Become “OBLIGATED TO SUCCESS” To Win In Sales

Bill Caskey is a sales training expert, author, and podcast host.

In today’s episode of The Salesman Podcast, Bill shares why having an obligation to success is the starting point to achieving it.

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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Bill Caskey
B2B Sales Training Expert

Resources:

Transcript

Will Barron:

Coming up on today’s episode of The Salesman Podcast.

 

Bill Caskey:

The way I look at this whole COVID, I call it business disruption because that’s kind of what it is. But the idea is that there’s been a shift and we have lots of shifts in our life. I mean, think about the shift from you doing stand-up to doing a podcast that was a shift, but it didn’t happen in two weeks. It happened over years. The internet was a shift. So what is your mission to your customers? Is it to solve problems? Is it to expand their thinking? How are you bringing value to your market?

 

Will Barron:

Hello, Sales Nation. I’m Will Barron, host of The Salesman Podcast. The world’s most downloaded B2B sales show. If you haven’t already make sure to click subscribe. And on this show, we have the legend that is Bill Caskey. You can find out more about Bill over at caskeytraining.com. And on this episode, we’re getting into how you essentially can become an entrepreneur in your sales role, the importance of having an obligation to getting your customers results and whole lot more. So with that said, let’s jump right into it.

 

The Difference Between Obligation and Self-discipline in Sales · [01:01] 

 

Will Barron:

Bill, in this episode, I want to get into obligation and this is a word that I’ve pulled from yourself. So I want to get into what that means and what it means for salespeople specifically, who are trying to hit the numbers in this, the unprecedented times that we’re living in. So how does obligation look versus perhaps what we might call self-discipline. What’s the difference between the two of those concepts?

 

Bill Caskey:

Yeah, the whole point of obligation is that, the way I look at this whole COVID, I call it business disruption because that’s kind of what it is. But the idea is that there’s been a shift and we have lots of shifts in our life. I mean, think about the shift from you doing stand-up to doing a podcast that was a shift, but it didn’t happen in two weeks. It happened over years. The internet, it was a shift. Our iPhones and the phones and the content that we can produce on our phones, that’s a shift but it’s a modest, subtle shift. This is a 30 day shift where everything about our world has been up-ended. And so, I’ve been telling my clients and I work with quite a few corporate business to business sales teams. And I said, look, and I just got off the phone today with a gentleman from Barcelona, we had this very conversation.

 

“A lot of sales managers could care less about the mission, about the cause, about the wellbeing of the customer or the salesperson. It’s all about the numbers. And when that’s your core mission, your mission is all about the numbers, the customer feels that.” – Bill Caskey · [02:59] 

 

Bill Caskey:

He said, how should I manage my team when everything is in chaos? And I said, you’ve got to have a stable centre. And the stable centre is what’s your obligation to the market? What’s your mission? What are you all about? Are you all about order and peacefulness? Because if you are, you’re hating this time. But if you’re all about serving your customers and sharing content with them and solving problems with them and connecting with them to find out how you can help them during this time. That’s the stable centre. And I think sometimes we in sales and then I’ll stop here because I can get on a very big rant on this. We sales leaders among us if you have any, sometimes there’s some that slip into these calls. They’re all about the numbers. A lot of sales managers could care less about the mission, about the cause, about the wellbeing of the customer or the salesperson. It’s all about the numbers.

 

Bill Caskey:

And when that’s your core mission, your mission is all about the numbers, the customer feels that. And so I like to get back to this, what’s my obligation to my market, to my customer. If we can make that the stable centre, we can handle this. We can get through this easily.

 

How to Uncover Your Obligations and Set Personal Missions for Yourself · [03:40] 

 

Will Barron:

That’s quite a profound gap that then is between self-discipline and an obligation. In that self-discipline, you can be self-disciplined and do the wrong things over and over and over. Perhaps in a good market, you’re enabled to still hit your target, hit the numbers and you’re driving your Porsche throughout the weekend and you feel great about it. But as you alluded to there, Bill and I agree, right. Having an obligation is that the why that we’re adding to self-discipline? Is that the, I think you used the word mission and if that’s the case, how do we uncover what that why, what that mission is and is… I know I’ve thrown two questions that here, so how do we uncover it? But is this also a corporate mission that we need to fall in line with or is this a personal mission that we need to create for ourselves?

 

“What is your mission to your customers? Is it to solve problems? Is it to expand their thinking? How are you bringing value to your market? And I think if we get off-mission by focusing on ourselves too much, then we lose the opportunity.” – Bill Caskey · [04:42] 

 

Bill Caskey:

Yeah. Well, I assume that most of your listeners are sales people or account development people. And so let’s forget about the corporate thing because they ain’t going to happen in this podcast. That’s going to be something that happens in a corner office somewhere or at a strategy session. I think, we all ought to have missions. We ought to have personal missions as it relates to our work. So yes, we want to provide for our family. Yes, we want to fund our 401ks, our retirement. Yeah, we want to do all that, but I could care less about that. That’s an output of your mission in the market. Excuse me. So what is your mission to your customers? Is it to solve problems? Is it to expand their thinking? How are you bringing value to your market? And I think if we get off mission by focusing on ourselves too much, then we lose the opportunity.

 

“I always say that if you want to make more money, stop trying to make more money. I mean, the whole numbers thing is a bunch of BS. If you want to make your number, stop worrying about making your numbers and start being concerned with what am I putting out in the market? How am I helping people? Am I showing up?” – Bill Caskey · [04:57] 

 

Bill Caskey:

I always say that if you want to make more money, stop trying to make more money. I mean, the whole numbers thing is a bunch of BS. If you want to make your number, stop worrying about making your numbers and start being concerned with, what am I putting out in the market? How am I helping people? Am I showing up? Am I taking off at noon? If I’m taking off at noon, then I’m not helping my market. Forget about not helping me and my family, I’m not helping my market. So that’s why I like the notion of an obligation because I think it changes the whole dynamic of success and achievement.

 

The Difference Between Having a Well-designed Sales Process and Perfecting a Craft Over a Long Enough Period of Time · [05:28]

 

Will Barron:

What’s a difference Bill between having a well-thought through, well-designed sales process that you follow step by step by step because someone can give you that and having success that way in sales versus perhaps doing the right thing over and over and over for long enough, that the success comes to you? What’s the difference between those two or are they mutually exclusive?

 

“I think a sales process should be helpful for the customer and you. I always say that if in your sales process there’s no value in it for the customer, if the only value in it for you is when you make the sale, it’s a crappy process.” – Bill Caskey · [06:21] 

 

Bill Caskey:

That’s a good question. Yeah, I think there’s a lot of emphasis on sales process today. That’s a little bit misguided and I think we love the idea of a process that we can throw enough in this end and get something out of this. And we love the certainty of a process. We love it. It’s like a meat grind. We throw enough meat in, we get good hamburger on the other end. But I’m not sure that’s the best use of a sales process. I think a sales process should be helpful for the customer and you. I always say that if your sales process, if there’s no value in it for the customer, if the only value in it for you is when you make the sale, it’s a crappy process. A good sale… I’ve got a client in the consulting business.

 

Bill Caskey:

And one of his parts of the sales process is he delivers to the client 10 to 15 things that he recommends they do, whether they use him or not. Well, guess what his close rate is, it’s 80%. Because there’s no confusion about his value, because he has shown them his value by giving them something and they don’t pay for it. But he says, what the hell difference? It’s good practise for me. It’s not that it takes an hour to do so. I think the question and the process is it helpful for the customer? And if it’s not, then it needs to be and you need to modify your process and that gets back to, well, why are you doing this in the first place? Which is, are you there to help your customer? Here’s another thing I hear a lot and then is… I must’ve had too much coffee today. The idea that I always ask people, well, are you really into customer service, Will? Are you really into customer service? Oh yes, Bill. We love to serve our clients. We love it. We love it. We’re there for them all the time.

 

“It’s amazing to me how many people who say they want to be good for their customers, don’t show up. They don’t show up until they literally physically show up. And then it’s too late. So I would say, start developing some content, start being out there, show your customer that you’re truly obligated to their wellbeing. Because if you’re not showing up and then you call on the phone, you’re not going to get through.” – Bill Caskey · [07:45] 

 

Bill Caskey:

And I said, why don’t you produce any LinkedIn content then? Why don’t you produce any video? Anything on LinkedIn? Because if I asked you that you would say, I do a podcast every week. I mean, I’m doing this constantly for my customers. You’re showing up in the market. It’s amazing to me how many people who say they want to be good for their customers, don’t show up. They don’t show up until they literally physically show up. And then it’s too late. So I would say, start developing some content, start being out there, show your customer that you’re truly obligated to their wellbeing. Because if you’re not showing up and then you call on the phone, you’re not going to get through. And then we work on, well, how do you get through the secretary? It’s like, oh my God, come on. We’ve been talking about that for 40 freaking years. Stop that.

 

Salespeople Should Focus on Creating Value and Being Remarkable Instead of Using Tricks and Hacks to Get to Their prospect · [08:14] 

 

Will Barron:

And this is one of the premises of what we do over at salesman.org, where we make salespeople remarkable. So through content, through increasing their profile, through having a sales process, all the stuff that everyone talks about, we pull it all together and that makes them remarkable. If you’re missing one of these elements, right? You’re just another sales person. Then you go into what you alluded to there. Then you’re using tricks, hacks, tactics to get past the gatekeeper because you’re not remarkable enough for the person to want to speak to. So you’ve got to hack your way into it, which is a bit weird when you put it like that, isn’t it?

 

Bill Caskey:

It is exactly it. It’s the… And we love hacks. I mean, when… You know, I don’t know. Does your company do training or are you more in the consulting of the remarkable part?

 

Will Barron:

We do training for individual salespeople from the ground up as opposed to corporate training for leadership management who pass it down.

 

Bill Caskey:

I got ya, okay. So we’re in a similar kind of business. But it’s interesting, a lot of times how much resistance you get from the salesperson to do what you’re asking them to do. And then when you explain it to them. They’re like, yeah, I should do that and then the excuses come. Well, but I’m not good on camera. I don’t know what to say. And I’m not a good writer. And I haven’t written since college. You know all that stuff. And I keep getting back to, we all say we want to be great but we’re not willing to do the things to be great. Some of us are. And so on my recommendation is listened to Will. Man, if you’re a client a Will or you should be a client of Will, listen. Because you can make them remarkable. And then the sales process doesn’t mean all that much. It’s really… People then show up and they say, Will, how can we do business together?

 

Will Barron:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). And that’s my experience. I’m assuming your experience having, I assume yours is the longest standing sales podcast on the planet. Is that correct?

 

Bill Caskey:

Yes, it is. Because we say it every time. We say it at the beginning of the show.

 

Will and Bill Explain why Salespeople Must Weather the Dry Spell Before People Start Caring About Their Content · [10:07]

 

Will Barron:

And that makes your show remarkable, right? So by just doing that and getting through to that phase, we call it going through the desert of you’re a beginner and it’s all exciting. You’re new to it and so you’re happy to train. Then you’ve put proficient and you hit targets sometimes, and you do well some years and you sulk some of the times. Then you get into what we call the desert, where people are, you kind of know what you’re doing but the world moves on, the market moves on. You slow down your training and is a bit of a slug. And you’ve got to go… Seth Golden calls it, the dip. You’ve got to get through the dip to become remarkable on the other side. Clearly, you are now the longest-standing sales podcast. So you’ve got through the dip. So you’ve got that bit of remarkable.

 

Will Barron:

You’ve got that bare uniqueness. And so salespeople, I have to frame it up in these visualisations. Salespeople have to get through that bit of desert and it does take time and it does suck and you probably will produce content and nobody will watch it or consume it for for weeks or months or even years. The first hundred episodes of this show, nobody gave a shit. Nobody watched any of it. The first sponsorship I did for this show, I think it was 85 quid for two episodes being sponsored. It was nothing. Like it’s a night out that had basically arranged for myself.

 

Bill Caskey:

But you love doing it. Will, you love doing it too. Don’t you?

 

Will Barron:

Do you know what? I love these conversations. I don’t love the… We’ve now got a team of editors and graphics guys and all that kind of stuff but I was doing all that myself at first. I didn’t love doing all of that, but I knew that you have to go through the dip. It’s almost a gap between you and your competition. And if there’s no gap, there’s no differentiation. I knew that you had to get through that before you become remarkable and before anyone is entitled to care almost.

 

“I just find that if a person loves connecting with customers and loves what they do and really believes in their product and believes in the well-being of customers when they buy from them, whether they buy or not is kind of inconsequential.” – Bill Caskey · [11:46] 

 

Bill Caskey:

Yeah. Yeah, I just find that if a person loves connecting with customers and loves what they do and really believes in their product and believes in the well-being of customers when they buy from them, whether they buy or not is kind of inconsequential. And I know some of your guests, I’ve listened are very into the corporate, the numbers and all that and I respect them for that. But there’s 90% of the sales professionals who are not with massive corporations. They’re not with Salesforce and with Google. They’re with a little company that has 15 to 20 to 50. And so how they show up, you don’t have to get that approved by your corporate. If you want to do content on LinkedIn, you don’t have to get it approved by anybody, you just do it.

 

Bill Caskey:

And so I know that that’s part of the resistance to and we just have to get through that. And so, anyway, I lost my train of thought there, but I totally agree with you about being remarkable. I think the dip is hard and you just got to love what you do. And then you’ll be able to get through it because you’re just, you’re on fire for it, you know?

 

How Does Providing Value Work for a Salesperson who Gets Paid Based on the Number of Cold Calls He Makes a Day · [12:54] 

 

Will Barron:

So what we’ll get into the practical side of things of how we get through the dip, through the desert and how we come out on the side in a second. But just for devil’s advocate for a slight moment, Bill. How does this translate for the sales person who they get paid for cold call X number of times a day, they get a commission on top of that and how do they translate this so that they can put it into practise when the sales manager, the sales leader, the team, perhaps they hounding them just to make more calls in this period of global kind of slow down. As opposed to doing things that are more remarkable or more worthy of attention.

 

“I’m not suggesting cold calling doesn’t work. I think it’s like a Parthenon. You need a cold call strategy, you need a direct outreach strategy, you need a search strategy, you need content.” – Bill Caskey · [13:44] 

 

Bill Caskey:

Yeah. Well, it’s hard because if my check is cut by the owner of my company and he or she has asked me to do a certain thing and I don’t want to do it, you’ve got a problem. I mean, I would say, maybe you look at finding another company who doesn’t want to do things in the old traditional way. And again, I’m not… I want to be careful. I’m not suggesting cold calling doesn’t work. I think it’s like a Parthenon. You need a cold call strategy, you need a direct outreach strategy, you need a search strategy, you need content. But if you have all these pillars working for you, when you go to bed at night, man, you sleep soundly because you know when you wake up in the morning, you’re going to have two or three people on your calendar who have connected with you or they’ve heard some of your content.

 

“Our day is full of stuff. The question is, of all those tasks that you do during the day, how many are in service to a system that will help you generate revenue? Because cold calling is not a system that’ll help you generate revenue unless you’re there doing it. That’s not serving a system. So how many of the hours you spend a day or a week is building a system that generates discussions and leads.” – Bill Caskey · [14:19] 

 

Bill Caskey:

So I think the question is, our day is full of stuff, cold calling, referrals, whatever. Our day is full of stuff. The question is, is of all those tasks that you do during the day of all those tasks, how many are in service to a system that will help you generate revenue? Because cold calling is not a system that’ll help you generate revenue unless you’re there doing it. That’s not serving a system. So how many of the hours you spend a day or a week is building a system that generates discussions and leads. And if zero is spent doing that, you’re always going to be a slave and a hostage to, oh, it’s Tuesday. I got to make 75 cold calls today. You’re always going to be a hostage to that. And I don’t like that. I don’t like that hostage. I think you’re better than that.

 

Why you Need to Start Selling and Providing Value to your Territory, Virtual or Otherwise · [15:00] 

 

Will Barron:

So there’s this cliche and I agree with it as cliche as it is that salespeople should be the business owner for their territory or their patch. I know for me in medical device sales, I just had, I think it was 27 hospitals in Yorkshire. So I just had to be the business owner for those hospitals and sort everyone else and look after my little business. Is that how we should be approaching all of this because then a lot of these pieces start to fall into place when we’re building something that we own, right?

 

Bill Caskey:

Yeah. I think the traditional way to look at it as you have a territory and that territory geography is a thing to sell into. That’s where your customers are. So go sell to that territory. But what you’re talking about is a better way to look at it. You’re an entrepreneur. You have this asset, it’s called 27 hospitals in Yorkshire. So you’ve got to take care of them. You’ve got to give them good experiences. You’ve got to market to them. You’ve got to build community with them. You’ve got to build relationships and you also have to sell, but it’s one of many things that you’re doing versus how am I going to get hospital 26 stuff for me today? And I just think that salespeople and I’ve been preaching until I’m kind of tired of preaching it, frankly. I’ve got some clients who pay me to preach it and then they do that.

 

“You’ve got to stop this idea of, “my aim is to go sell a person something.” And be more strategic about it and say, “how can I show up in my market in a way that people want to work with me?” They show me what their pains and problems are. They come to me, they call me. Isn’t that a better way to do it? Of course, it is.” – Bill Caskey · [16:24] 

 

Bill Caskey:

But preaching it to the general public is hard. You’ve got to change what it means to be a salesperson. And if this upheaval doesn’t do it for you, then probably nothing will. But you’ve got to stop this idea of my aim is to go sell a person something. And be more strategic about it and say, how can I show up in my market in a way that people want to work with me? They show me what their pains and problems are. They come to me, they call me. Isn’t that a better way to do it? Of course, it is. But sales managers don’t usually think that way. And if you’re not with a company that has a sales manager like that, you can start thinking that way. Problem is you’re going to run into a buzzsaw when you take something to a sales manager, say, “You know what? I’m going to do a podcast in my territory for my 27 hospitals in Yorkshire.” And they’ll say, “No, you need to be making cold calls.”

 

Target the Right Customer, Be a Thought Leader and Provide Value For Them the Best Way You Know How · [17:07] 

 

Will Barron:

You’ve come up with that example, Bill. I use the example all the time. If I was still in medical device sales, I would get the top surgeons through, maybe there’s 30, 40 surgeons, urologists in particular that were good customers of mine. I’d interview them all, call it the Yorkshire Urology Round Table Podcast or something like that. And then I only need the 30 people that I’m interviewing to listen to the show. I don’t need thousands and thousands of downloads, right? And that’s really valuable content. And you you’re ticking all the boxes of making surgeons have any ego, whether how politically correct that is. A lot of them have a big ego. You’re ticking that box. You’re getting them to share their expertise. You’re becoming the hope of this new community that you’ve just invented. So I’d love that because I use that example all the time. You teed it up perfectly there yourself. So we’re obviously on the same wavelength for a lot of this.

 

Bill Caskey:

Yeah. But you would do it, well now you would do it because you know the power of it. But when you were doing that, maybe before podcasting was hatched, there was a little bit of a limitation. You’re not limited now. I’ve got a client who sells dental capital equipment into dentists and he’s out in Portland. And the first call we were on, it was about a year ago. We were talking about Facebook groups. I said, how many of you have Facebook groups for your clients? Oh, our clients are not on Facebook. Dentists are not on Facebook. And this one guy, his name is Matt, at the end of the call he goes, “Hey guys, I know you said earlier none of your customers are on Facebook. In the hour that we were on with Bill, I set up a Facebook group and I’ve already got 20 office managers of dentists who have joined me. I’ve reached out to them and they’re joined me and I’m going to do a one hour or a half hour video show each week where I share ideas and I interview them.”

 

Bill Caskey:

And do you know what? He became the number one sales person in the company. And do you know to this day how many other salespeople have Facebook groups?

 

Will Barron:

Not many, I imagine.

 

Bill Caskey:

Zero. Zero. Now, wouldn’t you think that if somebody was killing it, you’d want to call them and say, hey, Matt, what the hell are you doing? Oh, I’m doing this Facebook group. Well, how are you doing it? How does it work now? No. Because people are so locked and loaded into, well, I got to go make calls today. And meantime, people are calling him saying, “Hey, I want to order that equipment.” He sits back. He does his videos. Now, he works. But it’s a leap to go from the old way to the new way, it really is. It’s a mental and emotional leap. And there’s a certain amount of grief, I think that comes with stopping what you’re doing because it doesn’t work as well as some new way. I think there’s this, well, wait a minute but that’s me and that’s who I am and I make cold calls all the time. I love it. I love it. Okay, sure, you do.

 

What do Salespeople Need to See For Them to At Least Try or Experiment with Obligation Selling · [19:50] 

 

Will Barron:

So let’s dive into this and we’ll wrap up with this then Bill. I was going to go into how we do this step by step, but it seems like the first step is breaking through this identity crisis or this lockdown of identity that we have. And I see this all the time with people, sales experts, you’re seeing it as well. Cold calling is the only thing that matters, social selling is the only thing that matters, the building marketing collateral or podcast, whatever it is. And clearly, all of that is crazy. And the answer is do it all and out what works and then stick with that.

 

Will Barron:

I’m a published scientist but it doesn’t take that to narrow it down. You don’t need to go through the scientific method in too much detail to work out that you should experiment and do the things that work. So how can we Bill and get the audience, for anyone who practically or physically knows that this is the good thing to do, the correct thing to do but hasn’t made the emotional commitment to it yet. How do we bridge that gap and get people to experiment with new ways of selling?

 

Bill Caskey:

Yeah. Well, A, if I knew that I would be a very wealthy man. B, I do think you have to show people. I mean, you and I can, we can talk about this week. I could be on your show and you can be on my show every day and it’s just blah, blah, blah. Just talking. So the question is, what does a sales person need to see that would convince them that they should at least try it? Like you said, experiment with it. And I think one way to think about that is… I’m going to draw something out here. Is this going to be a video or just audio?

 

Will Barron:

Both and I will screenshot the video of anyone who’s listened to the audio and you’ll be able to find it in the show notes over at salesman.org.

 

“Think about your world and what could you give away that would be really valuable for prospects. If you’re in the commercial real estate space, maybe you create a little document that says, here are the 20 things that you should do when you think about leasing. And this becomes the thing that you want to drive all of your effort to, LinkedIn posts, Facebook, articles, blogs, email, telephone, face-to-face. You’re constantly trying to get people in here because this is where they express interest and then you can sell them something, you can have a meeting or whatever.” – Bill Caskey · [21:47] 

 

Bill Caskey:

Okay, I’m going to hold this up. And this is a beautiful drawing. I’m an art student, as you can tell. This is the thing right here that is the gold. This is the gold right here. The gold might be a white paper. The goal might be a course that you have created on how to do podcasting. Think about your world and what could you give away that would be really valuable for prospects? If you’re in the commercial real estate or commercial office space, maybe you create a little document that says, here are the 20 things that you should do when you think about leasing or when you think about… And this becomes the thing that you want to drive all of your effort to, LinkedIn posts, Facebook, articles, blogs, email, telephone, face-to-face. You’re constantly trying to get people in here because this is where they express interest.

 

“If we don’t have a strategy that goes where people can raise their hand and say, “Yep, well, I want to know more about that.” Then we’re always going to miss people. And if we don’t give them a chance to buy into something or embrace something, then we miss them as a prospect.” – Bill Caskey · [22:41] 

 

Bill Caskey:

This is where interest is expressed, and then you can sell them something, you can have a meeting or whatever. But if we don’t have a strategy that goes somewhere where people can raise their hand and say, “Yep, well, I want to know more about that.” Then we’re always, we’re going to miss people. And if we don’t give Will a chance to buy into something or embrace something, then we miss them as a prospect. So that’s my visual for this is very, as you can tell, it’s not very well thought out. But the idea then is if we’re just doing a bunch of LinkedIn stuff and a bunch of Facebook stuff and a bunch of… And there’s nowhere to send people, there’s no call to action then we’re expecting it to go from here to here and it doesn’t. It just doesn’t. So showing people that and then the question is, okay, well, what is this thing here?

 

Bill Caskey:

Because people struggle with that. But it could be something as simple as a Facebook group that brings value. And every time you talk to somebody say, hey, by the way, Will have you joined my Facebook? Oh, what is it? Well, I shoot a video every week about 10 things you can do in your dental practise to improve your patient retention. Really? Yeah. I want to see that. So that’s kind of my mission. My suggestion is you have to show it. It has to have a strategy to it. So that at the end of the day, you get more leads, you get more discussions.

 

How to Does a Salesperson Create Value For People and Still Manage to Show Other People That They Can Do it · [23:51] 

 

Will Barron:

I think is… I love this, Bill. This is so smart because this perhaps five years ago would be, you’d have a brochure. There’d be some kind of tool that your marketing team would make, a quiz or something like that. But if you could… And none of that is congruent and it’s all a little bit weird for sales person to say, here’s this piece of paper that my marketing team put together that I don’t really give a shit about but I’ve been told to hand it to you. And I’ve got a handout with so many of them a week and we’ve got to take some kind of box in some software somewhere. But for you to build a, obviously a Facebook group takes 30 seconds to put together. And again, with the urology example, for me, medical device sales, why go to… The first step, could you be a Facebook group with just those urologist or just your current customers so that they can contact you easier.

 

Will Barron:

And at that point, you build an into like network effect and all of these Silicon Valley terms that Facebook are giving you the tools for because they want you to live on their platform, that they all do a lot of this hard work for you. Whereas again, 15 years ago, you had to build it all yourself and it would cost tens of thousands of dollars. So that’s genius. Like especially, if you get a couple of your good customers in there first, then anyone joins or anyone who sees that the threaded comments before they joined, they’re going to see all this positive feedback. You’re going to be able to answer the questions, help them and add another layer of value. It’s how to describe it. It’s almost like the value that you give as a salesperson, but making it visible because you might be having all these conversations anyway. But if other people can’t peer in, it’s difficult to judge the amount of value that you’re giving. Right?

 

Bill Caskey:

To see the value. Exactly. Exactly. Frank Kern talks about that. He says, give value before they’re a customer then you don’t have to give them all the value, you shouldn’t because they can’t… But give them a little value. What’s the first thing you would do with the customer when they contacted you, we’ll give them that. Let them sample your wares. We’ve been doing sampling and stores forever. That’s all this is the sample. But you also talked about the platform and you talked about it in terms of Facebook and the kind of the big platforms, LinkedIn. But think about this. You can have your own platform on LinkedIn, your own platform. It could be a group. It could be just your connections, your tribe. I’ve got, I don’t know, seven or 8,000 people. I don’t know how many, but I post videos there. I post audio through Headliner. I do articles. I just took a picture of a document today that was in my office. I thought, you know what? Why haven’t I shared that on LinkedIn?

 

Bill Caskey:

And that’s a way for me to build a LinkedIn platform with content. And I can’t tell you how many times someone has reached out to me and said, hey, I want you to do coaching with me or I just, I love your podcast. Or they say, I’ve never heard your podcast, I just follow you on LinkedIn and I like what you’re posting. And so building your own personal platform. Everybody listening to this, if they’re on LinkedIn, you have a platform. You just haven’t worked it. You just haven’t used, it leveraged it. Really said, this is an asset for me. This is a core asset. They don’t think about that though. They think about, well, who am I going to get introduced to today? I guess I’ll scan down and I’ll say, tell me I’m supposed to spend 15 minutes here. Don’t look at it like that. Look at it like an asset. This is your future of your business, LinkedIn. But we don’t look at it that way and I think we should.

 

Build Intellectual Property: The Difference Between Social Selling and Creating Value for Your Business · [27:07] 

 

Will Barron:

And then this is a really good distinction between social selling, which 90% of it is nonsense. And considering yourself, an entrepreneur business owner and creating that intellectual property. And it could just be, tell me if I’m wrong here Bill, but it could just be one amazing article or you pull loads of research from internal when your organisation, you put your personality on it, your authenticity and you repurpose it as here’s my thoughts on the industry via the company that I work for. Just one thing like that is enough to get people into a group, onto a page to support you. And you can almost align your mission around that. Am I simplifying this? Or is that appropriate?

 

Bill Caskey:

No, you are… It’s a brilliant idea. I mean, it’s perfect. Because you don’t have to create. I work with a large telecom company out of Canada, and then they publish like 12 articles a month on proper ways to look at telecom and cloud storage and security and all that. And I was talking to about 50 of their salespeople the other day and none of them, none of them use any of that. They might link to it occasionally. I said, why don’t you go on camera and say, “Hi, Bill Caskey here from blank company. We just publish an article and I want you to read it. I put the link below, hope you enjoy.” Off. And so attach your brand. And they said, well, you know the company probably wouldn’t like that. And there was a marketing guy in the room.

 

“You don’t have to be Steven Spielberg writing your own novels. You can take what your company is putting out, take what other people are putting out, put your spin on it, promote it under your LinkedIn. And you will watch your influence grow.” – Bill Caskey · [28:50] 

 

Bill Caskey:

He goes, oh no, the company would like that. You do that. We got to get this stuff read. Hell, we’re spending a lot of calories writing shit but nobody’s listening because we haven’t promoted it. So that’s a perfect example Will, of how to do it. You don’t have to be Steven Spielberg writing your own novels. You can take what your company is putting out, take what other people are putting out, put your spin on it, promote it under your LinkedIn. And you will watch your influence grow, you really well.

 

Why Building Your Brand is Primarily About Creating Unique Content Instead of Sharing Other People’s Content · [29:05] 

 

Will Barron:

And I think it’s worth just double down on this Bill that, and tell me if you agree, I’m not saying you should just, I don’t think there’s much value unless you are a well-known influencer in just sharing content. I think it’s got to be your spin on things, right? Is that appropriate?

 

“You are an influencer. If you’re a salesperson, you better be saying, “How can I be more influential in my market?” And it doesn’t have to be selfies on Instagram. It could be articles on LinkedIn. Be the value that you want to be seen as.” – Bill Caskey · [29:41] 

 

Bill Caskey:

Yeah. I agree. Totally agree. I think that’s the easy way out and I’m not opposed occasionally, if you have an article. But that’s not creating content, that’s not building your brand. That’s building somebody else’s brand. And this whole idea of influencer, I think we look down on the influencers sometimes and it’s because we see them so… But you are an influencer. If you’re a salesperson, you better be saying, “How can I be more influential in my market?” And it doesn’t have to be selfies on Instagram. It could be articles on LinkedIn. Be the value that you want to be seen as. We all want to be seen as having huge value, but we’re not doing anything to help the population connect with that. So I think that’s good. Good idea. You’re spot on there, Will.

 

Will Barron:

Well, I don’t think either of us are going to get much attention wearing a bikini on a beach. So I think we’ll stick to the content side of things here and adding business value, right?

 

Bill Caskey:

That’s an understatement, Will. Understatement.

 

Bill’s Advise to His Younger Self on How to Become Better at Selling · [30:20] 

 

Will Barron:

Hey, Bill, I usually ask one question. I’ve asked it for 600, 700 episodes, but I’m changing it slightly during the kind of pandemic world that we’re living in and living through right now. So with that said, if you could go back in time and speak to your younger self, what would you have told him? Younger self could have been three weeks ago. What would you have told him to help him better prepare for the period of time that we’re in right now?

 

Bill Caskey:

I heard a guy say, oh, that is so February. Yeah, that’s a good question. You know what? I’m in a self-help programme because I had some issues back in my thirties. And one of the things that they stress in that programme, it’s a programme of addiction is one day at a time. And I think we can all learn from it’s one step at a time, it’s one day at a time. Don’t get too far, don’t get too far outside, you got today. You’ve got today. And tomorrow is going to change so why would I make a plan for 30 days from now? I don’t know what tomorrow is going to look like. And so I think there’s a… Now, I think you have to still look at the future but you also have to say, I am here today.

 

Bill Caskey:

I’m going to take a step forward today, which you don’t want to do is not take a step. And one day at a time does not mean live the same day over and over and over. It means go out, connect with people, look to serve, be tender, be patient, be understanding that people are in a variety of different emotional states right now. Just go on and try to help people. And if your numbers suck for the rest of the year, oh, well. I’m more interested in the health and wellbeing of the sales person today, frankly, than I am whether they make their numbers this year. I think that it’s going to take a toll on the mental and emotional health of salespeople and I want to be there and I know you do too for that. Because that’s going to serve people a lot longer than whether they make their numbers in the next quarter.

 

Parting Thoughts · [32:35] 

 

Will Barron:

That is the most thoughtful and best answer I’ve had that question, Bill. As you were saying, that I could feel my shoulders dropping slightly with not like a weight being lifted off me, but that idea in the process of thinking one day, one step at a time. I think that’s quite profound and really valuable for the audience and me as well.

 

Bill Caskey:

It’s the best I got.

 

Will Barron:

Well, with that Bill, tell us where we can find out more about you, the podcast and on all the training and coaching you provide as well.

 

Bill Caskey:

Yeah, it’s real easy. BillCaskey.com. It links there to all of our properties and all of our, I’ve got my own podcast and I have the Advanced Selling podcast that I do with Bryan Neale, been around for about 15 years. And that’s our big podcast. But then there’s all sorts of freebies and videos and all sorts of cool things you can connect with me there as well on LinkedIn. So billcaskey.com. And Will, I really appreciate you having me on this has really been a good conversation and I think it’s much needed today. So thank you.

 

Will Barron:

I appreciate you Bill. Sales Nation appreciate you as well. I want to thank you again for joining us on The Salesman Podcast.

 

Bill Caskey:

Thank you.

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