The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 3 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 or you one O the B to berevenue, executive experience on your host Chat Sanderson as we approach thetwo hundred and fiftieth episode of the podcast. I want to take some time tolook back at all the ground we've covered together. To that end, I'll beperiodically re sharing some of my favorite episodes. This is one of themand I hope you enjoy you're. Listening to the BB revenueexecutive experience, a podcast dedicated helping executives, traintheir sales and marketing teams to optimize growth, whether you're lookingfor techniques and strategies were tools and resources. You've come to theright place. Let's accelerate your growth in three two one: welcome everyone to the B to be revenue executive experience. I'm your host ChadSanderson today we're talking about building your outreach muscle throughhabit formation and and what it means to truly stop selling and start servingyour clients and prospects to help us. We have with us: listen wither allahead of growth at gold front chief of sales, insights at SERV, don't sell,host of modern sales podcast and soon to be author. Listen thank you! So muchfor taking time and welcome to the show thanks so much for having me it's mypleasure. So before we jump in, we always like to start with something forthe audience get to know you a little bit better and always curious to learn,especially since we've all been spent a here, an lock down what it is thatyou're passionate 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 ran years ago and, secondly, weight lifting. I am a very avidenthusiast of weight lifting Nice. How long has that been going on the weightlifting part? Yeah O? That's a good question. I thinkabout six years and my biggest accomplishment to date is I dead liftedover 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 yeah. Yeah, doubling it's not as easy as justdoubling it yeah by a long shot all right. So,let's start with the misconception of sales perception as it relates to kindof the growing millennial buyer population soon to be genz buyingpopulation. We get a lot of questions and- and actually was, the topic thatcame up this morning actually within a meeting is how the differences in thegenerations are impacting the way modern sellers should be approachingsales or thinking about sales and was curious to get your perspective on that.You know. I love this question, and actually I selfishly want to get yoursas well. One thing that seems pretty clear to meis: I don't really care about Genz millennial,just sort of younger people who grew up with a phone in their hand. Yep areused 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 that makes me dated, but yeah they're used to sort of thisasynchronous text base communication, but generally their expectation is tofind pretty much everything that they need on a website, and I, I think,that'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... figure projects. So that's, Ithink the biggest change is the the sort of old hat and I've written aboutthis a lot. This idea of, like virtual selling, isn't as good as in person,and I always say why, and then people just go well, it's just not, and I'mlike yeah okay. But why and very few people have thought that next stepdeeper and the main reason that it's not as good is because people who areused 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 a 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 synchronous approach and coupled withother things that t 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 all kind of wrap up here. I think we're going to a situation wherethe benefits of the Internet are going to fade out and is going to be a largerconversation. 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. There are all these things that we would usein order 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 form somewhere and then you know,hey, we s shot each other a text and then a little bit more info is sentover via 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 is ashift. It's a shift not only in technology but in mindset. I think interms of how people are going to be able to do it. I had not thought allthe way out to the Internet not being trustworthy. I guess I just haven'ttrusted it for a very long time. So call me come a skeptic, but as we lookat 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 got to befaced face. We got to be face to face I in the last three years. I can think ofone deal 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 moreand more requires a lot of infrastructure outside of theprospecting process, so you know things that I already mentioned: contentsupport for people through the process, other sort of bread, crumbs andindicators of trust, but also information that people can use a selfservice because I don't know about you, Chad, but if I reach out to someone onlinked in, what's the first thing they... They read my profile if they'reinterested, they read my profile, they go to my website. They may be read anarticle or two: they go what's this guy all about. Is it worth my time rightand if you don't have that, I mean there's just no way that you cancompete. So in terms of mindset of authenticity, I think this is verypersonality driven, so you know some people in the big five personalities,some people score high and agreeableness, which means they're morelikely to agree with other people, which means they don't want todisappoint people, which means they won't be as direct with people. This isnot me, my friend, I will tell you what I'm thinking I score pretty low, not terribly low, soI'm not too much of a jerk, but I score in the forty eth percentile, whichmeans for me authenticity is easy rightbecause I think about being in authentic as a complete waste of mytime and the other person's time right, because I know some people aren't goingto like me and that's okay right I'd rather then be able to make thatdecision quickly. So for me, I think one of the key mindset places to startis whatever you'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 to 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 thattakes a little bit more focused and being deliberate, and so how do yousuggest people go about building that habit and really perfecting that outreach muscle? Well, I would challenge your assertion that it was very easy tobuild the picking 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. It true, true rightand so in the way they do. That is just simple habit formation and, of course,there's been books and movies, very critical of phones as they should be,but this is how habit formation works right. I have a trigger something thatcauses me to think of doing something. Then I have the behavior the thing I doand then there's a reward and if the reward is variable, I'm more likely tobe more interested in executing this process over and over and over againright, so with habits as they relate to prospecting, especially, there are acouple like really simple things that I recommend anybody do so number one iswhenever you find someone who could be a prospect, if you have theinfrastructure in place, you're using outreach or sales loft or whatever youhave email templates reach out to that person right now, don't let it pass. Sothat's one easy habit right trigger. Oh this person looks good behavior, sendthem something variable reward. Occasionally people are going to belike hey thanks so much. This is really interesting. I do want to talk to youright. So that's number one number two is having a normal cadence. So a lot ofpeople have this problem of, like especially in the a e model, whereyou're doing all your prospecting and...'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 ask 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 date time 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 making sure that you're carving out time Imean that includes men. Going back to your wailing that clues working outright, I've got the time block for the work out. So I got time for the dog. Igot time for prospecting and then of course working with clients and thingslike that. But if it's not there, that makes finding an opening to sell mesomething if you're, if you're prospecting a me that makes it toughand it makes my time I'm kind of picky about how I send 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 day I mean there's so many places people could go to findinformation on on rolls 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 cover 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 people who are of the mindset thatevery sale is different and it's like well yeah. Maybe it's one percentdifferent, but there's a lot of overlap between if you're focused on sellingthe same thing to the same type of person, there is a ton of overlap. SoI'll give you an example right. I have a client where they have. I think it'slike five or seven ips way too many in my opinion, but I say hey when we bringon your Franchisees: Let's not give them seven ips. Let's ask them tochoose. One focus on this group really start to Internalizei what I call Pg vs.what are the pain, goals and value that these people are after, like what is atransformation? And then how does our solution 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 a coursethat says just go. Do it a thousand...

...times and tell me what happens, butreally. That is the advice right you have to do it in. We know whetherwhat'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 Goin, to allowus to Ab test and actually get things done. He are great tools if I don't gethung up on the content, creation or hiding behind the tech 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 hit my numbers. So when we look atkind of the toughest challenges like if you had to men, 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 text acks and things. What do youthink if you've been a if somebody's were to ask you? What's the biggestchallenge facing sellers and prospectors today? Just it's obviouslysignaled 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 boxes received somethinglike thirty or forty percent, more emails in two thousand and twenty thenyeah prior Ovid, Yep, coed yeah, I mean and then of course we haven't talkedabout spam phone calls, but I'm ready to throw my iphone out the window everytime it rings, because I know it's just like not a real person generally, andso I think it's really about the noise, and so we know people. You know I tellmy 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 and if youever need help with X Y Z and I'm always like. No one cares about that. No one cares at all. What is it about you? That's especiallyinteresting that can help me. I don't care if you do website development ordo accounting or do whatever it is. I don't care about all that right. I justcare about how you can help me solve my problems, so I think that is by far thebiggest challenges and then, of course, there's the dispersion of our prospectson now. A bunch of them are on club house. Do I start a club house channelright, so I think that's! That's! The realchallenge is there's a little bit of this sort of Wakami 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 to Elis. You got a at least fail, sometimes you're doing something. Ithink there's a lot of things out there that I will help those who are trulyfocused on getting better and doing more from a service for my client typeof standpoint and so got to know how. How did you I mean unless you're one ofthe rare ones that, when you were growing up around the holidays, wereplaying with new toys thinking? I can't wait to get into sales, which I don'tknow anybody that thought that, but if you are, how did you get to where youare 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 Nov, 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.I Ran Business Development and marketing for a consulting firm, whichis exactly what I I wanted to do, and... 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 running eitheran agency or my own coaching business, working directly with clients in acoaching or consultative capacity to 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 wrapping to sales like it's just an obvious question like how did thatcome about yeah? Well, that's actually they'remore similar than you think. So. One thing that I love about hip hop is theability to influence how people think and you know most people will associatehip hop with whatever you hear on the radio right- and I like that sometimes,but I what I love is kind of you know whatsome people might call message wrapper like underground hip, hop where they'retalking about something and the idea that I could use music to exposesomeone to a new idea or a new perspective and influence theirthinking is always what attracted me to hip 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 on it? Howdo 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 the direction here. A little bit. Weask all of our guest kind of two standard questions the end of eachinterview. First, as as a revenue exact yourself for a multiple companies, thatmeans you are Ri target for prospects and without a referral which I'm inwith you. I think we're headed back to that being even more critical, but ifsomebody doesn't have a referral in to you, what have you found? This seems towork the best for somebody to capture your attention and build a credibilityto earn 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 Qutb 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 to sales market or evenprofessional services, people, one piece that if they listen to youbelieve, would help them hit their targets. What would it be and why yeahso my content in my business is focused...

...on helping agency owners, digitalservices marketers those types of firm, so you said professional services, andthis is universal 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 do what you do they care about theresults and, if you focus on what's in it for them again P G V S, why are theyin pain 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 value selling t or your company is valueselling right, because we're focused on providing value and results, not on ourinputs 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 Iwant everyone to walk away with today. I love it. I love it and could notagree more listen. If a listen wants to talk more about these topics or we wantthem to learn more about your business best place to send them linked inwebsite and any place. You prefer definitely go to my website serve done,CELCOM. You can sign up for my newsletter and I'll immediately. Sendyou my top ten podcast episodes and articles, so yeah just serve don'tCelcom and there is a sign up on every page. I love it. Thank you so much fortaking time it's been an absolute pleasure to have you on the show. Thankyou all right, everybody that does it for the episode. You know the drill beto be re, exact com share with friends, Family Co, workers and until next timewe Avanese Ling associates with you all nothing, but the greatest success you've been listening to the bt RevenueExecutive Experience to ensure that you never miss an episode subscribe to theshow and Itunes for your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much forlistening until next time, e.

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