Sales Call Strategy

Episode 82: Sales Call Strategy, with Stephen Woessner

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Sales Call Strategy? Optimize your sales approach with our guide to successful sales calls. Unlock success with our sales call strategy.

Sales call strategy — For over 30 years, Stephen Woessner has been in the trenches of agency new business strategy working alongside and consulting with hundreds of agencies, business coaches, and consultants — teaching them how to plant their flag of authority within the markets they serve, grow their audience, and fill their sales pipeline with a steady stream of right-fit clients so they can win new business.

Stephen founded Predictive ROI in 2009 and remains its CEO and co-owner, working alongside his business partner, Erik Jensen. Stephen hosts the “Onward Nation” and “Sell with Authority” podcasts with listeners in over 140 countries and over 1,000 episodes. His agency new business and marketing insights have been featured in major media, and he’s the bestselling author of five books, including his latest entitled, “Sell With Authority.”

Sales call strategy is a must in today’s modern business. In this solocast episode of the podcast, Stephen shares his insights and strategies around how to architect your next sales call so you help your prospect move closer to becoming your next new client — without feeling like you are trying to “close” the sale.

This solocast also serves as a preview of Day 2 of our upcoming 2-day Intensive on November 15th & 16th, 2023. More details below.


What you will learn in this episode is about having a sales call strategy 

  • Create your own version of our “Help Me Understand…” worksheet
  • Effective sales call strategy
  • Link the “Vital Priorities” and “Issues” from the worksheet into the proposals you write
  • Structure your proposals using five ingredients that will make it easy for a prospective client to say “YES!”
  • Apply our “seeding and opening loops” sales closing technique
  • Share your value ladder / service levels / offers with your prospective clients in full transparency you are selling without selling

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Sales Call Strategy: Full Episode Transcript


Welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of predictive ROI and your host. And I am so excited about today’s conversation. It’s actually just gonna be you and me. This is a solocast, and we’re gonna go through and do a deep dive on some things that, um, I’m hopeful are going to really set you up for being able to not only close out the fourth quarter, yet this year in as strong of a position as possible, but then be able to step into 2024 in such a position of strength that you are just ready to crush the year absolutely. Okay? So, and I know that sounds a little bit like hyperbole. We’re gonna cover three main topics here, which I’m gonna get to in just a second. Um, but it’s all about being able to put you in the exact right position to help you sell more of what you do for a higher fee in Crush 2024.


So, if you’re listening to this on the day that it’s airing, it’s Wednesday, October 25th. And I want to extend a personal invitation for you to join my predictive ROI team and me, as well as all of our clients, for our next two-day intensive. Now, when I say two days, I mean the two consecutive mornings. So this is our November intensive that’s coming up on Wednesday and Thursday, November 15th and 16th. Our goal in that session is we bring all of our predictive ROI clients together, and we’re going to be teaching and sharing in full transparency, pulling back the curtain on the latest strategies and tactics that have come out of the predictive lab and sharing all of that in, as I said, full transparency, the full data set of what worked, what didn’t, in the entire design of this two day intensive, again, is to help everyone in the room sell more of what they do for a higher fee and be in the exact right position in order to crush 2024.


So, if you would like to learn effective sales call strategy, come join us. We have some free guest seats available still. So, if you’d like to join us, all you need to do is send me an email, and that’s [email protected]. And Stephen is [email protected]. So, yes, that is my actual email. It’s my actual inbox. So just put the subject line guest, send me an email, and then I will reply and give you all of the details and so forth so that you can join us. So, if you’d like to join us for the November intensive Wednesday and Thursday, November 15th and 16th, it goes from 8:30 AM to 12 noon central hard stop, 12 noon central both days. , just drop me an email, [email protected], with the guest in the subject line, and I’ll get you all the details.


Learn more about Sales Call Strategy by tuning in to this episode: Transform Your Sales Pipeline, with Stephen Woessner


Sales Call Strategy: Three Arrows to Consider


Okay, let’s shift our focus back to the episode today. And so my goal for this conversation, high level, is to give you three additional arrows that you can put in your quiver, three additional things, strategies, tactics, whatever metaphor you want to use to be able to use in order to sell more of what you do at a higher fee and be ready to step into 2024. So, I’m giving you actually a little bit of a preview here of day two of the intensive. So, day one, actually, I should have said Mark Levy, who is a differentiation expert, he’s done this work over 25,000 times around the world for some very impressive, you know, thought leaders and clients and so forth, and he was kind enough to say yes, that he’s going to share his smarts during day one of the intensive about differentiation, how to step away from the sea of sameness.


And then, on day two, we’re going to be focusing on how best to architect sales meetings or sales calls with prospective clients so they don’t feel like a sales call at all. Second is how to make yourself an easy yes, like what are the five ingredients that a great proposal or agreement should consist of. And then number three is how to close without closing those three points we’re gonna cover during this conversation right now. And also, that’s day two of our intensive. So I’m giving you some highlights here and in, in some real good things that you can take out of this conversation, no doubt. But I’m also highlighting day two of the November intensive, which, you know, there we’re gonna have three and a half hours and, and be able to really dig deep into that. This conversation is obviously much shorter than that, but I’m gonna give you some really good things that you can take outta this conversation.


And then, I’m hopeful, just candidly hopeful, that you’ll send me an email and say, Hey, yeah, I’d like to be able to join you for the intensive as one of our guests. Okay? So this conversation is gonna be about helping you crush 2024. And there are two things that I want you to keep sort of front and center as we step through this conversation. The first is if you go back to episode 933, and that link is going to be in the show notes for this episode, but actually, episode 933 of Onward Nation, which was, if I remember correctly, I believe I recorded that in May of 2020. And I had just done a deep dive into a whole bunch of research regarding the last six recessions. A lot of these resources came from Harvard Business Review, several academic journals, and a variety of different studies that were curated and shared with us by Drew McClellan, CEO of Agency Management Institute.


Learn more about Sales Call Strategy by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


Sales Call Strategy: Marketing Wisdom Through Recessions


Here is a great example of a sales call strategy. One of the very impressive things that he did during COVID was that every single day if you were a member of the MI community, he would share resources, advice, tips, and so forth to help agencies inside AMI navigate that. And so, you know, this deluge of information and resources, and I’m like, Hey, can I take that and compile it together to share it with our audience? And, of course, he said yes to that. And so then I took that and disseminated it and sliced it apart and thought, there’s some really interesting correlations here and some really cool conclusions here about how to market your way through a crisis. And it wasn’t just COVID-19; it was actually this dataset as it grew and grew and grew. It was how to market your way through the last, or excuse me, let me rephrase.


How did companies go through and navigate the last six recessions? So we’re talking decades and decades and decades of in this dataset, and it was fascinating. So there were two, so we’re overarching, sort of overarching commonalities across all those companies. And that’s what I want you to focus on right now. And the first, and, and those two are this; the first one was, they made progressive decisions. So they didn’t freeze, they didn’t stop. They continued to look for ways to reinvent. They continue to look for ways that they could invest in r and d. They continued to look for ways that they could be more helpful to their clients and customers, no matter what industry they were in, they made progressive decisions, and they didn’t freeze. And then the second was they stopped trying to wing it. So they invested in processes, they invested in structure, they rebuilt certain things, they, they got better aligned.


They look for additional efficiency so that when they came out the other side of the recession, they were leaner, smarter, more customer-driven or client-driven. They were in a better position than when they went in. And that’s what I want you to think about. Now, whether we’re in a recession, we’re not in a recession, who knows? But no matter what the situation that we’re in right now, I want you to think of this data set that stretches over decades. Again, I encourage you to go back to episode 9, 33. And again, the link is going to be in the show notes. You will see the 12 different citations of research that are there. They’re all noted in the footnotes of that solo cast. So you can investigate that yourself, and you’ll see that the companies who came out the other side of the recession, whichever recession they’re in, again, this dataset stretches across the last six recessions.


Learn more about Sales Call Strategy by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


Sales Call Strategy: Architecting the Meetings


In some sales call strategies, they made progressive decisions, and they stopped trying to wing it. So, as we get ready to close out Q4 in 2023 and as we get ready to step into 2024 with excellence, that’s what we’re gonna focus on today. Three big pieces, how to architect meetings. So you never step into a conversation with a prospective client, and you’re winging it. No, I’m gonna give you a structure to navigate your way through that conversation and to gather everything you need in order to write a great proposal in a great agreement that makes you really easy to say yes to. Okay? So that’s the first piece, architecting the meetings. The second piece is then writing a proposal or agreement that makes you so easy to say yes to because your prospective client looks at that and says, oh, my word. You totally heard absolutely everything that we said. You saw us, you understood us, you understood what we were trying to say.


You understood our issues and our outcomes, right? Writing a proposal or agreement that makes it easy for you to say yes to not winging it. Okay? And then the third is closing sales without, you know, seeming like you’re closing, right? Because nobody wants to experience that. We’ve all experienced that before, you know, during the sales process when somebody may have been trying to sell you a product or a service, it feels yucky, feels not awesome. Let’s not do that, right? So, are there sales techniques that you can use? And, of course, there are, and which one is our favorite? And we’re gonna, and I’m gonna highlight that as we get into the third piece, okay? So make progressive decisions, stop trying to wing it, and then master these three pieces: architecting, the right meeting, or the, excuse me, architecting the meeting in the right way, like orchestrating that entire conversation.


Second, make yourself an easy yes with the right proposal format or agreement format. And then third, closing sales without closing. Alright? So that’s what we’re gonna go through. Um, and then again, I’m just, I’m, I’m giving you some things that you can obviously take out of this session, not holding anything back. If you want to do a deeper dive, I would encourage you to join us as our free guest for the November intensive. Um, so again, there’s it, it’s not like we’re gonna go through, there are six, six ingredients in the recipe, and it’s, and, and I’m gonna give you four, and then you gotta come to the intensive to give the other two. I would never do that. It’s just if you would like to take a deeper dive because we’re gonna have three and a half hours on day two of the intensive, please do join us again. Just send me an email with the word guest and the subject line, and I will make sure that you get all the details.


Learn more about Sales Call Strategy by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


Sales Call Strategy: Introduction of How to Architect Your Meetings


Okay, here we go. So you probably hear me shuffling papers around on my desk because, holy bananas, there is a lot to get through. Okay? So the first piece is architecting the meetings, and you, if you’ve attended one of our q and as, like on Wednesdays, or if you’ve intended, some of our intensives in the past, then, you know, um, or you may be familiar with, we have this worksheet that we use for every one of our meetings with prospective clients. If someone that we’re meeting for the first time, and we call it the help me understand worksheet, and I mentioned Drew a few minutes ago. And so if you’re inside the Mami community,  you know that, what I’m about to say is, is, is certainly true, is, so when, when he’s curious about something, or he is not quite sure where somebody’s going, or he, he wants to maybe, politely contradict something or maybe steer somebody in a different direction, he’ll, he’ll say, now, help me understand.


And so, of course, I’ve heard him say that to me a number of different times, and, and it’s very effective, and I’ve seen him do it, probably hundreds of times, and it’s very effective. And so, you know, the kind of positive red thread through all of that is is the alignment with what Dr. Steven Covey was writing about in habit number five in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People back in 1985. And habit number five is to seek first to understand, then to be understood. And so when you say something like, help me understand, you’re asking somebody to take you behind the curtain and, and show you the spinning gears, or the logic, or the rationale or how something works. And so that’s why we named this worksheet the Help Me Understand worksheet. Now, I’m gonna walk through and discuss and share the six components of this worksheet.


So, if you happen to be in a place where you could grab a sheet of paper, then I would encourage you to draw or split that piece of paper into six boxes, right? So draw essentially, um, kind of two rows of three, if you will, um, six boxes. And I’m gonna highlight what goes in each of those six boxes. Okay? So the first box is what we call first. I’m gonna, I’m gonna go kind of high level and name the boxes, and then we’ll go back and, and I’ll give you some additional context. So here are the six boxes. The first is called Who Do You Help? Okay? So box number one is entitled, who Do You Help? Who do you Help? Box Number Two, what problems do you Solve? Okay, so what problems do you solve? Box number three, how does it work?


Learn more about Sales Call Strategy by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


Sales Call Strategy: What to do in “Box four, five, and Six”


Alright, so how does it work? Box four, vital priorities between now and X time. So vital priorities between now and X time. Again, we’re gonna come back to all of these box number five issues and roadblocks standing in your way. And box number six is kind of a catchall for notes and so on. My actual help me understand worksheet box number six is actually a little bit larger than all of the other boxes, just from a layout perspective, because I like to take additional notes. Alright, so first, how do I use this? And then I’m gonna go back through and share more context about the six boxes. How do I use this is, and, and again, maybe you’ve seen me do this before, is, so when I’m in a meeting with, you know, whether it’s in a Q and a or with a prospective client, you know, I’m using, zoom, and I’ve got my iPad as an additional camera source.


Then I’ll flip to my iPad, and my video will go in the lower kind of left third of the screen, which will help me understand that the worksheet is then visible to whomever I’m meeting with. And I’m doing that in full transparency and taking notes for a very important reason. When you share it in full transparency, and the person also in it, the other person in the room sees that you’re taking notes, it really literally shows how engaged you are in the conversation. And that’s important, especially if you’re developing, , a relationship like right from the start. It really helps build rapport and really shows again how engaged you are, how you see them, how you hear them, and how you’re paying attention. Critically important for developing a relationship. And I know that that sounds like common sense, but I will tell you, most people don’t do it, okay?


So, if you’re looking for a really easy way to set yourself apart, that’s a super low bar that most people never do. So if you do that, you will already set yourself apart, you will already create demarcation, and you will already start stepping away from the sea of sameness if you do something as simple as that. Okay? Alright, so let’s go through the boxes. Who do you help? This is an opportunity for you to ask your prospective client who they help because that will tell you how niche they are, how focused they are, and whether they are aimlessly wandering through the wilderness, where your prospective client wants to take on anyone who has money, anyone who has some semblance of a budget, you know? So by asking who do you help, it is a great way to start off the conversation that, oh, anyone who has breath, or we’re focused on this particular industry, or this particular audience, or businesses with this problem or consumers who are looking to, to solve this issue.


Learn more about Sales Call Strategy by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


Sales Call Strategy: Exploring the “Help Me Understand” Worksheet


So it gives you a better understanding of the industry audience, maybe problems that they’re looking to solve, and so forth. Which then, so that’s the first box. Who do you help? Which then naturally ties into the second box, which is what problems do you solve, right? So once you have a better understanding of who they’re trying to help, then it feeds really nicely into what problems you solve does your prospective client solves. And so then again, you’re taking notes about, oh, okay, so you’re seeing the connections between box one and box two, hopefully, right? And if that starts to break, like if there are no connections between box one and box two, maybe that’s an area that you could be helpful with. So that’s why that sort of initial, I was gonna say initial, I’m like, that’s not, that’s not the right way to say that Initial analysis becomes so important.


Do Box One and Box Two seamlessly come together, or are they like islands apart from one another? And then lastly, sort of in boxes one, two, and three is how does it work, right? Like, what are the result outcomes that they typically deliver on behalf of their clients? And, so boxes one, two, and three give you a really quick sort of analysis of their business and how structured and how detailed and how process-oriented, do they follow like formulas and, in a real step-by-step, or are they literally just aimlessly wandering through the wilderness and taking whatever comes their way, boxes one, two, and three and asking those questions will give you those answers. Okay? So then that then feeds into box number four, which is vital priorities. And I typically frame it up this way. What are the top three things or the top three vital priorities that you would like to accomplish between now and X time?


And so it could be between now and the end of the year, between now and the end of the first quarter of 2024, or because we’re so close to the end of 23, it could be between now and the end of 2024. So having the element of time is important so that it’s not like a life goal or the entire life cycle of the business goal, right? So, box number four is a vital priority between now and X. Okay? So box number five is issues, roadblocks, and obstacles. However, you wanna frame it up. What you’re trying to better understand here is, okay, if those are your vital priorities between now and x time, what are the issues, roadblocks, and obstacles that are in the way that are in the way of you and your team accomplishing those vital priorities? Right? So this conversation boxes one through five.


Learn more about Sales Call Strategy by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


Sales Call Strategy: Architecting Your Conversations


Who do you help? What problems do you solve? How does it work? Vital priorities between now and x time issues, roadblocks, challenges, and obstacles that are keeping you and your team from accomplishing those vital priorities. It’s gonna do two things. One, you’re going to either collect really, really good data, and because you’re being transparent in how you’re taking notes, you’re going to develop rapport really quickly, or it’s gonna feel completely awkward. And the person, the prospective, your prospective client, isn’t going to want to share any of that information and is gonna be very guarded and sort of restrictive if you will. And that should be a huge litmus test to you and a warning sign to you that this is probably not going to be the type of client that you wanna work with, right? Because they’re not gonna be very forthcoming. They’re gonna be very guarded, they’re gonna treat you like a vendor.


All of those things that you probably don’t want; if you wanna earn a strategic seat at your client’s table, this is one of the things that you can do in order to ensure that happens by having the confidence to ask them who do you help? What problems do you solve? How does it work? Vital priorities between now and x time issues, roadblocks, challenges, and obstacles that have prevented you and your team from making progress against those vital priorities. That is a strategic conversation; that is a conversation that a strategic partner has with their other partner, right? And so having that conversation, or the unwillingness to have that conversation, should be a very powerful litmus test. Okay? So then the six sec, or the box number six, if you will, notes, is essentially my catchall. So as I am sort of orchestrating this conversation and architecting that meeting, there are gonna be certain things that are going to be said, of course, that don’t necessarily neatly fit in one of those five boxes.


So then, I will add it to the notes box, which is why that box is a little bit larger than the other five. So, again, I’m sharing this in full transparency during, like, visually during the meeting. And so, um, the other person in the room, in the zoom room can see like, oh, okay, you know, he’s taking notes about this and that and, and whatever, sometimes correcting me along, along the way, like, if I misunderstood something and then I’ll erase it, then I’ll write it down, in the more accurate way. Very productive and collaborative conversation. Okay? Let me highlight two other things before we move on to make yourself an easy yes about the ingredients in the proposal, and that is vital priorities and vi in, in the issues. So boxes number four and number five, vital priorities between now and x time and issues, roadblocks, obstacles and challenges, boxes four and five, those two boxes.


Learn more about Sales Call Strategy by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


Sales Call Strategy: Turning Insights from Client Meetings into Impactful Agreements


What you learn, gather, collect, and discuss in those two boxes is going to go into the proposal or agreement. So what you collect in boxes four and five is literally going to go into the proposal. That’s why those two, those two boxes are critically important. So, we stop winging it with our proposals. Going back to sort of the introduction and how I was setting up today’s conversation when I mentioned to you that the companies that navigated the last six recessions successfully and came out stronger on the other side, two guiding principles, they made progressive decisions and they stopped trying to wing it. So when we collect great information in boxes four and five, and if the prospective client, your prospective client, doesn’t give you details to fill in four and five, it probably not a good or right fit client, but when we take what we gather from four and five and assuming that it’s deep enough, right?


And if it’s not deep enough, then go back and go deeper, but we take what we learned in four and five, and that goes into the proposal. And I’ll share how that happens here in just a minute. But that’s how you architect a meeting, in my opinion, with a prospective client for the first time so that it feels very strategic. It does not feel like a sales meeting. It feels very strategic. We’re gonna come back to the third point today, which is the, or in this conversation about closing sales without closing. And I’m gonna talk about seeding and opening loops that you’re going to be doing during that meeting, but we’re gonna come back to that in, in a little bit, okay? So, architecting the meeting helped me understand the worksheet. Alright, so now let’s step into the, make yourself an easy s Let’s talk about the five pieces or the five ingredients, if you will, of the way to structure a proposal.


Now, a little bit of a disclaimer here. I am not talking about like, if you are involved in an RFP and you’re involved in a competitive situation like an RFP, where, where the client is expecting you to or insist upon you developing creative and you following their process and sort of their structure and their methodology, you know, I’m, I’m not, that is not what I’m suggesting here, right? And, and for a small number of times, like in your entire business development cycle on a, on an annual basis, you know, maybe you and your agency live and die by the RFP, I’m not sure, but most agencies don’t, right? And so some of them certainly do participate in RFPs, but that’s not the only source of new business, at least, hopefully not, right? Because that tends to be a pretty grueling process.


Learn more about Sales Call Strategy by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


Sales Call Strategy: Introducing the 5 Key Ingredients for an “Easy Yes!”


But there are great ways, to dial that in and to be even more effective at that. In fact, um, I, this would be a real quick opportunity here to mention if you’ve not yet attended the Sell with Strategic Insights workshop that Agency Management Institute hosts and is taught by, um, the Mercer Island, the off the charts experts at Mercer Island Group, um, Steve and Robin Bowler and Lindsay, I mean, they are absolutely fantastic. So, I think the next one is coming up in June of 2024. So you can check the AMI website, agency management, but if you’ve not yet attended the Selling with Strategic Insights Workshop and RFPs and these higher pitches and dollar value pitches for larger brands, like if that is your, your bread and butter at your agency, you should absolutely, without a doubt attend that workshop.


And then also, even if it isn’t your bread and butter, those types of presentations, and you just want to get smarter about how to sell with strategic insights and stand out from the crowd and to see a sameness, and instead of feeling like a vendor and more of a strategic partner would highly recommend that workshop, it’s stellar. Absolutely stellar. Alright, so let’s step into the five ingredients of, in our opinion, a proposal agreement structure that makes you really, really easy to say yes to. Okay? So the first is the, and in fact, I’m gonna do the same process as I did for the architect meetings. I’m gonna go through the five ingredients at a high level, and I’m gonna come back in and add some additional context. The first is the introduction, right? If you wanna call it executive summary, whatever, executive summary introduction right at the beginning.


The second section is business issues. The third section is business outcomes. The fourth section is vital metrics. The fifth and final section is Business Impact slash ROI. Alright, so let’s break these now. So, in the introduction in the executive summary, here’s what I see over and over and over again with agencies and consulting firms. When we have a chance to review the proposals. Typically, the executive summary or the introduction is all about them. We’ve been doing this for 30 years, and we’ve been in this industry for a real long time, and we’ve worked with X client and X client and X client, blah, blah, blah. You know, it, it’s, it’s their mini resume, and that doesn’t hit the mark, in my opinion. You could absolutely change that in such a way, which I’m gonna suggest here in just a second as to how that completely sets you apart from the sea of sameness.


Learn more about Sales Call Strategy by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


Sales Call Strategy: “How you Help” Guide


Sales call strategy? So here’s how I would suggest that you do this. In fact, if you want a tangible example of it, so if you go to our resources library, go to predictive And the guide that is in the resource library that I’m gonna suggest that you download is what’s called How You Help. So, if you download the How You Help Guide, you are going to see in writing what I’m about to verbally describe, okay? So your introduction, your executive summary, whatever you wanna call it, needs to be about them, needs to be about their business issues and challenges at a high level. We’re gonna get granular here in a minute in different sections, but at a high level, the problems in the industry, the things that they’re facing, why you give a rip about helping them solve that and clients like that.


The more niched you are, the easier it is to write this. But this is where you blend in some of your points of view, not selling your agency or consultancy. This is about why you give a rip about solving these problems. So, for example, if you download the How You Help Guide, you’re gonna see that on page two, the right across the top, the headline in Big, bold, black, and then Orange Reads, we want agencies to win and we do everything we can to give them an unfair competitive advantage. Like right at the top, we’re talking about the problems and challenges that we know that agencies and consultancies are facing. It’s not about us, it is about them. And that’s what’s really important here, that it’s not about you. It’s about your prospective client and what they are struggling with, not the specifics yet.


Let’s get deeper into sales call strategy. We’re gonna get to that in the business issues and outcome sections later. But this is the piece where you want them to read that and say, wow, they understand me, they understand our business, they understand our industry. They haven’t said anything about them yet. They haven’t tried to sell us a dang thing. They haven’t tried to, you know, pound their chest and say how great they are and how many awards they’ve won, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. In, in, in giving them a resume. They haven’t done any of that. This is the type of section that starts off the conversation and makes them wanna lean in. It shows how smart you are and leverages how smart you are and what you know about being able to solve the problem in a non-self-aggrandizing way. Okay? So that’s the first ingredient. Second ingredient business issues.


Learn more about Sales Call Strategy by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


Sales Call Strategy: Mastering Business Issues and Outcomes


This comes right out of box number five in the Help Me Understand worksheet, right? This is why box number five is so important for you to collect. I just had a little Phantom of the Opera sort of moment there. Box five. Anyway, for those if you happen to be a fan of the opera fan. So this is where you’re gonna pull that out of box number five in the help me understand worksheet. And this is gonna go right into the proposal, right? Or your agreement. This is where you’re going with precision, clarity, and preciseness; I said precision twice in two different ways, being very clear about how you’ve understood the business issues, right? That’s why box number five is so important, specifically in an architect or articulating business issues, which is what you heard to be true.


And then saying something like, we look forward to learning more, and please let us know if we need to adjust these, this is what we’ve heard, right? But if you validate all of that during the help me understand the conversation, then you know that that’s already accurate. Alright? So ingredient number two in making yourself an easy yes is business issues. Okay? Ingredient number three, in making yourself an easy yes, are the business outcomes okay? And that’s what comes out of box number four. These are the vital priorities. These are the things that they really want to accomplish. If you accomplish the business issues or, excuse me, if you help them tackle the business issues, then the business outcomes in section three should be a natural conclusion, right? Or the result outcome. We’re gonna help you get over business issues one, two, and three. And then when we do that, you’re going to receive business outcomes one, two, and three.


Business issue number one should line up with business outcome number one, business issue number two should line up with business outcome number two, business issue number three should line up with business outcome number three, literally A plus B, C plus D, E plus F, right? And then, the conclusion of that, or the result, outcome of that is going to be the impact. ROI, which we’re gonna get to in just a second. That’s ingredient number five. What sits in between business issues plus business outcomes, and then the impact ROI at the end, what sits in between there are the vital metrics. These are the vital metrics. So this is ingredient number four. These are the vital metrics that we’re going to review along the way to prove that our work together is working, right? These are the vital metrics that we’re gonna look at, and we’re going to measure, and we’re going to share in full transparency to prove that the work is working right.


Learn more about Sales Call Strategy by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


Sales Call Strategy: The Strategic Framework


And that’s going to give your client confidence or prospective client confidence that you’re not aimlessly wandering through the wilderness, that you’re not winging it, that you’re not making stuff up, right? This is if you want to, and it, it doesn’t matter if you wanna call this a dashboard, you know, whatever. But in a regular cadence, we’re going to have the conversation about the vital metrics, the things that they need to be doing, the things that you’re gonna be doing, the results of pulling the right levers and pushing the right buttons, the results of business issues being attached to business outcomes. These are the vital metrics that we’re going to use to prove there’s working. Now, a little tip here is that the vital metrics shouldn’t be more than three, four, or five of them. It should not be like 17 different vital metrics, right?


3, 4, 5 vital metrics are all that you need, right? So, let’s say that your client is asking you to help them drive traffic, leads, and sales. Great. So then you have, a traffic vital metric. You have a conversion of traffic into email opt-ins. You have a vital metric about email opt-ins for people who raise their hand that turns into a lead. Then you have the average proposal value, maybe, or the conversion value of the lead into asking for a proposal. And then what is the conversion of the proposal into, , proposals into wins, right? So that, I mean, real quickly, those are 3, 4, 5, probably five vital metrics there that go end to end of the big things that, that your prospective client probably cares about, right? So it does not have to be 17 and shouldn’t be 17, right? Distill that down into 3, 4, and 5, the most important vital metrics.


In sales call strategy, not any metric, but vital metric, in order to prove the work is working. Okay? So that’s ingredient number four. And then that leads to, um, ingredient number five, which is the business impact or slash ROI, the closer that you can get to ROI return on investment for a client, the better off you’re going to be, right? It is being able to quantify and calculate that number as close to ROI as you can, as opposed to maybe some of the more nebulous, you know, metrics that, that one could argue, don’t really move the needle. At the end of the day, the client wants to obviously move the needle. The client wants to be able to show to their stakeholders that this work is working, the vital metrics, the business impact, and the ROI are the resulting outcomes of that. Okay? So if you do all of those things, you knit the executive summary introduction, the business issues, business outcomes, vital metrics, impact, ROI, you knit all of that together, you’re gonna be put a proposal in front of your prospective client or agreement in front of your prospective client that looks and reads completely differently, than anyone else, that they’re going to be evaluating for that same project or campaign.


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Sales Call Strategy: Closing Sales Without closing


Alright? So, if you go to episode 70 of this link, it will also be in the show notes, episode 70 of the Sell With Authority podcast. , we actually take a deep dive even deeper than what we just did here, even though I guess what we just did here was pretty deep, but we take an even deeper dive into that’s a solocast as well. So episode 70 of the Sell With Authority podcast is all about what we just went through, just in much, much more depth. Okay? Let’s start thinking about coming in for a landing with this third piece, and that is the closing sales. Without closing, oh, I should, I should mention one more time. So these first two pieces, along with the third piece that we’re going to be covering here in just a minute, this is going to be our focus for the entirety of day two of our November intensive.


Again, so we’re talking about day two, which is Thursday, November 16th. If you would like a free guest seat, just drop me an email, Stephen, at predictive ROI, put a guest in the subject line, and then I will send you all of the details. All of the details are what I meant to say. Alright, here we go: closing, sales without closing. So, this goes back into, the architecting of the meeting. Okay? So I’m gonna, let’s go back to that scenario. Oh, I should also mention that Hannah Roth, who’s our mat scientist and strategist here at Predictive. So Hannah and I recorded episode 48 of the Sell With Authority podcast. So episode 48, which was all about, um, how to close sales without closing, where, where we took a deep dive into our framework that we call seeding and opening loops. So a couple of resources here as we go through this third piece.


So, if you’ve not yet downloaded the seeding and Opening Loops framework, I would highly encourage you to do so. So if you go to predictive, you can go into our resource library, and of course, it’s free, it’s Seed and Open Loops framework, okay? So you can download that. And then, , episode 48, , that Hannah and I recorded, um, is kind of a duo cast where we broke that down, sliced it apart at depth, which is much more depth than what we’re going to do right now. So would encourage you to, , take a listen to episode 48. So I’m gonna give you the highlights here in a couple of examples. And then, of course, we’re gonna go even deeper with some role-playing and, and that kind of stuff, during day two of the intensive. Okay? So here’s what I’m encouraging you to do.


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Sales Call Strategy: What is Seeding and Opening Loops


So what seed and opening loops are is when you plant a seed of a nugget, an idea, something that sparks curiosity, and then you quickly move on from it. But your listener, your prospective client, the person in the room is still sitting at the seat thinking, oh, wait a minute, wait, what, what, what, what was that? And now you’ve moved on, and you’re doing that on purpose. What you’re doing is you’re creating curiosity, but you’re not closing the loop. You’re not giving all of the answers. And, and so then, you’re moving onto a different topic. You’ve seeded something, they’re still thinking about it, and then later you come back to close the loop. And in sort of subconsciously, they can’t wait for you to close that loop. Then, you close the loop and navigate your way through a sales process without feeling like a sales process.


They’re actually asking you to close the loop. And then, that’s a beautiful thing, right? So they’re asking you to give them more information, or they’re asking you to give them an agreement or a proposal to consider. They’re asking you to close the loop. And then the sales process never ever feels like it’s schuss. I mean, ’cause that feels horrible when somebody tries to do that to you. And, of course, it does. And we would never, ever, ever, ever suggest that be your sales tactic with one of your prospective clients or prospects. So here’s, here’s how we do this, and, and it works really, really well. So, I’m gonna illustrate this again in full transparency. So when we’re in the architect meeting or, you know, let’s go back to this first section of this conversation when we’re talking about architecting the meeting, and we’re using to help me understand worksheet, okay?


Learn more about Sales Call Strategy by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


Sales Call Strategy: How they position their own Value Ladder


So one of the things that I will also do is, in addition to the help me understand worksheet, and maybe you’ve seen this too in our q and as or other intensives that you may have attended, we have a very, very simple, you know, graphic or illustration that we call a value ladder. So think of it as sort of an arrow ascending, kind of, like a curve, into the upward, right corner of the page, you know, just sort of a curve. And then we have three boxes along that curve. So essentially the good, better, best, if you will, in a value ladder. And so as we’re going through the conversation of like, how does it work and what problems do you solve, I’m starting to better understand how they position or their own value ladder.


And then I’ll ask them some questions about pricing and so forth, like how they price the middle offer and the upper offer. And I’m taking notes on the screen using the value ladder conversation or excuse me, using the value ladder illustration or graphic. And, and when I’m doing that, and when I see what their sort of hero offer is, what the middle rung of the value ladder is if it exists, and let’s say it’s, you know, $15,000, then I’ll draw a parallel to our value ladder. And so I’m literally laying our value ladder over top of their value ladder. So I’ll say something like, oh, okay, in your middle offer, how do you structure that? Oh, well, it’s $15,000. It’s typically 60 days worth of work or 90 days’ worth of work, or, you know, it might be 30 days’ worth of work, or its an initial campaign.


It kind of looks like this. Like, oh, okay, I said, we have something similar, we call it a 90-day sprint, and it’s priced at, you know, $18,000, but it’s structured in kind of a similar way. Now, what I’ve done is I’ve sort of planted the seed that we have the middle offer of the 90-day sprint. So, so that works really well. And then we go up and down the value ladder as I’m asking about their value ladder, I’m filling in hours without saying, Hey, let me tell you about the 90 day sprint. ’cause that feels like a sales pitch, right? So I’ve seeded a couple of things and then added some visual context, and then it works really well. So now our value ladder is mapped out along their value ladder, and it didn’t feel like sales at all. Okay? So, in full transparency, that’s a way to share your value ladder without saying, Hey, I’m gonna share our value ladder, and I hope there’s a piece in here that you might be interested in buying.


Learn more about Sales Call Strategy by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


Sales Call Strategy: Take a Piece and Match it with your Piece


Cause that feels gross, right? But the way that I just described it in the conversation of take a piece, match it with your piece, take a piece, match it with your piece, then that doesn’t feel schmutzy at all. Okay? So, then, that’s a seed in opening loops. So then, some additional ways that you can see it in open loops are in a q and a, or a q and a portion of the meeting that you’ve been architecting to help me understand the worksheet. And when you’re using that and going through the six different boxes, or I guess it is five boxes plus the notes. So in a question, when, when a prospective client asks you a question, I would suggest that you seed in open loops in your reply, for example. So when somebody says, yeah, you know, we’ve really been struggling, let’s say you’re talking about the issues piece, right?


The issues of roadblocks, obstacles, constraints, and that kind of stuff are in your way of accomplishing your vital priorities. And let’s say that a prospective client says, yeah, I mean, candidly, we, we’ve really been struggling in this area, , around x particular issue or X roadblock or whatever. Then you might say something like, you know, we hear that often, in fact, we’re working alongside one of our clients just last week. And a similar issue came up, and then this is how we solved it. , and maybe that might be an idea for you to consider. Now, what you’ve just done is you’ve seeded and opened the loop of that, seeding the fact that you’ve addressed that issue before, opening the loop that there was a solution. Now they might say something to you like, oh, tell me a little bit more about how you did, how you did that.


Now you’re not selling at all, right? So you’re using the seeding and opening loops conversation of planting a seed, letting the open loop of curiosity stay there until the prospective client asks you to close it. Okay? So I know we’re getting a little bit long on time here, so we’re gonna come in for a landing, but I would highly encourage you to go back to episode 48, where Hannah and I break down the closing sales without closing strategy and tactics, at depth. Go to predictive, endow the seed, and open or download the seed and open loops framework because that goes alongside the episode. Okay? So again, all of that is free. And then, if you would like to join us for the November intensive, again, super easy, we’ve got some free guest seats available. , so just drop me an email at [email protected] with the guest in the subject line, and then I’ll share all of the details with you.


Sales call strategy? So lastly, last thing before we come in for a landing,  and say goodbye. Another reason why I think the intensive is an interesting opportunity is that It is free. It’s seven hours of really great, , training and all of that, but you’re gonna be stepping into our community and maybe potentially for the first time you’re gonna be hanging out with our clients again, in full transparency, right? They’re gonna be talking about the things that they do with predictive and, and all of that. We’re gonna be teaching and sharing. You’re gonna be a part of the room that we reserve just for clients, and we’re opening that up for you to attend. Again, in full transparency, I mean, ripping back the curtain, you’re gonna meet our actual clients. You can ask them anything you want, in chat and that kind of stuff.


And you’re gonna just feel the energy of what’s going on these two days. You’re gonna see all of the conversation, all of the questions, all of it in chat and on screen, and meet some really amazing and awesome people during that conversation. So I would highly encourage you if you’ve thought about joining us in the past but just haven’t before. Maybe this is the right time for you to do that. Just drop me an email again, [email protected] and I’ll get you the details to be our free guest. Okay? So, no matter how many notes you took or how often you go back and re-listen to these three sections. How do you architect meetings using the help me understand worksheet, how do you make yourself an easy yes, and then how do you close sales without closing? You have to take this, take it, and apply it.


Cause when you do, it is going to help you make some very progressive decisions and then stop winging it. And that’s the key. Those two keys or the, excuse me, those two. Yeah, I guess that is the right way to say it. Those two keys are, we’re going to help you get not only through whatever recession, downturn, whatever it is that we’re going through right now, or that’s predicted to come our way, is gonna help you navigate that better than the rest and get to the other side of it with excellence and to come roaring out of it and crush 2024. Okay? So, I hope that you found that conversation helpful. If you have questions, concerns, or whatever, you have my email address. You can always email me and ask me or drop a question into our Facebook group, which is called How to Fill Your Sales Pipeline. , hit me up on LinkedIn. , whatever happens to be the most convenient for you. Until next time, onward with Gusto.

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