#252: How to Become a Trusted Advisor and Skyrocket Your B2B Sales

Samantha McKenna [00:00:00]:
Going with my LinkedIn connections, I have 44,000 followers. There's probably somebody that you wanna sell to that's connected to me. Ask me for an introduction. People never do it.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:00:10]:
Welcome to another episode of the How to Sell podcast. I'm your host, Luigi Preston Indian. As always, I'm delighted to have you join us again for what will be another incredible episode. If you're a first time listener, I just wanna say thank you for stopping by and checking this particular episode out, and I hope you take away enough insight, enough thoughts, some ideas that'll help you be the very best you can be. And if you're a long time listener, thank you. Thank you for always showing up and and helping us produce some great content because we do this for you. We do this to help salespeople be the very best they can be. Now but let's get to this week's episode.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:00:47]:
This week's episode, I'm really excited. The whole notion of, you know, outreach, people talk about outreach, how difficult it is, how hard it is to actually engage with prospects. And the reality is the reason why it's hard because so many people don't take the time to personalize their outreach messages. They don't take the time to do a level of research. They don't earn the right to get the time in their prospects' calendars. And there's a term called show me, you know me. This has been been thrown around. If you're if you're in the LinkedIn world, you would have seen this term thrown around.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:01:16]:
That term was coined by Samantha McKenna, and she's remarkable. This episode, you're gonna find so much value, and you might even wanna listen to it a second time because Samantha's gonna drop some some insight on what you can do across LinkedIn, what you can do across your outreach to get more engagement, and this is what it's all about. The competitive differentiator for you in 2,020 3 is your ability to show them that you know them, is your ability to go do a bit of research, bring a really valid point of view that want makes the prospect wanting to know more. That is the definition of success that's what success looks like from an outreach perspective. The premise of outreach or the purpose of outreach is not to get them to buy, it's to get some form of engagement. But why should they engage with you if you've done their research? If you're not showing them that you know them or you're not showing them that, hey, this is the reason I'm reaching out. This is why you should care about x. This is how this is relevant to you, and this is what Sam's gonna cover today.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:02:15]:
So we're gonna cover a lot of really good topics. Sam is awesome. Absolutely love her content. Her content, I've used some of her concepts and methodologies to help me be the very best I can be, and I'm so glad I've been able to bring her to help you be the very best you can be. Welcome to the show, Zan.

Samantha McKenna [00:02:35]:
Hi, Luigi. Nice to be here. Thanks for having me.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:02:37]:
Yeah. I'm actually really excited, but I'm also disappointed, and I'll I'll tell you why because I was listening to a great podcast the other day with Daryl from the Inside Sales Podcast. I'm like, well, how did

Samantha McKenna [00:02:47]:
Daryl Who? Is is this is

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:02:51]:
is this unknown guy that seems to be trying to make a make himself known in Canada. But, yeah, I'm like, how did he get you on his show before me? So thanks so much for jumping on FY 'Cubs.

Samantha McKenna [00:03:03]:
You got it. I'm you know, I'm here for free, but Daryl had to pay me. It was like a $20,000 fee. If I'm really broke, and I was like, fine, buddy. I'll do it. I'll be on your podcast.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:03:13]:
Well, I'm all I'm really excited because I think there's a couple of, ways this conversation could go today around, obviously, the agenda, and we'll talk about a bit about that in a moment. But then I just think it's some general, you know, things that sellers can do today to help them become, you know, get themselves in a position of winning. And I love that frame, right? Because we can't control the outcome, but we can absolutely control what we do to to get to the start line. But before we jump into this topic, yeah, we'd love for you to share a bit about yourself and how you started in this wacky world of selling.

Samantha McKenna [00:03:48]:
I I think I'm much like everybody else. So I I did not dream of being a salesperson when I was small, but I fell into sales. In 2008, I was part of a company, and I got, I got late after the 2008 start kind of the recession. And I knew the owner of a a recruiting company, a really, successful recruiting company here in DC. And he was like, Oh, he's like, I have a great sales job for you. And I was like, Woah, sales. And I remember, I remember turning down the job. They wanted me to work there so much.

Samantha McKenna [00:04:19]:
They were, they were like, what will it take? And I negotiated for a whopping $5,000 more. I'm telling you guys, I think at the time I was an enterprise account manager and I think I had, I had negotiated for $55,000 Very excited about this. I was like, oh, rich. But so that was that was my start. And then, you know, I think it's interesting that the way that I thought about sales is probably like a lot of people thought about sales or even think about it now that it's grimy, sales, TV, you know, whatever. But in fact, I really think about it like it's it's an opportunity to help people. They have a challenge. They're coming to talk to us for a reason, right? They're on the call with us to solve something going on in their organization.

Samantha McKenna [00:04:58]:
We have the opportunity to make them more successful or whatever. So it, I think when I changed my lens for that, it really gave me confidence in selling. And then from there, I just, you know, I Growth one record after another, always over, you know, hit my quota, rep of the air, rookie of the year, presence club, all that stuff. Worked my way to the executive ranks because I realized through a lot of feedback that the things that I did really well were unique to me. They were the the things that make up Sam's sales now that I post about on LinkedIn. So I thought, well, one, I I think I can scale what makes me a good seller to other people's I want to be a leader to I'm almost more motivated by other people's success than my own I guess I probably am more motivated and then 3 just thinking about how do I start to get more of this word out there which got me posting on LinkedIn which ultimately got me seen by LinkedIn and then recruited over there. And I think in that final that was kind of my holy grail working for for LinkedIn in sales. It was it was incredible.

Samantha McKenna [00:06:04]:
And when I broke my 13th record in my sales career at LinkedIn, I just started to think, you know what? Right now, I'm making a ton money for other organizations and I'm only impacting 1 company or one team. What can I do if I start on my own and then this journey down Sales started about 3 years ago?

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:06:22]:
Yeah, that's an awesome story. Do you mind sharing with us, you know, you've achieved some incredible success in in a number of different roles. What were some of the things, I know that you've got that really cool perspective around the purpose of the role, which I think is the first thing, right? It's it's having a it's not about commission, it's not about crushing a number, and I share a very similar view to you, right? It's about making a positive difference in the people that we work with. But what were some of the other attributes that allowed you to achieve success in each role?

Samantha McKenna [00:06:55]:
I think the one of the biggest things I will say that has been a difference maker is the sheer act of follow through. So I'll give you just a couple of examples. When I got promoted to net new enterprise sales, I was able to take 3 accounts with me to give me a little bit of padding, in my net new role. And I did some, some due diligence on data. I found that we worked with 3 of the largest law firms in the world, and I wondered why. So I started interviewing them, and in one of the interviews with the chief marketing officer, he said, why don't you go and look at my LinkedIn profile, see who I'm connected to, and then just send them an email and tell them that you're a friend of mine and they should take a meeting with you. And I was like, what? And I'm like, what? So I think I think about this with follow through because I left that meeting. I went to our office and I've seen that the entire night doing that.

Samantha McKenna [00:07:46]:
It also made me realize, you know, how important subject lines were. Because instead of burying the lead, I put it front and center. Webinar inquiry from a friend of Jim Durham's, I think was my exact subject line. Yeah. I see the follow through piece on that because I tell people to do that all the time. Go and look at my LinkedIn connections. I have 44,000 followers. There is probably somebody that you want to sell to that's connected to me.

Samantha McKenna [00:08:08]:
Ask me for an introduction. People never do it. And it's such an easy win. Right? We I started a few programs that were really successful that have been tried before at other organizations, mentorship, culture, things like that. People told me it won't work. It's been tried before. I think my follow through is what saw success. I'm not that person that commits to something and then leaves the gym 6 weeks into the new year.

Samantha McKenna [00:08:31]:
I'm still in there in September. I'm still working at my goal. If I'm going to say I'm gonna do it, I'm doing it. And I think that's one of the biggest things if you look at at the difference between, the the super successful, consistently successful top performers follow through is to their core. They say they're going to do it. It's gonna happen.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:08:47]:
Yeah. It's interesting. That that it sounds cool. So simple. Right? Look, when you act the way that you've just summarized that, a high performing sales professional, the attitude, it sounds a really simple thing, just follow through. And you mentioned, you know, go to your profile, find who you're connected with, and then reach it and ask me for an intro, but yet nobody does. And, like, why do you think sellers today, because if we look at the data, we look at the some reports a lot of reports show the trust gap is getting wider. You know? Buyers don't trust sellers.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:09:23]:
Yeah. Less and less or sales are struggling to hit their quota, So the number is getting harder and harder. We're seeing layoffs. Like, there's a whole range. And I know that there's a there's a there's some macro trends happening, which fall outside of our control as sales. But Yeah. Unlike you, I also get to work with a lot of high performers that regardless of the economic environment, they're still excelling. They're still achieving great outcomes.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:09:50]:
Right? Yep. I look at them, and I'm like, well, they've got a really good mindset, the way they position themselves, the way they themselves up, their follow through. What do you think many sellers struggle to execute the fundamentals when it comes to selling.

Samantha McKenna [00:10:04]:
I think, you know, I I just wanna go back to one of your your points that you mentioned. Right? How are those sellers are still being successful in spite of the market conditions? And I will just say, right, those sellers are thinking proactively. They're not acting reactively. So they are constantly thinking, how do I build pipe? How do I build pipe? How do I build pipe over and over and over again is maniacal for them. You'll see those same top sellers who hit quota. You know, I 1 year I hit my annual quota in September. September, I don't know, 16th or something. So I have 2 choices.

Samantha McKenna [00:10:36]:
I can say, see you guys in January. Or I can push the gas to print money this year and just set myself up for insane success next year. So I think that's one of the things, right? And and I don't know if it's an art, if it's a bit of laziness. I don't know if it's a don't really know how to do this, but I'll tell you for me I am competitive as hell. I have a little bit of an ego. I want my brand, to always be super positive. Right? Like I want those that follow through, right, is part of my personal brand in and outside of an organization. But that competitiveness tells me you give me a goal and I'm gonna figure out how to control it and how to hit it myself and I'm gonna hit it faster and harder than anybody else on my team.

Samantha McKenna [00:11:21]:
Not to me. My heart's racing. That to me is is like that's that's who I am. Right. So I think if all sellers kind of take that that lens and think I'm not gonna rely on anybody else I can do this right or to think like it's it's the end of August right now for Forum right when we're talking If you think let's say your year ends at the end of the calendar year. If you realize there's just no shot in hell I'm gonna make it. Right? Start to think about 7, 6 months ahead. Start to think about what can you do today to build pipe for next next year Forum even make sure you get a few more deals and make sure that that is happening.

Samantha McKenna [00:11:56]:
But if you know there's no way you're gonna come come close to it start to build that pipeline. I think, there's a couple of things that are mindset of separating us from being able to actually take that action and one of it I you know kind of like you and I talked about earlier is the the access to sales technologies that now just become the it's like our our crutch. So sending emails, I just hit push and then it it happens. Right? And all the emails go out and I don't have to think about it. Or, you know, I'm just expecting my BDR team to drive leads. I'm expecting inbound. I'm expecting our brand name to bring leads in when in fact, right, it really should be about us learning the fundamentals of sales, how to write a great email, how to show up to a discovery call the right way, how to look to solve the challenges that our buyers have and play the long game. It's so simple things, right, that can really make top performers consistent top performers.

Samantha McKenna [00:12:51]:
And the thing that I love about that is sky's the limit on what you can make. I mean, I know reps who make a $1,000,000 a year. Right? And they're just being proactive all the time about building that pipe.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:13:02]:
Yeah. I love that. I'm taking notes. Right? So a sign of a good, yeah, I guess Forum me, Sam, is, I can I'm actually taking some notes and there's a lot of key takeaways there, right? I think you're right, it's it's focusing on the controllables and really going, well, this is my pipe, there's one thing that I can control. It's the amount of opportunities that I put into my pipe. It's, you know, learning this, the fundamentals, writing good sales, not just hearing you send on, you know, 500 emails and saying I've done my job now. Right? There's so much more behind that.

Samantha McKenna [00:13:33]:
Yeah. And, you know, I I think for for me, I've never I've never I think this will surprise people, and I have to put a post up about it one day. But I've never ever been formally trained in any of the sales methodologies that are out there. Yeah. And if I'm being honest, with exception to Challenger Sales, which I I think is a phenomenal rate and a phenomenal methodology, I think the rest of them are kind of hokey and kind of outdated and kind of garbage y. Sorry, guys. I'm gonna get canceled for that. But I think that's that's also where we go wrong.

Samantha McKenna [00:14:03]:
We give a sales rep a 97 point play system that they have to put in place and they ask us and then they do this and then they, and it's Jesus, it's too hard. So instead, again, think about how to coach reps to make sure that they're coming to the table. Alright. Ready to have a conversation, ready to solve a challenge. Just being human. Instead of asking terrible things like, would you be opposed to having a conversation? Or is the reason you haven't responded because you've been eaten by an alligator? Mine comes. Right? Like that, I think that's also hindering us. Everybody knows that they have a sales by when inside it, it really isn't that hard.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:14:39]:
Yeah. You know, it's it's interesting, and I'm I am a big fan of Challenger. I remember reading a book, and I'm like, this is Yeah. Amazing. Smart. I spoke to Brent about this, one of the authors, and it was interesting. It David create polar opposite sides from an opinion perspective. People either loved it or people hated it.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:14:55]:
And I said this to Brenna, I said, what I took away from that and it actually helped me land my biggest opportunity, at the time was I took away the whole, like, that show me you know me, that insight led approach is bringing a point of view. It wasn't about telling my customer or my prospect what you're doing wrong because I think that's where it misinterpreted. It was just coming to the table with a level of insight to say, hey. Actually, I'm showing you that I know you, right, which I think is the biggest gap when I look at what sellers are doing today. I coach so many of them. I'm like, nowhere in this message are you actually showing them that you know them, right? And you're not making it a relevant point of view now because you've just gone in with a generic statement that you're using for another 100, 200 people. So why should they care about you? Right? Completely.

Samantha McKenna [00:15:46]:
Right? And even think about that, how you're how you're coming to the table to kind of challenge their perspective, right? When you bring those insights, right, and you bring a different point of view, I think there there are 2 ways to position that. Right? We can say, like, you're doing it wrong. This is how you should do it. Which is a room fly. Right? Or you can say, like, tell me a little bit about why you're doing this. I'll say this to you like, I remember one of my first sales, a client came to us and said, we want you to do ABC. If you can switch, if you can do ABC, we'll switch to you. My solutions engineer said, why in the hell are they still doing c? They should be doing q.

Samantha McKenna [00:16:18]:
And I'm like, oh, I don't say anything. Just tell them can do ABC and that's it. And he was like, so

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:16:23]:
get out

Samantha McKenna [00:16:23]:
of the way. Right. And so he gets on the call. He's like, you can't you cannot sell them ABC. ABQ. That's it. I'm like, alright. So he gets on the call and he's like, tell me a little bit about why you're still doing C.

Samantha McKenna [00:16:33]:
And I'm like, what do you mean still? And he's like, modern organizations are doing Q. I just have to understand that there's some logic behind C. And they were like, oh, we didn't know we should be doing Q. Why should why should we be doing that? And we closed the deal. Right? And it like it opened my eyes right to that challenger aspect to like shit, like we can, sorry, curse. We can come to the table. Right? We can offer a point of view insights. Have you considered it this way? Modern organizations are doing this.

Samantha McKenna [00:16:57]:
Is there a way why the reason you do it this way? I also think it's very important to read the room. So we were just on a call where our client said, you know, we'd love some help with sequences. We're about to, deploy, HVES under Salesforce. And sorry for any Sales listening out there, but of a product. And so I said, is there I said, you know, we're big fans of Outreach and SalesLoft here. Is there a reason why you're choosing that? And the buyer was very determined. This is a solution we're going with and that's it. And, you know, we've cut we've already decided.

Samantha McKenna [00:17:30]:
And I was like, so we also have to figure out, you know, is this person open minded to listen to something? Does this person want our perspective on this? Or are they very firm that this is what they want? And then we've got to figure out how to navigate that situation. Not 2 is the art of the sale. Having a conversation, listening, actively listening, asking questions. Right? There's a lot that goes into that.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:17:51]:
Yeah. But that's the intuition that you talk about that if you follow a certain framework to the letter of the law, you actually lose your intuition in the sales. And I've often said sometimes the plan that I've gone in with, the plan that I've spent hours preparing, I just throw it off the table because when I'm in there, something has happened where it's like I can't stick with this plan no more because there's a stakeholder here which has completely thrown this whole plan out the window, right? And if I stick to where I'm going, I've got to now just pivot a little bit. And again, you know, there are some people that you deal with and they've got an opinion. You can't change it, right? And you just gotta educate and hope that at some point you can maybe take them on a journey. If not, we're either gonna work together in this capacity Forum maybe we're the wrong fit here. Because what you're trying to achieve, we can't help you get there, and there's no point in us making a promise that we can't, like you said, follow through on. Right?

Samantha McKenna [00:18:49]:
That that's such a good post that you just said. Right? That's something that you should put out on LinkedIn, talking about when we follow that plan, we lose our intuition, right? Or that intuition gets lost because you're you're exactly right. And I I also think that's an opportunity where we have to grow as sellers. You know, those sellers that show up to demos and they have a 98 slide presentation and you're like, oh, I'm gonna die. But midway, you know, or early in the conversation, you ask a question as an executive leader and they say, oh, I'm gonna get to that. But, can I just finish my PowerPoint presentation first? And you're like, no, nobody wants to listen to your stupid presentation. Right? So thinking about like, how do we use the information? How do we read room? How do we see what a new executive that's come in? Maybe that we didn't expect to be there. What they're saying to pivot or drive the conversation.

Samantha McKenna [00:19:40]:
And one last thing I'll tell you, like, on that same thing. Right? We we were again just another call day about writing sequences for a client. And when we listened and we really unpacked everything and talked about what we did, I said, what's the can I ask what's the challenge we're really looking to solve here? Is it is it writing? Is it getting that over the line? And they said pipeline. Our sellers are are it was a BDR team, and they're like, our sellers cannot get enough pipeline. And I'm like, then we shouldn't be focusing on sequences because that's gonna be a longer play. That's gonna take time. Right? That's not gonna turn the faucet off and fix our pipeline problem. Here's what will.

Samantha McKenna [00:20:13]:
So coming in with those insights, being ready to to understand their challenges, and then being able to be prescriptive is huge.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:20:20]:
Yeah. But, again, you've just also touched on something that I think is really important, and I get this all the time, and you probably get when people reach out to us and say I need sales training, I the first question I ask is, well, what's happening in your business for this to become a priority, right? Or what's happening in your business for you to now look into this? And 9 times out of 10, it's not sales training they're looking Forum, there's a problem that's happening in their organization, they think sales training is the fix, right, and often it's not the fix. I often say, well, you can throw some training at this, but if you actually don't change some of the attitudes or behaviors of your people, they're not gonna you've got a fundamental issue over here, right? So don't address something on the right when you haven't addressed something on the left, yeah? And Right. This is again where I I love the what you said being proactive and going, I work with people like you all the time. I see trends. So it's my job to kind of help you navigate through this process and help you, you know, identify things that you might not be seeing because you're in it. I'm out of it, right? I see things from a different perspective.

Samantha McKenna [00:21:25]:
Completely. And you, I think you, you touched on something so important there, right? I, there's a line that I always talk about that we are too quick to trust our prospects. And that sounds a little rude. Right? But we really are. So if a prospect comes to us and says the problem I need, I need sales training. If we're quick to sales trust you. I trust that you know what you're talking about. Here's how we can help you train.

Samantha McKenna [00:21:48]:
We're gonna miss the mark because most of the time to your point, they don't know how to solve or what they're looking to solve Forum. They just think that they know. So imagine, right, how much more powerful we can be if we say, I get what you need. Can you tell me the goal or the the reason, the thing that's driving this need Forum you? What are what are we looking to do there? Right. And more often, more often than not, we're gonna find out something else. Maybe somebody hires us to be a weight room trainer and we find that they want to get to the moon and we're like, I'm working out. It's not going to get you to the moon, but I know how you can get to the moon so I can help you with that. Right? It's our just as you said, it's our job to uncover that.

Samantha McKenna [00:22:25]:
What I also love about this, right, is I always say the number one thing we are here to do on a discovery call, somebody has gifted us with 30 minutes of their time, is to solve the challenge that they have. If we show up to the conversation to find out what that is, hopefully, the majority of the time it will be something that we do. Some of the time it's not going to be us or they're gonna be too old too mature too big too young too whatever for us right as an organization not as a person. Don't worry I'm not being ageist. But they are right. So we need to understand that we need to qualify or unqualify disqualify them but when we disqualify them I think that part of our job is to find someone or give them a recommendation of somebody that can be a resource to them. To me, it's like that trustworthy mechanic. You know, you bring your car and they're like, we can't help you but here's someone who can or you can get it fixed for free if you go across the street and you're like, just happened.

Samantha McKenna [00:23:18]:
They're honest, and it's the same thing with salespeople.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:23:20]:
But that's why I love what Brent's currently talking about right now is around making sense. Yeah? And helping our buyers don't have all the answers to the questions that they're looking for, right. So, and I found that and it's interesting when you take that viewpoint where I might not be able to serve you and commercialize this relationship, if I help you, I've had this happen many times. I've I've connected them with somebody else or I've given them some content to say, hey, I can't help you, but maybe this. What they see me as a trusted adviser and then when there is something that I can help them with, they often come back or they always call me as a point of reference to say, hey, you know, I need training in this part. I know you don't do it, but do you know anyone? Absolutely. Exactly. Because they're seeing me as that in inner circle, right, which I think is that if for me, it's selling selling.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:24:10]:
That's kind of that's kind of the ideal state I wanna get to with my trusted network because as we know, referrals referrals are they convert at the highest possible rate. Yep. It doesn't matter you know, we've seen this time and time again, over the in in my whole career. So but I think this is a perfect segue because you're talking about the discovery, you're talking about showing up, educating, asking great questions. And there was a post that you did about turning up to a discovery call and not having any gender. And I have I have a different opinion to that. Right? It was really good. It it it elicited a lot of good response.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:24:52]:
There was a lot of comments on the post. We'll actually post in the show notes. Some disagreements? Yes. It was good. Now and I think Daryl, this this guy that, you know, not many people know about him, but I'm sure we'll we'll pop his link in the show notes as well. But Daryl comes he he also shares the view that having an agenda is important. Fastuca quick interruption to let you know about a free resource that Luigi and I wanna hand over to you. This resource has helped lift close won rates to over 73% on average.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:25:26]:
Plus, you'll get our b to b sales newsletter that drops weekly where you can learn what it takes to build a repeatable sales process and creating a pipeline full of qualified deals. To get this resource, just go to Forum, or click the link in this episode and sign up today. Now before I share my perspective, talk me through why you think that turning up to a discovery and just having a conversation versus starting with a with a simple agenda is the better way for sales.

Samantha McKenna [00:26:00]:
I think an agenda to me is unnecessary. And here's why, here's what I think. If I showed up to a call and I set an agenda and I said, here's what I'd like to do today. I'd like to hear a little bit more about you, which I already wrote in the meeting invite that I sent you so you could be properly prepared for this call. I'd like to hear a little bit more about you. I'd like to ask you some questions. Then I would like to tell you a little bit about us. And then if there seems to be a mutual fit, let's schedule for next call.

Samantha McKenna [00:26:27]:
How does that sound? We know that that's exactly what we're here to do. Right? It's it's the the example that I use with the 1st date. Like, we would never show up to our 1st date. Be like, tell me about yourself. We'll get some drinks and I'll tell you about me and then we'll decide if we went, no, we already know what we're tell me about yourself, we'll get some drinks and I'll tell you about me and then we'll decide if we went, no, we already know what we're here to do. Right? So to me, it's unnecessary and it adds a level of, I think, this is gonna sound counterintuitive being a sales trainer, but as a level of sales process and I think formality that is just not necessary for a first date if you will. Right? We know what we're here to achieve. And to me I also think it's like so we set we build a report.

Samantha McKenna [00:27:04]:
We then set the agenda and then we say like, okay, well, tell us a little bit about what's going on with the business. Business. And it's a weird kind of transition where

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:27:12]:
I've got an

Samantha McKenna [00:27:13]:
idea of how to run that call better, but you you tell me your your perspective.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:27:17]:
Yeah. Well, I again, I'm and I'm like you, I send the agenda ahead of time. I put it into the meeting in the meeting inbox. Right? I put, hey, these are the 3 I usually keep it to 3 things because especially if you've got sort of half an hour to an hour. Now, I I mean, I am very structured. I do use a structured approach, and, it's not a Sandler or anything. I just something that I've I've learned from a few different books that I read. But I like to lead with, I never lead with the whole tell me about your business anyway because I come from the, and I've seen the data, that if if they're giving me time, I need to do my research and, and again, I've seen some reports that say, you know, 89% of buyers expect us to know their industry, know their problems, and know a bit about their business.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:28:06]:
Right? So

Samantha McKenna [00:28:07]:

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:28:07]:
They haven't got time to educate me on what I can already find out in the public domain.

Samantha McKenna [00:28:12]:

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:28:12]:
So I do that research so that I can actually when I start asking questions, they're really thoughtful questions and they see that that question is coming from a place of research, and already my brand and that rapport starts to they it increases, relationship tension decreases because they're like, this person's decreases because they're like, this person's taking the time to read about my business, read about what's happening in our industry, and asking a question that's quite relevant to me. Yeah. But the way I start most meetings is I say, hey, Sam. Thanks so much for again, for taking the time to meet with me today. I thought as I've you know, mentioned on the phone, the purpose of today would be for me to share a little bit of insight into what we're seeing sales orgs, implement to sort of achieve a b c, also get better understanding of what you're doing in this current market, and then we can discuss how we might be able to help and if there's a next steps. Was there anything else you wanted to cover? So I kind of use that kind of frame up, which is a very simple 32nd. I try to make it not so formal by the way I deliver it to the way I say it. And usually, what they usually say is that they give me an extra bit.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:29:17]:
Yes. I would love to know a, b, c. I've I've noticed on your site you're working with HubSpot. Would love to know a bit about that. Great. Although so now that sounds good, and then we can move into the convo. So that's my kind of way that I do it and then I lead with the insight first before asking them a question. So I lead with insight to say this is what so it's like a 2 to 3 minute narrative, and then there's the question behind it.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:29:45]:
Because when I lead with that narrative, they start saying, well, actually, I get them thinking about the something different. Right? Yeah. And then that opens a conversation up, and then I kind of seamlessly move into the discovery stage, which is asking some questions, and then we we're talking about the opportunity. Right? So that's my structure.

Samantha McKenna [00:30:05]:
You know what? You know, I think, like and, like, you and I have talked about this before too. Right? I think that there are so few things in sales that are black and white of like, you must do this. Right? And we've talked about, you must never be late to an, meeting. You must never insult your client. I think everything else is style. It's how it's also authentic style to how we work. So even if I talk about my framework for a discovery call, it may just not work for somebody else who just isn't that kind of personality. But I think my perspective is a little different and I think what I the way I kind of lead the call right number 1 really always think about that zoom presence and I say that because right most of the reps when I joined cause are like Sam really excited to meet you.

Samantha McKenna [00:30:47]:
I'm so glad you're here and I'm like I can tell. There's just so much that you have a smile on your face. So think about the Zoom presence first and foremost. 2nd, that show me you know me. Building that rapport, making sure there's a good ambiance there, giving them a sense of what you learned about them either from a personal perspective or about their company, etcetera. I'd be like, I saw you guys are doing this great charity event. I saw you guys, you know, just made this list that must be so amazing, blah blah. Just by doing that show me you know me on that again on them company vertical whatever.

Samantha McKenna [00:31:13]:
And in the conversation of the icebreaker you're saying I've done my homework by the way. It's clear. And then what I love to say is right when we're when we're done with that business Fastuca, to me there's no agenda. And sales, you know, like I'd love to tell you a million things about Sales. Now, if they are an outbound lead, if they show up with their referral, they have absolutely no idea what we do. I need to give them some pillars. I'd love to tell you a million things about Sam sales. You know, what we do with social selling, how we focus on sales training foundations, what we work on with sequence writing, our LinkedIn executive presence.

Samantha McKenna [00:31:47]:
But first, I'd love to hear about you. Right? And then when that person hears that, they think like shit lot. Right? Deer in headlights, they don't know what I want. So I sales, I'd love to hear about you. You know, I know you guys are working on this. I know you recently got your series b funding. I saw this. But tell me about your team challenges the overall landscape like on your side if that's okay.

Samantha McKenna [00:32:08]:
Now to me that's basically just saying why did you show up here? Like what do you want? In a professional way and I find that that to me not only is asking that question won me deals right like I tagged Megan from Seismic who was like I heard that question and I knew Sam was our person but we always get a data dump like the most common response that I get is what are we working on. Okay. So let me start here. And then they just talk Forum while. Just 2 quick things I'll say there. I think, it was growth, like, Doug Landis, who I adore, commented on that and on that that no one's and was like, couldn't disagree more. Right? Like, she just falls into your camp. Right? Like, come with insights.

Samantha McKenna [00:32:52]:
Be prepared. Teach them something. And I think for my style, I do show that homework that those insights that I'm prepared that I'm an expert in that opening. And then I sales, you tell me how to best drive this call and work it from there. The other thing to think about and this is gets really nerdy on behavioral science, but you think about introverts and extroverts. And sometimes if we come to the call and we sales, this is what I'd like to cover, Anything else, we might get an introvert who's like, nope. Because they don't want their voice said or maybe because their boss is on the line. They don't have something that they wanna shout out about, so they'll just say sounds good to me.

Samantha McKenna [00:33:30]:
So I think even just by asking them, we might stifle that creativity.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:33:33]:
That's really it's really interesting a lot, and and I'm a big I'm a I love DISC, for example, you know, the the structures. Yeah. I'm I'm a big fan of it. I'm actually just but, you know, I think something that you've just touched on, you're absolutely right, that style and the charisma, and I know it's not about selling iced Eskimos because I hate that phrase, like I actually hate that you can sell anything to anyone because again, I don't believe in

Samantha McKenna [00:33:57]:
Sell me the spoon. Yeah. Yeah.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:33:59]:
But I think what you've just mentioned is even if you are an introvert because I I've seen and I've coached some really successful sellers that are not your stereotypical sales. They are introverts, right? Yeah. They're very data driven. They're very analytical, which is something that when I started, it was not, you know that was not your typical persona of a sales professional.

Samantha McKenna [00:34:20]:

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:34:21]:
But one thing that they do do is they do show up to a meeting, and they've got that presence. Yeah.

Samantha McKenna [00:34:27]:

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:34:27]:
And that's something that I can see, like, when you talk, you've got presence. You're, and and I have seen it a while. I've been on the end of Gong sales, and I'm like, you're looking at the wrong screen, 1st and foremost. You've got to head on, which is, look, not the worst thing, but where's your energy? Like, are you not, you're not creating energy, you're not slowing down your tone, and I think this is where the art is sometimes getting lost. Like, we're so focusing on the tools and the tech and, and and so look, that's probably another episode and and, but, see, I love this and I and one question I do wanna ask because I know we're we're pressed for time, but when you do book a discovery call, if you're not connected with the buying committee, say you're you're there's 3 or 4 people coming to that meeting for that that first meeting. Are you proactive and connect with them first so that they can then start to see your content before that meeting?

Samantha McKenna [00:35:26]:
Oh, yeah. I think the the press that we've got, basically everything that we run at Sales is called If This Then Not. Right? We build a model just to build that process and that muscle. So if you book a meeting with someone, then you connect with them on LinkedIn. If they invite other people to the meeting, then you connect on LinkedIn before the meeting. The beauty of that, right, with our contacts is just like you said, they get to see our content. But even if they don't, they get to look at our profile, our history, our experience we're working for, who we have in common, and we can build credibility in advance. And that is, by the way, a huge key of that discovery call.

Samantha McKenna [00:35:59]:
If I show up and I don't know who that person knows that we have in common or where they've worked, I've done myself a disservice. And I'll tell you, there is one time where I haven't done it. And the one time I didn't do it, the person got on the phone and said, you know, I used to work for around 24. Right? Which is my previous employer of 6 years. And I was like, nope. Because I did not do my homework. I was back to back to back. Didn't do my show me, you know me.

Samantha McKenna [00:36:22]:
It's happened. And I was mortified. So Yeah. Always do it because the one time you don't, it's gonna bite you in the butt.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:36:30]:
Yeah. That's you know what? That's great advice. You know, I love that if this, then that. I love that structure. So hey, Sam. For me, this has been an awesome I've I've literally got a page of notes here. I've got a couple of posts that I think I'm gonna connect following this. Yeah.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:36:45]:
But before we let you go, where is the best place? I know you've mentioned LinkedIn. Is that the best place for them to find you and connect with your listeners? Yeah.

Samantha McKenna [00:36:51]:
Come say hello there. Our website's Growth. Samsalesconsulting.com. Sign up for our newsletter. We pack a good punch every week. You can find all of our events, our women's group, all that stuff right on our Yeah.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:37:01]:
Awesome. And full disclosure to my listeners is I have already bought, Sam's discovery masterclass. It's great. I might even put that in the show notes so that you can get access to that, and go on there, buy it. But look, Sam, I just wanna say thanks for the contribution you make. I love your content. I do. And our listeners, once you connect with Sam, you'll love it.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:37:23]:
Sam posts daily content. It's awesome. So thanks for helping our sales profession try to be the best they can be.

Samantha McKenna [00:37:29]:
Rebecca, thanks for having me. Great to be here.

#252: How to Become a Trusted Advisor and Skyrocket Your B2B Sales
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