Bob Lambert | Helping Customers Through the Buying Process


What does it take for a salesperson to be excellent in the eyes of a buyer? And how does it tie back to what research and experience show about how buyers make a decision? Bob Lambert’s career spans sales and marketing. He has been a salesperson, sales manager, run a marketing agency, sold customer data services and now provides sales training.

We also talk about:

· Bob’s Law of 20 for networking and finding prospects

· Building relationships

· How understanding the customer applies to everyone who touches your customers

And more.

Listen now

Mentioned in This Episode:

Socratic Exercize 6

Michael Webb:                 B2B sales and marketing works to find the highest quality prospects, reach decision-makers and sell value. Operational excellence uses data and systems thinking to make changes that cause improvement and eliminate waste. My name is Michael Webb and this is the Sales Process Excellence podcast. In the next 30 to 40 minutes, we’re going to destroy the myth that these two groups conflict and show you how to bring both strategies together to create more wealth for your company and your customers.

Michael Webb:                 Hello, this is Michael Webb and I am thrilled today to be able to introduce you to Bob Lambert. Bob is the president and I believe co-founder of Samurai Business Group. Is that right, Bob?

Bob Lambert:                     Yep.

Michael Webb:                 Okay. Boy, we’ve known each other since my days back in Chicago more than 10 years ago. Please tell the audience what Samurai Business Group does and how you got to this point.

Bob Lambert:                     Well, thanks Michael, first of all, for having me on. You’re right, we’ve been friends and trying to conquer this thing called sales and metrics and all the rest of it, but Samurai Business Group was started up in ’01. It was my fourth startup company, which is no longer a startup, and for the last close to 20 years what we’ve done is flipped the coin on the whole sales process, and that is about how people buy versus how you sell them. I jokingly tell people today, I feel like Willie Nelson, that it a 25 year overnight hit. Because all of a sudden he was a big … We’ve been talking about this for over 20 years and all of a sudden we’re seeing the direction of things starting to change at the buyer’s journey.

Bob Lambert:                     It’s about the buy and all that stuff. But what we set out to do, Michael, back then was to change really what classic sales training had been. My partner and I had been through a lot of sales training, a lot of leadership training, and we just kept thinking it was going against what we really basically want to do, and that was relationships with human beings. Because when you boil it all down, and the whole essence of what we’re talking about here is exactly that, because human beings are buying something. And so through neuroscience and behavioral science and a lot of studies, not our own stuff because it wasn’t self-serving, is taking the viewpoint of the buyer when they’re making this decision to buy. What that really started to manifest itself in, there is a process. There’s a system people go through all over the planet pretty much all the same type of way that they go through it, but there’s no two people that do it the same way, and you won’t do it the same way a second time.

Bob Lambert:                     So there’s a discreet way that you go through this process and we blocked that out in our buying decision model. We’ve had the privilege, the honor now of being affiliated with DePaul University for over 18 years and their Center for Sales Leadership, that is the number one sales curriculum in the country now, has been for some time leading the charge. When we started with them only 30 colleges and universities had even a sales class or curriculum. Today there’s over 160, so we’re very proud of the fact that we were invited in to be a part of that curriculum and then also invited in about six years ago to put together a semester-long case based on the buying decision model that we created.

Michael Webb:                 It’s a very successful track record. I’ve already got three questions here in my head I want to ask you about. Let’s start with this one that we had mentioned before we got on the show here. The idea is, there’s been some substantial sea changes in the market, in the economy in the last 20 years, and as you’re pointing out, the way that you sell seems to have changed. What are the big changes that you’ve seen, and why are they such challenges?

Bob Lambert:                     Well, without question, 1995 was a pivotal turning point. When we published the book in 2010, How to Put the Wind Back in your Sails, it really was an introduction of how the internet has impacted sales. It’s really mitigated the whole sales process, the whole upfront process. Up until ’95 if you want to buy something, generally speaking a buyer would … I’m talking about the marketplace and corporations. Business to business, they would have to invite salespeople in to get the information because they had the keys to the kingdom.

Bob Lambert:                     That turned dramatically with the internet, with all the Google and the information that’s available now. Buyers know more about you, your products, your services, your competition, your pricing before you even walk in the door. So you better be prepared when you’re walking in there to find out through a discovery process what is it that the buyer is really looking for? They’ll tell you, if you’ll let them. Our method facilitates that. When you start thinking about focusing on human beings and not on products or services, that was a big tipping point, because buyers today want to understand what you’re going to do for them. What’s in this for me if I do business with you? They’re not doing any business with anybody they don’t trust. So fundamentally what we get to is the relationship, because corporations don’t buy, people do. They buy for their own reasons and they buy in their own self-interest.

Bob Lambert:                     And so through the body of research and the work we’ve done, and of course thousands of people we’ve had through the program, this becomes really a self-revealing thing, once people start to realize when you get on that side of the table and you make this a joint thing, it’s not a we/they thing, it’s us versus them, it’s we together are going to help to find some kind of a resolution, a solution to some of these issues you’re having. What we’ve identified is three apparent reasons why somebody will even have a conversation with you that lead to three what we call compelling reasons why they’ll buy. We know now through empirical data and also studies now that people buy do buy emotionally; they intellectually justify that decision. What that looks like is basically that when you are emotionally connected to something and you can talk about any of a number of things that you’re emotionally connected to, even the most hardcore procurement agents I’ve interviewed and been with will relate that, because when I start to share with them, the salespeople have called in, the ones you bought from what is distinct about them?

Bob Lambert:                     Invariably it’s a human connection. It’s an emotional connection that they go to, why they buy from these people. It could be that they’ve got my back, they always have my interest at heart, they bring me new information. They are constantly thinking about us and ways to improve the business, outside of the scope of what they may even provide. I published an article. This is a freebie for anybody who wants it, called Beyond Trusted Advisor, Becoming a Trusted Asset. In that I layout basically what this thing is and what it’s about to become a trusted asset to somebody. Viewed as useful and valuable person on advantage and a resource relationship or build a mutual trust. Character and confidence go beyond business, proactively provide business-building opportunities from divergent resources.

Bob Lambert:                     Their guidance has proven profitable and expanded the scope as a result or a resource to the customer. They go beyond what is expected. They establish a level of trust through honor, service and commitment. This is global research stuff that we got on the side of buyers talking about … There’s only 4% of salespeople around the world that are rated as being excellent. When we’ve dug under the covers to that and understand why did you rate these people excellent, they didn’t use the word salesperson, they didn’t even use the word account manager or anything. They use part of our staff, part of my team. Then the three words that really stuck, or the three descriptors that really struck to me was, they’re a trusted advisor, they’re a trusted asset and they’re a trusted resource. That goes with beyond sales.

Michael Webb:                 Oh, absolutely. It goes to all sorts of things. So let me switch the context just a little and now ask the question of the challenges that places on the salespeople. If I’m a young person and I’m in this profession of sales and I’m working for a company, there’s some huge challenges I face. My company may or may not understand that the market has changed from 25 years ago. Right? And the company may or may not make it easy for me to understand the customer and build the trusted advisor relationship. As you’ve talked with these folks who come into your classes, because you do public classes as well as corporate classes, what do you think are the biggest challenges that salespeople themselves face?

Bob Lambert:                     Well, without question, getting prospects. That’s the number one thing on all their minds is how do I get better prospects? How do I do a better job of prospecting? How do I get in front of decision-makers? All the typical classical things, and I’m still absolutely amazed at how people are still pushing cold calls. It’s the biggest waste of time I’ve ever seen, and today more so than ever before, because (A) people don’t use the phone like they used to; (B) voicemail is almost going the way of the dodo bird. People are getting bombarded and overwhelmed with all kinds of marketing campaigns. It’s just unbelievable to me. I get solicited all the time from marketing people. How they got my email, or whatever. For them to be able to market me, and I think to myself, why would I use you if you’re violating a basic trust premise in the first place? I never gave you permission to even talk to me about this stuff.

Bob Lambert:                     So I don’t know about you, but my inbox, I’ve really clamped down on it. But what’s happening now is we just become numb to all this. So today, personal relationships and getting to people through networks and getting through personal introductions and personal referrals, that’s where the game’s at. And that takes time. What I’d share with you is, the new generation of young people coming in, they grew up as digital natives and they don’t understand this whole personal relationship thing and how to go about that. Their communication skills are tough. I’m not being discouraging about this. This is well documented. But that’s one of the areas too that we’re working with a lot of these young people on, is to basically get in front of people, have a real meaningful conversation, show empathy and compassion and interest in other people.

Bob Lambert:                     There’s a lot being talked about EQ and IQ today. Well, guess what? Big companies are starting to realize that that’s a huge part of what they have to do. Not only from the internally within the organization, but externally certainly with clients or prospects or anything else. They’ve got to get this thing nailed down. I would share with you that the digital revolution, while it’s been great and it’s given us a lot of information, a lot of data and everything like that, it’s almost too much now. There’s kind of a pushback now. I was just reading an article where people are just getting themselves off the grid. They’re tired of it. So the real challenge is really, how do you now get to these people that are decision-makers?

Bob Lambert:                     They’re out there. They’re checking things out. LinkedIn has gone a big way. I was in the first a hundred thousand on LinkedIn when I saw that thing coming, because I go back to the days where I was hiring clipping services. I was doing everything I could possibly do to be relational to people that … I have what I call Bob’s Law of 20, that you touch 20 people in your database per week. Now the math that comes out of that is absolutely astounding, because a lot of people don’t really realize the geometric explosion of getting to people. Here’s how it goes, Mike. You touch 20 people a week. The average work weeks in this country are 48. That’s 960 touches to somebody, and it’s actually that, touch. I don’t care if it’s carrier pigeon, drone, email, texts, voicemail, whatever. You are touching these people that you already know they’re in your database or that you’ve got introduced to.

Bob Lambert:                     When you think about this, it is well documented that the average adult person in the United States today knows over 250 people. Now, when you think about 960 touches times 250, that’s a quarter of a million people. People don’t realize how these nodes in population explode. Now you can cut that in half, 250,000, 240,000, 120. Cut it in half again, that’s 60. Cut in half again and I’ve gone four layers deep to 30,000 people. Maybe there’s somebody within 30,000 people need to know you and you need to know them. I’ve been doing that for a long time.

Michael Webb:                 Doesn’t it depend on how you communicate your message? A message that communicates something that from the other person’s point of view is something that they really want, it’s going to be way more effective than something … And that can be hard to come up with. Right?

Bob Lambert:                     Well here’s the deal. You have to understand something. These aren’t just business contacts. This is everybody you know, because what I have found overdoing this a long, long time is people shut down, and oh my cousin’s a plumber, or Joe is this, and Shelly’s this, and they can’t help me. You’re wrong. You do not know who somebody knows. And that’s what I really help people understand. And by the way, these touches are touches. It could be an anniversary, happy birthday, could be an article that somebody just saw. All you’re doing is touching them. What is amazing about that, what happens out of that. This just happened me, guy that I hadn’t talked to you for about three or four years. I left him a voicemail, he got right back to me. Something like this, and I said, I start on that side of the desk. I always want to engage them in the conversation. What’s going on with you? Well come to find out, he had another child, they’ve got a grandchild, all these other things that go on down and he was in a job transition. I was able to understand what was going on with him and how I could help him.

Bob Lambert:                     Well, invariably the conversation then tipped back on me. He said, hey Bob, what’s going on with you? Briefly, I’m glad you asked. I could use your help. And I shared with him some of the initiatives that I’m doing and how he might be able to help me. Now, his contacts and everybody he’s got, I sent him a couple things, and now he can take and virally get that out to other people that know him and trust him and will read that stuff. And all of a sudden through that halo of trust that he has with other people, now I’m being introduced into his network.

Bob Lambert:                     A real good example of this was, a number of years ago I got invited in to do a big conference in DC. It was an international conference and it was over Memorial weekend. I’m thinking, why in the world are you planning some on Memorial weekend? Well a lot of these people were from outside the United States, so it wasn’t their holiday. With that I got this gig and I’m going to be in front of thousands of people doing a workshop and all that kind of stuff, it was great gig. I’d wanted to do a CEO forum group, a peer group that the following week is, we have a check-in as to how … Once a month we check in with each other, how we’re doing both business and family-wise. And so it came my turn. I said, hey look, I just scored this big gig. It’s going to be over Memorial weekend, months away.

Bob Lambert:                     But I’ve got a bit of an issue with it. My young son and my family, we’re going to take … Because I’m being put up in a five star, I want to take the family too and make it a nice holiday for us in DC. And so my young son, knowing that I was this networking guy and I knew a lot of people, he says, well dad, I don’t suppose you can get us a personal tour of the White House? Wow. There’s a challenge. So in that meeting, I shared with them, I got this gig, but here’s my challenge. My young son wants me to try to be able to get a personal tour of the White House while we’re there. I don’t suppose anybody sitting at the table here would know somebody like that? The guy sitting directly across the way from me, Scott, said, yeah I do. I was just there in DC, spent 20 minutes with Barack and Michelle and the kids and had a personal tour of the White House. I’m looking at him and my eyes are bugging. I said, how in the world did you do something like that? He says, my college roommate was the director of tourism at the white house. I said, hey, I don’t suppose you could help a guy out here, could you? And sure enough, that was the introduction that was me to be able to do that.

Bob Lambert:                     It’s those kind of things, Michael, that people don’t really understand how all this stuff works. That’s just one example of now that you put my lap here is what’s the challenges today? That’s one of the biggest challenges, how do you get to people? And it’s not about you, it’s about them. To your point, what’s the message? If you’re doing it as far as an outbound message, trying to communicate, I’m simply advocating just touch people. Touch people you know, and you’ll be surprised what can come back to you out of that.

Michael Webb:                 But obviously touching them with something that’s of value to them is going to be more effective than something that’s not.

Bob Lambert:                     Well, guess what? It’s of value to somebody if it’s their birthday and I put the note out there, I take the time to write them a note, a personal handwritten note or something like that. What do you think happens out of that? And again, these aren’t all just pure business contacts. I want people to get their head screwed on straight, that every person is valuable as far as contacts go. You really have to look at it that way as to how can you help them.

Michael Webb:                 Okay, good. So let’s take this a little further because you just touched on something that’s a very profound and universal principle within process excellence or operational excellence, and that’s respect for people. And respect for people means respect for what they think and how they think. And that means having some insight or attempting to learn something about what they want and what they value. So yes, sending someone a nice birthday message and so forth, those are nice things to do, but it strikes me that companies could do a better job to give their salespeople methods of doing this that are highly professional and highly valuable to customers, that attract the kinds of prospects and customers that that company wants. So as an example, let me just run this by you and see what you think about this. One of my clients, and for those of you on the podcast, you’ve heard this story before, it’s a company up in Southern Michigan called Burr Oak Tool. Very technical industry, they sell capital equipment that makes the components of heat exchangers, the radiator fins like you have in your car or your air conditioner outside.

Michael Webb:                 These presses are very customizable, so it takes an engineer to sell it, and the engineer has to do three, four, five, six, seven iterations of the quotations to sell these things. They were coming out with a brilliant new design product that would revolutionize a portion of the industry, and they decided to put up on their webpage a configurator that would allow people to enter some basic information about their production operation. What kind of metal substrate do they use? Are the pipes made of copper or aluminum or some other metal? How many different stock keeping units and changeovers do they do in a shift? Do they run 24 hours a day or two shifts a day or one shift a day? Basic questions like that, and then it would give that customer a cost per part compared to three of their best competitors.

Michael Webb:                 Didn’t price the machine, but it was able to size it within one of the three basic categories or versions of this machine and give them a pretty decent approximation of the cost per part that they would incur. They put that up on the webpage. Now, this is a mature industry. The salespeople know all the companies that buy this stuff. But in the first 90 days … No, I think it was six weeks actually, that this webpage was up there, three engineers from different countries around the world that they’d never heard of before, they’d never met these people, and I think a couple of them were even new companies, filled out this form and they were now qualified prospects for the sales engineers to talk to, and they were ready to talk about specific projects that their companies were doing.

Michael Webb:                 The salesperson didn’t have to make a visit, didn’t have to do two or three or four quotes. A lot of the work was done for them because the company came up with an offer that was valuable to the customers, that helped guide the salespeople to those prospects who were the best ones for them to be talking to right now. That’s what I’m talking about. Does that fit in with your philosophy, right?

Bob Lambert:                     Yeah, absolutely, without question. There’s a lot of different paths to get to to the destination. I’m not advocating that this is the end-all and be all. I’m saying it’s part of the mix of things to be done. The social selling, the social marketing, a website, all these things are in combination. Back in my day when I had my marketing agency, we had four basic disciplines. We had advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and direct marketing. We were basically agnostic to any of those. We took the ones that were going to work best for delivering the result that needed to be done. It’s the same thing that you’re saying right here. If you’ve got great material or stuff that people are going to want to see or hear about, then they’re going to go out and search it. These people are no different than anybody else. They’re going to go out and use the web to search out the type of thing that they need. In this case your client had great content on there. It was obviously something that resonated with these prospects, and they self qualified themselves coming in.

Bob Lambert:                     That’s great. I think it’s wonderful. But there’s other issues out there and other things too that they need to be doing besides just that one thing, to be able to try to get to people. Again, the network is one of the most valuable tools. I’ve been a networker for a long time. I can tell you that 98% of my business is done because of my network. It’s not done because I’m out there cold calling or I’m doing a big social media blast and all the rest of that stuff.

Michael Webb:                 Okay, but a lot of times when people say networking, a lot of times they mean, well, you should go to, what is it? One of these local Knights of Columbus meetings and network there, right? Or the local networking meeting in your town, and what are they called? These business clubs and stuff inside the towns. Is that the kind of networking you mean?

Bob Lambert:                     Well, it’s an accumulation of a lot of different things. There’s a lot of different kinds of … You have affinity groups by way of example, your alumni associations, or any kind of an affinity group, if you’re a gun collector or you happen to be a hunter or you happen to be into soccer, or whatever it might be. Those kind of things are like-minded people coming together. Now when you talk about those kinds of things, so it might be a faith-based organization, might be a political organization, you have people that are collecting together that have a common interest, right? Well, people have an affinity to people who have a common interest. I’m pretty agnostic about the kind of things you do. I have categories of that. I teach and coach this stuff.

Bob Lambert:                     Here’s the kind of things you want to go to. There’s the kind of things you want to explore going to, and not just cutting yourself off, because unfortunately, people put self-limitations on this whole idea of what they’re … Because they’ve got to get out of the comfort zone to do some of this stuff. I’m working a lot with financial services people and wealth management and CPAs and all that. That’s a crowd that isn’t really extroverted. Also engineers, architects, people like that. It’s interesting to me, though, when they get into a group of people like themselves, man, oh man. To stand back and listen to the conversation that goes on there is amazing. Get them out of that element though and put them into something else and man, they clam up. They’re eating their beans and weenies in the corner trying to get out of there as fast as they can.

Michael Webb:                 That’s interesting. So a big shift that’s taken place also then in the last 20 years has been not just the internet and the web pages and the blogs where people … And search engines where people can find you, but the whole social … Web pages like social sites, like LinkedIn and Facebook and others. So there’s a lot of talk now about social selling and social marketing, and you mentioned that in the very beginning when I first asked you to introduce yourself. What’s the difference between that kind of stuff and the face to face kind of selling skills that you typically work on with clients?

Bob Lambert:                     Well again to your point, just like the example you cited where they create content on a web page and people went out and found it, the social media platforms right now and the social marketing platforms, what they really do give you is an opportunity to express some expertise if you’re a subject matter expert, for you to comment on things and put that out there in a way that would draw people or interest people in what you had to say or what you’re about. Not some big commercial message, because like you, Mike, you’re very intellectual and you go deep and people are attracted to that, if they feel that you’re somebody that has credibility and that’s really what that is. It’s really taking your persona and putting it out there and making yourself credible to people. Not being a pitch person, not trying to sell them something. Help them to understand what value you can bring to them, and it can be expressed in an opinion, it could be expressed in a white paper, it could be expressed in a whole lot of different ways.

Bob Lambert:                     But just think about this. We didn’t have that kind of communication. This is global stuff now. You’re now able to get out there globally and show your stuff off if you want to. Now it’s not to be bragging about stuff, but if you truly are a subject matter expert or you have a viewpoint that you want to get across, you have a point of distinction that you want people to know, then certainly this has really expanded the ability for people to go out there and do that. You see all kinds of crazy stuff out there now. It’s amazing.

Michael Webb:                 It was a few years ago I had a chat with a salesperson, found my website, was real interested in stuff that we do here, and he confessed to me he was working for … This was back when I was in Chicago. He was working for a fairly small company, I guess they maybe had 100 employees, and it was a family-owned company, and he was expected to go out and make lots of cold calls. Here he’d found that he could reach people on LinkedIn, so he was in the office and he was working his LinkedIn network, and he was getting in trouble. He was getting in trouble, because the owners wanted him out of the office. And that was a conflict. So sometimes executives, just because of the way they think about sales, they put some blinders on inadvertently. Have you seen that?

Bob Lambert:                     Yeah, without question. I have to tell you, Mike, in all my sales career and my marketing career, the biggest challenges I had were the internal challenges, not the external ones. I loved getting out and meeting other people. Oftentimes there are these barriers and blockades that block you from doing things internally, and you cited, it’s a great example. I’ve worked with a lot of entrepreneurial companies and the entrepreneur isn’t a salesperson. They don’t understand it. They’re usually the innovator or they started the service or whatever. And they don’t understand sales. They don’t understand salespeople, and oftentimes they’re their own worst enemies, because their perception of what that is and the myths that they’ve been drawn into really blocked them from really understanding what it is, and also helping facilitate things, get out of the way. My biggest challenge and when I was in sales management, in the corporate sales management was blocking and tackling for my sales guys with the people above me. It never ceased to amaze me what an impediment they were to doing business sometimes, but it was what it was and you got to be able to navigate that.

Michael Webb:                 That is exactly the experience I had as well. It’s a reason why I think that process excellence is one of the most crucial, critical, most powerful tools that any company could employ, because it provides the framework for other people who are not familiar with sales and salespeople and how business is done in the customer-facing role, it gives them a framework to be able to distinguish value from waste, to be able to say, well maybe they’re not just coin-operated as the old adage goes. Maybe fewer higher-quality deals does make more sense than a full-funnel of low-quality deals. And maybe it’s not just a salesperson’s personality. That’s a mission I’ve been on for almost 20 years now, trying to help executives to define those observable things that can tell you whether the sales department is adding value to customers or adding waste.

Bob Lambert:                     Yeah, and I applaud you for it, Mike. You’ve been out there in a desert shouting to the roof about this kind of thing, and you have my I admiration, because I think the tipping point is coming. More and more of the stuff we’re seeing, like you shared prior to the interview, these scenario-based things that are coming, BI, business intelligence, a lot of that is coming around to this when you get into the analytics and good data. When I was in the data game, basically information that you don’t turn in the knowledge that you can execute on is zero, it’s worth zero. That’s where I see there’s a bit of an issue today, because the plethora of information that’s out there today, the data is just unconscionable. I can’t even imagine, we had a data facility down in Tyler, Texas that was like the Pentagon, and it housed all of the US household data. They also had government data and all the businesses back then when I was doing this, back in the late ’90s. It was an enormous amount of data. I can’t even imagine or even fathom what it would be like today with all the stuff that’s on the internet and all the other data. It’s very much a challenge.

Michael Webb:                 Yeah. I like the old comparison, information versus knowledge, and what you’re after is wisdom, right? You’re after what’s the best way to create a win for the customer and for us. That requires a lot of context and it requires … There’s a lot of layers I guess and nuances to that. In a business, you want the value-creating part to be baked into the business, not just between the sales people’s ears. You want to make it easy for salespeople to create lots of value.

Bob Lambert:                     That’s why a lot of times when I go into companies we take the swath of and the approach that anybody that touches that customer is in sales and business development. So literally we’ll go into the sales department, outside sales, inside sales, customer service. I’ve even been in the accounting department training people on certain modules that we train that are relevant to their job. As you know, we implement the buying decision model to the Socratic method, so teaching them and coaching them with Socratic method. Also, how to understand the behavioral style of the person you’re dealing with. We use DISC to help them understand that and navigate that. We keep it simple for people to do that. We’re not trying to turn them into amateur psychologists. It’s amazing, what we found is people coming back and say, guys, do you realize what you have here?

Bob Lambert:                     I say, well, we think so, but what? I had a guy telling me several years ago, he says, I got my relationship back with my teenage daughter because of what you taught me. These are life skills, Mike. That’s why I try to tell people, look, this goes well beyond business development, sales or anything. These are life skills. Being able to ask great questions, being able to shut up and listen, those are the two biggest things when I lecture at Northwestern University in our entrepreneur class. I have a whole exercise around this that I do with the kids. I tell them also, if you get this right, you’re going to be able to win prizes and money at the bar by doing this little exercise. And of course they’re all ears then. But those are the two things. I said there’s two basic principles here. If nothing else you take out of here, ask great questions and shut up and listen.

Michael Webb:                 So we’ve been going on here for a little over a half an hour. Now let me ask you this question about that little exercise, because I’m intrigued. Is that something that you could write out in a paragraph or two?

Bob Lambert:                    Sure.

Michael Webb:                 So if people are listening to this podcast and they would like to find out about that, then we can post it up on the web page of this podcast. You and I’ll prepare it after the call. Is that fair?

Bob Lambert:                   Absolutely. Absolutely fair. Just in a nutshell really quickly, what it is is basically I write something on a piece of paper. This has happened to me down at Northwestern University where I have a whole room full of kids, 70 to 80 kids, and I’ll write something on a piece of paper, and before I even explain what this is all about I say, okay, you got two minutes to ask me any question you want, except for one. You can’t ask me directly what I wrote on the piece of paper. But you have two minutes to ask me any question you want. I will answer it as truthfully as I can, as to what I wrote in this piece of paper. Then I take them through the Socratic method as to how it does, and I got to tell you something. It’s profound. It is absolutely profound how it changes the way they do things.

Michael Webb:                 This is going to be great then. This is super. Thank you very much for your interest in talking with me on the Sales Process Excellence podcast. I know that there’s a lot of people, especially ones in the Chicago area perhaps, that might want to know more about Samurai Business Group and what you do, so how could they get ahold of you?

Bob Lambert:                     Well you can get ahold me several ways. I respond to emails, which is That stands for Samurai Biz Group. They can go out and visit our website, There’s also a free white paper that you can download. What do customers really want? That we published out there, and also you can reach me by phone. If somebody wants to contact me by phone, they can. 847-922-1498.

Michael Webb:                 Super. Bob, thank you very much. We’ll be back with the next edition of the Sales Process Excellence podcast.

Michael Webb

Michael Webb founded Sales Performance Consultants to create a data-driven alternative to the slogans and shallow impact offered by typical sales training, sales consulting, and CRM companies. Michael helped organize and delivered the keynote speeches for the first conferences ever held on applying Six Sigma to marketing and sales. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Comment:

Verified by MonsterInsights