The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 5 years ago

Building Positive Business Intent

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

How do you build positive business intent in your sales process? Senior Delivery Partner Brian Walsh walks through best practices for gaining trusted adviser status with your prospects and customers.

Hello, I'm Rachel Cladmiller. Thank youfor joining us for this podcast Wer we're talking about building positivebusiness intent. We often talk about a salesperson's need to be a trustedadvisor with his or her clients. You've heard that multiple times over, butreally what does that mean? And how do you do that? How are you supposed to dothat? One way is to be diligent around building positive business. antentBrian Walls joins me now. I know you are very possb passionate about thistopic right. I am Rachel and it I find it interesting that when I use thephrase and people haven't heard it before a lot of times, they're notquite sure what I mean and and we'll get inside of that, but I think thistopic is so important because one, if you think about how plients makedecisions, if you think about how we make decisions in our own personallives, it's always about ourselves. First s right and the solution. Second,so plnts do the same thing: clents are thinking about their business firstthey're, not thinking about our products or solutions. First, that'sthe outcome. When they've really...

...thought through the business side first-and I think the other thing is how we approach these conversations withclients, both in the singular fashion and overthe course of an entire relationship with the client says, absolutelyeverything about us and personally, an collectively as an organization great.So, let's, let's break it down, tell me what positive business intentis. So theconcept came to me a very long time ago. I think I'd been selling for three orfour years I've been. I was moving into more of a major account type of salesenvironment, and I can't remember who brought it in. It was an outside partyto the company. I can't remember who he was or where he came from, but he cameto the table with this idea that you know there are really four things thatseparate all from the greatest of salesorganizations, and it was an equation. Actually they had four parts. It wasthe idea that you had this reliability factor. You know, are you what you sayyou are? Are you going to be who you...

...say you are this idea that there was anintimacy factor, an ability to create great personal relationships withpeople over time there was a credibility factor that was the thirdcomponent. Do I bring some sort of authority to the table about what we do?You know personally and collectively, and then last there was this idea thatthere's this self orientation factor this this. This idea that a client canlook at you and basically judge through your actions. Are you highly selforiented, or are you highly customer, reaned right and and in the end he putthis into an equation which was the first three reliability, intimacy,incredibility get added together and whatever that you know score that thecustomer might Havesigne to me versus another salesperson might be getsdivided by myself orientation. So if my self orientation is very high, itdiscounts all those other three pieces.

If my self orientation is low, if Ihave a high custom orientation that high level score that I get from theother top three guess divide. If I have a smaller number, which obviously givesme a much better chance, because the client realizes that I'm all about theclient first, just through what nomlly what I say, but how I actually actright in building that positive business intent yep, so this is, shouldbe a great goal for every salesperson to have with every customer that theydeal with trusted advisor building this positive business intent yeah, but butit sounds a little lofty yeah. It can probably feel a little lofty until youget inside of the details of it because Al all four of those points, I think,are very very actionable right. They don't have to beacademic theory. I do think it starts with the fact that we have to realizethat as an organization, we have a point of view that we can bring to themarketplace that most others that were talking with every day haven'ttypically thought of right. If we've...

...got some expertise and that's why weare who we are as an organization, we should be comfortable bringing that tothe table in such a way that it starts with great stories and great questionsand then translates and pivots specifically what we do for a living,but there's a lot of pieces that get to that. So, first there's this thingcalled the valley based business conversation right right. We've heardthat fou before right. We teach that a lot and come out of the message, butreally that mantra of building that value based business conversation is agreat way to think about building positive business and yeah, becauseit's all about the customer. First, it's about the business first, it'sabout. Where are you today? What's the consequences of that Veri very specificand meedy conversation for multiple perspective, it leads to a conversationabout what great looks like on the backend from an outcome perspective andwhat life can be like for organizations that deal with that set of problemsreally real really effectively without talking about who we are specifically.So it's a it's a covert conversation to an extent about what makes us special,but it's almost a conversation that...

...says: Hey whether you buy for me or not,and this was where I was used to stand when I felt like the client was tryingto pull me into a product conversation too fast, I'd say: Look. I can't waitto talk about us, but whether you buynd from us right now is not the questionto be answered. The question to be answered is: Have we thought throughwhere you are and where you're really trying to go? Well enough thatGettingto, a great outcome is what matters first and then whoever you lookat me and anybody else has got to be able to attach back to that so wellthat it's not a question as to whether or not you've picked the right vendor.You know you have because you've thought through what's required to getthere first, and you said this. You said this before that, when youapproach these conversations, you're trying to build credibility, positiveisness, Antoet, that you need to focus on what the customer needs, not whatthat customer wants to hear, oexpects to hear right and in fact, one of thethings in a lot of the different selling environments I've been in overthe years we used to do was we would connect back to the client in such away that we would help them think...

...through the required capabilities for asolution not just based on the conversation we just walk through aboutcurrent Ay future state, but a lot of times we would share with clients.Ideas around things like here are all of the things that you might want tothink about. If you're going to do a request for proposal, we wouldliterally give a client a really well thought out document. That said, theseare the things hot other people in your role or your situation typically thinkthrough here are two or three or four potential options for how to thinkthrough that, from a security standpoint as an example, what level ofsecurities required? How are you going to test that those kinds of things sothere they weren't, necessarily things that I was trying to specifically toget the client to say yeah. I have to have security and it has to look likethis. Instead, I was giving the client some options that I was comfortablewith any of those choices and I wa and more importantly, I was able to say tothe client you get to land on what matters for you when it comes tosecurity. But it's a conversation that you're going to have to think throughno matter who you pick, and that was a...

...that was an example of how clientswould look at us and say what you're really saying. Is You you're not tryingto point me to your solution? Po pecifically you're, trying to point meto a thought process that says, if I'm going to get to a great outcome, I haveto think through these two or three or four scenarios that I haven't thoughtthought about. Yet that was a great way to create that environment or thatconversation with the client, yeah and those points. If we think about Comiinto the message cerminology, it's the required capability right, yeah, it'sall about, and everybody knows this, it's all about influencing the requiredcapabilities. So I was very comfortable saying to a client hey. These are fouror five subjects we haven't talked explicitly about yet that no matterwhere you land on those five subjects, if you think through them clearly andcarefully you'll, ensure that you get to a better outcome for you and yourenvironment. That's the point of this and then the client can step back andsay: Oh you're, not trying to push me to a specific feature capability. A youhave you're trying to get me to think...

...about the problem and how t thinkingthrough that helps me and my business first positive business, Intese yeah,so we've got focus on what the customer needs really focus on that value basedbusiness conversation. Remember: The requirements help the customer with therequirements that exist. Whether your solution is. They are not right andthen think about your referral network as building positive business attempt.That's that's something! Maybe people aren't really thinking of yeah. Well,you know everybody's always talking about how do I get access to higherlevel people in my accounts right and especially when there's decision goingon and if you think about where people enter and exit the decision process,that's really tough, because higher level people executives specifically,they typically enter the decision process early help the groups setrequirements, then they exit for a while. While the group goes off andlooks at different options and then they show up late to help the decisionprocess get finalize make sure the group makes a great decision avoid anyrisk of picking the wrong solution or...

...vendors. So a lot of times we're in themiddle of these around talking about requirements andoptions and we're trying to get executive engagement and they're longgone right. So you've got to really think specifically about. How am Igoing to try to get to that person? There's typically, in my mind, only twoways to do it, or maybe the third you get lucky before decision processes.The number started you go to some sort of event or meeting and you get lucky,which is great. It happens and if you've got a great point of view onwhat you do for living, you might get a chance to talk and maybe take that toanother level, but inside of a decision itself, I've typically come to find thatthere's only two ways and they're both referrals. The first is through thechampion right. If I've developed a couple of champions that I've deliveredfor in the past, and he or she has got great runway inside of the account Ican, I can have that great conversation and say: Hey Rachel. The other thingwe're going to have to do is get the CFO's perspective on this. How do we dothat? I've earned the right to ask you for that through how I'v Performe foryou in the past. Typically I'm going to...

...get that one way or the other eitheryou're going to take me to his oher office or you're, going to go, get itfor me and you're a champion. So I can trust that you're going to do it. Theother option is througm. My other network of executives because- and Ihave a twin brother who happens to be an executive and I' B, able to bounceideas of him like this all the time, and he will tell you that if anotherexecutive refers you to them, your chances of getting that meeting justwent up like exponentially. The only reason you wouldn't get that meetingwould be if that executive were to say yeah. That's just not a problem ofdealing with right now, but even then, as pat said, he said even then,eventually you'll probably get that meeting with me. That's all. I need tohear the that referral from one executive to appear is the best thingyou can have, but the only way to get that is to have delivered for that executivein the past and have positive business intent, because that's how executivesthink they think in terms of their business first, they don't care thatyour company's name is on the PO. Take...

...care about the outcomes that you'rehelping them drive when you can do that. You'll have people referring you forlife yeah and another component of that. I think are yourlinked in connections and your social capital that you have research, there'sa lot of social media research out there that show that executives beforethey meet with a vendor they're going to look and see who that person'sconnected with to see if their colleagues are also connected to yeah.That's right and I find I do. I have to tell you I chuckle when I hear peoplesay: Oh, I don't want to go check, somebody's link, ten profile and I'll.Ask Him whilethey'll, say ocause, hell Kno, I checked it and I I chuckle- andI say that's the point the point of like did is so that you can look atother people's profiles and connections and that's the point of social mediagood that it's okay, but I think it also speaks to the to the proofpointconversation. I know it's kind of nibbling around the edges on that alittle bit, but this idea that when I do great work for an executive or agroup of people inside of a company- and I earned the right to get thatproof point- I earned the right to go...

...back later and say you remember. Wetalked about helping you get to the following business outcomes. Wedelivered the following things in such a way that, over the last six nine,whatever twelve months, we've helped you get to these types of outcomes. Weagreed that I would get the credit for that. I want the proof point, because Ineed to be able to share that story interly with your company with yourpeers, and I also want to be able to share that story with other executorswho, I think we can help, and I've also like to get your help in getting tosome of those people. That's. But if you, if you think about everything, Ijust said: That's all about the negotiation on the front end as well,which is a totally different subject. I know for another day right, I think, isthe idea of creating these proof points is a critical part, because that's whattells another executive who you eveer met before that you actually do havethe clients business in mind. First positive business, anten right and wealways say in community message: Today's Matiricks and positive businessoutcomes. Are Tomorrow's proof point that's right. Today's business alcomeconversation is tomorrow's group point...

...right, yeah, so focus on them and bediligent, that's right with them, so Brian, what's the bottom line when itcomes to building positive business and time, so I think it's this. I thinkit's a mindset. I think it's a mindset that says that I'm confident in theidea that one, I and my organization can add valuable perspective to theconversation before I have to start talking about my products and solutionsand that my products and solutions are only important if they're a great fitfor the business issue and the future outcomes that the client is reallytrying to get to and that I've helped them think about helping themselve forbecause, if you think about it, if I do this well early Ecause, I'm a hugebeliever in losing early. If you're going to lose, I'd rather lose earlyright, salify in and out early and often it's kind of like voting inChicago early and often ai'm from the mid, lest I'm a lote to say that. Butthe point is this: that if I do this...

...well, I've qualified to deal a lotbetter and then I know that I actually belong in such a way that I've now created a perspective. That said, Icare about you. First, the reality is I care about you. First, that's just interms of how I act and how I talk and then, when I start to pivot and talkvery specifically about myself, people are listening because they realize thateverything is coming out about. Myself is attached very specifically to whatwe're trying to help you SALV for and where you're trying to go. That's thebottom way. That's great! Thank you, Bryan, some great tangible points, I'mbuilding that positive business intent. How I become a trusted advisor hope youall found this podcast valuable.

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