Small Talk Leads to Sales Talk, with Stephanie Melish [Episode 409]

In this episode, we discuss what authentic sales and creativity can do to a sales pipeline.

Stephanie Melish is an inspirational speaker and certified business coach.

Key Takeaways

  • Stephanie learned sales, and is certified as a business coach and trainer. She wants to impact her community.
  • Stephanie finds the biggest challenge for salespeople today to be lack of experience. Stephanie’s experience came in fund raising. Some entrepreneurs have no sales experience.
  • What does Stephanie say about process, procedure, and scripts? What is the role of knowledge and authenticity?
  • Stephanie has suggestions to replace verbatim scripts. How does she feel when somebody reads at her?
  • To build rapport, embrace who you are, and learn who the prospect is. Know the area code you are calling, and current events there, like sports, and research the social profile of the person. Small talk leads to business talk.
  • Stephanie wrote an article on November 7, about her convictions on the election. What did she say that spiked her unsubscribe numbers?
  • Is it necessary for one woman to break a glass ceiling, either in politics, or in the sales profession? Stephanie urges people to continue to improve themselves, and put their work ethic to good use, to strive to get ahead independent of their gender.
  • Stephanie gives advice to females. Don’t think of sales as a dirty word. Salespeople build relationships. They don’t conduct transactions. Sales is a service. If you are excited about solving problems through relationships, that is sales.
  • Stephanie wrote about Scandal, and Olivia Pope. What is a fixer, and how is a salesperson a fixer in a positive way? Sales is leadership.
  • Stephanie discusses behaviors of a successful leader. What is most important?
  • How do you discover prospect expectations? How can unknown expectations derail a deal? How can you make sure that you exceed expectations?

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul  0:35  

Hi, I’m your host, Andy Paul. Join me as I host conversations with the leading experts in sales, marketing, sales, automation, sales process, leadership management, training, coaching, any resource that I believe to help you accelerate the growth of your sales, your business and most importantly, you Hello and welcome to the Sales Enablement Podcast. Joining me on the show today is Stephanie Melish. She’s an inspirational speaker certified business coach and works with a lot of small businesses. And Stephanie, welcome to the podcast.

 

Stephanie Melish  1:10  

Well, thank you, Andy. Thanks for having me.

 

Andy Paul  1:13  

So introduce yourself. Tell us how you got your start in sales. I mean, people interested to hear your experience working with Jeffrey Gitomer and, and things you’ve done.

 

Stephanie Melish  1:22  

Yeah, absolutely. So, back when I graduated college, I was one of those people who boomeranged so I moved back home and with my parents, which they didn’t like, and I got my first career job post college was actually working for a nonprofit, the Epilepsy Foundation of Western Ohio. So through working with nonprofits, I had a very big love for charity.

 

Stephanie Melish  2:00  

I didn’t have a job when I came down here, but I did have a roommate and I had about a month worth of expenses and I got networked into the Charlotte community and started working for the American Diabetes Association, which was fantastic and I loved my work as a fundraiser. And then through that I actually met someone who I had been admiring from afar. Her husband was one of my committee members and team captains for an event that I And I just took a chance and said, you know, she’s got something about her somewhere. I see myself going, I’m gonna ask her to coffee. And long story short, I asked her to coffee, she ended up being a previous employee of Jeffrey Gitomer. And she said, He’s always looking for great people, I think you might be a great fit. And she coordinated the two of us and through eight months of wooing, on my part, Jeffrey definitely did not woo me. I would. Yeah, I said, You know, I really he, he planted a seed of potential in my mind in our interview, because he asked me if I’d ever thought about speaking. And I was very young and naive. And I said, What do you mean I talk every day? And he said, I mean, like speaking where people pay to have you come in and train and speak and I say Uh, oh my goodness, tell me more. And he just lit a fire in me, which led to the winnowing process because he didn’t have an opportunity immediately for me. And then once I came on board with him, I did everything in his workplace from selling online training, doing seminars during training, I became his youngest certified speaker that he has on board and just learned the business from the inside out and became kind of like his right hand. By the time I was, I had decided to part ways with him. He was a huge mentor and friend and still on great terms with him, loved him to death and his philosophies but that got me into sales. And then when I left and went out on my own, I got certified as a business coach and continued to speak and train. I’m still certified on his content and really decided to start making more of an impact in the Charlotte area and my community by working one on one with other business owners and agents because, man, the entrepreneur market is there everywhere. I love it.

 

Andy Paul  5:07  

So what’s the biggest sales challenge facing entrepreneurs today?

 

Stephanie Melish  5:11  

I think that they don’t have a lot of foundation or any type of sales experience. So I got sales experience, but in an unconventional way through fundraising. And whether you think of it as a sales position or not, which most people don’t, when you’re asking people to donate money to a cause, and they really don’t get anything back, except for maybe a warm, fuzzy feeling that they’ve done something good, or the hope that a cure is going to be found or that it’s going to be used to great resources. It’s a really tough sell, especially when you’re trying to get corporations to sponsor. And so a lot of entrepreneurs that I see now, don’t have some type of background or industry experience where they’ve had to really learn what it’s like to sell Prior to starting their, their hustle, if you will.

 

Andy Paul  6:04  

So one of the challenges is finding that because I’m a huge believer that, and I see this as a problem that’s oftentimes with entrepreneurs is, yeah, they start a company and then the first thing they’ll do is hire somebody to sell for them. I’m like, No, no, you need to go out and sell First, you need to find out how to sell your product, your service before you hire somebody else to do it. Because how can you teach them? If you don’t know?

 

Stephanie Melish  6:26  

Yeah, no, and I totally agree with that. It’s the best thing you can do is just get out there and talk with people and I don’t look at sales as a checklist or a process or procedure. I absolutely despise sales scripts. I think they’re the worst thing to ever be invented. What I do believe in is being knowledgeable on your products and services. Knowing your why behind them. Why are you excited about it? What does it offer, and then being able to clearly articulate and communicate that in a way that’s awesome. authentic and genuine. When you are your complete self, and really truly who you are you attract the right type of people who want to do business with you. And that’s the easiest way to make sales, create great relationships, be articulate, tell them what you have to offer. And if it’s a great fit, they’re gonna want to jump on board with you.

 

Andy Paul  7:22  

But aren’t there environments where the scripts are useful?

 

Stephanie Melish  7:26  

Oh, I don’t think so. That’s my personal opinion.

 

Andy Paul  7:29  

So, five guests that, you know, run large inside sales organizations and they depend on playbooks and scripts for their inside sales teams.

 

Stephanie Melish  7:40  

I don’t believe in scripts I do believe strongly that you can give a if you will, a formula for how to address certain things if it’s customer service issues, or inside sales that people are calling having, like speaking nuggets, or bullet points, but having word for words verbatim scripts is you can tell when somebody is using one and it is a for me personally a complete turnoff. It makes me feel that you’re not being real with me. You’re not genuine. If you lose that human connection with them, I want to hear your personality. I want to get to know you. I want to hear what you think about the products, not some sound bite that you’ve been told to say.

 

Andy Paul  8:23  

Yeah, but the sound bite could be the nuggets that you’re talking about. I mean, I think one of the problems that the people that read word for word are close to when they’re asking the question. But by the same token, salespeople need to be armed with talking points. I mean, that’s how they learn, right? But start using and use them in context, understand what’s important with the prospects. And hey, I’m gonna use more of this one on fewer of these because these didn’t resonate, but these do.

 

Stephanie Melish  8:54  

Yes, I believe and so I’ll agree with you on that one. Talking Points. But not that it was a big difference in that versus full on scripted writing or scripted pitches, where it is. They want you to memorize a word for word verbatim pitch to go out and use . I think figuring out how to incorporate those talking points into your own vernacular and style is much more appealing.

 

Andy Paul  9:24  

Well, really essential, I think, if you’re gonna succeed. So if you’re just sort of breaking that down, then you just say, Okay, here we’re talking about scripts. Again, the thing about sales reps as a lot of times they sort of, they take comfort from that oftentimes, so you know, what is the most important piece of advice you would give to a salesperson today, to rise to the challenge to be their best self. Sorry, I hate using the word authentic self, but it’s one that’s used a lot. That can easily build rapport with prospects.

 

Stephanie Melish  10:00  

Yeah, so just really embracing who you are and where you’re from your background and your experience. I remember when I used to work for Jeffrey and I was selling outside sales training. So if you want to look at it as an inside sales training job, we would get leads and, and I always made a point to make sure I knew the area code that I was calling because we were, it was across the country, and made sure I just took the time to do a little bit of pre call planning and know what area code am I calling in and using that as just a conversation starter to make them understand like, Oh, hey, you’re in Cleveland today. And if there was something recently because I love sports, so I’m a sports girl. If there was something recent like with the Indians going to the World Series, it would have been back in October I could I would say something to break the ice and get in and make them feel comfortable with that. May and it’s just knowing those things that’s me being genuine to myself. It’s my knowledge I love. I’m not acting like I love sports. I grew up with a brother who played baseball all the way through college. So I’m able to talk to the sport and with it, but just taking that little bit of time to understand Who are you calling? Who are you going to meet doing some background research so that you can have some just authentic conversation starters before you even walk in the door and let the conversation naturally go from there, but at least do something small to prepare in advance. I think so often, salespeople don’t take that and then they’re completely caught off guard. Or they stumble over their words, especially new early salespeople, and it’s just a little bit of planning that can go a long way for them.

 

Andy Paul  11:49  

Well, I think to your point is that so much has been written out about how you prepare for a sales call and you’ve got these tools, you got LinkedIn, you’ve got social, you can try people’s social footprints assuming they’ve been engaging with online. But I know for a lot of salespeople feeling crushed and pressed for time. They’re skipping that because I received these calls all the time. Yeah, and or the emails. And you know, you raised an interesting point, which is one that I’ve used is just knowing the area code and knowing where you’re calling. Yet if you’re a sports fan, I’m also a sports fan and unfortunately, if your sounds like you’re a Cleveland fan, we can’t make fun of Cleveland sports anymore except for the browns.

 

Stephanie Melish  12:34  

I’m actually not . I’m from Ohio, but I’m a Cincinnati fan, so the rats in the bangles, but neither of them did anything outrageously exciting this year, so I defaulted. Okay, I could have said the Cubs, I apologize.

 

Andy Paul  12:47  

But yeah, just just as you said something as simple as knowing the area code and then knowing what’s going on where you’re calling. If you’re feeling so pressed for time rather than doing nothing. He’s taking a cue from the record you’re calling that’ll give you something you can start a conversation with, small talk that you can use to break the ice and get engaged with the person.

 

Stephanie Melish  13:10  

Yeah, and it takes 2.5 seconds really to Google an area code and it pops right up. I mean, if you’re even on I think AOL dial up you can still get that done in 30 seconds. 

 

Andy Paul  13:23  

So I want to ask you about something you recently wrote an article about, that my thoughts are interesting, and you said it gets a mixed response cuz you said your unsubscribes went up. 400% Yeah. So this was you said, You know, I can break my own glass ceiling. Thank you very much.So what did you say that upset people?

 

Stephanie Melish  14:03  

So the article was all about it being written before the election results. So I want to make sure I put that disclaimer out there. I wrote it the day before election day, and I had these really strong feelings and convictions around people who tend to be. And I’m gonna say that what I’ll say is, it was about the fact that I don’t need or didn’t need for Hillary Clinton to become president, in order for me to know and believe that I, Stephanie, as a female can become the president of the United States. And so through that I the transition and the lessons and there were the things that you need in order to know and understand like, why did I believe that in my background, what was it there that I had in me, that made me feel that I didn’t need somebody to go before me and break that glass ceiling to know that I would be able to do it.

 

Andy Paul  15:07  

Well, so it raises an interesting question is, I’ve had a number of guests on the show that talked about, you know, women on sales, bail still, there are men out there, some blatant and even more subtle forms of discrimination still exercised against women in the profession, even from how job descriptions are written to territory allocation and commission plans and so on. So is there anything you’re saying is that, you know, the women being a role model in those cases and sort of being the pioneers is not really sort of gender dependent anymore?

 

Stephanie Melish  15:50  

Yeah, I don’t think so. I mean, my thought process on all of that was that I’m looking for the best candidate and I believe and am in my lap. the point was that I trust that America and our nation and the majority of people in this country are intelligent enough not to judge somebody based on their gender. We’ll we’ll stick with gender in this in this case, because and saying that if anybody it to me personally and we don’t have to talk politics, even though it’s nice is that it is the idea of voting or choosing Hillary as as the president I’m voting for her strictly because she’s a woman is to me as ridiculously sounding as somebody voting for Donald Trump simply because he’s a man. And so the point of it is, I don’t think our country looks at things that way, but some, some may do. And the idea is women at this point and what I’ve experienced in my own work experience and everything I write is based on my personal experience is that if you have certain things like you’re encouraged you have your own belief you’re outrageously connected.

 

Andy Paul  17:14  

You’ve had a support system to help you.

 

Stephanie Melish  17:15  

I know that internal self belief that connection to education, making sure that you’re continuously improving yourself because I’m a big believer that education never stops, and not necessarily education just within school systems or colleges or anything like that. And then your work ethic. I mean, if you’re willing to work your ass off, you’re gonna get further ahead than most people and I don’t think those things are dependent on your gender.

 

Andy Paul  17:48  

Okay, so then you can be who you want to be.

 

Stephanie Melish  17:54  

Yeah, and that I don’t need people to set precedents. For me, to know that I can go and do it for myself. And I think everybody should think that way, or I hope they do. That was my encouragement and writing that but the only reason why there’s a glass ceiling is if you put it there in your own mind to begin with.

 

Andy Paul  18:15  

So in your experience working in sales, and you know, you sell your own services, have you ever encountered what your thought was sort of subtle forms of discrimination?

 

Stephanie Melish  18:28  

I don’t think so.I know I had when I was certified speaking engagement through Jeffrey I had a group of the business owner specifically we had somebody who secured our engagements for us. She’s fantastic. And she told me that he did have a concern because it was an all male audience. How would I do in front of them? And Michelle, who was the person that secured that deal. Very much said listen, she can stand on her own two feet. She’s very good at what she does. I wouldn’t be recommending her if she couldn’t handle anything to be thrown at her. And so there was maybe a slight curiosity there. And he was a little hesitant, but they ended up hiring me. And they hired me then three more times after that, so maybe a little bit but then I was able, they at least still gave me a chance so not full on discrimination by any means. They decided, Okay, I just had somebody explain to them that I’m pretty. I’m pretty tough. I can handle it. 

 

Andy Paul  19:39  

So what advice would you give to young women who are looking at possibly getting into sales because it’s an issue that’s been identified by researchers so there’s, there’s you know, it’s in many industries and tech is certainly one there’s some study I read an insurance industry, hard time attracting women to the profession. You know, here’s one that’s sort of hot. You think that’s just kind of strange because sales more than anything you would think as your successes are really dependent on the work and effort and so on you put into it. But it is hard to attract women into the profession. Well, it’s extroverts, aggressives, hunters, blah, blah, blah. So what advice if you’re mentoring a young woman who’s thinking about leaving school, you know, after they leave school, starting a sales job, or considering whether to even apply, you know, what, what guidance to give?

 

Stephanie Melish  20:41  

Yeah, so, one of the things that I’ve seen more and more with female entrepreneurs who are breaking out onto the scene, is there is a need. Somewhere along the way, sales became a dirty word and it became a negative connotation. In though in this workplace and that’s why I think women have a hard time associating with it. You talked about certain things like they’re aggressive instead of using the word assertive. Oh, don’t get me wrong, but it can be a little off putting. So I agree with that. But somewhere along the way the word sales got this dirty word attached to it and the number one thing I hear from women is that they don’t want to be salesy. You know, they still think old school like sleazy car salesmen who don’t believe that a woman knows how to walk onto a lot and be educated to know about cars, and make a firm decision and so that they may have had experiences with that. But I think we’ve come so far from that, that unless you’re in it, you don’t really understand that sales is not a bad thing. And the biggest misconception is that Sales is a transaction type thing, but you’re making a transactional type exchange. And if you want to be the best at sales, it actually stems way beyond that, and it becomes a relationship driven business. And it’s why you’ll start to see a lot of women are going more towards direct sales, because they’re learning that sales per se is more about sharing, and just telling people about things that they love, and that they’re excited about and encouraged about and that they want other people to have and it’s in their mind they’re justifying it but at the end of the day, you’re still selling you’re you’re selling a product, whether it’s you know, a skincare line or a fitness type program or supplements

 

Andy Paul  22:49  

Or being a service

 

Stephanie Melish  22:51  

Right,but it’s still sales, but they don’t think of it that way because it’s more of they think they’re just sharing what they’re doing or this opportunity that they have. They’ve taken the sales out of it, even though it’s really still there.

 

Andy Paul  23:08  

And some of what you’ve written, you’ve used the term. And I mean, in a positive sense use the term fixer. So is that something that then we’ll dig into the attributes that you think a fixer needs to have, but it’s basically a salesperson when you’re fixing a problem. That’s what you’re talking about?

 

Stephanie Melish  23:27  

Yeah. And so my advice would be back to your original question there for a young woman who’s looking to potentially grab into or launch into sales is if you are excited at the potential of helping people serving people providing solutions, being a fixer being a problem solver, that that’s essentially what sales is, and it’s all done building relationships, you know, the really great sales jobs out there. ones that are dependent on you building long term lasting relationships with other people. And if you’re comfortable doing that, you’re going to excel very well. And then you need other things along the way. But that’s the baseline of it. Sales are not scary. It’s actually a very fun career to be a part of.

 

Andy Paul  24:19  

Yeah, for philosophies. I mean, freedom, flexibility, you know, barely sort of carve your own path. I mean, your rewards are based on your own achievements. I mean that really is an attraction, primary attraction. Okay, so we’re talking about a fixer. You’ve written an article about the CSR of using a woman as her inspiration Olivia Pope, Scandal familiar with her. So you think that you’re looking at the term as I saw reading as you’re writing and secondly, actually, it’s somebody that’s an expert, but actually more powerful than an expert in terms of how they help the customer.

 

Stephanie Melish  25:02  

Yeah, so if you’re familiar with Scandal, Olivia Pope is a former campaign manager and man, you picked all my political posts now. I don’t write only about politics, I promise. She’s an ex campaign manager and she now runs her own company. And she is known in DC as the fixer of all problems. And so what I talk about with the attributes that I think people have when they, the fixer that people want to work with or who you want to be is really great things and it goes above and beyond and really comes down to, she’s a leader. She has all of these things and Yes, she’s fixing and she’s problem solving, but she’s doing it from a leadership type, position or mindset of she is in control and knows what going on in different caveats and opportunities in front of her, and then she creatively figures out the best way to move forward. And that’s truly what I think leaders do. And they gather people around them to support them and to do those things. But you don’t have to be in a leadership role in order to be a fixer. You just have leadership type qualities within you that have the ability to get other people to to follow suit.

 

Andy Paul  26:27  

Well, yeah, I think sales is a leadership role. I mean, you have to inspire a prospect or a buyer to take a journey with you.

 

Stephanie Melish  26:35  

Yeah, yes.

 

Andy Paul  26:36  

So you broke down sort of six characteristics of what you thought. Now the successful leader in this role does. So let’s just go through those because a couple of them are a little different, but one is, you know, listen, obviously, you know, people have to listen but a problem that exists is that people really don’t listen very carefully and sales is thanks expecting to hear certain answers. This gets back to your point by being scripted right there. Mm hmm. If I ask a certain question, I expect to hear a certain answer. And if I get that certain answer, then I put somebody in this niche. And I assume what the next question I should ask them is literally listening to what they really say.

 

Stephanie Melish  27:16  

Yes, yes. And listening with intent to understand. So, most times, we listen while we’re listening while formulating what we want to say next, right, because we’re naturally selfish people. And that’s just ingrained in us. And so taking a step back and actually pausing and listening, listening with intent to understand so you’re really hearing what they’re saying, I have my poor husband. I use him as an example quite frequently when I talk about different things, but there is a major difference between listening and hearing. Like do you really hear me or do you grasp what I’m saying? And are you comprehending it and computing it and thinking through it? Or are you just kind of half listening and not really paying attention and thinking about what you want me to cook you for dinner tonight or something random like that, but I don’t cook very often. So it’s usually taken out you know, so listen, and I had a great conversation with a woman this morning and a business owner about how there are people that just talk all over you and they don’t take the time to listen. Or they’re just wanting to know what’s next. And I think especially with salespeople, when you have a lot of pressure on you to meet certain quotas or your unlimited time, you want to rush the process, but the listening is the key to sales because if you’re not listening and understanding what the customer wants, and what they’re truly telling you, if you’re not hearing them, then you’re not going to go anywhere. Like you said, you’re gonna place them into a box and it may be the wrong box. And nobody wants to be in a box.

 

Andy Paul  29:06  

Well, yeah. And then your next point is, if you’re not asking the right questions, you’re not really listening, then you’re not. Too often you’re not gonna understand what their desired outcome is. I mean, too often, salespeople just want to sort of understand, what do I need to do to get to the next step, as opposed to understanding? Yeah, what does the customer want to have happen here, as a result of this, this transaction that we’re going to do?

 

Stephanie Melish  29:30  

Yeah, it’s really knowing what’s the outcome and understanding that outcome also identifies one other major thing, which is their expectations. So if you know where they’re wanting to go, what is their desired outcome, then you can work backwards from that but it also gives you an idea of what are their expectations, and if you can set expectations up front, you will save yourself a lot of pain. So often In both personal and professional lives, we place certain expectations on people or events or things that are coming up. And we’re constantly let down because those expectations were actually wrong. And we expect too much or  sometimes when you expect too little, then you’re blown away. But making sure especially through the sales process that you know, what is the client’s desired outcome and what are their expectations? And because there’s certain things that will separate you from everybody else, if they expect, like to be responded to don’t allow more than 24 hours in this process to go by without responding to me, you want to know that up front, because if you’re not able to get back to them, you can tell somebody else to get back to them. There’s all these things that come into play and roles when you talk about outcomes and expectations.

 

Andy Paul  30:55  

For me, because that responsiveness is one of my hot buttons that I write about extensively is that the cashier, your pride, your own personal sales process should be set up so that you can always exceed expectations. So, while I agree, you understand what the customers expectations are.I think the most successful people are those who go into the sewing, knowing and having in place to process so that like a client I worked with, you know, they got back to every new lead that came in within 30 minutes. I tell you, customer expectations are never gonna be that that fast. But it was decisive for them. So they went into every transaction having those processes set up. So I think it’s really important for entrepreneurs, small businesses, when you’re setting up your sales processes, think about you know, so the optimum thing you can do that even from the get go before you ask the customer is going to exceed their expectations and keep asking And inquiring because you may find out that somebody actually has a greater expectation. So what’s your thought? But if you sort of set the stage like we’re gonna do beyond what our competition does, we’re gonna be the number one most responsive organization. Yeah, customers will reward you.

 

Stephanie Melish  32:16  

Yeah. And making sure that you check in and have touch points along the way, because expectations shift. And sometimes outcomes shift like that what your desired outcome is. So making sure that you’re always keeping those lines of communication open and that you’re not you don’t just an ask questions at the beginning of a process or once you are closing the sale, you want to make sure that you continue and beyond that, because that’s what creates lifelong customers who are gonna rave about you. You know, there’s still stuff to be done after.

 

Andy Paul  32:54  

Yeah, I know that. The sale doesn’t stop when you get the order. It’s when they get the value from it that they’re investing in. And into a point you made earlier, which I think is absolutely right on. And this is something I think that people tend to be forgetful of is that the process of selling to your prospect changes them? Because as they learn more and more about as possible, then gather desired outcomes, as you said could change. So unless you’re continually re qualifying them and asking great questions, you’re gonna miss that opportunity. So yeah, it’s not a one and done when it comes to qualification or identifying what their ultimate goals are. So Stephanie, in this last segment show, I’ve got some hypothetical questions I posed that all my guys are not excusing, question standard questions. I post all my guesses, one of which is a hypothetical scenario. So in this hypothetical scenario, Stephanie has just been hired as VP of a Sales back company whose sales desperately need to be turned around. They’ve stalled out. The flatlined CEO is anxious to hit the reset button so what two things could you do in your first week on the job that would have the biggest impact?

 

Stephanie Melish  34:15  

So what two things in the first week would make the biggest impact? Um, I personally believe that you need to have a foundation. So I would want to spend time with two different people. I want to spend time with somebody who has the best sales numbers, and the person who probably has the worst sales numbers and really talk with them, get to know them, create a safe place where they can trustingly really just dive and talk to me about what’s working and not working. So That would be number one, talk to the best sales rep in the least, the kind of person who’s maybe struggling the most, and get insights from them, because I believe your employees are a great resource to find out what’s working and not working. And then on the flip side, so those I would want to talk to two different customers, our best customer, and I want to talk to a customer that we have recently lost and go through the same things with them. Because so often I think that the atmosphere of not going to your customer and talking to them about what’s working and not working in your sales process, or in your service or what, what you’re trying to accomplish. They are a wealth of knowledge for you, your customers, there’s a reason they bought from you. So if you can find out what the predominant reason is you can start duplicating things. And if you find out why they’re not coming back then you can fix it. So many times people Don’t go and use the customer as a resource, or they don’t take the time to learn and see what our best people are doing right? And what are struggling people really struggling with so we can bring them up to the next level. 

 

Andy Paul  36:13  

All right, good answer. Okay, so now some rapid fire questions you can give me one word answers or elaborate if you wish. So when you Stephanie are out selling your services, what’s your most powerful sales attribute?

 

Stephanie Melish  36:28  

Coffee. Now, I do almost all of my prospect meetings, if I can, face to face over a coffee meeting, and I believe it’s a non threatening atmosphere. It gives me a chance to really listen, and some people may think this is crazy, but it tends to work for me. I don’t talk price right out of the gate, especially with a prospect I wait until later. I want to get to know them under And what they are looking for and figure out if we’re a right fit, and then I’ll dive into that in a subsequent usually follow up emails than I do that. So probably for me, creating that atmosphere where it’s casual, and comfortable and inviting, and I do that through coffee, and if they don’t drink coffee, then we’ll figure out something else. 

 

Andy Paul  37:22  

Who’s your sales role model? 

 

Stephanie Melish  37:28  

I think I have to say, Jeffrey, for that one. And I’m not just saying that because he’s my mentor. I mean, I’m seeing him in action. And the man is just absolutely intelligent beyond belief, and has been such a blessing to my life. And he’s just good. He’s very good at what he does.

 

Andy Paul  37:45  

Yes. So what’s the one book you think every salesperson should read?

 

Stephanie Melish  38:08  

I like the go giver I wrote several years ago and it’s just, it’s a great gift first philosophy book. And I believe that if more people did run their businesses and themselves or in their sales positions, whatever you want to call it, that way the world would be a better place. O

 

Andy Paul  38:27  

Okay, so finally, what music is on your playlist these days?

 

Stephanie Melish  38:38  

Taylor Swift. 

 

Andy Paul  38:52  

Well, Stephanie, thank you for joining us. tell people how they can find out more about you.

 

Stephanie Melish  39:00  

They can visit my website, which is StephanieMelish.com. And that really houses all of my resources for you. So you can go there and you can find my book, you can find a short I do short two to three minute videos that you can find all of my blogs on there, you can find out how you can work with me, whether it’s through speaking engagements, or as a certified business coach, but my website is going to be the best place and then any of my social media platforms, you can find me using the same name Stephanie Meliish consistency is key. So you go and type in Stephanie Melish on any of the platforms, you’re going to be able to find my handle.

 

Andy Paul  39:41  

Okay. All right. Well, good stuff. And thanks for joining us and friends. Thank you for spending the time with us. Remember to make it a habit everyday to deliberately learn something new to help you accelerate your success and easy way to do this. Take a minute, listen to my conversations with business experts like my guest today Stephanie Melish, who shared her expertise on how to accelerate the growth of your business. So thanks again for joining me. 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.com. For more information about today’s guests, visit my website at AndyPaul.com