B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast
B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast

Episode 2093 · 2 months ago

Increase Sales by Leveraging Transparency

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Traditional sales teaching is quickly becoming stale and obsolete. Customers these days are inundated with reviews and armed with cognitive bias — and they’re becoming immune to old-fashioned sales patter.

What if the way forward is to sell with transparency? As counterintuitive as it may seem, leading with honesty and embracing your flaws fosters an emotional response from your buyers, develops trust, and increases sales organically.

Energetic host John Grispon discusses these revolutionary ideas and more with today’s guest, Todd Caponi, author of the absolutely fascinating emotional sales manual, The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honesty and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results.

Here's a sneak peek:

  • “The second the buyer's brain senses insincerity, ineptitude, or inconsistency, their brain's 'uh-oh' alarm will sound off subconsciously."
  • Leading with your product’s minor issues empowers buyers to make a more informed purchase, which leads to a genuine emotional connection.
  • Caponi uses new research in neuroscience to develop sales techniques more aligned with the human brain.

Welcome to the BdB Growth show on theRevenue series. I'm your host, Jon crispin, founder and sales coach atEarly Revenue Today, I am so pleased to be here with Todd Caponi, Welcome Todd.It is so good to talk to you again, it's so good to be on and I think I wason the show like before the book came out like 2.5 years ago and I wasnervous and it was like who knew what we were getting into and it's just,it's so great to be back. This is awesome. Yeah, so just amazing list ofaccomplishments that really validate the work you've been doing, my goodness,chief Revenue Officer at Power Reviews, you've been sales leader at Salesforceand exact target a sales leader, S A. P, so a great foundation and and of courseyou are now the author of the very successful transparency sale book,which is a best seller. Uh it's one of my favorite books, it's one of thosethat I recommend to others. And you know, I tend, when I talk about toddfunny, I tend to refer to you as the mad scientist of sales. Yeah. Ifthere's no one better that bring, there's no one else out there that isnot only combining science with selling but has the research and the data toback it up. That's what I really like about your approach. So anyway, Welcome.Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. And there's the other nursery that I don't know ifwe've ever talked about but I on the weekends my hobby is sales history. SoI have a collection of books from the early 20th century on all things sales.This one's a 1916 book, the art and science of selling. I wish you couldsmell it like it smells like Grandma's basement but it's awesome. So very cool.So let's, so let's level set here. So...

...our guests are typically Ceos revenueleaders and venture firms. And our goal is to share with early stage techfounders, our audience and their sales leaders Insights and best practices ontwo topics that are top of mind for most leaders the how twos of growingearly stage sales, right and fundraising. So again, thanks for beinghere. Let's just start off just for a second maybe. Imagine who we're talkingto 1000 hungry, eager first time founders. They've got a good product,they've got a dozen or so winds, they found product market fit if they'rereally close to it and they are founder led selling now. So maybe this is theirfirst foray into selling or maybe they're considering hiring of salesleader and they've got a couple million in a. R. R. So we're just looking forsort of the best of the best from todd component, what advice can you givethem? And let's just let's start off with maybe how you came up with theidea for transparency sale. And then let's touch on certain topics that I'llbring up for you. Let's let's I'm gonna let you take it away on how you came totransparency sale. Well, yeah, so that's such a good setup too becauseyou know, I work with a bunch of early stage founders, at least I did prepandemic through my work with a company in Chicago called Venture scale. Andone of the things that happens with these early stage founders, especiallywhen their products experts is they get to this point where they're like, allright now I have to go sell this thing, do I need to go buy a plaid jacket andget some gold chains and like unbutton the first couple of buttons, like isthat sales And like let's take it easy and let's talk a little bit about thisidea of being a human being and being transparent. And so but the story thatthe short story is you mentioned that I was the chief revenue officer of acompany called Power Reviews here in Chicago. And you can probably guessthat the company was in the review space, right? It helps retailers andbrands collect and display ratings and...

...reviews on their website. Well whathappened was we did a research study that was just looking at consumerbehavior when a website is acting as a salesperson like a typical e commercesite. What do human beings do? Like how do they decide? How do they engage,Where are they drawn? And there was three data points that came out of it,two of which literally changed my whole life. Like I know that's crazy, butthat's what happened. The first one didn't change my whole life because itwas no surprise We all read reviews today, 96% of us will read a reviewbefore we buy something we haven't bought before. That's a medium to highconsideration, meaning not a pack of gum but something that matters. But thetwo that blew my mind. Number one, 82-85% of us. Somewhere in that rangeGo to the Negative Reviews 1st. So again, when a websites acting as asalesperson were drawn to the negatives first, which I thought was, that'sinteresting. Like we skipped the fives and go right to the forest threes, twosand ones. I'm like, okay, that's interesting. But then the third one wasthe one that really set me off and it was this idea that A product on a fivestar scale when it has an average review score between a 42 and a 45 that is optimal for purchase conversion,meaning a product that has negative reviews. A 42 will sell at a higherconversion rate than a product that's got nothing but five star reviews. AndI looked at that thought, all right, that's when a human being is left totheir own devices and a websites acting as the salesperson. Does this equatedown to be to be or human to human selling like does leading withnegatives, Does that imperfection actually help us sell? And youmentioned me being a behavioral and decision science nerd. Everything I sawwas supporting this argument that if we just come in and we embrace the thingsthat maybe we're falling short on,...

...we're not good at something. Acompetitor is better, a situation that had happened that's easily accessibleto anybody who's doing research on us with that sell better. And the firsttime I tried it, It was freaking magic. Like literally the guy showed me hisbudget. I've never never even seen a buyer's budget before. He did it thefirst time the sale cycle, that was normally six months, they made adecision in 10 days and then of course, we spent four weeks on contracts, whichsucks. But like the first couple of times I tried it. Sale cycle shrink winrates went up partially because we were working on deals that we should win.We're doing a better job of qualifying him, but partly because we'requalifying out faster. Bye exposing the reasons why somebody wouldn't buy andwe could then spend our time and the opportunities we should win. And thenthe fun part is we made it really hard on our competitors because theycouldn't really position against us anymore. So to circle that all backaround, you know, for you leaders, you're starting up, you're getting thecompany going, you're building up. I think there's a really big opportunityfor you to not only build trust, but it feels better to be an honest humanbeing is to lead with where you are as a company and what the flaws are. Butyou don't need a plaid jacket, you don't need gold chains. You know,joanie salesperson, you don't need to be, you don't know what to wear. Aleisure suit. You don't need it exactly, although leisure suits to look prettygood. So, uh, if you want to wear one, you're welcome to it. But don't wearone to be a good salesperson. Where the powder blue with the colorado. To herewith the bell bottom and the white shoes. Right. Yeah, exactly. Eitherunbuttoned halfway down or the floss. So what whatever flurry that that looksfantastic. That works for some people. Yeah, not so much for me. I'm italian,nobody needs to see that. So am I. I don't I don't need any any more of thatkind of connotation. Alright, yeah, I...

...have family members that have the ringsand the chains and uh yeah, well let's so let's talk about messaging sinceyou've got early stage founders that are thinking about this. One of thethings that people care about early on, right, when you're trying to generateawareness and you're trying to educate is messaging, right? You are a big fanof talking about the limbic brain and how we need to get involved, getemotions evolved in sales, I'll let you take it. Yeah, I mean there's aneuroscientist that threaten some amazing books. It seems Antonio Damasioand he's got a quote that really stuck with me and it's we are not thinkingmachines that feel we are feeling machines that think. And what that means is that decisionsare really kicked off in the feeling center of our brain, which youmentioned is the limbic right which we make these feeling decisions and it'snot love and hate like feeling are things like your ability to getfeedback and validation and recognition for buying something, your ability topredict and forecast what your experience is going to be like with thesolution, the freedom and autonomy and control that you get as a result ofbuying whatever you're going to buy the what I call family. But it's reallyfitting in our other people like me doing this, their relatedness. There'salso the function or mission or purpose and I'm I'll buy something because itfeels makes me feel good that I'm helping somebody out. And the thing Ididn't mention was the money, right? Fairness is a feeling. Is the juicegoing to be worth the squeeze is the output of my resource, my dollars, mytime, my energy going to be worth the reward that I get from it. Those thoseare the things that trigger a decision in the human brain. It's the feelingsand then we use logic to back it up. All right. So when we talk about thelimbic, I mentioned this thing called...

...the limbic filter and I think Iactually stole that from somebody else. But anyway, it's when we come across asalesperson, we know that perfection isn't reality. Like subconsciously weknow it. It's not like I was born to believe that, you know, likesubconsciously we know that there's pros and cons to everything and when asalesperson comes to us And is presenting our solutions as thoughthey're a perfect 50 A Our brain wants the negative first.Remember the 82 to 85% and be our brain doesn't decide unless we can see thenegatives which are that 42 to 45 right? That ability to understand what am Igiving up to get the goodness? And so that leading with transparency andembracing your imperfections, it disarms that limbic filter. It buildstrust right under the get go. And it allows the brain to predict whichallows the brain to come to a decision much faster. Either with you or againstyou, right? And that's that's our job, help the customer through this processof making the best decision for them, whether it's for you or against you asquickly as possible. So all of this, since you're talking about the, theemotions presentations are used a ton in selling. And I think you have aperspective on how to present effectively one to create an emotionalattachment, but also to make a little bit easier for the brains out therethat are listening and watching your presentation. Yeah. So you think I have an opinion onthat, huh? Like this has been, I've been, I've become so passionate aboutmy opinion on this. I don't know what happened, but the traditional likesomebody at some point decided, hey, when we go into a room, we should justthrow up all over people. We slide one...

...on every presentation should be amission statement. We believe in a world of whatever we're selling slideto should always be our awards or recognition from analysts likeForrester as it's up in the top right quadrant. We won this award three yearsago. Cool slide three should always be a map of our locations, Like we've gotone in Singapore. I know you don't, but we think it's cool. Slide four shouldalways be your products and then you should always circle it and rightsolution above it because they're not just products, it's a solution. Andthen slide five should always be your logo, slider, your nascar's life, likewhoever decided that every marketer has decided, Yeah, that's what we're gonnado two. And the funny thing is the behavioral science tells us Every oneof those elements runs 180° from how our brains engage and how an audiencedecides. Like those slides are literally taking consensus buyers whoalready have it tough and now it's tougher because they're all remote sothey don't get to just run into people and informally talk in the hallway,you're literally pushing them to your corners and let me tell you why. Well, first of all, we've known thisfor 401 years. Sir, Francis Bacon 1620 theorized this idea of cognitive bias.Right? And it was to say that when we've established an opinion, we willtake all inputs to support that opinion. Whether or not that input is supportingyour opinion or not. Like we see that politically every day. An example, um,your nascar slider, your logo slide. I used to joke at power reviews andanybody who's listening to this that knows me knows I was joking, but youprobably were like, I don't want to test this. And it was if I see a Nascarslide in the first five slides of a deck, whoever put it in there is fired.That was a joke. But like my ceo walked in, he was like, I'm going to presentthis. And I was like, you're fired. But here's why Imagine you are presenting to 10 people.So consensus fires, you got 10 of them,...

...five of them are leaning towards you.So five of them are like, I like these people, I think this is the solutionfor us fiber against you meaning they're leaning towards eithercompetitor or doing nothing. How are they going to look at your nascar side?The five there for you again, think Francis bacon, cognitive eyes. They'regoing to take that data and they're gonna look at those logos and go, wow,that's impressive. If they're good enough for them, they're good enoughfor us. Like, and there's some great companies on there, right? So you'veaccomplished your goal as a salesperson to build credibility through the logoslide gay for you. But what about the five people that are against you? They're looking at this singing, wow.Those are some big companies, Hey, we're going to get lost. Uh, you knowwhat? We're going to be a small fish in a big pond here. I'm gonna use that tosupport my belief that we shouldn't go with these people. And then there's acouple other ones that are looking at it saying, wow, I see banking andaerospace and manufacturing. Well, are they generalists? Do they really know?Like our industry is different? Like every buyer thinks that right? Ourindustry is different and they're generalists. Do they really even knowus? The point being that the traditional choreography that leadswith data, data data or facts, facts, facts or we we we or this is why we'reso great is literally taking people's prevailing opinions and pushing theminto their corners further. And so we always have heard I've got books uphere that talk about story sell right? We can have they absolutely do sell.And that's why because when we lead with facts and data, we polarizedaudiences. Stories bring us together a motion brings us together. But a keypoint there. If your story has you as the hero, you've got to make thecustomer is the hero lead to your solution instead of leading with it.But the traditional choreography, we just need to flip start with thecustomer lied to you instead of...

...starting with you and lead to thecustomer. Because by the time you get there they're thinking about their nextmeeting. This is another form of an epidemic. It's an epidemic in startupworlds, right? I call it the me me me sales deck. Right? We're grocer where Isay, we, the first five minutes they show up, they're paying attentionbecause they're hoping that you're there to help them with a problem thatthey're facing. And instead we, we, we we all over them, which is gross. Sothat's my, that's my gross joke. There you go. Well, let's keep going. Solet's, let's assume that we've made some advances. We've assisted themalong the way. And we finally get to a point where we're proposing, how do you be transparent as you'reproposing? Yeah. It's still a couple of things. One thing about transparency,especially early stage, um, just for everybody. And this is aside from yourquestion when I work with early stage companies, the first thing I tell themis you better be leading with the fact that you're a startup, especially ifyou're selling to larger organizations and the way you do that is not, hey, wesuck. It's thinking about that 42 to 4 or five and going into, there's aclient that I advised here in Chicago and they were just getting started acouple years ago, a couple of guys in an office, like just a little shed ofan office and they get an inbound lead from Nordstrom and they're like, Ohgosh, this is great. Um, but like should we, should we tell them thatit's just a couple of us. So we're getting like, yes, you better becauseyou're going to put all of your energy towards this opportunity. And let's sayfour months from now they're getting ready to buy. And they're like, so likewe need your financial statements and like your financial statements are likethree figures and you're like, so if you're gonna lose lose fast. And so theway you embrace that is to say, hey, listen, before we get too deep intothis, we just want to share with you where we are as a company. We've gotthis idea, we've built out minimum viable product. We feel really goodabout it. We've got a couple of customers here they are, but we'restill small if that's going to be a...

...problem, like let's bet that out nowbefore we get too deep into this. Because if it's a problem, you want toknow that. But if it's a problem and you faced it head on and you'veembraced it, you've built trust, you've endeared them to you. And if it doesbecome a problem later on, you've given yourself a lot more rope that theycan't really come back to you six months from now and go, you're onlyfour people. So we're gonna know. We've already talked about that and they'vealready gained a comfort. And that's part of that limit filter that's beenremoved. That allows them to build that trust. So, for everybody, before I gointo the proposal, talk, embrace who you are as a company and where you are,lead with it, build trust, it will endear customers to you and it willhelp you lose faster. So, if that company wouldn't have said anything andsix months from now, Nordstrom would have said you're too small, they justwasted six months of their funding and they probably be out of business. Sobrace it. So that aside, let's talk proposals for a second. So, first ofall, I've always been confused by something and guys don't take thiswrong. I love never split the difference by chris voss that book.It's fascinating. It's brainy. It's nerdy. I love it. However, I've neverunderstood why in sales with building relationships with customers and thenwhen they say yes, we decide to take on a different personality and it's apersonality taught by us by former hostage negotiators, like what we'renot negotiating the release of hostages from a bank heist for negotiating asoftware contract. And I never understood why we lose transparency. Weerode trust at the goal line or if we decide we don't want to road trust atthe goal line, we just spew out discounts in the form of charity to acompany's bottom line. So I, you know, 15 years ago stumbled on this idea ofleading with not only price but are...

...levers and are levers, meaning what ourpricing is based on. And I'll explain what that means. It's when a customerasks you about your pricing, you tell them, hey, our pricing is based onvolume, right? Like it's in our case at the time it was user base. So the moreusers you commit to better it is for us, the more will reward you in a per userdiscount, Right? But our pricing is also based on three other things, turns out we like cash. We like money,who knew. The faster you pay us, the better it is for us, the more that'sreflected in your pricing, Number three is the commitment length.The longer you commit to our products, technology services. Better it is forus, the more that's reflected in your pricing And # four is the timing of thetransaction. As it turns out, we've got investors that we need to do forecastfor. So there is a forecasting element that's valuable to us, but we also haveto resource this opportunity to, and our ability to predict that is highlyvaluable. And as such, it will be if we mutually aligned around timing, it willbe reflected in um in the pricing. And so now the customer has not only skinin the game, but you've transparently thrown your cards face up on the table,allowing them to negotiate their own discounts so that in the end when youget down in the negotiation, your customers are then uh john meeting 20%off. Like Instead of going, I can give you 10 And like you start playing pingPong game instead embraced this idea of you need 20. Okay. Like tell me aboutwhat's going on, why why are we 20% off? All right, cool. I think we've got away to get there uh first would be commit to more volume. That's not goingto help the total dollar amount, but it will help your discount percentagebecause we'll pay you in the form of a discount to accelerate some of theseother licenses pay us faster, accelerate your cash payments. Good forus. We'll pay you in the form of a...

...discount to do that, commit to anotheryear. Valuable to us will pay you in the form of a discount to do that orwhen do you think you'll get this done? Oh, end of May. All right, cool. Whydon't I'll do this? Our quarter ends the end of june. I'll give you till theend of june then if you think you get this done in May, let's align aroundjune. Can you do joon? Oh yeah, we better be able to do joon Alright, cool.I'm gonna pay you to hold to that because there's value to us in ourorganization to be able to predict our business and all of a sudden now you'vegotten value for every dollar you've given away in the form of a discountyou've built trust to the goal line and if you do that last element, yourforecast become immediately more predictable and accurate too. So likewhy wouldn't you? And so that's, that's the idea of yeah, that stuff awesome.But there's an opportunity to sell and negotiate in the same way and it'scards face up and your customers love it. And I'm telling you, your discountpercentages will go down, your confidence in the way that you proposeand provide pricing to customers will go up and as it turns out, confidenceis contagious and your customers will have faith and confidence in you. AndI'm telling I do this when I price out my speaking or workshops and nobodynegotiates my pricing which is amazing. But maybe I'm not charging enough. Butbesides the point, it's like, hey, here's my pricing, here's what it'sbased on. If we need to jiggle it, here's the levers you can use and uh,choose your own adventure. Yeah. And I like the way you said they will pay youin the form of a discount that looks like you've then got skin in the game,which is relevant to them. So you mentioned something in the book aboutresults formula. Right? Um, there's, there's some beauty in that in thatformula. It sounds like it's very close in concept to sales velocity formula,right? Where you're, you're calculating, you're in essence looking at yournumber of deals? Well, there's a...

...formula. Why don't you explain it As I,if I recall correctly right, It's deals times win rate, times average price andthen you divide that by the sale cycle. The number of days in the sale cycle.Is that correct? Yes, exactly. So that was the thing as a C. R. O. I felt likeI could measure everything. And unfortunately for my director of salesup, I did like at the beginning of every month hide under his desk. But atits core there's really just four things that are they key performanceindicators. Like all those other ones are just P. S. These are KPs and it'slike you said, the number of qualified opportunities, how big they are, howoften you close so that the win rate and then how fast. So the cycling. Nowthe reason that this is important is not like if you do that math, it'sgoing to spit out exactly your results. But there's two reasons why this isreally important. Number one, Let's say that you need to grow 20%,, 20%. Seemslike a big number. But as it turns out, if you just do simple math And youraise your number of opportunities by 5%. So let's say you have 20opportunities 5% 1. You increase your deal sizes by 155%. So you gotta, youknow $40,000 average selling prices now. 42,000. Can you get 2000 more? Maybeyour win rate by 5%. You increase that and then you shrink your cycle lengthby 5% which is typically a couple of days depending on what you're sellinggrow 22%. The math always works. Put in any numbers you will grow 22%. So it'ssmall little things and sew. Look at each one of those four and go what canwe do better about attracting or qualifying more opportunities? What canwe do better about just increasing the value of our deals? What can we doabout qualifying in and out deals better and faster ie transparency sothat we increase our win rate. What can...

...we do with cycle lengths I. E.Transparency to speed decision making and speed the cycle, right? That's thefirst way to think about it. That's super important. And it would be greatas you start hiring a bunch of sales reps and you raise quotas and they'relike, Man, I just killed myself this last year and now you're asking me for20% more? Well, it's small little increments if we're not getting better.We're getting worse. The second way to think about this though. Yes. To stoplooking at each one in a silo, look at them as a combination of formula andhere's what I mean. Remember going into a board meeting and we had started toget really good at qualifying like we were getting and we're usingtransparency and like we were working the deals we should win. So I go intothe board meeting, what does the board do? Looks at my number of qualifiedopportunities and it's just like, what's going on Todd? You're qualifiedopportunities way down. Like, wait, what is there a problem with marketing?Is your team not prospecting? Like they're getting mad at me and I'm like,this is good news, everybody like this is good news because look at the otherdata points, the deal sizes for each one are going way up, our win rates aregoing through the roof because we're working the opportunities we shouldwork in, our cycle lengths are going down and oh, by the way, we just proved40% last quarter. So shut the hell up. I didn't say something, but the pointbeing we need to stop, we get ourselves out of these silos and think aboutthese things as a ratio and you start to do that at the rep level to likethere was reps at power reviews. One was an incredible deal Qualifier, butthe deal sucked and rarely closed the there was another one who is incredibleat qualification speed. Working on the deals we should win and he consistentlycrushed that other guy. But if you're just looking at number of qualifiedopportunities, you might be yelling at the second guy instead of the first one.Right? And so we got to get out of these silos. So that results formulareally powerful for thinking about growth. It actually became reallypowerful for presenting to my board our...

...progress and how we're makingpriorities. But it's also really incredibly helpful for coaching andmanaging these reps that you bring on to get them focused and to see wherethey could be making improvements. And it's not always more, more more, it'ssmarter, Smarter, Smarter. It's a very simple, clear way to manage, especiallyif you're early into learning sales or if you have the beginnings of a salesorganization, very clean, simple ways to deliver and measure, which I thinkis wonderful. So let's, let's keep going. Um, you, you know, a lot ofpeople that say, you want to under promise and over deliver, you postedabout this not too long ago. And it just, it made me laugh because I kneweven before I finished reading that, that you were going to take theopposite for some reason. That's john, you know me too well, mybrother. That's so funny. So yeah, it's uh, listen, there's this idea that it was funny. Iwas reading a linked in an article about creating great customerexperience, right? That Gosh, the 2020s are all going to be about creating notjust great experiences but legendary like that's the next mountains ofclimate. If you don't do that, you're screwed. And I was like, all right. Andthen I kept looking and there was a ton of articles that are basically sayingthe same thing. But it was right before I was going to Costco right, retailer,you probably are all well aware of. And so let this all fresh in my mind. But Ihad to go buy some stuff for a party that my daughter was having for 16thbirthday. She wanted, she wanted like a vegetable tray and fruit tray and thenranch dressing. And so like I walk into Costco and this is no surprise, butlike I walk over to the ranch dressing and they only sell it in 80 fluid ouncecontainers, which is like two thirds of...

...the way to a gallon. I'm like, wow,that's about a legendary experience. Like what do I need with a freakingalmost a gallon of ranch, Like, wow, like I'm gonna take a bath in it andthen you look around and like the toothbrushes, you can't buy one, Yougot to buy seven. It's like, you know, by one for every three teeth it's, andthen like as you check out there, just tossing the stuff on the conveyor, theydon't give you a bag, they just throw it back in your cart and then there's awoman at the door that's checking your receipt to see if you stole anything.Now. That's not a legendary experience. Right? And I'm thinking, All right,well Costco is the number four retailer in the country, but this is interesting.And then like I'm driving home and I'm thinking about like a like a as afreaking nightmare. You've got to pull the boxes onto a cart in the warehouseyourself, jam it into your car, assemble it with 150 parts that don'thave any words on the work instructions. F bomb your way through that you getdone and you've got a souvenir injury or two and you just lost a year of yourlife. Yet they're the number one furniture retailer in the world for 13straight years. Why does all of this happens? It's because of expectationsetting that when I dug into the behavioral science on this, the key tohaving customers that stay buy more and advocate on your behalf is aboutsetting accurate expectations and consistently meeting them. Now youprobably say of course we don't want to over commit and over promise and underdeliver. That's obvious, right. That's your 50 speak though by the way, getout of that set accurate expectations by embracing transparency, stop overpromise and under deliver. But the thing that you were just joking aboutyour like I knew he's going to go in opposite way on this is you know, underpromise and over deliver. It's great for one time transactions and shortterm satisfaction spikes. So I'm having one experience with you and you do morethan I expected. That's endearing. I'm...

...satisfied while this is great. However,if you are consistently under promise and over deliver, you can't keep up. It's literally aform of lying and your customers will start to learn that hey, this personconsistently under promises and as a result I'm doing something calledexpectation inflation. It's like, you know, you get a treat when you get thebill at a restaurant and you just come to expect it. There's actually arestaurant here in the strawberry. They give cookies for the kids at the end oflike with the check and the kids like we go there because they're likeexcited about the cookies, right? So that's a, that's an under promise overdeliver at the beginning, which is like, hey, that's more than we expected.That's really cool. But eventually it became an expectation to the pointwhere all of a sudden we get there, we get the check and there's mints. Mykids are like mints the heck like they're mad, right? They're mad.They're just getting the bill like every other restaurant. So you just gotto be careful that the goal here is set accurate expectations, embracetransparency. But help a customer, a buyer, a prospect, predict the futureand the more accurately you hit that the more endearing people come to youand think about the cost coast. I always know I gotta buy in bulk. Ialways know if somebody is going to check my Received at the door and I'mnever upset by it and I keep going back. I went to Costco two nights ago. Sothat's something we all do is expectations set meet it and win. And Ijust had an experience like this the other day, my family and I went onvacation and like always I picked Southwest Airlines, right? Talk about,you know, setting expectations. It's sort of like Costco in that. Here'swhat you're gonna get right. You're not, there's no first class, every seats thesame. They stuff you in there. They taught you some peanuts and patch onthe back and that's about it and off you go. Uh But another example, I thinkthat fits in there. You know, you to...

...also talk about this whole idea of Ithink you did a blog article um on virtual selling. That was about silencein the conversation. You want to touch on that. There's so much one of thethings that kicked this off was I listen to podcasts and I read andthere's so much talk of zoom fatigue, right? And um there's two articles. Onewas on the silence peace. But it started through this revelation thatEverybody's talking about zoom for two, but nobody talks about what it reallyis can be. Everybody's got a different explanation for why it's created. Andso I I ended up in one article I curated nine different excuses I heardin fatigue. I researched each one and then explained it. I think the bottomline here is that zoom fatigue is real. We can't use that as an excuseespecially anymore. But there's certain things that happen in zoom that don'tum equate exactly to human to human interaction. As a result, our brain, ittakes a little bit more to process it. Like right now, when I'm looking at thelights, you feel like I'm looking at you. But I'm not looking at you. I'mlooking at a light, right? And so I'm not able to assess your realinteractions. I'm not able to see your eye movements and things like that thathappened. The other thing that is exhausting to the brain is I can seemyself, right? And it's called the Mirror Effect. But if you look at inthe mirror 100 times a day, you're constantly judging yourself. I'mconstantly even subconsciously looking at my background, make sureeverything's distracting too good. But like I don't have a shiny forehead,like all that stuff that there's there's but nine, there's nine of these.One of them though, is this idea of silence. And here's the advice foreverybody. If you're doing a call with a group of people, let's say you'representing to a number of people even...

...more than three or four. First of all,know that it will be impossible for you to assess who's actually watching,right? So your brain is going to have a little bit of a hard time with that.It's impossible for you to assess who's going to speak next because in aconference room where you can see people, you can see them lean forward,you can see them make direct eye contact. You can sometimes see thempush the laptop away or close the notebook or get ready. Like the kind ofburst, you can't, it's impossible. So turn taking becomes very very difficultto assess and it creates a little bit of tiredness in the brain. The otherthing though is, let's say you say, hey um anybody have any questions. Is thisuh is this going like are we on track so far? No. All right cool. We'll keepgoing. Okay. You've got to remember that these individuals, they think oftheir questions. They then got to go find the mute button like where I gotto a mute myself and then they've got to assess the room to see if anybodyelse is about to talk and then they then speak up. I know it'suncomfortable. The human brain has a comfort level with silence in aconversation of anywhere from about three seconds, it's 3 to 4 seconds inthe U. S. It's closer to eight seconds in Japan. Once we hit that 3 to 4second mark, we get uncomfortable. A conversation is like a dance, it's likea choreography, it needs to flow and when it doesn't, it hurts us inside itstyrant, it feels like our self esteem goes down. And so when I say anyquestions, wait, wait a couple of seconds, makesure that you're giving everybody an opportunity to chime in. The otherpiece of that though is again around expectation setting is set. Thatexpectation at the beginning, educate people on this idea before the meetingstarts saying, hey we're going to go through this, we're going to stop everyso often For questions and it's probably gonna get uncomfortable so I'mprobably gonna wait three or 4 or five...

...seconds before we move on because Iwant everybody to have a chance to a mute and figure out when they're goingto take terms. But that might feel kind of weird. So we're gonna laugh about it.But let's go. So you set that expectation and now people can shine in,they feel more comfortable. I've been doing that in my workshops the lastweek or so since I kind of discovered that and it feels so freaking weird,but everybody's laughing because they're like, that's five seconds, like,yeah, yeah. But I've got a question. So, Oh man, awesome. All right. So so wetalked about messaging. We talked about presentations. We talked aboutnegotiation. One of the things that I think where a lot of early sellers orthese founders that are, that are not used to selling stumble is an earlyoutreach. Right? And I think at some point, um, in the book and throughblogs, I think you've talked about how to how you like the idea. Yeah. Whatare the ideals for sending emails? Yeah. And so I think this is one of thosecases where um, really embracing clinical levels ofempathy with your target is so important, right? And one of the thingsjust kind of a side note is if you're selling the marketing, go find some marketing buddies of yoursto go sit down with and ask them to show you their inbox to tell teach youabout how they get bonus and like how they're measured, what conferences theygo to, What kinds of things do they pay attention to? And in their inbox, whatstands out to them? Like empathy. If you're selling the product, find someproduct people and ask them the same question selling the finance do thesame thing you've got to be able to relate to these people because for themost part in boxes are just filled with white noise, that couple of things.First of all, We've all been taught to optimize the subject line in our emails,but keep in mind like my phone, my gmail, my outlook, they all have apreview of 10 words to make sure you're...

...optimizing those. And in the book, Ihave an example of my inbox. Like I literally took a screenshot box becauseI was so frustrated and like almost every message started with Todd, Iwanted to or Todd, I was just checking or Todd, I I wanted to make sure thatyou got my last email or you know, it was all, they all started the exactsame way and they all started by making it about them. Now, I love salespeopleright like this is my life. I was getting a 100 to 150 emails per day andI was in 30-35 meetings per week. I had to prioritize my inbox and I had toprioritize it based on three fundamental things. I would look at thesubject line plus the preview and ask myself The three things that I caredmost about is is this about my team? Is this about my customers? Is this aboutmy prospects? But those are the three winners. And then with the filter of isthis email here to help me or to sell me and everything that started with, Ijust wanted to or I wanted to are expecting in or a guilt trip. I'm sorry.You could have been saying I just wanted to figure out how to give you $1million. I would never see it because I wanted to earn the delete right? So foreverybody gain that level of empathy for the inbox. But the two things thatI would suggest is stop trying to sell hard and inbox and in email and insteadlook for ways to add value and a personalized with right? Like that'snumber one and number two is get the eyes and we's out of those 1st 10 wordslike that. Simple and personalized and valuable is, I'll give you one quickexample. Um I in Chicago, I just posted rolls on our website for salesdevelopment rests. two days later, somebody sends me an email that saysTodd here is an SDR salary study of...

...what sdrs are making in the Chicagomarket. It was like, oh, that's interesting tosee our roles in the Chicago market. I open that one and that's all it was.And then the second sentence said, hey, we saw you just posted small thoughtthis might help you out. I was like, that's cool. They did something similartwo weeks later, right after my quarter in, where they sent me a C. R. O. Boarddeck template saying, hey, quarter ended, you probably prepping for yourboard. Hopefully this saves you some time. And I'm like, I burst into tearsand who are these people? This is awesome. I want to talk to them. Andthen when they called that was the one cold call I answered and personalizedvalue. Look for ways that you can make your customers or prospects more uhefficient, better smarter in their own business. You build that trust, youbuild that relationship. And then when it comes time to ask, they're much morelikely to engage versus the white noise that fills their inbox. I mean anythinglike that that stood out like a large bright light in a black forest, right?It's just like, what's that one and that's your opportunity, yep. So addingvalue is tremendously important. I always like to say uh that one of thethings you're trying to do on top of adding value is you're really trying tostart a conversation and what better way to do that than have theirinterests at heart. Not something that you want to do is kind of like yoursales presentation that we talked about earlier. Similar concept. That's right,that's right. And it all comes down to like I joke about it being reallyaligned to reality makeover tv show, which I know sounds so crazy, but likewatch Queer Eye Watch Restaurant Impossible, Watch the biggest loserthat they're all selling right? It's the same thing. They've got somebodywho's got a problem that would potentially love their health. Theyshow up, they align about, hey, what do you believe your problems to be? Whyare we spending this time together? They disarm especially queer eye. Theseguys act like themselves. They're dancing around there trying stuff onthere being themselves. It's hilarious, but it's purposeful. They're showingthe buyer this individual, who they are...

...and what they're getting. And then theygo into diagnosis where they're saying, hey, have you thought about this? Didyou notice this? There's an opportunity over here that maybe you're notthinking about that? We see others with the same thing. They back it up withthe logic. So they created the feeling they've delivered the diagnosis. Theythen back it up with the logic and the potential reward for doing somethingabout it. And they lied to their solution. They don't talk about whatthey're going to do at the beginning. They talk about what they're going todo after they really allow this individual to see that their perceptionof their status quo is not quite right. And there's more opportunities theycould achieve more than they thought they tried. And then, hey, here's theway that we're going to handle. It's endearing. It tells a great story.That's the magic right there. Yeah. All right. So one of the last ones here, um,you mentioned it earlier, but yeah, you sort of glossed over. You use the termslose fast, explain what you mean by that. Yeah. So a couple of things. I mean,the only thing that we is sales people really have in our inventory is ourtime, right? And so this idea of investing time and opportunities thatwe're going to lose later and that we know it. And the low odds typeopportunities is just a, it just kills you long term. And so there's a couple.There's so much here. Like this is another big one. But I'll start withjust a little bit of embracing my own transparency as a sales leader. One ofthe things that used to that I used to look at was pipeline loves right whereI would look at my reps and say, hey, at any time you need to have four Xyour quota in pipe because we're only going to close a certain percentagethat you're going to hit it. So I would look at the reps and you look at themand go, hey, you're not at four X. You need to get four X. And so what didthey do? They got to four X. Still the crap. All right. We're basicallycreating these cultures where first of...

...all for incentivizing overqualification or really under qualification for the sake of pipelinemode we need to stop doing that because that forex is a bad like we should belooking at. Why is it four X and not to ex why are we spending 3/4 of our timeon opportunities that we're not going to close if we get a better atqualification and we create a culture where qualifying out is embraced andlearning lessons from our losses is embraced and celebrating the lossesversus just celebrating the winds, celebrate the losses for the lessonslearned and the effort that was put in to that opportunity. So we lose lessembracing transparency. All of those elements tell us that, hey, like wetalked about that results formula. It's not about more opportunities, it'sabout working opportunities that are bigger that we're going to close ahigher percentage of and that we're going to close more quickly. And thatis all about qualifying in and out fast. If you're going to lose, we want tolose fast so that we can spend our time more efficiently on the opportunitiesthat we should win. And that's, you know, again, like that story of theNordstrom conversation where they found her, didn't want to necessarily revealthat they were a start up. It was like you really want to invest four monthsin this, have them find later no matter how great you are, if that's a policyof their better learn now. So that's that's the court of if you're going tolose lose fast. And for the leaders that are listening create a culturewhere you're celebrating women because the reps already getting punched intheir pocket, They're already getting punched in their quota attainment tradeand environment where you're celebrating the lessons learned thatcan be shared amongst everybody else so that we are able to recognize thoseearlier and qualify out of those types of opportunities earlier. If you startto see a trend in a certain area. Yeah, sharing that is just so important. Imean, 11 person experiences. It's, it's...

...almost for certain that somebody elseis going to experience that. So why not share that? It's how you grow. It's howyou get better as an athlete, as a, as a musical instrument player, all ofthose different things. As a, as a physician, as a surgeon, you have tokeep practicing and you're gonna get, you're gonna get skinned knees, you'regonna fall down, You gotta get back up and keep moving. If you can lose early,do it and keep moving. And I'll tell you, I've worked in environments whereleaders treat every loss like a rep got out sold and when we do that, we createthose types of cultures start to hide losses, opportunities too long. Theystart to bury things in their pipeline. They you as a leader of last instead offirst when something starts going off the rails. And so we need to just andthen first morale goes down too. So we need to replace losing as a culture,especially in a remote environment where reps are still, they're missingthat feeling like people have their back because they're all alone. Yeah,it's a it's a hard thing. I mean, think about it, right? If you're hittingthree out of 10 in baseball, you're in the hall of fame. If you're makingthree out of 10 in selling, you are a rock star, right? You're you're gonnaexperience a lot of rejection. It's gonna happen, right? And especially anenterprise, it's one out of four or one out of five is the typical ratio and soyou're going, there's going to be losses. You just have to sort of, Iguess get build immunity up and and accept the fact, you know, leaders haveto accept it and sales people have to accept the fact that loss is going tobe part of selling almost on day to day basis. Exactly. And learn to walk andget hit by pitches more often to get your on base percentage those way off.Right. Well, this has been a great conversation Todd, thank you so muchfor for being part of the podcast. And...

...if there is a fair folks out there,they want to learn more, what is the best way to reach out and talk to you.Yeah, I mean my website transparency, sale dot com or todd Caponi dot com isprobably the easiest. I've got a bunch of stuff. Their blog posts and videos.When I wrote the book, I really didn't have an intention of it turning intothe business that it has. And I was just about like I want to get theseideas out there so they're all there, go consume it, enjoy it. And then ifyou want to follow me or connect with me on linkedin, share a bunch of stuffthere, but let me know where you heard me, that's super helpful to and I wouldlove to be a resource for you. Any upcoming speaking engagements where wecan go listen to you. You know what, I don't think I've got anything that's onthe docket soon. That's a public facing thing. I've been doing a lot morecustomer specific stuff. I did two workshops yesterday and then twokeynotes the day before. So if you want me for your organizations and I wouldlove to speak as your sales kickoff or certainly there's some workshops orteach. That's, that's my passion and I love just spreading the word on thisstuff. It's a great opportunity and thanks again and again, everyone should,should look into the transparency sale if you haven't already a great tool andresource for you. So everyone, thank you for listening to this episode ofthe revenue series on the B two B growth show. I'm your host, Jon crispin,founder and sales coach at early revenue. Until next time I am out. Are you an early stage tech founderthat's frustrated by limited sales? Do you lack the time to dedicate to atraditional sales training program, John Grisham's Early revenue salesprogram helps early stage founders accelerate sales in large accounts.He's built a playbook that transfers what he's learned as a founder andsales later into a condensed, easy to implement program. If you're ready toincrease your startup sales capacity, visit early revenue dot com to getstarted today,...

...one of the things we've learned aboutpodcast audience growth is that word of mouth works. It works really, reallywell actually. So if you love this show, it would be awesome if you texted afriend to tell them about it. And if you send me a text with a screenshot ofthe text you sent to your friend meta, I know I'll send you a copy of my book,content based networking, how to instantly connect with anyone you wantto know. My cell phone number is 40749033 to 8 Happy texting.

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