Tony Hughes, Founder and Managing Director of RSVP Selling, blogger, and author of a couple of books, including The Joshua Principle, and his latest book, Combo Prospecting: The Powerful One-Two Punch That Fills Your Pipeline and Wins Sales, joins me for the second time on this episode.
Tony says the biggest challenge facing sales reps is breaking through to the people they need to engage, to help them. Buyers are bombarded with email and lots of noise.
Combo Prospecting: The Powerful One-Two Punch That Fills Your Pipeline and Wins Sales, is enthusiastic and energetic. Tony addresses why he wrote it at this time. Insufficient pipeline is a symptom that people don’t have the right mindset.
Tony thought there were some aspects missing from prospecting, that he wanted to include in his book. One is to use the phone again as a social selling channel. The point is to create a human engagement with people. Social is one part.
Sales is hard, but Andy doesn’t find it harder than pre-internet days. Cold calling is not dead, but it is difficult. Tony recalls the gatekeepers; now voicemail is the gatekeeper. It is a shock to get through to a live person.
Sellers have become passive, quiet, fearful, and lazy. It is easier to look on LinkedIn than make a call. Tony gives a couple of company case examples. No phones on the sales floor! All in on social! Tony says the phones came back!
Tony says it takes a multi-threaded strategy with the right combination. He suggests Sales Navigator to identify the powerbase of an organization — all the influencers that would matter. Message with value by phone, cell, email, and text.
Tony explains the Law of Principal Disinterest. Don’t be desperate, especially about the prospects you already have. If you come across as overeager, you push people away. Look for people you can help with a really good fit.
3-5X coverage of your pipeline is needed. Tony gives some ideas how to get there. First, know your ICP. Do win reviews, not loss reviews. Ask the client what trigger caused them to go down the path that ended with a buying decision.
“Selling is not about me or my success. It’s about my customer and my commitment to helping them achieve a far better state of affairs in their business and their personal life.” — Tony Hughes
Conversion rates of pipelines are dropping, and deal size is getting smaller as well. Tony says the way we open is far more important than the way we close. Anchor the business case up front.
Tony talks about failure to reach quota. Some quotas are too high. Assess the territory and the prospects, to set quotas. Don’t raise it by a percentage. Watch out for expense management, which is a scheme to limit commissions.
Revenue is the metric that matters. We need to recognize the long-term value of the client. The way people are buying has changed. We need clients to be market advocates for us, as well.