Episode 13 Merit Kahn
[00:00:00] Merit: Typical question you might be asked is how long have you been in business? Now? Think about that for a minute. Why does somebody care? How long you've been in business? Now in my world, training, coaching, speaking consulting, they probably wanna ask me that because either they wanna make sure I'm around long enough that I know what I'm talking about.
[00:00:22] Merit: But they also might wanna make sure that I haven't been around so long that I'm gonna teach them old techniques and antiquated tactics. Now the truth is I started my business in 1998, so. I can start to answer that question and give them a little bit of it, but then rather than end it there, I wanna finish that with, I've been in business from since 1998, but generally when people ask me that question, there's something that they're looking for.
[00:00:49] Merit: Tell me why that's important to you. And I know that it's more important for me to find out why someone asked a question than to actually answer it.
[00:00:58] [00:01:00] Most business owners and entrepreneurs are secretly sick of hustling. And if you are too, you're in the right place. Welcome to the hustle, less profit more podcast with me, Mickey Anderson, where we're revolutionizing success, because you should have it all business success lasting. Freedom and fulfillment.
[00:01:23] Join me on this quest to uncover the keys, to defining and achieving success on our terms. So we can all hustle less and profit more.
[00:01:33] Mickey: Merit Khan is a sales and business development expert, the CEO of select sales development, a powerful speaker, and she happens to be a standup comedian. Merit has coached and trained entrepreneurs and sales teams for more than 20 years. And people are always surprised when she reveals that the secret to sales success is to stop selling and start getting selected.
[00:01:58] Mickey: In this episode, you'll [00:02:00] learn how to overcome common mindset challenges around sales, the formula for the perfect sales conversation and what to do instead of trying to handle objections. I hope you enjoy this conversation with merit Kahn.
[00:02:14] Mickey: you have so much experience and I would love to get started.
[00:02:17] Merit: Well, thanks for having me Mickey. I am the CEO of select sales development. We actually spell it S E L L E C T, but we teach people to stop selling and to start getting selected by their ideal clients for their best types of business. And I think I just grew up knowing, I would always be in sales of some way, shape or form.
[00:02:40] Merit: My dad sold advertising, my mom sold real estate, my grandfather had to use car lot, my grandma sold Avon. Like it was never really a question of what was merit gonna do with her life. It was more a question of what was I gonna sell . I started in the radio advertising business, and during that experience, I moved [00:03:00] my way up to sales manager, pretty young in my career. And in that role, I contracted with a sales training organization, mostly because I needed sales management coaching, but we ended up training our whole sales team in some principles of a sales process and a methodology.
[00:03:19] Merit: And then at some point the radio station was being sold and I really found myself at this crossroads, do I wanna get another job at another radio station or do I wanna try something different? And the guy that had the sales training business tapped me on the shoulder and said, I think you'd actually really be great at doing this.
[00:03:40] Merit: And I thought I. I think I would actually love this. And so I started training and coaching and then generating business. I started speaking for marketing of the sales training business, and all of a sudden everything that I had done in my past really led to success [00:04:00] in being able to speak and coach and train and inspire other people that more is possible for them.
[00:04:08] Mickey: I love those serendipitous moments where you're presented an opportunity that could shape so much of your life. You knew that it was something that you were gonna love and I'd love to know what it was about this opportunity that lit you up and made, you know, oh, this is the path for me.
[00:04:25] Merit: Probably when I walked on hot Kohls in a Tony Robins seminar when I was probably 19 and I saw myself like, oh, I wanna do that.
[00:04:35] Merit: Wanna be the female very much shorter version of that guy. I knew that what resonated was. I see possibilities. I see possibilities everywhere. I grew up with that messaging and I've always been a person that wanted other people to see that more was possible for themselves.
[00:04:55] Merit: So I think when that moment came, where I was looking at, do I wanna stay in the radio business or do [00:05:00] something else? I really had a moment to stop and look and see what was it about the role that I was playing as sales manager that I liked and what didn't I like. And it turned out that everything I liked about the role as manager had to do with coaching, training, inspiring, helping others grow.
[00:05:19] Merit: It was no longer about my individual contribution as a sales professional. It was about how much could I help other people expand their sales opportunities. And I loved that part. And so it was a natural fit for me to go into a training, coaching consulting, speaking opportunity. And so I think, everybody just has that moment where you really lean into your strengths.
[00:05:43] Merit: I've always felt that that's a great strategy. The more you know about yourself and how you're wired, the more you can make, selections that really play to those strengths. And. Forward you the opportunities to doing more of what you're really good at.
[00:05:59] Mickey: One of the things that I [00:06:00] love that you speak to is emotional intelligence. Now I am a huge fan of psychology. It's a passion of mine and I, until investigating you never really connected the concept of emotional intelligence to sales, specifically entrepreneurship, business mindset.
[00:06:17] Mickey: Sure. But sales, it never clued in. And I would love to know more about why emotional intelligence is so important for sales.
[00:06:27] Merit: Well, most of the people that I have worked with in a sales training, coaching consulting capacity would probably never have considered themselves salespeople. they're entrepreneurs, they're business owners, they're professionals.
[00:06:40] Merit: They're really, really good at what they do. And because they're really good at it. They own their own business, or they started a business and now all of a sudden they have to get new clients. And so that's how they find themselves in my programs. And one day I, gosh, this has to have been probably 18 years ago at this [00:07:00] point.
[00:07:00] Merit: At that point I had a training center and people would come on a weekly basis to learn the next piece of the sales puzzle, and these two guys were in my class. They were both hired by the same company. At the same time, they sold the same products and services in the same territory at the same pricing.
[00:07:18] Merit: Literally everything was the same. Okay. They, they sat next to each other into my mind. They kind of even looked alike, like just the same. And one of 'em Steven had really good results. Everything that I taught him in class, he was like a little sponge and he would go out there and he would put it into action and he had great results and I'm like breaking my arm to pat myself on my, on the back.
[00:07:40] Merit: Like, and I'm such a good sales coach. Well, the guy sitting next to him, Daniel kind of had some good results, but it was hit or miss, like it wasn't as consistent and reliable as what Steven was producing. And. It frustrated me because I [00:08:00] realized in that moment that I can't take credit for Steven's success.
[00:08:03] Merit: If I'm not also taking responsibility for the fact that Daniel hasn't really done much with what he's learned. And that kind of forced me to open my eyes to a very harsh truth, which was. Their success had very little to do with what I was teaching them. If I was honest, like it's not me, it can't be me because if it was me or my content, then they would both have the same results.
[00:08:28] Merit: And when I went out to figure out what's different, I honestly stumbled across emotional intelligence. I wasn't seeking it, but I had these two guys do an assessment. And once I saw on paper how very different they were wired from an emotional intelligence perspective, it was like light bulbs were flashing everywhere.
[00:08:53] Merit: And I recognize that, of course, Steven was doing better. His self regard was higher. His optimism was higher. [00:09:00] He was much more assertive than Daniel, assertive, not aggressive, totally different. And so once I saw this blueprint, then it allowed me to shift how I was coaching Daniel. And because I knew like one of the differences was in impulse control, which is a finding we can look at in emotional intelligence.
[00:09:22] Merit: And so basically that means if you don't have strong impulse control, somebody asks you a question, you're just gonna blurt out the answer. Meanwhile, I had been teaching him. Here's how to find out what the real question is. You don't wanna answer the initial question. You wanna ask a deeper question to make sure you're answering the real question.
[00:09:41] Merit: But without impulse control, he wasn't able to execute that tactic. And so by me knowing that about him, I could shift how I coached him so that he could use the techniques that he learned in my class. Once I did that, everything changed [00:10:00] for Daniel and he started getting much better and more consistent results that matched Stevens, but it was a whole different ballgame.
[00:10:07] Merit: And what I realized was, all of the good mechanics of selling the tactics that I was teaching, fell flat through the gaps. And once I tightened that up, those mechanics of selling that I taught were right there where he needed them.
[00:10:22] Merit: Easily accessible and he had better results.
[00:10:25] Mickey: In your framework that you teach for sales, there are those three components and you just mentioned two of the mindset and mechanics, but there's also motion that you speak to, and I appreciate that you set it up so that mindset is the foundation upon which you build the other too, I'd love for you to give us a high level understanding of what those three pieces are and why they're all. So important.
[00:10:47] Merit: We call it our open for business framework and the reason we call it, that is because there's a very big difference. You can think that you're open for business and a lot of entrepreneurs that don't wanna consider themselves\ having [00:11:00] anything to do with a sales role, they'll say, well, you know, I have a website, I have a storefront, like I'm open for business.
[00:11:08] Merit: What that means is you're open to conduct transactions. You're available. To do a transaction, but that is very different from being truly open for business, which is also an action and an attitude. And so our framework is made up of mindset; what you think, mechanics; what you say and motion; what you do.
[00:11:29] Merit: And an open for business mindset means you are. Open to the possibility that you can expand business. Let me give you an example, cuz later this week I am going to be speaking to a franchise group, I'm their opening keynote at their large annual conference.
[00:11:51] Merit: And the very first thing I need to be able to do is open their minds to a new possibility. They have to see more is possible for [00:12:00] themselves before I can teach them the mechanics of what to say to someone else to expand the transactions that they do in their business. The analogy that I like to use is, a closed fist, if you take your hand, not if you're driving, but if you, make a fist with your hand, and you try and let's say, you're making a fist with your left hand and in your right hand, You're waving around a dollar bill or a credit card or a Vegas chip, right?
[00:12:25] Merit: Like something that has value and all day long, we're trying to jam our value into somebody else's closed fist. So if the closed fist represents your prospect's closed mind, and you're out there waving your value like, but we've got shipping and we do graphic design and we do printing and all these amazing things that you offer until their mind is opened and you open your Palm, but until you open their mind, they can't receive your value.
[00:12:55] Merit: So that's why the first step to a closed deal is always an [00:13:00] open mind. And we can't sell more, we can't help people help our prospects and our customers beyond an initial transaction if we first don't open their minds to a possibility that there's additional ways that we can work with them. So that's really the first and foremost part of the framework.
[00:13:19] Merit: And once you understand that, the mechanics of selling aren't really that complicated, In fact, I was listening to some of your previous, podcast episodes and, I loved the one that was the myth fake it till you make it. , which I thought was great. And I was always taught act as if you are the success you wanna be. Right. You've probably heard that though. So that's another myth that we can bust right now, cuz that's a terrible thing to do, much later in my career than I'd like to admit I realized that it wasn't about acting, it was about asking. And so you don't wanna act as if you know everything or you have the right solution. You wanna ask as if you really do [00:14:00] want to come up with the right solution for your prospects and your customers and that shift from act as if to ask as if is one of the core principles of the mechanics of selling.
[00:14:11] Merit: It's really all about having authentic business conversations. In fact, that's the new ABCs of selling. It used to be always be closing. Don't do that anymore. like that's pushy and aggressive. Nobody likes that. So the new ABCs of selling are having authentic business conversations and that's just your ability to ask good questions to see if you're a good match.
[00:14:32] Mickey: I was literally doing it with you closing my fist and then pretending I was holding my credit card. And I'm wondering if, when we're trying to sell to someone when they have a closed mind, is that what being an aggressive sales person is?
[00:14:45] Mickey: Yes, exactly. When you think about it, the closed fist is such a great metaphor because all you can do with a closed fist is fight. They are fighting against your offers, fighting against your ideas, [00:15:00] fighting to they're. They're fighting for protection really, right? Yeah. If you've got your fist up and I'm not a fighting person, but if you've got your fist up, you're probably, you're either being aggressive or you're protecting yourself from in this case being sold. And so that's why all of our value doesn't land, they're not even hearing you. That's why for every keynote that I do, every coaching conversation, every consulting project, I'm always reminding people. The first step to a closed deal is always an open mind.
[00:15:35] Mickey: You have to open their minds to see a new possibility for themselves before they are ever going to be able to hear some of the amazing ways that you serve your market. It's really not that complicated. There was a study done by Pepperdine university a number of years ago, and they were looking at this idea of being [00:16:00] open-minded and.
[00:16:01] Mickey: 95% of respondents to this study rated themselves that they think that they are more open-minded than the average person. Now I don't know where you went to school, Mickey I'm a Michigan state grad, well, Marshall University. Oh, woo. But I know one thing to be true, 95% of us can't be better than the average.
[00:16:23] Mickey: That's probably the extent of my math prowess, but that one I know. and it's fascinating though, because we all wanna see ourselves like that. So, so many sales people are out there saying, are you interested in, and that is that's not getting you anywhere, cuz it's very easy for me to say no, thanks.
[00:16:44] Mickey: Just looking. No, I'm not interested in that already got that. Not interested. Thanks. Not interested because I can still be a nice person and be not interested in your offers, but the moment you say, are you open to learning a little bit more [00:17:00] about how I work with small businesses to really help maximize their marketing exposure and message. It's hard for me to tell you, I'm not open to that and still identify as an open minded person. It doesn't make sense. You can't do it. You don't have an automatic conditioned response to, are you open to, and that's another message that I always do in my keynotes and sales training programs is, the four magic words that will transform literally every communication you will have with anybody that you talk to are you open to?
[00:17:34] Mickey: That's it, those four words make makes such a difference.
[00:17:39] Mickey: As a marketer, I so appreciate the tango that we do, between marketing and sales and how it's such a balance between the two. But I do know that a lot of people define both of them differently and have different expectations as to what the purpose of each is. I would love to see how you define the difference between marketing and sales.
[00:17:59] Merit: Well, [00:18:00] fortunately, I have gotten that question quite a few times over the course of my 20 plus year career. And I like to keep it super simple. So marketing is everything that happens before you're in a conversation.
[00:18:11] Merit: Once you're in a conversation that's sales and the markets that I best serve are people that are in a consultative sales process. Right. They sell something custom creative, it's not something you just click here, buy now. And so all the only job of marketing, which is a big job actually is to, again, open someone's mind to a new possibility. Now how you do that I think the best marketers understand sales language, but they also understand the psychology of selling and creating and establishing an environment, whether it's online or in your physical space, that is conducive to people, making a decision to select [00:19:00] to do business with you.
[00:19:01] Merit: I'll give you a great example. My little grandma, the Avon lady. my little grandma, the Avon lady. She was amazing. I called her little grandma cuz she stood like about four foot nine, and when my other grandma got wind of that, she's like, uh, don't even think about calling me big grandma. So we settled on tall grandma.
[00:19:21] Merit: But my little grandmother, Avon lady, I swear, I got like a master's level course in business from her when I. A child. And she was so this was the early seventies before anyone was doing home parties, my little grandma invented that as a strategy. She was like the original home shopping network and she would set up all the Avon products in her basement.
[00:19:44] Merit: And then she would invite her friends over to, shop and KBIs. She would say, just chit chat and all of that. And. What I observed from that as a young girl was that she was really [00:20:00] establishing an environment that was conducive to what she wanted to accomplish. Right? Like she looked like sweet and innocent.
[00:20:08] Merit: She had these great dimples, like she was amazing, but she knew exactly what she was doing. Like she was a ninja in the Avon world. And I think about that because in a sense, Everything that she did to create the environment is really part of marketing. What her job was, she knew her customers, her friends, and she would say things like, "didn't you say your niece was graduating.
[00:20:34] Merit: This perfume would make an excellent gift" and then she'd flash her dimples and you were like, yes, it would . But she was a great example of, like marketing and sales and that, that distinction between the two marketing, creating this space to make it easy, to do a transaction, to make me want to do business with you.
[00:20:57] Merit: And then sales is that conversation [00:21:00] that helps me figure out that you do know what you're talking about, that I want, what you've got, that your solution is the right match for my problem. And that's where they play together.
[00:21:11] Mickey: I love that definition. One of the things that I've seen shift recently that it's really exciting is that a lot of marketing has challenged the idea of, I need the sale now and the urgency and scarcity and manipulation that used to be used a lot more frequently.
[00:21:28] Mickey: I mean, you still see it here and there. But I think now we're recognizing customer lifetime value is so much more important than that immediate transaction. And so marketing now takes a lot longer of a timeline, but when it comes to the moment of sales, one of the things that a lot of us marketers get wrong is we go from this long relationship building to a moment of urgency in trying to hit an impulse, as opposed to that [00:22:00] consultation process that let me help you ensure that you're choosing the right product and not just a. Product. I'd love to know more about some of the skills or maybe the mechanics that we can learn to have better sales conversations that feel as you say, more like you're being selected.
[00:22:21] Merit: Well, there's a couple things in that I think, first of all, when you're talking about an online offer, there's you wanna just make sure that your marketing is clearly aligned with your sales objectives. So in my world, we have easy to say yes to low ticket digital only offers.
[00:22:41] Merit: And actually, I shouldn't say digital only cuz you know, our differentiator is that you can't just click here by now. You're always gonna get some access to one on one coaching and an actual live sales expert. Who's gonna walk you through a piece of the puzzle but there are low ticket offers that we don't wanna have a conversation [00:23:00] about a low ticket offer.
[00:23:01] Merit: There should be enough in the marketing of it that gives you what you need to make a decision to be part of particular program. But then there's much higher ticket offers. And we know, in fact, we wouldn't want you to click here by now on something like that, because that's a lot of personal investment of time and energy in our clients.
[00:23:24] Merit: And we are screening them as much as they're screening us. We want to be mutually selected. So I think, the first thing that I would say is making sure that whatever your objective is for sales, your marketing is consistent with that. There are some situations where it actually is in the prospect's best interest for you to have a timed offer or a only 50 seats available or something. And some people just need that to take that action. Ultimately, it's an action that's good for them. So I'm okay with [00:24:00] that as long as your service is good and you're using your powers for good and not evil.
[00:24:05] Merit: You wanna make sure that the marketing is consistent with the objective. Then what could we say in terms of the mechanics of selling? The number one thing is to make sure in your marketing that you're not just explaining how your service is delivered.
[00:24:26] Merit: It's really about why somebody would be the right match for this particular course or product, or service. That's where a lot of marketing goes wrong and sales too. Like somebody says, well, how do you work? They don't really wanna know how, in fact, until they've given you money my belief is they don't really earn the right to know how, they really wanna know. Are you a good fit? Like, this is my problem will what you do help.
[00:24:59] Merit: So [00:25:00] it's less important to you if it's an online course or a one-on-one coaching or a book or a series of videos, how I deliver the expertise is not really what they need. So a good sales conversation is gonna be focused on. I'd be happy to tell you how we go through this, but I don't think we're there yet. I first need to understand what's challenging you as it relates to X, Y, Z category. What's most frustrating for you, what overwhelms you and let's see first, if we're a good match, and then we can talk about how we would fix this or how we have fixed this. In terms of the mechanics of selling, we often try to, like you were saying in marketing, we try to get to the close too fast and you gotta remember the close doesn't happen when the salesperson is talking, the close happens when the prospect [00:26:00] is hearing themselves answer a salesperson's questions and realizes it's worse than they thought because people are motivated to solve a problem.
[00:26:11] Merit: They're motivated to fix a pain. If the prospect is talking about their pain and a good salesperson is asking questions to help them discover that it's kind of worse than they thought. Not in a bad way, but in a way that they'll be able to take action, that's really when you're your most powerful in a sales role is not when you're talking, it's when you're listen.
[00:26:36] Mickey: When you were giving us the example of those two sales people you were training and how you were trying to teach them that often the first answer or the first question, just isn't quite what you need from the person you need to dig deeper. Can you speak a little bit more about how we know when we're on the right track in asking question.
[00:26:56] Merit: Sure. Typical question you might be asked is how [00:27:00] long have you been in business? Now? Think about that for a minute. Why does somebody care? How long you've been in business? Now in my world, training, coaching, speaking consulting, they probably wanna ask me that because either they wanna make sure I'm around long enough that I know what I'm talking about.
[00:27:20] Merit: But they also might wanna make sure that I haven't been around so long that I'm gonna teach them old techniques and antiquated tactics, like is Tuesday or Thursday better for you, I'll be in your area. Like, no one's doing that anymore. Let's not, let's not sell that way. That's, that's a bad thing.
[00:27:37] Merit: So I don't know why they're asking me that question. Now the truth is I started my business in 1998, so. I can start to answer that question and give them a little bit of it, but then rather than end it there, I wanna finish that with, I've been in business from since 1998, but generally when people ask me that question, there's [00:28:00] something that they're looking for.
[00:28:00] Merit: Tell me why that's important to you. And I know that. It's more important for me to find out why someone asked a question than to actually answer it, with the group that I'm going to keynote later this week, that's a shipping printing franchise. And so when people ask them. How long have you been in business?
[00:28:22] Merit: What they're really asking is if I print my business cards, if I get a mailbox here at your store, and then I print this address on all of my business materials, are you gonna be around, like, if you're only a short time in business, somebody like the franchisee might say, oh, we're so excited. We just opened.
[00:28:43] Merit: You might have just killed the deal. You, if you just say we're so excited. We've been here six months. They might walk right out the door. But if you know, that's not the real question you could say, but tell me why that's important to you. And of course, they're gonna say something like, well, I wanna make sure you're gonna be around in 90 [00:29:00] days.
[00:29:00] Merit: If I put all my printing. Oh, no problem. We signed a five year lease. Got it. Okay. Now I can have confidence getting a mailbox with you. See, so sometimes sales people answer questions, and we think we're crushing the sales process, but we're actually killing the deal and we don't even know why we're doing like what happened.
[00:29:20] Mickey: Oh, my mind just exploded a little bit because I've done it for sure. Where someone's like, tell me about this package and what the pieces
[00:29:27] Merit: are. And I'll get really excited to talk about all the features and the things, but never have I really considered thinking. Hmm. I wonder why they wanna know that.
[00:29:37] Merit: I'd say that's one of the most important, like I could teach you all kinds of questioning techniques and different things to say, but fundamentally, if you didn't know all the perfect, specific questions to get from a general, issue down to something more specific.
[00:29:55] Merit: If you just have that core principle, if that be shapes your mindset, [00:30:00] that the question that the prospect brings me is probably not the real question. If that's your mindset, then that will lead you to the right language. And so again, mindset, what you think informs mechanics, what you say and motion, what you do.
[00:30:18] Merit: And that's why. Those three pieces of the puzzle are so important to being successful. I would say in anything, but obviously for our conversation, for sales.
[00:30:28] Mickey: And I'm curious to know, because you talk about being selected instead of trying to sell. And sometimes we jump to present offers to clients.
[00:30:37] Mickey: We, we pick a thing that we think is going to be perfect for them through our perspective. Sometimes it just doesn't add up. And so I'd love to know your take on how we can make sure that helping them choose the right product or service as opposed to just shoving a product in front of them.
[00:30:53] Merit: Yeah, that's a great question. I'm a big believer in making appropriate offers, not just any offer.[00:31:00] What distinguishes something as an appropriate offer means that they qualify in a few different categories. They have to qualify, obviously, the budget, right? That's an obvious one, right?
[00:31:11] Merit: They have to have the money to afford your offer. I don't, I certainly, I'm not gonna lower my pricing because it doesn't fit for somebody I'm going to offer them the appropriate service based on where they're at in terms of their sales expertise or what's possible in their business. They have to be able to invest the money to solve the problem, but they also have to be willing, right?
[00:31:38] Merit: Because you can be able and unwilling, you can also be willing, but unable. And those two things, if they're not both able and willing to invest the money to solve the problem, then you don't have a qualified prospect and it's not appropriate to make an offer. It may be that a lower priced offer is better.
[00:31:58] Merit: But it may be that [00:32:00] there's a certain package you need them to do these certain activities before they can qualify for a bigger, more advanced offer. And that's how we're organized. And we didn't used to be, but we learned, we had a, a big ongoing, pretty comprehensive signature program.
[00:32:20] Merit: We still have that, but it's not a great place for everybody to start. It assumes that, you know, your very specific sales goals, your action plans, you have a top 100 prospect list as an example, you know how to describe what you do in a way that resonates with people. And what we started to notice was there's a lot of clients they're focused on too far down the line, they want coaching on how do you shorten a sales cycle, but they don't have enough at bats.
[00:32:50] Merit: And so in that scenario, they might have be able and willing to invest the money to be part of our [00:33:00] bigger signature program, but from a context perspective, that would be the wrong place for them. So we introduced a whole jumpstart program. There are 10 things you need to do. You gotta get these 10 things before you. PA go before you collect $200 before you pick up the phone, talk to anybody before you, finish designing your website or send out any marketing, you have got to do these 10 things, so that you know that you've got all the basic building blocks ready and in place.
[00:33:35] Merit: So that you're ready for making those sales and that just has made life so much easier for us as coaches and trainers, but for our clients, they feel much more organized, much more ready to hit the ground running when they do join the signature program and they get more in depth. And I use my business as an example, it's just a good universal example, you can map [00:34:00] that onto your own business.
[00:34:01] Merit: What's the thing that somebody needs to have in place first is there that entry level course or way that you work that then prepares them to qualify for the next appropriate offer.
[00:34:16] Mickey: I've seen businesses do like sequential offers that have a natural flow one after the other.
[00:34:21] Mickey: But the other thing that I've noticed, they come up with like scripts or maybe like checklists to identify, okay, does the client have these things or have I said this particular thing? And I. I mean, I've seen scripts go wrong and I've seen scripts go, right. And I'd love to know your take on whether or not we should be scripting or having some sort of a document to follow along in the sales conversation.
[00:34:44] Merit: I am not a fan of scripts because I feel that is not authentic. And like I said before,, sales today and marketing is really all about authentic business conversations. Anything scripty is gonna sound inauthentic. So I stay away from that. We teach in [00:35:00] formulas. There's a formula for starting a meeting, we actually call it plan. So P L N purpose logistics agenda. Next steps. If you know the formula, you can reference it. And then you'll have the right language and it won't sound scripted, but you'll know you're getting all the pieces of the puzzle that you need to get to set the expectations for a conversation as an example.
[00:35:25] Merit: We what we do. And I, I'm a proponent of this for a lot of different businesses. And I'll give your listeners a way to go through this. Use me as an example, but we have a quiz, a survey that people can answer and based on how they answer the questions that get gives our coaches some ideas about what would be the appropriate offer for them.
[00:35:47] Merit: So it's not a scripted conversation, but based on how they answer certain questions that are tried and true, we can have a better sense going into a [00:36:00] conversation what we think might be a best fit, but we always remind ourselves to stay open to a possibility that in the conversation we might learn something that's gonna be new information and we would make a different decision on the fly.
[00:36:13] Merit: We have what we call our SWAT analysis. Same thing, like it's defined everywhere, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, but we're asking specific questions about your mindset, mechanics and motion. So that when we review that with a prospect, we know, okay. You've got some things pretty well structured when it comes to motion.
[00:36:38] Merit: Most of the gaps based on the ways that you've answered the questions in our survey come in this mindset category. So here's how we would work with you for that. And if somebody who's got strong mechanics or strong motion, like we're gonna adjust our approach based on how they've answered those questions.
[00:36:58] Merit: And so you're welcome to [00:37:00] do our SWAT analysis. It's on merit con.com/podcast. There's a SWAT analysis on one of our navigation tabs. And you can get to it that way. Go through that from two perspectives.
[00:37:15] Merit: Number one, as a learning tool for, how might you set up a survey or a quiz for your perspective clients, so that you have good information going into an authentic business conversation, but also , if you might want to understand where are the gaps that you have in your business in terms of your own mindset, mechanics, motion.
[00:37:36] Merit: And so what we do rather boiler plate sort of autoresponder when you fill that out, we actually have one of our select certified trainers review that analysis. And then we do. Personalized a hundred percent personalized, short videos saying here's what we noticed from your analysis.
[00:37:57] Merit: And here's a couple of things we would recommend [00:38:00] that you work on. And if you're open to it, you wanna have a further conversation, we'd be happy to do that and share with you a little bit how we work, but it's a great way to customize a conversation and start from the perspective of somebody being clear about where their gaps are, so that you know, whether or not you can really help.
[00:38:20] Mickey: It feels like you're almost allowing the prospect to qualify themselves, so it's not so much down to the sales person. Cause I think that's for sure one of the fears or maybe the feelings that come up when you get into a sales, it's like, okay, it's down to me.
[00:38:34] Mickey: this is the moment
[00:38:35] Mickey: I'm sure. Right. There's this pressure. And maybe it's because there's a focus on objection, handling online and in the sales kind of realm. We hear you need to handle objections and close or overcome objections. And in my experience, I don't love when my objections are handled as a consumer.
[00:38:56] Mickey: So I'd love to learn how you deal with [00:39:00] objections and maybe even the objections that people are a little bit afraid to say. Because sometimes I know for myself as a consumer, I don't always say what my objection is. I just kind of end and walk away.
[00:39:12] Merit: Exactly, which is circling back.
[00:39:15] Merit: Why the question or the statement that a prospect asks is usually not the real thing mm-hmm . And so we always wanna push a little into that and ask a deeper question so that we are dealing with the real issues and the real objections. I think first and foremost, going back to the framework of mindset, mechanics motion.
[00:39:33] Merit: The first thing to realize is that shift in mindset, which is an objection doesn't necessarily mean, game over, an object, an objection could mean they're interested enough to tell you what isn't perfect yet or what their concern or frustration is. So lean into that. I'd rather that somebody shared all those objections with me while I'm there, as opposed to, I think they're happy and then [00:40:00] I leave and then they don't follow through on it because they had a hidden objection that we didn't talk about.
[00:40:06] Merit: In terms of the mechanics, what can you say would be, to draw that out and to just be like, Hey, listen, I don't know if we should do business together. Based on our initial conversation, or based on the fact that you did our SWAT analysis online, or you filled out this form on our website, it sounds like it makes sense for us to at least have a, an authentic business conversation and see if we might be a match.
[00:40:32] Merit: So. If you're open to it. I just ask that you ask me all the tough questions. They'll leave anything on the table. If we're not a match, we'll shake hands, impart friends. Maybe I can point you in the right direction of something that would be a better match. But if we are a good match, then it'll be obvious to us both.
[00:40:49] Merit: And then we can figure out how we might work together. That's about as honest and authentic as you can get. Really, all you wanna do is bring the defense [00:41:00] wall down because remember, they have a closed fist that is their default setting, closed mind. Especially, for the folks that have an online store or a retail store, it's like people like they click on it or they walk in, they want what they want and they wanna get out.
[00:41:16] Merit: And your job is to open them to new possibilities, no different than. Would you like fries with that? Right. I gotta open you to a new possibility that you are not walking outta here with just a burger, so that's that shift in mindset to bring the defense wall down so that they don't have to fight you and protect themselves from being sold, but that they're not afraid that they're open to hearing your ideas. And that's the whole. It
[00:41:45] Mickey: Sounds like you're almost like talking about the elephant in the room right off the bat. It's like disarming them by acknowledging, Hey, like you probably have some tough questions you don't wanna ask.
[00:41:56] Mickey: I'm gonna just let you know. I'm not gonna take it personal. And I'm not here to [00:42:00] sell you.
[00:42:00] Merit: The only slight tweak I'm gonna make to that. Mickey is, my hair stands up on the back of my neck when I hear anybody say, I'm not trying to sell you. Of course you are. Let's stop saying that. yeah, but let's say what's real. There's no benefit in me selling you. There's only a benefit if we mutually select to work with each other. Mm. So all I'm trying to do in this conversation is seeing if there's a good, if we are a good match, if we are it's the next obvious step is for us to work together.
[00:42:31] Merit: If we aren't. then let's not, but I think that I'm not trying to sell you line is old school. That's what we thought and probably worked at some point, but now people, as soon as people hear that they, they know like of, well then why are we on the phone? Like, or why are we, why did we meet? Of course, you're of course you wanna make this sale.
[00:42:54] Merit: And when I go in, I'm just like, look, if it makes sense for us to work together, then I would love to work [00:43:00] with you. And I'm not afraid to say that. The purpose of this conversation is to figure out if we're a good match, if we should do business together.
[00:43:08] Merit: So let's ask and answer all the tough questions and figure that out.
[00:43:13] Mickey: Yes. What a little tweak so powerful. And I'm curious, because you mentioned like the hair standing up on the back of your neck. Cause I know we all have those pet peeves, those things that kind of drive us bonkers, especially in our own industries, me and marketing as well, but I'd love to know what are some of the things that you hear people say in sales conversations that just make, feel the pain?
[00:43:39] Merit: Ah, let's see. definitely that one, anything that just sounds inauthentic to you? Even the little simple things like, you know, press hard, third copy's yours, or right.
[00:43:52] Merit: Like we said, like is Tuesday or Thursday or better, I'll be in your area. Like all that nonsense. I used to I'm so embarrassed about this, but [00:44:00] it used to be in the sales training when I very first got into the business, we used to actually teach people to go into a meeting and not have a pen with them.
[00:44:09] Merit: This was before tablets and taking notes on your phone. How do you not have a pen with you? And you're going like, you're the salesperson like, that's ridiculous. I'm like shame on me for running with that. Strategy, but the idea there was that, they would have to give you a pen and that's the first thing that they've given you.
[00:44:28] Merit: And then they're gonna be in this like, yes trance, like don't ask people questions that yes is the answer to thinking, once you get seven yeses, now they're in this trance, they don't know what's happened. And they're just gonna keep saying yes, like that's ridiculous, like that, that makes no sense at all.
[00:44:44] Merit: There's one other thing that drives me crazy and it relates to the sales and marketing kind of working together as a team, but it drives me crazy when somebody's in a sales conversation and then they say to somebody, well, why don't you check out our website?
[00:44:59] Merit: And it [00:45:00] answers there's our frequently asked questions or da, da, da, like all of our programs are on there. Oh, my God, you are in a conversation. You have a person, don't send them backwards. Marketing is only to open the door so you can have a conversation. That means marketing worked.
[00:45:19] Merit: So don't go backwards and push them back to look at your website or get on your mailing list or anything like that. No, make sure you're asking good questions in that conversation.
[00:45:31] Mickey: I see it in marketing all the time too.
[00:45:33] Mickey: We'll have the desired action we want a customer to take. and yet we flash a whole bunch of distractions that send them elsewhere and it's like the silliest thing I've ever seen, but I've also seen that in sales conversation. And I think sometimes it's because we're afraid to say, we don't know the answer in the moment
[00:45:47] Mickey: where it's that fear of like,
[00:45:48] Mickey: okay, well, if I tell them, I don't know, I'm gonna look like a fool.
[00:45:51] Mickey: So I'm gonna send them to the website where all the answers are instead of admitting that I don't know.
[00:45:57] Merit: That's so silly. Like, first of all, if you don't know [00:46:00] the answer, don't make stuff up. That's probably my personal pet peeve, like yeah. Somebody for directions. And they're like, well, I don't really know, but I think it's like, well then the conversation's over the minute you said you don't know, I have stopped listening to you.
[00:46:14] Merit: Cause I'm not gonna take directions from somebody who doesn't know, but same thing in sales. If you don't know, it's fine to say you don't know, but here's the key. Most people will say, well, I don't know, but I'll find out the answer to you for you and I'll get back to you. If you stop there, you've missed the magic.
[00:46:31] Merit: You wanna say like, well, I'm not sure yet. And I'm certainly gonna go and get that answer for you, but tell me a little bit more why that's important to you. Tell me why you asked that question. You have such an opportunity. I love when people ask me questions, I don't know the answer to.
[00:46:47] Merit: It's that mindset of there. Isn't a single question that anybody's gonna ask that's gonna stump me because I always know that my strategy is to ask them why they ask the question.
[00:46:57] Merit: And so I always have something to keep the [00:47:00] conversation going, something to help me learn more about what their real concerns are. The more I do that. The more of an expert I'm gonna look like, cuz I'm using my expertise to ask good questions, not to dazzle them how smart I am, having all the answers.
[00:47:16] Merit: And then it goes back to don't act as if you've got the right solution for everyone. Ask as if you really do want to know if you're the best match.
[00:47:23] Mickey: I feel like if everyone listening to this podcast right now does that one thing they will completely transform the way sales go down for them. I am so excited to try that out.
[00:47:33] Mickey: Wow. What a powerful tip merit.
[00:47:37] Mickey: For those who are listening and who want to learn more about you learn more about your, frameworks, learn more about your services, where they, where do they go online to
[00:47:45] Merit: find. Yeah. So merit con.com is the main hub. It's M E R I T K A HN. If you put, dot com slash podcast, that'll take you to some free resources.
[00:47:59] Merit: You can take [00:48:00] that SWAT analysis. There's always a let's talk button on the page. So feel free to just grab some time on my calendar, if there's anything that makes sense for us to talk about. I love to speak at events, association conferences, corporate events. I love to work with entrepreneurs and professionals and any of our select sales online or coaching program.
[00:48:20] Merit: So however I can be of service to you. Um, I'm here.
[00:48:24] Mickey: Amazing. Well, thank you so much for your time today. I am so excited to try out all of this. Mainly the mindset shift, I think is the biggest thing. I've always focused so much on the mechanics, but now I can really see that without that foundation, the mechanics are really just not gonna be the thing that does the work of helping this person make the right choice for them.
[00:48:44] Mickey: So thank you so much for today.
[00:48:47] Mickey: Thank you for joining me in another episode of the hustle, less private, more podcast. Thanks to our season one sponsor star pursuit, marketing and communications. You can find show notes and resources. Hustle less profit, more [00:49:00] podcast.com. If you enjoyed the show, don't forget to rate and review us where you get your podcasts.
[00:49:05] Mickey: Join us again. Next time to uncover more of the keys to achieving success. Wealth, fulfillment, and freedom. Thanks for listening.