Changing the Rules

Episode 40: Sales in a Virtual World, Doug Brown, guest

Episode Summary

Traditional sales relied on face-to-face meetings, an opportunity to "read" the potential client and respond. Today we are living in a "virtual" world, so how has the sales process changed? How do you still get to the sale? Doug Brown of Business Success Factors, LLC has been selling and training sales people for decades. In fact he worked at one time for a company where all their sales were made via phone/mail and enjoyed great success. Learn how to design a sales process that brings success in the world of virtual sales.

Episode Notes

Contact Doug Brown:, 603-595-0303


Diane Dayton  0:02  

This is changing the rules, a podcast about designing the life you want to live, hosted by KC Dempster and Ray Loewe, the luckiest guy in the world.

KC Dempster  0:13  

Good morning, everybody. Welcome to Changing the Rules. I'm KC Dempster. And I'm here with Ray Loewe in Wildfire Podcasting Studios. And just a brief comment, we are running this podcast because we want to introduce our listeners to interesting people who are doing interesting things. And that usually means that they are the luckiest people in the world, because they have taken control of their life. They've planned it out, and they are living their lives to the fullest. Good morning, Ray.

Ray Loewe  0:46  

Yeah, that was really good. This time, you know, you're getting better and better

KC Dempster  0:50  

I should type that out. So I can memorize it.

Ray Loewe  0:52  

Well, don't. Don't do that, because it won't work. But But, you know, you're absolutely correct. You know, we have a lot of people who work on this idea of becoming one of the luckiest people in the world. And this is a journey. It's not a one time kind of thing. And you have to keep working at it. And one of the things that we found with these podcasts, and they just energize me so much, because we get to talk to some of the most interesting, intriguing people. And they're really great examples for people who are trying to either get out of limbo to continue their lives or trying to figure out how to be the luckiest people in the world. And that means personally designing their own lives and living them to the fullest.

KC Dempster  1:36  

That's correct. That's what you always say.

Ray Loewe  1:38  

Yeah, that's great. So we have a really great guest today. And we're gonna take a quick break so everybody knows who they're listening to. And then we're going to come back with Doug Brown, and I'm excited about introducing him.

Diane Dayton  1:51  

You're listening to changing the rules with KC Dempster. And Ray Loewe, the luckiest guy in the world. We will be right back with more exciting information.

KC Dempster  2:00  

Welcome back, everybody. And I'm anxious to have our our talk with Doug Brown, because I've not spoken with him before. So Ray, take it away.

Ray Loewe  2:09  

Yeah. Well, first of all, I met Doug on a beach. Oh, no, that's not quite right. I met him in a room full of people where he was doing his thing. And I'm going to explain what that is in a minute. But afterwards, we were down in Boca Raton, and we went out on the beach, we had this magnificent dinner and drinks. It was a wonderful experience. So if you're going to meet exciting and interesting people do it on the beach. So Doug Brown, good morning. Say Morning.

Doug Brown  2:37  

Good morning.

Ray Loewe  2:38  

Good morning,. And how's the beach in New Hampshire this morning?

Doug Brown  2:42  

It is a little bit cold and rainy. But other than that, it's beautiful.

Ray Loewe  2:47  

Yeah. Well, I think you have the right idea. I think you you you move to a state that we don't hear a lot about, you know, when it's there. And it just kind of does its thing. And I've been there, it's beautiful. And you kind of got your own little law hideaway that you live in every day. Good job, Doug.

Doug Brown  3:07  

That is true. It's hour in 10 minutes to the mountains and 30. less than eight minutes to the beach. Yeah,

KC Dempster  3:15  

I have to say, a friend of mine. And I take a vacation every year from New Jersey to North Carolina and back. And one of the things that helps us helps us pass the time is we keep track of license plates. And I have to say that it's it's our opinion that the people from New Hampshire don't leave the state very often.

Ray Loewe  3:35  

So I have to make this comment before we get serious about this conversation, Doug, because I was on your LinkedIn site. And you have a post on there. And you know what, what a way to set somebody up the post was if you could interview anyone you wished anywhere alive or dead? Who would you interview? And this was just after I booked an interview with Doug Brown.

Doug Brown  4:00  

I guess your head dog.

Ray Loewe  4:04  

You know, good things happen from New Hampshire race.

Okay, so Doug runs a company called Business Success Factors. And he specializes in business sales, business expansion and training. And I've heard of him because he's one of the most highly acclaimed sales and revenue growth experts in the country. Okay. And I know you coach a lot of high powered sales people in high powered executives. Add. Is there anything else you want to add about what you do?

Doug Brown  4:38  

Oh, you make me sound a lot more important than I I feel at times. Ah, no, I you know, I also have a training company that I'm starting at that I have started up it's called High Velocity Training, which is where I'm helping coaches, consultants, entrepreneurs, salespeople, frankly, how to sell more and how to sell more easily.

Ray Loewe  4:59  

Well, you don't Nothing in the world happens until a sale is made. Okay? I learned that a long time ago. And it's true. And you know, people rebel against that idea sometime, but but nothing happens in the world until the sales is made. And so when you do this coaching, you know, I'm sure you can give us this long approach of what you do normally with people, but what I'm really interested in is what's going to happen to what you do now going forward that we have a different paradigm than we used to have. So you're out there dealing with these high powered salespeople and business executives, and you're coaching them. And I guess you Well, I know, you used to go on, I used to meet them face to face, because that's how I met you. So what happens now, Doug?

Doug Brown  5:49  

Well, a lot of what happens before happens now, but it happens in a virtual medium. So, you know, so we met face to face, because we were both invited to that particular event, right. But that client prior to me closing them, I closed them virtually. So I hadn't met them before. Oh, wow. Okay. So this stuff has always worked. In other words, it has I mean, when I, well, geez, I'm gonna date myself back up a little bit. But when there was a man named Chet Holmes, who wrote a book called The Ultimate Sales Machine, and I ended up becoming, working my way through his ranks and becoming his independent president of training and sales. And we used to just close virtually, I mean, we were closing millions of dollars a week, virtually. I'll never mean. Yeah. So we used to do virtual presentations. You know, this is back before we had video conferencing. So everything was done over the phone, and we were doing it all over the world.

Ray Loewe  6:57  

Oh, no, I got you know, I'm sure you were able to do this without, you know, seeing the other people without getting that sense of touch. And, and, and looking at body language and things like that.

Doug Brown  7:13  

Yes. Because it's all about building rapport in a virtual setting. You know, like we're doing now, I mean, we're joking around having fun, and you know, we know each other well, KC and I, we met each other, but I feel like we already have some rapport going. Um, so the the whole thing is that a sales conversation is nothing more than communications. And the sale begins before you talk to someone. So the marketing, the prospecting, the positioning, everything that goes along is all designed to do one thing, which is to communicate with another human being, to resolve a problem, or challenge or frustration they're having that we can fulfill. And once we can do that, then it's really more of what I call a conversational conversion question, you know, question and answer session. It's just having a conversation, and basically bringing it to a mutual Win win. outcome.

Ray Loewe  8:14  

Okay, you're way ahead of me over here. All right, you know, and I, I mean, I'm, I've been a salesman all my life, you know, if I really go and look at at what I do, and yet, I miss very much today, being able to go out and shake hands with people getting able being able to look into their eyes and watch their body language and see whether they're reading me or not, how the heck do you do this, when you have only a phone, you're going down to a one dimensional kind of a thing? You really are, what what I do and what I teach people to do is to sell sell a lot, is to send a lot of follow up pieces prior to so somebody can get to know them. Right? So it's about establishing the relationship members the positioning prior to the conversation. Okay.

All right. So we have this dilemma these days, I think, you know, the one dilemma is that nobody answers the phone anymore. All right. I don't you know, I'm sure your experience, and you have a way around this, but, but I know when somebody calls me, you know, I let everything go right to voicemail unless I recognize the number. And then if they leave a message, then maybe I'll call them back. Right? So how do I as a salesperson, or any kind of person out there deal with this, this automatic wall but people can put up around them so that they don't have to deal with you.

Doug Brown  9:53  

So it's a it's not just about a one one dimension communication piece anymore.  So if you leave a voicemail, you better leave a very good voice. Right? I did, too. He can't, it's not enough to differentiate anymore, right? It's but you got to be different. Right? So, um, and I like to use a lot of humor. And you know, but I don't teach people to use a lot of humor, because not a lot of people can pull it off without, you know, lots of practice.

KC Dempster  10:22  

So you leave messages and a Donald Duck voice or something like that?

Doug Brown  10:26  

No, but we might, we might leave it in like a radio broadcast type and say, you know, this is John from calling, you know, Doug calling from, you know, Cloud Computing, you know, the business spotlight, and you know, and I might do things like that, uh huh. And then just leave them a message or it's about entertaining them. Yeah, I see. Yeah. Right. So, you know, hey, you're harder to get than my, you know, my wife's boyfriend, George Clooney, you know?

Ray Loewe  10:53  

Okay, that's, that's putting yourself out on the line. Right. Okay, so So what do you do you have a you have a sales campaign. And basically, what you're teaching people to do is the campaign starts with social media contact, enter an email contact, what is that? Is that generally what we're dealing with?

Doug Brown  11:13  

Yeah, he all of the above, because you don't know what they're going to respond to. And so, you know, I teach people to use text, I teach him to use postcards, handwritten letters, email, LinkedIn, Facebook, you know, whatever, whenever they can get an impression upon. Because a gentleman, his name was Jay Conrad Levinson. And he wrote a series of books called the Guerilla Marketing Series. And I was talking to Jay one day, and he told me this factoid. Now, I don't even know if it's true, but I actually do believe it is. He told me it takes nine, nine impressions upon the brain for somebody to actually get to recognize somebody's name or brand. And, and I said, Well, that's not bad. He goes, Yeah, but it takes three views per impression to actually get the impression. So you have to contact somebody 27 times, according to him.

Um, and, you know, he's, he's the guy who did the Marlboro Man commercials and things like that years ago. But he, he left that impression upon me. So when I was with Chet, Chet used to say it's between five and 12, five and 12 contacts, you know, on a cold lead. And so I would test these things out, because I'm just a curious guy who likes to optimize everything. So sometimes it was five to 12. But sometimes it was 17, depending on the industry, depending on the title we're going after. But getting a hold of people isn't as hard as most people think it is, as long as they're creative. Right? We in so I teach people how to do that creatively, whether that's using what's you know, called lumpy mail, you know, in the old days, right, you'd send something that had a kind of a lumpy package. And, you know, they'd open it up, and it'd be something that would be relevant to what we were going to want to talk to them about. I mean, there's different ways of doing it. But it can't be just the one thing that we all relied upon, you know, years ago, including myself. And you know, the 70s 80s was just hitting the phone, right? And this, this is constantly changing.

Ray Loewe  13:25  

And I would guess, now that when people are stuck at home, and it's easy to take a nap during the middle of the day, right? Yeah, I mean, you have to be even more creative. So give me a couple of ideas of things that you do that are really creative, that we can steal from you.

Doug Brown  13:44  

So the first, the first. First thing out is always something that's very short, needs to be short. So right, you may have heard something like this, I didn't make this up. But if you're gonna leave a phone call, there's different ways of doing it, you can do it, you know, hey, this is me from ABC Company, you know, and so one of the things that I teach people to do is mix it up. So it would be something like this. Hi, Ray. This is Doug from business success factors. My phone number is 603-595-0303. And the reason I called you today was to...and I leave it like that.

KC Dempster  14:22  

Oh, he goes little sneak.

Ray Loewe  14:25  

Okay, so So now now I I'm curious. Right? Right. All right, give us a couple of other examples of some creative things here. We're gonna go through your whole repertoire, we're gonna do the Doug brown course to success. You know, in our 16 minute thing, I know we can't do that.

So, for example, on LinkedIn, or even email, right, you want to you want to have a very short, pithy and nice something, but you Here's the key, it's got to be relevant to them. The problem, the challenge with most people, is they're not selling, sending relevant information. So Ray, for example, if I was doing something on the financial services business, I might come up with a factoid that I found. And I might say, Hi, Ray, this, you know, I'm Doug, via LinkedIn, you know, I'm connecting with you. And I noticed you're in the financial services business. And I support people in the financial services business doing XYZ. I don't know, if you're experiencing either one of these three frustrations, like most of the people that I talked to, and I'll list the three frustrations, you know, is it worth a five minute phone call for us to discuss to see, you know, if there's anything that we can do, just something simple like that, people are complicating the heck out of it? And then on the next thing that I would send, I would send a picture. So I send riddles. You know, hum. How many? How many times does nine appear from zero to 100? in sequence? You know, how many times so if you went 9 19 29, you know, or three, I pick a number. And then I hit him after that with a short blurb about, Hey, I'm here to prove everything that I said I would. So for example, right? In this case, if I sent that and said, How many times does nine appear? You know, in sequence in, you know, from zero to 100, then I'd say the answer might surprise you. It's about the same amount of people who say no to a financial services offer.

Doug Brown  16:42  

Right? Creating, you know, if you're curious about the answer, it's down below my signature. And so what I want you to do is go down below my signature, because then I'm going to put a PS re, is it worth five minutes for us to talk? Okay? Okay, so this is this is what you do for people, you you sit down with a good executive, Salesforce or something like that, and you train them to look for these things.

Ray Loewe  17:08  

Now, do you actually write this material for them too? Or is that something that somebody else does?

Doug Brown  17:12  

Depends on how much they want to pay me but yes. Okay.

KC Dempster  17:18  

Well, you know, one of the things though, is that when you're using written communication, you have to be careful because sometimes your tone doesn't come through and it might sound abrupt or terse, or Curt or even insulting.

Ray Loewe  17:33  

Yeah, you know, you when we were talking earlier, you gave me this story about this contractor. Mm hmm. Okay, tell that because that was so, so much true about dot txt and things can convey a misleading tone if we're not careful.

Doug Brown  17:49  

Absolutely. So I had a contractor that I, you know, I've been trying to, it's hard to get contractors to come to do anything. Right. And then they're, you know, the challenge in that world is, they're not communicative. And, you know, so I've been trying to get this door, put on the back of my house, a sliding door that leads out to the deck for months, and I've had people say, I'm going to show up, they don't show up, they give me the price. I go, it's fine. You know, they don't you know, and so then they'll, they'll do it last minute, etc, etc, etc. So anyways, I found this guy, his name's Joe. He's awesome. Right? He did a nice guy came by we did it, boom, he put the door in, etc, etc, etc. And I had about five or six other things in the house I wanted done Joe's like, Hey, I'll come back. So weeks go by and I'm texting him. I'm saying, Hey, Joe, when are you going to be able to show up? He's not answering me. So I send him a you know, a couple of voicemails didn't answer me. I'm like, Oh my gosh, did he you know, catch COVID-19 to me what happened? Right? So then I sent him a text and I said, Hey, Joe, the doors in because I wanted another door on the side. I know you're busy guy. Would you like to have me have Lowe's where I bought the door from? Have them install it to kind of save some time? Or do you you know, do you want to set a time that you can come by and do this and the rest of the stuff? And he typed back, It's up to you?

I mean, I was I was like, wow, this is you know, I'm gonna pay this guy. I don't know, you know, four or $5,000 to do the work right around. And I'm like, man, are they making that kind of money that they can do this, but then when I talk to people like that, they're always complaining like, I don't have enough cash. I don't have this. I don't have that. Right. Yeah. So yeah. So Gary atone.

Ray Loewe  19:47  

Okay, so this has been an interesting conversation. And unfortunately, we're near the end of our conversation already. It just flies. But you know, what I got out of this is that you've been doing this On non direct kind of sales work for years and years and years, it's not something new. But what is new is that you have to be much more creative. And between you and me, I think you were always creative with this, right? And you have to worry about the tones that you set and things like that. And that's why people hire Doug Brown to coach them in sales. Right.

Doug Brown  20:22  

Yes, that and other reasons, but, you know, generally they're looking to increase their sales revenues, or to improve their efficiencies, and, you know, process, whether it be, you know, super large companies, or, you know, midsize or whatever, smaller companies.

Ray Loewe  20:38  

But yeah, I mean, the game has changed, right, as you and I talked about before, and I don't think the game is coming back and force, the way it used to be.

Doug Brown  20:47  

I think people are getting used to working virtually now, and communicating virtually now. I do believe that in person meetings will come back to a certain degree, but you know, I mean, a lot of people now are not even going into an office, they're working from home, including big companies, you know, I just called GoDaddy the other day, everybody's working from home, you know, I called other large companies, General Electric, people are working from home. So I'm not sure that they're going to want to spend that kind of floorspace, you know, per square foot, per square meter, you know, on rent anymore. And so it's gonna be it's gonna be an interesting world going forward. But I mean, the reality is that it's not that hard to communicate with people, when you determined, and you have multi modality to get to them, because they will respond to one thing and rate. Can I say one last thing?

Ray Loewe  21:37  

You certainly can

Doug Brown  21:39  

I get asked this question all the time. How much follow up is, is too much? And the answer to that question is, until they tell, you know, until they say it's too much, it's not too much, because what a lot of people feel is, oh, well, I'm going to be now you don't want to hit them every, you know, five times a day, with with with a piece of follow up. But the reality is that when you're connecting with somebody, it's one of those views that Jay was telling me. So the more views you have, the more it will pull somebody toward you. Some people, sometimes people think it will push people away if they're communicating too much. And the reality is, most of the time, it does the exact opposite, because your competitors are not doing it, if at all, very often. So, again, you don't want to differentiate, you want to be different.

Ray Loewe  22:32  

Wow. Well, thank you so much for imparting your wisdom. And, you know, I can see, you know, Doug is one of the luckiest people in the world. I you know, he he has taken control of his life. He's got his own business, he does what he wants to do, he does it largely his way. And he has these creative spins that he you know, puts on everything. So, Doug, thank you so much for being with us. And we will put your website and phone number on our podcast notes so that people can find you. Okay, thank you. And it's been a pleasure, and I hope we're gonna have an opportunity to talk again, and I'm revamping my whole way of communication right now. So let's take a quick break Taylor, and then we're gonna come back and sum up.

Diane Dayton  23:19  

You're listening to Changing the Rules with KC Dempster. And Ray Loewe, the luckiest guy in the world. We will be right back with more exciting information.

KC Dempster  23:28  

Welcome back, everybody. And the exciting information is this is the end of the podcast. And we will be back next week with a very interesting young woman and keep coming back because we've got really great people that we talk to.

Ray Loewe  23:43  

Yeah. And again, another thanks to Doug brown for being with us today. Yeah, it was most interesting to me. And I think if you're in the business world at all, you'll learn a heck of a lot. See you next week, everybody.

Diane Dayton  23:55  

Thank you for listening to Changing the Rules, a podcast designed to help you live your life the way you want, and give you what you need to make it happen. Join us in two weeks for our next exciting topic on changing the rules with KC Dempster and Ray Loewe, the luckiest guy in the world.