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Are Your Sellers Actually Hearing their Buyers?

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It's not about pushing a product, but about empowering the buyer, addressing their core concerns, and building a lasting relationship. By truly listening and aligning solutions with the buyer's needs, sales professionals can foster trust, ensure repeat business, and create advocates within the client's organization. This approach moves beyond a transactional relationship to a meaningful, long-term partnership, proving beneficial for both the buyer and the seller.

What you'll learn:

  • Understanding and addressing buyer concerns
  • Building long-term relationships with buyers
  • Navigating the intricacies of technical sales
  • Recommendations for personal and professional development
  • The importance of effective communication in sales


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It's incredibly frustrating as sales leaders when our sellers get a deal almost across the finish line, but can't quite push it to the finish, even though they've promised us that it's coming in real soon.

We are offering a Free white paper on Three ways to get those sales across the line.

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Connecting with clients through active listening

[0:00] Even say the beginning, so you're exploring or connecting with people or identifying clients, the sooner you hear them, the faster they're going to want to talk to you again.
And that term is like, Oh, hear them. We all hear them. No.
It's hear them like actually hear the words coming out of their mouth.
So they can stare you in the eyes and say, this person's going to help me get more sleep.
Welcome to the full funnel of freedom podcast. If you are listening to this, you are likely leading a team responsible for generating revenue.
Purpose of Full Funnel Freedom is to support people like yourself and keep your funnels.

[0:37] Music.

Introduction and Affiliate Offer

[0:43] Welcome to the Full Funnel Freedom podcast. I'm your host, Hamish Knox.
Today, I'm delighted to have Nathan Johnson, Chief Executive Officer from Stratus Advanced Technologies as my guest today.
Now let's hear from one of our affiliate partners. Free offer for listeners of the Full Funnel Freedom podcast, I've got a report called Three Ways to Ensure Your Sales Cycle Doesn't Sputter in the Last Mile.
You can get that at slash sputter.
It's incredibly frustrating as sales leaders when our sellers get a deal almost across the finish line, but can't quite push it to the finish even though they've promised us that it's coming in real soon.
So go get your free report, three ways to ensure your sales cycle does not sputter in the last mile at forward slash sputter.

[1:36] Now back to the show. So my guest today, Nathan Johnson, CEO of Stratus Advanced Technologies, grew up wanting to know how everything works.
And when he was given the opportunity or the challenge, he would break it down, put it back together.
And as he got further in business world, he found that he had a passion for learning and systems that allowed him to excel.
He loves the fact that he has an ability to problem solve at a very large scope and scale, and to create ideas that create long-term solutions.

[2:17] So Nathan, welcome to Full Funnel Freedom. Yeah, thanks for having me.

Nathan's Background and Passion for Technology

[2:21] I'm super delighted to be here.
So Nathan, I've given the audience the 30,000 foot view of who you are and what you are doing today.
Take us down a little level. Tell us the story of Nathan, how you got to where you are today and what is Stratus Advanced Technologies all about?
Yeah, growing up, I definitely, like I said in the intro there, I wanted to take everything I could get my hands on apart.
That was just sort of my obsession was, if I couldn't see it, I wanted to know what it was or how it would work. So that really led me down a path that when I got my hands on my first computer, it really drove me to...

[2:54] Really push on digging deep and seeing because this is sort of the first device that could do a lot more than what it appears to do so if you sign engine and engine does one thing and move the vehicle really and computer to do all sorts of things i can display stuff to make noise to make sounds of print things that really got me invested in technology so as i went through my career i got particularly wide set of experiences as i was growing up from doing sales to management to executive management to directorships I do a bit of industrial shipping and receiving.
I did just a mechanical also. As I went on, I got really the full experience of, I'd probably say, almost every part of a company in general.
At a certain point, I got offered an opportunity to start a company, where a parent company I was working for said, hey, we really love what you're doing.
What would you like to do? I said, well, I've been doing tech since I was a kid, but I never really did it professionally.

[3:50] I was like, well, I'd like to do a tech company. So I took everything that I had learned through pretty much about 20 plus years of working in management, executive sales and stuff and said, well, I'm going to start a tech company.
And I'm going to focus on the thing that I love, which is systems, how things work internally.
So that's really the like how I got to where I am today. And you know, we're at the beginning of this journey with Stratas Advanced Technologies.
And I'm super excited to see where it goes.

[4:17] But it also is me effectively manifesting a passion that has been sort of inside of me, but never been able to execute on it professionally.
Very cool. So you're just at the beginning of this journey with Stratus.

Stratus Advanced Technologies: Solving Communication and Data Challenges

[4:29] What does Stratus do? What are you selling? What problems are you solving right now?
So a big belief I have is communication is the key to everything.
And I don't think that's special to me, but it's something that I like to sort of beat my kids over the head with and everyone around me.
And that kind of comes down to communication as a whole. So every business lives and dies on information.
So you have customers coming in, generating invoices, going through process products, logistics, running your own process and procedures internally in your company.
It's all information moving around.
The better the information gets out there, the better people do.
So we started Stratus, a data solutions company, which we focus on helping companies take that data And effectively, like with a person, you can keep your finger on the pulse of it.
You can know better how someone's doing.

[5:18] So we help companies take that information that they're producing, all that data, and put it in a place where they can get quicker access to it, make stakeholder decisions, and even get into automating it and transforming it into different things.
And so a perfect example of what we do is that, say, if you were to take a restaurant, the restaurant's gonna generate.
Hundreds not if not thousands of invoices a day for all the people they serve it's not realistic for a manager at the end of the day to read through every single invoice and receipt and say like how did we do today you know more chicken or did we sell more beef what we do is in a later sense of it we do that at all different scales so we would help someone at the end of the day say hey this week.

[5:58] You sold a lot of eggs in the morning, right? So don't stock eggs in the afternoon type thing.
So that's sort of boiling it down. So we like to provide solutions end-to-end for really any data system. And of course, the scale of that gets really large when you think about enterprise and large industry that are probably taking in billions of data points every day.

[6:18] Very cool business to be in. And it totally resonates with me, you and I, and the listeners have friends who are in retail or hospitality or things like that. And you've got all these little micro transactions or what an enterprise would call a micro transaction. They may be highly significant to that restaurant. And to literally go through that, you have to be really detail oriented. And if you're not, you'll do it because that's your job as a leader, but you'll also fry your brain. Now, if you're not watching the podcast, you're listening to it, Nathan has got something up on his background. Not only does he have the Stratus logo, he also has a phrase that It says, respect everyone and everything.
And when we first visited, this resonated with me. Nathan, it must be important enough for you to put it on your background. What does respect everyone and everything mean to Stratus and why is it on your background?

[7:05] Growing up, I definitely experienced all the fun things of being a teenager, to being an adult, to rejection, to success, to acceptance.
And as I went through the working world, I had to sort of pick what was the one thing really stood out to me for myself to build a company on. And we all have, we all know what a company needs to be. We need financial resources, we need good people, we need all these different things. But I really wanted to have a more of a mantra that was like, what does like, what does it mean? And you're going out to talk to someone or hiring someone or doing anything, you're respecting them at an absolute. So you're not respecting them because they're a client, you're not respecting them because they'll do a transaction with you. You're not respecting them because they have a skill. You're saying that, you know, I'm sitting across from another.

[7:48] Person. I'm going to respect them at the exact same capacity. I want them to respect me.

[7:54] And that's really critical to the growth of our company because I felt, and I'm sure lots of other listeners have felt this, is that as they went through, the business world, there were points in your life where you're like, wow, I really feel like I'm at the bottom of someone's boot and this isn't enjoyable.
And I would almost rather them respect me by talking to me about whatever's wrong or getting me on the path that I need to be because that's something in the business, you know, not at the business community as a whole. It's something that I feel a lot of people fall into a trap of saying that like, you know, We're too busy to afford respect and I think that that can never be and the future business really you watch like you know we're on linkedin and there's a billion videos on eq and I think the reason that plays into the importance of this is that people are struggling keeping long term employees and getting longer tenure out of high school people and you read about these people leaving they're not leaving specifically because of pay or anything it's coming down to more people are looking for a better environment where they feel more human, more accepted, more understood as what they are.
So that's really, really critical to me. Amen. That resonates with me as well. One of the core things that we teach.

Treating Team Members as Equals and Modeling Respectful Behavior

[9:08] Are the leaders that we work with is your sellers have the right to be treated as an equal.
Whether they've got 10 minutes of experience or 10 decades of experience on your team and they're talking to a buyer who is either the smallest possible ideal buyer or the largest possible ideal buyer, they're two human beings having a conversation and for leaders to model that behavior when they are talking to their team members. So if I expect my team members to go out and be treated as an equal by whatever size of buyer, I need to model that behavior and treat them as an equal and as a human being. Now, I'm still their boss, right? So I still have levers that I'm allowed to pull. However, I don't want to have to pull those levers. I'd rather, as you you identified have an environment of respect built up where my team members want to perform because they believe that I'm here to support them and I will treat them as an equal.
So Nathan, how does being treated as an equal, how is respect everything, how has that played into your role as a sales leader in the past?
Because you shared, you've worked your way up through many parts of an organization, you've led sales teams.
How does this manifest in the real world?
Yeah, so most of my background in sales was in the technical sales category.
So one of the things that's really good is that respect and almost partnerships go a very long way when you're in the technical sales world. So the teams that I led.

[10:30] We would always have really thoughtful discussions about how to approach things.
Because when you're doing technical sales, a long time, even the closing of the deal can be six months to a year. It can be a very long time. And one of the things to help salesmen get through that, or even sales leaders, was getting people to understand that when you're sitting there working through these technical sales, you really need to look across from the the other person as your point of success and saying like, you know, if I was sitting across from me, you know, generic term, you know, would I want to buy something from me?
And am I treating it in that manner? Am I collecting the information?
Am I asking the right questions?
Am I doing this at a capacity that meets my own standard? And so like, I believe a lot of success comes from the word no, and it's not that you should like say no, but what it is, is it's, it's knowing when you should say yes versus no.
So an example where we have sales people come back to us and say like, hey, this person came, they have this really small thing, you know, it's it's 100 the size of what I normally deal with. And you know, I don't got time, I stopped and say, Well, how would you feel if you're in that situation?
You don't have to help them.

[11:39] Like the thing is, it's not saying our company has to go out of our way, that might not be something our company does.
But can you make a phone call? Do you know someone?
Can you go a little bit further than just, you know, saying, I'm sorry, you don't fit the window. So I got to send you on your merry way. And that was where the respect thing came from was that it was me saying like, no, because you don't know where that came from. And actually the one thing that taught me one of the biggest lessons in this, where the respect to everyone and everything came from was for a while I was working at a company where we had different divisions. And one of the divisions did services on projects that would range from between 50 and $500,000. They were just huge singular pieces of equipment. We also had a different department that fixed smaller things that were used around homes and stuff like that.
They were 50 to 200 bucks. One of the problems we ran into was the people that owned these huge pieces of equipment also owned these small things.
What we had happen was that whenever they brought the small things or dealing with the small things, a lot of times our sales team would just be like, this is going to cost me an hour for pretty much nothing.

[12:45] But what happened was after talking with the clients more and more, what I learned was they were like, that small thing I brought into you took forever. So I thought that if I brought the big thing in, it would take forever too. Oh no.
But that wasn't the case because it was two separate divisions.
Right. But the issue at hand was then we had to sit down and say like, look, you have to understand this stuff's all interconnected. So if you're out there talking to someone and someone comes to you and approaches you, even though something that's completely out of your sector or out of your industry, if you know someone, you can say, you know, look, I don't think I have the solution, but I'm going to call someone and put you in touch with someone. I'm going to put a little extra effort in them Because you have no idea who that person is, where they're going, and also, you know, look at it like you're looking in the mirror.
What if you had that problem where, you know, you're at your house, and that little thing you own stopped working?
And you call someone up and they're like, oh, too bad, so sad, keep on your journey.
But what happens when that person says, you know what, just hold on a second, I'm going to make a phone call. I'm going to take 30 seconds a minute out of my day and see if I can't point you in the right direction. That sticks. We're emotional creatures. Emotions stick to memories and then next time you're running, you'll be like, oh yeah, hey, buddy that has the big piece of equipment, these guys, awesome. Take it there, right? Totally. I love that explanation because what is little to us may be giant to the other person. Is that fair?

Going the Extra Mile and Creating Lasting Emotional Connections

[13:58] Oh, absolutely. Those guys that have those $500,000 piece of equipment, they still have families and if they can't give their kids cereal in the morning because something broke.

[14:07] What do you think is going to weigh on them more, right? Like they're going to be frustrated, but they'll remember that because they'll be like, oh, those are the guys that helped me give my kids cereal that morning and it was a good morning and you know, maybe next time I should reconsider where we send this equipment, right?
It's also those unintended consequences like you shared. It's one division versus another division And so one division goes, eh, whatever. And the other division is dying, maybe not literally, but they're not getting as much business as they could because the people over here are literally the same buyers over here. And one of these things is not like the other. So I think it's a Maya Angelou quote about people don't remember what they say, but they remember how you made them feel, which I love that you said that. I'm curious though, because we talk a lot about this with the leaders that we work with is this idea of buyer empathy, right? So I understand if you were selling to you, right? Would you buy from you? Unfortunately, we're not selling to us, we're selling to someone else. And I find that sellers will sometimes get stuck because they'd say, well, I wouldn't buy that. Well, that's fantastic. You're not the person who's going to buy it. So how do you control or how did you control for that where they went too far the other way and they started talking themselves out of selling?

[15:17] Because they wouldn't necessarily buy from them. That was always a really big challenge.
And I think for me personally, it was always talking to them about the value.
So anytime someone got into dealing with a sale, that was something where they're like, not sure I'm convinced on the product or the thing that I'm working on, or if I'm gonna be able to push this across the finish line, or if, you know, like you and I both know in the sales game, confidence is huge.
Like you can't get around that.
And so what I try to do is talk to them them about focusing on a different aspect of it. So if you get like, say like say in high technical sales and you bring in someone new there, they might as well be selling unicorns and witches like things that are straight up pure magic that they don't know.
Yeah. And so what I always try to tell them is that if you can't really understand it completely or you're getting that feeling where you're, you're pulling ahead or not doing it, focus on the value.

[16:09] Like it's a lot times a lot easier. People can quickly understand where it's like, oh, you know, hey, we're going to put this thing in or do the sale.
What's this thing do well i want to ask or find that out a lot of times they'll stop thinking about what they're selling and be like oh no i'm i'm getting this thing up and running or i'm gonna make this better so your change you just sort of saying shift your your shift the aspect of what you're focusing on to something that resonates with you and honestly like almost every sales team that i've ever gotten in the early points The product is always the hard part. That's always the hard part. So we always try to say, like, let's train on the value first. So if, as an example, someone comes in, and, you know, back way back in the day, I used to sell furnace motors, someone comes in, and they're like, you know, hey, I'm gonna need this motor and it's really a pain about to sell and it's worth 200 bucks or 300 bucks. Mm hmm.

Focusing on adding value in technical sales

[17:01] A lot of times salespeople would be like, you know, but stop and think this person is going to be warm after you sell this.
And the person's like, oh, interesting. Yeah. So then they can focus a little more on that.
And it's also a lot easier to wrap features up. And, you know, one of the biggest things you go through sales with is you learn a lot of times the primary products, not the thing that makes money, the services that surround it, that add more value, not saying just make more money, but they add more value is what people want.
And so if someone comes in and buys a furnace motor and you ask them, say, Hey, how can you replace this thing? And they say, I've been replacing it once a year. You're like, Oh, probably because there's other problems, you should buy these other three things. And it should reduce that the customer, a client is much happier because they're like, Oh, thank you, you're finally solving the solution. Plus, those added value services generally have a better rate of return for the company. And also, the salesperson is a lot higher because they didn't have to focus on the product, they just focus on writing a value and then more value.
That's generally what I use as a tactic to sort of circumnavigate that subject.
I appreciate you sharing that because we can get overly linear, right? It's like, well, I have to sell motors. Or the other one that I see come up with with sellers that we've coached leaders on in the past is the big deal, right? So all of us have a largest deal ever, right? Whatever it might be. Now, we're also going to get another largest deal ever.
And one of the things that we've coached leaders to say is take a zero off, right? So a seller comes in, it's like, I don't know if I could bring this deal across the finish line.

[18:30] What do you mean? Well, it's $4 million. Like, okay, well, what if it was $400,000?
Oh, I can sell $400,000 deals all day long. Okay, great. Think of it as a $400,000 deal and then we'll just tap the extra zero on after it crosses the finish line, right?
So it's all these little moves as leaders that we need to pull to help our sellers get out of that linear thinking and allow them to expand out on their scope. So as you're coaching sellers especially in technical sales, to broaden their scope, focus on value.

[19:01] What were some of the other tactics and strategies you use to help your sellers

Emphasizing understanding client challenges and addressing them effectively

[19:05] keep their funnels consistently focused? In tech sales, we can go looking like an accordion.

[19:10] Necessarily, and that's not ideal for anybody. So how do you help your sellers keep that funnel looking like a funnel on a consistent basis? Yeah. So the big one for us was making sure that everyone focused on challenges more than they focused on necessarily the end sale or product.
So the majority when you're in technical sale is the clients will have a lot of moving parts.
So if you're doing technical sales, they're not coming to you because there's one thing wrong and generally a set of systems that have appeared because one thing went wrong and then they looked at the rest of the things attached to the thing and they're like, oh, okay, well, we're going to have to ask about all this. So when we went out and did the talking and calling, we were always trying to focus on, get them to, you can say pain point, challenge point, the biggest return on investment, the highest value point, but it was more focusing on the sentence the client would give. So if the client comes in and says like, you know, X, Y, Z, but really Zed is the part that we like we haven't fixed. We would say, okay, write down X, Y, Z, but make sure when you're addressing and going back and forth that you're reinforcing what the client feels because one of the tropes a lot of times people fall into, I think with sales is they are like, well, I know exactly what the client needs. So they say X, Y, Z, and the salesman's like, oh, X is clearly the big problem and all these things. But the client's like, no, Zed, like Zed bugs me. You have to be able to reiterate, you hear him.

[20:37] Is listening like it's listening so you know again from the beginning of our conversation here it is that communication point that i really push on but it has to be i'm writing down your challenge i heard you say that we are going to address and properly even if we had a technical level no attacks we're going to listen to you we're gonna cover that every meeting we have we're gonna make sure that is dealt with an address And even if it's simple for the company to deal with Zed, you can go into the meeting, say, hey, what do you think of the solution and everything? And then after you provide it to them, and things start happening, or hopefully the deal closes for you, that you're able to take a look back and as the client learns, and has that context, that you understand that even though you know, it's X, that Zed is what's keeping them up at night. And if you didn't sell them, say, like in your example, like a $4 million thing, but if that $4 million thing shows up and you focus on X but you didn't address Z and that person still can't sleep at night, you know that next deal may get halted or they might have to learn a whole bunch more in order to appreciate what you've done.

[21:40] And I think it's super important that you always take that time with clients and say like yeah we hear this, we hear that, we hear these things and you can always make recommendations and say hey I think X might actually be a more serious problem but I do understand that.
And so then as time goes on it really is making sure that you also understand that whenever you go into, even say the beginning, so you're exploring or connecting with people or identifying clients, the sooner you hear them, the faster they're going to want to talk to you again.
And that term is like, Oh, hear them. We all hear them. No.

[22:12] It's hear them, like actually hear the words coming out of their mouth so they can stare you in the eyes and say, this person is going to help me get more sleep.
And then that's how the conversation will continue. And as long as that keeps going, more and more people will then reference and they're not going to call and say, yeah, they sold me the best X.
They're going to say, no, we had a huge issue. And these guys heard us.
And man, did they deal with that issue?
So you need to call them because they're going to hear you too.
And they're going to give you that amazing component. Amen. One of the key bits of coaching is when a seller says, why no? Why know that they need X? Did they say that to you? No. Okay. You believe it. That's.

[22:50] Fine. Okay. To believe you don't know it unless they kind of, it comes out of the buyer's mouth.
So let's, let's stop knowing things and let's start going and understanding and hearing them as you identified. I got to believe that because our sellers are human, like we all are, at least for now is some of your sellers didn't actually understand that, right?
And as much as you would say, like, tell them Zed, like, tell them you hear them, let's solve Zed, we'll get to X eventually. They were still like, it's gotta be X.
How did you coach those sellers to come around to the fact that it wasn't actually about them, it was about the buyer?
It was definitely looking at the value chain within a sale as breaking it down into its pieces.
So if someone goes in and they're like, you know, they keep asking for Zed, but I know it's X, I would say, okay, that's great.
And what you should do then is as you address the whole entire sale is make sure that the value provided if you're like saying saying X is peripheral to them, then make sure that you then adjust your sale as a whole.
So if Zed is the thing that's got the focus on it and the value, that's an opportunity for you to be able to say like, hey, we're going to connect up with you and ask more about Zed and see if we can't address that even further.
And then we'll let sort of X and Y, they have to be done, let those things kind of coast.

[24:06] And if you deal with sellers, one thing that they're grateful for is being able to close those, deals. They really want to be able to see stuff going, as you said, into the funnel, and they.

Focusing on value and the guaranteed part of the sale

[24:14] Want to see that stuff come out the other end as a successful, well-closed deal. And so during the discussions, it would be more on this is a value here you're missing by focusing or hyper focusing on the thing that the client doesn't necessarily want to talk about. Because the other part too, is that if that's a requirement, you're sort of that that's the guaranteed part of the sale.
So if you know, Zed is the thing they care about and X and Y have to go with it, you know, get X and Y done properly, and you're going to get that and be happy, but take a look into X and see if there's other things that you can be doing, or you can be growing the sale or adding more value or providing more confidence back to the client by looking at it.
And usually it also having a conversation about context is also a big thing.
Thing because you know even say if you're 100 feet away from your client you don't know exactly what the context is of it and a lot of times I'll talk to people and say the other reason you might think that it's not x or y but a z is because if you're in sales I always divide sales up into three places you have skill price and politics if you're winning two of them generally you'll win a sale.

[25:22] Most companies run on skill first, then price. That's usually most companies. But what happens is a lot of people forget there's a political game. There is always a political game. If everyone in town sells apple pies the same price, but you have a friend that owns a bakery, you buy apple pies there. There's no other thing to it. So a lot of times when they're saying like, hey, yeah, they're really hung up on Zed. What you might not understand is climbing up their ladder.

[25:46] Someone might be saying, look, if this Zed thing doesn't get addressed or fixed.

[25:50] Then there's other problems we're addressing that go higher and higher and higher and also you don't know how long your client's business chain is so unless you've done absolute maximum research you have no idea how far they reach it could be a client's vendor or a client's client that is demanding that zed is heavily addressed so you really need to make sure that you trust your client and the context they're providing to you so that ultimately you're really addressing the situation. Like I said, scoping it out because I've seen salesmen where they've literally bashed a deal out of the park. But because of that getting stuck on that thing, later on, they learned to find that that person's boss or that person's stakeholder or overseer or whoever has been like, if you don't address this, don't do the deal. And the salesmen are like, I'll die on a sword for this. They're wrong. And I'm like, okay, that's great. But you don't know the context, You don't know behind the scenes. And that's something that you have to trust the client with.

Understanding the context and political landscape of the client

[26:49] Absolutely. And be allowed to ask those questions. We're allowed to ask our buyers anything. And I know in my career, selling software as a service, I got great rapport with Nathan. Nathan's like, I love this. This is great. Da-da-da-da-da. And then I get a call like, hey, dude, yeah, I can't.

[27:06] Can't move forward with this. And then I find out later that it was Nathan's boss or a board member or someone in a different department who we were going to be taking some budget from, who blew it up. And that was my fault. I didn't ask those questions to really understand, like you said, that political landscape. And I had the skill, the price was fine. It blew up in my face because I didn't ask the right questions on what was the political landscape. So I really appreciate you identifying that for our audience today. Nathan, I love visiting with you. I could visit with you all day long. We both have companies to run. So that's probably not going to work and we'll have our colleagues banging on our metaphorical doors going, hey guys, like you got other things to do.
I got a few questions for you before we wrap up. First one being, if you could go back and coach younger Nathan. So go back as far as you like and you can say, hey, younger Nathan, you're going to be up here in 2023. You'll be the CEO of this amazing company.
You're also going to have a bunch of scar tissue and a bunch of bumps and bruises.

[28:00] What would you coach younger Nathan to say or do different to arrive in the same place, less bumps and bruises and fewer scar tissue.
The simple sentence would be communicate harder. Communicate until your face turns blue.
Communicate until you're sick of communicating and then communicate some more and then keep communicating past that point. That's really it. The second part, if I had to give a more structured set of advice would be don't sell things to your clients, empower them.
If a client's empowered, they'll become evangelists within their organization for whatever it is you're doing. If you go to a client and you give them the sword and shield and they can march around that business looking like they're the champions of the world, they will just constantly reach out to you and everyone in their organization will also want to look like that. So make sure when you look at a client, look at it from an empowering standpoint. Get that person where they need to be so they are going to run around bashing a tin can and screaming your name and every door inside of their company so every single other person comes back to you.

[29:00] What a brilliant piece of advice. Thank you for sharing that with us, Nathan. Next question for

Recommended reading: Harvard Business Review books for personal development

[29:03] you. You are someone who's very into professional and personal development. So what have you read, listened to, watched, whether it was in the past or recently that you would recommend the audience of sales leaders checks out to further their own professional and personal development?
I really love the Harvard Business Review books, the HBR series. I can't recommend literally all of them. When you go in there, I try to keep caught up on each years, but there is one in there about managing yourself and management that I highly recommend. They do a lot to cover scenarios that are relatable and groundable or ungrounded and so I highly recommend that for anyone to even pick a chapter in those books and read through them. There's some exceptional ones for self-improvement that just really, it's nice because they're just all sorts of different tidbits and each one strikes you a little differently. So I can't recommend the Harvard Business Review books enough.

[29:58] Very cool. Thank you for sharing that. We'll put a link to that in the show notes. Last question for you Nathan, closing bit of wisdom, final thought you'd like to leave the audience with, something to plug, the floor is yours.
I say when it comes to sales, act like you're a partner. When you're sitting across from someone, you want to treat them like you are, there's a lot of tropes, but act like a partner.
Act like you're going to be there past the deal. Take a look and evaluate everything that you're doing to say that if I got to support this person for the next 10 years, how would I set this up?
And that type of scoping things out where I always test as a scaling thing that if you're doing a project that's going to last a year, don't price it, plan it and do it like it's going to last a year, price it and plan it like it's going to last 10 years and then charge them for one 10th of it.

[30:44] That that simple test of saying like if you're ever sitting there wondering to yourself am i making a good decision or is this right multiply it by ten just say it you know if you're gonna sell ten widgets, you're worried about the deal multiply it by ten and say ok am i doing this correctly by selling ten of these things and if you really want to do a magnitude of something huge do by a hundred look at the things you're doing in the most depth and distance light you possibly can, because everyone rushes into things and says, you know, I want to sell this thing and get these things and get in and get out.
But when you actually get into the business world, and you're dealing out there.

[31:22] Every business owner appreciates those clients that have been with them for 5, 10, 15 years, where they send you a text that says 7XYZsPO5 and they hit enter. And they don't ask for a price, They don't question anything. They don't care when it's going to arrive.
And the way you get those clients is because those clients say, Oh no, Nathan, he's going to do it. And he'll make it right.
You don't even have to think about it. But that comes from you looking at it and saying, Hey, the thing I'm selling to you, is this going to be your 10 year solution?
Because in every single thing they get, there's no second thoughts.
There are no like calling you back saying, Hey, could we have got a blank with this thing? Could we buy a work?
Like whatever he's going to do is going to be right. And that's that's sort of where I really want to push people in sales when you're looking at someone Don't look across there like a you know, this is my meal ticket or I got to get this done You look across and say like I'm gonna work with this person for 10 years. Love it. Very cool What a great way to end a wrap up our episode.

Importance of Active Listening and Observing Body Language

[32:22] Nathan I've learned a ton from you today. I really look forward to our conversations continuing offline Thank you for being a guest on full funnel freedom today. No, I really appreciate it. Thanks for having me. This has been awesome Wow, I learned a ton from Nathan in our visit today. A few things stood out for me. I'm really curious to hear what really stood out for you. The number one thing was the importance of really listening to what the buyer is saying and listening to their whole being, not just the words that are coming out of their mouth, but also their tonality and their body language. Most of our communications as a human beings is done through our body.
And if we are not observing the whole person and we're just paying attention to their words, we're likely to miss most of the message.
I also really appreciated his thoughts on.

[33:13] How in technical sales we really need to ensure that we are confirming how big of an issue our buyer has as opposed to the buyer sharing what we might think is something pretty minor or pretty major and finding out that it is the complete opposite for our buyer. So don't just think I know what they mean or I know that that is a big issue. When we are in knowing mode or when when our sellers are in knowing mode, they actually reduce their chances of selling.
So coach your sellers to ask a clarifying question.

[33:50] How big of an issue is that for you? Is that significant? And they're more likely to increase their rapport and credibility with their buyers.

Failure to Deliver Can Damage Future Relationship with Buyer

[33:58] The other thing that I really took away from Nathan is that when we fail to deliver on a small part of a project, it can actually damage our potential for expanding that relationship with the buyer in the future.
Now, I know that sounds obvious because if we don't successfully deliver, then the buyer's like, well, why would I trust you again?
However, we might have unsuccessfully delivered on what to us is a 10% of the solution and the other 90% went really well.
However, our brains are wired to remember the negative. So all of our buyer remembers is, oh, it didn't work, even though it was only 10% of the total solution.
So when things happen with a buyer that are not positive for us or for them, circle back and confirm that that will not be a barrier to us expanding our relationship going forward.
Thanks for listening. Share this episode with a sales leader or two in your network who you care about.
And until we connect on the next episode, go create full funnel of freedom.

Support and Share the Full Funnel Freedom Podcast

[35:04] Thanks for listening to today's episode of the Full Funnel Freedom podcast.
You can continue to support us by leaving us a review and a rating, sharing this episode with a couple of sales leaders in your network who you care about.
I'd love to connect with you. I'm easy to find, Hamish Knox on LinkedIn.
Also, if you'd like a free 15 minute call with me, go to forward slash howtosandler.
Until we connect on the next episode, go create full funnel freedom.

[35:36] Music.