Bill Caskey and Bryan Neale (@advancedselling) of The Advanced Selling Podcast show us we don’t have to be in sales to master our “inner game” mindset and get what we want out of life.
The Cheat Sheet:
- Whether we realize it or not, we’re all in sales — no matter what we’re trying to accomplish.
- Understand that your philosophy has an impact on your words and results.
- Learn how the age-old concept of detachment gives you the power in virtually any situation — and makes you attractive to your audience.
- Discover what amateurs say and sound like — and how to be professional in what you do.
- Check out this language framework to use in your next meaningful conversation.
- And so much more…
Everyone sells, all of the time. Whether you’re looking for a job, trying to make a sale, or asking someone out on a date, every word matters — but most words aren’t founded in a philosophy that is aligned with how people make decisions.
In episode 479 of The Art of Charm, Bill Caskey and Bryan Neale of The Advanced Selling Podcast help us look at a new, more modern way of communicating to help us get what we want out of the market (whatever that market may be).
More About This Show
If you’re like most of us, you cringe when you think about having to deal with salespeople. In your mind, you’ve probably got the stereotype of some sleek but insincere fast-talker trying to quickly foist whatever’s on the truck out back into the possession of people who neither want nor need it, at the highest price they can be suckered to pay.
But this is The Art of Charm — not The Art of Smarm — so don’t write off the guests of this episode because of its title just yet. Bill Caskey and Bryan Neale of The Advanced Selling Podcast are here to talk to us about understanding the aspects of good salesmanship that cross over to any interaction: persuasion, negotiation, relationship, and helping people on both sides of that interaction come away better off than they were going into it.
The fact of the matter is, no matter what you do, you’re in sales. There’s no way around it. But rather than looking at this in a negative light because of the unscrupulous behavior of a few that have sullied the perception of people involved in an entire profession, we should examine the mechanics of sales to see how we can apply them to our situation in a way that benefits everyone involved.
“Let’s say you’re a computer programmer,” says Bryan. “You’re working on a project and you’ve got an idea for that project. Part of your ability to get that idea across and get everyone bought in is to be able to show up in a way that allows them to receive your idea and…either see it as theirs or collaborate with you. That’s much more charming to people than someone coming in and trying to drive an idea down someone’s throat.”
People in the process of job hunting might present a more obvious example, because they’re literally trying to sell themselves and their skill set to prospective employers. Someone fresh out of college today is likely to approach an interview with a focus on what they can provide from an external perspective, but Bill and Bryan would urge them, instead, to look internally. Sure, it’s important to know what to say, but it’s important to know how to be, first. It’s a philosophy that a lot of millennials seem to have forgotten.
“If you want to get better results, you have to change the way you act,” says Bryan. “So if you want to make more money, get more clients, advance through the company, and get career promotions, you have to change how you act.”
“But if you want to really change your results exponentially,” he stresses, “you have to change how you think.”
But how do you change the way you think? By following this five-point attraction checklist Bill and Bryan have designed to keep us on target and woo our target audience — whatever that audience may be:
- Detach from the outcome.
- Approach with high intent.
- Create a balanced interaction.
- Set the stage up front.
- Let them sell you.
“Never tell me the odds.” -Han Solo
One of the problems a lot of us have when we’re pursuing something we want is the weight of past experiences telling us we’re likely to fail. It’s not to say we shouldn’t learn from mistakes of the past to avoid repeating them, but we shouldn’t let them dissuade us from even trying. If we’ve failed an accomplishment in the past, it’s not the pursuit of the accomplishment we should abandon, but the approach that failed us.
That is, we don’t want to maintain a negative association with a desired outcome. We want to detach from it.
“We like to think of the outcomes as neutral,” says Bryan. “Whether she says yes or no, whether the customer says yes or no is just an outcome. You have to detach from that. Because the instant you get attached to a yes, you will start to configure your process weirdly and it’ll start to become stalking. It’ll start to become creepy. You’re not going to do the things that are really going to attract somebody.”
[Important side note: detachment is not the same as saying “I don’t give a f#$&.”]
High Intent Vs. Low Intent
But thinking about ways to stop thinking about something seems counterintuitive. So how can you practice detachment? To put it in a sales perspective, rather than focusing on some desired end result that benefits you (the money and prestige you’ll get from making a sale — what Bill and Bryan call “low intent”), you consider how that desired end result will benefit the other party (the way their life will improve and how happy they’ll be thanks to what it is you’re selling them — what Bill and Bryan call “high intent”).
“Ask anybody that’s going to try to get a job,” says Bill, “‘What’s your intent?'” They’re going to say, ‘My intent is to look good so I get the job.’ You’re dead on arrival, in our book! The intent should be to have good, open, balanced conversation to share their story and to vet the other side to make sure it’s the job that they want. Now it’s charming, right? If I try to get you, you’re going to feel it and run away, and that’s not charming. If I create a healthy space with my language and my energy, and allow us to collaborate and be in the middle, it’ll be very, very charming. It’s very attractive.”
Bryan adds: “And you will leave that interview, and that employer will huddle with their people and they’ll say, ‘There was just something about him that I liked!'”
Balanced Interaction Vs. One-Way Pitch
One of the reasons we’re wary of interacting with the stereotypical salesperson mentioned at the beginning is because we anticipate a pitch — an attempt to sway us toward an outcome that we suspect may not be in our best interests. People tend to prefer a balanced, two-sided interaction over a one-sided pitch. Ideally, you want a collaborative conversation that takes into account the needs and solutions proposed by each party.
Setting the Stage and Being Sold
This is where you create the space in which your outcome-detached, high-intention, balanced interaction will take place. For your part, ask questions, but make it clear that you’re open to questions, as well.
“If I’m talking to Bill for the first time,” says Bryan, “and he’s a CEO thinking about hiring me in to be his sales coach for his sales team, I say, ‘Bill, first calls for me typically go the same way. The idea here is to share back and forth; you tell me things, I’ll ask tons of questions — that sort of thing. I’m an open book, so I’ll take everything that you’d like to know about me and my philosophy about how I work…we want to see if I’m right for you and you’re right for me.'”
You want to be sure you come across as honest rather than arrogant when delivering a statement like this. Bryan suggests tempering it with something like, “In the end, you can talk to six other sales coaches. Once you talk to us for 30-40 minutes, you’ll know exactly which one should work with your people, and you should pick that. If you interview my clients, they would all say wonderful things about me…you could also find a couple from my past that wouldn’t say that!”
Remember: it can be a fine line between confident and cocky — so be aware of that line and take care not to cross it (or at least not go so far that you can’t backstep)!
You may even set certain boundaries if the other party seems open to them — perhaps you get 90 seconds to speak, they get 90 seconds to speak, and you keep the dialogue going back and forth like so. Maybe you’ll have a list of concerns you’d like to make sure are addressed during this back and forth.
If your stage-set, outcome-detached, high-intention, balanced interaction is going well, both sides will naturally feel invested toward mutual honesty. If the fit is good, you’ll find that you won’t have to sell yourself, because the other person is already on your side. If it’s a hiring scenario, for instance, they’ll look forward to the chance of working with you, and will talk you up to their superiors to make it happen — in essence, they’re selling you.
Listen to this episode of The Art of Charm in its entirety to learn how to identify when you’ve crossed the line from confident to cocky (and how to recover), how to set the stage for a variety of interactions, hear some common mistakes made by amateurs (and how a professional would correct them), and lots more!
THANKS, BILL AND BRYAN!
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