<img alt="" src="https://secure.leadforensics.com/146009.png" style="display:none;">

[Feature Friday] StoryBrand Guide Catherine Brown on Why Sales Isn’t the Dirty Word We Think It Is - The ROI Online Podcast Ep. 30

Find me on:


On this episode of the ROI Online Podcast, Catherine Brown she and Steve talk about how to rethink sales, what it means to be sincere and creative when selling, and the importance of effective sales processes. 

Watch This Episode ⬇️


Why do most people seem to think of sales as something to be avoided? Because they’re wired to remember negative experiences over positive ones. They've most likely seen or experienced firsthand what it’s like to be bullied into making a purchase, and so genuinely remember that over any positive interactions. 

Listen To This Episode ⬇️

 
 
 

StoryBrand Guide Catherine Brown works with people who have primarily fallen into their role in sales learn to embrace their position

When she realized she didn’t want to practice as hard as she would need to to get one of the few orchestral percussionist positions available, Catherine had already finished a bachelor’s degree in music. Unsure what to do next, she worked as a temp before discovering how much she enjoyed interacting with people and so stepped into a recruiter and later sales position where she found her stride. 

Catherine is resistant to other people’s ideas of sales. She doesn’t like any system that doesn’t allow for flexibility and considers the fact that she’s a good listener to be an asset to her job. To her, sales is about becoming a master of her own thoughts and behaviors to set herself up for success. That means, seeing her role as creative, sincere, and helpful. And, it means having a high self-regard, or accurately sensing her strengths and weaknesses, but liking herself anyway. 

She understands that most people have had a negative experience with sales, which makes them scared of the word, let alone the job title. As a StoryBrand Guide, she helps Salespeople embrace the title, even when they didn’t dream about working in their field as a child. 

Her advice to Salespeople? “It's really important that you say, ‘if I don't hear from you, I'll contact you in X time this certain way to follow up,’” whatever that looks like for you—email, phonecall, zoom, etc. If you don’t add that level of clarity, you’ll never know if the person you’re trying to sell to didn’t get your message, if they’re not interested, or if something else came up.

Listen on your favorite podcast network:

Also available wherever else you get your podcasts.

You can learn more about Catherine here:

https://www.extraboldsales.com 

https://www.clarifyyourmessage.com/Catherine-Brown 

Watch Extra Bold Sales Youtube Channel


Read the books mentioned in this podcast:

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

Get your copy Steve Brown’s book, The Golden Toilet. Also available on Audible for free when you sign up for a 30-Day Trial Membership!


Thinking of starting your own podcast? Buzzsprout’s secure and reliable posting allows you to publish podcasts online. Buzzsprout also includes full iTunes support, HTML5 players, show statistics, and WordPress plugins. Get started using this link to receive a $20 Amazon gift card and to help support our show!

Topics: Marketing, Podcasts, Story

Catherine Brown : 

I think it's funny lately, even at the sea level in big companies, people aren't called Vice President of Sales as much as they used to. They are calling it chief revenue officer. Have you noticed that? I think that's really interesting. That person is over sales and marketing. But they're calling it a chief revenue officer. So the even the highest title that is about managing salespeople in a company, people are so low to use that word. It's such a dirty word.

Steve Brown : 

Hi, everybody. Welcome to the ROI online podcast where we believe you. The courageous entrepreneurs of our day, are the invisible heroes of our economy. You not only improve our world with your ideas, your grit and your passion, but you make our world better. I'm Steve Brown, and this is the place where we have great conversations with winners. Just like You while we laugh and learn together. Welcome back, everybody to the ROI online podcast. And today, I'm really jacked up to introduce you to Katherine Brown. Katherine Brown, first of all, is the name of my first wife. Non Katherine's not related to me, but anyway, it's an endearing name. And I just, she spells it exactly the same. So that was kind of a neat thing. I haven't really seen the name Catherine like that this kind of weird to start a podcast off and talk about that right. away. We are. Okay, I

Catherine Brown : 

do. I do hear mostly Catherine with the case. So that is interesting.

Steve Brown : 

Yeah. So Catherine, welcome to the ROI online podcast.

Catherine Brown : 

Thank you. I'm really excited to be here. Thank you for the invitation.

Steve Brown : 

Yeah, I'm grateful that you chose to be on and we're going to have a great conversation because Katherine comes from From an area and she hangs out with business people talking about an area that's very dear to me. And that is sales. Sales is the scary thing that most businesses really struggle to get under control and get into a position of confidence. And so I noticed Katherine's content. She comes from storebrand land. I've met her through the story brand guy network, and I've just watched some of her stuff, and I really relate. So Katherine, why don't you do this? Why don't you kind of give us a little backstory on you, and how you stumbled into this scary mean world of sales.

Catherine Brown : 

Okay, great. Well, I actually thought when I was in middle school, in high school, and all the way through college, I actually thought I was going to be a professional musician. I had taken piano initially and when I got to middle school, and you have to choose your extracurriculars, I chose band. And because I had played piano I picked percussion because I could go right to the xylophone and marimba and all these things. And I had a good sense of rhythm. And I became a band geek. I did a youth orchestra in high school, I really excelled and performed the actually went to study music in college. So I finished my degree and I thought that's what I was going to do. But I was almost finished with my bachelor's and I realized that I just was not willing to practice as hard as what you have to do to get one of those very few orchestral percussionist positions. I just, I just wasn't willing to do it. I liked it. But it was like a little bit of a later revelation that it was hobby land and not my profession. So my poor parents, you know, I had a bachelor's degree in music, but they're like, what are you going to do? And I said, I don't know. I'll figure it out. And through temping out of college, I did all kinds of jobs. And I eventually and I was interviewing and interviewing, interviewing. And one day I realized that the person who was doing Interview must have a fun job. And I thought I could be a recruiter, I could learn to do this. So that helped me narrow my search because I was applying for everything under the sun as a person with no work experience, because I had done music festivals every summer since I was 11 years old. So I really had very little professional experience to draw on. So I literally didn't know what I liked. But I started watching people and I thought I could interview people all day. So my entree into sales was actually as a technical recruiter, I had an entry level position. And then my second job out of college was as a recruiter, and then I talked to that consulting firm into moving me into sales because I said, I think I'm selling already and I think I could sell for you. And that's how I made the switch was there was just a lot of people interviewing and getting to know people and I like to travel and at that time, there was a lot of jump on the plane and go present in person kind of selling, which I thought was very invigorating. And that's how I got into it.

Steve Brown : 

So that gave me a lot of energy. So I have to ask this question. So did you have to stop like saying one time at band camp when you were talking about examples?

Catherine Brown : 

I do have a special connection with people who are also being geeks. I mean, I sold the candy at Halloween for the fundraiser I did the whole bit. I mean, I was I was in the pit. And I went to I grew up in San Antonio. And I was at a super five a high school. So I mean, band was a big deal. And it wasn't actually that nerdy because football was such a big deal. So, you know, we would travel with the team and they would be big games and we always went to at least the quarterfinals. So I was pretty nerdy, but it was it afforded travel these camps, these opportunities. Also what I'd never realized, you know, Steve would serve me so much that was so useful, was the practice of managing yourself when you're getting ready. To perform, because all those solos, all the concertos, all of the recitals, years and years and years of recitals, you have to master your own body and realize I have to get to a place where I can manage this, the physiological responses that I'm feeling and decide that doesn't mean I'm afraid it doesn't mean I'm unprepared, it means I'm excited and figure out how to manage yourself that is so much a part of public speaking, or anything in selling when you feel anxious. Deciding what those feelings mean, assigning meaning to them, and controlling your thoughts is such a big part of what's required. And I feel like I had a huge advantage because I had years of practice, even though I thought it was initially for a different purpose.

Steve Brown : 

I love that because, you know, I think of sales. If you could have a little outer body experience and kind of observe you In the conversation with the other person, it gives you a nice way to start to focus more on them. Because we get so caught up in to what we're experiencing what we're going to where we're going to go next, if we could just exit our body a little bit and just calm down and spend more time learning more about the person that we're engaging, that would be so helpful and such really cool that you bring that up.

Catherine Brown : 

Thanks. I feel like we saw that especially even with now with pandemic. So it's been several months, you know, from probably from the time you're going to release this podcast, you know, it may be able to be six months since we started to be in the new normal, whatever that means. And I think that part of people being so paralyzed in the beginning and not being able to pivot their business as quickly as they wanted was that they're inexperienced at managing and mastering their thoughts. And I don't say that in a conceited way because it's really only been in the last few years. I have had as much language for that and practice with that, as I have enjoyed since then. It's, it is so important in selling, that we understand which parts we can control and which parts we can't control. And one of the most important things to do is to learn to become a master of your own thoughts and your own behavior. That's what holds us back. Right? We decide if we send a proposal to someone and they don't write us back, we start to let her mind go crazy and decide that that means something. And all it really means the only real data we have is that they haven't responded, right? We don't know anything else, really. But people will let their mind run wild and decide it means things and create a story around that and then that will set you on a path that will affect your outcome. Whether you realize that you are affecting the outcome yourself or not.

Steve Brown : 

Yeah, that's so cool. It's interesting that You immediately saw yourself as I could do these interviews. Because really, the secret to sales, at least as far as my opinion is, is asking a lot of questions and letting, letting the person that you're working with helping them think through what their options are, and getting comfortable and trusting you.

Catherine Brown : 

Mm hmm, exactly. I am in the process of putting a book together. And it was a really good experience for me to go back again and say, these key questions that are the themes that I teach around, are they still the ones I want to show? Do I still think that they're the most useful? It's very interesting after so many years of selling for me to see that you really can come down to just a few topics. And so once you Steve or I, Catherine decide. All right, I have to talk about the topic of how they're going to decide Who to work with. Now, it doesn't matter if I'm working with an investment bank, it doesn't matter if I'm working with a fuel system manufacturer, these are all real clients I've had, you know, it doesn't matter if I'm working with a set of medical clinics that have a membership program, it doesn't matter what I'm selling, I have to find out what's important to that buyer. And I have to ask the same kinds of questions in some way that applies in that industry. And in some way that feels authentic to me, but somehow I have to find out how they're going to decide who they're going to work with. So that's an example of the topic that you have to address in the question is a principle and then how you apply the principle is up to you. Right, so, so someone one person might say, they might literally say, how are you going to make a decision about who you'll work with? And someone else may say, that sounds too formal. I'm not gonna say it that way. That's weird. I'm gonna say what's next in your decision process? It doesn't matter. Really. What matters is that you get to the subject eventually. So I really like I was always resistant when I was a sales employee and I went through other people's sales training programs. I was always resistant when I felt like they were saying that the success depended upon me saying things exactly a certain way. People Buck up against that. And I did to my hackles got up and I was like a cat that was, you know, felt threatened. And I don't I don't accept that now. And I don't instruct that when I don't encourage people that way. I say, here's some broad principles. And now let's write down and decide what your specific application is going to be for them, because I won't leave it up to you to just make up anything. I want to be a guide for you in this process, but you have a lot of flexibility about how you implement the principle and it's very important that you own that and feel great about the way you say that. Otherwise you won't do it.

Steve Brown : 

I agree, I agree totally, I hated those scripts that you needed to follow. Not only does it feel insincere to you, it just feels insincere to the person that you're working with. And they feel like you're manipulating me because I know this is not what you're really wanting to say your following the script, trying to work me into a corner, where finally I'm just going to go caframo or I'll make the purchase whether it's best for me or not, I just need to get you off. me so I can go on with what I really want to be doing.

Catherine Brown : 

Hmm. And now because so much is over zoom. Or if you sell something, if you have any programs that can be purchased online, you might have reduced interaction with the actual sales call, right? So it may be that some of the information you need to find out because you have a great online forum. It may be that you have an email exchange back and forth that maybe I learned some key pieces I need to know in one call, but then in another we finish, it doesn't matter. I mean, we want to have efficient sales processes so that we close as quickly as possible because we want to have a cost of sale that's commensurate with the size of the deal, right? But so when I say it doesn't matter, that's not completely true. It's it's important to be efficient. But what I mean is that you have tremendous flexibility, person by person to be a good listener and let the conversation wander. And especially from their perspective, if they feel like they're talking, and in the back of your mind, you realize, this is great. I've learned so much, but we still haven't talked about money. Think you need to bring that up eventually. But you don't have to always lead with that or always ask it the same way you have flexibility as long as you can get to it eventually. I like to teach people to think about it kind of as a map. And as long as you check the boxes of all the all the steps in the journey eventually you can accomplish that many different ways and that people usually receive that Well, because they don't want anyone to tell them anything that they think is going to sound robotic because it goes to our deepest fear about selling, which is that we will be perceived as insincere. Mm hmm.

Steve Brown : 

Let's talk about fear, sales fear. You know, reading some of the information that you sent me before this conversation, I was really relating most businesses. Sales is like this icky thing, we have to figure out a way to do and so we're, we're gonna hire someone and just hope that they accidentally are good at sales, don't have to manage them or whatever. But the truth is that we call that person like Superman. And that's just a fictional character. Why is it that businesses struggle so much with getting their act together with the sales process? Mm hmm.

Catherine Brown : 

Oh gosh, is that million dollar car Question, isn't it? I think there's a little bit of psychology as there's probably 10 answers to this, or 100 answers to this. But the one that comes to my mind is that part of our survival mechanism as people is that we're wired to remember negative things more than positive things. So I really believe that's a big part of it. Because if you have ever been abused as a customer, which unfortunately, every human has been, then you are anchored on that experience. And then what happens is, as soon as you're in a position to sell, you have now have this anchor literally psychologically, you have this anchor, so I don't want to be like that person. And then in general, it's human nature that we swing really far another way because we tend to overcompensate before we find a happy middle ground, right think about whatever it is that a person is excited about right there. They have a new passion and so they go all the way over here and you know, then it takes a while to settle into You know, to a happy medium. And so I feel like most people have been mistreated and abused by someone, even though I am firmly convinced that they've had overwhelmingly more positive experiences as a buyer than negative. They don't remember those. It's so sad. I think they're anchored on the negative, then they overcompensate and, and they feel afraid, and so they under promote as a result, I think that's a big part of it. One thing I'll do when I have big groups that I can pull all together so now this is over zoom, but used to be in person. I would usually begin a workshop with a quick show of hands, and I would say, Would you raise your hand if when you were growing up, you thought you would be in sales? And most of the time, there's no one. And what I have found that's interesting is if there are one or two people, they are usually a child of an entrepreneur, and they might have had an expense or they belong to a family owned business. So those are the only exceptions I can think of. Normally, I would say 95% of the time, no one raises their hand. And when they do, I always visit with them on a break and want to dig into their story more to understand that so interesting that you actually envisioned as a child that this was a worthy calling, and that would be something that you would grow into. Most people have an invention or a service, or even if they're not the business owner, they just need a job. And there's always entry level sales opening since no one wants to do the work. And so 95% of the people I interact with, they fell into it. I kind of fell into it, it ended up being a great fit for me. But most people, even some who are full time business development managers now secretly feel embarrassed about the profession. And you and I were kind of kidding before we started recording the podcast, but that's why people will say things like, consultant or they'll say client advocate or customer, even they'll even say customer service when technically that's not true. They actually don't sit on a help desk. Right? They'll say that so they don't have to say sales. Or I think it's funny lately, even at the sea level in big companies. People aren't called Vice President of Sales as much as they used to. They are calling it chief revenue officer. Maybe Notice that I think that's really interesting. That person is over sales and marketing. But they're calling it a chief revenue officer so that even the highest title that is about managing sales people in a company, people are so low to use that word. It's such a dirty word.

Steve Brown : 

And though it is, but you think about I think the thing that started clicking for me is when I looked at the positions I had as a salesperson when I started looking at it as I'm actually managing a business within a business, I'm being a salesperson, everybody knows when you're not hitting your numbers, everyone in the organization, including folks at home, but when you are hitting your numbers, everybody knows and I'm one day click you know, the business owner is the same way everyone knows if your businesses you know, really sucking air Or if you're really doing well. And when I started realizing it, then I started managing. Alright, so what are the areas? I need to look at this? I'm investing some time here is it going to be a good payoff? That's when it started, like really clicking for me, but I think it's something that folks that are naturally that sales, they're kind of their entrepreneurs. Start looking at it that way. I think it can really help you. There's a self esteem issue that you have to get past.

Catherine Brown : 

It's interesting, you'd say that's the there's, I've done a lot of reading about emotional intelligence, because I have life friends and coaching circles that will literally do like the EQ 2.0 is an emotional intelligence assessment that they'll administer and there is a good bit of research that's been done where they will, this testing company will track people's vocation and then they have mapped what are the aspects of emotional intelligence that show up over and over again in successful people in whatever field. So they've tracked salespeople, as well as accountants, supply chain managers, business owners, all different kinds of things. Of course, I went right to the studies about the salespeople. And one of the so there, there are several important characteristics that show up again and again in the most successful salespeople, and one is this concept called self regard. And the idea of self regard is that it isn't an inflated view of self but having high self regard means that you actually have an accurate sense of your own strengths and weaknesses, but that you like yourself anyway. So it's not about being a narcissist, right? I think this is I'm good at this. I'm not good at this. But the higher the self regard, the more think about that how in the concept in the storybrand world, we use the concept of guide and I like the idea of That we have been taught that the guide in a movie or a book is the strongest character. If you look at them, they're helping the hero who has a problem. And for that to be true to guide, think about all the guides that come to your mind in movies, they have pretty good self regard. Pretty high self regard, they like themselves as a person. They're flawed too. It's not that they're perfect, but they are. They're stronger in their constitution. Yeah, then the hero is at that point when they meet.

Steve Brown : 

Yeah, I love that. I was thinking, you know, I was thinking in a sales process, if you're focused on yourself, and whoever that you're, you're dealing with that's in that sales conversation, how they react to you can really mess with your emotions, right? But if you can back off a little bit and go, Well, this is how they do With this situation that happens to be stressful for some, and not that stressful for others, but if we take it personally, and we're all centered around and can't go, Oh, well, that's how they deal with it. So this is what we ought to do. Let's back up. Let them process this a little bit. And, and why are they reacting this way? Oh, they are. They're not comfortable with this. Well, let's get them comfortable with that first. That's, that's how they deal with it. Let's be their friend.

Catherine Brown : 

But it's so funny, right? Like, the more insecure you are as a person, the more you think that everything is about you. I was reading an Instagram post recently and it was a it's a counselor, I follow who I just think is brilliant. She has wonderful quotes and insights and has this huge following. Dr. Jenn hardy is her name and she had this post that said, What would you tell your younger self and you can only imagine post like that. I mean, people's weren't growing increse I was fascinated reading the comments. I don't often allow myself to get drawn in this is all my own personal Instagram channel. And I don't make time for that during the day, typically very much and I was just engrossed in reading, oh my gosh, if you only name one or two things, what would you say? And, and there were a lot of things along the theme of saying it's not about you, or people are not watching you as closely as you think. And things that are about insecurity, youth insecurity of youth. Yeah. So that I thought that was funny. I think another way that that shows up That's ironic is that I tend to find my clients who sell something very complicated and very technical. In their nervousness, what they'll do is they'll go right to descriptions and forget why people really by and they will be very feature oriented, and it's fun. To me, and I feel very fortunate that I get paid to work with people on this because it seems evident to me, but it's not evident to them, right? It's just like, whatever your circle of genius is. That's how it is right? I'll listen to them. Tell me about conversations. And I'll have these moments where I realize, for example, I had a client that I had this conversation with very recently. I said, it sounds like you're doing a good job of reaching out to your clients during this pandemic and checking in with them, because they have these are farmers they have big accounts that they sell to over and over and over again, is this just the kind of industry they're in? But there was just something that was nagging at me when I was listening to the way he was describing the conversations with his clients. And I had this this insight and I thought I might just take a chance and ask this. And I said, I think you asked a lot of questions about them, but I'm suspecting you don't volunteer very much about yourself. And they these are farmer accounts. So what I mean by farmer account versus Hunter, you know, In that analogy is that if you're assigned or you cultivate and grow, you might have 10 major accounts you sell to over and over again, but you're not always doing a lot of new lead generation of account cultivation, right? That might be lots of sales positions or like that in corporations. And that was true for this gentleman. And I said, We have worked together for off and on for two years now. And I think about how little I know of you, because you don't volunteer very much about yourself. And if these are your major accounts that you're building rapport with, they probably would appreciate if you would occasionally be more personable. I hesitated to say it that way, but just be more personal. And just offer offer how you're doing. Do you do ever do that? Because people it's the it's the adage that people say over and over again, but I also firmly believe it people buy from people they know like and trust. And if they don't know very much about you, and you're supposedly in this long relationship that feels weird. It feels In congruent, and with how much they're buying from you and how much they're spending. So Isn't that funny that someone would pay me to do some sales coaching with them and I would end up saying, Be a friend. Ask how they're doing. Be a nice human look for things they would enjoy. And when you're looking for ways to add value to to their life and business and success. Think about them like you would think of someone that was just a friend. Yeah, right. What would you do for a friend. And the division in a lot of people's minds between this is professional behavior, and this is personal behavior. I do believe that because of the internet because of social media because of all kinds of reasons, all the ways we mark it differently than when I started 2025 years ago. I do think that that's all blurred. More now. People have an expectation about what they'll get to know about their sales person.

Steve Brown : 

Want to pause here just for a moment and talk to you about a program that we have just released called the ROI quickstart Academy for authors every day, I talk to business owners just like you who struggle with quickly getting their fundamentals in place. We want to create a great foundation, and we want to grow our business. But the things that are in our way, our lack of knowledge about the specifics, we should put in place, what kind of technology what kind of messaging and what kind of campaigns and that problem exists for authors as well. And we just gel so good with authors because, well, I'm an author, and I understand everything that you struggle with. You have a great idea you have a great book, but what do you want to do? You want to get your book in front of more people, you want to make it easy for them to find you learn how they can schedule a time to talk with you hire you for a conference, or maybe sign up for the services that you're booked. promotes. So what is the Quickstart Academy for authors? Imagine working with a small group of like minded authors and the experts from the ROI quickstart team. It's a great way to get your messaging clear to be confident with the technology in your marketing automation, and how to run a strategic campaign to get you more of what you want from the investment of your book. To learn more about the Quickstart Academy for authors, you can visit ROI online comm or click in the link in the show notes below. And now, back to this episode. I don't remember where I read this, so I'm not going to take credit for it. But if you could imagine that this person that you're wanting to establish this account with, if you were just sitting somewhere having a beer you know with their family What How would you act and talk to them on the patio? With the music playing? You wouldn't be formal you would be. And they go. So what do you do, Steve? Well, this, we make these parts and I just help set people up to utilize them really well. Instead of all the jargon and the you know, it's five eighths inch, and it's one that I think that would really revolutionize, if there was one little thing that you can get someone to do. I think it would be that is what you're talking about. Exactly. I do think though that.

Catherine Brown : 

Just like in any subject, so my kids used to go to school years ago that had these three distinct learning phases. It was just the way the school was, was structured. And so this language that we learned for that is they said that every subject a person learns and learns in their life has a grammar state to it, the idea is that in a grammar stage, that's where in math you, you actually do have to memorize some addition subtraction and your times tables. And if you don't, it's gonna come back and bite you in the rear end in trigonometry if you don't learn that, you know in second grade, and and and that in spelling of course, you have a grammar because you learn some basic selling spelling rules. So you learn I after you, except after c when followed by a consonant or whatever the whatever the rhymes are, that help you remember the rules. I do think that there can be a grammar to selling that anyone can learn. It has been very interesting for me to write curriculum and say, what does that distill down to? What is that? And it's kind of shocking to me how short it is. Like, what I mean by that seems there's you initiate with someone or they come to you, right, so you have initiation phase and you have some Tools associated with that how you get a meeting, making sure you drive to the next point a little bit of basic qualifying, deciding if you're gonna keep going, then you're in the next phase. You're qualifying, you're interviewing the customer, you're qualifying getting to know each other. Like you said, successful conversation is the prospect talking most of the time and you talking less because you're asking great questions. But the questions you ask you can predetermine, and they're finite. Yeah. So you learn those, you learn the grammar of that. You learn to write a proposal or write great draft statements of work and have a good call to action. You learn to close, you learn to build people, and you learn to ask for a referral. That's, those are all the tools. That's really it. And so if you learn that grammar, then you can be creative. So I think you and I are saying it's like having a conversation with someone having beer on a patio, but that's because we have some great for it, and so we can actually improvise. Right? In a jazz analogy it would be I know all my keys. I know all my scales. So now I can improvise. You don't want to hear someone at a jazz bar who doesn't have that kind of mastery because it sounds like a mess. Yeah, but it's so interesting to me that any I think anyone can learn to sell. Yes, if they're committed because it is it does not even require 10,000 hours. This is not even the Malcolm Gladwell role. You can have an outline that you learn to follow and you will quickly memorize the grammar and when you have those steps memorized, then you can improvise and be relaxed and it's not. It is this is not sending someone to the International Space Station. I mean this is not as difficult as that. But because fear is wrapped up in this and self regard is wrapped up in this and your bet your your powerful memory of your negative experience and not wanting to be like that. That sleazy, cheesy, you know, whatever, salesperson. That's what makes people think it's more complicated than it is.

Steve Brown : 

Totally. I was watching. So I did an interview with Christopher O'Donnell. He's the Chief Product officer at HubSpot. Well, one of the interesting facts about him is he has this band called the providers. And so I was looking at some of the videos on YouTube. And it's amazing how many downloads they have, but he's got his partner or is a bass player. And so he was teaching how to do bass. But he has this framework. It's called, you imitate. And then you begin to assimilate and then you can create, and that's what we're talking about here is it's exactly the same thing. First, you imitate the basic steps. Exactly. And it starts to assimilate and you've got the language. You've got your personality you've got the way that you relate with people and then over time after you get a little bit more comfortable, you can be creative.

Catherine Brown : 

Exactly, totally Exactly. when my kids were in grammar school, they would learn these writing forms. And they would say it was part of this idea about the grammar, you'd have these writing forms fo or ms to forms and you would imitate, and first you would just swap out some words, and then you would copy the form slightly changing the story. And then it would grow, grow, grow, grow, grow. They really the philosophy of that particular type of training is saying, we really don't want your creative writing until you can do those other things. Yeah, because it's a basis on which we build and that can be up for debate of people what what people think about different educational philosophies, but I definitely think this applies to sales and marketing, right that you can, if you know the basic a couple basic choices of great sales email are, you know, building a marketing funnel? You can later be a genius and build on that knowledge. But at first just copy what has worked for everybody else. Just copy and that's what I've done it. Lots of stages of the business. Right. And I think it's funny that people think it's harder to learn to sell. And there is it's complicated because there's some emotional resistance there in a way that isn't true for some other business skills that people need to learn. I don't know that people have the same emotional baggage about learning to read their financial reports.

Steve Brown : 

Right. So I think that business owners struggle with seeing this as a process that they can have an expectation out of that is realistic, instead of just this magic, I hope that I hope that we find the goose that finally starts laying the gold An egg and that usually just run them through let's let's throw it against the wall. See what sticks. That's not good. The other thing that was really, I think something that really helped me was was just starting to change your self identity a little bit and knowing that people appreciate a very nice sales process. They don't get it in all the other places. Okay, ledger customer, they talked about the challenger sale, yes. But in the challenger customer. The experience in the sales process is where you can anchor someone for life. Hmm. And I think it's because everything goes back to where primal and nature and our brains are deciding whether we're safe or in danger. And if we can create a sales process that makes you feel safe and in charge and respectful in that hearing. So we're going to do, we're gonna figure out if this is a best fit for you subordinate to whether I make my quote or not, then you have just transformed every sales process they've ever been involved with.

Catherine Brown : 

And isn't it funny that at the same time, I want to make sure that our listeners get this, you can completely mean what you just said, where you can say, I'm doing my very best to make to do my diligence to lead us through a conversation where we see if it's at our mutual best interest. And if it's not, I'll modify my proposal or I'll give you a referral to someone else. And I completely mean that. And you can do that and still drive the process and be in control of the next step. And those things are not mutually exclusive. They actually have to go together for high success. Yeah. And so one of the things I tell people, I figured out different email templates. that have worked well for me, across industries in asking for meetings with people. And I tell people look, all five points of this email are important. But if you're going to pick and you're only going to remember one thing, the most important thing at the very, very end is for you to say what you're going to do next, if you don't hear from them, right? Because you could say that in your own words, you do not have to say it. This is not this is not magic. It doesn't have to be done only my way. But it's important whether you use the active voice or the passive voice or you say you're going to call or email or text them or whatever you're saying is the follow up. It's really important that you say, if I don't hear from you, I'll contact you in x time this certain way to follow up because if you don't do that, you don't know if they did not get your message. Or if you should interpret the lack of information as disinterest. Yeah, right? You You just literally don't have and when you say things, when you say weak things like let me know if you're interested or I'll wait to hear from you. The problem is that you don't have a good filter to evaluate what the lack of response means. Perfect example of this. I have a friend that I'm going to do a workshop for, for her business. And for a variety of circumstances and variety of reasons. We have to do this over a weekend, which I don't mind sometimes I'll do that on a Saturday, you know, for a friend but we are having a lot of trouble aligning our schedule. I am very interested in doing this for her and I woke up this morning and I thought I forgot to text her back. I just forgot it. Like my fact that I have not written still have not written her back is in no way an indication of my commitment to do what I said I was going to do. I just really haven't done it yet. And so it's so funny to me that on one hand, like to me outstanding sales is the are these two things which to an inexperienced person might seem like they are in direct opposition to each other, but actually held simultaneously in balance, right. And that is you have complete liberty to do whatever is best for you, you know, Mr. prospect or miss prospect, and I'll do my best to help you establish as quickly as efficiently as possible if this if I am part of that equation or not. And if not, I'll send you on your way and I'll give you a referral. And we can maybe maybe it'll make more sense in the future, which is why you want to have good marketing follow up, right. But at the same time, you can be completely in control of that process, and have a very strong sense of whether you'll win or not because you did a good job managing the process, without the person feeling managed. Isn't that crazy? But they're both they're both possible. People forget one at the expense of the other. Or you would you're really floundering if you don't have either, right and that and that's unfortunately true for a lot of people as well.

Steve Brown : 

Let's talk about quotas. Okay, I think quotas are what's wrong with sales. I think quotas establish an immediate, antagonistic objective in a sales conversation. Because the salesperson is incentivized. Look, I got to make my quota. So whether this is a good fit for you, I'm sorry, I have to make my quota or I need to quickly discern whether I'm wasting my time with you and move along because I got a quota to make and I'm going to be held accountable. And I think it's just an unenlightened way. For someone who maybe doesn't understand sales to try to manage sales, the best they can And I think it just immediately sets the organization with the wrong focus. I'm curious about how you feel about that.

Catherine Brown : 

When you say quota, do you mean activities that are being tracked? Or do you mean ultimately the amount of revenue that they have to be brought?

Steve Brown : 

That has to be right? So that's, that's my point is I think that most business people they have to wear all these hats and even if the sales hat fit them well, I don't know I think the ones that enjoyed love it and wear it and own it and wear a T shirt says I'm, you know, I'm sales or whatever, but most of them like this is another thing I need to kind of get some control over. I'm got HR and I'm trying to manage these people and get these orders and and negotiate a sale or, you know, purchase or whatever and, and then oh my gosh, our sales are lacking. We need more sales quotas. Let's just hire the five guys and give them some quarters and let's see who makes it. I think that it just sets that that noon. Never get out of that short game solution is. That doesn't answer your question.

Catherine Brown : 

Mm hmm. Well, most people have a fear of scarcity. So it would, it could set you up for a lot of self defeating behavior. If you were, if you're scared all the time that you're not going to hit that number, right? I think a place that and I've never seen anyone do this well, but I'll tell you in my perfect world, where I think it might work, if you were such a great manager, that you learned how to have a goal setting framework where you aligned, and you've worked with the person to coach your salesperson, to have their personal and professional goals be aligned, and understand how to work backwards that that hits a company goal, and you were that explicit about numbers that way, it might be fine because they would be motivated by that if they have goals that really resonate with their really deep self than they would Create plans that break down into regular habits that would actually get them there. But the problem is that managing salespeople is done. It's done so poorly. I have done it poorly in the past. It's very, it's really such important work. And it's done so badly. Because the sales manager think about people joke. I'm sure you've heard this good people joke about saying, you know, what's the worst thing you can do would be to promote your highest performing highest commission earning salesperson that make them a manager over everyone else, right. It's a common business owner mistake that people do that, thinking that they will naturally be a good teacher or that they love their other co workers that much that they want to spend all their time because I really do think it's a special calling. I think it's important to have great managers at every level, but not everyone likes managing people. Right. So finding that right person who can make the people above them happy and communicate the goals and implement a strategy, but have be so in touch with every person that they understand what motivates that individual, and that they're helping that person fulfill their calling whatever they think that is personally and professionally. There's so much research that's in leadership development and goal setting and habit formation that hasn't made its way into the sales world. And you see people starting to do that a little bit more, but I have made some individual goal setting a part of a broader package when I have sales coaching that goes along with curriculum I've taught and I have been astonished at how meaningful it's been for people to break down and say, let's say their professional goals, you know, I want to To pay off the certain debt, and I want my wife really wants to do this trip or I had a guy I worked with last year and he loves soccer, like he's like he's an American, but he follows all these European soccer, soccer leagues. And he wanted for a big birthday that was coming up, he and some friends wanted to go and go the World Cup in person. And so he was just amazing how much energy was generated inside himself, right with just having this abundant, excited, purposeful goal, which he needed to sell a lot to make a lot of money to justify that trip according to his family. Right. But he did it. Right, he did it now. me as an outside person helping them think through that. I mean, the company paid me to help him figure that out. But I think what if every person who managed a salesperson were approached enough In that way, where you say, what is it for you? I mean that I don't want to go the World Cup and I and I barely want to watch soccer on television. So that wouldn't be the right goal for me. But I could tell you what makes my eyes light up and what makes me get more excited? And what would make me translate that energy into specific revenue generating activities that would help me hit my numbers. Yeah.

Steve Brown : 

From that energy, he was able to help him look at it as a business. And so if we want to achieve this, then that means this activity needs to be in place. And we need to have this many conversations and what are we going to do to create that many conversations? Then we combined we can kind of strategize how won't do those conversations matter?

Catherine Brown : 

Yeah. And because that kind of energy unlocks creativity. And one of the loveliest thing I think in the sales and marketing world, we see people be creative all the time, and we literally Either are also graphic designers or we know designers and so we are around people who self described as being artistic creatives. But most people in selling don't think of themselves that way. Most people think I sell this manufactured product, right and or I sell insurance or I sell contracts, CFO services, and they don't actually see themself as someone who can apply. What I would say is just their God given by design, creative ability to the service of others is does not even cross their mind. So that's a fun discussion to have with people and say, creativity can manifest itself in the way you put the office together. What you say when you speak with someone, what you say when you write to someone, the creativity you use in reaching out to someone I read years ago about a guy that was wanting to get a sales call at a big corporation and was constantly being stopped by this executives, assistant who, whose job was to be a gatekeeper, right. And they tried and tried and tried and tried and tried tried all these different ways. Somehow, he learned where the guy really lived. And he sent a box to the guy's house and he was a box of cereal. And on the on the box of cereal, he put a letter that said, I'd like to catch you before you get to the office in the morning or something like that. Now, you might say, okay, that's creepy. They figured out where you lived. Fine. You have to admit it's pretty creative. And everybody can do really just this unlimited number of they can have an unlimited number of ideas. Yes, if they are encouraged to do that inspired to do that. So when I need selling ideas, one of the things that's been a hack for me that might be interesting to your listeners is that I will often listen to podcasts, Ted Talks, interviews of other people and people who are completely outside my industry. Totally. It's actually making the jump from applying from this to this that will get me interested. And then and then the other thing is just to give myself more whitespace, right that usually, when I take a walk every day to go walk my dog, I I'd never talk on the phone to friends. I don't multitask. I really try to just walk, walk her, enjoy her enjoying herself. Because you know, if you want to sniff everything in the world, I mean, that's the way they experience the world. So she is just having the time of her life you know, on our walls. I'm enjoying watching her enjoy herself. And I'm just letting my mind wander. Yeah. And giving that whitespace I'm missing amazed what will come to me. But you have to be deliberate about making a way for that to happen and in the business and hecticness are being worried about scarcity or being worried about hitting your quota. Those are actually self defeating things that don't serve us.

Steve Brown : 

Totally. So Katherine isn't an excellent conversation. I hate that. So much that we could talk maybe we should have a couple more conversations, a sale series or something but if someone is interested in learning more about you or connecting with you, how do they find you?

Catherine Brown : 

Thank you. So my website is the best place to go to start with and that is extra bold sales calm. And on that I have a tab called free stuff. And I have some great they were originally bought posts that have now been turned into PDFs that you can download. But they are some of my most popular little mini teachings that you can see if to get a flavor of the way I talk the way I write the kinds of tools I suggest people have. And if you do that, you would begin to get my Friday email, I send a Friday email out every morning at seven central time, on Fridays. And I usually share between two and four paragraphs of sales tips, and little mini lessons. Sometimes there's a call to action to something I'm offering sometimes it's just it's always great free information. And that's probably the best way to see if my combination of the psychology of selling and the actual writing of the sales tools is a good fit

Steve Brown : 

for somebody. Awesome. So what's the Have you landed on a name for your book? Hi I'm having

Catherine Brown : 

such a hard time. Do you have an idea? I don't know. I might like so I did do a walkthrough with my, with my writer that's helping me put it together. And I'm really excited. It's actually going to be relatively short. And I think that's important for the first first time author, this will be my first book. And so I believe it'll just have seven chapters. It's it's not long, but so I My idea is always would you read it? Could you read it on a transcontinental flight? You know, could you read it in one sitting and I think that's a big that's a nice measure. But, I mean, it's pretty how to like even though I teach pretty equally about the psychology of selling and how to write templates and tools and guide the conversation and have a strong call to action and those sorts of things. It's pretty heavy on the ladder. It's pretty heavy on the tools part. That's interesting for me once I put it all together to see that so I mean, I might use that How to in my title. I might say, you know how to how to sell without acting like a jerk. Or how to you know how to have confidence in selling something that is really getting at the fact that I think it's almost going to be like a dummies guide. I hesitate to say it that way because I don't think I don't want people to feel like I think they're not smart, but very instructional with templates, things you fill in fill in the blank. I hope very practical.

Steve Brown : 

Cool. Well, the golden toilets are already taken. was just thinking like, how to how to admit to everyone you meet, you love to sell something like that's the essence of sales is like you almost have to like, Hi, my name is Steve. And I'm a salesperson.

Catherine Brown : 

It's like when a—

Steve Brown : 

Kind of, yeah Like sales anonymous I'm,

Catherine Brown : 

yeah, it's funny. I did think at one point about something like sales is not a four letter word. And that's taken. I mean, the concept. It's like other sales trainers know that people that most of the world hate selling. We just haven't figured out how to come together and lead a revolution that it's for everyone's good. I mean, what would it be like if people saw it not as disgusting necessity, but as this way that you connect people to products and services that help them live the kind of life they want to live, that's really what we offer. But it takes a fair amount of practice for a person to really believe that.

Steve Brown : 

Totally. Yeah, sales is actually to four letter words. Hard work. salesperson is just Airbnb we're connecting. We're connecting inventory with demand. That's it. Everybody's like all Airbnb or Uber or whatever. That's all we're doing. We're connecting. We're connecting resources with demand we're connecting solutions with, with people who want solutions,

Catherine Brown : 

right? And if you don't take that trip right now, it doesn't make sense for you. Then I'll stay in touch with you and give you value and give you great content and free information in the meantime, and when it makes more sense than we do something. Yeah. Right, which is how Uber and Airbnb think of it.

Steve Brown : 

Thanks. totally true. So this has been excellent conversation. So Catherine Brown, extra book, bold sales.com you need to listen to her stuff. She's you have a podcast coming out as well. Right? I do.

Catherine Brown : 

I do. I'll give you the show notes when we're very close. I don't have any Name quite yet. In the meantime, I do have a, an extra bold sales YouTube channel that's got some videos on it that has some training videos on it. I do hope I'll have an interview format in the near future where I'm talking to people about the work that they did to change their mindset about sales. Because I think that people need tools like that they want to know, what do I say to myself? What do I write to myself? What would I What would it mean to practice building habits of getting better at this? And so I'll keep you apprised of that.

Steve Brown : 

Do that. If someone has a great name, let Catherine know.

Catherine Brown : 

Please.

Steve Brown : 

Yeah, thank you. Thanks, Catherine. Thank you ROI online podcast. Thank you for listening to another fun episode of the ROI online podcast. For more be sure to check out the show notes of this episode. And feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn where we can chat and I can help direct you to the resources you're Searching for. To learn more about how you can grow your business better. Be sure to pick up your copy of my book, The Golden toilet at surprise golden toilet calm. I'm Steve Brown, and we'll see you next week on another fun episode of the ROI online podcast.