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The Most Interesting Entrepreneur In The World, Bob Moesta

Bob Moesta

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Entrepreneur Tips you'll learn today on The Sales Podcast...


  • Bob Moesta is a lifelong innovator and co-architect of the “Jobs to be Done” theory who has developed & launched over 3,500 products and sold everything from design services, software, houses, consumer electronics, and investment services as well as launching seven startups.
  • He’s also an adjunct lecturer at Kellogg School at Northwestern University, and lectures on innovation at Harvard and MIT.
  • In his new book, Demand-Side Sales 101, he details his success by flipping the lens on sales.
  • Instead of reciting a product’s benefits and features and pressuring customers to close, Bob advocates for salespeople to be a steward for their customers and help people in their purchases to make progress in their lives, finding their “struggling moment” and the outcome they seek.
  • Enjoy this conversation with Bob about how to be a more effective and innovative salesperson by really seeing what your customers see, hearing what they hear, and understanding what they mean.

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  • Uses Scribe Media to break down his ideas to write his books, which he needs because he's dyslexic and cannot read due to several head injuries before he was seven
  • Intern for W. Edwards Deming
  • Great at math, but reading and writing remains difficult
  • Has a small design firm
  • Helps people innovate but sales is never taught
  • His challenges have made him more empathetic and great salespeople have great empathy
  • He learns through questions
  • Listen to what and how they answer
  • You need to understand the context
  • He has been breaking things for 50 years, fixing them for 45 years
  • People hire people to help them make progress, not to solve things
  • "Why is today the day?"
  • The prospect has all the energy to make the progress
  • What is going on? Why now? What are the changes they're willing to make to bring about the results they seek?
  • What makes you trust someone?
    • Good questions
    • Present valid options
    • They admitted their limitations
    • Trust is an effect, not a cause
  • We're supposed to mistrust one another, but when you make them better they'll trust you
  • Be responsive, but not too responsive, which makes you appear desperate
  • People buy for a set of reasons, not just one
  • Criminal and interrogation-type questioning
  • Find the context
  • Chris Voss, "Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It"
  • Set them up for a bad question...
  • We're all in sales...teachers must sell their students on why to pay attention
  • We must understand the demand side
  • If you build it...they don't come
  • A persona is just a soulless person
  • Correlation is not causation
  • He had "big trash day" in Detroit growing up
  • He learned by doing and building
  • His mom was a teacher and helped him learn how to learn
  • Has great pattern recognition
  • Learned through questions
  • Without questions, you have no theory
  • Think of the dominoes that have to fall for a customer to buy
  • People don't buy because of a deal
  • They'll pick you
  • Two frameworks
    • Push
    • Pull
    • Anxiety that holds them back
    • Habit
  • The timeline
    • First thought, without it you can't even hear what they're saying. Questions create spaces in the brain for solutions to fall into
    • Passive looking, learning about the problem and the solution language. People often search for problems, first.
    • Active looking,
    • Decide, more about tradeoffs vs. the deal, so give people three options
    • First use,
    • Ongoing use, when you solve one thing you create new problems so there are always struggling moments
  • He looks at the last 10 sales to help his clients find the patterns
  • Be genuinely curious
  • The customer usually doesn't know what they want
  • Have them unpack the language
  • You have to help them make progress
  • Ethics come into play
  • Follow the patterns to find great prospects
  • Great salespeople at new, small companies can be the most well-connected person in the company
  • No sale is made that is random. Every purchase is caused.
  • Active, passive, or deciding?
  • "Why do people buy?" What happened in their lives and what were they hoping for?
  • Technology-agnostic requirements of the customer
  • What outcome are they seeking?
  • Take the product out of the picture
  • Patterns help you sell easier and faster

Links Mentioned In The Sales Podcast



Wes Schaeffer: Bob Moesta, possibly one of my most eclectic guests, thus far, not a 470 some odd that's that's saying something.

Bob Moesta: That is saying.

Wes Schaeffer: Michigan. Welcome to the sales podcast. How the heck are you?

Bob Moesta: Thanks, Wes excited to be here.

Wes Schaeffer: So I

Wes Schaeffer: Just been talking for 10 minutes, as you know, hit record earlier. I learned all these things, just as soon. Just before we walk on stage.

Bob Moesta: You're an author here I've got your book to me. Inside Sales stop selling and help your customers make


Wes Schaeffer: But you are

Wes Schaeffer: Different dyslexic, and still cannot read, but you're an author.

Bob Moesta: Yeah.

Wes Schaeffer: You are an instructor. A adjunct lecturer at Kellogg school at Northwestern

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah lectures on innovation at Harvard and MIT you've developed and launched over 3500 products.

Wes Schaeffer: And what in the heck, you know, are you doing all of this.

Bob Moesta: Yeah, so it's it's so this is actually the book itself was I've. So I've actually worked on probably six books I've always had to have co authors right

Bob Moesta: But I found a company called Scribe media that helps me kind of talk about the progress that I want the reader to have and then we actually break the book into systems and then I talked to them.

Bob Moesta: And I talked to them for two hours we have 14 sessions of two hours where we then talk about what each chapter supposed to be in the progress we're trying to make

Bob Moesta: And then they go off and write the book for me. And if you were to read this book and listen to you. It literally will sound like I wrote it, it has all my mannerisms has all my stories.

Bob Moesta: And so they've just helped me get all this stuff out of my head. I've, I've been lucky enough that I have, I have these, these, this is my office here and I have across the top of my four main mentors.

Bob Moesta: In position for is Dr. Deming, I was his intern when I was 18 years old.

Bob Moesta: Clay Christiansen has been a colleague in a professor at a mentor of mine for over 27 years Dr Guinea Taguchi is the one who taught me a lot of my innovation principles and tools and Dr. Willie Moore was my

Bob Moesta: First real mentor at Ford Motor Company in the 80s and these people literally took somebody who was

Bob Moesta: I will say illiterate. I'll say this. I'm very good at math, but for the most part, reading is very, very challenging for me and writing is very challenging.

Bob Moesta: And so I had to learn a very different way in which to take an information and learn. And so I had to hack my way through both school and

Bob Moesta: You know, elementary school grade school and all the way through college, but I was able to kind of come out with a whole bunch of different tools and methods and so

Bob Moesta: For the most part, I've, I've, I have a small design firm and I basically help people innovate and one of the things that came up, is I've done

Bob Moesta: Seven startups and one of the things I always talk about is how hard it is to sell. And where the heck do you go get sales knowledge or had the education to sell.

Bob Moesta: And they teach you a bunch of process and tools and techniques. But there's no it's not taught in business school. So this book is really meant to actually

Bob Moesta: Be put into the business schools to say, look, here's how people buy. Can we actually help people understand how people buy. And if we do that, then we can actually understand how to sell.

Bob Moesta: It then sets up all the tools and techniques that that that's out there, but there's no underlying theory of how to sell.

Bob Moesta: But there is a theory of how to buy and that's called jobs to be done. And that's what I do.

Wes Schaeffer: Very cool.

Wes Schaeffer: Do you think

Wes Schaeffer: You're the challenges you had to overcome has that made you may be more empathetic. Yeah, to the struggles always say great salespeople have great empathy.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah.

Bob Moesta: I think that's exactly right. I think that the fact is is

Bob Moesta: One of the ways I got my internship. I was 18 years old I sat down next Dr. Deming, I was a an event. And one of those things. I thought it was just somebody grandfather and I asked him like 40 questions in 22 minutes and he just said, Wow, you are a curious, kid.

Bob Moesta: And I think the whole notion is that I learned through questioning and empathy and

Bob Moesta: I, you know, one of the things I talked about is, you not only have to listen to what people say, but how they say it.

Bob Moesta: Because the, the next question always has to be dependent on the answer that they previously said so somebody walks in with a set of questions.

Bob Moesta: Is kind of like, like you're actually missing the point that you actually don't understand where people are coming from. You're almost assuming the context there in which is just not right.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, and very few people can do that.

Bob Moesta: Really want to say that WHY DO YOU SAY THAT ARE empathetic.

Wes Schaeffer: Well, no, very few salespeople can go in

Wes Schaeffer: And and kind of like I always say we're in charge of structure and the prospect is in charge of content.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah. And so, and by that, and I have done jujitsu now for four years. So I quit everything to jujitsu

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah I my instructor. He I'm 50 he's about 54 he has trained for about 35 years

Wes Schaeffer: I always get it mixed up. I thought he said he started when he was 19 he started somewhere at 19 years early 20 so at least 30 years he's trained and so

Wes Schaeffer: When we step onto the mat and he's much smaller than me. Maybe 165 pounds. I'm all up to 20 probably to 25 so much bigger than him. He's very calm and he's basically like bring it

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, and some of the other black belts big guys, they'll, they'll, they'll lay down okay come on let me like get on top.

Wes Schaeffer: Even after four years, right, these guys are totally calm with having a 225-pound man jump on top of them and start that way because they know that they have the answers they know

Wes Schaeffer: They can respond to anything I throw their way. So they're very calm when new people come in like I had this guy. Two weeks ago, it was the most primal thing I've experienced

Wes Schaeffer: He's

Wes Schaeffer: grabbing me. He is literally grunting almost screaming like like I'm a T. Rex, Ryan. He's got to kill me, or I'll kill his family. I'm like, dude, relax.

Wes Schaeffer: Right. But, but you've got to. It's the time on the mats. Right. It's the practice where you're like, okay, whatever you throw at me. I can handle. So, but most but you still have to learn the fundamentals and when you do the fundamentals enough

Bob Moesta: Yep.

Wes Schaeffer: You can show up without that list of questions. In reality, all the questions are in your head, anyway.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah.

Bob Moesta: And and part of is to get the right context traps right so

Bob Moesta: right in. So I'm an engineer. And like I said, I've been building things for

Bob Moesta: The way I usually say is, I've been breaking things for 50 years I've been fixing things for 45 years but I've been building things for 30 years and

Bob Moesta: It's one of those things where I've been studying, why in the world do people buy things. What causes though the, the basic premise around this concept of jobs to be done is people don't buy things they hire them to make progress in their lives.

Bob Moesta: And so what causes somebody say, today's the day I need a new mattress.

Bob Moesta: Right, I can almost everybody can tell me who needs a mattress who buys it. What's the income. What's the demographic, all that kind of stuff. But like, what has to happen in someone's life to say, today's the day

Bob Moesta: And so to me, I've been interviewing and being able to understand all the struggling moments that people have and how to overcome them, and virtually every product I've built is focused on these struggling moments.

Bob Moesta: And so when it comes to sales. The fact is, is like at some point they actually have all the energy. So if I take your jujitsu example is like

Bob Moesta: You're actually providing all the energy to actually tell them what to do. They know how to read what you're going to do and say, well, if he does that. I'm just going to do this and they're spending very little energy because

Bob Moesta: In this case, the prospect has to have the energy to make the progress.

Bob Moesta: And so part of this is to actually be able to understand what is going on. What are they hoping for why now.

Bob Moesta: And what are the actual things that they're. What are the trade-offs are willing to make in order to

Bob Moesta: To fit a new CRM into their business or to buy a new set of ovens, or whatever it is that you sell the reality is, is like what you really want to know is,

Bob Moesta: What are they, why are they buying it, and why are they buying it now. And if you can understand their context, it will actually help you realize that that

Bob Moesta: Buying is cost. It's not correlation like correlation of prospects. It's the causality that actually we understand in the dominoes that have to fall in people's lives that help us learn how people buy

Bob Moesta: And why they buy and that, that to me is like the the the premise of this book. So it's called demand-side sales because it's

Bob Moesta: How do we actually see the demand side of the world as opposed to the supply side where I have stuff and I need to actually have people buy it right versus other demand side is like I have a problem and I needed something to fit into my life to help me make that progress.

Bob Moesta: Mm-hmm. So it's really about taking the empathetic. I have the buyer and understanding and the user to understand what progress, are they trying to make in their lives.

Wes Schaeffer: But how do we get them to lower their guard because a salesperson coming up and saying, no, Bob. Really, I'm here to help.

Wes Schaeffer: Just like it says like, oh, I'm from the IRS. I'm here to help. But whatever, get out. Right. I need my attorney. I'm not meeting with you till I have I'm referencing

Bob Moesta: So I so I did some I've done I'll say thousands and thousands of interviews. And one of the things I heard was this, this guy who was switching Telecom providers.

Bob Moesta: And as I'm interviewing him, he basically said, he said like, well, he'd been with this one telecom company for over 18 years. And he said, well,

Bob Moesta: I invited five people in and eventually I got down to two and you know this one I really trusted. I said, wait a second. You've known somebody for

Bob Moesta: You know, less than three meetings and you use the T-word like what, what did they possibly do to cause trust.

Bob Moesta: Right, and you start to realize when they start to reflect that. It's like, well, the first thing is they came in and they didn't have a pre plan presentation. They actually asked me questions about my business like they cared about it.

Bob Moesta: And then when they did. They came back with not one option, but they gave me three options which actually educated me to some of the things that I could do or couldn't do that. I wasn't actually prepared to ask

Bob Moesta: And ultimately, I got trust when that when I asked him that I said I needed to do this. And they said, you know what, no, I can't do that.

Bob Moesta: And so part of this is to realize like, how do people like trust isn't a fact. It's not a cause.

Bob Moesta: And so part of this is you have to earn that respect and you have to earn those things. And so part of it is, is how do you help them get educated about what they're trying to do.

Bob Moesta: And the thing is, is at some point in time. My belief is that that it's set up in a way that we're supposed to miss trust each other.

Bob Moesta: But at the end of the day, if you can be empathetic and you can understand. And you can actually help tell stories and help them relate to the problem and start to describe and they leave better having met with you then not having that with you. They'll actually they will open up

Wes Schaeffer: So what do you mean trust is an effect, not a cause.

Bob Moesta: So, so there are things so so Deming again and as an engineer, you think about what things are a cause and what things are effect.

Bob Moesta: And you start to realize like, at some point, nobody goes into a buying situation trusting really anybody

Bob Moesta: And if they do, it's only because they've had a you know a long relationship before they're trusting them to actually help do something

Bob Moesta: But it was earned. And so if you don't have trust. There's things you have to do to earn trust. And if you talk to people enough, you start to realize

Bob Moesta: There are things that you should be doing that earn your ability for some people to say they trust you. So for example. Another thing they talked about was like, well, they were responsive. I'm like,

Bob Moesta: Like, like every time you asked questions. No, no, no. They were actually weren't too responsive, because if they were to responsive that would see them desperate.

Bob Moesta: They were, they would get back to me in a reasonable amount of time that actually tell me they got the email or whatever they were going to do. And they'd give me an expectation of when it was done.

Bob Moesta: So there's like these underlying four or five or six things you have to do.

Bob Moesta: To get the badge of trust. And what happens is, most people just think of things as one thing. If I do this, then I get trust. It's like, no.

Bob Moesta: It's like if I do one thing they'll buy, nobody buys. For one thing, it's a whole set of things. And this is where you have to be not only empathetic but you have to be observant.

Bob Moesta: So the majority of my training in terms of as an engineer also includes basically how I do research, which is through criminal and intelligence interrogation of fits

Bob Moesta: So I literally am asking people questions that that in sometimes are way outside the bounds of what the product is and say, like,

Bob Moesta: You know, like, what is going on in their lives to say like, you know, other budget cuts going on like what else is going on that basically, they're worried about. So, so what happens is a lot of times we talk about our product so much

Bob Moesta: That we forget to actually figure out the context that people are actually in. So to me it's asked questions and shut up and listen as the starting point for almost like to meet for all sales.

Wes Schaeffer: How do you

Wes Schaeffer: Dig in. How do you get those questions on the table and then not go like, dude, you are crossing the line you are way out of bounds on

Wes Schaeffer: This

Bob Moesta: Right. Is it so there's, there's, there's a there's a great book by Chris Voss it's

Bob Moesta: Called never split the difference. And he talks about. He's a, he's an FBI negotiator and a CIA and interrogator and the whole thing is is that

Bob Moesta: This is, this is like dyslexia is one of those. It's a greatest gift I would actually never give my children.

Bob Moesta: Yeah, because it's one of those things where you say, like, hold on a second. I'm confused. I don't really I don't understand what that. Can you tell me a little bit more about that.

Bob Moesta: The hard part is all those students who got A's have the hardest time of saying that the words. I don't know. Or I'm confused. And the thing is, is that a lot of times I'll set up a bad question. Okay.

Bob Moesta: This is kind of like a little bit over the line my things. You don't have to answer it. If you don't want to, but like, let me ask it, and maybe we can make it better.

Bob Moesta: They are expecting the worst question in the world as opposed to like, so what was your budget last year. Like, that's an easy question from the answer.

Bob Moesta: And so part of this is learning the techniques of how to actually set up your questions.

Bob Moesta: As a way in which to say I am very interested and you have to be genuinely interested in what they're doing. But the reality is most people don't want to take the time

Bob Moesta: They don't want to actually listen and hear what they have to say they're looking for the keywords to say so they can tell the next

Bob Moesta: Feature. They're trying to connect their features to the benefits that they have to say like, this is how our product will fit in the lives and they're trying to move on. Next.

Bob Moesta: Right, this book is actually written in a way to think about people who actually sell but don't even know they sell. So for example, I just spent the last two weeks, talking to teachers.

Bob Moesta: About your job is actually to sell the student. The lesson.

Bob Moesta: Your job is to help the student make progress. And so you're not actually selling them but you actually have to figure out what progress they're trying to make and how your lesson can fit into their lives.

Bob Moesta: Right, a nurse or a doctor have to sell a diagnosis in a rehab program like

Bob Moesta: The neither one of them make the progress. It's the patient or the student. And so part of this is that we have to actually understand the demand side very intimately, to be able to help

Bob Moesta: And ultimately, they will buy our product or our or a lesson or a rehab. But the reality is, like, if we don't take the time to learn. Just putting it out there, doesn't make people buy


Wes Schaeffer: You saying if you build it they won't come

Bob Moesta: Yeah, so that's the lie. I was told as an engineer would say like just

Bob Moesta: Guys just build it. If you build it, it, they'll come and then all of a sudden I build it, they like, I don't really want that. Like, could you make it this way, I'd make the changes they still wouldn't buy it.

Bob Moesta: And then it turns out like I'd build it for the user. But the buyer wouldn't buy it and then I build it for the buyer, then the user wouldn't use it.

Bob Moesta: And it was all this crap and I started to realize like, okay, what am I doing wrong like like the I do the surveys, I get all this information I build personas.

Bob Moesta: Here's the thing, a persona is is is like a soloist person because they're just they're just a person in in in it, like, like they're a character, but I don't know how they decide to buy a new CRM.

Bob Moesta: I don't know how they decide like what causes them to say, today's the day I need a new mattress. We think we know because we know that part of the context.

Bob Moesta: But it's usually very different and what you realize is the causality behind what causes people to buy is not that I'm 55 years old and I live in this zip code and then I have this kind of income and I drive this kind of car and I have this kind of tennis shoes on.

Bob Moesta: Right. And so this is where we've confused correlation with causation.

Bob Moesta: Mm-hmm. Again I go back to Deming he's, he, he always yelled at me. But it turns out that I realized he was actually hard of hearing, but as an 18-year-old. It felt like he was screaming at me my entire you know time I was with them. And it was like okay I like almost PTSD.

Wes Schaeffer: Man, that's crazy.


Wes Schaeffer: So I want to shift gears a little bit, just on your upbringing and challenges. I mean,

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, going through things now like my oldest son, he's 23 he's legally blind, you wouldn't know you can give them a football. No catch it. He can see things you can

Bob Moesta: Hear it he can he can hear coming through the arrows my belief you like I believe that inabilities create super abilities and

Bob Moesta: And things

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah. Well, he's so he's a got a degree in computer science right he just sits very close to the screen zooms and he has all these shortcuts Manny's

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, I get motion sickness watching them work, but he makes it happen right but it's 2020 you know you're having to adjust and grow in the 70s, 80s, 90s. I mean, that really wasn't a thing that

Wes Schaeffer: Really sure until just 20 years ago.

Wes Schaeffer: So how, how are you getting by. I mean, there weren't audiobooks everywhere. I mean,

Bob Moesta: So, so I live in Detroit. And one of the things we have in Detroit, and I'm sure we have, they have in other places, but they had something called Big trash day

Bob Moesta: And my mom was a schoolteacher and see Detroit for 32 years and one of the things we would do is, she would have we had an old Bonneville and she'd say whatever you can actually fit in the trunk. We can take home.

Bob Moesta: And so I would bring home all these different things like a high fives and

Bob Moesta: Records and so I built speakers I found an arc welder. And then I figured out how to wire it into the house, like I did all these crazy, crazy like I was clearly one of those kids who had a little too much energy and tried

Bob Moesta: A few too many things, but the reality is, is I learned by building. I learned by doing I like so. And my mom. She was a remedial reading teacher. She actually took the time to help me learn how I learned

Bob Moesta: So she would sit down and say, like, all right, here's, you know, can you read this paragraph, and I like I can't read it a very linear way.

Bob Moesta: The brain injuries affected both my frontal cortex. And then my ocular muscle. So it's the fact that the first thing I would see in any paragraph for all the spaces.

Bob Moesta: And so she got me to actually see the where the largest spaces, which meant where the big words. I want you to take a red pen and circle the five largest words on the page and then or on that paragraph and then I want you to

Bob Moesta: Sound them out because there was enough space in them that I could actually figure out those words. And so then she gets like what would these five words have in common. And so that's the way I learned how to read

Bob Moesta: And though they tried to make me read in a very linear way they gave me you know they have flash car they had all these different ways to get me to read them like yeah I

Bob Moesta: I just, I could never remember one word to the next, but I could remember the big words. And so this is how I ended up learning how to read. So

Bob Moesta: I have very big pattern recognition abilities. I can see patterns before most people can't. And so this is where, again, I might not be able to read, but I can actually do math. Very well. And I can see patterns that most people can't even perceive

Wes Schaeffer: Mm-hmm.

Bob Moesta: And so that's how I learned and I learned through questions like I was that ridiculous kid who asked 10,000 questions right and they go like, oh my god, with this person. Shut up.

Bob Moesta: Deming was the first one who basically actually encouraged me to ask more questions. He goes, like you're you're using questions as a way to build a theory about how something works.

Bob Moesta: And ultimately, when the questions when you stop the questions, you actually don't have, you know, you actually without questions you have no theory. And when you stop asking questions, you actually have a complete theory.

Bob Moesta: And so

Bob Moesta: That's the thing that actually helped me actually learn ways in which the how I really learned, which is building and doing and prototyping.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah. So how does dyslexia come into play like doing higher-level math, right, I mean, you've got formulas or or

Bob Moesta: There's no definition. There's no definition of the word like I got to be

Bob Moesta: The word figure out a word and then go find the definition of that word, remember that word and then think of the next word after like

Bob Moesta: When y equals mx plus b. It's just a set of relationships. Got it. I can draw a

Bob Moesta: Picture. So, to be honest, I can see an equation and see it in space.

Bob Moesta: Actually plot it out so

Bob Moesta: Because I could put together the image of it. That's how I remember it. But the notion of having to know the subtle differences between, like, you know, principal and principal

Bob Moesta: And it spelled differently and like, okay, wait a second, that which one is that, and then I gotta go. But like I couldn't

Wes Schaeffer: I couldn't have used to be, you know, if you see

Wes Schaeffer: You know x squared plus two equals y

Wes Schaeffer: Yet where I do x cubed versus two

Bob Moesta: Oh, yeah.

Bob Moesta: I could see. I could see that I can see it, I get it, I

Bob Moesta: Get in my head right now until the other, the other thing I'm starting to realize is that as you start to look at an interview customers and think of sales.

Bob Moesta: It's actually thinking about the dominoes. The different variables that have to fall in people's lives like okay the system. They had is pretty old. Okay. The fact is they finally have budget for okay

Bob Moesta: That they have somebody new in this department. The fact is, is it broke down over this time. Like, what are the five or six variables that have to happen for somebody say, today's the day I got to buy something.

Bob Moesta: And we keep thinking it's like, well, they bought it because we gave them a deal. Nobody buys anything because it's a deal right

Bob Moesta: They buy it because something's broken and they'll pick you over somebody else because of a deal. But the reality is, is we need to understand the underlying causality of what causes people to buy

Wes Schaeffer: Mm-hmm.

Bob Moesta: And that alone helps us then figure out the best way in which to sell.

Wes Schaeffer: So how

Wes Schaeffer: How quickly can this happen, or is it if it's a bigger sale. Is this just naturally going to take time and then like where does follow up and nurturing and all of that come into play.

Bob Moesta: So there's two frameworks that we use one framework is called the basically the forces of progress and that there's a push of the situation.

Bob Moesta: There's a, there's a poll from of the outcome that they want to happen. There's some anxiety of that new thing that holds them back. And there's some habit to have about the old system that they like and so part of it is, is

Bob Moesta: Can you size up the forces that are actually a play when they're trying to buy something or to make progress.

Bob Moesta: But the second thing is called the timeline and that everybody goes through it and there's there's six phases to it. The first thing is there's a first thought.

Bob Moesta: Like, here's the thing is, is if you don't actually have a first thought you actually can't even hear what people are saying my, my second mentor clay Christensen would say

Bob Moesta: You know, basically questions, create spaces in the brain for solutions to fall into

Bob Moesta: And so, unless you're actually thinking about a new mattress, or you're not sleeping at night or there's something wrong. Like, I would say, hey, there's a sale to match articles. It literally bounces off your head and goes down to the floor.

Bob Moesta: And so part of it is we have to understand how do we create that space in the brain of what we call the first thought.

Bob Moesta: And then from first thought they go to passive looking, which is where they go through life, and they start to learn about one the problem, but they actually start to learn about the solution language.

Bob Moesta: Right. A lot of times, most people actually don't search for solutions they search for problems first and then they actually learn about solutions to actually help them.

Bob Moesta: And then they go to active looking. And this is where they'll actually have three bids and we'll have we'll do an RFP and we'll do like they've actually pulled together enough to say it's a problem.

Bob Moesta: And then they decide and deciding is actually more about trade-offs than it is about the deal and what you start to realize is that almost every purchase that anybody makes whether it's B2B or whether it's it's B2C

Bob Moesta: Selling consumers' you start to realize like there are trade-offs, they have to make. And if they can't make the trade-offs. They actually can't decide.

Bob Moesta: And so, helping to frame the trade-offs is actually one of the most important things that a salesperson can do because that then enables them to actually move to the other side.

Wes Schaeffer: Mm-hmm.

Bob Moesta: And so for example I always I preach the notion of trying to give people three options because most of the time when people have three things to choose from. The first thing they do is eliminate one of them.

Bob Moesta: And when they eliminate one then they have two left. But they don't actually compare them to each other, they compare each of those to the one they eliminated. So most of the time, people don't pick one. They just eliminate to

Bob Moesta: Most people know what they don't want. They actually don't know what they want.

Bob Moesta: And so part of this is being able to understand how do people buy. And again, this is why it's called demand-side sits

Wes Schaeffer: Mm-hmm.

Wes Schaeffer: All right, do we cover the six first thought passive looking actively looking

Bob Moesta: For deciding, and then basically first use and then ongoing use because

Bob Moesta: Once you get to ongoing use there's actually new struggling moments that come up with that cause you to fire the solution you bought. And so you start to realize at some point in time, I need

Bob Moesta: marketing, sales and customer success to work together because at some point what every time you actually solve one thing you actually create a problem with something else.

Wes Schaeffer: Mm-hmm.

Bob Moesta: Like it's the paradox of innovation. Right. And so part of it is to realize like, they put this in, but now they need training or they put this in. And now they've got turnover. So how do you actually help them with the term like

Bob Moesta: You name it. The thing is, is there's always another struggling moment. So it's finding the struggling moments that literally cause people to have that first thought.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah. Gotcha.

Bob Moesta: And what you start to realize is

Bob Moesta: The way I usually start is I just take the last 10 sales that somebody made and say, like, all right, let's, let's talk about what were the elements. What were the dominoes? What were the variables?

Bob Moesta: That were in their life that actually contributed to and had to fall for them to buy my product or service.

Bob Moesta: And when you start to realize when you see it, you start to realize like there's patterns and that

Bob Moesta: These three people bought. For this reason, and these other people bought for a completely different reason. And so

Bob Moesta: Maybe there's two or three pathways and so maybe I actually have to market differently or maybe I have to actually start my conversation differently about asking them where they're at.


Wes Schaeffer: Very cool.

Bob Moesta: Yeah, so it's, it's, again, think of the Dyslexia is a way in which to

Bob Moesta: build us a visual story. Think of a movie in my head all the time. And so it's about and it's not about me selling. It's about them as the main character to say like, what are they trying to do and why are they trying to do it.

Bob Moesta: And why they're trying to do it now and be genuinely curious about kind of the progress that they're trying to make and how do they know that they've made progress.


Wes Schaeffer: Is the customer always right.

Bob Moesta: No, no, half the time. They don't even know what they want.

Bob Moesta: This is the thing is that when we. So this is part of the interrogation thing is, is they'll say they want this one thing and if you like. So, for example, they'll say I want a printer.

Bob Moesta: And then I need a scanner and you start to ask me, Well, why do you need those things and say, well, in the end, if you don't ask why you actually realize it trying to proofread it I can actually teach them how to proofread on three other devices so they don't need a printer in the scanner.

Bob Moesta: So if I just listened to what they say they want. The fact is they actually don't even know what's possible.

Bob Moesta: So and so part of this is that you have to have them unpack the language of, like, Well, why do you need this.

Bob Moesta: Right, it's like well you know I want I want some I want some

Bob Moesta: Gel in my new mattress. Well, why do you want that is like why wanted to conform to me, why do you want that. It's like ultimately goes like

Bob Moesta: Well I toss and turn a lot. And I'm hot at night and the reality is, like, I need a way which will there's 20 ways I can solve that problem. I don't need to have gel.

Wes Schaeffer: Mm-hmm.

Bob Moesta: And so part of this is to actually help people understand what they really want and unpack it and also realize that they, they're more apt to choose what they don't want as opposed to what they want. They'll eliminate as opposed to include

Wes Schaeffer: All right, so what if I sell the best multifunction printers scanner on the market, but I don't sell what it is they truly need

Wes Schaeffer: Right, do I help them by the best thing on the market, or do I have to step away. So, you know what, don't do that. Here's what you need.

Bob Moesta: That's something that I would say is that this is this is the this is the

Bob Moesta: I actually want to be able to say no, sometimes more often than yes because at some point in time, if I actually don't help them make progress.

Bob Moesta: And and they end up buying my product. This one time they're never going to buy from me again and I might be able to help them with a completely different problem and it completely.

Bob Moesta: They might need a printer and a scanner for doing checks. But the thing that they're actually hiring me for us to actually do proofreading. The reality is, like,

Bob Moesta: I'm probably not going to help them in that way, though, though, I can. The reality is, is at some point in time, you have to be able to understand what progress. Are they really trying to make

Wes Schaeffer: Mm-hmm.

Bob Moesta: And so to me it's it's that ethical part of being able to walk away as opposed to just make my numbers.


Wes Schaeffer: But I got seven kids, man, I gotta buy groceries.

Bob Moesta: It's Chris so

Bob Moesta: So here's the thing is I hear ya. And so part of it is, like, my thing is, is let's go find the patterns to figure out, like, who do we actually go target because my belief is we're targeting the wrong people.

Bob Moesta: And we're trying to sell them stuff that they don't need

Bob Moesta: That's never going to win.

Bob Moesta: Yeah, that's my especially my experience of doing seven started like when you sell somebody who doesn't really need your product. It literally will always come back to bite you. I can't think of one time. It hasn't

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, for sure.

Bob Moesta: Yeah, sure.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, I've worked for some crazy companies.

Bob Moesta: Well, yeah.

Bob Moesta: We

Wes Schaeffer: We did not always see eye to eye, which is why I have such a checkered

Bob Moesta: So,

Wes Schaeffer: Up and down past

Bob Moesta: Here's the here's the crazy part, right, is it as a salesperson. A really good salesperson for company is probably the most integrated smartest person.

Bob Moesta: Out of everybody in the company, especially in a small startup.

Bob Moesta: Right, you got to know about the product, you got to know about the customer, you got to know about cost. You got to know about delivery. You got it.

Bob Moesta: You have to know all these things in order to help somebody decide whether they should pull your product in or not. And so ultimately it's in, it's, it's one of those things where I would say it's actually so hard to teach. They don't even teach it to business school.

Wes Schaeffer: Mm-hmm.

Bob Moesta: Right. And so ultimately, the fact is is like this is one of those things where it's, it's very important to realize like

Bob Moesta: Your salespeople have to be some of the smartest people because at some point if you actually put somebody in there who's willing to sell anybody anything

Bob Moesta: The church if I called the Church of finance, but finance is very happy because you're meeting your numbers.

Bob Moesta: But here's the thing is when finance actually blows the numbers and they actually offer a 20% discount if you buy at the end of this quarter. It just actually blew my value proposition with my customers because they can get a deal this month.

Bob Moesta: Because we actually made a bad prediction.

Bob Moesta: That's actually really bad.

Wes Schaeffer: Mm-hmm. Happens all the time. No.

Bob Moesta: Oh, I understand it, so part of this is when you start to realize that the sales process is actually run more by marketing and finance than it is by the salespeople.

Wes Schaeffer: Mm-hmm.

Bob Moesta: And so the reality is, and so the reality is, is trying to actually figure out if we actually understand how people buy we actually need less leads that will convert more

Wes Schaeffer: Mm-hmm.

Bob Moesta: Right, this is where people kept saying like, was one of the things I did, I built houses like oh, we need you know I get you 1000 leads with a 2% conversion is 20 people

Bob Moesta: Right.

Bob Moesta: My thing is I want 100 people

Bob Moesta: That actually will buy at homes and to be honest, when you think about if you actually understand why people buy you can do those kinds of things.

Bob Moesta: But otherwise, it's seen as probability theory. Right, right, it's an equation of some sort. And what I would say is no sale.

Bob Moesta: No, no purchase is made that is random. You don't buy one thing that is random. You might not plan on it. But if you actually really take the time to understand it, every purchase is cost. There's a causal set of mechanisms every single time.

Bob Moesta: And if you, if you if you

Bob Moesta: Choose to say that they're random than you. You are left to waiting for people just to show up.

Bob Moesta: Right is both the company and the salesperson's worst nightmare.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, like the car salesman just hanging out front smoking cigarettes waiting for the guy to walk up so

Bob Moesta: That's right.

Wes Schaeffer: Dude, you can make it happen. You don't have to sit there and wait

Bob Moesta: That's right. Well, and try to find people who are ready, like where are they, where are they, in their buying timeline.

Bob Moesta: Like I've got, I've got a company that sells software that basically comes up when they actually asked people

Bob Moesta: So where are you, and you're buying time on the. What do you mean I'm like well you have passive looking. Are you actively looking at you and deciding

Bob Moesta: And then they'll ask for a description. Oh, no, no, we're back here passive looking. So what we did is we actually went from one demo to three different demos, depending on where they are and they were almost they were able to almost double sales.

Wes Schaeffer: Mm-hmm.

Bob Moesta: Because they end up giving one demo. And after each demo. It was like, well, we should close

Bob Moesta: Like, but if you're a passive looking to give you a demo is like, how do I explain to everybody else. But the problem is, and what are the possible different solutions. And what else is there like when I need to learn is very different than when I need to make a decision.


Wes Schaeffer: Very cool.

Bob Moesta: Yeah, so it's fun. I'm helping everything from, like I said, a software companies and you know a

Bob Moesta: Food Service kind of equipment people and hearing aids and

Bob Moesta: People. Oh, no, no, but not my business, my business is different.

Bob Moesta: Oh yeah, we always hear that you always hear that the thing is, this is that it's very interesting when you start to actually ask people why do people buy

Bob Moesta: And they'll start to tell me about the person. I'm like, No, no, no, I get. That's the person, why did they buy and they'll say, oh, because we have a great product. I'm like,

Bob Moesta: Okay, but that's not why they bought that's what they tell you but the reality is, what happened in their life and what were they hoping for when they got your product and left.

Bob Moesta: I want you to actually make it so when I worked in Japan, they have this phrase that they kept hammering me with it was called

Bob Moesta: I need you to give me technology-agnostic requirements for the consumer, and I kept going like, what the hell does that mean like I don't know that they like, I want you to tell me what the customer wants. And why the customer wants it irrelevant of whatever solution they bought

Bob Moesta: Hmm, I'm like, yeah, tell me the outcome that they were hoping for. Tell me why they bought it now. And so what happens is once you start to actually start to see

Bob Moesta: Like you take the product out of the picture. You want to see almost their life before, and their life afterward. And then you start to realize there's probably 20 solutions. They could have bought

Bob Moesta: And so it wasn't just your product is like, what is it that makes that situation unique

Bob Moesta: That then you can start to market tours that you can actually help people understand and you, you start to realize that these patterns enable you to sell way easier because they're pulling it into their lives as opposed to you tried to push it into their lives. Yeah.

Wes Schaeffer: There's got to be looking forward

Bob Moesta: I think that's it. Like you said in the very beginning, it's the empathy. It's being able to empathize with people situation and understand where they're coming from and what they're worried about and what are they trying to actually do and what progress are trying to make and

Bob Moesta: A lot of times we're not

Bob Moesta: You know, most sale. I find that most salespeople who go through the motions can't hear those things and they don't know how to perceive it, the subtleties of, like, I'll say the transcript reads exactly the same your product is it, it's awesome versus your product. Awesome.

Wes Schaeffer: Mm-hmm.

Bob Moesta: The thing is, is that the first one actually had a little bit of down at the end, which means there was one or two things wrong with it. So they delayed and so the thing is the next question should be so. So what's what's not perfect about it.

Bob Moesta: Versus the other one is like, what's the one thing you really love about it.

Bob Moesta: And then you start to say, like, why do you love it. So here's the thing, is they'll talk about one feature they love

Bob Moesta: You should ask them why they like that feature. How does that feature help them do something they couldn't do before.

Wes Schaeffer: Mm-hmm.

Bob Moesta: That's what they're actually buying it for they're not buying it for the feature.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, what they can get done.

Bob Moesta: That's right, it's the job to be done. What's, what's the progress, they can make

Wes Schaeffer: Well lucky for you, I've got another interview coming up.

Wes Schaeffer: My talk to you till tomorrow.

Wes Schaeffer: just ruin your whole day.

Bob Moesta: I'm more than happy. My thing is, is if there's questions love they answer the questions. So if there's people who are listening going like, Tell me more. You get people to

Bob Moesta: Pick up the book and they look at and they go like, tell me more about this or tell me more about that. I'm love to be able to help

Bob Moesta: Them well

Wes Schaeffer: Well, and this, this, this was written with me in mind because you have pictures and you have good spacing. So I can, I can stay focused.

Wes Schaeffer: But where do we send people, do you want to go to Amazon.

Wes Schaeffer: Amazon. Amazon.

Bob Moesta: If you go to Amazon and look up myself. Bob master mo STA or demand-side sales one on one. I actually have to have one book that's coming that has all these methods and tools for marketing and sales and customer success.

Bob Moesta: And then 301 is how to how to manage the funnel from that perspective, but this is just kind of the, the basic underlying principles of it or you or you can argue, you can find me on LinkedIn again bob M o e Sta.

Wes Schaeffer: All right, I'm linking to Amazon and your LinkedIn here in the show notes.

Wes Schaeffer: Make it easy for people to find you.

Bob Moesta: That's right.

Wes Schaeffer: All right, Bob, all the way from Detroit, man.

Wes Schaeffer: Thanks for braving the cold.

Bob Moesta: It's not. It's actually a beautiful day here is it is cold. It's like 30 but

Bob Moesta: It's sunny. So I'll take it.

Wes Schaeffer: Hey, we'll take it.

Bob Moesta: Take a very nice man.

Wes Schaeffer: Well, the holidays. Yes, it's been great. Thanks for coming on.

Bob Moesta: Great, thank you. Thanks for having me. I see it.