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 sales engagement platform helping companies, sellers and customer success engage with fires and customers in the modern sales era. Check out sales engagementcom for new episodes, resources and the 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 the universe, and I have with me one of the foremost experts on sales engagement in the universe, Josh Braun. What's up, Josh Mark? Thank you so 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's all that matters to Menage Lug Awesome Day is my little nine year old son watch some show on Netflix that about old toys and Fella in love with tea man. So he literally got like twenty he man action figures for his birthday and there's nothing cooler than watching your nine year old play with all the toys you played with as a kid. About is the best. It sounds like you are out of the year, my friend. I found all correction, my wife found track jaw, which is a guy with the a that can slide down at piece of twine twenty feet and basically isn't done anything else for the last three weeks. Been Awesome. I'm concerned that your son has a hook, but we could talk about that later. Well, hey, tell us a little bit about yourself, Josh. Why are you interested in sales engagement? To me a little bit about what you do. So my first sales job was a kindergarten teacher, mark, I don't even know if you knew that, and I was selling reading and the love of writing to five year olds, and that is a tough sale, my friend. And so I 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 Nickelodeon Studios, where I wanted to go into video and ended up touring students on the side in between takes, and really loved teaching. So I spent the first 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. I can 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 for Melissa John Hart on the show called Clarissa explains it all. So let's just clarify exactly what I did, but I am in the credits so it's all I can. That's awesome. So tell me a little bit about what you do now. Yes, so now I help sales organizations get more meetings with practically anyone they want to buy cre eating outreach that actually puts a smile on people's faces. And then the second thing I do is, once you have those conversations, how do we take those conversations and Tournamento revenue? And I work with inside sales teams to accomplish both of those things. Yes, so one reason we wanted to have josh on the PODCAST is he and I've had a 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 written ten second reads on Linkedin pretty frequently, and a couple of those caught my eye and I said, Hey, like Josh, why don't we talk about these 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 by making people smile and turning things a little bit differently than the way most people are doing sales engagement sound cool? Yes, let me tell you a story and then we could talk about the learnings and the applicability for you as a salesperson, specifically on a discovery call. So I was in the mall trying to kill some time, as often I am when my wife is shopping, and stumbled into fit to run, which... a running store. Now my view mark, I had just bought running sneakers about a month ago. Didn't have a pain, didn't have a problem my running sneakers, merely wanting the to just kill some time. So if the sales associate walked up to me and said, Josh, what brings you in the store today, I would have said, I'm just browsing. If the sales associate, her name is Liz, if she asked me, can I help you, I would have said no, I'm just browsing. If she said you have a problem with her 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 a pretty interesting question. She said, Josh, when was the last time you had your 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 that one question she was able to get me to start to think differently about something I 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 in the 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 that I in fact did have a pronated foot. You can actually see a picture of this on Linkedin. And because my foot was pronated and because I run long 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 the risk of getting injured. Now check out what she did their mark. She made my shoes all of a sudden not safe. All of a sudden the old 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 think differently and the current thing that I had was no longer safe. All with one question and pus. A hundred and fifty hours later, I bought the shoes and mark. Your Sales Guy, what do you think the takeaway here is 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. So you're engaged with you. Engage with her and he. Secondly is ask a question 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 their problems and they're all friend the same right. You know, typically when I work with HR directors, they're struggling with A, B and C. I don't suppose any of those resonate with you. Do they know? If was asked me that question, typically, Josh, when people come into the store they have 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 Liz did and what I would ask sales people to do is find a question for your business that's similar to the gate question. We could talk about another example as well, but that question gets moved to think differently about something that wasn't even on my radar before, in this case pronated feat that I didn't even know 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 find the problems and find opportunities and show people what's possible rather than just asking for problems. I'd be interested to know, like, what is the exercise you would 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 would you 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 a customer, a prospect, it doesn't matter who it is, and they have an 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 be a 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 not be thinking about, because to them this is hey, I don't have a problem sending emails, I send it, I go into my setmail, I send the other one, I create tasks. If I don't have a problem, I'm doing this job. What question could be asked all of a sudden get them to think, what do you mean? What are you talking about? Well, I think that asking people if they understand exactly how long it 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 a lot. Is that give is taking you five or six minutes to do all of the mechanations and clicks and screens and tabs to send something out versus thirty seconds? That's a lot of productivity loss there. So that's what's the question that you're giving me a statement here. I'm going to press a little bit on this number. Yeah, this was Josh. Have you ever had a gate test that's as simple as it was? Like, have you ever had a gate test same level of simplicity, I'd say. Have you ever measured how long it takes someone or looked at how long it takes someone to send an email? Yeah, I mean that's a great question. Or another one that I might say is, have you ever considered how you can have three less salespeople and still get the same number of meetings? That's any one, right. I mean, like, here's another example. Right, let's say I'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 realize you forgot to lock your door. Oh my God, I'm screwed. Someone's going to come and that's I don't know. What happens when your kids are standing outside 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't know, 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 level than 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 your head. So, like, how do you think about it? Where do you go to come up with that question? YEA, so we're we have to figure out what is meaningful. When I say meaningfully different, I mean why does it matter to the prospect? So it's not enough to say outreach is purple and we're the only ones with a purple logo. or we're the only ones that have this a be technology, whatever that is, that might not be meaningfully different to the prospects. So we have to understand what is the prospect doing, what's their job now, and how do we make that job better? Right, what's the job we're doing now and how do we make that job better? And from there we can start to ask a question. That closes that gap. Right. So the job I'm trying to do is get into my house. If I lost my key, I'm very longer 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 trying to do really isn't to and emails. That's not really the job. The job I want to do is book meetings and I want to do it with 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 ten without adding any additional people? You mean? You know, it's not about sending more emails and automating this and automitting that. That's a means to an end. So step number one is understanding where the prospect is now and what other things might they not be thinking about and how do you help close that gap? So, with Liz Ge, I wonder if Josh is thinking about permated feet. That's one problem we solve. I wonder if he's thinking about other problems that we solve. So it...

...will start with listing all the types of problems that you help people solve and then figuring out what questions you can ask to be able to get people to say, what do you mean? I haven't thought of that. What are you talking about? Yeah, and I'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 on Mario and fireballs. Yeah, and for clearing this is not mine. This is a from user on boarding, so for credit to those folks. But it's a really great analogy for understanding features and benefits and it's sort of goes like this. If you guys remember, Mariel was a character in a video game and he had a problem. Mark, what was Mario has problem? I don't know if you remember this. What was Maria's problem? All I know exactly what it is. My kids played still play this game. They have 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 a tower. So your customers have a problem to so for marrow, the problem was princess peach is in the castle. Right. In order for him to get Princess Peach, he jumped on a flower and that flower gave him a fireball, and that fireball was the thing that allowed him to defeat the monsters and ultimately rescue peach. So here's the analogy, Mario. That's like your prospects. 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 to do 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 is how 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 to everybody, and I recommended to everyone that I work with, because it makes you happier. How does it make you happier. It allows you to book more 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 out what the fireball is. That's what people buy. We figure out the problem and then we work backwards to come up with the questions. So you have this story about the gay that right really says hey, way to engage someone is to ask a question that causes them to consider do I have this problem or not? Through that you can have a great conversation that maybe they don't have the problem. Maybe you would have said, hey, you know, no, I don't, I've never taken a gay test. You would have taken it and she's been like hey, your shoes are perfect. I guarantee you 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 you were trying to get your roof power washed. Right. Yeah, yeah, so you make a great point there, mark. I want to I want to stand that for a while. When you educate, this gets back to the roots and teaching. Right, all great sales people can learn a lot from 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 situation too, mark, I'm sure. If you've been a seminar and someone taught you something and you're like wow, that was super smart. I'm a little bit smarter now than I was before. I stumbled across this person. It feels 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 I was looking to get my roof pressure claims here in south Florida. Got Three beds and two of the bids were about the same and one of the bids was 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 pretty commoditized things like happing machine. But how is this guy able to get twenty percent more money? And why was I glad to write the check? Here's what he did when he came over to...

...the house. He said, you know, Josh, would be okay if I educated you a little bit on the pressure cleaning business, because you might not know about it since you're not a pressure cleaner? And of course I said sure, I'm it. Isn't it just pressure cleaning roof. It goes well. One of the things you have to understand is that there's different types of pressure cleaners. There's guys like me 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 pressure your roof pressure cleaned and then just zip over to home depot, get a cheap pressure cleaner and just do it on the weekends. And so we have to ask if people are ensured, because if they don't have this very specific type of insurance, then you might not be covered if something goes wrong. Now, Josh, I notice you have Spanish tile roofs. You have extra ones, and I said no, I don't, because it's good to know because 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 and we'll replace it at no extra charge. So it's important when you're shopping to make sure that you ask the question. Do people have the proper and urrants now? For All I know they did, but it didn't matter because he was first. I believe them. I was educated and I signed right there on the spot. It's a great example of bringing incremental value and safety to the sale. It's kind of crazy to that how much we almost feel like this psychological need to thank the person that took us up a level and getting business paying more or whatever, even if maybe we feel like somebody does it just as good. But I don't know, it's something weird about humans that's like that. 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 I call you and ask you some questions? The only one on thumbtack. Sure, he called and said, Hey, have you considered interviewing people after the session 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 hundred bucks? But I wanted it. Have you considered adding a second cobras so we can get the reaction to the audience so that we can make the video more interesting? Now I have to consider that. I want that. You get chopped up to put on Ud to me. So it's chapters and the trailer made so you can see what he was doing. That's what I call value selling. Not about like the Uri stuff. It's like incremental ideas to make me happier. He brought those on. So instead of five hundred bucks, he was one hundred and I was glad to pay him. Glad to pay him because those ideas made me happier. How do you translate that over into sales engagement? So how do you have that and that first cold email, first cold call? How do you kind of create those same sort of moments, because your stories are both like hey, I went and ask somebody for something and then, once I'm engaged, are giving you the information. How do you do it? Pre Engagement? Yeah, so a couple things with they're add on store with the videographer. I think any AE, you probably are selling multiple types of products. You probably help solve multiple problems at the end of the sale or certainly during the honeymoon stage. Simply ask a question. Have you considered? Did you know we also solved and if you did that, I pretty much guarantee that fifteen or twenty percent of the time somebody will room forward, and ten percent of that time, but by but for whatever reason we just don't ask that question. He's simply don't ask that question. 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 thought provoking, prodding questions that make people feel think differently. So if I was writing an email, I might say something like have you ever gotten your gate checked? If you haven't, these are some of the things that you might not be aware of. Would you like... learn more? It's the same. It's the same approach, same exact approach. But the actual add on for the incremental videographer services, that would happen at the AE level, sort of 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 about sales engagement and astrs. And you know, as more and more company spin up str shops, as activity becomes a commodity, you know you used to could say three or four years ago that your level of activity would be a differentiator, and performance is not anymore. And so as more and more people do more and more activity, there's more and more noise. Like people used to say, is it was noisy ten years ago and tip into three more years it's going to be even noisier. You're using these kind of as strategies to like break through the noise right and get that initial reaction of curiosity that causes it to keep going. Totally man to your point, this Guy David Trot who's an old bad guy, real wise guy. You should google them up 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 of emails 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 the same. So if a prospect gets nineteen of these white circle emails, meaning you're just filling in the blanks of these templates that you found, and you're the twenty one. You get five percent of the mind share just because you're a white dot. So in order to get more mind share, you have to be a little different. You have to be a red X. and when you're red X, when you're different, meaningfully different. We could talk about how, 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 to the 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 the mail, you now have attention fifty percent. And because the brain puts all the things together that it recognizes into a pattern, that's what you did really well, mark, I know when one of our first jams and I had you kind of cold call me and that you started the cold calling a masterful way. You're going to cod call me about outrage and you said something to the effect of it. I might butcher this, Josh Man, this is mark from outrach. I was on your site and it says that you help people book more moons using some different things that make people small. Tell me why that, tell me how that's true. I don't believe you. It was something like that and I was like all of a sudden defending myself and it 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 the cold 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 lucky work 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 Tony robins talks about a lot. Is like your Bait. Your brain is meant to identify pattern and once it identifies a pattern, it knows the way that it should act and acts that way and it kind of goes back in the cruise control survival mode, looking for the things of danger. And so when she start to understand that, you really get the fact that, like you know what man like, people out there are looking for something that's different and not we. You know, you could say that in a cliche way, but it's actually biological. And when they see something different, they cannot help but to analyze it to see if it's friend or foe, and took kind of a lot of to that. Even guys under discovery calls, like I'm on a lot of discovery calls, are do a lot of coaching and he's discovery calls are very much starting in a white circle way now. But somewhere along the way someone read something about setting an agenda, and so do you half thirty minutes. I'm going to ask you some questions. You can ask me 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 up and meeting. What I've been coaching people around and what I've been doing is something a little bit more Red Act. So I was on a disco call a couple of weeks ago and I saw...

...the VP of sales in a youtube video and having a company Party and she was wearing with red, really bright red 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, is that required to get into your holiday party. Can I wear blue pants? Is Yellow permitted? And all of a sudden the energy of that meeting completely changed and she was smiling and the guard went down. There's nothing better to lower 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 come up with your own red axe, even if you start a meeting in that way. I try it. Now we're bomb sometimes, maybe even the best comedians bomb. But what's the alternative? White Circle? Yeah, I think that's the thing is people are so scared of bombing. But bombing and being the white circle, I'd say the percentage of difference in your overall effectiveness is about zero of whereas the the benefit of the risk of the red x is so great you have to go after it. Totally agree. Well, Hey man, he's been a great discussion. I think that maybe you and I should have another one soon around this like red exing stuff. I think it's just so interesting. I love talking to you every time. Really appreciate the time. 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 called a living book, meaning it's a Google Doc, meaning that I add to it every single month, and it's a book of plays, some of what you heard on this podcast. Each plays a page and each play helps you either book more memes or close more deals. And if you want to learn more about it, sales dnacom Badass is the landing page and you can grab a 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 one thing that's great about being around smart, creative people is it makes you more creative and I think just going to that book reading it, look for some other stuff Josh's doing on Linkedin, follow them on Linkedin. Just seeing his creativity 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 me on YEP and so gods. Hey, this is wrapping up of this episode of the sales engagement podcast. We will see you on the next one. Thanks a lot. This was another episode of the sales engagement podcast. Join US at sales engagementcom for new episodes, resources and the book on sales engagement coming soon. To get the most out of your sales engagement strategy, make sure to check out outreach that I oh, the leading sales and usement Plat. See you on the next episode.

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