Dan King of Fireside Strategic and Jane Sagalovich of Scale Your Genius discuss the topic of shortening your B2B sales cycle in this episode of Expert Coffee Chats.
If you’re in B2B sales, there is no shortage of approaches you can use in your process.
Dan’s approach is different than the typical checklist or script.
He focuses on the humanity and authenticity in the sales process.
Watch the full episode to learn more then connect with Dan at the link below if you see this as an approach that will not only help you get to your business goals quicker and easier but will also result in stronger business relationships and deeper connections.
Dan King, a Brooklyn-based, former attorney turned executive coach and business growth strategist.
He has worked with a Shark on the Shark Tank TV show, senior politicians, US army officers, and CEOs. As a corporate attorney, he realized he cared more about his clients’ leadership and human challenges than their legal challenges so he entered the coaching industry.
Connect with Dan here: https://www.firesidestrategic.com/sttcs.
Watch the video or scroll below it to read the transcript.
Hello, everybody. Welcome to expert coffee chats, our weekly series where I bring best-in-class fetid experts for laser-focus 20-minute interviews to help you gain clarity and break through the information clutter that entrepreneurs like us are exposed to.
I’m Jane. I’m the founder of scale your Genius where I help in demand professionals, build, sell and deliver high quality, online courses and programs so they can serve more clients and increase profitability without working more hours or sacrificing their hard-earned reputation.
Today’s guest is Dan King. Dan is a Brooklyn-based, former attorney turned executive coach and business growth strategist. He has worked with a shark on the Shark Tank TV show, senior politicians, U.S. Army officers and CEOs as a corporate attorney. He realized he cared more about his clients leadership and human challenges, then their legal challenges so he entered the coaching industry.
His first business failed, but then he built and sold a coaching company serving the legal industry. He finished psychology at Columbia University and Law and McGill University. He’s a world traveler and Veteran of two Extreme Auto racist, driving a fiak from London to Mongolia in a rickshaw at the length of India.
Dan, it’s an honor to have you here.
Oh, that that’s so kind, really excited to be here. Always love our conversations. And the only thing that terrified me about your intro is that you’re looking for a focused conversation. I’m probably not the best candidate there, but I’ll do my best.
We can go, we can go all over the place.
That’s why. Sure, so, you know, one of us, I mean, it speaking of not focusing, one of the things that I would love to talk about is there’s a lot of people making this shift into coaching businesses and kind of human connection businesses. And that was my story too, as, like I was using my brain to help companies to help corporations to help investors, but then it was like there was a human component kind of missing in the work and it sounds like you kind of had a parallel Journey. So I’d love to dive in a little bit into that story.
Absolutely. And I think it’s one of Is hidden Dimensions that. Well, it’s starting to get talk about more. It doesn’t come up often enough in conversations about how to grow businesses. I’ve done many things in my career, as you can see, but my focus really is growing businesses, but you cannot grow businesses. If you don’t grow the people that are the components of businesses, businesses are just made up of people and if people aren’t growing if they’re not aligned with the mission of the company, then the business just is going to grow.
And I noticed this, you know through years of working on the Shark Tank TV show for one of the Sharks through years. Years of being a lawyer advising companies, you can give them great legal or business advice. But if the people aren’t aligned with that advice, good luck implementing it.
So I, you know, my my backgrounds in the investment world, she wouldn’t. So, I know the story of, you know, we invest in teams not in the product necessarily. So one of the questions and this, this just came up for me.
Let me think of the best way to put it. So when I started my entrepreneurial Journey, it was a roller coaster of growth, is the nice way of putting it. It’s probably a Words.
And so, you know, when you think about companies and you think about teams kind of in there, static Place, how much do you see being able to invest in a team and then that team being able to grow, you know, once I assume once they get a lot of investment coming in, once their next phases in front of them, how does the human component? Enable them to continue being their best team. That was not a very succinct way of asking that but hopefully it made sense. It did it. Did I got you?
So, one of the things that’s really tricky and I’ll segue into what we do at Fireside. I think this is a really good segue, one of the things that’s really tricky and business is honesty. There are all kinds of incentives for us as employees As Leaders to not tell the truth. Maybe the company is set for a bad quarter and I’m the CEO.
I know it’s going to happen, but I don’t Build a team because I’m a little frightened that they might leave. Maybe conversely. I’m on a team. And I think to myself, man, like, for the last year, I have hated my job and the fall, you know, there’s a couple of different reasons why but I don’t voice that to anyone, right? Don’t find a diplomatic way to bring it up.
So if we’re not honest we can’t get on the same page and a team that has different agendas. It’s not going to succeed for a company to succeed. The key people on the team have have to be moving in the same direction, we can get to what we do in a little bit. But I think it’s almost undeniable that. If everyone is different agendas, write the energy of the company is going to move in eight different directions simultaneously. And that’s just not how you grow a business.
Absolutely. That’s her. That’s a really good point there. I’m, it’s funny, you know, when you talk about, like people, keeping everything secret. I remember, I had one, one of the jobs. I spent 15 years in corporate, one of the jobs. I was there for five years. I loved it. I got a better opportunity. So I was leaving just on very good terms and remember talking to my manager at the time and could asking his opinion about it. And when I told people other people that are like, why would you tell your boss that you want to leave? Like, that is so crazy. And I’m like, well, why wouldn’t I? But it’s such a, it’s such a pervasive mentality in the business, especially in the corporate.
We know big, a bigger companies. I would say more in my experience, but it was, it was such an interesting thing that that’s how people. Yeah, I kind of want that has to do with honesty.
Can I give you another example?
Yeah, we’re this is powerful.
So, you know at Fireside our focus is shortening, the B2B sales cycle, which at first glance heels a little disconnected from this conversation about a more human business world, but it’s actually very connected because one of the reasons that businesses can be bad places to work, one of the reasons that they don’t grow as much as they should is that people aren’t honest with each other, that businesses aren’t as human as they can be. And so at fierstein.
Oh, there’s a whole bunch of companies out there that are all about, you know, doing coach. An HR within organizations HR Consulting to build better cultures and that is very, very valuable work.
What we do at Fireside is we build human-centric sales, processes for us. It’s about learning to connect with your ideal client on a human level. It’s about finding ways to not let our Humanity, keep us from growing businesses. But instead to step into our humanity and by doing that, you know, we show up in sales conversations.
It In marketing, we show up in a very different way when we show up with our full humanity and our full authenticity, beautiful things happen. It’s a courageous way to be in business because sometimes it’s easier to not tell the truth and not be honest.
But if you do tell the truth and you speak from a place of courage and authenticity, beautiful, things happen, and that’s the way business is supposed to be done. Hmm. I love that. And I absolutely agree when you’re talking about the businesses you work with, you know, just kind of a reference, what size businesses is this. It does this work for so for our focus is businesses that sell at a very high price point. They usually need to have a team of, at least, I would say, 10 people, most of the companies we work with typically have a team at between 10 to 150 odd people. And it’s for businesses as I say that sell at a very high price point, our focus is, you know, for any company that sells B2B, they need to build relationships with decision makers, but it’s a tricky thing to do.
Historically companies have whole sales teams. Voted to building relationships to work their way up, an organization’s hierarchy to ultimately get to the decision maker to make a sale.
Our focus at Fireside is re-engineering the podcast so that you can build relationships directly with c-suite leaders going right to the decision-maker, building an honest authentic, human relationship with them. That way, you don’t have to spend years working your way up in an organization’s hierarchy.
And what’s remarkable is I know with your audience. Jane, you know, you’ve got a lot of Of solopreneurs, you can create courses. Many of them do really, really important work in the world. And if they want to sell into an organization, whether it’s a course, whether it’s Consulting, they don’t want to be spending, you know, they want to limit the number of hours.
They work. They want to be working 80 hours a week, right? So we can all live a more human business existence. If we focus on building human relationships with the people that matter.
Yeah, and I love how you said that because it’s like it’s relationship first and you also said it Outside of the contacts. I know, you know, when we think about sales, it’s like, we understand the relationship building, but I kind of feel like it’s talked about as a checkbox, like, you mark on the, on the journey to making the sale.
The way I’m hearing you talk about is really, like, the relationship is the purpose, you know, the relationship needs to be one. It’s interesting.
I agree. The relationship needs to be valued in its own right now. It’s important though that we not fall into the Trap of being nice. Just to be nice, right? Human. Chips matter, we also can’t lose our power. So it’s about valuing the relationship for its own sake and using it. As a beautiful way to collaborate at a high level. With extraordinary people like CEOs high-net-worth investors. Think about the people that can really accelerate your business, you know, the people of your dreams that you would just love to meet using a podcast or video cast. It’s much easier to meet them. All those people, those billionaires those High net worth investors.
They are within your grasp, even if your solo. Are in a basement. It doesn’t matter. The relationship can be valued for its own sake and can make you more powerful. Not less. Absolutely. And I love that and I would love for you to talk about your process and how you used a podcast in this strategy because I know I know it and I every time I hear about it. I just get so excited because it’s Unique and it’s personal. I feel like it just feels good to thank you.
Yeah, it does feel good. And if it doesn’t, you shouldn’t do it, right? So basic idea behind the process. Is that in most people think about a podcast or a video cast? It’s a way to build an audience, a way to get your ideas at the world. That’s great.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with that. But especially at the beginning in a, you got to understand that that’s a long. It’s going to take you a while to build a large enough audience, that if you’re selling a ten dollar product like, good luck. It’s right. I see people with business models like that and it’s really hard. One of the probably the most hidden and least discussed advantages of a podcast. Is that Human beings love to be interviewed. Unless they’re a major celebrity, like Elon Musk or someone really really high level.
It’s actually quite easy. If you’re thoughtful about it to get really high level people on to a podcast, to begin a conversation that you can take in any number of directions. So, Step One is, think about the people that you would dream to meet and invite them onto a podcast. And from there.
There’s all kinds of ways that you can deepen the relationship. It could become a referral relationship, client relationship and advisory relationship, but just like it. It’s people that produce, great organizations. It’s people external to your company. It’s not just the people, you hire, those people external to your company that can take it into the stratosphere and a podcast is the most powerful way to build those relationships.
Absolutely. And I’ll stay. So I have this show and I really truly feel. I can reach out to just about anybody with an invite. Now some people of course, may still not the same know, but I just feel like it’s so easy to invite somebody on to a show. There’s like none of the usual shit that can come up with sales often happens in this. Us at least not in this country, or at least not in the space of the process. That’s it.
Exactly, you know, very high level people are careful with their time. They’re not going to just meet with you for any reason Under the Sun. You need a good reason to do it. There’s something about an interview that speaks to our deepest instincts as storytelling creatures as humans.
We love to tell our stories and when we’re interviewed like our conversation right here, it feels incredible for the guests. You’re creating an immense amount of warmth connection. And Trust, I was on the phone with a, on a sales call it my own the other day and someone said, you know, Dan, this is like a, like know, and trust funnel. And I just think to myself. I’ve never describe it that way, but that’s exactly what it is.
Starting here, starting with the like you’re starting with a with a relationship. You got it. Yeah, absolutely.
So for people who are listening and unlike the idea, what are some tips to making this a successful strategy using a podcast in your in your sales funnel? So I’d say that. The first thing to keep in mind is that you only want. This isn’t a fit for everyone. You only want to do this, if you sell at a high price point and to very high level people. So, if you’re a b2c company, if you’re selling a $500 or $1000, course, this probably isn’t the best fit.
So you should start by asking, is this business model a good fit for me. Now, that’s if you want to sell directly though. I should add. Actually, if you want to meet business partners joint, venture Partners podcasts are great. But for the most part, if you want to do direct sales, it’s Companies that do B2B that sell at a very high price point and really value human connection. Those are the most important things to start out. What is it price point out a little bit just because I know that might be different in everyone’s mind.
Yeah, there’s definitely no hard and fast rules, but I would say a minimum of 10 K.
Really? That. That’s the initial advice I’d give people.
Okay. Okay, that’s helpful because I sometimes and I think coming from like investment, like ultra-high sounds to me like a hundred cane above it.
Yeah, wanted to bring it back to kind of a more realistic. I think level for people say, oh, yeah. Okay, you know what? I was gonna say for our company. We often do we do, do six-figure deals and up, and it’s great for that purpose because you’re taking some time out of your schedule and someone else’s schedule to build a real relationship. It’s a high-touch process.
So this is almost the, you know, one of the things I think that works about it is that this is kind of the anti Lincoln spam approach, think about all those bad messages. All bets are getting from on LinkedIn from people that are kind of pretending. They don’t want to sell us something, but then immediately, as soon as we accept the connection request, they catch us. This is the anti version of that, right? So this is taking your time to really get to know another human being. I’m truly understand their needs and challenges before you pitch anything.
And so, the next tip that I would give the audience changes to think about how you can craft the interview. So, as to give your interviewee a phenomenally Rich experience that they I’ll remember for a long time. That’s how you build a foundation to transition things to any other kind of collaboration and then may be the other thing I’ll throw out there.
Is it so important to be honest with people. So when you’re talking about the interview you can say that this interview isn’t just to create content for an audience. Although it is that it’s also to explore a potential collaboration. You can tell people that when you interview folks that often no become referral partners clients advisors you interview.
Both for their Is a creating content and exploring collaborations with Extraordinary People. I love the clarity, the clarity up, front. I keep bringing up Investments, but one of my, one of one of my vp’s, I worked for in the investment firm. We’d have people come in and Pitch their stuff and he always said, like start with the punch line. Tell me what you want me to do. Tell me what this is going to be about before you ever get into the rest of your pitch. And I feel like this is kind of like that. Like, let them know what this is all about. About don’t don’t make me. Don’t make them work to figure it out. Don’t, you know, don’t make it misleading.
It’s like, here’s the plan. Here’s the punchline go.
Yeah, and it makes it much easier to transition things to a sale if it feels right.
And remember, we’re talking about high level people. So at first glance a process, like this can seem like, it’ll take time. Some people that come to us say, this sounds great and it is saying it, isn’t it take a while to interview people? And I say no, no. No, this is actually about shortening, the B2B sales cycle. When you’re working with very high level CEOs and you get them on the phone. They are careful with their time. So you want to be very clear about your intentions and what’s in it for them as well as you.
Yeah, you know, I’m just thinking about the time, you know, I spend with my guests. This is this is 20 minutes that I would probably not be able to get of many people’s time where we’re just kind of chatting and getting to know each other really and you know also providing valuable content for our audiences.
But yeah, there’s like there’s I have you cat. I’m holding you captive. I’m holding you hostage for a certain period of time in this, in this experience that it like gal. Like you said, the hilum, Where’s the key to the jail cell, right?
Be like we didn’t know this was a hostage situation. But you do you get you get a very captive audience for a certain period of time with somebody that that it’s not likely either. One of the other interesting things about your model that I know we chatted about before is like it’s not just about the person you’re interviewing but it’s about their network of pretty hard hard to reach people to so I’d love for you to dive into and that thesis.
Yes, with pleasure, sir.
It’s really important. Whenever you do any kind of lead generation that you not think about the human being as just someone to sell to their human being and you need to Value them as even being. And there can be all kinds of collaboration that could emerge not everyone as a client.
Not everyone, you interview, not any, not everyone, in any Legion process that you meet is an ideal client. You have to respect that. Now, even if someone isn’t an ideal client, they might be a great potential referral. They might know a whole bunch of your ideal clients. And the reality is CEOs high-net-worth, investors billionaires, these people tend to know each other.
So you meet just a few through an interview process and you can find yourself very, very quickly meeting a whole bunch more and, you know, there’s two things to note, you know, are kind of headline goal at our business. We get our clients 50, very high-level Connections in three months.
Wow, so this can really really Skyrocket your Work, very, very quickly.
Then the second thing is referrals are gold in any kind of service business, their absolute gold. But the tricky thing is that if you ask someone, you don’t know all that. Well, for a referral, it’s a very high friction. Ask someone needs to know and trust you a lot to be an unpaid salesperson for you to go speak to people. They know and say, hey Dan or Jane, they’re good at what they do.
You should participate in a sales conversation with them. Like, that’s a high. No one wants to go to sales car relations, that’s what I would call a high friction ask. But if instead you say, hey Jane, you know, my friend, Dan runs an interview show and he has an audience of 8,000 people. And if you participate in the interview show, your ID is going to be broadcast to an audience that CEOs business owners Executives, that makes everyone look good. It’s a low-friction ask who is going to turn that down. Right?
And so what you want to be doing is creating as much as possible in any Is sales funnel. You want to reduce friction. So this process can work like gangbusters for referrals.
Mmm. I love that. I love that, and I look at what’s coming up for me is, you know, we’re often told to give valid to give a lot of value in the sales process and most people interpreted as like here here’s here’s a bunch of free shit which is which is fine.
It has, it has a place in the final but what you’re doing here is you’re giving him value him or her value in a very different way the value to them now is exposure. Its credibility. It’s a platform for them to speak their message. So can I feel like it fits it fits in that value stopped, but just in a very different and unique way, thank you.
I agree. And I think it’s important when you make decisions about which business model to choose all business models have value to them.
One of the things that I think should weigh in your mind. If you’re considering this one is whether you one of your big strengths is human connection. So if ultimately you don’t love spending time on the phone or really going deep People, this probably isn’t it fit? But if you’re an executive coach, for example, you want to be coaching CEOs. This interview is a perfect opportunity for you to demonstrate your gift of conversation.
Hmm. If think about whether a business model when you’re choosing between them is going to enable you to demonstrate your strengths. And so this is for people that love conversation and I’ll confess I’m an only child. I loved one on one conversations. I’ve got all kinds of one-on-one friends. It’s a perfect fit for me because So, I just love the warmth and connection that comes to really getting to know someone this way.
Hmm, that makes so much sense. I love that. Yeah, it’s a feel-good. I mean, I’m sure there are people who don’t like it, but I just feel like, it’s a feel good thing is even as an introvert. I love say, my love won’t one-on-one conversation. Don’t put me in a group soon, but one-on-one conversation. I can I can handle pretty well.
So for and I think we mentioned, I just want to get a little specific in the industries because we touched a few but I just want to give some more examples. So people can kind of like identify themselves. I’ll Executive coaching. Love that.
Yeah, I think it’s that’s an amazing category. This would be so good for high-net-worth financial Financial advisory same. I know a lot of them work with business owners, exiting business owner.
So again, great great way to connect with that audience. Who else is this really amazing for? So my wonderful and Brilliant business partners, a Management Consultant, this works brilliantly and management consulting, because, you know, management Consultants need like, no one ever wants a consultant.
No one is going under the world thinking I need to hire a Management Consultant unless they get Mackenzie to rubber-stamp a board decision. It doesn’t happen very often. But as a Management Consultant, if you can get in a position where through conversation you can demonstrate your value, right? This is a powerful process.
So management consulting is another field. It often, you know, it companies are selling very high-priced services, Enterprise software at a very very high price. Point is a good fit for this and my old, my old profession.
You know, a lot of law firms thrive on referrals, but they’re not, especially strategic about how to generate them. So those are a bunch more industries that this is effective for.
That makes so much sense. Absolutely.
Yeah, they’re all kind of, very people, people oriented relationship oriented and high-priced.
Yeah, and you’re selling to, to Executives really, you want it.
So, so how can people learn more about your process and connect with you?
Sure. So, I would suggest going NG to Fireside strategic.com / s TT c s. So that’s Fireside strategic.com /s T, TC s and there you’re going to get a deeper description of the process, what you can get from it. And there’s also an application form, which you can fill out, if you do want to explore with us, whether this could be a fit at your company and if you do so it’s, you know, it’s were extremely low pressure that any sales conversation were.
We’re selective about who we work with. We are not cheap. So if you do want to explore, please keep that in mind, but you’re welcome to do. So over at that URL and otherwise, you can check out our interviews, which go on LinkedIn. You can look at our website as well. Firesidestrategic.com to find out about about what we’re up to, and just always eager to connect with people that want to fly the flag for human Connection in business. Because, you know, our alternate mission is to build a business. A world where people truly care about each other, and we’re, all of our best selves can can come to the fore. So if that’s your mission, please, if that resonates with you, please feel free to reach at any time.
I love that. Yeah. I love that call for Humanity coming together. That’s that’s pretty powerful. And I know a lot of people can of Wahoo watch and listen to this show are have that mindset, which I’m honored that there that they listen to these and so amazing.
Well, thank you Dan always. So great talking to you. Thank you so much for sharing this wisdom I, I love. Like I just, I am such a huge fan of business model of this business model. I think it’s, you know, anything that can feel good in the sales process is always a always, a bonus bonus for me.
Absolutely. It is such a pleasure always to connecting, can’t wait for the next conversation and to learn more from you as well.
And to anyone watching really, really appreciate you and wish you the best awesome.
Well, great chatting will talk to you soon.