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Attention all sales professionals! Do you want increased success in sales conversations and negotiations? We’ll be sharing the solution so that you can achieve that result. Get ready to level up your sales game!

Get ready for a jaw-dropping insight into negotiation tactics and buyer psychology. Uncover the shocking truth behind procurement strategies and the real power dynamics at play. You won’t believe what really goes on behind the scenes. Buckle up for an eye-opening conversation with Richard Harris, where the hidden secrets of sales success are revealed. Are you prepared to challenge everything you thought you knew about sales? Get ready to be blown away.

This week’s Modern Selling Podcast guest is Richard Harris, a veteran in the world of sales and CEO & founder of The Harris Consulting Group. Listen as he unfolds his journey of embracing the impactful use of “and” in sales conversations. With a childhood rooted in a family immersed in the sales domain, Richard’s early exposure to business and ownership in Texaco stock at a tender age laid the groundwork for his eventual foray into the sales arena. His diverse experiences, from working at the Gap to venturing into sales training and go-to-market strategies, provided a rich tapestry of knowledge that shaped his understanding of negotiation and collaboration in sales.

Richard’s unique perspective on the human element of the sales process and the significance of earning the right to ask questions showcases his deep insight into the art of sales conversations. His engaging storytelling skillfully captures the essence of his journey, resonating with the audience and illuminating the transformative moments that led him to recognize the power of “and” in sales conversations.

I do not believe there’s anything called a buyer’s journey. I think it’s a lie and a myth. The only thing the buyer has is an experience. – Richard Harris

Richard Harris, brings a wealth of sales expertise with a touch of humor and relatability. With a lifelong passion for sales, Richard’s journey from working at the Gap in high school to owning stock in Texaco at the age of six, has shaped his deep understanding of the human side of the sales process. Through his company, he specializes in sales training and go-to-market strategies, emphasizing the importance of earning the right to ask questions and the humanity behind each sales interaction. Richard’s approachable and engaging style makes him a trusted advisor for those looking to enhance their negotiation and collaboration skills in the sales landscape.

Enhance sales conversations

Mario and Richard delve into a fascinating discourse on the strategic use of the words “and” and “but” in sales conversations. Sales conversations often require a delicate approach, utilizing the correct words that can maintain a positive, collaborative tone and foster more intensive customer engagement. By tweaking these small but significant aspects of your conversation techniques, you’ll be able to reduce potential friction and bolster the effectiveness and conviviality of your sales dialogues.

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Master the Neat Selling method and close more deals.
  • Enhance your sales conversations with strategic use of “and”.
  • Successfully negotiate with procurement teams and win big contracts.
  • Skillfully handle pricing discussions to maximize sales opportunities.
  • Navigate contract negotiations with procurement for mutually beneficial outcomes.

The key moments in this episode are:

00:00:08 – Introduction to the Podcast

00:01:24 – Welcome Richard Harris

00:04:12 – Richard Harris’s Background

00:08:31 – Writing “The Seller’s Journey”

00:12:22 – Navigating Procurement

00:13:45 – The Power of “And” vs “But”

00:17:55 – The Importance of Agreement in Sales Conversations

00:21:05 – Slowing Down for Strategic Thinking

00:23:43 – The Role of Procurement in Negotiations

00:27:19 – Navigating Negotiations with Procurement

00:28:45 – Overcoming Adversarial Negotiations

00:29:43 – Handling Discount Requests

00:32:53 – Importance of Economic Impact

00:34:35 – Leveraging Pricing in Negotiations

00:40:36 – Unbundling Contract and Pricing

00:42:46 – Procurement’s Unusual Contract Clause

00:46:17 – Negotiating with Procurement and Legal

00:49:41 – Procurement Tactics and Training

00:51:18 – Personalized Connection Requests and Judging

00:51:57 – Favorite Movie and Final Thoughts

Timestamped summary of this episode:

00:00:08 – Introduction to the Podcast
Mario Martinez Jr. introduces the podcast and explains that it features sales leaders, practitioners, and influencers to help listeners grow their sales numbers at scale.

00:01:24 – Welcome Richard Harris
Mario Martinez Jr. welcomes Richard Harris to the show, discussing that they are in the 7th season with over 250 episodes. They talk about Richard’s new book, “The Seller’s Journey.”

00:04:12 – Richard Harris’s Background
Richard Harris shares his background, growing up in sales and his work with the Harris Consulting Group. He talks about his approach to sales training, focusing on the humanity of the sales process.

00:08:31 – Writing “The Seller’s Journey”
Richard Harris discusses the inspiration behind writing “The Seller’s Journey,” explaining his belief that there’s no such thing as a buyer’s journey. He emphasizes the importance of the seller’s journey and the tactics shared in the book.

00:12:22 – Navigating Procurement
Richard Harris delves into the topic of negotiating with procurement, highlighting that procurement is not the enemy and discussing the importance of engaging with them early in the sales cycle to understand their needs and challenges.

00:13:45 – The Power of “And” vs “But”
Richard Harris discusses the significance of using “and” instead of “but” in sales conversations. He explains that “and” signifies agreement, while “but” can be perceived as disagreement, turning people off.

00:17:55 – The Importance of Agreement in Sales Conversations
Richard emphasizes the importance of showing agreement when speaking with buyers, influencers, and coaches. He explains that using “and” can help reduce confrontation and friction in uncomfortable conversations, ultimately improving the buyer’s experience.

00:21:05 – Slowing Down for Strategic Thinking
Mario and Richard discuss the impact of intentional changes in thinking processes, such as using “and” instead of “but,” to slow down and strategically approach sales conversations. Richard shares how this tactic can help salespeople better connect with buyers and improve their overall experience.

00:23:43 – The Role of Procurement in Negotiations
Richard shares his experience negotiating with procurement and provides insights into the role of procurement in sales. He highlights that procurement is not always the enemy and discusses the dynamics of negotiation in larger contracts involving procurement teams.

00:27:19 – Navigating Negotiations with Procurement
Richard offers strategies for navigating negotiations with procurement, emphasizing the importance of early engagement and seeking permission from champions to involve procurement sooner. He also addresses the power dynamics and decision-making authority within procurement processes.

00:28:45 – Overcoming Adversarial Negotiations
Richard Harris discusses the challenge of negotiations feeling adversarial and shares strategies to shift the conversation to commercial terms, emphasizing the value exchange.

00:29:43 – Handling Discount Requests
Richard explains the importance of using the term “commercial terms” and shares a role play scenario to demonstrate handling discount requests effectively by focusing on economic impact.

00:32:53 – Importance of Economic Impact
Richard emphasizes the significance of understanding economic impact in negotiations and differentiates it from ROI. He highlights the importance of discovery skills in uncovering economic impact.

00:34:35 – Leveraging Pricing in Negotiations
Richard provides insights on leveraging pricing in negotiations by offering additional benefits in exchange for discounts, such as marketing support, case studies, and prepayment of contracts.

00:40:36 – Unbundling Contract and Pricing
Richard cautions against the unbundling of contract and pricing in negotiations, emphasizing the importance of including elements such as customer references and logos in contracts to avoid internal conflicts.

00:42:46 – Procurement’s Unusual Contract Clause
Procurement redlined the contract to include a clause allowing termination for convenience, with a strange twist of prepaying and getting a refund for unused services.

00:46:17 – Negotiating with Procurement and Legal
A two-hour negotiation session with procurement and legal resulted in an agreement on a termination for convenience clause. However, they later denied agreeing to it, but a recorded snippet proved otherwise.

00:49:41 – Procurement Tactics and Training
Procurement tactics include intentional delays and denial of agreed terms. These tactics are frustrating but can be navigated with evidence and strong negotiation skills.

00:51:18 – Personalized Connection Requests and Judging
Richard judge’s LinkedIn connection requests and uses them for sales training. Personalizing connection requests is crucial to make a good impression.

00:51:57 – Favorite Movie and Final Thoughts
Richard’s favorite movie is Shawshank Redemption. The episode concludes with a call to action to rate and review the podcast.

Master Neat Selling technique

Hone your sales skills with the Neat Selling technique. This method urges sales professionals to delve into the buyer’s need, economic impact, their access to authority, and timeline. Elevating your expertise on this technique can propel your sales success by facilitating a deeper understanding of buyer’s needs and economic considerations, thereby aligning your product or service to provide maximum value.

Ace negotiations with procurement

For sales professionals, negotiations with procurement teams can be challenging. In this episode, Mario and Richard share insightful strategies, tactics, and experiences to help you navigate these discussions more confidently and effectively. From framing the conversation to anticipate individual needs, understanding your customer’s perspective, and being well-prepared with quick information, these valuable strategies can position you for more successful negotiations with procurement teams.

The resources mentioned in this episode are:

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