The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 5 months ago

Working Out Your Outreach w/ Habit Formation w/ Liston Witherill


Like any good seller, you want to sharpen your outreach weapons. In search of more killer tactics, you read every book, listen to every podcast, attend every seminar, enroll in every course, and interpret every smoke signal out there — only to realize you could have spent that time actually prospecting.

Tactics can be great — but they’re useless if you haven’t built the right outreach muscles through execution.

My latest guest understands this better than most. Liston Witherill, Head of Growth at Gold Front, Chief of Sales Insights at Serve Don't Sell, host of the Modern Sales Podcast, and soon-to-be author, joins me to talk about the power habit formation can have on your outreach.

What we talked about:

  • The mindset you need for outreach
  • Why execution trumps tactics when it comes to outreach
  • How pattern matching makes outreach easier

Now that your outreach muscles are ready to compete against an oiled-up 1970s Schwarzenegger, are you ready to dive into how AI is revolutionizing content marketing or how to get the most out of your CRM? Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.

You're listening to the DTB revenueexecutive experience, a podcast, dedicated elpan executives, train theirsales and marketing teams to optimize growth, whether you're looking fortechniques and strategies, ore tools and resources. You've come to the rightplace. Let's accelerate your growth in three to one: Welcome eery one to theBto B revenue executive experience. I'm your host Chad Sanderson today we'retalking about building your outreach muscle through habit formation and andwhat it means to truly stop selling and start serving your clients andprospects to help us. We have with US listin wither all ahead of growth atgold front chief of sales, insights at Servdon't, sell host of modern salespodcast and soon to be author. Listen thank you so much for taking time andwelcome to the show thanks so much for having me it's my pleasure. So beforewe jump in, we always like to start with something for the audience get toknow y a little bit better and always curious to learn, especially sincewe've all been spent a here, Gan lockdown. What it is that you'repassionate about that. Those who only know you through work might besurprised to learn, or perhaps a new passion you picked up during thequarantine. Okay, so two things, one is music and I am a wrapper and I makebeats and I've actually performed on Sunset Boulevard, like twenty or moretimes Otan years ago, and secondly weightlifting. I am a very avidenthusiast of weightlifting nice. How long has that been going on theweightlifting part, yeah othat's, a good question, I think aboutsix years and my biggest accomplishment to date is Ideadlifted over five hundred pounds on my thirty seventh birthday, Nice Nice got to have those goals. I know how do I get to a thousand it'sgoing to take a lot more F, yeah, rigt yeah, doubling it's not as easy asjust doubling it Noyeah by a long shot all right. So, let's start with themisconception of sales perception as it relates to kind of the growingmillennial buyer population soon to be Genzi buying population. We get a lotof questions and- and actually was a topic that came up this morning.Actually, within a meeting is how the differences in the generations areimpacting the way modern sellers should be approaching sales worth thinkingabout sales and was curious to get your perspective on that. You know. I lovethis question and actually I selfishly want to get yours as well. One thing that seems pretty clear to meis: I don't really care about Genzimillennial, just sort of younger people who grew up with a phone in their hand.Yep are used to finding whatever information they thinkthey need and making decisions without the intervention of a human being andwhen they do need the intervention of a human being they're used to chatting orGod forbid, sending an email boy t that makes me dated, but yeah they're used to sort of thisasynchraniss textbase communication, but generally their expectation is tofind pretty much everything that they need on a website, and I, I thinkthat's going to have the biggest ramification because there's a wholedifferent approach to interacting with people, and my guess is- and I'mstarting to see this in my various businesses, people are more willing tocommunicate a synchronously to communicate remotely, maybe not evenmeet with you in order to buy five six seven figure projects. So that's, Ithink the biggest change is the the sort of old hat and I'vewritten about this a lot. This idea of, like virtual selling, isn't as good asin person, and I always say why, and...

...then people just go well, it's just not,and I'm like yeah okay. But why and very few people have thought that nextstep deeper and the main reason that it's not as good is because people whoare used to in person communication pick up a lot of other information whenthey're in person body language. What are my surroundings? How anxious doesthis person seem? You don't have to be as structured in the way you approachthings, because time tables are a little bit different than when you liveby your calendar online. So I think the whole thing is going to be moving to amuch more structured, more a synchronius approach and coupled withother things that are going on like demands for privacy changes to the waythat we can contact people in business, which I think generally is a good thing.I think that's really going to radically change sales and, I think,also just I'll kind of wrap up here. I think we're going to a situation wherethe benefits of the Internet are going to fade out and this going to be alarger conversation. But what I mean by that is, it will be very hard to put trustsignals out into the world that are reliable or credible because of all ofthe other things happening. There's machines writing articles. There aremachines, creating fake videos thereare all these things that we would use inorder to demonstrate our expertise, which will be brought into question andwill lack as much credibility, and so I actually think, there's going to be amore emphasis on referrals, which seems just kind of crazy, but that's myprediction well and I think I think you're one hundred percent spot on. Ithink that the ability to communicate kind of multithreaded, whether that behey, maybe we did start this conversation in slack because we're inthe same slack group or slack room or in a forum somewhere and then you know,hey, we s shot each other a text and then a little bit more in fois sentover va email and then may we jumped on a quick call being able to do thatquick communication and really understand how you're going to beauthentic, build trust, credibility report and do it in a way that isfocused on what the person you're trying to sell to cares about es ashift. It's a shift not only in technology but in mindset. I think interms of how people are going to beabl O do it. I had not thought all the wayout to the Internet not being trustworthy. I guess I just haven'ttrusted it for a very long time. So call me comlme an sceptic, but as welook at it- and you think about this- Is there a way that you know I meanfifteen years ago, and I still hear this with some class we've gotto befaced face got to be faced to face I in the last three years I can think of onedeal that I flew somewhere to sell, whereas all of the rest were donebefore I ever actually had laid eyes on the person, and that creates achallenge from the communication standpoint. So how do you help people?How do you think people should be thinking about their mindset andgenerating that authenticity in a consistent repeatable way, which iswhat any sales organization ultimately needs? Well, this is an interesting questionbecause I you know, I think that prospecting more and more requires alot of infrastructure outside of the prospecting process. So you know thingsthat I already mentioned: content support for people through the process,other sort of bread, crumbs and indicators of trust, but alsoinformation that people can use a self service because I don't know about you,Chad, but if I reach out to someone on linked in, what's the first thing theydo. They read my profile if they're interested, they read my profile, theygo to my website. They maybe read an article or two: they go. What's thisguy all about, is it worth my time right and if you don't have that, Imean there's just no way that you can compete. So in terms of mindset ofauthenticity, I think this is very...

...personality driven, so you know somepeople in the big five personalities, some people score high andagreeableness, which means they're more likely to agree with other people,which means they don't want to disappoint people, which means theywon't be as direct with people. This is not me, my friend, I will tell you whatI'm thinking I score pretty low, not terribly low,so I'm not too much of a jerk, but I score in the Fortyeth percentile, whichmeans for me authenticity is easy rightbecause I think about being inauthentic as a complete waste of my time and theother person's time right, because I know some people aren't going to likeme and that's okay right I'd, rather them be able to make that decisionquickly. So for me, I think one of the key mindset places to start is whateveryou're selling understand. What's in it for the other person, and you have to ask if you believe that Ioccasionally get messages from people, you probably hear this too. Whathappens if our reps don't believe in what we're selling and I always thinkwell, you can try to get them to believe in it, but if, ultimately, theydon't, they should just move on right, because there's no faking that that'sgoing to surface, let's say they can hide it in the prospecting process.It's definitely going a surface when they're on the phone, absolutelyabsolutely, and so when, when you think about building this outreach musclethis habit formation, there are some habits that seem to be very easy forpeople to formulate basically picking up their phone every thirty seconds,but something like prospecting that takes a little bit more. Will it takesa little bit more focus and being deliberate, and so how do you suggestpeople go about building that habit and really perfecting that out reach muscle?Well, I would challenge your assertion that it was very easy to build thepicking up your phone thing right because it's been the IPHONE wasinvented in O. Seven android came shortly after that, and it's been nowat the time of this recording fourteen years of companies very intentionallyand systematically trying to get you to pick up your phone. True, I'm trueright and so in the way they do. That is just simple habit formation and, ofcourse, there's been books and movies, very critical of phones as they shouldbe, but this is how habit formation works right. I have a trigger somethingthat causes me to think of doing something. Then I have the behaviourthe thing I do and then there's a reward and if the reward is variable,I'm more likely to be more interested in executing this process over and overand over again right, so with habits as they relate to prospecting, especially,there are a couple like really simple things that I recommend anybody do sonumber one is whenever you find someone who could be a prospect, if you havethe infrastructure ind place, you're using outreach or sales loft orwhatever you have email templates reach out to that person right now, don't letit pass. So that's one easy habit right trigger. Oh this person looks goodbehavior, send them something variable reward. Occasionally people are goingto be like hey. Thank so much. This is really interesting. I do want to talkto you right. So that's number one number two is having a normal cadence.So a lot of people have this problem of, like especially in the AE model, whereyou're doing all your prospecting and you're doing all your selling, wherethey're on this roller coaster of like I have a bunch of deals right now,pipelines full, I don't have time to prospect, and that is just not sustainable. Obviously,so for me you know it's true. If it's not on mycalendar, it doesn't get done...

...and then I aske myself also. What are the things that I hate to doso like building the prospecting list from scratch, finding emails that kindof thing doomed to failure? If I'm responsiblefor that, I need someone else to do that for me, because I know I'm notgoing to do it so whatever it is, that you kind of suck at or you're notinterested in or you just fail out repeatedly be honest about that andfind a way to close that gap. But I always put on my calendar. You know twohours to do prospecting or to get people on. My podcast is one of theways I prospect whatever it is for you, I would say, put it on your calendar:Do it at a pretty consistent interval datetime day of the week and that'sgoing to go a long way. Yeah time management is huge and I'm with you. Ifit's not on my counter, it doesn't exist and very rarely ever even getsthought about quite frankly, so it making sure that you're carving out thetime I mean that includes m. en going back to your waylifting that cluesworking out right, I've got the timeblock for the workout S. I got timefor the dog, I got time for prospecting and then of course working with clientsand things like that. But if it's not there, that makes finding an opening tosell me something if you're, if you're prospecting O me, that makes it toughand it makes my time I'm kind of picky about how I senl my time. So if you'regoing to come at me, then the question becomes. Do you understand what I careabout? What problems I may be having, and so the question becomes. What areyou seeing to da I mean there's so many places people could go to findinformation on on roles in certain industries and things like that. Isthere like a focused, subset or steps? You would tell people to say: Heyhere's where I'd go. Do my research to uncover what someone truly cares about,so it will feed my prospecting to be more effective. Well, there's twothings: one is pattern matching, so the more you service, the same types ofclients, the more likely you are to understand. What is what I call a range of problemsright, so one thing that I find funny is peoplewho are of the mindset that every sale is different and it's like well yeah.Maybe it's one percent different, but there's a lot of overlap between ifyou're focused on selling the same thing to the same type of person, thereis a ton of overlap. So I'll give you an example right. I have a client wherethey have. I think it's like five or seven ICPS way too many in my opinion,but I say hey when we bring on your Franchisees: Let's not give them sevenICPS. Let's ask them to choose. One focus on this group really start tointernalize what I call pgvs, what are the pain goals and value that thesepeople are after, like what is a transformation? And then how does oursolution connect directly to that? Get them to be the best at that, andthen they can move on to another one if they exhaust the market which, as youknow, Chad, they never will. So that's number. One is pattern. Matching numbertwo just ask right, so one thing you can do is go out and test. If you havefive problem statements, you can go test in your first five emails. Fivelinked in messages, five cold calls. However, you do it, you can test eachone and see which one of these gets a reaction. It's not going to be aperfect test, but if you kind of switch up the messaging it may give you abetter idea of how to do that. So I think, there's an over emphasis ontactics in my opinion and an under emphasis on just execution and, ofcourse, the reason for that is it's hard for me to sell a book or acourse that says just go: Do it a thousand times and Hel me what happens,but really. That is the advice right you have to do it in order, know whethr.What's working and what's not exactly yeah, I love it and that's why I meanthat's. Why tools like sales off outreach, anything at's Gon, to allowus to Ab test and actually get things...

...done. Hes are great tools if I don'tget hung up on the content, creation or hiding behind the tach or you knowdistracted. So I'm not actually doing I'm just sitting around thinking aboutdoing and then can't understand why I'm not hittin my numbers. So when we lookat kind of the toughest challenges like if you had to mean we got, we've talkedabout, you know, differences between you know people who grew up with phonesin their hands to all of these tools and textacks and things. What do youthink if You'e bee O, if somebody's woule to ask you what's the biggestchallenge facing sellers and prospectors today, just it's obviouslysignalled a noise there's just way way too many things asking for ourattention all the time right, and so you know the number I was reading today.I don't know if you saw this that some our email in boxhes received somethinglike thirty or forty percent, more emails in two thousand and twenty thenyeah prior Covid, Yep, Coen yeah, I mean and then of course we haven'ttalked about spam phone calls, but I'm ready to throw my iphone out the windowevery time it rings, because I know it's just like not a real persongenerally, and so I think it's really about the noise, and so we know people.You know I tell my clients, I what you I'm sure, you've seen theseprospecting messages where it's like hi so, and so we are such a great companyand we have thirty years of experience and we do blah blah blah nd if you everneed help with Xyz and I'm always like. No one cares about that. No one cares at all. What is it aboutyou? That's especially interesting that can help me. I don't care if you dowebsite development or do accounting or do whatever it is. I don't care aboutall that right. I just care about how you can help me solve my problems, so Ithink that is by far the biggest challenges and then, of course, there'sthe dispersion of our prospects on now. A bunch of them are on club house. Do Istart a club house channel right, so I think that's! That's! The realchallenge is there's a little bit of this sort of Wackamol of people movingaround the Internet and coupled with that, just the amount of noise, and soreally it is about creativity, uniqueness and coming up with kind ofclever and new ways all the time, which is a tough challenge. That is, it istough. I mean it's constant reinvention right changes, the new normal kind ofapproach, but if you can get into that mindset and you're willing to be humbleenough to understand you're not going to get it all right, but you know smartenough feellis! You got T at least fail, sometimes they're doing something. Ithink, there's a lot of things out there. That Wi will help those who aretruly focused on getting better and doing more from a service for my clienttype of standpoint, and so gotto know how. How did you I mean unless you'reone of the rare ones that, when you were growing up around the holidays,were playing with new toys thinking? I can't wait to get into sales, which Idon't know anybody that thought that, but if you are, how did you get towhere you are in your career? Now, Oh boy? I know we don't have a lot of time, soI'll try to be fast, so I went to Grad School. This is later in my career. Iwas twenty nine when I got to Grad School Nove, a master's degree inenvironmental science and management. The reason I went to school, for thatwas to be on the business side of environmental work and so out of school,Iran, Business Development and marketing for a consulting firm, whichis exactly what I wanted to do, and so yeah that was kind of my entry pointinto sales, where I was overseeing our entire business development program andsince then for the last think, it's been seven years. I've been runningeither an agency or my own coaching business, working directly with clientsin a coaching or consultative capacity... help them build their sales andmarketing engines, so, okay, and so that that so and I noticed yourbackground and your degrees when I was doing doing my homework, but I got toknow rapping to sales likeit's. Just e obvious question likehow did that come about yeah? Well, that's actually they're more similarthan you think. So. One thing that I love about hip hop is the ability to influence how peoplethink and you know most people will associate hip hop with whatever youhear on the radio right- and I like that sometimes. But I what I love iskind of. You know what some people might call message wrap or likeunderground hip hop where they're talking about something and the ideathat I could use music to expose someone to a new idea or a newperspective and influence theire thinking is always what attracted me tohip hop, and you know that happens to be the mostimportant question in all of marketing and all of sales is how do people makedecisions, and how can we exert some influence or persuasion over thosedecisions, not manipulation, which we could record another podcast Oni Khow.Do I expose them to something new or different that they hadn't thoughtabout before? And so that's the that's a connection. I love it. I love itexcellent all right. So, let's Change Direction here, a little bit. We askall of our guest kind of two standard questions the end ofvch invew. First,as as a revenue, exact yourselvf for an a multiple companies. That means youare I target for prospects and without a referral which I'm ime with you. Ithink we're headed back to that being even more critical, but if somebodydoesn't have a Referralin to you, what have you found? This seems to work thebest for somebody to capture your attention and build a credibility toearn the right time on your calendar yeah. I hate to say this because I hatedoing it myself, but obvious demonstration of effort is one of thebig things. So if I get an email or a linked in message from someone- and itsays who I am, they know something about me- you can skip the flattery. Idon't need you to be a qute big fan of my podcast right because I know you're.Probably not. I don't need that, but I want you to bring something insightfulabout me and potentially what I care about, because, if you're promising youknow what is sale, sales is essentially change. In order for someone to buy somethingfrom us, they need to change. What's in their bank account, they need to changehow they're doing things they need to change, who they're spending time withright. So all of that, like I need to know, do you really understand someonelike me, and so that doesn't necessarily mean you go write, a novelabout how awesome I am. I don't care about that, but I want to know how haveyou helped people like me before? Why should I believe you, and why is thisrelevant to me right now? Those are the things that I want to know. If you cantell me that you probably will capture my attention, that doesn't mean I'llbuy anything from you, but that's really what builds credibility for me.I love it and it is, and it's all about making sure you understand your targetputting in the time so last question, we call it our acceleration insight. Ifthere was one piece of advice you could give t sales, Markin or evenprofessional services people, one piece that if they listen to you believe,would help them hit their targets. What would it be and why yeah so my contentin my business is focused on helping agency owners, digital servicesmarketers those types of firm, so you said professional services, and this isuniversal though, but for my clients, I'm especially looking at you focus on. What's in it for the otherperson, they don't care about, how you... what you do they care about theresults and, if you focus on what's in it for them again pgvs, why are they inpain right now? What are their goals, which are always the opposite of thepain they have right? What is it worth to them? The value of changing, and howdoes your solution connect directly to that? But, let's just start at the painin the goals. If you can focus there, you will see a major difference in yoursales success, but as not so insignificant side Note, youalso be able to charge a lot more for what you're doing, because you'regiving this is. This is the valueselling or your company isvalueselling right, because we're focused on providing value and results,not on our inputs to the project or the outputs of the project, thedeliverabales right, it's all about what is it worth to the client? That isthe single thing that I want everyone to walk away with today. I love it. Ilove it and could not agree more listen. If a listenen wants to talk more aboutthese topics or we want them to learn more about your business best place tosend them linked in website and any place, you prefer definitely go to mywebsite serve done, selcom. You can sign up for my newsletter and I'llimmediately. Send you my top ten podcast episodes and articles, so yeahjust serve, don't Sellcom and there's a signup on every page. I love it. Thankyou so much for taking time it's been an absolute pleasure to have you on theshow. Thank you all right, everybody that does it for the episode. You knowthe DRI be to be re, exactcom, Shar, with friends, family coworkers, anduntil next time we avevau selling associates with youall. Nothing but thegreatest success you've been listening to the BTBrevenue executive experience to ensure that you never miss an episodesubscribe to the show, an itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank youso much for listening until next time.

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