Right Buyers, Right Time, with Meridith Elliot Powell [Episode 788]

Meridith Elliot Powell is the author of several books including, Who Comes Next? Leadership Succession Planning Made Easy. In this episode, we discuss sales follow up and how to ensure you are in front of the right buyers at the right time.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul: Welcome back to the show.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Thank you. I am excited to be here, Andy.

Andy Paul: Joining us from today

Meridith Elliot Powell: I am in Asheville, North Carolina, where spring has come and the rhododendron have bloomed. Yeah.

Andy Paul: puts you in the mood for like masters and other, you know,

Meridith Elliot Powell: Yeah. That’s right. More than a few places I looked today, it looks like amen corner. Yeah. Yes, it is. Yeah, safe and healthy. All is good here. Um, you know, just thinking about how busy I am for somebody who never seems to leave the house.

Andy Paul: Yeah.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Yeah. I mean, who would it? My, my life has kind of confined to a two mile radius. So on occasion I go to the store, I go out for a hike or a bike ride or something every day, but I don’t go very far.

And now I’m trying to figure out how I ever had the time to possibly meet somebody at Starbucks.

Andy Paul: so what’s filling up the time. What’s different.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Yeah. So I think what’s filling up the time is one. It really started with me. I’m just trying to figure out how to do business from home. I mean, I am probably a little luckier than, than, you know, most in the sense that, you know, people like you and I have worked out of our houses for years, but I’m used to being on an airplane and, uh, and honestly, Stage.

So now it became like, how do I work a full time and what do I do for work? So it took me about a month to figure that out. And then after focusing on that, now the pipeline has started to turn back on and the work has started to come and I find myself pretty busy serving clients.

Andy Paul: And what do they want

Meridith Elliot Powell: Yeah.

Andy Paul: want before?

Meridith Elliot Powell: Well, what they need now is really a lot yeah. Of help navigating, um, how to, yeah. How to make it in today’s marketplace. I’ve got clients that are doing incredibly well, but it’s almost overwhelm it’s too much business. And how do they navigate their way through that? Then I’ve got other clients that we’re working with that they’ve got to totally redesign their business model.

I mean, then they have. Been serving industries that aren’t doing well, or they focus too much on, um, on foot traffic and we’ve got our, we’ve got to reinvent and transform what they do. So I’m really excited about the work that, um, that I’m doing now. You know, basically my. Tag for the last couple of years has been, um, turning on certainty to competitive advantage.

Now I never saw a pandemic Cub, but for the last couple, yeah, the last couple of years I’ve been researching and studying. Organizations that have come through things like, um, economic depression, world Wars, even, and even pandemics and what they have done differently. So I’m in a unique position to really help my clients navigate the changes they’re going through right now.

Andy Paul: So based on your study, what did they do differently?

Meridith Elliot Powell: Yeah, it is so fascinating and interesting. Number one is they really conditioned themselves for change. And what I mean by that is that when you think about the fact that. We are living in a, in an environment that is changing rapidly. And typically as human beings, we wait for change to come and then we adapt to it.

I think we’re pretty stellar if we adapt to it, we think we’re ahead of the curve if we adapt to the change. But what these organizations do is. They have done is really conditioned themselves for change. Making, talking about the things that are happening in society, the economy, politics customers is there industry, um, continually and consistently inside their businesses.

So they actually see the change coming and I’ll just, you know, uh, I’ll give you a, uh, just a really, um, You know, quick example. I mean, Brooks Brothers is a great example of a, of a business that, um, that I studied and, um, and Brooks brothers, you know, is famous for making men suits and that’s how they started.

And that’s what they did. But as the civil war broke out, They were the first ones to jump to the plate and start making union uniforms. Uh, they saw that the shift was coming. No men are going to be wearing suits. They’re going to be wearing uniforms. And then as soon as the war started a woman and down, they switched again to make, um, an inexpensive of suits getting ready for the next wave that was coming.

So it’s about talking about the changes are coming, cause that’s where the power. Is right. I mean, you see the opportunity before everybody else sees the opportunity and you don’t, um, you’re committed to who you are as a person business, but not committed to what you offer and how you offer it.

Andy Paul: And talking about internally right now.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Yeah, they, um, one of the biggest is I really tell my clients, I want to see you at least every 30 days. If you’re a small business operator, get together with two or three of your peers. If you have a team gather up your team, and I want you just to go through a little brainstorming session that I call a skeptic what’s happening in society, what’s happening with competition.

What’s happening in the. Economy what’s happening in politics. What’s happening in technology industry and with your customers. And as you brainstorm those things out, then just ask yourself, what, if anything do we need to pay attention to? And what, if anything, do we need to change? Is there opportunity or a threat?

You know, the thing about changes. If you see it coming, it’s your greatest opportunity. If you wait for it to hit you, it, it can be the thing. That’ll take your business under.

Andy Paul: So why do you call it the skeptic?

Meridith Elliot Powell: Because pretty much, if you change the second, the first C to a K it spells skeptic and it is a, it made a nice little Ackerman acronym, which I thought was maybe a little bit easier to, uh, uh, to remember people, you know, in on it. In all honesty, Andy, what I want people to do is just get their head out of their business at least on a monthly basis.

One thing that is so unique about the time that we’re living in is the majority of things that can impact your success or outside of your organization. And if you pay attention to those things, then you’re one step ahead of the changes that are coming.

Andy Paul: Yeah, well, that’s funny. I, I tend to think most of those factors are almost always outside your company, but your point is still relevant even then. Right. Is there very little that there are certain number of things you can control, but yeah. How it’s received. Yeah. You don’t have much control over.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Yeah, absolutely.

Andy Paul: Well, the things we want to talk about today was, was getting into the sales field, was even talking and writing a lot about followup and sales.

And I just went, why this, why this has become such. And first of all, define what you mean by follow up. Cause it’s, you know, the several different nuanced

Meridith Elliot Powell: Yeah.

Andy Paul: but, and also why it’s become a top issue for you.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Yeah, kind of a follow up sort of like the word sales, right? It has so many different meanings and so many different, uh, so many different connotations, um, you know, follow up for me is really how do you stay connected to a prospect and add value in a way so that when the prospect is ready to buy your, the first person they think of and the first person that, that they turn to, the reason I’m so passionate about it is more than a few reasons.

I think it’s one. The most neglected parts of the sales process. Yeah. I mean, I’m a sales person myself and I get very excited about chasing the prospect, finding the new shiny object and just trying to get in the door. I mean, there’s just a high and just getting a prospect to even talk to you, but the chances that you’re going to interact with a customer or a prospect at the exact moment they’re ready to buy are pretty slim to none.

And if you don’t have a strong followup process, Um, really a system and a strategy around it. Then you’re leaving a lot of opportunity on the table and you’re opening up the door for your competition.

Andy Paul: Yeah. And that’s the right time ask the right question triggers. Uh, an inquiry on their part, but other times to your point is, is, yeah, it’s just not the right moment. And so how do you bridge from there to the time when it is a moment and to your point be front and center? Cause I think there’s, I think a lot of art in that and I’ve read, I wrote an ebook about that a few years ago.

It’s like, yeah, there is an art of followup and, and being very deliberate about it, I suppose just saying, yeah, let me.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Yeah, you are so you’re so right about that. I mean, you probably find this with, um, with sales professionals. I do too. It’s that either people follow up by calling them, you know, every week, every month and saying, Hey, are you ready to buy? Or they don’t follow up at all. And there’s very little in between that.

And, um, and I agree with you 100%. It’s it’s followup is science in the sense that you have to have a system and a strategy just to keep yourself accountable to do it. But most of, but most, if it is art, I mean, you have to feel your way through it. I may have three people in the same industry in the same size company and my product.

Fills and takes care of their same need. Yep. But their buying cycle and process, maybe different one person, um, is not necessarily they’re ready to talk, but they’re not necessarily ready to buy. And my followup strategy needs to be different than somebody who’s really ready to pull. The trigger. So, so I think the art of it really comes in what we as salespeople really do best.

I mean, so I think salespeople are so vital today because you can systematize a lot, but at the end of the day, buying is emotional. It’s how we make people feel and how much prospects think they need us. To get to their goals. And that’s where we, as salespeople in the followup system apply the art. It’s about adding things that are relevant, continuing to push the sale along, making people understand that what we’re trying to sell them needs to move to the top.

Of their priority list and that it’s our opportunity to continue to build the relationship and truly secure our position as the trusted advisor. Because if you get follow up right, you just opened the door for a lot more selling opportunities.

Andy Paul: Yeah. And as we said before, it comes in sort of several different flavors, right? If one is the one we described before, how do you bridge between initial contact point where they’re ready to, to go for, with their exploration too? It could be, yeah. You’re in along sales cycle product and yeah, maybe there’s a month or more between. Substantive interactions that you have with the buyer. What do you do during that period to stay front and center in a way that’s not annoying in a way that’s value added, um, very important. And one that half the time is ignored. You know, sellers mostly think, well, I’ll just do the check in call, you know, I’ll just give them a call, throw that in there.

Hey, how you doing? Haven’t heard from you a couple of weeks. What’s new. Um, and it doesn’t have to be that way if you were deliberate about it. And you talk about your, your strategy, which we’ll get into is yeah, you can stay top of mind. You can.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Yeah. It’s um, you know, I find that that all too often, I mean, one reason that people, you know, get a bad taste in their mouth for salespeople is because so much of our sales training has taught us to focus on our own goals and getting the sale to close and really what follow up needs to be about is that in every interaction you have with a customer, they give you a clue as to what the next step is, or the next thing that they.

Neat. So, you know, follow up can’t I don’t even think up is the shallow piece of saying, Hey, I’m going to invite you to a party or I’m going to send you a book. You’ve always wanted to read it, follow. It needs to be that you have intimate knowledge of this company. You’ve really listened to their pain points and their problems.

You understand what’s going on and you’re going to use touch points as a way to be, um, to add things. To add relevant, um, uh, strategies or tactics that are going to help them move closer to their goal, where they almost get to a point to think, I really want this person to contact me. I want them to reach, um, I want them to reach out to me.

There’s somebody I see as, uh, you know, as a partner on my, as a partner on my team.

Andy Paul: Train your buyer through the way you communicate. You’re training the buyer. Every time I hear from Meredith, I need to open the mail.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Yes. It’s exactly right. And you know, I also think that, um, one of the things about follow up, I think is so critical is so often during the process, the circumstances that your. A prospect is experiencing changes. Like I can’t tell you how many follow ups I’ve done in the middle of this crisis, that it was, is somebody who was necessarily, you know, ready to do business with me before this pandemic hit.

But now this is, this pandemic has hit. Some things have hit the urgent, um, place for them and they want to go ahead and do business. And if I hadn’t been following up, then they, they wouldn’t know I’ve turned to me for those, for those needs.

Andy Paul: Yeah. Well, and it’s about building and maintaining that, that connection. You know, if you do successfully build that initial connection, build the rapport, start building some trust, a source of value for them then. Yeah. When they’re. You’ll be front and center. So you have a five step strategy talk about for follow up.

Um, and so we started talking with first one, a little bit about having a, a schedule. And I wrote about this years ago in been one of my books, which I call it a value based persistence schedule, meaning, Hey, I, I’m going to lay out a plan. If I’ve talked to them, they’re not quite ready. And they’re not at that point.

I’m going to lay out a plan between now and the next period of time, where I’ve got these things, I’m going to deliver it to the buyer. That’s going to be a value to them.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Absolutely. I mean, you have to be working a schedule and you have to have a plan. And Andy, the reason I know that is because, um, is because, uh, I for years I did not. And I would just be winging it, you know, I’m, I am a true sales person at heart. And I think a lot of salespeople, you know, um, we get labeled as salespeople because we, we have a lot of energy and we tend to fly by the seat of our pants, which none of that makes makes a good salesperson.

But I was always like, I didn’t need a CRM. I didn’t need a schedule. I would remember these things and. And the things that happened to me are number one is I wouldn’t remember. And then I would say the same thing or offer the same thing too, do a prospect, or I would completely forget. And you know, you’d have one of those dreams where you wake up in the middle of the night after having a nightmare that said, Oh my God, I never called Jack back from so-and-so and you realize you just lost.

You know, uh, a big sale. So, you know, you not only need to have a schedule, but you really need to be taking notes and you need to be aware of, um, not only what you said and did, but probably more importantly, what, um, what they said and did.

Andy Paul: And so when you put that plan together and you have a certain cadence to the, to the outreach is what’s sort of ideal. This is something that always devils sellers of like what’s too soon, right? I mean, even between. Yeah. Substance of conversations and interactions on your sales process, you’re still going to have these smaller touches that points that you have is what’s too soon.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Yeah. You know, it’s um, it’s funny because I hear people talk about. Follow up and they’ll say, you know, you need to follow up every week cause you need to get that, um, that deal to close. And I think cadence, um, Andy is where we get back into this art. I mean, you’ve got to feel it. I mean, just, just to make it easy, I tend to put my clients in an, um, my prospect’s in an, a, B and a C a is a really hot.

Prospect, like the weird they’re interested. They, they want to do, um, they want to do business. A B is they showed interest. They’re just not ready right now. And a C is either, I’m not necessarily getting a response or, you know, they kind of put me off for right now and I tend to, um, I tend to go with my hot, um, you know, if they’re not immediately ready to close, I’ll do it.

It’s a month. My BS I’ll do ’em every other or once a quarter. And my C’s I’ll do twice a year, but that’s just my guide. I feel my way through that. I mean, like if I have a hot prospect and I’m sure this has happened to you, who we have a great conversation, they’re ready to pull the trigger. I reached back out to sign the contract and it goes cold and I reached back out again and it goes cold.

Then I’ve got to feel my way through that. I mean, typically what I’ll do is send an email saying, look, I know you’re busy, you’ve got a lot going on, please. Don’t worry about getting back in touch with me. I’m going to take that responsibility. You’ll hear from me on a monthly basis and when you’re ready, um, to move forward.

Yeah. I’ll be right here. Ready to go. I want to make it as easy for you as possible. So a system or a cadence would be easy if customers all acted the same, but they don’t. Right. So we’ve got a, you know, we’ve got to see, we’ve got to be feeling our way through that. And I think a salesperson’s intuition is, is a pretty good indicator of what to do.

Andy Paul: yeah, I mean, I take a different cue. Oftentimes when people go silent, like that is, is my belief is my experience shown, but that somewhere along the line, there was a need for information that. I wasn’t providing, there was a question asked somewhere and there’s been studies showing the way people’s or process information.

When they’re looking at making a change is they, they process information very seriously. And if there’s a question at one point in the process and you haven’t pried the answer, let’s say that they needed or information they needed, they stop.

Meridith Elliot Powell: yeah.

Andy Paul: What am I missing here?

Meridith Elliot Powell: you know, you, you just. You just so beautifully moved into the third strategy, which is track and measure. Um, that’s the reason, right? I mean, the reason you want to track what you’re doing and measure what you’re doing in terms of calls and look at those conversations is for exactly what you just said.

Sometimes things aren’t going according to plan and something got missed. And I always tell sales professionals, you are your best sales coach. There’s not a better sales coach for you out there than you. If you’ll track and measure your own behavior and take a little bit of time to reflect, you can really learn what you’ve done.

Well. Um, where you, where you’re missing something and, um, and where your challenges lie and you can learn to correct, um, from, you know, your, your own behavior. So it’s really, um, it’s really important. Again, it’s a reason that I love follow up because it isn’t just a science, it’s really an art and it’s about you learning and discovering and getting better at it.

But you can’t do that. If you don’t apply some of the systems and science behind it, the stuff that, um, I personally, as a sales professional, never liked until I figured out the value of it was things like putting the system in place was the tracking and measuring. But I had a great sales coach years ago who told me that when you track and measure you, you, you, you, you learn the story of your sales process and the story of who you are as a sales, as a salesperson, and the better you understand your story, the more effective you will be.

Andy Paul: Yeah, no, I agree. I mean, it’s, it’s. But some people can still use third party coaches to help them, I think. But, but yeah, it’s understanding what works for you and what doesn’t being very familiar with with your own ratios, your own metrics and so on is, is very important. And I think to the point about you’re making there too, about the effectiveness of what you’re doing is, is in the art, is that. Yeah, sales is just a collection of moments. And we tend to think that the most important moments are these significant meetings. We have, you know, discovery, qualification, presentation, a demo, whatever. And I, I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. Do I think that oftentimes it’s the smaller moments where you’re having these conversations that are, are not as, um, Yeah, I’m not as big as you might put them in your stage.

And this has a stage in your sales process. We have these more informal conversations where, where you learn more and where the customer perhaps drives more value that that helps them. You make a choice about, Hey, are you somebody gonna go with or not? And the relationship built and the trust gets built.

And so these small moments like in service or the followup, as we’re talking about here in the context, sort of small moments,

Meridith Elliot Powell: I would, I would really agree. I mean, I think is I think a, a really great sale is a series of small moments. I mean, you know, we talked at the beginning about the fact that, um, You know, sometimes you get lucky and you interact with somebody at the exact moment they’re ready to buy. For me, those have never been the great sales.

They’ve never been the long relationships for me. It’s always been the ones where it has been that series of small pieces where they’ve taken time to get to know me. I’ve taken the time to get to know their business. And it’s not something that is necessarily come right. On my very first try. Um, but it, but once it’s sold, it became really a lifelong relationship.

And I think, um, you know, I think if we, as sales professionals can get excited about the followup and really see that as a vital part of the sales process, um, I think we’re going to close, not only close a lot more sales, but retain a lot of customers for a lifetime, doing the work that we love to do, which is really, uh, you know, which is really using our products and services to help people achieve whatever goals to have.

Andy Paul: Yeah, I think for people to sort of visualize this is that if you were drawing a serve of a graph, an X Y axis, and you have peaks, let’s say four peaks, which could be signified for significant interactions, part of your sales process that are mapped out. And in between the peaks, there’s these series of smaller peaks that may only rise to be a quarter as high or whatever.

And those are the ones I think that really helped drive things forward. Those are the, those are these followup touches, um, where, yeah, the time invest is relatively small, but the, the relative and proportional impact and value that provide can be fairly significant.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Yeah, you can. Um, I think it, you know, really on that. On that, uh, in that arena too, is that I feel like it forces us as salespeople to go back and really create things of value that will bring that relationship, uh, along. I know, like for me right now, one thing I’ve really enjoyed is the fact that when I’ve been engaging with people, They’re putting challenges and issues that they’re having in front of me that I’ve not faced before.

And I’m having to go do research. I’m having to learn. I’m having to put things together, gather to nurture that, that relationship along. I’ve got to add value. With new blogs, new videos, new, new, new tools that I never had before. And it’s forcing me to grow and learn and become even a bigger resource, uh, for them.

So I feel like, you know, follow up takes us to another level as a, as salespeople, that by the time that sale really close closes, we really were. We have confidence in just how much we can bring to that relationship.

Andy Paul: Yeah. And that’s our triggered a thought, which is that too often. I think if your sales process, your sales process to, to well-defined, let’s say, uh, is that sellers tend to think, well, we were just moving from this one significant interaction to the next one, Let’s say, you know, I leave.

Qualification card discovery call and yeah, we’re setting up our next meeting. And through two weeks, we’re going to talk about certain things that in our effect are really gonna be a qualification call for us. And what I see is sellers just say, okay, I’ll talk to them in two weeks. We got that meeting all set up and it’s like, yeah, but what are you doing between them?

Meridith Elliot Powell: right.

Andy Paul: and to your point, it’s, it can be very creative things. You do that. And there’s been study done on this, about what they call tie-breaking selling, which is in a world where, where, you know, a lot of people are selling products. They’re not easily distinguished. between each other is it’s a little things will make a difference and they’re not necessarily priced.

They’re not price driven necessarily.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Right.

Andy Paul: the additional levels of value providing. And one of those absolutely can be you. You as the seller can be that, that 1% difference. And I, I like asking this question of sales teams. So, so how much did you win your last deal by,

Meridith Elliot Powell: Hmm.

Andy Paul: know, where you 10% better, 20% better, but you can’t quantify that.

Right. Other than price, but price doesn’t mean you’re a better. And so you really have to operate with the assumption that I only need to be 1% better and that 1% could be my followup.

Meridith Elliot Powell: And in fact, I’d in fact, I really think that it is. I mean, I think when we, we, I know that, um, last year, because I do, um, I do track and, um, uh, measure over 70% of my business came from follow up that I did. Uh, you know, follow up with prospects, follow up with past customers. Um, that, that is where my business comes from.

I land a lot of business and I think it’s because I stay in the game and my competitors give up.

Andy Paul: Oh, yeah. That’s especially if you’re a small entity

Meridith Elliot Powell: Yes,

Andy Paul: and you think about what sort of competitive advantage I can establish over a big company. is it.

Meridith Elliot Powell: this is it.

Andy Paul: this is, they’re not as nimble. They don’t have time, especially if you’re dealing with an opportunity that might be big for you, but may not be big for them. Um, yeah. That this type of this type of activity can spell the difference between winning and losing.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Yeah, and I don’t, so it’s always a mystery to me. Why, when I work with organizations, um, that followup really isn’t given the same amount of attention as the other parts of the sales process, Yeah. I mean, what they’ve typically say is follow up, but you know, like what we discussed here is it’s truly as an art and a science and there needs to be a strategy and a system with it.

Andy Paul: Yeah. I mean, it needs to be considered as sort of a parallel track to your primary sales process. Right. You’ve got these big, big stages you’re going to, that are important in the sales process. You’ve outlines, you’ve got playbooks for them, whatever, but yeah. What are you doing in between times? Cause it’s the, in between times when you’ve got that connection with the buyer, it’s those informal conversations.

Aggregate value to that

can make all the difference.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Yeah, it’s it is, um, it is what is going to put it over over the edge. The other thing too, is that I always, you know, don’t know the numbers, all this, but I always think from a, um, from a profitability standpoint, I mean, the hardest thing that we do as salespeople is get the first meeting. It’s the most expensive and hardest thing we do.

And then to walk away from it. Um, to try to get into another door and start the process all over, staying in the game with those customers that qualify, fit your target market. I mean, one of the values of a, of a first call is that you figure out whether somebody, you know, right for you and you’re right for them.

But for those ones that are, if we spend a little bit more time staying in the game with them versus, um, you know, versus going off to chase new business, I bet your productivity is going to go up quite a bit by the end of the year.

Andy Paul: Yeah. If I can generate and, or create a formula, says, yeah, how much revenue am I generating per hour of time? I’m actually selling, okay. A return on, on effective followup is pretty high. It can move the needle. And so I think it’s important for people listening to think about this as is, cause they, again, they tend to think of followup as I got to lead, I follow up really talking about yeah.

How you’re interacting with the buyer. And evaluated way between the major steps of your selling process. And most people aren’t doing it, or they’re doing this to check in call and, and we’re talking about here today is being deliberate about how you do it in a way that that moves the deal forward.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Yeah. I always say that followup, um, is not about. You getting the sale to close as much as it is about you using it as an opportunity to continue to build and enhance the relationship. And if you can shift your paradigm there, I’d love to challenge anybody who is listening as you go into this year. And you think about, you know, this, um, You think about the quarter that you’re in, if you just shifted your energy and really focus more on the followup and give it a try and see how it impacts your, your numbers.

Because one, I think it’s a higher and better use of your time. If you’re, if you’re following up on the right customers, they’ve got to prospects, they’ve got to fit your target market. But the other is talk about differentiating yourself in the marketplace. You’re doing what nobody else has. Hmm.

Andy Paul: Small number of people do it or do it well. Right.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Right.

Andy Paul: And what you’re trying to do is just ask somebody.

That’s not what we’re talking about.

Meridith Elliot Powell: not, um, yeah, it’s not, it is it’s I, you know, I went to go in, it was really exciting earlier this year, one of the last live events I did, I went into a cybersecurity company and, um, all we did was spend a day and a half training on followup and it was so excited because I’d never had a sales leader say, okay, Look, that’s exactly what we need.

That’s exactly what we want. If we put our energy, jeez, there that’s, you know, that’s what we’ll do. And they, they saw immediate results from it because it’s, again, it was different. They were, they were competing against a lot of other, very big organizations with big marketing dollars, with things that they couldn’t compete with and they had to find their competitive advantage.

And that’s exactly where the position was.

Andy Paul: Yeah. And you, you laid out in an article written sort of these creative strategies. You can use creative things you can do too. As part of followup that serve these purposes, we talked about deepen the relationship, helped move things forward. Um, Deepen the value or the perception of value that you’re providing, but some are really simple, like, you know, the handwritten note, but there’s value in that.

And it does differentiate you. It shows a level of personal effort that the people appreciate.

Meridith Elliot Powell: You know, it’s, um, we aren’t, we’re really selling ourselves in today’s marketplace. There’s very little left that isn’t a commodity, at least in the mind of the customer. I mean, we felt this way before the pandemic, but now we really feel we can sit in our houses, Google anything, and find it right. So, um, so that, you know, there’s been such argument, does that make salespeople irrelevant?

And I do not think that I think it makes us more important than we have ever been, but, but we have to sell, I mean, what people are buying is us first product second, if they don’t like. And connect and trust in us. We can never position our product as superior and more valuable and follow up is a big piece of us selling ourselves.

Andy Paul: Yeah, well, it’s, it’s, it contributes to the perception of the customer forms of us. Right?

Meridith Elliot Powell: Right.

Andy Paul: you know, are we trusted? Are we somebody they find likable somebody they want to do business with as a trusted advisor, all those things. Yeah. Flow from that. So, well, Meredith unfortunately we’re out of time, but great to talk to you again.

So how can people connect with you or find out more about what you do.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Well, Andy, I always love, um, love talking with you. It’s such a, such a great conversation about sales, but people can find me at my website, which is value speaker.com, just the words, value and speaker.com. I am on all the social networking sites tend to live a little bit more on LinkedIn and YouTube, and I’m a big believer that if you build your network, it will change your life.

And so if you reach out, I will reach out to you.

Andy Paul: Excellent.

Meridith Elliot Powell: Thank you.