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Nov 28, 2017

Victor Antonio, speaker, author, online educator, and podcaster, is a sales guru whose teachings apply to everyone from large corporations to small-business entrepreneurs. Today on the EO Podcast, Victor gives invaluable advice on the importance of your “hero story,” connecting with your prospective clients, and giving your client 3 pricing options. Tune-in to learn how avoid making common sales mistakes...and to avoid making an “ass” out of your prospects.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:08 – Spoke on how we are selling our entire lives for a company called Plexis
  • 02:30 – Likes to speak with humor, motivation, and applicable content
  • 02:44 – Pattern: Drops content then gives audience a break with a story
  • 02:50 – We are all in a baby you cry to sell your mom on the idea that you’re hungry, when you get older it’s to get what you want (begging, bargaining)
  • 03:50 – How do you add humor, motivation, and content at the same time?
  • 03:55 – Song: “Delta Dawn” by Patsy Cline sung with his audience: Know your audience
  • 04:15 – People relate to the song and engage
  • 05:00 – Video clips under “Sales Influence” on YouTube or or
  • 06:55 – Raised in tough Chicago environment, B.S. Electrical Engineer, MBA, ran sales and marketing team for a $420 million business, VP of International sales for $3 billion company, went off as speaker, author of 12 books, online educator (250 courses), hosted TV show called “Life or Debt,” podcast called “Sales Influence”
  • 08:07 – His content still applies to entrepreneurs of small businesses despite his large corporate history
  • 08:22 – What a lot of people are doing wrong
  • 08:42 – The pitch/presentation: 95% of sales people are horrible at positioning a product
  • 09:25 – The presentation isn’t thought out and doesn’t connect
  • 09:50 – Position product/service/value correctly to close more deals effectively/quickly and advance further into the buying cycle
  • 10:12 – Doesn’t connect: Presentations discuss company/mission/product
  • 11:30 – Customer doesn’t care, they have a problem and want it solved
  • 11:50 – Mistake is talking about self; you should open with something that resonates with client and describe their problem and its impact to the business
  • 13:05 – Get into “3 major pain points” (problems) at the beginning of your presentation and empathize with customer
  • 13:43 – The first 5 minutes are to frame their problem
  • 14:20 – No asking questions to the client in the beginning, reference to book “Spin Selling” by Niel Rackham and “Consultative Selling” by Mack Hanan from the 80s
  • 14:41 – Books discuss asking questions, the investigative process
  • 14:56 – The internet has changed everything, people know what they want, so you don’t have to spend the first 5 minutes asking questions anymore like you did before
  • 15:24 – If you are a trusted advisor, you know your stuff and should go in and get into it
  • 15:55 – Ask clarifying questions if needed but don’t make it the basis of your presentation (conversation vs interrogation)
  • 16:50 – “The Challenger Sale” by Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon
  • 17:25 – Taking the customer one step beyond/better than what they think the solution is
  • 18:05 – History: Neil Rackham did study where he interviewed 10,000 sales reps and he came up with “Spin Model”
  • 18:26 – What’s the situation, let’s find out, figure out the problem, see implications for customer, then discover the need payoff (how it will benefit you the customer)
  • 19:02 – “The Challenger Sale” is another study on sales for post-internet times, forward is by Neil Rackham (recommended read)
  • 20:00 – “The Challenger Sale” supports a lot of what Mack Hanan said in “Consultative Selling”
  • 20:20 – What customers want from you is insight: Information beyond the obvious
  • 20:30 – Tell them something they don’t know, that shifts their perspective, that they haven’t thought about
  • 21:00 – Make the client think
  • 21:25 – When to bring in the solution
  • 21:38 – Shameless self-promotion– building the hero story as part of your presentation
  • 22:45 – Hero comes in at the worst moment to bring everything back up for the customer
  • 23:15 – Tell customer their story, then bring in the event (new regulation/competition, for example) that has created a negative impact in these ways (1,2,3) for business (emotional drowning)
  • 24:14 – Then present your solution when the customer is ready to listen to you as how it will change their business
  • 25:00 – Build enough pain on the front end (empathy) so customer is ready to listen to how you can help
  • 26:17 – Tips: Nudge, don’t push, 3 different pricing models (Goldilocks approach), fable of the donkey (keep things simple)
  • 26:40 – Study on tips at a restaurants
  • 26:48 – When should pricing come up on a sales call
  • 26:54 – What to do when a prospect put you back on price
  • 27:03 – How do we take above tips and input them into the structure described above
  • 27:32 – Nudge, don’t push: People don’t want to be pressured into buying. Influence, position, and advance your customer through the sale through a good story
  • 31:24 – When do you bring up pricing in a sales call?
  • 31:42 – When you present, customer wants to know the cost, but sales people will keep telling what their offering
  • 32:38 – Present price early (within 15-20 minutes) to calm the customer’s mind because they’re thinking that throughout the presentation
  • 33:07 – “Let’s talk about pricing, depending on what you want, you could be paying between x and x, but I won’t know until I’m clear on what you want.”
  • 33:50 – Conversation dynamic shift: You plant price, but now you are adding value to the price throughout the presentation as you tell what the price includes
  • 34:24 – Customer mindset becomes open to listening to you
  • 34:37 – Cheeseburgers
  • 34:55 – Customer knows a price range and you give solutions
  • 35:04 – “Based on your company, here are the 3 options” and give low-med-high options
  • 35:40 – Brain will always shift towards cheaper options with two options but with 3, the brain goes for the one in the middle (safest bet)
  • 36:30 – by offering the most expensive option, 10-20% will still go towards the most expensive because they want the best
  • 36:46 – Present 3 options
  • 37:28 – Prospect pushback when you offer a proposal
  • 38:00 – “Discounting Countermeasures” episode in “Sales Influence” podcast
  • 38:40 – Discounting is never the way to go
  • 39:30 -  People don’t like giving things up “The Endowment Effect,” take out things then re-present the price
  • 40:00 – Give the client the same proposal and tell them to take out what they don’t want
  • 40:20 – People will hesitate to take thing off because they are afraid they might need it
  • 40:35 – If a deal “goes dark” it’s because the hero story/message wasn’t compelling enough
  • 40:50 – The “Value Trinity:” People care about 3 things: increase my revenue, reduce my cost, expand my market share
  • 41:20 – Your hero story should provide value to one or all of the 3 things
  • 43:12 – Give the information that they can relay up the food chain as a trusted advisor/expert with a solution not just a product
  • 43:50 – Most sales require 7 signatures or a committee decision: Fable of the donkey
  • 44:05 – Eliminating confusion and keeping it simple allows for easy decision-making
  • 44:11 – Donkey between hay bales can’t decide which to eat “Buridan’s Ass Paradox” so it just dies of hunger
  • 44:10 – It’s not what you sell, it’s how you sell it, present it, and position it because many people are selling the same thing
  • 46:46 – What is your favorite book that you’ve written?
  • 46:57 - “The Sales Psycho: Inside the Mind of a Serial Seller” cool story
  • 47:10 – The Sales Mastery Academy” access courses and books
  • 47:47 – All contact information on

3 Key Points:

  1. Your presentation should connect with the customer; provide a solution to their problem through your “hero” story.
  2. It’s not what you sell it’s how you sell it.   
  3. Always give 3 pricing options.

Resources Mentioned: