Alice Heiman is The CEO’s Sales Coach, and an award-winning blogger and speaker.
Today, we dig into why managers need to go the extra mile to keep their sales teams intact during economic uncertainty and what the penalties will be if you don’t. We’ll also get into why sellers need to stay super connected with their customers and Alice will provide some solid tactics on how to do exactly that.
Andy Paul: Alice Heiman. Welcome back to the show.
Alice Heiman: Oh, I’m so happy to be here. We have so much to talk about.
Andy Paul: We do. We do. Um, first of all, how are you holding up?
Alice Heiman: Really well, actually. I live in one of the most beautiful places. Um, some of you might know that I live in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, so I’m at 5,300 feet in the mountains, really close to like Tahoe. So I have a lot of beautiful places to get outside and take a walk or, you know, just sit in nature.
So that’s really helping me a lot.
Andy Paul: Do you have a guest room?
Alice Heiman: I do indeed. Now, if you know the secret password, you can actually get into that guest room.
Andy Paul: Oh, okay. We’ll talk about that afterwards. Yeah. We’re as I told you, we’re getting ready to escape from New York. So yeah, the
Alice Heiman: mountains sound good.
Yeah. This would be the right place. Come on down. I love it here. You will love it here. It is absolutely
Andy Paul: I love it. Love the Tahoe area. Okay. So, yeah, sort of have to lead off with just sad news yesterday, about one of our colleagues passing away.
For those people, who in the sort of, follow what happens in the sales space, our friend Barbara Giamanco passed away.
Alice Heiman: It’s very sad. Um, I just, I, I really have no words. It was so sudden and unexpected and she’s such a wonderful human being who really just her goal was to lift others up. And she did that and she was such a huge proponent for encouraging women to come into the sales profession. And she was such a great promoter of women in sales and just a lovely human being. And she will be sorely missed.
Andy Paul: Yeah. Very, very warm, very genuine, very generous. Um, okay. Yeah. I always enjoyed having her on the show or being on hers or talking to her. Um, yeah. So, yeah. Well, anyway. Yeah. Um, so your clients are mostly sort of small midsize companies. How are they holding up in the midst of this pandemic?
Alice Heiman: Yeah, it’s interesting. So most of my clients are under a hundred million dollars in revenues, so, you know, that’s still considered a small company. Right. And. It’s it’s all over the board. I have three clients who were heavily, heavily impacted in a negative way. One sold, uh, some software items to the healthcare space, specifically hospitals and large hospital groups.
And although their software is dynamic and amazing, uh, the hospitals already have to report the thing that the software health report. So it’s not a, you know, absolutely needed item at this time when hospitals are just focused on procuring really needed items. So they, uh, got very heavily impacted, although they’re doing a great job of staying in touch with the people that you know, they’re selling to. And, and I know it’ll come back, but that really put, yeah, put a damper on things for them. And.
Andy Paul: Yeah, I was gonna say one of the irony is that people don’t understand is, the big city hospitals, as well as all hospitals, especially the ones that like here in New York that were filled to capacity with people, uh, suffering from COVID-19 is, is they were losing so much money, hundreds of millions of dollars a month because doctors weren’t seeing patients, they weren’t doing elective surgeries. They weren’t doing all the things that hospitals do in order to make money. Um, so yeah, I can imagine how I sell in that environment where the only thing they’re buying are. You know, PPE is, is pretty, pretty crazy.
Alice Heiman: Pretty crazy. So, you know, they’re hanging in there. They were a company that’s been around for over 30 years, really smart CEO. So, you know, they’re gonna, they’re gonna make it through this, but they were obviously very heavily impacted. I had two clients in the, um, promotional goods industry. You know, their livelihood is trade shows and events and company stores.
And so, you know, people not coming into their offices, big companies like Google and Facebook and Microsoft who have these huge company stores and nobody’s coming in. So no items to restock and then, uh, events and trade shows canceled. And then anything that is not essential, like, you know, tee shirts and hats and fun things that have your logos on them. Not essential. So yeah, they were hit really hard. One of my clients, uh, was in a state where everything non essential was completely closed down. And they had a facility where they brought goods in from China and they got completely shut down. So I think they’ve laid off like 30% of their workforce and they had people on the ground in China and they had to lay a lot of them off.
Uh, again, really smart CEO, 60 year old company, he purchased it from his dad. They pivoted as fast as they could to PPE items, per personal protection equipment. And we’re able to procure that and get that out, but still they lost so much business, but, but they’re hanging in there. I mean, it’s so amazing to watch these smart CEOs pivot and figure out how they’re going to survive and not just survive, but even some of them are going to really thrive.
So yeah, I mean, The rest of my clients are sort of in that middle place where they’re doing okay. Uh, not heavily impacted. Um, but I also don’t work with anybody in one of those industries. That’s absolutely booming right now. Also I haven’t, I haven’t seen that firsthand.
Andy Paul: Yeah. I mean that there aren’t many. Zoom obviously, but,
Alice Heiman: Yeah.
Andy Paul: okay. Yeah. Unless you’re a company that sells, uh, in the companies that are trying to make that transition to remote work, it’s, you know, it’s tough. And even then it’s still hard. Um, but one thing that strikes me, I wonder what your take is on this is that so often it seems like a lot of what’s published and we’ll just use LinkedIn and sort of the standards is, or someone just published on LinkedIn is that, Mmm. Yeah. There’s air of unreality about a lot of advice people are putting out, um, in the sales space in particular. It’s like, you know, it’s okay to be a cheerleader, I guess, but yeah.
I’ll let you in, you also face facts. We’re going to be running into the fall, probably close to 20% unemployment in the country, the economy, you know, the real impact of this on the economy is still to come. Mmm. People need good advice about what to do two refocus to pivot, to survive. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that.
It’s just like, I get sort of frustrated reading some of this stuff. Cause it’s like, Yeah. Yeah. Cheerleading people to make more calls. Great. But that’s not the whole story.
Alice Heiman: It is very frustrating to see some of the advice out there making more calls. Oh yeah. Sending more emails. Who wants another email in their inbox for Ray? I mean, come on. Um, salespeople do need to keep selling, but they absolutely do need to do things differently than they have in the past. And really, for me, it’s not about what sales is doing.
It’s about what leadership is doing right now. So the CEOs and the leadership teams. Have had their heads down trying to get a PPP, a payroll production, sorry, payroll protection plan, and trying to get the idle loans and trying to get anything else the SBA can offer. So they’re heads down with their CFOs. Working on all of that, trying to get those loans, they’re trying to cut costs. They’re trying to decide how long they can go before they’re going to have to lay more people off. They’re looking at everything about the finances, which of course they should, but you can never cost cut your way to success.
Andy Paul: Well you, yeah, preempted. One of my comments I had here, I mean, it seems like the number one challenge for CEOs is that they need to do what, whatever they can do to, keep their sales teams intact.
Alice Heiman: Yes. Yes.
Andy Paul: I’ve seen this before in multiple recessions before to your point is yeah. Yeah. Let’s, let’s cut costs. We’re going to cut sales that always brings to mind this cartoon I saw in The New Yorker. I think it was right about the time of the, the great recession in 2008, 2009 showed up guys stand up in front of a boardroom, making a presentation and pointing at a graph on a flip chart that showed, you know, it’s downward trend.
And he says, uh, “Yeah, sales have been like this since we fired the sales team.”
Alice Heiman: Oh, yeah, that is so painful. So painful. I, I think that, uh, CEOs and company leaders right now really need to stop looking at today and tomorrow and next week. I mean, okay, now you’ve got your loans. You figured out your cost, cutting measures, your worst case scenarios. You should have got that all done by now. Right? So it’s time to look up and look ahead and start to think about what’s going to happen. Third quarter fourth quarter, first quarter 2021, and really start. Preparing for that and think about what you’re going to need to support sales in this environment, in order for them to do their job. What does marketing and have to do what’s customer success, going to have to do what’s what’s the onboarding and will look like how are we going to attract new customers?
How has our value proposition going to be different? There’s a much bigger, bigger picture here and sales people themselves. Along with our sales leaders cannot fix this or change this. It has to happen at the top of the organization. They need to pivot their strategy and explain it to everyone and then put the pieces in place that are going to make them successful.
Because just doing more of what you were doing before is not hiding it.
Andy Paul: Yeah. I mean, I compare oftentimes when you see CEOs, so do the knee jerk reduction of force, especially if they’re sellers it’s, to me, it’s sort of analogous to trying to like market time. When you think the market’s going to crash, you know, Hey, I’m gonna go all to cash.
Alice Heiman: Right.
Andy Paul: you missed the upside
Alice Heiman: Yeah. And I know some people who did that, wasn’t so smart.
Andy Paul: right. So yeah, the best manager, you have to start, keep in mind that there’s a lead time involved in this. And so if you’re trying to time when I need to hire somebody, yeah. They have a learning curve. They get up to speed. If you’ve let your team go and you’re trying to hire new people to replace them, you’re gonna pay a big penalty.
And I think often time CEO’s just don’t keep that in mind. Is that yeah, there’s, there’s a real cost to letting someone go.
Alice Heiman: Right. And sometimes they’re letting people go because they really just don’t know what their sales teams should be doing right now. And again, that’s take a step back and make a plan with your team. Get a new strategy. Things are going to be different. People are going to have to react differently, do different things.
It’s just letting people go. Not a good idea. Plus I’ll tell you if your best salespeople right now, if they’re smart, they are looking at the companies that are thriving, that have a positive attitude that are using the right approach to the market pivoted, right? They’re watching, they’re looking and there are recruiters knocking on their door right now.
So if you want to keep your best salespeople, you need to have a good strategy overall for your company’s success and for how you’re going to retain those great salespeople and what. They’re going to be doing and how you’re going to support what they’re doing, because I tell you right now, I’ve talked to many salespeople who are looking around right now.
They’re looking to go to companies who really care about their sales teams, who are supporting sales, who are pivoting, who are. Making new ways of doing things and really focused on customers and their success. You know, the customer retention thing that you’ve probably been reading about that too. It’s like, why is this a new idea?
Oh, because there’s a pandemic. We should retain our customers. This is a new idea. You’re killing me. People.
Andy Paul: Yeah. I mean, I we’ve gotta have a bigger conversation on a different topic, which is, yeah. I think how we should just blow up the way we manage and implement sales now and start all over. Marketing as well, because yeah, a couple of years ago I was listening to the guy talk and he, he said, you know, it really boiled down to this.
The company has two functions, acquire customers, retain customers. And so why don’t we just organize everything around that, those functions. So what would, what would sales and marketing look like? Their functioning was acquire. You said acquire, not sales, not marketing, acquire customers.
Alice Heiman: Right. If we put the focus on the customer, we always win. So it’s how do we acquire customers by helping them do something that they really want to do, that’s going to make their business better, or it’s going to stop a problem that they have so that they can make their business better, or it’s going to stop some bleeding so they could make their business better and in any, and all cases, whatever you can provide to support them.
It’s going to make the world better. So if, imagine if we focused on that, but you know, then, then everybody who’s not in sales says, “Oh no, our primary, our primary focuses on building a superior product.” Yes. You could say that, but why do you build a superior product? So that you can acquire customers. So it’s back to that. Just depends whose opinion or whose point of view you’re looking at, bu well, we got to acquire and retain customers and the entire company must be focused around that. And I just see so many companies that are not.
Andy Paul: All right. We’ll have to make that a separate, separate episode because we’re going to, I still a couple of questions about how, how somebody should, should navigate through this particular issue. Time, point in time is, is, and often times people think, well, we’re going into a recession. Everything’s going to suck.
And the fact is, everything doesn’t suck. Right? I mean, yeah, we could see, we’re going to see about a really significant hit to the GDP. It’s not going to be like a normal recession. We’re dropping in a point and a half or something. It’s going to be substantially larger drop, uh, in the second quarter. But nonetheless, it would probably be, you know, obviously better than the third on the fourth, is there’s always opportunities in a recession. I mean, there are, you know, you have customers, your existing customers, but maybe they have problems that are made worse by the recession. So how can you help them solve that? Maybe there’s a subset of customers who haven’t really targeted that again, the problems that come more acute during a recssion that they need to solve, they can’t wait until the recession is over to solve them. You just have to get creative and strategic about that.
Alice Heiman: No, that’s right. They can’t work. Yeah, I think again, you know, the word pivot is so overused right now. I love everybody’s talking about the pandemic pivot. Sounds like a new dance. I wonder what two nights you got to write? Um, I’m like, no, it’s not a game of twister. It’s a strategy. And so I think right now, if you want to get through this and do more than just survive and cost cut and hang in there.
Then, what you’re going to do is be very strategic. You may look at new markets that you haven’t served before. You may look at serving the same markets in a different way or with a different product. So you may look at product development. You may look at merging with another company that together you could be better, or maybe now is a really good time for you to acquire another company or two or three and bring them together, reduce overhead, gain more clients and more products. So, so again, the leadership of the company cause sales team can’t make those decisions, right? The sales team can go execute the strategy you provide. So the leadership team has to get together and decide.
All right. First of all, let’s remember why we exist. You know, assignments, cynic always talks about the why. Right? Why do we exist? Is that, has that changed? You know, why, why do we exist? Okay. If the, why is the same and it usually is, then you go to the what and how so, what do we do and how do we do it? If our, why stays the same?
And we’re passionate about it. And we all believe in it and can get our team to believe in it. Then we just say, well, we still the same why, but now we’re going to change our what and our, how so, let me, let me share that vision with you so that you can come along for this ride and together we can all thrive.
That’s what I believe has to happen right now. And when the sales team can buy into this and still understand that we haven’t changed things completely we’re we still have the same why, but we’re going to, we’re going to do these things differently and here’s how we’re going to do them. And here’s how we’re going to support you.
Then the sales team can get on board and really go do what you want them to do.
Andy Paul: Yeah, it’s a perfect time. As you’re looking to, some things you were talking about is what are the opportunities that could potentially exist for us. And it could be yeah. Problems. We’re going to solve that. Get worse during the recession or our customers have these that become more acute. Or I think the biggest opportunity of all is, is, you know, what can we do that supports the inevitable structural changes that come about as a result of COVID-19, which, you know? Yeah. It could be how buildings are built, how you facilitate Instructure and build out offices. I mean, it goes all in up and down the chain, right? has, has impact up and down the supply chain, for sure.
So I think there’s a huge amount of opportunity kind of about being strategic to say, alright, well, what role can we play on that? What do we think it’s going to be? We don’t know for sure, but what do we think it’s going to be? The impact is going to be with a reasonable chance of, of taking place, you know, sort of find where the money is going and follow the money.
Alice Heiman: Right, right.
Andy Paul: sort of plays back. This idea is that. And Anthony Iannarino, our friend talked about this in some blogs he’s written recently, he’s like helping the economy get back, started, um, and come back that’s a purpose, right? That’s a purpose we all have as sellers cause sellers make, they started.
All right. Nothing has to happen. Still. An order gets taken is I think you can animate your sales team with the sense of purpose. It’s to the point you’re making about, you know, getting everybody on board with the vision. If the vision has this idea of helping, I think that makes a big difference.
Alice Heiman: I think it does, especially right now, people are feeling kinder and more compassionate and we should capitalize on that.
have you been on Facebook reselling? I’m not sure that’s the
Well, no, I actually have on purpose. I have not. And maybe that is not where the kinder, gentler world is happening.
Andy Paul: I agree with you in general. I think there’s, yeah,
Alice Heiman: In general. And I think in sales, sales, people understand the conversation has to change. I just did a talk on that with the women’s sales pros earlier this week, we did a learning series and that was, you know, that was what I was talking about, how the conversation has to change.
So. I think that, um, if we get together with other smart CEOs, right, that aren’t necessarily our competitors, but in complimentary industries and things, and talk about what they see and what they’re hearing. And we, you know, pool that information and I think we’re gonna be better able to define a strategy that leads that direction.
I mean, let’s think about it. The furniture industry. They’re going to do great because if people do decide to send their workers back to an office building the infrastructure they have internally is no longer going to be going to work. Like I said, that open workspace is gone. So now you’re going to have to buy something to divide people up and keep them apart a little bit more, you’re going to have to change things. So that industry is going to innovate and do very well. So how do you support that industry with parts or maybe you’re a marketing firm that can support them by helping them promote their things.
I mean, there, we have to look at, you know, again, where is it going? Like you said, and then figure out how we’re going to fit in to that. And we may have to do more changing than we expected to, to fit into it, but we can do it. The thing that worries me the most is CEOs who are sort of like taking off in a direction because they want to hurry up and do something without thoroughly thinking it through.
And maybe that isn’t really the best direction. And that’s why I say, you know, like gather some great minds. Um, you know, in the room somehow, get a mastermind group, join something like Vistage or EO or WPO, you know, get where the other smart CEO’s are gathering and talk together about it. So you don’t go off in a direction that, Ooh, sounded good for a second and a half.
And I just spend all this time and money and it turns out it’s not really a good direction. So I think it’s going to take. People really coming together and talking and having conversation and maybe even, you know, disagreeing a little bit. And, but, you know, just really talking through what is it gonna look like in the future?
Andy Paul: Well, and that’s the question I wanted to ask you for the speculate, right. Is okay. What is sales gonna look like? B2B sales, we’ll talk about. You know, it’s, we’ve got field teams that are inside, so it makes a lot of sense for them to go back out at some point. But I was talking about this with somebody recently.
Is, is it going back out the same way? I mean, first of all, customers have to be willing to let you in. Right. Cause they’re worried about the safety and health, safety and health of their workers and yeah, it’s like all the offices are going to have plexiglass barriers when you walk in. I’m sure. Um, you know, if you’re a salesperson it’s just gonna be so different, right.
Are they gonna want to face to face or where are they going to say? Well, you know, I’m actually more comfortable. We just keep on doing zoom.
Alice Heiman: Yeah.
Andy Paul: Your thoughts on, on those types of things.
Alice Heiman: Yeah. Well, um, I feel like I’m so unsure. Yeah. Here’s the, here’s what I think is going to happen. I mean, it’s just really hard to guess,
Andy Paul: Oh, I know. I know.
Alice Heiman: You know, I believe,
Oh I know. We’re not
Andy Paul: going to hold you to it.
Alice Heiman: yeah, no, no, no. It’s okay. I believe that people do want to be with other people and as long as they feel safe, they’ll do that. So, you know, I, I am big in the events industry, also in everybody, you know, I’m listening to everything and learning from everyone, what they believe is going to happen.
There’s a whole group that’s gotten together a consortium to lobby with, you know, to lobby the legislature and whoever else they’re lobbying to let these big events come back. And, um, you know, people do want to gather, they want to see you one on one. They want to see you face to face. In big groups and small groups, they want to network true.
But here’s a few things that I think are actually really awesome that have kind of come out of this. So for example, live events, some people simply just can’t attend. Um, either their company won’t pay for it. They have no one to take care of their family. Um, they’re afraid to fly. I mean, for a bazillion reasons, there are a lot of people who can not attend wide events.
So now when we put that same content online and do it really well and provide the networking and all those other things, there is a whole group of people. We were never able to reach before. That we can now reach. They still may stay quietly there or not do the networking and stuff. Cause maybe they didn’t go to the event because they’re an introvert or something else like that.
But they still get now, uh, to have that opportunity to take in that content, which they didn’t have that opportunity before. Um, for whatever reason they didn’t attend now they can attend. So you have all the people who would have attended live, plus all the people who didn’t attend. When it was in person.
So that’s a huge opportunity. In the same way, I think with, um, selling to in the complex sale, I had the opportunity to go visit onsite and maybe see some things that I couldn’t see before, but I can, they can still get me a virtual tour. And in a complex sale, there are lots of different people I need to meet with and get to know and build relationships with and understand and know their wins and all of that.
And they might have been globally dispersed. So, um, it was sort of unequal because I would go visit one location and get to see some of those people, but I wouldn’t get to see the others. They would have to dial in any way, either on a conference call or whatever. Now everybody’s on equal footing. We’re all globally dispersed and on the same online meeting. Right? So, uh, I have more of a chance. I feel, you know, to be equally building a relationship with all of them, because it’s more equal footing. I’m not here in this location. And I got to go golf with these three, but the four who aren’t at that location got left out of that because they didn’t fly in for that meeting. You see what I’m saying?
Andy Paul: Well, but I also see it, that, that, yes, I do. That the, you still though would want to go out and meet with the people you could meet with, if you, if it’s possible. I think one of the transitions for, for sales teams is. That this is true, actually for our teams that are almost exclusively inside is they have to embrace this concept of judicious travel. Right. And, and which means we have to make decisions about which opportunities and at what time and what stage of the process that it makes sense for us to go be present. Because that’s going to make a difference. If we do it the wrong time, it’s not going to make a difference. If we do it the right time, it makes a difference.
And it wouldn’t necessarily be, we’re only going to do it when we’ve got the final bake-off presentation. And I raised it, they were competing a final competitive, it may be a different stage, but they need to find out when that works for them and not be afraid to do that. But again, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean you turn your team loose and say, as some companies have and say, yeah, just watching the field be in front of your customers.
Because, yeah, you can do a lot that virtually now you can actually do more of it, perhaps just as effectively to a certain degree, but at some point, go visit them.
Alice Heiman: Yeah, I think it just needs to be more of a balance. So the customers are going to be more willing. Now, I think also to meet with you online then saying you have to show up in person because what they recognize is that they can get the information and the treatment and whatever it is that they want online as well as they can get it in person. So I think the customer’s going to be more willing. I think we can be much more profitable in many ways that I won’t get into at the moment, but especially with having salespeople change the way they travel. And so I agree with you. There’s some times when they’re going to need to show up and be there in person.
But I also think they have learned and are still learning to do a better job online. So before sales people would just only pick up the phone on, they wouldn’t, if they were doing an online meeting, they wouldn’t turn on the cameras. They didn’t know how to turn on their camera. They didn’t know how to do an online presentation.
Now, most outside salespeople. And the inside salespeople are learning to do a much better job using all these wonderful tools. We have to communicate via video, uh, to use video email messaging, to use zoom and other tools like that. To have a meeting and to prepare presentations that are interactive online.
So that they can do a better job. So I think that’s one of the wonderful things that’s come out of this. Everybody’s having to learn how to be in front of a camera and how to present in front of the camera and how to make a presentation. That’s interesting to, to deliver online. So now they’ll know how to do both.
And they’ll do both effectively, so we can be more choosy about when we spend money to go out, to be with customers. And we can maybe even spend our time with customers differently because we can do some of the work online and then some other different kind of work when we’re in person together. So it’s going to be interesting to see how that works.
I do believe though, still it’s going to be longer than people think before. Uh, companies will let you into their office again, you know, cause not everybody has a Thermo scanning device set up at their door ready to take your temperature before you walk in. Um, so they might be nervous about that and they may be only having half of their team in the office at a time or things like that.
Andy Paul: will be nervous about it.
Alice Heiman: yeah. Yeah. Everybody’s going to be nervous if I send you back out to the field.
Andy Paul: issue. They’re concerned about somebody coming in. They don’t know that could be spreading to their workforce with decimate their workforce. That’s okay. It’s
Alice Heiman: Liability on both sides. If I send you out to get on an airplane and go somewhere and you get covered, am I now responsible for that? You know, so, um, it’s, it’s going to be interesting. So I think we just need to keep our team focused.
Our sales teams focused on more and better ways to engage, uh, their audience online and through video and with them. Better and better presentations. I watched the best presentation on virtual presentations. Uh, corporate visions. Uh, provided that I love corporate visions. They, they put out really great content and there was a neuroscience gal who was sharing how you can not just get your prospect’s attention in online presentation, but how to sustain their attention.
And she had lots of great ideas on how people can do that. And that’s the kind of thing we need to be teaching our sales teams right
Andy Paul: any tips from the presentation?
Alice Heiman: Yes. Um, one of the presentation tips was to put fewer things on a slide, which says people are notorious for piling it in and then, um, get the eye to go to the thing that you’re most interested in.
You can either use an annotation tool or, um, an automation to zoom in on that thing. But you want people to look at, and then when you’re done with that zoom in on the next thing, so you’re directing their eye by using an annotation tool or an automation tool of some type, or just simply only having that one thing on the slide. Um, the other is to let the audience interact in different ways. Of course we know about polls, but you could also let them draw on a slide with the annotation tool. And you can also say something to them, like. Now just get a piece of paper and I want you to draw three boxes. And so you’re actually giving them something to do.
And then you’re going to show them on the next slide. You know, what that would look like. Or you can say, look at this. Slide and draw this on the paper there I’ll fill these things in. So it was just giving you ideas to be more interactive. There was a ton of other great stuff in there as well. Um, I can get the link for everybody and share that.
Andy Paul: Yeah, no, it’s very interesting. Cause that’s, I think we’re going to find, and we’re seeing some of this already, uh, article in the New York times, a couple of weeks ago about actually. Yeah. So the zoom fatigue, people get served watching and the inability to really pick up some of the verbal and physical cues that.
Even though we’re, we’re watching, um, just give him a, the signal quality and some of the, the way things get missed through the encoding and so on is that- They were saying they a number of experts in this LinkedIn article saying that if you had to choose sort of prioritize the way to communicate, obviously face to face is still the most effective, but actually the phone it was more effective than zoom and that you can actually, if you’re really paying attention to the phone, you can actually hear a nuance that gets are smoothed over on zoom. I thought it was really sort of interesting.
Alice Heiman: Yeah, I agree with that. And, and I think that what we have to learn to do on zoom is turn it, turn the video on and off. So we turn the video on, you know, exchange pleasantries, right? Turn the video off, focus on the slide deck. You know, that the video doesn’t have to be on the whole time. So again, we’re just learning more and more effective ways, but you’re right.
When, when you’re worried about, uh, looking at the video and you know, you’re looking at yourself and like, ah, you know, you’re trying to look at all these different people and. It’s hard when you’re in person, you take away that aspect of having to look at yourself so that, you know, is an extra added thing.
Right. And you can just look at the other people, but you know, when you think about, if I, if I’m in a conference room with you and I are doing the selling and we’re in a conference room with eight, uh, buying influences, we’ve got to, you know, D divide our attention amongst the eight and keep our eye on them and look at their body language and think about what they’re doing as well as listen to them and make sure they’re all included as well.
And that takes a lot of skill. And then D then doing that online, you know, that’s tough as well. You’ve got to learn some new skills to go with that, but either way, when you’ve got multiple.
Andy Paul: I was gonna say, you really can’t see the body language when you’re seeing something just from the shoulders up, which I do with most people.
Alice Heiman: It’s hard.
Andy Paul: Yeah. Personally impossible. Right. And
Alice Heiman: It’s hard.
Andy Paul: I mean, so unless we change, we want people to stand in front of the cameras, but to your point too is yeah.
Is yeah. Another drawbacks of zoom is that yeah. Somebody quoted me a statistic. I presume yeah. Some validity to, I don’t know, but it sounds about right. Is, is you spend roughly a third of a zoom call looking at yourself.
Alice Heiman: Yes. And that is very fatiguing.
Andy Paul: Well, yeah, especially with hair, especially with my hair so long, but, but,
Alice Heiman: Right.
Andy Paul: yeah, I can true contrast that with a phone call. You’re not spending any time really thinking about yourself or looking at yourself or an in person meeting you’re don’t have, you’re not missing that 30%. What do you miss in that 30%?
Right? The 30% of the time you’re looking at yourself, what are you missing that you wouldn’t otherwise be normally missing?
Alice Heiman: You are missing a lot. That’s for sure. So again, that’s why, you know, sometimes the phone conversations is the right thing to do and sometimes the zoom conversation and sometimes. You know, the video should be just turned off so everybody can just pay attention to listening.
Andy Paul: Yeah, I agree. No, that’s a good, good, good point. Yeah. We’re gonna have a lot of other changes. I think there are, come about that. I said we can’t even begin to project. I mean, if, if, um, just what are you gonna do about it? Meetings and conference rooms down until there’s a, the vaccine and wide wide circulation.
Um, everybody’s gonna have their own level of comfort about those things. And in some cases it’s just not going to be. Conducive to the types of meetings you want with customers.
Alice Heiman: Right. That’s right. It’s going to be very different. So. I don’t know exactly how, but we’re going to have to learn to relate to our prospects in different ways that we haven’t before. And we’re going to have to recognize that, you know, as much fear and worry and or excitement or whatever it is that we’re feeling, right.
These people were trying to sell to have their whole bundle of emotions that they’re dealing with too. And. It’s it’s, you know, for me, selling is always, it’s always emotional. It doesn’t matter who you are, the CEO or the CFO or a director. It’s always emotional, but now we have all these extra emotions on top of it that we have to deal with.
And I think we have to start training our salespeople in psychology. I think they really need to understand human beings better understand themselves better. And. What emotions they’re emitting and then understand how to pick up better on the emotions that others are remaining.
Andy Paul: Yeah. I think the big thing, but. That people are gonna have to adjust to us. There’s gonna be this level of fear and anxiety. That’s going to dictate actions that are going to seem unusual and yeah, you may want to come and do a face to face meeting and there’s four key stakeholders, but two just aren’t ready to, to be in a small room with somebody presenting and you have to respect that and have him have empathy for that.
And yeah, cause everybody’s got to feel. Yes. So their own level of comfort. Yeah. I don’t mind, as I’m sure it’s different than other people’s, you know, there’s a vaccine. Um, but yeah, that’s just me. Um, so, but I know it’s gonna be, it’s gonna have an impact on getting together physically for sure. And, um, have an impact on the way companies come back to work and we’re already seeing, yeah.
Most of the major tech companies saying. They’re out until 2021 at the earliest and something like Twitter saying we’re just out
Alice Heiman: Right. Right. Well, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens to all these big campuses. And tall buildings that used to be filled with people sitting really close to each other. Um, it’s going to be very different real estate. I’m going to change.
Andy Paul: Well, yeah, it’s sort of interesting. I was reading an article here in New York times and talking just about that topic specifically is that several of the major wall street firms are questioning whether as many people will come back. I think somewhere talking about maybe, maybe only two thirds, as many people we’ll need to come back goes as they had before the shutdown.
But you just think of the, the trickle down effect in terms of available real estate space and perhaps more importantly, and very sensitive to it here in Manhattan, because at street level in Manhattan, that’s basically small business, you know, retail Bodegos restaurants and so on, but are all closed now, but yeah, a third is a third of the people that were here before don’t come back.
Okay. That’s a huge impact on, on all those people, not just landlords, but all the, all the merchants as well.
Alice Heiman: Oh, yeah, absolutely. It’s gonna it. Yeah. I mean, many of them will go out of business. They’re going to have to find another way or different way. I mean, delivery service obviously is. You know, the new, the new restaurant everybody’s if want to see in business, you’re going to have to deliver on
Andy Paul: the other point that article made though, was that. We’re making these projections and thinking sort of the world’s coming to an end. And some of these, these instances, perhaps my son look, yeah. What happened after nine 11 is we’ve had envisioned 20 years ago that.
We’d all be spending this much more time going through these various security checks. Um, yeah, still able to travel. Um, and other adjustments were made security wise and physical security and so on and in buildings. And I think it’s a, a point yeah. Worth considering is we know sales is going to change.
It has changed. It has changed, um, what the end state is going to be. We don’t know yet, but
Alice Heiman: It has changed. You are a hundred percent, right. And if you haven’t changed with it, your company is going to be in trouble.
Andy Paul: Yeah. Flexibility, adaptability, all very, very important, more important now than ever. So whilst we’ve run out of time, a pleasure to talk to you as always. And.
Alice Heiman: fun. We could talk for hours.
Andy Paul: yeah. Even used a few of the questions I prepared, but not many of them. Um, so how can people connect with you and find out more about you do
Alice Heiman: They can go to Alice heiman.com. And of course I love to connect on LinkedIn. And you can easily find me there. It’s Alice Heiman. And please let me know that you heard me here. I’m Andy Shaw.
Andy Paul: That’d be great. Yeah. We’d love to know that. Well, good. Well, Alice stay safe.
Alice Heiman: Thank you. You too.
Andy Paul: All right. Then we will talk to you before too long.