This is the second installment of the conversation I had with Mark.
In Part 2, Mark and I talk about:
- Everything in life is sales
- How we process information
- Viewing the world in a positive way
- Building the sales process at Outreach
As a teenager, watching 14 videos in the back storeroom on a 7″ black and white TV to learn how to sell shoes at the mall was a great foundation. Running a small business with 200+ employees taught me how to be organized. Creating a highly profitable sales territory from one dead for a decade was hard work. Managing 12 salespeople across 9 states cemented my sales philosophy.
Building a sales team with, by far, the best, smartest, hardest working people I’ve ever worked with…well, that’s an honor and privilege I get to enjoy every day.
E135 – Transcript
Jason: Welcome back to the sales experience podcast. Welcome back to part two of my conversation with Mark Kosaglow. This is part two of the four part series. If you didn’t catch it, make sure to check out yesterday’s episode where we started talking about the sales experience. He has a great show, so make sure you check out his podcast called the sales engagement podcast, which is awesome and I love the fact that it’s so similar and we have a lot of fun talking about sales and going back and forth about the sales experience, what it takes to create that for your customers, what the best sales reps do, what that looks like. So enjoy part two. Here you go.
Mark: When I’m talking to my kids about practice and heart at sports, I’m trying to get them to buy into doing it. If I’m talking to my wife about like what I want for dinner, I’m trying to get her to buy, you know, the steak or whatever it is. Like all of human condition is, is about somebody buying something, could be an idea or it could be a product. You know, you’re, you’re trying to get somebody to do something otherwise, you know, you’re some kind of weird human that is super altruistic and you know, maybe I need to come study with you on a mountain somewhere, I don’t know.
Jason: Or you’re on the flip side, which is your, just the kind of the order taker person who’s just doing what everyone else. It’s dictating for you and you’re not really, you know, persuading or creating any difference with anybody else. Right? So you could be that person in the relationship who’s literally just being told what to do all the time and then you just do it and you have no effect, right? Or that employee who is literally just bossed around and you do it. Now obviously if we’re talking about the people who listen to this sales reps, leaders, business owners, then you know, you understand hopefully that everything in life is sales. It’s kind of my closing line for the podcast, which you, you brought up, which is like, it’s all some level of persuasion, some level of conversation and some level of interaction. And when you’re doing that as a salesperson, just do what you do. And in my experience, that’s a reflection of how you are in other areas of your life. Like if you’re good at selling, slash, persuading and you know, getting your point across in your personal life, you’ll be that same way in a sales role too.
Mark: Yeah. And I don’t know if, I’m just hyper aware to it right now because of certain personnel I have or whatever, but there’s the over persuasion is the, is the biggest danger. I would rather someone under persuade me and me feel like I got to do a little bit of work myself then to over persuade me and just go sell past the close is probably a terminology people that listen to this podcast are very aware of and you know,
Jason: Give me, give me an example of that because some people may not know what selling past the close or over persuade is. Do you have something you can think of?
Mark: Yeah. Let me give you like a, a career example of that. So Jason, let’s say that I want a raise from you and I come to you and I say, Hey Jason, like you know, I think my value to the company or it’s me getting a raise. Is that something that we can talk about and you can consider a great confidence person will stop with that, shut up and allow the other person to answer someone that over persuasive sales pass the close. We’ll ask that question but won’t even pause for the person to answer. And we’ll go into, you know, I’ve been number one on the sales team for the last three years. I’ve closed every big deal, you know, my competitive win rate is 37% blah blah blah blah blah blah. And you just kind of like continue to talk for the other two or three minutes trying to persuade that person to say yes when a lot of times they’ll just say yes just when you ask the question and if they say no, isn’t that valuable information and wouldn’t it change the next two or three minutes a conversation away from you?
Mark: Like putting up your billboard about yourself. And so like we just have to like confidence to me a lot of times is you don’t care what the answer is to the question. You don’t care where the conversation’s going to go because you know that like what you’re trying to do is right and right will always win and you’ll always figure out what out a way to get to ride.
Jason: So all of that is so amazing because it’s so true. I mean I see a lot of salespeople do that where they just keep talking from insecurity, from a lack of confidence where they just keep going and going and going. And at some point, I’ve seen it so many times where a salesperson will throw out so much information that they’ll actually bring up objections or counters to any argument or cause an issue for the other person where it will literally kill the deal. I call it objecting or rebutting with yourself or objecting with yourself where you’re bringing up rebuttals and objections that the other person wasn’t even thinking. Right. Like in your raised example, if you were to do that and then you were to keep talking, you’re like, well, number one, I got 37% close. Like, yeah, but you know, this other guy’s got 50%. If you hadn’t brought that up, I wouldn’t be thinking about, wait a second. I mean, you’re good, but you’re not that good. Uh, you think you’re good. But you know, I might’ve said I was gonna give you a raise and then you kept going. It’s like, wait a second, and maybe I, maybe I don’t want to.
Mark: I think one of the most important concepts I learned about sales was actually not in a sales training meeting. It was in a meeting for managers to talk to have hard conversations with their employees, uh, in this, uh, in a book called crucial conversations. And in that book they talk about this idea of the inner dialogue and the inner dialogue is like humans of themselves are quite bad at processing data and yet in a sales call or, and even when you’re talking to your family at home or your friends at the bar, you’re like giving the brain data. It’s visual. Like your nonverbal communications is, is auditory and what you’re saying and, and the brain is ingesting this raw data and it has to do something with it because it can’t just process the raw data and make sense of it. So it creates a story, it creates a context, it creates an inner dialogue.
Mark: It’s that it tells itself about that data so that it has the context to understand what it means. So do you know who key and PLR? Yup. Yeah. So hilarious comedians, if you haven’t watched and don’t watch it at work, but if you haven’t watched their video on when they text each other and the one guy was like, Hey, let’s go sell you some basketball. And the guy, the guy reads it, go play some basketball. Like you know how busy I am and he’s like, man, I’m too busy to play basketball. I’m too busy to play. I said, well man, you should lighten your and you shouldn’t like you know, do so many things. I shouldn’t do so many stuff like don’t know how hard I’m grinding out here. Like is the inner dialogue is the key thing and when you talk too much what happens is you’re giving that all the space for that inner dialogue to guide everything versus when you pause and ask questions, the person usually reveals to you their inner dialogue. If it’s good, you continue that conversation thread. If it’s bad, you need to change the entire log and like that concept of a human right now is telling themselves a story about what I’m saying that I have to understand that story to help know how they’re perceiving what I’m talking about and showing them is probably one of the biggest insights that I’ve ever had about selling and how it works.
Jason: That’s huge. On a completely different side note with a key and Peele. With that skit you’re referring to? I’ve had several times in the past where I’ve interacted with people who seem to read a text message or an email in that negative way no matter what. And one thing I would say for everyone listening and the one thing I learned is to just always read everything and get messages with the best of intentions. Try to read everything that it was sent positive. I mean, I’ve had people where I sent them a message, I think it was, how are you doing today? And that was taken negative. And so just, you know, obviously, and it’s the same thing with these conversations, right? When you ask questions of your prospects, even when you’re sending an email, you’re getting information back from them. Always assume the best intentions unless told otherwise. And you know, when you ask a question, they tell you something, just take that in and then run with it.
Mark: And this is kind of cutesy or whatever, but that’s why emojis are so important. Yeah. You know, it’s like, if I can, I can ask a hard question. Like right now, I could ask you a very difficult question, Jason, but I could ask it with a tone of voice and nonverbal communication that make it a very nonthreatening, difficult question. And like, you know, the text version of that is like, you know, I’m going to give you the heart eyes, blow you a kiss and you know, give you a little Winky face. And then, you know, like I’m asking you a tough question, but in a way that’s not meant to be tough. And you know, I probably overuse exclamation points in emojis, but that’s because I’ve, I really am concerned about how people are perceiving the tone with which I’m trying to communicate in text.
Jason: Yeah. I know with me sometimes my tone in person can be pretty straight forward and not warm and cuddly depending on the topic. So she in a business, you know, a with giving feedback and whatnot. And so I really try to do that as well on the written stuff, texts, you know, just soften it up as much as possible. At least a, you know, with the right understanding. So,
Mark: Yeah. Well listen, I think communicating in text is probably the way that most business interactions begin or have a large part of how it works in mastering how you do that is like the thing of, of, of uh, really great sales excellence because if you just type how you talk, uh, it doesn’t, it doesn’t work and you really need to find out like what your voice is on email and on text and stuff like that because eventually it’s going to go to there.
Jason: Yeah, for sure. Okay. So the second question I have in my list here is, you know, so you did your research, you did your field research on what worked, what didn’t work on the, uh, on the demos you received, and then when you took that information, how did you build that? Like how did you build your sales experience and process, or how do you shift your team to that process if it’s already in place?
Mark: So a process and experience are two very different things for me. So process, you know, it’s literally the series of Gates that you walk through and the milestones that you know, the customer and the seller have to agree on together to go through experience is, you know, how does the person feel walking through it. And as they’re walking through each of those milestones, what are the touch points and how we controlling those touch points. But yeah, when I was doing my quote unquote field research on demos, what I learned is, and again, you know, I’m the one doing it so it’s all my opinion, you know, and then I’ll go back and review some of it with my team and talk to people about it and how they perceive it. But for me, again, it goes back to I don’t want to feel like you are about to give me a bunch of slides that I’m going to have to sit there and listen to.
Mark: Like I’m back in economics class and in college, like I’m an adult. You’re an adult, you’re an expert. I’m an expert in what we’re talking about. Like, let’s talk about it together as peers and not in a way where I feel like you’re trying to walk me through some sort of made up mental model of how it’s going to get me to trust you. The way that we’re going to trust each other is you tell me the good, you tell me the bad and we just talk, we talk, right? So that’s kind of where Elena with experience and, and I actually, we just redid our first meeting. We’re rolling it out right now. And the whole point of it is to create a much more interactive experience where it’s not just the rep talking and, and asking questions all the time. It’s much more like, Hey, like let me show you this, these seven challenges. Like why don’t you write each of those, one of those challenges, one to five on which ones are the most important to you and which ones like you don’t really care about. And so that gives them a chance to kind of talk about how they’re thinking about things. And you know, that’s what I like is like give me some prompts that help you understand and help me understand how I’m thinking about things. Not just uh, listening to, uh, and like having to regurgitate a bunch of information just so the seller understands it.
Jason: Yeah. And I would say that you know, the type of demos, if there’s a slide presentation, the ones that I like and or respect the most is where they’re taking my input. They’re asking me questions, they’re figuring out what I need and then customizing that demo slide deck, even if there is one so they can show me it or whatever that looks like. And you know, not needing to show me all 50 slides but show me the five that matter to me or the 10 or you know, whatever that looks like. And like you said, you know, what matters the most to me, what does it matter to me? It’s the kind of experience that I enjoy versus let’s say even if you go to a trade show and you walk up to a booth and somebody just wants to give you their two-minute monologues and their pitch and tell you how the app works or to their product or service works for everybody, but it doesn’t actually apply to you.
Jason: Right? So what you’re talking about is that experience where you know you’re figuring out who they are and then approaching that.
Jason: All right, and that’s it for part two of my conversation with Mark. Again, go to cutterconsultinggroup.com. You can find his links in advance prior to the end of this four-part series. You can also find a transcript for this episode and links to where you can find the show. If you haven’t already, go to iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Spotify, Google Play. It’s everywhere. Anywhere that podcasts are sold, make sure to go there. Subscribe if possible. I would love a rating, leave a review. All of that helps other people find what this show is about and understand that the sales experience is about a lot more than just selling. It’s about creating that right experience for yourself as a salesperson for your company if you’re a business owner, and then for your prospects where that experience is what moves them from being interested in your product or service, all the way through to being a customer and then a raving fan where they are so happy that they actually interacted with you versus what they were worried about as a salesperson and what somebody might do to them.
Jason: So thanks again for listening. And as always, the way I love to leave you is make sure that you keep in mind that everything in life is sales. And people remember the experience you gave them.