Episode 11: James Buckley

Episode 11: James Buckley Featured Image

Ever wondered about the secret ingredient to skyrocketing your sales career? In the latest episode of “73 and Sunny,” we delve deep into the dynamic world of sales with none other than James Buckley, the vibrant co-host of the Sell Better Daily Sales Show. Renowned for his expertise in elevating the sales profession, James spends his days absorbing wisdom from the industry’s best, offering a treasure trove of knowledge through engaging content and enlightening interviews. Join us as we unpack the nuances of sales training, the transformative role of AI in sales strategies, and the art of nurturing client relationships. This conversation is more than just tips and tricks; it’s about redefining the essence of selling in today’s fast-paced world. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, this episode is your roadmap to selling better, smarter, and with more heart. Tune in and transform your sales journey with insights from a master of the craft.




Damien: Hello, and welcome to 73 and Sonny, the podcast about the journey of getting things just right. We talk to tech sales and marketing leaders about how they’re growing, dialing in best practices and getting closer to that sweet spot. Today, we’re very happy to have James Buckley join us. James is one of the hosts of the sell better daily sales show.

He spends his time learning from the best and elevating the sales profession through content and interviews with the best sales professionals and sales leaders of today. You can learn more about James and the sell better show at sell better dot X, Y, and Z. James, thanks so much for joining us today. 

James: Yo, this is a pleasure.

Thank you for having me. You had my friend Scott lease on recently. What a great episode him and I’ve known each other for many years. 

Damien: Awesome. Yeah. I think we, we probably run in a lot of the same circles. I actually, I saw that you had a, a John Barrow shirt on a little bit ago and he gave some you know, some, some great training to one of my teams, God, I don’t know, 10, 15 years ago.

So we can talk about that. I’ve been 

James: friends for a long time as well. Shout out to jbarrows. com. That’s where sell better was born from was the brainchild of John Barrows and Christopher Merrill and Megan for Gian. That is the driving force behind JB sales training. 

Damien: Awesome. Well he’s been great and we can, we can talk about some of the things that I learned from John and you know, how, how we can extend that, but I actually.

Let’s get topical. This is the, the week before St. Patty’s Day. And I see that you have an, an Irish flag in the back and my mom is a Fitzpatrick. She was actually born on St. Patty’s Day. So we’re going to go visit her this weekend. But this is the one time of the one time of the year where my family or my, my wife makes corned beef and cabbage.

And it’s just one time a year. And it’s similar, I think, to, and then we’re done. It’s like, you know, you know, it’s, it’s okay. It’s not, it’s not the best, but it’s also like turkey. Did I make it 

James: all the time? I think it’s the best. 

Damien: My dad loves it. My dad would eat it all the time, but it’s also like Thanksgiving turkey dinners.

I could eat turkey dinners all the time as well, but we only do it. One time a year. I think most people only do it one time a year. And I’m, I’m just thinking that’s, it’s similar to sales training. Like I think people are saying, Hey, listen, Oh, I’m full. Like I, I did sales training during kickoff in, in January or February.

I’m good. I learned everything that I need to know. But I think there’s some, there’s some hunger there, right? Like I think people are still wanting to. To do that, what are your thoughts in terms of kind of the idea or the appetite for just, you know, drip or like you know, on the sell better deal, you have snacks, you have the idea, the concept of like, you know, Hey, bite sized pieces or, you know, the, the ongoing snacking, what are your thoughts on that?

James: So first of all, I, I’m a huge fan of repetition and I think that’s what changes behavior, but moreover than that, building a well rounded sales professional means that. They’re constantly developing. Sales is never something that we’re going to be finished learning about because it’s ever evolving. And one tactic doesn’t necessarily work for another seller.

So when it comes to like continuous learning, which I think is probably the better route to go for sales leaders of today, what you have to think about is essentially you become a teacher and you’re building a curriculum and there are skills and milestones that every seller beneath you has to hit in order to be crowned that Number one seller hit that leaderboard.

Sometimes this is activity based KPI based. Those are key point indicators for those of you that don’t keep up with the acronyms. Sometimes this is closed opportunities and revenue based, regardless of what you’re measuring. It’s going to take time, like anything else you ever actually cared about to get good at it.

If you ever got a trophy for being the best softball or baseball player, or you won number one in ping pong at your camp last summer, right? It’s You didn’t get good at that thing because one day you woke up and decided today, I’m going to be awesome at ping pong better than everybody. It took time. It took effort.

It took consistency and your sales career is no different. So one of the things that my very good friend, Beck Holland says. Is that when you see sales trainers and you’re comparing one over another and trying to pick the best pick for your team, stop looking at them as competitors and instead start looking at the skills that they need to develop and go with the trainers that are going to be leaning on those skills during the training so that you can patchwork that for that team.

And fill that hole. If it’s prospecting, fine. Choose a trainer. That’s really good at prospecting. If it’s closing fine, choose a trainer that knows how to negotiate and get people over the finish line, but stop looking at sales trainers as competitors. They are not competitors. They’re all incredible assets for your team that the right sellers will gravitate towards the stuff they like and really nail it, and those will be your top performers.

Damien: I love that. And it, I think it. It too often becomes this competitive or this kind of shark mind of like, Hey, it’s either eat or be eaten type of thing. And it’s, it’s, it’s just not, not it. And that’s not how we are going to be growing as sellers or grow lots of 

James: competition plays a role in our world. But when it comes to development of our people, competition should be set aside and the need should take the, the, the, the, the forefront.


Damien: I totally agree. I actually have my, my master’s in education. And I thought I would be teaching people, but I’ve teaching kids, but instead I’ve been, I’ve been teaching salespeople for the past 20, 25 years. But 

James: we’re all salespeople now. We’re also, we’re also, 

Damien: yes, we, we do everyone. Yeah. There’s, there’s, I don’t know why people don’t have a master’s in sales.

Like there should be a, there should be a, so there’s actually a 

James: lot of organizations that are leading the charge. Shout out to my friend, Dr. Dover out of UT Dallas. And then Peterson out of Chicago, out of Illinois these guys have programs and Caitlin Gill out of, I want to say Oregon. I think it’s Oregon, but it might be Iowa.

Anyway, there are some great universities that are seeing the writing on the wall here. Did you know that sales is the highest and the lowest paid profession in the world? Did you know that most salespeople, about 75 percent of salespeople, Do not have a degree in business whatsoever. They majored in things like history, sports medicine, kinesiology, physical therapy, and they could not get a job in that space.

So what do they do? They fall ass backwards into sales. What’s the number one answer when you ask a top performing sales rep, Hey, man, how’d you get into this? What do they say? I fell backwards into this. I fell into it. That’s the number one answer that you get. 

Damien: And that’s, that was me. I thought that I would be a teacher and then I’m, I’m living in Silicon Valley.

And I said, Oh gosh, it’s, it would be tough to, to have four kids. I have four kids. I know you have four kids to be able to raise a family with four kids. in Silicon Valley. So, so to those people, James especially maybe the, the people who are just starting out, you know, there’s a, there’s been a ton of change, I think, in the SDR world over the past, not just 10 years, but not only in the past five years, but in the last five years, Couple of years.

There’s been a huge change. Well, what’s, what’s your perspective on the SDR role and the, because these are the people that really need that education, people that are really hungry for this what are your thoughts on, on what the SDR role looks like today? 

James: Yeah. So again, with the acronyms, right? SDR stands for sales development representative.

For those of you that don’t know, sometimes these people are called BDRs or even account representatives, right? I’ve heard a lot of different umbrella terms. Inside sales or. People that make cold calls, people that send cold emails, people that reach out to strangers and talk to them. That’s basically the function of a sales development rep.

The difference, what’s happening right now is that it’s changing from being something that people think when they have a business and they’re making these decisions at a corporate level. I need a lot of SDRs used to be the thought. And now I think what they’re saying is I need two very specialized SDRs that are going to come in and learn my ideal clients.

They’re going to learn our value proposition. They’re going to learn how to discover and qualify quite well. And they’re only going to pass opportunities to closers that have a high likelihood of closing based on those skills that those SDRs develop. I think what we’ve learned is that having a team of 15 AEs and 15 SDRs to match them is ineffective because you’re always going to have a certain percentage of SDRs that don’t hit the mark or just never really grab onto the concept.

And the way I see SDR headed in 2024 is even further down this funnel of. Two forms of SDRs, the very specialized outbound SDRs that just get it. They just know how to do it. They’re gifted at it. It is unique to them. Right. And there’s a lot of them out there that have a gift for it. And then the marketing style SDRs, they, they don’t sit at the beginning of the sales cycle.

They sit at the end of a marketing cycle. And these are the very prominent SDRs of 2024 right now, where this human has taken X amount of actions, which makes this score. X or Y 90%, 20%, 30 percent reach out. And this person will have a context for reaching out to this human. They sit at the end of that marketing cycle with all that intent data and that buying data that they’ve accumulated over time.

These two roles are very, very different. And everybody that’s hiring SDRs has to understand that as they move forward and scale their team out. What kind of SDR am I about to bring on board? 

Damien: And, and not only that, but you also bring up a good, Point because I’ve seen the pendulum swing of where do SDRs or BDRs or whatever we’re calling them where do they sit?

Are they under marketing? Are they under sales? And what you’re saying is that there’s, there’s a role for both. And there’s, you know, there’s, there’s something that is, you have to have 

James: both. There’s no excuse anymore. New conversations are where new revenue comes from. Anybody, anybody listening to the show, please feel free to argue with me.

I welcome the conversation, right? New talking to strangers is where revenue comes from that we did not have last year. So when you look at it, you have to have the people that are maintaining relationships, seeing, buying signals, understanding how CS works in tandem with renewals so that they can create an ARR, an annual reoccurring revenue system, a model that people keep coming back, keep renewing.

And then here’s this other entity over on this side of the fence. That’s just talking to cold people that don’t even know who we are. Their account is not even in our CRM. They’ve never spoken to us. We don’t even know. They didn’t even know that we existed. Those individuals must exist at your company, even if there are only a couple where you’re going to die on the vine, because that’s where new revenue comes from.

Sorry. It’s a fact. 

Damien: Yep. So James people let’s I’ll play devil’s advocate here. People, some people will say, James, I get it. Maybe, maybe that’s what it was a little bit ago, but now I’m going to use AI for all this. So like, I would love your thoughts on, on AI in terms of the, the buying cycle and the selling cycle, because I think a lot of people are, are thinking of.

I’m just going to replace these BDRs fully with AI, or I’m going to be replacing these you know, on the other side with AI in, in, in order to to, to do all the research, to do all the buying, you know, underwriters make, you know, people are saying, Oh yeah, that’s just, that’s just going to be AI in the future.

So what are your thoughts in terms of AI, in terms of fitting into all this? 

James: So if you’re looking at things like how there are two types of AI that I think salespeople should be very concerned with right now. The first one is this predictive AI, right? That’s what’s going to tell you, Hey, last month you did this.

If you take these steps this month, you could achieve this. Right. So this predictive AI that’s out there is very helpful. And this is all smashing data together and spitting out something that is actionable for salespeople. Wonderful. Lots of solutions out there, but there’s another form of AI, and this is the lazier form of AI.

And it’s probably the one that’s giving AI a bad name in our space already. You’ve already seen the bottleneck that’s happening with deliverability. And that’s because when products. Became main veins for mass outreach. Email users started to get defensive about their territory. Their yard. Get out of my yard.

Kid is basically how it felt, right? Get your, get your dog out of my yard. Tell him, quit [] in my yard. Right? That’s how people felt about that automation that people were, that sales people were frankly abusing, right? Take a step back. And let’s look at AI and how it’s impacting the way we customize a message, the way we structure a message.

So I have this great process that I use now on ChatGPT where I’ll be, I sell to marketers, right? I sell to content, content managers and demand people. So I’ll be like, I’ll be like, yo, write me an email. About demand for this person with this title at this company. And it’ll be like, I hope this email finds you well.

And then blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I’ll be like, rewrite it, make it shorter. And it’ll be like, here’s the revised version. And then I’ll be like, yeah, this is great. Remove all the fluff. I don’t want the fluff there. Bam. It takes out all the fluff. And then I’m like, okay, last step, make it more about them and less about me.

And then they rewrite the whole thing. And I’m like, that’s my structure. That’s my foundation. I’m going to write my email using that as my foundation, but I’m going to customize it with the trigger that I happened to get with the. Recent event or the critical event that’s upcoming that they’ve been advertising about for three months, right?

These are the ways that we should be using AI to create more human to human connection. We cannot allow this to do the work for us. It won’t work that way. It’s not smart enough yet. It’s not ready. Maybe one day, but not now. 

Damien: I, I, I agree with that. I think that there’s too much. I mean, as we all know, if you just let AI go wild, it will have the hallucination.

It will. Do what it did with Air Canada. I don’t know if you just saw that recently. Oh, I mean, it was an older piece. Somewhere John 

James: Connor is looking back at us going, Hey guys, didn’t you see the movies? Weren’t you there? Yeah. 

Damien: Yeah. That is, that’s, you know, it’s not, it’s not Terminator. It’s not Skynet yet, but, but I think there is that we need to be able to to, to do exactly what you’re just saying.

It’s not just take it and We can’t allow this. 

James: We can’t allow this. In my opinion, we cannot allow this to become the car salespeople of yesterday. Car salespeople, used car salespeople specifically, gave the salespeople in general of the world a bad name. You know, that sleazy salesperson that tricks and coincidence and convinces and persuades instead of providing value.

That’s what we have to avoid. And AI doesn’t know the difference between those two salespeople. 

Damien: Right. Not yet. Yeah. Yeah. One, one piece that I just did here the other day to, to. To get this down on chat GPT is at the end of your prompt to say no yapping and, and, and chat GPT gets it and it will automatically condense it.

So try that maybe next time. No, yeah. Pretty interesting. I 

James: am a Belal Batrawy fan fan. His brand is death to fluff. So, so I always remove the fluff is how I say it. And it. It gets it too. It’ll, it’ll take out the, I hope this email finds you. Well, all my best, right. I have to say, I have to say, like, stop this madness.

Nobody cares about that. 

Damien: Well, it’s the John, it’s the John Barrow’s thing, right? It’s, it is a, Hey, I’m not following up. I’m not checking in. Get that out of your vocabulary. You don’t need that. This is all 

James: stuff that we should avoid. 

Damien: Exactly. We. It’s, it is value. Like how do we communicate value at every step in every piece of communication?

So this leads me into my, my next question, James, in terms of great, we have AI, we could use it, you know, for good, or, you know, to be lazy, as you were saying but what does this, what does, In today’s technological environment, what does a successful sales process look like for salespeople who are already the, the current top performers, are they, are, how are they customizing this?

What are they doing? What is the process look like going back to the SDRs? You might want to be learning some, something about this. 

James: Yeah. So you got, this is what I always say is think lean. You got to run lean, right? If you can accomplish your goal with the smallest amount of tech solutions possible that are integrated into all of the platforms so that your motion, your sales motion from start to finish is fluid through your system, you are winning the day.

Right. So let’s take a look at a flow that makes a lot of sense here, and I’ll just describe it. So you understand what I’m saying. I’m going to make an incredibly detailed and targeted list and LinkedIn sales navigator. And then I’m going to use zoom info, lead IQ, Apollo, whatever you might use for data to capture the contact information.

Boom. I’m there. Now I’m going to throw those folks into a non automated sequence or cadence, if you will, whichever your preferred Your vernacular might be, and I’m going to force myself because I’m not going to automate these messages to customize at least, let’s say between 15 and 25 percent of these messages as they go out one at a time.

Now I’m going to go in and I’m going to use clay. com to be able to find the relevant triggers. For these people so that I can look at that spreadsheet created by clay and find the triggers that are most relevant to each email that I put out. You’re noticing here that you’re moving through your tech stack and each time you pass through a filter, you’re grabbing something that’s going to be valuable for them, not for you, for them.

You’re grabbing something that’s going to be valuable. And then by the end of it, I’m going to go through a list of commonly used CTAs that I know to be effective with my target buyers. Call to actions. Call to actions. Yeah. Thank you, Damien. I appreciate you. The acronyms creep in, right? But those calls to action, you want to choose the one that has the highest likelihood of this persona that you’re reaching out to will respond to.

And over time you’ll collect that data and that’s the basis of a solid lean tech stack, right? Yeah. So we went from my list, my contact information to my automation process, which is semi automated because I’m going to customize these manually as they drip out. Right. And I’m going to use technology that’s external to be able to customize those messages as they go out, whether it’s clay or some other chat GPT, right.

To be able to pull those talking points in and there’s nothing wrong with using chat GPT for this. You can say things like, give me the top 10 things that demand leaders care about in SaaS today. Right. And it’ll list them all out in bullets for you. And isn’t that. That’s way more useful than what we typically see, which is like, I’m going to build 18 touches and 90 percent of them are going to say, do you have 15 minutes next week, I’m going to add my calendar link into every one of these cold emails, which is going to up my chances of going into their spam folder by 40%.

Right? I’m probably going to get. Reported as spam, which is going to mean my entire domain will never be able to reach out to this organization again, if I get blacklisted, this is the norm. And that’s why we say like the bar is super low. If you run a lean tech stack, you will win the day simply by having it move through a sales motion in a fluid way that works for you, that’s pragmatism at its best, which is the religion of sales.

I’ve been saying that for 


Damien: And I love that. And, and we have to, as you’re saying, it is shrinking. Like a Google and Yahoo just said, Hey, listen, if. Any sender, if any one sender is over, what is it? 0. 3 percent spam rate. They’re just going to shut, shut down that, that IP or that, that domain. It is, it is getting much harder 

James: though.

Everybody’s worried about that. And I’ll tell you, Damien, the thresholds are really high, like 3 percent spam rate, but out of how many emails, right? Those numbers are super high. And that, that’s why you need products. Yeah. That that’s why you need products that spin up domains and warm people up. And this is a huge movement that’s happening right now that I think is helping with deliverability, or at least attempting to find some sort of solution, but I’ll be frank with you.

This guy right here, my, my cell phone has been my number one asset when it comes to sales in the last, I’m going to say six months because deliverability has been such a challenge, people are willing to pick up the phone. And if you have a strong, confident opener that gets people to give you a minute of their time, you can earn 10.

And when more often than you will sending 16, 18 touches, Hey, what’s the status with this account? I’m only on touch step 12. Right. Well, how many of those steps were call steps? Oh, none of them. Maybe you should pick up the phone. 

Damien: Right. Well, and it’s a good, I mean, we, we actually use texting, which is, which has a much higher deliverable, much higher, a higher open rate as well.

And I think people are starting to, is 

James: that, is that how I’m to understand it? Cold text? 

Damien: No, no, no, no. It is they’re opted in a text. It has to be compliant because everything, everything has to be compliant, right? Everything has to be, but, but kids, like kids are not going to want to reply to an email, like, or I’m sorry, I shouldn’t say kids.

And I, I say this with a, you know with a 21 year old and a 23 year old and a 14 and a 16 year old. 


is like, you know, the, the next generation is wanting something different. They’re going to want to interact much more as you’re saying, James, on the phone, they are going to be wanting, maybe not talking, but texting or something else.

Like, are, are you seeing that shift in, in business? Today, are you seeing the shift that people are maybe let, you know, is, is email becoming the, the, the Facebook as opposed to the Instagram 

James: email has been associated with negativity in our brains in business for many, many years since the dawn of outlook, we’ve been coming into work.

Logging into our inbox and feeling this release of negative energy, negative chemicals in our brain going, Oh man, here we go. Another day digging through my inbox, right? Oh, Hey, how’s your day going? Oh, inbox 300, right? Like this is the norm. So, so the inbox is already kind of is like a dirty word in our space, and it has been for a long time.

Here’s the, here’s the way to move past the inbox quickly. One, pick up the phone more often. Let’s say you do that and you have five more conversations. In every conversation, say this. This is easy to do. Before you hang up. Hey, this has been great. I appreciate your time. This is, is this your cell? Can I save it?

No one has ever said no to me. Once I save it, I’m immediately texting. Thanks for the time. Looking forward to chatting again soon. I get the thumbs up. I get the reaction. I get the emoji. I get the me too. Great to talk. Talk soon. I am now in a text basis with this human indefinitely until further notice.

Until they tell me I can’t do that. Right. And that never happened to 

Damien: And it seems closer to that person, right? It seems like, Hey, listen, I’m, I got the inside track. Hey, I can just text this person. Right. That’s right. 

James: They’re attached. If I met them in person, I take a selfie and then I go, what’s your cell?

I’ll send it to you. 

Damien: That’s great. Nice. I sent it 

James: to them and then I set their profile picture as that selfie that I just took. 

Damien: Nice. Now, every 

James: time they call, I see their face. I know where I met them. I remember this human and I can answer the phone and go, Hey Bill, what’s up? And they’re like, Oh, I didn’t think you’d remember who I was.

You’re like, yeah, I remember. We took that selfie. Remember? You should set our picture as your profile, my profile. That way, when I call, you’ll be able to answer. You’ll say, Hey James. And he’ll be like, thanks James. Right. And then I just provided this dude with a sales tip that he loves. It’s already, we’re off to the races.

Damien: I have not heard of that. That’s that’s, that is a great little piece of judo there. So you were talking, you were talking James about, you know, people coming in and the drudgery of emails. And there’s so much drudgery. There’s so many, you know, it’s 90 percent no’s in sales. Yeah. How? How can today’s sales leaders?

Try to maybe, I don’t know, I don’t know if there’s avoiding some of that drudgery, but at least making it so the environment is better. So we’re not having to replace all of these sellers less than eight. What are the, the average 10 years, 18 months for, for any seller? How do we, it’s less than an NFL player, but it’s, you know, how do you, how do they, how do we as sales leaders better support our, our sellers so that they will stick around for longer than 18 months?

James: So if it’s me and I’m a sales leader today, the first thing I’m doing is I am putting less pressure on my sales team to perform and I’m going back to the source of my leads consistently to drive better quality. That is how leaders can best keep salespeople continuously drive marketing and demand and content.

To create more sales ops for sales reps and enable your sales reps to learn, to use the things that marketing and content creates to have meaningful conversations. This, the sales leaders of today that are number one, that are the best sales leaders are great conduits between marketing and sales because they know that.

One feeds the other and vice versa. We can only scale if both of these things are working in tandem for the benefit of our buyers, our prospects, our customers. And if that is happening at a leadership level, middle, middle management or senior leadership level, you’re going to, at both teams are going to continue thrive, hire, expand, and grow.

And as long as that’s happening, revenue is coming in the door. And this is the wheel, the flywheel that we have to start creating. If we want to survive in the next, let’s say five years, because AI is changing a lot of things, which means we’re going to have no choice, but to start thinking just like John says, what can I do that?

A computer can’t. 

Damien: Yeah, absolutely. That. You were, you were dropping a couple of great names. I’ll drop that. That is exactly what the, the book Aligned to Achieve is about by at a head of sales, Andrea Austin. She’s at Google right now. And, and also Tracy Eiler a great CMO that that, that was that’s one of the, yeah, absolutely.

So but I, I can’t agree more that it has to be. Continuous funnel. Everyone has to be on the same page. As you were saying earlier, it can’t be us versus trainers. It can’t be sales versus marketing. I’d love to get your thoughts. Those 

James: people versus sales leaders either. That’s probably the most toxic relationship of all.

People do not quit sales teams. They quit sales leaders. That’s a hundred. That’s 

Damien: exactly it. Yeah, that’s can’t agree, can’t agree more. And, and I think that that is. It’s not necessarily about as what you were talking about, the technology, you know, go lean and I’ll solve it. It is, it’s about the energy that I think we bring.

You know, I’d love to get your thoughts. You, you, you speak a ton about the entire spectrum of sales. So it’s not just about the process. It’s not just about technology. It’s not just about. You know, the, the written emails that we have, but energy, like how, how do we, how do we use energy in our daily sales?

James: All right. So I’m gonna blow some minds here with this one, because I know that people often think about energy in this silo. So like you, I felt that way too. I was like my energy and the way that I come across on a call will amp people up. They’ll feel motivated about it. And that’s positive. I’m going to use that serotonin and dopamine release in their brain to my advantage.

Okay. Because I can get them amped about doing some awesome things with us, whether it’s training or sponsorship or the show or whatever, this is only one kind of energy. I was talking to Christine Rogers, the CEO and founder at Aspireship, and she explained to me that energy is actually so many different things.

And one of the things that salespeople neglect is the energy in the deal, meaning. Who is amped up? Who’s pipe pumped up about this thing in my buying committee? That energy from the buyer is the thing that I need to focus on zero in on and learn how to harness so that I can share that energy, make it contagious with the rest of the buying committee.

It’s sometimes hard for us. As energetic sellers to recognize the buying energy coming through when Christine explained this to me, I realized I hadn’t done a very good job recognizing the buying energy because I was so excited about my selling energy all the time, right? Because it works for me. My pragmatism got in the way of my evolution.

So that buying energy is another part of energy that we have to realize exists in a deal. And if we can’t zero in on it and figure out how to use it and harness it, it’ll never work to our advantage because there’ll always be one person super amped and the other seven buyers in the deal, they’re like, I don’t think this is a go.

And once it’s six to one or eight, seven to one, you know, you’re going to get overruled. That’s when you hear things like, Oh, our board member has an existing relationship with one of your competitors. So we’re going to go that direction, right? That’s only a part of the conversation. The other part is you didn’t learn to use that energy.

So I couldn’t get the rest of the team on 


Damien: Yeah. And I do think that the person with the most buying energy is going to be the person who is most motivated. To be able to say, Hey, listen, I’m going to take this. What is it? Gartner says that a buying committee is now like 6. 8 people at a minimum, you know, like, you know, consensus buying is, no, I think you might 

James: be quoting the challenger sale.

There six, six decision makers in every deal. Right. And to some extent, I think that’s true, but I think they’re looking at that from a mid market. Perspective. Six, six decision makers makes a lot of sense if I’m looking at a mid market deal as defined by HubSpot, right? So for those of you that are unaware an SMB, a small mid, small Small and medium business is defined as zero to a hundred sellers or zero to a hundred people.

And then medium is a hundred to a thousand people. And anything over a thousand people is enterprise. Right. So that’s how HubSpot defines SMB mid market and enterprise. I think everybody kind of needs a standard for that. It might be different for you, but in an enterprise deal, Oh, especially I like a massive franchise, man.

You’re probably looking at 150 to 200 decision makers. That could be a three year deal. You have no idea how many times you’re going to have to demo that product, answer the same questions, deal with different agendas, competing against one another, that’s This is complex. So to say, to say is an average of six sellers or six decision makers at every deal, I think is a little bit of an overstatement, my opinion.

Damien: Fair, fair enough. And yeah, it was part of the challenger sale as you, as you were, and it gets exhausting. Right. It is like to teach Taylor and take control a hundred times is, is really tough. Like, you know, so you know, you talked about the sales 

James: executives always want to control the conversation.

Damien: Right. Well, and I found, and I found that it’s, it’s not necessarily who can say yes, but it’s focusing on the person who could say no. Right. It’s like, cause like you could get eight people. You can get 10, 12 people to say yes, yes, yes. But it’s that one person. Typically it’s going to be the, like the CFO is going to say no.

And that, that’s why you have to be proactive 

James: about that. No. And seek it out, Damon. I am historically noted for being like, all right, who’s my stick in the mud. I go, who’s my stick in the mud? And they’re like, Oh, you know, watch out for bill. He’s kind of tough to deal with. Or they’ll be like, Debra is always like, we don’t want to spend any money.

So you’re like, all right, well, Debra and bill, those are my challenge people. Let’s go. Like, tell me what you know about them. 

Damien: Yeah. And that, and that was part, yeah, that, that was part of the, one of the best sales training that I ever had was executive conversations, how to sell to a CFO and it all has to do with just the value.

It’s like, what, three things. What are you trying to change? How can you affect that change in a differentiated way? And what measurement are you going to use? Those three things. If you’re going to sell to the CFO, Hey, CFO, I know you don’t care about functionality or about this or that. They care about the bottom line or the top line, right?

And, and, and if you can’t sell to that, if you can’t get measurable results in a way that no one else can, then. Your, your deal’s dead, right? So, 

James: yeah, that’s right. We just did a show on talking to executives and there was a point made about the Caesar moment. You know, most executives are coming in basically to give you the thumbs up, thumbs down on whether or not this is going to move forward to the next step.

Whatever it might be, it could be. Got, you know, going for the signature. It could be setting the next call up with the buying committee to talk about the details of how you’re going to move forward. It could be getting to this controller so that you can get the financial approval that you need, whatever their next step is, is where you are.

Not your next step. That’s only a part of the deal. 

Damien: Right, right. It’s their next step. So going back full circle to what we were talking about before about teenagers and about. Having a whole bunch of kids whether they, whether they like us as, as parents or not, whether we’re doing a good job or not.

It seems to me like Not required, by the way. Not required, not I actually have You know, you hope that, that, that there is a little bit of friction so that they can grow and they can think for themselves. But a lot, a lot of what I’m hearing from From the teenagers is all about self care. It’s self care.

And Hey, listen, I’m going to be taking time self care. I think there is a component of that or a necessary piece of that. Because I think in sale for sales, because I think sales is always about go, go, go, go, you know, don’t take a, don’t take any time off. You’re going to be just, you’re not going to be making the money when you’re off, but there has to be that component of self care.

So I’d love to get your thoughts as to how, how could you incorporate that in there? What is the, you know, how could that make. Taking a little break or taking some self care make us better sellers. 

James: Yeah. So first of all, time management and task management are two very different things that I think salespeople often confuse.

So one of the things that your kids learn from you is how you manage your time, your demeanor and how you are. Every day is kind of what dictates to them is my, is my dad in a rush all the time? Does he constantly pushed for time? Is he late to things, right? That’s they think that’s acceptable now, you know, and that, that will affect them as a professional, as they age and get into the working world.

Or do they see somebody that has it together? When they look at their calendar, it’s color coded and very structured and organized. They will adapt to that same philosophy in their own lives. And they’ll say things to their friends suddenly in their adult years that are like things that you said. Hey man, if it’s not on my calendar, it’s not happening in my life.

Right? Like, those, those are the things that I say to my friends. And I think other people, my kids will start to say that eventually one day too to give you a good example of what we, what we can teach our kids as sales professionals that I think is highly valuable is the art of monetization. What do I mean?

My oldest daughter. Is in cosmetology school right now. She’s learning how to do makeup and hair and nails. We’re very proud of her. She’s she’s quite the go getter. She’s a four star server at the Cracker Barrel as well, right? So she’s working and going to school. But one of the things that I want to make sure that she picks up on is.

Great. You have this skill. You do hair, makeup and nails. How are you going to get people to sit in your chair? Right? And that’s the skill that I want to pass on to her. This is how you network. This is places that you go. Things you can look for, like happy hours where you can go meet other professionals like you.

This is where you can go meet specific individuals that you might Want to do business with later that might come sit in your chair. Here’s how you get business cards and pass them out and leave them on, you know, things in the, in the parking lots locally, to be able to get your name out there. Here’s how you create a digital footprint and content and use hashtags, right?

All of these things they can learn from me. So while she’s developing the skill in the back of my mind, I’m thinking when she’s done with this, she’s going to have to learn the business side of it to be able to fill that seat consistently and make a living off of it. 

Damien: As you said earlier, James.

Everyone’s in sales, right? We all sell something. We all do it. We all sell something. James, thank you so much for your time and insight here today on 73 and Sonny. Again, if you would like to learn more about what James is up to, feel free to connect and follow him on LinkedIn, as well as checking out the Sell Better show at sellbetter.

xyz. James, thank you very much. 

James: Thanks for having me.