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How to Create a Sales Process – Without Becoming “Salesy” with Jeff C. West

March 4, 2024
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command premium fees, work less hours, and never have to suffer a bad-fit client again!.

Are you struggling to connect with prospects without coming across as salesy? Do you want to build real trust and add value instead of being seen as just another pushy sales rep?

Join sales expert Jeff C. West on The Recognized Authority podcast with host Alastair McDermott to unlock the secrets to effortlessly grabbing any prospect’s attention.

Learn simple but powerful ways to uncover your prospect’s real pains and needs, along with easy tips for creating value without asking for the sale. Discover how to become “objection proof” by focusing everything you say on improving your client’s life.

  • The key mindset shift to attract clients instead of chasing them
  • Easy ways to “prime the pump” with prospects before your first call
  • Asking the right questions to reveal your prospect’s real issues
  • Making your recommendations all about your client’s transformation

If you feel salesy and struggle to connect with prospects, this episode will transform your approach. Tune in now to turn more prospects into delighted clients!

Show Notes

Key Insights:

  • Avoid feeling salesy by focusing on improving your client’s life instead of pushing products
  • Create value and connection before ever asking for the sale
  • Uncover real needs by asking the prospect great questions then listening
  • Match your solution to the prospect’s desired transformation, not just features
  • Intentionally pair logic with positive emotion to create “fusion points”


  • Prime the prospecting pump with 3 value-adds before asking for a call
  • Use “visit” instead of “meeting” or “presentation” in your asks
  • Give prospects a “promotion” to uncover real objections
  • Offer to do the work of presenting to decision makers for prospects

Learn more about Jeff here:

Guest Bio

Jeff C. West is a bestselling and award-winning author, with over 30 years of sales, sales management/leadership, and entrepreneurial experience. He is a sought after expert in the area of building loyalty to your brand, creating a sales process that makes your prospect comfortably become your client, and building relationships that last.


prospecting, sales, create, people, logic, book, conversation, talking, value proposition, questions, business, alastair, client, objection, meeting, positive emotion, bob, point, positioning statement, sales process

Alastair McDermott, Jeff C. West, Voiceover


Alastair McDermott  00:04

So what if you could grab the attention of any prospect and get them to trust you without you having to feel salesy or pushy. So in today’s episode, we’re going to talk about the key mindset that allows you to attract clients. instead of chasing them. We’re going to talk about simple ways to uncover your prospects, real needs and pains. And we’re going to talk about how to focus everything you say, on improving your clients life.


Voiceover  00:29

Welcome to The Recognized Authority, a podcast that helps specialized consultants and domain experts on your journey to become known as an authority in your field. Here’s your host, Alastair McDermott. Today’s episode


Alastair McDermott  00:40

is brought to you by WebsiteDoctor, which is my other brand alongside The Recognized Authority. WebsiteDoctor is a small web design agency that focuses on creating websites for professional services, experts, consultants, and people in the b2b Professional Services expertise space. And in fact, that’s where The Recognized Authority came from. When I wanted to create a, an add on or focus on the authority building part of the puzzle. WebsiteDoctor still runs in the background, and we’ve been building websites since day one in 2007. In fact, I’ve personally been building websites since 1996. So Been there done that bought that T shirt. So if you’re looking for a website for your expertise based business, then check out website and schedule a call with me I’d love to chat with you and see if it’s a good fit. The link is in the show notes or you can visit website Doctor all spelled And now on with the episode


Alastair McDermott  01:34

so I’m excited to welcome Jeff C. West to the show. Jeff is a sales expert, and alongside Bob Burg, the co-author of the best selling book “streetwise to sales wise, becoming objection proof and beat the sales blues”. Jeff, you’re very welcome to the show.


Jeff C. West  01:48

Oh, I’m honored to be here. Alastair, thanks so much for having me on.


Alastair McDermott  01:53

Well, you were recommended to me by Bob Burg. And so I don’t think you can get a better recommendation. Right.


Jeff C. West  01:59

I would have to agree with that. You know, I’ve known Bob now for 20 years plus, and I’ve never seen anyone who lives the message they espouse better than that, man. He’s great.


Alastair McDermott  02:09

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And referrals is something I think we’ll probably get onto a little bit later on. One thing I want to ask you about is I read the title your book streetwise to sales wise, become objection proof. And I just want to talk about that word objection proof. Can you can you tell me what you mean by that? Because I think that’s an interesting place to start.


Jeff C. West  02:27

Sure. You know, Alastair, when you get down to it objection, proof is both a philosophy and a methodology, I suppose. Where salespeople can work with the objection aspect of their process, very effectively, both both leading up to and during the actual sales conversation. It’s a way that when you can reduce many objections before they ever even are voiced by the prospect. And those that are, you can go into the situation, not with a little bit of a panic, and someone may not do business with you, but more as a comfortable feeling. And then you work with that prospect to help them get a solution to the issue that they have. And hopefully your product or service is going to provide that. But instead of thinking of trying to get them to buy something, you’re actually seeing your focus on how you can provide the value. And then when that objection does come up, it’s a methodology that walks you through that in such a way that it makes both you and the prospect more comfortable. And when it’s all said and done. That prospect, which will later become your client, hopefully, the relationship between the two of you gets much stronger.


Alastair McDermott  03:45

Let’s wrap this back around to the very start, because want to start at the start. And I know that at least as many places we can start this conversation. But let’s go right back to prospecting. I know that people make a lot of mistakes prospecting, for example, you and I talked a little bit about prospecting on LinkedIn, how people can damage their credibility. Can you tell me a little bit about the whole process the whole sales process from prospecting? And then we can go through it from there? Can you tell me a bit about what you think about that?


Jeff C. West  04:15

Be glad to that’s great question. You know, when it comes to prospecting, the mistake that a lot of people make, is in that first contact, they’re already asking for something. They’re asking for a meeting. They’re asking for a conversation where the person might be able to do business with them. And when you do that, the real truth of the issue is unannounced or unexpected sales calls are going to affect people in one of three ways. You’re going to have some people who know they have an issue. They know they need your expertise, and they’re willingly going to say, yes, we’ll talk about this and probably become your customers. Unfortunately, they don’t all go that way. And so you’ve got the second group that looks at an annex spected sales cause an interruption to their day. And when that happens, it creates a negative emotional response in their brain, it sends a somatic marker into their body, they don’t like the way that feels. And they either ignore you or they just say no. And then you get that third group, where they really don’t have a knowledge of you, they don’t have a knowledge, a knowledge that they need anything. And so they basically it’s, there’s no emotional context, no, but there’s nothing, nothing great with it, they’re not going to move forward. So when you’re building a prospecting system, when you’re building a prospecting methodology, if you really want to make sure that that that prospect is comfortable going to the next step, what you want to do is you want to create the situation, like I described on the first one where someone knows they have a need, they know that you could solve that need and they’re more comfortable moving forward, it creates a positive emotional context. Now, when you don’t know someone, and you haven’t already earned that know, like, and trust status with them, there’s still ways you can do it. And I teach a methodology, I call it priming the prospecting pump. And it’s where you find three ways to create some sort of positive value, some sort of thing that you’re giving to that potential client you might have. And you do that three times before you ever ask for that first visit, before you even ask for the first conversation. And it could be anything, it could be as simple as sending it an article that you saw on line that, that you thought would be valuable to that particular client or business, maybe it’s something else, it could be that you saw a positive review, this company has done something great, then you saw a positive review, and you sent that to them just a couple of touches. I have a friend who uses a service that it’s called Send Out Cards, and they literally they she mails cards all the time to people, even before she’s done business with them. But when you do that, if you’ve if you’ve created three positive emotional connections with that prospect, and then when you combine that with a logic of why you want to meet the percentage of people who will say yes to you rises, you know, if you’re, if you’re consistent, you wouldn’t have to do any of that you can consistently go out and make contact after contact after contact, and you will make sales you’ll make you’ll earn new clients. But what it’s not a very effective way. But if you kind of add that little three positive touches before you ask for that first meeting, the percentage of people who will say yes to that initial meeting just rises like it’s a significant rise.


Alastair McDermott  07:38

Yeah, so there’s there’s a few different things that strike me there. So one is, I think that there’s a lot of nuance to what you’re talking about, where people can actually make mistakes or leave out lose points. Like I noticed this something that you have in the book, is you initially referred to it as a visit rather than a meeting. Can you tell us a little bit about why you use that terminology? Sure.


Jeff C. West  08:01

It’s partly because of my homespun nature. And I realized that I’m originally from the southeast in the United States, from the state of Georgia. So I know part of that is just my folksy way of looking at things. But I’ll also tell you, people are much more comfortable, much more open to visiting with you than hearing a sales presentation. In the end, if you’re going to do this, right anyway. It’s not really a sales presentation. That’s one of those words that I know we all have that we really would rather don’t we’d rather avoid. I don’t care for the term sales presentation. Although there comes a point in every, in every sales process where you are presenting, you’re making your recommendations of the solutions that you have. I actually prefer the term sales conversation. Because that’s really what you want it to be. You want it to be where you’re asking questions, you’re learning things about your prospect you have, you’re looking for things where they’ve got a real need, that you have either on your own or you have a company that you put together with them that provides a solution. And then as business people, small entrepreneurs, salespeople, what happens when we do that is we get paid. And it’s because we’re the matchmakers that make that happen in the term visit, just go so much more, it’s more palatable. It’s again, we’re, what we’re doing is we’re going for creating as many positive emotional context in our process as we possibly can. And you know, you were talking earlier about the prospect department, one of the biggest mistakes I see people make, especially if their primary sales model is online, is they’ll make a connection on LinkedIn or something like I’ll get someone who will request a connection and I’ll approve it. And there’s an automatic email that’s generated out where they’re trying to get an appointment with me. And it doesn’t work with me not because I’m the sales guru. And I think that that’s all wrong. It doesn’t work with me because I don’t know the person. I don’t and if you look through their emails, if it’s something that I would want, but had they done something differently, had they let’s say that researched me justice. little bit. And so okay, this is where Jeff spends his time. This is how he’s trying to grow his business. What can I provide, even in the first email that would help them would do that? And without asking for anything, and then that would create something else, oh, good, this person, send me something that’s valuable. And it would make that connection happen faster for them.


Alastair McDermott  10:19

Yeah. And there’s something else. I think that at that prospecting stage, I think is interesting, because you talked about, like, we’re asking for too much at that point, sometimes. And you talk about sending things like articles, positive reviews, the Send Out Cards you mentioned, which is an interesting one, I like the physical touch. One thing I’ve noticed is that sometimes you can be giving, but by giving, you’re asking for too much of somebody’s attention, because you’re you’re giving them something that requires them to spend a lot of time. And so like, you might give them say, Hey, I have you know, white paper or something like that. But actually, what you’re doing is you are giving them a resource, but for for some people, they’ll appreciate that. And I find that others, what happens is you are you’re asking for them to make a commitment of time just to even process what you’re sending. Sure. So can you tell me about how you how you deal with that part?


Jeff C. West  11:17

Sure. That’s a great point. Alastair with a there’s a quote that our mutual friend Bob Berg says, he says, when we’re talking with someone, like on the phone, or whatever, just remember this, no one has ever hung up the phone in the middle of their own sentence. And so if you’re getting them to talk, you’re going to have more success in that arena. And the same thing works here. The things that you send in value, if it’s, if it’s the kind of touch where it’s focused on bragging on them for something they’ve already done, whether it’s that positive review, or it’s something else, if it’s anything that is so simple, and it’s about all the great things they’ve accomplished, then they’ll never get, they’ll never feel like you’re taking up too much of their time to tell them how great they are. If you’re going to send them something of value that is teaching, like a white paper or, or something like that, my encouragement to you is to make it so short, and so meaningful, that it would be almost impossible for them to say no to visiting with you, because they would want to know more, rather than going through something really long that someone may or may not have the opportunity to read. Think in terms of bragging on them bragging on their company. And whatever you do outside of that, make sure it’s plenty short, those cards are great things. And one thing that I learned from Bob actually send out, there’s the letter size, hard cards that’s got my information. And I’ll write thank you notes to everybody else, send those out all the time, you’re about to get one, I don’t know how long it takes for mail to get to Ireland, but you’re about to get one. So it’s just what I do. And I learned that from Bob, those kinds of touches. Even before that you make that first straight request for a visit, that is something that’s helpful. And with each of the touches that you do. Alastair, it’s really great to add a little comment. You know, like if it was a positive review on Hey, I saw this online, it just was it caught my attention, great job. By the way, I’m hoping to meet you sometime pretty soon, please expect my call, just put that on there and mail it to them, or put that on there and email it to them and whatever you’re going to do. And what you’ll see that happens is if you do that three times on that third time, when you really do want to have that conversation, and they if their administrative assistant answers or or even if they answer, they’re going to be expecting your call. So it makes that process where the percentage of people who will take that call it goes up.


Alastair McDermott  13:52

Yeah, I love that. So we’re talking about the prospecting part. And then the next step is going from prospecting, to actually having that meeting. And we were talking a little bit about the language, you know, sales conversation, talking about having a visit, presentation, sales presentation, that’s certainly not something that I use one. So some language that I tend to use, and I’d be interested to hear your perspective as a as a sales expert, I like to talk about, well, let’s have a check for fit call to see if I’m a good fit for you. And if you’re a good fit for me as a client, or if we’re a good fit for each other, you know, something like that, because what the logic for me is that there’s less pressure and it’s also saying, hey, it might not be a good fit. But also we’re meeting as equals, rather than a presentation, which is kind of like a one way delivery. So how do you feel about that language? I know it’s a bit more formal than a visit.


Jeff C. West  14:46

I think that language is perfect because what you want to do and one of the things that we teach in screenwash to sales lines, is you want to in that conversation where you’re asking for that visit or that first conversation to happen. You Want to be focused on how their world is going to change when they start a relationship with you. So your initial verbiage is there, but then you need to always give them that back door, which is what you did there. And you know, I always teach in a business to business sales contacts, just be honest, I look, I’m not 100% sure that this is going to be a good fit for your company or a good fit for mine. But I’m 100% sure that you and I are going to be the two most likely people to make that determination. I’ve got to be in your area next week, on Tuesday afternoon, or maybe Wednesday morning. Do you have 15 or 20 minutes? We can I have an initial conversation about this? And then go from there.


Alastair McDermott  15:40

Yeah, I noticed that language in the book as well. I think the character Andre uses that and when he’s talking about that in his first meeting, so okay, that’s, that’s the language. So we’re talking about prospecting. And then we’re talking about setting that first initial meeting? Are we at a point now where we should talk about value propositions? Or is it too early for that? Is there something in between?


Jeff C. West  16:01

No, everything about this was perfect. When you when you the value proposition is where everything else starts, you know, when you get into that actual sales meeting, every sales conversation has different parts, you’ve got a report section in the beginning, when you’re trying to establish a quick friendship acquaintanceship, you’re trying to move that process. But then you’ve got a discovery section. And your discovery section is where you get the client or prospect thinking about how their world’s going to change, you know, a lot of companies, in my opinion, when it comes to the term value proposition, they, they don’t quite hit the mark. Because in most companies that that I’ve worked with, you know, 30 plus years out there, and sales and sales leadership, their idea of a value proposition is what they do that they don’t have to, and I get that and their intent is good. You know, it says, Okay, we’re charging X for our servers, but then we also throw in this or we throw in that or we throw in this. And that’s all well and good, and it’s well intended. But it falls a little short, about really understanding what a value proposition, because our value proposition is, because when you get down to it, your value proposition has nothing to do with your product, it has absolutely nothing to do with your service, nothing to do with your company, or even how great you are, and how you’re going to handle them. It has everything to do with how that person’s life changes, either professionally or personally, when they take advantage of what you can do for them. It’s it’s, it’s how their world gets better. So it’s really, I refer to this as a, it’s their value from our proposition. So if you’re in your initial part of that sales conversation, when you are having the discovery section, you need to know where your value is to that person, and then ask questions that will get them thinking about that open ended questions where they’ll start discussing it with you. And what you’ll find is if you do it well, and you craft really great questions, they’ll actually say, what they needed to hear anything that comes out of their mouth, and they will trust it more when it comes out of their mouth than they will yours.


Alastair McDermott  18:15

I really like this. Now, I like to dig into this a little bit, because one of the things that I think a lot about in terms of business strategy, and in particular niching down and specializing, which is something that I talk to my clients about a lot is positioning. And the way that I think about positioning is it’s how we position our business. And quite often we use a framework and a positioning statement, which is something like we help these people solve this problem, or we help these people get this result. And so you’re talking about who you help, and the transformation that you’re you’re helping them to achieve, or the problem that you’re solving for them. And in terms of the positioning statement that’s really useful as a foundation for business strategy for marketing everything, because you can run it by does it does it fit the position statement? If it doesn’t, then we probably shouldn’t be doing it. Or conversely, you could also say, like, what are we going to do for a blog post this week? Well, let’s look at our positioning statement and use that to create our content strategy. And you can kind of use that as a foundation. Now, what you and I talked about in the last call we had, I was just talking to you about this because I know that a lot of people use positioning statements and value proposition as as kind of synonyms. But I think we talked about like, there’s a little subtle difference here. Can you talk about how you think about that? Because I think this is an interesting one.


Jeff C. West  19:40

Sure. You know, I think the positioning statement is absolute awesome Foundation, because you have to have that clarity you have to know how you help your prospect or how you help your customer at that point your client and how you make their role you have to have that so down inside you that it’s not something you have to think about. You don’t have to Make it up. It’s just, you know, this is how I help. And that’s the foundation. But in your discovery section, how you get them to understand that foundation is huge, because the truth is, you can’t just really go in there and tell them, Okay, this is what I can do for you, this is what I can do for you. Because at that point, they don’t care yet. What you have to do is know that foundation, and then begin to ask questions that will guide them in such a way that they’ll understand. You talk about, you know, what are you doing in certain areas? And when you get them to think about that, what they’ll start doing is they’ll start having a conversation with you, they’ll say, Well, you know, we’re dealing with this and that, and you know, the areas that you’re going to to fill their needs. That’s part of your positioning statement. So when you ask those questions, and the words then they start thinking about how their value comes from that. The words they say to you may very well be the exact same things you would have said to them. But because you asked questions, and they said it, then you get to do something magical. After I always tell salespeople you want to get two or three things where they verbalized, okay, they have a need in this particular area. That’s just where, where they’re going. You’ve asked the questions and they’ve, they’ve kind of told you that then as the person who’s making that connection happen, you have the ability to do this without getting you have not discussed the term salesy. Neither one of us like, that kind of concept of being salesy. Once I’ve expressed those needs, though, you get that to be there, you get to be so valuable to them in this way, because you could say, You know what, Aleister, there are a couple of things that you just mentioned, that you really would like to solve, and you haven’t been able to get something that’s working on that, that we can actually help you do. And then you remind them to go back in your say, you know, you said earlier that you won’t really want to do A, B, and C. But this has been the issue about you not getting it. So this was going on, we have a program that does a, b and c, and it solves that issue without creating a new problem for you. And so you get to link it back together. And even that whole link goes back to creating that positive emotional context. Because you let them talk, you really did care what their needs were, you really tried to understand that from their perspective. And then you help them find a solution with that either were the service that you personally offers us as a, as an individual entrepreneur, or you’re connecting them with a company that can do that. What you did at that point, is you help them and it created that bond or that positive emotional experiences, and then linking with the logic of what you’re trying to accomplish.


Alastair McDermott  22:38

Okay, so what I’m taking from what you just said, is the positioning statement that I talked about, and the value proposition that you were talking about are very similar. There will be a lot of overlap. But you’re using value proposition in a, in a way kind of like live during your sales meeting, where you’re kind of crafting a value proposition life, an individual unique for that one client or for that one prospective client. Have I got that right? Well,


Jeff C. West  23:07

it’s kind of a mindset on that positioning statement. Even though you’re talking about what you can do for a client, because most positioning statements will start off with we do this way you do that. And so when you give it a little shift where you’re focused on their value from your proposition, then it’s What are you looking for? How are you handling this? You have that need? I want to help you solve that need, by the way, we can do that this way. So it’s, I guess, the best way to describe it is one way, it’s really putting the focus first on you your product or service and your company. The other way is putting the focus first on the need of that person who’s the world’s going to change because they’re doing business with you?


Alastair McDermott  23:52

Okay, yeah, I think I think I see how you’re doing that. It’s, it’s just a kind of a slight reframe. But I think that one part of one part of this is the questions that you’re actually asking, can you tell me because I know you’re really good at like specific language with this. Can you tell me some questions that I could ask during that meeting? To help figure out what what that value is for them?


Jeff C. West  24:12

Sure. And it’s going to vary based on industry and in the IT industry, which I know that you’ve got a lot of followers in that industry, your it’s going to vary based on whatever they that’s the right service or product for that, that client and so that’s certainly the way when I’m, when I’m teaching people how to build the rapport in that early section where you’re trying to establish the close, or the quick relationship. You know, there’s some standard questions everybody teaches about asking about family occupation, what do you do for recreation and all that and that’s all well and good, and there should be a little bit of that. You’ll find some people really enjoy that part of the visit. And you by all means, feel free to take that time to do that. You’ll find others that really want to get straight down to business and you need to be aware of that cognizant that that’s where they’re going Be, and maybe do that differently. But one of my absolute favorite questions in the report section that I would teach is to ask the person point out, say, you know, I do a lot of research before I ever make initial contact, I, I look online, I try to find things that will be helpful to you. And I do all that. And that’s all well and good. I can learn a lot from my research, but I can’t learn everything. And then I asked, Tell me what, in your opinion, from your perspective, what’s the one thing that you want to brag about brag about the most when it comes to your company? What do you think you guys? What makes you guys different? And let them talk to me on that? And when they do that, what, what they’ll find out is that, at that point, that person number one, they love the question, because you’re asking them about that. And you’re asking them about something, probably they created their world there. And so you’re bragging about that you’re doing that. So it’s a great question to get going. Other than that, how I would teach people to do it is you make a list of the specific how your client how what’s their value from your proposition based on the product or service you’re selling. So make a list, okay, this is what they do. And this is how this is what makes their life better. It could be as simple Alastair as if we solve this issue for them at work, they get 30 minutes more at home at night, that they don’t have to stay there and deal with their work life and then go home and enjoy their their real life. It could be, it could be as simple as you know, if they’re doing this, if we’re servicing them with this product or their service, then they’re spending x less time on this issue. So that money can be spent generating more income. I’ve been reading a book lately, and I highly recommend it to everybody it’s called 10x is easier than 2x. And it talks about knowing where you should spend your time, sometimes, especially depending on the position of that person in the company, that your company you’re having a conversation with their value could be that you’re going to free up time that they can now spend, spend doing the magical things I call it that the things that make business happen that grow their company. And so it could be that it’s any number of things, but it’s not going to be the specific benefits and features of your product. It’s that’s going to be how you accomplish it. But why you accomplish it? Is there value from your proposition? So you make a list of those things that you are, you know that their world gets better this way? If they’re doing business with me? And you start your questions off in that direction, you know, how does not having this particular solution? affect your business right now? All right, how are you handling this particular widget, or whatever it may be, but you base it on the base your questions on their value from your proposition, but make a list of what that is so that you’re clear on it. And then start asking questions that will get them to think through the conversation and say it out loud with you. Because if you do that, what they’ll do is they’ll verbalize their needs, they’ll say, you know, this is our challenge we’re having is this and in but when you say well, how is that affecting the rest of your business, and they go into that, now you’re getting some things that you can work with. And so that after you’ve uncovered about three things there, then you can easily say to them, you’ve you had mentioned that you wanted to do X, Y and Z Well, we can help you do that with this product. And and this, you know, there’s multiple ways you can do it, but you have to base it on your specific product or service and how their world gets better. That’s where that you start crafting those questions.


Alastair McDermott  28:37

Okay, so I want to just go back, so and recap on what we’re talking about here. So first, we’re talking about prospecting on LinkedIn, the mistakes that people are making are making too big and asked too early, not having some touch points, use just having three touch points, where three ways that you can create value for somebody you call priming the pump. And one of those could be send them an article, a positive review, send them a physical card, something like that, where you’re not asking them to make a big commitment of time and consuming some information or you’re not asking them for a meeting straightaway, but you let them know that at some point in the future, you would like to have a call with them and to even to set the expectation you know expecting a call at some point in the future. And then so we then do the ask and we talked about having a softer language than sales presentation or even sales conversation so you’d like to use the term visit and you call it a bit folksy but that’s that’s your that’s your background. But so so for me and that this is maybe a bit more technical and less warm. If I was using the term check for fish. Let’s Let’s Let’s have a meeting, see if this other call and see if it’s a good fit for each other. And then getting into that getting out See into that conversation. And at the start having the rapport section, which I think and this is something as somebody who was coming from a very technical background with no sales experience, I used to downplay or, or underestimate the importance of creating rapport with somebody at the start of a call, or it started meeting. And I realized that actually, it’s super important. As human beings, we need to have a little bit of, of connection. You know, it’s the, it’s the human equivalent of, you know, dogs going off to each other and sniffing each other’s but I’m not saying that’s what we need to kind of feel each other out a little bit. Right. And so we need to get to know each other a little bit, just see, okay, this is what this person is, like, you know, we have to have that conversation that rapport creation. And I really like what you have talked about here, is you’ve talked about using the specific question, which is a report question, but actually starts maybe, to get us into a deeper business conversation, which is something like, what’s the thing that you like to brag most about about your business or what something and I think you had some better language than that for that section, and then starting to bring that into taught, then bringing that into a sales conversation, a more traditional sales conversation may be where we’re asking lots of questions, like the ones that you talked about, to uncover their, their pains and their needs. And as they’re talking, and make a list of what those pains are, and linking them up with the potential value that we can provide. And then then once they have, once they’ve talked about enough of those that we can actually say, turn around, and you talked about maybe if they’ve given three or four of those, that we can then turn around and say, hey, you know, do you want to talk about? And I don’t know, maybe I’m putting words in your mouth, but saying something like, do you want to talk about how we can actually help you solve some of these issues? Would that be right? Or is that you wouldn’t even go go that far?


Jeff C. West  32:02

Actually, I would probably tweak it slightly. On that report. Question back in the the the end of the report question where you’re about to transition into the business conversation? I would before I say, you know, what’s your favorite thing to brag about on the company, I would always start with, I’ve done my research, I know you guys are a great company, if you got a great reputation, but I can’t learn everything there. Tell me your personal thing. What’s your favorite thing to brag about? Because then you’re telling them, you’re complimenting them even more, and hopefully, it should be a real con. Compliment now into where we are on this. At that point, when you finished asking the questions, how I how I think it’s best to transition is to tell them, you know, at this stage, Aleister, I’ve got some good news for me for you, you said you wanted to do A, B, and C? Well, we can actually do that, where the A, B, and C, and you know, it makes that connects for them. And then so well, let me go ahead to let me give you a little bit of information about me and our company, and how I’m going to make those things happen for you. And then you go right in to that point. And at that point, you really do get more like what most people think of as a traditional sales presentation, because you’re about to make your recommendations that will solve their issues. And so that’s more of that presentation that you’re talking before this, that should be 75% or 65% of them talking and you asking the questions and listening, that’s it. But at this stage, you’re going to tell them how you’re going to solve some of those issues. And you’ve earned their emotional, right to do that. And you know, the I got tickled when you were talking about the reports, actually, how are you being you’re, you’re it you’re detail oriented. So transitioning from thinking that wasn’t important to it was, when we get to the point in our conversation where we talked about fusion points, I’ll explain exactly why what you said is perfect. It’s exactly what happens.


Alastair McDermott  33:52

What I love about that is, and one of the things I’ve realized, as I learn more and more about sales from from people like you and Bob and David Hume and people like that is just how much detail and nuance there is in the specific language that we use. And I think it’s a bit like, you know, like, we watched the 100 meter finals at the Olympics, and we see these people, okay, so they’ve been down there kind of threw down their hands in one knee down, and then they are off the blocks, and they go, and we don’t see what a professional coach would see, with the little nuance of exactly how they set their feet. wits, their hands are apart the way they put their fingers down on the ground, all of those tiny little details about how they sell and this is kind of what what it feels like to me. Learning about sales is that there is this nuance to the language that you use, which is why I find these conversations brilliant. Now, the fusion points let’s get into that because I think that’s important.


Jeff C. West  34:51

Okay. You know, when one of the things that puzzled me Alastair, when I was in sales leadership I in the United States, I was actually in and Field Sales Management with a fortune 500 insurance company. And I was a district manager for eight years a regional manager for two years in a state manager for 10 years. And so I was self employed. And but my job was to make sure that things happened inside my organization. And it used to confuse me how we could take two people that on paper look like they should both be very successful, sharp people skills, leadership skills aren’t afraid to work and put them both out in the field of sales. And somehow one would make the decision to persist, and we’ve become very successful, and you’d look at the other and they would make the decision to quit, and they go do something else. And it was always very confusing to me. So when I left the insurance industry and began to write books and speak for a living, I came across the works of a gentleman named Dr. Antonio Demacia. I don’t want to get into too much scientific detail, although your audience is going to love detail. So I don’t need to worry about this at all. I know this, about our audience here. But Dr. At the mazzio was a professor of neuroscience at USC, and an adjunct professor at the Salk Institute. And in his book, The Decart era, he kind of details a study that he did, where he was studying a group of people that the parts of their brain that that process logic, and the part of their brains, that process a motion couldn’t connect, because those those things happens in different centers of our brain. And by default, or by accident. For this group, the parts couldn’t connect, what he found was that they couldn’t make decisions. And so from that, he went on to to postulate other things. There’s also something in psychology called a somatic marker. And basically, when our brain produces an emotion, can be a positive emotion or a negative emotion doesn’t matter, it actually sends an electronic charge into our body, it makes us feel something. Now, if it’s a negative emotion, like a lack of trust, an interruption. Fear, what happens is that that somatic marker that we begin to feel in our body is something we don’t like, we don’t want to do that anymore. So when that emotion is happening, we want to push away from whatever’s happening at the time, we’re pitching. On the flip side, when it’s the positive emotional experiences that are going in the brain, the brain still sends that electronic charge, there’s still a somatic marker there. But what happens then, when it’s a positive emotion, and we’re feeling love, a sense of belonging, a sense of calmness, what happens is, at that point, we want to continue that we want to move forward. And we want that experience again. And so in the sales context, they call the points where you’re having a negative emotional response, combining with the logic because as Dr. Damasio said, All decisions, there’s no exception are made with a combination of logic and emotion, that group of people that that part didn’t connect with, they could make decisions, they could understand the logical consequence either way, but they couldn’t come down and make the decision. And so when you apply this whole thing into a sales context, when you’re creating negative emotions, and you’re combining it with the logic of what you’re trying to get done at the time, whether it’s just a conversation with someone or a sales process, what happens is you put those two together, it creates a collision point. And the logic of what you’re saying is going to get totally beaten up by the negative emotional response they’re having, it’s not going to go forward. That’s the same process in a business world in a sales world, quite frankly, it’s even the same process in a relationship. Most marriages that end in because there’s constant collision points. And that negative emotional response is combining with the logic of being in the relationship and people want to get out of it. But you flip that, and you’re you work on combining the positive emotional experience with the logic of what you’re doing. What you do is you create what I refer to as a fusion point. And a fusion point is that moment in time, that instant, where positive emotion and logic merge at Ignite. And when they do that, it creates energy. It creates persistence, it creates acceleration, it creates comfort in taking the next step. And so everything that I teach and it’s in a sales process is about is designed in such a way that it’s going to create that positive emotional response in their brain. And then you’re going to combine that with a logic of what you do, and it gives you the ability to influence their that decision. And I don’t mean influence in a bad way. You’re not manipulating people. It’s not about doing something that’s not to their best interest. I’m talking about creating those mutually beneficial Win Win scenarios that really and truly, quite frankly, they they get back to what sales would always be about. Because when you get to it at its core, at its very best sales is being focused on the other person, and how their world gets better when they do business with you, and helping them to get what they need they want or desire. And when you focus there, you’re going to be creating those positive emotional context. And so then all I do is teach, do it intentionally as part of the process, rather than just trying to be a nice person and make it go that way. And, you know, Bob’s training that he’s been doing for decades on becoming objection proof, which is what we turned into the parable. It was combination of Bob’s sales, training, my sales training, but the objection proof part itself. That’s why it has worked so well, because the entire process is designed to in such a way that when you get through working with that objection, not only is your clients issue solved, the way you did it, is it creates so many positive emotional responses in them that when you present the logic of how to solve it, they’re much more likely to be comfortable taking that next step.


Alastair McDermott  41:03

Okay, so a fusion point is intentionally pairing logic with this positive emotion, right?


Jeff C. West  41:11



Alastair McDermott  41:12

I know, we’ve only got a couple more minutes, can you just give me one example of how you do that in a sentence, because I know like, if we’re in a conversation, I’d be really interested to just have a live example for for us to kind of go around the concept.


Jeff C. West  41:27

Sure. There’s not a better example than what you originally talked about. You are a very logic oriented gentleman. That’s your nature. And that’s why you have the career path that you’ve had, those are the things that, that connect best with you. So since that your is your focus, and there’s a lot of people exactly like that out there. We we tend to think that makes you think that logic is at least that early stage in your game was enough. But because of that connection, when you take that logic, if you don’t also have the positive emotional context, they won’t make the decision to move forward. And so even in the report section, you did that. But I’ll give you another example. Like there’s one right here, there are oftentimes in what I did, in sales, where I needed to have that first initial conversation with someone who really couldn’t make the final decision. It could be, and I’m guessing that people that follow you may be dealing with same thing, they may be dealing with someone who they have to take their recommendation to somebody else. And so that puts you in a little bit of a bind, because traditional sales training normally says it will make sales presentations to people who can’t make decisions. And although there are times where that does fit, it doesn’t always fit. I think it’s contextual. You know, and so if you’re if part of your business model means you have to to present to that underling, then you’ve got to work with that, or you’re going to you’re going to come across as rude. And I’ll promise you, the person you’re visiting with, even if they’ve got to take it to someone else for final approval. They may not be able to say yes to you, but they can darn sure say no to you. And so you have to treat them with the same respect that you would anyone else. And so as I wonder whether you can create that positive emotional context with the logic of what you’re doing, when you’re dealing with a decision influencer, like that is someone who can influence that decision. I always say when the conversation is to the point where you would normally move forward in your sales process. I recommend that you do three things. Number one is you take them off the hook. You say, you know, Allister, you told me earlier that they even though we’re having this conversation at the you have to go on up the chain of command with this. And I respect that, and I appreciate it. So take them off the hook. The second thing I teach people is give them a raise. I mean, give them a promotion to Alastair, I’m gonna give you an imaginary promotion, you’re now the owner of the company. And they’ll laugh with you and say, but they’ll always say, but don’t get too excited. Imaginary promotions come with imaginary raises. So it doesn’t work out so great. But Alastair, if the final decision were actually yours, and yours alone, the sad reason we wouldn’t be moving forward with this and get the answer. If they if they have an objection that you need to work with, it’ll come out right there. And then I always say at that point, then go to work for them. And if they say yes, you know, we’d be moving forward. That’s great. Let me go, what I will do now is go to work for you. You know, rather than you having to learn everything I just said and learn the nuances of it. When you let’s get that meeting booked with whoever you have to go with, go to, I’ll come with you. I’ll work or help, I’ll present all everything and then I’ll leave if I need to. You guys can have whatever discussion with that way it you don’t have to learn all of this. Now, when you do that, you’re creating tons of positive emotional connections with that person because you’re offering to do it for them. If you played with them a little bit and given them that imaginary promote promotion, you took them off the hook. And then when you say you know I’ll go to I’ll do this, and I’ll do the work I’ll provide The logic part, what happens is you’ve put both together and you’ve made that work. And it’s part of why, you know, we, in the objection proof process, we always say that if you’re focused on them to keep your emotions in control, and then you help them find a solution, they’re going to want to move forward with you. It’s their nature to do that if it’s something that is really a change maker for their life.


Alastair McDermott  45:23

Love it, Jeff, I could talk to you about this all day. But we have to wrap it up, because we’re actually past the top of the hour here. I want to ask you, I have three questions that I ask you, rapid fire. What is the number one tip that you would give somebody who wants to build their authority?


Jeff C. West  45:37

If you want to build your authority, you need a book. In most cases, I recommend that you work on your own book, you get that together. But when you get down to it, even when you’re building your authority, it should always be the focus should be on the other person. Like in preparation for our thing today, my focus is okay, how can how can I help people in the IT industry that probably hate the sales process, and so they don’t want to be salesy. So how can I help them in the process?


Alastair McDermott  46:05

Love it. I know that you have great answers for this next question. Is there a business book or resource that’s been important for you or that you would recommend?


Jeff C. West  46:15

Alastair, now we’re laughing about this. For those of you that are watching, there are two books that have changed my life so much that I missed them all the time, including the Alastair and including the the preface for the book. But the, the in it’s two books, in the January of 2000, I was given two books by a sales mentor. One was Dr. John C, Maxwell’s 21, Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Everyone who’s leading any team, even a small team needs that book. And the second was a book by an author I’d never heard of. I’d never heard of the book title either. It was by some obscure guy named Bob Berg, who’s now become one of my dearest friends, I consider him a brother. But it’s Bob Berg’s book, Endless Referrals. When I took that material, and I applied it in my business, excuse me. And I applied it in my business. things shifted for me, because that’s the book that got me focused on the benefit to the person I’m talking to at the time, and nothing else mattered other than their benefit.


Alastair McDermott  47:21

A little deeper, and now you’re a co author with Bob, have streetwise to sales wise, become objection proof and beat the sales, please. So, Jeff, cus thank you so much for being with us today. Can I just ask you finally, where can people find you if they want to learn more.


Jeff C. West  47:36

If you want to learn more about the book, the easiest way is to go to streetwise to sales You can get the first two chapters there. And that just we’d like to download that. And then if you want the book and go buy the book, it’s also available in audiobook, but Jeff see is a great spot to go. And if someone’s wanted me to work where their team fusion points is also a way to go gives them So


Alastair McDermott  47:59

cool, and we will link to all of those in the show notes. And there’s actually a link also to three kind of little mini training videos on some content that you have as well. So I’ll link to all of those in the show notes that you can get wherever you found this podcast. Jeff C West. Thank you so much for being with me today.


Jeff C. West  48:16

My pleasure. Alastair, I’m honored to have spent the time with you

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