Becoming An Unstoppable Sales Professional With Liz Wendling
Do your words give away your power or help you stand in strength? In this episode, Liz Wendling, President at Insight Business Consultants, joins Chad Burmeister as they discuss sales language and how to become an unstoppable sales professional. Get to know Liz a bit more as she shares her journey through the years from New Jersey to Colorado. Liz talks about her overflowing energy and how this energy translated to the incredible work she does—helping her clients figure out how to speak and be in their business in a way that resonates with them. Tune in and learn how to show up as your best self and emanate your authentic energy as an unstoppable sales professional.
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Becoming An Unstoppable Sales Professional With Liz Wendling
I've got a special guest with me and we're going to talk about something that you may not have talked about much, and that is sales language. Do your words give away your power or help you stand in strength is the topic? I have Liz Wendling with me. She is the Founder of Insight Business Consultants. She's been doing this for many years. I guess this is lucky 13, 2020 for you, Liz.
Yes totally. The 2020s the year.
Before we started the talking, it sounds like some good things have come out of this year that is some of the work that you do with attorneys. I'd love to learn a little bit more about that. Before we get there, I like to learn a little bit about folks that we have on the show where'd you grow up? Are you a Denver native or did you grow up somewhere else?
I was born in the main streets of Bronx, New York. I grew up in the Bronx, but we only lived there for about six months. I was a through and through Jersey girl. My mom and dad moved to New Jersey when I was six months old and stayed there for 30 years and then moved to Colorado. I have a little bit of Colorado in me, but deep down I'm a Jersey girl.
Mine was six months in Wisconsin and then we moved to Colorado Springs at six months. I've been a Colorado native. You grow up in New Jersey for 30 years. Where'd you go to school in Jersey I assume?
I sure did.
What was your major in college?
It was Exercise Physiology, nothing to do with business.
I bet that helps you keep your mind sharp
My mind and my body.
Think back to when you were younger. This would have been the Bronx, but not six months old. You don't have any memories then. You've moved across the river and you're now in Jersey. What was your passion when you were 5, 6, and 7? In that age, what did you think about when you woke up in the morning? What interested you?
If I would have been diagnosed, then I probably would have been a child with ADD. I remember my mom and dad always say, “Can you sit still?” I always wanted to do gymnastics, tap and do something where I can be active. I always wanted to be active. I was born with a lot of energy and that energy has stayed with me all the way many years later. I feel like I still have the same energy level as a six-year-old. It was a movement. It was being active and being in front of people.
How does that impact your ability to help the customers that you work with?
It helps from my first coaching call in the morning or my last coaching call of the day. I always feel like I am the same person. I don't burn out. I don't have a lot of those ups and downs in my day. Whenever anybody works with me, they always get me full force from start to finish. A lot of my clients say they appreciate that. They want to know a little bit more about how do I manage my energy. How do I stay in that high energy space when things are falling apart? We can manage our energy on a lot of levels. I don't think a lot of people believe that so they try to do it with coffee, pills or cigarettes or any other way to get energy from an outside source versus tapping into the energy that they have. How to manage it? How not to completely blow yourself in the morning and all your energy has gone for the day and you don't get much done?
We met a person at a cigar bar. Me and my CMO went to the cigar bar. There was a pastor from St. Thomas More Church who moved to Colorado from Madison, Wisconsin. We talked about energy. He's studying his PhD in Physiology. He talked about how energy can impact not just yourself but it can have an impact on other people and other things. I was like, “Whoa,” It was deep conversations because you think about energy and it's like, “Can you change outcomes based on energy?” It's fairly, you can, according to his research doing.
It's transferable as well. The energy that transfers well to someone is authentic, that aligned energy. It's not that fake energy that we heard in sales for many years, “You have to be enthusiastic, show up and be enthusiastic.” That's a bunch of BS these days because people could see right through that. When your passion comes through the energy that you have around that, that's contagious. That's what people like and want to be around.
There are certain people that are not blood family, but maybe some of its blood family too that I do feel the change at times depending on who they're talking to, “What's going on?” It throws up a red flag on the place and says, “Wait a minute I'm about to be fake.” You're saying, living within your energy is that's when life becomes frictionless. Just be who you are.
That's a great word. There's a lot of freedom in that when you know that you're showing up as your highest and best self. You don't have to put on an act or put on a show. This is who I am, but it’s not the old saying like, “Take it or leave it, this is who I am.” It's someone who's spent a lot of time getting to know herself and understanding who I want to be out in the world and show up in that way. That's the energy that transfers well to other people
There's a guy that's friends of our family who was John Denver, a manager. He lived in Aspen for many years and he wrote a book called How to Live an Extraordinary Life, you read it and there are pillars. The last chapter gives the punchline and it talks about living a friction is this life. It says, “All that stuff is important, you go back to when you're a kid, you have to understand the story you told yourself. There are all these different things you can use to unpack and unpeel why you think the way you think.” At the end of it was just be yourself.
When it comes to sales language, the topic of this conversation, do your words give away your power or help you stand in your strength. How do you be conscious of the word you're using, but with also being in your own energy and being frictionless? Is it something you need to learn as conscious competence until it becomes unconscious competence? How do you choose your words wisely without conflicting what we talked about?
First, identify how you're speaking. It is what you're doing whether it's an email or a voicemail or a face-to-face meeting is what you're saying and how it's coming out. Is it landing the way that you want to? Does it feel good coming out of your body? Does it sound like you? Does it resonate with you? A lot of times, what I find when I start working with someone is, someone gave them a script, someone told them that this is how you start a sales meeting, this is how you do rapport, or this is how you make a connection with someone or build enthusiasm. All that stuff tends to be the very old way of doing business. The old adages of business and it don’t resonate with who people are, but they keep using it anyway.
Don't stop and go, “Wait a second. I don't like the way that feels every time I start an email or every time I leave a voicemail that sounds like that.” Something's off, they may feel it but they don't know what to replace it with. They don't know or they're not knowledgeable enough to say, “That doesn't work, I don't like that but what else do I say?” That's where I come in. What I do is help people figure out how to speak and be in their business in a way that resonates with them. Not everybody on this planet should start a meeting, meet with a brand new client, bond or build rapport the same way. It has to feel aligned with who you are as a human being. I watch people start meetings that say, “How was the traffic? Is it hot enough outside for you?” That stuff has been done for decades. It doesn't land anymore. It makes people roll their eyes.
There was a guy that worked with me at a prior company. After I left this prior company, he was asked to follow the script word for word. He's a Jersey boy. He talks like a Jersey guy and he had it down. He booked 33 meetings in one day using his approach. He was told, “You must use this script with the 98% otherwise, you're not going to last here.” He didn't, he lasted all about a month and it's like, “That guy booked 33 meetings in one day what most people do in 2 to 3 months.” That fits exactly in line. You can give someone the talk track or I call it a call guide in this world. Here's your called guide. I want to be somewhere within the vicinity of this. As long as you make it your own, then we'll be okay. I can also monitor over hundreds and thousands of conversations. If your opener loses him at hello, then we need to have another conversation. If you tweak a few words here and there or your 27 become 60, one guy changed it to five minutes. I was like, “It's never going to work.” We listened to the calls and it worked. He was like, “Do you have five minutes so I could tell you why I called?” I'm like, “Are you serious?”
I would even challenge and say his belief system was, “I need five minutes.” When he said it, it landed in the best way that other people received it well and said, “Sure, I'll give you five minutes.” It tells me if somebody asked me for 27 seconds, I would think, “That's all you need, you must not have much to say.” I do like the five-minute because it becomes more of a conversation. You have to go with what feels right coming out of your body. That's what a lot of people don't do. They don't stop long enough to say, “Does this sound like me? Does this feel good? Is this going to work for me? Can I do this long-term? Can I try it? If it doesn't, how do I modify it?” That’s would people get to sell in a way that resonates with who they are, they become unstoppable because they've got the framework, but they're also being their highest and best self on every single call, every email, and every time they're interacting with someone.
That's where the second question fits with the first. It's not what you say, it's how you say it. Does that still hold true or not? We've already answered the question, but let's go deeper on that.
This is one of my favorite things to talk about because that expression is decades old. It says, “It's not what you say, it’s how you say it.” This implies that you can call somebody and ask. As long as you say it, nice, it won't matter. That decades-old expression made sense prior to the internet. When people did a lot of face-to-face meetings. Where we had a lot of human to human interaction at a time where body language made up 55% of communication. Where you were in the physical presence of another human being and then your 38% was tone, voice, and speed. Where you could hear the energy and intention of what was being said and 7% came from words. That doesn't hold true anymore because most of our texts, emails, and a significant portion of our interactions are done with messaging online. We're sending texts and emails. Email and texting remove two critical elements, the voice and the body language. When you remove that, that means 93% of your communication has taken out. Two of the largest influences in your communication are stripped out of the conversation. What you say and how you say it matters and it matters now more than ever.
Both sides of the equation matter now more than ever, it's you can call someone in an ass in a nice way. We have to think about the word you’re using and what you're saying.
When you remove all of that, we have to stop long enough and say, “I typed that out or I texted that.” If I got my point across, if it's going to come across condescending, salesy or pitchy, and it's stopping long enough to look at the words that you're about to hit send on. Does it resonate with you? Does it sound like everyone else who's trying to get in someone's inbox or in their text? That's been happening way too much. Starting out messages with, “Hi, how are you? I hope your well. I hope you had a great weekend.” That doesn't cut it anymore. That stuff sounds old school.
There's great training that I did. It was on you phrasing instead of I phrasing. When someone sends an email to me, I'll still out of courtesy. If it's I, I'll reply and I'll highlight in red the I’s and in green to you’s. I say, “Good try.” What would happen if you change the green to red and the red to green? You have 70%phrasing, no I's in the first sentence, all you and it's magical especially if you can get that through a marketer's head. I would say people, in general, tend to do that, but when you can teach that secret weapon to a marketer, they appreciate it. It's like, “No one's ever pointed that out. This is amazing. This is terribly written.” They realize that you facing works like a junk.
I had people will say to me, “I don't want to be salesy. I don't want to be self-centered. I don't want to come across like I'm selling anything.” How can you send an email with nothing but an “I” in it? You don't want to be salesy, but you're sending salesy crap. You're not showing up congruent. You're not aligned. That's why your messages don't get through.
One thing we learned in the last months is, you've seen Loom videos and VideoArt videos. Traditionally, it can add drag to an executive, a regional director, or even a senior account executive. The way to personalize at scale, without losing the other 70% to 80% is body language tone and visual is that you have your real BDR go on. If I was sending you one, I'd go to your website Insight Business Consultant, I'd look at it and I'd say, “I am looking at your site. Congrats for thirteen amazing years.”
I'd say something quippy about thirteen, how it's in 2020. I'd connect at least as a human. I then point out something of value and it would be less than 90 seconds because that's about all we can consume. We're finding that if we do that, we can pay someone who that's all they do all day is create those videos. It doesn't have to be for me, it can be someone else, 60% to 80% open rates on an email, the same form and structure, just different content, and a 20% to 30% reply rate. Most people get 1% to 2%. What you're talking about, what you say, and how you say it into the video email, but take the objection out of, “How could I do 50 of those a day?” You have someone else do it on your behalf.
If people could understand that starting out emails, texts or voicemails with, “How are you? I hope you're doing well. Hope you had a great weekend.” You don't know me. You’re saying that to me, do you think I sat there and hoped I had a good weekend. I doubt it. What I teach people is that's for you. When you type out hope, you had a great weekend. That's for you. It makes you feel like you're bonding or creating a connection. In fact, you're doing the opposite. People are rolling their eyes saying, “Another email with the same opening line.”
There's a person trying to sell to me. He was introduced to me, $20,000 to get five guaranteed interviews on nationally syndicated TV shows, CNN, and Fox. I'm like, “Okay, $20,000 that's not bad.” Imagine if this person would come out to CEO's in one of those video recordings, “I saw your personal site that you've launched at ChadBurmeister.com, ScaleX, and SalesClass.ai. You've been busy during COVID, congrats.” I thought you might be interested in getting national syndication and you might spend $50,000 or a $100,000 on. We do it at 80% lower costs because we're connected to those companies. Based on your sites and your exciting things going on thought you might want to spend five minutes and learn about that. Open up with that don’t, “Chad, I hope you had a nice weekend.” I was in Aspen. I had to wear a mask outdoors and the police told one of my friends that he had to wear a mask, but he had a doctor's note, it was a weird weekend, “Don't ask about my weekend.” Lead with something of value.
I called the 2x4 across the head. It's like, “If you can't get my attention, you'll never get my business ever. You've got to grab my attention and if you do it with, ‘Hope you had a good weekend.’ You're done. Sorry” A lot of spam messages start with, “Hope you had a great weekend. Hope you're doing well. Hope you're fine. Hope you're managing well inCOVID-19.” A lot of those messages end up in spam. It sounds spammy.
I haven't heard you say this yet, this nail on chalkboards for me, “Just following up.”
I called that the other F word. Touching base, reaching out, and checking in. You and 4 billion other people are following up and you drop an F-bomb around me with the follow-up word and that drives me crazy.
Talk about losing your personal power. When you say, “Just,” it minimizes what you just said. It's not a good word.
Are you following up or are you continuing our great conversation? Are you following up to annoy me or are you and I scheduled for a second-round and a great conversation? Follow up, to me sounds like, “I wanted to bother you one more time to see if you had any questions.” I teach my clients every time you want to say follow up change it to, “I'm just bothering you to see if.” Change it and see what happens when you say that.
It then goes away like bother because it comes back.
“I'm bothering you one more time.” Nobody wants to be a bother. I tell people, take it out. You're already doing the act of follow up. Why the hell do you have to announce it? “I'm just following up.” I could go on about that. That's a whole twenty-minute conversation.
Let's ask 1 or 2 more topics here. Think about the day and age we're in from the beginning of 2020, it depends on the side of the coin you're on, some companies are thriving while other companies are virtually almost about to go out of business. Let's assume you're either in the middle of the curve or you're still in business. You still have a poll yet your trade show business has been off. It seems to me that Q4, there's going to be a lot of pressure on Q4 for a lot of companies. Knowing that we're about to head into that time. What do you do to prepare, to have the best quarter ever? How do you get things in alignment so that you can have a quarter to remember?
First, looking at what you did in the past. What you did the last few quarters and is what you're doing working? Is it landing? Is it getting you the results you want? Are you going into the fourth quarter doing the same exact thing that you did the first three that didn't get you the results you were looking for and all you're doing is duplicating the mess you left behind? I would rather somebody pull the brakes, stop and take a look, pull apart where they want to go. What do they want to happen in that last quarter? Could you scale back a little and stepping on the gas? Sometimes less is more. When I'm working with companies and they're trying to do social media in every aspect and trying to do email prospecting, LinkedIn prospecting, and Facebook Ads, and they wind up doing so much that they are losing a little bit of the strategy.
It's frenetic energy of doing versus who are you being like we talked about. It's being part of it. Are you showing up in your best light or you’re doing the activity because you're trying to scramble for a great last quarter? People's energy and their mindset and who they are. If they're aligned is much more important than the activity they do. When you get yourself right and figure out, these are the top five things I'm going to nail down for the last quarter. I'm going to do it from that great mindset, skillset, and alignment. You then have awesome results because you took care of the first part, which is the energy and the mindset piece, then everything you do after that is all lined up.
Trish Bertuzzi once called me out on that and said, “You're about to get into this services business.” I was like, “It's great so far and top lines are great.” What you need to focus on is how much money is coming out the other side. I was like, “Okay, sure.” On technology companies that get twenty times multiples, they're graded on the top line and they know they have to buy growth. You have to think about what business am I in? Do I care about top-line? Do I care about the bottom line? Like you said line up to what type of business you're in. There's someone in our neighborhood that I heard about, that's making $40,000 a year as the CEO for the many years.
We live in a nice neighborhood. I bet his car payment is more than that. He pays a lot of people for a lot of money. It feels good to have a team and a staff but what could you do if you kept a little bit more of that money, you could be making $300,000 a year. You have to look in the mirror and to your point, instead of like, I've got a site of $2 million, 1, 8 is a target. We can get to 2, 4, but to get to 2, 4 might take a little bit of unnatural activities. Do I want to do that or not? That’s the question I have to ask.
You have to ask yourself, do I want to work that hard? Do I want to put that energy out there? Do I want to do with the energy of, “I just got to get it done or I'm totally in line with this. I'm ready to rock. It's good.” You then can step on the gas.
Do I have the right people in place? The processes are well documented and it's time to put the foot on the gas or do I need to slow down and say, “Let me just make sure that I get a 10 out of 10 from every customer interaction for the next months.”
We can do an activity just for activity's sake. I can keep myself busy all day long doing absolutely nothing and I watch way too many business owners do that. They are busy doing all this other stuff, but not the stuff that moves the needle, not the stuff that gets them out there in and prospecting in a way that business starts to come in. They're too busy doing all the other stuff.
Last question I like to ask this on almost every show, except for ones where I get too sidetracked, but I'm not sidetracked here. I'm focused. What's a favorite reading? Have you had a book that you've read? That's just, “You got to check this out.”
I do and I recommended it to three people, it's a leadership book. I don't read a lot of leadership books, usually more business and Psychology, someone had recommended it to me, and it's called Straight Line Leadership. The premise is so simple. You either run your business in a circle where you keep doing the same thing over and over and getting no different results or you're in a zigzag. It's like, “Shiny object, Zig. I'll do that” or you run your business in a straight line. When you straighten out a circle, it becomes a straight line. When you straighten out a zigzag, it becomes a straight line. It's looking at your business in that. How do I create a straight line versus doing the circle or the zigzag that doesn't get me anywhere? I like the questions in there. I like the approach of, how do you get someone who's a circle into a straight line? How do you acknowledge that you are a zigzag based on you've tried this, you've tried that, but you don't stick around long enough? How do you create it so that you stretch out your zigzag and start running your business on a straight line?
I've taught myself over the years that I can't do that to myself anymore. It's too costly. It's exhausting and it's energetically taking too much out of me. I'm focused on a straight line. How do I stay straight? I might ziggle a little, my zig zag isn't as great. I know I'll always bounce around a little, but I'm good at identifying when I start to zig and zag. I've read it three times because each time I got something different out of it.
We started to go down the path of building a dialer because we said, “Customer success, the value proposition, it's not integrated as we would want to build it.” We've started thinking about it. We talked to 3 or 4 different vendors to help us build it. We said that's a zig and zag that the space is already defined. It's one piece of our overall product set. I don't need to be the 3rd or 4th vendor in that space, let’s continue to buy how we buy and add value in other areas. It felt right. It could have exposed us to a legal battle. It wouldn't have been a good idea.
You caught it. That's great awareness. Sometimes people don't know they're going zigzag or going circle, but if they have a series of questions to ask themselves, they can identify it and stop it before it becomes a real costly mistake. It too far out of control to pull back.
Let me give you this last, I'll call this a gift because this, somebody did this on a coaching session. They did it over an hour. I'm going to do it in 60 seconds. Think about you go into the future and you meet yourself twenty years from now. You look around the house and you see stuff that's laying around. That future self of you could tell yourself anything from then and tells you it tells you now. You've come back to now, what would your future self tell you? There are many unlocked keys that if you run that exercise, I've been doing it a lot. My mind was a vision on a cliff in Greece. I had a white shirt on, I had a longer unshaveness. What could you tell yourself that said, “Do this?” You can't go back to age 20 or 10, but you can go back to now. You can change the destination by using that philosophy.
Immediately what came to me was, “Good job in following your heart.” My heart knows I can quickly go in and of close my eyes and go, “What are you feeling?” I call it my hell no or a hell yes. I usually know. I know sometimes I go into my head and that doesn't give me the right answer all the time. I want to think too much, but the heart knows but you've got to be okay with waiting for that answer. It doesn't come right away and being okay with sitting in sometimes and then not knowing, but waiting because the heart does know eventually and it tells you. I call it my intuition. I have a finely tuned into it.
My son is going to college. He posts his poem that he wrote. It was about few years ago. His poem said, “I know who I am in the middle of the poem.” To have that level of personal power at age fourteen or so. That’s exactly what you're saying follow your heart because your heart knows.
It does and starts trusting what's already there. We all had intuition we're born with it, but it's beaten out of us as kids, and stop acting like that. What are you a big know at all? I do know it all. My heart knows it all.
It’s seen throughout the generation. Thirteen generations of knowledge are passed down through your DNA. This has been a fun conversation, personal power use your words wisely. One of the hacks you heard, 93% goes away. If you use things like VideoArt, Loom and you send out a video the hack is to have a BDR on your bath, whether you're cheating or you're using your authentic voice. Don't forget that if you're sending an email, you're giving up 93% of the communication, go back to the video where you can words matter when you're right.
Chad, thanks for your time. It's been great.
Liz, great to catch up with you. I'll see you around.