EPISODE 275: Supporting Strategies Chief Evangelist Steve Schultz Explains Why Becoming a Technical Expert is Critical for Sales Success in a Challenging Market

Subscribe to the Podcast now on Apple Podcasts!

Become a member of the elite Institute for Excellence in Sales and watch the replay!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the SALES GAME CHANGERS Webinar hosted by Fred Diamond, Host of the Sales Game Changers Podcast, on September 30, 2020. It featured outsourced bookkeeping company Supporting Strategies Chief Evangelist Steve Schultz.]

Register for Thursday’s OPTIMAL SALES MINDSET: Lessons Learned from Football Stars Ken Harvey and John Booty to Apply in Your Sales Efforts here.

Find Steve on LinkedIn here.

EPISODE 275: Supporting Strategies Chief Evangelist Steve Schultz Explains Why Becoming a Technical Expert is Critical for Sales Success in a Challenging Market

STEVE’S TIP TO EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “I never think of what I’m doing as selling even though I’m a sales professional and all I do is sell. I always approach sales from a technical perspective, when I worked for IBM I approached it as a technical expert.  I’m a technical expert around bookkeeping now so I know what questions to ask them about how they pay their people and how they pay their bills. When they’re sitting there, they’re thinking, “This doesn’t sound like a sales call.” Become a technical expert in what you sell. The other thing to think about when you’re selling is that no one’s driving the cheapest car made, there are cheap cars but everyone buys for value, it depends on who they are and how they define value. Sales is never about money, it’s always about problems so as you go forward, if you can solve the problems of your clients, you’ll sell in any market, in a good market and in a bad market.”

Fred Diamond: I’m thrilled for our guest, Steve Schultz with Supporting Strategies. Steve, it’s great to see you, you’re the Chief Evangelist for Supporting Strategies. What does that mean?

Steve Schultz: It’s nice to meet you, thank you so much for having me today. I often get questions about my title. I think Chief generally indicates that I’m an owner of the business and in some ways I think that’s important for people to know when they’re talking to me that I’m a founder and owner of Supporting Strategies. I’m a sales guy, I’ve been in sales and business development since we got started and I have many different roles. I’m selling franchises, different value proposition, I’m selling bookkeeping services, we still retain in on the Boston Office and I coach our franchisees on how to sell services. I’m always shouting our name from the rooftops, I will talk to you for hours upon hours about Supporting Strategies, about why we’re good for the world, about why we’re good for people and I love the brand, I’m passionate about it. That’s what Chief Evangelist means – regardless of what role I’m in, I’m selling.

Fred Diamond: I do want to let people know that I’m also a customer of Supporting Strategies and the services that your company provides are amazing and have been a great benefit to me and to my company as well, so thank you for that.

Steve Schultz: Thank you for that.

Fred Diamond: [Laughs] I want to thank Indie also, Indie and Indre who are the Supporting Strategies NOVA franchise and Stacey who is the actual person who does the work, they’ve been tremendous. Thank you all for supporting the Institute for Excellence in Sales. Steve, let’s get started. Again, you mentioned you have two hats, you sell franchises for the company and you also help your franchise companies be more productive and sell things. As we know, it’s the end of September, the world changed about 6-7 months ago, the whole value proposition has changed so let’s talk about that. How are things going for you as the sales leader for the company and how are things going for the franchisees as well?

Steve Schultz: That’s a great question. Our CEO, Leslie Jorgensen founded our company in 2004, she says that the goals didn’t change. COVID doesn’t know anything about the direction in our strategy, the goals didn’t change but our tactics have had to change. It’s a very different world that we find ourselves in and as I mentioned, I really wear two hats so form a bookkeeping perspective, what our franchisees do, we’re growing. You can imagine we had 500+ employees when COVID hit, we didn’t have to tell any of them to stay home, that’s in our DNA, that’s what we do each and every day. We’ve been working virtually delivering services virtually since 2004, we know how to do this. That made the transition very easy for us and we grow approximately 30% annually, that’s a nice growth for a company our size. When you’re growing about 30% annually, it’s good consistent growth, they call that the hockey stick because you double every couple years. Twice in our history we’ve grown by more than 30%, in 2008 and today. Why?

In 2008 when you were scared and the financial crisis hit us, you were looking for ways to save money and our virtual service delivery model while also giving you a better service because of our technology, because of our people, our process controls, it generally saves people money. We can typically say we’re faster, better and cheaper than hiring your own employee and when times get tough, people want to maximize everything and maximize every dollar so they look to save. We grew in ’08 and now you can imagine that if you have a business and you can’t get to your office but your bookkeeping is on that computer, what are you doing? Even if you can get the work done virtually, how are you running your business virtually? It was always a certain segment of the potential clients that said, “No, I want someone in house.” That’s disappeared, no one’s saying that anymore so our core business is up.

That being said, I had a bunch of people in the pipeline to buy franchises and COVID hits, and do you want to invest in a business right now? I lost almost every one of those deals, but a whole new pool of people got pushed into, “I’m looking for my next gig” because they lost their gig due to COVID. These people are coming into it looking at, “What am I going to do next?” They weren’t scared away by COVID, in many ways they were mobilized by it and there’s a lot of people who had good jobs that don’t have good jobs anymore because the industry didn’t survive it if you were in the restaurant field or the educational field or many other fields. That all being said, there’s a new crop of people who are coming up and really energizing my pipeline. The world changed, how we sell has changed, our tactics have had to change but our goals haven’t, I still need to sell X amount of franchises a year and every franchisee needs to sell X amount of bookkeeping services a year.

Fred Diamond: We actually did a session about a month ago on goal setting, we had a speaker named Shawn Doyle who actually came to the IES back in January and talked about setting your goals for the year. We brought him back in the end of August and he said the same thing. He said, “Your goals haven’t changed but how you get to them needs to change for obvious reasons.” I’m curious, what’s the value proposition right now for someone to become a franchise? Help me understand that, franchisee or franchiser?

Steve Schultz: I’m a franchiser and when you buy a franchise you become the franchisee. By the way, we’re in a hundred locations across the United States, it took McDonald’s eleven years to do it, we did it in six because of the answer to the question that you just asked, it’s our business model. People buy franchises because they’re looking for an established system to get into business for whatever reasons, maybe they were forced into it, maybe they’re an entrepreneur at heart because their parents were entrepreneurs and they want to give it a shot. Maybe they’re a corporate CFO, in my case and they’ve been transitioned out of a job way too many times in their life. If I do a good job, they sell it, if I don’t do a good job, they dump it, either way I’m  out of a job in two years and I’m looking for my next gig, it’s time for me to look for myself. What we’re selling is a variable cost recurring revenue business model, that’s interesting, variable cost recurring revenue. We pay our employees when they work, when they don’t work we don’t have a lot of cost associated with them because they all work from home.

We hire what I think of as MBA moms although they’re not all moms or MBAs, when I say that it tells a story, an advanced accounting professional who works for us because we let them work from home. Maybe it’s because they want to put their kid on the school bus, maybe they like to golf but the business model that I’m selling is very attractive. It’s not like a consulting gig where you’re always hunting and killing and hunting and killing, this is a recurring revenue model. We get a client, as long as they can see value in what we do, you’ve been with us for a number of years now, you stay with us. You don’t stop needing a bookkeeper, as long as you’re in business you do need a bookkeeper and we have to prove our value every day, we don’t have long-term contracts with our clients. They can cut us anytime they want, we feel like we’ve got to earn our stripes. What we’re selling is a variable cost recurring revenue engine that acts like an annuity and that’s why people are interested in buying our franchise today, because it’s an earning vehicle for them.

Fred Diamond: We had spoken about your pipeline had gone away, so let’s talk about your top priorities right now. Again, it’s the end of September, Steve, what are your top priorities right now? From the Supporting Strategy side, what are your main goals right now?

Steve Schultz: Sales is about the numbers and Fred, I’m always amazed that colleges don’t offer a major in sales, they call it business and they focus in on Procter and Gamble and stuff like that, if you’ve ever been to business school. But sales is a process and like anything else, this process can be learned so what we’re really focusing in on are the numbers and those numbers are not goals, I’m not saying you need 24 clients a year or I need 12 franchisees a year, those are goals, that’s different. Sales is about the numbers, it’s about the close rate, it’s the amount of engagements, how many one-on-one calls are you having? How many new people are you meeting in your community? What type of people are there? We’ve really been able to identify both the activities and the people that our franchisees need to meet in order to get clients. As I mentioned, my title is called Chief Evangelist, our business development philosophy is called Evangelist Development.

We’re selling our franchises to finance people who have never been salespeople, Fred so it’s a challenge for them but what I tell them – and you know this about your government work – it’s about a technical sale. I used to work for IBM as a salesman and I wasn’t a good salesman because I was a good salesman, I was a good salesman because I was a good engineer and the people I was talking to, I could solve their problems. That’s what sales really is, so for us, we look at the process of selling. The engagements, the activities, the programs they should be running and if they’re running those pre or post COVID, they’re being successful. Again, the goals didn’t change. If I say you needed to meet 300 people a year and you used to do that by going to physical events and you can’t go to physical events, you need to change your philosophy or your strategy around it, where you used to shoot broad, now you shoot narrow – LinkedIn invites, asking people for connections. But the goals didn’t change so if we monitor the numbers and make sure people achieve according to the numbers, we’re going to see their growth. That’s our priority.

Fred Diamond: You mentioned that a lot of the people that you work with, the ones who own the franchisees maybe aren’t necessarily salespeople, you mentioned they are retired CFOs or something along those lines so they come from the accounting, the finance or the bookkeeping side, I presume. Again, pandemic hits and like you mentioned, we actually met Supporting Strategy at an event, the local person was at a networking event and we got to see her not infrequently, and one day it occurred to me that we needed some help with our bookkeeping and made the connection and it’s been a great relationship since. How have you gone about thinking about the shift that your franchisees need to have now that we’ve kicked into the pandemic?

Steve Schultz: I’m not educating you here but maybe for some of your attendees, sales is all about funnel, even the girl selling perfume at Macy’s knows how many faces she needs to squirt with perfume to get one person to stop. We know our numbers, we studied them for 17 years specific to our business, we know that only 15% of the people you meet will eventually give you a referral. We don’t ask our franchisees to do cold calling – you don’t like to be cold called – to knock on doors, “Hey, do you want to fire your bookkeeper and hire us?” Not only would that not work, people wouldn’t enjoy the process of selling, that’s not professional selling. The process of professional selling in our world is to build relationships with other trusted advisers who are currently working with the same customers you want so that’s about playing in the right sandbox. If you know your typical client is a 1 to 40 million dollar business, hang out with other people who service 1 to 40 million dollar businesses.

Who is that? CPA firms, CFOs, bankers, lawyers, payroll guys, benefits brokers, it’s web developers, PR, IT services guys, it’s everything that a business owner needs that they don’t have. No business owner in that 1 to 40 million dollar space has their own lawyer, they use a local law firm. They don’t have their own CPA to do taxes or audits or local CPA firm, it would not be effective to hire those roles themselves so in the pre-COVID world, go to event after event and we used to define it. Go to two events a week, meet three people at each event, enter that data into a CRM system and then nurture those relationships. Do the math, 2×2 is 6, 6×4 is 24 or 30 if it’s a 5 week month, that’s 300 people you meet a year. If 15% of those people properly nurtured – which is the next step in the process – will give you a lead, you’ll get 45 to 60 leads a year. Now COVID hits, no events, can’t go to events, I can’t meet people randomly so we can’t shoot broad anymore, so now we put on our sniper barrel and we shoot narrow. I tell my franchisees, “Go to the business bureau, the Business Journal, every major market has one and get their book of lists. You might have to pay for it, who cares?

That’ll tell you your top 50 CPAs.” By the way, a CPA, we get them every year, we love them, get it out of that bag. We know the top 5 CPAs every market, Ernst & Young, PWC, forget about them, they deal with publicly traded companies. It’s the midmarket guy I want so I can find out numbers 50 through 150. Now, how do you meet them? Okay, you can link in, LinkedIn is one of the greatest tools ay salesperson ever had, it’s a tactical tool that says, “I want to meet Travis Drouin from MFA CPA, I’m not connected to him but I’m connected to someone who is, Jim. I would have told you, Fred, six months ago that the phone was dead. I never called anyone without an appointment and if you did call people, they didn’t answer. Today, I know exactly where you are, Fred you’re in your house, same as me, I’m in my house, I can call anyone I want today so I can call Steve Schneider and say, “Steve, can you connect me with Travis Drouin?” If I just reach out to Travis, it’s spam but if Steve connects me to Travis, that’s one thing. Use your business journal, you can go to your local library and get a listing of every major CPA, every major banker. What industry is still in the office? Bankers. Walk into an office today and say, “I want to meet your commercial banker.” Any commercial banker, if you tell them a story that I could tell you to tell, will say absolutely. They recognize businesses that are not run right, they’re loaning you money, they want to make sure you can pay it back, they want to make sure you know how to run your business. They’re so frustrated when people ask to borrow money and say, “Here’s my tax return”, they’re like, “Give me a balance sheet.” We shoot narrow today.

Any good organization is still doing Zoom meetings or Zoom events so you still got to get out there. I don’t care if it’s boring, I don’t care if you love the topic but in most of those sessions you can get a list of the attendees, you might have a chance to talk to them if they’re using Zoom. You can still connect with people, the goals didn’t change I’ve got to have you meet six new people a week. So now you’ve got to put your sniper’s cap on and identify. I once heard a guy say you’re the CEO of your life so if I told you your #1 referral source is CPA, go meet a lot of them but I know my #2, CFOs, commercial bankers. You can look at your database in a CRM and see, “How many CPAs have I met? Not enough, I’ve got to be strategic and identify and then meet those people.” That’s what we’re doing now, we’ve gone from the broad to the narrow.

Fred Diamond: You made a couple great points there, one is that the goals haven’t changed so if you’re a franchise, you still need to get customers who need bookkeeping services. The process that you’re going to be taking has probably shifted and Sporting Strategies as the franchiser is coming to them with some ideas, you’re thinking this for them. They also need to take responsibility as well, they also need to be thinking, “How do I get really great at some of these things?” We have a question here, Steve, it comes from Sue in New Jersey. Sue wants to know, “Have any positive surprises come out of the pandemic for you either that you’re most proud of or that has helped you grow the business?” It’s interesting, you’re right, in the first four months everybody was figuring out what was going on and then things got a little bit solid. Things are still in flux for a whole bunch of different reasons that we all know about but at the same time we’re back into what it’s going to be for the foreseeable future. One thing that you mentioned before is that people are now looking for other employment opportunities as a lot of companies have downsized for obvious reasons. Obviously that’s probably one but are there any other major positive surprises that have come out for you?

Steve Schultz: First and foremost, almost all of our customers are small businesses, almost all of those small businesses needed PPP loans in order to survive and almost all of those small businesses needed a company like us to tell them and to manage that process for them. The initial impact for us was lessened compared to most companies because we had an immediate surge early with companies saying, “Help us, I need this.” For our customers, doing a PPP loan was easy because there was nothing hot about a PPP loan if the data was all in the right columns and rows and for our customers, they’re always in the right columns and rows. What’s your employment? What did you spend for employment last year? What are you going to spend going forward? What other expenses? It’s just categorizations and we’re very good at that.

The other interesting thing that happened as opposed to that more focused view was we started doing email marketing campaigns. Email marketing campaigns are very different than cold calling because we’re not doing it, it’s a said it and forget it easy bake oven, we buy data that says, “I want the name and email address of every nonprofit with revenue of X to Y” or, “Every new business that started in my region in the last 6 months” or every law firm which is a particularly good vertical for us. We can write a well-crafted email working the local marketing company, we can set it on a sequence where they’ll get a series of emails from us over the course of the next three months and we’ll set it in to get it, and we’ve gotten some really good accounts because right now, what used to not work, today you have business owners who recognize, “I can’t get in my office, I need to do my work.” They don’t know there’s this outsourced opportunity available so email marketing can help educate them about what we do and we’ve gotten some really nice accounts from that.

Fred Diamond: I have a couple questions about your conversations with your franchisees. It sounds like you guys do a lot of work to help them be successful, I know you provide webinars for them and you offer counsel and ideas and tips and all those kinds of things, how have those conversations changed? You’re dealing with people who aren’t traditionally salespeople but if they’re a business owner now, they’re in sales so I presume that it sounds like you, being a guy with a lot of sales background, have been able to get that message across to your franchisees that, “For you to be successful we’re going to help you as much as we can but you need to grow your business, you need to develop leads” and all those kinds of things. I’m just curious, how have your customer conversations shifted with these people not being salespeople to begin with? And now it’s even gotten harder because of COVID and everything else.

Steve Schultz: Business is hard, it’s real hard. I think whenever you have a customer and an employee, you’ve got a headache and we’re all about customers and employees. First of all, franchisee or not, a business owner is a business owner. These are entrepreneurs, they may be buying into a system but their success or their failure is 100% on their shoulders. You don’t sit in your house and cry because COVID hit and say, “I’m not getting the leads the same way I used to get leads.” Steve Jobs who everyone in the world knows, most people know him strictly as a sales guy, I don’t think many people have many interactions with him outside of sales, that’s not his background. Every business owner should be concerned where their next client is coming from, it’s not secondary to success, it’s primary to success if you’re running a business.

In the sales process I tell my franchisees, “This is the job. I haven’t asked for you to be a salesperson.” We learned early in this game if I get salespeople as franchisees, they fail because this is a technical sale and if you don’t know your debits and your credits, you’re not going to be able to survive in my world. If I do find the rare sales guy who has a finance background, all the better but almost all of my franchisees have no sales background, so we trian them. I hold a weekly coaching session called talking sales, we do that every single Monday from one to two and we say, “What’s your problem?”

We started something unique post-COVID, every Monday I ring the bell as a group, I read the name of everyone who sold every deal. I’m the owner of a company with over 500 people and a hundred markets and we sell a lot of deals, I personally do a shout out to every single deal that’s sold. I send a congratulatory ring-the-bell with a funny GIF of somebody ringing a bell in some funny way or screaming or excitement. I get excited every time that bell rings so we said, “Let’s try to share that excitement because I want someone who’s sitting there saying, ‘I can’t get business’ seeing somebody every single week ringing the bell for a big deal.” And I call out every big deal so we start out every sales call and I read the names and I ring the bell. There’s a bell [rings bell]. I’m a sales guy and I love to celebrate success so in tough times, I want to celebrate success louder and more vibrant than anyone else so I’m screaming it and we’re encouraging people. If you see his name every single week in our sales report, you might be asking yourself, “Maybe I need to speak to him. Why is he ringing the bell twice a week every week and I can’t do it twice a year?”

Fred Diamond: That’s an interesting point, the concept of celebrating. It’s something that being frank with you, it doesn’t come up all the time on the Sales Game Changers webinars that we do, the concept of ringing the bell, acknowledging any degree of success that has happened. Success might be three meetings today, three conversations or things like that, like you said, the way that you’re going to get your leads has changed but you still need the process to sell, especially for what you do. It probably hasn’t changed too much, you need to find small businesses having a challenge with keeping its books, that’s how I became a customer of yours, because I had that challenge. We have a question here, a question comes in here from Gene and Gene is in Northern Virginia. Gene wants to know, “Steve, how have you changed as a sales leader?” We mentioned you’re the Chief Evangelist, you do two things, you have to sell franchisees as a franchiser to people who want to become a Supporting Strategies franchisee and you also work with your franchisees to get them better at sales, but how have you changed over the last couple of months? What have you noticed about yourself as a salesman?

Steve Schultz: The first and foremost to that question is I am screaming from the rooftops about every sale more than ever before because I want people to see that we’re growing right now. I see the numbers every day, but we’re a business made up of individual performers, we have a hundred franchisees each doing their own thing and I want them to see it. I’ve been trying to be more empathetic and humble over the course of the last couple months and I’m trying to understand that, “Okay, you’re scared, but how can I help you? You just bought this business and then COVID hit, you don’t have the big network yet, so what can I do for you? Can I be on a sales call with you?” I’ll do that in a heartbeat with any one of my franchisees, I’ll lead a sales call, I’ll take a back seat on a sales call, I’ll play any role they want to play. I’m very humble in that I know a lot of people who own restaurants that are out of business today, no two fields are going to feel COVID more than education and hospitality.

There were people who had great businesses, they did nothing wrong and they’re out of business today or they’re making a fraction of what they made and there’s no end in sight for them and the winter is coming, and the outdoor seating is going away. There’s big change coming and this is going to accelerate change in a positive direction for many years to come, we will never go backwards in terms of telemedicine, we will never go backwards in terms of online education. People now find it regular to share their face, I could not get people to share their face during a sales call, now they all do, they’re all willing to do what we’re doing right now. I’m humbled by the fact that there’s a lot of fragility in business and that you can do everything right and still have things happen to you and I don’t want you to think that everything’s out of your control either.

There are things you can do to make yourself a better business, a more resilient business to recognize change, to anticipate change, to position yourself for downturn, to manage your cash. I’m trying really hard to respect business owners for the challenges that they face to be proactive and offering discounts if I think they’re struggling because of the pandemic to be gracious and thoughtful and thankful for every new client that we get during this tough time.

Fred Diamond: We have a comment here from Gina, Gina says, “Celebrating the big victories and small is really important right now.” Steve, I want to ask you a question specifically about Supporting Strategies and how people can become successful taking on a franchise right now. The reason I’m asking is like you mentioned, we deal in the Institute for Excellence in Sales typically with a lot of people who are business-to-business enterprise or corporate type sales and even some of the best companies that we work with have had some downsizing for all the reasons that we’re familiar with. They might be looking into moving into a franchise type of a model or something like this, I know it varies for everybody and we don’t know all the answers because of circumstance and the world, but how long does it take for somebody to be successful if they become a Supporting Strategies franchisee? If that’s something that makes sense for them right now for all the obvious reasons, give us a little bit of an insight into how they would be successful.

Steve Schultz: It’s a growth business, it’s a recurring revenue model and I tell people our shared goal is for you to get to a million dollars in revenue in five years. Our model has 40% gross margin, 25 to 35% net, you can do that math, it’s a nice model. Beyond, I’ve got examples of offices up to 4.5 million in sales, 3 million in sales and those margins hold so 5 years to 250 to 350 earning path that acts like an annuity, there’s value there, that’s a nice value. Halfway through that number 2.5 years, 500 thousand, 40%, 25. It’s going to take you at least one year so in addition to our franchise free, people need to be able to support themselves for 12 months. I don’t care if you’re opening a McDonald’s, it’s going to take you 12 months to get it built. I’m amazed that kids today change their jobs every two years, I don’t get good at anything for two years, it’s no different in this business, you’re not going to hit the ground running, there’s lots to learn as a franchisee, the way I sell it is it’s a discovery process, I don’t try to sell, I try to educate.

My personal sales philosophy is get to no as fast as possible, most people think that’s counter-intuitive but I feel like if I can say something that makes you say no today, I’d rather have you say no today than wait 6 months to get you to say no. Because I know my numbers, the faster I get to the no’s, the quicker I’m left with the yes’s. It’s a discovery process, that’s what I call it and I’ve got a website, supportingstrategies.com, there’s a button right on there that says franchise opportunity and anybody that’s interested in learning about Supporting Strategies either from a bookkeeping perspective or from a franchise perspective could simply go to our website. You’ll learn a lot about what we do and if you’re looking for bookkeeping, we’ll connect you with the right franchisee, and if you’re looking to learn about how this might be a good path for you, I will tell you, we do personality in depth profiles, we do application. We’re looking at you as hard as you’re looking at us, at the end of the day we won’t sell a franchise to someone who we don’t think will be successful, we only sell franchises to people who we think will be successful.

Fred Diamond: One of our mottos as well is that the second best thing is a fast no right behind a fast yes, we actually had the author of Go for No, Andrea Waltz on the Optimal Sales Mindset show a couple weeks ago. We have time for one more question and then, Steve, I’m going to ask you for your final thought. The question comes from Renee and Renee is in Pittsburgh, Renee wants to know, “Steve, what do you think the challenges will be for sales professionals in the weeks to come?” Again, it’s the end of September when we’re doing this, we got Q4 coming up, you alluded to a couple of things. One is the restaurants that have been open, winter is going to be here soon, it’s going to be tough to sit outside and enjoy your meals. What do you think some of the challenges are that are going to be affecting sales professionals in the coming months? Then wind us down with your final thought on what our listeners can do today to be successful.

Steve Schultz: I want to do both of those in a single thread. Maybe sales is a bad word, I don’t know, I never think of what I’m doing as selling even though I’m a sales professional and all I do is sell. I always approach sales from a technical perspective, when I worked for IBM I approached it as a technical expert. In this world when you’re selling bookkeeping services, if it’s a 30 minute sales call, the first 25 minutes is me asking the customer about their business. What are their problems? How do they do things? What are the challenges in accomplishing their goals? I’m a technical expert around bookkeeping so I know what questions to ask them about how they pay their people and how they pay their bills. When they’re sitting there, they’re thinking, “This doesn’t sound like a sales call.” Don’t ever show up and throw up, don’t ever walk into a place and think that you’re so special because no one walks into a sales call and says, “I have the worst bookkeeping services ever.”

Everyone says they’re the best so saying you’re the best is hollow and if you approach it as a consultant or as a technical expert and that your real goal is there to solve their problems, then you wouldn’t be sitting there. I’ll tell you something else that’s a misnomer about sales, it’s never about money and everyone thinks it’s about money, even the clients who are talking to you are always going to ask the money question. They’re always going to say, “How much?” but you’re never sitting there because of money. No one ever fired a bookkeeper that was doing a really good job because they were too expensive, it just doesn’t happen. They either got fired because they weren’t doing a good job or the reports weren’t being delivered on time or they were always taking time off. There was a reason that they were sitting there and those are the things that we need to understand.

The other thing to think about when you’re selling is that no one’s driving the cheapest car made, there are cheap cars but everyone buys for value, it depends on who they are and how they define value but I’ve never met anyone who just says, “No, I bought the cheapest car possible.” I’m still looking for it but it doesn’t exist. People drive a Volvo because they want a safe car or an SUV or whatever. Sales is never about money, it’s always about problems so as you go forward, if you can solve the problems of your clients, you’ll sell in any market, in a good market and in a bad market. As you venture forth in this tough market, celebrate your successes and let your customer do it with you. I tell all prospective franchisees, “Don’t be afraid to tell them yes because all I’m going to do is jump up and down and celebrate because I’ve worked with you now for three months and I’m going to do a fist pump and I’m going to celebrate.” Be passionate and be excited, be an evangelist for your brand and be passionate and thoughtful, and you’ll be successful.

Fred Diamond: Steve Schultz of Supporting Strategies, I want to thank you again for being on the Sales Game Changers Live today. I want to thank all of our listeners today, I want to thank Indie and Indre and the team at Supporting Strategies Northern Virginia for connecting us with Steve. Steve, thank you so much, best of luck in Q4.

Steve Schultz: You’re welcome, thank you.

Fred Diamond: Thanks for all the insights, have a great, new, prosperous and healthy year as well. To all our listeners, thank you so much.

Transcribed by Mariana Badillo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *