You can sell so much more when you connect to your clients on a human level: it’s all about building prospect relationships.
This week on INSIDE Inside Sales, Darryl is joined by Live it, Love it, Sell it‘s sales and business consultant extraordinaire, Jules White. Darryl and Jules discuss how you can leverage your unique human proposition to not only make more sales but also create a trusted relationship with your prospects that will see them continue to give you their business for years to come. They also share tips and advice on how using empathy, simply listening, and giving yourself permission to go off-script can help you to both control the conversation and let your clients add value. Unlock the secrets to greater success through your unique human proposition on this episode of INSIDE Inside Sales!
Host: Darryl Praill, VanillaSoft
Guest: Jules White, Live it Love it Sell it
Darryl Praill: So it’s another week folks, how you doing? You know, this week I wanna talk a little bit about something that’s near and dear, we’ve talked about it before. Yes you’re getting tired of hearing me talk about it, but yes, you’re right, I’m gonna talk about it anyway. I’m not gonna let it go. And it’s a whole idea. I use the context of your personal brand. But we’re not really talking personal brand per se, right now, it is cause and effect, that will be overlap here. What I wanna talk about is just your personal brand in the context of who you are as a person. All right, so, and that does spill over to your personal brand, but it also spills over into your customers and your prospects.
Darryl Praill: So, I’ll give you an example. You may not know this. Try not to be shocked when I tell you this, but I am sometimes an opinionated person. I know, hard to believe. It’s true, though. In fact, if you go on Twitter, my Twitter handle is @ohpinion8ted. Now it’s spelled completely different because you know, that’s the actual word opinionated was taken even when I did it years and years and years ago. But it’s there. And, so let me ask you this question. Why do you think I went on Twitter, and actually grabbed a very convoluted spelling of the word opinionated? It was because of a couple of reasons, and I’m gonna explain them to you now. And I’m gonna explain this to you, cause I want you to think about what this means to you. And I wanna be clear in this. I’m not saying I’m right, but I am gonna say this has worked for me.
Darryl Praill: One of the things that I got beat up on often in my younger year, so like a year ago, right? Was that I, you know, I maybe rubbed people the wrong way. I was maybe pushy. I maybe had strong convictions around what I thought to be right or wrong. And that candidly, worked against my progression, that worked against my success, a lot, you know? And as a young individual, I didn’t get it. I didn’t get like, how could they not see this? This is clear. It’s about when I say it’s black is black and white is white and no, there is no gray. And they were like, “Well, Darryl, sometimes there is gray, and you need to be more gray, less black, less white.” I would get annoyed. And I would get annoyed for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was a moral issue or an integrity issue. Maybe it was a factual statement around our solutions capabilities, the can and cannot do. Maybe it was a statement around pricing and the proposal.
Darryl Praill: So they understood, I wanted them to go in eyes wide open. And when other people would try to misrepresent, cause they were trying to close the deal, get that transaction attitude, their quota attainment so they can go to president’s club, I would get annoyed with that. I would say it was wrong. We would add features to our product set that were a reaction to an individual who was just a squeaky wheel, but it wasn’t strategic at all. And people would kowtow to that person. They would actually put the feature in, at the expense of other features that our users did want, but there were no squeaky wheels because that’s just how they were wired. I would argue with them, and I would say that’s wrong, that’s wrong. Are you going to placate that individual and take this company off course? Or are you gonna speak to the market opportunity?
Darryl Praill: I would do that in sales. I would talk about the actual, you know, the process we go through, understanding all of the buyers. I would push back on what our value props were, what our differentiators were. I had an opinion. How many of you right now are sitting there right now saying, “Preach it, brother, preach it because we’re there too. We’re with you. Power to truth,” right? That’s what I do. Here’s the thing: it did bite me in the ass, over and over again. And it cost me opportunities, it cost me deals, it cost me promotions, it cost me career progression, it cost me income. And then I realized that it wasn’t that I was wrong; it was that I wasn’t humanizing my approach. So what it was a matter of, was me embracing this as who I am, me trying to set the stage with my colleagues, my prospects, my partners, and say, listen, just so you know, this is my style.
Darryl Praill: But if I do this, it’s because I’m fighting for the little man, I’m fighting for you. I’m fighting for equality and fairness. And sometimes it doesn’t work, and somebody’s got to be a squeaky wheel. So when I speak to you, I’m gonna speak direct to you, so we don’t have any innuendos. We don’t have any miscommunications. And you and I, we’re gonna get to an understanding very quickly and get to resolution and get you what you want. Are you okay with that? Do you buy into this approach? And of course, they’re gonna say, “Yes, yes they do.” Because that’s all we want, right? And so what I did was, I turned my weakness around to my strength. Now I’ll be candid with you. It’s not always my strength. Sometimes it still bites me in the ass, but that’s okay. Because now if it bites me in the ass, just because I had read the play wrong. Everybody knows who I am. They know my style.
Darryl Praill: And as I’ve aged, I’ve learned to polish the rough edges off my delivery. I’ve refined my pitch. So I’ve kind of come down a little bit, in my harshness and my directness, and I’ve communicated the reason I’m doing this is cause I’m championing them. I’m making sure they get exactly what they want. I’m making sure that they have success. That you and I working together, are actually on the same page, because who doesn’t get tired of all the BS and all the miscommunications. What I have done is I’ve humanized my approach. And that has had a positive effect on my brand, and that has had a positive effect on my results. And people have learned to trust me and value me, and they know when I speak, I’m doing it not because I’m trying to get that quota, get that transaction, go to president’s club. They’re doing it because I’m trying to do the right thing. And because of that, I’m here today. So that’s what I’ve learned. My brand has coincided with my delivery, and I’ve taken my weaknesses, and I’ve turned it into a strength. And I’ve done iteratively through a little bit of refinement in me and a little bit of setting those expectations with the person I’m interacting with.
Welcome Jules White
Darryl Praill: And I realized so many of you sales professionals out there are in the exact same boat I was in years ago. And you know, you’re doing the right thing, but perhaps your approach is not right. Perhaps you are treating them as a transaction. Perhaps you’re a little self-involved. Perhaps you’re not meeting the prospect where they are. Perhaps they don’t know how to communicate with you, and it’s a stylistic thing. So, what I think you need to do, is I think you need to better learn and better understand your unique human proposition. Your UHP, not a USP, because you’re gonna do the USP no matter what, the selling is gonna happen. But what’s your unique human proposition? Guess what folks, there’s an expert out there who speaks exactly to the unique human proposition. She is incredible. Her name is Jules White. She is an award-winning speaker. She’s a sales coach. She’s been onstage everywhere, TEDx loves her. She’s a bestselling author of “Live it, Love it, Sell it.” She is amazing. She’s coming at us today from the United Kingdom. She looks smashing. She’s stunning, she’s in her kitchen, and she’s taking time out of her schedule to talk to us today about developing your UHP. Jules, how you doing?
Jules White: Oh, hello, Darryl. I love that. I’ve just been listening to you and taking it all in. How amazing, I love it.
Darryl Praill: And what you don’t know, I mentioned already that she’s a rock star. She’s got her own podcast, that is amazing. It’s called “The Human Conversation” Podcast, go subscribe. Some of her guests are questionable. I will not deny that. I may have been on it. I may have not stopped talking at length. And the episode with Jules and I are on “The Human Conversation” podcasts, all right. And you can all find that on her website, liveitloveitsellit.co.uk. You’ll see the links there. We actually go into detail, pros, and cons on scripts. Should you use them? Are they good? Are they bad? And we didn’t necessarily agree. We didn’t disagree, but we didn’t necessarily agree. We had a healthy conversation, and most of the feedback on that episode was around that conversation around scripts. So check it out if you have an opinion of scripts, subscribe, because she’s awesome.
Darryl Praill: Jules, tell us a bit about you. You’re all about the human conversation, the, you know, unique human proposition as I get tongue-tied, everything cause I’m in front a celebrity folks. Everything about you is the human thing. So talk to me. What was the catalyst for this for you? Why did you come up with this? How has it been received? What benefits can people achieve if they employ what you say? Just give me the 50,000-foot view.
Jules White: Okay, I think it’s definitely come from 30 plus years in sales, and I’ve worked in lots of different industries and sectors and probably had the most sales training that anyone has ever had in the world, as you can imagine, over that time. Different formats, different methodologies, this is how you do it, this is the process, the scripts. And when I looked back at my career in sales, I hit every target I was ever given. I exceeded targets. I was a really successful salesperson. And I kept thinking to myself, but I’m not doing anything that these guys were training me to do. I was literally taking the training. There might’ve been a few little bits, you know, that were quite useful, but then I’d go out, I completely ignore that, and I’d just be Jules White.
Jules White: And I was chatting, and I was curious, and asking questions, and stepping into the world of the buyer, you know. And when I really looked at all of this, over all those years, I thought, I need to create a methodology that allows us to realize what sales is truly about. And it was all coming back down to individual humans connecting. That was the magic of sales. And so then I really started to delve into what makes somebody actually unique. And of course, there’s as blue per se, there’s 7.1 billion types of normal on the planet. And how amazing is that? When you start thinking about it. There’s no other Darryl on the planet, there’s no other Jules on the planet. And that is the magic, where we connect as humans. So that’s where it all came from, really. Just looking back at my career and what I’d learned, and thinking about, right, what are the real key things I need to now start talking about in the world of sales?
Darryl Praill: What I love about what you just said is a couple of things. A, the human thing, I don’t think has ever been more important than where we are at this point in history. People are savvy, people are shrewd, people are educated now, you know, social media, the internet, everything, you know, we’re all just woke for lack of a better word, right? So the only way you truly can establish people’s trust and I guess connections, is on that human level. You know, whether the kid is walking in on you in the middle of a conversation, or, you know, there’s background banter going on, we’re all cool with that now, right?
Darryl Praill: We’re not wearing suits and ties and dresses and everything that we used to do a few years ago. Like we’re at a level of human to human relationship. And even when you look at the struggles that we see on this planet of ours, whether there, there are people who are protesting, they’re protesting cause they want to be treated with respect, with humanity, all right. And that’s all people want. And when I see these people go and sell textbook, whether they’re doing Sandler or spin or any other methodology you can think of, they’re following a formula, and the formula works, but it’s just meant as a framework.
Darryl Praill: And what I loved about what you just said was, you said, “I took bits and bobbles of what they were doing, there’s a lot I wasn’t doing, and I was still having success, and I didn’t know why.” So only after some studying some introspection, some self-reflection, and everything else that I finally figured out that, what you brought to the table, why it was working for you because it wasn’t in the textbook, was that human proposition, that human-to-human aspect. And that’s the big thing here, folks. That’s why Jules is here today. Because everything else that’s in the textbook, this isn’t, all right. So that’s why she probably go “Live it, Love it, Sell it” on Amazon, all right. Buy the book. So there you go. There’s that little plug there. So what we’re gonna do is, we’re gonna take a quick little break, and I’m gonna have Jules break down exactly what it means, to have a unique human proposition and how you can implement it, in your sales processes. Don’t go anywhere, we’ll be right back.
Building prospect relationships
Darryl Praill: Okay, Jules, let’s talk about it. Unique human proposition. If I wanna incorporate a unique human proposition, how do I do it?
Jules White: Well, I think you’ve got to start looking at yourself first. That’s why the Live it part of “Live it, Love it, Sell it” is all about you. So this is all about, what are your values? What are your beliefs? And what are your strengths? So when you start to really look at those things and those parts that you’re made up of, then that’s how you start to then show up because people want to see those things. And then you need to look at your clients and your customers, and what are their beliefs? And what are their values? And what are their strengths? And that’s done via conversation, Darryl. Just like you and I keep having these amazing conversations. What I really want people to start with is, not just who they are, because that’s what we don’t always do. But I think also those conversations about who our clients truly are. So what do they think value looks like? What do they think they need to buy from us? And let them lead there. And then we interject with that empathy, conversation, we show we’re listening. We show we understand. We put “isms” in there. So I call these “isms.” You’ve got Darryl-isms. Or do you think your Daryl-isms are that you’ve just told us about for five minutes before we started talking.
Darryl Praill: I have opinions, I’m gonna guess.
Jules White: That’s one of them, you know, and also just your style or how you show up, how you speak, the words you use, that is everything that makes you unique. And so whilst there’s a product to sell, and there’s knowledge attached to us as salespeople, as you said, we forget who then we are in the mix of that. I call it the emotional glue. The emotional glue that ties everything together in that transactional process, which we do follow, because actually humans quite like having a structure, but the emotional stuff is where then we start connecting chemically with humans. Oh, I’m gonna trigger these heavenly hormones now. So now I’ve got some oxytocin happening, you know, the love hormone. Now I’m connecting, and I’m bonding, and I’m trusting with this person, because of the stories they tell me, the language they use because it feels real and they feel human. So I know I’m kind of telling a lot of information there, but that’s because this isn’t just a structure of things you have to do. This is everything about you, Darryl. This is everything about you.
Darryl Praill: So, you made some interesting things here. So you said, let them add value. Now my job as a sales rep is to figure out what you find valuable. And often, I struggled to get my prospect to open up because they hold their cards so close to their vest. So how can I let them add value when that’s actually what I want. Is it because I’m controlling the conversation? Give me an example of maybe what people are doing wrong, or maybe how they could approach it, with the understanding that we’re all unique humans, hence a unique human proposition, and we’re all gonna do a little bit differently, but maybe, you know, just give me an example of what that might look like before and after.
Jules White: Yeah, and I think the thing you’ve just actually said is really poignant that we generally, as salespeople control the conversation, it’s kind of how we’re taught. We’re taught to do that, aren’t we, with these methodologies. And I think there is an element of us being in the conversation, but the buyer also has to be in that conversation. So, you know, the questioning is the key thing and the listening, those two kinds of key things that we know is part of the sales skills that we need. I also say their life skills. We’ve had these skills since we were born, you know, the questioning and the listening skills, How many kids say why, why, why, why, why?
Darryl Praill: Yeah.
Jules White: The point is, that when you start involving the buyer in that conversation in a much deeper way and asking really normal questions. So what does value look like to you? What is this gonna look like? What is it gonna feel like when this works the way you want it to work? You know, those really great human questions that we don’t always take the time to ask. That’s when they start telling us what they think value is. That’s when they start adding to the conversation.
Controlling the conversation versus being in the conversation
Darryl Praill: So, I’m making notes like a madman. And because I don’t wanna, I have the mind of a moron, and my thoughts come, and they flee the minute, cause you keep on saying cool thing, followed by cool thing, followed by cool thing, and I can only remember the most recent cool thing. So, I have to capture them. But, so I captured multiple things you said here, which I think are really, really important. You said, controlling the conversation, versus being in the conversation. Ask normal questions, I would say, as opposed to scripted questions. And then I add another one of them which I think you implied, which was active listening, you know, results in an active conversation. So let me explore it, explore that. Going back to the first one, controlling the conversation versus being in the conversation. I actually, that goes in hand in hand with the ask normal questions versus scripted questions.
Darryl Praill: So as sales reps, we have this list of questions that we want to ask them. We want to ask them; our bosses are listening to it. They’re gonna give us a debrief on our call and say, “You didn’t ask this question, blah, blah, blah.” Okay, and they are scripted. Which means when they’re scripted, typically you’re not actively listening to the answer, it means you’re you’re, listening for a pause, so you can ask the next question. Okay, here’s the thing we buyers, we’re on to your game. We know what you’re doing, and we’re not cool with that. And we feel like a transaction. We feel like we’re just like at a doctor’s visit, yeah cough here, cough there, touch there, touch there, whoa. Okay, what’s the diagnosis, you know? And we don’t, it’s not fun. And if I could build on what Jules was just saying, when you’ve got your list of scripted questions.
Darryl Praill: Okay, park that for a second, that list isn’t going anywhere. When you ask that first question, put the pen down. All right, you gotta record it. You can take notes afterward. Maybe there’s a transcription service on your call. If you don’t have that, get that. Now I can just listen. And when Jules says, well, the answer is this, blah, blah, blah. If you’re human, if you’re in the conversation, you would ask, she said a normal question. Well, a normal question would say, really, that’s why you think the sky is blue? Well, why do you think that? What about this situation or that situation?
Darryl Praill: Okay, those, that response and those two follow up questions, I just asked, that’s a normal conversation you would have at the pub drinking with your mates. That is not a script, it’s not in the script. You’re giving yourself permission to go off on these tangents, and they’re gonna tell stories with one another. And then, when the time is right, then you can come back to the script. But those tangents, that’s a normal conversation. We are all conditioned to have that conversation. And the more of that we have, the more of a human connection we have. At least, that’s been my experience. Jules, am I getting this all remotely right?
Jules White: Absolutely, 100% right. Yeah, because I always say to people, you know, if you meet your friend for a coffee, or in the bar, or wherever you go to meet a new friend, do you pull out of your jacket a list of questions that you need to ask that person in that meeting? Of course, you don’t. You instinctively and intuitively know how to have a conversation, you know, and you’ll hear me saying other interviews, or when I’m speaking, I kind of want to untrain people who have been trained how to sell. Because all of that lovely subconscious, those subconscious skills we have, to be able to ask the right questions at the right time, believe you me, we all can, they’re out the window when you suddenly latch on to a script of questions. And so that was part of where we came to have our conversation before, wasn’t it Darryl?
Darryl Praill: Yeah, and by the way, for the record, she admitted I was right. I’m sure that’s what she said.
Jules Whites: Absolutely.
Darryl Praill: On that other conversation, she’s being way polite here. What’s really neat here though, what was cool, what we didn’t say here, is when we asked normal questions, we go off on these tangents, this is what’s gonna happen, this is the magic, we have a unique human proposition, is that the conversation is gonna go in a direction you never anticipated. And two things happen. One, you’re gonna learn stuff that you never would have learned otherwise, which you can help them with because remember, your scripted questions are still over here on this piece of paper on the side, you can ask them later. And two, at the right point in that normal conversation, it might make sense to jump to that fifth question on your list, because the conversation has traveled in that direction.
Darryl Praill: So now you gotta ask that scripted question in a manner that doesn’t feel scripted but feels genuine. So, you know, sometimes the journey isn’t question one, two, three, four, five, it’s one, eight, 12, 14, back to three, you know, 16, 10, back to two, but you will get through that. The second thing is, many of you are so focused on saying, I’ve gotta get these answers in this meeting. No, no, you don’t. There’s two things you need to do in this call today. You either, well, actually one of three things, you either need to say, we’re not a fit, or you need to say let’s continue the conversation on another call because we didn’t get through all my questions, but because we had a great conversation, they’re gonna say yes.
Jules White: That’s like us.
Darryl Praill: That’s like us, exactly. Or you need to advance the conversation. We got through the questions, had a wonderful time, and it makes sense to continue it and go on to the next journey. That’s it, that’s your goal. You’re not on the time zone, in the time limit, you’re not, If they’re giving you time, take it. Alright, so that’s that.
Behaviors to avoid
Darryl Praill: Okay, so what are the symptoms Jules, that I might be doing, that I might be guilty of, which would say I am not putting my human proposition forward? What I’ve already said. One of it is I’m not listening; I’m listening to ask the next question, I’ve already said that I’ve got the scripted questions I need to go through. I’ve already said that we have this need to get through all the questions in the time we’ve been allotted. Are there other behaviors, bad behaviors, which would take us away from that unique human proposition?
Jules White: I think language is huge. The language we use, you know. And this is really interesting actually. What’s your really natural way of speaking? Your natural tone of voice? Your natural way that you use humor? We’ve all got that. We’ve all got that, when we’re talking to our friends, you know, and a bit, like you said at the beginning, the world’s changed now, Darryl, we don’t have to be on parade. We don’t have to wear certain clothes, you know? And that was very corporate. Certainly, when I was in corporate, that was the way we had to be.
Darryl Praill: Yup.
Jules White: But it doesn’t have to be like that now. And we don’t want it to be like that. Our buyers definitely do not want that to be how we are. So it’s trusting that we can use our own language, obviously respectfully by the way. But, because people will then recognize us for that. That’s our way. That’s our charm, our charisma. That’s the way we are individually showing up. Language is massive, which is another reason why I don’t want people to feel like they have to say certain things. We can communicate in our own way with our own language. And your buyers will notice that you’re using language that they’re not used to from salespeople.
Darryl Praill: So let me speak to that cause there’s so much truth in what Jules just said. I mean, this is, like really powerful stuff for you kids, okay. I was on an analyst call the other day with an industry analyst, and we started jamming, and he says to me, he goes, “I gotta say, I look forward to every call with you Darryl. You have the most energy of anybody in the industry. It’s just fun.” Okay, this is something I’ve learned. I learned two things. You have to put language, I would say, language and delivery. So I use words like kids, let’s jam. He’s a cool cat. So I’m using language intentional that I know nobody else is using. It’s my homage to the 60s, right? I love this. I tell my kids, I’m the most hip father they’ve ever seen. They’re like, “Dad, nobody uses the word hip.” And in fact, you using the word hip, means you are actually not hip.
Darryl Praill: And then I drop words like woke and dope and sick and whatnot, and I’m just this 50-year-old guy who is a moron. All of that is memorable. The energy I’ve made across, that is, I don’t wanna say it’s contrived, it’s not, I love doing this. But when I’m at my desk, I am not that person. I am laid back, calm, cool, cerebral almost, all right. Jules’s point that, that’s what you remember, is she’s spot on. I use this language. I use this energy to differentiate and stand out. So the next time I call somebody, and they say, “Hello?” And I am like, Jules baby. How you doing? They know it’s Darryl Praill. They don’t, like who else does that all right. So that’s the power of the word, and the style, and the language, your personality, your story. It’s no different than storytelling. Only the difference is, there’s not a story, there’s just a style. And people are drawn to that style.
Darryl Praill: Whatever your style might be. You could be the most cerebral person; you don’t need to be me. But, you could be cerebral and have these insights where they go, “Holy sugar, I never thought of that. Praill, you’re amazing. You always make me think,” okay. So, you don’t have to be me or Jules. You be you. But embrace that distinctive language and everything else. Oh my gosh. We are out of time. It’s gone by. So, there’s two ways you guys need to continue this conversation. One, go to Amazon, “Live it, Love it, Sell it,” Jules White, you’ll love it. Download, I think you could go to our website, and you order it from her website, she will sign it for you. So there you go. Next, subscribe to her podcast, all right. “The Human Conversation,” it’s killer. And just check her out. Jules, you’ve been incredible today. I’m sorry we run out of time. If you liked this conversation folks, go listen to Jules and I on her podcast, I feel like almost an hour. Totally blew her time limit out. But, the whole point today is, I started off by saying, I recognize my weaknesses, and I embraced it by being more human in my approach, right?
Darryl Praill: I adapted, I embraced what was good about me, I kind of smoothed off the rough edges. And then I learned how to engage my prospects, one-on-one. And that reflects on my brand, reflects on my success, And my numbers. Jules opened by saying she had numbers, she hit president’s club, she was successful, she wasn’t sure why. She realized in the end it was her human approach. That’s the thing about the human proposition. It doesn’t matter if it’s the year 2020, or 1020, or 3020, the human dynamic, never goes away. We’ve been as a species for millennia. We’ve been connecting one-on-one. It’s when you put roadblocks like formulas and scripts and process that overwhelms you as the individual, that makes you sound like just another sales rep who doesn’t care about the prospect, and that’s bad. What you need is you need your unique human proposition. And that, that is where Jules White comes in. Jules, thank you so much for your time today. I had a lot of fun. I’m sorry we ran out of time.
Jules White: Thank you for having me. It’s been lovely.
Darryl Praill: It’s been a smash. In the meantime folks, that’s another episode of INSIDE Inside Sales, where we talk meat potatoes about selling, how to, what to do, and when you should do it. My name is Darryl Praill. I hope you had fun today. I know I did. I’ll talk to you soon. Take care, bye-bye.