How to go BALD and like it with Andy Paul
The Sales Conversation
For this episode, I’m speaking with Andy Paul. We had the opportunity to meet in person at the sales enablement conference in Denver, thanks to Nancy Nardin, Founder of Smart Selling Tools, who made the introduction. Andy has several books out and has launched a new learning community for sellers and leaders called The Sales House. In this episode, Andy breaks down some essential learnings around his BALD framework.
Humans are Underrated
We are in the era of AI, ML, and DL – and we are going to see a lot more automation in the economy. The people who can build relationships with other people and who can truly connect and collaborate with others – their value is going to increase. If you are not curious about what’s going on, if you make yourself uninteresting, because you’re not interested in other people and what’s going on then, yeah, you’re gonna be at a disadvantage. Those people who are learners and who want to stay on top of things and who are fascinated by automation – they are going to use it. It’s not going to supplant us, and we are going to use it to be better humans! So, you just have to be curious about the other person. And that’s going to lead you down a path. And if you need an app that says, hey, when you start this conversation, ask a question about them. That’s fine. Use it if that’s needed.
What is B.A.L.D.?
The “B” stands for “be human.” The “A” stands for “ask great questions.” The “L” stands for “listen slowly.” And the “D” stands for “deliver value.” This model applies to any relationship in your life. I call it a “relationship operating system.” It doesn’t matter whether it’s in business or life.
If you want to connect with someone else, this is what you do. Be human. Don’t just be present – be focused. Put your phone away; look somebody in the eye. Make sure they understand that you’re there. You’re in the moment.
Be curious. Ask great questions. By being interested in someone else’s situation, you’re making yourself interesting. And that’s how the connection is formed. The science on this is pretty settled at this point. You do make people open up as people love to talk about what’s important to them what they’re passionate about. This includes small talk. Some might say busy executives don’t have time for small talk. The science is incontrovertibly clear – small talk is key to making a connection with another person. “Where are you from?” is a great question. Just don’t be scripted. Be authentic. You show up with scripted questions – you are likely to get scripted answers!
Before you respond to questions. You have to listen as you think the person is – hear the words the person is really saying. This is where empathy starts coming in. This is where you’ve got to be in the moment. You need to slow yourself down. Just pause for a second. Listen, slowly pause and draw them out. Listen without judgment. One study highlights you have roughly 24 biases you have to filter out to accurately hear what the person is saying. These cognitive biases exist and impact how we hear people. There’s a great book people can read called “Blindspot” (book link in show notes). The purpose of the book is to help us be conscious of these filters that we see and listen through impacting the way we receive people and project information.
Time is a limited and precious resource for people. They expect to receive a return on their investment of time. We all do. So, if a buyer gives us some of their time, and we give them nothing of value in return – we don’t get more time. It’s that simple. So, delivering value requires some forethought and some planning. This is the part about sales is hard for people to grasp. Selling is not purely instinctual. It’s a deliberate act at every step of the way. We have to plan. In-person meetings, phone calls, emails, whatever – you have to deliver something of value in these interactions. You have to be aware before having the interaction – what that value is that you’re going to be delivering, and what they’re going to do as a result of having received it. Value is a deliberate act. Instead of doing a “check-in call” for example, maybe send an email stating “Mr. prospect, I was thinking about you this morning, as I read this article about your business and how companies like yours are using technology similar to what we have been talking about. There are two key points in here I really think we should discuss. Are you available on Tuesday at 9am?”
Resources and Links for this Episode
- Connect Andy Paul on LinkedIn
- Visit Andy’s new learning community, The Sales House
- Book Andy mentions, “Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People”
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Sound editing and show notes produced by – ChirpSound