Lisa Earle McLeod is the global expert on purpose-driven business. She is the author of five books, including the bestseller: Selling with Noble Purpose. Lisa has spent two decades helping leaders increase emotional engagement and competitive differentiation. She developed the Noble Purpose methodology after her research revealed, purpose-driven organizations outperform their competitors.
Lisa is a former Procter & Gamble Sales trainer who founded her own firm McLeod & More, Inc. in 2001. Her firm’s clients include Cisco, Roche, Volvo, and Dave & Busters. Lisa has keynoted in 25 countries and authored over 2,000 articles. She has made appearances on the Today show and the NBC Nightly News, and her firm’s work has been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR.
Lisa’s newest book, Leading with Noble Purpose: How to Create a Tribe of True Believers is a breakthrough book that shows leaders how to win the hearts and minds of their teams and customers.
Subscribe to Heart Sells!
Resources in this Episode:
Selling with Noble Purpose: How to Drive Revenue and Do Work That Makes You Proud by Lisa Earle McLeod
Leading with Noble Purpose: How to Create a Tribe of True Believers by Lisa Earle McLeod
The Triangle of Truth: The Surprisingly Simple Secret to Resolving Conflicts Large and Small by Lisa Earle McLeod
The Success Library, gain instant access to the Sales Journaling Prompts and start shifting your mindset today
3 Key Points:
- Money AND meaning matters.
- The kings of most businesses the drumbeat is numbers. But sales numbers are a lagging indicator, they are the result of what has happened in the past.
- If you have clarity about how you make a difference to customers, it will change everything from the way you open your calls to the way you do proposals.
[03:18] Lisa tells her story of the first product she ever sold and how it made her feel and the impact this experience had for the rest of her life.
[06:30] The kings of most businesses, the drumbeat is numbers. But sales numbers are a lagging indicator, they are the result of what has happened in the past.
[07:26] You start off with behaviors, they eventually turn into numbers. If you have clarity about how you make a difference to customers, it will change everything from the way you open your calls to the way you do proposals
[07:43] Lisa explains the different openings in a conversation: traditional and noble purpose
[08:53] Little technique I call: you, me, you
[10:18] If the pull through thread on the proposal is close the deal, you will find yourself very product focus, but it’s the pull through thread on that is improve the lives of customers, you will be a top performer.
[11:16] If the North Star is a purpose, bigger than money, that’s what will make you exceptional.
[12:05] If you are in a financial deficit, the way to close more business is to literally take that part of your brain, put it on pause and ask yourself: How can I channel this energy into proving improving life for customer?
[16:53] So you’ve got to quiet the fear monster…
[17:22] In preparation, you have got to, if you’re going to present something that is going to be, you know, a pretty big investment, you’ve got to win your discovery calls with that client, get them to articulate the value. Ask questions that go deep!
[18:49] The next thing you want to do is make sure that you put that in writing somehow, not just the price, but what they said it would be worth, the more you can put an ROI on it, the better.
[22:19] Women are schooled from birth and are meant to be pursued and some of its biological and some of its sociological, but everything in our DNA and our society says I meant to be pursued. And so that’s why sales often feels icky.
[25:36] You have the responsibility to show me the best possible outcome and I’m going to evaluate you can’t make me do something I don’t want to do.
For FULL Transcript click here: Christine Schlonski [0:02] Lisa Earle McLeod [0:12] Christine Schlonski [0:19] Lisa Earle McLeod [2:58] Christine Schlonski [3:00] Lisa Earle McLeod [3:18] Christine Schlonski [5:56] Lisa Earle McLeod [6:19] Lisa Earle McLeod [9:24] Christine Schlonski [11:22] Lisa Earle McLeod [11:38] Lisa Earle McLeod [14:02] Christine Schlonski [15:20] Lisa Earle McLeod [15:25] Christine Schlonski [15:36] Lisa Earle McLeod [16:02] Christine Schlonski [16:04] Lisa Earle McLeod [16:53] Lisa Earle McLeod [18:49] Christine Schlonski [20:54] Lisa Earle McLeod [20:57] Christine Schlonski [21:06] Lisa Earle McLeod [21:12] Christine Schlonski [21:47] Lisa Earle McLeod [22:19] Christine Schlonski [24:15] Lisa Earle McLeod [24:27] Christine Schlonski [25:16] Lisa Earle McLeod [25:22] Christine Schlonski [25:54] Lisa Earle McLeod [26:05] Christine Schlonski [26:34] Lisa Earle McLeod [26:42] Christine Schlonski [26:44]
Hi Gorgeous, this is episode number 025. And back today as is the amazing Lisa Earle McLeod.
Hi, this is Lisa Earle McLeod. You’re listening to Heart Sells! Podcast, enjoy.
I am so very excited to have Lisa Earle McLeod back today. In case you have missed the last episode, make sure you hop on tochristineschlonski.com/podcast and listen to that amazing episode, where Lisa shared her knowledge, her wisdom all about selling with a noble purpose. And also you find all the links the resources we talked about, and you can connect with her at www.mcleodandmore.com. And as well as this resources you can also get the Sales Journaling Prompts to help you to shift your mindset from a sales-mindset to a sales-success-mindset. So let’s dive right back in with Lisa. And just in case you have missed it she is a former Procter and Gamble sales trainer who has then found her own firm McLeod and More in 2001 and some of her clients are Roche, Volvo, Dave and Busters, Cisco. She has also keynoted in 25 different countries and authored over 2000 articles. No wonder that she was featured in Forbes in the Wall Street Journal, in NPR, and she also had appearances on The Today Show and NBC Nightly News. Her newest book Leading with Noble Purpose: How to Create a Tribe of True Believers is a breakthrough book that shows leaders how to win the hearts and minds of their teams and customers. And she is a global expert on purpose-driven businesses and she has altogether author of five books and spent decades in helping leaders increase the emotional engagement and the competitive differentiation. So she developed a method called noble purpose methodology after her research has revealed that purpose-driven organizations outperform their competitors. So let’s dive right into this interview. Enjoy, have fun and welcome back Lisa Earle McLeod. I’m so excited that you are back. Lisa, thank you so much for being here.
I love our conversations.
Awesome. And yeah, let’s dive right in. So one question is, like really burning under my nails? Because you’re such a successful salesperson. And you know, we all start somewhere. So do you remember the very first thing you ever sold?
Absolutely. When I was 14 years old, I got a job at a place called Donut King in Arlington, Virginia, which is just outside of Washington, DC. And at that time, there weren’t as many changes as there are now. So this was a place that the guy owned. He was a Korean immigrant, Mr. Kill was his name. And I remember my father telling me, I was so excited this my first job, and I remember my father telling me, you need to understand you look around that business and his sweat paid for everything in that business. This man, he owned three different Donut Kings. And he said this, he has worked his lifetime to create this. So do not take this time lately. So armed with this seriousness, 14 year old Lisa would off to sell donuts. One Saturday, and it wasn’t a super, super busy place. In one Saturday, he left and he left me there for four hours by myself, and I’m 14 years old. But that was not uncommon, little small place. And that was a big show of responsibility that I could manage this by myself. And he said, I think it’s going to, you know, be kind of busy Saturday for us. And he said, we’ve never sold more than I think it was 500 donuts on a Saturday. That was the challenge, you know. What would he do if he came back and I sold 600 donuts? And so a lot of up-selling and some luck a Fire Department came in, that was super helpful. So he comes back. And that was back in the days when people didn’t pay with cards or anything, you know, you just pay cash. And he opened the cash register. And he said, all that money. And he was so excited. I just saw him look at me, little 14 year old me and it just clicked for me. It was like one of those moments. And I realize like making money matters. And it’s interesting because people hear me say that and they think, well, gosh, I thought you’re all about selling a noble purpose. But it’s about the link. It’s about the link between the money and the meaning and getting really clear on that. But I still remember that, and I still remember his face. Leave me just sitting there going yeah, 600 donuts, baby. And I think in that moment, I became a quarter driven sales rep. And I every job after that I always have was in sales. And so it took me a long time from that moment, though, to really reconcile and get a methodology that combine the money and the meaning together.
Yeah, yeah, it’s so difficult at the beginning, because we might not have the best teachers and we have to figure out a lot by ourselves. So maybe we can dive into some practical ideas and advice. So what can people do to just, you know, become better in that, I would say it’s an art selling is really an art.
It is it’s an art. And it’s a science, because there’s a lot of brain science that we know now about the way people interact with each other. But one of the things you have to recognize is the kings of most businesses the drumbeat is numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, what’s the revenue this month, what’s the profit this month, how many deals we close how many deals in the pipeline. And that happens for some really valid reason. Numbers are easy to measure. Numbers are easy to communicate from one person to the other. But one thing is you got to get super clear on and sales numbers are a lagging indicator, they are the result of what has happened in the past, what you have to get clear on and sales is what are your leading indicators. And so by, for example, I mean, a lagging indicator is profitability, behind that you have revenue, behind that you might have number of deals closed, behind that you might have number of meetings that you get, behind that you might have depth of conversation in first meetings that turn into second meetings. And so where I’m going with this is you start off with behaviors, they eventually turn into numbers. And so in sales, if you have clarity about how you make a difference to customers, it will change everything from the way you open your calls to the way you do proposals. And so I’ll give you those two examples. Traditional seller who’s very numbers or product driven, would go in, let’s take something like accounting services, that’s pretty easy to understand. And they would go in and they would say something like, we offer accounting services to mid-sized businesses, and we’re great at it accuracy. And, you know, making sure you don’t have to worry about things. I’d love to talk to you about that. Well, that’s a very seller focused opening, a very product focus opening. A noble purpose seller would do it differently. A noble purpose seller would identify how do I make a difference to customers, okay, I save them time to free them up to work on their business. And so a noble purpose, I would start off by saying, a lot of the companies we work with find themselves bogged down in reporting, and they don’t have the time to pursue what they love. I’ve helped a lot of people spend more time pursuing their core business model, can we talk about your core business model and what success looks like for you. So that’s a very customer focused, just opening. And what I did, there was a little technique I call: you, me, you. You say something about the customer, talk a little bit about your own expertise, like one sentence and then flip it back to the customer. So they start to open up and it’s very, very different than opening up, can we talk about me, and most sellers know this, and most good sales training programs teach this. But what happens is, without that absolute clarity about how you make a difference to customers, it falls flat.
So I’ll yeah, so I’ll take you to like a proposal. So the example I use was in our company, we have a consulting firm, and we help leaders drive revenue and do work that makes them proud. So if we’re going to do a proposal we have, at the very front of it, here are the revenue targets you’re looking for here, the emotional engagement targets you’re looking for. And here’s what here’s what will look like, if we know are successful. So be really easy for us to start a proposal with our noble purpose methodology. And it’s got several steps and action things that they do. But that’s not what we start with, we start with how are we’re going to help you do the thing that we’re great at, which is make money and make meaning of your business. And so it seems like a subtle shift. But it actually what happens is any sales methodology that you use, if you have open discovery for, you know, proposal, whatever your sales methodology is, if the pull through thread on that is close the deal, you will find yourself very product focus. But if the pull through thread on that is improve the lives of customers, you will be a top performer. And it’s what is your, what are your sales techniques and your models in the service of and the reason so many people get turned off is most models are in the service of the seller. And so we’ve created them all methodology that’s in the service of the buyer. And what we found is some of our clients, some of our startup companies have had like revenue increases of like two thousand percent, some of our large organizations with huge big revenue basis have still seen 20% revenue increases, which is huge. And it’s because they have a different pull through thread on their business, that when the North Star is money, you will be good. If you have all your systems and processes in place, you will be good if the North Star is money. But if the North Star is a purpose, bigger than money, that’s what will make you exceptional.
Yeah, I think I think Money follows success. So when you’re successful serving your client, then you know, the money will come with it. If you make an offer at your price that you really want to ask for.
And that’s something that entrepreneurs really struggle with, is pricing themselves accordingly, because you get and I’m an entrepreneur, and we’ve had times in our business before I had the noble purpose methodology when I was a consultant, I, I know exactly what it feels like to be sitting there going, please let them by, please let them by, please let them buy. It’s not a good energy, and it makes you lower your price. And so if you are in a financial deficit, the way to close more business is to literally take that part of your brain, put it on pause, it’s frantic. And I’m not saying you do not need to be some benevolent charitable organization, will you give everything away? That’s not it. But you put that frantic part of your brain on pause, and you say, How can I channel this energy into proving improving life for customer, you pick five or six, you know, potential customers that you want to go after and you channel every bit of your energy. How can I make things better for them, and you try and monetize that because that’s, that’s one of the other things is people are afraid to ask for their price because they haven’t done a good job of articulating their value. So if you’re that accounting firm, and you’re freeing up 5% of an owner’s time to focus on their core business, what’s that worth? If you are eliminating risk? What’s that worth? And it’s not disingenuous to have to put a number on that, because like, we deal with employee engagement and emotional engagement, there’s some numbers that go with that. And you want to get really clear on that. Because the other thing that happens is, the more you can articulate what you what you’re selling, what it’s worth, then the more urgency that you’ll get from your buyer, which is what you want, you know, I want when we do a project with a big company, and it’s going to involve, you know, 25 leaders across 10 different countries, I want them to know this, there’s an endgame here, at the end of the year, we should have more market share, we should win more deals, we should have higher employee satisfaction scores, and we should have better customer engagement. And I want them to be really clear on that. Because this is going to be your work.
And so if they’re not clear on that clarity on that will prompt them to want to work with us. But it will also create urgency for the project. And so even if you you know, even if you sell cupcakes, you want people to love those cupcakes. So, you know, I could mindlessly eat a cupcake. But if you’ve given me a good story about as you eat this cupcake, I want you to soak in the brown sugar that’s in it. I want you to taste every morsel of it. I want this to be a sensory experience. Because $7 we sell these giant cupcakes in America, of course, $7 for 20 minutes of pure pleasure in your day is not too much to pay. So if you’re telling me that you’re actually doing me a service, I can always say no, I don’t want the cupcake. That’s not me. But if you serve it up to me in that way, then I’m going to enjoy more so you’re actually doing a service for me and and that’s the thing that sellers are like, I don’t want to push somebody into something people are the buyer could always say no, and they know they have the power to say no. You are not so amazing you gonna make somebody do something they don’t want to do. So you need to just let that go.
Yeah, that’s that story, you might even want to go for 40 minutes pleasure, you know.
That good a cupcake? You know, you eat slowly, 40 minutes would be a cupcake, 20 minutes on a cupcake in America savoring it
Well. Yeah, I mean, yeah, I don’t think I’m a slow eater. But hat could that could go for that long. Um, that’s wonderful. So I always talk about the sales success mindset when I talk to my clients because it is a shift in the mind. They all have a sales mindset. But usually it’s pretty bad, right?
Lots of scarcity and fear based.
Exactly. So what would you suggest? So when they think about sales, they need to think about the purpose, like, why do they do what they do? Like, how do they support the customer? And not think about the money, the money just follows after they are really, really clear on what they can deliver? Do you have any other advice of how they can handle these emotions? Because they can think Well, okay, I know the value and I know I deliver great, great product or great service. But still, I’ve never asked for such a price. And now I’m nervous, or they are in a position where they really need some money. Yeah, the deal best versus situation?
So you’ve got to quiet the fear monster, because we need money and I have been in this spot when you need money, that little, Oh, my gosh, I’m going to be homeless, I’m gonna lose my, you know, family, I’m not gonna be able to eat, you know, that’s going what in your head. So you have got to quiet that. So if you’re going in, and there’s a couple things you can do. First, we’ll talk about what you do to prep. and then what you do right when you walk in. So in preparation, you have got to, if you’re going to present something that is going to be, you know, a pretty big investment, you’ve got to win your discovery calls with that client, get them to articulate the value. And so we say things like in our world, what would improve employee engagement do for you? And it’s really easy for someone say, Well, I guess people would like their jobs. And we say, let’s really think through what that would feel like if your people were what would be evidence of your people being emotionally engaged? Well, I guess they would, you know, talk about us better on Glassdoor, I guess they interact better with customers, and some really gain the client as for their benefit as much as mine to articulate? Okay, so better Glassdoor ratings would mean, I would probably be an advantage in recruiting, what would that look like, and I’m not forcing them to say anything, but I’m doing the work to really see what the value of my solution would be. So that’s, that will help you quiet the fear monster because that’s absolutely focused on the client. If you had better accounting services, if you had if you had, you know, leave it leave it alone IT services, if you had someone coaching all their people, your people, where would that be valuable, and get the client to articulate that in their own words. So that’s the first thing because that’s, that’s articulating the value for both of you, that will give you more confidence.
The next thing you want to do is make sure that you put that in writing somehow, not just the price, but what they said it would be worth, the more you can put an ROI on it, the better. And that is a learned skill over time, that some people it takes a while to get really good at it. But if you just start, just ask one more question, say, so why would that be valuable to you, it simply that give me a star. So then you put that in writing, then before you’re about to present something, what you need to do is you need a mental picture in your head, and the mental picture of you not making any money. And going bankrupt is not a good picture. At this moment, the mental picture that you want in your head is think about a client you have served and get the wheels that will build your confidence. Because it’s one thing to say, you should be confident, you’re great, you’re wonderful the way you’re going to get their pastors think about how you made a difference to a client in the past, and think that through and think, gosh, that did this for them and really look at it don’t just go, Well, we sold the deal. What’s that actually do for them? Why were they happy with it? What ripple effect did that have on other areas of their business and get that into your head. And one of the things that I always use in our dealing with clients is I want to create something that has a 10 x value for a client. So they’re going to pay us $150,000 per project than that needs to any to put another zero on that. And that needs to help them generate 1.5 million in revenue. And so when I do that, what that does is that helps me say, Well, what would it take to help them generate that? What will we do? What would it be? Would it be an employee turnover? Would it be a better competitive differentiation? And so the more you can think in those terms, that’s going to give you a lot more confidence about your own pricing.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely love it.
If all those things don’t work, this is the last thing: Fake it! Tell your price, and then just shut up.
Yeah, that’s such an important point. Just shut up.
Fake it. Don’t go, you know, it’s $10,000. But for, but for good. I’ve seen so many people did. Yeah, and I will say, especially women, it’s $10,000. And then the second, they don’t go great. They go, Well, you know, we can discount that. Well, we can pay payments over time, we get know, just tell your price. If you if you’ve done all the things I’ve suggested, you should be confident. But if you’re still not pretend you are. Just say it’s $10,000 with a smile on your face. And if you have to, you know, clench your hands underneath the table, Do it! Do whatever you can.
Definitely, I think that’s one and that might be especially important for women. That’s one of the most difficult things to learn, it seems like I you know, I have conversation very often, especially in the past when I still was working in corporate building sales teams, making a woman understand that you just say the investment and then whoever speaks first.
Well, it is it is a particular challenge for women because we are schooled from birth and are meant to be pursued and some of its biological and some of its sociological, but everything in our DNA and our society says I meant to be pursued. And so that’s why sales often feels icky. And, you know, within all of us, we all have a masculine energy and feminine energy. And so for women, and to pursue something often feels out of your feminine energy. And so I have learned is this way of doing it. Most women that I work with in sales, often need and this is a generality but often need help being more assertive, and confident. And, and there’s some data that backs that up. But what the noble purpose does is it channels into your natural desire to give, and it just puts it into I’m here to help. I’ll tell you on the converse with men. Again, this is a generality, but the thing that I struggle with them, because they’re raised from birth to pursue, pursue, pursue, and if you talk to any man that has a kinder, gentler side, he’s probably struggling with that as well. But for men, often the challenges pause, listen, make it about the other person. And if you’ve dated, you know that that is Fortunately as a society, we’re moving away from these really stereotypical things. But for a woman, you’re going to have a very different energy in most cases than man. And you can actually be a lot more successful because women are better schooled and more intuitive about interpersonal communications with a whole lot more clues. So you should use that to your advantage.
Yeah, yeah, definitely. That’s why I think that women can be so much more successful because they have all these natural given tools already it.
And many of us aren’t born that way. And we learn we learn all along. There’s a lot of data that women are rated as better leader by their subordinates. But yet men get promoted more. And the reason for that is because men are going for that thing. There was some data that said, an Sheryl Sandberg talks about a lot is to go for a promotion a man if a man has 60% of what he thinks he needs, he’ll go for it a woman a wait till she has like 90%. Yeah, and so I would say that same thing applies to sales. If you are 60% confident you can do it, go for it, because the client will be the one making the decision.
Yeah, yeah, people get that in sales sometimes that it’s a client, not you, they signing
They’re the one that decides, as someone who also buys you know, we’ve had to buy marketing services, PR services, IT services, it’s on me, I’m evaluating all of my options, you have the responsibility to show me the best possible outcome and I’m going to evaluate you can’t make me do something I don’t want to do. I’m going to decide to like take that pressure off that I’m going to make them feel forced to do it. Nobody, no buyers forced to do it. Like, let go of that stuff.
Yeah, awesome. Wonderful. Well, what a great interview some final words or something final maybe you have a mantra or quote or something you could share with us.
Sure. Now I’m on the spot I’m: Making money and making a difference are not disparate ideas in business you can and should do both. When you align yourself around the noble purpose of improving life for customers, you experience more joy in your job and you make more money.
What a great finish. Thank you so so much for being here. I had such a great time for sharing your wisdom and yeah, thank you so much.
Pleasure to be with you.
Thank you, Lisa. Wow, so gorgeous do you have clarity in sales? Do you know the purpose? Do you know your noble purpose I hope that this interview has really helped you to get some ideas maybe it different angle this the help of Lisa’s teachings and Lisa’s has knowledge that she has acquired over the last decades with all the research she has done. And yeah, I hope you really enjoyed it. So hop on over to christineschlonski.com where you can listen to all the podcast episodes where you will find the show notes for this show, as well as the transcript and all the links to Lisa to her social media so you can connect or you can go directly to www.mcleodandmore.com to check out just her page. Make sure you subscribe so you get notifications and yeah, tune into the next episode. Have an amazing day wherever you are in this beautiful world and bye for now.
Christine Schlonski [0:02]
Lisa Earle McLeod [0:12]
Christine Schlonski [0:19]
Lisa Earle McLeod [2:58]
Christine Schlonski [3:00]
Lisa Earle McLeod [3:18]
Christine Schlonski [5:56]
Lisa Earle McLeod [6:19]
Lisa Earle McLeod [9:24]
Christine Schlonski [11:22]
Lisa Earle McLeod [11:38]
Lisa Earle McLeod [14:02]
Christine Schlonski [15:20]
Lisa Earle McLeod [15:25]
Christine Schlonski [15:36]
Lisa Earle McLeod [16:02]
Christine Schlonski [16:04]
Lisa Earle McLeod [16:53]
Lisa Earle McLeod [18:49]
Christine Schlonski [20:54]
Lisa Earle McLeod [20:57]
Christine Schlonski [21:06]
Lisa Earle McLeod [21:12]
Christine Schlonski [21:47]
Lisa Earle McLeod [22:19]
Christine Schlonski [24:15]
Lisa Earle McLeod [24:27]
Christine Schlonski [25:16]
Lisa Earle McLeod [25:22]
Christine Schlonski [25:54]
Lisa Earle McLeod [26:05]
Christine Schlonski [26:34]
Lisa Earle McLeod [26:42]
Christine Schlonski [26:44]
Where to find Lisa Earle McLeod on Social Media:
Like and Follow Heart Sells! Podcast:
Heart Sells! Resources:
Empowered by your Sales-Success!
The Sales Mentality Makeover Masterclass #2, a teaching series of 18 amazing experts giving their advice on Sales | Mindset | Money | Wealth Creation
Empowerment Notes, Join the Empowerment Notes our weekly newsletter and I’ll make sure you have all the info you need to be empowered.