Frame a Message That Resonates with Buyers, with Barbara Giamanco [Episode 435]

Barbara Giamanco, a Keynote speaker, coauthor of the great book, The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media, and podcaster, joins me to  unlock the real meaning of sales messaging – how sellers can mold and shape a message that is persuasive and productive.

Key Takeaways

  • Barbara’s company is Social Centered Selling, in Atlanta, originally focusing on helping organizations develop their strategy around implementing social media into their selling practice, and now, helping frame the entire buying experience.
  • The biggest challenge for sales reps is in framing a message that resonates with what the buyer cares about. Barbara notes how management could improve rep training.
  • Barbara says reps need to research their client and their client industry’s trends and pain points, to know many pertinent facts before engaging a contact. What problems interfere with this rep behavior?
  • Barbara notes that very few colleges provide a degree in sales. To make matters worse, 40% of organizations are not onboarding sales staff with consultative training on sales skills. Kennesaw State University offers an amazing sales curriculum.
  • Students coming from the Kennesaw curriculum are hired quickly, and hit the ground running with top skills. What does Barbara suggest to encourage additional colleges to pick up the sales curriculum?
  • Barbara considers generational issues, such as the Millennial’s aversion to the phone. A sale doesn’t come from a Tweet! Inside Sales reps that are not trained may damage the company brand instead of bringing in profit.
  • People need more training in how to researching industries, trends, challenges, and pain points, and how to spin that into a contact’s accepting a meeting. Quality of outreach is more important than quantity of emails sent.
  • Salespeople call Barbara and ask her to tell them about her business. No. Look on LinkedIn before you call. Look at causes, charities, interests, and company focus. Don’t waste the contact’s time, and don’t roll right into the pitch.
  • New technologies enable more phone calls, but it’s the quality of conversation you have when somebody picks up the telephone that counts, and that is a big gap in skill. Barbara has advice for managers.
  • Harassing by email is not welcome. Don’t ask why someone didn’t respond. They didn’t respond because you didn’t offer them value that resonated with them.
  • Organizations need to evaluate their processes. Hiring more salespeople to make the same errors will not move the needle for an organization. Quality plus quantity is needed. People are buying from people. See Google’s ZMOT theory.
  • Individual salespeople can make a commitment to change the buyer’s perception. Don’t let the buyer lead you down the path. Learn what they need, and how you can help them.

The Sales Enablement Podcast with Andy Paul was formerly Accelerate! with Andy Paul.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul  0:56  

Hello and welcome to the Sales Enablement Podcast.. I am excited to be talking with my guest once again. Come back for a second visit to the show Barbara Giamanco. She’s a keynote speaker, author of the book, great book, the new handshake salesmen social media. She’s passionate about customer experience. She’s a podcaster. She does lots of things. Barbara, welcome to the Sales Enablement Podcast.

 

Barbara Giamanco  1:41  

Thanks for having me back. Andy.

 

Andy Paul  1:43  

It’s my pleasure. So for those listeners who maybe hadn’t tuned in the first time, give a brief introduction of yourself.

 

Barbara Giamanco  1:53  

Well, I own my own company here in Atlanta, Georgia called social centered selling and so for a number of years, we’ve put a large focus on helping organizations develop their strategy around implementing social media into their selling practice. Those things are still important. But these days I focus even more intently on helping organizations to frame the right kind of experience, starting with the very first interaction with a buyer all the way through to them becoming a customer and beyond. And as you said, I am I do have a podcast. I’m a corporate webcast host for certain technology companies and still do the keynote speaking and one of these days may get another book out there but who knows?

 

Andy Paul  2:37  

Yes, funny. Every time you say the name of your company, social centered selling, I think, gosh, we start a new company called self centered selling.

 

Barbara Giamanco  2:46  

But the new book title perhaps there you go, because there is a lot of that kind of selling going on out there isn’t there?

 

Andy Paul  2:52  

They said this self centered selling. We can throw that together. So speaking of which, what is the single biggest challenge for sales reps today?

 

Barbara Giamanco  3:08  

I think the single biggest challenge is being able to frame a message that really resonates and speaks to what the buyer cares about, not what they want to sell. Now, to be fair, some of that is management’s fault, because I believe that a lot of the training these reps are getting especially newer reps is really more focused on product pitches and demos, but in my mind, that’s the biggest challenge. And he and research bears that out. buyers are really sort of tired of the pitch. They need to buy things, but they need people who are going to be collaborative problem solvers who understand their business well enough to educate them with some fresh insights. And so I think that’s a real opportunity, actually for reps who want to be successful going forward.

 

Andy Paul  3:56  

Yeah, I mean, I think the situation has changed in terms of what reps are doing so much. I think it’s ever been thus that they’re more pitching as opposed to asking and listening differences. Now, the buyers have more choices. And you know that that is a big change, and that that has a huge impact on sales people.

 

Barbara Giamanco  4:20  

Well, it does. And you know, I hear common complaints. We don’t have time. Yes, you do have time actually. Because I’ve been in sales quite a long time long enough to remember when we didn’t have all these nifty tools and this thing called the Internet and social channels, where you actually can go and do a lot of learning about not only individual accounts, but certainly, if you’re targeting specific industries, you can pretty quickly figure out what are some key trends, key pain points, maybe some competitive challenges that these organizations might be facing. And then take that knowledge, package it in a way so that when you do engage with a buyer, you’re really speaking to what they care about. And so I think the problem is, we have too many people trying to rush the sales process. So in some cases, especially if they’re larger b2b complex sales, you’re not going to make a sale, the first conversation, so maybe get over that, and start focusing on how you’re going to move the process along quickly. But you do that by understanding what the buyer cares about. And then you understand what they need in order to make decisions along the way, which I’m talking to the expert here. You wrote the book on that one.

 

Andy Paul  5:34  

Yeah, I was thinking about this whole issue in preparation for our conversation today. And yeah, it’s a common theme where I went no matter who I talked to, and the sort of nature of someone people weren’t talking to in sales, then we’re considered experts because we’re solving problems that people have right and turn with sales and the customers and so on. But one of the common refrains that start comes up is that, gosh, this has been a problem for decades. I mean, this is not a new problem, where every every new generation that comes in, and that could be, you know, every new class of salespeople come in every year, let’s say or whatever you want to call it is, we’re treading the same path fighting the same battles in terms of having salespeople understand that. Yep, pitching first, before a question and listen, you understand the customers, these are all really important. So part of me thinks that maybe the conclusion, maybe the only conclusion about the way we begin to really address this problem in a substantive way is to really focus on this as an industry, not necessarily as individuals if you have more formal education about sales. So that it’s available at the college level, or, whatever level vocational level and that there’s some sort of certification or accreditation that takes place I mean that I think that if a young person said I went to school you know, 18 year old business major decide I want to focus on sales as my area especially within my business major, they get an A, you know, two year curriculum that that teaches them about this that perhaps schools like Northeastern which have great Co Op programs where people go out and actually work for six months out of stretch or a semester at a stretch as part of the the undergraduate education is that you’re going to incorporate that type of learning in college education. To me that’s the only way we start putting ourselves out of jobs is by having people educated at least at a base level. So they understand, through their education, they can apply their education into the professional world.

 

Barbara Giamanco  7:59  

I mean, if you think about it, sales is pretty much the only profession that I can think of that you really can go to very few colleges to get a degree like you can in marketing or you know, any other thing you choose to go into finance, whatever it might be. And that’s a problem. I think, because a couple of years ago, that task group ID had done a major survey and found that some 40% of organizations are not onboarding salespeople, they’re not giving them the good consultative training skills that they need. Us, excuse me selling skills that they need. They’re getting trained on products and how to do demos. And, you know, we have a great college here, actually, outside of Atlanta, Kennesaw state’s one of the best in the nation. They offer an amazing curriculum, and it’s pretty impressive. And that is backed by a number of major corporations. And I’ve been there and spoken to the group and I’ve seen some of the work they do and then they have this national contest. It’s a super big deal.

 

Andy Paul  8:58  

So this is a sales curriculum.

 

Barbara Giamanco  9:00  

These students who come out of this program, they are like hired up immediately and they hit the ground running. And they are super productive straight out of the gate because they’ve learned how to sell. You know, even at the facility where they learn, they’ve got room set up, or they can be videotaped, so they can practice during the contest. It’s really who can solve the sales challenges in front of them. It’s pretty impressive what they do, why more schools are not doing it? I don’t understand. So perhaps we need more pressure from corporations to be insisting that those curriculums be put into place. 

 

Andy Paul  9:41  

The bottom line was that resistance isn’t really the right word. But you know, why that hasn’t taken off, right. I mean, certainly there are certain positions, that you wouldn’t hire somebody in an engineering position without a double degree. Yeah, you wouldn’t hire a nurse without a nursing degree. I mean, we start to go down the list of things where an employer wouldn’t ever think to hire somebody in a specific role. And yet, sales we sort of treat like I don’t know. I mean, like anything that doesn’t require, that you just have on the job training for you, as opposed to this, treat us as a profession. And so that’s right.

 

Barbara Giamanco  10:20  

That’s it right there. I think there’s this collective myth that, you know, salespeople are just born right. Maybe the colleges aren’t feeling the pressure, because nobody’s asking for their curriculum. Maybe students are coming in saying, Hey, you know, I want to get a degree in sales. I mean, I think as a whole maybe part of the problem is this bias against sales as a profession. You know, I’ve had friends tell me that, you know, when their parents found out, they were going into sales roles. They were the parents who were mortified as if it’s like some horrible job to be in. I think it’s one of the best careers ever. And so I just think there’s a lot of this collective, you know, stuff still stuck in the psyche that says, selling is not a great profession to go into? It’s easy to pick up and just do well, which it is not.

 

Andy Paul  11:11  

No, it’s certainly not for everybody. So some fairly significant career decisions as undergraduates is that, you know, going into finance marketing, it could be, you know, pre med etc. Again, I don’t know what percentage of them actually end up pursuing those paths, you know, professionally, but sales certainly should begin to fit into that mold. And it seems to me, that’s really the only way that we’re going to get to a point where we stop sort of talking about these basics like okay, salespeople talking too much before asking questions and really, you know, great questions and listening to the customer answer meals being present. Like, you know, that that’s so fundamental to the act of selling. And yet it’s having to be taught and retaught. You know, for every new salesperson, basically that comes into the business.

 

Barbara Giamanco  12:07  

Absolutely. Well then and now now we’re starting to get into generational issues, right? So you’ve got millennials who are overtaking the workforce, and they have an aversion to, you know, the telephone. They don’t want to pick up the phone and call people to have these conversations and yet I’m not sure how they expect that they’re going to make a sale. It’s not going to happen over a text or a tweet. I can tell you that. So right, they’re not getting the basics. They don’t come out of school trained. They go into organizations who aren’t training them. And you’re right, these are not new issues. Andy, you know, we keep hearing the same set of stats and statistics every single year about half the sellers out there are not making quota. It just perplexes me. Then why don’t more organizations do something? I mean, having a salesperson come on the front lines, especially, let’s say inside sales, were super popular, you know, sales development reps, business development reps. These are younger folks who don’t have that training that we’re talking about. And they come in and they’re floundering around, they’re not productive, they could actually be inadvertently without meaning to even be damaging the brand because of the way that they’re presenting themselves. You would think that sales leadership would pay more attention to that and say, yeah, that’s a problem we need to solve. Because we need these people representing us, we need to make sure that they are productive as soon as they can be. I mean, if the lifecycle of that position is what is it roughly 18 months? Do you want, you know, half of that being unproductive? That makes no sense. 

 

Andy Paul  13:43  

I think part of this was due to the perspective and I’m interested to get feedback from the people listening to the show, is that the difference that the view is that sales is still essentially an apprenticeship that you know, taught will be done. All the training can be done and learning can be done on the job. You know, in the look back 100 years ago when people you know were apprentices for specific crafts, you know, shoemakers and so on, if you know, they indentured a young boy into a household of a shoemaker. And that’s how they learn the trade.

 

Barbara Giamanco  14:19  

It’s right.

 

Andy Paul  14:21  

And there’s some people who have that perspective. I just read it yesterday in an article online, based on it’s just a real sale that isn’t printed up, which it’s hard to deny. That’s what it is today. But it seems like we’re perpetuating rather than saying, Yeah, we need to get more educational institutions to really focus on providing people that have some more basic level of training and sales. And if they did, yeah, I think these people the value they have and the ability to find jobs coming out of school would be greatly heightened, and maybe address some of the issues you’d brought up which you know about you know, even hate to use the term millennials because, you know, granted it’s a generation. But yeah, I don’t think their challenges are much different than, you know, other generations to face when I first enter the workforce but maybe it opens them up to, you know, different way of communication, talking, understanding how they really do influence the psychology of people based on the actions they take, and become more grounded with that. And I think that’d be fantastic.

 

Barbara Giamanco  15:29  

It would be fantastic. I’m a big proponent of what I said earlier about doing research and learning about the business. You know, this is another area where people need more training in this. I mean, I’ve done some programs this year, where specifically was teaching them how to go through the process of research, which I would think would be pretty straightforward, but you can’t assume that right again, if they’re not getting the help. 

 

Andy Paul  16:37  

Well, it seems to be a trap with certain segments of sales seem to be falling into, at least, my view, and looking at these companies working with these companies is mean it’s one of the things that technology enables I mean, you’ve got these great sort of transparent view into your process and what’s happening. And I think that tends to be just about human nature tends to lead toward the desire to have more activities. Because you can see them, right? I mean, if you can see that, gosh, I could see them in everything we’re doing, our activity level, our conversion rates up and down, stage conversion rates, everything that’s happening. And we’re getting, you know, x out of at the end is, I think I see more frequently these days is that managers are saying, Okay, we’ve got this process, we’re getting x, but at the end, rather than making our process more efficient, we’re gonna do more things because that’s the way we’re going to grow that x you know, to get to two x it’s doing more things as opposed to saying, like, do the same level of activities. But if I could make them twice as efficient.

 

Barbara Giamanco  17:45  

I’ve always said that should never confuse activity with effectiveness. I mean, if if the end goal was just to do was stay on the topic of inside sellers right, these business development reps, sales development reps, Or their job is to really be prospecting and trying to set appointments and then you know, somebody else is going to come in and kind of take it, move that sales conversation to the next level. But they need those skills too, because let’s face it, your buyers right now are so jaded, and they have so many ways to block us that if you hope to break through any of the noise that’s out there, you’ve got to stand out, I see it as a key differentiator. But you know what, I also think it comes down to work.

 

Andy Paul  19:14  

Well, I think from my perspective, that’s not a generational issue that’s just across not at all with salespeople.

 

Barbara Giamanco  19:21  

Yes, I totally agree with you. That’s not a generational thing that’s across the board. I mean, I’m surprised at the number of people who call me. And there have been times when I picked up the phone, I didn’t recognize the number. It’s a salesperson. And, you know, Hi, this is so and so. You know, I’d like to talk to you about XYZ. I checked out your website. Could you tell me a little more about your business? Why am I talking to you because if you couldn’t spend the two minutes it takes to even look at a LinkedIn profile to get some sense of who I am. Then that just says to me that you’re not somebody who’s going to be a good resource for me, I’m not going to want to buy from you when you can’t even take a few minutes to even understand who you’re talking with. And I don’t know about you, Andy, but I don’t get on the phone with anyone without checking them out for a few minutes doesn’t take long, but just to not be afraid. Who do we know in common? You know, what do they sort of care about? Do they have any charities or causes they’re interested in? I look for these things that help spur an actual human conversation.

 

Andy Paul  20:34  

And you’re doing that as a buyer. I think a part that to me, salespeople overlook is that you’re looking for those things as a seller in order to make that connection. 

 

Barbara Giamanco  20:51  

That’s right. And when I’m a buyer when I have my buyer hat on because right after I left corporate america and started my own business 14 years ago, I get a lot of phone calls about it. By buying xy and z, I know you do too. So when I have my buyer hat on and somebody comes at me with the whole, I checked out your website, can you tell me what you do? I almost have to like to restrain myself and maintain my composure and be professional because I want to scream at them. If you actually looked at the website, you know a little bit about me. And to ask a buyer to let you know you’re calling out of the blue you have no relationship with and you’re asking them to give up their time to tell you about the business. It’s ridiculous and it’s the reason why we see a lot of folks not progressing as quickly as they could in the sales cycle. Because it’s the starting point that often sort of, you know, hangs them up right. And like I said, I think there’s this: I’ve sat in it as salespeople, even sick seasoned, where the instinct is, okay, we’re going to focus our attention. Everybody’s gonna prospect for an hour a day. And I will hear reps talk about the fact that they get somebody on the line, bam, they want to roll into the whole pitch. And it’s like, no, your objective was to get enough of a connection to schedule the meeting. And then you come back later, right? You’ve crafted sort of your plan for that meeting, and what you hope the objective will be to learn a little more about the buyer. But it feels to me I don’t know if the pressure is coming from management or if it’s due to what we talked about earlier, which is lack of training. But you know, this business of thinking that the moment somebody is on the phone, that’s when you roll into the pitch, I think it is really hindering a lot of sales, people’s ability to get the kind of success they’re looking for.

 

Andy Paul  22:43  

What do you see that as an outgrowth of the fact that they know they’re being measured on their activity levels? And, again, that is not necessarily anything new but it’s it’s never been able to be treated. That level of detail that is today. I mean, with the technology in the last several years, as we’ve talked before, there’s complete transparency. So managers know, they pull up the dashboard. You know, Jim, how many calls you make today? You know, 10 15 years ago, that was still somewhat opaque until the rep filled out their call sheets at the end of the week. Managers didn’t really know. So I think that that I think, we’re at this interesting inflection point where we have to learn really how to adapt this data that we have an integrate with the human side of selling and the human side of managing people to sort of mitigate some of these these behaviors that are going on because, again, I think it’s as an example again, before as is too often the answer seems to come in the form of just do more of what we’re doing rather than let’s do this way better.

 

Barbara Giamanco  24:00  

Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. And then you know, listen, I get it, people are coming up with these new technologies. And then now you have companies that have these phone dialers, technologies, okay, now you can push even more phone calls. And I still continue to say that that’s good. And talking to your point about merging than human behavior. It’s the quality of the conversation you’re able to have when somebody picks up the telephone. And I just think that is a big gap. And I don’t even think it would be that difficult to overcome if more managers were paying attention to that, who they were really asking themselves. Okay, well, Suzy has been making the calls and sending the emails still not getting the sales meetings. You know, how is asking Suzy to do more of those same things? The answer I think lies in evaluating more carefully. Well, what’s happening if you’re getting them on the phone, or you’re sending the emails, is it possible that what you say and what you write is the reason? And why you’re not able to move that conversation forward. And then, I think that whole philosophy applies throughout the entire sales process. Andy, let’s say you do get the first meeting and you managed to do reasonably well and you move it to the next stage.There’s got to be quality interaction. I believe at every step. You certainly talked about this in your book about really understanding what the buyer needs in order to make a decision quickly. And that just doesn’t seem to be getting enough attention in my opinion.

 

Andy Paul  25:33  

Yeah, well, I think the whole right I think one of the real opportunities and and you mentioned this reduction, and you talked about how you’re focusing more of your efforts on the side of the customer experience is, people really understand that customer experience and find the two parts presale and wholesale exactly is the pre sale customer experience, which is going to dictate where they get the order and on where the post sale will dictate where the second order But the that pre sale customer experience, guess starts from the first moment you say hi.

 

Barbara Giamanco  26:08  

And you might not get a second shot, right? You might not get a second chance.

 

Andy Paul  26:12  

You don’t do that. Well, you may not get a second chance.

 

Barbara Giamanco  26:15  

I mean, this latest trend with emails, you know you’re getting Well, Did you get my last email? Well, did you go out? Well, I’ve sent you four emails, you haven’t responded? Well, okay. Either it wasn’t interesting to me. I’m busy. I don’t have time for you. But what is this business if you’re now going to harass me because I’m not responding to an email from a total stranger who’s adding no value to my life anyway. It’s just it’s almost funny, but it’s not funny. It really does. I think it harms the professionalism of sales. When you know if we want people to think about sales being a profession, where people do good work, and thousands of salespeople do and they do a great job working with their customers. We just unfortunately have a fair contention out there that that is not doing a good job. And I think when that happens it does harm the profession it causes more of that bias and a buyer’s mind says, yep, these salespeople, all they want to do is pitch me. So I’m gonna avoid talking to them for as long as I can until it’s absolutely critical.

 

Andy Paul  27:24  

Yeah, it’s an interesting problem because I think that there are some companies that are having success with this. Yes. So as much as you may think, you know, you personally if you’re at the receiving end, but that’s horrible and reflects badly on sales. Yes. Is that a fair number of companies that are actually finding success using that model and what they look at it as saying, well look, you know, I can’t predict when this person is gonna become available when they might possibly look at their inbox. So if I have this cadence of contact or sequences of contacts that I’m dealing with, could be a mix of email, phone and social and so on. Though it seems predominantly be email these days for all the talk about incorporating social touches into some of these workflows for for SDR aside after I’ve never, never received one myself personally, I get emails all the time is, you know, if it wasn’t working, people would have changed already, but I said it is working at some point for a number of companies. But I think the question is, it just needs to work better. And I agree. And I think that’s the part you know, I sit at conferences, and we talk about certain industries, they’re close rates, and they always strike me as being really low. They look at the model and think, Okay, well, it sort of makes sense that it’s that low but they have a choice. You know, we could continue to grow by doing what we’re doing and so we’re gonna scale or a lot more salespeople always go up market, talking to to enterprise accounts, as we talked about earlier, then will do account based marketing or account based everything to penetrate those accounts, but then we start to scale these others. And the answer typically always looks like hiring more salespeople to do just what we’re doing as opposed to how it really radically transforms this process to create a different outcome at a higher rate in a predictable fashion?

 

Barbara Giamanco  29:27  

Yeah, I mean, well said. I couldn’t agree more. I think that’s really the answer. And that requires organizations taking a step back and looking at their process and really evaluating these various things that they have happening because I feel the same way when I hear Oh, you know, we’ll hire more salespeople. Well, how is hiring more salespeople going to help you if hiring more salespeople who are doing the same kind of work that’s already happening? It’s not going to move the needle for you. So I really do feel like there’s that balance of quality plus quantity. I mean, let’s face it, we’ve got all this great technology. And that’s fantastic. But in the end, people are buying from people. I mean, unless you’re in a consumer oriented kind of a world and what you sell is transactional. You know, every sale that I’ve ever been involved in, I needed to talk to people. So you know, technology can get you started. But then you’re the salesperson is the quality of what you do, that then starts to make the difference. That’s why I became a big fan a few years ago. I mean, I always believed in this, but I became a big fan of Google’s Xima 300 moment of truth. And at every stage in an interaction, whether it’s directly with the buyer or other people in the organization who might be influencing the sale. It all makes a big, big difference, but I agree, obviously, organizations must be getting some measure of return out of it. Otherwise, they probably wouldn’t keep doing it. But then there are other companies I know, that kept doing those same sorts of things and ultimately hung it up, right, they had to close their doors because they were not bringing in the revenue the way that they needed to. So, you know, again, I think about this whole business of professionalism of sales. If revenue is such an important driver, I just, again scratched my head, why are we not ensuring that more sellers have really got the right kind of structured training so that they can be really good salespeople instead of the whole shoot from the hip? I’ll learn it on the job. Maybe I’ll follow around the top seller and do what they do. I just think it’s you who goes to all this effort to develop great products and services, and then you don’t put enough emphasis on the people who really ultimately need to sell them.

 

Andy Paul  31:53  

Well, I think that that one thing so this could be a whole nother conversation, but we need to think about okay, where’s this problem emanating from? And I think it really emanates from the frontline management level. So yeah, there’s too much of our alliance to say, look, there’s just train people. But you know, look at my own development throughout my career. And one of the really instrumental things I learned, I learned from my managers, people that are mentoring me and coaching me, more coaching me than the mentoring right, but maybe modeling sales behaviors. And so, I know we don’t have time to dive really deeply into this here on this episode, but yeah, look at all this. So how do we reinforce behaviors? Well, it’s through consistent contact with the coach that’s observing what they’re doing and providing feedback. And so we have trained ourselves and done it. We all know that people tend to forget what they’ve learned fairly quickly unless it’s reinforced. Well, who’s gonna reinforce it really has to be the managers?

 

Barbara Giamanco  33:09  

Well, you’re right about that we could have many shows talking about that topic. Because training is not an event. It’s a process, and it needs to be ongoing. regardless how many years you’ve been in sales. I mean, I’ve been in sales for a very long time and I look to improve my skills every single day, not a day goes by that I don’t read about something related to the profession, I think about ways that I can do an even better job at what I’m doing. And by that I mean, you can’t just tick the box and think one training or one kickoff session is really going to change things. You know, again, I’m not going to go to one training to learn how to be a surgeon.

 

Andy Paul  33:55  

Not here at least.

 

Barbara Giamanco  33:57  

So you know, it gets back to this bigger thing, which is, why isn’t sales treated like a serious profession? Because it is a serious profession and people who do it well do well by their customers, everybody wins. You can make a great living. I think that is ultimately at the root of it. There are still some biases around you know what sales isn’t I think?

 

Andy Paul  34:28  

Yeah, well, I think that’s a good question. That’s another one we could spend an episode on. Without a question we collectively could help address some of that just through our actions. But I think that it’s, I think, also we have to keep in mind that when we approach people they have their defenses up. They have their perception somewhat already in mind what they think the interaction is gonna be like.

 

Barbara Giamanco  34:55  

That’s right.

 

Andy Paul  34:57  

Yeah. So even even the best now can find challenges in that regard with, you know, prospects and customers buyers that just say, yeah, this is gonna be a waste of my time I’m doing it because this is the only way we’re gonna get this whole process started but stealing themselves for the 15 20 minutes they have to spend with you, even if you’re really good. So I agree, we all start behind the ball a little bit, but much like we talked about early on with the increase in professionalism through having more people entering the workforce with professional education’s in sales or professional certifications on sales. It’s all part of the cycle. I think we get that process going then ultimately over time, buyers, attitudes will change because their experiences will change with the people.

 

Barbara Giamanco  35:47  

Absolutely. And as each of us individually as salespeople make a commitment to changing the buyer’s perception, I think that goes a long way, as you said, it’s not uncommon. I’ll get on a call with a customer and sometimes they want to start off with, well, let’s talk about your services. And I’ll say, well, you know, we can get to that. And what’s more important to me is to have a better understanding of what, why you want to have a conversation in the first place. You know, what problem are you trying to solve? And then let’s talk about that actually funny story, a company that I am striving to do business with, I got on the call with the executive. And we chatted for a couple of minutes. And he says, and by the way, I make it a practice in 30 minutes, I don’t, five, five minutes at the end, maybe hopefully, by that time, we’ve already been talking about potential solution options, but, you know, I leave all that stuff about me the company, the services to the very, very end want to maximize the time with the buyer. But I had to chuckle because we’re a few minutes into the conversation and, and, and I could see that we were kind of thinking like mindedly and he says, Well, why don’t you go ahead and tell me about your pricing?

 

Andy Paul  37:46  

Well, instead, that’s the point I made earlier. So I don’t think it’s much training. They’ll say you want to expose people to it, but has to be reinforced every day by the frontline manager that’s observing this person in action. Listening to calls, going on calls if they have, remote meetings with the prospects. And that sort of constant feedback is what really people really need to improve. So, I have some rapid fire questions in the show since you’ve been here before you got different than you had last time.

 

Barbara Giamanco  38:20  

Well, let’s hope you don’t hang me up because I don’t remember how it went last time.

 

Andy Paul  38:25  

First question. In your mind, is it easier to teach a technical non salesperson how to sell or teach a salesperson how to sell a technical product?

 

Barbara Giamanco  38:41  

I think it’s easier to teach a salesperson how to learn a technical product. That was my experience.

 

Andy Paul  38:46  

So what’s one great literary book, you think every salesperson reads a novel or non business book just something completely different, but wasn’t influential for you?

 

Barbara Giamanco  39:02  

Well, that’s an easy one because I’m reading it right now. And it’s called Deep Work. And it’s all about really learning how to think more deeply. And avoid all these short term distractions. fantastic book, highly recommend everybody read it almost. I’ve almost read the whole thing. And when sitting, it’s just that impactful.

 

Andy Paul  39:36  

Okay. So the next question is, if you could change one thing about your business self, what would it be?

 

Barbara Giamanco  39:43  

Well, one of the things I’m changing about my business self is making sure that I’m not falling victim to, you know, the next bright, shiny object. So when I get on a path, I’m really working hard to make sure I stick to it until it’s done. And that’s why This book, deep work has really impacted me because it’s making the case for how important it is for you to really focus your attention on things that are important and go much deeper. So that’s the one thing I’m working on changing.

 

Andy Paul  40:15  

Do you have a favorite quotation or words of wisdom that you live by?

 

Barbara Giamanco  40:23  

Yeah, I guess I do. It’s from the Buddha. You are what you think about. Well, I mean, if you think negative thoughts, you think you can’t do it? You know, as Henry Ford once said, whether you say you can or can’t, you’re right. So I’m very much a big fan of focusing my attention on what I want in my life. When I want to attract in my business, the kinds of clients I want to work with people I want to partner up with. And I stay very, very focused on those positive elements. It doesn’t mean that I’m a Pollyanna and negative things don’t happen, but I really do believe the quality of your thoughts determine the quality of your life.

 

Andy Paul  41:05  

Yeah, absolutely true. Absolutely true. All right. Well, Barb, thanks for joining me again.

 

Barbara Giamanco  41:11  

I always appreciate it. These conversations are important and I appreciate you including me.

 

Andy Paul  41:51  

Thank you for spending this time with us. Remember, make it part of your day every day to deliberately learn something to help you accelerate your success and an easy way to do that is to join my conversations with top business experts like my guest today Barbara Giamanco, who shared her expertise about how to accelerate the growth of your business. Now if you enjoy accelerating and the value we’re delivering then please take a quick minute right now, leave your feedback about this podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, wherever you listen, it would be very much appreciated. So thanks again for joining me and until next time, this is Andy Paul. Good selling everyone. Thanks for listening to the show. If you like what you heard, and want to make sure you don’t miss any upcoming episodes, please subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher for more information about today’s guests, visit my website at AndyPaul.com