Marylou: Hi everyone, it’s Marylou Tyler. This week, I have a repeat guest because he’s so fabulous, Jeb Blount. We talked with Jeb probably a year ago now on his book Fanatical Prospecting which I do recommend that everyone have in their shelf. I have my version because it’s available at airports, on bookstores, online. Now, he’s come out with a fabulous book called Sales EQ: The New Psychology of Selling. Welcome Jeb to the podcast.
Jeb: Thank you for having me back. I love to be on your podcast. I can’t believe it’s been a year but I was just thinking it has been a year, that’s too long.
Marylou: I know you need to write more books, get out there. I just downloaded my copy of Sales EQ and I love where you’re going with this. Tell the audience, what happened? I think this is one of those books everyone that’s going to be a resource book, that you’re going to go to again and again and again. You’re probably going to have it earmarked. You’re probably going to have it underlined if you’re an old-timer like me, highlighted. What caused you to get this book out?
Jeb: We are in a world that is being overwhelmed with technology. It’s what everybody talks about, the digital world. Technology is great, it is awesome. It has done so many things for us. It made life easier. It gives us the ability to connect with anyone really anywhere, anytime, on any device. It’s just striking how it changed our lives.
In the middle of all of that, the world is changed to good that buyers are more afraid than they’ve even been before to make a change, the great recession didn’t help that any. At the same time, we have an entire generation of salespeople who are coming into the sales force who have basically lived their life with people in an abstract. In other words, they’ve communicated via text, or via Snapchat, or via Facebook for those that are in their early 20s. No one taught them how to interact with other human beings.
At the same time, these buyers who are afraid because of all of the disruptive change that are hitting them, they’ve gotten a little bit raw with salespeople who just waste their time, who come in and impeach, and talk about themselves. The pre-show, we were talking about sending emails where the first line of the email is about the seller. They’re sick of it and they’re exasperated with it.
A number of books have come out that have been trying to address this, insight Selling, Challenger Sale, which is a really big book. What I noticed was a lot of my clients who were adapting things like Challenger Sale were failing at it miserably because the system in the process looks really, really good but they were able to actualize at the human level.
In a sales relationship, I call it an artificial relationship, it’s not the type of relationship we have anywhere else in your life. Its two strangers basically who come together to accomplish something, neither of them trusting each other, extremely emotional because no one wants to fail, or lose, or be taken, and everybody is looking to get the outcome that’s in their best interest. Very few relationships you have are like that. It puts both buyer and seller in these extreme emotional vice and the advice is go challenge them, go talk at them, we send them stupid emails that don’t engage them emotionally, and we’re just a hole. Just spending time with my clients, I noticed that there was a hole.
This is a follow up to Fanatical Prospecting with the rest of the story which is for sellers, how do you manage your own disruptive emotions so that you have the ability to influence the emotions of other people? For the sellers working with buyers, how do you help the buyer connect with you emotionally so that as they’re walking to the buying journey with you, whether it’s from the very beginning when you’re reaching out to them and asking them for time, all the way through of your account executive going all the way to the close, how are you doing it in a way so that the buyer, the stakeholder, whoever you’re working with has this amazing emotional experience and they become connected to you and they’re buying you and not the product or the service?
In today’s world, in most cases when you have competitors offering their equal, they’re all about the same and you become the differentiator that eventually gets the deal closed. That’s a long answer to a short question but I hope that makes sense.
Marylou: It does. I think there are a couple points that I want to make sure hit home with my folks. The first is the work that I’ve done teaches how to get to that first conversation but as Jeb said, what he’s done in this book is to teach you how to overcome your fear when you actually have someone on the other end say, “Hello.” And what do you do on that point of view? I don’t teach that and I get you up to that point but Jeb actually walks you through how to not only have this conversations so that you get both of you to the desired outcome of whatever that call is, but how to put that fear, anxiety, whatever it is that’s inside of your being, how to control and maintain that so that you can have a compelling conversation with your buyer. Let’s talk a little bit about that. What kinds of fears are you seeing? What are the main obstacles that we put in our own way in order to effectively have that first conversation?
Jeb: One of the biggest problems itself people have, crazy at it sounds, is they are hyper-empathic. This is especially true for outreach professionals, people who are picking up the phone and reaching out to strangers essentially, and asking them for their time. By the way, I think it’s important to understand that asking someone for their time is the hardest ask in sales. It’s one of the reasons when I’m working with account executives, I look at them dead in the eye and say, “If you can’t pick up the phone and ask for time, I can never trust you to ask for money.” Therefore you have a responsibility to be in the churches with your SDRs, supplementing the work that they’re doing with prospecting, you have to be there. For SDRs and BDRs, when you are picking up the phone, calling strangers, and asking for time, know that you are doing the most difficult job in the sales world.
If we think about it, one of the big issues that say an SDR has when they’re asking for time whether picking the phone and calling is when you’re hyper-empathic. That means that say for example on the scale of 1 to 10 for empathy, which by the way is the midscale of 21st century. Empathy, if you have a great little of empathy in sales, you can step into your buyer’s shoes and understand them.
But if you’re too empathetic, what happens is you start projecting onto the potential prospect. You feel like asking for time it’s too pushy, or when you get a brush off, getting past that brush off and asking for the meeting anyway, you’re being too pushy and you begin to think about that, you begin to worry about that and then that kicks off what they call fight or flight, which is an autonomic response that you have for feeling of threat. That creates a neurochemical reaction in your body that makes your heartbeat and your muscle tense up and you can’t think very well. This is what happens when you get an objection or you get rejected, that kicks on but you can make that happen through worry. That’s one of the big issues.
The other problem that you have and this is another issue for SDRs and BDRs. On the other side of things, which is on the scale towards narcissistic or being extremely self-centered. People who are extremely self-centered at times can make really, really good SDRs because you’re calling up, you’re reaching in, you’re asking for time, and you move on to the next one. The moment that you have to do with deeper level of qualification, the moment that you have to engage in another human being, if you were not able to just wrap that self-centered desire and be more empathetic, you won’t make a real human connection, you won’t be authentic, and you won’t be able to deep dive and gather the information that you need.
By the way, when you’re thinking about levelling up in your organization and getting promoted into a higher level sales job, if you’re unable to disconnect from your inwards focus, your self-centered focus and be more empathetic, it’ll be very difficult for you to make that move. As weird as it sounds because when we think about empathy we think about empathy being a good thing, it’s a double-edged sword for salespeople.
Marylou: Wow. Yeah, I think one of the things I’m sure is resonating with the folks listening right now is we get to that first conversation, we may have some jitters but we get time. Then the next meeting is set where we’re supposed to do maybe an are we a fit call, which is a top level qualification in some organizations. Some organization actually dives into an hour long call with one stakeholder and then followed by two hour call or so with multiple stakeholders. I think that first conversation is the one where people see that lag, or the ability to continue that sale stall. From what I’m hearing what you’re saying is that there is a process, since I’m a process expert, there is a process that they can learn of how to not only determine where they are but also determine where your buyer is along that empathy scale, is that correct?
Jeb: That’s correct. Let’s talk about fight or flight. This is one of the biggest issues that face all humans. We have a natural process inside of our brains for keeping us alive. Our brain responds to threats. There’s all a part of your brain called the amygdala. It’s the hub for all your sensory information. When it senses that you are being threatened, it sends off these signals that release adrenaline into your bloodstream and cause a whole lot of crazy things to happen to get you ready to either run away or defend yourself.
The problem for us as human beings is that it responds to two types of threats. One of those threats is physical threat. If you are being physically threatened, it rightly so gets you ready to run away or to defend yourself. Because human beings are packed animals, we feel threat to our social standing.
When you think you’re going to get rejected or you think you’re in a situation where the person might say no to you, a great example of that for moving a deal forward into the pipeline, for asking for the next step, is we ask to the next step the person might say no. A lot of our early conversations end up going nowhere because the prospects will actually, “Why don’t you give me a call next week.” The salesperson says, “Sure, that’ll be fine. I’ll call you next week.” And then you never get them back on the telephone again. The reason is that you failed to get in a way at the disruptive emotion of being afraid of being threatened, of running away from that, and just asking for the next meeting. Because if you asked for the next meeting and they say no to you, it tells you a lot about how qualified they are to keep moving forward, it tells you about their engagement.
What top salespeople, I call them ultra-high performers, do is they’re constantly testing that with asking for the next step. To do that, you have to get pass this emotional rush called fight or flight that happens without your consent, you have to get pass that. You have to teach yourself to despite how you feel, “I don’t want to be too pushy.” Or “I don’t want to put this person in a situation when they tell me no.” Or “I don’t want them to be uncomfortable.” You have to push pass that and ask respectfully and politely but assertively for the next step, for the next commitment, for a micro commitment along the way. Until you understand that, we walk you through that process in the book so you understand how that works, you never going to get pass that.
I think the big thing if you’re new about emotions is this, is the book doesn’t teach you how to basically stop your emotions because you can’t. All the emotions that you feel happen without your consent. People have no control over that. What it teaches you is in the context of a sales relationship, which is different than anything else that you have in your life. How to put in systems, you’re a systems and process person, and process this to check those disruptive emotions so you become aware what’s happening and you’re able to get control of yourself. In other words, you’re able to rise above your emotion. The emotions can be happening but cautiously and rationally rise above them versus being tossed around by them.
Marylou: That’s a perfect example of stopping right now and correlating that to when we’re working on the email engine and when we’re working on these level of awareness, we’re trying to figure out where in the thought process a buyer is. I’ve taught my folks to be able to articulate where that is and also to track where that is. What Jeb is saying is the same thing needs to happen with your patterning, with the way that you handle certain situations, and awareness is the first step of becoming more of a master at it. Knowing that you are who you are, you’re going to feel what you feel, but getting that awareness around why you feel the way you do and at what point you feel the way you do will allow you to overcome that, is that correct Jeb?
Jeb: Yes, absolutely. That’s the universal law of awareness of sales. That says that you can’t be successful in sales and delusional at the same time.
Jeb: So you have to be aware. I think it’s probably fair to say this because we’re humans. In a lot of cases we can’t even see our reaction, we don’t even feel it. It’s just happening to us.
Dr. Kahneman, one of the people that I quote in the book, who wrote Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow, so that humans are unique and that we’re blind to the obvious. Lots of the obvious that’s happening or we’re feeling fear, we’re holding back, and we know that we should ask for what we want but we don’t. We feel this fear but we’re blind to the obvious and then we’re blind to our blindness, and he’s exactly right.
What all ultra-high performing salespeople do is they create mechanisms to help them be able to see. For example, qualifying is one of those mechanisms. If I understand what an ideal qualified prospect look like and I can look at the empirical data that tells me that this prospect is qualified. Over time, I can look at the emotional data that says that the stakeholder is qualified. For example, if I ask them a question and they give me a long answer, tells me they’re engaged. If I asked a question, they give me a one word answer, I got some work to do because they’re not engaged, there’s an emotional wall up. If I’m not sensitive to that, if I’m not paying attention to that, if I’m not listening to that emotionally, then I’ve got a problem. But if you teach yourself to listen deeply to those emotions, then even though that particular persona, that style of only giving you a little bit of information and typically you’re going to find that in people who are analyzers, they’re accountants and CFOs, those type of people. Instead of shutting down and then you starting to talk over them, you recognize, “I’m going to need to go a little slower here because I can’t move forward until this person begins giving me long answers me, or until this person means forward, or until this person changes their tone of voice so that they sound like this is something that’s important to them. I need to change the way I’m doing things.”
The same check and balance, if I have a deal that is qualified on paper but I can’t get the key stakeholders to agree to the next meeting, I can beat my chest all I want to, I can throw all the information I want to, I can do all the pitching that I want to, but that deal is going to stall in my pipeline. I’m not going to be able to move it forward with a hope or a witch.
The reason most of that happen like deal stalling, not paying attention to qualifying, and working on low probability deals, almost all of that, almost 100% of it is caused by disruptive emotions, not the system. It’s your delusion, it’s your inability to understand that your fear, your insecurity, your desperation, and your attachment, all of those things are coming into play and they’re keeping you from getting what you want. What top salespeople have very, very well, is they learn to control their emotions.
Another way of looking at this is in any sales conversation, the person in that conversation who has the most control of their emotions has the highest probability of getting the outcome that they desire.
Marylou: Wow. That speaks volumes right there for sure. In chapter five, I think you talked about the four levels of sales intelligence. Does this apply to an SDR role, or is it an AE role, or is it anyone in sales in any sales capacity?
Jeb: It’s anyone in any sales capacity. There’s innate intelligence such your IQ, that’s how smart you are. That’s unmovable, that’s talent, it’s baked into your DNA. Every single person is as smart as they’re going to be. We’ll do an extrapolation and we’ll think about your audience. If you’re listening to this podcast, you probably have an above average IQ, because people who have above average IQs most of the time are working on ways to improve themselves.
In sales today, I think that’s important. It’s really, really hard. With the complexity that we face in the environment that we’re in today, with the rap and disruptive change to have a low IQ and be successful but IQ is not nearly enough. You also have acquired knowledge. That’s what you get from going on to your website and reading things, reading our books and paying attention to everything that surrounds you. It only works right if you were able to learn diversity, if you’re able to read books, if you’re able to grow. That’s acquired knowledge. What acquired knowledge does is it makes your IQ relevant. It makes it useful for you in different capacity. There’s no difference in a tough athlete who goes and gets a good coach that turns them into a lead athlete.
From there we have technological intelligence. Today, our ability to interact with and work with machine learning and with artificial intelligence and with technology, and integrate it into our lives in a way that gives us more time for the things that are most important in our lives and that’s human beings. If you’re in sales today, this is a requirement. There is a wave of technology rolling over the sales world and if you don’t wake up and if you don’t learn how to adapt to a technology and bring it in your life, you are going to be left behind. The days of, “I didn’t know how to use that because nobody taught me,” or “I’m not really good with computers,” or “I’m not really good with technology,” if those words escape your lips, go look in the mirror and have a good talk with yourself because you will be unemployed. You have to learn how to interact with technology and you have to be able to use technology by the way to help you acquire more knowledge.
Finally there’s emotional intelligence and that’s EQ. We have IQ, AQ, TQ and EQ. Emotional intelligence is your ability to perceive, control, and own your own emotions while at the same time responding appropriately to the emotions of other people so that you can influence their behaviour. To me, for me, this is called sales-specific emotional intelligence. For us, this is everything. This is the fuel of ultra-high performers. This is what pulls all those together because there are people who have high IQ, who know a lot of stuff, and are great with computers that can’t get along with a wall. There are people who have high IQ and they maybe deficient in some of those other areas and it fills that in.
As a salesperson, you have to focus on raising your AQ, raising your TQ, and raising your EQ. You can’t do anything about your IQ. What I’ll tell you is that we call them high Q people, that’s a stupid thing to call them but I can’t think of anything else but we call them high Q people. High Q people will own the world. Another way of looking at this, this is a really harsh thing to say but in the future, there are going to be two types of salespeople. They’re going to be salespeople who tell robots what to do and they’re going to be salespeople who are called what to do by robots. Trust me, you want to be in the first group.
Marylou: Indeed, indeed. As I was reading through the book, another area that I know my crowd get stuck on is the concept of qualification. There are always arguments. Even my business partner disagrees with me because I used the word disqualification as opposed to qualification. He hates that. I’m more about trying to get rid of the junk out of the pipeline but I know there’s probably a more elegant way to look at this. I think one of the chapters in your book really focused on this concept or the topic of qualification and how to do it right. Would you mind sharing that with the audience?
Jeb: I think you are right by the way. If we look at ultra-high performing sales reps and these are the people that are in the top 1% to 5% of their peer group. One of the things that ultra-high performers have the ability to do is walk away from deals. They’ll invest months and months and months in deal and they’ll get up one day and leave it, because they live in something called win probability, which I know is something that is near and dear to your heart.
With single deal and they say, “What is my probability of either moving this to the next step and then ultimately to win it?” You can only move a deal forward one micro commitment and one next step at a time. Their qualifying process begins with a mindset of, “I spend my time on the highest probability deals.”
Here’s the thing for salespeople and this is what you have to understand, your success will always be limited by how you chose to spend your time. I’ll say it one more time, your success as a salesperson will always be limited by how you chose to spend your time. If you chose to spend your time on low probability deals, you are going to fail. If you spend your time on high probability deals, you’re going to succeed. The higher probability the deal, the more money you’re going to make, the more deals you’re going to put in the pipeline, the more your pipeline is going to be robust and it’s going to be moving and it’s going to have a high velocity from start to finish.
The problem for us is that when we try to assess win probability, the human cognitive bias called [00:29:24] comes into play. What that means is that as human being spend more and more effort, whether it’s time, whether it’s treasure, putting money into it, or whether it’s putting emotion at something, we become more attached to something and we become delusional about the probability that it will happen again.
There are a number of biases. One of the biases called attribution bias that makes it very hard for human beings to assign probability factors to a particular event because we are bias by the other events that happen around this. There are some salespeople who have something called the confidence bias. They think they have the ability to close something that no one could close, it would be impossible to close. The greatest salesperson in the world could never close it. Og Mandino couldn’t close it so nobody could close.
You have all of these human biases, all these emotions around what win probability looks like. The only way to manage that is through a system of qualification that allows you to understand the qualification touch points of a prospect or the data points about prospect, so that you have the ability to look at it objectively. There are some pit parts of all these that are non-objective. I mean, is the stakeholder engaged or not as that objective. However, if the stakeholder refuses to go to the next step or refuses to live up to their commitment, or refuses to match my effort, or doesn’t match my efforts, that’s empirical evidence that the emotional engagement isn’t there.
I build a process, it’s a non-brain process that allows you over time to better qualify your prospect. Any qualification method that you chose, you use BANT, MEDDIC, WOLFE, PACT, any of the qualification acronyms that used others fit into these process to allow you to be aware of whether or not your deal is qualified.
In the chapters, something you have to read more about, we talked about murder boarding which is the process of using that non-brain process inside the sales process to become even more aware of where you are in a deal and does it matter. I’ll tell you and I wrote this in the book, this is true for Fanatical Prospecting as well and the other six books that I wrote, there’s nothing that I can teach in a book that will help you if you’re working with a qualified prospect that’s not qualified. You can be the greatest human being in the world. You have the highest EQ, you can be smart beyond your years, you can be the greatest close, greatest phone callers, greatest appointment setter that ever lived, if you’re dealing with a prospect that is not qualified, you’ll fail.
I go back to what you said, disqualifying, one of the things that ultra-high performers are constantly doing is they’re looking at their pipeline deals and they’re making decisions about whether to take them out, not whether to keep them in. It’s a different way of looking at things.
Marylou: It is. Thank you for saying that because it’s my mindset, it has always been my mindset, and it’s not I don’t love all my prospects, is that I know there are certain ones that are going to be more profitable early on and it’s all about for me is high revenue, high likelihood of closing. And then now as I get older, it’s do I love my clients, is one of my qualifiers too. Not so much when I was younger but definitely now as I’m getting older. There’s a love component to all of these for me that definitely has a play.
Jeb: I’ve got this square I’d like to play and I used this four square matrix for fit. I’ve look at, are you easy to work with and highly profitable. That’s where I want to spend my time.
I was on the phone with a big client of ours who is growing bigger and bigger, and there’s a big opportunity for us inside this big client. I’m on the phone with the person who is an influencer. We’re supposed to be having to talk on your show and I’m saying, “Listen, here’s the deal. This is beyond business for me. I love you guys. The only reason I want to keep working on this is because I’m really having fun time working with you and I had such a good time working with you that I almost should pay you for the opportunity.” Those were the clients that I want. I want to work with people that I like but let’s taught and talk about a 25 year old. I had someone give me this advice early on my career and it’s the greatest thing about sales, is you don’t have to work with people that you don’t like because as a sales professional, if you can prospect and you can manage a pipeline and you can qualify properly, you can fill in the gap. There’s a prospect out there that’s hard to work with, they don’t treat you well, they don’t value you, they don’t value your team, they don’t value the conversations, they’re not engaged, they make everything hard, you don’t have to do that, you don’t spend time with them, you can go get three more that’ll be so happy that you’re working with them and helping them. Actually, that’s the hard end. I’ve away from a lot of clients and a lot of opportunities where I just looked at it and said, “Life’s too short to deal with this jerk.”
Marylou: Right. I wish my clients are like that but sometimes we are given records to work especially in the more high volume shops. We don’t get to choose sometimes who we’re going to be working on and so that component of freedom that I would think, that we experience as entrepreneurs, solos, or people who are allowed to build our own pipelines is not there for people. So the next best step is to really focus on and I’m so glad you agree with me on the disqualification because of the fact that we have technology, we have process, we have the ability to build a good enough pipeline so that we don’t experience those peaks and valleys and we have more of an even kill approach.
I have a question for you, Jeb because it’s interesting. I talked with one of your colleagues, who we all love, and he uses the word discipline. I have a problem with discipline because I think discipline is for folks that are like I think of marines, or I think of people who are just everyday, “Boom, we’re gonna get this done. We’re going to get this done.” What I like to teach my folks is that yes we need discipline but I want you to work towards habit. Because I think habit is more of getting up in the morning, brushing your teeth. It’s getting up in the morning, doing your prospecting. What do you feel? What would you call this process that we’re trying to get people to do in the prospecting world? Is it habit? Is it discipline? Or is this something else? What is your term for it?
Jeb: That’s a great question. I wouldn’t say I’m the most discipline person or I get a lot done. I want to step back in that last conversation that we had. I want to clarify because I want to make sure people aren’t hearing me the wrong way. No salesperson has the choice of who they work on because you have a database, you have a choice of who you work with. There’s a difference there. Because once you get them into your pipeline, right then at that point, you begin making decisions, “Is this a prospect that I want to continue on this journey with?” To me, that is discipline, the discipline to be able to say in the pipeline, based on everything that I see here, me spending another minute of my time on this deal isn’t going to be worth it because if I take this time and I invested in this deal, I’m going to make twice as much money, I’m going to have a better outcome and I’m going to close it quicker. To me, that’s discipline, that discipline is it’s the emotional discipline to overcome your natural tendency to hold onto something that’s not going to close versus being able to make good decisions in that emotions too for you. That’s where I see discipline.
When we talked about prospecting, for example, one of the things that you’ll notice in the very best prospectors is their consistence. We keep calling it habit but they’re unbelievably consistent. A great example of how I’ll see a salespeople like one day they’re doing this and one day they’re doing that, and the results were changing all over the place. They’re up and they’re down, they’re up and they’re down. You challenge them on that. You say, “You don’t have a plan. You don’t come in everyday and you have a system that you run.” And they’ll go, “Well, you know dude, I don’t really like being held down. I keep things loose and do whatever I want to do because you just never know what’s going to happen.”
Most people are typically average to mediocre salespeople. They don’t have a plan, or a system, or a process. Then you have the people that crush it. I mean everyday they crush it, their pipeline is always full. What you notice about them is it they have a habitual use or work habitual system. They’re consistent. They come in and every morning they have the same cup of coffee at exactly the same time. They open up their computer, they turn everything off, they get rid of all the noise, they sit down, they do their outbound phone blog, then they stop, then they enter into their database, then they work on their email blog, then they do this, then they move into this. They’ve just got a consistent process and habit for managing every single day.
When I think about prospecting and filling the pipeline, to me that’s the foundation. If you don’t have a foundational system for doing it, you’re just going to stale. In Fanatical Prospecting I make this claim all the time because I think there’s a difference between prospecting and sales, is that prospecting is full contact. There are not a lot of new ones here. I mean I’m interrupting someone’s day and I’m asking them to give me their time, hard as asking sales. When we add your predictable system into it, I’m calling the right people everyday with the right message, who are also strangers asking for their time. There were no new ones in that.
Our favorite friend, we’re just talking about said to me last night on a telephone call, we’re doing this conference. “We need to change everything else up there. I’m in prejudice.” I’m like, “What’s there to change up? This is freaking prospecting.” I mean, “There’s like 10 steps. Do those things over and over and over again, I promise you’ll be successful.” That’s what maddening about it.
To me, discipline is impulse control, it is emotional intelligence, it’s self-control. It is giving up what you want now for what you want most. That’s what I mean by discipline. The discipline of the yes, or no, or having a lifestyle that is so structured, that you don’t have any fun, I think that’s what you and I probably think of and a lot salespeople think of, I can’t say that I’m that type of a discipline person because I’m not but I’m extremely disciplined with the emotional decisions that I have to make when it comes to prospecting my pipeline, extremely disciplined.
Marylou: Yeah. I think what I really would love my folks to get to the point of is analogous to naps. Taking a nap everyday is probably a good thing, especially someone getting it up in years like I am, it’s like 20 minute nap is a good thing. It’s something that I really do everyday but I know it’s good for me. Prospecting is a same way. You have to build up to knowing in your heart that it’s good for you to do, it’s going to be the driver for growth in your pipeline.
I’m not saying that if you’re doing all roles, if you’re prospecting, selling, servicing accounts, you can’t possibly prospect everyday. I don’t prospect everyday but I do have on my wall a board that says Tuesdays and Fridays, I am prospecting and I do it in blocks. My blocks are short, I put 33.33 on my phone and then hit start as a countdown and I prospect during 33 minutes and 33 seconds of time. When I’m done, I’m done. But I’m only doing that single test and that has made me very successful with the pipeline that I can’t possible work the opportunities because I’m just me. That’s where I want you guys to get.
What Jeb offers is the ability to once you get somebody on the phone, you can create a compelling reason for them to want to move forward with you and lean into that phone thinking, “Wow, these people really know, this person really knows what’s bothering me, what my challenges are. I want to continue the conversation with that person.” To do that, you really need to dive deep into who you are, how you think, what your fears are, and also that of your buyer, where they’re at in their top process. I think the Sales EQ book just is mind boggling. There’s so much information in there and how to go about doing that.
Jeb: Awesome. I like that.
Marylou: The question is, we’ve got the book, we’re kind of process people, what do you have for us? How do we take this book and use it as a resource to actually start putting these practices in place and start to internalize them into our DNA so that we are going to be awesome on the phone or awesome in our emails as we go forward? How do we continue our education?
Jeb: This is what’s most beautiful about and a little bit disheartening about emotional intelligence. We define it as a sales-specific emotional intelligence because the emotional intelligence trace that you need in the context of a sales conversation are a little bit different than what you need as a leader, or a parent, or a teacher, or even a fireman, because of the nature of the commercial relationship that you’re in.
The thing about emotional intelligence is that is a lifelong endeavour. Everyday of my life, I have to work at managing, building, and growing my emotional intelligence. Good news, emotional intelligence is something that you can absolutely grow, you can become better at, and you can improve but it is ongoing always on.
The first step is get the book, Sales EQ. I promise you’ll like it. If you don’t, call me up, I’ll give you refund, you’ll love it. Understand what emotional intelligence is, so read about disruptive emotions. Understand the four foundational components of Sales EQ. Once you understand that, really the rest of the book, every single chapter on the book almost stands alone. I don’t know if you noticed that. You could open the book and take any chapter in the book and read it, and it will almost be independent of everything else. But you have to start with the foundation of managing your own disruptive emotions.
If I’m you, if I said go do something right now, I would say you’ll do two things. I would say, “Take out a piece of paper and put it on the desk long ways and draw three columns. Write trivial, important, and impactful.” For a week, take a look out how you spend your time. Are you spending your time on trivial things– things that don’t matter in the whole scheme of things; things that are important–there’s a bunch of those things like taking care of customers, responding to the bulk of emails and turning in a report; and what’s impactful–impactful is having conversations with customers, adding something to your pipeline, moving things to your pipeline.
Take a look at how you’re spending your time. That will tell you a lot about your impulse control, your habits, and your emotional discipline. And then, sit back and start paying attention to how you feel. When you are on the phone with the customer, before you call a prospect up, before your work day ends, at the end of your work day, when you get rejected, when you get an objection, when you’re getting certain kinds of rejection, when you’re running the certain buyer and prospect your personas.
Marylou and I, I’d love the way these things fit together. You talked about prospecting for phone, personas and then Sales EQ, you can shift into Buyer Personas. Our stakeholder persona is different people you’re going to deal with and they’re going to shift along that process of making decisions.
Those people, how do you deal about them? Think about your interactions. Who do you do the best with? Who do you do worst with? And start building your awareness. And then go buy the book and read the main chapters on Sales EQ or emotional intelligence. From there, whatever role you’re in and wherever you fit in the sales continuum, you can pull multiple chapters out of the book that will help you wherever you are.
Marylou: Yeah, definitely. I noticed when I was going through it that there were certain areas of immediate interest to me, it all flowed very nicely but you’re right, you need to start with at least understanding where you are from a pattern perspective and your cognitive biases. There’s some great chapters on that to really get a baseline as to where you are as a person regardless of the salesperson or not even though this book is obviously written for sales professionals. From there you can just drill down in the areas that are of interest.
The other thing I’d love about this book is that Jeb has processes these and he’s schematics. He’s got all the things that I love, the visual representation of how to start tackling these things. End result is you’re going to generate predictable revenue.
Jeb: I love it. I love it. If we get right to it, awareness is the mother of change. The only way you can change is to start learning who you are and how you interact with the world.
Marylou: Right. I noticed in the book too you mentioned about the cutting your own floor. There’s a lot of data then and a lot of text that you didn’t put in the book. For people like me who love you, how do we get more information on this book and your other works?
Jeb: Beautiful. There’s couple of great things about this book. Just like we did with Fanatical Prospecting, there is a back of the house membership site that is attached to the book. We’re adding more and more and more data everyday to the Sales EQ website. Just like Fanatical Prospecting, we’ll continue to do that over the next year. In Fanatical, were into almost year two and we continue to add new videos everyday.
With Sales EQ, we’re adding tools and videos, and I’ve got a couple of things in the book that aren’t even up yet and we’re still adding in because the book is so new. When you buy the book, there’s a secret code inside the book that gives you access to that. The book cost $20 and you get a one year membership that’s worth $2,400 and is deep, deep content inside that membership. Only people who have the book or who choose to pay for the membership, although you’d be crazy to spend $2,400 in a membership and you can pay and spend $20 and buy the book, but you get access to that.
It’s very similar to the site of people who bought Fanatical Prospecting. What I would encourage you to do is you can go to anywhere in the country, you can go to your local Barnes & Noble Store and they have Sales EQ in stock there. Buy Fanatical Prospecting and Sales EQ then do a double dip there or you can go anywhere online that books are sold including Amazon or Books-A-Million and you can buy the book there. If you want to get it right now just walk out your door and it should be heading if you’re a traveller, it’ll hit airport early in May or late April.
Marylou: Okay. Because I’ve seen Fanatical Prospecting at the many airports that I visit regularly so we’ll be looking for that. Other than that, digging in and finding that secret code, what’s your website? How do people get a hold of you outside of the book?
Jeb: Sure. A couple of websites, salesgravy.com is my main website and we have lots of resources there for salespeople. Many of those resources come from the experts like Marylou so if you come in, you’ll find just tons and tons of stuff there. At the same time you can go to my website, jebblount.com. That’s my own personal blog. All the content there, for the most part, I created and put up. You’re going to learn a little bit more about me as well. Also, you can go and grab my podcast on iTunes or on Stitcher Radio, you just type in Sales Gravy or type in my name, Jeb Blount. You can catch me on Twitter @salesgravy, Instagram @salesgravy, Facebook @salesgravy, and just type my name into LinkedIn, you’ll be able to find me there.
Marylou: Okay, great. Of course, Jeb has a lot of instructional online classes. Again, what we’re working on here, Predictable Prospecting, is creating the assembling line, creating the engine, creating the velocity. Once we get to that first conversation and you’re actually talking and you’re working on moving that sale forward, that’s where Jeb comes into play because it’s all about sales skills, it’s all about the process of sales and being able to have these conversations with the right people but also moving them forward or out of the pipeline. Where I stop, he takes off, and he gets you that trajectory towards your retirement and a happy life with less stress.
Jeb: There you go. That’s exactly right.
Marylou: Thank you, Jeb so much for your time. As usual, I enjoyed the conversation and thank you for spending time with the audience today.
Jeb: Awesome. Thank you so much.