The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

How This Former Kindergarten Teacher Is Teaching Sellers To Stand Out w/ Josh Braun


We hear from Josh Braun, who shares with us his secret tool for getting the sale--and it's probably not what you think. Josh is a former kindergarten teacher who is bringing his teaching skills and insight to the B2B sales game and we're excited to have him on the show to talk all things engagement. Tune in!

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast.This podcast is brought to you by outreach dot I oh, the leading salesengagement platform helping companies, sellers and customer success engage with fires and customers inthe modern sales era. Check out sales engagementcom for new episodes, resources andthe book on sales engagement coming soon. Now let's get into today's episode.Everyone. Welcome to the sales engagement podcast. It's me, Mark Costagu in,the VP sales at outreach, or the leading sales engagement platform in theuniverse, and I have with me one of the foremost experts on sales engagementin the universe, Josh Braun. What's up, Josh Mark? Thank youso much for having me on the big show. My friend, I'm honored. Problem, I hear that they call you the he man of sales engagement. Is that true? As long as you call me that, then that'sall that matters to Menage Lug Awesome Day is my little nine year old sonwatch some show on Netflix that about old toys and Fella in love with teaman. So he literally got like twenty he man action figures for his birthdayand there's nothing cooler than watching your nine year old play with all the toysyou played with as a kid. About is the best. It sounds likeyou are out of the year, my friend. I found all correction,my wife found track jaw, which is a guy with the a that canslide down at piece of twine twenty feet and basically isn't done anything else forthe last three weeks. Been Awesome. I'm concerned that your son has ahook, but we could talk about that later. Well, hey, tellus a little bit about yourself, Josh. Why are you interested in sales engagement? To me a little bit about what you do. So my firstsales job was a kindergarten teacher, mark, I don't even know if you knewthat, and I was selling reading and the love of writing to fiveyear olds, and that is a tough sale, my friend. And soI learned very early on that teaching and selling and helping our all intertwine.So I have roots in education. I later went on to work at NickelodeonStudios, where I wanted to go into video and ended up touring students onthe side in between takes, and really loved teaching. So I spent thefirst part of my career teaching and then the second half of my career selling, and it turns out those two things are pretty much the same. Ican honestly say I've never met someone that worked at Nickelodeon that I knew.For Clara, when I said worked at Nickelodeon, I sliced the melon forMelissa John Hart on the show called Clarissa explains it all. So let's justclarify exactly what I did, but I am in the credits so it's allI can. That's awesome. So tell me a little bit about what youdo now. Yes, so now I help sales organizations get more meetings withpractically anyone they want to buy cre eating outreach that actually puts a smile onpeople's faces. And then the second thing I do is, once you havethose conversations, how do we take those conversations and Tournamento revenue? And Iwork with inside sales teams to accomplish both of those things. Yes, soone reason we wanted to have josh on the PODCAST is he and I've hada couple webinars together and several conversations. He's one of the most creative,interesting people I think in sales, in the sales engagement world right now,and one thing that he does is he puts very thought provoking, well writtenten second reads on Linkedin pretty frequently, and a couple of those caught myeye and I said, Hey, like Josh, why don't we talk aboutthese on the podcast? And so why don't we talk about each of those, Josh, today, in this context of trying to get meetings that bymaking people smile and turning things a little bit differently than the way most peopleare doing sales engagement sound cool? Yes, let me tell you a story andthen we could talk about the learnings and the applicability for you as asalesperson, specifically on a discovery call. So I was in the mall tryingto kill some time, as often I am when my wife is shopping,and stumbled into fit to run, which... a running store. Now myview mark, I had just bought running sneakers about a month ago. Didn'thave a pain, didn't have a problem my running sneakers, merely wanting theto just kill some time. So if the sales associate walked up to meand said, Josh, what brings you in the store today, I wouldhave said, I'm just browsing. If the sales associate, her name isLiz, if she asked me, can I help you, I would havesaid no, I'm just browsing. If she said you have a problem withher running sneakers, I would have said another fine, I just bought them, no sale. But Liz didn't ask any of those questions. Instead,she asked this question. Now, listen to this mark. This is apretty interesting question. She said, Josh, when was the last time you hadyour gate checked? HMM, I'M gonna guess. She said never.I didn't even know what the hell that was, to be honest with me. So my response was, what do you mean? And so with thatone question she was able to get me to start to think differently about somethingI had never considered before, in this case whatever the heck a gate was. And moments later I was on a treadmill which they had set up inthe store with a camera and I'm taking this thing called a gate test,which apparently checks to see if you have a pronated foot. Turns out thatI in fact did have a pronated foot. You can actually see a picture ofthis on Linkedin. And because my foot was pronated and because I runlong distances, the shoes that I had we're going to be prone to injury, specifically once you start getting into half marathon distances. And so she said, hey, because those shoes aren't met for pronated feet, you run therisk of getting injured. Now check out what she did their mark. Shemade my shoes all of a sudden not safe. All of a sudden theold Jewish guy with the fear of getting injured running long distances as now interested. I had a problem I didn't know I had. She made me thinkdifferently and the current thing that I had was no longer safe. All withone question and pus. A hundred and fifty hours later, I bought theshoes and mark. Your Sales Guy, what do you think the takeaway hereis of that lesson that Liz did? Well, I think there's a couple. One is don't approach you the way to everybody else approaches you. Soyou're engaged with you. Engage with her and he. Secondly is ask aquestion that invites some kind of inspection where a potential problem can show up.That's what I'm reading. How did I do? A hundred percent right.And so we talked a lot about discovery calls where we're asking people about theirproblems and they're all friend the same right. You know, typically when I workwith HR directors, they're struggling with A, B and C. Idon't suppose any of those resonate with you. Do they know? If was askedme that question, typically, Josh, when people come into the store theyhave bad sneakers, they're looking for socks, whatever those true things are, I would have said No. But the thing that's unique about what Lizdid and what I would ask sales people to do is find a question foryour business that's similar to the gate question. We could talk about another example aswell, but that question gets moved to think differently about something that wasn'teven on my radar before, in this case pronated feat that I didn't evenknow I had. So it's about finding problems, not about asking for problems, and the best sales people that I've ever had the pleasure of meeting findthe problems and find opportunities and show people what's possible rather than just asking forproblems. I'd be interested to know, like, what is the exercise youwould take someone through to help discover what one of those questions might be,because it's easy to say, well, Hey, just look at it,figure it out and get your version of it. But like, how wouldyou God someone to that process? Let's not talk about let's do it.Let's go without reaching out. Let's do with outreach. So I have acustomer, a prospect, it doesn't matter who it is, and they havean inside sales team and they're currently sending out emails using traditional tools like outlook, and they're creating tasks in sales for... to be able to follow up. So let's talk about a gate question for someone like that that could bea potential outreach customer. I'M gonna ask you to put on your thinking hat, mark, and I'm going to have put on my thinking had too.But let's actually do this in real time. What is something that someone might notbe thinking about, because to them this is hey, I don't havea problem sending emails, I send it, I go into my setmail, Isend the other one, I create tasks. If I don't have aproblem, I'm doing this job. What question could be asked all of asudden get them to think, what do you mean? What are you talkingabout? Well, I think that asking people if they understand exactly how longit takes to craft and to send out an email, per email they send, is an interesting question, right. That's one that we think about alot. Is that give is taking you five or six minutes to do allof the mechanations and clicks and screens and tabs to send something out versus thirtyseconds? That's a lot of productivity loss there. So that's what's the questionthat you're giving me a statement here. I'm going to press a little biton this number. Yeah, this was Josh. Have you ever had agate test that's as simple as it was? Like, have you ever had agate test same level of simplicity, I'd say. Have you ever measuredhow long it takes someone or looked at how long it takes someone to sendan email? Yeah, I mean that's a great question. Or another onethat I might say is, have you ever considered how you can have threeless salespeople and still get the same number of meetings? That's any one,right. I mean, like, here's another example. Right, let's sayI'm selling a smart block, so smartlocks I can open up with my thumb, Finger Print, Bluetooth or my phone as opposed to just a key.So I might ask someone what happens when you're out to dinner and you realizeyou forgot to lock your door. Oh my God, I'm screwed. Someone'sgoing to come and that's I don't know. What happens when your kids are standingoutside your door and tend agree whether in Chicago and they lost the key. How do they get in and you're not around? Gee, I don'tknow, that's a problem. I don't know what we were doing that situation. So when you think me, you just really naturally good at this.I don't think a lot of people. You know, you're a different levelthan a lot of people. Like you can just if I said, Hey, listen, give me one of those questions for my son's Nintendo switch,you can come up with one for that, just like off the top of yourhead. So, like, how do you think about it? Wheredo you go to come up with that question? YEA, so we're wehave to figure out what is meaningful. When I say meaningfully different, Imean why does it matter to the prospect? So it's not enough to say outreachis purple and we're the only ones with a purple logo. or we'rethe only ones that have this a be technology, whatever that is, thatmight not be meaningfully different to the prospects. So we have to understand what isthe prospect doing, what's their job now, and how do we makethat job better? Right, what's the job we're doing now and how dowe make that job better? And from there we can start to ask aquestion. That closes that gap. Right. So the job I'm trying to dois get into my house. If I lost my key, I'm verylonger able to do that. And so to be able to close that gap, we have the smart technology. Right, without reach, the job I'm tryingto do really isn't to and emails. That's not really the job. Thejob I want to do is book meetings and I want to do itwith the least amount of money in the least amount of house a possible.So have you considered raising what you can go from booking five meetings to tenwithout adding any additional people? You mean? You know, it's not about sendingmore emails and automating this and automitting that. That's a means to anend. So step number one is understanding where the prospect is now and whatother things might they not be thinking about and how do you help close thatgap? So, with Liz Ge, I wonder if Josh is thinking aboutpermated feet. That's one problem we solve. I wonder if he's thinking about otherproblems that we solve. So it...

...will start with listing all the typesof problems that you help people solve and then figuring out what questions you canask to be able to get people to say, what do you mean?I haven't thought of that. What are you talking about? Yeah, andI'm not sure people have heard. Everybody's heard yet your Mario fireball thing,but this goes right back to that. So give us a little lesson onMario and fireballs. Yeah, and for clearing this is not mine. Thisis a from user on boarding, so for credit to those folks. Butit's a really great analogy for understanding features and benefits and it's sort of goeslike this. If you guys remember, Mariel was a character in a videogame and he had a problem. Mark, what was Mario has problem? Idon't know if you remember this. What was Maria's problem? All Iknow exactly what it is. My kids played still play this game. Theyhave the little squat mushroom needs or wanting to eat them. That's the problem. Thus, I can buy him back. In my day it was Princess Peach. Yeah, that's captured by Bowser and she was held up in atower. So your customers have a problem to so for marrow, the problemwas princess peach is in the castle. Right. In order for him toget Princess Peach, he jumped on a flower and that flower gave him afireball, and that fireball was the thing that allowed him to defeat the monstersand ultimately rescue peach. So here's the analogy, Mario. That's like yourprospects. They have a problem. The Flower is the thing that you sell, but what people buy is the fireball, the thing that you allow them todo better. So back to outreach. It's not about the marketing automation technology. That's the flower. That's the what what people are interested in ishow that makes them happier. I use outreach every day for my business,and I'm not just saying this because I'm on the podcast. I say toeverybody, and I recommended to everyone that I work with, because it makesyou happier. How does it make you happier. It allows you to bookmore meetings that are higher quality. That converted to revenue with less people,so lower acquisition costs. That's the fireball. So in your business we figure outwhat the fireball is. That's what people buy. We figure out theproblem and then we work backwards to come up with the questions. So youhave this story about the gay that right really says hey, way to engagesomeone is to ask a question that causes them to consider do I have thisproblem or not? Through that you can have a great conversation that maybe theydon't have the problem. Maybe you would have said, hey, you know, no, I don't, I've never taken a gay test. You wouldhave taken it and she's been like hey, your shoes are perfect. I guaranteeyou would have come back to her later in the future. Right.But so you have another story on Linkedin that you did about someone because youwere trying to get your roof power washed. Right. Yeah, yeah, soyou make a great point there, mark. I want to I wantto stand that for a while. When you educate, this gets back tothe roots and teaching. Right, all great sales people can learn a lotfrom from teaching. Like read some books on teaching and pedagogy, right.And when you teach someone something they don't know. You've been in this situationtoo, mark, I'm sure. If you've been a seminar and someone taughtyou something and you're like wow, that was super smart. I'm a littlebit smarter now than I was before. I stumbled across this person. Itfeels good and you're automatically attracted to that person. I mean Jason Food,my body over a base camp calls it out. Teaching the competition, right. When you can teach someone something that don't know that can make them happier, there's a halo effect around it. That's exactly what happens. When Iwas looking to get my roof pressure claims here in south Florida. Got Threebeds and two of the bids were about the same and one of the bidswas about twenty, twenty five percent higher. But that guy did something very different. Right. It's cleaning a pressure cleaning a roof. It's a prettycommoditized things like happing machine. But how is this guy able to get twentypercent more money? And why was I glad to write the check? Here'swhat he did when he came over to...

...the house. He said, youknow, Josh, would be okay if I educated you a little bit onthe pressure cleaning business, because you might not know about it since you're nota pressure cleaner? And of course I said sure, I'm it. Isn'tit just pressure cleaning roof. It goes well. One of the things youhave to understand is that there's different types of pressure cleaners. There's guys likeme that have been doing it for twenty years and that's all we do.There's other people that look on thumb tack and see that you want your pressureyour roof pressure cleaned and then just zip over to home depot, get acheap pressure cleaner and just do it on the weekends. And so we haveto ask if people are ensured, because if they don't have this very specifictype of insurance, then you might not be covered if something goes wrong.Now, Josh, I notice you have Spanish tile roofs. You have extraones, and I said no, I don't, because it's good to knowbecause if you're not, if with us, if we break a tile roof,which we hope we don't, will find it the exact roof tile andwe'll replace it at no extra charge. So it's important when you're shopping tomake sure that you ask the question. Do people have the proper and urrantsnow? For All I know they did, but it didn't matter because he wasfirst. I believe them. I was educated and I signed right thereon the spot. It's a great example of bringing incremental value and safety tothe sale. It's kind of crazy to that how much we almost feel likethis psychological need to thank the person that took us up a level and gettingbusiness paying more or whatever, even if maybe we feel like somebody does itjust as good. But I don't know, it's something weird about humans that's likethat. It's a thank you. So it's a good part of humanity. I guess I'll get I'll give you one more example to your point,mark. I was bidding out a job to get my sales workshop videotaped.I got three beds five hundred bucks each. The fourth guy said, can Icall you and ask you some questions? The only one on thumbtack. Sure, he called and said, Hey, have you considered interviewing people after thesession and you could use those interviews as testimonies on your site. No, I didn't consider that great. Have you also conducts an extra couple hundredbucks? But I wanted it. Have you considered adding a second cobras sowe can get the reaction to the audience so that we can make the videomore interesting? Now I have to consider that. I want that. Youget chopped up to put on Ud to me. So it's chapters and thetrailer made so you can see what he was doing. That's what I callvalue selling. Not about like the Uri stuff. It's like incremental ideas tomake me happier. He brought those on. So instead of five hundred bucks,he was one hundred and I was glad to pay him. Glad topay him because those ideas made me happier. How do you translate that over intosales engagement? So how do you have that and that first cold email, first cold call? How do you kind of create those same sort ofmoments, because your stories are both like hey, I went and ask somebodyfor something and then, once I'm engaged, are giving you the information. Howdo you do it? Pre Engagement? Yeah, so a couple things withthey're add on store with the videographer. I think any AE, you probablyare selling multiple types of products. You probably help solve multiple problems atthe end of the sale or certainly during the honeymoon stage. Simply ask aquestion. Have you considered? Did you know we also solved and if youdid that, I pretty much guarantee that fifteen or twenty percent of the timesomebody will room forward, and ten percent of that time, but by butfor whatever reason we just don't ask that question. He's simply don't ask thatquestion. With regards to the top of the funnel, to your question mark, we can go back to that same example and ask one of these thoughtprovoking, prodding questions that make people feel think differently. So if I waswriting an email, I might say something like have you ever gotten your gatechecked? If you haven't, these are some of the things that you mightnot be aware of. Would you like... learn more? It's the same. It's the same approach, same exact approach. But the actual add onfor the incremental videographer services, that would happen at the AE level, sortof at the end of the sale when someone bought how that add on stuff, or very shortly after the sale, once you're in the honeymoon stage.Yeah, I was just talking on a previous episode to David Delaney and aboutsales engagement and astrs. And you know, as more and more company spin upstr shops, as activity becomes a commodity, you know you used tocould say three or four years ago that your level of activity would be adifferentiator, and performance is not anymore. And so as more and more peopledo more and more activity, there's more and more noise. Like people usedto say, is it was noisy ten years ago and tip into three moreyears it's going to be even noisier. You're using these kind of as strategiesto like break through the noise right and get that initial reaction of curiosity thatcauses it to keep going. Totally man to your point, this Guy DavidTrot who's an old bad guy, real wise guy. You should google themup on Youtube. He may has a really great analogy. You know,you and I've talked about this mark. It's like, if you think ofemails that you're sending out, especially if you're using just templates off the shelf, those emails are like white circles to your prospect. They all look thesame. So if a prospect gets nineteen of these white circle emails, meaningyou're just filling in the blanks of these templates that you found, and you'rethe twenty one. You get five percent of the mind share just because you'rea white dot. So in order to get more mind share, you haveto be a little different. You have to be a red X. andwhen you're red X, when you're different, meaningfully different. We could talk abouthow, and I know mark you and I've done a podcast on this, something really happens interesting to the brain. All the white dots go over tothe left side and the red x stands by itself on the right side. So just by being different, just by sending a green envelope in themail, you now have attention fifty percent. And because the brain puts all thethings together that it recognizes into a pattern, that's what you did reallywell, mark, I know when one of our first jams and I hadyou kind of cold call me and that you started the cold calling a masterfulway. You're going to cod call me about outrage and you said something tothe effect of it. I might butcher this, Josh Man, this ismark from outrach. I was on your site and it says that you helppeople book more moons using some different things that make people small. Tell mewhy that, tell me how that's true. I don't believe you. It wassomething like that and I was like all of a sudden defending myself andit was such a great red x moment to just kind of jump in there. And you do that really well, I think, on some of thecold calling stuff that but I've heard you talk about. Yeah, yeah,he said that pattern disrupt is so big that. You know, I'm luckywork for a great boss, met Mall, and he taught me about that.He work for Tony Robins for years and that's one of the things Tonyrobins talks about a lot. Is like your Bait. Your brain is meantto identify pattern and once it identifies a pattern, it knows the way thatit should act and acts that way and it kind of goes back in thecruise control survival mode, looking for the things of danger. And so whenshe start to understand that, you really get the fact that, like youknow what man like, people out there are looking for something that's different andnot we. You know, you could say that in a cliche way,but it's actually biological. And when they see something different, they cannot helpbut to analyze it to see if it's friend or foe, and took kindof a lot of to that. Even guys under discovery calls, like I'mon a lot of discovery calls, are do a lot of coaching and he'sdiscovery calls are very much starting in a white circle way now. But somewherealong the way someone read something about setting an agenda, and so do youhalf thirty minutes. I'm going to ask you some questions. You can askme some questions. At the end of the meeting we're going to decide.If you guys have seen all this, Samler, ask where to set upand meeting. What I've been coaching people around and what I've been doing issomething a little bit more Red Act. So I was on a disco calla couple of weeks ago and I saw...

...the VP of sales in a youtubevideo and having a company Party and she was wearing with red, really brightred pants, right, and so I got on and literally, guys,the first second of the call, soon as she jumped down the zoom,I said, Lisa, red pants for a holiday party. Dude, isthat required to get into your holiday party. Can I wear blue pants? IsYellow permitted? And all of a sudden the energy of that meeting completelychanged and she was smiling and the guard went down. There's nothing better tolower a guard then what mark did when he wrote played cold called me,or what I did with the jeans. So I'm begging you guys to comeup with your own red axe, even if you start a meeting in thatway. I try it. Now we're bomb sometimes, maybe even the bestcomedians bomb. But what's the alternative? White Circle? Yeah, I thinkthat's the thing is people are so scared of bombing. But bombing and beingthe white circle, I'd say the percentage of difference in your overall effectiveness isabout zero of whereas the the benefit of the risk of the red x isso great you have to go after it. Totally agree. Well, Hey man, he's been a great discussion. I think that maybe you and Ishould have another one soon around this like red exing stuff. I think it'sjust so interesting. I love talking to you every time. Really appreciate thetime. Where can people find you? How can people get Ahold of you? Your guys? So I'll plug the book. So I just read it. It's not actually a bookmark. This is a new thing. It's calleda living book, meaning it's a Google Doc, meaning that I add toit every single month, and it's a book of plays, some of whatyou heard on this podcast. Each plays a page and each play helps youeither book more memes or close more deals. And if you want to learn moreabout it, sales dnacom Badass is the landing page and you can graba copy for you or your organization. That sales DNA dotcom slash badass boom, and now they encourage you to go to check it out. The onething that's great about being around smart, creative people is it makes you morecreative and I think just going to that book reading it, look for someother stuff Josh's doing on Linkedin, follow them on Linkedin. Just seeing hiscreativity and how he thinks about things will automatically raise up your level of creativity, which will make you better at sales engagement. So thanks again, Joss, for the time to day man push the mark. Thanks for having meon YEP and so gods. Hey, this is wrapping up of this episodeof the sales engagement podcast. We will see you on the next one.Thanks a lot. This was another episode of the sales engagement podcast. JoinUS at sales engagementcom for new episodes, resources and the book on sales engagementcoming soon. To get the most out of your sales engagement strategy, makesure to check out outreach that I oh, the leading sales and usement Plat.See you on the next episode.

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