For some, the word sales sends a shiver down their spine. But the fact is sales are an essential part of business success. My guest this week is Brad Tonini. If you want to know how to sell what you do, more often, with more ease, then what Brad has to share will be of great value to you.
Brad teaches the principles of how to sell as a Trusted Advisor. In this episode he shares a raft of great sales strategies that are guaranteed to boost your sales results.
00:00:11:17 - 00:00:26:24
Warick: Welcome to the marketers club podcast. The show all about helping you work smarter earn more and accelerate your success. And now here's your host Paul McCarthy
00:00:30:06 - 00:02:48:16
Paul: So welcome to Episode 24 of the marketers club podcast. I am your host Paul McCarthy and I'm here to help you market your talent so you can earn what you're worth and ultimately make more of a difference in the world. Great to have your company again. Well Episode 24 two dozen episodes down and we've got a bunch of brilliant episodes for you. Still to come this year we've got a jam packed calendar of great guests coming your way. But this this episode is one that features a really good mate of mine and the conversation around sales about specifically how to become a trusted advisor salesperson. So when you think about selling how does it make you feel. Are you one of these people that gets a bit squeamish around the idea of selling feels a little uncomfortable doesn't enjoy the sales process or are you someone that is a natural rain maker. No I've always talked about the idea that there's really two types of selling convincing selling or discovery selling. And most people simply drop into convincing mode that is they want to try and talk you into doing business with you. But I think that if you like I experience people who try to convince you to buy I suspect you do the same thing I do. You simply walk away. So our job isn't to convince anyone to buy from us it's to help them discover why you are the right option. And so my good friend Brad Tonini is on the line for us today to chat about how we become trusted advisor salespeople how we moved past the fear of our selling to become absolute gun sales people. So if you have trepidation then you're going to get lots of tips from this episode from Brad about how to overcome that and how to make the sales process just that little bit easier for you. But of course if you are someone who is experienced in selling if you feel really comfortable better I can promise you you're gonna get some great nuggets here from Brad little nuances that are going to make a big difference to helping new convert more sales. So there's something for everybody in this episode and at the very end Brad makes a very generous and special offer so stick around to the end and make sure you take advantage of Brad's generosity. So I don't want to keep you waiting any longer. Let's dive into our chat with Brad Tonini.
00:02:49:16 - 00:02:52:21
Paul: So welcome to the markets club podcast. Brad great to have you with me.
00:02:53:21 - 00:02:59:17
Brad: Paul always wonderful to catch up and talk about selling and I know this is an area that your members probably to get better at.
00:02:59:26 - 00:03:38:26
Paul: Yeah look I think a lot of people as you know Brad that are really selling is one of those things that sometimes for some people is a dirty word sometimes it's a stress. Some are just winging it and hoping that they make sales. And I know how talented you are in this field and I thought we're going to get a specialist on an expert to come and share some insights with us about the whole idea of trusted advisors selling and what that looks like. But maybe first let's have a chat about selling in general on why from your point of view you've been educating people in this space for a long time now but why is selling such a tricky thing for entrepreneurs do you think.
00:03:39:28 - 00:04:34:17
Brad: Well I think if you look at most people in my world I certainly run monthly breakfasts and things and have professional service providers in the room and you're selling yourself. And I'd say 75 percent of the people I work with the entrepreneur market is selling services. And so when you are selling yourself that is that is daunting. It's not like you hide behind a product and say you know here's my widget. You're actually saying hey you put your faith in me. So I think it's a lot to do with the start with in terms of professional services versus products. The second thing is that you know I was lucky enough to grow up with this. My dad was a great salesman I got taught sales across the breakfast table a very young age. So this has never been a challenge for me but you know other people don't get that sort of upbringing that I had which made it a very entrepreneurial world for me but also a very sales driven world for me which you know you have to make a sale to survive in business.
00:04:34:19 - 00:05:06:08
Paul: Well I guess that leads to one potential myth perhaps that lives out there and that is that there are natural salespeople and that maybe people would hear your story know that you've been very entrepreneurial your whole life that selling has been a part of who you are. But for people who don't feel that way they're they that they maybe have this escape clause where they think well yeah that's all. For other people they're natural salespeople so from your point of view is it possible for anyone to develop the ability to become effective at selling themselves.
00:05:06:10 - 00:06:17:26
Brad: Well I guess we talk about old terminology mostly old old phrases that used to be gift of the gab didn't a gift of the gab you know if you could talk to soft talk the legs of a table then obviously you're a good sales person. Does it help to be likeable. Yes. Does it help to be a magnetic personality. Absolutely. Is it is it something born with not necessarily is it is it something that's learned. Absolutely. So I hope that sort of clears a little bit up but I think what what I'd say is that anyone who feels uncomfortable selling you can learn the rules of sell. You can learn. I guess the structure of a sales process you can learn the language of the sales process. You know why I talk a lot about theatre and language. These are a big part of of sales and I teach people who are non sales people that and sales people how to get better. They're questioning how to get better their language phrases. That is a learned skill. It might not come to them naturally but I think it certainly helps from my point of view. A gift of the gab if you like to be a magnetic likeable personality. I mean I think that helps. People are drawn to you and you can get to have a conversation with people you know.
00:06:18:01 - 00:06:38:21
Paul: You teach people about the whole trust that advises selling item came to have a conversation about that. But what of the changes I guess that you've seen. Being in the industry for a long time teaching people for a long time. What is the move from I guess sales training into this idea of a trusted advisor selling what what's the what's the points of difference here that we need to be conscious of.
00:06:38:27 - 00:07:50:03
Brad: Well it's interesting I remember your or your old phrase which was the you know not being convincing selling but discovery selling, I remember us talking about it many many years ago which was always stay with me I've loved that phrase of yours and I think that's part of where we are. In terms of not pushing pushing pushing all the time but asking great questions getting people engaged and then coming up with a solution that isn't the buyers court in their interests. So what does that mean. It means I guess listening more but also talking to what a buyers driver is and what they what their attraction point is in some ways rather than what you'd got to sell. So I guess what's changed. Number one speed speeds change the marketplace sales people now have to be very very quick in terms of making their point. You don't sit around having a chin wag for ages. I mean I'm in but my dad talking to me about early sales days in his sales career and he said You know I used to have the tea lady that come around during a sales call offer you teas and cakes and Leamington and everything else and you'd sit there for an hour and you'd mesmerise your prospect with the sample after sample and catalog after catalog and that's it going wow this is great.
00:07:50:05 - 00:09:20:08
Brad: Well that's all disappeared. People want the information fast so I think speed is number one. Number two information is readily available now. If we go back to the tea lattes example they didn't know what was available back in those days you'd bring your pots and pans or you or your products you had to sell your catalogs and go through it. And I weren't away. There was no Internet there was no people doing door to door and it was a guy how do we go through the features and benefits the product. And you used to wear them so information is now readily available which means that you've got to go into a prospect now as a trusted advisor asking the right questions and make sure that you're not wasting their time with information they already know they want insight expertise they want you to be the person who's the go to person who is the I guess trusted authority in the marketplace better than anyone else. And that's going to prove to people these days is our level of expertise and knowledge. So speed information itself. I think social media's changed the game a bit in terms of the way that we get out and connect with people now just for a second. How about I talk about what's not changed is that what helps to balance it up a little bit. What's not changed. Number one is that I think that value always beats price that's never changed. I don't think it ever will change. If you have something that's of great value to people and you can really bundle it up package it and show them all the reasons why they need it. That will always beat price.
00:09:20:10 - 00:10:06:06
Brad: And I don't care what you're selling for your premium to the market as long as you got plenty of value attached to it. I don't believe that people are necessarily as price conscious as what some salespeople say they are. So value you know, beats price face to face selling. I don't think you can replace that. That's not changed. In other words if I ask people my breakfast what what level do you convert at. On a face to face sales call. This is a phone sales call. They'll always say that you can you can close twice as many sales face to face because you get to have that conversation with someone so face to face selling if you can get in front of the person and prove your expertise to me will never ever go into vogue. And it's always the best way of selling. So it's a couple of things that I think have changed a couple of things that probably never changed and I think give a will
00:10:06:28 - 00:10:26:29
Paul: Yeah, there are some lighthouse principles are that they're going to hold solid for the time and memorial I suspect. So you have and you teach a trusted advisor methodology a model. Would you be happy to share a few of the insights from I guess the structurally what we need to be thinking about to sell more successfully.
00:10:27:01 - 00:11:49:10
Brad: Trusted Advisor a concept was born probably around about 8 to 10 years ago on the base although it's something although it's always been the talking about some some shape or form and living it is based on the fact that it's not meant to be slick pushy in-your-face selling it is all about strategic and tactical selling. Most of my clients are people who are selling business to business. Some of course business consumer it's going to work better business the business where you're working on a multi-step sales process then that will mean multiple sales calls multiple phone calls. It might mean emails but it also mean multiple steps inside a sales call. So I talk about strategic and tactical selling. How do we actually have a conversation with someone that really looks very much not rehearsed. And you've really rehearsed that down to the question and phrase you're gonna use. It doesn't need to be robotic. It just means we need to have a really clear idea as to where we're going with the conversation as a trusted advisor selling strategically rather than just being pushy and I guess in some ways the old selling was very manipulative too. Win lose I believe and win win so there is a tendency I guess of trusted advisor selling its essence certainly strategic tactical a staged step sales process and win win in terms of the buyer getting what they want as well.
00:11:49:13 - 00:12:03:25
Paul: If we are structuring our process and it's gonna be multiple touch points and so forth what are some of the things that we need to keep in mind in terms of the stages the phases of sales success. What are we going to need to move through with the prospect.
00:12:04:15 - 00:13:25:24
Brad: Well if you talk about face to face selling you're on a sales call you're talking to a prospective buyer and you want to engage them. You're gonna have to go through what I would say three stages of a sales call and that is the stimuli to demonstrate and to activate. So let's talk about them very quickly. Stimuli are going to really come up with a way in which I can engage you from the word go. I need to be asking you certain things about what I've learned about your business online. I need to look like I've done my homework. I've got to come up with an intelligent question you know such as. I couldn't help but notice when I was on your website the other night doing some ratio research for the day that your company doubled blah blah blah blah. It doesn't matter what you say after that because the key words are when I was on the website the other night doing research for this sales call. So that's all part of the stimulate phase. The rapport building the conversation we're having. I think we have a conversation on two levels. So I'm watching your response to my questions while at the same time I have my own script but I need to move my script according to where you're going. I'm looking at your eyes I'm looking at with you salivating about the things I'm looking at that I'm looking at your biggest problems you've currently got or what I'm might be able to bring to the table it'll help you all those things are all part of stimulating the cycle and that could be that could be anywhere up to half the sales call.
00:13:25:26 - 00:14:53:28
Brad: So we're trying to do is just stimulate stimulate stimulate ask lots of questions write lots of notes and get them engaged. That's the first phase demonstrate when you've got the opportunity opportunity really to start talking about what you want to talk about today. So of course during stimulate you're going to be looking at those opportunities to to jump into the conversation of course and talk about maybe a couple of things and you can link it to your product or service. But essentially the demonstrate phase if it's say halfway in through the way in depending upon what the Bible in front of you it's gonna be very much your time to talk. In other words what I'm here to talk about today and we can't over talk. We don't want to get into a war and peace but we want to touch on those things that are really important in terms of demonstrating the key features or benefits but also as you would know from the work that we've done together message of uniqueness is a big part of my world. And so demonstrate phase is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your expertise by giving what I would call a strategic message of uniqueness. In other words why you should buy from me over anyone else. And we're going to clearly state that mother works or work I do with entrepreneurs and companies. Is actually getting better damn because it's all over the place and we're gonna get a script so it looks like it's not rehearsed that it sure as heck is. Yeah. So it's a it's a message of uniqueness under that demonstrate so we stimulate.
00:14:54:00 - 00:14:57:24
Paul: We demonstrate in the last part as to activate them. So what do we need to do there Brad.
00:14:58:03 - 00:16:53:16
Brad: They'll ask for the business and the biggest problem entrepreneurs have is the height asking for the business. In other words they they feel like they're pushy and I feel like they're trying to get their products sold to the buyer. If you know if you're doing the two phases of stimulate demonstrate really well it shouldn't seem like this really clammy hands dry in the throat type moment where you're trying to say hey buy for me buy from me. It should just flow. And one of the side sales people or non sales people is don't build it up to be more than what it is. If you're turning the whole pyramid on its head in terms of the way that sales used to be soft talk which was in a rapport building and needs and in a big band at the bottom which was about 40 percent of a sales call which was close close close. When you flip that then really pull building and stimuli is at the top of the tree now and the pyramid goes in to where the close is probably no more than 10 percent 15 percent. And if you if you see the opening during the call it's the skilled salesperson who can jump in and grab it right there and then rather worrying about moving through the phase of the sales call. If the buyer is ready to go they're ready to go so just close it up. So I think to be very intuitive in watching out for what you buy signed you at the same time to jump in and then start you know I guess an old language trial closing if you like. I tend to call it sort of first seeking agreement and some ways putting ideas out there and seeing if they're buying and sometimes they might just say oh that sounds good to me. You go ok so how do you want to get started with this so we can get a credit card started in terms of a down payment or you know and just start leading that way. I always think that you took that language and then if someone doesn't stop you just keep talking. It's not difficult. Paul half the work I do when I go into companies is actually getting people to feel comfortable with asking for the business. It's incredible.
00:16:53:18 - 00:17:44:27
Paul: I've watched you transform so many businesses over the years and had the pleasure of spending a lot of time working with you and running programs together. So I know just how effective this stuff can be. But I also know how much people can get in their own way. And so there is that intuitive component which is that real confidence and inner trust I guess to be in the moment with the person. But let's go back just for a second in terms of stimuli. You mentioned that obviously one of the elements of the stimuli is we're watching got body language doing that. But a key component here is the questions that we're using. So if there are a couple of questions that you would recommend that people add to their I guess their sales vocabulary to ensure that they're going to get better answers rather than some of those sorts of questions that you would I guess initially say before people I trained by you.
00:17:44:29 - 00:18:09:06
Brad: You know I'd love to give one that's been around for about forty five years only because it just works. It's funny people say to me oh what's new. What's the new line we should use. I go try this and it might just work. And when I have salespeople and workshops with me I've been selling for 10 and 20 years. They look at me and laugh and go you know I still use that and it still works so hear it is. Ready to go.
00:18:09:14 - 00:18:10:19
Paul: Yeah I'm ready.
00:18:10:21 - 00:20:21:22
Brad: If I could would you is a key question you can put in the lock after that. If I could put a solution together that was within a budget of 5000 to ten thousand dollars. Would that be of interest to you. Now you can add bits into it but if I could... would you. Yeah that is the most basic sales question that I believe is probably still on the most effective sales question you can ask. Now you can camouflage that question as much as you along. So that is a said you'll find texts of 50 years ago to talk about these Hopkins Tracy probably Tony Robbins and all those guys I've talked about at different times but it's just a simple order asking questions to get someone involved in the process but it just works and all I do is I just camouflage it you know so I try to add words into it. I try to give it a little distinctive flair but essentially what I'm asking is based on what you've told me. If I could would you. And so if I say at that point no well you know you stand. I can't get approval. I've got my budget guy I don. Yeah. But if the answer is something like Well I guess you know I'd have to put it up I think it's something that we could probably go with you go, okay. That person is at least a look to some sort of medium warm sort of buyer you know and we try to sort out here Paul is working at you know where do we not waste our time insights. And I think so many people spin their wheels on prospects that are only ever lukewarm if you're lucky and you try to push your way into the sales process and they're on a pipeline somewhere they get regular calls from you and all you do is running round circles to the people who camp on. So if I could. Would you would be a great question to ask based on what you've told me today. I think we can would be a phrase that I use a lot. So in other words I'm looking for some of the things that they've said they're looking for. And then I try to segue that in before the demonstrate phase I would you know based on what you've said today Paul I think we could probably come up with two or three solutions that's going to meet that need. So there's this a little. So the top and tail if you like that I'll use pretty much on every sales call when I'm selling regardless of teaching it.
00:20:22:06 - 00:20:53:27
Paul: Well they're great tips things that people can easily add and start to blend as you say their own language around those key phrases to understand it. I think the other important point that you made in terms of stimulus that it's gonna represent around 50 percent or more of the sales process but a big part of it is the listening component. So great questions allow you to listen and then speak rather than the old adage of kind of going in there and bombarding and trying to convince people to buy. So it's clearly it's about asking great questions.
00:20:54:09 - 00:20:56:03
Brad: Two ears, one mouth portion.
00:20:56:14 - 00:21:09:19
Paul: So what about in terms of the demonstrate phase how important or where does things like proof testimonials evidence of the bodies of work that you've done in the past. How do you integrate that into a sales process.
00:21:09:21 - 00:22:27:25
Brad: It's a big part of selling today. Because you talking about providing or creating a trusting relationship and one of the ways we develop trust is to build it up with evidence. So if you talk about you know the message uniqueness process that I teach minutes full of evidence I'm going to come up with a number of things that I'm going to say that I might be what I consider to be pretty good at. In terms of what I do and it could be it could be anyone selling services out there or products we actually can have a position to market and say this is what we specialise in. You going to back it up with evidence. So what what's evidence. Some collateral website testimonials a phone number you can give them of someone to call. Who is going to say some nice things about you, a video. You know video is very very easy these days. I don't think you have to have a folder full of testimonial letters. But I do think by having a little bit of evidence that they can go to which is not you talking about yourself is really important in being a trusted advisor. I encourage people when I go to sales calls for my services. Don't take my word for it please phone this personal that person. This is what the sort of work I've done with them and I found Paul that if they actually make that call which probably less than 50 percent made the call by the way. But if they make the call that I'd be saying I'll be an 80 percent chance getting the business straight away.
00:22:28:20 - 00:24:18:26
Paul: I'll return to my conversation with Brad Tonini in just a moment but first I wanted to talk to you about your expert positioning and how clear it is the expertise that you offer in a marketplace. You see often people are trying to communicate too many things to the market and as a result they are diluting the expert positioning. If that's you there is potential that you are confusing people and losing opportunities because people don't understand why they should buy from you. So if you're ready to clarify your expert position to really claim your niche and become a category of one player then I invite you to join me and our next brand voice workshop over three days we will help you to refine your expert position to clarify your message just like a great song great marketing has to be memorable repeatable a story that people understand and can repeat out into the marketplace. I'm going to show you exactly how to design your messaging so the people never forget who you are and what you're an expert in we'll help you devise and develop your own sales funnel so you can generate more high quality leads consistently into your business. You'll walk away with a complete marketing plan done ready to attack the year like never before. If you want to be a part of the brand voice workshop and join me on February 28, 29 and March 1st here in Melbourne simply go to the marketersclubacademy.com and register today. I can promise you you'll walk away with a comprehensive plan to attack the year and really start to sell your services like never before. It'll be the best three days you've ever invested into your business's growth and development. So go to the marketersclubacademy.com and register today and I'll look forward to working with you at the event.
00:24:19:01 - 00:24:34:11
Paul: To share with us the drivers that you teach people about in terms of why people are buyers what are the four drivers that you educate people around which I suspect play a big part in terms of understanding the activation phase of the sales process.
00:24:34:13 - 00:27:19:00
Brad: Yeah I've always said that that the buyers will buy from us and certainly commercial sense for one of four reasons or a combination of the four reasons so it could be two. I find there is certainly a bigger percentage to buy. Well one of these drivers which I explained a second that I'm trying to sort this out at the start by the way in the stimulate phase I'm trying to find out what the driver is right from the start. So even though while we certainly used the Activate phase to make sure I can deliver my recommendation to them that's going to be feeding back to that driver. I'm looking out for it in terms of watching their body language and their words and phrases that are coming back to me in the stimulate phase to determine what really drives them. So here are the four drivers. Number one is make my life easier. And we know that our buyers will buy from us if we make their life easier. Think for yourself if you're a person who buys that why I certainly that why if I'm going into a shop and something is 10 percent 20 percent more expensive and both premium something else but I can get it now I don't have to wait, there's no service. I will always pay more and I think there are a lot of people around like me. No to lower costs or increase profits. In other words how can you do what you do that will actually help them to lower their cost in the organisation or to increase sales or increase profits. And so obviously the work I do is increasing sales but for a lot of people who might be listening to this it could be the fact that they provide something that takes a cost out of the organisation we live in a virtual world these days. We live in a world where you don't have to have a physical office anymore. And that brings up a whole host of benefits in terms of other services and parks you could be offering that would reduce the cost of doing business. You can go it I'm just talking to some of this morning about all the different areas that have popped up in terms of sharing areas for room for work these days and you know what 100 bucks or whatever is a month or a couple of bucks a month you can get use of offices you got you can hot hot seat your company no-one will ever know. And yet in the old days it used to be you had a physical premises everything else so you was selling those services you going to save someone a ton of money. Third one is lower their risk. We know the buyers will buy from us if we lower their risk. In other words providing some of the things you just talked about the evidence the demonstration the social proof the guarantee which I know you're very big on. So when you provide those sorts of things to what you're offering in terms of recommendation we know that people are going to feel much more comfortable about buying from you what's the risk.
00:27:19:02 - 00:28:38:02
Brad: Well you know there's no risk attached to it moving forward. So why not. You're also backing up the fact that you are a trusted source and saying hey I don't expect you just to hand over X to me. Let's move move into the bite sized chunks let's lower our risk as we go along. And the last one is increased competitive advantage. Your buy will buy from you if you can increase their competitive advantage over their competitors. So a lot of the work I do with sales teams across the desert to be a large s to me just a couple of salespeople inside a business is that we're trying to find a way that we can build up competitive advantage over our competitors in the market how we are bullet proofing our sales process but then also how we are providing the buyer with a reason why they should keep using us to their benefit to get one up on their competitors. Think about pretty much all the work I do it's showing salespeople how to get in front of their competitors. And as you would know from the work I do I don't work with competing companies. So it's very easy for me to pitch that and talk about that in my own sales process because of course I'm working with one brand in a market which means that if we work together we get a competitive advantage over their competitors. But it is a driver of people who are buyers in the market.
00:28:38:04 - 00:29:38:15
Paul: Fantastic thanks for sharing those brands because I think that a lot of people they're not paying attention to to the buyer the drivers of their buyers they're just so caught up in trying to communicate what it is that they do and why it would be so good for them if they're not paying attention to what they are actually asking for and I think this is one of our big stumbling blocks for entrepreneurs is they actually make themselves very difficult to buy. They confuse people with their messages and they are inflexible with their strategies and so forth. And what you're talking about is about being very intuitive about being a great listener about going where the client is saying that's what I need from you and then you've used even as we've been going through this process that the language that you use shows the great skill that you're having in doing this. But just to wrap up on that idea when we think about language when we think about the theatre of the sale just give us a couple of tips in terms of things that we need to be mindful of around our language in theatre.
00:29:38:17 - 00:32:00:29
Brad: Theatre is always been something that I've been really excited about and sharing with people. I just think that that's the difference between someone who is not engaging someone who doesn't have a magnetic personality someone who is not buyer a focused and so you've got to have theatre what you do so that you are equipped you've got a tool kit ready to go that gets people engaged. So you know I'm going to be looking at things like repeating back to people the words they use so if I hear someone talking about I'll give you example a little while ago I had a prospect in front of me who said we really want a back to basics sales course. So my brain goes back to basics bread. Well I don't have a back to basics sales course Paul. I have a foundation course called the Trusted Advisor selling one day program or Bootcamp I have the 1 percent edge which is my advanced program. I don't have a back to basics course. Well get out of the way of it and go with the flow. That's what I'm saying where as some people will be always will always talk they're language and not the language of the buyer. So guess what. As I'm going through the sales call I'm talking to you Paul as the buyer saying you know in this back to basics course I think we achieve these things as part of the back to basics Foundation program I think. And guess what. When the e-mail goes back to them all the proposals provided to them and in front of them. Guess what that course their course is called back to basics. And so the buyer is a guy and you get me. You totally get me. Whereas I think if you look at most people they'll probably get caught up in their own product their own self their own collateral their own thing they're trying to sell whereas you know talk the language of the buy find out what it is they sign putting back the last words or phrases or of key keywords they using. That's a key part of of theatre of the sign. As I said before I think message like this is a key part of this. In other words a key part of theatre is that you go to it. You say goodbye to it and off you go. Like I give you a good example I'll say something like You know Paul if I have to think about how I'm different in the marketplace or anywhere else. There's probably two or three reasons why people use my services I've or anyone else who offers what I offer. Number one I'm a solo practitioner. Number two customisable my work and number three I'm a sounding board to your sales team.
00:32:01:01 - 00:34:22:22
Brad: Now I just went through that fast fashion. If I'm doing it one on one with the board I'm going to be scratching my head thinking about it using theatre in terms of how I deliver that that those three lines but they are parts of my message uniqueness that go with me on every sales call in my toolkit. So it's just a matter of how I use it during the sales call to get people engaged. But it's part of my theatre. It's part of my sales and meeting with theatre that goes in there. You know I'll give you one more just to think about because I've got a whole book on this 30 of them. The third one I'll give you which is it which is always a funny one is what I call proposal foreplay there's an interesting idea for you proposal foreplay that will get people's attention Paul. proposal foreplay comes from a gentleman who was selling me insurance years ago and it's funny you know I think that in sales we never stop learning. We're always watching others selling and I love watching sales people sell to me because I'm sitting there going jeez. That was good I love the way you did that you know and I got a little note as I walk out the room about a line or a phrase they used that I thought I could use some way well this guy he was selling the business and insurance for property like contents and building insurance and he was going through it all with me. He was talking to me and is asking me questions about what I've got everything else. And he said I'll come back to you in the proposal I can. A few days time says sure enough we meet up again and he's got his proposal there in front of him and he's got my logo on the front of it. He's got a proposal for Tonini group and Brad Tonini and all of that. And it's sitting right in front of me and I'm looking at it I'm thinking. So when are you gonna actually give this proposal to me. And so he starts off and he says what I've done is I've gone away Brad and I've looked through your insurance policies and I've talked to a couple of people insurers and people who can do business with on your behalf as a broker. And he gets a proposal. And he starts tap and I wish this visual Paul. But just imagine if you can, you got a proposal in front of you and you're tapping it. He's tapping it right. He's got his hand he's tapping on the proposal and he while he's talking to me. And this went on for about 30 seconds and he said in this proposal and he keep tapping it. He kept pointing to it. You know we're going to do this and that and I'm going to save you a roundabout.
00:34:22:24 - 00:35:47:04
Brad: And I think the number was something like four hundred and thirty seven dollars a month on your whole portfolio. And I'm sitting this salivating going would you just passed the proposal to me you're driving me. So I get to the end of it. He then gives it to me. I couldn't help myself. I sign up with the guy. I just thought he was so good. He's also got to save you money. It was great. And I said to him I said Can I ask you when you do the proposal and you show me the proposal. You showed me in a way that I've never seen before it was like it was like foreplay to do you know in preparation Give me the proposal and he said jeez you're in too good you, you noticed did you. And I said no well I teach selling so I'm looking at it you know. And he said well I was taught that years ago when I was teaching insurance when I first started out and I said Really. He said Yeah it's called a pre proposal. And I thought that was really cool that 30 seconds before you get a proposal over to talk to it before we hand it over. Now couple of quick learning points. Number one what will happen. You know this from your your days of speaking training facilitating and masterminds what happens when you hand over a piece of paper to a mastermind participant or to an entrepreneur and one of your groups. And it's a handout for the training. What happens to their attention to what you're talking about when they get the handout in their hand. What do you think happens.
00:35:47:07 - 00:35:50:17
Paul: Go straight to the head. And they stop listening and focusing on you.
00:35:50:21 - 00:36:56:04
Brad: You can not get their attention back in a hurry. They're going to be eyes down. Same thing. The proposal is that once you give a person a proposal they will stop looking at you and I will start reading and doing the numbers and getting a calculator out and doodling and everything else. So the whole idea of holding suspense back just for 30 seconds is something I have always done. Always done because it just builds up the suspense of what I've got in front of me. But the second thing is it means for 30 seconds I've got your undivided attention to read summarise what we agreed I was going to work on. So I would go something like this. Paul you and I spoke about doing some work together. I've gone away to think about three main recommendations and the people watching this the video that would see me put my three fingers up as well. Three when I did it I always use visual transfers will three things. And then you get in the proposal and you'll pick out the page you want to go through. It's a very simple technique. It's number three out a 35 different you get theatre. But to me proposal for apply something I picked up from someone else. Well I've run X number of years again.
00:36:56:06 - 00:37:03:20
Paul: I love it. Thanks Brad. That's also that's a great tip and I'm sure lots people going to read it and try it. Try that's that tapping on the proposed.
00:37:03:23 - 00:37:07:15
Brad: It's fun. Yeah I think it should be fun.
00:37:07:17 - 00:38:50:00
Paul: That's a great point. Well I guess that's the thing too. You know you bring this great energy to it and the fun and the theatre and and it just increases the pleasure the delight if you like for the person on the other side of the table. Following on from this conversation about proposals I suspect a lot of people when they are not confident with their selling after they finish a meeting they promise a person a proposal and there has been no discussion of price up until that point. So they walk away. They invest a lot of time and energy preparing proposals that fall flat. And I think it happens because they lack the confidence to have the money conversation in the room with people and really start to get a clarity of what they're aiming for. They're afraid to have that conversation so they walk away. And I think it's also a consequence of not putting value on your own time so that they're not really valuing and time they've got just in terms of the preparation of a proposal getting it to somebody or communicating it to what what's the the strategy that you would recommend. So that we don't waste our time and become people who just do proposals. I remember when I had a call centre and we went telemarketing selling all sorts of things and some of the telemarketing would say oh you know such and such on the phone here they're interested. But they want me to send information in my line was always we're not in the information sending business when you're a telemarketer. You have to sell it now. Don't worry about it. There's nobody is going to get information and get more excited about it. What's the strategy as a trusted adviser in relation to how I manage the proposal because I love the foreplay part. So what's the part in terms of getting and making sure that we're not in the business of just writing proposals for the sake of it.
00:38:50:14 - 00:41:02:00
Brad: Well the core attributes of a trusted adviser salesperson is is that you are a great value creator a great deal maker rainmaker trust maker and a good strategic thinker. So I'll just start by saying that. So in terms of being a good strategic thinker one of the things we've got to recognise as a trusted advisor is that not everyone should get a proposal and you've heard me said it before that we're not in the proposal business where in the results. In other words if you're in front of me and you're ready to go you don't need a proposal. We just get it that we just sign up the piece of paper or send you back an email that re confirms what you've agreed to. So what I'm basically saying is is get agreement in principle if you can get agreement in principle. It changes the game. But what most people do in sales is that they they think that their job is to get in front of as many people as possible and have a lot of conversations. That's not good job. Your job as a trusted advisor salesperson is to achieve your sales goals. Budgets KPIs full stop. If you're an entrepreneur you're going to turn over X to run the business to be had to pay the mortgage in and have money at home and help the people and pay for the employees. So you've got to have a KPI it's strict KPI. What what's the sales you're trying to achieve. Which means that not everyone can say yes. And so don't waste your time on people who can't say yes. That means that your sales call becomes critically important to determine. Am I. What is my action here is I'm talking to this person and I've got to say there's one thing that keeps going over my mind as I'm talking to a buyer. And that is how much information this person need. What do I need to give to them. Can I close this up right now or is this a total waste of my time. They're the questions that are going through my head most sales people opposite they're thinking great I'm going to go back to the boss today and say I've spoken to another buyer and I've just put another proposal out because it justifies the fact you're paying me X thousand dollar per year. This is the problem is that if we're serious about results then it's about who gets what in the first place proposal.
00:41:02:02 - 00:43:28:02
Brad: So I guess I'll start off with that to say that not everyone should get on the first place. Number two is that how are you increasing your chances of conversion with the proposal itself you probably heard me say that I believe in always being attached to my proposals. So in other words the days of going back with a proposal and having a second sales call and going through the proposal with your buyer. Oh boy it's fast disappearing with the sales people I work with and I have to remind them of this that when your sales go up because you get face to face it means go back and re proposal or go back and go through your proposal and go through every aspect that it and recommendations and show what you're going to save and how you're going to help their life and everything else. But you have to get back in front of them. Which brings me to point number three make the time to get in front of the person before you leave. The sales call on the first sales call. So if you and I are talking right now and you say yes I'd like to know more about that. It's really interesting. I've got a budget of ten thousand bucks and I'd love to have it. I'd love to have those recommendations. I'd say to you Paul. Can you get to diary right now. How are you and Tuesday or Thursday. Tuesday morning I can come back to you at 10:00 Thursday and come past here at 3. This is old selling about going to you diary. But it's how effective I don't know what we've moved away from this. So get that agreement right there and then about when you'll be going back. People usually take me to task on this and say Yeah but hang on what if it's the interstate Interstate opportunity. That's kind of what I do. I schedule a phone call. So in other words diary now goes in the diary bang the invite goes out to them and they accept the they accept the diary note. They don't get my proposal until usually about one hour to two hours before the appointment on the actual phone call and then I go okay. Did you get it. Even if I can get it the what they are key because I just go through it right there with them and what I do is I'm trying to give them some of the most commonly asked questions that people bring up and to see what might be in the way of them actually going ahead. I don't want to leave it with them where they say I'll get back to you and then get one of those two line emails it says thank you very much for your proposal. You know we can't move ahead with this right now as we have no budget and look at it again next to you. I want to know that the phone so I'm going to push pretty hard to find it is a thing and a flow. So I think it might four things you can do that will help you increase conversion rate of proposals.
00:43:28:05 - 00:43:52:29
Paul: You mentioned you you're writing a new book. I will have two if you will come back on and again when that book that and we can talk about all the things in the new book that you're doing. But in terms of people connecting with the people who are going to want to learn how to improve their sales skills you've got breakfast that you run for people that are in in Melbourne. So what's the best way how can people get in contact with you and learn more from you.
00:43:53:10 - 00:45:00:21
Brad: Very easy. [email protected] so B R A D @ B R A D T O N I N I .com send me an email and let me know if you'd like to come along and join us at one of our breakfasts. We have a trusted advisor selling Institute in Melbourne we run a monthly breakfast program we get about 35 to a breakfast the first breakfast is on me. So come along. You just need a send me an email and say I'd like to come. There are all the topics and all the events are already posted up on the website. At bradtonini.com you'll find them in the events section. There are a tone of events there. Pretty much one per month on different aspects of sound you know prospecting rainmaking if you like, referrals. How to manage your time more effectively as a sales person. How to develop buyer language all the events are on bradtonini.com. So if you want to pick one particular that's fine. Let me know. But if you just want to come to the next one. Just e-mail and I'd be happy to pick up the cheque for you to come to one of my breakfast. It's only sixty five dollars to come but come along as my guests for the next breakfast.
00:45:00:23 - 00:46:23:00
Paul: Awesome offer thanks mate I appreciate that and I'm sure many people want to take you up on that because that's very generous and I know that they'll get a stack of value from coming along so. Thanks so much but I know you're got a busy schedule I appreciate you making some time to chat with me today. So I hope you enjoyed that episode with Brad to 90 it certainly was packed with lots of great information great tips to help you improve your sales performance to ensure that you were able to convert more of the opportunities that come your way into sales into dollars in the bank and ultimately if we're running a business we have to be making money. So what is it that you're going to focus on from this episode that's going to help improve your sales results. Maybe it's to pay a little bit more attention to the drivers. Is your business about making someone's life easier. Do you help lower the costs or increase their profits. Do you take away the risk for them or do you create a competitive advantage. Maybe it's about looking at the questions you're asking and maybe you want to add the question that Brad suggested that if I could. Would you simple language that can absolutely transform a sales result. Well maybe you want to play with the idea of proposal foreplay to us to entice people to want to dive into the proposal you've put together.
00:46:23:02 - 00:47:36:18
Paul: Certainly a lot of people waste so much time and energy with proposals that were never properly positioned and therefore they just spent all of their time positioning and trying to resell somebody because they didn't do it properly the first time. So I hope you'll take Brad up on his offer particularly if you're based in Melbourne to get along to one of these breakfasts what a great opportunity for you. So I hope that you will avail yourself of that chance again and spend a morning with him. He's a great practitioner a great guy and he'll certainly help you to move your sales to the next level. So with that said that is it for another episode. I'll be back with you next week with another exciting episode one I think you're really gonna find fascinating because we are gonna be talking about the voice and how you can project your voice in the world literally how the voice operates in terms of what it can do to create more opportunities and how positions your confidence and so forth. It's a fascinating conversation with Dr. Louise Marla and it's one that I'm sure you're going to love so I'll look forward to joining you next week with that episode. But until then I wish you all the very best of luck with your businesses. But much more importantly with your lives. Take care. Bye for now.