The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 5 months ago

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


As we approach the 250th episode of the podcast, I want to take some time to look back at all the ground we’ve covered together.

To that end, I’ll be periodically resharing some of my favorite episodes — this is one of them. I hope you enjoy it!

Like any good seller, you want to level up your outreach game, so you set out in search of that magic tactic: You read every book, listen to every podcast, and enroll in every course out there — only to realize you could have spent that time actually prospecting.

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

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, joined me to talk about the power habit formation can have on your outreach.

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.

Welcome everyone to the B Tob RevenueExecutive Experience. I'm your host, Chad Sanderson. As we approach the twohundred and fifty episode of the Podcast, I want to take some time tolook back at all the ground we've covered together. To that end, I'llbe periodically resharing some of my favorite episodes. This is one of them, andI hope you enjoy you're listening to the BDB revenue executive experience, apodcast dedicated to helping executives train their sales and marketing teams to optimize growth.Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come tothe right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two, one.Welcome every one to the B tob revenue executive experience. I'm your host,Chad Sanderson. Today we're talking about building your outreach muscle through habit formation andand what it means to truly stop selling and start serving your clients and prospects. To help us, we have with us. List in with here,all ahead of growth, at Gold Front. Chief of sales insights at serve,don't sell. Host of modern sales podcasting, soon to be author.Listen thank you so much for taking time and welcome to the show. Thanksso much for having me. It's my pleasure. So, before we jumpin, we always like to start with something for the audience to get toknow you a little bit better and always curious to learn, especially since we'veall been spend a year, can lockdown what it is that you're passionate aboutthat those who only know you through work might be surprised to learn, orperhaps a new you, passion you picked up during the quarantine. Okay,so two things. One is music, and I am a rapper and Imake beats and I've actually performed on Sunset Boulevard like twenty or more times,more than years ago. And secondly, weightlifting. I am a very avidenthusiast of weightlifting nice. How long has that been going on the weightlifting part? Yeah, that's a good question. I think about six years and mybiggest accomplishment to date is I deadlifted over five hundred pounds on my thirty seventhbirthdays Nice. Nice, got to have those goals, I know. Howdo I get to a thousand? It's going to take a lot more.Yeah, yeah, doubling. It's not as easy as just doubling it?No, yeah, by a long shot. All right. So let's start withthe misconception of sales, perception as it relates to kind of the growingmillennial buyer population, soon to be Gen z buying population. We get alot of questions and it's and actually was a topic that came up this morningactually within a meeting, is how the differences in the generations are impacting theway modern sellers should be approaching sales or thinking about sales, and was curiousto get your perspective on that. You know, I love this question andactually I selfishly want to get yours as well. One thing that seems prettyclear to me is I don't really care about Gen z millennial, just sortof younger people who grew up with a phone in their hand are used tofinding whatever information they think they need and making decisions without the intervention of ahuman being. And when they do need the intervention of a human being,they're used to chatting or, God forbid, sending an email. Boy, thatthat makes me dated, but yeah, they're used to sort of this asynchronoustext based communication, but generally their expectation is to find pretty much everythingthat they need on a website and I I think that's going to have thebiggest ramification because there's a whole different approach to interacting with people. And myguess is, and I'm starting to see this in my various businesses, peopleare more willing to communicate a synchronously, to communicate remotely, maybe not evenmeet with you, in order to buy...

...five, six, seven figure projects. So that's I think the biggest change is the the sort of old hat, and I've written about this a lot, this idea of like virtual selling isn'tas good as in person and I always say why, and then peoplejust go well, it's just not and I'm like yeah, okay, butwhy? And very few people have thought that next step deeper. And themain reason that it's not as good is because people who are used to inperson communication pick up a lot of other information when they're in person. Bodylanguage. What are my surroundings? How anxious does this person seem? Youdon't have to be as structured in the way you approach things because timetables area little bit different than when you live by your calendar online. So Ithink the whole thing is going to be moving to a much more structured moreasynchronous approach and, coupled with other things that are going on like demands forprivacy, changes to the way that we can contact people in business, whichI think generally is a good thing, I think that's really going to radicallychange sales and I think also just all kind of wrap up here. Ithink we're going to a situation where the benefits of the Internet are going tofade out and this is going to be a larger conversation. But what Imean by that is it will be very hard to put trust signals out intothe world that are reliable or credible because of all of the other things happening. There's machines writing articles, there are machines creating fake videos, they're allthese things that we would use in order to demonstrate our expertise, which willbe brought into question and will lack as much credibility, and so I actuallythink there's going to be a more emphasis on referrals, which seems just kindof crazy, but that's my prediction. Well, and I think I thinkyou're one hundred percent spot on. I think that the ability to communicate kindof multi threaded, whether that be hey, maybe we did start this conversation inslack because we're in the same slack group or slack room or in aform somewhere, and then you know, hey, we su shot each otherat text and then a little bit more info is sent over via email andthen may we jumped on a quick call. Being able to do that quick communicationand really understand how you're going to be authentic, build trust, credibility, rapport and do it in a way that is focused on what the personyou're trying to sell to cares about is a shift. It's a shift notonly in technology but in mindset, I think, in terms of how peopleare gonna be able to do it. I had not thought all the wayout to the Internet not being trustworthy. I guess I just haven't trusted itfor a very long time. So call me it, call me in skeptic, but as we look at it and you think about this, is therea way that you know? I mean fifteen years ago and I still hearthis with some climes. We've got to be facetoface. So got to befaced face. I in the last three years I can think of one dealthat I flew somewhere to sell, whereas all the rest were done before Iever actually had laid eyes on the person, and that creates a challenge from thecommunication standpoint. So how do you help people? How do you thinkpeople should be thinking about their mindset and generating that authenticity in a consistent,repeatable way, which is what any sales organization ultimately needs? Well, thisis an interesting question because I you know, I think that prospecting more and morerequires a lot of infrastructure outside of the prospecting process. So you know, things that I already mentioned content support for people through the process, othersort of bread crumbs and indicators of trust, but also information that people can usea self service. Because I don't know about you, Chad, butif I reach out to someone on Linkedin, what's the first thing they do?They read my profile. If they're...

...interested, they read my profile,they go to my website, they maybe read an article or two. Theygo what's this guy all about? Is it worth my time? Right,and if you don't have that, I mean there's just no way that youcan compete. So in terms of mindset of authenticity, I think this isvery personality driven. So you know, some people in the big five personalities, some people score high and agreeableness, which means they're more likely to agreewith other people, which means they don't want to disappoint people, which meansthey won't be as direct with people. This is not me, my friend. I will tell you what I'm thinking. I score pretty low, not terriblylow, so I'm not too much of a jerk, but I scorein the forty percentile, which means for me authenticity is easy, right,because I think about being in authentic as a complete waste of my time andthe other person's time. Right, because I know some people aren't going tolike me, and that's okay, right. I'd rather them be able to makethat decision quickly. So for me, I think one of the key mindsetplaces to start is whatever you're selling, understand what's in it for the otherperson and you have to ask if you believe that. I occasionally getmessages from people. You probably hear this too, what happens if our repsdon't believe in what we're selling, and I always think, well, youcan try to get them to believe in it, but if ultimately they don't, they should just move on right, because there's no faking that that's goingto surface let's say they can hide it in the prospecting process, it's definitelygoing to surface when they're on the phone. Absolutely absolutely. And so when,when you think about building this outreach muscle, this habit formation, thereare some habits that seemed to be very easy for people to to formulate,basically picking up their phone every thirty seconds, but something like prospecting, that takesa little bit more will, it takes a little bit more focus andbeing deliberate. And so how do you suggest people go about building that habitand really perfecting that outreach muscle? Well, I would challenge your assertion that itwas very easy to build the picking up your phone thing right, becauseit's been the iphone was invented in Oh seven, android came shortly after thatand it's been now, at the time of this recording, fourteen years ofcompanies very intentionally and systematically trying to get you to pick up your phone.That's true, I'm true, right and so, and the way they dothat is is just simple habit formation. And of course there's been books andmovies very critical of phones, as they should be, but this is howhabit formation works. Right, I have a trigger, something that causes meto think of doing something, then I have the behavior, the thing Ido, 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 over andover again. Right. So, with habits as they relate to prospecting especially, there are a couple like really simple things that I recommend anybody do.So number one is, whenever you find someone who could be a prospect,if you have the infrastructure in place, you're using outreach or sales aloft orwhatever, you have email templates, reach out to that person right now.Don't let it pass. So that's one easy habit. Right trigger. Ohthis person looks good behavior, send them something variable reward. Occasionally people aregoing to be like hey, thanks so much, this is really interesting,I do want to talk to you right so that's number one. Number twois having a normal cadence. So a lot of people have this problem oflike, especially in the AE model, where you're doing all your prospecting andyou're doing all your selling, where they're...

...on this roller coaster of like Ihave a bunch of deals right now, pipelines full, I don't have timeto prospect and that is just not sustainable, obviously. So for me, youknow, it's true, if it's not on my calendar, it doesn'tget done. And then I ask myself also, what are the things thatI hate to do? So like building the prospecting list from scratch, findingemails, that kind of thing doomed to failure. If I'm responsible for 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 ator you're not interested in or you just fail at repeatedly, be honest aboutthat and find a way to close that gap. But I always put onmy calendar, you know, two hours to do prospecting or to get peopleon my podcast is one of the ways I prospect. Whatever it is.For you, I would say put it on your calendar, do it ata pretty consistent interval, date, time, day of the week, and that'sgoing to go a long way. Yeah, time management is huge andI'm with you. If it's not on my calendar, it doesn't exist invery rarely ever even gets thought about, quite frankly. So right, makingsure that you're carving out the time. I mean that includes I've been goingback to your weightlifting. That clues working out right. I've got the timeblock for the workouts, I got time for the dog, I got timefor prospecting and then, of course, working with clients and things like that. But if it's not there, that makes finding an opening to sell mesomething. If you're if you're prospecting, I mean that makes it tough andit makes my time I'm kind of picky about how I set my time.So if you're going to come at me, then the question becomes do you understandwhat I care about, what problems I may be having, and sothe question becomes what are you seeing? To that mean there's so many placespeople could go to find information on on rolls and certain industries and things likethat. Is there like a focused subset or steps you would tell people tosay, Hey, here's where I'd go do my research to uncover what someonetruly cares about so it will feed my prospecting to be more effective? Well, there's two things. One is pattern matching. So the more you servicethe same types of clients, the more likely you are to understand what iswhat I call a range of problems. Right. So one thing that Ifind funny is people who are of the mindset that every sale is different,and it's like, well, yeah, maybe it's one percent different, butthere's a lot of overlap between if you're focused on selling the same thing,saying to the same type of person, there is a ton of overlap.So I'll give you an example. Right, I have a client where they have, I think it's like five or seven ICEP's way too many in myopinion. But I say, Hey, when we bring on your franchise's let'snot give them seven ICEPS. Let's ask them to choose one. Focus onthis group. Really start to internalize what I call pgvs. What are thepain goals and value that these people are after? Like what is a transformationand then how does our solution connect directly to that? Get them to bethe best at that and then they can move on to another one if theyexhaust the market, which, as you know, Chad, they never will. So that's number one. Is pattern matching. Number two. Just askright. So one thing you can do is go out and test. Ifyou have five problem statements, you can go test in your first five emails, five linkedin messages, five cold calls. However, you do it. Youcan test each one and see which one of these gets a reaction.It's not going to be a perfect test, but if you kind of switch upthe messaging, it may give you a better idea of how to dothat. So I think there's an over emphasis on tactics, in my opinion, and an under emphasis on just execution. And of course the reason for thatis it's hard for me to sell a book or a course that saysjust go do it a thousand and times...

...and tell me what happens. Butreally that is the advice right. You have to do it in order toknow whether what's working and what's not. Exactly. I love it and that'swhy, I mean, that's why tools like sales, off outreach, anythingthat's going to allow us to a be tests and actually get things done.He's, are great tools if I don't get hung up on the content creationor hiding behind the attack or, you know, distracted so I'm not actuallydoing, I'm just sitting on thinking about doing and then can't understand why I'mnot hitting my numbers. So when we look at kind of the toughest challenges, like, if you had to mean we got we've talked about, youknow, differences between you know, people who grew up with phones in theirhands to all of these tools and text acts and things. What do youthink? If you've been if somebody's would ask you, what's the biggest challengefacing sellers and prospectors today? Just it's obviously signal, the noise. There'sjust way, way too many things asking for our attention all the time,right. And so you know the number I was reading today, I don'tknow if you saw this, that some our email inboxes receive something like thirtyor forty percent more emails in two thousand and twenty. Then, yeah,prior, Covid, Yep, covid. Yeah, I mean. And then, of course we haven't talked about spam phone calls, but I'm ready tothrow my iphone out the window every time it rings because I know it's justlike not a real person generally. And so I think it's really about thenoise. And so we know people. You know, I tell my clients, I what you I'm sure you've seen these prospecting messages where it's like hi, so and so. We are such a great company and we have thirtyyears of experience and we do blah, Blah Blah, and if you everneed help with X, Y Z, and I'm always like, no onecares about that, no one cares at all. What is it about youthat's especially interesting that can help me? I don't care if you do websitedevelopment or do accounting or do whatever it is. I don't care about allthat, right. I just care about how you can help me solve myproblems. So I think that is by far the biggest challenge is. Andthen, of course, there's the dispersion of our prospects on now a bunchof them are on clubhouse. Do I start a clubhouse channel? Right,so I think that's that's the real challenge is there's a little bit of thissort of whackamle of people moving around the Internet and coupled with that just theamount of noise. And so really it is about creativity, uniqueness and comingup with kind of clever and new ways all the time, which is atough challenge. That is it is tough. I mean it's constant reinvention, rightchanges, the new normal kind of approach. But if you get intothat mindset and you're willing to be humble enough to understand you're not going toget it all right, but you know smart enough for reels. You gotat least fail sometimes you're doing something. I think there's a lot of thingsout there that will help those who are truly focused on getting better and doingmore from a service for my client type of standpoint. And so gotta know. How. How did you I mean, unless you're one of the rare onesthat when you were growing up, around the holidays we're playing with newtoys thinking I can't wait to get into sales, which I don't know anybodythat thought that. But if you are, how did you get to where youare in your career now? Oh Boy, I know we don't havea lot of time, so I'll try to be fast. So I wentto Grad School. This is later in my career. I was twenty ninewhen I got to Grad School and now have a master's degree in environmental scienceand management. The reason I went to school for that was to be onthe business side of environmental work, and so out of school I ran businessdevelopment and marketing for a consulting firm, which is exactly what I w wantedto do. And so yeah, that...

...was kind of my entry point intosales where I was overseeing our entire business development program and since then, forthe last think it's been seven years, I've been running either an agency ormy own coaching business, working directly with clients in a coaching or consultative pathcapacity to help them build their sales and marketing engines. So okay, andso that that's and I've noticed your background and your degrees when I was doingdoing my homework, but I gotta know, rapping to sales like it's just theobvious questions like how did that come about? Yeah, well, it'sactually they're more similar than you think. So one thing that I love abouthiphop is the ability to influence how people think. And you know, mostpeople will associate hiphop with whatever you hear on the radio, right, andI like that sometimes. But I what I love is kind of, youknow, what some people might call message RAPP or like underground hiphop, wherethey're talking about something, and the idea that I could use music to exposesomeone to a new idea or a new perspective and influence their thinking is alwayswhat attracted me to hiphop. And you know, that happens to be themost important question in all of marketing and all of sales is how do peoplemake decisions and how can we exert some influence or persuasion over those decisions?Not Manipulation, which we could record another podcast on, but how do Iexpose them to something new or different that they hadn't thought about before? Andso that's the that's a connection. I love it. I love it.Excellent. All right, so let's change direction here little bit. We askall of our guests kind of two standard questions the end of each interviewer.First, as as a revenue exact yourself for a multiple companies. That meansyou are a target for prospects and without a referral, which I'm I'm withyou. I think we're headed back to that being even more critical. Butif somebody doesn't have a referral into you, what have you found? This seemsto work the best for somebody to capture your attention and build a credibilityto earn the right time on your calendar. Yeah, I hate to say thisbecause I hate doing it myself, but obvious demonstration of effort is oneof the big things. So if I get an email or a linkedin messagefrom someone and it says who I am. They know something about me. Youcan skip the flattery. I don't need you to be a quote,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 insightful about meand potentially what I care about, because if you're promising, you know whatis sales. Sales is essentially change. In order for someone to buy somethingfrom us, they need to change what's in their bank account, they needto change how they're doing things, they need to change who they're spending timewith. Right. So all of that, like I need to know. Doyou really understand someone like me? And so that doesn't necessarily mean yougo right a novel about how awesome I am. I don't care about that. But I want to know. How have you helped people like me before? Why should I believe you and why is this relevant to me right now? Those are the things that I want to know. If you can tellme that, you probably will capture my attention. That doesn't mean I'll buyanything from you, but that's really what builds credibility for me. I loveit and it is and it's all about making sure you understand your target puttingin the time. So last question. We call it our acceleration insight.If there was one piece of advice you could give to sales, marketing oreven professional services people, one piece that, if they listen to you, believewould help them hit their targets, what would it be and why?Yeah, so my content in my business is focused on helping agency owners,digital services marketers, those types of firm.

So you said professional services, andthis is universal, though, but for my clients I'm especially looking atyou focus on what's in it for the other person. They don't care abouthow you do what you do, they care about the results. And ifyou focus on what's in it for them, again, pgvs. Why are theyin pain right now? What are their goals, which are always theopposite of the pain they have right what is it worth to them, thevalue of changing, and how does your solution connect directly to that? Butlet's just start at the pain and the goals. If you can focus there, you will see a major difference in your sales success. But, asnot so insignificant side Note, you'll also be able to charge a lot morefor what you're doing because you're giving this is this is the value selling oryour company as value selling right, because we're focused on providing value and results, not on our inputs to the project or the outputs of the project,the deliverables. Right. It's all about what is it worth to the client. That is the single thing that I want everyone to walk away with today. I love it. I love it and could not agree more. Listen. If a listener wants to talk more about these topics or we want themto learn more about your business, is best place to send them linkedin websiteand any place you prefer. Definitely go to my website. Serve, don'tSELLCOM. You can sign up for my newsletter and I'll immediately send you mytop ten podcast episodes and articles. So yeah, just serve, don't SELLCOMand there's a sign up on every page. I love it. Thank you somuch for taking time. It's been an absolute pleasure to have you onthe show. Thank you. All right, everybody that does if the episode,you know, the drill be to be read exactcom share with friends,family, Co workers and until next time, we have value selling associates, whichyou all nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenueexecutive experience. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe tothe show and Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much forlistening. Until next time,.

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