Salespeople, Authentic Persuasion, and Selling are the main topics this week with the popular sales coach and trainer Jason Cutter. You can listen to the episode in our podcast section, on your favorite podcast service.
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Full transcript from Authentic Selling with Jason Cutter
Tim Kubiak 0:05
Hi, thanks for listening to bow ties and business. I’m your host Tim Kubiak. As always, please like and subscribe to the show. If you haven’t done so already. Please leave us a review. We much appreciate it. Follow us on our socials at bow ties in business on Facebook and Instagram and bow ties and bi z on Twitter. Today, our guest is Jason cutter. He’s the CEO of the cutter Consulting Group. He’s an author a podcaster. And he sees himself as a sales success architect for companies and individuals. Even though he didn’t have a sales upbringing or background, his bachelor’s degrees actually marine biology, we’re gonna talk a little bit about that. He knows what it takes to be successful in sales. his new book selling with authentic persuasion is focused on helping anyone in sales transform from an order taker to quote a brecker. To me, every week, we have salespeople, their managers and their business owners that come to us that are staring at their CRM systems, hoping they know what is going on in their must win game changing deals. You know, the kind the ones that keep the lights on the ones that make career the ones that push you over the top and get you to club. The Red Zone salesmen opportunity management app has helped me transform several businesses that I’ve run by increasing revenue and driving incremental gross margins. To learn more about how it can help accelerate your success. And it gives special offer for listeners just to the show, visit Timkubiak.com/redzone. And if you decide to check out use the discount code, bow ties and bo WTS. All one word for 20% off. Jason, thanks for being here. And welcome to the show. So as we said in the intro, today, we’re going to talk all about sales. So Jason, welcome to the show. Thanks for being here. Thanks,
Jason Cutter 1:53
Tim. Thanks, Tim. I’m super excited to be here without a bow tie. But I’m still excited.
Tim Kubiak 1:58
Hey, I went bow tie less today too. So I got away with it. Right. Like we talked about before we hit record, I would I had to go with a ridiculous color. And I wasn’t that smart till you came up with it. So why don’t you introduce yourself, tell some people about what you do, and about your show as well.
Jason Cutter 2:16
So my name again, Jason cutter, and I run a consulting company, my focus is on training, coaching, and helping sales teams increase their effectiveness, their performance, build systems, processes, you know, and sales operations. Also coach individuals who either sales reps or executives who want to, you know, increase their own effectiveness and performance. My book that actually just came out recently, it’s called selling with authentic persuasion. And the reason I mentioned that is that kind of ties in my framework and what I focus on, which is authentic persuasion as a way to sell more effectively instead of, you know, the lot the tricks and the tactics and the, you know, manipulation that people are worried about having to do to be successful in sales. I really focus on helping people just be effective professional persuaders, in an authentic, empathetic way with a system. And, and the funny part about this, which we can talk about is usually sales trainers, coaches, I mean, they’ve been selling for a long time they they grew up selling, maybe they had lemonade stands. I mean, for me, I was an awkward, shy only child with two very analytical parents who are anti ice, actually anti sales people like my mom was, and my bachelor’s degrees in marine biology. So like, this was not the path I was on, which is what makes it even more authentic. And I think actually helps me be very effective at what I what I do.
Tim Kubiak 3:44
So got to ask how’d you go from marine biology to sales?
Jason Cutter 3:48
Um, you know, I was, I was tagging sharks. And you know, I had really good degree from UC Santa Cruz was tagging sharks, working, you know, couple of jobs as well to pay the bills, because there’s not much money in tagging sharks, and I literally couldn’t get a job out of college with experience. Like I was trying to get it. The only job in the area was $8 an hour scrubbing boats for fishing game, and I couldn’t get that job. They gave it to a master student, late 90s everyone wanted to work at SeaWorld, everyone, you know, Shark Week was popular, everyone wanted to be a marine biologist. And I was so I was burnt out from school, which actually is really the fact that I didn’t know what I actually wanted to do with my life, and then ended up going a completely different path away from it.
Tim Kubiak 4:33
So what’s the first thing you sold?
Jason Cutter 4:35
Um, you know, from a professional standpoint, my first sales job at 27 was mortgages. So residential mortgage loan officer, which it’s not even sales because that was 2002. housing markets going nuts. Everyone wanted to buy a house. I lived in Washington State, you know, appreciation was just ridiculous. So people are like begging to, you know, get financing. I still screwed up a lot. I learned a ton of lessons. And I still, you know, lost a lot of deals, because I just didn’t know what I was doing and no training. But that was my first formal one. I mean, in reality, everything is sales. So I had some other retail type jobs that involve some say I was a waiter at a restaurant for years, which is sales. I didn’t know it. And if I went back in time, or I went into restaurants and was a server again, ah, game over, like, that would be a totally different game, knowing what I know now about persuasion, like, yeah, it would be amazing.
Tim Kubiak 5:29
So have you gone the other way? Have you been in a restaurant and see the server and say, Yep, they’d be a good salesperson.
Jason Cutter 5:35
I have, you know, whether it’s a in restaurant retail, you know, somebody who, in my opinion, does that consultative. They’re asking questions, they’re, they’re curious about what you want. And then they’re coming up with suggestions and ideas and assuming things and, you know, here’s what you should do. And here’s what we’ll set you up with? I mean, absolutely, I mean, you know, I’ve had experiences where I’ve gone to really nice restaurants, like for business purposes. And, you know, get to the point where you just tell the server, I totally trust you, you do what you do best. And, you know, here’s the budget and just go nuts.
Tim Kubiak 6:06
Nice. So your book, authentic persuasion. Talk a little bit more about what that means to you, and how it helps sales people?
Jason Cutter 6:15
Well, the subtitle is kind of, I was gonna go both ways with the book. So the subtitle is actually what gets a lot of people to understand it’s about, and that’s transformed from order taker to quote a breaker, and not necessarily in a terrible, derogatory way. But I feel in my experience from being in sales, leadership and around sales for now, what 18 years is that there’s a lot of people who have the title in sales, or they sell their own coaching or consulting their solopreneur, or business person. And they’re actually more like an order taker. So they’re, you know, giving the information reading from the brochure, or giving a good presentation, building a lot of rapport, and then hoping people buy from them. Generally, it’s one of two reasons. One is they were never trained, no one’s trained them taught them, they don’t have a script, they don’t have a system, they don’t, they don’t have the skills. And then the other reason is generally, because they also don’t want to be that guy, as I’ll say, right? Could be that girl, but it’s that guy, it’s that used car salesperson, it’s the one you see in the movies, right? Like, you know, the boiler rooms and the Wolf of Wall Street, they just don’t want to be that person, because they don’t like that person trying to manipulate them. And so instead, they kind of waffle and just sit back and hope people buy. And so I wrote the book, from my experience, were playing in the middle, which is be authentic, be who you are, focus on your strengths, and then persuade people as a professional would do, right? Like, actually figure out what they need, and then help them accomplish that in the right way for the right reasons. And you can do you know, achieve amazing results in sales when you put those two things together.
Tim Kubiak 7:58
As you say, Have you seen the buyer side journey change through the course of your career?
Jason Cutter 8:05
The biggest thing is, and this is where companies and salespeople still struggle with with getting it is the buyers are now ultra informed about what they’re going into, not everybody, right? There’s still those people who literally have no idea what what they’re about to buy or any information about it. But you should always assume that your buyer knows as much, or maybe more than you know about your own product or service. And the best example and people may want to argue with me this example, as we look at buying cars, especially in the United States, is very rarely I’m going to guess I haven’t taken a poll, it’s not official. So this is unofficial. I’m going to guess very rarely does somebody walk into a dealership on a Saturday afternoon with no idea what they’re looking for, with no idea what the options are in the prices. And then a few hours later on a whim just walk away with a car because somebody talked him into a car that they liked, right? versus researching, going into it and going, Okay, I pulled it up on my phone, this car cost $32,000 down the street. What do you know, what are you going to sell it to me for right? Or I know all the information, I don’t need someone to read the brochure. To me, what I need is for someone to set me up with a deal, right almost order taking where like they, they almost want somebody to just service them, but they still need some consultative help. And so the biggest shift is to stop assuming that the prospect the buyer needs a lecture or information or the brochure or knowledge or you know the features they don’t what they need is your wisdom. They need to know how does what you have actually fit with what they need or want or where they’re going. And that’s that’s the part right because at any moment on my phone, I can pull something up and know more than you about whatever you’re selling.
Tim Kubiak 9:56
And that’s a brilliant point because I think buyers Especially people that are dealing with competitive buying situations, know your competition better than you do as a seller in most cases.
Jason Cutter 10:09
Absolutely. And, and there’s still a lot of people out there in the sales world and businesses who think they still hold the cards, they still have the information and their job is to inform. When it’s not.
Tim Kubiak 10:22
Yeah. Yeah. What’s your view on Team selling, so bringing in non sales people into the sales process?
Jason Cutter 10:30
I think that’s brilliant. I mean, that’s really where kind of my authentic piece fits in as well, which is, I don’t know everything, I don’t have to know everything. I’m not perfect. I’m not like God’s gift to sales and knowledge, and all this stuff. And, and if you’re a professional, if you’re really trying to persuade someone to help them move forward, right, which is really about fear, it’s about helping them get over their fears, then you use whatever resources right, and it’s not about your ego, because what I see a lot of times where there’s people, salespeople, especially they have so much ego, they don’t want anyone else involved in their process, because it’s all about them. And they’re the keeper of the thing. And they’re the one who should get all the credit, right? They’re the one that’s going to ring the, the gong, hit the gong at the end, right? It’s all about them. Instead, it’s like, what’s the ultimate goal, if the goal is to help a prospect become a customer for life and a raving fan, and somebody who you’re, you’re helping get to a better place in their life, in their business, whatever that might be? Then do whatever it takes, bring in whatever resources bring in people who are way smarter than you about the stuff that you’re selling. And then you do what you do best, which is the relationship that persuasion and being a professional.
Tim Kubiak 11:40
Yeah, I’ve actually watched five, enhance people. And I pick on finance people, a lot. Engineers and logistics people sell more than the top flight salespeople, because they’ll ask questions a sales person’s probably afraid to.
Jason Cutter 11:54
And and that’s really like, if we get to the heart of what I focus on with people. It’s the fact that the most effective sales people I have seen, and I’ll use myself as an example, is generally someone who’s not trying to sell their their incentive, and their motivation isn’t sales and persuasion and moving someone forward and pushing somebody into it, or finding how to trick them, or using slick closing lines. Hey, Tim, if I could show you three ways to save $500 by Fridays is something you’d be interested in, like, I know all those lines, like I study all that stuff, but I would never use that because that’s not what prospects want, which is why engineers, you know, sales engineers, in actual engineers, all of those support people, when a prospect talks to them, they’re not trying to sell, which means there’s no selling, and people go, Okay, this is great. I want this because I’m making my decision for me not because I’m pushed.
Tim Kubiak 12:49
So what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever had happen or heard about happening on a sales call?
Jason Cutter 12:56
Um, you know, for me, you know, I used to deal with people who were in foreclosure all the time. And that was like, early on in my career, and definitely some crazy stories with people who trying to help who are losing their homes, you know, some heartbreaking stories, you know, times where I’m dealing with one person, like the wife, and you know, she’s afraid that if the husband finds out that she’s, you know, struggling with the house, like something bad’s gonna happen to her, and just really worried about her, you know, like the family house that had been handed down for generations is about to go to foreclosure The next day, and it’s all her fault. And, you know, it’s those times where it’s like, Okay, well, let’s figure this out together. Just so many times, especially dealing, I’ve dealt mostly with people in debt and with finances or businesses that are struggling. And yeah, lots of lots of lots of crazy high pressure, kind of, like, almost life or death situations.
Tim Kubiak 13:58
Yeah. I mean, that’s, you know, that’s way more serious than a lot of people see it in a selling environment, right. Because to your point earlier, a lot of it’s ego, and a lot of it is business to business, right. But when you’re dealing with consumers, or family businesses or family assets, I can’t imagine what that would feel like actually.
Jason Cutter 14:21
And what’s interesting is all the salespeople out for a lot of salespeople out there, and most of them it’s, it feels life and death, they have this life and death pressure, what they’re selling, they put so much pressure on the prospects like you need this or else right, it’s like, okay, yeah, but it’s the 19th marketing automation software out there, like Do they really need another another software they’re not going to use right so do it in a right way. Not this pressure, but I’ve been in enough, not life and death sale situations, but close to that where it’s like, hugely impactful, where it’s like, Okay, this matters. This doesn’t matter, like you know, make it’s all relative.
Tim Kubiak 14:59
The world’s changed, your business has changed because you can’t travel, my business has changed because I can’t travel with what’s going on. Any advice for people out there that are selling on? Everyone loves the word pivot right now pivots, ways to adapt, you know, etc.
Jason Cutter 15:16
You know, I think one of the biggest things is, and I’m seeing this with a lot of my clients and the people in coaching, is that you really have to be ultra open and creative to meet your prospect of people where they are not where you want to be. So for example, I deal with a lot of people who they want to just do email, and they want to do phone calls, right? But in this era, especially as everything goes virtual, everyone is remote people aren’t in there. Like if you’re selling business to business, they’re not in their office, they’re now in their living room, right? And so where are they that you can reach them? They’re not going to answer their phone, because they’ve got kids running around and there’s chaos. And who knows what’s going on? Are they’re on nine zoom calls a day, if they’re, if they’re like me. And so, you know, where are they? Are they on Facebook? Are they on LinkedIn? Right? So I teach a lot of people like, hey, expand it, like reach out to all your customers, your prospects on LinkedIn, find them on there and chat, because maybe they’re on there, and they’re, your emails gonna get buried in what in their inbox that makes them stressed. But hit, you know, find them on LinkedIn. You know, be professional, but try to meet them. Maybe they want to text back and forth. Maybe they use WhatsApp, like, try to meet them where they want to be, instead of forcing everyone to do what you want.
Tim Kubiak 16:36
So to clarify, on LinkedIn, are you talking about in mail and reaching out to them directly? Are you talking about posting and trying to generate interest or even advertising on the platform? What were you pointing people to?
Jason Cutter 16:51
So definitely not advertising. So in my experience, at least, this is my experience in a whole bunch of people. I know, LinkedIn advertising, is very expensive, and is good for a really high ticket price, where you’re willing to have a really high cost per lead and hot cost per acquisition. So you know, Facebook ads is better for that. But I mean, more of like, you know, connecting with them, sending them in mails, even, you know, if you have clients like I have, I have some, some clients who their clients are long term relationships they buy from them regularly, you know, periodically. And so it’s a long term thing. And so it’s about staying in touch with them. So connect with them on LinkedIn, and then just chat with them on their share content, you know, send in mails, and then I think if you’re on LinkedIn, it’s about connecting with people and then sharing, you know, not just sales pitch, but sharing, okay, hey, I saw this post, I thought this might be interesting for you, you know, check this out. And obviously, that depends on your sales cycle depends, you know, who your who your target is, how long it takes to close deals, what that relationships like, but, you know, just meet people where they’re at.
Tim Kubiak 18:00
WhatsApp, is that a legitimate business tool? Now?
Jason Cutter 18:03
I mean, I think so. I mean, it seems weird, because, you know, you wouldn’t think it would be. But again, there’s companies who are using it, there’s individuals who use it, there’s people who are way more comfortable with that also depends on who you’re selling. Like, I was talking to somebody yesterday. And I said, Hey, you know, I want to use this program that I use. And he said, Hey, can we use WhatsApp because I have international clients? And I’m on WhatsApp all the time. So it’s easier for me, and I’m like, Okay, that sounds good. Like I normally do my coaching on this other platform. voxer, which is like a walkie talkie app, makes it easy. But he wants to do what’s happened. I’m like, Okay, that sounds good. I mean, that’s where he’s already living in business. And so it makes sense. You hit a key corner.
Tim Kubiak 18:49
So the whole reason I started using WhatsApp umpteen years ago was because I was doing business in Latin America and parts of Europe and the Middle East, right, where it wasn’t blind. Um, and I’ve seen it grow. But the majority of my WhatsApp conversations outside of my one adult daughter, tend to be with people that are in different countries, and not so much the Americans.
Jason Cutter 19:13
Yeah, and so depending on who you’re dealing with, and depending on who they are, again, you might not be International, right? If you’re listening to this, but your clients might have some international aspect, and they might prefer and beyond what I am not. So people send me WhatsApp, and I’m so terrible about it, because I’m not spending time on they’re like, I have to actually check it. But, you know, where are your people at? And, you know, I get I think any platform can be used for business, especially when business prospecting, and you know, account management, like long term is all about relationships. So it’s not just about business. It’s not, hey, I’m going to send you an invoice. It’s also, you know, chatting back and forth. It’s rapport, it’s some empathy. It’s, you know, connecting with people people want to buy from people they know like and trust, right. That’s what Bob Berg says. And so like you all have That is in there, you might think, Okay, well, text is not appropriate for business, like businesses relationships, and right and so why not?
Tim Kubiak 20:08
So who’s a good client for you? The people you work with? What do they look like what their companies look like.
Jason Cutter 20:15
For me, it’s, it’s historically been two different things. One is a growing company who is struggling to scale and doesn’t have a lot of systems and processes. So it’s usually a small business where the owner is still dealing with the sales team, they haven’t gotten to the point where there’s other managers involved. You know, this, the owner is usually the best salesperson, because they’re living it they’re passionate about they created this company, they maybe they say things like, I don’t know why anybody else can’t sell it as good as I can. And they don’t have a script, they don’t have a process, maybe they don’t even have a CRM. And so I come in and fill in all those gaps, I can translate what the owner does really well into a sales, you know, operation. And so that’s always really fun, and scale it to the point where they can then you know, have this sales machine, if you will. And then on the other side is, is really any organization where there’s a consultative sale, generally over the phone, which is what I focus on helping because it’s harder than the face to face, even the video. But someone that has a consultative sale, they’re not closing enough, they’re they’re closing effectiveness, there’s their closing rate isn’t as high as they want it to be. And something like authentic persuasion would be a great training system for them. So come and do some training and then you know, coaching after the fact.
Tim Kubiak 21:29
Now you primarily target b2b b2c a mix.
Jason Cutter 21:34
So it’s it’s interesting, because all of my career in sales and sales leadership was all b2c. And then most of my time now as a consultant, most of my clients have been B to B. And so it’s both it’s it’s any, it’s really, you know, I focus on inside telephone sales. Generally, my clients are also inbound performance lead generation, so they’re buying some source of leads, or phone calls, which seems like the golden Cadillac of what you’d want to be right. The Glengarry leads, like I’m getting the good leads, but they’re usually expensive. And with an expense and a cost, there’s more pressure on the sales team. And so they need to perform better. And so that’s where I come in is to help them ensure they have a profitable cost per acquisition.
Tim Kubiak 22:19
Have you seen clients rates change since people conversion rates change since people work from home?
Jason Cutter 22:27
Yeah, I mean, there’s definitely been a dip for a lot of companies, the ones I’ve been working with, and then just the ones I’ve talked to, and I’ve seen, part of it is, you know, the, their clients are distracted, right? Whether it’s a consumer, or it’s a business, they’re all distracted, they’re working from home, they’re busy, the the process for getting approvals in a b2b space, like selling to a b2b type of client is harder, because they don’t just all get together in the office and have a meeting and approve budgets and approve expenses, then move on. Now, it’s, you know, six people spread all over the country. And they’ve got to schedule a zoom call or go back and forth. So approval times, like the rate, the speed of getting deals closed, is extending for a lot. And then on the flip side, what I’m seeing too is I’m seeing some of my clients who they actually provide a very valuable service that helps businesses, especially in times right now, like generate more business, generate more leads, you know, customer satisfaction, that kind of thing, where they’ve actually become more successful at closing deals now, because they’re positioned to actually help. I mean, I think it really just comes down to value. If you help somebody and your service is valuable, it’s always the right time to be closing deals,
Tim Kubiak 23:41
sales processes, everybody has a different one. And you talked about that owner led situation. And really, it’s almost like making the generational leap for business getting other people that can sell. But one of the things I run into with a lot of my clients is you have the owner that’s built the business and we’ll say, you know, the $5 million a year revenue business. And he has one salesperson that’s been with him for, say, 15 years, and that’s the other 50% of the business. That person flies the coop in, there’s no process, and there’s no tools, right to backfill that so that revenues may be walking out the door right away or leaking out the door. How do you approach that? Right? If it’s your client, you come in, are you looking at that sales vulnerability saying, look, you got to sellers.
Jason Cutter 24:30
Yeah, I mean, 100%. I mean, that’s really what I focus on. And the term that I use, which I’ll explain is MacDonald dicing, the sales process and the sales team, which I thought I was really slick with that I thought I made that up years ago. And then I did some research for a webinar I was putting on and I found out that somebody wrote a paper like a scholastic you know, paper on that like 20 years ago and use that term, the first one that I could find, but essentially for me, the way I look at it is you McDonald’s, their food isn’t great. It’s not what they do. But you know what you’re going to get. And it’s consistent. And they serve millions of hamburgers a day all over the world that are consistent the same with, you know, regular employees, not superstars. Not amazing five star chefs, it’s you know, teenagers who are entering the workforce, people who are re entering the workforce used to be like a minimum wage starter job, but it was consistent, you knew exactly what you were going to get every single time all over the world. And so what I see is that you should do some level of that with your sales process as well. Not that you want to churn out McDonald’s type results and fast food sales, but that you can systemize it and process it, and how do you make it so that you put anybody into your sales system into your team, and there’s a way to make them be successful without them having to be a superstar? They just have to follow your playbook and your script and your system. And it’s so laid out that what they bring with them is their ability to have conversations, and persuade and ask questions and build relationships. Everything else is there, right? Like they don’t have to think about it. They don’t have to deal with it. So that’s generally what I do for my clients, is help them build all of that and keep it from relying on those couple of superstars, right? I always assume, what happens if they quit tomorrow? What happens if they get sick? What happens if they leave? Right? What happens if they have to move away? And then what are you going to do? And you know, building everything you can to mitigate that when it does happen?
Tim Kubiak 26:33
So let’s take that and then look at what the CRM practices are. Right? Everyone’s not,
Unknown Speaker 26:39
Tim Kubiak 26:41
let’s have some fun. It’s not my CRM, it’s not
Unknown Speaker 26:44
yours, not talk about CRM usages.
Tim Kubiak 26:47
But the truth is, most of them, in my opinion, are mis deployed, not that they’re bad tools, they’re mis deployed.
Jason Cutter 26:54
Yeah, and, and it’s, it’s one of those challenges, right? Where it one of the fundamental issues, and it just is this way, is that the people who get into sales, that are generally attracted to sales, and generally good at sales, know that they’re successful in life and in sales, by talking, having relationships, persuading people, and or, you know, whatever they’ve got to do to close deals. And that’s kind of how they’ve gotten through life. That’s their special skill, right? their special skill in life is not data entry. It’s not filling in forms. It’s not making notes. It’s, it’s having conversations. And that’s where it’s challenging when you put in a CRM, or any kind of system, where you’re expecting this person whose skills are over here to do this thing over here. And it’s really tough. I think when it’s done really successfully, it’s when there’s a company culture, that encourages it, and supports it and makes it a part of their their culture, right. So it’s a cultural, like a corporate culture thing. And then also, when you have actual professionals, this is this is the difference to me is when you have a a salesperson who views themselves as a professional, then they view the CRM and the notes and the keeping track of it and putting in reminders. And you know, okay, I just talked to Ken and he was on his way to a soccer game. Next time I talk to them, ask them about how the soccer game went, Oh, I need to call him next Thursday, I should call him about that, like doing all of those things in there is now a professional because then it gets it out of their head, and they can go do what they do best on the next phone call. And they actually view that as the right thing to do. I make the analysis a lot with especially in the book and my training I do is to look at a salesperson, in the same way that a doctor works with patients, right. And there’s process which we could talk about. But relative to this, imagine if a doctor visited patients and helped people get better and didn’t make a single note in a chart or a file or in the system and didn’t make a note, just Hey, I’m gonna heal you. I fixed your broken leg now. Good luck. And there’s no notes anywhere. That would never happen in at least in the US and in organized medical practices. But salespeople don’t see themselves in the same way.
Tim Kubiak 29:12
That’s actually a brilliant comparison. I’ve never heard. You know, do you think it’s because salespeople want to control the knowledge to protect their incomes protect their power in an organization? Or do you think it’s a nature?
Jason Cutter 29:28
I think it’s more their nature? I don’t I don’t get the sense from all my experience, that it’s really that I mean, some small fraction of salespeople, you know, come from that scarcity, worried that someone else is going to get their leads or take their leads. Most of them don’t most of them, you know, they don’t have that concern or intention or ego that they’re worried about it right. They’re not like covering up all their good leads, you know, they want to take them. I think it’s just more it’s just not in their nature. I think it’s two things. One, it’s not in their nature. And then that’s their This is how do I say this? I’ll just say they’re not raised. Right? Right. They’re not parented, right? They’re not raised in sales, like my first sales job. My first day on the job was, here’s a lead sheet. Here’s the phone. We sent out 10,000 postcards, when the phone rings, fill in these, these items on the lead sheet, and then come get me that my boss, come get me. And then we’ll, we’ll deal with it from there. Right? Like I didn’t, there was no formal training, I didn’t get sales training. And then the other big thing that’s missing, which the medical, the legal field have these professions that we see, as professionals, there’s no professional body, there’s no training, there’s no certification, there’s no regulation of salespeople, you just show up and you’re a salesperson, like I’m not a salesperson, right? And then the world gets what it gets.
Tim Kubiak 30:51
Yeah, I actually use in one of my presentations, I use a picture of somebody just being pushed off a diving board and just flailing towards the water. And I put it up, and I’m mostly dealing with business owners and CEOs, right. And they’re like, this has nothing to do with my company. No, this is what you did your last 10 hires, actually. Right. You brought them in. And the other one I use, as I said, if somebody hired you, you know, to be a flagman on a construction road site. And you showed up for work. And they said, there’s the bulldozer, the road needs to be 30 feet wide, and there’s some back to summat build a road, would you expect the person to build a road? And they’re like, no, that’s stupid. Nobody would ever do that. Right? I’m like, exactly. But we do this to salespeople all the time.
Jason Cutter 31:37
Yeah, and I think that’s really where the issue is, you know, and, and, and again, if you train somebody, if you raised somebody like you would want to, you know, raise your own family, if you raise somebody in sales to do things the right way and made it a habit and you enter in and here’s why. Here’s why the CRM matters, right? Like I’m having this conversation all the time with salespeople is like, here’s why the CRM matters. It’s not just a terrible thing that management making you do, because they hate you, or they want to control you or micromanage you, it’s your tool to help you win at sales, because you can’t keep it all in your head. Right? And so when you understand the why, but if you raise them, right, race, somebody in sales, with the training and all of the tools, then it’s a whole different thing. But that’s not what happens in the world.
Tim Kubiak 32:26
No, that’s, that’s not the reality at all. Shoot, you said something there, I lost my thought. So I started really thinking through that, Oh, um, marketing databases, do you see them as valuable to the sales organization and aligned more often than not, or, or they just simply run in or in silos?
Jason Cutter 32:49
It’s, it’s the unfortunate side of the business is that it’s so siloed and separated.
And that’s putting it nicely.
It’s usually even worse than that, where it’s actually toxic. And, and, and a battle between the two different departments, right marketing and sales. You know, sales points the finger at marketing, that they’re not giving them the good leads, marketing is pointing the finger at sales, saying sales isn’t closing the leads that they’re getting, because they’re not, they are good, right? They fit the parameters, or sales isn’t following up with the leads enough? If they did, they would, they would close more. Neither side is wrong, although, you know, and I’ll say this, even as a sales guy, sales is usually the one who’s more at fault. They point the finger at everybody. But it’s really you know, sometimes about them. And what I love the most is there’s a trend, there’s now a new title that I’ve only seen in the last year. Specially coming out of tech companies, Barry started, and then it’s kind of spring from there, which is this Yarrow, right the chief revenue officer, it’s the director of revenue Ops, it’s the revenue ops manager, which is this person who sees over all of revenue Ops, which would be marketing, sales, sometimes customer service, client success, retention, mean anything that has to do with revenue and the client and the money, not the fulfillment is somebody who’s running it and bringing it all together so that everyone is rowing in the right direction. That’s the way I even had that title. Before it was a thing. I used to be called the VP of Marketing, because I had sales and marketing under me. And it’s like, because it’s one client, right? It’s one customer, we want to move forward. So everyone should be working together. And unfortunately, most the time it’s not, which is where companies just shoot themselves in the foot like crazy.
Tim Kubiak 34:39
That’s an interesting topic, the CRL versus an IE VP or SVP of sales. And I deal with barrier companies in there’s still a mismatch right?
Jason Cutter 34:51
There is there is and it’s really tough because you know, what usually happens and again, this might trigger some people but it’s the truth. Usually what happens is a sale really good salesperson, usually really good salesperson becomes a really good sales manager or becomes a sales manager, maybe not very good sales manager, but they become a sales manager. And then what happens is some somewhere in their cycle, they keep moving up, and they become a VP of sales, and they’re bringing is focused on sales, and they know sales. And so they, and this is just the nature of a lot of organizations, they just view everyone else is out there to serve sales, or they think that everyone else is trying to impede sales, right? Like Customer service is just killing my deals and making people cancel, it’s all their fault, right? Like, no, maybe it’s, you know, a team event, maybe it’s a company thing, or maybe it’s your sales, people who aren’t selling it appropriately setting the right expectation. And so what happens is that sales, and then the marketing person, right, like grew up in marketing, dealing with marketing became a VP of Marketing. And that’s their focus. And so it’s tough, it’s tough, if you, you grow up in that silo, and then you’re representing that silo to build bridges. And that’s really a tough one. And, and then really, what it comes down to, in my experience, is there’s only three main types of owners or founders and creators of businesses, I mean, that outside of other thought processes, but it’s either an owner who’s a salesperson, and can sell really well, it’s an owner creator, who’s a marketer. And so they created something, they started something and they know how to market the crap out of it, right. And so their brain goes to marketing, not sales, not the rest, or they’re a technical founder, creator, which is like, I’m really good at building websites. So like, that’s what I know. And then the other parts are there to serve them, wherever whatever their brain is, is naturally going to is the department they will always bias and stand up for and then support the most.
Tim Kubiak 36:52
In that third type of founder, you’re surrounded by them where you live, right? Yep. Um, that’s an interesting progression as a sales leader, to watch that struggle between development and innovation and market acceptance.
Jason Cutter 37:12
Yeah, and I and I see that all the time, right, I go to the least when it was legal, go to meetings, go to networking, things go to events in the Bay Area. And yeah, you have this technical founder who’s made this really great program, and they just think it’s going to take over the world. It’s going to be the next Facebook or Amazon. And it’s like, oh, how are you going to sell it? Oh, we’re just going to put it online. And everyone’s just going to sign up for it. It’s like, Okay, good luck with that.
Tim Kubiak 37:34
Yeah. Yeah, I’ve walked through Moscone enough times. Yet, tech trade shows, and you can just watch the logos change, they’ll be there for two or three years, neither grow and get a bigger booth. They go out of business or they get acquired. Yeah, that’s it. Right? Nobody stays at that size anymore. Nope. Is there a single type of person that’s a great salesperson, or Can anyone with any personality traits be successful?
Jason Cutter 38:06
I firmly believe that anybody can be. And this is, again, coming from me with a marine biology degree and the hot mess of a background that I have on paper. And then also just the hundreds and hundreds of salespeople I have seen come and then also, unfortunately, go over the years. I haven’t kept track, maybe it’s thousand thousands, you know, people from all kinds of backgrounds, somebody who’s working at the mall. And then you put them in a desk with a phone, you give them some training, and they just, they crush it better than somebody who’s been doing it for a long time, who’s stuck in their ways. For me, it’s really about traits. And it’s really about their their, their openness, their curiosity, their ability to empathize, like, what what their, why they want to be successful in sales, and then what they’re bringing with them that are their strengths, how self aware they are, and then just, you know, focusing on those strengths, right? Like, if you’re an analytical person, and you love data, I still think you can be a great salesperson, you got to moderate what you’re going to give out as far as the data. But again, going back to the sales engineer, and the team selling like you asked earlier, that kind of persons, it’s not what the prospects expecting, and so their guard is going to go down. And it’s a whole different conversation. So I firmly believe anybody who wants to be successful can be Now that being said, there’s some people who sales persuasion, they don’t have the stomach for it, they don’t really like it, it’s too far out of their comfort zone. And they’re better for customer service account managers, you know, but sometimes you just got to try it and figure it out and see where you should land.
Tim Kubiak 39:41
To that point. And you talked a little bit earlier about people coming up in silos. One of the things that I think large companies used to do well, was cross trained people functionally, right? Yeah, understood how the warehouse or the supply chain work. If you were in sales, maybe you even to truly rise it In the company, even as a sales later you had to work in those other parts of the business. I think that’s a lost art. What about you? Are you seeing anyone do that? Well,
Jason Cutter 40:11
I don’t know about larger companies, I think once you get very, you know, big and established, it’s too much to change the ship. And everyone has to, like, connected and defensive of their piece of the corporate, you know, pie the puzzle, and they’re worried about their ladder versus, you know, everyone else’s ladder. And I’m terrible in corporations with the political game, because I don’t care and I don’t play them. And, you know, I’m there for the company and the clients, not the games. But what I think is the small companies who do it well, that’s one of the things that I’ve always instituted at companies I’ve been at. And then now as a consultant, were literally in the training process in a salespersons, first month, they’re learning sales, they’re doing a little bit of work on the phone and doing sales. And then they’re spending time in customer service. They’re spending time in retention, they’re spending time in account management, even the processing of whatever it is, whether it’s a service or a product, because to sell it better, you have to know what the experience is like for the customer once they become a customer. And then also learn and like that’s why I always put salespeople in retention, because they can hear the phone calls of what it’s like when somebody wants to cancel, and they probably want to cancel because they didn’t get sold correctly. Right? They didn’t get told everything they expectations weren’t set, right. Like somebody over promised. Somebody just straight up lied, maybe like, it’s just unfortunately, what people do. And then I’ve always had it where they then go back to their sales desk, and they’re like, oh, man, okay, now I get it right. Like, now I know what to say and not say, because I don’t want that to happen to my clients. So I think that’s, I think that’s that should be necessary that should be Now obviously, if it was a profession, like, like legal and like medical, where they do that cross training, right, like, they have rotations, they make you go through other fields, like as the medical, it’s like, I have to do this rotation and then do this. You know, I just wish that was there for sales.
Tim Kubiak 42:09
Yeah, sales training is not, here’s 15 seconds of product information. 12 seconds of why we’re great. And by the way, this is our HR policy. Right? Yeah. Yeah. So how do you progress? How do you become the professional?
Jason Cutter 42:23
You know, I think really, what it is, is, is deciding that you want to be a professional, that you want to have a long term successful, you know, higher performing consistent career. So not just consistently, at this level, but like a higher performing consistent one, right? Where there’s obviously there’s always ups and downs, but you mitigate those. And so it’s about making that decision saying, Okay, this is something I want. And then it’s putting in that effort. I mean, it’s, it’s, this is where most people kind of get freaked out, because everyone wants it instant and wants it now. But it really comes down to that Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours, you want to be a professional, it’s something it takes just a ton of time, and focused time. Not just but in a seat, but like wanting to get better. It’s listening to your own phone calls. It’s, it’s getting feedback. It’s, it’s hiring a coach, it’s getting a mentor, it’s it’s reading books, it’s studying, it’s putting in that effort, and then play the long game. Right? say, Okay, I just do this five years, 10 years down the road, I’ll just be a master at it. And it’ll be easy. And so it’s just shifting from short term like, you know, who cares? I don’t even know if I’m going to be in this job next week to I’m going to make sales, a career and a profession. And then how do I just get better?
Tim Kubiak 43:41
You talk about resources, talk about journey, share a little bit about what people can find on your website.
Jason Cutter 43:48
So for me, like, this is my main focus. So I work with companies to help them build this right. So all this stuff we talked about. And then you know, I have the book, also have a podcast, the podcast is called the sales experience podcast, which you can find everywhere. And, you know, that’s really focused on that whole journey as well. It’s for salespeople and leaders and business owners, but it’s about the sales experience, both from a sales seller perspective, like what’s their experience, what are how are they doing as a professional? And then what’s the experience they’re providing for the customer? Like, what is that like, and when it’s done appropriately, then, you know, you’re creating raving fans and customers for life, whether it’s a short sales cycle, or it’s, you know, giant enterprise doesn’t matter. So that and then I have my blog, I, you know, do a lot of writing for other blogs, and on other shows, like yourself. And so and then I also have an online training course, like a mini course that people can sign up for, to help. It’s called persuading, like a professional. And so it kind of takes us in a little more depth for somebody who wants to make that shift in their sales career.
Tim Kubiak 44:55
So let’s have the question your top performing salesperson, you’re offered Promotion become a manager? What should you be considering? Before you say yes to running a team?
Jason Cutter 45:09
So the biggest thing I would say, I mean, you know, the surface one is, am I going to be okay with whatever the comp plan is because going from a top performing sales rep to a manager, instantly will mean a drop in pay. Right? If the organization does it, right, the organization will mean a drop in pay. So, you know, top performing sales rep is here, like, you know, this bracket manager is like this, where they don’t make as a basic manager doesn’t make as much as a great salesperson. But if the comp plan set up, right, a great manager should make more than great salespeople, right? Because they’re getting the collective value. So just be okay with that drop and pay, which most top salespeople aren’t. Really The thing is, is to be self aware and ask yourself, if you love coaching, and training, and developing other people in sales, and if you have the ability to be a coach. And the reason why I say that, and if we look at like, say basketball because I’m the author of all the sports, I’m a basketball fan. But in any sport, you don’t see top performing players become coaches. Now part of it is I think they just don’t need to write. But I think really what it is, is a lot of times you do something for so long, you get at the top of your game, and let’s say like a LeBron James, for example, in basketball, you know, if someone’s like, hey, teach me how to dunk, he’s like, okay, you just run here and you do this and you’re done. He’s like, I he’s been doing it for so long. It’s so natural, like, how does he show like, okay, let’s work on these shots. Like, let me show you how to shoot. A lot of times, they can’t they’re not good coat, it’s just so natural. Plus, they’ve worked on it so hard. Here’s the problem for most leaders who used to be really good in the top of their game, they don’t understand why other people aren’t working as hard as they did and don’t get it, why they can’t see the matrix. And so if you are okay with becoming a manager, and a coach, and you can help other people, even if they can’t see the matrix, even if they don’t get what you got automatically, then you should make that leap. If you love coaching them and you love giving advice, and you’re totally patient with them, then do it. If you don’t understand why everyone else can’t be as amazing as you and you’re only going to favor the people who are also rockstars. Don’t do it. Don’t become a manager.
Tim Kubiak 47:30
Yeah, the title is not worth the pain in many cases.
Jason Cutter 47:34
No for you, for them for the organization. For the customers, you won’t like it being managers not reports and accountability. And you being held accountable to different things. And your success is relying on other people being successful. And top salespeople are generally only they only like playing a solo game. They want to play tennis, they don’t want to play football. Right. And so that’s a completely different beast when your success and your livelihood and your ego in your position in the company is based on a team. And are you okay with that? Yeah,
Tim Kubiak 48:05
yeah. So what did I ask you that I should have?
Jason Cutter 48:09
I think you’ve actually done a great job. I can’t think of a single thing that you didn’t ask me about. On this, like some questions I wasn’t even expecting.
Tim Kubiak 48:17
Because Oh, good. Well, I appreciate you taking the time. Thanks for being here.
Jason Cutter 48:22
This was great. Thanks for thanks for having me on here.
Tim Kubiak 48:35
Again, thanks to Jason for being here. I always appreciate when people share their stories, shared a message and provide our listeners with powerful information. Jason certainly did that. So you can find everything that he’s working on at Jason cutter.com. His Facebook group is authentic persuasion, finding like is on there. Certainly from Jason cutter.com. You can get to his podcast, his LinkedIn and everything else you need to know about them. I know I’m talking to you guys about redzone a lot. But stop and think if your team missed a committed do or lost a sale without knowing why you’re listening to this. If it’s around the time it came out. We’re well into the fourth quarter and looking at our 2021 take a minute stop and go to Tim kubiak.com/redzone to learn about the red zone sales opportunity management app and go from I think two I know in all your important must win game changing deals as the listener to the show at checkout. If you choose to buy, use the word bow ties “Bowties” all one word for 20% off. Thanks for listening. Talk to you next week.