Selling During a Pandemic with Steli Efti
Still. Fd thanks so much for joining me on startups for the rest of us for your third appearance so much way back yeah man. It's always good to to chat with you. I think we talked. Maybe seven or eight months ago and obviously heard your intro. They know you're you've just been steeped in sales startup sales for what eight nine ten years ten years fan. We're getting we're getting older. I think today I want to into some stuff that that is related to the current crisis of sales is one thing but sales during a pandemic and Quarantine Kelsey uncertainty imagining. It has to change during this time and so I think this kickoff. I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you've seen that change how you can help people kind of adjust to this mindset and then. I think we'll dive into a little bit about how can companies position themselves? We will have a post corona virus world. And how do we position ourselves to really be in a good position there? Everything is global pandemic as it turns out finding totally paper. Hang out with your family. So sales isn't different in that in that sense. You know what's funny? The biggest thing that I've noticed. Is that the good. And the bad just gets amplified during a time like this. When you rent the level to ten the weaknesses are just like amplified so much and I think the sensibilities and sensitivities of people are just like massively increased so she too big campaign level trend will. I'm sure we're going to dig deeper and deeper go to the nitty gritty and the details on the technical suffer people but this two big things that I've seen so far. One is kind of a counter steering to even more selfishness in aggressiveness. So sales people entrepreneurs business people because they exactly up so much. Kind of the worst sight came out in. They're like I don't care I need money right now. I need to hustle any to push. I need to be more aggressive than usual any to be more selfish than usual. So you'd get these emails. That are like so weird like I'll give you an example like a person that I've known for ten years now right a business person that I've known continues. We helped each other out. Here's a couple of businesses is a couple of like does a lot of content. And we've always been friendly of always supported him with the stuff and he supported us with with stuff and then we had an email exchange recently about being on the podcast and he was like well. I it was a personal exchange. Is All about like yeah. Don't worry about me. Steady life is good. Business is good like I'm doing fine. But then he was communicating. Somebody on my marketing team was saying well. If Stella once on the podcast we have to charge ten fifteen km for that because we have to survive and that was forwarded to me and it was such a weird thing to do like. Tell me directly. Hey everything is fine but then tell somebody on my marketing team. I'm GonNa Charge fifteen thousand and then sell it can be on my pocket no word about what's in it for us. What is the benefit. What is the value? I'm going to get. It's such a selfish common. I'm going to charge ten thousand because I need to survive. I mean we all need to survive. But that's good southern really compelling selling proposition for me and then it was also a weird because to me the statement was the world is perfect and then to another personal. My team statement was I needed to charge ten K. Of the world is ending and that even worse when I said let's politely decline. Let's say thanks. But no thanks. When the market person responded. Hey it's going to be outside our budget but we wish you best of luck. Hopefully everything's GonNa be fine. He Okay just for you guys nine K. But you have to take this week or something like that though. Lead his thing her. What is this a special offer again? This week feels really count got it feels so selfish so tone deaf so sleazy and really this is. It only takes a moment to ruin your reputation. It really changed how I think and feel about this individual right I was like wow. I never want to deal with this person again. This is so weird and to me. This is desperation and fear manifesting itself in the ugliest form possible and. I don't think that's a way to succeed. I don't think that's the way for you to make your business succeed in. That's compelling like I don't think he he balked tons and tons of guests who paid ten K. Because I pay attention and there's no guests on this podcast recently just and so to me. That's one way to go like people being super selfish. Those are rare to be honest most entrepreneurs and more sales people that have become uber aggressive. But there's a lot of tone deafness in the world right these kind of emails. You've gotten them. I've gotten them people that listen to us right now. Gotten where it's like. Don't you know what's going on in the world wide? Are you sent me this email? It seems like so kind of disconnected from board is happening in the world. So that's one thing the other trend that I see more off though and I think this is going to be the problem with the people that are listening to us now. Which is the overreaction. The different in the opposite direction. Which is people in sales people and founders having such high anxiety and fear to upset anybody that they'd just stopped communicating stopped selling stop operating because the thought was well. How could I ever try to do business during a time like this people are going to get upset with me if I send them an email or if I give them a call if I tried to close a deal that so I can't do that right now? People are hurting and I think that's a really bad idea as well. I've told this to more people than ever before I've had so many one on one conversations and please always the same listen number one. The will is not going to become a better place. All of stopping work. Like if I stopped selling rob. My future is less secure. Might families futures less secure. My employs futures less secure. Nobody benefits from me stopping to work. Because things tough out there like. I'm not helping anybody really. So it's not the time to dig a hole and be like I'm GonNa just lane here late low and wait to all of this because the truth is that this might take a really long time to be quote unquote over. Whatever the hell that means right we all know and every day where you don't do business you're making the problem big impossible you make the economic slow the economy less secure your making your family at Your Business Security. Nobody's been helped by this. So my big ask to people has been especially during a crisis you have to keep selling. But you don't do it in a tone deaf way and I'm sure we're going to go into more detail like my basic philosophy is. I'M GONNA send a sales email. I'M GONNA make a sales call. I'm going to try to close a deal I am done in. We'll talk about this me shifted close and we're asking. We had one record month after the other this year from January up until May of pre pace right every month. We've had more prepaid than ever before in the company's history because we made that a focus will be started. I didn't know if this would work. I was like who wants to prepay for year. Two time like this probably. Nobody turned out quite a lot of our customers. Wanted to and we can talk about how we did it in wide worked. But you'd be surprised people were still buying and selling in. You have to keep selling of the way to do it in a thing in a respectful way is not to be overly aggressive and be like selfish. I we need to increase our price because we have to survive. Here's the contract. You have two hours to cloak to sign it but also not an overly apologetic way. I know everything is bad for you. You hurting your frayed. I'm afraid you read the bad news this morning. Nobody wants to hear that like people already have enough exerting their life. They don't need you to. Ino them with ten links about world politics. That are terrible. How is that helping them? That isn't helping them and that isn't making. You look like a good person either so my approach has always been during this crisis. You want to be honest. Not fake positive. Not fake optimistic honest. Hey is everything all right. Are you good all right? How are things going right now? Are you continue to do business? Are you stopping everything? Tell me about your world. Tell me about your forecast of the world like do you think that things have been pick up again in a month in two months any lake signs that you looking for before you kind of step in to put the pedal to the metal and do more things purchase things so investing more things will decide how to move forward like. I'll ask some of these questions but always will ask them with what I would call high energy. I I want to talk to people not with taken to not with fake positive but with energy. Because there's a funny thing during these times when everybody we're talking to is exiled any written and depressed and fearful and pissed and all the news. We reading our full of like overwhelming facts. The last thing we need is one more person that talks does that makes us feel even more about the world or that seems low energy or apologetic or fearful. Let's not the kind of energy will on us or on US House with but if you can talk to somebody today that even during these crazy times is honest and frank and straightforward with you but seems to have energy seems to have the ability to make decisions to do. It makes people feel better. It makes people feel like yeah. I mean I can have a conversation. I can make a decision. I can take action right even during these times. And there's this old quote from her name is Angela or something people can can Google and find it is. The people won't remember your name. People remember the place but people will never forget how you made them feel and I think that especially during times where we're also anxious and afraid overwhelmed when we interact with people that make us feel calm and confident. Make US feel a little bit more energized than before. Those are the type of people that we will want to gravitate towards and talk more to. We will remember that these people stand out. So That's how we've been selling clothes and how I approached reaching out to people like us. The frank don't be fake but don't be meek. Don't be like the whisper. Don't be apologetic. The Zeino the tons of hard. Sorry that I'm talking to you right now. Nobody needs that. Nobody being helped by that attitude and energy that you bring to the table. So that's the biggest thing. Don't be afraid to sell selling good for you. Good for your family selling good for your prospects. He just telling them something. That's that could provide value. We could talk a lot more about it but that's kind of my big by big spiel around this. Don't be so afraid because there is a way to do it. That won't piss off. That won't make you a bad person but it will make the world kind of turn and economist move forward in Your Business still operate even during times weights harder to talk to prospects employs deals.