EP15 – How To Sell Without Being Fake – Part 3 – How to Sell Anything

This is the third episode in our series about selling without being fake. In this episode, we talk about the four critical ingredients for selling, transferring enthusiasm, transferring confidence, asking for a transaction, and following up.

Podcast Transcript:

Joshua MacLeod:
To consumers, features don’t mean anything. You mean this has the XG versus the XO or the XL5, that doesn’t mean anything. If you’re looking at transferring enthusiasm, one of the keys is don’t just talk about the feature, talk about the benefit.

Podcast Announcer:
Welcome to the Growability podcast, teaching business and nonprofit leaders a more excellent way to run a business. Visit Growability.com for your leadership, coaching, consultation, and business collaboration needs. This is the third episode in our series about selling without being fake. In this episode, we talk about the four critical ingredients for selling, transferring enthusiasm, transferring confidence, asking for a transaction, and following up. Here are your hosts, Joshua MacLeod and Bernie Anderson.

Joshua MacLeod:
I’m actually really excited about the series that we’re continuing this conversation of how to sell without being fake. So what makes a good salesperson? How do you know if you’re a good salesperson or a bad salesperson?

Joshua MacLeod:
There’s four primary ingredients that are necessary to sell a product. The first is to transfer enthusiasm. How do I get people excited about this product or service? The second is to transfer confidence. Is it safe? Is it reliable? Is it good? I’ve got a transfer enthusiasm. I also have to transfer confidence. But then to ask for a transaction, you always have to ask, “Do you want to buy?” And then the final is follow-up. So I might transfer enthusiasm. I might transfer confidence, I ask for a transaction. Do I follow-up? In all of that I would say what makes a good sales person, number one they’re able to transfer enthusiasm, two they’re able to transfer confidence, three they’re good at the ask, and four they’re good at following up, making sure that the relationships are good in the communication and the leads.

Bernie Anderson:
So that leads me to the next question. What are some of the strategies that great sales people use to become better salespeople?

Joshua MacLeod:
I used to work at Sears, so I was a teenager and I’m like 17 years old and I’m going to work at Sears. I actually wanted to go sell shoes. Because I was like, “Okay, I can go sell shoes at Sears” as a teenager. This is my big ambition. But they were like, “No, no, you’re too good for shoes. We want to put you in electronics.” But then like after I was in the electronics, there was like, “Nope, we’re going to put you in the top of the chain.” sales in Sears was the appliances. So now I’m not only going to sell the computer and the stereo. Now I’m actually going to sell your dishwasher and your washing machine and your thing like that.

Joshua MacLeod:
So the challenge was, I’m like a 17 year old kid. I have zero interest in washing machines and Mom is still making the food and the laundry I can do. I learned how to push my button, but I never really thought about “Oh, these machines have different features.” So the sales team for Sears went to the big convention where we learned about the differences in washing machines. I’m standing at the Whirlpool counter at the sales training that Sears sent me to and the Whirlpool guy is just an absolute Whirlpool washing machine nut. And he is just super fascinated with Whirlpool. So he’s like “This machine has a triple action agitator.” And so we’re all standing there and we’re kind of like, “Okay,” and he’s like, “That means nothing to you, but let me explain.” So then he said, what a triple action agitator is.

Joshua MacLeod:
It’s like most washing machines, they have the base that goes this way. And then they have the little spindle thing that comes up that goes this way. And that’s what moves my clothes around. That gives me clean clothes. But this machine has another agitator on the top. And what that does is it rotates the clothes through the washing cycle twice as many times as any of these other cheap washing machines that are out there that only have a double action agitator. So a mistake that people make as salespeople is they think that it’s important to sell a feature. Your washing machine has a triple action agitator. Well, to consumers features don’t mean anything. You mean this has the X G versus the X O or the XL five or… That doesn’t mean anything. If I can say, this has a triple action agitator, the feature, but this is the benefit.

Joshua MacLeod:
Your clothes come out 50% cleaner because they’ve rotated through the cycle of the machine twice as many times. Now I’m selling a benefit. If you’re looking at transferring enthusiasm, one of the keys is, don’t just talk about the feature talk about the benefit now. Here’s what’s interesting, a 17 year old kid working at Sears. Guess who had top sales in the store? I did. And I’m the opposite of the used car salesman is I went to the little training thing and I found myself excited about triple action agitators by Whirlpool. If you’re going to become better at transferring enthusiasm, understand the value of selling, not just the feature, but the benefit. So that’s one way to get better at transferring enthusiasm. Transferring confidence is really about what do other people say? I remember when I was selling computers at Sears. So customer would come in, they would be looking at two computers and I would say, “Well, this one is really a good fit for you.”

Joshua MacLeod:
People automatically have a bit of a suspicion when they’re talking to the sales person.

Bernie Anderson:
Of course.

Joshua MacLeod:
Because, they know that I might not be 100% objective with my selling. I might be selling them the computer that has the better commission or I might be selling them the computer that’s the only one we have in stock or something like that. You’ve got to make sure that you have objective feedback about your product or service. Consumer reports. Make sure that there’s some objective proof in the marketplace that this product is actually good. Here’s a case study. Here’s a recommendation from a celebrity or somebody that is a quantifiable valid source. Here’s our social media reviews. Like having your Facebook set up to give a review or your Google account to give a review. It becomes immediate objective feedback from your client base. If you want to develop your sales cycle, make sure you have a ton of really good reviews.

Joshua MacLeod:
The company that has 100 – 5 star reviews is more trusted than the company that has six, three star reviews and one five star review from your uncle.

Bernie Anderson:
Well, and that even goes back to the mindset issue as well, right? Because I need to have confidence that this is a good thing. I have the goods here. If I have a mindset of, “Oh, well, I don’t know, this could work. And I mean, it’s good, but I kind of suck sometimes.” So buying not buying from that ever.

Joshua MacLeod:
I’m not buying from that. Right.

Bernie Anderson:
No way.

Joshua MacLeod:
Yeah. So the third thing on asking for transaction. One of the keys to becoming better at asking for transaction is ask for a small thing. Like when I was selling appliances at Sears, I didn’t just go to people and say, “Okay, do you want to buy that right now?” That they might not be ready to make the commitment. So what I would do is I would ask for a small thing, I would say, “Would you like me to go see if that’s in stock?” Because I’m not saying, “Do you want to buy it?” I’m just saying, “Hey, would you like me to go see?” That’s when I transitioned from the transfer enthusiasm, the transfer confidence into the ask. The second thing, the second way to mature, kind of like the ask is ask them for options. “When might you be needing this? What’s really important to you in the feature set?” I’m asking good questions to find out if there’s any obstacles or options that are really important to the person in that ask.

Joshua MacLeod:
You don’t have to just jump in guns a blazing and say, “Okay, let’s ring this up.” Sometimes that works. And some people are really good at that. I was, I’ve never been one that is really like, “Let’s go ring this up.” I’m always like, “Okay, are there any obstacles or options that you’re looking for that this might not have? Can we overcome any concerns that you might have? Do you want me to go check and see if this is in stock?” And more often than not, they were like, “Yes, go check and see.” So then I would go and I would check and I would come back and I would either say, “Yeah, we’ve got it. Do you want to bring it home?” Or I would say, “You know what? We don’t have it, but I can give you a discount on step up.” And then it was like, “Oh, well now I’ve got an opportunity.” This is the thing. So that’s how I would work on, the third question of the ask for a transaction.

Joshua MacLeod:
And finally you have the follow-up and the key to follow-up is basically write it down and put it in a system that you trust and put a calendar reminder and actually do it. You can’t trust yourself for follow-up. I’ll follow-up with them tomorrow. No you won’t. So what you have to do is you have to put the follow-ups that you need to do in a thing that is in the future is going to have a consequence if you don’t follow-up. Putting it on the calendar, putting it on the task list, putting it in a program, delegating to somebody else, to make sure that you follow-up. Giving yourself a reward if you follow-up, “Okay, I’m going to go follow-up on this thing. If I actually do this, I’ll get the rewards. Here’s where we go.” Use a system that you can trust to actually help you follow-up. So I think those are ways that you can mature in transferring enthusiasm, transferring confidence, asking for transaction and following up.\\.

Bernie Anderson:
Getting a system down that you trust, I think is so key there. I have one more question. We’ve got about 15 minutes left joshua. This particular question is important to me. What about the nonprofit? How do you sell if you’re in a nonprofit? What is the job of the director of development-

Joshua MacLeod:
Yeah, that’s great question. So development directors play really critical roles for non-profit organizations because they connect people that have resources to accomplish the meaningful things that can be accomplished in the world for good. I’ve had several relationships with very high-capacity givers. What I’ve discovered from those donors. Is donors give for two primary reasons. One is, it’s what they want to do already. There is zero convincing. They’re already doing it. They’re already into it. They already want to do it. You are the answer to the thing that they have been looking to do already. You’re the person that connects them to what they already want to do.

Joshua MacLeod:
High capacity donors in organizations never give to things that they don’t want to do. They give to do things that they can’t do themselves. You have access and opportunity to make a difference in ways that they do not have the same access or opportunity to. Most high capacity givers or high capacity leaders. High capacity leaders are they’re limited by the time that they have to invest in whatever they’re investing in. So, I don’t have the time to fly to Asia and vet this orphanage. The primary job of a director of development is not to ask for any transaction. The primary job of a director of development is to discover and connect. If I could do one thing like for all nonprofits, if I could make like a major impact for all nonprofits, it’s I would get every development director to develop really good relationships with every other development director. That doesn’t happen.

Joshua MacLeod:
They all see each other as competitors. They’re all connected to like major donors and they all have all these lists of foundations and people, executives, and all of these things. 20% of the people that you connect with are going to want to give to us because it’s just what they want to do already. 80% are going to want to give to something else. Now they will probably give us some kind of little token or something, but they’re going to give us like $100. Your job is to find out and discover what it is that they’re really passionate about, and then connect them to that opportunity. Focus on empowering people’s passion to somewhere that’s really going to make an impact for that person. And then you’ll actually go and make an impact. And the people that are supposed to be at your organization will come to your organization and you’ll fund it.

Joshua MacLeod:
The role for every nonprofit leader, particularly in any kind of fundraising role is to discover and connect.

Bernie Anderson:
I think adding this idea of discovering and connecting is really critical. And that’s really where, “Hey, let’s discover where you do want to give. Let’s connect you with where you do want to give.” What then is the strategy for discovering and connecting? What is the strategy the development worker needs to implement for doing this well.”

Joshua MacLeod:
There’s four questions I love to ask anybody whenever I meet them and I’ve never met them before. And it’s like the kind of person I want to have a relationship with or the kind of person that might be a good partner or perspective partner. And I’m not asking these questions for me. I’m asking these questions for them. Here’s the four questions.

Joshua MacLeod:
Number one, what are you passionate about? What are you just into? I love the definition of passion. One side is What do I love so much? What’s my passion? But then we actually get the word passion from the Latin pati, which means to suffer. So one side of the coin is what am I so excited about? The other side of the coin is what am I willing to suffer for? So when I ask somebody, What are you passionate about? That’s what I’m really trying to discover.

Joshua MacLeod:
The second is What are you concerned about? If somebody has too many concerns and it’s not appropriate to ask them to join you at that moment. I don’t want to ask them before I figure out like what’s going on in their life. This might not be a good time to say, “Well, okay, your dog just died. Well, would you want to give us $100,000?” Like, “No.” So find out what they’re concerned about.

Joshua MacLeod:
The third is you find out what they’re learning. That’s a really good tool to know where they’re at in life.

Joshua MacLeod:
And then finally, I like to find out, well, who are your mentors? Where are you learning this from? The first two questions is, what are you want to give to anyway? What are you about? What are you concerned about? The second two questions are, how can I connect you with the right people? What are you learning? Who are you learning that from?

Bernie Anderson:
Absolutely.

Joshua MacLeod:
Now if I’m a fundraiser or somebody in the nonprofit space. Now I have some kind of a platform to actually serve them. Do that enough times, serve them enough times and you won’t have any problem funding anything that you’re wanting to do.

Bernie Anderson:
So good. What are you passionate about? What are you concerned about? What are you learning and who are your mentors? Four questions?

Joshua MacLeod:
Do it.

Bernie Anderson:
I love it. I love it. I wish I had known those four questions many years ago.

Joshua MacLeod:
I would add to that Bernie. If anybody out there is super passionate about equipping leaders and business owners and nonprofit leaders. And part of your give would be investing in a sales strategy of sponsoring Growability podcasts. Then give us a call. If that’s something you’re already into.

Bernie Anderson:
Absolutely.

Joshua MacLeod:
We would love to talk about that. I’ll make the ask joshua@growability.com. Please reach out. We’ll follow-up with you. [inaudible 00:15:54] check that out later.

Bernie Anderson:
Absolutely.

Podcast Announcer:
Thank you for listening to the Growability podcast. The mission of Growability is to equip leaders to flourish in their life and work by developing vision, rhythm, and community. To discover if there is a more excellent way to run your business, visit Growability.com and speak with a certified Growability coach. Bernie and Joshua are also available for speaking engagements, workshops and conferences. Subscribing to this podcast helps Growability, equipped leaders throughout the world, and we appreciate your support.