In this episode, Jeff Loehr and Joe Rojas welcomed Jennifer Bleam of MSP Sales Revolution to discuss effective sales strategies. Jennifer stressed the significance of trust and rapport in sales, underscoring the importance of building genuine connections rather than just pushing products.
A structured sales process is key; it establishes credibility and ensures clarity in engagements. We especially discussed the hot topic of objections. Instead of viewing them as roadblocks, Jennifer sees objections as indicators of active engagement, often viewing a lack of objections with suspicion. Drawing from personal anecdotes, she argued everyone has innate selling skills, urging listeners to refine and apply these in business contexts.
Tune in so you can master sales for your MSP and “Get comfortable leaning into discomfort.”
Jennifer Bleam is a best-selling author, an award-winning speaker, and a respected leader in the IT channel. She has coached over 1,000 MSPs on marketing and sales best practices, based on her real-life success as an MSP business owner.
Jennifer also grew a channel-only cybersecurity software firm from start up to acquisition in less than two years. Part of her role included coaching MSPs on how to sell cybersecurity to small and medium sized companies.
Jennifer trained with Sandler Training and attended CharTec Sales lab. She founded MSP Sales Revolution to help MSPs master the art of cybersecurity sales quickly, easily, and profitably.
Her signature program is the MSP Transformation Machine, a system for growing your business using the 3 Cs: Curriculum, Coaching, and Community.
What is the problem you solve, and for whom?
MSPs and IT companies that are successful but aren’t having that same level of success with selling cybersecurity.
They don’t know how to sell cybersecurity to their existing clients; therefore, their clients are at risk, which makes them uncomfortable because it’s their job to keep their clients safe.
How do you help MSPs
We help MSPs sell cybersecurity using our simple 6-step roadmap.
Your Company Website/URL
What you are promoting:
Free resources to help your MSP grow your cybersecurity revenue: mspsalesrevolution.com/freebies
Jeff Loehr: Today, we’re gonna talk about one of the subjects that Joe despises, sales.
The biggest problem with Joe is getting him to not sell stuff. I bought lots of stuff from Joe, so I know I finally just had to partner with Joe and say, no, I want him to be on my side.
I can’t afford to keep having these meetings with Joe. Joe is a talented salesperson, great at the sales conversation, but it is also great to hear how other people are really helping others learn the sales conversation. So we’re gonna chat with Jennifer Bleam later today.
And she’s started numerous multimillion-dollar divisions and businesses, and it’s interesting, she’s gotten them to the point where they’ve grown, and then she does it again, right? She enjoys the growing of it. Like the creation of it.
Joe Rojas: That’s the fun part. That’s why we do what we do now because we enjoy the growth.
Jeff Loehr: We’re working with people who are growing, and if it stays static, it gets boring. So anyway, she’s got a great story. All these businesses that she started, a bestselling author on Amazon, and an award-winning speaker, and she really coaches people through the sales process.
Two things came up for me, and one of them is the absolutely critical importance of knowing who you’re selling to and the problem that they have. It is key. It will get you to double, quadruple, and quintuple your sales in a very short period of time. So, I know we keep beating the same drum. We ain’t gonna stop.
Jennifer has just got some beautiful stories about how salespeople do not listen, and they managed to talk themselves out of a sale.
And it’s like I always say, I’m easy to sell to. I’ll tell you exactly what my pain is.
You just have to tell me how you solve it. And yet, it’s still hard to buy. And you have to wonder how many people are just leaving money on the table, like the future growth of their business on the table, simply because they’re not listening in the sales conversation.
Joe Rojas: But that goes back to the same thing. If you don’t solve a problem for a specific person, it’s very hard to listen because you don’t know what their issues are, so you can’t hear them. When you know the problem that you solve and for whom you can hear when they have that problem, even when they’re not problem aware.
You can hear it, but the problem is that if you are just agnostic and you’re just going out and you’re just selling your thing, and it’s all about you, you can’t hear what anybody else is saying. So you don’t hear their issues and their problems when they speak, you try to put ’em into your box and give it back to them, and they’re like, that’s not what I’m saying.
So, it turns into an argument rather than a sales conversation. And what I love about Jennifer is that she shows you how to take that and turn it into a real sales conversation, right?
Jeff Loehr: And she’s got some brilliant advice there. And she ends with a beautiful nugget; I’m not going to spoil the surprise, but she summed up the way to think about building your business in about 10 words in a way that I, there’s no way for me to improve on it or Joe to improve on it.
So she just absolutely, beautifully said it. So we’ll let her do the talking. And on that, I think we’ll move over to chat with Jennifer Bleam. What do you think, Joe?
Joe Rojas: All right, let’s do it!
Jennifer Joins the Podcast
Joe Rojas: So, meet my partner, Jeff Loehr. He’s absolutely amazing. Jeff, meet Jennifer. She’s just awesome.
Jeff Loehr: Hi Jennifer. Lovely to meet you.
Jennifer Bleam: Nice to meet you, too. This is gonna be a really great conversation, I can tell already. And Jeff, I don’t know a whole lot about your background. Have you been in this world for a while?
Jeff Loehr: I do not come from the MSP world at all, actually. I come from a business background, and I’ve built businesses in different structures, from startups, I’ve run an Angel Investment Group and involved with a lot of startups all the way through to multi-billion dollar projects in ins South Africa. My real claim to fame is just communication, influence, being able to tell the story that gets people to take action, and just having a lot of experience with building businesses.
So that’s where I come from. And then Joe’s, Mr. MSP expert. We put the MSP together with business, and there we go.
Joe Rojas: Basically, what Jeff was able to do is I explain how I built my MSP, and he built the process around it to be able to do it repeatably consistently over and over again.
He’s just brilliant at what he does, and he says he doesn’t have an MSP background, but back in the 90s, he was managing server migrations.
Jeff Loehr: That’s true. I did, actually; we didn’t call it an MSP back then. We just called it a guy doing tech stuff for a company.
And I did that for a number of years, actually. That was good fun. But then moved on and found myself in the corporate world and then came back.
So cool; tell us a little bit about you and what you do, Jennifer.
Introduction to Jennifer Bleam
Jennifer Bleam: So I’ve got a really crazy last six or seven years.
My husband has an MSP, and I was homeschooling my kids, and the husband needed help with billing and filing and just the day-to-day stuff. And then the kids got a little bit older, and I said I’ve done sales and marketing before. You remember that, right? Like pre-kids.
And so I started helping him with sales and marketing. And then Robin Robbins, a technology marketing toolkit, saw what I was doing and said, you need to come work for me. I don’t think you need to keep working for your husband. You need to do bigger things. And so I went and worked for her for a couple of years and helped her get her done for your newsletter, a print.
What is she called it? Accelerators Club membership off the ground. And then it started being not fun anymore. We’re both cut from the same cloth, and it’s her business, so she wanted people to sell her way. I don’t sell her way. It’s just not my personality. Nothing wrong with it.
It’s just not how I like to sell. And it stopped being fun, and I don’t go in halfway. So if I’m gonna work 50 or 60 hours a week, it needs to be rewarding, and it needs to be fun. So, at the point that it wasn’t, I started looking for my next role, and there was a startup cybersecurity vendor that was selling Sentinel One.
And there was no great solution for it. And so we were doing Sentinel One plus a US-based SOC and selling a whole lot of it. So, I think I came in as employee number three, and I was the VP of Business Development. We did the beautiful hockey stick growth curve, and 17 months later, we had a $4 million run rate, which is a lot of selling because the tool at the time was $4 per endpoint.
A lot of selling. A lot of partner enablement and a lot of sales training, and we were then acquired by Continuum. I stayed for about six or eight months until they wanted me to move to Pittsburgh, and I went, Nope, not interested.
And there were no, no real non-competes in place. And so that’s when I started my consulting company about three years ago. I have just recently shifted from one-on-one over to a small group, and it is sales, marketing, little bit of business. I don’t position it that way in the marketplace, but we do a little bit of vivid vision and things like that because we’ve got to know where you’re going, or we’re going to get to the wrong place.
Jeff Loehr: Really, it’s always the problem. It’s really hard to advise somebody on how to get there if you don’t have any idea where you’re going.
Jennifer Bleam: I’m really surprised by the number of businesses that they’ve been open for 10, 15, 20 years, and they don’t know if they want a lifestyle business. They don’t know if they wanna be a rapid growth company that gets acquired in a few years, and they go with whatever the latest coach or the loudest mouth tells them, and they try to attach to that dream. But it’s not theirs.
Yes. And then you work yourself to death. It’s miserable.
Jeff Loehr: And you end up working yourself to death. And it is funny like we find that all the time.
We work with people all the time. They just don’t know where they’re going, and they’re very stuck in just doing work and doing stuff. And you talk about the importance of putting a process into your sales. And it’s just so often that people don’t treat these things as something that has a process.
A client who had no onboarding process that fixed that with Chat GPT
Jennifer Bleam: It’s true. Sometimes. I had a client and I said, what do you mean you don’t have an onboarding process for new clients? Like you’ve been in business for 15 years.
You have 30 clients, you want 60. But he had shared that was why he wasn’t doing marketing and wasn’t closing sales is because there was this fear I’m gonna have to onboard them and I don’t know how to do that. And literally I said, have you been on Chat GPT it’s your friend. Let me show you. And inside of three minutes we had a 80% solid onboarding process and he is like, holy cow, I didn’t know you could do that. So you’re right. Sometimes they don’t even have those processes.
The critical role onboarding plays in the MSP industry
Jeff Loehr: What’s interesting is onboarding is one that people also put off a lot. Like they really put off having an onboarding process.
And it is so interesting because you go through all of the effort to do marketing and sales, and you close the sale and then you shoot yourself in the foot by not having the process to bring people on board. Like all of the good work you’ve done to lay the foundation and then you just drop the ball.
And we’ve always said great onboarding process. Then people are going to forgive mistake mistakes later. But if you have a terrible onboarding process, then you are always stuck.
Joe Rojas: Yeah.
Jennifer Bleam: Yes. And I’m there, mine is very manual right now, like it’s a good process, but it is all manual and so that is on the priority list to get it automated. ’cause it can’t be manual, it can’t scale with a manual onboarding process.
Joe Rojas: Yeah, we’re big advocates of onboarding processes that break as little as possible and make it as smooth and friendly as possible. It’s more about the conversation than it is almost about the technology. You want to get your basic tools on.
You want to break as little as possible. You wanna understand the environment the most, and then you do all the migrations and all the stuff as projects later, because then the client has a great onboarding experience.
And they feel like you didn’t break anything. If you do everything right up front, if you do all your mail migration everything in the first three weeks, you’re gonna break so many things in the process that you’re gonna upset the client.
Joe I think let’s bring it back to sales and what Jennifer’s here to talk about, because I think we can think, go on and on about the onboarding process but actually I’d really like to learn from you a little bit more about your sales process. So why cyber security? Why not just general sales?
Why have you niched down to cybersecurity sales
Jennifer Bleam: So it’s interesting because a lot of people have a fair amount of muscle memory when it comes to selling managed services. It’s a relatively known quantity. They’ve done it before, 5 or 10 times, maybe 5 or 10 dozen times and yet, and a relatively easy sale.
I don’t mean that in the sense of ease of completion or ease of success, but I just mean it’s like getting on a bicycle.
Like I know what I’m doing. I know how this conversation is gonna go. There’s probably nothing that the prospect is gonna throw at me that I’ve never heard before. I can prove ROI like, it’s just comfortable. But cybersecurity is different because it’s newer. There’s no way to really prove ROI.
In fact, if you’re honest, you’re gonna have to say, no, I might cost you efficiency. If I put multi-factor authentication on all of your devices, all of your software-
Jeff Loehr: I slow you down.
Jennifer Bleam: Yeah, it is gonna slow you down. And it might be a little bit of a hiccup and there might be a learning curve.
And so if you’re an honest salesperson, which those people do exist, then you can’t sell cyber based on ROI. So then how do you sell it? And it’s a different sale. And so that’s why I wrote the book on cybersecurity sales, not just sales in general.
Jeff Loehr: But don’t you think that cybersecurity these days, is it really hard to sell cybersecurity these days? It feels like it’s all over the place.
Why is it so hard to sell cybersecurity
Jennifer Bleam: It’s interesting, so there are still business owners that either have their head in the sand and believe it can’t happen. Or they aren’t aware. They think it truly is the larger companies or the mom that lost her recipes and pictures over the weekend.
And it’s a line item, it’s a budget line item that these companies have never had to spend money on before. Sometimes it isn’t even ignorance necessarily. It is just the dollars and cents. I don’t have. Twice that budget in order to put into cybersecurity. It’s not so much that it’s a hard sale, it’s that the money just isn’t there.
Jeff Loehr: So how do you do it? How do you go from clueless, don’t know that I need this to happily writing a check so that I get my 2FA that’s going to drive me crazy because I am of the crowd that is driven crazy by this.
Joe Rojas: He really is. He really is.
Jennifer Bleam: It’s obnoxious.
Jeff Loehr: I would personally rather, they can have my stuff.
Jennifer Bleam: You might not think that, if it happened though. So I know you said that tongue in cheek, but that’s actually one of the keys to selling cybersecurity is helping someone shift from they can just have my data or it wouldn’t really impact me.
I would somehow pick myself up and recover. And help you realize that no, it really could impact you. And so I like to say that there’s two arguments that you need to make when you’re talking about cybersecurity.
The two arguments you need to make for cybersecurity
Jennifer Bleam: And the first is impact. Impact implications. How is this truly going to affect my business?
If this thing happens to me and too often prospects are like teenagers I’m invulnerable and even if I had a head on collision, I would somehow walk away from it. And so you need to have a very real conversation like, okay, I know you think you’d be fine, but, you are an attorney, how would you know what cases to work on?
How would you know when to show up to court? How would you track your time? Okay, great. You have legal pads because you’re an attorney. Congratulations. But you’re tracking it with a pen and paper. So now who’s gonna be the one to put it into the database and into your CRM once it comes up and and you’re running again in two weeks, and will there be a lack of integrity in terms of data?
How much would that be? Are you gonna lose 10% of your billable hours to bookkeeping mistakes And those are very real implications and it’s almost a flavor of the reduced to the ridiculous sales methodology where we’ve all seen buy this frying pan for less than a dollar a day for the next year.
And you’re like, okay, so this frying pan is $365, but dollar a day feels really, really doable. So it’s taking that concept and flipping it, it’s on its head. And it’s saying, Mr. Prospect, you think not having access to your data is this tiny little thing, but I’m telling you it is death by a thousand paper cuts.
’cause you’re just like, ah, it’s just data. And I’m like no. This is your payroll, your ability to collect money, your ability to submit proposals, so you’re helping them see that all of these thousand paper cuts really are a big deal.
Jeff Loehr: It’s also your client’s data.
I guess one of the things for me is we can rebuild our stuff and it’ll be a pain in the neck, but if they got our client’s data, and I think that’s what people miss is it’s not just about us. It’s about all of the names and passwords and credit cards and SOPs and all of that stuff that exists within our world that we have to protect.
And I think for me that’s even more important than my stuff.
Accounting firm that lost 500K due to phishing
Jeff Loehr: I was with an accounting firm once where they lost $500,000 of a customer’s money due to a phishing thing, and that’s just one of those things where, that is a terrible feeling, right?
Like your own stuff. You feel stupid, when you lose your clients. That really gets it core.
Plastic surgery center that dealt with a ransomware attack
Jennifer Bleam: There was a plastic surgery center that had a ransomware attack a couple of years ago, and the perpetrators actually said, if you don’t pay the ransom, we’re going to release all of the pictures and the data out to the dark web or maybe even the regular web.
I don’t recall. But think how damaging that would be. Like we’ve all seen kind of post-surgery pictures and there’s the bruising and the pre-surgery pictures. You’ve got like all the Sharpie markers all over the face. And these were famous people even if they weren’t famous people.
And so you’re right. That’s another level of impact on your company and on you personally. What about just emotional? Do you ever get over the fact that you cost a client $500,000. How do you do that?
Jeff Loehr: For just dollars a day, you could have prevented that.
Jennifer Bleam: Or mitigated. I like to say mitigated.
Jeff Loehr: Mitigate the risk. Yes. Yes. You can never be a hundred percent. But when I was looking through your stuff, two things stood out to me. One of them was you talk a lot about discovery, right?
And understanding discovery. And then the other one was objections. But in your book, you’ve got this great quote, you said after all, 90% of what you discover in sales calls these days is repetitious. The conversation with today’s prospect will be exactly the same as every other company in the world.
Why do I need to do discovery?
Why do MSPs need to do discovery for sales and marketing
Jennifer Bleam: So this is where we really throw sales on its head because the way the discovery is typically taught is that there’s this magic set of questions that when I ask these questions, I discover these things and magically I’ve just made a sale. And it really is this ethereal concept, and no one really ever brings it out.
It’s not down to earth at all. And I’ve been through probably a dozen classes where we fill up three whiteboards with really great discovery questions. But no one ever told me why am I asking all of these questions? I now have 500 questions. How do I know which 15 to use?
Because no one’s gonna answer 500 questions. Not like the FBI, where we’re interrogating someone. The key to discovery is remembering that it’s not about you. Discovery is to help the prospect discover how underserved they are. You are not gonna discover much new at all.
If you’ve gone on 50 sales calls, you might be surprised by one or two little minor things, but you are walking in with a whole lot of knowledge. Your prospect is in a completely different place. They think they’re fine. They think there’s some minor bumps that you’re just gonna put a bandaid on.
And so by the way, if they’re thinking, all you’re gonna do is put a bandaid on it. They’re expecting your investment to be largely the same as what they’re paying now, because it’s not really that big of a problem. What you want to do is ask questions to help the prospect discover, oh, this problem I thought was this big, is actually massive.
The solution is massive, which means, oh no, maybe the investment is gonna be massive as well. Then when you come in, your investment is not quite as massive as they were thinking. You’ve price anchored them and they’re expecting it to be a whole lot more expensive, and that’s how you make your $250 per seat, $300 per seat pricing look reasonable because now they realize what a massive problem they had that they weren’t aware of an hour ago.
That’s also how you’re a thought leader and you had tremendous value inside of your sales conversations.
Jeff Loehr: I think the idea of discovery being for the client is so important. So we talk a lot about having to know the problem before you talk to the prospect. Before you go in, before you talk, that’s why you have to know who your target market is, you have to know who your avatar, you know their problem. You aren’t figuring out their problem when you’re sitting there.
And I think a lot of people miss that. I love the idea, what you’re doing is you’re asking these questions in order to help them see and accentuate that problem so that now they understand why they need a solution.
Jennifer Bleam: And that makes much easier, right? Because if you’re looking at that whiteboard of 500 questions and you’re like if I ask this question, here’s the answer they’re gonna give. If I ask that one, they’re gonna tell me this. Now it’s almost a matrix moment where you can slow down time and pick out the very specific questions to get you the answers that you know what the answers are going to be.
Jeff Loehr: Because you know what the answers are. It’s like my dad always said, my dad is a lawyer. To always ask questions that you know the answer to.
Jennifer Bleam: No one ever ask a question if you don’t know the answer.
Jeff Loehr: If you don’t know the answer, too scary to ask those questions, what were you gonna say, Joe?
Joe Rojas: I was gonna say that’s why I always talk about this is to stay narrow. The clearer you are who your avatar is, the more you understand their industry and their problems and their stuff, the more equipped you come in knowing the answers to those questions.
And the more you know the answers to the questions. You can ask questions that almost cut. It’s oh and you’re hitting them with these questions that really, like, how did you know that? How I knew that is I’ve worked with just your industry and I really understand the problems.
I used to have a coach that said that the answer is in the question and it really needs to be like that. It needs to pull, like when you say it, the answer is in the question. They. And it’s great. It’s great. I love that.
Great takeaway from a sales call about the answer being in the question
Jennifer Bleam: I remember I was a prospect on a sales call once, and the salesperson asked me, Hey, do you have a, I don’t remember what it was, a process around this, or do you know this number? And as at the same time as I’m saying, no, I don’t, My CEO brain is saying, but I should..
And so I literally wrote it down on my to-do list and I didn’t end up buying from the salesperson just ’cause I didn’t need the solution, but he had added value to my world because the answer was in the question. It’s Hey, do you know what your profitability is per client? Whatever the data point was, it’s No, but I should, you know why that’s important and there’s some qualification there as well.
If someone’s, no, but what difference does it make? Then maybe they’re not the right client for you. So then there’s some qualification that can happen as well.
Jeff Loehr: I’ve gotta say in terms of the sales process, I also love your story about the door salesman. Hey, seriously, right? Just tell it quickly the door salesman story, because it’s a situation that we’ve been in.
Jennifer’s Front Door Salesman Story
Jennifer Bleam: We needed a new front door. We had a front door that had glass in it, and a rock got kicked up, and so the glass was broken.
They couldn’t replace the glass. So we need a new front door. Here’s how much we wanna spend. I know approximately what color I want and I want it to have glass, but I don’t want the glass to be see-through because it makes me feel like I’m unprotected when I’m walking around in my house.
And we want skylights and we want them to match and we want them to go floor to ceiling. Like I, I walked in a very educated buyer, which is where most people are now. They are very far into the buyer’s journey. And the gentleman got there and he came into the house and brought in case after case of items.
And I’m like, I want a burgundy door with glass and I like this. You can’t possibly have 75,000 options for, I just told you what I wanted. So he’s going through the whole dog and pony show and we had scheduled it for an evening and of course you know your husband has to be there ’cause okay, they’re good salespeople.
They want both decision-makers in the room and like they come in and we’re not even finished cleaning up dinner and long story short, I thought this would be about 45 minutes to an hour because I know exactly what I want. I know what my budget is, the end. This appointment ended up taking three hours.
Three hours and the amount of non listenening and having to repeat myself and it was. Painful. Painful. We did something similar with our Venetian blinds in our kitchen.
Hot sales tip just listen to your prospective clients
Jennifer Bleam: But yeah the whole concept of listening in a sales call, we talk about how important it is.
It’s like 82-83% of people want to be listened to in a sales call. And only 24% of salespeople actually listen in a sales call. And so if you want to actually be different, simply listen, don’t just ask the questions and then, you know, okay, this is what I can like end my weekend getaway while you’re yammering on.
No, like you’re supposed to be actively listening and tell me why that is. Or I’m curious, why are you thinking that? Or help me understand, is that a deal breaker?
Jeff Loehr: I’m pretty easy to sell to, because I know what my sales pain is. You knew what color door you want? I may not know what color door I want, but I said, this is the pain that I feel.
This is the thing that I need to get solved. And you know how many people won’t even address that? Like they could say, oh, you’re not my client. That’s cool.
Or they just go on to their spiel for the next, three hours.
I haven’t had it take three hours, but three hours talking to me about stuff that has nothing to do with what I want. And anyway, we could have closed the sales in the first 10 minutes because, either you’ve got it, you don’t, right. But it is just like this idea of listening and just paying attention and setting, that first agreement, right? And setting the tone of the conversation, controlling the conversation. I think there’s that match between controlling the conversation, having each part of the conversation be the logical next step. And listening at the same time. That sort of there’s some magic in that I think, maybe not in the questions, but in that.
Jennifer Bleam: Yes, but you are saying magic, which I totally agree with. ’cause it isn’t done very often, sadly. But if we take a step back and we say, okay, they’re going through their spiel or I said, the dog and pony show we’ve all been through it and it’s horrible when we’re the prospect, but that is their sales process.
They truly believe that all of those pieces are crucial. When as a buyer we’re like, I don’t really care that you have 73,000 Yelp reviews. I just don’t want you to have one. So the dog and pony show is the sales process, and too much of it is fluff and not needed when you’re purchasing a door or Venetian blinds or whatever.
MSPs need to take a look at their sales process
Jennifer Bleam: And so that’s where, as an MSP, you need to look at your sales process and say, where is there fluff? Where are there weak links in my chain that I need to strengthen or it’s gonna cost me sales. It’s gonna cost me profit.
Joe Rojas: It’s so funny, I was working with an MSP on their sales process.
And the way it went, this is what happens next. And then if they say this, shut up, take the check. Go to this step.
And then if they don’t say that, do this. And then if they say they wanna pay you. Shut up. Take the check.
Jeff Loehr: And you even said at some point, Jennifer, you said, nobody says, can I pay you now? What’s funny is even when you do say, can I pay you now, sometimes it’s hard to get them to shut up and take your money.
Joe Rojas: Yeah. They keep talking.
How Jennifer did less talking and more listening on a recent deal
Jennifer Bleam: It’s hard for me to shut up. I was in a call, this is probably three or four weeks ago, and someone said, what’s your investment?
And I told them and they said, wow. And coach Jennifer in my own head is shut up, don’t say anything. Don’t say anything. And they’re like, what was that again? And I repeated it. That was it. I just repeated it. I didn’t ask a question. I just let them sit on it. And they’re like, I expected it to be about twice as much.
And I’m like, okay. The shut up. Coaching I give to myself.
Jeff Loehr: Yeah. Because the automatic reaction is, oh my God, I have to lower my price.
Jennifer Bleam: Yes. Or justify why it is what it is. Wow. Oh let me explain why it could be a lot more of it, you can, think of it like this and that none of that would’ve been necessary.
And yeah I listened. I just gave them the space to either think it through or talk it through or tell me where they were coming from, and instead they were like, Okay, I’m in. Actually they said, what’s the catch? And then they said, I’m in. Had I tried to sell against that objection when it wasn’t really an objection, I could have lost a deal.
Joe Rojas: We’re our own worst enemy. We were on a sales call like that, where we knew exactly what we wanted. We needed a website vendor. And the guy, like Jeff said, look, You’re charging me too little because this is what I want and this is what you’re selling me.
What Jeff was saying, I don’t care if it costs 10 times as much. I need this and you’re trying to sell me this, and the guy would just keep talking about this. And so we ended up leaving the call.
Jeff Loehr: Which again is fine. If he doesn’t do this, that’s fine, your little piece is valuable enough that I should hire you for that, but get that we’re talking about a bigger piece.
But that brings us back to objections. Like I said, we imagine the objection is the price is too high, and then the price is too low. So what is your secret sauce for dealing with objections? And you have, by the way, like a whole webinar on your YouTube channel around handling objections, which people should really check out.
Shout out to Webinar on Jennifer’s YouTube Channel about Objections
Jeff Loehr: We will put that in the notes because you’ve got some great tips there. But I’ll let you, I guess spoil some of the fun here.
How do you handle objections, Jennifer
Jennifer Bleam: No, that’s fine. Because it’s probably the most stress-inducing part of a sales call. Like you’re moseying along and you think everything’s great, and then the prospect throws up an objection and there is like almost this physiological response where you’re like, I’ve lost the sale.
Like I completely messed up because they’re throwing up an objection in my face. I actually welcome objections because if there are no objections, I get really uneasy because I know what’s gonna happen. They’re gonna say, it sounds really good.
This really sounds like exactly what I need. You are right. I am woefully unprepared for a ransomware attack, and then I could almost predict what’s gonna happen. I just need to think about it. I just need to go talk to the board. I’m backing out as the prospect because I don’t wanna make a decision.
I’ve really already made it. I just don’t wanna tell you. And salespeople wimp out and don’t ask for the sale, and they’re like, that’s great. Just think about it. Let me know when you’re ready to move forward. And then there’s no sale. And objection means that they’re thinking, okay, Jeff, I know you said A is true.
I don’t really agree with you and I really trust you, but I’m not on the same page. Can you please help me see it your way? And so that means that Jeff has created that proverbial know and trust, and Jeff has bonding and rapport with them. And so when a prospect is willing to say, I have an objection, what they’re saying is, help me see it your way.
And so what they’re doing is really asking for your help, which means you just did a great job. Again, your physiological response might be to be like, oh no, I’ve completely messed up, but if they didn’t like you, they would just nod and say, sounds good. I’ll talk to you next week. But they are actually showing trust in you by saying, I don’t agree.
That’s a position of vulnerability for the prospect to say, I think you’re wrong. And that makes everybody uncomfortable. But if they’re willing to get uncomfortable, that means that you’ve proven you are a thought leader and you’ve proven that you’re someone they can trust.
I’d encourage you initially just shift your perspective and objection is not bad. And objection’s actually good. And then the biggest thing is seek to understand where are they coming from? What is it that that they’re feeling? Why do they feel this way? Have they always felt this way?
And you’re just having a conversation.
Joe Rojas: It’s so interesting ’cause when I’m selling, when I don’t get objections, I get very concerned because my underlying concern is this person does not understand what I’m talking about. Because if they really understood the problem, they would have questions and they would have the kinds of questions that would challenge you. They would have those kinds of questions so that I know that I’m engaged in a dialogue with them.
You have to remember that sales is not a monologue and that guy, your door salesman, he went in with his monologue and he did his whole monologue rather than have a dialogue. And dialogue requires listening, right? And then responding, and then listening, and then responding. And so when I’m not in a dialogue, in a sales conversation, I’m always concerned that I haven’t done a good job of presenting the case of why you need this service or product.
It’s really good.
Robert Chaldinis thoughts on welcoming objections
Jeff Loehr: It is funny you used the term welcome objections. So I’ve been doing some work with Dr. Robert Chaldini, the guy who wrote the book Influence. And he talks about that as well, in the sales process.
He’s welcome objections and like he’s getting everybody to think. Like an objection is an opportunity to influence. An objection is an opportunity to have a conversation. And I think that’s really valuable. I also say for startups, when they come and they pitch the worst every, all of the startups, they always fear the Q&A.
Because they’re afraid that the Q&A means that they haven’t said enough. But the worst thing in the world is when you give your pitch and nobody has any questions because it’s the same thing. It means nobody’s interested.
Nobody wants to know more.
Jennifer Bleam: I’ve seen people do that on stage as well. They’re like, nobody has any questions? I’ve presented for 45 minutes and I answered every possible question there could be? I’m concerned like maybe you all went to sleep while I was presenting for 45 minutes, because how can you not have any questions?
Jeff Loehr: How can you not have questions?
Good. So what’s the last piece? What else do we need to keep in mind?
Everyone can be a salesperson
Jennifer Bleam: I believe everybody can be a salesperson. Not everybody can’t be a, 90%-100% close rate salesperson, but I believe everyone, if you can string some words together, everybody can learn how to sell because we’ve all been selling our entire life, whether it’s, selling our mom on buying us a piece of bubblegum, out of the bubblegum machine, even though dinner’s in two hours, or selling our parents on having a birthday party for us, even though it’s a really busy weekend.
Like we all are salespeople as children. And so that proves that we’ve got the skillset. If it’s rusty, lean into it, get a coach, read some books, listen to podcasts. All of those are ways to hone your sales skills, and all sales is helping somebody get what you happen to be able to provide.
And so there’s nothing sleazy or slimy about it.
Jeff Loehr: No I like thinking of it as helping them make the decision to get their problem solved. Because if you really believe in what you’re selling, it’s not sleazy. You just have to make sure that they have the problem and that you can provide the solution.
And if you’ve got that, then you’re just helping them get their problem solved. I think it’s brilliant.
How do people work with Jennifer Bleam
Jeff Loehr: So what’s a good way for people to get started with you? I assume you’ve got a program. You’re not just doing this out of the goodness of your heart. There must be some great way for somebody to engage you in what you do.
Jennifer Bleam: If I could do it out of the goodness of my heart, I would do it, though. I love what I do, but I
Jeff Loehr: But with mortgages and tuition and
Jennifer Bleam: And yes. All the things. All the things. So the best thing to do is go out to my website, MSPSalesRevolution.com, and you can download my sales process.
If you’re looking for a shortcut to creating your own sales process, tons of resources, tons of blog posts that’s the best place to engage. You can find information there on how I work with MSPs. It’s literally a very short term program and you can learn everything you need to learn in 90 days to six months, and then if you decide to work with me to execute and hold you accountable, great.
If not, I call that graduating. Like to me, that’s a good thing. If you’ve learned everything that you need to learn and Jennifer doesn’t have anything else to teach you, then you should go with another coach. Now the flip side of that is I’m always learning new things. I’m always iterating, I’m studying, and so I think I’ll be able to add to your business for a very long time.
But if I can’t. You should take your business elsewhere.
Jeff Loehr: There comes a time when that’s also the natural progression of things.
Sometimes you do need other ideas, and yes, sometimes you need different voices and that’s fine. So I also recommend checking out your YouTube channel, so you’ve got some really great content there as well.
So we’ll put all of that stuff in the notes. And on that, Jennifer, any last piece of advice for MSSPs or anybody in the area who’s trying to sell stuff?
Jennifer’s advice for our listeners
Jennifer Bleam: So this is gonna be very broad, but get comfortable leaning into discomfort.
If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you will keep getting what you’ve always gotten.
And if you’re looking for that next rung on the ladder or that next gear you have to do things that are uncomfortable, whether that’s reading a new type of book or hiring a new coach, or attending a different type of event or selling in a different way, whatever it is. If you’re playing safe, then you’re in this very stale box, and that is very possibly why you’re looking at your growth trajectory and it’s flat.
Jeff Loehr: That is beautiful. I love that. So thank you very much, Jennifer. It’s been a real pleasure to chat with you and I’ve learned some great stuff, so I think our listeners will enjoy it. Joe, you want to to end the show?
Joe Rojas: Certainly for all of y’all there and for you, Jennifer, Remember that You Are Loved.
See y’all next time.