Ep 33 – Rethinking the way people sell – Jeff Bajorek
Presentation of the episode
With the pandemic that came upon us, the rise of video conferencing tools like Microsoft teams and zoom has led to more aspects of the sales conversation to occur virtually. And what began as a crisis reaction has evolved into the new normal, but how normal is the new normal? We’re talking about how the strong shift from in-person to virtual selling has transformed B2B sales experience, virtual sales enablement, new organization’s KPIs. Everything is evolving. In the virtual selling podcast we address these issues in depth twice a week with the experts and leaders of these transformations, heads of sales, sales ops, and sales enablements of the most innovative companies in the field. This podcast is sponsored by sales deck.io, the new SAS platform to make your customer meetings more engaging and better prepared.
Find out how you can shorten sales cycles, convert more leads and increase customer engagement. Virtual selling is here to stay. And so is SalesDeck.io.
Hi, everybody. I’m very happy to be with Jeff Bajorek, trainer, consultant and coach, and is defining himself as challenging the Status Quo, rethinking the way people sell.
His position is very strong about the fact that the fundamentals of selling have stayed the same. And it’s only the methods that have changed. So, what he train his customer is really for them to find their own way to sell, and sell in a way that is effective and fulfilling for them. Is that right Jeff?
Jeff: it’s almost as if I told you that right before we got on. Wonderful ! Thank you for that introduction. I appreciate that Gabriel.
Gabriel: And you want to complete it?
Jeff: Oh, I can’t be much more complete than what you just said there. I just, I think it’s easy for sales people to get distracted. I think it’s easy for them to get caught up in trying to find another better, quicker way.
And, in the process of looking for that newer way, we forget what we’re trying to do. And I don’t care how you prospect. I don’t care if you meet in person. I don’t care if you meet in over a video call like we’re doing right now. I don’t care if you correspond by carrier pigeon. There are certain things that have to happen in a sales process.
And if you forget what those things are, you’re gonna have a really hard time accomplishing them. And that’s why most sales processes just fizzle out and don’t ever get completed. So, let’s not, let’s keep our eye on the ball. So to speak and make more sales.
Gabriel: Thanks a lot. And it’ll be a very interesting conversation on the subject and to confront you with all the new method that has changed, during the pandemic meeting.
But before that, do you want to share with us a fun fact? I think it’s about the Olympics.
Jeff: Oh yes. This was really cool. When I was in college, we had an Olympic gold medalist come and speak to our student group and her name was dot Richardson. She played shortstop on the us women’s Olympic softball team, and she was telling stories and we were all passing the gold medal around.
And at the end of the presentation, there was some free time. And so the medal got to me. Right about the same time and out of the corner of my eye, I saw her come over. And so I’m looking at this medal and she says, well, you’re gonna put it on. Right. And I said, well, uh, okay. I mean, I’m like 19 years old.
Right. Like, you know, so yeah. Great. If you’re gonna invite me to, I’m going to. So I put this thing on, she comes up, puts her arm around me and she, and took a picture and she looks at me and she says, it looks like it belongs there. And I have never had a more unbelievable feeling, just an amazing feeling.
It wasn’t even my gold medal, right? Like, I can’t describe just the buzz that I had from wearing someone else’s gold medal, but the, the icing on the cake is when she said it looks like it belongs there. Let’s just, you want to, someone to try to tap into that every chance I get.
Gabriel: That’s great. And we love those feelings, even if it’s not the stolen feeling I would say, but there are still great feelings.
I have the same feeling when I publish a book that I have not completely written. And, uh, it’s still a real feeling of accomplishment, even if it’s not all the sweat of writing the book. So it’s really great.
Jeff: For sure.
Gabriel: So let’s discuss about your point of view on virtual selling. And the fact that, uh, virtual selling is a real change.
And we were all forced to go to virtual selling with the pandemics, but you have to go back to basic. So let’s develop your opinion on the subject.
Jeff: Well, I think virtual selling isn’t a whole lot different than regular selling, whatever regular [00:05:00] means. When you break the sales process down, it’s pretty clear and it’s pretty time tested, right?
You need to identify who you can help. You need to get their attention. You need to communicate your value and you need to ask for next steps. Again, I don’t care if it’s carrier pigeon virtual camera, based selling, or if you’re actually shaking hands or having coffee with somebody, those are the things that need to happen.
Gabriel: But you come have coffee with someone on virtual selling.
Jeff: No, I’ve done it. Here’s the thing, Gabriel, if we were gonna have a cup of coffee in person, it’s not like I’m gonna taste yours anyway. Right ? And they sell air fresheners that smell like coffee shops. Like if you really wanna feel like you are in the same place at the same time, even though we are on separate continents right now, send them a candle that smells like a coffee shop.
Tell them to light it five minutes before your meeting, tell them to show up ready with a cup of coffee and you can have your virtual coffee together. Let’s get real. Is the meeting about the coffee or is the meeting about the meeting? The biggest problem with virtual selling is that for a lot of sales people, it made the sales meeting about the meeting.
And that made them terrified because they couldn’t hide behind a steak dinner or a round of golf or a really nice bottle of French wine. It had to be about the matter that they were discussing. And so virtual selling removes all that pretense. And it’s terrifying for a seller because they’ve been exposed in many cases for the poses they are.
They’ve been faking. They haven’t really been prepared. They haven’t known what they want to talk about. They haven’t known what they wanna accomplish or how to accomplish it. But they thought they were doing their job because they were in the same place at the same time as their prospect. The real sellers have been identified and the posers have been exposed.
Gabriel: Yeah, that’s for sure. But that makes, in my opinion, virtual customer meeting, much more efficient. Less based on relationship, but more, really on the understanding of the pain of the discussion. The time is more limited. There is no time before there is no time after. The time constraint is really strong because we all have another meeting after that.
So, it is more efficient, scarier also for many seller. But it has to be prepared differently. And, and maybe to have some tools that are used differently to be more efficient.
Jeff: Here’s the thing, I won’t disagree with anything that you said, but I wanna point out something that you said.
you said it makes the meeting less about the relationship and more about the topic of the meeting. Yes. But that’s what your relationship should be based on anyway. You know how hard it is to do business with your friends.
Gabriel : And I agree with that.
Jeff : Right. Okay. So, and as someone who’s done business with his friends before, and it sounds like you have too. So why so many people are going out there trying to make friends, your prospects are not looking for new friends by the way.
So it’s but they are looking for people who can help them. Let’s think about that. So now you’re trying to go out and make friends with someone. So then you can do business with them later. You’re trying to not be sales. So you’re trying to not appear as someone who’s trying to sell something to them so that you.
Then turn around and sell them something later. Let’s be clear. The reason you’re reaching out to these people is because you want to sell them something. There’s nothing wrong with that. So now all of a sudden, is it less about the relationship? Does that mean that sometimes it’s a little less fun. It does, but the key here is that the things that will make you a better virtual seller are the things that have been making top performers, the best sellers forever.
They have an agenda. They know what is going to be impactful to their prospect or their customer. They make the focus, their prospect or their customer’s issues that they’re trying to help them resolve. And they’ve got expertise. They’ve got experience, they’ve got stories, they’ve got wisdom.
They have demonstrated the ability to guide people like their customers, like their prospects from where their prospects are right now to where they want them or to where they wanna be. It’s not about the environment. It’s not about the smell of the coffee shop or the taste of of a, the crust on a really well done steak.
It’s about. The ways that you can help your customers make better decisions for their business or make better decisions for themselves. If you’re selling something that they’re gonna use directly. So it’s really forced us [00:10:00] to get real about what selling is and for us, unfortunately, to be called out on what’s selling isn’t.
And so is it more efficient? Yes, it means I can help more people in more places in less time. That’s a win for guys like me. But I know it hurts feelings. I know it hurts the feelings of people who have just been really excited to spend their company’s money on stuff that they wouldn’t buy for themselves.
Gabriel: And I agree. I’m making a lot of parallel with workshops. Workshops used to be much more fun because you meet with your colleagues, you are all together in your room. 10 of you were discussing and having coffee and having here in France french croissant or chouquette, if you like them, but the workshop were very difficult to manage because there was a lot of side discussion.
People were going to the coffee machine and you, as a facilitator, you take a lot of time to bring them back to the room and so on. And you play with PostIt and which are not very easy to read at the end because everything are stuck out from the wall and using zoom and split room and whiteboarding tools, workshop has became much more efficient than it was.
Being able to do twice as much as you do in a single day, because you can bring people together in a click and stuff like that. And I think that we should reinvent customer meetings the same way that we have reinvented workshop with Miro.
Jeff: I agree. And I wanna be clear about something.
I think selling should be fun. And I miss those workshops and I miss people being in the same room at the same time. And I miss the coffee and the croissants and all of that stuff and the steak dinners and the rounds of golf for that matter. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do that. What I’m saying is if you’ve relied on the surrounding events to be effective, you were doing it wrong.
And so let’s flip this conversation on its head a little bit. What if you got really good at the actual selling part and then had the advantage of a nice bottle of French wine, of a great cup of coffee just because there’s nothing like freshly roasted coffee, beans, ground, and brewed for you in the matter of minutes.
Right ? I love all this stuff, but we cannot lie to ourselves. Those are the reasons that we make sales. And so now when it comes to workshops going virtuall, sales calls going virtually sales or sales people, and the sales profession as a whole have been forced to refocus and sales people, don’t like being forced to do anything.
Garbiel : That’s for sure.
Jeff : So now, it’s like, okay, can we just recognize that it’s in our best interest to be focused, to be professional, to remember what the meeting agenda is really all about. And I mean, that’s what I like about salesdeck.io too. You showed me the platform, you get an opportunity to set the agenda.
You have some flexibility with it, and you can keep an open dialogue while still staying tight to what you wanna accomplish in the meeting. And as far as tools go for virtual meetings, this is a really engaging one. And I like what you’re able to do because you’re helping, perhaps reluctant sales people, find a way to not do it in the same boring way on some other platforms.
Gabriel: Yeah. The idea of the product is really to be transparent, to be conversational. and really our motto is to say, it’s a place where buyer and seller team and deal together. And that’s idea. It’s really to have the same objectives and to find an answer to these same objectives.
And thanks a lot of what you said about the product. It’s very thankful. About other techniques : videos, social media, or something like that, is there some of them that you recommend or it’s really up to you and up to the seller?
Jeff: Well, it’s always up to the seller.
I use social media, a fair amount. I use video a fair amount. Um, I think, again, we need to remember what it is that we’re trying to accomplish. And then we [00:15:00] need to identify the tools that will help us accomplish that in a way that is not only engaging and purposeful, but also novel enough to help you get people’s attention because the number one barrier to entry in any sales position is access to your customers.
You know, I mean, just go to, you know, Google search or look at all of the tips that are provided out there for sales people. And it’s how do I book a meeting? How do I get past the gatekeeper? How do I, you know, reach more of my target customers? Access is the biggest limiting factor. So if you can use a novel technique to gain access, You know, there’s gonna be a time in the near future where we’re able to send 3d holograms of ourselves to our customers.
I promise, it’s gonna happen. And if someone isn’t developing that, then get on it please.
Gabriel: Here in France, we have politicians that use holograms to do meetings in different place at the same time.
Jeff: Yeah. So you can do those things to help stand out, but a hologram without a good message. It’s still a bad message.
Right? You’re gonna win some fascination points, but you’re not gonna actually be able to make a sale on that. So don’t get so caught up in the novelty of the tool or the tools themselves or worse yet arguing which tool is better. What a waste !
Gabriel: I agree with you. There are people that are arguing that phone is dead or email is dead or whatsoever.
Choose what’s working for you and what works with your customer also, which is the most intentional part. If they answer to the phone, it’s great. If they don’t answer to the phone, take email or traditional mail.
Jeff: Yeah, I mean, so again, what are we trying to accomplish here? Use the tools at our disposal that are gonna help us do the job : one as effectively as possible ; two as comfortably and authentically as possible.
And I mean comfortable in a way that’s authentic. I mean, like this feels like a good, like if you don’t ever call on the phone, then maybe you don’t make the phone the number one pillar of your outreach. I still think the phone is a weapon and you ignore it at your own peril. But if you don’t love talking on the phone, Don’t make that 80% of your outreach make that the portion of your outreach that reminds your prospect, that you have them professionally surrounded.
Oh, by the way, I have your phone number too, and I’m not afraid to use it. Maybe you should answer my email. Maybe that connection request should go, you know, and maybe you should pay attention to that, right? I’m not going anywhere and I’m going to persist until I get through to you. Email’s easy to ignore.
Social media is easy to ignore. The phone is easy to ignore on their own. But when you have all three, or even more multiple social channels, or maybe you live close enough to someone you’re able to run into them when your kids play on the same football team or go to the same school or whatever, demonstrating that.
Yeah. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. I know I can help. I’m only asking for a conversation, the more of that momentum you can build, the better off you’re going to be. So use those tools, but I’m not gonna tell anybody that they have to use video to prospect or as part of their sales process or that they need to use social media.
I think, you know, the idea, and really my thesis for my business, is let me remind people what needs to be done. Let me show them how they can do it and let them choose the way they do it. And then the biggest part where I come in is I make them believe that they can, because that’s the biggest thing that stands between knowing and doing is the belief that you can actually execute successfully.
Gabriel: Yeah, that’s true. You have to break the barrier that you have inside. Thanks a lot, Jeff. We are about to finish the podcast. Do you want to tell our audience how to join you, how to contact you or share things with them?
Jeff: Yeah, the best place to follow me is on LinkedIn.
You can just search my name and there I am. I have a podcast called rethink the way you sell. and so if you’re listening to this on a podcast player right now, if you just make sure you like and subscribe to this one, right. Maybe even leave a review, because Gabriel’s a good guy doing a great show.
And then in that same player, Just search, rethink the way you sell. You’ll see my name, my show. And, it’s really good, I’m really proud of it. I don’t say that lightly. I’m not someone who has a huge ego and likes to tell people how great they are, but this show’s really, really good. And I think you’ll like it.
So give it a shot and, I hope that I’m able to help you.
Gabriel: Great. And I [00:20:00] will go for it right now. One last question about salesdeck. You already said that you, you understand the use of the product. Would you recommend it to some of your customers as part of tools that they can use?
Jeff: It’s absolutely worth a look and I like the way you laid it out for me. You gimme a brief tour of the platform before we started here. I really like the flexibility. Most sales decks are linear and they’re easiest to navigate when you do so in a linear fashion.
So that makes it really awkward. If you wanna skip around, what this allows you to do is highlight the points of your presentation that are necessary based on the discovery you do, which is an underutilized part of the, the sales process. Most people try to hurry through discovery so they can get to the selling part.
Discovery is the selling part. It’s so for you to really have as much flexibility as you need to make the points that you need to make, it’s a really cool tool. It’s worth a look.
Gabriel: Thanks a lot. Jeff, 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 giants in the field.
If you enjoy today’s episode, we are always listening for your feedback. Share the show and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. So you don’t miss any episode. This episode was brought to you by salesdeck.io, the virtual selling platforms that increase your sales team efficiency and sales readiness, enables remote managements and sales operational excellence. Book your salesdeck.io demo today to discover, or you can close modules with engaging and better prep customer meetings. Thanks a lot Jeff. It was really a pleasure and a great conversation.
Jeff: Thank you. I appreciate you having me.
Gabriel : Thank you.
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