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Being Average Is a Choice. Stand Out With Steven Van Belleghem

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Create raving customers by being excellent

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

  • Prominent traveler and speaker
  • COVID-19 hit him hard
  • He has done more keynotes in the last 10 months, but it’s not the same energy
  • Was in three countries a week
  • Sees come companies making the shift to virtual and are making big strides, but he thinks it’s the minority
  • He thinks many companies are struggling with virtual
  • Healthcare is hurting in this remote world
  • Many doctors are using the pandemic as an excuse to not meet with healthcare reps
  • They didn’t find value in meeting with the healthcare reps

SELL MORE OF EVERYTHING IN THIS GROUP

Being average is a choice. Being a commodity is a state of mind."
  • Customers may not want us to go back to the new normal
  • We’re more time-sensitive now
  • We don't want to lose time commuting to a silly meeting
  • Good salespeople have success in any circumstance
  • The informal moments have disappeared so the good salespeople are engaging with their clients and prospects on social media accounts and deepening the relationships that way
  • Great salespeople have great empathy
  • Great salespeople go from pushing their offers to pulling their prospects towards them
  • Find your prospects who want to engage on multiple platforms and deepen the relationship
  • He thinks the phone is less viable now (I disagree, but he has some good points)
  • We’re now a “reserve your spot” society
  • However, if you can bring value in a phone call, the phone can work
  • He worked in a research company for 12 years as a partner and he made cold calls (2008)
  • If your company is too strict on how your communicate, you may need to find a new company!
  • If you add value, your customers will sing your praises (See "The A.B.C.D.E.™ Sales & Marketing System")

Get "The A.B.C.D.E.™ Sales & Marketing System"

  • Have the mindset that every client can have a unique, positive experience
  • Tomorrow and eternity
  • We had the biggest digital acceleration ever this last year
  • Digital convenience is a must
  • Now go beyond the transactional order
  • Become a partner in life with your customers
    • Empathy
    • Timing
  • Understand what makes them tick
  • Become a part of their life journey
  • Add value to society
  • Use your strengths
  • It’s the job of leadership to help everyone know what their value is and how they fit into the lives and businesses of their clients
  • Stop complaining
  • Be energetic and enthusiastic
  • Consistent behavior over time
  • Open your eyes and see the cool things you’re doing
  • Europe has a lot of issues with small businesses recovering
  • Outwork everyone now to survive
  • Get creative and add more value to the lives of your customers
  • Show up every day and add value
  • Pick the medium that you’re great at and start there

Links Mentioned In The Sales Podcast

Order Wes's second book to think, market, and close like The Sales Whisperer.

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GMT20210330-170456_RecordingStevenVanBelleghem.m4a: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

GMT20210330-170456_RecordingStevenVanBelleghem.m4a: this m4a audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Wes Schaeffer:
Steven Van Belleghem. We needed a global pandemic to get you to sit still long enough to get you on this show all the way from Belgium. Welcome to The Sales Podcast. How the heck are you?

Steven Van Belleghem:
Thanks. Thanks. I'm good. I'm good. Thanks for having me.

Wes Schaeffer:
So are you getting cabin fever? I mean, I was looking over your YouTube channel and website. You have spoken a whole lot in many places. So how how have you endured this new normal?

Steven Van Belleghem:
Well, to be honest, in the beginning, it was terrible for me. Like, I had this beautiful spring 2020 planned, going twice to Australia, going to Malaysia, a couple of times U.S., almost every country in Europe, and then suddenly empty calendar. You know the feeling. And I was panicking, afraid that I would be out of a job for a year and a half or so. But then luckily these virtual meetings kicked off quite, quite soon. And to be honest, I've never done more keynotes than in the last 10 months. And I'm very happy that we have the opportunity to speak to the world through webcam.

But in all honesty, it doesn't give me the energy that I get from a real audience. And, you know, I just came back here. I live in Belgium, and I just came back from a client and we had a live event with eight people. It was a board meeting and I was presenting there. And it was so exciting to actually see three-dimensional bodies moving and smiles popping up when you say things. And I realized how much I missed that -- and the traveling, of course. Now I see the world as a Belgian. I used to be in three countries a week and then you feel so much about people's culture and how they react to things. And I miss that. I miss that terribly.

Wes Schaeffer:
How are you seeing your clients adjust? Have they made the adjustment or are they optimistic about the future? Will they go back to their old ways if things open up soon?

Steven Van Belleghem:
I see different kind of companies, I see organizations that are completely into the new normal and that completely adapted and they are fluent with digital sales, are having huge successes with it. They figured out a way how to bring their team together. But in my feeling, it's the minority. I see most companies that I work with, they struggle. They struggle with the remote world. Like, I've done quite a lot of work for the health care industry quite recently.

And for them, this was a wake-up call. They had this traditional model of just having all their sales reps going to the doctors and sharing the message that they find important. And then suddenly they couldn't do that anymore. They had to go to a remote world. And what they discovered is that many doctors now use -- and I say they use it as an excuse to pandemic, to not meet up with sales reps anymore from the health care industry. And the reaction of some health care companies is, yeah, the doctors aren't ready for the digital world. I tend to disagree. I just think the doctors are using it as an excuse because they didn't find any value in all these sales meetings and all these sales reps.

And now they have the perfect argument to say, hey, we're not ready for this. And they are struggling and they are retraining people and they're having a hard time. And I see many organizations that cannot wait to go back to to how it was. But in all honesty, I don't know if all customers want to go back to how it was. I think that time is our scarcest resource and I think that we're going to be more time-sensitive after this pandemic than before.

And of course, we want to go back to the real world. I want to spend time with my friends, I want to travel with my family; all those kind of things. But I don't want to lose time in commuting somewhere just for for an operational kind of meeting because that company wants me to do that. So I think in terms of commercial relations, we're going to be very sensitive about our time. And I think a lot of organizations will have to figure out how to get ready for a world that is no longer remote except for certain customer relations.

Wes Schaeffer:
Yeah, and you've jumped into this over many years. Your books include "When Digital Becomes Human: The Transformation of Customer Relationships. Another one I like, "The Offer You Can't Refuse: What If Customers Want More than Excellent Service?" So you were doing sales and marketing, I mean, before -- certainly before social media, but even before maybe even the Internet took such a prominent position. Are salespeople still struggling with the same things? I love what you're saying with the doctors, not just using this as an excuse. I mean, are good salespeople making the transition and making it work because they're just good salespeople? You know, is this just highlighting who had weak skills anyway? Or is it something different?

Steven Van Belleghem:
Now, I think that's a very valid point. I think that the really good salespeople, they have success in any kind of circumstances. These people adapt rapidly. And, you know, I don't think that the biggest change for salespeople is the fact that you have to do the selling process through screen, that it's now remote. I think the biggest difference is that the informal contacts and the informal moments disappeared and really good salespeople figured out alternatives how to compensate for that.

So they became friends on social media. They followed their their clients on Instagram so they knew what was going on in their lives, that it can send them a WhatsApp message and say, "Hey, I saw that your daughter just graduated. Congratulations. And I hope it's going to be a beautiful future for her." And then the next day they have a meeting and they can talk a little bit about that, and then they go into the more rational part of the relationship. So real salespeople have empathy and empathic skills and they figure out a way how to do that remotely now.

And if you don't have those empathic skills and there's a blockade between you and your customer and you cannot bring enough value to the table, then you have a deep problem. And a lot of the people who are suffering, they've been pushing really hard, and the strategy that they use now is to push even harder and I think that's the wrong strategy.

I think that really smart salespeople turn the whole process around and evolve from push to pull, where you create so much value that people actually want to see you and the ones that that succeed in that, they use all the tricks. They share content on LinkedIn, they're available. They react to their clients. If their clients do something on Clubhouse, they are in the room and they're part of the of the life of the customer.

So it becomes -- you know, they can become a partner in life of those customers rather than being a salespeople that only has one objective, which is selling their product. Real good salespeople go beyond that.

Wes Schaeffer:
Does the I.T. director at my hospital -- client or prospect -- do they want me engaging with them on Instagram and saying, oh, nice Jeep, or do they want me to be all business?

Steven Van Belleghem:
Depends from from person to person. And just find the ones that are willing to engage with you and focus on those. And for the ones that don't want you to be on Instagram with them, probably to have a private account so you don't have that opportunity or they will refuse you to be part of it. And then you always have LinkedIn where you don't talk about your jeep, but maybe you talk about your professional accomplishments and there you can have that kind of conversation. So it's having the empathy of knowing which individual will allow me and will like it, that I'm part of their Instagram community and which person will probably don't like that, and I'm going to focus on LinkedIn there.

So it's a matter of feeling what works and doesn't work and adapting you to create a strategy for every individual client. It's not about the you shouldn't be guessing what the average client wants. It's about figuring out what the individual client wants and then you create an approach and a strategy for every individual client.

Wes Schaeffer:
What? Are you saying treat them like humans? No!I have a quota. [chuckles] Press real hard, the third copy's yours, and by the way, I just tripled your order because I'm about to miss my numbers and I'll make it up to you next quarter, okay? That didn't work?

Steven Van Belleghem:
I don't know.

Wes Schaeffer:
[laughs] That is not the Belgium way.

Steven Van Belleghem:
I think it is the Belgium way. I think it happens all over the place. You know, that people -- you know, the kind of KPI and the kind of evaluation methods that you use define the behavior. And in Belgium, we also have companies that are public and they also go for the next quarter. It's the same kind of behavior that you see everywhere.

Wes Schaeffer:
Do prospects want to be called? You know, salespeople are always looking for an excuse to not pick up the phone. Has social media and 5G and COVID, has that made the phone more viable or less viable?

Steven Van Belleghem:
My feeling is less viable right now because especially in B2B, people are packed. Their agenda is packed with with back-to-back meetings. People are completely occupied. And it's like some sort of a new agreement that we have that if you want to talk, that you make an appointment for that. The entire society became some sort of a reserve-your-spot society. Even if you want to go to a restaurant, if you want to pick something up, if you want to dump your garbage, you always need to have an appointment. And you see that is becoming part of the of the norm. And because of that, the fact that social media is here, we can we can reach out to people and make a difference there.

However, I believe if you can figure out a way to bring value in a phone call, that it may be differentiating today. But if you're trying to sell the old way, it won't work anymore. People people know how that work works and they don't like it anymore. I used to be a huge fan of cold calling. I started -- I used to work in a research company for 12 years. I was one of the partners there. And we started the company in Belgium and then we created -- we opened an office in the Netherlands. And me and a colleague, we had to take care of that. That was -- I'm talking about 2008 now.

And we made and we built the success on cold calling, but we did it ourselves. I mean, we were the owners of the company and we called every potential lead and didn't ask them if they could -- if they wanted to do research with us. We said, hey, we're working on an interesting piece of research here that we think is relevant for your industry. We would like to share those insights with you guys for free. Oh, you think? And about one out of three reacted positively. And I still think that works. If you bring value to people and you create a pool because of the value you trigger them, you can use basically any channel you want. The problem is often that the message is too pushy and especially in cold calling. We burned that platform because of the approach that has been used in the last few years.

Wes Schaeffer:
Yeah. I'm glad you made that differentiation, because it's all about value. I mean, anything that we do -- I mean, if what you offer me is not a value, if I'm -- even if I'm just trading my time, I'm giving you my attention. If I don't get an ROI on everything I do, even if that ROI is to relax or just distract me for a moment with some humor so I can relax for a moment.

You know, I talk to people all the time. They're like, oh, I don't want a phone script; it makes me feel rigid. And so they just wing it. And then you listen to them on the phone and they're terrible and they're like, I don't make phone calls. Phone calls don't work. No, you don't work. You didn't do the work. So what you're doing doesn't work. And so now you're blaming the method instead of the message and the messenger.

But most salespeople, if they're an employee, they don't have a whole lot of control. Maybe they can't have their own blog or messages have to be approved before they're sent, you know? So what can employees do in this crazy new world?

Steven Van Belleghem:
Let's be honest. If you work for a company and you have to get an improvement for every LinkedIn post that you want to do, maybe you need to change jobs, then. That's probably not a place where you're going to be happy and successful. You know, employees always need to focus on that area where they have impact on; and if it's too strict and you have the feeling that it's blocking your way of working and it's blocking you from having any impact, you just have to change jobs. I think the question is here, what does the leadership needs to do to make sure that people can use their strengths and their talents to make a difference?

And if we create a world where we motivate people to go out there and to be present in the online conversations and to share positive stories, insights, learnings that you have in your industry that will build your thought leadership, and because of that, you will attract clients inbound. Or if you do outbound calling then, for instance, and they know you from LinkedIn and they've seen in the past 12 months, this lady here, she gave me so much value with all the posts that she's done and now she's calling me, I definitely want to talk to her. I should have called her; I'm so happy that she's calling me. So you're creating a context where people can use their strengths to make a difference and to bring value for the organization.

And I think they need to look for places where they can do that. And of course, you always have boundaries and then it's just a matter of focusing on the things that you can do and what you are allowed to do and don't get frustrated about the other things.

Wes Schaeffer:
So you talk about on your website, "I dream of a world with happy customers that share their excitement with all of their friends and family."

Steven Van Belleghem:
Isn't that beautiful, Wes?

Wes Schaeffer:
Yes. I mean, it's awesome. You know, like, hey, I get a new golf club and I shave three strokes off my game and I beat all my college buddies and they have to carry me on their shoulders -- yeah, I'm going to share that story. Am I going to share, "Oh, I got some good roofing materials from Lowe's?" You know, like how realistic is that in a B2B world?

Steven Van Belleghem:
Oh, you will definitely share that if it is conversation-worthy. If they done something that is unique, if they done something that created additional value for you, if they helped you, if they became a partner in you, if you learned something from them, maybe not instantly, but there will be a moment that you're going to talk about that.

The only problem is that most organizations have become average, and being average is a choice. Being a commodity is a state of mind. It's something that you decide to be. It's not the market that decided that. It's the company, the brand itself. And if you want people to talk about you, if you want to be conversation-worthy, then you need to put the bar higher and make sure that you're not average and make sure that you have unique stories, that you create value for people, that you help them in such a way that you help them change, that you have an impact on their life and then they will talk about you. And this is perfectly possible for someone who is selling bricks and for someone who's selling Ferraris. It works for every category if you decide not to be average and to put the bar higher.

Wes Schaeffer:
That comes from the top, though, doesn't it? I mean, usually, the guy sitting in the cubicle pounding out phone calls doesn't have a lot of control over that.

Steven Van Belleghem:
Well, you do. You know, if you're sitting there and making phone calls or you're sitting there and helping clients day in, day out, for you it has become a routine. You do that every minute of the day. For the customer, sometimes it's a unique situation or it's something that they don't do every day. So for them, it's a special moment. For you, it's routine. If you keep the mindset that every client can get a unique moment and you can find that energy internally to create a moment that you think you will excel and that you will be above average, you can do that. And there you can make a difference for every individual client.

Wes Schaeffer:
You know, I'm starting to like you -- kind of wearing on me. It's a good thing -- [chuckles] -- because in one of your books, "Customers the Day after Tomorrow: How to Attract Customers in the World of AIs, Bots and Automation." You know, I've talked about the ABCDE system -- attract, bond, convert, deliver, endear. And then -- it's a cycle. And when you endear yourself, you're back to the attraction phase. So it sounds like that's your methodology or approach as well; like, how to create a customer for a lifetime versus just get a sale and run out the door.

Steven Van Belleghem:
Yeah, yeah. Absolutely, absolutely like that. I think that for me, there are always two things that are important in a timeline of an organization, and that is tomorrow and eternity. You need to deliver tomorrow. You need to bring in your results. You need to get your money in. But you also need to invest in eternity and make sure that there's still something there in eternity and that you will have clients and that every -- I see that in my own business as well. Everything I do -- and I mean that literally -- everything I do, I see that as an investment for my eternity.

But at the same time, I want to make money tomorrow what I do. But I want to build something and I want to -- I'm on a process. I'm on a journey to become better and to create more value for more people. But then you have to deliver every single day and then it starts all over again. It's everyday Champions League that you're playing.

Wes Schaeffer:
What about today? I want to get paid today. Can we do today, tomorrow and eternity?

Steven Van Belleghem:
We can do that. If you like that, that's fine.

Wes Schaeffer:
Yeah, yeah. I like getting paid today. It's always mo' better. But hey, tomorrow's all right. But none of this net 30, net 90, then you drag it out and I got to send you to collections. That doesn't cut it. Okay?

Steven Van Belleghem:
Net 90 is terrible, no?

Wes Schaeffer:
Show me the money.

Steven Van Belleghem:
Supplier experience is also something to think about.

Wes Schaeffer:
So I mention, "The Offer You Can't Refuse: What If Customers Want More than Excellent Service?" So what do they want more than excellent service. What else is there?

Steven Van Belleghem:
Well, it's an interesting year that we've had. We had the biggest digital acceleration in human history in the past 12 months, and that changed the expectations of people. If you if you looked at what people expect, you have a minimum demand. And that is, of course, your product and present service people expect that that is good. But digital convenience is also part of the new normal today. If it's a commodity, if you have it, fine. If you don't have it, you you are in deep trouble.

If you have it, that creates a transactional a more rational kind of customer relationship and then it's a matter of figuring out how to bring value that goes beyond convenience. And I work with two dimensions there. On the one hand, I invite companies to become a partner in life for their customers. I mentioned this a couple of times before. A partner in life for me is about empathy and timing. It's about understanding what people want. It's about understanding that every individual has like a movie, a film of their life in their head. And then if you understand that, if you understand their dreams and fears and their ambitions, you can create value for them.

You can help them change. You can be part of their life journey. That's one aspect. A second dimension is adding value to society, becoming part of the solution of many global challenges that we're facing and using the strengths that you have in your organization to create value for society and making sure that that is, let's say, one storyline, that everything that you do can be linked back to those elements. And then you come to four dimensions that bring value to your customer, good product, price, service, digital convenience, partner in life, and everything that has to do with solving issues for society. And if you manage to bring that together in one experience and one story line, that's when you have an offer you can't refuse.

Wes Schaeffer:
So how does this work in -- you know, in business, I've got several members in my Monday morning group. What they sell, it's a fraction of a business's operating expenses. You know, one guy, he's a local courier service up in the Baltimore area. So, you know, $100, maybe $%300. I mean, not a lot of money per transaction. And for a company dealing in a lot of those, even they spend $10,000 a year out of a $10 million budget, it's a rounding error.

You know, how can we get more mindshare from a company when we are just a small piece of the puzzle? You know, when it's like it's not even -- in their mind, it's not worth the effort to change because they see it as just such a small part. It's like, yeah, okay, this is 1 percent of my business. If you make me twice as efficient, all right, I gain half a percent net. It's like, never mind; I got to go solve the 10 percent problems, versus this what they perceive to be as this little thing.

Steven Van Belleghem:
And do you mean that you're not getting more mindshare internally from the management, from the leadership team?

Wes Schaeffer:
Yeah, especially when they see you -- well, like the Suez Canal. What I've heard is like they lost power or something happened and you have this billion-dollar ship carrying hundreds of millions of dollars of goods and -- maybe like the Space Shuttle when it exploded. I was a little O-ring. That thing was probably $10 or $20; even if it was $100. I mean, the Space Shuttle was, I don't know, $1 billion, whatever. But whoever sold that O-ring should have gotten more mindshare.

So how do we -- when we're perceived as being inconsequential -- like my friend with the courier service. Yeah, the expense is very low. But if they don't get -- like a lot of times it's medical that he's dealing with. If somebody doesn't get a specimen in time or if it's mishandled, if the temperature isn't in control, the specimen's ruined; maybe a life is lost because this item doesn't arrive at the right time or an experiment has to be done over, that experiment costs $200,000 to repeat. You see what I'm saying? How do we get bigger mindshare when it's perceived that we're just an itty-bitty cog in the big, big system?

Steven Van Belleghem:
Yeah, that's a difficult one. I think, first of all, it begins with the leadership team. I think it's the task and the obligation of the leadership team to make sure that every single employee knows how they will contribute to the bigger goal and that you talk with them and that you know how what they find important, what they value and what their part in that whole evolution and that whole chain is. I think that's the first thing that's the role of the leadership team. As an individual, if you're part of that big organization, there are two things there. I think you need to find your internal motivation to understand what your contribution is and focus on that and say this is what I add to this whole story. And maybe there are other criteria than financial ones that you can use that, like you mentioned, if you can save a life, maybe with one product that you deliver. So that's one thing.

The second thing is, if you want to grow inside an organization, it's a matter of doing your internal content marketing and making sure that you have your stories and that you have conversation-worthy things to say so that people can talk about your efforts and that those stories start to live, work with anecdotes, work with positive anecdotes. And the truth is that people within an organization, they all love people who can be enthusiastic and who share positive stories. If your strategy in that situation is to complain and to nag about it, it won't improve. You need to find enthusiasm and positive stories and then other people will start to like you. Then other people will start to share that story and eventually your part will get a higher awareness. But it takes time and it's consistent behavior over time. Keep those stories coming over and over and over again. And because of that, you will grow in that organization.

Wes Schaeffer:
I don't have to be a cheerleader, do I? Oh, no; I don't want to be that chipper-happy -- "Hi, Steven. This is Wes at the Sales Whisperer. We're having a great day over here. How are you?" I don't have to do that. Please say no.

Steven Van Belleghem:
No. You don't have to do that. I don't think storytelling means that you have to fake enthusiasm. It's about opening up your eyes and seeing the cool things that you're involved with. And if you have -- that's sometimes the problem with our brain. If we get 100 emails a day and 99 of them are neutral and positive, but one is very, very negative. When we drive home, we think about that one email. And when we wake up in the middle of the night, we're still thinking about that one email. It just keeps us awake. And after a while we start to think that the one percent actually means the average customer or the average employee. And they're not. Most people are more positive than that. But our brain is trying to focus more on negative things.

So you don't have to be a cheerleader. But if 10 things happened throughout your day and two of them are negative, don't start by talking about those two. Just talk about the other eight in a very natural kind of way. And that already will be a positive differentiator.

Wes Schaeffer:
All right. Good.

Steven Van Belleghem:
Is that okay? Can you live with that?

Wes Schaeffer:
I can live with that. You know, I'm not going to be all that chipper. I'm just saying. I'm just admitting the truth. So how do you see things moving forward the rest of this year? I've been telling people I think 2021 will be a good year economically. I think we were so suppressed and depressed in 2020, you know, it's like this breath of fresh air, but I think there's been some real damage that may not show itself till next year. And then we may have a bit of a malaise. You know, we've got to get through or you seeing something like that? When you see people in business, what are they thinking? How are they feeling? How are they -- what are they preparing for?

Steven Van Belleghem:
What I see in Europe is that we will have a lot of issues with small businesses, small retailers, restaurant owners, people in the event industry, all small businesses that don't have that much money on the side and don't seem to take off again. So that's a huge issue. All the small fashion boutiques that weren't prepared for e-commerce and weren't prepared for a remote kind of sales and marketing world, they're in deep trouble and it's hard for them to rebalance because they don't have the resources anymore. So I think we're going to have a lot of issues there once the government protection program stops being there. I'm really worried about that.

When I look to larger organizations, I'm more optimistic. I see a lot of companies that are getting ready that are changing, that they're investing in new skills that have good strategies. Most of the companies that I work with have done pretty well in economically. So I think that part will be fine. But in many European countries, the chunk of the industry and the economy are small and mid-sized companies, and I'm really worried about that. So I agree with you. Once the government stops funding them and if the market doesn't take off fast enough, then 2022 could be terrible in terms of the economics for that specific group of organizations.

Wes Schaeffer:
So if somebody was going to pivot -- to use the popular phrase the last few years -- what would you say? What do they need to add to their business to make it or maybe even like what's an industry you see that's taking off? I mean, crypto currencies and NFTs, I'm seeing a whole lot of that explosion in that space. So what industries are you seeing and -- what does the small business need to do if they do want to survive and not pivot, you know, but just pivot internally? What should they do?

Steven Van Belleghem:
Yeah. I've been playing with cryptocurrency and personal coins. I have my own coin and NFTs and everything. It's really cool, but I don't think that will save the small businesses. I think what they need to do is find the energy to outwork the competition right now and do everything you can to outperform in terms of brand and reputation. That's something that you can decide to do every single day.

And you can start to share your story. You can start to create value online for your customers. If you're a restaurant that is closed, next to takeaway, you can make content. You can help people to have a healthier lifestyle. You can do something for children and facilitate their healthier eating pattern, things like this, so you can figure out things how to create value for customers. And I think if you outwork the competition, thereby creating value through digital channels today, the moment that things opened up again in a moment that things take off again, you will get the rewards for that.

Wes Schaeffer:
Do they need to embrace video? Do they put more into their e-commerce? Do they need to do Facebook Lives, or just be better what they do and and the word will spread?

Steven Van Belleghem:
Well, it's finding the channel and the method that you're good at. Some people are really OK with video. Others really freak out if they see a camera. Other people are really good in words and others are good and making funny pictures. Choose your talent, figure out what you can do best, and then show up every day and share value every single day. Push that. Share that with your customers, not just on social media. Send it in WhatsApp group; send it in emails to them. Make sure that they see that you are active. Make sure that they see that you want to bring value to them and doing that in a consistent way over and over again every single day with new inspiration, new tips, new value for them. Then they will remember you the moment that they need you.

Wes Schaeffer:
Very nice. So your website is -- it's your name, right?

Steven Van Belleghem:
It is.

Wes Schaeffer:
Do we need to need to spell that out, Steven with a V then V-a-n, B-e-l-l-e-g-h-e-m. You to create a shorter one for us Americans, man.

Steven Van Belleghem:
I know. It's terrible. It's not just for you Americans. I live in Belgium, in the West Flemish part. That's the only part in the world where my name works. I need to change it. It's terrible to work internationally. When I have a restaurant reservation, then they're like, oh, what's your last name? And then I say it really quickly -- Van Belleghem. And then they hide behind the screen and it's a very awkward moment. So I always say, just work with Steven. Probably just Steven.

Wes Schaeffer:
I just tell them Tarzan.

Steven Van Belleghem:
[laughs] I'm going to remember that one.

Wes Schaeffer:
But I mean, even The Sales Whisperer, it's so hard. Like I have so many URLs, that I'll redirect people to a landing page because they'll leave out "the"; they'll leave out the second "er." I had this one person like Vee Sales Whisperer and I'm like, Schaeffer is German, but it's not "Ve Sales Whisperer" -- oh my gosh. What am I going to do with these people anyway? We're linking to you.

Steven Van Belleghem:
Thank you. Thank you.

Wes Schaeffer:
All you have to remember is go to the website, The Sales Whisperer, and then they'll find you. A very popular YouTube channel; I'm linking to your books. Where should someone start? Which book? Should they get your most recent? Should I get an older one? Read them in order? Read them in reverse order?

Steven Van Belleghem:
I would start with the last one, "The Offer You Can't Refuse." I think it's very timely. I feel that many organizations are really thinking about these topics, so I would start with that one.

Wes Schaeffer:
Okay. And I'm linking to it. Do you want to send them to Amazon? Is that the best place?

Steven Van Belleghem:
Sure. Sure. Amazon is good.

Wes Schaeffer:
Okay. So we'll be linking there, "The Offer You Can't Refuse: What If Customers Want More than Excellent Service?" Very nice. Well, thank you, sir. You know, it's what, early afternoon for you? What time is it there now? Almost 3:00?

Steven Van Belleghem:
Now, almost 8:00. Almost 8:00 in the evening.

Wes Schaeffer:
Oh, it's that late. Okay. Well, yeah. It's almost 11:00 here. Gotcha.

Steven Van Belleghem:
Nine hour -- nine hour difference. California, Belgium.

Wes Schaeffer:
All right. Well, it's time to drink. I mean, you've probably already been drinking, but you don't have to admit that. You know, it's okay either way. I'm not judging you, but if -- the drink quality, I will judge you.

Steven Van Belleghem:
As Belgians, we always find excuses to drink beer or a glass of wine. And it's actually the first warm day here. And I'm sitting here behind the screen. And then I have -- after this, I have a Clubhouse meeting with my friend, Shep Hyken -- the customer experience.

Wes Schaeffer:
Oh, yeah. I know Shep.

Steven Van Belleghem:
You work with --

Wes Schaeffer:
Yeah.

Steven Van Belleghem:
So we're going to do that, and by then it's going to be 9:00 p.m. and dark and cold again. So the drinking will be for tomorrow.

Wes Schaeffer:
So beer and wine, not a big whiskey community.

Steven Van Belleghem:
There is a big whiskey community. It's just one of the few beverages that I don't drink, to be honest. That's a depressing part. Have you tried any Belgian beers?

Wes Schaeffer:
I've tried a whole lot of beer, so probably, but I can't name one off the top of my head. What would you recommend?

Steven Van Belleghem:
My favorite one is Duvel, like "devil," but then the Flemish way -- Duvel. You should check that one out. That's like the most popular premium beer that we have here.

Wes Schaeffer:
Okay. I will look it up. I mean, look. Hey, my guests all the time, they'll send me, like, cases of their favorite alcohol just to show appreciation. So, I mean, you know, you can do that. It's allowed. It's even encouraged.

Steven Van Belleghem:
You didn't receive it yet? That's -- that's strange.

Wes Schaeffer:
Yeah, send me the tracking on that, would you?

Steven Van Belleghem:
I will.

Wes Schaeffer:
[laughs] All right, Steven. All the way from Belgium. Thanks for coming on the show, man. It's been great. Have a great evening and tell Shep hello.

Steven Van Belleghem:
I will. Thanks for having me, Wes. It was a pleasure.

Wes Schaeffer:
All right, man. Cheers.

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