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.
Gabriel : Hi, everybody. I’m very to be with Robin Treasurer, who is the author of Heart-Powered Sales, and also a sales trainer. You started your career in Italy as a Italian translator. You lived in new Rome for four years. When you came back to San Francisco, you still worked into an Italian cultural center and after that, you get interest into health and nutrition and you became a health coaching practitioner.
And it was really your boot camp training in sales. And after that, you also joined B2B sales rep for a nutritional supplements company.
From your learning and what you learn into sales and B2B sales, you started now your own training company. So, is it correct ? It’s a pleasure to have you.
Robin : Yes. Thank you. And that is all correct. Perfect summary. Yes.
Gabriel : Perfect. And can you tell us about what type of people do you train and how you train them within your company ?
Robin : Yeah, absolutely. So I’ve got a very, specific niche. I work with, sales reps in the functional medicine industry. Functional medicine is a certain type of healthcare that is really root cause medicine. And I work with sales reps who represent nutritional supplement companies, laboratories, any kind of area that supports the practice of root cause medicine.
Gabriel : Great. And do you want to share with us a fun fact ?
Robin : Sure. My fun fact is that I used to be an Italian translator and interpreter. I worked with a lot of Italian filmmakers who would come from Italy to San Francisco and present their films to San Francisco audiences. And I had the joy and pleasure of being their interpreter on stage. It was a lot of fun.
Garbiel : That’s great. So we will talk about emotions into sales and you have written the book Heart-Powered Sales. So, for you, why emotions are so important in sales ?
Robin : Emotions are incredibly important because they can make or break a sale. And it’s, it’s as simple as that, because as human beings, we are driven by emotion.
The emotions of fear are meant to keep us safe. You know, we all have, essentially, a survivalist, instinct that continues to drive our actions, even in our modern day lives. We also have very positive emotions, like love, and gratitude, and hope, and excitement. And the key is to have a great awareness of those emotions, the emotions that we’re experiencing, as well as an awareness of what your buyer is experiencing. Because those emotions function essentially as a lens that will cloud or skew or enlighten or enhance any interaction.
So it’s really important to have that awareness and learn how to leverage rise above when it’s needed and leverage those emotions in a positive way so that you can create the positive outcome that you’re looking for.
Gabriel : That’s great. And so, how do you train people to manage their emotion? Is it still sales training ? How do you share the emotion and this emotional intelligence ?
Robin : Yeah. Again, awareness. I’ll keep repeating the importance of awareness. Right ? And so, when I’m coaching sales professionals one on one, part of it is to really understand, [like what’s going on for you.
For example, when it comes to cold calling, no one loves cold calling. Pretty much for many professionals, even professionals who have been in sales for many years, cold calling still sparks a lot of fear. And that will result in professionals procrastinating on making those cold calls. Until you become aware of the fear and learn to overcome it, you’re going to continue procrastinating or perhaps even self sabotaging when it comes to cold calling.
And even connecting with your buyers once you’ve made that connection and you’re in a sales meeting, you know, the quote unquote asking for the close a, you know, asking for the sale, closing the sale, even that can spark a lot of fear and hesitation until you become aware of it.
And so, when I work with my coaching clients, a lot of our work is around understanding that, understanding how to transcend that, understanding and transforming it into something that is much more a positive emotion, like the desire to serve and to help.
Gabriel : Great. And how do you do this understanding ? Do you make them speak or do you make them express their feeling ?
Robin : Yeah, so much of it is just asking questions to help, to help the coach he really understand and reflect on what is going on because so much of it we can be unconscious of. And by asking, you know, what is the worst that could happen or what does feel scary about this?
And getting more specific and granular actually helps to dismantle that weighty emotion so that it becomes less overwhelming. And so, in just in the process of talking through that, we can get to a place of them feeling more empowered and realizing « Oh, I guess it really is not as daunting as I thought ». I guess that the fear that I was unconsciously feeling about, you know, what happens if they reject me ?
What happens if they hang up on me ? When you can walk through that and really understand what is the worst that can happen ? The fear has a lot less of a grip on you.
Gabriel : So you are more ready to pick up your phone and go for it and being rejected and go for it again.
Robin : Absolutely, that’s exactly right. By contrast, another example is, you know, before walking into a scheduled meeting with a new prospect or with an existing client. And you, as a seller, may have your head spinning about like, I’ve gotta reach my quota, we’re close to the end of the month, what’ll happen if they don’t buy, I’ve gotta get them to buy.
And that is all very cerebral, but very emotionally driven. And in order to shift out of that space, you’ve got to come back to center. And by connecting to your heart, you can come back to center. What that means is, you know, I really advocate this practice of simply before a meeting, close your eyes, breathe, focus on the area in your heart.
Think of something or someone that you love for which you feel gratitude. And just trust that things are going to unfold the way they are meant to. Be present, so that you can listen to your prospects and customers, ask them the right questions, listen to the answers and in doing so, you’re staying in that heart connected place rather than being cerebral and future tripping and, you know, being driven by your fears, which. makes you much less able to be present, listen and be of service.
Gabriel : Yeah, sure. So this is for the seller part, but what’s secure into the buyer man ? And, all the emotions are important for the buyers too.
Robin : Exactly. Well, it’s very important because in order to really form a connection, in order to sell, you have to form an authentic connection with your buyer.
In order to form an authentic connection with your buyer, you have to understand what’s going on for them emotionally. That doesn’t mean you’re their therapist and it doesn’t mean you wanna become their best friend. What it means is you have to understand what are the emotions that are driving, the needs, desires, aspirations problems that, that are going on in the buyer’s life.
In order to do that, you have to ask the right questions to really understand and help them feel that they’re in a safe space in order to be able to express what going on for themselves. Again, I’m not saying that this is therapy far from it, but every decision is going to be connected to an emotion such as if your buyer is, you know, overwhelmed and time crunched, and you have a solution that can help save them time.
You have to understand that they’re being overwhelmed and time crunched brings about emotions of frustration, overwhelm, fear, et cetera. And so being able to understand what’s going on for your buyer and then speak to that, reflect back to them. You know, I understand how overwhelmed and time crunched and it, you know, overwhelmed, you feel.
Here’s how this solution can help you in that way. As a result, you will feel X, Y, Z, you will be able to achieve X, Y, Z. So when you’re really understanding, reflecting back to them, so that you’re really being empathetic and then connecting your solution to the outcome that they desire, including the desired emotion of feeling more calm, more in charge, all of those things that helps to really create that authentic connection in which a sale can take place.
Gabriel : That seems to work in B2C to relate with the emotion of your customer, but does it work also in B2B and maybe into a group of buyers also ?
Robin : Absolutely.
Gabriel : There’s the emotion will be different from one member of the group to the other.
Robin : You’re absolutely right. It is very different in B2B versus B2C and I’ve done both. But with B2B, you’re still working with humans. You’re still working with human beings who have their own fears and aspirations, and they have certain criteria that need to be met. They still have their walls up before you formed a connection with them because as human beings that they have that sense that drive for self preservation, which means if they’re your prospect and they feel that you might waste their time or push something on them that they don’t need, they’re driven by self preservation in them in that moment.
Their walls are up. They’re not ready to hear what you have to offer. You have to establish that connection, that feeling of trust, that they can trust, that you have their best interest in mind.
And they can trust that you actually understand whatever predicament they may be in and that you can offer a solution.
Garbiel : And so what do you do to create this connection with maybe a group of three or maybe four different people at the same time ?
Robin : Yeah. In a group or three or four, there are definitely gonna be dynamics between amongst them. And so being, being aware of those dynamics as well, there are often power dynamics. There are often, insecurities that can occur in a group setting. So really that’s when you need to be even more aware when you’re meeting with those buyers, that group of buyers, this is not about you.
This is not about even the most incredible solution that you have. It’s still not about you. It’s about understanding what do each of those buyers need and what’s important to them.
What’s important to you is actually one of the most important questions that you can ask.
Right ? It needs to be asked in a very authentic way at the right time in the sales conversation, but understanding what’s important to you and that’s going to be different for each person in the room. So really trying to suss that out and observing the dynamics between each of them as well.
That’s why body language can be such a key indicator of what’s actually going on in the room beyond the words that are being spoken. And you know, we earlier mentioned a little bit about how I was an Italian translator and how do i go from being an Italian translator to going into sales ?
Well, the common thread is emotionally intelligent communication. Italian is not my native language. Right. So I speak it fluently. I speak it very well, but there are certain words I still don’t know. There were times where there was a word that I didn’t understand.
Maybe it was even a phrase that I didn’t understand, but from context and body language, and, you know, just the energy that someone was emitting, I could Intuit what they were saying. It’s the same in a sales conversation. Here are the words behind the words. You may understand every single word that they’re saying, but it may not always be the truth of what’s really going on.
You can get to the truth by observing more of the body language, literally feeling their energy which, of course is more challenging in a virtual environment compared to being in the same room as someone. But that can be done and it’s really important. Bring in all of those faculties when you’re communicating with your buyers.
Gabriel : Yeah, and you conclude with the last question I wanted to ask you, what about virtual environment, how do you do that ? How do you try to make this connection and to understand the emotional feeling of your partner?
Robin : Yeah, it is really more challenging. I mean, we can still observe body language, but it’s literally only the top half of someone’s body that you can observe. For example, if you’re in the same room as someone, their feet may be pointed toward the person that they’re most interested in, and that may not be you. When you’re presenting, right. It may be their direct report that they’re curious, or they focused or it may be their boss, you know, how, what does my boss think of me ?
So being able to observe body language is so important. And when you’re in the same room, you can observe everything. When you’re selling virtually you’re gonna have to be even more aware, paying even more attention, make sure that people look like they’re leaning in and that they’re physically leaning in, right.
Are they they leaning back ? Are their arms crossed ? This gives a sign that they’re not engaged. Maybe they’re a little mistrustful of what you have to say. So you really wanna observe their body language, and be sure to keep them engaged. It’s even more important in a virtual setting to keep asking questions.
Keep asking questions to keep them engaged. You don’t know what other tabs they have open on their computer that they may be looking at while you’re putting your hard spent energy into presenting your solution. Right ? So keep them engaged, keep asking questions. That’s one of the most important things that you can do in a virtual setting.
Gabriel : Yeah, that’s a great tips. The podcast is over. Could you want to share your contacts and for people to contact you and to discuss with you or to follow your training ?
Robin : Yeah, absolutely. So to learn more about me and my coaching services, you can go to robintreasure.com.
And if you’d like to check out my book Heart-Powered Sales, Heart-Powered Sales grow your sales exponentially with emotional intelligence and intuition. That’s available on Amazon. So just go to Amazon type in Heart-Powered Sales, and you’ll find it. The link is also on my website and you know, I’d love to continue the conversation further.
Gabriel : Thanks. And last question before the outro, what do you think of Salesdeck you just tried ?
Robin : I think it can be a really great tool, especially when it comes to, you know, I just mentioned how important it is to keep asking questions. I see Salesdeck as really enabling the seller to stay on point, remembering to ask those questions, because if they’ve prepared those great questions in advance and they’ve got those in front of them when they’re presenting, it will help prompt, remember, remind them to keep going back to those questions. And that doesn’t mean just, you know, kind of wrote going the interrogation style, but really, taking the time to listen, reflecting and I like that Salesdeck offers the flexibility of bouncing around depending on the flex and flow of the conversation.
Gabriel : Thanks a lot, Robin. 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 Saledeck.io, the virtual selling platform that increase your sales team efficiency and sales readiness enable remote management and bump sales operational excellence.
Book your Salefeck.io demo today to discover how you can close mores deals with engaging and better prep customer meetings. Thanks a lot, Robin. Thank you.
Robin : Thank you for having me.