Podcast Selling

Sales Excellence

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Why salespeople should think like podcast hosts.

Recently, on my Golf Underground Podcast (co-hosted with MLB Hall of Famer George Brett), we interviewed one of the Golf Channel’s most controversial hosts, Brandel Chamblee. Going into the interview, I was prepared with about 30 questions and thought for sure I knew what his answers would be.

I also always perceived Brandel as being smug and somebody not overly interested in others. Boy, was I wrong. After 90 minutes of him taking the Zoom interview from the seat of his car in an airport parking lot, I learned more about who he was as a person and was amazed at how much interest he also had in us, the hosts.


Afterward, I thought of how much a great podcast interview is just like a great sales call. Let’s talk about it.

Understanding

First up, podcasts offer a perfect example of how to gain a thorough understanding of someone. In a high-quality interview, the host dives deep into their guest’s life, beliefs, or work. They ask the kinds of questions that make the guest pause, think, and perhaps reveal something they’ve never articulated before. In the sales world, this is a gold mine.

Let’s say you’re selling a medical software solution. You could go about it in two ways. First, you could dive straight into your pitch – running through the software’s features and benefits. Or you could take the time to understand your client’s business, ask about their challenges, and then offer your solution as a tailored answer to their specific problems. Not only is the second approach likely to be more successful, but it also helps your client feel seen and understood, which builds trust and paves the way for a lasting business relationship.

Speaking of relationships, podcasts are renowned for their ability to foster a strong connection between the host and the listeners. A well-produced podcast doesn’t just spew out information; it invites the audience into an intimate conversation. By adopting this approach, salespeople can aim to create a personal, trusting relationship with their clients, one that goes beyond the transactional nature of buying and selling.

However, relationships don’t just happen. They require a good old chat, a sprinkle of honesty, and a generous serving of empathy. Salespeople can borrow from the candidness of podcasts, showing their clients who they really are. Authenticity goes a long way in fostering trust, and trust is the cornerstone of any great business relationship.

Storytelling

Now, onto storytelling. A podcast interview is often a canvas for compelling narratives – stories that captivate, educate, and inspire. Here’s where the salespeople can draw yet another leaf from the podcast book. Whether you’re selling a product or service, telling a compelling story can be a game-changer.

Picture this: Instead of a dry rundown of a product’s specs, you share a success story about a client who used this very product to overcome a similar problem. You paint a vivid picture, capturing your current client’s imagination and helping them envision what success could look like for them. It’s storytelling with a purpose, and it’s far more impactful than a mere list of features.

The follow-up

Next, the real meat of a great podcast doesn’t come from the first level of questioning. The best material comes from the follow-up. How did that happen? Who was impacted by this? What was the outcome? When did that occur? These are all examples of how you get a guest/sales prospect to give you the real information that the audience (you) as a salesperson need and want to know. But questioning isn’t enough.

Listening is a skill, and it is a critical one for salespeople. In a podcast interview, the host often speaks less and listens more. They take in what the guest says and follow up with those insightful questions, creating a dialogue that’s not only engaging but also profoundly informative. Salespeople can and should embrace this approach. After all, you can’t address a client’s needs if you haven’t taken the time to truly understand them.

The beauty of a podcast interview often lies in its ability to provide value – whether it’s an educational nugget, an inspiring story, or simply an entertaining chat. This principle should be etched in the minds of every salesperson. Your main goal should be to offer value to your clients, even before they’ve bought anything. By helping them understand their challenges better, or by offering insights into their industry, you’re not just selling them something – you’re also providing a service.

To wrap up, there’s something inherently human about a podcast interview. It’s an intimate conversation, a story-filled journey, an exploration of ideas. By bringing some of this magic into their interactions with clients, salespeople can do more than just close a deal. They can build trust, foster relationships, and make a real, lasting impact. After all, sales isn’t just about numbers. It’s about people. And what better way to connect with people than through genuine, meaningful conversations?

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Sullivan, CSP, is the author of “20 Days to the Top” and a leading voice in the field of sales training and development. He has been in radio/podcasting for over 20 years and is now co-host of GOLF UNDERGROUND on ESPN Kansas City (can be found on all podcast platforms). He believes in the potential of every salesperson to achieve their best and continually challenges sales professionals to reach new heights. Visit him at preciseselling.com.

 

Photo credit: istockphoto.com/demaerre

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