#217 Marcus Chan - Secrets to Maximising B2B Sales

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In this week's episode of "How To Sell," we bring you an insightful conversation with Marcus Chan, founder of Venli Consulting Group.

Over the course of his 14-year corporate journey, Marcus secured 10 consecutive promotions within two Fortune 500 companies, consistently ranked among the top performers, and guided teams to collectively generate over $700 million in sales, all while amassing a trove of prestigious awards.

Key Takeaways

  1.  Navigating the Corporate to Entrepreneurship Shift

Marcus Chen opens up about his pivotal decision to leave the corporate world and dive into entrepreneurship. He discusses the challenges he encountered and the tools he utilised to gain a foothold in the entrepreneurial landscape. You'll gain a firsthand look at the critical steps in Marcus's journey, from launching his first ebook to creating an online course. Don't miss this segment for insights into making the transition to entrepreneurship.

  1.  The Power of Customer Awareness Data

Marcus sheds light on the significance of acquiring CRM software to effectively track customer awareness data. He emphasises the role of this data in optimising business operations and ensuring success. Learn how the right tools can be game-changers for small businesses, enabling them to make informed tech decisions and stay competitive in the market. 

  1. Sales Strategies for Success

Marcus shares invaluable sales strategies for small business owners, emphasising the importance of building trust with the buying committee. He offers insights into effective social media outreach and how to shift the focus from mere demos to the desired outcome of a purchase. Additionally, Marcus provides guidance on having quality sales conversations and promoting your podcast effectively. 

Unlock the secrets to sales success with Marcus Chen, and apply his proven strategies to elevate your sales game. 

Whether you're a seasoned sales professional or just starting your journey in sales, this episode offers valuable takeaways that can drive your success. 

If you found these takeaways valuable, please consider leaving a 5-star rating on Spotify and a review on Apple Podcasts.

Marcus Chan: 0:00

And I talked to a lot of people who are small business owners. A lot of small businesses are being really clear on the priorities of the business and sticking to them without getting distracted. In 2016, it was a very small age. I didn't know what it was. People say, hey, Marcus, you're one of the youngest directors of this Fortune 500 company. You run an 85-person sales organ. This time You've been promoted every single year. You've broken every single record. You won every single award. How are you doing this? And I'm like I don't know. I just work hard. I remember my first book and I remember launching it. I remember making $9.95 USD, the first purchase, like an hour later and my mind exploded Welcome to the how to Sell podcast.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 0:41

I'm your host, Luigi Prestinenzi, and as always, I'm pumped on it and excited that today's going to be a really interesting episode. I hate introducing him, but I have to because he is my co-host. Dave, welcome back.

Dave Fastuca: 0:55

It's a strong word, man, let go. And relax.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 0:59

Well, for our listeners who might not, or our audience, who might not be able to see, are you wearing your Chelsea top?

Dave Fastuca: 1:08

I am. I am, there we go. It hasn't been a good, great start to the year, but we'll come back.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 1:13

At least you signed another 25 players, and your coach doesn't even know.

Dave Fastuca: 1:17

I like sales. It's a numbers game, luigi.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 1:19

We'll get some good sales. Well look, we're really excited because this week we've had some really great interviews, right, Dave, interviewing heads of enablement, directors of enablement, cfos. We've got CMOs coming up but obviously, as part of our playbook built for our audience, a key market for a lot of sellers is that small, medium business owner and I'm really pumped because this week we have not just a business owner but somebody that coaches, trains sellers all over the world. He's got an incredible brand. So, Marcus, welcome to the How to Sell podcast.

Marcus Chan: 2:02

Gentlemen, I'm pumped to be here. I think we'll have some fun, not only because we're wearing matching black colours, but we'll just have fun regardless. I know it, yeah, and it's good that we've all got facial hair.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 2:13

That's true. That is absolutely true. You look amazing Because I was just sharing, you know, I was just sharing with you in the green room, Marcus, how I just got you know, I've just embraced the beard. After 41 years old, I thought I needed to show my age and somebody sent me a message on LinkedIn to say my beard looks ridiculous. So thank you for sharing that. It doesn't look ridiculous. They are wrong.

Dave Fastuca: 2:39

Done. There we went. I almost looked at personal 50s.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 2:42

So well done All right, so let's get into it. So, Marcus, obviously, maybe just before we can we jump into this episode. Do you want to tell our audience and I know you know thousands of people follow you but just do you want to explain what you do in your business and how you help people achieve their goals? Yeah, absolutely, well, I'm pumped to be here.

Marcus Chan: 3:08

So I'm Marcus Chen, founder of a company called Venly Consulting Group. So we work directly with B2B salespeople. A lot of SaaS, a lot of SaaS sales teams. Saas reps help them ultimately max out their comp plan and to stop losing deals every single day, every single month, but do this for about four years now. We're a small, small but lean team all across the world. We have a lot of fun doing it. Doing it for four years. Before this, I was in B2B sales. For over 14 years I was down and carrying the bag doing the job to running big teams of 110 plus employees. Had a lot of fun doing that. So it's been a cool journey, but I'm pumped to be here.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 3:44

Yeah, awesome. Okay, so you've effectively owned your own business for four years. Now, the first thing I want to ask, because I think, even though you're out there teaching people how to sell, do you mind sharing a story of a recent purchase you made as a business owner for your business?

Marcus Chan: 4:09

Yeah, absolutely so. A most recent purchase was a good example because it's an undertaking of making a switch with something I already had in place. So I had already had a software in place, have been using it for a sales CRM right Really really good tool and I was looking to potentially make a move. There are some things, specific things, that I really needed. I need better data analytics. I need better data tracking. I need a better way to have the data for the entire customer awareness journey, from the time they hit any of my pages to all the time they close, Like I wanted to know, from the time they hit a single page, how many days until they become a paying customer, right, and all the pages of the visit in between. And with the current tool, had I known it wasn't, it wasn't going to be there. So, very simply, what did I do? I had my tech advisor go and start researching companies. I gave him a little bit of guidance, right? So he's what I call a technical buyer. He can't say yes to that person, but he can say no to them, right? So he started having meetings, right With all these sales people and he had multiple meetings, demos, etc. And then he came. He came to the table and he gave me a recommendation and I looked at all the facts, I looked at all the data. I had one call without wrap and it was done. I mean, I think, my whole process, because my urgency level, what I want, what I want to do is probably three weeks to decide. Right From the time I decide I want to do something to time I actually put my credit card over and we started implementing that change.

Dave Fastuca: 5:47

That's great, that's fast. And did anything during that call? Sort of could you, could you? Could you tell any of the sales that were happening to you on the call? Or did you control the conversation with your experience? How did that call go?

Marcus Chan: 6:04

Yeah, so it's pretty, it's pretty interesting. I always like it. It's probably because of my background I like to see how they're going to take the call, like I don't want to take too much control and be like, all right, here's what. I'm here today. I want to see this, this and this, and after this I'm going to sign and you can close me. I'm like, yeah, let's just see how they do, how they start their call, what's, what's their attitude like? How are they going to run this demo with me now? What questions will they ask? And it was really interesting because it's the same stuff I always, the same issues I see across the board. Right, and, frank, to be quite frank, they did a pretty terrible job on the demo. But because, but because I was in a buying state Already knew I was on a buy right, so I had to guide the demo. It's like, hey, show me this, show me this, show me this. So I already knew I wanted to see it wasn't what they were trying to show me. So once I validated my hypothesis about the solution, I had to guide them to the close, if you will. Yeah, it became. It's probably easiest to.

Dave Fastuca: 7:09

They probably had real estate because of that. Prior to the call that they connected with you on LinkedIn, sharing your content with you, was there any sort of pre-warming towards that?

Marcus Chan: 7:22

Not really, actually. That's what surprised me too. I was really surprised about that. In some of the other companies that my tech advisor had met with, a couple had like connected with me and maybe I got maybe one email and that was it.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 7:38


Marcus Chan: 7:38

I'm like that was it. Like that, was it? No, no, no LinkedIn message. No calls, nothing else.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 7:46

Okay, so they didn't share an insight with you prior, or try to yeah, interesting yeah.

Marcus Chan: 7:52

It was literally. I remember the email because it was so. It was like I'm like that's it. It was like, hey, you know, hey, mark, you know, hey, mark, someone on the line is like you know, hey, marcus, like Matt, with Matt, with J on your team. You know, appreciate you taking a look at, you know, xyz software. Let me know if you have any questions.

Dave Fastuca: 8:11

Yeah, okay.

Marcus Chan: 8:12

That's fine, very good, very vanilla, very blah, so I'm like delete, all right, thank you. Yeah, thank you very much. That brought me zero value, you know.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 8:25

So and so that's really interesting. So you had somebody that was your technical, you know, your technical influencer or advisor that was going out looking. They went to look, but none of those vendors were proactive to reach out to you Right To you know, say, hey, here's some insight, these are some things that people are doing, et cetera. And then when they got to the actual call, obviously they went into demo. But do you mind sharing? What did their discovery look like?

Marcus Chan: 9:01

There wasn't really much of a discovery. So and this is where it's like I think a lot of sales people don't understand that Discovery. I think we, we, we forced, so we think it's discoveries a step, it's a phase, yeah. It's like ongoing, it's like it's never really ends, right, it's always going. So in their mind they're probably like cool, I met with Jay, his operations, person Discovery, done, check, demo. That person check. Now I'll have a demo with the owner gonna, it could be a check. So we get on there. That's kind of like in their mind what they had, like what they're going to do. So their mission was I'm going to show a cool demo. And in their mind, you know, I could tell they already had all these things they want to show me. Yeah. So again, the call is very normal Poor, hey, how's it going? It's going good, cool, awesome. Well, hey, let me go ahead and share my screen and let me kind of show you a couple of things on Zoho this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this. You know, like it was the, it wasn't even interactive, right? So, like, if he's showing me something I'll be like actually hold on, like on this page, I'll like show me, show me the pipeline. Yeah, how does the pipeline work for you if you do this? Like, how do you do this? Show me the analytics on this page, how does this work, right? So, because I already knew what I was looking for Now. Yeah, I was an inbound lead, right, I mean, like I must have money with somebody. I'm super warm. Yeah, I'm talking to somebody, right, like it's going to be, you Don't mess it up basically. So that's what was interesting, because there wasn't really much discovery. Yeah, there wasn't really. There was no like real, like follow-up steps, right, you know, like I think if I didn't say, okay, cool, let's, let's do this, send me over to payment link, they probably I had to say that, you know, like I had to close myself, basically.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 10:56

So you know, this is great right, because I think you're absolutely right. Obviously different buying intent inbound versus outbound. Yeah, we can talk about that, you know. And another. There's probably another podcast, but you already had a solution. You were looking to move. What was the like, what was the outcome you were looking to achieve, like you, you know, obviously your CRM was achieving something, but obviously wasn't giving you what you needed. What was the outcome? What was that outcome that you're looking for?

Dave Fastuca: 11:27

Not in the interruption, but I have to let you know about this free resource. The Grow Forum newsletter has over 10,000 subscribers that are learning how to sell. Each and every week we send you tips, strategies and also some tools and tech on how to achieve the most out of your sales pipeline. If you're ready to level up, sign up for free at growforum.io/newsletter and get the first issue this week.

Marcus Chan: 11:52

So, um and this is where I might be a little different Like I'm a very decisive person, as, as you know, luigi, if I know I want something, I already decided why it's going to help me overall and I know I've already aligned to how it's going to overall impact me across the board. Yeah, so, for example, I already knew, like I already already decided, hey, in order for me to have better data, I need, I need to have a system that can manage the data, provide me the analytics, but which, more importantly, I can use the data analytics to make better decisions for the business. Yeah, so this allows me to understand should I drive more traffic towards this lead magnet or that lead magnet? Is it going to have better conversions, or does this have better conversions? Uh, when we look at our process cuts, journey that buys, what pages they look at, how, how often, like how much time they spend, what's resonating the most? What can we add? What can we move? So I wanted all that data to make better decisions for the business. The business will grow. So I already made that connection where I'm like a CR on, I can do all these things that have this data will help me grow my business. I already made that connection to business impact. Yeah, most, most people may not get to that level. Yeah Right, on their own. They need a sales person to help guide them there. I already got there. That's why I was such an easy sell. But most people know like hey, it looks pretty nice, it seems like a nice to have. Like they hadn't quantified it out. I quantified it already. I'm like cool, if I want to scale to 10 million a year, then I'm going to need these things in place now. I can't have things that's going to take me to seven figures a year. I need something to be beyond that.

Dave Fastuca: 13:26

Yeah, was the sales rep able to get that information out of you during the call, or was it you had these in the back of your head and you just asked the questions to verify your thought?

Marcus Chan: 13:37

Yeah, I had already made the sequential connection in my mind. I have this problem. Here's a solution. It helps solve this problem of data analytics, which will tie to my business impact. It's bigger. Yeah, I connected all the dots myself and I think most buyers are going to do that.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 13:55

No, most are not going to do that? Yeah, so, really, if I was to summarise the key reason, you were looking to change from one vendor to another, one platform to another, because the ultimate goal that you're trying to achieve is you want to scale from seven figures to potentially eight figures and you have a lack of data that's preventing you from building the strategy that will allow you to get there. Correct, that's it. Right, that's a little it Okay. So the ultimate ROI was fundamentally growth. Yeah, exactly.

Marcus Chan: 14:32

And on top of that, I knew the inverse. By not doing it, it would cost me, you know, $8 million a year. Yeah, so that's a cost to be natural, correct.

Dave Fastuca: 14:45

I already mentally knew that, as we mentioned earlier, you share a ton of valuable content across various platforms, so it's not hard to find you and what you share, right, but was that seller prepared? Did they reference anything that you spoke about? So any of the content you pushed out there, and blend that into the conversation at all?

Marcus Chan: 15:10

No, not at all, and that's what I always find kind of fascinating. Right, I understand that there's some prospects. They're like ghosts online. Right, like you know, they have a LinkedIn profile with no picture. You can't find anything about them. Right, you know, the picture on the website is from like 20 years ago, but if you just Google me, you can find me relatively easily. I'm the top ranked search. That's just not too my own, like Marcus Chan is not that many Marcus Chans out there. I'm like you can find me very easily. You can use it, you can just consume anything about me and you can pretend to know me within seconds. Absolutely, it's crazy to me.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 15:50

Yeah, yeah, but I got to ask this question. Yeah, are you now? Is that a CRM Vendor or is that a CRM provider? Are they a customer of yours now? You know, they're not, they're not, they need to be right.

Marcus Chan: 16:07

They absolutely need to be.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 16:08

They need to be on your prospecting list, man, you're 100% right.

Marcus Chan: 16:17

It's always crazy to me. I'm like all these sales enablement tools. I'll need more help with their sales.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 16:26

Yeah, hey. So this is great, right, and I think so we've touched on one aspect of what was driving you to change, right the fact that you are looking to grow and you just lacked some visibility over what your strategy could look like. But I'd love to understand, as a business owner, because obviously, running a corporate P&L with tens of millions of dollars is very different to running a P&L with, you know, six, seven, even eight figures, right. So, but if you're looking from a business owner's perspective, what are some of the key challenges that you experience in your role?

Marcus Chan: 17:01

Hmm. So it's interesting, I can actually speak from the vantage point because I used to run a it was a nine figure P&L, right, yeah, so before I'm in my corporate life and I can speak even with a small business owner, right, and you just have different headaches, yeah Right. And also because I was working in a corporate environment with different pressures. So which would you like to speak about? You know, a small business owner or from a corporate environment? I can talk about either one.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 17:27

I'd love to hear from a small business owner, because they're very different, right? I mean when I ran my sales team and when it wasn't my money that I was playing with, right, so I could hire, like if the hire didn't go to plan, yes, it's bad, but hey, it's not my cash that I was burning. Right, but as a business owner, if we make a wrong decision, it could stunt your growth for a period of time. Right?

Dave Fastuca: 17:55

Because that cash flow is allocated. Yeah, a bad decision could destroy the company Correct.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 18:01

It's a completely different operation and pressure, because it's also my own money, right oh?

Marcus Chan: 18:07

100%, 100%. I think some of the challenges and I talked to a lot of buddies who are small business owners, have a lot of small businesses is being really clear on the priorities of the business are and sticking to them without getting distracted, because you know, when you own your own business, you're always going to pull so many different ways and you're always like trying to block the noise and be focused. So it's like being clear on the priorities for the business and then ultimately making sure every decision you make is aligned to those priorities, whether it's intentional or unintentional, and I would even argue, potentially even at a bigger level, it's the same thing. You had different worries and concerns right but you also know, as you mentioned, one bad decision has a different impact on small business. It could cripple the business, it could shut the business down, it could stunt it, but the one right decision can pay long-term dividends as well, because it goes in reverse. Yeah, so it's why it's always so key to be really clear on what, what your priorities are, and some small businesses have no idea. Yeah, they have no idea.

Dave Fastuca: 19:14

And what's? I'm always intrigued by this, like I've been a business owner for pretty much all my life, very similar to Luigi. What made you change course from the corporate world to the world of entrepreneurship? Two very different worlds. It's very different, okay, it takes a lot. The two very different characters from comfort to flight or death. What made you make them?

Marcus Chan: 19:40

change. So, first of all, I never wanted to be an entrepreneur. That was never a goal, never a plan. My parents were entrepreneurs. They came to America with absolutely nothing and because of that they actually went and they started a small business, a small restaurant. That was super hard. They tried to do that. So I saw I'm like, oh man, I don't want to work in a restaurant 80 plus hours a week and barely make ends meet. I had a terrible life, that's not what I wanted. Let me kind of go to the corporate route, because I didn't become a doctor or a lawyer like they wanted me to. So the corporate route still, even that time I still didn't want to be. I still was like. I was like working in corporations, like getting paid to own your own business. That was kind of my mental belief and I learned a lot. And what was interesting was that I started my corporate career in 2007. I didn't start getting kind of the itch until probably 2016. In 2016, it was a very small itch. I didn't know what it was. It was. People say, hey, Marcus, you're one of the youngest directors of this Fortune 500 company. You run an 85 person sales organ. This time You've been promoted. Every single year. You've broken every single record you hit, you won every single award. How are you doing this? And I'm like I don't know. I just work hard. I miss being a regular. Yeah, and they said you should just write a book. I'm like that sounds stupid, I'm not going to write a book. Then I'm like interesting idea. So then I started looking online. I'm like maybe I should write an ebook. Now, this is before books were a thing. It was popular back then. So I'm like let me just buy an online course, learn how to do basic trade and ebook. And I like to automate it. Right, because that was like now it's super easy. But back then 2016, though there weren't as many tools available, right? So of course, I learned how to do it and I remember my first book and I remember launching it and I remember making $9.95 USD the first purchase, like an hour later, and my mind like exploded Because in my head, in my corporate career, at this point, I was having business conversations, sales conversations and closing people in person. Right, my parents are entrepreneurs. People were coming in, we took their money here. A stranger online gave me money. I didn't talk to Bububu one and at that point I'm like this is interesting. Honestly, you can't leave for $9.95. So I'm like what else could I build? And then I learned online courses. And again, this is before everyone in the mother online courses. So I'd like to buy another program, learn how to build an online course, and automate everything. And then I remember taking two years to build out because I was still in a hotel room about a hundred and ninety years travelling on stop On weekends. I built this online course for BDB salespeople. It was the first time I thought people wanted this. No idea. I launched it in January 2019. And after two years, I'm like oh, this is such a waste of time. I'm pretty sure no one's gonna buy this Because I didn't have a LinkedIn audience. I didn't really have any audience, I think at the time I had about 10,000 Instagram followers and I told you, instagram has been for me, right? I'm like I'm just gonna put a post, I'm gonna see what happens. And I woke up overnight, made $2,000 overnight. I'm like, oh, this is different. $2,000 is much better, much better than 95, and I saw the opportunity at this point, becoming my corporate career for, you know, all over a decade. I'm like what else do I want to do? And I got to this point where I felt like I could do more. It was like this, it. I felt like, even though I had a real reputation, like I'm still in the training videos to this day. For that, I'm still in the corporate training videos and I'm like, yeah, but I know I could do more beyond the company. And I felt like I Was getting like Just like tied by leash. Hmm, I couldn't fully do what I want to be , what I want to impact, more people, right. So then I'm like, okay, let me kind of time this out. I was strategic about it, right, because you know, I got a lot of equity. I got it as part of my comp. I kind of timed out. So, um, I had a club that didn't happen during the summertime that year. So I wanted a club trip. I knew my stock, my stocks were gonna vest. I knew my earnings calls were going to skyrocket after that. So I kind of timed all these kinds of big events, events, and then I went all in on September 19, 2019 and I'm like this is it. I want it all on, just do my own thing. And that was my, my leap. That's been almost four years. It's crazy what was that?

Dave Fastuca: 24:03

What was that feeling like that day that you walked out the door and it was day one in your business?

Marcus Chan: 24:10

Yeah. So the first thing I did was delete the outlook on my phone. I was like my account completely opened up because I had, I had, I was on calls all the time. So it means, yeah, that was amazing. And then, uh, it was the oh shit moment. It was like what, what did I just do? I'm like, because, at this point, like you know, my friends and family always saw me as if I was wearing fancy suits and I'm flying around corporate jets, you know, doing cool things, big sales teams. I'm always posting pictures of me doing cool things. I'm always a presence in the club. They're like this: he's got a great life. Yeah, like, did you just throw that all the way for what? Some little coaching business, some little, some little startup business? Like, is that that's the right move, right? So I got a lot of critique, a lot of haters, for sure, and I had people that were second guessing my question to me and it was interesting. You know I'm not the last company I was that you know there's for most of nine years, A lot of people close the door to me, right, like, oh, wow. Yeah that was kind of. That was interesting. You start seeing who your real supporters are, right, you see who are the supporters and who are the reporters. They'll put people who report on you and you're back right. So, like there was like oh shit. Moment right after and, um, then I was like let's get to work. And then the next two weeks I'm like grinding, I'm busting my tail, working super hard. And it was interesting because I worked for over two weeks and my wife said How's it going? Because she had, she'd been kind of like, give me a little space. And I said, oh, it's amazing, it's been absolutely incredible. And she's like cool, what have you been up to? I'm like I have no idea. And I realised for two weeks I had no idea what I was doing. I had no plan as an entrepreneur because you for you, you, you, you have no summits of structure anymore. It's all you. Yeah, I came, I had all the structure before, but as a creation of what I'd done and the system was already in place to now, I was white space. So it was a pretty, pretty, pretty interesting time but fortunately I uh put a plan together and got to work.

Dave Fastuca: 26:11

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Luigi Prestinenzi: 27:07

But this is I think You've just shared so many um Nuggets of gold, because I think for a lot of Sellers, this is where they need to be looking. If they, if they're prospecting into that business owner and it's early days, they're not going to have all those systems and processes built. They're going to have gaps, right, um, and this is where that research for me is fundamental. Like I know by looking at your profile, you have a system in place, so it would be remiss of me if I'm selling to you to talk about systems and processes because you've already got that. I wouldn't be talking about establishing. I may be talking about optimising, right, but I just want to go back a step, because you mentioned tied by leech Um, and one thing that I love about the content that you share is that you bring your personal aspect. You show Family photos, what you're doing with your time outside of work. Um, how important was the decision To build a lifestyle business, like to actually have freedom? Because obviously the corporate world, yeah, happened to me, man, it's why I left. Yeah, oh, yeah, it's making great money, but I was limited in time, right, like um, how important was that in your decision to move from a corporation to starting?

Marcus Chan: 28:29

your own thing. Oh, it was huge, um, and I'll show exactly the moments that it hit me. So I remember. So, uh, we hit him up. We only have one kid, and we had a kid in January 2017 and I'm travelling all the time and it's going good, um, but they're in. My wife works full time, but there was always this guilt Because I was travelling during the week, so I didn't feel like I was letting her down. As a husband, I was just being a good daff. I was like I let my kid down. That was like that. That already felt bad. But then we started covering that. My kid has always had food allergies. So as you got, as you started getting a little bit Old six months or feeding with food, you'd have a reaction. My wife had to rush to the hospital or go in the emergency vehicle to go to the hospital. And here I am, stuck in some city, so if I get on a plane, it'd be another four hours. It's good back, so like, and there's a guilt. Yeah, that's all. When I came back I'm like, you know I take over and stuff, but still it wouldn't alleviate that right? Um, that really bothered me, you know, and that's why, well, I was gonna build a business. I want to be a lifestyle business now, because there's things I was missing. I knew I couldn't do pickups too, I couldn't do pickups at school, drop school, any type of school thing that I had, even though he was really young at the time, didn't have any, though I couldn't do those things I like. Oh, I hope it's on a Friday, you know, while I'm in town, right, I hope it's like when I'm on these days I'm here, but it wasn't always the case. So then I remember, and I remember, like when I started my business, it was like it was cool, but the exact moment it really hit me, the right decision, I remember it was about one month After. So about it was like it was like end of October and yeah, at this point my kid's pretty young he's like two and a half years old at this point and I remember normally he falls, gets hurt, runs the mom, and at the moment it made sense because I was like this, it just Kids like moms, that's probably what it is. That's a story I told myself. But that moment in October he fell, he cried, he ran to me and I realised at that point, because I had been home for the last four to six weeks every single day, we had a different bond, those deep, a different level, because I was actually there. And that's when I was like that was the right move. I'm so glad I did it. And that's where it's like there was a huge part of the decision why I'm like now I could actually be the dad I want to be, be the husband I want to be and have zero restrictions, as long as I can build this life and fight through the hard parts of being an entrepreneur.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 30:59

Yeah, boom, that's. You know what that's, that's. That's not just powerful, but I think, again, for a lot of people that start their own business, that, like that, was my motivation. Right, I needed that freedom and flexibility. And if we tie that back to you know, you buying a CRM, potentially there could be a connection to say, maybe 100%, you're not getting what you need is actually pulling you back into the business and you want to pull yourself out of the business. And so nobody uncovered that, right, so for me that's 100%. That's why I always like to ask that. I try to find that out. But, mate, I just want to look.

Marcus Chan: 31:40

We could be literally talking for another hour, you man.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 31:46

I'm just so connected. I just want to say, mate, I wanna, before we wrap up, obviously, I want to say thank you, man. Your contribution to our community is incredible and we will drop In our show notes. We can find Marcus. He drops content pretty much, I think, every day. Do you do it seven days a week?

Marcus Chan: 32:07

Yeah, seven days a week, typically 12 pieces of content a week. We're about to rampage to 19.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 32:17

A week I do, I do wanna day scale scale, scale and up, baby, we're scale. Thanks, thanks, thanks, man. I think I do alright one a day, but this guy does 12 a week. I'm gonna have to, dave, we're gonna have to increase our content just to keep up with markers.

Marcus Chan: 32:32

But my fire wheel is a fire wheel.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 32:37

Honestly, like I really do I say this with a lot of gratitude, because there are pieces of content that you share that get me, it stops me, and especially the one that you shared recently with your young man and it really stopped me and I'm like you know what is right. Yeah, it just makes you kind of change your perspective and get you thinking a little bit differently, and that is the content that I feel is the most valuable out there, right? So thanks for what you do for our community man. Thanks for being on our podcast. Dave, do you want to sort of say anything before we move into the next segment?

Dave Fastuca: 33:09

Thank you so much, marcus. I reckon probably your hardest sell being you know similar cultures to Luigi and I is how did you sell this to your mom and dad when you're going from the corporate world to entrepreneur? But we may save that for another episode.

Marcus Chan: 33:25

We'll save it later. Show all the proof to you. Don't build up so Biggest sale of your life, oh yeah, alright. Next to sell on the wife, you know. Thank you, mate.

Dave Fastuca: 33:37

Thank you so much, luigi. That was a great episode with Marcus. Yeah, look what were your sort of one to two key takeaways that you got from him.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 33:46

Oh man, there's actually probably more, but I want to. There's a couple of key things that I think we need to be focusing on here. Right now you know the fact that, obviously, yes, he used a technical, trusted advisor to go out to market to do the due diligence on the type of CRM vendors that could help him. The first key thing that we need to highlight is, which I find really, really you know, it's fascinating that none of those sales people decided to reach out to Marcus directly, and so I think you know if that was me in the sales person's position. But you can absolutely engage with that buying committee. Now, in this case, it was the technical advisor and Marcus. Marcus is owning, you know, a small business. There's not, yeah, multiple, multiple stakeholders, so it would be easy to reach out to Marcus on LinkedIn, given how much he shares References content. Say, hey, love this piece that you posted on X. Just wanted to let you know I met with J, your technical advisor, about your CRM requirements, thought it would be great for us to connect and I'm happy to share some insight that can help you through this process. First touch, second touch hey, here's a couple of you know use cases, or here's some insight around how company X, similar to your size business, was able to achieve X result by looking at this sort of data right. So I think that's the first key takeaway that from that particular example, nobody took the time to earn the right to win his business.

Dave Fastuca: 35:32

Yeah, I found it amazing where he's using a CRM now. So why wouldn't you ask him like all right, Louis, you're on CMM, you're on CRM X, why are you looking to move? What's the gap? Yeah, that would have been. That would have led to his demo. He's all hers demo, right, you know, they would have walked for a K, cool. So you know all the basics of the CRM and everything like that. But here's what you told me and here's how we solve that. Yeah, you know, Marcus, like you know he's, he knew what he wanted exactly, so he was asking the right questions. But not everyone knows. Yeah exactly.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 36:06

But even take that, take the CRM demo away, right, the fact is he's not after a demo of the platform. He made it clear, right, the impact. So if we go, you know. He mentioned why he left his job. He left his job because he wanted freedom, he wanted to be off the leash and his family was really important. Obviously, there are some things that are happening in his business that are restricting his growth, right, and potentially that restriction of growth means he might be getting back into the business. So that's a pain point. Yeah, he's getting back into it because he's not understanding what's happening and his growth is being stunted. So he's not buying the CRM, he's buying the outcome it's going to enable him to achieve. It's going to enable him to have that freedom back. It's going to give you more visibility on what strategies he needs to put in place. That's going to connect that growth. That's going to enable that growth. So the demo for me is irrelevant here, because if the salesperson had gone into that process to say, hey, share with me, you know what's the outcome you're looking to achieve from this. You know what's currently happening. That's causing some issues. That's stopping you from achieving those goals. Once they can identify that and know exactly what's driving them, then they can say hey, let's share. I can share with you exactly how you can achieve X result. Yeah, because it might also be that it could be a way in which he's managing a certain process. So, because that's the other thing, don't sell to the way they're doing a process because I said this is the way I'll do something. Well, hang on a second. I was on a call, you know, this week where I saw this happen, a discovery call, where the prospect was saying this is how we do this process, this is how we want to do this process in the new platform. And I'm sitting there observing, going hang on, why isn't the salesperson saying I can understand why you're doing it this way, but there is actually a different way to do it that will give you that better result. And they didn't advocate that. So they weren't becoming that trusted advisor consultant, right? And this is why there's a big gap in the way that those CRM vendors sold to Marcus, is there? They didn't do any nurturing insight led education, right? They weren't trying to earn the right to win his business. They didn't define the future state and define the gap. So another key takeaway they didn't. They didn't then present exactly how they could help him achieve that goal, right. And ultimately they didn't connect the emotion to the sale. You think about it, Dave people buy with emotion and they justify with logic. Yeah, if they had to define how much time he was spending in his business that was taking away from his family, right, if they had to define that, then it didn't matter what he would be paying for it. Yeah.

Dave Fastuca: 39:20

But look how easy that would have been, because he actually, if they looked him up, he posts about that. He posts about his son, you know. But being a founder, solopreneur, freelancer, call it what you want. If you work for yourself, you know you're looking for obviously one financial gain, but two. You want freedom. But in order to get to that freedom point where the financial game follows you know where they're. Where they're now, again, it's you're having to put in a crap ton more work in yourself in the business than you were working for someone else. So time is your biggest enemy, priorities are another one. Then, moving on to the lock tool switched major pain in the arse. So there needs to be an inbound lead right. So the seller, the someone that's come to you, they've obviously got a burning platform, they've reached out to you. So you know you'd argue that a quarter of the sale process is done. It's now up to you to find. You know what's the main reason why?

Marcus Chan: 40:24

The bail water was different.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 40:27

Yeah, but that goes back to that whole. If it's an inbound lead right, the magic question that I don't know. I've, I've, I've, I've, I've, I've, I've listened to thousands of calls of inbound right and like only 10 to 15% of calls I hear this question what's motivated you to reach out to us about X, which is the most important question for inbound right? That would have unearthed a whole range of things from markers but you're absolutely right that tool switching. But the other thing I think we need to highlight is if you are selling to a small business owner, right, have a look at how long they've been an owner, because if they're in that first six to 12 months, they're going to have a lot of gaps in their business. They're building processes. They're you're right like they're doing. There's priorities, there's this. They're trying to deliver work. They're probably doing their bookkeeping. They're probably right, it's. There's a whole range of things that they need to focus on. But if there are more of an established small business three, four years you'd hope that some of those things are in place. But that's when your questions that you prepare before the call are pretty important, because you want to define where are they at in their journey, how do you know how many processes have they built? Because it could be the difference between saying, well, there's no point talking about setting up processes because they've got some. We're now talking about maybe optimising because that's preventing X growth, yeah, so this is why that research is absolutely fundamental and, as he said, none of them did their research, none of them came prepared, none of them brought a point of view. There are so many holes in that sales process. So, just to be you know, before we wrap up, they're the key things. That is what I would do in selling to that small business owner: Research. You got to do your research to try to come up with a hypothesis on where they're at in their journey. Right, come up with some key questions. Yeah, I know their motivation for wanting to change. Get clear on the outcome that they're seeking to achieve and show them how they can achieve that outcome and bring the emotion into the sale. Right, if you're able to wrap that up and sell that to the business owner, remember the key thing as well: the impact is far greater to that business owner because the growth is going into his pocket. And, yes, the growth is going into someone's pocket in a big corporation, but it's a very different sale from an emotional perspective.

Dave Fastuca: 42:57

Well, there you have it, Community Luigi dropping sales, gold bombs left, right and centre. You can't avoid it. It happens in every episode. That was the biggest takeaway for me, right, look even what you said there, like and I've never done that, I've never thought about it in that way, like I've done my research and things like that in the past. But looking especially if you're selling to a founder, freelance, etc. Looking at how long they've been in the business for again, there's another granularity item that you can then tailor your messaging to. Hey, I've seen you just started your business. You probably know tracing your feed, trying to set up systems. Yep, you've been in four years. You probably got some great systems. Here's how we can amplify that, correct?

Luigi Prestinenzi: 43:38

You can put. You got to change your messaging.

Dave Fastuca: 43:40

Right, that's fantastic. Because they're doing these differently. Yeah, and that's the thing, probably a great way to wrap up today's episode. There are a ton more quality conversations like this coming out, where we talk to others from different industries, different personas, different roles, on how they sell and how they like to be sold to. So if you're looking to level up your sales game, how to sell podcasts is where to go. You can find us on growthforum.io/podcast and on YouTube. Until then, happy selling and kick some goals.

Luigi Prestinenzi: 44:17

Yeah, and don't forget, folks subscribe to us, hit the like button and connect with us on LinkedIn. But, you know, make sure you keep following our content because, as Dave said, we've got some incredible content that we'll be sharing, and these playbooks are going to be a game changer to not just help you create more opportunities but close more deals.

Dave Fastuca: 44:38

And to prove you're listening all the way to the end of this episode, follow Louis on LinkedIn and just do a public comment on how much you like his beard and let's say see you all later.