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075 | The Negotiation Playbook with Clint Babcock

075 | The Negotiation Playbook with Clint Babcock
Published on
September 14, 2020
075 | The Negotiation Playbook with Clint Babcock
A comprehensive discovery platform for banks and leading financial brands looking to expand consumer awareness.
Partner with Us


Clint Babcock
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Clint Babcock is a Sandler-certified trainer helping professionals hone in on their sales, leadership, and negotiation skills. Clint is also the author of Negotiating from the Inside Out: A Playbook for Business Success. With over 25 years of sales, leadership, and negotiation experience, Clint has worked with senior executives at companies in a wide range of industries to help them strategically build their sales forces.  Clint sits down with Chris Snyder to share how executives can overcome common objections in negotiations and close business deals that all parties will benefit from.


  • Clint's college experience getting recruited to play baseball and how it impacted his future career in sales
  • Clint's first experience in Sandler sales training during his business development role at a technology company
  • How really great sales people can still fail when it comes to the negotiation aspect of a deal
  • The core differences between "selling" and "negotiating"
  • How managing conflict plays a major role in effective negotiating skills
  • How to tell if your sales team has a negotiation problem
  • The importance of reviewing every step of your sales process to ensure you are in a better position than your competitors
  • What the Next Generation Salesperson looks like in an increasingly digitized world
  • How repetition is a staple to honing in on your sales expertise
  • How Sandler's sales training and tools have evolved throughout the years
  • How sales and marketing teams can work together more cohesively for business growth success

Clint Babcock

Author of Negotiating from the Inside Out

Clint Babcock is a Sandler-certified trainer helping professionals hone in on their sales, leadership, and negotiation skills. Clint is also the author of Negotiating from the Inside Out: A Playbook for Business Success.

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Clint Babcock

Author of Negotiating from the Inside Out

Clint Babcock is a Sandler-certified trainer helping professionals hone in on their sales, leadership, and negotiation skills. Clint is also the author of Negotiating from the Inside Out: A Playbook for Business Success.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:44] Hello, everyone, Chris Snyder here, host of the Snyder Showdown, President at Juhll Agency, and founder of On this show, we take a no B.S. approach to business success and failure. Told you the stories of the top executives who have lived them. Join us today as we get the unfiltered backstories behind successful brands. Our sponsor today is, the world's most comprehensive and trusted branding and discovery platform for banks and banking related products and services. is aligning consumer core values with trusted financial institutions, bringing attention and awareness to leading financial brands. To learn more, you can go to banks, dot com forward slash partners, or you can send an email to info at OK, everyone, without further ado, today's guest is Clint Babcock. He's a Sandler certified trainer, helping professionals hone in on their sales leadership and negotiation skills. Clint is also the author of Negotiating from the Inside Out: A Playbook for Business Success. Clint has over 25 years of sales, leadership and negotiation experience. He has also worked with senior executives at companies in a wide range of industries to help them strategically build their sales forces.

[00:02:06] Clint is here today to share how executives can overcome common objections in negotiations and close business deals that all parties will benefit from. Thanks for coming today. Welcome, Clint.

[00:02:19] Thanks, Chris. Appreciate the invite to have me on board.

[00:02:22] Absolutely. I'm looking forward today's session. I've been in sales and marketing for twenty five years myself. This is near and dear to my heart.

[00:02:29] So today should be a really spirited discussion. Before we get kicked off, though, tell us a little bit about your upbringing, where you grew up and how you got to where you are today.

[00:02:38] Oh, my gosh. Well, everybody has heard of Montoursville, Pennsylvania, how I grew up. Yes.

[00:02:44] Small town in northern central Pennsylvania. More cows and people. And, you know, it was it was it was great, though. I make fun of it all the time. But it was absolutely great. It is this what you would expect out of a small town raised by a cop? My father and a nurse. My mother. So so anything we're about ready to do that was wrong was either it was going to be against the law and you're breaking the law or or we're gonna get killed.

[00:03:14] So, yeah, those bases covered. Exactly. So. So it was that whole, you know, growing up.

[00:03:20] And I had two older brothers all within three and a half years of each other. Oh, so, gosh. You make me think about that. I put in a book and it was kind of a shot at them. You know, when when you write a book, they say, OK, well, who do you want to acknowledge? And I acknowledge my brother, Steven Scott. And I said thank you for the mental and physical conditioning that put me in a situation where I've got some knowledge. You write in a book around negotiations.

[00:03:46] Yeah. Were you the youngest? Oh, yeah. Yeah, baby. So. So I got pummeled. Be all that stuff that, you know, they now they call bullying. But back then it was you're the youngest child.

[00:03:56] Just suck it up, you know. Yeah. They called it love back then. I think they're right. Having a swirly.

[00:04:04] Give them a Nogi, give them a wedge like do all that stuff because he has good boys. No, go outside. If anybody gets hurt, your mom will take care of you. You got it. That's exactly what it is. So that's that's excellent. So tough. Tough, small town, good grit. Good fam. Go to college, get a job as a sales guy. How did that work.

[00:04:25] Yeah. Cash kind of.

[00:04:27] So my torso is right outside of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Wasteful Pennsylvania. If you don't know Little League World Baseball. So we you know, everybody grew up. It was all sports, sports, sports. So. So it came down. I was I was graduating high school. I graduated. And I still had not made a decision or where I was going to go to college. I had an offer from Penn State to go play baseball there. And a Dodger scout that was in in our area recommended me to a coach down in Orlando, Florida, at the Seminole Community College area. He said, you know, if you're interested, I can set you up with a with a tryout there. I said I'm interested. I hated the cold. So so the day after I graduated, I called the coach at Penn State, said, hey, look, give me a week. I'll let you know, you know, I'll know within a week. And he was kind enough to let me. Yeah. Hey, just let me know by this date. You got it. Day after graduating, Buddy and I hopped in a car, drove down to Florida. Two days later, I had a tryout and the coach said, look, you know, I can I can offer you a scholarship to pay your out-of-state tuition if you want to. I'm happy to have you. That was all I needed. I'm out of Pennsylvania and then to Florida and so play a couple of years. A college ball ended up at UCLA in Orlando and, you know, had a really nice two point three GPA going into my office. We're yeah. Those little better than half halfway through our body. I was kicking it and then it's like, okay, now what I want to do is I became a finance major, which really that was enough to get me by enough. They got. OK. I can't do much else by the. But go into sales. So. So really kind of road. Right out of college. Right into a sales sale. Inside sales job selling and small business and mutual fund newsletters over the phone.

[00:06:13] Wow. This was pre Internet, right?

[00:06:16] Oh yeah. Oh my gosh. Yeah. Yeah. This was. This was a you come in, you know, you better be you're not leaving till you make one hundred and twenty dollars. And in a way you go and what a proving ground. What a you know, it was it was a fast paced, high energy kind of environment and. A good product. It wasn't you know, it wasn't anything anything bad, it was a great product. And then and then really that just kind of kicked off my sales career and got me wrong.

[00:06:43] Well, it's important, I think, at that age. First first because I actually had a similar experience in a call center, you know, at college athlete as well.

[00:06:52] And I think something that athletics teaches you is, you know, when the coaches are you know, they have you in a film room and they're basically replaying your mistakes in front of a hundred other guys your age. You learn really quickly to get tough skin and not care much about what people think about you. So for athletes and I think they do this on Wall Street, too, for athletes. I mean, they just they just put us in there and we just kind of run, right? We don't care. You make the phone call screwed up. Your boss yells at you. Yeah. You do it better next time you're coachable. You've got a good attitude. You're aggressive and all the right ways. So I think that's a great inside. Sales is a great proving ground to kick off a sales career. But then you have to evolve. And when I was coming up, it was about getting into outside sales. That's where all the ballers hung out. Right. So did you. Did you have a transition with. OK. I know how to run through walls. I got my seven no closed down stuff. Now, are you making transitions into what, you know, a real sales outside enterprise sales role?

[00:07:58] Yeah. So so what ended up at that transition took place when I got into a technology job. I left that went into a into a role where I was selling technology training in the 90s. Right. So.

[00:08:11] So it was Microsoft, Novell, Lotus Notes. It was all this kind of training and it was a combination of inside outside sales. So it was, you know, set appointments inside, going out and getting in front of people. And and that's where, yeah. You really hone in on the difference between a transactional sale versus a consultative sale. And I was very fortunate. The owner of that company put us through Sandler training. Oh, OK. So I was at twenty twenty six point seven or so by the time and went through about a year and a half.

[00:08:45] And it just totally shifted and gave me the basis of what I needed from a sales sales career and sales methodology. That then helped me to be able to kind of grocery through the corporate ladder over the next seven, eight years while I was with that organization. So it is absolutely that that transition of transactional to consultative. You need a methodology. You need a process. It just clicked on me at the right time in my career. I was very fortunate for that.

[00:09:14] So, yeah, and that's, you know, kudos to, you know, whoever that was or whatever company that was, because not enough companies invest in their sales and marketing folks and they don't they don't lay the right framework. They sit people down. In some cases, they don't have the right commission structures. They don't have the right training materials. They don't have the right decks. They don't have the right company and product positioning. There's so much that goes into creating an effective organization. Salespeople are not like men like you don't just put a dollar in us and get 40 out like you can operate it.

[00:09:52] Yeah, you can.

[00:09:54] But you have to surround us, you know, with some stuff. Right. Some support and some stuff to create a real, true, amazing sales. Or so you're doing this work. You've got train, you're kicking ass. You're probably hitting your numbers because you've been professionally trained. And I'll say professionally, because I don't think people understand. I don't think there's potentially a a variance of people that understand the word professionalism anymore. National sales person is what we were talking about today, which means honing your craft, reading the books, doing the work, following a process, hitting your numbers, being methodical. So when did you figure out, like, wait a second, I'm going to go spend I think you've been at Sandler for, you know, 15, 16 years. I'm going to go spend the next 15, 16 years doing this at Sandler. When did you realize what you really wanted to do? So.

[00:10:46] So when came to a point where I was my last role, corporate role that I will ever have. God help. God bless. Right. Was I was a national V.P. of sales for the company. So I was, you know, up and down the United States hiring, fired, developing, working with the general sales leaders that we had in each of those locations.

[00:11:06] And it just got to that point where where you know, where everybody that's ever taken something. Some people are fortunate they come out of school or they come out of, you know, young and go right into the entrepreneurial area. And then there's all the other people that wish they did that and then do it somewhere later in their career. So for me, it was yeah, for me it was I my next role is I got to do something on my own. I got to do set my own. And just through. Working, I met a guy named Jim Marshall. That's now my business partner. That that had gotten into Sandler about a year, year and a half before. And he brought me on as a partner of his. And it was just the right timing. I was looking for something to look at. We ran into each other. We talked and and I love Sandler, even though it's been a while since I've taken it. It gave me that idea and that process. And you know something? I know this is something that I could be good at.

[00:12:00] And so here I am. Yeah. Almost 16 years later. And I will never have another job besides what I'm doing now. It's just, you know, helps me, you know, helps me to provide for my family. And most importantly, I get to help people day in, day out, get better at their lives and their career. So it was that shift. It's time for me to do something on my own. And the opportunity presented itself.

[00:12:25] Then you can do it your way. And being a being a professional sales person for organizations, you're building asset value for every single organization you work for. You're typically there between two or three or four or five years. I mean, nowadays it's probably like 18 months. I've seen a lot of the air and shouted is no one's really willing to stick it out. And there's a lot of reasons for that. But you continue to build these these massive pipelines in this asset base for these companies. You don't get asset value in that yourself. You typically don't. You know, they have a culture. You typically have to do it their way. Right. There's weird political games. There's there's weird product cycles. There's weird politics. And so you do you wake up one day. I think for me, I was around 30 years old. OK. Forty four now. And I'm like, it's kind of like, what the fuck, man? I just made you guys like ten million bucks in my number restarted at the beginning of Q1. I made playing. Yeah, great. We went to Cabo. We had a great time for six days. And, you know, but I. What do I get out of that?

[00:13:31] And then you just wake up one day, you know, V.P. of sales with a wheelie bag at an airport. Fifty five years old. That's the vision I had. I was like, oh, that is scary stuff, man.

[00:13:43] So. Kudos to you for realizing that probably much earlier than the rest of us. But you hooked into a product, right, which is the Sandler method and training program. You said I can sink my teeth because you are passionate about it. You believed in it. I have a question for you about this is I don't know a lot about how Sandler is structured, but it sounds like you almost you take their product, you have your own franchise. And what like what is that? Are you. You don't work for Sandler as an employee. This is your business, right? Correct.

[00:14:19] Yeah. So so what's what Sandler does is provides us the methodology, the process, the content. Wonderful corporate office that supports us in so many different ways. You know, the research learning management system, platforms, they do everything. We need to take that and go out and be able to customize and work that into an organization in a company. Because I've got professional technology companies that are, you know, over a billion dollars that are clients of mine. And then I've got the individual financial advisor that's just trying to build his book, a business that loves finance but realizes he got into a sales business. Or I've got the blue collar companies that have very sharp, good technicians that have to go out to homeowners and be able to bond with them and then not see them as salespeople, but have a process and a methodology. So. So the wonderful thing that that we get a chance to do is be able to help these companies grow and build their people. We build people. We work with people, and we put the processes in. And then that builds the revenue and the growth of the organization and the company. And that is what's really cool is we get to customize and shape that because the sales cycle of my technology clients is so different than some of my blue collar clients. So I can't teach him both the same way, but I can still use the framework and adjusted mode and shift that framework to fit in their world. And that's where you know, where Santa does a great job of supporting us with the tools, the techniques, the process. It's just up to us now to deliver that in a way that's going to fit and work with that organization, that industry and those people. And that's kind of where this whole negotiation book and everything came from. Because, you know, I've been gosh, I started the book maybe three little bit over three years ago or so. And one of the things that I saw real then a lot of my organizations was, hey, you know, work on the sale side. We work on the sales side. And then it comes to negotiations and there's no process, no system, you know. So I and I saw consistently I saw a lot of really good salespeople really good. Lose it out when it came to negotiations or not have a process. And and, you know, one of the big gaps that you see at the end of a deal is the we call it the silent section of profitability out of a deal because at the end, they are so emotionally involved in it, they just want to get the deal done. So maybe they not both ten, 15, 20 percent, just because the project that's so disappointing, just because they don't know what they should be doing.

[00:17:06] And I guess for guys like you and I that have been sit in the chair for a very long time, just you've got to kind of keep your mouth shut and work through these issues until the very end. And then if there is interest in doing your deal, then if you really feel like it's a good deal for both you guys, you go ahead, make some concessions. One of the things you'd mentioned and I want to draw some contrast to this, you'd mentioned sales and then you'd mentioned negotiation. It felt like you were drawing contrast there. Is there is there a difference between selling and negotiating?

[00:17:39] Yeah, I really think there is. And when I'm teaching a class, I asked that question, what do you think the differences are? And I get a lot of good answers. And arguably some of their answers are really good. Ours is this ours is making is we've all done deals that have started. They progressed, they went through. They got to an end. You gave her a proposal. It got signed off on that was selling. So it just went through. You did all the right things. So did they. And a lot of professional agreements, probably people that are listeners podcast go. Yeah, I know Gauchito sometimes, but there's a lot of times like your deal goes through and they sign it and away we go. There is no modification whatsoever. Call it a lay down. Right. Yeah. And then and it happens. Or every now and then there are some industries that go well there's no negotiation. Our industry. OK, well, good for you. Right. And then there's the. Then there's the. OK. Now you've got to that you've given your proposal. You've done that. And now. The prospect comes back and says, hey, I really appreciate this. Look, you guys are looking great. You know, we really like what you put together. But, you know, this Koban 19, everything, our our budgets have been cut. So you're going to need. You're going to. Can you rework this proposal for me? Selling stopped. Everybody thinks we know it now you're selling.

[00:18:58] No, wait a second. No. Now they ask you for something. What do you do now? And if you don't have a process, I can guarantee you. Because I see it time and time again. The first move a salesperson is going to do is, oh, OK. Well, what where do we need to be? Don't you just lost George to that question. When somebody asked you for any kind of concession, the next words out of your mouth, tell somebody whether they're getting something or not. Where do we need to be? Well, if you can knock off, you know, about 10 percent, that would be great. Now, now you've already made a mistake. Why now? Mistake two is you're going to go back and try to value engineer your proposal to try to fit it within what they want instead of realizing the gambit that it was and hope that it was. And now you're at their mercy. So so that's why I think negotiations. It's a different process.

[00:19:58] And there's a different system that has to kick in because you have no earthly idea why they use that. And not only that, there's really good what we call tactical and strategic buyers that absolutely know the game. They studied it. They know it. And, oh, and you got the most word. You call them people in procurement or certified purchasing manager worst. Right. They're going through classes right now, study in your systems, your processes and the gambits to use against you to take a hunk of flesh off you at the end of the deal.

[00:20:30] And it's nothing personal, guys. Like if you're listening out there, guys and gals, this is just part of the game. And I told myself this a very long time ago. If you're gonna get frustrated over this stuff, you better you better either get out of this business or try to train yourself that this is part of the game. No different than baseball, basketball, tennis, football, golf. These people are trying to kill you. They're trying to beat you. There is a difference. You know, there's emotions when you get when you put your commitment of time into this relationship in back to your professional buyers, they don't give a shit. They care about winning the game. They don't necessarily.

[00:21:09] These these are a lot of people think these were these. These deals are built on relationships. Right. And I think more and more. I mean, there are deals built on relationships. I think that's how you get in the door. If you get emotionally committed to this and you become irrational when someone changes the game on you and then they create these pressure situations, which I'm assuming these are things and I know these are things you talk about in your book, and I know this is part of the salmon method. I think what Clint's trying to do is help you understand what's going on so you don't become emotional. You don't become irrational. You don't give away all your profits. There's a 20 percent cut in top line on a business that's running 20 percent profit margins. You just gave away your whole profit. Why the hell are you working right now at it? Yeah.

[00:21:59] So the first first couple chapters in the book cover what I call the inner game. The inner game. So so if you're listening, just kind of think what kind of a negotiator. Am I how do I react under pressure. How do I what. How do I deal with conflict. Now, I threw this out to a two group that I was doing a session with a couple of weeks ago. And and I said I said, I'm going to give you a few beat behaviors and I want you to give me, on a scale of zero to 10, how you deal with those. And a conflict was number one. And I saw some things, you know, 10 meaning, hey, I don't want conflict at all. Very comfortable with it. Matter of fact, I poke the bear sometimes and try to cause conflict, OK? That's kind of personal. Yeah. That person's attack. Right. They're not going to have a problem with negotiations. But I saw a lot of two, three for as I saw one. I don't even like conflict at all. Right. So imagine that person in a negotiation situation. Here's what's going to happen. The ten is going to suck at negotiation, too, because they're going to go. It's my way or the highway. That's right. Right. And then the zero is gonna go. What do you want? Well, let me go back.

[00:23:01] And here's here's how you know, if you're a sales leader, listen to this. Here's how you know, you have a negotiation problem and your company is you are constantly seeing your sales people come to you to negotiate on behalf of their prospects. Now, I've been there. How can we cut? Can we cut some. You know, hey, what? I think we need to do this or we need to do that. Here's another one. Here's what's even worse. And this is where I talk when I'm talking to CEOs and like, hey, you know, you've got to negotiate your problem when the sales leader is going to their salespeople and saying, hey, what do you need to do to get this in by the end of the month? What do what do we need to offer them?

[00:23:37] And now the sales leader is perpetuating a negotiation culture that says, hey, let's can we lower our price in order to get this anywhere to hit our number at the end of the month? And now all of a sudden, you've got a sales organization now that's saying, hey, look, let's enable our customers to realize if they wait for the end of the month. Yep, we're gonna be able to cut our deals. Right. When's the best time to buy a car? And I have loves dog man. Yes. Yeah. Yeah, it is. So.

[00:24:04] So it's first thing is master that in her game know how you know how you react, respond. Know how your assertiveness is, your competitiveness is. And then also understand how you're wired from a communication standpoint. We really rely on a model called Desk to make sure people understand how they're wired from a communication standpoint and then also mapping out. Who are they dealing with? Because if you understand somebody is communication process, you will also be able to map out a little bit about what you can expect out of them as a negotiator. It helps you to make sure you win that inner game first. And if you don't win the inner game first, I can teach you the tactics all all day long. You'll never use them.

[00:24:42] No. I want to talk about two two things, ask you a couple of questions, because you've been in this game a long time. On one side, there's the buyer and then on the other side, there's the seller. We've got a lot of books out there and a lot of methods or process around selling, negotiating. There's there's a lot of this stuff out there. Sandler obviously stood the test of time. But the question I want to ask is, do you have any opinion or insight or reaction to how the buyer. Behavior or tactics or strategies have changed. And then conversely, how maybe you guys have changed or you personally have changed in reaction to that. Right. Because buyers, they must have changed. There's more information now on the Internet than ever before. So when you go buy a car and maybe you don't work with car dealerships. Maybe just work with enterprise software companies. But when they walk in, they already know all the features. This one on the Internet looked at your car. I mean, you don't sellers used to educate buyers and they had to come to you. The buyer for that education says there's no other way to get it. If you didn't give it to him the right way, then they could just go get it from Mobilier. Soos, you're the next car lot. So what do you. That's only one example. Maybe you have a few examples of how you've seen the buyer journey change in the seller journey change with that. How is that changed.

[00:26:15] So here's. So let me back up and answer the first question. Now back to the other one. Here's the thing. The biggest part about negotiations that's changed, especially over the past four or five months, is they try to negotiate now digitally through email rather than any kind of face to face. So how's things change? Think about it in the world that you grew up in and such a lot of it. It was face to face, right? That's right. Business face to face. And then, you know, even if it was a little bit remote, it was, you know. Yeah, it was over the phone. Now, here's the shift. The shift has been hiding behind digital communication. Hide behind that. So negotiating. Hey, got your proposal. Look, you know, you're your competition is coming in a little bit less. Can you revise your proposal and send it back? I've had that happen to me and said so. So what we always do is we say, look, first and foremost, you have to understand the hierarchy of communication. There's a communication hierarchy that what's what's absolutely at the top. What's your best case scenario? And for most people, sometimes everybody goes, I don't know if I would like to be face to face with them or not. But really, let's face it, you're face to face with somebody. You can read them. You got a better idea of what's going on. So most people will agree face to face. If you can't get there, then you have Zoome go to meeting what have you. Let's get hop on a video call. You can't do that. Now you've got a conference call. You can't do that. Now you got email. You can't do that now. You got text, right? So if you look at the at the levels of communication, the thing that I'm always trying to tell everybody is get as high as you possibly can. So if they're sending something over trying to negotiate the email, your move should be to get them on a phone or resume call. If you can't get face to face, get them on a Zune call. Get up and try and say, hey, you know, really appreciate it. Sounds like there might be a little bit of a disconnect. How about we hop on a quick zoom call? Here's a link. We'll talk today at 3:00. Be definitive and be directive about that and move that off of that, because now you've got to inquire, why are they asking about this? What's going on? What's changed? What's happened? You can do so much more through a dialog and conversation so that the share you're asked me, what's the shift? The shift is. Do your best not to engage in negotiations or digital communication. Because what do we lose? Tonality. We lose context, all that stuff. We've all sent an email that all of a sudden we find out somebody is pissed off at us because of what we said. We're like, well, what do I mean? What do you want me? Right. And then we go back and we look at what we said. We do that. Yeah. We probably could have wrote that a little nice, right? But it's it's that so that's the part that's changed. And then with addressing the part about all the information out there that's available. Sure. And when you get into enterprise sales, you'll find that a lot more. What do they say? Hey, that by the time the buyer finds you, they're already 60 percent of the way down the process. That's right. And that is true. But I also have found that that's a fairly small amount of the of the sales organizations and professions out there. It's out there, without a doubt. But I do ask that question a lot of times is, hey, are you taking the opportunity to the buyer or are they finding you? I think if a buyer finds you through a contact form on your lead source, there's probably a pretty good chance that they are down that sale cycle. If you prospected and went out and found them and opened up and developed the opportunity. They weren't down that path already. True. So you got to look at it that way. And then here's the thing. There's only three ways, really, three ways you can differentiate your car yourself from the competition.

[00:29:58] And this goes almost within any organization way, number one, your engagement and your sales process is better than your competitions. Many of the experience that they have with you through that sales cycle is different. People won't judge you as better until they see you as a different. So for anybody, look at your sales process, look at this and then go. Am I better than my top three or four competitors out there? Do I have a better process in order to make that make them feel different when they're with me going through that process? Way number two, unique solution through that process. Can you help and get their fingerprints on the solution and get them involved in CO creating it? Too often I see a meeting happens and then everybody goes away. Sales rep comes back. Here is the solution. Involve them at all. You didn't get them involved. You didn't get them to co created because they then take on some ownership. And then number three is how you deliver that solution. If one and two are pretty equal. Can you differentiate yourself by your deliverable of that solution? How tight you are without how you're going to project manage it, how you're gonna handle any scope changes. And I think Amazon. Right. Anything we can buy from Amazon? For the most part, we can buy someplace else. What did they do? They said I get four hours. That's right. Right. So. So those are kind of the shifts that we're seeing. And that's a question I get all the time.

[00:31:30] Hey, how how how can we differentiate ourselves from our competition when the marketplace is starting to view us as a commodity? Well, let's nail down those three areas and work through that. And now you start seeing them start being judged as different. Which means now they can get a premium and they don't have to cut their pricing when it comes down to is any kind of negotiations as well.

[00:31:52] Does your is your process in your methodology, along with the Sandler training methodology? I know you've got probably some of your own secret sauce tossed in here after the last twenty five years.

[00:32:04] It feels like these are for your process, more for complex sales. Like if we're selling commodity items, I mean, are we really negotiating when they just look at you in a in a in a spreadsheet and go your pencils or forty two cents or 38 cents or is it is it like, look, it doesn't matter what it is, we're talking about that negotiation process and we're going to figure out how to maybe still sell you the pencils for 42 cents, even though it's a spreadsheet item.

[00:32:34] Absolutely, yeah. Because think about what I said with the first thing that process has to be different. We all have paid more for a better experience. And we all have paid more for a worse experience, correct? Right. Right. You see a way to look at it. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:32:51] So. So. So that's the part that, you know, that that we. We do. Yeah. That the system is so adjustable to to, you know, to all kinds of sales processes, methodology. It just has to be customized into that because there's not every every organization needs every piece of it. So. So, you know, we look at it as is no short term sales. Hey, we meet you once or twice, and that's it. It's done. And then there's your mid cycles, your your two to four months. That would be we call it unique value sales where you got a prospect. Go find it. It's consultative in nature. And then there's your long term enterprise sales. That's more strategic. More process orientation, multiple decision makers, multiple levels of people. And also, the wiring for the salespeople has to be a little bit different. And that's some of the things we see a lot, is if somebody goes from selling short sighted sales, psychoanalysis, and they get a promotion or they go to a new job and now they're setting something enterprise and they're like, oh, my gosh. I haven't closed anything this month. I'm in trouble now.

[00:33:55] How important is technology in this whole journey? Because I know that and I don't know if you want to focus on a certain customer profile, but, you know, you'd mentioned in our pre game that, you know, sometimes you work with a finance person and they got into finance because they thought they were gonna be doing finance stuff and now they're basically salespeople. And then maybe you work with one hundred million dollar ERP firm that's selling software and they have twenty five sales reps. They may have HubSpot or Marquito or some or some CRM and or tech enabled. You guys have a business process. How do you tech enable that process or what is the importance of having that tech enablement and then maybe talk about the sizes of companies that really have to have it? Yeah.

[00:34:43] So so so let's let's put that underneath. The next generation. Sales person is going to have various tools, technology tools that are going to keep them more efficient. So some of the ones that you mentioned, sales loft, you know, being hyper focused on late in, you know, those kind of tools that are going to say CRM helps but take our methodology and map that in your CRM. Now you've got accountability that can go towards that. So so they actually create the field.

[00:35:17] So once you guys go in and you give them the recipe and the playbook, some limits here, put the salt there and the sugar there, and then you literally create the sales force field and say, look, this is the stage you guys are in in the process. If you all are going to do this the same way, you have to implement this in your CRM is that house. How stringent it really is.

[00:35:37] Yeah. Well, that's up to the sales leadership, but absolutely the higher performers companies have, whether it's our system or theirs or somebodies that actually is mapped in. Because what is the sales data trying to do? They're trying to figure out the pipeline that, you know, on where that is so that they can report that to their bosses and and or the board and or the private equity company. And that all has to be accurate. And they can't just sit down with every sales rep and say, hey, where you going to end up this month? You know, they've got to be able to look at that pipeline and have a really good projection. And that way it helps them if those sales methodology is is processed and tracked in their CRM. It's going to absolutely be able to say, hey, here's our level of accuracy and we've gotten it down to the point of where, hey, we're within we're within a few percentage points of where we're going to be because we know our commit numbers at this point in our sales process is pretty dang strong.

[00:36:33] Got it. So let's talk about the process, the Sandler training process, probably in some form or combination of your book. When you walk into a company, let's say there's 20 sales reps in there and they're, you know, a 50 million dollar company or they're one hundred million dollar. I'm not talking about billion dollar companies because sometimes I feel like when you get into those ranges, people like, oh, that's corporate. I'm the two or three man band. Or, you know, I've got a startup with 15 employees and one sales person that's an SDR, a BTR. And our marketing person is Sandler right for me. But let's talk about adoption a little bit like you go in there.

[00:37:14] I'm assuming there's a process for, hey, I'm going to spend a week with you guys. We're gonna figure out what your DNA is, your your psychology, the sociology of this organization. Like how long is that would tell. Walk me through the process. Is this a 12 month thing? We're not going to see results for a year and a half?

[00:37:31] Or is this like a six week thing to talk about that a little bit.

[00:37:35] So a back end into it. It's not unusual that I have clients for three, four, five, six years. Wow. So. So, yeah. So so you're a coach? Yeah. Yeah, exactly. That's it's more so. We always start someplace. Sometimes it's negotiate. Sometimes it's management leadership. Sometimes it's just a we got to work on the sales organization and then it evolves. It evolves from there. So so our firm belief is is long term incremental training over time is going to change behaviors and get the habits embedded in the language, in the sales and the negotiation culture aligned. So if I were a typical situation like you described, if I were to start with them, it would be in normal days, it would have been, hey, let's come together for a day, day and a half kickoff boot camp and maybe two days and, you know, and really kind of create the groundswell around the process, the methodology. Now we do the same thing. We just split it up it over a couple weeks of, you know, hey, two hours here, two hours, Eric, because let's face it, nobody can handle Zoome for eight hours a day. All right. Yeah. So so. So we have a kick off and then we get on a cadence. Then it's on a cadence, whether it's, you know, a couple hours a month, know once or twice a month depending upon where they are. And here's what we're doing now to as we're utilizing micro learning and we have a learning management system platform. Chris, you have a network. Do you have a Netflix account? Oh, absolutely. Yeah. So what we have is basically Netflix for salespeople. We have tens and hundreds of hours of podcasts and videos and and content. So the way that we use this is imagine if if you were my twenty one of my twenty salespeople, I would have signed you a session on, let's call it transactional analysis. Would you be understanding parent adult child ego status. Let's bring it back to negotiations. I'm going to assign you a session on understanding that twelve gambits that buyers use on you and it may be a 20 minute podcast or video that you're going to take. And then next week, the 20 of us are going to come together on a on a Zoome video conference call and we're going to dove into that topic. So I've gotten feedback from you. You've taken that session week one week to we're coming together. We're diving into it. And I'm going, hey, Chris, I noticed here you said that one of the most common gambits you get and yours is the is the hot potato.

[00:40:09] Well, I was looking at that one. Number seven, the hot potato I love.

[00:40:14] So so now what what we do is we take and we said, okay, hey, let's let's role play that. And then, you know, and we'll dove into that. So so that way everybody gets to participate. Everybody had to take the same session. We come together, we have some dialog, and then you're back on your day. And then the next week, I'm assigning you a different session. So everybody come every week. I'm touching. Yeah, but. But it's micro. It's 10 minutes. It's 20 minutes. And then we come together and we have a session. And that way I've just seen such adoption and such success because then in between, you said we're a coach. Absolutely. Inbetween we're getting calls. Hey, I got this situation. I got this deal. Here's what's going on. And we're coaching them through any real world deals. There's training and there's coaching. Coaching takes place on real world opportunities that you just need a third party or somebody else to bounce an idea or a thought off of, I call it I handled earlier today. Person was trying to decide whether or not it's time to do a close a file message. The person, you know, that's that's ghosting on, you know, and they're like, you know, do you think I should take action? And in this case, we decided, you know, I don't I think you're just too center. I don't think it's I don't think you've gotten to that point yet. Let's do this. Let's do games and tactics and stuff to do before you go trying to push it away. And, you know, and that's what they're going to do.

[00:41:36] There's so many things going through my mind right now because I never had a person like you on any of my teams of the companies that I worked at, obviously being an entrepreneur and having enough experience. Now, I feel like I can do that. But it would be nice to have a shoulder to cry on, so to speak, or someone who sees a hundred of these over the course of the year. And I see four. Right. But one of the things I wanted to mention is there's an accountability aspect to this. There's this coaching aspect to it. And what I wanted to ask you is, do you find yourself sticking around for this long? Because candidly, if I have a V.P. sale, let's say on the BTR, on the SDR, these guys are so laser focused. DPA sales is traveling here. See, they're traveling through, like, trying to hit pipeline. They're in tech. They're working with marketing. And then I would I would suggest that probably a lot of these bodyguards and if yards are getting ignored, plus who knows what kind of relationship. There is to have someone like you around just to call in, lean on every once in a while. Do you see organizations using you that way? Because if I was a V.P. in sales, I had 20 reps. No fucking way. I would want to be taking these calls every day like you do.

[00:42:59] Clint, please help me. I have a ten million dollar number to hit. Please talk to some of these people for me and help me. Is that the deal? Yeah. Yeah.

[00:43:09] You know, and there's a think about this. If you said sales manager, V.P., EVP chief revenue officer, you know, they all within the same company could be could be doing the same or different things.

[00:43:25] Once you get to that BP level, you're usually you've got a combination of tactics and strategic stuff. Then as soon as that BP realizes, you know, my job is not the best use of my job, is not to be trading my people and coaching them. I need to work on strategy, on structure, on those kind of things, and let somebody that does all of their world around training and coaching do that then. Absolutely. Every now and then we run into the BP is out and that and they're good. They're awesome. It's a definite personality. Well, they could they could do my job and they love doing it. So therefore, they would look at us in this competition. Well, I don't want you in here, but, you know, eventually they they do as their team grows, they realize, you know something? I need a partner in here that's working on the methodology, working on their skill sets while I work on the day to day stuff of keeping this company moving from a revenue generation standpoint. And some of my top companies, I've just, you know, the partnership and the relationship with I have that I got with the BPO sales is is you know, is hey, we're talking we're talking about strategy and and coaching them and learning from them just as much as they're learning from us. So. So, absolutely.

[00:44:38] And for guys like us, I don't know. I just feel like not being out one company and basically unemployable anyway by quarter companies. I'd like to see a whole bunch of stuff to do, a whole bunch of stuff. So it's probably really rewarding for you to get your head around a new problem every other day or every other week in a different vertical with a different company, with a different buyer, with a different seller and different collateral. Like, is that fun for you? Is that what you. What gets you up in the morning? Yeah.

[00:45:11] Yeah. Not only that, I think about repetitions. Right. Think about repetitions. Anything that you've got really good at. You've had a lot of repetitions. Yeah.

[00:45:22] Well I've, I have repetitions every single day. I either training, selling and servicing. So thing is I got to do exactly what every single one of my clients does. I have to go prospect. I've got to find new clients all the time. Right. I got a service. I got to coach him. I got to train him. So, you know, so, you know, because every now and then, you know, you can imagine the smart ass in the class, what have you guys. OK, so tell us about the last time you went out and got a new deal. Mr. Trainer. Mr. Trainer, your trails, the beauty of salespeople, right?

[00:45:55] Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I know because now I got the sharpest purse in the room that's willing to kind of throw it out there. Right. And go, OK. Mr. Trainer can't sell cars. You became a trainer. I'm like, look, if I don't sell, I don't eat. Right, you're awesome.

[00:46:10] Or you're not a trainer. You're a fucking entrepreneur. I mean, you you're a business owner. Right. Right. No. Yeah, that's interesting.

[00:46:17] So. So, yeah. So to answer your question, that's that is absolutely the thing that everything is the different industries we work in, the different things that we you know. What was the example? I was talking to one of my clients and then I gave my attack that we call it the menu approach, it's a questioning tactic about being able to position things, hey, you know, I work with a lot of companies. Sometimes they feel like they have a sales issue and sometimes they feel like they have a negotiation issue. Right. Help me to understand which which one is that?

[00:46:50] And I was teaching them that as a as an approach. And the way that he came back to me and told me how he took that approach, that concept, and used it in a sales call for him, just totally blew my mind away the way that he picked things apart and was able to narrow it down. So it's kind of like, all right, we'll give you the structure. We'll give you the sheet music. You go play it your way, your style. And and it's and I learned so much from the reps and from the people that I'm in front of because I'm in front of them every single day. So I get the turn around and share that brilliance with some of my other clients.

[00:47:27] And that's what keeps things fresh. Where every day is not the same.

[00:47:30] Yeah, well, I feel like it's about a partnership. And in honestly, something that this show helps me do is meet people and go, OK. You spend an hour with someone, you're like, wait a second, not only do they know what they're talking about, but they're also a good person. And, you know, if you bring Clint on your team, you call this guy, he's gonna be like, he's into it. He's going to be there for you. Which actually brings me to another point, because I know you work with the gamut of sized organizations. What is the minimum sort of deal size? I mean, we're talking maybe broke founders or entrepreneurs that just want to win. There's got to be an entry level point because this stuff sounds really awesome, like a minimum deal size, maybe an average deal size. And then you don't tell us about the billion dollar companies, how much money they're spending on sales training.

[00:48:22] So let me put it this way. The individual sales rep that says I want to get better. Yep, we have them. So we have a weekly session that they come in to four groups of people so that investment could be anywhere between six to twenty thousand dollars. Big gambit get big thing. But it all depends on how long you're going to be with us. Like a mastermind group, right? A little bit, yeah. Yeah. We call it we call it sales mastery. So. So then, you know, so that's the individual, you know, individual. And then you've got the small small business that might have two or three or four salespeople and such. So. So now it all depends on whether they're going to have somebody in leadership or management. You could bracket that and say, hey, over the course of a year, could be anywhere between 20 to 40, 50 thousand. And then you get your mid range ones. That depends on the amount of people they've got, deliverable and such. But you could be looking at anywhere between fifty, two hundred and fifty and then your billion dollar companies that have X amount of people, you could go up 150 and above the millions of dollars. Depends on how many people they've got. You know, some are some of our larger Sandler corporate, you know, opportunities. They they may have a thousand salespeople. So, you know, the investment they're going to make is going to be pretty sizable. But guess what? In those kind of situations, the R a Y comes really, really fast.

[00:49:43] That was my next question, because I'm thinking about these tranches that you gave me, like an individual salesperson, industry specific obviously doesn't matter.

[00:49:52] But if they're going to pay, you know, five or six hundred dollars a month or six thousand dollars a year, whatever it's going to be, they would have to be selling, you know, maybe a few hundred thousand dollars or five hundred thousand dollars a year in deals because they're going to get a commission on that, obviously. Right. So to give a fraction and maybe they go from five hundred thousand dollars a year in sales to a million. Pay six grand for that, plus you get a support group. You get to riff on people's decks and give them your problems and maybe cry a little. I don't know.

[00:50:26] Yeah. Yeah. Some of that happens, too. Yeah. So.

[00:50:29] So a hundred million dollar company, right. With ten or fifteen sales reps. One hundred grand a year.

[00:50:34] Well what if it's one percent of your sign of one percent. Like what do we have. What are we really talking about here. To have a a baller. Twenty five year sales coach professional come in here and mentor and train people with a process. How long is Sandler been around. Roughly thirty five years. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So it's not like you just woke up yesterday and said, oh I think I'm going to invent something that doesn't work.

[00:51:00] This is, this is all moving. Yeah.

[00:51:03] It's not only that, but it as it has evolved even in the 15, 16 years that I've been in it, you know, between enterprise sales tools, between other technologies. Three years ago, we started up a Sandler Research Center that was going to. That really is designed to go out and find data and insights and information. One of the last ones was on on hunting. What are the ways that most companies are the most active ways that they're hunting and getting business versus the least effective ways for us to do so? So now, I mean, think about we've got 250 some locations around the globe. We're by far the largest sales organization in the world. Yet one of the areas that we were not good in was data. We would have been a business intelligence dream to come in and go.

[00:51:49] All right. So let me get this straight. You had 250 locations each. If each location is training, you know, 500 people, you know, now the sudden we've got all this data. We all have all this access.

[00:52:01] We weren't mining. We weren't really finding it. It's you know, it's kind of like, oh, you got all this stuff all over the place. You're just not bringing it together. So that's three years ago, Sanwal Research Center started. And now we're getting data. We're getting insights and information that we're able to share with our clients and now map our training around, hey, why are we gonna spend our time training you on on cold? Well, case in point, last four months, four or five months.

[00:52:25] Guess what? I don't do much training on right now. Calling. Yeah, networking. Kocot. Well, Kodaly actually might be coming back because it's it's harder now to network. There's a lot of salespeople out there that they were basing their world on networking, go into events and networking. They were great at it. How many events have they been to? Zero, right? Not yet.

[00:52:46] The other channel, LinkedIn, is just getting completely out of control. Apple noisey right now. I'm sure you guys have a tactic or a strategy around this, but this is I get hit literally ten times a day. I would say ninety nine point nine percent bullshit. These people like Lincoln with you and then immediately start pressing you for stuff. And I'm like, guys wouldn't like to call Sandler Jesus. Terrible. Okay.

[00:53:14] So, yeah, I guess I can see you guys being, you know, the world's largest and most respected data company as it relates to selling and sales related, you know, business process and stuff like that. That's a great point. I really thought of that. Let me ask you one more question, because sales and marketing typically never get along, just typically. Most organizations, marketing people don't like it, like salespeople, like your lead sock marketing people are like, you suck. You're a salesperson, just a loud mouth or whatever. Marketing people you do sit in front of spreadsheets all day. I've heard it all. How do you guys. Is there anything in your programs that get sales and marketing a little bit more alignment? Or how does that work with you guys?

[00:53:59] Okay, so this this is a great question because this is where I separate the the you guys meeting Sandler from Clint. Meaning that I can't say that Sandler has anything that says, oh, here's a program. Here's how we we we get them to match up here. But let me address this, because I've been addressing this for for at least the last six, seven years. Yep. You can no longer just be a salesperson, you know, because remember the day and age somebody would say to a staff meeting or a company meeting, hey, who here is all in sales? And everybody had to raise their hand. All right. Everybody better. Right. Who here is all in marketing? To everybody, better raise our hand, because one of the things that I've been saying is, look, you have got to go hang out with your marketing department. You have got to become more of a marketer in this day and age than you, even than you are as a salesperson. Start looking as marketing is your new prospecting if you used to make a ton of cold calls. What are you going to do to brand yourself? What are you going to do to build your brand within a brand? On LinkedIn, do podcasts, do videos, do things where you become relevant to the back to the people you're trying to attract so that you become the only one they see and they know out there. And a lot of them have this glazed. I look in such and they think, wow, how am I ever going to do that? And and I say, look, you go work with your marketing people. They hire somebody to do that and such because you you've got to start thinking differently about approaching your customers, your clients. And if you're going to use LinkedIn, you can do what you said. Yeah. You can make them to somebody and then try to go get them. Well, you've got no relationship. You've got nothing there. You've got to nurture them. How are you going to do that? Good content. Good engagement. Put things out there for the greater good that make people realize, you know, your stuff by that by the content you're delivering. So. So from that standpoint, I tell them, look, good, go really get into the mindset of your marketing people and they'll appreciate that because they probably have a lot to teach you and then take that skill set and start developing your marketing approach to your segment that you're going after. And now you're separating yourself and isn't everybody's perfect world is they get referrals. Right. And how does those happen? Those happen by you making sure that you're generating a good relationship with your loose network, your loose network, your tight network. You're going to have those people are going to continuously work with those. And those are the ones that you can pick up the phone and say, hey, Chris, hey, look, hey, I know you know, X, Y, Z company. Would you mind making an introduction to me? You're my type network. You would introduce me. That's great. It's the loose network that we're not staying in touch with from a marketing standpoint that we have to because we've all have built our connections up on LinkedIn or even Facebook. If you're in the BBC World, that that's where that ship comes in is you got it. You got to have a big, strong version towards marketing right now.

[00:57:09] Yep. And that means understanding some data. And I'm not I'm talking simple data how to run around in a spreadsheet. Right. I'm not talking about anything extreme. How do you know how to look at HubSpot, utilize the database, the marketing side of it, or as long as you mentioned before, there's a lot of stuff out there because I don't know if anybody's noticed. But, you know, GDP numbers came out today. I think GDP was down thirty five percent during the crisis. It was down eight percent. So it's the worst GDP drop of all mankind ever that's ever been measured until the Romans and they went out of business. But my point is, is that there is massive consolidation right now. This is not going to change. You can have a nucleus and that's fine to be a great communicator. You have your negotiation skills and you are a bad ass. But if you're sitting around waiting for the SDR or the marketing team to get you that lead, to start that process and you cannot become self-sufficient, you will become obsolete as well. So thanks for answering that question. And then last question. I always like to get this because we have a lot of founders, executives, entrepreneurs. If you were to give any piece of advice, I'm sure you've got more than one. But give us one or two pieces of advice, you know, that you've seen over the last twenty years that we should be focused on. If you had to kind of summarize it or boil it down, work harder, play less, hang out at the beach more. I don't know.

[00:58:41] People have said weird stuff on the show. But tell me what these people need to hear right now from you.

[00:58:49] I was I would say some of the things that really stood out and my career is is having having those couple of mentors really tight mentor at that or listen to anything you have to say and it will help shape you from that standpoint. And then and then I'm a systems guy. And that's the thing that really helped help with me. So look at every part of your fashion, of your business and go, what systems do I have in place that if I wasn't around would run without me now? And, you know, so. So, you know, sales systems, payroll systems, operations, systems, negotiation systems, those are the kind of things that I see that that keep you from having things that are just chaos. And so so from that standpoint, have a great mentor implement systems, whether it's ours or somebody else's.

[00:59:45] Just make sure you've got something, because then you have a better idea of how to fix it, because if it gets broken, I can't you know, I agree with you 100 percent, Klint, like having someone that you can talk to, especially in today's world, there's so much shit flying around. You need to align yourself with someone that has more experience than you, is more knowledgeable than you in some key areas. And you need to be able to trust that person to at least give a range of advisory pass. So you don't feel so lonely because it's tough out there, especially for salespeople. It's tough for everybody. But, I mean, salespeople have a really hard job right now. And then the system aspect, you're going to work too hard. You just going to work too hard. Put the time in at the front, spend a week or two or three months putting your system in place, get yourself up to speed on your system that we don't have to work so hard. Clint is telling you have an easier life, so get a system in place.

[01:00:46] Look, man, I'm so glad we had this session. Clint Babcock Sandler, certified trainer, helping professionals hone in on their sales leadership and negotiation skills. Last plug for the book. Clint is also the author of Negotiating from the Inside Out. You can get it on Amazon. It's a playbook for business success. This guy is over twenty five years of experience. He's the real deal. Feel free to reach out to him on LinkedIn.

[01:01:12] You know, we'll get all of his links in materials together in the show notes. But thanks for thanks for coming on today. Really my pleasure, Chris. Thanks for having me. Take care.



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