Turning More Appointments Into Sales
Turning more appointments into sales is by far the best place for a business to take control within the sales pipeline.
Hosted by Kevin Dieny
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[00:00:00] Kevin Dieny: Hello, welcome to the Close The Loop podcast. Today, we’re going to be jumping into how to turn more appointments into sales, and I’ve brought a really special guest today. The sales evangelist, if you’ve ever heard of his podcast, his name is Donald Kelly.
[00:00:16] Kevin Dieny: Donald has a belief that anyone can sell if they have the desire. Early on in his career, Donald struggled with sales, but through the proper training and coaching, he became a top performing seller.
[00:00:27] Kevin Dieny: I think that’s a really cool lesson to take away from that. He has since taken it upon himself to evangelize the message of effective selling, to struggling entrepreneurs, salespeople, and anyone looking to improve their sales hustle, Donald hosts a popular sales podcast, which I alluded to the sales evangelist.
[00:00:44] Kevin Dieny: This show has over 2.3 million all-time downloads, huge numbers, and is heard in over 150 countries. Donald and his podcast have also been mentioned in entrepreneur magazine, Forbes, Inc, and HubSpot as a top B2B sales podcast. So welcome Donald, we’re so happy to have you.
[00:01:02] Donald Kelly: Hey, I appreciate you. Thank you so much. I’m grateful that you guys decided, then gave me the invitation to be here. Hopefully I can bring some wisdom to your community.
[00:01:10] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, we are really excited to jump in. I’ve also got my co-hosts, again with us, then that’s Matt Widmyer. Welcome Matt.
[00:01:16] Matt Widmyer: Hey guys. Thanks for having me back, good to be here.
[00:01:18] Kevin Dieny: So today’s topic of, turning more appointments into sales, I’ll ground it a little bit about what we’re kind of talking about and then I’ll toss it over with a question. So we’re talking about turning more appointments in the sales and an appointment is a lot of things to a lot of people. It could be an in-person appointment, could be meetings, could be virtual, it could be a lot of things.
[00:01:37] Kevin Dieny: And for a company or a business, I feel like there’s a lot behind that, that got them there. It’s we’re talking about someone who’s more than a lead you’ve spent money to get this person you’ve talked to this person, or you’ve had something, maybe a booking software, something, get them to a point to say, I’m okay with either showing up or being there, or I will be available when you call, I’ll be there at my house when you knock.
[00:02:01] Kevin Dieny: That’s the appointment, but how do you turn more of those appointments into sales? And I think some of the struggle there is these people feel like maybe I’m not necessarily a sales person. Maybe I’m a tech showing up at someone’s house. Maybe I am a salesperson calling people all day on the phone, but it could also be like, hey, I’m in the doctor’s office or something.
[00:02:20] Kevin Dieny: And these people are showing up for an appointment. How do I actually get them to go through with that appointment? And I think just generally, when we talk about how do we get more of these appointments that we’ve set turned into sales, turned into showed, turned into whatever we’re doing, sales services we’re offering.
[00:02:36] Kevin Dieny: That’s really what we’re trying to unravel a bit here. So every business that sets appointments is dealing with this. And so one of the things I’d like to ask Donald, is what keeps appointments from turning into sales? What keeps a hundred percent of appointments turning into a hundred percent sales?
[00:02:55] Donald Kelly: People are just unpredictable sometimes… <laugh>. No, I think one of the big piece that comes back down is even in our organization, I’m grateful that we have a really good rate of people showing up to their appointments. There are many different factors.
[00:03:10] Donald Kelly: Internally, some of the things that we see that prevent that from happening is that it just may not be the right timing for someone because when it comes as an inbound lead, those people, they’re researching to some degree they’re coming on a website and it may be, they’re just preparing for next year or preparing for their calendar year or whatnot.
[00:03:27] Donald Kelly: So there’s still a little bit of research when you get a lot of inbound leads to that degree. So that’s one of the areas that we see. The other thing that we find is just that a person is not fully qualified or vetted for our organization because they’re an inbound. They found and they thought it would be good to learn about sales coaching, or to train their teams.
[00:03:45] Donald Kelly: So they sign up on a website, but they’re not qualified at that point. So those are some of the factors that we have seen internally. And then have the people who they’re looking for something way inexpensive compared to what you have to offer. And I’m a big believer in that you don’t bend over backwards to drop your price, just to get someone in the door.
[00:04:06] Donald Kelly: And if they’re not a fit, it’s okay. That’s fine. We can go and find somebody else, but those are the top three things that I would see that prevent people from converting from the appointments that we have to becoming an actual sale. #1, they’re just doing research, #2, they’re not qualified for doing business with us, and #3, they can’t afford us.
[00:04:25] Donald Kelly: So those are some of the areas, but those are just inbound. On the outbound side, it’s a whole different thing. That’s where our BDRs, they do the qualification. So those people who come to the table, they’re a little bit more higher chance of moving forward to the next level.
[00:04:38] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, those are really good points. Something that I feel like they all kind of fall under a little bit there, as you mentioned is like the fit, the qualification.
[00:04:46] Donald Kelly: Mhmm.
[00:04:47] Kevin Dieny: Upfront marketing is telling them, Hey, come in for free. But then when you’d actually did get to someone, they get in their appointment, and they were like, oh, this is a $50 appointment, I thought that this was free.
[00:04:56] Kevin Dieny: That’s like huge bait and switch problem, marketing uh oh. And then when a BDR, when it’s an appointment setting person, a scheduler or a front office sales person, whoever’s doing that qualifying, if it’s passed through them and it gets there, and then there’s a miscommunication error.
[00:05:16] Kevin Dieny: And this was something that Matt had brought up as a interesting question. And that is so Donald, how do you strike that balance between quality, so very high qualified, right? We only want people who we’ve talked to on the phone, who we’ve talked to and verified every little detail, but we’re going to get less.
[00:05:31] Kevin Dieny: Right. Cause we put them through the force of making sure every little bit, every single box is checked. So high quality versus quantity, let’s get them there, as many people as we can. So, Matt was like, how do you figure that out?
[00:05:43] Kevin Dieny: More numbers or higher quality? What do you think?
[00:05:46] Donald Kelly: One of the concepts we’re adopting and we’ve adopted it, but it’s when I say adopting is continual to improve on. It’s the idea of account-based marketing. So that ABM tactic where we’re putting our marketing folks in alignment with our sales folks and we’re following them on that same level because that marketing qualified lead, it could fall under that bracket where marketing is like, Hey, this person signed up for something on the website.
[00:06:09] Donald Kelly: Sales, go take care of this person, reach out to them. And I would, by all means, send my BDRs to go and do that because I want them to improve. It gives them good practice, they get a chance to become better, but what we’ve seen to be even more effectiveness is to have that named account.
[00:06:23] Donald Kelly: So we might say, for instance, as an organization, this is our dream 100 list that we’re going to be going for. Marketing, here’s your plays that you’re going to run. Sales here are your plays that you’re going to run. We work together on how we can tackle those accounts.
[00:06:35] Donald Kelly: And that way, when that lead comes over, we have vetted it already that your company is a good quality fit. So whether you come from a webinar, then they can see the team, look at it together and say, Hey guys, here are all the people came from the webinar. How many of these people were on our dream list?
[00:06:47] Donald Kelly: Boom, we have Matt and Kevin, they came from this. Sales, this is your opportunity, why don’t you follow up on that and hit them up and so forth, but it’s that it’s a unified sense. It takes work. But that makes it such a big difference as opposed to just spray and pray, throw it to everybody out there.
[00:07:01] Donald Kelly: And again, we, fortunately with a podcast like ours, we can get, people come back to the website, we get people who come to our webinars and so forth. And again, a percentage of those people are still going to be people who may not be on the dream list of folks that we’re focusing on right now, but they could be an MQL, marketing qualified lead.
[00:07:18] Donald Kelly: They downloaded a piece of content. They’re interested in to some degree in sales coaching or one of our mindset program or a business development program. They were on that page. They came to a webinar. They can still be followed up on, as well, but the best way to fix it is to you take control by having that ABM account-based marketing strategy with sales and marketing.
[00:07:40] Kevin Dieny: So one of the really cool things that you’ve brought up there is having some pretty well-oiled alignment, especially between marketing and sales. So that’s like a huge topic for all us. Yeah, them not working super well in unison. The simplest way to put it would be like, okay, when marketing gets a lead, all they’re asking is their name and their email.
[00:07:57] Kevin Dieny: And then when we throw it over the fence, they’re like, okay, who is this? Who are we talking to? What are they interested in? You didn’t collect any of that. And then when the sales side or the SDR side or the appointment, or the outbound team is like, man, we’re having to ask like 10, 12 questions.
[00:08:10] Kevin Dieny: Marketing’s only asking just two basic demographic things. That’s like, okay, let’s try to get more aligned. Let’s try to get it, to a point where both teams aren’t sacrificing a lot, because every time you add a field on a marketing form, we know this, it lowers the amount of people who going to fill it out.
[00:08:25] Kevin Dieny: It obviously increases the quality. That’s like how marketing interprets it too. How many fields can I get away with putting on the form? How much important information is really going to be relevant? Do we really care? For certain details, but yeah, go ahead Donald, yeah?
[00:08:39] Donald Kelly: We have been using a text messaging platform for businesses and for teams.
[00:08:44] Donald Kelly: So what happens now, we do this in an automated way. But we also can do it in a manual. We could text message and provide a little bit more of that personal connection. So somebody fills out a form on our website, set up appointment, via Calendly. We have their text message, their phone number, and then what we can start doing if they fill that out, is start to do the qualification.
[00:09:03] Donald Kelly: So we ask them, Hey, what is it that brought you in today? They start answering some of those questions that marketing could take care of and might say, well, this person may not be good for that appointment for sales but maybe we can provide them some more intel. So find out what industry they’re a part of, find out what brought them in, or just some of those basic things.
[00:09:20] Donald Kelly: And you could say, in order to prep for our appointment, want to just get a couple of things in advance and it’s personal because it’s a text message, literally is a text message that come through. Actually got one that came in for appointment that somebody confirmed 19 minutes ago, they look forward to chatting, but it was an automated message that I send out, but it comes from my phone number and it comes on my phone.
[00:09:38] Donald Kelly: But again, that personalization make it even more effective to qualify and people willing to answer that rather than responding to the email. If that makes sense.
[00:09:46] Kevin Dieny: On the marketing side we use tools that will help us do what’s called like progressive profiling let’s put a little bit less upfront, but then we’re going to check and gate along the way before we throw it over to Matt’s team. Matt’s the place where we send all our leads. So in our company, that’s how it works.
[00:09:59] Kevin Dieny: Marketing shoots them all over to Matt’s team.
[00:10:01] Donald Kelly: Take care of these Matt <laugh>.
[00:10:04] Matt Widmyer: We get to sift through them.
[00:10:07] Kevin Dieny: Yeah. He’s the one who will come back to me and be like, okay, quality, not good. Quality too good, or quantity not good, you know, and we work together and try to figure that out with some alignment, going on there. So Matt, a question for you then. So one of the things that’s come up from this is when your team is talking to someone and you’ve got them in person on the phone real time, you’re having a conversation.
[00:10:28] Kevin Dieny: You’re not seeing them. You’re not in front of them in person, but you’re on the phone. So how do you set better expectations and firmer appointments? And we call it a firmer appointment here where it’s not just a date, but it’s also a time.
[00:10:40] Kevin Dieny: So that’s how we describe a firm appointment versus a soft like, oh yeah, I’m a I’m available on that day. And then they check off a firmer one meaning like I’m ready at this day at this time. Matt how do you set better expectations and set more firmer appointments?
[00:10:53] Matt Widmyer: Right. Uh, that’s what I’m here to learn right from Donald. No, I’m kidding.
[00:10:57] Donald Kelly: <All laugh>
[00:10:59] Matt Widmyer: No, I think it’s all about building that value on that first phone call. Give them a reason to show up. I think that the main idea of what we’re trying to do here is we’re trying to loosen the status quo a little bit, right?
[00:11:09] Matt Widmyer: The people that we’re reaching out to from an outbound perspective, they may or may not have issues within their business that we might be able to solve for them. My two secret weapons are, respect their time. Obviously, if you’re getting out of the blue, I’m not looking to get into everything right now.
[00:11:24] Matt Widmyer: I’m looking to set up a call for later on, next week or whatever. So the first thing is just be very, very respectful of their time. And then second one is the indifference. It’s not for everybody and they should know that going into it. So the indifference and setting expectations, and let them know what they’re getting themselves into.
[00:11:40] Matt Widmyer: Don’t say it’s going to be a quick five minute phone call. If somebody is going to call them at the scheduled time and want to talk to them for 30, 45 minutes, it’s going to drive them nuts and it’s going to make it look like it’s all a bait and switch from our side. I see Donald smiling over there because he’s probably experienced this a million times.
[00:11:57] Matt Widmyer: So I think really just setting expectations, being very clear about what kind of value we can potentially bring to the table. Not assuming their business is completely broken and we’re going to fix everything, but just going, Hey, it looks like based on your situation, there may be an opportunity to work together.
[00:12:15] Matt Widmyer: Do you have some time next week? And then, if we can connect cool. If not, no sweat, when’s a better time. I think queuing it up, pre-appointment like that, it would make a stronger appointment.
[00:12:28] Donald Kelly: You know what I love about that is we’ve done the short appointment thing before. One of my big things, especially when I connect with somebody on LinkedIn, tell them five to seven minutes. And if you tell them that though, you need to make sure you stick to it because it’s nothing like your integrity going out the window.
[00:12:42] Donald Kelly: So when it hits that seven minute mark and be like, Hey, our appointment. I told you five to seven minutes. I want to make sure, that you know, we’re going to end the call here, but if they say, no, no, keep going. Then at least they gave you the authorization to do that, but you are respecting and staying to your guns on it.
[00:12:56] Donald Kelly: And I’ve been a part of those things where it’s like, yeah, let’s chat for a couple of minutes. And it’s like, why is this going for 30 minutes? What kind of ‘couple’ is this man come on.
[00:13:04] Matt Widmyer: Yeah <laughs>, if this is a couple of minutes. I’d love to see what an hour looks like, right? <laughs>
[00:13:11] Kevin Dieny: You know, I’ve heard a pretty cool tactical tip here, and obviously I haven’t been able to apply it. I’m not on your team, Matt, and I’m not doing the sales here, but, I read –
[00:13:22] Donald Kelly: Uh oh I think somebody is trying to come into the sales side, Matt.
[00:13:25] Matt Widmyer: Hehe <laughs>.
[00:13:26] Kevin Dieny: Breaking the third wall here. So the, the tip I heard for this was okay.
[00:13:32] Kevin Dieny: If someone’s very interested, very anxious to get going there, they are gung ho, you try to put those on an appointment for a team, for an account executive, a sales person, as soon as possible. You try to get them booked as soon as possible. And someone who’s, let’s say, more on the fence, less interested, maybe less gung ho.
[00:13:51] Kevin Dieny: They don’t mention anything that gives you that impression of, I’m not ready to go just yet. I’m really exploring, and in the discovery phase here. To put those meetings, in a later part of the week or further down. Reserve on people’s calendars, only those appointments, in the immediate quick, obviously we want to just get every appointment in front of a sales person as soon as possible.
[00:14:08] Kevin Dieny: There’s that feeling. But I thought it was interesting that they were like, look we only reserve those fast, quick appointments, like in the next day or so for those people who are ready to go. And then after that, the two days down the road, or three days down appointments booked in there are kind of telling the sales person, okay, this person is sort of in the fence, figuring it out.
[00:14:28] Kevin Dieny: And obviously that’s something I think that’s really hard to get a nuance of. And you have to figure out where someone is. You know, their buying process, but I thought that was an interesting concept of, for the firm appointment. You’re actually dictating, you’re giving them a range of when they can set that appointment, but you’re choosing that range based on their engagement upfront.
[00:14:47] Matt Widmyer: Do you have do you guys have, a propensity to buy, like ready to go right now? Do you guys treat those or I guess how would somebody, that’s fielding that be able to, treat that with a little more urgency versus something that’s just checking things out on the website or whatever, you know?
[00:15:03] Donald Kelly: Yeah, for me internally, the way that we do it we use Calendly to schedule appointments. So if somebody comes in, if we want to get our point with somebody on LinkedIn, it’s a 15 minute appointment. We know what those are. And then we have certain time period block on our day.
[00:15:18] Donald Kelly: So those are people who are not quite firm for a specific thing. I get so many people who come and want to follow or connect with me. And we have someone that works my LinkedIn inbox. So here you go. You’ve seen behind now the Oz, why I can keep up with my LinkedIn inbox and then what they do is they try to categorize them.
[00:15:36] Donald Kelly: A person could be a potential, community connection or potential sale, or potential business development opportunity there. So they have different things and it will send them to different Calendly links based on that.
[00:15:46] Donald Kelly: And a similar thing with our business development team. If it’s someone that we know is coming in from the website or somebody that’s really interested, they’re going to schedule that, that time, that learn more time and they’ll give them that link. But if it’s somebody that is not fully qualified, not fully vetted, put them in for that small slot.
[00:16:03] Donald Kelly: We have several of those on a calendar so they can do it that way. So that’s how we tier them, so to speak. The hot, ready to learn more and potentially go, Hey, I’m just kicking tires, looking around and I want to chat with you guys, see what you get, what you really do. And that makes it, those are totally different types of appointments, but yeah.
[00:16:21] Kevin Dieny: Here’s the next pivot question toward process. How does tracking the sales process, how could tracking the sales process Donald, lead to more sales? How does tracking it, knowing what’s going on in there… lead to more sales?
[00:16:33] Donald Kelly: Ahh… Ooh… getting me all excited, man. Ooh, about the jump out, then go scream. Because… I know with a lot of small business owners, the way that they do it is winging it. I spoke to a business owner recently. They said that the way they keep track of their opportunities is guess what? Through Excel. And I’m like, you have got to be kidding me.
[00:16:55] Donald Kelly: Your business is doing all right, but you’re going through excel. As a small business owner, you need something to keep track of that. Where is the formality? Where is the function? Where do we see the percentage, where are we at having issues? For instance, a sales process where we have the initial conversation, then maybe have a deeper discussion and maybe you have a demo and then maybe you have close. I’m just making this up super simple.
[00:17:16] Donald Kelly: If I am keeping track of that on Excel. And I’m trying to track it myself personally, without having a CRM. How am I knowing what my performance is like? Yeah, we get like 10 appointments per week. That’s going into the initial conversation and, five of those convert over to deeper discussions. Imagine trying to track all of that by data. Imagine if your team could see, and you could look at a distance, say, man, we’re getting a high percentage of people doing demos, but we’re not getting anyone to do a sale.
[00:17:40] Donald Kelly: What is happening there? And it’s an easy way for you to be able to isolate and say, well, something’s going wrong with our demonstration. What are we doing? Are these people even qualified for a demo? Is there something else that we should be doing? And then maybe we’re saying we’re skipping over the deeper discussion because we’re not getting the right people on board.
[00:17:54] Donald Kelly: We’re not getting the, the right pain points before we give them a demonstration. Because we need to do better at that. And let’s role play some of those practices. And then the other part to that too, once not only the idea of understanding your metrics, the other thing is that it makes your process go by quicker.
[00:18:07] Donald Kelly: Now that you have one formal process, as opposed to, well, this person’s coming in, maybe I’ll go this way with them, or maybe I’ll do this with them. Follow the process. We know it works. Keep them all in the loop and keep them guide them throughout the process. And what happens with business owners and sales professionals is when we start skipping steps, is we start messing up and I can tell you I’ve done it.
[00:18:26] Donald Kelly: So I’m just, I’m speaking from experience. I can’t point fingers. Anyone. I can point at this guy because I’ve been there where I was like, oh man, I don’t need to worry about it. So I’m just going to go in. I’m just jumping to this conversation. No preparation, didn’t get the right information. Didn’t do the research because I skipped that step because I thought I knew more.
[00:18:41] Donald Kelly: And when I got into that conversation, it was a crappy conversation and it was almost a waste of their 30 minutes or 45 minutes and a waste of time for me. And that didn’t progress towards anything because I was skipping steps and I may have lost out, a lot of times on those deals, but I came to realize, follow it, follow it, follow it.
[00:18:57] Donald Kelly: Have a religious process, pretty much with your sales process, that everyone can understand, everyone follows. And now when you bring somebody on, a new team member; they’re not saying, well, Matt does it this way, and, David does it this way, and Amber does it this way. They know this is what we do.
[00:19:10] Donald Kelly: We can always optimize it. If somebody finds a better idea, a better way to do a demo or a better place to do a deeper discussion or whatnot. If we can fine tune those things, we will include that in the process, test it. But you want to test and improve rather than just winging it.
[00:19:23] Donald Kelly: You can’t wing it. If you’re going to really scale your business. And that’s one of the harsh reality that we just need to let small business owners know. No way, no way that you’re going to really get to that high growth part, if you’re just going to keep winging it.
[00:19:35] Kevin Dieny: And Matt, I think you could give us a pretty good background and history of how we’ve gone from notepad, walking around sales, to what we are today. Do you want to catch up on how you manage your team with metrics, how it evolved?
[00:19:50] Matt Widmyer: Oh, man. I’ve never understood the, excel thing. It’s like, what do you guys do? Just send to everyone at the company, your spreadsheet at the end of the week or what?
[00:20:00] Matt Widmyer: We have a very clearly defined sales process and it still cracks me up. But every once in a while you’ll still get someone who’s like, oh, I don’t use Salesforce like that. What do you mean you don’t use it like that. I use it, this is how I use Salesforce or something like that. Oh, you’re using it wrong.
[00:20:19] Matt Widmyer: Not nearly as much of that though, as we as before, but we do have a clearly defined sales process. And like you said, I totally am on the same page. And me and Kevin here, we both very much drink the Kool-Aid when it comes to analytics and CRM reporting and stuff like that, because that is the lifeline of our business.
[00:20:37] Matt Widmyer: I do think that by having those clearly defined stages, I think that we are able to go in and pinpoint out rather than just say like, okay, here’s our generic training this week or whatever. It’s like now we’re able to isolate out and see, where are they falling short in the sales process.
[00:20:53] Matt Widmyer: Are you sending out a bunch of contracts and not getting many back? Well, maybe you need to get a little bit more of a firmer commitment before you send that thing out to start with. Everywhere from the initial agreeing to being on an appointment to the demo, to the price quote, to the contract.
[00:21:10] Matt Widmyer: I mean, there’s something to learn but I do think that, through our evolution, I think that one of the main things is just getting a next step, on every single phone call. Because if you leave it to somebody else’s devices to dictate your success, then you’re doing it wrong.
[00:21:26] Donald Kelly: You know, and one of the things I think is important with that. When I work with BDRs, a lot of time, a lot of them, they’re not as confident, and they’re trying to discover who they are in the first place. So they will, they just, they, they get pushed around. And what I mean by this is like, if you think about it, the prospect.
[00:21:43] Donald Kelly: How often does the product, let me just ask you guys, how often does your prospects or your clients buy your solution?
[00:21:50] Matt Widmyer: It’s a monthly service.
[00:21:52] Donald Kelly: And if you think about that too, when it comes towards your prospects, when they are not buying the thing every single day, they don’t know they are not the expert at it. You are the expert. I am the expert. When it comes towards sales training, you’re not buying sales training. This is when we get done with the initial conversation, just to give you a guidance, you may have some questions about some ideas.
[00:22:12] Donald Kelly: What the next step is. What we’ve seen to be the best step for folks who really want to get their sales team going, they would want to see this. So when can we set up a time that we can go and do this together? Would you like to see this? Would you like to go to the next step and go see a demonstration or see some of the services that we have to offer?
[00:22:27] Donald Kelly: Oh yeah, great. Because they don’t know. It’s kind of like me going to Kenya. And then I’m going to dictate, well, you know what? I want to go see this and I’m going to see, I’ve never been to Kenya. Well, you’re my guide. Tell me where I need to go. What’s the next thing I should be looking for?
[00:22:40] Donald Kelly: How should I do this? I have a idea. I know I want to see some of these things and go on a safari ride, but I don’t know where to go freaking find a safari. How do I get there? What do I need to do? Should I not wear red or white? I mean, what, what is it? You know what I mean? And that’s where I see the business development reps are like, okay, well, yeah, thanks for being here in Kenya.
[00:22:57] Donald Kelly: Yeah. Go for a safari ride. Let me know when you’re ready. Like no, here we go. These are the times that we’re going to do safari. Right? We leave at 8, 12 and 4, which are these work best for you next week or tomorrow? Great. I’ll take, I’ll take 4 o’clock there you go. So anyways.
[00:23:12] Kevin Dieny: Yeah. So that is a really interesting point. And brings me to a question for you, Donald. So there is a point where someone is just not going to buy and when we talk about it together, we’re like, okay, when do we have to close loss an opportunity?
[00:23:28] Kevin Dieny: When do we have to let something go? Like, we put a lot into this. We’re not necessarily saying, look, we’re never going to talk to you again. We’re never going to email again, never going to market. You again, we’re just like, look, we’re taking this off our serious pipeline and putting you into a different place.
[00:23:41] Kevin Dieny: And then when you’re ready, let’s move forward. So how do you figure out when to give up on something, it’s just not going to get there. Because before it’s like, okay we need to get these guys to be a little more firm, a little more objective, a little bit more this is how things need to work as the guide.
[00:23:55] Kevin Dieny: But when is the guide supposed to say, okay, look, you’re just, this is a safari. If you’re not here for that. There’s another place for you. You know what I mean? How does that go?
[00:24:04] Donald Kelly: Yeah. And I think it goes back down to your qualifications, the things that your metrics that you want to look at. If someone misses an appointment twice, or maybe it’s three times we reschedule and they missed it, we reach out to them reschedule and missed it, well reach out.
[00:24:18] Donald Kelly: Well, clearly they’re not either they’re super busy and maybe somebody else in the company should be the one doing this, or perhaps they’re just not interested. That would be the first thing that I look at personally. Let’s find somebody else that could be the best fit in the organization.
[00:24:33] Donald Kelly: Number two, if I know they’re not qualified for what we’re doing. Or even if they’re not ready for one of our programs right now we have these programs and these things, and I’ve had people who, you know, they can’t do it. So we, we downshift, right. We give them lower offerings and if they can’t take any of those offerings, we put them on some kind of drip campaign or a maintain relationship, put them in an educational campaign or whatnot.
[00:24:54] Donald Kelly: And those people may be six months or a year later raised their hands and now they’re fully qualified and are capable. But I want to see first if they, #1, if they can’t fulfill any of those qualifications step, if they’re not looking for training. They don’t have the budget. They’re not the right contact.
[00:25:10] Donald Kelly: And I’m going to find somebody else in the organization. If they’re the main decision-maker and they’re just, they don’t click those. Then we take them off and put them somewhere else. And then the other piece is if they’re missing appointments, if they’re not taking the appointment and clearly that’s, to me, this is not important to them.
[00:25:24] Donald Kelly: And my time is valuable. So I want to make sure I get the people who are going to be worthy, so to speak, of me having an interaction with and vice versa that they recognize the value of their own time and want to maintain that relationship with me. I don’t know if that makes sense.
[00:25:37] Donald Kelly: I don’t know what you guys do internally, Matt, something to that nature?
[00:25:40] Matt Widmyer: No, it totally does. If you’re chasing somebody down to even get them on an appointment, it tells you a little bit about what kind of client they’re going to be from day one. Right. We want to make sure the, value is there from the beginning for absolutely.
[00:25:51] Kevin Dieny: So Matt, then here’s a question for you and you can be, let’s tell it brutally honest.
[00:25:56] Kevin Dieny: Who do you blame when the sale goes wrong? How do you figure that out? We have to blame someone, it doesn’t have to be a scapegoat for everything, but obviously we want to learn from the ones we lose. And we want to be able to figure out, okay, is this a pattern?
[00:26:10] Kevin Dieny: And if it’s a pattern and it’s caused by something that we’re doing, then we want to fix it. Obviously, if it’s something to do with the qualification on the phone, then that’s things you want to train on. But what if it’s the thing that marketing just loves to hear, “These leads are crap.” So how you figure out who and what to blame for these things going bad?
[00:26:28] Kevin Dieny: Matt, you could be brutally honest here.
[00:26:29] Matt Widmyer: Hey, I came, I was on the marketing the team for a while too. I got a lot of that as well. Like, Hey, these things is a waste of my time. These leads suck. No, you suck. And then that’s all the whole conversation right how it goes. But, I don’t really, I don’t point the finger right away to answer your question.
[00:26:45] Matt Widmyer: I don’t really point the finger right away. I look and see what’s going on. Evaluate the situation. Everybody has their one off day, right? Crappy leads come in. Doesn’t matter how hard you try to avoid them. They’ll come in. Salespeople will botch things. They won’t admit it, but they’ll botch things every once and again, and think about it afterwards.
[00:27:02] Matt Widmyer: We do, we record, inbound calls. Right? So we are able to dive really deep into it and see. I don’t really like playing the whole, you should have done this. You should have done that game. It always reminds me of being in Vegas, like playing blackjack and the dealers like, you bust.
[00:27:16] Matt Widmyer: And the dealer’s like, oh, well, you should’ve done this. It’s like, okay. Why didn’t you say that before?
[00:27:21] Matt Widmyer: Thanks for the after the fact advice. I think, if it was a really important one, it just really depends on the size of it and the potential of it.
[00:27:28] Matt Widmyer: And if I think something’s really awesome and it gets botched, I’ll look into the, usually the activity history and see if we missed it somewhere, that’s a training opportunity. But I think for the most part, if you’re telling me that, Kevin specifically, you’re telling me that, hey, I have an influx of tier-one ‘A’ leads coming through, and then, it’s somebody interested in things that we don’t do or we can’t solve for it.
[00:27:50] Matt Widmyer: I’ll let you know. Yeah, absolutely. I think the main thing is these conversations, you stay away from the blame game, right? Cause that can go on for hours. You just stick to the facts. Okay. What’s what’s happening here? What happened with this? What happened with that? What can we do next time?
[00:28:03] Matt Widmyer: And then it’s, it’s always learning, tweaking, improving. It’s a cycle. Right?
[00:28:07] Donald Kelly: What I love about that too, Matt. What I love about what you’re saying there too is like encouraging the sales team, but it’s the idea of let’s look at it and see did I do something wrong first.
[00:28:18] Donald Kelly: What could I have done? Cause even if something did get crappy, you took it. You had it. What was there something that you could have done better? So let’s say Kevin did toss over a lead and it wasn’t fully qualified. Now do I just say, well, crap, Kevin, that was a crappy lead or could I have said, well, maybe we can educate this person a little bit more.
[00:28:39] Donald Kelly: How could I help them to better understand our firm? How can I do a better job? Can I help them go a little bit further? Maybe they don’t qualify for this product, could I get them to this other product? And that’s where your salesmanship come in, like your capability to help identify problems and to help somebody to grow from there.
[00:28:56] Donald Kelly: I think it’s better off to look at it as a team problem. I played soccer in middle school and soccer is one of those games. You can’t just say, well, I did my part.
[00:29:05] Donald Kelly: I scored, but the team lost, well, you guys suck. That’s not how it works. Even though you can score all the points, you can do the very, very best at your job, but we are a team so we can collectively look and see, how can we perform better? Well, could I drop back and help out a little bit more with defense? Because we were up so many points.
[00:29:24] Donald Kelly: The other team was scoring a lot as well. Could I do more to play defensively, to help prevent the guys from getting down to my goalie in the first place? And I think that’s how we look at it in this vein, like what could I have done better? What was my responsibility?
[00:29:38] Donald Kelly: And if we all take that type of aspect and there’s no blame, it’s the team loss. So screw it. You guys, we all suck. We all need to improve. It’s not one person. And I love that approach.
[00:29:50] Kevin Dieny: So management is looking at that or trying to be like, okay, here’s what’s going on with this person. Here’s what’s going on with that person. And then they’re trying to either coach or mentor or train or is there something that my team doesn’t have control of that another team does that we could influence?
[00:30:05] Kevin Dieny: So putting that all out there, everything we’ve talked about, and that is how in the next 90 days, let’s say, what kind of advice would we give to businesses who want to increase their appointment to sale ratio, or they’re getting more appointments turned into sales.
[00:30:22] Kevin Dieny: So Donald, any thing that stood out to you or that you’d want to make sure that a business is thinking about so that it can turn more appointments into sales and they want to do it urgently and in the next 90 days?
[00:30:33] Donald Kelly: The first thing, if you don’t have the process, you got to have the process. It will save you. It will make such a world of difference. Let me just give you an example. 90 days from now. And let’s say you have a team, you have two business development rep and yourself, they set appointments for you and you close the deals.
[00:30:48] Donald Kelly: Let’s just follow that. We need to make sure if they don’t have this in place, they know exactly what a zebra looks like. And I’m giving a big shout at my friends over selling to zebra. They need to know a zebra is black and white stripes. You can’t make any mistakes on that. This is what an ideal customer for us looks like.
[00:31:02] Donald Kelly: Great. This is what you’d need to ask to see if this person is a zebra. If they’re an ideal customer for us, perfect. And then once they’re on that conversation, this is a flow of what you’re doing on those initial conversations to make sure it happened. Great, and then even before that, this is what you need to do to ensure that appointments come in.
[00:31:22] Donald Kelly: If it’s on my team, one of the things we do is we connect with a person on LinkedIn. So we have the text messaging going on, but I might reach out to you and say, Hey, Matt, super excited to meet with you, super excited to chat with you next week. It would be an honor here to connect on LinkedIn, permission to connect.
[00:31:36] Donald Kelly: Like, oh, great. This person’s reaching out to me already. And then marketing is already on top of that sending reminder messages. And then the sales person has the appointment confirmed. So we’re doing those things so we can cover those bases. And then I can, continue to guide Matt. And I can engage on some of his posts or some of his content on LinkedIn.
[00:31:52] Donald Kelly: Because I’m just trying to let them know, Hey, I’m here. I’m looking forward to chatting with you in a couple of weeks. And I say, oh Matt, I love that point. You made on this blog post blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But at least I am prepping. And that likelihood of Matt canceling with a friend decreases significantly.
[00:32:06] Donald Kelly: And then once they come into the meeting, we know exactly what the BDRs are going to say. Exactly the process they’re going to follow. And that more than likely will help us to be able to get to a sale. And anyone could do that. You can sit down and write that stuff out today. And if you don’t know it, look at, sit down with one of your BDRs tomorrow and find out what is the best one.
[00:32:24] Donald Kelly: What is it that you guys are doing to get the best appointment, to get people to show up to your appointment and to turn into opportunities and sales. Listen to what they say recorded on your phone. And it’s beautiful. And now you have your process there and make sure everybody follows that. That’s what I would say in the next 90 days somebody could do.
[00:32:43] Kevin Dieny: Man. I love hearing things like that because we’re like, as Matt has said before, in the past, we are CRM, fanboys. We’re all about the data and the process. And not everyone thinks in that way, but that’s why Donald’s saying you don’t have to be, you know, a NASA scientist here to figure this out. What is simply, what has to happen to make the sale.
[00:33:01] Kevin Dieny: And then what, along that path are we able to track and what are we not, if there’s a gap there, like, okay, well, I can track up to this point, but at this point I can’t. Maybe there’s a tool or maybe there’s something, what is that worth to you to be able to. See, what’s failing there and then to be able to train and move forward with it.
[00:33:18] Kevin Dieny: We’re kind of at the cusp of time though, the last little thing, if you could talk about it quickly, Donald would be coaching, mentoring, training your team, how do leaders get their team following it and how they get their team excited about it?
[00:33:30] Kevin Dieny: If you have something pretty brief, you could touch on there?
[00:33:33] Donald Kelly: I call it money and fire. If you do it right, you get more money. If you don’t, you get fired. No.
[00:33:40] Donald Kelly: No <laughs>.
[00:33:44] Kevin Dieny: That’s awesome.
[00:33:45] Donald Kelly: I might have to use that. That probably is a new book, I’m going to write now, money and fire. Haha na, but I think one of the best things you can do is never, ever, ever assume. And it sounds like you guys do a fantastic job of not assuming with looking at the data there. But when I, when I meet with my team, one of the things is to make sure the schedule times I’ve made the mistake before, where I assumed that the team knew exactly what they’re supposed to do.
[00:34:10] Donald Kelly: There was a process in place, but they just didn’t follow it and give a perfect example was me. I was working as a software sales rep and I was doing pretty decent. I was one of the top performers on the team and I met with my manager on cue every single month I met with Laurie every month for my coaching session.
[00:34:25] Donald Kelly: She knew that we were trying to save money. She knew we wanted to do some travel and buy a house, all this stuff. So she knew what we were doing. She understood my personal goal and then how I could accomplish that. And for me, just vocalizing that to someone. And someone that was like a mentor that I looked up to and respected.
[00:34:40] Donald Kelly: And then someone that was able to give me feedback and guidance, it helped. And I was able to go out and apply. But Laurie, she was a selling manager. And then what started happening, we started to do pretty decent as an organization. So she felt that we didn’t need to do those coaching and the executive team.
[00:34:54] Donald Kelly: So we stopped doing the coaching. But gradually what started happening with the sales team? It’s not that we’re all a bunch of crap, idiots. It’s just that, because we won’t have that consistent accountability and that coaching, our performance just decreased a little bit and it wasn’t until they, the executive team recognized that.
[00:35:09] Donald Kelly: And I mentioned it to her. I was like, I liked our coaching session. We started to see an uptake again, because the team had that one-on-one with their leader. It’s like a parent. You give them a roof over their head and you give them food.
[00:35:20] Donald Kelly: I mean, technically yes, you’re a parent, but if you were to sit down with your kid and just have some time, tell me about school today. How was your, how was your classes? Let me read you some stories. Let me find out how your homework’s doing and let’s review it together. That’s much better parenting than just like saying, eat go school and good luck. You’re out at 18.
[00:35:39] Donald Kelly: It’s like, no, I want to be that better parent. And it’s the same idea with coaching a team? Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Am I always on there doing everything every single moment? No, you mess up and you miss times and the meetings need to be changed for coaching sessions and I’ve missed months.
[00:35:57] Donald Kelly: But the point is you just, you keep it consistent and you do it as much as you can to be consistent and be there. I I’ve also seen like being in those weekly team meetings and being a part of that huddle and, and getting them to practice with you and seeing you, I mean, I’d make phone calls too with them.
[00:36:12] Donald Kelly: And when I do that, it’s amazing. So what happened with that performance? Not that they’re incompetent. It’s just the fact that you’re there. It’s being that pep rally. And the one last thing I remember my mom, she worked and, she had her schedule changed at one point. So she was home when we got home.
[00:36:26] Donald Kelly: And it was cool. And sometimes she was there and the fact that she was just home, I was like excited. And I could go and do my thing and play outside or whatever. And she’s like, how was your day? It was good. Blah, blah, blah.
[00:36:36] Donald Kelly: I want to go watch TV now. But when the days when I came home and she wasn’t home, I was like where’s mom, where’s mom, where’s she at? So I don’t know if that makes sense, but your presence just makes it a whole big difference for your sales team, it inspires them.
[00:36:49] Kevin Dieny: Sounds like a lot of the things that you’re doing over there, Matt.
[00:36:51] Matt Widmyer: Yeah. Yeah. I like the best Kings, grab their swords and go into battle with their Knights too. Right. I love that.
[00:36:58] Donald Kelly: Yes, unless you’re trying to get rid of all of them. Just send them out there on the front lines.
[00:37:05] Kevin Dieny: <Laughs> well, so thank you so much Donald for coming on. We’ve really narrowed down a lot of good ideas about turning more appointments into sales, focusing on the process, focusing on the coaching tracking what’s going on, having a good idea of where things are at. The right amount of time on things, knowing when to let things go and then coaching and mentoring and, and constantly improving along the way.
[00:37:28] Kevin Dieny: All those tools are pretty essential for management or for a sales person or for someone who’s helping appointments turn into sales. The alignment there with marketing we were mentioning and other departments, support, whatever it is, IT, operations any kind of company could probably benefit from all of the things we’ve talked about today.
[00:37:45] Kevin Dieny: So thank you Donald for coming in. And is there any way that you’d like to share, that people can get to know more about you, about your company? Anything that you do or follow up with you?
[00:37:54] Donald Kelly: Yeah. If you find that you’re in a position where, you do your very best to set appointments. You’re having conversations, you’re sending proposals, you’re doing everything that you thought that you need to do with your prospect. And you’re still not getting those deals closed.
[00:38:09] Donald Kelly: We can help with that. That’s where my team and I come in, we have different programs. We have one-on-one coaching. We work with individuals, we work with group coaching, working with teams, and we also do consulting where one of me or one of our consultants work with an organization, develop their playbooks and their processes and guide them.
[00:38:25] Donald Kelly: And we also have cohorts where we do a business development training. Every other month we have different programs, mindset is a really popular one. We have people join that we partner with Pacific Institute and it’s built all around science, so people know what to do, but helping them to maximize how to do it every single day.
[00:38:40] Donald Kelly: So from our training programs, one-on-one coaching to group coaching, masterminds, so consulting, they can find all of that by going to thesalesevangelist.com. And if you just want to connect with me and, chat, you can also connect with me on LinkedIn or any platform. Donald C. Kelly.
[00:38:55] Kevin Dieny: He’s also got a great podcast called the sales evangelist podcast, I would check it out.
[00:38:59] Donald Kelly: Check it out!
[00:39:01] Kevin Dieny: Yeah all right, so thank you guys. Thank you so much for coming on and our listeners, we really appreciate you listening and hope you got a lot out of this. Thanks Matt. Thanks Donald.
[00:39:09] Matt Widmyer: Thanks guys. Thanks Donald. Good having you, man.
[00:39:12] Donald Kelly: Thanks for having me.