EP159: Join the Band - How Sales Professionals Are Like Lyricists
A company’s leadership – the lead singer, picks up the pieces and fills in the holes in a performance. Their drummers keep the rhythm of the deal moving forward so everyone can stay in time. But what about the sale professional making the calls – the lyricist? The correct tone of a single syllable can make or break a conversation before it starts. Corey and Chris continue their conversation with Paula S. White of Side B Consulting. They compare the ways different cultures start a cold call. We have more in common with all of our varying cultures than you may think when we start the call admitting we are an interruption and that we have never met the prospect on the other end. Paula takes us through the skill of being an unexpected listener and where that is valuable in every business encounter. The good news is it can be learned, like a memorable piece of music or a favorite song that takes us back to a favorite memory. Join these sales musicians in this episode, “Join the Band – How Sales Professionals Are like Lyricists.”
About Our Guest Paula S. White is the Leadership DJ of Side B Consulting in New Albany, Ohio. Side B Consulting helps leaders combine their business-minded skills with their relationship-based people skills to more effectively lead their teams.
Full Transcript here:
A company’s leadership – the lead singer, picks up the pieces and fills in the holes in a performance. Their drummers keep the rhythm of the deal moving forward so everyone can stay in time. But what about the sale professional making the calls – the lyricist? The correct tone of a single syllable can make or break a conversation before it starts. Corey and Chris continue their conversation with Paula S. White of Side B Consulting. They compare the ways different cultures start a cold call. We have more in common with all of our varying cultures than you may think when we start the call admitting we are an interruption and that we have never met the prospect on the other end. Paula takes us through the skill of being an unexpected listener and where that is valuable in every business encounter. The good news is, it can be learned, like a memorable piece of music or a favorite song that takes us back to a favorite memory. Join these sales musicians in this episode, “Join the Band – How Sales Professionals Are like Lyricists.”
So what are these challenges that you see in companies? Cuz I would bet that there are folks maybe at the C level who wanna be more in touch with side B to communicate, to retain talent, to inspire more creativity. And you probably have folks who say, Hey listen, I didn't sign on for this. I thought you hired me for my resume. I thought you hired me for my experience. How do you help workshop that out? So they do sing the same song.
So interestingly enough, it again all comes down to culture and you're gonna see resumes changing very, very shortly where some of those things, those side B traits are starting to show up on resumes. They're looking for cultures of accountability, they're looking for cultures that are going to give back. They're looking for cultures who believe in their people. So how do you take what you have now and ensure that everyone is singing on the same page? I think it's just getting in the studio. We have to get all ideas out on the paper or the whiteboard and start coming together as a band and making sure each instrument is represented for their own strengths.
How is that facilitated? Do you expect that the leaders will drive that facilitation? I know certainly that's what your practice is all about, but when the conductor leaves the building such as you and your team, how am I empowered or instilled with this sheet music to make sure that hey, drummer plays this, bass player plays this, et cetera?
That's a great question because after most workshops, people do tend to forget, right? Facilitating something really takes time. And there is a monthly plan that I do connect with the CEO or the leader that put the workshop together to ensure these things are still happening within the organization. But the most important part is really taking the survey for each person to understand what their intentionality and what they are on the inside is brought out. And if that is known by everybody, then we can hold each other accountable to being open-minded creative, to being experimental, to being laser logical. If we have a person who is laser logical, let's use that and let's create it together so that everyone knows what their skill sets are. Yes, it sounds great in a workshop and it can facilitate afterwards. And I tend to take the next six months and we take the next six months to ensure that that continues to go through the organization.
, . No, that's great. I think I keep coming back to this element of having the courage to do it. Yeah, because we read, right Chris, we read a lot of books, we listen to a lot of podcasts, we adhere to the philosophies of a lot of speakers where it's about technique and not necessarily the connection. And certainly what Helen talks about and certainly Paula, what I hear from I understand from what your practice does is really we try to have that catalyst, that spark of that connection. And that's what certain people are better at it than others. How do I develop that connection, that intentionality that you spoke about earlier?
Well first you gotta really understand what that connection is within you. And we talked about that a little bit. It may not be vulnerability. Your connection may be that you are helpful or that you like to experiment with ideas. So understanding yourself first gets to the point of seeing yourself what hasn't been seen before in this survey . And we take those three essential traits and three desirable traits and then we kind of pie fit them. What resonates with you? How are we to get you to be more open-minded because that is what is in you. So how do we get that to connect with your people? And we have different questionnaires and different things that people can do to become more open-minded, right? There's different lessons in all of that. And I think what you're asking mostly is one of the part of the workshops that I absolutely love is understanding how to become an unexpected listener.
There are levels of listening. So the first phase of listening is listening. You go in ready to defend your ideas and all you're listening for is an opening. Next level is active listening. You're gonna actively listen to somebody, show them that you care. But you still have that little ticker tape going down at the bottom of the screen that is in your back of your mind, but you're listening to them cuz they're up on top of the screen . And then the unexpected listener actually reacts on what their people are saying takes the time to do, takes the time to react and do what is being asked of or listening to what they need.
So you have these folks together, you're working with them, you are listening to them hopefully in an unexpected way, but you're finding out that you've brought whatever you brought to the party that day. Also you're just another human being. There's got to be in a pattern to what happens in cuz there's always patterns to what happens and somewhere in a pattern. I always look for that thing that I call the first unit of change. . It is what actually is something that changes, that's concrete that you can say, okay, that actually changed. I could validate it, I could test it, I could be concerned that it's going to change back. That's one of the ways that I can tell that the unit of change is a real unit of change is when it bothers me a little after it happens that I'm concerned it'll flip back whether it's in myself or somebody else. What is it that you are looking for listening for? Probably listening more than looking in a group. Say you've got seven emerging leaders that together you're at the end of the first whatever it is, hour, two hours or sometime when you're hoping that there will be a change of a kind, what is that unit of change? What's the thing you're looking for listening for that you would be worried or concerned later? I hope that doesn't flip back over to side A.
So I'm always listening for diversity of thought. Do I have seven drummers in there or do I have a full complete band? Do I have two vocalists that are dominating the whole session? and I really listen for what does their band or what does their group consist of? What is their talent? And then how can we cohesively work together to bring out everybody's talent to add loyalty and creativity and innovation, right? Because that's really the meat of emerging leaders are that's where you're going to get your creativity, your innovation, your next level thinking for the company to move forward in five to 10 years. The people who are in the seats now are already thinking five to 10 years out. So now we need the next group to start thinking five to 10 years beyond that.
But think about everything. Think about if you could actually, cuz I've been with four companies throughout my entire 30 years, my career. And if you could retain that type of loyalty, that type of belief, that type of innovation for the long haul, what that would do for a company, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and people, the bands that weren't one hit wonders, they have a legacy and we need to leave a legacy for the people that we serve. And so as we continue to grow that the only way that you're gonna do that is by hoping more people stay loyal and not leave the company and have that type of culture.
Interesting. I wonder if Paula, in your practice to that point, if you have I'm sure you've seen CEOs that were more the drummers or maybe the CFO was more of the lead singer which is counterintuitive to I think how most people think, right? Chris, when you have those roles and what have you learned from those type of dynamics that it doesn't necessarily match up with the archetype of the org chart and they're not right outta central casting as you had thought. Marketing isn't the drummer rather it's a financial person. Maybe it's not a good thing to have the drummer be the CFO, but I dunno, maybe it is
Actually the way that I did this and I worked with a neuroscientist, a psychologist, a musician, and myself. The four of us worked together. So we took the position of the drummer because we've been talking about the drummer and we asked ourselves, what is the primary role of the drummer? The primary role of the drummer in a band is to keep the beat, to keep everything moving forward, to keep the song moving forward. So what would be the side a side A is usually the visionary, the forward thinker, the person that is always ready to move and keep moving . So what their side B would be is curiosity, because they need to understand as a visionary what's happening in the market, what's happening with their people, what's happening with their customers. They're always curious to move forward and innovate. So we did this really so methodically that I think it would be interesting to see if it's not based on title necessarily, but what their skill set is. So the lead guitarist,
What is the primary role of a vocalist? I suppose mean if we've all been parts of bands or watching bands at bars where the musicians are incredible, but the lead singer is horrible. And also where the lead singer is incredible and maybe the band isn't up to tune. So I would say it's, it's really the face of the band. It's the identity of the band. Everybody knows Bono up front or Axle Rose up front, right? Or Mick Jagger front I. So I would think it's really more the branding but I don't know. What do you think Chris?
As a singer myself, and this is something I actually even think I react to when I'm here at home. I've got my piano right over there and I play and sing most evenings. And I think as the vocalist, I feel as the vocalist, what I'm doing is I'm telling the story, I'm helping the audiences emotions move with the whole song. Cuz the song includes the lyrics, it includes the tone as the vocalist. I have a bigger range than any of the other instruments in terms of subtlety. I can do more things with my instrument than they can do with theirs.
That is why their side B is advanced business acumen because they do the whole thing when they're on tour, they're providing direction, they're providing clarity, they're getting people set up. They know when the song ends. They analyze the pit balls in the audience. I mean, I've been in a concert recently where the vocalists literally stopped the concert because he saw someone pass out in the mosh pit and get help and get them. So it's that type of brain.
Yeah, that's interesting. It's a funny thing. I mean it's also a big power position. I mean the drummer can drive the thing like an engine, but somebody is gonna decide when they're gonna slam on the brakes, when they're gonna make a hard turn. And there's a lot of power in that. And that always comes from the vocalist. The vocalist also ends up catching and basically gluing things together when it didn't quite work. One of the problems with pure instrumental music is when it doesn't work, when it's a little off. And this is especially true when you're listening to jazz, jazz trios, when it's a little bit off, it's really bad. It falls apart and there's almost no way to catch it. It's like, who's gonna catch it? What are they gonna do? And what you do is you simplify down to something that continues to work. That is you actually lower the qualities so to speak. And jazz, the quality comes not just from the execution but also from the imagination. You reduce the imagination, lower the temperature and let the music come back together. But if you add a vocalist to that trio, when it starts to fall apart, they can actually pull it together with their voice
, and then everybody can get back together with the vocalist without having to abandon their imagination or tone it down. I mean I really like, this is some interesting stuff, so I kinda know Paula, so everybody feels differently about music as a consumer of it, but more similarly to each other than the fact they might like some genres more than others. I didn't know that I loved rap until I went to a play yesterday, I think it was day before yesterday called. It was the Christmas Carol done as the Q Brothers Christmas Carol. And I realized what, that's what I really like about that music. Even though I don't like the music now, I really like it because it was funny and it told a great story and so forth. As consumers of music were all similar in that we all know how to consume the music that we like
As producers of music. Whether it's just your voice when you're speaking or whether it's actually making music by yourself or with others. I think we diverge a lot. I think that there's a lot of issues around performance anxiety when it comes to music, especially . You were raised giving piano recitals at the age of four. There were, it's like, how scary is that? It's not that scary cuz you just don't know anything. But for some people it's okay to perform musically. For some people it's not. And yet when you're bringing out your side B in a sense, you have to be okay. You have to learn to be okay performing, so to speak, from this other side of yourself. How do you help people do that? Cuz that's a wide divergence of capabilities that are built in and then hammered in through childhood. That's just hammered in it's some people are way over there and they'll say, I could never sing or I could never play. I could never do whatever. And some people will walk into a room having a tune the like or break out into Broadway show music, a regular basis, diovan, .
It really is getting people to see really. So I am not a vocalist. I am a lyricist. I've written six songs for my book and produced those with great musicians. But it's really seeing the unseen and once somebody sees that they can be what they are truly within themselves, bringing their whole self to work, it's easier because that's what they're used to. For example, I was a competitive swimmer. I naturally leaned into music because I didn't hear anything or rhythm really. Keeping my strokes in rhythm, keeping my beat going, breathing at the right time. I would make up songs in my own head. So when we're doing that, those songs in your own head are just these voices of chatter. We're just trying to change that language to your side. B
Was absolutely going on My head actually in seventh grade, I'm gonna give you a little tip here. Seventh grade, I wrote a whole play Broadway play for Billy Joel's album. The Stranger. What I did with it, I don't know, but I wrote it about the Italian restaurant, the red wine, the white wine, the Brenda and Eddie. And I had the whole scene mapped out in my head. , I know because I love music
By the way. I played from that play which somebody stole from you and put on Broadway. I was just playing from it the other night. . Yeah, it was very songs. I didn't know you wrote that stuff. That's fast.
I think probably the early, well by the way, the power of rhythm I think is really quite astonishing when it comes to stabilizing performance. So as some unfortunate to among our eight listeners, I do barefoot endurance running for fun. And some people think that's oxymoron. How could that be fun? It's actually kind of a gentle relaxing activity for at least the first few hours. And I recall once because I always have a song in my head and it's always challenging to find a song that will help you, that really will go along and help you. And I did a 50 K once in the almond and Quick Silver Mountains behind my house two weeks after running the big serve marathon. So this was not a good idea. And these mountains are really up and down and up and down. And I did it on a whim and I ate the wrong thing beforehand.
And so I had these sort of stomach cramps for the first two, two and a half hours. And this thing took nine hours to run. And what I found helped me for especially about the last five hours, oddly enough, was the odd rhythm of take five. And the reason was it kept my mind occupied because at the end of ever measure, you were on the other foot. Really? That sounds ridiculously stupid, but it never got boring because when you you're doing a run like that, it's hard to keep your focus. Some things are going on in your body and your mind. But there was just something about going, I wonder which foot it's gonna because I'd forget. Right.
But Well it's got five beats. It's five four, so it's quarter, it's quarter notes, but there's five of them in a measure. And so it's got this extra beat and that extra beat I kept falling into. That's what I felt like is I can always fall into that fifth beat and then the next measure starts. I did that for the last five hours or so and then I finished the run and had a nice piece of peach pie and went home . I'll never forget that. The power of the music and I don't listen to music when I run. I don't let it come in through my ears. It's always inside of me. But I'm a big believer in that I actually think that music runs inside of us in a way to maintain our sanity.
And we remember it differently. I mean otherwise why would there be named that tomb? We talk on the cold calling technique world of market dominance guys, which is all about paving the market with trust by effectively, by singing to somebody in seven seconds, you have seven seconds to get your voice to do something magical inside of that person. And when you're thinking about like, well what's really going on there, , if somebody were to say, well what's really happening there? What's happening is the words, we have a thing, we had a whole episode on this. The words are a surfboard and the voice is the surfer, the artist. And somebody has to shape the words. We probably shouldn't be shaping our own words when we're out in the world of repetitive performance because that's right. The words, unless there's a whole bunch of 'em, we're probably not gonna get it quite right.
But we can incorporate the words as poetry and then sing them. And it's like name that tune. Why could name that tune ever be a show. Think about it. It's crazy, right? Oh, right now that tune in one or two seconds and yet if you walk around in the world and you hear the beginning of a song, it make a mistake. You might think it's one of three, but you'll, you'll not think it's one of a hundred. It's very, very quick. We can't remember our children's name. Well, I have a problem remembering names after 3 27 in the afternoon. I have real issue with that. But the ability to remember that this is that song, even if you can't name it, you can continue it. Sure. That is deep. Deep memory stuff. And when you think about relationships we have with people, what we're essentially doing is we're building memories with them. And it's those memories that are the glue of the relationship. It's like when we are remembering before the show here being on at this conference and then going onto this little podcast that was happening, we were actually reinforcing our relationship by remembering something together. , . And that is the essence of how we build businesses, is we create what we call culture is actually a matrix of shared memories that are interpreted in a common framework
It's funny, Chris, I just had a client of ours came and pay us a visit and she is of Japanese heritage and we were talking about the phone here and the phone that I was keeping the back. And now when we pick up the phone, we always say hello. And we were talking about this very thing about the surfboard and tonality and the musicality that you have to have the right. It's like if a lyricist as Paula, sometimes you just looking for the right word to hit the right beat if it's too short. We all know those songs that it could use another word or syllable here, . And in Italy, when you pick up the phone, you say Poto, right? And she's saying in Japan, cuz I was talking about cold calling in different cultures and the musicality of what we try to do here in the US and would it translate well to Italian when it translate to Japanese.
And she said a beautiful thing. She said, the Japanese, when you answer the phone from a business to business, not mushy, mushy when it's more informal, but that a traditional first encounter and the word actually means, the phrase actually means greetings with a first encounter. It's Hajimemashite! Which means nice to meet you first encounter. It's almost like now I would never do it. So the first time we meet Paula, let's say Hajimemashite!, right? Corey Frank, right? Nice to meet you. First encounter Corey Frank. And it was just something Chris that was, I thought was just very beautiful about our profession. That the person on the other end of the line, instead of saying, listen, this is a cold call, you can hang up if you want Chris Vos stuff. Or it's really a variance of the 27 seconds. I know I'm an interruption. Yes. Labels you as the monster. You as the invisible stranger. When you say that Hajimemashite!, like this is the first time we've spoken and had she was speaking in Japanese, she just had such a musicality of it that I thought was such a beautiful tradition to connote. I'm the stranger. You're being vulnerable here right now by picking up the phone. I want you to know that we've never met before.
Yeah. And talk about that vulnerability that you have to have in business. We talk about it. Paula, here as we wrap up about the vulnerability you have to have to explore your side B, right? The person I have talked for years now about the vulnerability that you have to show, the courage you have to show because of this highly athletic act of cool calling here that we do here, . But I tell you what, Paul, I love to learn a little bit more. I think there is so much to be learned from these things about ourselves and the synergies and the opportunities to talk with you and Helen together. Chris, that would make a wonderful episode to have the love your team and the side B consulting here, experts in action. So Paula, we would go to paula s white.com if we wanna learn a little bit more. And side B consulting, are you on the Twitter verse everywhere else? And
Well Paul, it's been a pleasure. We look forward to hearing from you again on future episodes of the Market Dominance guys. And for Chris, be the sage of sales, the profit of profit, the Hawking of Hawking. This is Corey Frank. Until next time,