’s a few things. I think, a big thing around it is this kind of coaching first mentality of always looking for a way to be able to empower someone and develop someone in anything that they. They do within their role too, whether that’s to help them become a leader eventually, or just to help them become a better, not just sales person, but a person. I think, having that culture where leaders are there to develop them and develop them, regardless of if they’re going to move on or wherever they go to, but just focused on developing them as a person is a big thing. And then I think a big part of it as well is having that open conversation around and not understanding that addressing the elephant in the room though.
It is tough that you are going to face these kinds of challenges that it’s okay to talk about them. Don’t just talk about all these great things you can achieve when someone starts to address all the challenges that are going to come up, because if you don’t and someone encounters them, they’re then going to think that the open now, and they can’t talk to anyone about it because no one’s told them about it.
Andy Paul: Yeah. Just listening to your answer is, you lead off with coaching and. It’s almost like we need a different word. I, because it’s so much a coaching these days in sales really is deal coaching opportunity coaching. And what you’re talking about is the one that I think is the most important requirement.
Of course, you’re always going to deal coaching. And is this personal development almost more of a mentorship in some regards? I know people don’t necessarily like that word, but it’s not really. It’s not tactical coaching either. It’s how are you helping this individual develop in a way to be in order to achieve their goals and every sorry, acknowledge it.
But they always started default to doing the tactical coaching. And I just wondering what you’re seeing in terms of companies being receptive to actually enabling their managers, to learn how to become this type of coach.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah, I think it always reverts back to that is that’s the quickest route to seeing an outcome sometimes is thinking we coach focused on deals and focus on numbers. That’s the biggest way we can measure it. And therefore, That’s how we need to do things. Whereas I think, you know what? This might seem like it’s not a, necessarily as a quicker fix, but in the long run, what you’re doing is you’re building the foundations that you can then start to build the other stuff on top of it’s similar to why people might want to give advice rather than coaching in the first place, because they think it’s a quicker route.
But what you’re doing is actually just. Getting people to come back to you over and over, and you’re not empowering anyone else in the businesses, which is not a good way to scale. So I think that’s a big part. There is realizing, what? It might take a longer, a bit of a longer period, but it’s going to be far more sustainable and create a far more consistent approach to it as well.
Andy Paul: Yeah, which I agree with a hundred percent that the goal of coaching in my mind, if I’m coaching a sales person and are going to distinguish us from doing a pipeline review and opportunity to review is yeah, how can I help them become more? Self-sufficient how can I help them do recognize and solve problems that they encounter?
Yeah. How can I help them through this process? Learn how to improve. I, if you’re doing anything else, as you said, as a manager, and I think a lot of managers are feed off, this is they want people to be dependent on them. This is part of what they think their job is, I want them to come and ask me a question about every little thing I want them to.
Yeah, come to me for my advice, as opposed to, I know it was a great book written recently by Michael Bungay Stanier called the advice trap followup to his book, the coaching habit, which talks about this, where it’s just so easy to fall into this habit of as a manager of giving advice, as opposed to helping people learn how to identify the problems they’re trying to solve, how to define them and give them the tools to solve it.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah, and it comes back to what I mentioned before around this imposter syndrome piece, where that in itself might be an underlying reason why. Managers like that need to fill in any to justify themselves because they’re almost like, just four different types of imposters that people can suffer with.
And a number of them make them feel like, did I need to have an answer for everything? I need to be able to do this. Cause I’ve always, what am I doing? Where’s the value I’m adding in my role, which makes people feel insecure, which is why they’re doing it.
Andy Paul: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I think so with that for managers and for leaders is, and you’ve referred to this as well. And I think this is really a part of it is. If we’re going to address are the mental wellbeing issues is we need to have some changes in perspective within sales itself. And you talk about it.
It’s, if you’re not addressing how someone actually perceives the situation, you’re never gonna achieve a long lasting change. So I’m wondering what sort of perspectives you’re referring to that you think need to change in order to start empowering, this change.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah, I think there’s a few around this. I think the perspective one of the we’ve addressed already on. Around what you should be coaching on and what you should be focusing on. I think the other perspective is, there’s this fixed and growth mindset around this particular topic as well about being able to develop behaviors and attitudes.
And, people will look at skills and think, yeah, we can train that. But that’s why I think people don’t focus so much on attitudes, habits, and behaviors, because it’s a bit more we’re just going to hire up. You hire the people for that and that whatever we get with them, like that’s how they’re going to be.
Andy Paul: Test them. And this magical assessment is going to tell us who has the right DNA for sales.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah, exactly.
Andy Paul: Yeah. Which I think is BS, but yeah, go ahead.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah. So I think, they’re the better perspective. And also, I just feel like the perspective on how valuable it is to educate people around their mental health and wellbeing. Deloitte published a report earlier this year saying that companies who are investing in employees’ wellbeing and now seeing a five to one ROI return.
So for every dollar they spend, they’re getting $5 back, which. Which is showing that, even if you don’t have that moral obligation to do this, there is a financial benefit of doing it as well. And it’s saying, do you know, actually, if we work on these foundations, regardless of someone coming in, how much experience they’ve got, if we invest in this and help them make a, make them a better person, rather than just their role, then they will see that.
The value we’re providing to them as well. And we’ll also just help them become a more well-rounded healthier human beings.
Andy Paul: Yeah. That’s always interesting to bring up that Deloitte figure. It reminds me of, I don’t think it was Deloitte, but another similar firm had done a study about diversity in corporate hiring. And it’s funny as these aspects like yeah. Diversity or acknowledging the importance of mental health in overall performance of not just sales, but an organization.
Is these things that people fear the most, if they actually, people cause quite honestly, so many managers, fear of diversity. That’s why we’re not seeing more diverse workforces and so on is if they address these topics, they fear that should do better.
Chris Hatfield: yeah. Yeah. One of the biggest things, and I’ve had a couple of people say this to me is, Oh, but if we start talking about more about mental health and wellbeing and our companies, and they’re giving people excuses to get out of things and, people have said that and yeah,
Andy Paul: Not surprising at all.
Chris Hatfield: no, but I feel okay.
There’s a few things to that. One is if people, you feel like you’ve got people in your business who are going to do that’s probably down to you. So maybe think about your hiring strategy and are you bringing the right kind of people in, but also people, if you’re not talking about it, people are still suffering with this, but they might just be saying, I’ve got a stomach ache.
I’ve got the flu. I’m not well. So w when we start talking about physical health where we worried, or we can’t mention that in case someone says, they’ve got a cold and they don’t want to come in today, or they’ve got a stomach ache. It’s the same thing. People are just labeling it different and suffering in silence, which is causing a bigger problem.
Andy Paul: right. I think there are other perspectives that need to change though, too, that I think contribute to the sort of toxic cultures that exists often in sales. And, one, one topic that, people have been talking increasingly about is, is there still a role for quota in sales?
Is there some other way to measure people that I don’t say it takes the stress off it. Cause there’s always a performance aspect. Yeah. There’s always stress associate with performance to some degree but yeah, quotas just become this hammer and we see the results. We see the studies is that fewer than 50% of sellers are even achieving their quotas.
So if that’s the case and we’ve got, two thirds of our sellers experiencing some level of burnout and isn’t that one perspective just needs to change, how are we measuring performance and how are we holding people accountable?
Chris Hatfield: Yeah. When you think about quieter, it’s just this number that is, is plucked out and picked, but then can dictate someone’s career their life their mood, everything around that. As you mentioned, I think when we talk about stress there’s, there are stresses there to help us serve as in the short term And people react differently to stress, but I think that’s the problem is that it causes that kind of chronic stress over time, which then leads to burn out around that.
But I completely agree. I do feel like. I’m not gonna sit here and give people the answers to this, but I do feel like there is a way to start looking at this differently in terms of how we are measuring reps to be able to provide that environment for them to feel supported around that versus at the moment when we’re not providing the environment and we’re still giving them this number to hit without the full toolkit available to support them on that journey.
Andy Paul: Yeah. One idea I have and I’ve managed teams using this in the past is a productivity measure, which is based on dollars in our case dollars of revenue generated per hour of selling time. So here’s something that’s yeah. Purely on effectiveness a little bit on efficiency. It’s under the direct control of the individual.
If your productivity is at a certain levels, I was managing this team. We had, we knew what people’s productivity was and if they were investing sufficient hours, they were going to achieve a certain amount of revenue. But the attitude toward that was completely different then, Oh, I’ve got a number to hit instead.
It was well, how can I invest in myself in order to improve my. My effectiveness in front of the customer in order to say, look, I can generate more dollars per hour that I devote to this particular task.
Chris Hatfield: I like that.
Andy Paul: Another one, I think just from a perspective standpoint is. Is, this is a big one for me, is that when you look at the way we set up our sales processes, almost universally in sales is they’re all about persuading, the customer to buy what we’re selling, as opposed to aligning ourselves to the buyer’s journey and saying, we’re here to serve you to help you make a decision. And I think if people are sent out with that mission to say, look, we’re here. We are sincerely here to help as our first pass, right? We’re going to help you identify the problem you’re trying to solve. We’re gonna help you identify the options for how you solve this problem. And you take it from that perspective where.
Yeah, the focus more becomes, instead of let’s say doing a discovery call that helps, a certain amount of data, but doesn’t help you really understand. So we have all these steps in our process that are about. Getting through the step, as opposed to really understanding what the customer’s trying to do that I think are stress craters.
And we don’t teach people how to appropriately go through that whole process in a way that actually increases the odds of winning. When everything is, looking back in the old days, IBM classic five call close, which most sales processes today are an ancestor of it’s. It’s okay. We prospect, we discover a qualify. We present, we propose, we close. It’s what’s that have to do with what the buyer is trying to do.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah.
Andy Paul: think there’s this disconnect with our buyers is part of the problem.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah, definitely. And I, again, it comes back to coach. If you’ve got quarterly target or a monthly target, and yet your that’s not dictated by your buyer, that’s dictated by you, which then leads to you trying to speed things up and not just working towards a timeframe rather than actual objective.
And I think the big thing of this. Comes down to how people are onboarded in developed initially as well and where I’ve seen this work really well. When you first come in, if all you’re doing is teaching your reps about your process, about your product, about what you do then as soon as they get on the phone.
That’s this level of confidence. If you’re not necessarily confident in yourself, an issue will be confident in what you’ve been told or taught or trained on. So that’s what you’re going to talk about. So that’s why it’s so dictated on no, this is our processes, what we do, whereas if you flip it and then the first couple of weeks you come in, you don’t learn anything about your product.
You learn everything about the customer’s journey. You speak to the customer, you understand what’s important to them. You learn about their world before yours. When you go on that phone, you’re far more likely to think, Oh, actually I’m more confident in talking about their world. So tell me about this and ask questions around that.
That then leads to a, more of a natural and customer first approach to it.
Andy Paul: I agree a hundred percent and I think that’s it’s, this is a change of perspective that needs to happen. I said, everything is dictated by this idea of persuasion is our goal. And yeah, it’s the height of irony that, that behavior is one behavior that. Research has shown that universally, everybody has a resistance to being persuaded every human.
So it makes sense that they want to train all of our sellers to lead with the one behavior that all of their customers universally hate. And we think that doesn’t contribute to the stress. We’re kidding ourselves. And it doesn’t have to be that way.
Chris Hatfield: No. And I think that’s why sales has a bad name is because people only really remember their bad experiences. No one necessarily members a really, unless you’re in cycles, no one necessarily looks back and goes, do you know what that guy sold to me? So well, Because when it’s good selling, it doesn’t feel like selling it.
And also when it’s good, a good process, we build, we give ourselves more of the credit rather than who is sold to us thinking, do you know what I made a really good decision on this holiday or this car? I got a really good deal. You’re not saying, Oh, do you know what they sold to me really then negotiated.
And it’s because you don’t see it as selling to your point is that as soon as it feels like selling, that’s when that’s, when people have that defense mechanism.
Andy Paul: But I just think it’s, you’re back to this idea about perspective as we train our sellers to lead with a different perspective then. Yeah, I think the whole. Mental makeup of sellers begins to change.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah. Completely agree.
Andy Paul: understand that selling is actually really a leadership job, right? You’re trying to think about leaders.
One of the things leaders do is they clearly communicate a vision and inspire people to follow it. Wasn’t what your friend did with your prospects. You’re trying to clearly communicate a vision of what success looks like. If they engage with you and provide them inspiration to follow you.
And that’s a whole different perspective then yeah. Go out and persuade this person to buy from us.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah, completely agree with that.
Andy Paul: And so I think, but for me, these changes in perspective are so critical. You talk about, yeah, you have this nice model I like about, that. I think you call it the key to sales brilliance is based on mental resilience and you identify four areas of that. And one is knowledge, which I agree, but I think again, we’ve we added stress into that unnecessarily in sales, because again, we take something like discovery, we treat it as a discreet step in a selling process when actually it’s something you do.
Should do every time you interact with the prospect, right? Because your job is not knowing, which is what that one discreet step is. I’m going to ask them 10 questions that I ask all my customers and I serve at that point, know what they want. You need to take the knowledge to the next level, which is understanding and w.
Sellers. And I see this all the time with sellers, I’ve talked to that interact with me is they don’t feel like they have the time to get to that level of understanding because they feel so pressed with everything they need to do their activity metrics. And so on.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah I completely agree. I think, as you mentioned, it’s like where we’re asking sellers to work towards are timeframes rather than their, the prospects. And then we’re also not giving them enough time. As you mentioned there to really understand about their wild and have more of a natural conversation around it.
Because of this arbitrary figure or number that we’ve put in place.
Andy Paul: Yeah the thing is, companies still need to grow, but I’ve worked. I’ve worked in environments, high tech or high growth tech companies that have been. Yeah, big successes that, that we, in one, in particular, we didn’t have a sales culture, classic sales culture, right? We didn’t have quotas, but the company grew well fairly successful.
In fact, this company today is a multi-billion dollar company. Still doesn’t have a sales function.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah.
Andy Paul: so it’s not yeah, they don’t have a CRO. Don’t have CSO, don’t have a VP of sales. They’re doing multiple billions of dollars a year in business to business sales and some B to C sales. It’s okay. It’s It’s possible. You don’t have to, and the CEO, probably the reason we didn’t have quotas, he said it looks like he didn’t like the idea of running a business where people felt like there’s a sword hanging over the back of their neck every month. He didn’t want to create that environment. So it’s not like there’s only one way to do this. People listen as well. If you don’t have photos, how do you hold people accountable? It’s none of our companies are doing it quite successfully.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah. And even without quota, there’s still ways to hold someone accountable towards doing their job. Just, there’s plenty of ways. It’s just with that. I think people feel, again, going back to this cultural thinking. This is the easiest thing to measure, which means that I have more control and understanding over it.
Whereas without them, there is a bit more of a free rein to be able to develop people and build a more effective culture and better, not just salespeople, but
Andy Paul: At the end of the day, that’s that really becomes what it’s about. As a manager and you had referred to this earlier, as your desire should be, is not just how do I ring the last ounce of revenue out of this person, but yeah. How do I help them develop to the point where. Jeez, maybe they’re ready for the next step.
And if we’re not the place to, for them to be able to take the next step, then yeah. More power to them. If they go somewhere else and find it. And that’s fine because you did your job at that point, you help that person be better when they left and when they showed up,
Chris Hatfield: Yeah, exactly. And if you’re creating that kind of culture, they’re probably then doing that with people in the team as well, or they’re running a team. So even if they do leave, you don’t have this massive gap. Sometimes you’re thinking of this one person left, how are we going to fill it is you’re creating a culture where there’s constantly people being developed all around.
Andy Paul: So we’re going to keep working on that because yeah, I think that in my purse, I got my perspective is that we’re just too often in sales or aimed at the wrong target. And these are attitudes and processes and systems we’ve used for close to a hundred years now. Yeah, I find it so interesting that people always talk about this idea, this trope, I call it about modern selling.
But when you look at the average company’s sales process and the sort of linear stage based set of events, It’s really no different than it was just that a hundred years ago, they might have a few more steps in it just because of technology and so on. But it’s virtually the same. And we just haven’t really, even despite the trappings of all the technology that, that has flown into sales and marketing and the way we execute selling has basically stayed the same.
We just automated some of it, but. I think for really to get the significant change in perspectives as, yeah. We need to start changing some of these fundamental things about how we onboard people and train them about what their responsibilities are. And, as I said, serving versus selling understanding, versus just knowing, things that, that, that are really just basic human behaviors.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah. And I think one of the biggest, big word thrown around in the last couple of years, or more than that now is authenticity. And I think the kind of system in place at the moment stops people from being authentic because it puts it into such a sort of robotic on authentic process.
Andy Paul: Yeah. have one of, I speak out often about this oxymoron that we hear so often in sales these days is. Yeah, mass personalization at scale. And it’s okay got we have three oxymorons. And that, that one phrase right there. And yet, yeah, I took that directly from a website of a company selling a sales engagement platform.
It’s yeah, that’s not a human behavior. That’s not authentic at all. And I think, and maybe this, and this is an interesting issue we could explore at a later time, but is we know humans have this need for psychological consistency is maybe that’s one of the things people are struggling with is there’s just this lack of consistency between how we label things and what they truly are.
Mass personalization at scale. The other word for that is completely impersonal.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah. Yeah, definitely.
Andy Paul: All right. Chris, it’s been a pleasure to talk with you and I’m so glad we got this chance. People wanted to learn more about sales, psyche work, and they do that.
Chris Hatfield: Yeah, sure. So they can find is www dot. I wish someone had event when they invented internet. If they could just change the three Ws every time you have to say that, but at www dot sell psyche, P S Y C H e.co.uk. I also run a couple of podcasts. Not another sales podcast and master brilliant to resilience.
So you’ll find them on Apple and Spotify as well. If you want to check those out and maybe you can come on there at some point,
Andy Paul: I’d pay. I’d love to. All you have to do is invite me. I’ll be there. All right. I look forward to it. Chris, thank you so much. And I’m sorry about Newcastle.
Chris Hatfield: That’s fine. And just to just just to mention if anyone, talking of mental health and wellbeing, if anyone does want a bit more information or, just confidential, where’s the best place to start because that’s the hardest thing. Sometimes just drop me a message on LinkedIn, always happy to guide you in the right direction.
Andy Paul: All right, Chris. Thank you.
Chris Hatfield: Thanks, Andy.