The Lazy CEO Podcast

Selling Results

by Apr 24, 2023The Lazy CEO Podcast

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In this episode of Selling Results

  • Ian Altman, author of Sales Side Selling, shares incites for selling results rather than selling price.
  • What are margin vampires?
  • Effective, Enhanced, or Engaged Pyramid Solutions
  • The margin-based commission plans to support results selling.

Here is a glimpse of Selling Results

We’ve got another phenomenal guest today, Ian Altman. As a business growth expert and bestselling author, Ian is recognized as one of the top 30 global gurus on sales. And his same side selling academy is ranked in the top five globally for sales development programs.

Everybody’s running a business, and when I talk about the secrets of a great business, a great margin is one of them. Ian has identified some areas that are what he calls margin vampires. Ian shared with us what he sees as the biggest margin vampire we should think about as CEOs and leaders.

Margin Vampires

The biggest margin vampire is that oftentimes as organizations, we believe that our client hasn’t made a decision because of price. And our sellers often lead with price, and they don’t even realize it. So they’ll ask somebody in a competitive environment, well, you’re working with so-and-so, well, what are you paying now? Maybe I can save you money. And we’ve just made it so the client has been taught that the most essential part of the conversation is the price when it isn’t. So it ends up being we’re a victim of our undoing. We caused the problem by how we package what we do, as opposed to if we think about it as a C E O; when’s the last time you made a really important decision based on price?

It’s almost a selection process when you lead with price. If you sell to them because you were 5% less than somebody else, guess what? Six months from now, they’re going to switch away from you. Why? Because somebody else gave up 5% of the margin, and now you’re at a race to the bottom, and as Seth Godin says, unfortunately, you might win.

Instead, we want to say that when people are looking for this type of solution, they’re usually looking for a partner who operates at one of three levels—our industry’s shaped like a pyramid. The base level is what we call the effective level. The next level up is enhanced. And the pinnacle is the engaging level. As long as you fit into one of those models while you can be successful at the highest level, you’re dealing with an organization that’s tailoring what they deliver to what you need. They measure the results and outcomes, ensuring you’re moving market share. So which level are you looking for? And now the client says, I want that top level. Now what I’ve just done is if my marketing, my sales, and my messaging is aligned around presenting those three levels, then I will attract the people who want that engaged level. And those people generally don’t care that much about price. You can’t be 300 times what other people are; those selling results are 20% higher than their competitors.

The Finish Line

When I ask people, so what’s the finish line? It’s the sale, the contract, and getting paid. But when you’re the customer, what do you care about? It’s just the results. And then people say, well, I think it’s delivery on our end. It’s not delivery. If you deliver everything you said you would deliver and the client doesn’t get the results they’re looking for; they wouldn’t blame you, would they? Of course, they will. Absolutely. So we need, we need to be focused on results. And when we do that, we get that pivot where people say the price doesn’t matter. If you had two vendors, one asking you about the results and the other asking who needs to sign off on this, which vendor would you rather deal with?

The one who’s talking about results. Would you pay more for that one? How much more? How much less would you have to pay for it to be a good deal? So if you paid 20% less and didn’t get the results, that would be a good deal. No, the answer is it doesn’t matter what you pay. It wasn’t a good deal if you didn’t get the desired results. If we flip that around and say, how do we have that same conversation with our clients? How do we make sure our messaging from a marketing standpoint says, if you don’t get results, we’re not happy?

What does that tell your client? Our results are more critical than their sale. And what’s the net effect? You’ll get more sales. They see value in getting better results.

To listen to the entire conversation between Jim Schlecker and Ian Altman as they export the power of selling results, listen to the full podcast wherever you get your podcast.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Thank You to Our Guest

Ian Altman

Ian Altman travels the world sharing how to accelerate revenue growth with a modern approach to sales and marketing aligned with how buyers make decisions. Shifting the focus from price to value, uniquely stand out from the competition, and discover an approach to selling that everyone can embrace- especially your client. It’s not about pushing for a sale, rather it’s about understanding why something matters to your potential client.

B2B business leaders seek Ian’s help to modernize their approach to business growth. The Same Side Selling methodology has helped Fortune 500 companies and businesses of all sizes quickly double or triple their growth. Ian has had the honor to be called on by Allstate Financial, Advisors Excel, Thermofisher, Sodexo, Johnson & Johnson, The Standard, Teradata, Bell Canada, SAP, and many other companies to achieve remarkable success.  

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by The CEO Project. The CEO Project is a business advisory group that brings high-caliber, accomplished CEOs together. Our team of skilled advisors is comprised of current and former CEOs who have run both public and private sector companies across multiple industries. With our experience and expertise, we guide hundreds of high-performing CEOs through a disciplined approach that resolves constraints and improves critical decisions. The CEO Project has helped high-performing, large enterprise CEOs with annual revenues ranging from $20M to over $2 billion to drive growth and achieve optimal outcomes. If you are an experienced CEO looking to grow your company, visit