EP 17 – What is Closed-Circuit Selling? – Adem Manderovic

Presentation of the episode

On the seventeenth episode of the Virtual Selling podcast, we discuss closed circuit selling. Our guest is Adem Manderovic, founder of

He explains to us what it is and how it works.

About Adem Manderovic

To learn more about Andem Manderovic and click on the links below :



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Hi today. I’m very happy to be with Adem Manderovic who’s the founder of Hi Adem, how’re you doing?

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Hi. Thanks so much for having me. I’m super excited to be here. It’s such a big opportunity to be on your show SalesDeck. Yeah, thanks so much.

It’s a pleasure, please tell us a little bit about disruptur, what you do.

So that kind of came about from a lot of the methodologies that I’ve seen across like 11 industry sectors being either head of sales or head of business development in the past. And I started seeing like consistencies with what was breaking down in every single part of the customer journey from what was in big business.
So basically I thought, how could I fix and solve that problem for the customer, but also for the employees so that they could align. And the only way that I could do that is break up every single part of the process that has been traditionally broken. So we look at companies like predictable revenue, sales tribe, rep genius, go nimbly have tried to, they have smashed it out of the park for their piece of the customer journey and made that into a, an empire. But I thought if I was going to do it as a service, which is the only way to solve all of those problems, that’s what I needed to do. So I started talking about what that would look like. I was lucky enough to be interviewed on a, on a podcast Ungoogleable by Jonny Stofko and that grind gained a lot of traction. Just talking about what would happen if we actually worked from the outcome backwards by solving all of those problems instead of fixing each one will like that those companies have done what would happen if I could solve all of those problems. So then I thought, okay. So the only way that I can do that is an end to end service delivery of that.
And to my knowledge, the way that I’m conveying the message of this, no one’s done that. So that’s how it started gaining some traction and people started going, what is he talking about with this dark prospecting and closed circuit selling? And then it kind of just took off from then.

So you call that closed circuit selling. Could you explain us, what is it and how do you make it?

Yeah, sorry. So I guess traditionally we would look at silos within a business, right. So we would go, okay, so you look at the SDR BDR model. You look at the AEM model, you look at the rev ops, commercial customer service. You look at all those pieces in the chain and you go, okay.
So we’ve got really good at that. But now that’s caused another problem. Right? So that’s caused people to only be specifically good at those roles in that most of the process not applicable to what the customer journey should be. So if you let’s unpack that a little bit, so if you ask the customer, Hey customer, do you think it’s awesome that that person at the start push you to a meeting that you weren’t sure about anyway?
And I said, oh yeah, look, I really liked being handed off to another person to do explain the same thing again. And then I liked being handed off after I said yes to the contract, to another person to discuss how the contract could be worked. And then I liked being handed off to a junior person in customer service that had no idea what I was talking about. So that I thought if we could solve all of those problems, how would we do that?
And the answer is as a service. So what does that actually look like in practicality? You need to be able to fix the content marketing and demand marketing first. Right? So if the education piece of why and how you can solve their problems is not, is not right.

You can also have the founder of the company and link everything in the process from start to the end.

Correct. Yeah. So if you can fix each of those pieces in the chain. You’ve not only solved those problems. You’ve potentially also offered them a solution to bums in sales problems. So say for example, that they’re paying each of those people, let’s just use round numbers and they’ve got one person in each, just for this example, each of those people get paid a hundred thousand dollars. So that’s four areas. So there’s 400 grand. So if I said to you, what if we could solve all those problems for your customer journey and your employee expectation experience at a fraction of the cost of the problems that they’re causing anyway. So no one is going to say no to that. Once they realized that they can save money, they can increase revenue, they can decrease risk and they can increase outcomes.
So I thought, okay. So how do we do that. So to do that really, really well. We basically have to be able to do every part of the chain, which is what has moved away since the modeling in 2011, where we split it all up, which is causing the problem. So the only way to do that is to fix the content marketing, the demand, marketing, the prospecting, the list, building the list, washing the verification and validation, the psychometric testing. So, you know, when and how to approach those people, the social indexing, how to approach those people, where they like what they like hyper personalization, then you’ve got the ability to be able to approach people that are more likely to say yes, in a manner that they want to say yes to in the first place.
By customizing how you can make it real for them, not about us pushing the door down. It’s about what could I do for them to make their lives easier and increase their business efficiency while decreasing their overhead and increasing their revenue. So if you can do that, You’ve really got something, right.
So that’s basically at a high level. That’s how it came about. And then I just started refining from so 2009, 2010, 2011, I started thinking about trends seeing on social media. Is this where this is going to go. Are people going to be approached in these manners on these platforms? And if so, what would that look like?
So basically I just started toying with it, luckily enough, in some of the structures that I was in, that I was allowed to do that. And didn’t get laughed out of the room because you can imagine going, Hey, in 2011, I think that we can, we can approach customers by the explore function on Instagram. And I think we could do videos for B2B B to C and back to B2B on Snapchat.
So that would have sounded ridiculous, like back then. Right. But now you’d go, well, yeah, people do that and they do that on Tik TOK. They’ve also got LinkedIn live, but that’s completely normal. But if you wind back, what do we now? Like 12 years ago? Almost it wasn’t. So it wasn’t so, so then I thought, okay.

So if I take what I’m trying to do there with pattern disrupts at each part in the customer journey to make it easier for them, what we’ve actually done is solve those problem. With date decrease the touch. Right? So if you remember back in the good old days during business development, 22 23, 24, 25 years ago. What that looked like was one to three to four touches to get them to the table to say, yes, can we do business? Yes, no. Will they pass credit? Yes. No. And what would that look like for the communications plan for, for us to accelerate their business? Right. So if we get back to that, which is a more human way of selling, but the only way to do that is to disrupt and unbundle all the problems that we’ve caused because of the solos in the first place.
But to do that, you’ve got to have a pretty keen understanding. How do we break those pieces up? So the only way to do that is knowing how to fix all of those problems, knowing where the pattern disrupts can exist. So for example probably the best example is one of the ones that I used to use in the financial sector was okay.
So how could I, essentially, what we’re trying to do is get a company to the table to look at a proposal or a bead or whatever that looks like, right. For them to say, can we do business , yes or no. Right. And how was that tailored to them now that might take, if you look at some of the stuff that Rob Turley is doing at white rabbit intel, that might take 17 to 25 touches of interaction and churn and time and pain to get to that discussion.
So I’m saying, well, if we took all the turn away and we fixed all these problems and we only focused on doing, getting to there, the best example would be if I could make a tailored proposal and what’s going to help them. What’s going to emotionally tie them to the result and who in their business is going to make it look good as a video proposal upfront, I might only need to do five of those months and I’ve exceeded my KPIs and they’re completely dazzled, but how then you’ve got a delivery problem.
Okay. So how is the business going to be receptive to receiving that upfront? So that, well, the answer to that is actually pretty easy. ’cause then you just lean back on your cold calling skills and you say something like this. Hey, I know you don’t have time to talk to me right now, but what I will do is drop this video in your inbox.

So how do you create this video? How do you know already what is your customer want? And except if you are otherwise e-commerce, if it’s e-commerce I can choose on your catalog. Yeah, you are talking about B2B about very custom proposal. And that’s, you need to have a discussion with your customer first to do this customization, no ?

Not necessarily because if you already, so say for example, that would be true, right?
Because we’ve come from systems where we’ve created the churn. That’s told us that we need to have 17 to 25 conversations or touch points or pain points to get to that answer. But what if we didn’t like, what if there was a way that we already knew how we could customize the result for them at the start? And there is because I used to work it out manually, right when I was in the financial sector.
So it’s just about finding out what those key drivers are. Now you can lean on stuff like what, what rabbit Intel does. And there’s some other companies that are really good at that, but hyper personalizing, what, how they would like to be approached when they would like to be approached and the manner of delivery of how they’d like to be approached.
So if we know that we can actually decrease all of these bad touch points here and just focus on what’s going to help them win right now. I mean, your only problem is how can you get it to them to make. The answer to that is actually easy. You just lean back on your cold calling skills and call up and ask.
So if I could send this to you right now, you tell me after viewing it, if it’s made, if this makes sense for us to continue this conversation. So you’ve asked for permission, you’ve sent them something that’s going to completely rock their world. It’s hyper-personalized it’s co-branded, it’s set them for success and it’s going to make them look good to their boss.
So then your only hurdle is if they view it.

Yeah. But how do you make this video? I think that I understand that you make the cold call and you ask permission, but how do you make the videos that is personalized, that is fit to the need of your customer without having this discussion.

You have to get really good at research or lean on those companies that can do it for you. So there’s two ways you can do it. You can manually work it out, which you can do, or you can lean on the companies that can actually give you that information for you upfront. So this is the biggest problem that they have. This is how they like to be approached. This is how this line manager likes to be approach. And this is their social interaction and indexing score. We’ve also, psychometrically tested that company, how they’d like to be involved with it in the LOC the score of likeliness of buyer persona intent, then it becomes pretty easy, right.
But the problem is in most structures, they’re not going to allow you to do that. So, so say for example, if you had a full cycle BDM rep that wanted to do that. The ability to do that. And they asked marketing, Hey, can you make me this? They’ll tell you to jump off a cliff. They’d go, they’ll tell you to go back and do the 17 to 25 touch points and come back to the table.
But what I’m saying is if we did it ran the other way, by leaning on some of these either really, really good research or getting some of that information from those places that can provide it, you wouldn’t need to do it that way. And you can cut down on the churn and you could also come down on the cost.
I’m running a business that way, which is causing the problem in the first place. So that’s probably how it came about. Yeah, without giving away all the secrets. That’s just probably one example. So if you can do something like that at each point of the customer friction, right. And cut down on the churn, you can actually set up a business for success for less money than what they’re paying the people that are causing the problem in the first place.
So then it becomes a pretty valuable proposition. Right? Then two things are going to happen. The line managers are going to get real protective and fought for relevance of measuring outputs for those departments or the CEO is going to overrule them and go hang on. Team’s got a point, if they can give us minimal friction, that can deliver results. They can deliver outcomes without having to pay you guys a hundred grand each in each of those departments that’s causing the problem in the first place. Why wouldn’t I do it and minimize risk? So that’s probably what I see happening. But people are going to have to get better and better than that, but what’s going to, that’s going to, cause this is going to pause a whole lot of hot water.
On the people that don’t have the skillsets and each of those departments to do that as a service. Right. So then they’re going to be going well, well, how can we do this? Because we can’t get out of what we’re stuck in because of that, because of what we’ve built since 2011. That’s probably the easiest way I can explain it.
We can take it a whole lot for that.

There is a little question that I have is the timeframe of a decision, a decision to take time. And if you have the right answer from the start, you may not use it because you didn’t make the journey to the decision. And what you say that you connect directly with the first video that has all the answer in the video. But if you haven’t made the journey, how do you take the decision if you have the right answer without doing the journey?

So that the answer to that is going to be a whole lot of disruptive, because what we would have learned from traditional selling systems is you work your way to that person.
We’re all say no, go straight to the person that has the control of this decision upfront. So. I understand that that goes completely against the grain one, what I’m suggesting to do in terms of physically making that a customized proposal upfront, whether that’s incorporating video and screens and all that type of stuff, as well as only going to the person that has the sole ownership of that decision, instead of running your way, running yourself around a decision tree to get by in.
Just go straight to the person that can make the decision, because there’s going to be so much opportunity for people that have the ability to do this, that you don’t need to spend your time on the people that understand what you’re saying. And don’t worry about the people that don’t. So the people that do are then going to go, okay.
So if you can do that for me, you’ve got me in a position to shave my running costs, increase my revenue while making me really, really attractive if I wanted to sell up. Right. So that’s a whole other conversation because of what you’ve put to them. So the people that understand that are going to be super receptive, to being really, really open to the conversation of what you’re showing them, the people that are protective over their existing patches within the customer journey that adjust measuring outputs, because that’s what they’re told to do.
They have no sight for this. And even if they do, they’re going to say no anyway, because they realize they’re going to be out of a job. So I hope that answers the question.

And part of this closed circuit selling is in-person selling or everything is virtual?

So, okay. That’s real. That’s a real interesting question.
So I started thinking that this was going to be where we are right now in two, in 2022. I said that this would happen as a matter of efficiency in 2015. So I was laughed out of the room and when I said, you could do this this way by following certain steps on LinkedIn or wherever that lead. Right. So let’s break that down.
So say for example, you’ve researched a company and you know who the decision maker is, you know, I have a lot to be contacted with. You’ve sent them a message, right? So I would like to connect with you for this reason. And this is how I think I could bring you value. The second part of that is going to be something like a voice message on that plateform.
The second part of that is going to be here is how I can help you win with no, no ask. Right. So that could be, I’ve noticed that you’re trying to get to these people in these sectors. I’ve actually got an event for that. Would you like a free ticket to go and see if you can get to those people? Cause I can say that’s how it helped you win right now.
Then the next bit might be okay. So. How did you go with it? Just, just checking in to see how, how that went for you. How did you get to those people, et cetera. Then there they’re already in a position to wanting to have the discussion virtually. Which you can then send them zone teams, FaceTime, drop, whatever that looks like, because people that recognize that they can work at that pace aren’t going to jump in the car two hours, the other way to go into a meeting that they could do right here right now. So there’ll be a huge shift. There’s still, it’s like over in, in, in where I’m in New Zealand, most of the companies won’t do face-to-face anyway, so that’s like two hours, Paris where you are two hours traveling at least.
Right. So I come, I come from Melbourne where you, you, if you were really good at doing business development and you had two meetings on either side of the city, that’s your whole day. So why would you not do that? You could do six of them right here. Imagine the efficiency of doing it this way. Is it’s just, yeah. It’s unbeatble now. So, but yeah, there’s still a resistance from the people that are not going to say yes anyway, because they’re protective over their patch, but don’t worry about those people.

Sure. We are going to the end of this episode. Do you want to add something about what you do or about Disruptr or a last tip into the discussion?

Yeah, I guess if you’ve liked what I’ve said please get in contact Or follow me on LinkedIn, check out the other podcasts. I’m really thankful for the opportunity to speak about what I believe in on your podcast. I can see some of the guests that you’ve had already, I’m overwhelmed that you wanted to speak to me about this, so it’s actually quite touching.
So thank you so much. And yeah, maybe we’ll re return the favor and get you on my podcast to talk about your journey.

With pleasure. Thanks a lot Adem. This episode of the virtual selling podcast is over. Thanks for sticking around. Join us twice a week for a new episode, with new stories and challenge of giant in the field.
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Book your demo today to discover how you can close more deals with engaging and better prepared customer meetings. Thanks a lot Adem, it was really a pleasure.

Thank you.


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