Lance Tyson, sales coach and author of Selling Is An Away Game: Close Business And Compete In A Complex World, joins me in this episode.
It’s time to accelerate. Hey friends, this is Andy. Welcome to Episode 751 of Accelerate! the sales podcast of record. Joining me this week as my guest is Lance Tyson. Lance is the CEO of the Tyson group was a sales training company with some very interesting clients which we shot up chat about. He is also the author of a really excellent book titled selling is in a way game, clothes business and competing in a complex world. In fact, Lance’s book is on a list of my top sales books that I recommend to people. So today, let’s talk about what it means to say that sales is a game, and how that mental image shapes how you should connect and communicate with your buyers. Among the topics Lance and I are going to get into is why sales takes place in the mind of the buyer. While there’s no perfect script for every situation when selling is 50% process and 50% art while having the strength and honor to act and behave in the right way as in how you sell is so vitally important. And we’re also going to dive into why Lance believes that empathy is misused by sellers. It’s all very interesting. We’ll be getting into all of that and much, much more. But before we get Lance, I’d like to quickly talk about ring DNA. Ring DNA is the leading revenue acceleration platform that uses AI to help businesses scale revenue growth. They offer a complete solution for sales engagement. That means you can Call text email automate sales cadences effectively coach your sellers and more all from one tool only with a complete integrated platform can you supercharge rep productivity and optimize peak sales performance you can learn all about this at ring DNA about ring DNA at ring DNA comm forward slash Andy that is ring dna.com forward slash Andy. And while you’re there downloading ring DNA is a free research report titled The 2020 sales prospecting Performance Report. It’s full of actionable insights to build your sales pipeline, including data on the best time of day to call your prospects optimal first call conversation links and much much more. So you can get your copy again today at ring DNA comm Ford slash Andy. That’s ring dna.com Ford slash Andy. All right, let’s jump into it. Lance, welcome to accelerate. I appreciate you having me. Well, it’s a pleasure to have you here you’re joining us from where today
Lance Tyson 2:56
I’m in Columbus, Ohio Buckeye land.
Andy Paul 2:59
Buckeye land. Alright, are you an alumni of the Ohio State University?
Lance Tyson 3:05
I went to Pennsylvania State University and graduated from a state school in New Jersey. Okay, alright. I’m probably the only one here in Buckeye land. That’s necessarily a win. It’s good for the economy.
Andy Paul 3:49
yeah, what people are listening to now that I’m a soccer fan, so they’re probably a customer hearing me talk about it. But yeah, the crew had the first soccer specific stadium in America. So, very exciting replacing Okay, well, good. Well, we’re gonna talk largely about your book. And I have to tell you, I really, really enjoyed it. And as we go through this conversation, listeners will know, I don’t recommend books easily but this is what I recommend people go out and buy and read. So, you talk about sales as an away game, we’re talking about sports analogies, because you do a lot of work with training of sports teams, the ticket sales use for scenes and sponsorships and hospitality and so on. So what do you mean that sales is an away game?
Lance Tyson 4:40
Yeah, you know, if you know, being an author, I think that the title of the thing just I probably struggle with more than anything at all. And I i somebody’s gotten a big dialogue one time with somebody that sales is away game and I kind of really, this was years ago, get caught up in the concept and As I kept asking why the guy the gentleman was coached me said, Listen sales in a way game because it actually happens in the mind of the buyer. And more so now than any other time, you have to engage the buyer’s mind. And there’s all these fragmented conversations you have with people. There’s, it’s harder to sell. Now I think it’s harder to sell because so much of the salesmanship or gamesmanship has been taken out of sales, because we’re so data driven now. We’re so you know, marketing will have us think that they can really target a high potential buyer, but that kind of makes sales out a little bit. And there’s more salespeople now than ever. So, really, we got engaged in the mind of the buyer. Yeah. And just for people listening, you know, it was talking about an away game, I suppose to a home game if you’re using the sports analogy, so instead of sales taking place in the mind of the buyer, it’s harder to play. It’s harder to play an away game, like if you played any kind of sport you’re talking about sports to open up with for me if we were in a soccer team together, if we had to go We played in Columbus and I’d go play nycFC. Like, if I don’t play there all the time, I don’t know where the divots are in the field where to kick the ball off. You know what I mean? So weight games are tough. And that’s what sales really is.
Andy Paul 6:12
Yeah, well, statistically, teams win away games at a lower rate than they do at home games. So that’s probably true of salespeople in their mind, they win many more deals than they actually do in reality.
Andy Paul 6:25
I think that’s an apt description of it. And, yeah, I mean, it’s one thing to just talk about it I think, as is really interesting, as is because something that I’ve written about and and I think it’s so true is that you sort of equate sales or say sales is really about playing the odds. Right? And, and I’ve started talking about the same way it says, you know, every time you have an opportunity to interact with a buyer, it’s an opportunity to increase your odds or your probability of winning the deal. And you gave it a good example in your book about sort of equating it to casino Games cuz I equate it to poker, right? A lot of people think playing poker is a game of chance. But the research is really clear that skilled players win more money than those who don’t. So I think as a great description of sales is that Yeah, it’s a game of chance in terms of you don’t know who the prospect is, yeah, you can try be selective in terms of you’re proactively reaching out to but you don’t know this person, you don’t know that situation. And you’re bringing your skill and applying it to, to them.
Lance Tyson 7:30
Right. And it’s like, like you said, odds and chance. It’s, it’s an every interaction allows your odds to increase and you got to know what you’re trying to do at a certain time where, you know, I was coaching, I was coaching a group earlier today on the phone in a virtual session set up and, and, you know, as we start to sculpt, we do something where we discuss a lot of deals we, you know, had one of my other trainers working with the Dodgers this week. Also we’re working on deals and what are you trying to do? That part of the sale like you’re trying to sell the whole thing, or you’re just trying to win time off their calendar. So I’m just trying to win time off your calendar, I’m saying something different. I’m talking about, hey, do I have an idea? You know, I might have something like that. And you got to think of the most valuable thing you sell most of the time right now. You know, watches and rings are the two most expensive pieces of jewelry. Why? Because they both signify commitments of time. Right? Right. So we’re gonna work on the process and what kind of odds you’re trying to get for each piece. That’s why I’m gonna kind of break sales up into little pieces at this point, because there’s so many fragmented conversations out there.
Andy Paul 8:34
Yes, I’m not going to get me thinking about the importance of rings and watches. But no, that’s that’s very apt. Well, I think that and you get into this later in the book, I’m gonna get into this eventually. But it’s, it’s I mean, you talked about the importance of process right and, and yet at the same time, we’re really going through I think an evolution way of sales. Is that perhaps you’ve got too much process. And, and, and too much scripting and, and you talk about this issue of being able to be in the moment, you know, to be able to have some situational awareness to borrow that term from the military about what’s going on and be able to sort of frame or reframe what you’re doing to suit that situation.
Lance Tyson 9:20
Yeah, it’s true. It’s It’s, um, the thing about what you said so accurate like the the skill of being extemporaneous or impromptu is so important, because it’s it’s when you’re when you’re driving your car, like a lot of a lot of things we equate to now is like a ways app, right? The waves app is in the moment, or like one of your Google traffic magic that’s taking what’s in front of you, and then helping you decide to move left or right based off the circumstances and in sales, like everybody, everybody wants this perfect thing to say, but there’s really not you just kind of have to know where you’re going and the potential of them saying yes No, maybe it’s no no, it’s like a little bit. It’s almost like the game chutes and ladders. ladder, and you just got to kind of be ready for it so normal, but it’s we, you know, we’re doing some coaching recently with a tech company. And we kind of broke down some of their objections where they got the objections. And they were so stuck on their objections and the perfect wording for things. I was like, how could you actually be surprised at this point, you actually know every objection you’re going to get, you should be more prepared with how to respond to it, because you do it more than they get the objection. And they were so caught up in the perfect verbiage because they were so sucked into the scraps, right? And I said, No, I was like, you got to You got it. You put so much pressure on yourself. You got to kind of pressure them and they gave you the objection. Right? So you got to be it’s so it’s like you said it’s half art and half science right. So 50% of sales is process predictable and the process yields predictable results. And 50 percent are the great art of dealing with people, the great art of being The moment with somebody, the likability factor.
Andy Paul 11:03
Wow. Yeah. And that’s just one thing I was gonna do. Because, you know, one thing you and I are well aligned on is you wrote that the, you know, the bedrock of sales is still people selling to people. And yet this seems to be a mystery to many sellers. These two points you’re making earlier, they’re so locked into their process that when something happens out of the ordinary, they don’t know what to do. And, and, and I’m really, I put the blame on this really to management is saying, Yeah, we’ve got certain activity levels, we expect, we expect you to follow this process. yada, yada, yada, yada. But, you know, you’re one of 7 billion people in the world, you go out and talk to somebody, that’s gonna be a unique experience of that interaction. That is not the same with everybody else.
Lance Tyson 11:54
No, and there’s two types of salespeople in the world. There’s a type of salesperson that walks through this door in the hole. Room lines up and there’s a type that walks out of that door and the whole room lines up right? It’s like you gotta you gotta decide sighs kind of early part of my career is fortunate enough to work for Dale Carnegie training and I and I’m such a huge fan of those guys and and one of the books I tell everybody to read first sales reps read is How to Win Friends and Influence the top of top of the list I recommend everybody right hundred percent right go to FedEx kinkos today, you can buy it for seven bucks, right? One of the one of the it’s right, right, understand, but the thing I don’t I don’t get a lot is you know, you don’t actually have to like people, you have to get along with people. I don’t care whether you like them or not, but you’re gonna have to get results through people to some level right and you actively have a skill set people don’t realize, I think the biggest nomer were salespeople. I hear this one more time. I debate salespeople and sales managers all the time. It’s relationship selling. I said no relationships or outcomes. It’s because of the timeline. You actively can build Report don’t get confused with the words. I can build rapport with somebody, but relationships are because of things that happen. I can actively establish credibility and build trust, I can display an understanding and when you get that triangle, an equal out triangle, those three things, that’s the great art of selling at the end of the day. That’s a great art of leadership also, right?
Andy Paul 13:21
Yeah. Why? Yeah. I’m intrigued by that part, because yeah, the people fear the word relationship and sales. And, and I think it was either Plato or Aristotle talked about yet three levels of friendship or relationship and the first one’s what he called a friendship of utility. And that’s what you want and sales is a friendship of utility. It’s not something you’re not going to dinner with them. They’re not becoming best friends. And I think people we enter may have this discussion little bit about is that people will get confused by this term. analogy they think about relationships. Oh, I have to have this emotional bond with somebody. Yeah. Yes.
And I think that and trust is another word. See, I would, I would I would actually say that. That before you sell something, people don’t really trust you . What they do is they consider you trustworthy and nice. And that helps them get to that point they’ll make a decision I, I gave the example to GroupWise leading an exercise with us is okay, your buyer thinks you’re trustworthy enough to buy from but do they trust you enough to babysit their kids? And probably not right. So, yeah, I think where people get confused is that we can talk about know like and trust. You know, if you’re, if you have five meaningful interactions with the buyer during their buying process, Yeah, how much do they really know you? How much do they really have that don’t develop? You can’t be you, you won’t be likable. I think if you make this point you won’t be likable. But they don’t really know you enough to like you. I think we have to acknowledge that as sellers, the buyers make decisions with really imperfect information about us.
Lance Tyson 15:18
Yes, what you said really triggered something because I love the friendship of utility because that’s what it is right? And the only way you’re going to influence if somebody is there is some kind of rapport right? And then when you talk about trust really comes through this concept of credibility and what a lot of people don’t realize, you know, humans are humans are very, very judgmental. You’re Surely it’s somebody that trusts you is going to have a lot to do. Look, your appearance plays into it. I like, I hate 50 this year, and I’m sitting there going like now I’m the old white guy in front of the room, right like that. I’m like, I’m the old guy in the room now. So I get in front of these millennials. I go, Hey, I know I’m the old guy. You probably have judged Already, what does he know? He doesn’t know what I know. He doesn’t even know how to play fortnight, right? And then you flip it over, then once they get over, we get over how the appearance, whether that’s an email, whether it’s our tone, then we’re going to be judged on how we interact. Because even like, even me using my hands like this might offend some of the people that are watching like, he’s assertive or he’s raising his voice. I don’t like that tone. The last thing we’ll be judged on is who we are as humans, our souls, the last thing they’ll judge us on, right? Well,
Andy Paul 16:31
you write that in the book, but I wanted to bring that up, because I actually think that’s the first thing though, that people can judge you on. I think that the world basically operates on this basis that everywhere you go, the first thing when people meet you or so on, is what they’re asking is why you?
Unknown Speaker 16:51
Yes. And I
Andy Paul 16:52
I think that’s the first thing that I think and this is Sam got my experiences. That is the universal question. Yeah. If it doesn’t matter what you’re selling, could we find out advice that could be as you know, you’re talking about could be corporate sales. It could be whatever.
Lance Tyson 17:05
Well, yeah, I think they do by you. I think that’s ultimately if you went and googled, um, I think the best sales book ever is green eggs and ham right? It’s just the greatest sales book. So how many times does the objection come up 73 times and then when you ask like what was the first objection? I asked this all the time, so I don’t like green eggs and ham. I said no, that’s not the first objection. The first objection is I don’t like Sam my app. Yeah. So the first objection is the objection to the sale. So I agree there
Andy Paul 17:35
but people don’t know but people don’t pay attention to that though. That’s the thing that this is if you don’t do a good job to your point about building rapport and connection, I’ll say the word connection stuff relationships, right, fair bill, building your connection. It doesn’t matter what comes after that. You are You are in second place or third place. And you know this and you didn’t. There’s nothing you can do to change it. And the thing that so many sellers, I think, refused to acknowledge is that just because the customer is still talking to you doesn’t mean you’re in the running.
Andy Paul 18:17
I think if they don’t like it, well, why are they still spending time with it? Because there’s lots of reasons why they won’t try to find out what their options are. There’s, you know, it’s just that this first impression, which is rapport, the connection, all those things are so important, and you can’t just take it for granted. And,
Lance Tyson 18:38
and while you’re hired, that’s actually your job, like I was on the phone earlier today with the Memphis Grizzlies, and we’re doing a virtual set. And, you know, it’s a tough market to sell and it’s Memphis it’s, you know, they there’s, they love basketball down there called basketball, things like that. And I was talking to one of their sales people and they said, like, Lance, I was on this great call with them. This guy gave me every nice thing and you felt like he liked you. Yeah. Like the girl’s name was Emily. And she said, he liked me. I said, Did you feel he was asking you? She said, No. She wouldn’t even return my call at this point. I said, Is there a chance he didn’t want to buy from you? And she said, yeah. I said, Well, I said, at the end of the day, people are humans. People don’t like to deliver bad news at times. Yeah. Probably warranted because it doesn’t want to tell you no. All right. And I said, you gotta make it easy for him next time. You gotta let him know when you’re gonna follow up. It’s okay to say no to me. Yeah. So you at least can engage and give yourself odds to sell. Right? You know, we deal with humans. creatures of emotion. They just logically, yeah, yeah. I am 100% with you.
Andy Paul 19:44
Yeah, I want to touch briefly. You talked about your mentor, Sam in the book, the gentlemen that you start work with, Dale Carnegie, that ultimately bought some or all of his business. And what struck me is that it was a short sentence you had in there but you talked about the importance of values and thinking about, you learned about living a life of honor. Yes. Which I think is we don’t talk enough about values and character in sales. And I think it’s so important to get back to how people perceive you, because if you lack integrity, people are gonna understand that really quickly. Like,
Lance Tyson 20:19
it’s a mirror to the soul will know, quick, they’ll know definitely quick.
Andy Paul 20:22
Yeah. And so I just want to dig into that a little bit of, you know, why don’t we talk about it more when you only interview people? You know, I, I have a set of questions. I give clients interview questions that have values and character questions. I got this great book written by a guy named Tony john, Jan TJ, and he has been on the show books called good people. And he said, you know, the most important thing you could do as a manager or entrepreneur or whatever, is hire good people. And he gets into this whole idea of values and character as well. Because you know, it’s a representation of who you are and it comes across so quickly.
Lance Tyson 21:00
Well, I think a couple things and this is just my opinion, we have isms in our company. And these isms are things that over time I’ve learned from Sam, I learned from my dad, a lot of them were, you know, one one big, big ism in our company and there’s a couple people in the office that are kind of paying attention. Listen to me right now. They want to observe they’re doing a good job being quiet. Number isms, in our company you’ll figure it out. And I have one of my younger managers. She’s been with me since college, and she’s probably has more experience now than she would Her name’s Lauren. And we were talking yesterday, we had a tough conversation that she has all figured out. And like if you’re gonna like we like in our business, you gotta figure it out. Like I trust you to go. You have to trust yourself, you can solve problems. But this, this thing of honor, it is you have strength and honor to actually act and behave the right way. People make bad decisions for whatever reason people are necessarily bad. And it makes me think back to the I don’t know if you watch the movie Gladiator and I’m a history major history major so yes because no one ever get along the if you remember in the movie The the Romans would shake each other’s hand the inner inner part of their arm and they’d say, strengthen honor, that’s that’s his historically at some level correct? Because the Romans taught something around the citizen tree called vertice what it meant to be a Roman citizen Mm hmm. So my sons and I before they would go to bed and even we go to church we sign a piece or whatever and I want to get to a religion we actually say strengthen honor and we say that and it’s it’s part of our company and you know, doing it right it’s one thing but doing the right thing as a whole might be the most unpopular thing you’re gonna do. Right? But it’s doing the right things differently than doing it right.
Andy Paul 22:57
Yeah. I Right. And I love the lines I love and often cite this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, who’s one of my favorite writers, American rise philosopher, who said, what you do so loudly? I cannot hear what you say.
Lance Tyson 23:15
yes. Great quote.
Lance Tyson 23:24
You know, you know, I do want to say one of the things I think we bring up so important. We are our mission statement placement group. We work with sales leaders and teams to help them compete in a complex world. So when we do sales training, and you know, we’re around the country doing this just not me, any staff member of mine, we work with sales leaders for Oracle sales teams, because we have values. So we drive this session with people because it’s really hard for leaders in salespeople to figure out what they value. It’s hard, sometimes hard to articulate. So we do a whole exercise and excuse my language, what pisses you off, really pisses off salespeople, and I haven’t written things down. We go around the room. And what we found this is just our opinion and it’s not very scientific that whatever ticks you off really angers you frustrates you about a salesperson or some of your management about them, or something you consistently have to remind people on is usually where your values start. Hmm. Because whatever you observe that really frustrates you like I was on the phone this morning with a guy I’ve done business with for years, and he feels he has a couple salespeople on staff that are just kind of some young ones that are hustling from his inside team, and some ones that are kind of living high on the hog a little bit. And they’re not hustling, they’re not dressing the part and not acting the part that really frustrates him. I said, Ryan, why is that frustrating you so much he goes because I wasn’t. I didn’t come up through the ranks that way. Right? I said, are they stealing from you? And now they go What is it again? It’s like they’re lazy. So the laziness, so that’s the part has value, subscribe, a demonstration. That’s anything less than hustle is what he values. I’m not saying
Andy Paul 24:58
Yeah, so how is it different, right?
Lance Tyson 25:01
No, everybody is getting frustrated with me. I can actually, if you can get it done with less effort, I’m all about that. That wouldn’t that doesn’t necessarily frustrate me.
Andy Paul 25:09
Well, the thing is, that’s always a perception on somebody’s part. Right? It is. It is. So it’s about values. Yeah. Yes. As I said before, I’m a soccer fan and there’s a couple of players in the last decade or so in Premier League football in England. Sky Dimitar Berbatov who played for Tottenham and some other teams was legendary. Manchester United played for a legendary team because it just looked like he wasn’t trying. Right. But he was a deadly score and all these things but I always thought I love watching him play because he’s making it look so effortless. Right makes it look easy.
Lance Tyson 25:42
Other perception thing.
Andy Paul 25:45
other people look at and say lazy sob So, right. But the outcomes are what you wanted though. That’s, that’s that’s the thing. I want to spend a lot of time to because interesting, taken there and I’m probably gonna have to have to come back and do this more because we’re going to get to For a fraction of things I want to talk about is, as a couple interesting takes on empathy, you wrote that, that there’s no room for empathy and sales. So, yes, so tell us what you meant by that. Because that certainly certainly runs counter to what everybody has taught.
Lance Tyson 26:23
So it’s an interesting concept, right? And it’s probably the way it was, it was written in a way to frustrate people and get their attention. So I’ll use this example. So I get to college. I’m not very good at sports. I didn’t get a scholarship so I had to figure out how to pay for it. And I wasn’t even going to go to school because I was so sick of my parents asking me my grades so I figured out how to get in college to join the Marine Corps and for about a year hurt my back. Going to Penn State I was able to get in kind of like the condition that I had. I have a certain grade point average. So I figured out what I was going to do. So I said, I’ll become an RA. I said that’s like a free room and board. You kind of went through this class. And I probably and I’m going to say this whoever’s Listen, I do not want to offend people when I’m saying this, I was probably Mel Gibson taking the class and lethal weapon that if I was somebody that was going to like, take a dive off a golden, I’d be the good. I went to that class and I started to realize like, Hey, man, there are some people out there that are dealing with demons. And some ways they think how they’re brought up or who they are, that like, that’s not appropriate. I probably never to that point, appreciated empathy. But I also realized empathy was an extremely deep, deep connection. And for me to be empathetic with, like, my whole company is run by, like, I have like three female VPS and two of them are going through maternity leave right now for me to sit there and empathize with being pregnant, or what that’s like to, to go through it. I couldn’t understand it. I could be sympathetic to that, but I can’t be empathetic, that’s impossible. There’s just no way if you look at the definition, so when I look at sales and some sales or transactions like if you have a relationship, you talk of utility and things like that, I kind of go back to Dale Carnegie’s principle on how to win friends and influence people. I think this is more appropriate most of the time, be sympathetic to other people’s ideas and desires because they gave birth to them sales, being sympathetic to understand not feeling sorry for them, but gathering their ideas and listening to what they’re saying. I think that’s more doable. I think empathy is at such a high level. That’s, that’s where I’m more adamant.
Andy Paul 28:37
Okay. Well, so, let me share something. So I think that, that so and I agree to some, to some some degree, not to be repetitive. So what research now identifies there are three types of empathy. And there’s emotional empathy, which is the one that we most commonly associate with empathy. You know, I, I can feel this person’s pain, right? I can put myself in their shoes. And then there’s compassionate empathy which is Yeah, I can, I can feel their pain and I feel motivated, do something about it. And then there’s cognitive empathy, which is, I understand why they feel the way they do. And which I think is closer to what you’re talking about relative to the sympathy and, and a great book. People want to read it because Paul Bloom called against empathy. Where he really gets into this and this is what I think is the type of empathy that’s really important for salespeople. I distinguish it from sympathy because sympathy has this air of pity about it. But I think this cognitive empathy is Yeah, I don’t I don’t need to feel your pain. I need to understand why you feel this pain. I need to understand that context or I need to understand the context. And I think that then just using your words is so valuable for salespeople to not get hooked up again. Yeah, this is so painful this person is like, why is this painful? And if I understand why it’s painful, then I can actually help them develop an option or options about how to solve it.
Lance Tyson 30:15
Yeah, and I think I think kind of the split where you and I like where sometimes over understanding of why gets into problem solving where maybe you don’t need to go that deep it surely depends what you’re selling. I think when I’m more about the sympathy pieces, I see too many salespeople disregarding or not even asking other people’s opinion. And I think when I look at influence and persuasion, so that you are said to be sympathetic to other people’s ideas or desires, because they actually gave birth to them. I see too much ignorance going on there, where there’s so many times like, I’ll get a different shirt we sell, sell training, right? And there are so many times we were just dealing. It literally got me really wanting a big deal the other day with my salespeople where we’re selling to a textbook company. And so I said to the VP, I said, Listen, I said, if you’re talking to us, we got your attention. If you are going to do the sales training right now, what’s everything you would put into it? Mm hmm. And he listed all this stuff and exactly how we do it. Well, if you don’t think for one second, I didn’t go back his opinion at some level, it’s harder for him to argue his idea. It’s easy to argue my idea. So at some level, that’s kind of more than I’m getting at. Yeah, your last definition of empathy. I agree with that. The other two, and I think a big one. I really challenge people when they use words. Do you know what that word means? Now to really understand the word and I think you get so many, you know, shallow leadership and shallow sales people aren’t thinking just like going back to your comment about values. I don’t think they think Well yeah, you’re you’re
Andy Paul 31:59
you’re pretty You’re pretty blunt about that. In your book, you said the reason salespeople suck is they don’t think i think that’s a direct quote. So, yeah, you’re pretty direct about that. And I agree. I mean, this gets back to when the points were talking about earlier is that if you have an opportunity to interact with a prospect, and I call this value planning, right, and is that what is the value you’re going to deliver in that interaction? that at the end of it, the customer is going to be closer to making a decision than they were at the start of it? And if you can’t answer that question, you’re not thinking, right, you’re just going through a process. And this exactly in this part about sales that I think escapes many people, and if you’re listening, you got to really take this to heart. Selling is a deliberate act. It’s not an automatic act. You go through a process, I do step one, step two, step three, and I follow a script. It’s not what’s happening now. What do they need for me now to make progress toward making a decision? And that’s that, and I think back to sort of the earlier comment, you talked theater. Yeah, ring and watch signifying a commitment of time. And I’ve written this in both my books is that, you know, buyers, at one level or another, calculate an ROI on the time they invest in you.
Lance Tyson 33:14
100%. And it’s what you know, it’s just amazing. So I look, I’m with a, I was with the group that sells meteorites recently. We’re going through some deals when we’re talking and we’re talking about their first meetings and how do you open up and then I went in there and they were talking about how they qualify someone. I said, Why don’t you just ask why wouldn’t you just ask that fire? What actually got you to take a meeting with me today? Why don’t you just ask that question? You might if it was the same reaction when Columbus discovered North America, as everybody was on the deck, you I had I have like, you know, you know, these Ivy League educated folks in the background Britain will see that again. I go okay. I’m not even over exaggerating. You might. They’re like, wow, just like so where would you ask that? I said, I probably come off pleasantries and say, Hey, before we get started, send a curiosity. And sometimes as simple as the genius, but it gets into what you’re saying where like being in the moment be, you know, if they’re going to measure how valuable you are there, don’t do what you need to do in the moment. Like if you’re trying to set that appointment, right, or you’re on a first call, what are you trying to do there? You’re going to try and show some value, but don’t try to do too much. Right, because your sales can be broken up into pieces anyway.
Andy Paul 34:36
Yeah. Ron. All right. Well, and I would just append on to that question. You know, why is Jake meeting? So what’s on your mind? Right. So, you know why you’re interested in seeing what’s on your mind. And it’s like, such what’s on our mind? Well, let me tell you what’s on our mind, right? Because you just give him permission to open up.
Lance Tyson 35:00
Yeah, or like they say, Hey, what’s on my mind as you can call me? And I figured I wanted to meet this person? Yeah. In the moment, and now they’re buying you a little bit.
Andy Paul 35:08
Right. That’s right. run with it. If they say that. Don’t be afraid of it. Don’t go to the next question. A question on your script. BMP. Yeah, have an authentic response to it.
Lance Tyson 35:22
Now you know that when you said, “ Look, sales isn’t this line, it’s not this linear thing. It’s this atom that moves and like, you know, that first step might take three conversations. You’re not gonna say this and you say this, you can’t plan out your next play. You have to know the direction you’re going to turn it.
Andy Paul 35:42
Yeah, yeah. And part of that says this deliberate action. And I think, I think we’re salespeople. A lot of sales we have is an issue where they don’t really understand what they’re trying to do. And yeah, you say, Well, I’m trying to get an order. Well, are you really I mean, that’s the outcome of what you’re doing. And you use this word outcomes all the time, like is the relationship selling? But what you are really trying to do right now to what we talked about before is if you don’t connect and build rapport with that person, or so it’s not going to matter. So really isn’t your job to get really good at connecting and building rapport?
Lance Tyson 36:21
No doubt. If you think about what you’re just saying, like they don’t know what salespeople struggle with knowing what to do in the moment. So we teach this balanced attack approach where what’s the mindset of the customer? What’s your strategy? What’s your tactic, your tactics? Not always it’s not the same tactic every time and then what skill do you need to pull it off? So you think about this, sales are really just a series of yeses, right? And ultimately to get to a no or yes, yes, I’ll meet with Yes, you can ask me questions. Yes. You kind of targeted maybe what I need or what I want or what the opportunity is, yes, you can present something. Yes, you’ve dealt with the objections or resolved it yes or no all by itself. Five to six eyes. So essentially another way to look at is like, Hey, you got to overcome preoccupation. If you can overcome preoccupation, do you build some more rapport, some more credibility? If you talk like you understand their business, you enhance your credibility. Do you answer your poor answers? Yes, and if these things that mold together cause that interconnectivity, but it’s like you said, I’m here to get an order, well, then you’re not really thinking about it. Because there are things that have to happen before you can even have that conversation you got to get you to get them to raise their hand a little bit and say, Yeah, I’d be willing to see what you got. Don’t mean I’m gonna give you an order or not.
Andy Paul 37:34
Yeah. And I think along with that, this is one of the issues is, again, the way that the sales is oftentimes being trained, is that we got this linear process we go through, which doesn’t align at all with the buying process the buyers have, because they’re there this you know, spaghetti diagram as Gartner group calls
it now that that’s, yeah, it’s it’s not linear. So the least linear thing It’s like you take a handful of spaghetti and throw it up on the wall. That’s the flowchart of the buying process. Right? Right. But sellers have to be mindful that , you know, rapport building is not something to do just at the beginning, right? every interaction you build and build on it, every interaction you want to learn more every interaction is a discovery opportunity every interaction is the way that as a better an opportunity to understand more perfectly what it is they want, you know, every interaction you deliver something of value.
Lance Tyson 38:31
And so that’s where the challenger sale really kind of screwed a lot of people up I mean, I like they’re studying everything but they intimated that it’s not really not a sales process. What people do, right, they like so far in the future are so far beginning you got to really prequalify them, like, as if they’re willing to answer your questions.
Lance Tyson 38:52
So a lot of people come out of the gate when that stuff comes off, and they’re asking the first meeting, what’s your budget that I remember some somebody trying to sell A copier once it goes, What’s your budget? I go, half your best offer.
Andy Paul 39:10
why do I use the analogy of like, yeah, online dating, right? If you meet somebody on an app? Yeah, yes, sir. I have to earn the right. Ask more intimate questions, right. Same thing true with your customer, right? And plus, yeah, they’re not gonna reveal they’re crazy on the first date most time so
Lance Tyson 39:28
the people who fail most on those dating apps are the ones that you know, say you’re on Tinder or Bumble. They, you know, I was talking to a friend of mine about this one time, and they’re literally the right and I want my head happily ever after on their profile. So will you scare half everybody away? Like, why are you just trying to get a glass of wine or a cup of coffee with somebody? happily ever after a bar. It’s like, I’m here to get the order. I know you got to get the date first. So
Andy Paul 39:55
Exactly. Okay, so last point I want to cover before we go. It’s been so much fun. I love this one. Because, as you said, there’s actually a quote you wrote, there’s actually zero skill in closing. It’s just a matter of landing the airplane and I thought I was giving a standing ovation when I was reading it because yeah, I yeah, I got so frustrated by the mythology of the closer quote unquote, closer. And it’s like, Hey, I tell people I said, Yeah, I’ve literally sold hundreds of millions of dollars of stuff around the world in my career, ranging from women’s shoes to communication systems worth over 100 million dollars. I’ve never been in the room when the customers made the decision.
Andy Paul 40:48
And yet we still have sales organizations putting out job descriptions for account execs and so on that we want this extroverted aggressive, closer and I think I asked him I see that. So I said, Well, what the hell is that?
Lance Tyson 41:03
I agree with you. I couldn’t. First of all, I appreciate your approach. I can do a ton of podcasts and you read my book and I love that you’re pulling. I’m almost over here hoping I say that. I I wholeheartedly believe it. I think people overcomplicate the process. I think bottom line, you have to be in a situation where you’re comfortable enough, asking somebody what their thoughts are moving forward at some level, which is direct. And half the time they’re gonna come back and say, at some level, I need to think about it. And then and then you’re gonna have to dig in and say, What do you like, What don’t you like, what do you think about but when they do, they’ll make that decision. Just like I was talking about the textbook company we’re doing business with, like, they’re they came back to us and said, hey, let’s, let’s, let’s talk a little bit about the number bla bla bla bla bla. Well, once they did that I once wanted to talk about the number after the other pitch. I was like, All right, we’re already here. He goes, can you sharpen your pencil? I said, To what? And he goes, Well, I’m not sure so, sure you’re gonna give me a range and then you’re gonna tell me what I should take out of this. And he goes, Well, we want everything I said, Well,
I said, then you’re gonna have to give, you’re gonna have to tell me what you’re thinking.
In like, there’s a little push back and forth. And I guess you could call that like some quasi negotiation. It was not done in a way that would offend anybody, but he was doing what he should have done, because he’s right. But like, I wasn’t in the room when they made the decision to do that.
Andy Paul 42:35
Yeah, yeah, it’s something that’s nuts things that are happening. But it’s good to know that someone like yourself out there that’s that’s talking about this as well.
Lance Tyson 42:57
Yeah, I’m like I mentioned before in the talk. Tyson group is where just a little plug we’ve been ranked the last couple years by selling powers a top 20 sales training organization. Honorable Mention we’re really book Tiki so we’re not a monster organization. I think what we do uniquely is assess the design training coach. So we put a lot into how we assess organizations because we understand most organizations sales teams suffer from uniqueness and we respect that. So I want to make sure it says in design, you can reach me at Tyson. Go on our website, Tyson group, they will learn more. Reach out to me at Lance face LinkedIn on twitter at Lance Tyson and Instagram and lt plan.
Andy Paul 43:39
lt plan. All right, good. So well, Lance. Thanks for taking the time. And let’s look forward to doing this again.
Lance Tyson 43:45
Appreciate thanks so much for your time, for sure.
Andy Paul 43:53
Okay, friends, that was accelerated for the week. First of all, as always, I want to thank you for joining me and I want to thank my guests Lance Tyson. Join me next week as my guest will be Lisa Magnussen, Lisa’s author of the book entitled The top sales leader playbook, how to win five x deals repeatedly. And we’re gonna talk about learning how to win big deals, how you as a sales leader and your sales team, how you effectively target and close deals that are multiples and size five x in particular, compared to your current normal deal size, it’ll be a great conversation. You’ll definitely want to check it out and join us then. So again, thanks for joining me this week on accelerate Until next week, I’m your host, Andy Paul. Good selling everyone.