George Thomas 0:08
Ready to spend 15 minutes with the experts you admire these strategy sessions from thought leaders brought directly to your ears. Welcome to the sprocket talk 15 minute strategy podcast where every week George B Thomas uncovers the challenges that sales, marketing and service professionals face and of course, the strategies to help them overcome their biggest hurdles. So sit back and set your sights on growth with these bite sized conversations filled with pure strategy gold. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 15 minute strategy podcast. Alright, sprockets yours. It's your boy George B. Thomas. And yes, I'm excited. Yes, we're back. Yes, it's another episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast. And I have a dear friend David here. He's going to introduce himself in a minute. We're going to get into the deep end of the pool. But I have to say, I am a little bit challenged today because we're going to be talking about math. That's the only way I'm going to tease into this because math was never my Subject, David, before we dive into the deep end of the pool, why don't you let the sprockets yours the viewers and listeners know who you are, what you do and where you do it.
David Weinhaus 1:08
Yes. And just in case you made people nervous with math towards we're not getting into like differential equations today, you know, it's all gonna be whole numbers pretty, pretty routine stuff, but put powerful stuff as well. So my introduction, I'm with HubSpot. I run partner sales enablement for the company, which means I help our partner network to sell better and particularly through a lot of group and live training programs.
George Thomas 1:35
Yeah, and the group and live training programs is amazing. And if you're listening to this, which is a complete possibility, and you don't know what HubSpot is or what the HubSpot partner program is, if you're an agency owner and employee, you should dive into that and check it out. So David, it's when you scheduled to do this interview, I was super excited because sometimes people put in information I'm like, Okay, I understand where that is. interviews gonna go. And then there are there are rare occasions where somebody will put something in and my mind goes, Oh, this one excites me. And so you literally put in, do the math to sell better do the math to sell better. So what are the foundational pieces, David that the sprockets ears that I need to understand so we can carry on this conversation today?
David Weinhaus 2:21
Yeah, so there's a little bit more there than just straight math. The reason that I like talking about math to sell better is because you need a couple different things in place. One thing that you need in place before you even start doing math is you need numbers. George, to start with, I don't know what it's like for you. I know you do a lot of speaking and selling as well. But I found it's really great to sell on a story stories are fantastic narrative devices are fantastic as well. But numbers have power. And you can layer that top power on top of narrative and on top of stories to really bring them home and that's where math starts. Having numbers to begin with.
George Thomas 3:02
So I love that and and let's just dive a little bit deeper into that. Because when I hear you kind of teasing out this having numbers, my mind immediately goes to, you know, statistics like 82% of people 37% of people, is that the type of numbers that you're talking about, or we even going in a different direction?
David Weinhaus 3:21
Yeah, so those are some numbers, stats have really good power as well. I love to use a good statistic in the sales process. The other place where I really like using numbers is when talking about what people are trying to accomplish. So for instance, if you've been in sales for not too long, one of the really basic questions is what are you hoping to accomplish here? What are you hoping to accomplish with your business? Or what are you hoping to accomplish with this initiative? Typically, you'll get a great answer back, it can often be a very sweeping answer. There's a very good narrative or story there. But one of the things that we talked about in my boot camps there's there's actually three levels of information that you want to gather, particularly around gold And timing level one is what I just made mentioned there. It's the big story. It's the broad context of what's going on and very open broad ended questions like, tell me about your initiatives for this year get to that level three, I'm gonna skip over level two, because we'll come back and talk about that level three is the meaning. It's the why questions. So we're not going to talk as much about that today. But there's not just the goal. There's the why is that goal important for your business this year? That's level three, coming back and sitting in level two, level two is the specifics behind the goal. So for instance, we want to grow our business next year. It's really excited. We want to get it to the next level, we really want to shift shift things into gear. Great. A Level two question is, so tell me more about that. How are you going to measure your success of that initiative next year? Oh, it's by new customer acquisition. Tell me more about that. How many new customers are you hoping to acquire?
George Thomas 4:56
It's interesting, I love that you painted this picture of three levels. My mind wants to ask you, which I guess means I want to ask you, like, Are you trying to navigate all three levels quickly? Or is this you're doing it over time? Is there some type of, you know, algebraic equation to when you should ask or get to these levels during certain meetings? Kind of paint us through that. And then I do want to dive deeper into that. Yeah, that's how we start to talk about
David Weinhaus 5:26
Yes, this is the conversational arts, George, this is why we haven't all been replaced by bots, just quite yet. Right? Like, you know, I'd love to give you the algorithm for how to do it. But you know, in general, the way I like to do it is starting broad. Right, starting with not going in with how many new customers are you trying to acquire next year? Great question, but maybe a little abrupt, if you start the conversation off that way. I like to start off with level one questions. Tell me about what are you guys hoping to accomplish in 2020? You guys must be excited. It's probably Is it a big year for you? It's like it is for us very broad. People like to fill in context that Once you broad you can start to narrow it in a little bit. Great. How are you going to measure that? How are you going to know if you're successful or not? What what are you looking for specifically? And then I like to go to level three, which is Tell me more about like, why is that important for you guys? What What if you didn't get to 10 new customers a month? You got to seven new customers a month? Is that still a win for you guys? And starting to explore the meaningfulness behind it. So that's that's the kind of broad outlines but again, the reason the reason we get paid as salespeople is because we can we can kind of be nimble in navigating those conversations.
George Thomas 6:33
I love being nimble and navigating. And speaking of that, David, why don't you navigate us a little bit deeper into this level too? And kind of explain what that looks like. Are there you know, safe numbers safe conversations, are there things that we should watch out Miss or mistakes that might happen in that level?
David Weinhaus 6:51
What you're really looking for let's we're gonna talk we're going to focus the conversation today on understanding someone's goals and timing. Okay, and we're gonna use numbers around That there are different measures for for goals and what someone might be trying to accomplish. So for instance, in my I run, I mentioned, I run live training programs. Some of my goals are around attendees, I have a number of attendee goals that I'm trying to gather, we have Net Promoter Score, which is a customer satisfaction measures. We also have influence a revenue number that we that we aim for. So that's my program, that's the goal is that we have generally in the services that we encourage our partners to sell. The goal is that they're often selling into our growth goals. Those growth goals typically expressed themselves as new leads, or a more bottom line goal of new customers or net revenue that they're trying to gather. So typically, it's not true for all businesses or all roles that you're speaking with. But a common goal might be new customers or new revenue. So you want to get into specifics on those.
George Thomas 7:57
Now once you have those numbers Because obviously this is let me get here's the goal. Let me get the number. What What do you do with that you kind of leaned in at the beginning, David about talking with story and mapping these numbers to the story. Is there something that happens like, aha, I got the number. Now it's time to do this. Yeah.
David Weinhaus 8:19
So George, if I were to ask you, you can either do this hypothetically or you can lean on real numbers if you want but if I were to ask you for a number of new customers goal for next year, so put on your pretend business hat or however you want to answer this give me a ledger. Let's let's just do an exercise here. What's, what's your new customer goal? for next year? Mr. Yeah, let's
George Thomas 8:38
say yeah, let's say I want 20 new customers.
David Weinhaus 8:42
Awesome. So you want 20 new customers and sorry, Georgia, is that for the whole year for 2020 years, that by month or
George Thomas 8:48
so? That's the whole year?
David Weinhaus 8:50
Yeah, this whole year. Okay, awesome. And how are you? How are you? How are you feeling about that number? easy, medium hard, never gonna happen. stretch goal. You know, conservative goal. Just tell me a little bit more about that.
George Thomas 9:03
Yeah, it's a little bit of a stretch goal. I mean, typically, if we can get, you know, 10 to 15 new customers a year, we do sell something that is a large price tag. So, you know, it's 50 to $75,000 a pop, okay, we could reach that 20, then it's nice.
David Weinhaus 9:21
Okay, so let me just say I want to slow you down there, you sound like you just were relaying some really important information that I want to go back through. So the first thing I heard you say is you want you want 20 new customers next year. And I'm just gonna plug into my calculator here. And I think you said that with an average value of a customer is about 50 to 75. Yeah, what is now 65 is like, sorry, go ahead, do 65.
George Thomas 9:45
Now viewers and listeners, I want you to pay attention that what David did there in this interview, if you're watching it, you can see him doing it. If you're listening. I want to paint the picture of he has a calculator in front of him. He's using the math that's what this episode is. He's using the math to sell better I in our roleplay, because by the way, I don't sell anything worth 50 this well actually, I probably could sell things that are 50 to 75,000. But I'm role playing with him. And he's like, he's taking the math 20 new customers, he's drilling me down to 65,000. So he's gonna do 65,000 times a 20. So now he can paint the picture of this is the revenue goal, the general revenue goal, David, go ahead, continue. Yeah,
David Weinhaus 10:25
but by the way, George was kind and offering up his average value per customer. Not everybody will. But oftentimes, that's a number that people will share. If you ask, by the way, George, what's an average value of customer? He already shared it with me? So I'm going to pull up by the way, George, one of my favorite hacks that people told me they didn't realize is if they were seeing my screen actually put the numbers right into the Google search bar, which can act as my that's my favorite calculator in the world here. So let's see. So George, if I'm doing the math, right, it looks like you're trying to get about $1.3 million in revenue next year. Does that sorry is that numeric? revenue? Or is that total business revenue that you're looking?
George Thomas 11:03
Well, that's new revenue, because usually they kind of stay with us once they purchase our product.
David Weinhaus 11:08
Great. So $1.3 million in new revenue. And the other interesting number that I heard you pick on is I thought I heard you say that you typically get about 10 to 15 new customers.
George Thomas 11:19
Yes. Historically, we're good if we, if we do 10 to 15, but this year, we're really trying to take it to the next level.
David Weinhaus 11:26
Okay, let me just make sure I understand that when you say you want 20 new customers, is that on top of the 10 to 15, that you would typically get every year or are you saying you can already count on 10 to 15? This year, you need like five additional new ones. And what is a pretty confident base?
George Thomas 11:41
Yep, five additional new ones on what is a somewhat confident base 10 confident fiddletown a little bit of stretch 20 that be hag goal
David Weinhaus 11:50
Okay, so So it sounds like you're confident 10 we really need to find you between five and 10 new customers for next year. That sounds about right. All right, excellent. And by the way, George, I'm just gonna I just so I was overshooting a little bit in 1.3. No, because I what i'm talking, what we're trying to talk about today is how can we help you generate new revenue. So if some of that revenue is already existing, instead of saying 20 times 65, what I want to do is, let's say, let's call it five, five and eight. Let's look between five and 10. new cars, let's call it eight, because we want to be a little more aggressive. I want to help you I want to help you, you know, do well. So five times 65,000. So it sounds like George that number is about a half million so $520,000 It sounds to me like you need to find $520,000 in new revenue for your business next year.
George Thomas 12:41
Louis, that's not under my couch cushion. David. Do I
David Weinhaus 12:44
have that? Does that sound generally right ballpark George. Sounds good to me. And and George, if I could, I'm just curious like, what's the Why? Why eight new customers? Why $520,000? what what what's the significance of that?
George Thomas 12:59
Yeah, so I'm really proud of my employees. And I know that I can give them raises, I can give them a better work environment, I can build a better culture, if we can get to that additional revenue amount. And so you know, all these years we've been doing good and I'm just trying to get it to the point where we can make it that much better for them.
David Weinhaus 13:18
All right, I was slipping into level three George because I can't help it
George Thomas 13:21
I saw that I saw that.
So so that's the thing what I what I want the sprocket tears, David to really get out of that roleplay which is unique for them because we usually don't do roleplay in an interview, but I think it's really, they need to understand how you pivoted how you changed how you were focused on Okay, so if he says five, let's go to eight or 10 and five, okay, let's meet in the middle and, and you had the calculator out there and it really was the numbers to help give a punch. This is what I got about it. It was a punch to the other things that you're saying. And that's what I want to dig into. I heard you say A couple times I really want to help you reach your goal. I really think that you can do this. So what I hear you saying, so talk to the sprockets ears, David about the importance of the surrounding information, or vocabulary or conversation that you're having in these level one, level two, level three around those numbers once you get them. Sure. So I
David Weinhaus 14:25
want to make the point. So I'm a salesperson, George and your audience may not all be salespeople, but my My bet is everyone on this call sales change. Okay, whether you're a salesperson or not, if you're pushing a new initiative, or you have a belief about what your company should adopt or a campaign, you are selling change, and to sell change, which is what I was doing there with George, I want to sell into what is important for him or if I were selling change to my boss, what's important to them, or if I'm selling change to my old business, what's important to the business and numbers make it real Okay, so if you can quantify what George or your boss or the business is looking to accomplish, that's where you start. The other thing, George, that I kind of did there is you're not just selling into the goal, what you're looking for is the gap between what exists today and what the business can do without change. And where it's trying to get to. There's no gap. There's no sale, if George said, You know what, I need 20 new customers, and I'm already getting 19. That's not very interesting, right? Maybe I can help him get one new customer. But I bet there are bigger problems that I could go out and solve. And I'd be willing to shake George's hand and say, sounds great. You sure you don't want to get 30? Well, you know, we let's talk about it. But if at the end of the day, there was no gap there, there's not something very interesting for me to sell into. So what I'm doing is I'm using numbers to sit out the finish line. I'm using numbers to set out where we would get without change. And then I'm trying to sell into the change that exists. between the two. We call that finding the gap and the boot camps that I run.
George Thomas 15:56
Yeah, I love that. It's like as your job is almost up The bridge right? And and so if there's no Grand Canyon in the situation, it's like let me just dip out. Here's the thing, though, I'm super curious because as someone who has collected numbers, who loves data who loves analytics, and and is tempted to sometimes just have a spreadsheet of questions and like, what's this for you? What's your average this What's your you know, how many of these do you need talk me through a human way and and kind of any mistakes that people might make when they're like, Okay, I've got to sell, I've got to use the numbers, I've got to get the numbers. I'm just going to get them the easiest way I can, I'm going to shoot them an email and I'm going to ask them 13 questions and they can fill in the numbers for me, talk us through that part of that.
David Weinhaus 16:47
So you would walk in the door to someone and ask them what the revenue is and how much more revenue they're looking for. for next year. Maybe. I mean, there are, you know, bottom line, maybe someone from New York, you know, you could just, you could cut through, you know, the Like the prettiness of the conversation and go right to it, but for most people, you know, they're not ready to go there with you. They don't know you, you're not at that point in the conversation, there's very little context as well. So even if I was talking to someone from New York, and I got that right out, I'm still kind of lacking context around it. You kind of heard my sequence for questioning before, I'd like to start very broad, which is what are you hoping to accomplish? By level two, which is getting into specifics? favorite question is, how are you going to measure the success of that? Or if you could close your eyes and imagine yourself six months from now, what are you going to be looking at to evaluate whether your efforts were successful or not? That will kind of get us into a specific question without asking a specific question yet. And then based on what their answer is, you know, number of new customers way their business is going to grow number of new attendees in terms of my program, then you can then you can start to, you know how closer you're going to get to getting there. By the way, one of my favorite hacks for the persona that I deal with which We're selling growth we're selling revenue is we got to revenue with you my favorite way of doing it is asking not what are your What? How much revenue Do you want to grow next year because sometimes people are uncomfortable sharing revenue numbers, but I will ask number of new customers you're hoping to get next year. And then what's the value of a customer and then doing the math. That's a simple multiplication problem. Okay, George, you're looking to go 20 new customers times 65,000 per it looks like the number is about 1.3 million. Does that sound right or my off? Yeah, that's kind of my favorite math problem.
George Thomas 18:34
Yeah, I love that too. And one of the pro ninja tips I would say is as a sales rep when you when you list out that number pay attention to their facial expression. Because if if the number shocks themselves, then you know that they may have given you kind of a bullcrap number or or they hadn't thought into it enough to really get where they thought they were going. So pay attention to the micros. What's interesting, though, David and I hope the sprocket tears heard this. I heard that every question sort of has a timing. There's there's a, there's a context, there's, there's a comfort, if you will, to when they would be like, Oh, I know, like and trust David enough to tell him this information like I, it doesn't need to be a secret anymore. We're friends like, you know, he's helping me we're gonna we're gonna do this together. He understands my why, like, you know, and so speaking of that, I realized that we've only really talked about the gold portion of this. And one of the things that you talked about is goal and timing. So maybe unpack the timing side of them wanting to get the thing done. You asked me is that in a year is that in a month? You know, and so I start to think about the timing and the impact of taking care of the issue. So unpack that for us a little bit.
David Weinhaus 19:52
Yeah. So So part of what I'm staring towards here, try and again, this is for me as a salesperson who's has a particular solution to offer or sprockets here who's trying to sell changes. I'm gonna make a recommendation at the end of the day for George and I, I'm not pre loading that recommendation. I don't know what that recommendation is yet. And so part of it when Georgia saying I'm going conversationally in a contextual way, in a slow way so that they're comfortable with me. The other thing is I'm also not prejudging the conversation with George, if George told me I had three years to get from 20 clients to 22 clients. My recommendation may be it sounds like you're well on your way. George, let's shake hands is friends here. The type of people I helped you know, anyone else who I might have an interesting conversation with. So part of the the place where those questions are coming from is a genuineness looking to figure out how big of a gap is there between where George is at? And where George is trying to get and part of understanding that gap is also how quickly is he trying to get there. So, George, we're trying to get from 10 to 15 customers by, you know, by the end of the next year, next year. I mean, based on what he's done and how competitive his market is, and some other factors that are Want to explore sounds generally reasonable? If George said he wanted to do that by April 1, and he'd never experienced that kind of growth? I might be like, wait a minute, George, is there something I don't know about? You got some money to spend on media or advertising or, you know, purchasing things. So asking about goals is kind of synonymous with asking about timing, different timings will inform different recommendations that I would have for you, George. Does that make sense?
George Thomas 21:25
It does make sense. What's funny is my brain started to unpack you, you went in there, like, Well, do you have money to spend? Do you have media, when you're having this conversation around the numbers and you're trying to get to that goal and you're trying to figure out the timing, when is the right time to ask what they're currently doing or what they're thinking about doing from a sales and marketing standpoint, even though you're selling into the business, like unpacking what they're doing with that? How, how is that part of the level one, two, Three conversation.
David Weinhaus 22:01
You know, it's it's interesting. We teach this as the exploratory call. The name of the call is exploratory because it's not about me as a salesperson telling you about what I can do. It's about me as a salesperson, understanding what you're trying to accomplish, and learning if you need help to get your goals and then kind of figuring out both in my mind as well as by the end of the conversation, maybe making a suggestion on whether I can help you or not, depending on what your goals and your timing would be. So the exploratory call is, is kind of a conversational Arts in and of itself. We generally recommend that people start by learning about someone and their business before we even get into their goals. Like Tell me about your business. George, what clients do you Sir, what's your marketplace like? And then from there talking about That's awesome. What's 2020 mean? Do you guys What are you guys looking to accomplish this year, and going about how they're doing this year and then ultimately, getting into their challenges one of them The problems that I see in conversation in sales is people often want to go very quickly to the challenges, what kind of challenges you're having. And those are interesting, we will get there. But oftentimes, we miss a lot of the contacts and we missed a lot of the numbers. And we don't do the math, if we don't start with the current landscape, where they're trying to go, why that's important to them. And then we'll get to the challenges for getting there. But don't don't start with the challenges start with the broad story and then kind of end with the challenges.
George Thomas 23:27
So David has to kind of close this up because it is the 15 minute strategy podcast. Is there a hack a tip or a trick? to kind of help people who have a not been starting with the numbers? You just said that by the way, starting with the numbers, focused on the numbers? Is there a hack a tip or a trick to get them to start to do that to start to leverage it like how, how do they change their mindset, their patterns, their processes,
David Weinhaus 23:57
I'll give folks a couple of different recommendations number one, if you're Your HubSpot partner listen to the call. Nice to see you and you should join my boot camp. It's where we both talk about this over a weeks in a sessions, but we do a lot of practice. Because it's one thing to know it's another thing to do it. If you're not a HubSpot partner, I do have what I call an exploratory call playbook, which lays out a natural, typical sequence for an exploratory process or conversations, including a lot of what we talked about here today, George, that is publicly available. I'm happy to make that bitly link available for you. And you can share it with folks in the follow up page. The other thing is there's some good books, good sales books, one of the one of the ones that I reckon I'm going to recommend is by a Kenan and it's called gap selling. It's a very similar process to what we've talked about today. It's kind of understand where they're at, where they're going to and how close they can get to it on its own. I gotta be honest, I had not read the book, but people tell me about it. And it's very similar the principles that I teach to HubSpot partners. So I would recommend that book it particularly if you like this process of figuring out how much help they need and how you can sell into that which I recommend from a sales perspective.
George Thomas 25:10
Love it. We'll put all the links in the show notes below. You're probably listening on your favorite podcast apps just swipe left, right up, down, whichever way you gotta do to get to those links, and we'll make sure they're in there for you. David, if people want to reach out to you specifically, maybe they have questions maybe they want to buy you a steak dinner Hey, I don't know maybe you've changed their life with this episode. Where do you want to send them
David Weinhaus 25:32
if they're again if you're a HubSpot partner ask your contact the HubSpot partner program the name of the program is project lion. It's our project line boot camps. Minor particulars the sales skills boot camp everyone else feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. David Winehouse is spelled like it sounds if you're German, w e i n h A us I think I'm the only David Winehouse on LinkedIn so I would welcome connecting with you.
George Thomas 25:57
I wish I had a name like that. I am not the Only George Thomas. So sprockets here's here's the deal, pay attention to goals, pay attention to timing, and if you were really listening, it's paying attention to context and the comfort of the people that you're selling to as well. And we'll see you on the next episode. Did you enjoy this episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast, we'd love to know. leave a rating and written review wherever you listen to your favorite shows and keep that learning going by visiting sprocket talk comm sign up for your free membership and in that membership area, you can find bundled episodes where we combined like strategies to help you grow better make the world better and share this episode with your friends and co workers who may be battling this same obstacle. You can always reach out to George B. Thomas on Twitter with questions or guest suggestions or just to talk about your favorite Marvel superhero. I go out into the world and leverage this strategy for your success. And we'll see you on the next episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast.
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About the Expert
David Weinhaus is a Manager or Partner Sales Enablement at HubSpot. I've been with Hubspot since 2010, first in direct sales, and now in my enablement role. My sales philosophy is that selling is all about finding good fit prospects and solving business problems.
George Thomas 0:08