What distinguishes the finest businesses in terms of sales and cultivating relationships with potential customers?
Instead of just trying to sell a solution, the best businesses educate potential customers about their future problems, provide them with a realistic schedule and warning indicators, and cultivate true connections with them.
What is the significance of tailoring an introduction to a decision maker's current wants and circumstance?
In order to engage a decision maker in conversation and capture their attention, it is critical to offer an introduction that is pertinent to their current requirements and circumstances.
How should the sales process be handled in an organization, especially in PR and consulting businesses when the senior manager who closes the deal also keeps the customer's promise?
The speakers promote a customer-team-oriented strategy where salespeople are trained to have greater empathy for customers in order to avoid negative habits that would sabotage the relationship required for a good outcome. Additionally, they recommend that companies should concentrate on understanding the cascading effects of decision-making in complex systems rather than on a particular industry or product experience.
How can sellers make sure they know what their clients' ideal outcome looks like in order to reduce churn and unanticipated negative effects of hasty, reactive actions made in the short term?
To better grasp what the customers who will use the solution are trying to accomplish and what their ideal preferred outcome looks like, salespeople should look beyond the clients or customers who are paying them or commissioning them. They can avert churn and unforeseen negative effects of hasty, reactive judgments in this way.
Marcus Cauchi: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome back once again to The Inquisitor Podcast with me, Marcus Cauchi. Today, I have as my guest, Angelique Rewers. She's the CEO of BoldHaus. Angelique, welcome.
Angelique Rewers: Thanks for having me.
Could you give 60 seconds on your background?
Marcus Cauchi: My pleasure. So could you give 60 seconds on your background so people know where you've come from, where you've got to.
Angelique Rewers: Absolutely. So I spent 10 years in corporate in America, working for some of the largest brands. And after 10 years of working directly for leaders in the C-suite, I left to start my own consulting company, helping those leaders or those types of leaders. And about two years into that, I was inundated with small business owners and self-employed experts who wanted to know how was I winning all of those corporate clients.
And so my second act for the last 12 plus years has been [00:01:00] leading BoldHaus. We recently rebranded, but that company, which just made the Inc. 5000. And we teach and mentor self-employed experts, small business owners and diverse business owners on how to win B2B clients. So that's me in a nutshell but it's all based on that decade working inside of corporate hiring hundreds and hundreds of outside experts, consultants and vendors, and not hiring thousands more.
What frustrated you that happened repeatedly when people were selling to you?
Marcus Cauchi: Right. Okay. So tell me this then, as a buyer of those services on the corporate side, what frustrated you that happened repeatedly when people were selling to you?
Angelique Rewers: Well, on a personal note, one thing that frustrated me is they assumed I wasn't the decision maker. So there was a lot of bias in the process because of age and gender. So that was, that was on a personal level, but on a [00:02:00] very strategic level, Marcus, what drove me crazy was that the sales team would come in with an agenda and that agenda had no appreciation for, or empathy for the reality that me as a decision maker was up against inside the organization. The inertia that I was up against, the interdependencies that I was up against, the lack of time and bandwidth and resources that I was up against.
So, when a salesperson comes in to have a meeting and they want to ask certain qualifying questions, they want to ask things like, well, what is your timing for making this decision? Well, who the hell knows? I don't freaking know, the CEO doesn't know. I mean, when I was in the energy industry, if a hurricane, like the one that's just hit here in the US came in, [00:03:00] at all bets were off. I mean, who the hell knows when you're gonna make a decision? So just the complete lack of reality and damn it, if they just didn't wanna stick to their process and their stupid questions. So that's what drove me crazy.
What is the best buying experience?
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. I'm, I'm definitely gonna be whipping that clip out I think, because that was pure gold and God knows, or being on the receiving end where someone's trying to get you to meet them, where they want you rather than where you are in reality. What do the best of the best do differently? Can you think of the best buying experience?
Angelique Rewers: The best buying experience was when a company would come in and say to us, look, at some point in the future, you guys will have to deal with this issue. What we would like to do [00:04:00] right now is share with you a little bit about what some of your competitors are doing and what we're doing as part of that process, and we want to give you certain red flags to look for, and also give you a reverse timeline so that if you are going to address this issue, you start noticing the, the, the warning signs on the dashboard and then you have a realistic timeline of the conversations you're gonna need to have internally and the true arc of what this is gonna have to look like, and we wanna give it to you before you have four flat tires on the vehicle. So let us just share it with you and because you're going to need to have internal conversations about this, and we recognize you already have 17 other number one priorities. So let us share this with you before you've got those flat tires. [00:05:00] Those companies always really won our business and if they didn't win our business, they were at least one of the top two finalists of winning our business. And it was because they educated us. It wasn't solution selling because we kind of already knew generally what the solution was. If you have a flat tire, you need a new tire. You know, it's, but it's what do you need to be planning on? What else will be impacted in your organization when you step into this and really doing that degree of relationship building. That's a much more genuine come from than some of the nonsense around solution selling and some of this other bullshit that's out there.
Marcus Cauchi: So this therefore confirms my suspicion and I'm a bit slow. So it's taken me a while to get to this. But the, the most obvious realization is the best kind of opening position [00:06:00] is to have someone who is deeply trusted, hand deliver you to somebody who has precisely the problems that you are expert in addressing versus the referral or the future pipeline which is, Angelique you should definitely speak to Jim. Jim, let me tell you why you should speak to Angelique and you know, this is my experience of working with her directly. To, hi, tell me what budget have you got?
Where does your greatest opportunity lie?
Marcus Cauchi: Now, I, If we look at the probability of conversion even to a first conversation, where does your greatest opportunity lie?
Angelique Rewers: Yeah, I mean, for starters, no one has a budget. No one knows what their budget is. I mean, that's a decision that happens frankly so far down the sales process that if they can tell you what their budget is, you probably missed the [00:07:00] opportunity to work with them anyway. So I, I, I don't know any decision maker who's ever gotten that question Marcus. Who felt first of all that you have any right to ask me that question. Like if you have to ask the question, what's your budget? You actually don't have the right to ask if they felt comfortable sharing that number with you, you're already in conversation with them and they're going to start offering it to you because they wanna make sure that they're not wasting their time with you. So that question should just be burned. I mean like, let's just get rid of that question forever. I think in terms of handing off, I agree with you. The only thing is, the one thing about referrals or, you know, to me it's more of a strategic introduction than it is, you know, sort of a passive referral.
Angelique Rewers: When, when we do strategic introductions, I think one thing we have to [00:08:00] remember is if the decision maker who is, is on the receiving end of that introduction. Isn't in a sort of ready now place or a ready soon place to have that conversation. We have to make sure that there's a reason that they wanna have that conversation right now.
So my company has a conference coming up in about four or five weeks, and if someone made an introduction to me right now on any of the business challenges that I wanna solve in 2022, I really don't wanna talk to them right now. It's not, it doesn't even register. But if they said to me, Angelique, we know that sometime in 2022 you're going to probably need to address this issue and we also know that you have a conference coming up in four weeks. There's actually something that you could do at your conference in four weeks that would help us get you, [00:09:00] help you gather some information. That when we would have a conversation in 2022, it would actually be a much more fruitful conversation. So we wanna share some things with you that starts to make it, and, and that's obviously a microcosm example here, that's like on a micro level, but we start finding relevance to their life now.
And I think that salespeople are historically, just awful, just gen, awful at trying to understand making something relevant to a decision maker now, even if that decision maker isn't in a ready now buying place. And that just, I don't understand it because it's such an obvious human instinct to wanna talk about what you care about right now.
So I just don't know why salespeople are so thick about understanding that. Why business owners who are trying to sell are so thick about understanding that. But I mean, I've been doing this [00:10:00] now, Marcus, for 12 years and it's a conversation that we have day in and day out and it's like, why does that decision maker give a shit about that right now?
And so that to me, just, I don't understand why people get stuck on that.
Marcus Cauchi: Years of observation of the same lunacy.
Angelique Rewers: Yeah, lunacy, lunacy.
People revert back to what they learned first without reinforcement and under pressure
Marcus Cauchi: Led me to the conclusion that people revert back to what they learned first without reinforcement and under pressure. So there's that deep rooted conditioning. And this is why I have a real issue with most training, particularly the stuff that's like a sheep dip. You know, they fly in, enter, train and then bugger off, and
Angelique Rewers: Yes.
Marcus Cauchi: You know, there's no reinforcement. In the field, the recipient of the training should be practicing because the majority, about [00:11:00] 70 plus percent of the learning, if that's where it happens. It doesn't happen in the classroom.
Managers need to be pass and parcel of this whole process in order to reinforce, not using different systems entirely or else all of your training dollars are wasted. The, you know, the emphasis on retention. I don't care how much you remember, how much do you apply and how, yeah. How often do you end up going to the bank because you sold us just another perfect customer.
Angelique Rewers: Know, it's interesting there's some science around, I love what you just said. There's some science around, the way that people draw, and I actually use this technique if I ever teach a, a writing, a writing workshop. And I learned it way back in, you know, high school, you know, secondary school. However someone draws, [00:12:00] so, and I might actually have my audience do this at our upcoming event. If you ask everyone to draw something, Marcus.
Marcus Cauchi: Yep.
Angelique Rewers: They will actually draw the last way that they were actually taught how to draw. So what's really interesting is if you have a group of people draw a house on a blank sheet of paper and, and we've done this in workshops before.
Ask everyone to draw a home, and most people will actually draw a house the way that they were taught to draw. Draw a house when they were about five or six years old. And mom or dad or a teacher sat down and showed them to draw a square in a triangle, in a little chimney in a door, in two little cute round windows.
And that's how they will draw. And the thing is, no one has actually taught them how to actually draw between then and now. We don't actually [00:13:00] teach it. And one of the things that goes into art, one of the things that goes into being able, I was a terrible artist when I, when I stepped into this class and I ended up having a painting in a mu in a museum, for, for, for an exhibition was because we don't see what we're actually doing.
Our mind overrides what we're doing. So we think we're saying something or we, we think we're conveying something, but we don't actually see what we're saying. We don't actually see what we're conveying. Our mind fills it in to the intention that we have. And so you actually end up with this very strange gap between what your brain thinks that you're doing and thinks that you're accomplishing and what actually comes out on the paper.
So we see this in art. We see this in copy writing. And most importantly, we see it in conversations. So you end up with, with a mind that's sort of overriding what you're actually doing. And because you know you have this intention or you heard [00:14:00] Marcus, or you heard Angelique say, hey, you know, make sure you're making it relevant.
Your brain's like, okay, we're making sure it's relevant and yet nothing that's actually coming through in our emails, our proposals, our capabilities, briefings, our, you know, sales conversations is actually doing that. And we see this gap happen in the human brain over and over and over again. And I think, I think that's partly what you're getting to, but there's a real science behind it.
Fundamental questions on the environment and people on the sales profession
Marcus Cauchi: This then raises some really fundamental questions about the environment that we are, we are creating and the people that we're attracting into the sales profession. I rant about this all the time. But I look at the waste, the drudge, the human suffering that goes into the typical SDRs life. It genuinely cannot be a pleasant experience by far.
Angelique Rewers: No, definitely not.
Marcus Cauchi: And [00:15:00] for such scant return and you constant stream of rejection and irrelevance and just interruption. You gotta wonder how much longer can I even go on for?
Angelique Rewers: I, you know. Yeah. I'm with you. I mean, actually our favorite people to do sales training with, are actually the people who aren't in sales. So a lot of companies, you think about consulting firms where the senior managers and the managing, and directors or the managing partners and the senior managers are responsible for revenue generation.
You look at PR firms, public relations, digital marketing agencies, ad agencies. You look at some IT companies, depending on what they do, there are a lot of, even law partners, you know, in law firms, attorneys, there are a lot of folks out there who [00:16:00] actually are not, they didn't go into a profession of sales, not, not even not recognizing it.
Marcus Cauchi: Accidental salespeople.
Angelique Rewers: There are accidental salespeople. But then part of the cultivation of client accounts becomes part of their, their job and, and really you can't make partner what have you unless you're, you're able to generate revenue. That's our favorite group of people to do sales training with.
And part of the reason is because we see the greatest absorption, the greatest behavior change because they truly get what it's like to work with those clients. They truly understand their challenges cause they're in there. You know the salespeople who come in and they promise the sun, the moon, and the stars, and then at that point they hand off the new customer, the new client over to the operations team. Those people are really the ones who are most stuck in their their ways. And part of that, Marcus, is because who we [00:17:00] recruit into those roles, who, how we reward those individuals because those individuals get to move on to the next sale. They're not the ones dealing with the client or the customer account team that now has to correct misinformation and false promises that were given during the sales. They got their commission and now they're rewarded to run off and go make the next sale. Meanwhile, you've got now this client account team that's delivering on, on that promise and there becomes a complete disconnect.
Salespeople as part of the customer team
Angelique Rewers: So we've got a recruiting issue, we have a rewards issue, and it's why we like to, when we do sales training, we say that it's for the non-sale, like our favorite training to do is for the non-sales people because they have greater empathy for and they have to live with the customer for a long time. So if they don't handle the sales process right and [00:18:00] they, you know, do all of these bad habits that are salespeople are known for, they're gonna destroy the relationship that they now need in order to get to a successful result with that customer. So one thing that I've been advocating for, for a long time is that I think that the salespeople need to be part of the customer team. I don't think that there should be this separation of, you know, church and state and in organizations that you see that, particularly things like PR firms and consulting firms, where the managing director and the senior manager who makes the sale is also going to deliver on that vision and promise to the end of the result. There's a very different approach that's typically taken in those organizations. Not always, but if we take a solution focused approach to this and we look at where are things working well already that we could build upon, that's one of the places that we should be looking at. Now I'm in the [00:19:00] minority I think, thinking that, but but it's, I grew up in the consulting industry, if you will. I worked for an offshoot of KPMG that most people, people know. It ended up becoming part of Deloitte Consulting and we, I saw firsthand how it worked in that space. And there's some really good lessons to be learned.
Marcus Cauchi: I think the mistake many people make is this fixation with having specific sector like experience or, experience of selling a particular product. And what you've touched on really is that what you described, in our preamble, which is that, the a gap between and I, if as a seller you don't really understand the domino effect of someone making a decision in one part of a very complex system of symptoms, and symptoms don't make a [00:20:00] cause they're indicators. But then, then nothing more than a clue as to what might be the underlying cause of your problem. Now, because businesses are very complex even with three or four departments, there's a huge layer of complexity.
If there isn't clarity in terms of what the organization is intended to exist to deliver it's reason for being, then lots of people will probably think that KPIs actually matter. And what we're looking for is certainty in an environment that if you play the long game, there's a lot of uncertainty. But if you don't play the long game, then you're in a super competitive where a situation where about 2.6% of [00:21:00] the time you'll win.
Angelique Rewers: Well, I mean look, there, there, there's never been certainty. I think the pandemic at least helped people to get there. Although it drives me crazy when people say that were, that there's all this uncertainty now as though there wasn't always all this uncertainty. I, I don't think the level of uncertainty has changed .
Marcus Cauchi: Different.
Angelique Rewers: Over. You know, it's just, it's completely uncertain.
Everything is uncertain and, you know, we look at this idea so, so I said to you also about the idea that we have to question everything right?
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah.
Angelique Rewers: This idea that you can even really help organizations get clarity I think is somewhat silly. I think, I think leaders today are trying to lead their business wearing roller skates while skating on an ice rink in the middle of a cyclone. I mean, like that's kind of what we're doing, right? We're all kind of just fumbling through. So when we're selling today, [00:22:00] it's really about making the best possible decision with the variables, uncertain, but using the best bit of judgment that you can and mostly pointing in the right direction.
And I think that that's a big mistake that salespeople are almost trying to be too certain Marcus. And I think that that idea of like that confidence proving that this is exactly where you need to go is somewhat out of touch from an emotional intelligence perspective with leaders today. Right? So you go into a meeting and you wanna try to tell me with certainty that you know, this is happening and this is happening and this is where we need to be.
You don't fucking know that. Oh, sorry. You don't know that?
Marcus Cauchi: No, no, no that's fine.
Angelique Rewers: And you know, so if you come in and you say, look, given what we know now, you at least you need to be moving in this direction. If this is a two year or a three year, a multi-year engagement, a multi-year thing, we might [00:23:00] very well have to make changes along the way. But if you have to make changes to this, we're the company you wanna work with. We're the company you wanna work with because we actually are fantastic and we're gonna show you how we can actually roll with it if we need to make changes. If you decide to do an acquisition, if you decide to do a divestiture, if you try to do an expansion, if your supply chain gets shut down, if this happens, if that happens, we're actually gonna bake that into the process.
You know, that's the kind of thing that just surprises me, that people lean, they're trying to lean more into a pushy certain vibe versus actually being honest and saying, no, no, no this is the direction you need to go. There's no question this is the trend. There's no question this is the trend. This is where we see it going.
You have to start on this now, but we're gonna build this out and let's say a three year plan. We're gonna get in place the things we know. Then we're gonna, this is what we think we're gonna [00:24:00] do but we're gonna reevaluate with you every step of the process. And so people are wanting to kind of gloss over that.
We still see it today in large consulting companies that they don't want to just talk about the truth of the world that we're in. I don't understand that because when we are making a buying decision, we are driven by all 23 of our cognitive biases. And so with our brains are constantly scanning for threats. Our brain is constantly scanning for what doesn't feel right about this. And if you're trying to sell someone a bill of goods and their brain is going nuts, this doesn't feel right, they're going to go into a place of, they're gonna go into a freeze place, right? They're gonna stop moving forward, and they might not even know why they're not moving forward.
salespeople are constantly wanting to know, well, what are your concerns? What objections might you have about this? [00:25:00] It's very difficult for a lot of decision makers to articulate the level of analysis that their brain is doing on it. It can be very hard to pinpoint it, but yet you know that something feels off.
And I can't tell you how many times I sat in a boardroom with senior executives and what their comment would come down to Marcus, the real thing that they would say in the boardroom is, this doesn't feel right. This doesn't feel right. As a salesperson, you are never trained on how to deal with this doesn't feel right. And you've got 10, 12 executives, all C level and EVPs sitting around going, yeah, yeah, I'm not so sure about this.
Well, where is that training? You know, you, that's not in your slides anywhere. That's not in a case study anywhere. But I can't tell you how many times the [00:26:00] decision comes down to a nebulous this doesn't feel right.
Marcus Cauchi: Well, it's interesting and Bob Messer's work, he makes the point that what happens is you go through a process of comparative elimination and what you're typically left with is the best compromised solution.
Angelique Rewers: True.
Marcus Cauchi: And it really speaks to something that's very important, which is that most sales organizations are fixated on cold new logo business. And to my mind, this is an act of craziness. Your best prospects are your existing customers
Angelique Rewers: Always .
Marcus Cauchi: There no way that you can find the time, the effort, the resource, the marketing dollars and the resources to focus on increasing your wallet share within their entire ecosystem.[00:27:00]
Suppliers, partners, family tree, alumni, customers, customer and organic. And then, look at nurturing future pipeline so like you were describing. Make sure that you prime the pump with the red flag indicators that they should be aware of because almost every single sales organization you come across is pillaging from next quarter's pipeline to make this quarter's quota.
And if they have to take 36 deals to make up the 200 grand shortfall, but then they give a 30% discount, now they've taken 48 deals out of next quarter's pipeline. So what strikes me is that we spend so much of our time making it harder to extend the length of the sales cycle, reduce the probability of closing and piss a lot of people off baffling.[00:28:00]
Angelique Rewers: It's really when you look at almost the entire sort of customer journey that sales goes through from prospecting all the way till the end. For the most part, most of it is, is baffling. I mean, I think when you realize that you do all of this work as you said, very inefficient work to get the prospects, then you go through the sales meetings or what have you, and then to end up in a board meeting or a, or a senior leader meeting where it comes down to this doesn't feel right, so let's make this compromise solution right?
Separation of purse and pain
Angelique Rewers: And you get all the way there. If we start at reverse engineering from that place backward and then combined that to the elements that have to be true about the relationship and the rapport and the trust, I think sales organizations, it's why we, and we were talking about, in the preamble when you and I were in the green room about, you know, the idea, something we've been talking about for over a decade is this I separation of purse and pain.
You know, [00:29:00] when you're talking to the people who tend to control the decision and the coin purse of pain for things, there's a huge gap between them and whoever's experiencing the pain that's going to be hopefully lessened by this solution. Whether that's employees inside the organization, whether that's the end customer, the end user, whether it's vendors, whether it's the community that an organization operates within who or the shareholders, whoever it is, right?
But there's, there tends to be this huge gap between, between the coin purse and who's experiencing the pain. And that's yet another baffling piece to the sales process because so much of the sales pitches, so much of the case studies, so much of the data points and socalled KPIs that are really there because everyone thinks they should have them but nobody's actually really driven by those KPIs.
You know, when you look at all of it, you have to ask [00:30:00] yourself, what are we really, what are we really doing here? And I think the entire process of sales really needs to be reexamined inside of organizations. And it starts with really what is the goal of sale? What is the goal of your sales organization? Is the goal of your sales organization really to be the chief conduit between customers and everyone else in your organization? I think that's where sales is gonna have to move. You know, sales, really their role especially as we get into more AI and, and some of the, the elements that I think will become irrelevant in sales positions, the greatest thing for salespeople to do is to learn to become master communicators. Not just with the customers, but communicators between the departments and the factions inside of companies because that's where a lot of this [00:31:00] all falls apart is.
Marcus Cauchi: But you're right.
Angelique Rewers: Right. So that's kind of, I think we're in a, I think sales is gonna look very different 10 years from now than it does today.
Sellers should think beyond the people paying them
Marcus Cauchi: I, I do too. I, I'd be very curious on your take on that. Just to build on what you're saying though, it's really important that as sellers, we think beyond the people who are either paying us or commissioning us. The people who gonna have to live with the solution that you solve it. Do you really understand what it is that they're trying to achieve? What their preferred I ideal outcome looks like? Cause if you don't, you're gonna end up with a, a churn customer and your internal resources get tied up. So long as your comp plan drives you to new logos, new revenue, and pipeline, it's not gonna make the blindest but a difference to your life. But it does make a difference to everyone else in the organization, and [00:32:00] it also means that every year there's more and more pressure on the new business team because they have to make up all the stuff that they pillagged from future quarters and all the discounts they gave away. That meant the ARR forever is always gonna be lower. So pay heed to the unintended negative consequences of short term reactive decisions.
Angelique Rewers: Well, it's why I think some of the best salespeople are the ones who come out of the client service or customer, you know, product delivery side of things. When you look at some industries and, and you know, some people take, take exception to that, but really understanding what it's like, you know, to serve in the military for 20 years or 10 years or what have you, and then understand how the technology, how the equipment is actually going to be used out in, out in the [00:33:00] field. There's a great expression to, it one of my favorite expressions, our, our, our executive vice president, went to Westpoint and he was a captain in the army. And so we have a lot of military expressions we use around here at BoldHaus. And one of them is, is reminding folks that just like the military is always planning to fight the last war, sales teams are always strategizing to course correct for the last sale that they lost. There's a lot of time spent Marcus looking in the rear view mirror, and I think that right now, no one can afford to do that because we have to really look forward of how the whole sales process is changing from the buyer side in light of everything that has happened.
You know, shorter timelines, more pivots within the implementation sequence, the ability to not get too locked in [00:34:00] to any one thing and making sure you're making decisions that can constantly evolve. I think one of the biggest fears, if I, if I'm the decision maker inside of a mid-size or large organization right now, it would be to make a decision that locks me into a certain direction or a certain technology that 12 months from now, 18 months for now, from now, starts to show that it's, it's irrelevant. So you need agility in the solutions that you're selling and you need to start communicating to your decision makers how you are going to pivot with them as things in the market change. Most companies haven't done that. They have not tried to adjust their approach to the speed that the market is moving.
What is your take on the future sales?
Marcus Cauchi: So with that thought in mind then your take on the future of sales?
Angelique Rewers: I think my first thought is, is to the point I made before, I think salespeople will really become [00:35:00] conduits, sort of what's a good, what would be a good term to use for these folks?
To me, they almost need to be ambassadors that are that, and diplomats that are really working across to close communication gaps, to create collaboration. You know, one of the roles I could see for sales markets going forward is not just getting that initial logo and dollars, as you said, but actually continuing to be an advocate for that customer or that client within the organization that the salespeople are comped by. Because if someone was advocating for that customer, that client, and actually was more positioned kind of as the, the ambassador on their side of the table to help move things and, and be the person running to ground the shit that comes up, that customer or [00:36:00] client would keep buying from the brand, from, you know, so let's say your Accenture, right?
If you have your salesperson kind of being Acme corporations ambassador and all the problems that come up, you have an advocate, and that advocate is also spotting the other things that they need to buy. That customer lifetime value would go through the roof. But we never look at those ideas like, you know, most people would think that I'm a heretic for even suggesting such a.
Marcus Cauchi: I wouldn't for the simple reason that,that's exactly what I advocate and what you've just described is a good, effective channel manager.
Angelique Rewers: Yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: That's exactly what they do. They grease the wheels.
Angelique Rewers: Yes.
Marcus Cauchi: On both sides and they play nicely with others. They manage to get stuff done with no power, only influence and trust. They build intimacy with both sides because they put their outcomes [00:37:00] before their own. And the emphasis is on ensuring that the partner keeps that customer for life.
Angelique Rewers: For life. Yep. And right now that really, honestly is a responsibility that is so disjointed between different roles of doing that. And one of the things that happens inside a lot of companies is because of people's need to be right and need to protect their authority over their, you know, their plate. Whatever that is, you know, whatever's on their plate they wanna kind of put their elbows out and they wanna protect that space. They are so much more concerned about being right, and this is how we do it in accounting, or this is how we do it in procurement, or this is how we do it in engineering, or this is how we do it in quality control. Everyone is so worried about putting, you know, their stamp on it and, and having [00:38:00] control over it.
The hell with the customer. The hell with the lifetime value, you know, of a customer. The hell with any of that. I just wanna fight my internal turf wars. And, you know, the salespeople are just as guilty of this though, Marcus. I mean, honestly, some of the most difficult people I had to work with in corporate were the sales teams.
You know, they just didn't give a crap about anybody else. They wanted their commission and you know, they wanted to make the sale and God help you if you got in their way of making a sale. And so there's a real adversarial relationship inside of most organizations between operations, sales, procurement, finance, legal, risk management, IT, you know, you've got all of these adversarial relationships, all these turf wars going on.
And so honestly, some of the best sales training, sales training that you could do in an [00:39:00] organization would actually be focused on eliminating turf wars as opposed to how do you do cold prospecting?
Marcus Cauchi: Silent agreement on this front. The stuff that isn't taught on a regular basis and in favor of technique and tactics is just the, the moving parts behind the business.
If I sell to operations, who's affected directly and indirectly, what's the ripple effect? If they get this right, they get this wrong. What other parts of the business are gonna be affected? How? What does that mean for them? How can you help them build their case internally? And none of that stuff is tall.
Listening is this thing that you could make if you are lucky, you'll get an hour on what the differences between active and passive look at this thing and questioning is normally just this list, shopping list of intellectual questions that never really get enough of it. [00:40:00] I interviewed a phenomenally interesting chap called Alexander Na and he is currently trying to help sort out the debacle from the Afghan withdraw.
If you can identify where things go wrong and correct them, you end up with a multiplier effect
Marcus Cauchi: But he's been in every war zone since the 1990,s. The Balkan Stafford, Somalia, Afghanistan and he's normally first feet on the ground when peace breaks out trying to coordinate all of that. And he describes these things as wicked problems. And what we are describing here is a wicked problem. It's called multiple layers. If you don't look at it from a lens that allows you to see the whole thing, then chances are you'll end up messing things up badly because you'll overreact in the short term and you'll try and put a linear solution to a complex three dimensional problem. So the lesson that I'm drawing from this is that if you can identify [00:41:00] where things go wrong and how to correct them early enough, then with very little force, you end up with a multiplier effect.
So by the time you have salespeople speaking to customers, it's natural for them to put the customers outcome before their own commission. And you don't have to do heavy remedial work. But the, the challenge is to try and find those gentle catalysts and build that into your process whilst you are weaning yourself off your old bad habits.
But that takes real courage.
Angelique Rewers: I love that you said multiplier effect. You know, something that you, that you just reminded me of, one of the things that's often done in the consulting industry, when I say consulting industry, I don't just mean, we work with a lot of solo consultants, but I'm talking about the glue.
I'm talking about the McKenzie's, the Bans, the Deloittes, the Accentures of the world. [00:42:00] One of the things that's often done in those organizations is the way that they not always, I mean, I wanna be clear, there's a lot of times they don't do this, but something that that is done in that space sometimes is that when they win a new customer and they're getting started with an implementation, or an engagement. They bring a lot of the various factions of an organization together to provide the vision for, for what's happening. And in part, they, they have to, right? Like they're in a, they're in a role in a lot of these organizations, Marcus, that the tentacles of what they're doing reaches it, impacts almost every facet of the company, right?
So what's really interesting is that most salespeople outside of that space never really think about sort of, it's not just the complex solution or, or the, you know, bringing a linear [00:43:00] solution to a complex problem. They take a linear approach to a complex sort of delivery, if that makes sense.
Marcus Cauchi: Yes. Got it.
Angelique Rewers: So a, yeah. Yeah, so you, we have to look as salespeople at how are we. Actually bridging between the sale and the end result, and what are we doing to, as you said, be sort of, you know, those that are greasing the wheels that you know, responsible for that, that whole channel. And I think that if salespeople took a more active role in that, they would better understand the next customer.
They would better understand the next decision maker and, and why we get to a decision that just doesn't feel right as the ultimate objection. And so I think all of this is to say that we have to be more strategic and less tactical. We have to be better communicators than we are better collaborators and we also have to be more honest.
I mean, you have to, you have to, [00:44:00] I think, be a bit more authentic these days than, you know, trying to have everything buttoned up and delivered on a silver platter. If we started recruiting different people into sales and we started compensating them differently, if more compensation was tied to lifetime value, to also delivery and that going well, I think we could start to change the dynamics inside of sales.
Marcus Cauchi: That's a much deeper conversation we have time for.
Angelique Rewers: Indeed.
Marcus Cauchi: I interviewed Alfie Kohn who wrote a fabulous book called Punished by Rewards and
Angelique Rewers: Yes
Creating extrinsic motivation lessens people's commitment to do great work
Marcus Cauchi: the academic research on this is quite clear that creating extrinsic motivation lessens people's commitment to do great work. But that's a whole another discussion. What I'm really curious about as we start coming into the final fell off is the cold concept of [00:45:00] question everything. If you don't start asking better questions and you keep approaching the same problem from the position that created those conditions, you're never gonna find a solution. So you gotta stop looking at the symptoms, you gotta get to the cause. So what advice would you give to CEOs, founders in order to get to a much more intelligent place where they're tackling issues like their skill shortage, not by trying to recruit from an ever shrinking pool. But they're thinking, how can we get more from the people that we do have and who do we have, who has the ability to grow into the roles that we're going to need them for in a year, three years, five years time?
But management is spending so much of its time on remedial, supervisory, punitive activity that they're not really doing anywhere close to their job in sales. So what are the questions that leaders and families should be asking [00:46:00] themselves so that they find out why they are caught in this trap?
Angelique Rewers: Well, I, it's a great question, and I think we, we have to, we do have to question everything. Humans are absolutely terrible at making predictions about anything. You know, we think about when the telephone was first introduced. All sorts of so called thought leaders at the time thought that the telephone was going to completely revolutionize the way that we educate the masses. There were people at IBM who didn't believe that people would ever have a need for a computer in their home. And I was sharing with you in the green room that in the 1996 book, Silicon Snake Oil, the author I think his name's Clifford Stoll, made a prediction on like chapter one that the internet would never replace magazines, newspapers, books, or you know, newspaper delivery or the, or the [00:47:00] corner newsstand. And of course all of these predictions have been radically wrong.
So I think the best question that that leaders can make, well first is that they have to take time at least twice a year to step away from the business and literally get out of their environment and just create a blue sky meeting multiple times. And you know, years ago you probably could do this every two to three years.
Now you need to be doing it every six months given how quickly technology's evolving, given how quickly supply chain routes are evolving and, and world dynamics. And then you have to start asking what if you need to make a list of everything that you take for granted in the organization which that alone it's just that exercise of role.
Well, what do we take for granted? What are the things that we're just assuming are true? What if we didn't actually have full-time employees? Like, just ask that question. What if we [00:48:00] actually didn't have full-time employees? There was a great article that was written about two weeks ago talking about the death of the job.
You know what, if we didn't have any office space? That wasn't a question that large companies were thinking of asking in, in 2019, and yet in 2020, people started asking what if we don't have office space? So, or, or what if we had 80% less office space? What if we don't have employees? What if we didn't have a sales team?
What if we didn't divide our company into departments the way that we do? What if instead of dividing companies into departments, what if our entire organizational structure of silos that we've been operating in for a hundred years actually got completely blown up and we had completely different organizational structures.
What if, what if, what if, what if? It's in those what if conversations, Marcus that breakthrough thinking happens. [00:49:00] And I think the other side of it is going out and listening to what your employees are saying and what customers are saying. Not in focus groups, not in questionnaires, because buyers are liars, employees are liars. There's a, you know, those colloquialism are, are out there because what people say when they're asked is different than what they do. So you need to go into these chat forums. You know, I tell my clients, Marcus, who are most of them are consultants and coaches and service providers, I'm like, go into Reddit. Go into Reddit and read what people are bitching and griping about. Read when people are saying, I just walked into my, you know, boss today and I gave, you know, I basically rage quitting and I gave him a F U and I walked out the door and here's why I did that. You know, customer people are, people are talking, you have to go listen when they don't think that you're listening.
And then you need to put those issues up on the board and you need to say, what if we never did [00:50:00] that again? What if we never got ourselves in a situation where a customer or an employee said that because we completely eliminated that as a possibility. So I think the question is what if but I think what you put on the table for what if are the things that maybe two, three years ago. You wouldn't even have considered spending an ounce of time asking a what if question about it. I think every single facet of business as we know it belongs on the table and deserves a what if conversation.
In terms of your own blind spots, where do you find yourself not noticing?
Marcus Cauchi: Couldn't agree more on that? On a happy note, let's start wrapping up because that was a brilliant way to conclude. In terms of your own blind spots, where do you find yourself not noticing?
Angelique Rewers: I think for me, I have a blind spot around, how would I say this? I have a blind spot sometimes Marcus around myself not questioning as much as [00:51:00] I should. And also I think giving, giving leaders more credit than I should. I think absurdity knows no bounds. You know what I'm saying. You know, decisions that fly in the face of all reason and logic knows no bounds.
I am an eternal optimist, but my optimism often causes, I'm a realist, but still my optimism creates a blind spot for me. And I think that we have really reached the height of absurdity certainly here in the United States. Where decisions and behaviors fly in the face of logic and the desired outcome.
And so unfortunately, the last two years for me has been a reminder that humans tend to constantly take action and make decisions that are self defeating.
What can you advice the young Angelique aged 23?
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah. I'm with you on that. Okay. So you've got a golden [00:52:00] ticket, you can whizz back in time and whisper in the ear of the idiot Angelique age 23. When you were invincible, immortal, and you knew everything, one bit of advice
Angelique Rewers: Indeed. Yeah. If I could go back, if I had that golden ticket to go back, I would've said start my business sooner than I did. I started when I was 20, about 27, 28. I wish I would've started right then at 23.
Number two, I wish from the get-go that I would have thought like a CEO and a business owner, not as a self-employed person.
And number three, I would've spent more time immediately mastering sales because we're all in sales. There's no role out there that doesn't involve sales whether you're an employee or not, you're in sales. And I would've leaned fully into understanding the psychology of sales at that age. So I would've started my business faster and I would've focused on [00:53:00] building the business instead of being in the business, and I would've focused on mastering sales.
What books, podcasts or videos that you'd recommend people pay attention to?
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. Okay. And if you were to recommend one or two books or podcasts or videos that you'd recommend people pay attention to?
Angelique Rewers: I read fifty to a hundred news articles a day. I think books are great but by the time they make it to the shelf, typically that's a 6 to 12 month process. Book publishers are going to have to figure out how to condense that because we need information more quickly.
So I spend my time reading fifty to a hundred news articles a day. I read financial news, I read trade news, I read international news, I read consumer news. I don't think that you can afford today to have your nose too close to the bark. I, you can't be working in the weeds. You need to take time every single day to understand what's happening in the world.
You need to understand what's happening in manufacturing, technology, [00:54:00] on the, in the financial markets and for the average human being. And so for me, Marcus, I read about fifty to a hundred articles a day. I am a very fast reader, but I retain all that information. I retain a tone. And to me, that's where you need to spend your time today.
You need to understand the world around you, and you need to understand not just what people are saying, but more importantly what people are doing.
How can people get hold of you?
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. And how can people get hold of you?
Angelique Rewers: The two best places to go, the first is our website, which is BoldHaus, which is spelled BoldHaus, so a bit of the German spelling there.
BoldHaus.com. And you can also check us out @realdealevent.com, which is our annual conference. So you can check us out there. And of course, last but not least, I'm the only Angelique Rewers on LinkedIn, so please feel free to connect with me there.
Marcus Cauchi: Angelique Rewers, thank you.
Angelique Rewers: Thank you.
Marcus Cauchi: So this is Marcus Cauchi signing off once again from The Inquisitor Podcast.
If you found this useful and insightful, [00:55:00] please like, comment, share, tag someone who could benefit from it. Feel free to give an honest review on your favorite podcast platform. In the meantime, if you wanna get hold of me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe and happy selling. Bye bye.