6000+ Word Transcript & Video: John Barrows On Staying Top Of Mind in Long Deals - Nudge.ai - Relationship Intelligence for Sales

6000+ Word Transcript & Video: John Barrows On Staying Top Of Mind in Long Deals

By Jaxson Khan in Social Selling

Our co-founder and CTO Steve Woods did an interview with sales influencer John Barrows on how to use AI insights to drive progress in long and complex deal cycles. Topics of conversation included on how to stay top of mind and how to develop a relationship with a buyer. The conversation with John also brings forward elements from our series on how to #HoldtheHustle.

We’ve included the full video recording and transcript for you below:

John Barrows Video Recording

Transcript

John Barrows: Cool, all right everybody. Good afternoon, this is John Barrows with Make It Happen Monday. Hopefully everybody is having a fantastic day today and ready to kick off Monday strong, and also had a fantastic weekend. I had a great weekend because my Bruins and Celtics won, and they are pretty deep into the playoffs right now, so I’m pretty happy about that.

I want to introduce Steve. I’m really excited here to have Steve on with us. Steve is the CTO at Nudge.ai, and Steve, could you give the team a little bit of background, or people who are listening a little bit of background here about where you’re coming from and then what you’re doing at Nudge, and what Nudge is all about?

Steve Woods: Sure, glad to. Thanks for having me, John. It’s exciting to be here. My background, been in the general revenue space for a while. The first startup I did was a company called Eloqua in the marketing automation space. Really took marketing as part of that journey sort of from an arts and craft discipline in the late ’90s, early 2000s to the marketing automation driven, NQL funnel, analytics, data, process discipline that it is today. Eloqua and a few other players in the marketing automation space were sort of the big foundational pillars there. I learned a lot in that in terms of how buyers think and the early stages of the journey.

Nudge.ai, which some of my founding team came over to help start Nudge with me, we’re looking at the sales space and see a similar opportunity in sales to really think, “Okay, what’s the big picture of what’s going on in sales right now and how can we play a small part in a transition that might happen?” One of the big pieces there, which I know you and I have chatted a lot about, is that relationships are actually core to getting deals done. Getting into new relationships, growing the trust, building those relationships, staying in touch, understanding what web of relationships you and the team has, but historically they’ve been very, very hard to measure. You can’t really measure them in CRM; you’d have to sort of do a lot of fancy footwork there. The connection tools like LinkedIn don’t give you the key piece which is: how strong is the relationship?

John Barrows: Mm-hmm.

Steve Woods: With Nudge, we dove in and said, “Okay, let’s measure the relationship and then through that help salespeople build relationships and access them, and help sales leaders measure and understand what their team is doing by wrapping analytics around that core piece which is the relationship.”

John Barrows: I love it man. Actually from your perspective, because I think we’re in a similar position in the sales tool world as we were in the marketing tool world, kind of around the time Eloqua got purchased, right? Because you know, there’s typically, hey, there’s a market and there’s a whole bunch of players and then they elevate maybe three, four or five and then there’s the acquisition from the big team. Where do you see us right now? I mean, I know we’re going to be talking about staying in touch with people and how to engage in longer sales cycles and stay relevant, but I’m just kind of curious from my own perspective, where do you see this sales tool market right now as it matures? Are we at the beginning stages of it? The middle? Are we looking at the consolidation phase over the next year or two? Kind of what’s your view on that right now?

Steve Woods: Yeah, I’d say we’re in an exploration phase. I think sales has sort of moved from: this is something that I’m going to do intuitively as a salesperson and there’s no measurement, there’s no tools, there’s nothing involved. We’re out of that phase. There’s a lot of tooling being explored. The reason that I don’t say that we’ve moved out of the exploration phase is I don’t think we’ve really landed on, this is an approach that is going to stand the test of time.

John Barrows: Right.

Steve Woods: If you look as an example, we explored this kind of automation phase, there. Just hammer out the, “Did you get my email, did you get my email, just wanted to follow up.” And you know, it worked for a bit, and then kind of collapsed on itself because it kind of assumed that every buyer was a buyer who had never seen that type of tooling before. You know, first time you send those, it works great. The 138,000th time you send those, eh, not so good.

John Barrows: Yes, right? One, two or three stuck on a rock thing, right?

Steve Woods: Yeah, zombies and skeletons and rocks. Turns out people have seen those tricks before. So I think, you know, great exploration and a lot of really good learnings from the teams that we’ve built and the measurements that we’ve put in place with exploring any of those tools. I don’t think that the space in general has said, “Okay. You want to run B to B sales? This is a process, approach and tech stack that is going to stand the test of time and will be as relevant in five years as it is today.” I don’t think we’re there.

I think we’re exploring. There’s a lot of great tools and great ideas that are coming together in unique ways, but I don’t think it’s quite landed on: this is the answer.

John Barrows: Do you think we’ll get there? Like because, and sorry, the reason I ask is because I think marketing, there’s a certain playbook that you can play with marketing, right? And you know, I think they’re moving toward account-based, those type of things are fine. Then there’s kind of some standard things. Do you think that sales, with where we are with all these different AI and how fast things are evolving, do you think we’re ever going to get to that point where there is kind of a standard best practice approach that will last more than six months to a year?

Steve Woods: I’m going to go with yes.

John Barrows: Okay.

Steve Woods: And I think that’s probably a controversial answer, but I think if you come at it from a perspective of: what observations about the market will remain true over the longterm, you can get there. What I mean by that is one of the big drivers of all the dynamics that’s going on in marketing and sales is the buyers are running their own process. They get their own information; they form their own opinions. We can assume that that will continue, right? Throw that out there as assumption one: buyers will run their own process to the utmost of their ability. They don’t seek out salespeople.

However, the point that is also true is good sellers should have a perspective advantage over buyers. If you know the things that you’re selling, then it should be something where it’s advantageous for me to talk to you and get a perspective and insights how my business, which I might know best, can be affected by your solution, which you know best and we have a meld of the minds and come up with a perspective that I didn’t, as a buyer, have before that.

There should always be that knowledge advantage there. So if you say, okay, for the long-term sales is all about guiding buyers down a buying journey but that guiding can be something that we can really rely on and invest in and double down on, which is understand the journey and apply knowledge and perspective to say, “Hey, here’s a new way of thinking about it. Here’s an idea. Here’s where you might go next.”

John Barrows: Yeah, it’s interesting because I say that all the time. I fundamentally believe that our job in sales has changed so drastically from the day … And I talk pre- and post-internet, right? Like pre-internet, it was absolutely 100% our job to educate on features, functions, speeds and feeds and that type of stuff because we were the only ones that had the information, right?

Steve Woods:  Yeah.

John Barrows: So the buyer didn’t even know that this was an option for them. Now, everything is a Google search away, so and this kind of translates to our conversation here which is I firmly believe it’s our job not to pitch them on anything or try to sell them, but it’s to get them to think. My belief right now is, and I say this all the time: if you are comfortable with where you are right now, I don’t care what job you’re in, what role you have, what industry you’re in. If you are comfortable with where you are, I’m worried for you, because there’s going to be an app that comes out tomorrow. There’s going to be a technology that happens that either erases an industry or makes a job irrelevant, or whatever.

If we’re not paying attention, even if you’re okay right now saying, “Look, status quo right now, I’m good. I got other things going on.” If I can nurture that, throw something out there that gets you to pause for a second and go, “Huh. Maybe.” Then nurture it the right way, now all of a sudden when that does come up to the top, you’re coming to me instead of me pushing on you, right?

Steve Woods: Absolutely, because what you’ve done there is you’ve taken an understanding, you’ve gotten into someone’s head and said, “I bet you this is kind of what you’re feeling right now, what you’re observing,” and you’ve introduced something that wasn’t there before. Here’s a new way of thinking about the world. Maybe not a good way, maybe not a comfortable way. Here’s a new way of thinking about the world, and it’s not a pitch. It’s not a, “Hey, buy my widget.” It’s a pitch of an idea: hey, think about the world this way. That, thrown out there, value-added, allows that sort of nugget of building of trust.

You know, when that moment comes up where it’s like, “Huh, that John Barrows guy was right. It was a little uncomfortable but he kind of made a point and it’s good, okay, what else does he have to say? What else is going on and how can I surround myself with people that think ahead of where I am on this particular dimension?”

John Barrows: And so we’re talking effectively challenger sale, right, because that’s a lot of what challenger sale is built on. Their whole approach of lead with insights, that type of thing. But the things I’ve always found a little bit challenging with challenger sale is that challenger sale tends to pull it all back to how I can help you do that, right? So it’s like, “Hey, here’s an interesting article. Let me share with you how we’ve helped our customers address that challenge.” Right? So that’s the way … I don’t believe that we always have to tie it back to us. I believe that we can share insights with people to get them to think that literally have almost nothing to do with us but really put us in the position.

I guess my question for you is this, is how do you do that in a genuine way without being the sales rep that’s just obviously trying to share stuff that’s … You know, I get a lot of stuff that people share with me that’s kind of like the duh factor. It’s like, “Okay, you know, that’s about as fucking obvious as it gets there. I see what you’re trying to do; you’re trying to show value” and that type of stuff, but it almost comes across as disingenuous, because it’s so duh. It’s like the old school days of going into somebody’s office and looking at their picture on their desk. “Ah, I see you’re a fisherman. I fish too.” You know, that type of shit.

So how do you do it in an authentic way that really does show value? Because I always worry about sharing something with somebody and having you look at … It almost could be worse if you don’t share at all, right? If I share something with you that’s just so stupid or shows my lack of intelligence around what your real interests are, and I know that’s a lot of what Nudge is all about is really understanding what those people’s social footprint is and what they’re trying to do, but how do you do it in a genuine way?

Steve Woods: Yeah, no, and I think you have hit on a fascinating challenge. If I can kind of come at this answer through this interesting combination of humanity and AI, it opens up an interesting area of dialog, which is to say that the duh factor is out there. Right? There are a ton of facts about, “Hey John, you like sales. Let’s talk about sales.”

John Barrows: Yeah.

Steve Woods: I haven’t moved our relationship forwards; I’ve moved it backwards.

John Barrows: Yeah.

Steve Woods: Thrown it in the bucket of ‘kind of an idiot’. So the way to think about splitting the effect of AI on the sales world and the tasks that we as humans still have remaining is around the duh factor. AI is phenomenally good at repetitive tasks: looking into every single person and organization you’re trying to sell to and saying, “Here’s a brief on this person. Here’s a brief on another person there. Here’s a brief on the company that you’re selling to. Here are a lot of facts and potential insights. You’re the human, you figure out what is going to connect.” If I say, “Hey John. You like sales, I like sales too.” The AI wasn’t wrong. The human was wrong.

If I say, “Hey John, you’re at the forefront of research into what the next B to B sales environment is going to look like for the next five years and there’s this really interesting study here that had a data point that’s completely counterintuitive, it’s just this niche paper, I thought you might like that,” okay, well maybe you would. I can see that, and I can put that together as a human and say, “This might work for this particular person. I can get inside your head.” I think that’s what the best salespeople are going to do. They’re going to take a broader brief and turn it into the so what that is going to match that human need for that right level of depth and non-obviousness.

John Barrows: I like it, and yeah, I mean, I got a whole talk track around this. I think we chatted about it beforehand which is, you know, and I stole it from Gary Vee. I’m actually, it’s funny because I’m developing a whole keynote speech around this for that half-hour kickoff keynote and I just did a presentation around it as well. The whole concept of context versus content, right? Gary talks, everybody talks about content as getting content is king. It’s like, fine. If contents is king then context is god, and that to me is marketing versus sales, right? Marketing is content; sales is context. That’s where I believe AI is, right? You’ve heard me say this where it’s I believe AI is going to make good sales reps great, great sales reps incredible, and average sales reps irrelevant.

Steve Woods: Yup.

John Barrows: So I’m going to talk pre- and post- conversation here. Say I’m prospecting into you, so how do I engage with you at that level without being overly annoying and disingenuous, but then once we engage, how do I … kind of the main topic of here is how do you manage that complex deals cycle and staying engaged without touching base and checking in? But let’s talk about prior to, okay? There’s obviously the, “Hey, I’m calling you because that trigger happened,” right? You said, “Holy crap, I’m hiring a whole bunch of sales reps. I need sales training right now,” and you know, you tweeted about it or whatever and I picked up on that and said, “Hey, what’s up, we got to talk,” right?

What’s your approach on the prospecting side of layering in these kind of nuggets of information in and out of your calls and your emails and those type of things? Say somebody was prospecting to you, okay? And they were trying to sell you whatever it was. Something, again, that wasn’t top of mind for you but, okay, it might be something in the future you’d be looking at. How would they engage with you at a level that you would see as valuable, being the CTO of Nudge? I mean, a company who’s on the radar for a lot of people. Fast growing, your background probably dictates a lot of people are looking at you right now, so I’m assuming you get prospected to a lot. What is that prospecting effort that gets your attention these days that includes those sharing of insights?

Do you have an example recently of a rep that shared with you something that got you to pay attention and stop and think?

Steve Woods: Yeah. I think, I mean, to me the key point really is that guiding, right? You know, you go back, you’re taking the tour of the Mayan ruins down in Mexico, and the guide’s not the one that’s pointing out the regular path, right? There’s signage that points out the regular path: go up here, go up here, go up there. The guide’s the one that points out the tiny little rock and says, “Hey, you see that thing with the sun on it that’s a little rock on the side? Here’s a story around that. Here’s why when you’re here and you see and the sun happens, here’s something fascinatingly interesting.” You’re like, “Ah. I would have walked right past that rock.”

That, to me, is really where salespeople have to land. You’ve got to work with the organization to say, “Okay, here’s the main path. Here’s what everyone’s going to go down in terms of discovering the thing that we’re doing, but give us those moments there where we can identify that the buyer is at this phase of their journey and help us encapsulate the story around the tiny little rock.” When they’re at this point in their journey, their mindset is going to be here. Their knowledge level is going to be there; what is the one thing that I can just put in front of you and say, “Hey John, look at the tiny little rock. You’re going to want to think this, this, and this. Go ahead with the journey, enjoy the journey. It’s great. Good to see you on the journey; I’ll see you at the next tiny little rock but for now, look over to the side of the road and understand the history here.”

I think when that comes down to tangible reality, that can be anything from, “Hey, you’re in a trial and given your background, you’re probably going to want to go into settings and turn this thing on.” “Ah, I didn’t know there was a thing. Okay, great. I’ll do that.” Or, “It looks like you’ve had some struggles in this area. There’s actually a really interesting webinar that looks at that area in a lot of depth. It’s 15 minutes, you might want to dive in on that.” It’s navigating that path which is really two parts: understand deeply where the person is on their path and be able to have those little nuggets that make them more successful and more enjoyable on that path.

John Barrows: So let’s define path, right? Because we talked earlier about how sometimes they’re not even on the path, right? Because they don’t even know what they don’t know and this is something for them. Other times they’ve kind of identified this as an issue and they’re moving down that path in a pretty systematic way from their standpoint and we interject. What about the … So is that the path that you’re talking about? The path to a solution for a problem, or the path of their business?

Steve Woods: The path to a solution for a problem.

John Barrows: Okay.

Steve Woods: So if you’re in a business where nobody is engaging in the journey of understanding what it is that you do and how it might help, you’ve got a product market fit problem. Right? Like, well what do you solve for who?

John Barrows: Right.

Steve Woods: If you solve something for somebody, then the next step is understanding how many of those somebodies are where on that journey. The journey is different for every business. Some of them, it’s a lot of reading and the literature-based journey where they’re reading white papers on the theory behind what you do. Some of it, it’s very trial-based; they’re getting their feet wet in kind of a one person version and then a small version of the widget, whatever it is.

The journey is unique per business, but you’ve got to assume that people are on that journey or you’ve got a product market fit challenge that I think most salespeople would really struggle to resolve. But if they’re on the journey, understand where they are and figure out how you can add value to that journey.

John Barrows: Gotcha. Is there any way you can … What’s your … Because I get this question a lot from sales reps who at least think, and I think this is a bad mentality to have, but a lot of times it’s been beaten into them, right? They’re a like to have, not a must have.

Steve Woods: Yeah.

John Barrows:  You know, how do you transition that from a like to … I think from a sales rep’s standpoint, there’s some things we need to talk about, but what are some tactical ways that you’ve been able to figure out, or some suggestions that you could have based on what you’ve been doing these days, of how you can get a rep to get somebody to cross that chasm, to say, “You know what? It’s not just a like to have. This is something I really should be considering.” It might not be …

You know, I forget who talks about it but it’s like there’s air, water food, or something like that. Air, we all have to have or else we die in a minute, right? Water if you don’t have it for a couple of days, you’ll die in a couple of days. Food, you can last four, five days without food, right? So it might not be air, but how do you make a food, which is kind of like to have in some cases, to a must have like water? Is there a ways that you’ve been able to see reps as they nurture relationships be able to make that transition to a client?

Steve Woods: Yeah, so I’d say there’s kind of the short way and the long way. The short way is really storytelling, right? You talk about this a lot. If you want somebody to see things in a different emotional landscape, which is what we’re talking about, right? The emotion of, “Oh my god, I’ve got to have that,” versus, “Eh, it’s interesting. It’s kind of, sure, maybe later.” That is storytelling. That is understanding what emotional hooks are going to get you inside that person’s head. That is having them identify with the characters in the story, and the story is probably going to be about customers that have had that pain.

That’s the short way, and that’s a skillset, and that’s challenging but possible. The long way, I’m reminded of, and I hate to pick on millennials because we’ve all done that, but you know, you interact with anyone in a younger generation. This has been true for every single generation, so it’s just that I happen to be of this age; I’m not saying that millennials are particularly unique in this capacity. I’m sure my generation was too, but you’re giving advice from this perspective of having made the mistake before. Saying, “Don’t go down the hallway. No, nope, don’t go down … This is going to happen, here’s what’s going to happen if you go … Don’t go down the hall. You went down the hallway.”

John Barrows: Yeah.

Steve Woods: And this happened, didn’t it?

John Barrows: Yeah.

Steve Woods: Yeah, it’s happened, right? Some of those experiences of realizing that this thing is important to you as water, it’s very difficult to see in advance until that great educator of experience taps you on the shoulder and says, “You need to consider this.”

John Barrows: Yeah.

Steve Woods: I think that comes down to short cycle versus long cycle in a sales deal. Are you going to have to put the don’t go down the hallway cues in front of the person and have them make the mistake and then come back to you and say, “You know what, you were totally right. I’m sorry, I should have listened.” Okay, great. Or can you tell a story and get them to say, “You know what, you’re right. That hallway is a little darker looking than I would have thought. Good point.”

John Barrows: I like it. Yeah, it’s funny because so with Morgan, right, I hired him and he was an SDR and an SDR manager, so he’s never closed deals. What was funny is like, and I got him on a slow ramp but I’ve got to teach him how to close while going out and delivering and whatever. He got a whole bunch of deals into his pipeline, because we wanted some short term wins, right? So I had him talk to SDR managers, because he could speak that language.

Steve Woods: Yeah.

John Barrows: It was great. He got these awesome conversations, and I knew what was going to happen. SDR managers are not power, you know what I mean? Usually, they’re not the decision-makers, the ones who can have the budget, those type of things. So they always have to go ask for budget. Usually, they’re 24, 5, 6 year old kinds who don’t have a lot of business experience presenting a business case to a VP of sales to say, “Hey I need some money for this even though it wasn’t in the budget.” So he got a whole bunch of deals that were stuck in his pipeline. We analyzed them, and the one common theme was … And I told him earlier, but I didn’t really emphasize it enough. I said, “Power is the key.” If you don’t get to power, the likelihood of your deal … You know, someone, at least engage with that person in some shape or form early on so that you have a tie to them, right? Sure as shit, a bunch of his deals stuck in the pipeline and we looked at all of them and there was like, “Yep, there it is. There it is. It’s no power, no power.”

Now, the ones that did close, power, power, power, power. So it’s like that experience level to a certain degree, and again with a kid … I don’t know, do you have kids?

Steve Woods: I do. They’re only eight and six, so.

John Barrows: Ah, same, well, so my daughter’s seven. It’s that tough part about being a parent, being like, “Oh, don’t do that because I know if you do that,” versus, “You kind of have to experience that.” you know what I mean? It’s like the whole touch the stove, right? Do you let the kid touch the stove and burn their hand and say, “Holy shit, that thing’s hot. I’ll never do that again.” Or do you just tell them, “Don’t touch the stove because you’ll burn your hand.” It’s, yeah.

Steve Woods: I think that sort of, it’s this interesting thing which is: you’re limited by language, right? Like, in your head, you’re like, this is clear as day. I can look at what’s going on in front of me; I can see the patterns. But then you have to articulate, okay, the power is key and don’t touch the stove. Which, they’re not untrue but they don’t capture what’s going on in your head and the emotions and the feeling of the finger on the element on the stove. You can’t put that into language. Even when you go through the learnings, you’re like, “Okay, why did I miss that learning? How would I articulate that?” Like, I would say, “Don’t touch the stove.”

John Barrows: Yeah.

Steve Woods: Right? I wouldn’t come up with anything better, because you’re limited by the medium that we use, which is language.

John Barrows: Absolutely. So we have a few minutes left. I wanted to dive in a little bit more on the latter stages, so now that we have somebody, right, and again I’m going to use Morgan as an example here, but this happens to all of us. “Hey, you know what, this sounds great. Why don’t you touch based in Q3 because we’ve got too many things going on right now.” How does that rep stay connected to that person, top of mind with that person, without touching base and checking in, which is my two least favorite phrases in sales, and also without being the typical sales rep that calls up, “You told me to call you in three months. It’s now three months. What’s going on?” And getting the, “Ah, you know what? Call me in another three months.”

What can reps do to stay relevant and top of mind without being annoying in that stretch if they can’t accelerate it sooner, obviously?

Steve Woods: Yeah, so I’m going to do two things, which is tease apart top of mind and relevance.

John Barrows: Yup.

Steve Woods: So you’ve got to be both, right? You’ve got to remain relevant; you’ve also got to remain top of mind. I think a lot of people try and conflate those, which is to say: the only thing that we can talk about once we’ve had a conversation is the business at hand. Okay, well now you’re just kind of a boring, one dimensional fleck. So why not introduce some of the other topics? The sports teams and the hobbies and the family and things like that. You know, add more dimensionality to it. That’s the world that we’re in, right? You see people’s accomplishments; you see what they’re doing. You see what they’re sharing in social media. Getting in there and cheering that and engaging on that and being a fan of that keeps you top of mind. It does not keep you relevant; it keeps you top of mind.

John Barrows: Right, mm-hmm.

Steve Woods: Through that, you’re able to be somebody that they’re familiar with. You’re able to be somebody that they know, they recognize your name. Then it gives you this opportunity to do the other side, which is to remain relevant. Finding their journey, their company’s journey, the industry’s journey and mapping that back to what might be interesting for them. Finding those little nuggets and saying, “Hey, I’m not trying to ask for a 30 minute meeting. I’m trying to send you something that is interesting.” The only success metric is, hey, if you send it back and say, “Cool, that was interesting.” Boom, I’ve done my job. I’m not going to flip that around and be like, “Oh you thought that was interesting? Why don’t we get on the phone for 30 minutes?” No, no, no, no. I’m okay with that. I know that if I can keep that relationship alive, when it is time you might come back to me.

John Barrows: Yeah, I love that, and that’s where some tactical things for people listening. That’s why I used to use funding, for instance, as a reason to reach out to you. I don’t use funding anymore, because God help that person that’s on that list. Like, once that hits Crunchbase it’s eight million sales reps reaching out, “I saw you got a bunch of money, let me show you how to spend it,” right?

What I do do is I use funding as a reason to let you know I’m paying attention. What I would do is, so you guys got funding. It’s like, “Hey Steve, saw you got some funding. Congrats, hopefully that means something good for you personally and professionally.” And that’s it. No, “Let’s talk about it.” No, nothing like that. Or if I saw you were quoted, and oh, you got an award. Awards are another great thing: “Hey, congrats on that award. I’ve been keeping myself updated on you. Hopefully things are going well.”

Steve Woods: Yeah.

John Barrows: You can even sprinkle in, now is a good time for me, if somebody is trying to stay on my radar, Bruins and Celtics are in the playoffs, right? And they just had a great weekend. So if you wanted to ping me today or even last night or Saturday night and be like, “Hey John, great win by the Bruins, great win by the Celtics, second round,” you know, that type of stuff? Like, it’s a point of, “Okay, that kid paying attention.” That’s not a value add thing, but that’s a top of mind thing. I like the way you put that, you separated those, right? Top of mind versus … What was the … Top of mind versus?

Steve Woods: Relevance.

John Barrows: Relevance. I love those, okay.

Steve Woods: I would say, I mean, the wonderful thing there is slam the door. Make it really abundantly obviously that you don’t want the 30 minute meeting, because as a buyer, you’re like, “Oh crap, this person’s really kind of angling for a meeting and if I reply it’s a trap.” If you’re like, “Hey, awesome, just wanted, you know, I do not want a meeting with you.”

John Barrows: Yeah.

Steve Woods: “I’m not asking that at all; it’s not even implied. Awesome job.” And that’s it. Then you might get a reply saying, “Cool, thanks man. Hope you’re well.”

John Barrows: My last question, I just want to make sure that I’m doing this right, because this is the way I do this. I stay relevant. Two more minutes and then we’ll get off. Is I actually ask people in the qualification phase, where are they on certain things, right? So for instance, where are you on social selling and where are you on artificial intelligence? If you tell me, “Oh yeah John, social selling is top of my list; artificial intelligence is top of my list,” what I go do is I go listen for artificial intelligence and social selling type articles, like on Feedly, that type of stuff.

Steve Woods: Yeah.

John Barrows: Then I track you in Salesforce that says, “Hey, Steve cares about artificial intelligence and social selling.” So when I read a cool article about that that I get some value out of, I run that list and then I share it out and I run a report that says, “Hey, who’s in my VPs of sales and my tier one industries that care about social selling?” And share that article. Is that something that you recommend and is that something that obviously Nudge can help out with?

Steve Woods: Absolutely, on both of those. Yeah. This comes right back to our starting commentary around the duh factor, right? Do that, do the research, but think: who is this person? Do they have a PhD in AI and are you sending them an article that says, “This AI thing might be big?” That’s not going to win you any points, right?

John Barrows: Yeah.

Steve Woods: But if you can do the research, do the relevance and use your humanity to apply the ‘duh factor’, then that’s a golden strategy.

John Barrows: That’s why I think the last comment I’ll make is that’s why where social selling flipped for me is when I started looking at it as educating myself first, and then when I learned something, that’s when I shared it out. That’s where it started, I became much more genuine with my approach.

Steve Woods: Absolutely.

John Barrows: So with that Steve, last words. Where can people find out more about you, more about Nudge, and how can we stay on top of what you guys are doing these days? Because I know you’re doing some really cool shit.

Steve Woods: Nudge.ai is the place to go. There’s a free trial of the premium product. We can educate you on anything further than that. Connect with me on all the social platforms, and glad to join any conversations. Thank you very much, John.

John Barrows: Awesome. No, thanks for coming on, Steve. I think we could probably extend this for another hour, you and I, but let’s maybe do that for another day, all right? So thanks so much for coming on, and thanks everybody for listening. Y’all have a great day, and make it happen. Thanks.

Jaxson Khan
Sr. Marketing Manager
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