In our recent podcast series, we’ve been discussing pandemic and post pandemic selling skills. How many of these do you have working in your business right now?
David: Hi and welcome to the podcast. In the last couple of podcast episodes, Chris and I were talking about prospecting using social media that led to discussions about Facebook and LinkedIn and video, and I guess we’re just going to sort of pick up where we left off. Welcome back Chris.
Chris: Hi David. Thanks for having me back and I am really pleased to talk about something that I’ve been doing for almost 20 years now, which is online meetings. You know, we talk about the idea of using video. Well, one of the things that I’ve been doing for almost 20 years is online meetings. I’ve had meetings with agencies between — I’m in Napa and New York, back in the day, and I have online meetings now almost every day and frankly that’s how we do this, isn’t it?
David: It is. We’re having one right now, in fact.
Chris: Yes we are. Although we’re not looking in each other’s eyes. Because we’re not using video, and that is certainly not a requirement. But let’s talk about, as a starting point, how well this has worked. You know, we’re on our 36th podcast right now together.
Chris: And we never looked at each other in the eye have we?
David: We’ve never met. No.
Chris: And that’s probably best that you’re not seeing me. But no, I’m kidding. But it’s amazing to me how quickly our relationship, in terms of being able to go back and forth, and really do this in a way that I think is compelling happened almost immediately, didn’t it?
David: It did. Yeah. From the very first episode. And that’s the type of thing that can and should happen, ideally, in every meeting. In every online meeting between a prospect and a client, the whole purpose of being able to utilize online video or video conferencing is to be able to establish relationships and be able to foster those relationships in a meaningful way. So, yeah, absolutely. In our last podcast, we were talking about video, using it as a one-to-many marketing medium. So we can put together a video, get it in front of a lot of people, and be impacting a lot of people all at once. But what we’re talking about now, with video conferencing or even audio conferencing, as we’re doing right now, it’s just to be able to have a meaningful conversation with another person to be able to advance the sales dialogue and move things forward.
Chris: And I think it’s so critical that people understand that the level of scripting that you and I have in these conversations is almost none. There’s a beginning, and maybe a few points to cover, and then a wrap up, but the rest of it is all genuine conversation. And so one of the things I think is really important for the audience to consider is “how can I have a conversation with somebody that will help me to bring out the best of myself?” And what I find is that I’ve done hundreds of radio interviews over the years, and I can count three or 400 interviews I’ve done. Gotta be less than 10 that I’ve been like, “how am I going to get through this?” I’m always shocked, number one, at how good people are at doing it and number two, how surprised they are that they’re able to be that articulate.
David: Yeah. You and I both have radio backgrounds. I worked in radio from the time I was 15, so when you were talking about not seeing each other face to face, the old adage of “I’ve got a face built for radio” immediately leaps to mind. But it’s a very comfortable medium and I think that’s why podcasts have been so popular. Because you can listen to a conversation between two people talking about a topic of interest and it makes perfect sense. Now when we adapt this to selling in today’s environment, where we’re not doing it face to face. Or maybe we’re doing it face to face via video conference. A lot of the same things apply, like how to do this. And I think you really outlined it there, in the same type of approach that we take with the podcast, which is: you know where you’re going to begin, you know where you’re going to end, you might have a few points that you definitely want to hit in the middle, but then it’s just about authentic conversation. And so if you’re going to have a sales conversation with someone via Skype or Zoom or any sort of teleconferencing equipment, I think it’s the same thing. You have to know where you want to begin. You have to know where you want to get to at the end, and some sort of basic path for getting there. And of course, the road is going to wind around. Things are not going to go exactly the way you may love them to go, but as long as you’re able to follow along, listen to what your prospect is saying, adapt your approach… and as long as you’ve got a good fit to begin with — if what it is that you’re selling to that person has value to them and if they want to do it, then obviously you’re going to end up in a successful situation. And it doesn’t matter if you’re in front of them face to face or if you’re doing it via teleconferencing.
Chris: And that’s the thing from my perspective, I think a lot of people think, “Oh my gosh, this is so foreign to me. How am I going to do this?” Well, you know, it’s practice. And the beauty of not having everything scripted out creates that authenticity and allows for that connection to happen. The reason that I think we’re as good as we are is we’re able to have this conversation and again, it’s practice that gets us out of the place where we’re self criticizing the whole time. “Oh my gosh, am I going to be any good? Is this going to sound right?” I think about doing webinars for clients and if it’s a fully scripted webinar, they just sound awful. And when it’s something that is, instead, there’s not that script, it flows so much better. So I think for the audience, one of the things to be considering is that practice will get you to a place where it becomes more and more comfortable. And maybe the thing David, is that they start with audio and then move to video. Although I’m surprised at how well the video has been working for me with Zoom and other clients.
David: Yeah. I also think that if you’ve been in sales for any length of time, you’ve been practicing the whole time. Because…
David: …it’s the same thing. Right! In those situations, everything that we’ve been doing, in person applies to online. You still have to connect. You still have to establish some sort of rapport with the person. You still have to potentially answer objections if you haven’t covered the bulk of what needs to be covered during the presentation. So in terms of practicing, I think if you have been face to face with people, then the only thing you really need to practice here is the technology. Making sure that it’s set up, making sure that you know how to access it, that your people know how to access it, your prospects know how to access it, so that you can have the conversations that would normally take place in person, via teleconferencing service.
Chris: Well, and that’s one of the things that we’ve found is now an advantage of the pandemic. We’ve all had a chance to talk to relatives and friends over Zoom or Skype or whatever it is, and begin to get comfortable with that. So absolutely, put that experience to use and then apply it more in sales situations.
David: Exactly. It’s another tool in the toolbox. And the whole idea of this series was talking about the selling skills that we’re going to need in the new economy. And teleconferencing, the ability to have a conversation via some sort of online media, whether it’s FaceTime (to people on an iPhone or whatever.) Having a face to face conversation that way. Or whether it’s Zoom or any of the GoToMeeting, any of that type of thing. It doesn’t really matter because it kind of gets back to what we talked about in previous episodes about the MVPs of Marketing, right? What’s the message I want to communicate? Which combination of marketing vehicles am I going to use to communicate the message and who are the people or prospects I’m going to reach? The people are the people who are on the line. The message is what you want to say to them (and ideally some sort of framework to sort of walk them through.) And then, this is simply the marketing vehicle that allows you to have the conversation that you want to have.
Chris: It’s a great point. And you know, one of the things that comes to mind is the other place that’s worth playing around is trying a webinar. Practice it a few times now with with zoom, if you get a free account, you can still record video and record yourself and see how you’re doing. Give it a couple of chances. Don’t do something that’s fully scripted. Like David talked about, have that path of where I’m starting, how I want to get to, where I’m ending, and just play with a little bit. I think people will be shocked at how much easier it is, especially the first couple of times they do it.
David: Yeah, I think there can be this fear of the technology. And they don’t realize that it’s just like whatever… it’s just like a phone. It’s just like text. It’s just a different method of doing it. And we’re just going to have to adjust. The 21st century, particularly at this particular point in the 21st century, people have to adjust. They’re going to have to get used to these new forms of technology if they want to be able to continue to move things forward and they don’t know if they’re going to be locked up! They’re going to have to start to adapt.
Chris: Well, and I also think that shifting the story about it is really important, right? If my approach is, you know, I’m going to do the best that I can to figure this stuff out and see if I can make it work for me and, maybe just maybe, I’ll be able to be home a little bit more, and enjoying it a little bit more, and still be really effective. I think that is where we need to start. And then, the balancing comments are, you know, I may have difficulties with technology and getting things figured out, but I’ll figure it out. And I’ll bet you I can make this something that really works for me.
David: Yeah. And that’s been one of the big pluses in my mind of what we’ve been dealing with. You and I had had this conversation offline before, but adapting to working from home. In the beginning I thought, “Oh, this is not going to be great.” But, I actually like it. I’m sitting here, got sunshine streaming in the window, having a conversation with Chris, who’s on the other side of the country, and we’re talking about topics that are going to be beneficial to our listeners. My technology is a little different. Normally, when I’m working from the office, I’ve got a microphone apparatus set up. I’m not using that now, and actually just using my phone. I’m just talking on my iPhone. But hopefully the audio quality is acceptable and people are able to hear what I have to say, and recognize that this is not that difficult. If you need to do it, if you need to adapt, you can certainly do so.
Chris: That is an outstanding point. You know, you already have the technology to play with and maybe for starters, playing with your phone, you know, using your phone as that medium to record some stuff and just see how it goes, may be a really great place to start, because you’re so used to having that thing in your hand all the time anyway, right?
David: Yeah, exactly. You might as well get good at it. Might as well get good at using it and even if it’s a matter of shooting video of yourself… nobody has to see it. You can practice, just by yourself. Practice shooting maybe a minute or two of video, three minutes of video, with a message that you want to convey to a bunch of your prospects, and get to one that you like. That’s another advantage when you’re using something like video, is that you can shoot it again and again and again until you get it to the point where you actually are willing to let people see it. So it’s a great way to practice, a great way to start. You can delete the ones you don’t like, and you can start to develop these skills that are going to be critical moving forward.
Chris: Not only that, you can also cut within the video and have do-overs and just replace the do-overs. So as frustrating as technology can be, it’s gotten to the point where for the most part it works most of the time. The other thing that I want you to be thinking about is with this kind of practice, do yourself a favor and show these videos to a couple of friends or a colleague and get their feedback. Cause we have a tendency to be way too self-critical, don’t we, David?
David: No question, no question. And most people are not going to be as critical of ourselves, our appearance, our foibles when we’re doing online video or audio as we are. We’re going to be far more focused on our issues than other people are going to be. As long as you’re able to communicate a coherent message that makes sense and benefits your people, they’re going to be happy to hear it.
Chris: Absolutely. Especially if we’re in the process of the sale. This is something where, you’ve already got a prospect that’s expressed some kind of an interest, so it’s not like you’re trying to push something uphill.
David: Exactly. So we’ve been talking about a lot of things. We started out talking about social media, Facebook, LinkedIn. We moved on to YouTube and then video in general. Today, we were talking about teleconferencing. In our next podcast, we’re going to be discussing generating leads online. Are you doing it? Do you know how to do it? Do you know what’s required in order to do it? We’re going to get into the specifics of that in our next episode. Now, the only other thing I want to point out, Chris, is that this podcast is free to our listeners. Anybody who comes onto our site and is able to access it, gets access to this. A lot of the stuff that we talk about in the podcast, obviously we go much more in depth with our clients. With our Inner Circle group and our SmartEQP members, we actually help them to do this stuff. So if any of what we’re saying resonates with you, if you need to learn this stuff and you want some help with that, please be sure to schedule a strategy session. Go to topsecrets.com/call that’s topsecrets.com/call. You can schedule a time to talk with myself or a member of my team about whether or not we have a good fit to be able to help you through this situation and to the next level. As we’ve discussed in previous podcasts, our whole idea at the moment is to help our clients to be able to minimize short term damage to their business and to be able to position themselves as the go to people as things begin to improve. That is our entire focus. So if that makes sense, if you’d like to see if we’re a good fit to work together, topsecrets.com/call is the place to go. So thank you so much Chris. I appreciate your being on here and winging it along for these episodes. We’ve got a lot more to talk about and I guess we’ll hit it in the next call.
Chris: I think we wing it very well. David.
David: Yeah, let’s pat each other on the back, remotely.
Chris: I think you do really well, at least.
David: From a social distance of 3000 miles…
David: …we’re virtually patting each other on the back. You do a great job, Chris, and I appreciate it. Thank you so much.
Chris: You too, David. See on the next podcast.
David: These are very strange times, and it’s likely the next 90 days in business are going to be critical for you. So if I offered to work with you, virtually, over the next 90 days, to help you to minimize the short term damage to your business, and position yourself perfectly for the long-term, as the go-to person in your market, while everyone else is too afraid to move, would you take me up on that offer? It’s important to understand that this is not for everyone. Specifically, you must be serious about doing what’s necessary to grow and scale your business right now. This is what’s going to help you to minimize short-term damage and position yourself as the leader in your market during the recovery. You must be ready, willing and able to invest in yourself, your business, and getting new clients. You must be willing to follow very specific instructions. You must be friendly and coachable. And, you must be ready to start now. This is not for those who want to “wait it out.” If you meet all five of those criteria, schedule a one-on-one strategy session with us to determine if we’re a good fit to work together. Please, only schedule a time when you know you’ll actually show up. Just go to topsecrets.com/call. That’s topsecrets.com/call.