David: Hi and welcome to the podcast. Today, co-host Jay McFarland and I will be discussing reimagining the essentials. Welcome, Jay. Good to have you here.
Jay: It’s so good to be here once again. I’m very excited about today’s topic.
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What’s the Point of Reimagining the Essentials?
David: Yeah. I mean the whole idea of the essentials to some people it’s like, “oh, essentials, that’s boring.”
Right? But it seems to me that in current times we really need to look at the essentials and say, “okay, how can we tweak them or fine tune them or change them around so that they’re going to be more effective in a 21st century post-COVID economy?”
Jay: Yeah. When I think about essentials, I think about foundational type things. And once you take away the foundation, other things that you have in play don’t work as well.
So what type of essentials specifically are we talking about that we want to, that we might look at in one when everybody looks at it that way, but we’re going to reimagine or rethink about them in a different way?
David: Well, I guess when I think of the fundamentals or the essentials, I tend to think of the real basics, prospecting, presenting, following up when it comes to sales. And sometimes you start talking about those things and people’s eyes glaze over like, “oh, I know all that stuff.” And yeah, we all know we need to do it.
Knowing and Doing are Two Different Things
We all know we need to do prospecting. We need to make presentations. We need to follow up with prospects and clients. But knowing it, knowing what to do, is really not the issue at all. It’s how are we doing it? How well are we doing it? How much better are we doing it than our competitors? How frequently are we doing it?
How consistently are we doing it? There are all these different nuanced aspects of it that completely change the results. And when we look at things like prospecting now versus five years ago, 10 years ago, it’s completely different. Same thing with presenting, same thing with following up. In the past, it was basically phone and in person.
Well now phone and in person are a lot less popular than other methods of communication. So that’s really what I’m talking about here.
Jay: Yeah, I think again, it’s so important, you know, it’s so easy to just fall into that trap of I’ve, you know, we’ve done it this way forever and it’s always worked. I think it’s hard for people to break free from those things, because it’s hard to know what type of impact you really can have.
And I think part of that is even understanding what your baseline is before you can make changes to understand if you’re making any progress, right?
What Happens When Everything Changes?
David: Yeah, absolutely. And I hear both sides of that from people. I hear people who are like, ” oh yeah, you know, I’ve been doing this forever. I know exactly what I’m doing and all that sort of thing.”
And then I have people on the other side who are like, “Hey, I’m doing all the things that I’ve done before. I’m doing it more aggressively. I’m doing much more of it. I’m doing it with more people and it’s not working.”
And so for the people who are struggling with that… again, it’s not really a matter of saying, “well, now instead of prospecting, we need to do something different.”
No, you’re still going to need to do prospecting. The question is, “can we now do it in a way that is going to reach the people that you need to reach, communicate the things that we need to communicate and allow us to advance our communications and close the sales?”
Reimagining the Essentials Post-COVID
Jay: Yeah, I have to think that COVID has had a huge impact on reimagining the essentials. Before, in-person experiences were the norm. That was the expectation in so many ways. Now people are standoffish about that. We’ve become much more interested in doing something online or over the phone.
That’s not nearly as personal. It’s hard to connect and build those relationships.
David: Yeah, that’s absolutely the case. And so I think for a lot of people, the idea of becoming comfortable with other methods of communication, just like what we’re doing now… some people are like, “Hey, Zoom is great. I don’t have to go anywhere. I don’t have to get in my car and I can be face-to-face with someone. It’s awesome.”
Other people are like, “oh, I can’t stand that. I don’t like looking at myself on camera. I don’t like hearing what my voice sounds like when I’m on a speaker.” And you either need to get over some of that, or you need to figure out ways to engage only with prospects who are still willing to do business, just the way that you want to do it.
That really limits your audience.
Jay: I think that’s interesting to sometimes say that there is a customer base out there that I could probably have access to, but it doesn’t really match my skillset or my comfort level. My close rate is going to be lower with them. Do I even want to spend that time?
I think in my mind, I’m like, “I want to reach everybody. I want to talk to everybody I can because that’s going to improve my odds.” Maybe it’s just the opposite.
You’re Never Too Old for Reimagining the Essentials
David: It could be. And for some people it is. I think when I was much younger, and there are certainly younger salespeople and younger people in the business who are really good at doing a lot of this stuff online. It really is about the person.
Because there are people my age who are like, “yeah, let’s do it.” Like myself. I’m all in favor of new technology, trying to figure out how to use it to best advance results for our clients and for ourselves. But then there are people far younger than myself who are like, “oh, well I’m too old to learn that stuff.”
It’s like, “well, I don’t know if that’s such a great position to take.”
Jay: Yeah, old dog new tricks. I think especially in the sales world, you know, is something that I see that is very common. What would you say to those people that are like, “I don’t need to reimagine anything. I have a certain close rate. I know what I’m doing. I’m comfortable in this process.”
What If You’re “Comfortable?”
David: People who are comfortable. I have no recommendations other than “keep up the great work.” If you’re comfortable with what you’re doing, if you’re able to do it, that’s awesome.
What I have seen, however, particularly over the last six to 12 months is I’ve seen a lot of people who have been established in sales for a long time, who have basically said, “okay, that’s it. COVID came, everything’s changing. All the rules are changing. The way that I have to interact with people is changing. I’m not comfortable with that anymore.”
And as a result, they just basically said, “okay, I’m not doing it.”
There are other people who are like, “okay, I have to continue to plow ahead.” Maybe I can’t afford to retire or whatever. In those situations, there are people who are trying to do it, but they’re not comfortable with it. And that can cause a lot of problems.
Reimagining the Essentials of Communication
A lot of the people that I work with in our Total Market Domination course are pivoting in terms of the communication. In fact, when we originally came out with the course, it was pre COVID. Then as soon as COVID arrived, all of the questions inside the portal changed.
All of our approaches in terms of the prospecting, the presenting, the following up, those things all changed.
And, It was actually exciting for us, as participants in the program, and for me, leading the program, to be able to say, “okay, look, this isn’t working for you anymore? What can we get to work?” And not just, “what can we get to work,” but “what will you be comfortable with?”
So it’s not just a matter of saying, “okay, well now, instead of seeing people in person, Zoom with them.” Right? Because that is a lot easier said than done. But what else can we do to initiate first contact? In a future podcast, I know we’re going to be talking about alternatives to cold calling and things like that.
The Essentials Haven’t Changed. Just the Methods.
But for now, if we think in terms of what the essentials are, it still involves establishing relationships, introducing ourselves to people, creating an impression. All of those things haven’t changed. It’s now just the method that has really changed.
Jay: Yeah. I’m just curious. Do you think it’s harder now, because of COVID and because of how things have changed? Or does that just depend upon the individual and their particular skillset?
David: I think it depends a lot on the individual and their skillset. Because there are some people who are happy not to have to jump in a car and drive places. They’re able to see a lot more people, a lot more quickly. People who are comfortable with the technology can leverage themselves like you’ve never been able to leverage yourself in the past.
You can literally shoot a three-minute video and get it out to, you know, a hundred people and get 300 minutes of face-time in what will take you three minutes to shoot and a few more minutes to send out a link. So there is a lot of leverage there for the people who are willing to use it. And also to get over any of the hangups that they might have with things like video.
It’s like, “oh, my hair is out of place.” Well, your hair might be out of place when your visit somebody in person, too. “I don’t like the way I look on camera.” Well, guess what? The camera captures what we look like. So, this is it. You know? This is as good as it gets.
If you recognize that the technology can actually help you to leverage yourself and accomplish more in less time, then it becomes a lot more advantageous than not.
It’s Not About Perfection
Jay: Yeah, I have to tell you my experience is that people are much less concerned now about video quality, audio quality you know what you’re wearing in a video conference. I think we’ve all lowered our standards so much. Cause we’ve had to deal with this so much that they’re just not thinking about those things.
And I can see people being caught up in their mind. “I just have to get everything perfect or I can’t do it.” I don’t think anybody’s holding you to that standard.
David: No, I don’t think so either. And actually, I got three of these shirts. These are going to be my official podcast shirts going forward. Because one of the things that I found is potentially problematic, is if people are expecting you to be in a different outfit every time. But if people are watching for that, then they’re really not paying attention to whatever your message is.
Consistency Can Help
But I thought that from a consistency standpoint, It’s good to be able to… and like when we shoot these podcasts, you know, we’ll do more than one in a day. Well, I don’t want to be changing shirts between recordings and things like that. I don’t want people to say, “oh, you had the same shirt on last time.”
Yeah. This is my podcast shirt. I’m going to be wearing these shirts when you, generally, when you see me on video. So you can make decisions like that. Somebody else might be, “I’m going to have to have 16 different outfits because I will not be seen in the same thing twice.” But that’s a personal decision.
Jay: Yeah, and there are so many things you can get caught up in that don’t matter. Like, what does the background look like? Just so many different things, I think just, you know, be presentable, but more important than anything that you look like, it’s still about relationships, right? I mean, ultimately that’s where it’s all going to live and breathe.
We’re Reimagining the Essentials This Week
David: It is. And all this week inside the Top Secrets Inner Circle, we are going to be discussing this topic of reimagining the essentials. And what does that look like? And how do we do it? There’s a lot of nuance to this. And particularly for our members who are concerned about “how do I do some of this stuff?”
Or “how can I get comfortable doing some of this stuff?” And I think that’s where what we’re going to be diving into this week is really going to be helpful. So for Inner Circle members, who are already members, be sure to log into the portal and dive into this conversation.
For those who are watching who are not Inner Circle members, if you’d like to sign up, you can go to TopSecrets.com/ic (for Inner Circle.) Join us in the conversation.
The Need for Change
Because if you understand the importance of being able to do the things that need to happen in a different manner, in a 21st century manner, even if you are an old dog, like myself who needs to learn new tricks. And I’m probably a good example of this. My, you know, my natural inclination would be to say, well, what do I need with that, but…
Well, that’s really not my natural inclination. My natural inclination is, “ooh, cool. What’s this? What’s this new thing? How can we use this?” And so that’s really what I’m looking to help our clients with. Is to say, “all right, which aspects of this are you comfortable with? Which aspects of this could you become comfortable with? And how can we help you to put together a sequence of communications or a way to communicate with people that will help you get the results?
Jay: Yeah, I love that. Identify the things that you are very good at, but then let’s take a look at areas that you can reimagine, right? And, look at it from a different perspective. Who knows how it can affect your overall success rate?
David: Yeah. And if you’re great at something, how can we take that thing that you’re great at, and utilize the new technology and all the new tools that you have available, to essentially broadcast that. To be able to leverage yourself, get yourself out there to a lot more people and actually create far better results than you would have been able to create on your own.
Jay: Yeah, that’s fantastic. One more time. If people are interested, how do they find out more?
David: Okay. Yeah. Just go to TopSecrets.com/ic, for Inner Circle, and you can join up there. And of course members can just go right into the portal and they know where that is. Since it’s Top Secrets, I can actually reveal that…
Jay: (Laughs) That’s right. Well, fantastic. Everybody go check it out and get started on reimagining those essentials, David, thank you so much for your time today.
David: Thank you, Jay.
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