Doug Tucker is the Managing Director of the leading international sales training organization, Sales Commando and author of the new book, ‘Sales Commando: Unleash Your Potential.’ He joins the podcast to discuss how important old selling is versus digital and online marketing and selling.
Tucker shares tips for finding prospects, engaging clients and getting referrals. He talks about why the word “selling” is considered dirty in some countries.
Tucker’s book, “Sales Commando: Unleash Your Potential,” has really taken off in new and emerging markets such as the UAE, South Africa, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. Tucker explains why and also speaks about why his business is in Dubai.
Tucker then shifts gears and talks about younger workers and the gulf between the employment expectations of graduates and the expectations of potential employers. He thinks universities need to better equip students to find suitable employment once they have graduated by adding real-world training as part of the university course structure.
Visit Sales Commando at www.sales-commando.com.
Narrator: Speakers, publishers, consultants, coaches, and info marketers unite. The Speaking of Wealth show is your road map to success and significance. Learn the latest tools, technologies and tactics to get more bookings, sell more products and attract more clients. If you’re looking to increase your direct response sales, create a big time personal brand, and become the go to guru, the Speaking of Wealth show is for you. Here is your host, Jason Hartman.
Start of Interview with Doug Tucker
Jason Hartman: It’s my pleasure to welcome Doug Tucker to the show. He is managing director of a leading international sales training organization, Sales Commando, and author of the new book Sales Commando: Unleash your Potential. He’s coming to us from a long, long way away today. Doug, welcome. How are you?
Doug Tucker: I’m very well, I’m very pleased to be with you guys. Thank you.
Jason Hartman: Well thanks for joining the show. Where are you located?
Doug Tucker: I’m actually located in the United Arab Emirates.
Jason Hartman: Ah, a lot going on there in terms of development. Wow, what a place, huh?
Doug Tucker: Well it’s a very growth area. There really is an enormous amount of [0:01:08.4] out here, enormous amount of people making things happen.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, there sure are. It’s interesting to watch what’s going on in the UAE. Well tell us about the sales problem in business, if you will. I think so much of business nowadays, Doug, has turned from good old fashioned sales back to marketing. Are we missing something there by not focusing back on the good old fashioned sales side of things?
Doug Tucker: Absolutely. Certainly what we’re finding with regards to the trend of the kinds of requests that we’re getting with regards to how to do certain things. I think that we went through a big period of seeing the internet as it’s going to be the answer to everything, that was if you remember 15 years ago people were saying… did you know the internet is only 20 years old?
Jason Hartman: The new economy, yes.
Doug Tucker: Yes, right. There’s not going to be any money – money’s going to be a thing of the past within four years, and all these different things. So there was a huge amount of effort, shall we say, online presence, online selling, and even filtering all the way through even now about automating the kind of service that we give. Now, automation in a business, having systems in a business of some kind is obviously valuable and there’s a lot of areas where we can use technology but it should, in my opinion, never replace human interaction.
And that’s really where I’m seeing the pendulum of business swing back towards. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it depends on which way you view the glass half empty or half full, there’s a lot of people that have lost the skills at ground level to actually, dare I say it, sell, give good customer service, gain referrals, be able to interact with human beings, be able to empathize and be able to really look somebody in the eye or verbally speak to them over the phone like we’re talking now effectively. And say hey, what is it you need? Let me ask you some decent questions and let me show you how this product, service or both fits into what you want, effectively. Finding the gap and then filling it, it seems to have been lost.
Jason Hartman: We’re probably mostly talking about sales over phone or Skype, or maybe webinar or video conference. I’m trying to be a little more modern in saying that as opposed to the old gumshoe salesman who’s out door knocking. What are some of the specific tactics and ideas, maybe they even come into mindset where one’s frame of mind is that people should know to be more effective?
Doug Tucker: The first thing is understand what your sales system is. Now, I mentioned before about having electronic systems and moving away from that into human interaction. However, it’s very important to have a clear intention and objective when I’m speaking to you. Let’s say I’m responding to you Jason as a request that you’ve made on the internet of some kind, let’s suggest. And we’re having this Skype consultation for me to take you the last 10 or 20% of the way to get you to become a true customer.
The very first thing that I want to do is to understand what my sales system wants to be. So I want to be very, very clear from the get-go of where I want to take you. I also ultimately, without saying something as blunt as this, I want to be clear to you where I want you to go. And perhaps something assumptive like hey, Jason, really great to connect with you today, I’m really looking forward to answering your questions and for you to become a customer of ours. Now tell me, what particularly interested you and why did you reach out to us? Something like that. Something nice and gentle to really get out your intention straight away, go for a question early doors of specifically what interested you. And then try to tell some stories that shape around the information that you give me, and then try and plug the information that you give me into the features and benefits of my particular product.
Now I know that sounds sort of obvious but you wouldn’t believe the people that kind of go online and just respond to an inquiry without really reading what the inquiry was, without having a set agenda or a methodology and certainly do not do enough decent question asking or fact finding, as we say, before we start to try to fit the product in.
Jason Hartman: Well you mentioned finding, and I know we’re not going in chronological order here, but what are some tips on finding prospects and engaging them? And I want to ask you a lot about referrals because you have some good referral ideas too. But finding prospects.
Doug Tucker: The first thing you want to do is categorize out your market. I’m a believer in methodically uncovering every stone, if you like. The first thing I want to do if I’m looking at a territory, an area, let’s say I’ve got a small medium sized enterprise that might be looking at a certain radius around me. First thing I want to do is to understand that the territory and the map of the area of which I’m trying to service, perhaps. I want to know exactly where my customers are. This all comes down to due diligence and research.
A lot of businesses, small businesses and entrepreneurships that I’ve worked with do tend to at times have a bit of a scattergun kind of approach to getting their name out there. And it’s all very well having sort of the mantra of “make it rain my name”, and I kind of like that. However it would be far more intelligent use of our time and our resource to make it rain our name in the areas where it matters. Only spend you energies directing your message into the territories that can afford, will desire, and will fit your product. Perhaps even more, let’s say you’re offering a particular product that essentially everybody could possibly want, but if you were trying to really get initial traction from a startup or something like that, it’s often important to specialize, to try and shape your message in a given area.
The reason I say that is because it gives you finite targeting of your resource. So let’s say that I’m selling widgets for the equestrian industry or something like that, then I can finitely target the equestrian industry, seeking out all of the reason behind net worth individuals that are in there, and then I can more accurately communicate with them. So seek out where your customer is absolutely to the letter, know when’s the best time to advertise to them, when’s the best time to communicate with them, what’s the language that the customer that you want to be communicating with is using? Is it a very young audience, therefor you’re going to have to use a young type of communication medium? Or are you going to be a more middle age or older audience and what is the roots to market with regards to that particular audience.
So categorize it down. Also what you want to be doing is having effectively what I call a database recycling system. So what that is, is some particular way of always gaining permission to be able to re-contact people if you’re not successful at your first attempt, if you understand my meaning, Jason. So let’s say we have a conversation, for whatever reason it doesn’t go perfectly for the business. What I want to do is say listen, I’m sorry I couldn’t find anything to fit your needs today. Would it be okay if I just stayed in contact with you, sent you the newsletter, and then maybe if something sprung to mind that I thought fitted your needs I could re-contact you at a later basis?
It’s the old, one of the first marketing books I read by Seth Garden, Permission Marketing. I always want to seek your permission. Then I can leave a week, two weeks, a month, depending on the sales cycle and then I will absolutely in a systemized way be calling you back. But I have an old saying that I’ve always used in sales: when you re-approach, take a different approach. So I’m not simply going to repeat, and this is the other thing that I see people make when they’re chasing up a deal of some kind. All the simply do is repeat all the same information, repeat the same product and repeat the same benefits and features as they did before.
And the chances are that the answer is going to be the same as it was before. However I need to re-approach with completely fresh different approach, maybe a fresh different product, maybe I want to be coming to you and say hey Jason do you remember me? It’s Doug – we spoke about a month ago. I know we talked and you weren’t ready to commit at this stage with this product, but I was looking at our product range and this came to mind and I instantly thought of you – that’s putting the personal touch to it. And I thought, I must run it by Jason because we had a good chat, we got along quite well, and I think this will fit what he needs. Can I tell you more about it? And build up that relationship.
Jason Hartman: Good old fashioned selling. This is something that is sorely missed nowadays. I find it true in one of my companies that people are just sort of losing the basic techniques of sales skills and rapport building, and they’re kind of relying on marketing. I think marketing is great and I think marketing is a more powerful technique. The difference is, marketing you’re driving the masses to buy from you, and in sales you’re selling mostly one on one. Not always but mostly.
Marketing is more scalable and of course that’s why everybody likes it. But once you do the marketing, a lot of times you need that high touch approach which is where that sales person becomes critical. And things can break down there. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have personally experienced that, when I will hear a company advertising on the radio, for example. The radio, talk about a medium that’s in trouble, right? With podcasting – podcasting is taking over. But I know what they’re spending because we used to do it too. That costs a fortune, a complete fortune. And I’ll call the company up and then I end up talking to some guy that is making me, the potential customer wrong, because I ask a question. What a huge loss of their money.
Doug Tucker: I completely agree with you Jason. There’s two areas that that touched on. One is, let’s say I respond to some kind of advertising online or otherwise, and I want to personally, I often with the age I’m at want to speak to a person. I want to be, sometimes I’m on a website, maybe I respond to an advertisement, maybe one my friends has got some kind of gadget or widget or thing and I’ve gone online to look at it. That’s probably a typical rout most age groups would take. The website is constructed in an extremely interesting way. Hey, I’m getting sold, my juices are flowing, I’m starting to get excited, you know what? I’m going to buy this thing. And then I can’t find the buy button because it’s all been built to sell, not to close. So then I think well I want to speak to somebody, and I find out it’s an automated service, and I may expect that, being a reasonable guy if it’s out of hours. But if it’s in hours, I want to speak to someone particularly if it’s a reasonable price point product and service that I’m reaching out for.
I often get into an automated call answering service. It’s a system which ultimately terminates in somebody’s answering machine, for example, or I’m not responded to in the way that I might like. And that is just insane. It kind of goes back to another thing that I’m getting asked for recently, which is kind of receptionist type training. You see a lot of receptionists that might be overworked, you might just phone in a company and you want to speak to someone, and if you get to speak to someone they might be a little bit curt or abrupt to you. All these things matter. I want someone to pick up the phone and go hey, thanks for calling. My name is Jason, what’s yours and how can I help you?
Jason Hartman: Yeah. And that’s an interesting point that you’re getting a request nowadays for receptionist training, because receptionists too have gone out of style. They’ve been replaced by voicemail systems largely. I remember in the old days when that receptionist used to be so important. It was the impression. What you’re really illustrating to me that’s interesting and I think the listeners can see it too, that old saying and that is “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link”. And as entrepreneurs we spend all of this money, all of this time, all of this effort on developing sales funnels, on developing fantastic websites, webinars, speaking engagements, eBooks, all of these tools that we have nowadays which are phenomenal. But then the whole thing breaks down at the first human contact. That’s a sad state of affairs, isn’t it?
Doug Tucker: It is a sad state of affairs, and if you think about the economy, sparking it, driving it, particularly all these, your great listeners and all these people driving entrepreneurships and SMEs. That’s where the action happens, man.
And what I see a lot of, and what I’ve actually done a lot of work with believe it or not, is fantastic business concepts, fantastic ideas. People that are geniuses with regards to social media, the internet and their creating colossal databases Jason, colossal following, and because for whatever reason their business isn’t capturing them as a client, let’s say they’re selling something for $995 or $49.95 or whatever it might be. Because people aren’t actually pumping in a credit card. There is no, what I was talking about, the recycling process, the re-approach different approach, there’s no capture net, there’s no safety. I bet there’s a lot of businesses out there that have got really great value propositions, that have got fantastic products at fantastic websites, fantastic lead sources, data inquiries. And because they’re not getting some kind of automated sale, that sale is growing colder and colder.
Jason Hartman: Right.
Doug Tucker: So all two of the companies that I’ve worked with have gone hey, is there anything we can do with this? And my hand has been straight in the air, oh man yes there is. Give those leads to me, tell me about USPs, we’ll phone them and we will get on the phone and close those deals.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, just before you go as we wrap up here Doug, give us a couple just rapid fire quick ideas on generating more referrals.
Doug Tucker: The first thing is set the mindset early. So hi Jason, thank you so much for calling us. Inside the first quarter of the conversation, depending on how long it is, I want to be saying listen Jason, how did you hear about us? Oh, that’s unusual because most people refer us. Now I’m going to be talking about that a little bit later when we get you through to securing you as a customer, however I just wanted to flag up that it’s unusual that people just browse and find us, most people recommend us. And there are some great incentive packaged with regards to how you might be able to benefit from that. Anyway, tell me more about what you’re looking for. It’s almost like a throw away comment in the early portion of the conversation.
Separately from that, I want to concentrate on the good old fashioned WIIFM of why it’s important for you to make a referral. So it depends on the product, so the specific advice would depend on the product and all the service and solution. But I want to focus on the what is the benefit to you for you making a referral to me. And it could be a small incentive or moreover I would want to focus on the benefit for you to recommend some other friends and colleagues and get a syndicate of people that own the same thing, use the same thing around you so that you can have more influence over me, the business instead of give me some referrals because it benefits me, I want to turn it on its head and tell you how it benefits you.
Jason Hartman: The world operates on WIIFM, what’s in it for me. That’s everybody’s favorite radio station as they say. Good stuff. Give out your website and tell everybody where they can learn more.
Doug Tucker: So if I can help anyone I would love to. It’s www.sales-commando.com
Jason Hartman: And the book of course is on Amazon and all the usual places, I assume.
Doug Tucker: Absolutely. It’s on Amazon actually, and it’s Sales Commando by Doug Tucker. Go on there. It’s written with a financial services backdrop. What I can tell you about is that it is absolutely packed with hands on techniques that any entrepreneur, any SME will get enormous amount of value out of. Simply replace financial services. Rather than write a sales book that had loads of different examples, I wanted to go one common theme and just allow the intelligent people to out there to apply their product to the same culture, to the same systems.
Jason Hartman: Well Doug Tucker, thank you so much for joining us today.
Doug Tucker: Thank you very much.
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Transcribed by Ralph