S03E06 – Competence Before Confidence Especially With Peter Goers

Talking About Marketing Podcast by Steve Davis and David Olney

In the 80s it was "fake it 'til you've made it" but David Olney argues start with competence and confidence will follow. Steve notes that's a great way to approach an interview with Peter Goers on ABC Adelaide.

In this sixth episode of the third series of Talking About Marketing, we start by going back to basics with the teacher who taught David Olney how to walk with his cane.

That teacher's name is Roley Stuart, and as we'll discover, his practical, firm approach to teaching principles has helped David navigate the world with independence and confidence ever since.

In this episode, we look at what lessons the rest of us can take from Roley's wisdom.

Talking of navigating the world, being interviewed by Peter Goers can feel like that. Steve was just on ABC Adelaide to answer Peter's questions about how to relax. Yep. Wrong person on that topic. Or is he?

Still on the ABC, a friend and client flicked Steve a link to a recent radio special about Noël Coward and, Steve's going to discuss this in the Probems segment. Hmmm.

And in the Perspicacity segment, we continue our focus on David Sandler's Sales Submarine, this time the fifth compartment of Decision Makers.

Get ready to take notes!

Talking About Marketing podcast episode notes with timecodes

01:30  Person  This segment focusses on you, the person, because we believe business is personal.

How Do You Relax?

Last episode, Steve reflected on the custom of "At Homes", as captured in the biography of Oscar Wilde. At Homes were semi formal events in which hosts made a point of being "at home" to entertain visiting guests.

Steve pledged to try to hold some of these over summer as part of another committment he made recently; a pledge to start building in some zones of relaxation into the week.

This is a wildly radical notion for a small business owner who has worked seven days a week for 20+ years. However, when his former ABC Adelaide colleague, Peter Goers, invited Steve to take part in the Thursday night segment, How Do You Relax?, it got him thinking.

In this segment, we get to hear Steve's answers while posing the questions for all of us: how do we relax and do we relax enough and well enough?

10:57  Principles  This segment focusses principles you can apply in your business today.

Competence Before Confidence

In a recent blog post, Confidence Or Competence? What Comes First For Publicly Promoting Your Brand?, David Olney noted the following:

Working out how to empower people always involves building up both their confidence and competence, but deciding on which one to develop first is not always easy.

I experienced the juggling act of increasing both my competence and confidence when I was a primary school student, as I learned to move around safely with a white cane.

What I learned through experience then, and can explain now, is that basic competence is required to develop confidence, and confidence is required to enable heightened competence.

In this segment, Steve leads David deeper into this discussion, and we even hear Roley Stuart (the teacher who taught David who to move with his white cane) himself, in an excert from a full interview David conducted with him in 2021 on Blind Insights With David Olney.

19:07  Problems  This segment answers questions we've received from clients or listeners.

Let's Do It, Let's Share Thoughtful Things

Let's Do It, Let's Share Helpful Things is not one of Noël Coward's better known tunes. In fact, it's not one at all but Steve is still in a Noël Coward mindset, having listened to a special episode of ABC Radio's The Music Show, to mark the release of a new biography, entitled, Masquerade: The Lives Of Noël Coward.

Steve discovered this program when client and friend, Anne Johnson, sent him this note:

Hi Steve, I thought you would love this. I just listened to it on my walk and immediately thought of you, Anne.

This is mentioned in the Problems segment because it really is more of a mailbag segment and this arrived in Steve's inbox. That said, it is a problem that more of us don't do these little gestures of care that not only deepen relationships but enrich the lives of those around you, whether they are friends, clients, or both.

However, upon listening to the program, Steve did pick up on a marketing problem that related to Mr Coward, himself.

The Music Show's host, Andrew Ford, asks the author of the biography, Oliver Soden, whether our memory of Noël Coward is undermined by the range of his talents - playwright, actor, director, poet, composer, short story writer, lyricist, singer, painter, and he took dancing lessons from Fred Astaire.

We listen to and then dissect Soden's response to the age old dilemma facing people who wear more than one hat.

27:19  Perspicacity  This segment is designed to sharpen our thinking by reflecting on a case study from the past.

Sandler Sales Submarine Part Five: Decision Makers

Each Perspicacity segment this series, will focus on one part of the Sandler Selling System, this time, it's Decision Makers.

David Sandler argues that you will risk wasting a lot of time and giving away a lot of information for free, if you don't clarify who the decision makers are before you make a sales presentation.

If you discover there are more decision makers than just the person you've been discussing things with, then David and Steve suggest you need to go back and revisit the earlier sections of the Sandler Submarine so that they apply to this new information and new audience.

If you can't get this clarity, it might will be time to surface and travel on to your next prospect.

Our conversation is being guided by David Sandler's excellent book, You Can't Teach A Kid To Ride A Bike At A Seminar, Second Edition.

Automated Transcription

The transcript below has not been checked by humans; it has been generated automatically and is published here as a convenience option for reference.

Caitlin Davis: [00:00:00] Talking About Marketing is a podcast for business owners and leaders, produced by my dad, Steve Davis, and his colleague at Talked About Marketing, David Olney, in which they explore marketing through the lens of their own four Ps. Person, principles, problems and perspicacity. Yes, you heard that correctly.

Apart from their love of words, they really love helping people. So they hope this podcast will become a trusted companion on your journey in business.

Steve Davis: Its decision time David Olney, do you like making decisions?

David Olney: I do because I've become very efficient at making decisions quickly and then when I get more data, I make another decision if I need to. So I don't mind making them and I don't mind discarding them for a new one.

Steve Davis: All right. In that case, here we go. You've got three [00:01:00] seconds to give me a one word answer to this question.

Confidence or competence?

David Olney: Competence.

Steve Davis: Let's see if you were right as we get into talking about marketing.

Caitlin Davis: Our four P's. Number one, person. The aim of life is self development. To realise one's nature perfectly. That is what each of us is here for. Oscar Wilde.

Steve Davis: Hi ho, everybody. That was my Peter Gers impersonation, David. Were you impressed?

David Olney: I was impressed with the way it sounded, but it didn't sound quite jowly enough for Peter.

Steve Davis: That's right. Hi ho, hi ho.

David Olney: That's more like it. You've got to sound like you've got a jam donut stuffed in each cheek.

Steve Davis: Hi ho, everybody.

Well, anyway, I won't do that. Because that's his shtick. But he had me on his program [00:02:00] recently his nighttime program on ABC Adelaide. And I thought I'd share a snippet from it in this first segment about the person, because it was about a topic foreign to my heart, but dear to my heart, the topic of relaxation.

Before I share my bit, David, do you think you have mastered the art of relaxation? And if so, why do you? value that you've done it. I

David Olney: think I have, both through yoga and returning to playing guitar during COVID, and I really value it and I think I've achieved it because I've learnt to just do the activity and be nourished by just doing yoga or just playing guitar and letting myself just be the activity and take refreshment and renewal from the activity.

Which is just so rewarding at a physical and emotional level.

Steve Davis: Oh, it sounds quite dreamy, actually. One day. Because Peter has a [00:03:00] regular segment on a Thursday night on his program called, How Do You Relax? And he gets people in to ask them how they relax. And when he asked me, I said to him, Peter, I'd be very happy...

To be on that segment, provided you're happy to have someone on for whom the topic is foreign. And he said, fine, come in. And so this is the point in the interview, mind you, it was right towards the end of the interview. We talked about, Talked About Marketing. We talked about the Adelaide show podcast.

We talked about marketing as a profession, but then just before the end of the interview, the whole reason I went in there, he popped the question about how do you relax? And here's what transpired.

Peter Goers: Now, how do you relax, Steve? You've said that doing your interviews for your podcast is relaxing.

Steve Davis: Which is sad in many ways, but the only way I can salve my soul in saying that, [00:04:00] because I'm earnest when I say that, is that it's my hobby. It's not a money making venture. It's my maternal grandpa used to whittle and turn wood and do things.

He would spend hours in his shed. I think that's just my equivalent. I tried, I love reading. I've switched to audiobooks recently. Yes, I do too. Because I find if I sit in the, on the couch, and I open the book with every best intention, I'm snoring within about a page and a half.

Peter Goers: That's good too.

Steve Davis: Well, that is good.

However, audiobooks, my world has changed, because I've been doing a fair bit of driving for my work, and I picked up Anna Karenina, which I'd never read before Maggie Gillingall did the reading, and it was 35 hours of audiobook. I lamented when that last page happened. I wanted to throw myself under a train.

There's a [00:05:00] lot to be said for a Russian novel. Because Tolstoy, Anna

Peter Goers: Karenina is best read on trains. Because they're, you know, they're always on trains in that novel.

Steve Davis: Yes. And the only other thing I eked out was cooking. Because I'm the cook at home. And I do lose myself in the kitchen.

Peter Goers: Do you? I never understand cooking.

Steve Davis: Really?

Peter Goers: It's just, you know, just, I can't do it. And it just, I just can't do it.

Steve Davis: Interestingly, David, the answer I led with there, which is recording podcast interviews for the Adelaide show, is for me... The chief example of me relaxing, it just occurred to me that doing this is not what I call relaxing. This is not relaxing. This is me at work. I'm enjoying it. Don't get me wrong. I love it.

But it's, it's work. But there is a different state. [00:06:00] I wish I could explain it. It's like I float in the clouds when I'm doing that, doing the Adelaide show, because it is... Purely a gift to the community. It's my hobby and I lose myself in it. I'm sure you're able to dismantle this and try and explain what the heck is going on, especially with other people who might be like me and a bit wrapped up in their businesses and finding odd ways to relax.

David Olney: I think, you know, the bit you're missing in your own explanation is it's a gift to community, but it's also a gift to self. Because you are most happy, it seems to me, when you are learning and when you are interacting with nice people. Yeah. And where else do you get to learn and interact with nice people without your overt marketing hat on?

Other than on the Adelaide show. So it's, it's a defined space that isn't work, it's one of the very few in your life that is defined not work space, that also has [00:07:00] learning and nice people, or they wouldn't be invited.

Steve Davis: You're dead right. They wouldn't be. Interestingly, actually for the first, I thank you for that, because now it does, it does actually feel, because I, I do remember fondly my maternal grandfather, who was an ex builder, but he had this lovely shed, and he would go out, he would whittle, as I mentioned to Peter Goeth, he'd whittle, he'd paint things, he'd make things, he'd spend hours out there.

But see, that was a defined space where he did his hobby. Exactly. I've crafted it. Well, it's not so much one physical space because often I move around,

David Olney: But it's your kit. It's your recording kit.

Steve Davis: Yeah. And a psychological space of attention. It's a focused, it's like a get smart cone of podcasting.

David Olney: Yep. Like for me, it's my yoga mat or any of my guitars, all of which I've got such a wonderful physical map of them in my head about what does the fingerboard feel like?

What does the strings feel like on the particular instrument? What does the whole instrument feel like? What does it feel like to have it [00:08:00] resonating against my body while I play? You know, there is a physical nature to having that space that is gift to self.

Steve Davis: So for a business owner or business leader listening in, who thinks that maybe their relaxation muscle is a little withered, they want to start exercising it again, is...

a place, an important consideration. Almost like we talked about last episode about how getting dressed up for work, even if you're home doing Zoom, you put on the costume of work because it informs yourself psychologically that you're now at work. Can the same be said for hobbies? It may not be the exclusive thing you must do, but is it a great help to place yourself somewhere or in some configuration?

David Olney: I think your and my example, it really could. You can take your recording gear anywhere. I can put my yoga mat or a guitar anywhere, but the props [00:09:00] have to be there. And I think even if it's a room or a shed, you know, like the example in your family, that shed had all the things to make things. So was it the shed that was important or the tools?

Steve Davis: Well, I don't think I could separate them.

David Olney: No, but the point is the shed on its own couldn't have done what it did. It took all the tools. In the same way, you need the podcasting tools, and I need my yoga mat and my guitars. Yes. I think there is something really important to not just saying you're going to relax, but going well, how are you going to relax, and what things are the props for doing it, that when you've got those things out, people gradually learn to just give you some quiet time.

And you learn to let yourself have some quiet time, and just do the activity that goes with those props that nourishes you, so you can do more fathers once you're refreshed.

Steve Davis: That's a really important point. And yes, thinking about the shed and the tools, there is a hierarchy. It is tools first. It just happened to be placed in the shed, but [00:10:00] it was the tools are the key thing.

And if you think about it... I don't really move in church circles, I did growing up. There's a whole lot of tools and apparatus around church services of all sorts of religions that are probably playing a role in just helping tell the brain this is where we are and this is what we're focusing on. So, maybe we are beings that benefit from symbols.

Wow. I hope you can think on this as you relax, wherever that might be. It could be anywhere. But what's the prop that says now is relaxation time?

Caitlin Davis: Our four Ps. Number two, principles. You can never be overdressed or over educated. Oscar Wilde.

Steve Davis: At the beginning of this episode, I asked David Olney the question, confidence or [00:11:00] competence? And he answered competence. And here in the principles segment, I'm going to give you a chance to defend that. What do you mean when you chose competence rather than confidence?

David Olney: Today's title, having the word decisions at the beginning.

How do you make decisions? How do you work out what to do next? These are potentially complex things and things about which people become anxious. What should I do? Should I do X or should I do Y? And... Normally people say, well, there's two ways to move forward. You can either develop some competence about what you're doing, and that will inform what you do, or you can be confident in your formular ability and go, well, because I feel confident, I'll probably pick the right thing.

And we've been in a world, particularly in Australia for the last 40 years, where education has privileged confidence over competence. Every kid gets a prize. Every kid gets told they're doing well, whether they are or they aren't. And the consequences for education have been [00:12:00] devastating, and for young Australians have not been great.

And yet, when I reflect back on my experience of learning to use a white cane to navigate, what I was taught was, let's get you some basic competence, because once you've got some basic competence, then you can start moving around. Then you'll get some confidence in that basic competence. Then you'll want some more competence, and you'll have the confidence to Get a little bit more competence, and when you've got that extra competence, you'll get a little bit more confidence, which means you want to work harder and increase your competence.

So the competence confidence cycle for any complex thing keeps going, but in my experience with the cane and moving safely, now with a cane for, wow, 42, 43 years, whatever the number is. That is a consequence of competence first, and even in 20... 20 or 21, I don't remember when, I made my worst mistake with a cane ever.

Steve Davis: What did you [00:13:00] do?

David Olney: Stepped up at a curb, having swept the footpath. Had missed a post, and stepped straight into the post, and drove my sunglasses frame through my eyebrow. And within a second, my eye was full of blood. And basically stuck my finger in the wound and went, oh dear. Walk the rest of the way home, actually hearing the blood spots go and splat on the ground, they were that big.

Lick the my fingers clean of blood to get in the door. Talk to the Home Pod to let Karen know, Hey, I'm gonna have to head to Casualty. You coming home where you want to meet me there? And yet, the thought at the time while waiting for her to come home before heading to emergency was, okay, have I just trashed my confidence with the cane?

Am I forever going to be less able with the cane? Now I've made a big mistake. Wow. And it was a couple of days before my head stopped hurting, and I went back to that post. [00:14:00] and went, what the hell happened? And I realized, ah, when I stepped up, I did what I've done forever with the cane. I swept my cane in an arc and the post had been between the cane and me.

The cane couldn't find it. And I thought, well, if I step up onto a curve, if I sweep the arc and then simply open my cane arm elbow out and check the gap directly in front of me between the cane and me. Then I can't ever happen again. And I emailed Roley Stewart, my mobility instructor, who was probably the best cane teacher I've ever had, and said, Hey Roley, your teaching worked, this happened to me, my confidence is still fine, because I went out and increased my competence, so it can't happen again.

Steve Davis: On that note, David, this is a great way, it adds extra nuance to this snippet I've got of Roley Stewart because you interviewed him a few years ago on your other podcast, Blind Insights, with David Olney. I hope I've got permission to [00:15:00] play this short snippet. You absolutely

do. Okay, let's have a listen.

Blind Insights Podcast: David Olney interviews Roley Stewart: So I reckon it must have been while you were still at that school that we ran into each other for the first time like literally in decades.

Yeah. That I was going along North Terrace with my cane and I heard a whole bunch of kids and then I heard the grown up who was wrangling them and smiled that it was you and you just yelled out nice cane skills Mr. Olney and you kept wrangling your kids and I waved and off we went.

No, because it's teaching, teaching cane skills is It's not an art, but, you know, I'm a bit particular about the skill part of it, and what it looks like, and how it operates, and where you hold your hand, and all of those sorts of things.

And then, of course, as you drive along, that's, it's one thing about being an Orientation Mobility Instructor, I'll see someone walking down the street with a broom handle, and I'll, they catch my eye. Just anything, you know, carrying a long straight thing and I'm, what, who's that? What are they? So certainly you drive along and you see people that you have taught and you look at their cane technique and you think, oh gosh, I'm not owning up to that.

[00:16:00] But so when you, when you see a good one, you certainly you rejoice internally and think, oh wow, he's still doing it.

So is mine still okay as I was walking along towards you?

I looked at you today coming towards me and there'd be a few things

I'd tweak, but yeah, you weren't bad. Yeah.

Do you think the few things he suggests you tweak might be about sweeping the arm in case there's a pole that's snuck up between you and your cane? No, because he was talking about a day where I was really tired. Right. And my cane technique as I was walking to meet him was survive. Don't thrive level technique.

Steve Davis: Yes, I think in the interview you talk about it was windy, so your hearing was down, and I think that was the, that was the main thing going on, plus some changed environments around some intersections.

David Olney: They were working on digging up a lane and doing all sorts of other things. Yes. And I was using pretty crude technique, but it was a perfect example of the old thing.

When things are bad, [00:17:00] You don't rise to the occasion, you fall to the level of your training. So that day, I wasn't at the top of my cocaine game, but I was at the bare acceptable minimum, which is still good enough to not be injured.

Steve Davis: So, let's apply this for business leaders and business owners who are listening in.

This whole thing of competence before confidence. Do you think in the DNA of that statement, there is something that helps even dismantle that curse that people often refer to of imposter syndrome? It puts it into the context for me of the confidence being like a big spinnaker sail that's been thrown out that could be easily pricked because the boat, we haven't necessarily felt we've spent enough time getting the boat, the keel and all that stuff sorted and sound.

David Olney: Exactly. Like, whatever it is that you need to do or want to do, there's going to be a way to break it down [00:18:00] into chunks of competence you can get, and each time you get one of those chunks sorted, you're going to be more able to do that activity confidently, and that even if it's a day where you're feeling exhausted, like the day Roley said, oh yeah, there's bits of my technique that could be better, even on your bad day, Your confidence will get you through even when your confidence is not high.

Relying on confidence alone is exhausting and will inevitably end in failure. And once your confidence is wrecked, if it's all you've got, then rebuilding is really difficult. But your confidence can get smashed by a post. And as long as your confidence is good enough, your confidence will come back.

Steve Davis: Yeah, good stuff.

Thank you, Roley.

Caitlin Davis: Our four Ps. Number three, Problems. I asked the question for the best reason possible. Simple curiosity.[00:19:00]

Steve Davis: In the problem segment, I normally reach into the mailbag for someone who's posed a curly question that I think would be useful to answer for everyone else, but something different this time. I got this random... Email from Anne Johnson, who's a dear friend and client, known her for many, many years from down the southeast.

And I got this lovely note saying, I thought of you immediately as I listened to this, and I thought you'd like it. And it was a link to the music show on ABC. Radio, and it was an episode about Noel Coward, and it was based on a book that had just been written called Masquerade, The Lives of Noel Coward, and for some reason, Anne Johnson thought this reminded her of me.

I've got no idea why, David, have you?

David Olney: I'm not going to comment for now. Let's hear, let's hear what direction you want to go with this.

Steve Davis: Well, look, the main thing I wanted to say, and the reason this is in the, it's not so much a problem, it's just the mailbag [00:20:00] aspect, is I loved what Anne does. I do this from time to time. I must do it more. And that is when you do hear something or read something that triggers a memory, but particularly a warm memory of someone you know. Or whether it's a client or a friend, or something you think might be right up their alley and be helpful to them. We should send it. We should take the effort.

Whether it's an SMS, whether it's a messenger message, a WhatsApp, a letter, a postcard, doesn't matter. That simple act that Anne made. Really gave me a lift that day. It was beautiful. Plus, I listened to the show, and I swooned over every moment of it. It was a fantastic story. There's some amazing Noel Coward songs that are played in it.

But, and this is where I'll just bring this back from, thank you Anne, and let's all remember that, to a little insight that I couldn't help turn my marketing brain off for when... Andrew [00:21:00] Ford, who is the host, asked the author of this Noel Coward biography, a man by the name of Oliver Soden, he asked him, he said, look, Noel Coward was known for many things because of his range of Talents.

He was a playwright, an actor, a director, a poet, a composer, a short story writer, a lyricist, a singer, a painter. He even took dancing lessons from Fred Astaire. And so Andrew asked whether our memory of Noel Coward is actually undermined because of the range of his talents. Let's hear the answer.

The Music Show: The Lives of Noel Coward: When we talk about, I don't know, Tennessee Williams or Arthur Miller or even Harold Pinter, we have an idea of what they were like, of course, but we don't have the sort of character of Noel Coward, the voice, getting in the way of reinventing his plays, getting in the way of just...

thinking about the [00:22:00] words or notes he put down on the page, or in the case of musical notes that someone else put down on the page for him, you have to understand who he was and then forget him in a way and let the work escape rather than be tethered down by the character that he created. I mean, the multi talented thing is very interesting because of course you can't deny the range of what he did. But I wanted in the book to get away from that. Because yes, he did paint perfectly competently. And yes, in a quite limited range, he could act and he could dance perfectly competently, but no more. I mean, I came to the conclusion that he was preeminently a playwright, or at least a wordsmith.

And that that was his lasting contribution and his major and most significant and only really astonishing talent and that all the rest were, yes, very remarkable, but not on the same level. But I think it's possible to argue that as a composer, and he always used an amanuensis to [00:23:00] write music down, he did not know how to notate music on the page, he didn't harmonize or orchestrate his own songs.

I think he is... essentially a pasticheur. I think everything he writes is musically pastiche, which is not to deny its invention and melodic inspiration, but I think it is the lyrics, always his own, always dazzling, that lift this music, these songs, into the realm of Genius. He is really someone who can make words do what he wants them to do, and that is what is important about him.

Steve Davis: Wow, that's quite an authoritative answer there, from Oliver, to say, yep, I'll take all of those, they're all okay, but his wordsmithry, his work with lyrics, that's what he should be remembered for. It makes me wonder, some of us do. I mean, I had a, I just blogged recently about reflecting on my career in marketing and [00:24:00] how I really think I'm, the role I play is GP of marketing.

Because I don't necessarily get involved with long projects. We're going to stay in to see to some huge goal. Often I've got a lot of people. That I'm working with, who all have different questions, different tweaks, different little procedures they need done, and that's my role. I feel that's a little bit Noel Cowardish, David.

David Olney: Yeah, the constant themes are two fold, well, three fold. Wordsmithing, same. Really good understanding of the whole suite of things within the marketing, same. And empowering people is one of your ultimate forms of nourishment.

Steve Davis: Hmm. You really do analyse things succinctly.

David Olney: That's why I work for you, because I wordsmith too, but I'm Mr.

Efficient, in terms of wordsmithing. If I can get down to 10 words, I'm very happy.

Steve Davis: Absolutely. That's why I don't mind reading your birthday cards, because you can do them in [00:25:00] a flick of an eye. Sorry. Is there any warning, any lesson we get here from the life of Noel Coward, not to turn this into a full blown segment, but I just wonder, this is the age old question, Jack of all trades or going deep with it.

And my gut feel is there is no right or wrong answer. It's going to depend on you, what drives you, and what the market needs.

David Olney: I will only add one thing to that, and that is, if you think about Noel Coward in any of those areas at which he excelled, He was the same debonair, urbane wit with a sparkle in everything he said and did.

So, do different things, be talented in different ways, but bring the consistency of the person you are. Because it's that consistency in the person you are and how you treat people that will make [00:26:00] everyone make sense of, Oh, so you do this and you do this and you do this. Oh, okay, that's a bit confusing, but...

You're a nice person. And if they can, at the end, remember that you're an easy to get along with person or a nice person or that you're helpful people can deal with complexity and confusion. As long as that they feel emotionally safe about who you are.

Steve Davis: So, let the essence of you be the thread. Yes.

That goes through it all. Wow. Well, on that note, then I'll follow my secret heart despite being world weary, and... Keep doing it until, I'm looking at all these Noel Coward songs, until I travel alone at the end of my life and sail away with my dearest love, having known that all through my life I followed thee, Maxim, let's do it.

Caitlin Davis: Our four Ps, number four, [00:27:00] Perspicacity. The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it. Oscar Wilde.

Steve Davis: In Perspicacity, which is the segment where we think about thinking, and we play with thoughts, we're dedicating this segment, all series, to the book, You Can't Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike, at a seminar by David Sandler. David Sandler's legacy is the Sandler training. A company which trains people in sales and a really lovely take on it, very much grounded in the principles of psychology and also decent humanity, I must say.

And one of his models is the Sandler Submarine, where he breaks sales down into seven segments. We've been working through them all, and now, today, we're at number five of the submarine. Let me just do the quick test again, and I don't have it written in front of me. Number one, because this will help me remember, and...

You, dear listener. Number one is rapport. Build [00:28:00] rapport with people. Number two is the upfront contract. Number three is pain. What is the pain people are dealing with? Number four is the budget. What budget have they got to help make that pain go away? And now, number five, decision makers. Getting in front of, defining who the decision makers are.

Take it away, David. How do you recall David Sandler's take? on this part of the submarine.

David Olney: The decision makers part is one that, you know, comes across as very simple. Well, of course you need to know who you're going to do a presentation to, but we really need to contextualize it in terms of you've built rapport, perhaps only with one person at the company.

You've built an upfront contract, perhaps with only one person at the company. You've talked about the pain they want to resolve and the things they want to improve from only one person's perspective. You've understood the budget, which might be the most objective thing, [00:29:00] but you don't know if other people might see more wiggle room.

So now, actually working out who the decision makers are, and making sure that when you come back and present your solution, that you are presenting to everyone who is part of the decision. And that you understand their perspective, what they need, what they're interested in, what pain they're trying to resolve.

The decision making stage is actually really important because having rapport with one person doesn't mean it's going to go well if you're asked to come back and present to a committee and the person you've been talking to is the most junior person.

Steve Davis: Yes, because then you're never getting off that first few parts of the, of the game board, are you?

David Olney: Nope. So really the whole point with the decision making section is if that you suddenly find out there is a committee that you need to present to, you need to realize that when you talk to that whole committee, you need to do a short version of [00:30:00] rapport, of upfront contract. of confirming that the pain the person you've been talking to, you know, feels about what needs to be resolved is similar to everyone else.

And if there's extra things, you need to add them in immediately. And if that's changed what you need to present or what the budget is, you then need to say to that whole group of people I need some time now with this extra information I've gathered today. Before I can come back and present to you.

So in a sense, the decision making phase is an opportunity to restart the submarine. If necessary, to make sure that you've got proper rapport with the other people and a full understanding of what you actually need to talk about.

Steve Davis: And there are plenty of anecdotes in the book as he talks about this. One of them I remember was talking to someone saying, Right, yes, who's the decision maker?

He says, Yep, it'll be me. Okay, so there's no one else. If you like what I [00:31:00] have to offer, you can say, yes, David, go ahead. Oh, well, I will also need to run it past my board or run it past his manager or my wife or whatever. And he says, aha, so you're not. So who does make the final decision? And, and being dogged to get the, the full story, because then if someone has said, that it is them.

They've painted themselves into a corner. If they do need to say no, they've got no one else to turn to. And so if it is them and they say it's them, they will typically honor that because you need to have the maintain consistency with your self view. But if, but if they do come clean and say, well, it is actually the board, then fantastic.

Let's use our time wisely to prepare something to present. So you know, and the other thing before you have any final thoughts on this, David is, I remember using this a couple of times myself, as this book gradually ekes [00:32:00] into the way we operate, and one of them is, right, you now work out who the full range of people are that you need to get over the line who make the decision and I suppose you go back and you just have a chance to renegotiate the upfront contract and say to the group, Right, I'm going to make a time to come and present to you and work through this, but I need to know. I am happy to accept and give you permission to feel okay to say yes or no.

What I don't want is we have to think about it. And so there's a little bit of that cycling around again as need be as you work your way through the submarine, David.

David Olney: Yeah, and this is the thing about budget and decision making. Both things is applying everything you've learnt, but taking new information on board and then reconfirming.

All the steps until that point, so when you go forward, everything is as stable as it can be. So once you've got all the decision makers, they need to know that the upfront [00:33:00] contract is that yes is fine, no is fine, maybe is not fine.

Steve Davis: Well, something that is fine is for us to call a close to this episode of talking about marketing as we will come back for the next stage of the submarine next issue.

Until next time. Let us go forth to seek building competence so that we can then bolster our confidence.

Caitlin Davis: Thank you for listening to Talking About Marketing. If you enjoyed it, please leave a rating or a review in your favourite podcast app. And if you found it helpful, please share it with others. Steve and David always welcome your comments and questions, so send them to podcast at talkaboutmarketing.com. And finally, the last word to Oscar Wilde. There's only one thing worse than being talked about, and that's not being talked about.[00:34:00]

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