Wes Schaeffer is The Sales Whisperer®, an Air Force veteran, host of The Sales Podcast, an author, founder of The Make Every Sale Program, and a HubSpot and Infusionsoft partner.
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The Sales Whisperer – Wes’ website
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3 Value Bombs
1) Always start with empathy and understanding where your customer’s pain point is.
2) Selling through manipulation and persuasion are different things, and it’s the purpose that differentiates them.
3) Your ads should be interesting and compelling — not boring!
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(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
[00:59] – Wes spent 9 years in the air force and went into sales after
[01:07] – He has 7 children and has been married for 22 years
[02:23] – Empathy is the number 1 trait for salespeople
[02:59] – Understand your customer’s pain points and start from there
[04:05] – Wes hates the old school tradition of selling
[04:15] – “The difference between manipulation and persuasion is the purpose — what is the end goal?”
[06:19] – The number 1 job of a business owner is to market his/her business
[07:05] – “No one will market your business with the passion and the intensity that you will”
[07:44] – A sales manager acts like a head coach on the sales team
[09:41] – “Always be recruiting”
[10:27] – Being boring is the number 1 sin a person can make in marketing
[12:24] – Sometimes winning means not making a sale
[15:10] – Marketers tend to ruin everything, BUT email marketing still works
[17:17] – Wes was watching The Dog Whisperer in September 2006 and remembered that Cesar Millan said he rehabilitates dogs and trains the owners. He realized he was doing the same thing — rehabilitating sales people and training sales managers
Wes Schaeffer: That would be in the affirmative.
John: Yes! Wes is the Sales Whisperer. An Air Force veteran, host of The Sales Podcast, and author and the founder of the Make Every Sale program. Wes, take a minute, fill in some gaps in that intro, and give us just a little glimpse into your personal life.
Wes Schaeffer: Hey man. Yeah, I spent nine years in the Air Force, got out in ’97, and have been in full-time sales ever since. It has put a roof over the heads of my seven children and wife of 22+ years, I’ve written a couple of books, and I’m really just trying to be more like you every single day.
John: [Laughing] You know how to butter me up, Wes. And Fire Nation, if you recognize Wes’ voice, that’s because he was on EoFire Episode 582. I won’t make you do the math live, Wes, but that was 1364 episodes ago! Mind blown. I’m glad that we’re gonna be hanging out this coming February in San Diego at Social Media Marketing World 2018. So, that’ll be a blast to high-five and share a drink – well not share a drink, but we’ll have a drink together. How does that sound?
Wes Schaeffer: There you go, there you go.
John: So, I wanna dive in because you have a lot of value to give. Fire Nation, as always, Wes is gonna come on and drop some value bombs, but if you wanna hear his journey, go back to Episode 582. He shares his worst moment, his “Aha” moment, we talk about some really cool things in his journey. But, today, we’re gonna be talking about things that he just dominates, that he just is an absolute expert in. Number one being, what is, Wes, the No. 1 trait of professional sales people? What’s that trait?
Wes Schaeffer: You know, a lot of times it surprises people, but I tell them that it’s empathy. And empathy is different than sympathy. Empathy is, you have the ability to walk a mile in their shoes, you know what it’s like, you see things from your customer’s perspective. They say that in debate as well. When somebody’s preparing for a debate, or in a court-of-law when you’re preparing your case, if you can argue the other person’s point better than they can, then you’ll win, right? So, that’s a weird sort of empathy, in a way. But, as a salesperson, if we understand where they’re coming from, what their pain points are, and if we can then – if our solution truly helps them, then we can get that point across.
Great salespeople know as well, that a sale may not always be in the best interest of the customer, right? Maybe it’s a referral, maybe it’s a recommendation, maybe it’s a down-sell into something smaller that you have that fits them. But, empathy, walking a mile in their shoes, will serve you forever in the profession of sales.
John: So, I think that this next question is really relevant especially for my audience, Fire Nation. I mean, a lot of the listeners are entrepreneurs, small business owners, solo-preneurs, fill in the blank, and frankly, they may either hate selling, or not like the idea of selling, or maybe they just don’t consider themselves great at selling. So, the question has to be, can I as an individual, be a successful entrepreneur and hate selling at the same time?
Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, I mean “hate selling” is kind of a strong word. But, in the old-school traditional definition of selling, yeah I hate it too! I am not big on overcoming objections and NLP and manipulating people. Because really the difference between manipulation and persuasion is the purpose. What’s the end-goal? Are you there just to rip them off and take their money? Then yeah, you should hate selling if that’s what you think selling is.
If you think that selling – you know it comes from the Norwegian word that literally means “to serve”. So, if you believe that you’re there to serve the marketplace, and sometimes you do have to sit down with that person, sometimes they may not know what they need. Most of the time, your prospects are worried, their defenses are up because we’ve all been lied to, ripped off, pushed, bullied into buying something that wasn’t in our best interest. So, as long as you’re comfortable serving, and to serve that means you question, just like a doctor.
They’re gonna ask you a bunch of questions, “Where have you been? How long have you had this rash? Anybody else in your family have this?” They’re asking all of these questions, you know? So, that’s how they serve. Is that doctor selling you? “Hey John, you’ve got an infection in your leg. Take these antibiotics for seven days and come back if it doesn’t get better.” Is that doctor selling you, or are they serving you? But, they are getting paid, right? They’re getting paid on that prescription, probably. They’re getting paid certainly when you come to the office. So, as long as you don’t mind following a process and diagnosing by asking better questions, and then simply helping that prospect acquire something that you may get compensated for, but it provides value, then you’ll be fine in sales.
John: Alright, first-off, Fire Nation, this is an audio-only interview, so Wes is not looking at me on a video being like, “What’s that rash on John’s leg?” This is a purely a hypothetical example so just recognize, he’s pulled that out of nowhere, he has no basis for that.
Wes Schaeffer: [Laughing] I can neither confirm nor deny if I saw anything on your Facebook profile.
John: [Laughing] We are entrepreneurs, Fire Nation is, and because of that, we’re business owners. We’re entrepreneurs, we’re business owners. So, what is the No. 1 job of a business owner?
Wes Schaeffer: It is to market your business. Too often we see a web designer, a carpenter, I mean you name it – look at Joe Polish, carpet cleaning. That guy’s super famous and wealthy because he learned how to market his business, and then how to train others to market their business. You can hire somebody like me to come in and help you market your business; but, it’s your business, it’s your story, it’s your passion. So, you need to understand what makes you unique. Why should I buy from you? You can always hire a bookkeeper, you can hire a financial officer, you can hire someone to do HR, but no one is going to market your business with the passion and the intensity that you will. So, as soon as you embrace that, you’re gonna be on the right trajectory.
John: So, the reality is this. When we are entrepreneurs, and we’re business owners, at some point we may want to hire a sales manager, or we might have to be that sales manager. So, at that point, what’s the No. 1 job of the sales manager, either if that’s us or somebody that we bring in?
Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, and in the beginning we’re all wearing multiple hats. But, often people think the sales manager’s job is to beat the salespeople into submission until they make their numbers. But, the reality is, the No. 1 job of the sales manager is kinda like the No. 1 job of a head coach.
We just had the Alabama-Georgia game on, and I’ll ask people, when did Alabama win the National Championship? People will say, “Monday, January 8th”. But, the reality is, Nick Saban understands the need, the necessity, the importance, of recruiting. Ultimately, that’s his No. 1 job. Same thing with the sales manager, you have to recruit. Nick Saban knows that he’s only gonna have these kids for five years, at the most. He can start recruiting them two years before they sign. So, he has to look out seven years – so his fifth year seniors that just won this game, he was talking to them in 2011. So, sales managers – and that doesn’t mean you’re always hiring, okay? Nick Saban and his coaches, they may talk to 100 kids and they can only sign 52 or 54, whatever the number is I forget exactly, I think that they can have 54 on the roster. So, you’re always turning over rocks. When you find a superstar, you make room for them.
But, you’re also building up bench strength, right? I mean, Nick Saban, he benched his starting quarterback and started a true freshman in the second half because he had that bench strength. You never know when your No. 1 superstar will hit a road-block, get into a rut, or just quit. Maybe they get recruited away. If you haven’t built up some bench strength, then you’re gonna be circling the drain. Then it’s like, “Oh my gosh, my top salesperson just left. Does anybody know anybody that’s good at sales? I need somebody.” Blah, blah, blah. So, now you bring in the very first person that can fog a mirror and then they’re not any good, and then it always spirals down.
So, always be recruiting so when you find that superstar you’ll recognize them, you’ll make room for them, or you’ll be able to call them up quickly in an emergency.
John: Well, 1.) great analogy with college football, I was definitely following along and it made a lot of sense and 2.) Fire Nation, more value bombs are coming with a little teaser. We’re gonna be talking about the No. 1 sin of marketing when we get back from thanking our sponsors.
So, Wes, we’re back. I gave a little teaser before the break but let’s just get right into it. Let’s be honest, there’s a lot of sins when it comes to marketing. In your opinion, what’s the No. 1 sin?
Wes Schaeffer: You know, Dan Kennedy has pounded this into my head for over a decade and it’s being boring. I think it was Ogilvie that said, “People don’t read an ad. Sometimes they’ll read what interests them, and sometimes it might be your ad.” Okay? So, be interesting, be compelling. You see these things that go viral because they’re interesting. I hate the adage but it’s true, you gotta think outside the box. You gotta do things – look at what your competition is doing, and do the opposite. That’s usually a good place to start with your marketing. So, you can’t be boring. It needs to be informative, it needs to be educational. It has to have a call-to-action. If there is no call-to-action, no action will be taken. So, just figure out, how can you stand apart because we’re all so busy. Multiple monitors, multiple tabs on each monitor, multiple devices, I’ve got iPads blinging, we’ve got Apple watches blinging, we’ve got iPhones blinging, we’ve got direct-mail a little bit coming in, the phones ringing, and you’re trying to compete with all of that. Plus, all of the ads on Facebook, plus all of the debates, plus sports, plus kids, you know? Your marketing has to take your prospects to another world, right? Get them thinking – get them to stop thinking and worrying about their current situation, and open their minds and pause for a minute to give you time to get a toe-hold with an interesting and compelling message. Then, you can move them along the buyer journey.
John: Wes, I’m a competitive guy. I have no doubt that you’re probably pretty competitive yourself. I mean, as entrepreneurs, a lot of the times we just wanna win, win, win, no matter what. But, is it possible to win all of the time? Is it possible to make every sale?
Wes Schaeffer: Yes. But, let me explain what I mean by “make every sale” because sometimes winning means not making the sale. Sometimes, somebody is not right for you. So, I have a double meaning with that “make every sale” in the Make Every Sale program. On the one hand, yes, the goal is to make every sale. Literally make every opportunity – every chance you get to make a sale, you close the sale, you get the money, they become a customer. That would be a dream world, right? That would be like shooting a birdie on 18 holes in a row – maybe you know what, shooting an eagle on 18 holes in a row. Shooting 36 under, right? So, that’s always our goal. Will it happen? No, it won’t happen.
But, the other meaning behind “make every sale” is – you know I say, to make any sale, you must make every sale. What I mean by that, is there’s multiple little sales that happen along the way, and I have a section in my program and my live training where I talk about dating equals sales. You have to – you decide to go out to a club. Well, the first sale is, I don’t know, you shower. You do your hair, you shave, you put on deodorant, you put on cologne, you shine your shoes. Each of those is a little sale. You brush your teeth. You make sure you don’t have stinky breath. Then, when you see somebody you like, you approach her and you smile. You don’t have a cheesy line, you ask her to dance. You actually know how to dance. Each of those are little sales, okay?
So, in our businesses, how does our website look? How do our emails look? What does our voicemail sound like? How are we in person? What is our free report? Do we actually deliver? Do we over-deliver? Each of those are little sales. So, when I say to make any sale, you must make every sale, that’s what I mean. Do you have a process, have you mapped this out? Do your Facebook ads make sense? Do they go to an effective landing page? Does it have a clear call-to-action? Does it have a compelling message? All of those things must be considered. And you know what? They have to be edited, and updated, and modified over time. Even the U.S. Army, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, companies that we all know, entities that we know, are still changing their motto, changing their slogan every now and then. They call it ad fatigue. So, what works today, it may work for another year, it may work for five years, if you’re lucky. But, it will stop working eventually. So, you’ve got to keep modifying that to keep making every sale.
John: So, there’s a lot of people, Wes, that say “marketers ruin everything, entrepreneurs ruin everything”. Like one thing that a lot of people say that we’ve ruined is email marketing. Is that true? Is email marketing dead? Did we ruin it?
Wes Schaeffer: Well, marketers do tend to ruin everything. Kinda, sorta, true. But, I love the stories when anything is dead. “Text message marketing is dead”, blah, blah, blah. Email marketing still works. But, it still goes back to what we were talking about. You can’t be boring, the No. 1 sin of marketing. There’s compelling evidence that – I mean, there’s still a ton of email going out. Still, when you talk to prospects they’re like, “Hey, send me an email.”
You know, you need to consider who you’re selling to as well. I think we can become jaded in this space as marketers, as digital marketers, as entrepreneurs. We are light-years ahead of the average consumer. If you’re in the B-to-B space, there’s not that much going on so you can still reach business owners with a compelling message over email. But again, it goes back to making every sale. How did you get that email? Are you buying a list and spamming these people? Yeah, email marketing is probably dead and you’re probably gonna get fined. But, if you had a good offer, if they voluntarily provided that email, if you over-deliver, if you delight to the upside, if you’re not boring, if you’re entertaining, yes, even in business you can be entertaining; then, email marketing is alive and well.
The platforms that I work with, Hubspot and Fusionsoft, they’ll give you notifications. I know when you’re opening that email, I know when you’re engaging, I know when you’re clicking a certain link, I know when you’re coming back to my website, I know when you’re viewing my sales page. Then, I can follow up with you to make every sale.
John: So, Wes, I know that I go to you when I wanna learn things about what’s alive, what’s dead, what needs to be whispered in people’s ear, and such. Kinda dive in with Fire Nation, really quickly, really briefly, where did that origin story come from? How did you become the Sales Whisperer? I’ve always wondered.
Wes Schaeffer: You know, I was literally watching the Dog Whisperer on Sept. 1st, 2006. I had my laptop on my lap, a little multitasking, and I remember him saying that he rehabilitates the dogs and he trains the owners. Because the reality is, if you’ve ever owned a pet, you see these big dogs, little dogs, they’re yapping, they’re going crazy, because the owners aren’t setting the pace. They’re pack animals, and humans, we’re pack animals, right? We’re social creatures. We’re always looking for that alpha male, that alpha female in the group. Somebody will take charge when there’s two or more people. I heard him say that, and I was like, “Man, I do that!”
I rehabilitate salespeople that have been abused by their sales managers, and I train the sales managers who usually have never had sales training. They’ve never had sales management training. So, they’re taking their attributes that made them great salespeople. They’re aggressive, they think short-term, they can push to hit a deadline, they’re lone wolves. Now, they have to nurture, train, and develop people, and they’ve never had that training. “Golly John, I had that territory, I was 200 percent over quota and you’re only 80 percent of quota, you must suck. Why are you even – ” and then you’re like, “Dude, why am I working with this guy?” You can’t take that approach. So, it was literally – I bought the domain name on that day, I remember because I get the renewals every year. Then, about two years later I trademarked it, and the rest is history.
John: History baby. And Wes, I wanna end Today on Fire with you telling us a little more about the Make Every Sale program because I’m a little curious, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Wes Schaeffer: Man, well that has evolved over several years – many, many years actually. I built it first as 30-Day Sales Growth, it was 30 lessons sent to people. Really, I was self-teaching myself, a membership site. Back then it was $97. But people that enrolled – and really I gave it away as a bonus for those that bought Fusionsoft or Hubspot from me. Then, that has evolved, there are 41 videos in there now, almost a 70-page workbook, there’s live-calls, private groups, so that has evolved tremendously over the years. I have spreadsheets, boiler-plate agreements, templates, scripts, everything you can use that you would need to make every sale. I’m always adding to it, so it’s a living, breathing, entity. So, if your goal is to get better in sales, check it out at makeeverysale.com.
John: Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people that you spend the most time with, and you’ve been hanging out with WS and JLD today. So, keep up the heat. Head over to EoFire.com, type Wes in the search bar, W-E-S, and this will pop up, this episode as well as his other episode, Episode 582, so check both of those out. Obviously, value bombs galore. Wes, I wanna thank you, brother, for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
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