Nov. 30, 2022

#67 - Sales Tip: Inbound vs Outbound

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There is a big difference between an inbound customer, and an outbound cold call. 

In this quick episode, Brendan and Bob talk about how to think about these two different interactions.


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Okay, Bob, guess what? 

You, wait, hold on. 

I'm not even gonna guess it's just another episode of Let's Chat Sales. 

Oh, you had me thrown for a second.

I thought something else was going on, but you know, I live for it.

Let's Chat Sales! 

So, we're gonna piggyback on the last episode, where we talked about making kind of creating discomfort for your customer by proposing, behavior change.

And so, to jump on top of that one, or to kind of add onto that, there are different scenarios wherethat discomfort, manifests itself. 

So I wanna talk about the difference between a customer that picks up the phone and calls you

and says, 

Hey, I'm interested, versus you picking up the phone and calling the customer and saying, Hey, you should be interested.

Or they coming up to your booth at a trade show, 

or they're talking to you somewhere else versus, you know, inbound the thing of opportunity versus outbound, right? 



And well, the thing about a trade show is they may be coming up to your booth and saying, 

Hey, what gadgets are you giving away?

Or what is it that you guys do? 

And so you don't know whether or not, they're interested or not. 

They have that problem. 

See, there's some discovery, although I went to a trade show once looking for a solution and looked at four companies. 

Yeah, well then you're go,

That's like, that's inbound.

But that's because you know, or you know what you're looking for.

So let's start there. 

In that situation, an inbound call, an inbound expression of interest to you and your company suggests, first of all,

That the customer has recognizes at some level that they have a problem 

or that they have an issue that they wanna address.

So they've already kind of embraced the discomfort of making a change that we talked about in the last episode.




And that's important. 

They also embrace the idea that they're gonna spend money. 

Spend money, but money's money.


It's money's okay.

But the thing about it is, 

Says the Entrepreneur and Residence. 


Well the thing is, it's money's money. 

They have to spend money one way or another.

And it's important. 

The reason I say that is it's so important not to discount the non-monetary effort that needs to take place in order to make a change. 

It's not the money.

When I was talking to Cigna the other day about a program and they just, they have the money to spend to do it, right?

It's like, Oh, I gotta get this group involved. 

They gotta get that group involved. 

I gotta do this. 

I have to get approvals from legal and all this. 

Nah, I just don't have it. 

And that's the kind of calculus your customers go through a lot of times, right?

It's not about the money, it's about the effort and the complexity and it's extra work and all that. 

And especially if it's a new solution. 

If you don't have a million customers that you can say, We've done this, those things are heightened. 

Right. Right. 

Well, that comes into the area of risk that's like, Oh, do I want to bet my career or my reputation or whatever on this company, 

Can they execute?

Can they move the ball across the goal line, so to speak? 


But, that's one of the things that goes into that equation. 

So what we're talking about here now, the difference is when someone picks up the phone 

and calls you, they've accepted, Hey, I might have to do some work.

And so they were already kind of further down that customer journey than someone when you pick up the phone 

and call someone outta the blue and say, Hey Bob, you know, you really should do this. 

You should use this new service that we've developed, and it's great. 

You've got an existing world that you're dealing with.

Your operations are plugging along. 

Maybe they are suboptimal. 

Maybe there are things you could do differently. 

Maybe there are ways you could optimize it. 

And I'm proposing all those things to you. 

But what's going on in your head? 

You're thinking, oh man, I've gotta do this.

Oh, I've gotta do that. I've gotta add this equation, or I've gotta add this capability or whatever. 

I've gotta get these people inside my company involved. 

I have to go get approvals for this.

It's gonna ripple through other schedules that I might have, they might follow up with, follow up

my holidays, who knows 

At this time of year.


We're recording this in November and I think that's a big factor. 


That's the thing that when someone picks up the phone and calls you, you know that there's some level of accept. 

Whereas when you pick up the phone and call someone else, that's the challenge.

That is the challenge is you have to get them to understand that you're proposing a level of discomfort, a level of change, a level of risk, 

and that they're, as we talked about in the last episode, there's got to be some sort of payoff. 

And the payoff has to be sizeable.

And all these other risks and difficulties have to be addressed somehow if they're gonna move off this position 

And that payoff has to be them. 


Of course. 

It seems to you. 

Right, Right. 

But I think sometimes we think about the payoff to us. 


You know, Oh, well this will be my first customer.

They'll, they'll test this product for me. 

I'll get all these great things from this customer going with my solution. 

That's not what they wanna know or here they wanna know. 


We talk about that all the time. It's really never, it's never about you. 

It's about the customer. It's about getting them to be successful with the solution or with the product.

It's, if you focus, 

I saw this guy last week tell me that he would earn his commission if I bought this product from him. 

He was that close to his monthly. 

Oh yeah. 

I wanna take a picture of like, Oh, this is what an old sales, this was old salespeople look like.

I was gonna say, 

Oh man, that's a good one.

Picture the guy from NASA with the white shirt and the really narrow tie. 


Oh yeah. 

That was him. 


That was it? 



Oh, wow. 

As if I wanted to help 'em. 


Like, Oh, okay. 

Let me solve your problem. 

Yeah, Yeah. 

That's, Oh man.

I can't imagine how that would work. 

It's not outta the realm of possibility that someone would say that, 

Oh, no, that's not all.

I know guys like that. 

If I close this sale, I'll hit my sales quota for the year. 

That means I get 5,000 bonus.

Oh, it always made me nuts that people would figure out what the commission was on a deal that

hadn't closed. 

Like, why? Don't do. Oh, oh. 

That's like, 

Yeah, I think you're chasing the wrong ball at that point. 



So this gets back to the, my point is that, you have to focus on the customer 

and what the customer's understanding of the difficulties they're gonna have. 

Because when you pick up the phone and you call someone cold and say, I want you to try this.

You ought to be thinking about this new thing that I've got and it really solves your problem. 

You have to know in the back of your head that you're introducing a problem you're at. 

You're saying to them, Hey, your situation isn't as good as it should be. 

And at some level, you're basically telling them that, Oh, you know, you should have been aware of

this and you should already be on top of it.

I'm bringing it to your attention. 

And at some level you're kind of telling them that they're not doing a very good job 

Or they're not perfect. 

Yeah. Yeah. 

And we kind of go through the masquerading all day of that we're perfect. 


And when someone tells us we're not perfect, that tends to, 

Oh, I'm quite certain I'm not perfect.

I've had a number of people, point that out to me. 

So I know for a fact I have a very solid understanding of my imperfections. 

It's a long list. 

We do a podcast about it, that that'd be an hour long show. 

But if yours is only an hour, I'm impressed.

So anyway, I think, have we beating this up?

I think we have the point being just in summary, and cuz I think this is a really important point. 

When you pick up the phone and call someone, and I'm beating the dead horse 

I know when I say this, but it's just so important when you pick up the phone and call someone, you're really being a bother.

And so you have to figure out a way to make them understand that it's not a bother, that you're really looking out for them and you're delivering real value, 

but you have to understand that as you believe in that value, that this is what you're gonna do 

and this is how it's gonna help their business and all that sort of thing.

But you have to also know in the back of your head, you're also introducing a problem, a level of discomfort that,

Oh, I gotta know I got work to do. 

You're making me do work. 

So as you explain that value, you have to explain how you're gonna help alleviate all the discomfort

and the difficulty that you're introducing by adding your product to their equation by introducing this new solution.

And I just think that that's just a very important point for people to understand. 

So you've re reminded me of it. 

I'm aware of it, but you've caused me to think about it in a more concrete ways.

So thank you for that. 

No, Sure. 

All right. 

So, again, I think we beat it up. 

We should do this again.

We should have another chat one of these days.

About sales 

As long internet is free. 

I think we're good when they start charging us for the privilege.

I don't know. 

This is invaluable. 

Will pay whatever fee they charge.


We'll talk again soon, Bob. 

Okay. See yah.

That was another episode of Let's Chat Sales a quick one, of course. 

And I hope it was helpful. 

And if it was please like, and subscribe and more importantly, share it with your friends.

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It's probably good. 

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It's probably helpful. And thanks for listening or watching.