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Ronda Anderson – Advices to be a more powerful sales person

Transcript of the interview of Ronda Anderson

David Laroche: I would love to focus on sales. Do you some advice and tips on how to be more powerful when you sell something? Let's imagine that I will go back to the States and I will sell my sales speeches to CEOs, for example.
According to you, what can I do and how can I learn to be impactful when I do that?

Ronda Anderson: We're assuming that you're going to be the sales person and you're going to sell your sales speeches to the CEOs. There are two things I would be doing simultaneously.
First of all, I would get a sense of what CEOs I want to speak to. So I would do some market research to discover the CEOs that I want to speak to and why I want to speak to those CEOs.
Especially if you're developing that skill, the narrower your target, the tighter your focus, the faster you can develop the skill. And then, again, you can expand the range once these initial skills develop.
So you want to sell your speeches. You've got speeches. You have to have a good sense of who you are and what you're about. You're clear about that. Never leave that spot. Never step out of your clarity about who you are and what value you're contributing. That is your base of power.
Power is a result of clarity, congruency, and commitment. So clarity, congruency, and commitment give you personal power. Once you're standing in your power and you're clear about the targets you want to hit, that's the internal game.
“I want to talk to this CEO because this is the kind of organization they run which tells me that they must be aligned philosophically with my message or, at least, in very close range; and I know they belong to this organization and that organization and they donate to this charity.”
So you do the research, right?
“It's not only who I want to speak to but why I want to speak to them. What is the value, I believe, I could potentially contribute to them and why do I think they have an ear to hear me?”
All that tightens your message and gives you that clear direct line because you're being who you are talking to who they are about you could come together and create exponential value.

David Laroche: So when you sell, you ask a lot of questions. What kind of questions do you ask?

Ronda Anderson: One of the primary questions I always ask is what I just said: Where are you trying to get to? Where are you now? And what's standing in the way?
That's the whole game right there. And if I'm reading you accurately, one of the things that you're really good at is building a bridge between where somebody is right now and where they want to go.
You don't walk around with a magic wand bestowing self-confidence on people. You don't have that power.
But you do have the power of teaching people how to find a place in them, and then build that out into where they want to go. And that bridge is self-confidence. That's a brilliant sales process right there.
As a sales person, what's your goal? Where are you right now? What's in the way? How do I build a bridge between where you are and where you want to go with a company or an organization?
And so, whatever you tell me the obstacles are, then, I'm going to ask more questions. It's not like there's a certain set of questions; it's whatever questions that let you get clear, that you're sure, and that you're in agreement about where they want to go, and that where they want to go is possible. And you're in agreement about what some of the obstacles are.

When I say “agreement,” I don't mean you agree, “Yes, that's an obstacle for you,” but that you're clear that you both understand, “This is an obstacle,” and that understanding is the same understanding because you can't fix a problem they don't know they have.

David Laroche: So you ask the company or the CEO what obstacles they have and why they're not succeeding in that.

Ronda Anderson: Yes, why you're not moving as fast as you want to move or why you're not able to move at all.
But here's the key: The lens you're listening through is what makes the difference.
You spoke earlier with Paul Lemberg. The lens he listens through is strategies and tactics, right? He’ll listen for the strategies and tactics and things that can get moved and shifted because that's his gift. That's what he has to contribute.
You would be listening from a different lens. You would be listening for, “In what way are the obstacles he's describing really a matter of self-confidence and personal power on the part of his employees?”
Remember I said that you have to stay firmly in your own power base and in the clarity of who you are and what you're offering. It's because when you're listening through that lens, you understand whether or not there's something you can contribute.
Here's the biggest fallacy about sales: A sales conversation and a sales process is not designed to get a “yes.” It's designed to discover whether or not there's mutual benefit.
And get a clear answer at the end whether it's “yes” or “no.”
So when you're listening to that CEO describe the obstacles through the lens of “how can I, David Laroche, contribute and clear some of these obstacles?” if you don't see a way, then, it means you can't and they're not the client for you. And no sale is a good outcome, right?
David Laroche: Yes, I think so. You have their goal and who they are now. You have the obstacles they have and what you can do for them. How do you close it?

Ronda Anderson: By the way, in the question asking, not only are you data mining for information for yourself but you are also asking the right questions that open doors in their own minds.
So when I'm asking questions about their goals, I want to understand their goals and I want to keep asking questions until they start talking about the goals that hit an emotional response because I need them to be emotionally connected to what they say they want.
And I need to be assessing whether or not they really want that because, again, just like it's hard for people to be confident when they have no clear goal, they're not going to be motivated to take action because they have no clear goal, if you have a CEO who says, “These are the outcomes of the results I want,” and there's no emotional attachment to it and it's just like reading a laundry list, it's going to be hard to get them to make a decision which means “yes” or “no” on the sale.
And even if you got a “yes” from them, it will be almost impossible to get them to create any change in their organization because they're not emotionally attached to what they say they want.
So part of the questioning is to get them to be emotionally attached to that which they say they want.
So when I say, “We both agree that this is the goal,” that means we're both clear: “Yes, I really want this. This really is the result I'm attached to.”
Then, when we're asking the questions about the obstacles, we're finding out which are the ones that have the emotional attachment.
If you've asked good questions and your questions are seeding the ways that you can help, it's almost a no-brainer at the end. Then, it's as simple as, “Okay, if I could show you a way to get this and eliminate that, is it something that you would be interesting in doing?”
That's Question #1: Do you believe there's a way to do this?
If they say “yes,” they believe there's a way to do it, then, the second question is, do you believe I'm the guy who can help you?
And that's where having stood in your own personal power the whole time pays off in spades because it's not enough for them to believe that this can be done. They have to believe that you are the guy who can deliver it.

David Laroche: So you ask that?

Ronda Anderson: Totally.

David Laroche: Do you think they can say “no”?

Ronda Anderson: Absolutely! And if they don't believe you can do it, why would you want to work with them?

David Laroche: Yes.

Ronda Anderson: That's a hard mountain to climb. And I've made those mistakes. I have been building sales teams and turning around struggling sales teams and working with business owners and entrepreneurs for 25 years. I have done my share of tilting at windmills.
And I can tell you that while you can still go in there and produce a result, it doesn't last after you're gone if you didn't have complete buy-in from the beginning.
So I'm a good a sales person as they come, and I can go in there and sell my services. And I can, then, make something happen. But I know that once I leave, things will backslide if I haven't shifted the person at the top along with me, if I haven't shifted the organization culture along with me, and if there isn’t really buy-in from top to bottom that this is where we want to go.
David Laroche: Great! I love that.

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