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Consistency in Sales with Weldon Long | Sales Expert Insights Series

How you doing! Welcome yeah, I’m doing great man thanks for out thanks for skyping, looking forward to this yeah and for those of you who may not know Weldon, he is and a lot of you already do. He is a New York Times best seller with the power of consistency. He’s an entrepreneur sales expert: he has driven fortune 5 fortune 5 size and companies to unbelievable heights in revenue generation.

So Weldon really looks really knows what he’s talking about, and what I wanted to ask Weldon about today was about his book, the power of consistency and – and why is consistency so important for sales number one and second? Why is it something that perhaps we overlooked a lot at the time? Yeah, that’s a great question. You know, I think the the benefit of consistency is very simple. We all know that consistent sales activities produce consistent sales results, random sales activities, random sales results right.

It’s not rocket science, if you think about the operations and manufacturing side of business, let’s think of a computer chip manufacturer if they used on a random process and their engineering and their development and the manufacturing of their chips, they just kind of walked in the factory. Each day – and sometimes they do this – and sometimes they do that – we all know that the quality of the computer chip would be really really bad without a lot of unhappy customers.

So we understand instinctively from a manufacturing operations perspective that we have to have a process. Unfortunately, when it comes to sales, we don’t apply that same level of the need for consistency. We oftentimes think that we could just kind of show up on a sales call, and just you know, rely on our wits and our communication skills. The problem is, if we don’t have a consistent sales process, we’re not going to have consistent sales results.

In other words, when you look at a sales process, kind of the basic four components build a relationship investigate the problem solve the problem. Ask for the order, if we’re random in that process, then we’re going to get the same kind of results that the manufacturing facility would get if they had a random manufacturing process. We’re going to have very inconsistent sales results. So when I talk to salespeople, you know it’s like if, if your process are your results, rather, if your results are sometimes good and sometimes bad and sometimes good, and some that is by definition, random results yeah those random results are not coming from consistent sales.

I totally agree with you, so why is it then that in some areas of sales there has been this resistance to the idea of process or consistency, and some people will hide that behind the you know, it’s a kind of an art, and I do it my Way and they do it their way, and I just you know I don’t want to interfere with it and processes for other people, it’s not for us. Well, I think that it’s a great question, John, listen salespeople.

We tend to be a little bit more on the creative side versus you know the the organized side right, it’s kind of what makes us good. We have great communication skills, we can schmooze, we can kiss hands, we can shake babies or whatever that thing do all that stuff, and we kind of look at you know a sales process as being put in a straitjacket right so exhibiting used to often say that If you don’t have a sales process, in other words, if you don’t have a process you have to have when he call they can the presentation to be successful in sales.

Now, if it sounds like a can presentation, you’re going to be toast right, but you have to have a process. I think we resist it. There’s two reasons number one. I think we see ourselves as more creative communicators and we don’t like the restrictions. The kind of the process kind of puts on us and we got to be in a straitjacket, but I think the other thing is – and this is a big part of my book, both in our consistency and my new book consistency selling.

The bottom line is that we all face challenges in life and those challenges come down to three types: money, problems, relationship problems and health problems and the key to success in sales. The key to success in life. He is learning how to prosper in the face of those challenges right. It’s not that successful people somehow avoid money problems or avoid relationship problems or avoid health problems.

Is that they’re very good at dealing with those things and what happens off times? Is that we’re going out or making a sales call, and we have some personal problem or some financial problem, and it distracts us, and so we just kind of wing it this. The the key to success is learning how to prosper in all areas of our life. In the face of those challenges, that’s what I really talk about in both of those books.

You know how do you, how do you thrive and prosper in the face versus my life is? My life has been a textbook example of diversity. I spent 25 years of my life on the streets. I spent 13 years in prison when I was thirty years old, I was living in a homeless shelter, so I know all about adversity. What I’ve learned is that, if you can learn to deal with that adversity and prosper in the face of that, that’s where success comes in in terms of the process, consistency has kind of two folds and we can talk about these in detail number one.

Is the sales person sales professional doing the same things over and over? The second component of consistency is from the consistency theory right. So if I tell you as a customer, if I tell you that price is not the most important factor in my decision mmm-hmm and the hour later, I start you know complaining about the price right yeah. Those are inconsistent statements and the key is to hold prospects accountable to their previous declarations.

So and it’s interesting thing about the adversity piece right, because sales is all about adversity right because I mean it’s the one, it’s the one, it’s the one job where know is for you here know more than anything else right. So what is the key to learning? How to face up to adversity rather than outsource it? If you like or just say, oh well, there’s nothing I could do you know the reality is every time we come into a sales opportunity, there’s going to be difficulties right, there’s going to be obstacles, we’re going to have customers who want a cheaper price, we’re going To have customers who want to think about it, we’re going to have customers who want to talk to our competition.

The key in sales, just like in life, is learning how to thrive in the face of those obstacles. The key to that is to have proactive discussions with our prospects, proactive discussions. So, for example, let’s say I was selling you a new car, then before I start talking to you about selling the new car, I’m going to ask you a simple question: I’m going to say John again in the course of buying a new car, I’m sure that Price is going to be something that you consider.

What’s going to be one of the things, that’s you evaluate correct, mm-hmm. Well, you know I’d like to share with you an article from edmunds.Com that talks about the ten most important factors that we should consider when buying a new car and, as you can see here, price is number six. You know the reputation, the service department, the the appropriate, the type of car for your needs, and all these are the factors.

So let me ask you John: would you agree or disagree with with edmunds.Com that there are a few factors that are as important, perhaps even more for than the chief price yeah? So if I get you to make that concession upfront now I now already I’m trying to sell you a car and I’m going to ask you to sign the paperwork on a car, and I want you to raise the price objection. So John misses the car. I’m going to recommend this is a perfect car for you and your family based on.

I think I’m worried about you and the time we spend together. So the only question I have is that when you trust me with this recommendation for a car, I’m still a bit, it’s still a bit off on the price. No, it’s a big decision! John! I don’t say that completely, but you know earlier you had mentioned that you agree with Consumer Reports. That price was not the most important factor in your decision as that changed our time together.

No, no! No, no you come to mention it. It hasn’t really well great. With the information I’d like to start the paperwork: well, the key there is public declarations dictate future actions and it’s based on a psychological principle of cognitive dissonance, and I looked at on my read. It is three o’clock and I forgotten, like oh, I forgot to pick up John, that anxiety is called distance when humans feel dissonance.

We want to get rid of it. So what do I do? I picked the phone up and I said John I’m going to be late. I’m sorry I’ll be there, but I do something to get back into a state of residence, so I can feel better about Who I am as a person. The same rules apply in sales. If I can get, you acknowledged, price is not the most important factor and then you bring it up later. I simply remind you, it’s conversation, you’re doing with spirits, dissonance right, because you did say that an hour ago and you’re going to feel anxiety well as the Sales Professional.

I’m simply going to ask you for the order again, which is metaphorically throwing your life preserver. So you can make a decision, that’s consistent with your previous actions right. It’s not the rocket science right using psychological principles and the sales principles to achieve the results that we want every day, and what I like about that Weldon is the fact that you’d you, as you said I mean you, didn’t sit around as a lot of you Know a lot of people when they’re in a selling situation, they’re dreading the obstacle coming up: they’re dreading the objection coming up.

You are like, okay, I’m going to just meet it head-on, I’m going to deal with it early and and then I’m going to have a fallback position later, if it, if it rears its ugly head again, but what I’m not going to do is avoid it right. You know people operate on the misconception that that effective sales – it’s about high-pressure effective sales, is not about high-pressure effective sales. Jon is about high service, not willing to extend ourselves professionally emotionally to our customers.

Part of that extension is that I have to you, know kind of have some insight and what I know what the objections are going to be if you’re selling your CRM, for example, that your company produces it sells whatever you know what the objections are every time That you’re going to sell it, there’s probably two or three or four that you’re going to face on 80 % of your calls. We should never be caught flatly.

We should never be caught right unaware. We have to anticipate those and, as you said, not dread. Those coming up but anticipate those coming up and approach them with like I knew this was coming. I know what you’re thinking before what you’re thinking, because I sell you, know software ten times a day, you buy it once every 10 years. I should know more about what the objections are going to be the new day, so it does not anticipate an answer about the hard work of sales, and that is what consistency comes in.

I know exactly what I’m going to say, depending on what objections, and I anticipate that you’re going to it’s. I think one of the other pieces about consistency well done. A few agree is that there’s there’s nothing worse than if you have an experience with the salesperson and then maybe you get to sale. Maybe you submit the car or whatever – and this has happened to me personally and then I call you up a week later because there’s an issue with it and you’re completely different person right so I mean how how important is it to because I always say like Chameleons make great pets and they’re lovely to look at and everything but salespeople they can be, it can be devastating right, listen, and this is part of the extending ourselves emotionally and professionally you’re, not just my customer before you sign on the line that is not a Year out of the homeless shelter, I started heating, an air conditioned company.

Now I don’t a first thing about heating and air conditioning, but I know how to sell so. I started this company and I focused on the marketing and sales. I hired the operations people by the way through that company. The 20 million dollars in revenue in five years in 2009 were selected is one of the magazine’s fastest growing companies, but the core foundation of that company is, I offered what I call the one year test drive right, so John again will roleplay and say you’re, my Customer you’re, my homeowner, I say John – have you ever bought something from a department store.

You didn’t like he’s a flashlight or something like that sure, and you decided you wanted to return that item. What happened when you went back to the store? Did they did? They shun you did they turn you out the door or they give your money back or any pot. Whatever you want yeah. No, there was a pretty simple process exactly well. I decided it should be the same way: the heating air conditioning industry so John.

What I’m going to do is to extend this offer. You’re, a one-year test drive I’m going to put in a brand new heating and air conditioning system, and I don’t want you to buy it tonight. I want you to try it for a year 11 months in 29 days at the end of that process. Any time during that first year, if you decide the system doesn’t work properly, you don’t get proper service. You don’t like to waste.

Someone from my company treated you on the phone. I will offer you the opportunity with one phone call to me: no brain damage. I will remove that system and refund 100 % of your initial investment. Now John. What does that say about the level of quality and service? I’m going to offer you if I have that kind of responsibility on my shoulders? Well, I mean obviously you’re going to you’re going to turn over every stone to make sure that you’re the best quality of service in all areas and every interaction the customer has with your business right exactly so John now, if you call me a month later, two Months over the problem, I have a responsibility and obligation.

I got to make sure you’re happy. I can’t that chameleon. Also I’m like who are you what’s they’ve done, I’ve got to make sure that you are taken care of, because I have a responsibility. You know that I have to extend to you, so did you ever actually have to take your system out? That’s a wonderful question. In the best question. The reality is in 20 dollars of sales. In five years. I never had to return a system.

I will tell you: there were a few opportunities where I did it, because I wanted to sure I remember. For example, we had a customer. Her name was Sarah Parker. We installed a very expensive system to her high-efficiency system and on eight months later, she calls me up and she wanted us to come and install a less expensive system and refund her the difference when I I said well, what’s wrong with the system, she said, nothing’s Wrong with the system, when I’ve been diagnosed with cancer and I’m having to leave my job for treatment, I got to sell my house I’m trying to get all my money together.

When I understood what happened the situation she was in, I said Sarah, you keep the system and let me refund the difference, and so I didn’t have to, but I did it by the way. The letter that I got from Sarah Parker, in my estimation, was worth 20 million dollars, because that letter was the foundation of my sales process. We have to sell with integrity, we have to deliver service with integrity. One of my mentors was Steven Covey, who wrote the seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and I learned something, as I often say, values are knowing what to do.

Characters having the strength to do it and integrity is doing it when the push comes to shove. Right in the rubber meets the road you have to be a by the way, I would tell all of our business owners sales professionals out there that the way I looked at that kind of return of money as marketing money, because it was the best marketing money. I could ever spend because my next 10 customers next 100 customers.

They were going to hear about that story and never going to read that letter with me. I promise you so I mean so as you guys as you’ve outlined beautifully here. There is a huge economic value to consistency right to the consistency of whether you’re just an individual sales person or an organization, but take it down to the level of a sales person right if you, if you provide a consistent level of service and really well.

If I do that to you right, then you’re likely to recommend me, but I have to deliver that to every single person who recommends me right. I have to deliver it to the next person. The next person, the next person, absolutely is really important. Listen people all communicate in different ways. Some people will read and learn. Some people read articles. Some people hear some people are tactile learners like they learn by touching things.

Some people learn through emotion and stories. So when I create a sales presentation form, is I incorporate every form of communication in the sales presentation? The reason I do that is, I don’t know for sure what a particular customer I don’t know how they’re going to connect with me. Are they connected to the story? Are they connecting to the product demonstration? Are they connecting to what they’re, seeing or reading you never know for sure, so we incorporate all of these forms of communication to a prospect.

If I have consistency – and I do my sales process the same way every time I’m going to hit every one of those communication medium right, so I’m going to connect with you at some point. If I start picking and choosing which part of the presentation I’m going to use, I may skip the form of communication that would have run you over right, say you can’t be random in this process. You have to hit every form of communication with your prospects.

They have to see pictures, they have to hear stories, they have to touch products and experience products. They have to get emotional, they have to have logic. They have to have all these various things, because I’m going to connect with you on one of those. If I start reading – and we decided I’m going to try this I’m going to try that I might miss the one thing that we run you over as a customer, so at the essence of what you’re a lot of the essence of what you’re talking about here Is obviously, you know consistency of execution, but it’s preparation and planning to write, because you can’t be considered.

You can’t do what you just said about having a presentation that hits all the different you know: learning styles or whatever information receiving styles, unless you’ve done your homework here, my desk. This is for a 50 million dollar company in California, and I developed their presentation book and their job is to go to this book. Tell the stories I teach them to tell ask the questions. I teach them to ask and, throughout the course of these 10 or 15 pages, we’re going to touch on every one of those communication methods right, I’m going to connect with somebody at some point.

I do the same thing with FedEx. I do the same thing, but Farmers Insurance. I do the same thing with Wells Fargo. You got to communicate and do it the same way every single time, if you, if you manufacture computer chips and you do it randomly you’re, going to have really poor quality result, and what about with you know when a a prospect or whatever starts to take you Off track and you’ve started starting to feel like.

Oh I’m, never going to get to these pieces or I’m going to miss something and the I’m. Obviously I’m trying to be accommodating here and go down this. You know rabbit hole with them. How do you? How do you advise as people to control that situation as best they can given the fact that you have to react to the customer? Great great great question number number one. I rely on the process because I’ll follow the process and let’s say I’m on page five of my process.

Now again you can’t sound like a possum. It can’t sound like an presentation but less than the phone rings and the prospect gets distracted with some other issue. In their business or if I’m in home sales, one of the kids comes around crying for mommy right. When the dust settles on that distraction, I can bring them right back where I was right. So I stay on the past. The other issue you mentioned the rabbit holes.

This is a really important issue. I’m glad you brought it up. You don’t have to chase every rabbit down every hole a lot of times with people, especially when you use a consistency theory to sell. When I reminded you, for example earlier that you said, price led the most important common things that home what other prospects will do, is they feel that nervous energy because hey, I did say that an hour ago and they’ll start going down rabbit holes? Oh well, I got ta go on vacation next week to my brother-in-law.

I got ta talk to him and my kids, down to the doctor and they’ll come up with every distraction. All you have to do is to when they finish speaking acknowledge. Yes, I understand it’s important to get your child to the doctor. I important I understand it’s important to go, see your brother-in-law. However, with your permission, what do you say? We start the paperwork, and so I ignore the distractions, because when people get nervous, it’s a very common human behavior, we get nervous.

I ramble mm-hm and people will do that. The problem is a Sales Professional, sometimes those ramblings which are just on nervous energy. We start taking those as legitimate objections and we start next thing. You know what do you feel about the vacation, these rabbit holes like you’re, talking about and next thing you know we’re having a different conversation. Do you have to stay on Rails, especially? We gets the closing sequence right because that’s the most common time, people will try to distract you and get you off.

You got ta be on Rails. You don’t know exactly what you’re going to say during your closing sequence and you have to stay focused. Whatever obstacles come up, you simply remind them of what they said earlier and come back and ask the order yeah, and that is about preparation, as you mentioned. If I go back to Stephen Covey, the four quadrants of time, quadrant two is planning preparation and prevention.

We have to take the time to practice. Roleplay prepare ourselves. So when those objections come up, we’re on Rails right, we don’t get distracted because we’re the professionals we sell. Whatever we sell every single day, your customer probably buys it once every few years, lady once on a lifetime right – and I think that’s it – that’s an important thing to add there is that idea of when you do get down to the end of the process and As you say, maybe I only buy it once or a year or twice.

Oh maybe this is maybe it’s in a b2b. Maybe this is the first time the company is trusted me to make a big purchase and there’s a lot of emotion attached. There’s a lot on my back, you know, and so I’m bound to get nervous towards the end, I’m bound to start thinking. Am I making the right decision so if you can anticipate all that and, as you say, not get caught up in my anxiety but rather make me feel better than obviously there’s a greater chance of closing the deal, this is the bottom line.

Is everybody gets nervous at the end sales professional gets nervous, we’re talking about money. The prospect gets nervous because we’re talking about money, the reality is, it causes us emotional pain. We spend money, there’s a lot of scientific research about that that we spend money. It causes the emotional pain centers our brain, to become very active, the same way as if our dog dies. It’s an emotional experience, so we have to make sure that we are staying focused so that we don’t get distracted by these things.

At the end of the day, I tell people listen in sales, you have to be friendly, but not every prospect or customer. Is your friend hmm at some point you have to be the professional at some point you have to be the physician who delivers. You know the news you have to have the surgery. We have to do this, it’s in your best interest and we have to be willing to kind of you know what I, when I tell people it’s a that sounds a little corny.

I guess, but you have to be willing to jeopardize the relationship. Some salespeople are so good, the relationship they never move into closing because they don’t want to seem like the salesperson. You have to be both. You have to have the relationship and then you have to courage the conviction, the commitment to ask for the order and to hold this person accountable to the process right. It’s not always fun to do, but listen.

You know Zig Ziglar used to say if you can’t close you’re going to have skinny kids, here’s the bottom line at the end, that’s what I teach salespeople whenever I talk to them when you’re at when you have that moment where you know you need to ask For the order, but you’re afraid that they’re going to be offended, are you afraid they’re going to somehow be disappointed because all the sudden, your sales professional, think about this think about who’s going to be disappointed? If you don’t ask for the order you know who it is, is your family and the people who count on you to bring home the bacon right to bring home the money to pay the bills to provide a quality of life? Am I going to disappoint them by being afraid to ask for the order, or am I going to risk? Maybe just maybe this prospect thinks I’m awesome a salesperson.

If I got to disappoint somebody, I’m not going to disappoint my wife and kids. I’m never going to come home to my wife and kids and say: hey guys. We can’t go to Disneyland, we can’t go to private school. We can’t do this, the kid that, because I’m too big of a candy-ass never going to happen yeah and by the way I always say to people when this comes up. Is I hate to break the news to you, but they know you’re a salesperson going on exactly listen Weldon.

This has been fantastic, so just before we go, can you tell the people when the new book is coming out and a little bit more about you yeah? So consistency selling comes out October, 2nd it’s available for presale, go to Grover long com. There’s an offer. We have you. Click on. You buy the book through Amazon. You put your order back in and I said that we said like an hour’s worth of article training on the mindset in the sales process.

It’s super super powerful content and we’re just time to promote the new book so dirty water, long, calm and you’ll see it or go to consistency. Selling, calm and you’ll see the awesome grades. Listen. This has been fantastic wealth and my name is John golden says. Pop online says magazine pipeliner CRM SEO for another expert insight interview really soon. Thank you. So I encourage you to subscribe to sales popped on net.

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