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How To Become Top Of Mind For Your Buyers

John Hall is the co-founder of Calendar.com and author of Top of Mind. In this episode of the Sales Leadership Show, John Hall explains how we can live at the top of our buyer’s minds and manage our time effectively.

We also discuss a better alternative for hustling to prevent burnout and keep your company running for the long term.

You'll learn:

Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - John Hall
Co-founder of Calendar.com

Resources:

Transcript

Will Barron:

This episode of the show is brought to you from the Salesman Org HubSpot studio. Coming up on today’s episode of the Sales Leadership Show.

 

John:

Well, the benefits is just the psychology of a buyer. You want them to be thinking about you at the right times, at the right moment.

 

John:

The key thing is you got to continue to get the content out, because content is the consistent thing that’s going to keep you top of mind. And it’s the most scalable thing. But what you have to do is really, like a sales leader… is you have to really push the differentiating factor.

 

John:

There’s this moment that happens, I call it a moment of vulnerability, where the buyer has a moment of vulnerability because their either boss said, “Why is this competitor doing it and we’re not?” And it’s that sinking feeling. They’re like, “Oh my gosh, where do I go?”

 

Will Barron:

Hello, sales nation. My name is Will Barron and I’m the host of the Sales Leadership Show. On today’s episode, we have John Hall. He is the co-founder of calendar.com. He is the author of the book Top of Mind. And that is exactly what we’re talking about on today’s episode of the show, how you can become top of mind for a B2B buyer and the benefits of doing so. And again, time management and all sorts of other things, as well as a tonne of value in this show for sales leaders. And so, with that said, let’s jump right into it.

 

Will Barron:

John, welcome to the Sales Leadership Show.

 

John:

Thanks for having me again. It’s good to see you.

 

How to Stay Top of Mind For Your Buyers · [01:39] 

 

Will Barron:

I’m glad to have you back on. So, okay. So, on this episode, we’re going to take a look at how we can stay top of mind in the buyer’s, I guess, both literal mind, and then perhaps on screen, via email, via communication, and over-marketing methods as well, especially from a sales perspective, what we can perhaps do as sales leaders to push that top of mind with our buyers. But just to sell us on this idea of being top of mind, what happens within the buyer’s mind from a purchasing perspective? From a research perspective? From a perspective where sales is getting less and less involved in the buying cycle, and we’re only appearing at the very end of it because of content marketing and other things like that? What happens when we’re top of mind? And what’s the benefits of it?

 

“You want them to be thinking about you at the right times, at the right moment, because you just don’t know. Everybody tries to time sales at perfect times. It’s impossible. To me, buyers really dictate that math, if you want a healthy sell. Now, I can push something on a buyer. And that’s where content marketing came on the rise is because buyers were sick of being just sold to, they wanted to be informed.” – John Hall · [02:03] 

 

John:

Well, the benefits is just the psychology of the buyer. You want them to be thinking about you at the right times, at the right moment, because you just don’t know. Everybody tries to time sales at perfect times. It’s impossible. To me, buyers really dictate that math, if you want a healthy sell. Now, I can push something on a buyer. And that’s where content marketing came on the rise is because buyers were sick of being just sold to, they wanted to be informed. So, this need for content marketing and nurturing became popular. So then, that became popular. And then, we ended up coming into a cycle where almost… In my opinion, and I’m a content person, we almost went too content-y and tried to scale and scale and scale. And we took away some of the personalization. And so, I think we’re coming back, especially with what’s happened with COVID.

 

“What I typically try to shoot for is not just the sale, but long-term loyalty. Even if you have a one-time sale, it doesn’t mean that that person’s not going to send their best friend. It doesn’t mean that person’s not going to advocate for your brand awareness.” – John Hall · [03:13] 

 

John:

The year of 2021 is going to be this year of blending content with engagement that are some kind of typical old school engagements of writing personal thank you notes, and doing the unique things that actually differentiate it, because just almost got thrown into a virtual world completely. And I think, right now, some people are going to say, “Hey, we digitised. We did all these things. And we’re scaling content. And we’re doing this.” And they’re going to forget that people want human-to-human engagement, and different types of engagement at different times, to create not just the sale, but long-term loyalty. And I think that’s from a sales perspective. What I typically try to shoot for is not just the sale, but long-term loyalty.

 

John:

Even if you have a one time sale, it doesn’t mean that that person’s not going to send their best friend. It doesn’t mean that person’s not going to advocate for your brand awareness. And so, I think that, right now, especially with coming out of this… or during, and coming out of this pandemic situation, I think there’s going to be a major obligation to engage people more frequently in things. And I think content is key, but I think elements around that and personalization are going to be just as important.

 

Creating Content as an Organisation To Stay Top of Mind · [03:55] 

 

Will Barron:

You’ve kind of touched on it here, but can this be done in a silo that is salespeople, even if salespeople are creating content? Or is this sort of in that CMO, VP of marketing, we need to work with the other side, so to speak, as a sales leader to make this happen?

 

John:

I mean, the key thing is like, you got to continue to get the content out, because content is the consistent thing that’s going to keep you top of mind. And it’s the most scalable thing. But what you have to do is really, like a sales leader… is you have to really push the differentiating factor. It’s like, what are the things that I can do to think outside of the box, in this process, to differentiate things? One was… This happened actually the other day, where there was a… It wasn’t necessarily a sale, but it was somebody who was going to buy something from one of the companies I’ve invested in, so I guess it is a sale of a company I had owned part of. But they reached out on LinkedIn. They commented actually about my book, Top of Mind. And I looked really briefly.

 

John:

I was like, “Oh wow. This is actually a really good advocate, and somebody who would qualify there.” I reached out. They didn’t expect me to reach out. They were already a part of our content nurturing system. It just so happens I had an event cancelled. So, I just said, “Hey, if you want to jump on the phone for a quick 15 minutes, I’d love to.” And he was like, “Wait a minute. You’re the owner of this company here.” And I’m like, “Yeah, yeah.” And he’s like, “All right and stuff.” And so… And I spent 15 minutes there. Afterwards, he sent me a message. Afterwards, he bought 15 or 20 of my books, immediately afterwards. And he did it like… And I created this brand advocate just by doing something that was unexpected, that he didn’t think I was going to do.

 

“I call it a value journalist. So, you have to be a value journalist, and really dive in and figure out what are the values of the people you’re dealing with, and keep that top of mind yourself so that you can do it at the right moment at the right time.” – Josh Hall · [05:52] 

 

John:

Now, I’m not saying every sales person is going to have that exact example. But you have to think is that, what are the just small little things? Can I send a gift to their executive assistant? Because I listened to them on a sales call and they said their EA, his grandma died from… or passed from COVID or something else. You really have to be one of the… I call it a value journalist. So, you have to be a value journalist, and really dive in and figure out what are the values of the people you’re dealing with, and keep that top of mind yourself so that you can do it at the right moment at the right time. And it’s going to engage them in those moments.

 

Will Barron:

This sounds… Tell me if I’m wrong here, but it sounds a little bit like, I think it’s called, jackpot theory, where you’ll be on a slot machine and you’ll win nothing. You’ll put five [inaudible [00:06:15] to it. And every fourth or third time you go on it, you’ll win 50 quid. So, you’re still net/net massively losing. But that one random spark of excitement then gets you wired to want to do it more and more and more. It seems like content kind of the general pulls and pulls and pulls. But then, when an executive, a sales leader, someone of a higher… I can think of a better word say this, but a higher stature than just an individual sales contributor gets on a phone call, gets on a meeting, that’s that jackpot where then you come back and you’re craving for more.

 

The Jackpot Theory in Sales: How to Keep Your Content Exciting and Stay Top of Mind · [06:34] 

 

Will Barron:

Maybe it’s once a year that you speak to one of these individuals, but that might be enough just to keep the content and everything else exciting and top of mind, in the meantime. Is there something to that?

 

John:

Yeah. My goal is, when I’m engaging people, I want them, one, to know what I do clearly, the things that I’m involved in, clearly. I want to be likeable and respected, and I would say engaging. I want to genuinely show that I care about their best interests. So, when you kind of list the things… And this isn’t rocket science, but that’s my goal in my mind is that… And I’m not like sitting here on the call being like, “God, I want to be likeable. I want to be likeable.” No, I’m… You’re being likeable by listening. You’re being likeable by smiling, by being engaged, not being… Everybody knows those super distracted person. Everybody knows someone who’s just there and has an agenda. You got to strip those things away.

 

“You’ve got to try and create your own parameters on what I’m trying to get out of this call, instead of just the sale. Because if you’re only focused on the sale, sale, sale, sale, it shows. Buyers can smell that, especially the educated ones.” – John Hall · [07:46] 

 

John:

And you’ve got to try and create your own parameters on what I’m trying to get out of this call, instead of just the sale. Because if you’re only focused on the sale, sale, sale, sale, it shows. Buyers can smell that from… especially educated ones. And so, you’ve got to look at these other things. And so, for me, it is… Content is… It’s kind of like, I almost… I think… And in the book, I talk about it as there’s a trust… almost like trust pole that you’re going up, or almost like a metre. And you’re trying to fill that metre. You’re trying to fill that glass or whatever. And every time you do something that’s engaging, a piece of content goes like this. And it keeps going up. And it keeps going up, keeps going up. A lot of times, there’s this moment that happens.

 

“A lot of times, there’s this moment that happens. I call it a moment of vulnerability where the buyer has a moment of vulnerability because their boss said, “Why is this competitor doing it and we’re not?” And it’s that sinking feeling. They’re like, “Oh my gosh, where do I go?” And they go directly to the salesperson, the people there. And you want to be there for people in their moments of vulnerability.” – John Hall · [08:28] 

 

John:

I call it a moment of vulnerability where the buyer has a moment of vulnerability because their either boss said, “Why is this competitor doing it and we’re not?” And it’s that sinking feeling. They’re like, “Oh my gosh, where do I go?” And they go directly to the salesperson, the people there. And you want to be there for people in their moments of vulnerability. That doesn’t mean that you’re trying to put people there, or it doesn’t mean that you’re trying to take advantage of them. You want them to know. It’s the same feeling that it’s like… It makes me… I had a friend that was in trouble recently, and he called me. And that is something that completely changes it, when he knows he can count on me. I’m there for them. Somewhere too where… when a sale… When they know, it’s like, “Oh, I’ve got a solution for this.” And you can help them solve?

 

John:

It not only creates the sale, but it creates this genuine, “They were there for me, helped me solve a problem. I’m going to be…” And what’s nice about that too is when sales come in like that, they typically give you a lot of leeway if you screw up, like if your product sucked because of some update. Those are the ones that are going to stay with you. And so, you want to create as many of those champions as you can.

 

Is The Value of Being Top of Mind in Sales Underrated? · [09:31] 

 

Will Barron:

Is this top of mind underestimated from a strategic standpoint, in that… rightly so, as you outlined there, it allows you to build a relationship, add vulnerability, might get you over a few hurdles that someone else might not get over and they might quit and change. But it also, if you’re the first person that is giving them the information, whether that’d be pricing, features, benefits, all the basic nonchalant sales stuff that we have to communicate, now, if you’re top of mind and you’re the first person to communicate that, everyone else is getting compared against you, even if the buyer doesn’t realise this. You’re the point of reference for everything else. Is that underestimated? Or is the value of that underestimated?

 

“The way that people manage their time and the way that they think, it doesn’t just control their sales. It controls their happiness. And happiness fuels sales persons’ times and how they perform.” – John Hall · [10:39] 

 

John:

No. I mean, no. From my standpoint, none of this is like rocket science. When I’m trying to teach people about kind of this top of mind mentality… Well actually, let’s take a step back. The first thing in understanding it is it’s all about time to me. And that’s why I ended up buying UC calender right here. I ended up investing in calendar.com because of the fact is, is that I… The way that people manage their time and the way that they think, it doesn’t just control their sales. It controls their happiness. And happiness fuels sales persons’ times and how they perform. And so, I do an exercise with people right out the gate when we start talking about this, and I say, “Let’s talk about self-awareness and time.”

 

John:

And I called ROIT. So basically, the return on investment of our time. And for me, that is key to this whole… This whole thing we’re talking about is that… How are you spending your time to engage people? How are you spending it to think strategically? And that impacts on how you engage people and how you’re top of mind. So, for example, I tell people, from the base of this kind of theory of what I’m talking about, it’s not just about professionalism or being professional. It’s also about who you are as a person. So, take a step back and really think about… Before you think about anything that we’ve said prior to this, think about how you engage people at home. Do you engage your wife or partner in a way that is keeping you top of mind? Because you want the people around you…

 

John:

And what I mean by that is that, are you doing thoughtful things, listening to her, finding out what’s valuable to her, so she has this positive feeling towards you very consistently, and she’s thinking about what you… And it’s crazy how, when people think about this, and they take a step back and don’t just think about sales, or don’t think about this, it’s actually being an engaging human. And if you can start with the base of [inaudible [00:12:12] your time…

 

John:

So, for me, I do time boxing. And time boxing is a… If you look at an HBR study, it’s the number one productivity habit in how you’re managing your time. And it’s basically, you’re scheduling out your time on… and actually doing tasks and putting tasks in there. So, your whole week is scheduled. Even I do mental breaks in there. And I’ll do walks, because my problem is I’m going, going, and a lot of sales people are going, going. And so, you want to schedule in those breaks. You want to be… Because if you do that, you tend to be more engaging to people. You tend to do more of these thoughtful things. When you are all over the place and just thinking like hustle, hustle, hustle. There’s a lot of sales leaders and speakers that are just big hustle, hustle, hustle.

 

“There’s a lot of sales leaders and speakers that speak hustle, hustle, hustle. I don’t do that. I think that there’s an element of hustle. I want you to work hard, but I want you to think, I want you to take a step back. I want you to understand how you’re spending your time.” – John Hall · [12:53] 

 

John:

I don’t do that. I think that there’s an element of hustle. I want you to work hard, but I want you to think, I want you to take a step back. I want you to understand how you’re spending your time. And that’s why the whole idea of being self aware, who are you engaged… So, the first base is like, how are you spending your time? So, when I bought the calendar.com tool, one of the first things we did was, what are you doing with who? So, for example, I saw the other week that I spent the third most of my time with an intern. As much as I love hanging out with an intern, and I think they have so much potential, and I want to give back, that should not be my schedule. And so, being self aware of that as the base of it. Then, it’s deciding how you’re spending your time appropriately.

 

John:

So time boxing, that’s where you’re scheduling it out, scheduling in your breaks, and you can obviously have a little flexible. Then it comes to, okay, how am I putting these processes into my everyday life so that I can actually engage these people? But that’s kind of like the start to middle to now I’m at the point where I’m consistently doing it. And it’s very natural to me. Does that make sense?

 

Will Barron:

That makes total sense. So, let’s just change threads slightly. Let’s go down this route of you… There’s a scene here. I’m going to butcher it and it’s somewhat cliche, but I find it valuable of essentially, you are… I’m ruining this now. You are… Basically, you are at home who you actually are and you should be in work. So, from that logic, if we’re an asshole at home, we’re probably going to be an asshole at work.

 

John Explains What Sales Leaders Should Do To Stay Top of Mind in Their Teams · [14:25]

 

Will Barron:

I think that’s fair to say. From that logic, for a sales leader, if they want the team to become top of mind, does a sales leader then just need to focus on step one of being compassionate, and spending more time with their team, and showing by example what they want them to do with their customers?

 

John:

I mean, for me, everything is a… I don’t like extremes, and [inaudible [00:14:48].

 

Will Barron:

I know. But I’m trying to get some extremes out of you here. You keep going right down the middle every time.

 

John:

Well, in reality, it’s like it’s very situational. Sometimes, like for example, oh… Grant Cardone’s a speaker that talks about [inaudible [00:15:02] that talks about hustle and hustle. And I think, at certain times, that is really good. And you do need to do that. When you are in a point where… Like, for example, January, one of my companies is in a time where there’s a lot of inbound demand. And that’s when you kick ass. You work hard. You go to the extreme. You’re working crazy hours. You’re like, you’re getting it done. And so, for me, that’s an example of when you go extreme hustle, because you’re getting these opportunities.

 

John:

Now, let’s say, in March, that stuff slows down. This is when this more thoughtful approach… The reason why I like… When you get a chance to slow down for a second, and be more thoughtful about this, the reason why you go back to, “Okay, I want to truly understand how we’re engaging people, how we’re doing this,” is because it’s… To me, it’s all about setting up a long-term for success. And so, if you do this and you actually take a step back…

 

John:

Sometimes, sales leaders are like, immediately in March, hustle, hustle, hustle, hustle still, because we’re going to… these sales are… But in reality, for me, that’s when you start being, when you do that that time to think, how are you engaging people consistently? Because then, hopefully, if you do that, over time, you get less downs because you’re getting these inbound opportunities, because it’s not seasonal. It’s not because somebody’s budget restarted in January. It’s because you’ve developed these long-term relationships that have been engaged. And they’re starting to reach out at different times because people’s moment of vulnerability is different. So, that’s why I think there’s combinations of… I listen to so many smart people that are smart in different ways than me.

 

John:

And then, I bring those together and say, “Okay, it’s situational. With my timing, with how I am doing things as a leader, as a sales leader, what makes most sense for my company?” And that’s an example of, at certain times, it’s very seasonal where there’s a lot of [inaudible [00:16:46], and other times there’s more time to think. But I plan that out where I’m like, “This is where this week is a slower week. So, I’m going to spend engaging our partners, and really checking in with them, getting on the phone, sending them thoughtful gifts, paying attention.” So, it’s kind of a blend.

 

Why Staying Top of Mind is Crucial in Longer Sales Cycles and Bigger Deal Sizes · [17:03] 

 

Will Barron:

Okay. That makes sense. Is it fair then to say, John, that… And I’m not trying to paint you into a corner here, so feel free to elaborate on it. But is it somewhat fair to say that the longer the sales cycle, and perhaps the bigger the deal size, the more and more important all of this becomes? Because the longer the sales cycle, the bigger deal size, there’s going to be less of those inbound crunches. There’s going to be less of those opportunities to really just drive revenue, as opposed to think about the longer term.

 

John:

Yeah. I think you made a really good point there, just because some of that stuff that I’m talking about matters significantly more when it’s a bigger account. So, for example, if I get a million dollar or $2 million account coming in, I guarantee… Your chance of having an issue with that big of an account in the first 90 days is extremely high. And if you read Joey Coleman’s the first hundred days, and it’s a good book, the first hundred days or so, so important in that sales. So, you set them up for success, because… For example, one of my companies, I not only reward at the initial commission, but I will reward… If you sell something that they ended up staying on longer than six or eight months, then you know you get another bonus. Because salespeople set their account and their product teams up for success completely.

 

“And so, for me, a lot of this stuff we’re talking about is not just what the sale is, but how it came in, and under what intention, thought, likeability factor. Because they’re going to be the ones that, when there is a challenge in that first month, they’re going to stick with you.” – John Hall · [18:20] 

 

John:

And so, for me, a lot of this stuff we’re talking about is not just what the sale is, but how it came in, and under what intention thought, likeability factor. Because they’re going to be the ones that, when there is a challenge in that first month, they’re going to stick with you. When they do have somebody that comes in and wants to change around the strategy, because we have like musical chairs with jobs, you have a champion over there. And so, that’s why this stuff is so important with those accounts.

 

“A lot of companies thrive not just on profit or the money that comes in the first couple months, but it’s in the longterm of them (their customers) coming back.” – John Hall · [19:00] 

 

John:

Because if you don’t have those things in place, and it was just an outbound sale that somebody cold call set up, that you have so much of a higher chance of losing a customer, you don’t have the loyalty, you don’t have these things set up. And a lot of companies thrive not just on profit the first… or the money that comes in the first couple months, but it’s in the longterm or them coming back. And so, that’s why this stuff is so important to include.

 

Will Barron:

Sure. I think you said… Just to put it really bluntly there, to double down on this, it’s important to be top of mind after the sale, right? Now, sales leaders, as the customer success category and jobs and definition becomes more and more refined over the next five or six years, as SAS becomes that model, monthly model becomes more ubiquitous across all markets, whether it’s markets where you’d usually make a capital purchase of a car or medical equipment, they’re all now moving towards a monthly payment model.

 

The Benefits of Staying Top of Mind Throughout The Buying Process and After The Deal Has Been Closed · [19:39]

 

Will Barron:

Customer success is clearly going to become more and more valuable to an organisation. But it’s important to double down on this point that, top of mind, does it ever end?

 

John:

Not to me. The pandemic was very interesting where, with our company… Or one of the companies I advise that did the best out of this was one that is really good at this top of mind engagement. And they consistently are saying… They’re looking out for ways to add value to customers, so they advocate. So, they are sending business to customers. They are checking in. They have their birthdays, they have their… all these data and information to engage these people. During the pandemic… What’s interesting… And I was talking to a couple of their customers. Some of their customers fired everybody else except for them, and fired everyone else except for them, kept them on throughout the time. And one of their customers, his name’s Chris, said why… He’s like, “There was so much trust that I just couldn’t get… I couldn’t fire… It’s like I couldn’t quit you.”

 

John:

It was like, there was a very interesting thing that this company, even when people were panicking, it was like the last company to go off the books. And I think it’s because they’re so good at… I mean, the sales person there on that team is so good at engaging people. The account managers even… And this is another thing. The salespeople… Once you kind of get this idea behind you, and then you go to the account team and form a friendship with them and help them understand the ways they can do it because you’re going to get more upsells. And that’s another thing is that at this same company, the upsells increased because the sales were and account teams were working together to engage people consistently.

 

John:

And it wasn’t this, “Oh. Now, you’re on our product or service and you’re done. We’re never going to talk to you again.” And then, the account managers got really good at it. And that’s where that next step is at. Once a sales leader has it down, they go to the account team and say, “Hey, here’s what we’ve been doing to engage people differently. And when we pass on the account team, here’s what I would suggest.” And it can create this nice… Some account people are like, “Screw you, you salesperson. We’re not tight.” But work on that because upsales and things like… and advocating and referrals, they can be significant there.

 

Why Being Top of Mind is About Controlling What You Can Control and Ignoring What You Can’t · [21:50]

 

Will Barron:

So, we touch on this in a slightly different context before we click record. But it seems to me that a lot of this is focusing on what we can control versus things that we can’t. So, we know… You gave the example of get in touch on a buyer’s birthday. Or if there’s a significant event going on with the organisation, these are all things that we’re in control. Clearly, we’re not in control of the next wave of coronavirus, depending on what industry you’re in. You’re probably not in control of the vaccine rollout, all these kinds of things. Is this something that we should be focusing on at the back of our brains for our own mental health of being top of mind? It’s valuable for an organisation. It clearly drives more revenue, but being in control of focusing in on what you can control is good for our own brains, attitude, and health as well.

 

“I do truly feel your mental health and your positivity as a salesperson is so impacted. If you’re down, there’s no chance you’re bringing the best of yourself as a salesperson.” – John Hall · [22:50] 

 

John:

Yeah. And we talked about this prior to jumping on his video is that… I have a Venn diagram typically on my desk that has things in your control, things that matter. And that middle section is what I tell people is like, you got to focus, especially as salespeople, is that when you get distracted or down… I mean, I do truly feel your mental health and your positivity as a salesperson is so impacted. If you’re down, there’s no chance you’re bringing the best of yourself as a salesperson. And that’s what… With COVID, when this happened… Now, the things that pulled me on, I kind of told you. I had struggled even initially with COVID just because seeing people hurt and seeing… My happiness is influenced by people I care about. And when there’s fights and all this stuff going on with the political challenges in this last year, it was tough on me.

 

John:

But the thing that pulled me out is a lot of these relationships still staying and engaging with me. Like, I’ll give you an example of something that I did. Joel Goldberg is the announcer for the Kansas City Royals, which is a sports team near me. And he reached out to me. And this was right when the COVID started. And he was actually not… He obviously wasn’t able to work. And I spent time with him and I said, “Hey Joel, this is how I’m going to help you out. I’m going to connect you to this resource, this, this.” And he just thought I was full of shit. He thought there was zero chance I was going to actually going to do what I said I was going to do. I mean, he’ll tell you. He wrote a book and it’s included in this.

 

John:

And I reached out. I followed up. I had put it on my schedule to make sure I did it. And Joel was surprised. He was like, “Actually, I enjoyed the conversation, but I didn’t think you were going to follow up.” I was like, that’s key is that… A part of being top of mind is people can count on you and then you follow up. So, I did that. And the results that happened after that, that was very simple. In reality, I just connected him with some resources. It probably took me a total of 30 minutes of my time to help this person out. Ended up, he wrote a book. He included me. And one of the main chapter… or one of the chapter, I think it’s chapter eight, gives this example about how it stuck with him.

 

John:

And then, another thing is that I knew that when… So, I wrote a note down because he loves baseball during that call. And this is a good thing. He loves baseball. Put on my schedule the day major league returned to send him a message just saying how excited I am for him. I know it’s a special day for him. Now, that didn’t take any time. I actually just scheduled that out with an email tool, Mixmax. And I ended up scheduling it out. It was already a template. Funny story, he read my book. And he actually ended up texting me on that day instead and said, “Hey…”

 

Will Barron:

Perfect.

 

John:

Yeah. And he says this in his book that just got released recently, but that’s an example of the… So, the reason I bring that story up is that when I read the book and saw me included, in addition to when I got that text from him, it honestly cheered me up so much that day.

 

John:

And I was just so engaged. I know I was a better performer. So, I think that there’s an environment we create for our own salespeople and ourselves as a sales leader. And I think that the environment we create, the more we… There’s different ways of doing it. You can do it the hustle… the crazy cutthroat way. I think that, for me, there’s balance, and there’s this stuff mixed in with that hustle. And I think that, when you do that, you get burnt out less, because you have these things happen, which brings us kind of like this natural engagement. And then, it makes you just fuel and it makes you want to do better as a salesperson.

Will Barron:

Sure, sure. I’m on your side of a lot of this. I think a lot of the “hustle” mentality is a ticking time bomb, both for your personal health. And yeah, I can hustle like a madman for 12 weeks, have one week off, and then do 12 weeks. Now, can I do that for decades? Maybe not, but I know I can do it right now. But also, if you’re hustling and you’re not including these… I don’t know who coined this, but this term is bouncing around in my head of random acts of kindness. If you’re not doing these random acts of kindness. If you are just hustle, hustle, hustle, you’re probably spamming. There’s probably very little value in what you’re communicating with your … or your team’s communicating with your potential buyers. That’s a ticking time bomb as well because you can only have… The marketplace is only so big.

 

John’s Advise to Sales Leaders Driving Revenue Using The Hustle Mentality But They Can’t Tell Their Salespeople to Slow Down Because The Profits are Great · [27:20]

 

Will Barron:

You can only spam so many emails. And you can only cold call people so many times before you just get ignored. But nobody ignores when you do something nice for them. That could go on forever. There’s no tangible limit to what you can do for these individuals. Now economically, it might not be valuable, from your perspective, to do it for the next 20 years to get a $15 a month signup. But there’s kind of limits to that. So, with this in mind, I’ve got one final question for you. And that is, what you say, John, to a sales leader who is perhaps driving tonnes of revenue right now in this hustle mentality, and they’re reluctant to tell their team to slow down, to do things differently, to be a bit more congruent personally with their potential buyers, because they’re seeing the revenue come in?

 

Will Barron:

Should we treat this as keep going while the revenue’s great until it slows down? Or should some of what we’ve been talking about in this episode of the sales leadership show, should we start implementing this, even if it’s gradually earlier on, so we can fade from hustle into something that may be more long-term effective?

 

John:

Yeah. It’s a transition. And that’s the thing is that some people try and play the nice card of being like, “You need to change your sales culture because it’s like the right thing to do.” And I feel like, to be honest, there’s kind of fluffiness in what people think on the surface and what truly is the truth. And they’re like saying, “Oh, let’s do this.” And they’re really thinking… Like when the video camera’s off, they’re really like “Hustle your ass off. No, I didn’t mean like enjoy life. I meant like hustling, because I’ll let you know.” And so, that’s the thing where I think that we need to be truthful and say, “No, that still matters. Revenue’s still matters.” You don’t want to change things and, shock things. I think to me, a hustle, a lot of times is short-term benefit. When you’re really grinding, it’s like there’s a short term benefit.

 

John:

I’ll give you an example. Conferences. I used to go to like 30 conferences to create opportunities for the companies I’m involved in. Now, in this year, actually this last year, we did just as well for the companies without me travelling as much. And that was a sign to me that we had been setting things up for the longterm, which were fine, that it didn’t require me to do that hustle as much. And we had an even better year in some companies. And so, I look at that and I’m like… I would tell that person, I would say, Hey, keep doing what you’re doing, but long-term planning should affect this and you should be saying, “Hey, how are we putting these things in place where, over time, we’re able to do this and get more output from basically inbound?” Because a lot of hustling is outbound.

 

“Because a lot of hustling is outbound. It’s like, I’m hustling with this, this, this, this, this, this. But if you can create an inbound strategy where people are coming to you and you nurture them, you really stay top of mind, and engaged.” – John Hall · [29:27] 

 

John:

It’s like, I’m hustling with this, this, this, this, this, this. But if you can create an inbound strategy where people are coming to you… So, one of the companies is like, instead of doing all that outbound at conferences, we set up a partner network. And we nurtured them to really stay top of mind engaged. And those partners ended up throwing off… Now, we’re just… They’re like our little salespeople… not so little. They’re our sales army. And yeah, we pay referral fees. But in reality, is that it’s a whole lot different than me having to go to a conference and hustle my butt off. And also, I just like it better.

 

Will Barron:

Cool.

 

John:

And me, when I used to go the Inc 500 and have to talk to 500 people just to find 10 people that were the sale, that was exhausting.

 

John:

And what’s nicer is when you… Instead of going to that conference… I mean, it’s a great conference. But let’s say you go there, you meet four or five of your partners that you’ve spent time on, that send you, and are your kind of like sales advocates. And so, I would challenge them as like, in the long-term think, “What can I do to set this up for longterm success without the crazy overworked hours?” Because sooner or later, one of those people that gave it to you for five years hustling their ass off is going to get burned out. And you want to have some sort of fallback with them building a network that naturally… because they still have a lot of institutional knowledge. They have a lot of things that can help. And you don’t want them to get burned out and bounce.

 

Parting Thoughts: John’s Book, Calendar.com, and How to Get In Touch With Him · [30:50]

 

Will Barron:

Yep. That makes total sense. Well, with that, John, we’ll wrap up the show there, mate. Tell us a little bit about the book, Top of Mind. We’ve touched on it, but where can we find it? And tell us where we can find more about yourself, calendar.com, and everything else that you’ve got going on, mate.

 

John:

Yeah. I mean, the main thing that’ll help me out right now is with just calendar.com. I mean, we invested in that a year ago or about two years ago. And for me, it’s a kind of a passion for me to help people with their time. And so, I think that, that’s a key thing, when we talk about giving or ways to look out for me. Check that tool out. Sign up. Give me feedback. You can just reach out via LinkedIn and say you came from this show and say, “Hey, tested out the tool. Here’s feedback.” That’s like a primary thing for me at the moment, just because I truly feel… As crazy as it was, I was going to build this CRM that was about thoughtfulness and how we can engage people. The problem is, is that that didn’t work, because first someone… The big challenge is that people want to do that stuff. But if they don’t have time, they’re not going to do it.

 

John:

And so then, I had to take a step back. And so now, we’re getting that tool figured out. And it’s going very well. So, check out calendar.com. My book is Top of Mind. You can get it on Amazon. Or if you buy it in a batch, or a big volume, Porchlight has a good deal on it. And just connect on LinkedIn. And if there’s anything else I can do to be helpful, just reach out there and mention the show. And I’ll do my best to be helpful.

 

Will Barron:

Great stuff. Well, I’ll link to all of that in the show notes to this episode over at thesalesleadership.org. And with that, John, I’ll thank you for your time, your insights on this. I would… I do want to thank you. I want to call you out on this. You pulled the conversation from where we were going to time. And I think that was actually a more interesting conversation than where I was heading, so I appreciate that, mate. And with that, I want to thank you again for joining us on the sales leadership show.

 

John:

It’s great seeing you again, buddy. Thank you.

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