All right. Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and it is time for sales freak tactics show. Now, today, i'm going to talk to you about the four essential skills that you need to sell to be successful and b two b sales and some of them you're gonna be familiar with and a few of them. I'm not sure you're going to, so stay tuned. You're going to not want to miss this.
Yeah, all right. So today i'm gonna talk to you about the four essential skills and specifically could talk to you about, you know, what does that mean?
And why do you need these four essential skills now, when I look to myself, it took me many, many, many, many years to really understand these four essential skills and to be able to put them into my sales process so that I was actually able to make success.
And it was a journey. It was not something that I just kind of woke up one day and said, hey, you know, these are the skills I need.
It really kind of started to change for me when I was well into my career and I went to business school. And once I was able to recognize the business perspective on the way that business looks at business and determine all these they use. And the motivators and the the terminologies that motivate business allowed me to start become a business person.
And i've started become a business person that sells, or what I used what I like to call it an insightful seller, someone that uses insights both in thes four categories to create value for their for their customers and their prospects. So, uh, it was like I said, it was a journey to get to creating. These four essentials utilize these four essential skills to create value.
Now, I wanted to spend a little moment on the word value because it's kind of overused word in the world of selling now, what is value from a consumer standpoint, I usedto understand value and think of value as how much free crap can I give people and and do everything I can earn their business.
And if I gave lots of free stuff and they believe that was gonna do that, then they would choose me, and they didn't get care about living up to their expectations.
Or my expectations on what? How much business they were gonna do a year or what have you, they're like. Okay, well, what else you gonna give me, right? Kind of similar to when I go in and I look to buy a cell phone, or i'm gonna pick my cell phone plan.
Right. There's all these different companies, and they add more value to the equation to make me choose them. So, as an example, they'll say, well, you can get the, uh you can get the iphone 11 or 12. Whatever's out, you can get 64 gigs or 128 gigs, and you get this free headphone, and you get this free.
Um, what you mccall. And there's the other do hickey and all this doo hickeys and free texting and all these things, and I wait and I go, okay. And then I look at another place. They say, well, yeah, no, no, we can't give you that.
So I look and I go, i'm gonna get more free crap free stuff. And so I choose that plan or that company because of the added stuff they're giving me. That is not what i'm talking about here. Uh, and that is a fundamental shift that we need to make in sales.
Sales is not about giving away free crap free training, free stuff so that they'll choose you. Let your competitors have them because you know what you get.
You get used up, right? You are doing the walk of shame home, right? It za dirty job. We need to position ourselves. And we need toby professionals that sell business people that sell.
And we need to look at it from a profitability standpoint for our own territories and for the people we represent or the companies we represent. So we need to look at every single account as from a business perspective, you know?
How much does it cost? You know, how much time does it cost to pick these orders? Eso you know, that's just a little example. You know, you have an account that does $1000 a year and 10 orders year at 100 bucks, or you do get $1000 a year account that does one order.
Obviously the cost to serve that customer is less so. These are things that we need to look at as sales people, which a lot of us don't.
Ah, lot of us just look at any business as good business, and I understand why. Right? We have numbers to make. We have budgets to make, and we're looking to get good business.
But way want good business, not any business. So value in business is not about giving away free stuff. It's about profit, right? As in shareholder value, what is the profitability we're making on this account?
Because you have to look at it from a business perspective. You have to look at your time. Okay, so let's just say for easy math that you make what is their 250 business days a year? So let's say you make $125,000 a year. It's easy math, okay, which is that you're making $500 a day roughly right.
So, uh, sorry. $2000 to yeah, $500 a day. That's what you are worth, right to the organization. They're paying you $125,000 so it's about $500 a day.
My math is right. So you are. That's what you're worth to the company. Now they have to pay you that $1000 a day, $500 a day.
So now they have to also pay inside people. They have to pay the freight in the trucks and they have to pay for the gas. And there's all and the and the and the building and the hydro and all of these things.
So they're paying you $500 a day, let's say, plus all these other things, so recognizing the cost involved to serve a customer is essential.
It is absolutely essential. And you have to put on your business hat on, and that's what we're gonna discuss today. We're gonna discuss the four essential business skills, so we need to recognize that our job is to create value.
You always hear about value creation, selling, you know, create value, create value. The problem with that is, a lot of people don't know what value means. It means profit.
That's we have to do. That's why in my five pillars talk about its profit creation, value creation, right profit as a shareholder value.
Now we can talk about whether or not shareholder value is value. We can talk about how greedy people are. We can talk about all these different things that are relevant to the fact that we have a job to grow business and to be profitable, whether we're in business for ourselves. Right now. We're selling for somebody. We need to have a profitable territory.
So we need to recognize these things. And we need to look at all the different things that play in to you being able to create value. So the four skills and then i'm gonna go deep into each of them is product knowledge. Now you know this.
But product knowledge, from my perspective, is a little different when I get into that in a moment. Industry knowledge.
How much of the industry do you understand? Because if you understand the industry, you need to understand how the industry creates value. How do they deliver value on the demand side?
Normally, how did they deliver value on the supply side? Because there's two equations to creating value right? There is the value proposition. There's the value chain.
In the center is the value creation process. So how do you create value? So how does the industry create value on normal right, and how do they deliver that value?
And if you understand that, then you're going to start to be able thio find be able to play chess in the industry. Executive insight business acumen these air different terminologies for, you know, three insight and understanding the way business works because when you understand that, then you are able to create more value.
And the fourth essential skill is questioning skills, right? Uh, these are the four essential skills you need to create value. Now, of course, you need to be able to prospect and clothes and all these things.
But these are essential to being able to create value and to, uh, move the chain if you will, to move the ball down. The field is also getting a touchdown, getting a customer and then making the customer profitable for you and profitable for them.
So let's look at each of these. So when we talk about executive insight, we're talking about the financial perspective of business. Business thinks in financial terms, right. That's kind of the language of the business. So you go to different countries. They speak different languages.
The language of business is talking in terms of the profit and loss statement. Income statement. Uh, you know, this is essential that you understand this, you know, it took me.
I hate to admit it, but I was a young guy and and people talk about the top line, the bottom line, and it meant nothing to me. I just sound like sexy terms. Oh, that top line. The bottom line on, I would say, oh, there's about the top lines. But the bottom line had no idea that they're talking about the income statement.
Well, until I went to business school that I really started to understand this. And so we need to recognize that revenues are top line, right at the top line of an income statement.
You have your cost of goods sold. You have your product gross profit. You have operating expenses. You have your net profit or your bottom line on. This is how businesses think, and they measure the income statement.
Uh, normally, every month, but definitely every quarter and they're looking at it as four quarters, right, and they're looking at the income statement. Revenue cost a good solar services.
Gross profit minus operating expenses gives you the net profit of course, they pay taxes and things like that. So top line, you're talking about sales, right? We know this, but they're talking about the income statement and bottom line talking about profit. So when you're looking at business when you're looking at, you're gonna go call on the customer, you're gonna try to add value to them.
It's kind of important to understand how they create revenue, right? It's important to understand. You know what is profitability to them. It's important for you to understand that for your own business. So having executive insight and understanding how you can change these five categories by adding more revenue by reducing their costs of goods or services like increasing their profits, reducing their operating expenses are increasing their not profit. Right now, so many of us are so used to the operating expenses were like, okay, they're spending, um uh, $10,000 a year in janitorial supplies or in supplies.
I'm going to try to get him down to nine. Why? $10,000 on a multimillion dollar company as an example is 1000 most is kicking the bucket, right?
Yes, of course, they want to save $1000 but they're not gonna be too motivated to move to you for 1000 bucks. They're just not on a big, huge organization.
But when you can find ways toe influence, any one of these five categories now you're talking their language. Now you're having a different conversation. You're actually having a higher level. Sell up the food chain off the organization.
So having executive insights essential now questioning skills, questioning skills about the value creation process of an organization is essential to understand.
So you can ask these questions. What is the organisation's value creation process and if you don't know what that is? But I go deep into in some of the programs. But how does an organization create value? Right? And there's two ways, as I mentioned to earlier, there's the value proposition, right? Or the demand side. Now this is very much a marketing term.
Things is very much how an organization markets and creates demand in the market place, right? It's the demand side. It's how do they get known? How do they advertise? How do how are they positioned?
You know, why do people are people willing to pay more for bmw than they are for another car. Why are people you know? Why are people going to a more expensive department store than another store?
Right? It's the demand side. It's the way they're positioned into the marketplace. It's the way they deliver that, um, and we go deep into the as I mentioned, the thing is, the value chain okay, so there's the value proposition and there's the value chain or the supply side of business.
How do they how do they make their widget and how do they get their widget to the dock of the customer? And if you understand how the customer uses that, which it to, then you understand the full circle. When you understand the full circle, you're able to create value or find opportunities of disconnect.
Right. So if you are, if you're trying to take, if you're gonna go on a hike, let's say or a walk on and you're going from, you know where let's say vancouver, canada, to toronto, right? You, you, you, you, you're gonna wanna have a map, right? And you're gonna wanna know how is what's the quickest way to go to toronto? And here is the process that they that goes.
But what are the roadblocks? Right? And what are the things that maybe you're not gonna see or the person that's gone before you doesn't see. And what are the what are the things you can do to get there quicker to get there faster, to reduce the pain of getting there?
What can you do to make that trip more enjoyable, get there faster and get their more healthier and in better physical shape? It's the same thing.
So from a sales perspective, you need to be able to sit back and look at the value creation process. Alright, how do they make profit? Recognize? How did they advertise how they position themselves in the marketplace?
How did they get that? Their product into the market and where do you fit in the product which you sell? How do you fit in there? And how can you help reduce the costs, not the price, the cost associated with them delivering that widget or them creating that demand very important.
Now the fourth is industry knowledge. Now, industry knowledge has nothing to do with experience. Okay, I had when I first started in the janitorial industry, I learned a lot in the first six months, and then I probably learnt sweet nothing for the next 4. 5 years or so because I didn't care.
I just did my job. I had. I knew my some products. I had, um I had some industry knowledge now, but I had six months of of knowledge and experience repeated over and over.
It wasn't until later. That's what I do. Invest in myself and get that experience now. You could do all that in six in a year, right?
Some people can get into an industry and no more than people have been in industry for 20 years because their home at night studying or they're they're doing courses or they're they're invested in it, right that that kind of part of their identity as opposed to someone else, not just a job.
So industry knowledge has nothing do with your experience right? And how does the industry create demand? So having industry knowledge means understanding how the industry you're calling on creates demand and the industry you work for.
How do you create demand? Right? These are very important things to understand, and how does the industry supply demand. Right? So we went over that, but understanding industry knowledge.
That's why specialization is so important. You can't be a generalist anymore. You can't just I mean, you're not going to sell. Probably if one call. You're calling on a dentist.
Next call. You're calling on a on a school. The next call. You're calling on a you're calling on some auditorium like you can't.
You might be able to find a little bit of knowledge, a little bit of issues they have. But you can't come in and help them grow their business and help them make their business run better.
You just can't. So you have to be a specialist. You can't be special one or two or three industries, but you can't be a jack of all trades because you you will truly be in master of none. But right.
How does your how is your prospect positioned in the industry? There's a question I asked all the time. You know, mr customer, mr. Project, how are you positioned in the industry?
Like from your perspective? Are you are you the top dog? You know, how are you positioned and they'll tell you okay. And where do you wanna be?
What we want. But i'm going, okay. And what steps you taking to get there, right? You and you can start to see the eyes slowly glaze over, and a lot of a lot of them they start going. Oh, my god. I have no idea, all right.
And you want to help them get there and then recognizing that you can help them, you know, um, and the question is this. You know, they're always asking, why should I change from the status quo?
Right. So they are. They are. You're calling on them. Nothing's broken, right. If nothing's broken, if something's broken, they're already looking right. They're already looking, so we don't want to find someone that's already out in the request for proposal stage, because they they know what they want, and they're asking for a price and how much free crap you're gonna give them. You want the people that are satisfied, but you know you can help.
So, as an example, when you have industry knowledge, let's say you're calling on a care home. Well, pretty much every industry re cycles through the same people, just like a hockey player professional hockey player in his prime.
Um, and it's still good. Doesn't get, doesn't leave one team and start becoming, ah, soccer player, right? He moves to another team.
He takes his skill sets and goes to another team that will pay him. And if he gets gets becomes worse and he's not that good. Then he goes down to, um, you know, a semi professional and finally he retires. But he's in the same.
He's not going from hockey two soccer to baseball. And now there's anyone that that you're calling on that's worth calling on, right? If you're calling on a care home, you're talking to someone in the care industry.
If they leave that industry story, that company there, 99. 99% of time going to another company that's going to pay them better, or getting you know, the for whatever reason they leave, okay, they're going to another organization.
If they work in a hotel, we're gonna go to another hotel, okay? And they're gonna take their skill sets and they're gonna bring that to that new hotel.
So you have basically, in a lot of organization, a lot of industries called the peter principle. Right? People rise up to their level of incompetence and eso.
Our job is to recognize that and to help, you know, help them change from the status school they're not going to change. Um, for they're not going to change just to fix something that is minor, right? They're gonna change because you absolutely, you're showing them something that is absolutely going to help them with the way they feel. The way they think the way their bosses look at them, their perceptions, you know, they're gonna change because you're showing them something that's new, a new perception, a new idea, a paradigm shift in some way, and you're going to help them get from here to here.
Okay, so that's why they're going to change. So why should I change from the status quo? This is what they're thinking. And as you probably are, too, right?
You have the cable company, right? Why would you change cable company, right? Like for a dollar a month? No. They're gonna call you. Say, i'll give you two years free.
You might. Right. So you're not gonna change your cable company because everything set up, everything's running. You've got all the boxes in the house and your and your internets connected and all these things.
Why would you switch for something minor? Right? Why should I change from the status quo? Why should I switch? Oh, you know, you have this new high tech thing that I can't get anywhere else.
Maybe I will switch. So you need to recognize that. And finally, the fourth skill set is obviously your product knowledge.
Um, but what is your product or service? Right? What are the features of your product and service? What are the benefits of your product and service? Those air those air standard.
Um, what similar products like it lead the industry. So you need to understand your competitors to understand, have competitive product knowledge, right? You need to understand what you have, but you need to understand what your competitors have.
So really good thing to do is tow research by asking customers by searching on the internet, you know what is about your customers products and services compared to yours?
And how are you different? Or how can you position your products different? Because if you come in and you have a product, it looks the same smells the same. What have you?
There's only one reason they're going to switch, and that's price. And nine times out of 10, what they're gonna do is we're gonna see this product you have that looks the same, smells the same.
Everything else. And they're not going to switch. They're gonna wait for you to leave. They're gonna pick up the phone, they're gonna call the incumbent and say, hey, bob was here from x y z company, and he showed me a product. Looks just like this product. I'm buying from you.
But, you know, he's $20 cheaper. Why you charge me, right? And now what's that sales person? And he or she is gonna drop their price.
The customer wins, your competitors loses and you lose. Nobody really wins. Except for you. Get less price, less profit, less value. The customer gets less value. Less service.
All that. So you have to create differentiation in the marketplace concerning your products and know how you compare compared to your customers, right? How is your product? Different.
Okay, there's always ways your product is different. Um, but sell the outcomes that your product is different. And here's what that means, mr customer.
Right. Be a teller of stories and explaining and talking about your products. Okay, and you know, how is your product? Better now that's understanding your product knowledge, but we don't want to talk about products very often except near the end.
But understanding these four things is essential to you being impactful. You being able to create change in the marketplace. So how is your product priced right?
One thing I heard from the famous market, uh, dan kennedy. He said something along the lines of if you can't be the lowest price, there's no benefit being the second lowest price. And think about that for a second does not make a lot of sense.
If you can't be the lowest price, then there's no benefit being the second lowest price. There's just not so if you can't be the lowest price, okay and being lowest price has its place, right? Look at the some of the biggest companies in the world that just walmart and amazon and things like they they do that well, right? And so if you could be the best at that, there's a there's room for there. There's there's room. But if you can't be the lowest price, there's no benefit being second price, second lowest price.
So now, therefore, you want to be more expensive, and in order to be more expensive, now starts being you have to add value to the equation.
You have to be able to justify why you are more expensive. And one thing we know for sure is people will pay more for perceived value. And if they didn't, then there would be no such thing as bmw. There'd be no such thing as lamborghinis.
There'd be no such thing as all of these organizations that sell premium products. There'd be no such thing as buying $510,000 watches. There be no such thing as buying, um, $10,000. 30,000 dollars, 3000 balls of wine.
There just wouldn't be so it exists. And the question is, if you can't be the lowest price than be higher priced and no, why, you be higher price and have these four skill sets so you could add that value to the marketplace so you could demand that price.
That is what you want to do so to in recap value creation is about profit creating profit and the fourth skill sets for b two b selling is you need tohave executive insight. You need to have business acumen. You need to understand the income statement.
We understand the five components of it. Predominately, you don't need to be a new accountant being to have understanding. You need to understand question skills and asking questions based on the value proposition and the value chain or another word for their value creation process.
You have to have industry knowledge. You have to understand your industry and understand the industry you're calling on so that you can add value because when you have the knowledge of the industry, then that means you understand the value creation process.
And then, of course, you also have to have knowledge of your product and service, how you're different and if you're not the lowest price.
If you can't be lowest price and you have to be, you need to be more one of the most most expensive prices. And you have to be able to sell that value. Articulate that value because if you can't, then you're going to give people a bmw for a for a soapbox price, and you're not gonna have a career very long in the sales world.
Be to be. So I hope you found this of value. Uh, next week, we're going to talk about what is marketing, because when you understand the marketing, uh, process, you understand where sales fits in.
And when you understand where sales fits into the marketing process or the demand side of organization you it starts to be a little bit of a reality check. The world does not revolve around us because I know I used to think world revolves around me because i'm a sales guy. I am gonna bring in the sales.
We are an important piece off a process. We're gonna talk about that next week on the next episode of sales freak a drink. And I hope you found this of value. I will talk to you and see you in the next episode.