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How To Have TRANSFORMATIONAL Sales Conversations

In today’s episode of the Salesman Podcast, we talk about how we can have more transformational conversations with our buyers by doing less.

Joining us is Clair Pedrick, the author of the book Simplifying Coaching: How to Have More Transformational Conversations by Doing Less.

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:
Win More Deals Or Your Money Back.
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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Clair Pedrick
Master Certified Coach with Over 30 Years of Experience

Resources:

Transcript

Will Barron:

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

 

Claire Pedrick:

Well, there are lots of definitions. And most of them have got lots of words in. But if I give you the baking definition of transformation, somebody comes into a conversation, and when they go away they’ve had some change happen that can’t be undone. So I’m not a sales professional and I have been on the end of many. Sometimes it feels like you’re on transmit. And I think the skill is to co-create the conversation, to work out together what it is that needs to happen. So people give too much information too quickly and too early in the conversation.

 

Will Barron:

Hello, sales nation. My name is Will Barron and I’m the host of the Salesman Podcast. The world’s most downloaded B2B sales show. On today’s episode, we have Claire Pedrick, she’s the author of Simplifying Coaching. You can find her over to 3dcoaching.com. On today’s episode, we’re getting into how you’re can have a more transformational conversation with your buyers. There’s tonnes to go out in this episode, there’s tonnes of value, questions you should ask, how to frame up a conversation and a whole lot more. So with that said, let’s jump right into it. Claire, welcome to the Salesman Podcast.

 

Claire Pedrick:

Thank you. It’s really good to be here.

 

What Does it Mean to Have a Transformational Conversation? · [01:27]

 

Will Barron:

I’m really excited to have you on. Okay. So we’re going to talk about how we can have more transformational conversations by doing less in this episode. But I guess, to get us started here, to get us rocking and rolling, what does it mean to have a transformational conversation? Is there a definition of what that actually is?

 

“Well, there are lots of definitions and most of them have got lots of words in. But if I give you the baking definition of transformation, somebody comes into a conversation, and when they go away they’ve had some change happen that can’t be undone.” – Claire Pedrick · [01:32] 

 

Claire Pedrick:

Well, there are lots of definitions and most of them have got lots of words in. But if I give you the baking definition of transformation, somebody comes into a conversation, and when they go away they’ve had some change happen that can’t be undone.

 

Will Barron:

I love that.

 

“Think baking. So if you put all the ingredients of a cake into a tin, you apply heat, and then you can’t unmake a cake. So transformation is change that you can’t unmake.” – Claire Pedrick · [01:49] 

 

Claire Pedrick:

So think baking. So if you put all the ingredients of a cake into a tin, you apply heat, and then you can’t unmake a cake. So transformation is change that you can’t unmake.

 

Will Barron:

I’m going to steal that definition, is that yours? Because I have to credit you in the future.

 

Claire Pedrick:

Yes, it’s my very own. You can have it. Just use my name.

 

How to Have Transformational Sales Conversations · [02:10] 

 

Will Barron:

Yep. I will. Genuinely, because there’s a lot of lip service that’s given in the sales training industry and B2B sales training industry specifically, of we should all be consultants, we should all be having transformational conversations. But when you add that extra layer on top of, you have a conversation with the buyer, you have a consultative call, whatever it is. And they walk away and they can’t be unchanged, that removes a lot of this potential lip service because it’s very definite. We’re not saying here, we’re going to get on a call, we’ve got a product or service sell, clearly. But we’re not trying to just squeeze it in the best we can. We’re trying to leave the buyer in a better place than when we started engaging with them. Is that fair to say?

 

Claire Pedrick:

Yeah, completely. So can I tell you a story?

 

Will Barron:

Of course, yeah.

 

Claire Pedrick:

You know that point in your life when you come to buying your first new car? When I came to the point in my life of buying my first new car, everything had been secondhand, the most exciting thing was that I could choose its colour. So it had to be red, because I had decided I wanted a red car. And then we wanted some version of a super-mini, small to medium-sized car. So we went around every distributor in our town, and there were five retail garages in our town. So everyone you go to, they say, the special thing about my car is that it’s got, and then they start talking a language I don’t understand. And you think, well, I don’t know what you’re talking about.

 

Claire Pedrick:

So by the time we got to the fourth one, I’d lost the will to live by then. I just wanted a red car. And I knew that the Citroen had the doo-dah in the middle. And the others of them had to doo-dah in different places. But apart from that, they had four doors and four wheels. And we decided which car we were going to buy. And then on a cold Bank Holiday, rainy day, my husband goes to me, “But we haven’t tried the Honda.” And I’m going, “I don’t want to test drive another car.” So we arrive at the Honda garage and we go in. And you couldn’t be outside because it was that English bucket rain.

 

Claire Pedrick:

And we went in. And the salesman came over and he said, I think I had my don’t mess with me face on. He said, “Do you have any questions?” That was his first question? and I said, “Yes, why should I buy your car? What’s different about this?” And he went, “It has magic seats.” You see, I can still remember. That car is now in the scrap heap because it’s so old. But he said, “It has magic seats.” So I’m going, “Oh, tell me about magic seats.” And he told me what was different about his seats. And I started imagining the things that I could do with that car, which weren’t the things that I was intending to buy it for. And we bought it. And I got paid 50 quid by Honda for advertising their car.

 

Will Barron:

So, does that class as a transformative conversation, in that you went in with one expectation and then you left with almost different buying requirements on the back of the conversation itself?

 

Claire Pedrick:

I think it changed everything forever. And also, of course, I’d signed on the line by the time we left the garage.

 

The Benefits of Having Transformational Sales Conversations · [05:36]

 

Will Barron:

Because I can just, I won’t do it because I’ve been bashing BMW and Mini Leeds many times over on this show because I’ve had the worst customer service I’ve ever had from them. So I won’t go into the tale again. Regular listeners will know this. But I could just oppose that story with, we went to buy a Mini, me and my partner, a few months ago now. And we couldn’t even get a price out of the guy. He was that guarded and that untransformational that we went in, test drove it, couldn’t get a price, left, and then immediately bought a Skoda. So this really matters, doesn’t it?

 

Claire Pedrick:

Yeah. And I think the real question is, are we clear enough what we’re doing in this conversation? And how are we going to do it? And how are we going to know we’ve done it? Because unless you’ve got that clear before you start, it’s really difficult. So here’s my other story. So we’re in the middle of moving house, and it’s been a little bit complicated. But we’ve bought a new build that is still being built. And we came to the decision we wanted to buy the new build without seeing the estate or anything. We’d just seen their model of house somewhere else. So I rang up the sales woman. And I made it clear what we were doing. So she didn’t give me everything else. I said, “I need you to do two things for me. And if you do those two things, then I’ll either make an offer or not make an offer on this house.” But I guess that assertiveness comes from what I know about good conversations.

 

Will Barron:

Sure.

 

Claire Pedrick:

So I said, “I want you to go to the plot. I want you to stand with your back to the house and take a photograph forwards. Then I want you to turn around and take a photograph the other way. And if I like what I see, you’ll get an offer.” So she WhatsApped me these two photos. And then I went, “Okay, we’re offering this much money.” And she came back. She said, “Really, Claire, pleased you’re making an offer. Don’t normally do house sales by WhatsApp message.” But what was clear was what needed to happen in that conversation in order for us to buy. And if she’d started with her, this estate has been planned for 20 years, and it’s got 116 houses on it. I’d have lost the plot and not bought it.

 

Informed B2B Buyers are Here to Stay · [07:50]

 

Will Barron:

Sure. I think what you’re describing, Claire, is a phenomenon, I think this is a positive thing, that’s happening throughout the commercial and then also B2B and B2C space in that buyers are more informed. You’ve probably already read the bump about the history of this and that. You can go on Google Maps and see previous developments that they’ve already done. You are so far down the buying cycle that when you do communicate with an individual salesperson, on a large, I might be speaking out of turn here, but it’s probably the largest or one of the largest purchases you’re going to make in your lifetime. So it’s incredibly important. You don’t need to have someone throw all this ’80s, ’90s, ’70s, sales bullshit at you. What you want is a transformative communication, at best. And at worst, you want to be assertive, in control of the conversation and ask questions that resolve your own pain points. Am I on the right lines with that?

 

Claire Pedrick:

Yeah. And I needed, as the customer, to start in a place that works for me, not in a place that works for you. Because if you start from the beginning, I’ll get bored. So I need you to start from where I am. And the only way that you’ll know where I am is to ask me.

 

Practical Framework For Having Transformational Conversations · [09:02]

 

Will Barron:

Okay, so let’s get into brass tacks here. Is there a framework? Is there a structure? Is there a system to putting together a transformational conversation?

 

“So the structure for a transformational conversation is actually not all the open questions that we’re taught are useful. It’s about actually creating the container for the conversation before we start having it.” – Claire Pedrick · [09:30] 

 

Claire Pedrick:

There you are. There is my transformational conversation. So for those of you haven’t got video, it’s a little hexagon followed by a big hexagon. That’s all it is. So basically, in science or in baking, if you want transformation to happen, you have to put the thing in a container with boundaries. So the structure for a transformational conversation is actually not all the open questions that we’re taught are useful. It’s about actually creating the container for the conversation before we start having it. And the thing that frames the container are three things. Number one is, what are we doing today in this conversation? How are we going to do that today? And how will we know we’ve done it?

 

Claire Pedrick:

So what I did with that house sales lady was, I took control of the conversation and said, by the end of this conversation, I’ll make an offer if you will send me a photograph of the front view and the back view. But to be clear on that, builds trust, it makes people feel heard. It enables you as the salesperson to start from where they need to start and not some random place that worked with other people.

 

How to Pragmatically Have B2B Transformational Conversations with Informed Buyers Without Sounding too Sales-y · [10:34] 

 

Will Barron:

How do we do this? Let’s make this slightly more complicated. We’re going into a B2B sales conversation. The buyer has raised their hand. They’ve probably done a little bit of research on their own side. And they’ve got a problem. I can give you some hard anecdotes here, if that makes it easier, but I’ll try and keep it open-ended at first. We’re going into a conversation. They know they’ve got a big problem. We know the solution to the problem, but we feel like we’re going to get their backs up if we say in this phone call, I’m going to tell you, this is what’s wrong. The outcome is that you buy the solution and solve your problem. How do we go about those kinds of conversations, where again, we are selling this product day in, day out, so we are undoubtedly more knowledgeable about this one sliver of this individual’s business than perhaps what they are? How do we go to the conversation, framing things up, creating boundaries without the buyer feeling like we’re trying to manipulate them to a predisposed outcome?

 

Claire Pedrick:

I think you ask them. So a lot of sales can feel, I’m not a sales professional, and I have been on the end of many. Sometimes it feels like you’re on transmit. And I think the skill is to co-create the conversation, to work out together what it is that needs to happen. And therefore, to do what is useful to them rather than what is your preference. So one of the things that I’ve learned over 30 years of talking to people about conversations, and having conversations with people, and really interestingly, watching other people having conversations, which is the real place to do the learning. And we’ll come back to that in a minute, because there’s something interesting that I think salespeople could do that would make a real difference in your development. But the real skill is to negotiate it together, to make sure that the conversation that we’re going to have is going to serve the person who you’re having it with.

 

Claire Pedrick:

There’s a guy who’s written a lot about trauma. His name is Peter Levine. And he says that trauma is too much, too fast, too soon. Look at your face as I’m saying that. You’re going, oh yes.

 

Will Barron:

I’ll interrupt you slightly here. I’m smiling because the best advice I ever got on the podcast, when I’m chatting with people like yourself, Claire, is stuff that when you go, you look back at and you go, that’s common sense. Why haven’t I pondered that in the past? Because that makes a lot of sense, right?

 

“So people give too much information, too quickly and too early in the conversation. So I would say, don’t give a solution until the person that you’re talking to is really clear what is their question? Because once they’re clear what their question or their hunger or their need or whatever it is you described in sales is, then your offering will make sense.” – Claire Pedrick · [13:33] 

 

Claire Pedrick:

Total sense. Total sense. And actually, nothing that I ever say is anything more than common sense. It’s just that people don’t know they know it. So what will happen? That too much, too fast, too soon. People who are listening will have experienced that sometimes, but they may not have articulated that’s what happened. But so too much, too fast, too soon. So people give too much information, too quickly and too early in the conversation. So I would say, don’t give a solution until the person that you’re talking to is really clear what is their question? Because once they’re clear what their question or their hunger or their need or whatever it is you described in sales is, then your offering will make sense. But if you give it too early, I’m not saying it’s going to be the same trauma as being in a Tsunami or anything like that, but it’s not going to be received well. So it’s all about timing. And it’s all about how much we give at the point we give it.

 

How to Ask Relevant Questions That Help Buyers Uncover Their Pain Points and Take Control of the Conversations · [14:22]

 

Will Barron:

So this is the key part, right? What questions can we ask to help the buyer clarify the questions that they need to ask us, again, without going? Because we can do some of this by asking close ended questions, and manipulating and pushing the buyer to a certain point. But then they feel weird, they get this weird gut feeling that they know something’s up. And we, as salespeople, are maybe going, well. There can be frustration from our end of, we know the issue that you face. I see it 15 times a day. We have our engineers deal with it. We have our development team deal with it. Let me just solve it for you. It’s on us to hold back our frustration. But what questions can we ask a potential customer to help them uncover the questions that they need to ask us so that they can be in control of this?

 

Claire Pedrick:

So I’m not a sales person. And I’m really averse to giving advice. So I can tell you what I do, and then people can make it their own. So in my context, I say to people, so what are the questions that you’re bringing to this conversation? What’s your most important question about the thing that we’re talking about, or this area that we’re talking about? And therefore, what are the things that we need to do in order for you to feel that you’re moving that forward? But I really would say, don’t run too early. Which is what you’re saying.

 

Will Barron:

And we’re going to come back to it in a second, on watching over people’s conversations, because you seemed adamant to talk about that. And some of this will be a practising and observing of people, I’m sure. But Claire, how do we then go from, I could be asked in a pre-meeting or as we’re setting up, or booking, a meeting with a potential customer, have a think about the questions that you want to ask. Or, is there anything pertinent that you want to ask now, that I can send you in the meantime? We can ask questions like this.

 

Will Barron:

But how do we then go below that surface level? So the buyer has a problem of, if I’m selling medical devices to the NHS, endoscopic camera systems, the buyer has an issue of the image on the screen, when they’re looking inside the patient, is not very good. Now, that is an easy problem to solve, but it’s difficult for a surgeon to then go and get half a million quids worth of budget to solve it. Because when he goes to his boss, the theatre manager, the CFO of the hospital, and he says, “My screen’s a little bit fuzzy. I want a slightly less fuzzy screen.” It’s difficult to get that funding. But what we want to get out with the surgeon is for them to realise that money comes easily when you start talking about, well, we can do procedures faster and safer. So there’s more throughput through the operating room. It’s safer. So there’s better patient outcomes, which is a positive in its own right. But also, there’s a cash element tied to that of, perhaps, less litigation.

 

How to Structure Successful Sales Conversation That Gets Buyers to Take Action · [17:16]

 

Will Barron:

So how do we go from getting someone who understands the surface level problem they have, and then just getting them to scratch that little bit deeper to uncover the pain points that really drive momentum and really get people to take action?

 

“Stephen Covey said, begin with the end in mind. So you’re actually thinking about the end before you even start at the beginning. So what you’re doing is you’re making the conversation the right size or the right shape for that individual, in this context.” – Claire Pedrick · [17:55] 

 

Claire Pedrick:

It all depends on trust, doesn’t it? Because if that surgeon trusts you, you’ll have a different conversation than if they don’t trust you. So let’s assume they trust you enough. One thing to think about is to ask them how they’ll know that this conversation has been useful. Stephen Covey said, begin with the end in mind. So you’re actually thinking about the end before you even start at the beginning. So what you’re doing is you’re making the conversation the right size or the right shape for that individual, in this context.

 

Are Salespeople Overcomplicating Sales Conversations by Asking Irrelevant Questions to Informed Buyers? · [18:10]


Will Barron:

I love this. Because I guess when we ask that question, we’re unburdening our own opinions from the conversation at that point. Because at the end of the conversation, a classic sales question that we can ask is, hey, we’ve outlined everything you wanted, we’ve ticked all these boxes. Does it make sense to move forward with this? Now, if they’ve outlined what they wanted, and in the conversation, we’ve ticked the boxes, it makes sense to move forward with things as opposed to us saying, well, we think we should. Our opinion as an expert in this space is that you should do this, this and this. I guess what I’m saying is, are we overcomplicating some of this in sales? Should we just leave it to the customer and allow them to take some of the burden of this?

 

Claire Pedrick:

So if you were talking to that surgeon and you said, “How will you know, by the end of this conversation, that we’ve moved things forward?” The surgeon might go, “I’m totally committed to buying the jolly thing, but the bit that I need us to talk about is you to give me examples of how people have persuaded the people with the money to give the money.”

 

Will Barron:

Sure, perfect.

 

“When we make conversations too big, we don’t address the thing that needs to be addressed.” – Claire Pedrick · [19:23] 

 

Claire Pedrick:

Then you know what you’re doing? And then you don’t bother, sorry, you don’t need to go, this is a very good machine. You just simply need to then address the bit. When we make conversations too big, we don’t address the thing that needs to be addressed. And it just goes all over the place. So making the conversation the right size, you can only do that by working out what you’d like to be different by the end. And you only know that by asking them.

 

How Long Should Sales Conversations Last? · [20:04]

 

Will Barron:

I’ve literally been in that situation you described of the surgeon just says, especially when they’ve done lots of training on the equipment of the companies I worked for, they’re used to it. They want it. They just need to know how to get the cash from a CFO, which typically requires us bringing in our CFO. And so that’s perfect. You wrapped that up perfectly, Claire. So with that then, I know this is massively subjective, but is there a length of conversation that we should be aiming for? Do people have an attention span of three minutes, five minutes, an hour? Is there a way to, I’m not talking about perhaps systematising some of this, but is there a way to remove a little bit of going off our gut?

 

“So how long do you think is useful for this conversation, is a great question to ask people. Because actually what you want to do is to make it the length that works for them.” – Claire Pedrick · [20:53] 

 

Claire Pedrick:

Ask them. What’s a good length of conversation for you? Because when we bought the house that cost a lot of money, it’s the most money we’ve ever spent. That conversation took two minutes because we’d already decided. And I didn’t want to spend two hours talking to somebody about whatever. But I might feel I need longer. So how long do you think is useful for this conversation, is a great question to ask people. Because actually what you want to do is to make it the length that works for them. And then when you finished, you finished. And that might be early.

 

Will Barron:

I think we’re all in this mindset of, a meeting is 15 minutes. It’s 30 minutes. It’s 60 minutes. At a 60 minute meeting, we talk nonsense about the person that we’re meeting with dogs and animals and hobbies for seven minutes. And then we jump into the conversation. But what you’re describing there is, again, my experience selling to surgeons in that some surgeons will do a deal mid procedure with a member of the nursing staff holding a phone next to their head. Other surgeons want to sit down because maybe their name is tied to things more rigorously. And so they’re going to look like an idiot if the whole thing falls apart. So that’s perfect.

 

Have Better Sales Conversations By Practicing Transformative Conversations · [21:51]

 

Will Barron:

Okay. So with all of this then, how do we get better at this? We’ve got some framework now. We’ve got some examples. How do we improve our skills? Because we don’t really want to practise this on customers and lose a load of business along the way. Is there any way that we can accelerate the learning element of this before we start implementing it?

 

Claire Pedrick:

Well, I think getting a sense of some of those principles, like asking people, making the conversation the right size, are things that you can practise with colleagues. But what I really want to say is that, often I think that when we’re in the facilitator of the conversation seat, so whether that’s the sales person or the MD or whatever, when we’re in that seat, we think that we need to know how to do everything. And in order to learn, we think that if we watch people who are really good at doing that and see what they do, then we’ll do brilliantly. But actually, the skill is to watch how it lands with the other person, because that’s how you’re going to know how to have better conversations.

 

“Watching how it lands with the customer is, I think, the place to become a better salesperson, not watching brilliant, amazing salespeople and copying what they do.” – Claire Pedrick · [23:25] 

 

Claire Pedrick:

So if it was possible, and I don’t know if that’s true, although now we’re working online a lot, maybe it is true, to record some conversations that are real with people and to watch back the customer. Is what’s happening landing with the customer? Is the customer processing? Are they in sync in their timing, or is the salesperson way behind the customer or indeed way ahead of the customer? Watching how it lands with the customer is, I think, the place to become a better salesperson, not watching brilliant, amazing salespeople and copying what they do.

 

The Critical Skill of Assessing Body Language and The Impact the Conversation Has on The Buyer · [23:37] 

 

Will Barron:

Is that because there’s just so many subtleties to body language, vocal tonality, knowing when to start, when to stop, knowing when to add and take away, that you could have a rigid framework, but one person following it would just have tremendously different outcomes to another person following it?

 

Claire Pedrick:

I think it’s because you’re talking about a conversation. And the impact of the conversation is about what it does to your colleague, not about how marvellous what you did was.

 

Will Barron:

Sure. That makes sense.

 

Claire Pedrick:

So it’s really about looking at the impact. That’s what matters a lot, I think.

 

Why Buyer Participation is an Essential Part of B2B Selling · [24:37] 

 

Will Barron:

Sure. With regards to recording conversations and playing them back. There are companies like, if you’re not familiar, I’ll send you some links after this, Claire, but as Gong, there is chorus.ai. I think the brand is, and they are doing a lot of AI and machine learning to try and automate, not automate, but to give feedback on some of this. But clearly, listening back to someone who is having a great conversation. Because I think this is the point I’ve missed so far, the great conversation that adds value to the buyer requires the buyer to also participate, right? Is this what I’ve been missing, in that we could do all these steps, but if the buyer’s dog just got run over, it’s going to be a terrible conversation no matter what we do? Is that the final piece to this puzzle?

 

Claire Pedrick:

If the way you do sales doesn’t work for me. I’m not going to buy.

 

Will Barron:

But it’s our job to be a chameleon, right and to make it work for you? Or are you saying that, some of the time, it’s just not a good fit, whatever it is, personality wise, backgrounds, I don’t know? Is it fair to say that sometimes we can just go, okay, that was just not a good fit and we move on to the next conversation?

 

“Watch the impact of what you’re saying. And if it looks as though it doesn’t work, say to them, what is it you need right now? Ask them. Because otherwise you’re on transmit. And I don’t think transmit leads to transformation. I think partnership leads to transformation.” – Claire Pedrick · [25:25] 

 

Claire Pedrick:

That’s a post conversation reflection, isn’t it, Will? I think what I want to say is, notice as you go through, watch the impact of what you’re saying. And if it looks as though it doesn’t work, say to them, what is it you need right now? Ask them. Because otherwise you’re on transmit. And I don’t think transmit leads to transformation. I think partnership leads to transformation.

 

Will Barron:

Sure. That makes sense. And again, anecdotally, from selling to surgeons, there’s been loads of times the surgeon will run in a room, and this is different to most B2B selling scenarios where you’re in an office or you’re on the phone. Surgeon runs into the room, says, Hey, Will, blah, blah, blah, blah, they throw a load of stuff at me. And then they’ve got to go, because there’s a patient bleeding out of the table next door. And there’s been plenty of times where people will come in, and I would be sat with them, and I’ll be chatting or be in the operating room. And I would say what you just outlined then, Claire of, is this a good time? Should we just continue this at a later date? Is this not an appropriate time to have this conversation? I love that. Okay. So final few things to wrap up the show.

 

“And the real skill to make it transformational is to think about the end as well as the beginning. And that will be to say, we’ve got about 10 minutes left, what else is it you need to know. Because that will really get them to the heart of their questions and what they need from you. And they might go, actually, I’m ready to buy now. So ask them, ask them, ask them.” – Claire Pedrick · [26:33] 

 

Claire Pedrick:

Can I just say one more thing before we wrap up? So it’s like a journey. You take off the plane, and you fly the plane, and you land the plane. And the real skill to make it transformational is to think about the end as well as the beginning. And that will be to say, we’ve got about 10 minutes left, what else is it you need to know. Because that will really get them to the heart of their questions and what they need from you. And they might go, actually, I’m ready to buy now. So ask them, ask them, ask them.

 

The Differences Between In-Person and Virtual Transformational Conversations and How to Adjust Both Situations · [27:01]

 

Will Barron:

Perfect. Now I just wanted to clarify this to wrap up the show, Claire. Does this change, even if it’s subtlely, when we’re on the phone versus meeting with people in person versus doing what we’re doing right now, and the whole world seems to be doing, which is doing a video call over Skype, Zoom or whatever it is. Is there anything we need to adjust between these different platforms of communication?

 

Claire Pedrick:

I think the really interesting thing is that on video call you’ve got a full view of the other person’s face. So you can really notice when it lands and when it doesn’t land. So I’ve noticed that a few times in this conversation, really tiny in your eyes, you’ve gone, oh, or you smiled like you smiled just then. And there’s a sense of an insight.

 

Will Barron:

I know what I do. I do this. For some reason, I always look off into this direction and I go. I want to scratch my head like a Chimp and just go. Oh yeah. Obviously it looks rubbish on camera when I’m doing this. I’m constantly aware every time I do have a transformational moment. And a couple of times in this conversation, I’ve literally looked up. And I had to pull my gaze back to the camera.

 

“Timing the silences so people can land the insight is really important.” – Claire Pedrick · [28:09] 

 

Claire Pedrick:

But the skill for me is to not speak until you come back. Because you’re busy, and actually you’re on task. So, timing the silences so people can land the insight is really important. And video is the easiest way of doing that. The next easiest is face-to-face, although you don’t get a full face view and you may not notice if they look away. Phone, you need to learn to look when you can’t see.

 

Will Barron:

What do you mean by that?

 

Claire Pedrick:

You were just thinking about that. I saw you. You need to learn to look, because insights and pace happen in the eyes. So when I said that, you looked slightly away, but you’re a bit self-conscious. So it wasn’t fully away.

 

Will Barron:

I’m trying to be professional here, Claire. I can’t be just spinning around in my seat every time you ask me a question. I’ll be falling all over the place and being dizzy in the meantime.

 

Claire Pedrick:

But I could see you were thinking, so while you were thinking, I stopped talking because I need to not interrupt your thinking, because your thinking serves the conversation. So the skill on the phone is to learn not to interrupt people’s thinking.

 

Will Barron:

I think that’s valuable. I’ll ask you this as well. That’s something I need to take away from this podcast, myself doing interviews, because maybe I’m not completely comfortable with awkward silence. And so I’ll chime in. Sometimes I need to chime in because the conversation for the audience listening needs to plod along. So it’s different than a candid conversation, if we’d had a couple of glasses of wine down at the pub. So there are some elements to that, that are artificial in this conversation that we’re having here. The other people are consuming. But I think there probably are times when I ask a question and the guest is pondering something. And then I think maybe they’re struggling with coming up with an answer. So I’ll tee them up with something easier. So I’ll say it that way.

 

Will Barron:

Is there anything, you can feel free to just completely rinse me now, Claire. Is there anything that I should work on other than that, with my communication skills, with my conversational skills that you’ve noticed just through this short interaction that we’ve had?

 

Claire Pedrick:

My goodness. Because I wasn’t observing this conversation through that [crosstalk [00:30:18].

 

Will Barron:

That’s fine. It’s just, when I have experts on like yourself, I always try to ask that question just in case. Hopefully there’s nothing completely obvious then if there’s nothing that immediately came to mind, anything that just shocked you.

 

“Don’t interrupt people’s thinking in any context, because thinking is serving. Because people will be thinking on task. So let them do that processing, because otherwise you get out of sync and you get ahead of them or you get behind them.“ – Claire Pedrick · [30:42] 

 

Claire Pedrick:

You said it yourself. It’s about using silence productively. But I think the thing that I’d want everyone to know, and I think what I’ve done here is I’ve named some things that you didn’t know you knew. But it’s, don’t interrupt people’s thinking in any context, because thinking is serving. Because people will be thinking on task. So let them do that processing, because otherwise you get out of sync and you get ahead of them or you get behind them.

 

Claire’s Book – Simplifying Coaching: How to Have More Transformational Conversations by Doing Less · [30:59] 

 

Will Barron:

Sure. I think that’s really valuable. And again, coming from the perspective of, perhaps the salesperson has had this conversation 50 times. And maybe they’re getting frustrated because they know what’s going to happen at the end of it. They know the best outcome for the potential buyer. But allowing them to think themselves, as opposed to you telling them, removes all this slimy sales, sleaze, and manipulation. Again, it’s more B2C business to consumer sales, as opposed to B2B sales, that this happens in. But I think that’s incredibly valuable in its own right. Well, with that, Claire, for people who want to learn more, tell us a little bit about the book, where we can find it. And then tell us about the coaching and the website as well.

 

“Sales is about human beings having conversations with human beings.” – Claire Pedrick · [32:30] 

 

Claire Pedrick:

So the book is called Simplifying Coaching, how to have more transformational conversations by doing less. And you can get that on Amazon or any independent bookstore. And that’s available globally. And if you want to get bite-sized bits and pieces, then my Twitter handle is @3dClaire. And I share a little idea every week. And they’re all common sense. And you’ll always read them, well sometimes you’ll read them and go, she wasn’t having a very good week and that was a bit rubbish. But when they’re useful, they’re usually something you know but you don’t know you know them. Sales is about human beings having conversations with human beings. So is coaching. That’s all it is. And it’s about what are we doing there? So, Simplifying Coaching by Claire Pedrick.

 

Will Barron:

Amazing stuff, Claire. Well, I’ll link that in the show notes over at salesman.org for this episode. With that, I want to thank you for your time. I want to thank you for coming on a sales podcast to talk about sales when the book and a lot of your work is about coaching. Although clearly, it transfers across perfectly. So I appreciate you going out on a bit of a limb and connecting with us today, Claire. And with that, I want to thank you again for joining us on the Salesman Podcast.

 

Claire Pedrick:

Thank you. Good to talk to you.

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