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Do ‘Insight-Led Selling’ with Dr. Stephen Timme and Melody Astley

Adopt an executive mindset to grow your sales




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

  • Interviewed over a dozen executives from major corporations
  • Tell me something I don't know
  • Hit on topics that are top of my mind
  • Executives don't know everything since they are so inwardly-focused
  • Do your homework

Join The Club

Bring me something fresh from the outside—something I don't know." ~Steve Clancey, CIO, Georgia Pacific
  • Show up with genuine curiosity, i.e., The New ABCs of Selling
  • Earn the right to ask questions
  • How to get to the heart of the matter quickly
  • Selling is a team sport
  • Professional selling is a process

Which CRM Is Right For You?

Bob Burg, Givers Gain

  • Share articles, etc. to show you know what they're up to
  • Buyers are well-informed now
  • When there are more stakeholders and turnover, it's easier to get your foot in the door
  • We're in a SaaS-based economy
  • Buyers have more options and flexibility to look around
  • Clients have asked them for a book

Sales Growth Tools Mentioned In The Sales Podcast

Join 12 Weeks To Peak for free...but you probably won't finish...and you won't care.


Wes Schaeffer: [00:00:03] Dr. Steven Timme and Melody Astley all the way from the Atlanta -- Hotlanta -- area, coauthors of "Insight-Led Selling." Welcome to The Sales Podcast. How the heck are you?

Melody Astley: [00:00:16] Wes, could not be better. Thank you.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:00:18] Yeah. Thanks for having us here. We live in Hot-Hotlanta. 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:00:22] Yeah. It's getting hot here too, so I feel your pain. So funny story. So I live in Murrieta, California, and my first name is Joseph, and my dad lived in Marietta, Georgia at one time and his first name is Joseph. And I got a letter that was mailed to him. How do they mess that up? I mean, like different states, different zip codes, different spelling of cities, but similar, yet different.

Melody Astley: [00:00:49] Yeah, well, sometimes the postal service, I guess, gets it right. Sometimes they don't. [chuckles].

Wes Schaeffer: [00:00:55] And it was a bill. They don't send me money. But anyway, I digress.

Melody Astley: [00:00:59] You're a good son.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:01:00] Now I'm in a bad mood. We've got to start over. All right, cut.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:01:06] Wes, you sure your father didn't forward it to you?

Wes Schaeffer: [00:01:09] [chuckles] He probably did, now, knowing him. But that reminds me another story. Don't get me off on these tangents; we'll be here all day. I can, but y'all can't. Like y'all -- y'all are authors. Y'all are like smart people. You have things to do. So I could keep you here all day.

[00:01:26] So "Insight-Led Selling:  Adopt an Executive Mindset, Build Credibility, Communicate with Impact." I mean, how does a Ph.D. in finance -- why should I listen to -- Melody, why should I listen to him? What's going on here?

Melody Astley: [00:01:43] Well, you know what? Despite everything, he actually kind of knows what he's talking about. [chuckles] I mean, he's been doing this finance for a long, long, long time; from back in the university days to really break this apart and make what is a lot of sellers consider as an intimidating topic, this whole finance -- language of finance language of business. I see this as an intimidating topic. How do you peel that back and make it consumable and make it not scary and make it applicable? So that's why I would listen to him.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:02:18] Nice. 

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:02:18] And I would add to that I was very -- when when I started teaching at the university, I decided that being a professor, I was not taking a vow of poverty. Not going to happen; I wanted too much stuff. So I was very, very fortunate to get to work with a lot of well-known companies like Georgia-Pacific and Eli Lilly and Wal-Mart, goes on and on. And so almost always have working with them around improving operational performance. So work with folks in the plant -- hey, what if we could get one more percent yield on this, or the retail -- hey, what if we could reduce inventories by one day? Why? It could build this many stores. How could that be?

[00:02:59] So really picked up a lot of practical experience. In fact, my joke is whenever I leave FinListics I'm going to go back to the university, except this time I know what I'm talking about. So really got a lot of experience just by pure luck, Wes. I ran into -- I was teaching at a workshop at Georgia Tech and ran into this guy that was in sales and he goes, oh my gosh, this is so cool. You know, we're always trying to show the value of what we do. Have you ever applied this to sales? And the answer was at that time, no. So it's really based upon a lot of practical experience with what sellers customers are really doing. So they're doing it internally; why wouldn't a seller do it in selling to these customers?

Wes Schaeffer: [00:03:41] Mm-hmm. Well, I've always told people -- it's like we're all in sales.

Melody Astley: [00:03:47] That's true. 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:03:48] And because you were -- you were probably selling and didn't realize it as you were explaining and -- I mean, we're all in sales. You're trying to get them to buy off on your recommendations -- heck, just trying to get them to take the meeting, why should certain people from the company be in the meeting -- it's all sales, right?

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:04:09] Exactly. And even inside a company. There's not unlimited resources. So I'm a plant manager. I want as much as I want. There's another plant manager that wants as much as they want, or product development, give me a bunch of money -- or marketing. So it's all sales; internal, external, doesn't matter.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:04:27] So, I mean, and this book is brand new. So this isn't some theoretical stuff you regurgitated or revised from 1991. I mean, it's right now. So what are you seeing this year. I mean the title is "Insight-Led." I'm reading one of your -- the very first recommendation or endorsements here from the CIO of Georgia-Pacific, and he says, bring me something fresh from the outside, something I don't know. Show me that you've not only identified one of my problems, but you have a fresh solution that you've implemented somewhere else that will work for me, too. So that fresh perspective -- and I agree. But like Steve Clancy, he's a CIO of a big company. How can I even get his attention that I'm not going to waste his time?

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:05:20] Melody, you want to take that one?

Melody Astley: [00:05:22] Yeah. And in this book, let me stop quickly. We interviewed over a dozen executives from big companies like Georgia-Pacific or FedEx, Kinko's or Coca-Cola, the list goes on. And that is one of the things that executives are so reluctant to do, is to give their most valuable commodity, of time. And that's why they helped to participate in writing this book and saying we've sat through hundreds if not thousands of just pitiful sales calls where the seller shows up and throws up and asks me what keeps me up at night and shows me a PowerPoint deck and talks about feature function. And I'm falling asleep; I'm distracted; I want this thing to be over.

[00:06:08] So what can we as these buying executives impart to the sales community just to really make a better experience for both the seller and the buyer? So that's grounded in tell me something I don't know, spend the time to understand my company's problems, spend the time to understand what's top of mind for me personally, and come to the table not to ask me a bunch of questions, but with a point of view that you want to validate and with a solution that will help me meet one of my goals.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:06:42] And Wes, it's interesting because, I mean, repeatedly we heard this "tell me something I don't know." "Tell me something that will make my life easier." And having worked with a lot of execs I'm thinking, wait, you've got this huge staff, you've got these very expensive consultants, and you're asking the seller to tell you something you don't know? And they said, exactly. And their point was that these sellers are in the industry every day, seeing how companies are going through digital transformation or going to cloud or doing this, doing that. They said, yes, I want to hear from you, like what is other -- and not anything confidential -- what are they doing? What are the pit- -- tell me what the pitfalls are. Because otherwise it's going to be a very short meeting.

[00:07:25] So that was one of the major takeaways for me, to tell me something I don't know. That became a central theme in the book, like, hey, you think they know everything? And we have executives saying we don't know everything. We're so focused on my company that, hey, bring me a fresh perspective.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:07:45] Yeah. How do you balance "tell me something I don't know" versus "ask a question I can't answer"? I've kind of split the difference. I've told people -- you know, on the one hand, I've always said whoever's asking the questions is in control of the conversation, but I can't just show up and throw up. I can't make them feel like it's an inquisition. And I've had other guests over the years that have done AI analysis of calls. And what they've learned is that the successful calls, what they have in common is there's a lot of give and take early on. So it's not just a lot of questions, so I do have to share some insights. But don't we have to balance that? If I just tell you all these great things, why do you need to pay me? I've given you all this insight up front. So how do we balance that?

Melody Astley: [00:08:48] Well, it's one, do your homework, right? It goes a long -- and you may not have every single answer right. But what you will have as part of doing your homework, is you will have a perspective on the business, you'll have a point of view about how you can help. So if you approach it saying I've spent the time to learn more about you, and based on that, if you show up with genuine curiosity, they won't shut you down. They'll appreciate that you've spent the time to come up with something potentially provocative for them.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:09:18] Yeah. And to add to that, I mean, then you might understand as much as you can in terms of what's in the public domain, you've earned the right to then ask questions. So their point was not come and say, hey, by the way, let me tell you what to do. No. But by demonstrating, hey, I've done my homework; I understand y'all are trying to -- like, there's a pharmaceutical company right now trying to save two billion dollars over the next three years but they don't say where it comes from. Well, for me to bring that up and say, Wes, your supply chain, how much of that is yours? And here's what we've seen others do. So it's really having a conversation. Say we're not asking you to tell me something I don't know and I don't get to say anything, but tell me something I don't know but let's have a conversation around how things may be different than you think they are. Maybe we didn't give that information at this detailed of a level.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:10:10] How quickly can this happen, though? Because what I'm afraid of, for my clients, is they get a bunch of salespeople that turn into just professional researchers. Like, hey, Melanie, did you call that company? "Well, I'm still -- I'm on page 7 of 747 of my analysis. So I want to make sure I got my ducks in a row before I call them." Like, at what point do you say, all right, I know as much as -- the ROI on doing any more research has peaked; I got to jump in the pool?

Melody Astley: [00:10:45] This is not an exercise to encourage analysis paralysis. You do have to get out there and do it. And so in the book, we point out specific things around buying personas. Who are they? What do they care about? Industry trends, how do you quickly uncover what those are? Company performance; business and financial performance; how do you go sort through all of this information that's available to get to those nuggets quickly that matter? And then you're right. I mean, then you're at end of job, ready to go and start the discovery and engage with your client.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:11:24] And part of it, Wes, it's a team sport. I can't -- "Okay, you all go, you individual seller, go read the book and go do everything." That's insane. It's really a process. But we need marketing involved. We need sales enablement and we need the solution architects and Bob. But the good news is it's not a big science project because our clients we have today wouldn't put up with that if it was.

[00:11:49] But the good news is it's very, very scalable. So as an example, we've done some surveys and less than 25 percent of sellers said, well, if I know my company's goals, I don't know how our solutions apply. That's pathetic, but it's not -- to me it's up to the individual seller. That's called marketing gets involved, say, okay, here's the three things that we see people are doing in this industry and here's how our solutions fit in. So it's really like I said it's a team sport, and it's not a big science project either. It's about getting something that's relevant to these executive buyers.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:12:29] Does this apply as well at the smaller level businesses? I mean, when I was in corporate America, I did have a team. I had a systems engineer I could bring out. I had a VP I could bring out. I could bring the CTO at a couple of companies I was with. But like being on my own as the Sales Whispere, I don't have a big team. I've got contractors. I got a call right after this, actually, with a contractor, an expert in an area that I'm bringing in to augment what we're working on. But can the solopreneurs of the smaller businesses boil this down and still apply some of this?

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:13:14] Yeah. I mean, here's the deal, whether the solo entrepreneur is selling a big company or small companies. There was some research done years ago that said, hey, guess what, small private companies buy for the almost exact same reasons as the big company. And I can tell you, like in my case, we -- until, I don't know, that many years ago, I was a finance person. I wasn't a big believer in marketing. Like, I give you a dollar; how many do I get back? And I kept asking. I asked Melody. I asked the ad agencies, I'm going to give you a dollar; I want five back. So tell me all about that.

[00:13:49] So the motivation for buying is the same. And for the smaller companies, well, they they can bring other things to the table, but they still need to know the basics; like in this industry you've got people trying to take out cost to compensate for higher labor costs because of COVID protocols or something like that. So the answer -- yes -- I mean, because we were a small company. We competed against the big guys and won. 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:14:17] Mm-hmm. Yep. That's cool. I love what -- so earlier I wrote this down "genuine curiosity" on page 237, getting into the summary. Don't go too; deep demonstrate what you're proposing delivers business outcomes. So I call it always be concise. So I came up with the new ABCs of selling. Instead of always be closing, always be curious, always be concise. Like, you don't know for sure what they're interested in. So do you recommend, like, touching on the surface of a few topics and see which one where they raise their hand and then go deep? 

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:15:05] Melody?

Melody Astley: [00:15:08] Yeah. It's not a singular point of view. Companies have a lot on their plate in terms -- it's not just we're trying to accomplish one thing this year. There's a laundry list of things. And so your research pays quickly would be which areas can even help them with. Some you can; some you can't. That's okay. But on the ones you can, there very well could be more than one of them. So then instead of -- you want to ping it just to see where it falls on the priority list, because where it falls -- if it reads as important in the investor presentation but the executive you're speaking to isn't the key stakeholder in that project or whatever -- I'm making it up -- but you just want to understand the priority and then shift your conversation to address their top priorities.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:15:58] Yeah. Here's a live example. I was just on a call a couple of hours ago working with one of our clients. And so they're calling on a client, big customer, super-thin margin business and he said, okay, our goal is to improve return on capital. And so they do some wonderful things about direct cost -- cost of goods sold -- as well as days in inventory. So what she's going to do -- because they haven't articulated how they're going to do this -- she's going to be ready to go to say, Wes, I've noticed -- I've seen this trending upwards. I also understand you're trying to get this done. What are some of your initiatives? Let me share with you how we helped others.

[00:16:37] So she's got two points of entry. And it could be the one person goes, I don't care about the one, but I want to talk to you about the other. Or like Candy Conway, the former VP of global operations at AT&T, blessed to have her as one of the people we interviewed, she said come in but be ready to pivot, because it could be that you understand our goal is this. Well, guess what? That morning I may have been told to cut my budget 10 percent. So she said, demonstrate you've done your work, but be ready to pivot. So, yeah, I think going in with a singular view is just, one, it's hard to pivot; and two, like Melody said, there are a couple different things. But I have a couple of ideas that you'd like to discuss with them.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:17:19] When a salesperson follows the steps and shows that they've got a brain and they're not just looking at them as a paycheck, do these executives, do they admit that they will let their guard down? Will they open up? You know, at what point do they -- you know, is it, defenses are up; warning, salesperson, lock up my wallet; to bring the guard down, let's truly open up; let's really see if we can work together. Is there like a specific point where that happens? And can it happen quickly?

Melody Astley: [00:18:00] Well, the trusted partnerships and strategic partnerships develop only over time. But  credibility and confidence and demonstration of knowledge, that all could be first impression stuff. So how do you show up out of the gate? And if you show up with that confidence and credibility, sure, they will start to let their guard down. And then, like I said, over time, the relationship would morph into something longer term, more strategic. Sure.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:18:31] And we've even had some of the executives tell us, well, it may not be once they've shown this confidence and trust, I may not have anything on my plate right now, but guess what? I'll refer them to someone in the company that could use this in someone so far as they are referring to my competition. So the answer is yes, but I like what you said. Here's a salesperson. Lock everything up; keep my hand over my wallet. And that's just so unfortunate because there's so many companies out there that bring a lot of really good information that can help these companies improve their overall financial and operational performance.

Melody Astley: [00:19:12] And I would add that is why with just post-COVID and what will the post-COVID world look like in terms of virtual interaction or face-to-face and how does that happen, I would argue that insight-led selling is more important than ever because you have to cut through the noise and there's just a lot of noise for these buyers.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:19:36] Mm-hmm. How can we get these people's attention? Will they answer a cold call? Will they reply to a cold call? Does it take 10 cold calls and emails and some chocolate?

Melody Astley: [00:19:52] It's nearly all of them; so surprise here. Well-well-well-informed gatekeepers and their executive assistants who understand the screening criteria that they have set up. So if you are a buying executive and there is something that rings like, oh, do I have a fiduciary responsibility to hear this out? That's oftentimes what you see. They've got very well-informed gatekeepers.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:20:20] Yeah.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:20:21] And I would add we use the term "give to get." I mean, don't try to sell me -- c'mon, everyone is. I mean, how many emails do you get a day, Wes, and swipe left? So let's say I know that someone's in manufacturing; I've read that they're focused on Industry 4.0; and I just saw this really cool article that talks about the business and financial benefits. Well, share that with me. Don't right out of the starting blocks say I want to sell you something. I understand that you're interested in this; I thought you would find this to be very valuable. So, I mean, just trying to sell me right away -- I mean, it helps that if you're going to reach out to me, to make some reference to what the heck I'm up to. But I mean, I think that has to be -- I have to trust you first, and sharing with me something that I find of value to me is a great way to start the process.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:21:17] How much do you all get into defeating the incumbents? Because usually they're already working on something and it's not brand new. Usually we're coming in and we're either filling a gap that the competition doesn't fill or they dropped the ball and maybe they're open now to hearing some some alternatives. How can a newcomer get their foot in the door? Because I was in technology sales for years, and one of the reasons I got out, it was so frustrating calling on the big companies. They'd sign these multi-year contracts and you were basically locked out. I mean, I don't like that. You're telling me no? You're not telling me no. And my boss is like, oh, yeah, they just told us no. I'm like, well, this sucks.

Melody Astley: [00:22:15] Well, I mean, the world is  changing in terms of the way that that people buy. I mean, one is they're far more informed than they've ever been because there are so many more stakeholders in a deal. And we've all seen them. We've all seen the clients that have their pet vendor or they sole source everything that I can because I'm buddies with da-da-da-da, right? But because there are more stakeholders, there is more -- frankly -- turnover at the executive levels. There's always that new perspective and there's always that level of of scrutiny where you can't really get so comfortable, because guess what? I talk about the buyers being smarter, more educated, but what they're buying is different and that we are now solidly in a SaaS-based economy. So I'm not signing up or it's rare -- rarer -- that I'm signing a five- or ten-year deal or something that will contractually lock out my ability to look as a buyer at other options. So the SaaS-based economy is really driving this. We need to evaluate the value that we've realized or the value that we thought we bought into on a much more regular basis, because I can turn the switch off whenever I want and go somewhere else.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:23:29] Yeah. And at the same time, be smart; right, Wes? And so I've just invested 100, $200 million in some new CRM system. Well, more likely I'm not going to be ripping that out any time soon. But what we encourage is that, okay, what are their actual goals, and is there some other role that you can play on top of that or augment that or brand new perspective? Because as you know, nowadays, everything is changing. I mean, look at how COVID all of a sudden, like, okay, here's our supply chain. That's all great. Now it's like, oh, here's our supply chain; it's not so great. But then you got to be smart. Someone just invested a ton of money, they're not going to be ripping all that stuff out and going to the CFO and say, remember that ROI I told you about? I think I got a better one. Let's invest more money. Forget it.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:24:22] Do you all get into the new sale versus support and upselling? When I was 27, getting into sales, like, I didn't want to hold anybody's hand. I want to close that deal, throw it over the fence, go back out and hunt. Dealing with larger sales -- and back then, I wasn't selling to the to the Fortune 1000s, but that's where the big money is, going deep and wide. So does that original salesperson need to stay in control? Are they quarterbacking that thing? Or at what point does it get handed off in some type of support or maintenance person?

Melody Astley: [00:25:11] I think that that dynamic organizationally is also changing, too, because of the SaaS-based economy and because you look at cost of sale, acquisition costs, and the ways that SaaS companies are being measured is different than it was before. So it used to be that the account person who sold the deal will hold hands and stay in it as long as possible. But now we need volume; we need quick time to to value. And so you see organizations, largely tech -- mostly tech -- investing in their customer success groups. So that handoff is natural, and then the linkage is just what value was the deal sold on, and are we are we tracking to to recognize that.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:25:58] Well, Wes, it's funny. One of the executives said, I want to feel like the salesperson is working for me and I'd love nothing better than his boss be really PO'd at him because he thinks he's doing too much for me. But yeah, I mean, so what Melody said is true, plus the fact, I mean, we got to be successful, especially more and more as us finance types are measuring this promised return. In the past this is a big bet. We didn't go back and measuring that stuff. Now ,ore and more, it's like, well, wait a minute, you told me I was going to get 300 percent ROI and cost per and do this and -- let me see it.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:26:41] Yeah, yeah. That was before COVID, so let's go ahead. Let's not look backwards, okay? Let's move forward. We don't need to analyze all of that. Oh, my gosh. 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:26:41] So chapter seven is "From Value Proposition to Business Case." I was always selling basically atrial. And I tell my clients now if I can't get somebody to sign off on a $1500 trial, how am I going to get them to sign off on a $150,000 install? Is that kind of what you're getting at, get your toe in the water and get them to have a little bit of skin in the game and it's and it's easier to ramp it up?

Melody Astley: [00:27:30] Well, back to the whole consumption economics. That is how a lot are buying now. Let's start small; grow over time. But in the  purpose of the book, when you talk about going from value proposition to business case, it's really more speaking in terms of of how and when you execute each part of that. So the value proposition we talk about is almost like the in-person conversation. How are you and I jointly establishing the value stakes that we're going to agree on? And then the business case is more not the in-person, but on paper; how do we formalize that to capture the value that you and I in person agreed to.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:28:11] Yeah, and Wes, part of that too, we heard this repeatedly, don't -- in fact, one guy, I can't remember who it was -- if you come in with a 30-page, 30-slide PowerPoint presentation, either, one, it's going to be a short meeting or I'm going to catch up on my sleep. They all reinforce this, hey, give me the one-pager that I can then socialize within the company. I don't want to have to go and reorganize -- because they're not going to read the 30 pages.

[00:28:37] But to really build on what Melody said, the first part of that is just building the confidence. I think that's -- the credibility, and part of that is tell me, here's the three things I'm trying to accomplish. Convince me I should spend any more time on this because you're going to help me achieve potentially one of those three. So it's really just convincing them that, hey, they don't what the heck they're doing and this is how they're going to do it and potentially here's how much.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:29:04] Mm-hmm. I know the book is pretty new, but how has it changed your business? Are you seeing it's starting to open more doors or are you seeing in a different light? Because y'all have been at this for a while, right? About a decade or so?`

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:29:22] Yeah. Plus. When we started my hair was dark.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:29:27] [chuckles] I mean together at FinListics.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:29:30] I know what you mean. [chuckles]

Wes Schaeffer: [00:29:34] So are you -- what motivated the drive to write a book and are you starting to see the benefits of having it? 

Melody Astley: [00:29:44] So the launch is July 6th, so just a bit away. We wrote the book for a couple reasons. One, clients had been asking, hey, hey, we like this approach; how can we document it? Write a book. It's like, sure, sure; that sounds like a good idea. But then time -- you have no time or the next thing comes up and the next thing comes up. It's like, so Stephen and I share this story quite a bit, which is he said, okay, we're either going to write this damn book or we're never going to talk about it again.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:30:22] This would have been 2020.

Melody Astley: [00:30:23] And I said, I agree. And so we agreed to write it in like January, February. But then COVID hit and we found ourselves having a lot more free time. So we used the time to do it.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:30:37] Yeah. A couple of motivations. One, I still have that professor in me. It's like people -- when you see a gap, it's like, you know, knowledge is power. These are not stupid people. They just have some misguided activities, in my opinion. So it's like, look, it's not as hard as you think it is. It's really not. So wanting to really -- really like a give-back. So I've been blessed. My company's done great. I met all kinds of people, this and that. So part was a give back, and quite frankly, part was to build credibility and ultimately to drive sales, let's be honest about it.

[00:31:12] But I think the biggest difference it's made so far is that by providing these executives perspective -- and we've already got some wonderful coaches at work force. I mean, we get Netpromoter scores of 80 percent-plus. But now that we've got the insights from the coaches we get to use that with sellers saying, like, it's self-serving for us to tell you to do this; I admit it. But when you get the former VP of supply chain at Procter and Gamble saying, yeah, I really think you ought to do this, guess what? I think you ought to really do this. So it's brought more cred as well as influenced some of the things that we're developing to reflect their thoughts.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:31:56] So executives are still reading. Is that what you're saying?

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:32:03] Hope so. I don't read, though. I do the books.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:32:06] Well, that's still reading. Audio books.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:32:11] Audio books. Yeah.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:32:12] Oh, yeah. That's still -- I mean, I do all of the above. But the fact that they're asking you to document this and give them something in writing, I mean, that's a good sign. On my Monday call, I've been nudging my people to write more, because it still works. And even if you -- you know, that can become the the foundation of a PowerPoint or a webinar or an audio series, but you've got to start with something documented. And people are still gobbling up content -- good content -- because there's more content than ever. But they still go for the good stuff.

[00:32:59] So when you're working with your clients, I mean, you've got the "financial" part in your name. Does that mean you're only working with financial companies or your lead-in is to help any company with straightening out their finances and then are you branching out into other areas once they retain you?

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:33:23] We're almost exclusively sales now. So we'll work with enterprise, mainly technology -- enterprise sales, mainly technology companies. So we're not -- I mean, it's no secret Cisco's one of our clients. We're not going to Intel and Cisco, here's how you straighten up your finances. But we are certainly working with our sales organization saying here's how you can sell more, sell more effectively. In finance, Wes -- by the way, finance is a part of it, but that's only one chapter in the book. The rest of it is you know your client's goals. Do you know how executives think? Do you know how to tailor a message to a CMO versus a CFO? So there's a strong finance component to it, but it's really to help sellers in primarily the technology space, how do you just do this stuff better? How do you become more relevant? How do you tell that executive something they don't know?

Wes Schaeffer: [00:34:12] Yeah. So just want to make sure that -- you know, people might see or hear FinListics and they think, well, I'm not finance, so --

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:34:22] Yeah. One out of six chapters. 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:34:25] Yeah. Yeah, very cool. So the book is coming out. Actually, when we release this episode, I'll check my notes, but it'll be right around the time the book's coming out. So you've made a landing page for the book, right?

Melody Astley: [00:34:38] That's right.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:34:44] Yeah. We'll figure it out because yeah, I've had that problem, but hopefully you figure it out. Either or, but to be safe, www. --

Melody Astley: [00:34:55] Insightledselling.com. Also you can find us at FinListics.com and you can find us on LinkedIn and basically all the panels.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:35:05] And the book will be on Amazon, just go out there; gets released July 6th. So really encourage you to go out. For the first week for the e-book, there's going to be some very special pricing, at $1.99. So drop by, and I think you're going to get a lot of insights, just a lot of knowledge that we've acquired over the years, not just made up but actually got from other sellers, got from executive buyers, this type of thing.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:35:35] Right. So it's insightledselling.com. All right. So what's the rule of thumb on l-e-d versus l-e-a-d? I've never known that. I'm always googling that.

Melody Astley: [00:35:48] I mean, grammatically? What do are saying?

Wes Schaeffer: [00:35:50] Yeah. Because I always intersperse or swap those out all the time. But I know there's technically like a right -- it should be l-e-d itself instead of l-e-a-d, right?

Melody Astley: [00:36:01] Yes, it is. Which is crazy. That's why it is l-e-d, because that's the way it should be.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:36:07] One is looking into the future; the other one's looking back. Now, I have no idea what I'm talking about. That sounded pretty good, though, didn't it? Led versus lead.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:36:16] Look, you have a Ph.D., so I'm just going to trust whatever you say. All right? So you better -- with great power comes great responsibility. 

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:36:25] Yes, Spider Man -- I think that was in that movie.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:36:31] [chuckles] Very nice. All right. So insightled -- l-e-d -- insightledselling.com's your book, and yes, I will move some interviews around to get this out closer to your dat so it will be in the front when everybody listens to this. And I appreciate y'all coming on the show.

Melody Astley: [00:36:48] Yeah.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:36:49] Yeah. Thanks, Wes. 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:36:50] And if y'all are traveling -- if you come west, let me know. I'll be speaking in Orlando in September but that's not exactly right around the corner from you.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:36:58] We are so ready to travel.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:37:00] I'm kind of sort of. I have traveled a little bit, but I don't know. If they're yelling at me to wear a mask on a plane, I'm just -- I'm not fired up. But hey, I have to go out and see some people, so that I am looking forward to that. You know, the world is opening back up. So let's grow our selling, shall we?

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:37:20] That's right. Great. Thanks. Thanks, everybody.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:37:23] Thanks for coming on the show. It was great to see you.

Dr. Stephen Timme: [00:37:25] Take care.

Melody Astley: [00:37:25] Thank you.

Wes Schaeffer: [00:37:26] Bye.