Want To Smash Quota? Become A Hybrid Seller

Fred Copestake is the Founder of Brindis and author of ‘Selling Through Partnering Skills’ & ‘Hybrid Selling’. In today’s episode of The Salesman Podcast, Fred shares strategies around how you can smash your sales quota and unleash your full potential by becoming a hybrid seller.

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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Fred Copestake
Hybrid Selling Expert

Resources:

Transcript

Will Barron:

Hi. My name is Will, and welcome to today’s episode of the salesman podcast. On today’s show we’re going to look into how to become a hybrid salesperson. And today’s guest is the man Fred Copestake. Fred is the founder of Brindis Sales Training and author of the Hybrid Selling book and Selling Through Partnering Skills. And we’re going to talk about both these on today’s episode. With that, Fred, welcome to the show.

 

Fred Copestake:

Thank you very much. Thank you for inviting me. Real pleasure.

 

What is Hybrid Selling? · [00:35] 

 

Will Barron:

You’re more than welcome. I’m glad to have you on, mate. Okay. I can feel you’ve got a strong energy. I can feel you’re excited mate, to be on the show, so hopefully we can continue this with some questions from my side. But with that, I’m going to give you a terrible question. It’s a lazy question, but I think it’s a good starting point to set up the rest of the show. You probably answered this question a million times before. And so I feel bad for throwing it at you, but what the heck is hybrid selling? Someone who’s unfamiliar with that term, there’s tens of thousands people listen to this. What is hybrid selling Fred?

 

Fred Copestake:

Well, my usual lazy answer is what do you think it is? But actually, no, let’s go with that if you don’t mind. If you could give me what you think it is without going into too much thought, then we can take it from there.

 

Will Barron:

Well, I’m not assuming because I know what it is because I’ve read the book. But coming from an assumptive standpoint I would say it’s selling both old ways of phones and emails, and the new ways of leveraging Zoom, leveraging the newer buyer journey where the buyer is focused on consumer content, engaging with salespeople like [inaudible 00:01:32] on the process. It’s focusing on a new exchange of value where the buyer has access to information where they didn’t have it in the past, and they perhaps want salespeople to help them out with different things. How does that fit?

 

Fred Copestake:

Yeah. No, very good. Very good sir, yes. You clearly have read it. No. No. A lot of people will tend to say is, “Oh. It’s when we’ve got to do stuff using different techniques,” or, “We’ve got to do stuff like using video and sending video and this kind of stuff,” so working virtually. And my answer will tend to be well you, “Well, that’s virtual selling then isn’t it? That’s already got a name. That is a thing.” So for me, it’s something slightly different where hybrid’s about a mix. And so it’s a mix of approaches, it’s a mixture of things that we need to do to make sure that we are bang up to date and we’re going to do things that make a difference for the customer. And come seeing a lot of good stuff that’s gone on before, and some of those newer things to deal with the way that people are thinking, because people are thinking differently as well now. So it’s a blend. It’s a mixed approach.

 

Hybrid Selling 101: The Things Today’s Buyer Expects From the Modern-Day Salesperson · [02:28] 

 

Will Barron:

How are people thinking differently from the perspective of we’re hopefully on the far end of this global pandemic, there’s other things going on in the world which we won’t talk about this second because, well, by the time the show goes out who knows what’s happened in that area of the world. So we’ll miss that but it’s post pandemic. What the buyers want different from salespeople, how do salespeople need to engage differently with buyers? And how do we get more deals done use this hybrid approach?

 

Fred Copestake:

Okay. So I mean first thing, I wrote book one because there’s a bunch of challenges that salespeople have got that we need to deal with. And we were chatting about this before we came on live, weren’t we, where we’ve got to deal with busy, busy, busy, oldie-worldy, and muddled mindset. And that’s what salespeople have got to cope with now. So busy, busy, busy, they’re running around, they’re doing lots of different stuff. They’ve been very, very active, well blah, blah, blah. But not actually getting anything done because it’s ineffective.

 

Fred Copestake:

Oldie-worldy is using old fashioned stuff that doesn’t work anymore. It’s winding people up because it is that kind of archaic. And then the model mindset is that, actually, are we supposed to be consultative here or are we supposed to be transactional? Because the company says that we’re consultative: we deal with problems, we deal with solutions. But then they push us to sell a load of stuff at the end of the week, the end of the month.

 

Fred Copestake:

So I mean, that’s actually how I wrote book one to deal with those issues. That’s by being more collaborative. But yeah, as soon as I launched that the pandemic came along. And you could see that what happened is that the speed of change also caused us a whole load of other issues, so that’s what Hybrid Selling and the book is all about. That’s why I wrote it so fast, was to help people with these new challenges which, again, broadly break down into customer challenges, climate challenges and change yourself challenges.

 

Changes in Sales Techniques and How to Cope in the Hybrid Selling Environment · [04:12] 

 

Will Barron:

Sure. Sure. So I think it’d be valuable to touch on these in a little bit more detail, because I think we could do a whole episode on being busy, doing things an old way that perhaps doesn’t get the response that we expect from customers. And then just frankly, lying about being consultants and just trying to shove pictures down people’s throat at the end of the day, because salespeople have targets. They have quotas. They get sacked if they don’t hit them over months, quarters, years. And so it’s one thing for management and marketing to say one thing, it’s another thing to be put in a position where your livelihood’s on the line. So is it cool with you if we run through these in I guess-

 

“If we think about customer changes, stuff that’s happened very recently, I talk about ABC, so customers are more Advanced, they’re more Biased, but they’re also more Confused.” Fred Copestake · [04:55] 

 

Fred Copestake:

Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, I am a fan of the podcasts. I listen to them and I know that you do a really good job in trying to help people address that stuff and get this as modern and as up to date as possible. So yeah, if we go through each of these, if we think about customer changes, stuff that’s happened very, very recently. I talk about ABC, so customers are more advanced, they’re more biassed, but they’re also more confused. So by advanced, again, we know that customers are now further down the buying cycle. They’re trying to self-diagnose. They’re doing a lot of their own thing. They don’t want to speak to sellers. They’re trying to do everything on their own. And we’ve got to deal with that. That is going on. That’s real. That’s what the research is showing. When I say customers are more biassed, by this I’d probably mean that they’re more biassed to what they like and what they know, or even that they’re more demanding if you like. They are B2C consumers as well, aren’t they?

 

Fred Copestake:

So people expect far more. And I’m not sure that we always can deliver on that. So again, we’ve got to really understand then their problem and be able to deal with that. So it’s all about them, really. They’re in the driving seat. They’re in this really strong position. But equally, they are also more confused at the same time because, I mean, I talk about we’re in this VUCA world, aren’t we? Where volatility and certainty, complexity, ambiguity, this is all going on. So yes, they know what they like. They like what they know. They’re doing their own thing. But actually, oh God, [inaudible 00:06:01] what’s going on anyway.

 

Fred Copestake:

So that’s the first set of challenges, these customer challenges that we need to be dealing with in which a hybrid setting approach can help us with. It’s teed up to do that.

 

Value Selling: The Anatomy of the Modern Salesperson · [06:16] 

 

Will Barron:

Can we turn this to our own advantage? If customers are confused, it seems that they’re in a position where if we can help them become less confused they’re going to listen to us. Then if they’re going to have a bias towards buying for vendors that they know and like, if we can solve their confusion, then clearly they’re going to know and like us. And perhaps they’re in a position where we can subtly influence them, nudge them towards an appropriate buying decision. Is this an opportunity as opposed to a threat of the old way of selling things? Should we frame this up as this is an exciting time? If you can be clear with your value proposition, help buyers, and then guide them through the steps of the process that they’re stuck with, that the deals are more likely to come with you, and that this is actually an opportunity, again, as opposed to the threat of just being able to spam emails all day and make quota kind of five years ago.

 

Fred Copestake:

Big time. It’s a huge opportunity because if people aren’t doing that, that’s why we’re not going meetings. That’s why customers don’t want to speak to people and they’re trying to do it themselves. But as soon as you can come in and say, “Look, I can be your guide. I can lead you. I can help you.” You are setting yourself apart. This is what the hybrid salesperson can do. They’re adding value in that way.

 

Fred Copestake:

I mean even to VUCA, I came across this model of VUCA prime where you kind of fight VUCA with VUCA. It’s brilliant. So if customers are suffering volatility, we help them by establishing the vision that they need, understanding what it is that they’re trying to deal with. If they’ve got a problem with uncertainty, we can help with understanding. We can share information. We can ask them good questions. We can provoke them. We can prompt them. We can get them thinking better.

 

Fred Copestake:

If they’re suffering with complexity, well then we can help with clarity. We can set out the stages. We can talk to them about, “This is how typically things are bought in your world,” if you are not doing it that often. Or even if you are, let’s make sure you’re doing it as best we possibly can. And if they’re suffering with ambiguity then we’ll talk about being more agile. We’ll give them options to be able to respond to stuff faster and get in front of their own get.

 

“Forget your products, forget your services, stop talking about that bloody stuff because people will always say they’re not interested. They’re not interested at that time, but become interested later once you’ve helped them get their head around stuff.” – Fred Copestake · [08:22] 

 

Fred Copestake:

So for me, that’s where a modern salesperson can add huge value. That’s the opportunity for them. It’s how you are helping people to think, what you are doing as part of the process yourself. Forget your products, forget your services, stop talking about that bloody stuff because people say we’re not interested. They’re not interested at that time, but become interested later once you’ve helped them get their head around stuff. It’s a huge opportunity for salespeople acting professionally and bringing their full game to bring that value. Yeah?

 

Will Barron:

I want to ask you some examples of questions and things in a second that we can make this real practical for the audience. But Fred, I feel like if I was listening to the show right now I’d be like, “That makes total sense. That’s the place I want to be,” because we do this with our own selling to the enterprise of our training programme. I jump on calls, and by the end of the call if the prospect and potential customer isn’t super narrow minded in what they want, whether it’s our training programme, a different training programme, I’ve pointed them on one way or the other. They know where they are, where they want to be. What’s stopping them. The status is quo. How are we going to get them from one side to the other? If they’ve not done that, it’s been just a terrible call from my perspective. As well as pulling the discovery, and the qualification, and everything that I need to make sure that the deal can go ahead.

 

Will Barron:

I try to make sure that they get a tonne of value. And often I get email responses back of, “Hey, you’re not a good fit for us right now. The budget isn’t right,” whatever it is, “but we will use you in two years,” because you’ve really helped clarify and added a tonne of value in that one call which is great for our longer sales cycles. It’s not going to be great for some salespeople listening to this who have short sales cycles.

 

The Collaborative Selling Approach: How to Set Yourself Up as an Authority Figure Even If You’re Just Starting Out · [09:50] 

 

Will Barron:

So with all that said, and I want to get into that in a second because that has true value in its own. How to do this on a call, questions we should ask. Before that though, Fred, how do we set ourselves up so that we’re in a position to be able to have these kind of conversations? Because when a sales leader jumps on a call with me they know that I am a little bit of a knuckle dragging salesperson, but I have done quite a lot of podcast interviews, have spoken to thousands of sales reps over the years and done consulting a one-on-one train with them. We have built a half decent, at this point, training programme so they know I’m not a complete numpty.

 

Will Barron:

And I’m sure it’s the same with you. Customers get on the phone with you and they’re like, “Fred I’ve consumed your content, podcast, books. I’m basically on board. I’m ready to rock and roll. I just need you to solve a few questions or solve a few answers. Give a few answers to a few questions, solve a few problems.” But for the average salesperson listening to this who’s selling some random piece of software that hopefully is really valuable and really great for their audience and their prospects. They’re starting from a deficit, I feel, versus what me and you are. How do they get in a position where they have, essentially, the authority and the respect from the buyer to be able to ask these questions and have this adult conversation, because it’s very difficult to go from cold call to the consultative conversation that you just outlined then.

 

Fred Copestake:

Sure. I mean I think for me, this starts with a mindset.

 

Will Barron:

Sure.

 

Fred Copestake:

This starts with what are you actually trying to do here and who are you trying to do it for? “Oh, I’m trying to do it for me to hit my sales targets. Happy days.” That’ll come through. That’ll seep through the American guys. I’m sure you’ve interviewed some of the guys who talk about having commission breath, and just people don’t want to speak to you if you’re like that. So for me that’s a definition.

 

Fred Copestake:

But one, I do talk about a collaborative selling approach. We’ve got to think like that. So that does bring in the old consultative sales techniques, it brings in added value sales techniques, it thinks about how you can be bang up to date by sharing lots of information using a bunch of different media. But you are trying to collaborate with people, so you’ve got to make that really clear that it is them who is the most important thing. This is why we’re doing this stuff. And so we need to start thinking about them almost like as a partner. And then that is a word that’s thrown around willy nilly. It’s usually for the person who’s going to try and dominate the partnership, I often find. But if you’re genuinely thinking, “What do partners do? How do partners operate? How do they think? What does that relationship look like?” That changes the way you go about doing your stuff. It changes the questions you ask. It changes why you’re asking them. It changes why people are going to want to answer. It changes what you do as a result of it.

 

Fred Copestake:

So generally think about trying to co-create, trying to collaborate, trying to do stuff like that. That is what will just turbocharge the calls rather than, “Oh, I’ve got a little checklist here that I’ve got to get through to see if it’s worthwhile working with you. Are you the person I really want to talk to or somebody else? And now can I talk about all my things?” Because nobody’s interested in that, and now that’s why they’re pushing us away. That’s why people don’t want to speak to us. You’re going into that collaborative mindset, that is going to start to set you apart.

 

Practical Ways to Practice Collaborative Selling · [12:53] 

 

Will Barron:

Are there any practical ways that we can demonstrate this on, this is an obvious one, maybe we don’t call it a qualifying call that we’re trying to book with a prospect. We call it a free consulting session. I don’t know, whatever it is. The mindset is spot on, love it. We can come back to that in a second, perhaps. But is there any way to verbally communicate what we’re trying to achieve with the buyer whether it’s via emails, cold calls, cadences, [crosstalk 00:13:18] outreach, whatever it is. How do we very literally tell the buyer that we are different to all of the other people who are spamming their inboxes.

 

Fred Copestake:

[inaudible 00:13:27] we could call it what you want.

 

Will Barron:

Sure. Yeah.

 

Fred Copestake:

Finish what you do as a result of it. But yeah, I know how important it is to title something to give that indication. But this stuff will come out from the very first moment. And you’re talking there about the outreach and about why should I have a meeting with you? Why should I have a meeting with you? Because I want to talk to you about my wonderful training programme that’s got lots and lots of things. It’s got a little robot you can talk to. It’s got excellent videos. It’s got me talking. It’s like, “Okay whatever.”

 

Fred Copestake:

But if you are talking about, “Look, this is what I understand about you. This is what I understand about your world. These are the challenges that are happening, and that there is a way to deal with this that we can probably help you with.” So have some thoughts around these areas, and then let’s start to talk about it having already consumed some stuff. You are already way further down the line of what it is that you’re trying to do. So you’ve got to be demonstrating the understanding of people, of their world, of what they’re trying to achieve to earn the right for that call, if you like.

 

Will Barron:

Yep. Sure.

 

Fred Copestake:

To just walk in and, “But I’ll do that in the call.” No, not good enough. You won’t, or certainly with me you won’t as a customer because I’m too busy for that. I’m not going to take a chance on have a call because something good might come out of it. No. I don’t want to take that risk. Show me this is going to be good because we’re going to get stuff out of it, because I’ve seen what you were doing already and even where you approached it. That’s what I want to be doing.

 

How to Remove Friction in Your Sales Processes by Practicing Consultative Selling · [14:42] 

 

Will Barron:

So is it fair to say then, and tell me if this is completely off base, your cold outreach email could be an hypothesis about the buyer. You’ve looked into the company, you’ve compared it with your best customers, you’ve compared it with people who have failed in the marketplace, whatever reason. We have a problem that you can solve.

 

Will Barron:

And you perhaps lead with, Hey, you are similar to this. We’ve worked with them in the past on these three things. This is what they had issue with. Here’s a piece of content, here’s a case study or whatever on how we solved it. Would it make sense to jump on a quick call, to see if you had these issues and if we can solve it for you. Is that the kind of outreach that then leads to these kind of consultative call? I keep trying to pull back on calling it a sales call because it’s more a conversation, right?

 

Fred Copestake:

It’s still a sales call. Yeah. That’s what modern fashion salespeople do. So yeah, its like that but shorter.

 

Will Barron:

Sure.

 

“I probably wouldn’t be down with, “Have a little look at this,” because now you’re making the customer have to do something. If you’ve called out the challenges, if you called out the things that will prove that you do know what you’re talking about, that should be enough just to get the ball rolling.” – Fred Copestake · [15:45] 

 

Fred Copestake:

I know. And we know we’ve got to try to make something short as possible. So yeah, it is sort of saying in your world this is probably the stuff that’s going on. Bang, bang, bang. Yeah. We have dealt with people like this. I probably wouldn’t even be down with, “Have a little look at this,” because now again, you’re making the customer have to do something. If you’ve called out the challenges, if you called out the things that they will recognise as that you do know what you’re talking about, that should be enough just to get the ball rolling, if you like.

 

Will Barron:

Sure. [crosstalk 00:16:04]-

 

Fred Copestake:

But as soon as it’s coming, me, me, me, we, we, we, I, I, I… It’s like, “Good for you. [crosstalk 00:16:08]-

 

Will Barron:

I had a good pitch from my way the other week, Fred. It was a copywriter. So we are launching, I won’t talk about it too much because it’s going to go off in every podcast I do. So I don’t want to plug it too much, but we’re launching a free version of our sales code assessment. Relaunching it, because two people tried to take it originally, it crashed, And so we’ve had to re-engineer it so it can handle the kind of traffic they’re thrown at it. So with that said, someone tried to take it, couldn’t get through it, page crashed.

 

Will Barron:

And so they emailed me going, “Hey, it seems like you’re having tonnes of success here with this specific thing.” So obviously they’ve got my attention because they obviously care about what we’re doing. And he was like, “Hey, I’m a copywriter. I would love to help you write some follow up emails for the sales code assessment. And I’ll take the ideas out of your brain. I’ll put them in copy that people will click on, and I’ll save you hundreds of hours worth of faffing about to do so.” And he won a bunch of business, like two or three grand worth of copyright business out of me just from that one cold email.

 

Will Barron:

And I think he was actually surprised how, because I just said, “send me an invoice,” and immediately just I was like, “If you could send me that email, you can write emails from me that will work as well.” And I think he was slightly shocked at how quick I just paid him. But that was an email that got my attention, obviously wasn’t spam because it was so specific to me. It made me go, “Ah. That’s what I need. I’ve not got time for all this copywriting and stuff. But I do want my thoughts and ideas to be the lead of all this.” And he’s going to suck it out with me, do the legwork, and provide me with a great copy.

 

Will Barron:

And I said that was a cold email from some dude I never heard of. Got paid a few hours later. And the work was done a few hours after that. And I was like, “That was a great cold email.”

 

Personalized Versus Relevant Sales Emails · [17:44]

 

Fred Copestake:

But that’s a brilliant example because, again, done the homework. Has looked at what you are doing, your world. Has made that so relevant to you. And I think people get confused only between personalised and relevant. It’s, “Hey Will, I looked at your link to your profile and you went to the same university as me and you like dogs.” And, “Yeah. But I talk to my mates in the pub about that. So I don’t need to pay someone to talk to about that.” Yeah. But they’re saying, “This is what’s happened. This is what you are doing. It’s bang up to date.” And you’re thinking, “You must be watching me carefully because I literally only just announced that.” So you’ve taken the opportunity, responded to it, it is all about me. So yeah, come on, let’s carry on the conversation because I don’t feel as though I’m going to be wasting my time here. [crosstalk 00:18:27] example.

 

When You Earn the Right to Sell to a Prospect, You Put Yourself In a Better Position to Get the Business · [18:27]  

 

Will Barron:

I feel like what we’re saying is not common sense, but it is somewhat obvious. If you pitch yourself as the buyer, all this makes top sense. As a salesperson we’re so indoctrinated. And media and society has their own thoughts and opinions about salespeople as the stereotype, which probably floods into our industry as well. Is it fair to say that if we put ourselves in the buyer’s position, a lot of what we’re describing right now would be more obvious and clear to us?

 

Fred Copestake:

Yeah I mean, in some ways it is obvious when you get it, I suppose. So it’s a bit harsh to call it that. But yeah, again, salespeople perceive it as, “Oh you’ve got to go and you’ve got to have the gift for the gab. And you’ve got to sell ice to Eskimos and talk the hind legs off a donkey,” and all this kind of thing. As opposed to it’s no you’ve got to be really good at understanding other people to be able to put yourself in their shoes, to talk about the thing that they find most interesting, which is themselves, to then work out, “Well, actually we can work together on this to make you a better version of yourself. To do what you are trying to do better, quicker, more effectively, whatever.”

 

Fred Copestake:

And by demonstrating that that’s how you are and that’s what your approach to sales is early on. Then again, yeah, like I say, that’s why people want to speak to you because you are a more collaborative person because you’re going to be using, like I said, risk of repeating consultative sales skills. You’ll work out what’s going on there. Where are they now? Where do they want to be? You’ll think then, “Okay, I can solve that pain.” And you never use that word with the customer. Please never ever use that word with the customer. But you can solve those issues, those challenges, those concerns, and add more into it. At the same time, let’s build some value into what we’re doing because we’re spending time together, there’s other things that I can do. I can lead the discussion. We can start to go down this route. I can introduce other people. We can do all of these things, but yeah, we’ve got to earn the right early on and demonstrate that` that’s how we go about stuff, otherwise hidden gems because we’ll never have those conversations.

 

Will Barron:

So obviously I agree with you, which is a problem. Right? Because these episodes are more-

 

Fred Copestake:

I know. Boring isn’t it?

 

Will Barron:

… exciting when I’m debating people or I’m going back and forth. Obviously clearly-

 

Fred Copestake:

[crosstalk 00:20:33] in a minute.

 

Stop Doing These Things If You Want More Time For Productive Sales Activities · [20:33] 

 

Will Barron:

So I’ll try and play the devil’s advocate a little bit here, Fred. And I feel like if someone’s listening, they’re driving along in the car now. They’re just off to the office. They’re off to see a customer wherever it is. They’re going. This sounds fantastic. I’ve not got time to do any of this crap. I’m so busy. All I can do each morning is click send on this email cadence that’s going to spam 500 people with a kind of customised, personalised email. And I know that I can scrape up 1% or 2% of those suckers and they’ll jump on a call. And then everything can fall into place, right? A lot of people will be thinking, “Once I get the right person at the right time with the right product and the right need on the phone, then I can have the consultative conversation.”

 

Will Barron:

So if we’re going to go for this approach which is high touch and hopefully higher conversion rate. So we end up doing more revenue on the back of it via less outreach, via less annoyance to the market. We want to reach out to people who are the right people, at the right place, at the right time. Perhaps we can trigger events, and things can be engineered somewhat with pricing or whatever it is. But with that in mind, how do we start to free up time on the other side of things? You mentioned this at the top of the show. How do we become less busy and less productive? Is there anything in the hybrid selling world that we should stop doing to free up time to do the activities that we know generate results?

 

Fred Copestake:

Right. If somebody picks up a copy of the book, if I had known a copy of the book, we’ll put a link to the scorecard in that I’ve developed, which people can answer questions to see how close they are to what I believe is the modern selling model and way of operating moving forward. And if they don’t do that, well, the good news is they’ll have plenty of time to do whatever they want because they will be at a risk of becoming irrelevant. And the issue that I’ve got and why I love coming on things like this so I can talk about it, is that we can be little bit like that metaphorical frog in the water that’s warming up. It’s getting warmer and warm and warmer. The frog doesn’t know and so it doesn’t know to jump out, but it’ll end up boiling itself. And that’s what’s going on.

 

Fred Copestake:

So you can sort of carry on doing what you’ve always done. You’re getting this limited and less and less success. And that is what’s going to create the busyness. And so hopefully what I can do, and also fellow trainers who do think like this, is saying, “Just stop and give yourselves a moment. And think about how are you doing it because it isn’t going to be something that’s going to future proof you.” You’ll get away with it for a bit, but ultimately it will not be effective. It just won’t work full-stop. But you’ll not really notice it, and potentially until it’s too late. And that sounds quite, I don’t know, doom and gloom. But equally it is massive opportunity because if you get ahead of the game and you start doing this stuff, make yourself time to do all of the things that, I believe, are involved in hybrid selling, you will be a better operator for longer, basically.

 

This is The Modern Selling Model. Are You Practicing It? · [23:37] 

 

Will Barron:

How do we know, and this maybe the most ridiculous question I’ve ever asked, how do we know if we’re the frog, Fred? How do we know if we’re that frog?

 

Fred Copestake:

That’s the point. You don’t. I mean, apart from somebody comes along and they say, “Here. Have my assessment for free. Just look at that, pick up the recommendations off the back of it and go and do something about it,” because a lot of the things, a lot of the hybrid selling model I talk about, it’s not brand new. “God. Here’s a lesson in how not to sell stuff on our sales podcast.” But what I’m saying is that here are some of the things that are recognised as being good selling that you might well be doing. We’ll make sure you carry on doing it and you make it part and parcel of daily activity.

 

Fred Copestake:

There might be things that you don’t recognise but which actually have been around for a bit. And there are some things that you’d say, “Ah, they are a little bit newer and I need to get my head around from those new techniques.” And what I’m trying to do is I’ve tried to set it out as cleanly as possible, as simply as possible. To say, “Look. Consider these things and get these into the way that you operate because otherwise your performance isn’t going to be good enough.”

 

Will Barron:

Okay. So therefore, I will link to the scorecard below this episode on YouTube. And then in the [inaudible 00:24:44] over at salesman.org. I will also do the scorecard myself and I’ll put my score on the show notes to see how I perform. And if I’m just a massive hypocrite doing these shows with yourself, Fred, then I’m just a nonsense salesperson myself, which could be the case. It could be. I could be the frog.

 

Fred Copestake:

It could well be. No, it’d be really interesting. Thank you. Thank you for offering to me the frog in this live dissection. Oh, this is getting a bit weird. No, but what might well come across, without being a mind reader or anything, is that I do know that stuff. I was aware of it. I’ve used it in the past. “Hey, we’re out of medical wrap.” We used to do that stuff and I’ve kind of forgot it in this role. But I should be bringing it in because I mean, if people want the simple takeaway for this it’s that the analogy that I use, it’s like playing a drum. And that if your performances, you’ve got a little drum and you’re tapping it away with a single drum stick, that performance might just about have been good enough. As we go forward because of the speed of change, and it’s to do with the speed of change, it will not be enough.

 

Fred Copestake:

And what we need to do as salespeople is assemble ourselves this full drum kit. We’ve got all these different bits that we can play and that we hit as and when it’s the right time to do that. So we become a more accomplished and a kind of a fuller operator in what we do. And most people will probably, if they’re truly honest with themselves, step back and go, “You know what? Yeah. My drum kit isn’t big enough.” I need to start building up, now, literally for the here and now. But also certainly moving forward if I want to have a career in this I need to be bringing that thing up.

 

Will Barron:

Sure. Something that I’m doing this year which I’ve never done before, and it seems absolutely ludicrous, is quarterly reviews. So I’ve got one coming up in a few weeks from now. And I think salespeople should be doing this as well. I’m taking three days off: no content production, no customer calls, no one-on-one mentoring, or anything. And I’m just going to look through the numbers I’m going to see what’s working, what isn’t, what content is, what isn’t. And we get tonnes and tonnes of customer feedback because so many people go through the training programme of what people want, what people don’t want. And how ludicrous is that. I’ve never. I’ve just been so busy that I’ve never done that before routinely.

 

Why You as an Individual Sales Rep Need to Start Reviewing Your Weekly/Monthly/Quarterly Sales Activities · [26:50] 

 

Will Barron:

At the end of every year we do a big poll, like 5,000, 6,000 people giving those responses. And that kind of goes into a big database, and numbers get spat out of that, and thoughts and opinions that we can improve upon. But yeah, quarterly report is something I never did when I was in a sales role, other than maybe we had a quarterly sales meeting so I needed to do some kind of presentation for that. But really deep diving into the CRM, into the email marketing that we’re doing and everything like that, is my mission this year so I can avoid becoming the frog.

 

Fred Copestake:

Yeah. And that hopefully, and by the sounds of it, will involve a lot of review of yourself. And that’s again another drum that I said I beat, which is that salespeople have got to take time for themselves. They’ve got to give themselves time to stop and think. And then as we get under pressure and as the world speeds up and we’re trying to do all this stuff, that busy, busy, busy goes into a bit of a vicious circle because we don’t just stop and go, “Hang on a minute. What am I doing? Is it making a difference here? Am I doing the right stuff? How can I get better at the things that I need to do? Am I concentrating on the wrong area?” And we just feel kind of guilty giving ourselves that time. So I strongly advise salespeople to just give themselves some thinking space, some reflection time, because that is an investment. Think of it as an investment. That’s how I’d make a recommendation on that. I mean, I do that every day.

 

Will Barron:

Yep. How [crosstalk 00:28:17]-

 

Fred Copestake:

I do that every day. And people go…

 

How to Review Your Individual Selling Activities · [28:16] 

 

Will Barron:

Was it a process?

 

Fred Copestake:

I talk to a robot. Yes Fred, we’ll cut this bit out. No seriously, I talk to a robot. I use this app called Rocky AI, Rocky.ai. It’s an artificial intelligent chat bot. But rather than you ask the artificial intelligence something and it gives you an answer like, “Hey Siri, what’s the capital of,” Rocky asks you questions so you’ve got to answer these things. So first thing in the morning, grab the phone. And I know people say, “Oh, that’s the worst thing you can do.” Yeah. But first thing I do is put Rocky on. So in the morning he’s asking me about, I have it turned on at the moment onto clarity and purpose. It’s asking what’s driving you today. Why are you doing this thing? How are you going to do this? It’s five minutes, but it’s the questions that it asks like any good coach would, that makes me think.

 

Fred Copestake:

And again, you type these things in and it’s using the AI. It’s using machine learning to then ask a question based on the response you give. And then suggesting little nuggets to read. It’s an amazing little programme. It’s so cool.

 

Will Barron:

I love that.

 

Fred Copestake:

And yeah, no, it is good. And then in the evening, again while Mrs. Is watching EastEnders, whatever. It’s like, “Okay bang. Rocky on. 7:00. Blah, blah, blah,” another five minutes answering questions. What have you done in the day? Reflecting, and of course the question triggering questions. Salespeople shouldn’t need explaining why questions are such a good thing. That’s what Rocky does. He’s brilliant. And again, I personalise him a bit too much, I think. But no, it’s a nice big kit.

 

Will Barron:

Well, about 85% of the audience are going, “What in the hell is EastEnders?” So that’s an inside joke for, it was Brit, right? Well, I do something similar but less tech focused and a little bit more old school of I just read a book every morning. And I’ll read books that are provocative books that are on coaching, or whatever I’m trying to learn at the moment. And I just take great pleasure in making a… I want the dog. The dog is just laying next to me. I’ll stroke him. I’ll have a coffee, a strong coffee. And I’ll just sit and read. Me misses gets up, say, an hour later than what I do each morning. And that process of just having someone else’s thought in my brain, it’s almost like a meditative thing. And I get loads of ideas. And I’ll be thinking that, “Oh, I’ve come out of ideas.” It’s similar to being in the shower, right?

 

Fred Copestake:

Yeah.

 

Will Barron:

Where you focus on one thing, or you’re not focusing on anything, you’re subconscious is spitting up all these things that has been focusing on during the night, and it’s been working on while you’ve been asleep. And I’ll have the notepad next to me and I’ll write down all kinds of stuff, 80% of it nonsense. But then it’s the 10% of, “Hey, you were a bit rude in the car the other day when that person drove in front of you.” What does that mean? Or this book is talking about… I’m reading two books on minimalism at the moment and I’m trying to implement that into our business as we touched on before we clicked record, Fred, of how to simplify things. A whole training process, and methodologies, selling made simple. So how can I put that even further into the world whilst also driving expensive cars and having a nice big house and stuff, so there’s obviously a bit of balance there with some of this.

 

The Minimalism Mindset in Sales · [31:14] 

 

Will Barron:

And it’s something that, in fact, just this morning, I got this quote I was like, “That is genius. That is really powerful.” I’ll share it with you now. You tell me what you think, Fred. I don’t know how this relates to sales, but I’m going to butcher the quote slightly but it was on the lines of, “Minimalism is removing everything that doesn’t help you become the person you want to become.” So I guess if we put that into the sales perspective, we can probably get rid of a lot of crappy cold outreach that doesn’t help us. We can probably start doing a lot more referrals and things like that proactively help people you’ve already helped. You can stop, which I think you might be on board of as well of, because you’ve been mentioned a few times go back to things that have worked in the past and leverage them as opposed to try and reinvent things, or use this new sales tool, or use this, this AI robot that’s going to spit out all these things.

 

Will Barron:

And in my experience, none of it is ever that valuable, the sales tech stack, other than the obvious tools that we need. And it’s if we think about sales like that of who you want to become that quota crushing salesperson, well you’ve got to become the person who can do the work and then you’ve got to choose the right work to do and just scrap everything else. Right?

 

Fred Copestake:

Yeah. No. I think all of those. And I take it another angle as well is think about it from a customer perspective. I mean again, that’s how we should be thinking as salespeople. So it’s minimalism. Less really is more, often, because when you say, “Well, I’m not really sure what to sell this person. So if I just keep telling them stuff, I just keep talking, I just keep giving them more things, more features, more benefits, more stuff, more whatever, more stories, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Yeah. They’ll be able to pick out something that’s good for them.”

 

Fred Copestake:

Well, that’s lazy. And that’s why the customers are saying, “I don’t want to talk to this person anymore. They’re not making my life any easier.” But by having that real focus as to I want to speak to you because I reckon that these are some of the things that will be challenges for you because they are challenges to other people in your world. And I’ve even done a bit of research to see that, actually, I can know that’s what you’re going through. Let’s have a chat about it. This then is the response for you. This is what you need to do. Less is more. I mean, what a brilliant sales approach rather than just chuck everything at it and hope that something sticks.

 

How to Guide Buyers Towards Purchasing Decisions · [33:20]

 

Will Barron:

You can almost reframe it as, within reason, do what the customer wants and then just scrap all the other crap that you’re doing. And as long as you don’t take it too literally, but that’s your mindset, you’re going to be on the right track there, right?

 

Fred Copestake:

Yeah. Yeah. And then this isn’t about being subservient to customers by the way. Yeah. So as I talk a lot about leading customers, and again, I use that word because well it forms an acronym evolve which is in the book. But it deliberately gets people’s back up a little bit. It’s like, “What? You are saying salespeople should lead customers?” So yeah, absolutely I am. Not up the garden path. Not in an ’80s kind of manipulative way where we’re trying to get them to do stuff they don’t really want to do. And we’re using all these and trickery things. It’s leading them in something that they are struggling with, they don’t know how to do. So maybe the word guide would be better. But yeah, we’re doing that sort of stuff. But it’s doing this stuff that is absolutely relevant to that.

 

Fred Copestake:

A word I keep going back to, whenever I’m thinking about hybrid selling and I’m thinking about helping people be moderate, helping people balanced out. I keep going back to relevance. Is what you’re doing relevant to the customer, to you, whatever? And so, yeah, that’s why I try to do. And I mean, that’s why I did write the book so quickly because I thought, “These change have happened, they weren’t foreseen, they probably changes which were going to happen anyway it’s just they happened so fast. Let’s get people ahead the game and get them doing stuff that’s just going to help them.”

 

Will Barron:

Yep. I remember I’ve talked about this on this show before, we can wrap up with this, these tales about the books of when I was in medical device sales I had actual arguments with sales management, a regional sales director, what was his titled?The national sales director of I was not allowed to give our customers catalogues. I was not allowed to leave product catalogues with surgeons so they could look through. And there was no pricing or anything in these catalogues. Heaven forbid email over pricing of multiple products rather than sending them a quote. And even to log in online, this last company I worked for had incredible content. They worked with some of the world’s top leading colorectal surgeons, urologists, gynaecologists in, I wouldn’t name the company. I know they did that. But in their own operating theatres, using all their equipment. And the surgeons were more than happy to promote and talk about the procedures and how they were innovating in their space.

 

Will Barron:

You had to get a log in to jump into this crappy ’90s portal where nothing worked. It definitely didn’t work on your phone. It was so backwards when if you, and they’ve done it now, if you dump those videos on YouTube they’d have tens of thousands of views which doesn’t seem like much. But these are tens of thousands of high level surgeons, maybe there’s only 50,000 of these individual surgeons in the world. You have a massive percentage of them learning how to do these procedures from your content so of course they’re going to go with your product or service.

 

The Hybrid Selling Environment is Here. You Either Get Onboard Now or Get Left Behind · [36:15] 

 

Will Barron:

Now I had so many battles trying to communicate this. So I feel like what we’re describing here, regardless of the pandemic, regardless of whatever else, just with the way that the internet has evolved, the way that business consumer sales has evolved, I think this was always going to happen and perhaps we’ve just been slapped in the face of it a bit quicker.

 

Fred Copestake:

It’s a bit quicker. And just the use of the technology, the using video, the virtual, all this kind of stuff, sending video. Again, some people are saying, “Oh. I’m not going to do that.” Okay. Well don’t do that now, then. You’re missing a treat because there are people that are. And I was talking on a sales training last week. I said, “Look, in two years time this will just be the absolute norm. It’s what we will be training for. Just the way to do stuff.” Now you can be slightly ahead of the game. So yeah, probably going slightly off track. But no, you’re right, it’s again, I’ll go back to the value the salesperson brings is in the conversation, or it’s in the way that they can structure the whole sale so that they’re guiding the right people through the right things that they’re trying to do. They’re stimulate in the right thinking. They’re getting the right conversations going. They’re showing the right things at the right time or confirming to people who’ve already done their own diagnosis stuff that, yes, what you saw there is correct.

 

Fred Copestake:

That’s where the salesperson has value. It’s not with, “I’ve got this information. And if you’re nice I might show you some.” But we’ve got all that information from you, your competitors, everyone else. And the fact that I’ve been in medical sales. I’ve been at university for seven years to learn about it and practised it for another 20. So yeah, I can live without you, thanks mate.

 

Parting Thoughts · [37:58] 

 

Will Barron:

My experience is the buyer comes to you just asking for your pricing and your withholding anyway. They’re probably just justifying the fact that they’ve worked with someone else, or they’re putting out a tender or something anyway. So at that point, if you’re only engaging you’ve probably lost the deal already. With that, Fred, we’ll wrap on that, mate. Tell us about the books. Tells us a little bit more about the scorecard that will be linked below this video or in the show notes as well. And anything else you want to share, mate?

 

Fred Copestake:

Yeah. Well, I’d say the book I wrote pretty quickly because book one came out and then everything changed. But actually it’s not. But one’s still very relevant. But Hybrid Selling, there’s three parts to it. Part one, there’s a story. So we’ve got two little sales guys, Harry and Larry. They’re probably good mates for your Sam actually, to be fair. So yeah, Harry and Larry, and what they do is they’ve got to go through some changes. Clearly they’ve got to work out how to get through some quite difficult times. I wrote it like that because I wanted people to identify with where they might be. I mean, I know that storytelling is really effective. Basically they invent the evolve model. And so in part two, I had to go through the evolve model which are the six main elements that I believe make up that big drum set thing I was talking about.

 

Fred Copestake:

So we talk about the essentials of selling, so the big foundations, the basics, the stuff that we’ve got to do to make sure we are good at sales. I talk about virtual selling. So yeah, we talked about it, working on video, sending video, social selling, I had that put in to that mix for I needed to put it somewhere. And think about some of the AI tools. To our opportunity management, so again it’s thinking about what information do we have? How do we use that? How do we map out what the actions are going to be as a result? How do we take that stuff forward?

 

Fred Copestake:

And talk about leading, as we’ve just been saying. How can you guide people? How can you align to their process if they know what it is? How can you help the design process if they don’t? Talk about value selling, again, this stuff’s been around a long time but I sometimes wonder do people do it well? We seem to have this thing at the moment where people turn up and go, “I’m going to tell you where your value is.” It’s, well really, value selling is helping somebody to understand what the value could be and how we can work on that together. Talk about how you expand the sales, so it’s account management stuff, customer success management stuff, because we should be selling results and outcomes.

 

Fred Copestake:

So that packs the bottle up in that nice section as well. Okay, so what are you going to do about it? You’ll appreciate it as involved in training that information is good, but it’s all about implementation. So it’s how can I help people to take this stuff and start to do stuff with it? So some extra analysis tools in there so they can start to understand themselves, broadly like the scorecard that we’ll put the link to. But it’s all about getting, my mantra is, good people doing good things in a good way. That’s how I want to try and help the world of sales, if you like.

 

Will Barron:

Amazing stuff. Well, I appreciate you Fred. I appreciate you’re the first person to come on the show and mention EastEnders. You’re the first person over, I say this all time, to say Willy nilly. I don’t think that translates elsewhere in the world so I appreciate that, mate. I appreciate you.We’ll like to the box, the scorecard, and that AI tool that you mentioned it earlier on in this episode over at salesman.org. And with that Fred, I want to thank you again for joining us on the salesman podcast.

 

Fred Copestake:

My pleasure. Thank you.

 

 

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