About Doug Dvorak
Doug is the owner of The Sales Coaching Institute, where he trains clients on sales, sales leadership and digital marketing management. He’s presented to more than half a million people in over 100 countries. His clients include Honda, IBM, Intel, Cisco, Merrill Lynch, Verizon, and many others. He’s also the author of Sales. 3.0, Killer Prospecting, and Build Your Own Brand.
Read the Transcript
This transcript was auto-generated from the original video recording using Otter Voice Meeting Notes. While the transcript has not been human edited, we hope it will still help you to quickly find or reference useful information from the interview.
Welcome to Deliberate Leaders I am your host Allison Dunn, executive coach, owner of Deliberate Directions and founder of the Deliberate Leaders Podcast, where we are dedicated to helping leaders build strong, thriving businesses. Each episode focuses on inspiring interviews to help you on your leadership journey. And our guest today is no different. I am pleased to introduce Doug Dvorak who is joining us here today. He is the owner of the Sales Coach Institute where he trains clients on sales, leadership and digital marketing management. He’s presented to more than a half a million people in over 100 countries which that number just blows my mind. His clients include Honda, IBM, Intel, Cisco, Verizon, and many others and he is the author of several Books, sales 3.0, killer prospecting, and build your own brand. And as a bonus today for all of our listeners, and you get a copy of I’m holding a printout of it, and sales leaders guide to success 12 proven strategies to drive sustainable change and Predictable Revenue in your organization. And I have to tell you, I’m sure a lot of people right now would feel great to have some of those strategies behind them. So thank you very much. It’s your gift. Doug, thanks so much for joining us today.
Thank you, Alison. It’s a high honor privilege to be with you and your audience around the planet.
Thank you very much. Well, I would like to kick off this interview with asking you just having a quick deliberate conversation around what is your number one leadership tip that you’d like to share?
Number one leadership tip I’d like to share is have an understanding of what technology sales enablement, or a marketing automation tool that you can use to automate your sales process and help promote you when you’re sleeping. Technology is so inexpensive today from CRM tools to marketing automation, but if you can find those pieces of that tech stack that works for you, it’s pennies and the ROI is huge. It gives you a reach that we’ve never enjoyed or experienced in the recent future. And this is coming from an enterprise software, a recovering enterprise software sales guy that sold seven figure solutions to manufacturing, it’s now pennies on the dollar. And that that power, that that that automation, that intelligence can really be deployed in a small to medium size environment. Because we are even pre Copa COVID, we were at a tipping point, the five pillars of technology that I see as tsunamis, 5g up to 100 times faster than current 4g, ai, artificial intelligence, big data, elastic cloud, and IoT, the Internet of Things. Those five things if you can take a look at Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, elastic cloud, big data, and IoT, and try to figure out a strategy to leverage those in a tech stack for your business. That’ll reap huge rewards.
Yeah, that’s a great tip in in the coaching that I do, when we’re working with really small business owners, they work so hard to be Craftsman in their area of expertise, and then build the sales and marketing machine and that cattle utilizing innovation technology to leverage that is I’d say the largest opportunity for them to develop as leaders.
Keep the funnel pumping.
Thank you very much. I’m just out of curiosity, do you have a preferred platform that you most often find work successfully for the businesses you kept?
Yes, I was using Sales Force. And then I came across pipe drive. So for the SMB space pipe drive is awesome. It’s $15- $20 a month enterprise license. It’s user friendly. There’s a lot of API’s or bolt ons. So that’s my recommendation for a CRM tool. And then if you can find a marketing automation tool, the one I use is about cost me about $150 a month. It is awesome, but it’s taken myself and my staff out of the day to day It has lead training. So for a CRM, certainly Pipe Drive, Zoho, and I don’t have a financial interest in any of these, but we use Pipe Drive in our marketing automation platform.
Fantastic. Thank you for sharing those tips. I find that if someone has not invested in one yet that exercise of trying to find the right one can be so complicated. And there’s too many choices, frankly.
Yes, they say experiences a great teacher, but the tuition is too high.
That’s right. For sure. I was hoping that we could tap we know I don’t want to say that we’re in a recession. I feel like this is something different than a recession for what we’re you know, the world is experiencing right now. But what would be your number one piece of sales advice that you would like to give people during this Corona COVID period that we’re all in together.
We’re all in together. We’re all being impacted and we are all going to be impacted. I don’t say it the New Normal, it’s the new abnormal. I can’t plan beyond a couple days, let alone what the outcomes will be. But in the context for small business owners, or sales professionals, recognizing it’s a buyers world that in 2019, there were north of 58 billion robo calls perpetuated on Americans. Nobody takes a call from somebody they don’t know and it’s a buyers world. If somebody is purchasing a product or service, they are more than 60% of the time I know enough about you or are researching on Google. What your company’s about they’ve made a decision. So recognize that it’s a buyers world, and that cold calls are dead.
Cold calls are dead.
There’s hot calls and I will talk about hot calls which is research preparation. Three things required before you make a hot call are turning a cold call into a hot call trust rapport and credibility. My point is, the one thing I’m noticing in this COVID world is, it’s a buyers world and people really don’t want to take a phone call if you have established relationships, reach out to them. Sales professionals have a lot of time, as do some small business owners. So reaching out to them making sure they’re safe. And if they do have a need, being sure that you’re not simply a salesperson salespeople are gone. It’s trusted advisors, or subject matter experts that understand their unique business challenges or problems, or they don’t the business owner or the prospect doesn’t understand that. And the sales expert, the trusted advisor can show them an ROI solve a pain that they already have or don’t have.
And I like the terminology trusted advisors, I think sales can have such a negative meaning To block connotation and certainly not with those who are know that they are in sales, but the approach as a trusted advisors because we are all in sales, whether we’d like to think we are or earns. And so as a trusted advisor, let’s switch out that word. And what do you think we’re struggling most with today?
We’re struggling most as in the context of sales professionals. sales professionals is how do we use our time efficiently to drive deals through the funnel to a, yes, I’m interested, whatever that means a logical next step. Because if you’re not moving a deal forward through the process, it’s stalled. And there really is no opportunity. So how do we meaningfully respectfully engage or re-engage with our prospects or customers to have a meaningful discussion about a problem that they’re experiencing? Or that they’re unaware of that we can solve that there’s an ROI Some aspects of value that can be articulated and demonstrated.
And what would you say are some of the most important strategies to be selling in a down-turn?
First and foremost, know your technology. You would be amazed at how many sales professionals think they understand Zoom, GoToMeeting, WebEx, and they don’t. Their online persona. And I know everybody’s working from home now. And I know for all companies, that the new addition to the HR policy is that kids and pets are a lot of work now. But be mindful of your surroundings. suit up and show up professionally. Make sure that you can limit distractions for your customer. So my point is, understand your tools and be ready for primetime when you go virtually via Zoom or any type of video conferencing. It’s a unique skill to learn the technology and to be present and engaged in and not get sloppy, you know, sweatsuit sloppy. We’re still working, we’re still punching a clock and by having that mental mindset and practicing Not in front of clients, but with friends, colleagues, so we’re, we’re really on our game and ready for retail.
And I’ve had, I have an organization that I run a I’m the president of and I run a weekly meeting, and there’s just a few folks that don’t get spatial component of, you know, being able to see your face clearly and you know, not looking at an awkward angle up at you. It does make a big difference about the energy that you can bring to something even though it is just one dimensional for sure. So, I agree with that. Could you share any specific tactics or negotiate tips that work especially well during a recession, and I know that both of those are kind of feels very salesy, but like, you know, we’re, we have to speak differently. I don’t think our common script is going to work as well right now. Would you agree?
So how do we adjust?
So you adjust and I referenced cold calls to hot calls, nobody given robo calls and being tethered to this device. If they’re going to take a call, they want you to be either referred in through a prior contact, some sort of affiliation, but how we do that is research and preparation. And for example, I was making a call on a public company that I saw in the Wall Street Journal, their chief sales officer. It’s a publicly traded company. I bought one share of stock. So I can meaningfully and honestly say that I am a shareholder owner of your company. I have a vested interest in the financial performance and the longevity of your firm. And I use a tool called rocket reach, which gives me their personal email number, mobile number if it is listed, but I do the requisite research by calling the Office of investor relations looking at their 10 k their 10 Q, listening to analysts calls to finding those one or two areas of pain or interest, what’s in their mission statement. And then I have a one page talking brief. And that’s the level of granularity I go to before I send an email or make a phone call. In addition to that, I look in my LinkedIn network and see who’s a first second or third connection. But for public companies that’s been a very useful tool that I’ve used. And then I practice some advice that I was given. I’ve been in professional selling over 30 years. Successful salespeople make a habit of doing things on successful salespeople will not do.
Why would I call nine to five?
These are high powered executives that are probably at their desk at five in the morning or six in the morning. Mix it up, call it 5am 535 45 call on a Friday evening call on a Saturday morning. I called on a Saturday morning to Fortune Brands in Deerfield, Illinois. They own Foot Joy and a number of liquor brands and I got the CEO but doing that requisite research and preparation. And I love what Coco Chanel said. You’ve got to be different to be remembered. It’s not about auto dials the law of large numbers It’s the law of small numbers in this COVID environment, doing research and preparation, going to the website buying a share of stock, right there. And then you’re preventing barriers to entry to the competition and barriers to access for yourself. The herd mentality is going to call her nine to five without buying a share of stock without doing appropriate research. And I’m not get I’m not suggesting get Facebook, crazy stalking, but having enough information to earn the right to have a meaningful engagement, if you should connect.
Super powerful advice. And I think that in the long run the act of being going in unprepared, takes twice as long as the research to be prepared the first time you make.
Well, sure, absolutely.
From the standpoint like I love the fact that you just shared You know, you found a company, you believe in it, you went in about a stock, you really understand the performance of the company to be able to build that relationship potentially, and to have a meaningful conversation. What are so you just mentioned a tool. So I guess my question is, what is your favorite tool to be able to connect and reach with those business to business type organizations? So what’s your favorite Avenue? You mentioned something about rocket, something I could reach first
And foremost is not rocket reach. It’s Google.
Google’s their website.
It’s, you’d be amazed. It’s sort of like Vegas. What happens on the internet stays on the internet. There’s a lot of information. Then I go, my next go to so generic Google search company website, LinkedIn profile. Those are the first three. Then the fourth is rocket reach you put in their name.
It has I think, a 30 day free trial gives you 20 Records. And then it’s like 50 bucks a month. But if I get one meaningful mobile number and email like I did for this chief sales Officer of a $2 billion company, it pays itself back in space. So generic Google search company, website, LinkedIn, and then rocket reach.
Okay, cool, great tips. And I always think LinkedIn is the quickest way to connect. But honestly, 100% of the time, I still go to Google and search and it’s you sometimes skip the steps that you’re naturally doing. So it makes sense.
I’m senior executives are decoupling are getting off LinkedIn, because it’s simply a nuisance. They see no business value there.
And do you feel that way?
I feel that yes. I feel that C level VP director, they’re going to have their generic stuff on there. But they’re not going to really update it.
Okay, I think I think that’s fair.
I’m not a broad brush but it’s a new nuisance for a lot of him and nobody needs another channel to be contacted.
I am not appreciating the level of new inbound cold direct cell type messaging, you know, I’m very relational. So if we’re going to connect and do that, I don’t want you to sell me after we connect ever. Like that just does not feel good. And I don’t like it. But I can see how that could be a challenge. So let’s say a lot of people are still using LinkedIn as their primary source of making that initial connection is there like a best strategy on how to make that engagement work to their benefits?
Oh, revert to Coco Chanel. You gotta be different to be remember. So the best calling card I have is not my business card. It’s my book, my books, my eight books and I don’t share that to be Cavalier or braggadocious. I’ll send a personal book, FedEx signature required, that’s a $30 investment $35. But if their signature recording, I don’t do that in mass.
But for those strategic relationships, if I find a as this chief executive, it was digital transformation in the context of a sales process. I printed out one of my white papers on digital transformation.
I put a little post it I read on your profile that and I quote her and then I put it right in the white paper, and I send it to them FedEx signature required.
That’s been so impactful for me. But the precursor to that is, I’m not a mile wide and an inch deep. I’m very strategic and focused on my organization on digital transformation, and solving sales leadership problems. So if I find that digital transformation is important to them, or a key aspect of that, I will send them a book signature required, but I don’t hear back for them. And I have their email address, I sent a $10 Digital Starbucks gift certificate 30 days after. So that’s all I try to separate myself from the herd mentality.
And I look at receiving someone’s book that has been signed by the author as like a treasure. So that’s excellent. I’m curious, do you know what your conversion rate is on your kind of multiple steps that you have? Would you be willing to share how That can be.
Sure it’s, it’s 10 to 10 to eight to 10%.
But if you look at that relative to other metrics and data on email opens and whatever, that’s huge.
If I just get one or two of those a quarter, that’s meaningful, impactful revenue, meaningful, impactful revenue, and it’s not that difficult. Now we’re all cash strapped if we’re in sales today and budgets have been cut. But if you can be really surgically precise in the research, and the approach strategy to these executives or to your high level, a prospects I’m not saying D and C level, a level and you do four of those a month. That’s 125 bucks, that’s 15 grand, and you send out approximately 45 to 50 of those. And even if you get a 3% hit, that’s huge.
Sales is the highest paying hard work in the lowest paying easy work.
So well said, That’s so true.
You have written on how to build it, build your own brand, building a brand. And I’m just curious, I’d like to just pick your brain a little bit on your thoughts and strategies on that digital marketing branding component of it. What are some of the specific activities in general that you suggest individuals need to do to build their brand and their company’s brand online?
First, Google yourself.
There could be some dirt out there and I mean, that very seriously. There could be something out there on toward or something. So Google yourself and your company and if there’s some bad reviews, solve the issue but clean up your own backyard first if there’s anything to be cleaned up on here, and then it’s really the moniker of sales rep is going away. Its sales strategist, trusted advisor, consultant. And I don’t think it’s really a play on words. If you are indeed a subject matter expert, and are have a depth and understanding of what it is you’re selling the industry you’re selling to. That’s where the real brand building is not being an agnostic or a generalist being, pick a lane and commit to it. So being an expert, however you define them or can achieve them. Secondly, have a good website. Have a digital presence that starts with a good website, not something you buy for $200 from GoDaddy or Wix, you can get a great website for $1000 or less. So get a great website, understand what keywords and phrases people are typing in to find people like you your expertise, your product or service. And then once you build your website, hire an SEO professional search engine optimization, and then build out some good content can start with a 250 word blog, then it can go to a white paper, then it can go to a book, value, value value, and then have the ability through a marketing automation tool to capture that data and have an automated email drip. So number one, be an expert. Number one, Google yourself, make sure there’s no attrition negative information out there. Number two, create a digital presence. Build a website, optimize that website, search engine optimization, create some good meaningful content that speaks to your expertise that solves a problem and add some white papers, and then just give it time.
All really good tips. Are you a fan of paying for the spot until you into actually achieve the search rankings on Google?
I’m not a huge fan of pay per click. I am a huge fan of organic search. Let me tell you why. If you received a Fitness magazine, and it had a heart medication ad that was sponsored, paid for by the pharma company, on this page, and you had written by a cardiologist, which one are you going to trust, not the paid ad. So my point is I focus on an organic SEO strategy for my keywords and phrases. And then I look at peak times during the year that I augment my organic search about 10% four times a year on those peak peaks worth I know they’re buying. So if they’re speakers, their general, hiring a speech speaker or a breakout presenter, it’s August. Anyway, July, August, September for the following year. So in for 2021 speakers, facilitators like you and I, I augment the organic search in the late summer, early fall. Okay, I’m not a I’m not a huge fan because you can burn through dollars and cents before you know it. Organic is the best strategy but it takes time.
It does take time I always get so frustrated. I spent a lot of time ensuring that our search results are organic for business. Through what we’re what we’re writing in the content we’re creating, and, you know, I go online today and there’s 18 episodes. You know, before you get to I’m the number one search, you know, naturally, but then it’s bookended by all these people paying for the position. It makes me sad. I don’t know if the general public actually sees that the natural one is, is organic and where to find that. But maybe there maybe they do. I don’t know.
I think more people than you might imagine, they see that ad. They migrate to the organic. I don’t know the exact number but they trust organic search more than ads, but it’s, it’s a crowded space.
It sure is. So can we talk a little bit about cold calling. We’ve kind of touched on it a little bit. I have, you know, I don’t know what most offices do but my phone rings from my desk to my home over the last couple of weeks. And I’ve had one organization who is repeatedly called me six or seven times a day. And it’s the only one so there’s one in the whole world. That is probably called me 150 times over the last month and a half. Which I think is interesting. I’ve ignored them all because I have been annoyed by it at this point.
Should we be cold calling or should we be cold calling?
To be quite candid, I think cold calling is dead. Okay.
Cold calling is dead. And I don’t cold call anymore. I reach out to some strategic partners on LinkedIn. All of my efforts are on my digital marketing engine. And that’s not going to work for some, but if you go back to our earlier discussion, I think it is appropriate for a hot call researcher preparation, that you do the appropriate level of research because in the end, it just saves time. And it increases the potential for actually reaching that purchase person and creating a meaningful engagement. So, the law of large numbers cold calling dead, the law of small numbers, hot calling, research preparation. There is a lane for that and doing it off hours early morning late, not late at night, but after five Saturday mornings, you never know. But I think there is a an area for warm calling and hot calling not for cold calling.
How many dials did you make today?
Made 100 dials.
You know that’s so you know, old school, old school. It’s old school.
Can I ask you just for just kind of Peel the layers back on. So you’ve done the research, you’ve identified someone who you’re eager to have a conversation with, you’ve done your legwork. And so you pick up a very, you know, with the intention of connecting with that person, how, what is your purpose, when you get that person on the phone for you.
My purpose is a to be kind see to be relevant.
And just being a nice person, but getting to the point. And that would be, you know, articulating that I’m a shareholder I saw on your LinkedIn profile, or your annual report or when I listen to the playback of the analyst call you were quoted that an area of growth or pain for you is digital transformation, specifically in how do we train up our sales professionals, all 200 to sell virtually now. So be nice, be kind establish some sort of trust rapport and credibility quickly. And then ask the question, after you’ve presented the information and see if it’s relevant, they might be in a bad space, they might have missed their quarterly numbers. And if it’s not a good time, can we schedule a zoom call? Or can we schedule a time? It sounds like you’re busy, but being kind being relevant and having some sort of next step. Sometimes they say, No, I’m not interested, then maybe I’ll sign them up, but I’ll have to, but I’ve increased my chances of hitting a triple versus striking out if I do the research and preparation, and I’m not talking hours. I’m talking 1520 minutes on an A level prospect.
Testing. Okay, so you’re so you go in with the intent of being able to kindly and quickly and concisely I’d have a brief conversation to either get a yes or no answer essentially from them.
Yeah. And being informed earning right. earning the right because I’m informed about their business as best I can be.
Yeah. Yeah. Fantastic.
And it takes five to eight touches to get someone, then it takes five to 10 touches once you’ve touched them originally, if they’re interested to make a sale, that could be 10 to 25 touches. But I’d rather go No, no quicker. I want to know no quicker. I don’t want to chase a ghost waste my time or their time.
Yeah, I’m a big fan of getting to know fast right? Like if this if this is of no interest to you. That is perfectly okay. You know. I want to know, yeah, that’s awesome. So we’re in this position. Like no sales meetings aren’t happening from face to face. We can’t. We’re just in a new paradigm shift at this moment at this moment in time. What would you say that sales are trusted advisors people should be doing to do successful follow up in the fact that they can’t just drop in or, and go and meet someone.
So my daily mantra is what three major things and my wife is, is practicing that all also not in a business context. But what three meaningful things have I accomplished today, meaningful, and with all this time, make sure you have some reflect in terms if it’s a buyers world, and nobody’s picking up the phone, make sure that I have a best of breed, technology, stack. content, white papers, work on me work on your business, because you’re not going to have this time again. That’s the one piece of advice I’d give, polished and perfect. The process if you don’t have a process, get a defined process, or hire a business coach like yourself to look at the processes, what can I automate? Where can I cut out fat? What can I really do better? So once we get through this, and we will get through this, we will get through this, how can I be that much better? That’s what I would recommend.
And in the, in the beginning of our interview, we were talking about how you know, people are showing up on Zoom and maybe not being fully aware of their environment. So, what are the key things that would say that you’ve seen that from a business etiquette standpoint can’t slide any further that people should not be doing in a virtual context.
First and foremost, lighting in front of you, not behind you?
I’ve had Zoom calls where I’ve seen the white light of karma and I couldn’t see them. Yeah. So just good optics good visuals, organized background and understand so lighting, cadence, presence and practice that with your spouse or significant other, but really understand the technology. How can I share a screen? How can I use green screen now if you’re using Zoom?
if you have an Apple, they’ve got virtual green screen, you can have the clients logo behind you. If not for 50 bucks on Amazon, you can buy your own green screen.
I would, I would say understand the studio, understand your presentation style and be engaging Understand the technology and just practice.
Awesome, very good tips. I just learned that at the dollar store, you can get one of those plastic table clothes. And if you put that on the wall behind you that provides a good backdrop to a green screen and it’s about not $50 on Amazon. So quick fix does not have to be expensive and I’m sure that the dollar store probably still has them.
So, that’s a great suggestion. Thank you. Yeah,
Yeah, you bet. Um, all right. So we are giving our listeners a copy of your book you’re a sales leader guide to success. Hmm. What is a tip or two or component that you really would encourage people to reach out to grab a copy?
I would encourage you it’s a great read. It speaks about sales compensation, sales process, automation, coaching. And I would say that your if you are a sales leader Your team needs you now more than ever. They need motivation, encouragement, a shoulder to cry on at times, but they need support. These are unprecedented times. And I would also encourage you, I ascribed to a hiring philosophy which is this. A is higher A’s, B’s higher seas and C’s puts you out of business. If you don’t have a team of A players, look at training up your C’s to bees and bees to a sometimes you just got to cut bait. If you’ve given them a chance, but up your team coach them up using this time so that when you can go out on the sales field, you can be that much more effective.
Yeah, that’s and I think that that is exceptional advice. Just want to make sure that our listeners understand that will be available right there on our podcast. To link to be able to snag and download your copy. And although I have not read it, I will openly admit that it’s a solid, hundred and 50 or so pages. So there’s a lot of content in there with some good direction and guidance. So thank you very much for that generous offer. Doug. Thank you. So, besides, besides your own books, what’s your favorite book on sales?
My favorite book on sales? I’ll show you. Okay. It was given to me by a sales trainer 30 years ago by James Allen As a Man Thinketh
My favorite book too!
So I took it because it’s over 100 years old. It’s not copyrighted. I reworked as a man thinketh so I’m going to give you this as well in a digital copy for your audience. Then a very close friend of mine Christine Corral, took As a Man Thinketh and interpreted for women.
So to answer your question directly 35 years ago As a Man Thinketh, the first sales training seminar I went to by Dan Bryden Associates, a copy of that book was placed on my chair. It changed my life. So this right here, yeah,
That is one powerful, powerful read. So I’m excited that that I can share that as well. Awesome. What sales trainers Do you follow?
I followed early on Zig Zigler, Tom Hopkins, they and I saw Zig present like 25-30 years ago, I saw Tom Hopkins and then Joe Gerard, the Guinness Book of World Records. Number one retail salesperson on the planet. I just spoke to Joe about a year ago. He’s Still training. So those were the three that really impacted me. And I think their information is as meaningful. Then now as it was then, so those are the three that I go back to when I need a dose of clarity or inspiration.
Yeah, excellent. Doug, for our listeners are Idaho listeners. You’re right here in Idaho, correct?
I am, yeah. Beautiful. Donnelly, Idaho, where my world headquarters is population 163.
Oh, that’s awesome. Doug reached out to me on LinkedIn, which is how we’ve gotten connected and we are here today. So for those of you who are doing some groundwork and research, you can reach a lot of amazing people if you use the tools and do it in a thoughtful and a thoughtful kind way. So and, Doug, what is the best way for people to learn more about you and what would you prefer that they connect to if they’d like when they were sure sales coach.us or I’m a I’m still a phone guy. My mobile number is 847-359-6969. So sales coach.us there is over 15 downloadable white papers for free on every aspect of selling the sales process and coaching. Reach out to me directly 847-359-6969.
Excellent Doug and a wealth of information you’ve shared today. It’s been a pleasure to have a meaningful conversation about sales and the digital aspects of how we could improve our own processes. So thank you very much.
And I’ll leave you with this. Let’s have some more fun because if you don’t have fun, this could happen to you. There once was a man who never romped nor played. He never smoked, never drank, nor even kissed a maid and when he often passed away, like Life Insurance was denied. For since he never lived, they claimed he never died. Do some more live and we’ll get through this COVID.
And with that, that’s a wrap. So much done. So yeah, thank you. Bye.