Chuck Reaves of Blended Selling, joins us in this segment of the “National Advisor Showcase” to discuss how information is disseminated to and received by potential business to business opportunities.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: Welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio. TexasBusinessRadio.com being the website and Jay Curry who’s normally sitting there in the cohost chair ditched us, he’s gonna join us here again in a few minutes. I’m your host, Matt Register.
But, now is the time in the show with a segment we like to call the national advisor showcase. We have guys coming in all the time from out of state talking to CEOs, they have a wealth of information to share with you on how to grow your company, how to do things better. And these guys are here talking to CEOs, we love to sneak them into the studio, pick their brain a little bit. And this one, Chuck Reaves, he’s been with us one time before, he’s gonna talk a little bit about selling, all the way from Arizona. Chuck, welcome back to the show.
Chuck Reaves: Matt, good to see you again. And you’re talking about doing business better. You do business unique, you do business out of the box. That’s really what CEOs need to be thinking about. If I always do what I’ve always done, I’ll have less than I’ve ever had before. So if we’re not doing it at least different and preferably, better and faster, we’re losing the game.
Matt Register: Well, what I always tell my wife, weird is not bad, necessarily, right? It’s okay to be weird, and it’s okay to do things just because it hasn’t been done doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Now, we have you here talking about a system you have for selling called Blended Selling. What in the world is Blended Selling?
Chuck Reaves: You already know what Blending Selling is, because when you and I go to buy something, let’s say a laptop computer. We have some options. We can go to Amazon. We can go to the manufacturer’s site. We can go to Walmart and we can go to Best Buy. So what is the difference? That’s blended shopping, that’s blended selling. We have multiple ways of buying it.
So for me, I shop online, and then I buy from brick and mortar so I know I’ve got somebody who can help validate I’m making the right decision, but also will stand behind it and that sort of thing. There is something called blended learning which us trainers have been into for a while, how do you want to learn based on whatever the topic is?
My wife got her master’s degree in counseling and graduated mama come loudly, or whatever that top rank is, and did most of it online. Only had to spend a few weeks on campus. So when we look at blended learning, how does a person want to learn? I started my technical career with AT&T, I learned everything on cassette tapes. You may remember those, I think you’re old enough to- [crosstalk]
Matt Register: That’s right, I do remember them, yes.
Chuck Reaves: And now we have video, who graduated blended learning to LMS, learning management systems, very formal, sophisticated systems. So people come in and take my training, I can tell their boss who took the training how they scored on the test. Now we look at blended learning in a B2B environment. In a B2C environment, you’re familiar with it. Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy. In a B2B environment, it changes. Because now the CEO may be involved in the buying decision.
Are they going to entertain a sales person who walks in with a bag of donuts?
Matt Register: So probably not today, right?
Chuck Reaves: Probably not, no. And then if it’s a millennial, will they entertain a face to face sales call? Millennials are very weak, they’re very uncomfortable in social environments where eye to eye contact like what I’m making right now, is important. So how does the person want to buy? How do they want to receive the information?
Since we worked together last, I have learned that interaction is the secret code. Interaction is the stew that holds all of this together, it’s the magic ingredient. So if I reach you on a face to face call, that’s gonna be interactive, naturally.
Matt Register: Sure. No, no, that’s right. By nature, it’s interactive.
Chuck Reaves: By nature. But it’s visual and it’s verbal. If I call you on the phone, that’s interactive but I lose the visual. If I try to do a Skype or other media, then I get the visual but I’ve got that electronic barrier in between, but maybe there’s a place for each of those. What if I cannot get time on your calendar? You’re a very busy man. If I can’t get time on your calendar. Matt, how would you like to receive the information? You want video, I’ll send you a video, but it must be interactive.
It must stop from time to time to give you the opportunity to click in and make some changes and make some decisions. If you want an audio, same thing. If you want a PDF, we’ll make the PDF interactive. So now, we can reach the customer with whatever media they want, or whatever medium they want and it’s still interactive.
Matt Register: So here’s what I’m hearing and seeing with my own eyes, the buyer, B2B or B2C, doesn’t matter. The buyer has changed its habits. The role of the salesman has somewhat been taken over by the role of the website. The customer is doing their own first and second steps in the sales process before they ever contact anybody, right?
Chuck Reaves: Absolutely.
Matt Register: So which kind of merges the marketing and sales departments of companies to where marketing guys are actually doing the beginnings of the sales process, right?
Chuck Reaves: Exactly. And you go to buy a car today, you may know more about the car’s financial backing than the salesperson you’re talking to based on how long they’ve worked for the dealership. And that’s true all through transportation. Big trucks, small trucks. So we look at the educated buyer, so you hit the nail on the head. The buyer is changing.
Now we can say buyer categories are changing, millennials buy differently from boomers, but the buyer themselves, the individual buyer will change. And sometimes that change is based on the product they’re buying or the circumstances. So we start looking at how do we reach the person the way they want to be reached with the information they want to receive and we know they’ve looked at it, and we know they’re responding.
Matt Register: Okay, so the analytics is the big part of it as well, right?
Chuck Reaves: Oh my gosh, yes. Yes.
Matt Register: So, how are companies screwing this up? Because I’ve gotta imagine the vast majority of companies are not doing this right?
Chuck Reaves: Oh no. It’s new. It’s in its infancy. An example would be working a trade show. If you’ve ever worked a trade show, you’ve had sore feet. Is that fair?
Matt Register: Oh yeah. Oh yes.
Chuck Reaves: Okay. So visitors go through the trade show. If you were a visitor, you would visit as many booths as possible, the one that’s giving out dark chocolate, you’d go there three times. The visitors then forget, or they mix up what was what.
Matt Register: Sure.
Chuck Reaves: So what we are teaching our clients who exhibit in trade shows. The visitors come in, the person working the booth already knows how to recommend the three categories, whale, trout, minnow or no opportunity. For the bulk of them we just kind of give the usual response, but for those whales, those high potential, in less than three minutes, less than three minutes, the person working the booth can go over to their tablet or their laptop, use our system and it automatically sets up three emails. One, the visitor can receive immediately, maybe before they leave the show. The second one they receive the next morning when they get out of bed. And the third one has a custom video where the person in the booth is talking to the individual, giving the specific features and benefits that are most important to that individual visitor.
And all of this happens in less than three minutes, it’s automatically set up, now they can go visit or talk to another visitor to their booth.
Matt Register: Interesting. Interesting. And you also have the analytics on, did they get it? Did they open it? Did they look at it? Yeah, interesting, interesting stuff. And something that CEOs are gonna have to figure out. I mean CEOs are gonna have to, now your website-
Chuck Reaves: Let’s talk about CEOs for just a second. There’s the chief sales officer. Many SMBs, small medium businesses do not have a chief financial officer but they still have a chief financial officer responsibility which falls to the CEO. Most companies don’t have a CSO. They try to retitle the vice president of sales, give him a new business card and call him a CSO, that ain’t it.
So the CEO is actually the CSO in most organizations. What if the CEO has limited or no sales experience?
Matt Register: Which is not impossible at all, right?
Chuck Reaves: Oh no. In fact we look at the way people rise to the top. It’s either through accounting or through sales, and most often through accounting, sometimes engineering. So, the CEO is responsible for making the strategic changes in sales, how in the world are they gonna do that?
Matt Register: Yep, I get it.
Chuck Reaves: So I’ve got the CSOCoach.com website where people can go now and learn more and more about how to be a CEO. A CSO. Well, this whole blended selling thing pushes the responsibility back down to the sales department with an understanding from the C level. When you meet a CEO, you’re comfortable talking to them, true or false?
Matt Register: True.
Chuck Reaves: Why?
Matt Register: I’ve been one. I work with them on a regular basis.
Chuck Reaves: You are one, you work with them, you speak CEO, don’t you?
Matt Register: That’s right.
Chuck Reaves: Does a typical salesperson speak CEO?
Matt Register: No, does not.
Chuck Reaves: No.
Matt Register: Okay, so this’ll get CEOs speaking sales. Is this what you’re saying?
Chuck Reaves: Yes. Absolutely.
Matt Register: Okay. Interesting. And what is the website?
Chuck Reaves: Okay. There’s a couple of websites. ChuckReaves.com, of course is the master one. But BlendedSelling.com is where we’re packing the information now, primarily in article form, also with some tools and technologies and videos and things. BlendedSelling.com. The other one is CSOCoach.com-
Matt Register: Interesting.
Chuck Reaves: … and it’s got articles and other information as well. You’ve gotta get your people up to date on this stuff.
Matt Register: Yeah, no doubt. Well, and it’s a resource for anybody that’s needing to learn how to sell, anybody trying to get their sales team on the same page and increasing their sales. Chuck Reaves is here. BlendedSelling.com is the website and we’re out of time. We’ve gotta go pay some of our bills. We’re going to be back right on the other side of the break with a whole lot more Texas Business Radio. Thank you very much for joining us again, Chuck.
Chuck Reaves: Thank you, Matt.
Matt Register: Yeah, no problem. And guys, we’re going to have all these websites linked right there from TexasBusinessRadio.com if you’re driving and can’t take notes. But don’t go anywhere, you don’t even have time to go anywhere. We’re gonna be back quicker than that. We’ll be back.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.