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BiggerPockets Business Podcast 23: Scientifically Proven Sales Techniques with David Hoffeld

BiggerPockets Business Podcast 23: Scientifically Proven Sales Techniques with David Hoffeld

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Grandpa may have been a great salesman in his day. But if you’re using the same strategies he used (and most of us are), you’re ignoring powerful brain science that flips conventional wisdom on its head.

And you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.

In today’s episode, we’ll dive into new research with David Hoffeld, a sales trainer who wrote the bestselling book The Science of Selling

After listening to this show, you’ll have a far better understanding of how your prospects think through concepts like fear and risk. You’ll learn how to overcome their objections by “priming,” how to use stories to reassure them, and how to address the six “whys” that explain every buying decision.

Plus, when you do lose a sale, you’ll be able to apply David’s framework for analyzing exactly what went wrong. That way, you’ll know how to close the very next deal!

Turns out, potential buyers are often turned off not by the product itself but by the way it’s presented by the salesperson. 

Listen to this episode to learn the “buyer-centric, science-based” sales methods David teaches his clients. If you like this show, let us know in the comments below! And be sure to subscribe to the podcast, so you won’t miss an episode!

Click here to listen on iTunes.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

J: Welcome to the BiggerPockets Business Podcast show number 23.

David: So you always want to preview value because when you want to operate with the philosophy that people care about one thing more than anything else, themselves. So, what is the value I can present, so when I engage someone I want to lead with value.

J: Welcome to a real world MBA from the school of hard knocks where entrepreneurs reveal what it really takes to make it. Whether you’re already in business or you’re on your way there, this show is for you. This is BiggerPockets Business. Hey there everybody. I am J Scott. I am your co-host for the BiggerPockets Business Podcast here again this week with my lovely wife and co-host Mrs. Carol Scott. How are you doing today Carol?

Carol: I am doing so super great honey. Thank you very, very much. So guess what BiggerPockets Business community? We have another wonderful freebie for you. You like listening to podcasts? Well guess what? You should also like listening to audio books. Listening on the run is such an efficient way to use your time. So, if you are interested in getting into audio books, Audible Auto has a special deal for BiggerPockets Business Podcast listeners.

Carol: All you need to do is go to audibletrial.com/business. Okay, got that? It’s audibletrial.com/business and you’ll get a free audible book and a one month free subscription. Yep, free book and an entire free month subscription. So, go to audibletrial.com/business. Sign up today. You’ll be so glad you did.

J: If you’re looking to put that free audible offer to work, let me recommend checking out a book written by today’s guest. So, his name is David Hoffeld, and his book is called The Science of Selling. Now, I don’t know about you guys, but selling is one part of my business that I really don’t excel at and I will take any help I can get. So that’s why we invited David onto our show today. So, we talk not only about the strategies you can use to become a better salesperson, but also the mindset shifts you can make to put you a step above your competition when it comes to selling and sales.

J: David walks us through every step of the selling process. He gives us tips along the way for how people like me and you can overcome our fear of selling as well as for how fearless sellers can take their game to the next level. This is a really awesome episode for a really important topic. For more information on this episode, feel free to check out our show notes at BiggerPockets.com/bizshow23. We have all the links there including a link to David’s book. Again, our show notes are at BiggerPockets.com/bizshow23. Okay, without any further ado, let’s bring David onto our show. How you doing today, David?

David: I’m good J. I’m good Carol. Great to be with you.

Carol: We are so excited to chat with you, David. So thank you for setting aside some time. So, we really just love your book, The Science of Selling. And before we jump into your research and some of the strategies you lay out in your book, I want to make sure our listeners know the full title of that book, right? And please correct me if I’ve got it wrong. It’s The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, and Close the Deal.

David: That’s it. You got it. [crosstalk 00:03:37] that’s a long title. That’s hard to do [crosstalk 00:03:39]-

Carol: But it’s such a good title and I know it’s very thoughtfully planned for various specific reasons. So, I love how informative it is right off the bat. So, before we get into some of those strategies, can you, David, give us a little bit of your history and what was the path that led you to write a book on the science of sales?

David: Yeah, so my path is a little odd. So, I got into sales like many people, kind of by accident. I graduated with my master’s degree, and thought would be for a very short period of time, and so, I naively went to the newspaper where we used to going back then to look for jobs and I thought, “I could probably sell something, make some quick money.” There was one ad that caught my attention. It said, “No experience necessary, make $100,000 a year.” And J and Carol I had no experience.

David: The idea out of school of making $100,000 a year, I’m like, “Yes, I’m all in.” So I call Ryan up. I did not want to miss this opportunity. So, I talked to someone on the phone, they invited me down for an interview, went through that process and got hired, and I got thrown in the sales, and it surprised me. I actually fell in love with selling, and it changed my life. I’ve [inaudible 00:04:50] myself to sales and read books on it and research it and just try to figure out how do I get good at this thing called selling.

David: What I began to do within a very short period of time, is start leveraging some of what I hadn’t learned about how to research from getting my master’s degree, which was in communications. So, I began to just look for how do I become a better presenter? How do I engage people and identify their needs more effectively? And looking at a number of scientific disciplines to see how can I do that a little better?

David: I got some really helpful, useful tips and strategies and I begun to use them, became a top performer, and long story short got promoted a bunch of times, work with many different companies, and getting to really help the sales teams that I was leaving become top performers, helping the companies I work for become like on the Inc. 5,000 list. I’m going to experience 400% or 500% growth year after a year. I mean some really exciting things. And I thought, “Well … ” I became obsessed with this science.

David: So odd hobby, especially for someone in sales because I just started pouring all of my free time and actually, Carol and J, it became a problem. I mean all my free time, evenings, weekends into reading scientific journals like a crazy person, right? And applying it to selling, and I just got such results. I just saw how relevant this was, how it really explained what we do, and so I began my own firm back in 2009 and the book came out in 2016 and well, the rest as they say, is history.

David: We help companies all around the world, really, align how they sell with how our brains form buying decisions to really better serve their customers, create deeper customer loyalty, and really guide their potential clients through that buying journey. So, it’s been a really exciting decade or so of my life for sure.

J: That’s awesome. And just before we jump forward, let me ask you, did you actually make $100,000 in that job with no experience?

David: That is a good question. No, I did not. And I was one of the top people right off the bat. I stayed there for a relatively short time, but it was kind of funny you bring that up because that’s what the ad said. So I get in there and I started talking to all the different sales people and I found out none of them were making $100 a year. So that also woke me up to a couple other things as well that aren’t so good about sales, but I was with that company for a little bit and then after about six months, I left for another larger company and a lot of good things.

David: But I’m glad, you know what that ad did serve me though because if it wasn’t for that ad, I don’t think we’d be talking right now. I’m not sure where I’d be. When that captured a young David Hoffeld his attention and put me on a path, and I’m so grateful I responded to that. That’s silly little ad, “No experience necessary. $100,000 a year,” who would’ve thought literally changed my life.

J: That’s awesome, and I’m grateful as well because I’m going to be honest. Part of the reason that I wanted to bring you on the show, I found your book a couple of months ago, and part of the reason I wanted to bring you on the show was I am, I’ll admit, I am not good at sales. My very first sales job, I was in college, summer break and I took a telemarketing job with the Washington Post, the newspaper.

J: Basically, my job was to call people up and say, “I want to give you a month free of the Washington Post. If you like it, you can keep it. If you don’t like it, you can cancel,” but basically just give you the newspaper for free. Now, this was a product that a lot of people liked. This was in Washington D.C.. It was completely free. I imagine there are a lot of people who would be thrilled to get a free month of something and I still had trouble selling because to me, selling just … I felt like a used car salesman or best case, even if I didn’t feel like a used car salesman, I felt like when I pick up the phone and call somebody, I’m imposing on their time. I’m asking them for something and it never sat well with me. So, how does someone like me, and I know there are a lot of people like me out there, someone who really hates the idea of having to make a pitch or having to convince someone to buy something, how do we get over that hump?

David: Yeah, it’s a really good, very relevant question because we deal with even salespeople that have that same aversion, right? And they call it sales shame. There was actually a study came out earlier this year talking about that, particularly in the UK where they study what they call it sales shame. It’s that idea like I don’t want to impose on people, I don’t want to push people. I don’t want to come off as that stereotypical salesperson from the 80’s, right? We don’t want to mean that individual.

David: So, the first thing we need to look at is how we think, because our behaviors really flow out of our thought process. So this is a very common issue. And so, the first thing to do is to step back and kind of de-construct what you’re selling real simply? Selling is influences. Influences is, we’re trying to get people to take what we say seriously and then being willing to act on it, and something I think all of those who are watching and listening to us right now will recognize is all of us want to be influential, right?

David: All of us, we’re influencing every day no matter what your job is, no matter what you do whether it’s your spouse, significant other, your kids, your friends, coworkers, potential clients, doesn’t matter who you’re talking to, all of us are trying to influence people every time we open our mouths. We want people to take what we say seriously and then be willing to act on it. Won’t the world be a better place if everyone did what we wanted them to do, right? And so, we all want to be influencing others.

David: So sales people are just professional influencers. And so, what I look at is when we’re looking at potentially presenting anything, whether it’s a newspaper or anything else, we want to look at what’s the value to that customer? So when I do, if I am going to call someone up or I’m going to stop them, their day and kind of present this to them and try to engage them, what do they get out of it? One of the things a lot of salespeople and others don’t like about selling is how self-serving it can often be.

David: Meaning we present, we call up people and say things like this, “Hey J, I’ve just been doing some research on your organization, and I wanted to see if I can get a few minutes on your calendar just to ask you some questions to see if we could potentially help you. We help a lot of other companies like yours, but is there a time later this week we could connect?” And of course you’re going to say, “No, I’m busy.” Why would I do that? I get the value for me as a sales person, I want to … What am I saying? J, I want to get together I’m going to try to sell you something, right? And that’s how I make money.

David: But what’s the value for you to go on this expedition of, I’m going to ask you a bunch of questions, waste some of your time and then we’ll see what happens. So, you always want to preview value because when you want to operate with the philosophy that people care about one thing more than anything else, themselves, right? Who do I care about? This guy, right? Who do you care about? You. And so what is the value I can present?

David: So when I engage someone, I want to lead with value. And we have a philosophy we talk about briefly in the book where it’s called ‘give first then ask.’ We leverage reciprocity, so before I ask you for time or even start asking you a number of questions, I want to give you something of value. I want to be a value creator and that’s going to trigger reciprocity. Now you are going to respond, right? You’re going to say, “Thank you.” So, I understand who you are. I’ve done research on you.

David: I present something of value that leverages me as an expert or very least a curator of value and now I’ve earned the right to begin to ask you some questions to see if I could help provide deeper levels of value. The problem is most of the time in sales, and I think what you’re reacting to and rightly so is, we ask first then give, right? We ask the potential client for something, like, “I want some of your time, I want you to answer my questions, and then we’ll see if I can give you something of value.” It doesn’t work like that. Hear first then ask, changes the whole dynamic of the conversation.

J: Yeah, I love that and in fact it’s funny because hearing it articulated, I think everybody sort of realizes the value of reciprocity, the value of giving value first before asking it and yet we don’t necessarily think about it consciously. I was explaining to my kids, I have an eight and 10 year old, and I was explaining to my kids a couple of weeks ago. We received something in the mail from a charity, and it had one of those nickels included just in the front.

J: You take it out and there’s a physical nickel there and they’re asking for you to send them money and the kids were asking… well, if they’re asking you to send them money, why are they giving you a nickel? I explained to them exactly what you said, it’s simply reciprocity. I feel now indebted to them because they’ve given me something, even if it’s a tiny value, I feel obligated to now give them something back and they hope it’s a donation. So, that’s a great point that we always need to be thinking not about what we’re getting out of a sale. We have to be thinking about what we’re giving first and then create some indebtedness, some sincere indebtedness on the other party.

David: Yeah, exactly right, and the way to leverage reciprocity, there’s so many different ways to do it. It can be an insight. You can give value through knowledge. It can be very easy to do, or even curating some articles, or if your organization or yourself, and you create blog posts or whatever it may be, videos that might be relevant for a potential client, you can kind of present that as kind of a taste of the value and wet their appetite.

David: But it really differentiates you because people that give value to us before they ask for anything, to your point, we do feel indented and there’s so much research on this. One of the things I always think about is those address labels a lot of nonprofits always send. They’ve done studies on that and giving goes up by right around 100%-

Carol: No kidding, that much.

David: … when you send out address labels, right? And I love these things. I never realized how much I love these address labels because I give to a number of nonprofits and so they send me address labels. I’m always getting address labels, but I ran out last Christmas, like early December. There was about a week long period where I had to write my address-

Carol: No. No. No

David: … how much I hate writing my own name and address: “I’m like, this is the worst three seconds of my life,” right? And it’s just funny. Why do they give us that? They’re not just worried about David doesn’t like writing his own address, they know when they give, they get more. Why? Because they trigger reciprocity, and it’s a mutually beneficial way to do that. So, as people that want to be more influential and as sales professionals, we want to leverage that. What can you give a value? When you start asking that question, if you say, “David, I don’t have anything. I don’t know,” right? Well that’s a good exercise to saying, “How can I give someone a taste of what I offer? Is that an article? Is that an insight? What can that be?

David: When you start asking those kinds of questions, it doesn’t take usually very long, and we work with a lot of diverse organizations and usually very quickly they go, “Well, we can do this or this,” and they starts getting that cranium juices flowing. When you start doing that, it will change your prospecting efforts. So you’re trying to develop new business. I have literally had seasoned sales people, 20 plus years of experience who have been cold calling for that amount of time and they try these ideas and they say, “David, for the first time I got thanked for a cold call. It was the weirdest experience of my life,” right? Someone said thank you because they lead with value, and people are far more receptive. So, it’s really exciting. A little scientific principle that when you leverage can often produce astounding results.

Carol: Truly, and I’m really loving just this kind of whole mindset shift, right? Because we hear a lot of people who are experts in sales. We hear a lot about the whole process, but to really base your whole technique on the true science behind it, all of the research that’s been done is a whole different way of looking. It’s a different entire lens to look through. So, speaking of research, early in the book, I believe I read somewhere you talk a lot about how a lot of sales people, they simply under-perform, okay? So can you talk more about that and what your research found?

David: Yeah. The data on under-performance is actually quite alarming. What the research shows depends on the year, but roughly between 40% and 50% approximately of salespeople under-perform, meaning they don’t meet quota. So the minimum standard their company has put on them, they under-perform. Then when you look at, well why is that? One study out of the Harvard business review found and looked at salespeople on real sales calls, 63% of the salespeople regularly engage potential clients in ways that drive down sales performance and hinder the buying decision?

David: So, the problems in sales are alarming, and I think to your point, the reason why is, how do we sell? When we asked that question, well how do we sell? Most of sales philosophy is mimicry, meaning we look for best practices. That sounds good at first except, we’ve been doing that now for the last 50 years. So we’re just copying the guy down the hall, right? And you can’t innovate by copying, and also who is the sale then based on? Well, it’s based on the guy down the hall, right? How he sells or how I would want to be sold to or what am I comfortable with as a salesperson? How would I want to present? What would I like to do? All of which is forgetting the most important person in the sales equation, which is the buyer, right?

David: And so, a science based approach really forces us to get outside of ourselves and to say, “How does our brain form buying decisions?” Then we can align how we sell with how people buy and when you do that, it becomes very prospect-centric, buyer-centric way of really serving people. That’s what’s so exciting about this approach is that I seen this every time I work with an organization or a sales person, when they align how they sell with how people buy, it allows them to serve people not just through what they sell, but how they sell.

David: Meaning they can guide them through that buying process into a confident buying decision they feel good about, build trust, and really do all those things that makes sales a very wonderful noble profession when it’s done well, and to make sure you don’t fall into, as you mentioned, J, kind of those old practices of selling that none of us want to do, that buyers hate and they really don’t work in today’s very transparent, hyper competitive marketplace.

Carol: Great, so based on that overall concept, right? This concept of making it all about the buyer, changing it from focusing on you as the seller to really meeting those needs, and figuring out what you can give, and how you can serve that buyer. Can you walk us through in more detail what that process looks like? So that I, as a seller who … Frame it in the terms of there are so many entrepreneurs that listen to this show that would just love to figure out what specifically they need to do, those actionable tips, so that they can create a sense of trust and empathy along the way in the relationship in specifically sell to meet the buyer’s needs. How do they do that?

David: Sure, yeah, that’s a big question. So let’s dive right in. So when we look at how does the brain form a buying decision? We know quite a bit about that. There’s a lot we can say regarding how perception is formed. Like with reciprocity is one of the things we’ve talked about, and there’s a lot of little rules that our brains use when forming judgments, some of which have literally won Nobel prizes, so these are transformative. But when we step back a little further, how does that brain from a buying decision?

David: What the research shows, and this is about 60 years of research where scientists have been building on one another’s studies and experiments over that period of time. We know our brains use commitments as the reference points for larger commitments. In other words, every buying decision is composed of certain small strategic commitments that guide that potential client on a progression of consent and into the sale. The exciting news is we know what these commitments are.

David: We talk about them a little bit in the book. We have a whole chapter dedicated to them. They call them the Six Whys. These are six specific questions each beginning with the word why, that literally represent the mental steps our brains go through when forming buying decisions. So the power of that is, when we begin to align our sales process, meaning how we engage people, what does that buyer’s journey look like? When we engage them with these questions, I’m making sure we’re addressing them and meaning them, we help people through that buying process.

David: So, it’s hard to guide someone through their buying journey if we don’t know how that buying journey occurs. So real quickly, the six whys in rapid fire, number one, why change? Why should we do anything? This is our biggest competitor because more often than not, when we lose sales, we lose it to nothing, not someone, right? A potential client, it’s not that they go with a competitor like us, they want to do what I’ve always done, which is not do business with you or anyone like you, right? So they default back to, called a status quo bias. So why change? What’s that compelling case for change? Then, why now? Hey, I want to make a change, why should I do it now?

David: Third, where are your industry solution? Meaning can your potential clients kind of go around your entire industry and just create a solution themselves? Maybe it’s not as good, but can they do it? If so, this is often, I call it a silent sales assassin because people don’t see it coming but it can steal your sales. Fourth, why you and your company, right? Why should someone choose to do business with you?

David: What’s really interesting we found, is that people view the company you represent through how they view you. Meaning if they trust you, they’ll more often than not trust the organization. Just like all of us can relate to working with a company, a customer service rep, or a sales person as a consumer and we’re mistreated, and we say something like, “I’ll never do business with that company again.” So, a multibillion dollar company and we say no more because of one individual within that company, right?

David: So we judge a company that way. Fifth is why your product or service? Why is this the right one? Then finally, number six, why spend the money? Meaning oftentimes there’s a limited amount of funds, why should they invest in your product or service instead of something else they may need? So justifying that, having a strong business case on why they should invest the money in this versus anything else, can be mission critical as well.

David: But the exciting news is, if you align how you sell with those six commitments, and you obtain them in the sale, the sale almost always occurs. But if one of those commitments isn’t received, sale never occurs. Meaning someone will say, “Well, I’m not sold on you or your company, but yes, I want to buy from you,” or, “I’m not sure if I’m going to make a change right now, but yeah, I’ll send the check in. Let’s sign the contract today,” right? Those things will never happen. So the six why’s give amazing clarity when how does our brain form buying decision, and more importantly now, what can we do to really guide people through that buying journey?

David: When people align how they sell with those commitments, amazing things happen. Sales cycles speed up, people feel confident as they go through the buying journey and it differentiates you from your competitors who are simply not engaging people the way their brains form buying decisions. They kind of singing off the song sheet from decades and decades ago and ignoring all this powerful science on our brains.

J: I absolutely love that. And one thing you said really stuck with me, and I know a lot of our listeners are real estate investors who are out there competing for deals, or real estate agents who are competing for listings. Something you said early on, the first why was a lot of times we lose sales to nothing, not to other people or competitors or to other products. I think that’s really, really important. Our competition isn’t the next guy that’s going to come in and pitch after us. It’s not the guy that came in and pitched before us, a lot of times our competition is inaction or not convincing the other side, the other party, the buyer that what we have is going to meet their needs, that we’re not going to meet their needs, that we’re not going to be able to meet our commitments, whatever it is that’s the hurdle that we have to overcome. Not necessarily beating out somebody else’s deal or somebody else’s product.

David: Exactly, yeah. We need to think a little broader. When we think about competitors we think of people or companies very similar to us, and though that’s one, there are lot more competitors and in our most formidable one is literally the status quo bias. The bias all of us have to do what we’ve always been doing because change implies risk and our brains don’t like risk. So that [inaudible 00:25:54] is so foundational, and we need to address that. And the way we do this is really impactful, and that is we really want to understand our potential clients.

David: So really we use our first, second and third level questions, which is our questioning model that really helps us get into those high gain follow-up questions. Allow us to have a deeper explanation and assessment of someone’s current situation and what they want. One of the reasons this matters is, there was some really interesting research just a couple of years ago where they looked at salespeople, and they interviewed buyers across North America and asked them what their experience was like when they work with the sales people they do.

David: They found that 88% of those buyers stated that they believe the sales people they work with do not understand their problem enough to be able to help them solve it. Now, when I share that with salespeople, they go, “Well David, good news. Not this guy, right? That’s not me. I’m not one in that 88%.” I would push back and say, “Most likely you are.” The idea is not that you don’t understand their problem, but they don’t perceive you understand their problem.

David: So you might walk in and say, “I have all this industry knowledge. Trust me, I get your situation more than you do. I’ve been doing this for a long time,” and all that may be true, but if we don’t ask those deep dive questions and really let our potential clients know that we understand their situation, right? We’re going to learn more about them anyway through this process, but when they know that that own this is quite compelling. Now, when you ask these diagnostic questions, trust goes up. Meaning I feel that you, salesperson, understand my situation, and so now when you make recommendations, you can help connect the dots for me and I’m going to perceive more value.

David: I’m going to trust what you say more, right? Just like if we went to the doctor, and weren’t feeling well, and the doctor walked in and said, “You’re not feeling good?” And you say, “No.” And he said, “Okay.” And he wrote a prescription, handed it to you and walked out. You’d be like, “I’m not taking this like what?” You want a doctor to poke and prod and do some tests, and then come back and say, “Here’s what I’ve found.” Even if that doctor knows right away when he or she walks in the door they could tell for whatever reason, they can say, “I see what’s going on?”

David: We still want them to investigate why? For our benefit, right? I want to trust what they say. And trust is so impactful in selling. So, one of the ways to really address why change, understand your potential client’s situations, and even if you think you do very early on, still go through the questioning process because you’ll often be surprised, and more importantly, it helps convey to them that you understand their situation, which can be a huge differentiator. Because today with so much product and service parenting in the marketplace, one of the biggest differentiators is not just what you sell, how you sell. How you sell matters now more than literally ever before.

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J: Okay, so let’s talk a little bit about the how. We’ve gotten the why’s. We’ve got the six why’s, and that makes perfect sense. But let’s get a little bit into the how and something I noticed that the book talked about that I really love. It talked about using stories to improve your pitch, improve your sales conversions. This is one of those tips that honestly it’s been coming up over and over again in my adult life when negotiating use stories, when presenting use stories, when building rapport use stories. Now, in your book you talk about how we should be using stories to better sell. And I really wish I had really understood the power of stories earlier when I kind of got started in my career because I’ve come to realize that stories are really how we connect with the other person. Can you talk a little bit about strategies for using stories when you’re trying to sell?

David: Yes. A very important question because stories matter so much. There’s so much compelling data on that. And it’s not just being used in sales, but really all business. If you think about some of the top CEO’s, when they get in front of … at our company meetings, what do they do? They tell stories, right? They work with speech coaches to make sure that they’re engaging, and they’re leveraging stories and they’re personable. So now there’s so much data on the impact of stories. What stories do is they really de-risk a situation.

David: Meaning when I can tell a story about a potential client in a very similar situation as you, and kind of how they engaged with me, and what their outcome was, your potential client will put themselves in the place of the person in the story. So it’s not so much that it’s happening to that individual, it’s happening to them. So, similarity amplifies the effectiveness of a story. So the more alike the individual in this story is, the potential client you’re talking about, for example, is with your current potential client, the more applicable it is, the more they see themselves, and it lowers that perception of risk.

David: Because stories take us into the future when we talk about our client’s stories, and it kind of shows us what life will be like after they invest with us or use our services. So it’s incredibly impactful. What’s also interesting is how our brain processes stories. Stories are interpreting differently than statements of fact or data points. When we hear a statement of fact or a data point, we’ll use our neo-cortex in the frontal lobes of our brain to really kind of analyze it very unemotionally. But when we are engaged with a story, we use another parts of our brain primarily as we process that story, which is why we can get very emotional when we hear good stories.

David: For example, certain movies. There are certain movies that all of us, we get emotional when we watch them. We know it’s fake. We know it’s actors on a movie set saying someone else’s words, wearing someone else’s clothes, nothing is real, and we know that, but we’re still moved, right? It still engages us, right? Even though we know everything we’re seeing is a lie, right? It’s still engaging. Stories do that, and the greatest leaders, teachers throughout history use stories.

David: So, the first thing when it comes to selling with stories is number one, make sure you’re using them, right? Number one, you want to have stories that you integrate into your sales process, and people love being told stories, right? It’s engaging. Keep your stories brief as well. On average, I recommend one to two minutes so you don’t want to go into a 12 minute story when you’re on a sales call. Usually you want to keep them nice and brief and have a specific thing. There’s a lot of interesting research as well and how we can tell stories to really engage our brain.

David: The one thing I’ll share with you that’s really helpful is what you do when you end the story. So, when you tell a beautiful story that you craft, when you come out of the story you want to say, what does that story mean? So, there’s a point to the story. We’re not just telling stories to tell stories, clearly, we want to convey an idea, and the story is a powerful vehicle to do that. So when you come out in the story you want say something like, “The reason I share that with you, J and Carol is,” and then what is a one sentence? What’s the point? What’s the overarching idea that that story brings to life? You want to tell them that.

David: The reason why is our brains are always searching for meaning, and if you don’t tell them the meaning of the story, people will always try to say, “what does this mean,” right? We do this instinctively. And oftentimes, people get caught up on things that maybe weren’t the idea that you really wanted to convey. Something in a story grabbed their attention, and it distracts them from the point that would be mutually beneficial for them to grasp. So, when you come out of every story, I’ll encourage you to say, “the reason I share that with you is,” and then one sentence, what is the point of the story? If you do that, the impact of stories… sTORIES will earn you sales. It is that impactful.

J: Can you give us a concrete example? Just pick a product or service that you might want to be selling and what type of story might you tell, and how might you sum that story up just make a little bit more concrete on how stories can and should be used.

David: Sure. So one of the most powerful stories you can use is like a client story. A story about a client who was in a very similar situation to your potential client. You can also do stories to talk about your organization as well. So this can also be impactful. So, those are really usually the two stories you want to at least focus on initially. And so, when you look for a client story, what I recommend if you’re part of a sales team, a good exercise is that all of you think about one client that you can put into a story. Meaning a client interaction relevant for future clients that you’re dealing with.

David: So, if all of you can document and write down the story and focus on your introduction, focus on as much as possible, having dialog in the story. So bring that story to life. So if someone said to you, “I’m a little nervous about moving forward,” right? And you want to put that in the stories, how this client was nervous about moving forward with you, but they did, and they had an amazing outcome. I want to relate that to a client who right now is a little nervous about making that change.

David: Instead of saying, “And the client was nervous about moving forward,” I would say, “And Bob looked at me right in the eye and said, ‘David, I’ll be honest, I’m nervous about moving forward,'” right? So, bring that story to life with some dialogue. Then I want to make sure it’s nice and lean, right? Cut out any unnecessary or distracting information and then making sure that we’re also coming out in that story in the end. What is the meaning of that story right at the end of it.

David: If you and everyone on your team, let’s say, would do that with one story, when you get together, let’s say there’s five of you, and you start sharing stories, or if you have colleagues, or other people in your profession who you go, “Hey, let’s each work on a few stories,” and then you can share those with one another. What’s powerful about that is you can walk into a sales meeting with one story and you walk out with five, right?

David: You’re always honest, always ethical when you present these stories: “My colleague, actually, dealt with an individual who was in a very similar situation,” right? You can start the story like that. So it’s always honest. You never have to compromise your integrity, but you can leverage these stories so effectively. So the first thing I would say is look for a client story. A story of a client who had a very common concern, or problem, or objection that you’re running through all the time.

David: Then craft a one to two minute story. I would type it up and then read over it a few times out loud and see, “Okay, is there anything distracting here? Is there anything that pulls my attention away from the point of the story? Do I have a strong introduction?” A best way to introduce a story is to make it about the person you’re talking to. What you saw a moment ago, J, really reminds me of… ” And then you go into the story, right? Because if you say, “Hey David, I had a potential client who was in a very similar situation as you.” I’m like, “Ah, go on.” Or, “When you just said, really reminded of a client who said the exact same thing in fact the moment I met him,” continue, right? It’s about me, right? Yeah, what is this genius you’re talking about, what happened with them, right? So make it about them and then if you have the story flow really well, it’s so compelling. But focus on a client story first. I think when you start deploying them, you’ll see the power of stories.

J: I love that. And it sounds like a great way to overcome objections because you’re basically saying to the other person without saying this objection’s ridiculous or you shouldn’t feel this way, you’re basically telling a story about another client that felt the same way or another seller that felt the same way, and this is how that seller, how we together got past it. Basically it’s not lecturing them, it’s allowing them to think of themselves in the same situation and come to their own conclusion.

David: Yes. And I think one thing to connect the dots of what we’ve talked about so far with stories and the six why’s is if you’re dealing with an objection and you want to address it with a story, focus that story also on addressing … Because the six why’s, those six commitments we talked about earlier, when one of those isn’t made, the buying process breaks down and it results in an objection. This is a huge breakthrough in selling. I think it’s a big one.

David: The six why’s when you apply them, there’s so many implications for them. One of them is it tells you what the root of objections are. In fact, early in my sales training career when I was testing some of this out, and this is a long time ago now, I remember getting in rooms with salespeople of all different backgrounds, different industries and having them list all the common and not so common objections they face every single time I can tie it to one of those one or more of the six why’s. Meaning if you’re talking to a potential client who has the means and authority to purchase from you, and they make commitments to those six why’s, the sale was almost inevitable.

David: So, when they don’t make a commitment, when they don’t buy from you, you can identify why that is, and that’s another implication on the six why’s, that’s a big takeaway, is win-loss analysis. It’s hard to get better and improve in sales if we don’t know why we’re losing sales. So in the past win-loss analysis, most people don’t like to do them because, let’s be honest, they’re pointless, right? “Why didn’t they buy? Didn’t they have any money? I don’t know.” Right, we don’t know, but with the six why’s model, you can hold it up and say, “What commitment didn’t I get?” And what you’ll find is most of the sales you’re losing are because of one or two of those six why’s.

David: What that clarity does, it allows you now to say, “How do I strengthen my sales process to address those particular why’s?” And when you start asking questions like that, one thing always happens: you improve rapidly and sales go up. So use those six why’s, not just for objections but for that win-loss analysis, and it will help you get better, much, much faster.

Carol: Very cool. So you talk a lot about the six why’s and how it’s important as somebody selling a product or service, et cetera, to gain commitment every step of the way along those six why’s, correct? Storytelling you’re talking about, for example, is just one such tool to help gain commitment in every step of this journey. What is another really powerful tool that each one of us can start using immediately that will help us gain those commitments so that we close the deal?

David: Yeah. I want to share with you some Nobel Prize winning research that addresses that exact question from a gentleman named Richard Thaler who won a Nobel Prize a couple of years ago, and one of the pioneers of behavioral economics. He looks at what’s called choice architecture, which is exactly what you just brought up. How do we architect choices? How do we help people make good choices for them? This is groundbreaking research. But one of the things we find that’s been born out of his research and, boy, on many others over a number of decades, is what comes before a commitment matters a great deal. They call it priming in behavioral science.

David: A good example of this is if you’ve ever watched a scary or horror movie before, all of us have, and usually we choose to watch these movies at night for some reason, right? So afterwards, as you lay at night, and we’re ready go to bed and we hear a strange sound in our house, the floor creaks, and we go, “What was that?” Then we go around and check all the doors and make sure they’re locked, right?

David: We might have heard that sound in the floor 100,000 times before, but we never noticed it. Our brain filters it out, but on that night we go, “What was that noise,” right? We go check the door. Why? Because we’re primed. That movie primed us, put us in a heightened state of awareness for any kind of strange sounds, and so, when we can do something similar, prior commitment, and what we do is we want to affirm the value that commitment is based on.

David: In other words, if you’re having a hard time getting commitments, one useful strategy is to look at what you do right before you ask for a commitment. So for example, one of the things I can do would be to ask a question, to guide someone in affirming the value our commitment’s based on. So, for example, let’s say I’m presenting my service or a product, and I go through the presentation of it, but I want to go in for a commitment to affirm that this is the right solution for them, what we’ve talked about.

David: So right before I ask that commitment question, which gets into why your product or service, why number five, I can prepare them for that commitment by saying, “It doesn’t make sense why so many other people in your situation will move forward with this solution because of A, B, C and.” They’ll go, “Oh, yeah, that makes a lot of sense.” “Do you feel that this is the right solution for you based on what we’ve discussed with A, B, C and D?” Right. So what happened there? I’ve prepared the brain to make that commitment by focusing on getting them to affirm the value that commitment’s based on, right before I asked for it.

David: So this is a prime example of choice architecture by you help nudge people into commitments, and people will often make them if you do this, but oftentimes commitments are rejected not because of the commitment but because they’re not ready to make it. I mean, they’re still processing, and so, they need help with this. So, focus on what you do right before the commitment. Get them to affirm the value a commitment’s based on. A story can be a great way to do that. A question that summarizes the value like I just gave can be a great way to do that: there’s many things, but focus on what comes right before the commitment, and you’ll find it naturally guides people into that commitment when you affirm the value or preview it right before you ask.

J: So, basically baby steps into the close?

David: Yeah. Think about the sale as a series of incremental commitments that guide people in that progression of consent and into the sale. So the close is the final commitment in a positive buying decision that’s intertwined and even dependent on the previous commitments either they have or have not been made. So one way to think about this, and this is important, kind of the opposite of how I was originally trained in sales and probably most people who have been in sales for at least 10, 20 years or more, and that is we were taught that the close is the commitment, right?

David: So, you’d do a presentation almost like a play, and people sit and listen and they go, “You might ask some questions. You diagnose needs, of course. You might have some continuation questions and things like that to get little amounts of buy-in, but the real commitment happens at the close, which is why most books on closing, at least, historically, are two sections, right? They have the closes you use, these magical phrases you use to ask for the sale, and then how do you deal with the objections these phrases induce? That’s the book.

David: So, that’s exact opposite of what science has proven regarding how our brains form a choice. We do it incrementally. Meaning when you or I as a consumer listening to a sales presentation, we’re not sitting there like a zombie until the end when we go, “I think I will buy,” or, “No I won’t.” No. We’re saying yes to that, no to that. We’re making little commitments or not making them along the way, and then at the end that will often be revealed. What we’re talking about is different approach, we guide people in proactively making these strategic commitments, guiding them on this progression of consent, so the close is easy. Why? Because it’s built on, it’s just that final commitment, right? It’s not this big looming commitment that stresses everybody out. Instead, it’s the final commitment in the progression of consent, and it’s a natural culmination of a sales process and a buying process as well.

Carol: So David, I love this. I love this way of looking at it through the science, which is when you get to the close, you’ve really, if you’ve done your job properly according to the science, you have closed over, and over, and over, and over. So that when you make that final ask, there really is no objection at that point, right? Because you’ve asked all of the right questions to get them to those points of consent every step of the way and then that final end result naturally couldn’t be anything but, “Yes, I would like to do business with you.” Is that an accurate assessment?

David: Yeah. In a perfect world that’s what we want to do, and the power of this is it really aligns selling with buying. So it’s not something we do to someone, it’s something we do with and for them. Meaning people will have to go through this buying journey. So, all of us have to commit to these six why’s anytime we’ve purchased anything. Now, oftentimes when it’s a small purchase, we might do it almost unconsciously, and when it’s a large purchase, we might agonize over each of these questions for a long period of time, but we have to go through them. And if one of them isn’t committed to, the sale always breaks down, it doesn’t occur.

David: So as you do this, you can really get to the root of these objections because you have to ask what is an objection? And there’s a lot of traditional nonsense on what objections are, but the reality, the science based reality is, it’s a breakdown in the buying process. Someone is telling you, and all sales people know this, when they give you an objection, they’re saying, “I’m not going to buy and here’s why,” right? So, what’s causing that? A breakdown of the buying process. At some point in that buying journey, things stopped and they say it’s not going to happen, here’s why.

David: The six why’s tell us what that buying journey looks like, and when one of those commitments aren’t made, it tells us what the objections are. So to your point, Carol, which is a good one, it allows us to neutralize objections often before they’re ever verbalized, which is what I want to do. So it really allows me to really help someone form this buying decision and really serve them through that, and this is a big deal because so many buyers when you do these surveys on what frustrates them about buying, it’s hard. It’s so hard.

David: I mean, even for me and my firm here, I was making a big decision for our business to a number of sales people and it’s so hard to make a decision because they all say the same thing, right? They all sell the same way. And it’s not aligned with what I want, it’s aligned with their internal processes. So, it’s all about them and I have to try to figure out what the right questions are to ask them to get the information I need to make a good choice. That’s a frustration so many people have, and this approach gets us out of the way and says, selling should be about buying, right?

David: We really start conforming to the people that matter, those we want to serve, and that is just a game changer, and the results are sales go up at. More importantly than that, you can truly help those people that you want to help. I mean if you’re selling something, you believe what you’re selling will truly meet someone’s needs, but oftentimes, sales are rejected not because of the product or service, but because of how it’s presented. So when we really align how we sell, how people buy, the results are, it’s a win for literally everyone involved.

Carol: That’s great. And I think that’s something you said a minute ago was especially powerful, semantics that I suspect they were conscious, but I’m wondering almost if, because of all your research, it’s just been kind of ingrained in your subconscious. You have referred to this throughout this conversation over and over is not the selling process, but as the buying process, which really flips the whole conversation on its head from a traditional standpoint. I just think that’s really, really important for our listeners to remember is, again, it’s truly about buyer choices and about the buying process, not the selling process.

Carol: So, I just wanted to reiterate that. So that said, David, I was going to ask you the question of how has selling changed over time, especially with the advent of the internet and that type of thing. I would like to change the semantics on that as well though. So, with the advent of the internet, with so much competition for goods and services, we’ve got all this price transparency. There’s transparency in reviews, and ratings, and all those types of things. How has the buying process changed? What do we need to keep in mind when we are trying to sell our products and services to address that?

David: Yeah. That’s a really good question, and it’s an important one because this is one that we’re all dealing with and that mind has gotten much more complex. Not that our brains have changed at all. Our brains are … Our great grandfather’s brains is the same as yours. That hasn’t changed, but what has changed is the complexity of the modern marketplace. With the internet now, even when I first got in sales, I could often … People didn’t know my competitors and I didn’t bring them up, right?

David: So they would talk to me, and they could figure out maybe a few of them, but today they can do a Google search and find all of your competitors within less than a second. So it’s hyper competitive today, and this is why, because of this challenge in the marketplace, and also that especially in a B2B sale, there’s more decision makers now than ever before, and more people influencing the buying process. So, it’s very common where salespeople are working with six, seven, eight, nine, 10 or more people involved in the buying process.

David: So, you may have to manage all those needs, all those perspectives, and that buying journey for each of them. So, it’s more challenging to sell today than it was, which is why a science based approach is needed now more than ever because … And this is really interesting. We talk about it a little bit in the book in the last chapter. When you look at what sales literature was like in the early part of the 20th century, so roughly 100 years ago, and you look at what was being taught in selling, and you look at what was being taught today regarding, not technology, but how we interact with one another. There’s not that much difference.

David: I mean, the words are different. You clean the language up, modernize it, not that much difference, right? So in many ways we’re still singing off the same song sheet from a long time ago. Why is that? Because we’ve engaged in mimicry. Right, now as a profession, which is odd, no other profession has really done this to the extent that sales does, we just copy each other’s best practices, which means it’s hard to innovate when you look in the mirror, right? You can’t.

David: You got to get outside of yourself to innovate. So, I think this approach is needed now more than ever because it focuses on the buyer, and in tonight’s hyper competitive, very challenging, complex marketplace, we cannot resort to selling the way our great, great grandfather did if he was in sales, right? Because though people haven’t changed, what we know about the brain has. And in the last few decades, everything has changed regarding how we understand the inner workings of our brain, how decisions are made, and to ignore that, and then just go off like we’re in the 60’s or 70’s and sell that way, it’s just dangerous because what we’ve found is when people embrace a buyer centric science backed way of selling, it gives them an unfair advantage over people that aren’t, and it allows them to dominate and not compete even when there’s product and service parity.

David: So, it’s a really exciting time to be in sales. I think there’s never been a more exciting time because of science, and when you couple that with all the innovations and technology, it can be a lot of fun and could really serve a lot of people through how you sell.

J: That’s awesome. Okay, so we want to jump to the last segment of the show, the four more. But before we do that, I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday. I mentioned that I was going to be doing this interview today with you and I promised him I would ask this question because this is … And I’m sure there are a lot of people that are listening. I myself can relate to this. For those of us that do cold calling, where it’s less about the commitments along the way and getting to the close, it’s more about how do we open? How do we build that rapport? How do we get past that fear of getting on the phone with somebody that’s not expecting our call, that doesn’t necessarily need our product, that doesn’t necessarily want to talk to us? This can just be a few quick tips, but what should we be doing if we’re cold calling to kind of improve our chances of getting to a sale.

David: Yeah. That’s a great question. So, cold calling I believe is still relevant. In fact, the good news is because there’s so much noise in the marketplace against cold calling, most sales people don’t do it. I mean a decade ago cold calling was more prevalent and so, your potential clients were getting lots of calls every day. You are one of many. Not as much anymore. A lot of people aren’t cold calling, so it’s more of a white space. They engage them via social media, which has its place. But I think cold calling still does too, what matters is how you do it.

David: Number one thing we mentioned a little earlier, you want to lead with value. So when you call someone up, you want to demonstrate your competency. You want to say, “What can I give this individual, right? I want to be very brief.” I want to say, “Why am I calling,” right? “What is the reason I’m calling?” And I need to make sure it’s a prospect by your centric, not about me. So, I want to make the cold call as much as possible about me giving value because once I give value now I earn the right to ask a few questions to really begin to qualify them on that journey, right?

David: I can put, the very least, even if they’re not interested, or I disqualify them quickly on the cold call and least I’ve put a good taste in their mouth for me and my firms, so maybe later on when they need something they think of me. Why? Because I didn’t call them up with this stereotypical seller centric approach about, “I need some time, here’s some questions I want you to answer.” It’s all about me, me, me. I start with them. I start with them, “I’ve done some research on your organization and I’ve noticed that you’re doing X, Y, and Z. And so, I thought of you when I came across this article I wanted to share. I’ll send it over to you, which goes into A, B, and C.” “Oh, okay,” right?

David: We don’t usually get cold calls like that or like, “Who’s this? Okay, thank you.” “I’m curious though,” I mean you can ask a few questions, right? We have a framework for doing cold calls that’s really effective and it begins with lead with value, right? Earn the right now to ask, and you’ll find if you lead with value, people are more receptive to answering a few of your questions that allow you then to share some more insights, generate interest, and then go to the next phase of the sale or disqualify them quickly. But at least you get an accurate assessment of where that individual is, do I want to pursue them or not. If you lead with value.

David: And one final thing, as you lead with value, you’ll often find this even if that individual is not a good fit for you. You disqualify them, they go, “Yeah, we’re not really looking at that right now.” Oftentimes, they’re very receptive to giving you a referral of someone who is. Why? Because you gave first, then you ask. They have that psychological debt of reciprocity, so when you give first then ask it literally changes the whole nature of a cold call and can be a game changer when you use it effectively.

Carol: That is phenomenal. David, thank you because J, listen to that. Look how much you’ve got to give. You’ve got so much knowledge that you give freely anyway. Now, you can take that very concrete tip when you pick up the phone and you want to cold call someone, just start giving and look at all the doors that it’s going to open up. So David, thank you for providing that. It’s just interesting how almost how it’s so intuitive, but don’t think of it in that way. So thank you for putting it in that framework. It’s awesome.

David: Sure, my pleasure. My pleasure.

Carol: Okay, cool. So J, are you thinking it’s about time to go to the four more segment of our show?

J: I think it’s about time. So we are going to move on to what we call the four more and this is where we ask you four quick questions, and then we ask you one more question, which is where can our listeners find out more about you? So, are you ready for the first question?

David: All right, let’s do it.

J: Okay, so can you tell us what your first or your worst selling job was and what lessons did you learn from it?

David: My worst selling job, I would say, I usually don’t talk about this, when I was VP of sales for a company. A company had done extremely well, but it was one of the reasons though why I started my own firm was because of the ways that the CEO managed myself and others in the organization. Just some horrible management practices that created such pain. I’m like, “Forget this, I’m going to work for myself.” It was actually a big turning point in my life because when things got hard as I was starting my firm and doing some of this research very early on, so many, many years ago, before anyone knew who I was, no book, no one wanted to talk to me, right? I was just starting out and very unknown.

David: It was that experience that kept me going when it got really tough. I was like, “You know what? No, I want to work for myself, right? I want to change my life in this area.” And during some of the really challenging times, and there were a few, it was that idea that … My point of it all is that sometimes bad things that you go through can actually be a catalyst to lead to something great.

Carol: Totally.

David: … if you use them that way. So oftentimes some of our greatest gifts are some of our worst experiences.

Carol: Yeah. You just have to turn them around and rock and roll and just make something better out of it.

David: That’s right.

Carol: Okay, so here’s your second question. David, what is one key thing you know now, one gold nugget that you’ve gleaned over the course of your career that you totally wish you would have known way back in the beginning?

David: There are so many. If I go back and talk to young David, what would I tell him? Many things about sales. I think the six why’s is a big one about the sales team, pay more attentive to that. Don’t view the sales process as a presentation, and then try to master the close. Think about incremental commitments, that would be a key one. On a more of a personal nature, I would say find what you want, and then take massive action, right? And there is a wall, I believe, around success and it’s only scaled through hard work.

David: So, it is hard to become successful in any area of life, and so, I would say don’t run from that work, run towards that work. Put in the time, put in the effort, do those things others won’t do if you want to experience a life and results that others won’t have. So, I would tell him that, I would say, “You know what? Push, push not just for a day, not just for a week, but find what you want and then go after it for years and years because it’ll take that much to get to an elite level at anything. But once you get it, it will change your life.”

Carol: That is such an awesome sound bite right there. I want to copy that and paste it and plaster it everywhere. That’s perfect.

J: Awesome, question number three. What’s the worst piece of advice that’s common in your field and what should we do to turn that advice kind of on its head to make it good advice?

David: Yeah. I think what’s really prevalent right now in sales and it has been for a number of years, is this over dependence on technology. Now, the reality is technology is transforming selling in positive ways. So many people are getting so dependent on it that they’re forgetting that it’s still one human talking to another, and still human-to-human. We don’t take that out. Still people making a buying decision, and so, I feel like oftentimes the new shiny thing in sales is technology.

David: So we’re pursuing that but we’re forgetting about the things we’ve been talking about right now, that we’re still dealing with people. Technology is a powerful tool when you leverage this science we’ve talked about with technology, awesome. But when you try to replace the interaction with people with pure technology, there’s something missing in that. All the data shows that what matters still is people still need to talk to another individual. They still need that human-to-human encounter to make a large buying decision.

David: Sure you can purchase something on Amazon for $15 without talking to a human being. You read some reviews and you move on. But for a larger, more consequential decision, you want to talk to a person, you want that encounter. So I think not forgetting that to leverage technology for the powerful tool it is, but to not neglect or forget how important it is still to focus on how we interact with people.

David: Even if you use technology, how do you leverage it? So if you prospect via LinkedIn, right? How do you do that? Leveraging this science will help you engage people more on LinkedIn or any platform you use. So be mindful of that. I think is a big mistake that people often … they’re going too far to the technology and forgetting what else matters in addition to technology.

Carol: Awesome. Okay, David, you’re fourth question. What is something in your personal or professional life, whether it be a product, or service, or technology or whatever that you’ve splurged on at some point, and it was totally worth that splurge?

David: Let’s see. What have I splurged on? It’s been interesting. I grew up quite poor, and so, spending money has always been hard for me just because I didn’t have any growing up. My parents were always … Didn’t have a lot. At one point in my life, when I was about 12 years old, I was homeless for about six months. So interesting backgrounds. So I view money a little differently. But one of the things I’ve done recently, this is about a year ago, was we had a workout room put in our house, and just wanting to start working out more and lifting weights, so I bought a bunch of expensive equipment and put it in.

David: And I love that room in my house. I find it so awesome when you’re having a bad day or things seem out of control to go focus on one thing I can control, which is me, and just go and lift some heavy weights and move some heavy stuff around the room, and just to see your body transform as well. So, we spent quite a bit of money on this workout room and I tell you what, it’s probably my favorite room in the whole house. I love this [inaudible 01:05:45].

Carol: That is so cool.

J: Love it. Okay, let’s jump into the more part of the four more. This is where we’re going to give you an opportunity to talk and tell our listeners where they can find out more about you, where they can find out more about your business, and how they can connect with you.

David: Excellent, so if you want to learn more, go to Hoffeld, H-O-F-F-E-L-Dgroup.com. Hoffeldgroup.com. On that website you’ll find a list of our services which we have workshops, virtual learning as well. Really robust virtual learning where you can actually learn and practice what you’re learning. We have live simulations, really neat stuff, and we also have a lot of resources on there that are at no costs from articles, blogs, videos and so on. So, you can really learn more about the science of selling and learn more about the book, The Science of Selling, which is available literally anywhere fine books are sold.

J: Awesome. And just a reminder to everybody out there that the reason David is on the show is because I found that book a couple of months ago and literally within a couple chapters I said, I’ve got to have him on the show.

Carol: You should have heard him. He’s like, I’ve got the perfect guest, we cannot wait to talk with him. So excited.

J: Again, if for no other reason than purely selfish reasons, this was helpful to me. This was tremendously helpful to me. So, I know it’s going to be helpful to our listeners as well. David, thank you so much for being here and we really appreciate it and we look forward to having you on come the next book. Is there a next book?

David: There is. We just signed a book deal. We have another one coming out in maybe November of 2021, it will be released. So, mark your calendars. We’re going to get into a lot of really interesting things from science backed mindsets that drive sales, success behaviors, how to get better faster, how our brains learn, and then also getting into some sales leadership, hiring, coaching, some really neat stuff.

David: So in this next book, it’s going to be little shorter chapters, really engaging. I’m really excited to begin the process of writing. We’ve done a lot of the research already. We’re just beginning to write actually next month, and we’ll dive in, but it comes out the end of 21.

J: Awesome, look forward to having you back then.

David: Absolutely, thank you so much.

J: Thank you.

Carol: Thank you David.

David: All right, bye.

Carol: Oh my goodness. Seriously, honey, how amazing was that interview?

J: That was fantastic.

Carol: My gosh, oh, I’m cutting you off again.

J: You’re always cutting me off. No. I was just going to say I hate selling. Selling terrifies me. You’ve known me long enough to know that it’s my least favorite thing in business, and that was actually really helpful. I don’t think I’m as scared to go out and sell as I was before that interview started.

Carol: Well, I’m glad to hear that because you have to think about, baby, here’s the deal. We usually think about selling in the terms of really making it all about us. So, you don’t have to make it all about you. You’re perfectly happy having the attention on the other person, on the buyer, on your customer, on your client, on your audience, and really relating it to that person, and that’s what he taught us to do. So, I think you have some really actionable steps on how to make that work. So, I thought it was really awesome.

J: I agree. Okay, so are we ready to take it home?

Carol: Let’s take it home.

J: Okay. Thank you everybody. She’s Carol. I’m J.

Carol: Now go affirm your value to buyers today. Have a good one, everybody.

J: Thanks everyone. Have a good week.

Carol: See you later.

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • How a “make 100K/year” ad spawned David’s start in sales
  • How our brains form buying decisions
  • What is sales shame” 
  • The importance of giving first, then asking
  • Providing value through knowledge and curating articles
  • Getting people to thank you for a cold call
  • 40-50% of salespeople underperform vs. quota
  • The 6 “whys” that motivate people to ACTUALLY buy
  • Using stories to get past client’s fear of risk
  • Stories’ ability to engage a different part of the brain
  • Analysis after losing a sale to strengthen process
  • Priming for commitment
  • Why putting too much emphasis on “the close” is misguided
  • Rejection based on the product vs. rejection based on the way a product is presented
  • Buyer-centric, science-based selling
  • Selling like our grandparents did
  • His thoughts on over-dependence on technology
  • And SO much more!

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