Are you confident in the way you connect with your prospects? What tactics do you use to get them to respond? Are you always successful when it comes to securing a meeting with them?

In this episode of INSIDE Inside Sales, Darryl speaks with Barbara Giamanco, the brilliant Founder and CEO of Social Centered Selling about igniting a sales transformation that will help you to book more meetings. Darryl and Barbara go over easy to implement tactics such as using a give first mentality, maintaining the integrity of genuine intent by not jumping to the pitch too soon, and simple ways to research your prospects before you reach out. If you are having issues connecting and engaging with your prospects, you can’t afford to miss this episode on INSIDE Inside Sales!

Not in the mood to listen? No problem, you can read the transcriptions below.

Host:  Darryl PraillVanillaSoft

Guest: Barbara Giamanco, Social Centered Selling


Darryl Praill – And it’s another week here at INSIDE Inside Sales. How are you doing folks? I am fresh off the plane from Columbus, Ohio. Where I was hanging out with Ed Porter and crew at the local AAISP Chapter. And it was a fantastic session where we were talking about the power and the role of the buyer in the sales cycle. So, it was fun. Great guest speaker, awesome crowd there. The folks at the Columbus really know how to put on a party.

Darryl Praill – We were the sponsors, kind of cool, kind of fun. So if, a total side bar, not related to the show, but if you’re not active in the AAISP, the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, you might wanna check them out. The chapter meetings are all over the place. I would love to tell you more about that. If you have an interest, let me know. I’ll be their advocate, right now, we’re the global sponsor of them, everywhere, for all the chapters, that’s kind of cool. But why is all of that relevant? Darryl’s travels, you don’t care. I get it, I don’t care either sometimes.

Darryl Praill – But I’ll tell you why it’s relevant. We’re talking about the buyer, as I mentioned. A part of that was really, how do you connect with the buyer? How do you actually get them to respond? That was part of the conversation. And when, you know, the challenge often that we have, in our sales gig that we do is how do you actually open that door? How do you get them to respond to your outreach? How do you get them to agree to take a meeting? ’cause, and this was part of the conversation I had in Columbus, is, you know, I am that buyer, as we’ve talked about before in my role here at the company. I own the budget, and I am a great case study for what buyers are like. I can be a dick sometimes, folks.

Darryl Praill – Yeah, I can be an absolute ass ’cause I’ll ignore you, I’ll just like, psst, yeah right, I don’t have time for that. I’ll judge you, you’ll send me your pitches, and I’m like, oh so, and this is what I say in my head all right, oh, so it’s all about you. You could care less about me. Good to meet you too! So these are the kinda things that we buyers go through. And it was interesting ’cause then that led to a conversation I had last night. So I got off the plane from Columbus, and I hopped in my car, and made a mad dash for another networking event that we were sponsoring. It was a LinkedIn local.

Darryl Praill – If you don’t do LinkedIn local events, check them out, you should, great place. Especially ’cause social selling is a big part of what we do, of course. And we’re gonna be talking about this podcast, right here, and I was bragging about you guys, all of you guys. So saying, how awesome you are, and how you reach out to me, and you talk to me, and if you haven’t sent me an email, or PMed me on LinkedIn with your idea of who I should talk to, or what I should talk about, please do that, and the question I was getting was, how do I get my guests, and, how do I track them? They’re like, hey, so-and-so just got so-and-so, can you believe that?

Darryl Praill – And I was again, a dick, where I said, so-and-so, I had, so-and-so a year ago! Like, like come on, what’s the big deal? And they ask, how do I do it? And I started to realize the whole idea of getting guests on a podcast, or guests on a webinar are the same exact same thing as getting someone to respond to your outreach in sales. It truly is. And it’s really a lot about you, you, you! It’s about what’s in it for me, to the recipient.

Darryl Praill – And so for me when I reach out to a guest, one of the things often you know, maybe we follow each other on social media, and if not, then I’ll send a connection request, that’s usually how I start every single time. Not always, not today’s guest. Today’s guest was, we started very differently. But, I’ll say, hey, you know, been following you for a while, I really like your stuff. I especially like when you said this on that, which got me to thinking, you might be a really good guest on our INSIDE Inside Sales podcast.

Darryl Praill – So, first and foremost, I just wanted to connect. If you have any interest in joining us sometime, just let me know, and I send a connection request. So, it’s very much I just wanna follow but here’s a teaser, and not as an attendee, I always take it, and they always say well tell me more about the podcasts. Well, ’cause that’s what’s in it for them, right? A little exposure, a little visibility, but it wasn’t a hard sale. And then I tell them how it works and how we promote it, and how much visibility they get. And you know, all of that wonderful stuff.

Darryl Praill – And on webinars, it’s like I can go a step further in saying these are how many leads we’re gonna share with you, so, it’s good for your business, so you’re cost of acquisition is minimal, and when I kinda do that stuff, it’s starts the conversation on a fantastic, even playing field. I control the power ’cause it’s my platform, but they know they are a draw, they’re our guest, and they know I’m not hard pitching them but they know it’s kind of a mutual relationship, and from that, away we go, and I have a really good track record of getting people to say yes! In fact, there’s only on person who ever said no to me, and to this day, it bugs the living crap out of me. I’ll be honest with you, and I’m like, what’s wrong with me?

Darryl Praill – But that’s in a side, I’m speaking to my therapist about it. So, I thought to myself, after the conversation in Columbus, and the conversation at the LinkedIn local, well you know this is actually a really relevant conversation around, how do we open the door to more meetings? What tactics should we use? And then I said, well of course, who, who, who, my friends would be good at this? And the person that came to mind immediately was today’s rockstar guest, Barbara Giamanco.

Darryl Praill – Now if you don’t know Barbara, I’m gonna spell her last name for you, so it’s G-I-A-M-A-N-C-O. I spell it so you can find her on LinkedIn, which is what you should be doing now if you’re at a computer, if not, do it later. And she’s the CEO of Social Centered Selling. She says we’re basically igniting sales transformation, and a big part of that is this. So, that’s what we’re talking about today, folks, she’s gonna teach us how to open the door to more sales meeting, get more responses, connect with the people, and get the outcomes that you are seeking in your sales efforts, which are, of course, is what we’re all measured on. Barbara, welcome to the show, my friend!

Barbara Giamanco – Hey Darryl, thank you so much for ha aboard, and I’m not sure if I’munna have anything else to add to the conversation. You did such a great job with the lead-in.

Darryl Praill – Oh, well I think you will, I think you’d be humble, but. And you know ’cause you’re quite the little player yourself, and not just an accomplished sales person. I’m not trying to suck up to you, but you’ve had a lotta success. And you know, am I wrong, are you not the right person for this topic? ‘Cause I know that this is something that I’ve seen you talk about and speak to specifically.

Barbara Giamanco – Ah, yes, I think I have a lot to say on the matter, because, first of all, everything that I talk with reps about are everything that you just described. We’re gonna talk about this later. I run a podcast, and I’ve only had maybe one or two guests not sign up, and I kinda know why that is. But what it gets down to, for me, is just the give first mentality and even long before we had social that’s how I sold. And when you do that with a genuine attitude, because people know the BS from the real genuine attitude, it is amazing wanna talk to you, find out more about you, et cetera.

Darryl Praill – It is, I mean, I’ll give you an example. So I just had a connection request this morning from some woman, who is in marketing. Sorta way, that’s a soft spot for me, ’cause I’m in marketing, and I’m like, oh, what’s my fellow marketer want? But then her first pitch was, “Darryl, have you”, you know, in the connection request. It wasn’t, Darryl, hi, how are you? It was, “Darryl, have you given any consideration “to use augmented reality in your marketing campaigns?” And you look at her title, and you look at the company, and you go, okay, so this is what they do, clearly.

Darryl Praill – And my immediate reaction was like, I’m fine, thanks for asking, how are you? And then I said, no, I’m not accepting this connection request, gone! That’s not how I want my network. And so when I hear you say, it’s a give first mentality, she was exactly the opposite. It wasn’t about me, she wasn’t giving me bupkis. She was taking, she wasn’t even tryna be coy about it, but so transparent. And, therefore, she did not open the door to a sales meeting with me, in fact, she lost that opportunity completely. And I’m talking about her now. So, I like that. So, how does somebody know, Barbara, that they are in a give first mentality? Too many salespeople think they are but they’re not.

Barbara Giamanco – Well, I mean, that’s a great question. I think that it’s gotta come from the heart. I think one of the things that, Darryl, people have convinced themselves of is that if you have a give first mentality, it means you’re never gonna ask for a sales opportunity. Now, so let me give, and that’s not true, because human beings being who we are, when someone genuinely appreciates you, does something for you, we wanna reciprocate. I mean, that’s not just my opinion, that is based on all kinds of research and everything else. You don’t wanna exploit a , and you say to yourself, how can I help them first? What can I do first?

[bctt tweet=”‘I think one of the things that people have convinced themselves of is that if you have a give first mentality, it means you’re never gonna ask for a sales opportunity…and that’s not true’ ~ @barbaragiamanco #SalesTips #prospecting” username=”VanillaSoft”]

Barbara Giamanco – Then the rest starts to play out. So, great example, you and I we’re both Top Sales World community. And Top Sales World, this year, they announced their top 20 list of keynote speakers. And, not only did they was cool, but I sent an email to every single speaker congratulating them, and as it turned out, many of the speakers didn’t even know that they’d been, you know, they had been. Actually on this list, so it was pretty prestigious, and all I did was say, this is really fantastic. I’ve been on Top Sales World for a long time. Glad to have you as part of the family. soon. That was it. But what I can tell you is a lotta sales people would start with a genuine intent, and then themselves, they wanna roll into a pitch.

Darryl Praill – Yes, yes, they start with a good idea, and then ruin it all by rolling into the pitch.

Barbara Giamanco – Well, because the problem is they’re trying to make the sale in the first contact, and that is exactly the wrong thing that you’re trying to do. What you’re trying to do is actually establish a human-to-human connection, which, especially in B2B selling, you know, that doesn’t change. But let me give you an example of just another, you know, here’s an email that came to me this morning, Darryl, and by the way, if anyone looks at my LinkedIn profile, they’ll see right in the headline, it says, Ditch the Pitch, and I’ve been saying it for years.

Barbara Giamanco – But I get this emaiL a coupla weeks ago, which I ignored because it says, “I’m wondering if I can stop by your office sometime, “and introduce myself virtually.” I love face-to-face meetings and Google Hangouts is a great way to make it more personable. At such and such advertising, they say they disrupt, by the way. They say, “We work with a lotta companies, like yours, “to get more out of their Google and Facebook ads.” Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Well, first of all, if they knew anything about me, if they’ve done any homework whatsoever, I’ve never run a Google, or Facebook ad in my life.

Darryl Praill – Number one, number two, why would I stop everything I’m doing to meet with you? Because you love face-to-face meetings? Well, hallelujah, let’s stop the day, just for you! So the point is that, you know, I’m gonna share a few tips about what you can do but remember, you want people to engage with you. And you can call me old school, but even more so today than ever.

Darryl Praill – You rarely get a second chance to make a great first impression. If you, like this person you’re talking about, do the connected pitch in the invite, or you invite and they connect with you, and then you turn around and pitch, they’re going to delete you and their chance is over. So doesn’t it make a little more sense to spend a few minutes of time thinking a little more intentionally about how you can give first to the buyers, the buyer is the only thing that matters, honestly.

Darryl Praill – I just did a session on this, I was speaking recently at a show called Sass North, and it was all about how to do, so this topic was about why social selling is not working for you on LinkedIn, and we went through

Barbara Giamanco – Oh, yes!

Darryl Praill – all the mistakes people made and I, that was actually one of the topics I actually hit on was I said, that moment in time the slide was like, why are they not responding to your outreach, right? And the first thing I said was, You’re trying to short circuit the process in pitch. Introduce and pitch within one step. It doesn’t work that way, i, and just because you wanna go fast, you know, it’s working against you.

Barbara Giamanco – And yeah, so I totally agree with you that, that is stupid, and that is self-centered. And what was cool, folks, did you just see what Barbara just did there, she just said, oh, isn’t beautiful that you wanna do face-to-face, and I really don’t give two hoots about it. All right, again. So Barbara, remember when I said I can be a dick sometimes? So Barbara was being a dick. So buyers can be dicks, all right? That’s what you got to look at. And this is what links–

Darryl Praill – Must say, that’s a first now, I don’t think anybody’s ever called me that, but I’ll take it.

Barbara Giamanco – You’ll take it, right? This is how we react. And so why are you shocked when it doesn’t work, folks? This is how we react, unfiltered. All right

Darryl Praill – Unfiltered. Well, also, to be fair, can I take a baseball bat to the heads of the sales managers out there

Barbara Giamanco – Yes!

Darryl Praill – who constantly harp on people, more activity, more activity, more activity. Well, I’m no genius, I’m pretty smart, but I’m no and I know that if the activity you’re doing is not working, doubling down on doing more of it is just making the problem worse.

Barbara Giamanco – All right, so I know when we’ve talked about this, you talk about the importance of research

Darryl Praill – Yes!

Barbara Giamanco – to actually find insights that are relevant to your prospects. How are you using research to, I’m assuming you’re using the research, and then you’re personalizing the message, or what?

Darryl Praill – Absolutely, so the first step is research, and by the way, don’t use this as an excuse to go down a rabbit hole, and not do your job. We’re looking for a couple of one, two, three key insights and you can batch it, Darryl. I like batch the work. So in my case, lets say, the chief marketing officers, all right? So what I’m gonna do is I got my target list. I know the rule, I’ve got the target list. I can very quickly Google, business intelligence. any number of tools, you can quickly gather one to three insights that are gonna probably be applicable to everyone in that role, in sorta that space, that industry.

Darryl Praill – There, you pick one that you can use should be no longer four sentences, you know. So the idea is, well let me give you a great example, since we’re talking about chief marketing officers. Last year, something really interesting happened in that, first, Adobe put out a report about chief marketing officers and kind of trends in what was hap, how they were, or were not being valued in the organization. And I found that to be a really interesting report. They were talking about how the sea sweep viewed them, and it is very positive overall.

Darryl Praill – Coincidentally a day later, I am an avid reader, the Harvard Business Review shows up at my house. Huge five-page article about what the world of the CMO is like these days. And it had a slightly less positive slant to it, and I thought, oh, my gosh. I have been wanting to do something with some of these chief marketing officers. I know what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna take those two articles, give them a quick compare contrast, and ask if they could give me their opinion, that was it. So, the idea is you look for something that you can leverage, that you know is going to be similar, but you don’t stop there. So, if I’m gonna talk to Darryl, then I’m gonna look at Darryl’s LinkedIn, but don’t be silly and say, Darryl, I like your podcasts. You know, you lead with, ’cause that drives me crazy, oh, I really like your book. Really, what part of it did you actually–

Barbara Giamanco – Exactly!

Darryl Praill – Because they didn’t, and same with the podcast. So, you’re gonna say, well, Darryl, I really liked when you talked with Barb Giamanco about such-and-such, that was really great insight. So you take a minute and personalize, but the point is Darryl, a lotta people complain this takes so much time, and in less than an hour, I can put together a well thought-out campaign, but it’s because I batched similar parts of the work, and then I go in and personalize. So I think people get frustrated to keep hearing personalization at scale, and it just seems very overwhelming, because no one really taught them what to do.

Barbara Giamanco – All right, so I love what you’re saying in there. I promised you that I would share what I had shared with my audience at Sass North. And what I shared was you can personalize on three different attributes. One, you can personalize on the individual by going to their profile and picking up some nuances. Two, and kind of 1A, 1B. 1B is you can personalize basis on the comments, right.

Barbara Giamanco – So I love what you said to Joe Schmoe about that topic A. I was on your side the whole time. I couldn’t believe that, you know, John Doe said otherwise. So, therefore I had to connect with you, bing. So that’s number one. Number two, you can act exactly what Barbara just said on industry, I love your example of CMO example. Here’s two different competing articles, compare, contrast. What do you think? That is adding value, so, boom! And number three you can target on persona.

Darryl Praill – Yes!

Barbara Giamanco – So, you know, the industry could be high tech, or could be insurance, it could be health care, but the persona can be like the CMO, right? So, you know, CMOs these days are typically facing the following problems, and what’s interesting I read this article on HBR, check this out, and then we’re curious on what your thoughts are? Boom, no ask, other than, what are your thoughts? But, bing, it’s not a pitch fest. So we’re in line with that. Now, you, you don’t stop there. You talk about you’ve got a process to actually get meetings, so it’s not just the research. What’s your process? Is it like a 42-step? Is it a 12-step recovery process? What is it?

Darryl Praill – One, lets say I’m focusing on technology and telecommunications. Just what I told you about the research. It’s quick, it’s fast, you can do it in 15-minutes, if you know what you’re looking for. And so, I grab sort of like, what are the potential business problems that people in the role, in those similar companies are facing? Number one, once you have that, then you insight out a little further, and also in the CMO example that I just gave, Darryl, I said, hey, you can respond with your comments, as it were, if you wanna spend 15 minutes, here’s my meeting link. Guess what, in less than 24 hours, out of 35 people I email, 28 booked a meeting.

Barbara Giamanco – Wow!

Darryl Praill – Okay?

Barbara Giamanco – Holy smokes!

Darryl Praill – Now that is really important because with those folks, I didn’t get one word about my business, we talked the articles, their point of view, their perspective of quotes, but invariably, every single one, near the end asked me, what do I do?

Barbara Giamanco – I should say, so what do you do? We’ve talked about me, a lot,

Darryl Praill – Yeah.

Barbara Giamanco – but what do you do?

Darryl Praill – What do you do, right? So now, it about writing the message, and remember I said all emails should be about four sentences, that’s my opinion, any way. Now, with a personalized insight, Barb heard the podcast with Darryl, hey, this is a problem I’ve noticed execs in your role are facing. Here’s what’s some other companies are thinking about, or trying to do to the problem. Would you be interested in chatting about that for a couple of minutes?

Barbara Giamanco – Yip.

Darryl Praill – I’d be interested in getting your opinion. Now, no where am I saying, sign up, my sales pitch, I’m not talking about my product, I’m saying, here’s what some other companies are thinking about that problem. And then the third piece is suggesting a meeting to discuss further. But short, like 20 minutes, and you gotta go into the meeting without a pitch. So, now I’m sure all your folks have CRM Systems. What I do is three little templates into Hubspot.

Darryl Praill – My initial message, a brief follow-up that tweaks it a little bit, because if you send me one more email that say, did you get my last email? I’ll have to hang you. And then I shift up the third one, and if you don’t interact or engage directly, then I put them off to the side and I nurture. But I think about the impression I’m making in all three of those instances and beyond. Always with the end-goal, to be behaving in a way that keeps me radar, but thinking about me in a positive way. So the new campaign right now, Darryl, literally I can be done in 45 minutes. It’s not hard, once you just get into the habit of it.

Barbara Giamanco – And that’s the thing a lotta people are shying away from doing that initial homework, it’s called, if you will, initial set-up, invest in your end result, play the long-game. So, I love that. All right, so we’ve got your researching, you’re doing it quick and dirty, you’re doing it based on the individual, and who they are, or how they engage. You’re doing it on the industry. Or you’re doing it on the persona. I love that. Four sentences, you’re not pitching! It’s not a one-step pitch. Huge

Darryl Praill – It’s not a pitch.

Barbara Giamanco – It’s not a pitch.

Darryl Praill – In fact, about for a book I read two months ago called, “You’ve Got Eight Seconds,” and whether that’s phone, email, you’ve got seconds to really make an impression. So, by leading with something that’s gonna be value for them that demonstrates a little bit of thought to what’s important, they’re willing to talk to you. And I will leave you with this story before we move on to something else, which is they had a new product, because this is how a lotta people are taught, she kept leading with, well, you’re already a current customer, let’s set-up a meeting to talk the new product. Even current customers need to know why

Barbara Giamanco – Exactly.

Darryl Praill – it’s good to talk to you. And so we did literally two minutes, we quickly went, picked up a press release about this company. It turned out the CEO of this organization was really hot on customer experience initiative for their particular . And wouldn’t you know it, the new product from this company fits perfectly with what believes about customer experience. She use that in a couple of sentences as the lead, and with his executive team.

Barbara Giamanco – And it goes back full circle of what we said, what’s in it for me? That’s what they wanna know.

Darryl Praill – Yes.

Barbara Giamanco – It’s not about you right now, it’s about them. And that’s what people–

Darryl Praill – And she was super clear, she said I read in this press release, xyz. She even sent the link just to add to the legitimacy and said seeems like a really important initiative to you, and you may not know it, you’re already a current customer, but we have this new product that could really help you bring this initiative,

Barbara Giamanco – Dramatic.

Darryl Praill – and she got the meeting before they kept stalling her out.

Barbara Giamanco – Yeah, it’s context, it’s context. What’s in it for me?

Darryl Praill – Yes.

Barbara Giamanco – Plus you’ve reduced the risk because you’ve already addressed the fact that you’re already a customer, therefore, you know, this is not a pitch, this is just relationship building. I love it. Okay, before we leave today, I would be remiss if I did not bring up something that you are a massive evangelist around. I would love you to tell us, ’cause you are such an advocate for women in sales.

Darryl Praill – Yes.

Barbara Giamanco – So perhaps you can tell us about all you’re doing there, because this may shock you a large part of my audience are female.

Darryl Praill – So–

Barbara Giamanco – No, it doesn’t shock me, but I ‘dlike the audience to be larger, .

Darryl Praill – Agreed!

Barbara Giamanco – You know, I’ve been in sales 25 plus years. I’ve always loved the career. I started out in tech male dominated, as we go into the new year, it’s still disappointing to me, 36% of women who’s in the sales ranks, only about 19% are in sales leadership. And that’s a bummer, but it happens for a few reason. Now, I’ve always been an advocate for women, and not just, Darryl, because it’s nice to do. This is about revenue profitability, customer experience. All those things that drive the needle on a businesses’ success.

Darryl Praill – And study after study is just proving that when you have more diversity, but specifically more women, in your sales ranks, you are closing more deals, more often, at a much higher profitability, and, sorry guys, but women often out-perform you pretty consistently. So, not my opinion, it’s reality. But the other thing is, Darryl, a lotta women still have sort of have this misperception about what selling is all about. And so a lotta the work that I do, especially the conversations with women in sales is you wanna attract women into a career in selling. So we want them, we’re hoping to move the needle in the leadership side of it, and then it’s a great forum for really the education for everybody, because even though it’s conversations with women in sales podcasts, I have a lotta guys who listen.

Darryl Praill – Yeah, well, if they’re smart, they’ll listen. So for my audience,

Barbara Giamanco – Yeah?

Darryl Praill – especially, you know, in this case, not obviously not, the guys are welcome, but for the women especially, if they wanna get involved with you and have access to your resources, what’s the best way for them to do that?

Barbara Giamanco – I would love to have them go ahead, and connect with me on LinkedIn. They’re welcome to email. Thank you to my ex-husband, I am the only Barbara Giamanco in the world, and we also have an amazing Slack channel that’s open to any women in sales to join in, and just join in the comradery.

Darryl Praill – I love it, I love it. And just for context, the number one sales rep at VanillaSoft, is a very talented woman.

Barbara Giamanco – There you go.

Darryl Praill – She was just nominated, she did not win, but she was a finalist for Sales Professional of the Year with the British Excellence and Sales Management Association. So she was in good company and she is, I hate to say this, she is a very young woman who’s gonna go places. She will break those glass ceilings that so many are, unfortunately, inflicted with. So, big fan, big fan, and at the end of the day, folks is like this, if you can hit your numbers, I love you, and there no reason. Anyway, don’t get me goin’ on, I’m gonna get on my soap box here.

Barbara Giamanco – That’s a good point that I know we should end with two things. One, the great things about being in sales, and I figured that out early on, numbers are a great equalizer, you do a great job in your role, I’m sure, are there things that can get in the way, or people may have biases, yeah, but don’t focus there, focus on just being rockstar And that will

Darryl Praill – Exactly.

Barbara Giamanco – pay off for you. That is really, really super important. And then other thing I really wanna make clear, Darryl, because invariably, somebody brings it up so let me just put it on the table right now. When I talk about diversity and inclusion, and the business rational for bringing in more women into sales, we always want the most qualified people in those roles, and often, it’s women, so, boom! There’s that!

Darryl Praill – Boom, mic drop, I love it!

Darryl Praill All right folks, if you like what Barbara Giamanco has to say, reach out to her on LinkedIn. If you’re a fine, talented sales professional of the female orientation, check her out. She’s got a lotta resources that will help you be more successful, but in the meantime today, folks, hopefully you’re a little bit smarter on how to open the door to more sales meetings. My name is Darryl Praill, and this wraps up another episode of INSIDE Inside Sales. We’ll talk to you soon, take care, be good.