#259: Stuck In a Sales Rut? Install These 5 Dynamic Conversation Techniques For 10x Better Results

Anthony Iannarino [00:00:00]:
My argument is you're obligated to tell them to change before they recognize that they need to change. Yeah. Because if you're late, number 1. And number 2, they're probably already being harmed.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:00:11]:
Welcome back to another episode of the How to Sell podcast. If you're a first time listener, thank you for jumping on and checking out this podcast. If you're a long time listener, thank you very much for the support and for allowing me to have a platform to share some ideas and thoughts when it comes to the world of platform to share some ideas and thoughts when it comes to the world I'm selling. For the first time, a guest that is appearing on the show for their 2nd time. And this is massive and because this particular guest, in my eyes, is probably 1 of the smartest minds when it comes to b to b sales. And we're gonna dive into what is the most important part of the whole sales process, which is the sales conversation. It is the only thing that matters. And why does it matter? Because we are living in a world, we are living in such a crowded marketplace.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:01:01]:
And when you think about it from your buyer's perspective, when they're talking to a provider, a product provider or a service provider, it's actually really hard for them to differentiate between different providers. Features of the products look identical. Websites look very similar. They actually do very similar things. So how do buyers navigate through the buying journey and arrive at a point of decision where they're confident in the decision they're about to make? And this is a really important conversation because when we look at the data that Gartner have recently put out, over 60% of b to b engagements lead to a no decision. They don't go anywhere. They maintain the status quo. It's because something's broken down in the process.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:01:56]:
They either haven't seen the value, they haven't got consensus, they haven't got alignment on problem, there could be a variety of different challenges that have stopped them from taking action. And that is what this episode is what we're gonna be talking about today because the way in which we differentiate from a sales perspective is that sales conversation. You're probably going, what what the hell are you talking about, Luigi? The reality is we don't wanna be going in to talk to prospects and to talk to potential clients and say, hey. Look at all the awards we've won. Look at all the companies we serve. Look at all the Growth things that we do. Because the reality is most people sell like that. And if you're selling like that, you then that you're walking out of that office or you're walking off that Zoom call or that Teams call or whichever way you're engaging with your customers and your prospects, And the client's like, mate, I've just had 3 different sales people come in and they're all talking exactly the sales, and then they share with me a product that look exactly the same.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:02:46]:
The only thing that differentiates is price. And this is where we need to be thinking differently. This is where we need to be thinking about the insight that we bring into these conversations, the education. Because at the end of the day, our clients, our potential clients are trusting us to make the decision they don't trust themselves to make. That is an incredible statement when you hear it, right. When I first heard that, I'm like, yeah, like, let's think about this. I'm the expert at what I do. My clients are not the expert at what I do.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:03:15]:
They're seeking advice. They're seeking help to fix something that's impacting their ability to achieve a certain outcome. So hence why they're looking for somebody to fix that problem. Just a quick interruption to let you know about a free resource that Luigi and I want to hand over to you. This resource has helped lift close won rates to over 73% on average. Plus, you'll get a 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. Io forward slash newsletter or click the link in this episode and sign up today.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:04:00]:
And that's why I'm really excited about this week's episode because this week we have the incredible Anthony Iannarino coming back for the second time. Now I've got a bone to pick with him first before we get started because when he wrote his first book, when he growth it, when he wrote his book, it was the only sales guide you'll ever need. Then he wrote another book. Then he wrote another book called elite sales strategies. And this is what pretty cool because and, look, I haven't got the bones because Anthony is incredible. And if you haven't subscribed to his blog, we're gonna put into the show notes where you can get access to his content. But his content is awesome. I've had the privilege of seeing Anthony live in the US at outbound a number of years ago.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:04:37]:
I flew halfway across the world to get the opportunity to listen to him and listen to his preachings and his content, and and it is it is gold. And Anthony's gonna drop some incredible strategies in this episode today. So, please, if you're listening to this on the road, make sure when you get home, you listen to it again and you take your notepad out, you get your pen, and you take some notes because Anthony's gonna drop some pearls of wisdom that's gonna help you not just differentiate in a crowded marketplace, but it's gonna help you become the best sales professional you can be. Well, I'm really excited, Anthony, and you are the very first guest that is making their second appearance.

Anthony Iannarino [00:05:16]:
So welcome again, Anthony. So so now whatever happens, I will be the first person to be on a second time. Yeah. That's right. That's amazing. Yeah. Yeah. Well I love it.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:05:29]:
For my listeners, they will know you, but just in case, we've got some new people that have joined the show who somehow, working in sales and don't know who you are, you're an accomplished author. You've written a number of incredible books. Your blog, you put out your blog every single week.

Anthony Iannarino [00:05:44]:
Every day? Every day? Every day.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:05:47]:
Or I'm getting the 1 on the Sunday. I get my my weekend 1.

Anthony Iannarino [00:05:50]:
That's the newsletter. Yep.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:05:51]:
Newsletter. Sorry. The newsletter. Yeah. Every week. I've had the privilege of seeing you live in session in Atlanta a few years ago, and you were, in my eyes and and you still are, in my eyes, Anthony, probably 1 of the the number 1 thought leaders when it comes to b to b selling. And I've

Anthony Iannarino [00:06:08]:
got you Forum saying that.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:06:09]:
Multiple times to land, you know, lots of 6 and 7 figure deals, mate. So welcome to the show. Good to be back. Yeah. Awesome. So, mate, you've you've written a couple of books. We've gone through a couple of years of an this experiment of working from home, and you've decided stories. So 1, when I

Anthony Iannarino [00:06:30]:
wrote the only sales guide, stories. So 1, when I wrote the only sales guide, what I was really writing is a competency model for b to b sales people in the modern age. Yep. And and things like leadership and change management and consensus and business acumen, like those weren't part of our our normal conversation about what a salesperson needs to be able to do in the way of their skill set. But I also recognize that there's a whole bunch of attributes, like character traits that you need, like discipline, optimism, caring, competitiveness, resourcefulness, all those things. And no 1 had ever written a book that was really a competency model, even though I made mine more entertaining than a competency model with, with a lot of good stories, and it's it's sort of dressed up as a success book. Right? And and I did that book first because I thought, yeah, everybody's so far behind on this conversation that, you know, people like you and I are paying attention to what's going on in the world of sales, but they're not paying attention to it the same way that we are. Like, we're looking at it through this lens of, like, how do people get better? And so I did that 1 first.

Anthony Iannarino [00:07:38]:
And, you're always kind enough to say nice things about The Lost Art of Closing, but The Lost Art of Closing is in that first book. I just have the list of the commitments with no explanation because you only get 60, 000 words. So there was no words available for me to say any more about it, but I wanted to show people the structure. When I handed off my first book, I wrote 4, 000 words on the next book on my flight home. I mean, so I I knew what we were writing, and I I knew what I was gonna do after that. Wow. Without giving people control of the conversation in a way to look at what's now a nonlinear process, you know, you're not gonna have a straight line anymore. People are gonna come in and out of meetings, and it'll start and stall and then start again.

Anthony Iannarino [00:08:26]:
What I wanted to give them was a way to have control over that conversation, and not worry so much that they jumped over to the investment before we're ready to have a conversation about that, and knowing how to get them back to collaboration and consensus and all the other things. So I thought that 1 had to come next. Otherwise, eat their lunch was gonna be a very difficult thing to do. Yeah. Yeah. So when we got to that point and we started talking about level 4 value creation, building consensus, advanced discovery, like, really taking a deeper look at what's going on with with what the company's struggling with. I felt like that 1 had to come 3rd. I had a 4th book already outlined.

Anthony Iannarino [00:09:06]:
That book is now the 5th book, and and it's almost done. I have 7, 000 more words to write of the 65, 000 words that I've been given. So I I'm I've been upgraded from 60, 000 to 65, so that's good. I get 5, 000 extra words. And what happened is I wanted to do new content. I mean, every year I go to outbound, I want new content. So I'm gonna release something new. And I had this idea about what sales need to understand about the relationship that they have with a client.

Anthony Iannarino [00:09:42]:
And I found this article that sort of gave me the concept of 1 up. And, 1 up is largely based on the idea of 1 upmanship. And so 1 upmanship is something like, Luigi, do I remember meeting you at Harvard when I was getting my MBA? I mean, were you there at that same time? And Luigi like, no. I didn't go to Harvard, dude. You know? And and that's just me trying to put you down in front of other people. That is not the concept at all. Even though people are, yeah, concerned, and I was concerned. So I had this speech that I had not rehearsed, that I had not practiced, but I knew all the content very well because I've been writing it for some period of time, and I've been paying attention to the relationship that we have with clients, and how many of those relationships where the salesperson believes that the client should be leading the conversation, and the client is the 1 that has the authority to make a decision, and the the client is the 1 that's running this program that we have, and they're leading.

Anthony Iannarino [00:10:47]:
And when I see that, it makes me think, like, why do you think they're gonna buy from you? Like, why would they buy from you when you don't believe that you know more than they know? And so the concept of 1 up to me was very, very clear. The person who's 1 up has greater experience, greater knowledge, and a better ability to make a decision than the person who's 1 down because they make the decision once every 7 to 10 years. They don't have any good experience to let them know how to make that decision and what's happened in the intervening time. And I walked out on stage and before I did this, you've been to Outbound, so you know it's a it's a big show and it's a big production. And I told everybody, I'm going out with a piece of content I've never rehearsed. This will be the first time I ever give this speech. I'm gonna have to actually look at the slides to know where I am. And and this concept that I'm gonna be talking about might cause half of the audience to run screaming out of the room, you know, thinking that what I'm saying is Everest, and I had yet.

Anthony Iannarino [00:11:58]:
So in in the book, I was on Mount Everest, and I had a situation where I had altitude sickness, or I thought I David. And I had a Sherpa that explained to me that I was allergic to altitude sickness medicine. Now the hard part of of that situation is he didn't go to high school. He didn't go to college. He doesn't have a medical degree. The the prescription that I got was from a doctor who does have a medical degree. And and my Sherpa had yak dung under his fingernails because that's what they use to insulate their houses is on the inside and the outside of some of the walls. And I was struck with this idea that Zimmerman, my doctor, has never been to the Himalayas.

Anthony Iannarino [00:12:41]:
Like, he doesn't know the Himalayas. What could he know? He he lives where I live right now, 800 feet above sea level. Like, look, it's not it's not 70, 200 feet. And at some point, I realized this guy knows more about what I need to do because he's seen this Forum, and he knew by looking at me that I was allergic to altitude sickness medicine. And so I threw it away. And I told the story, and people I was watching them just take in what I was saying to them. And I explained that this person is 1 up because he has experience that I couldn't possibly have, and that he had seen a pattern. So he had this pattern recognition that all of you in sales have.

Anthony Iannarino [00:13:25]:
Like you walk in, and the client starts talking, and you you race ahead. The reason some of the times we race ahead of the client is because you've seen this pattern so many times. You're like, I got the pattern so many times. You're like, I got the answer for this 1. I already know the answer. Like, you don't even have to say any more words.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:13:36]:
I can solve it for you. And so we

Anthony Iannarino [00:13:36]:
sometimes jump ahead of them, because the pattern recognition is so strong that you can't avoid knowing what the right answer is because you see it. And and he did that with me. And I've realized he wasn't trying to prove that he was better than me, that he was smarter than me. He wasn't trying to put me down or put me in my place or anything like that. He was trying to help me be able to survive in the Himalayas, and and that's what his his intention was. And he told me, you walk too slow. You gotta walk a lot faster. Like, you gotta walk a lot faster so you start getting a lot of air into your lungs, so you're gonna feel bad.

Anthony Iannarino [00:14:14]:
And about 5 minutes later, I felt better because I started getting enough air into my body that I stopped tingling all over. Now he was 1 up and I'm 1 down. But if he had a question about sales effectiveness or leadership, he's 1 down. I'm 1 up in that situation. So there's a couple areas like 1980s rock and growth, like he's not gonna be in the same category with me. But there's a couple things that he knows that are super valuable. And when I when I first came to this idea, I I expected people not to go, and I I have a LinkedIn note the other day saying, like, this is 1 upmanship, and it's not 1 upmanship. And I like when people say that because I at least get to sales, you're 1 up as it pertains to what you know that your client needs to know, and they're 1 up Yep.

Anthony Iannarino [00:15:01]:
Knowing what they need you to know so that you can help them. And what we do is we have this transfer of each other's information, so I'm no longer 1 down, and the client's no longer 1 down because I'm giving them my advice, my counsel, my They're also giving me the advice that I need at They're also giving me the advice that I need at the same time. And I think when you see this, it makes sense to you if you've been in b2b sales for any period of time.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:15:33]:
Yeah. But what I love about this concept, Anthony, is that and for those that who haven't read the book, who will get, you know, to the stage of reading the book, I encourage you all. I'm I'm I'm getting through it now, and I'm really enjoying the read so far is that you talk about the need for or the importance around change Yeah.

Anthony Iannarino [00:15:53]:
That is

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:15:53]:
why us. Right? And I think what I'm loving about this conversation is before I can even talk about why us, I've gotta help them on their journey of why they should change. Because even if I do have all the answers for them, and like you said, if I raise to go, I'm seeing this pattern. Hey. This is a solution. This is this is what you need, and look at all the people that we've been able to help. They haven't arrived at that point of Right? So therefore, they're not they're not gonna make any form of decision, and they're not gonna change because you you and and I love the way you put in the book. They're not trusting themselves Yeah.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:16:30]:
To make this certain decision. Right? Because they haven't they're not doing this. It's not like it's a transactional sale, and I think this is the difference. We're talking about transformation. We're talking about change. Enterpriseways are buying change. It's and and it's it's it's not something that they're doing all the time. Right? So there is gonna be that level of and I and I saw some interesting stats that over 60% of enterprise decisions or deals are lost to no decisions status quo.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:17:00]:
Right? So and again, in your book, you talk about so that some of those 1 up more of the, I suppose, the mastering the craft and the behavioral elements that, you know, elite sellers need to execute. I'd love to hear sort of you talk about some of those things and how it helps sellers, you know, move a buyer to that point of why they should change.

Anthony Iannarino [00:17:27]:
Yeah. And it's and it's it's 1 of the things that I've spent a lot of time, you know, talking about. And what what I've been documenting through 4 books, the 5th book is called Leading Growth that comes out on September 21. So that's what we're gonna get Forum managers at the next outbound. But at this this particular time, the legacy approach is when you think about this, and I'm gonna speak very, very frankly and candidly. I see people that are going through Sandler training. It's it's 54 years old. That makes it the same age that I am.

Anthony Iannarino [00:18:03]:
I have a white beard. This this is an indication that I've been alive for some period of time that my beard actually turned to some sort of a whitish blue or something. I don't know what it is, but that's what happens over time. And I you think about the things that they would teach would be something like don't drop your candy on the lobby floor, which is a way of saying don't do free consulting. Well, in in 1967, probably a good idea. I mean, probably a good idea. It was fear based. I don't like fear based anything cause I I would prefer to just deal with whatever I'm afraid of than not deal with it.

Anthony Iannarino [00:18:45]:
But I look at that and I think, well, of course, you had to introduce your company, and of course you had to introduce what clients you have, and of course you'd have to introduce your product because how are they gonna know anything? Like, they there's not an Internet that they can go to. You don't put a catalog out all the time. Like, somebody had to walk in and talk to people about what they did. Makes perfect sense. And they had to lean on their company for the the kind of relevance or credibility that we think we need, And that made perfect sense, but now all this time's gone by, and all the things that you're talking about in the why us is on your site. Like, I don't need you to tell me any of that. I already went out and looked at you on LinkedIn, and I looked at your company, and I know what you do. And it doesn't make sense to have that conversation.

Anthony Iannarino [00:19:32]:
So the reason that people are rejecting those conversations is because it doesn't create any value for them. And because there's no value for them, they're ready to move on to somebody else who's gonna have a better conversation. So some of the strategies and the first 1 that I would point to is information disparity. And what happened when the Internet took hold is that people started to say, well, now there's gonna be information parity and the client's gonna know everything that you know. Well, how could that be? I sell what I sell every single day, and I've done that for 30 years. You make this decision once every 10 years. You have no ability to have the same information, the same experience that I have. So I've been teasingly telling people, like, when you go to WebMD and type your symptoms in, you're not a doctor.

Anthony Iannarino [00:20:18]:
Like, you you actually wanna go to a doctor. You can go look at your symptoms if you want to, but you really actually need somebody who does this as a profession. And that's why we're always going to have the position of 1 up. And I'll say 1 last word about the the modern sales approach versus traditional sales approaches. And the sales approach, even solution selling, it starts with, let me tell you about our company. Let me tell you about our legendary CEO that everybody loves this guy's story, or at least that's what marketing wants you to believe. Nobody cares, but they they'll continue to make you do that anyway. And then they'll tell you, like, show them the our trophy case, you know, all the logos on 1 slide, all of big companies that people can't relate to in a lot of ways.

Anthony Iannarino [00:21:06]:
And then let me learn a little bit about you, which means what kind of problems do you have so I can explain how my solution already solves that. And when you think about this, say Luigi making a buying decision and salesperson a comes in on Tuesday and does that same thing that I just said, just walked through. And on Thursday Yep. Salesperson b does the same thing. And I ask you, Luigi, what was the difference between the 2 of them? And you're like, well, the first guy was taller and had lighter hair, and the and the second 1 had a red logo, and I know that for sure. They they can't tell any difference between this conversation because it's been structured in such a way that everybody's, they've commoditized the conversation, that it's just a commodity now. So if you don't wanna have a commoditized conversation, the 3rd chapter in the book is about the sales conversation being the only vehicle that we have. So here's what I would tell you.

Anthony Iannarino [00:22:02]:
Your your product's great. Your service is great. Your solution's outstanding. I get it. I understand all that. So don't don't take this the wrong way if you're listening to this. So is everybody else's. Everybody else's too.

Anthony Iannarino [00:22:15]:
So you have the value that your solution creates for the client, which they cannot feel or experience until they buy. They can't they get none of that until they buy. So the only thing that you have is a conversation that creates enough value for them that they go, these are the right people to work with. I'm going to buy from them. Now you can talk about your product all you want to, but that's really not what's going on in a consultative sale.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:22:44]:

Anthony Iannarino [00:22:45]:
And I've been very grouchy about the consultative sale for a while because people continue to say, well, I ask really good questions. Congratulations, you ask good questions. That's a good thing to do. There's nothing wrong with it. Yeah.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:22:58]:

Anthony Iannarino [00:22:58]:
I don't use any high pressure techniques, neither does anyone else. Like Forum the most part, nobody uses those kind of techniques anymore. So then what does consultative mean? It means I'm gonna tell you how to run your business. I'm gonna make the decision for you. And and listen, if you're within the sound of my voice and Luigi's voice, then know this is true. When you give them your advice, your counsel, and your recommendations, and they take it, you made the decision for them. You made the decision for them, and they wanted somebody that they trusted more than they themselves to make that decision for and with them. It's for and with them.

Anthony Iannarino [00:23:38]:
And and people don't understand most people don't understand that that sales conversation, the greater the value you create, the greater you give them the decision making factors and how to weight these things and why you do this instead of that, the more you're gonna win those deals.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:23:53]:
But this and this is what, Anthony, I'm I'm taking some notes here, right, because you're helping. I love it. Whenever I read your books, whenever I listen to your content, you kinda get me thinking, back to some sales, then also thinking about some deals that might not have gotten the way they should have. Right? But you referenced this in the book around you're moving outside of that I'm selling to you and you're moving above onto that kind of reward level where you're helping them essentially guide them to a point of saying, this is the recommendation we need to take because it's the right recommendation for you. And, you know, I actually love the fact that the way that you talk about asking great questions, it's fantastic. But any good seller should be asking great questions. So that's not a of differentiation. Right? And again, I know that you've been really focused on that value creation piece, and and I continue to talk to sellers across that.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:24:49]:
You're not just creating value on top of funnel. You're creating value at progress. And even it's more important when you get to that point of that pointy end, the bottom of the funnel, you've got to continue to create value. Because at some point, it's getting harder and harder. More decision makers are getting involved in the process. Right? So that value creation piece, I'd love to hear, you know, talking a bit a bit about what sellers can do to create more value in the process that's not just about asking question.

Anthony Iannarino [00:25:20]:
Yeah. And this is, maybe it's chapter 5. I don't have all the chapters memorized. I growth them all, but, yeah. 5 is supporting the client discovering themselves. So there's something that we've done for a very long time, and we've we've interpreted the word discovery as we're discovering. So we're asking the questions, they're giving us the information, we ask more questions, they give us more information. But what's changed is that that's not very valuable for them because everybody's asked the same question.

Anthony Iannarino [00:25:52]:
What's keeping you up at night? Some version of that so that they can get to the problem, so they can get to the solution. Now if you come in and you start asking questions that cause them to have what I would call the moment. And if you're a salesperson, you've done this before. You didn't know you did it. You didn't know it was the moment. Mhmm. And you also didn't probably think I should write that down. But when you ask this question and you say something like, what updates did you make to your strategy going into this peak season over the last 6 weeks, and what do you think you're going to need to change going into the future? And they go, that's a great question.

Anthony Iannarino [00:26:30]:
That means I had no idea I should have been thinking about that, and now I realize how important this is. And so you just taught me something about me, and now I like you because you just helped me understand that I don't understand what I need to do to be successful here. And now I like you, and I think you're gonna be valuable to me. And and it's those kinds of scenarios, you've done that. And as soon as the person says that's a great question, you know they just learned something about them, and that's what you need. They need to understand why change. And when you do this, we make a lot of mistakes about insight. So when Challenger Sales came out, everybody decided they were gonna be an insight based seller.

Anthony Iannarino [00:27:14]:
And so what they did is they found some insights. And then they went out and said, here's an insight. Here's another insight. It's like a Oprah Winfrey thing, like you get an insight and you get an insight. Everybody gets an insight, you know. And that's not that's not really what you're trying to do with insights. It's not showing them insights. What you're trying to do is take the lens that they have with all their false assumptions or outdated assumptions and the way that they've done things for, let's say, 10 years, and you're trying to give them the paradigm shift that says something has changed while you've been doing this that now requires you to do something different to get the results that you need now.

Anthony Iannarino [00:27:54]:
So what we're trying to do is give them a paradigm shift. Something like you can get in a taxi cab. You can wait in the rain for the taxi and try to wave people down, or you can have an app on your phone that all you have to do is tell the person what time to be there, and you can walk out and get in a nice clean car with a bottle of water and all that kind of thing. That's a paradigm shift. It's an evolution. So if you can show them the way that we used to do this was the right way, and and I would say this about sales. Like, solution selling is very good, very good. We've done it for a long time, and it's starting to wear out because it doesn't serve people the way that it did when it was invented.

Anthony Iannarino [00:28:36]:
Like, when when the when salespeople started to adapt that, it was because that was what was necessary. Now there's something else necessary because we have greater complexity in our environment, we have greater uncertainty, And because those 2 things are true, I gotta find somebody who knows more than I do to help me with this. So when you come in and you sit down across from somebody and you start going through the slide deck and you start talking about your solution, you're not having the conversation that they need to be able to decide that they need to change, how they might change. And there's a whole bunch of things you can do inside the sales conversation to make that happen.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:29:16]:

Anthony Iannarino [00:29:16]:
And and the book largely argues that you have only the sales conversation, and you need to figure out all the things that you can do to push those buttons that sales, this is very valuable conversation for me. I'm going to be better prepared to make this decision.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:29:32]:
Yep. And I think that whole element of helping a a prospect or helping a client identify that unrecognized need is something I often do see not enough sellers are thinking about that. They're not allowing their buyer to have that moment. Right? Or if they they don't actually identify or capture that, right, and go cap I've I've I've there's something here. There's an unrecognized need. We've helped them identify, and then we don't build that. They're not building off that. And I absolutely love it because you're absolutely right that that conversation they're having is what's gonna differentiate us to the competition.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:30:13]:
Yeah. Because at the end of the day, the product I think today more than ever, client you know, buyers have more choice. There is more product. That's a huge across every vertical. Right? Yeah. It's so they're they're now littered with, okay, now I've got too much choice. So now I'm getting to that point of I'm of kind of being paralyzed in a world of, well, where do I go? There's all these features. They're all the same.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:30:39]:
Everybody's making those outlandish claims. The best in market, best in the world. So you're absolutely right. That sales conversation is what's gonna differentiate.

Anthony Iannarino [00:30:48]:
And I've wrote a post just, I think it got published last week that says you're different in exactly the same way your competitors are different. Yeah. You're you're it's exactly the same. But if you if you go back just 1 step and you go, why why do we wait until the client's dissatisfied? Because that's what we did in in solution selling. I mean, that's what we were taught to do. And you end up with this idea of, I can't sell to them until they have a budget, until they have authority, until they have a need, and until it's time based. Like, I can't do that. Well, that means you can't be you can never be a trusted adviser.

Anthony Iannarino [00:31:27]:
You can never be a trusted adviser because a trusted adviser doesn't come behind you and go like, Luigi, you really botched that up brother. I mean, you shouldn't have done that. And you're like Yeah. Well, why didn't you tell me I shouldn't have done that before I did it? That doesn't you're not a trusted adviser. You're a guy that's doing an autopsy. The body's dead now. We can't bring it back to life. You should have told me before this.

Anthony Iannarino [00:31:51]:
And my argument is, and there's there's a chapter about compelling change, you're obligated to tell them to change before they recognize that they need to change. Because if they recognized it, you're late, number 1. And number 2, they're probably already being harmed. So why would you wait when you could prevent that from happening in the first place and give everybody back the time and the money and the pain that they have to go through before they get to that point where they can get the better results.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:32:18]:
Yeah. This is this is awesome, Anthony. So do you wanna ask, like, if you're if you're if you're listening to this podcast thinking, holy crap, you know, yep. I've gone through the sound of training. I've gone through the solution. My my my boss has told me, Challenger this and because I I'm a big fan of Challenger. I think I think Challenger was a lot of people misinterpreted Challenger. I think if you really think about but, anyway, I think that's another conversation, Anthony.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:32:40]:
But I but if if you're sitting here going, you know what? I I am that the change conversation, I'm not having enough, I'm not helping them identify no recognized need, What's the best place for them to start making that paradigm shift within themselves. Right? Because that's where it's gonna start.

Anthony Iannarino [00:32:57]:
Yeah. It's you you have to and I will tell you, it's easier than you think it is. I started doing this before there was a challenger. I mean, there there wasn't that that concept, it didn't exist.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:33:08]:

Anthony Iannarino [00:33:08]:
In 2001, I started figuring out, I have to teach them that their assumptions are I have to show them that there's a new reality that they now live in, and I continue to help them understand that reality doesn't really care about your your feelings. It it has no interest in your spreadsheet with your model on it. It doesn't really care. It just does reality, and so that's it. And I had clients I couldn't get to change. And once I started briefing them with data, like real data, I mean, as soon as we started to be able to capture really good data, I started putting data in front of people and showing them, you think that this is true, and now let me show you this. And they would look at this and go, if that's true, then now I understand why I'm having this problem. Now we get that change conversation started, so you know what information they need to see to help them understand that their their assumptions are David, or they've they're just not useful anymore.

Anthony Iannarino [00:34:07]:
They were when they had them though, believe me. That was a good thing when they did it. And like it's gonna be a good thing when you come in and you give them a new paradigm shift, and they take on some new assumptions. 10 years from now, those assumptions are probably not worth talking about. Like, it's the world's evolving so fast that you're gonna have to do something sooner than and and you'll find out that this this is the great I'm just gonna say it's like the arc of sales goes like this, and it bends directly into value creation.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:34:38]:

Anthony Iannarino [00:34:38]:
So as a consultative salesperson, you it's now a fundamental that you're consultative. Like, it's not a choice. If you're transactional, no 1 needs you. Like you're not giving me enough value that I need to spend time with you. And you have to move very quickly to becoming more, what I'm just calling truly consultative. And I'm saying that because the the words consultative means good questions to most people. And I'm saying it has nothing to do with your questions except for the ones that cause the client to recognize something. And it has everything to do with your counsel, your advice, and your recommendations, including your vantage point.

Anthony Iannarino [00:35:18]:
Like, I take people up Mount Everest every day. You've never been to Mount Everest. I'll lead you because if we let you lead, we're all going to die on this mountain. Like, you you can't get there. You don't have the experience to get there. But I can tell you how to get there in the safest possible way and the fastest possible ways based on where you are. Some people have to go all the way around the mountain like this because they're not strong enough to go straight up. Other people can walk right up the side of the mountain, and it's just 2 different 2 different ways of thinking of it.

Anthony Iannarino [00:35:49]:
But if you're not teaching them how to buy, and you believe they know how to buy, you're wrong. Like, they don't know how to buy. They're struggling with making decisions. You're you're I think the number I've seen is 54% of b to b initiatives just die. Yeah. That no decision made, they stop, they don't even look at it again for years Yeah. Which means if we fail them at this, not only do we fail, but they fail, and they may fail for a very long time because we didn't do the job we needed to do. Yeah.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:36:20]:
You're so right. And especially if that particular initiative, that business case they were trying to get across the line to make that change was important for them. Right? And if we're not successful in helping them, it could impact their organization in the long term. It could impact their people. We could impact the whole range of things. So Anthony, once again, you've delivered incredible insight. Very few will make me get a pen and a paper just to start writing writing down. So I just wanna say, again, thank you for coming on the podcast.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:36:49]:
We get links for everybody where they can buy your book, where they can buy outbound tickets because outbound is coming up. I did make the trek, as all my listeners know, and if you're new to this show, I, you know, took me 2 days to get to outbound, physically 2 days in blinds. Wow. And it was the best conference I've been to in my life. I learned so much, but what was the biggest outcome for me was the fact that there's a community of people just like me trying to be the best we can be, and we don't all have the answers. Right? And even the best of the best are out there looking to find that additional 1%. So that's what Outbound's gonna help people achieve. But I just wanna say again, Anthony, your content, your books, the leadership you show our community to help elevate, I'm very appreciative of, and I'm very grateful for for what you do for us.

Anthony Iannarino [00:37:37]:
I'm humbled and honored by your words. I'm I'm a typist mostly, so I type a lot, a lot of word. I care deeply about what we do. And I think right now, we're at this pivot point where people are gonna have to start working a lot harder, especially in, you know, our world. So, like, in an enablement world, you're gonna have to enable things that no 1 has been enabling, even though we've known now for if you wanna go to Challenger, it's a good marker. It's a good marker. It's probably the biggest selling book since been selling, be my guess, in in sales. You you've got to start recognizing, like, that that book is now 11 years old.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:38:14]:

Anthony Iannarino [00:38:15]:
And and most people have still not picked up where we are and what we need to do about it. Mhmm. You know, they're just sticking with the status quo. Awesome.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:38:23]:
Well, thank you, Anthony.

Anthony Iannarino [00:38:24]:
I'll say 1 last word. Here's my last word, though. The people who go tell other people to change should take their own advice.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:38:33]:
Yep. And may maybe that's the next episode. You might be the first to be the 3rd guest on the show, the 3rd time, when your next book comes out. So thank you again, Anthony.

Anthony Iannarino [00:38:43]:
Thank you. Good to see you.

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