534: Old School Closing Strategies | Benjamin Bressington

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Join us as we explore old-school closing strategies and why they no longer work. In this week’s Conquer Local Podcast, we welcome Benjamin Bressington, CEO of Behavior Sales, a leading personality intelligence company. Benjamin is a “Social Engineer” expert, Speaker, and Author of multiple books; the latest book’s title, “People Ignorant: Unlocking Success, Confidence & Influence.”

Benjamin has a Law & Criminology degree from Australia and spent ten years helping Fortune 1000 companies apply gamification principles to their sales and communication process. He currently helps people improve their sales conversations – particularly how to close deals faster and discover the hidden opportunities visible in our daily communication.

Reach out to Ben at help@behavioursales.com and mention the Conquer Local Podcast to get a free edition of his digital course.

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Old School Closing Strategies


George: This is the Conquer Local Podcast, a show about billion-dollar sales leaders, marketers leading local economic growth, and entrepreneurs that have created their dream organizations. They wanna share their secrets, giving you the distilled version of their extraordinary feats. Our hope is with the tangible takeaways from each episode, you can rewire, rework, and reimagine your business. I’m George Leith. On this episode, truly one of the most passionate speakers on sales we’ve ever had, we welcome Benjamin Bressington. Benjamin gets paid to hack humans as a social engineer, it’s pretty cool. He is the CEO of Behavior Sales, a leading personality intelligence company. He’s a speaker and author of multiple books, the latest, “People Ignorant: Unlocking Success, Confidence & Influence.” He has a law and criminology degree from Australia and has spent 10 years helping Fortune 1000 companies add gamification principles to their sales and communication process. He now spends his time helping people improve their sales conversions, specifically, helping them close deals faster and discover the hidden opportunities in our daily communication. If you’ve ever wanted to have more influence, persuasion, and close deals faster, you’ll love listening to what we’re talking about next. Get ready, Conquerors, for Benjamin Bressington, coming up next on this week’s episode of the Conquer Local Podcast. Benjamin Bressington, all the way from Sarasota, Florida. Hey Ben, is it okay if I call you Ben?

Benjamin: It certainly is.

George: ‘Cause Benjamin, that’s a great handle, and it’s all over the books and it’s all everywhere I see it. But I wanted to get your permission because some people are touchy about that. Like if you wanted to call me G, I would let you, because we’ve known each other so long.

Benjamin: Exactly, right? And that’s all about building trust, right? And respecting the other individuals, so it’s well done.

George: Ben, we had a hell of an intro there and we talked about all of your accomplishments, congratulations on that. I’m super excited for you to teach me about all of the bad things that I’ve been doing with the closing tactics that I learned over the last 35 years of being in the sales business. And when I was reading through the notes that the team had prepared, I was like, “Wow, this is great.” The only close I don’t see in your list is the Columbo close.

Benjamin: Oh, well, there’s lots of closes that aren’t in the list, but I was amazed how many different closing techniques have different names depending on where you learned them from or who was teaching them or what trainer tried to create their own variation. But yeah, the Columbo close is the one where you pretty much just play stupid, and just fumble into it, right? I call that the order taking close.

George: Well, see, there’s so many of ’em and we’re gonna get into the list in a few minutes, but let’s start at the start. And you’ve been doing this for a while, you’re working with sales organizations all over the world. You’ve authored material that I find all over the internet when we were researching you. What happens to a deal when you start to use these tricks? I think that’s the first thing I’d like to learn from you. What has your research brought you to, what conclusions has your research brought you to?

Benjamin: Yeah, so the research has shown us that there’s a lot of resistance now in a buyer, and the sales techniques you use in your conversation, so what we’re talking about is linguistically, create resistance unnecessarily. So you might actually be, because of the words you’re using, creating objections that you don’t actually need to handle. And most salespeople aren’t aware of that, that literally every objection they deal with is created in their conversation. So there’s some interesting insights from that. We’re also seeing that most salespeople don’t know how to connect with people at a personality-based level. And it’s one of the reasons why I called the book “People Ignorant,” because we’ve kind of become ignorant to how to connect with humans. We all think we’re connecting to a segment, an audience, but we forget that like we have to connect with an individual, there’s different personality styles, and your personality may actually repulse certain individuals. So one of the big things we’re seeing is that the data doesn’t support sales conversations anymore.

George: Ben, I gotta jump in, though, because I wanna challenge that. It’s interesting that that’s what your research is showing, yet I’ve never seen DiSC profiles and Deloitte’s even got their own thing, and you got Myers-Briggs. I’ve never seen more of that out there that you have to identify the personality of the people on your team and of your customers. But you’re saying that you’re finding the opposite, that actually people are just so deep in the data that they’re not having a human lens on it? That’s what I think I heard you say.

Benjamin: Yeah, that’s 100% correct, is that like they’re so deep into the weeds of things, they’re realizing that they don’t know how to connect with the individual. And a lot of people are literally using these closing techniques, which create pressure and anxiety with an individual, and they don’t work for each personality style. So that’s one of the big things we’re finding. So a lot of people do these DiSC assessments and personality assessments, but then don’t know how to have a conversation with them. They go, well, this report was great, but how do I use that data? How do I implement that data into a conversation? How do I actually do something beneficial to connect with an individual? Does that make sense?

George: No, it 100% makes sense. It just kind of floors me a little bit that there’s never been more of this knowledge around personality profiling, but yet people are refusing to use it. Now, why? Like what is the why this is happening, in your opinion?

Benjamin: Well, the biggest hurdle in the past has that been like you can’t send, it’s unrealistic to send your lead a DiSC 50 question, 100 questionnaire personality assessment, and go, “Hey, before I have a sales conversation with you, would you mind completing these 100 questions?” And they kinda go, tell you to go kick rocks. So the thing is the advancement in technology is we can literally now analyze your LinkedIn profile, your Twitter account, your Facebook account, the emails you’ve sent and received for example, and predict personality based off that data. So we don’t have to ask you anything. I can literally take your Twitter account and understand your personality type, and then instantly know how to connect with you in a faster way. And this is where some of the big advancements in these conversations are happening.

George: How do you do that? Like that sounds pretty cool.

Benjamin: Yeah, so that’s through behavioral intelligence, what they call, or linguistic analysis. So after profiling millions of conversations around the world, we can literally analyze the words of different personality types. And then we just match them up, we can actually show you. One of the big things we learn, typically in sales, in what predicts churn is if a person experiences disgust. And a lot of salespeople don’t realize that they trigger the emotion of disgust. And it’s an interesting emotion because that emotion actually causes people to lean in and run in the opposite direction. So it’s kind of like you’ve pissed somebody off, but you pissed ’em off with enough gusto that they’re like, “All right, I’m leaving. I’m canceling this person, I’m leaving.” We see this in employees who have become frustrated and now are looking for more work, we see this in sales deals where they’re like, “All right, well, we’re just gonna go find another vendor.” And it might have been just one email that you sent, just bumped ’em over and you lost an opportunity.

George: You know, it’s interesting. It’s something that I hadn’t really considered until I was prepping for this episode and I was excited that you would do some teaching, but I’m now starting to replay a few conversations I’ve had in the last six, eight months, and I think I might have saw that look of disgust across the table or Zoom call or whatever it was that we were doing. Why do you think this is happening? Like you had mentioned people leaving employers as well in your analysis. And I also think that maybe what I’m hearing is this is also the reason why there’s no loyalty on a product anymore or a service or a business. And you see that data point as well. We have no loyalty, we’re like, I’m looking for the best deal. The fact that I’ve dealt with you for 30 years might actually be a detriment to a relationship. I wanna go find something new. Is it that? Is it that I can just throw it away and go get something? Is it the availability that’s leading to this?

Benjamin: There’s a whole mix of dynamics. So for example, the personality styles that want consistency and stability love that we’ve been together for 30 years. You are the rock in which I can anchor to type thing. But then you’ve got the other personality types, which is more like the eagle, which we call it, or the D if you’re talking about the DiSC profile, where those people will always direct ROI focused, right? And they want the latest, the newest, the greatest. So there’s certain personality styles that the time of a relationship will triumph all the time. Where there’s the other side of the coin where it’s like hey, they want the latest, the greatest, the newest. And if you are not presenting that you are innovating, you are doing these new things, you will lose the deals. So you have to find that fine balance. And as they say, there’s always two sides to a coin. And a lot of people we see in sales conversations will vomit features and benefits when features and benefits don’t help with the sale at all. They actually, one of the big things we teach people is literally to put a sticker above their phone or their camera or whatever it is if you’re on Zoom with the word “WAIT.” And it literally stands for “Why Am I Talking?” Because we find now the data is actually showing us that you can actually speak 5% of the time. So you can pitch and close 5% of the time and you’ll close more deals. Where previously, people would be pitching and selling 80% of the time trying to use logic to drive their deal. When they’ve forgot it’s more emotional nowadays. And the data is all showing there’s more emotion in these conversations that’s required to close a deal.

George: Well let’s, I’m excited to dig into these closes because you even have some naming conventions in your list that I had to think about it for a moment, then I’m like, oh, I call it this. So there’s these different terminologies around it, but let’s get into them. And one of the things that we’ve had as a mission for the last five seasons on the Conquer Local Podcast is to help upskill sales professionals. And I talk a lot about, it’s not 1975 anymore, like taking out a sales sheet feature benefit. So thanks, check that off the box. We’ve already talked about old-school feature benefit crap. Now let’s get into a few of these others. The first one, I don’t know, are you saying don’t use the assumptive close? ‘Cause I really like the assumptive close. So what am I doing wrong there?

Benjamin: So the assumptive close can be really, really good, but we find that a lot of people take it to the point of commissioned breath and they’re too pushy with the assumptive close. And then there’s a big difference between say, hey, would you like the vanilla powder or the chocolate powder with your first order? There’s a big difference in saying that and then just assuming, and creating pressure and anxiety through that. So the assumptive close can be used incorrectly if you’re creating too much pressure on the personality you’re talking to and you’re not aware of it. So we find that a lot of people go too much over the top. So for example, when you get a lead that you are calling, an online lead, a cold lead. One of the best things you can actually ask people is this question. It’s like, “Hey, George, have you found what you’re looking for? Or are you still looking for a marketing solution?” Or whatever it is that you inquired about. Because now I’m actually, in that, I haven’t assumed the deal. And I’m actually having you tell me why we’re here. Does that make sense?

George: Yes. I love it. And you keep using, you probably have said it three times now, I’m not doing an official word count, but you said anxiety. But I think it’s an important thing to think about because, and that’s where the personality profile component is so important. All personality is not created even. And the way that you address that customer, if I’m hearing correctly, could create that anxiety and stop the deal.

Benjamin: Yep. So one of the biggest things we see is that most sales reps aren’t fully aware of their communication style. And as a result, they sell to them. And they’re like, well, I closed this person really well, but you’re closing one in four. So the reality you need to be thinking about is how do I need to adapt to connect to the person I’m speaking with? Because maybe I have to slow down, maybe I’ll have to use certainty, or if I do use numbers for a certain personality type we call the L, you need to actually be able to validate that. They need time to think, and what they want is they want silence. So it’s okay when you’re talking to that knowledge-based person, the ones who’s got all the PhDs and wants to read the blueprints and the literature like they come with questions. They want detailed answers, they want data, and they also want silence in a conversation. And a lot of salespeople really struggle with that and they start assuming the deal is gonna close when they’re not giving them thinking time. Does that make sense?

George: Yeah. And, and they completely stop discovery. I’ve been noticing that lately and listening to calls. It’s like, you are headlong into the end of the month, you’re trying to get, and by the way, we’re recording this at the end of the month, so maybe that’s why it’s top of mind, I’ve been listening calls going, wow, that’s a lot of pressure on that deal. You might actually be, well, I think you have it here. We’ve got, what is it? I’ll lose the commission close. I bet you there’s a bunch of that happening if you’re listening to this show at the end of the month, that’s a tactic that reps use. Why don’t you like that one?

Benjamin: Well, once again, it creates this urgency and this pressure, which is logically driven. And it’s driven from the perspective of the sales rep. And everything we’re talking about is you’ve actually gotta be more aware of how they’re hearing you and how they’re, the emotion they’re feeling when they’re talking to you. That’s kinda like saying, you can feel somebody’s desperation. I need this deal, I need to hit my quota because I’m gonna get a case of beer from the boss. So then the conversations just have this tension. And then what people don’t realize is, well, it’s like kids chasing, our behavior stems from our fundamental desires. So the thing is like, you are now chasing this person to close this deal. And if you chase something, what happens? It turns around, runs away. So the thing is that type of close kinda puts you in chase mode and they can smell your desperation, which usually means that as soon as that pendulum swings, the sales rep controls two things, price and time usually. And what do they do? They collapse. They’re like, well, George, what if, and they start going into some of those other closing techniques. Like, I’ll give you my shirt, all this type of stuff. What if I got another 10%? What if? So it’s all good, you’re getting these deals at the end of the month, but you’ve given away your margins. And you’re actually training your customers not to respect your price, your offer, none of this. Does that make sense?

George: No, it totally does. And what about this one? Of you start incentivizing the deal, and you do a lot of it. And the customer then completely goes dark and waits until the next month to see what you’re gonna put in there next month to get the deal across the line. A sophisticated buyer that’s used to negotiating will use that to their advantage. I’m just gonna slow it down, and guess what? I get a better price.

Benjamin: 100% and they know like, hey, the more I draw this out, they know there’s these Q4 specialist buyers. I think one of the assumptions that a lot, or a big myth that’s out there is buyers are liars. Buyers aren’t liars, the thing is it’s just that your sales technique hasn’t worked on them. So you have to defend that insecurity. So the thing is there’s a lot of people in their sales conversations don’t ask emotionally driven questions. One of them, which is a great one, is what we call a consequence question. So the thing is, instead of me putting pressure on you, I need you to actually identify the problem and communicate it with your words. So I need you to say it. Everything I say you think is crap or not truth. The thing is if you say it, it’s your truth, it’s your belief. And so a lot of sales people are too much defending, validating. If you’re defending your product, you’re completely on the far side of this, which is a huge problem. And when you are listening to calls, George, I’m sure you hear this all the time. You’re like, oh my gosh, they open that door, and they kinda just ran right into that thing. And you can just hear these pivot points in conversations.

George: So I bet you, by the way, this is fantastic, I’m loving it. I bet you were also going to hear at certain points in times in a deal flow, the legendary takeaway close. What is the problem with that close?

Benjamin: Well, the thing is a lot of people will do the takeaway, but it’s not legitimate. So the thing is, is this the second time you’ve delivered the takeaway to this person, and are you really gonna hold up to the takeaway? And the thing is we hear takeaway closes every single day. We’ll jump on a website and there’s a 15-minute countdown timer. But yet when I jump on that website tomorrow, that same 15-minute countdown timer is still there. So the thing is it’s okay if you use it and it’s legit. Like it’s a Q4 offer, this thing is expiring, and next time you do the offer, the price isn’t gonna be anywhere near this, it’s gonna ’cause the price goes up, all this type of stuff. But a lot of people use it as this like security blanket and it cripples their integrity, their authenticity. We can actually track in the call recordings when we analyze ’em did you have influence over this person? Did you have clout, based on the word use? And the thing is what do you think happens when the salesperson goes to try somebody or close somebody, they don’t have influence over them?

George: I’m not sure.

Benjamin: They literally collapse on price, and it goes neediness chasing. Like we can actually, one of the things we’re actually showing is we’ve created this deception score. So we can listen to your sales recordings and go, how much are you too pitchy? Are you too buzzwordy? Which actually creates resistance, and actually decreases your influence. And when a salesperson doesn’t have influence when it comes to decision time, I can’t get a decision.

George: So there’s a couple of others that you have in your list that, again, not even listen to the calls, I’ve used this. Sweeten the pot close, take over to close, how about my shirt off my back close? But what I wanted to understand was your deliverables, my terms close. Let’s talk about that for a moment, I’m interested to hear your feelings on that close.

Benjamin: So that’s really flipping it around on people, and it’s a closing technique that most people don’t realize, but it requires you to actually get clear on what the goal and objective a person has. So it’s like, okay if I help you achieve a thousand new leads a month or whatever it is, you’re gonna meet my deal terms. So then they’re setting the deal terms, which is usually greater rather than less. So it’s kinda like building in a guarantee or building in a performance guarantee. And some of the things that people use in certain industries, but it’s a closing technique that can be used well if communicated well. So like I’m not saying not to use any of these closers, I’m saying to be aware of the impact these closers have on the person you’re talking to, your presentation style. Because if you use these wrong, it can literally result in you being ghosted or losing the second and third sale. And that’s some of the biggest problems we’re seeing in sales conversations today, is they’re getting that first-time sale. But because of that process they’ve had, they’ve lost second and third, and that’s a huge problem.

George: So, I love that you brought that up. And maybe it’s just because I’m right in the middle of working on some retention programs inside our own organization. And some of the analysis that we’re doing is we got a retention problem because of what was said in the very first calls with this prospect. And there were things said at that very moment, and to your point, I think what you’re saying is that just sits there and marinates with the prospect, who’s now become a customer. And as you’re not proving the points that were set in that very first call, you’re actually making the expansion of that client or retention of that client virtually impossible.

Benjamin: This is one of the big trackers we see with disgust. Like we actually can see disgust increase over time. And this is one of the indicators we used for churn. So it’s like, hey, that customer you got signed on with, and the example I give all the time is like, hey, the sales rep did something and pissed off the onboarding client person. So the thing is there’s a personality conflict between the product manager, for example, or the account manager and the sales rep. So when the client gets handled over to the client onboarding, they might get bumped to the bottom of the list. So they may move to that three to five-day business priority schedule which they have, they know they can use. But then it creates frustration in the experience for the client. And then the client’s getting more frustrated ’cause promises aren’t being fulfilled, or the service expectation that they got sold on isn’t there. Or these bottlenecks get created because, and a lot of this happens all now linguistically, like text message. Not a lot of people are doing a phone call or video call or stuff like this. Like a lot of things can be misinterpreted. And this is where the data helps you, like analyzing the data helps you understand what’s really going on. Is this one of the, there’s a simple thing. I call it the happiness sandwich. Did the call start happy? Did the call end happy? Did the email start happy, end happy? Because the thing is, as humans, we only remember the emotion of how something starts and ends. So you can put the crappy stuff in the middle, but if we have a crappy conversation, I’ve gotta make sure you leave happy.

George: Yeah, I call that a-

Benjamin: Otherwise it’s-

George: I call that a shit sandwich.

Benjamin: Exactly, exactly, you can deliver a shit sandwich.

George: Yeah, you put happy, happy.

Benjamin: Yeah, exactly.

George: See, we’re bonding, Ben and I knew we would. Now in your latest book, your latest writing, “People Ignorant: Unlocking Success, Confidence & Influence.” If you were to be working with a sales organization and you’ve identified that they’re doing some of these things, how do you now prescribe a way for them to reduce the number of times this is happening? Because it comes to customer experience, it’s not a good experience for the customer. It touches numerous teams, not just one sales team that needs to figure this out. In larger organizations, you’ve got a sales rep, an account manager, an onboarder, a product, like there’s a lot of stakeholders in there as well. And I found that you just get into the blame game there. So I think you’ve got some secrets inside the work that we went through when we were prepping for the call, that could help our listeners.

Benjamin: Understand, so this is why we created the behavioral intelligence platform. ‘Cause one of the things we literally do is like, we can take your Slack channel, and analyze the communication between every team member in your Slack channel. And we can show you personality conflicts, personality issues. We can do the same thing with your employees. One of the simple things we do with companies is we literally help them segment their leads based on personality type. And then you can create a follow-up experience for the personality. Is that person more detailed or is this person more social? Totally different, so now you’re starting to segment your leads, your customers. And this is a big thing, customer onboarding based on personality segmentation. And the reality is you know what? if I’ve got two customer onboarding reps, which client should go to those people? Not just because who’s got 3 or 10 in line, but where is the personality match? Does that make sense?

George: No, I love that. And you’re striking, if people are actually listening back to their calls and doing film review of their interactions with customers, you’re gonna find these person, if you’re doing your job, you’re gonna find them. And then Ben, how do we recommend organizations that they do that? ‘Cause that just makes a lot of sense to me. But oh, we don’t have enough resources and that’s gonna be hard. But it really, the life and death of that customer experience is relying on those personalities lining up.

Benjamin: So, and that’s one of the biggest things we’ve seen, is that companies aren’t aware that they put a person into a position and they haven’t optimized that person for success in identifying who they are and how they connect with people. And this is one of the benefits of the software we provide, the training and the solutions for that. Because you can’t do this, one of the biggest problems we see is a lot of people aren’t recording their phone calls. They aren’t well, they go, yeah, I record them, Zoom automatically records them. I’m like, great, well, how often do you watch them? Oh, never. Then why are you recording them? Like, so one of the things that we do is we give them that feedback loop within 15 minutes of a call finishing, literally having a full, emotional debrief. We can show you intention, personality, and that allows you to go, you know what? With my next conversation with George, I’ve gotta be more aware of this. I lost influence with George when I spoke about this like these are all the things you can now use as feedback to actually improve the relationship. Does that make sense?

George: Yes, it does. So I wanna give you a real-world example from very recently. I’m in a boardroom, we got five different people on the buyer side, and we’re talking five different personalities, like not, just different people. And we were spending quite a bit of time with ’em. So we were four hours, one week, we were on some Zoom calls, then we were another five hours just recently. And I’m already starting to see what you were talking about here earlier, the anxiety from the people that are like, oh, we’re gonna make a huge change here, they see it as a massive change. Some people in the room are actually, you can tell that they’re pretty excited because they’ve probably been saying the things that we’re saying underneath the hood, and they’re like, whoa, these guys get us. So you could tell they don’t have a lot of anxiety. And then you’ve got the buyer, the person who’s gonna sign the contract saying we’re doing this, so get on the bus. And that’s creating anxiety as well in the room, even though it’s not the sales team. So how would you suggest then that an organization address those different personalities and to kinda, do you separate, ’em out? Do you say, “Hey, I’d like to get some time with you over here and I’m gonna deal with this differently.” Like it’s a very complex situation. How would you reverse engineer that for success?

Benjamin: Yeah, so it’s certainly one, be aware of your personality style and then the personalities in the room, who are they? You also need to be aware of who has influence over who. I did this with a very large company, and they literally have a six-month sales cycle. Huge sales cycle, 30 plus conversations. Some of the conversations they have could be having three engineers in the room. And like, they’ve got like 10 people or more in a boardroom. And when I analyze their conversations, I’m like, are you aware that when you get the engineers in the room with like the senior level management who aren’t engineerial focused, you lose them? They start because it’s over their head, and they feel insecure. So now they have to actually start to do other things. And then they look and misread the interpretation of the other engineers. And so the thing is by having the wrong people talking about the wrong things at the right time causes a big problem. So the thing is you really wanna be aware of what’s being said. And a lot of the things that you don’t see people asking enough of is the right questions. Like for example, I spoke previously about the consequence questions. Really, really powerful questions. And I’m gonna, I’ll give it, is it okay if I share that with people now?

George: 100%, no, I’m on the edge of my seat.

Benjamin: I see George nodding his head. So he’s like, all right, yes, hell yes. So the thing is like each person has an objective. Each person and the problem with meetings like this is you need to be aware of who’s got the short-term objective, who’s got the long-term objective, and who’s being forced into this and doesn’t really want it. ‘Cause, there’s always one of those people, if not more.

George: Yeah.

Benjamin: There’s like, oh, I wanted this other vendor, blah, blah, blah, whatever reason. But the thing is the consequence question is really simple and it’s very, very powerful. So you’d say, “Hey George, what have you done about changing your situation?” Because now I actually find out from you what’s really, really, really important. And I can ask, well, what would you change if you could? ‘Cause I can, I wanna find out what you like, what you don’t like. And that type of question needs to be asked to everybody. But there’s a second layer to this that a lot of people don’t understand, and it’s asking them and going, well, what happens if you don’t achieve this goal? And the thing is everyone around that table, you need to be able to ask that question, and understand to them. ‘Cause, you know what? One of ’em is like, well, I just won’t hit my Q4 bonus. And that impacts me because I won’t get the $10,000 bonus that I was looking for, that I need, so for my wife’s surgery or whatever it is. So like they’re pushing this thing through.

George: So yeah, you know, everything that I hear, and I’m loving it by the way. And we’re probably even a little over time, which is even better because that means we’ve got some great stuff, but everything I hear goes back to something that I learned a long time ago, probably I didn’t adopt it right away, but I remember being told sales is about being a student and being curious and really caring about people, and understanding those people. And you said something earlier, they’re getting anxiety because of their personality and the way you’re approaching it, and you’re using these tricks on ’em and they could see it. And just asking that simple question of, so what does a win look like for you? What goal are you trying to accomplish? What problem are we trying to solve? What’s that problem worth to you? Well, it’s costing me $5,000 a month. Now you’ve got an economic factor that you can go in there to help them with. What will, what does good look like? And I love that you’re talking about, it’s not just the bonus, it’s what the bonus will be used to do. Like money’s an Abacus. It measures luck, it measures effort, it measures a lot of different things, but what does it really mean to that individual? And you’re getting to something that I love as well, and that is ask really good questions. Like what did you say earlier, Ben, I only have to talk 5% of the time?

Benjamin: You only wanna be pitching, your pitch should be less than 10%. 10% to 5% of an entire conversation. And the problem is a lot of sales reps are literally pitching 80, 90%. And there’s, I wanna point something now really quickly. There’s three types of salespeople. There’s salespeople, there is order takers and there’s people that pitch. And the people who pitch usually don’t know how to do the close. Cause they’re like, they’re hyping everything up. And what here’s a big one. Some sales trainer literally said, get excited, and get into your calls. They’re like, and when you’re running a phone sales team, you get everyone jazzed up in the morning, right, and you just turn, ’em loose on the phones. We actually see now that if you are too excited, it makes people step back. And this is a body language thing. So imagine that if you are talking with people and their first response is to literally lean back or sit back or like step back from you, that’s not a good experience. And this is, there’s a whole lot more science now that goes into conversations that wasn’t available 10 years ago, 20 years ago. And it even gets worse when the buyer dynamic is changing so quickly. What worked six months ago doesn’t necessarily work today.

George: No, try sending an email today and seeing what you get compared to sending an email three years ago. And we’re even seeing that, it’s really interesting. Plus technological changes and everything else. Ben, you gave us a lot to think about today and we really appreciate your time. Let’s point some people at your organization, we’ll make sure we put in the show notes as well, but we’ve been talking a lot about your company and the tools that you offer. So how would we go about reaching out to you to access those?

Benjamin: Really simple. You can reach out to help@behaviorsales.com. If you mentioned the good-looking George in your email request, you’ll get a free copy. This way, he’s got a face for radio, right? The, if you mention George’s name, all right, or where you listen to this podcast, we’ll actually get you a free copy in the digital course for “People Ignorant,” which will help you there, and some bonus resources there. So, and I think I’m working with Colleen to actually provide some sales training for your community very soon.

George: Oh, we’re very excited to bring you to the academy and community. And by the way, you’ve done a great job on researching me because you obviously spoke to my mother. Because she said a long time ago, you’ve got a face for radio, son. Ben, thanks for joining us all the way from Sarasota, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of your information inside the community and the academy. And just a great batch of information today, so we really appreciate that.

Benjamin: Hey, my pleasure, have fun.


George: Well, first off words matter, and taking into account actions that could disgust your prospect or customer. Wow, I don’t know much, but I know this: when people are in a state of being disgusted, the chances are pretty great you’re not gonna sell ’em something. Much less, expand a relationship and grow your business. Knowing the personality and communication style, but more important, knowing how your personality style can interact with a customer group is so important. Some personality styles want consistency, and some personality styles want the newest, latest, and greatest, somewhat an intense amount of detail. So we have to make sure that we are being a chameleon and understanding how we’re communicating, but also understand who we’re communicating with and how they might be perceiving our style. We also learned from Ben on how to address different personality types. Ensure that you’re building a connection with each individual you’re speaking with. You can’t ask your lead to fill out a hundred questions to understand their profile, like stop the entire discovery process and say, “Hey, here’s a survey. Fill this thing out, I’ll get back to you next week after I understand who you are.” Like, it’s just not gonna work out for you. Ben has come up with some programmatic ways to figure that out by analyzing language and data. That’s why he is one of the foremost experts under this topic. How important is this? As Ben has cautioned, you could lose potential customers, and they might misread the interpretation. Now you’re saying something, you’re delivering a value proposition, you’re maybe being a little pitchy, and the customer is just going, “Ugh, this is the most salesy thing I’ve ever been involved in.” I don’t, because they’re a little jaded against being approached that way. So you might wanna be thinking about that, that just there isn’t one approach for everybody. It’s around approaching them in a way that they can really truly consume the information and understand it and find the value. I hadn’t really thought about, I could spend 30 minutes with a customer and then walk outta the room and they go, “Wow, I’m so disgusted after listening to that gentleman speak.” But he’s right, that fight or flight that we all go through when we’re being presented with new ideas or new concepts or transformation is so important that we understand that, be aware of what’s being said. Have a high level of understanding of your audience. He did say this thing as well, that I wanna make sure that we drive home. Pitches should be less than 10% of talking and pitching. We’re getting there and you’re just hammering it home. He talked about the WAIT methodology, and you know that we’re killing acronyms. So, “Why Am I Talking?” I love that. Like just put a little sticky note right on the edge of your laptop and say, why am I talking? It’s either, we’ve talked about this on this show before, when you were delivering something, you were either building trust or you might actually be installing even more fear with the prospect. So that’s another way to think about this. There’s anxiety with the prospect or the customer, because the sales rep isn’t aware of the client’s personality and that’s impacting the message that they are hearing, the communication style. And if you’re only closing a quarter of your deals that you’re talking to, you’ve got a list of prospects, you got a pipeline and your close rate is at a quarter or whatever the metric might be, consider brushing up on how you’re adapting to the prospect’s personality. How you’re adapting your messaging based upon what might be important to them. And that will help you on adjusting that close number and your close percentage in a positive way. So some great takeaways from great episode from Ben, and I highly encourage you to take Ben up on his offer, it’s not every day that we get some free stuff here. That special offer was going to the email address, help@behaviorsales.com. Mention myself or the Conquer Local Podcast, and you’ll get a free edition of Ben’s digital course. If you liked this episode, discussing old-school closing strategies, let’s continue the conversation and check out Episode 532, Best Practices In Closing A Sale with James Muir, or Episode 416, Empathy in Sales from the legendary Jerry Acuff. Please subscribe and leave us a review, and thanks for joining us this week on the Conquer Local Podcast. My name is George Leith, I’ll see you when I see you.

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