805: Moving Beyond the Transactional Sale w/ Melinda Durkee

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Melinda Durkee, President and Chief Sales Officer at Proforma Durkee.

Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.

Are you struggling to come up with original content weekend and week out? Start a podcast, interview your ideal clients, let them talk about what they care about most and never run out of content ideas again. Learn more at sweetfish MEDIACOM. You're listening to be tob growth, a daily podcast for B TOB leaders. We've interviewed names you've probably heard before, like Gary vanner truck and Simon Senek, but you've probably never heard from the majority of our guests. That's because the bulk of our interviews aren't with professional speakers and authors. Most of our guests are in the trenches leading sales and marketing teams. They're implementing strategy, they're experimenting with tactics, they're building the fastest growing BB companies in the world. My name is James Carberry. I'm the founder of sweet fish media, a podcast agency for BB brands, and I'm also one of the CO hosts of this show. When we're not interviewing sales and marketing leaders, you'll hear stories from behind the scenes of our own business. Will share the...

...ups and downs of our journey as we attempt to take over the world. Just getting well, maybe let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BEDB growth show. I'm your host for today's episode, Logan Lyles. I am joined today by Melinda Dirkey. She is the president and chief sales office or at Proform A. Dirkey. Milenda, how you doing today? I'm doing great. Logan, how are you? I'm doing awesome. I am fantastic. Thank you so much for joining us today. Really excited to dive into this topic of growing your value with your customers by moving beyond the transactional sale. Before we get into that and some of the lessons that you've got to share with our audience today, Milinda, I would love for you to take a second share with the audience what you and the team at proform a dirty ear up to these days. First, not a problem from a Dirkey. We're marketing solutions provider and we do have an amazing team here that helps to make sure our client hit their goals on what they need in their marketing,...

...and it can be anything from Ad Agency to uniform program to a simple promotional product order. Awesome. So it sounds like you're spanning quite a bit of marketing for your clients and helping them kind of bring a lot of different pieces together. Right. Yeah, I mean our slogan is one source infinite resources, the right exactly what we do. Awesome, I love it. Awesome. Well, we are big fans of, you know, growing your value with your clients, both over time, but especially up front and during the sales process, leading with value. So I'm really excited to hear your perspective on this Milenda in moving beyond the transactional sale. I think no matter what you do, we can all make strides in this area, and so let's jump right into this topic. The first thing I know you wanted to discuss on this topic is being proactive versus reactive. Tell us a little bit about how you see that playing out and helping you move beyond the transactional sale...

...with your clients. Sir, my pleasure. I think it's really easy to fall into simply reacting to what somebody needs, as opposed to anticipating your clients needs and then giving them what they need before they even have to ask. So that comes with relationship, spending some time with them, talking with them, to be actively listening to what they want and then order just give it back to them and say hey, I think this might work for you and to develop a relationship where they know they can count on you and trust you to give them great ideas and things that will work within their company and organization. One of the things I do, I always say this, I always talk about when I'm trying to talk with my team here in the office. I'll say, okay, this is what we need to do. They don't really know what they want. Our job is to let them know what they want, to find out what it is they're trying to accomplish and then we give it back to them. So I use the analogy of my decorator and...

...my curtains in my dining room. I am not a decorator. I have no idea how to design, hang or do anything with the curtains. So the decorator's job is to year out what I want and they're going to do that through a series of questions and maybe looking at was already in my house and what it is I'm trying to accomplish, and then they get to hang them and then I get to like them. So a good decorator would be able to tell me what it is that I want before I even have to tell them. So I feeling. That's what I do for my clients. I almost always can walk in and say this is what we need to do, this is what's going to accomplish that, and most of the time they end up doing that because that comes from listening. That comes from listening and getting to know them absolutely. I love that analogy. You know, in our house I just I hang the pictures where my wife tells me they look good. I'm just the muscle. I know how to find the Stud and and if we need a dry wink or or not, but not much beyond that. You've got to do what you're good at. Right I'm not good at doing certain but I am good at taking care of somebody's goals. And...

Marketing. HMM, yeah, I love that. So, you know, I think that that's really important. Whether you know you're in marketing, you you're in sales. I've seen sales people in the past, you know, get frustrated with customers like I, just don't know what they want. They don't know what they want and we feel like it's just our job to give them what they're asking for. And if you do that, I think you know, that goes back to today's topic. That you're going to be stuck in that transactional sale, because if you're just giving them what they say they want, there's not really a whole lot of value there. What I hear you saying is the value you're delivering is the insights in to help them figuring out, help them figure out what they want right. Yes, and also, you know, I've had a lot of clients that are fearful to pull the trigger right, go ahead and do it, and so to really drill into them and say, you know, why are you not doing this? You know, this seems to make a lot of sense. And I've had people say, I'm concerned about the artwork, I'm concerned about something. So...

...helping them overcome whatever it is, whatever challenge it is that is happening. So again, it's really relationship trust and truly understanding how to support them with their challenges and their goals. And you know we as people, I love people, I mean the people business. We as people don't always know that we have a challenge. We don't always see it ourselves. So often it's great when somebody can point that out. I think that insight that you deliver for your clients, you know, can deliver a lot of value. All right, today's growth stories about search engine marketing. Clear Company is an HR tech company that was doing a lot of things right. Their messaging was clear, their product produced incredible results. They were struggling to drive qualified traffic to their website. Then they found directive consulting, a Bob Search Marketing Agency. But then, the first twelve months of working with directive, clear company was able to increase their qualified LE volume by a hundred and fifty seven percent. I have a haunch that directive can get these kind of results for you to...

...so head over to directive consultingcom and request a totally free custom proposal. That's directive consultingcom. All right, let's get back to this interview. You know it specifically, as we were talking a little bit offline, Milenda, you mentioned, you know, with some of the clients that you work with, and I think a lot of our audience can relate with this. When you're working with larger organizations, you've got more stakeholders involved in the buying process. So it's also a little bit, you know, under this topic of moving beyond the transactional sale and growing your value. Tell us a little bit about some of the things that you've seen success in in helping departments work together in that buying process. Sure, you know it does take a little while for larger companies to make decisions and sign contracts than we do company stores or a good amount of larger companies, and you know it starts off with transactional sales...

...and s peoprow your value and then it becomes contractual work. And there are typically, at least in my experience the we department, that it's my job make sure work well together, and one of them is operation. For me it's branding and also procurement or finance, and often each one of them know. Finance scars about the dollar amount and what it's going to cost, where operations wants to be sure they like the last final results and that whatever they're purchasing is the decent quality, and then the brand. So they don't necessarily care about what the other ones doing. But all three of them need to be met and so I am good at working with all three of them and making sure all three of those departments needs are met while they still are able to work together posusibly. Yeah, it sounds like there's two areas where you can bring value when you're walk working with multiple departments and multiple stakeholders that, I hear you saying, their Melinda's one understanding. You know where their perceived...

...value is in what their perspective is and needing them there to deliver your value, but also helping them work together and see each other's point of view. What are some of the things you've done to help them get on the same page and work together as you're working with these these very, you know, different points of view within an organization. So I had one a contract and so I had already gone through chairman and the dollar amount and we were working on an apparel program for any COMMIS E commerce store for the country and operations just kept saying, just go ahead and work with that logo. That one works, it's fine, and I was adamant and paid absolutely not. I need to get with branding, but I went ahead into it. All the Labor. They didn't have to do any of it, because my job is to make their job easier. Right. So I wanted to be sure that the branding was up to standard, that it was consistent and it's and it was the correct brand in that they wanted. And so I discussed for contact name and then I spent the time taking care of branding and then we went...

...ahead and started processing the orders to make sure that it was okay. So I did the leg work for them and make and I know what each department needs. I mean they I know what they're looking for. So I helped them get there and do the work for them and make their job easier. I love that. I love that. So one of the other things we were talking a little bit about lend is, you know, you're dealing with perspectives from people you know in different functional roles, but you might also be dealing with with people from different generations and depending on you know that persona, they may have different buying habits. Tell us a little bit about, you know where we as sales people can be sensitive to that and adjust our approach to deliver more value. You know, I feel like there's a same so this whole saying listening to a potential client does change the way that I present to them. For instance, I told you this top line, but couple...

...e commerce stores took a lot less time to sell because my potential client, who I have two of them now, who are millennials, and so we did the whole sales process and Webinar format and I never even met with them face to face and then they purchased and did a contract with me or read, I think, one three years and one five years. We're opposed to a generation extor or somebody that's a little bit older. It's a little longer and there's a lot more face to face. So I was in some ways it was easier with the millennial and in some ways it was more challenging, but either way they were both fun and enjoyable and now I see them, you know, now I travel and see them face to face in our business reviews. Are Quarter of the business reviews, but the thought process behind it is a little different and it's the same thing as everything. I listen to what they're talking about and what they need and then I give that back to them. I solve the problem, which is why I say we're marketing solutions...

...provider. Yeah, help to solve what they're trying to accomplish and or what challenges they currently have going on. Yeah, and I think the common vein there in the whole conversation Walnda, is, you know, meeting your buyers where they are and being you know, proactive in listening, both in what they perceived as value in your product or service, but also in how they perceive value in the interactions with them. How do they want to meet, how do they want to handle the buying process and adjusting your approach so that you're meeting them where they're as you know, and I just have to add, people want answers. Same thing is in my curtains. I would want my decorator to say this is what you should do, as opposed to what do you think? Well, I don't know. You know, I don't know how to do this certain so I think that you want somebody that has a confident answer and in facilitate what they tell you in the timeframe at the...

...cost that they want and they believe that through and everything you do in any purchase you make. That you want somebody to say this is going to work or this isn't going to work, we should do it like this instead. Or would you be open to that, because I really truly believe that that would be the better answer for you and your company. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I think you know, the the best salespeople, you know, lead their clients to the solution as opposed to just, you know, providing the solution that that they ask for, and I hear that a lot in the in the things that you're sharing, Melenda. So I think these have been really great points for our audience. Very practical stuff, milenda. If anybody listening to this would like to follow up with you or stay connected with you in any way, what would be the best way for them to go about doing that? Every personally? They can go to my linkedin, which is melnda dirty, and or they can go to our website at performer dirtycom. Awesome. Well, Milinda, this has been a fantastic conversation. Thank...

...you so much for coming on the show today. I really enjoyed it. It was really my pleasure. I thank you. Digital marketing agencies have a tough job. You have to stay on top of the latest marketing strategies for your clients and your agency. What if there was a way you could address both at the same time? Imagine your agency putting out content with greater quality and quantity. Envision bringing your clients a turnkey solution for one of you to be marketings fastest growing media strategies, podcasting. You know, all those clients asking for your help with their account based marketing efforts. Picture being the first to bring them the idea of content based network in showing them the proven strategy for breaking into their most coveted accounts. Here's the concept. Sweet phish media is looking to work with a limited number of innovative agencies interested in a new partnership model. We produce a podcast for your agency at no cost. You...

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